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A Life Lost ...
A Love Found

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DISCLAIMER: These characters do not belong to me. They belong to Mr. Reilly, NBC, yadda, yadda, yadda. I'm just borrowing them to do with them as I wish. But I will not hurt them and I will clean them up before I return them. :-)

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A Life Lost ... A Love Found
by Abby

PART EIGHT

Over the next several months, Ethan and Theresa saw each other frequently. Their relationship grew and their families were happy that they had finally gotten the chance to have a real relationship.

Winter arrived at Harmony leaving a pure blanket of snow on the ground. Ethan picked Theresa up and he took her to the restaurant where they had their first date. He fingered his pocket nervously at the table as they had dinner and talked about things.

"Theresa, these last six months have been wonderful," he started. "You have brought so much into my life. Things that I never thought I would have. I love you so much."

"I love you too Ethan," she said to him. "When I was younger, I used to fantasize that we would be together but it was never like this. It was a little girl's dream. This ... what we have is real."

"I agree," he said taking her hand in his.

"Well, well. Look what the cat dragged in," said a snide voice.

Ethan and Theresa looked up at the same time, not believing whom they were hearing.

Gwen Hotchkiss-Crane looked down at them with disdain. After everything that had happened, she had found solace in the arms of the man Ethan had called Father. She and Julian were married about six months after she broke things off with Ethan. It was obvious that the last several years with Julian had not been happy ones. She had the same look on her face that Ethan's mother, Ivy, wore on her face all those years she was married to the man.

"Hello Gwen, what a pleasant surprise," his voice actually saying that the opposite was meant.

She looked at the couple, "Well, Theresa, looks like you've gotten your man, I didn't think you would continue with your plans after finding out the truth about 'poor' Ethan."

Theresa, getting over the shock of seeing Gwen again, stood up to face the woman she considered a rival all those years ago. She smiled at the woman, "Hello Gwen, I see the years have been good to you."

Gwen looked down her nose and chuckled. "Playing nice Theresa. How quaint."

Theresa's eyes took on a fiery determination. "Actually, I thought it would be best if I didn't do anything that would put Ethan or me in a bad light. You see Gwen YOU interrupted OUR dinner. And I suggest that you go back to your husband, before he goes whoring around with the hired help."

Gwen's eyes went wide at her words. "How dare you, you little..."

"Housekeeper's daughter?" Theresa finished her sentence. "Gwen after all these years, you had better get my name right. It is Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald. I am out on a date with my boyfriend Ethan Bennett. If you find that too hard to stomach, I suggest you go back home and rule on your little throne as queen of Harmony. You are not welcome here at this table. Goodbye Mrs. Crane."

With that Gwen turned and walked away and out of the restaurant, with Julian quick on her heels.

Theresa watched her leave and smiled, "I've always wanted to do that."

Ethan laughed. "You, my love, have a fiery Irish temper."

"Yes I do, and don't you forget it."

"Oh I won't." he says taking her hand in his again. "Theresa, would you do me the honor of becoming my wife. I may not be able to give you everything I could if I were a Crane, but I will love you and protect you and work with you to make our marriage the one of your dreams."

Theresa's eyes lit with unshed tears of joy. "Oh Ethan, yes!"

He rose from his seat and knelt before the woman he loved and placed a beautiful ring on her finger. Then he stood and took her in his arms and kissed her lovingly.

"Another new beginning?" she asked softly.

"Yeah, with a happily ever after to boot," he teased and kissed her once more.

T H E E N D

               
     

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