Julian waited anxiously outside of the doctor’s office as Eve was examined. He knew Dr. Bradley had said she was recovering nicely from her mishap at Heavenly Trails, but he had also stipulated she see a physician when she got back to Harmony. Julian took her directly to the hospital the next day, despite her protests. He paced back and forth outside of the examining room. It had been longer than he’d expected. He hoped to God nothing was wrong.
Finally, Eve came out of the office. She looked a little peeked. Julian ran over to her and clasped her arm. “Eve, are you OK? They didn’t…they didn’t find anything wrong did they? You’re all right, aren’t you?”
Eve smiled slightly, her face still pale and her eyes dazed. “Yes, I am, but…the doctor…she...she did find something…”
“Oh no, Eve...” Julian’s heart fell to his stomach. This couldn’t be happening. She had to be all right. He couldn’t lose her... He pulled her into a hug and kissed her forehead. “Whatever it is, we’ll deal with it,” he vowed.
Eve pulled away slightly. “Oh no, Julian…I didn’t mean to worry you. This is…this isn’t what you’re thinking. I guess this is the best time as ever to tell you. I’m pregnant.”
Julian’s hands went numb. His hands, his legs, his feet. He suddenly felt the walls spinning around him. Eve grabbed hold of him to keep him from falling. Julian put his hand against the wall and began to take in some deep breaths. He couldn’t believe it. “Pre-pregnant? Us? We’re pregnant?” He smiled, letting go of the wall as the feeling returned to his extremities. He embraced the woman he loved as tightly as he could without hurting her. “Oh, Eve…” he gasped. “A baby. You, me…a baby. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe we are going to have a baby!!”
She smiled and rubbed his face. “Yes, a baby…us. I should have known spending all day together at the ski lodge would have had some repercussions…more than just our marriages, I mean.” She shook her head. “I didn’t even think I could have anymore children.” She sighed.
“But you’re happy about this, aren’t you, Eve? And it’s OK too, with your age and all?” The color drained from his face as he thought of something. “The hypothermia…did it hurt the baby?”
“The baby’s fine,” Eve reassured him. “And just who are you calling old?” She laughed. “I am in perfectly good health. The doctor has proclaimed me fit to carry this child. I won’t lie to you; it’s a high-risk pregnancy because of my age, but she thinks I should be just fine. And as for wanting this, oh, Julian, I want it more than anything.”
That was all she needed to say. Julian scooped his lady love up in his arms and proceeded to kiss her madly.
Six weeks later…
The groom paced nervously in front of the outdoor altar decorated with pink roses and baby’s breath, his black tails flapping in the mid-April breeze. He straightened his white bow tie absent-mindedly. He wasn’t nervous about getting married. He was nervous about what was taking so long. He didn’t want to wait any longer to make the love of his life his bride.
Finally, the wedding march started, and Julian looked up to see his bride beginning to make her way down the aisle, which was adorned with pink rose petals. Julian’s eyes met Eve’s. He held her gaze for what seemed like forever. He couldn’t believe this was happening. He couldn’t believe he was finally living his dream.
His eyes took her all in. She was absolutely stunning. She wore a beautiful tea-length gown, ivory on first glance, with just the slightest glimmer of lavender in it. On her head was a matching veil. In her hands was an exquisite bouquet of pink roses, lavender carnations and baby’s breath. On her face was the brightest smile he had ever seen. She was looking forward to this as much as he was. She was going to be his forever, and he loved it. It’s all he had ever wanted.
Father Lonigan smiled as the two joined hands in front of him. He led them through the ceremony, which included a special surprise from Julian…after exchanging his vows with Eve, he turned to address the guests, which included Eve’s beloved daughters. Simone had talked Whitney into attending, but it hadn’t been that hard to do. Whitney seemed to be getting used to the idea of her mother with Julian. Both girls were taking things in stride. Julian knew right away why…they saw how radiantly happy their mother was, and they couldn’t deny her this…not now, not after all she had been through. And not with a baby sibling on the way for them.
Julian smiled nervously at those in attendance. “I want to thank all of you for sharing this beautiful moment in Eve’s and my lives here today. I know I haven’t always been on the best of terms with any of you…” His eyes met Fox’s, and then moved on to Sheridan and Luis. “I wouldn’t have blamed any of you for not coming, but I thank you for giving me this chance to prove to you all that I will cherish this woman, this angel from heaven, forever.” He looked into Eve’s eyes, which were filled with tears. He smiled and grasped her hand.
Julian turned toward Father Lonigan, and he nodded. “I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
He scarcely had the words out when Julian moved toward Eve, touching her face with his hand, gently, almost as if this wasn’t real. She smiled at him and mouthed the words, “I love you.” Julian's heart melted. He brought his lips to hers and kissed her passionately, signaling to all that this was a union that would never break.
That night, Eve entered the bedroom of their honeymoon suite. Julian had spared no expense. It was a penthouse suite at the Crane Hotel. They would be staying here the night before they left for Bermuda. He had it fixed up first class, with hors d’oeuvres and desserts, including cheesecake flown in all the way from New York. The room was lit with elegant ivory candles. The bed covers were turned back, exposing the finest satin sheets - a glimmering shade of gold. In fact, as Eve’s eyes took in the entire room, she realized that everything was golden in the candlelight. It looked like a palace.
And if it was a palace, then Julian was surely a king. He was wearing a Japanese style silk robe, with black and silver design. He had on a pair of black slippers. His fine legs were showing beneath the robe. Just the sight of them sent chills of anticipation down Eve’s spine. She couldn’t wait to be with him again.
Julian handed her a glass of sparkling cider. The two sipped their drinks quietly for a few seconds and then set them down upon the nightstand. He sat on the bed and motioned for her to join him. “It’s been a long day, hasn’t it, Eve? But a dream day…a dream I never thought I’d live to see come true…not in a million years.”
“Oh, Julian…” Eve reached up and kissed his lips. She pulled back a little. “Mmm, you smell wonderful.”
He smiled. “It’s my new cologne…Drakkar Noir. I thought you’d like the smell of it.”
“Mmm, I do. I can’t seem to get enough of it.” She began kissing Julian’s neck.
“Whoa, there. I was afraid you might be worn out from the long day. You sure you don’t want to take it a little easy here? I don’t want you to push yourself.”
“Julian Crane, I have waited thirty years to be your queen. I am not waiting a minute longer to show you how much this dream means to me too.” And with that, she pushed him down on the bed and proceeded to show him just what the day truly meant to her.
Later that night, an exhausted Julian breathed in deeply and caressed the arms of the woman he loved as she lay against his chest. “And I thought you would be the tired one. My dear, where do you get the energy?” He pretended to faint from exhaustion, and Eve playfully slapped his arm.
“Julian, you know where I get it from.” She turned and nibbled his ear. “Ever since you found me in the Blue Note all those years ago, and made me yours…you taught me everything you knew.” She grinned, as she licked his ear lobe. “You knew one day I’d get the best of you, didn’t you?”
Julian tried to pull away from her enticements, but it was no use. He was under her spell, as always, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. “Now, Eve you’re not playing fair. You know I can’t just…” he stopped, noticing her eyes were looking downward toward something.
“Doesn’t look like that should be a problem,” she said, arching her eyebrow.
“Well, Little Julian clearly seems to be under your spell, my little enchantress,” he laughed. “But Big Julian is here just trying to catch his breath!”
Eve pouted as she turned to look in his eyes. A sly grin came across her face. “Hmm, well then, maybe we should go a different route this time…” She pulled the covers up and crawled beneath them.
“Eve, what are you…?” Julian suddenly felt his whole body ablaze. “Ah, Eve…my Eve…” he sighed as he resigned himself to yet another round of ecstasy.
Six months later…
“Eve, you’re almost there. Push,” Julian encouraged her. It was the day their baby was coming. It was two weeks early, but that would be no problem at all. It had been such an uneventful pregnancy, with no problems in the least, though Julian had pampered Eve each and every day of it. They had decided to wait and be surprised about the sex of the baby. Julian could have the nursery decorated and stocked full of little boy or girl clothes at a moment’s notice, anyway.
“I can see the head. It’s crowning,” the doctor said.
“It’s coming, Eve. Our baby will soon be here.” Julian’s forehead glistened as much as Eve’s with perspiration. He had been there all night by her side. She had had an epidural, and that had made things go smoothly for several hours, but now the effects of the wonder shot were starting to wear off. She was grateful for Julian’s presence.
He reached over and touched her face with one hand while he held her hand in the other. “We’re almost here. I can’t believe it…soon we will be Mommy and Daddy to a new little person.”
She smiled back at him. “I know…”
“Eve, I need you to push again,” the doctor said. She continued to push for another five minutes. “That’s it, Eve, one more big push and your baby will be here,” the doctor encouraged.
Eve gave it her all, and the infant slipped out into the doctors hands. She smiled. “It’s a girl.”
“A girl, Eve! A little girl, as beautiful as her mother.” Julian leaned in and kissed his wife. Exhausted, Eve smiled as if in a daze, not believing her lifelong dream of having a baby with Julian at her side was finally coming true.
“Mr. Crane, would you like to cut the cord?” the doctor asked. Julian lit up and walked over to her. “Of course…how…how do I do it? It’s not going to hurt her is it? Oh my God…she is so tiny!”
The doctor smiled. “No, it isn’t going to hurt her. Just take this, and snip it right where I have it.” Julian did as he was told and the doctor handed the baby to a waiting neonatal nurse.
“Is she all right?” Julian asked anxiously as they examined the crying infant.
“She is perfect,” the doctor said. “But boy does she have a set of lungs on her! She is a nice weight too…7 pounds, 6 oz…bigger than I thought she was.”
Julian turned back toward Eve. “She is beautiful, Eve, just beautiful.” He kissed her hand.
The nurse brought the baby over to Eve. She smiled lovingly at her new baby girl, her precious little bundle of joy, the second child she had created with Julian. She reached up and gently inspected her fingers and her toes while Julian stood back, watching every move she made. Eve was making an imprint of this baby’s face in her mind. What happened to their son would always be there, just below the surface. That’s why she was memorizing every inch of her child before she went to the nursery. And it was why Julian had hired a guard to stand watch over the newborn. He didn’t care how OK his father seemed with things for the time-being; he wasn’t taking any chances.
“Eve, she is absolutely exquisite. She looks just like you!” he exclaimed.
“Oh no, Julian, she looks like you.” Eve grinned. The baby did indeed resemble her father greatly. She had her mother’s dark hair, but her nose and facial shape and mouth were all her father’s. And her complexion was rather light for a biracial infant. “She is simply beautiful,” Eve said.
“She’s her mother,” Julian professed, and leaned over to kiss the infant’s head. “My sweet, sweet Evelyn.” He grinned.
“Evelyn? Awww, are you sure, Julian?” she asked. She liked the name, but she wasn’t sure if he preferred it to Katherine, after his deceased mother.
“Evelyn Katherine Johnson Crane. Doesn’t that sound like a lovely name?” He beamed.
Eve nodded and touched her baby’s soft cheek. “Welcome to the world, sweet Evelyn Crane.”
Four years later…
Eve pulled her scarf close. The January nighttime air was biting. But as Julian always said, this was the best time to hit the slopes, so you didn’t get too hot under all of those layers of ski clothes. She stood at the bottom of the hill, watching this time, as Julian headed toward her, skiing fast. Behind him, a little pink blur flew along the trail, and then darted right past him. Eve grinned as yet again, Julian was bested on the intermediate slope by their four-year-old daughter. Evelyn had taken to skiing like it was second nature to her. Julian always joked to Eve that that was because she was conceived there. The little family stayed in their suite at least one weekend a month every winter, enjoying their favorite sport.
“Hi, Mommy!” Evelyn cried, her now golden brown hair flopping in braids under her clown-style ski hat.
“Sweetie, you are just wonderful. Look at you. You make me and your father look like…”
“Careful, Eve,” Julian joked, skiing up to his two favorite ladies. “You know I have to let this little gal win every few times down or she wouldn’t want to come anymore.”
“Daddy!” Evelyn cried. “I always beat you down the hill.”
“Yes, and I was meaning to talk to you about that, kitten. It doesn’t look good when your poor tired daddy is always lugging behind. What will people think?” he teased.
“That my daddy needs to exercise more!” Evelyn chirped.
“Eve, talk to her, will you?” He sighed.
Eve laughed. “She’s all you, Julian.”
Julian eyed his daughter. She was the perfect mixture of them both. Her large, sparkling hazel eyes and nose screamed Crane. Her beautiful complexion, now just a shade lighter than her mother’s, and curls cried out Johnson. She was so much Eve that it hurt him to deny her anything. Eve knew that, and they were doing their best to set boundaries and stick to them. But skiing was something outside of everyday life, and when Evelyn Katherine Johnson Crane hit the slopes, she was in her own little world…the world that had helped create her.
“Isn’t Greg coming?” the child asked, her eyes suddenly all big and sad. “I want Greg to see me ski!”
“Yes, your brother said he would make it. I am not sure where he is. Well, speak of the devil.” Julian motioned toward the lodge. A tall, slender man headed toward them on skis. He was a handsome mixture of African-American and Caucasian genes, and he bore himself proudly, as he headed toward the tiny family.
“Greg!” Evelyn squeaked, hurrying toward him as fast as her skis would allow her. Gregory Michael Hawthorne Crane scooped up his little sister, skis and all, and gave her a quick kiss before setting her down again. His eyes shone as he looked at his family. He had only known them for three years, yet they had become a family in every way. The young lawyer had been reared in Boston, and was shocked when the world-famous billionaire from Harmony had waltzed into his law firm one day with the news that would change his life. The parents who raised him would always be his mama and papa. But these two had slowly become Mom and Dad to him. And little Evelyn, the sister he never had.
Eve reached out and hugged her son. This was her last dream, the dream she had almost never allowed her heart to hope for…
“I am glad you made it, son,” Julian said. “I needed someone I could beat down the slopes.” He jabbed his son lightly in the ribs.
“Oh, uh-huh, yeah, well, we’ll see about that,” Greg said as he turned and headed toward the ski lift, Evelyn right behind him. “You coming, Dad?” he asked.
Julian smiled. “Not this time. I think I need a break.” He put his arm around Eve as their two children rode the ski lift up the hill. “You cold, darling?”
Eve shook her head, tears in her eyes. “No, honey, I am perfect. Everything is perfect. Just as you always say, this is our own little slice of heaven.” She leaned into him, and together the two watched their children head to the top of their favorite slope.