Author Notes: Started writing this with David, Greenlee, and Ryan as the main focus, which became a little tiresome after awhile so I started splicing in some Maxie Jones from General Hospital. Hopefully soon to be followed with some Zander Smith (Shut up! He's not really dead!). Still a work in progress, unfortunately. And yeah, this story may be guilty of some revisionist history. But just a little.
Disclaimer: So...I don't own any of these characters or locations. That is all.
The amount of anger and hostility I was currently experiencing was the result of a steady build-up throughout the day. Not surprising, all things considered. Daughter's dead, the wife's left me. Most of my days are spent drinking what I can find and, on the days I don't manage to crawl into work, cursing the memories that haunt me in every corner of this god- forsaken house that my heart still hasn't allowed me to sell. And God, how I want to sell it. Sell it and move far away from this town, far away from these people. Finish out my days sailing the Pacific in a modest little yacht, with nothing ahead of me but blue skies and vast ocean. But I know I can't. I'd miss my job. I'd miss other things.
But the idea of solitary sailing can really start to appeal to a man when he has Kendall Hart standing in his doorway, brandishing a bottle of champagne while demanding to be let in. And against my better judgment, I do.
It's not as if I dislike Kendall. Well, that's not exactly true. I suppose she's a little too much like myself to inspire any feeling other than mild disgust. Recently though, I've been impressed with how she's helped Bianca through the nightmare she's been locked in. On some occasions, I can even bring myself to respect her. I can tell right away, however, that this will not be one of those times.
As she blows by me I am struck by her strange attire. Say what you will, but Kendall is a beautiful woman, and the dress she's wearing reminds me off this fact. She's definitely her mother's daughter. Which is why I'm positive that she managed to catch up to Ryan and Greenlee.
"So David, aren't you at all curious as to my recent whereabouts?" She looks up at me and grins as she attempts to open the champagne. She knows damn well I'm curious, so I don't bother answering as I fetch two wineglasses from the bar cabinet. "It was really beautiful, the resort. Very picturesque. One thousand islands . . . do you really think there are actually one thousand islands there?" So that's where they had run off. Obviously Ryan had chosen it, since Greenlee was not the type of woman who would willingly choose to vacation at some backwater tourist town. I mean, how would she keep up her manicure? "The ceremony? Also beautiful. I swear, I think I may have teared up." Her words jolted me out of my sanguine.
"What are you talking about Kendall? What ceremony?" She looked at me, her eyes wide, and her face deceptively contrite. God, how I hated her.
"Well, the wedding ceremony. Ryan and Greenlee Smythe Dupres's wedding ceremony." She enunciated every syllable of Greenlee's name slowly and mercilessly. I stopped moving, almost dropped one of the glasses. Then I laughed, harder than I had in awhile.
"Sorry I missed it. What should I send them as a wedding gift?" Kendall has always had a sick sense of humour. But obviously things hadn't gone well with Ryan. Which was why she was here, seemingly intent on getting drunk, with me.
Kendall looked at me and smiled, shaking her head slowly.
"Oh David, you only wish I were joking. I guess this new union cuts that last tenuous familial bond that held you two together. I imagine she'll drop the Dupres for Lavery. One's name can't become too long without finally exceeding good taste." She got up and came over to me, snagging a wineglass out of my motionless hand. She filled it and raised it in a mock toast. "May they live in infamy." She smirked.
"You're wrong," I manage to mutter. Then louder: "You're wrong." Her smile falters, and she sets her drink down roughly, spilling wine all over my countertop and hardwood floor.
"Sorry David, but I? Was there. Ryan waiting at the alter, with Greenlee looking ridiculously trashy, even for her, as she pranced down the aisle towards him. It was sickening." She smiled then, her lip curled. "Guess that wasn't what you wanted to hear, eh David?"
That was an understatement. I knew her and Ryan were going somewhere together, Greenlee had told me as much before they left. But they weren't married. Ryan loved Kendall, everyone knew that. And Greenlee. . .no, what Kendall was saying was impossible. It was a joke, and a cruel one at that. For both of us.
"You're lying." I stammer, and I hate myself for how weak I sound. Kendall grimaced, pulled out her cell and dialed a number. She asked for Mr. and Mrs. Lavery, resolutely looking at me the whole time. Then she passed it to me. Wordlessly I waited, phone pressed tightly against my ear. I waited. Then her voice, breathy, unmistakable, drifted towards me, and I almost doubled over. From the shock, from the anger...from the pain.
Kendall snatched the phone back and disconnected, throwing it carelessly into her purse. She raised her eyebrows, as if to say See? I told you. That just made it worse.
She laughed again.
"Oh David. Don't bother trying to hide your feelings. I see right through you, you know. That little tramp isn't worth that kind of devotion." I looked away, wondering if my feelings were that transparent. I had been trying to bury those thoughts, those feelings, but it was as if it were impossible. She had permeated almost every aspect of my life to the point where I simply needed her. I had become dependent, to my internal humiliation. The fact that Kendall knew this enraged me. I grabbed her roughly by the arm and began pulling her towards the door.
"No need to get violent, I'm going. I just thought you'd like to commiserate with me, guess I was wrong. But I'm curious:" I opened the door, waiting for her to finish. "Who's name is she going to call out tonight? Ryan's, Leo's . . .or yours?" The urge to kill was once again renewed but I had to settle for pushing her out the door and slamming it behind her. I rested against the wall, breathing heavily, my hands holding my head.
I just didn't understand.
She had never said anything. He had never said anything. It didn't make sense. Not to me. She doesn't know how you feel that voice inside my head reminded me. If you had the balls to tell her, she might be here right now, instead of with that asshole Lavery. But that was just my inflated self-confidence talking. Because I didn't for one second believe that was true.
I had come close to telling her. Well, not really. What could I say? That while she was mourning her husband, my brother, I had begun to want her? That after Leora's death, and Anna's abandonment, she was the only thing that kept me alive? That she was the only one who made me feel anything? It was sick, this constant lusting for my sister in law. And that wasn't even the worst part. That it wasn't just lust. It went deeper. I always thought about her, wanted to know what she thought about, dreamed about. But I hid it, almost too well. Insulted her, ridiculed her- I couldn't count the number of times I'd called her the exact same thing Kendall had. And yet, she always managed to brush it off, to turn the other cheek. I knew it was for Leo's sake, but a small part of me always wondered, always hoped-
But not anymore. She was where she wanted to be. And I was at a loss.