Whitney placed a hand on Julian’s shoulder and gently shook him. “Julian,” she whispered, trying to wake him.
He stirred and then awoke with a start. “Eve…” He looked and saw that nothing had changed.
“Julian,” Whitney said again with tears running down her cheeks.
He got up and hugged her to him. “Whitney,” he said, his voice shaking.
“How did this happen?” Whitney whispered. “How could this happen?”
“I don’t know, but I won’t rest until I find who is responsible and make them pay.”
Whitney pulled back. “The doctor told me she was stable. That is good, right?”
“Yes, thank God. She is not completely out of the woods though,” he explained. “How did you get here?”
“Fox and Chad brought me. Sheridan and Grace are in the waiting room. The nurses said only family could go in, so they are just waiting to see you.”
“I don’t want to see anyone,” he said and turned back to Eve, stroking her hair, holding her hand against his cheek. “Eve, my love, can you hear me?” he said to her.
Whitney fought back tears at the sight of him. “You really love her, don’t you?” she said.
“More than my own life,” he replied as he bent and kissed her forehead.
“Why don’t you go back to the hotel and shower and get something to eat? I will stay here with Mom,” Whitney suggested.
“No, I don’t want to leave her,” he said stubbornly.
“I know,” she whispered, “but your son needs you too; you need to be strong for him too.”
At the mention of his son, Julian looked up. “You saw the baby?” His eyes lit up with pride.
“He is a beautiful boy.”
“Yes, he is. He looks just like his mother.” He looked at Eve again.
“Please, Julian, take care of yourself. I don’t want you to wear yourself out like this, and neither would Mom.” Whitney took his hand and tugged him away from the bed. “Please, for my brother’s sake, go to the hotel and rest. I will stay with Mom. I promise to call you as soon as there is any change at all.”
Julian looked into her pleading eyes and sighed. “All right, but call me as soon as anything happens,” he said.
“I will,” she promised.
Julian turned to Eve again. “I will be back soon, my love. Whitney is here; she will sit with you till I get back.” He bent and kissed her lips. “I love you, Eve,” he whispered, and then with a squeeze of Whitney’s hand, he reluctantly left the room.
After Julian had spoken to everyone who came to see Eve and convinced them to go back to the hotel, he went to see his son one more time before he left the hospital. His heart filled with pride as he looked down at his little boy.
Fox stepped close to him and placed a hand on his shoulder. “For what it’s worth, Father, I am sorry.”
Julian looked at Fox and smiled. “Thank you, Fox. Thank you for being here.”
“He is a handsome kid, isn’t he?” Fox said, gazing at the infant.
“Mmhmm,” Julian murmured.
“Well, I guess I better go back to the hotel then. I’ll see you there,” Fox said after a while.
“I can drive you. I am heading there myself,” Julian offered.
“OK, sure. Let me just go tell Chad. I will meet you by the…what are you driving?” he asked.
“Oh, I came with the ambulance. I don’t have a car.” Julian frowned.
“That’s OK. I’ll go get us a cab,” Fox said and left the room.
Julian entered the hotel suite that he and Eve had rented for their honeymoon. His eyes filled with tears as he relived the moments before Eve collapsed on the bed in agony.
A few minutes later, he sank down on the bed and tried to get some sleep, but his head was filled with questions, and he couldn’t get his mind off of what could have happened to Eve…how she could have gotten poisoned. Not only that, but why the hell were there no police officers there to investigate?
Frustrated, he picked up the phone and called the front desk. When he finally got the police department’s phone number, he dialed it and tapped anxiously against the phone. After a few rings, the call was finally answered.
Julian explained who he was and was promptly forwarded to the chief of police. “Hello, Mr. Crane. What can I do for you?”
“You have been informed of an attempted poisoning, I assume?” Julian inquired.
“Yes, we have.”
“Well, I want to know what you discovered, and what you plan to do about it,” he demanded.
“Well, you see, Mr. Crane, we didn’t find anything in your room. As you will see, we didn’t disturb anything. There appears to be no evidence of foul play in your room or anywhere on the hotel grounds. But we will not close this case just yet.”
Julian slammed the phone down after giving the man a few choice words, ‘incompetent’ being one of them. He sighed in frustration; he couldn’t figure out what was going on.
Just as he was about to call the police back, a knock at the door drew his attention. Before he had time to respond, the door flew open and Alistair Crane walked in.
“Father,” Julian gasped.
“Son,” Alistair replied. “I am glad to see you dragged yourself away from that black woman’s bedside.”
Julian’s eyes narrowed. “She is my wife, and I will not have you disrespect her in that way!” he demanded. “And what do you know about what happened to Eve?”
Alistair laughed. “I know everything!” he said arrogantly.
“Tell me that you had nothing to do with what happened to Eve,” Julian said.
“All right, if that is what you want to hear. I had nothing to do with it,” he said smugly.
“I don’t believe you.” Julian eyed him carefully.
“OK, OK, I give up. Yes, it was me; I put a little something in her water.” He pulled the bottle of water from his jacket pocket. “I knew you wouldn’t drink water, and she wouldn’t drink champagne…her being knocked up and all.” He smirked.
“Why you lousy…” Julian struggled to control his rage as Alistair held up his hand to signal he wasn’t done talking.
“I did you a favor. She was not fit for this family, and neither is that brat of hers. I told you to stay away from her, and you didn’t listen. You forced my hand, Julian. You left me no choice but to eliminate her for good.”
“You son-of-a-bitch!” Julian screamed and lunged for him.
Alistair gaped in surprise as Julian cleared the room in a few strides and leaped at him, sending him toppling to the ground.
Julian sat on him, pummeling him repeatedly, cursing and screaming up a blue streak.
Alistair desperately tried to defend himself; he had not counted on Julian losing his mind on him like this. His nose started bleeding as Julian pounded him over and over again. Just as Alistair was about to pass out from pain, someone dragged Julian off of him. He saw it was his bodyguards and nodded ‘thanks’ weakly as one helped him up. “You are going to be sorry for this, Julian,” Alistair threatened.
“I’m going to kill you, you bastard!” Julian screamed.
“No, you won’t.” Alistair nodded to the bodyguard who promptly punched Julian in the nose, knocking him out.
Julian groaned in pain as he came to. “Oh, my head...”
“You are lucky he only knocked you out,” Alistair sneered.
Enraged once more, Julian leaped to his feet and charged at Alistair. His bodyguards grabbed him and held him fast.
“Well, son, it looks like you leave me no choice in this matter. I thought maybe I could reason with you, but it doesn’t appear that you are willing to give up this foolish notion that you are in ‘love,’ and leave that woman alone. You have forced me to take drastic measures, Julian. I wash my hands of you. You have chosen your fate.” He nodded to one of his guards, who then left the room.
“I don’t care; I don’t want to have anything to do with you. You are sick, and I swear one day I will make you pay for what you did to Eve and my son,” Julian snarled.
“No you won’t,” Alistair said matter-of-factly as he turned to leave the room. “It’s been a bore, Julian. See you in hell.” He spat and left the room.
The guard holding Julian punched him again and left as well.
Julian gasped as he tried to collect himself. He leaned against the bed and groaned. He feared what lengths his father would go to to destroy his precious love with Eve. Sudden fear overcame him, and he raced for his rental car. He didn’t think, he couldn’t think, all he wanted was to get to Eve and fast.
He slammed the car door shut and started the engine. As it roared to life, he shifted into drive and raced through the parking lot, heading for the hospital. He drove as fast as he dared around bends and up and down hills. More and more, fear gripped his heart as he stepped on the gas and drove even faster.
Julian roared around a bend and suddenly slammed on his brakes as he approached an intersection full of traffic. He pumped his brakes and got no response. “Oh God,” he thought. “My brakes don’t work.” He panicked as he tried to think of what to do.
As his car screamed towards the traffic, he pulled hard on the steering wheel in an attempt to avoid the hitting the vehicles and sent the car careening through the ditch, straight into a telephone pole.
A sickening crunch brought the car to a dead stop, violently whipping Julian against the steering wheel, glass and metal flying everywhere. Smoke and steam rose from the mangled remains of the car.
Julian stood beside the wreck and breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank God I got out of that all right.”
He approached the driver’s side of the car and peered inside. He stared for a moment in shock. There in the driver’s seat, someone was slumped against the steering wheel. He reached in and pulled the man back against the seat. He stumbled backward away from the car as he looked at himself sitting in the vehicle. “Oh God, no!” he cried in horror as he realized that he was dead.