3×06 “Glad to See You”

3×06 “Glad To See You”
Written by:
Chris Coleman, Kristi Clark, Kelly Zollo
Warning: Episode contains language, graphic sex and adult content
Theme Song: Nice To Meet You- Nail Horan


Belle flounced into DGI. This office was nice and all but she hated the decor and paint. Whenever she had her own business pink, blacks, purples, and lots of neutrals. She couldn’t wait to have her own office and do something? Like owning a luxurious art gallery or building a Devonshire princess brand. Paris Hilton and Kim Kardasian West had built brands off being rich and she was ready to follow in their footsteps. Being an influencer could be another way of rebranding the family image after her father’s disastrous mistakes. She knew exactly who to talk to about this but first she had to call a truce. No more games and tricks so her big brother Rory was her first step. He’d stepped out of the shadow and short of a reality show she wanted to figure out how to do that. Turning her jetset lifestyle and wealth into even more wealth. As she walked into DGI’s electronic division. She walked past his secretary not even paying attention to the girl or whatever she was saying.

Opening his door she saw him shooting a miniature basketball into the hoop. She turned her head at the girl who looked shocked at Belle. “Oh go on.” Belle shooed her away exhausted and exasperated with her. “You wouldn’t even question if Max, Chauncey, Zerick or any of the others came in here. So go on. I’m talking to my big brother.” She saw him ending his call. Looking down in her skin tight Calvin Klien white A-line couture gown she was wearing as a summer dress. “Now I don’t do this easily Rory but you and I are around the same age and I hate we are so distant. I do know that it’s my fault and partially yours.” She saw his face and he looked like he wasn’t getting it. “Rory can you all say honestly your hearts were open to another sibling. I was the final nail in your parents marriage. Do I agree with my mummy and daddy marrying so soon after he divorced Jackie? No, I don’t it all feels strange and living with him is even more strange. He’s ice cold to her and I shouldn’t be putting you in this. I just wanted to say sorry and I really want to start over. Not for any games but because I’m here and I want what Bliss has. You all love her and I love her and I want to have my family also. He loves me so much and I want you all to remember why you love our father. He’s dying Rory and I’m so scared and alone and I have no one to talk to about this because I don’t trust my mummy and my sisters hate me. You all hate me.” Belle covered her mouth unsure where all the emotions were coming from. Tears soaked her hand as she turned around.

Belle couldn’t believe she exploded like this as she turned away from her brother. She wasn’t able to love David openly and he just seemed ashamed of her. And she just couldn’t take it anymore. Nothing was going right and she just hated how Connor dismissed her at the wedding. Shaking her head she felt a hand on her shoulder and a tissue in her face. “Thank-you but you truly don’t have to be nice. I deserve it. I was a little abrasive when I arrived. Slightly confrontational and I don’t know if I’m done with that but Rory I don’t want to fight with you. I need someone my age to talk about being a damn Devonshire. Isabelle Devonshire now he legally changed my name without my permission.”

Rory had went into work early that morning, he had skirted around Aspen the night before after seeing Aspen with Jayden Bradshaw he and pretended to work on the living room. Aspen had went to bed where he Googled for the bastard that was with Yasmine and became even more discouraged. Jayden was everything that someone like Yasmine deserved even if he thought he had a little too much of an ego at the hospital, rumor was he was gunning for David’s job. An investor in Berlin had called about his next idea RePlay was going well but he wanted to maybe dip his hands into crypto currency and trading. DGI had sold shares in their own company before but if they started their own crypto currency that meant they could be regulated, he wasn’t sure that was what he wanted to have done at the company. It was also something that he would have to discuss with his siblings to make sure they were all in agreement. They would have to become a bank or at least part of the company would have to be. He had been shooting hoops into the small basketball hoop in his office when his doors were swung open and his secretary was frantically trying to get his annoying younger sister out. He looked at his secretary letting her know that she could go. He let George know he would have to get back to him and thank him for his time as he listened to Belle ramble on before he handed her a tissue and sat down beside her.

“We don’t hate you Belle, or at least I don’t it’s just the way you were conceived the deception around it all. He told everyone that he was done with Tess and lied about it to have you. Granted he didn’t know about you thanks to your mother but the way it all looked. Yeah Bliss came to town but we knew about her, the papers constantly talked about her, we knew she was out there. You hurt worse because we thought it was done that him hurting our mother was done. I know that’s not fair to you, worst of all was father covering for that monster.” Rory finished looking at her and trying to be sympathetic even though he felt stuck between his loyalties to his dying father and the mother that raised him. Honestly he remembered when the news had broke the look of disgust on Jackson’s face nd Bliss’s. Chauncey and Max seemed to have shrug it off and he was just numb to it all. “I didn’t know that he legally changed your name that sucks you should have had a say in it. He does shit like that so you should just enjoy it while you can. I can listen as your big brother but I’m never going to be on her side if that is what you want. Not only did she do some horrible shit to my mother, she seduced me. I don’t have the warm fuzzies for her Belle. I don’t have beef with you, you were just snotty and entitled, reminds me a bit of some of us when we were younger.”

Belle blotted her eyes with the tissue as she saw he still wasn’t what she wanted. None of them wanted to be around her. That was for sure and she was pretty hateful to Jackie but that woman was repulsive. She wasn’t this innocent flower that everyone saw. She looked at and saw some grand betrayal and she saw this bitter old lady. When he spoke on her mother’s seduction it sounded like something she’d laugh at if she was her godmother still. Like it would be a joke but hearing how low and vile she sank, well why did she pretend to hold her to such a high standard? Then how nonchalant he was about the name change? Maybe he was right she should be grateful he was claiming her as his daughter and that meant she was special to him. Throwing her icy blond hair back. “I don’t want to remind you of any of them. I want to be original and I think it’s whack that I don’t have anyone to turn to in the family. I know I’m a bitch but so is Max and I don’t think me and your mum will ever be friendly but I can reciprocate pleasantries. As for my mummy’s, I can’t speak for her actions. She’s not my favorite person right now. I did have siblings before he just changed my name and it was this easy.” She snapped her finger. “I don’t know how they even feel about this.”

Exhaling looking at Rory knowing it was time to ask him now or never. “How did you break free of the Devonshire name and title? While still using it. Oh come on Rory even though you broke free with the label and app you still had your connections. I just have a million ideas and I want to use all my connections and I have the most followers on RePlay. I’ve been cultivating my little following and I think I’m one of your apps’ first influencers at that. I brought a lot of eyes from Instagram and Snap. Well I’ve been studying and that’s called leverage. But also a brand that I can push. Luxury makeup but affordable for the everyday girl. A makeup, fashion and beauty brand. I want to have towels and sheets eventually becoming a household brand but they’ll be outrageously expensive. I can do it and people love me and they look at me as the next Paris. I’m all over PageSix and the worst part is that they reported Connor dissed me and that I might be dating Scott Disick as if I’d ever. Can’t you see it? Me as the face of my own beauty brand. It’ll bring a great exposure to the Devonshire’s and Kiley just made a billion. Why can’t I?”

“You literally decided to announce your presence at Yasmine’s coming out party to society, you didn’t even think about how that would effect us Belle, how humiliating it was when it happened. I know you don’t want to remind us of what happened with Tess and dad but you are a reminder of it just like Bliss is. With Bliss we knew about her it wasn’t some dark secret that came out of left field, he missed time with us to run off and play house with Bliss you know?” Rory said he had reconciled his feelings with Bliss a long time ago, he didn’t hate her or wish her ill she was his sister now. He knew for the most part the rest of his siblings felt the same maybe Max still had her reservations given what happened with Hunter and Biss but Bliss was their sibling. “If you came here for a pep talk about how much we all love your mother you really should look elsewhere, your mother is a snake. I saw the look on my mom’s face when the photos came out at the cute little beach wedding that he had with Tess the ink wasn’t even dry. You there on the sidelines fucking hell Hunter and Bliss were there too, it killed her. Give my mom time Belle, she’s grieving over thirty years of lies and betrayals coming out you were just in her line of fire. You want honesty Chauncey and Max don’t care about the name change, I’m fine with it. I can’t tell you how Bliss or Jackson feel since Jackson refuses to even talk about dad.” Rory finished looking at her.

“I broke free by telling dad to fuck DGI and I didn’t want RePlay to be a full part of it I wanted to my own thing with my own scruples. I didn’t want to rely on him or his connections to make a name for myself and I certainly don’t want to take the company on when he dies, he knows that. I think you’ve kinda broke the mold already even if you were a brat about it when we knew who you were. You work a regular job at the hospital and you’re good at it there is literally no shame in that. But if you want some DGI advice and want a line like Kylie or something like that talk to Max and Bliss about it, they can get the funding lined up for you hell you could even use some that money dad gave you to start a line. No one is going to stop you from doing your own thing here.” Rory said looking at her he didn’t know how an art therapist was going to dip her hands into running a business but it was her birthright just as much as his. He could do the big brother thing if she wanted she just needed to tone the bitchiness down, Bliss had and they all loved and respected her for it. “I think you have to decide if you want to continue your current career path at the hospital or do luxury make up, you’re young Belle you don’t have to rush into DGI because you feel some strange obligation too. You’re his daughter and our sister you’re entitled to some shares in the company and a say, hell for years Bliss or Jackson didn’t really work here on paper either. Explore who you are and then decide and don’t do it because dad wants you to or Tess does. Do it because deep down you want too.’ Rory finished looking at her, she seemed calmer now and he let out a slight laugh at her. “See I can be brotherly when you tone it down a bit so can the rest of us.”

Belle smiled at him and actually took his advice to heart. He was telling her to follow her gut. That was becoming a recurring theme with the Devonshire’s. Slowly tapping her foot she listened to Rory speak about her mother. Did she hate her mummy? No she didn’t but did she think she was up to something absolutely. Finding out she literally boinked her half-brother wasn’t something that she needed nor wanted to know. Gritting her teeth she shook her head wondering if she banked on her mummy too much. If she listened to her and it led to this between all her siblings and herself.

“You don’t need to be brotherly with her. She’s a public nuisance, literally Rory.” Jamal said looking at Belle and his best friend. “With siblings like her, who needs an enemy? Plus coming with her tail tucked between your legs begging for a shot with the only Devonshire who would listen to your ramblings. Well it’s clear Max, Chauncey, Jackson, and Bliss are done with your ass. Kind of like how everyone is done with Tess. You have nobody and now you’re here to do what?”

“Question if you are still with the spiciest latina in Atlas Falls? Or did she abort your child again?” Belle said with enough venom to poison Jamal. “You know big brother your choice in best friend is so contradictory considering you two were fighting about Yasmine just a year ago right?”

“And you wonder why nobody likes you. What you did wasn’t cool but I love to return the favor. Remember that Belle. That wasn’t cool what you did to me or Val. Our business is ours and you just blurted it out like it was a game.” Jamal seethed almost ready to throttle the blonde bobblehead.

“And here I thought you were one of the most interesting men in Atlas Falls.” Belle walked up to Jamal and touched his shoulder. “You however haven’t thanked me for freeing you from that lying skank. I’m sorry that you didn’t like how it came out but you should know that she just ripped your chances of having a baby. I don’t shame a woman for what she wants to do with her body but I do shame her for not telling you. That’s disgusting but I’m here because I want a relationship with Rory. I hope we can have lunch soon big brother.. It’s a little too crowded here.” Belle said as she looked at Jamal blowing a kiss at him with a smile. “Oh and when you’re not as mad at me. Call me. I find our conversations stimulating love. Tata.” She walked out of Rory’s office.

Jamal sat silent seeing the look on his best friend’s face. “Yo I’m not after your sister but she needs to chill.” He couldn’t lie Belle Devonshire was fine as hell. She also was a massive headache. Everything about her was drama and right now he wasn’t into the complications. Belle was a massive complication considering she was Tess daughter and he rode with the Devonshire’s. Especially his godmother Jackie, Lowell went out like a sucker marrying that bitch. “Okay she’s cute but she’s not my problem, she’s all yours and your siblings.”

Rory had been ready to have that big heart to heart with Belle only for Jamal to walk in and he remembered they had a lunch meeting more like hitting a fancy restaurant and shooting the shit. But he was primed to hang out with Jamal in order to get away from work for a bit and he wanted to check in on him after what happened with Val. Offer his support he knew what it was like to lose a baby, maybe not in the same way that Jamal did but it hurt and it was raw, he knew that pain. Instead he watched the entire exchange between his sister and Jamal his eyes going back and forth over and over again as they spat, or fought and made eyes at each other. Eyes he wasn’t even sure they were aware that they were making. Part of him was semi amused by it the other part was partly grossed out Belle was afterall his sister despite who her mother was. Plus he knew what type of a player that Jamal could be sure he liked to be with Val but it wasn’t like they were super serious, his best friend liked to float here and there. The last thing he thought either of them needed was more complications and drama. He watched Belle walk out before walking up behind his best friend and slapping him upside the head playfully.

“You don’t need that in your life at the moment. You literally just got done with what happened with Val and you thought that was bad? Listen she’s my sister so I have to tolerate her and be around her, maybe one day even like her. But she’s not mature enough, Jamal.” Rory said looking at him not sure if he was catching him or not on this l. He had no moral object to it, it wasn’t like and Belle were even super close but Belle was immature.

Jamal rubbed the back of his head as he looked at Rory. “Rory she a baddie but I’m not stupid. Your little sister is a tornado of drama and immature is the word you’re looking for.” But she was toxic and Jamal loved toxicity. “So I’ll stay away but she is going to get something that she hasn’t gotten. Her comeuppance is deserved and she got me all over Al Gore’s internet looking like Ike Turner. Nah she did that for more likes and I want some sweet revenge. Trust me I won’t hurt her or embarrass us but she is going to get hers.” With a slick smile on his face..


Aspen strolled into DGI’s office seeing Belle and Rory walking through the hall she turned the corner swiftly. As she made her way into Max’s division and office she adjusted her Chanel vintage two piece mint green tweed outfit. As she walked into Max office she saw her standing in the lounge area actually answering the phones. Another assistant and secretary bites the dust. Max had fired three assistants in the past three weeks. Aspen knew how to help her; she’d work for her and she’d get more assistance with Rory. Over the past week she’d slowly come out of her shell and tried to be more understanding. He was busy, he was tired, he wasn’t there for her. They’d practically been sleeping in separate rooms and living two different lives. Recently Aspen had been thinking of her future and what was next for her. She wasn’t going to be a mother and she was now not sure if she wanted Rory. After the fall Khalil was truly there for her. On the other hand Rory kept saying it was an accident. No it wasn’t. That bitch fought her knowing she was pregnant. It was horrible.

Watching Max hang up the phone she smiled brightly at her friend and mentor. Sometimes Max was a little bossy but she chalked that up to the raging hormones. She wondered how someone so not maternal would deal with having a baby. Aspen swore sometimes Max forgot she was pregnant but she was showing and becoming a little waddle warrior. Plus she noticed the heels that Max loved were gone and she was wearing wedges or flats. “I need to talk with you. I’m thinking of breaking up with Rory, Max this isn’t working.” Aspen said as she walked to the phone, answered it and told them Max would get back with them. “The casino is really opening, I’m excited for you.” She could tell she spoiled Max’s morning with the news she was breaking up with Rory. “I can’t do this anymore, it isn’t right Max. I’m literally unhappy with myself.”

Max looked at her calendar on her desk they’d be close to opening soon and the baby would be here meaning that Sebastian could spend all the time with it he wanted. She had other plans she was going places when it came to the casino she had an entire fleet in her head they could expand and well she would need to run it. She was never meant to stay home and be a homemaker no offense to her mother and Sebastian’s but she was Maximilla Devonshire and she simply went where and with who she felt like. She looked up when Aspen entered and for a moment she wondered if she felt any remorse for what they had done with Yasmine and she simply wiped it from her mind anything was better than her brother bringing Forbes’ daughter into the family not to mention, the woman was a stripper reformed or not. It was bad for business, bad for Rory and well bad for the family, she’d learned her lesson with Philip and Rory was not going to follow that path. She looked over at Aspen and almost rolled her eyes at her declaration that she was done with her brother, not on her watch she wasn’t Aspen wanted Rory she had him. It was time that she learned that playing on the past wasn’t what she was meant to do.

“Breaking up with Rory is the wrong move Aspen he’ll go running back to Yasmine and we both know that. You think that is what Rory really wants after everything that happened, to run back to the woman that caused you to miscarry? Maybe you should try harder Aspen, he’s still grieving what happened that is causing the rift. You’ve been all over the place with him over it.” Max said looking at the younger woman, she didn’t know what it was like to miscarry but it wasn’t like she thought that Aspen was that keen on the baby to begin with. What started as just a ploy and a ruse had become reality and then it had spread when Aspen really was pregnant. “I still can’t believe the bitch had the balls to confront you let alone push you into that rack at Renards. Rory was devastated when that happened Aspen, he’s trying to put that past the two of you. I’m not going to try and tell you how to grieve but I’ve seen the strain between you two. You’re after him one minute pushing him away the next, and my brother he’s trying to do the best thing for you. You want to throw that away for scraps from someone else be my guest. My advice would be to get back in the saddle with things make him forget that she even exists on his radar.” Max finished, without Aspen she knew what would happen and she couldn’t allow it not with her father so sick and the Montgomery family lurking around.

Aspen sat silent for a few moments and the thought of Rory would do if they broke-up.She could see it in a few years they’d have a baby and she’d still be the Carrie Bradshaw of Atlas Falls. Pondering where she would go and who would love her. She had been off and on with Rory. His heart never seemed completely into it or maybe it was her’s. He was trying but she was vehemently against his affection. Maybe they could get back to where they were when she first came back to Atlas Falls. Just jumping into bed with him could do the trick. One thing she knew was Devonshire men had a insatiable appetite for sex. Picking up a coffee cup she looked at Max and wondered what she was getting out of this? “Can I ask you a serious question Max? I mean why don’t you want Yasmine and Rory together? I mean I know I come from impeccable breeding but I’m not Tess Blisston. I refuse to be second to another woman my entire life and if he has this incandescent glow around her how can I compete? I mean are you projecting your past mistakes with Philip onto Yasmine?” Pouring her a decaf cup and herself the real thing she sat down in front of Max.

“I think it would suck for me to lose all what I’ve built with Rory. That isn’t my intentions but I just don’t feel like he loves me. I lost a baby Max and to be honest I can’t forget that. He hasn’t stopped longing for her. I see it in his eyes but you seem to think sex will shake that. I barely want your brother to touch me because he wants that ex whore. She’s so perfect and reformed all pristine and perfect. They didn’t even charge her because I pushed her first. She killed my baby and they didn’t charge her. It would serve them both right if they never got each other.” Aspen becoming infuriated at Rory’s betrayal. “Then I need you to do something for me Max. I need you to help me officially make Rory see it’ll never happen with Yasmine. I have Khalil already and he’s ready and waiting to help me.” She said smiling thinking of her friendship with Khalil. She could tell Max wasn’t amused that she was blushing about Khalil. “What? He’s a good guy, seriously and he makes me feel special. Plus it kills Rory and a little pain doesn’t hurt your beloved baby brother now does it?”

“Why would I want the woman that involved Rory, Jamal and Jackson into a crime spree with Kendrick anywhere near my baby brother not to mention she took her fucking clothes off for a living could you imagine how the press would run with that shit? Nevermind the fact that it would send my father into an early grave where Yasmine is concerned, Fobes helped seek my mentaly unstable cousin onto our entire family. Do you think he wouldn’t do the same with his gutter trash of a daughter? No you’re not Tess you’re actually smarter and a lot better looking in my opinion that red hair alone compliments you.” Max said looking at Aspen knowing that she had to chose her words very carefully if this was going to continue as planned. Rory had a thing for Yasmine she was his first real crush and someone he saw a future with, she wouldn’t be the last. She saw a lot of their father in Rory in that regard he and Aspen had something that bonded them more than him and Yasmine. “Rory is a man Aspen he needs to feel you again is what I’m getting at so what she took her clothes off for him gave it all away for free. You carried his child and that matters to my brother more so than some exotic dancer at the end of the day.” Taking a sip of her coffee she looked at Aspen and rose from her seat, her stomach getting in the way as she took a seat next to the younger girl.

“So what he thinks about Yasmine from time to time, its natural to think about that but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love you Aspen. I know that you miss the baby Aspen so does he, but you have to let it partly go and give yourself to Rory again if you want to make it work. He’s lonely Aspen he thinks you don’t want him like that anymore, hell he probably blames himself for what happened.” Max said not sure if any of what she was saying was true or not and not really caring she needed Apsen to get out of this funk and back with Rory before it was all over. Before that Yasmine wormed her way back into their family and her brother’s good graces. She almost spit out her coffee when she started in on the spiel about Khalil Watkins being in her corner no wonder Rory was starting to question her loyalty and if it was worth the trouble. Aspen was relying on another man for support. “Maybe if you quit blushing about having Khalil waiting in the wings like a high schooler you could see doing that is pushing Rory to think about the skank again even more. You have another man waiting in the wings how in the fuck do you think that makes Rory feel? Been there done that with Hunter let me give you some advice it won’t work.”

Aspen got silent. When she felt her heart swelling with fear. Had she messed up her relationship with Rory? After all she had done. Maybe befriending Khalil wasn’t a good idea. In fact she knew it wasn’t because Rory asked her not to do it anymore. She nodded as she took Max’s hand and smiled. She had been through a divorce, and found new love she could do the same. He loved her but she was messing it up and she knew Max was right. She had to fight back and show Yasmine that a stripper didn’t win but a girl of the upper echelon did. Nodding her head she pulled out her phone and in front of Max and deleted Khalil’s number. “You’re right Max. That man could be the love of my life and I’m throwing it away with fears and neglecting him. He has needs and he has a heart and I’ve ignored his emotions.” She spoke candidly. “I somehow thought that we would go back to being just being happy even after the miscarriage and it’s a lot of work. That I’m willing to do.”

“How are you?” She asked instinctively. “I know you didn’t exactly plan on having a baby but Max you’re glowing and you look amazing you know that? I know you’ve always been stick and modelesque but Max you look so pretty right now.” Aspen touched her belly and wondered how her baby would be feeling now. They weren’t far from each other and she remembered them talking about the new Devonshire cousins. Biting her lip she looked at her. “Jackson isn’t the only one really happy now is he? You have a stunningly handsome man who worships the ground you walk on and a healthy baby. I wish I could have just seen my baby, you know? I wanted to see little Rory or little Aspen.” She declared touching her flat stomach.

Max watched Aspen take out her phone and gripped the cup in her hands as she watched her delete Khalil’s number. The nerve of the girl in front of her, that she had welcomed into her inner circle, had the audacity to keep her side pieces number on her phone. Not even she had been that dumb with Philip but Aspen would learn after this that if you wanted a Devonshire to be happy and with you. You did everything in your power to make that happen otherwise they simply moved on to greener and better pastures, just like she had with Sebastian. Just like Rory would with that skank Yasmine if the little girl in front of her didn’t start putting in some effort instead of being wishy washy with her brother’s feelings. She almost snorted at the line that Aspen pointed out she was happy of course she was, she had a man at her beck and call was fulfilling a duty that she could pass off to a nanny and she’d be on top of her game.

“I’m glad you’ve finally come to your senses about all this Aspen. Khalil was a problem you didn’t need in your relationship with my brother. There will be more time for more babies with you and Rory down the line when our son is born you’re welcome to visit and see him as much as you want.” Max said taking a sip of her coffee Seb would be delighted to have visitors while she worked at DGI and it placated Aspen. She didn’t pretend to know what Aspen was feeling with her loss but if it made her get her head on straight when it came to their game plan she would at least pretend with her. “I’m actually fine, hopeful that the baby will be born healthy and then I can run the casino full time. The weight doesn’t really matter to me, that is what surgery is for if it doesn’t come off. I’ve also heard amazing things about hiring a personal trainer, I don’t plan on having more than one. Seb knows that I just want one and we’ll be happy. You and Rory can be happy like that too Aspen and deleting that number was of course the first step to that again.” Max finished looking over the last numbers for the casino opening her big moment later in the year after her twins of course.

Twisting her bracelet on her wrist she picked up her cup of espresso taking a sip. “You won’t need any surgery but I hear everyone does it. To tighten up the skin and anything.” Aspen said calmly. Listening to her speak on the baby seemed disconnected. Like she was ready for it to be all over and didn’t want it anymore. “You’re right I’ve iced Rory out of our relationship and I have to get him back. It would be so stupid to do all this and lose him. I won’t lose the man that I love. I am rightfully owed the chance to have a happy ending right? I lost our baby and Yasmine doesn’t get to get him. He’s not a possession but he’s mine you know? He’s mine and that bitch killed my chance of actually having a happy ending at that time. Right now he’s hurting because I isolated him. I know what I have to do.” She said standing up. “Max, you’re brilliant!” She cheered as she nodded. It would be all for nothing if she gave up.

As bit her lip and wondered what Max endgame would be? When she needed her and Rory in a few years for some sort of vote was this her move? To have her in her pocket? She didn’t trust Max but this was her best shot at happiness. Her mother would never allow her to be with the likes of Khalil Watkins and then the thought of losing Rory to Yasmine just simply infuriated her. “I refuse.” She said underneath her breath. “I think I should go.” Never broaching the assistant question. “I have an entire night to plan for Rory and I. So I should go and Max if you need anything I’m here.”  Aspen walked out unsure on how she felt about Max but she was sure she had to keep Rory and had to win that war.


Ophelia looked at Kelsey who was clearly in deep thought and she wondered if what she had to say would help her. “I don’t take many interns to lunch, only the gifted ones who are about to become residents when they pass the boards. I heard you were one of the first ones who completed the test. I also heard you aced all the prep work which means in a couple weeks you’ll be in need to pick a specialty. May I make a suggestion though Kelsey?” She placed her fork down in her salad and looked at her. “I’m actually going on my vacation and I think I’m going to buy this villa on the coast of Mexico. Tony and I were going to retire out there and I just think it’s where I want to be right now. I feel closer to him. You have this full beautiful life in front of you. I can see  motherhood, saving people and seeing life enter the world is the most beautiful thing you can experience. I was wondering what you’re thinking about as your specialty because I happen to think in the last five years I haven’t seen an intern with your gift in labor and delivery.” Pausing, she could tell she had Kelsey attention.

“I want you to think about becoming St. Christopher’s newest OBGYN. Not only that but I want to take on my cases. Some people have requested I’m here for the birth of their baby but I have no plans on staying. I have a few other cases who want me but everyone is receptive to you. I’ll help with the transition if you want but Kelsey what do you think? Do you want to be an OBGYN or has David or Jayden snatched you up?” She asked knowing she’d excel at any specialty she chose but Ophelia wanted her. As an attending she knew this was a big deal for any intern. “Plus I think you could be one of the most talented doctors at our hospital with a little polish.”

Kelsey had studied as much as she could for her boards so much so that she swore Willow was going to dump her over it but she had wanted to stay focused and do what she always dreamed up being a doctor. So many doctors at the hospital had approached her lately asking her to be her attending David of course and Xavier being the other. The job with David would be a dream as he was current Chief of Staff and she had been seriously considering it. Xavier was a bit of a wild card but he was far to arrogant and honestly she had enough of that with her overbearing uncle in Walter and she didn’t want that professionally no matter how good of a doctor he was. So when Ophelia had invited her to lunch, she had been secretly hoping that she was going to offer her an attending position in labor and delivery as an OBGYN. She had tossed it up a few times cardiology or OBGYN but she had been on Ophelia’s rotation when Dani was pregnant. She was there when Ophelia was in another surgery and got to help bring Donovan and Jolene into the world and it felt so right, to help bring life into the world she smiled for months afterwards. She had switched again a few weeks back to boring general medicine for her last rotation and as she looked at the French dip sandwich on her plate she starred at Ophelia’s rumors of retiring were true.

“I had heard some rumors that you were going to retire at the end of the year, I didn’t want to ask unless they weren’t true. I know last time that when a rumor spread like wildfire about you, you lost a lot even if those rumors were true. David did approach me as did Xavier as well. Honestly I was torn between cardiology like when my mother was a nurse and her favorite doctor was one and OBGYN, I find the entire process fascinating as every case and pregnancy has different factors.” Kelsey said looking at the older more experienced doctor in front of her one that she considered a good colleague and friend as well. She felt for what Ophelia had just went through with losing Tony like she had, it was simply put tragic. “I know that losing Tony had to of been devastating. I won’t pretend to know what you are going through and I understand you needing space from it all after. After the rotation where I got be there when Dani and Jackson had the twins though and you let me take the lead I was kinda sold on it. I loved it delivering those two with a huge smile on my face knowing that I helped with that you know? Bringing someone’s life into the world was so rewarding. As much and as lucrative as the offers were from David or Xavier I’d rather be under your wing.” Kelsey said dipping her sandwich in the au jus and taking a bite seeing Ophelia beaming at her.

Taking a bite of her salad she almost wanted to say ha to David and Jayden. They seemed to think that they had won her with the impressive displays. Cardiology and neurology was interesting but she felt Kelsey connecting with OBGYN and the passion you had to have to deliver a baby. Bringing a life into the world was the most rewarding part of being a doctor on the medical side. It made you see that you were small and it kept your ego at bay. Most doctors she knew had a God complex somewhere buried inside of them but delivery and labor doctors never did. They always saw the bigger picture that they were blessing a family at the beginning of life. Taking her hand when she mentioned Tony she felt her soulmate had left her behind. Lowering her head she felt the tears starting to come. Why did she bring him up? She was alright until she thought about where there lives would have been. If he only would have expressed how much pain he was in.

“Then it’s settled, you will work under me for the time being. Dr. Langston will also help when I’m going to be gone but I think this is one of the best things to happen to not just me but you. You will be an amazing and your mom used to be my favorite nurse before she retired. As for Tony he was carrying on so much pain and I had no clue. Can I give you a piece of advice? Don’t neglect your personal life. Don’t think you have all the time in the world because you don’t Kelsey.” Ophelia saw her taking in her words. “There is always cutting edge surgery coming up, don’t miss family events and your life to be the greatest doctor. Opportunities will arise family will go and you’ll be left with a big career and nobody to share it with. I have a meeting with Dr. Langston congrats.”

Kelsey silently was cheering on the inside when Ophelia congratulated her that she had made the right decision for her career going forward. Truthful yes she had Willow and they were happy but she knew life was short, her family knew that more than anyone. She was going to live her life for every moment going forward and family was one of the most important things to her. As fucked up as they all were that was always consistent. Her grandmother had insisted on it before her memory was so foggy and gone, both her father and uncle followed through on that no matter what. Fraiser’s rallied around their own, they made time to be a family even as crazy as they could drive each other, her mother and aunt carried her grandmother’s torch and it was time for her generation to continue it. Working under one of the best and learning from them was something that she knew both of her parents would be proud of. Not to mention Ophelia was one of the most requested specialist when it came to fertility and labor and delivery in the country, she would be on the edge of all the technology and techniques that someone with a resume like Ophelia had. She would be making a difference when it happened and mattered the most, she had went to respond to her to see Val charging for her though and was dumbstruck on what she was doing at the hospital.

“Val are you alright?” Kelsey asked looking over at Ophelia and then looking back at Val who had bloodshot eyes like she had been bawling and she couldn’t blame her the news was constant ever since Belle Devonshrie posted that video on RePlay it was all over the tabloids The fight that her ex had with Jamal over the abortion she had she remembered when she had seen it on RePlay. As much as she didn’t like how she and Val ended or what Val had done Belle had publicly humiliated her for follows and social media gain, not to mention how much of a monster it made Jamal out to be. It was something that should have been kept private for the two of them to discuss and instead had been sensationalized but a little girl trying to make her name in town. “I’m so sorry Ophelia. Val take some breaths okay lets talk about what is going on. I know the tabloids have been hounding you, ever since what Belle did.” Kelsey said casting her mentor an apologetic glance for their interruption, she wasn’t a cold hearted bitch. At one point she was in love with Val and it was fine that she didn’t feel the same. But she wasn’t one to just leave Val to her own devices right now when clearly the abortion was haunting her.

Val looked at Kelsey and tried to slow her breathing down. Her abuela had called and basically her strict Catholic family had disowned her. Her dad called her a whore and an embarrassment to the family. How would she look her mother in the face? How would she face everyone? She was shaking like a leaf as she held onto Kelsey. “Everyone knows what I did. I wasn’t ready for a child. Now the internet is chastising me and trolling me. I can’t do this Kels.” She finally calmed down and grabbed ahold of Kelsey and hugged her tightly. It felt so shitty to feel like this at this moment. Her family were all just so proud of her and now they weren’t answering calls and calling her out of her name. She just wanted someone to tell her that it was her choice. It was her choice and it was her choice to say that neither of them was ready for that baby. Just Kelsey being here and standing here with her made her feel like she was breathing again.

“I feel like nobody understands me Kels.” She said touching her warm chocolate hair biting her lip. “I miss you and I know that you don’t need to hear this. I hate feeling alone Kelsey and I’m so alone right now. I just need someone to stand by me and try to help me through this. You’re the only one who knows how to help me when I’m like this. I can’t trust Jamal or anyone else because everyone is flipping out and my abuela knows it’s bad.” She said trying to calm herself and knew that she was looking hysterical out here. “Oh my God, I gotta go I’ve embarrassed myself.” Her hands shaking still holding onto her ex.

Kelsey tried her best to remain calm while Val became even more of a mess in her arms over the entire situation with Jamal that had spiraled out of control thanks to Belle. It wasn’t like she was still up in Val’s business but it was still hard to ignore that when the local and national media had caught on like wildfire and spread the story. She was trying to be a good doctor and a good friend but she also knew that she still needed to have boundaries when it came to Val and their past relationship for her current one with Willow. “I know that the entire world knows what happened Val and it wasn’t right the way it came out. Belle had no business doing that to you or Jamal. It really should have been left between the both of you to discuss in private when you were ready to tell him about it.” Kelsey said quietly rubbing Val’s shoulders and hoping that if she remained calm about it that Val would in turn calm down.

“Listen I’m always going to be around if you need me to cry on or someone to talk to, I’m not going to judge you about what happened. You or Jamal I don’t think you’re an evil person, I don’t think Jamal is some asshole like the papers are making him out to be either. I’ve seen you both at your most vulnerable, you know?” Kelsey said she still wasn’t proud of the threesome they had it was fine, she was sexually satisfied with it but it solidified for her anyway that her experimenting with the opposite sex was not something she wanted to do again. They had fun that night but it was also the night she realized she knew who she was and it wasn’t the girl that was meant to be with Val who was clearly bisexual and she couldn’t put herself into that position with her. “We’re still friends after everything Val but we can’t ever be more than that again. We want different things and that is okay.” Kelsey finished hoping Val didn’t think she would take her back if she came to her or that she didn’t set Val off to even worse but she wanted to be honest with her.

Willow watched with cupcakes from TJ’s bakery. It was a pumpkin spice which she knew Kelsey loved. It had been a long couple of days since Jamal had her in the studio. It was becoming more intense between Ivan and Simon. Please they could hide it all they wanted but gay knew gay and Ivan was gay. It was an instinctive power that homos had call it a gift. The album was all about secrets and the heavy stuff they recorded yesterday. Folding her arms she watched in the shadows as Val completely had a meltdown. Crying because she was a mess. She literally coerced Kelsey into a threesome with Jamal. Got pregnant from said threesome or shortly after aborted the baby under false pretenses and wanted sympathy because half the world thought she was a monster for aborting Jamal baby. She’d be setting feminism back years if she didn’t agree with it was Val’s right all along but Jamal did have a right to know. He was her boy and she didn’t like how the entire situation went down. Or how she involved her girlfriend.

Val didn’t want something different. She wanted what she wanted. She wanted revenge against that vile bitch Belle. She literally imploded her life for shits and giggles. For nothing more than internet fodder and there would be retribution. She would make that blonde bitch pay and she was going to do it the old fashion way. She was going to wait and when the time was right she was going to hurt Belle just like she did her. Val quickly saw doctors, staff, and visitors all staring at her. She adjusted her Balmain hoodie dress and stared at Kelsey. Shaking her head she felt a sense of urgency to get away from the scene. “From the beginning I kept it honest and you both pursued me. Now you both have thrown me away and I just don’t understand and this is just unfair. Don’t worry Kelsey I’ll stay away from your perfect life.” Placing her sunglasses on her face. “See you around.”

Willow had watched the entire breakdown and to see her turn on Kelsey pissed her off. With her spiked steel toe boots she walked out the shadows revealing herself in Val’s path. As she looked at her up and down right when they passed each other. Willow snatched Val’s arm almost looking like a loving gesture but she leaned in. “If you ever make a scene at my girlfriend’s job I assure you it’ll be the last. I’m not playing and if you can’t handle her truth then I suggest you stop coming around.”

Val snatched her arm back and looked directly in Willow’s face. “You won so savor it, I’m the only person who lost everything in this mess. But I’m never afraid to rebuild.” She seethed back as she stormed away. Willow approached Kelsey. “You alright? I brought you your favorite muffins because today is the big day right?”

Kelsey watched Val break down even further in the cafeteria and wasn’t sure how much more she could take, what she had went through had to have been traumatic. Not only that she wouldn’t let anyone go with her not her or Jamal and then the way that Jamal found out. It didn’t help anything and it for sure only helped Belle get likes on her social media. She took a deep breath as she saw Willow and Val temporarily clash in the hall and looked at her girlfriend. “I’m fine she’s just a mess right now you know and she needed someone to talk to her. Yeah today was the big day, thanks.” Kelsey said, taking the muffins and grabbing Willow’s hand in the process. “She’s in my past Willow, what Belle did to her wasn’t right and I can’t just turn off compassion for people you know?”

“Come on, we aren’t going to let her ruin the day. I’m not insecure about our relationship. She is unhappy and I think she needs some professional help. Honestly I don’t think that I could change you if I wanted to. You have a big heart and I love that heart. I do think she needs to find someone else to get that compassion from. I just can’t help but to feel like Val thought her pain was going to get my girl. Too bad I got you all to myself. Let’s get some of the horrible hospital coffee and enjoy these muffins.” Willow looked back and saw Kelsey starting to ease with Val out of sight.


Tess stood out of the window watching the PT and aides helping Lowell into the car. He could barely walk and it was getting closer. His death was so close and all she could feel was dread. It was her stomach that feeling of dread. He wasn’t even speaking to her and her feelings were all mixed up. Did he care about her at all? Was he in love with her? Did he marry her as some sort of scheme. What would he leave her and what would he leave Jackie. Those questions echoed in her mind and she wouldn’t rest until she knew. As she strutted into his office that he made. A week ago he was with Simon and his secretary let it slip they were reviewing his will. If she could get a peak and maybe even rewrite a couple of things. She wouldn’t lose ground. She would get her time in the sun because DGI would her girls and hers. She always used to dream of what her life would be with Lowell but being completely honest it was miserable. Walking on his feelings she didn’t know what were the next moves he would make. Her only choice was to make moves on her own and make sure her place was so secure. Jackie wouldn’t get the crown not now or ever again.

Opening his drawers she quickly started to look inside his office and her old study. She looked through meaningless briefs, new products, and companies DGI were looking to acquire. As she paused she knew he didn’t love her. He couldn’t even look at her and as she gripped the desk she started to cry. She didn’t know what else to do. Her entire life she wanted him and now that she had him he didn’t want her. It was enough to drive her mad. Opening another file she began read frivolous documents that meant nothing. Trying to open the last drawer she couldn’t. Immediately she became determined to get inside if it was the last thing she did. As she opened the top drawer she felt underneath it. There she felt a taped key. Lowell didn’t expect her to be in the office but he was absolutely old fashioned. So it was to be expected. Unlocking the drawer she opened it and found a mockup of DGI power infrastructure. When she read who would be CEO her entire body began to shake as she screamed, throwing the file down. “No!” She said again and again. As she bit down on her lip she knew he hated her but she wasn’t going to stop. It couldn’t be that junkie and his bed wench the CEO of DGI. That didn’t sit well with her. Her girls weren’t getting anything well Bliss was but Belle only had money! No spot on the board? Nothing?

“Mummy.” Belle said as she saw Tess standing looking like she was going insane. “I came in to see if you were up for a shopping spree. What are you doing here? Daddy always says stay out of his study and isn’t that his documents from DGI. Considering they say DGI on the file I feel like you might be reading something that clearly upset you.”

“It’s nothing I didn’t mean to see but I assure you. I won’t allow it. I will make sure it doesn’t come into fruition and that is a vow I make to you my love. Come we must not be in your father’s office right now.” Looking at the file on the floor. As she led Belle out of the office and study. “Oh I left my phone inside of the office my love, I want to go shopping love.”

Belle watched her mother rush back into the office and instantly felt chill running down her spine as she picked up her purse. “Mummy, I’m fine, we’ll go another time. I just got a call from Bliss.” She lied as she rushed out of the house unsure of what she just walked in on but she knew it wasn’t good.

Tess walked to the window and watched her daughter getting into a town car and driving off. She felt fear but one thing she knew for certain. She needed to locate Lowell’s will. Once she did she would develop the future her children would want. One she deserved for being on the side. Her heart was open for loving Lowell but he didn’t want her and she knew it. He wanted to be with Jackie and she couldn’t wait another minute to get her revenge. A revenge on Jackie and eventually her husband himself. Pulling out her cellphone she called Pierre. “I need your help. Who is the best forger you’ve ever seen.”


Forbes looked on the monitor and saw his children with Anjelica. She looked well and the divorce was his most applicable yet. Joaquin was absolutely destroying his Juilliard audition. He was flying out to meet with Anjelica and him for dinner after he handled some business. Since his latest stunt with DGI the board was on turbulent ground. Cassie and Philip were smoothing it over but he was still CEO only in name. Watching his children actually run the show was a reward in itself. Something Lowell wouldn’t see because his life was ending. If only he could curb Yasmine’s dreams of being the ghettos prima ballerina. MontCorp would take DGI to court and call monopoly if they got the contracts for government housing. That meant Walter’s grandchildren would profit from this and he would bid at the last minute to be spiteful. As he nodded his head at Anjelica they disconnected the line. Walking to Basil who was standing outside his office door. He figured he couldn’t take DGI from the front; it almost destroyed MontCorp but he’d go back in the dark and destroy them in the shadows. Philip asked him why he was still after DGI and that was a good question. Once Lowell died didn’t his animosity? His years of hatred? No that didn’t dissipate and it wouldn’t go anywhere. They all had to burn and if he couldn’t do it.

“All the files are there at your request Mr. Montgomery.” Basil said standing still.

“Thank-you Basil, I’ll see you tomorrow.” Opening his daily briefing he saw Lowell going to doctor, Jackson and Dani at the park with the twins, Max and Sebastian baby shopping at Renards, Bliss and Hunter in City Hall, Rory and Jamal Delacroix in the studio with Ivan Castillo, Jackie was drinking with Lauren, Chauncey and Natasha were returning from Dubai, and Belle and Zerick were lounging in Atlas Falls. You see he had to keep an eye and rumors were in Dubai, Chauncey may have made DGI a lucrative connection. He kept up on the moves of the Devonshire’s because when he squashed them it’d be so much more delicious. When Neva called he picked up the phone and was shocked to hear who was at the office with him. “Let him in Neva.” When Randall walked into the room he looked at him puzzled. “What can I do for you old sport?”

Randall had been over the report numerous times, over the harrowing crime scene photos. Over Lauren’s empty station wagon that had crashed into the water to be found weeks later, the car seat was not there. The report was inconclusive at the time about how the seat had gotten disconnected and the belt could have come loose in the crash. His brother in law at the time was first on the scene had dived into the water after a frantic Lauren was unable to swim in and rescue her two children. It was heroic what Forbes had done saving Dani from the sinking car but he wanted to know more about Victoria. Was she already dead when he went back into the lake for her? Was the car seat still there when he went back into the water? Why did he wait a full half hour to call the police? He smiled at Forbes as Neva let him into the office and admired it like he always had. People always thought Forbes was heartless and maybe he was at times but he would always appreciate he and Audrey finding Aspen and helping him and Blythe adopt her.

“Hello Forbes so sorry this was an impromptu visit on short notice, I’m working on another book at the moment publisher is riding my neck about it. True Crime this round not my normal bout of corporate espionage fiction that we are all accustomed too. Now normally old sport I would come to you to flesh out some character questions I had and you’ve always been so kind about that letting my pick your brain and the staff’s but I came on another matter.” Randall said, walking to the mini bar and pouring himself a scotch on the rocks and handing one to Forbes as well. He wondered if this would dredge up old memories for Forbes painful ones, he had a feeling it would dredge up those feelings for Lauren and her family. It wasn’t that Forbes or Audery were in anyway close to the Fraiser family from what he understood but still to watch or see an infant dead and not be able to save them had to have left some sort of memory. “I’m actually writing a book about the night that Victoria Fraiser went missing and or likely is in fact dead. A mystery right here in my hometown that the publishing company has decided is worthy of telling. I came to ask you some questions about that night.”

Forbes took a sip of coffee as he listened to Randall gibbering about his publishing house. Pouring his liquor as if they’d been some life long friends after Audrey suicide. Something irritating came out of his mouth when he said he was doing a book about Victoria Fraiser. His entire body seemed to stiffen and his eyes became enlarged as he felt the sense of danger in front of him. Taking in what he was saying that made him feel almost like a rat trapped inside of a snake cage. Forbes took a deep gulp of the scotch and looked at his ex brother-in-law. “I truly don’t want to discuss this, not without Lauren’s consent. Her daughter’s death has been an albatross around her neck and to be honest the Fraiser family. I don’t want to drag them down in any more pain about Victoria’s tragedy now. If you can get permission from them I’ll tell you whatever you want.” Forbes leaned back.

“Are you seeing Lauren? I remember hearing that am I correct? How does she feel about you digging into her greatest pain. Look, your publisher isn’t going to have to deal with the Fraiser family. I am legitimately concerned that you are putting yourself out here. So tell me Randall what would you want to know? I mean it’s all in the police report. I spotted them after the car went into the water. I jumped in and saved Lauren and Dani, I couldn’t get to Victoria in time. Is there anything else I can help you with?” Forbes asked as he looked at Randall. “I realize that you are looking for something but this story is a closed book. Why open it?”

Randall looked at Forbes and was certain he saw something in his eyes for a split second of uncertainty and of course he was uncertain if he was doing the right thing or not. He of course didn’t want to cause Lauren or her family any distress over the book or Victoria but his hands were tied by a contract he signed. If it wasn’t him they simply would get another author to do it, one that had no ties to Atlas Falls and wouldn’t take the care that he was going to take with it. They would tear the town apart, get idle gossip from anyone they could, he had a list of people he was going to interview, gather the facts and then go from there about his theory about what happened to Victoria. He took a sip of his own drink as he looked at Forbes; this was his starting point. Forbes and he had a rapport always had as gentlemen and he had hoped that he would simply answer his questions so he could move onto the others, he still wasn’t sure how he was going to tell Lauren about any of it. The last thing he wanted was to ruin what they were building but it was something thatbhe was willing to risk.

“The last thing I want to do is hurt Lauren or her family. I’ve grown quite fond of them but if I don’t write it they’ll just send someone else. A ghost writer who may make up lies and gossip, I think that would be worse than someone local that can talk to everyone involved delicately. Which would include you on the matter and no I haven’t talked to Lauren about it yet she has no idea about the book. I’m planning on gently broaching the subject at our next date.” Randall said thinking about the past, about how the report looked, how cold and unfeeling it was. He would add some warmth to the story of the little girl that was beloved and died, perhaps bringing her parents and family healing along the way about that tragic night. “That night must have been very difficult for you and everyone in town knows you and Walter were at odds for years but you tried to do the right thing. That’s commendable Forbes, I can’t imagine what it was like to see an infant drown in front of me. I just have a few questions please Forbes, to if anything help Lauren and her family heal.”

Forbes looked at Randall and felt a slight tinge of guilt of what he’d have to do to him. He’d hate to buy a publishing company then dismantle his old friend’s career. It was secrets in Atlas Falls that went back years and he buried them. He didn’t need some neerdowell author down on his luck unearthing anything. As he leaned forward he looked into Randall’s eyes and felt his stomach tightening. “I don’t care who they send Randall, I do care that Lauren can’t even talk about Victoria without weeping. You are digging into something that might ruin your relationship Randall. I will tell you what I told the police. That night there was a lot of rain, a lot of water, and a lot of sadness. Losing Victoria might be my greatest sadness that little girl had a light and if I could have moved faster or maybe did more. Maybe Audrey wouldn’t have taken her life I told her and she just couldn’t handle it. I don’t tell that story Randall not for you but if I find out Lauren is behind this then I have no problem recanting those horrible details.”

Forbes watched his body language and saw every time he mentioned Lauren he stiffened. She didn’t know. “Tell me how does Lauren feel about all of this? Is she okay with your choice to write about Victoria? It could be considered exploitative, I mean in some circles Randall. You are dating the mother of your victim. Aren’t you a little close to all of this? I mean its kind of odd you are the author they choose maybe because they think you have the inside track. I don’t think you do though? Have you spoken to Dani? She was a little girl but she has memories. We’ve discussed it once or twice.” Tantalized at the thought of taunting Dani again with what happened. Some of her fuzzy memories still didn’t amount to what he knew. What drove a wedge between Walter and Lauren forever. Irrationally he knew that Walter somehow blamed his eldest daughter for surviving. He always saw through his fake facade. “So Randall if you were still with Blythe because you know what this truth did to our family would you be exploring this?”

Randall looked at him wondering if he had made a mistake to come to Randall’s brother in law to former brother in law, friend to friend. Perhaps he should have started with the staff at the Montgomery estate first and then Forbes would have talked to him about that night, he felt a twinge of guilt when he mentioned Audrey’s suicide there was always speculation about how that happened and it had destroyed his wife when it happened. “I think they thought I would do a good job based on that corporate mystery novel series I did and I’m connected to the city Forbes. Better me than some stranger no body that they could send to rip people and their lives apart, I am well aware of the risks that I am taking by writing the book. Aspen and Blythe have both let me know they think it is a bad idea, but they understand my obligations.” Randall said taking out a small notepad as he looked at Forbes jotting down the words rain and water. Water he knew based off the crime scene photos the entire car was damaged from the water, hell the semi that had rolled even had water damage. Oddly enough the semi driver had passed away a few years ago meaning really there was only a handful of people he could talk to about it.

“Honestly I thought about interviewing the semi driver first to ask him questions but he died a few years ago, no family remaining. So that leaves me to start with the others closest to that night you of course, Lauren, Walter, Robert Harrison, Dani of course possibly your driver. I thought you would be the most forthcoming about it.” Randall said looking at him pointedly as he spoke he had never seen Forbes brush off a chance to look like the hero that he proclaimed to be. In fact he thought that he would be reveling in this moment of truth and honestly tapping hsi pen against the leg of his pants he looked back at Forbes. “I figured you’d be relishing in this moment to proclaim yourself the hero in the story saving a woman and her daughter from drawing that night, a way to put MontCorp back on top with this book. Showing the entire world you aren’t the monster that people think you are in this town especially after all that shady shit came out with Zerick. I simply want to know a few things, one was Victoria back in her car seat when you went back in? Did the seat malfunction in any way when you tried to save her? Were you trying to spare Lauren the pain if she was already dead, what was she wearing?” Randall finished showing Forbes he was serious and would uncover what happened one way or another.

“Sadly, my driver Peter died about six years ago which means that it’s only Lauren, Dani, Richard, and God what was Devin’s fathers name. We are the last people that witnessed it. Randall that night was one of the worst nights of my life. You think I should be screaming that I’m a hero but I think that I should be sad. Sad that I failed to save that little girl in a blue dress. I felt so bad because I just couldn’t do anything about it. I left her and I will always live with that loss, Randall. It’s not a hero factor, it’s a loss factor. I lost that girl and I failed Randall. I failed Lauren and her family. I used to have feelings for her also so seeing her so distraught killed me. Now I have no use for Walter but he nor Lauren deserved to know their daughter was swept away by some rapid storm. It wasn’t fair then and it isn’t fair now and I feel claustrophobic just talking about it. I did a good deed but didn’t finish it. I didn’t complete the mission because I wasn’t strong enough, I wasn’t fast enough and here you are reminding me.” Forbes tapped his finger against his desk.

“And yes Victoria was in her carseat but I went for Dani because she was in the seat belt. Look Randall I don’t want to speak on this anymore and I’ll be calling Lauren to see if she wants to do this. Maybe you can interview us all together. To recapture that moment. We all remember Victoria together it could be major. To reclaim our power and the years that we lost together. I mean Victoria was taken from right around the point in all of our lives where the darkness was overwhelming. Now I hate to cut this meeting short but I do have a business meeting now. Randall it was good seeing you. I’m going to reach out to Walter or Lauren for this. Can I call you with more details about a more formal interview?” Forbes said shutting this down at the moment. “Shall I see you out?”

Randall felt like such an asshole while Forbes talked about that night and he jolted a few notes down, the main two being that Victoria had been swept away by the current when Forbes had reached the car and that he and tried to save her in her blue dress. Such a tragedy all around it wasn’t like car seats back then were even tested for safety there was a million things that could have went wrong. He bit his lip as he saw that Forbes wanted to end the interview and he wondered if that would ever happen a sit down with everyone involved. He knew that they wouldn’t do that to Lauren exposing her so callously to what he was doing int hat way and he felt he had enough for now. He got up from his seat shaking Forbes hand quietly. “Thank you I won’t brother you with this again for now. Give me some time to talk to Lauren I don’t think sitting down to talk as a group would be good for her, she and Walter can barely stand each other. For the record you did your best in impossible circumstances and that is commendable Forbes. I know my way out.” Randall said his heart was heavy as he walked out the door wondering how far he really wanted to push this and only figured that as he did the interviews it would weigh even more on him.

Philip listened to Randall and Forbes walking out of the office as he looked at them. Well, well well Victoria Fraiser was in conversation. He always heard how Victoria’s death was directly tied to his mother suicide. He was about to give him a file on DGI’s latest new quarterlies. He’d studied his father for years and he’d never heard him deflect. Never had he heard him be so reluctant to take glory. He loved to be in the center of attention. “Why isn’t this an interesting situation father. You never and I mean never hide from a ghost so my question is what are you hiding?”


Walter had given it time after the wedding before he knew what he had to do, he had made the appointment last week to Selina’s shocked secretary. He wasn’t going to confront Tamara about any of what he had seen, she was too fragile and it would put him at odds with his son. Selina however was fair game as far as he was concerned something was amiss and he could smell it that meant others could too. People like the police and he knew that Jon nor Devin were stupid when it came to body language or strange occurrences, they were simply the best detectives the police department had. He walked into DGI to stares and shrugged them off, his daughter worked here now and his name was still on one of the plaques in the main lobby. He stepped onto the elevator and looked at the intern next to him who was simply starring at him before he looked at the young man. “Say something or keep your damn eyes forward would you?” Walter grit out before the younger man looked once more and then starred ahead. Once he was to the upper floor he got out turning the corner to the executive offices.

He took his time walking down the hallway his eyes resting upon Lowell’s portrait for a moment as CEO and the newer blank spot on the wall that would be reserved for his replacement. Not even Lowell himself could escape death, years ago he would have wished death upon Lowell Devonshire now however it was a sense of peace now. Odd as it was if his father was alive now he would tell him that he had grown soft after everything. He supposed that was true but he had Dani and the twins to thank for his change of heart on the matter. As he walked down the hallway he paused at her office to watch her on the phone, they weren’t that close yet and the last time he said hello it ended up with a cold shoulder for months. He stopped again when he saw Jackson in his talking with Simon and wondered if he should have encouraged him more to reconcile with Lowell, he could talk till he was blue in the face didn’t mean he would listen. Instead he heard Selina ending a phone call and waved to her secretary as he lightly tapped on her door checking his watch right on time. “I do hope seeing me on your schedule wasn’t too much of a hassle. But you and I my dear need to talk.” Walter finished looking at her shocked face at his appearance.

Selina had been busy since retaining her new executive position at DGI. Lowell, and Chauncey both reassured her that she wouldn’t be leaving ever again. Hearing that they knew how influential she was in the recent success of DGI well that was enough to put her back at the top. To be fair she was rooting for Chauncey to get the CEO position and she was doing everything in her power for it to happen. She loved Jackson and Dani as a couple but that didn’t mean she wanted him to run this company. His turn around was admirable but she was also around when he was a violent junkie and one hit of coke could revert him. When her secretary told her last week Walter wanted to meet with her she knew it was going to be some drama. Afterall it was Walter Fraiser he fed and lived off drama and his keen skill to stick his nose in her relationships. As she stood up she walked to her door and closed it. Then walked back to her desk sitting down plastering on the fakest smile as she looked at Walter.

“Cut the pleasantries Walter, what do you want?” Tapping her Louboutins onto the marble floor. “I’m very busy with the new deal we have secured with the Government and I truly don’t have much time to listen to whatever rantings you have. So let’s make this fast. No I’m not after Braden again so now that this is over is there anything else I can do for you.” The man never liked her and she wasn’t going to placate him and act as if they did enjoy each other’s company. “So if that’s all Walter you know the way around here. Considering you are in Lowell’s ear so much right now tell me can you bend it toward Chauncey as CEO. You have some stake in this because do you want the clearly smarter brother to win or your family loyalties.” Rumor was Walter and Harvey might get a board seat when Lowell died. “Maybe I’ll consider telling you whatever you’ve come here to clearly annoy me with.”

“Fine let’s cut to the chase shall we? I’ll start out with your ending there since that seems to be what you think I’m here about. I wouldn’t tell Lowell to put Chauncey on his seat if my life fucking depended on it and if you think for a moment in time I’d do that you’re even more delusional than this fake friendship with Tamara that happened at my son’s wedding. You think I’d let the man that came between my son time and time again with you is who I’d want to see on the throne here? A throne I helped fucking build? No I’ve already told Lowell who that seat belongs to and if you were smart you’d damn well know it would be the one married to my daughter.” Walter said coldly looking at her and seeing her freeze up at the mere mention of Tamara, Braden could pretend all he wanted that he and Chauncey were friends he knew better. Selina ping ponged his son around for years and Chauncey enjoyed that torture far to much for his liking he was just as culpable as she was. “Seeing how I started this damned company and Lowell earned off my software I think it’s fitting in a way don’t you? I may have issues with Dani but I absolutely want the best for her and the twins as far as DGI is concerned.”

“Did I say something wrong with Tamara? It’s quite interesting the woman that you hated for years in fact I remember a few times you were whispering to Braden to let you help him raise Dylan when he was little. Back between one of your breaks with Chauncey when you came crawling back that you two are suddenly so friendly. I’m surprised at the wedding you didn’t offer to braid her hair before the ceremony.” Walter said looking at her callously seeing her put on that fake smile she had at the wedding, a tell that something was going on. He walked around her office looking at the picture of her and Maddie on her desk and shook his head. “You’ve been insecure about Tamara’s place in Braden’s life for years Selina your show at the wedding didn’t impress me. It only put me on alert about when this sudden female bonding friendship happened? Was it when you decided to flee the states after Kendrick’s shooting and leave my son and Dylan to pick up the pieces? Was it when he found Tamara and you stood in the shadows in her hospital room seeing they still had a connection before you left? You see I’m not here about the CEO position I’m here about when this mystery friendship happened. Because it reeks of desperation on your part to wiggle your way back into Braden’s life again and after everything you’ve put him through I think it’s time you cut the fucking cord.” Walter finished looking at her.

Selina’s face contorted in a smooth rage when he questioned her about Tamara and her friendship. So people had noticed and thought it was alarming. She snickered as she folded her hands in front of her and leaned in. “Have you ever had someone brutally infiltrate your body? I mean stick there nails inside of you and try to finger you when you’re dry? Or have you heard the harrowing screams of a woman awaking in the middle of the night because her rapist might be after her? You see both Tamara and I have suffered from the hands of Dimitri Kavanaugh and honestly shared trauma bonds people. Walter I thought you knew all about shared trauma and how it bonds people considering you married Lauren after both of you couldn’t have who you truly wanted. See shared trauma.” She folded her hands as she looked at him. “You are saying that Jackson is the best for the job because he’s procreated twins for you and Lowell’s legacy. Clap clap and bravo to them but he hasn’t completed business school, has none of the connections Chauncey does and can’t handle pressure. He never could.” Picking up her espresso she sipped it and smirked. “But I’ll enjoy watching him crash and burn if he does get it.”

“You seem to think that I want your son. Wrong, I’m very happy with Elliot and not only that I don’t want to ruin your son’s happiness. Could I get Braden back now? No I honestly don’t think so but if Tamara wasn’t raped maybe. I don’t want him and I don’t want to be apart of your family. So if Dylan, Braden, or Tamara need anything I’ll be there but you, I owe you nothing. But to tell you that I’ve always thought you were reprehensible. That a man who looks down at everyone but carries a secret torch for Brenda Kincaid. I never got to tell you this but you aren’t some pillar in the community in fact you’re exactly what’s wrong with Atlas Falls. The hypocritical notion that you even have a right to comment on me leaving Dylan and Braden. When you haven’t ever shown Dani a morsel of the affection you give Braden. Careful Walt, I know were the skeletons are buried and I have no problem digging them up. How many times did you cheat, lie, and hurt your wife and daughter. Dylan and I are fine, Braden and I are fine, and Tamara is a friend now. So if that’s all you have for me then this conversation is over.”

Walter felt for her and Tamara with what they went through with Dimitri it was awful and horrifying he knew people could bond more over trauma. In truth it was the entire reason that he and Lauren stayed together after Vicki died, there was no love there anymore only a painful memory they both clung to out of desperation. “I would advise you to keep your nose out of my marriage to Lauren and what we went through with Victoria seeing how your father and mother turned their damn noses down about it when it happened. Tony and I made amends afterwards and we always thought you and Braden could at least be friends out of it. As for Jackson no he doesn’t have all the things on paper that make for a good CEO but I don’t think it’s about that anymore for Lowell. He tried that with himself and look where it got him miserable and alone, hell I did it too. And you’re right pressure can get to people but you’re forgetting the new factor here, Jackson’s not alone anymore. We’ll see who Lowell chooses buckle up I suspect Chauncey to revert back when it’s not him, into that monster you hate.” Walter finished looking at her and smirking.

“Braden wouldn’t sacrifice his life with Tamara, Dylan and Deliah to walk in your path again after how you left him, you abandoned him and Dylan that’s frankly unforgivable to him. You don’t owe me anything but seeing how you brought Dimitri Kavanagh to town to begin with you owe it to Tamara, her son, her daughter and Braden to stay the fuck away. No you see I know I’m an asshole, everyone in my family knows it you know what I don’t do I don’t go around asking my long time enemies to tea. I’m not going to discuss my relationship with Dani with you, I don’t owe you an explanation on it.” Walter said in truth yes he was hard on his daughter but she could swim with the best of sharks Selina would soon see that. Didn’t mean that he didn’t love her he just had a fucked up way of showing it over the years something that he was trying his damnedest to rectify. “I guess Dani is of course a nice deflection for you though, it takes the focus off the fact that both Jon and Devin are snooping around about Dimitri’s death. No one is mourning him in town but you’re even more of a fool if you think for a minute I can see your little friendship with Tamara as a ruse and the two best detectives in town can’t. I don’t care who killed him. I don’t know how it happened but if you’re smart you’ll end this friendship before it leads to problems and you become a problem for my family again.” Walter finished.

“How dare you.” Selina seethed as she leaned in on the desk, looking Walter dead in the eyes. “Listen very carefully I could care less that you proverbially like to be led around on leash by Brenda Kincaid. Or how you dogged Lauren that’s none of my business but if we are being frank about what a disgusting human you are. I know how to handle my relationship and most people saw how spur of the moment it was between Tamara and myself. That connection we have is also none of the police, yours or even our significant others. You are in denial if you think I’m the wrecking ball coming for your family. Why Walter, that’s always been you.” How dare he even mention her bringing Dimitri into town. He targeted her after she left Atlas Falls. She was at her lowest or so she thought. “When two become one, how beautiful, but don’t forget what your first years of marriage are like. You didn’t recognize how you were hurting Lauren now did you?” She said shadily, picking up the coffee cup and sipping it. Rumors swirled that the power-couple wasn’t so powerful right now.

“Let’s get even more real, you lie to my face and say that you wanted Braden and I to be friends. Lies, you never thought I was good enough for your boy. I mean I was the daughter of Gloria? Right? You hated her just as much as Lowell now didn’t you? My father wasn’t the problem, in fact he might have been a pawn to befriend you all right?” Selina flipped her hair out of face as she bit down on her lip. “You didn’t care about money or who the CEO of DGI is and hated all of this up until Dani. Pure sadness that a man with a brain capability to start this company had nothing else up his sleeve but an old vendetta. I bet everyone said they told you so because you failed. One deal doesn’t ever stop anyone we keep going or at least I would. You seem hypocritical one minute the money is dirty the next Dani and Jackson are up for the crown and you’re all for it. What’s really interesting is the daughter you shunned is now about to get it possibly all. I don’t fully understand why you are here? Do you need me to show you Mayor Fraiser where your daughter’s office is? I can show you. Are you insinuating that because Tamara and I are in a support group for rape and abuse survivors and we buried our petty feud like you and Lowell did that we what? What will the smartest two cops in Atlas Falls think? One who happens to be my family! What would they think? Two grown women being grown? I don’t know what you’re insinuating Walter but Dimitri’s death has nothing to do with me or Tamara. Or anyone else in this town. He was a monster and got what he deserved and I’m sure we can agree on that. I also have a meeting shortly so whatever this was let’s not have it happen again.” Selina spat at him with venom. As she heard her assistant knocking on the door. She saw Elliot walking into her office with flowers.

Walter looked at Selina for the girl that pretended to be so noble and so above the sins of her mother she certainly reminded him of Gloria in that exact moment. The years that she played his son against Chauncey like a yo-yo to her every whim and she dared the nerve to come after him? “You know what I think? I think that you think you’re entitled to something here at DGI like you are owed something because your mother was here hurting your father every day. Meanwhile I started this company with Lowell. Frankly this has always been my children’s birthright just as much as his DGI wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for me. If you think for one second I’d just stand by and let anyone wreck my grandchildren’s future here I have one warning for you tread lightly little girl. Your mother thought she ruled here too, you know what happened to her?” Walter said as snidely and coldy as he could. If she only knew how much Gloria was despised and hated in this building behind closed doors. “I don’t need your help to find Dani’s office, she’s quite comfortable where she is. She doesn’t need fake friends to protect her image unlike others here. I’ll have you know that your mother ruined my life back then and I picked myself back up with a very successful business. My children learned the value of hard work. Unlike you who was handed a lavish life and now feels entitled to something that isn’t hers just like your mother.”

“But you’re right I did think that marrying Braden selfishly because you were in a tiff with Chauncey was a bad move. Especially marrying him at a failed wedding to Chauncey was awful and tactless. I was more than happy to be proved right when you left. As for the police, it’s amazing how you rely on Devin when it suits you. I’ll remind you that Devin is not the lead detective here, no that’s Jon and he hates DGI with a passion. He’s not buying the shIt you’re selling this time. You and Tamara becoming best friends suddenly. I do wonder how many people you are willing to hurt and discard this time in your quest?” Walter said glaring at her after everything she had put his son and Dylan through when she left she had a lot of nerve. After everything that Dimitri did to Tamara to pretend that the two best police detectives were dumb or buying their story was absurd. “I’ll see myself out and who knows maybe talk to a few ears on the way out just to see you and Chauncey squirm. Mr. Duvall perhaps you can talk some sense into her to drop this nonsense with Tamara.” Walter finished waving his hand absently at her as he walked out the door.

“Go to hell Walter, and remember my mother out maneuvered you so please don’t let the second generation do it again.” His disdain for Gloria was apparent and she saw why for years he resented her. It wasn’t because she was a Delacroix it was because she was Gloria’s daughter. Her brown eyes darkened as she looked at Elliot and she saw his confusion. Damn it he just exposed something to him. Eliot wasn’t dumb and he surely questioned her friendship with Tamara. She however knew one thing for certain she couldn’t tell Eliot not at least not yet. As she walked to him and watch Walter leaving her office. For a moment his word rang too true due to Devin and Jon’s track record. She knew if they were suspicious she would be leading them down the path to them all. Biting her lip, her heartbeat elevated she could feel it as she turned to him. He was right about one thing DGI wasn’t her legacy and she worked hard but it wasn’t what belonged to her. She was fighting for a seat at the table and at one point losing that seat drove her crazy almost. It made her get with a horrible man and she was sad she sank so low.

“He literally chastised me because I comforted Tamara. Saying it looks suspicious we’ve developed a friendship. That’s bullshit because we are two women who have a shared trauma. We have something in common other than fighting over a man. He is insinuating such ugly things and I just won’t stand for it. Walter is out of line and if he comes into DGI I assure you he’ll never step foot in my office. Then he had the nerve to place his bets on Jackson and Dani. At the end of the day he’s a ex drug addict and in that state and if ever happens Jackson is reprehensible. DGI is apart of me but Walter did say something that struck a nerve. My legacy isn’t this company if fact I’m not sure if me being here is even right. After what my mother has done.” She said exasperated as she looked at Eliot. “I’m sorry I know you went to see Zeke, how is he?”

Elliot had taken in the early morning flight from Chicago after seeing Zeke for the weekend the last one before his son was a junior headed out into the world. The visit actually had gone well and Monique had informed him that she was considering leaving her position at the hospital he encouraged her that no matter her decision he would always be there for her and Zeke. He had also spent the weekend reflecting on the pending case with Jon Harrison involving Miles Hessington, reaching out to his long term mentor Jeremiah about it. Everything he had read and Jeremiah confirmed would be an uphill battle to get the custody overturned, he could do it and they could win. They’d just have to get extremely lucky with a judge on the matter and Whitney and Ryan kept one of the cleanest images he had ever seen in a case. No one talked about anything bad about them as parents during his preliminary interviews, they also had one of the toughest lawyers he’d ever seen in her brother Lex. He was happy to be back in Atlas Falls though he was feeling more comfortable in town and things with Selina were going well.

He had stayed out of Mayor Fraiser’s way when he left and looked at Selina clearly whatever they had been discussing was bothering her. He had overheard something about her and Tamara bonding and it seemed a little odd to him, but trauma did different things to people. When she mentioned DGI he kinda shrugged he didn’t really care who got the CEO position as much as she did, rich people would be rich people. “Honestly I never could quite figure out why you and Tamara suddenly became friends, you have a past with Braden a pretty public one and from what little I know about that you two aren’t friendly let alone nice to each other. But I know that it’s not my place to judge what happened with both of you and Dimitri, you know? As for CEO of DGI I really don’t care it’s always been a bunch of rich pricks to me and maybe you should take what your dad left you and start fresh, you could do it. No more bowing down to Chauncey’s whim.” Elliot said wanting her to open up about the entire thing with Tamara and wanting her to know that he didn’t care much for any of the Devonshire’s especially Chauncey. “Zeke’s good already starting to look at colleges. I also wanted to give you the heads up that Monique is actually looking at moving she’s mentioned here a few times.” Elliot said handing her the flowers and giving her a huge hug to reassure her.

Something ate at her. It was how Elliot’s ambitions of being the DA this secret would always be over them. That made her feel uneasy as she looked deeply inside of the eyes of Elliot. Here he was trying to spare her feelings about Monique possibly transferring Zeke and herself to Atlas Falls. In all honesty she didn’t mind that Monique wasn’t interested in Elliot. The old Selina might have been insecure but at this point she was too worried about Dimitri. “I think that Monique and Zeke coming here could be great for you and I. I want to know him and I want to know her. She’s your best friend and she’s your ex-wife who loves you and wants to see you happy. I just need a moment to breathe.” As she turned around touching her belly as she felt empty. Her breathing was deep as she looked at Elliot. Her lip quivered as she shook her head. “Everyone can say I’m not a mom or insinuate it. I don’t even know how to talk to Maddie.” Selina gripped her desk and sat down at the desk.

When she looked at the office that wasn’t a part of her own legacy. Outside didn’t have her name on the wall. She knew that she was building someone else’s dream and continuing her mother’s haunted footsteps. Did she want something else? What did Selina want other than making sure Chauncey was at the top? Maddie thought she wasn’t a priority to her but Chauncey making CEO would ensure her future. As she thought all about Walter’s words she felt Elliot’s questioning. “I’m fighting for Maddie and when she receives it I’ll figure out what my legacy is to not just Atlas Falls but my future. Right now I just want to get out of this office and maybe sage it to release some of the bad spirits no doubt trapped in here from Walter ass.”

Elliot had to admit she had a certain fire about her when it came to her place in the world. He actually admitted that and had come to love that about her it wasn’t his place to push her out of DGI but he wanted her to see she could be her own CEO of something one day. He didn’t know what else to say about her and Tamara women could be a strange mystery at times. When she mentioned saying the office he couldn’t help but laugh clearly she disliked the mayor. “I don’t have sage but I do know of this new swanky joint to catch some lunch if you want? Come on, I won’t take no for an answer.” Elliot said gently, taking her hand watching as she grabbed her purse and phone before leading her out of the office.

Selina took his hand. “Elliot, I think I haven’t had a good lunch in a long time. Especially with my man. I keep on piling on more and more work and not give you what you deserve which is obviously my undivided attention.” A piece of her wanted to tell Elliot at that moment. “I know we have more to talk about but not today. Let’s enjoy lunch.” Selina clicked off her office light and for the first time a light came on in her mind. What would her legacy be? Would she just be behind her mother ghost being haunted with memories of when she terrorized DGI. Or would she finally find her own path.


Skye had woken up early the first morning since the physical therapist gave her the clear to walk without the cane on the stairs. Every step hurt but nothing hurt worse than the memories of the entire meeting with Elliot Duvall how ugly it was, it was enough to send her to a hotel for a week or two until she decided to come back and stay in Jon’s guest room again. He had barely said a word to her when she came back, she didn’t even know why she did she knew she couldn’t go back to Merci’s and ruin her engagement to Devin. She could of bought her own place but she’d be lonely as hell so she settled on Jon’s. She wanted to let out a maniacal laugh about it when she placed the coffee inside the pot and turned it on as she rubbed her bare shoulders. Maybe she would get lucky and Jon would have left already for the station, she tried not to think about where he went late at night anymore it just made her miserable. The play would open soon and then she’d feel more comfortable in her own place until then she’d stay here and then move on. She had even thought about reaching out to Whitney and Ryan but knew better there was no way now that wasn’t even possible.

She rubbed the back of her neck stiffness still came and went from being ran over and she had avoided the extended painkillers she couldn’t risk it. The pot started to bubble and she couldn’t help it as the smell of the grounds hit her nostrils and she closed her eyes just for a moment to go to a better place. In her mind she and Jon had worked through this entire thing with Miles as a team with Ryan and Whitney. Miles was still happy with the parents that loved and raised him and his little sister Morgan, they were known as the aunt and uncle that came to visit and still a part of his life. She was jolted back to reality when she heard footsteps on the stairs and she couldn’t help but cringe at them knowing he was there. When he just starred at her she got down a cup tapping her fingers on the counter watching the fucking pot drip praying it would hurry the fuck up. “Don’t worry my skanky ass won’t be in your space for more than a few minutes. I didn’t even know you were here. I’ll be out after the play opens.” Skye said quietly avoiding looking at him because then he’d see how much all of this was destroying her little by little.

Jon exhaled as he listened to Skye fret about being in his space. God he felt horrible he wanted her to feel welcomed here. Someone almost killed her and he hadn’t forgotten that. He truly loved Skye and maybe that’s why it was hard. She might not be who he picked but he wanted something new. Something without so much baggage as they had. Jon liked to fashion himself a gentleman and right now he wasn’t being that. He was being a monster to everyone he loved because he was hurting and it had to stop. Jon knew it was crazy but he didn’t know how to turn off this never ending pool of rage. Having Miles be a part of his life was beyond anything he could think about. Walking over to Skye he raised her chin to look at him. “You aren’t a skank. You are a deeply troubled person and I think I am also. That’s the thing about seeing through each other because you know I’m just as screwed up. You knew it then that’s why you gave up our son. I wasn’t good then and right now the way I’m acting I don’t deserve Miles.”

Jon took the coffee pot and poured them both a cup of coffee. He looked at his cup that Quinn made him and the other was Dylan’s cup he designed with him. He missed his family and then it hit him. He was just with Maggie and here he was about to profess something so deep to Skye but here he was. “At one point I thought Dani Fraiser was the end all to be all for me. Dani never saw me like that and I know that. Even when she maybe did see me like that how could she? I wasn’t right in my life. Then you happened and it all got way more complex. It was a lot of drinking and even drugs. I abused my psychic meds and you knew I couldn’t handle it. But I think we could have but you took your own path. You were off at the lawyers Skye. We have to be a united front on this. I told you that and I unleashed when I felt like you were betraying me again. I took you in and I’m still here every day trying. Trying to figure out what not only we should do about Miles but us. What is this? Is this some sort of holding pattern where we torture each other because I for one don’t want it anymore. I don’t want to torture you or you to hurt me.”

Skye did her best to hold it together with him when he lifted her chin up to tell her that she wasn’t a skank, the truth was she was at one time. She wasn’t proud of it but she took money for sex, worked the streets to survive and even now she knew that upper echelon of society especially those in Atlas Falls saw that about her.  She was screwed up, always had been. She supposed losing her parents like she did, did that to you, one minute your entire life was on track the next you were an orphan that no one wanted or understood. Not even her grandmother, she had put her through so much hell and then she found solace in the girls home with Merci. Boys and later men came and went, but with Jon it was different even as fucked up as she was back then at least Jon treated her differently, or she liked to think that he did. “You may not think so but if you keep going after Whitney and Ryan for Miles that is what everyone in town is going to see. I get it I fucked up but I thought I was doing the right thing but you didn’t even hear Elliot the other day, it’s not about Miles for you it’s about revenge and you should know how Whitney’s brother operates. He’ll put us on trial for that entire time, he’ll put the drugs on trial, how I was sleeping around on trial, how you were back then on trial and you really think a judge is going to just give us back Miles after that? Is that what you want our dirty laundry aired out for everyone to see and gawk at, in front of him?”

Skye said her voice was hollow as she took the mug from him. Their son didn’t need to deal with how he was conceived, how ugly their past was, he was safe and in a good place with people that loved and cared about him. She didn’t know how she felt about his confession about Dani. It was all so messed up back then, she bit her lip if that was truly how he felt about her or how he still felt why was he doing what he was to her with whoever he went to at night. “Even when it was messed up back then I actually loved you. I never wanted to hurt you. I’ve told you that repeatedly but you refuse to forgive me and instead Jon I don’t even know how to describe it. At least when men used me before it wasn’t personal. I had other plans of telling you if Cassie and Miranda hadn’t forced it, I was working my way up to telling you. Hell I was even going to reach out to Whitney and Ryan for you to see Miles. Did you even know that I had a semi relationship with him until you went off? He knows me as his aunt Skye who helped his mommy and daddy get him. When he was older Whitney had agreed to tell him the truth. Until Lowell confronted me when I came back I had no idea if it was you or Jackson’s. Everything got so fucked up again it was you and Cassie and then me and you again and the moment I wanted us to work you tossed me aside again like a rag. I don’t want to hurt Miles, I want him to be happy, I want what is best for him.” She finished not even sure what she was saying anymore.

Jon wiped his eyes as she recalled what happened. Why did she make the choices she made? It finally came out. No, she had said it repeatedly but he didn’t want to hear her. She wasn’t ready and neither was he. Would he have changed and hopefully but he was in such a dark place and confronting that was scary. “Why didn’t you tell me? I know it’s stupid to keep going back and forth with that. I somehow can’t breathe when I think about you. I’m infuriated, I’m scared, and most of all I see the woman who birthed my first born child. I hate you at moments and I can’t get you out of my system. I’m trying so badly because I am angry and I feel like I want to hurt everyone around me Skye. I feel like I can burn the world and see it burning and do nothing. I am hurting others because I can’t scream out and all I want is our son and you. I want to be like my mom and dad. I want to be like my family like my parents. That’s all I ever fucking wanted. I wanted the mom, dad, and kids. I messed up with Cassie, you know why? I am scared of you Skye because maybe you’re the one? Maybe I’ve idolized these other girls this entire time and you are my soulmate. Then I go back to how you kept this monumental secret and how alone you must feel and how angry I am because you’ve given and taken the one thing I wanted most for me and God I didn’t know it until now. I wanted it with you.” Jon stepped back and  exhaled as he punched the wall in a fury.

“I do care Skye. But at the same time I didn’t care if you had some open adoption with them. Damn it my dreams always get crushed. I always get the short end of the stick. I just can’t do that anymore. Miles deserves us too and I think he isn’t safe with those people. In the bottom of my spirit I don’t feel like he’s safe with these people. Jackson, Chauncey, Jamal, Max, Bliss, Belle, Whitney, Ryan, and hell the story goes on and on. I would have rathered that you gave him to an earnest couple who could make him happy. Those two? I slept with Whitney also Skye! Did you know that? I know they aren’t good and Charles isn’t an angel or saint. Don’t get me started on Lex, he’s a scoundrel and devious. Sadistic even, and you know that. Skye every time we are in their presence you are tense and you are tripping up over words. Call me crazy but you are never at a loss for words. Even in the worst times.” Jon couldn’t help it seeing her emotional and he wanted to touch her. “Skye.” He mumbled walking up. “Tell me you love me and this will be okay. Tell me we can figure this out together. Like I want.” Stroking her bare skin on her shoulder. “I.I.I.I…” He stuttered. “I just need you Skye.” He leaned in and kissed her passionately. “Do you need me?”

Skye didn’t know what to say or do as he started to speak it felt like the first time since she was ran over that they were actually talking and not having a screaming match or scornfully looking at each other. She felt so guilty when he started to talk about what he wanted or maybe what he thought he wanted with her he had no idea of the truth. Of how low she had sunk still doing drugs while she was pregnant, the lengths she went to in order to survive when she went to her aunt’s and he never would. That secret carried more weight than even he knew it would put a target on his back, a target on her sisters and she would never forgive herself if anything happened to either of them because her stupid ass decided to spill her guts to the man before her. Looking over at him she simply shrugged refusing to answer him verbally about why she was the way she was around the Hessington’s a simple slip up and it’d all come pouring out. What she wanted more than anything was for him to drop this entire case with Miles work something out with Ryan and Whitney and move on with their life. Sure it wouldn’t be the conventional happy family he dreamed but it would be something a sliver of a connection they could have with their son.

She was pretty sure she was a near mess when he finally walked up to her and stroked her bare shoulder and mentally she wondered why she didn’t wear a fucking robe or something. She just looked at him and sure she could tell him that she loved him and they’d fight for Miles but she knew it would be a lie, the fighting for MIles part would be a lie. A lie she couldn’t live with anymore she’d sit at the upcoming meeting and do what Lex asked keep her fucking mouth shut. When he kissed her though pleading with her for some sort of connection between them though she became a puddled mess simply opening her mouth to him and returning the kiss, a kiss she realized she desperately needed. Sure they’d hooked up a few times ever since the truth but this felt even more raw between them in a fucked up way. “Jon.” Skye managed to mumble looking at him for a moment pulling back to catch her breath, pretty sure she was about to repeat another mistake with him but she wanted the fantasy right now that they were okay again even if all came crashing down afterwards. “Of course I still want you.” She finished looking at him, her voice shaky not sure what to expect next with him and being the most real she had with him in weeks.

Quickly removing his shirt and throwing it on the floor. He picked Skye up in his arms and he felt her legs snake around his waist. His eyes locked in on hers and he didn’t know want else to do but make her feel good. Make himself feel good. Hell wasn’t that how they got into this mess initially? Being the rejects of Jackson and Dani now they are together happy. Here they were miserable. All he knew was right now. All he knew was to please her and maybe he could get her on his side. Maybe he could get some truth out about her time with the Hessington’s. That’s when it hit Jon he was using sex and his emotions to manipulate Skye and that almost stopped him. But seeing her so vulnerable and feeling just as naked and exposed. He just wanted her and was that toxic? It was like an open wound never healing and Jon wasn’t sure it ever would. In fact he wasn’t sure if Skye and him had reached a ceiling and they were just holding onto the past. Then moments of honesty like now made him see she might be the one all along.

Ravishing her neck kissing her furiously as he gripped her body he used one arm to hold her up. She was still in pain and he didn’t want her on her back. So he held her right next to his heart and right next to him. Using his free arm he removed her slinky satin nightgown. He removed his jogging pants and slid right inside of her wetness. As he leaned in and kissed Skye. Jon felt scrambled right now so many emotions swirled inside of her. As Skye started to moan in his mouth from pleasure. He held her close to him and let her body slink up and down his rock hard cock. Leaning in his eyes locked into her eyes. He saw something he wasn’t ready for, it looked like she was tearing up. “I’m right here Skye if you want me to stop I will.”

Skye looked at him feeling exposed to everything that they were talking about and watched as he took off his shirt knowing what was going to happen. Something that she wasn’t sure she would ever stop with him, maybe if he was someone that she despised and didn’t care about, like one of her many johns back in the day. But it was Jon, Jon who stole her heart years ago, held on and for some fucked up reason still had her shattered pieces in it , holding it together like tape that wasn’t secure but could pass a visibility test if needed. Jesus how had everything got so fucked up again for her? In that moment though she knew what she needed and wanted, she wanted Jon inside of her to make her feel even if for a fraction of a second that they could put this shit behind them. She wrapped her legs around his waist reminding herself that she could do this make Jon see her side and sex was a way to do that. If the Hessington’s were good for anything it was at least that setting off her career as one of the highest paid call girls in the state, she wasn’t proud of it now but it suited her in this moment with the man that she needed to protect from them.

She wrapped her arms around his neck when he picked her up her legs dangling for a second before wrapping around his waist and closed her eyes, letting the fantasy play out in her mind for now. She had Jon back with her and she let out a soft gasp when his lips began to trail her neck, feeling his hands snake up her thighs to her nightgown she lifted her arms letting it flutter to the ground. She was surprised at how soaked she was when he pulled his pants down and slid inside of her and she let out a gasp before her lips collided with his. The way it filled her and seemed to push the last few months of ugly moments away was enough for her and she simply let go letting out a moan into his mouth at the sensation. She slowly began rocking her hips up and down on him desperate for that connection between them only she stopped when she realized that she was the only one moving. She looked at him still inside of her when he spoke like he was trying to do the right thing. “No I don’t want you to stop, please.” Skye whispered back to him her thighs aching at the position that he had her in desperate to feel him as she moved her hips again along him.

Jon did exactly what Skye wanted as he began to drill inside of her. Throwing himself deeper inside of her. As he used his one arm to guide her up and down on him. He started to walk with Skye as he placed her on the counter still having her legs wrapped around him. He began to fuck her with a  passion he pushed all the way inside then pulled back pushing himself directly inside of her. Then he began to stroke her furiously as he looked inside of her eyes. Pulling back and using all the power he had in his hips he thrusted deeper and with every stroke he felt the emotions of losing his son.

At this moment Jon pulled out and helped Skye down turning her around he plunged into her. Grabbing a handful of hair he began to thrash her from behind in his mind he was long stroking her. He felt the pleasure and rage and hearing the crescendo of moans in the room. “Say you love me. Say you’re mine.” Jon didn’t know what was coming over him but he needed to hear someone say that they loved him. He needed someone to make him feel something other than empty. “I”m going to come! Fuck me Skye yeah just like that.” He growled as he kept pumping and thrusting with a wild fury. He slapped her ass as he kept pumping inside of her. Not coming until he knew she was exploding he refused to stop until Skye was shivering in his arms. “Say it.” He said hearing her crying out in pleasure.

Skye decided to lose herself in the moment in the thrill of sex with Jon again of feeling human again for a split second in time, to not feel like she was dirty or a skank again. The only man she could ever surely say that she felt that way with was the man that began to plow into her when she told him to and she felt guilty for it, she didn’t deserve him after everything that she had put him through. Instead she threw her head back closing her eyes letting him have control of her body at the moment before she felt her hips slam onto the counter and she let out a moan at the action. Her hands raking on his back scratching and clawing at it wanting to make sure to leave marks she knew that he went elsewhere sometimes at night and she wanted the other woman to know, or maybe she wanted him to realize that she was at home for him in some sick and twisted way. When he pulled back she looked at him mouth open before he turned her around on the counter.

There was something in the way he did it that made her even wetter it seemed maybe it was the anger that was radiating off him or the way that her hips slammed into the counter. Her nipples grazing the cool granite surface where she saw her eyes reflected in the top or the way that she saw his eyes reflected in it that turned her on. She couldn’t help it as her cries got louder with each stoke and she felt him tugging on her hair, she let out a cry at the action shoving her hips back into his. When he started to ask her to speak she wasn’t sure she could say anything as more cries left her body. She closed her eyes the sound of his skin slapping against hers driving her more, his voice echoing in her ears the way her clit was tapping against the counter and her hand reached out grabbing into his his hand, placing it on her clit stroking herself with his hand in hers. “I love you.” She managed to say not sure where it came from or what even possed her to say it in that moment, a branch of some sort of forgiveness maybe and then she came hard around him. “Jon!” She managed to scream her legs shaking in the process as she orgasimed.

Jon held her body close to him as he kept stroking inside of her feeling her cream all over his dick. He kept thrashing her body and knew that she was in pleasure. Just feeling her clenching on him and even as she was coming, she kept throwing her ass back on him. Her hips smashing into his and his entire body feeling intensely. In a flash his body began to get hot and his face flushed as he began to shoot inside of her. At first it one blast but when he felt her clench he screamed out as another powerful blast came out as he collapsed back falling into the table. Looking into her eyes he grabbed his shirt as she scrambled away unsure of what to say to her. They were still on opposing sides and he knew she hadn’t changed her mind. He just didn’t know what to say or do. He wanted her and hated her all at once. He loved her and wanted to be away so badly and forget this was his life. Jon shuffled to his room and slammed the door. As he slid down the wall sadly and felt like shit he was really hurting her and he didn’t know how or what to do to stop it.


Gia sat in her New York office, with a stack of mail that had piled up during her time in Atlas Falls. She sorted through it, throwing a few envelopes unopened into the trash and others into a messy pile on the far side of the desk. She was still fuming from the encounter with Max at the hospital and the fact that Ronan had been keeping her away from that stupid casino when they were supposed to be partners. That was humiliating, having Max throw that in her face. In public, no less. Max Devonshire, working at the casino her daddy gave her because she couldn’t go out and make it in the world by herself. What did that uppity bitch know? So fun when Ronan ordered her to leave Max alone, too. Even worse, was the realization that she’d allowed herself to become infatuated with him to the point where she’d allowed him to shut her out. She’d given him access to both NY and Canada and in return he was giving her the run around. It’s not like this third rate river casino was the crown jewel in the Madden empire. What was he playing at? They’d had a deal. A partnership. Only it was starting to feel pretty one sided. They had a son on the way. He had an heir and he was keeping shit from her? Acting like he was in control of the whole operation? How quickly he forgot just how much his success depended on her. On top of that, Ronan knew she’d kidnapped Sebastian. He all but told her as much. How long had he known and why had he kept it himself? She supposed she could guess, they were alike the two of them. Both had grown up in this world and were a little short on trust. A little too unwilling to leave things to chance. So what if he knew? Sebastian knew better than to back him up if he tried to use it against her. He was far too moral to stand with a man like Ronan but what kind of influence did Max Devonshire have over him? And if Ronan knew about Seb, how long before he figured out what happened to Raven?

She threw a few sale flyers into the trash and was left with one of those weekly tabloids. She might have tossed it too but caught the Devonshire name. “Oh, Chauncey Devonshire got married. Who gives a shit?” she said out loud but started thumbing through the pages checking each picture, wondering if Sebastian had been there. He always could fill out a suit in all the right places. If he had been there, no one bothered to photograph him for this spread. When the new mail alert on her computer dinged, she threw the tabloid on to the desk. She smiled as she saw the email was from one of her new friends at the police station. They’d gotten a hold of the crime scene photos she’d requested from Steven and Carla’s murder. Specifically, the pictures of Carla’s bloody body in situ. She renamed them and attached them to a new email addressed to Thor, typing: “Dear Thor, A friend sent me these. Thought you’d like to have something to remember your mother by. Consider it a peace offering. Let’s bury the hatchet for your nephew’s sake. Xoxo, Gia.” One good thing had come out of all this, Thor was out. What a whiny little bastard. Couldn’t even hack it a few days in lock up before he cracked. Carla Luciano turned him into a milksop. He probably slept in her bed until the day she died. She leaned back in her chair, rubbing her stomach, smiling as she felt the baby kick. “Don’t worry kid, that weakling uncle of yours won’t be around long enough to be a bad influence on you.” She heard the door open and looked over to see Hector. “Where the hell have you been? I hope, for your sake, you at least managed to get me some intel on the casino. Even you couldn’t fuck that up,” she told him, annoyed that he hadn’t done a better job burying Sebastian’s kidnapping. If it wasn’t for Hector and his ego, assuming he had everything under control, Sebastian wouldn’t have gotten away and he’d still be with her where he belongs.

Rolling the toothpick in his mouth he stared at Gia and smirked. She loved to boss him around clearly Ronan wasn’t giving her enough dick. It wasn’t his fault that she had it bad for Sebastian. He knew Gia her entire life. Before he moved to Atlas Falls away from New York and Florida. Hector sat down in front of her as he looked her in the eyes. “You have an attitude with me about that if you never would have kidnapped him in the first place none of this would be our concern. You forget your obsession is what got us here boss.” He was her underling but she knew that he would never be talked down to like that. “I’d love to carve that pretty boy up like a turkey gobble gobble.” He said looking at Gia as he smiled picking up the letter opener cleaning the dirt from underneath his nails. As he looked across from her. “You know what I’m doing and letting him go is for the best. European markets didn’t need the vineyards. You.” He paused knowing she was hanging on his words. “You wanted him.”

As he leaned back in his chair looking at her and the junkmail on her desk. Picking up a magazine he saw his nephew on the cover with some bimbo. He didn’t want her. He knew what Ivan wanted. He was a little fag and he knew the truth and he wondered if anyone else did. “What’s the matter? Ronan didn’t like the fact that you kidnapped your precious Sebastian. I hate him and I always have. Tell me Gia are you going to kill Ronan like we’ve planned for years? Or are you going to continue to fuck him and get knocked up? I mean his father slaughtered the family that gave me my shot. I have no problem killing him but I get the feeling you’re I don’t know going soft. Maybe I should work for him because you clearly have missed why we are in Atlas Falls again.” Hector chastised as he threw the magazine on the desk. “I have so much unfinished business including hurting Sebastian because nobody tells my boss no.”

Gia listened to him go on about Sebastian and screwed her face up. He was right about the vineyards of course. The small amount of product they’d transported via those wine shipments was never worth the hassle but it was her best link to Sebastian. Especially after he’d dumped her. Burning the vineyards had been Hector’s idea. She’d thought it was brilliant but clearly he was trying to sever ties. “Stop doing that, it’s disgusting,” she said as she snatched the letter opener from him and slammed it down on the desk. She was annoyed that he’d called her out on the vineyards. “I mean really, Hector. One would think you’re an amateur. How many people have you tied up? Keeping Sebastian on that table should have been child’s play for you. Now Ronan thinks I’m incompetent and can’t handle my business. How am I supposed to trust that you took care of the Raven situation after you let a weakling like Sebastian get away?” She looked at the magazine he threw on the table, wondering what had piqued his interest. “Isn’t that your little gang banger nephew? Moving up in the world. Maybe I should point out to Ronan that I’m not the only one who didn’t clean up loose ends. You’re right about vineyards. I’ll give you that.” She came around and sat on his lap, playing with the buttons on his shirt as she bit her lip, giving him a sexy look. “They never supplied enough to be worth the effort. If you find me better leverage against Seb, I’ll forget about them. No touching his face if you start cutting on him, by the way.”

She groaned loudly and rolled her eyes when he brought up Ronan. She’d wondered when this was coming. Linking her hands around his neck, she looked at him. “See, this is why I’m in charge and you’re my consigliere. We can’t just rush in and kill Ronan. That’s so obvious. His body wouldn’t even be cold before Kelly O’Connor and that big Russian freak showed up. And of course, there’s little Thor. He thinks he’s hot shit so he’d come in with both guns blazing.” Gia stood up and wandered around the room, rubbing her stomach. The baby was much bigger now and she was starting to find it difficult to stay comfortable in one position for long. “I’m securing my position with a marriage and this baby. Our position. That is, if you continue to be a good little boy. If you must know, I do happen to like fucking Ronan. For once I have a man that doesn’t have a shriveled up dick and I plan to enjoy it while I can. Ronan and I are getting closer and that’s what we wanted. I didn’t see you complaining in the back of the limo when we picked him up from jail. I saw the look in your eyes. The way your…” she paused and looked at his crotch, twitching an eyebrow up. “… interest peaked when we were making out. You liked watching us. Are you jealous that I have Ronan? Are you upset that he closes the bedroom door so you can’t watch him plowing me?” She was goading him because he called her soft. Did he actually just accuse her of that? Why shouldn’t she get to enjoy Ronan before they had to kill him. She’d married all those disgusting old guys to get them to this point, this was a welcome change. So what if she wanted to keep him around a bit longer than they’d planned? That didn’t make her soft.  He was young, handsome, so charming. “So, I’ve changed the plans up slightly. You can’t be so rigid all the time.  I know what needs to be done but I think you can let me have some fun for once. Threaten to leave all you want. We both know you’re not going anywhere. Ronan would never hire you because he hates disloyal employees. Besides, he’s not as pretty as me,” she told him slowly running her hand up her leg, lifting her skirt. Hector watched her but she stopped before flashing too much and let the hem of the dress fall back down. “So you need to settle down and let me handle Ronan my way.”

When she mentioned Ivan his dick twitched a little. His nephew had a lot of lessons to learn. He heard he was a fairy for that nigger but he’d teach him. Just like he had to learn. He however got completely hard as he looked at Gia. She was his goddess and she stood before him pregnant with another man’s child. It killed him and at the same time he understood. That crazy Russian Vladmir Stavridis and Kelly O’Connor wasn’t the type of attention they needed. This time it had to be organic and this death had to be smooth. She played the cards right and they got rid of everyone in their way. He followed her to the ends of the fucking earth and killed a lot of people along the way. “You tease me.” His voice quivered as he looked at Gia intoxicated with her. “You tease me over and over and over again. I can’t have you but you play on that. You love that but one day Ronan won’t be alive and I’ll have all his mob connections and all the gangs in Atlas Falls under my disposal. I’ll have everything because I’m going to help you take it and finally get what’s mine. Together with you so if you have to screw him and act loyal then maybe this weak vendetta against Sebastian can end. It looks mighty suspicious for you to keep this going when you are with the love of your life right? Your third husband eventually? Let Sebastian be.” He knew he was taunting her and twisting a knife. “You want him because a rich girl has him. Oh I said it. You want him all over again because Sebastian is pure but you’re dirty and you can never be cleaned no matter how hard you try. You’ve fucked, married, and killed to get on top. Gia we are soulmates I will kill whoever you want. I will slaughter anyone who comes at you but you can’t lie to your soulmate baby. You can’t do that.” Hector said looking into her eyes.

“You think I’m dumb don’t you? A little fun. A lot of games and a baby. Something you never seemed interested in is here. You seem offly maternal and I can’t help but feel when the time comes those maternal instincts and loyalty to the man you love might leave me in the cold. Now I am asking you, when will he die. How do you want it? Give me a time table because I’m itching to do what you pay me an extremely large amount of money to do. I want to kill. I want blood to reign down the streets of Atlas Falls. He’s out of jail but he’s no longer untouchable. That was his claim to fame the police hadn’t gotten him and now look at him. Just a soon to be washed up mobster who can’t sustain his lifestyle. Kill him soon because we need to claim what’s rightfully yours. I don’t like being on the sidelines.” He’d have his urges satisfied soon because Ivan was on his radar again. He thought he could escape and a gang would protect him. No nothing would protect Ivan from a lesson he had obviously forgotten. “Gia, tell me why I can’t kill him. I just need you to have everything you want. But he can’t do it. He’s less than. He doesn’t equal you. He could never understand what you stand for and are. I do though. I do and I need you to let me kill for you Gia.” Getting on his knees. “I won’t let you down whenever whomever. That Thor boy? You want him dead right now? I’ll do it. I’ll fucking chop his body up and it’ll be in some fucking pig slop tomorrow. I will shoot him in public. What do you want me to do because you know I hate it when you test my loyalty to you. I’m unwavering and determined to see you as the queen of anything you want to rule over.”

“What I want is for you to calm the fuck down,” Gia said looking at him on his knees in front of her. Well, she could think of something he could while he was down there but no, she was going to save it for Ronan. “Why are you so bloodthirsty right now? Go down to Scottswood and knock off a few of those thugs to get this out of your system. Start a war down there if you need to keep yourself busy. I don’t care. What I do care about is you losing your shit. Ronan isn’t stupid. He’s going to see that crazy look in your eyes and know somethings up. I can’t do this without you, Hector,” she told him. Hector’s loyalty was legendary. The fact that the two of them found each other had to mean she was destined to rule but they had to be smart about it. He couldn’t go off half cocked and start killing everyone this early in the game. Thor was making cracks about her being the black widow and if he was saying that to her face who knows what he was telling Ronan in private. It was a tempting offer to have Thor killed off but she’d be the prime suspect. Plus it was kind of fun to screw with him. Atlas Falls was boring and if she had to give up Sebastian, she might as well have a hobby. And annoyingly, he was right again about Sebastian. Ronan was already suspicious and she couldn’t very well sell him on her undying love and affection while she was trying to convince Seb to give them another shot. He knew how much she hated to have to walk away from him but giving him this would make him happy. She’d have to concede something and this was the thing that made sense. So far he was the only one giving everything up. “When the time is right, when I say the time is right, I’m going to let you kill every one of them. Ronan. Thor. Kelly. Vladimir. Anyone who refuses to swear allegiance to us. However you want. Fast. Slow. Messy. Whatever. We’re going to rule the entire Eastern seaboard but only if we play our cards right. If I have to give up Sebastian for this to work you can’t kill anyone just yet. Not any of the major players anyway. I mean it, I’ll forget about Sebastian because I’m committed to our goal. Is that proof enough for you?”

She felt like she was losing control with him. She had to convince him not to take matters into his own hands. She knew he would if he felt like he was going to be cut out. This is what they’d always planned for, to end up ruling everything together. Falling for Ronan wasn’t supposed to be part of the equation. She was stupid to think she could hide her feelings for Ronan from him. No one knew her like Hector. “Right now, Ronan is on high alert because he lost Steven Kincaid and Gideon Morris. Not to mention that failed assasination attempt on Thor. We can’t make a move until he’s more comfortable. I need you to keep an eye on him. Make sure he’s not setting us up. I don’t trust him and Kelly O’Connor and this weird friendship they’ve got going. I could never forget who got me here,” she told him, touching his cheek, looking deeply into his eyes. She truly did feel some affection for him even though used his feelings to control him. How could she not? He worshiped her. He’d just gotten down on his knees in front of her and begged her to let him kill her lover. That was hot as shit and she was getting turned on but she couldn’t act on this. She was going to be true to Ronan because he’d probably smell it on her and use it as an excuse not to marry her. He was already dragging his feet. The baby was almost here and they still weren’t married. That stung and not just because it meant their partnership was yet to be finalized. She wanted to be Mrs. Ronan Madden even without the baby. The baby was a bonus. She hadn’t been prepared to have such strong feelings for the life growing inside of her. It’s a good thing her father wasn’t alive to see her pregnant and unwed, though. “I don’t mean to tease you. I want you, Hector. You know how amazing we are together but right now I have to be loyal to Ronan. If I give in and start sleeping with you again, I won’t be able to stop and Ronan doesn’t strike me as the type who likes to be cuckolded. We need this marriage to solidify our claim to the Madden empire. Look, when no ones around I’ll let you watch me shower IF you promise to follow all the rules. Just think about how good it’s going to be when we’re finally free to be together.”

Hector nodded his head at Gia. She was the mastermind and honestly how couldn’t he listen. She wanted to feel normal for a moment and he understood that. He had been watching Ronan Ronan and how could he break her heart? He would eventually but Ronan had a bevy of women at his disposal. The most current would be Dru Price. He would dig up whatever to keep her away from Ronan. You see if she was happy even momentarily then he could concentrate on Ivan. His brother’s biggest disappointment and then by the time he was done with Ivan he’d make Ronan vanish. She also didn’t know that Kelly’s father and Ronan’s father had them set for an arranged marriage. That was so delicious because he was going to use all of this to push Gia into killing him. That baby had clouded her blood lust. She loved killing as much as he did. That’s why she was determined to get Sebastian. If she couldn’t have him then she didn’t want Max to have him. Gia emotions sometimes clouded their goals and his emotional outburst also showed how he couldn’t handle it. He couldn’t handle not having her. She was his. Soon he’d be raising Ronan Madden’s child and getting to have the goddess herself.

“I was being rash but you aren’t listening to me. Stay away from Sebastian he’s your Achilles heel. You have some special place for him in your heart which I believed was pitch black. You however seem to long for something that just can’t never be. You’re pregnant with the most dangerous man on the east coast baby and he’s dating a billionaire daughter. It’s over for you, who would you choose?” Once again taunting her irrational connection to Sebastian. Six years ago when she first met him he hated Sebastian. Telling Gia she could be better, trying to stop her connection with him, and finally leaving her heartbroken with him picking up the pieces. Gia was used to killing her lovers or disposing them Sebastian was the first to let her go and that affected her. No matter what she said he saw how she yearned for more and seeing Sebastian is a reminder of the healthy life she’ll never have. “I will do what you want and wait but I can’t promise a couple of hoodlums will satisfy my bloodlust. You enjoy this family you have because it won’t last. I’m here waiting and I will slaughter him when you say the word. Do you hear me? I need you to understand that I am unwavering to you.” Hector looked in Gia’s beautiful eyes. “Nothing can stop me from getting you what you want.”

“I understand,” Gia told him, looking back into his eyes. Understood he was trying to take both Ronan and Sebastian away from her because he was fucking greedy. He wanted Ronan’s power and he’d always hated Sebastian. She might have talked him down for now but it was suddenly clear that he was not willing to abandon the plans they’d made. That was so long ago. Before they’d gotten to Atlas Falls. Before she’d gotten to know Ronan. They’d always been on the same page before so she’d never seen how unyielding he could be. Plans changed. This baby changed everything for her. She realized she could have so much more. With Ronan for a time. He did have to go eventually. Sooner rather than later if he figured out what happened to Raven. Then Sebastian one day. Sebastian had been right all along about the bright future he’d painted. He would see that she’d finally gotten it and he would leave Max. That snooty rich girl wasn’t Sebastian’s type. He needed a real woman not an emaciated Barbie doll. There would always be a place for Hector by her side as long as he wasn’t standing in the way of her happiness. Also, as long as he didn’t cut up Sebastian’s face. She didn’t want to see any ugly scars on that beautiful face of his. She put her hand on her stomach protectively. For the first time she wondered if her baby might be in danger from Hector. He was after all Ronan’s son and heir. Would Hector see her son as a threat, too? Maybe not at first but what about when he was older? Old enough to claim the Madden territory. “Hector, I love this baby. My son,” she said, warning him. “I know our plans never included a baby but it happened and I don’t regret it. More than that, I can’t imagine my life without him and he’s not even here yet.” Oddly, feeling like Hector was the only one she could open up to even while she was beginning to question whether he truly had her best interests at heart or did he just have a one track mind? “You promise me you will protect my baby just like you would protect me. He’s a part of me and I’m a part of him.” She grabbed his hand and put it on her stomach as the baby kicked. “Feel that? Feel him. He’s real. Swear your allegiance to him right now.” She said holding his hand against her stomach.

Hector got down on his knees as he placed his hands on her belly staring deeply into her eyes. When he looked at that baby growing in her belly he wanted it dead. He hated that this wasn’t his child. That he didn’t have power enough to make a child that would join over four mob factions. He felt his heart beating fast as he saw how much she loved this vile thing. Licking his lips he nodded his head. Whatever happened right now would inform how they moved forward. He knew that a mother’s love was ferocious and she was in love with the idea of having it all. She somehow thought the fantasy of it all was going to make her happy. So she would pretend deeply and when the reality of Ronan’s image of a wife came things would change. Ronan came from the old school of a woman had no business at the table but Gia was radical and fiery. She knew that her power came from being a woman and that was all he needed to know. That she was still invested in conquering the mob. Gia would be a phenom something nobody had seen since Kelly O’Connor. If she pulled off killing and taking over Ronan’s spot she’d be the most powerful mobster in the country. Her connections would reach far beyond and power would be unimaginable.

“One day I’ll raise you as my own. I’ll teach you how to slice someone’s throat so fast they won’t even know they are dead. I give my allegiance to not just this baby but you. I pledge to you that nothing will happen to this baby and nothing will happen to you. Gia you are the shining light I look to. A force of nature therefore unseen to the naked eye. But I see you so clearly Gia, my goddess. I will die for you or this baby do you hear me. This baby that will carry on so much of the legacy of two powerful mob lineages. Understand that I will never respect Ronan Madden but you get all my glory and all the power you want. I will never harm your baby.”

“Yes,” Gia smiled triumphantly, taking his face in her hands as he spoke. He was finally getting it. There was a natural order in their world and Hector had delusions of grandeur about stepping into Ronan’s shoes. She got it. Everyone wanted to improve their standing, rise as far up the food chain as possible but to oust Ronan Madden? Well, Hector was living a pipe dream but she liked to keep him hungry so there was no harm in letting him think he was bound for greatness. Now, however, he was acknowledging his place in the hierarchy. He couldn’t be her equal but he would come closer than any other person could. Hector possessed a ruthlessness that would serve her son well in their world. A world she wouldn’t be able to shield him from forever. It made sense for him to learn a certain skill set that Hector could teach him. He should have every advantage possible because there was a good chance he’d have to rely on his own abilities at some point in his life. No doubt someone would betray him like Kendrick had done to Ronan or she herself might have to do to her son’s father. The thought made the breath catch in her throat. She wanted to trust Ronan but she couldn’t be certain about him yet. For now, the only people this baby could count on were her and Hector. “I know Ronan’s a little weak minded and that’s exactly why my son needs you. With us behind him, teaching him to be a leader in our world he’ll become a great man. My dark prince will rule over everything and we’ll be at his side when his turn comes. Wait right there,” she said her eyes widening with a sudden thought. She rushed over to the desk, frantically scattering papers as she searched for something. She grabbed a picture of Ronan off the desk and looked at it momentarily before deciding it would do. She placed the picture on the floor in front of Hector and used the heel of her stiletto to break the glass. Kneeling in front of him, she plucked the largest shard of glass. “We’re going to seal this with a blood oath,” she told him, knowing he would understand the magnitude of this type of oath to her. Mixing their blood like this, bound them together and made this promise sacrosanct. He would be forever obligated to protect her son with his life. They would be closer than even her blood family, her own brother and sister, after this. She had never done this with anyone. There had never before been anyone worthy of it. Gia pressed the pointed end of the glass against her palm, wincing and letting out a gasp at the pain as the glass slid along the palm of her hand, trailed by red as it cut through her skin. Looking up, she held Hector’s gaze as she licked the trail of blood that snaked down the edge of her palm. She tried to gauge his reaction and thought he looked excited that she had suggested this. “Now you,” she said, grabbing his hand as she made the same cut but he didn’t react. Not even a slight change in his expression. It was as if he felt no pain which caused a prickling feeling to spread across her skin as she looked into the deep darkness of his eyes. Did Hector even have a soul? Could he be bound by this oath without one? Sebastian’s warnings about him rang through her head but she recovered quickly and smiled to hide the slight fear it invoked. Sebastian was a Catholic and they were always so dramatic. The world needed people like Hector that could do things that were too much for the rest of them. She was grateful Hector stood at her side and not against her. She’d witnessed him in action so many times and he was truly terrifying. She wouldn’t be where she is today without him and for that she owed him her respect and devotion. “Hector, our protector. Our very own avenging angel. The three of us will rule the cartels. Your blood, my blood and his blood that runs through me binds us together as one for all of eternity,” she told him before she pressed their palms together. The blood mixed and quickly coated their hands in a wet, sticky mess that soon dripped off the edge of their hands and onto the photo of Ronan. Gia noticed and thought it was an omen, but was it good or bad? Hector was not given to superstitions like she was and she knew he would dismiss it so she kept it to herself. “I will not forsake you, Hector. I promise to be worthy of your devotion and I promise my son will love you and cherish you like a father.” Well, maybe not that last part so much but she needed to remind Hector that he was now oath bound to do anything for him and protect him at all costs. If that meant letting him think of himself as her son’s surrogate father, so be it. Whatever she had to do to reel him in and keep him there, under control, she would. For her future and her son’s future.


Hunter was going through the last of some city contracts for upcoming snow season they were short on plow drivers, it took some negotiating but he was able to secure a raise while cutting costs on materials. He was working so hard at city hall and then there was all the excitement he was feeling about the news that Bliss was pregnant, it changed his outlook completely. He had almost been ready to be shunned from society and to never return, hello maybe even beg his wife for a job but that changed. He wanted to support Bliss, Fox and their unborn child after everything that Bliss had been through he wanted her to be able to just take her time and enjoy the pregnancy and if she wanted to stop working as well. He had even ventured as far as to looking up cribs so when Bliss was ready to talk about it he could give them to her help her ease the stress about the nursery. She seemed to be excited about the pregnancy and the baby, he was ecstatic and wanted to tell everyone. So far they hadn’t told a lot of people just themselves and they had agreed to announce to everyone else when she was further along. Max was due soon and if they announced now it could seem like trying to steal her thunder.

Mum was the word they had agreed so ar now it was just them, Fox, Brooke and Atticus though sometimes he was worried Fox would blurt it out at the most inopportune moments. He was just finishing up preschool and would be starting kindergarten the following year, he was smart as a whip and he wondered if paying for private preschool was worth it. It wasn’t like funds were the issue but now that he was a father he was thinking more and more about what type of a father he wanted to be. He had spent one year on preparatory school in England with Mason and Jackson that ended abruptly when they started high school. Did he really want that for Fox and his unborn child? Maybe it was time they all tried public school or a charter school, sure they all money at their disposable but what if Fox just was a regular kid while he was here in the states and not a prince of another country? He was just about to wrap up for the afternoon and maybe head home and work when he saw the door open and Thor was on the other side. “Thor what a good surprise or at least I hope it is. How are you doing? Are you really as word on the street has it out with Ronan?” Hunter asked, getting up from his desk and shaking his friend’s hand.

With a glint of mischief in his eyes he smirked at one of his eldest friends. He had been close when they returned to high school. Thor folded his arms as he remembered his father’s words. He who seizes opportunity at the right moment would be the one who succeeds. Well Hunter had the opportunity and Montcorp would be the ones who succeeded. Breaking from his handshake he sat down in front of Hunter. “Well to be honest it’s safer after two almost attempts at my life. I’d much rather have my head on my shoulder and plus Cassie and I are um.” He paused looking at Hunter and smirked. “Well we are back at it and I just was thinking that I have a degree in business and management. I think that possibly I’d be good in a few places around town. What would you think about me going to business with DGI or maybe another high end business in town like LeClerq Media? I just feel like people won’t give me a chance you know because of my ties.”

Thor looked at Hunter and wondered if he was taking the bait. “So what’s new with you and Bliss? I can’t believe you married your ex-wife sister, that’s some pimp shit.” He teased Hunter as he looked at picture of Bliss, Hunter, and Fox. “And you’re a dad now man shit is moving so fast in all of our lives. Jackson has twins, Mason is engaged I hear, and now Simon is even seeming happy. All of us are doing the grown man thing. You remember when we were just rich brats? Flying to New York after school and shit. Man I just want a new start and maybe a family with Cassie. You know she made a joke yesterday that stopped me in my tracks. She joked how devious our kid would be and I was like “You want kids?” He looked at Hunter’s happy expression. “I’m glad to say your Fox might be dealing with a little Luciano one day.”

Hunter had to chuckle at him when he told him that he would rather be standing with his head on his shoulders than dead in a ditch somewhere or worse. It wasn’t like he thought that Carla Luciano sent him to the best schools to get a degree in business for it all to end with him running the streets with Ronan, back then it wasn’t his place to judge. Brothers would always be brothers the same was true for him and Anderson it also didn’t mean they had to travel the same road and do the same things. “I think we all prefer that you are alive and with a head on your shoulders besides given who your brother is shacking up with now it’s probably best to put a little space between you two if you know what I mean. You and Cassie, it’s not surprising Thor I mean you took her as your date to the wedding over Skye and besides I don’t know it’s weird not seeing you with Cassie.” Hunter said looking at him and taking in what he was asking if he knew of anyone that was hiring or not when it came to businesses around town. He was pretty sure that Cassie would want him at MontCorp, he didn’t think Thor would fit in at the gossip column or something at LeClerq media. He could reach out to Bliss about something besides he still owed him for the entire thing with the gun and Philip that happened.

“I think I can reach out to a few contacts if you want I still owe you, when all that shit with Philip went down you could have easily told him and Cassie that you had given met he gun and you didn’t. Me, Bliss and hell even my ex wife Max would be sitting in a jail cell if you had said anything so I owe you one. I can see if Bliss knows of anything at DGI and put in a good word there for you with her and Jackson if you want.” Hunter said looking at him and who wouldn’t want Thor on their side, he friend was smart maybe didn’t have the best family connections but he figured minus the murder it wasn’t like his or the Devonshire’s were fucking perfect not by a long shot. He grinned when he asked what was going on with him and Bliss he wouldn’t want to spoil their secret and he was going to respect her wishes on their little secret. “I mean I din’t think I’d have it all a few years ago I was with Max going through the motions and now I have a wife and a son, who’s starting kindergarten it’s kinda crazy you know? Then Jackson just had his kids so I’m an uncle again life’s good man. As for Cassie wanting kids that is pretty shocking considering how I’ve never really pegged her for that, she’s way to ambitious like another female I know in Max. But good for you guys if you do. I want you to watch your back even out of the business Gia’s a wild card off the record and off some police gossip I heard here at city hall the other day.”

Thor was calling in a favor and he had told Cassie in fact. Secrets were so pointless in a relationship like theirs. He however knew this would eventually set Hunter off. They had gotten over when he dated Max briefly, corporate espionage was different but Thor would repay him. Plus Bliss wasn’t exactly a paragon of truth and justice. She did lie a lot when she came to Atlas Falls. This would be her test to the Devonshires: do they really accept you my dear when you let the proverbial fox in the hen house? “Look I can lean on my girlfriend or I can show I’m a man on my own merit and I can be much more than a local mobster and underling to Ronan. Look Gia and Ronan relationship isn’t my cup of tea, I do think they fit each other in the worst ways. So me stepping back is my choice and I think Cassie is happy about it. I love her but I don’t want a MontCorp hand out. I want to show everyone I’m not just Carla Luciano son or Richard Madden son. I do believe that I’m more than all of than and with this move and your help man well. I’m going to show everyone that I wasn’t one of the top in my class.” Especially taking on DGI which meant that he’d have to do things on the up and up. Their lawyers were sharks and he never liked being chum. “I would appreciate it if you ask Bliss and Jackson for me man. I don’t want Cassie to think I need MontCorp or her connections when I have lifelong friends.” Thor said icing the cake a little further.

“I don’t trust Gia either.” Now that the business was over Thor could prod Hunter about what he knew. Whatever it was Hunter didn’t get involved in the mob shit and if he was saying this well, he’d hate to take that bitch out after she gave birth to his niece or nephew. Ronan was blinded by her golden pussy he saw past her alluring beauty he saw that she was a viper. A viper he was letting into the nest and that meant he was in danger. He was out so calling Kelly would be overstepping but maybe reaching out to Kevin and whispering somethings into Kelly ear might work. “She is dangerous and something about her I just hate her. She’s evil and I know my brother isn’t perfect but this woman. Something about her just gives me those chills. Like she’s meant to destroy us you know. I didn’t have my dad in my life like that but I remember a few things he said. A woman could be your biggest triumph or your biggest tragedy. I hate to say it but Gia might bring the latter. What have you heard?” Thor asked folding his arms. “Off the record of course.”

Hunter got that Thor wanted to make his own way hell he respected that about his friend and he got why he didn’t go to Cassie for in his words a hand out. Honestly he loved working for the city and it felt like a hand out years ago when Lowell offred him a position at DGI which was to placate Max after they had gotten married. So he got it, he wasn’t sure what DGI had available for jobs at the moment it wasn’t like Thor would likely be handed an execute position or anything like that plus he was pretty sure that his friend wasn’t strapped for cash. “I’ll put in some feelers for you I’m sure Bliss or Jackson can find something even if it is in the mail room. I’ll tell them to not hold your taste in women against you.” Hunter said looking at his friend and wanting him to know he had his back and slightly teasing about the taste in women, it wasn’t like Cassie was friends with any of the Devonshire’s if anything she hated them. “Think of it this way if it doesn’t pan out you have a really nice sugar momma out of it though.” Hunter finished as he patted Thor’s shoulder and then thought about Gia Falcone. What he knew was simply gossip and none of it had been good.

Anderson had mentioned it in a phone call about a week ago that her being in town was bad news, he had taken the words to heart and he knew that the police had as well. They were investigating Gia and Ronan, he was pretty sure by extension Thor to even if he had stepped away from the business like he had claimed. ”Listen off the record since I really shouldn’t be telling you this she is really bad news pregnant with your nephew or not, with your brother or not. She has like a trail of bodies in her wake and the feds are looking into her operation.” Hunter finished as he looked at Thor hoping that he hadn’t said too much but it was the best warning that he really could give his friend if Thor was serious about getting out of the business that may of meant cutting ties to his brother for a while, especially since the Feds were close and Gia was so dangerous. It was a choice he knew that he couldn’t force anyone to accept especially not Thor. “Listen my advice is to stay the hell away from her and Ronan for a while and don’t put you or Cassie into the line of fire.”

Thor nodded as he pulled Hunter into a hug. “You got the life now man. A wife, kindergartner, and a damn good job. Man I don’t know soon another baby right?” He said smiling. “I appreciate the warning on Gia. She is dangerous and I know that but I don’t know how to get her away from my brother. She is like this force on a person that is an immovable force. Ronan isn’t dumb and a piece of me thinks this is my brother’s way of dealing with losing her.” He pointed to a picture of Brooke on the wall on Vogue cover. “Look it was what had to happen but Ronan isn’t a monster he was heartbroken he had to let her go. No matter what big brother says and you know when she was with him I watched after her. She was really good for him and actually I think Brooke might have been his one but he isn’t ready to let go of the life that our father led for him. So maybe him drowning in Gia is enough to get him to free himself of those shackles.”

Folding his arms he noticed something when he mentioned a baby. “Wait you were always the worst at keeping secrets. Hunter is Bliss pregnant?” He asked as he smiled, feeling joy for one of his eldest friends. Their families had connections more than his dad and his mom being found dead together. “Well I’m not here to say anything but if you are having a baby congrats Hunt man. Man I can remember when Simon, me, you, Jackson and Mason were all in school. It’s crazy how our lives are now. We are really grown ups now man.”


Jackie looked through the accounts at the country club everything was in order and then she turned her attention to the gala. As cautious as she was being working with Lex even she had to admit they knew how to throw a party and Dani knew how to secure funding and donations. So far wen the gala launched and they were ready to go they had almost half their funding and she relaxed a bit while RePlay had secured and stabilized DGI she knew that until after the energy summit it couldn’t afford to be the biggest donor. Her thoughts then went to the police who seemed to be interviewing staff at the country club left and right about her, she had thought for a moment that their digging would die down. But it seemed that after Tamara’s wedding they were back on the trail and now were looking into everything, she only hoped that it meant Simon cleaned up the mess properly. She reminded herself that Simon was the best at what he did that meant they were covered but she still couldn’t help but worry about it. She knew what would happen if the truth came out and she was prepared to make the sacrifice that she knew that Tess Blisston could never do. She refused to acknowledge that marriage or that Lowell had married her so soon after their divorce it stung too much and cut too deeply.

DGI was doing well and that was what they needed as a family to move forward all of them Bliss included in that and she supposed Belle as well as much as she hated it. The last thing that they needed was a police investigation and Bliss brought up on murder charges for the monster that terrorized their family. She shook her head getting the cobwebs out of the police investigation and then replied to an email before deciding that she was going to head back to the mansion for the rest of the day. The staff would let her know if she needed to come back and handle anything, she sent a text to her son’s nanny she did want to stop and see the twins and then followed up with a text to Maddie as well. She could fit her granddaughter in for a lunch date. She grabbed her purse and was just about to leave the office when she heard the battery on the wheelchair and turned around to see Lowell. “Lowell I’m surprised to see you thought you’d be at your new home sweet home.” Jackie said looking at him and then her tone softening rumor was it wouldn’t be long, as much as she wanted to ignore that, it was going to happen. “It’s not like you ever really paid attention to the country club it was never as big of a prize as DGI to you. What can I do for you?” She finished.

Lowell felt his nerves rising just being around her he felt like a teenage boy around his first love. His fate was sealed and his body had begun to completely give out. His continence was gone and he barely had an appetite to eat. Sitting at a table where he hated the woman across from him didn’t help. As he looked at her stunning eyes. The same eyes that he had put so many tears inside of. He had hurt this woman but he wanted nothing more than for Jackie to kiss him one last time. To hear her say she loved him was all his ears needed to hear to get through these last weeks, days, minutes, and seconds. He didn’t want to die but he knew it was here. Death was at his feet and all he knew what was coming. A frenzy for the power vacuum his power would leave. As he lowered his head wondering how to say what he had to say. “I need to discuss Tess with you. I’m not here to fight about Tess, I’m here to make sure that you know that she will get nothing. That you know that everything we built is intact.”

Lowell looked down as he smiled, feeling like the satisfaction of what he was doing. Jackie would still beat Tess even though she got what she always wanted, the Devonshire name. “I do need to know one thing though. The night of Jackson and Dani’s wedding my physical therapist and I were going to the bathroom. I happened to see you, Tamara, Bliss, and Selina coming inside with mud covering you. Like you four had been trampling in the snow which I know is impossible because per the story of the AFPD you didn’t leave the party. I know I’m dying but I’m not going blind so I guess I’m asking do you need any help to make this all disappear. I might not be fully running DGI anymore but my name and power. I’ll squash this for all of you especially you. You were mothering a daughter that wasn’t yours. I appreciate it because Bliss and Belle will need guidance when I’m I’m dead. I know Belle isn’t your cup of tea but that girl is a victim of myself and Tess. She’s spoiled but I think she is looking for her place in life.”

Jackie listened as he started to talk about Tess and what his plans were for after and she shut her eyes not wanting to think about the after. It felt like a ton of bricks on her chest when he told her that Tess would only have his name and she smiled at the thought. Tess had thought that she had won and inside she almost let out a gleeful scream and then she got solemn when it came to everything surrounding that. Her heart began to race as she thought about what happened that night with Dimitri, how had they been caught and caught none other then by Lowell’s physical therapist that was at his beck and call. Simon had assured her that he had secured that wing for them, that there was no video evidence of them there from the hallway cameras and she shivered. Her hand was shaking slightly and she willed herself to steady it, it may of been her house but she knew all to well Lowell knew every nook and cranny of that same house so if he wanted to go to the quieter half of the wing he could have and she wondered for a moment if that meant that Simon had betrayed her and the girls. Had told Lowell about the truth about Dimitri, if he had was that so bad but she shook her head at Lowell she was not going to bring that to him in his final days or weeks or months. She wouldn’t do that to the man that she had devoted her entire life too.

“The girls were upset at the ordeal with Dimitri nothing more, poor Selina had found Tamara after Dimitri took her after Bliss. I found them outside that was why I missed the first dance. I then informed Simon it simply wasn’t worth disturbing the rest of the wedding that had enough drama at it, I wanted Jackson and Dani to enjoy the rest of the wedding or what they could. I most certainly wasn’t going to give Jon Harrison more ammunition against us by telling him that.” Jackie said the lie slipping out so easy she was pretty sure Lowell would see right through it when it came to her and the girls. It was plausible and frankly the girls could easily back up that version of events if anyone asked and did it really change their story all that much? There was no evidence of who did what they had made sure to get rid of it and the police would have made an arrest by now if they had anything solid. “Simon has everything under control and I have nothing to hide. I think of Bliss as a daughter Lowell and Fox as my grandson despite who her mother is, I’m not sure I can ever feel that way about Belle. I’m not sure I have a heart big enough to do that again. I do know that she’s been going around DGI looking for a place there rumors are swirling about the CEO position.” Jackie finished wondering what in the world Belle could possibly do at DGI but it was part of her and she had no say in that.

He guessed he deserved to be iced out. After all the events that he sent his true wife through. As he rolled to Jackie he knew she didn’t want him to touch her but he did. Grabbing her hand he looked up at the love of his life. “If I was a guessing man Tamara or Selina ended Dimitri and Bliss and yourself helped clean it up. Or it could be the other way around in either regard. I care not who ended that vile man’s life. All I care about is none of you going to jail. Now Simon is still my fixer and has always been loyal to me. Don’t forget that but I appreciate everything he and that rapper have done for you.” Lowell said proving he knew more than he was saying to his ex-wife. “Simon is loyal to our family and I will assure you a fail safe is in play. None of you girls will ever be punished for what happened to that son of a bitch. You have room in your heart for my bastard daughter and even protected her. I can’t repay you but you will be repaid. Understand that I am always team Jackie. I’m always here for you.”

He cleared his throat slight as he looked down at his confined body. “I never thought this would be the end. I need to say this Jackie just because I let the past cloud our future. It’s you and when I close my eyes you are all I see. That’s all I have to say because I know you aren’t in danger. As long as I know you and Walter will guide our children into the future. I need you Jackie to help him because Jackson will need it. I need you to love our son more than ever because Chauncey will resent him and won’t understand. Protect Max because I’m leaving my strongest child and she won’t be okay. Rory will need help to be pushed to further greatness he fears judgment too much. He needs to not care and you have to get him there. He’s our greatest progeny. Bliss is a mother and she needs to find her niche in the company to help her. Zerick is loyal to us now but help him become truly apart of the Devonshire’s. And Belle my final baby help her because underneath all that attitude and bad behavior is a child Tess and I broke. Maybe you can open your heart and find a place for her because Tess isn’t a mother to any of our children. Too busy wanting the fame of being my wife. And you protect yourself because I don’t like that Julian fellow. But I’ll never like another man who could treat you better than me. I’ll never forgive myself for hurting you and ruining this. You should be at my side for better or worst but Tess played the long game and out maneuvered even me. So she won.”

When he confirmed that he knew more than what he was letting on with the girls her back stiffened but she still refused to bring him into the fold that wasn’t her place. That wasn’t the deal she made with the other women involved especially Bliss and her heart ached when Lowell mentioned that it was Tamara or Selina that shot Dimitri. She didn’t have the heart to tell him it was Bliss who ended it. That his daughter had taken the monster that haunted her and made sure he couldn’t ever hurt another woman ever again. She didn’t want to know about the fail safe that Simon and he had cooked up, all she knew was that she had to stick to the story that she and the girls were telling for it to all go away. The police had a body nothing more, they didn’t have the gun she wasn’t even sure where the gun had gone now come to think of it. Surely Simon got rid of it? She hadn’t of followed up on the whereabouts of the gun now that she had time to think. She would later and then she listened to him talk about the end and her heart got heavy as he laid out what he expected of her to do.

“I’m not sure I’m ready to say goodbye Lowell and maybe that is why you did what you did so quickly with Tess, to spare me or us that.” Jackie said looking at him, at her hand in his and realizing this was his final confession it sounded like that he was putting his affairs in order. Her heart was heavy thinking back to when it was easier when Bliss came to town, Jackson had returned from rehab and she begged him to retire and he had refused. She thought about all the time that they had wasted when they could have just been happy, she knew it was a dream Tess would have come back and eventually she was sure she still would have been crushed by the news of Belle. “I take it you have decided then on who will be CEO?” It was the only thing left that she felt like she could ask him so many rumors were swirling at DGI, rumors that she knew could pit family against family.

“With Dani by his side, I’ve chosen Jackson with Chauncey as our COO. I know that they can do it and I believe the boys together working right by each other will take the world by storm. If Chauncey is doing better and Jackson slips you and Walter will have the power of restructure. Together I think you’ll keep these kids and DGI alive in the business world. I need to get home, David will be meeting with me. I’ve got you Jackie I promise that and I want you to know that all my children mean something to me and you mean the most. Tess will always be second rate to you never forget everything I did in these last days was to ensure your future. I know Chauncey will be rebellious and angry I just need you to soothe him and guide Jackson. I bred a rivalry between the boys and that was a mistake. I thought I had years to groom them but I didn’t have anything. Tell God your plan and watch him laugh. He’s laughing at me because I made these boys resent each other when they’ll need each other more than ever. Forbes, Pierre, Tess, and so many others are on the way to hurt you all. I’m not here to stop it. I’m not here to prevent it.” Lowell said as he badly wanted to kiss her lips one last time.

“I need you to protect them all.” He whispered as he rolled back feeling the need to get away before he ruined all that he planned. “I miss you Jackie and I do believe one of the many reasons I married Tess was to assure you that I got my revenge for what she did to you and Zerick. She emotionally manipulated Zerick and she did something horrible to Katie. She doesn’t get a reprieve from that because she’s the mother of my child.” Lowell looked at Jackie and his heart was thumping. “I’m jealous that I don’t have the time to fix this. I’m jealous I’m not going to be able to tell O’Sullivan that he isn’t going to take your heart from me. I see how he looks at you hell many men seem to think I was foolish for letting you go. I like to think I was stupid for never seeing how much you are to not just to me but my soul. You are always my soulmate.”

Jackie looked at him when he told her who he was naming and a sense of relief washed over her after everything that her husband had done to their middle son he was attempting to fix mistakes. She got now why he wanted her to keep Chauncey in line; her oldest son wouldn’t take the slight well, they both knew that but they both knew that he was too power hungry and looking at the optics Chauncey was suited for COO over CEO. She was honestly shocked when he mentioned Walter back at DGI. Never in a million years did she see that coming but perhaps it would be for the best his daughter was there now too and honestly she never saw Walter as a long term mayor. She knew that Forbes was likely waiting in the wings like the snake he was along with his viper in Tess, Pierre was a wild card and together as a family they’d have to work through his wishes to make sure their legacy and DGI survived. A part of her heart ached at the thought about when he would go and they would be so far apart but hearing that he did it for her she closed her eyes as a tear slipped down her cheek. She brushed it away with her hand composing herself as she walked to him leaning down and kissing his cheek.

“I don’t think any man will replace you in my heart. You’ve had it for over thirty years and I doubt it will heal easily when you aren’t here anymore. We just ran out of time.” Jackie said softly another tear falling before she stood back up sadness threatening to overwhelm her, she had cried so many tears the last few months when it came to Lowell Devonshire. Now looking at him tears fought behind her eyes she knew that time was almost out for them as ex husband and wife, as friends, as a family time that she couldn’t fix or stop, or change. Time simply came and went she was not a fool and now theirs was nearly out. “Thank you for telling me about the CEO spot. I know how much that will mean to our son. I should head home and you should see David.” Jackie said quietly, wrapping her coat that even in the middle of summer air felt chilly, tightening it around her before touching his shoulder and walking out of the office. Waiting till she was in her car and the door closed before looking back through the window letting the tears fall freely.


Rory looked at his watch. It was almost seven, most everyone else had gone home for the evening and he was running out of excuses to not go back to the condo he shared with Aspen. All his calls were completed in truth he was over two weeks ahead on most stuff but work was his way of not dealing with the reality of being home. Being home meant not talking to Aspen and trying to do the right thing by giving her space from him and the entire situation. He still wasn’t sure what he wanted to do about all of it. He looked like an asshole if he left her after everything that happened. Then on the flip side Yasmine was clearly seeing Dr. Bradshaw also known as the most pretentious doctor he’d ever seen on paper. The truth was this entire thing was his fault from the get go and it was his weight to carry. Not anyone else’s no matter how much his father or anyone else told him what to do he had to figure it out himself.

He closed his laptop running hand carelessly through his hair ruffling it a bit. On the plus side to his drama with Aspen he didn’t have to worry about the competition for CEO or have that pressure hanging around his neck. Nope that torture was being reserved for his tow eldest brother who he felt like had two very different visions for DGI’s future. One wanted to change the world for a better place and do things differently than their father. The other just wanted to keep going with the status quo that his father used to, everyone was talking about it on the board whispering to his father about who he should pick. He’d expressed favor for Jackson when they had asked maybe it was time that DGI did something new, had someone different running the company plus he still remembered Chauncey and Greer staging a coup last year. Just because they had all put aside their differences for their father’s illness and the truth about Zerick didn’t meant he had forgotten about it. He got up from his chair made sure his pens were in order as he grabbed the coat and went to the remote for the light and was shocked to see Aspen in the doorway wondering how long she had been there. “Hey I was just on may home are you okay?” Rory asked he had been so concerned about her lately.

Aspen was here earlier in the day talking to Max but it was night and she made sure everyone had cleared out. It was some festival in town but she didn’t care she was ready for him. Standing before him in a leather and suede Donna Karen coat, a Savage Fenty lingerie and corset, with matching garter and thigh high boots. Her hair was like Veronica Lake and waved over one eye. Slowly strutting in and closing the door she looked at him and his semi confused expression and wanted to laugh. As she sat on his desk exposing her garter and leg she looked at him in his eyes and saw nothing but the lust. He missed her milky soft skin and her long legs. As she touched his face she smiled at him. “I was just thinking how I’ve been neglecting the man who has supported me through my biggest trial. You Rory are my heart and a piece of me. I’m sorry if I’ve been showing something different. I want to give you what you deserve.” Licking her lips she saw his lustful and hungry eyes.

As she unfastened her trench coat she saw his eyes widen. Showing the perfect shape of and her sleek figure as she leaned in touching his chest. “Rory I am sorry because I can’t say that I’ve been easy but I want this to be better. I want to feel you and your love. You see I could be stay miserable about a baby that isn’t coming back or I could come to terms with the fact I’m not a mom but I am here with the man who loved me and our baby.” She rubbed his face as she kissed him playfully. “Tonight isn’t about me it’s all about you. She opened her small little Birkin bag and pulled out a thick crimson red lipstick. Applying it to her perfect lips she turned to Rory and pushed him down. Slinking between his legs as she looked at him. As she got on her knees. “Can you forgive me and let me show you how much I can love you.”

Rory looked around his office the soft glow of the city lights illuminating them inside while he looked as she walked towards him noticing those bare legs. Lately he had simply seen her in leggings or sweats. They hadn’t shared the same bed in months and it wasn’t that he didn’t want to, he did she had just been so distant since losing the baby and even when he tried she would burst into tears. He watched her walk to the desk after she had closed the door and expose her leg further and he couldn’t’ help it as his body reacted to the action. He looked at her licking his lips imagining what was underneath only to be floored when she removed the coat and there was nothing there but some lace and lingerie that she wore perfectly. Where int he hell that she been the last few months, where had this girl been the one that was adventurous and sexy that took life by the horns? Sure she’d been texting Khalil on and off and at the time it pissed him off to no end. He didn’t understand why in the hell she was reaching out to the man that was screwing Yasmine and was there the day she lost the baby. He was trying to think of something to say when she simply moved off the desk and pushed him on the couch.

He leaned back trying not to think of the last time he was on a couch in a similar situation that had exploded at his brother’s wedding. He closed his eyes he could put that out of his mind now she was off with a doctor now and they were both better off for it. He reached out looking at Aspen’s face and before he could object with his heart his body was responding to her and he leaned in kissing her deeply. They deserved a shot too didn’t he? If Yasmine got to have Khalil and now a fucking doctor he was allowed to move on with the woman that he almost had a child with wasn’t he? He really did care about Aspen and maybe this was what they needed to put the miscarriage behind them and move on with their lives together and not a part they could be happy again. Like they were before he fucked evrything up by sleeping with Yasmine again in a moment of weakness over Christmas. “Only if you are sure.” Rory said looking at her face while he stroked her cheek she had been through so much he wanted to make sure that she was sure.

Aspen threw her long hair as she nodded making eye contact with him. Never breaking connection as she unfastened his belt. “I want this and I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting you. I assure you that won’t happen again. I’ve missed our chance to grieve together because I was to busy inside of my own bubble of grief. That was selfish of me and I won’t rush into this because I’ve been thinking. I was trying to make you mad with Khalil, I was angry with Yasmine for a accident and I don’t forgive her but I’m so done with holding onto all of this. I’m not insane women lose babies all the time. We will one day have another opportunity. I believe that and maybe it’s not time. But right now it’s time for me to show you how much I’ve missed you.” Unzipping his zipper he sprung out to attention. Licking her already liquid wet lips she began to kiss his penis head. Then she slowly ran her tongue down the shaft and vein of his throbbing pipe.

Her head began to move into a circular motion as she slowly took more and more of him into her mouth. Until his entire penis was engulfed in her saliva and she continued to slurp and suck furiously knowing she wanted him she felt herself moisten between her legs. He was enjoying the show she was putting on as she began to finger herself and take her fingers inside of his mouth. She knew Rory moaning was making her lose it. Pulling her head back she took Rory’s hands and guided him up to stand. As she encouraged him to face fuck her. She began to quickly gobble up his penis as his thrust into her face made it all the more exciting. As she spewed a little saliva and exhaled. “Fuck me baby.”

Rory looked at her as she confessed that she was trying to make him upset with Khalil and wondered how everything had gotten so screwed up. He never thought she was insane just grieving and he felt bad that she thought that he thought she was crazy. Instead his mind drifted to what she was doing when she unbuckled his belt and released what had been growing inside and he nearly jumped at the movement of her tongue sliding along it, it had been so long. He watched as he heard lowered on him and he couldn’t help the groan that came out feeling her moist mouth engulfing him. He looked down at her stroking herself and almost came right there but he held it together tasting her when she offered him her fingers. He was in a trance with her mouth when she stopped and let him stand up and for some reason he grabbed her hair on his hands before plowing into her mouth throwing his head back at the sensations. When she said to fuck her he simply nodded his head at her lust out winning in the end as he helped her up and kissed her guiding her back to the couch.

Rory looked at her as he gently placed his hand on her back as he leaned down laying her on the couch before he let his pants fall to the floor and then leaned down to kiss her. He let his hands travel up her thighs to her panties and then took them off before he thrust his hips inside of her. He let out a moan at the action the feeling of being clamped on so tightly sending him into a frenzy of desire to just feel something or someone. He made sure that his mouth didn’t leave her while he began to stroke her, he pulled back biting her lower lip while he looked at her. “God Aspen.” Rory managed to get out bucking his hips into hers wanting her to feel every inch of him, wanting him to forget that she was ever friends with Khalil. The thought of her turning to another man just pissed him the hell off and for some reason drove him to plow into her more in hopes that she’d forget about him, just like was going to put Yasmine behind him. He heard her moaning and he slowed down not sure if he was hurting her or not. “Are you okay?” He asked seeing the tears in her eyes.

Aspen was so full of him she felt him so deep in her body she let out a gasp. She didn’t want him to stop her eyes teared up because of the pleasure and half because she was gagging from the oral. As she felt him starting to drill deeply inside of her the pleasure of him inside of her was something she wasn’t prepared for. Honestly she was a young adult and sex was up until last New Years a active part of her life. This time she wouldn’t wait so long to get what she wanted. She wanted a baby and she’d get it. He didn’t know it but she wasn’t taking birth control or any contraceptives which meant the more sex they had the more her chance was to be a mom again. As she felt the pressure mounting inside of her she began to moan loudly. She couldn’t help it right now Rory was sexually deprived and she knew what he needed. One thing about the Devonshire’s she always knew they were sexual people. Hell everyone heard about Chauncey, Esme and Jackson it wasn’t a secret.

As Aspen clenched down on him tighten her muscles on him and wanted to milk him like a cow. Rory would give her a real Devonshire baby to be honest she wasn’t sure if the last one was Rory’s or Lex’s child. “Yes Rory, yes.” She cried in passion as she felt her body stiffen because she was so close and she knew he was too. Due to him not getting any and she was tighter than ever before she was squeezing and pulling with every stroke matching his ferocity. As she began to moan shaking uncontrollably. “I’m almost there, right there Rory oh my God.” She cried passionately. “Yes Rory!”

Rory kept moving inside of her wanting to please her completely wanting to forget all the nasty shit that had happened between them since the wedding. Wanting to make their relationship work again and he began to speed up his thrusts as he felt her tightening on him, he stopped for a moment wanting to make sure he didn’t come to fast or too soon. When he felt her clenching on him pulling him in deeper he placed his hands on her hips and began to go even faster and before he knew what was happening he felt her shaking and he let out a moan ramming into her as he began to shoot inside of her. “Fuck.” Rory said repeating the action as he repeated the action a few more times emptying himself into her, he laid there afterwards not wanting to crush her and unsure of what she wanted him to do once he was completely soft he rolled off her and looked over at her. “That was amazing, you are amazing.” He said looking at her stroking her face before kissing her.

“I haven’t been the partner you really deserve I just wanted to give you space you know? I wasn’t there when it happened and I’m sorry for that. I want to do better from now on.” Rory said a few hours ago he had been thinking about breaking up with her and loving on but maybe this was their fresh start to try again. Yasmine was trying again with Jayden Bradshaw, Aspen was sprawled out next to him on the couch after making love and maybe that was what he needed to really move on this time and try and forget that he ever met Yasmine in the first place. “That is if you still want you. I won’t pressure you or anything but I’d like to start over and try again.” Rory said looking at her wanting her make that decision on her own.