Life After Dark
Chapter 27

“I can’t believe this,” V said with a frustrated pout. “Where is everyone?”

“Maybe they’re all inside,” Keesha suggested as they moved the park’s community center. She shifted the load of supplies she was carrying and scanned the area. Or maybe they weren’t, she thought, as she noticed how quiet everything was.

V placed her box of materials on the steps and moved to peer into the window. She cupped her hands against the pane and pressed her face against her hand. Nothing stirred and nobody moved. The place was completely empty.

“Well?” Keesha asked as she placed her box next to V’s on the step. She swung her arms back and forth to release the tension she felt in her shoulders as she went up the steps to join V.

V turned away from the window and said, “Nothing. No one’s here. What should we do?”

“We can set up what we have,” Keesha said. She glanced at her watch and added, “We have ninety minutes. We can whip this place into shape in plenty of time. Give me the key and I can get started while you place a few wake-up calls.”

V’s face was optimistic until Keesha asked for the key. “I don’t have a key. Don’t you have one?”

“No, I don’t.” Keesha frowned as she went over the situation in her mind. The Big Brother/Big Sister recruitment booth was too important for them to cut their losses and leave. She knew from her social work at the hospital that the children who were fortunate enough to take part in the program really benefited from having a mentor in their lives. She and V could find a way to make this work. Her face brightened when she came to a solution. “We could set it up out here.”

“You mean outside?” V asked, frowning as she considered Keesha’s suggestion. Maybe it would work.

“Yeah,” Keesha said smiling. Her face and body movements became animated as she demonstrated to V what could be done. “We don’t have much, but what we do have could work.”

“I think you’re right,” V said. She placed her hand into her pocket, but came up empty. “I thought I had my cell phone on me, but I don’t. I think I left it in the car. Will you be okay here while I go back for it? I think I’ll grab a few more supplies from the trunk while I’m there.”

“Want me to come with you to help with the other stuff?”

“Nah, I’ll be fine,” V said as she moved away. “See ya in a few!”

Keesha laughed softly to herself as she watched V jog away. V was one of the most enthusiastic people she had ever met. Keesha was glad that she hadn’t stayed at home and moped. Being at the park and focusing on something positive lifted her spirits and pushed all of the nagging questions from her mind.


“Well, Michael, what do you think?” Jason asked as he pushed Michael, who was quite content in his stroller, through the park..

Michael gurgled and shook his rattle in reply. Jason laughed as he enjoyed the happy baby’s reaction. “I agree,” he said. “It is pretty nice out. Not bad for a Sunday.”

With Reynaldo at a safe distance, Jason and Michael continued to enjoy their Sunday in the park. They stopped to watch a couple of boys play catch. Two little girls stopped swinging to say hello to Michael. Judging from Michael’s reaction to the girls and theirs to him, Jason decided that the baby would become quite a ladies’ man one day.

Jason sobered at the thought. A few months ago, he could not understand the concept of the future and wondering about it or making plans for it. Now that his body had miraculously healed itself, the concept was an easy one to fathom, but one he didn’t want to consider.

Now that he knew the differences between right and wrong and that there were consequences for the way he lived his life, what should he do, he wondered. He couldn’t continue his life as a mob boss. Too many lives were ruined and put into danger because of what the mob was capable of doing. The thought of going back to medical school wasn’t something that interested him either. Spending his time with medical books or doing lab work were not who he was anymore.

As he continued to push Michael, his mind pondered what road he should take now. Who would he be now? Jason Morgan or Jason Quartermaine? The more questions he asked himself, the more the answers continued to elude him. The only thing he knew for certain about his future was that he wanted to share it with someone. And not just any someone. One person in particular. Keesha Ward. The biggest question and the most important one was how. How would he convince her or prove to her that what he felt for her never really died, but had only lain dormant, waiting for him to discover it again?


Keesha pulled the supplies out of the box. She was surprised by how much she and V had brought with them. She smiled to herself when she realized that her plan would really work. In fact, her amended plan might turn out better than the original. Instead of being confined to a stuffy building, they would be outside, breathing the fresh air and feeling the warm sun on their faces. They might be able to attract even more volunteers by being outside. A smile brightened her features as she began to dig in and got to work.

Keesha was glad that she had decided to wear jeans as she bustled around the outside of the building. She found a few tacks and a hammer. After she had tacked a few flyers to the two wooden columns, she stood back and admired her handiwork. Everything looked nice and colorful, but something was lacking.

Keesha frowned as she rummaged through the box V had brought with her. She needed something that would make their area of the park stand out. Frustrated because she hadn't found anything that would do the trick, she dumped the contents of the box onto the steps. She rubbed her hands together in excitement when she found what she was looking for.

She opened the banner and held it up to get a good look at it. It was practically new and the coloring was bright and definitely eye-catching. This would do, she thought. Now, how should she get it up, she wondered. Her eyes scanned the area as she searched for something to stand on. Then she found it. She could stand on the railing.

She grabbed a handful of nails and stuffed them into her front pocket. She then stuffed the hammer into her back pocket. She gathered the banner into the crook of one arm and with the other, she held onto the column as she climbed onto the railing.

She carefully balanced herself as she held onto the overhang and edged down the railing. Once she was settled at the far end, she flipped the banner open with one hand and then held it up to the overhang. With the other hand, she reached into her front pocket for a nail and then into her back pocket for a hammer. After positioning the nail for the first blow of the hammer, she began to feel herself slip. She tried to regain her balance, but since she was already in a precarious position, she was unable to do so. And she fell.

She fell into a pair of strong, muscular arms which hugged her close to a solid chest. The voice, filled with concern and desire tickled against her ear, as it said, “Keesha, what are you doing? You could have hurt yourself.”

Chapter 28

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