"Dr. Russell! I'm surprised to see you here," Luis said, getting up from his chair. "It's crazy in here with all the stuff going on with Julian Crane's accident - a regular circus. Can I help you with anything? Everything's all right at home, isn't it?"
"Yes, Luis, ev - everything is fine," Eve stammered. "I...I just wanted to know what you have found out about, about Julian Crane's accident."
Luis got a confused look on his face. "Julian's accident? Why would you care about that? I mean, don't get me wrong. I know you're a very caring person, Dr. Russell, but I didn't think anyone in this town really gave a damn about Julian Crane."
"I...I don't," Eve lied. "I am really here to represent the hospital. Julian is on the board. I was off duty today, so they called me to see if I could come over and check on things. The hospital has become quite a circus as well."
"I think the whole town of Harmony has," Luis admitted. "You should see outside of the estate - there are TV trucks and vans lined up for miles. It's not much better at Crane Industries, either. Every place with a Crane connection in this town is completely overrun with reporters."
Eve nodded. "So I've heard. Listen, Luis, is there anything at all you can tell me?" Her eyes pleaded with him for information.
Luis noticed the concern in her eyes and voice. There was something in her eyes at that moment that reminded him of Sheridan. He thought for a moment about what she had requested and against his better judgment, decided to reveal a little of what he and Sam had discussed. "This is between you and me, Eve. It doesn't go back to the hospital - not yet, OK?"
Eve's eyes widened in both fear and relief as she answered him, "Nothing you tell me will get out; I promise." She took a deep breath and clenched her hands, wet with perspiration, into fists at her sides. She tried to be ready for whatever Luis would tell her...
"You know we don't have a body, right?" Luis began.
Eve exhaled. She was so relieved that was still the case. "Thank God," she said under her breath.
Luis noticed the extent of her reaction and was puzzled at it as he continued. "Sam and I think maybe the no body thing is a little too convenient."
"What do you mean?" Eve asked, her heart racing.
"We think, again, this is strictly confidential," he said, meeting her eyes with his. "Sam and I believe that this whole thing might have been staged, by Julian or someone else, to make it appear like he is dead."
A wave of relief and joy swept through Eve's body at Luis's revelation. She smiled broadly at the unexpected news. "So you really think this was all faked; Julian is alive?"
"Don't get ahead of me now," Luis cautioned. "He may be alive. I don't really know. Someone went to a whole lot of trouble to try to make us think otherwise, if my theory is correct. If it was Julian, then that bastard is going down for wasting the time and energy of this police department, when we all could have been looking for Sheridan."
"Julian would never have done this," Eve said. "He wouldn't want...his family to think he was dead."
"Julian's never given a damn about his family," Luis said. "Remember, he let everyone think he was dead before."
"That was when he feared for his life," Eve explained. "I think just about everyone in town was gunning for him then." She looked down at the floor in order to hide her own guilt.
Luis nodded in agreement. "I second you there. It wasn't too long ago that everyone in this town wanted Julian dead, and I mean everyone."
"If it isn't Julian who is behind this, and I know it couldn't be, then who is it?" Eve asked, a worried look returning to her face.
"I wish I could share the same faith in Julian that you have," Luis said, "but I don't. Still, if it wasn't him, then it has to be someone who was after him - someone who may have him - dead or alive. That's what really worries me, because if someone was after Julian..."
"Then it might mean there's a vendetta against the Cranes. Maybe the same person has Sheridan. One of Julian's enemies could have both of them. Who knows what they would do to Sheridan? If they have Julian now, maybe she's expendable to them." His voice choked up as he said the last part of his sentence.
Eve reached out and put her hand on Luis's arm. "It's going to be OK, Luis. They're going to be all right; you'll see. If someone does have both Julian and Sheridan, you know that Julian won't let anything happen to her."
"Yeah, that'll be the day," Luis said dryly, wondering who Eve was talking about. Was it the same Julian Crane that he knew?
Just then Rebecca Hotchkiss rushed into the police station. "Luis! Oh, Luis, there you are!" she cried, hurrying over to his desk. She gave Eve a look that seemed to say, "Why are you always hanging around Luis? Don't you have anything better to do?"
"Rebecca, I suppose you want to speak about Julian's case," Luis said.
"Well, of course I do!" she exclaimed. "He is my fiancé after all!"
At that moment, Beth entered the station, wearing her sugar-filled pregnancy device. She had a big smile on her face. "Luis, can I talk to you? It's important."
Luis nodded. "Rebecca, if you could wait just a minute, I need to speak to Beth." He ushered her over near the water cooler, where they were out of earshot of the two women.
"What's up, Beth?" he asked.
"I've missed you, Luis," she said. "It's been a long time since I've seen you."
"I know," he agreed, "but you know I've been very busy working on Sheridan's case and now Julian's."
"I heard about that," she said. "So Sheridan's brother is dead, it looks like."
"Well, that may not be the case," Luis stated. "There still isn't a body yet."
"But I thought it washed out to sea," Beth said. "That's what they hinted at on the news."
Luis shrugged, "We just don't know, Beth. Is that all you wanted to speak to me about?"
"Well, no, I wanted to talk about our baby. I thought maybe we could discuss names. If it's a boy, what do you think about ..."
"I don't think this is the right time or place to discuss baby names," Luis said, cutting her off.
Beth pouted. "Luis, what's wrong? I mean, I know you're worried about Sheridan, but something's different. What else has got you in such a foul mood?"
"Antonio," Luis replied, looking at the floor. "My idiot of a brother - he had us all fooled."
"What do you mean?"
"He knew all along about me and Sheridan. It was all a big put-on by the stupid fool. He was working for Alistair the whole time."
"I don't believe it," Beth said. "Why would he do something like that to you?"
"He says it's because Alistair was blackmailing him - who knows? That may all be a lie too."
"So this means there's probably no hope for Sheridan and Antonio, huh?" Beth said, trying to hide her disappointment.
Luis was shocked that she could even ask such a question. "Hell no. He's out of town already, and all I can say about that is good riddance."
Rebecca looked at Eve and shook her head. "You sure like them young. Not that I blame you really. I mean, Luis is certainly a knock-out, especially when he's in uniform."
"What are you talking about, Rebecca?" Eve asked, disgust creeping into her voice.
"Well, it's just that every time I've seen you lately, it's been with Luis. If you're not after him, then why are you always hanging around him? I mean, I know that look."
"What look?" Eve asked, raising her hands to emphasize that she had no clue what the other woman was talking about.
"Oh, that look that says a woman is thinking of a man other than her husband. I've seen you have that look before. In fact, I see it right now. And if it's not Luis, then who?" Rebecca inquired, narrowing her eyes.
"I don't know what you are talking about!" Eve said, turning to leave.
"Oh, you can bet I'll find out!" Rebecca called after her. "I always do!"
As Eve walked away, Rebecca added, "Of course, why you would want another man when you have TC is beyond me. He just has to be so virile!" She said this last statement with a yearning look in her eyes and a sappy grin on her face.
Eve ignored Rebecca's racist remark. She walked past Luis and Beth on her way toward the door. She stopped and gave Luis a smile. "Thanks for all your help, Luis. I'll keep what you told me under wraps, until you say it's OK to let the hospital know."
"Sure, Dr. Russell," Luis said, turning back to Beth. "I've really got to go now, Beth."
"Luis, why don't you go out to lunch with me? We can go have a hamburger, anything!" Beth said, grabbing onto his arm.
"Oh, Luis, Luis! Please come and tell me about my Pookey!" Rebecca called out, waving him over with her hand.
Eve shook her head, smiling at Luis's predicament. She didn't
envy him having to spend time with either of these two women. She exited the
police station, feeling a burden lifted from her for the first time in two days.
There was hope now, real hope. Luis believed Julian was alive - she could tell.
And if he had that kind of faith, she could too. She would get to see her Julian
again - she just knew it!