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Thread: Pit of Redemption (Evian, Shuis)

  1. #49

    Re: Pit of Redemption (Evian, Shuis)

    Chapter 48 - "Eve Admits All"

    Luis opened the door to the cottage and flipped on the lights. "We're home!" he said, a big smile on his face.

    "Oh, it's so good to be back home!" Sheridan cried. She was holding the car seat in her hands, with a sleeping Julia Eve inside.

    "I would carry you over the threshold, but with the baby..."

    "That's not necessary," Sheridan laughed, walking into the cottage. "I am just thrilled to be home!" She set the car seat down on the couch. "I would get her out, but she's sleeping so peacefully."

    "Let her sleep," Luis said. "We can show her the place later."

    "Oh no!" Sheridan exclaimed.

    "What's wrong, darling?" Luis asked, his concern for her evident in his voice.

    "The baby, Luis! We're not ready for her; we don't have any place for her to sleep even." She scanned the room frantically with her eyes. "What are we going to do?"

    Luis grinned. "That's not a problem, Sheridan. Come with me," he said. He led her into the bedroom and turned on the light.

    Sheridan let out a gasp. The room had been completely transformed. Near the bed was a beautiful white bassinet, trimmed with pink. In the corner sat a baby swing. Beside the dresser was a wooden changing table that matched the room's furniture perfectly. Next to it was a stack of diapers.

    "My goodness!" Sheridan cried. " did you do all this, Luis?"

    He smiled, thrilled that she loved the surprise. "Mama helped me pick things out," he explained. "We went shopping this morning. She stayed to organize things a little while I went to see you in the hospital."

    Sheridan's eyes filled with tears. "This is so wonderful," she said, walking over to the bassinet and rubbing her hand over it.

    "Look over here - a chest for the baby's things," Luis said. He motioned to a small wooden chest near the bedroom door. "Go check inside," Luis urged.

    Sheridan walked over to the chest and opened up a drawer. Inside were all the baby clothes Julia Eve would need for months. "Look at this...sleepers, onesies, gowns, socks, booties." She held up a pink pair of booties. "How wonderful!"

    Luis grinned. "Mama did most of it," he admitted. "She knows how to shop for a baby."

    "I'll say!" Sheridan said. "This was the most special thing anyone could have done for us. I need to call Pilar right now and thank her."

    "In a minute," Luis said, walking up behind Sheridan and putting his arms around her. I just want to give you a welcome home hug."

    She turned around and slipped her arms up around his neck. "How about we have a proper hug then..."

    Luis tightened his arms around her waist and bent down to lean his head against hers. He gave her an affectionate squeeze and lifted her feet up off the floor.

    After Luis had gently set her feet back on the ground, Sheridan looked into his gorgeous eyes and smiled. "I can't believe how perfect everything is," she said.

    "I wanted it to be perfect," Luis stated. "And you haven't seen everything yet. There are all kinds of baby things in the bathroom and toys in the closet. Here's something I wanted to get her." He reached on the bed and picked up a stuffed giraffe. "Do you think she'll like giraffes?" he asked. "They've always been my favorite animal."

    "I think she'll love giraffes!" Sheridan declared, taking the stuffed animal from Luis. "They're beautiful animals." She giggled as she put the giraffe down inside the bassinet.

    "What's so funny?" he asked, beginning to laugh right along with her.

    "Nothing," she chuckled.

    "Yeah, nothing, huh?" he joked. "Why don't I give you something to laugh about then?" He began tickling her as he inched their bodies closer to the bed.

    Sheridan laughed and jokingly tried to get away from his tickling hands. He pushed her down on the bed and began roughhousing with her. She couldn't stop laughing as she screamed, "No, no, stop!"

    "Stop?" he said, pretending to be hurt from her rejection. "Then I suppose you'll want me to stop this too..." He leaned down and kissed her, his hands on the bed on either side of Sheridan, supporting his weight.

    "No, no," Sheridan said, coming up for air between kisses. "Don't stop that!"
    Luis grinned and gently pressed his body against hers as their mouths met for an intensely passionate kiss. How long he had waited to taste those exquisite lips again in this feel her tongue joining with his in a sensual dance! Luis realized this must be what Heaven was like - he had been living in Hell for too long.

    His hands cupped her face and felt her smooth, beautiful skin. Hers roamed from his shiny, thick hair to his strong neck and on down to his broad shoulders. She then pressed her hands firmly against his back, and as she did it, she could feel the passion rising between the two of them.

    They finally parted their lips and Sheridan fought to get her breath back. "Wow! That was the longest kiss I have ever experienced!" she exclaimed.

    "It was great, wasn't it?" Luis said, running his fingers through her hair as he lay beside her on the bed. "I wish we could do more but..."

    "I know," Sheridan said, sounding disappointed. "But I'm not allowed for a couple of weeks because of the baby - Julia Eve! Luis, I almost forgot all about her. She's still in the car seat. I'm going to go check on her." Sheridan quickly got up off the bed and headed for the living room. Luis followed.

    There on the couch, still sleeping in her car seat, was their beautiful baby girl. Sheridan bent down and kissed her. Julia Eve opened her eyes and looked at her mother.

    "I think she recognizes you," Luis said.

    "You too, Daddy," Sheridan said, smiling. "Our wonderful family is finally together. What more could we ask for?"

    "I can't think of anything," Luis admitted. "I have everything I want right here." He leaned down to kiss Sheridan and then got on his knees and kissed the baby's cheek.

    "She's perfect, isn't she?" Sheridan asked.

    "Oh yes," Luis agreed. "Both of my girls are perfect."

    Eve slowly opened the door to her home. She took a deep breath as she
    walked inside. The lights were on, so she knew TC was still up. She walked over to the sofa and set her purse down beside it. She nervously paced the floor in front of the couch, thinking of what she was going to say.

    Just then, TC entered the living room from the kitchen. He was carrying a bowl of popcorn and a can of soda pop. He smiled when he saw Eve. "Hi, baby, I'm glad you're home already," he said. "At least they didn't make you work late on your first full day back. Want some popcorn?" He lifted up the bowl and smiled. "I made plenty. Simone's out with a friend, so it's great to have someone to share it with."

    Eve shook her head. Already, guilt was creeping into her consciousness. She took another deep breath. She knew she couldn't let anything stop her. Tonight was the night for truths. "TC, listen, I need to talk to you," she said as bravely as she could manage. "There are things I have to tell you - things you're not going to want to hear..."

    TC looked at his wife in surprise. "OK, baby, why don't we sit down here and talk?" He set the popcorn and drink on the coffee table and parked himself on the sofa. Eve hesitated and then walked over to the chair that was perpendicular to the couch and sat down on it. She felt it was better if there was some space between them when she told him the truth.

    Eve sat staring at the wall for a minute, trying to figure out where to begin. She had planned on giving TC a hypothetical situation first, to kind of ease him into it. Then she wanted to admit the person she was talking about was her. She would first discuss her days in school, next her job at the Blue Note, and then she would slowly reveal the story of how she met and fell for Julian Crane. Discussing the child they shared would be one of the last things she told him - unless she got up the courage to let him in on what had been going on recently.

    Looking at her husband just now and noticing that he was so curious as to what she was going to say made it difficult for her to get up the nerve to tell him the truth. TC seemed so eager tonight, so mellow - nothing like the bitter man that she had seen so much of lately. Eve was hard pressed to know where to start.

    Sensing his wife's hesitancy, TC smiled. "What's going on, Eve? What did you want to tell me?"

    Her heart racing, Eve thought of all the things she had planned to she was going to ease into the truth about her past. But looking at her husband, she just couldn't do that. She felt like the swimmer who was preparing to get into an ice-cold pool. There were two ways to do it - ease yourself into the water slowly or dive right in. Eve was one to always dive right in. It was better to get the shock over with quickly, she surmised. Tonight would be no different.

    Eve took in a deep breath to calm her rapid heart and blurted out, simply and clearly, "I'm in love with Julian Crane." There, she had done it. Now, she waited for all hell to break loose.

    TC stared at Eve. The expression on his face didn't change. She wondered if he had heard her.

    "I...I said that I am in love with Julian Crane," Eve repeated, hoping to get some sort of reaction from her husband. Was what she said just too much for him to process and accept?

    "I heard you," TC said softly, swallowing hard. "Is this some kind of a joke? Are you telling me this just to get me to fly off the handle? Should I be looking around for hidden cameras here?"

    "No, TC, it's true," Eve revealed. "Julian and I are in love." Thud. If her heart was going crazy at this point, what was happening to his? She looked at him worriedly.

    "I know what this is - you're just confused from your time being held captive in that pit. That's it. Sam was telling me about cases like that, where victims fall for their abductors. That's what happened here, isn't it? Only you got close to Julian because he was being held with you, not because he was your kidnapper." He let out a sigh. "Well, it's not real, honey... We'll deal with it."

    Another wave of guilt swept over Eve. His mind was already trying to reason away what she had said. He wasn't able to handle it. "No, TC, listen," she tried once more. "It's not that, really. I don't think you understand. You see, Julian and I were involved long ago, before I met you. We loved each other years ago too."

    TC's face began contorting. His eyes suddenly glazed over with a look that could kill. She had never seen such anger and hatred in those dark eyes before. TC was often angry, but usually it was a loud, boisterous kind of anger. This was different. There was a cold, silent rage enveloping her husband. A chill ran down Eve's spine. In TC's eyes she saw one thing and one thing only - murder!

    "TC, listen, I didn't intend to fall in love with Julian again. It just happened...not in the pit either, but before. We have become close lately. He's helped me through some tough with Whitney."

    "I'll...kill that bastard. He's a dead man!" TC blared, his eyes so enraged they made Eve fear that he would lose it at any second.

    "This isn't Julian's fault," she tried to explain. "There were always feelings between us, I guess - things that we had never dealt with. I tried to wall them up and pretend I was the perfect wife and mother. He buried them under booze and countless women. But I guess those feelings were always there for both of us."

    "This has been going on for years?!" TC hissed, his eyes bulging and nostrils flaring. Eve knew his blood pressure had to be going through the roof. "You and that pig have made a fool of me for over twenty years?!!"

    "No, TC, it wasn't like that," Eve said, using the calmest voice she could manage. "There was nothing going on between Julian and me during the past twenty years, nothing. I was faithful to you for all of those years, believe me. Actually, I truly hated him. It's just I realize now that there were still feelings there, all that time, buried beneath the surface."

    "But you haven't been faithful lately, have you? You've slept with him, haven't you, Eve?! I can tell; I can see it in your eyes. You whore! You slept with my worst enemy, the scum of the earth Julian Crane, not just before you met me but recently...and you think I'll understand? Is that it?! You think I won't want to kill both of you with my bare hands?!"

    He stood up quickly and in two strides was over to where Eve was sitting. She jumped up hurriedly and backed her way to the front door. He put his arms out against the door, pinning her in between them and stepped closer so that he was inches from her face. "What are you going to do now, Eve? Are you going to run straight to your lover's arms? Well, I don't think so. I think you're going to stay right here with me. I won't let that pig have what is mine." He inched his face even closer to hers.

    Eve's eyes reflected the fear she was feeling. What was he going to do to her? She had never seen TC so upset before. She never thought he would hurt her, but now she wasn't so sure...

    TC moved closer and forced his lips upon Eve's, kissing her roughly. She tried to resist, but couldn't get away. He was too powerful. She finally did the only thing she could - she bit his lip hard, drawing blood.

    He screamed out in pain and pulled back, wiping the blood with his hand. "Damn bitch!" he yelled, looking at the blood on his fingers. His icy gaze returned to Eve's face. "You're not worth it anyway," he sneered, his teeth clenched. "You've been soiled...soiled with the likes of Julian Crane. I don't want you, Eve. I'll never want you again. I want you out of this house - now!"

    He backed up some more to let Eve free. "I...I need my purse," she cried, her eyes full of tears and her body shaking like a leaf.

    "Get them! I'll be in the kitchen. I want you gone in ten minutes, and I never want to see your face here again, is that understood? You've made your bed with that pig, now go lie in it!" He turned and marched into the kitchen, never once looking back.

    Eve's hands were shaking so much she could barely pack. She sobbed loudly as she gathered up her purse and some of her essential belongings. It hadn't sunk in yet that she may never be back in this house again.

    When she was done, Eve set the suitcase down by the door. "I'm going now, TC!" she called in a loud, shaky voice, hoping that he would hear her. "I never wanted it to be like this!" She wiped the tears from her face and gave the living room one last glance. "I never wanted it to be like this," she repeated softly, fighting back more tears. She picked up her things and headed out the door.

    Eve had no idea where she was going, but she knew where she wasn't Julian's. She couldn't go straight from TC's arms to his; she wasn't ready. There were still things she needed to discuss with TC as well.

    Sighing, Eve put her belongings in her car and got in, her hands still shaking as she fumbled with her seatbelt. She looked sadly at the house she had lived in all these years as she backed her car out of the driveway. She knew that no matter what she decided to do from here on out, her life would never be the same again. There could be no turning back now.

  2. #50

    Re: Pit of Redemption (Evian, Shuis)

    Chapter 49 - "Decision Time"


    Julian knocked on the door to Sheridan's cottage. She opened it and smiled when she saw who it was. "Come on in," she said happily.

    "I'll just stay for a minute," he said upon entering the cottage. "This is for the baby." He handed Sheridan a small gift bag.

    She opened it and pulled out a silver piggy bank. "Oh this is beautiful, Julian!" she exclaimed.

    "I thought our 'little piggy' might like a bank," he said, laughing. "I put some coins inside it for her. What good is an empty piggy bank, you know?" He smiled. "I also wanted to tell you that I have set up a trust fund in Julia Eve's name. It'll work much the same as yours does. She should never have to want for anything."

    "Thank you, Julian. I appreciate that," Sheridan said, reaching up to hug her brother. "Why don't we sit down over here...if we can find a spot." She laughed as she quickly threw some scattered baby items from the couch to the floor. "I'm sorry this place is such a mess," she said as they sat down on the couch.

    "Don't worry about that," Julian urged. "You have had your hands full, I'm sure." He looked around the room. "So where is my little niece and namesake?"

    "Napping in the bedroom," Sheridan replied. "I finally got her to sleep. She has been rather fussy lately."

    "Have you been getting enough rest? I could hire a nanny for you..."

    "No, no nannies," Sheridan vowed. "I am going to raise this little girl on my own - with Luis's help, of course."

    Julian nodded. "I understand...and I envy you for your determination, Sheridan. I think that young lady in there is lucky to have you as a mother."

    "And you as an uncle," she added. Then her face turned serious. "So, Julian, have you heard from Eve?"

    He shook his head. "Not since the morning after she told TC...right before I checked out of the hospital."

    "She needs some time," Sheridan said, placing her hand gently on his. "I'm sure you'll hear from her soon - when she's ready."

    "I know," Julian said slowly. "It's just with each day that goes by that she doesn't call, I'm more afraid that I'm going to lose her."

    Sheridan squeezed her brother's hand. "I don't think you're going to lose Eve, Julian. I think that the love you two have for each other will win out in the end." She smiled. "You're going to be as happy as Luis and me - you'll see."

    Julian nodded. "I hope you're right, dear," he said, getting up off the couch. "Well, I had better go."

    "So soon?" she asked.

    "I know you have things to do. Give the baby my love when she wakes up."

    "I will," Sheridan said, giving her brother a warm hug. "I just want you to be happy, Julian."

    "When I come here, it's rather painful to see what you guys have...the love that resonates in this place," he admitted. "I'm terribly happy for you, don't get me wrong; it's just I am rather envious too."

    "You'll find that happiness too," Sheridan promised. "I see you someday, down the road, playing with all of your nieces and nephews in the yard..."

    He smiled at the lovely thought. "I can't wait," he said. "I think I'll make a fine uncle. I had some problems as a father, but I think I'm ready to try again with a new generation."

    "Well, Julia Eve will come to adore you, I know," Sheridan said, "as will all of the others Luis and I plan to have."

    "You want a big family then?" Julian asked. "I like that."

    "Oh, Luis wants half a dozen," she laughed. "We may have to compromise on that."

    "You'll certainly need to build on here if you plan to stay," Julian said. "And I hope you do stay." His eyes almost begged her to say yes.

    "I think we will stay, Julian. We love it here - the peace and quiet, the beautiful grounds, and the security. Luis likes that aspect of this place."

    "Good," Julian said, the dark cloud over him lifting some. "You don't know how that pleases me." He hugged her one last time and then exited the cottage, slowly making his way to the mansion.

    "Oh, Julian," Sheridan whispered after him, "I sure hope you can realize your dream."

    Eve sat in her office at the hospital, trying to concentrate on her work. She had somehow drifted through the last three weeks, putting everything she had into her job. She found it more and more difficult to stay on task, especially when she was alone, as she was in her office. That's when her mind would always start to wander.

    For the past three weeks, Eve had been staying in a hotel in town (not the Crane Hotel, however). She had wanted her be away from both TC and Julian...until she could figure out what it was she really wanted.

    What did she want? That was hard for her to answer. She had been with TC for over twenty years. They had two wonderful children together. She thought back to when she had met him in the hospital after his he had swept her off her feet, making her forget the pain in her past. Most of the years had been really good ones, until recently. That's when everything she had bottled up inside her had begun to pour out - the truth about her firstborn child, as well as the feelings that were buried deep in her heart...the feelings for Julian Crane.

    Just thinking about Julian made Eve's heart flutter. The love she felt for that man was immeasurable and incomprehensible. How could she be so in love with a man that had hurt her so deeply? She shook her head. There was just something about Julian. He owned her heart, like it or not. She was his and always would be. And he had changed. She couldn't believe how he had matured during the past year...or the bond he had managed to form with his sister Sheridan in the pit. Sheridan also saw the love Julian was capable of, Eve knew. She wasn't the only one captivated by his charms.

    Eve knew she wanted to be with Julian more than anything - to feel his arms around her like she had in the pit. How safe she felt with him, so free from the lies and secrets that had surrounded her for years. He was her rock, the loyal, caring friend whom she could count on when in trouble. He was also the only one who could set her body on fire with his touch...

    How could she give that up? How could she go through the rest of her life never having what she really wanted? Eve couldn't fathom it. She had missed out on so much with him these past twenty years...yet had she been with Julian, she never would have had her daughters, her family.

    Eve thought of Whitney and Simone. Her leaving TC would tear them up inside. Simone was having a hard time already with the separation. Eve had clued her in on some of the difficulties, but hadn't mentioned Julian's name. TC may have told her, she realized, but Simone hadn't let on. How she was maturing!

    Whitney... At least she was safe in LA, enjoying the sights and sounds of that remarkable city. Eve had called her to tell her that she was staying at a hotel for awhile, but didn't go into a lot of details over the phone. She thought Whitney would understand though. She knew what true love was like.

    TC, her girls' father... She never wanted to hurt him, but she had. She still remembered the look in his eyes when she had told him about her and Julian. Never had she seen such anger directed at her. For a moment she had feared for her safety...but TC didn't hurt her, as she knew he wouldn't.

    Eve was surprised TC had not gone after Julian, but he hadn't ventured near the Crane Estate from what she had heard from Sheridan. Julian had hired more security, just in case. Maybe TC finally realized violence wasn't the way to handle his problems. Maybe he was just too devastated to even attempt a fight. Eve felt guilty for what she was doing to TC. She wondered how he would cope if she left him for good.

    Eve shook her head sadly. "I know what I want," she said, sighing. "I just wish there was a sign that it was OK for me to go after it. I wish I had a sign that this was the right choice, and not just me being selfish." She laid her head down on her desk and prayed.

    She was suddenly roused by a knock on the door. Eve called out, "Come in!"

    A nurse entered, carrying a stack of folders. "These are the latest lab results for all of your patients," she said, handing them to the doctor.

    "Thank you, Vicky," Eve responded, as the nurse turned and exited.

    Eve thumbed through the files until she found a particular one. She opened it up and gasped when she saw the results. "Oh my goodness," she said, resting her head on her hand. "I had no idea..."

    She closed the file and beamed. "I think I just got my sign," she gushed.

    Eve swallowed hard as she picked up the phone and dialed her home number. "TC, it's me. Please don't hang up. We have to talk... Will you still be there in a few minutes?... OK, I'll see you then."

    She took a deep breath to steady herself as she got up to leave. Her future would begin today...

    Much later, Eve steered her car up the familiar road, her heart racing as fast as the engine of her vehicle. She was going to greet the man she loved, the man she was going to spend forever with. It had been three weeks since she had seen him, and that was much too long.

    Eve fingered the car phone and decided to pick it up. She dialed the number and held her breath as she waited for it to ring. She was thrilled hearing the sound of his voice on the other end of the line. "It's me," she said. "I am on my way."

    Pulling her car in front of the house, Eve jumped out and ran to the door. She was surprised to see it standing ajar. She carefully pushed it open and peered inside.

    That's when she saw him. He was standing in the living room, straight and tall, looking at her. She felt the power of his eyes even from that distance.

    As he started walking closer, Eve took off and ran into his waiting arms. "I'm home!" she cried, throwing her arms around the man she loved.

    Julian picked her up and spun her around, as tears of joy flooded his eyes. " Eve..." he said softly. "You are finally home." He eagerly pressed his lips to hers.

  3. #51

    Post Re: Pit of Redemption (Evian, Shuis)

    Chapter 50 - "Dreams Come True"

    Luis put another log on the fire. He turned and smiled at Sheridan, who was sitting on the sofa with Julia Eve lying on her lap. “It seems so early to light a fire in here. It’s only September. But it’s so cool out all of a sudden, and I don’t want the baby to freeze.” He got up and walked over to the sofa, sitting down next to Sheridan.

    “I think it’s perfect!” Sheridan professed, watching the flames dance before her eyes.

    Luis smiled and put his arm around Sheridan. “Do you know how much I love you?” he asked.

    “Oh, I think I have a pretty good idea,” she giggled, leaning in to kiss him.

    “Mmm,” Luis said, coming up for air. “I will light a fire more often if this is the treatment I get.”

    “I am counting on that fire,” Sheridan said, winking at him.

    “Oooh, you are really making it hard for me to hold off until this little one goes to sleep,” Luis moaned, gently patting a drowsy Julia Eve’s head.

    “I think she’ll be in dreamland soon enough, from the looks of her,” Sheridan said. “And then we’ll see what kind of dreams are in store for her mommy and daddy.”

    “I can’t wait,” he replied, leaning in for another kiss. Pulling back, Luis looked into Sheridan’s eyes and held her gaze for a second.

    “What?” Sheridan asked, smiling. “I can tell something’s on your mind, and it isn’t just that, which for you is unusual, once you get in this kind of mood. What’s up, Luis?”

    “Well, besides the obvious…” he paused, chuckling as she jokingly slapped his arm. “It was just something you said before, about dreams. I wanted to run something by you.”

    “Really? What is it, Luis?”

    “Well, I have been thinking… What happened to you has me realizing how short life is. And now that I am a father, it also has me wanting to do the best I can to support little Julia Eve and all of our future babies…all six of them.” He laughed as Sheridan once again smacked his arm. “Hey, hey, I was just starting to get serious here!” he groaned.

    “OK, I am sorry, go on,” Sheridan said, intrigued at where the conversation was leading.

    “Well, I know I told you once that my dream was to become a lawyer, only I gave it up so I could help support the family when I got out of high school. I joined the police force instead of going to college. But now…now I have been thinking of what it would be like to go for it, you know, to do what I have always wanted to do, to go after my dream.”

    “You want to be a lawyer?” Sheridan asked, shocked.

    “Yeah, what do you think about that? Think it’s a good idea?” He searched her eyes with his.

    “I think it’s a wonderful idea, if that’s what you want!” Sheridan said. “We have my trust fund. We don’t need to worry about money. And it could easily pay for your tuition too…”

    “Whoa, hold on. This is something I want to pay for myself, not with Alistair Crane’s blood money.” Seeing her hurt expression, he reached up to touch her face. “ Sheridan, I really want to do this, but I want to be the one who pays for it. I will save up as much of my salary as I can. I can go to school nights, just part-time. I want to be here for you and Julia Eve as much as I can. And one day, I want to fight criminals in the courtroom. That’s always been my dream.”

    Sheridan smiled. How could she argue with anyone’s dream? Here was a man who loved her and their baby with all his heart, a man who would do anything for her. He wanted to achieve all of his dreams, while keeping his pride intact. She wasn’t about to deny him that. “OK, we will do it your way,” she said. “And you can pay the tuition using your income. But you had better keep that promise about being here for Julia Eve and me, because I don’t know what I’d do if I never got to see you much.”

    “Oh, you never have to worry about that,” Luis said. “I will always be here for my two favorite ladies. He bent down and kissed Julia Eve on the cheek. “Sheridan, she’s finally asleep.”

    “Awww, I will go put her in her bassinet.”

    “No, allow me,” Luis said. He picked the baby up and carried her into the bedroom, gently placing her inside her bassinet. “Night, night, my sweet princess,” he said, kissing her forehead and then patting her head. He smiled at his baby girl. Looking up, he saw Sheridan in the doorway, her eyes shining.

    Luis walked over to her, taking her by the hand back into the living room. He pulled the bedroom door shut behind them. “Now that Julia Eve is in dreamland, it’s time her mommy and daddy join her,” he said devilishly, leading her to the couch.

    Sheridan threw her arms around his neck as the two connected with a kiss so passionate, it just about knocked her socks off…no, that was Luis taking off her socks with his hand! “Luis,” she giggled, coming up for air, “what are you doing to my socks?”

    “I just wanted to feel your feet against mine,” he said. “I love how your feet feel. But, we can’t have our feet feeling lonely now, can we? I guess that means we’re going to have to let the rest of our bodies join them, piece by piece.”

    “Oooh, I like the sound of that,” Sheridan said, setting her hands to work at following Luis’s suggestion.

    Soon, the two were engaged in the heights of passion that only they could reach, the kind of dream they hadn’t dared possible just a few short weeks before. Sheridan and Luis had found one another again, and they would never be apart again.

    Julian and Eve kissed passionately as they entered his bedroom. Julian shut the door behind them and fumbled with the lock, his lips never leaving Eve's. He didn't remember how they had made it up the stairs to his bedroom - but somehow they had. The trip across the foyer and up the stairs had been one long, beautiful kiss.

    Eve finally pulled away and tried to catch her breath. She could not believe the passion that this man stirred in her, the desires that his simple touch could unleash in her body. How could she have lived without this for so long?

    "What...are you thinking?" Julian asked, finally getting his wind back.

    "Just that...I love much," she said, tears flowing down her cheeks. "I don't know why it took me so long to see what was staring me in the face all this time. Why was I so blind?"

    "Don't blame yourself, Eve," Julian said, cupping her face with his hands and using his fingers to wipe away her tears. "It took me almost as long to realize the same thing. I don't think we were ready to see it before. I had some growing up to do..."

    "And I had to sort out all my problems," she added. "We have missed out on so much..."

    "We still have the future," Julian said, bringing her hand up to his mouth for a kiss. "And I for one plan to live another thirty years at least."

    Eve smiled. "Only thirty? I was hoping you would make it another forty. I plan to."

    "Yes, well, I am older than you are...but for you, dear, I could live to be a hundred even, if I have you to keep me company."

    "You have me," Eve said. "The past is in the past. The future begins tonight." She reached up and began unbuttoning his shirt.

    Julian drew in a deep breath. "Oh, Eve, you are making me lose my mind here..."

    "Already?" she laughed, taking care of the last button. "It's not as though you are a teenager, Julian."

    "Well, when I'm around you, I feel like I'm seventeen again...and the world is fresh and new."

    Eve ran her fingers along Julian's masculine chest. "The world is fresh and new," she whispered. "It's a whole new beginning." She removed his shirt as he lifted his arms to help.

    He nodded in agreement, his eyes, deep with desire, holding hers. Then, wrapping his arms around her, he pulled her close, his lips hungrily seeking hers. His heart pounded when she parted her lips, allowing him to deepen the kiss. As they kissed, Julian's hands caressed her silky hair and moved on down her back, pressing her closer.

    A few minutes later, coming up for air, he gazed into her deep brown eyes. "I love you," he whispered as he nervously began fumbling with the buttons on her blouse.

    "And I love you, Julian, with all of my heart." Eve smiled tenderly, and then chuckled at his unsuccessful attempts at manipulating her buttons. "Here, let me help you. They are tricky, even for me." She finished removing her blouse for him and stood in front of him in her bra and skirt.

    Julian's eyes filled with desire as he reached behind her to unfasten her bra, smiling when she helped him slip it over her head and arms. His heart fluttered upon seeing her beautiful breasts, ready and waiting for his touch. "I want you so much," he whispered as he moved in to explore her exquisite chest.

    "Then take me," she replied, her body yearning for his touch. Their mouths locked again in a sensual kiss as Julian's hands moved to arouse even more desire in her.

    He slowly maneuvered her back toward the bed, his lips never leaving hers. Laying her down gently on the soft bed, he let her mouth go. Bending over her, leaning against the foot of the bed, he stared for a moment at her beautiful, sensuous body. "In the pit, I never got to see you like this," he said, his eyes taking in all of her beauty. "You are exquisite... There is no one like you, in any way." He reached down to caress the soft skin of her elegant arms.

    "Nor you, Julian," she said. "That is why I love you." She noticed that his eyes were suddenly filling with tears. "This is supposed to be a happy occasion," she joked. "We are making love here, Julian, not attending a funeral."

    "I know," he said, swallowing hard. "I was just thinking that I don't deserve this pleasure, after all I have done."

    "Remember what we said about the past?" she asked, reaching up to touch his face. "It stays in the past. It's the present we're working on now, and the future...and I don't know about you, but I am thoroughly enjoying myself here." She gently wiped the tears away from his face.

    Laughing lightly, he looked into her deep, beautiful eyes and saw his own feelings reflected back at him. It was then he knew for sure that there need be no more apologies, no more guilt... This woman loved him for who he was, and would love him until the day he died. Of all the men she could have had, he was the one she wanted - her true love, her soul mate.

    Eve smiled tenderly as she slid her hands around his back and pulled his body toward hers. When she reached under him to unzip his pants, he groaned in anticipation, no longer able to contain his yearning for the woman he loved.

    Julian hungrily joined his mouth with hers as he removed the rest of her clothing. When she was finally lying undressed on his bed, he took in her beauty, as his heart filled with the most incredible love and desire for her. He had never felt this way about anyone else, and knew there would never be another who would grab onto his heart like Eve. Slowly, he descended toward her, knowing now that he was worthy to give her all of his love.

    Much later, Eve woke up in Julian's arms. Noticing that he was sleeping peacefully, she smiled. She couldn't believe that she was finally here, in the arms of the man she loved, completely free to be with him.

    She had met with TC earlier and had told him that she was going to Julian. He had appeared hurt at the news, but had brushed off his sorrow and covered it with indifference toward her and anger toward Julian.

    Eve knew he was deeply wounded, but also knew in the end it was the best decision for all involved that they separate. TC had agreed to a divorce, acting as if it was what he really wanted, although she knew differently. She could still see his love for her in his eyes...behind the pain.

    The two had talked at length about her past, and Eve had revealed the sad tale of the child she had lost - Julian's child. She could tell TC was upset with the news, but more than that, he was astonished that she had forgiven Julian for what he had put her through. It was then, Eve knew, that TC had realized the depth of her feelings for Julian. He finally understood that she was no longer his, and had never been completely his from the start because of her secrets and lies. TC, although terribly hurt, had at last agreed to let her go.

    She had wanted to part on good terms with him for the girls' sake, and was pleased that she was able to do that. Eve knew that she still must call Whitney and break the news to her about the divorce. She was planning on seeing Simone in the morning to tell her what she and TC had decided as well. Neither girl was going to take it well, she realized, but she hoped they would come to understand the reasons behind her choice. It would be a shock to them, she knew, but they were big girls now and both seemed to have matured tremendously in the past year.

    Julian began stirring at that very moment. He opened his eyes and blinked them, as if to see if what he was looking at was real or a mirage. He smiled at the love of his life. "Eve..." he said simply.

    "Yes, love?" she asked.

    "I thought for a moment this was all a dream," he admitted, looking into her gorgeous brown eyes. "I can't believe you're actually here - in my house - in my bed..."

    "In our bed," Eve corrected him, her face all smiles. "As I told you earlier, I am home now...and you know that will mean some changes."

    "Changes?" Julian asked, remembering how when Rebecca moved in, she had completely refurbished the mansion. He grinned. "Redecorate whatever you want, my dear - just as long as you're here, that's all that matters."

    "I wasn't talking about redecorating, Julian," she said, playfully slapping his arm. "I meant that there would be changes with you...with the lifestyle you're used to."

    "Oh, that," he laughed. "I gave up womanizing long ago, Eve. There's only one woman for me now."

    "I know that," she said. "And I'm sure that will always be the case; it doesn't worry me in the least. No, I was referring to things like sharing your room with somebody else. You've never really done that, have you, Julian? I mean, I know Ivy had her own bedroom, and I'm assuming Rebecca did as well."

    "Yes, they did," Julian said. "But don't think for an instant that I want you away from me any night. This is where I want you always, Eve, in my arms." He caressed her hair as he leaned over and gave her a kiss.

    Eve returned his kiss and then pulled back. "Then there's my career, Julian. I work late hours. Are you going to be understanding of that?"

    "Just as long as I have you, dear, I don't care about the rest. I'm thrilled you have a career of your own; Ivy and Rebecca never did. Maybe that was part of the problem with them."

    "I'm glad you are so understanding," Eve said, smiling, "because the biggest change is yet to come..."

    "What else?" Julian inquired, not sure where the conversation was headed.

    "How are you going to handle the 3 a.m. feedings?" she asked, a huge smile on her face.

    "What? 3 a.m...." Julian looked confused for a second. Then it hit him! "You''re not...?"

    "Pregnant?" Eve smiled, blushing a little. "Oh, yes, Julian, you're going to be a daddy again."

    Julian was completely shocked by the news. His eyes were as large as she had ever seen them, and his mouth hung wide open for what seemed like an eternity. He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, giving it time to sink in. He thought of little Julia Eve, and his demeanor brightened suddenly. A broad smile spread across his face. He had never in a million years imagined those words coming out of Eve's mouth: She was pregnant! He couldn't believe what that meant for him...a new beginning, a second chance for them to have a family together, and a way for him to make things right with her.

    Turning to his only love, Julian looked through the sudden tears in his eyes and said, "You have made me the happiest man in the world tonight, Eve."

    "I am thrilled about it too," she admitted, smiling as much as he. "Quite surprised, but thrilled."

    A thought suddenly crossed Julian's mind. "Are you sure that...?"

    "That's it's ours?" Eve asked. She reached up and pushed the hair back on his forehead. "Oh, yes, honey, I'm sure. TC and I hadn't been together for awhile...and besides, we had trouble conceiving a child together after Simone was born. TC always said it was me - I think it hurt his pride too much to think otherwise. I guess we now know the problem was not with me." She shook her head and sighed. "Plus, as an obstetrician, I am pretty good with dates. And, like Sheridan, I just know that I am carrying the child of the man I love." Eve smiled as she said this last part, her eyes never leaving Julian's.

    He leaned in and kissed her gently. "Is it OK, at your age and all?" he asked, worried.

    She laughed. "I am not the youngest mother who will deliver at our hospital, but I am not quite the oldest either. More and more women my age are having babies," she said, "but usually with outside help." Eve chuckled. "That's one area you've never seemed to have had a problem in, Julian..."

    "What? Getting a girl pregnant?" he asked, blushing. "I suppose not."

    "We will just have to be very careful from now on," she laughed. "I intend for this to be my last."

    "And for me, my best," he said. "I was never there for my other children, Eve. They hardly know me. I want to do things differently this be a good father."

    "You will be, Julian, the best!" Eve declared. "I have seen you with Julia Eve. You are wonderful with her."

    "She is a precious little girl," he said. "I'd like a girl. I was always a man who favored sons, but I see now that daughters are very special in their own right."

    "Yes, they certainly are," Eve beamed. "I have two wonderful ones myself."

    "If it's a girl, I think we should call her Eden," Julian said. "Because even though she was conceived in a pit, it was like paradise for me and my Eve."

    "And if it's a boy?" Eve asked.

    "Is there a male version of Eden?" he wondered, grinning.

    "I think Aden is the male form of Eden. We could use the Irish version - Aidan - what do you think?"

    "Aidan Crane...hmmm... It has a nice ring to it," he said. "My dear, you have made me so very happy tonight, in so many ways," he declared. "I couldn't love you anymore than I do right now."

    "I couldn't love you more either," she revealed. "You make me whole, Julian. You fill the void that has been in my heart since you left."

    "I could say the same about you, Eve. Without you, I am not a complete person; I have been a mere shell of a man these last twenty years. Now I am whole again, ready to tackle whatever life throws our way."

    "This child will be loved," Eve said, gently patting her stomach. "And I hope we can find our son soon. Then we will really be a complete family."

    "We will find him, Eve. He is out there; I just know it." Julian leaned in and kissed his precious love.

    "There is one more problem, Julian."

    "What?" he asked, having no clue as to what she was referring.

    "Alistair," she said. "I'm sure by now he knows that I am here."

    "Yes, Father would have seen us on the cameras...except not in here," he reassured her. "We have total privacy in this room."

    "Do you think he'll follow through on his threat and disown you?" she asked, her heart knowing his answer but wanting to hear it one more time.

    "I don't really care if he does," Julian said. "I would take being penniless and having you over having billions without you."

    She smiled and kissed his lips. "Whatever he does, it will be soon."

    Julian nodded. "If there's one thing good I can say about Father, it's that he's definitely swift in his actions. I wouldn't worry though, Eve. I'm certain he'll remove me as the Crane heir, probably fire me from my position at Crane Industries...but he can't take every dime I have - some of the money is in my name too."

    "I'm not worried," she said, looking deep into his adorable hazel eyes. "I would stay with you even if you were kicked out on the street. That's how much I love you."

    Julian sat up and then re-positioned himself gently on top of Eve, his hands caressing the soft skin of her beautiful face. "I love you, my dear, more than you can imagine." He closed the gap between their mouths, meshing his lips with hers.

    At that moment, the telephone rang next to the bed. "What timing," Julian groaned, making a face. He rolled off of Eve and scooted over to the side of the bed to pick up the receiver. "Yes, Father, what do you want?" he asked, his tone radically different from when he was speaking to Eve. "What?!" Julian cried. "Are you sure?... Unbelievable!" He clumsily hung up the phone and sat staring ahead into space.

    "Julian, what's wrong?" Eve asked worriedly.

    Her lover suddenly began laughing hysterically. "Yes!" he exclaimed, turning to her and smiling.

    "What is it, Julian?" Eve wondered, the suspense killing her.

    "The best news we could get, aside from finding our son," he replied. "Father is dead."

    "You're kidding, right?" she asked. "Alistair - dead? I never thought I would see the day that that..."

    "Bastard?" he helped finish for her. "You can say it. He certainly was one."

    "Yes, that bastard... I never thought I'd see the day that that bastard would die. He seemed indestructible."

    "Yes, he did," Julian admitted. "But I couldn't be happier. I am finally free!"

    "What did he die of?" Eve asked curiously.

    "He was killed," Julian said, "murdered, to be exact."

    "Murdered?" Eve cried. "By whom?"

    "It's by what, not whom," Julian said. "And the answer is, our love."

    "I don't understand..." Eve confessed.

    "Well, it seems that my dear father saw the two of us kissing each other earlier...You know how we get carried away with our kisses...and he had a massive coronary, right there on the spot. Apparently he just fell over dead on his desk. His secretary's the one who called me."

    "I don't believe it," Eve said, trying to hold back her laughter. The picture of that formidable, evil man keeling over from watching them kiss was just too funny a picture for her. And what luck! She smiled broadly. "Our last obstacle gone - now I know we are destined to be together. Everything has worked out for us, finally."

    "Well, almost everything," Julian said, grinning.

    "What hasn't?" Eve asked, confused.

    "Well, the phone call interrupted us," he said in his sexiest tone, "and we never got to finish what we started just now."

    "I think I can fix that," she laughed.

    "You can? Good, because I was hoping..."

    "Come here, my man," she said, reaching for him to come back to the center of the bed, and then pulling him by his arms down onto her. "Let's celebrate your good news."

    Once more they made love, this time realizing that nothing was left to prevent them from living out their lives together at the Crane Estate. Eve was home...and she and Julian would enjoy their home together for decades to come.
    Last edited by Courtaney; 6.22.07 at 2:34 AM.

  4. #52

    Re: Pit of Redemption (Evian, Shuis)

    Epilogue ...

    Julian took over complete control of Crane Industries upon the death of his father, Alistair. He improved the company's image while maintaining its success in the business world.

    He and Eve were married as soon as her divorce from TC was finalized. They were wed on the beach in Bermuda and enjoyed a relaxing and passionate honeymoon on the island.

    Eve continued working at the hospital and was never hassled again about her late hours.

    Eight months after she moved into the Crane Mansion, Eve gave birth to a healthy baby boy, whom they named Aidan Seth Crane. He was the perfect mixture of his parents, bearing his father's eyes and nose and his mother's mouth and complexion. Only his hair was his own - it grew in as gorgeous locks that were the deepest shade of brown. He was the apple of his parents' eyes.

    Whitney eventually fell in love with and married Julian's son Fox. They moved into the mansion for awhile after their wedding. Fox and his father slowly worked out their differences and eventually forged a true father/son relationship.

    Simone transferred to a college in Florida, and there met and fell in love with a young architecture student who showed her the true meaning of love.

    TC eventually remarried after meeting a former nun on a cruise. The two hit if off big and have been inseparable ever since.

    When Aidan was six years old, Julian and Eve learned the truth about their first child...that they had had a daughter, not a son. They were stunned to learn she had been so close to them, in Harmony, all of her life. With both of their children home, Eve and Julian were on cloud nine.

    Julian groomed Fox to one day replace him at Crane Industries, hoping that sometime in the future Aidan would be able to learn the ropes from his big brother and become the next Crane heir.

    Rebecca used her millions to buy a yacht that she stocked with a well-built crew. She was last seen setting sail to South America, as happy as could be about the scenery.

    Mrs. Wallace ended up in an excellent nursing home, thanks to Sheridan. She kept herself busy chasing the home's young manager around. He was always looking over his shoulder for signs of his walker-wielding admirer.

    Beth and Charlie both received life sentences for their involvement in the triple kidnapping. They were sent to the same prison, much to Beth's horror and Charlie's delight.

    Sheridan's annulment from Antonio came through quickly. She and Luis were married immediately afterward in a small ceremony at their church, with Julia Eve as the "flower girl," spending most of the time being lovingly held by her parents' two guests of honor, Julian and Eve.

    After the wedding, the couple spent their honeymoon in Sheridan's favorite city, Paris, and in Spain, which Luis had always wanted to see. Before they left, Julian surprised them with his wedding gift - a temporary nanny hired to go along on the trip and look after Julia Eve, so that she could be with her parents on their honeymoon.

    Much to Julian's delight, Sheridan and Luis stayed on at the estate, building a new home near their beloved cottage. They eventually had three more children - another daughter, Katherine, who looked just like Sheridan with her blond hair and blue eyes, and identical twin boys named Martin and Michael, who were the picture of their father, Luis, right down to their gorgeous smiles.

    Luis finally realized his dream of going to law school. Upon passing the bar exam, he set up a practice in Harmony that catered to the underprivileged. He fought hard for every client. Then one day, he was elected Harmony's district attorney.

    Sheridan raised her children without the help of a nanny, and when the twins started school, she went to work as an executive at Crane Industries, right alongside her brother Julian. He was amazed at her capacity for business and ashamed that he had overlooked her talents for so long.

    Julian and Sheridan remained close. She never told anyone the secrets he had revealed to her in the pit. She knew that Julian's redemption had become complete during his time with her there. There was no more need to dredge up the past.

    She always smiled when she saw him in the yard playing with little Aidan and her children. He loved spending time with them. Julia Eve, she knew, would always hold a special place in her uncle's heart. She was what led him back to his one true love, and her name forever symbolized their togetherness.

    Although none of the three captives looked back on their time in the pit with complete fondness, it was an experience that would bind them together forever. Not one, but two miracle children had come out of that time...children that had forever changed their lives.

    The End


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