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The entire town had gathered inside for the Winterhaven Festival. A silver Christmas tree stood
in the center of the room, towering ten-feet tall. Trimmed with white lights, clear ornaments and
blue ribbon it was untraditional, but fit the mood of the evening. Across the dance floor Megan
Shirley crossed, her arm linked with Ryan’s and she wondered aloud to herself where he
“No!” she sighed heavily. “That’s not possible. He called me last night and said he had just
checked in to his hotel room. This hotel!”
Holloway was about to learn just how good of a punch this small package packed.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Sabrina demanded as she rushed to confront him. “Answer me Greg.”
“Sabrina,” he softly spoke, “please tell me you’re not going to play the woman scorned act? It’s so beneath you.”
Without thinking, her pint-sized hand snapped across his face, “Bastard!”
Gregory smiled down at him, “I see that you haven’t forgotten how much I love your feisty spirit. It did always turn me on in
ways you never knew.”
“You’re disgusting,” Sabrina hissed as Megan approached them.
“Gregory?” she questioned. “Honey I’ve been waiting on your forever. What’s going?”
He reached down, kissed her on the cheek, and after replied, “Just catching up with some old friends.”
“Old friends?” Natasha questioned. “We’re hardly anything of the kind. You still haven’t told us what the hell you’re doing
“Yes I would like to hear the answer to that myself,” Pamela announced. “How dare you Mr. Holloway come in here and
disrupt this evening, a benefit for my husband,” she declared as Travis heard her words. “Now I will only tell you this
once, get out or be thrown out.”
“Pamela…” Gregory tried to reason with her, “I mean absolutely no disrespect to Phillip. However, need I remind you that
he’s dead and Travis may feel unappreciated just a bit. Seeing as though Phillip’s been dead for what nine years?”
“You miserable…” she lunged for him, but Sabrina stopped her.
“Pamela I will handle this,” she assured her. “Just please go back and entertain our guests and we’ll take this SOB out in
the hallway to find out just what he’s doing here.”
“Megan my dear,” he called to her, “you can take notes from Sabrina. She was always at her best, sexually when she was
ordering me around.”
She cut her brown eyes at him, “The both of you outside, now!”
|Original Posting Date: January 10, 2010
Reposting Date: December 05, 2012
Written By: Josh Hawkins
down. “Darling, is there something bothering you?” Natasha questioned. “You’ve looked on
edge all evening long, not to mention you’ve barely left my side.”
Sabrina reached up, pushed some hair away from her forehead, and sighed heavily. “You
know me to well,” she reached into her purse and handed Natasha an envelope.
“Open it,” she answered. “I got it in the mail a week ago at the office.”
She chuckled with a dry and cynical sound, “You broke the vows you made to her. I feel as though you are
slipping right through my arms and turning to Natasha for comfort. No matter what the circumstances are Andrew,
I do not like it. It is not something that I am going to tolerate to tolerate, not now and not ever!”
“Well I’m sorry you feel that way Sharon, but this is how it is going to be, at least for now.” Andrew grabbed his
briefcase and coat from the empty chair, “I have to go Natasha’s waiting.”
Sharon turned away from the mantle and her gaze became clouded with more tears, “Because he made me
laugh when I hadn’t laughed in years. He said all the right things to me when I needed to hear them. Gregory,
when I was dating Andrew he gave me something I hadn’t felt since Mark died, he gave me security.”
Gregory walked over to her, “Then he loves you.”
“Perhaps,” she whispered. “Maybe it was just an act. He claimed he loved Natasha and we all see how that ended.
I believe he loved me once, but now…” she stopped and didn’t move.
“What? Now what Sharon?” he questioned and she responded with silence.
Sharon stood there allowing her anger, her rage and her sadness to accumulate into one emotion. Streams of
tears flowed down her cheeks and clouded her eyes.
“Sharon,” he took a step towards her, “if your husband cannot see what I see here today, that you’re beautiful,
smart and loyal woman then he doesn’t deserve your love or you for that matter.”
Through her tears, she forced a smile and for the first time made contact with Gregory: her hand on his chest.
“Thank you for saying those kind words.”
Gregory reached down and wiped her tears away. In the blink of a moment, a mere second everything had begun
to change, they could both feel it. Sharon felt the lips of another man touch her like a kind word, whisper in the
darkest of nights. As the kiss between them grew more intense, Sharon knew it was wrong but instead of stopping,
she reached up and wrapped her arms around Gregory’s neck.
As the passion grew by the second, Sharon wondered how something so wrong, could suddenly feel so right.
can be!” she screamed. “Now so help you God if you don't answer my question. What are you doing here?”
Megan stepped between the battling ex-lovers and took a stand, “I don’t appreciate you talking to my boyfriend that way.”
A devious proud smile wiped across Gregory face, “It’s all right Megan,” he assured her. “Sabrina and I share a twisted
“Yes I’m fully aware,” she answered, “which is what worries me.”
“I will mop this floor with your ass,” Sabrina promised her. “Gregory tell Ms. Shirley to excuse us before she says
something that she will painfully regret in the morning.”
“I don’t think I will,” Megan told her. “Anything that you have to say in front of Gregory can be said in front of me.”
“Fine,” Sabrina shook her head. “Gregory, if you don’t tell her to leave right now, she’ll be unemployed. I’ll call the news
director at KTTV and have her role reassigned.”
“Threatening her, now there’s the Sabrina I’ve missed.” Gregory put his hands on Megan’s shoulders, “Why don’t you run
up to my suite and I’ll be there soon. There’s a gift for you on the nightstand.”
Megan turned and kissed him before leaving, “Don’t be long.”
They both watched as she boarded the elevator. “Are you satisfied now Sabrina? She’s gone and you are free to do what
we both know you’ve been dying to do since I walked into that ballroom and kiss me.”
Her pint-sized hand quickly snapped across his face…again, “You humiliated me in front of my family and my friends,”
she seethed with anger. “So what makes you think I would want to do anything with or to you Gregory?”
“You do make valid points, not to mention the most important of them all.”
“What do you mean?”
He took her left hand in his, “Who’s the lucky man who claimed my once former prize possession?”
“I am,” Russell Banning Sr. announced. “And you must be the notorious Gregory Holloway?”
“I prefer infamous, but notorious does have a certain ring to it. I’m sorry but I didn’t catch your name.”
“Gregory this is my fiancé Russell Banning,” Sabrina introduced them. “Russell this is the biggest mistake of my life.”
“And mine,” Sharon announced. “Sabrina would you excuse Gregory and I please? The two of us have quite a lot of
catching up to do.”
“I apologize for coming so late, my flight was delayed,” he explained. “May I come in?”
“Oh, yes!” April ushered him into the living room. “I thought Mom said you were accompanying
her to the Winterhaven tonight.”
“I was supposed to,” he sat down on the sofa across from Jodi.
be at the Winterhaven with Mother tonight."
Ignoring his last remark she said, “You don’t think he’s hurt do you?”
“I don’t know who he is,” Ryan reminded her. “You’ve been dating Mister No-Name for almost four months now…when
do you think I’ll have the distinguished privilege of meeting him?”
Megan shrugged her shoulders as Natasha approached with Sabrina by her side. “Good evening,” she greeted them
“Well hello Megan,” Natasha smiled at them. “Ryan how are you?”
“I’m doing well thank you Ms. Bradshaw. Sabrina you’re looking dashing as ever,” he smiled.
“Well aren’t you a little charmer?” she laughed. “If you’ll both excuse us, it was lovely seeing you again.”
The two women made their way to their table, but not before taking a glass of champagne from one of the waiters. “You
didn’t say where Nicholas was at tonight,” Sabrina took a sip. “Audrey didn’t chain him up in the basement at King
Fashion did she?”
reading. “You don’t think it’s from Hannah do you?”
“I don’t know who the hell it’s from but…yes she’s on at the top of my list.”
“It’s definitely creepy,” Natasha returned it to her. “You know it could be from…”
Sabrina threw her hand up, “No! Natasha so help me if you say his name.”
“Fine,” Natasha relented. “I won’t say a word, but Sabrina you know as well as I do that he would be an absolute fool to
come back to River’s Edge.” She took a sip of her champagne, “Let alone show his face here of all places.”
“For my sake and Sharon’s I hope you’re right,” Sabrina said as a roar of applause filled the room and Sharon took the
She waved her hand in the air, “Thank you! Thank you very much!” she gushed with her praise. “Really, thank you…” the
applause slowly died down as Kendra took her place next to Andrew and watched her mother, the belle of the ball. “I
should be applauding all of you, my family, friends and fellow citizens of our great city who during this holiday season
made this festival and our benefit one of the most successful in recent years.”
With all the guests’ attention drawn to the divine Sharon, the doors to the ballroom opened and closed without any
“You didn’t answer my question,” Ryan whispered over the applause. “When do I get to meet this mysterious secret
“Would you stop pressuring me?” Megan warned as she direct her attention back to Sharon.
“This evening it gives me no greater pleasure than to introduce the two women who will announce the total amount
donated to the Phillip Bradshaw Memorial Scholarship in 2009 than his wife of forty years Mrs. Pamela Bradshaw
McCarty and the CEO of the company he founded, Ms. Sabrina Davis Bradshaw.”
More applause filled the room as Pamela and Sabrina began their way to the stage, allowing the uninvited guest to
slither his way through the crowd unnoticed. Both women who through the years had learned too not hate one another
took the stage allowing Sharon to make her exit.
She neared the banister to exit the stage, when she spotted him. Their eyes locked and the expression of unsettled
despair flushed over her and Andrew knew something was wrong.
“I certainly hope that I’m not to late to make a donation,” Gregory Holloway smiled as all eyes fell on him. “I’ll happily
match any donation Andrew’s made.”
“Gregory!” Sharon covered her mouth as her mind went rushing back...
“Of course,” Jodi smiled. “She asked if I would consider moving here.”
“Smart girl,” her sister replied. “Are you sure you’re okay missing the Winterhaven this year? Grandmother called me at
least three times practically begging for me to attend.”
“I’m fine April,” she reassured her. “I told you that I wanted to spend the holidays with you and Emily this year. After the
emotional toll road that I’ve been on writing this book, River’s Edge and the Winterhaven is the last place I want to be.”
April took Jodi’s hand in hers, “Thank you so much for wanting to spend it with me.”
“Is Josh planning a visit soon? I ran into him the other day coffeehouse and he looked…”
“Awful?” April finished for her, “I know. We talked to him on the webcam the other night and I hardly recognized him. He
said he’s going to try and come up soon.”
“That’s good because Emily just adores him.”
“I know right!” April smiled. “So what’s on your mind?”
know that we agreed that we wouldn’t exchange gifts, but I couldn’t help myself.”
“Jodi Lynne,” April scolded her as she took the wrapped box from her. “Thank you.”
“You don’t even know what it is,” she told her. “Open it.”
A few seconds later tears swelled in April’s eyes, “Sinful Dreams - A Novel by Jodi Bradshaw,"
she smiled. "Is it done?"
ever have the pleasure of loving...Jodi..."
“I don’t want you say anything,” she told her. “We’ve both been through a lot the last five years and you were the only one
who encouraged me to write this book.”
“It’s to much. Thank you Jodi…” April said as the doorbell rang. “Weird…” she said as she opened the door.
Fuming with anger Sharon faced him, “Because you’re acting like a crazed lunatic. I don’t know at what point in our
marriage you thought speaking to me in that tone was acceptable, but it’s not.” She took a seat on the empty sofa, “I don’t
know why or what he’s doing here,” she answered. “I don’t want him to be here,” Sharon assured Andrew. “And the way
you’re acting is only making an already bad situation worse.”
“How would you expect to act Sharon?” he questioned. “I thought you said he was out of our lives for good.”
“He is!” she defended. “But I don’t control where he goes or what he does. I’m your wife, not his.”
“Then give me an honest answer.”
“You stupid arrogant bastard,” she flew from the sofa. “I am giving you an honest answer. You think I called Gregory on
the phone and said ‘Hey Gregory why don’t you show up at Phillip’s benefit fund raiser and ruin my marriage all over
“I don’t know…”
“Excuse me,” Kendra appeared in the doorway. “How’s it going in here?”
“It’s not,” Sharon answered her daughter. “Andrew’s under the impression that I have somehow orchestrated Gregory’s
arrival tonight,” she said as she left the room.
“Sharon wait…” Andrew went after her.
“No.” Kendra stopped him, “You’re not going after her like this. I won’t let you.”
fluke of champagne.
“Good evening Audrey,” Natasha smiled. “You’re looking lovely as usual,” she took the fluke.
“Here alone?” Audrey questioned. “That’s such a pity, because you’re looking as…cheap as ever. You would think that
with the Bradshaw fortune at your disposal and with my Nicholas in your bed that you have better taste in clothes. She
smiled, “Speaking of which where is our beloved Nicholas?”
“Audrey, if you have something to say then by all means say it and stop beating around the bush. Nicholas’ whereabouts
is none of your concern,” she informed her. “You know your juvenile games may have intimidated Brandi, but rest
assured they won’t have the same effect on me.”
“Well you’re right about one thing Natasha,” Audrey sighed, “you’re no Brandi,” she paused. “However, I am the minority
stockholder and creative director at King Fashion so I would know of any meeting being held tonight and there’s not one.”
Natasha rolled her eyes at the mere thought, “Enjoy the rest of the party Audrey.”
“Oh I will,” she followed in behind Natasha, “just knowing that your mind is racing a million miles a minute now.
Wondering where Nicholas could be tonight. Perhaps he’s at the prison visiting Brandi, they always did love the winter
Natasha spun around, “You think you’re being clever don’t you? Well your wrong, unlike you, I know how to hold on to the
man I love.”
“Really?” Audrey questioned. “Because your track record with Andrew and Bradley Marshall beg to differ.”
“What’s going on here?” Felicia Garrett-Banning stepped in between the two women. “Good evening Audrey how are you
“Very well Felicia,” she smiled. “And how is Madison enjoying the party?"
“We’re both enjoying it very much,” Felicia answered. “Natasha I saw one of father’s old business associates a few
minutes ago and he would like to say hello,” she lied. “Shall we?”
“Of course,” she agreed.
“Audrey as always,” Felicia smiled, “very nice to see you.”
“The feeling Felicia is mutual,” she smiled satisfied with herself. “Please do tell Madison that Nicholas and I look forward
to meeting her.”
“I loathe that woman Felicia,” Natasha said out of earshot. “I do. I cannot stand her at all.”
“Welcome to my world, she’s your Sabrina deal with it,” Felicia told her. “Besides for the sake of Madison I can’t have you
getting into an argument with her, especially not tonight.”
“I would never do anything to hinder Madison’s chance of getting a job with King Fashion,” Natasha assured her, “Felicia
I was the one who got her the interview in the first place.”
“I know you wouldn’t,” Felicia paused as she looked out over the room. “Do you know where Nicholas is this evening?”
“I wish I did,” Natasha sighed heavily, “I wish I did.”
together and I thought to myself that it would be the perfect opportunity.”
“Opportunity,” Jodi hesitated as she locked eyes with April, “for what?”
Nicholas drew in a deep breath, “I’ve made some mistakes in my life, I’ll be the first one to admit that. I was unfaithful to
Audrey, I schemed with her mother to take control of King Fashion when she had hit rock bottom,” he told them. “And I
have no excuse for that, none. But I want you both to know that I love your mother very much and I’ve come here tonight to
ask for her hand in marriage.”
The girls both set in silence stunned. “I know it’s a lot to process so I’ll leave you both so you can discuss in private. Just
please do consider it, because your mother has brought me to a place in my life, where I am finally…”
“The answer is no,” Jodi interrupted him.
“No!” she said again. “I have put up with a lot from you and my mother over the years. I kept telling myself that some day
one of you would come to your sense and realize that your relationship wasn’t working,” she said. “But it looks like that
day never came and now here we are,” she looked at April who said nothing. “You cheated on both of your wives…” she
reminded Nicholas, “our father did the same exact thing and it ruined our family. You’re going to do whatever the hell you
want do Nicholas, but rest assured you will do it without my blessing.”
Jodi left the room and disappeared up the stairs before Nicholas dare even speak again, “What about you April, do you
feel the same way your sister does?”
“She’s right,” April said firmly. “Every word out of her mouth was true.”
“I would never hurt your mother April,” he tried to reason with her. “Please believe that?”
“You wouldn’t hurt her?” her voice drifted into a hushed whisper. “You’ll understand if I don’t believe a word of that.”
“April I can promise you that’s the truth.”
“Oh well…” she threw her hands in the air, “then that changes everything then doesn’t it Nicholas?”
“Do you not want your mother to be happy?” he asked in a defiant manner.
“I would strongly suggest you watch the way you speak to me in my own home,” April snapped. “I care a great deal about
my mother’s happiness, but you’ll forgive me and my sister for not believing in your promises, actions Nicholas, speak
louder than words I of all people know that.”
Nicholas shook his head, “Of course. And by coming here tonight I had hoped that would have spoken volumes about
how much I truly care about Natasha.”
“Just because you put a tuxedo and pledge before God and my mother’s family that you’ll love her forever does not mean
that your promises can’t be broken.” April headed towards the door. “We’ve been down this road before and you’ve been
around long enough Nicholas to know how much broken promises not only nearly killed me, but destroyed my family.”
“Are you staying in the city tonight?”
“Yes. I leave tomorrow afternoon.”
“Okay, why don’t you meet Jodi and I at Reunion Tower for brunch tomorrow and we can talk about this once we’ve all
had time to think about it.”
“I’ve thought about this April and I intend to ask your mother to marry me.”
“And you have every right to do that, but she’ll never agree to marry you if Jodi and I don’t approve.”
He shook his head, “Well, thank you for at least not saying no.”
“I’ll keep an open mind, just as long as you remember Nicholas I haven’t said yes either.”
going to ask you one time and one time only, what the hell are you doing back here?”
Gregory shrugged his shoulders, “God do you know how beautiful you look tonight?”
“I missed the weather all right,” he lied. “What do you want me to say Sharon?”
“I want you to cut the crap. I am not now nor have I ever been interested in hearing your narcissistic excuses,” she stood
motionless from the middle of the room. “I thought it was made perfectly clear that you’re not wanted here.”
“And why be somewhere where I’m not wanted?”
“That’s right,” she smiled. “And why now? Why come back in some dramatic, over the top fashion?”
“I’ve been here for months Sharon, since July actually,” he revealed. “I came to town on business and met a young lady
that I've been seeing since.”
She shook her head and crossed the room, “I don’t believe that,” she told him, “you’re lying.”
“Whatever you say my darling,” he smiled at her.
“I’m not your darling,” she reminded him. “I was never your darling. But you know I have theory why you’re here.”
“I would love to hear it.”
“You came back to town because of me…for me!”
His devious smile broadened, “My you think an awful lot of yourself don’t you?”
Sharon shook her head no, “I just know how you operate is all. You have it stuck in your head that I’m going to fall
magically in love with you all over again and Gregory it’s not about to happen.”
“Because you love your husband?” he asked. “Oddly it seems as though we’ve had this conversation before Sharon.”
“I mean it this time,” she assured him. “I love my husband and I feel nothing for you. In fact if you’re not here because of
me then prove it, tell Andrew…” she corrected, “tell the entire town that you’ve not back in River’s Edge because of me.”
to let you go out there and what Andrew beat Gregory Holloway to bloody pulp again?”
“Kendra get out of my way,” he ordered her.
“No!” she stood firm. “You’re angry because Gregory’s back in town…”
“You’re damn right I am,” he assured her. “I have every reason to be angry, he slept with my wife.”
She shook her head, “That’s exactly right, he did and you’re not just mad at my mother for what he’s done.”
“Kendra I love you, but this is between Sharon and myself.”
“Yes it is,” she told him. “But your temper is getting the better of you. Andrew you’re not still mad about the affair, you’re
made because Gregory came back to town and you’re placing all that anger on my mother.”
Kendra looked into his eyes, “Do you remember what happened the last time you overreacted and jumped without
thinking? We all know how well that ended.”
“How dare you bring your relationship with Jered,” he seethed. “How dare you little girl throw that back in my face.”
“And how dare you!” she raised her voice at him for the first time in years. “You stand here and judge my mother for
something she had nothing to do with. You’re ready to fly off the handle and fix it Andrew Bradshaw style. Do you honestly
thing she brought Gregory back to town…here of all places, so she could what sleep with him again?” she touched
Andrew’s shoulder. “My mother has spent the last three years of her life making up for one mistake she made in a weak
and desperate moment.””
“I forgave her for her indiscretions a long time ago.”
“Oh have you really?” Kendra questioned.
“Well by your actions tonight you’ll forgive me if I’m not buying what you’re selling. You can fool a lot of people, a lot of the
time Andrew, but not me,” she assured him.
“I love Sharon very much,” he told her.
“Then before you charge out of here like and go make an ass of yourself, perhaps you should think about how much you
love her and how your actions are going to effect everyone involved. Most of all my mom,” she said before heading back
to the party.
“Do you know what you’re asking me to do Sharon?”
“Yes I believe I do…”
“You have no idea what you’re asking me to do,” he interrupted her.
“So I was right then?” she asked him as she moved towards the door. “You did come back to River’s Edge because
you're still in love with me.”
With unwelcome frankness he answered, “I’m very much in love with you Sharon.” Gregory turned away from her for a
brief moment and silence fell over the room. “Do you know how hard the last few years have been without you, knowing
all the while that Andrew won.”
“He didn’t win anything,” she corrected him. “I’m not some prize at carnival game. I am his wife.”
“My God Sharon!” he raised his voice with her for the first time. “He breaks your heart and I’m there to pick up the
shattered pieces…and I fall in love with you,” he pauses for a moment, “and in the end…”
“And in the end Gregory, the fact remains he is my husband.”
“Sharon…” he gazed at her in despair, his eyes broke her heart and as she stepped closer to her, “he doesn’t deserve
Taking a step backwards, she composed herself, “Yes he does and I love him. So whatever fantasy you’ve been playing
around in your mind for the last three years, well…” she couldn’t finish her thought as he charged her and passionately
kissed her, as Andrew stood watching.