Eve looked down at the marina below from the large window in her apartment that Julian had set up for her at the Crane Hotel. She smiled as she remembered telling him that she loved him in the exact spot she was now standing. There they had stood in each others arms.
She wondered what he was doing, wishing he would call her - to tell her that he was all right - that he missed her, loved her. Eve sighed. She knew him all too well. He would keep his word to Whitney; he would give her the space he thought she needed. Even if he knew she and TC were now divorced, he would still give her time to recover, whether she wanted it or not. This was the honorable Julian, the part in him that had been buried beneath the booze and the women for so many years.
She missed him terribly. The emptiness in her heart was at times too much for her, and she would cry herself to sleep as she hugged her second pillow close, wishing it was him, praying that somehow he would come back again and be with her.
Eve shook her head to clear her mind of the heartache she was causing herself by thinking of Julian. She had straightened up and smoothed her hair when the apartment door swung open and Whitney and Chad waltzed in. She smiled.
“Hi, Mom!” Whitney chirped.
“Hi…why are you so chipper?” she wondered.
“Tell her!” Chad cried enthusiastically.
“Tell me what?” Eve wondered, smiling at their obvious joy.
“Well, Chad and I went down to see Julian’s attorney, Ben Master, today,” Whitney said. “We gave him the card that Julian gave me.”
“And…?” Eve asked curiously, her heart fluttering at the mention of Julian’s name.
“Well, you won’t believe this, Dr. Russell,” Chad declared.
“What? What?” she cried.
Whitney continued. “Well, he wasn’t surprised to see me. He asked me to come into his office; Chad had to wait outside.” Whitney smiled adoringly at him. “Well, once I was in his office, he handed me a set of keys.”
“Keys?” Eve asked.
“Yes, keys to a suite of my own, across the hall from yours!” she cried with glee. “I couldn’t believe it! Mr. Master said Julian told him that it is mine for as long as I need it.”
“Wow, that is really generous of him,” Eve breathed.
“Yes, now Chad and I have our very own place to live when we get married,” Whitney gushed. “But there is more. He also gave me a credit card with a ten thousand dollar monthly limit,” Whitney said, not quite believing it herself.
Eve frowned when she heard that. “I am not sure spoiling you is such a good idea,” she said, concerned.
“I am a little concerned too - about his motives, I mean,” Chad added.
“Well, he told me that if I ever needed anything, I should go to his attorney. I don’t believe that his intention was to spoil me - maybe to make up for all the years he missed out on,” Whitney offered. “I mean, after all, he is a billionaire. He could have offered me more, but rather, he kept it simple. I don’t want to take his money, but I think it would hurt him if I wouldn’t. Besides, it will really help my tennis and music careers.”
Eve frowned. “You know how I feel about your singing, Whitney.”
“I know, Mom, but with this money, I will be able to work right out of the Crane Recording Studio. I won’t have to leave home. Please, Mom, it’s what I want,” Whitney pleaded.
Sighing, Eve resigned her objections. All of Whitney’s relentless pleading was wearing her out. Besides, it was clear she was going to do it anyway, with or without her approval. “All right, but please promise me you will stay away from the partying and drugs. I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did,” Eve pleaded.
“I promise, Mom.” Whitney reached out and hugged her. “There is one thing that Mr. Master said that really convinced me that Julian has my best interests at heart,” she said as she pulled out of Eve’s arms.
“What’s that?” Eve held her breath.
“He told me that Julian told him how much he admired me, and how much he has come to love me - that he is very happy that I am his daughter.” Whitney smiled.
Eve grinned. “I know he loves you, honey. You are the proof of the love that he and I once shared,” she said sadly, wishing he were there to tell her himself.
“Someday you’ll have that love again, Mom. I just know it,” Whitney tried to comfort her.
“I hope so.” She smiled.
“Well guys, enough, we better get ready for that auction,” Chad said. “After all, our prominent Dr. Russell is to be auctioned off tonight.” He grinned. “Also, the Harmony P.D. is part of the fundraiser. So it should be real interesting.”
“Yes, I agree,” Eve laughed, as she thought of all the eligible young men the women would be fighting to bid for.
Locking the suite, Eve, Chad and Whitney quickly stepped into the apartment that would now be Whitney’s, and were thrilled that it was almost identical to Eve’s suite minus the view of the waterfront. When they finished, they locked it too, and then took the elevator to the underground garage. There, they hopped into Eve’s car and drove off to Lighthouse Park to join the festivities surrounding the auction.
Arriving at the park, Chad offered to drop them off at the gate and parked the car, promising to follow them soon. Eve and Whitney wandered onto the grounds that were already crowded with Harmony residents. The first part of the fundraiser was the Harmony police department, and that was well underway.
Eve grinned as the young men flexed their muscles for all the screaming women wanting to get a piece of them. As she approached the gathered crowd, she bumped into Grace Bennett. “I…I’m sorry,” Eve stammered.
Grace looked at her and said, “It’s OK, I wasn’t watching where I was going.”
They looked at each other uncomfortably. Finally after an awkward silence, Eve said, “I’m so sorry for what I did, Grace.” Tears brimmed her eyes.
Grace swallowed hard and wiped the tear from her eye that had escaped. “You know…uh…I can’t understand why you would do that to me, Eve,” she said, her voice quivering with emotion. “Why you didn’t just tell me?”
“I couldn’t, Grace. Ivy threatened to tell TC about my past with Julian,” she cried. “I just couldn’t let her do that. I know it was a horrible thing to do, and I wish that I would have come to you - at least you would have been able to stop her from trying to steal Sam from you.”
Nodding, Grace exhaled loudly. “Well, what’s done is done. The good thing is, Sam and I were able to get our marriage back…thanks to Alistair Crane of all people.” She half laughed. “On the other hand, I think I understand why you did what you did. Look what happened to your marriage because of it.”
“Yes, well, there wasn’t any glue out there that could hold our marriage together,” Eve said as she wiped her eyes. “I hope that you can forgive me, Grace. I really miss my friend.”
Grace smiled. “I missed you too.” Then she laughed suddenly. “I think I better forgive you, or I might end up like the character in your dream when you were in that coma. Uh, I couldn’t bear to be reduced to that.” She giggled as she remembered Eve’s description.
Crying, Eve threw herself into Grace’s arms. “Oh thank you, Grace. Thank you so much.”
As the two friends mended their broken relationship, a figure in the shadows watched them with great interest. Then after a few minutes, satisfied, the figure stepped back into the protection of the trees and disappeared.