Eve threw the signed papers on the coffee table beside her sofa. She leaned back and rested her throbbing head. Wiping her face with the backs of her hands, she sighed wearily.

A few minutes later, she got up and straightened her clothes and brushed her hair. When she thought she looked presentable, she headed down to Whitney’s room, just in time to catch her eating lunch.

Opening the door, Eve smiled. “Hi, honey!”

Whitney put down her fork and pushed her dinner away. “Hi, Mom; Daddy was just here a little while ago.”

“He was?” Eve asked in surprise.


“Did he tell you anything?” Eve asked nervously.

“He was very angry, Mom. He told me that you cheated on him, and that he wants a divorce.”

“He told you that? I can’t believe he just came in here and said that,” Eve said furiously.

“I’m so sorry, Mom. I know that you have been struggling with your feelings for Daddy and Julian. I just wish there was a way to work it out to make everyone happy,” Whitney said sadly.

Tears rolled down Eve’s cheeks. “I wish there was a way too. But this is the real world; it just doesn’t work that way most of the time.”

“Is it true…that you cheated on Daddy?”

Eve hung her head. “This is probably the hardest thing that I have to tell you, and it really hurts me to say this to you, Whitney, but I feel that I need to be honest with you, honey.” Eve tried her best to prepare Whitney. Finally, after hesitating for a moment, she just blurted it out. “I don’t love TC the way a woman should love her husband.”

“So that’s it? Our family is gone, just like that?” Whitney’s eyes filled with tears. “Is there nothing at all that you can do?” she cried.

“Oh honey, our family will always be a family, just not together. TC wants nothing to do with me. There is nothing that can be done,” Eve explained. “It’s been over for a long time, Whitney; my choosing to be with Julian only sped up the inevitable.” Eve sighed as she sat on the stool next to her bed. “I really wish for your sake and Simone’s that I had used better judgment last night. It is not something I wish for you and your sister to think, that I think this is acceptable behavior, or that I am trying to make excuses for what I did. I am sorry, for your sakes. It’s no excuse for dishonoring my marriage vows, but I love you father, Whitney. I love Julian. I need to be with him. I hope you can understand that,” Eve said, concerned.

“What are you going to do now?” Whitney asked, nodding her understanding.

“I don’t know. I haven’t given it much thought,” Eve said.

“Does Julian know about you and Daddy?” Whitney asked curiously.

“No, unless he is like Alistair…ears everywhere.” She smiled weakly at the thought.

“Are you going to tell him? Before he leaves town, I mean.”

“According to Crane Industries, he already has. They have no idea when he will be back,” Eve said, her face clouding with sadness.

“I am really sorry that I asked him to leave, Mom. I had no idea that things would turn out this way. If I had only known, I would have never asked him to leave.”

Eve touched her arm. “It’s OK, honey; everything will work out. I really believe that….I have too,” she said absently. “I think that I do need this time alone, to sort out what is left of my life. Then I can move on.” Eve smiled as she squeezed Whitney’s hand.

Julian sat thoughtfully, looking out the small jet window, his heart and mind always on the woman he loved. “Eve…” He whispered her name, his heart aching. “I don’t want my love for you to tear you and your family apart. I want you to be happy, with or without me.” A tear escaped his eye. He was not really feeling as noble as he was trying to be.

“Thinking about Eve?” Karen smiled.

Julian turned and looked at her. “Am I that obvious?”

“Only about 99 percent of the time,” Karen laughed lightly. “Why don’t you just go to her or call her?”

“No, I promised Whitney that I would leave Eve alone until she knows what she wants, and that is what I will do.”

“How will you know when that is?” Karen wondered.

“I really haven’t given that any thought, but I am sure it won’t be too hard to find out, after all, I am a Crane,” he boasted.

“After all,” Karen mimicked with a smile.

A few days later, Eve helped Whitney get her things ready to leave the hospital. After the doctor had given her the release forms to sign, he left them to finish packing up her things.

Whitney picked up the business card that Julian had given her. “Julian told me to give this to his attorney, that he would know what to do with it. I wonder what he meant by that.” Whitney showed the card to Eve.

Eve looked at it curiously. “Well, there is only one way to find out.” She raised her eyebrows with interest.

“Well, as soon as I have settled into your suite at the Crane Hotel, I’ll give him a call.” Whitney placed the card in her wallet. “Lucky for us Julian offered you the place,” she said.

“Yes, thank God we have a place to stay. I don’t think that going home would be a good idea right now,” Eve said. “I really appreciate your wanting to stay with me.” She smiled at Whitney.

“I know that Daddy still loves me, that he always will, but I think that you need me more than he does right now. Besides, Simone has decided to stay with him.”

“Simone,” Eve said sadly. “She blames me for everything. I hope that one day she can forgive me for what has happened.” Tears welled up in her eyes as she thought of the only child she had with TC.

“She was very angry when she heard about the divorce, but I believe that someday she will come around. Besides, it is not just your fault. She will have to see that too.”

“Thank you, sweetheart. I appreciate you sticking by me like this. I don’t know what I would do without you.” She hugged her close.

“Have you heard from Julian yet?” Whitney asked suddenly as she pulled out of her arms and zipped her overnight bag.

Surprised, Eve looked up and said, “No, why do you ask?”

“I don’t know, I guess I was just hoping that he might have called you or something.”

“No,” Eve whispered as her mind wandered to the night they had spent together. She smiled as she remembered his tender kiss, his sensual touch, his masculine strength.

“Mom!” Whitney smiled. “Where are you?”

Eve smiled sheepishly. “I am sorry, honey.”

“Thinking about Julian?” she asked tenderly.

Eve blushed.

“I can see how much you love him.” Whitney squeezed her hand. “I love Chad just as much.”

Eve grinned. “Well, at least you two can finally be together without worrying.”

“Yes, Daddy was too hard on him. I know he only wanted what was best for me, but he refused to believe that that was Chad.”

“Well hopefully one day TC will see how wrong he was in this situation,” Eve said.

“That would be nice; I want him to get along with Chad. He is the man that I want to spend my life with.” Whitney smiled when the door opened and Chad walked in.

“Hey...” he said cautiously, looking at Eve.

“Hi, Chad!” Eve smiled to reassure him.

“I came to help you move your things.” He kissed Whitney on the cheek.

Eve smiled as she thought of how she and Julian were when they were young and in love…the wonderful times they had together, enjoying each other, loving each other. He had captured her heart, and she gave it willingly, never realizing how much one day she would come to depend on those memories to make it through her days.

Chad turned to Eve. “I heard about you and TC. For what it’s worth, I’m sorry. It must be tough.”

“It’s hard, but it was harder living the way we did.”

“Well, I hope you find the love and happiness you deserve.” Chad reached out and hugged her.

“Thank you, Chad. That is very sweet of you.” Eve smiled as she returned his hug. She sighed as she thought of Julian, wondering where he was, what he was doing. Was he thinking of her, as she was of him? Would he give her the love and happiness she needed? ‘Without a doubt,’ she thought longingly, wishing he was there.