I started posting this story on Watt-pad a few weeks ago, advertising it as a crossover with One Life to Live but I decided not to include any OLTL characters at this time. I would rather try chem-testing Steffy with guys already on the show or even an original character or two. But beyond a romance, this is mostly a story about Steffy Forrester in all her beauty and strength!

Chapter 1 – The Lonely Hearts Club

Steffy Forrester watched her longtime rival and former stepsister, Hope, flitting around the office, happily flashing her diamond engagement ring to everyone she happened upon. Steffy tried not to feel annoyed but it was almost impossible. Hope was engaged to Liam yet again and the engagement had seemingly occurred shortly after Steffy sauntered into Forrester Creations a mere two and a half hours before. Steffy knew it had to have been a very recent reunion for Liam and Hope because Hope had not been wearing the ring before. Before rather, she had been wearing a glower when she spotted Steffy come in the office.

"Steffy, oh what a surprise."

"It's nice to see you too, Hope," Steffy said with a smirk.

"I said it was a surprise – not a nice surprise."

"Bitch," Steffy muttered as she watched Hope and Hope's mother Brooke continue to ooh and ahh over the ring. They both knew that Steffy was standing there and they were enjoying throwing Hope's good fortune in Steffy's face. She could so easily tell them off right now. All it would take was a full well-chosen words to level that house of cards called the Logan family. But Steffy reminded herself that she had not returned to Los Angeles to reignite the feud between them. She had returned simply because she missed her family. Even if said family was all atwitter with Hope's news - everyone but Thomas really. He just looked annoyed.

Thomas moved over to Steffy, stopping her on the way to the exit. "You don't have to run out of here. Don't let them intimidate you, Sis."

"I'm not running away," Steffy said. "I'm just choosing to be the bigger person and not rip the cheap extensions out of Hope's dopey little head."

Thomas sighed. "I'm sorry that this is happening on your first day back in L.A."

"While I assume it's no coincidence, I will be just fine," Steffy said. "I've had a lot of time to think in the last few months while I was in Paris. I don't need the drama or the heartache loving Liam brings. I am bowing out with what's left of my dignity."

"Liam – you're going to stay away from him, right?" Thomas asked. "He's bad for you, Steffy. All he does is hurt you and Hope."

"Hope likes the pain, I guess," Steffy said. "While I am over it."


"Okay, I'm learning to be over it," Steffy said. She gave her brother a hug. "Let's get out of here, Thomas. I am in the mood to get away from it all and dance my ass off."

"I'm pretty busy –"

"Thomas, you're coming with me, whether you like it or not. There is no way I'm walking into that club alone. Besides, I may need you as a bodyguard," she said teasingly.

Thomas smiled. "How can I resist that?"

They started out of the office together and were halfway down the hall when they spotted Wyatt Fuller coming out of his mother Quinn's office, looking hopping mad. "She dumped me," he murmured. "We were going strong and –" He stopped as he looked up and spotted Steffy. He hissed at her. "Dammit, Steffy, this is all your fault!"

Steffy shook her head. Thomas started to go on the defensive for her but she shook her head at him. "No, Thomas, its okay… If I only had a penny for every time I heard that phrase…"

Wyatt approached her – actually stalked towards her, more accurately. He immediately pointed a finger in her face. Her eyes widened. This guy - he didn't even know her really, but he sure had a lot of nerve.

"Steffy, if you hadn't come back to Los Angeles, Hope wouldn't have called up Liam this afternoon and told him she'd marry him after all. We – her and I – were thisclose –" he intertwined his thumb and forefinger – "to being the ones down the altar and you coming back, just messed everything up."

Steffy rolled her eyes. "First of all, put away that finger before I put it away for you. Second of all, I have zero control over Hope and what she does; I never have. I can't help it if she feels so threatened by me and my history with Liam that she had to run in desperation to him and say she'd marry him after stringing him – and you – along for what, about a year now?"

Thomas shook his head. "This isn't my sister's fault, Wyatt."

"Thomas is right," Steffy said. "Hope has a lot of issues that can't be blamed on me. She has done to you and Liam what she always claimed Liam did to her – used you as puppets. Somehow though I always end up being the big bad evil guy, even when I'm not part of the equation." She held up a hand to stop Wyatt's coming diatribe. "Face it. You got shafted, Wyatt. You're a distant second for Hope, if that. She's all about Liam, the way I was, but the difference is, I no longer want to play second fiddle for anyone.

"So the way I see it, Wyatt, is you can do two things. Go crying to your Mama again or come with us."

"Huh?" Thomas looked at his sister like she had sprouted another head. He obviously hadn't seen that one coming.

"I'll never go anywhere with you, Steffy," Wyatt snapped.

"Okay, whatever you say. Thomas and I are going to have fun dancing and drinking at that new club S.O.S. downtown while you stay here and watch Hope fawn all over her ring and make excuses for how she treats the people in her life like shit. Then of course Liam will be here soon and you'll have to see them being gross and kissing and all that crap. It's your choice, Buddy."

"I'm not your 'Buddy'," Wyatt said but the vitriol in his voice had ebbed away a bit. He looked down the hall where Hope and Brooke were emerging from the office, loudly carrying on about what dress Eric would be designing for the latest Liam-Hope wedding debacle. She didn't even seem to see Wyatt standing there.

Wyatt rolled his eyes. "Fine. I'm in," he said and moved to catch up as Steffy winked at Thomas and they started towards the elevator.

The all got on the elevator and the door started to close when suddenly someone cried out "Hold the door! Please." It was a familiar sounding feminine voice but Steffy didn't immediately know who belonged to. Still, she pressed down on the DOOR OPEN button and allowed the woman – who turned out to be a very weepy Maya Avant – inside before the doors sluiced shut.

Maya's eyes were spilling over. Thomas reached out and grasped her trembling shoulders. "Maya, what's wrong?" He asked.

Maya shrugged. "I – I…" She sighed. "You all might as well know. It will be fodder for office gossip tomorrow anyway."

"What happened?" Wyatt asked. "Is this about Hope?"

Maya looked at him like he was insane but finally shook her head. "No. Carter caught me kissing Oliver and he called off the wedding."

"Ouch," Wyatt said. He seemed neither sympathetic nor apathetic. Just kind of .. Meh. Like he was getting used to the fact that working at this office meant heartbreak and hookups aplenty.

Steffy opened her clutch purse and dug out a mini-pack of tissues. She handed them to Maya who accepted them gratefully. "T-thanks," she hiccupped.

"Maya, just some friendly advice," Steffy said. "But I think you need some fun. To cut loose and just be."

"No, I need to make things right with Carter."

"No, you need to realize that for now at least, Carter is done with you. So why don't you join our little Lonely Hearts Club and come dancing at that new club S.O.S. with us?"

"Oh I don't know…"

"Okay then you can wallow all night," Steffy said.

Maya stared at her and twisted the damp tissues in her hand. "Well, are you sure you wouldn't mind me tagging along?"

Steffy nodded. She looked the guys. "Would either of you mind?" They shook their heads. "See? Now come on. Wipe away those tears, realize heartbreak sucks and come dance it out while leaving the rest of the people in this office to live out their little soap opera lives."

TO BE CONTINUED. I hope you like this Steffians!