2×15 “Millennial’s” Part 2

2X15 “Millennial’s” Part 2
Written By: Quentin Coleman and Kelly Zollo
Theme Song:  SZA- Quicksand
Guest Starring:
Maddie Devonshire (Natalia Alyn Lind), Dylan Frasier (KJ Apa), Wyatt Kincaid (Cody Christian), Connor Hessington (Zac Efron), DJ Willow (Ruby Rose), Kelandra “KeKe” Watkins (China Anne McClain), Ryan Hessington (Stephen Amell), Whitney Hessington (Sophia Bush), Lex Hessington (Michael Trevino), Charles Hessington (Charles Dunce), Anderson Kincaid (Eric Dane), Cara Kincaid (Kate Beckensale)


  • Summer Walker ft Bryson Tiller- Playing Games
  • Labrinth- Mount Everest
  • TK Kravitz ft Jacquees- Ocean
  • Justine Skye- Secrets
  • Charlotte Day Wilson- Work
  • Summer Walker- Anna Mae

“That’s interesting.” She said twisting her phone in her hand as she looked up to an amused

Willow. What was so funny to this woman? All night after the threesome it was as if she knew. It was a little creepy. However she was still figuring all this out. Val had always said sexuality was a spectrum and she didn’t understand that until tonight. What the three of them did tonight was amazing and she couldn’t get it out of her head. Tonight was changing everything maybe what she did in high school with Jamison McCoy was just wrong because last night. The pleasure she felt with both Jamal and Val was crazy. As she squeezed her phone she looked at Willow. “I’m sorry that I’ve been distracted with other things. This has more than likely been the hot DJ from Europe worse date.” Kelsey said looking at Willow. “I’m sorry this was a mistake and I know that you are so sexy and cool. I just am not ready Willow to stop with her.”

As she walked up to her door she bit down on her lip. Flipping her hair she leaned in and kissed Willow cheek. “Tonight was fun but I think that I’m not ready. I’m sorry, I should stop saying that huh?” As she ran her hands through her hair she just wanted to get in the shower and go to sleep. Maybe try to forget what happened tonight. She walked out a lesbian and now she wasn’t so sure. “I think we can be friends though because I’m confused about everything.” She held her purse close and kicked off her shoes. “God those things are evil. My cousin let me borrow them. They look great but they are evil.”

Willow was traveling for her tour of the eastern coast playing in clubs around the country before she jet set off to the Europem part of her debut something her manager had arranged. She had seen the beautiful Kelsey Fraiser a few weeks ago during her first show in Atlas Falls and had asked her manager to extend her out at least two more weeks.They had of course had fun over those two weeks but a part of her was a little tired of hearing about Val and she could tell that is what Kelsey was thinking about now. Which was alright she was looking for just a fling and it was clear that the doctor had not caught the feels. She watched as she opened up the door to her condo and followed her inside and she wondered if Kelsey knew those were at least a couple hundred dollars pair of shoes.

“It’s fine we both agreed this was just to blow off some steam. Friends sounds good for now I’m off to New York after this for another two week club tour there and you have your job here so it’s fine.” Willow said placing the water bottle she was carrying to her lips as she took a swig. She honestly respected that Kelsey was at least being honest with her before she left and she had to wonder if the woman before her really knew what she was getting into with Val Ruiz. “Tell your cousin thanks and at least you didn’t ruin those expensive shoes though to the Devonshire’s it would be pennies on the dollar. I just want you to watch you back with Val Kelsey, I mean rumor is she likes to play the field if you know what I’m saying?” Willow said pursing her lips together she had asked she would be a fool not to and her manager had put out some feels seems like Val was pretty fluid in the sexuality department.

Kelsey looked at Willow and felt her body tense up. This wasn’t the first time she had heard not to trust Val. It just was a lot to take in from someone she considered just a random date. Willow was nice but she felt her entire body tense up. Kelsey couldn’t help it Willow knew something and she wasn’t going to let her leave until she spilled. “You’re European I know that. That means um you know about Val. Aspen has said some ugly things I overheard a couple months ago. I just um did something crazy and I don’t know who or what I am right now. I’m truly lost but the one thing I thought I was sure about was Val.” She looked at Willow in her eyes. “I need to know everything you know about her. I did something tonight that has me re accessing my entire life. I got a proposition to do something that could.” Kelsey paused as she looked at Willow. Flopping down on her couch

“I was so sure about my life, I knew I was going to be a doctor since I was born. I knew I liked girls when I was ten years old, and I know that I don’t want a man. I never have and yet everything is different now. I feel like they sucked me in and next I knew it was all happening way too fast. So if you know something about Val. That will deter me away please tell me now. Tell me so I can um stay away. I can go and avoid all of this confusion and go back to my perfect life. The life I planned for me. The life I know because tonight I truly feel like I became someone else. That scares the fuck out of me.” Kelsey admitted as she looked at Willow. “You should leave, I’m a mess.”

Willow looked at Kelsey as she spoke and knew that they weren’t going to get hot and heavy tonight which was fine with her, she didn’t want to confuse Kelsey more than she was. She was going to be a good friend and listen though and she had experimented when she was younger with disastrous consequences mainly a guy becoming obsessed with her. To the point when she called it off that she had to file a restraining order when he kept harassing her. Men were all drama and the ladies she fucked were a little on the wild side but not as crazy as the men she used to attract. After that though she knew she was a straight up lesbian and didn’t need a good piece of dick to make herself feel loved or hell even accepted.

“I fucked around once with a guy and a girl, let me tell you from experience someone if bound to get hurt or fucked over. In my case I wanted to do it just to see what the dick was like and no offense it wasn’t as good to me as being intimate with a woman between my legs there was no feeling there you know? No I’m not saying you have to feel that way or anything like that but you should be careful Kelsey. I would really hate to see you get screwed over.” Willow said giving her some advice and hoping that she didn’t take offense to it, she did want the best for Kelsey and she wondered if fucking around with Val and her boytoy was worth it. She went to say more to see Kelsey’s phone buzzing on the counter and rolled her eyes when she saw Val’s name and number on it. “She’s calling.” Willow said handing her the phone.

Kelsey listened to Willow explain her experience with a man and she knew that she didn’t want to be with Jamal again. Although it was pleasurable she truly felt like she did it to please Val. How was she supposed to do this? How was she supposed to be in a threeway relationship? She was still confused on how all this worked. Her hand was shaking as she took the phone and looked at Willow. Licking her lips she knew she had to answer because they had to figure all this out. “Willow I’m going to take this on the balcony and I’ll be back alright?” Standing up she walked onto the balcony and let the cold air cool her fluster red face. “Hello?”

Before she knew it she was listening to a hysterical Val. She could barely make out what she was saying. All she heard was Jamal and a fall. “Valentina!” She screamed into the phone. “What happened I need you to calm down and tell me what happened.” She said sternly the doctor coming out of her she heard blood. Dear God had something happened when she left the party with Willow? “Val please tell me what’s the matter?” She said gripping the railing.

“It’s Jamal.” Val said gripping the phone in her hand in the waiting room of the Emergency room she didn’t know who else to call most normal people probably would have called Jamal’s family. But the way he looked was so scary barely moving not talking. “Something happened on the roof after you left we got showered and dressed he went to find Rory and…” She felt her voice cracking a little as she took a breath and felt Aspen’s hand on her shoulder. “Someone pushed him off the roof he landed on the pavement. There was so much blood.” She finished tears streaming down her face into the phone.

Kelsey grabbed her keys and her placed her hair in a ponytail. Quickly throwing on a jogging suit not caring of Willow saw her. She felt her entire body stiffen thinking about Jamal. “I’m on my way Val tell them to call David and I’ll inform Dr. Ophelia okay calm down. We will help  Jamal he’s going to make it. Tell the EMT’s to get that man to the hospital stat this is a very important person.” She looked at Willow and her eyes glanced over the beautiful crest tattoo on her arm. “Val I’ll call you back.” She got off the phone and looked at Willow.

“Jamal was in some sort of accident or something he’s hurt badly and they need me.” She said grabbing an overnight bag already packed in the closet. If David needed her to scrub in she would. Jamal had been through a lot but whatever had happened he didn’t deserve this. “You can come down to the hospital with me and wait to see what happened. I know you and Jamal are very close.” Walking briskly to the door she turned off the lights storming down the stairs. She was just making love to Jamal and Val and now he was injured this made no sense. She shook her head taking a deep breath. Getting in the car she started to the hospital texting Ophelia at the same time to call her immediately. “This is insane.” They sped through traffic and she even went through some side streets. As she pulled up to the hospital she saw Rory, Aspen, Khalil, and Val all outside. They all looked distraught and she walked up and felt her heart pounding. “What did David say?” She said looking at them all. “Can someone tell me how he went off the balcony on his roof the club?” Kelsey was ready to get scrubbed in and do anything to help save Jamal. He was after all her lover right along with Val.

Val was still in too much shock to say really anything about the accident one moment they were all in bed together and the next Jamal was lying on the pavement with blood pouring out of him. She stared blankly at Kelsey as she spoke about what happened not sure how to answer her. Nothing made any sense Jamal and Rory were best friends there was no way that Rory tossed him over the balcony drunk or not. Instead she felt Brooke rubbing her back and shrugged at Kelsey whom she watched head back to the emergency room only hoping and praying that Jamal would be okay in the end.


Brooke closed her compact mirror and saw Atticus looking disappointed at her. This wasn’t how a future first lady was supposed to act. What about her pride? That bitch got to flaunt that she had Atticus in her face. Was she even legal? With Trump’s stupidity couldn’t she get her deported? God she hated her. As she leaned her head back and finally purposely made eye contact with Atticus. “I think you have something to say to me? Considering that I just literally just embarrassed you or the crown or I didn’t do something ladylike? I mean whatever the case is I know that look. You are disgusted with my actions or behavior. It’s that stuck-up look that I must have given people a million times. I didn’t think that I was to sell and now up for slaughter because every move I make. Every emotion I have is going to be blasted all over. I can’t live like this.” She said muted tone looking at him with tears in her eyes. Knowing what she was saying. “You live in a kingdom but your father can help with Fox being raised as a prince. Don’t you want your own life? Atticus I think this is insane we are going to have to rule when it’s not our responsibilities. I know this is selfish but I don’t want a kingdom of people’s pain hanging onto our relationship. Maybe we can start a democracy?”

She moved closer to him taking his hands into hers. “I love you but I don’t want this. I’m scared that I won’t be enough for you or the kingdom. I’m just a girl who sees us living all over the world. Doing whatever we want don’t you see that for us? Greece, Dubai, Hawaii, Ireland and so many other places I want to share with you. I love traveling and I love modeling and I’m going to have to give up my career. I’m going to have to stop doing what makes me happy in an industry I love. This sounds selfish and vain but our potential is more than a kingdom. So why don’t you see it? I just want you Atticus and nothing else but I think you aren’t going to see that. You are going to see me as being selfish and not giving this a choice. But I am and I have. You painted a picture of our lives and it scared me so much. I don’t want to build this country to hand it over to Fox and that’s not fair for you to ask me to sit and wait over fifteen years to be free of Isla De Cruces. What about our babies? I never heard you say you want a child with me in that assumption. Do you want to raise our son or daughter like you were on that island?”

Atticus looked at her like she had lost her god damned mind a democracy? It wasn’t like Isla Del Cruces was part of Great Britain and it was some little colony that could declare its independence. That was his ancestral home that went back thousands of years. They had fought off invasion for years and struggled through world wars to make sure that it remained in the Kavanagah family he was proud of who he was and his title that came with it. Even if he was third in line to the throne behind his brother and his nephew. “Every move you make is something that reflects on the crown Brooke so spare me that you didn’t know. Tell me did it suddenly dawn on you what you signed up for when before you had no problem with your actions being toted as a reflection on the crown?” Atticus said taking in what she was saying as he rolled up the divider between them and the chauffeur no need for the help to hear what was going on. “And how do you propose that my father help Fox when he has more pressing matters like a civil war in my homeland? I am doing the best I can here to make sure Fox stays here, you pressing Dimitri’s temper I doubt helps the matter. I’m going to pretend at the moment that you just didn’t insult my entire life by telling me that we should go start a democracy and I throw away the life that my ancestors built for me because you can’t behave around your ex.”

He pulled his hands out of her grasp as she kept mentioning him abandoning his duties and his families for this fantasy life she was living in. That was not what being a royal was, being royal meant he had a duty to fulfill to his people and his family. “So let me get this straight you claim to love me but not really, you apparently hate my title and especially not if it means that you have to give up your fame in the fashion industry? You can still see all those things as Princess Brooke Countess of Villiano of Isla Del Cruces.” He said staring at her wondering where the woman he met and repented to went earlier in the year, had he been foolish again to go all in with her and her sudden cold feet towards a future with him? He had been the one to wrong her he never denied that but if she didn’t want to marry him she shouldn’t have said yes months ago when he proposed again. “I don’t know what has gotten into you the last few months I’ve been patient and kind, understanding even but none of this was a problem before tonight and running into Ronan and fighting with Belle. I am not going to abandon my nephew to advisors to take over as King when I can help him the best I can and it is selfish of you to ask that seeing how Hunter perhaps at some point would like to be Fox’s stepfather. You told me the first time you weren’t ready to have children right away and I respected that so no I haven’t ever mentioned them to you, yet.”

Brooke couldn’t help it she began crying instantly as his words sliced her up. When he pulled away from her she could feel his body recoil. Placing the back of her hand to her mouth she looked in his eyes. “I’m sorry. I have been completely unfair to you. I’ve had you jumping through hoops to please me. I can’t please myself so I can help you run a kingdom? Huh? I’m unsure of everything right now and it’s not your fault. I’m scared because all of the sudden I see a kingdom and a life right there for us. Then it’s not there. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry about Ronan and Belle because I’m happy but sometimes I get wrapped up in emotions. I’m angry and I’m still pissed about you cheating and him hurting me. Look I know you don’t understand why I love being a model. I know it doesn’t make sense to you. I’m a bright girl why do I have to walk down a catwalk to feel like I’m accomplishing my dreams? Well it’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted. It’s the only thing that made me feel alive. I know as a princess I’ll have to change my ways. You ask what’s getting inside of me nothing. Nothing is inside of me because I’m going empty on that Island. I can see myself resenting you so maybe we need to slow down again. I don’t know! Atticus I’m confused right now and you berating me and talking down to me right now isn’t helping.” She sniffled as she exhaled.

“Your dynasty is yours but what about me? If you cheat on me again! No!” She screamed at his shocked expression. “You say what you want but Belle being here changes everything. I’m sorry if that makes me insecure or a mess. I hate her! I would never even knew Ronan or shall we forget history if it wasn’t for you fucking her! So sorry if he presence makes me insecure. I never wanted to see that waif bitch again. I’m trying to save us because right now we are so off track and I can’t talk to you because you think I’m angry because I love Ronan. No I’m angry because he just threw away and went away. People have been leaving me for years and now I can’t talk to my mother. She’s incomparable due to the fact she has a bastard daughter with Walter Fraiser. So excuse me for unleashing tonight. For not being you pretty little princess. For not having a stiff upper lip like you. I’m sorry I have emotions and I’m sorry that even suggest freeing the people from a fucking monarchy. Let’s look at all the history and bloodshed of your perfect little island and then question why you need a fucking democracy.” Brooke had enough as she leaned up and knocked on the partition. “Pull over right now! Let me out. You look at me with disgust every time I’m not perfect. I can’t be perfect Atticus and I’m sorry that I made the crown look bad but did you ever question your fiancee feels bad. Did you ever ask me did I want to help raise Fox? Did you even consider that maybe you would be a better king than your brother and father? Treason right to even speak like that. But you are already a king to me but I need you understand my feelings for once.” She screamed at him. “I’ll take a cab home.”

“I’m so sorry that my past with Belle has hurt you so much that it still makes you flirt with another man that treated you like garbage. You love the limelight of the stage I’m not a fool to not notice that Brooke you’ve been on the cover of magazines hell you could probably even be a decent actress if you wanted but you chose to say yes to me when I proposed again. I didn’t twist your arm into an answer.” Atticus said spitting it out probably harsher than he meant to but he had been kind for weeks and was honestly sick of the antics. He loved Brooke of course he did but she could also be childish sometimes which was part of the charm but tonight he saw something ‘else in her that she wasn’t satisfied with him, if she was she wouldn’t of tired to make him jealous or Ronan jealous. “You are right it is my dynasty and my family. You’ve known me for years I will always pick duty and the crown over my selfish desires because that is what I am going to do that is my mark that I will leave on the world with or without you.” It hurt him to say that to her but it was the honest to God’s truth he was not going to step aside and deny his nephew his birthright, he didn’t have it in him no matter what Brooke thought he should do.

“I get it your father died two years ago of course that is upsetting for you but no one left you, you chose to leave your family and go overseas to study modeling. Where do I need to remind you we fell in love before all the shit with Belle went down? I’m sorry your mother had an affair with Walter Fraiser and you have a sibling that you never got to meet. Isla Del Cruces needs the crown and the only reason it is in a civil war right now is because a radical group got a hold of weapons supplied to them by Chauncey Devonshire so spare me. I fucked up with Belle I’ve apologized as much as I can if that is not enough for you then tell me. I will not be made a fool of with you flirting endlessly every time with your ex while we are in public and then trying to frame me as the monster right now.” Atticus said his anger spilling out at her and when she was silent he pressed the intercom button. “Giorgio please stop the car.” He saw her looking at him like he wouldn’t dare and he looked at her dead in the eyes. “I came back to America for you and Fox hoping to have you both but I’m tired of fighting with you every other month for you to decide if you want this or not. You asked to be let out I’m not going force you to stay. I’ll wait here with Giorgo until a cab or an Uber can be assured that you are safely home.”

When he didn’t chase after she instantly felt hurt and worse of all he made her feel even more horrible. Here she was literally derailing her relationship because she was being a brat. “If you claim you want me, you’re going to just let me go? I want passion! I want someone to chase me and you just don’t understand! I’m looking for that feeling again.” She said throwing her hands up frustrated with Atticus. “You throw Ronan in my face all the time. You make feel like I should forget him but I can’t you know why? He gives me the passion I desire! I want you to fight for me because you feel me slipping away! You don’t get it or me! I’m sorry that I’ve been a bitch but I won’t apologize for wanting passion and to feel more than the adoration you give me. You know I think I must be a prize or something. A way to show your redemption but I’m more than that. You honestly think I have time to go gallivanting around the world being a model when you are running a kingdom. Somehow I think that won’t happen and honestly you trivialize my career as if fashion and modeling is vain and vapid. Why do you even want me? This is me! Fashion is apart of me and I’m sorry that I’m not thinking about a civil war! The only war I’m seeing is fighting for us. I know I care about Ronan and I might be a bitch for always doing this to you. But this is the first time I actually felt you. This is the first time you’ve shown me anything other that prim and proper. I want fire dammit! I want to set the world on fire with our love and you can’t do that then we can’t love.” Brooke grabbed her purse.

“I don’t want you to wait go.” Stepping out of the limo she looked back at Atticus clearly shocked face. “Go! I’m honestly seeing that maybe we don’t love each other. We love the idea of each other. I’m sorry right now I need a break from you and this kingdom and the responsibilities. You think that I just started feeling like this. Atticus I’ve felt like this since I put on that ring. Maybe we are moving too fast.” Exhaling looking at him. “Give me the passion I need. Give me the undying love that I want. I want it hurt! I want to feel like the world is ending and I’m okay if I’m your arms. Right now if the world stopped spinning I wouldn’t feel that at all. Honestly if you are honest with yourself, would you feel like that about me?” She didn’t give him a chance to respond because Brooke began to run down the street as she looked up to the sky. It was the first snow of the season began.

Atticus refused to give into her childish antics as she ranted about passion and some undying love bullshit in his opinion he was a good person. Or at leas the thought he was and he thought he was respecting her and her wishes at the pace they were going but he wasn’t about to be yelled at when he had done nothing wrong this time. She was the one out there flaunting herself to Ronan at every other turn while claiming to want to be with him and he was sick of it. He looked at her sadly. “I’m not going to have this conversation with you while you’re upset you need to work out whatever is going on inside your head and heart. Either you want to be the future princess of Isla Del Cruces and you love me or you don’t Brooke, it’s not that complicated. I love you and only want you, I flew half way around the world to win you back and make sure you knew. If that is not enough for you you need to decide.” Atticus said nodding to his driver to close the door and he looked at her shocked face as he did so. He was so tired of her back and forth antics with Ronan and he couldn’t be more clear than he was now. It was either him or Ronan no more in between. He waited patiently in the car against her wishes for the Uber that came and got her before he motioned for his driver to pull away from the curb pulling out his phone and texting a number he should probably avoid on the way down the street.


Belle actually enjoyed the ride through Atlas Falls. Her eyes twinkled against the city it made her feel like this city was alive. Seeing it without the shackles of limo or Forbes sneering at all the local spots. Connor seemed very familiar with this city considering he lived here due to his job he had to be. Fluffing her hair she saw that they were pulling up to her mummy’s home. Leaning on the window she was sure that mother and father would have something to say. Sucking her teeth it was getting colder and the Pennsylvania winters were said to be brutal more so than at home which you would freeze your knickers off also. “When I was little I used to dream about coming to America. I would watch all those shows on the telly about America. It was like a dream place you know? Somewhere you have always wanted to go but it was unattainable. Not because I couldn’t just jump on a plane but I thought I belonged. I went to primary school talking Paris Hilton. I was always fascinated with American culture. Then to find out I sorta belong to it. Don’t listen to me I’m speaking rubbish partially tipsy you know.” Looking over at Connor as security let them through the gates.

“I’m not some good time girl. I don’t just drop my panties for anyone. I honestly loved Atticus. He was charming and the next I knew it happened. The boys of my dreams actually saw me. Then it all got ugly and stupid when Brooke went to the tabloids. She says she didn’t but I know planted story didn’t fall into the papers lap. You say I’m not looking to be accepted by them. Yet I say they have no choice in that matter. But I guess I am looking for something though. Have you ever felt like you wanted some people to like you and you know they’ll never get it. You know that, but you still try. I have to try with them no and no matter what you say I assure you Connor, I’ll be apart their world. I come from the cutthroat world of royals, lord, and ladies. No way am I letting Brooke Kincaid or any of them shake me. I’m tougher than I look and I have more secrets than you know. I’m warning you Connor now it’s going to get ugly about me. When everything is out can stand with me through it all? Or are you looking for a stunning piece of arm candy for the all-star games?” Clicking her tongue she saw his shocked expression. “I gotta ask because you girlfriend dumped you recently. Oh don’t look like that love it’s called google and it’s a girl’s best friend.”

It wasn’t the first time that he had driven though Atlas Falls ever since joining the league and the team and of course they visited when he was younger given how close his father and Walter were over the years. So when she told him where he was staying he decided to take her on the more scenic of the routes show her some of the sights on the way to the posh and expensive neighborhood that she was now living in. Well enough to be in with the likes of the Kincaid’s, Devonshires and the Delacroix families if anything. He didn’t question when she said she was going to stay with Tess Blisston but he found that quite interesting and something that he was smart enough politically to put away to memory. She looked gorgeous when they stepped out of the car when he parked after being let in by security. When she spoke about wanting to be in America that was also intriguing he would think Britain would have a bigger interest but then again there was a charm with America he supposed a charm that she couldn’t find over there. There was probably a freedom that they didn’t have likely in Britain as it was a different form of government. She was probably way out of his league but he wasn’t going to be one to try and back down because Atticus Kavanagh got his boxers in a bunch. He was just as good as he was Belle’s boldness though made him chuckle a little.

“I wouldn’t think a woman with the title of Lady in their first name would be so quick to drop their panties and I’m honestly not that type of guy anyway that is way more my brother’s old department. I think you’re kinda funny even if you’re a little spoiled okay probably a lot spoiled but that it what makes it so appealing. I’m in Atlas Falls because of where they drafted me I honestly hoped to play for the Clippers or something between you and me though I am pretty certain my dad made sure they took me in the third round of the draft to keep me near him though.” Connor said looking at her he may not have been some European prince but his father had influence and he wasn’t dumb enough to think that wasn’t influenced when he decided to play professional basketball. He had been touted as an easy first or second rounder by every scout only to have gone in the third and to the team from his home state it was a little too picture perfect. He didn’t mind now but it had annoyed him at the time. ”So you’ve googled me do tell which story out of the gossip rags did you cling too? Right now I’m just looking for something fun and non committal I honestly don’t have time for with all the road games coming up.” He said it had always amused him how much the press would twist and turn events, even flat out lie to sell their prints.

“Not all of us believe the rags.” She said smirking. “They did quite a number on me but I assume American tabloids will treat me a little better. They seem to love shit stirs here so I assume I’ll be quite popular soon. I’m not just spoiled I’m a good person also. I volunteer at the hospital and just got a job. So I am an all around humanitarian.” Belle giggled as she took his hand and turned away from the door which he was walking her to. She instead chose to walk through the rose garden. “My mummy, I mean god-mummy Tess has warned me about men like you. No I’m serious you are a charmer and you’d have wrapped around your finger like this. I’m a lover so someone shows the right amount of attention well. I’ll do what I can to make sure they’re satisfied with me.” Flipping her hair she smirked as she looked at him. “Rose in winter is strange but she has these heaters and all this stuff. She wanted to see roses year round and it’s beautiful right?”  Pulling out her iPhone she turned on some music connecting it to the outdoor speakers. “I didn’t see you dancing one time tonight. I have a rule that a man must dance if he wants to be my date to a party, or an event. I want you to take me to Forbes big charity dinner with Yasmine Kohl. But we gotta dance first.”

Extending her hand he took her in his arms she smiled because it was honestly nice to have someone who was only interested in her. As she melted into his arms, she became ecstatic that he could slow dance which was amazing. It all felt natural with him and as he spun her around she was Lowell and Tess watching in the window. She snickered at her parents in the window. “Don’t look at them but Tess and Lowell Devonshire are watching dance. So no pressure but I’m assuming they are judging left to right.” She giggled looking at Connor. Belle rubbed his cheek as the snow began to fall on them. “This is actually quite romantic and I think we can have fun. However I have one more rule. Do you want to hear it? I want you to only have eyes for me and only me. I don’t compete well and I never have. I’m a very sore loser and I’m even worse when it comes to losing a man that I want. Ask Brooke.” She sneered as he spun her in his arms.

Connor was amused by her nature of being competitive he figured that she was the sore loser in the Brooke Kincaid competition when it came to Atticus Kavanagh and the Isla Del Cruces future princess prize. He had been taught to slow dance at an early age fond memories of his mother teach both him and his brother, while his father did the same to Whitney. It wasn’t a bad memory if anything it made him smile when she complimented his skills. He considered her request to take her to the party that Forbes was throwing for Yasmine Kohl, he could escort her Khalil had asked if he or his father was going. He would be the family representative to the event his brother was settling into his practice in New York taking on clients like Brenda Kincaid. His sister was closing a huge deal for their father on some land in Florida for them and his father was busy with state matters. Meaning it would be his responsibility to put on a smile for Forbes especially to keep the money rolling in for his reelection campaign, donors were key he had learned that early on.

“I think we could arrange a follow up date to Yasmine’s event for her dance school. Honestly it’s kinda odd that Forbes is throwing one for her, but I can see it being good for him and the Montgomery family. He has to get that image back up his last appearance was atrocious from what I know.” Connor said looking at her and he shrugged wondering how much she knew about that DGI party that happened. He moved her elegantly through the music to the beat as he saw Tess and Lowell watching them from inside the house one more person his father had told him to watch his back with when it came to Atlas Falls. He often wondered how Lowell felt about him and his family over the years. After Walter had been outed from DGI he and his father were thick as thieves. “He was the one that unleashed all that information about Lowell raping Katie Davis and fathering Zerick even caused Lowell to have some kind of seizure from what Walter told my father. You should be careful of him godfather or not, not to mention his son Philip is something else. Why is Lowell here again? I would have thought he and Jackie would have worked through this.”

Belle listened to him muse about the comings and goings of Atlas Falls. He was well informed of all the drama between Jackie and Lowell which she was sure town knowledge. She didn’t like how he seemed to be prying into things that didn’t have a damn thing to do with him. As a daughter of a Lord and Lady she was taught from an early age how to advert questions on family. To her when father and mummy choose to go public they would. It would be soon she was sure her mother was going for being Ms.Devonshire sooner than later. Taking in a deep breath she narrowed her eyes. “Well first off Lowell and Tess are adults and if you want to ask the nature of why he’s staying here then you should ask him. I have nothing to do with that. Secondly, Forbes is my godfather why should I fear him? He’s always spoiled me and made me feel quite safe in his arms. Thirdly, Jackie is a rare type of woman she so used to being cheated on that she finally gave up. Stupidly I may add. Sometimes things aren’t what they seem. She forgot her vows and possibly lost her husband sad really for her.” Belle said looking at Connor with a smirk on her face.

“As for the event we need to look amazing. I have a very special announcement that is going to make everyone heads flip. I just need you to look even better than you do tonight. Considering when I’m done every paper in America will have our face on it. You will be an even bigger name because you’re with me and laugh if you want but I assure you. I’m about to be front page news you picked a winner baby.” Belle smiled at him brightly for the first time actually seeing more than fun in Connor. He was well versed even as an athlete and not only that he was connected to a family his father sure didn’t like. Cutting her eyes at Lowell and Tess they seemed to leave the window. “So I should be getting some rest.” Belle stopped as she rubbed his chiseled jawline. “I have to find the perfect dress to be front page.” There faces weren’t far from each other. She could smell his breath a sweet mix of a mint it was mixing with his cologne.

Connor was so caught up in the dance in winter and her caressing his cheek he decided to take a chance and lean in kissing her gently on the lips. When he was sure he wasn’t going to get clocked he deepened the kiss pulling her body to his only for him to hear the crunch of tires in the snow. Pulling apart from her he looked at the limo and almost rolled his eyes was this dude fucking serious right now? The worse part was Belle looked pleased with herself that she had Atticus back at her beck and call. He adjusted his suit coat as he looked at Atticus step out of the limo and look between them. He was not going to run away from his royal ass when he had all but been berating Belle like a few hours ago. He saw her looking at her phone and the gleam in her eyes that she was pleased that Atticus came. “I really should be going. I’ll text you about the plans for the party.” He kicked the snow for a bit as Atticus approached them.

Atticus had driven directly over to Tess’s new estate no doubt that was where Belle would be and he was not disappointed though to see her snogging with the American made him want to puke. She deserved so much more than Connor Hessington she was after all herself a lady of the European courts. He was of course frustrated with Brooke’s inconsistent behavior as of late with him and her constant need to show off to Ronan whenever they encountered each other in public. He was a crown fucking prince of a kingdom not some second fiddle to a mobster and he was not going to keep chasing Brooke’s affections if she was not going to reciprocate them back to him. He got out of the limo and made his way towards Connor and Belle seeing her looking at his text that she had not responded to yet. Connor didn’t need to know that. “I am so glad you agreed that I could come over Belle. I was so awful to you at the party do forgive me.” He said purposefully ignoring the younger man Connor. “Perhaps I was clearly wrong about where my heart should truly lie?”

Belle stepped back from Connor as she looked at Atticus as she bit down on her lip. Her eyes glazed over as she looked at both men. “Connor I’ll see you tomorrow night for Yasmine event.” Reaching out for his hand she smiled at him knowing that she was getting underneath Atticus skin. “I did invite Atticus over for a conversation and I think we should have it so that we both can clear the air going forward. Goodnight Mr. Hessington.” Clearly closing the door on Connor for the night because she was about to ensnare Atticus even more in her web. She also was letting Connor think she was closing the door on Atticus. “As for us we shall go inside the study.” Belle said turning to Connor and mouthing call me to him. As she walked to the front watching Connor leave . “No need to be tart you are engaged now aren’t you.”

Atticus watched as Connor walked away and wondered what game Belle was playing as he took out his phone. “You seemed eager to met me the moment I texted, so shall we take a stroll?”


Jamal felt the pain pills starting to kick in. Things were distorted but he was alive and Kelsey said he’d be fine. A fucking broken leg and so many bruises. He had a concussion and he felt so tired. When he looked up and saw Rory walking in looking like he was about to cry. His best friend wasn’t to blame and neither was Ivan. They shouldn’t be around each other and he knew why Rory was here. He wanted blood for what Ivan did. Val had explained that Ivan had ran from the scene which was great because didn’t have time to be wrapped up in a scandal at all right now. Licking his lips he leaned up and reached out to Rory. “I don’t remember much but I saw you two fighting. Val filled me in on that he fled. Look Rory I don’t want a lecture at all man. I don’t because Ivan is my artist and his debut EP is number one on Itunes and they are predicting him to be number one on Billboard next week. I have a hit artist and I’m not going to snitch him.” As he looks at his brother. “I saw a gun man what the fuck was going on? Rory why was Ivan waving a gun at you? Please don’t pacify me. I want the truth.”

Biting down on his lip he shook his head. “I’m fucking cursed. I get everything I want and then this shit happens. My best friend and my artist fighting on the biggest night of all three lives. Then I flip over a fucking balcony. I just want to numb it all because I can’t get anything fucking right!” He slapped the fucking cup of water off the table. “I could’ve died man. So tell me right now! What would make Ivan try ruin everything I’ve done for him? Why were you even around him because you hate him. Did you pick with him? Rory tell me something because I’m lost on how the fuck I ended up in the hospital with a broken leg and concussion.”

Rory had been pacing back and forth in the hallway ever since they came into the emergency his shirt was covered in blood and so was his pants. His best friends blood was all over his body and the horror of watching Jamal get loaded into the ambulance was something that he thought would stay with him for a while. When David had left to call the rest of Jamal’s family and told him that he could go see Jamal he was so grateful and he wondered if Jamal wanted Val there instead. He was so glad that Jamal just had a concussion and a broken leg after the fall if he didn’t know better he would say that Jamal had nine lives or some shit like that. When he mentioned saving Ivan’s ass though Rory felt himself fuming in what fucking planet did he owe Ivan the courtesy to shut his mouth and to lie to the police about what happened? He looked at Jamal and then looked at the door to his room seeing the cops standing outside as he opened his mouth.

“You’re my best friend but on what fucking planet do you think that I should cover for Ivan? He has been nothing but trouble for you and the label for over a year. He threatened me numerous times and this time by waving a loaded gun in my face.” Rory seethed his brain still trying to wrap around what Jamal was actually asking of him and he wondered if that was the concussion talking or not. Even if it was he was not going to just not going to let Ivan off scott free for attacking him and then pushing Jamal over the railing and to the ground. “Are you serious right now? He is constantly in my face all the time anytime I am around the club worried I’m going to go off blabbing his personal business with Simon. Which you know me I won’t. He’s a loose canon that can’t control his emotions leading to him attacking people like me on your rooftop. When you tried to pull him off he then focused his rage on you and pushed you over the railing. I am not going to lie for him you haven’t given me one good God damned reason too. High on the iTunes chart or not you have other artists that will do the same.”

Jamal looked at Rory and wiped his eyes feel frustrated about his fall he remembered hearing them argue and then boom he flipped over the balcony. It kind of all flashed fast in his mind and he blinked a few times as he listened to Rory talk about Ivan. That’s when he got it. It all came to him why Simon had been around Ivan and why Ivan was so torn up about Money death after it happened. Rumors swirled around that time and he remembered hearing Kendrick saying it wasn’t anyone’s business. Ivan was gay and he was with Simon which meant this shit was real. His lips quivered as he looked at Rory. “Please.” Jamal voice cracked a little as he looked at his best friend. “He’s on Billboard next week and I don’t want to lose him for a reason you might not understand. Last year I set a chain of things in motion and it hasn’t been the same since in this town. I was just fake as hell and I was so selfish for what I did. I ruined lives and changed things for people and I think this is my atonement. Look I’m asking you not to reveal shit to anyone on how I fell. I’ll handle Ivan and I’ll make sure he stays away from you and this never happens to anyone again. I assure you of that.”

Jamal sat up and looked at Rory. “I’m sorry man I just am all scrambled up and I guess I thought that I could I don’t know? Fix my past mistakes but I’m not willing to lose him yet. So I know I’m asking you for a lot considering he’s acting all gangster to you. But I didn’t know that he was gay and I think he’s been trained to hide that part of him and it’s life or death in his world. I know that might not make sense but remember how Yasmine was? She couldn’t let go because of the streets hold? Well it’s the same thing and he thinks that’s something to kill for and I know it isn’t right Rory. But just let me handle him okay bro? Please Rory let me help him because if I throw him away now he’ll never recover.” Jamal didn’t give a damn he was gay but he also understood Ivan fear as a hip-hop artist. “Just let me help him and I’ll owe you forever bro.”

Rory was still fuming at Jamal and his demands that he be the one to lie and cover for Ivan he didn’t care who Ivan was sleeping with he did worry that Ivan was going to end of killing someone. Either him or someone else that he deemed a threat to his life and that worried him to no end. He got that Jamal was still struggling with what happened last year it was traumatic for everyone and no doubt Jamal felt like maybe it was partly hsi fault. The truth was Kendrick and Ivan were on the path of self destruction long before Jamal ran or got into the picture. He was about to tell Jamal to go to hell when the door opened and Devin entered the room with Jon. He knew what they were here for to take his statement about how Jamal ended up over the side of the railing and then on the pavement.

Devin and Jon had been on patrol when the call had come in that Jamal was being brought in after a fall at the club, once they had arrived on scene he was horrified for his cousin. Lying on the pavement at first glance motionless and then he and Jon had taken int he scene of the crime. A table that was flipped over on the roof, Rory Devonshire looking like he had the shit beat out of him and Jamal on the ground. Meaning something happened as far as he knew Jamal and Rory were now cool again there was no reason for him to beat up Rory. Jamal also had no signs of a struggle or a fight on his hands or body meaning who beat Rory up and who tossed his cousin over a railing? He hated to think that Rory was high on something and maybe he lost control and pushed Jamal over? It wasn’t like the Devonshire’s had never dabbled in drugs before. “I called your mom and dad they’re on the way Selina too. You two mind telling us what happened?” Devin asked looking over at Jon who he was sure had just as much questions as he did about this.

Jamal felt like he was about to explode because the fear of what was Rory was going to say. His head was banging and he knew that protecting Ivan was paramount.  “Cuz I got tipsy and I fell.” He said with a stern expression on his face. The look he gave Rory was to tell him if he revealed the truth then he’d never forgive him. “I was um talking to Rory and I think we need to finish our conversation. Jon and Devin I appreciate you both coming here to look into my fall but it was an accident. That’s all.” He looked at Devin and Jon who both had an expression on their faces to say that they weren’t buying it. “If that’s what the fuck I said happened. I’m the victim right? That’s what happened? Get out of my room, I’m not selling drugs anymore. I’m not a criminal and I’m doing the best that I fucking can to rectify my last year. I thought that I had to be thug to celebrate music. To celebrate the blackness that I was born in but that isn’t being black. This year is my retribution and I’m not messing up. I have taken a gang-banger off the street and transformed him into one of the biggest musical acts in the country right now. I promise you both this is my passion not drugs or anything else. I messed up so many people’s lives last year and I just have to do something to make it better.” He prayed to God Rory followed his lead and he got his words weren’t to Jon and Devin but to him. “Now I’m telling you what happened and I need you both to leave. You have your statements.”

Jon saw the tension between the men but it wasn’t tension that they were fighting. It was something clearly going on between them because of Rory contorted damaged perfect face. “So if I measure the wounds on Rory face and we look at your knuckles then it won’t be a match right? You two were just on stage and now you’re fighting? This is crazy and Rory you’re going to legit lie and say nobody fought you? Look at you pretty boy you look a mess. Jamal I’m not believing this fall story and Rory tried to save you so give me something else. Rory you look like you just went three rounds with Tyson. Come on we aren’t here to arrest anyone we are concerned. Your cousin is scared you maybe in trouble again so I suggest you tell us something or we will start digging. Matter fact I’m sure Tony and Ophelia will give us access to the surveillance cameras at the club.”

“That’s my motherfucking club!” Jamal barked again this time with bass in his voice as he froze looking at Simon and Ivan. “You gotta be kidding me! Ivan you have a show in two days man you need to be practicing! Where is Julissa? She should be sending me information on the venue.”

“Yeah it’s your club but you know what Jamal I know your parents are worried sick, Mason is worried sick and so is Selina. I’m not going to stand here and pretend that your story doesn’t reek of inconsistencies because it does and as your cousin I’ll call you out on your shit.” Devin said looking at Jon and then at Rory to let him know he backed him as his partner. People just didn’t fall off buildings for the hell of it especially someone like Jamal. He saw Rory’s entire body change when Ivan and Simon entered the room and had a feeling this all linked back to Ivan and that irritated the fuck out of him. “I’ll ask this once Rory who was the fight with since it clearly was not Jamal or his knuckles would be bloody as hell and do you want to press charges?” He looked right at Ivan as he spoke. “You wanna take off those gloves and let me and Jon take a look at your hands? You’re inside no need for mittens.”

“It’s winter in Atlas Falls detective Ivan was cold and wanted to check on his boss no need to be rude. Everyone wears mittens in this weather.” Simon said, looking at Devin and then at Jamal and Rory. He had convinced Ivan to make an appearance to cast blame off him and to show Jamal that he was remorseful for the entire thing with both him and Rory but Atlas Falls finest were out and doing their job too. “Isn’t that right Rory it went like Jamal said he fell.”

Rory looked at Jamal and then back at the cops and he stared Ivan down as coldly down on the other side of the room. It would take just one word and he could ruin Ivan’s world and if the cops wanted they could look closer and make him take off the gloves he was wearing to prove he was telling the truth. He hated to be fucking schooled by Simon of all things and he had a feeling the entire reason he was encouraging him to lie was becasue of the app and how much money it was going to bring in within at least a week. The press could be turned from successful launch and night to another downward spiral if the fight with him and Ivan got out and then Ivan pushing Jamal. “Jamal slipped and fell I think. I saw him outside after I heard something hit the pavement. Haven’t either of you brawled with someone after having a few and did stupid shit when you were younger like take fighting my brother over Skye like a few years ago Harrison?” Rory said daring Jon and Devin to keep pressing when he was not going to press charges and ruin the app launch.

Jamal looked at Rory with tears in his eyes. He didn’t have to do that for Ivan but he knew his best friend did it for him. “Now you have the fucking story cuz. Get out and leave it alone.” He watched Jon and Devin walk out. “I’ll see you at Christmas dinner.” Jamal said for the first time having his mischievous smirk on his face. He saw Simon closing the door and the four of them began to stare each other down like a standoff in a movie. “I think as my artist you have a lot of fucking explaining to do. I don’t care if you like dick or pussy or a fucking beast but I am you first fucking line of defense. Not only against the police but the media and every fucking body else!” Jamal barked as he looked at Simon. “And you were fucking my brother for years you couldn’t have given me a heads up. How many times did I keep dad away so you and Mase could be together? You say you’re a man Ivan? You attacked my fucking brother! Rory is like my blood! If you ever touch him or attack him I swear you’re off my label. You done do you hear me? I don’t care that you’re gay or bi or whatever the fuck you are. You are my redemption.” Jamal almost started to cry. “I care about what happens to you Ivan. I care because Money saved me that day and so did Kendrick. They thought you were the dopest rapper they’d ever heard and I agree. I want better for you but won’t ever brandish a gun in his face and fight him. Rory isn’t from the streets and I don’t care how many boxing classes Chauncey took him too. That’s two different fighters. If you don’t leave that street shit behind I swear to God nobody will save you from a fucking Devonshire and Delacroix.”

Ivan listened to Jamal flip his shit on him. He bit down on his lip as he wiped his eyes hearing Jamal didn’t care. He looked down no longer able to look at Jamal because he couldn’t breathe. It was as if the air left his body due to him being accepted. “I thought.” He mumbled looking at Simon and a clearly shocked Rory. “I thought you would hate me. I thought that you would reveal my truth to everyone.” He said looking at Rory. “I don’t like you but thank-you. My pops reached out to me today. He saw me man. He finally fucking saw me. I can’t lose this and I’m sorry Rory and I’m sorry Jamal. I just know to protect this secret. I know I can’t ever be me because if I am the world won’t accept me.”

Jamal saw the anguish on Ivan face and noticed Simon was nearly holding him up because he was emotionally exhausted. He understood the feeling. “Take him home Simon, I need to talk to my best friend. I need to thank him because I know doesn’t get it. I know he doesn’t understand your and my bond. But I am the one in a hospital room because of you two. Oh Rory don’t think you weren’t out there fighting either. I had break you both up remember? But I don’t blame Rory but I do blame you. I know you well enough to know that you approached Rory didn’t you? Scared that you would be outed when you should’ve been worried you’re laying with a viper. Simon you have told him all your dirt right? You are my artist and I thought my friend. You kept this from me and because of that I want to know every man you’ve been with. A list tomorrow delivered by Simon to me. I need to know if I need to get ahead of a scandal or anything. So before you go to bed tonight you thank two people for keeping you out of jail. One Rory for standing here and lying to two hungry police officers ready to incarcerate you. The second is Simon for knowing enough legal jargon and legalese to protect you. This is your one fuck up Ivan no more.”

Rory looked at Ivan and Jamal and about rolled his fucking eyes he was so tired of the Ivan drama when it came to the label and everything related to him. The only reason he had covered and lied was for Jamal’s sake not Ivan’s he saw that Simon had the same look on his face. At least he wasn’t alone in feeling the way he was when it came to the drama of Ivan. “I’ll talk to you tomorrow, Jamal I’m exhausted man. Plus I’m pretty sure I saw your parents, Selina and Mason arrive outside.” Rory said looking at Simon and Ivan one more time before he stared Ivan right in the eyes. “I will never lie or cover for you ever again. Stay the hell away from me.”  Rory finished as he walked out the door closing it behind him.

Simon wasn’t sure what Jamal expected of him to do roll over because him and Mason used to fuck? He had shut his mouth for years working for the Devonshire’s and by extension the Delacroix family. He saw Rory give him some side eye on his way out and then looked over at Ivan who he was still supporting and then Jamal. “You keep pushing him he is under a lot of pressure surely you have to understand how that feels Jamal as you went on a lying spree last year that need I remind you ended in disastrous consequences? I don’t owe you or your family anything after everything that Mason did to me over the years, Ivan is well aware of that part of my past. He will be there to make this right in the morning with you and the label.” Simon said not even waiting for either Jamal or Ivan to speak or get into it again as he dragged Ivan to the door shutting it with a silent click as they left.

Jamal pulled the covers closer to his body as he rolled over knowing that this was a major risk. Ivan had just fought Rory to keep this secret. How far would he go in general to protect his truth? Well better yet the lie he was living as picked up his phone he texted Val. He just wanted his girl around him and things to just feel normal. Before this night and everything felt so uncertain at the label that had changed him so much. Closing his eyes he let the medicine drift him into an uneasy slumber.


Khalil pulled up the condos where Yasmine lived needless to say the car ride was full of awkward silence between them he wasn’t a fool he had saw her dancing with Rory. He honestly was annoyed by it or maybe it was the damn good tequila that Jamal had on hand and the shots he had done with the boys. Whatever it was it rubbed him the wrong way sure Yasmine liked to say that her and Rory were over but he had to wonder if she was being honest even with herself. Not to mention the fact that her father was very much so anti Devonshire and Rory in general he didn’t know Forbes all that well but he seemed like the type of father who would do anything to assure that Rory never got to be with Yasmine again. He helped her out of the car and in the elevator ride took her hand for reassurance and was of course greeted with the same from her which only made him worry more. Once they were inside and she took a seat on,the couch he reached down taking off her heels with a smile. Deciding to break the ice he took a breath as he spoke.

“That was a great party launch for Jamal I think along with Ivan Kendrick would be really proud of him you know? Not to mention you were amazing on that runway for Val who knew my girl is not only amazing dancing on a stage she got that model swagger down too. Who knew the daughter from Scottswood would be making waves even more so once you throw your party to reveal to everyone you are Forbes’s daughter. I bet you have offers to model rolling in after that shit goes down.” Khalil said looking at her and seeing her disdain when he refused to congratulate Rory on his launch or Replay he refused to acknowledge him in that way and he knew it was petty as fuck. Just by her reaction he could tell she caught up on it too. “Replay too I guess though I thought it was pretty tacky for him to inject himself into Jamal’s launch but I guess Devonshire’s will still be Devonshire’s. Though you didn’t seem to mind.”

“Kendrick would have loved his set. He loved hip-hop remember he took us to see Missy’s concert.” She said warmly remembering the past with Kendrick and Khalil. When her life was so much simpler than now. When he started to talk about the night she smiled because honestly she was so proud of Jamal and honestly she hated what happened to him tonight. He didn’t deserve to fall over that balcony. Biting her lip she looked at Khalil when he purposely shaded Rory she shook her head. Moving closer to her man she felt the fear and bile rising in her throat. “What does that mean?” She said moving her feet off him as she looked in his eyes. “Look say whatever is on your chest. I don’t want to play the guessing game tonight Khalil are upset that I danced with Rory?” She said knowing that was exactly what was going on. Yasmine knew she was out of line because his teammates were here and she was acting like a lovesick child over Rory. Unzipping her dress she let it fall to the floor and her La Perla bra and panties sat on her mocha skin. Sitting down on the couch she looked at him.

“What I told you we are cool still. I will always love that man okay so if you can’t deal with that. He changed me Khalil. He changed my world before my momma told me Forbes was my daddy. He made me a different woman and I will always have love for him. Am I chasing after Rory hell no.” She lied so well it almost convinced herself. “We danced one time and spoke before I hit the runway. That’s it Khalil and how many times do I have to say to you that it’s you. It’s you baby.” Yasmine walked to the bar-cart grabbing two glasses and pouring them some vodka her father sent over to her. It was aged from Russia some really expensive shit she knew it from the glass bottle. Handing him a glass she sat down looking at him biting her lip. “What? Khalil what is it baby spit it out.”

“It means you have no problem dancing with him on the dance floor and casting ugly as hell looks at his new arm candy. I don’t know should I be upset when you two were all close and cozy on the dance floor and I was with my boys and they were all asking why you were draped all over him?” Khalil said he noticed that his voice and rose when he spoke and he was sure he was angry he just wasn’t sure if it was at her or at Rory. Two could literally tango and it seemed that Rory was fine and dandy being all up in with his girl too, despite protesting that they were all friends. He had assured the guys on the team that it wasn’t like that with Yas she was loyal but in the back of his mind it still drove him crazy he saw her looking at him and he finished. “If I was out there dancing with some girl I used to fuck and have a connection too you’d be pissed as hell too admit it. The difference is I didn’t dance with anyone other than you tonight you sought out Rory and danced with him.” Khalil said not even sure what else she wanted him to say to her he had watched it, it wasn’t like Rory was the one that had went up to Yasmine it was the other way around.

Khalil took the glass from her and took a drink and he could tell that she was taking in what he was saying by the way she was twirling her glass in her hand. She would be jealous too if he was all over some girl innocent or not and they’d probably be having this conversation in reverse if it was him. “He is the one that has a huge problem with who your dad is not me. I don’t know your dad well enough to judge him or his clearly complicated history with your moms.” He was trying to not let her sitting there in some sexy lingerie distract him from what they were talking about Rory Devonshire and her need to seek him out. She looked gorgeous sitting on the couch legs crossed showing off that perfect skin she had showing off that side of bare skin and a barely there thong. “So you tell me should I be worried about you running to him at your big party too? When the entire town knows that you’re Forbes daughter? I seem to remember him showing up at Thanksgiving pissed as hell about all of it disrespecting you and your pops. Yet I’m not supposed to bat an eye when you’re all up in his business on the dance floor?”

Yasmine looked Khalil and saw his anger rising in her with the constant wavering and she knew that he didn’t deserve it. She also knew she missed Rory and that was a truth she even hid from herself. She ran so fast from him she didn’t get a chance to even miss him. Or think about what she was doing by leaving him. That was becoming more and more clear when Aspen entered the picture. She was used to Rory chasing her when he moved on it just stung and she wasn’t ready. Then she moved onto to Khalil who she really cared about him and the love she had for him and she really did have mad love for him. She couldn’t keep this going and she knew what she had to do. “I’m not thinking about your boys. Don’t let them get in your head and dancing with Rory might not have been appropriate but Khalil it was a dance. I’m sorry because I couldn’t work it out with him but I did with you and you’re my man.” She took his hand. “I think I know what I need to do. I need to stay away from him because you’re right Khalil. I am too close but I can’t uninvite him considering he’s donating money to the dance studio and DGI is donating to the revitalization project.” She said softly looking at him.

“I don’t want you to doubt my loyalty and I loved him so much but I have to move forward and on. I’m sorry if sometimes I slip into the past because he is a friend but if I need to back up because it’s becoming a problem to us I will.” Yasmine was going to say goodbye and walk away from Rory tomorrow. She’d hunt him down and tell him they couldn’t see each other because somehow they were hurting two people who didn’t deserve it. “I don’t like Aspen that bitch sticks her nose down at me and I don’t like that but you gotta understand that. People treating us like we ain’t shit because we from Scottswood. I just like putting that bitch in her place. I’m inviting that hoe too because I want her to see my glow up so don’t trip about Rory please. I will always love him for showing me this shit. The finer things in life but he isn’t the man I love and I’m with and I’m loyal to. I’m sorry baby.” She leaned in and kissed his lips trying to smooth it over. “I’m sorry.”

Khalil returned the kiss lightly wrapping his arms around her waist not really wanting to start a fight with her and she had a way about turning him to forget about his insecurities with Rory in the wings. He deepened the kiss just slightly only to feel his phone buzz and take it out of his pocket seeing it was Keke he pressed the hang up button and then looked at Yasmine he wanted to make sure this was real. That she wasn’t still hung up on Rory Devonshire and he really wanted to believe that with all his heart. “I want to believe that baby you know I do but he is always around and when he is you become I don’t know how to explain it. You become some other woman around him like you need his approval or some shit.” Khalil said looking at her for a moment and then seeing his phone buzz again with Keke calling, he again sent it to voicemail only for then a text to come through that he read and his eyes got wide. Gently placing Yasmine off his lap as he looked at her. “Something is wrong with my mom, I have to go you can stay if you want and get some rest. I know it’s been a long night how about we talk about this tomorrow okay?”

“I’ll be here in the morning. You go see what’s going with Momma Dinah.” She leaned in and kissed his hand. “I love you and always have. So please don’t think that my love is not enough. I’ll always love you.” She just wasn’t sure if she would ever love anyone the way she did Rory.


Aspen stood outside of the house on the cusp of Scottswood. She hated this community to be frank it was so urban. Not only that she always felt like she’d get shot on this side of town. Even when Jamal, Rory, Brooke and she would sneak over here for parties she hated Scottswood. As she tapped her heel on the ground. Keke was a great assist to get Khalil here and the five hundred dollars she had to give up to get her help. When she saw his obscenely over the top car she knew it was Khalil. It screamed new money and she rolled her eyes walking forward. With a flip of her hair stepping out of the shadow she was sure he saw her. When he didn’t get out of the car, Aspen became so annoyed it wasn’t funny. Storming to the car she began to bang on the window. As loud music blasted out of the windows. God he was obnoxious. “Khalil turn down the music! I didn’t pay your smart ass little sister to pretend your mom was having a seizure or stroke or something.” She could hear him snickering so she overpaid Keke for her help.

“Fine! Khalil you just keep watching Yasmine slip back into Rory’s arms. You just keep letting it happen. I don’t know why but they can’t stay away from each other. He’s like a moth to the flame and she’s the fire that keeps him warm. You are ignoring me for what reason in my vision we have a lot in common. We both care and love two people who are in love with each other. I’m fine with knowing I’m not Rory’s first choice can you say the same? He saved her Khalil. He turned from this ghetto little stripper to Scottswood hero. Everyone worships Yasmine because she overcame but it didn’t happen until Rory sparkled her up and turned from a stripper into a fucking debutante. Now we can argue that Rory and Yasmine won’t break both of our hearts but you feel it. I saw it at the party tonight you felt it. It was like they couldn’t stop staring or being around each other. They still have this love and connection but I’m offering you a chance to help severe it once and for all. So do you want to keep Yasmine and you two keep showing black excellence or do you lose her to Rory fucking Devonshire?” The music was silent now.

“I have a plan and if you join me well I assure you that Rory and Yasmine will be a fucking thing of the past. So are you going to help me or am I solo in operation keep my man?”

Khalil had been at the hospital and man he felt for Jamal even after all the lies he had told to get into Kendrick’s gang no one deserved to go over the edge of their own building and onto the asphalt below. He and Yasmine had been discussing her dance with Rory which had annoyed him from the other side of the room, was she still into him? He didn’t think Yas would be disloyal or anything but Rory fucking Devonshire was another question all together he had went and slept with Tess Blisston. There was no telling he would now try and prey on Yasmine when she was with him he was even more annoyed with the way Yasmine almost clung to Rory at the hospital sure she denied that she was still in love with Rory and he had said he believed her, but it was nagging on him. When Keke had called to say their mother was feeling ill he left no questions asked hell he couldn’t even remember if he had asked Yasmine to come with him or not. Regardless he had dropped everything the moment he thought his momma was having trouble and as he pulled up blasting the latest tunes he could he cast a side eye at Keke and Aspen Sinclair. Of course he knew who Aspen was and if he was a betting man he knew why Yasmine and her got in that fight they did the other night too. He cast a glance at his sister as she headed inside and debated about what he was going to say to Aspen only for her to speak first, saying what was on his mind and had been for a while.

“Girl if you wanted my attention you don’t have to drag my baby sister into it. Leave Keke out of this she has better things to do like focus on school.You could have just pulled me aside at the hospital unless that would be to obvious for you?” Khalil said as he walked towards her on the walkway. He knew girls like hers game all too well and he had to wonder if Rory did or is he was really that blind to what Aspen was trying to do bag herself some rich guy and live off him forever, not to mention now trying to separate Yasmine from Rory in the long haul. Which he couldn’t object too he honestly had been in love with Yasmine for years and wasn’t going to just bow out of the picture. “So you got me here and what exactly is your plan? Play on my sister every chance you get while leaving Rory and Yas wide open?”

Aspen rolled her eyes at him about Keke he wouldn’t have came to her any other way. Folding her arms as she looked at him and smiled at him. It was so clear he was annoyed by her but she didn’t care at all. “No I’m not worried about them right now, I’m all about you Mr. Watkins.” Leaning against the car she narrowed her eyes. “I’ve always had a thing for basketball it is a team sport and I’m a team player. I want you to be on my team to help keep Yasmine and Rory apart. Look we are on borrowed time you saw them in the hospital they couldn’t stop staring at each other and you saw it. Now you can sit here and insult me or we can listen to my plan on how we can and will keep our significant others.” When sat silent she smirked.

“Good so you are on my team. I propose a pregnancy. Now will I really be pregnant of course not because I don’t plan on having a child until I’m at least thirty. I mean my body will not be ruined until I’m ready. Yasmine grew up in a single parent home their is no way that she’d let my child do the same. She’s a good girl and she will step back when I start showing. But my master plan is Yasmine will kill me and Rory’s baby.” She did air quotes on the word baby. “I’m going to blame her for losing my baby and then Rory who is also such a good guy won’t leave. By then you should be married or proposed to Yasmine. This is manipulative but this is my plan now you can sit here and say no. Or you can keep your future baby momma.”

Khalil honestly thought she was a little bat shit as she spoke about this plan to fake a pregnancy to hold onto Rory but then again maybe it had some merit and some weight to it. He didn’t have all the answers but it seemed clear from talking to Yasmine earlier there was a part of her that clearly still cared for Rory. He wondered how long Aspen was going to continue on this lie with the pregnancy for and was she expecting him to streamline getting married to Yasmine fast? He wasn’t sure how exactly that was going to work Yasmine wasn’t exactly the drop everything and get hitched type he knew that she wanted to have a career. He did want to marry her one day though he had dreamed about it since they were kids, hell his brother had mentioned it enough when he was alive that he had convinced himself that is what was going to happen until he left for college. She had then had to turn to stripping and all that other shit and he got to live it up well enough to get drafted now. He looked over at her wondering what he was going to say to her and then the first thing that came out of his mouth happened.

“So let me see you want to fake a pregnancy with Rory even after he was looking at Yasmine all night? What makes you think he is even going to be interested ever again?” Khalil said halfway teasing Aspen was gorgeous in her own way but she wasn’t his type at all maybe more Rory’s. Then again maybe Rory wasn’t going to be interested in her anymore after tonight he pulled out his keys fiddling with them while she looked at him. “So let’s just say this all goes to plan for you you are all about that baby shit until Rory wises up and you aren’t showing that much and that little baby isn’t moving then what? What happens when he wants to go to the ultrasound and doctor appointments with you?” He saw her mind racing and almost laughed at her that she hadn’t thought that far ahead. “So sweetheart while it’s nice in theory Rory is not that slow. You get what I’m saying?”

“Then I’ll have an ultrasound Khalil. You poor people don’t get it huh? Money makes the world revolve and some poor little medtech will need my money. So don’t worry about the logistics are you in? I have my ways and I know this is going to work. I think if I get Rory to propose to me because of the baby then Yasmine will freaking fall into your hands. It’s history 101. Do you know the story of this town? It’s full of unrequited love. Hell everyone is with someone they don’t want to be with.” She said feeling nasty even letting it roll off her tongue but it came with a bit of the truth. Rory couldn’t see it but Max did. For some reason Max had been reaching out every since that hospital catfight. She was more than ready to slay that dragon that was Yasmine Khol. This low rent bitch deserved to be taken right back to the trash where she belonged. Twirling her long red locks between her fingers she adjusted her diamond encrusted headband. Licking her lips she looked up up and down and laughed to herself. Who did he think he was? Jay-Z? He was faux-hood and everything about him read I’m trying absolutely too hard.

“So what I’m saying is can you make your girl back off a little bit while I work on carrying on the Devonshire name for a little bit. Rory is mine and I know what he needs. We have a destiny to overtake Chauncey or Jackson or Max or even Bliss or worse Zerick.” Aspen shuddered at his name. “But we will do it and they will see that we are the rightful heirs to the Devonshire name, company, and everything else that comes with ruling the fucking world. You think so small that’s a problem. You can make her see you just like I am with Rory.” She rubbed her fake baby bump. “Groupies and famous women are about to throw themselves at you. The most beautiful girls in the world. Make her want you Khalil. Make her hurt to think that you don’t care anymore because she chased after a man that was out of her fucking league. I have a friend from Harvard who owes me a huge favor and I’m going to cash it in on you. Next week Khalil you’re going to get you first endorsement deal the face of a fucking major new brand and it might be with one of the biggest female acts around. We can’t lose them if you love Yasmine you know Rory isn’t right for her. I know Rory and I know what he’s going to need beside him. RePlay is a hit it’s going to change the world and music. He’s what DGI needs and I need to be right by his side.” Aspen tilted her head. “So are in or do I have to call off this big new endorsement deal for you? Should I tell Baptiste that you don’t want to be the face of it’s exclusive brand?”

Baptise was a true up and comer for designer men’s and women’s athletic gear and he knew to land that endorsement would literally change his life and his families. Aspen knew what she was doing it wasn’t like she was some naive little girl though he was impressed with the hood coming out in her, girls tried to trap men all the time with pregnancies the problem was when it came to the fallout guys caught on quick to the lies. He had to wonder how she was going to pull it off her mom was rich and her dad was well off so maybe she actually had the connections to make this plan of hers work. “So what happens when Rory wants to feel the baby you gonna just let him pat some fake rubber? I’m gonna be a hundred percent with you right now you better plan on an “accident” sooner rather than later along. Rory is unfortunately not stupid you and I both know that. I saw my brother lose a kid it’s better to do it early than later if you know what I’m saying.” Khalil said seeing her look at him and he wondered how he became that guy that was willing to go along with this lie to keep Yasmine.

Khalil knew that once he started endorsing and once they started to play the games on the road the groupies would come hell they had already tried to start at his opening game. It was something some of the guys on the team had told him about, a lot of them had different women in different cities he could only count maybe a little over half that were actually faithful to their partners. He knew it was a huge fear of Yasmine’s and maybe after the party that meant that she would be more open to the idea of moving in together they both played this right they could both get what they wanted. “Let me put it this way I’ll keep up my end of the deal if you keep up yours. I personally don’t want to see Rory Devonshire winning off Yasmine’s hand anytime soon. You don’t want to see him crawling back to her to leave your ass.” Khalil said looking at her as some of the guys in the streets began to eye them up on the doorstop a girl like her should leave the neighborhood sure Kendrick’s death had changed things not that much though. “Listen Yasmine’s going to invite you to her party she is throwing. Act surprised when you get that invite and by all means bag him then. The sooner this works the sooner we can all move on and get what we want.” He said looking back at the guys who recognized him and thankfully moved on.

“I’ll place breadcrumbs know that at this party. Can you tell me why Forbes Montgomery is interested in a ex-stripper so badly? It’s perplexing not just me but the entire town. I have to say I’m bored with being here anyway. I feel like I’m in Get Out and I’m about to be body snatched for being a pretty white girl with style. Now if you don’t pardon me I’m out of here.” She said looking at him with a sinister smile. “Don’t worry about how I’m going to trick Rory it’s going to happen. He’s going to see that Yasmine can’t handle being a Devonshire and most of all she can’t handle their relationship. We both know that Khalil and sometimes we have to guide the people we love to the right path. Now I’ll be contacting you to ensure Yasmine is around at certain events. Oh I’m not surprised she is inviting me Khalil she is obsessed with my man. So she needs a way to get him there.” Clicking the alarm on her car Aspen got inside and pulled out her phone and began to text.

Her phone rang immediately. “Yes I’m sure he’s in and I’m even more sure he’s in love with her. Why else would someone go along with something this crazy. Yeah I’m going to see him now.” Aspen said pulling off in her car speeding out of Scottswood. “I’ll talk to you soon because Rory needs us not Yasmine she brought out the unfocused and reckless side of him.” It felt good to have a partner to help her with this. Although she might not know all of what she was doing it and it was good to have partners.


Tony had dropped everything at the restaurant as soon as the call had come in people were coming over from the Club for what he assumed were after party dinners and they were full. He and Ophelia had been slowly working towards dating again and enjoying a meal together celebrating their son’s success away from the crazy crowd of the club. But the moment that the call from the hospital had come in he and Ophelia had left the restaurant and drove through traffic to get to the hospital as soon as possible. He was worried of course he was and the traffic accident that delayed them almost half an hour was less than ideal. Turning into the hospital he took Ophelia’s hand in his before getting out of the car and helping her out to head inside. The waiting room was full of people and he wondered if Jamal had been moved or not. He saw Ophelia scanning the room for someone that she knew and was relieved when he finally spotted Selina making her way to them.

“Selina I am so glad you are here!” Tony said embracing her as he saw Mason making his way through the doors to he hoped that they were all past his mistakes now, that they could come together as they waited for news of Jamal’s condition. Ophelia was talking to a fellow nurse or so he thought that she knew and he could only hold onto his oldest daughter as tight as he could, hoping that Dimitri was a far distant memory for her tonight. That his reign of terror on her was over for tonight at the very least he looked around seeing the guards he had hired were there. “We’re just waiting on news did he tell you anything tonight? The party was amazing for the launch and then all this happened who would want to push him off the side of a building.”

“I don’t know daddy but I won’t rest until we find out who and what happened.” Selina said as she stroked Mason back. Looking at Ophelia face she studied her expressions and a small smile overcame her face as she saw her smiling and hugging a nurse. Placing her hands on her hips she missed the party but she knew Jamal understood. Hearing about the launch made her so proud. Last year they were facing him going to jail this year they were celebrating his label launch. This accident dampened the mood and Selina’s recent choices made this dark when they should be light. Turning to her father and walking up and kissing him. “He’s Teflon he’ll be alright. Remember when he was in sixth grade and those boys hit on the football field. Jamal will be fine.”

Ophelia approached her family and hugged Mason, then turning kissing Selina cheek. Rubbing Tony’s cheek she smiled. “He has a broken leg and a concussion lots of bruising but he’s fine. He’s going to be fine.” She said looking at her everyone. “Kelsey along with a lot of other doctors were here just in case. Kelsey actually helped put on the cast and did wonderful. He’s slightly disoriented but he’s alert and he’s okay. Rory um is with him he demanded to talk to Rory. Which usually means Rory knows what happened to him. Not much has changed between them keeping secrets. But when Rory leaves we can all go inside and see him.”

Selina touched her fathers back. “Told you daddy.” Her eyes narrowed seeing Ivan and Simon lurking in the halls.

Mason was so grateful for Ophelia to check on Jamal in all his years growing up he never actually thought he would think that. He had over the years been put in the middle of his father’s relationship with Ophelia all too often by Selina and after their rocky year last year he had changed his perspective Ophelia had his back when his own father did not. He saw his sister looking down the hallway and followed her gaze seeing Ivan and Simon lurking out the back way from Jamal’s room and then saw Rory exit. His guess this excuse his brother was drunk and went over the railing was a coverup for Ivan’s dealing with the label. He wasn’t warm on Ivan for a variety of reasons but to jeopardize Jamal again was on the top.

“I think everyone’s gone now let’s go see him.” He said as Ophelia started to lead them down the hall. His father looked relieved and when they opened the door and he saw his brother banged up on the bed but looking okay he let out a breath.

“Jamal you have to stop scaring us all like this.” Tony said as he went to his son and gave him a hug wanting to reassure him that everything was going to be okay with them as a family now. “What happened?”

“Do I honestly have to explain myself to my family? Wait I already did Devin came in here interrogating me.” He said opening his eyes to see his entire family. “I know I messed up but I can tell you all, it was a lot of drinks and I slipped.” He lied trying to not even look at any of them. “Just so that  all of you know it’s not drugs, I’m not involved with no mess, and I’m okay. So can we celebrate I launched a major new hip-hop label and Rory’s app is blowing up. It looks like the baby boys of our families are standing up!” Jamal said smiling noticing nobody was smiling they all looked concerned.

Ophelia pushed through Tony and Mason and grabbed Jamal hand. Then immediately her rage simmered. “ Yo soy tú madre. No te sentarás aquí y me mentirás. Te voy a preguntar esta vez, Jamal Alejandro Delacroix, ¿estás en peligro? Pasamos demasiado el año pasado, bebé.” Looking at Selina and Mason who she taught Spanish when they were young. She knew they were were shocked with her fear and anger. “You are my baby and if you are in danger tell us right now. Please don’t do this. Don’t do this to us again Jamal if it’s something tell us. I know Selina and I hurt you for years all the fighting. I messed up with your father and Mason kept secrets he didn’t have to. But we are a unit. Selina has always been my daughter blood or none. Your papi and I are united and Mason is right with us all. Baby we don’t move forward with secrets so just.”

“Mama.” He called out her name at least four other times to prevent her from starting a Catholic prayer and start crying. “Mami, no estoy en problemas. Aparte de un horrible dolor de cabeza y mucho dolor. So please don’t worry all of you. I swear to God I’m not in danger. I’m going to be fine y’all.”

“I know we come from tough stock Jamal. I just faced abuse and if someone is threatening you.” Selina said as Jamal instantly cut her off.

“Then I’ll tell you.” He said looking at them all in their eyes to show them he was telling the truth. “I would like to speak with Mason alone though. Just for a moment guys.”

“Sure.” Mason said opening the door only to stop as he watched his father pull out Ophelia’s old wedding set and start to re propose.

Tony looked at Ophelia and then over at his children seeing them all getting along, all here for the same thing and it chased his demons away for now. Ever since Lowell had been diagnosed ghosts had been turning up for him reminding him of a past that he and tried to forget. Instead he focused in on what was happening now and dug into his pocket taking out the velvet box as he looked at Ophelia’s tear filled eyes. “I’ve been such a fool the last few years not forgiving you for what happened with David when I was part of the reason it happened. I was even a bigger fool and asshole last year when I went after Mason for who he is, I have come to terms with it because you helped me see what I was doing was wrong. You defended Selina to that monster when i was too weak to handle being a father until it was too late. I want us to get married again, be a family again.”

He only hoped that Selina and Mason were okay with it this time. He wanted to spend the rest of his days with the woman that got away. “Marry me again, quietly come home to our family when we need you the most Ophelia.”

Ophelia stood back and covered her mouth as she looked at Selina. For once resentment wasn’t in her eyes but love and happiness. Reaching out to Tony she touched his face. Nodding her head she let out a small little cry of excitement and shock. She head Selina clapping behind them and she leaned in kissing Tony lips. As he placed the ring on her finger she smiled brightly as she looked at Selina. “I just want you to know that I never and I mean never wanted to take Gloria place. I always just wanted to love you kids.”

Selina opened her arms to her parents. “I was horrible to you when I was younger, Ophelia. I can’t turn back time but I can tell you from the bottom of my heart. Thank-you for helping raise Mason and Jamal and me.” She said softly as she hugged them both. “I am going to get us some champagne we have to celebrate. I’ll go make a few calls.” Selina walked away wiping her eyes as she looked at her phone. A year ago today she married Braden and she was happy.

Jamal could see through the glass and when he saw Selina and his momma hugging he tapped Mason on the shoulder. “What the hell is that about?” He chuckled as he looked at his brother. “Mase, I didn’t slip and I need your help. I was pushed on accident and I know that sounds crazy as fuck. I saw Rory and Ivan fighting and Ivan accidentally knocked me off the building. He didn’t mean it intentionally but he was going after Rory. You are the only person I know who went through what he is going through. Mason, Ivan and Simon are in a relationship and I’m unsure if it’s good for either of them. Simon is more slippery than an eel who is taking a bath in oil. Ivan is a hothead and is so temperamental. I love it because as an artist he’s amazing but he’s attacking Rory and so volatile. I think it boils from the fact that he’s on the DL and I know people handle shit differently but if you can talk to him. I just need someone who has been through this. I’m begging he isn’t going to make it if someone doesn’t help him out of the darkness.”


Brooke stood in the middle of the resort ballroom and it looked so beautiful. The views of the mountains with the light dusting of snow she felt her heart swell. Last time she was here she was with Ronan and he was arrested. They made love all night and then her world changed in the morning. It was surreal how fast everything seemed to happen after this. Turning around she knew Gordon and Lordis were here because the resort was opening soon but she heard other voices. Strolling to the door she somehow prayed it was Atticus and he had found her. He knew she wouldn’t want to be at the mansion but somewhere else. Somewhere that reminded her of her father. She hadn’t seen Brutus and Caesar who were Ronan’s two twin guards they were hulking figures and sometimes they alarmed her. When she saw him breezing into the resort with a two others packing his things she felt betrayed. He was leaving their lovenest. The place that she met him. He really must be done with her and that realization sent chills down her spine. She gasped crying stepping back not wanting him to hear or see her.

For one time she felt suffocated in her best-friend designer gown. She almost fell something she prized herself into never doing on a catwalk. That’s when she stopped in the middle of trying to run away. She wiped her face and quickly fixed her hair walking out of the ballroom she walked to Lordis. “Please tell the gardener that I want roses in the winter that’s what makes this resort exquisite. I don’t care how it happens. Also Gordon why hasn’t the new lifts arrived? I thought we just spent over twenty thousand on renovation for our ski slopes. I don’t see enough advertisements. This isn’t going to be a secret destination it’s going to be thee destination in winter fucking wonderland like father wanted.” She barked as she saw Ronan appear from their old room. “I’m going to my office.” Brooke turned and walked up the stairs completely proud of herself she didn’t acknowledge him or even pay attention to him.

Ronan had been planning on leaving the resort for a few weeks and had come to pay the bill and close out his room, in fact he and Thor could use it for other business adventures if they wanted. There was no reason for him to continue on living in what he considered his past at this point with Brooke. He was single again enjoying the company of women and recently Gia as well, she had clearly moved on with Atticus though sometimes he had to wonder like tonight at the opening for Ivan’s record. He had attended as a courtesy to Kendrick despite everything that had happened when his men and Ivan went to him asking to be let go, he had agreed. It was hard but something about Kendrick’s death had changed him even if it was just a little. Ivan had done somethings for him over the years but he and Thor had agreed that he was not a threat to the business. If the feds wanted him they would have to go higher and he was certain that those closest to him were loyal. He saw Brooke out of the corner of his eyes on the stairs and was incredulous about why she simple walked by without even so much of a hello as earlier in the evening she was trying to get and had his full attention.

“I do hope you don’t mind that I’ve cleaned up the room for the resorts seasons it’s quite shame for it to go to waste. I see the prince is no longer by your side either.” Ronan said seeing if he could get a rile out of her or not clearly by the look on her face she still cared and his opinion still very much so affected her. He wasn’t sure if he should be bothered by it or not, but he was likely because it was his fault she was in the state she was with Atticus, it still was the best thing for her in his mind. She was not built for his world and it posed far too much danger for that to just be erased from his memory and. He refused to let her be the one that ended up dead because of him and his life like his mother had been. Gia was different she was born into the world they were a part of knew the risks and had since she was younger. Dru was honestly something he used to get her out of his system he would not become attached. “Gordon, Loridis give me some space with Ms. Kincaid would you?” He said looking at his body guards and then Brooke. “I do remember our first night here don’t you?”

Brooke sat down in her office chair as he spoke not giving him eye contact. She didn’t know exactly what he wanted her to say. When the door closed from Lordis and Gordon leaving she felt even more pressure on her chest. “What do you want? You’ve made me none of your concern now and I get it. I was just a dumb girl you met and it became more. The audacity though for you poke me right now. I just got into a huge fight with my fiance because of you. So no Ronan he’s not around and he might be gone because of you.” She said blaming him turning away she wrapped her arms around herself. “That’s problem I keep replaying everything in our relationship trying to figure out why don’t you love me anymore.” She said gasping as if the air seeped out of her body. “I felt Atticus fading but I never felt you leaving me or not loving me enough. It just ended and you just threw it away and I don’t know know what to feel. I’m disappointed that you are with that woman. I’m disappointed you just don’t care about me. You don’t love me anymore.” She said shaking her head knowing that she shouldn’t be crying or being this emotionally vulnerable around him. He didn’t deserve it.

“This isn’t working please just go. I wasn’t supposed to break down like this. I wasn’t supposed to cry. You are moving on and I have too. But my heart is still broken Ronan. Sometimes I wish we never met. I would be happy right now. I wouldn’t know that my relationship is passionless. I wouldn’t see that I’m not happy. Leave me alone because this is what you want. Me miserable. Ronan go! I can’t think about that day because for those few months and that year I was happy. You got the best of me, and I thought you were happy. But no man will ever get this much of me. I don’t want to hurt like this again. I’m only marrying him because of you! I don’t love him! I love you idiot!” Brooke picked up a snowglobe and threw it out the wall letting it shatter. “Of course I remember that night you asked me to dance. I danced with you and I fell in love instantly. So now you know. I’m miserable.”

Ronan looked at her clearly distressed and had to wonder if he really was to blame for that, he supposed he was he had broken up with her. However it seemed that Atticus was the culprit this time for her distress, he could only assume that he was Atticus he would feel the same. “I am going hence why I went ahead and packed up my room here at the resort. I don’t want to be in your way with Atticus or arguing with you whenever we pass each other. I did what I had to Brooke to protect you.” Ronan growled at her there was no other way for him to explain it other than that it had to be done. Especially when he saw first hand power corrupt those closest to him in Kendrick. It had to be done he had to turn off his emotions when it came to Brooke Kincaid and not look back. “You’re young Atticus is a crown prince he will treat you to a life that I can never give you.”

He saw her staring at him and then looked back at his men who approached him to let him know that they were all ready to go. Of course he had Gia waiting for him back at the estate something that Brooke would have to get used to. “Of course I love you.” He said stopping himself when he said it and then seeing the hope in her face he kept himself composed to not act on those words. “Which is why this is over Brooke why it can’t be anymore. I have a target on my back and I would rather die and let you go than ever let my enemies get close to you to hurt you I made that mistake last year. Had Kendrick not taken Yasmine and then by default Dani he would have seen you as a threat and hurt you. I’m with her now and you’re with Atticus and that is for the best. You’ll see that in time Brooke. I never meant for us to happen it just did.” Roman finished not even sure what else there was to say between them now that it was out in the air. He would always care about her and love her but her blood would not be on his hands, under his watch and his place in the organization that would never happen. Someone like Gia was adjusted to the live knew the risks and he would not feel an ounce of guilt about it.

“You are not giving me a choice though Ronan! That’s what I’m mad and furious at. Isn’t it my choice to love and fight for who I want? You’ve taken all my choices away and you just say we shouldn’t be together? That’s selfish and worst of all you seem to be content with your actions. When I met you did we stop? Even when everyone warned me about you! I kept going because I knew underneath all your bravado it was someone who loved me. Right now I see the same man trying to protect me. But what you are truly doing is saying that I don’t know what I want. That I don’t know what’s good for me because you think you aren’t good for me. That’s what I hear.” Brooke spat back at him. “What place in your life. If it’s dangerous for me then it’s just as dangerous for Gia because she is in the lifestyle. Look I don’t claim to understand every rule you make or every choice you’ve made. What I do know is how you continue to look at me. How I feel when I’m around you! I go crazy seeing you with that woman who doesn’t know you. She doesn’t know how loving you are or what you deserve.” Brooke said walking up and touching Ronan chest.

“You told Hunter and my mother once that I was old enough to make my own choices and decisions. What happened to that man? You fear me dying that much that you don’t want to live with me?” Brooke said as she stared into his eyes knowing she hit a button. “You know what my greatest fear is? That I will live my life without feeling like I did with you. To not know the love we shared again. I honestly wonder if I will feel like the world is on fire around me but what I knew for sure is that I was safe with you in your arms. Atticus doesn’t matter and I think that is the point. I used him and it’s wrong but I had to see you hurting as much as me. I had to make you feel it. Then you don’t blink or flinch about me moving on. You don’t even act as if you care. It’s childish but don’t you see if I’m not with you then I don’t think I’ll be complete.” Letting her hands raise to his face and the slight beard that was forming. The stubble made him look even more rugged and handsome. His cologne was intoxicating because she approached him more. Stepping into his personal space this time she saw the hunger. The look of wanting her as he had in the past. “Don’t treat me like a child, I know what I want.” Her hand caressing his.

Ronan was so weak when it came to Brooke Kincaid and he was aware of that when he bent down to kiss her lips, letting his tongue explore hers. It was almost as if they were meant for this moment and then he remembered where they were, what he was doing with Gia and he pulled back. He would not have Brooke’s blood on his hands, he made that vow last year and he fully intended to see it though even if it meant sacrificing his own happiness and watching her marry Atticus Kavanagh. “You’re dwelling Brooke on the fantasy of us that I’m some knight in shining armor that rescued you. Of course I care about your well being but this was just a bit of fun between us, fun that had to end.” Ronan said he was never a good liar but he hoped she believed him about it. She still looked skeptical and he knew what he would have to do next. “Gia’s waiting for me at home. You’ve met her, you have someone waiting for you too. We both moved on Brooke you holding onto this is beneath you.”

He saw her pain stricken face when he said that Gia was waiting for him at home the sour look that creased her brows at the response like he had gut punched her. Which was his intention when it came to that moment with them he wanted her to forget they existed, he needed her too for her own good. Gia was expendable Brooke was not, she was not cut from the same cloth that he was, she was not built for his life. He almost mentioned his night with Yalena and Dru but felt that might be too much for her to handle and looked at her shocked face. “I should be going.” He said standing there for a moment only for his men to approach him and whisper in his ear that his brother had been spotted near the Kincaid estate and the resort. The last thing he needed was problems with the Governor when they had such an amicable relationship. “I have to go.” He said walking out the door stopping in the doorway he thought about turning around but knew it would feed her false hope and instead kept going hoping that he could forgive himself for watching her marry Atticus in the long run.

“Good-bye.” Brooke said knowing this was really the farewell that they didn’t have before. As she stopped at the doorway looking at him walk out of her life. She didn’t want to tell him that it was over. It was already over but after he dismissed them as if they meant nothing, she knew. Her heart and mind were fractured and for once she got it. He was more scared of her than she was of losing him. For the first time in months she saw it. She saw how much he longed for her and not only that but he was just as hurt as she was. He could be with anyone now that she knew. She knew that they weren’t just a game, or some crazy affair. She wasn’t sure why he minimized him. It was other shit on her mind than Ronan Madden. It was easy to  do what he was doing and at least she knew her next move.

For once she wasn’t in tears about what was coming next she was sure of what to do. As she grabbed her purse she pulled out her cellphone. Texting Atticus she let him know tomorrow she wanted to speak with him. He was right she had Atticus and after tonight he might not want her. She was horrible to him and she wanted to tell him she was so sorry. Most of all she wanted to go home and just rest. Walking to the closet she grabbed her briefcase and coat and finally felt a sense of freedom to move on. He just freed her. He just told her that it wasn’t some sick mistake it was how he felt. She had no choice at this point than to honor him and his wishes. To move on and finally close that door.


She actually hated hospitals so much. The last time she was at St. Christopher’s before last year and this year was when Gina was shot. Her sister was on her mind heavily recently. All the life changes she had gone through and Gina wasn’t here to see them. Gina always said that she was special and she didn’t know she was right. Being a Montgomery was absolutely amazing and she was becoming the woman that Gina helped raise. Her mother was on drugs so badly that in many ways her big sis was the only parental figure she had. Snapping out of her trance she saw Rory at Jamal room speaking with Selina. She was lowkey no longer in all that designer dresses and heels but a tracksuit by Addias and was wearing a pair of pink and white Jordan’s. The shades didn’t disguise her much but she felt like they had to talk. All tonight she couldn’t get him out of her head and honestly she felt that he couldn’t either. She felt like a stalker waiting until Selina left because she didn’t want her or anyone to see them together.

“Rory.” She said throwing her mini Dior backpack on her back. Khalil wasn’t going to keep letting her see Rory nor was Aspen going to let him keep searching Rory out. “What the hell happened? I saw you tonight and your face didn’t look like that.” She said touching his cheek her french manicured nails staying on his face a little too long. “It’s funny how when I let go of all my fears with you we broke. This doesn’t feel right Rory and can’t understand why it took me so long to figure this out. I know it seems petty that I realized that I missed you when you moved on.” She looked around as an orderly and nurse breezed by them. Yasmine nodded her head for them to go into a private room that the Delacroix were using waiting on lab results. “I think I ran because I was so scared. I was scared that you were right for me and I ran to what I knew after you hurt me. I know you aren’t a shady dude and I know you aren’t a bad guy Rory. I just was mad at life and you.” She said softly. “You gave me this new life and I want to share it with so badly. I want you to see all the things I’m doing. I should be happy with Khalil but.” She took off her sunglasses and looked in his eyes. “I don’t think I stopped loving you.” Yasmine had said it and it felt like a release. “I just had to say that. Now you can tell me what happened to your face.”

Rory had stayed at the hospital trying to figure out what was going on in his life right now with everything going on with Jamal and now Aspen. He was so sure he was moving on from Yasmine until tonight they danced and word was it would be in the papers tomorrow. He supposed that was better than the other headline that Simon could have let headline. Rapper for up and coming label throws boss of balcony. A small hit that he would have to convince Aspen meant nothing. He wasn’t sure how he would though and that was the problem he should hate Yasmine based on everything he knew about her relation to Forbes but a part of him still wanted to rewind to when he knew who she was before that. The hospital smelled like bleach in the waiting room and he looked over at her when she moved to the private room that the Delacroix’s were using so they could talk. He listened to her and when she said she still loved him he wasn’t sure what to do a few months ago he would have been ecstatic to hear her say that to him hell a few hours ago he probably would have been too. A part of him still was but the other part had to wonder about Aspen in truth he felt the pull to them both and he wasn’t happy like he was with her but he wasn’t going to repeat what happened with Tess with Aspen he had promised that.

“Ivan and I got into a fight okay? He’s fucking crazy he goes on and on about Kendrick every time we’re in the same room and I refuse to apologize for helping get him off the streets anymore. I know he’s your boy or whatever but it has to stop. Jamal has been good to him gave him a life outside of whatever the fuck Ronan was offering him. Then he never stops blaming me for Kendrick’s death and then losing you.” Rory said looking at her he was so fed up with Ivan in general when it came to blaming him for everything that happened with Kendrick he owned cheating on Yasmine he had made that mistake. It was something that he had learned to deal with. “What do you want me to say Yas? You were the one that tossed me aside after Tess. You looked awful cozy the last year with Khalil you assured me you were over us.”

“I did that to make you mad.” Yasmine said with as much honesty that she could muster. “Khalil in the beginning was a way to piss you off. I I was mad and I couldn’t shake the image of that old hag and you. So the best way to get over a man is get under another.” She said looking at him and seeing how it made him uncomfortable to hear about her with Khalil. “I’ll talk to Ivan about how he views shit. Kendrick was a hero and I know that’s hard for y’all to believe but he saved a lot of people. He also hurt just as much so I don’t know. People hold onto what they need to let go of after all look at me and you.” Shaking her head at Rory. She could see that they were about to go down the same conversation. You hurt me so I hurt you right back. “I come from the ghetto Rory. Wait just listen and hear me out. I’m not making excuses for what I did. I was petty as hell and I disregarded you and what you are going through. I also could have told you Kendrick was threatening you and my family. I am trying to say you weren’t by yourself.” Yasmine leaned against the wall as she licked her lips. Lowering her head not really sure if she was ready to admit it. “I have lived in the darkness for so long that I didn’t understand you could be light. All I saw was you hurting me and with that woman.” Yasmine confessed as she looked up at him in those eyes that melted her.

“I thought I didn’t deserve you.” Reaching out to him. “You are every bit a prince as Atticus that royal guy or Dimitri is. Hell the Devonshire are known as American royalty. Forget who my dad was, how could a girl whose mother was a junkie and she was a stripper get you? I was mad but I could have worked past that. I was afraid that I would never be good enough or enough for you. Don’t you see that? I was scared every moment we were together because how could I compare to Aspen or Brooke? Those girls were bred to be with you. How could I be anything like them or compare to them? Then when I saw Tess I knew it. I knew that I could never be enough because that woman pedigree and it just confirmed everything my momma and Kendrick were saying. You were going to move on from me to some white girl who had been trained to be with a man like you. I thought that I was doing what would happen eventually. I tricked myself into thinking that Khalil was the only thing and best thing for me. So yeah last year I was happy. I was living a life with someone who I thought was best for me. But what if I was wrong? What if I let the love of my life get away and that’s all I can think about Rory.”

Rory wasn’t sure what he was supposed to say to her but for her to la it all out on the line with him nearly gutted him in a good way. He had dreamed of this moment for so many months wanting her back having her say that she still loved him had done everything is power to win her back. Only to be rejected and that was when Aspen came back into his life, at friends they were just friends like they had been when they were kids but over the last few months it became something more. He enjoyed her company, the sex was great and they had a real connection he understood about Aspen’s life with her mother and he wondered how he was going to navigate this with Yasmine now how he could pick between two women who had stolen his heart. Yasmine of course had it first but Aspen had snuck up in there from the moment they started to pretend to date, till it became real on a limo ride home with her. He shuffled his feet as he looked at her.

“It was never about you not being good enough for me Yasmine you refused to trust me and come to me you chose Kendrick over me and I was so angry at you and lost. I got drunk and made an awful mistake, I take full responsibility for that and then I tried to win you back to tell you I was sorry. I know I lashed out about your connection to Forbes and sure you say that it won’t be an issue but I’m telling you it will be an issue.” Rory said looking at her and feeling a pull to her looking hot as hell against the wall his feet moved towards her even as the back of his head was screaming to stay put. He leaned into her on the wall and looked at her. “I loved you Yasmine I would have done anything for you. I still would and that is the truth, those feeling never went away I don’t know if they ever will.” Rory said dipping his head lower and crashing his lips into hers and he pressed her against the wall with his body, letting the taste of her fliter to hsi tongue and reach the middle of his soul. His hands gripping her hips thoughts of Aspen, her being Forbes’s daughter and Khalil far from his mind.

Yasmine touched his face as they kissed passionately. It was as if her body was moving before she could think. Right now she got what she wanted and honestly nobody else mattered. If they couldn’t be together then right now they’d have this moment. They’d have this to say good-bye to each other mentally and physically. She had to tell him why she was so unresponsive to him. Why she ignored his pleas to come back and fix this. Now her life was so full and empty all at once. As she touched his chest she began to unbutton his shirt and she quickly removed her jacket with a fire. Leaning in she began to explore his chest and her she locked her legs around his waist. Before she knew it, she was in the air kissing him furiously being held by one of his arms. “Yes.” She whispered between kisses. When she opened her eyes she saw where they were. What they were doing and how far they were about to go.

“Rory.” She mumbled passionately as she felt his lips on her neck. A passionate hiss escaped her lips and she felt completely out of her body. She wanted to stop. She wanted to run. She wanted him more than anything. “Wait.” She said looking at him. “Rory wait!” She said looking at him already to ravage her. “We have to wait. Wait what are we doing?” She asked him looking in his eyes. “We have to be sure before we destroy our lives.”

Rory was brought back to reality after putting his hands on her breasts through her shirt and letting them travel down her body, hearing her moan letting his body react to her hands on him. He was jolted when she stopped them and he caught his breath and his phone began to ring with Aspen’s ring tone and he wasn’t sure what to do, he stumbled back putting Yasmine on the ground his hand shaking as he silenced his phone and Aspen’s smiling face with his on his screen. He was so torn about what he was just about to do and wasn’t even sure what to say to Yasmine and he almost jumped again when Aspen then sent a text and his phone buzzed again. “We can’t do this right now. I have to go. We’re supposed to go to that party you invited us to together. I need to call it off then Yas.” Rory said feeling the same wave of guilt wash over him that he felt when he cheated on Yasmine with Tess.

Yasmine phone began to ring as well and Khalil ringtone echoed through her ears. “I’m no better than.” She grabbed her bag. “We will finish this conversation soon. Be at my coming out party and we will figure this out.” Yasmine leaned in and touched Rory face. “We won’t be cheaters do you understand me. We won’t be like our parents we’ll do this right. If we want to move on we won’t cheat even more so than we have right here and right now.” Yasmine adjusted herself and grabbed her purse walking out praying nobody caught her.


Lowell watches Atticus limo driving away with concern on his face as he looks at Tess face. She was alarmed because earlier in the night Connor Hessington was over here wooing Belle. Now Atticus nearly kissed her and he was sure Tess didn’t see that but he also knew that Belle was very enchanting as a young woman. She seemed very outgoing and he wondered if she understood that she could start quite a stir if she pulled Atticus from Brooke again. However seeing how precocious she was that might be the entire point. As he looked at Tess he shook his head telling her to back down and the look in her eyes sort of made him shocked. It was as if she melted a little. Lowell had done this with Max who was a hellion and had calmed down quite a bit. Her last true meltdown was about Bliss and somehow the girls had come to terms with each other now so Max was always his sleeper assassin. Belle seemed to be in the same vein as he opened the to the study. Looking at her he felt slightly proud he loved anyone who knew they had prey in their mouth. “Belle a word please?”

Belle looked up at Lowell sprawled out on the velvet couch her head on the chinchilla fur pillows. “Yes, Lowell?” She figured what this was about. She could hear it now that it wasn’t ladylike to have two boys over in one night. She hadn’t done anything with either of them hadn’t but as typical she would be labeled the whore or slut. She wasn’t a prude but she wouldn’t be bedding either Atticus or Connor anytime soon. On the other hand she was all about a vibe with a man and she felt an out the world connection with Atticus but Connor was an entire mood. Interesting and endearing but she was ready for the love that she felt always eluded her. She wasn’t a fan of the bridesmaid syndrome, not only that Brooke was never made to rule a fucking country. Atticus knew she didn’t have pedigree and she wasn’t groomed to take on a country like she was. This was a what a girl like her deserved to be a fucking princess but first she would take on being a Devonshire. “Please don’t tell me you are going to be a misogynist and tell me I shouldn’t be seen with two men? Or I shouldn’t be flirting with an engaged man. You did knock up God-Mummy while married. So please don’t bore me with that. I don’t think what I’m doing is wrong. She pants over a mobster while a prince waits on that slag. She absolutely a bore and I find her fashion tacky and repulsive. If he met me first Brooke Kincaid wouldn’t have stood a damn chance ugh!” Belle pouted to Lowell.

Letting out a girthy laugh Belle made him remember what Max was like at this age but Belle was way worse. She was a brat and it was very clear she was used to getting what she wanted. He did note her smarts as he did in their first meeting. He also felt a pang seeing Tess watching him with Belle because of Bliss. He missed all of this and in many ways so did Tess. How did he not do better by Bliss and Tess. Lowell saw how he had fallen short to all of his children and both of the great loves of his life. He did know that the DNA test with Zerick was somehow altered and he truly needed a new test that he could get watched by not just his people but other officials. He never slept with Katie and he wouldn’t be railroaded. He would be revealing the truth to the past but he would be breaking a promise from the grave. ‘“Belle I was going to say that you need to choose what road you want to go down. Do you want to be like me? I have loved two people for a long time and it has hurt both parties. Would you like to be the cause of two men feeling like they never will have all of you? You feeling divided yourself? Don’t do it my dear girl.”

“Thank-you Lowell.” She stood up and walking to him. “I’m sleepy as hell but we can talk a little later.” Leaning down she kissed his cheek. “Your kids are making a mistake because if I had a father like you. I’d be so happy.” Belle walked out and saw Tess standing outside of the door. “Goodnight God-mummy.” Putting emphasis on mummy. “You are lurking as always. Not a good look.”


The snow on the marble foyer outside in the back melted due to the heating. It was fairly warm outside considering it was the dead of winter. Her mother had remodeled the deck and honestly after Ronan finally saying he still loved her. After that kiss and the fight she had with Atticus earlier all she wanted to do is decompress. Ronan words on how he would never forgive himself if she died or was hurt. That touched her but wasn’t this her choice to make? Wasn’t it her risks to take? Something that if she wanted the dangers that came with being with him she should take. It wasn’t a thrill it was that she met someone who didn’t talk down to her, he made her feel more safe during a turbulent time than family, and he truly loved her. She could feel them fading after the kidnapping of Dani and Yasmine. The lifestyle had scared them apart. She wasn’t ready to just pretend that she was alright with Ronan making choices for her. As Oliver walked out with her bottle of champagne, fruit, cheese, and caviar. He placed it down and she moved over to the fruit. Hearing the house full of voices was strange considering it had been just mom and her for a while now. Looking inside she peered at Charles Hessington speaking to her mother. Kara and Anderson were talking to Whitney and Ryan who were holding a baby in each arms. Having her big brother Anderson home was a great feeling because mom seemed to leave her alone and focus on the child she hadn’t seen. She honestly couldn’t wait to see Wyatt up-close her nephew was growing like a weed. She noticed him partying with Maddie Devonshire, and Dylan Fraiser. Which made her wonder if a new trinity was being formed. She missed Rory and Jamal just chilling with her boys.

Turning up the outside speakers Charlotte Day’s haunting vocals echoed in the background. She absolutely wanted to be left alone for now. Closing her eyes she put on a silk Chanel sleep-mask which covered her eyes. When she heard someone opening the foyer doors she smelled cologne which meant it was Anderson. Then she heard someone splash into the hottub. Removing her mask she thought about Connor who she dated briefly when they were freshmen. As she leaned up she saw Lex Hessington looking like the snake he was. “What do you want? Get out of here! Now Lex! I’m absolutely not playing with you so wipe that smug grin off your face. Go or I assure you I’ll scream murder!” That’s when she noticed he was completely nude and she screamed. “You are disgusting!”

Lex had arrived in Atlas Falls at the behest of the man known as his father, to him however it was like a chain around his neck he had done everything over the years to free himself from it. The catalyst being his affair with Maggie Thorpe, niece of Brenda Kincaid something that he had gotten in over his head on a bit of fun got him in hot water with his father water he had never been able to get out of. A constant reminder at how much he had failed the family and worst of all his mother, since that time he had resorted to giving no fucks whatsoever about his business and the move to New York recently proved great for the firm and his clients.Of course may of his clients were still well connected to his past here in Pennsylvania but the other new clients were a little more on the risky side. He could take whoever he wanted to his bed without worrying about how it would impede his father’s political chances, it was in his sister’s words his way of dealing with his past fuck ups. Instead he had opted for the hot tub on the decks of the hotel, Brenda had sent most of the staff home his father, her and Anderson were in some sort of conversation one he was purposely excluded from. He saw dear sweet Brooke enter the tub and he couldn’t help himself as he stripped off his boxers and splashed inside. Her reaction was priceless her shrieking and screaming as if he was going to actually act on something with her.

“You’re doing a fine job of embarrassing yourself Brooke by all means don’t let me stop you. Such a prude always has been then again it seems to me you should be more cultured shouldn’t you? I hear there are spas in Europe that you used to fancy that were nude and yet here you are freaking out over this?” Lex said looking at her as he picked up his whiskey on the rocks and took a drink studying her almost throwing his head back in laughter. However did she expect to be a future queen one day of a foreign country when she couldn’t even deal with a little fun in a hot tub? “Not that you aren’t gorgeous let’s face it you are but I aim a little higher in my conquests than the little sister of my replacement. Besides I think our families may of mingled a bit already with your cousin. Trouble in paradise with the prince or the mobster this time?”

“How about you leave me the hell alone you disgusting mongrel. You know what I have a problem with? I have a problem with you thinking a future diplomat and Queen would want to see your penis or even worse even see you. You are by far the most incredibly vapid man whom I have ever met. You have so little depth inside of you that you wouldn’t understand my problem so Lex let’s not pretend.” She hissed back at him as she gulped down the rest of her champagne. Grabbing the bottle to refilling the glass she narrowed her eyes. “My brother isn’t a replacement for you. He’s better than you are and even your pathetic father sees that. Thus why he’s latched onto my family. It’s very awkward don’t you think your father has a son who has a political ambitions but he doesn’t want you. He wants my father son to replace him. Well we know why it’s because your aren’t good as a son or a future politician.” Brooke snidely replied as she leaned back.

“Whatever your father and my mother have cooked up we are all about to be suffering with each other. I however will tell you Lex you’re not the charming guy that people remember. You are a monster and I suggest that you tread lightly. People in Atlas Falls have a habit of being hunters and we love to eradicate some of the worst people in this town. Considering how you left Dani heartbroken it would be no love loss for someone to exact their revenge.” Running her hands through her hair. “You are in a world of trouble. Jackson is pretty hot tempered and as for the Prince we had a fight and the mobster I’m done with.”

Lex looked at her and laughed hoping it hurt her pride when he did any woman on the planet would be thrilled to go to bed with him and the power he had and here she was thinking that women didn’t desire him? She clearly was upset about whatever had happened with Ronan earlier call him a creeper he saw the way the man stalked out of the resort, something he had been tasked with keeping an eye on from his father. He wanted Ronan looked after while he was in town and kept in check especially when it came to that side of their dealings. “He wants your brother because I constantly disappoint him I’m not athletic like my brother, or as devious as my sister and I fucked up by not marrying the woman my mother very badly wanted me too. Trust me him latching on to your brother is simply a way to push my buttons, he’ll never let Anderson actually run for office as long as he is alive and breathing. He’s too fucking selfish for that.” Lex said looking at her.

Lex knew she was right he had been following the acquisition on the land and the hotel chain hell he was the one that took the call from her mother about the deal, something Brooke didn’t need to know about. Everyone liked to call him a monster when it came to what happened with Dani it was something he had learned to accept but he had been devastated when she lost the baby going on some of the worst one night stand benders in his life for months afterward. When he learned she was marrying Jackson and was pregnant he was gutted in a way he didn’t expect and it only added to the wound when his father threw it in his face. He leaned into her space seeing her squirm and then spoke. “Boo.” Watching her jump he went back to his side of the tub only hoping he didn’t show his hurt at the entire wedding or Jackson Devonshire. “I think we’re all past petty revenge at this point and Jackson doesn’t concern me he’ll be fucking up soon enough and I’m patient. As for your prince and your mobster let’s just say I have it on good authority Gia is not the only little new toy in his bed. But if you want to sulk after him by all means do so.”

“Well a supermodel never sulks but I’ll remind those girls who you no doubt hook up with.” Using her foot she pushed him out of her space as she rolled her eyes. “Listen you can stop with Ronan and Gia information dump because honestly I could care less. If they have a child and get married. That’s none of my concern anymore.” As much as it hurts she knew tonight was the night to finally bury that part of her life. “Oh you haven’t heard? Jackson went away to rehab and he’s looking delicious. I don’t think that he’s messing up any time soon and what makes this extra tasty is that you haven’t seen her have you? Oh Dani is glowing and those twins beautiful. They were supposed to be yours right? Except you ruined that didn’t you Lex? Well Lex I guess it took a much better and bigger man to finally give Dani the princess of Atlas Falls what she needed.” A smug smile hit her face seeing she hit him below the belt. Except she could see that maybe he was hurting just as much as she was about Ronan but his mcguffin was Dani. “Look let’s stay out of each others personal lives. We can spat at each other about how awful you are. That’s much easier than hurting each other about our relationships. I know it’s the rich way but let’s try not to shade each other.”

As she fiddled with her thumbs. Brooke couldn’t help but to ask. “Lex can I ask you a question? When Dani left you did you regret it? Or were you free? Did you sleep? I guess what I am asking is that I felt boundless with one of my men. The other I’m so uptight and scared. I fear every move I make with the other one. I guess my question for the man who messes up do you regret it? Do you think about it because for once I thought love had me protected. Now all I can think is that everything is different now. Everything doesn’t look bright anymore and most of all, I find myself wondering if I’m messed up. If I’m somehow screwed up because of something you assholes do!” She said splashing him. “I just want a complete douchebag opinion is beside me. It’s just you are that type of guy an asshole and I just want him to understand how much he sucks. I want him to hurt as badly as I am. Ewww I was about to dunk my head underwater but I forgot.” Picking up the bottle she took a gulp from it handing it to him. “Drink.”

Lex looked at her, to this day Dani was his one that got away and it stung, he was stupid and young and had thrown it all away for Maggie Thorpe Brooke’s cousin. His mother often warned him that women like Dani came around once in a lifetime and that was what originally had prompted him to propose his mother was beaming. He was happy once with Dani or so he thought and then it all went to shit when his mother succumbed to her cancer and died and it felt like a part of him died with her. “You’ll care when it happens trust me when it happens to you and you’re faced with the gut punch of it you’ll care.” Lex muttered he thought over the rest Jackson was in rehab interesting perhaps he could use that or he could sit back and let it all play out once an addict always an addict. He took the bottle from her placing at on the side he was content with his whiskey. “You want my advice? Move on from Ronan Madden.”

He looked at her stuck in his own personal hell about his choices, choices that his father was not ever going to let him live down. Everything had happened so fast with Maggie, it was supposed to be just fun and then it exploded in his face in the worst way. He thought over her questions normally he would give off a sarcastic answer it was the reason he was so cold to Dani when he visited the last time. It was about hiding his true feelings something that his parents had taught him well. “Yes I regretted it. If I could do things over I would i would have chased harder to win her back. In the words of my dear mother a woman is a man’s gift to lose her and her magnificence would be the shame of the man for treating her unkindly. Do I think you’re the problem probably not, or at least in my experience no stubborn men are that take things for granted. As lovely as this has been duty calls.” Lex said seeing his Apple watch buzz with the text from his father. He rose from the water not caring if she saw him again as he wrapped a towel around him. “Put it behind you Brooke with Ronan you’ll end up hating yourself if you don’t. Also you want to know what he’s been up to ask your cousin or better your mother probably knows.”

“Cheers.” She said as she took a deep swig of the champagne. “Daddy if you can hear me just guide me, I want him gone from my heart.”


Charles Hessington strolled through the lavish mansion of Brenda Kincaid and her family. Most of his entire family was here for Danielle Fraiser’s wedding to Jackson Devonshire. He was fairly sure that they all detested the Devonshire’s but Dani for embarrassing his clan with the way she left his family hurt more. Lex was always his most difficult child but to be ripped apart in the media did his family a disservice. As he strolled around sipping the best old fashioned he’d had in a long time. Brenda had found his favorite bourbon from Kentucky, his home state. When he planned on retiring that’s were he’d go, Louisville. As he looked outside he saw Connor and Wyatt walking up from going out. His youngest boy had filled him with pride. Unlike Lex who didn’t have an athletic bone in his body, his baby boy Connor was a chip off the old block. People didn’t know that he got his scholarship from basketball and majoring in political science. It was his junior year his sports dreams died and his political ambitions rose to its greatest heights. In the eighties he interned in the White House underneath Regan and became a juggernaut young voice in politics. It wasn’t long before he met his wife who encouraged him to move to Philly her home city. The rest was history and he built a political dynasty.

As he walked up and approached Anderson who was sitting holding Kara hand. Their marriage was an inspiration. No affairs, no lies, and most of all they had each other through every trial. As he folded his arms he looked at a young man who reminded him so much of himself. Ava and him were the same they were a team. Looking around he saw Wyatt, and Connor mingling with Whitney and Ryan. It was the perfect time to make his big announcement. Looking over at Brenda he saw her nod her head. Not only that but Hunter arrived with his family. “Tonight we are here to celebrate not only our families. But as you all know next year I’ll be retiring from government and moving into the next chapter. I have Anderson who I have chosen as my successor but tonight my announcement is much deeper. I got a call from an old friend who was looking to help me. Well I couldn’t turn it down so I bought stock in a new company forming. I want our legacy to be larger than anything we’ve touched. Miles, Victoria, Wyatt and the future of the Hessington and Kincaid family together. Brenda and I have invested over two hundred million in a new company. The legendary Crestwood Hotels will be bought for our families new legacy. Most of all I need all of your help. Lex you are the most ruthless lawyer that I know, that will come in handy. Anderson you will be governor of Pennsylvania come next year and I need that political weight behind us, and Brooke you are the face of the company. Luxury is what we all know but let’s make sure we bring that to the everyday people. Let’s give them what we have every day for a three night vacation. Not only that the top floors of each Crestwood hotel will have lavish condos. Now Brenda will be in charge right along with me but this is your legacy, this is our legacy. Together we’ve brought together a fortune for you all you will all be rewarded. However Brenda has one catch, we must start the project in Atlas Falls. Which means Lex, Whitney, and Ryan. You should start looking for real estate because you three are staying right here.”

Anderson saw the concern on Whitney and Ryan face especially because they were trying to keep Skye away from Miles. As he leaned back in his chair, his eyes narrowed at his mother and then he looked at his siblings. “Exactly where did you get one hundred million from mother?” He questioned as he stood to greet Hunter, Bliss, and baby Fox. “It’s good to see you baby bro, and Brooke. I also have to say Bliss pictures do you no justice.” Taking his baby sister in his arms he held her so tightly he could swear she wasn’t breathing anymore, he then politely kissed Bliss hand. “Kara keeps all your magazine covers and not only that. Since we are making announcements. Kara and I have news, we are having a baby.” Leaning down and kissing his wife.

“My finances aren’t your concern but this grandbaby I’m having is. I wasn’t going to say anything but I noticed the weight gain! You are glowing.” She said turning around grabbing all three of her children. “Look at us the Kincaid family is back together.”

“Oh yippee mother care to tell Anderson about your bastard?” Brooke said looking dead at her mother.

“Nothing he already doesn’t know about.” Brenda said looking at her beloved youngest child. “Brooke can we have a civil dinner? Please tonight no fighting and let’s celebrate darlings. We have a feast and Charles and I have so much we need to share.”

Connor was unsure why his father had called them here, sure he was close with Anderson but when he simply named him his future political heir he saw the look on his brothers face and felt sorry for Lex. The only time Lex had ever been an option for consideration was a few years ago before all the shit with Dani went down and he knew his father was never going to forgive him for it now. He wasn’t opposed to Brooke or her family and he had no desire to have a political career and he even saw the anger on his sister and Ryan’s faces, Whitney deserved that way over some random stranger even with Miles in the family it was nothing they couldn’t handle. He almost rolled his eyes at his father and then looked over at his sister and Ryan before he did knowing better too question anything his father said in front of the Kincaid’s and his new prodigy.

“Great.” Connor said his disdain and sarcasm on full display as his father glared at him and he shrugged. Brenda and the rest of her family wasn’t worth the trouble in his opinion and they hadn’t been since the Maggie mess and he had no idea what Brenda held over his father but it was curious. Curious enough that maybe he and his siblings could look into what that could actually be. “Very entertaining as always I suppose we all disappoint you to the point of handing shit off to Anderson over other that were and are more deserving. And here I thought you were just here for the upcoming wedding. Making a friendly appearance as Governor and all when you know Whitney is actually heavily involved in the event.”

“Well you aren’t acting very deserving right now.” Charles said with enough authority in his voice to let bass in his voice silenced the room. “Anderson has always worked hard on what is undeniably his future. Just as you have trained your body to be a top athlete. Just as Lex has trained to be the ruthless lawyer or how Whitney runs our family business. Now we can sit here and pretend that we don’t understand the dynamics between us or we can all play or roles. Our roles to not only be a political dynasty but attain power neither of our families have ever. Being a Governor isn’t enough anymore we must have money and power behind our names. In the next ten years my good boy Connor, Anderson won’t be in our families home no, he’ll be in the White House. You see my plans are much bigger than a hotel but it’s the first step.” Charles said as he saw the shock on Anderson and all of their faces. “Brenda and myself have some plans but know that you all are involved.”

Brenda smiled looking at them. “I want to turn this into a tradition these two families coming together. Not only that tonight is a celebration. We’ve all come together and this will be the beginning. You see these hotels will be environmentally conscious and not only that we will be using this as his launching pad. Whitney you are the best campaign manager on the east coast. You even repaired your brother reputation to get a decent job. So with that being said we want you to be here for the transitional period. From Charles to Anderson and eventually to replace whomever is in the White House. That’s our long term goal and we want you all here to understand what we are doing. We will have Anderson in the White House and you all will help get him there understood?”

Connor looked at Brenda and wanted to roll his fucking eyes the woman had a lot of nerve Whitney pretty much ran the business and the family. Sure father pulled the strings when it was necessary but Whitney was the one that people really wanted to take over politically. His brother was one of the best lawyers money could buy and built his clientele without help from his father something that he was very proud of something he knew his mother was proud of before she died too. In his opinion Brenda was almost as vapid as his father but on a different level. “So let me get this straight you called us down here to have Brenda rub it in our face that she wants her son in the White House couldn’t a phone call of sufficed. I was actually on a date with a wonderful young lady.”

Lex couldn’t help himself as he let out a laugh at the room slow clapping as he did seeing the shock on Brenda’s face and then his father’s. “Well I’m so glad this was what was so fucking important you had to uproot everyone from their homes. Whit and Ryan back home, of course you’d latch into Connor who is here playing ball. Am I just supposed to come here to father? I’d hate to disappoint you again but I’m not interested in being at your new protege’s beck and call. I have my own business to do and I quite like New York even if I was the one that helped you draw up those contracts on the hotel to acquire it.”

Ryan held Miles in his arms he began to walk forward looking at a furious Connor and Lex. “Listen, I think we are all thinking this is insane. You are investing in Anderson when my wife is the clear candidate. You are coming off sexist because Whitney has carried you and my wife doesn’t want to just sit behind a man she wants to be the woman with a man behind her. You need to fix this Charles. You know I think of Anderson as one of my best friends but this is outlandish.” Looking at his surprised wife he saw Bliss and Hunter shocked expression on their face. “My wife deserves her time in the spotlight now we will have it.”

Brooke looked at Anderson and Kara who were shocked by Connor, Lex, and now Ryan fury. “Well our parents have invested in this idea maybe we should all sit and hear them out. Whitney what do you think?”

Anderson looked at Lex who was staring at him as if he was the devil. He approached Whitney and Ryan. “I have never been here to take any of your places with Charles. I agree with Brooke let’s listen to them and see their plan.”

“And considering after Anderson eight years in the White House we plan on Whitney being the first female president. Well maybe you all should sit and listen to our plan.” Charles sat down as a maid appeared with a bottle of champagne. “Let’s toast to a glorious new future. Lex I’ve called your firm you have taken a sabbatical, Whitney I need you hear pushing Anderson and Connor you are a celebrity. I want you to vocalize your content with Anderson. Brooke same thing and Hunter you work for Fraiser that is enough to ensure some political clout no?” Charles said as the maid began to walk over. “Whitney you are the apple of my eye and I think you know that. Please just hear me out and what’s coming is going to shake Pennsylvania and the world. Its our time in the spotlight my children and friends.”