Previously on All Or Nothing
    Brandi Brashears Pierce made her way down the hall from the master bedroom and into the kitchen of the apartment
    she now shared with her husband. She looked at the photographs on the refrigerator door and couldn’t help but feel a
    little sad – on there were pictures of Lewis in the second grade, a picture of Lewis with his siblings from the New York
    City fashion show earlier that year and for Brandi it was just a mere reminder of all the things she had missed.

    She was about to pour herself a cup of coffee when she heard the door of the apartment open and Lewis called out,
    “Good morning!”

    Over the course of the last fourteen days both Brandi and Lewis had found themselves slowly settling into a positive and
    more traditional routine with one another. She watched as he climbed up on the barstool, placed his chin on his hand
    and smiled across at her. Today she was especially grateful to be a free woman and home with her baby.

    “Did your dad drop you off or Justin?” she questioned.

    “Actually Audrey did,” Lewis told her as he sent a text message to Emily. “She wanted me to ask if you could take me
    shopping after soccer practice for some new shoes.”

    “I thought your father was going to bring you over.”

    Since she had been released from prison Nicholas hasn’t so much as bothered to call, email or come see her. He had
    made the visitation schedule with Justin and sent messages for her through their twelve year old son. Brandi didn’t
    appreciate how Nicholas was handling the situation, especially considering that they had yet to discuss shared custody.

    Lewis shrugged his shoulder, “I don’t know why dad didn’t pick me up,” he told his mother, “and I didn’t ask Audrey.”

    Brandi shook head and smiled, “No of course not. I shouldn’t have asked and I apologize.”

    “It’s okay.”

    “Okay then,” she sighed and looked around the kitchen. “Have you eaten this morning? I was just about to cook some
    eggs if you’re interested.”

    The young man thought for a moment, “Could we have French toast instead?” he smiled across at her.

    “French toast huh?” Brandi repeated as she slowly began to gather the ingredients.

    “And could you make sure you sprinkle the top with cinnamon?” he asked.

    “Cinnamon?” Brandi questioned. “Are you sure?”

    Lewis cut his eyes at her and forced a fake smile, “Yeah I’m sure. That’s how Audrey cooks French toast and that’s how I
    like it.”

    Brandi allowed herself to hear his words and slowly processed not only his request, but also the reason behind his
    request.

    “Okay…cinnamon on the French toast,” she repeated. “Because that’s how Audrey does it.”

    “Thanks,” Lewis jumped down from the barstool. “I’m going to call Emily. Will you holler at me when breakfast is ready?”

    “Um…yeah…of course…” her voice cracked as she searched for the cinnamon in one of the cabinets. When she had
    found it, she stood there and stared at the glass jar. The sudden realization hit her – Audrey was more a mother to her
    than she might ever be and that realization brought tears to her eyes.
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Coming Soon on All Or Nothing
  •        Pamela confronts Travis and Rhonda about their affair.
  •        Andrew and Sabrina prepare to become husband and wife, but they have one more announcement to make.
  •        An Ending to the 150th Episode...That No One Will See Coming...
All Or Nothing
Episode 149: Desperately
September 16, 2012
  •        After serving seven years in prison for Jered's murder, Brandi was paroled.


  •        Nicholas hired a private investigator to search for the mysterious Caroline.

  •        Josh was diagnosed with testicular cancer and underwent chemotherapy.
    “I know,” Natasha told him as her summer lover pulled her naked body even closer to his. “Can I tell you something?”

    “You can tell me anything you want,” he told her in between kisses on her shoulder.

    “I don’t know what I would done if you hadn’t been here with me this summer. I knew there was a reason that I ran here
    when I did, but I had no idea that reason was you Preston. I’ve never done anything like this before and I don’t where we
    go from here, but you should know that you have been my saving grace,” Natasha told him with such an ease that it
    surprised even her.

    “You’ve done the same thing for me too Natasha,” he assured her. “This relationship has not in the least been some one-
    sided event in our lives. I haven’t felt like this nor done something like this since my wife died. I think if I were given the
    choice I could just lie here with you for the rest of my life…”

    Natasha drew in a deep breath and slowly exhaled. Her mind filled with the thoughts of everyone and everything that
    waited for her back in River’s Edge. She had been gone for nearly six months and she knew she would have to face her
    daughters, an estranged husband who couldn’t remember her name and the woman who had killed her son – but in that
    moment, with him there none of that mattered.

    “I could too,” she assured him as she pushed those thoughts out of her mind. “But I think we need to be realistic about
    the situation. You have a job to get back too soon and I have another life waiting for me in River’s Edge that I have to
    rebuild.”

    Preston shook his head in agreement. “But who says that we have to think about that today? That’s what tomorrow is for.”
    His lips slowly met her and he said, “Let’s spend our last day together and our last night together…right here in this bed,”
    and their lips met for a second time. He ran his hand down her back…she could feel the heat of his body as he pulled
    her closer to him and it coursed down the entire length of hers.
    “I know,” Brittany agreed. “I had no idea that it would be this much work. “But the good news is that you’re done and I only
    have two remaining spots to fill. You’ll help me wrap up after lunch?” she questioned as the two women came face-to-
    face with Brandi in the lobby.

    “Brandi!” Brittany immediately smiled and pulled her into a hug. “We were just about to go and get some lunch. Would
    you like to join us?”

    “No thank you…not today,” Brandi declined. “Miranda how are you? I didn’t know that you were in town.”

    “I just came in last night,” she explained. “It’s good to see you Brandi. I talked to Lewis a few days ago and he sounds
    very happy that your home.”

    “Thank you Miranda for saying that, it means a lot and the feeling definitely mutual,” Brandi told her. “I actually stopped by
    hoping to see your mother. Is Audrey in today by chance?”
    Sharon Logan Bradshaw barreled out of the elevator and questioned as she passed Andrew’s assistant, “Is he in
    there? Because if he is then you had better tell him that I’m coming in!”

    “Mrs. Bradshaw…” the assistant called out to her. “Mrs. Bradshaw you can’t just go barging in there like this,” she told her.

    Sharon stopped mid-step and spun around with fierce determination, “You just stand there and watch me honey. I’ve
    made an art form out of barreling into places where I’m neither wanted nor welcome.”

    And it was with those words that Sharon turned back around and with the full force of God’s own thunder threw open the
    door of Andrew’s office.

    “Well what do we have here?” she asked. “It must be my lucky day...because here the two of you sit…thick as thieves and
    bigger than all of Texas…” Sharon smiled as Andrew stood up from his chair.

    “Sharon what are you doing here?” he questioned.

    “It’s not obvious?” she responded sharply to his question, abandoning all pretenses. “I came to wish the happy couple
    all the best,” Sharon declared as she threw that morning’s copy of The Weekly Edge at Sabrina.

    “And lucky for me I’m able to kill two birds with one bitter stone,” she hissed at her ex-husband and his bride-to-be.
    “I don’t have anything against either one of those places,” Nicholas snapped. “What do you have against a regular office?”

    “I’m a private investigator not a corporate mogul like you. Besides I told you my office is a one-bedroom apartment on the
    north side. Just sit your ass down Pierce and I’ll tell you where I am in finding this mysterious Caroline you’re so
    interested in.”

    Nicholas did as he was told and then waited while Jim lit up a Marlboro. “Are you going to tell me what you’ve found out or
    do I need to guess?” he asked.

    Jim polluted the air with a puff of cigarette smoke and then turned to Nicholas, “You’re quite impatient aren’t you? I’ve
    searched through all of the King Fashion HR records dating all the way back to the early seventies and there’s nothing on
    file about a woman named Caroline.”

    “So what does that mean?”

    “Well I’m guessing that it means one of two things. The first is that no one ever named Caroline worked at King Fashion
    or the second she lied about her name if she did,” the PI shook his head. He was amazed at how clueless Nicholas
    Pierce was at times.

    “Are you sure?”

    A shadow of annoyance crossed over Jim’s face, “Don’t ever ask me that again. I’m the best private investigator in Texas
    and for the amount of cash you’re forking over hand over fist to find this mysterious woman, who mind you may not even
    exist, I had better damn well be sure.”

    Jim finished off his cigarette and put it out with the sole of his shoe. “So pretty boy I need to know what you want me to do
    next,” he told Nicholas. “Do I keep looking or do we just call it done right now?”

    “This woman means something to me,” Nicholas assured him. “Otherwise my former sister-in-law wouldn’t have held
    her over my head like she did. I want to keep looking, but you need to tell me where we go from here.”

    “We start looking at your family,” the private investigator told him. “I’ll start digging into your family tree and see what I can
    find. In the meantime though, you need to send me a list of all the women who you’ve ever dated, slept with or married.
    Think you can handle that?”

    Nicholas looked at his watch, “I’m sure it won’t be that hard. I’ll send you an email tonight,” he assured Jim as he took
    his leave.
    April rushed through the door of Dr. Monica Holloway’s office and immediately offered up an apology for running late.
    “There was a horrible accident on the freeway,” she slid into the seat next to Josh and smiled at him.

    “April this is my oncologist from Dallas, Dr. Preston Greene and this,” he smiled back at her, “is my best friend April
    Bradshaw.”

    She stood from the chair and extended her hand, “It’s a pleasure to meet you Dr. Greene. We certainly appreciate you
    coming down from Dallas to give us good news,” she reaffirmed her belief that he was there to give them such.

    “Well as I was just explaining to Dr. Marshall I was in town for a medical conference and the timing just worked out
    perfectly,” the doctor explained. “Are we waiting on anyone else?”

    Josh shook his head, leaned forward in his chair and in a controlled voice answered, “Nope. There’s no fanfare today,
    just me and April.”

    “All right then we’ll go ahead and get started. I had the lab run three independent tests. I had the result of each one
    analyzed and compared separately from one another in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis,” Dr. Greene explained.  

    April dropped her hand to the side of the chair and reached out for Josh’s. They had been through so much together over
    the last eleven years to the point where she wasn’t sure where she would be without him in her life.

    “Well we both have different reasons for not wanting to go back there,” Josh told her. “After Jillian died I just
    wanted to escape from River’s Edge, but now I feel like something is pulling me back.”

    “Just as long as you don’t try and convince me to go back,” she warned him. “Nothing and I do mean nothing
    good in my life has come from River’s Edge, Texas.”

    He scoffed at the thought, “April that’s not fair. Our friendship began there and that’s pretty good…” he smiled at
    her.

    Josh interlocked his hand with April’s and gave it a gentle squeeze. He too was thinking of their decade plus friendship.
    He closed his eyes and thought of all the good things that she had brought to his life. He knew that this was just one
    more trial, one more test that he had to overcome and he knew that he would overcome it with April by his side.

    “I’m very sorry Josh…but the test indicates that the chemotherapy didn’t have the results that we were hoping it would,”
    Dr. Greene said as Josh dropped April’s hand. “Unfortunately at this time…”
    “Oh of course I know his name!” Jodi interjected. “It was Bradley Marshall,” she revealed after a brief hesitation.

    “No…no…no…you’re confused Jodi,” April laughed. “You said it was Bradley Marshall, but clearly you mean Jason
    Marshall. He must have been at Amy’s wedding and you kissed him. There’s no way you kissed his father…”

    Jodi shook her head and assured her sister that it wasn’t Jason. “It was in the elevator of the hotel…we had spent a lot of
    time together…” she explained as April took a seat and reached for her glass of champagne. “It was after the rehearsal
    dinner…”

    “Wait just a minute,” April stopped her. “You were at Amy Malone’s rehearsal dinner because...”

    “Because Bradley invited me,” Jodi answered. “I wasn’t going to be rude and not go.”

    “Okay. So let me just make sure I have everything straight…you were at Amy Malone’s rehearsal dinner, for her wedding
    to my ex-fiancé, who left me at altar because he was in love with my crazy twisted alter Amber and then afterwards you
    kissed the father of your high school boyfriend…” April recapped before she polished off her glass of champagne. “Did I
    miss anything?”

    Jodi glared at her sister, “I told you not to insert your opinions or ask questions!”

    “I know, I know…but I do have just one little itty bitty question,” April smiled. “You kissed Bradley Marshall. Did you like it?”

    Jodi pressed her lips together and looked away from her sister without giving her an answer. April was about to continue
    pressing Jodi for an explanation when the store clerk arrived.

    “I’m sorry to interrupt Ms. Bradshaw,” she spoke directly to April. “You asked me let you know when it was three o’clock.”

    “Yes…thank you,” April smiled. “Could you call my assistant at this number,” she handed her a business card, “and have
    her send two cars…one for me and one for my sister please?”

    “Jodi…” April pressed.

    “I said no questions and no opinions,” Jodi turned to face her sister. “If I knew what the kiss was about or what it
    meant…” her voice trailed off. “Just don’t mention this to anyone April,” she warned her as she headed towards the
    dressing room.

    “I wouldn’t do that and you know it…” April fired back at her sister as the door of the dressing room slammed and leaving
    her standing in front of three full length mirrors alone.
    Audrey stood up from the sofa and walked across her office to the window that looked out to the garden. She found it hard
    to believe that this was the same woman that she had sparred with for so many years – her nemesis and now here she
    sat having a conversation they would most likely never have again.

    “Three Christmases ago Lewis ran away from home,” Audrey began. “It was right after Miranda and Savannah left for the
    airport to go back home. He was so upset that they had to leave and he lashed out by running away.”

    “Where did he go?” Brandi questioned.

    Audrey chuckled lightly and smiled, “Right out there,” she pointed to the gazebo in the center of the garden. “We looked
    everywhere for him and we weren’t able to find him anywhere. But for some reason I knew to come here and look…that’s
    when I knew in my heart…” she choked on her words and turned away from Brandi.

    When she turned back to Brandi there were tears in her eyes and Audrey confessed, “You and I were never destined to
    be best girlfriends. Instead we were rivals from the word go. It took me four years to truly understand what that
    conversation at Justin’s was truly about. You weren’t just asking me to take care of Lewis for a night. You were asking me
    to do for as long as you couldn’t. It took me a very long time to realize that, but when I did…when I figured out that you had
    entrusted to me, if only for a moment your son…” she paused and relived that moment, “well it was one of the best
    moments of my life.”

    Brandi bit her bottom lip and her own tears began to flow down her cheeks. Her eyes met with Audrey’s as she told her,
    “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life and yet it was the smartest. You’ve built a remarkable relationship with
    my son and you should know that.”

    Audrey felt her knees begin to knock together and she smiled through her tears. “Well I certainly didn’t do it alone.
    Nicholas played his part to perfection,” she told her.

    “I never doubted that he wouldn’t.”

    “But you’re home now and I can only imagine that things will begin to change,” Audrey realized. “I just hope that as you
    begin to reacquaint yourself to your life here in River’s Edge that you allow me the opportunity to see Lewis from time to
    time.”

    Brandi shook her head, “You and I as you said are never going to be best girlfriends and I don’t think we’ll ever see eye-
    to-eye on anything in the near future. But I have no intentions, none at all Audrey of ever denying you a relationship with
    Lewis. I wouldn’t do that to him and I won’t do it you.”

    “Good,” she replied firmly, “because I intend to always be there for him. I never thought I would love a child of yours as
    much as I do…yet here we stand.”

    “Life is funny like that I suppose,” she stood from the couch and headed towards the door. “I think I’ve taken up enough of
    your time and I should probably be going.”

    “Okay,” Audrey released a heavy sigh. She had envisioned what her first conversation with Brandi would be like and never
    had she thought it would go like this.

    “Brandi,” she called to her. “I’m going to tell you something and regardless of whether you choose to believe it or not is
    up to you...I am glad, for my son and for Lewis, that you’re finally home.”

    She couldn’t help but smile at the thought of how far they had come over the last eleven years, “Thank you Audrey,” was
    all she could think to say.
    “And why should it have crossed his mind Sharon?” Sabrina asked. “You’re his ex-wife. You’re not the mother of children
    nor are you one of his daughters. I don’t think he’s required to obtain your permission and approval to ask me to be his
    wife.”

    Sharon looked at her from across the room and with her hands place strategically on her hips, “If I know you and I think
    after all this time I do,” she started, “I would say that you’ve been planning this for years. You’ve just been waiting for the
    most opportune moment to wiggle your way right back into his bed.”

    “Well you would know all about wiggling your way into another man’s bed,” Sabrina snapped at her. “Don’t go looking for
    a fight you won’t win Sharon,” she warned her. “You’re no longer pure as the driven snow.”

    “All right the two of you,” Andrew announced, “that’s enough. We’re not going to get into a fight over all of this.”

    “I’m not fighting,” Sabrina told him. “She’s the one who barged in her like a bat out of hell making scornful accusations
    and throwing things.”

    Sharon took a deep, unsteady breath and stepped forward towards the two of them – she had no intentions of backing
    down from either Andrew or Sabrina.

    “I thought that once we were divorced that you would try to win back Natasha,” Sharon stated. “And then after the debacle
    in New York City with her and Nicholas, I was even more certain that you would ride to her rescue. But after some thought
    it does make sense that you would end up chasing after Sabrina all over again. After all she’s been patiently waiting in
    the wings for the last ten years for you.”

    “Excuse me? What exactly is it that you think I’ve been waiting for Sharon?” Sabrina questioned. “You don’t think I could
    have had him, if I had wanted him?”

    Sharon smiled, “You know Sabrina…you’re like a perpetual dog in heat. You’ll let anyone slither into your bed, no matter
    who they are or where they’ve been.”

    “Andrew you need call security and get this bitch up outta here,” Sabrina seethed with anger. “I don’t know if you’re drunk,
    or high or just plain damn ignorant…but you had better watch yourself Sharon,” she warned her. “Because nobody, no
    more, comes into my building, into my company and spews lies, insults and downright hateful accusations at me or my
    fiancé without there being some repercussions.”

    “Oh your fiancé?” Sharon mocked her. “You know what the best part of him,” she pointed to Andrew, “being your fiancé
    really is?”

    “That he doesn’t have to be married to you?” Sabrina snapped.

    “It’s the satisfaction in knowing that I was right about you from the moment you stepped off the farm in backwoods
    Oklahoma and into this family. You are nothing but a gold-digging slut and the proof is that damn ring on your finger. Why
    don’t you face reality? While he make think he loves you and while you may think that you have the respect and the
    approval of his mother…of his daughters…in their minds you will be nothing more than the whore from middle of
    nowhere Oklahoma.”

    “Sharon!” Andrew yelled from across the room. “That is enough out of you,” his temper flared. “Who I decide to marry
    stopped being any of your concern the day we got divorce. I intend to marry Sabrina and that is the end of this. Now I need
    you to get out,” he ordered her.
    “Your actions here today have been nothing short of disgraceful, repulsive and embarrassing,” she continued. “Andrew is
    right…you need to get out. Because if one more miserable word should come out of your mouth Sharon Bradshaw, so
    help me mother of God…I promise it will be your last!” Sabrina warned her.

    “Mr. Bradshaw you called for security,” a guard appeared in the doorway.

    Sharon stood without saying a word. She turned her head to one side and refused to look at either one them. This is
    what rock bottom felt like, she remembered all too well. She realized that Gregory no longer loved her, that Andrew no
    longer loved her, that Megan and Sabrina were right all along – this was an embarrassing and pathetic attempt to not
    only win back Andrew’s love, but to validate her place in someone’s life.

    Just as she had known sixteen years earlier that she no longer belonged in San Angelo, she now knew that she no
    longer belonged in River’s Edge.

    “I was just leaving,” she whispered to the security guards.

    As Sharon walked to the elevator she heard in the back of her mind Sabrina’s words…they were true. Sharon had ruined
    her marriage. Her love for Gregory had cost her Andrew and her inability to admit her love for Gregory had cost her him.

    As she boarded the elevator and the doors closed behind her she reached into her purse for her cell phone. After three
    long rings and one even longer elevator ride she said, “Yes this is Sharon Logan…I need to speak with Dr. Stacey
    McQueen please. Tell her it’s an emergency.”

    “Sharon is everything all right?” the doctor answered as the elevator doors opened with a jolt.

    “Yes…” she replied, “I just needed to speak with you about my treatment plan. Can you still get me admitted to the clinic
    in Philadelphia that you mentioned yesterday?”
    “The percentage rate for a complete recovery decreases if not caught early enough,” the doctor explained. “Josh we
    talked about this when you first came to see me in Dallas.”

    “So you’re telling me because I didn’t catch it early enough that it’s my fault that I still have fucking cancer?” he
    questioned with a raise voice and headed out of the office. “I’m twenty-seven years old for Christ sake I’m not supposed
    to have cancer!”

    “Josh! Josh!” April called after him. “Excuse me doctor.”

    She left the office and then made her way down the hallway in pursuit of her friend. “Joshua Marshall…” she called out in
    an elevated whisper, “would you stop running away from me?”

    “Just leave me alone April!” he shouted down the hall at her, as he burst through the stairwell door.

    She eventually reached the stairwell and when she opened the door she found Josh leaned against the cement wall.
    The stairwell looked familiar to her and she realized it was the same color of the stairwell she hid out in when Jered was
    in the hospital years earlier.

    “You should come back and listen to what Dr. Greene has to say.”

    “Why?” he asked as her eyes met with his tear filled eyes. “I can count on one hand how many times I’ve cried about all of
    this,” Josh said to her. “And I don’t need to count how many times that I’ve question why me, because I’ve never done
    that. I don’t need to hear what the doctor has to say April, because I already know what he’s going to tell me and I’m not
    ready…” his voice caught in his throat at the thought of his next steps, “I’m not ready to deal with that.”

    He leaned back against the cold cement wall and slowly slid down the floor. Once he hit the floor, he lowered his head
    into hands and continued to cry. The slow realization set in that this fight, this battle against medicine wasn’t over yet…far
    from it.

    All April Bradshaw could think to do was to sit down next to him. She ran her hand over his back and then slowly pulled
    him closer to her. Indeed they had been through a lot in the last eleven years and this would be just one more test,
    another battle that they would have to overcome and win together.

    As she sat there holding him in her lap tears slowly began to formulate in her eyes and the only thing she could think to
    say was, “I’m right here…I’m right here…”
    Natasha stirred in the king size bed as the sun rose over the lake behind the Bradshaw Cabin
    and peered through the plantation shutters into her bedroom. She rolled over and slowly ran
    her hands up Preston’s arm and then down his bare chest – she couldn’t help but smile.

    “Good morning beautiful,” he whispered to her as pulled her closer to him. “I can’t believe all of
    this is going to be over in a few days.”

    Natasha kissed his hand and smiled. Since her breakdown weeks earlier she had spent every
    day with Preston Crawford and since Sabrina’s visit she had spent every night with him as
    well. It was safe for her to admit that when she was with him, it was like nothing she had ever
    experienced before in her life. He was different and he made her feel special.
    Nicholas stepped out of his car and into the slowly changing pre-autumn wind. He had
    arranged to meet with the private investigator he had hired at the Reva Bradshaw Memorial
    Park that afternoon. He quickly and steadily made his way towards the pond where he saw Jim
    Wilson sitting on a bench waiting for his arrival.

    “Please explain to me why we’re meeting here?” Nicholas questioned with air of disdain in his
    voice.

    Jim shook his head, “Jesus! The first time we met was at the Silver Stallion and you bitched
    non-stop about it. I decided to meet here today instead, but apparently there’s no pleasing you
    is there? Besides it’s a gorgeous day out. Do you have something against the park Pierce?”
    Four dresses, three glasses of champagne, two hours and one very long conversation with her
    sister had led Jodi Bradshaw to this moment – standing in front of three full length mirrors and
    staring at what would apparently be the dress she would wear to her father’s upcoming
    nuptials.

    “Are you planning on coming out anytime soon?” Jodi called to April. “Because if you’re not I’m
    going to need a fourth glass of the bubbly.”

    April opened the door of the dressing room in a royal blue gown and forced a smile at her
    sister. “You’re sure that grandmother said no black dresses?” she asked. “Because I have a
    feeling this is going to be more like a funeral than wedding.”
    From a conference room at King Fashion, Brittany Pierce emerged with her sister-in-law
    Miranda. The two women had spent the better half of the morning reviewing resumes for
    various positions for the River’s Edge, New York City and Los Angeles offices.

    “I’m not sure I can even see straight anymore,” Miranda laughed. “I don’t think we’ve had this
    many applicants for so few positions ever,” she sighed.

    Various other departments throughout the company had completed their hiring processes and
    Brittany was the last of the group. She needed to hire an assistant and a project manager who
    would manage the opening of several new Elegance stores in the greater southwest region of
    the country.
    “Thank you. I’ll keep that in mind.” Brandi headed in the direction of Audrey’s office and then suddenly stopped. “And
    Miranda…I should thank you for all that you’ve done for Lewis while I was in prison. He has nothing but positive things to
    say about his sisters and Justin has told me how good the two of you have been to him. I just wanted you to know that I’m
    very grateful.”

    “Well you’re very welcome,” Miranda replied. “I love that boy…even more so that I did Justin and Ethan when they were
    that age,” she said with a laughed that lightened the mood between all of them. “Perhaps the next time I’m in town we
    can all have dinner together,” she suggested.

    “I would like that,” Brandi said as she watched her two sister-in-laws leave the lobby. She turned to continue her walk to
    Audrey’s office and with each step she took she dreaded what she was about to more and more.
    “You came to see my mother?” Miranda questioned. “Do you think that’s such a good idea? I
    just think that perhaps considering the volatile relationship that the two of you share…”

    Brandi tilted her head to one side and laughed, “We do have a volatile relationship you’re right.
    But I didn’t come here with the intent of starting a fight with her Miranda. I can promise you that I
    come strictly in the name peace. In fact there appears to be some things that Audrey and I
    need to discuss where Lewis is concerned."

    Miranda nodded her head slightly, “Okay. Well she’s in her office…it’s at the end of the hall,”
    she pointed. "Just please don't start anything with her Brandi and whatever you do, please
    don't mention my father's name if you can help it."
    “I know…” Jodi sighed. “Can you believe he’s marrying her again? I mean of all the things we could be doing today –
    trying on dresses for an Andrew and Sabrina Bradshaw wedding…”

    “You don’t have to keep reminding me,” April told her. “I’m just trying to remember that it’s our father and if he is happy
    with Sabrina, then we too should be happy for him,” she told Jodi. “I suppose we should try to look on the bright side of
    things…”

    “There’s a bright side?”

    “Honey after everything we’ve been through in our lives…if we’re not always trying to find the bright side of things in life,
    there is something miserably wrong.”

    Jodi shook her head in agreement. “So what exactly is the bright side of Sabrina becoming our step-mommy again?”

    April thought for a moment, “At least we’re invited to this affair, unlike the last time.”

    “Oh April…as if either one of us would have wanted to attend that undoubtedly tacky wedding in the middle of nowhere
    Arkansas,” Jodi laughed.

    “That is true,” April said as she took one final look. “I think this might be the one. What do you think?”

    “I think I’m tired of shopping for a dress and talking about Sabrina Davis Bradshaw! Let’s finish up here and go to The
    Chalkboard for lunch.”

    “I can’t do lunch today I’m sorry.”

    “And why not?” Jodi questioned. “I thought we were going to make a day of it. I’ve drank nearly four glasses of
    champagne for crying out loud.”

    “That’s not my fault,” April laughed. “Josh called me this morning. His oncologist from Dallas is in town for the day and he
    has Josh’s test result,” she explained. “I promise that I would be there with him when he found out what they say.”

    “All right well…” Jodi continued to gaze at herself in the mirror and after a brief moment she turned towards April. “I’m
    going to change the subject, but before I do…I need to tell you that you can’t ask any questions or insert any of your
    opinions on what I’m about to say.”
    “All right then, come in and have a seat,” she gestured towards the sofa lounge as she stood up and made her way
    across the office. They both sat down at the same time and looked at one another with careful trepidation and a
    foreboding uneasiness.

    “I suppose I’d be remiss if I didn’t welcome you home and congratulate you on your parole,” Audrey broke the silence
    between them. “Justin is obviously thrilled to have you back and I’m sure the two of you are looking forward to either
    building a new life together or hopefully a divorce…” she smiled, “whatever best suits the situation.”

    Brandi arched an eyebrow and shook her head slightly, “It’s nice to see that some things never change Audrey.”

    “Oh well I wouldn’t say that,” Audrey told her. “Plenty of things have changed around here since you’ve been gone.
    However my quick wit and utter disdain for you is not one of them.”

    “Yes I see that,” she told her. “I know that you’re busy and that I am the last person you wanted to see today. However this
    morning while making my son French toast with cinnamon,” Brandi smiled, “it dawned on me that I never properly
    thanked you.”

    “Audrey…” Brandi called out.

    “Yes?”

    “I want you to take very good care of him for me,” Brandi told her as her lips began to tremble. “You promise me
    that you’ll take care of him because Nicholas is all he really has besides me and I have a feeling that you’re going
    to be part of Nicholas’s life for a long time to come.”

    “Well I’ll do my best Brandi…” Audrey told her, “but he’s just coming over for the night.”

    “I know, but…” she paused, “just take care of him okay. Because if you don’t…if you ever hurt my son…I will
    destroy you.”

    “Point taken,” Audrey told her as the elevator doors opened. “And so we’re clear Brandi…if you ever hurt my son, I’
    ll destroy you.”

    Brandi shook her head, “Point taken…”

    “Well those are words that I never thought I would hear you say,” Audrey told her in a soft tone. “You came to thank me?”

    “I did and believe me when I say that those are words I never thought I would say to you,” Brandi assured her. “You know
    when Justin and Brittany would come to visit they would tell me stories about Lewis and how good you were with him. But
    it wasn’t until this morning that it finally dawned on me how true their stories were.”
    “I was just thinking about the last time you and I saw one another,” Brandi announced herself
    as Audrey King Pierce looked up from her computer screen. “I seem to recall that I threatened
    to destroy you if you were to hurt my son. Does that sound familiar?”

    Audrey pulled off her glasses and done something she had ever rarely done in the last ten
    years when Brandi was in her presence – she smiled.

    “That sounds about right,” Audrey admitted with such ease. “But if memory serves, you and I
    had that same conversation countless other times as well.”

    “True enough,” Brandi admitted. “May I come in? I promise you I do come in peace."
    “Okay…” April assured her sister. “I’ll do my best to not ask questions or insert any of my
    comments. Although I think we both know how insightful both can be," she added with a laugh
    in hopes of lightening the mood.

    “When I was in New York City for Amy Malone’s wedding…I sort of started seeing someone, I
    guess you could say...and we ended up kissing one night out of the blue,” Jodi confessed.
    “Actually I think he kissed me first, but I kissed him back…either way the details on how it all
    happened aren’t all that important at the moment.”

    “What is the important part of this story then?” April questioned. “I’m going to assume that this
    man has a name,” she stated matter-of-factly. “You do know his name right?”
    Audrey looked away from Brandi and with a look of disbelief written all over her face said, “After
    all the crap that you and I put one another through for all those years...I just want you to know
    Brandi that I never held any of it against Lewis. So to hear you say all of these things to me...I
    just can't believe that I'm finally hearing you say these things."

    “It’s the truth Audrey and you know better than anyone that I’m straight shooter when it comes
    to my son,” Brandi’s voice cracked a little. “You know more about Lewis and his life than
    perhaps I’ll ever know. It kills me to know that you share with him moments and memories that
    I can only dream about and wish that I shared with him. But the facts are the facts…I am
    thankful and I will forever be grateful to you for doing what I couldn’t – give my son a strong,
    fierce and independent female role model in his life.”
    Sabrina picked up the paper from the floor and looked at the headline that stared back at her.
    “Our engagement announcement is in today’s paper,” she held it up and smiled at Andrew.
    "And it appears as though your ex-wife came to congratulation us," Sabrina smirked.

    “Sharon what do you want?” Andrew questioned.

    “What I want Andrew seems to be irrelevant where you’re concerned,” she told him. “Did it not
    cross your mind that perhaps you should have told me about your plans to remarry?” Sharon
    pointed to Sabrina.

    “No it didn’t,” Andrew answered.
    Sabrina stood completely still and she didn’t move a single muscle as she listened to Andrew
    defend her. It was as if Sharon’s words had frozen her in time and without thinking her eyes
    met with Sharon’s and she swung her hand across Sharon’s face.

    “You are a pathetic woman Sharon!” she told her. “How dare you come in here and throw
    accusations at me and call me names when I have done nothing wrong, nothing!” Sabrina
    fired at her. “You were his wife for eight years and never once in all of that time did I so much
    as bat an eyelash at him. Yet you were the one who screwed Gregory Holloway behind his
    back for years! And now you dare stand here on a self-made pedestal, with your disgusting
    holier than thou attitude, acting as though you are somehow better than me,” Sabrina
    continued.
    “I still have cancer,” he questioned in a low, devastatingly tormented voice. “Three
    months…three months of fucking chemotherapy…and you’re telling me that I still have
    cancer?”

    “I’m sorry Josh,” the doctor told him, “but yes.”

    “I’m a doctor so I know that the cure rate for testicular cancer, when detected early is nearly one-
    hundred percent,” he stood up and paced the floor.

    “Is he right Dr. Greene?” April questioned. “If it’s curable then maybe the tests…were
    inaccurate.”