Eve was about to kneel down to help as well, but Priscilla’s murderous glare caused her to back off. “I’m a doctor,” Eve explained, hoping to convince her to let her examine TC.
“Keep your hands off him!” Priscilla warned.
Inside the ballroom, Chad and Fox stood at the altar with the minister, impatiently waiting for the bride to appear.
“Wonder what the hold up is,” Chad said nervously.
Fox tapped his shoulder. “Relax, man. I am sure everything is fine.”
“Could you go check, just to be sure, please?”
“Sure, I’ll be right back,” Fox said, leaving the room through a side door.
Whitney paced nervously as Eve tried to get Priscilla to let her check TC out. “What’s wrong with him?” she cried.
Eve looked at Whitney. “I am not one hundred percent sure, but I think he fainted.”
“Yes,” Julian piped in, “I think it was the shock of finding out that I knew Priscilla years ago.” He swallowed with a wry smile when Eve looked at him. “Briefly, very briefly,” he added.
Fox approached them, eyeing TC lying on the floor. “What happened to him?”
“I think he fainted,” Eve explained. “If I could just look at him…” she said, exasperated that Priscilla still refused to let her examine him.
“Maybe I can help,” Julian suddenly said, approaching Priscilla. He reached down and took her by the arm. “Come, we need to talk.”
Her eyes gleamed enthusiastically. Forgetting all about TC, she hurriedly followed Julian to the front door.
Eve retrieved her medical bag from the coat closet near the door and paused a moment when Julian turned to look at her. Her heart leaped when he smiled tenderly at her, and she reached out to catch the kiss he blew her. God, how she loved that man.
Fox stared after his father and Priscilla for a moment and then turned to Whitney. “Chad is getting pretty worried in there. What shall I tell him?”
“Poor Chad!” Whitney cried, rushing over to Eve. “What are we going to do, Mom? Daddy is out cold, and Chad is waiting to get married.”
Eve tried to calm her anxious daughter. “Don’t worry; maybe smelling salts will bring him around.”
“And if it doesn’t?” Fox asked.
Eve looked at him. “Well, there is always Julian.” She turned to Whitney. “I am sure he would be more than pleased to help.”
Whitney nodded and said to Fox, “Tell Chad and everyone that things will be underway soon.”
Outside, Priscilla turned to Julian and slid her hands up his tux. “What was it that you wanted to speak to me about in private?” she purred.
Julian sighed. “You are here with TC. Why do you keep throwing yourself at me?” He asked wearily, trying to pry her arms from around his neck.
“Because I find you irresistible.” She smiled, raising her eyes to meet his. “Kiss me, Julian. Spank me into submission the way you used to years ago.” She hooked one leg around his hip. “Take me now; I am yours. Do with me what you wish… Make wild passionate love to me.” She pressed her lips to his.
Julian pushed her back in horror. “Stop it. I love Eve, only Eve.”
“Eve, schmeve! She is nothing but a prude. I am so much more. I can give you so much more…” She threw her arms around him again. “I will make all your wildest, and I do mean wildest, dreams come true.”
Julian un-pried Priscilla’s arms from around his neck. Then, to his utter horror, she jumped into his arms and clamped her legs around his waist.
“I am not leaving till I get what I want…and I want a wild ride in the tool shed.” She again tried to force a kiss on him.
Not wanting to raise a hand toward a woman for any reason, he opted to pray instead. “Dear God, please help me.”
She stopped trying to kiss him and stared in disbelief. “Julian Crane, praying?!” she cried, laughing hysterically.
“Yes,” he replied, “and there is nothing funny about it.”
Priscilla stopped laughing and dropped to the ground, finally letting go of him completely. “You’re serious?” she asked.
“Quite. Jesus has changed my life. If you want, I can tell you all about it.” He smiled suddenly.
“No, that’s fine. I, uh…I have to go now…” She backed off slightly and then stopped. “There is just one more thing I want before I leave…” She stepped closer.
Julian quickly whipped out his checkbook. “Will ten thousand dollars be enough to get you back to Boston?” He started scribbling.
Startled, Priscilla stopped short. A kiss is what she had been after, but money… “Fifty thousand. The gas prices are insane these days…and it’s Los Angeles, not Boston,” she pointed out.
Julian looked up and stared at her for a moment. She appeared quite serious. Quickly, he made out the check and handed it to her. “There, leave, and don’t even think about coming back for more,” he said, handing it to her.
Priscilla grabbed the check from him and studied it with glee. “Uh, be a darling, Julian, and tell TC I had urgent family business to attend to… I couldn’t stay a moment longer,” she said and got into the car that Julian had provided to drive her to the airport, instructing his driver not to stop anywhere else.
Thanking God that he had finally gotten rid of her, he turned to enter the mansion. He stopped short at the sight of Eve leaning against the door jam. “Eve.” He smiled nervously. “How long have you been there?”
“Long enough,” she replied.
“It wasn’t what it looked like… I mean, she jumped…” he began to explain, but Eve had approached him and placed a finger on his lips.
“I know,” she said, sliding her arms up around his neck. “You have to hand it to her though. If she is as tenacious in the work force as she was trying to land you, she will be a millionaire in no time.”
“With a fifty thousand dollar head start,” Julian chuckled.
Eve kissed him gently. “I would love to go sit on a swing with you and just relax in your arms, but we have a daughter in there who wants both of her fathers to walk her down the aisle.”
“What?!” Julian asked in shock. “Are you serious? What about TC? He won’t stand for it.”
“Well, he was extremely reluctant at first. But Whitney and Simone managed to convince him, for Whitney’s sake. It is what she wanted…and TC finally gave in and agreed to put his feelings for you aside for one day.”
“Wow,” Julian exclaimed. “I can’t believe it. It’s a miracle.”
“I think so too,” Eve chuckled. “It has to be. How else can you explain TC agreeing to do anything with you?”
Well, then, let’s not keep our daughter waiting any longer.” He smiled proudly as he walked back into the mansion, arm in arm with Eve, to give his daughter away.
The wedding went smoothly. TC, reluctant at first, managed to pull off a smile, and much to Whitney’s delight, even decided to shake hands with Chad upon giving her away. TC took his seat in the front row and wondered what happened to Priscilla.
Julian, though a little concerned being so close to TC, relaxed halfway down the aisle as he gave away his only daughter with the woman he truly loved, Eve.
As they had been walking, Whitney thanked them both for being there for her. They smiled at her, and then stared at each other for a moment, before looking away uncomfortably.
Eve wiped her tears as she watched her daughter walk toward the man she loved. Evan called out hellos to Whitney and his daddy and had everyone in the room chuckling. Eve smiled deeply at Simone, who had agreed to be a bridesmaid and was standing at the front next to Theresa.
Simone returned her smile and then breathed deeply. Maybe things weren’t as bad as she had originally thought, she realized.
After Chad and Whitney were officially declared husband and wife, everyone moved out onto the estate grounds for the reception. A massive tent had been erected, and a live band was playing all of Chad and Whitney’s favorite songs. On the dance floor that had been built just for this occasion, the happy couple shared their first dance as newlyweds. All three of Whitney’s parents beamed as they watched this special moment in their daughter’s life.
A little while later, TC danced with Whitney, and he couldn’t help but feel a tremendous amount of pride at his and Eve’s accomplishment. “I’m so proud of you, sweetheart,” he said, as he held her close.
“Thank you, Daddy. Thank you again for coming, and for trying…for me.” She smiled widely.
“Anything for my baby girl.” He smiled back.
“Where did your date go?” Whitney asked innocently.
“Julian said she had family matters to attend to,” TC said, not convinced. “I don’t think she and I have much of a future anyway, so it’s just as well.”
“But, didn’t you love her?”
“Love? I don’t think I know what that is. Maybe someday I will find it. I thought I had it with your mother, but I guess that wasn’t it either,” he said sadly.
“You will find it one day, Daddy. I just know it,” Whitney tried to reassure him.
Simone approached. “May I steal Daddy from you?” she asked Whitney.
“Sure, Chad seems anxious to dance with me again.” Whitney laughed.
Leaving Simone with TC, Whitney headed over to Chad.
“Hey, baby. How are things with your pops?” he asked, placing his arm around her waist as he sipped on champagne.
Whitney took a flute of champagne herself from a waiter who approached them and sipped it slowly. “I don’t know. I don’t think he believes in love anymore. His date ran out on him.”
“That’s rough. Any idea what happened?”
“He found out that she used to go out with Julian.” Whitney sipped more of her champagne.
“Ahh,” Chad said knowingly. “I guess that didn’t go over well with your pops?”
“No, I don’t think so.” Whitney smiled at Julian and Eve dancing. “My mom sure is happy though.” She bent to greet Evan, whom Julian had set down so he could dance with Eve. “Hey.” She picked him up and kissed him.
He giggled and kicked, trying to get back down.
Whitney set him down when his nanny approached with an ice cream cone for him.
Evan shrieked in delight and ran to her.
Chad laughed. “Kids - you can always win them over with candy or ice cream.”
“Yeah.” Whitney smiled. “I guess we will know what it takes to raise kids just by watching my parents raise Evan.”
Chad gathered her in his arms. “Yeah,” he grinned, “and I can’t wait to get started on that.”
Julian held Eve close as they danced. “Hmm” he whispered in her ear. “What do you say you and I sneak out of here and have our own private party?” he suggested, nuzzling her ear.
Eve shivered in his arms. “Oh, behave. Can you stop thinking about that for one day?”
Julian let go of Eve and stumbled back in mocked shock, clutching his heart. “Eve, my love, you can’t be serious?”
Eve glanced around to see if anyone was looking. “Stop it,” she laughed.
He swiftly pulled her into his arms. “Never… I will never stop wanting you, or loving you, or…” he placed his lips on hers, “or kissing you.”
Eve smiled, knowing full well there was no changing him in that department, not that she ever wanted to. “OK, maybe later, but right now, we are going to celebrate our daughter’s wedding…and visit with all our friends whom we haven’t seen in awhile.” She looked over his shoulder at Grace and Sam.
“Yes, I suppose you are right. And I do still have to meet Ben’s date. Somehow that has eluded me all day.” He looked around to see if he could spot him.
“Well, see, we have lots to keep us entertained till much later.” She smiled suggestively.
“Hmm, well, let’s not wait too long, OK?” he pleaded.
“I promise,” she whispered in his ear. “Tonight, you and I are going to set the bed on fire.” She softly blew in his ear and then quickly dashed off before he could respond.
Julian shivered with pleasure. “I will hold you to it, my love,” he promised with a smile.