Where Phoenix last left off, she was delivered unsettling news from Kai saying he would be relocating to Auburn Grove with his girlfriend Kailyn. Knowing that Kai is Ayana’s father, this news greatly bothered Phoenix. She knew it was time to tell Kai the truth about Ayana. Phoenix watched Kai began to pack up his things, she tried to figure when to tell him. Kai takes notices and hands over his last rent payment to Phoenix. Kai talks about how excited he was about the move and how he’s gonna make things right with Kailyn. He proceeds to tell Phoenix how he plans to ask Kailyn to marry him once they get back to her place. Without thinking, Phoenix blurbs out that he’s Ayana’s father. Kai pauses for a second before turning away and leaving Phoenix’s house.
She tries to stop him, asking him to say something but Kai ignores her and gets into his car. A couple of hours had passed and Phoenix gets worried. She calls Keith asking if he heard from Kai but he hasn’t. Kailyn shows up with a moving truck and question Phoenix where was Kai. Phoenix told Kailyn she was about to ask her the same thing. Phoenix confesses to Kailyn that Kai is Ayana’s father and that’s why he took off. Like Kai, Kailyn takes off without saying a word. As more time passes, Phoenix desperately attempts to contact Kai but to no avail. Keith returns home and asks Phoenix what is going on. She tells Keith how to told Kai that he’s Ayana’s father. Keith had a different reaction and smiled telling her how he always had a feeling. He points out how Ayana has his eye and admits that he did see Kai exit her room shortly before she ended up pregnant. He tells her how he put 2 and 2 together.
After Kai and Kailyn when MIA for 72 hours, they return with some news for Phoenix. They decided that they will remain in town for Ayana. They just found a house that they can rent. Phoenix was happy to know Kai would be staying however Kai had a coldness towards Phoenix. Phoenix apologizes to both Kai and Kailyn but Kai turns away before she could finish. Kailyn tells Phoenix that they just need some time.
Over time Kailyn was able to warm back up to Phoenix however Kai remained cold and distance from Phoenix. He was no longer interested in being her friend however he only spoke to her when he wanted to spend time with Ayana. For 2 years Phoenix and Kai had an estrange relationship but tried to keep things cordial with Ayana’s sake.
They had their first fallen out when Phoenix planned to attend Boragio’s wedding in Bridgeport. The weekend of the wedding was Kai’s weekend with Ayana. He had plans to take her to meet his family since a cousin was getting married. Phoenix told Kai months in advance that she would be attending her brother’s wedding with Ayana. However Kai didn’t care and felt Ayana should go with him since this would be a family that she hasn’t met yet. Kai was more angered when he learns Keith will be attending Boragio’s wedding with Phoenix instead of attending their cousin’s. Kai accuses Phoenix of uses her magic persuade Keith to go with her. However Phoenix denies Kai’s ridiculous claim before Keith steps in to defend his reasons. Ayana walks in during their argument and began to cry. Kai attempts comfort Ayana only to be rejected. Kai then decides Ayana can go with Phoenix.
Just a month after Boragio’s wedding, Lotus and her boyfriend Jeffrey Dean got married. During the weekend of Boragio and Vega’s wedding, she discovered she’s pregnant and pushed her wedding the following month to avoid being a heavily pregnant bride like Vega.
During Lotus and Jeffrey’s wedding, Phoenix and Kai’s relationship was tested, Kai has been a bit bitter towards Phoenix since the previous month. Kai felt Phoenix was untrustworthy since she tend to make plans with family on the weekends Kai is supposed to have Ayana. Kai has been struggling to form a relationship with his daughter and blames Phoenix for it. During Lotus’ wedding reception Kai delivers the news that he would be suing Phoenix for joint custody. A huge argument breaks out between Phoenix and Kai, which the reception party turns awkward and brings Lotus into tears. Phoenix blames Kai for ruining her sister’s wedding and storms off with Ayana, leaving her father and brother Boragio to pick up the pieces.
The following day after Lotus’ wedding, Phoenix tells Kai that she and him need to make things right with her sister cause of their blow out. Lotus was unsure about having a wedding but was persuaded into having a small wedding at the park only to have it ruined. Phoenix takes part blame for the short reception party and Kai felt that wasn’t the place or time to mention about suing for custody. Phoenix and Kai threw a surprise party for Lotus and Jeffrey at the beach. As Phoenix and Kai made plans for the party, it was the first time in a long while since they got along. The party was success and Phoenix and Kai remain cordial. Kai decides that he won’t sue for joint custody and explains he’s been under a lot of stress due to school. As the party winds down, Kai tells Phoenix he plans to pop the question to Kailyn after everyone leaves. He shows Phoenix the ring then asks Phoenix will she be his friend again. Phoenix accepts but finds herself jealous now seeing how everyone around her is getting married.
Lotus and Jeffrey had a set of twin girls named Latrice and Larissa.
During the weekend of Boragio and Vega’s wedding, there was a spark between Keith and Phoenix. Keith was often mistaken to be Phoenix’s boyfriend. After Lotus’ wedding, Phoenix realize how Keith has always been the one person who always been there for her. She then decides to give things a try with Keith since he had been pursuing her for years. However Kai felt indifferent toward their relationship, he finds himself bothered seeing his brother with her. Even after marrying Kailyn, he doesn’t like seeing Phoenix with Keith. Kai has conflicted emotions when he realizes that he feels something for Phoenix.
After landing a job in the journalism field, Phoenix quickly befriends a co-worker named Sophia. She learns how her new best friend is a Gaivania Genie which makes their bond ever tighter. Sophia has a daughter who is the same age as Ayana and they often have play dates. Phoenix admires Sophia’s marriage with her husband Levar and hopes to have something like that one day. However she doesn’t think it would happen with Keith. Phoenix often confides in with Sophia about Keith intimacy issues which is a huge issue for a Navox. Sophia acts as Phoenix’s voice of reason and tries to give her the best advice. But when Phoenix mentions how she and Kai are on very good terms again, Sophia warns her to not get too close. Sophia explains nothing good will happen between them.
Through out the next few years Phoenix and Kai grow closer to each as their daughter grows older. Phoenix and Kai both agree enrolling Ayana into the academy where Kailyn work at as the librarian. Naturally Kailyn puts in a good word in for her step daughter to the school’s dean. Ayana was accepted, however Kai learns the tuition may be too much for his wallet. Kai decides to finally work as a paramedic to help pay the tuition.
Phoenix and Kai were cordial until Kai learns he has to pay child support. Phoenix tries to tell Kai how the state is making him pay and she didn’t have nothing to about it. Kai refuses to listen and often fights with Phoenix when it comes to money. He now feels the school cost way too much and Ayana should attend public school. Phoenix refuses to remove Ayana from the academy telling Kai to deal with it and told him how the school is great for their child.
Things took a turn during one of their arguments. Phoenix being sex-starved due to Keith intimacy issues with hidden feelings for Kai, found herself in bed with Kai after a heated argument. Kai had the fiery passion which Phoenix seeks, seeing him angry excited her however Kai felt the same way about her. Their usual fights starts ended with angry sex. Kai began to purposely start fights with Phoenix as this was now the only thing that turned him on. Phoenix and Kai both agree that they should stop sleeping with each other however they have no slowed down until Kai’s father moved into town.
During a family dinner, Kai’s father Kiran couldn’t help but notice how Phoenix and Kai kept making eyes at each other. After dinner, Kiran confronted them both about their affair as he’s aware of the signs. Kiran ordered Phoenix and Kai to end their affair as it was not fair to Keith and Kailyn. Kiran didn’t care for their reasons and told them how they were being selfish. Phoenix and Kai decided to end things when Kai learns Kailyn is expecting. Kai tells Phoenix he needs to make things right with his wife and be a family man. Kai suggests Phoenix should either work things out with Keith or end things. Phoenix had confessed to Kai how she’s not into Keith due to him lacking passion.
Phoenix tries to keep herself busy with her work. She spends a lot of time with a male name Guy Coy who is the cousin of Sophia’s husband. Kai becomes jealous of Guy and accuses Phoenix being involved with him. However Phoenix denies it and tries to explain how Guy is apart of a project at her work. Phoenix is working on a piece of survivors of horrific tragedies who are living successful lives.
Guy Coy lost his family in a house fire when he was 11. He was badly burned and lost pigment in some areas on his body. The house fire was triggered by racism shortly after Guy’s family moved into an upper middle class neighborhood that was majorly white. Justice was never found for Guy as the case was swept under the rug. Guy decided to become a cold case detective, tackling ignored cold cases of victims of color. Phoenix has taken interest in Guy’s story however Kai is convinced that more is going on.
Phoenix wonders why Kai would even care and ponders if things between she and Kai was more than sex. However Phoenix decided to continue to focus on her piece and Ayana. Phoenix haven’t worked much on her relationship with Keith. They both keep themselves busy with Keith being a forensic lab tech and Phoenix being a journalist. Keith often works long hours in the lab and is barely home but wants to change that. Keith has thoughts about starting a family with Phoenix.
With a baby on the way, Kai spend as much time as he can with Ayana as he knows the new baby will keep him busy. Summer had started and Kai takes Ayana to the park to tell her how this was the last summer that it’s gonna be just him and her at the park. Kai tells Ayana about Kailyn’s pregnancy which Ayana becomes excited about being a big sister. Ayana tells Kai how this was one more excited thing. Kai was confused and asked Ayana what does she mean by that. Ayana asks Kai what will she have to call Keith soon. Ayana questions will she have to call him Uncle Step Dad or just keep calling him Uncle Keith. Kai didn’t think much of their relationship and didn’t think it would get to that point. At this moment Kai came to realize his true feelings for Phoenix. Kai mumbles to himself, “No… I’m in love with her…”