“What happened?” TC asked groggily, spitting blood.
“You were in a fight,” Liz said.
“A fight? With whom?” TC asked, confused.
“JULIAN CRANE!” TC jumped to his feet and then wobbled. “Where is he? I’m going to finish him off. He is a dead man.” He held onto the couch to steady himself.
Liz cleared her throat, trying to find a way to tell him what happened. “Well, TC he’s…”
“Why are we half naked, Liz? Why is the house a mess? What happened here?” TC interrupted in confusion.
“Well, you and I were enjoying drinks and each other’s company when…”
“Enjoying? What do you mean ‘enjoying’?” TC asked in alarm.
Purring like a kitten, Liz played with him. “Do I have to spell it out for you, TC?”
“No, no, this can’t be real. This must be a nightmare,” he cried desperately.
“Well, thanks a lot!” Liz snorted.
“I’m sorry, Liz, but I must have been drunk. There is no way that I would do this to Eve otherwise,” TC apologized. “I have to go to her. I have to explain.”
“Do you really think she will forgive you for sleeping with her sister?” Liz spat out.
TC stopped short. “Her sister?”
“Yes, TC, I am Eve’s sister!” she practically shouted.
Stunned, TC stared at her. He couldn’t believe it. His perfect Eve, she was Liz’s horrible sister? “This can't be true, not my Eve. She is beautiful and kind. She wouldn't lie to me... I must see her. I must find out what is going on.” He grabbed his keys and headed for his car with Liz following close behind him, the shocking news clearing his head of all the effects the alcohol had left.
Julian arrived at the hospital to have his nose examined. He howled when the doctor made sure it was straight. When it was time to leave, he took the prescription for pain killers and left the cubicle. He stood there for a moment, wondering if he should go see Eve. He decided not to and turned to leave. As he walked past the nurse’s station, he heard nurses Kate and Rachel discussing Eve. Pausing, he asked about her.
“Is she all right?” he inquired.
“Dr. Russell is going to be fine physically, but I am not sure how she will cope emotionally,” Kate said. “Her daughter Whitney just broke some rather disturbing news to her. She is a wreck in there. Whitney is fairing no better herself.”
Ignoring their protests, Julian dropped his coat and prescription and headed for Eve’s room. He opened the door to the sounds of sobbing. Whitney was sitting on the bed with Chad by her side, trying desperately to console Eve.
“What do you want, man?” Chad stood up quickly.
“I want to see if Eve is OK,” Julian said.
“She’ll be fine,” Chad said. “We’ll take care of her. This doesn’t concern you.” He eyed Julian’s blackening nose.
“Oh, yes, it does,” Julian stated.
“How? How do the Russells concern you, Julian? I’d like to know.” Chad started getting annoyed.
“I love her!” Julian replied, and then felt like kicking himself for letting it slip. “No, I mean…” He tried to retract his admission, but Chad wasn’t buying it.
“I knew it!” Chad said. “I knew when you touched Dr. Russell’s hand earlier that there was something going on. And that’s why you beat on Whitney’s pops, isn’t it?”
“TC had it coming. He had no right to hurt Eve like that,” Julian said angrily.
“He had it coming, all right, but I still think you should leave. Dr. Russell is upset enough.”
“It’s OK, Chad,” Eve sniffed, wiping her eyes. “I’d like to speak to him, in private though.” She touched Whitney’s cheek and begged her to understand.
“OK, Mom, Chad and I will be right outside.” She squeezed Eve’s hand and then looked at Julian. She smiled weakly in an attempt to thank him for defending her mother’s honor.
Julian nodded understandingly. When Whitney closed the door, he stood there looking at Eve’s tearstained face. “I am so sorry, Eve. I wish that I could take away your pain.”
Eve blinked and tried hard not to cry again, but failed as the tears started to flow once more. “I have been such a fool,” she cried.
Julian sat on the stool next to the bed. “You didn’t do anything wrong, Eve. TC is the one who cheated on you.”
“And I didn’t?” she asked, speaking of the kiss they had shared earlier. “I may not have had sex, but kissing you was wrong too.”
“No…” Julian objected.
“Yes, it was wrong, and I am sorry that it happened. I want you to know that it can never happen again. I am going to forgive TC, and I hope that he forgives me.”
“What about Liz?” Julian asked, his eyes full of pain. “What are you going to do about her?”
“I’ll tell TC the truth and hope that he loves me enough to understand why I kept my past from him. Then that wretched sister of mine will be out on the street in a flash.”
“Sister? Liz is your sister?” Julian asked incredulously.
Realizing what she had said, Eve covered her mouth in regret. She relaxed when Julian motioned that his lips were sealed.
“Eve, you can’t honestly believe that TC will forgive you for having a child with me. He will go ballistic. And now your sister is living with you, and you never told him who she is? I don’t think that this is a good idea,” Julian said, concerned.
“He will be mad at first, but I think that he will come around,” Eve said, although she knew that it was going to be a lot rougher than that.
“After what those two did to you, why would you want to go back to that, Eve?” Julian asked.
“Because I love TC and the girls,” she said firmly.
“Do you, Eve? Do you love him?”
“Of course I love him!” Eve almost shouted. “I have spent twenty years of my life with that man.”
“Doing what, Eve? Hiding your past from him? Have you ever had time to get over your past, Eve? Have you gotten over the love we shared?” Julian probed all too close to her heart.
“Yes, yes, I have. I’ve had plenty of time to get over our past, Julian,” Eve replied, putting up that shell that she was so famous for.
“Have you?” he pressed, reaching and taking her hand in his. “You’re trembling,” he said with a smile.
“I am not,” she retorted, pulling away her hand.
Julian sighed. “Eve, I know you all too well; you can’t lie to me. TC may be naïve enough to believe everything you’ve said to him about yourself, but I know you, Eve. I know that you are lying to me. I know that you still have feelings for me,” he said boldly.
“Why you…” Eve reached out and slapped him.
Julian winced with pain. The slap hurt because of his broken nose.
“I am so sorry,” Eve apologized. “I forgot that you broke your nose. Really, Julian, I am sorry.”
Blinking back tears from the intense pain in his face, Julian waved his hand to dismiss her apology. “It’s OK; I deserved it. I shouldn’t have behaved the way I did. I am the one who should apologize.” He smiled weakly, trying to look tougher than he felt.
“Oh, Julian,” Eve said as she reached out and brushed her hand against his cheek. “You have been nothing but gracious to me, and I am so sorry that you had to get your nose broken for me.”
Quickly grabbing her hand and pressing it to his cheek more firmly, Julian said, “I'd do it again. I would do anything for you, Eve.” He smiled and then kissed the palm of her hand.
The brush of his lips against her palm sent shivers up and down her spine. As much as she tried to deny her feelings for him, every time he touched her, they were immediately awakened.
Noticing that she was warming up to him, Julian looked up, his gaze holding hers. The air in the room was thick and heavy as his heart started to flutter at the thought of kissing her.
Eve leaned closer, her heart pounding… Suddenly she pulled back, blushing furiously.
“We can’t do this. This is wrong.” She tried to pull her hand away.
Julian held her hand tightly, refusing to let go. “I love you, Eve.”
Eve smiled. “I can see that.”
“I don’t want you to just see it. I want you to feel it too. If you ever need anything, Eve, just call me, OK?” He squeezed her hand gently as he got up to leave. “I’m going to go now. I hope that things work out for the best for you.” He turned to leave and then on impulse bent down and kissed her.
His lips lingered on hers, their softness driving him crazy. He thought about pulling back and then realized it may be the last time he was going to kiss her if she was going to be so foolish and just forgive TC for cheating on her. So with that thought in mind, he sat on the bed and pulled her off the pillows and into his arms. Passion coursed through his veins as he encouraged her to deepen the kiss.
Her mind reeling from the effects his closeness was having on her, Eve responded to the kiss. As her hands slid up his chest, she placed one over his heart and one against his cheek, the pounding of her heart matching the rhythm of his as it pulsed against her hand. The pain in her heart seemed to fade away, the uncertainty of her life vanishing, as she rose to meet him kiss for kiss.
Encouraged by her response, Julian crushed her more tightly against him. His hands splayed across her back. The intense need driving him was almost too much for him to control. Realizing that if he didn’t stop soon, he was going to lose his mind, Julian reluctantly pulled back.
Her breathing ragged and her head spinning, Eve didn’t know what to feel anymore. TC, her love for the past twenty years…and Julian, her first love, whom she had despised for all those years, and had now wormed his way back into her heart… Frustrated, she pushed Julian away. “We can’t do this; this is wrong.” She turned away so she wouldn’t have to look at him.
“Eve.” His voice was full of passion and pain. “Remember me when you need someone,” he whispered, and then quickly got up and left.
As Julian entered one elevator, hitting the ‘ground’ floor button, TC raced out of the second one, his breath short and desperate. “Eve, I have to talk to Eve.” He stopped short when he spotted Whitney and Chad glaring at him.
“Get away from her!” Whitney shouted.
Chad held her as she screamed at TC. “Don’t worry, sweetheart,” he reassured Whitney. “I won’t let him hurt her.”