Sorry for the wait. Hope you enjoy the update, the next chapter is in progress so it should be up in the not too distant future hopefully.

"Seth call me back when you get this. Please." Sandy sighed and hung up. This was now the second morning he had woken up in an empty house, well maybe woken up was an exaggeration since he had spent both nights tossing and turning rather than sleeping. He should have slept well (as well as he could in an empty bed) last night since he knew he was going to see his wife today but since their sons were awol he was virtually dreading the visit to Suriak he would have to make later in the day.

He had decided to call Seth every fifteen minutes in an attempt to get him to answer and then agree to come home. Thankfully the police were not looking for Ryan anymore because they had spoken again to Marissa and although the police were sceptical about her statement, for now they had to accept it. If Seth or Ryan ever answered their cells they would find this out. He could feel is own phone vibrating in his pocket and prayed it was Seth.


"Hey Sandy it's me." He certainly wasn't expecting Kirsten to be the on the other end of the line. He hadn't called her back the night before which he felt terrible about but if he had he would have lied to her because she was bound to ask about the boys and that would have made him feel awful too.

"Hey honey, is everything okay?"

"Yes everything is fine. I was just wondering if you could bring some stuff with you today? I left some new books I'd bought last week; they are on the shelf in the closet. That is if you are still coming today?"

"I'm definitely coming today. Of course I will I'll put them in the car before I go to work. Is there anything else you need?"

"No that's it for now I think. I guess you are rushing out to work so I will talk to you later but I would love to talk to the boys if they are there?"

"You know honey they are dying to talk to you but they aren't in."

"Oh okay I'm surprised they aren't still in bed since it's the holidays and all. Where are they?" Why couldn't he have just said they were in bed?!

"Seth is with Summer she wanted to go shopping there was a sale on or something. Ryan might still be in bed actually I'm not totally sure." He was trying desperately to sound normal but the more he tried the more desperate he seemed to sound. At least that's what he sounded like in his head. "Do you want me to go and check?"

"No its fine, I don't want to wake him if he's asleep. I'll call later or something. I'll let you go though"

"Okay honey. I'm looking forwards to seeing you later, we really do miss you." It was the probably the first sentence he'd said to her this morning that he knew sounded real.

"I miss you all too. I'll see you later." Even if he had felt awkward throughout the conversation he felt better about going to see her. He knew it was going to be hard but just seeing her would make it worthwhile.

When Seth looked at his phone he had eleven missed calls from his dad either at home or the Newport Group. The first chance he got he called him back.

"Dad, hey it's me. How you doing?"

"Seth! Where the hell are you? I've been calling you all morning!"

"Yeah dad I've noticed that, eleven missed calls this morning and it's not even ten thirty, are you trying to set some record?"

"I need to know where you are, if you are coming back or just something. I'm going to see your mother later and at the moment I don't know if I can lie to her but I don't know if I can tell her the truth so I need some answers." Seth was silent, his dad sounded in a bad way and he could feel the guilt getting to him.

"I'm sorry dad. I don't know what to do, Ryan just doesn't want to come back and be a burden to you. Nothing I say will make him change his mind."

"Let me talk to him. He doesn't need to worry about the police for the time being at least, they have gone over things with Marissa and since there is nothing to suggest otherwise at this time they have to accept her statement that she shot Trey. Even if they don't like it."

"I'm not sure he will speak to you."

"Put me on speaker." Seth walked over to the car, calling Ryan's name.

"Hey man, you ready to go?" Seth just gave him a half hearted smile and glanced down at the phone he was holding in his hand. Sandy took the silence as his queue to speak.

"Hey Ryan, I know you probably don't want to speak to me so just listen. You need to come home, this is where you belong. This family can barely cope with one person's absence never mind two. The police aren't going to charge you and even if they did we would deal with it together. You are not a burden to me or Kirsten or this family. I need you two at home right now. I don't want to tell Kirsten the truth but there is only so long I will lie to her for and knowing Kirsten that won't be long." Seth could see that Ryan too was feeling guilty, especially when Kirsten's name was mentioned.

"I'm sorry Sandy. I just …" He didn't know what to say.

"Look I don't need apologies right now and I know you don't want us worrying about you so just come home. Then I can go to Suriak later and I won't have to lie about seeing you and where you are when she calls next." Seeing that Ryan seemed to be at a loss for words Seth spoke up instead.

"Okay dad we'll come home. Right Ryan?"

"Right. Sandy please don't say anything to Kirsten I don't want her to have anymore stress."

"Don't worry, kid, as long as you two promise you will be back here tonight I won't have anything to tell her. Okay? I'll see you two for a late dinner after I've been to Suriak."

"Okay dad we'll see you later." Sandy heard Ryan shout bye before hanging up. He felt so much better now than he had done ten minutes ago. Even if he didn't see them at home before he saw Kirsten he trusted that if they said they were coming back then they would be. At least now he could actually look forward to seeing his wife.

Time seemed to be going slowly again for Kirsten, she knew it was because she was seeing Sandy and although she had definitely got the impression something was wrong she was still desperate to see him. The meeting with Dr. Woodruff had gone well this morning; he had even asked her to see if Sandy would like to come to one of their meetings each week. She knew he was busy but even if he could only come every other week it might really help their marriage.

"Hey, you." Kirsten's head spun round to find Sandy standing in her doorway. "I couldn't wait any longer to come and see you so I cancelled my last two meetings." Before he could say another word Kirsten rushed over to him, almost hurling herself at him.

"Hey yourself." She whispered in his ear before taking his lips with her own. They stood in her doorway like that for over five minutes before Kirsten spoke again.

"How are you getting on with the Newport Group? I hope everyone is helping you out." She took him by the hand and led him to her bed sitting him down next to her.

"Everything is fine; lots of people are helping me thankfully. The boys send their love and they are sorry they missed you this morning but we're having dinner later if you want to call then. How are you? How was your meeting this morning?"

"I'm okay, I'm getting used to the way things happen in here and that helps. The meeting went okay, better than okay probably. We spoke about a lot of things and he actually suggested that you come to one of our meetings each week." She though Sandy looked quite shocked at that. "You don't have to he just thought it might help you and me if you were there. You would be able to say whatever you want it wouldn't just be to listen to me."

"That sounds like a good idea and I will be there whenever you want me to be" He wanted to be supportive he really did but he was also nervous. He wasn't sure how much of what Kirsten said he was going to like and he knew he deserved it but it was still going to be hard especially with Dr. Woodruff their to judge him. "What type of things do you talk about?"

"Everything and anything really. He's asked me why I think I'm an alcoholic, he's told why he thinks I am, I've told him things about my family and friends and life in general. He's actually a lot easier to talk to than I thought. If you are worried you don't have to come he was just making a suggestion. I really don't mind"

"No I want to come, I think it probably would help I'm just scared I guess. It's just I know I've you let you down and hearing you talk about it will break my heart." He couldn't even look at her anymore.

"Sandy you don't have to be scared but you do have to hear it and if you don't hear about it in the meetings we'll have to talk about it sometime. We've both made mistakes this past year and we've had a lot of problems but this could help." She put her hand to his face and tilted it so he was looking at her. He smiled at her, she loved his smile.

"You're right and you can tell Dr. Woodruff I will come but we don't have to be in a meeting to talk. So if or whenever you want to talk I'm right here." Truth is he wanted to talk right now, he had lots of questions that only she had the answer to but he didn't want to push her.

"Why do you think I'm an alcoholic?" He hadn't expected that but obviously she wanted to talk to.

If you want to find out Sandy's answer hit the review button!