At the hospital emergency ward, Eve paced the floor while TC was being examined by a doctor. Eve wished she could join in, but was not allowed in the examining room due to her recent head injuries. Dr. Bradley felt that she needed more time to recuperate before she saw any patients.
Eve argued that it was her husband, TC, and that she wanted to be with him when they examined him. She was then told that was even more reason for her to remain outside. Too closely related, too emotionally involved.
As Eve paced, a nurse came out to see her. “Dr. Russell, Dr. Bradley will be out shortly to talk to you. Why don’t you sit down and have some coffee? You really look like you could use some.”
Liz stood beside the nurse’s station. She decided to get a cup of coffee to keep herself calm as she waited for news on TC’s condition. When the nurse came to speak to Eve, she approached and listened in.
Annoyed at Liz, Eve glared daggers at her, and then asked the nurse, “How is TC?”
“He is in very good hands. The doctor will tell you more.” She walked Eve over to some chairs and sat her down.
Liz followed, completely loving Eve’s displeasure. “Is he hurt badly?” she asked.
The nurse turned to Liz and said, “Are you a relative?”
“No!” Eve said before Liz could speak.
Liz stared at her, her mouth hanging open. “Yes, I am! I am his sister-in-law,” Liz said in a ‘do you mind’ kind of tone.
The nurse looked from Liz to Eve and then back to Liz. “Maybe you two need to work out your issues…”
“What?!” Eve and Liz practically shouted.
“Nothing,” the nurse squeaked, embarrassed that she had said anything. She turned to Eve and said, “The doctor will be out soon.” Then she rushed off before Eve and Liz had a chance to reply.
Back at the club, Julian sat at the table where he and Eve had been sitting. He stared at the piece of paper in front of him.
“Whitney Russell’s real father is Julian Crane.”
Below that was scribbled the confirmation test results that Kate had done when she found the note in her memo box.
“Donor Julian Crane is a 99.993% blood compatible donor for patient Whitney Russell, being the biological father."
His heart pounded, scarcely allowing him to believe that it was true. He had never been able to explain why he’d felt such a closeness to her recently, why she had become so dear to him. “Well, now you know, Julian,” he spoke out loud. “That dear girl is your daughter.”
Julian wasn’t sure what he was going to do. One thing was certain - he needed to speak to Eve about this. He got up, grabbed the memo and stuffed it into his pocket. Stepping into the night, he headed for his Mercedes. He paused for a moment, found his keys and unlocked the door. A few moments later, he roared out of the parking lot and headed for the hospital.
At the hospital, Dr. Bradley finally came out to see Eve. “Dr. Russell? May I speak to you for a moment?”
“Is TC all right?” Eve asked in concern.
“He’s going to be all right. He does have some cracked ribs, a broken nose and a few bruises. Other than that, I think he is going to be just fine.” Dr. Bradley smiled.
Eve smiled in relief. “I am so glad. Can I see him?”
“Sure, he was asking for you. Try to keep him calm,” Dr. Bradley suggested. “He seems agitated.”
Eve nodded. She approached the cubicle that TC was in and moved the curtain aside. When Liz anxiously peered in, Eve glared at her and closed the curtain.
TC lay on the bed, his ribs and the wounds on his head bandaged. He smiled when Eve drew close to the bed. “Hi, sweetheart. I am glad you came,” he croaked weakly.
“Of course I am here. I am so sorry for what happened. I feel like it’s all my fault.” Eve’s voice trembled with emotion as she looked into TC’s eyes.
Tears streamed down his cheeks. “I love you, Eve. Please forgive me for being such a fool. I don’t want to lose you.” He reached for her hand.
Eve took his hand and held it to her cheek. “I forgive you, honey. We have all been under terrible stress lately. I…I just want you to get better…so we can talk and try to work this out.” Tears filled her eyes at TC’s sincerity.
“No, I want to talk now…about Whitney…” He gasped with pain when he tried to sit up. He raised his hand to signal he was all right when concern flashed in Eve’s eyes. “I’m OK, just hear me out.”
“OK, TC. If that is what you want, we’ll talk about it. But try not to exert yourself too much. You need to rest.”
He smiled. “Yes, doctor!” He sobered and brought her hand to his lips and kissed it.
Eve smiled, and then asked seriously, “Can you forgive my past with Julian, TC? Without that, I am not sure we can work things out.”
“I’ve been thinking, Eve…maybe I need to let go of this anger. I see now that all it is going to do is cost me what I love most in this world, Eve…you and our girls!” The tears flowed freely down his cheeks.
Eve started to cry. “Oh, TC, I love you too. I think that if we can forgive each other, then we have won half the battle.” She leaned down and kissed him lightly on the lips.
TC smiled happily. “I do forgive you, sweetheart.”
Eve’s heart leaped. “Thank you, TC. You have no idea what that means to me…to have you forgive me for lying…”
“I know you kept the truth to protect me. I see that now.”
“Yes, my past was very painful for me. I wanted to keep it in the past; talking about it was just too painful. The fact that you hate Julian so much, well, that was another reason I never brought it up.”
TC looked away for a moment. “I forgive your past, Eve. But I still hold that pig responsible for what happened to my knee. He shouldn’t have let you drive.” TC started getting agitated.
“Let’s not talk about that, honey.” Eve tried to calm him down. “We don’t want anything to ruin what we have accomplished so far.”
“You’re right, sweetheart. I’m sorry.” TC readjusted himself and winced. “Man, it sucks to have cracked ribs.”
Eve sympathized. “I know. Just try to lie still.”
“We have to tell Whitney,” TC started.
“Yes, before she hears from someone else.” Eve looked at him closely. “How do you feel about what has happened?”
TC brushed his hand across his face. “I hate like hell that she is Julian Crane’s daughter.”
TC held up his hand to stop her. “I still think of her as my own, that will never change.
I am glad that we were the ones who raised her. At least she grew up in a loving home. I hate to think what she would be like if Julian would have raised her.”
“I know,” Eve whispered. In her heart, she knew that TC was probably right, but she couldn’t help but wonder what might have been had she and Julian been given the chance.
“I want you to tell her. She is your daughter, after all,” TC said.
“Oh, TC, she is your daughter too. In the sense that means anything, anyway. You raised her, and you did a wonderful job.” Eve smiled. “But you’re right. I think I had better go tell her, before she finds out from someone else.” Eve turned to leave.
“Yes?” She turned back to TC.
“Promise me that we will stay together as a family, that this will not tear us apart,” he pleaded, his eyes once again brimming with tears.
Eve’s heart pounded. This was what she had longed to hear from him all these years. “I promise that I will do everything in my power to keep our family together, TC.” With that, she leaned over and kissed him soundly. “I’ll come and see you later when I have talked to Whitney, OK?”
“OK. I’ll be here,” he joked.
Eve blew him a kiss as she exited the cubicle. She paused for a moment, knowing that she had made the right decision…for her family’s sake. They needed her. She belonged with them, despite how she felt about Julian. Sighing, she turned and headed for Whitney’s room.
Half an hour later, Julian entered the emergency ward. He had been sitting in his car, wondering if he should even go into the hospital. Knowing that sooner or later he and Eve would have to talk, he decided to go and look for her.
He found Liz instead. Frowning, he tried to avoid her, but was too late. She spotted him.
“If you’re looking for your whore, you are too late. She’s made up with TC, and you have lost her again,” she said smugly, enjoying the pain that flashed in his eyes.
He stepped closer to her and breathed heavily. “You know, Liz, if it weren’t for Eve, and what it would do to her, I’d have you shot!” he snarled. “Going to prison would be worth it, just to have your miserable presence out of Eve’s life.” He brushed past her, leaving her staring after him, in shocked disbelief.
Julian turned the corner past the nurse’s station to get out of Liz’s view. How he loathed that woman! His heart heavy, he wandered toward Whitney’s room. As he approached the room, he saw Eve leaving it. He paused, and then decided to approach her. “Eve?” he questioned gently.
Startled, Eve looked up. “Julian!” She smiled and stepped easily into his arms.
He closed his eyes and hugged her close. “My sweet Eve,” he murmured as he sucked in his breath, trying to calm his pounding heart. Lately they had become so close, so intimate. It was very hard for him to figure out exactly what their relationship was. Friendship? The dearest of friends, he decided, even though he wanted much more than that. He knew Eve certainly wasn’t leading him on; she had made it clear several times that she needed to work out her own life. Just where he fit in, he wasn’t sure…or if he fit in. “Is everything all right, Eve?” he asked finally.
Eve pulled out of his arms and walked farther down the hall from Whitney’s door. Julian followed. “I just told Whitney everything,” she exhaled.
“What? How did she take the news?” Julian stopped her and turned her to face him.
“Let’s go outside and talk, Julian. There is an exit down the hall. We can go out there.”
Julian smiled and reached for her hand.
The hall was empty, so Eve let Julian hold her hand. Opening the door, he held it for her. It was dark, but a small dim light lit the exit and they were able to see well enough to close the door.
After making sure the door was firmly closed, Julian took Eve’s hand again. “I need to feel you close to me,” he explained with a grin.
Eve smiled back and let him lead her onto the hospital grounds.
“The moon is bright enough for us to walk. Why don’t we walk a bit?” Julian suggested.
Eve walked beside him, her hand resting comfortably in his. She loved the feel of his large manicured hand engulfing her own.
“How did Whitney take the news?” Julian asked.
“Not well at first. When I told her she was adopted, she was quite hysterical. She couldn’t understand why we never told her.”
“I can understand why she’d be upset. It must have been quite a shock,” Julian said as he dropped her hand and placed his arm around her shoulders instead, when Eve shivered. “Are you cold?”
“Not anymore,” she chuckled and snuggled closer to him.
“Did you tell her who her real father is?”
“Yes. I first explained how Alistair had manipulated the whole thing, ruined our lives. I told her that I would have never given her away, that I’d thought she had died. I told her how I thought the drugs I’d taken were preventing me from having anymore children, and that that was why we adopted. She was a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing. I think when she thought about what I went through, she understood. She knew you and I were in love when we were young, so she wasn’t surprised that you were the father. It was odd; she got this thoughtful look and wasn’t angry at all.”
“Maybe it’s because we’d become close lately,” Julian offered. “After we got stuck in that elevator, we ran into each other a few times and had quite nice talks. She is a lovely girl, reminds me so much of you.” He leaned over and kissed the top of her head.
“Well, you know that TC will always be her ‘daddy,’ Julian. She loves him very much. It is hard for her to accept that he is not her father. But in time, I think she will be fine.”
“Yes, she is a very bright young lady. I think she will get past this and move on with her life. There is no reason she shouldn’t be happy still.” Julian stopped and turned to face Eve. “There is something that I want to tell you, Eve. Something that I have been thinking about tonight.”
“What?” Eve wondered, concerned about the serious tone in his voice.
“I think it would be best for you and Whitney if I were to leave Harmony.”
“What? Why?” Eve objected.
“Eve, your life is with your family. They need you. I have no right to take you away from them,” he said as a tear rolled down his cheek.
“But I need you too. So will Whitney…in time.” Eve’s voice started to tremble.
Julian cupped her face in his hands. “Eve, I love you too much to tear you apart like this. How can you be happy with two men pulling you in two different directions?” he asked as he brushed the tears from her cheeks.
“No, Julian, please don’t leave,” she begged. “You are the only friend I have left. Grace hates me. David is probably going to leave town. I am sure my other friends will loose me too when they find out what I’ve done. And Liz, well, she’s a lunatic. You’re all I have.”
“You have TC.” It pained him to point it out. “Liz told me you are trying to work things out.”
Eve sobered at the mention of his name. She remembered promising him to try again, and she knew that TC would not stand for having Julian in her life.
Throwing herself into Julian’s arms, she wept. “Why does it have to be this way?”
As he held her trembling body, he felt his own emotions threaten to overtake him. “I wish there were another way, my love. But you need to find yourself in all of this. My being here is not helping. So maybe if I go away, you will be able to figure out what you want for your life, or if I fit in it. That has to be your choice, without my influence. Your life is hectic enough without me making things worse.”
She pulled back and looked in his eyes. “You are the only solid rock I have, Julian. What am I going to do when I need to lean on you, and you are not there?”
“Here.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a key. “Here is the key to that suite I set up for you. When you need to be alone, just go there. Know that you are in my heart, always. That you are safe there, with me, every moment of everyday.” He placed the key in her hand.
“It’s not the same,” Eve protested. “I had gotten so used to your comfort these days, and now you’re leaving, I don’t know how I’ll survive, Julian,” she cried.
“You will, my love. Things are going to get better for you after I leave. You’ll see.” He pulled her into his arms and held her tight.
Eve drew back. She reached up and pulled his head down, seeking his lips with her own. She opened her mouth and allowed him to deepen the kiss. As they kissed, Eve started crying again, straining to be nearer as she kissed him with an urgency that she didn’t know she possessed.
Julian pulled her tighter, molding her slim body to his. He moved over her lips, feeling her, wanting to taste every part of her. The pain in his heart was almost more than he could bear. He never wanted to let her go.
Finally, he pulled back. “I love you, Eve. I’ll always love you.” With that, he released her and took off into the night.
Eve stood, her body shaking with sobs, as the lights from his car came on. The tires squealed as he left the parking lot. “Julian…” she cried as she watched the car’s lights disappear from her life.