“Julian…” Her voice broke with emotion as she weakly whispered his name.
Carefully, he managed to sit up, one hand still on the sleeping infant that lay on Eve’s chest. “Eve, my love, you are awake!” His tears ran freely down his cheeks as he bent over, ignoring his pain, and kissed her on the lips.
His heart soared when her lips moved in response to his. A moment later, he pulled back and looked into her beautiful brown eyes.
Her eyes brimming with tears, she stared at him, not sure what was going on, but her heart rejoiced at the sight of Julian. “What happened?” she whispered.
“Shhh, don’t talk. I will tell you everything.” He smiled as he squeezed her hand on Evan’s back. “This is our son, Eve. Evan.” He helped her move a bit so that she could get a better look at him.
The baby stirred and started to fuss as Eve tried to move her hand over his small body.
Julian, delighted that Evan was waking up, picked him up off of Eve’s chest so that he could give her a better look. He carefully supported Evan’s head as he held him out to her, displaying him for her, grinning like a poor man who had just won the lottery. “Our son, healthy and always very hungry.” Julian laughed lightly, his heart bursting with pride.
Eve lifted a heavy arm and tried to touch the baby. Lacking the strength, it fell back down by her side. She started to cry.
Julian immediately placed the baby in the crook of his arm and reached for her hand. He held it up to Evan, placing her hand against the baby’s cheek. He smiled as she caressed him with her fingers.
“Evan…” she whispered, as her tears flowed down her cheeks.
Julian lowered her hand and then held the baby near her face, allowing her to kiss him. His heart went out to her; he knew how much she wanted to hold him, but lacked the strength to do so.
Smiling suddenly, Julian grabbed a pillow and propped it next to Eve’s head. He then breathed deeply to try to ease the pain in his ribs, as he placed the baby next to Eve’s face so that she could be near him.
Eve immediately turned her head and buried her face against the baby and wept.
Julian bent to kiss her cheek and lay down as well, one arm across Eve’s chest, hugging her to him, and the other against her pillow, his fingers playing with her hair, as Evan settled down and slept once more.
Somewhere in Europe, Alistair Crane sat behind his desk, impatiently waiting for his call to be answered. Finally, after a moment, someone picked up.
“Hello,” the voice said.
“It’s about damn time!” Alistair roared.
“I am sorry, Mr. Crane. I was taking a shower.”
“I don’t care what you are doing. When I call, I expect immediate service. Is that clear?” Alistair bellowed.
“Yes, Mr. Crane. What can I do for you?”
“I want to write up a new will. Draw up the necessary papers and have them on my desk first thing in the morning. That no good son of mine is never going to get a penny of the Crane fortune!” Alistair snarled. “I want his name taken out of every part of my last will and replaced with Nicholas Foxworth Crane.”
“Yes, Mr. Crane. I will get on it immediately.”
Hanging up the phone, Alistair smirked wickedly. “We’ll see how much you value Eve now, Julian, without a penny to your name.” The room filled with evil laughter as his mistress shuddered in the wings, waiting to be of service to him.
A few hours later, Alistair dismissed her and then rolled over to sleep. He grunted in pleasure, knowing that tomorrow he was ridding himself of a greater menace than Eve Russell would ever be. He scowled, refusing to call her a Crane.
The door to Alistair’s room creaked open. A tap, tap, tapping of hooves clopped across the hardwood floor as a dark figure approached his bed. A gnarled finger reached out and tapped Alistair on the shoulder.
“Did I tell you to come back in here?” he snapped as he turned, thinking it was his mistress.
A hideous laughter filled the room. “I am not your woman,” the voice hissed.
“Who are you?” He fumbled for the light switch.
“Here, let me help you see me better,” the voice crackled.
Alistair squinted as the figure of a face drew closer. His eyes widened and the most mind numbing fear, Fear itself, gripped him in the chest as he stared into the cold eyes of the hideous face that loomed above him. Alistair fell back against his pillow, his eyes staring up at the ceiling, as his heart stopped beating
Reaching out to grab him off the bed, the creature frothed at the mouth and laughed wickedly. “You are not getting away from me.” He pulled Alistair right out of his body and dragged him to the floor.
As his body lay dead in bed, Alistair was kicking and screaming in complete terror as the hideous beast dragged him toward the door.
“Let go of me!” he screamed in horror, trying to break free, not believing this was happening to him. “I am Alistair Crane.”
The beast flung his saliva dripping fangs in his face and snarled. “I know who you are, and you are coming with me.”
“NO!” Alistair screamed as he was being dragged by the feet down the hall and out the door of his mansion, clawing at the floor with his well manicured nails.
“YES!” The demon shouted with glee. “You are mine now, and nothing will save you from me.”
“What about Julian? Take him.” Alistair tried to distract him and perhaps send him to get Julian instead.
“NO!” the demon hissed in anger.
“Why not? He is even worse than I am. He tried to kill his sister.” Alistair desperately tried to convince him that Julian was a better choice.
The demon stopped and jumped on top of the horrified man. “He repented, you stupid fool. I can’t touch him.” He swiped a clawed hand across Alistair’s face and buried the sharp talons deep in the flesh of his cheek. “Don’t ever mention him to me again!”
Alistair screamed in pain.
“That is just a taste of what is to come for you, old man.” The demon laughed hideously as he dragged a kicking and screaming Alistair off into the night.
Back inside the mansion, Alistair’s mistress had heard him scream and rushed to his room. She gasped in horror as her eyes fell upon the terror stricken face of what used to be Alistair Crane.
Her bloodcurdling scream was heard clear to the main gate, and the butler came running. He looked at Alistair and then quickly covered his face with a sheet. He shuddered at the thought of what must have happened to make his face so twisted. Grabbing the phone, he dialed 911.
Back in Bermuda, Julian stretched and smiled happily as he watched Eve resting peacefully. The nurses had taken Evan back to the nursery and given Eve a thorough examination.
They informed him that even though she was awake and alert, it would take time for her to fully recover from the trauma her body went through. All in all, though, they told him she was doing remarkably well.
Finishing his meal, he pushed the tray aside and grabbed the TV remote and turned it on.
Eve stirred in her sleep, and he quickly switched it off again, leaning toward her. “Get some rest, my love. You have been through a lot these past few weeks.” He kissed her cheek.
Eve smiled. “I love you, Julian Crane.”
“Hmm, I love you too, Eve,” he whispered. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“That’s OK,” she whispered. “I have slept enough for a good long while.” She tried to chuckle, but her voice gave out on her.
“Save your strength, my love. Give yourself some time to get better. It is better not to push it too soon.”
“I was going to watch TV. Care to join me?” He grinned.
She smiled her answer.
Flipping through the channels, Julian stopped short when he saw a picture of his father splashed across the screen. He hurriedly raised the volume to hear what was being said.
“Tonight, in his sleep, the great Alistair Crane was found dead on his estate in Paris, France. The cause of death is still under investigation, but witnesses say it looked like it might have been heart related.”
Julian turned off the TV and dropped the remote. He sat numb
with shock as he remembered what Jesus had said to him: “He will get his
just reward!” His mind reeled from the news. Justice had finally been
served; Alistair would forever pay for the horrible things he had done, and
above all else, for rejecting the only one that could have redeemed him, Jesus
A sudden wave of sadness overwhelmed Julian as he realized there was no more hope for his father. He was lost; he had died the most horrible death, alone and lost without a Savior.
Eve reached out and placed her hand on his arm.
He covered her hand with his as a tear rolled down his cheek.
Eve swallowed hard as she watched her husband try to come to grips with this news. She knew that no matter how awful his father had been to them, Julian could never be as hateful as Alistair and rejoice in his death. He was a good man, and that was one of the reasons why she loved him so much.