The Journal of T.J. Thompson (Johnson) Book 3

Two weeks later, T.J. was getting her latest checkup from Dr. Shapiro at the hospital. “So…everything’s okay…any swelling or stiffness….any kind of pain or discomfort since your last appointment, Tiffani,” he asked her. “Um…not lately,” T.J. responded. “That’s good…you may have to use the cane a little longer…otherwise, you’re free to go…see the nurse on the way out and call me if you have any problems,” he said. “Okay…thanks, doc,” T.J. said. Michelle was in the waiting room reading a magazine when T.J. came out of the doctor’s office. “Is everything okay,” Michelle asked her. “Yeah…I’m good…let’s go,” she replied. “Wait…tell me the truth, Dr. Shapiro…how is she really doing,” Michelle said, holding her little sister’s arm. “As good as expected…she healed up nicely…luckily your sister’s in such great shape or it would take longer to recover from her injuries…I’ll see you in three (3) weeks, Tiffani,” Dr. Shapiro said. “Thanks, doctor…ready to go,” Michelle said. “Yes,” T.J. said back. They head outside to the car. Meanwhile, Sam was transferred to another prison on a police van. Once it came to a complete stop, he got out and recognized a familiar face in the courtyard. “Enough gawking, Brady…get a move on,” the guard said. Hours later, Sam came into the cafeteria and confronted the same guy from the courtyard. “Tarik Lane…what up, cuz,” he spoke up. The two men did their secret handshake before sitting down at the table. They started a conversation as the warden watches them. As the time passed, Tarik and Sam were comparing notes of how they got locked up in the first place. Suddenly, they hatched the greatest plan ever. Months later, Brianna came up to the Williamsons’ house and knocked on the door. Robert let her in after the third knock. “Hello, cousin…Larissa will be right down,” he said. “Okay…hi, Aunt Nyisha!” she said. “Hello…I would like to thank you again for doing this,” Nyisha said. “Of course…anything for my little cousin,” she said. Larissa came downstairs as they talked. “Hey, kid…I’m on my way out…listen to what your cousin says and stay out of trouble,” Nyisha said to her daughter. “Okay, Mom,” Larissa said. “Bye, Aunt Nyisha! Bye, Uncle Robert,” Brianna said, sending a text through her cellphone. Larissa reached for a banana in the fruit bowl but felt a little dizzy. She grabs ahold of the kitchen counter and took a deep breath. Suddenly, she felt a hand on the shoulder. “Bree, you scared me,” she said. “I didn’t mean to…you’re feeling okay, Ris,” Brianna asked her. “Yeah…I’m good…just needed a snack,” she said, grabbing the banana once again. “Okay…once you’re done with that, we’ll head out ourselves,” Brianna said. Then Larissa opened the banana and took the first bite.

Hours later, the girls meet up with Alicia and Diane at the park. “Hey, you guys,” Brianna said to them. “Hi, Bree…funny seeing you without your better half, Ris,” Diane said, “The two of them acting they’re glued at the hip…what was his name…Cabe…Gabe?” “Cut it out, Di…you know his name…it’s Abel,” Larissa said, being annoyed at her cousin’s jokes. “Don’t mind her…good to see you, cuz,” Alicia said. At the Andersons’ house, T.J. was washing the laundry and reading the paper in the basement. She was also listening to some music on the radio when her cellphone started to vibrate in the pocket of her shirt. She turned down the radio to answer the call. “H-hello…what happened…I’m on my way,” she said. Moments later, she showed up at the hospital and went straight to the receptionist’s desk. “Excuse me…I’m looking for Larissa Lane…I was told that she was here,” she said. “How are you related to the patient,” the receptionist asked her. “I’m her aunt, ma’am,” she replied. “Mom,” a voice called out. T.J. turned around to see who was coming toward her. “Brianna! Girls, what happened,” she asked them. “We were all just joking around when Alicia noticed Larissa holding her head…me and Diane helped her over to the bench…we called 9-1-1…we didn’t know what was going on–I was so scared, Mom…I promised Aunt Nyisha that I would watch out for her,” Brianna cried. “You did a good thing getting your cousin to the hospital–all of you…that’s the important thing…don’t worry about your aunt…she’ll be grateful to you guys for saving her daughter’s life,” she said. “Do we have to tell Aunt Nyisha what happened,” said Diane. “Yeah, kiddo…she needs to know about Larissa…I gotta make a phone call…you guys sit tight,” she said. “Your mom’s right, Bree…we saved our cousin’s life…you have nothing to worry about,” Alicia said. Nyisha was on the way to work when she got the call. She meet with T.J. and the girls in the waiting room. “Thanks for calling me, sis,” Nyisha said, “Did any of you hear anything?” “So far nothing…I’m sure someone would be out here with some news soon,” T.J. said. Brianna was sitting there thinking about the events leading up to her cousin’s sudden collapse in the park. Suddenly, she felt a hand on her shoulder. “I’m so sorry about this, Aunt Nyisha…I didn’t know what to do,” she said softly. “Hey there…you did the right thing here…don’t beat yourself up over it, okay,” Nyisha said. “Okay…Mom,” she said. “Yeah,” T.J. said. “Is this how you felt when you worry about us,” she said. “I wouldn’t say like that but it’s our job to worry about you kids…it’s because we care, kiddo,” T.J. said to her daughter. “It just feels funny when I held Larissa in my arms,” she said, “Is this supposed to be normal?” “Of course, honey…we all been through it,” T.J. said. “It’s okay to feel that way because you’re a mom, too…there’s nothing to be ashamed of…okay, Bree,” Nyisha said to her. “Okay…thanks, you guys,” Brianna said. Suddenly, the doctor came out of the ER to talk with them. At the Johnsons house, Randy was watching an old football video in the den. Dee Dee brought in a lunch tray and sat down with him. “I know that look…you got something on your mind,” she asked her husband. “Uh-uh,” he said aimlessly. “Heh,” she said, leaving him to the game. Back at the hospital, Nyisha went into the room to see Larissa. “Hey, honey…I heard what happened at the park…how are you feeling,” she said. “I-I feel a little woozy,” Larissa mumbled. “How long were you having these headaches,” she asked her daughter. “I don’t know…a couple days or so…I didn’t want to bother you,” Larissa answered. Then they continued their conversation.

Hours later, T.J. meet up with Nyisha, Farrah, and Meghan at the Johnsons house. “I heard that Larissa’s okay considering everything that happened,” she said. “Yeah…thanks to you guys of course,” Nyisha said. “Does anyone know what Dad is calling us about,” Farrah asked them. “I dunno,” they said. Farrah knocked on the door. Randy opened it up and let them in. “I guess you girls were wondering why I called you over here,” he said. “We’re not in trouble, are we,” T.J. asked him. “No, kiddo…we need to have a talk about something,” he said. “Is it about what I’ve told you in the hospital during the situation with Sam,” Nyisha said. “Yes…we should be able to get everything out in the open,” he said. “You promised that we wouldn’t bring up the pact from college, Iz,” T.J. said. “Don’t blame your sister for this…she was worried about you…the problem is why didn’t you tell me this yourself,” he asked his youngest daughter. “I don’t know, Dad…I was embarrassed,” she said as Meghan looks on. “It was so long ago…at the time we thought that if this got out, Mr Thompson would’ve pulled T.J. out of school…that’s why we made the pact,” Farrah said. “You knew Terrell was like…I didn’t want to run away from Sam…that’s how it would look like, Dad,” T.J. said. “I understand that…Terrell would’ve done anything to protect you but I wouldn’t done that…we are a family now…you should be able to feel comfortable about telling us anything no matter what it is, good or bad,” he said to them. “If I had told you about Sam back then, what would you do about it,” T.J. questioned. “For starters, I would’ve confronted him…possibly have him thrown out of school so he wouldn’t hurt you again,” he said. “That’s probably what I would’ve needed from you…I didn’t want to leave my school or my friends…I thought if I kept this secret to myself, it wouldn’t feel like it didn’t happen,” she said. “But it did happen…luckily your sisters were there to stop it or it would’ve been worse…you shouldn’t be afraid to tell me what’s going on–all of you–understand,” he said. “Yes, sir,” the girls said to him. Later that evening, the girls were fast asleep in the den. T.J. got up from the couch and went into the kitchen for a bottle of water. She was thinking about the threesome that she and Marvin were involved in. Suddenly, she felt a tap on her shoulder. “Hey, kid…you couldn’t sleep either,” she heard a voice say. “Oh…it’s you, Iz,” she said. It was Nyisha. Randy was upstairs in the master bedroom reading the evening paper when Dee Dee came in. “Hey, honey…are you okay,” she asked him. “Yeah…I’m okay…had a talk with the girls…everything’s good,” he said. “To think that they held onto a big secret in college, it took a toll on all of them,” she said. “I had a lot on my mind with everything that happened for the past couple of weeks,” T.J. said. “I get the idea…your kidnapping…the amnesia…then my idiot ex-husband coming on to you–that sick bastard,” Nyisha said. “That too…somehow I was a little distracted when Kameelah tried to use me so her brother could get Larissa…I felt so bad for that,” she said. “I know but we’ve already gotten past that…what is it that got you so spooked,” Nyisha said. T.J. stood there in a daze. She kept thinking about the threesome from the other night. “Hello? Are you in there,” a voice said. “Huh?! Yeah! I’m here,” T.J. said. “What’s on your mind? Something’s bothering you,” she said. “Okay..I can’t stop thinking about the other night…after the card game and all… the threesome–I’ve never done anything like that before,” T.J. said. “Oh…you mean that night…to tell you the truth, it was my first time too…is this why you were avoiding me all this time,” she asked her sister. “Yeah,” T.J. said softly. “Why didn’t you bring this up before,” she questioned. “I guess I was a little embarrassed…ever since it happened, I tried to distance myself from it…probably how Kameelah took advantage of me…she apologized to me for everything that she’s done and I fell for it…I’m sorry,” T.J. said. “Hey…I’m glad you brought it up now…I wasn’t too comfortable about what we did that night either…guess my head was still spinning from what Tarik has done to me…I got caught up with what happened back then…I promise you this…we don’t have to do anything like that again, okay,” she said. “Okay,” T.J. said softly. Then they hugged.

The girls kept talking until the wee hours of the morning. “Did you tell Marvin about this,” Nyisha asked her. “Yeah…right after the day when I was poisoned by Kameelah…he understood how uncomfortable I was about it…he promised me that it wouldn’t happen again,” T.J. said. “I was thinking that if you didn’t brought it up, I would’ve…we’re a family now so no more secrets, okay,” she said. “Okay…no more secrets,” T.J. said to her. “Hey, you guys…is this a secret meeting or can anyone join,” they heard someone say. “Come on in, Farrah and Meghan,” she said. “We don’t have to tell them, do we,” T.J. whispered. “I’m taking that night to my grave…we’ll never live it down if they knew,” she whispered back. “What you guys talking about over there,” Meghan asked them. “Oh nothing,” T.J. said. The four of them continued talking until Randy and Dee Dee came downstairs. “Hey, girls…you’re up early,” they said. “Good morning,” the girls said. “Since we’re all up, how about some breakfast,” Dee Dee said to them. “Okay, Mom,” T.J. said. “Go on and wash up, girls,” she said. They did exactly that. Dee Dee went over to the refrigerator and grabbed some things to start cooking. Afterwards, the six of them sat down at the kitchen table and say a prayer before starting to eat. Two weeks later, Nyisha brought Larissa home from the hospital. “Mom? I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about the headaches that I was having,” Larissa spoke up. “Don’t worry about it…at least we know what’s causing them….do you know how much you kids mean to me…the boys and you….I know it seems like I’m busy at my job a lot but that’s gonna change…Robert is giving us his private cabin to use for the weekend…it’s about time we need a break from the neighborhood…just me and you, kid,” Nyisha said. Once they got into the driveway, T.J. and Brianna were on the porch waiting for them. “Hey, guys…welcome home,” they said. “Hey, you…to what we owe this visit,” Nyisha asked her sister and niece. “We were just in the neighborhood and decided to stop by…how are you feeling, kiddo,” T.J. said. “I’m good, Aunt Tiffani,” Larissa said as Nyisha got out of the car and grabbed the bags from the back seat. “I’m glad you’re okay, cuz,” Brianna said, opening the car door. “Me too…guess I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you…thank you,” Larissa said, getting out of the car and gave her a hug. “How about we get this little one situated so you can catch me up on what I missed these past couple of days,” Nyisha said. “Of course, Iz,” T.J. said. The four of them went into the house. “I brought this puzzle for us to work on if you’re up to it,” Brianna said. “Sure…can I, Mom,” Larissa asked. “Go ahead, honey…we’ll be in the living room if you need us,” Nyisha said. The girls went to the dining room table and opened the puzzle box. Robert was playing basketball with the guys while Malcolm and Jerome hung out with their older brothers, Tarik Jr and Tyrese on the bench. “So, cuz…how’s the family,” Marvin spoke up. “Oh they’re good…Larissa’s out of the hospital today…Lauren and R.J. are with my mom this week…how are yours,” Robert asked. “Still hanging in there…it’s a relief that Larissa is doing much better,” he responded. “The twins were a little freaked out about their little cousin collapsing at the park the other week…glad she’s okay, Rob,” James said. “Now that you ladies finished cackling, let’s get this game going,” Terrence said. As the guys talked, the boys watched them from across the way. “I don’t know about you but those guys are very strange,” Tyrese said. “And speaking of guys, how is the love search…Thumbelina,” Malcolm said. “Not funny…just remember that I can still kick your butt…it won’t change who I am,” Tarik Jr said. “So how is our cousin doing during Larissa’s crisis,” Jerome said. “She good, Rome! She’s a tough kid! Nothing that she can’t handle,” Tyrese said. Then they went to the second court to start their own game of basketball.

Back at the Williamsons’ house, the girls continued talking as their daughters were working on the puzzle. “How is Brianna doing these days,” Nyisha asked her sister. “Better than expected…she finally got past everything with Isaiah and Sam,” T.J. said. “Let’s not forget about what happened with you…she was worried that she wouldn’t see her mom again,” she said. “I didn’t intend to be put in that situation but I was protecting my kid,” T.J. said. “You could’ve been killed…that was a big risk you took that day…we were scared for you, too…promise me that you would never do that again,” she said. “No problem…I don’t think we’ll never see Sam again after the stuff he did…he’s locked up for good so I won’t put you guys through that anymore,” T.J. told her big sister. “I’ll hold you to that,” she said back. “Besides…I’ll never leave my kids again…they’re too important to me,” T.J. said. “I hope you’re right…that’s a great kid over there…if it wasn’t for Bree, Larissa wouldn’t be here right now,” she said. “I wouldn’t worry about that kid, Iz…she ain’t going nowhere cuz she takes after her mom,” T.J. said. “I don’t know…ever since the diabetes scare, it seems like I always have to protect her from everything and everyone including that darn kid Abel,” she said, “I found out that my daughter‘s headaches are stress related…maybe a change of scenery would help…I’m taking a break from work and go out of town for the weekend…it would be good to spend some time with her, you know!” “Yeah of course…you guys need some time away from this madness…come to think of it, I might do the same thing for Bree…you guys should go on your vacation…the rest of us will hold down the fort until you get back,” T.J. said. “You sure,” she said . “Of course…I’ll still be in town this week…and nothing’s going to happen while you’re gone…go on and have fun,” T.J. said. “You’re right,” she said. “Of course,” T.J. said, “Hey, girls! How’s the puzzle coming?” “It’s coming along good…you know we’re going to be staying in Robert’s cabin this week,” Larissa said. “That should be interesting…you can tell me all about it once you guys get back,” T.J. said to her niece. “Okay…you promise you won’t get kidnapped again this week…Mom kinda freaked out the last time it happened,” Larissa pleaded. “I’m not going anywhere…just enjoy your vacation, okay,” T.J. told her. “Okay,” Larissa said. “We’re about to head out…see you next week,” T.J. said. Nyisha hugged her sister and niece before they head out the door. The next day, everyone came out to the house to see Nyisha and Larissa off. “Hey there! Have a nice trip,” Marvin said to them. “I will,” Nyisha said to her brother-in-law. “Don’t worry about us, big sis! We’ll hold down the fort until you guys get back,” Farrah said. “Too bad your other sister isn’t here to see you go,” said Meghan. “We said our goodbyes last night…her and Bree came by for a visit yesterday,” said Nyisha. “That was nice of her, babe…you girls better get a move on…I heard the traffic gonna be bad out there…the quicker you leave, the quicker you’ll come back,” Robert said. “So quick to get rid of us, aren’t you,” Nyisha said. “Naw…we’ll keep an eye on your little sister while you’re on your vacation,” he said. “Thank you,” she said. Then the girls got into the car and drove away slowly.

Brianna was coming downstairs to the kitchen of the Andersons’ house where T.J. sat at the table drinking coffee and reading the newspaper. “Hi, Mom…where’s everyone,” she asked her mother. “Seeing your aunt and cousin go off on their vacation which reminds me…we should do something together…this could be the only chance before you head off to college,” T.J. said. “I like this side of you…usually you would’ve been off to work at this time,” she said. “Your grandpa gave me the day off plus I meant what I said yesterday…how about a shopping trip…you need a break from what happened with your cousin the other week,” T.J. said. “Okay,” she said. While this was going on, a mysterious van drove up in front of the house. “Go and get dressed…we’ll be leaving in ten minutes,” T.J. said to her daughter. Brianna did exactly that. In a matter of minutes, T.J. heard some footsteps on the front porch. She went to the window to see what was going on. Brianna grabbed her coat and went back downstairs. “Mom? Mom,” she said. Two shadowy figures were standing over T.J.’s body. She was knocked unconscious. “Get the kid,” one of them said. “Oh, shit,” Brianna whispered as the first figure came toward her. “Get over here, kid,” the figure growled at her. “No…get away from me–MOM,” she screamed. The figure grabbed Brianna by the arm and dragged her into the room. “Shut the fuck up…take her to the van,” the second figure said. They forced the girls into the can and drove away, not knowing that the next door neighbor was watching them. Hours later, Chuckie drove up to check on his twin sister and niece when an elderly woman waved at him. “Hey, Miss Laura,” he said. “Hi, young man…there’s something you need to know about what happened earlier,” she said. The two of them sat down on the porch and talked. Afterwards, he checked around the Andersons’ house and saw a drop of blood on the floor. He got on the cellphone and called 9-1-1. Moments later, Farrah was heading back home with Terrence when they saw police cars in front of the Andersons’ house. “What’s going on over there,” she said. The two of them got out of the car and went over to talk with Chuckie. “Hey, little brother! What happened,” she asked him. “I was checking up on T.J. when Miss Laura called me over…when I went in there, I saw some blood on the floor and called for help,” Chuckie said. “Excuse me, everyone…I know this is a stressful time for you but we need to ask you some questions,” said one of the officers. “You don’t think my brother had something to do with this,” Farrah said. “No, ma’am but we need him to make a statement on what happened here,” the officer said. “I got it, you guys! I need to find out what happened to my sister,” Chuckie said. “I gotta call Marvin…let him what’s going on at his house,” Terrence said. Then he got on his cellphone and walked away.

Marvin was at the restaurant eating lunch with his kids when his cellphone buzz. “I have to take this, guys…hello, Terrence…what,” he said. “I wonder what is that about,” Marlon said. “Mind your business, knucklehead,” Tarik Jr said to his little brother. “I’ll be right there,” he said. “What’s wrong, Daddy,” Mark asked him. “I gotta go! Tarik Jr, keep an eye on your siblings! I’ll see you guys a little bit later,” he said. “Okay,” Tarik Jr said. He gave them some cash before rushing out the door. Meanwhile, Terrence and Farrah were in their car while the cops were doing their job. Marvin drove up behind them and got out of his Escalade. He walked up to the car and got in. “What’s going on here, guys,” he asked them. “The cops believe that your wife was kidnapped earlier today,” Terrence said. “How is that possible? I left both her and Bree in bed this morning,” he said. “What? Brianna was here too,” Farrah said. “Yep,” he said. “I’ll call Ali and see if she’s seen her,” Farrah said. “I’ll call my daughter…she might be still inside,” he said, grabbing his cellphone out of his pocket. As one of the officers was canvassing the house, he heard a ringing in the next room. He squat down and saw a cellphone blinking under the table. “Hey, Di! I found something,” the officer said. The three of them looked outside and saw the officer with a cellphone in a plastic bag. They got out of the car and confronted him. “That’s my daughter’s cellphone,” Marvin said. “Excuse me, officer! What is the possibility of my niece being missing as well,” Farrah asked. “I left the house this morning while my wife and daughter were sleeping…where are they,” Marvin yelled. “I didn’t know that myself until Miss Laura told me about strange men dragging the girls into an orange van,” Chuckie said. “That would mean two people are missing instead of one…don’t worry, sir…we will find your wife and daughter,” the officer said to him. Randy and Dee Dee were watching TV when the news report came on. “Um, honey…is that your daughter and granddaughter,” she said. “Oh God…we better head over there,” he said. They got up from the couch and went out of the room. Later that day, everyone showed up at the Andersons’ house one by one. “I heard on the news about T.J. and Bree…who would do such a thing,” Michelle said. “Whoever did it is very stupid for kidnapping the girls,” Shane said. “It’s just like when DeWayne kidnapped Nyisha to get Bridget back…glad that punk is dead,” said Kevin. “I’m gonna talk to this cop…see what they’re doing about this,” Randy said to the kids. Then he head up to the house.

T.J. started to wake up and found herself in a strange room. She and Brianna were tied up together on the floor. “Ohhh…my head…Bree…wake up,” she mumbled. “Mom? Where are we,” Brianna whispered. “I don’t know! Hello? Anyone out there,” she said. “Well hello there, ladies…long time no see,” a voice said. “Sam? What are you doing here,” she said. “Hello to you too, Tiffani…Bree,” Sam said, coming out of the shadows. “Why are you doing this to us,” Brianna said. “We’re getting our revenge on the both of you for having us locked up…right, cuz,” he said. “Who’s us? What are you talking about,” she yelled. “He means me…hi, Tiffani,” the second voice spoke up. “Uncle Tarik? You’re supposed to be in jail,” Brianna said. “Not anymore…your mother’s gonna pay for putting me in there,” Tarik growled. “What are you gonna do to us,” Brianna said. “I wouldn’t worry about that just yet…if you do what we say, no one gets hurt, got it,” Tarik said. At the Williamsons’ cabin, Nyisha was making lunch in the kitchen as Larissa was on the computer. She came up on a news report on the screen. “Come in and eat, kiddo,” Nyisha said to her daughter. “Mom? Is that Bree and her mom,” she said, pointing at the pictures on the computer. “Oh, my god! We gotta go,” Nyisha said, grabbing their bags and heading to the car. “What about lunch,” she said. “You’ll eat it in the way back…let’s go,” Nyisha told her. “Okay,” she said, grabbing the sandwich and taking a bite out of it. The two of them drove off quickly. Back in town, Colonel Darryl Anderson was eating pie at the VFW when he saw the news report. “Hey, Colonel…isn’t that your daughter-in-law on the TV there,” one of the men said. “Yeah…I gotta go…maybe see what’s going on out there,” he said, grabbing his coat and leaving the room. Sam and Tarik were talking outside an old warehouse while the girls were trying to get loose from the ropes. “What are we gonna do, Mom,” Brianna asked. “I don’t know yet…I’ll figure out something,” T.J. said, pulling out a pocket knife to cut the ropes. Once they were free, the boys came back inside. “What are you up to,” Sam said. “Why don’t you let us go? Our families are probably worried about us right now,” Brianna said angrily. “Not a chance, babe! Your mother ruined my life! Now it’s payback time,” he growled. “You kidnapped my mom and left her for dead…you deserved what you’ve gotten,” Brianna yelled. He got mad and slapped her hard. T.J. got mad and punched him in the face. “You didn’t have to do that, jerk,” she yelled at him. “Maybe not but she had it coming,” he said. As she kneeled down to console her daughter, Sam took out a gun and knocked her out. Brianna screamed. “Quiet, you! She had it coming! Sam, let’s tie them back up but this time, tighter knots,” Tarik said. The boys did exactly that. “Hey, guys! I heard on the news that Tarik and Sam have broken out of jail a few days ago plus an orange van was reported stolen within the time that the girls were kidnapped,” Jason said to the gang. “It’s no surprise that those idiots choose to go after our sister and niece for getting them convicted in the first place,” Irish said. “I bet those fools kidnapped the girls for revenge,” Danny said. “That’s right! Sam and Tarik are angry at T.J. and Bree for putting them in jail,” Martin said. As the boys talked, Colonel Anderson drove up to the house and saw Marvin sitting on the driveway. “I heard what happened with your wife and daughter…are you okay,” he said. “Don’t act like you’re concerned…you walked out on us a long time ago,” Marvin said angrily. “I’m trying to make up for that now…let me help you,” he said. “No way! I rather let the police do their job,” Marvin told him. “Whenever you get over your stubbornness of the past, you know where to find me,” he said, walking away. Then Randy watched the two of them go their separate ways.

Nyisha drove up to the Andersons house and got out of the car. “Hey, guys…what’s this I hear about T.J. and Bree being kidnapped,” she asked the gang. “Miss Laura said that some guys got ahold of the girls and put them in an orange van,” Chuckie said. “Now Tarik and Sam broke out of jail…I bet they were probably behind it all,” Kevin said. Tyrese drove up to the house and saw the police cars parked out front. He got out to join his family. “Hey, guys…what happened,” he asked them. “We got some bad news…your mom and your sister were kidnapped…we think your dad and Sam had something to do with it,” Terrence said. “How could that happened…unless they broke out of prison,” he said. “It’s a strong possibility, nephew,” Chuckie said. T.J. woke up once again to see Tarik standing in front of her. “I see that you’re awake…ready to behave now,” he said. “You’ll be sorry for what you’ve done…my family won’t rest until we are found,” she said. “You sure about that, Tiff,” he said. “You have no idea,” she said. Sam came in with Brianna in tow. “What’s going on in here,” Sam asked. “Just putting this bitch in her place…once I’m done, you will never go home again,” he said. “Same here…you stay quiet or I’ll give you something to scream about,” Sam said, throwing Brianna to the floor. The two of them left the room and shut the door. “Bree? Are you okay? Did he hurt you,” she said. “No, Mom…I’m good,” Brianna said, “Why are they doing this to us?” “I don’t know…but I’m going to find out,” T.J. said. Hours later, Meghan and James were sitting at the kitchen table of their home watching the news report on TV. “I can’t believe this is going on…the whole family are freaking out over T.J. and Bree being kidnapped…they think Tarik and Sam are involved since they broke out of prison,” she said. “Yeah…knowing those two jerks, it’s probably for revenge…the girls did send them to prison,” he said. As they talked, Alicia stood outside the kitchen door. “Hopefully, the cops gets ahold of those idiots before my dad does…he just got his daughter back…he doesn’t want to lose her again,” she said. Alicia thought back to the last time she saw Tarik. It was the day she spent time at the music studio. Tarik came to pick her up from school to help him out with a project. “Hey, kiddo…thanks for this…I’ll drop you off to your house once we’re done,” she remembers Tarik saying to her. She got into his car and buckled her seatbelt. While the guys were working in the booth, she was doing her homework. “Hey there…come in here for a minute,” Tarik whispered. “Okay,” she said, walking into the booth with him. “Ever thought about making music,” he asked her. “Maybe…but my mom thinks I should have a solid career…something to fall back on,” she said, not knowing how Tarik was looking at her. “Yeah…well, if you change your mind…I’ll be happy to help you with that,” he said as he moves closer to his unsuspecting niece. “Okay…I’ll keep that in mind,” she said. “For starters, let me show you how to work this mic,” he said, helping her up onto a nearby stool. As she got onto the stool, he starts to loosen up his pants. “Is this high enough,” she asked him. “Yeah…right there,” he said, pulling her close to him. “What are you doing,” she said. “Don’t act so innocent with me…teasing me with your little outfits…trying to get a rise out of me,” he said seductively. “I don’t know what you’re talking about…let go of me,” she said as he held her arms down. Tarik stuck his tongue down her throat. Alicia tries fighting him off but no such luck. “You wanna act like you’re a grown woman…I’m gonna start treating you like one,” he said. “No…stop it…please,” she said. Suddenly, she snapped out of it and went upstairs. Diane and Jeremiah were playing cards in the hallway. “Hey, Ali…wanna play go fish,” they asked their big sister. “No…maybe later,” she said to them. She went into the bathroom and shut the door. Then she went back to daydreaming about the incident at the music studio.

“Hey, guys! What’s going on up here,” Meghan asked her two children. “I’m whopping Diane in go fish,” Jeremiah said. “Yeah right, Jay,” Diane said. “Where’s your sister,” she said. “She’s in the bathroom,” Diane said back. “She’s acting real strange lately,” Jeremiah said. “We heard about Bree and her mom…Aunt Farrah called Ali earlier today, which is why she was acting weird,” Diane said. “Do you think Uncle Tarik is behind the kidnapping, Mom,” Jeremiah asked. “Yeah…could be a possibility, kid,” she said to him. While they were talking, Alicia stood in front of the mirror. “Let’s make one thing clear here…no one needs to know what happened tonight, you hear me…not your mom or your dad or my wife…you breathe a word of this and I will kill you, got it,” she remembers Tarik telling her in the car. Suddenly, she was interrupted by her mother’s voice. “Ali? Honey, open up! It’s Mom,” Meghan said, knocking on the door. Alicia sat down on the floor. She drown out the knocking outside. “Hey, babe…what’s going on,” James asked his wife. “It’s Ali! She’s locked herself in the bathroom,” she said. “Ali? Come on! Open up the door,” he said, knocking on the door. Alicia closed her ears tight as her parents calls out to her from the hallway. “Mom? Dad? What’s wrong with Ali,” Jeremiah asked them. “I don’t know, you guys, but we’ll find out…go to your rooms–right now,” James said. The kids did what they are told. While James and Meghan were trying to get into the bathroom, Alicia was thinking about the day Tarik and Nyisha came over to the house. “Hey, guys…good to see you,” she remembers hearing Tarik saying to her parents downstairs. “Hi, Auntie Nyisha! Hi, Uncle Tarik,” said Jeremiah and Diane. “Where’s Ali,” Nyisha asked them. “She’s up in her room…said she had a stomachache…we decide to let her rest today,” Meghan said. “Aww…that’s too bad…I hope she feels better, Meg,” she said. “You mind if I use your bathroom real quick,” Tarik asked them. “Sure, man,” James said. Tarik went upstairs but instead of going to the bathroom, he went into the girls’ bedroom. “Hey, kid…heard you had a stomachache,” he said. “I couldn’t tell them what actually happened or my dad would’ve killed you by now,” Alicia told him. “Good-good! I wouldn’t have anything to worry about as long as you stick to what I said about the other night,” he said, sitting down on the bed. “I rather forget what you did to me,” she said. “You sure about that? I enjoyed it,” he whispered as he runs his hand down her back. “Stop it…I don’t wanna do this anymore,” she said. He leaned over to kiss her but she pushed him away and head for the door. Before she could open it, Tarik slammed it shut. “Where do you think you’re going, huh,” he said, locking the door. “Get away from me or I’ll scream…everyone will know what you’ve done including your wife,” she said. “I’ll have to put a stop to that…no one would know anything if you’re dead…instead I’ll just have to remind you again what would happen if you talk,” he said, grabbing Alicia by her throat and throwing her on the bed. He held his niece’s arms down and unbuckled his pants. The images were burned in Alicia’s head after her attack by Tarik’s hands. James managed to get the bathroom door open. “What have I told about locking this door,” he said, unaware of his daughter sitting there in a daze. “Ali? Are you okay,” Meghan asked. “Huh? Mom? Dad,” Alicia said softly. “Hey, kiddo…didn’t you hear us knocking on the door,” James asked. “No, sir…I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m about to start dinner in a few minutes…go on to your room,” Meghan said. “Okay, Mom,” she said, getting off the floor. Then she left the bathroom.

Sam was sitting outside the room where T.J. and Brianna were being held while Tarik went out to pick up some supplies. He was thinking about the times that he visited his grandfather at the family beach house as a kid. Tarik was also there. The three of them would do everything together from going fishing together to relaxing in the sun. But one sudden night, Sam walked in on something horrific. His grandfather and cousin were in bed together. “Sammy, head on to bed son,” he remembers his grandfather told him. Suddenly, he snapped out of it when Tarik came back in with some bags. “Hey, cuz…how’s the girls,” he said to his cousin. Meanwhile, T.J. tried to get out of the ropes when they come in. “Hey! Cut that out or you’ll be severely punished,” Sam said. “Don’t hurt my mom, Sam,” Brianna said angrily. “Maybe you need to be taught a little lesson right now,” Tarik said, “Sam, watch Tiffani! Don’t let her out of your sight!” “All right…what’re you gonna do with Bree, man,” Sam questioned. “Don’t worry about it…just watch that one,” he demanded. Sam stood there as Tarik drags Brianna out of the room. “Get off of me, Uncle Tarik–Mom,” she screamed. Tarik slapped her across the face and said, “Quiet, little girl, or you’ll regret it!” “What are you gonna do to me,” she said. Tarik think back to the night at the studio with Alicia. Her screams filled his head as he curiously looked at Brianna. “Do you really want to know, huh? Give my regards to Ali for me,” he said, throwing her to the floor. T.J. heard the screaming outside and fought to get out of the ropes once again. “Cut it out, Tiffani…I said knock it off,” Sam yelled. He slapped her in a fit of rage. “I don’t know what your game is but if your cousin is out there hurting my daughter, I would fucking kill you both,” T.J. said angrily. “You so sure about that? I’ll kill you where you stand! I oughta do it considering you sent me to jail for your current accident,” he said. She spit in his face. “That does it! In the closet you go,” he growled. “Don’t you dare,” she screamed. Sam didn’t listen to her. He dragged her into an old closet and slammed it shut. Hours later, Sam came face to face with Tarik as he buckled up his pants. Brianna was passed out on the floor. All he could think about was that fateful night with his grandfather raping his cousin. “Hey, man…what’s up,” Tarik asked him. “This was all a game to you…like you did to your other niece,” he shouted. “It’s about self-control…the same thing I did to Tiffani when we were married…you’re not punking out on me, are you,” Tarik said. “Naw, man,” he said softly. “You need to relax…we’re in control now…those girls will never cross us again,” Tarik said. Sam turned his back on Tarik and slowly took a deep breath. I thought about the incident once again. Suddenly, he felt a hand run across his chest. “We got them where we want, cuz,” a voice said. “Wait-what,” he said. Out of the blue, he heard grunting behind him. “Aww, shit! What are you doing to me, Tarik,” he yelled. “Maybe you need to be reminded who’s in charge here…it’ll have to be me,” Tarik whispered in his cousin’s ear. “Ahh…stop it, cuz..please,” he pleaded. “Uh-uh…almost done here…ahhh,” Tarik grunted. “Ah fuck…not you too…I don’t do that gay shit…back off, man,” he said, pulling out a gun. “Whoa, man,” Tarik yelled. “It’s just like the shit with Grandpa…he did the same thing to me like you did…stay away from me or I’ll fucking kill you,” he yelled back. “You don’t have the guts to shoot me,” Tarik growled. Then the gun went off.

Hours later, Nyisha showed up at the hospital to start her shift. “Hey, girl…hear anything about your sister and niece yet,” one of the nurses asked her. “No…not a thing,” she said. “Well, they brought a guy an hour ago…gunshot to the chest…he looks like the guy that we saw on the news the other day,” the nurse said. “Where is this guy you’re talking about,” she asked. “Room 201…it seems like no one claimed him yet,” the nurse said. Moments later, Nyisha head down to the room to confront the patient. “Well, well, well! So we meet again, Tarik,” she said to the person in the bed. Chuckie came to the hospital when he ran into one of the nurses. “Hey, Brenda! Any chance if Nyisha is working tonight,” he asked. “Yeah…just got in…she’s with a John Doe in Room 201,” Brenda said to him. “Thanks, Brenda,” he said, kissing her on the cheek before heading down the hall. “How did you end up here? I know you and Sam kidnapped T.J. and Bree…where are they, huh,” she yelled. She saw a scalpel next to the bed and grabs for it. Once she was about to stab him, Chuckie came in and grabbed her from behind. “Don’t do it, Nyisha…you don’t want to risk your life…your career…or your family for this clown…what about Robert…you don’t wanna hurt him like this,” he said. “Let me go, Chuckie…he knows where our sister and niece are,” she yelled. “We’ll find another way! Dad wouldn’t want you to do this! Tarik will get what he deserves but we should do it the right way, okay! I don’t wanna lose you, too,” he said. Nyisha broke down crying in her brother’s arms. At the Johnsons house, Randy was in the kitchen reading the newspaper when the phone rang. “Hello,” he said. “Hi, Dad…can you meet me at the hospital…it’s about Nyisha,” Chuckie said. “Okay, son…we’ll be right there,” he said as Dee Dee came in. Moments later, they meet up with the kids in the waiting room. “Thanks for calling us, honey,” Dee Dee said. “No problem,” he said. “Hey there, Iz…are you okay,” Randy asked. “Yes, Dad,” she said. “You really need to do something about that temper of yours…you’re just as bad as your little sister,” Dee Dee said. “I couldn’t help it…how is Tarik still here while T.J. and Bree are missing,” she said. “I don’t know but we’ll deal with it later…we don’t kill people…you should know that,” Dee Dee said. “I couldn’t help it, Mom…when I heard that Tarik was here, I lost it…I hate what my ex-husband has done to Marvin and those kids…they may never see those girls again,” she cried. “Let’s get you home to Robert cuz unfortunately, you can’t work in this condition,” Dee Dee said. “Maybe it’s best, ma’am…I’m relieving Dr Johnson of all her duties…I hope your daughter and granddaughter are found soon,” said a middle middle-aged man in a gray suit. “Thank you, Mr. Brown,” Randy said back. The two men shook hands before going their separate ways. Once they were outside, Nyisha stopped Chuckie in the parking lot. “Thanks for what happened in the room earlier,” she said. “Of course…I’m just doing what T.J. would’ve done…look…we’ll get them for what they did to our family…Sam and Tarik won’t get away with grabbing the girls,” he said. “You’re right…they better find Sam soon…I don’t think I can take it if we lose our sister and niece in the process,” she said. “Our little sister is tough…it’ll take more than a couple of punks to take her down,” he said. “Good point,” she said. “I almost forgot…Robert asked me to give you a ride home,” he said. “I figured as much! Let’s go,” she said. Then they got into the car.

Robert was just getting in from work when his cellphone buzzed. He put everything down to answer it. “Hello…hey, little sis…when did you get in,” he asked. “A few seconds ago,” said the woman in front of his door. The two of them hugged. Moments later, Chuckie and Nyisha pulled up in the driveway as this was going on. “Who’s that with your husband,” he asked. “I don’t know but I’m going to find out,” she said, getting out of the car. “Oh shit…round two,” he said, following his sister. “Hi, Rob! What’s going on,” she asked her husband. “Hey, babe…Chuckie…this is my little sister, Lydia,” Robert said. “Hi! I heard so much about you,” Lydia said. “Hello to you too…sorry I’m a little frazzled…tough day at work…how long will you be in town for,” Nyisha asked her new sister-in-law. “I don’t know yet…let’s talk,” Lydia said. As the two of them went inside, Robert and Chuckie followed them. “What happened out there,” he asked his brother-in-law. “She tried to kill her ex-husband today…the chief of staff give your wife a leave of absence to calm her down,” Chuckie said. “As my husband failed to mention, Chuckie is my little brother…there’s seven of us…I’m the oldest, next  my twin sister Farrah, this one here, his twin sister TJ, my other sister Meghan, my brother Kevin, and my baby brother, Danny,” Nyisha said. “Wow…luckily, there’s only three of us kids in our family…it’s just me, Rob, and Cole…must be hard keeping the younger ones in line,” Lydia asked her. “I ain’t that little, sis,” Chuckie said. “Nah! We’re always watching out for each other,” Nyisha said. “Like tonight when Chuckle kept her from killing Tarik…are you feeling all right, babe,” Robert said. “Yeah…I’m good,” she told him. “Umm…did I catch you guys at a bad time or something,” Lydia asked them. “Naw…not at all,” they said. “Just asking cuz I heard on some news report about a young woman and her kid being kidnapped a few months ago,” she said. “The young woman on the news is our little sister, T.J.! She and her daughter, Brianna, were kidnapped by my ex-husband and his cousin,” Nyisha said softly. “So far, Tarik was found but his cousin, Sam, still has the girls…we don’t know where they are at this point,” Chuckie said. “Oh my god…how are you guys holding up,” she asked them. “We’re hanging in there…if any luck, they’ll be found,” Chuckie said. “We’re just waiting to hear from the police if anything comes up,” Robert said. “I hope the police do find them, you guys,” Lydia said, holding Nyisha’s hand. Months later, Marvin and his kids went to church and say a prayer for their missing loved ones. Afterwards, they saw Colonel Darryl Anderson standing outside. “Who’s that, Daddy,” Angel asked him. “You guys, head over to the car…I’ll be there in a minute,” Marvin said to them. “Okay,” the kids said. “Cute kids,” said Colonel Anderson. “What? Are you stalking me now? What do you want, old man,” he said. “It seems like your wife and daughter were missing for two…maybe three months now…we gotta stop this fighting because it doesn’t help this situation…I know how to get the girls back but you have to be able to trust me…if not for yourself, do it for those kids over there,” Colonel Anderson said. Marvin looked over to the kids and said, “You win…I’ll let you do this but one condition…we don’t speak to each other ever again…no emotional attachment to my wife or the kids, got it,” he said. “Got it! Let’s get your family back together,” Colonel Anderson said. The two of them got in the car with the kids and drove off. Alicia was laying across her bed thinking about everything that happened for the past few months when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She quickly jerk back from the touch. “Hey, Ali! It’s me,” a voice said. “Hi, Aunt Nyisha,” she said, rubbing her eyes. “Your mom told me you weren’t feeling well…is it about your cousin and her mom that got you upset,” Nyisha asked her. “Yeah…why would Uncle Tarik do it…Uncle Marvin didn’t deserve to be hurt like that,” she said. “I don’t know, honey…we can ask him once the cops catch him,” Nyisha said. “It’s been three months…will we ever see them again,” she said. “Of course we will…it’ll take some time but knowing your aunt, she and her daughter will make it out just fine,” Nyisha said. Meanwhile, Marvin was at an out of town diner with Colonel Anderson. The kids were with their grandmother. “Who is this guy that you were talking about in the car,” he asked. “He’s an old buddy of mine when I was in the service…a natural born tracker…if you want something found, he’s the guy to get for the job,” Colonel Anderson said. “Of course,” he said. “There’s not one day that I haven’t thought about my family…I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you guys growing up,” said Colonel Anderson. “If it’s all right with you, I rather stay on the job with getting my wife and daughter back,” he said. “All right,” Colonel Anderson agreed. Suddenly, a sturdy older guy approached their table. “Hey, Sims! Good to see you,” Colonel Anderson said to him. The two men shook hands before sitting down. “I was told that you can help me find my wife and daughter,” Marvin said. “Yeah…I was briefed on everything…I know this town like the back of my hand…we’ll find the girls soon enough,” Sims said to them. Brianna woke up in the same room that she was held in. T.J. was slipping in and out of consciousness in the old closet. “Help? Help,” she said softly. “Mom? Mom,” Brianna said after hearing a faint voice close by. She went over to the closet and tried to open it. T.J. closed her eyes. Her body temperature slowly drops from exhaustion. Sam thought about the night Tarik came on to him. He shook it off and went into the room to confront Brianna. “Wake up, bitch,” he yelled. She sat up and quickly back herself against a wall. “No more, please,” she cried. “Nice try…you’re gonna give me what I want…come here…I’m horny,” he growled as he pulled Brianna close to him. Suddenly, she screamed in excruciating pain. “Quit your crying before I give you something to cry about,” he grumbled. Suddenly, he slapped her across the face hard. She hears a painful ringing in her ear once it happened. “You’re so selfish…you like my cousin more than me…HUH,” he yelled. “NO,” she screamed at him. He slapped her again before leaving the room. Afterwards, she blacked out. Then he slammed the door.

A truck slowly drove up outside. “Here’s the place,” Sims said. “Good…I’m going in,” Marvin said, grabbing the door handle. “Wait a minute, son…if this guy is as crazy as you say he is, then we mustn’t alert him…we wanna bring these girls out of here alive, okay,” Colonel Anderson said. “Yeah…I got it,” he said. “I’ll go in first…this guy Sam won’t expect me…if your wife and daughter are in there, I’ll bring them to you safely,” Sims said to Marvin. He got out of the truck and creep around the building slowly. Sam was walking around down the halls grumbling something when suddenly he was knocked from behind. Marvin and Colonel Anderson waited patiently until they heard a faint whistle. “That’s our cue…come on,” Colonel Anderson said. He and Marvin got out of the truck and went inside. Within seconds, the three of them goes into a room and found Brianna lying on the floor. “Hi, honey! Wake up,” she heard someone say. Brianna looked up to see who it is. It was Sims. “Huh? Who are you,” she whispered. “Don’t worry about that right now! I’m here to get you home to your dad,” he said. She felt him picking her up and carrying her out of the room. Rubbing her eyes, she saw Marvin. “Dad,” she called out. “Hey, kiddo…I’m so happy to see you…are you okay,” he asked her. “Yeah…I think so,” she said. He hugged her tight. “We gotta get out of here…FAST,” said Sims. “Wait…we can’t leave Mom,” she said. “Where is she,” Colonel Anderson asked her. “In that closet over there,” she said to them. “You get your kid out of here…we’ll get your wife out and be right behind you,” Sims said. Marvin did exactly that. Sims and Colonel Anderson worked at opening the old closet. In no time, they got it open. T.J. was unconscious. “Is she okay,” Colonel Anderson asked his friend. “Just barely…let’s get out of here,” Sims said, heading out of the room. Colonel Anderson picked up his daughter-in-law and carried her in his arms. The two of them made it out of the building and head to the truck. They all got in and drove off. As they were roaring down the highway, Sims performed CPR on T.J. “Mom? Mom,” Brianna called out. “Hold on, Tiffani…we’re gonna get you some help,” Marvin said to his wife. Suddenly, another vehicle came up and rammed into them. “What the hell,” Colonel Anderson yelled. “It’s Sam, Colonel…drive faster,” Marvin said. He did just that. Nyisha and Robert were playing cards with Lydia when their cell phones starts buzzing. “I gotta take this, girls…hello,” he said. “I got a call, too…hello,” she said. Moments later, everyone meet up at the hospital. Marvin was sitting in the waiting room as his wife and daughter was being evaluated. “Marvin, we came as soon as we heard…are they okay,” Nyisha asked her brother-in-law. “Yeah…just some bumps and bruises but they’re gonna be okay,” he said. “How did you find them,” Dee Dee said. “I had help from them,” he said. “Captain Adam Simpson, ma’am,” Sims introduced himself. “At ease, soldier,” Randy said. “Hello! I’m Colonel Darryl Anderson,” they heard a voice said to them. “Yeah…I’ve heard so much about you…saw you over to the house on the day the girls were kidnapped…thank you,” Randy said, shaking his hand. “It’s not a big deal…Sims did most of the legwork so we could bring your daughter and granddaughter back to your family, sir,” Colonel Anderson said. Then the doctor came out to talk with them.

The gang came in to see T.J. resting comfortably in a hospital bed. “Hey there, kiddo…how are you feeling,” Randy asked his daughter. “Hi, Dad…I’m doing okay,” she whispered. “Welcome back, little sister,” Nyisha said. “Hey, guys…where am I,” she asked them. “You’re in the hospital, honey…for dehydration and exhaustion…they told us your heart stopped for almost 18 minutes…we almost lost you,” Dee Dee said. “I didn’t know…am I gonna be okay,” she said. “Yeah, kiddo…they’re keeping you here for observation…it’s just for a few days,” he said. “I remember you, Colonel Anderson…you came to the house a while back and Marvin slammed the door in your face,” she said. “Yes, ma’am…just checking to see if you’re okay,” Colonel Anderson said to her. “But who are you,” she questioned. “Captain Adam Simpson, ma’am,” Sims said. “They saved your life, babe,” Marvin said to her. “Thanks,” she said. “Why don’t we let this one here get some rest…it’s been a long day,” Dee Dee said. “See you later, T.J.,” Nyisha said. “Bye,” T.J. said. “We’ll be right outside…get some rest, okay,” Marvin said. “Okay,” she said. He kissed her on the cheek and left with the rest of the gang. As he comes out of the hospital room, Randy confronted him. “I heard that you weren’t getting along with the Colonel,” he said. “I find it hard to trust him after he walked out on us as kids, Mr. Johnson,” Marvin said. “I understand that but he’s making up for it now…I know how it feels because I had to work hard to repair my relationship with my son and my daughter…isn’t it about time you let go of the past, son,” he said. Moments later, Marvin meet up with Colonel Anderson in Brianna’s room. “Hey,” he said. “Hello, Marvin,” Colonel Anderson said. The two of them started talking. Two weeks later, Marvin was waiting for his wife and daughter to be released from the hospital. Soonafter, they got into the car and drove away. “I’m glad to be out of that place…I just wanna go home and climb into bed,” T.J. said. “Not just yet…we have a surprise for you girls,” Marvin said. “Really? What is it,” Brianna asked him. “You’ll see,” he said, driving up to the restaurant. They got out and walked up to the front door. Once they were inside, everyone jumps out and yelled, “Surprise!” ”Hey, girls! We’re so happy to see you,” Farrah said, hugging her little sister. “Were you surprised,” Terrence asked her. “Yeah,” T.J. answered them. “You may not remember me but…,” Lydia said, approaching her in-laws. “Lydia…Marvin told me about you while I was in the hospital…good to see more of his family other than the Colonel of course,” T.J. said. “I’ll let that slide this time…good to see you among the living, Tiffani,” Colonel Anderson spoke up. “Thank you…it’s good to be seen,” she said, hugging her father-in-law. “Brianna, this is your grandfather! Colonel Darryl Anderson,” Marvin said to his daughter. “Hello, Colonel,” Brianna said. “Hello, Brianna,” he said. Then she hugged him tight.

While the rest of the family were having a good time, Alicia sat at an empty booth in the back of the restaurant. “Hey, kiddo…what’s wrong,” she heard someone say. “Nothing, Aunt Tiffani,” she said. “Aww don’t give me that…you’ve been moping around here all evening…there must be something on your mind…you can tell me anything,” T.J. said. “After hearing about you and Bree being kidnapped, all the bad things start flooding back to me…I thought I could put it out of my mind but I can’t do it anymore,” she said, “Remember when I was supposed to be helping out that night at the music studio…Uncle Tarik raped me!” “Oh my god…I had no idea…did anyone know about this,” T.J. asked her. “No…you’re the only one I’ve told,” she cried. “For now, we’ll keep this between us…just until you’re ready to tell your parents…I can be there for you if you want,” T.J. said. “Okay,” she said, wiping her eyes. “I’m sorry this happened to you…Tarik is the one to blame for this…whatever you decide, I have your back,” T.J. said to her niece. The two of them hugged. Once the celebration was over, Alicia caught up to T.J. before she got into the car. “I thought about what you said…I think I’m ready to tell them,” she said. “Good for you…let me know how that goes, okay,” T.J. said. “Okay…bye, Uncle Marvin,” she said, heading over to her parents. “Um…what was that about,” Marvin asked his wife. “I was just giving our niece some sound advice…you’ll know about it when she’s ready,” T.J. replied. The two of them got into the car and drive away. Meanwhile, James and Meghan were heading home from the restaurant. “Mom? Dad! I have something to tell you,” Alicia spoke up. “What is it, honey,” they asked her. “Remember what I was helping out Uncle Tarik at his music studio…he started acting weird…he held me down and raped me,” Alicia said. They sat there in shock. James managed to pull the car over on the side of the road. Meghan got out and went to comfort her daughter. “I’m so sorry this happened to you, Ali,” she said softly. “Why would he do this…did I do something wrong,” Alicia asked her mother. “No, honey…you did nothing wrong…he was the one that was wrong…don’t ever doubt yourself, you hear me,” she said. Alicia shook her head and hugged her mother tight. The next day, Meghan meet up with the girls at the diner. “Hey, little sister! What’s the sudden emergency,” Farrah asked. “My daughter just told us that Tarik raped her,” she said. “Oh my god…is she okay,” Nyisha asked her sister. “Yeah…I can’t believe he would go after my child…Ali didn’t do anything to him…she didn’t deserve this, you guys,” she said to them. “No, she didn’t! Tarik is such a jerk! He needs to pay for what he’s done to your daughter,” T.J. said. “She said that you talked to her…encourage her to tell us what was going on…thank you,” she said. “Of course…I would do anything for that kid,” T.J. said. Bridget showed up at their table and said, “I couldn’t help but overhearing what happened with Alicia…I went through the same thing…Tarik raped me, too!” “Come here, kid,” T.J. said, hugging her little sister tight. Meanwhile, Alicia and Brianna were sitting at the next table. “I heard what happened…why didn’t you tell me,” Brianna said. “I guess I was embarrassed…he threatened to kill me if I said anything…I couldn’t even tell Aunt Nyisha what happened, Bree,” she said. “Uncle Tarik is so evil…he should pay for hurting us,” Brianna said. Alicia sat there in a daze. She was unaware of what was going on around her. “You know you wanted it,” Tarik’s voice echoed in her head. “No, I didn’t…get away from me,” she screamed at the top of her lungs. “Huh,” Brianna said. Alicia got up from the table and ran outside. “What the–,” Farrah said. Then the girls got up from the table and went after her.

Alicia went into the middle of the street. “Ali? Ali! Come back here,” Meghan called out. She didn’t listen. She drown out her mother’s voice. “I have to go out there, you guys,” T.J. said. “I’ll coming with you…please don’t argue with me, Mom…she’s my family, too,” Brianna said. “All right…stay close to me,” she said. The two of them rushes over to Alicia as she stood there in shock. “Ali…you need to get out of the street…you’re scaring us,” T.J. said to her niece. “No…I can’t…he’s gonna kill me,” Alicia yelled. “No, he won’t…I wouldn’t let anything happen to you…I promise,” she said. “Please, Ali…don’t do this…what about your mom, huh…you don’t want to hurt her, do you,” Brianna yelled. “You have no idea what I’ve been through since it happened,” Alicia yelled back. “You’re sure about that, Ali…I had to live with the same painful secret as you did…don’t let Tarik Lane win,” Bridget said to her. “Killing yourself isn’t the answer, kid…you can beat this…we will help you…just give me your hand, honey,” T.J. said. “Please, Ali…we don’t wanna lose you,” Brianna cried. Alicia reluctantly reach out to T.J. and grabbed her hand. “Oh my god…thank you,” Meghan whispered to herself. T.J. grabbed Alicia and held her tight. “That-a-girl…you’re safe now,” she said softly. Alicia broke down crying. She and Bridget got their niece over to the sidewalk to reunite with her mother. “That’s a relief…are you okay, girls,” Nyisha asked. “Yeah…never better,” T.J. said, trying to catch her breath. “Let’s get these girls to the hospital,” Farrah said. “I think you mean Ali,” T.J. said. “To be safe, you need to checked out as well…we’re not taking any chances…come on,” Nyisha said. They got into the car and drove away. While the girls were sitting in the waiting room, the rest of the family showed up. “Hey, kids…is everything okay,” Dee Dee asked them. “Yeah…but I’m not sure about Ali,” Meghan said. “I heard that child went in the middle of the street…is she okay,” she questioned. “Yes, Mom,” Meghan said, “Brianna, Bridget, and T.J. got her out of the street in the nick of time!” “Tarik cause this…he raped Ali,” Bridget said, “I know how that feels like because it happened to me too!” “Oh my god…are you okay,” Dee Dee asked her. “Yeah…I’m okay,” she said, “The most important thing that Ali gets through this as well!” ”I’m going to make sure that Tarik doesn’t hurt this family ever again and that includes you, okay,” Randy said. “Okay,” she said, hugging him tight. Meanwhile, T.J. came out of the ER and join them. “Hey, buddy…everything ok,” Farrah asked her. “Yeah…I’m ok…what’s going on,” T.J. said. “We heard what you girls did for Ali…I’m proud of you,” Dee Dee said. Alicia walked down the hallway and slipped into one of the hospital rooms. She saw Tarik on the bed. While the family were talking among themselves, the alarms went off. “What’s going on,” Danny said. The doctors went into the room with a crash cart. Everyone rushed after the doctors. While they were reviving Tarik, one of the nurses saw Alicia sitting in the corner. She was motionless. Hours later, the doctors took her into another room. Meghan sat there next to her daughter as she slept. James came in to join her. “Hey, babe…how is she,” he asked. “Not so good…the nurse found her in the corner of Tarik’s hospital room…they think she tried to kill him by unplugging the machines…what are we gonna do,” she said. “I don’t know but we’ll find a way to help our daughter,” he said. Then they hugged as Randy and Dee Dee watched them from the hallway.

Months after admitting to her rape and nearly committed suicide in front of the diner, Meghan and James decided to take Alicia to a therapist. “We just wanna do whatever we can to help you, okay,” Meghan said to her daughter. “Okay,” Alicia said softly. “You had us all worried there…walking in the middle of the street and scaring your cousin half to death…we need to find out what’s going on with you, kiddo,” James said. Meanwhile, Brianna and Diego were playing basketball in the front yard as T.J. watches them from the kitchen window. “Hey, babe…you don’t have anything to worry about,” Marvin said, coming downstairs. “I know…ever since we brought our daughter home, Diego shows up here every day…hanging out with the little ones…even sleep over some nights…you think it’s a good idea for them to be together,” T.J. said. “Of course, Tiff…Bree is happy for once…I think he’s good for her…they’re only friends, babe,” he said as he wrapped his arms around his wife. “I gotsa ask…are you feeling all right,” Diego questioned. “Yeah…I’m good…you worry too much, D,” Brianna said. “I know…it couldn’t been easy seeing your cousin in the middle of the street like that, you know,” he said. “I was a little scared–I must admit–but I’m glad she’s finally getting help…my uncle Tarik is so cruel,” she said to him. “The guy who married your mom all those years ago…you told me about him the other night,” he said. “I had no idea what was going on with Ali…she must’ve felt so alone in this…he made sure she didn’t tell anyone including my aunt Nyisha…I know that feeling cuz the same thing happened to me…I hate him for hurting me and my cousin, D,” she said softly. Diego put his arms around Brianna and hugged her tight. “I’m sorry this happened to you…I’ll make sure he doesn’t hurt either of you again,” he said. She put her head on his shoulder. “So Tarik and Sam are back in jail–hopefully put under it after that stunt they pulled…the girls can finally get past that horrible kidnapping,” Dee Dee said to her husband as she sat down at the kitchen table in their home. “Yeah! The one thing that’s been bugging me is why wasn’t the guards alerted to the breakout or the warden for that matter,” Randy said, reading the morning paper. “I don’t know…we should be lucky that our girls came back home safe and sound…those boys won’t pull that stunt again,” she said. “Uh-uh…it sounds like an inside job, Dee…could be one of the guards or the warden herself,” he said. “You’re sure? Someone in the jail could’ve gotten Tarik and Sam out,” she questioned him. “Yep…I’m going to find out the truth,” he said. Then they sat there quietly as they heard several footsteps coming through the front door.

“Hi, Grandma! Hi, Grandpa,” a voice said. “Hello, Larissa,” they said, recognizing their young granddaughter’s voice as she came into the room with her two stepsiblings. “What’s going on? Is it about Bree and her mom,” Larissa asked them. “No, honey! Why do you assume that it concerns your cousin and your aunt,” Dee Dee questioned her granddaughter. “I know that my dad and Sam wanted to get their revenge on Bree and Aunt Tiffani…you don’t have to keep secrets from me…I can handle it,” she said. Meanwhile, Nyisha and Farrah were meeting up with Robert and Terrence at the diner. “Hey, you guys,” they said, greeting their husbands. “Hey, babe,” said Terrence as he kissed his wife’s cheek. “So…how are you,” Robert asked his wife and sister-in-law. “We’re good…it’s been months since the kidnapping and Alicia’s sudden confession…what was Tarik thinking…first my sister-in-law, then my three sisters, and now my two nieces…and to top it off, he made Alicia lie about it…I was married to that man while this was going on…I knew something was off about the two of them all those times but I couldn’t figure it out,” Nyisha said. “And now we know…Ali’s getting help and Tarik will finally get what he deserves…he won’t get away with it,” Robert said, consoling his wife. “Who would’ve thought Tarik could do something so stupid–cheating on you with our niece none of the less–what a jerk,” Farrah said. “At least it’s over before he goes after another member of our family,” Terrence said. “It’s not over until Tarik and Sam stays behind bars for good,” Farrah said. Kevin was in the garage working on his car as his kids played a game of freeze tag in the front yard. Bridget was in the dining room reading a magazine and eating a sandwich. She was thinking about what happened in the past few months including her rape and the girls’ kidnapping. Suddenly, the phone rings. “Hello…sure Danny…I’ll go get him,” she said, then got up from the table. She went out to the garage and softly touch Kevin’s shoulder. “Hey…what’s up,” he said. “I’m good…go talk to your brother…you need a break,” she said. “You sure you’re okay,” he said to her. “Yeah…I’m okay,” she said back. “Aiight,” he said, kissing his wife before going inside. He grabbed the phone and started talking. Bridget stood there watching the kids as they were running around. “Hi, Mom,” they called out. She smiled and waved at them. Miranda and Audrey drove up to the house to greet her. “Hey, kids,” they said. “Hi, Aunt Miranda! Hi, Aunt Audrey,” the kids said back. “Can I go play now, Mommy,” said the child in the car. “Go ahead, Melody,” Audrey said to her daughter. Then Melody got out of the car to join the rest of the kids.

“Hey, girls…what brings you by,” Bridget said to her friends. “Just checking up on you guys…heard about your sister and niece’s kidnapping a while back…how are you holding up,” Audrey said. “I’m good…just glad they’re safe and those jerks are back in jail where they belong, you know,” she said. “Yeah…Tarik should be punished for what he’s done to T.J., Bree, and Ali…most of all, what he did to you, sister-in-law…they oughta put that jerk under the jail,” said Miranda. Meanwhile, Brandon was punching the bag at the gym as the rest of the Thompsons boys came in. “Hey, lil bro…ease up,” Shane said. “I can’t…that jerk went after our sisters…hitting the bag is better than what I’m about to do to Tarik’s face for hurting Bridget, T.J., Bree, and Ali…they didn’t deserve this, man,” he said. “But he’s locked up now…the girls are safe, all right,” Jason said, looking his brother in the eyes. Brandon shook his head in agreement. T.J. sat there in the prison’s waiting area when the guards brought in Tarik. “Well, well, well! Look who’s back from the dead,” he chuckled at his ex-wife. “I can’t say the same considering Ali tried to kill you a while ago…then you went after my little sister,” she said. “I don’t know about your sister but they should’ve lock Ali up for what she did,” he said. “You’re the reason for that…I wanna know why you went after my kid…Bree didn’t do anything to you,” she said. “Oh that…hmm…you wanna know why I did it,” he said, leaning over the table. “Yeah…I wanna know,” she said. “I guess it’s just a fetish of mine…that kid reminds me of you when you were younger…maybe she wanted it,” he whispered, caressing her leg. The guards were right outside the door while this was going on. All of the sudden, they heard a crashing sound and went into the room to see T.J. pounding on Tarik. Two of the guards pulled her away from his lifeless body. “Let me go! He deserves to die for what he did,” she screamed at them. Angrily, she kicked Tarik in the balls. “Get the doctor in here now…put that one in a holding cell…get in touch with Randall Johnson…tell him we have his kid,” one of the guards said. The second guard left to get the doctor while the third one took T.J. out of the room. Randy was in the family den reading the morning paper when his cellphone rang. Within minutes, he was out the door. The prison doctor was tending to Tarik’s cuts and bruises as T.J. was put in a cell in handcuffs. Randy talked with the guards before confronting his daughter. “What happened, honey,” he asked her. “I don’t know, Dad…he said something I didn’t like and I snapped,” she said softly. “You nearly beat Tarik to death in a fit of rage…what did he say to make you do something like that,” he said. T.J. had a flashback of what Tarik said to her before attacking him. “He said that Bree wanted it…she didn’t deserve to get hurt like that…I wanted to kill him,” she whispered. Randy hugged her tight. The two of them left the prison and got into his car. “We need to do something about your anger…not like what Terrell did with your first breakdown…it would’ve been so much easier back then,” he said. “Are you mad at me for what I did to Tarik,” she asked him. “No, kiddo…I know you’re angry with him for what he did to you but you handle it the wrong way…you have too much to lose…Marvin, the kids, and your freedom…I want to be able to help you through this whatever I can…do you trust me,” he said. “Yeah,” she said, shaking her head. Moments later, the girls drove up to the house. “Hi, Mom,” Nyisha and Farrah said as they came through the front door. “Hi, girls,” Dee Dee said. “We got here as soon as we could…T.J. tried to kill Tarik,” Nyisha asked her mother. “Yep…that damn boy said something to set your sister off…your father had to talk with the guards to release her into his custody…they’re in the living room,” she said to them. Randy sat at his desk as T.J. slept on the couch. The girls came in after talking with their mother. “Hey, girls,” he said. “Hi, Dad! Is she all right,” Farrah asked him. “Yeah…the prison won’t press charges as long as your sister stays clear of Tarik…the doctor gave her something to help her sleep…your mother and I made an appointment with the therapist for tomorrow morning…we can’t have her running around trying to kill her ex-husband,” he said. “We’ll handle it, Dad…don’t worry,” Farrah said. Then the three of them sat down with her.

A few hours later, T.J. got up from the couch and looked out the window. “Hey, little sister…are you feeling okay,” Nyisha said, sitting there at Randy’s desk. “I guess you heard, huh,” she said. “Yep! Why would you risk your freedom and your family for a man who hurt you for all those years,” Nyisha asked her. “I wanted him dead…Tarik went after my daughter–my child…the only thing that’s keeping him alive is those guards,” she said angrily. “And I get it, T, but he’s locked up…he can’t hurt you or Bree anymore…that kid needs her mother–they all do…not to mention your grandkids Ray, Leslie, Bryan, and little Ben…don’t you rob those of their grandmother, too…okay,” Nyisha said, then hugged her sister. “Okay,” she said softly. Randy went to see Michelle and Michael at their house. “Oh, Mr. Johnson…funny seeing you here…what’s going on,” they asked him. “It’s about your sister…she went to the prison and tried to kill Tarik…she needs you guys…more than ever,” he said. Moments later, the remaining sixteen (16) Thompsons kids showed up at the Johnsons house and went inside. “Thanks for telling us about this,” Shane said to his godfather. He and Michelle went into the living room to see their little sister. “Hey, kid…we heard what happened…are you okay,” Michelle asked her. T.J. didn’t say a word. “Hey…we understand that you’re angry with Tarik for what he did to your daughter…he will pay for that…you’re safe now…we all will make sure of it,” Shane said. Once T.J. heard her big brother’s words, she broke down crying. Michelle and Shane hugged her tight. “I didn’t think it would go that far, you guys,” Rhonda said. “My sister was married to that jerk…I see why she did it…Tarik deserve what he got,” Jason said. “Luckily, she has Marvin…quite a step up from that punk,” Bart said. “Quit it…at least Mr. Johnson cares about my sister enough to get her some help…my dad would’ve ignore it,” Irish said. The next day, everyone went with T.J. to therapy. “I just want you to know that we’re all here…you’re not alone in this, okay,” Randy said as the rest of the gang waved. “Okay,” T.J. said back. “If we had done this from the beginning, we would’ve known what was going on with you…sorry we waited so long for this,” Dee Dee said. “I know…it wasn’t your fault,” she said. “My dad should’ve saw this coming…because of him, we didn’t know our sister was so fragile…you knew it from the start, didn’t you,” Bridget asked her father-in-law. “I did–yeah…the great Terrell Thompson refused to see it…even the doctor who diagnosed her first breakdown couldn’t convince him,” Randy said. “You should’ve made him listen…it’s his fault she keeps having these breakdowns,” she said. “He really wanted T.J. to himself…even keep you away from her…I’m sorry this happened to you, Mr. Johnson,” Jason said. “Why did you allow him to do this, Dad,” T.J. asked Randy. “He was doing what Terrell wanted…we all knew–me, your dad, and your mom–knew about your mental health but Terrell wasn’t trying to hear it…he insisted that you were fine until the day he died,” Dee Dee said. “And ever since, my mom knew that T.J. couldn’t handle any bad news when she died,” Irish said. They continued talking as T.J. had flashbacks about Terrell. “Dad? What’s going on? Am I gonna be okay,” she remembered her younger self saying to him. “Of course, kid…you’re a Thompson…ain’t no doctor gonna tell me that you’re not,” Terrell told her. She snapped out of it and said, “So he lied! Terrell told me that I was fine when I wasn’t! How could he do such a thing?” “We’ll never know, little sister…he’s dead now,” said Chuckie. “He was bitter about me and your mother…the affair ended years ago but he punished me by getting custody of you guys,” Randy said, then hugged them both. Tarik sat on his bed and thought about his recent visit. “You wanna know why I did it…cuz Bree wanted it…Ali too…I enjoyed banging the fuck out of that little shit just like I did with you and your three sisters,” he heard himself say to T.J. “Hello there, baby…you okay,” a voice said. He looked up to see the person in the doorway. Back at the therapist’s office, Bridget and Kevin were playing cards while waiting for some news. “I can’t remember the last time I’ve been in a place like this,” she said. “It was when you had to deal with DeWayne and the death of our son…I thought I was going to lose you,” he said. Then Bridget looked over at Marvin.

“But you didn’t, Kev…I’m still here…I’m still standing…Marvin’s probably feeling the same way you did right now…my sister wanted to get rid of Tarik so Bree and Ali doesn’t get hurt again…I don’t blame her for going off on that jerk…too bad she didn’t kill him…would’ve been easier for all of us,” she said, looking back at her husband. The two of them went over to sit with Marvin. “Hey, man…how are you holding up,” Kevin asked him. “I’m good…just trying to figure out what that jerk say to my wife to make her snap like that,” Marvin said to them. “Tarik put my sister through hell when they were married so she decided that the only thing left to do was to kill him,” Bridget said, holding his hand. Hours later, the gang came out of the office and went their separate ways. “I could take a little break from work…spend some time with you, little sister,” Shane said. “Naw…I’m good…you don’t have to do that for me…really,” T.J. said. “Uh-uh! After that incident with Tarik, you got our attention! We won’t do what Terrell did–sweep this problem under the rug! We want to see you get better,” Jason said, patting T.J. on the back. “They’re right, cuz…Uncle Randy, Aunt Dee Dee, and everyone else won’t let you do this alone,” Jane said. “We owe you this,” Rhonda added. “All right–all right! You talk me into it,” T.J. said to them. “There you go,” Marvin said. Everybody got into their cars. “You know what? I actually see how close your family are! They all band together to help your mom when she almost killed her ex-husband! If anything, I wouldn’t blame her for wanting that dude dead,” Diego said as he got into his car. “My uncle has terrorized my mom when they were married…my grandfather would’ve done anything to get him out of our lives if Terrell Thompson wasn’t in the way back then…the guy kept her and my uncle away from their father for a long time…I wouldn’t do that to my son, D,” Brianna said. “And you shouldn’t…that kid needs to know about his dad—good things as well as bad…I wouldn’t deny him of that right,” he said. “Thanks for saying that…it couldn’t have been easy talking about a man you hate,” she said. “I might not like the guy but I don’t wanna make him look bad in Bryan’s eyes…it’s best for him to learn about Sam Brady when he gets older…you should be the one to tell him,” he said. “You’re right, D,” she said. “Now that it is over…let’s go get the little guy and grab a quick bite,” he said. “Okay,” she said, getting into the car as well. “I’m glad my sister is getting help…Tarik can be a jerk sometimes, you know,” said Nyisha. “I can see that he’s a jerk…you’re no longer married to him…good thing though cuz he could’ve done the same thing to you like he did to your sister,” Robert said. “You know what? I’m glad I got you, Rob,” she said. The two of them shared a kiss before leaving the parking lot. Meanwhile, Shane and Jason bought a tray of food from the counter of their mother’s restaurant to the table where Marvin and the girls were sitting. “So…how are you feeling, hmm,” they asked their little sister. “I’m good…you don’t have to ask me that every five minutes,” T.J. told them. “We know…they just wanna be sure, okay,” Marvin said. “Okay…I know you’re all worried about me but you don’t have to, all right…I won’t crack up on you,” she said. “We didn’t think you would, lil cuz…now let’s eat,” Jane said. Then they all grab a plate from the tray.

Back at the prison, Tarik was getting a back rub from one of the nurses when Suzette showed up. “That’ll be all…off with you,” she said, sending the nurse away. “Hey, babe…what’s up,” he said. “I heard what happened to you earlier…are you okay,” she asked him. “Yeah…I’m okay, Suzy,” he replied. “I’m gonna file a formal complaint to have that woman locked up for hurting you, baby,” she said, kissing him. “No need to do that…the guards hauled her away hours ago…besides her dad promised them that she won’t be on the premises anymore,” he said. “Okay, baby…if you say so,” she said, hugging him tight. After her visit with Tarik, Suzette got out of the cellphone to make a call. “Yeah…we need to talk—pronto,” she said, going into her office. “Hey there, little sister…so good to see you,” Chuckie said to T.J. as he came up to the table. Marvin gave her a kiss on the cheek and left the restaurant. “Uh…are you okay, Chuck…should I be worried right now,” T.J. said. “Now we always tell each other everything…what happened to us, Teej,” he asked his twin sister. “I don’t know…we grew up & live separate lives, man,” she said. “I always know what’s bothering you even before you tell me…why you let Tarik get to you like that,” he said. T.J. took a deep breath before confronting her twin brother. “I don’t know…just a little angry from the times he hurt me…what he said about Bree cause me to snap…I wanted to kill him—I still do…I don’t know why I feel this way, Chuck,” she said softly. “Why don’t we find out, huh? Come with me,” he said as he grabbed her hand. Moments later, the two of them were at a boxing gym down the street from the restaurant. “Why are we here,” she asked him. “We gotta find a way to release this anger building up inside you…I know that Tarik pissed you off but I wanna help you through this if you let me,” he said. “I guess I’ll have to since I can’t be within 500 feet of that jerk,” she said. “All right…by the time we’re done here, you’ll forget that day ever happened…clear your mind a little bit,” he said. Meanwhile, Alicia was at the diner thinking about everything that happened. She was unaware of who was coming to her table at that moment. “Hi, honey…how are you feeling, hmm,” a voice said to her. “Um…hi, Grandma…Aunt Nyisha…I’m good,” she said, looking up to see who was in front of her. “I heard you had your first session today…how did it go,” Nyisha asked. “It was okay…feels a little weird though…I don’t get how anyone could go into a room and tell a complete stranger what’s going on in their head,” she said. “Your aunt did…more than once…she hasn’t gotten over what Tarik did to her all those years ago,” Nyisha said. “If we had gotten your sister some help from the beginning, she wouldn’t tried to kill that man behind bars,” Dee Dee said to her daughter. “I heard about that…is she gonna be okay,” Alicia asked them. “She’ll be fine…right now you need to concentrate on getting yourself better…we’ll take care of your aunt,” Dee Dee said to her granddaughter. Then Alicia shook her head.

James and Jeremiah were tossing the football around when Terrence and Robert showed up. Diane was watching them from the park bench. “Hey there, D! What’s going on, man,” they said. “Nothing much…just hanging out with my kids,” James said. “I take it that therapy thing went well for Ali,” Terrence said. “Yeah…I should’ve known what was going on with that kid…Tarik betrayed me by going after my wife and my daughter…I wanna kill that son of a bitch, man,” he said. “That dude is out of control…kinda wish T.J. had killed him in that prison,” Robert said, “Before that, Ali tried to kill him at the hospital!” “Won’t happen now…Tarik’s heavily guarded…can’t nobody get near him,” said Terrence. They continued their conversation as a silver Beemer came roaring down the street. “Nyisha tried to kill him, too…wished Chuckie hadn’t stopped her,” James said to them. “She had a lot to lose if she kills her ex-husband…her career…her kids…HER FREEDOM,” Terrence said. “I get it—I get it,” he said. “So that’s three attempts on that fool’s life by the women he harmed…he better watch it before the next person kills him,” Robert said. As they talked, Farrah showed up & kissed her husband on the cheek. “What are you talking about now,” she asked the guys. “Uncle Tarik and why he ain’t dead yet…hi, Aunt Farrah,” said Jeremiah. “Hi, Jay! Hey, Di,” she said to the kids. “Hello,” Diane said, joining the rest of the family. “How are you holding up,” she asked her niece. “I’m good…Dad thinks the park is a good distraction from what’s going on with Ali…feels weird not having her around, you know,” Diane replied. “I know…how about the two of us get away from these guys for a little bit,” she said. “Can I, Dad,” Diane asked. “Go ahead…I’ll see you at home, Di,” James said, kissing his daughter on the forehead. The girls left the park. “Can I ask you something,” Alicia said. “Sure,” Nyisha said. “Did I ruin your marriage with Uncle Tarik,” she asked. “No, honey…it was already ruined…from the moment he puts his hands on you,” Nyisha said. “It still feels like it was my fault…you should hate me for what I’ve done,” she said. “No, baby…Tarik was wrong for what he did…he’s been that day before any of you kids were born…don’t let that man control you…fight back, Ali,” Dee Dee said. “I’m not sure I can, Grandma,” she said. “If you give up now, he wins…don’t give him that power, honey,” Dee Dee said to her granddaughter. Back at the gym, T.J. was punching the bag as Chuckie gave her a bottle of water. “Hey there, killer…take a break with me,” he said to his twin sister. They went outside and sat on a nearby bench. A mysterious vehicle shows up as they talked. “So how are you…release some of that anger now,” he asked. “Yeah…thanks, Chuck,” T.J. said, sipping some water. “Hey, kids…had a nice workout,” a voice said to them. “Hey, Dad,” Chuckie said, recognizing Randy’s voice. As the two of them talked, T.J. was having a flashback of the fight that she had with Tarik at the prison. “Tiffani? Are you okay,” she heard someone say to her. In a blink of an eye, she balled up her fist and swung it quick. “Teej? Snap out of it,” Chuckie said. She looked down and saw Randy on the ground holding his face. “Dad? I’m so sorry—I didn’t see you there,” she rambled on. “Shhh…it was an accident…you didn’t do anything wrong,” Randy said to her. Then he hugged his son and daughter.

Later that evening, the three of them meet up with Dee Dee, Nyisha, and Alicia at their home. “Hello, ladies,” Chuckie said to his sister, niece, and stepmother. “Hi, Chuckie—oh my god—what happened to you, Randall,” Dee Dee said. “It’s just a little accident, Dee! Nothing to worry about,” Randy said to his wife. “T.J. picked a fight with you, too,” Nyisha said. “Knock it off, Izzy…this will teach you not to pick on your younger siblings or something like this would happen,” Dee Dee said to her oldest daughter. “I didn’t mean for this to happen, Dee Dee…honest,” T.J. said. “Don’t worry about it, honey…we know what happened today was an accident,” she said. “So our lesson is not to get beat up, Grandma,” Alicia said. “Don’t you have a phone call to make,” she said to her granddaughter. “Yes, ma’am,” Alicia said, then goes into the house. “Everyone else, meet me in the living room,” she said. Once Alicia was out of their sights, everyone sat down in the living room to talk. “I got one question: what the hell,” Nyisha yelled. “Ease up, Iz…she didn’t know what she was doing…like some kind of weird trance or something,” Chuckie said as he defends his twin sister. “Stop it, both of you! T.J., has anything like this happened before,” Dee Dee said. “No, ma’am…I don’t know what happened,” T.J. said to them. “Maybe we should figure out why this happened, kiddo,” Randy said. The rest of them shook their heads in agreement. “Hi, Mom…it’s me…just letting you know that I’m at Grandma and Grandpa’s house…I’ll be home soon…bye,” Alicia said to Meghan’s voicemail. As she hung up the phone, Diane and Farrah came in through the back way. “Hi, Ali…funny seeing you here…what’s going on in there,” Farrah asked her niece. “They’re talking about how Aunt Tiffani gave Grandpa a black eye…then Grandma sent me in here,” Alicia said. “Oh-my-god,” Farrah said as she left the kitchen. “Whoa…seriously,” Diane said. The two of them followed their aunt. “I heard what happened…are you okay, Dad,” Farrah asked him. “Yeah, kiddo…I’m okay,” Randy replied. “You fought with Dad again…what’s with these anger issues, huh,” she said, shoving T.J. “Enough with that, honey,” Dee Dee said, “We need to find out what’s going on with your sister and why this happened!” “Before someone else gets hurt,” Nyisha said, looking directly at T.J. Hours later, they heard a knock on the door. Randy got up to answer it. “Hello, Mrs. Evans…thanks for coming on such short notice,” he said. “I’m happy to do it, Mr. Johnson…where’s your daughter,” Mrs. Evans said. “In the living room,” Randy said as he leads her inside. “Hello, everyone…good to see you again,” Mrs. Evans said to them. “Hi, Mrs. Evans,” Dee Dee said. “Hello, Tiffani…heard about the little incident at the gym today…do you want to talk about it,” Mrs. Evans asked her. “I’m not sure what happened…wouldn’t know where to begin,” T.J. said softly. “We have time…your whole family wants to see you get better, okay,” Mrs. Evans said. Then T.J. shook her head in agreement.

“I hope Mrs. Evans can help her…how could something like this happen, Dad,” Nyisha asked him. “Terrell Thompson happened…we both know he would tell anyone who would listen that there’s nothing wrong with your sister…her mother and I knew something was off when T.J. had her first breakdown but he dismissed it,” Randy said. “You should have never given her to that man…he just made it a whole lot worse,” she said. “Yes, he did…which is why I need you girls to do this one favor for me,” he said to his oldest daughter. “What is it,” she said. “Don’t be so hard on your little sister…with what she’s been through for most of your life being raised by my friends and that horrible marriage to Tarik, she’s having a tough time right now,” he said. “Sure, Dad,” she said. They went outside to finish their conversation. “A lot has been going through my mind…being raised by the Thompsons and then the failed marriage with Tarik…I don’t know who I am anymore,” T.J. said. “It’s understandable…you’re still struggling with your identity…I get that…we’ll find out what’s causing all this anger, okay,” Mrs. Evans said. “Okay,” she said as Chuckie held her hand. Moments later, Randy and Nyisha came back into the living room. “Is everything all right in here,” they asked. “Yeah…everything’s okay…it’s been a long day…why don’t we all get some rest, all right,” Dee Dee said. “Okay,” the kids said. “I’m really am sorry about Dad,” T.J. said. “Don’t worry about it, okay,” she said. “Okay,” T.J. said. “How about this? You girls go out tomorrow and do something special on me,” Randy said. “It’s the least we could do, Mom,” said Nyisha. “All right…you guys head on home and be ready at 8:00 tomorrow morning,” she said. “After the day you had, you’ll need it,” Farrah said, “I’ll take the kids home…bye, Mom!” The gang went outside to their cars. “Sorry I gave you a hard time today…we have Terrell Thompson to blame for this,” Nyisha said. “Are you sure you want me to tag along after everything that happened,” T.J. questioned. “You heard what Dad said…it was an accident…as long as it’s out of your system now, right,” she said. “Yeah…Tarik is the reason for my temper anyway,” T.J. said. “Whatever my mom has planned, Dad’s paying…it’ll be good for you to spend the day with us…you’re a part of our family now,” she said. The two of them got into the car and drove away. The next day, Dee Dee took the girls out for an early breakfast. “This should be good for us…away from work among other things,” she said. “I just wanna say how sorry I am about what happened with Dad yesterday,” T.J. said. “Don’t worry about yesterday…it was an accident…don’t stress yourself over it,” Farrah said. “The only one at fault is that jerk Terrell Thompson…how could he not know what was going on with you,” Nyisha said. “For starters, the constant fight that he and Dad get into…first hint proves that she wasn’t a Thompson from the get-go,” Meghan said. “There were a lot of them…most of them were about Tarik…do you think these fights happened because Terrell knew I wasn’t his kid,” T.J. asked. “Yes, honey…he tried to make everyone including your father believe that you were his kid,” Dee Dee said. “How did you feel when Dad cheated on you with Mom,” T.J. asked her. “Well…I was a little hurt but I didn’t hold it against you and your brother…it wasn’t your fault because you kids weren’t asked to be born in the middle of this drama…I know that now,” she said. “If it wasn’t for the affair, Terrell and Dad wouldn’t be fighting over me and Chuckie,” T.J. said. “Well…nothing could be done about it…I’m glad you kids have a chance at a real relationship with your father now,” Dee Dee said as the waitress comes to their table. Suddenly, a masked figure sat on a roof across the street from them loading a sniper rifle. “Here’s to new memories, ladies,” Dee Dee said to them while holding up a glass of water. In a split second, something whizzed past them. “What the hell,” Farrah yelled. They heard the whizzing sound again. This time, they ducked down behind their chairs. T.J. felt the back of her neck and saw blood on her hand. “What’s wrong, sis,” Farrah asked her. T.J. fell to the floor before she could answer her sister’s question. “Oh-my-god…she’s been shot,” Nyisha said. “Somebody, get some help…call 9-1-1…quick,” Dee Dee yelled. Then the waitress rushes to the back room to make the call. Meanwhile, Randy was with his sons at the golf course when he heard his cellphone buzzed. “Hello…what,” he said to the person on the line. Everyone meet up at the hospital moments later. “What the hell happened to my little sister? Huh—HUH?!” Michelle yelled at the receptionist. “Babe…you gotta take it easy before your blood sugar goes up,” Michael said to his wife. “We really need to know what’s going on with our sister, ma’am,” said Shane. “Like I told everyone else, have a seat in the waiting area…the doctor will be out here soon to talk to you,” the receptionist said to him. “Are you okay,” Randy asked his wife and daughters. “Yes, Dad…we’re okay,” Farrah and Meghan responded. “Any idea what happened out there,” Kevin asked them. “That’s just it…we didn’t know what had happened until T.J. collapsed in front of us,” Dee Dee told her son. “So no one knows that my sister got shot,” Bridget said angrily. “Shh…take it easy, honey…we’re gonna find out who shot T.J., okay,” Melvin said to his niece as the doctor emerges from the E.R. Hours later, Randy and Dee Dee went into a room where T.J. was resting comfortably in a hospital bed. They each grab a chair and sat down next to her. “We were all just talking about old times and this happens…the last thing I didn’t want was for your daughter to get shot,” Dee Dee said to her husband. “It’s not your fault…someone has it in for my kid…I’m gonna find out who it is, Dee…whoever did this is gonna wish they were never born,” Randy said. Melvin overheard their conversation before heading back to the waiting room. Nyisha was sitting there thinking about the shooting. She remembered holding T.J.’s hand as the waitress called 9-1-1. “Hang in there…help is on the way,” her voice echoed in her head. All of a sudden, she felt a tap on her shoulder. “Hey,” a voice said. She looked up to see who it was. “I’m so sorry about all of this, Shane…we’re supposed to be watching out for her and this–,” she cried. Shane sat down and hold her close. “Don’t say that…it couldn’t been avoided…the person who shot T.J. is to blame, not you,” he said. “He’s right, Iz…we’ll get the person who did this, okay,” said Danny. The two of them hugged Nyisha tight. Suzette was at her desk looking over some paperwork when a mysterious figure came into her office. “It’s done, ma’am,” a voice said to her. “Good…that little bitch won’t go after my man ever again,” she said, “Here is your next target! Make sure this one is quick and painless!” The mysterious figure picks up a brown folder and bumped into Tarik as he was coming in. “Sorry, man…here’s your stuff,” he said. “Hi,” Suzette said to him.

“Hey, babe…you heard what happened on the news today…my ex-wife got shot in the deli downtown…she’s listed in critical condition…our boys would be crushed if they lose their mother,” he said. “Yes, they would…those poor boys,” she said softly. He hugged Suzette, not knowing that she has a devilish grin on her face. Back at the hospital, Tyrese and Tarik Jr meet up with the rest of the family. “What happened out there, Grandpa…they told us Mom got shot…who could do such a thing,” they questioned. “I don’t know, boys…the police are trying to figure that out now,” Randy said. “I heard about the shooting on the Internet…why is this happening,” Brianna said as she came through the door with Diego, Marvin, and the rest of the kids. “Is she gonna be okay, Grandpa,” Billie spoke up. “I hope so, kiddo,” Randy said as she hugged him tight. Dee Dee was looking out the hospital window as T.J. slept. She was thinking about the last time she spent with the girls. They were visiting the Lees’ home. “It’s so good to see my beautiful granddaughters,” she remembers Donald saying to her as he went outside to join the girls and his handicapped son. “But I must admit…do you think it’s wise to take in Sheryl’s daughter,” Claire’s voice echoed in her head. “I made a promise to my best friend…to help her daughter get through this tough time…plus she’s their sister,” her voice said. “But she’s your husband’s love child—one of them anyways…do you remember of what Randy and Sheryl did all those years ago,” Claire asked her. T.J. stood by the screen door and overheard them talking. “I haven’t forgotten what they did but you can’t blame those children for any of this because they’re victims just like I was…I love them like my own kids, Mom…that won’t change,” she remembers telling her mother. Suddenly, she felt a tap on her shoulder. “Hey there, stranger…where did you go,” someone said to her. She turned around to see Randy standing there at the door. Then she ran toward her husband and hugging him tight.

The next day, everyone were fast asleep in the waiting room except Randy and Dee Dee who was sitting with T.J. All of a sudden, they heard a noise. Randy woke up to see his daughter’s hand move. “Hey there, kiddo…welcome back,” he said to her. T.J. tried to talk but nothing came out. “What’s wrong, honey,” he questioned her. Dee Dee woke up to see what was going on. “I don’t think she can talk, Randy…I’ll go get the doctor,” she said to him as she leaves the hospital room. “Honey, calm down…we gonna find out what’s going on,” he said. While the doctor was examining T.J., the rest of the family went over to the cafeteria for breakfast. “What do you think is happening in there,” Danny asked. “I don’t know, son, but we’ll know what it is when the doctor comes out,” Randy said. Nyisha went into the room to see what was going on. “Hey there…what are we looking at,” she asked her colleague. The two of them continued their conversation in the hallway as T.J. looks on. Moments later, Randy went back into the room as Nyisha consoles T.J. “Hey, kiddo…had a talk with the doctor just now…sorry to hear the bad news,” he said to his youngest daughter. She hugged him tight. Tears was running down her face. “I don’t like this, Dad…how are we gonna deal with her not being able to talk,” Nyisha said, closing the door. “I’m bringing in a specialist to see the extent of her injuries…your sister is going to be fine, honey,” he said. “For my wife, I would try anything,” Marvin spoke up. As the three of them talked, T.J. started to toss and turn in her bed. Dee Dee came into the room and tapped her on the shoulder. “Take it easy…it’s just a bad dream, okay,” she said. T.J. tried to scream but still no sound. Instead, she knocked the phone off the table. Marvin, Nyisha, and Randy ran back into the room to see Dee Dee hugging T.J. “It’s okay…let it out…let it all out,” she said to her stepdaughter. The three of them watches Dee Dee as she consoles T.J. Tarik was at the prison reading the newspaper when Suzette came in. “Hey, baby…how are you,” he said. “Any news on your ex-wife in there,” she asked him. “Naw…they found something new to talk about…besides there’s no change on that story anyways,” he said. Back at the hospital, Randy was talking with his lawyer on the cellphone when Nyisha came into the room. “I think it’s a good idea keeping T.J. out of the newspapers, Dad,” she said. “If that killer is still out there, he or she won’t hesitate to finish your sister off…we gotta get her out of here quickly,” he said. A man in a black suit shows up as they talked. “Everything’s ready, boss,” the man said to him. “I hope this works, honey,” Dee Dee spoke up as she stood in the doorway. “I hope so, too,” he said, kissing his wife. T.J. slept peacefully as this was going on. “I know now that you would do anything to keep your daughter safe…be careful out there,” Marvin said. Then he hugged his father-in-law.

Chuckie and Nalia were having lunch at the restaurant with some friends. “I heard what happened to your twin sister…how are you holding up,” one of the girls asked him. “I’m good, you know…at least she’s alive…no idea who would go after her like that, Jules,” Chuckie said. “I’m sure your dad’s working on it,” Jules said, holding his hand and rubbing his leg. Nalia watched the two of them closely as she took a sip of juice from her glass. “I know what you’re doing…flirting with me in front of my wife…she doesn’t like it too much…now she’s looking at you like she could burn you alive,” he said. They saw the disturbed look on Nalia’s face. “Oooh…I wouldn’t want to be on the side of that…hi, Nalia,” she said. “Walk away—QUICKLY,” he said through his teeth as Nalia comes towards him. Jules did exactly that. “Hello, baby…what are you doing talking to her,” Nalia questioned her husband. “I don’t know but it’s not what you think…you’re the only girl for me, babe,” he said, kissing her on the lips. “I’m not worried about you…it’s Jules I don’t trust,” she said, then kissed him back. Suzette got on her cell phone to make a call as she left the infirmary. “Hello…we need to pick the pace…get rid of the second ex-wife…a doctor by the name of Nyisha Johnson…there’s that kid who testified against Tarik in court…Alicia Hardison…said my man raped her when she was 15 years old…eliminate them now,” she said, unaware that Tarik overheard the whole conversation. “Oh shit…she ordered the hit on the girls,” he whispered. “Bye, Dad! Be careful,” Nyisha said, giving Randy a big hug at the hospital entrance. Marvin came up to the black Navigator and kissed T.J. “I’m counting on your dad to keep you safe…don’t worry about the kids—they’ll be fine…I got it covered,” he said. T.J. smiled and held his hand. Suddenly, a dark car crept up on them. A gun was sticking out the open window. T.J. saw where the gun was aiming at. She got out of the Navigator and ran toward her family. “What the–,” Nyisha said as T.J. pulls her and Randy out of the way. In a split second, gunshot rang out. Marvin, Randy, and the man in the black suit shields the girls from the stray bullets. Everyone in the hospital got down on the floor to avoid getting shot. Once it was over, they all got up and looked around. “Yo…everyone all right over there,” Shane asked them. “Yeah,” they all said. “Girls…Randy…Marvin…are you guys all right out there,” Dee Dee yelled. “We’re good, Mrs. Johnson,” said Marvin. “Who would be gunning for us, Dad,” Nyisha asked. “Probably the same person who shot your sister…I bet on it,” Randy replied. “T.J. saved my life…you knew they were gunning for me, did you,” she asked her little sister. Then T.J. shook her head.

“What the hell is going on here? Who would go after the girls,” Dee Dee shouted. While this was going on, Nyisha came over to T.J. and tapped her on the shoulder. “Hey there…are you okay,” she asked. T.J. shook her head. “Too bad you can’t tell us what you’re thinking right now,” Marvin said. Once he said that, T.J. wrote something on a piece of paper and gave it to him. Marvin and Nyisha read the note before confronting her. “She blames herself for what happened,” he said. “Hey! Don’t do that! It’s not your fault, okay,” Nyisha said. “Your sister is right! Don’t be so hard on yourself, honey,” Randy spoke up as he and Dee Dee approached them. “Hey! Cheer up, little sister! You’re a hero! You saved Nyisha and your dad from getting killed today,” Shane said. “And I’ll always be grateful for that…thank you,” Dee Dee said, then hugged her stepdaughter. “We may have to wait until dark…get the girls out of town before this happens again,” Randy said. “You think they would try again, Dad,” Kevin asked him. “It’s a possibility, son…we can’t take any chances,” he said as his cell phone buzzed on his hip. He walked away to answer the call. “It’s been a long day, huh…why don’t you try and get some sleep on that couch over there, honey,” Dee Dee said. “I’ll check up on you a little bit later, sis…I gotta get back to work,” Nyisha said as T.J. got onto the couch and closed her eyes. Dee Dee noticed that her oldest daughter’s hand was shaking. “Nyisha? Honey, are you okay,” she spoke up at that moment. “Yeah…I’m fine,” Nyisha said as she nearly missed a step from the table. “No, you’re not…that shooting has you rattled…I think you need to take a break,” Randy said. “I guess with all that happened…had me a little spooked,” she said to them. “You need to start taking better care of yourself…you’re no good to us if you shut down like this…when was the last time you ate or slept since you’ve been here,” Dee Dee said. “Mom, you worry about too much…I said I was fine,” Nyisha said as T.J. patted her on the back. “Now where have I heard that before,” Randy said to his wife. Everyone thought long and hard before answering that question. “This one right here before she took a bullet to the neck…definitely proves that she’s your kid all right,” Shane said, pointing at T.J. as she was sketching in a notebook on the couch. “What do you have here,” Randy asked his daughter. Michelle and Shane looked over their little sister’s shoulder as she drew a picture of a person holding a sniper’s rifle. “Hey there…is that the person who shot you,” they asked her. T.J. had a flashback of the person at the deli, looked up at them both, and shook her head. “It seems to me that she just identified her shooter…the person has tattoos on his hands,” Terrence said. “Is that a Nazi sign, Dad,” Danny questioned. “Yep…she isn’t safe and neither is Nyisha…we gotta get them both out of this hospital now,” Randy said to the boys. “Tell me the truth…someone hired this guy to kill my sister and your daughter, did they,” Irish asked her godfather. “Yeah…now we gotta find out who it is,” he said to her. Then Michelle hugged T.J.

Randy got another call on his cell phone. This time, it was from a blocked number. “I gotta take this…I’ll be right back, kiddo,” he said, kissing T.J. on her forehead. “Let’s get some rest, shall we,” Michelle said. “We’ll be right here when you wake up,” Shane added. T.J. did exactly that. “This is the New York Correctional Facility…will you accept the charges,” a voicemail played on the other end of the phone. “Yeah…I accept,” he said. “Hi, Mr. Johnson…we need to talk,” a voice said to him. In a matter of minutes, Randy confronted a familiar face in the visitor’s room. “I wanna know something—why did you call me here, Tarik? I hope you’re not trying to get yourself cleared of those charges,” he growled. “No, sir…I know what I’ve done to your family—I apologize for what happened to the girls but this is very important…I have some information on the person who ordered the hit on T.J.—I heard about the shooting at the deli the other day but I had nothing to do with that…I wouldn’t try to kill off the mother of my two older sons, Mr. Johnson—I promised you that,” Tarik said. “Why are you telling me this,” he asked. “I know you have no right to believe me after what I did to Tiffani all those years ago…it’s been hell for her and I didn’t make it any easier—I know that now…but if I don’t get this out, I’ll never be able to forgive myself for it,” Tarik said to him. “What are you getting out of this, huh,” he said angrily. “I don’t want my kids to lose both their parents,” Tarik blurted out. Back at the hospital, Dee Dee sat there in the waiting room as the rest of the gang slept. Randy was just getting back from his trip at the prison. “Hey, baby! Where’d you disappeared off to,” she said as she greets her husband. “Just went out for some fresh air…we need to get the girls out of here now,” he said. “What happened—Randall, I want you to tell me the truth right now,” she said as T.J. slowly woke up from the couch. “I got a call from Tarik…it seems that the warden has put out a hit on Tiffani, Nyisha, and Alicia,” he said. As they talked, Nyisha wake up as well and rubbed her eyes. “What does that damn boy want in return for this information and how does Ali fit in this,” Dee Dee asked him. “That’s just it…he doesn’t want anything…heard some rumors that Tarik’s having an affair with the warden which explains why she’s going after the girls…T.J. and Nyisha were married to Tarik…Ali, on the other hand, testified against him in court for raping her so she wants them dead as revenge for what happened at the prison,” he said. Then they felt a tap on the shoulder.

“What are you talking about? Who’s after Ali,” Nyisha spoke up. “We have reason to believe that the warden is retaliating against you girls because of the sudden attack on Tarik at the prison,” Randy said. “You mean when T.J. tried to kill him for that snide remark he made to her,” she said. “Yeah,” he said. “Oh, that’s just great…Tarik sics his little girlfriend on us now…he’s gonna regret that,” she grumbled. “I know that look…don’t even think about going after that boy…you nearly lost your job over the last incident with him,” he said, grabbing her arm. “It’s not gonna matter because I might end up dead anyways…I just can’t sit here and do nothing, Dad…that woman probably had someone shoot my little sister…now she targets me and Ali as well…Tarik has gone too far…if those jerks wants a fight, they got one…I dare them to come and get me,” she yelled. Everyone else woke up to the constant arguing. ”Hey! What’s going on over there,” Shane said. “Ask him,” she said, then stormed off. “Oh-my-god! She’s gonna get herself killed—Shane, go after my daughter please! Don’t let her out of your sight,” Dee Dee asked her godson. “Yes, ma’am,” Shane said, “Be right back, kid!” He got up and went after Nyisha. “Of all people, why that boy…the same one who physically abused your daughter over there all those years ago…let’s not forget he cheated on our daughter with her twin sister…we nearly lost Farrah because of him…he also raped Meghan, Bridget, and two of our granddaughters…why would you believe anything that comes out of his lying mouth,” Dee Dee yelled at him. “He said he had nothing to do with it…he doesn’t want to hurt his kids…the warden is working alone…probably hired someone to kill the girls as vengeance for him,” he said. Shane finally caught up with Nyisha before she could get out the hospital exit. “Hold up there! What was that fight about,” he asked her. “If it’s all right with you, I rather not talk about it…okay, Shane,” she said. “Okay but your mom asked me to come after you…she seems worried,” he said. “I know…she’s always been that way…what I don’t get is why my dad would talk to my ex-husband…that man has put my family through hell…he beat up T.J. all those years ago…he cheated on me with Farrah and nearly causing her suicide…he raped Ali and Bree as well as Meghan and Bridget…why should he believe anything that Tarik said to him,” she said. “Because he’s a father, too…your dad would do just about anything to protect his kids…that includes T.J. and Chuckie,” he said. “I guess that makes sense…thanks for the talk,” she said. “No problem…I gotta watch out for family or Jane would kill me,” he said. They both chuckled softly. “You’re right…she would,” she said, hugging him.  Then the two of them engage in a liplock.

It took them a few seconds to realize what they did. “What was that,” Nyisha asked him. “No idea…it shouldn’t have happened,” Shane replied. “You damn right it shouldn’t…Jane would kick my ass for messing with you,” she said. “That’s the last thing she needs…we better get back…I’m sure they’re looking for us by now,” he said. The two of them went back to the waiting room with everyone else. Robert came to Nyisha and hugged her tight. “I heard what happened to your sister…are you okay,” he asked his wife. “Yeah…I’m fine…so glad you’re here,” Nyisha said, holding him tight. “I just don’t get why this woman would go after our cousins like that, Uncle Randy,” Jane said. “I don’t know either but we’re gonna find out,” Randy said. “She deserved to lose her job for pulling such a stupid stunt, you know,” Renay said. Shane consoles his wife as he looked over at Nyisha.  Alicia and Diane were down the hall getting some snacks from the machine when they were approached by an unidentified man. “So cute…which one of you is Alicia,” he asked them. “I’m not sure we should answer that…right, sis,” Diane said. “Right…our parents taught us to never talk to strangers,” Alicia said. “Oh well…guess I’ll have to kill you both,” he said as he pulled out a knife. As they tried to run away, the man swung it and slashed Alicia’s arm. “Oww,” she screamed. Diane went into a fit of rage and goes after her sister’s attacker. She grabs him by the arm and twisted it. Alicia joined in and kicked him in the genitals. The man screams in excruciating pain. Everyone in the hospital heard him and ran down the halls. “Oh…my…god,” Dee Dee said as her granddaughters held the man facedown on the floor. T.J. saw him and had a flashback of what happened up to the shooting. She snapped out of it and tugged on Nyisha’s shirt. “Hey! What is it,” she asked her little sister. T.J. opened up her notebook and pointed out a picture of the same man that she drew earlier. “It’s the shooter, you guys,” Robert said to them. “Is that so, huh,” Randy asked his daughter. T.J. shook her head. Randy walked up to the man and punched him in the face. “We better call the cops on this one,” Melvin said as he grabbed his cellphone to make a call. Shane and Martin took the man off the floor. “Ali, you’re bleeding,” Meghan said to her oldest daughter. “No thanks to the jerk with those weird tattoos on his hands…why is this happening,” Alicia asked her. “Tarik’s wacko girlfriend sent that guy over there to kill you and your aunts,” Dee Dee spoke up. “Tarik tried to have my child killed? Who else knows about this? Mom? Dad!” Meghan questioned them. “I’m sure that the warden was working alone…she didn’t even let Tarik onto her plan…she went rogue just like Sam,” Randy said. “So this wack job goes after our daughter cuz of that jerk Tarik,” James yelled at his in-laws, then stormed off. Hours later, the cops handcuffed the man and take him out of the hospital. Everyone sat quietly in the waiting room as Stephen speaks with the receptionist. “That’s finally dealt with,” Melvin said, hugging T.J. “The guy’s been caught…it’s over,” said James as he came back into the waiting room. “No, it isn’t…Tarik’s girlfriend is unaccounted for…she gets caught and then it’s over,” Marvin said. “The more I think about it, I don’t believe Dad would want to hurt Aunt Tiffani,” Larissa said, “He had every opportunity to do it in the past…he isn’t crazy enough to do it now!” “What makes you think so, huh…he was beating on my mom long before you were born…is that supposed to make you an expert on our father,” Tyrese said angrily. “He wouldn’t do something like that,” she yelled at him. “I’ve watched him beat on my mom when they were married…you have no idea what that man was like…I wished she had killed him in that prison,” he growled. “Stop it, kids…this isn’t helping one damn bit,” Dee Dee yelled at the both of them. “I’m a little lost here…what’s going on with them,” Robert asked his wife. “Tyrese was just a kid when Tarik started beating on T.J.! He even got in between the two of them to stop it—there’s still some bad blood between him and Tarik since T.J. got stabbed a while back,” Nyisha replied. “I’m guessing that he’s very protective of his mom, right,” he said. “Yeah…sounds about right,” she said. “Hey, kid…take a walk with me,” Randy said. Then he and Tyrese went down the hallway as Dee Dee confronts Larissa.

“Why is he so hateful to Dad? He couldn’t have done this,” Larissa asked. “Because he watched him beat up his mother…that kind of thing can traumatize a child for life…your brother hasn’t gotten over it,” Dee Dee said. “Do you believe he could probably get that guy to shoot Aunt Tiffani, Grandma,” she said. “Who knows, honey…he could’ve…your aunt nearly died because of that man…I wouldn’t put it past him,” Dee Dee told her grandmother. “Nobody knows what that man has put my mom through…my own sister is defending him…he’s a heartless bastard and I wished he was dead,” Tyrese said angrily. “I understand, son…with what you had to deal with since he hit your mom but that’s over…your dad’s locked up now…he’ll never hurt her again…you have my word on that,” Randy said. “You should’ve never let her get married to my dad in the first place…he was so evil afterwards…he wanted to kill my mom that night when you and Terrell came over…what would happen to me and my brother if you hadn’t showed up,” he cried. “Luckily for everyone involved we’ll never know, champ,” Randy said. T.J. rushed over to her son and hugged him tight. Randy joined with him. As the three of them returned to the waiting room, Larissa ran up to Tyrese and gave him a hug. “I’m so sorry, Ty! I had no idea what you been through all these years,” she said to him. “No…it’s my fault…I was angry with Dad…shouldn’t have taken it out on you, Ris,” he said back. Everyone was relieved that the kids made up. “Hey, sis…you know who these two remind me of,” Shane said. “I definitely know who…you and this one here,” Michelle said back. They looked over at T.J. as she sat there drawing in her notebook. “I kinda miss hearing her voice though…that punk Tarik gonna wish he never send that loony girlfriend of his after our sister,” Shane said. As the two of them talked, a nurse walked into the waiting room and confronted Nyisha. “Um…sorry about your sister…have you guys considered learning sign language…it might be easier to communicate with her,” she spoke up. “I’ve never thought of that, Liz…remember those classes that we took in college to communicate with the kid who was deaf,” Nyisha said. “Yeah…do you remember it,” Farrah asked. T.J. shook her head. “I think that’s a good idea…we should all learn to use sign language…it’ll be easier,” Randy said. Back at the prison, Suzette was watching the inmates in the yard when her cellphone buzzed. She stepped away to answer it. In a matter of minutes, she went into a room to confront her sniper as he sat there behind a table in handcuffs. “What the hell happened,” she yelled. “The plan went sideways, Suz…those kids attacked me…you didn’t tell me there was two of them,” the man said. “Two as is twins, Rog,” she asked the man. “Yeah…I slashed the kid’s arm before the other one came after me…by the way your man’s ex-wife is still alive…her sister too…heard the nurse saying she can’t talk but she pointed me out as the shooter…what are we gonna do now,” he said. “I’ll handle this…you just sit tight…I got an idea,” she said. Then they continued their conversation.

Meanwhile, Larissa gets a very mysterious phone call and snuck away to answer it. Hours later, she meets up with Tarik at the prison face-to-face. “Hey, kiddo…glad you decided to come by-,” he said, getting cut off. “Did you hire some guy to go after Mom, Ali, and Aunt Tiffani…DID YOU,” she yelled at him. “No, honey…I would never send anyone after them…I promise you that,” he said. “Tyrese told me you beat up on his mom…Tarik Jr said I shouldn’t trust you…so if you didn’t do it, your little girlfriend sent that man after them…how could you trust her, Dad,” she said. “I was unaware that Suzette hired a hitman to go after your mom, aunt, or cousin…I just learned about it and passed the information over to your grandfather… I didn’t want is to make you kids orphans,” he said. A set of eyes was watching them from the outside of the waiting room. After talking with his only daughter, Tarik heads back to his cell when he got clocked from behind. Larissa was leaving the prison when she saw the guards running down the halls. She turned around and followed them. Once she got there, the prison doctor was tending to an unknown guy lying on the floor. “Oh my god…Dad,” she cried out. “Hold that kid back…we need a stretcher here—PRONTO,” the doctor said. They did exactly that. They picked Tarik off the floor and put him on the stretcher. They wheeled him down the halls toward the infirmary. “Whoa, kid…you can’t go in there,” one of the guards said to Larissa. She waited outside as the doctor tries his best to save Tarik. Hours later, the doctor let her into the room. Tarik was hooked up to tubes and wires. “I’m so sorry, Dad…the last thing I wanted to happen is for you to get hurt,” she said softly as she bows her head. Suddenly, she felt a hand on her shoulder. “Sorry about your dad,” a voice said. “Thanks,” she said, turning around to see who was talking to her. “Hey, guys…have you seen Larissa,” Nyisha asked her sisters and husband. “I don’t know…she was just over there with the other kids a while ago,” Farrah said, “T.J. haven’t seen her either…you don’t think she wandered off from the hospital!” “She knows better than to leave the hospital without telling anyone…damn child,” she said. “What’s wrong,” Robert asked her. “Larissa’s missing, Rob…we don’t know where she is,” Farrah said. “She was on her cell phone…afterwards she went around that corner there…is something wrong,” Tyrese spoke up. “She probably snuck off on us, guys,” Tarik Jr said to them. They all stood there confused. “How did you know my dad…um, Miss,” Larissa asked the person. “Wells…Suzette Wells…he’s my prisoner and I’m the warden…just trying to keep him out of trouble is all…I’m also a grief counselor,” the woman replied. “I was angry with him for what happened to my aunt all those years ago…now I don’t know what to think,” she said. “I’m guessing you think he was behind your aunt’s shooting,” Suzette said. “Yeah…she was hit by a sniper’s bullet…now she can’t talk…someone did a drive-by at the hospital trying to shoot my mom…on top of everything else some guy with tattoos on his hands attacked my cousins…it’s crazy, right,” she said, looking at Suzette’s nametag. At that moment, Larissa thought about what Tarik told her in the visiting room. “Be careful, baby girl…Suzette Wells is not to be trusted,” his voice echoed in her head. “It was you…my dad said you hired that hitman to go after my mom, my aunt, and my cousin,” she said softly. “Heh! Tarik told me you were a bright kid! Congrats to you for solving the case! Why don’t we get back to the hospital? I still have some loose ends to tie up,” Suzette growls. Then she grabs Larissa by the arm, leaves the room, and went out to her car.

“Where could that child be, huh,” Dee Dee said as she comforted Nyisha. The guys were talking with the security guard before heading back to the family. “This is why we always tell you kids to let us know where you are at all times…anything could happen,” Melvin spoke up. Moments later, Suzette shows up at the hospital with Larissa in tow. “Oh my god…where have you been,” Nyisha said, rushing over to her daughter. Before she could get any closer, Suzette pointed a gun at Larissa’s head. “Back…the…fuck…off,” she said. “I’m so sorry, Mom…I didn’t mean to worry you,” Larissa said softly. “Don’t you hurt that child,” Dee Dee yelled. “Hey! I’m in charge! If everything goes the way it should, then I won’t harm this little one here,” Suzette yelled back. “You’ll never get away with this—I won’t allow it,” Randy said. “Oh…if it wasn’t for your daughter over there, my man wouldn’t gotten beaten up in jail…isn’t that right, Sergeant Thompson,” Suzette said. T.J. looked at her and frowned. “That punk deserved it…he tormented our sister for years,” Michelle said angrily. “Yeah,” Shane agreed. “It doesn’t give her the right to beat him senseless…she should pay for what she did,” Suzette growled at them. As soon as she pointed her gun at T.J., Randy stood between the two of them. “Don’t even think about it…you’ll have to get through me first,” he spoke up. Suddenly, a familiar face showed up. “Tarik?” Marvin said. “That’s enough, Suz…leave them alone,” Tarik yelled. “Why should I, huh? These girls deserve to die, baby,” Suzette said. “They have families…no one should suffer like that…no more,” Tarik said, staggered toward Suzette. “Dad?” Larissa said. “Honey, I want you to go to your mom and Robert…okay,” he said. “Okay,” she said to him. He slowly loosen Suzette’s grip on his already frightening daughter. Nyisha grabbed Larissa and hugged her tight. “Thank you,” she whispered to her ex-husband. Tarik nodded his head before confronting the warden. “It’s over, Suz…they’re not even worth killing,” he said, getting her to lower the gun. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Suddenly, two gunshots rang out. “Dad,” Larissa cried out. They all turned around to see Tarik on the floor. “So damn weak…time to die, ladies,” Suzette said, raising her at T.J. once again. Randy shields his daughter just before it went off. T.J. closed her eyes. When she opened them again, Randy was slumped over in front of her. “Dad,” Farrah cried. “Oh my god…Shane, go get your sister,” Dee Dee said. Shane went over to T.J. She was in complete shock. The shooting set off a flashback from when she saw Terrell with a bullet in his forehead and crumpled over the stretcher. “Hey, little sister…snap out of it…you’re okay,” he said to her. T.J. was covered in blood. The EMTs came down the halls to help Tarik and Randy. Moments later, the two men were put on stretchers and taken to the ER. Everyone waited for some good news. Unaware of what was going on around her, T.J. saw the gun that Suzette dropped on the floor and picked it up. “Tiffani? What are you doing,” Marvin called out to his wife. She held the gun and put her finger on the trigger. “T.J.! Don’t do it,” Nyisha yelled. “Mom…put the gun down…please…we need you—I need you…we know Dad hurt you badly…we don’t wanna lose you, too,” Tyrese said softly. Dee Dee came up to her and said, “This is not the way to do it, honey…we all know you had a difficult time with losing your mom and what happened with Tarik at the prison but killing yourself isn’t going to solve anything…your parents wouldn’t want for you…could you please put down the gun…if not for us, at least do it for your children and grandchildren!” Then T.J. grips the gun tighter.

“Please, Mom, don’t do this…what about us…we don’t want to lose you,” Tarik Jr yelled as Brianna and the younger kids watched in horror. “Mom, don’t leave us…please,” Tyrese pleaded. After seeing the concerned look on her oldest son’s face, T.J. slowly put the gun on the floor. Stephen took it out of her reach. Everyone were relieved. “That-a-girl…it’s okay,” Dee Dee said as she and Tyrese hugged T.J. tight. Hours later, two police officers escorted Suzette off the hospital grounds. “Mom? Do you think she’s gonna be okay,” Nyisha asked. “There’s only one way to find out,” Dee Dee responded. Once the doctor finished examining T.J., they went to confront her. “Hey there…you really scared us with that gun earlier…don’t ever do that again, you hear me…can’t you see how much we love you, huh…what are we gonna do without you…I don’t wanna lose my little sister, okay,” she said with tears in her eyes. After hearing those words, T.J. put her arms around Nyisha and hugged her tight. “She’s right, you know…that little suicide attempt should have never happened in the first place…don’t you know how lucky you are to have all these people who loves you so much…most kids have one family…you have two…don’t you forget that,” Dee Dee said. T.J. shook her head. Moments after visiting her stepdaughter, Dee Dee went back to the visiting room with the rest of the family. The doctor came up to her and whispered something in her ear. She got up and followed the doctor into a room where she sees Randy in a hospital bed hooked up to tubes and wires. Unaware that Nyisha and T.J. were right outside the door, Dee Dee sat down in a nearby chair and held his hand. “That was a stupid move, you know…jumping in front of a bullet like that…I know you would do absolutely anything for our kids…the last thing we want is to lose you…open your eyes dammit…your daughter needs you—they all do,” she said angrily. Suddenly, Randy woke up and turned to his wife. “You know I would never leave my family, woman,” he mumbled. “Don’t ever scare us like that again, you hear me,” she said. Nyisha knocked on the door and said, “Can we come in, Mom?” “Of course you can,” Dee Dee said. The girls came into the room to see their father. “Hey there…are you okay,” he asked them. “Yeah, Dad—but you may need to talk to T.J. though…considering that she tried to kill herself earlier today,” Niysha said, pushing her little sister to his bedside. “That’s a good idea…let’s give them some time alone,” Dee Dee said, grabbing Nyisha by the arm. The two of them left the room and closed the door. Randy turned to his daughter and said, “Come here…we have to talk about what happened…why would you wanna hurt yourself like that, huh—in front of our family…I sure wish you could tell me what was going on in your head at that moment!” T.J. opened her notebook and wrote something down in it. Randy looked at the note that she had written and said, “You think you would lose me just like you lost your mom? That will never happen because I will always be here for you, your sisters, and your brothers, you hear me!” T.J. smiled and gave him a hug. A few weeks later, T.J. was in the therapy room with a nurse practicing her sign language when Marvin showed up. “Hey, babe…how are the sessions going, Aimee,” he said. “It’s going extremely well, Marvin…you wanna show your husband what you’ve learned,” Aimee said. Then T.J. shook her head and showed Marvin a few things that Aimee had just taught her.

Nyisha brought Randy into the room in a wheelchair. “I’m so proud of you, Tiff…you’ve come a long way from what happened in the past couple of weeks,” Marvin said to his wife. T.J. got up and hugged him tight. “Way to go, little sister,” Nyisha spoke up. “I have to agree with your sister and your husband…you’re doing so well with the sign language, kiddo…I wanna make a deal with you…grab that chair over there…Nyisha and Marvin, you may want to hear this as well,” Randy said. T.J. did exactly that. “So…what’s going on, Dad,” Nyisha asked him. “Seeing how the shooting and your mom yelling at me for nearly getting killed—I realized what could’ve happened if I wasn’t here for you kids so I’m gonna promise you something…I won’t take any more shots from dangerous criminals if your sister here doesn’t try to kill herself again…what do you say, kiddo…huh,” he said. T.J. thought long and hard about this decision. She grabs a piece of paper to write on. Once she was done, she gave the note to him. “It won’t happen again,” Nyisha said, reading it to Randy. “Good girl,” he whispered. Then hugged the girls as the nurse watched.

The Journal of T.J. Thompson Book 2

Three years later, a lot of things change. The remaining seven (7) Thompsons kids has finally become parents. Jason and his twin sister, Irish, each have a son. Rodney and his wife, Denise, has a little girl and a little boy which were born through a surrogate. Melissa and her husband, Jonah, are expecting their first child together. Sandra and her husband, Dedrick, have a baby. Trisha and Monica have daughters, which were born on the same day. Bridget and her husband, Kevin, has another daughter. Brandon and his wife, Miranda, has a son. T.J. and Tarik’s two sons, nineteen-year-old Tyrese and eighteen-year-old Tarik Jr, goes to community college with their cousins, nineteen-year-old Sean, nineteen-year-old Reese, and eighteen-year-old Shawna. Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Quincy goes to high school with his cousins, fifteen-year-olds Jonah Jr, Brianna, Malcolm, Jerome, Alicia, and Diane. Fourteen-year-old Melville and his cousins, thirteen-year-old Tyrell Jr, thirteen-year-old Kyle, and twelve-year-old Bryton goes to junior high school. Eleven-year-olds Terrence Jr, Marlon, Zack, Matthew, Chad, and Larissa goes to middle school. Ten-year-olds Adam and Charley goes to a special school for honor students. Nine-year-olds Daniel Jr and his brother, Mackenzie, goes to elementary school with their cousins, eight-year-old twins Ashley and Alyssa, eight-year-old Jeremiah, eight-year-old Mark, seven-year-old Deena, and six-year-old Annie. Four-year-old Billie goes to preschool while her siblings, two-year-old twins Terrell and Angel goes to daycare. Sheryl has a new man in her life. His name is Stephen Davis, an investment banker with five grown kids of his own–three (3) girls and two (2) boys. Dee Dee and Randy are running the computer business together. The four of them have weekly lunches. Their kids get along just fine. The guys hang out at Melvin’s bar while the girls spend the day at Sheryl’s restaurant. They have gotten past everything that happened in their lives–the kidnappings, Terrell’s death, and all the secrets that they can handle. This is their story.

One sunny day in New York, Sean woke up in his bedroom. He got up and went to the bathroom. Moments later, he went to the kitchen of his studio apartment which he shares with Tyrese. “Hello, cousin!” he said. “What up,” Tyrese said, eating cereal at the counter. “Did you get the paper for today,” he asked. “Sure, cuz,” said Tyrese as he gave Sean the newspaper. “Gotta check on the stocks,” he told Tyrese as he left the room. Tyrese went back to his breakfast and started studying for his Trigonometry test. Meanwhile, Tarik Jr was riding down the street on his black-and-green Yamaha motorcycle. Another motorcycle rode up next to him. The person on it starts egging him on for a race. “It’s on now,” he said before his cell phone buzzed. “Awww…hi, Mom…what up,” he said. “Are you on that bike again… I should’ve never agreed to let your father buy you that thing for a graduation present…motorcycles kills people,” T.J. said on the other end of the phone. “Mom! I said that I’ll be careful! How are Marvin and the kids,” he asked. “You can ask him yourself,” she told him. Tarik Jr looks at his watch as Marvin come on the phone. “Hi, Marvin,” he said to his stepfather. “Hello, stepson…your mother is being a little overdramatic…so how is school,” Marvin asked him. “Oh…school’s fine…A’s and B’s just like Mom and Dad wants it…what about you,” he said. “I’m working on a huge case– highly classified! Your sisters and brothers are doing fine! It would help if you visit them and your mom every once in a while,” Marvin said as Brianna comes into the kitchen. “I will! I will this weekend–I promise, Marvin,” he said back. “Now get your butt to class, boy,” Marvin said before he hang up. Tarik Jr chuckled and hang up as well. “Good morning, baby girl,” Marvin said. “Good morning, pops,” said fifteen-year-old Brianna. “I wish you would stop calling me that–what are you wearing, young lady,” he questioned. Eleven-year-old Marlon comes in and said, “Ain’t nobody wanna see you in that get-up…hi, Dad!” “Hi, son…I’m waiting for my answer, Brianna,” he said. “It’s the new look…do you like it,” she asked him. “Yeah…as long as you put something over it,” he said. “Dad,” she whined. “You heard your father…go,” T.J. said, coming back into the kitchen. Brianna frowns at them and stormed back upstairs. “Hi, baby…what was that about,” T.J. asked her husband. “She’s just mad cuz Dad won’t let wear that outfit,” Marlon said. Then he grabs a piece of toast off the plate.

“She needs to stay away from that mall, Tiffani,” Marvin said to his wife. “She’s fifteen…she has school…she has cheerleading practice…and she has a part-time job…it’s not like she’s spending our money, Marvin,” T.J. said to him. “She should be saving that money for college instead of buying those outfits that she wears,” he said. “I don’t have time to fight with you about our teenage daughter…I gotta get to work…Mark, get down here on the double,” she said. “Coming,” eight-year-old Mark yelled. “It was so much simpler when she was a child,” Marvin mumbled to himself. T.J. kissed her husband and left the kitchen. At the Lanes’ house, fifteen-year-old twins Malcolm and Jerome were in the upstairs bathroom brushing their teeth. Eleven-year-old Larissa was in the family den using the computer. Suddenly, Tarik comes in. “All right, kiddo…time for breakfast,” he said. “Okay, Dad…I’ll be there in a minute,” she said without looking. “Boys, come down here… NOW,” he calls out. “Okay, Dad,” Malcolm and Jerome said, goofing around. Nyisha was putting some breakfast on the kitchen table as Tarik and Larissa comes in to sit down. “Good morning,” she said. “Morning,” they said back. Malcolm and Jerome joins them moments later. “Good morning, Mom,” the boys said. “What took you so long up there? You weren’t goofing off again, were you? Boys,” Nyisha asked her sons. The two of them looked at each other and shook their heads. Nineteen-year-old Reese was heading out of her dorm room when her phone rang. “Hi, Mom…I was on my way out…what’s going on,” she said. Meanwhile, Chuckie and his son, eleven-year-old Chad, were working on his car in the garage. Melvin drove up to the house. “Hi, Uncle Melvin,” they said. “Hello, boys…working on the car, I see…how is that coming along,” he asked them. “It’s coming along fine,” Chuckie said. After talking with her daughter, Nalia came in and said, “The car again? Should I call a tow truck to take it away?” “Heh-heh…I got it, babe,” Chuckie said back. “Chad, time for school! Say goodbye to your father and Uncle Melvin,” she said to her young son. “Bye, Dad…Uncle Melvin,” Chad said. “Bye, Chad,” said Chuckie and Melvin. Then Chad and Nalia left.

Eighteen-year-old Shawna was hanging out with some friends when someone tapped her on the shoulder. “Hey, girl,” the person said. She turns around and sees a tall slender boy standing in front of her. She hugs him as Sean, Tyrese, and Reese came up on campus. “Micah! How’s it going,” she said to the boy. “Everything’s cool, baby,” Micah said back. “So…what’s going on over here, Shay,” said Tyrese. “Go away, Ty,” she mutters under her breath. “It’s cool…I’ll see you in class,” Micah said. He kisses her on the cheek and walked away. Shawna hits Tyrese in the ribs. “Ow! Damn, cuz,” he said. “Why are you doing this, Ty? Damn,” she said. “Cuz Uncle Mike asked me to–what’s wrong with watching out for my little cousin, huh,” he questioned her. “This ain’t high school…I can take care of myself…and as for you, Sean: stop listening to my father, got it,” she said. “All right…got it, lil cuz,” Sean said back. Shawna left abruptly. “Mm-hmm,” Reese said, shaking her head at her cousins. She went after Shawna. At the schoolyard, Marlon and Chad were tossing around the football when Larissa showed up and snatched it out of the air. “Hey,” the boys yelled. “Hey nothing! I wanna play, too,” she told them. “But you hate football, cousin,” said Marlon. “Why the sudden interest,” Chad questioned her. Ignoring their comments, Larissa looked over at some boys playing football across the way. “Huh? You said something,” she finally said. “Oh…I see what’s going on here,” Marlon said. “What are you talking about,” she asked. “I see it, too,” Chad said. “What,” she demanded. “Do I sense a little crush here,” Chad said. “Shut up, you jerks,” she said, hitting Chad. She throws the football at Marlon and walked off. At the high school, fifteen-year-old twins Alicia and Diane got out of their mother’s car. They went inside to meet up with Brianna, who was putting a jacket into her locker. “You got caught by Uncle Marvin, didn’t ya,” Diane asked her. “Yep,” she said softly. “Big mistake…you should have never let him see it…we never let our dad see any of our outfits,” Alicia said. “Uh-huh…that’s because Uncle James is a great big pushover and Aunt Meghan is always taking your side, Ali…my parents are always ganging up on me,” she said. Suddenly, the bell rang. “Well, we gotta fix that problem–FAST! Let’s go,” Alicia said to her cousin. Then they went to class.

The girls sat down in their seats as a young slender man comes into the room. “Good morning, class,” he said. “Good morning, Mr Brady,” the kids said back. Someone passed a note to Diane. She opens it and started reading. “Miss Hardison…pass me whatever you have in your hand,” Mr Brady said as he was writing on the chalkboard. Diane was still reading the note as she walked up to him. “I’ll see you after class…I’ve already warned you about this,” he said, getting the note out of her hand. “Yes, sir…a million times,” Diane said, then goes back to her seat. Eight-year-old Jeremiah and his cousins, eight-year-old Ashley, eight-year-old Alyssa, nine-year-old Danny Jr, and nine-year-old Mac were playing kickball with their friends. Eight-year-old Mark was keeping score on the school steps. Seven-year-old Deena and six-year-old Annie were playing cards. “Got any 3s,” Deena asked. “Go fish…got any 7s,” Annie said. Four-year-old Billie was playing hide-and-seek with the other kids. “Ninety nine…100! Ready or not, here I come,” she shouted.  Across town, ten-year-olds Adam and Charley were doing a class assignment at their new school. At the middle school, eleven-year-olds Zack and Matthew were studying for a spelling test. “Man…these words are hard,” said Zack. “That’s why we’re studying them…stop whining, Z,” Matthew said back. Their cousins, eleven-year-olds Terrence Jr, Marlon, Chad, and Larissa came over to them and sat down. “Waiting until the last minute, huh…I’ve already studied for that test,” Larissa told them. “Shut up, you…we’re trying to concentrate over here,” Zack grumbled. “Concentrate…C-O-N-C-E-N-T-R-A-T-E…concentrate,” she bragged. Matthew and Zack ran after her. At the junior high school, fourteen-year-old Melville was hanging out with his friends in the cafeteria while thirteen-year-olds Tyrell Jr and Kyle played basketball in the gym with two other boys. Twelve-year-old Bryton was reading comic books on the bleachers. “Kyle…I’m open,” Tyrell Jr shouted. “Think fast, cuz,” Kyle said as he passed the ball. Tyrell Jr catches it, ran down the court, and tossed it in the rim. Sixteen-year-old Quincy and fifteen-year-old Jonah Jr were shooting dice with their friends in the halls of their high school. “Come on, seven…lucky seven,” Quincy shouts. Everyone cheered once he threw the dice. “Way to go, cuz,” Jonah Jr said. “Yo, Quince! Quince! Boss man’s coming,” said one of the kids. It’s the code for the principal is coming. Everyone disappears when a middle-aged man came down the halls. Thirty-nine-year-old twins Jason and Irish were working hard at their recording studio when Bartholomew and Rhonda comes in with the babies. “Hey, brother-in-law…hi, baby,” Bartholomew said as he gave Jason a high-five and kisses Irish on the cheek. “Well hello to you too, Bart…how’s out little boy,” Irish asked her husband. “Oh BJ’s fine…just hanging out with his daddy,” he said. “Right…we’re just here to take you guys out to lunch, Jase,” Rhonda said. “Okay, babe…I think we need a break…ain’t that right, Jordan,” Jason said as the baby cooed. “Let’s go,” said Irish. They got up and left with their spouses. Thirty-seven-year-old Rodney and his wife, Denise, were having lunch with their friends at an expensive restaurant. Their newly adopted children, two-year-old Olivia and one-year-old Benjy, were napping in their highchairs. Meanwhile, thirty-four-year-old Sandra and her sisters, thirty-three-year-olds Trisha and Monica were at the diner feeding their babies. Thirty-six-year-old Melissa came in and sat down with them. “Hi, guys,” she said. “Hi, Mel! How are you feeling,” Trisha asked her big sister. “I’m okay…can’t wait for until this one gets here,” she said. “But it would all be worth it, Mel,” Monica said. Two-year-olds Terrell and Angel were in a daycare center five blocks away from the computer business where thirty-five-year-old T.J. works as head of security. She took the job right after retiring from the police station. As the twins were playing, T.J. was talking with the caretaker. “Mama,” they said. “Hi, guys,” she said. “I’ll see you both next week! Bye,” the caretaker said. “Bye, Mrs Carpenter, ” they said. Then T.J. and the kids left.

Thirty-two-year-old Bridget and her husband, Kevin were hanging out with her twin brother, Brandon, and his wife, Miranda at their new townhouse. Their kids, eight-month-old Elijah and his cousin, six-month-old Mary were playing in the next room. “What’s going on, you guys,” Miranda asked. “The Williamses…they lost another appeal…they should quit while they’re ahead,” Bridget replied. “It has been four (4) years! Zack is eleven (11) years old! He doesn’t want anything to do with those people,” Brandon said. “Deon and Lola Ann doesn’t want to hear it! At least the courts won’t let them change his name–thank God–man, they don’t know when to quit,” Kevin said as they heard the front door open. Kyle and Zack went into the kitchen for a snack. Kevin came in to greet them. “Hey, kids,” he said. “Hi, Dad,” they said back. “Um, Kyle…go say hi to your mom, aunt, and uncle….I wanna have a talk with your brother,” he said. “Okay, Dad,” Kyle said as he left the room holding a plate of food in his hands. “Uh, Dad…what’s going on,” Zack asked him. “Remember what your mom and I were talking to you about the other day,” Kevin said. “Yeah…when Mr and Mrs Williams went to court to get full custody of me–I remember…they didn’t win, did they,” Zack said. “No, son! Them didn’t win but we said that the law may not work the way we wanted to…in case that happens and a judge listens to your grandparents, we may have to prepare for the worst…if they get custody, you may have to live with them,” he said. “I know, Dad! I don’t want to leave you or Mom or Kyle or Deena or Mary either…I can’t–I won’t,” Zack told him. “Now that’s what I wanted to hear–no pressure,” he said. They hugged each other. Sixty-three-year-old Deon and his wife, Lola Ann,  were having a quiet lunch at home. In their living room were pictures of their two sons, DeWayne and Levi, who are deceased now. Deon and Lola Ann went to court for justice of Levi but the case was settled on the account of Randy’s relationship with the judge. The two men were golf buddies. There were also pictures of Zack. They hired a private investigator to follow their only grandson. Lola Ann looks at them every chance she gets. “You know we could’ve had our boy if we wanted,” she she said to her husband. “But Sheryl and her brand new husband put a stop to what we had planned…we won’t get near DeWayne’s son until he’s 21,” he said back. “I can’t wait ten (10) years–we need him now,” she said. “We will, baby…we will get him,” he said. Then he consoles his wife.

Sixty-three-year-old Sheryl was in the kitchen cooking breakfast when her New husband, sixty-five-year-old Stephen came in and kissed her on the cheek. “Ooh…hi, baby,” she said. “Hi, sugar…I miss you,” he said. “Of course you did…you knew I would be down here, Stephen,” she said. Sixty-three-year-old Randy and his wife, Dee Dee, were playing cards in the kitchen of their house. “So, honey…when are you gonna tell your kids about your retirement,” Dee Dee asked him. “I’ve got two years to tell our kids, Dee…and don’t alarm them either…I already have the girls jumping down my throat about my cholesterol,” he said. “Our girls loves you…all four of them…our boys too,” she told him. Randy felt his cellphone buzz, checks it, and saw a text. “Huh? Danny,” he said. Dee Dee chuckled. Twenty-eight-year-olds Danny, Jeffrey, and Nigel were at the ice cream shop with their kids. Eleven-year-old Matthew, ten-year-old Charley, nine-year-old Danny Jr, and nine-year-old Mac sat at a table eating their banana splits. Nigel’s brand new girlfriend shows up with their newborn son and kissed him. “Hello, baby,” she said. “Hey, girl…what’s up,” Nigel said back. “Damn,” said Danny and Jeffrey. “Ey! She’s mine! Try and find your wives, fellas,” he told them. Suddenly, April and Ashlee showed up. “Hi, you guys,” the girls said. “Hey,” said Danny and Jeffrey. “Hi, Mom,” said the kids. They all sat down together. “So, Marissa…how’s our boy,” Nigel asked her. “He’s doing okay! Little Sammy has finally gotten over his cold,” Marissa said. “Hey there, kiddo,” he said to his son. “I see you staring at Nigel’s girlfriend…now cut it out,” said April. “You too…sicko,” Ashlee said, smacking Danny in the back of his head. “Ow…I’m not used to seeing Nigel with a girl…ever,” Danny said. “Yeah,” Jeffrey added. They sat there watching Nigel’s small family. Forty-six-year-old Michelle was at the TV station looking over some papers when her husband, forty-seven-year-old Michael showed up. “Whatever it is…it’ll have to wait,” she said without seeing who she was talking to. “Hey, babe,” Michael said. “Hi, Mike! What brings you by,” she said, giving him a kiss on the cheek. “I’m just checking on my superstar wife,” he said. “Oh, really…hmm,” she said softly. They shared a passionate kiss. Meanwhile, Tarik Jr was chatting with his friends when Shawna come up to him and said, “Hey, cuz…we need to talk!” She grabs him by the arm, pulling him to the side. Forty-year-old Martin and his fourteen-year-old son, Melville, were at the law office playing cards when his wife, Renay, came in on them. “You better not be playing poker, guys,” she said. “Gin rummy, Mom,” Melville said. “I wouldn’t do that, Nay-Nay…maybe when he’s 21,” said Martin. “What’s going on with my two favorite men…have you finished your homework, Melly,” she questioned. “Mom…don’t call me that…I’m almost done,” Melville said. “Get to it…NOW,” she demanded. “Aiight…GIN,” Melville yells as he slammed the cards on the table. “Wha…how did that happen,” Martin said, unaware of what happened. Then Renay and Melville chuckled.

Hours later, the whole town were fast asleep in their beds. There was complete silence until a silver Beemer drove up. Deon and Lola Ann were inside. They were parked down the block from Kevin and Bridget’s house. “Those stuck up jerks…they’ll get what they deserved,” Lola Ann said. “Yeah,” said Deon. They drove away slowly. The next day, Bridget and Kevin were having breakfast with their four children. “I know that you’re getting your spelling test back today so I wanna see it when you get home,” Bridget said to her son. “Yes, Mom,” Zack said. “You need help getting your project to school, Dee,” Kevin asked his daughter. “Yeah…sure, Dad,” Deena responded. The two of them grabbed the huge project and went outside to the car. Kyle took his cereal into the den and turned on the computer to play games. Moments later, Bridget comes in and said, “Shut that down and get ready for school!” ” Yeah, Mom…in a minute, ” he said without looking. “Now, Kyle…before I cut off the power to this room,” she said. “Okay, Mom…let me save this game, all right,” he said. “Five seconds,” she warns her oldest son. “I’m outta here, Mom,” Zack said, grabbing his bookbag and heading for the door. “Freeze…I’m taking you boys to school,” she said. “Awww…but I promised Matt that I would walk with him to school today,” he said. “Now while your nutty grandparents are out there…besides your Uncle Jeffrey is bringing Matt over here,” she said, going upstairs. Jeffrey drove up to his sister’s house and got out of the car. Matthew was in the front seat playing with his PSP Vita. “All right, buddy! Come out of there! Say hi to your aunt and cousins,” he said through the window. Matthew put the game away and got out of the car as well. Bridget and her sons meet them at the door. “Hello, sis…hey, fellas,” he said to them. “Hi, Auntie Bridget…what up, cousins,” Matthew said, giving Kyle and Zack high fives. “What up, Matt…hi, Unc,” Kyle and Zack said. They all went into the house. Deon and Lola Ann were sleeping in their car until a noise startled them. It was Sheryl and Stephen. They drove up in their Cadillac truck. They got out and joined the kids inside. “Hi, Mom! Hi, Stephen,” said Bridget and Jeffrey. “Hi, kids! I heard about the so-called kidnapping on the front lawn the other day! Is everyone okay,” Sheryl asked as Bridget shut the door. “Um…yeah, Mom…thanks to those self-defense classes…the kids are fine,” Bridget told her. “I beat them up…Mom worries too much,” Zack interrupted. “And with good reason–those creeps were going after you since you were born,” Sheryl said. “Yes, Grandma! I know the story! DeWayne wants his parents to get full custody of me and take on his namesake–what a bunch of jerks,” he said. They all laughed. Moments later, everyone came back outside. Jeffrey got into his car while Zack, Kyle, and Matthew goes with Bridget in her car. “We’ll be right behind you kids,” said Stephen as he, Sheryl, and the baby got into the truck. “Yeah…sure,” Bridget said. The three vehicles drove out of the front yard. “Guess we can’t get near him now,” Deon said. “It’s almost summertime…we’ll get out boy then,” Lola Ann said. “So, guys…what kind of music do you want to listen to,” Bridget asked them. “It doesn’t matter…we don’t listen to music anyways,” they said. “Suit yourself,” she said. Then she turns on the radio.

As the weeks goes by, Deon and Lola Ann were in their home planning the perfect kidnapping of all time. Once the school bell rang, all of the kids ran out of the doors and threw their books into the air. Their parents came to pick them up as Deon and Lola Ann waited by the front gate. They watched Zack as he talked with some of his friends. Suddenly, he makes a call on his cellphone. “Let’s go get our boy,” Lola Ann said as she and Deon got out of their car. “Hey, Mom…you coming to pick me up, right,” Zack said. Deon and Lola Ann snuck up behind him. “This should do the trick,” Deon said, opening up a bottle of chloroform and pouring it on a napkin. “Okay…I’ll call Dad…bye,” Zack sighed. Bridget hung up her phone and went back to work. As Zack hung up his cellphone and make another call, he was grabbed from behind. Kevin was at the office looking at the company spreadsheets when his phone rang. He went to answer it but the line clicked. Deon put an unconscious Zack into their car. They both got in themselves and drove away. Matthew saw Deon’s car leaving the schoolyard. Suddenly, he notices that Zack was missing. He saw Zack’s backpack laying on the ground. He grabs his cellphone to call his dad. Hours later, the police were at the school asking everyone questions. Bridget and Kevin drove up in their car. They got out to see what was going on. Jeffrey was sitting on the front steps of the school with Matthew who was hanging onto Zack’s backpack. The three of them met up and started talking. “So…how are you holding up,” Jeffrey asked them. “We aiight, man,” Kevin told his brother-in-law. “I cannot believe this is happening again, you guys…Deon and Lola Ann–they won’t let up until they get their hands on Zack,” she said, “They kept dragging us into court back and forth for our son…now they do this–those jerks!” Jeffrey hugs his big sister as she cries uncontrollably. Back at the Thompsons’ house, the entire family and their spouses were sitting quietly in the den. Suddenly, Randy and Dee Dee showed up. “Hi, guys! We heard about Zack! How are you holding up,” they asked. “Horrible…my son was kidnapped by his creepy grandparents,” Bridget told them. “Wait–what? Deon and Lola Ann has Zack? Don’t they ever give up,” T.J. questioned. “I doubt it…they wanted Zack ever since he was born,” Marvin said. “They keep making appeals…got rejected…then they pull this stunt…they’re idiots,” Brandon said. “At least the police’s on it…you will get your son back,” Stephen said to Bridget. She nods in agreement. Zack woke up to find himself in the dark, dirty basement of the Williams’ house. Deon sat down on a chair across from him. “Hey there, little fella! It’s your grandpa,” he said. “Huh? Where am I? What am I doing here,” Zack moaned. Lola Ann came in and said, “Well…I see our boy’s finally awake…from this point, you belong to us…little Zachariah…or should I say DeWayne Sebastian Williams Jr!” “It’s Zachariah Harlan Johnson and I wanna go home,” Zack yelled at her. “Oh…but you are home…your father, DeWayne Sr–may he rest in peace–promised us that we get full custody of you, our grandson…that judge made a fool out of us…you will never see your mom again,” she said, feeling sure of herself. Zack frowned at her comment. Back at the Thompsons’ house, T.J. went outside to make a call when Nyisha showed up. “Hey there! I heard about Zack! How is everyone,” she asked. “They’re fine…it happened so fast…no one knew what was going on…Deon and Lola Ann must’ve had this planned since their appeals were denied,” T.J. said as her hand started to shake. “Um…I think you need to sit down, all right,” she said. Then they sat down on the front steps as Bridget watches them.

“You don’t have to worry about me–I’m fine,” T.J. finally said. “Now where have I heard that before? You’re starting to sound like Dad,” Nyisha told her. “Heh…very funny, Iz! I wish y’all would stop picking on me! Farrah had her own share of jokes at the office this morning! Knock it off,” she said, annoyed at her big sister’s comments. Suddenly, her cellphone buzzed. “Take your call, knucklehead,” Nyisha said. “Hello…got a lead on my nephew…good…I’ll be right there,” she said, then hung up. “What,” Nyisha said. “Deon filed another appeal…he’s trying to get the judge to believe that Bridget and Kevin are unfit to raise Zack…I gotta go,” she said, heading for her car. She got in and drove off. As T.J. was driving, she thought about the deal that the FBI made to her. Back at the Williams’ house, Lola Ann tries to feed Zack his lunch. “Come on, my boy…eat this food…RIGHT NOW,” she screams at him. Deon came into the kitchen with the lawyer and say down at the breakfast table. “We have a case…the judge that I’ve talked to–guarantee that you will get temporary custody of this little guy by proving that his mom and stepfather kept him away from you and your husband since his birth,” the lawyer said. “Those stupid kids–they won’t know what hit them, baby,” Deon said, then kisses his wife. Terrence Jr, Marlon, Chad, and Larissa were playing video games while Matthew sat by the window thinking about what happened. Suddenly, he felt a hand on his shoulder. “Hi, Matt…how are you feeling,” a voice said. He turned around to see April behind him. “I’m okay, Mom,” he said. Shane and Jane were playing cards with Martin and Renay at the kitchen table. “Poor Bridget! Her son gets snatched up by those creeps–so cruel,” Jane finally said. “She didn’t deserve this…her and Kevin are such wonderful parents to Zack,” Renay said. “It doesn’t matter…Deon and Lola Ann wouldn’t be satisfied until they get ahold of Zack,” said Shane. “I thought after eleven (11) years, they would’ve given up by now,” Martin told them. Michelle walked in and said, “The judge already ruled that Zack cannot be taken out of his environment…doesn’t any of them know about his allergies?” Michael hung out with the rest of the guys on the back porch as the younger kids slept in the den. Sheryl, Dee Dee, Randy, Melvin, and Stephen were talking while drinking coffee in the dining room. All of a sudden, the doorbell rang. They went to see who it was. “Hello? May I help you,” Sheryl questioned. “Um…is Bridget and Kevin Johnson here,” the person said. “Yeah…that’s us,” Bridget spoke up. “You need to sign for this,” the person told her. “What is this, sir,” she asked. “Custody papers–you’ve been served,” he said. Sheryl shut the door in his face. “Not again…what were they thinking,” said Bridget. “Seems to me that they’re fighting very hard on this, guys,” said Stephen. “They can’t get away with this,” said Kevin. “And they won’t, son–not by a long shot,” Randy said. “I’ll get our lawyer on this,” Sheryl said as she got on her cellphone. “Don’t worry, little sister…we got your back,” said Jason. Then everyone agreed.

Later that day, Zack was in DeWayne’s old bedroom tied to an office chair. Deon and Lola Ann were sleeping on the living room couch. The lawyer was leaving the house when a black van drove up. Two men in ski masks grabbed him from behind, put him in the van, and drove away. Meanwhile, Brianna sat in Mr. Brady’s classroom when her cellphone buzzed. “Hey, Dad…waiting for Mom to pick me up,” she answered. Someone came in while she was was talking on the phone. She heard the door shut and hung up. “I’m sorry, Mr. Brady…my dad just called…it’s about my cousin,” she said. “So I heard…it’s all over the radio…are you okay,” Mr Brady asked her. “Yeah…I’m fine,” she replied. He grabbed Brianna by the hand and hugged her tight. T.J. drove up to the school and waited for her daughter to come out. While she was doing that, her cellphone started to buzz. “Hello? Yeah! Hold him there! I’ll see ya in 15! Bye,” she said as she saw Brianna coming out of the building with Mr Brady. “Hi, Mom,” said Brianna as she got into the car. “Hey there, kiddo…is everything okay,” she asked them. “Yeah,” Brianna answered. “Your daughter was helping me out with some things…I hope the police finds your nephew…have a good summer, you guys,” said Mr Brady. “Um…thanks, Sam…you too,” she said. “Bye, Tiff,” he said, going to his car. “Okay, kiddo! Buckle up,” she said to her daughter. Both cars drove off. The same black van drove up to an old warehouse outside town. The masked men dragged the lawyer out and went inside. They put him onto a chair and left. Suddenly, someone comes into the room. “Hello there, buddy,” the person said. “Huh? Who’s there,” the lawyer asked. “Ricardo! It’s me,” the person said to him. He opens his eyes to see who it was. “Tiff? You scared the shit outta me! How’s Marvin and the kids,” Ricardo said. “They’re good! What about Cindy and the kids,” T.J. asked him. “They’re okay, old chum,” Ricardo said. “So, Rick…how is the case going,” she asked him. “It’s going good…Mr and Mrs Williams has your little nephew tied up in their son’s bedroom…I told them about the judge that we set up…they took the bait,” he said. Then they shook hands.

Tyrese was hanging out with his friends at the diner when his cellphone vibrated. “Hey, guys…I gotta take this…it might be about Zack–hello,” he said, leaving the table. About a couple of blocks over, Tarik Jr was at the park playing basketball with Shawna and Reese. “It sucks that Mr and Mrs Williams took Zack away from Aunt Bridget and Uncle Kevin like that,” Reese said. “Those jerks would do anything to get him–doing what DeWayne tells them,” Tarik Jr said. “They do know he can’t eat nuts, right,” Shawna said. “Probably not…then there’s the name change…it’s their son’s dying wish for Zack to be named DeWayne Sebastian Williams Jr,” he said. “Too late! It’s been eleven (11) years! They won’t allow it, you guys,” Reese said. The three of them shook their heads in agreement. Deon was in the living room reading a newspaper while Lola Ann cooked breakfast in the kitchen. Zack ate a granola bar from his back pocket. “Time to eat,” she said, “Get DeWayne Jr, baby!” “Okay,” he said, heading to the bedroom. “Mwah,’ she giggled at him. “Come on, boy…time to eat your grandmothers lovely meal,” he said. “I wanna go home…NOW,” Zack said. “For the last time, you are home…what is this, you’re eating candy bars before dinner,” he growled. “No…I don’t eat candy cuz I’m allergic to peanuts, you moron,” Zack said. “Here’s a hint: don’t eat no goddamn peanuts–now let’s get this food, boy,” he said, dragging Zack out of the room. Lola Ann set the food on the table as they came in. “What took you guys so long,” she asked them. “The boy was eating candy bars in the bedroom,” Deon told her. “I don’t eat candy, you jerks,” Zack yelled at them. “Not anymore you don’t…you eat what I give you, got it,” she said, taking away the granola bar from him. “I don’t eat candy because of my peanut allergy,” Zack said. “Sit down and eat your dinner,” she yelled at him. Deon shoves Zack into the chair. Everyone were eating Chinese food in the Thompsons’ dining room. Kevin caught a glimpse of Bridget staring at her plate. He got up and walked over to her. “Hey! What’s wrong, huh,” he asked her. “I don’t know…I’m just worried about Zack…those people–they’re such jerks–I would like to know what they’re getting out of taking our son…DeWayne caused this…if it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t be in this mess right now,” she said. “I know but I promise you that they will pay for it, babe,” he said back. The next day, Ricardo went back to the Williams’ house. Deon and Lola Ann were eating breakfast at the kitchen table. “Hello,” he said to them. “Hi, Mr Carson! Can I have a word with you,” said Deon. The two men went into the den as Lola Ann continued eating. Zack woke up and grabbed another granola bar out of his pocket to eat. Suddenly, his cellphone buzzed. He saw the number on the caller ID and answered it. Lola Ann got up and went toward the locked bedroom. “DeWayne Jr! Wake up! Time for breakfast,” she shouted. Zack hung up his cellphone and put it in his Timberland boot. He stuffs the half-eaten granola bar back into his pocket. Then Lola Ann busted through the door.

“I know you were eating those candy bars again…I can smell it on your breath…that’s gonna stop right now,” Lola Ann growled. She grabbed Zack by the shirt and pat him down. “Get off me, lady,” he yelled as he fought with Lola Ann. She finds the granola bar and threw it on the floor. “No more candy bars…you will eat what I cooked for you and nothing else, got it,” she said angrily. “Hey…give that back,” he yelled. “No more…I’m throwing these away…no grandson of mine is gonna be a health nut,” she yelled back. She leaves the room and slammed the door. Meanwhile, Bridget hung up her cellphone after getting in contact with her son. “Hey, babe…what’s wrong,” Kevin asked her. “You remember the tracking app that we put in the boys’ cellphones,” she said. “Yeah…so we know where they are at all times,” he said. “Well I think I’ve found Zack,” she said. I’m the next room, Miranda and Brandon were hanging out with their young son. “I can’t even begin to understand what your sister and her husband’s going through right now,” she said. “Me neither,” Brandon said. Suddenly, they heard a car started up outside. Matthew was sitting in the treehouse when Jeffrey came up and said, “Hello there!” ” Hi,” Matthew sighed. “Your mom told me what’s going on…I hope you’re not blaming yourself for what happened to your cousin…it’s not your fault, man,” he said. “Yes it is, Dad! I promised Aunt Bridget that I would watch out for him! She probably hates me now,” Matthew told him. “No! She doesn’t hate you, kiddo! You did the best you could! We knew what Deon and Lola Ann were capable of,” he said. “Yep,” Matthew said. “Let’s go get some breakfast, shall we,” he said. The two of them climbed down from the treehouse and went inside. Sheryl was cooking breakfast as Jeffrey and Matthew sat down at the kitchen table. “Hello, boys,” she said to them. “Hi, Mom,” Jeffrey said. “Hi, Grandma,” Matthew sighed. “You’re still worried about Zack, huh,” she asked her grandson. “Uh-huh,” he said. “I’m sure he’s gonna be fine,” she said, reassuring him. Matthew hugged her tight. A few hours later, Zack was still in DeWayne’s old bedroom when Deon comes in and grabbed him off the floor. “Eating those candy bars again, are you–ARE YOU,” he growled. He threw Zack against the wall. “I told you already…it’s not a candy bar, you jerk,” Zack yelled at him. Deon got mad and punched him in the face. Zack fell to the floor crying. “You better get it through your thick head…your name is DeWayne Jr…you don’t badmouth us…you will do as we say…eat what your grandmother cooked for you…you are a Williams now act like it,” he said as he starts beating on Zack. T.J. was sitting in her car when her cellphone started to vibrate. “Hello, Ricky…what’s up,” she said. “I was discussing the case with Mr Williams…they’re taking turns beating on your nephew…it doesn’t look good, T,” said Ricardo. “Well stay on it and let me know if anything else happens, all right,” she said to him. “Okay…gotta go…bye,” he said, hanging up his cellphone. Lola Ann came outside with a tray of drinks. “Who were you talking to,” she questioned him. “My mom…she would worry if I didn’t call her…is everything okay in there,” he said. “Yeah…everything’s fine,” she told him. Ricardo took a cup off the tray and started to drink. Bridget and Kevin went on their own search for Zack. She was driving down the street at 75 miles per hour. “Hey, babe…slow down,” he said, putting on his seatbelt. “Not until we get our son back,” she said to him. She drove faster as she passes a patrol car. Suddenly, they heard sirens. T.J. saw the two cars as they sped by. “What the–,” she said. She followed them closely. About a few blocks later, she saw who was being chased by the patrol car. “Oh, no…I don’t believe this,” she said, then got out of the car to see what was going on. “You cannot be h–T.J.! How are ya,” said the patrolman. “I’m good, Chase! So what’s the deal with these two,” T.J. asked. “Um, this young lady was speeding,” said Chase. Bridget shook her head in shame. She and Kevin stood there as T.J. talked with Chase. He then goes on his way as T.J. confronted Bridget and Kevin. “You’re lucky this time…because of my good friend there, he’s letting you off with a warning…what the hell were you rushing to, huh,” T.J. yelled. Bridget and Kevin didn’t say anything. “Answer me,” she said, smacking Bridget in the head.  “I know where Zack is,” Bridget yelled. “What,” she questioned. “We put a tracking app on Kyle and Zack’s cellphones so we know where to find them! We were going to find Zack when your good friend stopped us,” Kevin said. “You’re lucky you ain’t heading to jail right now…Dad and Dee Dee doesn’t need this…neither does Mom and Stephen,” she said, smacking Kevin in the head as well. “We can’t wait on the police to find our son–we gotta do it ourselves, T.J.,” Bridget said. “All you gonna do is head back home and stay put–both of you,” she said. Then she head back to her car and drove away.

Later that day, Tyrese drove up to the Thompsons house and met Sheryl at the front door. “Hi, Grandma! Any word on Zack,” he asked her. “No, honey…not a word but I need a favor from you,” she said to him. Stephen was in the den playing with Elijah and Mary when they walked in. “Hi, Stephen…hey, little cousin,” Tyrese said, giving Elijah a high-five. “Hello, my boy…how’s college,” Stephen asked. “I’m hanging in there…just came up for a little visit,” he said, picking up Mary. Matthew came downstairs as Tyrese talked with Stephen. “Hello,” they said to him. “Hi…am I in trouble,” Matthew questioned. “No, Matt! I came here to hang out with my favorite cousin! Get your shoes and meet me outside,” Tyrese said. “Okay,” he said, then went back upstairs. Moments later, T.J. sat at a downtown cafe drinking coffee when Ricardo showed up. “Rick,” she called out. “Hey, Tiff,” he said back. Bridget and Kevin were right outside as T.J. hugs her old friend. “She had some never yelling at us–now she’s in there cheating on Marvin! I’m going in,” Bridget said angrily. “Babe…wait,” Kevin called out, then goes after his wife. The two of them bursted in to confront T.J. and Ricardo. “What the hell is going on in here, huh,” she yelled at them. “What are you doing here? I thought I told you both to go home,” T.J. said. “We were just go–,” Kevin started to say. “Why, huh? So you can cheat on Marvin with this guy,” she yelled. They started to argue. Everyone turned around to see what was going on. Kevin and Ricardo grabbed the girls, taking them both outside. “How dare you accuse me of cheating on Marvin,” T.J. said angrily. “After your affair with Josh, it’s a little hard to tell,” said Bridget. “That man has ruin my life and nearly cost me my marriage–it’s not like that! I’m on a job,” she yelled. “A job? What about your job with Dad,” Kevin asked. “It’s after hours…I can do both,” she said. “And why should we believe you, huh,” Bridget yelled. “Your sister’s working along with the FBI as a consultant…Special Agent Ricardo Vega,” Ricardo finally said, then shows them his badge. Sheryl and Dee Dee were in the backyard with their grandkids while the guys were playing cards. “Too bad we don’t know anything about Zack,” said Melvin. “Those kids didn’t deserve this! If Deon and Lola Ann does anything to that little boy so help me God…,” Randy started to say. “I know…I would kill them, too,” Stephen added. Meanwhile, Deon was in the bathroom washing the blood off his hands. Lola Ann went over to an unconscious Zack and said, “Um, you know…if you’re a good little boy, he won’t beat you again…got it, DeWayne Sebastian Williams Jr?” Those words echoes through Zack’s head as she left the room. “You’re a cop?!” Bridget questioned. “Yes, ma’am…I’m undercover as the Williams’ lawyer,” Ricardo replied. “And you knew about this,” Kevin said. “Um, yeah…the FBI approached me to help them with this case–and we’re working hard to get Zack out of that house,” T.J. told them. “Why haven’t you done it yet,” Bridget asked. “We didn’t want to alert them…they could take your son and run…you would never see him again,” Ricardo said. “We have to be careful,” T.J. said. “So…how long was this going on,” Kevin asked the both of them. “Four and a half–close to five months,” he said. “Deon and Lola Ann had this kidnapping planned…just didn’t think they would do it on the last day of school,” T.J. said. Then they got up from the table and left the cafe.

Tyrese and Matthew hung out together at the batting cages. “This is fun…thanks, Ty,” Matthew said to his cousin. “No problem,” Tyrese said as the two of them went to the snack bar. They bought two hit dogs and two cups of soda. “So…what’s next,” Matthew said as he took a bite of his hot dog. “Let’s get a table so we can talk,” he said. “Talk about what,” Matthew questioned. “How about school,” he said. “Um…okay,” Matthew said. About a couple blocks away, Nyisha and Farrah were eating lunch with their children at the diner when Meghan and her three kids showed up. “Hi, guys! Any word on Zack,” she asked them. “No,” they said. “It’s a shame that Deon and Lola Ann are still fighting with our brother and Bridget over Zack for eleven (11) years,” she said. “I thought they would’ve given up by now,” Nyisha said. “They won’t give up…DeWayne’s parents would do absolutely anything to get their grandson,” Farrah said. Afterwards, Meghan went over to the next table and sat down with her kids. Zack woke up slowly from his ordeal. He was bruised and battered from Deon’s beating. He tries to get up but fell back down. He was too sore. Lola Ann comes in carrying a lunch tray. “Oh you’re up…now I can serve you this meal here,” she told him. Deon stood outside the room with his hands balled up. “I’m not gonna eat that slop,” Zack grumbled. “Oh yes you are or Grandpa’s gonna beat you until you do, little DeWayne,” she said. Ricardo came in and saw that Zack was messed up. “Oh shit–what did you do to this child,” he questioned them as he rushes over to check on Zack. “We didn’t do anything, Mr Carson…he fell off the bed and hurt himself,” she said to him. “How are we gonna get a judge to give you custody of your grandson looking like this, huh,” Ricardo said. “What’s with all the questions, Mr Carson,” Deon asked. “It’s just that the custody case is in a few days…if the judge sees these bruises, he’ll return the child back to his parents immediately,” he said. “No-he-will-not! DeWayne Jr belongs with us,” Lola Ann said angrily. “Uh…it’s Zack,” he corrected her. “It will be once we get full custody of him–no more questions…you’re here on a job…you’re not suppose to care,” she said as she leaves the room. Later that evening, the Thompsons and the Johnsons were waiting for some good news as Bridget and T.J. leaves the den. “What,” T.J. whispered. “How’s the secret case going? Hear anything from your FBI friend yet,” Bridget said softly. “No…not yet,” she said back. Suddenly, her cellphone started to buzz. She answers it. Kevin came up to them and said, “What’s going on–they’re starting to get suspicious!” “Shhh,” Bridget said quietly. “Yeah? Okay! Bye,” T.J. said before hanging up her cellphone. “So…,” Bridget and Kevin said. “We gotta work fast,” she said. “What happened? T.J.,” Bridget asked. T.J. got a text on her phone and open it. The three of them saw a horrifying picture on the screen. “Oh, sh–,” Bridget said before Kevin and T.J. covers her mouth. Then they all went outside very quickly.

“What the hell is going on in here,” Sheryl said. “First Zack get kidnapped…now  our kids are acting kinda strange…I wanna know what’s going on too,” Dee Dee said back. Nyisha left the den as the two of them talked. “What are we gonna do now,” Bridget said. “Will you keep it down? Someone might hear you,” T.J. said. “Who cares…you dropped this bombshell on us about working for the FBI who has surveillance on DeWayne’s parents…Deon and Lola Ann are trying to kill my son,” she yelled. “What’s this I hear about the FBI,” they heard a voice say. Matthew and Tyrese were coming up the Thompsons driveway. “Hey, Ty! There’s Aunt Bridget, Uncle Kevin, and your mom! I wonder what they’re talking about,” Matthew questioned. “Nyisha? How long were you standing there,” T.J. asked. “Long enough–what is going on here, huh…Kevin…Bridget…Tiffani,” Nyisha yelled. “Argh! Don’t call me that! God,” T.J. yelled back. “We just learned that T.J. was working for the FBI to capture DeWayne’s parents and get Zack back,” Kevin interrupted. “What? I thought you were working for Dad,” Nyisha questioned. “I’m still working for Dad…it’s freelance work…the FBI have been watching Deon and Lola Ann for almost five (5) months…they are known drug kingpins…DeWayne and Levi were their pushers before they died…Deon beats his sons and now he’s doing the same thing to Zack,” she said. Nyisha sat there in shock. She couldn’t believe what she just heard. Back at the the Williams’ house, Ricardo was sitting in the kitchen as Deon and Lola Ann parties with their friends. He got up and heads for DeWayne’s old room. He slips in and finds a semi-conscious Zack on the bed. “Hey, little fella…hang in there…you’ll be going home real soon,” Ricardo whispered. “H-home,” Zack mumbled softly. “Yeah,” he said softly. Suddenly, he was hit from behind. Hours later, Ricardo was tied to a chair. Deon and Lola Ann were standing in front of him. “Hi, buddy…how’s your nap,” they said, laughing heartly as the two of them left the room. T.J. was on the phone with the FBI as Bridget, Kevin, and Nyisha waited. Tyrese and Matthew came on the porch to greet them. “Hi, guys,” they said. “Hey, boys,” Kevin said. “All right! Bye,” T.J. said. “Hi, Mom,” said Tyrese. “Hey, son! You mind telling Marvin that I might be a little late getting home tonight,” she said. “Sure, Mom,” he said, going inside. “Auntie Tiffani? Is Zack gonna be okay,” Matthew asked her. “I hope so, buddy! Don’t worry! It’s not your fault, okay,” she said. “Okay,” Matthew said. “I need you to do me a favor…keep your Aunt Bridget company…keep her out of trouble, all right,” she said. “All right,” Matthew agreed. “Let’s roll,” she said, heading to her car. Kevin and Nyisha went along for the ride. Meanwhile, Ricardo was in the Williams’ house struggling to get out of the ropes. Zack woke up and slowly got off the bed. “Mr Carson…are you okay,” he asked. “Huh…ooh,” Ricardo moans. “Mr Carson, wake up,” he called out. “Hey, kiddo…you okay,” Ricardo whispered. “A little bit but I’m sore…you should forget about me…maybe they’ll let you go,” he said. “But I promised your aunt that I would get you back home in one piece,” Ricardo said. Then Deon walks in.

“Well-well-well! Isn’t this cozy! Too bad Mr Carson has to die now,” he said, pulling out a gun. “Nooo…don’t kill him…please,” Zack yelled as he stands in between Deon and Ricardo. “Don’t do it, Deon! You kill me and it’s life in prison, man,” Ricardo said. “They gotta catch me first, man,” Deon said with his finger on the trigger. Zack got up and wrestles his grandfather to the floor. They fought for the gun. Suddenly, it went off. Several FBI cars and SWAT vans drove up to the Williams’ house. All of Deon and Lola Ann’s friends ran out the back way as the cops rushed in. Three masked people went into DeWayne’s room and found Ricardo tied to a chair. One of them checked on the body on the floor while the other two untied Ricardo. While this was going on, a strange noise was heard from the corner. “Who are you? What are you doing here,” a voice said. “Whoa, Zack…put the gun down,” one of the masked people said. “How do you know my name,” Zack said as the masked people reveal themselves. “Dad…Aunt Nyisha…Aunt Tiffani,” he said, then hugs them. T.J. got the gun away from him and gave it to one of the special agents. The gun was placed in an evidence bag. Moments later, everyone from the drug party were caught and put in the paddy wagon. Zack was being carried into the ambulance on a stretcher while Ricardo, T.J., Nyisha, and Kevin were right behind them. Deon’s body was being placed into the Medical Examiner’s van. He was pronounced dead on the scene. Two of the officers got ahold of a grief-stricken Lola Ann and head for the car. She saw the kids and got angry. She knocked the officers over, grabbed one of their guns, and pointed it at the kids. “Murderer…,” she screamed at them. She had her finger on the trigger, getting ready to shoot. Everyone got out of her sight. Nyisha and the EMTs got into the ambulance with Zack, shutting the door. T.J. jumped in the air, pulling Kevin out of harm’s way. Lola Ann shoots at them. Ricardo took out his gun and shot her three times. She drops to the ground hard. Suddenly, the smoke clears. Nyisha got out of the ambulance. She rushed over to check up on her brother and sister. “Is everyone all right,” Ricardo asked them. “Yeah…we’re fine,” said Nyisha and Kevin. “How about you, buddy,” he said. T.J. didn’t say anything. She was holding her stomach. “T.J.? Are you okay,” Kevin questioned. They saw that she was bleeding profusely. “Oh my God,–she got shot,” Nyisha said. “Stay still, Tiff! We’ll get you some help,” Ricardo said. “I gotta call Marvin…Kevin, stay with her,” Nyisha said. “Okay,” Kevin said. “Hey! We need some help over here, man,” Ricardo said to the EMT. “Hang in there…help Is on the way,” Kevin said. “I didn’t even feel it…couldn’t let my little sister lose the love of her life,” T.J. mumbled. “You need to save your strength…we’ll talk about this later,” he said. The EMT made it across the yard to take care of T.J. Marvin was hanging out with his in-laws when he got the call. “Hello…Nyisha, slow down…what happened…I’ll be right there,” he said, then hung up. “Marv? What’s wrong,” Jason asked him. Hours later, Ricardo and Kevin were sitting quietly in the hospital waiting room. Nyisha had just gotten off the payphone. Her clothes was covered in blood. Tarik came in to console her. “Hey, baby! I heard what happened! Are you okay,” he asked her. She shook her head. Then she hugged him tight.

Moments later, everyone else showed up. “Hi! I’m looking for my son, Zachariah Johnson,” Bridget said to the receptionist. Kevin came up to Bridget and hugged her. “What happened? Is Zack all right,” Michelle asked her brother-in-law. “Um, yeah…he’s fine but a little bruised…Deon and Lola Ann are dead…something went wrong while we were out there,” Kevin said. “What went wrong? Kev,” Bridget asked him. Before he got a chance to answer her question, Tarik and Nyisha came out of the ER. “Oh honey…what happened to you…are you bleeding,” Dee Dee asked. Nyisha shook her head. “No ma’am! It’s not her blood! It’s T.J.’s! She’s been shot,” Tarik said. “How did that happen–she’s not a cop anymore,” Sheryl questioned. “She was working for us as a consultant for the FBI, ma’am,” Ricardo spoke up. “What,” she said. “She helped them on a case to take down Deon and Lola Ann, Mom,” said Bridget. “You knew about this,” Dee Dee questioned her daughter-in-law. “Yes, Mom…T.J. told us earlier today,” Kevin interrupted. “We’ll talk about this later! What happened out there? How in the hell did she get shot,” Randy asked them. “She was protecting me, Dad…she saved my life…that bullet–it was meant for me,” Kevin told him. “Oh my God,” Dee Dee said. She hugs her son right as the doctor came out of the office to talk with them. A few hours later, Kevin and Bridget went to visit Zack. “Hi, Mom…hi, Dad,” he said. “Hey, kiddo! How are you feeling,” Kevin asked his stepson. “A little sore but I’m okay, Dad,” he said. “I’m so sorry about what happened, honey…I should’ve been there so you wouldn’t have to deal with those awful people,” Bridget said. “Don’t worry about it, Mom…I’m not mad,” he said back. He hugged them both. Meanwhile, Marvin was a couple doors down from them. He was sitting with T.J. as she was hooked up to an oxygen machine. Sheryl and Stephen joins him. “Hello,” he said to his in-laws. “Hi, Marvin! How are you holding up,” Sheryl asked him. “I’m okay…just wish my wife would wake up,” he said with tears in his eyes. The two of them hugged him tight. Hours later, Tarik took Nyisha home. They went upstairs to their bedroom while their kids slept. “Are you sure you’re okay,” he asked. “Yeah…I’m fine,” she answered, then goes into the bathroom and changed her clothes. Farrah and Meghan were having dinner with their husbands at the restaurant. “It’s so sad that this happened to our family, Farrah,” Meghan said. “At least Zack’s okay…sorry about your sister, though,” James said. “Yeah…I wish it didn’t end the way it did…T.J. didn’t deserve to get shot,” Farrah said to them. “No, babe…she didn’t deserve that,” said Terrence. Then he went over to Farrah and hugged her.

Later that night, Nyisha started to toss and turn. She was dreaming about the shootout at the Williams house. She was standing in the middle of it. She saw Kevin stood there in the path of the gun and T.J. jumping in front of him. All of the sudden, she woke up screaming. The kids got up and went to their parents’ bedroom. “Hey there…it’s all right…you just had a bad dream, okay,” Tarik said, consoling his wife. “But it felt so real…I saw my sister get shot,” she cried. She held her husband tight as Malcolm, Jerome, and Larissa watched them from the bedroom door. Weeks passed since the shooting. Bridget and Kevin brought Zack home from the hospital. “Easy, buddy! Easy,” said Kevin as he helps his stepson out of the car. Kyle, Deena, and Mary were waiting for them outside. “Hey, guys…where’s your Uncle Shane,” Bridget asked the kids. “He went up the street to buy us some breakfast, Mommy,” said Deena. “Let’s get inside,” he said. “I’ll help you, Dad,” said Kyle, them grabs Zack’s other arm. The two of them helps Zack up the front steps as Bridget, Deena, and Mary follows. Once Kevin and Kyle got Zack settled in the den, Shane comes in with a bag of banana muffins and a gallon of milk. They all sat down and began to eat. Marvin was working from home as the twins slept. Brianna brought in a lunch tray and set it beside him. “Hi, Dad,” she said. “Hey, kiddo,” he said. “I brought you some food! How’s Mom? Did she wake up yet,” she asked him. “No, she didn’t! You miss her, huh,” he said. “Yeah! I know she risked her life for Uncle Kevin but what about us, huh–we need her, too,” she said. “I know, Bree…I know,” he said, hugging his daughter. Nyisha was working hard at the hospital when Dee Dee showed up. “Hi, honey! How are you holding up,” she asked her daughter. “I’m fine, Mom,” Nyisha said back. “You’re not fine…you’ve been a wreck since T.J. got shot…are you getting any sleep, huh,” she said. “I don’t wanna talk about it,” Nyisha told her. “That’s the same thing Kevin said…I’m worried about you kids…Izzy, talk to me,” she said. Nyisha took a deep breath and said, “I wouldn’t know where to start…why would she do something like that…doesn’t she know that she could’ve been killed–I don’t think I can handle it, Mom!” Dee Dee hugged her tight. Meanwhile, Sheryl sat next to T.J.’s bedside as Randy and Stephen comes in with breakfast and four (4) cups of coffee. “Hey, baby,” Stephen said, kissing his wife on the cheek. “Hi, guys,” she said. “So…how is she,” Randy asked her. “Um…no change…it’s been three weeks–I’m starting to wonder if she’d ever gonna wake up,” she said. Suddenly, T.J. started to seize up. The alarms went off. The doctors came into the room as the nurse sent Randy, Sheryl, and Stephen into the hallway. “What happened,” Dee Dee asked them. “I don’t know–we were just talking and the machine went off,” Sheryl said to her friend. Nyisha was looking through the glass as the doctors works hard to save T.J. “Come on, buddy…you gotta pull through, please,” they heard her say. Randy rushed over to Nyisha and hugged her tight. Tarik was at the studio when his cell phone buzzed. Tyrese was at the park with his siblings when he got the call. Then they got into the car and drove away quickly.

Everyone showed up at the hospital. “What happened,” Bridget asked her mother and stepfather. All the kids started talking at the same time as the doctor comes out of the room. “What’s going on…why did the machines go off,” Randy questioned. “It’s gotten worse…seems like the seizures is the reason why your daughter hasn’t woken up…we have her stabilized at the moment–,” the doctor started to say. “What happens to our sister now and you better not say that she’s dying,” Shane said angrily. Moments later, Sheryl ran out of the hospital. Stephen went after her. “Sheryl? Sheryl! Slow down,” he called out to his wife. “It’s my fault…the car accident–if I wasn’t speeding that day, my baby wouldn’t be in that hospital bed right now,” she said. Kevin was watching T.J. through the glass of the ICU when Bridget showed up. “It’s my fault…I shouldn’t let T.J. risk her life like that…the bullet was meant for me,” he said softly. “No…don’t blame yourself, Kev…she wouldn’t want you to…if it wasn’t for T.J., you and Zack wouldn’t be here right now,” she told him as she kisses him on the cheek. Randy went to sit in the hospital chapel. Dee Dee came in to join him. “I’ve already lost too much time with my daughter…I can’t lose her, Dee,” he said. “I know…and you’re right, baby…we deserve to have healthy children…I shouldn’t have listen to Terrell back then–you would’ve been in those kids’ lives a long time ago…I’m sorry,” she said. The two of them hugged. Nyisha went into her office and sat down at the desk. She couldn’t stop thinking about what happened at the Williams house. “Don’t let me die–please don’t let me die, Iz,” she heard T.J. cry out. “Hold on…we’ll be there soon…hurry up, you guys,” she heard herself say as the ambulance drive down the street. “We’re almost there, Nyisha,” she heard the EMT say to her. She snapped out of it when Danny came through the door. “Hey, sis…are you okay,” he asked her. “Yeah, um…what can I do for you,” she said. “How about what can I do for you? You’ve been through enough,” he said back. He hugged his big sister. Hours later, everyone came to see T.J. being wheeled out of her room. “Hang in there, kiddo,” Randy said, holding his daughter’s hand. The orderlies took her into the elevator. They all watched the door closed. Meanwhile, Bridget was on her cell phone talking to Zack. “So…how is my grandson,” Dee Dee asked her. “He’s doing okay…the sitter’s with him,” she replied. “That’s good…how are you doing through all this,” Dee Dee said. “Not so good…it’s about Kevin…T.J.’s in there fighting for her life and he blames himself for what happened…he hasn’t slept for the past three weeks…I can’t do anything for him–I’m worried about my husband,” she said with tears in her eyes. Then Dee Dee hugged her daughter-in-law.

As times goes by, everyone waited for some good news from the doctor. While T.J. was on the operating table, she dreamt that she was walking through a pile of clouds. “Hello, good buddy,” a voice echoed. “Who’s there,” she said. “It’s me, Lance,” the voice said. T.J. turns around to see her best friend in a white suit. She hugged him tight. Meanwhile, Zack and Mary were on the couch watching cartoons. Kyle came in and said, “Hey, big head!” “Stop calling me that,” Zack said angrily. “What you’re watching, goons,” he said. “We ain’t goons–I don’t wanna fight with you, all right,” Zack said. “Yeah-yeah! I hear ya, lil bro,” he said. “I just feel bad about what happened to our aunt, Kyle,” Zack said. “Me too, bud! She didn’t deserve to get shot by that crazy grandmother of yours,” he said. “That woman is not my grandmother…I wished I killed her myself,” Zack told his big brother. He went back to watching TV as Kyle sat there puzzled. “So…what brings you up here…you got shot again, did ya,” Lance questioned his friend. “Really? Is it that obvious,” T.J. said. “Uh-huh,” he said. “I jumped in front of a bullet for my little brother, man,” she said. “Which one…you have so many brothers these days,” he asked. “Kevin…I just didn’t want my nieces and nephews to grow up without a father or my sister to grow old without her husband or my stepmother to blame me for allowing another one of her kids to get hurt…I caused Nyisha’s heart attack…she could’ve died because of me,” she said. “She had a bad heart…how are we supposed to know she would act that way,” he said. Back at the hospital, Dee Dee and Sheryl were having lunch in the cafeteria as Stephen, Randy, and Melvin played cards in the waiting room. The doctor came out to get them. T.J. was back in her room. She was still unconscious after the surgery. They all went in to see her. “How long will it take before she wakes up,” Sheryl asked the doctor. T.J. heard her mother’s voice and said, “I don’t think I could go back there…suppose they all hate me for what I did!” “You don’t really want to do that to your mom and dad…do you, honey,” another voice joins in. “Huh,” she said as a middle-aged woman comes toward them. “You probably don’t remember me but I’m your grandmother…I’ve watched over you and your twin brother since you guys were born,” said the woman. “Who’s that,” Lance asked her. “I think it’s my dad’s mother–the one that everyone was talking about,” she replied. As she lays unconscious, Sheryl and Dee Dee sat there quietly. “I don’t get it…why doesn’t she wakes up,” Sheryl finally said. “The doctor said that it’ll take a couple of hours or so…she’ll be fine–a real tough kid…she knows that we love her,” Dee Dee said. “I wish she wouldn’t risk her life like that, Dee,” she said. “She was protecting Nyisha and Kevin–they feel bad about it, Sher,” Dee Dee explained to her. “Oh those kids are very close…I’m sure they’re okay,” she said. “They wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for your daughter…you should be proud of her,” Dee Dee said. Then the two of them hugged.

“Are you sure you wanna leave your mom…your dad…your brothers…your sisters…your husband…your children,” the woman said to T.J. “Yes…no…I don’t know, Grandma Stella…I’m so confused,” T.J. said softly. “I’m sure you’ll figure it out…just give it time, honey,” Stella said, then leaves T.J. to think about their talk. Marvin came to the hospital with the twins. “Um…hello, ladies…how is the patient,” he said to Dee Dee and Sheryl. “Your wife is doing fine but…she hasn’t wake up yet,” Sheryl said back. “Hey, you guys! Let’s go get some ice cream,” Dee Dee said. “Yay,” Terrell and Angel squealed. The three of them walked away as Marvin and Sheryl talked. Kyle and Zack were in the den playing cards with the sitter when Bridget and Kevin came home. “Mom…Dad,” they said, running to their parents. “Hey, my boys,” Kevin said. He took his sons to the kitchen. Bridget was watching them from afar. Deena and Mary came downstairs to greet her. She hugged them both. Brandon went home to his family. He came in to see Miranda sleeping on the couch and Elijah in the playpen with his blocks. He went over to pick him up. Hours later, the Thompsons kids and the Johnsons kids meet up at the restaurant along with their spouses and children. They all sat down at two separate tables. Once the waiters serve them their meals, the kids bow their heads and say a prayer. Afterwards, Shane and Jane sat with Nyisha. “I heard that you’re having a hard time with what our sister did…it’s not your fault,” he said. “I wished she didn’t take the bullet for Kevin…that day still haunt me…she could’ve been killed,” Nyisha said. “How long have we known her? T.J. would do anything for us! She didn’t want your mom to lose her son! If it wasn’t for her, we would be burying Kevin right now! You should be proud of your little sister,” Jane said. “Yeah! T.J. would do anything to keep her family safe including you guys! Take comfort in that cuz she’s still here,” he said. The two of them hugged her tight. Meanwhile, Sheryl, Dee Dee, Melvin, Randy, and Stephen were at the hospital sleeping on the couch. As T.J. lays there unconscious, she and Stella were talking with each other. “So…what have you decided,” Stella asked her granddaughter. She thought about it for a minute and said, “Maybe I should go back…I’m not ready to leave my siblings or my husband or my kids…I don’t want to hurt my mom…she’s been through enough, you know!” “I know…so sorry about Terrell…he’s been a wonderful father to you and Chuckie…he sent me here to talk to you…I know you miss him, honey,” Stella said. “Yeah, Grandma…I do,” she said. Then they hugged.

Suddenly, T.J. woke up. “Mom…Dad…,” she moans. Sheryl got up and rushed to her daughter’s bedside. Randy, Dee Dee, Stephen, and Melvin followed her. “Hi, honey…how are you feeling,” Sheryl asked her. “I’m okay,” she said. “I’ll get the doctor, sis…welcome back, stranger,” Melvin said. Back at the restaurant, Shane got a text from his mother. “Hey, you guys…T.J.’s awake,” he said to the rest of the kids. They all got up and left for the hospital. Once they got there, they went straight for T.J.’s room. They looked through the door as T.J. waved to them. Later that evening, Tyrese and Tarik Jr came to see T.J. She was watching TV when they walked in. “Hi, you guys,” she said to them. “Hi, Mom,” they said back. “How are you feeling,” Tarik Jr asked her. “I’m fine, son…you have nothing to worry about…NOTHING…you hear me,” she said to him. “Okay,” he said. “Could you do us a favor, though,” Tyrese asked her. “Sure,” she said. “Don’t get shot again,” said Tyrese and Tarik Jr. The three of them laughed. After visiting with her sons, T.J. went back to watching TV. Nyisha was doing her evening rounds and peeks in on her little sister. “Hey, Iz,” T.J. said, “Come on in!” ” Hey,” she said back, then sat down on the bed. “So…how are things? What did I miss,” T.J. said. “Ohhh…not much,” she said softly. “What happened–what’s wrong,” T.J. asked. “Was it worth it,” she said. “What? I don’t understand,” T.J. said, sounding concerned. “I saw you get shot…you almost died…I was scared…I was afraid of losing you–my little sister…why did you do it, huh,” she questioned. “Well…,” T.J. hesitated. “Stop dodging the question–I wanna know why you would risk your life like that,” she yelled as Kevin overhears his sisters’ conversation. “I didn’t want to disappoint your mom again, all right,” T.J. yelled back, then covers her mouth. “What does my mom have to do with this,” Nyisha questioned. “Remember when you guys caught me and Tarik kissing in my truck…when you had a heart attack…well–when we finally made up, she confronted me and said that if anything happens to you again, she would send me and Tarik to jail…I would’ve lost my kids because of it…I couldn’t let anything happen to Kevin so I jumped in front of the bullet…I couldn’t upset her again…I’m sorry, Iz,” T.J. replied. “Meaning she threatened you…Bridget, too–that damn woman–I’ll deal with her later,” she said. “She was protecting you…don’t blame her for that…I’ve lost most of my childhood being away from my mom…don’t make the same mistake that I did,” T.J. told her. “Maybe you’re right…I’ll let it go for now…just promise me that you won’t let my mom bully you again,” she said. “You got it,” T.J. said. “Um…hey, guys,” Kevin said. “Hello,” they said. “You mind if I talk to our sister for a minute,” he said. “Go ahead…I gotta get back to my shift…glad to have you back, kid,” she said. As Nyisha left the room, Kevin confronted T.J. “Your mom is gonna get an earful from Nyisha once she catches her…Kev, what’s wrong,” T.J. said. “I have this one question: why,” he asked. “What do you mean,” she said. “Why would you risk your life to save me? I heard y’all conversation from the hallway! Is my mom bullying you again just like when Nyisha had that heart attack? Well, isn’t she,” he yelled. “Yeah,” she said softly. “Why are you letting her do this? Are you afraid of her? Answer me,” he said angrily. “Yeah,” she yelled. “This is the same exact thing that could cause you to have a breakdown…I don’t want to lose you like that again,” he said, “Nyisha was right! You gotta stop letting Mom bully you like that!” Then he left the room.

Hours later, Nyisha went down the hall to confront Dee Dee. “Mom…may I have a word with you,” she said. “Okay, honey…excuse us,” Dee Dee responded. The two of them left the waiting room and went into Nyisha’s office. “I know what you did…didn’t Dad tell you to stop blackmailing other people,” she whispered. “What are you talking about, honey,” Dee Dee asked. “T.J. told me everything…you threatened to throw her in jail…take away her sons…have you no shame…how could you make her sacrifice her life for Kevin’s,” she said angrily. “What? I didn’t tell your sister to get herself shot,” Dee Dee said. “Might as well…because of what you said, T.J. took a bullet for your son…your threats nearly got her killed…does Dad know what you’re doing to his daughter,” she questioned her mother. “No…he doesn’t,” Dee Dee said. “Luckily, T.J. told me not to fight with you on it since she’s so loyal to you but you don’t fool me with this crap…you piss me off and I will tell Dad everything…your friends are waiting and I gotta get back to work…bye, Mom,” she said to Dee Dee before leaving the office. Kevin was sitting outside the hospital when Bridget showed up. “Hi! What’s wrong,” she asked him. “I just learned that T.J. saved me because my mom threatened her to do it…how could that woman be so cruel,” he said. “Why would she do such a thing,” she said. “It’s only because of what happened with Nyisha a while back when she had that heart attack…your sister took a bullet for me knowing she could be killed…my mom set this whole thing in motion thinking she was protecting me…my dad would be crushed if he lost his daughter…I don’t want that on my conscience…I am not a child,” he said angrily. “I know…she went too far, Kev,” she said. “I don’t think I can face her after what she did…if that woman doesn’t cut it out, I will cut her off from our kids permanently,” he said. Bridget grabbed Kevin and hugged him tight, not knowing that Nyisha was listening from afar. Randy and Sheryl were having dinner in the cafeteria. “It’s such a relief that our daughter is doing okay despite what happened a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “Hopefully, we won’t have to go through this ever again…Deon and Lola Ann are dead…our grandson is back with us safe and sound,” she said. Nyisha went outside to see her brother. “Are you okay, bud,” she asked him. Kevin shook his head and said, “Yeah!” “Sorry about what you’ve been through the past couple of weeks,” she said. “Seems like we’ve both been through it! Mom went too far with threatening our sister! It’s bad enough that she goes after Bridget but T.J.–she could’ve had a breakdown for what that woman started! Dad and Sheryl would’ve been burying their daughter if this had kept going! I would never speak to her again if it comes to that! Does Dad know what she did,” he said. “Nope…if Mom crossed me, I would tell him,” she said. “I think he should know what his wife is doing to our sister,” he said. “Let’s not bring it up…Dad and Sheryl are happy that T.J. is alive…Mom isn’t stupid enough to pull the same stunt again…if any chance, she may have to tell him herself,” she said. Then Kevin shook his head in agreement.

Two months later, the kids went back to school. Zack and Matthew were tossing around the football while Larissa reads a book on the front steps. Terrence Jr was hanging out with some friends while Chad and Marlon were throwing the frisbee around. Meanwhile, Brianna was checking out the cute boys with Alicia and Diane in the hallway. Marvin brought T.J. home from the hospital. The rest of the gang were waiting outside for them. “Hi, guys,” he said. “Hi, Marvin,” they said back. “So how are you feeling,” Nyisha asked her sister. “I’m doing okay,” T.J. said. “Let’s get this one inside,” Terrence said. Everyone went into the house. Hours later, the kids came home. T.J. was fast asleep on the couch as Marvin ate his lunch in the kitchen. “Hi, Dad,” they said to him. “Hi, kids…how’s school,” he asked them. “Good,” they said. “Why don’t you guys head upstairs…do your homework…let your mom sleep,” he said. “Okay, Dad,” they said, then goes to their bedrooms. Bridget and Kevin were looking over some paperwork in the kitchen of their home while their kids were doing some homework in the den. “I’m glad that T.J.’s okay so my mom wouldn’t worry,” Bridget said. “Yeah…me too,” he agreed. Later that evening, Marlon and Mark were playing video games in their bedroom when Brianna called them for dinner. The three of them went downstairs. On the way to the dining room, they went into the den to greet T.J. as she fed the twins. “Hi, Mom,” they said, hugging her. “Hi, guys! It’s good to see you,” she said back. “Please don’t leave us again,” Mark said. “I won’t,” she said. The kids went to the table to eat. About a couple of blocks away, Tarik and Nyisha were having dinner with their three kids. They were discussing their day. Six weeks later, the families had a Labor Day cookout for their neighborhood. The kids played kickball as their parents sat back and watched. “Hey, buddy…how are you doing today,” Tarik asked his sister-in-law. “I’m okay,” T.J. said. “Don’t scare us like that ever again, little sister…you hear me…I don’t get why you live your life so dangerously knowing you could’ve been killed,” Nyisha warns her. “I got that same lecture from my mom and Stephen–relax, guys–I’m fine,” she said. “With good reason…you had your mother worried there, kiddo,” Randy said, “I have to agree with your sister here…you could’ve been killed!” “I know, Dad…I didn’t mean to,” she said. “Just have to learn how to be cautious…you have your husband and kids to think about now,” he said, then kisses his daughter on the forehead. Nyisha and Tarik got up, heading across the grass. Ricardo and his family showed up moments later. “Hey, partner…good to see you up and about,” he said. “Yeah…hi, Cindy…RJ…Savannah,” T.J. said to her old friends and their kids. “Hello, Tiffani,” Cindy said back. “Hi,” said RJ and Savannah. “Hey, cuz,” Marvin said, coming over to greet them. “Hi, Mommy! Hi, Daddy,” Terrell and Angel interrupted. “Hi! Why don’t you guys take your little friends over there and play, all right,” T.J. said to her kids. “Okay,” they said. The four of them held hands and ran across the parkgrounds. “Let’s get some food,” Marvin said to them. Nyisha and Farrah were playing spades at one table while Quincy, Malcolm, and Jerome plays go fish at the other table. Then Larissa draws in her sketchpad as the rest of the kids watched the card game.

Hours later, everyone went home to sleep. Zack started to toss and turn. He was having a bad dream about the kidnapping. “Your name is DeWayne Sebastian Williams Jr…DeWayne Sebastian Williams Jr…,” Deon and Lola Ann echoed. “No…stop…you’re hurting me,” he moans. Kevin came into the room and tried to wake him up. Zack started screaming. His entire body was drenched in sweat. “Zack…what’s wrong, buddy,” Kevin questioned. “Is everything all right in here,” Bridget asked them as she peeks in. Zack sat there in a daze. “Hey, kiddo…you okay,” Kevin asked him. “Huh? Yeah! I’m okay, Dad,” Zack replied. He lay back down on his bed. The next day, the kids went to the restaurant for breakfast. Zack sat in the back booth with his eyes closed. Someone tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Hey, bruh…wake up!” “Knock it off, Kyle,” he yelled. “What’s wrong with you, man,” Kyle questioned. “Nothing, man…nothing,” he said, wiping his eyes. Kyle walks away from the table as Matthew joins his cousin and said, “Hey, Z!” Meanwhile, T.J. was in the bedroom getting the twins ready for preschool. Marvin comes in and said, “Hey, kids…Tiff!” ” Hi, Daddy,” said Terrell and Angel. “So…what’s going on in here,” he said to the twins. T.J. stood there in a trance. She thought about the day that Lola Ann shot her. “Mommy…Mommy,” Angel said, trying to get her undivided attention. “Huh? What,” T.J. said, snapping out of it. “Babe…are you okay,” Marvin asked his wife. “Yeah…I’m okay, you guys,” she said, putting Angel down and left the room. Marvin took the kids downstairs when Terrence showed up. “Hey, little brother…how is my sister-in-law,” he asked. “She’s doing fine, Terry…she has some good days and bad days but she’s okay,” Marvin replied. “She’s still alive…that’s all we can hope for, man,” he said. T.J. was laying across the bed when her cell phone buzzed. She held up her head and grabs for it right away. “Hello,” she answered. “Hey, girl! You still in bed,” said the person on the phone. “No…I’m not in bed, Farrah,” she said as she gets up to go to the bathroom. Shawna and Micah was heading to class when Michael showed up. “Hi, Dad,” she said, being annoyed. “Hey, baby girl…who’s your friend,” Michael asked her. “Micah, this my dad…Dad, this is Micah,” she said. On the other side of campus, Tarik Jr was making out with his girlfriend. He saw them and chuckled. “What’s so funny,” the girls asked him. “My cousin is being embarrassed by her dad…no biggie,” he said. They went back to making out. “I was just passing through…maybe I could hang out with you guys,” Michael said. Then the three of them left the campus together.

As the other kids played, Zack slept under an oak tree. “DeWayne Jr…wake up…here I come,” a voice echoed. Suddenly, he woke up. “Hey, man,” he heard someone say. “Matt? Chad? What’s up,” he said. Back at the Andersons house, T.J. was in the den folding the kids’ clothes when she heard a knock on the door. “Come in,” she shouted. It was Randy. “Hey, kiddo…how are you,” he asked. “I’m okay, Dad,” she said. “Are you sure? Your mom’s worried about you,” he said. “Well you can tell her not to worry–I’m fine! Just a little busy! Is that all,” she said. “Are you the only one here? Where’s Marvin,” he questioned. “He’s at work…why,” she asked him. “Well, for starters…something could happen to you in this big old house and no one would know about it–maybe I should hang out here a bit…you shouldn’t be here alone, honey,” he said. “I’m okay, Dad…I don’t need a babysitter,” she said. “I know…my little girl’s all grown up…will you at least hang out with your old man, huh,” he said. “All right…at least I’ll have somebody to talk to…could you help me with this, please,” she said. “Of course,” he said. They started folding the clothes in the basket. While they were doing this, T.J. started flashbacks of the shooting at the Williams house. Randy tapped her on the shoulder. “Honey? Are you sure you’re okay,” he said. “Huh? You said something,” she said. “Yeah…you just froze up over there…talk to me,” he said. “I don’t know where to start, Dad…all I could see is that gun…I couldn’t stand to see another one of my family members getting hurt…I didn’t want to let you guys down…I’m sorry, Dad,” she said. He hugged her tight and said, “I know, honey! I know!” Later that day, Zack came home from school and head for the refrigerator. He took out some food and went over to the table. He slammed the door which wakes Bridget up. “Hello, Zack! How was school,” she yawned. Zack didn’t say anything. “Zack…can you hear me,” she called out. When Bridget touched Zack’s shoulder, he flinched. “That is not my name,” he said. “What do you mean? Zack is your name,” she said. “Not anymore,” he said in an eerie voice. “Well if you’re not Zack, then who are you, honey,” she asked him. “DeWayne Sebastian Williams Jr,” he told her with a smile on his face. Back at the Andersons house, T.J. slept on the couch as Randy reads the newspaper. Nyisha, Farrah, and Meghan came up the driveway. They got out of the car and went inside. “Hi, girls…what brings you by,” he asked them. “Hi, Dad…Marvin asked us to come by…check up on our sister,” said Nyisha. “Okay…I’m on my way out…see you girls later,” he said, then leaves. The girls went to see T.J. in the den. “Hey, girl…how are you holding up,” they asked her. “I’m good,” T.J. said, waking up. “Good to see you back with the living after all you’ve been through, T,” Meghan said. “You mean when I took a bullet for our little brother…not my brightest moment,” she said. “I didn’t wanna bring it up cuz you’ve been punished enough by practically everyone in both families…probably not smart putting your life in danger, you know,” Meghan said. “Enough of that, Meg…we were worried considering how weird you were acting on the phone this morning,” Farrah said. “Marvin told us how you froze up on him…asked us to check up on you…what’s going on, huh,” Nyisha said. “I couldn’t get that shooting out of my mind…what I could’ve done differently…I never intended to get shot but I couldn’t let anyone else get hurt…Deon and Lola Ann has cause so many pain to my sister…I didn’t want her husband to die because of it,” she said. “You took on too much responsibility for us since we were kids…let us take care of you for a change,” Nyisha said. “We know what our mom put on you since Nyisha’s heart attack…it’s not your load to carry…we can handle our own problems…you need to take care of yourself, okay,” Farrah said. “Okay,” T.J. said. “Mom shouldn’t put that burden on you…even Kevin was pissed…we would cut her off from our kids if she didn’t stop picking on you,” Meghan said. “Pressure’s off…get some rest,” Farrah said. Then the four of them fell asleep hours later.

Marvin came home from work and head towards the den. He went over to the couch and kisses T.J. on the forehead. “Hello,” she whispers to him as she woke up from her slumber. “Hi, babe…you okay,” he whispered back. “Yeah, Marv…just a little hungry,” she said softly. The two of them chuckled and went into the kitchen. Moments later, the rest of the gang came over. The women were playing cards in the den. Their husbands were playing dominoes in the kitchen. The kids were watching TV upstairs. “So…what’s going on now that you’re not working,” Meghan asked. “Well…I’m not really used to it…I’m good, you guys,” T.J. replied. Suddenly, they heard some noises. “What the–,” Bridget said. Everyone got up and went upstairs to the kids’ room. They saw Zack and Marlon fighting on the floor. Kevin and Marvin steps in to break them up. “Guys, what’s going on in here, huh,” they asked the boys. Neither of them said anything. “Answer your father, Zack,” Bridget said. “He ain’t my father,” Zack yelled at her as he ran out of the room. He ran down the stairs and out the front door. Bridget went after him. “Zachariah Harlan Johnson, get back here right now,” she yelled. “No,” he yelled back. “I’m not playing with you–come back here,” she said angrily. “Why should I? You didn’t respect DeWayne–hell, you don’t respect me,” he growled. The two of them started to argue. Everyone came out to stop them. “How dare you talk to me in that tone? That man don’t love you! He used you to get back at me,” she said. “Deon and Lola Ann said that he does…you don’t love DeWayne and you certainly don’t love me,” he screamed at her. Bridget slapped him, shocking everyone around them. “Don’t you dare defend DeWayne? I do love you–Kevin and me! Those people tried to destroy our family even before you were born! They’re so much worse,” she told her son. Zack got mad and attacked her. Kevin quickly grabs him off of Bridget. “Hey…what is wrong with you, boy,” Kevin said. “That’s my family–don’t dis them,” he growled. T.J. helped Bridget up from the ground and confronted Zack. “What the hell is wrong with you,” she yelled at her nephew. “T.J.,” Bridget pleaded with her sister. “No, Bridget…he had no right to hit you…and now he’s protecting the same people who kidnapped him…I won’t let my own kids get away with that,” she said. “Zack, what’s wrong with you…talking to your mother like that,” Nyisha said. “Don’t call me that, all right…I’m DeWayne Sebastian Williams Jr…that’s my name now,” Zack said to them. “You jerk…stop dissing Mom and our aunts,” Kyle spoke up. “Make me, punk,” he yelled at his big brother. The boys started to fight. “Kevin…stop them,” Bridget pleads with her husband. “Boys! Break it up–NOW,” Kevin yelled, then pulls Zack away from Kyle. “Let go of me, man,” Zack screams at him. “Kyle, are you okay,” Bridget asked her oldest son. “Yeah…I’m fine,” Kyle said. “Zack, keep still,” Kevin said, holding onto his stepson. Zack threw a tantrum, kicking Kyle in the jaw. Marvin helped Kevin with Zack. “Be careful,” T.J. warns her husband. Bridget took Kyle into the house as Zack growls at the rest of the gang. After everyone left, T.J. and Marvin went into the den to watch TV. Their children slept upstairs in their rooms. “Hey there…babe…what’s on your mind,” he asked his wife. “This whole night…the fighting…my little sister is in way over her head thinking she can control DeWayne’s son,” she said to him. Bridget and Kevin pulled up in the driveway of their home as their four kids slept in the back seat. “What just happened tonight–I mean, what’s wrong with our little boy,” Bridget questions her husband. “I don’t know…something must’ve happened when he was with his grandparents,” Kevin replied. Then they round up the kids and got out of the car.

The next day, Zack came downstairs to the kitchen. He saw Kevin and Bridget talking to a man in a blue suit. “What gives, huh? No wake up call? What’s going on,” he yawns. “We need to talk…about last night,” said Bridget. Meanwhile, Tarik Jr was at the library writing in his notebook when he heard footsteps coming towards him. The person sat down at the table. “Hey, Dean,” he said to the person. “Hey, man! Your mom told me where you were! I hope you don’t mind,” Dean said. “Naw, man…I don’t mind,” he said. The two of them started studying. Back at the Andersons house, T.J. was in the kitchen reading the newspaper and eating breakfast. Marlon came downstairs and sat at the table. “Hi, son,” she said. “Hi, Mom,” he sighed. “Are you okay? How’s the lip,” she asked him. “It still stings…I’ll kill Zack for what he did to me,” he said angrily. “Ey! Chill out! Let your aunt deal with her son,” she said. “Why couldn’t she let him go to his grandparents and away from from us, huh,” he said. T.J. stood there in shock after hearing what her son just said. Jeffrey was at home working on his laptop when Matthew came in. “Hey, boy…how did you sleep,” he asked his son. “Not so good…I can’t stop thinking about what happened last night, Dad,” Matthew said. “Uh-huh! Your little cousin’s wilding out there! Guess you’re worried about him, huh,” he said. “Nope–the opposite, Dad! I just don’t wanna be associated with him anymore,” Matthew said as he sat back on the couch. “Of course,” he said, kissing his son on the forehead and reaching for his cellphone. T.J. heard her phone ring and picked it up. “Hello, little brother…what’s up,” she said. “Is it just me or is our kids acting a little weird,” Jeffrey asked her. “It might be about the fight from last night,” she said. “Sorry I couldn’t make it but April had this stomach bug and I didn’t want to leave her…,” he said. “No worries…you had your wife to take care of…glad to hear your voice though,” she said. “Thanks…you mind if I come over…there’s something we need to talk about concerning the boys,” he said. “Sure…me and Marlon will be right here,” she said. Moments later, Jeffrey and Matthew drove up to the Andersons house. “Hey, guys…nice to see you both…come in,” she said to her brother and nephew. The four of them sat down in the den. “I hope you guys don’t mind…we would like to talk about last night,” T.J. said. “You mean the fight between me and Zack…I’m still upset about it, Mom,” Marlon said. “I understand that everything has been stressful since your cousin came home…we would like to know from you guys on what we could do about it,” Jeffrey asked them. “Can we just shoot him, Dad,” Matthew said. “No, bud…there’s strict laws against murder,” he said. “I wished Aunt Bridget would just give up on him…send him to his grandparents…they wanted him anyways before they were killed…guess that’s out of the window now,” Marlon said. “I got one better…since we don’t know what mood he’s at this point, just ignore him…he’s not worth it this time,” T.J. said. “Can we pretend he’s a ghost or something, Aunt Tiffani,” Matthew asked her. “Of course, Matt…no pressure,” she said. “That’s the plan…thanks, sis,” Jeffrey said. Then they left the house.

Brianna was in the school library doing some research on the computer when Alicia shows up. “Hey, Bree…what ya doing,” she asked her cousin. “Ahhh–don’t sneak up on me,” Brianna said, “What are you doing here anyways?” “Your boyfriend sent me here…for you,” she joked. “That’s not funny, Ali! You’re so annoying without your better half–where is she anyways,” Brianna said, looking around. “Heh! Now that’s not funny! Why are you here? What a nerd,” she said as Brianna hit her in the ribs. “Unlike you, I want to finish high school, got to college, study fashion designs, and get up from under my Grandpa Terrell’s evil plan to run his company,” Brianna said. “Just like your mom…heh…good luck,” she said to her cousin. She got up and left. Once Brianna was done, she left the library and ran into Mr Brady. “Whoa there,” he said. “Hello…sir,” she said. “I see you have your hands full here,” he chuckled. “Uh yeah! It’s my new science teacher, Dr Craig! She gave the whole class a lot of homework on the first week,” she said. “Did she? I’m sure you can handle it,” he said, holding Brianna’s hand. “I hope so…I gotta go…good to see you…um, bye,” she whispered in his ear. The two of them went their separate ways. As the time went by, Zack was eating his lunch on one table alone while Matthew and Marlon played cards at the next table. “I-I don’t get it,” Marlon said. “What, cuz,” Matthew questioned. “How is he so damn calm–just last night he picks a fight with me for looking at him funny–I don’t like him, cousin or not,” he said. “But you know what my dad and your mom said–ignore him,” Matthew said while Zack listens. The two boys got up from the table and walked out the door. Zack got mad and slammed his hand into the tray. Meanwhile, Sean and Tyrese were in their apartment playing fooseball while Tarik Jr was making out with his girlfriend in the next room. “Baby, I was wondering…,” she started to say. “Wondering what,” he asked. “It was pretty cool for your brother and cousin to let us use the guest room but…,” she hesitated to say. “But…,” he said. “Wouldn’t it be better if we get our own place…huh, Rik,” she said. “Wow…I mean…I didn’t…wow…I didn’t think you would ask me that,” he said to her. “So we can have some real privacy…some peace and quiet,” she said seductively. They shared a passionate kiss. Quincy was in the gym shooting hoops with his friends. Jonah Jr was on the sidelines talking with some girls and giving high fives to all the guys. Suddenly, his cellphone rang. “Hold up, y’all…it’s my pops…hello,” he said to his brand new friends as he got up to take the call. He walked away as they talked among themselves. Brianna was at study hall doing some homework from science class when someone came in from behind. Then she felt a hand touched her shoulder.

The Thompson family rushed over to the hospital and meet up with Jonah in the waiting room. “Hey, man! What’s going on with our little sister,” Jason asked him. “She said something about cramps…then she passed out…I don’t know what happened, man,” Jonah said as the doctor came up to them. Jonah Jr showed up seconds later. Back at the school, Brianna was making out with a mystery guy. Her cell phone starts buzzing. “I gotta take this–hello, Mom,” she said. “Hey, kiddo…we need to get to the hospital…it’s about your Aunt Melissa,” T.J. said to her daughter. Moments later, she meet up with T.J. and Chuckie in the parking lot. They drove away quickly. Everyone sat there in the waiting room as Jonah was by Melissa’s bedside. She woke up to face him. “Hi, babe…how are you feeling, huh,” he asked his wife. “Sore–what happened? Where’s our baby, J,” she mumbled. “Upstairs…they had to take her to the NICU, babe,” he said. Melissa broke down crying. T.J. stood outside her big sister’s room and watched them hugged. She thought about the night that Billie was born. She even remembers Marvin giving her the same bad news that her brother-in-law had just given to his wife. Suddenly, Marvin and Billie showed up. “Hi, guys,” T.J. said to them. “Hi, Mommy,” Billie said. T.J. picked her young daughter up and hugged her tight. The three of them went down the hall. Hours later, Bridget and Kevin went home to their kids. Kyle and Deena were playing checkers in the den while Mary took a nap in the playpen. The sitter reads his newspaper quietly. “Thanks, Mr Burton! Hi, kids,” said Kevin. “Hi, Dad! Hi, Mom,” said Kyle and Deena. “Hi, you guys…where’s Zack,” Bridget asked them. They shrugged their shoulders and went back to their game. Zack was upstairs in his room. He stares at the mirror as he impersonates a gangbanger. He was thinking about what Marlon and Matthew said about him. “I’m gonna kill you bitches—spray all you snitches—rat-a-tat-tat—BOOM,” he said while holding a toy gun. “Hello? Anyone up there,” Kevin calls out. Zack put the gun away and sat down at his desk. Kevin and Bridget came in to check up on him. “Hey, kiddo! Everything okay in here,” Kevin asked him. “Yeah, Dad! I’m good,” he said back. “Okay! I’ll get dinner started! Finish your homework and come downstairs,” Bridget added. “Yes, Mom,” he said to her. He went back to what he was doing as his parents left the room. A week later, the Thompsons and the Johnsons went to a state fair. The adults talked among themselves while the kids played some of the games. Zack wandered off from the family to meet up with some kids in black clothes. “Hey, man…what up,” one of the kids said. T.J. watches her nephew as he leaves with his new friends. Hours later, Zack and his friends were in the parking lot smoking weed. “So, C-Dog…what you wanna do,” he said. “I don’t know, man…so your folks drag you to this crappy fair, huh,” C-Dog asked him. “Yep…,” he replied. Suddenly, an older kid approached them. “Ey, JD…what’s happening,” C-Dog said. “Ey, fellas…everything good,” JD said to them. “Yeah, bro…got the goods for Z-Man,” C-Dog said. “Oh, yeah! Right this way,” J.D. said, leading them to an old rusted van. Brianna, Alicia, and Diane were hanging out at the snack bar when three guys showed up and sat down at the other end. “Hey, you guys,” Alicia said seductively. She waved to the guys. They waved back at her. “You’re crazy…we don’t know these guys,” Brianna said. “I know…maybe we should if you know what I mean,” she said. Then they went over to the guys and started talking to them.

James and Marvin were sitting on a bench drinking beer when they saw what was going on. “What the–,” they yelled. “So…how about those digits,” one of the guys said as he rubs on Alicia’s leg. “Hey! What’s going on over here,” James interrupted. “Dad,” Alicia and Diane yelled. “I wanna know, too…were you aware that these girls are fifteen, huh,” Marvin said. “Fifteen—uh, no,” the guys said, then leaves without saying a word. Once the guys were out of their sight, Alicia and Diane gave James a cold stare. “Oh don’t give me that! You know those guys were too old for you—I ain’t having it,” he told his daughters. “But we were just playing around,” Brianna said. “I don’t care—playing or not, they were after one thing…you know it and I know it…let’s go,” Marvin demanded. They left the snack bar quickly. Hours later, Brianna was in her bedroom sulking. She already had a lecture about what she and the girls did earlier at the fair. Suddenly, her cellphone buzzed. T.J. and Marvin were having a late dinner downstairs. “We need to do something about our daughter, Tiff,” Marvin finally said. “I know, Marv…you told me about the incident at the snack bar but they were just playing around…me and my friends did the same thing in high school…it’s not that serious,” T.J. told her husband. Brianna overheard them from the stairs. The next day, she left home early and got into a mysterious car. “Hey, baby…let’s go,” she said to the person. The car drives off. Marlon and Mark went downstairs to eat breakfast with the rest of the family. “So…where’s your sister, guys,” T.J. asked them. The two of them looked at each other aimlessly. “Answer your mother…chop-chop,” Marvin spoke up. “I dunno…guess she already left for school,” they said simultaneously. At the Hardisons house, Alicia and Diane came into the living room where their parents were watching TV. “Uh-oh…they want something, babe,” James said to his wife. “Um…could you let us off punishment…please, Daddy,” Alicia pleaded with him. “Please…,” Diane begged. “One question: why should we let either of you off of punishment, huh,” he asked them. “Girls, what you did—it was dangerous! You could’ve been hurt or raped by those boys,” Meghan told them. “We’re sorry, Mom and Dad,” said Alicia and Diane. “Go on…get outta here…have a good day in school,” she said to them. Then the girls left.

Tyrell Jr and Kyle were at the gym playing a pickup game with their friends while Melville keeps score. Brianna came in and sat down on the bleachers. “Hey, cuz…what’s going on,” Melville said to her. She didn’t say a word. All she could think about is what happened with the mysterious stranger in his car. He went back to what he was doing. Alicia and Diane came up to their cousin and sat down. “Hey, Mel…Bree, we missed you at lunch…hello in there,” Alicia said. Brianna got mad and pushed her away. “Hey, cuz…whoa…what’s wrong,” Diane questioned. Before she could get her answer, Brianna passed out on the floor. “Bree! Somebody, help,” Tyrell Jr shouted. Mr. Brady came in and rushed over to the kids. “What happened over here,” he asked them. “We were just talking…then she passed out, mister,” Melville told him. “We gotta get her to the hospital…quick,” he said to the kids. They all left the gym together. Hours later, Brianna woke up to see her parents sitting at her bedside. “Mom…Dad,” she moans. “Hey there, kiddo,” said Marvin. “What happened,” she questioned them. “Your cousins told us that you passed out in the gym and Mr. Brady brought you down here—are you feeling okay, honey,” T.J. asked her. “Yeah, Mom…I’m fine…at least I was this morning,” she said. “Hello, kids! I heard what happened—how is my grandbaby doing,” Sheryl said, coming into the room. “I’m okay, Grandma,” she replied. The doctor came in to talk with them. Zack went into a shed with a dark bag on his shoulder. The other three kids were in the den watching TV. He opens it and pulled out its contents. “Ooh-wee…a real gun with bullets…ain’t nobody gonna mess with me now,” he said to himself. He put the gun down and took out a bag of red pills. “This is what I’m talking about,” he whispered. He put the stuff back into the bag and hid it. Nyisha showed up at the house, got out of the car, and went up to the door. “I got it,” Kyle said, opening the door. “Hi, you guys,” she said. “Hi, Aunt Nyisha,” Deena said. The kids hugged her as the sitter slept on the couch. “Your mom asked me to check up on you kids…guess you heard about Brianna,” she said. “Yeah,” said Kyle and Deena. “Come on…help me get some things out of my car,” she said. The three of them went outside together. Zack saw them and left the shed. As they were taking some bags out of the car, he showed up. “Hi, Aunt Nyisha…let me help you with that,” he said. “Oh…thank you, Zack,” she said. Zack grabbed one of the bags from her hand. The four of them went back into the house. Back at the hospital, everyone else were sleeping in the waiting room. Brianna started to toss and turn. “No…stop…you’re hurting me,” she moaned. Suddenly, she woke up screaming. “Brianna…hey there…it’s just a dream…you’re safe now,” T.J. said to her young daughter. The two of them hugged. The next day, Bridget and Kevin were eating breakfast with their kids. Zack was thinking about the dark bag in the shed when he felt a tap on his shoulder. “Zack…hello…are you there, buddy,” Bridget said to him. “Huh? Yeah, Mom,” he said. “Your aunt told me how well you behave last night…I have to say that I’m so proud of you,” she said. “Thanks, Mom,” he said as she hugs him. “You did good, my boy,” Kevin said. “I’m gonna apologize to Marlon…you know, for the fight we had at his parents’ house,” he said. “Good for you…the talk with the therapist helped, huh,” Kevin said to him. “Uh-huh…may I be excused,” he said. “Yeah,” Kevin said. Then Zack got up from the table and left the kitchen.

Three weeks later, Zack and C-Dog were going around the neighborhood selling their merchandise. By days end, they made over $20,000. Bridget was picking up some clothes from the floor of Zack’s bedroom when she came across a small pack of red pills. “What the–,” she said to herself. She picked it up and went downstairs. Hours later, Zack came home from school and saw Bridget sitting at the kitchen table. The pack of red pills was in front of her. “Hi, Mom,” he said nervously. “What is this? I found it in your room,” she yelled. “What were you doing in my room,” he yelled back. They started to argue as Kevin drove up outside with Nyisha and T.J. “What’s going on in there,” T.J. asked her brother and sister. They all got out of the car and went inside. They walked in on Zack as he pulls a gun on Bridget. “You should have stayed out of my room,” he shouted. “Whoa! Zack? What are you doing,” Kevin asked him. “Nothing…yet,” he said, then cocks his gun. “Zack, no…don’t shoot,” Nyisha pleaded. “Zack is not in at the moment…it’s DeWayne Jr now,” he told her. “Aw hell no,” T.J. yelled. “All right, buddy…why don’t you put down the gun so we can talk,” Kevin said calmly. “He ain’t gonna talk to you…that’s not Zack anymore,” T.J. said. “She’s right, little brother…he’s not the sweet little boy that we all know,” Nyisha said. “Ding-ding-ding! Give the ladies a prize,” Zack said, waving the gun around. “What happened to you, Zack,” Bridget questioned her son. “Uh-uh-uh…wrong name, Mom…DeWayne Jr…nothing happened except you and your perfect husband kept me from my dad—my real dad, uncle, and my grandparents…they’re all dead because of you,” he said angrily as he points the gun back at Bridget. Marvin was on the way home when his cellphone rang. “Hello, little sister! Is that my nephew making all that racket,” he said. “Yeah, Marvin…took the time to call you, big bro,” said the voice on the other end. “Hey, brother-in-law,” Farrah said, driving up next to him. “I gotta go—bye,” he said, then hung up. “Have you heard from my sisters today,” she asked. “No, I haven’t…Tiffani said something about spending the day with Kevin—as a matter of the fact, she’s supposed to meet me at our house,” he said. “Let’s go,” she said. Meanwhile, Jonah brought Melissa and their baby home from the hospital. “Hi, little one…I’m so glad that you’re here,” she said as her husband looks on. “So…what’s going on with you…is everything all right back there,” he asked. “Yeah…ain’t that right, my pretty baby,” she said. He chuckled at his small family. At the Thompsons house, Sheryl and Stephen was playing spades in the dining room. “I know you’re worried about Melissa but she’s fine now,” he said. “I can’t help it…I worry about all my children,” she said. “Of course…I think about my kids…I worry about them, too,” he said. Then they held each other’s hands.

Farrah was on her cellphone trying to get in contact with her sisters. “Any luck,” Marvin asked her. “No…both of their phones went straight to voicemail…what is going on here,” she said. Suddenly, she felt a chill down her spine. “Farrah? What’s wrong,” he questioned. “I don’t know…I feel cold all of a sudden,” she said. “Must be the fall weather…it has been breezy these past couple of days,” he said. “It’s not that…something’s very wrong here…I have a bad feeling about this,” she said, then hugs Marvin. Zack stood here with the smoking gun in his hand. T.J. was in shock. He leaves the kitchen and went out the back door. She was having flashbacks of the day she got shot. Someone was laying on the floor in front of her. There were sirens outside. “My sister-in-law’s in here, guys,” Bridget said to the EMTs. As they tend to their gunshot victim, Kevin checked on T.J. “Hey there! Can you hear me,” he said. “I think she’s in shock…let’s get her out of here,” she said. The two of them took T.J. out of the kitchen. Moments later, Marvin and Farrah showed up at the house. There were police cars and ambulances everywhere. They got out to see what was going on. “Whoa there! You can’t go in,” said one of the officers. They saw who was on the stretcher. “Oh, my god…Nyisha,” said Farrah. “What happened in there,” Marvin said. Before the officer could give him an answer, Marvin rushes into the house and saw his wife on the couch. “Hey, baby…can you hear me,” he said. “What’s wrong with her,” Farrah asked. “I don’t know…she’s been like this since Nyisha was shot,” Kevin said. “Who shot our sister,” she yelled. “Zack—he shot Nyisha,” Bridget said. “That little punk—we’ll deal with your son later,” she said, “Right now, our main concern is my sisters!” “Let’s get her out of here, guys,” Marvin said. “I’ll help you, man,” Kevin said. The two of them helped T.J. out of the house. They all got into the car and followed the ambulance. Hours later, Tarik was hanging out with his son at the studio. His cellphone started to ring. “Hey, guys! Turn that down—hello,” he said. Randy and Dee Dee were at the restaurant with Sheryl, Stephen, and Melvin. Suddenly, all of their cellphones started to ring. In a matter of seconds, the gang meet up at the hospital. “So…any idea why they call us out here,” Dee Dee asked. “Mom…,” someone called out. “Kevin…Bridget…what happened out there,” Randy asked them. “Oh, Mom…it was horrible,” Bridget cried on Sheryl’s shoulder. “What do you mean…Kevin,” Dee Dee questioned. “It’s Nyisha…Zack shot her,” Kevin finally said. Marvin and Farrah were on the other end of the hospital when Tarik and Terrence showed up. “Hey, guys…what’s going on,” they asked. “Nyisha got shot…she and T.J. were at Kevin and Bridget’s house when it happened…Zack pulled a gun on them,” Farrah said. “What? Are you serious,” Terrence said, hugging his wife. While they talked, Tarik was standing there with a frown on his face. “Yeah, man…T.J. witnessed the whole thing,” Marvin said. “Is she okay,” Terrence asked them. “I don’t know…she’s with the doctor now,” he said. “She hasn’t said a word since the shooting,” Farrah said. Then they continued their conversation.

“Where is Zack now,” Tarik interrupted them. “Don’t know…the police are out there looking for him,” Marvin said. “They better find that kid before I do…I’m gonna kill him,” he said angrily. “Stay away from my son, Tarik,” Bridget spoke up as she confronted her brother-in-law. “Or what, huh? You protecting that kid—he shot my wife! If Nyisha dies, I hold you responsible for that monster you brought into our lives,” he yelled. Everyone heard the arguing and went down the hallway. “My son is not a monster,” she yelled back. “You little bitch,” he said, grabbing for Bridget’s throat. Marvin and Terrence held him back. “You wanna hurt me…I dare you, punk…just like you did to my sister…come on,” she said angrily. “Hey-hey-hey! Cut it out, all of you,” Stephen yells at them. Sheryl confronts Tarik and said, “What happened with your wife was unfortunate but you will not attack my daughter!” “Just keep her away from my family,” Tarik growled, then stormed off. “I cannot believe this…how in the hell did that boy get ahold of a gun anyways,” Dee Dee questioned. “I don’t know…the whole fight started when I found drugs in his room,” Bridget said. “Drugs? Oh god—the boy brings a gun into your house and shoots my daughter! Don’t you find that kind of odd—probably was high when it happened,” Randy said. “He was gunning for me but Nyisha got in the way…I didn’t want any of this to happen,” she said. “Bull! My daughter’s fighting for her life all because of your son! If she dies, I’ll never forget you,” Dee Dee screams at her daughter-in-law, then walks away. Hours later, Marvin went to see T.J. in her hospital room. He watched her as she lays there fast asleep. Farrah followed him. “Crazy day, isn’t it,” she asked him. “Yeah,” he said back. “How is my little sister,” she said. “Oh, she’ll be fine! The doctor gave her something to help her sleep! The drama wore her out,” he said as he sat by his wife’s bedside and held her hand. Terrence came in and said, “Hey, guys…your mom tore into Bridget about Zack, babe!” “The more I think about it…Nyisha was right…Bridget should have gotten an abortion…then we wouldn’t be in this mess right now,” Farrah said. “That boy acts just like DeWayne—remember that fight at the house three weeks ago,” Marvin said. The three of them continued talking as T.J. was resting comfortably. Meanwhile, Zack was at the phone booth down the street from his house. “Hey, C! I need a place to hide out for the night,” he said while looking around. “Be right there,” said the person on the other end. Suddenly, a car came to pick him up. “Hey, man! Thanks for coming,” he said. “No problem…Zack,” said a voice in the car. Zack turned around to see who was talking to him. “J.D.? Fellas! What’s going on here,” he said. “You tell me, Zachariah Harlan Johnson…you’re DeWayne Williams’ little boy, huh…you gonna take me down like your pops tried to, hmm…he didn’t make it out alive and neither will you…let’s go around the block, shall we,” J.D. said. The car drove off quickly. Moments later, they pulled up in an empty lot. J.D. and four huge guys got out of the car with Zack in tow. Then they beat him up incessantly.

The next day, T.J. woke up and saw Chuckie by her bedside. “Hi,” she said softly. “Welcome back, little sister…I heard about the shooting yesterday,” he said. “Huh…what are you talking about…what shooting, Chuck,” she questions her twin brother. “Well…the doctor said you wouldn’t remember what happened so…there was a shooting at Bridget and Kevin’s house yesterday…Zack flipped out and shot Nyisha in the back…the police are out there looking for him,” he told her. Suddenly, she had flashbacks about the shooting. “…nothing happened except you and your perfect husband kept me from my dad—my real dad, uncle, and my grandparents…they’re all dead because of you,” she remembered Zack saying to Bridget. She snapped out of it and said, “Let’s go see our sister, Chuck…come on!” Moments later, they went down the hallway to see Nyisha. She was hooked up to a ventilator. Randy was in the room with her. “Hey, kids,” he said to them. “Hi, Dad,” T.J. and Chuckie said back. “Good to see you up and about, honey,” he said, hugging T.J. “Yeah…Chuckie told me what happened…why would Zack do that, Dad…he told us that Nyisha was his favorite aunt,” T.J. asked him. “I don’t know, Tiffani! Something ain’t right with that little boy,” he said. At that moment, T.J. had the flashbacks again. “Zack…don’t shoot,” Bridget shouted. She remembered Nyisha shielding them from the gun before it went off. “Hey…what’s wrong,” Chuckie said, snapping his fingers at her. “Huh,” she said. “Are you okay, kiddo,” Randy said. “Yeah…I’m okay,” she said. Dee Dee watches them from the hallway. “You’re sure, little sister,” Chuckie said. “Yeah…um, no…I remember seeing Zack shooting Nyisha,” she said. “When did this happen, kiddo,” Randy said. “It’s just in bits and pieces, Dad,” she said. He hugged both of his kids tight.  Hours later, T.J. was sitting by Nyisha’s bedside when she heard the door open. “Dee Dee…I didn’t see you there,” she said, turning around. “So I heard you told my daughter about that night,” Dee Dee spoke up. “I didn’t mean to…it slipped out, all right,” she said. “I’ll buy that…you’re loyal to Nyisha…you couldn’t lie to her…you didn’t do it on purpose,” Dee Dee said. “I can’t do it anymore…I can’t keep lying to my dad,” she said softly. ”Shh…you won’t have to because I’m gonna tell him everything…I’ll take full responsibility for all of it…you’ve been through enough, okay,” Dee Dee said. “Okay,” she said with tears in her eyes. They were unaware that someone was listening to their conversation. “Right now we have more important things to worry about: your sister here and your missing nephew,” Dee Dee said, looking at a comatose Nyisha. “She didn’t want anything to happen to us…when Zack was about to shoot Bridget, Nyisha got in front of her and took the bullet instead…I wished she didn’t risk her life like that—because I did the same thing at the Williams house when I took a bullet for Kevin—this is all my fault,” she said. “No it isn’t…the only one at fault here is Zack…you didn’t shoot Nyisha, you hear me,” Dee Dee said. Then she hugged her stepdaughter.

“I stood right there—I should have stopped her,” T.J. said softly. “What happened yesterday is over…there was no way you could’ve known…your sister is so stubborn—the both of you are…just like your dad,” Dee Dee said back. The two families were playing cards in the waiting room. Matthew and Marlon went down the hall to get some snacks from the vending machine. “Poor Aunt Nyisha…she didn’t deserve this, man,” Marlon said. “And all because of Zack…I wished he was dead,” Matthew said. Jeffrey overheard their conversation and walked away. The boys went back to the waiting room and gave everyone their snacks. “Here, sis,” Marlon said as he gave Brianna a bag of chips. She was reading a magazine in the corner. T.J. came out of Nyisha’s room and went down the hall to join the families. She looked around to see everyone there. She saw her daughter and sat down on the couch. “Mom,” Brianna called out to her. “Hey, baby! How are you,” she asked. “I was gonna ask you the same thing especially when you witnessed the shooting, Mom,” Brianna said. “Don’t worry about me, kiddo…I’m fine,” she told her daughter. Brianna hugged her tight. The sitter came to the hospital with Mark, Terrell, and Angel. “Mommy,” they squealed. They all ran to T.J. and hugged her as well. Meanwhile, Bridget and Kevin sat quietly in the car. “It’s all my fault,” she said. “No, it’s not,” he said back. “Yes it is…I’ve allowed this to happen…I didn’t see it coming…Deon and Lola Ann told me in court that I could never change him because he’s DeWayne’s son,” she said softly. Suddenly, they heard sirens. An ambulance drove up and brought an unknown person through the hospital doors. Everyone got up to see what was going on. “Is that…,” Sheryl questioned. “Yeah…it’s your grandson, ma’am…we found him a couple blocks from the bus stop,” said the officer who came in with the EMTs. “Oh my god…Zack,” she cried. “What’s going on,” Bridget and Kevin asked them when they came in. “The police found Zack but he’s in bad shape,” said Stephen. “No…it can’t be…it can’t be him…not my baby boy,” Bridget said softly. Sheryl went over to her daughter and hugged her tight.  Later that day, Bridget sat down next to T.J. on the couch as their kids slept across from them. “Are you okay,” she asked her big sister. T.J. didn’t say a word. “Come on, T.J.! Talk to me, please,” she begged. “Why, huh? Your son pulled a gun on me! Don’t act like you feel bad about it,” T.J. said angrily. “I’m sorry, okay…Zack didn’t know what he was doing…he wasn’t himself…look at Tarik Jr–,” she started to say. T.J. grabbed Bridget and slammed her against the wall. “Don’t you dare compare my son to that psychopath,” T.J. growled. The two of them started arguing, waking everybody in the hospital. Stephen and Randy step in to stop them. “What’s going on in here,” Sheryl asked them. The girls didn’t say anything. “Answer her now,” said Stephen. “I’m outta here,” T.J. said. “Tiffani Jasmine Thompson, get your ass back here…NOW,” Sheryl yelled. “Why should I,” she yelled back. “Because we don’t turn our backs on family,” Sheryl said. “What family? You’re the same people who threw me out of the house when I was 14…now you’re gonna let Zack get away with this foolishness…if you guys are protecting that boy, I don’t want nothing to do with it,” she told Sheryl. “He’s your family, too,” Sheryl said. “I can’t be a part of this…not for a kid who pulls a on me and shoots my big sister in the back—I can’t,” she said. Then she walks away.

“T.J.! Come back here,” Sheryl shouted. “No, baby! Let her go,” Stephen said. Dee Dee came out of Nyisha’s hospital room and said, “What’s going on out here?” T.J. walked down the hall when someone started following her. She started to walk faster. The person also walked faster. She felt a hand on her shoulder and started to scream. “Shh! There’s no need to be alarmed,” the person said, covering her mouth. T.J. slowly moved the person’s hand from her mouth and turned around to see who it was. “Dad,” she said, recognizing the voice. It was Randy. She hugged him tight. “What’s wrong, huh? You can tell me,” he said. “I just had a fight with Bridget and my mom about Zack…how could they put up with what he did to Nyisha…I hate them both,” she said softly. Moments later, the two of them had lunch in the cafeteria when Brianna came in to join them. “Hey there, sweetheart,” Randy said. “Hi, Grandpa…can I talk with my mom for a second,” Brianna said. “Okay…I’ll be down the hall if you need me,” he said to them. “Okay, Dad,” T.J. said, shaking her head. He got up and left the cafeteria. There was silence between them. “Mom,” Brianna said. “What is it, honey,” she asked. “Are you mad at me,” Brianna said. “What do you mean,” T.J. said. “What the doctor told you and Dad three weeks ago—are you mad at me for what I did,” Brianna said. “No, Bree…I’m not mad at you—I’m mad at the situation that you put yourself in…we will figure all of this out together, okay,” T.J. told her daughter as she nods her head in agreement. Bridget and Kevin went into a hospital room and saw Zack there. He was hooked up to an oxygen machine and a heart monitor. “Oh…my baby,” she said, going closer to sit with her wounded son. Kevin stood by the door because he couldn’t deal with the way Zack looked. Dee Dee shows up and hugged him tight. Kyle was sitting with Farrah and Meghan as Mary slept next to them on the couch. “Hey, bud…are you okay,” they asked him. “Uh-huh…um, Auntie Farrah…can I tell you something,” he questioned. “Um, yeah…what is it,” Farrah said. He started to whisper something in her ear. After talking with her daughter, T.J. went back to Nyisha’s room. She was still unconscious. “If you did this to teach me a lesson, I get it…please wake up,” she cried. She sat down on the couch and slowly falls asleep. She was dreaming about the shooting. This time, Zack had the gun pointed at her. “Bye-bye, Auntie…say hello to my daddy,” his voice echoed. Suddenly, the gun went off. She woke up in a cold sweat. Farrah and Meghan came into the room. They sat down next to her. “Hey, sis…are you okay,” they asked. “Yeah…I’m fine,” she said. “Are you sure…you just saw our big sister get gunned down by that little punk,” Meghan said. “Of course,” she said. “Let’s take a walk, shall we,” Farrah said to her sisters. Then the three of them went out in the halls.

“There’s something that we need to tell you—ow,” Meghan said as Farrah hits her sister in the rib. “Meg,” Farrah whispered. “What,” she whispered back. “What’s going on, you guys,” T.J. questioned them. While they were playing, someone watched them from afar. “Kyle told me that just now,” said Farrah. “Are you sure,” T.J. asked them. “Yeah,” she replied. Suddenly, T.J. sat down on the floor. “Are you okay,” Meghan and Farrah asked as they sat down next to her. “Yeah…um, Kyle wouldn’t lie…not about this…he knew his little brother would confide in him,” T.J. said to them. “Killing his grandfather…that’s a burden on him,” Farrah said, “Those boys are closer than ever…they tell each other anything!” “Yeah,” said Meghan as the person left suddenly. Bridget sat on the couch watching her son as he lays there unconscious. A nurse came in to check up on him. All she could think about was the good times she had with him. Sheryl came in to sit with her. “Hi, honey,” she said to her daughter. “Oh, Mom…everything is so messed up…my son’s outta control…T.J. may never speak to me again…I don’t know what to do,” Bridget said softly. “I don’t believe she would stop talking to you…you girls are so close just like Kyle and Zack are now…she’s just having a tough time with everything that happened with her—that’s all,” she said. Bridget hugged her mother. Meanwhile, Shane and Jane took the younger kids to the restaurant for dinner. Randy and Dee Dee sat by their daughter’s bedside. “Honey, do you remember when we brought her home from the hospital,” she asked her husband. “Yeah…I missed those times…thought we could protect her—our children…the world isn’t safe, Dee,” he said. “No, it isn’t,” she said. Suddenly, they heard a knock on the door. “Come in,” they said. They saw who it was. “Hello, Renay…how are you holding up, kiddo,” Randy said. “I’m okay, Uncle Randy! How about you and Aunt Dee Dee,” Renay said. “We’ll be fine, honey…you kids should head home and get some sleep,” Dee Dee said. “I’m not tired…just worried about my little cousin is all,” Renay said. “But I insist…your uncle and I—we’ll let you know if there’s any change, okay,” Dee Dee told her niece. Renay hugged them both and left the room. Farrah, Meghan, and T.J. went to the diner. They sat down at a table. “You should really head home…you don’t look so good, little sister,” Farrah said. “She’s right, you know,” Meghan agreed. “Don’t worry about me…I’m fine,” T.J. said to them. Marvin came up to the girls and kissed his wife on the cheek. “I have to agree with Farrah and Meghan…you haven’t slept since Nyisha got shot,” he said. “I can’t, Marv…every time I close my eyes, all I could see is that gun…I won’t sleep until I know our sister is gonna be okay,” T.J. said, slamming her hand on the table. Everyone turned around to see what happened. “Ooh…easy…you need to calm down, okay,” Farrah said to her. “Okay—ow,” T.J. winced. “Let’s get out of here,” Marvin said. They all got up and left. Back at the hospital, Sheryl and Stephen were leaving Zack’s room as Randy and Dee Dee meet up with them in the hallway. “So…how’s Nyisha,” Sheryl asked her friend. “No change…how’s Zack,” Dee Dee asked. “He hasn’t woken up either…I’m so sorry about your daughter, Dee,” she said. Then the two women hugged.

Brianna was sitting in the kitchen of the Andersons house eating a banana and reading a magazine. Someone was outside ringing the doorbell. “Coming…,” she yelled. Terrell was sitting at the top of the stairs. “Oooooh…we’re not supposed to have company, Bree,” he shouted. “Shhh…it’s just Mr. Brady, knucklehead,” she said, opening the door. “Hi, Mr. Brady,” they said. Brianna signals her little brother to leave the room. “Uh…bye,” said Terrell as he went upstairs. “So…are you okay,” Mr. Brady asked her. “Yeah…but you don’t have to keep up pretenses…my parents isn’t here, Samuel…they’re at the hospital visiting my aunt,” she said. “I heard about that…we need to talk about what happened in the car,” Mr. Brady said. “What about it, Sam,” she questioned. “Did I hurt you,” he asked her. Brianna thought about it and said, “Uh, yeah…a little but…I’m good now.” “You’re sure,” he questioned. “Of course…let me show ya,” she said seductively. She grabs him by the shirt and pulled him into the den. T.J. and Marvin were coming out of the E.R. when Sheryl and Stephen showed up. “Hi, Marvin! T.J.? What happened to your arm,” Sheryl questioned her daughter. “She slammed it down on the table at the diner,” Marvin replied. “Ouch,” Stephen said.  “It’s just a little bruised but not broken, Mom,” T.J. said. “You lost your temper again, did you,” Sheryl said. “Yes, Mom,” T.J. and Marvin said. “Take my daughter home before she breaks something else…go…right now,” she told her son-in-law. T.J. and Marvin left without saying another word. Danny was watching TV with Jeffrey and Nigel at his apartment. “Hey, D…sorry about your sister and nephew,” Nigel said to his friend. “Thanks, man…especially when my nephew is the reason why my sister is in the hospital bed,” Danny mumbled. “Wait—what happened,” he asked. “Zack shot Nyisha,” Jeffrey told him. “Whoa—I thought Zack liked her…even said that she was his favorite aunt,” he said. “DeWayne put this in motion, you know…he kidnapped my sister a while back…he probably groomed his son to shoot her…that’s what he did after fighting with his mother,” Danny said angrily as he went into the kitchen for a bottle of beer. Back at the Andersons house, Brianna and Sam were making out on the couch as Terrell slept upstairs. Suddenly, he heard them moaning.  They started taking off their clothes. Without warning, Marvin drove up outside. “Oh shit! My parents—they’re home,” Brianna whispered. They got up and put their clothes back on.  They heard footsteps coming up the driveway and the door opening. T.J. and Marvin came in to see them studying on the couch. “Hi, you guys,” T.J. said. “Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad,” Brianna said. “Hi, Tiffani! Hi, Marvin! What happened to your arm, buddy,” Sam said. “Oh, this…it was nothing serious, Sam,” T.J. said. “Her temper caused it, man…you know how that is,” Marvin said. “Guys, enough! I’m going upstairs! Bye,” T.J. said, leaving the room. “I’ll let you get back to your studying, Bree! Good to see you, Sam,” Marvin said. Then he left the room.

Farrah and Meghan went back in to see Nyisha. Randy and Dee Dee were sleeping in the waiting room. “I hate this…what was Zack thinking, huh…and where was Bridget when this went down,” Meghan said. “I don’t know, Meg! Everyone is very upset about this,” Farrah said. Bridget showed up in the room and said, “Hey, guys? How is she?” Meghan confronted her sister-in-law. “How do you think she is? She’s in a fucking coma because of your goddamn son,” she yelled. “Meg? Take it easy,” Farrah said as her sister left the room abruptly. “I’ve already apologize to everyone—Farrah, you gotta believe me,” Bridget said. “Your apologies doesn’t help us…your sons held my sisters and my brother—your husband—hostage…they could’ve been killed,” Farrah said calmly. “But they weren’t—he couldn’t kill them! That should count for something, right,” she said. “I think it’s best if you stay away from me and my sister! Goodbye,” Farrah said, then closed the door. Meghan saw Bridget walk away in tears before heading back into Nyisha’s hospital room. “You’re not really gonna fall for that shit, are you? Her son tried to kill Nyisha—not to mention Kevin and T.J.! We can’t let her get away with that, Fay,” Meghan said. “No, I won’t…once that kid pulls through, I’m gonna make sure that our sisters and brother get their justice for this,” Farrah said. “I don’t know what was Kevin thinking getting involved with that bitch? That little boy ain’t nothing but trouble for our family! He should’ve never existed,” she said. Bridget sat outside and overheard their conversation.  Hours later, Marvin went downstairs to the kitchen for a snack. T.J. and the kids were fast asleep in their beds. Suddenly, his cell phone buzzed. “Hi, Farrah…your sister’s sleeping at the moment,” he said. “No worries, Marv! Just checking in to see if she was okay,” Farrah said on the other end of the phone. “What about Nyisha? Any change,” Marvin asked her. “Nope…nothing,” she said while holding her twin sister’s hand. “I know something’s on your mind beside the girls…out with it,” he said. “I may have to get a restraining order against my sister-in-law…I need your opinion on it,” she said, “She thinks that Zack can’t do no wrong and I’m afraid that if he stays on the loose, it’s my sister’s life at stake…I don’t want to lose her!” Brianna got up from her bed and went down the hall. She started to hear strange noises from the master bedroom. “Daddy,” she screams at the top of her lungs. Marvin rushed upstairs to see his daughter standing there in a daze. Suddenly, he saw T.J. having a seizure on the floor. “Bree…I need your help over here,” he called out. Brianna snapped out of it to help him. The two of them held her down until the seizures subsides. “Why is this happening,” Brianna asked him. “I don’t know but we’re gonna figure it out, sweetheart,” he said. Shane was in the den of his home watching an old football game on TV with Martin, Jason, and Rodney. Jane was playing cards with Renay, Rhonda, and Denise at the kitchen table. Sean and Melville were upstairs playing video games while Jordan, Olivia, and Benjy were asleep in the next room. Tyrese was shooting pool with Tarik Jr and Dean. “And for my final trick…8 ball…corner pocket,” Dean said. “Yeah right,” Tyrese snickered. “He knows what he’s doing,” said Tarik Jr. Dean points the cue at the ball and took the shot. Then the boys cheered.

The next day, Marvin and the kids were in the kitchen eating breakfast when Farrah, Terrence, and their four kids showed up. “Hey, little brother…how did you sleep,” Terrence asked. “Fine…thank you,” Marvin replied. “Hi, kids,” Farrah said. “Hi, Auntie Farrah and Uncle Terrence,” said Marlon, Mark, Billie, Terrell, and Angel. “Where’s your mother,” she asked them. “She’s upstairs,” Brianna said. “Daddy said that Mommy wasn’t feeling well,” said Mark. “Your sister had a seizure in her sleep last night,” Marvin said. Without question, Farrah went upstairs to the master bedroom. She goes in to see T.J. resting peacefully in her bed. She sat down and whispered, “Hey, little sis…are you okay, hmm?” T.J. opened her eyes and said, “I’m fine…I don’t see why everyone is so worried!” “Were you aware that you had a seizure last night,” she asked. “No but I was told that I did…I don’t even remember having them,” T.J. said. “I’m just worried about you…Marvin should take you to the doctor to see why you’re having these seizures,” she said. Brianna walked in with a breakfast tray. “Hey, kiddo,” T.J. said. “Hi, Mom…are you feeling okay,” Brianna asked her. “Yeah…I’m fine…your dad told me what happened last night and how scared you were—but you don’t have to be afraid of me…I’m sorry, baby,” T.J. said, then hugged her daughter and sister tight. “I was so worried about you, Mom…Aunt Farrah is right…you need to find out what’s going on with you,” Brianna said. “Okay,” she said. The remaining Thompsons kids and their spouses went to their parents’ house. Sheryl was in the kitchen cooking breakfast for them. They all sat down at the table and said a prayer. Bridget didn’t touch her food. Sheryl went over to her and said, “Honey, what’s the matter?” “It’s all my fault…everything that happened from Zack’s kidnapping to Nyisha getting shot…all of it,” Bridget said. The phone started to ring. “Hello,” Stephen answered. Moments later, everyone went back to the hospital. T.J. and Marvin sat down in the waiting room. “Are you sure you’re gonna be okay,” he asked. “Yeah…I’m okay…just need a minute,” she said. Dee Dee and Randy came out to Nyisha’s room to see them sitting there. “Hey…what’s going on…is it about Zack,” they asked. “Don’t know…we just got here,” Marvin replied. “Can we not talk about that child for 5 seconds, please,” T.J. said while rubbing her neck. “Whoa…take it easy, honey,” Randy said as he sat down next to her. “Are you feeling okay,” Dee Dee asked her stepdaughter. “Yeah…I’m fine,” T.J. answered. “Hello, sis…missed you at breakfast this morning unless you’re too good to be with our family,” a voice said. Then the four of them turned around to see who it was.

“Bridget…not now,” T.J. said, recognizing the voice. “You haven’t been to the house to see Mom…what was that about, huh,” Bridget said. “What is your fucking problem,” she said angrily. “Ever since our mom told you about her affair, you don’t come to the house anymore…are you trying to forget our father to make room for him,” Bridget yelled. “Knock it off…NOW,” she growled. “Then you badmouthed my son…did your new family tell you to do that too, huh,” Bridget yelled. “No one tells me to do anything,” she yells back. The two of them started to argue. Everyone rushes over to stop them. Stephen grabbed ahold of Bridget while Randy held onto T.J. “What the hell is going on in here,” Sheryl yelled at her daughters. “T.J. was saying terrible things about Dad,” Bridget shouted. “I have had it…I’m through with this family,” T.J. said angrily. She turned around and stormed off. “I got this…hey, Tiff…wait up,” Marvin said, going after his wife. In no time, she disappeared around the corner. “Fine…who needs you,” Bridget yelled. “Bridget Janet Thompson…I want to talk to you…NOW,” Sheryl said through her teeth. She pulls her daughter to the side and went into an empty room. As T.J. was walking down the hallway, she felt her heart pounding. “Oh no…not again,” she said to herself. An orderly rushed over to her and said, “Miss? Are you okay?” “Huh? Yeah! I’m okay,” she said. “She had no right talking about Dad like that,” Bridget said. “Quiet! I’m getting sick and tired of your constant bickering,” Sheryl said. “It’s more than that…she badmouthed my son—they all have, Mom…Farrah, Meghan, and Danny told me to stay away from Nyisha—why you gotta tell T.J. about Mr. Johnson, huh…couldn’t you just leave things the way they were,” she said. “No…I couldn’t live a lie anymore…Randy is T.J. and Chuckie’s father…I can’t do that to them,” Sheryl told her. “But what about us…your secret destroyed our family…I’ll never forgive you for that,” she said angrily. Brianna was at home playing a board game with her siblings. “I hope Aunt Nyisha wakes up so Mom wouldn’t have to worry so much,” she said. “Maybe Zack should die in order for that to happen,” Marlon said. “Yeah,” Mark agreed. “Hey, guys…you don’t mean that,” said Tarik Jr. “Yes I do,” Marlon said. “He does mean it, man,” Mark said. “Why would you want him to die—he’s our cousin and your best friend,” Tyrese asked his little brother. “Uh, hello…did you forget that he split my lip, picked a fight with Kyle, and oh—shot Aunt Nyisha…she didn’t do anything to him…I pity him, Ty,” Marlon said angrily as he got up and left the room. Back at the hospital, T.J. was sitting in the cafeteria with her head on the table. Marvin and Randy came in to sit with her. “Hey, kiddo! Are you feeling okay,” Randy asked her. “No…I’m not okay…Bridget shouldn’t have said those horrible things about you, Dad…I don’t want anything to do with those people,” T.J. said before Marvin could get a word in. “Those people are your family…Bridget is your sister, Tiffani,” he said. “That girl is not my sister…all she does is remind me of what her father did for me and Chuckie…that man is a liar…he kept us away from you…he would’ve kept on doing it if he was still alive—I hate him,” she yelled. Before she could raise her hand, Randy stopped her. “It would be better if you don’t break your arm,” he said. “Considering she’s been on edge after her seizure last night,” Marvin said. “We can talk about that once everything cools down, okay,” he said. “Okay, Dad,” she said. Suddenly, the alarm went off. Everyone got up to see what was going on. The doctors were running down the hallway. “What was that about,” Dee Dee said. They followed the doctors. “Oh, my god…Zack,” Sheryl said, going into the room with everyone else. The nurse rushes them out and shut the door. “What happened,” Stephen questioned. “I don’t know…we were talking with Zack—that’s when the machine went off,” Kevin said. They all waited outside as the doctors worked hard to save Zack. “I can’t lose him, Mom…I just can’t,” Bridget cried. Then Sheryl hugged her daughter.

Hours later, the doctor came out and gave them the bad news. Bridget broke down crying. Kevin and Sheryl held her tight. Everyone else were in shock from the news. T.J. went around the corner and sobs uncontrollably. Marvin gave her a hug. “It’s gonna be okay,” he whispered in her ear. Dee Dee went back to see Nyisha. Randy was by her bedside. “It’s so horrible losing a child like that,” she said. “Yeah…I don’t know what I would do if we lost Nyisha in that way,” he said. “Well, we won’t because her shooter is dead…it will not happen, got it,” she said, then leaves the room. Bridget went back into Zack’s hospital room and sat down on the bed. She was still reeling from what the doctor told her as Kevin stood outside. He couldn’t find the right words to say to his grief-stricken wife. Suddenly, Michelle showed up at the room. The two of them saw her laying across the bed. “I got this, Kev,” she said. “Okay,” he said, letting Michelle go in to comfort her little sister. Shane and Jane were sitting outside the hospital. “I don’t think I could handle it if we lost Sean like that,” she said. “Me neither, babe…me neither,” he said back. He kissed Jane on the cheek. After an exhausting day, the Thompson family went home. Sheryl and Stephen came up the driveway of their home before turning off the car. “Hey there…something on your mind, Sher,” Stephen asked his wife. “Is it real…did I lose my grandson today,” Sheryl said. “Yes, baby…Zack is gone,” he said. Meanwhile, Dee Dee and Randy stay behind and slept on the couch of their daughter’s hospital room. Later that evening, Nyisha started to wake up. “Mom…Dad,” she moans. They rushed to her bedside. “Hi, baby…how are you feeling,” Dee Dee asked her. “I’m okay,” she whispered. “Good to have you back, kiddo,” Randy said. Brianna was in the den typing on her laptop when Marvin came in. “Hey, Bree…what are you doing in here,” he asked. “Just a little bit of homework…is Mom okay,” she said. “Of course…she’ll be fine…she’s tough…just a little worn out is all…looks like you need some sleep as well,” he said. “I’m okay, Dad,” she told him. “All right! All right! When you’re done, go straight to bed,” he said as he went upstairs. Once he got there, he saw T.J. laying across their bed. He climbed into it, kissed her on the cheek, and went to sleep. Tarik Jr was in his dorm room at the college sleeping on the couch. Dean was surfing the web on his computer when one of his roommates showed up. “Hey, B! What’s cracking,” Dean said. Then they shared a kiss before approaching their young friend on the couch.

Moments later, Tarik Jr. felt someone touching his chest. “Hey…cut it out,” he said softly. The same person opened his shirt and unbuckled his pants. Suddenly, he felt the person rubbing his leg and groping his genitals. He opened his eyes to see who was touching him. “What the fuck—Dean,” he yelled. “Shh…it’s okay…just need a little loving from you, baby,” Dean whispered in his ear. “Aw hell no,” he growled. He tried to get up but Dean and his roommate held him down. They stripped him down and started to caress him. “Don’t fight it…I always get what I want—hold him down, B…it’s only a matter of time before I have you calling me Daddy,” Dean said, caressing his friend again. “Let me go, man…I don’t swing that way,” he said angrily. “Too bad…I do,” Dean said, then kisses Tarik Jr dead on the mouth. The guy unbuckled his own pants and started to jack off. Dean and the guy were about to start a threesome until Tarik Jr pushes them both away. “Get the fuck off me, you freaks,” he yelled. He put his clothes back on and went outside. He got on his cell phone to call home. Moments later, Marvin drove up to the school and picked him up. “Heh…you’ll be back, my young friend,” Dean said as he watches them drive away. T.J. was waiting for them on the porch when they showed up. They got out of the car and meet her halfway. The three of them went into the house and shut the door. The next day, Tarik Jr came downstairs to the kitchen and saw T.J. there. “Come here…sit,” she said to her son. He did exactly that. “Honey…what’s wrong, huh…I know that something is bothering you,” she asked him. “Nope…nothing’s wrong, Mom…just need some space from Dean and Brennan,” Tarik Jr said. “Oh…did you guys have a fight last night,” she questioned. He thought about what happened at the dorm and said, “Nah!” Suddenly, his cell phone buzzed. He checks it and saw Dean’s name on the caller ID. “You gonna answer that,” she asked. “Nope…I gotta go wash up,” he said. He got up from the table and went upstairs. Tarik went over to the hospital to see Nyisha. “Hey there…heard you woke up last night…how are you,” he asked. “I’m fine…um, what happened,” she said. “Zack shot you…don’t you remember,” he said. “Oh no—is Kevin and T.J. okay…he didn’t shoot them, did he,” she asked her husband. “No…they’re fine, babe…but, um…there’s something else that you need to know,” he said. “What,” she said. He took a deep breath and said, “Someone beat Zack up badly hours after the shooting…he didn’t make it…he died last night!” Nyisha sat there in shock from what Tarik just told her. Tyrese was at the courts playing basketball with some friends when Dean showed up. “Hey, fellas…can I talk to you for a minute, Ty,” he said. “Of course…be right back, guys,” said Tyrese. Back at the Andersons’ house, Tarik Jr was in the bathroom looking at the mirror. He felt someone touching his shoulder. He turned around and caught a glimpse of Dean standing there in front of him. “I thought I told you to stay away from me,” he yells, then started choking his friend. “Help…Mom…Dad…,” a second voice said. T.J. and Marvin came into the bathroom to break them up. “Tarik Jr…let her go…let your sister go,” T.J. said. Tarik Jr snapped out of it to see that he was strangling Brianna. Finally, he lets her go. Marvin tends to his daughter as T.J. confronts her son. “Tarik Jr…what’s going on in here…talk to me,” she questioned him. Without saying a word to her, Tarik Jr walked out on them. T.J. went after him. “Why, Dad…I didn’t do anything to him,” Brianna cried. “I don’t know, kiddo,” said Marvin. “Tarik Benjamin Lane Jr, get back here…NOW,” T.J. yelled. “I said I don’t want to talk about it,” Tarik Jr yelled back. “Oh yes, we will…what happened up there,” she demanded. “I don’t know, all right…just let me go,” he said angrily. “No…not until you tell me what’s wrong,” she said. “I don’t wanna talk to you,” he screamed at T.J. as he shoves her into the wall. Then he left the house after what he’s done.

Moments later, Farrah and Meghan showed up at the hospital to see Nyisha. “Hey, big sis…how are you feeling,” they asked her. “I’m good…what’s going on,” said Nyisha. “Not much…our sister had a fight with her family a couple of days ago…slammed her arm on the table at the diner and nearly broken it…and our nephew is dead,” Farrah said. “I heard…the nurses were talking about it earlier,” she said. “If anything, the little fucker got exactly what he deserved,” Meghan said to them. Farrah hit her in the ribs and said, ”You know you wrong for that!” “What,” Meghan said. “You shouldn’t say that…how do you think Bridget feels right now, Meg,” Nyisha said. “Who cares? That kid almost killed you! He would’ve killed Kevin and T.J. too! If Bridget had that little brat under control, we wouldn’t be in this mess! Why you’re having sympathy for DeWayne’s kid, huh,” Meghan said angrily. Dee Dee and Randy walked in on their conversation. “Hey, girls! What’s going on in here,” Randy yelled. There was silence. Meghan storms out of the room. “I got this, honey,” Dee Dee said. “Okay, babe,” he said. She went after her daughter. “Meghan, get back here,” Dee Dee called out. “No,” Meghan yelled. “I won’t be able to help you if you don’t talk to me,” she said. “I don’t wanna talk about it,” said Meghan. “Honey, look at me…what were you girls fighting about in there,” she questioned. “Nothing,” Meghan mumbled. “Don’t give me that…you were never a good liar so out with it,” she demanded. “I just don’t see why Nyisha should feel sorry for Zack—he ain’t even our real nephew, Mom…I can’t forgive him for what he did,” Meghan said angrily as she leaves the hospital. Dee Dee followed her daughter outside. ”I feel  the same way you do, honey, but he’s dead…he can’t hurt anyone anymore,” she said. Meghan broke down crying in her mother’s arms. Randy was in the room talking with his daughters. “What did your mother and I just walked in on,” he questioned. “Meghan’s little tantrum, Dad,” Farrah answered. “Huh,” he said. “We were fighting about Zack…Meghan doesn’t think I should feel sorry for him because he shot me, Dad,” said Nyisha. “How do you feel about it,” he asked his oldest daughter. “I don’t know…maybe Meghan was right…should’ve saw that look he had when he held us hostage—he was enjoying it,” she said. “Don’t be so hard on yourself, kiddo…you just wanted to see the good in Zack…it’s not your fault,” he said to Nyisha before hugging her. Later that day, T.J. and Marvin were having lunch at the diner when Danny showed up. “What up, fam,” he said to them. “Hi, Danny,” they said back. “Guess you haven’t heard, huh,” he said. “Heard what,” T.J. asked him. “Nyisha’s awake! Farrah’s been trying to get in contact with you all morning,” he replied. “I swore I heard my phone ring,” she said. “My bad…I must’ve turned it off…sorry,” Marvin said as T.J. checks her phone. She finds four (4) messages on it. “Oh, sh—I gotta call Farrah…excuse me,” she said to them. “Okay, babe,” Marvin said, kissing her on the cheek. T.J. went outside to make the call. “Hello? I just got your message,” she said. “Hey, you…when do I get to see my little sis,” a voice said on the other end of the phone. “Nyisha? I heard you were awake! How are you feeling,” she said, recognizing her big sister’s voice. “I’m doing okay…heard you blame yourself for what happened at Kevin’s house…even slammed your arm on a table at the diner…the girls told me everything…no way you could’ve known what would go down out there,” Nyisha told her. “Still you shouldn’t took that bullet, Iz…you could’ve died…if this is payback for the shooting at the Williams’ house, then I finally get it…please don’t do that again…promise me that it won’t happen again,” she pleaded. “If only you come by to see me,” Nyisha said, “We need to talk about that temper of yours!” “So what’s going on with you guys,” Danny asked his brother-in-law. “It’s a long story,” Marvin replied. “I know about the fight that my sister had with the Thompsons including slamming her arm in this same exact diner—not such a long story! Jeffrey tells me everything,” he said. “It’s more than that, man…she and Tarik Jr got into a fight this morning…he shoved her into the wall,” Marvin said. “Ouch…no wonder she’s on edge,” he said. “Now he ran off…she’s afraid that something would happen to him,” Marvin told him. “Just like with Zack…um, I gotta go…I’ll keep an eye for my nephew,” he said. Then he pats Marvin on the back and left the diner.

T.J. hung up her cell phone and felt her chest tightening up. Danny came outside and rushed to her side. “Whoa there…are you okay,” he said to her. She didn’t say anything. All I could think of is the shooting at Kevin and Bridget’s house. “Marv, we need your help out here,” he called out. “Tiff? Hey! Is it your panic attacks,” Marvin said, lightly touching her. T.J. snapped out of it and said, “Huh? You guys said something?” “Yeah…you zoned out of us…are you okay,” Danny said. “Yeah…I’m fine…nothing to worry about,” she said to her little brother. “Maybe we should head home so you can get some rest, babe,” Marvin said. “You do that and I’ll handle the situation you mentioned,” Danny said. “He knows about your son running off this morning,” Marvin said. “You get some rest…I’ll find your kid and bring him back to you,” he said. “Okay…call me if you hear from him,” she said. “Of course…see you guys later,” he said. Meanwhile, Tarik was driving around town looking for his son. He stops his car and made a phone call. Tyrese was sleeping on the couch when his cell phone starts buzzing. He grabs it quickly and said, “Hello!” “Hey, Ty! It’s Dad! Have you seen your brother,” Tarik said on the other end. “Naw…what happened,” he asked. “He and your mom had a big fight…then he ran off…keep a lookout for him, okay,” Tarik asked his oldest son. “Um…sure, Dad,” he said back. Tarik hung up his cell phone and drove off. Tarik Jr was sitting in the back booth of a downtown café with a hood on his head. A waitress came over to the table and took his order. He stares at her as she walks away. Suddenly, he starts thinking about that night in the dorm room with Dean. “No…get out of my head,” he mumbled to himself. He then went over to the waitress and whispered something in her ear. They went into the restroom to make out. While this was going on, Tarik Jr hears Dean’s voice in his head. He shook it off and kissed the waitress. A couple of hours later, he came out of the café and bumps into an unsuspected person. “Oh sorry sir—Uncle Danny,” he said. “Well hello, nephew…hi, Brenda,” Danny said as he waved to the waitress. “Hi, Danny…how’s the family…heard your sister finally woke up,” Brenda asked him. “They’re doing okay…and speaking of family, everyone was looking for this one here…see you later,” Danny said. The two of them left the café and got into his car. “I can’t go home…not to my dad and definitely not to my mom—I’ve hurt her so much,” Tarik Jr said. “I know…let’s hang out a bit,” Danny said, then drives away with his nephew in tow. They were quiet during the car ride. “You do know that I have to tell your folks something…at least let them know that you’re okay, man,” said Danny. “I know…just can’t face them right now,” Tarik Jr said back. “No problem, man…whatever we say in the car stay in the car…no pressure,” he said. Suddenly, it got quiet again. “I had a fight with Dean last night…dude tried to kiss me on the mouth so I suckerpunched him,” Tarik Jr finally said to him. He broke down crying. Tarik and Marvin were outside drinking beer as T.J. slept inside. Suddenly, the two of them heard Tarik’s cell phone buzz. “Hello…hi, babe…we’re having a situation out here…your stepson had a fight with his mom and ran off,” he said, recognizing Nyisha’s voice. “Oh, my god…T.J.’s probably worried about him…I hope you guys find him…tell my sister I’m praying for her,” Nyisha said. “Okay—I’ll tell her…see you later,” he said, then hung up. “Maybe you should go back to your wife…I’ll let you know when I hear from your son,” Marvin told him. “Nah…I need to be here when my boy shows up…no need to worry about your wife cuz her sister asked me to send her best…she knows about my sorrid past—me and the girls grew up together…it’s about our son, Marv,” he said. “I don’t know, man…the last time you were worried about your son, you tried to have sex with my wife in the truck…I haven’t forgotten about that,” Marvin said. “It’s not like now—I mean Nyisha forgave me for that…she doesn’t want to come between me and my son…sorry you can’t get past it,” he told Marvin. Then he threw the bottle away.

T.J. woke up to the buzzing of her cell phone. “Hello? Hi, Danny! You found him—is he okay,” she asked. “Yeah…we’ll head back to your house in a couple of hours,” Danny said. “Okay…see you then…bye,” she said, heading to the front door. She saw the guys fighting and arguing with each other. “Hey, guys—stop it! Danny found Tarik Jr,” she shouted at them. As they waited for Tarik Jr to come home, Marvin hugged his wife tight. “I’m sorry about the fight earlier…just can’t get the things he’s done in the past,” he said. “You should be able to trust me instead of fighting with my ex-husband…it’s about our son…can you please put your differences aside for his sake,” T.J. said. “Of course,” he said, giving her a kiss as Tarik watches them. Hours later, Danny drove up to the Andersons house. He walked up to the front door and talked to T.J. “That was cold with what you just pulled, man,” Tarik said. “I know what you’re capable of…you got your wife and I have mine…as soon as you talk with your son, you should head back to Nyisha,” Marvin said. They continued talking as T.J. and Danny came in with Tarik Jr. “Hey, my boy…you okay,” Tarik asked his son. “Yeah, Dad,” Tarik Jr whispered, then hugged his parents tight. T.J. looks over at Danny and whispered, “Thank you!” He nods his head and went back outside with Marvin. “We really appreciated what you did for my wife, brother-in-law…it would’ve gone a different way just like with Zack,” Marvin said. “I know, Marv…how is my sister really doing,” Danny said. “She’s doing okay considering the panic attacks earlier…don’t sweat it, man…I’m taking care of her…we can keep the running away business from everyone until after the funeral,” Marvin said. “Don’t worry about it…the Thompsons have enough on their plate considering what happened with Zack…they won’t hear it from me as long as your wife doesn’t have any more panic attacks,” he said. “You had me worried, kid,” T.J. said to her son. “I’m sorry I pushed you into the wall today,” Tarik Jr said. “Just don’t scare us like that ever again,” Tarik said. “Okay, Dad…good night, Mom,” he said, heading upstairs. “I’m gonna head out…see you later,” Tarik said, kissing T.J. on the cheek as Marvin walked in. Brianna was sitting on her bed with her laptop when suddenly she heard a knock on the door. “It’s open,” she said. Tarik Jr came in and sat down at the edge of the dresser. “We need to talk,” he said. She closes her laptop to hear what her big brother has to say. “You must be relieved to have your son back home,” Marvin said. “Yeah but my sister isn’t so lucky…she won’t be seeing Zack anymore,” T.J. said. “Oh right…she’s taking it hard considering she lost her son…it really make you think that anything could happen,” he said. Then the two of them kissed and went to sleep.

The next day, T.J. went to the hospital to visit Nyisha. “Hi,” she said. “I heard about your son—is he okay,” Nyisha asked her. “Yeah…he’ll be fine…how about you,” she said. “I’m good…more than I can say about Bridget…she just lost her son,” Nyisha said. “The same kid who shot you?” she said. “And Meghan’s on edge about it…she and Farrah gave Bridget a hard time about Zack,” Nyisha said, “I guess the shooting had you freaked out a bit just like at the Williams’ house!” T.J. took a deep breath and said, “Yeah!” “I know that feeling…at least we pulled through it,” Nyisha whispered. “Why did you risk your life like that,” she asked. “Just like you did with Kevin…I couldn’t let those kids lose their mom,” Nyisha replied. “I had nightmares about the shooting…most night I couldn’t breathe…I also thought Zack was gunning for me…maybe he’s better off dead,” she cried. “No…you don’t mean that,” Nyisha said. “He could’ve killed you…now he won’t try again,” she whispered. Nyisha grabbed her sister and hugged her tight. Hours later, she watched T.J. sleeping on the couch next to her bed. Dee Dee showed up and knocked on the door. “Hey, honey…see your sister finally showed up,” she said. “Yeah, Mom…I started to second guess on what happened at Kevin’s house…should’ve never took that bullet…it scared my little sister,” Nyisha said. “She doesn’t know the extent of your injuries yet, does she—that you’re paralyzed,” she asked. “I couldn’t tell her…we all know she doesn’t take bad news very well…I don’t want the cause of her having another breakdown, Mom,” Nyisha said softly. “You’re gonna keep this from her sister,” she said. “She’s already upset with me for getting shot…I’m afraid of what she would do, Mom,” Nyisha said. Before Dee Dee could say another word, T.J. started to wake up. “Hi,” they heard her say. “Hey, you…how are you holding up,” Dee Dee asked her. “I’m good…gotta head out…I’m glad you’re okay, Iz,” T.J. said, hugging her big sister. “Good to see you, kid,” Nyisha whispered. “See you later, honey,” Dee Dee said. As soon as T.J. left the room, she remembered the conversation between her sister and stepmother. “She doesn’t know the extent of your injuries yet, does she—that you’re paralyzed,” Dee Dee’s voice echoed in her head. “Karma’s a bitch, huh, nephew…now you’re dead,” she said to herself. She grabs her keys and head to the front door of the hospital. Kevin was checking up on his remaining children before going into the den where Bridget was sitting in the dark. “Hey, babe…feeling okay,” he asked her. “It doesn’t feel real…everytime I go upstairs, I see Zack’s room…it hurts that he may never come back,” she cried. “I’m sorry this happened…we’ll get through this, okay,” he said. Then they hugged.

Six days later, the whole neighborhood went to the church for Zack’s funeral. T.J. was sitting in the back pew as the rest of the family talked about their fallen member. After the service, she got into her car and drove away. She was thinking about the talk she had with Kevin the night before. “I really wish you guys weren’t fighting especially when your nephew just died,” Kevin’s voice echoes. “I tried my best to do right by those people and they gave that boy a free pass…there’s no way I’ll forgive them for what they did to me,” she remembered saying to her little brother. “I pissed them off by getting pregnant with Tarik’s kid…what do you think would happen,” he said. “If I had done what Zack did, that entire family would never speak to me again…why are you taking pity on that child—he’s not even your son,” she said. She suddenly shook it off and went roaring down the street. “I’m so sorry for your loss…Zack was such a sweet little boy,” one woman said to Sheryl before walking away. “Hey, Sher…any progress with your daughter,” Dee Dee asked her friend. “Which one, Dee? Bridget or T.J.? Neither of them is talking to me,” Sheryl said. “Because one of them is still grieving over her son while the other one is trying to deal with everything that happened to her, that’s why,” Stephen said. As they talked, Dee Dee thought about the very last conversation she had with T.J. “I appreciate you checking up on your dad and sister—really I do but…what about your mom, huh,” she remembered saying to her stepdaughter. “You know I can’t talk to that woman…she and Terrell threw me out of the house when I was 14 and pregnant with Tyrese…now she bends over backwards to protect her drug dealing gun toting grandson—sometimes I wished that you were my mother,” T.J ‘s voice echoes in her head. She snapped out of it and went to her car. Moments later, T.J. sat at the diner quietly as she stares at the plate of food that she ordered. The image of Nyisha’s shooting was burning in her mind. Suddenly, someone touched her shoulder. She jumps out of her seat, nearly swinging her fist at whomever was behind her. “Whoa…take it easy, Tiffani,” a voice said. “Dad…,” she said, seeing Randy’s face. The two of them sat down at the table. “You okay, kiddo,” Randy asked his daughter. “Yeah…I’m okay,” she replied. “Are you sure…you don’t look okay…and before you swing at me—again…what’s going on with you, huh,” he said. “I don’t know…everything is so messed up,” she said softly. “Have you talk to your mother…your sisters or brother lately,” he questioned. “No…that’s not my family anymore,” she told him. “You wanna talk to me about what happened before the funeral,” he said. “It seems like I can’t do anything right with them…I’m in constant competition with my nephew…for him, they just pushed the drugs and the gun aside like it’s nothing…if I had done something like that, they would never forgive me…I wished I never went back home with them,” she said. Everyone else were at the Thompsons house after the funeral. All of the kids were in the den watching TV as Dee Dee and Sheryl served food to their friends. The phone started to ring. “Hello,” Dee Dee said. Stephen came up to his wife and grabbed one of the trays. “Hey, babe…how are you holding up,” he asked her. “I’ll be okay,” Sheryl said back. “I’ll tell her…bye, Randy,” Dee Dee said, then hung up. “So, Dee…what’s going on,” they asked. “Oh, everything’s fine…Randy’s at the diner with T.J.—he’ll come by later,” she said. Then she went to seeing their guests.

“I don’t like this—not one bit! There were times when my daughter would come and talk to me, but she goes to Randy instead,” Sheryl said. “He is her father, not a complete stranger! You and Dee Dee have denied them of a father-daughter relationship,” Stephen said. “I’ve already felt guilty for that—thirty years’ worth! Haven’t I suffered enough? My grandson is dead, and my daughter won’t talk to me,” Sheryl said. “It’s gonna be okay,” he said, consoling his wife. Bridget overheard their conversation and left the house. Kyle was outside shooting baskets when he saw his mother slowly driving away.  Back at the diner, Randy and T.J. were eating lunch when Marvin showed up. “Hey, babe…your mom’s looking for you,” he said to his wife. “Yeah…so I heard,” T.J. said, being extremely annoyed. “I tried to tell your wife here to go see her mother, but she won’t listen to me,” Randy said to his son-in-law. “Your dad’s right…you gotta see her, Tiff,” he agreed. Bridget drove up to the diner and got out of her car. She bursted through the door and walked over to their table. “I’m getting sick and tired of seeing Mom cry over you…why are you hurting her like this, huh,” she screams at her big sister. “Why do you care…this ain’t got nothing to do with you,” T.J. screams back. Marvin and Randy escorts the girls outside. “We were handling this just before you show up,” Marvin informs his sister-in-law. “You sure of that or is he coming between my sister and HER family,” Bridget said, pointing at Randy. “Now wait a goddamn minute…I’ve tried to be patient with you for the sake of my son and my grandkids, but you have gone too damn far,” Randy growled. “No, Dad…she ain’t even worth it,” T.J. said softly. “It’s okay, kiddo…she needs to hear this…I tried to understand why you hate me so much—let’s not forget your child shot my daughter in the back and I didn’t say a word—I’m not the one breaking up your family…I’m trying to fix it…don’t cross me, little girl,” Randy yelled, then walked away. “What’s wrong with you, huh? How could you be so evil,” T.J. grumbled. “How could you forgive him? Why would you wanna replace our father,” Bridget yelled. “Terrell Thompson is your father, not mine…he’s nothing but a liar and a thief,” she said angrily. “He was there for you and Chuckie…that man over there only cared about his four children—nobody else,” Bridget growled. T.J. balled up her fist and threw the first punch. They started to fight in the street. Hours later, Sheryl gets a phone call. She and Stephen got into their car, then drove away quickly. The two of them meet up with Randy and Marvin in front of the police station before going inside. The four of them saw Bridget and T.J. handcuffed to the bench. “Oh my god—is this really necessary,” Sheryl questioned. “Yes, ma’am…the owner of the diner said that your daughters were disturbing the peace…might even press charges,” said one of the officers. “Oh, really…how long do you hold your prisoners,” Sheryl asked him. “Mom,” the girls whined. “We hold them for 48 hours, ma’am,” the officer told her. “I’ll be back in two days,” she said. “You can’t be serious—Dad,” T.J. said. “I’m sorry, kiddo, but your mom’s right…two days in jail would do you some good,” Randy said. “You can’t leave us here—Mom,” Bridget said. “I’m sorry, but you girls need to be taught a lesson…come on, Stephen,” Sheryl said. Then she left the station.

“Go ahead…leave…that’s all you ever do anyways,” T.J. screamed at Sheryl. “Hey! You have no right to yell at her like that—the woman who gave you life,” Stephen said. “And what are you gonna do about it—you’re not my father,” she yelled at him. “Whoa there…you need to calm down…once this blows over, you and your sister can go home, okay,” said Randy. “No-no-no! I can’t stay here—I can’t, Dad! I can’t,” she said softly. “It’s only 48 hours,” he said. All of a sudden, T.J. had a flashback of the time she was locked in the pantry of her home. “I can’t do it, Dad—I can’t—I gotta get out of here, please,” she cried. Out of the blue, she starts trashing the entire police station. The officers tried to hold her down but she fought them off. Marvin and Randy joins in to help them. Stephen got Bridget out of their way.” Stop…let me go…please,” T.J. screamed at the top of her lungs. They took her into a room and shut the door. Hours later, it got quiet. Bridget and Stephen sat there on the bench. “It’s really bad,” Bridget finally said. “What do you mean,” Stephen asked his stepdaughter. “The last time this happened—it was either a breakdown or a heart attack…we don’t know what it is now,” she cried, then hugs Stephen. Randy and Marvin were sitting with T.J., who was handcuffed to the table. “Tiffani…talk to me, honey,” Randy said to his daughter. She didn’t say a word. “Hey, baby…it’s me…we need you to talk with us…please,” Marvin pleads with his wife. Meanwhile, Sheryl and Dee Dee were at the restaurant eating lunch. “You left your two daughters at the police station,” Dee Dee said to her friend. “Yeah, Dee…I’m getting sick and tired of these girl fighting…maybe the two days in jail should cool them down,” Sheryl said. “T.J. and Bridget are already angry with you…this will blow up in your face, Sher,” she said. Suddenly, Sheryl’s cellphone started to ring. Tarik was sitting with Nyisha when Farrah and Meghan came in. “Hi, girls,” he said. “Hello…how’s the patient,” they asked him. “She’s good…just sleeping at the moment,” he told them. “Have you seen your sister-in-law lately,” Farrah asked him. “Naw…I haven’t seen T.J. at all…why,” he said. All of a sudden, they heard sirens. An ambulance drove up to the front door. The EMTs got out and brought in an unidentified person strapped to the stretcher. “What’s going on out there,” they all said. Then they went to the door and saw who it was.

Tyrese and Tarik Jr were at the apartment shooting pool. “What’s going on with you, lil bro? Still fighting with Mom,” Tyrese questioned. “Nope,” said Tarik Jr. “Still freaking out about what your friend did to you the other day,” he said. “I ain’t thinking about Dean,” Tarik Jr said quickly. “You know it wasn’t cool to hurt our very pregnant little sister, man,” he said. “I know! I know! I feel terrible about it, Ty,” Tarik Jr said. “If it was Marlon or Mark who pissed you off, I would’ve understand…you should’ve choked Dean yourself,” he said. “I thought I was—I should have,” Tarik Jr said. Suddenly, their cell phones started to buzz. Sheryl and Dee Dee meet up with Randy and Marvin in the hospital waiting room. “Hi, guys…what’s going on,” Sheryl asked. “We had a problem at the station after you left…our daughter has completely shut down on us,” Randy told her. The rest of the kids came in soonafter. “Dad…what happened,” Danny asked. “T.J. had another breakdown,” Randy said to him. “What?! But I thought she was doing fine after the fight she had with Tarik Jr the other day,” he said. “What fight,” said Sheryl. “Oops,” he said. “Daniel Theodore Johnson, I want the truth and I want it…NOW,” Dee Dee demanded as the doctor came out of the room. “So…what’s going on, man…what happened to my wife,” Marvin questioned. As they talked, Dee Dee grabbed Danny and pulled him to the side. “What’s with all these damn secret…that child is in a hospital bed unable to talk and you drop this bombshell on us—why didn’t you tell us this sooner, huh,” she yelled. “Because I made a promise to my nephew, Mom,” he yelled back. Tyrese and Tarik Jr showed up at the hospital moments later. “I wanna talk to you, Tarik Jr,” Sheryl said, grabbing her grandson’s arm and leading him down the hallway. “What’s going on, Tarik—who did they brought in on the stretcher,” Nyisha questioned. “It’s T.J,” Tarik replied. “She didn’t get shot again…did she,” Nyisha said. “Nope…um, I overheard the doctor telling Marvin that she had another mental breakdown,” he said. “Oh, my god…the last time that happened…Kameelah and LaToya embarrassed her in front of the whole neighborhood,” she said. “Well…a lot has happened since you got shot…I think you should know what’s going on,” he said to Nyisha. “Uh…what’s up, Grandma,” Tarik Jr questioned. “What’s this I hear about you fighting with your mother and your sister,” Sheryl said. “Oh, that…,” he said softly. “You should know better than to put your hands on any woman…your father was the same way,” she scolded him. “I know, Grandma! I heard all the stories—I’m not him, okay,” he said. “I hope so, honey,” she said, hugging him. “What happened? Marvin,” Tyrese called out to his stepfather. “Huh? When did you get here,” Marvin questioned. “A while ago…what happened to my mom,” he said. They went over to the cafeteria to talk. Tarik Jr meet up with them moments later. “There’s something that you need to know,” Marvin said to his stepsons. “What’s going on? Where’s Mom,” Tarik Jr questioned. “I need for you to know that she’s okay…she’s sleeping at the moment,” he said. “She had another breakdown, did she,” Tyrese said. “Yeah,” he said. “She had these breakdown before,” Tarik Jr said. “Yeah, bud…it happened when you guys were younger…I promised you that she is getting the best care possible,” he said. Then he hugged the boys tight.

Hours later, Randy and Dee Dee pulled up in the driveway of their home. He turned the car off. “Honey? Are you okay,” Dee Dee asked her husband. “I’ve failed my children, Dee! One daughter was shot by Bridget’s psychotic son—then my other daughter is traumatized by everything known to man—I couldn’t protect them! It’s all my fault,” Randy said. “No, it’s not…what happened to your daughters was beyond your control, baby,” she said. “Should’ve never agreed to give my kids to that jerk Terrell…I chose my marriage and abandoned them…I didn’t know my daughter was so fragile,” he said. Suddenly, she thought about the talk she had with T.J. in Nyisha’s hospital room. “I can’t do this anymore…I can’t keep lying to my dad,” T.J.’s voice plays in her head. “Shh…you won’t have to because I’m gonna tell him everything…I’ll take responsibility for all of it…you’ve been through enough, okay,” Dee Dee remembered saying to her stepdaughter. “Um, Randy…we need to talk,” she said. “What is this about,” he said. “It’s about your daughter…I might have caused her breakdown,” she said. “No…you could’ve never done that on purpose,” he said. “I kinda gave her a hard time since Nyisha’s heart attack…even threatened to have her put in jail if she hurts her sister again…she was afraid to tell you about it because of me,” she said. “Are you kidding me? My daughter is fragile—how could you do such a thing? If she doesn’t come out of this, I hold you responsible for it,” he growled at her. Meanwhile, Sheryl stood in the hallway watching T.J. as she slept. “What have I done to my child…I just want her to stop fighting with Bridget and this happens…I’m a horrible mother,” she said. “No, you’re not…we didn’t know this would happen,” Stephen said. “If I just let Randy be a part of the twins’ lives, my daughter wouldn’t be like this right now,” she said. “You didn’t know if she had any history of mental problems,” he asked. “Randy and I were talking about it with a doctor after T.J.’s last breakdown but Terrell dismissed it…saying his daughter was fine…the two of them got into a fight about it…Terrell told him to stay away from his entire family,” she said. “Well it’s good that Randy have a chance to make things right with his kids,” he said, then hugged his wife tight. Two weeks later, Tarik was getting Nyisha ready to go home. “Hey, Iz…are you okay,” he asked. “Huh—yeah…it’s just that…I don’t wanna leave my little sister like this, you know,” she said. “Yeah…but there’s nothing we can do, babe…you gotta concentrate on getting better…your sister is in good hands, okay,” he said. “Okay,” she said. Randy came in and said, “You ready to go, honey?” “Yeah, Dad…just a little worried about leaving T.J. here,” she said. “Tell you what…concentrate on getting yourself better and let me worry about your sister, okay,” Randy said to his oldest daughter. Later that day, Kyle and Deena were home playing checkers in the kitchen. Kevin came downstairs and said, “Hi, kids!” “Hi, Dad,” they said back. “Where’s your mom,” he asked them. “In the den with the photo album…she’s crying over Zack again,” Deena said. Kevin kissed his daughter on the forehead and left the kitchen. He saw Bridget as she sat there in the dark den. “Hey, B…how are you holding up, huh,” he asked her. “I don’t know…it doesn’t feel real…I was so used to watching Zack come down those stairs,” Bridget said. “I know…I miss him, too, but we still have Kyle, Deena, and Mary—they need you now,” he said. Then he hugged his wife.

Hours later, Tarik Jr was packing up some clothes in a bag and heading out of his room. Dean comes in on him and shut the door. “So, it’s like that, huh…you’re leaving,” he said. “It has nothing to do with you…I gotta go home cuz my family needs me,” Tarik Jr said. “Oh…for a minute there, I thought you were avoiding me…you know cuz…we kissed,” he said, checking out his young friend. “No…we didn’t do anything—you kissed me and I hate you for it…what you tryna do to me, huh…I like girls…thought you did, too…just stay away from me, all right,” Tarik Jr yelled. Dean stopped him from reaching the doorknob. “We need to talk…NOW,” he demanded. “Let go, D,” Tarik Jr said. “Why? You scared of me? I’m comfortable with who I am! Why aren’t you,” he said, starting to caress his friend’s neck and chest. “I can’t…I won’t,” Tarik Jr whispered. Dean grabbed him by the arm, forcing him onto the bed. “Yes, you can…let me show you,” he whispered back. He moves closer to Tarik Jr and engaged in a liplock. “No, D…stop it,” Tarik Jr mumbled. Dean didn’t listen but kept on kissing him. He tries to fight Dean off but no such luck. Dean was too strong for him. He unbuckled his pants and turns Tarik Jr over. “Don’t fight it, T…or it’ll hurt,” Dean whispered. He pulled down Tarik Jr’s pants and climbed on top of him. “Ow…stop it…ah,” he screams over his friend’s grunting. “I said…stop fighting me…NOW,” Dean said. “Get off me,” he cried, then gives in to Dean’s advances. “That’s right…love it—love it,” Dean grunted. Meanwhile, Brianna was watching TV with Alicia and Diane in the den of the Andersons house. Tyrese was having a late night snack in the kitchen as the younger kids slept upstairs. Moments later, Tarik Jr rode up in the front yard and got off his motorcycle. He thought about what happened in the dorm room. “Feels good, huh…wanna do it again, baby,” Dean’s voice echoed in his head. He suddenly shook it off, walked up to the door and went inside. “Hey, man…what happened to you,” Tyrese asked his little brother. “Um, nothing, Ty…just got held up…that’s all,” Tarik Jr said calmly as he took off his helmet and went upstairs. Once he got to his bedroom, the cell phone started to buzz. He checks it and saw a number that he didn’t recognize. “Hello,” he said nervously. “Hi…this is Alexa from the café,” said the person on the phone. “Oh hi…good to hear from you, Alexa,” he said, laying back on his bed. Brianna went into the kitchen to make some popcorn. “So…what are you girls up to,” Tyrese asked her. “Huh? Don’t act like you care about me,” she said. “Don’t be ridiculous—I do care about you, little sis…besides the fact that I’m getting paid for this,” he said. Brianna got mad and hit him in the ribs. “I am not a baby,” she growls. “Ow…I didn’t say you were one and speaking of babies…when are we gonna meet the um…dude who knocked you up,” he chuckled. Then Brianna hit her big brother harder.

As the whole family slept, Tarik Jr went downstairs to the kitchen for a bottle of water. He had just gotten off the phone with Alexa. “Whoo…that hit the spot,” he said to himself as he took a small gulp from the bottle. “Hey, kid…didn’t know you were down here,” a voice said. “Oh…hi, Marvin,” he said. “Couldn’t sleep, huh…considering with what happened with your mom,” Marvin said. “Yep…I had no idea—did she break down because of the fight we had the other week…I’ve been wracking my brain about this all day…the rest of the kids will never know what’s going on with our mom,” he said. “That’s one thing they’ll never understand…for now let’s just concentrate on keeping your sisters and brothers happy as well as knowing that your mom is being taken care of,” Marvin said. “She hasn’t spoke yet, has she,” he asked his stepfather. “Nope,” Marvin said. Two months later, Nyisha went to the hospital to visit T.J. She was fast asleep. “Hey, little sister…I heard what happened to you…sorry I wasn’t here—stupid appointments with the physical therapist keeps me busy these days,” she said. T.J. didn’t move an inch. Seeing her laying in the hospital bed reminds Nyisha of the last breakdown. “Hey, you…how’s everything,” she remembered her younger self say to T.J. “I’m good…just a little edgy from being in this place for so long, you know,” a younger T.J. said. “Your mom and dad wouldn’t put you here if they didn’t care…hang in there…you’ll be home soon,” she said. She snapped out of it when she heard a knock on the door. Suddenly, the doctor came in to check on T.J. and said, “Hello…she still hasn’t said a word since we brought her up here!” “Really? Not a word in two months, Dr. James,” Nyisha questioned. “Nope…I’ll leave you girls to your visit,” Dr. James said, then leaves the room. “Um…this has been the longest time since you speak…I missed that voice, T…everyone is so worried about you—your mom…our dad…your siblings…our siblings…your husband…even your children,” she said as T.J. wakes up to face her. Randy showed up to watch his daughters from the hallway. “Your daughter needs you…so does your unborn grandson…Marvin told me about it yesterday…I got the ultrasound right here…we would like to see you better just like before…it not for us, then do it for him,” she pleaded, then put the ultrasound in T.J.’s hand. “Hi, girls,” Randy said. “Oh…hi, Dad,” Nyisha said. As they talked, T.J. continues to look at the ultrasound of her grandchild and started to think about the births of her own children. Suddenly, she opens her mouth and whispered, “Baby!” Randy turns to his traumatized daughter and said, “You said something, kiddo!” “Baby,” she said again. “She talked, Dad…she talked,” Nyisha said happily. The two of them hugged T.J. tight. Meanwhile, Jason was at home playing with Jordan in the nursery. Rhonda was watching them when her cell phone buzzed. “Hello,” she answers as she went down the hall. Sheryl was tending to her garden outside when Stephen told her the good news. Everyone meet up at the hospital moments later. Then Sheryl went down the halls to see her daughter while the rest of them stayed in the waiting room.

Randy opens the door and let Sheryl in. She sat down by T.J. and said, “Hi, baby…it’s Mom…can you hear me?” “Y-yes…M-Mom,” T.J. said, shaking her head. “We’ll be right outside,” Randy said, heading for the door. “No, stay! Both of you! You’re her family, too,” she said to Randy and Nyisha. “Are you sure–I thought you would want to spend some alone time with your daughter, Sher,” he said. “Yeah but I’ve kept our daughter away from you guys for far too long because of Terrell…I don’t want to do that anymore…Randy, she’s your daughter too…sorry,” she said. The three of them sat down and talked. “I might have made a mistake in the past when it concerns the twins…Chuckie turned out fine but if only I knew about our daughter’s mental health…we could’ve done something about it,” Sheryl said as she looked over at the girls. “I know…my wife didn’t make it any easier…sorry about what she did to T.J. and Bridget…so protective of our kids–still was no excuse, though,” Randy said. “She should’ve come to me if she had problems with my kids…it’s not only her…my parents bullied me into a loveless marriage with Terrell…the whole line about death do us part crap had me trapped…I fell out of love with that man the same night we slept together,” she said. “Whoa–excuse us, girls…we need to talk–outside,” he said, then left the room with Sheryl. “Mom would not like that…since we’re alone, how are you feeling through all this,” Nyisha asked. “I’m good…still don’t know what happened since I was out,” T.J. said. “I’m glad you came back to us…your mom was so worried…my mom fessed up to Dad for threatening you all those years ago…guess she’s clearing her own conscience after you had that breakdown,” she said. “It was more than that…I overheard you guys talking about your injuries…why did you lie to me,” T.J. questioned her big sister. “You heard that, huh? I just didn’t want to be the one to cause your breakdown! We all know you don’t take bad news very well,” she said. “I wish you would trust me…my nephew nearly killed you…I couldn’t handle it if I lose you…stop shutting me out like this,” T.J. said. “I only did it so you don’t get hurt…I thought I was protecting you,” she said. “Just promise that you won’t keep any more secrets from me,” T.J. pleaded. “Of course,” she said. Hours later, everyone was fast asleep in the waiting room. Sheryl got up to tuck her daughter in for the night. The sudden movement woke T.J. up. “Oh—I didn’t know you were still awake…since you are, we need to talk about the fight we had at the police station…I didn’t mean for it to go that far…it’s just that I hate it when you fight with your little sister…I left you both there to teach you a lesson…I didn’t want you to break down, honey…do you understand why I did it,” she said. “Yeah,” T.J. whispered softly. Randy woke up and sat on the other side of her bed. “So…how is our patient,” he asked. “She’s okay…we’re just talking,” Sheryl said. “Hey, kiddo…how are you,” he asked his daughter. “I’m fine, Dad…how long was I out for,” T.J. said. Then Randy and Sheryl looked at each other.

Tarik Jr and Brianna were sitting outside the hospital. “It’s all my fault,” she finally said. “No, it’s not,” he said. “Yes, it is! I got pregnant and it freaked Mom out, T,” she said. “But I was the one who got into a fight with her…don’t be so hard on yourself,” he said, hugging his little sister. The next day, Marvin came into the room and kissed his wife on the cheek. “Hey, Tiff…how are you,” he asked. “I’m fine, Marv…just ready to get outta here,” she said. “I know but it’s just for a few more days, babe…hang in there,” he whispered. “But I miss you,” she said seductively. The two of them lay down on the bed and started to make out. Sean and Tyrese were at the apartment with their girlfriends. “I’m so glad your mom’s doing okay, Ty,” said one of the girls. “Me, too…we’re all relieved,” Tyrese said. “My aunt is so lucky to have the entire family with her including the Johnsons…so what would it be, ladies,” Sean said. “You know what I like, baby,” said the second girl. Meanwhile, Bridget was going through Zack’s things. She comes across a video camera and opened it. She turns it on and watched the tape inside. Kyle was outside with his friends when C-Dog showed up. “Hey, man,” he said. “What you doing here, C,” Kyle asked him. “Well you see…your little brother–he has something that I want…but the problem is I didn’t get it from him before he died…where is it,” he said. Bridget came downstairs. “What’s going on out here,” she questioned the boys. “Hi, um…Mrs. Johnson…your little boy and I–we’re having a little discussion, right,” C-Dog said. “Kyle…,” she said sternly. “Uh…yeah, Mom…we’re just talking…nothing to worry about, heh,” Kyle chuckled. “Okay…um, just keep it down out here…Kyle, we need to talk…LATER,” she said through her teeth, then closed the door. “I want that thing we were talking about, got it,” C-Dog growled. “Uh, yeah…got it,” Kyle said. They went their separate ways. Kyle went into the house as his friends leave the yard. Bridget was in the den watching the footage on the video camera. “What up,” he said. “I need to talk to you about that kid who was just here,” she said to him. “He’s not my friend…Zack hangs out with him, I think,” he said. “That’s good to know but I don’t want him over here…Kyle, I mean it—stay away from him! He’s trouble, okay,” she said. “Okay, Mom! What are you watching here,” he said. “Probably the last thing your little brother recorded before he died,” she said. The two of them watched the video together. Meanwhile, Kevin and Danny were hanging out with their friends at the pool hall. “How is the family, fellas,” one of the guys asked them. “Everyone and everything is good, Bo…it’s a struggle but we’re getting through it,” Kevin said, grabbing for a pool cue. Back at the hospital, T.J. and Marvin were fast asleep as Sheryl comes in to sit down. As she was reaching for the newspaper, Dee Dee showed up. “Hey there…I see the happy couple are sleeping soundly…what I gotta do to make this right,” she said. “For starters, you could stop with these threats toward my daughters…if you had a problem with them, come and talk to me…my child broke down because of you—her own stepmother…is this what it comes down to, huh,” Sheryl said. “I’m sorry about that…I didn’t want your daughter to break down—should’ve never made that threat…I know that now,” she said. Suddenly, T.J. started to wake up. “Oh hi, sweetheart…how are you feeling,” Sheryl asked her daughter. “I’m okay, Mom,” T.J. said. “You had us all worried, kiddo,” Dee Dee said. “I know, you guys…I didn’t do it on purpose,” T.J. said to them. “Of course not,” she said, kissing her stepdaughter on the cheek. “I wanna know what was it that kept you quiet for two months,” Sheryl questioned. T.J. bow her head, refusing to make eye contact with her mother. “I don’t wanna talk about it…I’m not ready,” T.J. said softly. “What do you mean—what’s going on? Tiffani, talk to me,” Sheryl said. “I think we should tell them, babe,” Marvin whispered to his wife. “I can’t, Marv…I can’t,” T.J. said to her husband. “What do you have to tell us, honey,” Sheryl pleaded. T.J. didn’t say anything. “Whatever it is, you should tell your mother…don’t shut her out, please,” Dee Dee said. T.J. shook her head and told Sheryl everything. “Why didn’t you tell us this sooner,” Sheryl asked her daughter. “I was ashamed…I thought I could handle it…guess I was jealous of how you guys were treating Zack when he was alive,” T.J. said. “I know the feeling…probably have something to do with being pregnant with Tyrese…you need to resolve that issue, Sheryl—both of you,” Dee Dee said, rubbing T.J.’s back. “I’m so sorry about that…wish we could handle that a lot better back then…guess I didn’t want to repeat the same mistake with Zack that Terrell and I did with you…I want to make this right if you want me to…I know I can’t take back those two years of your life but I promise that I would never turn my back on you again, okay,” Sheryl said. T.J. shook her head and whispered, “Okay!” Then they hugged.

Hours later, Kevin came home from the pool hall to see Bridget waiting for him in the kitchen. “Hey, babe…how’s your day,” he asked his wife, then kisses her cheek. “It’s okay…Zack’s little friend was here earlier…talking to our son,” she said. “What does that kid want with Kyle,” he said. “I don’t know but I’ve already told Kyle to stay away from that kid—I got a bad feeling about Zack’s friend,” she said. Kyle came downstairs and overheard their conversation. Tarik Jr was at the park with his siblings and cousins when Dean showed up. He sat down next to his friend and said, “Hey, T! We need to talk!” “No, we don’t…get away from me, freak,” Tarik Jr said back. “Ohh…is this about the other night,” he said, licking his lips and rubbing on his friend’s leg. “It’s about what you did to me last night…I ain’t like that, man…I’M NOT GAY,” Tarik Jr yelled. “Are you sure…huh, cuz that’s not what I heard,” he whispered. Terrell walked up to them and said, “Hey, y’all…what’s up!” “Nothing, buddy…Dean was just leaving, right,” Tarik Jr said through his teeth. “What’s up, little man,” he said, holding up his hand for a high five. Tarik Jr grabs his little brother’s hand quickly. Dean chuckles as they walked away. Sheryl and Dee Dee were eating lunch in the hospital cafeteria. They were thinking about the recent conversation with T.J. in her room. “I had no idea this was going on…if you weren’t fighting with Bridget or with us, we could’ve handle this a little better,” Sheryl’s voice echoes. “I was just angry at you guys for taking up for Zack…if I had done the things he did, I would’ve been shipped off to boarding school…it was so hard to live up to Terrell’s standards…you have no idea how I felt all those years ago,” T.J. said to her. “And I get it…I know it’s tough but you should been able to talk to me about your problems…and as for your daughter’s pregnancy, do you know about the guy that she’s involved with,” she remembers asking her daughter. “No…we know nothing about him, Mom,” T.J.’s voice echoed. “I can’t believe this was going on with my daughter…the stress from everything that happened with her…getting shot by Lola Ann, being held at gunpoint by Zack, watching her sister get shot, the fight she had with her son, and learning about her daughter’s pregnancy—no wonder she shut down on us,” Sheryl said. “Not to mention trashing the police station after you left her there…it couldn’t been easy for her, Sher,” Dee Dee said. “No, it isn’t…she couldn’t even talk to me and I’m her mother, Dee,” she said. “She has been angry for a very long time…you guys need to work this out…I wouldn’t want you to lose her again,” Dee Dee said. Back at the room, T.J. sits on her bed and writing on a notepad as Marvin comes in carrying a bag in his hand. “Hey, babe…what’s going on over here,” he said. “Nothing! Just scribbling! What’s that,” she asked him. “Oh this? It’s just some bacon cheeseburgers and those chili fries that you love so much,” he said. “Ooh—I’ve missed these…thank you, Marv,” she said, grabbing for the bag. The two of them started to eat their lunch. Two weeks later, everything was back to normal. Tarik Jr was hanging out with his uncles at the restaurant. “So, what’s going on with you, baby boy? School’s doing good,” Brandon asked his nephew. “Um, yeah…it’s good…I’ve been doing my classes online since my mom came home,” he replied. “I heard that…must be happy to see her, huh,” Kevin said. “Yeah, Unc! Ecstatic that she’s home is all,” he said. “Of course, bud,” Danny said to him. Then he patted his nephew on the back.

Marvin brought a breakfast tray up to the master bedroom. T.J. was reading the newspaper when the door opened. “Hey, babe…how are you,” he asked his wife. “I’m good! I see that the kids are doing well,” she said. “Only because I’m holding them all together—they missed you, Tiff,” he said. Billie came into the room and sat down next to T.J. “Hello, baby,” she said to her daughter. “Hi, Mommy,” Billie said, hugging her. Marvin went into the bathroom as the two of them talked. “So…how are things here,” she asked. “They’re good but could you promise me something,” Billie said. “Of course! What is it,” she said. “Promise that you would never leave us again,” Billie pleaded. “I promise,” she said, then hugged her daughter tight. Kyle was sitting in the back yard as the rest of the family watched TV in the living room. He got up and went over to the shed. He looks around and saw something glistening in the dark. He reached for it, taking a closer look at the object. Moments later, he left. Tyrese and Sean were playing cards with their girlfriends at the studio apartment. “Now this is relaxing,” the girls said. “Yeah as long as you’re taking off your clothes, baby,” Sean said, then kisses one of the girls on the lips. Tyrese and his girlfriend chuckled at them. Tarik Jr was checking out some books at the library. As he was leaving, Dean was there waiting for him. “You gotta be kidding me,” he mumbled under his breath. “I see why you’re hiding from me,” Dean said. “I ain’t hiding…just busy,” he said. “Then why are you fighting this, huh,” Dean asked him. “I’m not fighting anything…all right,” he yelled. “You sure about that, T,” Dean said, caressing him. “I gotta go,” he said, trying to walk away. Dean grabs Tarik Jr by the arm and said, “You’re not going anywhere until I’m finished talking!” He pulled his friend into the car and drove away. Hours later, Kyle went to the bus stop and started to look around. He came across a mysterious object in the bushes. He grabs for it, not knowing that he’s being watched. Dean was driving down the street at 75 miles per hour. “Hey, D…what’s wrong with you…slow the fuck down, man,” Tarik Jr yelled at him. Suddenly, the car stopped. “Do you really wanna know, huh…what I did for you in the past…when my dad’s boyfriend wanted to rape you—I stopped it…I killed him to save you…keep you safe…you owe me now, T,” Dean yelled back. Tarik Jr thought about the day when he went over to Dean’s house. He was unaware that Walt had sexually abused his best friend. “I got rid of him—I killed that bastard, T,” he remembers Dean telling him. “Aww, fuck,” he said, getting out of the car. He shut the door quickly and walked away. “Shit…wait up, T,” Dean said, going after his friend. “What? He was gonna do—oh, my god,” he yelled. “The day you came over…Walt would force me to do sex acts with him…he wanted to do the same to you—sort of a twisted threesome thing—but I wouldn’t let him do it…I grabbed a hammer and bashed his head in,” Dean said. The two of them stood there quietly. “So, the rumors are true…you were pimping out young boys—you and Walt…son of a bitch,” Tarik Jr finally said. “No…,” Dean said. “You were gonna do that to me, were you,” he questioned. “No, T—not you, man…you’re too important to me,” Dean pleaded. He held Tarik Jr against the car and engaged in a liplock with him. “Mmm—no! Get off me,” Tarik Jr screamed. “Don’t fight it….I love you, T,” Dean said in between kisses while caressing his friend’s butt. “I don’t love you like that—just stay away from me, aiight,” he said, then pushes Dean off him before walking away. Kyle went back home with a black bag on his back. He slips in through the kitchen and went upstairs to his bedroom. Deena got up to follow him. Kyle opened the bag and took out what was inside. Suddenly, he felt a hand on his shoulder. Then he slowly turned around to see who it was.

Back at the apartment, Tyrese and Sean took the girls into their bedrooms and started to make out with them. Tarik Jr walked up to their front door and heard them moaning. He sat down on the sidewalk and thought about the events leading to the liplock with Dean. “Come on, baby…you know you can’t resist this,” Dean’s voice echoed in his head. Someone comes up to him, touches his shoulder, and said, “Hello, stranger!” “Huh? Oh, hi—um, Alexa—what’s up,” he said. “I’m good…are you okay,” Alexa asked him. “Yeah…I’m fine…you’re exactly what I need right now,” he said, pulling her close to him. They shared a passionate kiss. Within minutes, they were in her apartment making out in her bedroom. They started to take each other’s clothes off. “Deena? What the f—what are you doing here, huh,” Kyle yelled. “I just wanted to see what you were up to—what is that,” Deena asked him. They saw something flashing on the computer screen. Seconds later, a car crept up outside. Kevin and Bridget slept on the couch while Mary was in the playpen. The TV was still playing. All of a sudden, gunshots rang out. They woke up and got on the floor. Kyle grabbed Deena and hid in the closet. T.J. was in the den of her home doing some work on her laptop computer. Marvin and the younger kids were still in their beds. Brianna got up to use the bathroom. Her cell phone buzzed. She answers it quickly. She hang up and snuck out the back way to meet her mysterious boyfriend. The next day, T.J. went outside to get the newspaper when she saw a dark car parked at the end of the yard. “What the–,” she said, going to the mysterious vehicle and saw who was inside. Marvin woke up to the yelling outside. He went downstairs to see what was going on. “Oh, Sam…how could you,” T.J. screams at her friend. “Mom…don’t do this, please,” Brianna cried. “Hey-hey-hey! Why are you guys yelling,” Marvin asked them. “Because I caught our daughter…WITH HIM,” T.J. said angrily. “Wait—what,” he said. “They were sneaking around—behind our backs, Marvin,” T.J. told her husband. “It’s not what you think—we love each other…Dad,” Brianna pleads with her parents. Marvin didn’t say anything. He stood there and thought about what the doctor said to him. He got angry, went over to Sam, and punched him out. Brianna screamed and rushed over to him. T.J. held her back. The two of them saw the look on Marvin’s face. Nyisha, Tarik, Terrence, and Farrah drove up to the house to see Marvin pounding on Sam. “No…Dad…stop it, please…you’re hurting him,” Brianna cried out as the men fought. Tarik and Terrence steps in to break up the fight. “If you come near my daughter again, I will fucking kill you…you hear me,” Marvin yelled at Sam. Brianna got out of her mother’s grip and rushed to Sam’s side. “No, Dad…you can’t,” she said, holding him tight. “Wanna bet, huh,” Marvin grumbled. “Whoa, lil bro,” Terrence said as he and Tarik held him back. “Farrah, will you and Nyisha take Brianna back into the house, please,” T.J. said. “Mom,” Brianna whined. “You better be lucky I didn’t exercise the option of throwing you out of my house…you do what you’re told now go,” she growled. “Brianna…let’s just do what your mother said, okay,” Nyisha said. Everyone went into the house except T.J. and Sam. “I’m sorry, Tiff…I didn’t mean to hurt you,” he said as his best friend gave him a frown. Tarik Jr was leaving from Alexa’s apartment when Tyrese and Sean drove up. “Hey, playboy! What’s happening,” they teased. “Ha-ha…I’m not telling you na-da,” he told them. “Awww…my little brother is a little ashamed,” Tyrese said. “Hey, cuz…we’re all guys here…ain’t no need to be ashamed,” Sean said. “I ain’t ashamed…just not telling you cornballs about my sex life,” he said. “What are you, a girl…a queer,” Sean said to his cousin. “Shut up,” he said. “Naw…he’s a Lane man…just on the shy side, that’s all,” Tyrese said. “Just drive, all right,” he said as he got into the car. Then they drove away.

“What is wrong with you—my 15-year-old daughter? Have you no shame,” T.J. yelled. “I know…I know…it should’ve never gotten that far…but I was falling in love with your daughter—I couldn’t help it…I’m sorry,” he told her. T.J. went into a fit of rage and attacked Sam. Terrence went over to the kitchen window and said, “Uh, guys…someone better get out there before Tiffani sets it off on that fool!” “I’ll do it,” Tarik spoke up. “No…it’s my wife—I should go out there,” Marvin said. “You can’t even keep your own temper under control! How are you gonna help Tiffani, huh,” Terrence told his brother. “I’m going with him…she’s my little sister after all…you need to keep that temper in check, Marv,” Nyisha said. As T.J. fought with Sam, Tarik and Nyisha rushed over to separate them. They grabbed T.J. and carried her to the pouch. “Let me go…I’ll kill him,” T.J. screams at the top of her lungs. “I told you that I was sorry, all right,” Sam shouted. “Why don’t you get out of here, man? Stay away from my sister-in-law and her kid,” Tarik yelled at him. “You’re not welcome—just go while you’re still breathing,” Nyisha said angrily. Sam got into his car and drove away without saying another word. Suddenly, T.J. broke down crying. Tarik and Nyisha hugged her tight as the rest of them watched. The three of them got up and went into the house. Once inside, Marvin meet with his wife and gave her a hug. “Are you okay,” he whispered in her ear. “Yeah…I’m okay,” she said. “Take it easy, sis…we wouldn’t want you to have another breakdown,” said Nyisha. “Okay,” she said. Melissa and Jonah slept in the living room of their home with their infant daughter laying next to them in a bassinet. Suddenly, their cell phones buzzed. They both answered them before the baby hears it. “Hey, man…what’s going on…,” Jonah said to the person on the other end. “Hey, little sis…what happened…I’ll be right over,” Melissa said, then hung up. “Mel? What’s going on,” he questions his wife. “Someone shot up Bridget and Kevin’s house last night…I gotta head over there,” she said. Back at the Andersons house, T.J. was sitting quietly at the kitchen table. Meghan and James showed up before going their separate ways. “Hey, you guys…what happened here,” Meghan asked her sisters. “There was a fight but it’s over now,” Farrah said. “Any idea what or why,” she said. “Uh-uh,” Nyisha told her. They went over to the table and sat down with T.J. “Hey, buddy…what’s going on, huh…why were you fighting with Sam,” they asked her. “He betrayed me and Marvin…he was seeing Brianna behind our backs…caught the both of them in his car this morning,” T.J. said. “Brianna and the science teacher—you’re kidding us, right,” Farrah questioned. “Oh I wish…this was going on for quite some time now…probably around the same time she got pregnant,” she said as Melissa walked in. “Hey, girls…I need you to come with me, little sister…there’s been a shooting at Bridget and Kevin’s house last night,” Melissa said to them. “Oh, my god…are they okay,” Nyisha asked her. “Yeah…they’re fine,” she replied. “I gotta call Kevin,” Farrah said, grabbing for her cell phone. “I know you’re not talking to Bridget but could you put your anger aside for me,” Melissa pleaded. “Okay…for you,” T.J. agreed. They went outside, got into their cars, and drove away fast. Moments later, they all pulled up at Bridget and Kevin’s house. Nyisha, Farrah, and Meghan had already gotten out of the car. “Um, wait a minute…before we go in, let me say this, okay,” Melissa said. “Okay,” T.J. said. “I understand that you’re upset with what my dad did to you and Chuckie—I get it! I’m mad at him, too! He shouldn’t have kept you away from Mr. Johnson and his family all those years ago! Don’t punish Mom for this—she was doing what Grandma and Grandpa wanted,” she said. Then it got quiet again.

“What, to deny my real dad and accept Terrell Thompson as my father–they’re just to blame for this as Mom…I can’t face her, Mel…she had every chance to tell me and Chuckie the truth—oh I get it…the constant fights that Terrell and my dad gets into when I was a kid…I still remember what happened at the ice cream shop…he threatened her into keeping this secret…he also fought with me…did he know all this time that I wasn’t his kid…seems like I’m this constant reminder of my dad—I’m not a Thompson and neither is Chuckie…who are we, huh,” T.J. cried. “I know who you guys are—my sister and brother—that’ll never change,” she said. The two of them hugged before getting out of the car themselves. Everyone went up the driveway. Kyle and Deena came out to greet them. “Hey, you guys…where’s your dad,” Meghan asked them. T.J. saw Bridget sitting on the front porch and hugged her. “I heard what happened…are you okay,” she asked her little sister. “Yeah…I’m fine…sorry about everything that happened with Zack…I didn’t want you to break down cuz of it,” Bridget said. Kevin came out to join them. “Who would shoot at you guys,” T.J. asked them. “I know who they are,” he said. They all went inside, not knowing that someone was watching them from the bushes. Tarik Jr was shooting hoops at the gym when he heard something outside. He stops to find out what is was. He ignored it and went back to his one-man game. Out of the blue, he felt someone touching his back. “Hey, baby,” a voice said. “Dammit, Dean…what are you doing here,” he said after seeing who it was. “You know why I’m here…I just wanted to see you, baby,” Dean said, licking his lips and caressing Tarik Jr’s arm. “Stop it, D,” he said. “Stop what,” Dean said, touching Tarik Jr’s chest. “The shit you’re doing…I ain’t with it,” he said softly. “Well…that’s too bad cuz…I’m falling in love with you, T…been this way since high school,” Dean said, then moves in closer to kiss his friend’s lips. Tarik Jr felt Dean sticking his tongue down his throat. Dean was holding him against the wall and squeezed his butt. Tarik Jr struggles to get out of his grip. Dean started kissing his neck and chest. “Ohhh…g-g-get off me, D,” Tarik Jr said as he felt a bulge in his pants. Nothing could get through to Dean. He then pulls Tarik Jr into the locker room and shut the door. “You sure about that, baby…the bulge in your pants says different…by the time I’m done, you’ll be calling me daddy,” Dean said seductively. “Come on, man…I don’t wanna do this, please,” he whispered. Dean grabbed him by the arms and held him down on the bench. “Stop fighting it or I’ll hurt you,” Dean whispered back as he rubbed on his friend’s genitals. “I ain’t gay, D,” he said. “I refuse to believe that…it’s just words…it doesn’t prove how you really feel about me…maybe I should show you again just like in the dorm room, baby,” Dean said to him. Tarik got mad and hit him in the face. “Get the fuck off me, man,” he yelled. “Hitting me won’t solve anything…it just turns me on,” Dean said, lifting up his friend’s shirt and kissing his chest. “What do you want from me,” Tarik Jr yelled. “You know what I want and I got it, T…mmm—so sexy…I had the hots for you for a long time…then you get a girlfriend…now she’s coming in between us…betcha she can’t suck you off like I can,” Dean said. He put down Tarik Jr’s pants and went down on him. “Aaah…stop it…fuck,” he screamed at the top of his lungs. Then Dean started sucking on his friend’s penis louder and harder to drown him out.

Shawna was hanging out with Micah at his apartment. They were making out on the couch when her cell phone suddenly started to buzz. “Now what—hello,” she said. Somewhere in town, Melville and Tyrell Jr were at the arcade while Quincy and Jonah Jr watches them from the food court. “Now tell me this: what did we get ourselves into, Q,” Jonah Jr finally said. “We promised our uncles that we would…plus they won’t bother us cuz they’re into that game, J.J.,” Quincy said as some girls come through the door. Larissa was at the park with her friends when she saw some boys playing on the basketball court. Marlon and Chad were on the other side of the park reading comic books on the bench. “Hey, Larissa…are you feeling okay,” one of the girls asked her. “Huh? Oh! I’m fine, Amy—excuse me,” Larissa said, then walked away. She went to the courts for a closer look. The basketball slipped from one of the boys’ hands and bounced toward her. “Whoa,” she said, catching the ball. Suddenly, the boy approached her. “Hey there, girl…are you okay…did I hurt you,” he asked her. “I’m okay…you didn’t hurt me—um…here’s your ball,” she said to the boy. “Um, thanks…hey…aren’t you Malcolm and Jerome’s little sister,” he questioned. “Yeah—um, yes…I’m Larissa,” she introduces herself. “Hello, Larissa! I’m Abel,” he said, shaking her hand. Terrence Jr and Matthew rode on their skateboards as the two of them talked. “Hi, Chad…hi, Marlon,” they said, giving their cousins high-fives. “Hey, fellas,” Chad and Marlon said back. “Yo…what’s with Larissa and that boy, huh,” Matthew said. They all watched their little cousin from a distance. Sandra, Trisha, and Monica went to the restaurant with Dedrick, Raymond, and Dylan. Their children tagged along with them. They meet up with Melanie, DeAndre, Michelle, and Michael at the front entrance. They say their hellos and went inside. Meanwhile, T.J. and Bridget were hanging out with Mary in the kitchen when Sheryl and Stephen showed up. “Mom,” they said. “I heard about the shooting last night–are you kids all right,” Sheryl asked. “Yeah—I’m fine…we’re all fine,” Bridget told her mother. “Tiffani? Honey? Are you feeling okay, hmm,” she questioned. “Huh? I-I’m fine, Mom…I’m okay,” T.J. said, holding Mary in her arms. Sheryl hugged her two daughters and granddaughter tight. Tyrell, Brandon, and Jeffrey were working out at the public gym down the street. “So, big bro…what’s up with you now that you’re single again,” Jeffrey asked. “I’m good…taking care of Junior and working hard…no time to date whatsoever,” Tyrell answered. “Uh…huh,” he said, being sarcastic. “No dating? There’s no way I would stop dating,” Brandon said. “Only because you guys are married! I couldn’t do that to myself ever,” he told his little brothers as he got on the treadmill. Stephen and Kevin went outside as the ladies talked. “Why don’t you tell me what’s really going on between you and my stepdaughter,” Stephen asked. “Nothing…we’re just a little stressed out from everything that happened since our son died,” Kevin said. “I know…losing a child is never easy—you’re not alone in this, Kevin…Sheryl and I miss Zack, too…we all do,” he said. “And now someone shoots up our house…we think Zack’s little friends had something to do with this,” Kevin told him. Then the person walked away as they continued their conversation.

“Ahhh-no-no-no,” Tarik Jr screams, then pushes Dean away from him. “What the fuck,” Dean yelled. “I can’t do this—I can’t,” he said, “I have a girlfriend! I can’t do this to her—I gotta get out of here!” He wiped himself off, pull his pants up, and left the locker room. Dean sat there confused, then went after him. Tarik Jr got on his cell phone to call Alexa. “Hey, girl…I’m on my way to your place right now…bye,” he said, then hung up. “You always do this, T,” Dean spoke up. “Shut up,” he said. “We have sex and you go back to your girlfriend,” Dean said. “Shut up,” he said again but angrier. “What does Alexa have to say about us, huh,” Dean said, kissing him on the neck. “Oooh…no, D…stop it,” he yelled. “Forget about her and bend over for me…now,” Dean said. Tarik Jr pulled away from Dean and punched him out. He went outside to see Alexa standing beside his motorcycle. “Hey there, stud,” she said to him. “What’s up, Lex,” he said, hugging her. “This ain’t over, T,” Dean said, looking on. “So glad that you called, baby…I’ve been thinking about you all day,” she whispered softly. He pulled her closer to him. They shared a kiss which angers Dean. “Ready to go, Rik,” she said. “Yeah,” he said. The two of them rode off together. Back at the Andersons house, Brianna was sulking in her bedroom as Marvin, Terrence, and Tarik played cards at the kitchen table. She grabs her cell phone to make a call. “You gotta get me outta here,” she said. “Argh…that punk betrays me and goes after my fifteen-year-old daughter…I’ll kill him,” Marvin growled. “Chill out, little bro,” said Terrence. “Why don’t you lock him up,” Tarik questioned him as Brianna snuck out of the house. Suddenly, Tyrese drove up. “Hey, little sis…are you okay,” he asked her. “No,” she said, getting into his car. They drove away quickly. “We’re trying to deal with this ourselves—without involving the law…it’s been a stressful time for all of us,” Marvin said. Meanwhile, the girls came through the front door. “Hey, babe…is everything okay with your brother,” Terrence asked his wife. “Yeah, Terry…Kevin and his family are fine,” Farrah answered. “Well…I’m heading upstairs to check on our kids,” T.J. said, then kisses her husband and left the room. “So…what’s going on over here, guys,” Nyisha said. “My little girl is angry with me for beating up on Sam…who’s shooting at your brother,” Marvin asked her. “We’re not sure but it has something to do with Zack’s friends,” she told him. While they talked, T.J. was tending to the younger kids. Mark gave her a hug. “Hi, honey,” she said. “Hi, Mom…are you still mad at Brianna,” he asked her. “What’s with all the questions, huh,” she said. “I—uh sorta heard you guys arguing outside and Brianna’s really pissed at Dad—she asked me to give you this…bye,” he said, giving her a piece of paper and left. “Earth to Rik…hello,” Alexa said. “Huh?! What up,” Tarik Jr said back. “You feeling okay,” she questioned. He thought about his encounter with Dean and said, “I’m good, Lex!” “Ooh,” she said, kissing him on the lips. Suddenly, Tyrese drove up and went inside. “Umm…could you give me a minute, babe,” he asked. “Sure,” she said. He walked up to his brother and said, “Hey, T…um, what’s up?” “We have a problem, little bro…Bree had a fight with Mom and Marvin,” Tyrese told him. “Damn…is it serious,” he questioned. “No, it’s fine…I don’t feel like talking about it…go back to your little friend over there,” Brianna finally said. “Hi, you guys…what’s going on over here,” Alexa interrupted. “Hey, Lex…you remember my brother, Tyrese,” he said. “Hello,” Tyrese said. “And this is my little sister, Briana,” he said. The four of them went to a table and sat down. Dean was watching them from his car while getting a blow job. He imagines that it was Tarik Jr sucking him off. “Yeah, baby…ooh, shit…,” he moans softly. “Um, excuse us…we gonna have a little girl talk,” Alexa said, then leaves the table with Brianna. “O-kay…what’s with you and your boy,” Tyrese asked his brother. “Not a damn thing—what about you and your girl,” Tarik Jr answered quickly. “We’re fine…but you didn’t answer my question, man,” he said again. “Yes, I did—not a damn thing! We don’t even hang out anymore,” Tarik Jr said while eating his lunch. “Right—whatever,” he said back. “While the guys are talking among themselves, you wanna tell me why you ran from home,” Alexa asked. “I got into a fight with my parents over a guy that I liked…he’s a friend of my mom’s from college…he got me pregnant…it’s a very touchy subject for everyone…I don’t know what to do,” Brianna said. Back at the Andersons house, T.J. came downstairs with a worried look on her face. “Hey, baby…what’s wrong,” Marvin asked her. She gave him the note to read. It made him angry. “What does it say,” Farrah questions her brother-in-law. “Brianna ran away…probably to that punk,” he said. “No…she wouldn’t go to Sam…we forbid her not to,” T.J. said. “Let’s just calm down, everyone…she couldn’t have gotten very far because she’s pregnant,” Nyisha said. “Argh…don’t remind me,” he growled. “Let’s go find your daughter, little brother,” Terrence said. Then they got up and left the house.

“So…are you feeling all right, kid,” Tyrese asked. “Yeah,” Brianna replied. “Ready to call Mom, Bree,” Tarik Jr said. “Remember, no pressure…it’s entirely up to you, little sister,” Tyrese said. She looks up to her two big brothers and slowly shake her head. T.J. was getting into Nyisha’s car when her cell phone rang. She answered the call and closed the door. “Bree? Honey, where are you,” she said. Moments later, they drove up to the diner and saw the kids sitting outside. T.J. got out and hugged her daughter. “Oh, baby…are you okay,” she whispered. “I’m sorry, Mom,” Brianna said softly. “I’m sorry too,” she said back. “I didn’t mean to worry you guys,” Brianna cried. They all went inside, not knowing that Dean was watching them. Nyisha got a call on her cell phone. “Hello, Farrah…yeah, we found Brianna…she’s with her brothers and their little friend at the diner…see you guys in a couple of hours,” she said. “We gotta talk about this running away business…this isn’t the way we deal with our problems,” T.J. said. “I know, Mom…I just didn’t wanna get into it with Dad,” Brianna said. “And I get it, Bree…the whole situation is stressing us all out—we should find a way to work this out without the yelling and the fighting…just the three of us,” she said to her daughter. Brianna nods her head in agreement as the rest of them watched. Everyone went outside to their vehicles. “Hey, boys…thanks for watching out for your sister…I really appreciate it,” T.J. said to her sons. “No problem, Mom…hang in there, kid,” Tyrese said. “Okay,” Brianna said. T.J., Nyisha, and Brianna were quiet on the way home. “Everything okay now, kiddo,” Nyisha finally said. “Yes, Aunt Nyisha,” Brianna said back. “I wouldn’t worry about her so much…your daughter is a good kid,” she said. “I know,” T.J. said. Later that evening, the gang were having dinner at the Andersons house. Brianna was on the computer looking at some websites when T.J. and Marvin came into the room. The two of them sat down on the couch with her. “Hey there, kiddo! Can we talk to you for a minute,” Marvin said. She turned around to face them. “I’m sorry for the trouble I caused, you guys,” she said to them. “Your mom reminded me that I was wrong for how I acted toward Sam…I never wanted you to see me in that way so I’m sorry for scaring you like that,” he said. She hugged them both. As the three of them talked, Tarik Jr went upstairs. He lays back on his bed as Alexa looked at the old football trophies on his dresser. “So…,” she said. “So…what,” he said. “Tell me what I don’t know about you, Tarik Lane Jr,” she said. “Well…my parents got a divorce so many years ago…my mom married Marvin…my dad married her best friend which we all learned is my mom’s big sister,” he said. “So that guy who married your mom—Marvin—is really your stepdad, huh,” she questioned. “Yep,” he answered. Nyisha and Tarik sat on the porch swing outside. “What a day, huh…that kid’s gonna run her parents ragged,” Tarik said. “Shut up,” Nyisha said, hitting her husband. “Ow! You know I’m right, babe! We won’t be talking to our daughter about sex anytime soon,” he said. “Uh…too late…I already did,” she said. “Huh,” he said. Meanwhile, Farrah was in the kitchen playing poker with Terrence, Meghan, and James. “I’ll take two,” James said. “Here you go,” Terrence said. “So…little Brianna got pregnant by her science teacher…betcha Marvin ain’t too happy about that,” Meghan said. “Uh-uh,” Farrah said. Then the four of them continued their game.

Hours later, Tarik Jr and Alexa were fast asleep. His cell phone buzzed. He got up to answer it. Moments later, he went outside to see Dean standing there in front of him. “Now what,” he said. Dean walked up to Tarik Jr but he moved away from him. “You know what…how long are you gonna keep this up, huh,” Dean asked him. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, man,” he said. “Don’t play me…you hooking up with that girl…what about me, baby,” Dean said, fondling Tarik Jr’s chest. “Knock it off, D,” he growled, then smacks Dean’s hand away. “Naw, T! Not until you admit how you really feel about me,” Dean said seductively. He grabs Tarik Jr and held him against the car. Suddenly he leans in for a kiss. All Tarik Jr could think about was the night Dean held him facedown on the bed and forcing him into anal sex. Before their lips could touch, he screams, “No, D…stop!” He then slugged Dean. The two of them started to fight. Everyone woke up and went outside. “Stop fighting it…you know you want me,” Dean whispered. “Fuck you, jerk,” Tarik Jr yelled. “Mmm…gladly,” Dean said, grabbing his friend’s genitals. Tarik Jr punched him in the face. Tarik and Marvin rushed over to the boys, breaking up the fight. “Son, stop it…right now,” Tarik said. “What the hell is going on out here,” T.J. questioned the boys. “Uh…nothing, Mrs. Anderson…just a lover’s spat,” Dean told her. “What,” Nyisha interrupted. “It’s not what you think, Aunt Nyisha…I don’t love this fool,” said Tarik Jr. “You sure about that, T,” Dean said, licking his lips. Tarik Jr got mad and attacked him. “Hey-hey-hey! I said stop,” Tarik told his son. “I knew there was something going on,” Tyrese said. “Does this means that our brother is gay, Mommy,” Angel asked. “Where is she learning these things,” Marvin questioned. “TV, Daddy,” Terrell told him. “Tyrese, take the little ones into the house…please,” T.J. told her oldest son. Tyrese did exactly that. “Now back to my original question…what the hell,” T.J. yelled. Both boys didn’t say a word. “Tarik Benjamin Lane Jr…you better start talking right now,” Tarik said through his teeth. “That fool tried to kiss me…so I hit him,” Tarik Jr told him. “Ew,” Alexa said. “You kidding me,” Brianna questioned. “Oh, girls? That goes for you, too,” T.J. said to them. “Yes, ma’am…let’s go,” Alexa said, dragging Brianna into the house. “Well…I’m not ashamed of who I am,” Dean said. “I’M…NOT…GAY,” Tarik Jr said angrily. He went into the house and slammed the door. T.J. went after him. “What was that about,” she questioned. “Nothing,” he mumbled, then goes in the kitchen. “That wasn’t nothing—talk to me…please,” she said. “I can’t,” he said, sitting at the table and putting his head down. “Why not,” she asked him. “Cuz you’d think that I’m gay,” he replied. “I wouldn’t think that! You’re my son and I’ll always love you no matter what,” she said. “I’m not so sure about that, Mom,” he said. “Was that the fight with Dean about? To get you to admit you were gay,” she asked. “Yeah,” he said. “Are you,” she questioned her son. “No…I don’t know…I’m not really sure,” he told her. The two of them continued talking. Afterwards, Tarik Jr meet up with Alexa on the front steps. “Hey, Lex,” he said. “Hi,” she said coldly. “Oh…you’re mad at me,” he said. “No…just disappointed…why didn’t you tell me about this,” she asked him. “I don’t know—I didn’t know how,” he said. “You should have told me…Dean practically told everyone that he’s in love with you,” she yelled at him. “But I don’t love him—I love you,” he said to her. He walked up to Alexa, then kissed her. He picked his girlfriend and carried her up to his bedroom. Brianna was texting her friends on her cell phone when she heard moaning in the next room. Moments later, Alicia was on the front porch of the Hardisons’ house making out with the guy she met at the fair. “W-wait…we need to stop,” she said. “Why, baby…I thought you wanted this,” the guy said as he rubs on her leg. He held her down and started unbuckling his pants. “No…I don’t want to be like my cousin—get off of me, Bucky,” she begged. “You fucking bitch,” Bucky yells, then slaps her across the face. James drove up to see the confrontation and got out of his car. He grabs Bucky by the throat and punched him in the stomach. “You heard my daughter…she said no,” he yells at Bucky as Meghan comes to Alicia’s defense. “Don’t fucking call me again—you will regret it,” Bucky growled. “Get out of here, punk,” he said, kicking Bucky in the butt. Then Bucky leaves as James, Meghan, and Alicia goes inside the house.

“Honey, are you okay,” Meghan asked her daughter. “Yeah…I’m fine,” Alicia said. “Head on upstairs…we’ll deal with this tomorrow,” James said. “Yes, sir…I’m sorry about this,” she said. “Go easy on Alicia…she’s still a shook up,” Meghan said. “That’s why I sent her upstairs…our daughter needs to think about what she has done…actions have consequences, Meg,” he said. The next day, T.J. was reading the newspaper and drinking coffee in the kitchen. Nyisha, Farrah, and Meghan came in to sit down with her. “Good morning,” they said. “Good morning,” T.J. said back. “Had a bad night, huh,” Meghan asked her. “Yeah,” she said. “It’s not easy dealing with all of this when you just got out of the hospital,” said Farrah. “I’m fine, you guys…I can handle it…I promised Billie that I wouldn’t leave her again,” she said. “Are you sure,” Nyisha questioned. “Yeah…I’m sure,” she said. Tarik Jr and Alexa were putting their clothes on. “Hey, Lex…are we good,” he asked her. “Yeah…once you cut ties with Dean,” said Alexa. She gave him a kiss on the cheek. At the dorm, Dean was in bed with another guy. They just had sex. He grabbed his cell phone and went in the hallway. With Alexa in the bathroom, Tarik Jr heard his cell phone buzz. He saw Dean’s number and turned it off. “Yo, babe…wait up,” he said, then joins Alexa in the shower. “Oh…this is sudden,” she said to her soon-to-be naked boyfriend. “Uh-huh…we still have some unfinished business here, girl,” he whispered. They started to make out under the shower head. Dean got the voicemail instead. He then got mad and left the dorm room. Later that day, James and the kids went to the restaurant for lunch. “Diane, you and Jeremiah go ahead…pick out a table for us…I need to talk with your sister for a minute,” he said. “Okay,” Diane and Jeremiah said. They went inside as he confronts his oldest daughter. “I know what you wanna talk about, Dad—I already said that I was sorry,” Alicia said. “Really? I’m not sure that I believe you, Ali! And sorry doesn’t cut it! You just put yourself and your siblings—hell, the entire family in danger! That boy could’ve killed you all,” he said. As they argued, a car drove up. “There’s that bitch…played me like a sucka…she gonna get what’s coming to her,” a voice said. “But I didn’t let it happen—I wouldn’t,” she told James. “This time! What if your mother and I hadn’t come home? God knows what would’ve happen to you,” he said angrily. “Punch it, man,” said the voice. Then the car started up and went gunning for them.

In a flash, the car was gone. Alicia opened her eyes and saw who was laying there in front of her. “Dad? Daddy! Wake up, Dad! Please wake up,” she cried while cradling James’ head in her arms. Everyone were shocked by what they saw. The manager got on the phone and called 9-1-1. Back at the Andersons house, the girls were playing cards at the kitchen table. “Um…I gotta take this…hello,” Meghan said, answering her cell phone. “Seems like your son and his friend made up,” Farrah said as she saw Tarik Jr and Alexa going into the den together. “Looks that way since Dean made a fool out of himself last night…saying my son is gay…I oughta kick his ass myself,” T.J. said to her. “My nephew ain’t gay…and Dean ain’t gonna turn him out so there,” Nyisha said. Meghan hung up her phone and broke down crying. “Hey…what’s the matter,” Farrah said, consoling her little sister. Kyle was riding down the street on his bike when C-Dog and his boys showed up. “Aw shit,” he said softly. “Ey, Kyle…come back here, buddy,” C-Dog called out to him. They had Kyle surrounded. Kevin and Brandon got out of the car to stop the fight. “Hey! get your hands off my son,” Kevin yelled. “You heard the man…let him go,” Brandon added. The boy did what they were told. Kevin checked on his son as Brandon chased the boys away. The girls showed up at the hospital and went inside. Suddenly, an ambulance pulled up to the door. The EMTs brought someone on a stretcher. “What’s going on here,” Farrah said. “Is that who I think it is,” T.J. said as she saw the person’s face. “Oh, my god…,” Nyisha said. “James—what happened to my husband,” Meghan yelled. “Hit-and-run…some fool jumped a curb and knocked him down…he was protecting his kid,” said one of the EMTs. The kids came in with the other EMT. “Mom,” Diane and Jeremiah cried. They ran to Meghan and hugged her tight. Alicia stood there in a daze. Her clothes was covered in blood. “Ali? What’s wrong, honey,” Nyisha questioned her niece. She didn’t say a word. “I think she’s in shock,” T.J. said. “Maybe she should get checked out, too…just as a precaution,” Nyisha said as she signals a doctor over to them. Suddenly, Alicia started to scream. “Shh! We’re trying to help you, baby,” Meghan said to her. “It’s my fault…it’s all my fault,” Alicia cried, then hugged her mother. A few hours later, Dee Dee and Randy came through the door to see the girls there. They were waiting to hear from the doctor as the kids slept on the couch. “Hey! What’s going on? What happened,” they asked. “Someone tried to kill James,” T.J. said. “What,” Dee Dee said. “He was hit by a car, Mom,” Nyisha said. “And it doesn’t look good,” Farrah said. Meghan sat there quietly. Dee Dee hugged her tight and said, “Hang in there, baby girl…we’re here for you!” “She really needs you guys now, Dad,” T.J. said. “Nope…she’s gonna need all of us because we’re a family…and families sticks together,” Randy said back. The guys were at the park playing basketball. “Come on, old timer…you don’t want this,” Tyrese shouted. “Ey! Who are you calling old, little man,” Tarik said. “Hi, Mom,” he said, looking over his father’s head. “Huh,” said Tarik, turning around. Tyrese slips by him and throws the ball to Terrence. Marvin blocks his big brother. Terrence throw it back to Tyrese, giving him a chance to make a shot from under the basket. Tarik’s jaw dropped. “Yeah…uh-huh,” Tyrese said while doing his victory dance. Tarik chases him off the courts as Marvin and Terrence chuckled. Tarik Jr was in the den watching TV with Alexa. “I’m so glad that we’re cutting Dean loose…he creeps me out anyways,” she said. Tarik Jr thought about his sexual encounter with Dean in the school’s gym locker room and said, “Yeah…me too!” Brianna was in the bathroom throwing up in the toilet as Marlon and Mark goes downstairs to the kitchen. One of them went to the pantry for a box of cereal while the other one grabs for two bowls. They went over to the table and sat down. Billie grabbed her own bowl and joined them. “I heard some weird noises in the bathroom,” she said as she sat down. “It’s Brianna! She’s not feeling well,” Mark said. Then she grabbed the box from Marlon and poured some cereal in the bowl.

Back at the hospital, Alicia was on the couch tossing and turning. Dee Dee rushed over to wake her up. Alicia screamed. “It’s only a dream…you’re okay,” Dee Dee said. “I killed my father…I killed him,” Alicia cried. “Oh, no…you didn’t kill him…he’s not dead,” she said to her granddaughter. “My dad and I argued about the guy that I met at the fair—Bucky…I brought him to the house while my parents were at Uncle Marvin’s house…we were making out on the front porch…Bucky came on strong and Dad showed up…they got into a fight and it ended with Bucky leaving…I made him so angry, Grandma, that he told me not to call him anymore…I’m to blame for my dad’s accident,” Alicia said softly. “Listen to me, honey…the only one to blame for this is the person driving the car, okay,” she said. “Okay,” Alicia said. “And as for that guy you’re seeing—Bucky, that was a dangerous move…you don’t know what he’s capable of…he could’ve hurt you,” she said. “I know, Grandma…I know,” Alicia said. “Your father was trying to protect you! I really hope you end this relationship with Bucky before he hurts you,” she said. Right then, Alicia thought about the fight she had with Bucky. “That won’t be a problem considering that Bucky doesn’t want anything to do with me…he thinks I’m leading him on,” Alicia said. “Oh, thank God! We’re just worried about you! We already have one very pregnant granddaughter in this family—I don’t want this to happen to you or worse! Do you understand,” Dee Dee said. “Yes, Grandma…I understand,” she said. Suddenly, she remembered what Bucky told her as he left the yard. “Ali? What’s wrong, honey,” Dee Dee questioned her granddaughter. “I think I know who hit my dad,” she said. “Who, honey,” Dee Dee asked. Randy came in before she could say anything. “Hey there! What’s going on,” he interrupted. “Our granddaughter knows who ran over James,” Dee Dee said. As the two of them talked, Alicia had a flashback of the hit-and-run accident. She even saw the person who was driving the car. “Ali? Talk to me, kiddo,” Randy said to her. “Huh? What was the question,” Alicia said, snapping out of it. “You were going to tell us who hit your dad,” Dee Dee said. “I-I can’t,” she said softly. “Of course you can,” Randy said. “No…please don’t make me tell you, Grandpa…please,” she said. “Your dad have done everything to protect you kids…you owe him this…tell us who run him over…please,” Dee Dee begged. Alicia closed her eyes and shook her head. The only thing she heard was Bucky’s final words. “Don’t fucking call me again—you will regret it,” his voice echoed in her head. “It was Bucky…he was gunning for me but Dad got in the way…I was supposed to get hit by that car,” she cried. Randy and Dee Dee held her tight as Meghan watches them. Moments later, Randy got up to make a phone call. “Mom? What’s going on,” Meghan questioned. “Alicia has something to tell you…go on,” Dee Dee said. “Ali? What do you have to tell me, honey,” she asked her daughter. Dee Dee leaves them alone to talk. “Bucky ran Dad over…it was meant for me,” Alicia said. “That kid from last night?” she questioned. “I’m so sorry, Mom…I will never do anything this stupid again…please don’t hate me,” Alicia cried. “No, baby…I could never hate you…just understand how serious this is now,” she said softly. “I never meant for this to happen,” Alicia said. “I know,” she said, hugging her daughter tight. Dean was with his boys at the mall. He grabs his cell phone and made a call. Tarik Jr and Alexa were making out on the couch. The cell phone was buzzing upstairs. Brianna heard it and came out of the bathroom. She goes into her brother’s room and answered his phone. She saw a gruesome picture on the screen and screams at the top of her lungs. Everybody heard the screaming and ran upstairs. They saw Brianna with the cell phone in her hand. “What’s going on—what are you doing with my phone,” said Tarik Jr. “Is it true what Dean told us last night? Are you gay,” Brianna asked him. “What?! You know me,” he said. “I wanna know, too…are you gay,” Alexa asked. “Aww—not you, too,” he yelled. The three of them started to argue. Marvin was heading toward his car when his cell phone rang. “Hello…what’s up, Tiff…what—we’re on our way,” he said. “What happened, man,” Tarik asked him. “James had a terrible accident…someone ran him over,” he replied. “Let’s go, little brother,” Terrence said. “Come on, Ty,” Tarik said. The four of them got into the car and drove away. Back at the hospital, T.J. hang up the payphone and head back to the waiting room. Suddenly, she felt her chest tightening up. “No-no-no…not now,” she whispered to herself. She leans against the wall and slides down to the floor. Then someone touches her shoulder.

T.J. looked up to see who it was. “Hey there, kiddo…are you okay,” a voice said to her. “Dad,” T.J. said, recognizing the voice. It was Randy. “Yeah…it’s me but you didn’t ask my question,” he said. “Yeah…I’m fine,” she said. “Are you sure? You almost passed out—is it the panic attacks, kiddo,” he asked. “I said I’m fine, Dad…I just don’t want anyone making a big fuss about it, all right—not when Meghan is worried about her husband,” she said angrily. “Okay…take it easy, honey…I’m just worried about you is all,” he said, sitting next to his daughter. “I’m sorry, Dad…I didn’t mean to snap at you,” she said. “Don’t worry about it…you do know we have to tell your mom what’s going on with you,” he said, then gave her a hug. “Not yet…she’s been blowing up my phone every five (5) seconds ever since my heart attack,” she mumbled. “Okay…I owe you that but don’t hold off talking to her, kiddo,” he said. Bridget was in the kitchen of her home with Miranda and their friends when Kevin and Brandon came in with a very bruised Kyle. “Hey, girls,” Brandon said, kissing Miranda on the cheek. “Oh, my god—Kyle,” Bridget said, consoling her son. “What happened,” Miranda asked the boys. “Kyle got into a confrontation with Zack’s friends…again,” Kevin said to them. “They claim that our son had something they wanted which is why we told him to stay away from those kids,” Bridget said. “Seems like your little boy Zack is putting all of you in danger from the grave, baby sis,” said Brandon. The remaining three got mad and hit him across the head. “Wait a minute—just wait a goddamn minute,” Tarik Jr yelled over his sisters, his brothers, and his girlfriend. There was complete silence. “Can you girls come with me please—away from them,” he said calmly. Alexa and Brianna followed him downstairs to the front porch. “We still need an answer, Rik,” Alexa told him. “Yeah, big brother…she’s right,” Brianna agreed. “You see what’s going on here? Dean would do anything to break us up, Lex—you know that,” he said to the both of them. “But you haven’t answered my goddamn question—are…you…gay,” Alexa said angrily. “NO! I’m not gay—never have, never will—I’ll prove it to you both…settle this once and for all,” he said, reaching for his cell phone to make a call. Within minutes, Dean drove up to the Andersons house and got out of his car. “Hey, T…what’s up,” he said seductively. Tarik Jr suckerpunched him in the face and said, “Shut up, freak…I should’ve done this a long time ago…it’s over…you have disrespected me, my girl, and my little sister with that disgusting pic on my cell phone…stay the fuck away from me…we ain’t friends anymore…fucking jerk!” He spits on Dean and smashed his phone to the ground. It broke in three pieces. He went to Alexa and gave her a passionate kiss on the lips, which angers Dean. He grabs a broken tree branch, ready to swing it at the happy couple. “Watch out, you guys,” Brianna screams. Dean knocks Tarik Jr down and went after Alexa. Marlon, Mark, and Billie went to the kitchen window to see them fighting. “You’re ending our friendship…for what, this bitch…HUH,” Dean yelled, then pulls out a gun and points it at Alexa. T.J. was fast asleep in the hospital waiting room while the girls sat with James. A hand touched her shoulder lightly. She woke up to see Sheryl standing over her. “Whoa there…are you okay,” Sheryl asked. “Huh?! Mom? What are you doing here,” she said. “Your dad called me…he and Dee Dee are worried about you…and frankly so am I,” Sheryl said. “I’m fine, Mom…you worry too much,” she said. “I’m your mother…it’s my job,” Sheryl said. “All right! I get it, Mom,” she said. “I want to make sure you were okay…it is our job to worry about our children…when you get to be my age, you’ll understand why I’m very protective of you…like right now—you sure you don’t want to get checked over while you’re here considering you nearly passed out in front of your dad earlier today,” Sheryl said. “I’m sure, Mom…I’m fine,” she said. “Any tightness in your chest at all,” Sheryl asked her. “A little but it’s not too serious…I’m not gonna have another heart attack if that you’re insinuating,” she said. Marvin, Terrence, and Tarik walks in as they talked. Tarik Jr woke up to see Dean holding a gun to Alexa’s head. “What are you doing, D,” he asked. “What do you think, huh? This bitch is coming in between us, T—she would do anything to break us up! She has to die,” Dean yelled. “No…don’t hurt her…she has nothing to do with it…just let her go,” he pleaded. “Why should I, huh? I’d do anything for you! I killed my father’s boyfriend—you owe me, man,” Dean demanded. “No, I don’t—I didn’t tell you to do that,” he said. “Oh, really? What about the other night—in our dorm room, huh? I thought you loved me,” Dean said. “That’s not love! You raped him that night! I know everything,” Alexa interrupted. Then Dean hit her with the butt of his gun.

While Sheryl talked with Dee Dee and Randy, Marvin sat down next to T.J. “Hey! How are you girls holding up,” he asked her. Nyisha and Farrah came out to hug their husbands. “Oh we’re fine but Meghan ain’t doing so good…I know that feeling cuz that’s how I felt when I almost lost you,” T.J. replied. “You mean when Josh and Myra tried to destroy our marriage,” he added. “I’m so sorry that I brought that man into our lives…shouldn’t have taken him on as my partner while I was grieving for Lance…I should have listen to you guys about Josh…I just didn’t want to see it,” she said, then broke down crying in Marvin’s arms. “I didn’t want to be right, Teej…just wanted you to be careful…we didn’t want to lose you to that guy,” Farrah said. “If we’re being hard on you, it’s because we care…Josh was bad news from the start and we didn’t want you to go down with him,” Nyisha said. As they talked, T.J. thought back to the day Josh held her hostage. “I actually thought we were good together…I wouldn’t kept you from your kids…we will never know unless I kill this dude right now,” Josh’s voice echoed. “No, Josh…please…I’m sorry that I hurt you…just don’t kill him…I beg of you,” she remembered saying to him. Tarik noticed that T.J. was sitting here quietly and tapped her lightly. “Hey, buddy…you okay,” he asked. “Yeah…I’m okay,” she said. Meanwhile, Dean was standing over Alexa’s unconscious body at the Andersons house. Brianna stood there in shock. “Shut up, you little bitch…you told her that I raped you…didn’t seem that way to me…you enjoyed it when I bend you over and fuck you in the ass,” he said. “Ugh! Now I know you’ve lost your mind,” Tarik Jr yelled at him. “Yeah…my brother ain’t gay, you jerk,” Brianna agreed. “Really?! Is this what you’re teaching your little sister, to lie? Let me get this through your thick skull—either you tell them you’re gay or I’ll kill your girl, got it,” he demanded. “No…you wouldn’t,” Tarik Jr yelled. “Oh! I’ll do it—I’ll never let you go,” he growled, then cocked his gun. The two of them started to argue. Brianna went to check on Alexa before confronting Dean. “You jerk,” she yelled, then kicks him in the shin. “Ow! You little brat,” Dean yelled back. He slapped her across the face. She falls to the ground crying. “What the fuck, man…she’s just a kid,” Tarik Jr said, grabbing his friend’s arm. “I’ll get to you in a minute…someone needs to be taught a lesson,” he said. “Leave my little sister alone, all right,” Tarik Jr said, shielding Brianna from Dean. “Okay…I’ll leave her alone…but it’ll cost ya,” he said. “What,” Tarik Jr said. “Umm…this,” he said, then engages in a liplock with his friend. Tarik Jr struggles to get away but no such luck. Dean held him close and rubs on his leg. “Get off me, D,” Tarik Jr pleaded. “You know you want it…just give in, baby…your bulge did,” he whispered in Tarik Jr’s ear. Dean throws him down and turned him over. He unbuckled his pants as Brianna was coming to. She saw Dean as he held her brother’s face to the ground. “Stop it, D…aah,” she hears Tarik Jr screamed. She then reached for the gun. “Not until you admit that you like it when I was bending you over…starting now,” Dean said softly as he squeezes Tarik Jr’s neck. “Leave him alone, Dean…RIGHT NOW,” Brianna said. Dean stood up to see her pointing his gun at him. “What you gonna do, shoot me…come on…do it, kid…I dare ya,” he said. Brianna cocks the gun but couldn’t pull the trigger. “Please,” she cried. “Just what I thought…give me that…you couldn’t shoot your brother’s boyfriend,” he said, taking the gun out of Brianna’s hand. As he stood there, Tarik Jr snuck away to wake Alexa up. “Babe, you okay,” Tarik Jr said. “Owww…I’m okay,” Alexa mumbled. “I oughta shoot you first,” Dean yelled. Then Brianna slapped him hard.

“Stupid little bitch,” Dean said. He raises his hand to hit Brianna but she ran. Instead, he points the gun directly at her. “Nooo,” Tarik Jr yelled, then knocks Dean’s arm. The gun went off twice. One bullet went over her head and hit a tree. The other bullet hits her in the back. She screamed in pain. Alexa and Tarik Jr caught her before she hits the ground. “Got ya,” Dean said. “Owww…it burns,” Brianna mumbled. “Hang in there…we’re gonna get you some help, okay,” Tarik Jr said to his sister.  “How could you, Dean…shooting this kid down like an animal, huh,” Alexa yelled. “No! How could you go after my boy, cousin—he belongs to me,” Dean yelled back. Tarik Jr looked at the two of them strangely. Meanwhile, Bridget and Brandon were in the den playing checkers. “It’s your move,” he said. Bridget sat there motionless. “Hey…where you at, lil sis,” he said as he bangs on the table. “Huh,” she finally said. “Are you okay, B,” he asked her. “Yeah…I’m fine,” she told him. “No, you’re not! It’s about Zack, isn’t it,” he questioned her. Bridget didn’t say anything. “You’re not the only one who lost him…we all did,” he said. “It’s just so hard not seeing Zack in his room everytime I go upstairs,” she said. “Yeah…I know,” he said, then hugged his twin sister. Back at the hospital, Meghan was sitting by her husband’s bedside as Randy watches her from the hallway. “Be careful what you say to her–,” he warns her wife. Ignoring Randy’s warning, Dee Dee went into the room and sat down next to her daughter. “It’s been hours…maybe you should head on home—get some sleep,” she said. “I’m not going anywhere until James wakes up…I wanna make sure he’s all right,” Meghan said. “You should at least get something to eat,” she said. “I’m not hungry,” Meghan said. “You can’t sit here all day, honey…why don’t we go for a walk, huh,” she said. “I said no…I’m not leaving my husband, all right…I don’t wanna go home…I don’t wanna eat or take a walk…why are you so concerned all of the sudden, huh…you didn’t care about me all those years ago…you gave me to your sister, Mom,” Meghan yelled to her. She walks away from Dee Dee and went toward the hospital room window. “I’m sorry, honey…but that’s all in the past…Meghan, I’m here now…there’s not a day—not one day that I haven’t thought about you…all those trips I’ve made to North Carolina whenever I can to see you—your school plays, your softball games, your ballet recitals…even when you had pneumonia at nine months old—that was the scariest night of my life…you are my daughter and I will always love you no matter what…I worry about all of my children and that includes you, baby,” she said. “I’m just so confused—I got that dreadful call and see him on that bed…I don’t wanna lose him, Mom…I can’t lose my husband…,” Meghan cried. Dee Dee hugged her tight. “Cousin? Dean is your cousin,” Tarik Jr said. “Can we talk about this later,” Alexa said. “Dean is your cousin,” he yelled. “Oh, no? We gonna talk about it! Your little girlfriend here—she’s my estranged cousin from Decatur, Georgia! Tarik Lane Jr, this is Alexandria King! Her mom and my dad are sister and brother—practically twins,” Dean said as he threw his arm around Alexa. “Dean…I’m gonna kill you,” she mumbled. The three of them started to argue. “Hey…you guys…I feel faint,” Brianna said to them. “We will talk about this later, Lex,” Tarik Jr said as he tends to his little sister. “Okay…we will…right now Brianna comes first…I gotta go call for help,” Alexa said, reaching for her cell phone. Before she could call 9-1-1, Dean shoots his gun in the air. “What the–,” Tarik Jr yelled. “There’s still the matter at hand, kiddies—I think my good friend has something to tell me,” he said to them. “You kidding me…his sister’s dying and all you care about is stealing my boyfriend…you fucking jerk,” she said, hitting him. “Look…I didn’t mean to shoot the kid, aiight…I was trying to prove a point,” he said. “Typical—just help us please,” she said. Then Dean puts the gun away and comes to their aid.

“Please don’t let me die, T,” Brianna cried. “I could never do that…Mom and Marvin would kill me,” Tarik Jr said. “Hello…I need an ambulance at the Andersons house…,” Alexa said through her cell phone. “I didn’t mean to shoot your sister…I never meant to hurt you–,” Dean said before Tarik Jr cut him off. “There’s no time…we gotta get her to the hospital…NOW,” Alexa said to them. Dean picked up Brianna and carried her to his car. Tarik Jr and Alexa rounds up the kids before jumping into the car. Dean got in himself and drove off. Dean’s car went roaring down the highway. “Hang on, Bree…we’re almost there,” Tarik Jr said softly. Brianna slowly closed her eyes. “Oh god…she’s going into shock—Dean, hurry up,” Alexa yelled. “I’m driving as fast as I can…I don’t want this kid to die in my car,” Dean yelled back. The gang were awaiting information on James’ condition as Dean drove up to the doors. “Help…my sister—she’s been shot,” Tarik Jr shouted out the car window. Two of the EMTs grabbed the gurney and brought it to the car. He got out to help them. once they got Brianna onto the gurney, they went into the hospital. “Be careful…she’s pregnant,” Alexa told the EMTs. “She’s in very good hands, ma’am,” said the first EMT. She held Tarik Jr tight as Dean watches. T.J. saw the kids and rushed right over. Marvin followed her. “What happened,” they questioned. “Brianna got hurt, Mommy,” Billie cried. “What,” Marvin said. “We got into a fight and Brianna got shot,” Tarik Jr told them. “Oh, my god,” T.J. said as the rest of the gang walked up. “Shot? Who had a gun,” Nyisha asked. “I did,” they heard a voice said. “You,” Tarik yelled. “Dean,” Farrah said. “Um…yes, ma’am…it was me—I shot Brianna,” Dean said. “You little punk,” Marvin growled. He walked up to Dean and punched him in the face. “Whoa, little brother,” Terrence said, holding Marvin back. “You shoot my kid…if she dies, I’m coming after you,” he yelled. “Terrence, take your brother out of here before he gets himself into trouble,” Sheryl said. “Yes, ma’am,” Terrence said, then leaves with Marvin. “You’re in so much trouble, young man…unlike my son-in-law over there,” Sheryl said. “I know,” Dean said. “Now stay put! You better pray my granddaughter pulls through this,” Randy said angrily. “Yes, sir,” Dean said, sitting down. “What is the world coming to,” Dee Dee asked her husband. “I have no idea, babe,” Randy replied. They went back into the waiting room and sat down. Dean looked at Tarik Jr as he talked with his parents. “I swear…I didn’t mean for this to happen,” he said. “It’s not your fault, buddy…you did the best you could,” Tarik said to him. “I’m so sorry, Mom…I was trying to protect her…I really tried,” he said to T.J. He started to cry. She hugged him and whispered, “It’s okay…I won’t hold any of this against you!” “I’m sorry about all this, Marvin,” he said. “Don’t worry about it…I know you didn’t want this to happen, all right,” Marvin said to his stepson. After talking to his parents and stepfather, Tarik Jr went into the restroom and turned on the sink. Dean got up and followed him. Tarik Jr put his hand under the faucet and threw water on his face. Dean came in and runs his fingers across his friend’s back. “Hey! What you doing here,” he yelled. “We need to figure out on what we’re going to tell the police, T,” Dean said. “I know what I’m gonna tell them…you threatened me, your cousin, and my little sister with that gun…I ain’t taking up for a lying jerk like you,” he said. “I see…do you really wanna send me to prison, huh,” Dean said, then kisses his neck. Tarik Jr felt the same bulge in his pants as before. He then had flashbacks about the night in the dorm room. “Ohhh…,” he moans softly as Dean grinds on him. “That’s it, baby…you don’t want me to go, do you,” Dean said, slipping his hand down his friend’s pants. While this was going on, Tarik Jr dreamt that Dean was having anal sex with him. “Bend over and take it like a man,” he heard Dean say to him. Suddenly, he snapped out of it and said, “Stop it, D…I mean it…I won’t change my mind…you almost killed my little sister!” “I told you that I was sorry, man,” Dean said, rubbing on his friend’s chest. He held Tarik Jr tight and kissed him. Seconds later, Tarik Jr pushed him away. “Get your hands off me…I’m not gay,” he yelled. Randy overheard the conversation and walked in on them. “Hello, fellas! What’s going on in here,” he questioned the boys. “That fool was coming on to me…call the police—I want him in jail,” Tarik Jr yelled. Then he walked out of the restroom and slammed the door.

“What the hell did you do to my grandson, huh? He’s already upset with what happened to his sister! He blames himself for it! Were you coming on to him? Were you,” Randy yelled. “I was just playing around with him, Mr. Johnson…I can’t help that I fall in love with your grandson,” Dean told him. “Leave him alone—he’s fragile! My family has a history of mental problems! First, my grandmother—she has her shares of breakdowns, then my mother, my aunts, and now my daughter! If you keep pushing on my grandson like this, he would have a breakdown as well! And if you’re really his friend, you would back off,” Randy said, grabbing his cell phone from his pocket to make a call. Moments later, two officers showed up and put Dean in handcuffs. They hauled him away. Randy went over to T.J. and hugged her tight. “Since we have some time on our hands, you wanna tell me what’s going on with your son,” he questions his daughter. “What do you mean, Dad,” she said. “You and I both know that if we don’t get help for Tarik Jr, he will shut down just like you did…he’s showing the same exact signs as you…if only your mother and I had done the same thing for you…we would’ve prevented you from your first breakdown…it’s not too late for him,” he said. The two of them went down the halls to find Tarik Jr. They turned around the corner to see him sitting on the floor. “Hi, honey! Are you okay,” she asked her son. “Yeah…no…I don’t know…I’m so mixed up, Mom,” Tarik Jr said. “I know the feeling…when your dad and I got a divorce, I was kind of mixed up myself…I never thought I would find the right guy until I met Marvin,” she said. “He’s a good guy…I understand why you and Dad didn’t work out,” he said. “And you grew up to be a fine young man…I’m sorry for what you’re going through with your friend,” she said. “I wish I never met him…it’s been hell for me since we got to college…then Dean got weird on me…he forced me to have sex with him…he tried to turn me out…I hated it…made me sick to my stomach…I don’t wanna turn out like that, Mom…I have a girlfriend now—I don’t wanna hurt her…I can’t—I won’t,” he said softly. “Come here, baby,” she said, holding him tight. Randy joins in and hugged them both. “I’m sorry, Mom…I’m so sorry,” he said with tears in her eyes. Tyrese watched the three of them from afar. Hours later, T.J. went back to the waiting room and closed her eyes. She thought about the conversation she had with Tarik Jr. “You have nothing to be sorry about, okay,” she remembers telling her son. “Okay,” he said back. “I was thinking maybe we could go and talk to someone about this…I can come with you if you want,” she said. Tarik Jr shook his head in agreement. Suddenly, a voice called out to her. She opened her eyes again as Bridget sat down next to her. “Hey, sis…how are you holding up,” she asked. “Not so good…it just reminds me of what happened to Zack…I didn’t mean it like that,” T.J. said. “I had it coming…he’s DeWayne’s son and I’ve accepted it…he made all of our lives a living hell…even with what he’s done to you and I didn’t notice it,” she said. “Sorry,” T.J. said. “No…I’m sorry…it’s about my little niece and her baby now…I can only pray you and Marvin don’t have to go through the same thing that Kevin and I went through,” she said. T.J. nods his head in agreement. Meanwhile, Alicia was buying some chips from the snack machine in the basement. She heard a noise from afar. “Hello? Is anybody there,” she said. There was no answer. She went upstairs and heads toward the waiting room. Out of nowhere, she was grabbed from behind. Randy was sitting there reading the newspaper. He was also thinking about what Tarik Jr just said. He saw his grandson sleeping on the couch and suddenly realized that Alicia was missing. Someone was dragging her into a closet and shutting the door. Then she turned around slowly to see a man wearing black clothes and a ski cap.

“Bucky,” she said.  “Hey, Ali! Think I’ve forgotten about you? Think again,” Bucky said, revealing himself. She pulled away from him and ran to the door. He grabbed her by the throat and slammed her against the wall. Randy heard the noise and went toward the closet. “Where do you think you’re going, huh? You still owe me from yesterday, baby,” Bucky said, rubbing on her leg. “No…get away from me,” she said softly. He stuck his tongue down her throat. He pulled her onto the floor and unbuckled his pants. “I will make you enjoy this, bitch,” he whispered, then rips away her panties. “No, Bucky…stop it—owww,” she screamed at the top of her lungs. When he was grunting, someone came in and hit him from behind. She looked up to see who was standing in front of her. “Stay back or I’ll scream,” she said to the mysterious person. “Ali? It’s me,” the person said to her. “Grandpa? I’m so glad to see you,” she said once she learned that it was Randy. She hugged him tight. He picked up his granddaughter and carried her out of the closet. “Can you tell Grandma that I’m sorry for not listening to her about Bucky,” she whispered. “I wouldn’t worry about it…she knows…she always knows,” he said. Moments later, the police arrested Bucky. Alicia was in the ER being treated for her bruises by the doctor when Meghan and Dee Dee came in. “Mom,” she called out. “Oh, honey,” Meghan said, hugging her oldest daughter tight. “What happened,” Dee Dee asked her husband. “That stupid kid—Bucky—showed up here and went after our granddaughter but I stopped him…he’s being charged with the hit-and-run…now it’s up to Ali if she wanna press charges against him for sexual assault,” Randy said. “Well, I hope she does…that Bucky kid need to be taken off the street…right now,” Dee Dee said. They watched Meghan and Alicia from the door. “I’m sorry for causing all these problems for you and Dad…you guys were right about Bucky—he’s bad news…Dad wouldn’t be in here if it wasn’t for me…I deserved to be punished for bringing him to our house in the first place,” Alicia said. “Honey, let’s not think about that right now…the most important thing here is that you are safe and sound…you learned a valuable lesson here—Bucky isn’t the right guy for you…someday after this whole situation is behind us, you’ll be able to find love again…this time you’ll be careful…but for now, you’re grounded…don’t put us through this ever again, you hear me,” Meghan said. “Yes, Mom,” she said with tears in her eyes. The next morning, everyone were fast asleep in the waiting room until the doctor came in to talk with them. “Sorry we haven’t heard about James yet,” T.J. said. “No worries…go be with your daughter,” Meghan said. They hugged as Alicia slept on the couch. Soonafter, he leads her and Marvin to their daughter’s hospital room. “Oh…my baby,” T.J. said softly. She sat down next to Brianna’s bedside. “Okay, Dr. Brown…tell me the truth…how bad is it,” Marvin asked him. The two of them leave the room and shut the door. Sam showed up as they talked. “Um…what’s going on,” he asked them. “That’s none of your goddamn business…all of this started when you got my daughter pregnant, Sam Brady,” Marvin said angrily.  They started to argue. T.J. and the rest of the gang jumped in to stop them. “Marvin, stop it…please…he’s not worth it,” T.J. said to her husband. “What’s going on over here,” Sheryl asked them. “I guess you all should know…this guy here—he’s the father of your unborn great-grandson, in-laws,” Marvin replied. “What,” she yelled. “Oh my god,” Dee Dee said. “You went after my granddaughter–what is wrong with you,” Randy growls. “Brianna is only 15! How old are you, young man,” Stephen questioned him. “Thirty-six, sir,” Sam said. Then Randy punched him out.

Kevin, Danny, and Stephen jumped in to pulled Randy off of Sam. “Stay away from Brianna or you’ll have to answer to me, punk,” he yelled. “I can’t do that, Mr. Johnson…I love her,” Sam said. “She’s a child and you’re a grown man…it ain’t healthy,” Dee Dee said. “I can’t leave our unborn son,” he said. “Leave now or we’ll have you arrested for statutory rape,” Sheryl said to him. All of a sudden, they heard moaning in the next room. “Mom…Dad,” Brianna whispered. T.J. and Marvin rushed to their daughter’s bedside. “Hi, baby…how are you feeling,” they asked her. “Painful…what happened to me,” she said. As they talked, Randy stopped Sam from interrupting them. “Sam? Is that you,” Brianna said, looking toward the door. “Um…yeah,” Sam said back. “We should let this child rest…Mr Brady has to go now,” Sheryl said through her teeth. “Grandma, I need to talk to Sam…please,” she said. Sam got past Randy and sat down next to her. “Hey there…are you okay,” he asked. “Yeah…I’m okay,” she told him. Marvin stood there and watched them closely. “What about our baby…is he okay,” he asked. “The baby is fine–it’s time to go, Sam,” Marvin spoke up. “Dad…,” she said. “You need to rest, honey…Sam, we need to talk…NOW,” T.J. said through her teeth. The three of them left Brianna’s room. “What were you thinking, Sam? You shouldn’t be here,” T.J. yelled. “I’m sorry, Tiffani, but I had to see if Brianna and the baby was all right,” Sam told her. “Brianna is fine…Tiffani and I are handling it–we don’t need your help,” Marvin said angrily. “Yes, you do…in case you have forgotten, I love your daughter and our unborn son…I do care what happens to them,” he said back. “God! Don’t remind us, Sam! You betrayed us–our friendship is destroyed for who, our fifteen-year-old daughter,” she shouted at him, then walks away. Marvin went after her. Soonafter, Randy confronted Sam. “I heard everything, young man! How could you hurt my daughter like that, huh,” he asked. “I didn’t mean to…just can’t help how I feel about your granddaughter,” Sam said. “Brianna is a child, Sam–have you no shame? Last I heard, rape is still a crime in this town,” he said. “I didn’t rape her, Mr. Johnson,” Sam yelled. “She is one of your students–I should have you arrested for this,” he said, grabbing for his cell phone. Sam stops him from calling the police. “Now that we’re alone, I believe there’s something we need to discuss,” Sheryl said to her granddaughter. “Uh-oh…is this another lecture about boys,” Brianna questioned. “I get it…I was a girl too…you’re at that age when you start to like boys but why Sam…he’s too old for you,” she said. “It is a lecture…you can’t tell me who to love,” Brianna said to her. “Can’t you see what you’re doing to this family…this man is a close friend of your mother’s…it’s breaking her heart,” she said. “But I love him–you don’t understand,” Brianna yelled. “You’re 15! You don’t know what love is,” she yelled back. “You and Mom did the same exact thing,” Brianna told her. “Your grandfather was the same age as me–it’s different from your infatuation with Sam,” she said. “Terrell Thompson is not my grandfather…at least I didn’t lie to my mom and Uncle Chuckle like you did,” Brianna mumbled under her breath. “I did it to protect them…if I had told your mother and your uncle the truth back then, I would’ve lost my husband–I couldn’t take that risk,” she said. “Guess lying runs in the family,” Brianna said. “What I did isn’t compared to what you’re doing to your mother…you gotta end it with that grown man and get back into your parents’ good graces immediately,” she said, looking out the window. As she rambles on, Brianna started yawning. “…you don’t want your parents to turn their backs on you because of that guy…you hear me, Brianna,” she said. Then she turns around to see her granddaughter fast asleep.

“We need to deal with the situation,” Stephen said, coming through the door. They left to find Randy and Dee Dee. T.J. and Marvin were in the cafeteria with Nyisha, Farrah, Tarik, and Terrence. “Hey, guys…how are you holding up,” they asked. “We’re good,” T.J. said. “Would’ve been better if Sam wasn’t in our lives,” Marvin added, then wraps his arms around her. “What was he thinking, huh–showing up like that and now our parents knows about him and Bree,” Farrah said to them. “What a jerk,” Nyisha said as their parents walked in. “Hi, kids…mind if we talk to T.J. and Marvin for a minute,” Sheryl said. “Whatever you have to say to me and Marvin, you can say it to them…they know what’s going on, Mom,” T.J. told her. “Then you know that I don’t approve of this–your child’s relationship with that man…the two of you need to put a stop to this right now,” she told her daughter and son-in-law. “I know–I don’t like this either but Marvin and I are handling it, Mom,” T.J. said. “You gotta do more than that, Tiffani! Get her away from that man! It would really help if you cut ties with him also,” she demanded. The rest of the gang agreed. “Okay, Mom…what do you think we should do,” T.J. asked. “For starters, we may need to get a restraining order against Sam…keeping him away from this family including the baby…I don’t want you guys to wind in the same situation like Josh and Myra,” Sheryl said to them. T.J. thought back on that day and said, “I don’t want that…Josh had everyone believe that the twins…I cannot–I will not go through that again, you guys!” Meanwhile, Sam went back to Brianna’s hospital room. He looked through the glass window as she slept. He goes inside, grabs a nearby magazine, and sat by her bedside. “Sam…,” Brianna moans. “Hey…I thought you were asleep,” he said softly. “I wasn’t sleeping at first…just closed my eyes for a second to get my grandmother out of here,” she yawns. “Now that wasn’t nice what you just did to your grandmother,” he said. “She doesn’t want us to be together, Sam…she’s much worse compared to my mom and dad,” she cried. He hugged her tight, unaware that they were being watched. “Don’t worry, baby…we’ll be okay,” he said to her. They shared a kiss just before the door opened. A shadowy figure stood over them and said, “What the fuck is going on in here?” “Uncle Shane,” Brianna said. “I thought my mom told you to leave, Sam,” said Shane. “I did but I came back…you can’t keep us apart–we belong together, Shane,” Sam said. “Wanna bet,” Shane said, then pushes Sam. He took a swing at Shane. The two men started to fight. “Sam! Uncle Shane! Stop it,” she screams at them. The two guards heard the commotion and ran down the halls. The gang followed the guards as they goes into Brianna’s hospital room. Everyone went to see what was going on. “Break it up, you two…I said break it up,” the guards yelled at Shane and Sam. T.J. broke through the crowd to see her brother and her best friend being held facedown on the floor. Brianna got out of her bed, pushed one of the guards away, and rushed over to Sam. “Don’t hurt him…please,” she cried. “Do these young men belong to you, ma’am,” the guard asked her. “Only that one…he’s my son but you can take the other guy out of here…NOW,” Sheryl said. “No, Grandma…don’t do this,” she yelled as she held onto Sam. “Remove him from this room…at once,” Sheryl demanded. “No, Grandma–I won’t let you…get off him…Mom,” she whines. “Tiffani, get your daughter…take this man away, gentleman,” Sheryl said. T.J. went over to her daughter and said, “You gotta let him go, baby!” “Uh-uh,” Brianna said back, then held Sam tighter. “Get the doctor in here,” Randy said to the orderly. “Don’t make this worse for yourself, Brianna…once the doctor comes in to give you that shot, the guards will take Sam out of here…now I know you don’t want that,” T.J. said calmly. “I can’t lose him, Mom–I can’t,” Brianna cried. “Sam, help me out here,” T.J. pleads to her friend. “You are not losing me…you gotta go to your mom…do you understand,” Sam said, then kisses Brianna on the forehead. She shook her head and let him go slowly. T.J. hugged her daughter tight. The guards grabbed Sam and took him out of the hospital room. Brianna broke down crying in her mother’s arms. “Shhh…it’s okay, honey,” T.J. whispered softly. “Well I hope y’all happy….your granddaughter is crushed,” he told them. “Don’t let him back into this hospital, you hear me–considered him banned…my husband and I will be getting a restraining order against you, Sam…keeping you away from my daughter, my granddaughter, and my unborn great grandson…don’t come back,” Sheryl said. The two of them started to argue until they heard someone scream. Then everyone went back into the room to see T.J. holding her unconscious daughter in her arms.

“What happened to her,” Sam asked. “I don’t know–she was complaining of having sharp pains in her stomach–then she just collapsed,” T.J. cried. Marvin went to console his wife as the doctors rushes in to save their daughter. Everyone was sent out of the room. T.J. got mad and punched a hole into the wall. Sheryl tried to console her but was pushed away. Instead, T.J. rushes into her father’s arms. The doctors took Brianna into the operation room. Sam watched them from the outside as the family consoles T.J. Tarik Jr started having flashbacks of his sister’s shooting. “It’s all my fault…Bree could die because of me,” he said, then walks away from everyone. Randy brought T.J. over to the couch and sat her down. “Take it easy, honey,” he said to her. Marvin knelt down in front of her and said, “You should listen to your dad…take a deep breath…in and out, okay!” “Okay,” T.J. said, then did exactly what they told her to do. “I don’t think she should be here…suppose she has another breakdown,” Dee Dee said to Randy and Sheryl. “I won’t…I’m fine…just can’t leave my daughter–she needs me,” T.J. said, choking back her tears. “You sure, honey,” Randy questioned. “Yeah…there’s someone that I made a promise to, Dad…and I’m going to keep it,” T.J. said, looking at Billie. She smiled at her mom. Meanwhile, Tarik Jr went upstairs to the roof. He was thinking about everything that happened to him. “Don’t fight it…I always get what I want…it’s only a matter of time before I have you calling me Daddy,”  Dean’s voice echoed in his head. “Get out of my head,” he said softly. “Stop fighting me…stop fighting me now…relax while I fuck your muthafucking brains out…love it-love it,”  Dean’s voice echoed again. Thinking about what Dean had done to him, Tarik Jr covers his ears and let out a bellowing scream. Back at the hospital, the two families waited to hear from the doctor about Brianna’s condition. “Hey! Where’s Tarik Jr,” T.J. spoke up. “I don’t know…he was here a second ago,” Marvin said. “We gotta find him,” Tarik said. As they got up, a team of security guards rushed right past them. “Whoa–what’s going on, Ian,” Nyisha asked one of the guards. “Some kid on the roof–threatening to jump,” Ian told her. “Um, is this the kid you’re talking about,” T.J. asked as she shows him a picture that she pulled up on her cellphone. “Yes, ma’am,” he replied. “We gotta get up there,” Nyisha said. The four of them went with the guards. Tarik Jr was standing on the ledge of the building. “God…I don’t deserve to live because I’ve hurt so many people…my mom cuz I pushed her into a wall…my little sister cuz I didn’t protect her…and now Lexie…Bree doesn’t deserve this…if you wanna take someone, take me…TAKE ME,” he screams. “Hold it right there, young man…get away from that ledge,” said one of the guards. “Stay back…or I’ll jump,” he yelled. As the guards tries to talk him down, Tarik and Marvin listens in. “I hope he doesn’t jump,” said Nyisha. “I know why he’s doing it…everything that happened to him since he went off to college…his best friend was coming on to him…then his little sister gets shot…he just admitted to me and Dad that Dean raped him–oh god–he wants to die because he’s ashamed of that,” T.J. said softly. “Oh my god…that stupid kid–will he ever learn,” Nyisha said. “My cousin has been going after your son since high school,” a voice spoke up. Then the four of them turned around to see who it was.

“You knew what was going on with him, Alexa,” T.J. said. “Yes, ma’am…he was afraid to tell you and his dad…he thought you guys would hate him for it,” Alexa told her. “Oh my god…his dad and I don’t hate him–we could never hate him–he’s our son,” she said. “We may be divorced but we do the best we can for him and his brother,” Tarik spoke up. “We need to do something before we lose our son…fast,” she said. Tarik Jr was sitting on the ledge when Ian lets T.J., Tarik and Alexa onto the roof. “Hey there, my boy…what’s going on,” Tarik said. “What are you doing here, Dad,” Tarik Jr asked him. “Come off that ledge and talk to us, son,” he said back. “Uh-uh,” Tarik Jr mumbled. “Please don’t do this…we love you, son…you have to come down from that ledge,” T.J. pleaded. “Mom, please…I want you to leave…you shouldn’t be here…GO,” Tarik Jr yelled. “I’m not going anywhere…just give me your hand…I’m not leaving without you,” she begs. “You and Dad would be better off without me…look what I did to you…I hurt you, Mom…I couldn’t keep my little sister safe…I rather be dead,” Tarik Jr said. “And I said that I forgive you for that…I’m not mad, honey…I’m just trying to understand why you’re so angry all the time…please talk to me,” she said. “I can’t, Mom–just can’t…just leave me alone, okay,” Tarik Jr yelled. “What about me? Should I leave you alone, too,” Alexa asked him. “You don’t deserve me…I let Dean come between us, Lex,” Tarik Jr said. “Don’t you know that it’s gonna take more than my idiot cousin to break us up…baby, I love you,” Alexa said, walking over to him slowly. “I’m cursed…anyone who comes near me gets hurt–maybe you should find someone else to love instead of me,” Tarik Jr said, then turns away from her. “You sure about that…then what do I tell our child,” Alexa said to him. “Huh?! What are you talking about,” Tarik Jr questioned. “I’m pregnant with your baby…just found out today…I’ve been to the doctor last week and wanted to share this with you…I–we don’t want you to die, please…we need you,” she told him face to face. “I’m gong be a daddy,” he questioned. “Yeah,” she whispered. He got up and hug her. Everyone was relieved. The guards brought Tarik Jr down from the ledge. He went over to his parents and hugged them. Alexa watched them from afar. Nyisha and Marvin joined them. “Hey, kid…you okay,” they asked him. “Yeah, you guys,” Tarik Jr said. “You scared me half to death–don’t ever do again, all right,” T.J. said to him. “All right, Mom…I’m sorry for putting you through that,” Tarik Jr said back. They all went downstairs to the waiting room. “Hey there, boy…are you feeling okay,” Stephen asked his stepgrandson. “Yeah…I’m okay,” Tarik Jr answered. “That’s good to know…you had us all worried,” Sheryl said, hugging her grandson. “I’m sorry, Grandma,” he said softly. “You’re forgiven, baby boy…just do me a favor: don’t scare your mother like that…she loves you,” she said. Hours later, the doctor came out with some good news. T.J. and Tarik Jr went in to see Brianna. “Hey there, baby…how are you feeling,” she asked her daughter. “I’m okay, Mom,” Brianna whispered. “Hey, Bree…I’m sorry this happened to you,” Tarik Jr said. “It wasn’t your fault,” Brianna said back. He leans over to hug his sister. The nurse came in and said, “Hello, everyone!” ” Hi, Nurse Scott,” they said. “We have a visitor,” Nurse Scott said, then comes in with a baby in her arms. “Awww,” said T.J. and Tarik Jr. “Do you want to hold your son,” Nurse Scott asked. Brianna looked at the baby, then turns to her mother. “It’s okay…go ahead, honey,” T.J. said. Then she got the baby from the nurse and placed him into Brianna’s arms.

Kyle went outside and sat on a curb in front of the hospital. Suddenly, a dark car pulled up. “Hey, kid…get over here,” said the person inside it. He went to see who it was. “Hey…where’s Kyle,” Bridget asked. “I dunno,” everyone else said, shrugging their shoulders. A car drove up and gunshots rang out. T.J. grabbed the kids and dropped to the floor. “What’s going on,” Brianna questioned. “I don’t know but I’m going to find out…Tarik Jr, keep an eye on your sister and nephew…no matter what happens out there, don’t leave this room…I need you to do this for me, bud,” T.J. said. “Okay, Mom,” Tarik Jr said. She patted him on the back and left the room. “Oh my god…Kyle,” Bridget screamed. She, Kevin, and everyone else went to see where the gunshots were coming from. Before they could get to the door, two huge men comes in holding Kyle by the back of his jacket. “It’s C-Dog…he killed Zack, Mom,” he said. “What–you killed my son…you jerk,” she screamed at C-Dog as he and his boys pulled their guns on her. T.J. came out and joined her family. Sheryl stood between Bridget and the three men. “So what? I killed your little boy! Boo-fucking-hoo! He deserved to die because he’s the son of a crook! And my uncle went to jail all because of the town’s favorite family–the precious Thompsons! Oh you remember the Don, don’t ya,” C-Dog said. ” Oh, my god…Audrey’s father,” Bridget said as C-Dog chuckled softly. “Cavalier Ramone is your uncle,” T.J. questioned him with one hand in her pocket. “Yeah…ain’t you the cop who locked him up…I know all about you but I thought that T.J. was a boy’s name,” C-Dog said to her. “You little jerk,” Marvin growls. C-Dog cocks his gun and pointed it at him. “Uh-uh-uh! I wouldn’t do that if I were you, buddy! Get back,” he yells. “Don’t hurt my daddy,” Angel yelled before Randy covers her mouth. “Shut up, you,” he growled at her. “Why would you kill an innocent little boy, huh…Zack didn’t do anything to you,” Dee Dee yelled. “That innocent little boy was going to destroy my business! He had evidence on me and my boys on that stupid little camera of his–things that could send my organization to prison for a very long time–he had to die,” he said, then continues to rant as T.J. records the whole conversation onto her cellphone behind her. “So you killed my grandson…to avoid jail time,” Sheryl said angrily. “Let’s just say he was uh…collateral damage…I want that camera…NOW,” C-Dog screams at them. “My son is dead and all you care about is his video camera–no you can’t have it,” Bridget cried. “My uncle warned me about you…he still wants you dead but I’m giving you an out…either you hand over baby boy’s camera or die behind him and DeWayne…you’ll be the perfect little family–pushing up daisies,” he said, then points his gun towards her. “Noooo,” Sheryl said as she shields her youngest daughter. Suddenly, the gun went off. The whole hospital heard the gunshots. C-Dog stood there with a smile on his face. Kyle saw the person laying there on the floor covered in blood. “Noooooooo…Grandma,” he screamed. He got out of the men’s grip and ran to her. Kevin stopped his son and hold him tight. T.J. took out her gun and shot C-Dog in the shoulder. His guys tossed away their guns and gave themselves up. The guards grabbed the three men quickly. “Mom…,” she cried. Everyone rushed over to Sheryl with years in their eyes. Randy hugged T.J. and slowly took the gun out of her hand. Dee Dee and her five kids hugged them both. Then the doctors came down the hallway with a stretcher and put Sheryl onto it.

As they worked hard to save Sheryl, T.J. stood outside the ER. Marvin came up to her and asked, “How are you holding up?” ” I’m not sure, Marv…guess I was selfish like Bridget said…I’ve been trying to replace Terrell with my dad…I just couldn’t face my mom and now…I could lose her,” she said, holding back her tears. “Hey…you’re not gonna lose your mom…she’s too tough to die…there’s still time to make it up to her, Tiff,” he said softly. She turned around and hugged him. “What if it’s too late,” she said. “It’s never too late,” he whispered to his wife. Randy shows up and watched them from the end of the hallway. Three weeks later, T.J. sat by her mother’s bedside. Sheryl was hooked up to a ventilator. “We finally got them…you would’ve been so proud of your grandson…Kyle helped the police put C-Dog away in prison…and as for your granddaughter, Brianna–she’s doing just fine…she doesn’t know what happened to you…I wish you could see your great-grandson, Bryan Anderson Brady…boy, he has a set of lungs on him…if only you could wake up, Mom…we need you–I need you,” she said softly. She bows her head as Dee Dee and Randy looks on. “I’m sure she heard that,” Dee Dee spoke up. “How long were you guys standing there,” she asked them. “Not long…how are you holding up,” Randy questioned. “I’m good, Dad…but I think I messed things up with Mom,” she said. “No, you didn’t! She knows that you needed your space to figure this out! No matter what happens, she will always loves you,” Dee Dee said. T.J. shook her head in agreement. “Hello there, old friend…you and Terrell have raised such a beautiful young woman here…she misses you so much–all of your children do…they already lost one parent…don’t put them through the pain of losing you too,” Randy said. “Come back to us, Sher,” Dee Dee said. “Mom…please wake up,” T.J. said. “Mmm…please don’t cry, honey,” a voice said. “Mom? I’m so happy to see you,” she said. “Welcome back, Sheryl,” Dee Dee said to her friend. “How are you feeling,” Randy asked her. “Fine now…thanks for taking care of my daughter,” Sheryl said to them as she hugged T.J. tight. One year later, the gang were getting their lives back on track. Sixteen-year-old Brianna has a New boyfriend, Isaiah Matthews, and currently raising her nine-month-old Bryan. She and Isaiah met a few months after the shooting. Tarik Jr and Alexa became new parents themselves. They have a daughter: Leslie. Tyrell hooked up with a new girl, LaTisha Wilson, who has a child of her own. The two of them met at the city gym. Dean is still in jail for attempted murder. He calls his friend occasionally but doesn’t get through. Bridget and Kevin has a new son, Kevin Johnson Jr. Kyle became a big brother once again. Deena and Mary have become big sisters for the first time. Sixteen-year-olds Alicia and Diane has some new neighbors, a lesbian couple with twin boys, sixteen-year-olds Ben and Reggie, and one girl, six-year-old Phoebe. Twelve-year-old Larissa is getting closer with her new friend, fourteen-year-old Abel Stark. Tarik doesn’t seem to trust the teen who hangs around with his only daughter. Meanwhile, a gold Beemer drove down the street of this quiet little neighborhood. Once it stops, a woman in a black and good dress steps out. Then she looks around, took off her shades, and said, “I’m home!”

At the Thompsons house, Sheryl and Stephen were hosting a back to school party for their grandkids. Tyrell and Tisha were making out in the den as their kids sat outside in the treehouse. “So…,” Tyrell Jr said. “So…what,” Mariah said. “What you wanna do,” Tyrell Jr asked. “I don’t know…what you wanna do,” she said back. They looked at each other and laughed. “I got some new comic books that we could look at,” he said. “Nah,” she said. “We could play video games,” he said. “Uh-uh,” she said. “Wanna play table tennis,” he asked. “Nope,” she said. “Wanna go skateboarding in the park,” he asked. “Okay,” she said. They got down from the treehouse and left the yard. The remaining kids running around the house as Melvin, Dee Dee, and Randy came in with extra bags of potato chips. Charley run up to them and said, “Hi, Grandma…hi, Grandpa…hi, Uncle Melvin!” “Hi, munchkin,” Randy said back as he put down the bags to scoop up his young granddaughter. Danny Jr and Mac were playing table tennis in the basement as the other kids watched. “All right, guys! Time to eat,” Stephen bellows. They stopped playing and ran upstairs to the kitchen. Everyone sat down at the table and bow their heads to say grace before digging in. Hours later, everyone left the Thompsons house. Tyrell gave Tisha and Mariah a ride home. “So…you guys had fun,” he asked the kids. “Yeah, Pop,” Tyrell Jr said, playing a video game. “Yes, Mr Thompson,” Mariah said while texting on her cellphone. “How about you, Tish,” he asked. “Of course, Tyrell…I had a great time…got to meet your folks–it was fun…my sister and I never had that kind of family until our social worker stepped in as our guardian,” Tisha said. “Yeah…sorry about your folks,” he said. “It’s okay–I was a baby when they died…I didn’t know them too well, you know,” she said. “It may not be the same situation but I get the idea,” he said. Randy and Dee Dee were having a late dinner at home. “It’s good to see your daughter finally made up with Sheryl,” Dee Dee said. “Yeah, it is…she’s even helping her son overcome the trauma of what his friend did to him,” Randy said. “Your baby girl’s a grandma now which makes you great-grandpa, honey,” she said. The two of them kissed. “Why do you head on inside–see your aunt Kya? I’ll be right there,” Tisha said. “Okay, Mom,” Mariah said. “So…,” Tyrell said. “So…,” Tisha said back. The two of them chuckled. “Any chance we could do this again,” he asked her. “Yeah…I’d love to,” she answered him. “I’ll call you, all right,” he said. “Looking forward to it,” she said. “Bye,” he said. They shared a kiss before they went their separate ways. Once he got to his car, Tyrell Jr poked his head out and shouted, “So…how about this one, Pop!” He grabs his son and pushes him back through the car window. Meanwhile, Brianna was on her laptop as Bryan slept in his crib. T.J. came in to check up on them. “Light’s out in 5, Bree,” she said. “Ok, Mom,” Brianna said back. Mark and Marlon were watching TV in their bedroom. “Same goes for you, too,” she said through their door. “Yes, Mom,” they said. “Everything good on your end, babe,” Marvin asked his wife. “Yeah,” she said. “Billie, Terrell, and Angel are in the bathroom brushing their teeth so we’re good to go,” he said. “I can’t wait until tomorrow…peace & quiet,” she said. Then they went into the master bedroom.

Moments later, Tyrell was sleeping soundly until he heard a knock on the door. He got up to see who it is. The next day, everyone started back on their original routine. The adults were heading out to work while their kids goes to school. Marvin reports to work at the Assistant DA’s office while T.J. started her shift at her father’s company as head of security. Kevin and Danny came in to start their work. “Hey, sis…how was your day,” they said. “Good…got the kids to school on time and the sitter’s–it’s fine,” she said. “Well…I’m having the best time of my life, Grandma,” said Danny. “Said the guy who screwed his girl, her big sister, and their mom within a 10-year-period…one of these days, you gonna catch something and I’m gonna be there when Ashlee beats your ass,” she said as Kevin chuckled. “Hardy-har-har! You didn’t have to go there, Tiffani,” Danny snickers. The two of them started arguing until Randy came in and slammed the door. “Hey-hey-hey! Time out,” he shouted over two of his bickering children. “Sorry, Dad,” they said. “You know it’s too early for that…get to work now,” he said. “Yes, sir,” they said. The four of them decided to go their separate ways. Tyrell was on the laptop checking on his business accounts just when Tisha came into the bedroom and kissed him on the cheek. “Hey…how did you sleep,” he asked her. “I’m good now…sorry I didn’t feel too well last night,” she replied. “It’s all right…one of my sisters was like that too…Michelle’s a diabetic but she learned the hard way–didn’t know she had it until she gave birth to my niece, Shawna,” he said. “I’m so embarrassed–I’ve never been this sick before! I lived with this since I was 12,” she said. “Hey! Don’t be, all right! It’s okay,” he said, then kissed her. Brandon and Miranda drove up to the Thompsons house. Sheryl was outside watering her garden. “Hi, Mom,” they said to her. “Hi,” she said, “What brings you by?” “We wanted to see how you were doing,” Brandon said. “I’m doing so much better these days,” she said. “You mean since T.J. came to the house the other day after all this time,” he said. “Don’t be upset with your sister…I’m sure she means well plus I didn’t make it any easier for her or Chuckie–I mean I kept away from their father all those years ago so we’re even,” she said. “Well I’m glad she came by,” Miranda interrupted them. “Me too,” she said. Later that day, T.J. was at the city gym working out when she saw a familiar face coming through the door. “Kay,” she said. “Hello, old friend,” the person said. The two of them hugged. Meanwhile, Larissa and Abel were a couple blocks away playing basketball on the courts. “You can’t get past me,” he said. “Wanna bet,” she said. As Abel goes one way, Larissa slips away and heads for the basket to make the shot. “Awww, man…,” he said. “I told ya,” she said, then giggled. The two of them shared a kiss. “So…what brings you back here, Kameelah,” T.J. asked. “I got a new job…new place…new man–I wanted to make things right with us, you know,” Kameelah said. “Huh? We didn’t end things too well,” she said. “I know! What we did to you was wrong–I was wrong! I’m sorry, buddy! Will you ever forgive me for that,” Kameelah said. “I don’t know–I need some time to think about it,” she said. “O-kay! I could do that–I owe you, T! Let me know what you decide, all right,” Kameelah said. “Okay…I will,” she said, wiping sweat from her forehead. Then they shook hands, not knowing that they were being watched.

“I gotta go! My niece is down the street with a friend! Bye,” she said, then walked away. “See you later, buddy,” Kameelah said back. Larissa and Abel were joking around when someone approached them. “May we help you,” they asked. “You don’t remember me, do you,” the person said. “No, I don’t…who are you,” Larissa said. “I’m Warren Jones…your father,” he said. As they talked, T.J. showed up. “Hi, kiddo…I know that I was supposed to be back sooner but–you,” she said before seeing who was talking with the kids. “Hi, T.J.! Long time no see,” Warren said. “Larissa, head over to the car…I’ll be there in a minute,” she said. “Okay…bye, mister,” Larissa said. “Bye, babe…she grows up so fast,” he said. “What are you doing here, Warren,” she said. “It’s no business of yours,” he said. “You must’ve missed the news flash–she’s my niece which makes it my business…why are you here,” she asked. “I’ve came to see my three daughters if you don’t mind,” he said. “Ashley and Alyssa haven’t seen you in years and Larissa doesn’t even remember you! Just go, all right,” she said, then went back to her car and drove away quickly. “See you later, honey,” Warren said to himself. “Auntie Tiffani…who was that man–how does he know you,” Larissa questioned. “He’s an old friend and I think you should ask your mom about it,” T.J. said. “Mom knew him too…did she cheat on Dad,” she asked. “She was raped right about the same time you were conceived–you really need to talk with your mom about this! It’s not my place,” T.J. said. Tarik was on the front porch of his home when they drove up. “Hey, sweetie,” he said. Larissa didn’t say anything. She went into the house and shut the door. “What’s wrong with her,” he questioned his sister-in-law. “She saw Warren, Tarik…he’s back,” T.J. said. “Shit,” he said. “Is my sister home,” she asked him. “Um, yeah…in the den,” he said. As they went inside, Nyisha was consoling her daughter. “Hey, kiddo…I heard about your run-in with Warren…are you okay,” he asked Larissa. “I thought he left town,” Nyisha said. “Apparently, he came back to see all of his kids,” T.J. said to her sister. “I better warn Farrah,” she said. “He said that he was my dad…is it true, Mom,” Larissa asked her. “Yes, honey…Warren Jones is your dad,” she said. Larissa sat there in shock after hearing that news. Tarik Jr was at the apartment playing with his daughter when Alexa came in with some of her friends. “Hello, ladies,” he said to them. “Hi–didn’t expect to see you here…and how’s our little girl,” she asked him. “She’s fine, Lex–just hanging out with her daddy,” he said. “Awww! That’s so sweet! Such a gentleman spending time with his daughter…I wish Roman would do that,” said one of the girls. “Well…I’ll be upstairs if you need me,” he said. “Can I have the baby, please,” she said. “Sure, Lex,” he said. She grabbed the baby from him and went back to her friends. He waved to his daughter and go upstairs. “You should’ve let him hang out with her a little bit longer–he enjoys it,” said the second girl. “I know but I haven’t seen her all morning…he took care of me during the pregnancy…helps me out with Leslie ever since she was born–he needs to take a break,” she said. “I don’t know…I would love to have a man like yours, Lexie,” said the third girl as she checks out Tarik Jr. “Stop it,” Alexa told her friend. Then she smacks the girl in the back of her head.

Farrah and Terrence rushes over to the Lanes house. The car came to a screeching halt before they got out of it. Nyisha and Tarik were sitting quietly in the living room when T.J. answered the door. “Hi, guys,” she said. “We came as soon as we could…am I hearing this right–Warren’s back in town,” Farrah said. “Yep…Larissa has already seen him,” Nyisha said to her sister. “How did that little punk get close to your daughter,” Terrence yelled. “She was with a friend of hers when he approached her–a kid named Abe or something,” T.J. said. “It’s Abel…knew it wasn’t a good idea for Larissa to be hanging out with that kid, Iz,” said Tarik. “Abel is not the problem here,” Nyisha told him. “She’s right, brother-in-law…it’s Warren,” T.J. said. “Then there’s a good chance out girls will see him, too,” said Terrence. “Can he do that, you guys,” Farrah asked them. “We gotta call out lawyer on this,” said Tarik. “Same here,” Terrence added. They got on their cellphones and left the room. “Glad you got our niece out of there before Warren made his next move,” Farrah said. “Yeah…thanks,” Nyisha agreed. “No problem, y’all…I would do anything for that kid,” T.J. said to her sisters. “Remember that night he attacked you,” Farrah said. “Yeah–who could forget…scariest night of my life,” Nyisha said. The three of them continued talking as Larissa listens in. They had a flashback of the attack. “What happened here,”  T.J. remembers asking one of the officers. “A young woman was just attacked…the guy ran off in the alley…my partner went after him,”  the officer told her. “Oh, my god…Nyisha,”  she said, recognizing the person in the ambulance. “You know her,”  the officer asked. “Um, yeah…be right back,”  she said, then goes to her wounded friend. “T.J.? What are you doing here,”  Nyisha questioned. “I heard about some woman being attacked–are you okay,”  she said. ” No…I’m not okay…some guy threw me to the ground–he pinned me down and raped me, ”  Nyisha said. “Did you see who it was,”  she questioned. “I don’t know–it happened so fast…I didn’t see his face,”  Nyisha cried. ” You guys mind leaving us alone for a minute, ”  she said. Once the EMTs walked away, Nyisha whispered something in T.J.’s ear. The girls snapped out of it when the boys came back into the room. “Hey there! What were you girls talking about,” Tarik asked them. “The night that Warren raped Nyisha,” Farrah said to her brother-in-law. Then he went over to his wife and hold her tight.

Kameelah and Warren meet up at the diner to talk. “Hey, little bro! What’s going on with you,” she said. “Catching up with old friends…meeting up with my now-12-year-old daughter until T.J. showed up,” he said. “Yeah? Word around town is T.J. and Chuckie aren’t really Thompsons–they’re Nyisha and Farrah’s sister and brother,” she said. “Which means we got a new problem, sis…I can’t get near my kid with her new aunt in the way,” he said. “I’ll handle T.J.–I’ve broken her down before…I’ll do it again,” she said. “Are you okay, babe,” Tarik asked his wife. “Yeah…I’m okay,” said Nyisha. Meghan and James showed up at the house seconds later. “Hey, guys…what’s going on in here,” they said. “Warren’s in town,” Farrah told them. “The little jerk who raped Nyisha,” Meghan asked them. “Yeah,” T.J. said, “I saw him talking to Larissa today at the basketball courts, you guys!” “Don’t you have full custody of your daughter,” James questioned. “Yes, we do…he left town a week later…didn’t think we would see him again,” Tarik responded. “And now he’s gotten close to our daughter…what if we have to go to court again–I can’t take it,” Nyisha said in a trembling voice. They all got up and consoled her. After leaving the diner, Kameelah got on her cellphone and made a call. T.J. heard her phone buzz and left the room. “Hello,” she whispered. “So…have you thought about our talk earlier,” Kameelah asked her. “Yeah, um…I’m willing to give you another chance but no more tricks, got it,” she said. “Got it…bye,” Kameelah said, letting out a devilish grin. “Hey, sis…you feeling all right,” Farrah asked. “Yeah…I’m fine–just catching up with old friends,” she said. Kameelah got into her car and drove away. Meanwhile, Warren was at the park watching a group of kids playing soccer. He caught the ball as it whizzes at his head. All of a sudden, Ashley showed up. “Hey, kiddo…it’s Daddy,” he said to her. “Hi, Daddy,” she said, then hugged him. Their sudden reunion was interrupted by a slender type guy. “Excuse me, sir…who are you,” the guy said. “I’m the twins’ father…who are you, man,” he said. The two men started to argue. Everyone went over to see what was going on. The cops came to stop them. Alyssa broke through the crowd and saw Warren. “Daddy,” he heard her say. She ran to him and hugged him tight. “What’s going on over here,” the officer asked them. “This man is trespassing–the girls’ mother and stepfather has custody…he has parental rights, officer,” the guy said. “I’ll leave…see you later, girls,” Warren said as he backs away. “Bye, Daddy,” said Ashlee and Alyssa as he left the park. While Alexa was chatting with her friends, Tarik Jr was fast asleep upstairs. He woke up and answered it. “Hello? Hello! Who is this,” he said. “Hello, baby! Miss me,” a voice said. “How did you get this number, Dean,” he growled. “Now you know you can’t get rid of me that easily…besides I have my ways, sexy boy,” Dean said seductively. “Shut up,” he whispered . “You used to love it when I called you that…I’ve been thinking about that night in our dorm room when I was fucking you in the ass,” Dean said as he starts to jack off. “I don’t wanna hear this–I’m hanging up now,” he said. “You sure you wanna do that…I’ll just keep calling until you talk to me, baby,” Dean said. “Why are you doing this to me,” he questioned. “Cuz I love you, T…I thought you love me too…that’s what you told me when we were having sex that night,” Dean moans. Tarik Jr hung up on his misguided friend and left the room. “Hey, baby–are you okay,” Alexa said, bumping into him on the way to the kitchen. “Uh, yeah…I’m okay…just need some fresh air,” he said. Then he went outside, got on his motorcycle, and rode away.

As he roars down the street, Tarik Jr thought about that fateful night in the dorm room. He remembers Dean walking up to him, taking the bag away. Dean kisses him on the mouth. Tarik Jr tries to fight Dean off but he was too strong for him. Dean pushed his friend down on the bed and slowly caressing him. “Why are you doing this to me–ohh,”  he heard himself say. “No talking, baby–just let go,”  Dean’s voice echoed. Suddenly, Tarik Jr shook it off and stopped his motorcycle. “FFFFUUUUCCCCKKKK,” he screams at the top of his lungs. “Izzy? Snap out of it,” Farrah said to her big sister. “Mom? Are you okay,” Larissa said. “Huh? Yeah! I’m okay, honey,” Nyisha said. “Does it bother you that I wanna know about Warren,” she questioned. “No it doesn’t…just knew one day I would have to tell you about him and it scares me to death,” Nyisha said. “Why,” she asked. “He hurt me so bad that night…I wanted to protect you from that–I’m so sorry,” Nyisha said to her daughter. “You don’t have to protect me…I can think for myself–you taught me that…if it’s all right with you and Dad, I wanna meet Warren,” she said. “Okay,” Nyisha said. The two of them hugged as Tarik looks on. Hours later, Malcolm, Jerome, and Larissa were listening to their parents arguing from upstairs. “No, no, no!” Tarik yelled. ” Tarik, please…we owe her this–she wants to see him,” Nyisha pleads with her husband. “I don’t want Warren anywhere near our daughter–I won’t allow it, Iz,” he growled. Larissa bursted into the den and said, “You don’t have the right to keep me away from Warren, Dad–you can’t!” “You are my daughter…you do as I say,” he yelled. “You can’t tell me what to do–you’re not my father,” Larissa yelled back. Malcolm, Jerome, and Nyisha were stunned by what they heard. “Go to your mom…NOW,” he said. “I’m outta here,” Larissa mumbled. “Don’t you walk away from me, young lady,” he demanded. She went outside and slammed the door. “Tarik! What did you do,” Nyisha said, then goes out after her heartbroken daughter. Moments later, everyone came back over to help them look for Larissa. “Well, well, well…now the shoe’s on the other foot, brother-in-law,” T.J. said. “What,” Tarik said. “Haven’t you learn from the great Terrell Thompson? Don’t fight with that child or you’ll make it worse,” she said. “I remembered when you came over to my parents’ house after your fights with Mr Thompson…I always made you feel better–good times,” he said, stroking her cheek. He suddenly have a flashback about the two of them when they were younger. “It was a long time ago…we’re grown now,” she said softly. “Yeah…we are,” he said, moving in on her. “Um…what are you doing,” she whispered. “What do you think I’m doing, hmm? We’re grown, right,” he whispered back. “Stop it,” she pleads with him. “You still have that weak spot I liked–you used to love it when I was fucking your brains out,” he said, grabbing her butt. “I said no,” she said. “Big bad T is back…couldn’t resist me then…can’t resist me now,” he said, holding her close to him. Before she could say another word, Tarik leans in and kissed her on the lips. T.J. struggles to get away from him but he grabbed both of her arms. Then he held her against the refrigerator.

T.J. started to have flashbacks of her past with Tarik. He started to unbuckle his pants in front of her. “Just give in…I know you want to,” he said between kisses. As he was unbuttoning her shirt, T.J. suddenly snap out of it and pushed him away. “Stop it, Tarik…I can’t do this again…I nearly lost my husband because of you…my sister–your wife nearly died…just stay away from me, all right,” she yelled. Randy caught the end of their conversation and said, “What’s going on in here? Tarik? Tiffani, what’s wrong?” She didn’t say anything. She was trembling and made no eye contact with the two men. “Nothing’s going on…we were just talking about Terrell Thompson…guess she got a little upset,” Tarik told him. “Why don’t you clean up a bit? Your sisters–they’re waiting for you outside,” Randy said. T.J. shook her head and left the kitchen. He then turns to confront his son in law. “Okay…it’s not what you think,” said Tarik. “Cut the crap–what really happened, huh…don’t tell me that it’s about my dead friend because I know my daughter isn’t shook up for no apparent reason…the last time she was like that, you were beating on her…what did you do now,” Randy growled. Nyisha and Farrah were talking among themselves when T.J. came outside and sat down on the steps. She was still trembling from the incident in the kitchen. “T.J.? Are you feeling okay,” Meghan asked her. “Stop it…I said no,” T.J. heard herself say in her head. Meghan tried to snap her out of it but was thrown to the ground. “What the–,” Nyisha yelled. “What did I do,” Meghan said. Dee Dee and the boys out to see what was going on. “Hey! What happened,” she asked them. As everyone was talking, T.J. slowly snapped out of it. She was unaware of what was going on around her. “I don’t know–ask T.J.,” Meghan said. “Babe? What’s wrong,” Marvin asked his wife. “I don’t know–I’m sorry, Meghan,” T.J. said. “Whoever you were fighting with in your head–keep me out of it, all right,” Meghan said back. “Will somebody tell me what is going on here…NOW,” Dee Dee questioned. “Tarik came on to me in the kitchen a while ago,” T.J. told all of them. She got into the car and slammed the door. Afterwards, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Her hand started to shake but she remained calm as it subsides. “That damn boy,” she heard Dee Dee say outside the car. “I’ll take care of this, Mom,” Nyisha said, getting into the car with T.J. “I can explain, you guys…,” Tarik said. “I knew it…you jerk,” Marvin growled. “Whoa, little brother…take care of your wife, all right,” Terrence said, holding him back. “Do what he says, honey,” Dee Dee said to her son-in-law. Marvin nods his head and got into the car as well. The two of them saw how badly T.J. was shaking. “Please don’t be mad at me–I don’t think I can handle it,” she sobs. “Shhh! We believe you, okay,” Nyisha said, hugging her sister. Marvin joins in and hugged them both. “I’m so sorry,” she said softly. “Calm down, babe…we got you,” Marvin said. All of a sudden, they heard Nyisha’s cell phone buzz. “Hello,” Nyisha answered. Within minutes, the three of them meet up at the diner and saw Larissa there. She was fast asleep in one of the booths. “Hey there, kid,” Nyisha said. “Hi, Mom…how did you find me,” Larissa yawns. “A friend called and told me that you were here! You scared me to death, baby,” she said. “I’m sorry for running out on you, Mommy,” Larissa said. “I’m sorry, too,” she said. The two of them hugged. Moments later, Marvin drove the girls home. Nyisha and Larissa got out of the car. They went to the front door. T.J. was sleeping in the passenger seat. “Hey, Nyisha…let me know if things work out with you guys,” he said. “Same goes for you and my sister,” Nyisha said back. Then he nods his head and drove off.

Tarik waited for them in the den. “Go on up…I’ll be right there,” Nyisha said. Larissa did exactly that. “Glad to see you back, honey,” he said to his stepdaughter. “What’s wrong with you, huh,” she said. “What are you talking about, Iz,” he questioned. “What happened between you and my little sister? She’s scared out of her mind cuz you tried to rape her in our kitchen! What was that about,” she said. “I told you that I didn’t mean it! We was talking about old times–well, I never intend to come on so strong–I’m so sorry, baby! I’m sorry,” he said, grabbing her by the waist and holding her tight. “No! Why should I believe you? Marvin was right–you ain’t never gonna change,” she said, trying to pull away from him. Suddenly, Tarik had flashbacks of the incident in the kitchen. “Stop it, Tarik…I can’t do this again…I nearly lost my husband because of you…my sister–your wife nearly died…just stay away from me, all right,”  he remembers T.J. saying to him. “Who you gonna believe, me or your kid sister,” he said angrily. “Owww! You’re hurting me,” she cried as he squeezes her arm. “Who is it going to be, huh,” he yelled at her. “Stop it,” she said softly. He held Nyisha down on the stairs but she kicked him away. He fell against the wall. “Ah, shit,” he mumbled, then rubs his head. She went upstairs and shut the door. Randy and Dee Dee went over to the Thompsons house to see Sheryl and Stephen. Chuckie answered the door. “Hey, buddy…funny seeing you here…what’s going on,” Randy said to his son. “Just here for a visit…Mom and Stephen went upstairs a while ago…something happened,” he said. “It’s about your twin sister…Tarik came onto her earlier tonight–she’s a little shook up about it,” Dee Dee spoke up. “I thought he was over her…he’s in love with Nyisha,” he said. “We thought so, too, bud,” Randy said. “I’m gonna head over there right now,” he said. “That can wait until tomorrow…besides Marvin took her home,” she said. Meanwhile, Marvin was in the bedroom of his home comforting T.J. She was fast asleep from her recent ordeal. His cellphone started to buzz. “Hey, Mom…everything’s fine….my wife was spooked by her ex but I handled it,” he said as he went into the hallway. The next day, he and T.J. were still in bed until they heard someone knocking on the front door. “Hold on…I’m coming,” Marvin said, heading downstairs. He opened the door to see Sheryl and Stephen standing in front of him. Moments later, T.J. came into the kitchen and saw them talking. “Hey, honey! I heard what happened between you and Tarik! Are you okay,” Stephen questioned. “Yeah…I’m fine…just can’t get past those old times,” T.J. said. “You can’t let Tarik get away with what he did…he needs to be in jail,” Sheryl said. “No, Mom…I’m fine…I just wanna forget it all, okay,” she pleads. “Okay, baby…I’m here if you need me,” Sheryl said, then hugged her daughter. They heard another knock on the door. “I got it,” said Marvin, leaving the room. “Want me to pound Tarik for you,” Stephen asked his stepdaughter. “No…but thanks for the offer,” T.J. chuckled. Suddenly, Chuckie came in. “Hey, Tiff…I heard what happened yesterday…are you okay,” he said. “Yeah, Chuck! I’m fine–who else have you told, Mom,” she said. “He was the one who talked to Dee Dee last night–he told us,” Sheryl said. Then T.J. hugged her twin brother.

As the four of them talked, Marvin got a phone call. He went outside to answer it. “Hello…,” he said. “Tarik need to be taught a lesson, little sister,” Chuckie said. “I already know about your ‘lessons’…I don’t want any of my big brothers going over there to beat him up,” T.J. said. “Easier said than done…try telling that to our brothers…Shane’s not taking this lying down,” he said. “They’re going to beat him up…the price of having big brothers…you need to deal with your sons, Mom,” she said. Meanwhile, Tarik was leaving home when Shane showed up. “Hey, man,” he said. “Hello…let’s go for a ride, shall we,” Shane said. The two of them got into the truck and drove off. Suddenly, T.J. got a call. “Hello? Hey, Iz! What happened? I’ll be right there,” she said, then hung up. “What,” Chuckie asked his twin sister. “That was Nyisha! She told me that Shane came by her house…he and Tarik drove off in his truck a while ago,” she said. “Let’s go,” Stephen said. Shane stopped at an old shack. “What’s going on, man,” Tarik asked him. Three more vehicles showed up. Tarik was grabbed from behind and dragged into the shack. Stephen drove up to the Lanes house. T.J. got out and meet up with Nyisha. “Hey, Iz…any idea where they went,” she asked, then got into the car. “Nope–none…I guess Shane knows what happened,” said Nyisha. “Yep,” she said softly. “Are you okay,” Nyisha questioned. “Yeah…I’m okay,” she said. “Sorry for what happened to you…I don’t know what he was thinking,” Nyisha said. “He had that look…the same one he had when I was married to him…he changed that day,” she said. “I saw it, too…you were right about Tarik…he’s slipping back into his old ways,” Nyisha said. “What’s up, old buddy,” a voice called out. “Jase? Is that you,” said Tarik. He looks up to see Jason, Martin, and Rodney in front of him. “You think we’ve forgotten about you, huh,” Jason said to Tarik. “We heard what you did to our little sister–you’re supposed to be over her, man,” Martin said. “How does Nyisha feel about this, huh,” Rodney said. “I didn’t mean to hurt Tiffani–it was a mistake,” Tarik said. “You sure…that’s our little sister, man…she’s your ex-wife…she doesn’t belong to you anymore,” Shane said, “And to be sure this don’t happen again, we gonna make an example out of you!” He then grabs a bat from his truck. Jason, Martin, and Rodney held Tarik down as Shane moves in on him. “No-no-no,” Tarik yells as Nyisha drove up. “Shane, stop,” T.J. said, holding her big brother back. “What,” Shane said. “Don’t hurt him, please,” said Nyisha. “There’s your wife…stay away from my sister,” he said angrily. “I’m so sorry, baby! I never meant to hurt you and Tiffani–I’m sorry,” Tarik pleads to his wife. “Are you sorry? It’s really hard to forgive you when you went after my little sister! You need some help! Until that happens, I don’t trust you! Shane, give me the bat,” Nyisha said. “No, Izzy, no,” Tarik yelled. Then she screams at her husband and swung the bat at the wall.

“Next time it’ll be your head,” she said, then walked away. She gave the bat back to Shane and left with T.J. “Whoo-hoo…your wife is really pissed…what you done now,” Jason chuckled. “I really hope you work things out with your wife…need my warning: you come near my sister again and we will finish what we started…there ain’t a soul around to save you, punk,” Shane told him. “We’re the Thompsons, boy–we take care of our own,” Rodney said, jumping at Tarik. “Good luck finding your way home, buddy…ha-ha,” Martin chuckled. The boys got into their vehicles, drove away, and leaves Tarik in the lurch. Sheryl and Stephen drove up after everyone left. “Get in…we need to talk,” they said. Nyisha and T.J. were quiet on the long drive back into town. The incident from last night was still fresh in T.J.’s mind. “I’m sorry about all of this,” she finally said to her big sister. In an instant, the car stopped. “No…I am…should’ve let your brothers go upstairs his head–hell I should’ve done it myself…maybe he would’ve stop the carp that he started…Dad warned me about Tarik and what he did to you that night…when you was in the hospital, I heard him telling my mom that he was angry at how he couldn’t be there for you back then…I didn’t understand it until now…if Terrell wasn’t standing in the way, Dad would’ve been there…he didn’t abandon you and Chuckie–Terrell forced him to give you guys up,” Nyisha said. “I figured as much cuz Terrell made my mom go along with raising us as Thompsons,” she said. “Glad you made up with your mom, though,” Nyisha said, “Terrell Thompson is such a jerk…no wonder why you’re always fighting with him!” Suddenly, they burst out laughing. “Feels good, doesn’t it,” she said. “Yeah,” Nyisha said. “Tarik sure looks scared when he thought you hit him with that bat,” she said. “All that pent-up anger I had…he tried to rape me last night…he’s definitely acting the way he did when he was with you…he blames me for taking your side,” Nyisha said with tears in her eyes. She broke down crying in T.J.’s arms. Kevin and Bridget were having lunch at the restaurant with their baby in tow. “I can’t believe Tarik pulled that stunt last night on my sister none of the less,” Bridget said. “Wd warned Nyisha not to marry him! Now he hurts her–dammit,” Kevin said, slamming his hand on the table. “Watch your mouth in front of our son…I’m mad, too…T.J. was just getting her life back on track and Tarik messes it up…she still hasn’t gotten over what he did to her,” she said. “I see why my dad was so protective of T.J.! He knew she was his daughter all this time and we didn’t know it,” he said. “And I gave him grief for it…my mom said that she was giving T.J.–letting her get to know her new family…I owe her an apology,” she said. “Well…here’s your chance,” he said as T.J. and Nyisha comes to their table. “Hey, guys…hi, cutie,” Nyisha said. “Hello! I heard what happened to you yesterday! Are you okay,” he asked. “Yeah, Kev…I’m okay,” T.J. said, hugging him. “You mind if we talked, big sis,” Bridget said to her. “Let’s give the girls some space,” Kevin said to his sister. “We’ll be right over there if you need us, T.J.,” Nyisha said. “All right, Iz…I’ll be okay,” she said. Then they left the table as T.J. and Bridget started talking.

“You know Tarik was kind of a jerk, right,” Bridget said. “I know…everyone’s been telling me that for years including your dad…I get it,” T.J. said. “Your dad knew it, too…the only difference is that he didn’t fight you on it like my dad did…you had to figure that out yourself…tell me the truth: how are you really feeling,” she asked her big sister. “Scared and trapped…it’s just like I was married to him…I still remembered the night that he tried to kill me…I’ll never get that image out of my head,” T.J. said softly. Bridget got up from the table and hugged her sister tight. The rest of the Thompsons kids were at the diner talking among themselves. “So, Shane…what you did to that boy,” Michelle asked her little brother. “You beat him up, did you,” Irish questioned. ” Nah…the boys and I–we just scared him a little bit, ladies,” Shane said to them. “We ain’t kill him…that fool’s not worth going to jail for,” Rodney said. “Tarik Lane will think twice before messing with our little sister again,” Martin said. “Like you guys did to Joshua…did you ‘scare’ him, too,” Renay asked them. “We know you mean well protecting T.J. and all but that’s not the way to do it…she is our family, too, you know,” Jane said. “You should’ve called the cops on him,” Melissa said. “T.J. wouldn’t allow it because he’s the father of their two older sons and she doesn’t want to hurt Nyisha…she said she’s fine,” Melanie said. “No…I doubt it…this is the same man who beat her up since the day they got married…she’s not fine,” Monica told them. Dee Dee and Randy were having a quiet evening at home. “What’s on your mind, honey,” she asked her husband. “The situation with our daughters and that boy…it’s like he has this hold on them…Tiffani won’t turn him in because she doesn’t want to hurt Nyisha and those kids…I swear they would be better off without Tarik Lane in their lives,” he said. Meanwhile, Tarik was in the car with Sheryl and Stephen. “I never meant to hurt your daughter…you do believe me…don’t you,” he said to them. “That–you have to prove to me, young man…I love that kid like she’s my own daughter…my wife and I didn’t like how you hurt Tiffani…especially when you’re still married to her sister,” Stephen said. “I know, Stephen…I gotta make it right with Nyisha…I never intended to hurt my best friend, man,” he said. “I hope so, Tarik…my daughter is still fragile over the years of your abuse…you better make things right with your wife cuz what you did to Tiffani has serious consequences, you hear me,” Sheryl said. “Yes, ma’am…your daughter is my friend, too…sorry for the trouble I have caused,” he said. “I believe you,” she said. “Thank you,” he said back. “Just don’t make me regret it,” she said. Then Tarik shook his head.

Danny and Ashlee were at the ice cream shop with their three kids. “But I thought Tarik was over his ex-wife…how could he do that to Nyisha,” she asked her husband. “I don’t know, babe…if I see that guy, I would punch his lights out…he went too far going after both of my sisters…he’s gonna wish he was never born,” he said. “I agree, man,” they heard someone say. It was Jeffrey. April and Matthew was with him. “Hey, guys…how are you,” she said. “We’re good,” April said back. “Come sit with us, Matt,” Charley said, then grabs her cousin’s hand. They went over to a table to sit with Mac and Danny Jr. “Tarik is such a jerk…if it was up to me, he would be in jail,” Jeffrey said. “If anything, he would be dead,” Danny said. Ashlee hit him in the ribs. “What do you think our folks are talking about, cousin,” Charley questioned. “They’re talking about Uncle Tarik, Aunt Nyisha, and Aunt Tiffani…something bad went down the other night…now everyone’s pissed about it–I even heard my dad said that he would kill that jerk for what he’s done,” said Matthew. “My dad isn’t too happy with Uncle Tarik either…I heard he hurt Aunt Tiffani a long time ago,” Charley said. “He did and they got a divorce…now he’s with Aunt Nyisha…he’s never gonna change,” Matthew said. They stopped talking as their parents came to the table. Later that evening, T.J. was in the den playing poker with Nyisha and Marvin. “So…what are you going to do now,” Marvin said. “I don’t know yet…my head’s still spinning from everything that happened earlier,” Nyisha said. “Don’t worry about a thing…we got your back,” T.J. said. “Thanks, you guys…but are you sure you could put up with me being here,” she asked them. “You shouldn’t be alone tonight…besides you’re family,” T.J. said, patting her sister on the back. “Are you sure you’re gonna be okay,” she asked. “Yeah…I’m fine,” T.J. said. “I can’t imagine what you’ve been through these past two days–it must’ve been awful,” she said. “Yeah but I’ll get through it…no worries,” T.J. said to her big sister. Marvin stood there and watched the two of them talked. Hours later, the girls fell asleep on the couch. Marvin went to the refrigerator for a bottle of water. He opens it and takes a sip. While he was doing that, he felt two sets of hands touching his back. He turns around to see T.J. and Nyisha in front of him. First, he gets a kiss from his wife. Then he gets a kiss from his sister-in-law. They grabbed him by the hand, pulled him into the living room, and pushes him onto the couch. They got on his lap and started to make out with him. Marvin sat back and moan softly. They had a threesome right there on the couch. Tarik was at the bar drinking a bottle of beer. All he could think about is the things that he has done in the past two days. In the middle of his thoughts, he was approached by an unknown woman. She started to stroke his chest. It arouses him. He followed her into a parking lot. They engaged in a liplock. Then a guy comes over to them and joins in.

Back at the Andersons house, Marvin whispered something in the girls’ ears. He watches them in a liplock and started to jack off. Tarik was performing a threesome with the unknown woman and her husband in their hotel room. She instructed the guys to kiss each other. They did what she told them to do. She was aroused by it. She pulls Tarik close to her and unbuckled his pants. He climbed on top of the woman and kissed her neck. The guy bends Tarik over and has anal sex with him. The three of them were moaning loudly. The next day, T.J. was in the bathroom washing her face. She was thinking about last night. Marvin slowly came in and kissed her on the neck. “Hey, baby…how are you feeling,” he asked his wife while holding her close to him. “I’m good…you enjoy the show,” she said. “Sure…a dream come true, Tiff,” he said softly. “I’m glad you like it, Marv,” she said, kissing his lips. He held her close once again just as Nyisha comes in on them. “Think the two of you could go again,” he said, grabbing the girls’ hands. Suddenly, the door shuts. Tarik woke up at the hotel as the married couple slept in a nearby bed. He got up to check his phone but no messages came up. He felt a hand caressing his back and turned around to see who it was. “So…what’s on the agenda today,” Marvin asked the girls. “Not sure yet…Iz…are you okay,” T.J. said to her big sister. “Yeah…I’m fine,” Nyisha said to them. “Where did you go, sister-in-law,” he said. “Nowhere…just thinking about everything that happened this week…how could Tarik be so stupid…guess Dad was right all along…Tarik will always be the way he is,” she said. “I’m sorry this is happening to you,” T.J. said, then hugged her tight. As the weeks goes by, everyone went back to their own lives. Tarik moved out of the house and got a small apartment downtown. He and Nyisha had just separated. Their kids were heartbroken. Larissa broke down crying in her mother’s arms. Malcolm went upstairs to his room. He put on his headphones and cranked up his radio. Jerome was playing with his drums in the basement. He was venting his anger. Randy goes by the house to check up on them from time to time. The next day, Nyisha went back to work at the hospital. Tarik was working hard at the studio. He thought back on the night that he got drunk and had a threesome with the married couple. “You are disgusting–get out,”  he remembers Nyisha screaming at him. “Goddamit,” he yelled. Nyisha sat in her car and thought about the argument that she had with Tarik. “What were you thinking? Having sex with that man and his wife –don’t touch me,”  her voice echoes. “I’m sorry, Izzy…I was drunk–I didn’t know what I was doing…,”  he said in her head. “Shut up-shut up-shut up,”  she screams at him. She then snapped out of it and opened the car door. T.J. was in the company boardroom doing a crossword puzzle when Sheryl came in. “Hi, Mom…what are you doing here,” she asked. “I’m just checking up on my lovely daughter…how are you feeling,” Sheryl said. “I’m fine…I’m good…guess you heard that Tarik and Nyisha separated, huh,” she said. “Yeah I did…your dad and stepmother told me a while ago,” Sheryl said to her daughter. “I didn’t think it would happen…they’re my best friends…I caused this–it’s all my fault, Mom,” she said softly. “Uh-uh…if Tarik was really your friend, he would’ve never came on to you…don’t you feel bad about this because he did it to himself,” Sheryl told her. Meanwhile, Malcolm was hanging out with his boys when he caught the eye of a girl across from him in the cafeteria. He went over to her and said, “Hello, lovely lady…what’s up?” ” I don’t know…what is it to you, Mal,” the girl said to him. Suddenly, the two of them were making out in the janitor’s closet. “How bad do you want me,” he said. “Oooh, baby! What would your parents say about this,” the girl said. “Who gives a fuck…I’m my own man, Lelee,” he said, pulling her close to him. “You’s a bad boy, Malcolm Lane,” Lelee said. Then he kissed her hard.

Later that day, T.J. was heading to the parking lot when she sees Kameelah standing next to her car. “Hey, Kay,” she said. “Hey, T.J.! Wanna get something to eat? My treat,” Kameelah asked her. “Um, okay…let’s go,” she said. They got into the car as Sheryl comes outside. “Ma’am…is that Kameelah Jones with your daughter,” one of the employees said to her. “Yes, it is…but it’s not good when that girl’s around,” Sheryl said. Malcolm walked onto the front porch of his parents’ house and out his key into the lock. Lelee was caressing his chest and putting her hand down his pants. “Slow down…we’ll be in the house soon,” he said, opening the door. They went inside and started to make out on the steps. Lelee unbuckled his pants and pulled it down. They were having sex on the floor as Nyisha drove up. She got out of her car and heads toward the open door. The kids were moaning softly as they heard footsteps coming in. “Malcolm Lamar Lane, what the hell are you doing in here,” Nyisha yelled at her son. “Who the hell is this, your sister,” Lelee questioned. “Nope…my mother,” Malcolm told her. “Get off the floor…both of you,” she said angrily. “She can’t tell you what to do, Mal,” Lelee said. “You better think long and hard about the next thing that comes out of your mouth, Malcolm…and as for you, get out of here while you still can,” she growls. Lelee left the house and closed the door without saying a word. “What the hell is wrong with you, huh? Bringing that girl into this house doing God knows what–if I didn’t come…,” Nyisha said angrily. “We would’ve already done it…yeah,” Malcolm said, cutting her off. Nyisha got mad and slapped him across his face. “How dare you talk to me like that? You wanna risk ruining your life for what–that girl,” she said. “What do you care…you kicked Dad out of the house for flirting with your sister…who gives you the rights to run my life,” he yelled. “I brought you into this world–I’ll take your black ass out,” she yelled back. “What’s going on in here? I heard y’all hollering down the goddamn street,” someone said to them. “Mom…Dad,” Nyisha said, recognizing the person’s voice. It was Randy and Dee Dee. “Hi, Grandma and Grandpa,” Malcolm said, hugging them both. “All right…what were you two arguing about,” Randy asked his daughter and grandson. “Ask him…I had enough,” Nyisha said, then leaves the room. Dee Dee followed her. “Come on, Malcolm…let’s go for a ride,” Randy said. The two of them went outside and got into the truck. “Nyisha….what’s going on, honey,” Dee Dee questioned her daughter. “I’m going out of my mind, Mom…I caught your grandson having sex with some girl on the goddamn floor,” Nyisha said. “Oh? There were times when I caught a certain girl who did the same thing some odd years ago with a boy that your father and I didn’t like,” she said. “It’s not the same thing,” Nyisha said. “If we didn’t interfere, you would have made us grandparents before you were 18…he’s testing you just like you did with us,” she said. “I don’t get it…why is he doing this, Mom…Tarik has completely destroyed this family by cheating on me not once but twice…I can’t do this alone,” Nyisha said as Dee Dee consoles her. Randy was driving around the neighborhood with Malcolm in tow. “I know things are very stressful for you guys since your dad left…that’s why I got you out of there…you wanna talk about it, buddy,” he asked. “I wouldn’t know where to start, Grandpa,” Malcolm said. “We’re guys here…whatever you say to me doesn’t leave this truck…why are you giving your mother such a hand time,” he asked his grandson. “She just doesn’t understand what I’m going through,” Malcolm said to him. “You miss your dad, don’t you,” he asked. Malcolm nods his head. Tarik was at the apartment drinking a bottle of beer when he heard a knock on the door. He got up to see who it was. “Mr Johnson? What’s up,” he said. “If you wanna make things right with my daughter, I suggest you do it quick because those three children need you,” Randy said to his son-in-law. Larissa was with Abel at his house. They were playing basketball. “Hello? Babe? Are you okay,” Abel said. “I’m fine! It just sucks that my parents might split up–even get a divorce–if I ever have kids, I would never do that to any of them,” Larissa said. “This really got you upset, huh,” he asked her. “Yeah…and I can’t do anything about it,” she replied. Abel kissed Larissa before she could say another word. Hours later, Jerome came home to see Dee Dee sitting in the den. “Grandma? What’s going on,” he questioned. “I’ve heard you kids were out of control and running your mother ragged…care to explain,” she said. “How much did she tell you…argh,” he said angrily. “You watch that tone, young man! I don’t let my two son–your uncles–talk back to me let alone my smart alecky 16-year-old grandson! Now you apologize to your mother when she comes down here! I better not hear any more crap about you, your brother, or your sister who is missing by the way ever again, you hear me,” she growls. Then Jerome nods his head. 

T.J. and Kameelah were having lunch at a Japanese restaurant downtown while a pair of eyes watched them from the window. “So I heard that Mr Thompson wasn’t your real dad,” Kameelah said. “That man lied to me for over thirty (30) years–he let me and Chuckie think that we were his kids, forces my mom to keep the secret, and cut our real dad out of our lives…if he was still here–I could kill him for what he did to us,” T.J. said. “Sorry about that, Teej…it’s been a little rough for me, too…you were right about LaToya–she’s been spreading some vicious rumor about me and her dad a couple of weeks ago…it’s so horrible that I had to leave town for a while…but now I’m back to make amends for what I did to you…from the bottom of my heart, I’m so sorry…can you ever forgive me, huh,” she said. “Sure…of course I forgive you,” T.J. said. The girls got up from the table and hugged. They were unaware that someone was outside taking pictures of them. The person left quickly. As his parents slept on the couch, Abel and Larissa snuck upstairs to his bedroom. The two of them got onto an old sofa in the corner and started to make out. While this was going on, someone was peeking at them. “Just relax…it won’t hurt…I promise,” he said. “You sure? I’ve never did this before,” she said. “Neither have I…but I know how it’s done,” he said. They stopped talking and went at it. Once they were done, the person walked away. “Feels good, huh,” he said, then kissed her. “It feels a little strange but um…yeah,” she said. “I didn’t hurt you, did I,” he questioned. “A little bit but I’m fine now,” she said. She got up but fell onto his lap. “Feel a little weak, babe,” he said. “Uh-huh,” she said softly. “Heh…tell ya what…stay with me tonight…I’ll take you home first thing tomorrow morning…how does that sound,” he said. “Um…okay,” she said. “And now we have that settled…why don’t we finish what we started, huh,” he said. They lay back down on the sofa and started to make out again. Randy took Malcolm home. Dee Dee and Nyisha meet them at the door. “I’m sorry, Mom,” said Malcolm. He hugged Nyisha. “I’m sorry too,” she said to her oldest son. Dee Dee went into Randy’s truck and watches the two of them go in the house. “What I don’t understand is why are you punishing Dad like this,” he asked her. “You know how you and my brother are protecting Larissa…that’s how it is with me and my sisters…your dad had done a lot of bad things when he was younger and that includes hurting your aunt…he had to get help for that…your aunt has never gotten over the abuse from your dad…I feel it was my job to protect my sister as well,” she said. “I heard the stories from Grandpa…did he hurt you too,” he asked. “Yep…that’s why I made him get help…I didn’t want any of you kids to go through what Tyrese been through as a kid…he watched your dad beat down his mom…that kind of thing can scarred a child for life,” she said. “I understand…whatever happens, I’ll be here to protect you, Mom,” he said, hugging her again. Jerome came downstairs and joined in on the hug. Hours later, Larissa slips in through the back door as everyone slept. She went to her room and lay across her bed. As soon as she closes her eyes, a set of footsteps came through the door. “Larissa? Larissa! Wake up,” a voice called out to her. “Huh? Who’s there,” she said. “Wake up,” the same voice said again. Larissa rubs her eyes to see who was standing in front of her. “Mom? What’s going on,” she said, recognizing the person’s voice. Nyisha shook her daughter lightly and said, “Where were you?” Before Larissa could give her mother an answer, she passed out. Then Nyisha rushes over to her daughter, checked her pulse and grabbed the phone to dial 9-1-1.

Moments later, the Johnson family meet up with Nyisha and her sons at the hospital. “Honey? What happened,” they asked her. While they were talking, Tarik showed up. “Hey, Iz…what’s going on,” he said. She ran up to Tarik and hugged him. “Hey, guys…I heard what happened…is she okay,” T.J. asked them. “That’s what we’re trying to find out, kiddo,” Randy said. Suddenly, the doctor came out to talk with them. Nyisha and Tarik went into the room to see their daughter. “Mom…Dad,” Larissa said. “Hey, kiddo! How are you feeling,” Tarik asked her. “I’m okay…what happened,” she said softly. “They told us that you were dehydrated and your blood sugar dropped–we could’ve lost you, baby,” Nyisha said. “I’m sorry, you guys…I didn’t mean for you to worry…honest,” she said. “We know, kiddo…get some rest while I talk with your mom,” Tarik said. She closed her eyes as he and Nyisha leave the room. “So what’s really going on? How did it get this bad,” Tarik asked his wife. “Wait a minute! Don’t you dare blame this on me,” Nyisha said angrily. “I’m not–it’s on me, babe! I should have never made a pass at your little sister or had that drunken threesome with the married couple! I ended up losing the best thing I had–my family! I had to take a hard look at myself and I own up to what I’ve done–I missed my boys, my little girl, and you! I wanna come back home,” he said. “I’m not sure I can trust you let alone taking you back into our home–you hurt me, Tarik,” she said softly. “I don’t wanna fight with you anymore…I just want my family back, Iz…we almost lost our child this morning…please,” he begged. Randy and Dee Dee watched them from a distance. “I hope they work things out…those kids needs their parents,” Randy said. “I hope you’re right….especially with what happened to our granddaughter today,” Dee Dee said back. Larissa was sleeping peacefully. Suddenly, she woke up. T.J. sat in a chair across from her and reading a newspaper. Kameelah waited outside the hospital to avoid the Johnson family as they sat in the waiting room. “Hello,” she moans. “Hey, kid…your mom told us what happened…how are you feeling,” T.J. asked her niece. “Rotten….I made my mom and dad break up by running away from home…they’re only here cuz I got sick,” she said. “I wouldn’t say that…they’re here because they love you,” T.J. said as her voice started to tremble. “Are you afraid of my dad,” she questioned. “Um…whatever do you mean,” T.J. said. “I heard all the stories from Grandpa….when my dad was beating you up–is it true,” she said. “No,” T.J. said. “That’s the reason my mom and dad were arguing–I heard them that night! He made a pass at you and Mom hated him for it,” she said. T.J. thought about that night in the kitchen. It was still fresh in her mind. Tarik overheard them talking and came into the room. “It’s true, kiddo…guess your aunt haven’t gotten past what I did to her…have you, Tiff,” he said. “No, I didn’t…what happened that night brought back some terrible things from the past…the things you’ve done made me fear for my life…you tried to kill me, Tarik,” T.J. cried. Nyisha came in and hugged her little sister. “I didn’t mean to hurt you that night…I’m so sorry…I don’t want to lose my best friend,” he said. Then he joins in and hugged them both.

While waiting for T.J. to come out, Kameelah got a call from Warren. “Hey, little brother! You need to get down here! Your kid is sick–she needs you! Nyisha and Tarik done fucked up now! We can take them to court for neglect! Call the lawyer and meet me at the hospital pronto! Bye,” she said. “I should have known,” a voice said. She turned around to see Sheryl and Stephen standing there behind her. “It’s not what you think, Mrs Thompson,” she said. “You sure about that? I’ve watched you kids grow up! You’ve been using my daughter for as long as I remember–even cause her breakdown! What’s your game now? Is it about Dee Dee and Randy’s granddaughter,” Sheryl said. “That’s none of your concern,” she said. “Oh, no? T.J. is my daughter! Nyisha is my goddaughter! They’re sisters in case you’ve forgotten! That child in there is T.J.’s niece! You’re using my daughter to help your little brother get custody of Larissa, are you–ARE YOU,” Sheryl said angrily as Dee Dee and Randy overheard their conversation. “I can’t believe this! The kids told me that Warren was back in town–I knew you wouldn’t be too far behind! What do you want with my stepdaughter and my granddaughter,” Dee Dee questioned. “Glad we got that out in the open…how do you feel,” Nyisha asked her sister as the three of them leaves Larissa’s hospital room. “Much better,” T.J. said. “I had no idea…is that how you felt about me…was I that bad,” Tarik asked. “Yeah…pretty much…but I didn’t want to cause any problems for you…I was protecting Nyisha from getting hurt,” she said. “It’s not good for you to hold in all that anger for so long…you could’ve had another breakdown, Tiff,” he said. “You should’ve told me this! You don’t have to keep secrets from me–I’m your sister! You shouldn’t be afraid of me getting hurt, okay,” Nyisha said. “Okay,” she said. The girls hugged again. Kevin came up to them and said, “Hey, guys! Come quick! Our parents are fighting with Kameelah, Warren, and their lawyer!” The four of them ran down the hallway to see everyone yelling at each other outside the hospital. “Mom! Dad! What’s going on out here,” Nyisha said. “Kameelah and Warren are after your daughter…they used T.J. to do it,” Randy said. T.J. thought about that night after leaving the Japanese restaurant. “What? You gotta be kidding me,” Nyisha said. “Warren didn’t even care about Larissa…Nyisha and I raised that kid for 12 years…practically her whole life…why the sudden interest now,” Tarik said angrily. Then they argued again.

“She wouldn’t do that to me…would you, Kay,” T.J. questioned. “Nah…we’re friends–I would never do that to you,” Kameelah said. “Don’t fall for that, honey! This is the same girl who sent Jackie Parker to your apartment and convinced the entire neighborhood that you were gay,” said Sheryl. “I’ve already apologize for that–it was a joke,” Kameelah said to her former friend. “You actually think she won’t hurt you again–just like before…we all saw it,” Dee Dee questioned her stepdaughter. “She won’t, Dee Dee…she promised,” T.J.replied. “I heard all the stories about your friend and it’s not good! Your mother is worried–scared that you would break down again, Tiffani,” said Stephen. “I’m fine, you guys…nothing can hurt me now,” T.J. said to them. “Yeah…I won’t do anything like that again,” Kameelah said. “Don’t be so sure,” Randy said. “Stop it, Dad…I can take care of myself,” T.J. told him. “Um, excuse me if I might add but um…my clients and I know that the child took ill…we want to sue the parents of Larissa Jones,” the lawyer spoke up. “Like hell you are–is this your plan, Warren? You and this back are trying to take my daughter away from me,” Nyisha said. “Hello, baby…miss me,” said Warren. Tarik suckerpunched him. Warren swung back at him. The two of them started to fight. Randy and Stephen stepped in to break up the boys. “That stunt you pulled–just cost you that little girl, jerk,” said Warren. “Not a word, Tarik! We’ll see how far you go with this punk,” Randy said, shoving Warren. “Oh, no? Your newfound daughter over there just gave me enough evidence to get my little girl back,” he said, then played a recording on his cell phone. Everyone listened to it, then turned to T.J. “I didn’t know about this–I swear,” she said to them. “How could you,” Nyisha yelled at her sister. Dee Dee held her daughter back. “Mom? I didn’t know they were recording this,” she said. “I figure as much…that’s why I wanted to give you this,” Sheryl said, giving her a small tape recorder. “What is this, Mom,” she asked. “You need to hear this…now,” Sheryl said. T.J. pressed the button and heard a familiar voice on the recorder. “I don’t believe it,” she said. “Kameelah set you up…she’s turning you against your sister, baby,” said Sheryl. T.J. didn’t say another word. She walked up to Kameelah and punched her in the face. “Oooh! Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier,” Danny said as Kameelah hits the floor. “I can’t believe you did this to me again,” she screams at her now former friend. She then walks away angry. “Farrah, keep an eye on your sister,” Randy said to his daughter. She nods her head and went after T.J. “You know that tape isn’t admissive in court…my sister-in-law probably wasn’t in her right mind when she said that,” Terrence told them. “Here’s the deal: you don’t use your tape and we don’t use ours, got it,” Dee Dee said. T.J. was sitting on the floor with her head down. Farrah sat down next to her and said, “Why were you hanging out with Kameelah? Didn’t you learn from the last time–she hurt you! She had people believe that you were gay!” “I know, okay! I’ll never forget it! It was the worst day of my life! She said that she would change–I feel so stupid…why is this happening again,” T.J. cried. “She loves seeing you broken…you can’t let her get to you like that…she’s doing this to help her brother…she doesn’t care about you–we do, you hear me,” Farrah said. T.J. looked up to Farrah and shook her head. Nyisha showed up to face T.J. “I’m sorry, all right…I didn’t know Kay would do this–she tricked me,” she said. “Our moms are working it out with Warren’s lawyer! We may never go to court! You’re lucky–this time,” Nyisha said. “If I knew she was doing that, I would’ve stopped it…ohhh,” she said, holding her hip. “T.J.? Are you okay,” Farrah asked. “I don’t know…must be something I ate–ooh,” she moans. “Oh my god–you’re burning up! What did you have to eat today,” Nyisha asked her sister after touching her forehead. “A couple of doughnuts and a cup of coffee which taste a little funny,” she said. Then T.J. passed out in her sisters’ arms.

The EMTs took T.J. over to the ER right away. The doctors rushed in and tried to revive her. Everyone waited outside. “Girls? What happened,” Randy asked. “I don’t know, Dad…maybe you should ask her,” Farrah said. “What the hell did you do to my daughter,” Sheryl said, confronting Kameelah. “Answer her…NOW,” he growled. “Just this stuff, Mr Johnson,” Kameelah said, then give him a small bottle. “It’s penicillin,” Sheryl said, reading the bottle. “What’s wrong with penicillin,” Stephen questioned them. “Tiffani is allergic to it, man,” Randy said. “When the girls were little, they went into the basement to play hide and seek…we thought it was mold that got into T.J.’s lungs–it was penicillin…she had a very high fever and nearly died,” Dee Dee said. “Scariest night of my life…she was six when it happened,” Sheryl said to her husband. Randy got ahold of Kameelah and said, “If my kid dies, you will be held responsible for this!” “Kay? I thought we were playing a joke! I don’t wanna go to jail for murder,” said Warren. “If that happens, no court in the world would give you custody of a 12-year-old girl,” Nyisha said, then walked away in a huff. Marvin was getting into his car when he received a text on his cellphone. “Oh, shit,” he said to himself. The rest of the Thompsons kids got the same text. They rushed over to the hospital to meet up with Sheryl. “Mom? What happened to T.J.,” Shane asked her. All of them started talking at the same time. “Whoa-whoa! One at a time, please,” Stephen yelled. “Your sister was poisoned…it seems that Kameelah gave her a lethal dose of penicillin in a cup of coffee,” Randy said to them. “But she’s allergic to that stuff…remember the basement,” said Chuckie. “Yeah! My dad would find any reason to keep T.J. away from Mr Johnson,” Jason said. “They nearly fought about that…T.J. couldn’t go to the Johnsons house for two (2) weeks because of it,” Michelle said. “Who could forget that,” Sheryl said. The doctor came out to talk to them. “So…,” they all said. “She’s gonna be fine…thanks to her sisters getting her help on time,” the doctor said. “Thanks, Dr Spann,” Randy said. “Can we see her now,” Sheryl asked. “Yes…but one at a time…she needs her rest,” said Dr Spann. “You should go first, Mrs Thompson…we’ll wait,” Nyisha said. “You’re sure,” Sheryl said. “Yeah,” she said. “My daughter is lucky to have you girls here with her…thank you both,” Sheryl said, then went down the halls with Dr Spann. She went into the room to see her daughter. “Hi, Mom,” T.J. said softly. “How are you feeling, huh,” she asked. “A little woozy…they said that they found penicillin in my system…I don’t mess with that stuff,” T.J. said. “I know…Nyisha and Farrah told me that it was slipped into your cup of coffee,” she said. Randy tapped on the door. “Come in,” they said. “Hey, kiddo! How are you,” he asked his daughter. “The same way your granddaughter feels–rotten! I didn’t know Kay put penicillin in my coffee, Dad,” T.J. said, “What was she thinking? I could’ve died!” “This is exactly what I was talking about…Kameelah Jones cannot be trusted…we almost lost you, honey,” she said. “Your mom is right…you need to cut ties with Kameelah just like you did with Sam, okay,” he said. “I know, Dad,” T.J. said. “That-a-girl…there’s someone here to see you,” he said. T.J. looked over to the door and saw Marvin there. “I think we should let them have their privacy,” Sheryl said. Then she and Randy left the room.

“I heard what happened…Kameelah tried to poison you with penicillin,” Marvin said. “Yeah…she put it in my coffee,” T.J. said. “You know she can’t be trusted, right,” he said. “My mom said the same thing…so did my dad…you all have a one-track mind,” she said. “We’re just worried about you, babe…besides the way you were acting for the past three weeks,” he said. “Sorry about that…just thinking about the night we had that threesome–it freaked me out a little bit,” she said to him. “It did, huh,” he questioned. “Yeah…after it happened, I wanted to distance myself from that…guess Kay took advantage of my weakness…when she apologized for all the things she did to me in the past, I fell for it…I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner,” she said. “I’m glad you did…we don’t have to do it anymore, I promise,” he said. “Thanks,” she said. They shared a passionate kiss. Randy think back to when he was talking with his daughter seconds earlier. “I know you think your friend is being sincere but she can’t get away with this…you nearly died by her hands…that’s something you need to think about, you hear me,” his voice echoes. “I know, Dad…sorry that you guys were worried about me…I didn’t mean for it to happen,” he remembers T.J. saying to him. Everyone sat quietly in the waiting room as he and Sheryl came back to join them. “Is your daughter okay,” Dee Dee questioned. “Yeah…she’s with Marvin…everything’s okay,” Randy said. “All I wanna know is why you tried to kill my little sister,” Michelle yelled. “It wasn’t planned, all right…I wouldn’t deliberately kill my best friend,” Kameelah yelled back. “Bullshit! You wouldn’t be satisfied until T.J.’s in a padded room or dead, you little bitch,” Irish said angrily. “Girls, stop all this fighting–I have a splitting headache,” said Sheryl. “Maybe you should get checked out, too! Look what happened to Tiffani,” Stephen said. “He’s right, Mom! We don’t want anything to happen to you, too,” Shane said. Sheryl kissed her son on the cheek before Stephen took her to see the doctor. “I hope she’s okay,” Dee Dee said. “I hope so, too,” Randy said, then held his wife tight. Meanwhile, Marvin was sitting by his wife’s because as she slept. Nyisha came in and joined him. “Hey, buddy! How are you holding up,” she asked him. “I’m okay…just worried about Tiffani…I almost lost her because of that bitch Kameelah,” he said, “Where did she meet that horrible girl?” “In high school…they had some classes together…I don’t know what she was thinking…I’ve watched Kameelah destroy my sister over and over–it makes me sick…I really hope T.J. sees Kameelah for who she really is,” she said. “Yeah…I hope so, too,” he said. “I hear you guys talking about me,” T.J. mumbled. “Hey, sis…didn’t know you were awake…how are you feeling,” she asked. “I’m okay now–just can’t believe what happened to me,” T.J. said. “We knew what Kameelah was capable of…you can’t let her get away with this,” she said. “Dad said the same thing a while ago,” T.J. said. “Maybe you should listen to him…turn Kameelah in before she kills you,” she warns her sister. T.J. grabs the phone to make a call. “Hello…I would like to report a crime…attempted murder…the victim is me–Kameelah and Warren Jones tried to poison me with penicillin,” T.J. told the person on the line. She hung up the phone and broke down crying. Marvin hugged her tight. As the kids waited for their mother, two police officers showed up. “What’s going on,” Bridget asked. “Kameelah and Warren Jones, you are under arrest,” they said. “For what,” Warren yelled. “Attempted murder,” one of the officers said. “Guess your sister finally wise up to those two,” Terrence said to Farrah. Then the officers put the cuffs on both Kameelah and Warren.

Hours later, T.J. was tossing and turning in her hospital bed. Marvin and Nyisha rushed over to her aid. “Come on, baby…you gotta wake up….please,” he whispered. She sat up and started to cough. “Take it easy….it’s okay,” Nyisha said. “My chest…it burns,” T.J. said. “Don’t try to talk…stay calm, okay,” she said. T.J. did exactly that. “There you go,” he said. “Are you okay now,” she said. “Yeah…throat’s a little dry, though,” T.J. said. “I’ll go get you some water, okay,” Nyisha said. “Okay…I’m sorry for the trouble that I caused for you and Tarik…I never meant for this to happen,” T.J. said. “Forget about what happened today…it’s over…I know you didn’t mean it,” she said. “You almost lost your daughter because of me,” T.J. said. “It won’t happen…you have nothing to worry about, okay,” she said. “Okay,” T.J. said. “I’ll get that water,” she said, then left the room. “She’s right, you know…try to rest your voice…you’ve been through a terrible ordeal,” he said. Nyisha returned to the room with a bottle of water. “Here you go…take small sips…we don’t know how badly the penicillin affected your vocal cords,” she said. T.J. did exactly that. “How do you feel now,” he asked her. “A little bit better,” T.J. said softly. “That’s good,” he said. “This happened before…when we were playing hide-and-seek in Dad and Dee Dee’s basement as kids,” T.J. said. “Yeah…I remembered that…Dad thought he would lose you then…Mr Thompson blamed him for what happened to you…it wasn’t his fault that you got sick…if it wasn’t for that dusty basement, none of us would’ve known that you were allergic to penicillin,” she said. “Stupid Terrell Thompson…he was jealous…he would find any reason to keep me away from our dad…glad he’s dead,” T.J. said. “I’m sorry you feel that way, honey,”” a voice said to her. They turned around to see who it was. “Hi, Mrs Thompson,” said Marvin and Nyisha. “Mom? How long were you standing there,” T.J. asked. “Long enough…guess that Terrell was the way he is because of my affair with your father…he’s never forgiven me for it…what happened to you that day escalated it…I know your dad is remorseful for what happened…right after you got sick, he hired someone to clean out the basement so it doesn’t happen to anyone else,” Sheryl said. “Dad would never intentionally hurt her,” Nyisha said. “No, honey…he wouldn’t…it was an accident…that’s how we know now about your sister’s allergic reaction to penicillin,” she said, patting her goddaughter on the back. “I guess I was wrong…your dad does care about you,” Marvin said. “I didn’t see it that way,” T.J. said. “Just do me a favor… stay away from Kameelah…she’s not worth it,” Nyisha said. “I don’t think that would happen again considering I just had her arrested for attempted murder,” T.J. said. Then they continue talking.

The next day, Randy came in the room as T.J. slept. Sheryl was on the couch reading a newspaper. “Hey there…how’s our girl,” he said. “She’s okay considering everything that happened yesterday…how are you holding up,” she asked him. “I’m good…just relieved that our daughter wised up to what Kameelah was up to,” he responded. “Hi,” T.J. said. “Hey, honey…how are you feeling,” Sheryl asked her daughter. “I’m okay,” she said. “That’s good to know,” Sheryl said. “The one thing that I don’t understand is why did you go back to Kameelah in the first place…you knew what she’s capable of…she caused your breakdown,” he said. “I don’t know…guess with everything that happened, I thought she wouldn’t hurt me again…should’ve known better than to trust Kameelah,” T.J. said. “You mean what happened with Tarik…if you needed someone to talk to, you could’ve come to me, your mom or Dee Dee…even your brothers, sisters, or your husband…but never that girl, you hear me,” he said. “Yes, Dad…loud and clear,” T.J. said softly. “We just don’t wanna lose you like that–she nearly killed you, honey,” Sheryl said. “I know–I’m sorry, you guys,” T.J. cried, then hugged both of her parents. Dee Dee watched the three of them from the door. Two weeks later, T.J. and Larissa were released from the hospital. “I heard that Kameelah and Warren tried to kill you…why would they do that,” Larissa questioned. “So they can take you away from your parents and get me out of the way,” T.J. told her niece. “I don’t think I want to live with someone who would hurt our family,” she said. “Well it’s finally over! A convicted felon isn’t allowed to raise a child,” T.J. said. “Hey, you two! Let’s get out of here,” Nyisha said to her daughter and sister. The three of them got into the car and drove away. Meanwhile, Sheryl was in her home thinking about what the doctor told her. Stephen tapped her on the shoulder. “Hey there! Are you okay,” he asked her. “Um yeah…I’m fine,” she said. “You know you have to tell your children about this,” he said. “No…not yet…they have enough to worry about,” she said. “Don’t wait too long,” he said before leaving the room. Moments later, she went into the den and sat down at her dead husband’s desk. She looked at a picture of her 17 kids and said, “My babies…what are you gonna do without me?” She went into a drawer and grabbed some paper out of it. At the Andersons house, Marvin and Tarik were playing cards in the kitchen as the girls drove up. They went outside to greet the girls. “Hey, babe…welcome home,” Marvin said to his wife. “Thanks,” T.J. said, hugging him. “Hey, kiddo,” Tarik said. “Hey, Dad,” Larissa said. “Let’s get these two in the house already…they need their rest,” Nyisha said to the guys. Then they did just that.

Once they were in the house, T.J. grabbed Tarik’s hand. “Is everything all right with you and Nyisha,” she asked him. “Yeah…getting there,” he said. “I think I owe you an apology for what happened at the hospital…I had no idea Kameelah was plotting to take Larissa away from you guys–,” she said before getting cut off. “Your sister told me everything…there’s nothing to apologize for…we’re good, okay,” he said. “Okay,” she said. “Thanks, man,” Marvin said. Hours later, Farrah and Terrence showed up. “So…how are the patients,” they asked. “They’re fine…Larissa’s in the den with Tarik playing a board game and our little sister is asleep upstairs,” Nyisha said. “To change the subject, what about you and Tarik? Are you guys okay,” Farrah asked her sister. “I don’t know yet but we’re working on it,” she said. “That’s good…as long as you’re happy, big sis,” Farrah said. T.J. suddenly woke up. “What’s wrong, Tiff,” Marvin said, rushing to her bedside. “Something’s not right, Marv,” she said. “What do you mean–are you okay,” he asked her. “My grandmother came to me and said that someone in my family was dying…it doesn’t make any sense–everyone is fine…who was she talking about,” she said, putting her arms around Marvin and hugging him tight. Sheryl was writing letters to her children as Stephen practices his fishing skills in the backyard. She sat back and look at the envelopes in front of her. She put them all in a lock box and slide it in the desk drawer. Someone was knocking on the door. She and Stephen went to see who it was. There were five (5) kids standing in front of them. “Hi, Dad…hi, Sheryl,” one of the kids said. “Hello, Cordell,” Stephen said, then hugs his son. Shawna and Michelle were at the grocery store to pick up some food for dinner. “I’m glad that Larissa and Aunt Tiffani are okay, Mom,” she said. “Yeah, honey! You should go visit them sometimes–cheer them up–it would make me feel better,” Michelle said. “I’ll do that…there’s something I need to talk to you about,” she said. “Oh? What is it,” Michelle asked her daughter. Back at the Andersons house, Nyisha and Farrah sat on the bed with T.J. “You’re kidding? You saw Grandma Stella,” they asked their little sister. “Yeah…it’s so strange and this wasn’t the first time I saw her…she was with me the day I was shot…she told me to come back to you guys,” T.J. said. They were both shocked by what they heard. Later that day, everyone were fast asleep. T.J. was in the kitchen getting a glass of water. As she took a sip, Marvin comes in and wrapped his arms around her waist. “Hey, you,” he said, hugging her tight “Hi,” she said. “You feeling okay,” he asked. “Yeah,” she replied. He held her close and whispered, “You feel it?” “Uh-huh,” she whispered back. They started to make out on the floor. Suddenly, someone knocked on the door. They got up to answer it. Tyrese was standing in front of them. ” Hi, honey,” she said. “Hi, Mom! Hi, Marvin,” Tyrese said. They let him in and shut the door. The three of them went to the dining room and sat down. “Hey, kiddo! How’s school,” Marvin asked his stepson. “It’s good…figured that I stop by and check up on Mom…see how she’s doing with everything that happened…what were you doing with Kameelah…I thought you’d never speak to her again,” Tyrese said. “She caught me off guard but that will never happen again,” she said. “We were worried about you…Brianna couldn’t stop crying when she heard what happened,” he said. “You can tell your sister that I’m fine…you kids have nothing to worry about, all right,” she said to her son. “Okay,” he said back. Then they hugged.

Tarik Jr and Alexa were at the diner having lunch with Brianna and the babies. “Guess everything’s good since your mom’s okay,” Alexa said. “Yeah! I can’t believe Kameelah tried to poison her! I bet my mom won’t fall for that crap again,” Tarik Jr said. “I could kill that woman for hurting Mom,” Brianna said. “Don’t say that, Bree…Mom wouldn’t allow it…she doesn’t want to see you in jail–it’ll break her heart,” he said. “He’s right! Where would little Bryan here end up if you did that,” Alexa said to her. “You have my little nephew to think about! Kameelah’s in jail now! She won’t be coming out any time soon,” he said to his little sister. “Good,” Brianna said. “We could go see Mom if you want,” he said. “Yeah,” Brianna said, nodding her head. They started to eat their meal. Dean was coming out of the prison gates as a bright red convertible pulled up. He got into the car and put his bag on the back seat. “Hey, B! Thanks for picking me up,” he said to the person in the driver’s seat. They engaged in a liplock just before driving away. “Here’s to another one locked up–my cousin Dean–I hope he never get out,” Alexa said. Tarik Jr thought about his latest phone call and said, “Me too, Lex…me too!” “Let’s get out of here so we can see Mom,” Brianna said. They got up from the table and left. Tarik carried Larissa up to her room and put her in bed. Nyisha watched them from the hallway. “Well…,” he said. “Well…,” she said back. They started to chuckle. “Where do we go from here,” he asked. “Uh…I don’t know,” she said softly. “This separation is hurting our kids! Your dad told me about the way that Malcolm and Jerome were acting! I also heard our daughter talking to her aunt how we only care about her when she’s sick! I wanna be there for them and for you! Please give me another chance–I will never cheat on you again–I promise,” he said. “All right…for the kids cuz they miss their dad…you still have to regain my trust,” she said. Meanwhile, Farrah and Terrence went home to their kids. “Hey, babies…how are you,” Farrah said. “Fine,” the kids said back. “Mom? Does this mean we won’t be seeing Daddy anymore,” Ashley asked her. “I’m afraid so, honey…he made a terrible mistake that he have to pay for,” she said, “But I’ll tell you what…I’m not going anywhere and neither will Terrence!” “How about this…I’ll order us a pizza with everything on it…how does that sound,” Terrence asked. “Um…okay,” Ashley said, then hugged him tight. The next day, Tarik Jr was at the gym lifting weights as Dean looked at him through the window. All he could think about is his latest encounter with his young friend. Tarik Jr went into the locker room and head to the shower. Dean sneaks in and shut the door slowly. Tarik Jr turned on the water and stepped in. As he washes up, he felt a set of hands holding him around his waist. “Who’s this,” Tarik Jr mumbled. “It’s Big Daddy D, baby…I’m back,” a voice whispered in his ear. Tarik Jr turns around to see Dean standing in front of him completely naked. “Aw fuck! What you doing here,” he yelled. “Told you I was getting out…I’m here for you,” Dean said, licking his lips. He held his friend against the wall and kissed him hard. “I don’t want anything to do with you…I got my fiancee and my kid waiting for me at home…back off,” he growled as he pushes Dean away from him. “You sure you want me to back off, T? You love my little cousin over me,” Dean said, blocking his friend off and caressing his genitals. Tarik Jr knocked Dean’s hand away and got out of the shower. “I mean it! Stay the fuck away from me,” he screamed. He wiped himself off, put on some fresh clothes, and went outside. “You’ll be back…you sexy little thing…begging for this big stick,” he said, stroking himself. Then he went to the front door and watched his best friend drive away.

Brianna was playing with her son at the kitchen table when T.J. came in. “Is there room for three,” she asked her daughter. “Mom,” Brianna said. “Hey, kiddo! How are you,” she said, rubbing her grandson’s head. “I’m okay…you should’ve never trusted her, you know,” Brianna told her. “I know…everyone in this family has given me grief about Kameelah…I get it…she’s out of our lives forever…your brother and Alexa told me what you said yesterday…mind telling me what’s going on,” she questioned. “How could you put that woman before us–your children? She caused your breakdown and tried to kill you! Don’t you care about us anymore,” Brianna cried. “Of course I do! It’s complicated,” she said. “No, it’s not! You’re risking your life for her! She hurt you over and over again–we’re sick of it, Mom! We don’t wanna grow up without you! We will not subject Bryan and Leslie to losing their grandmother! We can’t take it anymore,” Brianna said angrily. “Hey! You will not disrespect your mother like that! You hear me, Bree,” Marvin spoke up. Brianna took Bryan out of the room. “It’s okay, Marv! She has a right to vent–I’ve put them all through so much already,” she said. “Bree shouldn’t have said those things to you,” he said. “Maybe she’s right…I’ve sacrificed my relationship with the kids for that bitch but no more–Kameelah ain’t worth losing my family over,” she said with tears in her eyes. Marvin put his arms around T.J., hugging her tight. Moments later, Marvin went upstairs to talk with his daughter. “Hey, kiddo,” he said. “Hi, Dad,” she said. “It’s about time we sat down and had a talk about what happened downstairs just now,” he said. “I meant what I said! Mom doesn’t realize what she put us through dealing with that bitch,” she said. “Hey! Watch your language! This little guy can pick up on everything you say which is the first thing! And second, your mom feels bad enough for what happened,” he said. “I don’t think I can forgive her for the hell she put us through,” she said. “You know you can’t turn your back on family…Kameelah can’t hurt her anymore…there’s nothing she loves more than her children…can you give your mom a break for my sake, please,” he said. Brianna took a deep breath and said, “I’ll try, Dad!” The two of them went back downstairs to the kitchen. T.J. was sitting there quietly. “Go ahead,” Marvin said to his daughter. “Mom, I’m sorry,” Brianna said. “I’m sorry too, honey…I didn’t mean to scare you…from now on, I won’t let anyone or anything get between us ever again,” T.J. said. “I’m gonna hold you to those words,” she said back. Marvin went over to the girls and hugged them both. Sean and Tyrese were eating breakfast in the kitchen of their apartment. Sean was dressed up in a blue suit with wing tip shoes. It’s the first day of his brand new job. “I bet you’re glad that Aunt Tiffani is doing okay,” Sean said to his cousin. “Yeah! Kameelah went too far with what she did to my mom, man! Ready for your big day, career man,” Tyrese asked him. “Yeah…gotta go,” he said, taking a sip of orange juice. He grabbed his bag and went out the door. Sheryl was hanging out with Dee Dee and Melvin at the restaurant. “What a day, huh,” Dee Dee said. “Yeah…we’re finally rid of those Jones kids…they won’t be able to hurt my niece ever again,” Melvin said. While they were talking, Sheryl was rubbing her head. “So…what do you think, Sheryl,” Dee Dee asked her friend. Sheryl didn’t say a word. “Hey, big sister…what’s the matter,” Melvin said. Before he could get his answer, Sheryl passed out on the floor. Everyone saw what was going on. “Oh my god…call 9-1-1,” Dee Dee screamed. One of the waiters did what he was told. “Hang in there, sis…hurry,” Melvin yelled. He consoles Sheryl. The Thompson kids along with their spouses showed up at the hospital and meet with Stephen and his five kids. “What happened to our mom,” they questioned him. “She had a little dizzy spell–nothing to worry about,” Stephen said. T.J. thought about the dream she had about her dead grandmother. “Mom’s sick…isn’t she, Stephen,” she spoke up. Everyone stopped talking and looked at her. “Stop playing, T.J.! Mom ain’t sick, is she, Stephen,” Michelle questioned him. The doctor suddenly come out to talk with them. Moments later, Stephen went in to see Sheryl. “Hey, baby…how are you feeling,” he asked her. “I’m okay now…just a little headache is all,” she said. “I think you need to tell them…NOW,” he said, “Even Tiffani is starting to suspect that you’re sick!” While the kids were talking, Sheryl and Stephen came out of the room. “Mom,” they all said. “Hi, kids…I heard you were worried about me,” she said. “What’s wrong, Mom,” Bridget asked her. “I have something to tell you kids…just bear with me,” Sheryl said. Then she tell them the bad news. 

Randy showed up and saw them talking. “Dee? What’s going on over there,” he questioned his wife. “It’s not good! Sheryl’s very sick! Your kids need you now,” Dee Dee said. “An aneurysm? When–how,” Shane said. “The doctor told me the day your sister was hospitalized for penicillin poisoning–I only have a few months to live at the least,” Sheryl told him. “I knew it! Why didn’t you tell us,” T.J. asked her. “I don’t want to worry any of you–especially you, Tiffani, because you were never too good with handling bad news,” Sheryl said. “You think I would break down? That’s what you’re worried about–I’m still here, Mom! Stop keeping secrets from me,” T.J. yelled. “Hey! Watch your tone, young lady,” Stephen demanded. “All my life…everyone’s always walking on eggshells around me…scared that I would crack at any minute…I’m not that little girl anymore,” she said angrily. “Randy, get her out of here…please,” Sheryl said. “Come on…take a walk with me,” Randy said to T.J. They left right away. “She’s right, Mom…she can handle this,” said Chuckie. “What happened back there? Tiffani, talk to me,” Randy asked her. “My mom is dying just like Grandma Stella said, Dad,” T.J. told him. “Wait–what…it doesn’t make any sense…your grandmother’s been dead for over thirty (30) years,” he said. “I saw her in a dream…she said that someone in my family was dying–it’s Mom…I don’t wanna lose her,” she cried. He hugged her tightly. “Is it serious? Can’t they do anything about it,” Dee Dee asked her friend. “It is serious and there’s nothing they can do, Dee,” Sheryl told her. “Why didn’t you tell me–I’m your best friend,” she questioned. “I didn’t want to burden you with this…you had enough on your plate with your daughter and Tarik–I couldn’t have you worrying about me on top of that,” Sheryl said. “Too late! You and Melvin are like family to me! If anything happens to you guys, I want to know about it! You should give your own daughter some credit–she’s tougher than she looks,” she said. “The doctor said that she has an aneurysm and only have a few months to live…how am I gonna live without her,” T.J. said. “I don’t know, honey…we just have to make the most of it while she’s still here,” Randy told her. Stephen came up to them and said, “He’s right, you know! It’s what your mother wanted for all of you, Tiffani!” “I know…I’m glad she has you in her life, Stephen,” she said, then hugged both men. The rest of the kids slept in the waiting room as Sheryl wrote something on a notepad. She slowly closed her eyes. The next day, T.J. woke up from the couch in the waiting room. She went over to Sheryl and tries to wake her up. “Mom…Mom…Mom,” she called out. “Tiffani! Let her sleep,” Stephen mumbled softly. ” I don’t think she’s sleeping,” she said to him. Stephen checked his wife’s pulse and said, “She’s not breathing…go get the doctor…quick!” T.J. did exactly that. “What’s going on–Sheryl,” Dee Dee questioned. “We need to keep this as quiet as possible…don’t wanna alert the other kids,” he said to her. The doctor came over to check on Sheryl. T.J. suddenly had a flashback of Terrell’s shooting. While she stood there in a daze, the medical team tried to revive Sheryl. The rest of them stood there in horror. Each one feared the worst. “We got a pulse…get her to a room–NOW,” the doctor said. Dee Dee noticed T.J. standing there and shook her lightly. “T.J.? Snap out of it,” she said to her stepdaughter. “Huh? What happened,” T.J. questioned. “You were screaming a while ago…woke up everyone in here…you didn’t know,” she said. “Uh-uh,” T.J. said aimlessly. Randy came over to them and said, “They got her breathing again…you okay, kiddo?” “Yeah,” T.J. said. Then they went back to Stephen and the kids.

While Stephen talked with the doctor, Michelle sat down next to T.J. “Hey, kid…you feeling okay,” she asked her sister. “Yeah,” T.J. said softly. “Scared of losing Mom too,” she said. “Yep…but why her…she doesn’t deserve this, Chelle…we can’t lose her now–we just can’t,” T.J. cried on her big sister’s shoulder. Michelle hugs her and said, “I don’t want to lose Mom either!” Stephen starts rounding up the already heartbroken children and told them the bad news. Jeffrey got up and ran down the hallway. He went out to the parking lot and screams at the top of his lungs. April grabbed her husband and hold him tight. Back at the Lanes house, Tarik and Nyisha were fast asleep on the couch until they heard several knocks on their front door. “Hold on! We’re coming,” he said. Nyisha followed him. He opens it to see Farrah, Meghan, and Danny there. “Hey, in-laws…why the long faces…did somebody die,” he said to them. “Shut up, Tarik…now is not the time for jokes…where’s my sister,” said Farrah as she shoves him. “Who’s joking? I just asked you who died,” he said. “I’m right here–Farrah? What’s going on,” Nyisha asked her twin sister. “Mom called…it’s bad news,” she said. “What,” Nyisha said. “It’s T.J.’s mom–she’s dead,” said Danny. “Oh my god–we gotta get over there,” Nyisha said. “I’ll drive you guys over to the hospital…I insist,” Tarik said. They got into the car and left quickly. T.J. felt numb to the news of her mother’s death. “Honey, are you okay,” Dee Dee said to her. “There’s no getting through to her, Mrs Johnson,” Shane spoke up. “Let’s get your sister over to the couch,” Randy said to his godson. The two of them helped her to the couch. “I don’t think she can handle this, you guys,” Chuckie said to them. “It can’t be true…she ain’t dead,” T.J. cried. “Shh! Sorry to say this but she’s gone, kiddo,” Randy said softly. He hugged his daughter tight. Moments later, the gang rushes in as T.J. was laying down on the couch with Randy. “Dad! We heard about our godmother! How did she die,” Nyisha asked him. “She had an aneurysm…they said it bursted sometime last night as she slept,” Randy said. “Hey…I’m so sorry, Tiff,” Tarik said to his sister-in-law. She hugged him tight. Nyisha and Farrah joined in on the hug as well. Dee Dee stood there watching the kids from a distance. Randy went over to his wife and said, “You okay, babe?” “Yeah…but I feel sorry for those kids,” Dee Dee said, “First they lost their dad…now their mom…we’re all they have left!” “They also have their uncle, stepfather, their cousin, and their stepsiblings…we all have to be strong for the Thompsons kids now,” he said. Melvin was on the phone with his son, Deke. “Hey, D…it’s your dad…I got some bad news, um…your Aunt Sheryl just died…I really hope you, Dawn, and little D can come down because your cousins need their family, buddy,” he said. “Of course…we’ll catch the next plans out, Dad…see you there,” Deke said on the other end. Melvin hung up the phone. “Hey, brother-in-law…how are you holding up,” Stephen questioned. “Yeah…I’m good…didn’t think we would lose her this soon…luckily you were here with her through this terrible ordeal,” he said. Hours later, Randy woke up to see T.J. standing by the window. “Hey there, kiddo! How are you holding up,” he asked her. “I don’t know…it doesn’t feel real to me,” she said. “No it doesn’t…it isn’t right for you kids to lose your mom like that,” he said. “Why did she wait so long to tell us that she was sick…we could’ve done something to help her…she would’ve still be here,” she said. “I know you guys would do anything to save her but it couldn’t be done,” he said. “Do you love Mom,” she asked him point blank. “Of course I do,” he said. “Wouldn’t you do anything you can to save her,” she said. “Possibly but we all got the same message at the same time…there’s nothing we could do to stop this,” he said. “If you don’t mind, I rather be left alone,” she scoffed. “Honey, this isn’t the time for you to turn away from me–,” he said. “Please, Dad…just go,” she said, pushing him away. Then he did what his daughter wanted.

“Hey, baby…T.J.’s going through a tough time right now…they all are because Sheryl died…all we can do is give her space…it’s only temporary…she knows you’re gonna be there for her,” Dee Dee said. “I just can’t stand to see my daughter like this…I can’t do anything to help her,” he said. “It’s just gonna take time,” she said. Three days later, Dee Dee and Randy were fast asleep in their bed when they heard a knock on the door. “Who could be here this early,” he said. “I’ll get it,” she said, getting up and grabbing her robe. Randy nodded his head and went back to sleep. Dee Dee went to see who was at the door. “Well this is a surprise…come on in,” she said. Moments later, Randy came downstairs to see who was in the kitchen with his wife. “Hey there…what’s going on,” he asked. “Hi, Dad,” he heard someone say. “So, Tiffani…how are you holding up,” he said. “I’m fine…I wanted to apologize for what happened at the hospital the other night,” T.J. said. “No worries…your mom died and everyone’s a little on edge…sorry about what I said that night…you know that I would’ve done anything to help her…I didn’t mean to upset you,” he said. The three of them sat down at the kitchen table. “Who’s up for breakfast,” Dee Dee said. Afterwards, Randy and T.J. went for a drive around the neighborhood. “I know this is a stressful time for you, honey…just know that I’m here for you and Chuckie…you guys are not alone in this, okay,” he said. “It’s just not fair for Mom to leave us like this, Dad,” T.J. finally said. She broke down crying in her father’s arms. Seconds later, they came up on an old cabin. “Here we are,” he said. T.J. got out of the car and looked around. “What’s going on,” she asked him. ” I figure we need a break from everything that happened recently…I know you’re having a tough time with your mom’s death but I promise you that it will get better, okay, ” he said. She shook her head and said, “Okay!” “Hi, Dad,” they heard someone say. “Hey, son…glad you can make it,” he said. “Chuck? What are you doing here,” she asked. “Nice to see you too, little sister…Dad asked us to meet him here…he wasn’t sure if you were coming,” said Chuckie. “Of course I would…what do you mean, we,” she said. “Dad wanted to make it up to you for what he said at the hospital the other day…how are you feeling,” another voice said. “I’m good, Nyisha,” she said. “I don’t know if I mention this but I’m sorry about Mrs Thompson,” a third voice joins in. “No worries, Meghan…better late than never, huh,” she said. “Farrah, Danny, and Kevin are inside…are you ready, kiddo,” Randy asked her. “Yeah,” she said. Meanwhile, Melvin and Stephen were playing cards in the kitchen of the Thompsons house. “How do you think it’s going out there,” he asked. “I’m sure everything is going fine…it’ll give your niece and nephew a chance to reconnect with their father after all this time…Terrell kept those kids away from Randy for far too long…didn’t think he would take it that far,” Stephen said. “My parents made it possible to keep them apart…glad Terrell is dead but wish my niece didn’t have to witness that fool getting shot in the head,” he said. “That kind of thing can scarred a child for life,” Stephen said. Back at the cabin, T.J. and Nyisha was laughing at their father’s random dancing. “What is your father doing,” she said. “Don’t ask me…he’s your father, too,” Nyisha said. “I know you miss your mom…we’ll miss her, too…you and Chuckie still have us…Mrs Thompson would love that,” Farrah said. “You’re not alone in this…Mrs Thompson is like a second mom to us…we got your back,” Kevin said. Danny nodded his head to his brother’s comment. “If you and Chuckie want to talk, I’ll be here…no matter what,” Randy said to his daughter and son. “Sure, Dad,” Chuckie said. “Okay, Dad,” T.J. said softly. Then she hugged him tight. 

Days later, the whole town came together for Sheryl’s funeral. The Thompsons kids and their spouses were sitting in the front row. They were in tears over their belated mother. Dr Stewart Wilkes sat down next to his seventeen grieving grandchildren. He had lost his wife six months ago. Now he learns that his adopted daughter had died. The pastor gave a lovely sermon and said nice things about Sheryl. Once the service was over, they proceed to the graveyard. The children watched as the casket went into the ground. T.J. started to feel a little shaky so Marvin and Chuckie held onto her. “We got ya,” they said to her. Hours later, they all went back to the Thompsons house to pay respect to Melvin, Stephen, and the kids. “I don’t feel so good, Marv,” T.J. said to her husband. The two of them went upstairs to the bathroom. “It just isn’t fair…why her…Mom doesn’t deserve to die like that–we still need her,” Bridget screamed. Kevin and Nyisha consoled her. Tarik got up from the couch and went out on the front porch. Farrah was there as well. “Good service, huh,” he said to his sister-in-law. “Yeah…it was,” she said back. “Sorry that T.J. lost the only parent that she was close to, you know,” he said. “She still has our dad, my mom, and all of us…she’ll be fine,” she said. “If she could stop throwing up…Marvin took her upstairs a while ago,” he said. “Again? She’s really taking this hard, huh,” she said. “Yep,” he said. The two of them stood there quietly. Farrah thought about what happened before the funeral started. “Hey there…are you okay,”  she remembers saying to her little sister. “Yeah…I’m fine,”  T.J. told her. “Doesn’t sound like you’re fine…what brought this on…have you eaten anything this morning,”  she heard Nyisha said. “I wasn’t too hungry…can’t you stop acting like a doctor for once,”  T.J. said. “You know that’s the only thing I can’t do…we’re all worried about you,” Nyisha said. “She could be pregnant,”  she told her big sister. “Nope…I got my tubes tied after the twins were born,”  T.J. said to them. Suddenly, she snapped out of it after feeling a tap on her shoulder. “Why do you hate me so much,” Tarik asked her. “What–I didn’t say I hate you,” Farrah said. “Is it because I married your two sisters…you jealous of me,” he said. “I’m not jealous of you…idiot,” she said as he crept up from behind and kissed her neck. “You sure about that, huh,” he said seductively. “Stop it, Tarik,” she said softly. “Make me,” he whispered in her ear. She felt his hand going up her dress. “We can’t do this–not here,” she moans. “We can go in the back yard,” he moans. They left the porch and slipped in between the houses. They started to make out. The kids were upstairs playing video games as this was going on. T.J. came out of the bathroom as Marvin stood there with a towel in his hand. “You feeling okay, babe,” he asked her, then wipes her face. “Yeah…I’m fine…just a little queasy,” she said. Stephen came up to them and said, “Hey, kids…you feeling okay, Tiffani!” “Yeah…I’m good,” she said to her stepfather. “You need to rest, kiddo…Marvin, take Tiffani to her old room,” Randy said, coming upstairs. They did exactly that. “She’s not handling Sheryl’s death too well,” Stephen said. “I’ve tried talking to her since Sheryl died…thought I got through but she just clammed up on me,” Randy said. “Maybe we could get someone who can relate to the same situation as her,” he said. Then the two of them went back downstairs.

Marvin sat down next to T.J. as she slept. Melissa came in and brought a bowl of soup for her sister. “Thanks, Mel,” he said to his sister-in-law. “Hey, little sister…how are you feeling,” Melissa asked. “I’m okay, Mel…just don’t know what came over me,” T.J. said with her eyes closed. “You sure you ain’t pregnant again,” she said. “I got my tubes tied after the twins were born…it can’t be that,” T.J. said. “You need to eat, Tiff,” he said. “Okay,” T.J. said softly. Meanwhile Tarik and Farrah were having sex in the treehouse. “You know you want this…just admit it,” he whispered. “Yes,” she said, then kissed him. Nyisha and Terrence were taking some of the dishes into the kitchen. “It was a lovely service, huh,” he said. “Yeah…I feel bad for my sister though…she lost the only parent that she was close to–they all did,” she said. “Mrs Thompson was a sweet woman–the whole town loves her…now she’s gone just like that,” he said. Deke came in and said, “Hey, guys…what’s up!” ” Hey, Deke…sorry about your aunt,” she said, hugging him. “Thanks! My little cousin got you guys watching out for her now,” Deke said. “She has you and your dad, too,” she said. “Yeah…this reminds me of the day when my mom died…I just talked to my aunt last month…she said that she was fine…didn’t know she was sick,” Deke said as Stephen and Randy overheard them talking. “Hey, kids…what’s going on in here,” Stephen asked them. “We’re just talking, Mr Davis,” Nyisha said. “Just reminiscing about Aunt Sheryl, Uncle Stephen,” Deke said. “Huh?! Well, there is something that I need you to do for me,” he said. The two of them left the room and started talking. “She’s still stalling you out, Dad,” Nyisha said. “Yep…hopefully Deke could get her to talk,” Randy said. T.J. was sitting on her bed. She was spinning an old basketball on her finger when she heard a knock on the door. “Who is it,” she said. “It’s Deke,” a voice said. “Come in,” she said. Deke came in and sat down next to her. “Hey, cuz,” he said. “Hi, Deke,” she said. “Heard you weren’t feeling well…you’re not pregnant again, are you,” he asked her. “Naw! I’m sure of it,” she said. “How about the two of us taking a cruise around the neighborhood like old times? What do you say, huh,” he said. “Okay,” she said. The two of them went outside and got into Deke’s car. They drove away slowly as Randy and Stephen looked out the window. “You know what…this should work,” Randy said. “Nobody knows how that kid feels except her cousin…she’ll be able to talk to you soon,” Stephen told him. “Um…Dad,” Nyisha said. “Yeah, honey,” Randy said. “Have you guys seen Farrah or Tarik,” she asked. Tarik and Farrah got down from the treehouse. “This cannot happen again,” she said. “Yeah! Got it,” he said. “If my sister or my husband heard about this, I will kill you where you stand! Got it,” she said angrily. “Yeah…got it,” he said, checking her out. Meanwhile, Deke and T.J. showed up at an abandoned beach. “Um…what are we doing here, D,” she questioned. “This is one of my favorite spots when I was a kid…I came out here with Aunt Sheryl after my mom died…she was the one who showed me this place…I know how you feel…you thought your mom was gonna be around forever–I thought that, too,” he said. “I don’t wanna talk about it, D,” she said, then got out of the car. Deke went after her. “Hey! What are you afraid of, huh,” he yelled. “I’m not afraid of anything,” she yelled back. “Bull! You’re afraid if you talked about Aunt Sheryl that you would break down again–just admit it,” he said. “No,” she screams at him. “Prove it…I dare you, Tiffani Jasmine Thompson,” he shouted. T.J. got mad and attacked her cousin. She was hitting him over and over again. “I hate her…I hate her…I hate her….I hate her for leaving us–for leaving me all alone,” she screamed. Suddenly, she broke down crying. He hugged his grieving cousin tight. “It’s all right…I’m right here, T,” he said softly. Moments later, they were back in the car again. “Will the pain ever go away,” she spoke up. “I’ve been asking myself that same question for years…seems like there’s no real answer to it,” he said back. “You still miss Aunt Amy, huh…so do I,” she said. “Yep…at least they’re together now,” he said. Then they hugged once again.

Later that evening, Marvin sat on the front porch of the Thompsons house as Deke drove up. T.J. kissed him on the cheek, got out of the car, and hugged her husband. “You okay now,” Marvin asked her. “Yeah,” she said back. Deke walked past them and went inside. “So…,” said Randy and Stephen. “She’s okay now…I’m heading to bed,” Deke told them. T.J. and Marvin came in seconds later. “Hey! How are you feeling,” Randy asked his daughter. “I’m fine, Dad…sorry about last week…I know now that you’re just trying to help me,” she said. “No need to apologize, Tiffani…I know you’re having a hard time dealing with your mom’s death…it was the same way I felt when your grandmother died…I didn’t have anyone to talk to…I get that you’re hurting right now but I’m here whenever you need me, day or night…okay,” he said. “Okay,” she said. She gave Randy a big hug as Marvin and Stephen looks on. Deke went upstairs to the spare bedroom as Dawn and their son slept. “Hey, babe,” he whispers in her ear. “Is everything good with your cousin,” Dawn asked him. “Yeah but she’s got a long way to go…her father can take it from there…Mr Johnson is going to make sure she doesn’t break down again,” he said. “Oh, that’s good…she’s gonna need all the help she can get,” she said. They kissed and went back to sleep. Hours later, T.J. was wondering around the den until she came across an unknown box under Terrell’s desk. “What’s this,” she said to herself. The next day, the rest of the Thompsons kids came over to see their sister. “Hey, kid…what’s the big emergency,” Shane questioned. “I found this box under the desk…Mom knew she was dying because of these letters addressed to all of us including my dad and Dee Dee,” she said. “I believe she wrote these after she learned about her diagnosis,” Stephen said. Moments later, they all went to the restaurant to read their letters aloud. When it got to T.J., she put her letter down and ran outside. “Honey…,” Randy called out. “I got this,” Dee Dee said to her husband. She went outside to see T.J. sitting on the bench. “T.J.? What’s the matter, huh,” she questioned. “I can’t read that letter…it hurts too much because she’s gone,” T.J. said softly. “I know, honey…her death is still so raw to you but you know what…I miss her too,” she said. “It doesn’t feel real to me, you know,” T.J. sobs. “I get it…remember that evening when I had a chat with your mom…she promised me that if anything was to happen to her, I would look after you,” she said. “Really,” T.J. said. “She knew that you gonna need someone to help you get through this difficult time…I can help you with that if you let me,” she said. “Okay,” T.J. said. The two of them hugged as Randy came through the door. “Hey, girls…is everything okay,” he asked them. “Yeah…we’re good, right,” she said. “Yep…we’re okay,” T.J. said. “Everyone’s waiting for us…ready to go back in to read your mom’s letter, kiddo,” he said. ” Yeah, Dad,” T.J. said. He reached out to grab his daughter’s hand. Then the three of them joins the Thompsons kids and read the letter.

Afterwards, Randy meet up with Melvin and Deke outside. “Hey, guys…how are you holding up,” he asked them. “We’re good…I wanna thank you for what you did for my niece in there…she’s really gonna need you now considering you’re the only parent she has left,” Melvin said. “It would be helpful if she has her uncle and cousin close by too…why don’t the both of you stick around town for a while,” he said, “Considering you know my daughter a lot more than I do, Deke…I might need some pointers on having a good relationship with her!” “Sure, Mr Johnson…anything for my little cousin…Dawn and I can hang in town for a bit,” Deke said. “Are you guys talking about me,” a voice called out behind them. “Hey there…there’s nothing wrong with being concerned, kiddo,” Melvin said. “What my dad is saying that we were planning to extend our stay so we can catch up like old times, cousin,” Deke said. “I know I should’ve talk with you first but it would be helpful to have your family around while they’re still here, Tiffani…I hope you understand that,” Randy said to his daughter. “Yes, Dad…thank you,” T.J. said, then hugged him. “This could be good for all of us, D,” Dawn said. Everyone shook their heads in agreement. One month later, the gang were getting their lives back on track. T.J. was at the therapist’s office with Randy and Dee Dee. Other than the death of her mother, she also had to deal with the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse that she endured from Tarik in the past. She had just finished her last session. “Hey, kiddo…how does it feel to finally be done with this place,” Randy asked her. “Randall,” Dee Dee scolded her husband. “What,” he said. “It’s okay, Mom..he’s just kidding–I’m fine,” T.J. said to them. Randy and Dee Dee were shocked by what she said. Suddenly, she looked at them and said, “Guys? Is it something I said?” “No, T.J.! It’s been a month since you said Mom,” Dee Dee replied. “Oh I’m sorry about that,” she said. “No, honey! You have nothing to be sorry about, you hear me,” Dee Dee said. “Yes, ma’am,” she said. “No worries…we’re a family now…that’ll never change,” he said. “Okay, Dad,” she said. “And now that’s settled…let’s get some lunch,” he said. Meanwhile, Marvin and Terrence were having lunch with Les, Joey, and Hayley. “So, little brother…how is our sister-in-law,” Terrence questioned. “She’s doing good…it’s been a month now and the Johnsons are making sure that she gets better so it’s great,” Marvin said. Then the waiter brought their meals. 

“It’s so sad that our in-laws lost both of their parents…I don’t think I could handle it,” Hayley said. “At least we still have our mom and dad…can’t imagine what they’re going through,” Joey said. “It’s good to have Mom but Dad is dead to me,” Marvin said, got up from the table and walked off. Terrence went after him. “Hey, Marv! You can’t stay mad at the Colonel forever,” he said to his brother. “All Colonel Darryl Anderson cares about is the Army…he don’t care about us,” Marvin said angrily. “You need to let that go…he’s here now making amends with his family…you won’t even give him a chance,” Terrence said. “At ease, men,” someone called out. “Dad,” he said, seeing Colonel Darryl Anderson walking through the door. “Colonel,” Marvin said sternly. “Hello, Terrence…Marvin,” Colonel Anderson said to his sons. “Hey, Dad…good to see you,” Hayley said. “Hey there, baby girl…is that my grandson,” he said, hugging her. “Yes, sir…this is my son, Barney,” she said. He held the child in his arms for the first time. Nyisha and Tarik went to a marriage counselor to discuss their recent problems. While they were there,  he was thinking about everything that he did from abusing his first wife to nearly raping his current wife on the living room floor. “Tarik? Are you okay,” she asked. “Huh? I’m good, baby,” he said, kissing her on the cheek. Meanwhile, Farrah was hanging out with Meghan at the park. Their kids were playing a game of soccer. As she watches them, she thought about the affair she had with Tarik. “Hey, sis? What’s going on in that mind of yours,” Meghan asked her. “Huh? Nothing, Meg! Just watch the goddamn game,” she said.  Suddenly, her cellphone buzzed. Seconds later, she and Tarik were going at it in a hotel room. “What are we doing, huh…I’m cheating on Terrence–you’re cheating on Nyisha–that ain’t right,” she said to him. “I couldn’t stop thinking about what happened between us in the treehouse…I’ve been attracted to you for a long time…since we were kids…you wouldn’t give me the time of day,” he said, kissing her all over. “Still I don’t think we should do this to them…ohhh,” she said, then started moaning as he went down on her. Later that night, the gang were having a game night at the Andersons house. “Hey, T.J.! Heard this was your last session with the therapist! How does it feel,” Meghan asked. “Good…I finally got past all the issues in my life…thanks to Dad and Dee Dee,” T.J. said to her stepsister. “That’s good cuz you were a wreck after your mom died…nice to have you back, kid,” Nyisha said. “Thanks, Iz…but it was after the session that threw me off…I called Dee Dee Mom–doesn’t it seem a little odd to you guys,” T.J. asked them. “Naw…not to me,” Meghan said. “What did she say,” Nyisha questioned. “I apologized for saying it and she told me there’s nothing to be sorry about…I’m starting to forget my own mother,” T.J. said. “No, you’re not! You’ve been hanging out with us so long that she feels like your mom! It’s not odd–we’re your family, too,” said Farrah. The rest of them agreed. The guys were playing cards in the next room. “So, fellas…I heard you had lunch with your pops–the great Colonel Darryl Anderson…how did that go,” Tarik said. “Exactly what I said it would be–horrible…the Colonel just announced that he has another son…he’ll be here on Friday,” said Marvin. Then he went back to playing the game. 

The next day, T.J. wake up to see Marvin standing next to the bedroom window. “Hi,” she yawns. “Hey, babe…didn’t mean to wake you…what’s up,” he asked. “I’m wondering–what’s going on with you, Marv…you’ve been a little on edge since you saw your dad yesterday…what happened,” she asked him. “I don’t wanna talk about it,” he mumbled. “That bad, huh,” she said. “Can we not talk about that man,” he said angrily. “I’m sorry…I just worry about you,” she said softly. He calms himself down and sat next to his wife. “I didn’t mean to scare you, okay…my dad is a very touchy subject…I just don’t like talking about it…you do understand, right,” he said. “Of course I do…I was just as angry as you were when I learned that Randy Johnson was my dad,” she told him. “But it’s not the same thing…you guys were in the same neighborhood–on the same block…you were living with him when Terrell threw you out of his house…my dad left his family–for another woman and her kid…I don’t want you worrying about me, babe,” he said, then kisses her on the cheek. He got off the bed and left the room. Nyisha and Tarik were still sleeping in their bed when Larissa came in. “Mom? Dad! Wake up,” she said, shaking them. “Hey, kiddo! What’s wrong,” Tarik asked her. “Nothing, Dad,” she said. “You feeling okay,” Nyisha questioned. “Yeah…can I talk to you for a minute–just the two of us,” she said. “Uh-oh! That’s my cue to leave,” he said. “Sure, honey,” Nyisha said as Tarik walked out of the room. While they were talking, he got a phone call. “Hello? What’s up, El,” he said. Back at the Andersons house, T.J. got on her cell phone and made a call. “Hello…we need to talk, Terrence…it’s about your brother,” she said. Moments later, the two of them meet up. “Hey, Tiff…how are you,” Terrence said. “I’m good! I need to ask you something,” she said. “Sure…what’s on your mind,” he asked. “I need to know exactly what happened on your visit with the Colonel,” she said. “You know I can’t talk to you about this…you should talk to my brother,” he said. “I’ve already tried–he won’t talk to me! Please–I wanna know what’s going on with my husband,” she said. “Okay…during our visit, the Colonel told us about his youngest son…his name is Richard Anderson but everybody calls him Nemo…Marvin wasn’t too happy about it…they argued and Marvin left the diner…that’s all I can say…you need to talk with your husband,” he said. “Okay…thanks,” she said. The two of them hugged. Tarik was heading to the studio when he got another call. “Hey there! I got time–where you at,” he said. Moments later, he and Farrah were making out in the men’s restroom. “Couldn’t get enough of me, huh,” he said. “Not since the hotel room,” she said. “Guess your husband don’t know you’re here with me,” he asked her. “Uh-uh…he’s with his sister-in-law…some issue with her husband…how about you,” she said. “My wife is having a chat with our daughter…she doesn’t know I’m gone,” he said. They engaged in a liplock. Randy and Dee Dee were having breakfast in the kitchen of their home. “Hey there! What are you thinking about,” he asked his wife. “It feels weird since Sheryl died! I almost call her this morning–I was so embarrassed,” she said. “You miss her, huh,” he said. “Yeah, I do…then your daughter accidentally called me Mom–I had no idea she missed Sheryl that much,” she said. “The therapist said that it would take some time for T.J. to get over her mother’s death–she’ll be fine,” he said, “Besides that, you’re the closest person she has to a real mother…don’t worry about it!” Then he kisses her on the cheek.

Marvin was at the law office reading his newspaper when Terrence came in and sat down. “Hey, little bro! What’s up with you,” he asked. “Nothing…just came in to get some work done…what’s it to you, man,” Marvin said to him. “I’ll be honest with you…your wife called me this morning–she’s worried about you, man,” he said before getting cut off. “Argh–damn it,” Marvin yelled. “Don’t get mad, little brother…that woman loves you, Marv–you owe her an explanation…she has already been through this situation just like you…let her in…what do you have to lose, huh,” he said. Marvin shook his head and said, “Okay!” Moments later, he went to see T.J. at her job. “Hi,” she said. “Hey…can we talk,” he said. They went into the boardroom and had a talk. “I didn’t know how you felt about this…I’m so sorry for going behind your back and talking with Terrence,” she said. “No, Tiff! I’m glad you did! You have nothing to apologize for, all right,” he said. “Okay,” she said. Randy walked in and said, “You guys okay in here?” “Yes, sir,” they said to him. “Since things seems slow around here, why don’t you kids go to lunch–my treat,” he said. “Ok, Dad! See you later,” T.J. said, hugging him. “Okay, honey! Bye,” he said as T.J. and Marvin left together. Farrah came into the law office and saw Terrence there. “Hey, baby…how are you,” she said, then kisses him. “I’m good…where did you go,” he asked her. “I went to the gym for a workout…had a quick bite–that kind of thing and you,” she said. “Well your little sister grilled the hell out of me on what’s going on with my little brother…I’m sure they made up by now,” he said. “She is tough…I knew that cuz I grew up with her–you’re lucky,” she said. “Yeah–very lucky,” he said, then hugged and kissed her. All Farrah could think about was her affair with Tarik. Nyisha was in the den working on the computer. Tarik came in and gave her a kiss. “So…how was your talk with our daughter,” he asked her. “It went good…where did you go,” she said. “One of the boys called me about a problem and I went to the studio for a bit,” he said. “Well, I’m going to make your favorite meal for dinner–roast beef for tomorrow night,” she said to him. “Okay, babe…gotta go wash up,” he said. “Sure,” she said without looking. He went upstairs to the bathroom. He turns on the shower, took off all his clothes, and suddenly jumped in. While standing under the running water, Tarik dreamt that he was getting a blow job from Farrah. He moans as someone came in on him. “Is there enough room for two,” a voice called out. “Sure…come on in,” he said after seeing who it was. T.J. and Marvin were having lunch at the diner. They were very happy. “Um, Marv,” she said. “Yeah, babe,” he said. “Can you promise me something,” she asked him. “Yeah…what’s up,” he said. “No more secrets…I want you to be able to talk to me about anything that’s bothering you, okay…no matter how bad they are,” she pleaded. “Okay…I expect the same from you, too,” he said. “Of course,” she said. “I’m so sorry, Tiff…I didn’t mean for you to worry,” he said, then kisses her. Afterwards, the two of them went home and started to make out on the living room couch.

Hours later, the whole gang meet up at the restaurant for dinner. Tarik was staring at Farrah as he wraps his arms around Nyisha. Terrence was unaware of what was going on. As the gang talked among themselves, Tarik and Farrah snuck off. T.J. saw them leaving the restaurant. “We can’t keep doing this, Tarik…suppose someone finds out about us,” Farrah said, unaware that T.J. stood there listening to the two of them. “I know-I know but I couldn’t stop thinking about you…when I was having sex with my wife this afternoon, I saw your face…I’m falling in love with you, Farrah,” he said, then kissed her hard. While this was going on, T.J. caught them in the act. “Aw, fuck,” Farrah said softly. T.J. covers her mouth and walked away. “Shit–she saw us,” Tarik whispered. “We better go talk to her,” Farrah said. The two of them went to find T.J. but saw her sitting on the curb. “Tiffani,” Tarik called out. “T.J.? Talk to me please,” she said to her sister. “What are you doing–how could you do this to Nyisha and Terrence–they don’t deserve this,” T.J. rambled on. “We don’t know how this happened–you can’t tell them what you heard, please,” she said. “I thought you hated him…now you want me to lie…uh-uh…I won’t do it…I won’t lie to them,” T.J. said. Marvin came outside and said, “What’s going on out here?” “Nothing…right, girls,” Tarik said. “Right,” said Farrah, covering her little sister’s mouth. “We’ll be there,” he said. “All right,” Marvin said, then goes back inside. “You can’t tell them anything, got it,” she said, taking her hand from T.J.’s mouth. “I don’t like this one damn bit! How can I look them in their faces knowing what you guys did,” T.J. said angrily. “Tarik, can you excuse us for a minute,” she said. “Okay,” Tarik said, going inside. “I don’t wanna see Nyisha get hurt so keep your mouth shut, got it,” she demanded. T.J. nod her head. They went back into the restaurant as well. While everyone were eating their meal, T.J. thought about the situation that Farrah put her in. “Hey! Babe! Are you okay,” Marvin asked her. “Huh? Oh yeah! I’m fine,” she said back. Farrah was watching her sister as she ate a bite of food. After dinner, the two of them meet up outside the restaurant. “Thanks for keeping our secret,” Farrah said. “I can’t believe you and Tarik put me in this situation…you’re just like your mother–always threatening me,” T.J. mumbled. “Wait–what! Did you just compared me to my mother,” she said angrily. “Yeah,” T.J. said back. “You’re crazy,” she yelled. “Don’t call me crazy,” T.J. yelled back. They started to argue. The rest of the gang went outside to stop the girls. Their arguing turns into fighting. At the Johnsons house, Dee Dee got a phone call. “Hello? What,” she yelled. She and Randy got into their car quickly. They drove over to the restaurant. Once there, they saw Farrah and T.J. in handcuffs. “What the hell–,” they said. They got out of the car and rushed over to the girls. “Excuse me–what’s going on over here,” Dee Dee said. One of the officers walked over to her and asked, “These ladies belong to you?” “They’re my daughters, officer,” Randy said. Then they started talking.

In a matter of minutes, Farrah and T.J. were released. “What the hell is wrong with you two,” Dee Dee yelled at them. “Answer her…NOW,” Randy said. “Farrah cheated on Terrence with Tarik…I heard them in the alleyway…Tarik told Farrah that he’s in love with her,” T.J. said. “You can’t leave well enough alone now could you,” Farrah yelled as she jacked up her sister against a nearby car. “I told you that I wasn’t going to lie to Nyisha and Terrence–you pushed me into a corner, Farrah…you and Tarik…I can’t take it anymore,” she said. Nyisha stood there in a daze as they argued. She walks over to Tarik and slapped him. “Damn,” said James and Meghan. Terrence walked over to Farrah and said, “You…cheated on me…with HIM?” She shook her head slowly. “It’s not what you think, man…honest,” Tarik said to him. Terrence got mad and punched him in the face. James and Marvin step in to break them up. “All right! That does it! You three, get in the goddamn car,” Randy said to Nyisha, Farrah, and T.J. “And as for the rest of you, get into your vehicles and follow us now,” Dee Dee said. Everyone went back to the Johnsons house. “I can’t believe it–you of all people–had sex with my husband…then you pulled T.J. into this…made her lie to me and Terrence after everything that happened with her mom–how could you,” Nyisha said angrily. She grabbed her twin sister by the shirt and threw her against the wall. Meghan and T.J. pulled them apart quickly. “Cut it out, you two…right now,” Randy said to his two daughters. “Farrah, come with me! I would like a word with you…NOW,” Dee Dee said, then took her daughter out of the room. “I get it that you’re angry with your sister but that’s not the way we handle things in this family,” he said. “It’s all my fault…I shouldn’t have said anything,” T.J. said softly. “No! I’m glad you did! They would’ve kept on doing it! Me and Terrence–we wouldn’t know a thing! Thank you,” Nyisha said, reassuring her sister. “The only one to blame for this is that punk Tarik! He seduced your sisters and took advantage of them–speaking of sisters–Meghan, watch your back,” he said. “Yes, sir,” Meghan said. “I don’t know what else to tell you, kiddo…you gotta let him go…he’s no good, Iz,” he said to his oldest daughter. Hours later, Terrence was on the front porch drinking a bottle of beer when Nyisha came out to join him. “Hey,” he said. “Hi,” she said. “How are you holding up,” he asked. “I was gonna ask you the same thing…right now my head is still spinning from everything that happened tonight…my sister and my husband–they always hated each other when we were growing up…I had no idea,” she said. “Neither did I…they would’ve kept the affair going if T.J. didn’t catch them,” he said. “She feels guilty about it…doesn’t want me and Farrah to get into a fight…she’s been through so much since her mom died,” she said. “She shouldn’t have to feel that way cuz she didn’t cheat–Farrah and Tarik did,” he said. “Now Dad thinks he’s no good…I don’t know what to do,” she said. “I’m sure you’ll figure it out,” he said. The two of them hugged. Farrah stared at them closely from the kitchen window. “What are you doing,” T.J. spoke up. “What is it to you, huh,” Farrah said. “I told you that I wouldn’t lie to them…how was I to know Nyisha would react to this,” T.J. said. “Now we’ll never know, will we,” she said angrily. Meanwhile, Nyisha and Terrence were getting closer. Suddenly, they locked lips. T.J. cleared her throat. “Umm…hey, sister-in-law…didn’t see you there,” he said. “I couldn’t sleep…can’t stop thinking about what happened tonight,” she said. “Don’t stress yourself over it…you did nothing wrong, okay,” he said. “Okay,” she said. “You did the right thing, little sister,” Nyisha said. Then the three of them continued talking.

The next day, the girls sat quietly in the kitchen and are their breakfast. Randy and Dee Dee came in to join them. “So…are you done now, ladies,” they questioned the girls. “Yes, Mom and Dad,” said Nyisha and Farrah. “Where’s the guys, Dad,” T.J. asked. Marvin and Terrence were outside playing one-on-one basketball as James and Tarik watches. “So…was it worth it,” he asked. “What,” Tarik said to James. “Going after Farrah–was it worth it? You hated her for as long as I remember! Who’s next–my wife? I would have kicked your ass,” he joked. Tarik got mad and punched him out. Randy, Marvin, and Terrence rushed over to break up the fight. “Knock it off, you two…I said knock it off,” Randy yelled. “What’s going on out here,” Dee Dee asked the guys. “I was just joking around with your son-in-law here, Mrs Johnson…he flipped out on me,” James said as Meghan rushed to his side. “I have had it with you, boy,” Randy growled. “No, Dad! Let me,” Nyisha said, then punched Tarik out. “Daaaammmmn,” the rest of the gang yelled. “I’m through with you, Tarik–it’s over,” she screams at him. She took off her wedding ring and threw it at him. Tarik sat there dumbfounded. Dee Dee consoled her heartbroken daughter. “Get out of here…NOW,” Randy yelled at his son-in-law. Everyone went inside and shut the door. “It’s okay, honey…we’re here,” Dee Dee said to her oldest daughter. “Is she gonna be okay, Dad,” T.J. asked him. “Of course, kiddo…we gotta stick together because we’re a family…we’re gonna help her through this…there’s no need to feel bad about this because it’s not your fault, okay,” Randy said. “Okay,” she said. The two of them hugged Nyisha tight. Moments later, Kevin and Danny came to the house to console their big sister. Farrah went into the bathroom and broke down crying. “What happened, Dad,” they asked him. “It’s kind of a long story…but Tarik was the cause of it all,” Randy said to his sons. “Farrah? Honey, open up,” Dee Dee said to her daughter. She didn’t get an answer. She pries the door open and saw Farrah laying there on the floor unconscious with a pill bottle in her hand. As the gang talked, they heard Dee Dee screaming at the top of her lungs. Hours later, everyone was at the hospital. Stephen, Melvin, and Stewart meet up with them. “Hey, guys! What happened,” they asked. “Farrah tried to commit suicide this morning….and it’s all Tarik’s fault,” Randy said to them. “Damn that boy…we should’ve nip that shit in the bud when he attacked Tiffani a while back…Tarik Lane has gone too far now,” Stephen said. T.J. got up from the couch and left the waiting room. While the guys were talking, Nyisha sat by her twin sister’s bedside. “Don’t you dare die on me–I’m not through with you yet,” she said. Farrah opened her eyes and whispered, “I’m sorry, sis!” Dee Dee came in and sat with her daughters. T.J. stood out in the hallway as Stewart patted her on the back. “Oh, Grandpa,” she cried, then hugged him tight. “Your dad called me as soon as he could…this is not your fault for what happened to your sister, kid,” Stewart said to his granddaughter. “Girls, we need to talk–T.J., Meghan! Get in here, please,” Dee Dee said to them. T.J. and Meghan came in to join them. “Yeah, Mom,” Meghan said. “What’s going on, Dee Dee,” T.J. asked her stepmother. “We are going to put a stop to all this fighting right now…look at what almost happened…this could have ended differently and we would’ve lost your sister today…find some way to make it up with each other…don’t let that boy tear you apart…what are you waiting on…do it,” Dee Dee said. “I’m so sorry, you guys…I didn’t mean to hurt any of you…especially you, T.J.–with everything that happened, I shouldn’t have threatened you–I deserved to get caught…would you ever forgive me,” Farrah cried. Then the four of them hugged.

Later that evening, T.J. was thinking back on the fight at the restaurant. “Hey, kid! What’s going on over there,” Farrah said to her. “Nothing…how did we get this far…I hated what happened between us yesterday…you hurt me,” she said. “I didn’t intend to do that…honest! I couldn’t face up with what I did to you,” Farrah said. “You think killing yourself would help? I nearly lost my son–your nephew–for that reason! Seeing you on that floor today scares me! I don’t wanna lose you,” she cried. Melvin came in and hugged his grieving niece. “She’s right, you know…this is something that she doesn’t need–losing another member of her family…do you understand that,” he said. “Yeah…I understand…sorry, T.J.–I didn’t mean to scare you,” Farrah said softly. “Let’s just hope we can work this out because we don’t want to lose any more people in our lives, got it,” Dee Dee said to them. “Yes, ma’am,” Farrah and T.J. said. Two days later, T.J. and Marvin were with Terrence waiting at the Greyhound station. “So, guys…do you even know what this kid look like,” she asked them. “Yep! The Colonel gave me a recent picture of him,” Terrence said. “With everything that happened this week, are you gonna be okay,” she asked her brother-in-law. “Yeah…I’m okay…you have nothing to worry about…don’t stress yourself over it,” he said. While they were talking, a tall slender boy got out and grabbed his bag. “There he is, guys,” she said to them. They held up a sign for the boy to see. He walked to the three of them and said, “Hello! I heard that you were looking for me! My name is Richard Anderson but everyone calls me Nemo! And you are?” “I’m Terrence…this is my brother, Marvin, and his wife, Tiffani…nice to meet you, Nemo,” Terrence said to him. “Nice to meet you too…my dad told me all about you guys…so you’re lawyers, huh,” Nemo said. “Yeah…we have a law firm a couple of blocks from here,” he said to his newfound half brother. “Why don’t we get out of here and show Nemo around town,” T.J. said, jabbing Marvin in the ribs with her elbow. “Um, yeah..let’s go,” Marvin said. They went over to the car and got in. “So, Nemo…where you’re from,” T.J. asked him. “LA…California,” Nemo said. Tyrese, Tarik Jr, and Brianna were cleaning up the kitchen while the younger kids washed the windows. Bryan was swinging around an old rag. “How’s everything on your end,” Tyrese asked them. “All clean, Ty,” said Billie. “They’re here! They’re here,” Terrell and Angel yelled. They all put everything away and went to the front door. Marvin drove up in the yard. “Here we are–our lovely home,” T.J. said. They all got out and went inside. “Hey, kids…I would like for you to meet someone…this is Richard Anderson, your uncle,” Terrence said. “Hello,” the kids said. “This is Tyrese, Tarik Jr, Brianna, Marlon, Mark, Billie, Terrell, Angel, and this little one here is our grandson, Bryan,” T.J. said, introducing the kids. “We have another uncle,” said Billie. “Yeah…I’m your dad’s half brother, sweetheart,” Nemo said to her. “Cool,” Terrell said. “But you guys can call me Nemo,” he said. “Why,” Angel questioned. “Like the fish, I can disappear before your very eyes,” he told the kids. “All right, you guys…come on…let’s give your uncle a chance to breathe, please,” T.J. spoke up. The whole gang went into the kitchen. “Hey, kiddo…how are you holding up,” Randy asked his daughter as he visited her in the hospital room. “I’m okay, Dad,” Farrah answered him. “You had us worried, honey…what were you doing with those pills,” Dee Dee questioned. “I don’t know…they were just there…I didn’t like what I did to Nyisha and Terrence a couple of weeks ago–I couldn’t handle it…I didn’t like the person I’ve become, Mom–I even threaten my little sister–I didn’t mean to,” she said. “We know…you did cross the line threatening T.J. after you were caught cheating with Tarik but that’s over…your mom and I feel that you should get some help…we want to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he said. Farrah shook her head in agreement. Meanwhile, Nyisha sat in the den of her home thinking about past events that happened. “Mom? Mom? Mom,” a voice called out to her. “Huh? What is it, honey,” she said, looking up to see her kids standing there. “What’s wrong? Were you crying,” Larissa asked her. “I’ve tried to work things out with your father…I really tried but no more…we’re getting a divorce,” she said. Then the kids hugged her.

Three weeks later, the gang meet up at the diner. “So…how are you, sis,” T.J. questioned. “Good considering the fact that I’m divorcing the father of my children,” Nyisha replied. “I’ve been there myself,” she said. “This probably wouldn’t happen if I had kept my hands off Tarik in the first place,” Farrah said to them. “If it wasn’t with you, he would’ve cheat on me with somebody else…it is the affair with the married couple that done it in so it wasn’t entirely your fault,” she said to her twin sister. “What about you guys,” T.J. said. “Well, Farrah and I are willing to work on our marriage so wish us luck, guys,” Terrence said to his sister-in-law. “We will, man,” said Marvin. They were unaware that Tarik was watching them from outside. Meanwhile, Tarik Jr was at the city courts playing basketball with Nemo. “You think you can beat me, kid,” he said. “Yeah…learn the game from my mom,” Tarik Jr said. “So that’s why you play like a girl,” he chuckled. “She was an all-state champion of her high school basketball team,” Tarik Jr said. “Oh–okay! My bad, dude,” he said. While this was going on, Dean came up and said, “Well, well, well…what do we have here?” “Who’s this clown,” Nemo asked. “Um…my former friend,” Tarik Jr said. Dean stood there chuckling. “My misguided friend has no manners…I’m Dean Masters and you are,” Dean said, introducing himself. “Richard Anderson, a friend of the family,” Nemo said back. “He’s Marvin’s half brother,” Tarik Jr said to Dean. “So he is, huh–welcome to the neighborhood, man,” he said, shaking Nemo’s hand. While they talked, Tarik Jr stood back and drank a bottle of water. Dean went to stand next to him. “So…your friend is nice…what’s up with you,” he said. “We’re playing a game…that’s all,” Tarik Jr told him. “I got no problem…with Richard…what happened to us,” he said, rubbing his friend’s leg. “Don’t do this,” Tarik Jr said. “Do what, baby? I know you want this–I can feel it,” he said, moving closer to him. “Leave me alone,” Tarik Jr mumbled. “I can’t…I’m falling in love…with you, Tarik Lane Jr,” he said, then kisses his friend on the lips. Tarik Jr fought to get away from Dean but couldn’t get out of his grip. As Dean slipped his hand down Tarik Jr’s pants, Nemo pushed him away. “Hey! Leave the kid alone, man,” he told Dean. He and Tarik Jr left quickly. “So…how long was this going on,” Nemo asked his stepnephew as they walked away from Dean. “That’s just the thing–it’s not! He thinks he can turn me gay and make me fall in love with him,” Tarik Jr answered him. “You don’t like him that way, huh,” he said. “No, Nemo…not like that,” Tarik Jr said back. “Not your type,” he said. “Uh-uh! I have a fiance and a daughter to think about! He tried to kill Brianna a while back! That’s why I don’t trust him,” Tarik Jr said. “He’s the guy who shot my niece,” he questioned. “Yep,” Tarik Jr said, nodding his head. “Shouldn’t he be in jail or something,” he said. “He was but they let him out a couple of weeks ago,” Tarik Jr said. “I can see why you don’t trust him–the little jerk,” he said, checking him out. Bridget was heading to the supermarket with her youngest son in tow. As she goes in, she caught a glimpse of a familiar face in one of the aisles. She went to see who it was. “Why are you following me,” she yelled. “Well…nice seeing you too, friend,” the person said to her. “Audrey? What are you doing here–when did you come into town,” she questioned her old college friend. “I got here a couple of weeks ago with my daughter…heard about your son–I’m so sorry, Bridget,” said Audrey. “Thanks…it’s been tough on us but I’m okay now–we all are,” she said. Then they hugged.

Later that evening, Tarik Jr and Nemo went back to the Andersons house. Everyone were still out. “Looks like we’re the only ones here,” he said. “Yep,” Tarik Jr said back. “Let’s forget about our troubles with a drink of this,” he said, holding a clear bottle of vodka. Moments later, the two of them fell back laughing on Tarik Jr’s bed. “Feels good not thinking about that jerk, Nemo…that’s some strong stuff,” Tarik Jr said, then coughs softly. “What is that guy’s problem, huh? He got a hard-on for younger guys or something,” Nemo asked him. “Dean took advantage of me one night…forces me into having sex…I hated him for it,” he said softly. “Sorry about that…I didn’t know,” Nemo said. “I went to therapy for my problem…I’m past it now,” he said, then drink the bottle of vodka down. “Tarik Jr, I have a confession to make but it has to stay between us, okay,” Nemo said. “Okay? What is it,” he asked him. “I’m bisexual,” Nemo said. “You’re kidding, right,” he said, confused by what he heard. “No! I’m not–I’m gay,” Nemo blurted out. The news causes Tarik Jr to jump to his feet. “Shit! Is this why you got me drunk,” he said loudly. “No! You needed to relax from what Dean was doing to you–I wouldn’t do anything like that,” Nemo said. “You sure,” he asked. “I’m sure, man…now sit down,” Nemo said to him. Tarik Jr did exactly that. The two of them drank some more. “You know what? You’re the first guy who I’ve met that hasn’t tried to hit on me while I was drunk,” said Tarik Jr. “I would never do that to you…I like sober men,” Nemo said to him. They started to laugh. “Um thanks…you’re nothing like Dean…he tried to control me–the whole prison bitch thing, you know,” he said. “Yep…it happened to me too…I know how you feel,” Nemo said. “I wanna know something…how did you know when you were gay,” he asked. “Well it was sort of a feeling that I had…I tried dating girls but it doesn’t work the way I wanted,” Nemo said. “So you haven’t found the right guy, huh,” he said. “Naw…I buried myself into my work–no time to date, man,” Nemo told him. “I wouldn’t do that to myself…I make time for my girls,” he said. “I’m wondering…when do I get to meet your girls,” Nemo said. “Well…Alexa and our daughter went out of town to visit her mother…they’ll be back next week,” he said. “Do you have any pictures of them,” Nemo asked him. “Yeah…right here,” he said, showing him a picture on his cellphone. “Aw…cute kid…just like her daddy,” Nemo said. The two of them chuckled. “See you later, guys,” Nyisha said, leaving the diner. As she was heading to her car, Tarik showed up. “Hey, baby…how you’ve been,” he said. “What are you doing here,” she said. “Can a man talk to his wife without any suspicion,” he said. “I won’t be your wife for long…goodbye,” she said, opening the door. Tarik slammed it shut and said, “We’re not done here, Iz!” “Leave me alone,” she told him. “Why you wanna do this? You’ll never find another man like me! Why don’t we both cut this shit out, huh,” he whispered, then leans in to kiss Nyisha. She pushed Tarik away and slapped him. “I said…NO,” she yelled. “What you did that for? What about our kids? They need both parents,” he said. “What do you care? You weren’t thinking about our children when you were fucking my twin sister and nearly causing her to commit suicide! You weren’t thinking about them when you nearly raped my little sister in our kitchen! I oughta kill you for going after my family,” she yelled at him. As she swung her fist at him, Tarik grabbed her arm. “I let that slide one too many times but no more…didn’t had this much trouble with my last wife,” he growled. “T.J. was afraid of you,” she told him. “Your baby sister was doing what she was told,” he said. “You were controlling her! I saw the bruises! The nightmares she had for years–you nearly killed her! That’s why I’m getting out of this marriage so it doesn’t happen to me,” she said. Then he balled up his fist and punched her in the face. 

Marvin was driving down the street as T.J. slept in the passenger seat. She was dreaming about all the events up to meeting up with her siblings and in-laws at the diner. Suddenly, she woke up. “Babe? What’s wrong, huh,” he asked her. “Something’s not right! We gotta go back–we have to, please,” she said. They went back to the diner to find Nyisha’s car still sitting in the parking lot. It was empty. “Maybe she went back inside,” he said. “I don’t think so,” she said, then got out of their car. “I’ll check anyway,” he said, getting out as well. T.J. checked around Nyisha’s car and came across some blood on the ground. “Oh my god! Marvin,” she screamed. “What, Tiffani,” he said. “Something happened! Call 9-1-1,” she said. Meanwhile, Tarik drove up to an old warehouse. He got out and went to the back of his truck. He opens it up and climbed in. Nyisha was laying there unconscious. Back at the diner, T.J. sat there quietly as the police did their job. Marvin put his coat around her and said, “Are you okay?” She shook her head and whispered, “Yeah!” Suddenly, Randy and Dee Dee showed up. “Hey, kids…what happened,” they asked. Before Marvin could say anything, one of the officers came up to them and said, “Mr and Mrs Johnson? We may have reason to believe that your daughter was abducted from this parking lot tonight…any of you know if someone had a grudge against her recently?” As the three men talked, Dee Dee went over to the truck and sat down next to T.J. “Hey there,” she said to her stepdaughter. “I’m so sorry about this, Dee Dee,” T.J. said softly. “It’s not your fault, honey…there was no way you could’ve known this would happen, okay,” she said. “Okay,” T.J. said back. Randy came up to them and said, “They’re doing their best to find Nyisha…how are you holding up, kiddo?” “I-I’m good, Dad,” T.J. said. “You’re shivering…Marvin, take your wife home…we can handle this,” he said. “Okay…let’s go, Tiff,” Marvin said. “I’ll let you know if anything comes up…try to get some sleep, okay,” he said to his daughter. “I’ll try, Dad,” she said. “I’ll check up on you in a couple hours! You kids drive safe,” Dee Dee said. The kids got into their car and drove off. “Now let me ask you a question,” Nemo said. “What,” Tarik Jr said. “There’s something I wanted to do since I’ve been here…would you be mad at me for what I’m about to do,” he asked. “Like what,” Tarik Jr said. “This,” he said, then kisses him on the mouth. Tarik Jr was caught off guard by it. He felt a bulge in his pants. While this was going on, they heard Marvin’s car drive up. They stopped kissing and went downstairs. “Hey, guys! What’s going on,” Nemo asked his brother and sister-in-law. “Nyisha was snatched up from the diner tonight…no one knows where she is,” Marvin said. “Hey, Mom…are you okay,” Tarik Jr questioned. “Yeah, baby…I’m fine…nothing to worry about,” T.J. said, hugging him. Then everyone were fast asleep moments later.

Tarik Jr got to use the bathroom. He felt a hand running across his back. “Let’s play a game,” a voice said to him. Suddenly, Tarik Jr was blindfolded. He was being led back to his bed. “What’s going on–who is this,” he said. “You never answered my question before we kissed,” the same voice said to him. “Nemo? What are you doing, man,” he said. “Nothing…it’s just a joke…relax,” Nemo said. “Are you coming on to me,” he questioned. “No, man…your mom would kick my butt if I did that…don’t worry–no one knows my secret but you–I won’t tell anyone what happened between us in here,” Nemo said. Tarik Jr shook his head in agreement. Nyisha woke up in an old freezer room. She was chained down to the floor. “Hey there, sleepyhead,” a voice said. “Tarik, what have you done now,” she said, recognizing her husband’s voice. “Nothing…yet,” Tarik said seductively. “What are you gonna do to me,” she questioned him. “Whatever I wanna do to you…maybe finish what we started that night before you shoved me into the wall,” he whispered. “No…I didn’t like the way you were acting that night,” she told him. “You didn’t seem to mind when I was fucking your brains out in your parent’s shed all those years ago,” he said. “It was a mistake…you cheated on my sister with me…I hated it when you put me in the middle of your fights with her…my father was right–I should’ve never married you,” she said. “Too little…too late…of course I love a lot of girls but I married you…see I’m the king of this castle…you do what I say, got it,” he said, “Right now I’m horny! Spread your legs and give the king what he wants!” ” I said no,” she yelled. “Do it now or I’ll kill you right here,” he growled. “You don’t intimidate me…I’m not T.J.,” she yelled at him. He got mad and hit her again. T.J. was fast asleep while Marvin reads the newspaper. Suddenly, she woke up. “Tiff? What’s going on,” he asked her. Meanwhile, Tarik Jr got up from his bed and looked out the window. Nemo stood behind him. “Can’t sleep, huh,” he whispered. “No…can’t stop thinking about that kiss,” Tarik Jr said. “Yeah,” he said, stroking Tarik Jr’s arm. “Why did you hold back,” Tarik Jr asked him. “I didn’t want to come on too strong…didn’t want to make you do something you don’t like…I saw what happened between you and Dean…I’m not that guy,” he said. “That’s good because I don’t like those type of guys…my dad is one of them…he forced my mom into having sex with him when they were married–I don’t wanna be like that,” Tarik Jr said. Suddenly, Nemo put his arms around him. “If we gonna do this, there’s no turning back…what happens here doesn’t leave this room,” he said. “Okay,” Tarik Jr said. Nemo put his hand down his stepnephew’s pants and caressed his genitals. The soft touch aroused him. While he was doing that, Tarik Jr held onto the windowsill. Nemo bend him over and had anal sex with him. “I got ya…sit on my lap, baby,” he whispered in his ear. The two of them were moaning slowly on the windowsill. Hours later, they were fast asleep in their beds. The next morning, Nemo was in the bathroom brushing his teeth. Tarik Jr came in to join him. “Hey, buddy…you feel okay,” he asked. “Yeah…I feel great,” Tarik Jr said, “Now I wanna return the favor!” “Is that so,” he said softly as his stepnephew groped him gently. Then Tarik Jr pulled down his pants halfway and had sex with Nemo.  

Nyisha was still on the floor of the freezer room when Tarik banged on the wall. “Let me go,” she said angrily. “Okay…but you gotta do something for me,” he said. “What,” she said. “Call off the divorce…tell your family to back off so we can work out our marriage…I’ll let you go home to our children,” he said. “You’re crazy! I’m supposed to forget everything that you’ve done–I’m not going back to you! Let me outta here,” she said as she headed for the door. He grabbed her by the arm and slammed her against the wall. “You’re disobeying me,” he yelled. “Stop it, Tarik! You’re hurting me,” she cried. “You bitches are all the same–I should kill you right now,” he growls. He grabs her neck and started to squeeze. She fight to get out of his grip but couldn’t get away. She reached for an old bottle and hit him in the head with it. Tarik fell to the floor as Nyisha tried to catch her breath. Back at the Andersons house, T.J. woke up screaming. Marvin, Tarik Jr, and Nemo rushes into the bedroom. “Tiffani? Take it easy, okay! It’s just a bad dream, babe,” Marvin said to his wife. He and Tarik Jr hugged her tight. The boys sat downstairs as the doctors tend to T.J. Melvin came to the house and said, “Hey, guys! I heard what happened to Nyisha! What’s going on with my niece?” As they talked, Randy and Dee Dee showed up. “What is it? Any word on Nyisha,” Marvin asked them. “Nothing…how’s everything over here,” Randy asked them. “It’s T.J.! She hasn’t slept at all since Nyisha got kidnapped,” Marvin said. Hours later, T.J. wake up to see Melvin and Randy sitting next to her. “Dad? Uncle Melvin, what are you guys doing here,” she asked them. “Your dad called me here…figured you wanna see a friendly face for a change,” Melvin said. She hugged him tight and whispered, “I miss you!” “Don’t worry, baby girl! I’m here now,” he said back. Nemo was on the front porch smoking a cigarette when Tarik Jr came out. “How’s your mom? Is she gonna be okay,” he asked. “Yeah! This whole crap of a kidnapping wore her out…my mom and Aunt Nyisha are very close…it would break her heart if she lose her big sister,” Tarik Jr said. “My mom was close with her sister too…before she died–I hope your aunt’s okay,” he said. “I hope so too,” Tarik Jr said. “We need to talk about what happened last night…about us,” he said. “Okay,” Tarik Jr said. “We can’t let it happen again…I don’t do relationships too well especially after my last boyfriend…he decided to put his kid first…I think you should go back to your family–I don’t wanna be the reason you lose them,” he said. “Sure, man! I’ll do that! Thanks for being there, dude,” Tarik Jr said. Then the two of them hugged.

Out of the blue, Nemo kissed him again. Dee Dee came outside and cleared her throat. “Oh…hi, Grandma Dee Dee,” Tarik Jr said. “Hi, Mrs Johnson,” Nemo said. “Hello, boys! May I speak to you in private, young man,” she said to Tarik Jr. “Oh…I think my brother is calling me,” Nemo said, leaving the two of them outside to talk. “Care to explain what’s going on with you,” Dee Dee asked her stepgrandson. “I don’t follow,” Tarik Jr said. “You and Marvin’s little brother–what did I just see out here,” she said. Nemo listens in on them as Marvin tapped him on the shoulder. “Hey, kid…what are you up to,” he questioned his little brother. “Um, nothing! Just hanging out with your wife’s son like you asked, big bro,” Nemo replied. “Um thanks for doing that by the way…Tarik Jr needs someone to watch his back since his friend made a pass at him…I knew you were right for the job,” he said, patting him on the back. Nemo thought about what happened last night and said, “Anything for our family!” They head toward the kitchen. Farrah and Meghan showed up at the house to see T.J. “Hey, sis…how are you feeling,” they asked her. “I’m okay,” she said. “Dad told us what happened…it must been hard on you,” Farrah said. “It is but I’m fine now, you guys,” she said. “Try to get some sleep, kid…we’ll be right here,” Farrah said. T.J. lay back down and closed her eyes. Seconds later, the three of them were fast asleep. Dee Dee came into the bedroom and covered them with a blanket sitting on a chair. “My babies,” she whispered, then kissed them on their foreheads. Tarik Jr got a call from Alexa. “Hey, babe…how’s your mom…me, I’m good,” he said, then took a deep breath. Randy overhears him before heading outside. “Hi, Grandpa,” Tarik Jr said, hanging up his cellphone. “Hey, kiddo…you feeling okay,” Randy asked him. “Yeah…just worried about my mom,” he said. “You’re not the only one, sport,” Randy said to him. “Can I ask you something,” he said. “Sure,” Randy said. “Is my dad that bad,” he asked. “To tell you the truth–yes…your father was very possessive…nearly killed your mom a while back…you boys wouldn’t have her right now if we didn’t get that marriage annulled,” Randy told him. “Am I gonna be like my dad when I get married,” he questioned his grandfather. “No, son…you’re nothing like him…sharing his name doesn’t make you a bad person…you hear me,” Randy said. Tarik Jr shook his head in agreement. Nyisha came out of the freezer room and slid down on the floor. Tarik was still unconscious. “Fuck! Fuck-fuck-fuck,” she said to herself. Tears rolled down her face. Back at the Andersons house, Randy and Dee Dee were sitting on the front porch as the rest of them slept. “I had to tell Tarik Jr the truth about his father–he was scared that he would be just like him,” he finally said. “I don’t think he would be like that–he’s such a sweet boy! We were there when he was born,” she said. “He thinks he will, Dee,” he told his wife. “I’m sure that he’ll be fine–not a mean bone in his body,” she said back. Marvin came to the door and said, “Hey, in-laws! Did Tiffani come through here?” ” No…she’s upstairs with Meghan and Farrah in the bedroom, ” Dee Dee said. “I was just there–the girls haven’t seen her either,” he said. They all went inside quickly. “Hey, kiddo…have you seen your mom,” Randy asked his grandson. “Naw…not since earlier,” Tarik Jr said while eating a sub. “You don’t think she did what I think she did,” Dee Dee said. “Let’s hope not…we gotta call the police,” Randy said. Nyisha sat there with her eyes shut when she was grabbed from behind. She screamed until the unknown person covers her mouth. “Shh…hey, Iz…it’s me,” a voice said. “T.J.? I’m so glad to see you,” she said, recognizing the voice and removing the person’s hand from her mouth. The two of them hugged. “You had us all worried,” T.J. said. “How did you find me,” she asked her little sister. “It was one of the places that Tarik took me to a while back…one of his father’s old spots–it’s condemned now,” T.J. said. “I remembered the night that I was raped–it was Tarik,” she said. “Tarik was your attacker? Which means Larissa is his daughter instead of Warren’s,” T.J. said. “He had to know about it considering how he was acting during the entire pregnancy…the fight that the two of us had before he came onto you that night,” she cried, “He won’t let me leave…he’s going to kill me!” Then Tarik came up to them. 

“Hey there…my two favorite girls…what’s up,” Tarik said. “Why don’t you let her go, huh,” T.J. yelled at him. Tarik walked up to her and said, “Well-well-well! Look who’s finally got herself a backbone! It wasn’t too long ago that I had you cornered in my kitchen–sniveling like a little child! If your pops didn’t come in like he did, no telling what could have happen between us–looks like I have that chance now,” he said seductively. “If you touch me, Marvin will kill you,” T.J. growls. “Wanna bet? I can do whatever I want with you and there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it,” he said, squeezing her arm. “Ow! You’re hurting me, Tarik,” T.J. cried. “Get off my sister, you jerk,” Nyisha said, shoving him. “Shut the fuck up and wait your turn,” he yelled at his wife. He grabbed the girls and pulled to the truck. He ties them up and threw them in the back. He closed it up tight. T.J. started to rock back and forth in the truck. “I know you’re scared but you need to hang in there…can you do that for me,” Nyisha said softly. “Okay,” T.J. said back. Meanwhile, the police were questioning everyone at the Andersons house when the remaining Thompsons kids showed up. “Mr Johnson, what’s going on? What happened,” Bridget asked her father in law. Randy told them everything. “Oh my god! My little sister’s missing too–what was she thinking,” said Michelle. “She went out to find Nyisha…there’s reason to believe that Tarik might be behind this considering his marriage is ending,” Dee Dee said. “You threatened our sister again–that’s how she broke down last time,” Melissa said, “It seems like nothing’s enough for you…T.J. went looking for your daughter to seek your approval…let’s not forget she took a bullet for Kevin!” “That’s not the case…I love that girl like she’s my daughter,” she said to them. “She’s not your daughter…haven’t you confused her enough,” Irish said angrily. Everyone started to argue. “Hey-hey-hey! Your mother’s final wish was for the Johnsons to watch out for you kids! She knew that T.J. needed a mother so Dee Dee steps in to take care of her! You’re lucky to have these people in your lives right now! My big sister would turn over in her grave if she knew how her own children are treating her best friends! I advised you to knock it off and work together to find those girls! Do you hear me,” Melvin told her nieces and nephews. “Yes, Uncle Melvin,” they said to him. “I’m sorry,” Irish said to Dee Dee. “I’m sorry too, honey…you know I would never take my best friend’s place in your sister’s life…we need to work together to bring those girls back in one piece, okay,” she said back. The two of them hugged. Nyisha and T.J. were tied up on an old couch in another warehouse. Tarik came in and sat across from them. “Here we are again…sexy little thang you,” he said as he caresses T.J.’s leg. “You won’t get away with this, Tarik,” Nyisha yelled at him. “Oh no? I already have, Iz–you get to watch me have sex with your little sister! I always finish what I started! Right, Tiff,” he said. T.J. was mumbling something through the gag on her mouth. Tarik took his sister-in-law from the couch and threw her to the floor. “Leave her alone, you fucking jerk,” Nyisha said angrily. “I had it up to here with you,” he said, grabbing a roll of masking tape and tearing off a piece. While he was taping her mouth shut, T.J. tried to wiggle out of the ropes. “Ey! Stop that,” he said, pulling out his pocket knife. He holds her down and unbuckled his pants. “You gonna give me what I want, bitch…I’ll make you like it just like I did to your buddy, Meghan, a couple of years ago,” he whispered in her ear. As he started grunting, T.J. closed her eyes and tries to block it out. All she could think about was the horrible things that Tarik has done to her. Suddenly, she felt his hand going across her face. “Ey…shut the fuck up…NOW,” he screamed at her. Then he was struck from behind.

Moments later, T.J. opened her eyes and saw lights flashing. Nyisha was sitting by her side and holding her hand. “Take it easy, okay…you’re hurt,” she said. T.J. tried to talk but nothing came out. One of the EMTs came over to help her. “What happened with this one, Nyisha,” he questioned. “My sister was stabbed just below the rib cage…she may have a punctured lung, Eli,” Nyisha said. While they talked, T.J. felt around her body until she came across the knife wound. “Whoa there, Tiffani! Keep still for me,” Eli said to her. “You need to listen to Eli, okay…blink one for yes, twice for two,” Nyisha said, comforting T.J. Eli signaled the other EMT to bring the stretcher over to them. The three of them put T.J. onto it and carried her into the ambulance. “I know what happened to your sister is terrible but are you okay,” Eli asked. “Yeah…I’m good…the most important thing is that she pulls through this…Tarik put her through hell a while back and my parents had to put her through therapy…I hope what happened today doesn’t undo the progress she made this year,” Nyisha said. “You mean with her mom…I’m so sorry that happened…she has her big sister watching her back, huh,” he said. “It’s the other way around…my little sister was protecting me…I hope this doesn’t get her killed,” she said. “We’ll make sure that she doesn’t leave us…she’s lucky to have you guys as her family,” he said. Randy went outside for some fresh air when his cellphone started to buzz. “Hello…of course…we’ll be right there,” he said to the person on the other line. Dee caught the end of the conversation and said, “Honey, is everything okay?” “The girls were found…we gotta go,” he said. Hours later, the family meet up at the hospital. Nyisha was sitting in the waiting room as they came in. “Hey, kiddo…so glad you’re safe,” Randy said, hugging his oldest daughter. “Where’s your sister,” Dee Dee asked her. “She’s in surgery, Mom…Tarik stabbed her and punctured one of her lungs…it looks bad, you guys,” she said. “Oh my god,” said Michelle. Chuckie got mad and punched the wall. Suddenly, he looked up and saw Tarik in the ER being treated for a head wound. “You son of a bitch,” he yelled at his brother-in-law. The two of them started to fight. Everyone rushed down the hallway to break them up. “Whoa there, son,” Randy said to Chuckie. “Let me go–I’m sick of this jerk…til death do you part, huh…she ain’t your fucking wife anymore–none of them are…if my sister dies, I’m coming for you,” he said angrily. “Shane, get your brother out of here please,” Dee Dee said. “Okay, Mrs Johnson…let’s go, man,” Shane said, taking Chuckie out of the ER. “You see what’s happening with your children, Sheryl…they’re still hurting,” Dee Dee said to herself. The doctor came out to talk with them. T.J. was in the ICU hooked up to a respirator. Melvin came into the room and sat down. “Hey there, honey,” he said to his niece. She opened her eyes and said, “Hi, Uncle Melvin!” “You gave us quite a scare…we almost lost you,” he said. “What happened to me,” she asked him. “Tarik stabbed you…the doctors were able to reinflate your lung and drain the blood out…he will be charged for what he’s done to you,” he said. “Oh, god…he tried to kill me again…he said he would when we were married, Uncle Melvin,” she told him. “Well, he won’t get away with it this time…your dad would make sure of it…Terrell did it the wrong way last time by paying his family off…guess Randy didn’t feel good about how it was handled…he wants to do right by you and Nyisha before Tarik kills someone, kiddo,” he said. Nyisha came in to join them. “I’ll let you girls catch up…hang in there,” he said, kissing his niece on the cheek. Then he left the room.

“I thought I was imagining it…didn’t even feel the blade of the knife,” T.J. said. “He did stab you…to stop your screaming when he forced himself on you…I don’t think I can stay married to him–not after this…I could’ve lost you today,” said Nyisha. “I couldn’t just sit back and do nothing…I was afraid that he would kill you, Iz,” she said. “And I get that you wanna protect me from the same man who hurt you all those years ago but you got to let the cops do their job next time, okay,” Nyisha told her. “Okay,” she said back. “Other than that, I’m supposed to be the one protecting you, little sister…not the another way around,” Nyisha said. Marvin tapped on the door and said, “Hey, girls…how are you feeling?” “I’m fine but your wife here needs to stop with these suicide missions…don’t ever do that again,” Nyisha said. “I hear you,” she said back. “You had us all worried, babe…when I found out that you were missing–you scared the hell out of me,” he said, kissing her on the cheek. “I’m sorry–I’ll never do anything like that again,” she said. “You promise,” he asked her. “I promise, Marvin Anderson,” she said. Meanwhile, Tarik was handcuffed to the gurney when he was confronted by Tyrese and Tarik Jr. “Hey, my boys–,” he said before getting cut off. “What’s wrong with you, Dad? You tried to kill Mom–she didn’t deserve this,” said Tarik Jr. “I didn’t mean to hurt her, Junior…it happened so fast…before I knew it, she was laying on the floor gasping for air–I’m sorry, boys,” he said to his youngest son. “I know that you came onto her the other night…that’s why Aunt Nyisha wanted a divorce from you…our family is ruined now…I hate you, Dad…I don’t know who you are anymore…I’m ashamed to share your name…stay the fuck away from me, my fiancee, and our daughter,” Tarik Jr yelled at him, then stormed out of the room. “You need to talk to your little brother–help him understand what happened with his mom,” said Tarik. “No, Dad! Mom and I have lied to him long enough! He needs to know the truth about who you really are–hell I don’t even know who you are! I gotta go check up on my brother–I’m sorry, Dad,” said Tyrese, leaving the room as well. Tarik Jr was sitting on the floor with his head down. “Hello, stranger…remember me,” he heard someone say. He looked up to see Alexa standing there in front of him. “Lex? When did you get in,” he asked her. “A while ago…Mrs Johnson told me about your mom…are you okay,” Alexa said. “I am now,” he said, hugging her. Tyrese watched them from a distance. T.J., Nyisha, and Marvin were hanging out in the hospital room when Dee Dee came in. “Hey, kids! You mind if I had a talk with the patient please,” she said. “Of course, Mom…come on, Marv,” Nyisha said. “We’ll be down the hall, Tiff,” Marvin said, then kisses his wife’s cheek. They left the room and close the door. “I’m about to get another lecture, am I,” T.J. asked her stepmother. Dee Dee sat down next to her. “No, it’s not a lecture…I’ve watched the three of you grow up from the children you’ve been…when Sheryl died, I stepped up to watch out for her sixteen kids…I promised her that I wouldn’t let anything happen to you…I know you were trying to protect your big sister from her husband just like you did a long time ago with the bullies at school–I know all about that…Nyisha told me everything…I get it but you gotta let us handle it…we’re supposed to protect you kids not the other way around…you have a husband and kids that needs you…you’re a grandmother now–don’t make those babies suffer for this,” she said. “I won’t, okay…just couldn’t stand there and let what happened to me all those years ago happen to Nyisha,” T.J. said. “It won’t…your sister is fine…your father and I–we worry about you…I love you like my own child…don’t ever scare me like that again, you hear me,” she said. “All right…I won’t give you guys any reason to worry,” T. J. said. Then she hugs Dee Dee.

“Now that’s settled, we need to clear up some things like how you keep putting up this wall on us since your mom died…just know that we’re here for you too,” Dee Dee said. “Okay,” she said with tears running down her cheek. “We miss her, too,” Dee Dee said. She left the room and shut the door. T.J. broke down crying. Later that night, everyone were fast asleep in the waiting room. Dee Dee overheard T.J. mumbling something in her sleep. She rushed over to the bed and tried to wake up. “Mom? Don’t leave me,” T.J. cried. “Shh…it’s okay, Tiffani…I’m here,” she whispered. “Don’t leave me, please,” T.J. said softly. Hours later, Dee Dee and Randy were having breakfast with Melvin and Stephen in the hospital cafeteria. “So my niece literally broke down crying in your arms,” said Melvin. “Yep,” Dee Dee told him. “Well…the therapist said that it would take some time…guess it could be a breakthrough, Dee,” Randy said. Stephen nods his head in agreement. They continued eating. Meanwhile, Nyisha came into the room to check up on T.J. “Hey there, little sister…how are you holding up,” she questioned. “I’m okay…had a talk with your mom last night and this morning…has this always been like this with you,” T.J. said. “Yep…when I had the bad heart…she seems to think you need her more now considering your mom died…you don’t have to be the tough one anymore…we know you’re still hurting,” she said. “I’m not used to it…Terrell said that I shouldn’t show no fear…I didn’t wanna seem weak to you guys or have another breakdown…she said that she would always be here for me…now she’s gone…what an I gonna do now, Iz,” T.J. said softly. Nyisha hugged her tight and said, “Forget what Terrell said…it’s very unfortunate with what happened to your mom…you don’t have to be tough anymore, okay!” “It hurts so much…why did my mom have to die,” she cried. Randy came up to them and said, “We may not understand why this happened but I promise you that it will get better…I’ll always be here for as long as possible…we’ll help you through this, honey!” Tarik Jr and Alexa were making out in their car. While they were doing that, Tarik Jr was thinking about the night he had sex with Nemo. The more he thought about it, the louder he grunts. “Ohhh, baby…you must’ve miss me that much, huh,” she said to him. “Yeah! You were worth the wait, girl,” he whispered. They went back at it. Nemo was buying some candy from the snack machine when he was approached by another guy. “Hey, man,” he said. “Hey,” the guy said back. Moments later, they were having sex in the restroom stall. Nemo was thinking about the night he had sex with Tarik Jr. “You like that, huh,” he said to the guy. T.J. and Nyisha were watching TV as the others slept on the floor. Tyrese tapped on the door and said, “Hi, Mom…Aunt Nyisha!” ” Hey, Ty! How are you holding up,” T.J. asked him. “I’m okay,” he said. “I heard about the fight you boys had with your father…how is your brother doing through all of this,” she said. “Oh, he’s fine…he has Lexie and the kid…he ain’t thinking about that man but we’re worried about you, Mom…are you okay,” he asked her. “I’m fine, Ty…let me worry about you guys, okay,” she said. “Yes, ma’am,” he said back. Then they hugged.

“You need to be careful out there…these kids loves you,” Nyisha said. “I hear ya…I would never do anything to hurt my kids,” T.J. said. “We may need to hold your mom to her word on that one, Ty,” Nyisha said to her nephew. “I know what Tarik is capable of…he tried to kill me when I was married to him…this time he won’t get away with it,” she said. “I wished Terrell didn’t pay my dad’s family off…he always thinks his way’s better than anyone else’s,” he said. “At least, Dad and Stephen are making sure he doesn’t get out of jail this time around,” Nyisha said. “When I was in that apartment, I thought my life was over…he beat me up so bad…I could barely move,” she said. “I remembered that night…I thought he was going to kill you…I hated him so much, Mom,” he said. “Maybe but now…we won’t have to deal with that,” Nyisha said. “You’re lucky that you don’t go through the same shit as my mom…can’t imagine how the kids would feel if anything happens to you,” he said to his aunt. “Well your mom made sure that doesn’t happen…she’s my hero,” Nyisha said, hugging her little sister. Tarik Jr went to the restroom and threw some water on his face. “Hey, man…how you’ve been,” Nemo said, coming out of the stall. “I’m good…what’s going on in here,” he asked him. “Just a little fling–nothing serious! I see you and your girl got reacquainted,” Nemo said as the guy washes his hands and left. “Of course! We were talking about moving up our wedding before my mom disappears on us once again,” he said. “I see…but I wanna know something…are you sure you’re ready for that big step,” Nemo asked him. “Um, yeah! I-I’m sure,” he said. “You’re really sure,” Nemo said, moving closer to him. “Yeah, man…I told you this already,” he said before Nemo kisses him. They started making out on the sink until someone knocked on the door. “Hello? Is anybody in there,” a voice said. “Yeah? Uh–we coming out now,” Tarik Jr said. “We’ll talk about this later,” Nemo said, caressing his chest. “Yeah…we will,” he said before they went their separate ways. Alexa came to give him a kiss. “How is my husband to be, huh,” she asked him. “I’m good, babe…can’t wait to make you my wife,” he replied. He then hugged her tight as he looks at Nemo. The two of them went to tell the family about their plans. “So you wanna do this now…what’s the rush, you guys,” T.J. questioned. “We couldn’t wait anymore…we wanna get married as soon as possible…before you pull another disappearing act on us,” Tarik Jr said. Everyone started laughing. “He’s got you there, sis,” Chuckie agreed. “Hardy-har-har! I’m not going anywhere,” T.J. said to them. “Glad to hear that, Mom,” Alexa said, hugging her. “I’m proud to have you as a part of this family, my soon-to-be daughter in law,” she said back. Hours later, the girls were playing cards. T.J. was thinking about the latest incident with Tarik in the warehouse. “I told you to shut the fuck up,”  Tarik’s voice echoed just before he stabbed her with the knife. “Hey there, little sister…where did you go, hmm,” Farrah said, getting her attention. “I didn’t go anywhere,” she said. “Still thinking about the warehouse? You know you can tell us,” Nyisha said. “I don’t remember much except when you told me that I was hurt…everything else was kind of a blur,” she said. “Has this happened before…not knowing what was going on around you,” Farrah asked her. “It was a very traumatic experience…she couldn’t control it,” Nyisha said. “I can’t believe he tried to kill me…I never wanna see Tarik Lane ever again,” she said softly. “You and me both…let’s never let any man come between us again,” Nyisha said. “I’ll second that,” Farrah said. Two weeks later, everyone came together at the church for Alexa said Tarik Jr’s wedding. The girls were in bridal gowns while the guys were in tuxedos. “Hey, kid! Are you ready,” T.J. asked her son. “Yeah…no…I don’t know,” Tarik Jr said. “You’re nervous, huh…I felt exactly the same way on my wedding day,” she said. “Yeah? How did you get past it,” he asked her. “I just thought about the person that I was marrying and that’s Marvin….how do you feel now,” she said. “Much better, Mom…can I ask you something,” he said. “Sure,” she said. “Do you think Marvin would mind if I called him Dad,” he asked her. “No, honey! I think he would love it,” she said, kissing him on the cheek. Then he smiled.

Afterwards, the whole gang went over to their old community center for the reception. “Congratulations, my boy! How does it feel to be a married man,” Marvin asked. “It feels good…I got my new wife and my daughter…they’re my family now, Dad,” Tarik Jr said to him. “Well…happy to hear that…son,” he said back. “What the hell…you were the only one who took care of us and Mom…we’re lucky to have you in our lives…Dad,” Tyrese said. “And I’m lucky to have you young men in my life, too,” Marvin said as he hugs them both. T.J. watched the three of them as they bond. “Awww….ain’t that sweet,” said Nyisha. “Yeah…glad I didn’t miss this,” T.J. said. “And you almost did, little sister…was it worth it,” Farrah asked. “Very funny,” she said. “At least we won’t see Tarik anymore,” Meghan said. “You should’ve told us what he did to you, Meg,” Nyisha said. “I know but I didn’t want to hurt you,” Meghan said back. “She reminds me of you, Teej,” Farrah said. “I get it, girls….no more secrets,” said T.J. “Here’s a toast…to your son and your new daughter in law,” Nyisha said, raising her glass. “Cheers,” they all said as they clinked their glasses and started drinking. While this was going on, Nyisha caught the eye of a guy from across the room. “Hey…you see what I see,” T.J. said to Farrah and Meghan. They saw their big sister as she looks at the guy in the blue suit. “Why don’t you go over there and say hi,” Meghan spoke up. “No…I can’t, you guys…I’m still going through a terrible divorce with Tarik,” Nyisha said to them. “We’re not telling you to marry him, Iz…you should have some male companionship, right…Fay,” T.J. said. “Y’all funny,” Nyisha said. The guy came to their table and said, “Hello, ladies! I would like to introduce myself! My name is Robert Williamson! You mind if I sit down?” “No…go ahead, Robert,” T.J. said to him. “Um, thank you,” he said. “I’m Tiffani but everybody calls me T.J. and these are my sisters, Farrah, Meghan, and the quiet one next to you is Nyisha,” she said. “Nice to meet you,” he said to them. “Nice to meet you too,” Farrah and Meghan said. “Hi,” Nyisha said softly. “Hi,” he said, shaking her hand. “Let’s go find our husbands, girls…nice to meet you, Robert,” Meghan said, grabbing T.J. and Farrah from the table. “Do not leave me here with him,” Nyisha said through her teeth. “Why don’t you keep your new friend here company, Iz…bye,” T.J. said. They walked away quickly. “So…who’s the guy talking with your sister,” James asked his wife. “A new friend,” Meghan said. “Wait a minute…I know him, guys,” Terrence said. “Who, him,” Farrah asked her husband. “Don’t tell us he’s married, Terry,” T.J. said. “Divorced with two small children,” he said. “He’s our cousin from our mother’s side of the family…yo, Rob,” said Marvin. Robert waved to them. “You know Marvin and Terrence,” Nyisha asked him. “Yeah…they’re my cousins,” Robert replied. “Two of my sisters are married to them,” she told him. “And what about you…how come you aren’t here with someone,” he asked her. “I’m in the middle of a divorce with my husband…it’s his son’s wedding,” she said. “I’m sorry…are you going to be okay,” he said. “Yeah…I’m gonna be okay,” she said, “How about you? Are you here with someone?” ” Nah…I’ve been through the same thing you’re going through right now…my ex-wife decides she doesn’t want to be a family anymore…gave me custody of our two kids and left the country,” he said. “My husband abused my little sister a while back…thought he would do the same to me…guess I’m just tired of it,” she said. “Damn…seems like you’re holding up pretty well,” he said, “I’m taking that the one who spoke up first was abused by your husband!” “Yeah…she still hasn’t gotten over it…she saved my life…I owe her for that,” she said. “Guess we can thank Tiffani for taking care of her big sister…otherwise I would’ve lost my chance of connecting with you,” he said. Nemo sat back and watched the happy couple playing with their daughter. He was drinking a glass of champagne when Dee Dee sat down next to him. “Don’t stare too hard…might burn a hole through them,” she said. “What do you want, Mrs Johnson,” said Nemo. “I’m making sure you don’t corrupt that boy with your lifestyle, Richard,” she said. “What…you have a problem with gay guys,” he questioned. “No–just you! Tarik Jr has been through enough, all right…he has a wife and a child now…just let him be…I promised his grandmother that I would watch out for that young man over there…do as I say or you’ll regret it,” she demanded. Then she got up and left the table. 

“Hey, babe…who were you threatening this time,” Randy questioned her. “No one, honey…why would I do that,” Dee Dee said. “The last person you did that to…it was my daughter, remember,” he said. “I know! I’m just chatting with Marvin’s little brother,” she said, “Let’s go congratulate your grandson and his new wife!” They walked away as Nemo drank his second glass. Hours later, the whole family got together for the photographer to get their picture taken. Nemo left the room abruptly. “Uh-oh! Our baby needs a nap,” Alexa said to her new husband. “You guys head on back to your mom’s house…we’ll hold down the fort here,” Dee Dee said. “You sure,” said Tarik Jr. “Yeah…go ahead,” she said. The kids went outside and got into their car. Nemo watches the three of them as they drove away. Once they got to the Andersons house, Tarik Jr heard his phone buzz. He saw Nemo’s number on the caller ID. “Hey there! No phone calls tonight! Our daughter needs her daddy to sing her to sleep,” Alexa said. He turns off his phone, picked up Alexa, and went into the house. Once he puts Leslie down in her crib, Tarik Jr got the surprise of his life. “I’m ready for my close up…Mr Lane,” she said seductively. Tarik Jr saw her in one of his old football shirts and said, “Yes, Mrs Lane!” He picks her up in his arms once again and heads for their bedroom. The two of them were making love as Tarik Jr’s cell phone buzzed downstairs. “Let’s make another baby,” she whispered in his ear. He looked at his wife and nods his head. Meanwhile, the rest of the family were heading home from the reception. “How come the happy couple doesn’t have to help out,” Brianna asked her grandfather. “You’ll find out when you get married, baby girl,” Randy replied. “Can I get married in the next three years,” she asked. “No,” Marvin and T.J. said. “Looks like you’re outnumbered, kid,” Melvin said to his grandniece. Nemo meet up with the same guy from the hospital. “I was wondering when you was gonna call me, baby,” the guy said. “Just came from my stepnephew’s wedding reception…and I thought of you, David,” said Nemo. “Well…I can help you forget about the guy who stood you up,” David said, then kissed him. The two of them went into the hotel room and started to make out. They took off each other’s clothes and got on the king size bed. As Nemo was having sex with David, he had his stepnephew on his mind. He then shook it off and kissed David on the lips. The next day, Tarik Jr went downstairs to see the rest of the family eating breakfast in the dining room. “Hey, newlywed! Where’s your better half,” Tyrese asked his little brother. “None of your business, nigga…stop looking for my wife,” he said. “Ey, fellas…enough of that now,” said Marvin. “Sorry, Dad…ain’t nobody want your wife, man,” Tyrese said. “Boys…,” T.J. warns them. “Sorry, Mom…how are you this morning,” Tarik Jr said, kissing her on the cheek. “I’m good, honey…what can I say about you,” she said. “I’m okay,” he said back. Alexa came in with Leslie and said, “Good morning, everyone!” “How did you guys sleep,” she asked them. “Good, Mom,” said Tarik Jr and Alexa. They sat down with the family. Meanwhile, Nyisha was in her bedroom asleep. Her three kids were watching TV in the den. She was dreaming about the night she had with Robert. Suddenly, she woke up. She looked at the clock, grabs her robe, and went to the kitchen. “Hi, Mom,” the kids said. “Hi, you guys! I’m gonna make you some breakfast right now,” she said to them. “No worries…we had breakfast already…we wanted to let you sleep in,” said Malcolm . Then the other two kids shook their heads in agreement.

“Don’t worry so much! We’re practically grown–we can take care of ourselves,” Jerome said. “Did you check your sister’s glucose levels…I don’t want her to get sick on us again,” she said. “Yeah, Mom,” the kids told her. “At least you could let me make your lunches before you head out,” she said. “Uh, Mom…today is Saturday,” Larissa spoke up. “Oh, my god,” she said softly. The kids giggled. Farrah and Terrence were eating breakfast with their children. “That was a great wedding, huh,” Terrence said. “Yeah it is…reminds me of our wedding, Terry,” Farrah said back. “I just like the cake, Mom and Dad,” said Terrence Jr. The two of them laughed at their son’s comment and held hands. Nemo woke up to see David sleeping next to him. He got up to check his phone for messages. David got up and kisses him on the neck. “What you doing, hmm,” David questioned him. “Uh…nothing, baby…thought I heard my phone ring,” he said. “Come back to bed, sexy,” David said, pulling him closer. The boys engage in a liplock. “Ohhhh…damn, D,” he moans softly as David grabs his genitals. Suddenly, David pushes Nemo onto the bed and kisses all over his body. As the days goes by, Tarik Jr and Alexa spent most of their time together. Nemo was at the park taking some pictures with his camera. Hours later, they met up at the diner. “Hey, man! How you’ve been,” said Tarik Jr. “I’m good! How’s married life,” Nemo asked him. “Good…you know what happened between us a while back was just a fling, right,” he said. “Oh, yeah…like I said before, I don’t do the relationship thing…good luck to you guys,” Nemo said. They shook hands and went their separate ways. Tarik Jr went over to his wife and sat down at the table. “Hey, babe…hi, Leslie…can you say dada, huh,” he said. Alexa sat there and watched them. He looked at his wife and gave her a kiss. Nemo smiled and walked away. Later that day, Tyrese was in the city gym shooting some baskets when a girl approached him. “Um…hey, Ty…you remember me,” she said. “Uh…no…I don’t recall…who are you and what is this about,” he asked the girl. “You don’t remember? We met two summers ago,” she said. “I see a lot of people that summer–what are you talking about,” he asked. “I’m Donna and this is Raymond…our son,” she told him. Tyrese stood there in shock as Donna picked up the small child from the stroller to place him in his arms. “Uh…you’re kidding me…this can’t be right…I don’t have any kids,” he finally said. “You have one now, Ty…I was waiting for the right time to tell you…I wouldn’t know where to start,” she said to him. “So this girl came out of nowhere and told you that this baby was yours,” T.J. asked her son as they say at the kitchen table of their home. “Yeah,” Tyrese said. “This is very serious, son…what were you doing two summers ago,” Marvin asked. “I met this girl at this club last July…I slept with her that night…I didn’t think I would see her again,” he said. “What did you think would happen? I told you boys over and over again about these situations! If this turns out to be your child, you have to step up,” she said. “Your mom is right! If what that girl said is true, you have to take responsibility for this child,” said Marvin. “I know, you guys,” he said, “I’m supposed to meet up with her later!” “You do that, Ty…figure out what’s going on cuz that’s all you can do now, okay,” she said. Then Tyrese shook his head and hugged his mother.

“Hey, girl…what’s going on…are you okay,” Farrah asked her sister. “Yeah! I’m fine! Just a little family dispute but it’s good now,” T.J. said as the two of them meet up at the park. “Guess we’re the only ones here since our big sister is dating the cousin of our husbands,” she said. “Yeah…I called Meghan but she and James are on a lunch date…guess they’re working past everything that happened with her,” T.J. said. “Tarik is such a jerk…didn’t know he went after our sister when she was 15–should’ve locked him up then,” she said. “I didn’t know he was that bad off but the only thing that he was good at is being a father to his kids,” T.J. said. “If anything, those five kids are better off without Tarik Lane in their lives…maybe Robert could fill that void for the twins and Larissa,” she said. “We don’t know that yet…Nyisha didn’t say anything about getting married plus she doesn’t wanna risk getting hurt or those kids for that matter,” T.J. said. “Maybe we could do something about it,” she said. “You sure about that,” T.J. questioned. “Yeah…even get Marvin and Terrence to help…what do you say,” she said. They discussed their plan. “How come you didn’t tell me about this,” James asked his wife. “It was a long time ago…I was so ashamed…Tarik found out what I knew…in order to shut me up, he force himself on me…said it’s for my own good…even had that knife he used to stab T.J.–I feared for my life, Jay…I’m sorry,” she said softly. “Listen to me…you did not deserve that…he will pay for what he did to you and your sisters…he won’t get away with this, okay,” he said. Meghan shook her head and hugged him tight. Meanwhile, Nyisha went to see Tarik in prison. “Hey, Iz–,” he said before she cuts him off. “Don’t you hey, Iz me…I know what you did to Meghan…how could you, Tarik…you thought I wasn’t going to find out, huh,” she screamed at her soon-to-be ex-husband. “Wow…that kid kept quiet that long…yeah I did it…she was gonna rat me out to you and T.J.–I would do it again in a heartbeat,” he said angrily. “Of all the stupid things you’ve done, this takes the cake…you ruined our marriage….one of my sisters is in therapy right now because you nearly killed her…Farrah tried to kill herself because of you…I won’t be coming back here anymore…got the divorce papers….after you sign them, I’m out of here…this has to stop for my sisters’ sake as well as my children–oh Malcolm, Jerome, and Larissa knows everything about you…unlike my little sister and your son, I don’t keep secrets from those kids,” she said. They sat down at the table. “So that’s that…it’s over,” he said, signing the papers and giving it back to her. “Goodbye,” she said, then walked away. “Good luck to the sucker you’re trying to impress,” he said softly. After the visit, Nyisha went outside to meet up with Randy at the gate. “Hey there, honey…are you okay,” he asked her. “Yeah…I’m okay,” she said, hugging him. “Let’s get out of here,” he said. They got into the car and drove away. During the car ride, Nyisha was thinking back on her talk with Meghan. “I’m sorry for not telling you about this sooner…he told me if I said anything to anyone, he would slit my throat,” she remembered Meghan saying to her. “Tarik and his stupid threats…I should’ve never let him get that close to you,” she told her little sister. “No…I’m to blame for all of this…I should’ve never let him into our lives…Terrell told me over and over that he was bad news…I just couldn’t see it,” they heard a third voice join into the conversation. “Don’t blame yourself for this, T.J.! He fool all of us,” she said to them. “I thought he was some lost kid…I didn’t know any better…if you had told us what he did, I would’ve kick his butt,” T.J. said. “I’m sure you would…from this point on, let me be the one to protect you guys…I can’t have my little sisters getting theirselves killed because of me,” she said. “It wasn’t a problem when we were in elementary school,” T.J. said. “I appreciate the gesture but I’m the oldest…I should be the one dealing with these big messes,” she said. “Not when you were sick,” Meghan spoke up. “Dad personally asked me to watch your back, Iz…I couldn’t let anything happen to you,” T.J. said. “No worries…this time I gotta make sure nothing happens to you so you can go back to your husband and children…they love you, kid,” she said, rubbing her sister’s head. “I’m not used to having my big sister watching out for me,” T.J. said. “Me neither…I’m used to being on my own,” Meghan said to them. “Now you do…I don’t know what Michelle used to do for you but it would be good for once that I’m here too,” she said. “I know…I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for you…you saved my life twice,” T.J. said. “I’m sure it was more than that but I’ll take it,” she said. “Thanks for getting me back to Marvin and the kids,” T.J. said, “I don’t know how I’m going to repay you!” “Don’t get yourself killed…life would be so boring without you,” Meghan said. “Hey, Iz…are you all right over there,” a voice said. Nyisha snapped out of it and said, “Huh? Yeah, Dad?” “Are you feeling all right over there, kiddo,” Randy asked his daughter. “Yeah! Of course,” she said. “Just making sure…you kinda zoned out for a bit…what are you gonna do now that you finally got rid of that boy,” he said. “The girls said that they have something planned but they’re not telling me anything,” she said. “Don’t worry about it…I’m sure those girls would think of something,” he said. Then he pat her on the back.

Later that evening, the gang meet up at the diner. “So how does it feel to be a free woman,” Bridget asked her sister-in-law. “It feels good…I should’ve left him a long time ago…he’s hurt the important people in my life…I’ll never let that happen again…sorry about what my ex-husband did to you, Meghan,” Nyisha said. “No worries…it’s not your fault,” Meghan said back. “If anything, I say good riddance to that punk…he got what he deserved for trying to kill our sister once again,” Kevin said. Everyone started laughing. “Now that your marriage is over, what are you gonna do,” T.J. asked her. “I don’t know yet,” Nyisha said. “But I do,” Robert said. The whole gang watches him as he takes a small box out of his pocket. “Is that what I think it is,” Danny questioned. “Yeah…with you guys’ permission, I wanted to ask Nyisha to be my wife,” Robert said. “Oh my god,” said Farrah and T.J. He got on one knee and said, “Nyisha Johnson, will you marry me?” “Well,” they all said. “I don’t know, you guys,” Nyisha said, holding back her tears. “That’s entirely up to you, big sis,” T.J. said. “Say yes, Mom,” said Malcolm , Jerome, and Larissa. “Yes, Robert…I’ll marry you,” Nyisha finally said. They all cheered as Robert puts the ring on her finger. Everyone congratulate the new couple. “Welcome to the family, son,” Randy said. “Thanks, Mr Johnson,” Robert said, shaking his hand. “I’m so happy for you, honey…Robert is one of the good guys,” Dee Dee said to her daughter. “He is! Thanks, Mom,” Nyisha said. The two of them hugged. “May I have your attention, please,” Randy said to them. They all turned around to hear his speech. Suddenly, Tarik Jr was grabbed from behind. “Shhh…it’s me, T…we need to talk,” said the person holding his mouth. “What the fuck–Dean, what you doing here,” Tarik Jr yelled. “I’ve come for you, baby,” Dean whispered to him. “Stop calling me that–I’m a married man, not your baby,” he screamed at his friend. Nemo came up to them and said, “Hey! What’s going on out here?” “It’s none of your business, jerk…this is between me and my misguided friend here,” Dean said. “No…I’m not misguided…I’m not confused…I’m just not into you…I have a wife and a daughter…they’re my family now…stay the fuck out of my life,” Tarik Jr yelled, then punched Dean out. “Whoa there! That’s enough, all right,” Nemo said, calming Tarik Jr down. As they were heading for the door, two gunshots rang out. “Oh, shit,” Tarik Jr said. They turned around to see Dean with a glock in his hand. “You mind telling me that again, buddy,” he said. “Why don’t you leave him alone, all right? He ain’t who you say he is,” Nemo told him. “How would you know, nigga…I knew him since high school–you only known him for like two seconds…unless you fucking him too…Nemo,” Dean said. Alexa overheard them talking and came outside. “You were fucking him,” she said angrily. “Lex? Can we talk about this later,” said Tarik Jr. “So it is true! You let your new friend bend you over? When it was me, you cried rape! You were two timing my little cousin,” Dean said. “Shut the fuck up, Dean,” Nemo, Alexa, and Tarik Jr yelled. “Tell me right now…are you gay,” Alexa questioned her husband. “No–I can’t,” Tarik Jr said softly. “Why not? Answer me,” she yells at him. “I don’t wanna lose you or Leslie, all right,” he yelled back. “He’s right, Alexa…all he did was talk about you and that sweet little girl y’all have…the other night was just sex…nothing else,” Nemo told her. “We were drunk that night…I don’t even remember much of what happened, babe,” Tarik Jr said. Then she looks at them with a frown on her face. 

“I told ya, cuz…he’s gay…your so-called husband over there–he’s 100% queer,” Dean said. Tarik Jr stood there trembling. “I said…shut up, Dean…the next one to say anything to me will get their ass kicked, got it,” Alexa growls at the guys. Suddenly, Tarik Jr passed out. “Hey, buddy…wake up,” Nemo said. “Get away from him…wake up, baby…come back to me…come on,” she said. “Lex? Please don’t leave me,” Tarik Jr whispered. “Don’t worry…I won’t,” she whispered back. “Believe me when I say this–I won’t come between you guys…you have my word,” Nemo said to her. “You kidding me? You gonna stay with him after everything I just told you,” Dean said. “Why should I listen to you, Dean? You’ve been trying to turn him out since high school,” she said angrily. They started to argue. While this was going on, an unknown person shows up and went down the alleyway. “If this is how you want it, I should kill you right here,” Drake yelled. He threw Alexa to the ground and pointed his glock at her. As he pulled the trigger, Nemo got in front of her. Everyone in the diner heard the gunshots. “What was that,” Bridget said. “Where’s the boys,” T.J. questioned. “Let’s go find them,” Marvin said. They all went outside. Hours later, the police cars and ambulances were there. Tarik Jr and Alexa were sitting on the curb when T.J. hugged them both. “Are you kids okay,” she asked. “Yes, Mom,” they said. The EMTs put Nemo in the back of one of the ambulances. The cops grabbed Dean and heads for the squad car. He looked at the gang and knocked one of the officers down. He grabs a gun from their holsters and started shooting.  Everyone ducked down behind the vehicles. Two more officers tackled Dean to the ground. Alexa looked around and saw Tarik Jr laying there in front of her. “Oh-my-god! Baby, please wake up,” she cried. “What happened,” Randy asked them. “My son–he’s been shot,” T.J. said with tears in her eyes. “Hang in there, kid,” he said to his grandson. “What happened, Dad–oh, my god,” said Farrah. She comforts T.J. as Nyisha rushed over to tend to their nephew. Moments later, the whole gang were at the hospital. “He saved me…when Dean shot at us, he got in the way–shielded me from the bullet…now I may have killed my son,” T.J. cried. “Don’t say that, honey,” Dee Dee said, consoling her stepdaughter. “No, babe…you didn’t kill him…if it’s anyone’s fault, it’s Dean’s,” Marvin said to his grief-stricken wife. “I can’t lose my son…my baby boy,” she said softly. Randy joins in on the hug along with his wife and son-in-law. “You’re not going to lose your son…he’s a tough kid just like his mom…he would do anything for you and this family,” he said to his daughter. The doctor suddenly came out to talk with them. T.J. and Marvin went into a room to see Tarik Jr laying there in a hospital bed. He was hooked up to a heart monitor and a respirator. “Hey, kid…how are you,” Marvin asked him. “I’m good, Dad…a chip off the old block…Mom, don’t cry,” Tarik Jr said softly. “I was afraid of losing you, kid…I know you mean well but don’t ever do that again, you hear me,” T.J. said to her son. “Only if you don’t risk your life for us…I was only trying to protect you,” he said. She hugged him tight as they heard a knock on the door. “It’s open,” they said. “Can I come in,” Alexa asked. “Sure, honey,” Marvin said. “Hey, Lex…are you okay,” Tarik Jr asked her. “Yeah…I’m fine but I have to agree with your mom–you could’ve been killed,” Alexa said. “I know and I’m so sorry for everything that I did to you–all the trouble I caused–I’ll never hurt you again,” he pleads to her. She hold him tight. Tyrese was downstairs in the morgue as the coroner showed him the body under the sheet. It was Donna. She was caught in the crossfire along with Nemo. “Yep…that’s her…I gotta tell her family,” he said. Moments later, he went to tell Donna’s family the bad news. They broke down crying. He went inside to see Raymond. “I’m sorry, little buddy,” he whispers to the small child as he slept in his crib. Then he kisses him on the head. 

Later that evening, Nemo got a visit from Alexa. “Hi,” she said. “This is a surprise…I thought you hated me for what happened between me and your husband,” he said. “Yeah…I thought so, too…just wanna know why you took the bullet for me after everything I’ve said to you,” she asked him. “Guess I couldn’t let that sweet little girl of yours lose her mom…I did gave you my word that I wouldn’t come between you guys…just didn’t want anyone’s death on my conscience,” he said. “I probably didn’t deserve it but thank you,” she said, then hugged him. Meanwhile, T.J. sat there as her son slept. “It was like yesterday when that sweet little boy was in here for a drug addiction,” a voice said to her. “Never thought I would deal with this again,” she said. “He did pull through that just like he will with this, little sister,” the same voice said. “I’m sorry the shooting ruin your engagement, Nyisha,” she said softly. “Hey there…don’t blame yourself for this…the only thing I want is for you guys to be okay,” Nyisha said. Robert stood by the door as they hugged. “How’s your son doing,” he spoke up. “He’s hanging there…no damage done…just gotta take it easy for a couple of days,” T.J. said. “You know what…we don’t need to get married right away,” he said. “I don’t wanna be the one that stands in your way,” T.J. said to them. “Just hear me out…why don’t we wait until this guy here is back on his feet….I really want all of your family to be there for our special day,” he said. “I guess we can do that…I wouldn’t want to do this without my nephew considering he’s the reason we got together in the first place,” Nyisha said. “I’m good with that…just tell me the date and I’ll be there,” T.J. said. “Someone said my name,” Tarik Jr mumbled. “Hey, bud…how are you feeling,” Nyisha asked her nephew. “I’m good…did I hear about a wedding,” he said. “Sure, little man…considering I’ve been one of your guest at the wedding inspired me to have one of my own…how about the two of us putting our heads together on some things if you’re up to it,” Robert said. “Sure…this is the happiest my aunt has been in a very long time,” he said. The three of them started laughing. Two weeks later, T.J. and Marvin brought Tarik Jr home from the hospital. The rest of the kids were waiting for them outside. “Hey, you guys,” T.J. said. “Hi, Mom…hi, Dad,” the kids said. “Hi, big brother…welcome home,” said Brianna. “Thanks, kid sister,” Tarik Jr said. “All right! All right! Let’s get this one here inside! He needs his rest,” Marvin said. They all went into the house. Once Marvin helped Tarik Jr onto the couch, Alexa brought Leslie into the room. “Hey, babe…hi, Les,” he said to them. “Hey there,” she said. “I’ll give you kids some privacy,” Marvin said, then leave the room. Alexa sat down on the couch as well. “So…did you really mean what you said at the hospital two weeks ago,” she asked her husband. “Of course…I feel really bad for doing those terrible things to you…I really am sorry…if you wanna divorce me…curse me out or whatever, I under–,” he said before Alexa kisses him. “You couldn’t get rid of me if you tried,” she whispered. “Wow! Thanks for being so understanding, Lex,” he said. They kissed again. “So…everything good with our nephew,” Farrah asked her sister. “Yeah…I could kill my brother-in-law for hiding the fact that he was gay…at least he didn’t try to break up the kids…they’re getting along fine now since he saved Alexa’s life,” T.J. said. “I bet,” said Nyisha. “But I worry about that boy, you guys…I don’t know what I would do without him,” she said. “Someone was really watching out for your boy that night,” Meghan said. “Grandma Stella was there for him,” T.J. said. “She was with all of us…like when I got shot at Kevin’s house,” Nyisha said. “She was there the day I got shot at the Williams’ house,” she said. “I saw her, too…when I tried to take my own life,” Farrah said. “She’s one special lady, huh,” Meghan asked her sisters. “Yeah…Dad told us about her, Meg…too bad we didn’t get a chance to meet her,” said Farrah. “She would like that, girls…you remind me of her,” Randy said as he came onto the front porch of the Andersons house. “You miss Grandma Stella….don’t you, Dad,” T.J. asked him. “Yeah…I do, kiddo…she would’ve love to meet you girls if she was still here…I don’t have to look very far because I see a little bit of your grandmother in each of you,” he said to them. Then the girls got up and hugged Randy tight. 

Michelle and her siblings were decorating the Thompsons house while their kids put all the candy in a bowl. “I’m so glad that we could clear the air of this DeWayne mess…sorry about the things my dad did to you all those years ago,” said Audrey. “No worries…you couldn’t stop the Don from doing what he’s doing,” said Bridget. “Yes I could! On my last visit, I told him that I would keep my daughter away from him if he didn’t call off the hit! See, he’s afraid to lose his family–he doesn’t want to hurt his little girl,” she said. “I hope you’re right,” Bridget said. “Hey, girls…what’s going on,” Kevin said. “Nothing, baby…just catching up on old times,” Bridget said to her husband. They shared a kiss as Audrey drank a bottle of water. Melvin brought another box of Halloween decorations down from the attic. “I that’s the last of them, kids,” he said. “Um thanks, Uncle Melvin,” said Michelle. T.J. went outside to take a phone call. “Hey! Get back here! We need your help, little sis,” Shane said. “Hey, you…what’s going on,” she said, hanging up her cellphone. “Can’t I just come to see my wife whenever I want, hmm,” Marvin said, hanging his cellphone as well. “My brothers and sisters ain’t gonna like it if I ditch them for you, Marvin,” she whispers to him. “It won’t be long…we don’t have to leave this spot,” he said, then pulled her close. They went over to the porch swing and shared a passionate kiss. “Oooh…you’re a little feisty, huh,” she said. “Uh-huh,” he said back. The two of them started to make out. Suddenly, Michelle and Shane came up to them. “Oh, my god,” Michelle said softly. “Hey, you two! Knock it off,” said Shane. “Hey, guys…didn’t see you there,” they said. “I bet! Come along, little sister! We have more work to do,” she said as she grabs T.J. from the swing. “And since you’re here, we could use another hand, brother-in-law! Come on,” he said to Marvin. Meanwhile, Nyisha and Robert were making out in the front seat of his Jeep. “Good to see you, Mr Williamson,” she said. “It’s good to see you too, Dr Johnson,” he said back. “I can’t wait to be married to you,” she said. “It’ll happen, baby…sooner than you think,” he said, kissing her. “It’s just that ever since we got engaged, my nephew nearly lost his life and my sister was freaking out…I don’t want anything else to go wrong,” she said. “It won’t, okay…I’m right here with you…nothing could chase me away,” he said. “Maybe you’re right…you’re so good to me–even with what happened these past couple of weeks…thank you for being here,” she said. “No problem,” he said. Then they kissed once again.

Tarik Jr was at the apartment laying back on the bed as Alexa did a striptease for him. “Shake it, baby…yeah,” he said. “You like that, huh,” she asked him. “Uh-huh,” he said. “Really? Do you love me,” she whispered. “No doubt, Lex,” he whispered back while unbuckling his pants. Suddenly she went down on him. He started to moan softly. Nemo was sleeping on the living room couch with Leslie laying on his chest. He woke up to the moaning upstairs. “Mmm…hey, kid,” he said to Leslie before heading to the kitchen. He puts her in the highchair and go through the fridge. “That’s what’s up…hey, kid…which one do you want,” he said. Moments later, Tarik Jr came into the kitchen and sat down at the table. “Hey, man…what’s up,” he said. “Me and the kid were just about to have some breakfast unlike some people,” Nemo said. “You been listening to our door again,” he said. “Nah…heard y’all through the ceiling but no worries…your kid ain’t hear a thing,” Nemo said. “Good cuz we ain’t had a moment to ourselves since Leslie was born…thanks, man,” he said. The two of them did their secret handshake. “Hey, boys…hi, baby,” Alexa said to them. “Good morning, Lex,” Nemo said, kissing her on the cheek. “Let’s see if we can open this jar here,” she said. Leslie coos at them. “That’s my girl,” Tarik Jr said, slipping his hand up her robe. Nemo was checking them out until he heard a knock on the door. “I got it, you guys,” he said. “Okay,” Tarik Jr said without looking. “Oooh…not in front of our daughter,” she whispered. “Why not? She doesn’t know what we’re doing, Lex,” said Tarik Jr. Suddenly, Nemo reappear with Tyrese and Raymond. “Hey, Ty! Hi, cutie,” she said. “Hey, Lexie! Hi, Leslie! What’s up, little bro,” Tyrese said. “Hey, big bro! How’s fatherhood treating you,” he asked. “Good, man…much better than you cuz I have a boy instead of a girl, Juinor,” Tyrese chuckled. “Whatever…I love my kid just fine…no matter what,” he said, picking up his daughter from her highchair. “True dat…let’s take the kids upstairs and play some ball outside,” Tyrese said. “All right…you mind, babe,” he said. “Go on with your brother…I got the kids,” she said, kissing her husband. “Thanks, Lex…you’re the best,” Tyrese said, kissing his sister-in-law on the cheek. The boys went up to the nursery. “Why don’t we do something while they play their game, huh,” Nemo asked her. The two of them went into the living room. Farrah was in the bathroom washing her face when she heard footsteps in the hallway. “Hey, babe…you missed this, huh,” a voice echoed. “Terry, quit playing around,” she said. “Uh-uh-uh…it’s Tarik, baby,” the same voice echoed. “What are you doing here,” she said. “I wanna finish where we left off…miss that sweet ass,” Tarik said to her. “Get out of here, you fucking jerk,” she screamed at him. As she was about to swing at him, Farrah woke up to see Terrence by her bedside. “Hey, baby…are you okay,” he asked. “Um, yeah…where’s the kids,” she said. “They’re at the playground down the street…figure you need some peace and quiet–some rest after everything you’ve been through,” he said. “Terrence? How could you put up with me after what I did to you,” she asked him. “One day at a time, Fay…one day at a time,” he replied. “You could’ve divorce me after I had that affair with Tarik,” she said. “I wouldn’t give that fool the satisfaction…let’s head downstairs and get some food from the kitchen,” he said. Then they got up and left the master bedroom.

Terrence covered Farrah’s eyes and led her down to the kitchen. “Um, Terry…what are you up to, huh,” she asked him. “You’ll see…just hold onto my arm, okay,” he whispered. “Oooh…I can do that…mmm,” she whispered back. Once they got there, Terrence took his hand away from Farrah’s eyes. “Surprise,” said the kids as they sat at the breakfast table. “Dad said you need some cheering up, Mom,” said Quincy. “Awww…thanks, you guys,” she said to them. Meanwhile, Kevin and Bridget were making jack-o-lanterns in the Thompsons backyard. “Awww…look at Kevin Jr,” she said as their son played with the pumpkin seeds. “Hey there, buddy…what ya doing,” he said. “Hey, guys…what’s going on,” Danny asked them as he came through the patio door. “We were just finishing up these pumpkins…when did you get here,” he said. “A while ago…me, Jeff, and the girls just came from the fall festival with the kids…I guess the Thompsons really go all out, huh,” Danny said. “Yep…my mom does this every year…it was her favorite holiday as a kid,” she said. “So I heard…my mom told us all the stories…right, Kev,” Danny said. “Yeah,” he said back. “Sorry about your mom,” Danny said as he and Kevin hugged Bridget. Later that evening, everyone were having a good time at the Thompsons Halloween party. “Hey, you! Where did you disappear to,” said Bridget to her friend. “I’m right here…I ain’t hiding,” Audrey said back. “That’s good to know…what ya drinking over there,” she asked. “Just some gin that my dad his in his office…want a taste,” Audrey said. “Sure,” she said. Moments later, they were drunk. “I’ve never got to say this but…I’m sorry about your mom,” Audrey said. “No problem…she was very sick…we didn’t even know it,” she said. “My mom died too…she was diagnosed with leukemia two weeks after I was born…I guess you see why my dad keeps me close,” Audrey said. “Yeah,” she said. “My family’s falling apart…the Don’s sick…he has that bad heart…he could go any day…it’s just me and Melody now–I don’t know what to do,” Audrey said. “Don’t worry…we’ll figure it out together,” she said. “Thanks,” Audrey whispered. “It’s the least I can do for you and my goddaughter…just give me a chance to talk with Kevin, okay,” she said. The two of them hugged. Tarik Jr was in the bathroom of the Thompsons house when Nemo came in. “Hey, man…what’s up,” he said. “I was just chatting with your neighbors…didn’t know you were such a bad boy back then,” Nemo said to him. “That was the past…I’m a different guy now,” he said as Nemo stares at him seductively. “You sure? Maybe I would like to see the bad side that everyone was talking about! Does Lexie know,” Nemo said. “Yeah…I told her about it on our first date…it seems to turn her on somehow,” he said. While he was talking, Nemo caresses his back. “Whatever works for Lex…might just work for me,” he heard Nemo say in his ear. Meanwhile, the girls were laying on the bedroom floor with the gin bottle between them. “Did you ever do anything crazy–something that you never thought you could do in your life,” Audrey asked her friend. “No…you,” Bridget said. “Yeah–I would…anything could happen to us tomorrow…I wanna live every day like it was my last,” Audrey said. “Uhhh…seriously? What would be the first thing that you do,” Bridget asked her. “You gotta promise me that you won’t get mad,” Audrey said. “I won’t…what is it,” Bridget said. Then Audrey kisses her as Kevin walks in smiling.

“What do you mean,” Tarik Jr said. “What do you think I meant? This bad boy thing got me so fucking horny right now,” Nemo said, moving closer and putting his hand down the back of Tarik Jr’s pants. “W-We can’t do this, man,” he said softly. “It’s either here…or the treehouse…and you know I’m afraid of heights,” Nemo said as he kisses behind his ear. While this was going on, Alexa slips in and joined them. “Come on, baby…you said that you’re willing to try out new things…do it for me…please, Rik,” she whispered to him. Tarik Jr nods his head and pulled down his pants. They had a threesome in the bathroom. “I always wanted to see some girl-on-girl action,” Kevin said. He kisses Bridget, then Audrey. The girls took him out of his shirt and kisses his body. They were making out with him. They moaned softly. Dee Dee and Melvin were downstairs with the grandkids as Randy and Stephen gave out candy to the trick-or-treaters. “It’s good to know that the party went off without a hitch,” she said. “Yeah…my sister would’ve been proud of us, Dee Dee,” he said. “Yeah, Melvin…she would,” she said as the two of them sat back and drank their wine coolers. Marvin and T.J. sat on the front porch as the rest of the family were inside. “This is very relaxing…no one to bother us…are you thinking what I’m thinking,” she said. “I think so…wait,” he said, then got up to look around. “You’re kidding me, right,” she questioned. “It’s clear,” he said before kissing his wife. As they were making out, a suspicious person watches them from the bushes. There was moaning close by. “W-w-what was that,” T.J. asked him. “I don’t hear anything…you’re shivering…are you cold,” he said. “I’m fine…you didn’t hear the moaning just now,” she said. “Naw…we’re the only ones out here…relax, baby,” he said, then climbs on top of her. They started to make out again. The moaning starts but this time it was louder. T.J. pushes Marvin away and ran off the porch. Without looking where she was going, she slipped and fell off the steps. Everyone heard her screaming. “Tiff? Are you okay,” Marvin asked her as he rushes to her side. “I think so…owww,” she winced. “What the hell happened out here,” Dee Dee asked them. “Tiffani heard some noises in the bushes which startled her…she tripped over the steps,” Marvin said. “Hey, kiddo…where does it hurt,” Randy asked his daughter. “My arm…I must’ve hit it on the banister there–ouch,” T.J. said. “We should head over to the hospital…make sure nothing else is broken beside your arm,” he said, helping her off the ground. “I hope your sister’s gonna be okay,” Audrey said to Bridget. “Let me get the door for you,” Marvin said. The three of them went over to the car, got in, and drove off. Moments later, the gang were waiting at the Andersons house as Randy and Marvin brought T.J. in. “Hey, kid…you okay,” Nyisha asked her sister shortly after coming through the door with Robert. “Um, yeah…just a broken arm and some bruised ribs…I’ll be all right,” she said. “I am so sorry…we never thought you would get hurt, sis,” Danny said. “Same here,” Jeffrey agreed. “Uh…what are they talking about,” she questioned. “After you guys left, we found these two knuckleheads here hiding in the bushes,” Dee Dee said. “Now this is what I meant…you keep playing these practical jokes and someone gets hurt,” Randy said, smacking the boys upside their heads. “Let’s get this one over to the couch,” Dee Dee said. “I swear to God…we didn’t mean for T.J. to break her arm, Dad,” Danny said. “I know…this should be a lesson for the both of you…don’t do it again,” Randy said. “Yes, Mr Johnson,” Jeffrey said. “Are you comfortable, honey,” Dee Dee asked her stepdaughter. “Yes, ma’am,” T.J. replied. “If you need anything, we’ll be right here,” Nyisha said. “Okay,” she said. “Sorry I didn’t believe you about the sound in the bushes, babe,” Marvin said. “You couldn’t have known…I’m not mad,” she said. “Why don’t we all take a break and watch some TV…if you start to get sleepy over here, Marvin and I will help you up to bed,” Randy said. “Okay, Dad,” she said. Hours later, everyone was fast asleep except T.J. She was watching a horror movie. About thirty minutes in, she closes her eyes and falls asleep. She started to dream that the room was in black and white. She got up from the couch to realize that her arm wasn’t in a cast. “What the–I’m not hurt,” she said, then chuckled. She held up her shirt halfway to see that her ribs wasn’t bandaged. “Yes…those brothers of mine–they’re so lucky…yes,” she yelled. Suddenly, a person in black clothes and hood showed up. “All right, you guys…what happened earlier–it was a fluke…I forgive you,” she said. The person pulls out a butcher knife and went toward her. “Heh-heh…that’s not funny…Danny…Jeff,” she said. The person held up the knife, ready to stab her. T.J. started to scream as a set of hands grabbed her from behind. She was pulled into a room. Nyisha checked up on T.J. as she slept. “Dad? Dad, wake up,” she called out. “Huh? What is it, honey,” Randy mumbled. “It’s T.J.! She has a very high fever,” she said. While they were talking, T.J. continue dreaming. “Don’t scream…or you’ll doom us all,” a voice said. T.J. turned around to see two younger boys standing there. “Jeff? Danny,” she said to them. “Uh no, ma’am! I’m Sam and this is my brother, Abraham,” one of the boys said. “I’m T.J.! What’s going on around here,” she asked them. “That being you just encountered is killing everybody in sight…even killed our parents, ma’am,” Abraham told her. “Is there any way to stop it–this being,” she said. “No, ma’am…we’ve tried everything,” Sam said. Suddenly, they heard thumping outside the door. “Oh, shoot…we gotta get out of here,” Abraham said. The three of them went out the back way. “Let’s get back to the others–hurry,” Sam said. They got into the wagon and rode away. “So this being you were talking about…how many people did it kill,” T.J. asked. “Eighteen people…that includes women and children,” Sam said. “You can rest now…we’ll let you know when we get there,” Abraham said. Then she sat back and closed her eyes. 

Randy carried T.J. up to the master bedroom while Nyisha talked with one of her colleagues on her cellphone. “My friend–she’s on the way over…the only thing we can do is make her comfortable and keep her cool,” she said. “That should be easy considering she’s sleeping,” he said. “And all this from falling off the porch,” Dee Dee said. “Let’s not forget that Tarik stabbed her a while back, Mom,” she said. “Argh–that little punk,” he said, “He’s probably the reason why she got so sick!” “Calm down, honey…the last thing we need is you going after Tarik Lane,” Dee Dee said. “That guy nearly killed my wife! I wanted to tear him apart,” Marvin spoke up. “Don’t you start…your job here is to take care of your wife…she needs you right now, Marvin,” Dee Dee told her son-in-law. Marvin nods his head. “Wake up…we’re here,” T.J. heard Sam say. “Huh? What’s going on,” she asked them. “Hey, guys…who is this,” another voice said. “Nyisha?” she questioned. “No…I’m Elizabeth…are you feeling okay,” said the same voice. “Sorry…you remind me of my half sister,” she said. “Let’s get into the barn before it shows up,” Sam said. They got out of the wagon and went into an old barn where the townspeople were hiding. “Hey, Sam…Abraham…Elizabeth…who are you,” one of the women said. “Just a fellow traveler passing through,” said Abraham. “How do you know if she’s not the being that’s killing everyone,” said the woman. “She was the one who confronted the being, Georgia,” he said. “Yeah,” Sam agreed. “All right…I believe you,” Georgia said. “You kinda remind me of Farrah,” T.J. said. “Oh…guess I just have that face…I didn’t catch your name,” Georgia asked her. “T.J. Thompson…is that all the people you have here,” she replied. “Yeah…they’re survivors of the being just like you,” Georgia told her. One of the kids walked up to T.J. and said, “Hello there, stranger…I’m Ned!” ” Hey, son…didn’t I tell you not to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations,” said the man as he came up to the girls. “I’m guessing you’re not Tarik,” T.J. said. “Uh…no, ma’am…Richard Dobbs,” the man said, introducing himself. “Please to meet you…this young man here isn’t bothering us,” she said. “Of course, ma’am…my son has a knack for getting into mischief every chance he gets,” Richard said. Suddenly, a flash of light shined all over the town. The doctor was shining a little light into T.J.’s eyes as the rest of the gang waited in the hallway. “What are we looking at, Liz,” Nyisha questioned. “Your sister has acute pneumonia…it’s a rare case…she probably caught it around the time she got stabbed by her ex-husband–it didn’t show up until now…I gave her a shot…we’ll probably know more once her fever breaks,” Liz said. “Thanks, Liz,” she said. “Hang in there, kiddo,” Randy said to his daughter. “This probably wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for me,” Nyisha said. “Don’t blame yourself for what happened…Tarik caused this, not you,” he said. “I should’ve stopped him…my little sister wouldn’t be in this bed right now–I stood there and let him do it,” she cried. “Shhh! Don’t be so hard on yourself! We didn’t know it would happen! If you had intervened, Tarik would’ve hurt you too,” he said. “I should’ve act quickly…I knocked him out after she was stabbed…I had nightmares about that night…seeing her on that floor nearly bleeding to death freaked me out, Dad…I don’t know if I wanna be a doctor after all of that, Dad,” she said softly. “Hey, kiddo…you know why you became a doctor in the first place,” he asked his oldest daughter. “No,” she said. “That night when your little sister lost consciousness…you were the first one to figure that out and saved her life…she’s still here right now because of you,” he said, then hugged her tight. T.J. wake up to the townspeople standing over her. “What happened to me, you guys,” she asked them. “You passed out…don’t you remember,” Sam said. “No, I don’t…I didn’t know it happened,” she said, rubbing her sore neck. “You might wanna lay back down on this bed here…you could have a concussion,” Elizabeth said to her. “I’d listen to her, ma’am…she’s the best doctor in town,” Richard said, holding T.J.’s hand. Marvin was sitting by his wife’s bedside as she slept. “Hang on, Tiff…we’re praying for you to get better,” he whispered to her. Georgia was putting a cold compress on T.J.’s forehead. “This should help…along with a hearty meal to keep your strength up,” she said. Then she took a spoon and fed T.J. some soup.

Sam and Abraham were guarding the barn door with the other men. “What’s going on there,” T.J. asked them. “Nothing at the moment…are you feeling okay,” Sam said. “Yeah…I’m good…but we need to revise this plan about the being…get rid of it once and for all,” T.J. said. Everyone look around town for weapons to use on their unknown predator. “Here it comes,” said one of the kids. The hooded creature came down the street to confront the townspeople. “Get ’em,” one of the men shouted. They jumped on the creature and beat it senseless. It let out a loud screeching noise. T.J. and the rest of the townspeople covered their ears. Most of the men were thrown to the ground. Some of them were even killed. Among them was Richard. “Oh, my god…Richie,” Georgia screamed. She rushes over to him and broke down crying. “Um…did I miss something,” T.J. asked. “Well…Georgia and Richard are husband and wife,” Elizabeth said. “Oh! I didn’t know,” she said. “He’s a Mormon…he can take on as many wives as he wants…he was checking you out,” Elizabeth told her. “And Georgia doesn’t mind,” she questioned. “She can’t do anything about it…that’s the way it is,” Elizabeth said. They went over to help a grieving Georgia. “He’s gone, Georgie,” said Elizabeth. T.J. watches the girls as they hugged. Hours later, the townspeople put their dead loved ones in a pile and set them on fire. T.J. and Elizabeth took Georgia to the clinic. They went into an empty room and lay her down on an old Army cot. “She’ll sleep for a while…the grief wore her out,” Elizabeth said. “I thought we could get this monster…dammit,” T.J. said angrily. “Whoa there, all right…we’ll get this thing for killing our people,” she said calmly. “Um, thanks…that’s something my big sister would say,” T.J. said. “Your sister sounds like a wise woman,” she said, patting T.J. on the back. Dee Dee was putting a cold compress on T.J.’s forehead. “Mom? Is that you,” she heard her stepdaughter mumble in her sleep. “Shh…try to get some rest, honey,” she whispered. Irish came into the room and said, “Is there something that I could do, Mrs Johnson?” “You’re already doing it…being there for your little sister is all you can do,” she said. “Thanks…my mom was right…she does need you,” Irish said. “I’m not trying to replace Sheryl in T.J.’s life…you have to understand that,” she said. “I do…my mom picked the right person to take care of my little sister…and that’s you,” Irish said, then hugged Dee Dee. “Hey, Elizabeth…I need your help…quick,” Abraham said. The three of them ran down the street and found a wounded Sam on the ground. “Oh, my god…what happened,” Elizabeth asked him. Sam didn’t say a word. He had a glassy look in his eyes. “Oh shit…that’s not Sam,” T.J. yelled, then pulled Elizabeth away from him. “I can’t leave my brother,” said Abraham. “He’s not your brother anymore,” Elizabeth said to him. The three of them ran off quickly. Sam went after them. “We gotta split up,” Elizabeth said. “Wait…where’s Abraham,” T.J. questioned. They turned around to see Sam tearing Abraham apart. T.J. grabs for a nearby shotgun, pointed it at Sam, and pulled the trigger. Elizabeth jumped. Sam lets out a screeching noise before dropping to the ground. “Let’s get out of here,” T.J. said. She and Elizabeth went back to the clinic. Georgia was still sleeping from her ordeal. “At least she doesn’t know what happened…those boys were her little brothers,” Elizabeth said. “Oh…I’m sorry,” T.J. said. “No worries…they didn’t suffer,” she said. “What about you…got any family out here,” T.J. asked her. “No…they died years ago–smallpox outbreak…I just buried myself into work,” she said. “It’s a sad way to live,” T.J. said to Elizabeth. Then they heard a noise in the back room.

“You hear that,” Elizabeth said. “Uh-huh,” T.J. said back. The two of them went to see what was going on. “Georgia? Are you there,” she called out as they searched around. “Georgia…answer me,” she yelled. “Um…Elizabeth…I think I found her,” T.J. said, pointing at Georgia. They saw her crawling on the ceiling like a spider. She had that same glassy look as Sam. “Oh my god,” she said. “That’s not Georgia anymore,” T.J. said. “Georgie…snap out of it,” she said, “This isn’t you at all!” Georgia went over to Elizabeth, gave her a strange look, and knocked her down. “Leave her alone,” T.J. yelled. Georgia went after her. She put her hands around T.J.’s neck and started to squeeze. Elizabeth got up and grabbed some needles off her desk. As T.J. started to lose consciousness, she ran up to Georgia and stabbed her with the needles. “Damn you,” she screamed. She rushes over to check up on T.J. “Are you okay,” she asked. “Uh-huh…you,” T.J. said as she tries to catch her breath. “I will be,” she said. They fell back on the floor. Tarik Jr was in his old bedroom tossing around a football when Nemo knocked on the door. “Hey, kid…how are you holding up,” he asked. “I’m okay…just thinking about my mom…all the things that happened…if I lose her–I have nothing left, man,” Tarik Jr said. Nemo sat down next to him and said, “That’s not true…your mom isn’t going anywhere…you still have Marvin, your brothers, your sisters, Alexa, your kid, and me!” “Yeah…thanks,” Tarik Jr said to him. Suddenly, Dee Dee came in on them and cleared her throat. “Ugh! Not again,” Nemo mumbled. “She means well…hi, Grandma Dee Dee,” Tarik Jr said. “Hello, boys! Why don’t you head on downstairs…Alexa and Leslie–they need you…right this second,” she said to her stepgrandson. “Yes, ma’am,” Tarik Jr said, then got off the bed. “Take your time,” she said as Tarik Jr leaves the room. “What’s your deal, man? We were talking about his mom,” Nemo yelled to her. “It’s how you were talking to him that worries me…wasn’t I clear about that boy being off limits to you–he is married and has a child,” she yelled back to him. “What the hell is going on up here,” Nyisha questioned them as she came into the room. The two of them stopped talking. Farrah sat with T.J. when the three of them argued in the hallway. “We were having a discussion which you interrupted,” she heard Dee Dee say to Nyisha. “Discussion? Bullshit! It was more than that! The both of you were yelling–leave those boys alone, Mom,” said Nyisha. “You wouldn’t be so quick to say that if you knew what was going on between this boy and your nephew,” Dee Dee said back. “I don’t wanna know what you have to say…my main concern is my little sister–nothing else, all right,” Nyisha said angrily. “I promised your godmother that I would watch out for her children…there’s no way I’m gonna let that boy turn your sister’s son gay,” Dee Dee blurted out. Farrah overheard the conversation. “You know what, T? I wish I could sleep through this mess going on out there! You’re so lucky,” she said while wiping her sister’s forehead. T.J. and Elizabeth strapped Georgia down on the gurney. “That oughta hold her,” Elizabeth said. “Yeah…it’s easier than putting a bullet in her head,” T.J. said. “I gotta figure out a way to turn her back to normal,” she said. “You sure? She tried to kill us a while ago,” T.J. said. “We can try, can’t we,” she said. T.J. shook her head in agreement. Randy and Stephen were on the front porch drinking beer while everyone were sleeping in the den. “You know…I would do just about anything for my kids,” Randy said. “Yeah? Then why weren’t you there for T.J. and Chuckie,” Stephen asked him. “Terrell–he wouldn’t let me near them…I was forced to choose my marriage over those kids which I regretted…when they found out the truth, they were really angry with me…it took some time to repair my relationship with the twins…now my daughter gets sick–I don’t know how much time I have left with her…I can’t lose my kid,” he said. “You’re not gonna lose Tiffani…she’s a tough kid–she’ll pull through,” Stephen said, then pats his friend on the back. Tarik Jr and Alexa were having a midnight snack in the kitchen. “Hey! You okay,” Alexa asked him. “Yeah, Lex! I’ll be fine,” Tarik Jr replied. “You have to know that your mom is gonna be all right,” she said. “Of course, Lex,” he said, then kisses her. Nemo was in the backyard drinking liquor. Suddenly, he was very drunk. Then he sat down on the ground.

Moments later, Nemo felt a tap on his shoulder. He looked up to see Tarik Jr standing in front of him. “Hey, man…you okay,” he asked. “Yeah…I’m good,” said Nemo. “Sorry about Grandma Dee Dee…always on this mission–protecting my mom and all…she should’ve never taken it out on you, man,” he said. “Don’t worry about it…I ain’t scared of that woman…um, where’s Lexie,” Nemo asked him. “She and Leslie are sleeping in my room,” he said. “Well…you better go back to her before the warden shows up,” Nemo said. “What’s wrong with you…did she say something to you,” he said, then goes to the door. Nemo stopped him and said, “Forget it–doesn’t matter anyhow!” “Are you drunk,” he questioned. “Naw…I ain’t drunk,” Nemo mumbled. “You were acting the same way after the wedding–what’s going on, huh,” he asked. “Your grandmother thinks I’m a bad influence on you…just because I’m gay,” Nemo blurted out. After hearing this, Tarik Jr went back into the house and confronted Dee Dee. “How could you, huh,” he yelled at her. “What are you talking about,” she asked him. “You can’t tell me who I can be friends with–you’re not my mother,” he said angrily. “Told ya,” Nyisha whispered. “What did that boy tell you, huh,” she questioned him. They started to argue. The constant arguing woke up everyone. Randy and Stephen came in to break them up. “Hey! Hey! Hey! What’s going on in here,” Randy asked his wife and grandson. “Why don’t you ask her, Grandpa,” Tarik Jr said angrily. “Dee Dee, what have you done now,” he growled. “Tell him, Mom…tell Dad how you were planning to keep your grandson from turning gay like Nemo,” said Nyisha. “Quiet, you…now what’s wrong with protecting this family, huh,” Dee Dee said. “Who are you threatening now? Tell me,” he yelled. “Me, sir! Your wife thinks that I would turn Tarik Jr gay! She made it clear that I was a bad influence on him, Mr Johnson,” Nemo said to him. “Awww dammit, Dee! Haven’t you learn from the last time you pulled this stunt,” he said. “I’m outta here, man,” Tarik Jr said before Nyisha stopped him. “Hold it right there, son…we gonna end this once and for all,” he said. As they talked, Robert was upstairs sitting with T.J. “Man…there’s a room full of people who cares about you…even though we didn’t know each other that long, I really hope you get better…if not for your sake, do it for my cousin–he loves you,” he whispered before leaving the room. “Almost…got it,” said Elizabeth. “You sure it’s gonna work,” T.J. asked her. “It should! It’s my job to save lives,” she said. “It’s the same thing Nyisha said, too,” T.J. said. “Yeah? I always knew that my future generation would do great things! I’m your great-great grandmother,” she said. “Um…Nyisha is a Johnson and I was raised as a Thompson–how is that possible,” T.J. questioned. “From the moment I saw your face…I knew you were my kin,” she said, “Tell your sister to keep doing what she’s doing! She could save a lot of lives in the future!” “Sure…I’ll do that,” T.J. told her. “Let’s test this vaccine out, shall we,” she said, filling up the needle. She inject the vaccine into Georgia’s arm. “What happens now,” T.J. asked her. “We wait…it should work,” she said. “I hope so…for our family, right,” T.J. said. “Right, kid,” she said, patting T.J. on the back. As T.J. continues dreaming, Nyisha and Farrah sat there with her. “So what now, Iz? I’m just not used to seeing our little sister like this,” Farrah said. “There’s nothing else we could do unless her fever breaks,” Nyisha said. Then they climbed into bed with T.J. and fell asleep.

T.J. sat there and waited for the vaccine to work on Georgia. Elizabeth was fast asleep at her desk. Suddenly, she saw Georgia’s hand move. “Um…Elizabeth…wake up…I think it’s working,” she said. The two of them rushed over to check up on Georgia. “It is…she doesn’t have that glassy look anymore,” Elizabeth said. T.J. hugs her great-great grandmother as her dream ends. The three girls slept peacefully through the night. The next day, Nyisha got up to check on T.J. Farrah sat by and watched. “Hey, kid! If you’re doing this to scare us, it’s working! We don’t wanna lose you–wake up please,” she cried, then put her head on the bed. Farrah has tears running down her face as well. Suddenly, they heard moaning. “Hey, you guys…what’s going on,” a voice said. Nyisha and Farrah saw that T.J. has woken up. “Hey, little sis! How are you feeling,” they asked her. “I’m good…what happened to me,” T.J. moans. “You were very sick the other night…with pneumonia…don’t you remember,” Nyisha said. “Uh-uh…was I that bad off…what day is this,” T.J. asked them. “Monday…you were completely out for the entire weekend, kid,” Farrah said. “Damn…I can’t believe it…tomorrow’s Election Day…I promised Marvin that we were going out to vote–ooh,” T.J. winced. “Careful…you’re still hurt,” Farrah said. “Because of those knuckleheads, Danny and Jeffrey…I’m gonna kill them for this,” she said. “Everyone downstairs yelled at those boys for that stupid prank they pulled on you,” Nyisha said. “I would love to get them back for it,” T.J. said to her sisters. “Maybe we can…I have an idea on how we could get our revenge on them,” Farrah said. They huddled up to discuss their plan. Danny and Jeffrey were playing cards in the dining room when they heard someone scream. “What was that,” they said. Farrah came to them and said, “Come quick…something happened…hurry up!” The three of them went upstairs to the master bedroom. “Nyisha, what happened,” Danny asked. “It’s worser than we thought…while we were sleeping, T.J. took her final breath…she’s dead, you guys,” Nyisha told them. “Naw…you’re kidding, right…she can’t be dead,” Jeffrey said. “Don’t be so sure, Jeff…it was your prank that killed her,” Farrah said. “No way…our prank couldn’t have done that…could it,” Danny asked his sisters. “Why don’t you see for yourselves, fellas,” Nyisha told the boys. Danny and Jeffrey went over to see T.J. as she lies there in bed. “Go on, Jeff…check her pulse,” Danny said. “Huh? Why me,” Jeffrey asked him. “She’s your sister,” he said. “Stepsister, fool…she’s your sister–your blood relative, remember,” Jeffrey said back. “Why don’t you both do it…unless you’re chicken,” Farrah said. “On three, okay,” Danny said. “Yeah,” said Jeffrey. “One…two…three,” they counted together and checked T.J.’s pulse. Nothing happened. “See…I knew you were putting us on,” Jeffrey said while Danny shakes his head in disbelief. The boys felt a set of hands touching them lightly. Then they turned around and screamed.

Everyone heard the screams and ran upstairs to the master bedroom. “What the hell is going on in here,” Randy questioned the kids. “W-w-we t-t-thought s-s-she w-w-was d-d-dead, Mom and Dad,” Danny stutters. “What? Girls,” Dee Dee said angrily. “It was only a joke…not even her real blood, guys,” Farrah said to them. “We had to get them back for pulling that prank on me, Dad,” T.J. spoke up. “Hey there, kid…didn’t know you were awake…how are you feeling today,” Randy said, rushing to his daughter’s bedside. “I’m okay…the girls told me that I was sleeping for three days…that long, huh,” she asked him. “Yeah…you were really sick that night…we thought you wasn’t gonna make it, honey,” he said. “It’s good to have you back, baby girl,” Melvin said, hugging his niece. “Thanks, Uncle Melvin…it’s good to be back,” she said. Marvin came up to T.J. and kissed her on the forehead. “We missed you, babe,” he said to his wife. “I miss you too, guys…I had the strangest dream the other night while watching some horror movie on TV…it was in black and white…saw a lot of familiar faces–even saw one that looks like you, Nyisha,” she said. “What a strange dream, huh…we should get your doctor friend, um…Liz back here…let her know that your sister woke up,” Dee Dee said. “On it, Mom,” Nyisha said, then got on her cellphone and left the room. “You didn’t believe me, do you,” she said. “I have no doubt about your dreams, honey…we believe you when you told us that your mom was sick…your grandmother had a knack for knowing what would happen before anyone else…you take after her, you know…your dad wanted to name you Stella if Terrell hadn’t gotten in the way,” Dee Dee said, rubbing her stepdaughter’s forehead. Liz came back to the house moments later. She head upstairs to the master bedroom to check on T.J. “Follow the light, okay,” she said. T.J. did exactly that. Nyisha stood by and watched them. “Good to see you back with the living,” she said. “Thanks,” T.J. said. “You have any nausea? Feel any discomfort,” she asked. “Uh-uh…I’m good,” T.J. told her. “So, Liz…tell me the truth…is everything all right with my sister,” Nyisha questioned her friend. “Yeah…her fever’s broken…she’ll be up and about in a couple of days, Nyisha,” Liz said back. “Hey, you guys–what’s wrong,” T.J. asked them. “Nothing, kid…just need you to rest a bit and you’ll be good as new,” Nyisha said to her little sister. “My work here is done…see you in a couple of days, Tiff,” Liz said. “Thanks, Liz,” T.J. said. As Liz leaves the room, Michelle comes in. “Hey, kid…heard you woke up…how are you doing,” she asked. “I’ll leave you to your talk…hey, Michelle,” Nyisha said. “Thanks for saving this one here…I owe you and your friend big time,” Michelle said to Nyisha. The two of them shook heads before Nyisha left the room. “I’m good…just didn’t know I was that sick, you know,” T.J. replied. “We’ve already lost so much people in our lives…my dad…our grandmother…our mom…and we nearly lost you–I don’t think I could handle that,” she said. “I know…the last thing I didn’t want to do was upset you, Chelle…I don’t think I could live with that…I’m sorry,” T.J. said. The two of them hugged. “She’s right, you know…the Thompson family are finally spared from the pain of losing another loved one…you saved your sister’s life, kiddo…your mom and I are so proud of you,” Randy said to his oldest daughter. “Thanks, Dad,” she said back. “Hey, Ty! We got some good news! Your mom woke up! Bring the kids by! I’m sure they would love to see her! See you soon, son! Bye,” Marvin said before hanging up his cellphone. “Bet you’re glad my sister woke up, huh,” Irish said. “Yeah…I guess I could say the same for you guys…Tiffani doesn’t want to hurt you guys after everything happened with your mom,” he said. “I know…she loves us too much to do that…she took it kinda hard when our mom died…you and the Johnsons are the reasons why she’s still here…for that, I’m graceful…thank you,” she said. Then she kissed him on the cheek.

“You know we gotta start looking out for each other now…Mom might be gone but I’m still here if you need to talk…I’m not going anywhere,” Michelle said. “I’m gonna hold you to those words,” T.J. said. “You’re still a little pain in the butt,” she said, “But I love you, kid!” “I love you too,” T.J. said, then hugged her big sister. “Hey, girls…everything okay in here,” Randy spoke up. “Yes, Dad,” T.J. said. “We’re good, Mr Johnson,” Michelle said. “I’m sure your mom is proud of how close you two are considering everything that happened…she’s watching us right now,” he said. “I’m glad my sister has you guys…I don’t know what we would do without her,” Michelle said. “I can’t take all the credit…you’re a big part of this too because you’re her sister…you and Shane had to step up to take care of your siblings after Sheryl and Terrell died…for that, I’m proud of you,” he said. “Thanks,” she said. Later that day, Tyrese came to the house and brought his siblings with him. “Mommy,” Marlon, Mark, Billie, Terrell, and Angel squealed. “Hey, you guys,” T.J. said to them. “We missed you, Mommy,” they said, hugging her. “I missed you too,” she said back. Brianna stood by the door as they bonded. “Go on, Bree…she won’t bite,” Tyrese whispered to his little sister. “Bree? Come here, honey,” T.J. said. “Uh-uh,” Brianna said. “What’s wrong? You’re not angry with me, are you,” T.J. asked her. “No, Mom–just scared…I hate it when you’re sick…are you sure you’re okay now,” Brianna questioned. “Yeah–I’m fine! Why don’t you come over here and give me a hug, please,” she said. Brianna ran to T.J. and hugged her. “I miss you, Mom–please don’t get sick again,” Brianna said softly. “I won’t, baby,” she said back. Meanwhile, Nemo and Tarik Jr were outside playing basketball as Alexa and Leslie watches them from the sidelines. “Look at Daddy, honey,” she said to her daughter. Dee Dee went to the window and looked directly at the boys. Randy walked up to her and said, “Whatever is on your evil little mind right now, stop it..leave those boys alone!” “I still don’t trust that kid, Randall…Alexa doesn’t know what’s going on between them,” Dee Dee said to her husband. “Dee! If something was going on between the boys, she’ll know about it…they’re getting along just fine…leave them alone,” he said, then closes the curtain on the window. Brianna came downstairs as they talked. “Hey, kiddo,” he said. “Um…hi,” said Brianna, then heads for the kitchen. “What was that about,” Dee Dee asked him. “I don’t know but I’ll find out…stay away from that window,” he said to his wife. “All right,” she said. “Brianna…what’s going on, huh,” he asked his granddaughter. “Nothing,” Brianna said softly. “Don’t give me that…what happened with your mom up there,” he questioned. “I’m just so angry with her…why she went after Uncle Tarik…I know she was protecting Aunt Nyisha but she could’ve been killed…then she gets sick…the things she does–it scares me…I couldn’t get into it with her because of the kids…they don’t know what she does and they forgive her so easily–but I can’t…I had to lie in front of my little brothers and sisters…it hurts,” she yelled. T.J. overheard the conversation and came in on them. “Tiffani? What are you doing out of bed, honey,” Randy asked. “Listening to everything my daughter just said…luckily I came in when I did–I would never ask you to lie for me, Bree,” T.J. said as Randy helped her over to the kitchen table. “Why not? You do it! There’s no point subjecting the little ones to what Tyrese, Tarik Jr, and I already knew! We take after you–our own mother,” said Brianna. “Hey! You don’t talk to your mother like that,” said Randy. “No, Dad–it’s okay…I wanna hear what my daughter has to say to me…no more lies, right,” T.J. said. “You told the kids the same excuses you used to tell us–I heard them my whole life! I’m sick of it! Don’t you love us anymore,” she said angrily. “Of course I do–,” T.J. said before she gets cut off. “No…you…don’t! You’re practically disappearing on us! We were used to it when you was a cop! No more! You can’t keep doing this–I had enough! Stop scaring us! We just want our mom back, please,” she cried. T.J. hugged her daughter and said, “I’m sorry…I won’t do it again…you guys are too important to me!” “She’s right! Your kids should come first! I wasn’t the best example but I would’ve put you and your brother first! I’m trying to make up for that now! You don’t wanna lose these kids like I lose you and Chuckie,” Randy said. “No, Dad…it would kill me if I lose them like that,” T.J. said softly. “Then be smart! Listen to what your daughter is saying! Really listen, kiddo–learn from my mistakes, okay,” he said. “Okay,” T.J. said. Then Randy hugged them both.

Once the game was done, Tarik Jr went over to Alexa and gave her a kiss. “Awww, baby…you need a shower cuz you stink,” she said to her husband. “No I don’t…Les doesn’t think so,” he said. “She’s young! She doesn’t know any better,” she said. “Oh all right! Care to join me,” he whispered in her ear. “I ain’t the one who played shirtless basketball with Nemo,” she whispered back. “I rather play that game with you,” he said. “Heh,” she chuckled. “A guy can dream…can’t he,” he said seductively. “Nasty boy…go,” she told him. Tarik Jr gave his wife an enticing look and went into the house. Nemo watched them closely and went through the back way. Dee Dee stopped him in his tracks. “Now what, Mrs Johnson,” he said. “We got to talk…take a ride with me, Richard,” Dee Dee said to him. “Now,” he questioned. “Yes…now,” she demanded. The two of them went outside as Alexa comes in. “Hi, you guys…any idea what was that about,” she asked. “Uh…no idea…hey there, cutie,” T.J. said as she coos at her granddaughter. “Hope she’s not doing anything stupid,” Randy said. “What do you mean, Dad,” T.J. asked him. “It’s a long story, kiddo,” he said to her before leaving the table.  T.J. got up and went after him. “Dad? Dad! I wanna know what’s going on in here! Did I miss something? What is Dee Dee up to now,” she questioned him. “I guess you should know…Dee Dee doesn’t seem to trust Nemo too much,” Randy said. “Why, Dad? He didn’t do anything to her–what does she have against my brother-in-law,” she whispered. “She thinks Nemo is turning your son out…just like Dean tried to do a while back,” he said. “You’re kidding me…Nemo would never do that to my son–she’s wrong…he knows better than to cross me and his brother…that woman can’t leave well enough alone–Tarik Jr! Get down here…NOW,” she yelled. “He’s in the shower…,” Alexa said softly. “Tarik Benjamin Lane Jr! Get out here front and center,” she yelled again. “Calm down, Mom,” Brianna said. Ignoring her family’s warnings, T.J. went upstairs and burst through the bathroom door. Tarik Jr pulled the shower curtain close and screamed, “Mom! What are you doing in here?” “Cut the bull–I’ve been wiping that little tush up until you were six years old…put some clothes on and get your ass downstairs…PRONTO,” she told him. “Your daughter shouldn’t be this upset after being sick for the entire weekend, Mr Johnson,” Alexa said. “I know, Alexa…it’s the way she was raised…I think you should wait a couple of days before you talk with your son, Tiffani,” Randy said. “I’m fine…I want to get this out in the open so your wife could get off these kids’ backs once and for all,” she said as she went into the den. Dee Dee drove down the block and stopped the car. “What are we doing here,” Nemo questioned. “I wanna know what is going on between you and Tarik Jr…tell me the truth…just me and you here,” Dee Dee said. “We’re just kicking it…good friends is all,” he told her. “Yeah? You’re a gay man hanging out with a somewhat naive young man who has a wife and child–a little girl! You want nothing more than for that boy to leave Alexa so he could be with you! You ain’t fooling me! Are you in love with my stepdaughter’s son,” she asked him. Back at the Andersons house, T.J. was having the same conversation with her son. “Mom? What is this about,” Tarik Jr asked her. “I’m just trying to figure this out…why is Dee Dee questioning your relationship with Nemo,” T.J. said. “I don’t know…what did that woman say to you,” he said. “So far nothing! Your grandfather told me that she had some issues with Nemo! She thinks he’s taking advantage of you! I want to hear it from you–what’s going on, kid,” she said to him. “Whatever she said to you is bogus–ain’t nothing going on with me and Nemo, Mom,” he yelled. Then Dee Dee came through the door.

“Hey, guys…did I miss something–honey,” Dee Dee questioned them. “Um…T.J. knows, babe,” Randy told her. “Oh? It explains why she’s out of bed! Well, um–Nemo here has something to say! Go on,” she said. Everyone came into the room to hear what Nemo had to tell them. “I gotta get this off my chest…I’m in love with your son, T.J.,” Nemo finally said. “Oh, my god,” Nyisha said, covering her mouth. Everyone were in shock. T.J. got mad and slapped Nemo. “Damn,” Danny said. Dee Dee stops her and said, “Hey there! Sit down! Take a deep breath! Don’t do something that you’ll regret later!” “Now why should I listen to you, huh? You put the fucking ball in motion! Instead of talking to me about my son, you threatened my brother-in-law! This is my fucking family! I’ll deal with this myself! Stay out of it before you cause any more damage,” she said, then got up again. Suddenly, she started to feel a little dizzy. Nyisha rushed over to T.J. and caught her. “Mom,” Brianna called out. “Kids! Help your mother over to the couch,” Nyisha said to Tarik Jr and Alexa. They did exactly that. “Mom! Are you okay,” Brianna asked her. “Yeah…just got a little dizzy is all, honey,” T.J. replied. “We’re just worried about you…don’t get upset…whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it…we just want you to be okay,” Tarik Jr said with tears in his eyes. “You really need to take it easy, sis…you just had pneumonia,” Nyisha said. “I know…didn’t mean to scare you kids…you don’t have to do a thing, baby boy…just take care of your family, okay,” T.J. said, wiping her son’s face. “Okay, Mom,” he said, then hugged her. “I can’t stress this enough but you need to stop upsetting my daughter…she’s been through enough this weekend with the broken arm and getting sick among everything else…she and Marvin have the situation under control…most of all, stop threatening that boy over there–got it,” Randy told his wife. “I got it…the last thing I want to do is hurt your daughter, Randall,” Dee Dee said. “I’m so glad you’re doing better but doctor’s order…you’re supposed to be in bed, little sister,” Nyisha said. “I know…I know,” T.J. said, resting her head on her big sister’s shoulder. “We’ll have time to talk about your son and Nemo later…but for now, you should head back upstairs and get into bed like your sister said…you know I was telling you about the boys out of love and I didn’t want to hurt you, okay,” Dee Dee said. “I know you mean well but I can handle it…just promise that you talk to me beforehand,” she said. “Of course,” Dee Dee said. T.J. gave her stepmother a hug. Moments later, Tyrese and Tarik Jr helped their mother back upstairs to the master bedroom. Marvin grabbed Nemo and took him to the dining room. “What the hell is wrong with you…that is my wife’s son…you were supposed to watch over that kid…are you fucking him now,” he yelled at his brother. “It’s not like that, Marv,” Nemo said. “Then why don’t you tell me…if all the guys in town…you’re having sex with my stepson–your stepnephew…Tiffani is going to kill you for this and I wouldn’t blame her…she shouldn’t be getting this upset…I suggest you find somewhere else to live before the whole Thompsons clan comes down on you–now go,” he growls. Then Nemo left without saying a word.

“Ty, you mind if I had a talk with your brother, please,” T.J. asked her oldest son. “Naw, Mom…go easy on him,” Tyrese said, then leaves the room. Tarik Jr got up and went to the bedroom window. He closed his eyes and thought about the night he had with Nemo in his bedroom. “Now let me ask you a question…there’s something I wanted to do since I’ve been here…would you be mad for what I’m about to do,”  he remembers Nemo saying to him. He even remembered the drinking and the liplock. “Tarik Jr…look at me, honey,” she calls out to her younger son. “Yeah, Mom,” Tarik Jr said softly. He turned around to face her. Suddenly, he thought back on the time when he was struggling as a child. “What’s wrong, baby,” she asked him. “I can’t tell you, Mom…it hurts too much,” he whispered to her. “Come here and sit down…talk to me, please…tell me what’s going on with my baby boy, huh,” she said. He sat down and took a deep breath. “I’m afraid that you would hate me like you hate Nemo…I don’t think I can handle it, Mom,” he said. “Only because Nemo is not my son–you are! Whatever you have to say won’t make me love you any less…talk to me, kid,” she said. “Here goes…Dean was right about me all along…I’m gay,” he finally said. T.J. grabbed her son and hugged him tight. “It’s okay…I still love you cuz you’re my son…this doesn’t change anything,” T.J. said. “I’m so sorry, Mom,” he cried. “Now you listen to me…you have nothing to be sorry about…the only thing I want for you kids is to be safe and happy…nothing else matters, you hear me,” she said. “Yes, Mom…I hear you,” he said.  “Um…does Alexa know,” she asked him. “Yeah…I told her earlier today,” he said, “Everything…even when I got drunk!” “That’s good! It couldn’t have been easy but you handled it like a responsible young man! I’m proud of you,” she told her son. “Thanks, Mom! I thought Lex would hate me for it! At first she was angry but she was really cool about it! I’m not so sure how the rest of the family feels about me being gay,” he said. “You let me handle the family, okay,” she said, then kissed her son on the forehead. They had a talk with the family. Some were shocked by the news. “Don’t sweat it, kid! We’ll stand by you no matter what,” Kevin spoke up. “We love ya, boy,” Danny agreed. “If anyone have something to say to you, I’ll clobber them for you, little bro,” Tyrese said. “Thanks, man,” Tarik Jr said to his big brother. As everyone said their peace, Brianna stood there quietly. “I don’t know about this, Mom…feels funny having a gay brother,” she said. “Hey! He’s still your brother! Nothing changed! Give it a chance for me, huh,” T.J. said to her daughter. She thought about it for a minute and said, “Okay!” She went over to Tarik Jr and hugged him tight. The next day, the whole family sat down at the table to have breakfast together. They bow their heads as Marvin said grace. Afterwards, they all said, “Amen!” “Mom…can you pass the eggs please,” Terrell asked. “Sure,” T.J. said, then passes him the dish of scrambled eggs. “Mom…tell Tarik Jr to stop stealing my bacon,” Brianna said. “Boy, stop it! There’s plenty to go around–here,” she said. Then they all began to eat. 

Two months after her near death experience, T.J. started her research on Elizabeth and Georgia. Nemo went to a hotel after his fallout with Marvin. He remembers his older brother’s last words as he lays back on his bed. Tarik Jr is still married to Alexa despite his sexual preference. They’re co-parenting their now 11-month-old Leslie and expecting their second child. Tyrese reconnects with his former girlfriend, Christy. They’re engaged and raising 10-month-old Raymond. Nyisha got married to Robert on New Year’s Eve. The whole family was there to join in the festivities. Brianna and Isaiah are closer than ever. Most of the family are beginning to accept Tarik Jr for who he is. Almost everyone (Dee Dee and Tarik)! “So…how are you doing…with everything that happened,” Farrah asked her little sister. “I’m good…had my final check up the other day…now I’m cleared to go back to work next week,” T.J. replied. “And about Tarik Jr’s sudden announcement…,” she questioned. “Like I said before…I accept my son being gay but Tarik on the other hand–is being a jerk…he turns his back on his namesake…I won’t do the same thing that my evil vindictive jailbird ex-husband did to him…he has his family on his side…my sons are better men than their father ever was,” T.J. said. “Hey-hey-hey…stop talking about that evil man who tried to kill you a while back…let’s focus on right now, girls,” Nyisha said. “Glad that fool’s locked up for what he’s done to you and your sisters…I didn’t like him in the first place…I only put up with Tarik for the boys’ sake…now I don’t have to because they’re grown with a family of their own…I love those little ones like my grandkids,” Marvin said, holding his wife’s hand. “Now they wanna take on the Anderson name…I’m so proud of them,” T.J. added, then looks at the boys. The next day, the entire family were having breakfast in the kitchen. “Hey, Bree! How are you feeling,” T.J. asked her daughter. “Oh…I’m fine–I’m okay,” Brianna said, grabbing for a piece of bacon. “We’re here if you wanna talk about it, honey,” Marvin said. “Um…sure, Dad…can I go now,” she asked him. “Yeah…of course,” he said, kissing her on the cheek. She got up from the table and left the room. “Ever since Tarik Jr told us his secret, Brianna had a hard time dealing with it,” T.J. said. “It kinda threw everyone off but she’ll be fine,” he said. Meanwhile, Chuckie was working out at the gym with Chad. They took turns with the punching bag. Melvin showed up to join them. “So…what’s going on,” he asked. “We’re just doing a workout…figure I spend time with this little fella after the drama that happened with my nephew,” Chuckie said. “That type of news is a little hard for anyone to swallow…but we’ll get through it–I’m sure,” he said, then pats Chuckie on the back and went for the weights. Bridget, Brandon, Miranda, and Kevin were playing cards on the Thompsons front porch while their kids hung out with Stephen. “So…how was your week,” Kevin asked them. “It was good comparing to our sister’s…it must be hell for her…learning that Tarik Jr was gay…then his father disowned him–that’s harsh,” Brandon said. “It couldn’t been easy for him to tell us anything…he’s such a quiet kid,” Miranda said. “Well, I’m very proud of him…no other kid would talk about a sensitive subject like this especially with the way this world is right now,” Bridget said. They talked among themselves as Dee Dee drove up in the yard. “If anything, he should’ve kept his ‘little’ secret to himself,” she said. “Mom,” Kevin yelled. “He has a wife and a daughter–not to mention another baby on the way–to think about…he needs to let go of these fantasies and put his family first,” she told them. Then she knocked on the door.

“I swore I heard someone out here…how are you,” Stephen said, walking in on their conversation. “Randy and I are fine considering the bombshell that was dropped on us two months ago,” she said, going inside. “I know but…it’s very admirable of Tarik Jr, you know…some kids wouldn’t tell their parents that they’re gay…I’ve been in this situation myself with one of my own kids,” he said. “It’s not the same thing…Tarik Jr has a family to think about–he should’ve never told us this,” she said. “Well…we can’t do a thing about it now…our stepgrandson should be comfortable with who he is, Dee Dee,” he said. “Not if I can help it! See you later,” she said, going back outside. “This will blow up in her face…I know it,” he said to himself. “Bye, Mom,” Kevin and Bridget said. She ignores them, got into her car, and drive off quickly. Tarik Jr and Alexa were at the grocery store with their young daughter in tow. As they go through the aisles, he saw some kids took a bag of candy off the shelf. He had a flashback when he stole some candy from another store as a kid. “Hey there…are you okay,” she asked him. “Huh? Oh yeah–I’m good–real good,” he replied. “For a second there, I thought I lost you,” she said. “Naw…just thinking about my past, you know,” he said. “You mean the stealing, the old gang, and your very first girlfriend,” she said. “Uh-huh…exactly…she died years ago and I blame my mom for it…kinda funny, huh,” he said. Alexa chuckled. “Let’s go check out the steaks in the meat department,” she said. “Okay,” he said. Meanwhile, Tyrese and Christy were hanging out together at his deceased grandmother’s restaurant. Raymond was with them. “So sorry to hear about Mrs Thompson…how are you guys holding up,” Christy asked him. “We’re good–I’m good…now that you’re here…and my son…that’s all I need,” Tyrese said, then hold her hand. “I’m here anytime, Ty,” she told him. He gave her a smile as the waiter brought them their meals. The three of them started to eat. Brianna took Bryan down to the park. As she put him on the swing, a suspicious car pulls up. Someone got out and walked across the wet grass. “Hey there…stranger,” a voice said to her. Brianna looked up and saw who was standing in front of her. “Sam,” she said softly. She recognized her former high school science teacher’s voice. The last time she saw him was when her recently deceased grandmother has him escorted from her hospital room. “Hey there, kid,” Sam said, picking Bryan up. “What are you doing here,” she asked him. “I just got a job over at the university downtown…wanted to check up on my son…and my favorite student,” he said, “I heard about your grandmother…how are you?” “I’m good,” she said. They went over to one of the benches and sat down. Farrah and Meghan were in the diner having lunch with their husbands. “So…how’s your New Year’s,” Terrence asked his in-laws. “It went well! We took the kids on a road trip to visit James’ family,” said Meghan. “How are things since Nyisha and Robert’s wedding,” James asked. “It’s starting to calm down since Tarik Jr told us his secret…we haven’t seen Nemo since Marvin kicked him outta the house…other than that, it’s good,” Farrah said to her brother-in-law. Alicia and Diane were playing cards on their parents’ front porch while Jeremiah was flying his remote-controlled airplane. Suddenly, they saw a cell phone light up. Alicia grabs it and said, “Hello…sure…be right there…bye!” She hung up soonafter. “What was that about,” Diane asked her twin sister. “The boys wanted to know if we could meet up with them…see a movie later…even Jay can go,” she said, looking over to their brother. “No…not happening, girls,” Jeremiah said, looking back at his two sisters. “Awww…he just doesn’t wanna be with Phoebe, Ali,” Diane said. “I don’t like that girl,” he mumbled softly. “All right…what is it gonna cost for you to hang out with us,” Alicia said, pulling Jeremiah to the side. “Nothing…I don’t like these dates…especially when you guys ditched me for your boyfriends,” he said. “It’s not a date…Dad told us to take you along…we won’t ditch you this time…come on…I’ll watch any movie you want…huh…huh,” she said. “Oh…okay,” he said. Then they did their secret handshake.

“You know my mom and dad won’t like this,” Brianna said. “I know…they made that clear to me but I’m not here to start trouble, all right,” Sam said. “Okay,” she said softly. “It’s good to see you again…bye, son,” he said as he kissed her on the cheek. He got up from the bench and left. Isaiah shows up and said, “Hey, Bree…who’s that dude?” “Just an old friend…bout time you show up–I was getting worried,” she said. “Sorry about that, babe…hey, lil B…how about I make it up to you guys by buying us some lunch,” Isaiah said. “Of course…let’s go,” she said back. Sam watches them as they walked away. Bryan turned around and waved at him. Moments later, the three of them were having lunch at a deli down the street. “I wanna know something…why that cat wait till now to see his son,” Isaiah questioned. “My grandparents, granduncle, and stepgrandmother had a restraining order put on him…he had to stay away from my entire family for six (6) months and register himself as a sex offender…his uncle fought the case which ended with Sam leaving town…this is the first time I’ve seen him since that happened,” Brianna told him. “He won’t be a problem for us, will he,” he asked. “Nope…not at all,” she said. They shared a kiss as Bryan watched. Randy was in the kitchen eating a sandwich and reading a newspaper when Malcolm and Jerome came in from outside. “Hey, boys,” he said to them. “Hey, Grandpa,” they said. “How was your game,” he asked. “Good…whup his butt,” Malcolm said. “Hey,” Jerome yelled. The two of them started to argue. “Boys…boys….BOYS…ENOUGH,” Randy spoke up. “Sorry,” they said. “They’ll never learn…right, Grandpa,” Larissa said as she walked in on their conversation. “Right,” Randy said, hugging his granddaughter. Meanwhile, Nyisha and Robert were in their hotel room making out. “How are you today…Mrs Williamson,” he asked his new wife. “I’m okay, Mr Williamson,” she answered. “Now this is a much needed vacation after knowing that my new sister-in-law is doing much better these days…I think it’s cool for your folks to spring this room for us…I could’ve done it myself,” he said. “Nah…let them…it’ll keep their minds off my nephew’s sudden announcement two months ago,” she said. “So…how is he,” he asked her. “He’s good…just as long as my mom stays out of his way…you know she tried to turn him straight, right,” she said. “Heh…you do know…there’s no turning back…once he’s gay, he stays that way…let’s go back to what we were doing, hmm,” he said. The two of them pulled the covers over their heads. Tarik was at the prison library surfing the web when the guard comes in and said, “What are you doing in here, man?” “I’m doing research on homosexuality…it’s porn, Wayne,” he told the guard. “You better not…should be outside with your cellmates anyway…the warden wants to see you, man,” said Wayne. The two of them went down the hollow halls to an empty office. Tarik goes through the door and sit down in a chair. “So, Mr Lane…don’t like the outdoors, huh,” a voice said. “It’s not that…just don’t seem interesting to me is all,” he said. “Is that so…Wayne, leave us…close the door behind you,” the same voice said. The guard did what he was told. Tarik turned around to see a young woman standing in front of him. She was wearing a blue suit and black high heel shoes. “So…what is it that you called me in here for, Miss…ma’am,” Tarik rambled. “Relax, Mr Lane…it’s Suzette…you know why I called you in here,” the warden said as she was kissing his neck. Then they took off all their clothes and started to have sex on her desk.

Later that day, Shane took his brothers to the woods for some deer hunting. It was Terrell’s pastime hobby that he shared with them when they were younger. He even taught his daughters how to shoot a gun. Now the boys passes the family tradition down to their children. Matthew had a rifle in his hands and shaking like a leaf. “Hey, kid…you okay,” Shane asked his nephew. “Huh? Oh yeah–I’m good, Unc,” Matthew answered. “Okay…then prove it, youngster…toughen up,” he said, patting him on the back. The girls stayed in town–away from their brothers’ madness. They hung out with their sister-in-laws at their deceased mother’s restaurant. “So…the boys does this a.lot,” Jane asked. “Yep,” said Bridget. “It’s the Thompsons’ tradition! Our dad taught all of us kids how to shoot any gun he knew about! None of us like it except T.J. and that’s the reason she wanted to be a cop,” said Michelle. “Hardy-har-har,” T.J. mumbled softly. “Bridget cried her eyes out when he tried to teach her how to use a gun, remember,” said Monica. “I was six…no simple minded person gives their six-year-old kid a gun–ever,” Bridget blurted out. The rest of the girls started to laugh. “Aww! Poor baby,” Melanie said, pouting her lips at Bridget. “Shut up,” Bridget mumbled softly. “I remember that! Those lessons–they really help me a lot unlike this one here,” T.J. said, patting her little sister on the back. As the girls talked, the waiter brought them their lunches. “Don’t be ashamed of it, kid…none of us liked those lessons either…you’re not the only one,” said Irish. Bridget smiled as she got her plate of food. They bow their heads and said grace. Each of them were thinking about their final times with Sheryl. Even though she’s gone, the grief was still a little raw for them. “I did what you wanted, Mom…still don’t understand why you would keep such a big secret from me,”  T.J. remembered asking her. “Terrell didn’t want you guys to know about your dad…he still thinks of you as his little superstar but I know that it was wrong…I should’ve told you a long time ago, honey…I didn’t get a chance to tell my parents how I felt before they died…you get that chance with your dad now because he’s still here…don’t blame him for something I did, okay,”  Sheryl said back. T.J. snapped out of it and ate her meal. Back at the woods, Jeffrey and Matthew watched the guys as they skinned the deers they killed. “Matt? You okay, buddy,” he asked his son, giving him some ginger ale. “Uh-huh,” Matthew said, taking a sip. “You know…I couldn’t handle shooting animals either…it happens to everyone…don’t you be ashamed of it, okay,” he said. “Thanks, Dad,” Matthew said. “Don’t worry, nephew…it gets better with experience, okay,” Shane said to him. “Okay,” Matthew said back. He then takes another sip of ginger ale. Kevin and Danny were hanging out with some friends at the pool hall. “So, fellas…what’s on the agenda today,” Danny asked them. “Not your drinking, buddy…your sister can handle it–why can you,” Kevin said, taking a beer bottle out of his hand. “You should stop…it’s too early for that, D,” one of the guys said. “Aiight, Ed…I don’t need you to act like my folks…just my boys,” Danny said. “Give him some juice or something…he’s in AA, you guys,” Kevin said, then took a turn at the pool table. They all chuckled as Danny stood there with a frown on his face. Ashlee and April were at home playing cards as the kids slept. “Thanks for helping me out over here! I know it’s been quiet at your place since the boys went hunting this morning,” Ashlee said to her friend. “Of course, Ash! You’re lucky that Danny doesn’t make your three kids go hunting,” April said back. “He knows better than to pull that shit…I don’t like guns anyway,” she said, “I hope those Thompsons boys don’t bring no deer over here, girl!” “I agree,” April said. Then the two of them pop the cork off a bottle of champagne.

Moments later, they were on the couch giggling like schoolgirls. “I think I had enough…Jeffrey wouldn’t like it if I came home drunk…says it reminds him of his sister’s abuse by her ex-husband’s hands,” April said. “Oh yeah…T.J. was once an alcoholic…Danny too…you think she got over what Tarik did to her,” Ashlee asked. “Yeah…Mr and Mrs Johnson took her to a great therapist…it takes longer for a victim of domestic abuse to get past what she endured…thank God Nyisha got out of that marriage when she did–Tarik is an evil man,” April said. “I like Robert, though…he’s one of the good guys…I know they work out, you know,” April said. The two of them sat back and sighed. “Guess you miss the boys, huh,” Ashlee said, stroking her friend’s arm. “Uh-huh…makes you wonder what they’re doing right now,” April said. “They either missing you or having a great time,” Ashlee said, then gives her friend a pat on the back. “Yeah…you could be right..Matt wasn’t too excited about the trip but Jeff eased him into it…so they’re okay,” April said. “Let’s go in the kitchen for a snack,” Ashlee said. They got up from the couch and left the room. While they were going through the cabinets, something unexpected happened. “Ash? What are you doing,” April whispered. “Don’t sweat it…the kids can’t hear us,” Ashlee whispered back. Suddenly they were in a liplock. “Hey, little sister…how are you,” Farrah said, driving up to the Andersons house and getting out of the car. “I’m good,” T.J. said. “For a minute there, I thought you were trying to duck me too,” she said. “Wha–I would never do that! Dad and Dee Dee would kill me,” T.J. said. “So…what is all this…still tripping off that dream you had a while back,” she asked. “I wasn’t tripping…I’m serious about this…I had that dream for a reason…I need to know about my family…no one’s gonna stop me, all right,” T.J. told her. “Okay…take it easy, T…I see you’re dead set on this….I ain’t gonna stop you,” she said. The two of them started to look through the papers in front of them. While they were doing that, Marvin and Terrence drove up. “Hello, ladies,” the guys said to their wives. “Oh…hi,” the girls said without looking at their husbands. “Oh…still working on this…how’s it going,” Marvin asked. “It’s going good, Marv,” T.J. replied. He kissed her on the cheek and went into the house with Terrence. “She’s really going through with this, huh,” Terrence asked his little brother. “Yep! She’s been on it since that dream she had! The only thing I can do is support her,” Marvin said. “Well…other than your wife’s sudden revelation, how’s my nieces and nephews,” he said. “They’re doing good,” Marvin said. As they talked, Brianna came in with Isaiah and Bryan. She walked up to Marvin and hugged him. “Hey, kids…what’s up,” said Terrence. “Oh…hi, Uncle Terrence…didn’t see you there,” Brianna said. “Can I get a hug, too,” Terrence asked her. “Sure,” she said, then hugs her uncle as well. “Hey, Mr Anderson,” said Isaiah. “Hey, Isaiah…what are you guys up to,” Marvin asked them. “Dad,” Brianna mumbled softly. “We’re just hanging out, sir…ain’t no harm in that,” he said. “All right but one more thing: no more grandkids, got it,” Marvin demanded. “Dad! Leave him alone! Come on, Isaiah,” she said, pulling her boyfriend into the kitchen. Terrence chuckled as the kids left the room. “What,” Marvin said. “You know your kid is too smart to pull the same stunt twice…don’t worry so much, man,” Terrence told him. They looked at the kids and waved. “Your pops is so strict, Bree,” Isaiah mumbled. “Don’t pay him no mind…just smile and wave…maybe he’ll go easy on you,” Brianna said softly. Then they waved back.

Later that evening, Alicia and Diane were making out with Ben and Reggie in the theater balcony. Jeremiah was buying some snacks from the concession stand when Phoebe came up to him. “When can we do the things your sisters and my brothers does in the balcony, Jay,” she asked him. “Uh…try never, Phoebe,” he said back. “Aww, come on…looks like fun,” she said softly. “I don’t do that kind of thing plus it’s disgusting,” he said before going through the door. Phoebe went behind him. He sat down in an empty seat and took a bite of popcorn from his tub. During the movie, Phoebe started to rub on his leg. “Quit it,” he mumbled. “Why should I, huh,” she yelled at him. “I…DO…NOT…LIKE…YOU…THAT…WAY,” he yelled back at her. Everyone in the theater turned around and looked directly at them. Phoebe punched Jeremiah in the arm and walked out. “Uh-oh,” Ben said. “Let’s go see what happened,” said Reggie. The four of them got up and went downstairs. Ben and Reggie went outside to check up on Phoebe while Alicia and Diane confronted Jeremiah. They sat down next to him. “What happened now,” Diane asked him. He didn’t say a word. “Come on, Jay…you can tell us,” Alicia said. “She got a little weird…staring at me while I eat…touching my leg–it’s too much,” Jeremiah finally said. “We’ve been saying this all along! She likes you, little brother,” Diane chuckled. “Well, I don’t like that girl…that’s what I told her,” he said to them. “Oh, no…you didn’t,” Alicia said. “Yeah…I did,” he said as he sat back in his seat. “You probably hurt her feelings! We’re going to find Phoebe so you can apologize! Come on,” Diane said, grabbing him by the hand. The three of them went outside to see Ben and Reggie talking with Phoebe. “Hey! Everyone okay,” Alicia asked them. “Um…yeah! We good, Ali,” Ben said, kissing her on the cheek. “Jay has something to say to Phoebe! Go on,” Diane said, nudging her brother. “Uh…I’m sorry for yelling at you in the movie theater,” Jeremiah said. “Me, too…guess I came on a little strong so…are we still friends, Jay,” Phoebe asked him. “Sure,” he said, then shakes her hand. “Glad that’s settled…how about we all go for some ice cream…my treat,” Reggie said to them. “I’ll go for that…what about you, slugger,” Jeremiah said. “Yeah…let’s go,” Phoebe said, grabbing his arm. The kids left the theater. Three days later, the Thompsons kids and the Johnsons kids brought their spouses and children to the batting cages for some practice shots. “I used to play baseball in high school back in Detroit,” Robert said. “Oh really…why don’t you show the guys how it’s done,” Nyisha said, then kisses him on the lips. “Yeah, Rob…show us how it’s done,” Shane said, mimicking Nyisha. “O-kay,” Robert said, then grabbed a bat. “So, Iz…how was the honeymoon,” T.J. asked her big sister. “It’s great–better than my last one…now I see why you and Marvin are so happy,” she said. “Yeah, we are! It’s so good! He’s the love of my life–the best, you know,” T.J. said. “Of course! I know the feeling,” she chuckled. Marvin stood at the snack bar eating a chili dog when Terrence sat down next to him. “Hey, little bro…all good with you guys,” he questioned. “Yeah, T…we good…and you,” Marvin said. “Everything good with me and Farrah too…that punk Tarik–he couldn’t break us, man,” he said. “Right-right…here’s to getting that jerk out of our lives,” Marvin said. Then the two of them clinked their bottles together.

Robert put on a helmet and waited for the machine to shoot out the ball. Once that happened, he took a swing at the ball and hit it across the gate. “Daaammmn,” they all said. “It’s outta there, y’all,” Danny yelled. Meanwhile, all of the younger kids were playing Laser Tag next door as the older kids watched them. Tarik Jr was playing video games with Tyrese when some guys came in. One of them winked at him. “Go get him, player,” Tyrese said to his little brother. “Huh? Go get what,” he said, sounding very confused. “The guy in the red shirt…I see him over there–checking you out,” Tyrese said. “Him? Hah,” he said, “I have a wife and 1.5 kids! Can’t mess with that, Ty!” “That’s right…don’t give in to that temptation,” said Dee Dee. ” Oh…is she the reason that you’re staying in the closet–she’s not our mom, Junior–you know that,” Tyrese said to him. “She’s making it so hard for me…keeps reminding me to put my family first or I’m going to burn in hell, big bro,” he said. “Don’t listen to that woman, T…remember what Mom and Dad said…ignore her,” Tyrese told him. “Yeah…you right,” he said. The two of them did their secret handshake as Dee Dee looked on. Brianna was standing outside the arcade when Sam showed up. “Hey, you…we gotta stop meeting like this,” he joked. “I’m here with my family,” she said. “So I’m guessing your boy Isaiah…isn’t here, huh,” he said, looking around aimlessly. “He’s on the way over…I don’t think you should be here when he shows up…my parents, aunts, and uncles ain’t too fond of you,” she said softly. “Ohhh…can I ask you something,” he said. “Go ahead,” she said. “Do you love him,” he asked her. “Uh yeah…he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me…everybody loves him even Bryan…you’ve missed a lot since he was born,” she said. “I should’ve been around more…I want Bryan to know who his real dad but I’m not so sure how your folks would take it,” he said. “Don’t worry…we’ll find a way to work it out, okay,” she said to him. “Sure…I gotta go…can’t let your family catch me out here…bye,” he said. The two of them went their separate ways afterwards. “What’s going on, big sis? Is that Mr Brady? You ain’t supposed to be hanging out with him,” a voice said. Brianna turns around to see Marlon standing there. He had Bryan in his hands. “Shh!.I don’t want anyone to know about this, got it,” she growled. Marlon nods his head. Suddenly, Isaiah drove up in his blue Cadillac Escalade. “Hey, guys,” he said. “Hi, Isaiah…nice ride,” said Marlon. “Thanks, little man,” he said, “Yo, Bree! Come over here for a minute!” “Okay,” Brianna said, then turns to Marlon, “Stay put, runt!” She kisses her son on the cheek, smacks her brother in the head, and went over to the Escalade. “Get in, baby…I won’t bite,” he said, opening the passenger door for her. “Hey, you…what’s up,” she said. “Just missing you is all,” he said. They shared a passionate kiss. He started to run his fingers across her stomach. She giggled softly between the kisses. He pulled her onto his lap and started to make out with her. Meanwhile, Tyrese walked over to the table and talked to Dee Dee. “What do you want, Ty,” Dee Dee asked him. “I wanna know something…what you got against my brother being gay…ain’t nobody complaining but you,” Tyrese said. “I don’t have to explain anything to you, young man…it’s none of your business,” she said sternly. “When it concerns my little brother, I make it my business! Do you really want my mom to get back on your case again about her son,” he questioned. Then she scoffs at him.

Tyrese gave Tarik Jr the signal to make his move. He took a deep breath and went over to the table where the guys sat. “Hey, y’all…mind if I join you,” he asked them. “Naw…not at all,” one of the guys said. “Sit down…right next to me!” said the guy in the red shirt. “All right,” he said, then sits with them. “Welcome! I’m Alvin and these are my friends: Jim, B.J., and Kelvin,” the guy in the red shirt said as he introduces himself and the gang. “Hello, guys! I’m Tarik Jr,” he said, introducing himself as well. “Hey, man,” said the second guy as he shook Tarik Jr’s hand. They started to talk among themselves. Within an hour, the five of them were laughing and joking with each other. Alvin suddenly touched Tarik Jr’s leg. “This feels right…doesn’t it,” Alvin asked him. “Uh-huh,” he whispered. “Come with me,” Alvin said. The two of them left the table and went outside. “Now where did he go,” Dee Dee said once the boys disappeared from her sight. They head over to a powder blue van to make out. While this was going on, Tarik Jr felt a bulge in his pants. “How long have you known you were gay,” Alvin questioned. “A while now…after I got married to my college sweetheart…she supports me through this, you know,” he said. They kissed again as Dee Dee busted in on them. “I knew it…get away from him, young man,” Dee Dee screams. “Who is that crazy woman,” Alvin asked. “My worst nightmare and its name is Grandma Dee said,” Tarik Jr replied. “You boys think you’re slick…you orchestrated this whole thing, Tyrese…stay away from my grandson or I’ll have you arrested, buddy…do you know who my husband is, huh…well do you, little boy,” she yelled. Tyrese tried to hold her back but she got away from him. Everyone came out to see what was going on. Among them were the Thompsons kids and the Johnsons kids. “Awww, man…what now,” T.J. moaned. She rushes over to see Dee Dee beating on Alvin and Tarik Jr. Marvin and the rest of the gang followed her. “Mom! Dad! We need your help,” Tyrese called out to them. He, T.J., and Marvin jumped in to break up the fight. “What the hell are you doing to my son,” T.J. yelled. “I was trying to save him…I will not let your son be a victim to guys like…HIM,” Dee Dee yelled back. “Are you okay, honey,” T.J. asked her son. “I’m okay, Mom…I’m good,” Tarik Jr replied. “Why are you worried about our nephew, huh? It didn’t seem to bother you when you thought he was straight,” Farrah asked her mother. Randy came through the crowd to confront his wife. “I should’ve known you have something to do with this ruckus–for the last time…leave that boy alone,” he said. “All right! Show’s over! Ain’t nothing to see here! Move it along,” said Robert and Marvin. Then everyone walked away quietly.

“What the hell is wrong with you…why don’t you leave my son alone…better yet, I don’t wanna something–I want to apologize for my wicked stepmother here–she seems to butt in where she doesn’t belong,” T.J. said as she gave Dee Dee a dirty look. “No problem, ma’am,” Alvin said. “Mom? This is Alvin,” Tarik Jr said. “Hello, Alvin…sorry we’re meeting under very strange circumstances…this won’t happen again,” she said. “I’ve been called worse,” Alvin said. “I don’t like this,” Dee Dee mumbled. “Too bad…Tarik Jr is my son, not yours…butt out,” T.J. told her. “I gotta go…nice meeting you, Tarik Jr…and your family,” Alvin said, getting in his van. “Nice going, big bro…he’s a stud,” Angel said. “We’ll see, kid,” he told his little sister. “I still don’t like this,” Dee Dee said. “Stay out of this, Dee,” Randy said, “It’s none of your concern!” “The only thing I want is to see you happy, bud,” said Alexa as she kisses him on the cheek. “Now that the fight is over..we should head on home, you guys,” Shane said. Everyone got into their cars and drove away. “Hey there…are you okay, babe,” Marvin asked his wife. “Yeah…I’m fine…I just don’t get why that woman is hopped up about…everyone else doesn’t have a problem with our son…I don’t even know anymore, Marv,” T.J. said softly. The next day, Randy was eating cereal in the kitchen of the Johnsons house when Dee Dee came in and sat down next to him. “Honey…are you still mad at me from yesterday,” she asked. “Yes…you embarrassed us in front of the entire neighborhood…our kids are very upset over this, Dee…you need to apologize to my daughter for how badly you treated her son,” he demanded. “You mean allowing Tarik Jr to prance around like a little princess–nope–I ain’t having it,” she said. “I wanna know something…what do you have against gay people, huh…tell me…you hate my grandson that much,” he asked her. “I don’t hate Tarik Jr…just hate what he’s become…ever since he told us that he was gay, all I could think about is what would happen to him…we know how these people are with this and your daughter just lets him do what he wants…that child could get hurt or killed…just like my brother,” she blurted out. Randy rushes over to hug her. “I had no idea how you feel about this! Jake is still here, babe,” he said. “With what those boys did to him, he wishes he was dead! I just don’t want you to have a dead grandson, Randy! My little brother is in a wheelchair because he’s a gay man! No one likes it–I can’t stand it,” she cried. Then he consoles his wife.

Nyisha, Farrah, and Meghan went over to the Andersons house to see T.J. “Hey, kid…you feeling okay, hmm,” Nyisha asked her little sister. “Yeah…I’ll be okay…why is that woman so pushy,” T.J. questioned. “I don’t know, T…she’s never been like this before…might be about the promise that Mrs Thompson asked her to keep,” Farrah said. “What does my mom have to do with this,” T.J. asked them. “You don’t remember–Mrs Thompson asked our mom to watch out for you in case anything happens to her…she was doing what your mom would’ve done in this situation,” Farrah said. “Dee Dee shouldn’t have done that…my mom wouldn’t turn her back on her grandson just because he’s gay…she would have welcomed him with open arms,” she said to her sisters. “You’re right…she would,” a voice said. The girls turned around to see Randy standing there in the doorway of the kitchen. “Dad…we didn’t hear you come in,” Meghan said, then hugged him. “How much did you hear,” T.J. asked him. “Enough to know that your mom is very compassionate about anyone she meets…like you said, she would welcome her grandson no matter what kind of man he is…I think someone owes you an apology,” Randy said. “I’m not sure I wanna hear it, Dad,” T.J. said. “I know…but I’m sure you wanna hear this one, kiddo,” Randy said as they saw who was coming through the door. “Mom,” said Nyisha, Farrah, and Meghan. “What else did you forget to say to me last night, huh…Dee Dee,” T.J. yelled. “I guess I deserved that…I didn’t come here to fight with you…or your son for that matter–I owe you guys an apology,” Dee Dee said to her stepdaughter. Tarik Jr came downstairs and said, “Umm, Mom…what’s going on…am I in trouble?” “No, honey…no one’s in any trouble, right, ” T.J. questioned Dee Dee. “No…not at all…I wanted to tell the two of you how sorry I was for the way I acted last night…guess I was concerned about your son’s sudden news and how it affect everyone involved…just like my little brother…he was beaten up by some guys a few years back for being a gay man…I was just afraid that the same thing would happen to Tarik Jr…maybe I shouldn’t have said those terrible things to you…and for that, I’m sorry,” Dee Dee said to them. T.J. looked over to her son and said, “It’s up to you, bud…should we believe that she’s been very sincere here…I’ll agree with whatever you say!” Tarik Jr thought about what his mother said to him and confronted Dee Dee. “I need you to promise me one more thing,” he said. “Of course…anything,” Dee Dee asked. “It’s hard enough for my dad to turn his back on me…no more threats about gay people going to hell, okay,” he demanded. “You won’t hear another word from me, bud,” she said, “Your father is a fool for not seeing what a wonderful young man you are!” Then the three of them hugged as Randy looked on.

Marvin was at the courts playing basketball with Terrence, Les, Joey, and Robert. James sat on the sidelines with his cellphone talking to his wife. “Come on, man…stop that yapping and get over here, Jay,” they yelled. “Naw, babe…they hating even though they got wives of their own,” James said. “I wouldn’t pay them any mind…we just had a little dilemma between my mom, T.J., and out nephew over here but…it’s all good now,” Meghan said on the other end. “That’s a relief! I knew she had a problem accepting Tarik Jr’s sexuality but I’m glad she could clear the air with them, Meg! I gotta go! See ya later! Bye,” he said, then closes his cellphone. “Are you done,” Marvin asked him as he was spinning the basketball on his finger. “Heh…funny,” he said, then runs after Marvin. Hours later, the guys were playing a very intense game. Joey threw the ball across the courts. Marvin and James both wrestled for it. “Hey! Hey! Hey! Break it up, fellas,” said Robert. He and Terrence pulled them apart. “Hey, little bro…what’s going on,” Terrence asked. Marvin didn’t say anything. He went over to his car, got in, and drove away. The rest of the guys stood there confused. Meanwhile, Bridget was at the diner hanging out with Mimi and Audrey. “So…anything good happened while I was gone,” Mimi asked them. Bridget didn’t say a word. She couldn’t stop thinking about what happened on Halloween. “Not much…right, Bridget,” Audrey said. “Huh? You said something,” Bridget questioned. “You tell me…where you go, B,” Mimi asked her. “I’m still here, girls…what was the question,” she said. The girls giggled. “I wanted to know what happened around here,” Mimi said to her friend. “Uh–nothing much, Mimi! It’s really boring, you know,” she said as she took a bite of her food. “We just hung out, that’s all,” Audrey said. Suddenly, Kevin showed up and kisses Bridget on the cheek. “Hey, ladies…what’s up,” he said to them. “We were just catching up, baby,” Bridget said, kissing him back. “Hey, boy…heard about your sister’s accident with the ex…everything okay,” Mimi asked him. “Yeah…Tarik got locked up for it including kidnapping Nyisha…T.J. got sick after the incident…Halloween night but she’s doing find now,” he said. They continued talking. “So…what changed your stepgrandmother’s mind,” Alvin asked. “My grandfather…plus I promised her that I would be careful out here,” Tarik Jr said to him. “Yeah? I can protect you! I’ll never let anything happen that shouldn’t! You know that,” he said, holding Tarik Jr’s hand. While this was happening, a group of guys states at them angrily. “Of course…she doesn’t want me to get hurt like her little brother, you know,” Tarik Jr said before Alvin kisses him. “Like I said…nothing will happen…trust me, baby,” he said softly. They went outside to make out in the van. Moments later, they were cuddling. “You sure you won’t let anything happen to me,” Tarik Jr said. “You have nothing to worry about, okay,” Alvin said back. They kissed again. All of a sudden, they heard someone banging on the van door. Alvin got up and peeked through the window. “Hey, punk! Come out of there! NOW,” a voice yelled at them. He opened the door to see what the person wanted. A set of hands pulls him out of the van quickly. Back at the Andersons house, T.J. talked with her family when she got the call. “Hello? Wait–what,” she said. “Teej? What’s going on,” Nyisha asked her. “I gotta get to the hospital–something happened to my son,” she said as her voice trembles. “I’ll drive,” Randy said to his daughter. Then the whole gang got into their vehicles and drove off.

“It’s going to be okay, buddy,” Meghan said, holding T.J.’s hand. “Thank you,” she said. Dee Dee sat there quietly as Randy drove up the highway. “I’ve always expected this…now your daughter have to deal with the possibility of her son being in a wheelchair or worse just like my mother had to do with Jake,” she finally said. “Don’t think like that, Dee…Tarik Jr will be fine, okay,” he said. When they got there, Tarik Jr was being treated by one of the female nurses. “Oh, my god…are you okay,” T.J. asked her son. “Yeah, Mom! I’m fine! Some guys rough us up outside the pool hall,” he replied. “Did you get a good look at their faces, bud,” Nyisha asked him. “Uh-uh…it happened so fast, Aunt Nyisha,” he said. “At least you’re okay, kid…what about your friend,” Randy questioned. “I don’t know, Grandpa..they hurt him bad…he’s in surgery now…his parents won’t let me near him,” he rambled on. T.J. held her son tight. “Take it easy…I’ll find out what’s going on,” Dee Dee said. A middle-aged couple were talking with the doctor as she approached them. “Excuse me but my grandson wanted to know about his friend’s condition,” she spoke up. “Why should we say anything to that boy, huh? If it wasn’t for your grandson, our son wouldn’t be in this hospital right now,” said the man. “Now wait a minute…you can’t blame my grandson for this…those men went after him too,” Randy interrupted. “I know who you are, Mr Johnson…don’t you dare preach to me…your grandson isn’t fighting for his life…keep him away from our son,” the man said to Randy. The two men started to argue. Everyone tried to break them up. “Hey-hey-hey! That’s enough, both of you,” said one of the security guards. “I mean it! Keep that kid away from my son, dammit,” the man yelled. “Enough of that, Mr Stevenson,” said the second security guard. “Don’t you dare speak that way about my son, Mr Stevenson,” T.J. said angrily. “I can speak to anyone anyway I please, young lady,” Mr Stevenson growled. “You better watch how you talk to my daughter, man,” Randy yelled. They argued again. “Stop it, you guys…I care about your son, Mr and Mrs Stevenson…I just wanna know if he’s gonna be all right…he saved my life…I would never ask him to risk his own life…let’s get out of here, Mom,” Tarik Jr said. “Okay,” T.J. said back. The entire family left the hospital. “What a stubborn bunch,” Dee Dee said. “I wanted to see if Alvin was okay…his folks make it sound like I caused this,” Tarik Jr said. “Don’t give this a second thought, honey…let them cool down a bit…we’ll check back with Alvin in a couple of days,” T.J. said. “Okay, Mom,” he said. “Maybe we’ll get lucky…and Alvin calls you himself,” Randy said. “Sure, Grandpa,” he said. “If they can’t accept you in their son’s life, then screw them…they’re not worth your words, bud,” Nyisha said, then kisses him on the cheek. Later that day, the remaining sixteen Thompsons kids went over to see their sister at her home. “Hey there! How are you,” said Michelle. “I’m good,” T.J. said back. “What’s this I hear about our little nephew getting beat up in front of some pool hall earlier,” Shane asked her. “He got into a scuffle with some guys but he’s fine now,” T.J. told him. “Well…it’s about time your boy learns how to fight, sis,” he said. “No…uh-uh, Shane…it really isn’t necessary,” she said, shaking her head. “Yes it is…unless you want to bury your son,” he said. “He’s right…your son needs to defend himself…he was lucky this time…next time could go a lot worse,” Jason said. “He just told us that he was gay a while ago…there’s people in the world who doesn’t like that…they will keep going after our nephew until they kill him…maybe he should be able to defend himself,” Irish said. “Okay, you guys…do what you have to do,” T.J. said. “Don’t worry so much…he’s gonna be okay,” Melissa said. Meanwhile, Tarik Jr was in his old bedroom tossing an old football in the air when he heard a knock on the door. “Who is it,” he said. “It’s Uncle Shane and Uncle Jason…can we come in, little man,” said the voice behind the door. ” Sure, you guys,” he said. Shane and Jason came in to chat with their nephew. “Hey, buddy…we heard about your fight earlier…you all right,” Jason asked him. “Yeah…but my friend got the worst of it, Uncle Jason,” he said. “Well, that’s gonna stop right now…ain’t nobody gonna punk you anymore, nephew…we are going to teach you how to fight,” Shane said. Then he patted Tarik Jr on the back.

“I don’t know…Mom doesn’t like any of us kids fighting, Uncle Shane,” Tarik Jr said. “Well…in this case you do…we already had a talk with your mom…and she agrees with us…you need to defend yourself, kid,” Shane said to him. “Come on…get up,” Jason said. Moments later, the three of them were at the boxing gym. “What are we doing here,” Tarik Jr asked his uncles. “This is one of my dad’s favorite spots…all of us learned to box here even your mom,” Shane answered. “Really,” he said. “Yeah? This family had their share of bullies, too! We had to learn how to box! I’m this case, you need this because you’re a gay man in a very cruel world! You need all you can to survive out there, kid,” Jason told his nephew. “You ready to do this,” Shane asked him. “Yes, sir,” Tarik Jr said. They started to work out on the punching bag. A few hours later, Shane was teaching his nephew how to box. “There you go…left punch…right punch…jab left…jab right,” he said. “That’s right, Junior,” said Jason. A few weeks later, Tarik Jr was getting good at it. He and Shane were practicing their boxing moves in the ring. “All right, man…close your eyes…pretend that I’m that guy who beat you up in the parking lot of the pool hall…take your best shot,” Shane said. Tarik Jr closed his eyes and saw the guy who beat him up. He then got mad and threw the first punch. T.J. was hanging out at her deceased mother’s restaurant with Marvin, Nyisha, Robert, Farrah, Terrence, Meghan, and James. “So, little brother…where’s Tarik Jr…we haven’t seen that boy lately,” Terrence questioned. “He’s been with his Uncle Shane and Uncle Jason for the past couple of days…they’re teaching him how to fight,” Marvin said to his big brother. “Well, it’s good for them to do that for our nephew considering what he’s been through,” Farrah said. “The boxing lessons from his uncles would really help him since Tarik isn’t here to do it himself…fucking jerk turned his back on his own son just because he’s gay,” T.J. said. “At least he has all of us…we got his back,” Meghan said. “Even my kids gave up on him…Larissa called Robert Dad,” Nyisha said to them. “Whoa–when did this happen,” T.J. asked her sister. “A while ago…by accident of course,” she said. “The kids and I were doing a project together a couple of days ago…and out of the blue she calls me Dad,” Robert said. “I know that feeling cuz I accidentally called Dee Dee Mom…remember that,” T.J. said. “Yeah…she had to explain to you that you did nothing wrong by calling her Mom…we told Larissa the same thing so basically she’s okay,” Nyisha said. “More like she’s trying to forget Tarik on purpose,” Farrah whispers to Meghan. Then they giggled softly.

Larissa was at the basketball courts shooting hoops when Abel snuck up on her. “Hey there, Ris,” he said. “Hi, Abe…good to see you,” she said, then hugs him. “Uh…good to see you too,” he said back. Sam was parked in his car across the street when Brianna came up to him. “You’re spying on my cousin and her boyfriend now,” he heard her say. “Huh? No! I didn’t see them there! That’s besides the point–I need to talk to you about something,” Sam said. “Um…what about,” she asked him. He opens the passenger door and lets her in. “It’s about our son…how close is he with your friend,” he asked her. “Why? You think Bryan’s gonna call Isaiah Daddy? I won’t let him do that! Isaiah is just a friend to our son and nothing else, Sam! You’re jealous, aren’t you,” she said. “Naw…I’m not jealous of your boyfriend….not at all…I’m concerned about you though,” he said, holding her hand. “Sam? What are you doing,” she said as he moves closer to her. He didn’t say a word. He leans in and kissed her. “Sam? Sam! Stop it,” she whispered. He starts kissing her neck and breast. “I’ve missed this…I know you want it just as bad as I do,” he whispered in her ear. “Sam…I can’t do this–ohhh,” she mumbled softly. The two of them gave in to their undying passion. “So…you wanna come back with me to my house,” Abel said, caressing his girlfriend’s back. “I can’t…my mom wants me home early tonight,” Larissa said. “Is anyone there now,” he asked her. “Uh-uh,” she said. “Let’s not disappoint your moms–let’s go, girl,” he said, pulling her by the arm. As they ran off the courts, Sam and Brianna were making out in his car. “We can’t do this–Sam, stop,” she said. “Why,” he questioned. “I don’t want to hurt Isaiah…all right,” she blurted out. “What does he have that I don’t,” he said. “His life cuz my parents won’t have to kill him for being with me,” she said, closing her shirt and leaving the car. “Bree…come back here,” he said, then goes after her. “I can’t do that to him, all right…if I lose Isaiah, I’ll die,” she cried. Sam put his arms around Brianna, trying to comfort her. “Bree, I’m sorry…I didn’t mean to come on so strong, all right,” he said softly. They hugged as Isaiah stood there watching. “Hey, guys…what’s going on over here,” Isaiah interrupted. “Um, nothing…just talking about Bryan…when did you get here,” Brianna asked him. “A little while ago…where is my little buddy anyway,” Isaiah said, kissing her in front of Sam. “Bryan is with his Uncle Tyrese, his girlfriend Christy, and his cousin, Raymond, baby,” Brianna said, giving Isaiah a kiss on the cheek. “Bree? You mind if I had a talk with Bryan’s father for a minute…we need to get better acquainted,” Isaiah said, looking directly at Sam. “O-kay! I’ll go to the basketball courts and shoot some hoops! Behave yourselves,” she said to them. “Great girl, huh,” Isaiah said. “Yeah…I see that,” Sam said. “Too bad you can’t have her…she belongs to me, not you…the reason that I didn’t chase you off yet is because of Bryan…if you want that little guy to keep both parents, you would stay away from my girl…I know all about you from Mr and Mrs Anderson…if you don’t want me to tell them about this meeting, you would back off right now,” Isaiah warns him. “Heh! You think you can scare me that easily, you little punk–think again! I’m gonna be there for my family no matter what you say,” Sam said through his teeth. “Her parents asked me to watch out for her…don’t cross me, buddy or you will be in jail faster than your head could spin…I’m The one and only guy for her, Sam–bye bye now,” he said. Then Isaiah joins Brianna on the courts as Sam stood there angry.

“What were you guys talking about over there,” Brianna asked him. “Not much, babe…just having a chat with Ole Boy…let’s get out of here, Bree,” said Isaiah. “Okay,” she said. They left the courts and got into his Cadillac Escalade. They drove past Sam and turned to the left. “So…tell me this, babe,” he said. “I’m listening,” she said. “What is really going on with the two of you, huh,” he asked her. Brianna was thinking about her latest encounter with Sam a while ago. “There’s nothing going on…we were only talking about our son…that’s it,” she said. “I don’t know, babe…something about that guy–it doesn’t add up…I think he still has the hots for you,” he said. “Huh? You’re kidding, right,” she questioned. “Isn’t it about time you tell him to back off? I wanna be with you but I can’t do that while he’s around,” he said. “I told you already! Sam is only here for his son so he won’t be a problem for us,” she said. “I won’t believe that until you tell him to back off…convince him to move on and find someone else…do you love me, Bree,” he said. “Yeah…of course, Isaiah,” she said. “Then let him go…for us,” he said, holding up his t-shirt. She looked down at his chiseled abs. Hours later, Brianna meet up with Alicia and Diane at the diner. “Hey, cuz…long time no see,” they said to her. “Hey, y’all,” she said back. “Where’s your better half,” Alicia asked her. “He’s at the gym next door…there’s something that I gotta tell you guys,” she said. “What’s up,” Diane said. “Before I tell you, promise that no one would find out about this, got it,” she warns her cousins. “Sure,” Alicia and Diane said, crossing their fingers. Brianna looked around to make sure nobody was listening and said, “You know our former science teacher from high school, Mr. Brady? He’s back in town, you guys!” “What,” they said. “He wants to be in his son’s life and now I have to tell him to move on cuz Isaiah thinks he’s coming between us,” she said. “Wow…is Isaiah serious,” Alicia asked. “He said that he loves me…the only way we can have a healthy and honest relationship is to tell Sam to back off and move on to someone else,” she said. “Maybe he should, Bree…our family aren’t fond of Sam Brady…you need to cut him loose if you wanna keep Isaiah,” said Diane. “Sam won’t be a problem…he’s just here to see his son, all right,” she told them. “Then you better tell Sam that it ends there…you don’t want to lose a very fine and sexy guy like Isaiah, Bree,” Alicia said as Melissa comes into the diner and walked up to their table. “Hello, girls,” Melissa spoke up. “Hi, Melissa,” said Alicia and Diane. “Hi, Aunt Melissa,” said Brianna. “An I hearing this right? Sam Brady’s back in town? The same guy who got you pregnant? The same guy you were told to stay away from,” she said. “You heard that, huh,” Brianna said. “Yep! Alicia! Diane! You mind if I have a talk with my niece for a minute,” she said. “Naw–go ahead! We’ll just go–check out that lovely cheesecake on the counter there…bye,” said Alicia. She grabbed Diane and walked away quickly. “So, Bree…care to tell me how long you’ve known about Mr Brady being in town,” she asked her niece. “Uhhh…a few weeks,” Brianna said. “Awww, Brianna…now you know your mom and dad don’t want you hanging around that guy…what about Isaiah, huh,” Melissa asked. “He knows about Sam, too…practically told me to let him go so we can have a healthy and honest relationship…I told Isaiah that Sam is only here to see his son, Aunt Melissa,” Brianna said. “Nobody wants to see you get hurt, honey…maybe it’s best to let Sam go before your parents finds out…you gotta promise me that, okay,” she told her niece. “You’re not gonna tell them, are you,” Brianna asked. “No, I won’t tell them…if you end things with Sam Brady, okay,” Melissa said. Then Brianna shook her head in agreement.

Larissa and Abel were making out on the front porch of her parents’ house. “Mmm…slow down, boy…let me get the key in the lock,” she whispered. “Okay…get that shit open,” he whispered back. Once Larissa unlock the door, the two of them went inside and made out on the stairs. “Not here…my big brother was caught right here by my mom when he was having sex with his girlfriend…let’s go upstairs,” she said. “Right,” he said. “I gotta close the door…meet me in my bedroom,” she said. Abel kissed Larissa on the cheek and did exactly that. She closed the front door and locked it. She went behind Abel. They got onto the bed and started to make out again. Moments later, they were having sex under the covers. Back at the restaurant, T.J. was in the restroom in front of the sink. She turned on the faucet, took a handful of water, and threw it on her face. Nyisha came in to check up on her. “Hey, girl…you feeling okay,” she asked her little sister. “Yeah…just feel a little hot in here, don’t you think,” T.J. said. “No…you’re not getting sick again, are you,” she said. “Naw…can’t be…I just went to the doctor the other day…I’m fine,” T.J. said. “Let’s take a walk outside…get some fresh air, all right,” she said. “Okay,” T.J. agreed. The two of them went outside for a bit while the guys were talking among themselves. “Hey, kid…feel better now,” Nyisha asked her. “Yeah…much better…thank you,” T.J. replied. “How long has it been going on,” she asked. “I don’t know…probably after my mom died…I guess,” T.J. said. “You didn’t tell your doctor about this at your appointment,” she questioned. “I didn’t think it was serious…some days it last a few minutes…most days a couple of hours,” T.J. said. “Marvin doesn’t know either, does he,” she said. “I didn’t want to worry him…he jumps at every little thing that happens to me…please don’t tell him about this–I’m begging you,” T.J. pleaded. “Okay…I won’t say a word…let’s go back inside…I’m sure they’re all wondering what happened to us,” she said. “Okay…let’s go,” T.J. said softly. “I’m gonna have a talk with your doctor after I leave here…and you’re coming with me,” she said. “I knew it,” T.J. said. “Come on,” she said. The two of them went back inside to sit down with their husbands. “Hey, you,” Marvin said to his wife. “What took you girls so long,” Robert asked them. “We were getting some fresh air, baby,” Nyisha said, kissing him on the cheek. “Care to comment,” Marvin said. “Yeah…what she just said,” T.J. agreed, then took a bite of food from her plate. Moments later, the girls got into the car and drove off. T.J. felt her chest tightening up and took a deep breath. “Hang in there…we’ll be there soon,” Nyisha said, holding her hand. T.J. shook her head after that comment. “Hey, babe…hello, Mrs. Chadwick,” said Isaiah. “Well…hello, Mr. Matthews…we were just talking about you,” said Melissa. “She knows about Sam, Isaiah,” Brianna told him. “Sorry I didn’t tell you about Mr. Brady but I’m handling it, ma’am,” he said. “Yeah…I’m sure you are…remember what I said, all right,” Melissa said. “Yes, ma’am,” he said. “Bye, kids,” she said as she leaves the table. “So…you know what to do now,” he said. “Yep…tell Sam to move on to someone else,” Brianna said to him. “That’s my girl…shut that nigga down once and for all,” he said. “But I’m going alone so you don’t intimidate him…just trust me, all right,” she said. “Okay…I trust you,” he said, then kisses her on the cheek. Moments later, Brianna was at Sam’s two-room apartment knocking on his front door. “Hey,” Sam said. “Um…hi! We need to talk,” she said. “Yeah…of course…come in,” he said, letting her through the door. They went over to the living room and sat down on his couch. “I’m guessing it’s about Isaiah again, huh,” he said. “Uh-huh…he thinks we should cut ties…end our relationship for good, Sam,” she said. “That damn kid doesn’t know when to quit…he said that, huh,” he mumbled. “He’s not the only one…my aunt wants me to end it, too…she promised me that she wouldn’t tell my mom and dad that you were in town…I’m sorry,” she said. Then he got up and took a deep breath.

“Sam? Are you okay,” Brianna asked him. “I’m good…if it was just your family, I’m all for it…but Isaiah…I ain’t listening to that kid…not after he threatened me earlier today,” Sam said. “What are you talking about,” she questioned. “While you were on the courts, he told me to stay away from you…and if I cross him, he would send me to jail…are you sure you wanna be with that guy,” he asked. “I really don’t have a choice…my family likes him and hates you, Sam,” she replied. “Then answer this: what do you want,” he asked her. “I don’t know…if I pick Isaiah, I’ll still have my family…but if I pick you, they’ll turn their backs on me–I can’t risk it,” she said. “So…you are willing to risk our relationship…FOR WHAT, YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY,” he yelled. “I have to do what they say or I could lose them,” she yelled back. “What about your boy…are you doing it for him, too,” he said calmly. “I’m doing it for me…you can’t come around anymore other than to see your son,” she said. “You sure you want me gone…I refuse to believe that,” he said softly. “I gotta get out of here,” she said. “You didn’t answer my question…do you want me gone…if that’s what you want, I’ll back off…it’s a simple question, Bree,” he said, moving closer to her. “Don’t do this, Sam,” she said. “Answer the question,” he said. “No…I don’t want you gone, all right,” she blurted out. They then started to kiss. Hours later, the two of them were in Sam’s bed. Their clothes were on the floor. “What have we done,” Brianna asked him. “We were making love…and it feels great,” Sam said, kissing her lips. “I hate fighting with you…it’s not right…just don’t know what to do, Sam,” she said. “You could stay with me…I got plenty of room for three people…you, me, and Bryan…we could be the family that we were meant to be,” he said as he caresses her leg. “I don’t know…if I do that, my dad could actually kill you…I don’t want our son to lose you,” she said. “You don’t have to answer right now…just think about it, okay,” he said. “Okay,” she said before they kissed once again. Meanwhile, Larissa and Abel were putting their clothes back on. “Feels good, doesn’t it,” he said. “Yeah…it doesn’t hurt anymore, Abe,” she said back. “See…now you’re getting it…I love you, Ris,” he said. “I love you too, Abe,” she said. “Why don’t you show me that love, hmm,” he said to her. “I might just do that,” she said. They engaged in a liplock when suddenly the door flew open. “Oooh-wee! You’re in big trouble,” a voice said. “Jerome? Malcolm! What are you doing in my room,” she yelled. Then the boys giggled at their little sister.

Nyisha was at the doctor’s office as T.J. got checked up on. “How come you didn’t ask my kid sister here about her panic attacks, Gerald,” she asked her friend. “She never brought it up…how long were you having them,” Gerald asked. “Over three months but they’re not serious like I explained to your friend here…you think she was my mother,” T.J. said, nudging her big sister. “She’s right…you should’ve told me about these panic attacks…is there anything that could have triggered them,” he asked her. “Uh…no…not a thing…I’ve cut down my hours at my security job at the computer company so um…no…nothing,” she told him. “Are you sure about that, Tiffani,” he said. “There’s nothing, Gerald,” T.J. said back. “Okay…we will follow up on this next week…if anything comes up, you call me right away,” he said. “Got it,” T.J. said. “I’ll make sure she does that…thanks, Gerald,” Nyisha said to him. “No problem, ladies,” he said back. T.J. and Nyisha went outside the office and head toward the car. Suddenly, T.J. stopped in the middle of the parking lot. “T.J.? What’s wrong,” Nyisha asked her. T.J. didn’t say anything. “Hey, T.J.! Look at me,” Nyisha said, shaking her lightly. “Get off me,” T.J. said, smacking Nyisha’s hand away. “I didn’t do anything! Are you all right,” she said. “Yeah…I’m okay…why are you looking at me like that…let’s go,” T.J. said. They went over to the car and got in. “What happened back there,” Nyisha questioned. “What do you mean,” T.J. said. “You snapped at me for no reason…what’s going on, huh,” she said. “I did? I’m sorry! I don’t know what came over me,” T.J. said. “You nearly passed out in the parking lot a while ago…are you sure you’re all right,” she asked. “I’m fine…I didn’t mean to snap at you…it’s been a long day…I just want to go home and get some sleep,” T.J. said. “I have one more stop…then I’ll take you home, okay,” she said. “Okay,” T.J. said as closes her eyes. During the car ride, she went right to sleep. Two hours later, Nyisha tapped her on the shoulder. “Hey, sis…we’re here,” she said. “Huh? Where are we,” T.J. yawned. “See for yourself,” she said. T.J. looked out the window and saw that they were at the Johnsons house. Randy came out to greet them. “Hey, girls…how are you,” he asked. “Dad,” T.J. said. “Hey, kiddo! Come out of there,” he said to his youngest daughter. She got out of the car and hugged him. “You fell asleep in there, huh,” Dee Dee asked her. “Yeah…didn’t even know it,” T.J. said. “Well…you’ll be more comfortable in the couch in the den…you can sleep in there until your sister’s ready to go,” Dee Dee said. They all went into the house. “Is everything okay with your sister,” Randy asked. “Yeah…I’m a little worried about her, Dad…she had a panic attack earlier today…this was going on for three months,” Nyisha said. “She had a very few rough months since Sheryl died…must be so awful for her,” Dee Dee said. “The only thing we can do is be there for her when she’s ready to talk about it,” Randy said. Then they continued talking. 

As Nyisha was leaving the kitchen, T.J. stood by the front door. “I heard you guys talking a while ago,” she said. “Dad deserved to know what was going on with you,” Nyisha said. “Even what happened in the parking lot,” she said. “I left that part out…I didn’t want to worry them…it should be up to you,” Nyisha said. “I was never used to anyone being worried about me like that…Terrell taught us kids to be tough, you know,” she said. “He did it the wrong way…you still had a breakdown twice…Dad wouldn’t have done that,” Nyisha said. “I wished Dad didn’t give me and Chuckie to that man,” she said. “And he feels terrible for that…he’s making up for it now,” Nyisha said. “I’m glad the secret’s out…it’ll be so much easier now,” she said. “Let’s just get you home to your husband and kids,” Nyisha said. Three weeks later, the entire town were having a Martin Luther King Jr Day parade. Brianna was there with Isaiah and her family while Sam was with an unknown slender woman. “Looks like your boy finally wised up and got himself a girl of his own…see what happens when you put that guy in check…he’ll move on to someone else…his own age of course,” Isaiah whispered to her. “Yeah…you’re right,” said Brianna. “Hey, babe…it’s good to know that nothing bad has happened since we send Sam Brady away,” said Marvin. “And for once, our little girl can have a normal life with a guy who isn’t one of our college friends,” T.J. said. Brianna looked over to the other side of the parade and saw Sam nuzzling on his date. She got on her cellphone and started texting. Sam felt his cellphone buzz and checked the message. Moments later, the two of them meet up by the street sign. “Hey, babe,” Sam said. “Why you bring that bitch here, huh,” Brianna yelled at him. “She’s an old friend…from college…besides the point, we can’t be seen together because of that punk Isaiah,” he yelled back. Melissa caught a glimpse of them arguing. Sam took Brianna by the hand and went into a blue truck. Melissa followed them. They drove off together, not knowing that Melissa was close by in her red Corvette. In a matter of seconds, they were at Sam’s apartment. Melissa sat there and waited. “Bree, what are you doing here? You’re supposed to stay away from that guy,” she said to herself. “Brianna! You need to calm down! If I had come there without a date, your mom would’ve been on my ass! She would’ve thought I was going after you again,” Sam told her. “Isn’t that what you’re doing right now? You don’t love her like you love me,” Brianna yelled. Suddenly, they started to kiss. Melissa heard banging inside the apartment. “Oh no! Sorry about this, Bree, but your mom needs to know about this,” she said, grabbing for her cellphone. She sends a text to her little sister. T.J. was kissing and giggling with Marvin when her cellphone started to buzz. She took it out of her pocket and saw the text. “Oh my god! I gotta go! See you at home,” she said to her husband. “Okay, babe,” he said back. “Hey, Mel…what’s up,” she said, walking to her car. Then she got in and drove off quickly.

Sam and Brianna were making out on the couch as Melissa sits in her car outside. T.J. drove up and get out of the car. She went over to Melissa’s car and got inside. “What’s going on? Why are we here,” she asked her older sister. “There’s something that I need to tell you…it’s about Brianna and Sam Brady,” Melissa said, then tells T.J. everything. “What the fuck…,” T.J. yelled. Angered by what she heard, T.J. got out of Melissa’s car and head up to Sam’s apartment. She bursted in on her former friend and her daughter half naked in the living room. “Get your grubby hands off my kid, Sam,” she yelled. “Mom,” Brianna called out. “Not another word out of you, Bree…and put your clothes back on…what the hell are you doing here, Sam…huh,” she growled. “I’ve come back to take a job at the college down the street and to see Bryan,” Sam said. “We were just talking about arrangements for him to see his son, Mom,” said Brianna before getting cut off. “You’re not supposed to be here…I warned you to never come back to this town–,” she said before she clenches her chest. “Mom? Mom,” said Brianna as she rushes to T.J.’s side. “Tiffani…are you okay,” Sam asked. “Help! Something’s wrong with my mother,” Brianna screamed. Melissa rushed over to the apartment to see her niece holding T.J. in her arms. “Oh my god…what happened to your mother…Bree,” Melissa questioned. “I don’t know–she was yelling at us…then she collapsed,” Brianna cried. Melissa then got on her cellphone and called 9-1-1. While she was doing that, Sam starts performing CPR on his ailing friend. “Hang in there, Tiff…not without a fight…don’t you dare die on us,” he said. “I’m so sorry, Mom…I’ve never meant to hurt you…I’ll do anything to have you back…Dad needs you…the kids needs you…I need you…don’t die on me, please,” Brianna pleaded. “She has a pulse but we gotta get her to the hospital…fast,” he said. “Haven’t you done enough, Sam? My sister wouldn’t be like this if it wasn’t for you,” Melissa interrupted. “We don’t have time for this, Melissa….we can fight later but we gotta get your sister to the hospital right now,” he said. “Aunt Melissa, please…I can’t lose my mom…I’m begging you…please,” Brianna cried. “Go ahead…I won’t let my little sister die with the likes of you…I’m doing it for Brianna, not you,” Melissa said. Sam took T.J. into his arms and carried her to his truck. Melissa and Brianna went behind him. They all got in and drove away. Randy was playing with his three great-grandchildren when his cellphone buzzed. Everyone got into their cars and head out. Moments later, the entire family showed up at the hospital. Sam, Melissa, and Brianna were waiting for some news. “Kids? What happened,” Randy asked them. “T.J. passed out…we don’t know why…the doctor’s with her now,” Melissa told him. “What is he doing here,” Dee Dee asked the girls. “He’s the one who brought Mom here, Grandma Dee Dee,” Brianna spoke up. “He ain’t  supposed to be here, Bree…why are you really here, huh…going after my niece again…fucking punk,” Jason said, shoving Sam into the wall. “Hey! Stop it, boys,” Dee Dee said to them. “Somehow I knew you had a part in what happened to my daughter…what business do you have with my granddaughter, huh,” Randy said angrily. The two men starts fighting as Brianna stood there in horror. “It’s all my fault…everyone were right…if I had stayed away from Sam, Mom wouldn’t be here right now,” she said softly. “Yeah…you should have stayed away from Sam, Bree…what does that say about our relationship, huh…that dude is like a drug to you–I’m out,” Isaiah yelled at her. “Isaiah? It’s not true! It’s over with him–honest,” she cried as he walks out the door. Then she collapsed in her father’s arms.

“Oh, my god–we need help! It’s our niece,” Bridget called out. The doctor rushed over to tend to Brianna. He signals for the EMTs to bring a gurney to them. “You see what you’ve done…first our sister, now our niece…get out of here, Sam…GET OUT,” Nyisha yelled. Sam left without saying a word. Chuckie and Robert hugged her tight. “That guy got some nerves coming up in here,” said Farrah. Once Sam was outside the hospital, Isaiah tackled him to the ground. “What kind of hold do you have on my girl, huh,” Isaiah yelled at him. They started to fight. Suddenly, the people inside the hospital heard a loud screeching sound. “Did you hear that,” said Jane. The EMTs rushed past them and went outside. “Gerald? What happened,” Bridget asked. “There’s been an accident…two guys were fighting in the street…they were hit by a big rig,” Gerald said. She went with him to the accident site. When they got there, Bridget saw one of the victims. “Hey…you know this guy,” Gerald asked her. “Yeah…Isaiah Matthews, my niece’s boyfriend…is he–,” she said. “Yep! He’s dead,” he said. “What about him,” she asked Gerald. “Just barely…gotta get him to the ER,” he said. “You fucking jerk…you should’ve died instead of that kid, Sam,” she whispered in the second victim’s ear. They put the body onto the gurney and rushed through the hospital doors. The EMTs took Sam straight to the ER. “What the hell–,” said Brandon. “Hey, babe…where’d you disappear off to,” Kevin asked his wife. “Outside with Gerald…Kev, Isaiah’s dead,” Bridget said. The doctor came out to talk with the family. Soonafter, Randy and Dee Dee went into the hospital room to see T.J. She was resting peacefully from her ordeal. “Hey, kiddo…how are you feeling,” he asked his daughter. “I feel a little woozy…what happened,” T.J. said. “The doctor told us that you passed out from exhaustion…what is it that got you upset,” Dee Dee asked her. “I found out that Brianna was seeing Sam Brady without our knowledge…he’s been here for a few weeks…saying he’s applying for a job at the old college that we used to go to–,” she winced. “Whoa there, honey! No need to get upset over this,” he said. “I thought he was out of our lives, Dad…we had a plan…that he don’t come back here ever again,” she said. “Now don’t you worry about it…we’ll find a way to get your friend out of our lives once and for all…you just concentrate on getting better, okay,” Dee Dee said to her stepdaughter. T.J. shook her head in agreement. As the three of them talked, Nyisha stood there in the hallway. “Hey, babe…what’s the story with your sister and Sam Brady,” Robert asked his wife. “They used to date for about two weeks in college…Sam lied to his buddies that he slept with her…T.J. said she didn’t…they broke up…it was during the time she was legally separated from Tarik…Sam was far more worse…when Sam didn’t get what he wants, he would beat on her…one time he threw her down the stairs which results in her arm being broken in four places…the Thompsons made him sign some statement and forced him to go to college in another state…the case was thrown out of court after that…we never saw him again until he started working at our kids’ school…he hooked up with Brianna which was one of T.J.’s worst fears…she’s afraid that her daughter would be in the same situation as she did all those years ago,” Nyisha said. “Whoa! I’m guessing your mom and dad knew about this, too,” he questioned. “We all did…we think Sam is controlling Brianna just like he did with T.J.,” she said. “Oh–wow…I hope he isn’t,” he said. Then they hugged, not knowing that Brianna was listening to their entire conversation.

“Are you sure we can get him out of here for good,” T.J. questioned. “We’ll take care of it…all you have to do is rest…no need for you to get so worked up over this,” Randy said. “Just concentrate on getting back to your husband and kids…your father and I will handle this,” Dee Dee said. “Okay,” she said, then closes her eyes. Once Randy and Dee Dee were out of the room, Brianna slipped in. T.J. was fast asleep in her bed. “Oh, Mom…I had no idea…Sam hurt you just like Uncle Tarik did…that’s why you didn’t want me to be with him…it all makes sense now,” she said. “It wasn’t because I hate him…I knew who Sam was when I was in college…when he had that temper, I got out of that relationship quick…guess that’s why I pushed you into your relationship with Isaiah,” T.J. said with her eyes closed. “I don’t think I’ll gonna see Isaiah again, Mom…I’ve lost him…we fought about Sam a while ago…he stormed out,” she said. “Oh, God…I’m sorry, baby,” T.J. said softly. “I’m backing off from Sam, too…he ain’t worth losing my relationship with you,” she cried. “Come here, Bree…you kids won’t lose me…I’m right here…I’m not going anywhere,” T.J. said, hugging her heartbroken daughter. “You and Dad were right about Sam…he can’t be trusted…I saw the looks in his eyes when I told him that I couldn’t be with him anymore,” she said. “He didn’t hit you, did he,” T.J. asked her. “No, Mom…he was trying not to…but he was kinda tough with me when we were having sex…I have a few bruises on my waist from where he held me,” she said, then held up her shirt halfway. “He did hurt you! I want you to listen to me! Once I get out of this hospital, we’re going to the police station and report this! Sam will not get away with what he’s done to you, okay,” T.J. said. Brianna nods her head in agreement. T.J. held her daughter tight as Marvin watches them. Hours later, T.J. and Brianna were fast asleep as Marvin sat on a couch across from them. Randy came in with some dinner. “Hey, Marvin,” he said. “Hey, Mr Johnson,” Marvin said back. “I’m guessing the girls wore themselves out, huh,” he said. “Yep…they had a heart-to-heart a while ago…I can’t believe Sam went after my daughter again…she even mentioned that he wanted her and Bryan to live with him…if that had happened, we would’ve lost them forever…Sam hurt my little girl, man…when I get my hands on that guy, I’m gonna kill him,” Marvin said angrily. “You don’t wanna do that, Marvin…if you go after Sam, it would break my daughter’s heart…let me handle this…you just take care of your family, all right,” he said to his son-in-law. The rest of the gang sat in the waiting room while Dee Dee talked with one of the receptionists. “I can’t believe that dude is still breathing after the stunt he pulled…and now Isaiah’s dead,” Chuckie said. “I think Sam caused this…probably pushed Isaiah in front of that truck…he just couldn’t stand seeing our little niece with someone else,” Bridget said. “He’s controlling Brianna…just like he did with our sister,” Monica said. Then they agreed.

“Anyone gonna tell Bree about her boy,” Jason questioned. “I don’t think she could handle it, you guys…it’s bad enough he dumped her right before he was killed,” Jane said. “We should leave it to Marvin…he should tell her…she’s gonna need her family once she get this bad news,” Renay said. “Hey, kids…long time no see,” someone said to them. They turned around to see a taller older man with a silver streak in his light brown hair. “Uncle Jimmy,” Farrah and Nyisha said as they give the man a hug. “Hi, Dad,” said Jane. Dee Dee walked up to her estranged brother-in-law and hugged him as well. “Hi, Dee Dee…good to see you too,” he said to her. “We’re gonna need all the family that we can get, Jimmy,” Dee Dee said. They went down the halls to T.J.’s hospital room where Randy and Marvin were sitting on the couch eating their meal. “Hey, guys…look who’s here,” she said to them. “Hey, little brother…how are you holding up,” Jimmy asked. “I’m good, Jim,” Randy said, hugging him tight. “Hey there, baby girl…remember me…we talked over the internet a few months ago,” he said, sitting next to his niece’s bedside. “Yeah…I remembered you, Uncle Jimmy,” T.J. said. “I heard what happened to you from your big sister, Nyisha…how are you feeling,” he asked her. “I’m doing okay…lucky to be alive,” she said. “Good to hear that, kid…why don’t you get some rest…we’ll have plenty of time to visit, okay,” he said. T.J. shook her head and closed her eyes. “So…how is Dad these days, Jim,” Randy asked his big brother as they left the room. “He’s good…he’s okay…good to see you, Dee Dee, and the kids…your little girl in there looks like a much younger version of Mom, man,” Jimmy said. “Yeah…they all do, man…wished she was here to see the girls grow up,” he said. “She would love that,” Jimmy said back. While the two brothers were bonding, Dee Dee sat with T.J. and Marvin. “I gotta go stretch my legs…be back in a bit,” Marvin said, kissing Dee Dee on the cheek. He left the room and shut the door. “Hi,” T.J. mumbled. “Hey, kid…good to see you back with the living…you had us all worried there,” Dee Dee said. “I had to protect my daughter, Mom…thought you of all people would know that,” she whispered. “Yeah…we would do anything for our kids, huh,” Dee Dee said. “Uh-huh,” she yawned. “Your uncle is right…you need your rest, baby girl,” Dee Dee said to her stepdaughter. “Mm-hmm…good night, Mom,” she said softly. “Good night, Tiffani,” Dee Dee said as she pulls the covers on her stepdaughter and kisses her on the forehead. Nyisha and Farrah were waiting for their mother to come out of the room. “Hi, Mom…how are you holding up,” they asked her. “I’m doing good, girls…you should head on home…your sister’s gonna be sleeping for a while…why don’t you do the same,” Dee Dee said to her daughters. The three of them went down the halls together. The next day, Marvin and Brianna were having breakfast at a 70s-styled diner downtown. “I’ve brought you out here so we could talk about whatever you have on your mind right now…what about your situation with Isaiah and Sam…how do you compare the two of them,” he asked. “Well…Isaiah is kind of a nice guy…we do a lot of great things together…and he’s good to my son,” she said. “And what about Sam? It’s a judge-free zone! What I say about these guys don’t matter here,” he said. “Okay…um…Sam comes off as a good guy when we met in Science class…now he’s changed…he’s possessive…drinks heavily…talks about Mom and how much I looked like her…it gets much worse…he makes me do things–,” she said, holding back her tears. “Bree…what things, honey,” he asked her. “He has these porno tapes that he made me watch…then he makes me do the same things that the girls does on those tapes…if I didn’t do what he wanted, he would hit me…it was fun at first but now I hate it…he touches me a lot…it made me feel a little uncomfortable…I’m so sorry for sneaking around with him behind y’all’s backs…could you and Mom ever forgive me, ” she pleaded. “Of course we do, kiddo…that was a mature thing you did…coming to me with this…no man should take advantage of a young woman like that ever, you hear me,” he said. “Yes, sir,” she said. “Which would make it harder for me to tell you this…there’s been a terrible accident…your friend Isaiah and Sam were fighting in the street…Isaiah was killed by a big rig last night,” he said. “No, Dad…he can’t be dead–he just can’t,” she said softly. Then she broke down crying in Marvin’s arm. 

Meanwhile, Nyisha was working at the hospital. She went to visit T.J. during her rounds. “Hey, kid…I see you doing a lot better than you did yesterday,” she said, kissing her sister on the cheek. “I do…much better…but they want to keep me here for another week,” T.J. said. “They’re only doing it so you can get better,” she said. “I know…these past two days has been crazy…I haven’t seen Sam at all…not since yesterday,” T.J. said. “Um…about that…he and Isaiah were fighting outside last night…they we’re struck by a big rig,” she said. “Oh, my god…are they all right,” T.J. asked her sister. “Isaiah was killed instantly but Sam’s on life support…no telling when he’s gonna wake up,” she said. “Oh, my god–does Bree know,” T.J. questioned. “Marvin took her out of here earlier for breakfast so he could tell her himself,” she said. “It won’t be easy especially when Bree and Isaiah had just broken up,” T.J. said. “He stormed out on her just before he died,” she said. While they talked, Randy walked in and sat down on the couch. “Hello, girls,” he interrupted. “Hi, Dad,” they said. “How are you feeling, kiddo,” he asked his youngest daughter. “I’m good, Dad…guess you heard about Sam, huh,” T.J. said to him. “Yep…wished the punk would be put out of his misery for what he did to Isaiah,” he told them. “Dad,” they said. “What? Your brothers and sisters are saying it too! The man hurt you and your daughter! The world would be better off without him, honey,” he said, then kisses T.J. on her forehead. “I remember…Sam broke my arm in college…I wished that I never met him,” T.J. said, then broke down crying in their arms. Marvin was driving back to the hospital to see his wife. Brianna had a flashback of that day she spent at Sam’s apartment. She remembers sitting on his couch and watching a porno flick with him. “See what she’s doing with her legs…I could see you doing something like that,” she remembers him telling her. “I can’t do this, Sam…not anymore,” she remembers telling him. She remembered him slapping her across the face and dragging her into his bedroom. “Bree? We’re here, honey,” a voice called out to her. “Don’t touch me,” she yelled. “Hey! It’s me–Dad,” the same voice said to her. Suddenly, she snapped out of it and saw Marvin. She hugged him tight and cried, “Daddy!” “Bree…what’s wrong,” he said to his grieving daughter. Moments later, they went inside to visit T.J. “Hey, Tiff…how are you,” he asked her. “I’m fine, Marv,” T.J. said, “Bree, what’s wrong…what’s the matter?” ” Isaiah’s dead, Mom…and I let it happen,” Brianna whispered. “No, honey…it’s not your fault,” she said. “I knew it would happen…Sam said that he would kill Isaiah to get me back…if I had gotten in his way, he would’ve killed me too..Mom, I’m scared,” Brianna said. T.J. consoles her young daughter as Randy and Dee Dee watched. Later that day, the girls were eating pizza in the hospital cafeteria. “Let me get this straight…Sam intentionally kill Isaiah so he could get Brianna and his son back…that’s sick,” said Meghan. “She is terrified of Sam…I will do absolutely everything to protect my family,” T.J. said. “I hope you let the police handle this…you’re not 100% well,” Nyisha said. “Yeah, Iz…I’m not going to chase him down, all right,” T.J. mumbled. “Do you think that’s how your panic attacks started? You’re worried about your daughter and your grandson,” Farrah questioned. “I don’t know…you think,” T.J. said. “It’s a possibility…remember that day in the diner,” Nyisha asked her little sister. “Yeah…I remember…I knew there was a sudden change in my daughter the other day…I had no idea she was sneaking around with Sam,” T.J. said. “And now Isaiah’s dead! Seems a little odd to me,” Meghan said to her sisters. “I gotta protect my kid at all cost…I’m not gonna let Sam Brady destroy my family,” T.J. said to them. “We got your back, sis,” said Meghan. Then she patted T.J. on the back.

Brianna slept on the couch in the waiting room while Marvin was on the payphone. She was dreaming about Isaiah. The two of them were having lunch in the park. She looked up and saw a big rig heading toward them. All of a sudden, she woke up screaming. Marvin dropped the phone and rushed back to the waiting room. The girls heard the screams and ran out of the cafeteria. They saw Marvin consoling Brianna in his arms. “I’m so sorry…I couldn’t save him,” she cried. “I know, honey…there’s nothing you could’ve done to stop it,” T.J. said, kneeling down next to her daughter. “Your mom’s right! The damage is already done! There’s no way you could’ve stop it–none, okay,” Marvin said calmly. The two of them hugged their grieving daughter. Hours later, they stood by the hospital window. “What are we gonna do about our daughter, Marv,” T.J. asked her husband. “The only thing we can do…be there for her…we could take Bree to someone who understands this kind of grief…she just lost her boyfriend…all because of that jerk Sam…I could kill him for what he did to our little girl,” he said with tears in his eyes. T.J. hugged him tight. A few hours later, Nyisha sat there in her office thinking when Randy walked in. “Hey, kiddo…how are you holding up,” he asked. “I’m okay, Dad…just feel so bad for T.J. and Marvin…their daughter is damaged beyond repair…makes me think about Larissa…what if some older guy takes advantage of her like that, you know,” she said. “I would’ve kill him,” he told her. “Randall! That’s not the way to do it! Pay him no mind, honey! The only thing we can do for your sister and Marvin is to be there for them through this tough time,” Dee Dee said to her daughter. Meanwhile, Farrah and Meghan were at the diner spending time with their husbands and children. “I can’t imagine what my brother and his wife is going through right now,” said Terrence. “I do…that Damn kid Bucky…Alicia went through he’ll for what he did to her,” James said. “Thank God it wasn’t as bad as the situation that Brianna is in right now…I feel sorry for that kid, you guys,” Meghan said. “All we can do for T.J. and Marvin is stick by them, Meg,” Farrah said. “Yeah,” they all said. One week later, Marvin brought his wife home from the hospital. The gang were outside waiting for them. “Hey, little sister…how are you feeling,” Nyisha asked. “I’m good, Iz! The only thing I’m gonna concentrate on is taking care of my daughter,” T.J. replied. “And we’re here to help you guys, kid…right,” she said. “Right,” they all said. “Anything for you, my brother, and my niece, sister-in-law,” Terrence said, then kissed T.J. on the cheek. “Thanks, you guys…we really appreciated it,” T.J. said to them. “Yeah…thanks, man,” Marvin said to his big brother. They all went inside. Brianna had locked herself in her bedroom. She’s been there since Isaiah died. T.J. went upstairs to check up on her. “Hey, kiddo…can I come in,” she asked her daughter. “Sure…it’s your house, Mom,” Brianna said. “Hey, Bree…you’ve been in here all this time…have you been outside today,” she questioned. “What for? Ain’t nothing out there for me,” Brianna said softly. “Bree…you can’t hide in here…not like this…why don’t you come with me downstairs…see your aunts, uncles, and cousins, huh…please,” she said as she grabs Brianna’s hand. Then the two of them came out of the room and went downstairs.

Everyone were talking among themselves until T.J. and Brianna came into the living room. “Hey, you guys…look who I found,” T.J. said to them. “Hey, Bree…sorry about your friend…are you okay,” James asked her. “Yeah…I’m okay, Uncle James,” Brianna said. “Hang in there, baby…you have all of us on your side,” Meghan said. “Thanks, Aunt Meghan,” Brianna said, then hugged them both. “Can we go upstairs, Mom,” Alicia asked. “Yeah…of course…go ahead,” Meghan responded. The three girls went up to Brianna’s room. “So…how is she really,” T.J. asked her husband. “She’s okay…the therapist that I took her to is working out very well…she got her to open up about a couple of things, Tiff,” Marvin said. “If that happened to any of my daughters, that guy Sam would’ve gotten his ass kicked,” Robert said. “Yeah,” they agreed. As the adults talked downstairs, Alicia and Diane played blackjack on the bedroom floor. Brianna was thinking about the last time she saw Isaiah. It was at the MLK Jr parade. “I bet you ten bucks that I could get to 21 with these two cards,” said Alicia. “Yeah right, Ali,” Diane said back. Alicia picked up the cards and laughed. “I should’ve listened to you guys…if I had ended things with Sam, Isaiah would’ve still be here,” Brianna said, then broke down crying. They got up, went over to Brianna, and hugged her tight. Later that night, Brianna was tossing and turning in her bed. She dreamt that Sam came into her room and stood over Bryan’s crib. “Sam? What are you doing here,” she asked him. “I’ve come for my son, Bree…big mistake leaving him here…now you’ll never see us again,” he said, then laughs hysterically. “No, Sam…don’t take my son away from me…please,” she cried. Sam took Bryan out of his crib and disappeared. Suddenly, she woke up screaming. Everyone got up from their beds and head to her room. “Bree…what is it…what’s wrong,” T.J. asked her daughter. “Sam was here…he wanted Bryan, Mom,” she said softly. “No, baby…Sam is still in the hospital…in a coma…it’s just us here,” T.J. said calmly. “Where’s Bryan–I want my son,” she pleaded. “He’s right there in your dad’s arms,” T.J. said, pointing at Marvin. He came over to Brianna and placed Bryan on her lap. “Hi, baby…hi…Mommy’s here…I’m not letting you out of my sight…no man will ever come before you…you’re my number one guy, okay,” she said to her son. Hours later, T.J.and Marvin went back to their bedroom. “What a day, huh,” he said to his wife. “Yeah…this situation with our daughter–extremely intense! She’s given up men and putting her son first–this is not healthy for a teenage girl, Marv,” she said. “I agree! As much as I want our little girl to stay a little girl, we can’t let her give up on love, Tiff,” he said. The next day, T.J. and Marvin went downstairs to see their six kids in the kitchen eating cereal. “Good morning, gang,” they said. “Good morning, Mom and Dad,” the kids said back. “Bree? You feeling okay,” T.J. asked her daughter. “Um…yeah…I’m fine, Mom,” Brianna said as she took a bite of cereal from her bowl. Suddenly, they heard a knock on the door. “Sit tight…I’ll get it,” T.J. said to the kids. She left the kitchen to see who it was. She opens the door and saw her three sisters there. “Hey, girl…how is everyone,” they heard someone say. “Hi, Aunt Nyisha…hi, Aunt Farrah…hi, Aunt Meghan,” Billie said, coming into the living room. “Come in and see for yourselves,” T.J. said as she lets them come through the door. “Hey, in-laws…to what do we owe this visit,” Marvin said to the girls. “Hey, Marvin,” said Meghan, Nyisha, and Farrah. “We just came by to check up on you guys,” Nyisha said, hugging both Marvin and T.J. “Thanks, girls…it’s good to know…we have your support in this situation,” he said back. “Hey, Bree…how are you, kid,” Nyisha asked her niece as she comes out of the kitchen. “I’m good…as long as I don’t see Sam Brady, Aunt Nyisha…excuse me,” Brianna said. Then she went back upstairs to her bedroom.

“Is she okay,” Meghan questioned her stepsister. “Brianna’s having a tough time dealing with Isaiah’s death…she hasn’t been sleeping…she fears that Sam is coming for her son, you guys,” T.J. said. “But he’s been in a coma since his accident last week…what if we took her to the hospital to see him…it’ll probably ease her mind a bit,” Nyisha said. “One problem: she doesn’t want to see the guy who killed her boyfriend, Iz,” T.J. said. “Let me talk to her, you guys…I know how she feels,” said Meghan. “Okay,” T.J. said. Brianna was laying there on her bed in a daze until she heard a knock on the door. “Who is it,” she said. “It’s me, Aunt Meghan…can I come in,” a voice said. “Yes, Auntie Meghan,” she said, getting up to open the door. “Hey, Bree…how are you,” Meghan said as she sat down on a nearby chair. “Why are you here,” she asked. “I wanted to tell you that I understand what you’re going through,” Meghan said. “No, you don’t…no one knows how I feel,” she said. “Are you sure…having an older man take advantage of you whenever he wanted–I’ve been there, Bree,” Meghan told her. “Really,” she asked her aunt. “Uh-huh,” Meghan said. They continued their talk. T.J., Nyisha, and Farrah were sitting quietly in the living room when Meghan came back downstairs. “Is everything okay,” they asked her. “Yeah…everything’s good,” said Meghan. Brianna came to them and said, “Mom? I want to see Sam! It’s the only way I’ll know for sure that he won’t come after me or my son!” Moments later, the girls got into Nyisha’s car and drove away. Sam was in a private room at the hospital. He was hooked up to an oxygen machine and a heart monitor. A nurse let them in to see him and said, “If you need me, I’ll be at my desk!” “Okay, Bobby,” Nyisha said. They all stood there watching the guy who nearly ruined their lives. T.J. remembered the fateful night when Sam drugged her and tried to rape her. Nyisha thought about her recent attack at the gas station. “How could he still be alive with what he’s done to this family,” Meghan said softly. “It’s because of me and Bryan…he’s still alive for us,” Brianna said as she went over to Sam and sat down next to him. “You want us to stay or you can handle it,” T.J. asked her. “I got this…wait for me outside, Mom,” she said back. “Okay…we’ll be out in the hall if you need us,” T.J. said. “Okay,” she said. “Hang in there, kid…we’re on your side,” Farrah said, kissing her on the cheek. “Remember what I said…he can’t control you anymore,” Meghan said. They left the room as Brianna visits with Sam. “I get it…Isaiah isn’t the right guy for me…he makes too many demands but he didn’t deserve to die like that…if this is the way to help you won your son back, I can’t have any part in it…Isaiah wasn’t trying to take your place in Bryan’s life…I wouldn’t let him…he was being a friend…you’ve ruined that, Sam…I know about your past with my mom…I can’t believe you hurt her like that…I won’t stay with a guy who loves to hurt women…we gotta end this before someone else gets hurt…I’m sorry,” Brianna said. Just as she left his bedside, Brianna felt a tug on her arm. “Where’s my son,” a voice mumbled. “Oww…let me go, Sam,” she cried. Sam took the mask off his mouth and got out of his bed. “I’ve been waiting for you, Bree…you think I’m gonna let you go now…it won’t happen because you belong to me…always have and always will,” he growls. “My mom and aunts–they’re right outside…you won’t get away with this, Sam,” she told him. “Too late…I already did…this very room is rigged to blow in 24 hours…the countdown started the moment your mother closed that door,” he said softly. He held up his pillow and showed her the bomb that he created. Then she screamed at the top of her lungs.

“Bree…what happened…why is the door locked…hello,” T.J. called out to her daughter. Sam opened up the blinds to his room and said, “Uh-uh-uh! I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Tiffani!” “Sam? What have you done now,” T.J. yelled at him. “Nothing…yet! I have a proposition for you, good buddy! I already have my girl here! The only one missing here is our son! Bring Bryan to us within 24 hours or Brianna’s dead, got it,” he said. “You’re bluffing…when did you find time to get some explosives, huh,” she questioned. “Oh that’s easy…I had this all planned from the start…the bomb which is living the door and the window…the fight with Isaiah…everything but I’ve never plan to get hurt myself, though…just do what I asked or kiss your daughter goodbye,” he said, then closes the blinds. “I can’t believe this…they told me that he wouldn’t survive the accident…what the he’ll just happened,” Nyisha said. “Sam psyched us out…he wants his family back…he would do anything to get them,” T.J. said. As the girls talked, Sam peeked at them through the window. “Heh! Got them where I want them, babe,” he said. Brianna sat there in a corner terrified of what was happening around her. “Why are you doing this,” she asked him. “We’ve been through this already! I want my family back–you, me, and Bryan! If you had taken my generous offer, your boy Isaiah would’ve still be here! No one tells me what to do! Now you see what I would do to get what I want,” he said, then kissed her hard. Brianna but down on his lip. “Owww…you little bitch,” Sam said, slapping her across the face. “I hate you…fucking jerk,” Brianna said angrily. Suddenly, he had a flashback about his date with T.J. “So, Tiff…when do we umm…you know…do it,” he heard his younger self say. “I can’t, Sam…it’s been a couple of weeks since I got separated from Tarik…it’s still a little raw…I’m just not ready, all right,” he remembered T.J. saying to him. As he stood there in a daze, Brianna slips past him and heads for the door. He snapped out of it and grabbed her by the throat. “Where do you think you’re going, huh,” he growls. “Uh, Sam! Stop it! I can’t breathe,” Brianna whispered. “You’re trying to leave me, huh,” he yelled at her. “Sam? Let me go,” she said, pulling away from him. “If you ever pull another stunt like that again, I’ll kill you, got it,” he said. “Yeah…got it,” she said softly. “And to make sure of it, I’ll have to tie you up…sorry,” he said, grabbing some rope from the closet. He threw Brianna on the bed and wrapped the rope around her wrists. Meanwhile, T.J. sat there in the floor thinking back on her college days. She was dating Sam at that time. “What–you just gonna pull away…ALL BECAUSE OF YOUR EX-HUSBAND,” she remembers Sam saying to her in a fit of rage. “I didn’t say that, Sam! I said that I didn’t want to rush this because I just got out of a relationship with the father of my two little boys–,” she told him before getting cut off. “BULLSHIT! You keep comparing me to that dude–I don’t like it one bit,” he said angrily. She remembers him pushing her onto the bed and grabbing her by the throat. She hears him unbuckling his pants in her head. She remembers him trying to force her into sex. Suddenly, she felt her chest tightening up. “T.J.? What’s wrong, huh,” Nyisha said, rushing to her side. “What’s happening to her,” Meghan asked her big sister. “She’s having a panic attack…like at the diner…she just needs some air,” she said back. “He’s gonna kill my baby–I know he will–he tried to kill me that night in college,” T.J. rambled on. “No…he won’t do that…he couldn’t cuz you’re still here…you’re okay…Brianna’s gonna be okay…you’re not going to lose her, all right…just breathe…can you do that for me,” she asked her little sister. Then T.J. did exactly that.

Once they calmed T.J. down, Farrah run up to Sam’s room window and banged on it. “Sam, you son of a bitch! What are you trying to do, give our sister a heart attack? Come out and face us, punk,” she yelled. “Hey-hey-hey! Quit banging on the glass! People are trying to sleep here,” Sam said, opening the blinds. “Is this how you get your kicks? Scaring our sister? Huh, you fucking jerk,” Nyisha yelled at him. As the three of them argued, Meghan helped T.J. onto her feet. “Stop it, you guys! Please! You win, Sam! You’ll get your son, all right,” T.J. said. “No…don’t do it…he could still kill your daughter…don’t give in to his demands, please,” said Meghan. “She’s right, sis…you’re not thinking clearly…give this some time before you make a decision, okay,” Nyisha said. T.J. shook her head. “Sorry, buddy…no deal,” Farrah said. “Let’s get T.J. to my office so she can rest,” Nyisha said. “Okay, my friends…we’ll talk later,” Sam said. He laughed as the girls take T.J. down the hall. “I’m guessing Mommy will crack at any second…good ole cousin Tarik spooked her in the past…but I might just push her over the edge,” he said. Brianna looked at him with a frown on her face. “Okay, guys…right to the couch,” Nyisha said to her sisters. Meghan and Farrah set T.J. down gently. “I’m so sorry about this,” they heard her say. “No worries…we want you to be okay,” Nyisha said. Moments later, Farrah and Meghan meet up with their husbands. “Hey, girls…what’s going on,” James questioned the girls. “Sam had Brianna and our sister is freaking out, you guys,” Farrah said. “Where’s Nyisha and T.J.,” Marvin asked them. “Nyisha has T.J. in her office…she’s resting at the moment,” Meghan told him. He went down the hall to see his wife and sister-in-law. “Take it easy…we’ll get Brianna back, all right,” Nyisha said as T.J. lays her head peacefully on her lap. “Hey, girls…I heard what happened…are you okay, babe,” he said. “Oh, Marvin…Sam has our baby…please don’t let him hurt her,” T.J. cried. She hugged him tight. “Don’t worry…I won’t let that happen, Tiff,” he said, comforting his wife. “Hey, kids…what’s this I hear about Sam nabbing Brianna…I thought that boy was in a coma,” Randy said as he came into the hospital. “He was and he wasn’t, Dad,” Meghan said. “He wants his son…if T.J. doesn’t bring Bryan to him, he’ll kill Brianna,” Farrah said. “Where is she,” he asked them. “Down the hall with Nyisha and Marvin in the office,” Farrah said. He went to see his daughters and son-in-law. Once he got there, he sees T.J. sleeping on the couch across from Marvin and Nyisha. “Hey, kids…is she okay,” he asked them. “Yeah…we had to give her a sedative to help her sleep…oh, Dad,” Nyisha said softly. She then broke down crying in her father’s arms. Everyone else were sitting there quietly in the waiting room. Suddenly, Tarik Jr got a phone call. “Uh…hello…what’s up,” he said, walking away from the family. Dee Dee watches him as he goes around the corner. “What is that boy up to now,” she said. “Leave it alone, Mom,” Farrah mumbled in her sleep. “Yeah? Where you at,” he said, being approached by an unknown stranger. “Miss me, babe,” a voice said to him. “Alvin? You’re okay,” he said, hanging up his cellphone. “Yeah…better than okay, baby boy,” Alvin said, then kisses him. Tarik Jr suddenly pulled away from him. “I can’t do this…what about your folks,” he said. “Forget them…I told them to back off,” Alvin said. “I don’t wanna get hurt again,” he said. “You won’t get hurt…I’ll protect you,” Alvin said, caressing his young boyfriend’s chest. The two of them went into the men’s restroom to make out. Alvin unbuttoned Tarik Jr’s shirt and kissed his chest. “Ahh….fuck,” he moaned. “You like that, huh,” said Alvin. “It’s kind of a weak spot for me, you know,” he whispered. “I’m gonna fuck your brains out, sexy,” Alvin said, unbuckling his pants. Then they started to have sex on the counter.

Marvin and Nyisha were playing cards while Randy reads his evening paper. T.J. slept peacefully on the couch. “I hate to see her suffer like this…what was Sam thinking,” Nyisha said, looking at her little sister. “The guy is a jerk…he should’ve died…save us all the trouble,” said Marvin. Robert came in and hugged his wife. “Hey, man…hi, babe…heard that punk woke up…what’s his deal, huh,” he asked them. “Sam has our niece and wants his son…my sister freaked out so we had to sedate her…I hate what that stuck-up jerk is doing to her,” she said. “I know…she doesn’t deserve this,” he said. “Well, that guy needs to be knocked down a peg…that’s for sure,” Randy told them. At that very second, T.J. started to seize up. They rushed over to help her. “Shh! Take it easy! Dad’s here, honey,” Randy said to his daughter. Within minutes, her seizures stopped. “How long she had these seizures,” Robert asked them. “All her life…she and her mom were in a car accident a couple years ago…it’s the first one she had in months,” Nyisha replied. “My mom has those same seizures…lived with it for most of her life,” he said. T.J. started to wake up. “Hey, Tiff…how are you feeling, babe,” Marvin asked his wife. “I’m good…we can’t let Sam get away with holding our daughter hostage…we gotta do something, Marv,” T.J. said to him. “You let us handle this, kiddo…you still need your rest,” Randy said. Sam waited by the window as Brianna sat there all tied up. “Hello, beautiful…ready to behave yourself,” he said, removing the gag from her mouth. “Why are you doing this? My mom can’t handle it! The last guy to hurt her was my Uncle Tarik! My dad don’t wanna lose her again, all right,” Brianna said. “Sorry to hear that but I really don’t care about your mom…not anymore cuz I got you now,” he said, caressing her face. “You’re a fucking disgrace…I hope Mom doesn’t give in to your stupid demands…my son doesn’t need a monster like you for a father,” she growled. “I’m a monster–you gonna keep my son from me? I’ll like to see you try, kid,” he said angrily. “You lost him the day you left us, Sam,” she yelled at him. He got mad and grabbed her by the throat. “Let’s see how long you last when I’m strangling you to death…HUH,” he yelled back. “If you kill me, my mom and dad gets Bryan…you’ll never see him again,” she said. He suddenly lets her go. Randy came to Sam’s window and confront him. “Well! Well! Well! Long time no see, Massa Johnson,” he chuckled. “Cut the crap, young man! We got rid of you when you physically assaulted my daughter in college–that’s strike one…you did the same thing to my granddaughter–we all saw the bruises on her waist…strike two…and now you use her as a bargaining chip to get my great-grandson…I’ve warned you too many times about messing with my family, boy,” Randy said angrily. “Oh really–coming from the guy who lets his best friend raise his daughter and her twin brother! Heh–I won’t let another nigga raise my son! Your granddaughter knows now that our son will be raised by both of his parents! Ain’t nobody keeping me from my family especially not you! Oh–tell Tiffani I want my kid or she’ll be hurting hers,” he said, pulling Brianna to the window. “Grandpa,” she cried. “Bree! Are you okay, kiddo,” Randy asked her. “Yes…I’m okay…you gotta get me outta here, please,” she pleads to Randy as Sam pulled her from the window. “See, Grandpops…I got the upper hand here…bring me my son and little Brianna goes free…bye now,” he said. Then he laughed at Randy and closed the blinds.

“Are you okay, baby,” Alvin asked. “Yeah…just wished I could do something to save Brianna, you know…I love that kid even though she struggles with me being gay…she’s only doing it for my mom,” Tarik Jr said, “My mom could convince anyone to do what she wanted them to do…I just want my kid sister back!” Alvin gave him a hug and said, “You will get her back…your family are going to make that possible, okay!” “Your friend here is right! We’re working hard to get Brianna back where she belongs, honey,” Dee Dee said. “I oughta kill Sam for doing this to us–to my mom,” Tarik Jr said angrily. “Oh no…I can’t let you do that…if anything, you need to be strong for your mom…it’s all you can do for her…she loves you kids so much–I get it now…you’re like one of my own grandchildren…why don’t the three of us go out there and say a prayer for Brianna, okay,” she said. “Okay,” he said. She held out her hand and pulled Tarik Jr close. They went back out to the waiting room. Everyone bowed their heads as Stephen say a little prayer for their loved one. Dee Dee kissed both Tarik Jr and Alvin on their foreheads. “I’m so glad that he had you, young man! Thank you,” she said to Alvin. Nyisha was shocked by what she heard. T.J. and Marvin meet up with Bryan and the sitter outside. “Hey, bub…you just woke up, huh,” T.J. said to her grandson. “Thanks for this, Betty…we needed a distraction from this drama,” Marvin said. “Of course, Mr Anderson…bye-bye, Bryan,” Betty said. Back at the room, Brianna was trying to get out of the ropes. “Hey-hey-hey! Stop that,” Sam yelled. “I get it…you want my mom to suffer…she broke your heart but I wouldn’t do that…I’ll go with you and Bryan…just promise me that you won’t hurt her anymore….please, Sam,” Brianna said softly. “I promise! We can be the family that we were meant to be! Once Bryan gets here, we’ll leave this town and make a fresh start,” he said, then kissed her cheek. “Yeah…no looking back,” she said softly. “You don’t know how happy you make me feel, Bree,” he said with a smile on his face. He hugged her tight. “Hey, babe…you okay,” Marvin asked his wife. “No, Marv…I have this bad feeling…oh my God…Sam’s gonna make Bree leave with him once he has Bryan…we got to hurry,” T.J. said. The two of them went down the hall to confront Sam. “Hello, buddy…good to see you up and about–,” Sam said before getting cut off. “Cut the crap, Sam! What are you really up to, huh,” T.J. questioned her former friend. “Nothing, Tiff! I just want my son! Why hasn’t that happen yet, huh,” Sam yelled. “Where is my daughter, you fucking jerk,” she screamed at him. “Hey! I’m in charge here, not you! When I get my son, you get your daughter! That’s the deal! Go get Bryan…NOW,” he yelled at her. “Stop yelling! I wanna see my child or you’ll never see Bryan again,” she demanded. “Well! Well! Well! Look who’s finally got a backbone! Big bad Tiffani Thompson! You wanna see your little girl? I dare you to come in here,” he chuckled. “What is this about…that stupid one night stand back in college…you broke up with your girlfriend…I was legally separated from my ex-husband–your cousin…you’re still mad at me for ending our relationship so you hooked up with Brianna as revenge, right,” she said. Suddenly, Sam had a flashback of that fateful night. “I’ve tried to be patient with you but I’m getting pissed off,” he remembers saying to T.J. “Oww, Sam…you’re hurting me,” T.J.’s cries playing in his head. He didn’t listen to her. He instead pushes her down onto the bed. Then he remembered forcing himself on her.

Sam quickly snap out of it and said, “I hated you for as long as I could remember…yes I’m angry with you for breaking up with me…I wanted to get revenge on you by dating your daughter…now that I fell in love with her–I couldn’t do that, Tiff!” Marvin watches Sam closely as he rocked Bryan’s stroller. “I know…I deserve it…I need you to do something for me, okay,” she said. “Okay,” he said. “We all love Brianna very much much…if you really love her, take down the bombs and let her go…she doesn’t deserve this, please,” she said through the window. “Give us back our child, man,” Marvin added. Suddenly, Sam shook his head and diffuse the bombs on the door. “We just gonna talk, right…me and you,” Sam said. “Hold up, Sam…you sure about this…being alone with him after what he’s done to you…in your dorm room, remember,” Marvin said. “I know but you have to trust me, Marv…I gotta save our daughter,” she said. “Be careful,” Marvin whispered to her. The two of them shared a passionate kiss. “I will…can I come in,” she asked her former friend with her fingers crossed. Sam opens the door and said, “Can I see my son, please?” “Of course,” she said to him. She picked Bryan up from the stroller and head into the room with him. “Hey, little man…come to Daddy,” he said, getting Bryan out of her arms. “Mom,” Brianna called out. She and T.J. hugged as Sam watches. Not knowing what was happening, they heard him closing the door and locking it. “Sam? What are you doing,” T.J. questioned him. “Finishing what I’ve started…neither of you are getting out,” he chuckled, then turned the bombs back on. “Hey-hey-hey! Open the door,” Marvin yelled at Sam as everyone comes down the hallway. “What happened? Where’s my daughter and great-grandson,” Randy asked his son-in-law. “Right here…safe and sound,” Sam said, clenching his former friend. “You let them go right now, you little punk,” Randy growls. “There’s been a change in plans, Mr Johnson…I ain’t letting them go…all I want was my family and now I got a little extra…here’s my proposition: for my pain and anguish, I want $250,000 in small bills and a way out of here…if you do that for me, then I’ll give you back your daughter…maybe,” Sam said. “Damn you, Sam…,” Randy said angrily. “We got rid of you before…we can do it again,” Dee Dee yelled. “Let them go, Sam,” said Nyisha. “Shut up…if it wasn’t for you people, I would’ve still have my scholarship and my girlfriend…unless I get what I want, they ain’t leaving this room, all right,” Sam said, closing the blinds. “Argh,” Marvin grumbled. “This ain’t good…it’s just like college…he wants T.J. back…he used Brianna and the baby to do it,” Farrah told everyone. Then Marvin knocked over the stroller in a fit of rage.

“No-no-no…this is not the time to lose it…we gotta fight to get your family back…you hear me,” Dee Dee said to Marvin. Sam sat down on a chair and chuckled. “This is what you planned all along, wasn’t it,” T.J. asked him. “Naw…it’s better than I’ve planned…while your ‘new’ family are out there twiddling their thumbs, it’ll give us a chance to talk,” he replied. “I know my dad! He’s not going to give in to that proposition of yours–it’s a waste of time,” she said. “If he loves his little girl like he say he does, he would do what I’ve asked,” he said as he touches her leg. “You don’t get to touch me…I’m happily married to Marvin,” she said, knocking his hand away. “Oh! You’d do anything for Marvin, huh? Didn’t say much about my cousin? I thought I would be the next in line for that sweet ass! Tarik and I made this wager a while back! He hated your guts so he gave me $25,000 to hook up with you at the cafe down the street–that was a sweet deal! Even slip a roofie in your drink! I would’ve gotten away with it too if your two sisters hadn’t busted in on us–looks like I’ll get my chance,” he said, moving closer to T.J. He leans in for a kiss. She got mad and pushed Sam away from her. “How dare you and Tarik do that to me, huh? I didn’t remember much of that night! Nyisha and Farrah told me what you did–you tried to rape me! We made a pact to never talk about it! I should’ve turned you in a long time ago,” she growled at him. “Dad? There’s something that I got to tell you–a secret that Farrah, T.J., and I kept from everyone since college,” said Nyisha. “What is it, Izzy…tell me,” Randy asked her. “She’s gonna kill me for this but…Sam tried to rape T.J. in our dorm room…he had already drugged her when we busted in…nothing happened…once she came to, we made a promise not to talk about that night…I-I’m so sorry, Dad–we should’ve told you…,” she said softly. He grabbed his oldest daughter and hugged her tight. “Shh…no worries…I’m glad you told me this now,” he said as Dee Dee watches them. Moments later, she came up to her husband and said, “What a day, huh? Sam was after your daughter all this time! Makes me wish I let you step in on this–should’ve never listened to Terrell or we wouldn’t have to deal with that little weasel!” “When we get those girls back, we’ll sit them down and talk about this…make them feel that they can tell us anything, you know,” he said, then looked at Nyisha as she slept on the couch across from him. “Yeah…we will get them back…I know it,” Dee Dee said, then kisses him on the cheek. As they sat there in the waiting room, two men in double-breasted suits showed up. “Um…may I help you, gentlemen,” Randy asked them. “I’m Special Agent Samson and this is my partner, Special Agent Stevens…we’re looking for Mr Samuel Brady,” one of the men said. “What is this about if you don’t mind me asking,” Dee Dee said. “We believe that Samuel was involved in the murder of a former classmate’s 14-year-old daughter…she was pregnant at the time of her death…he is considered armed and dangerous, ma’am,” said Special Agent Stevens. “Oh my god…he’s down the hall with our daughter, granddaughter, and great-grandson as hostages…will be hurt them,” she asked them. “If provoked, he could…which is why we need to take him down…QUICKLY,” Special Agent Samson said. “Okay…tell us what we need to do,” Randy questioned them. While this was going on, Sam was in his room playing a game with Bryan. T.J. and Brianna were both tied up on the bed. “It’s only a matter of time now…your dad’s gonna do what I say, girls…then I’m out of here with my family,” he said, kissing Brianna’s cheek. Then Randy shows up at his window.

“So…,” Sam questioned. “I got your money…it’s in a black outside,” Randy told him. “Will I be followed outta here,” he asked. “Nope…easy access…no one will follow you,” Randy said. “Good…nice doing business with you, sir,” he said, closing the blinds. He went over to the girls and removed the gags from their mouths. “What have you done now,” T.J. questioned him. “Nothing, good buddy…I told you that your dad would pay up…now we’re outta here,” he said. Randy waited for Sam to come out of the room. “Bree? Honey! I need you to listen to me! Once we leave this room, you make a break for it! You hear me,” she whispered to her daughter. “No! I can’t leave you, Mom,” Brianna said. “I need you to do this, baby…he can’t keep up with us plus you’re faster than I am…tell your dad that I will always love him…Bree, do you trust me,” she said. “Yes, Mom,” Brianna said softly. “Then promise me…run as fast as you can…never look back, okay,” she said. Sam turned off the bombs and opened the door. “Hey, girls! It’s showtime! Bree, get our son so we can make a clean getaway–here,” he said. “Okay,” Brianna said, getting Bryan out of his arms. The four of them left the room. “We’re coming out, man,” they heard Sam yell as he grabbed the girls by the arms. They confronted Randy in the hallway. “Hey there…are you okay,” Randy asked his daughter and granddaughter. “Yeah, Dad…we’re okay,” T.J. said. Brianna shook her head in agreement. “Hey-hey-hey…it’s time to go,” Sam interrupted them. As he was heading for the nearest exit, Brianna hit him in the ribs. “Ahh! Get back here, you little bitch,” he groans. “Brianna, get out of here,” T.J. yelled. Brianna ran off with Bryan in her arms. T.J. started to run as well but Sam caught her. “You planned this, didn’t you–DIDN’T YOU,” he growled. One of the agents grabbed the kids and took them out of harm’s way. “Yeah…I did it, Sam…I would do it again in a New York minute even if it means keeping my daughter and grandson safe from a monster like you,” she said angrily. “No matter…I’ll just take you instead…it’s not a total loss,” he said, brandishing a scalpel in his hand. “Let my daughter go,” Randy said angrily. “Tell your dad to stay back unless he wants to lose his little girl,” he whispered. “I got this, Dad…don’t make him angry,” T.J. said. “You won’t get very far, Samuel…now let the woman go,” Special Agent Samson said with his gun raised. “Not wise, guys…one false move and she’s dead,” he yelled at the men. Then he opened the exit door and left with T.J. in tow.

“Damn you, Sam…argh,” Randy growled. “Hello…this is Don…we need backup over here at the hospital…Samuel Brady just left with a young woman–,” Special Agent Samson said. “Her name is Tiffani Thompson-Anderson…she’s my kid,” Randy told him. “You got that? Tell them to hurry,” he said to the person on the phone. Sam went outside and head for the black car that Randy mentioned. “A-ha! Get over there,” he said as he pushes T.J. across the parking lot. “You mean that bastard got out of this hospital with my wife? I’m gonna kill him,” Marvin said angrily. “Terrence? Keep your brother under control, please,” Dee Dee said. “What’s the deal, man? Are you gonna find my niece or not? You just said that Samuel Brady is a very dangerous man,” Jimmy asked the agents. “We’re doing the best we can to get her back, sir,” said Special Agent Stevens. “You need to do better than that…my little sister is in the hands of her former college classmate…if anything happens to her, it’s her blood on your hands,” Michelle yelled. While they argued, Brianna sat there with Bryan sleeping in her arms. “She was protecting us…now it could get her killed…my mom could die because of me,” she said to them. Marvin then hugs his grieving daughter. “Hey there! Don’t think like that! Your mom is a tough woman! She would do absolutely everything to protect you guys,” Nyisha said to her niece. “It’s all my fault! Everybody told me to stay away from Sam but I didn’t listen! I lost Isaiah and now Sam might kill my mom! I don’t think I can handle that, Aunt Nyisha–I can’t lose her, too,” Brianna said with tears in her eyes. Nyisha hugged her tight as everyone watched. Meanwhile, Sam drove up to an empty lot with T.J. bound and gagged in the passenger seat. Another car pulled up next to them. “Hey there, Unc…thanks for meeting me,” he said. The person rolled down the window and said, “Huh? I see you got the girl you wanted!” As they talked, T.J. had a flashback about her past with Tarik. “Hey, kid…come sit on my lap,” the same voice played in her head. Suddenly, a second voice emerged. T.J. snapped out of it as Sam comes to her side of the car. “Hey! Enough with the fucking daydreams already! We gotta ditch the vehicle–come on,” he said, opening the door. He pulls her out of the black car and head to the other vehicle. “Hey, sexy! Remember me,” the person said to her. “Go on! Answer him,” Sam said, removing the gag from her mouth. “Sidney Lane…never thought I’d see you again,” T.J. said. They got into the second car and drove off. Later that day, everyone went home. Tarik Jr lay back on his bed and thought about his last conversation with T.J. Alexa came in and said, “Hey, baby! Are you okay?” “I’m fine, Lex,” he said softly. “You have to believe that the FBI are doing whatever they can to get your mom back, right,” she said. “I don’t know about that…they said that Sam killed a kid much younger than Bree…what if he does the same to my mom…I don’t think I can handle that,” he said. “We’ll have to pray that it won’t happen, all right,” she said, then hugs him. “I can’t lose her, Lex–I can’t,” he cried. Suddenly, they got closer and kissed passionately. Alvin sat on the other side of the door and overheard everything. Tyrese was sitting at the restaurant with a plate of food in front of him. “Hey…heard about your mom…how are you holding up,” Christy asked him as she sat down at the table. “Not so good…what if Sam snaps and kills my mom…I can’t stand to lose the one person who stuck up for me and my little brother…losing my grandmother was bad enough…I can’t lose my mom, too,” he cried. She put her arms around Tyrese and hugged him. “You’re not going to lose her, okay,” she said. “Okay,” he said softly. “Let’s get you home, Ty,” she said. Then they got up and left.

Once the two of them got to the truck, Tyrese kissed Christy on her neck. “You sure you wanna do this? I don’t wanna take advantage of you when you’re upset about your mom,” she whispered. “I haven’t loved anyone until I met you, Chris…ever since we went to school together…sorry about everything that went down before graduation,” he said. “A lot of things were said…we don’t have to think about that anymore, okay,” she said. “You still at that hotel,” he asked her. “Yeah,” she said. Moments later, they were going at it on the bed. Tarik Jr and Alexa got down and dirty under the covers. “I love you, Rik,” he heard her say. Back at the Andersons house, Marvin and the younger kids were fast asleep in the den while Brianna surfed the internet on the computer. The only thing she had on her mind was T.J. She had a flashback of their last conversation. “Oh, Mom…why did you have to risk your life for me, huh,” she said to herself. Meanwhile, T.J. woke up to find herself in an empty room. Sam comes in and sat down on a deal chair. “Hello, sleepyhead…enjoying the view,” he said. “Why don’t you let me go,” she questioned. “Um…no can do…wanna know the real reason that I did this…to get you back…I never loved Brianna…poor kid was just a distraction, you know…a substitute for the real thing…now that I have you…I don’t really need her anymore…like a second chance for us,” he said, rubbing her leg. “You’re crazy…I’m married to a great man…I will never go back to you…EVER,” she yelled. “You sure about that? I’ll never let you go! You belong to me now so forget about your parents, your siblings, your kids, and your punk ass husband–you’re never gonna see them again! I’m your family–the only one you’ve got now! Remember that,” he growled. “I’ll never trust you, Sam…I wanna go home to my family…they won’t give up until they find me,” she said angrily. “We’ll just see about that, bitch,” he said, pulling T.J. to her feet. He took T.J. to an empty closet, put her in it, and locked the door. “Sam? Sam! Let me out,” she screamed. “Not until I’m good and ready…now shut up,” he yelled. “You can’t leave me in here…somebody help me,” she whispered to herself. She thought back on her marriage to Tarik. “If you’re a good little wife, I’ll let you out…maybe,” Tarik’s voice echoed in her head. “I’ll be a good wife…I promise,” she said as she slowly fall asleep. Three weeks later, Randy was looking at some pictures on his cellphone at the kitchen table. Dee Dee came in and kissed him on the cheek. “Hey there, honey…how are you holding up,” she asked him. “I’ll be okay…once my daughter is back where she belongs,” he replied. “I know…she’s like a daughter to me…I miss her just as much as you do…does the FBI have any luck with their case,” she asked. “Nope! Sam knew what he was doing! It’s like my kid dropped off the face of the earth,” he said. “She’s my kid, too…I promised Sheryl that I would watch out for T.J. and I would never go back on my word…we won’t give up until we bring our daughter home,” she said to her husband. “I miss her so much…why did Sam take our little girl away from us,” he said softly. Dee Dee held him close and said, “He’s a jerk who doesn’t realize how much that young woman means to us…we will get her back!” Their kids showed up at the house and came through the front door. “Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad,” they said. “Hi, kids…will you do me a favor and try to cheer this big guy here up, huh,” Dee Dee said to them. “Okay, Mom,” said Danny. “The FBI don’t have anything to go on, do they,” Nyisha asked her mother. “No, honey…finding your little sister is like a needle in a haystack,” Dee Dee said. “What was Sam thinking,” she said. Then the two of them continued their conversation.

“So…what’s going on with the case…you think they’re gonna find your sister,” Renay asked her husband. “I don’t know, babe…it’s been three weeks…if I was on the job, I would’ve found her in a heartbeat,” Martin replied. “I feel bad for Marvin and those kids…how do they get through the past couple of days without T.J. being there…they’re probably going nuts right now, baby,” she said. Marvin and Brianna were at home getting the younger kids ready for school when Michael and Michelle showed up. “Hey, man! Looks like you have your hands full here,” said Michael. “Yeah but I can handle it…got my little partner here,” Marvin said, hugging Brianna. “Hey, kid…how are you holding up, huh,” he asked his niece. “I’ve been better…wish my mom was here,” Brianna said to them. “I know, baby…you miss her, huh,” Michelle asked her. “Yeah…why would Sam do this to us…doesn’t he know how much we need her–I hate him…I wished I never met him in Science class that day,” she growled. “He will get what he deserves when the FBI gets ahold of him,” Michelle said. “They should just shoot him instead,” she said angrily. She then left out of the room in a huff. “Whoa…just like her mom, huh,” said Michael. “Yep…that’s T.J.’s temper all right…my sister was like that when she was a kid–what if we don’t get her back…three weeks is too long for my little sister to be away from her children,” Michelle cried. “I know, babe…too long,” Michael said as he consoles his wife. “Brianna hasn’t been sleeping well since Sam kidnapped her mom…she blames herself for what happened,” Marvin said to them. Michelle went into the kitchen to see Brianna sitting at the breakfast table. “I want you to know this, Bree…this is not your fault for what happened at the hospital…Sam is the only one to blame here…you hear me,” she told her niece. “Yes, Aunt Michelle,” Brianna said. “I’ll give you my cell phone number in case you wanna talk…day or night, okay,” she said, taking out a business card from her pocket. “Okay…I’ll keep that in mind,” Brianna said, looking at the card. “You’re not alone in this…we miss her too,” she said. Brianna shook her head and hugged her aunt. Sam and Sidney were in an old building playing spades. “So…what are we gonna do about your ‘prisoner’,” Sidney asked his nephew. “I don’t know yet…I heard about some ways to break her down…Tarik told me that he forced her into sex practically every day…if she didn’t do what he wanted, he uses threats and best her mostly…I got a better way to deal with her…when I’m done, she’s gonna realize that she can never go home again,” Sam said. “Need some help, nephew,” he said. “Naw, Unc…I can handle it,” Sam said. “Okay…but you know I can do some things to her that other guys dreamed of,” he said, caressing his genitals. “I’m sure you will,” Sam chuckled. T.J. was still sleeping on the floor of the old closet. She dreamt that she was at home with Marvin and her kids. They were having dinner together. Bryan and Leslie were there as well as Alexa, Christy, and Alvin. “This is the good life, Marv,” her voice echoes. “Uh-huh,” Marvin said back. The kids giggled. Suddenly, Sam shows up and takes her away from the table. “Sorry, Tiff..we gotta go…say goodbye to your family,” he said. “I don’t want to leave! Marv? Kids? No,” she cried. She woke up up in a cold sweat. Sam came in and unlocked the closet door. “Hello, Tiffani…you ready to behave now,” he asked. Then she turned around and gave him a dirty look.

The younger Thompsons children were having an early breakfast at the restaurant. Each of them was thinking about the last time they saw their missing sister. T.J.’s picture was on the bulletin board next to the front door. “Poor kid…it’s been three weeks and she hasn’t been found yet,” said one of the patrons. “Those kids over there really do miss their sister,” said the waiter. “Hey there, guys…sorry about your sister…how are you holding up,” said the waitress. “We’re good, Aria,” said Brandon. “We’ll be praying for you guys,” Aria said to them. “We used to fight about everything…now she’s not here…I really hate this, you guys,” Bridget said softly. “Sam did us wrong by kidnapping our sister…if I see that clown again, I’ll kick his punk ass,” Tyrell said angrily. “I second that, man…we should go out there and look for her ourselves,” said Jeffrey. “Mr Johnson said to stay out of it, Jeff…we should let the FBI and the NYPD handle this,” Monica told her brother. “He ain’t my daddy…I say we go and do the job that those fools couldn’t…if we wait for them to do it, she could die…I will not lose my big sister…I’m sick of losing members of this family,” Jeffrey said angrily. He then got up and left the table. “Will you talk to your little brother, please,” Melanie said. “I don’t know, Lanie…he’s right…they were at it for three weeks and got nothing…we should consider going out there and look for clues that they probably missed,” Trisha said. “I got this friend who started as a P.I. at an investigation firm downtown…he could help us,” Tyrell said. “That’s a good idea, Tyrell…call your friend…Monica, go outside and get your brother,” Trisha said. “You kidding me right now,” Monica said as she took a bite of her food. “I got it, sis…about to head out anyway,” Brandon said, putting a few dollars on the table. Suddenly, he got up and left. Randy went into the office to do some work. Once there, he saw the pictures of his seven children. When he saw T.J.’s picture, he broke down crying. “What are you going to do to me, huh,” T.J. asked her former friend. “I don’t know yet…maybe we should finish what we started in the dorm room all those years ago…only thing we don’t have is those twins busting in on us or the spiked drink,” Sam said. “Oh, no! I will not have sex with you! I have a husband,” she yelled. “You gonna do what you’re told or I’ll kill your entire family, got it,” he growled. “No…you wouldn’t,” she said. Then he pulls a gun on T.J.

“You wanna bet? I will use it if I don’t get what I want,” Sam said. “No…you can’t do this,” T.J. said softly. “I can and I will! If you don’t do what I say, every single member of your family will die! You want that to happen,” he yelled at her. “No…don’t hurt them…please,” she cried. “Now that’s settled…I’m horny as hell right now…you do this and I’ll leave them alone,” he said as he caresses T.J.’s face. She closes her eyes as Sam climbed on top of her. Hours later, she last there motionless. Sam put his clothes back on and left the room. “So…you finally got what you wanted, huh,” Sidney said. “Yep, Unc…much better,” he said. As they laughed, T.J. curled up on the floor and started to cry. “I’m so sorry…he made me do it,” she said to herself. “Looks good, boy…keep this up and she’ll be yours to control,” Sidney said as he looked through the door. Sam shook his head and went back into the room. “Hey, Tiff…feels good, doesn’t it,” he said, touching her leg. “No…I hated it…you raped me, you son of a bitch,” she yelled at him. He slapped her hard and said, “Now hear this…I’m in control here…you do as I say…if I don’t get what I want, you will die…I’m the only one keeping you alive, not your family or your husband….you better get used to not seeing them again!” “I hate you,” she screamed at him. He took the butt of his gun and knocked her unconscious. As the days went by, Sam and Sidney each took turns raping T.J. The Thompsons kids and their families continued to pray for her safe return. Tyrell and his P.I. friend were going over the files on the case at his office. “I may have found something here that could save your sister,” the guy said. “Let’s get this to the FBI! They could use it to locate T.J.,” Tyrell said back. Sam was at a downtown deli eating a sandwich while Sidney stand on guard with a semi-conscious T.J. “Hey there, beautiful…still think you’re getting out of here, huh,” he said, standing over her. “No…stop…please,” she mumbled. “Sorry…not an option…you gonna give me what I want…come here,” he said, grabbing T.J.’s arm. She started to scream as he pulls her up. “Shut up, you fucking bitch,” he said, then slaps her across the face. She fell against the wall and hit her head. She was knocked out unconscious once again. “Wake up, bitch,” he said. She wasn’t moving an inch. Sam came back to see what happened. “Uncle Sidney? What did you do,” Sam yelled at him. “I don’t know–I think she’s dead,” Sidney yelled. “We gotta get her outta here–dammit,” he grumbled. They wrapped T.J.’s body in an old rug, picked her up, and head for the car. “You know what, fellas? This could help bring your sister home,” said Special Agent Samson. “It was all Omar, sir,” Tyrell said as he gave his friend a high five. A couple of hours later, a guy was outside walking his dog as Sam and Sidney threw a suspicious looking object out of the car. As they drove off, he went to see what it was. He stood back and screamed. The gang were fast asleep at the Thompsons house when the phone rang. Stephen got up to answer it. “Randy? Wake up! We gotta go,” he said. They all head over to the hospital to find out what was going on. The FBI were talking to the doctors. “Hey, Special Agent Samson! What happened,” Randy questioned him. He showed Randy an unidentified person on the bed. The three of them saw who it was. “Oh-my-god! T.J.! What happened to her, doctor, ” Dee Dee asked. “Your daughter has been through a terrible ordeal…whoever did this left her for dead,” the doctor told her. “Can we go in to see her,” Randy spoke up. The doctor shook his head and let them into the room. They sat down next to her. “So…T.J. was raped…beaten…and left for dead…what was Sam thinking, huh,” said Michelle. “I don’t know, honey…only your sister can answer that…once she wakes up,” Stephen said. Then he hugged his stepdaughter.

Hours passed since the Thompsons kids learned about their unconscious sister. Marvin showed up and talked with the receptionist. “Hey, brother-in-law…over here,” Chuckie called out to him. “What happened, Chuck,” he questioned. “They found my sister but she’s unconscious, Marv,” Chuckie told him. Randy sat there holding his daughter’s hand. “Hang on, baby girl…Daddy’s here,” he said softly. Suddenly, she started to moan. “I think she’s waking up,” Dee Dee said to her husband. T.J. slowly open her eyes and looked directly at them. ” Hey, kiddo…welcome back,” he said. “Hello…do I know you,” T.J. asked him. “I’m your dad…what’s wrong,” he said. “I don’t know you, Mister,” she said. “I’ll go get the doctor,” Dee Dee said, then left the room. “You don’t remember me, do you,” he asked his daughter. “No…I don’t,” she said, “What happened to me?” The doctor came in right away as they talked. Dee Dee followed him. “What happened to my daughter? She doesn’t seem like remember me, Dr Shapiro,” Randy questioned him. “I may have to examine her…could you step outside, please,” Dr Shapiro said. They left the room and shut the door. “What just happened,” Dee Dee asked him. “That goddamn Sam…he hurt my little girl…she doesn’t know who we are,” he said, then hit the wall. Marvin came up to them as they talked. “Hey, guys! I heard that the FBI found my wife! Is she okay,” he asked them. “Yes and no,” Dee Dee said. Dr Shapiro was giving T.J. a thorough examination. “I bet you’re happy to see your family again,” he said. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Doc,” T.J. said. “Your dad…your stepmom…your stepdad…your brothers and sisters…they all were praying for you to come home safe and sound…you don’t remember them…do you, Tiffani,” he asked her. “No…uh-uh,” she said back. Moments later, he came out to talk with the family. Randy, Dee Dee, and Marvin came in to see T.J. “Hello! Aren’t you the nice people that were here a little while ago,” she said. “Yeah, kiddo! We brought someone to see you,” Randy said. “Hi, Tiffani! We miss you, babe,” Marvin said with a straight face. “Do I know you,” she asked him. “Yeah! I’m Marvin Anderson, your husband,” he said to her. “I’m married? Are you sure,” she questioned. “Yeah…we have eight (8) great kids and three (3) wonderful grandkids together,” he responded. “Whoa! That’s a but much, don’t you think! I just met you,” she said. “You know what…we don’t have to talk about that right now…how are you feeling,” he asked her. “I feel okay…my head hurts…can we talk later,” she said softly. “Yeah…of course,” he said. “Get some rest, sport,” said Randy. Then T.J. closed her eyes and went to sleep.

The three of them went out of the room. “I oughta kill Sam for this,” Marvin said to his in-laws. “Don’t you start…you just got your wife back,” Dee Dee said to him. “Are you sure? She doesn’t remember us! How do I explain this to my children? Huh,” he said angrily. “Hey! You watch that tone with my wife! She is not the enemy here! Our main concern is the young woman in that room! We just got her back! It may take some time but we all have to work together to help my daughter get through this terrible ordeal, all right,” said Randy. “Uh-huh,” he said. “It’s just short-term memory loss…she’ll be fine…you just have to be patient,” Randy said. “You’re right, Mr Johnson…sorry about snapping at your wife,” he said. “No problem…if Dee Dee was on that hospital bed, I would’ve acted the same exact way you did,” Randy said. Meanwhile, T.J. slowly opened her eyes. She tried to get out of bed but felt a sharp pain in her back. She started screaming when the guys were talking. Dee Dee, Marvin, and Randy rushes in to see T.J. hunched over on the side of the bed. “Hey-hey-hey! Where do you think you’re going,” they said. “I wanted to get up and walk around–ahhh—it burns,” she cried. “That’s not a good idea, honey…the doctor told us about the bruised pelvis…let’s get you back into bed, huh,” said Randy. “Okay,” she said. He put T.J. back into bed and pulled the covers on her. “Is that better,” he asked. “Yeah…thanks…how did this happen,” T.J. said. “Um…along with the head injury, you were raped…before you blacked out, did you remember anything that happened in the past four weeks,” he asked. “No…not a thing, sir,” she said, “Can we not talk about this?” “Okay…but to start this off, no need for this sir/ma’am business…we’re all grown in here…my name is Randy Johnson,” he said, extending his hand. “And I’m Deidre Johnson,” Dee Dee said, introducing herself. “Okay…one question: why did that doctor call me Tiffani,” she said, shaking their hands. “Because it’s your name…Tiffani Jasmine Thompson-Anderson,” he said. “Oh? I think I can remember that! Thanks,” she said. “I think we had enough excitement for one day…why don’t you get some sleep, okay,” he said. “Okay, Randy,” she said, then closes her eyes. “That’s a relief! I worry about that girl,” Dee Dee said softly. “Me too…at least she’s safe and sound,” he said to his wife. “You sure about that? Sam is still out there,” said Marvin. “Your son-in-law is right…until Sam Brady is caught, your daughter isn’t safe…I’m gonna put two guards on this door,” said Special Agent Samson. The three of them left the room as T.J. slept. Later that night, everyone were fast asleep in the waiting room. T.J. started to toss and turn. “No…stop…get off of me,” she moans softly . Randy got up and tapped her on the shoulder. She woke up screaming. “Hey! What’s going on,” Dee Dee asked her husband. “No worries…she just had a bad dream…go back to sleep, babe,” he said. “It felt so real…like you describe it,” T.J. cried. “It’s all over now,” he said. Dee Dee stood there as Randy consoles his youngest daughter. Hours later, Nyisha, Farrah, and Meghan came into the room as T.J. slept. “I can’t believe Sam would do this…he tried to kill her,” she heard Meghan say. “Yep…I hope the FBI shoots his black ass…he’s the reason that T.J. doesn’t remember us, you guys,” Nyisha said. As the girls talked, T.J. started to open her eyes. “Hey, y’all! She’s waking up,” Farrah said to her sisters. “Hey, kid…how are you,” they asked. “I’m okay…who are you,” T.J. asked them. “I’m Nyisha and these are my sisters, Farrah and Meghan…I hope we didn’t wake you,” Nyisha said. “Naw…couldn’t sleep anyways…what brings you by,” she said. “We’re just here for a visit…we were worried about you, kid,” said Farrah. “We miss you,” said Meghan. The girls continued talking. “Hey, girls,” said Randy and Dee Dee. “Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad,” they said. “Hey, kiddo…how are you feeling,” Randy asked. “I’m okay…just chatting with your daughters…if you’re my dad, that makes you my mom, right,” T.J. said. “No…but I knew your mom, though…we grew up together,” Dee Dee said. “Well…where is she,” T.J. asked her. “Oh…I’m so sorry, honey…your mom died a while back…from an aneurysm…she asked me to watch out for you because she knew you couldn’t handle it,” she said. “I didn’t know! I’m sorry,” T.J. said. “Don’t sweat it, kiddo! She didn’t feel any pain,” said Randy. “There’s nothing to be sorry about, okay,” Dee Dee said to her stepdaughter. “Hey, guys…what’s going on in here,” someone spoke up. “Hey, Uncle Jimmy,” said Nyisha, Farrah, and Meghan. “Hey, Jim,” Randy said. “I heard that my niece was in here…hey, baby girl,” Jimmy said. “Hi,” T.J. said. “Yeah…we got her back but it’s gonna take a while for her to get readjusted to her surroundings–,” Randy said. “She doesn’t remember us, Uncle Jimmy,” Farrah said. “Yeah…what she said,” T.J. added. “Luckily, I don’t have to go back to work for at least another week…I’ll have plenty of time to spend with my niece…with all my nieces and nephews,” Jimmy said. Then T.J. nods her head in agreement. 

Sam was at the diner drinking coffee. He couldn’t stop thinking about the event leading to T.J. being knocked unconscious. “Dammit! What were you thinking, Unc? I wanted to scare her into being with me! I wasn’t going to kill her,” he said to himself. A waitress came over to him carrying a coffeepot. Back at the hospital, Bridget comes in to join the rest of the gang. “Hi, guys,” she said to them. “Hey there….you sure you should be working when your sister just came home,” Randy asked his daughter-in-law. “Uh-huh! I gotta keep busy so excuse me if I’m not thrilled about my big losing her memory,” she said, then leaves the room. “At least sit down and take a break,” he shouted. “What’s with that girl,” T.J. questioned. “That’s your little sister, Bridget…you’re lucky you got any reaction out of that one at all,” Dee Dee said. Randy went after Bridget. “Hey! Come back here! What is your problem,” he said. “I don’t have a problem,” Bridget yelled. “Seems like you do…I thought you’d be happy to see T.J. back home–,” he said before getting cut off. “She does not remember us! I can’t look her in the face and play this stupid game of Guess Who! I wish she never went with Sam in the first place! She could’ve been killed,” she said with tears in her eyes. She broke down crying in Randy’s arms. The two of them went back to the room. “All right, kids…these girls needs to be alone so they can talk…why don’t we go down the street for something to eat,” said Randy. “We’ll see you later, little sister,” Michelle said, kissing T.J. on the forehead. They all left and shut the door. T.J. and Bridget were the only ones in the room. “So…is there something that you wanna say to me…I can take it,” T.J. questioned. “I’m not sure…would you remember this conversation tomorrow,” Bridget said. “Oooh…that was a cheap shot…I may not be able to keep up with all of your names but I’m not stupid…come closer,” T.J. said. “You don’t know who I am, T.J.,” she said. “Sit down, Bridget,” T.J. said sternly. “You only knew my name cuz someone who I won’t say told you,” she said, then sits on the bed. “Randy’s wife told me your name…let’s talk,” T.J. said. “Why you have to go with Sam? He could’ve killed you or haven’t you forgotten that, too? You scared all of us to death–even Brianna blames herself for this–that was all you,” she yelled. “Wait a minute–slow down! Who are these people that you just mentioned,” T.J. questioned her little sister while holding her head. “Sam Brady is just some jerk that you met in college and Brianna is your daughter–is this getting through now,” she said as she taps her big sister on the forehead. “Owww…stop it…that hurts,” T.J. groans. Then Randy and Dee Dee comes back into the room to break up the girls.

 “Hey-hey-hey! What is going on in here,” Dee Dee asked them. “I don’t know! She went off on me about some child that I didn’t know about,” T.J. said. “We saw you hitting your sister in the head…you know better than that, Bridget,” Randy said. “If she didn’t leave with that jerk Sam Brady, we wouldn’t be in this mess right now,” Bridget growls. “All right, little girl…you come with me,” Dee Dee said, pulling Bridget into the hallway and closing the door. “Hey, kiddo…you okay,” Randy asked her. “No…I got a pounding headache…long before that girl started tapping on it,” T.J. said. “Why don’t you try to get some rest? I’ll get the doctor,” he said. She did exactly that as he went out of the room. “Why were you fighting with your sister considering what she’s been through these past four weeks? You couldn’t have been that stupid! If your mother could see how you are acting right now–,” Dee Dee said mid-sentence. “What, huh? My sister knows what she did! She risked her life once again so that psycho doesn’t take her daughter and grandson away from her! I’m the only one who has to tell her what she put us through! She only cares about herself and no one else! I’m not gonna tiptoe around the fact that she doesn’t know she’s still in danger either,” Bridget yelled. T.J. opened her eyes and overheard their conversation. Hours later, Randy came back into the room and sat down on a chair. “Hey, kiddo…feeling any better,” he asked his daughter. “You lied to me…what is really going on, huh…I want the truth…you owe me that much…is that girl right…am I in danger,” T.J. questioned him. “That goddamn kid…I didn’t want to worry you with this…we just want you to concentrate on getting better,” he said. “If you really love me, you would’ve told me the truth…is she right, Randy,” T.J. yelled. “Yeah…Sam Brady…the guy who hurt you is still out there…he could come after you again,” he said. “Why couldn’t you tell me this from the start? I thought we have no secrets in this family! How could you do this to me,” she said angrily. “I was trying to protect you…always did…ever since you were a little girl,” he said. “But…those other kids who were in here…they told me that their father raised me…it all makes sense now…why would you let another man do something like that…if we’re father and daughter, aren’t we supposed to share the same last name,” she said. “It’s complicated, all right,” he said. “You said it yourself…we’re all grown…just be real with me, please…Dad,” she pleaded. “I was forced to give you up…Terrell told me to sign away my rights to you and your brother or I would lose my marriage,” he said, then got up to leave the room. Bridget looked up to see Randy standing in front of her. “What the hell did you say to your sister,” he growled. “Huh,” Bridget said. “Uh, honey…what’s going on,” Dee Dee asked him. “You’re definitely Terrell’s daughter all right…no thanks to this one, T.J. knows about Sam Brady coming after her…we were also arguing about how I let Terrell raise her and why we don’t share the same last name…are you proud of yourself now, huh…HUH,” he said, grabbing his daughter-in-law by her shirt and pulling her to her feet. “I’m so sorry…I would never do anything to hurt my sister…I didn’t know she heard us talking about Sam,” Bridget said. “I think I know…we didn’t close that door,” Dee Dee said, pointing at T.J.’s hospital room. They went back in to talk with T.J. “Hey, kiddo…I just wanted to apologize for the fight we had a while ago…you were right…we should’ve told you about Sam Brady…we were trying to protect you, sweetheart…we just didn’t think you need to worry about that, okay,” Randy said. “Uh-huh…I’m sorry too…I know you were trying to help me…I really appreciate it but…can you guys do me this one thing,” T.J. asked them. “And what’s that,” Dee Dee said. “Can you stop with these secrets…I’m not a child…so whatever it is, I want to know about it…please,” she said. “Okay…no more secrets,” Randy said. Then he hugged his daughter tight.

Sam went back to his car and got in. Someone in a black SUV was watching him. “Hey, boss…I see him…what you wanna do,” a voice said. “Keep the tail…he doesn’t know his victim is still alive…call me back in an hour,” said the person on the other end of the phone. Back at the hospital, Randy and Dee Dee were talking with the girls. “Maybe we should talk about giving the twins your last name…it’s about time we did,” Dee Dee said. “We gotta talk this over with Chuckie once he gets here…it should be his decision, too,” Randy said. “I’ll call him…really I’m sorry…about all of this…I didn’t think she could hear me out there,” said Bridget. “Don’t worry about it…my daughter needed to know,” he said. She got onto her cellphone right away. “Now it’s up to you…do you really want to take on our last name…no pressure,” Dee Dee asked her stepdaughter. “Uh-huh,” T.J. replied, then hugs them both. “Let’s just wait until your brother gets here…we gonna need his input on this, too,” Randy said. “Okay,” T.J. said. All of a sudden, they heard a commotion in the hallway. “Everyone, stay in the room…we got this under control,” Special Agent Samson said to them before shutting the door. “Dad? What’s going on? Is that guy coming here,” T.J. questioned. “I don’t know, honey,” Randy said. “You’re not going to leave, are you? Please don’t leave,” she said, holding his hand. “No…I’m not going anywhere,” he said, consoling his daughter. “We’ll stay with you…I did promise your mom that I would watch out for you, right,” Dee Dee said. T.J. shook her head. Dee Dee wrapped her arms around the girls. Chuckie drove up to the hospital saw the squad cars outside. “Hey, man…what’s going on,” he asked one of the officers. Bridget stood by the window as T.J. slept. Dee Dee came over to her and said, “Hey there! How are you holding up?” ” I’m good…it’s just that my sister never gets scared…she’s the toughest person I know…but now she’s completely spooked…what did Sam Brady do to her,” Bridget asked her mother-in-law. “Whatever he did, he’s making sure she doesn’t remember any of it, honey,” she said. “I hate that jerk,” Bridget said angrily. “You and me both…he will pay for this…I’m sure of it,” she said. Then Bridget shook her head in agreement.

“Hey, guys…I heard about that psycho in the hallway just now…you wanted to talk to me about something,” Chuckie said as he comes into the room. “Yeah, son! Sit down a bit,” Randy said. “Okay! Hey, little sister! How are you feeling,” he asked. “I’m good…I didn’t know that I have a twin brother,” T.J. said. Everyone chuckled. “Well…you do, honey…this is your brother, Chuckie,” Randy said. “Hi,” she said, then hugged Chuckie. “So…this is what we wanted to talk to you about…how would you kids to change your last name to Johnson…I want you to think long and hard on this…you don’t have to give us an answer right now…if you need time to talk about this with your wife, you can…just let us know when you get the chance,” Randy said to his two kids. “I’ll do it if he do it…Chuckie,” T.J. said, looking up to her big brother. “Wow…um…as much as I wanted to be a Johnson and all–I really need to think about it, Dad,” Chuckie said. “Of course…no rush…I’ll leave it up to you kids,” Randy said. “We’ll understand with whatever you decide, honey,” Dee Dee said. “Um…thanks,” said Chuckie. He then hugged his stepmother. Brianna was in the kitchen eating cereal when Tyrese came downstairs to join her. “Hey, sis…how are you holding up,” he asked. I’m fine…never better,” she sighed. “Now tell the real truth…how do you really feel about Mom’s situation,” he questioned his little sister. “It sucks, all right…how could she forget us, Ty…we’re her children…I hate it,” she yelled. “Mom has a head injury…she couldn’t avoid it, Bree,” he said. “The last time that happened…she was a kid who has seizures…damn that Sam Brady…he ruined our lives,” she said angrily. Nyisha and Robert were in their home eating breakfast with their five children. “I feel bad for Aunt Tiffani…that Sam Brady is bad news,” Larissa said. “Her head injury isn’t serious, is it,” Malcolm asked. “No, honey! It’s not serious, is it,” Malcolm asked. “No, honey! It’s not serious! She has short-term memory loss! She doesn’t remember us, kids,” Nyisha said. “R.J.! Stop playing with your food–you’re supposed to eat it,” Robert said to his son. “Let me handle this, Robert! Hey, buddy! Why do we try this here? Two bites…for me,” Nyisha said to her stepson. R.J. opened his mouth as she feeds him a spoonful of baby food. “That-a-boy,” he said. “I had the same problem with Malcolm and Jerome when they were his age…we just have to change up his food is all, Rob,” she said, then gave R.J. another spoonful. Jane and Renay were helping out at their uncle’s company as the rest of the family sat at the hospital. “Hey, sis…what are you thinking about,” Jane questioned. “Our cousin…I’m glad that she’s home and all but something’s off…Sam did something to spook her somehow…what did he do,” Renay replied. “I don’t know…it’s anyone’s guess…he needs to be taken off the streets and fast,” she said. Meanwhile, Chuckie and T.J. we’re playing cards in the room when Nalia and Chad showed up. “Hi, guys…you up for some company,” she asked them. “Um, sure…come on in, babe,” he said to his wife. “Hello,” T.J. said. “Hey, buddy…how are you feeling,” she said, grabbing a chair to sit next to her sister-in-law’s bed. “I’m feeling much better now,” T.J. said. “Hi, Aunt Tiffani,” said Chad as he came in and hugged her. “Well hello to you too,” T.J. said. “I bet you’re glad to get away from Sam, huh,” Nalia said. “Uh-huh…everyone here say he was bad news,” she said. “Well he is! Do you remember anything that happened when you was with him,” Nalia asked her. “Naw! Just things that everyone told me,” she said. “I wouldn’t worry about it! You’ll be able to remember what happened in due time,” Nalia said. “I hope so…just hate that I can’t remember you guys, you know,” she said. “Yeah…well on to the next subject…have you seen your kids since you’ve been here,” Nalia asked. Marvin came into the room while they talked. “Hey, brother-in-law…nephew,” he said to Chuckie and Chad. “Hey,” they said. “Hey, ladies…what’s going on in here,” he said, holding flowers and a teddy bear. “Hey, Marvin,” Nalia said. “Hey, Tiffani…how are you doing,” he asked his wife. “I’m doing okay…how about you,” T.J. said to him. “I’m good…the kids are good…I’ve brought some gifts to cheer you up,” he said, giving her the flowers and the teddy bear. “Awww…this is nice….thank you,” T.J. said, looking at the teddy bear. Suddenly, she had a flashback of her first date with him. “Hi, Tiffani…I don’t know what kind of flowers you would like so…I brought some roses,”  she remembers Marvin saying to her. “Awww…I like these, Marvin…thank you…the teddy bear is a nice touch, too,”  she remembers telling him. While she was reminiscing about the date, Nalia tapped her on the shoulder. “Hey! Are you okay,” she said. “Yeah! I just remembered something! Marvin used to give me a teddy bear just like this one when we first started dating in college, right,” T.J. asked her husband. “Yeah! You have a collection of them back at our house–where we lived,” he said. “Uh-huh…thanks for not pushing me on this, Marvin,” T.J. said. “No problem, babe,” he said. Then he kissed her on the cheek.

Shane went to his parents’ house and meet up with his remaining fourteen siblings. “Hey, guys…thanks for coming…the agenda for today is…what are we gonna do about our sister, huh…we gotta help T.J. get her memory back,” he said. “That won’t work…the doctor said she’ll get her memory back in due time…we shouldn’t push her,” Irish said to her big brother. “She’s right, Shane…just be lucky your little sister is back home with us,” said Stephen to his stepson. “Without any memory of what happened to her, Stephen…we’ve agreed to hire a professional to help her remember,” he told his stepfather. “If you push her to dredge up those terrible memories, you would do more harm than good…do you want that, huh,” Stephen asked him. “It’s a risk we have to take…this is our sister that we’re talking about…the woman we brought in–she’s on her way to the hospital as we speak,” he said back. Meanwhile, Marvin was showing T.J. some of their kids when a woman knocked on the door. “Hello, miss…can we help you,” he questioned the woman. “Hi! My name is Verona Jenkins! I’m looking for Tiffani Thompson-Anderson,” she said to them. He and T.J. looked at each other. Moments later, Marvin went down the halls to confront Randy. “Did you send some woman to my wife’s room,” he asked his father-in-law. The two of them went back to T.J.’s room and saw the woman there. “Um…excuse me, miss…who sent you here,” Randy asked her. “Uh…Shane Thompson, sir…he asked me to help with his little sister,” the woman told them both. “Damn it! I’m sorry you came all this way! Here’s a little something for your trouble,” Randy said as he took out his wallet and gave the woman some money. “What was Shane thinking,” Marvin asked. “If he’s doing what I think he’s doing, he’s got another thing coming! Goddamn kid,” Randy said. “So he sends that woman to help me get my memory back,” T.J. asked them. “More like pushing you into remembering what happened in the past four weeks…Shane is determined to get you better but this is not the way to do it,” Marvin said to her. “He told me that he’d do anything for me…I want to talk to Shane, Dad,” T.J. said. “You’re sure, honey? After that stunt he pulled,” Randy asked her. “Yeah,” she said. “You want us to be here when you talk to your brother,” Marvin asked his wife. “Nah…I can handle it,” she said, then kisses him on the cheek. Shane heard his phone buzz and answered it. “Hello,” he said. “I need to see you,” a voice said. Moments later, he went back to the hospital. “Hey, T! You called for me,” he said, confronting his little sister. “Yeah, Shane…we need to talk, big brother,” T.J. said. Randy and Marvin left the room. “I’m guessing you’ve met Verona Jenkins,” he said to her. “Yep! Why did you send her here? Are you trying to hurt me,” she said angrily. “No, kid…I was trying to help you the same way our mom and my dad would’ve…I’ve promised them that I would take care of all my siblings including you and Chuckie…we may not share the same dad but I still call you my little sister…I wanna help you get your memory back…is it that hard to do,” he said. “I just wished you didn’t ask me what I want–aah,” she said, rubbing her head. Randy heard the alarms and rushed back into the room. “T.J.? What’s wrong,” Shane said. “Tiffani? Hang in there, honey,” Randy said. “Help! Come quick! It’s my wife,” Marvin shouted down the hall. The doctor came as fast as he could. “What’s going on with my daughter, Dr Shapiro,” Randy questioned. “I’m gonna need all of you to leave…NOW,” Dr Shapiro told them. “Dad? Don’t leave please,” T.J. said softly. “It’ll be for a little while, okay,” Randy said. “Okay,” she said. Then the three of them left the room as Dr Shapiro examines her.

“What were you thinking, huh,” Randy growled. “I was doing what you should’ve done…I’m sick of playing the guessing game with my sister…she needs some real help from someone who’s been there,” Shane said angrily. “Did you or did you not hear the doctor say that she would get her memory back on her own…why are you pushing this,” he questioned. “I wanted her to get better, all right,” Shane yelled at him. Suddenly, Dr Shapiro comes out to talk with them. They all went back into the room as T.J. was resting peacefully in her bed. “I must want you…don’t get her upset, got it,” he told them before he left. “Dad,” she whispered. “Hey, kiddo…how are you feeling,” Randy asked her. “I’m okay…what happened,” she said. “You just had a little headache…but you’re gonna be fine,” he said. “Hey, little sis…you do know that I would never do anything to hurt you, right,” Shane said. “Not intentionally…promise me to never do it again,” she said. “Of course,” Shane said, “Never again!” He then hugged his little sister as Randy and Marvin watched. Later that day, the guys were eating lunch in the hospital cafeteria. “I get it that you want your sister to get better–I do too but we can’t push her on it! I’m not the bad guy here! That’s Sam, all right! We both love that young woman in there and would do anything to help her! We gotta work together on this, okay,” said Randy. “It’s just that I hate seeing her like that, man! I wanna do something about it,” Shane said. “You’re already doing it…being here when she needs you,” he said. T.J. was fast asleep in her room. She had a flashback of what happened to her in the abandoned building. She saw two faceless men standing over her. Suddenly, she woke up in a cold sweat. Nyisha was sitting on the couch reading some files. “Hey there…heard about your little episode…are you okay,” she asked her little sister. “Yeah…um…Nyisha, right,” T.J. said. “Uh-huh…you got it but I’m not here to stress you out…you had enough from your brother today,” she said. “I don’t think he meant it, though,” T.J. said. “He shouldn’t have done that! He would’ve cause a setback! So enough of that! I heard you had a visit with your sister-in-law and your nephew earlier today! How was it,” she said. “It was good…we talked a bit…she didn’t pressure me to remember those weeks in that building I’ve dreamt about,” T.J. said. “Nalia would never do that! She works with people who has amnesia! Maybe I could ask her to help you if you want! It’s up to you! I wouldn’t push you into it besides it would be good to have a familiar face around here, you know,” she said. “Uh-huh…I’ll keep that in mind…it seems like you’re the only one who understand my situation…thank you,” T.J. said. “No problem, sis,” she said, then pats T.J. on the back and left the room. The next day, T.J. was in her room eating breakfast when Nalia knocked on the door. “Hey, sister-in-law…what’s going on,” she said. “I heard you work with people who has amnesia…is that right,” T.J. asked her. “Um…yeah,” she answered. “How come you didn’t say anything,” T.J. questioned. “I didn’t want to stress you out which we tried to avoid…plus you had a hard enough time dealing with everything that happened in the past four weeks…I didn’t want to push you on it,” she said. “That’s a good enough reason to me…so what are my chances of remembering what happened to me in those four weeks,” T.J. asked her sister-in-law. “Well that depends…each case are different…it could take weeks…months…even years to regain your memory,” she said. “You think you can help me…I’m completely lost here…I hate it…I have all these people in my life who loves me but I don’t remember any of them…help me, please…you’re my only hope,” T.J. pleads. “Of course I will…I’ll do whatever I can, okay,” she said. Then they continued their conversation.

Randy was doing some work in his office when Jane showed up. “Hi! I thought you would be at the hospital with T.J.,” she said. “Your cousin is resting at the moment…what about you guys,” he asked his niece. “We’re good, Uncle Randy…sorry about what Shane did yesterday…he’s just torn about his sister and–,” she started to say before he stopped her. “No problem, honey…I already had a talk with your husband…it’s okay,” he said. Nyisha and Farrah were eating breakfast at their parents’ house. “What happened out there? I heard about Shane hiring some woman behind our backs yesterday,” Farrah asked her twin sister. “I’m guessing he’s a little on edge with helping T.J.! He took care of all his younger siblings for a long time and never meant any harm,” Nyisha said. “Then Marvin pops up and shows her pictures of their kids–don’t you think they’re gone too far getting T.J. to remember them,” she said. “In his defense, T.J. asked him about those pictures–we want her to get better but these guys need to realize what they’re doing isn’t good…pushing her like this would delay her chances of getting her memory back,” Nyisha said. “I wish they would let her be! If she wanted to remember anything, she would tell us! It’s entirely up to her now,” Dee Dee said, giving them some bacon and eggs. “Uh-huh,” said the girls. The three of them began to eat. As the days goes by, T.J. and Nalia were working together in the hospital room. “Hey, girls…what’s up,” Chuckie asked them. “We’re looking at some pictures of our family members…she’s getting really good at this, honey,” Nalia said to her husband. “I see that! Hey, little sister,” he said. “Oh hi, Chuckie,” T.J. said to him. “You think you can take a break for your twin brother, huh…we can get back to this later,” he said. “Sure,” T.J. said. “Let’s go outside and get some fresh air…I’ve already cleared it with Dr Shapiro…come on,” he said. “Okay,” T.J. said. They went to the pond behind the hospital. Chuckie was pushing T.J.. around in a wheelchair. “Feels good to be out of that stuffy room, huh,” he asked his twin sister. “Yeah…much better…thanks, Chuck,” T.J. said. “The therapy must be working cuz you haven’t call me Chuck since you’ve been here,” he said. “Huh? I did,” she questioned. “Of course…since we were kids…I’ll tell you about it later,” he said. The two of them chuckled. “I swear that I heard some voices out here,” someone said to them. “Hey, Uncle Jimmy,” Nalia and Chuckie. “Hey, kids…hi, baby girl…how is the therapy going,” Jimmy asked his niece. “It’s going well, Uncle Jimmy,” T.J. said. Suddenly, T.J. has another flashback. It was the first time she met her father’s family. “Dad, this is your grandson, Chuckie, and your granddaughter, T.J.! Kids, this is Ryan Johnson, your grandfather,” she remembers Randy’s exact words. “Let me take a good look at these kids…yeah…uh-huh,” Ryan’s voice echoed in her head. She remembers him touching both their faces and gasped. “What’s wrong, Dad,” Randy asked him. “Your son reminds me of a younger version of you but this young woman here is a splitting image of your mother,” he replied . “I-I do, Mr Johnson,” T.J. remembers asking her newfound family member. “Don’t call me Mr Johnson…I’m your grandpa, sweetheart,” he said, then hugged her. “Tiffani? Honey! Are you okay,” Jimmy interrupted. T.J. snaps out of it and said, “I remember Grandpa Ryan!” “You mean him,” Jimmy said as he shows her a picture of his father on his cellphone. She looked at it and shook her head. Then she broke down crying in Jimmy’s arms. 

“So tell me the truth, Nalia! Is she getting better,” Jimmy questioned. “It seems that way…the more people she gets in contact with, the better her chances of regaining her memory…but we can’t push her too hard or she’ll have a setback,” Nalia replied. “Just like when she remembered Grandpa Ryan and her first date with Marvin,” said Chuckie. “Yeah,” she said. “Well…let’s get the family down here already,” Chuckie said, grabbing for his cellphone. “Remember what I said…don’t push her,” Nalia told her husband. Moments later, everyone including their children showed up at the hospital. “Can we go in to see Mom,” Billie spoke up. “Slow down, sport…we gotta wait for the doctor to come out,” Marvin said to his daughter. While they sat in the waiting room, T.J. was drawing in a notepad. All of a sudden, she heard a tap on her door. “Hello there…how are you, huh,” a voice said following the tapping sound. “Hi, Michelle,” T.J. said without looking. “How did you know,” Michelle asked her little sister. “I’ve heard all about you…you are my big sister, right,” she said. “Of course…what did your big mouth sister-in-law tell you,” Michelle questioned. “Don’t worry…it’s all good things…have you checked your blood sugar lately…Mom wouldn’t like it if you got sick on us–if she were still here, of course,” she said. “I already did that, smartass…enough about me…what about you,” Michelle said, nudging her. She sat on the bed and had a talk with her sister. “I’m fine…nothing to worry about,” T.J. said. “You don’t have to put on this front…I know you’re scared of what happened to you…I’ve known you my whole life,” she said. “You’re right…I am scared…I hate not being able to remember you guys…it’s so hard,” T.J. said. “But you’re not doing this alone…we’re here with you…that will never change,” she said. The two of them hugged. Later that day, Marvin came into the room as T.J. watches some TV. “Hey, Tiff! I’ve brought the little ones to see you,” he said. Marlon, Mark, Billie, Terrell, and Angel comes in on their father’s signal. “Hi, Mommy,” they said. “Hello…to whom do I owe this visit,” T.J. asked them. “We brought you something,” Billie said, climbing onto the bed with a sketchpad in her hand. “Careful, honey…your mom’s still a little bruised,” he said. “It’s okay…I’m good,” T.J. said. Billie opened the sketchpad and showed her some pictures that she drew. “Awww…I like it…thank you,” T.J. said, hugging her young daughter. Brianna stood there outside the room watching them as they talked. “Why don’t you go in…see your mom,” Chuckie said to his niece. “Uh-uh,” Brianna said. “Why not,” he asked. “I caused this…if I had stopped her from going with Sam, this would’ve never happened…it’s all my fault,” she said. “No, it’s not…we know your mom…she would do anything to protect you and your siblings…Sam is to blame for this, not you,” he said. “You’re right, Uncle Chuckie,” she said. “Let’s go in…shall we,” he said, grabbing her hand. Then she shook her head and went into the room with him.

 

“Hey, guys…what’s going on,” T.J. asked her twin brother and her daughter. “So glad you could make it, Bree,” Marvin said. “I wasn’t sure about coming here at first…I didn’t mean to fight with you this morning, Dad…I’m so sorry,” Brianna said, then hugged him. Moments later, they were all laughing and carrying on. “I love these stories, you guys…it’s good to know so much about this family,” T.J. said. “Do you remember us now, Mommy,” Angel asked her. “A little bit but I’m trying my best to remember all of you,” she said. “Stop asking her all these stupid questions…she won’t remember it…I doubt she’ll ever remember any of this,” Brianna yelled at her little sister. As the kids argued, T.J. has another flashback. It was about her and Brianna having a little disagreement about her job as a cop. She snapped out of it and said, “Hey! Don’t yell at your sister! Your father and I raised you better than that!” “Girls, enough…you’re upsetting your mother,” Marvin said. “Sorry,” they both said. “This is not the way for you girls to act…remember what I told you to do instead of fighting…take a step back…take a deep breath…and use your inside voices,” T.J. said to them. “You haven’t said that to us since we were younger…Mom, you remember it,” Brianna said. T.J. shook her head and whispered, “Yeah…I do!” The two of them hugged. “I’m sorry for what happened…I shouldn’t have let you go with Sam,” Brianna cried. “It wasn’t your fault…it was my choice and I’m paying the price for it…you have nothing to apologize for, okay,” she said. “Okay,” Brianna said. Hours later, everyone were fast asleep in the hospital room. T.J. started to toss and turn. She was having the same dream as before. “No…no…stop…get seat from me…I wanna go home,” she mumbled. Marvin got up and rushed over to her bedside. The blurry faces that she saw had started to clear up a little. Suddenly, she woke up. “Hey! What’s wrong,” he asked her. “I don’t know…I can’t remember the dream,” she said. “Are you sure,” he said, wiping the sweat off her forehead. “I’m sure…my mouth is dry…can I get a drink of water, please,” she asked him. “Yeah…of course…you don’t remember it, huh,” he said, pouring her a cup of water from a pitcher next to her bed. “Uh-uh,” she said, getting the cup from him. She took a sip and set the cup down. “You don’t remember…or you don’t wanna remember,” he questioned.  “I told you…I don’t remember the damn dream so get off my back about it…dammit,” she yelled at him. Randy overheard them and rushed into the room. “Tiffani? Honey! Are you okay,” Randy asked his daughter. “Yeah…I’m okay,” she said. “Um, Marvin…we need to talk…outside,” Randy said to his son-in-law. “Okay,” said Marvin. They went into the hallway and shut the door. “What were you thinking, huh? You’re just as bad as Shane–how badly do you want my daughter to remember, huh? So out with it,” Randy yelled. “I hate how she is acting right now…I just want my wife back…the kids–they need their mother…is that so hard wanting her to remember her family, huh,” Marvin yelled back. “Not at the expense of my daughter having a setback…if you continue to push her like this, she may never want to remember…so take a step back and give her some space,” Randy demanded. Then Marvin walked away angry.

“Dad? What was that about,” Farrah asked. “It’s a long story,” he said, then went the other direction. The next day, Nyisha came into T.J.’s room to see the bed was empty. Randy and Dee Dee were relaxing at home when they got the call. They came to the hospital and saw the squad cars outside. “Nyisha? What happened,” they asked their daughter. “T.J.’s gone,” she told them. The rest of the gang came in behind their godparents. “I heard what happened…how did she get out of the room,” Irish asked. “No idea…I had to stop Marvin from pushing T.J. about a dream she kept having,” Randy said. “That little jerk,” Shane growled. They split up to look for their missing loved one. Moments later, Jimmy showed up at the hospital with his father, Ryan, in tow. “Hey, guys…what’s going on,” he asked. “Our sister’s missing and it’s all Marvin’s fault,” Shane told him. “You started it by sending that woman to my wife’s room…don’t you dare put that on me,” Marvin yelled. The two of them started to fight. Stephen and Randy stepped in to break the boys up. Within all the confusion, Ryan got up and left the waiting room. “Guys? Where’s Dad,” Jimmy spoke up. Ryan was walking down the hall of the hospital. He starts whistling a tune to himself when he heard a noise nearby. “Come on out, Tiffani,” he said. “How’d you know I was here,” she asked him. “You’re my granddaughter…I would’ve done the same thing,” he said. “I couldn’t take it anymore, Grandpa…they tried to make me remember what happened…don’t tell them that I was here please…I’m begging you,” she said. “Shh…I won’t say a word, sweetheart, because I’m coming with you…let’s go,” he said, helping T.J. into a nearby wheelchair. The two of them suddenly disappeared. “Great! Just great! Now Dad’s missing–why in the hell did you bring him here, Jim,” Randy yelled at his big brother. “He wanted to see his granddaughter–I couldn’t stop him,” Jimmy told him. “Take it easy, honey…they couldn’t have gotten far…they’re still in the hospital…we just need to know where to look,” Dee Dee said. Ryan was pushing T.J. in the wheelchair down to the parking garage. “I get it, kid…your uncle told me about the head injury…you don’t want to remember what was done to you because it hurts so much, right,” he said. “Right…I don’t want to think about it…Nyisha and my dad would never push me to dredge up those terrible memories….please don’t make me remember that,” she said with tears in her eyes. “I won’t…scout’s honor,” he said as he hugged his granddaughter. “You promise,” she said softly. “Of course…who needs those terrible memories anyways…the family should be lucky to have you back in one piece,” he said. “Thanks, Grandpa,” she said, closing her eyes. “We can just sit here until they get the point,” he said, closing his eyes as well. They suddenly fell asleep. “I warned you not to push her and now she disappears…I hope you guys are satisfied,” Nalia said to Shane and Marvin. She left them alone in the waiting room. “She’s right, you know,” Shane said. “My kids–they don’t understand why their mom lost her memory…guess if I could get her to tell me what happened, I’ll be helping all of them,” Marvin said. Then he broke down crying.

Dee Dee was on her cellphone when an elderly couple came in. “Mom…Dad…what are you doing here,” she asked them. “We heard about Randy’s daughter and her sudden accident…how are you doing through all of this,” they asked her. “I’m good…now she’s missing…Randy’s going out of his mind about that kid…I wish I could do something for him,” she said. “Hey, Donald…Claire…how are you guys,” Randy said to his in-laws. “We’re fine…how about you…we heard your daughter disappeared from her room,” Claire asked him. “I’ll be okay once she’s found,” he said. “I’ll help you look for T.J.–come on,” Donald said to his son-in-law. Back at the parking garage, T.J. slept peacefully on Ryan’s lap. She was having the same dream as she did before. She saw the two men standing over her in the dream. Their faces were getting clearer for her to see them. Once she saw who they were, she wake up. “Grandpa! I wanna go back to my room,” she said. “Okay,” he said. As the two of them head back inside, they ran into Nyisha and Nalia. “Grandpa? T.J.? Not am I glad to see you guys,” Nyisha said, hugging them both. “We better let the family know that they are found,” Nalia said, grabbing for her cellphone. The four of them head back to the hospital room. Moments later, the girls helped T.J. back into her bed. “You guys scared us with this disappearing act…please don’t do it again,” Nyisha pleaded. “I’m sorry, honey…we were proving a point to your parents…your sister don’t want to think about the horrible things that happened to her,” Ryan said to his oldest granddaughter. While they were talking, T.J. thought back on her latest attack with Tarik. “Hang in there, little sister…we’ll be right at the hospital,”  T.J. remembers her big sister saying to her in the ambulance. “T.J.? Hey there, buddy,” a second voice called out. “Huh? You said something,” she whispered, recognizing her sister-in-law’s voice. “You kinda zoned out on us…are you sure you’re okay,” Nyisha asked her. “Yeah…I was here before…had some kind of accident and you were there with me,” she told them. “Yeah…you was…it was for a stab wound…your ex-husband Tarik Lane tried to kill you a while back when you were protecting your sister…we were lucky that you survive that attack just like the one from the past,” Nalia said. “Why would I do something like that,” she said. “So I wouldn’t be in the same situation that you were in all those years ago…I told you that you had nothing to worry about because Tarik was arrested for that attack…he will never hurt us again,” Nyisha said. Everyone were relieved to see T.J. “Where have you been, knucklehead? You had us all worried,” Melissa said to her little sister. “I just needed to clear my head…couldn’t deal with everything that happened…everyone wants me to remember but I can’t…I don’t know anything…not even about the two guys who hurt me,” T.J. said. “Wait a minute…there were two of them, kiddo,” Randy asked. “Yeah, Dad…that guy you were talking about and some older man…I heard him say that the guy was his uncle,” T.J. said. “I know who she’s talking about…Sam has an uncle…Sidney Lane…Sam and Tarik are cousins,” said Nyisha. “Who’s Sidney Lane,” Robert asked her. “He’s the guy who came on to T.J. a while back…he caused her and Tarik to fight…they ended their relationship because of it…why is he back here,” Farrah said. “I don’t know, Fay…thank God he and Sam doesn’t know that T.J.’s alive,” Nyisha said. “If they were to find out, they would finish the job–probably kill her this time,” Farrah said. “I better call Agent Samson,” Dee Dee said. “They think I’m dead,” T.J. questioned. “It’s for your protection…the FBI wanted to keep you safe…until they catch Sam, kiddo,” Randy said. “If those guys knew I’m alive, they would come after me,” she asked him. Then she hugged him tight.

“I thought my daughter was in over her head with taking responsibility for Sheryl’s daughter…now I see how much she loves this young woman here,” Claire said to her son-in-law. “I’ve married for better or worse…your daughter knows how much I love my children–all of them,” Randy said. “You are very lucky to have this guy for your father…we would love to consider you and your brother as our family, too,” she said. “Okay…sure,” T.J. said. The two of them hugged. Sam and Sidney were having lunch at a downtown diner while Agent Samson and another guy watched them from the SUV. “Look at them…eating their meals like nothing happened,” he said. “Uh-huh,” the guy said back. The cellphone started to buzz. “Hello,” he answered. “I need you to come back here…my stepdaughter might know who hurt her,” Dee Dee said on the other end. “All right…I’ll be there soon,” he said back. “I wanna know something…why did you leave the room…is it really hard to remember what happened with Sam or you didn’t want to talk about it like Grandpa said…you can talk to me,” Nyisha said. “Everyone wanted me to remember but it’s so hard…maybe I didn’t want to talk about it…I know you guys mean well but I’m scared…scared of what would happen if I knew what happened to me,” T.J. said. “You could’ve told us this instead of running away…you said the same thing to Brianna when she had that fight with her dad…it would’ve been easier to tell us what was on your mind…we would never do anything to upset you…you have to understand that, okay,” she said. “Okay, Nyisha…I’m sorry for worrying you guys,” T.J. said. “I gotta get back to work..you still gonna be here, right,” she asked. “Yes,” T.J. said. She kissed her sister on the cheek and left. Moments later, Agent Samson meet up with the family in T.J.’s hospital room. “Hey, Tiffani…how are you,” he asked her. “I’m okay, sir…I wanna ask you something,” T.J. said. “Go ahead,” he said. “Why are you keeping me a secret? My dad told me you were doing it to protect me! Why,” she asked him. “We wanted to catch Sam before he does any more damage…if he thinks you’re dead, it would scare him a bit…even get him to turn himself in,” he said. “I got a better idea, Agent Samson,” she said. “Okay! I’m open to anything that you would suggested,” he said. The two of them started talking. “I don’t think I like this plan, kiddo…what if something goes wrong…Sam won’t quit until he gets you back,” Randy said. “I know but I won’t let that happen again…I’m sick and tired of being afraid…the only way to get Sam off the streets is to use myself as bait, Dad,” T.J. said. “Your daughter’s right…this is the only way to catch him…we promise to protect her,” Agent Samson said. “Just be careful, kiddo,” he said. “Okay,” she said, then hugged him. A few hours later, Sam leaves the gas station. He suddenly gets an anonymous phone call. “Hello,” he answered. Sidney was across town visiting Tarik in prison. As he was leaving the visitors’ area, he thought about what he has done from knocking T.J. out unconscious to forcing his nephew to give him a blow job. He snapped out of it when his cellphone buzzed. He meet up with Sam in a downtown hotel room. “So…your little girlfriend’s alive, eh,” Sidney asked his nephew. “Yep…with No memory of what happened,” Sam replied. “That means…I didn’t kill her,” he said. “I’ll have another chance to finish what I’ve started,” Sam chuckled. “Let’s go and do that…we have some unfinished business,” he said, rubbing his nephew’s back. “Sorry…I’m doing this alone,” Sam said as he pulls out a gun. “What are you doing with that,” he asked. “Well…I’m going to use this to scare Tiffani into leaving her family for me…like I said…sorry, Unc,” Sam said. The two of them shared a passionate kiss. Then Sam pointed the gun into Sidney’s chest and pulled the trigger.

“So you just gonna let her do it…the last time this happened, Sam dragged her out of here…she lost her memory because of him…I’m gonna go talk to that child of yours right now,” Dee Dee said as she head toward the room. “Whoa there! It’s no use! Her mind’s made up! We gonna have to trust my daughter on this! The FBI’s protecting her! Don’t worry about it,” Randy said, holding his wife’s arm. T.J. was eating her lunch when a set of feet walked into the room. “Hello, buddy,” a voice said. The agents were in the next room listening in as Randy and Dee Dee joins them. “So….what’s happening,” they asked the agents. “So far…Sam had just showed up…trying to