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The Price of Love
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The Price of Love
by AshleyTara

CHAPTER 7
Lopez-Fitzgerald House

Ethan hopped out of his car and practically ran to the door. He could hardly wait to see Theresa, the love of his life. The love of his life! He was so ecstatic that he wanted to shout it from the rooftops that he was in love with Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald. He waited impatiently for someone to answer his knock.

Suddenly the door flew open and an expectant Theresa beamed at Ethan before she threw her arms around his neck. "Ethan, I canít tell you how utterly happy I am! Iíve dreamed of this for so long."

"I couldnít have described it better," Ethan smiled back. With that, he pulled her away a little and gave her a soft, sweet kiss. His pulse soared and he could tell by the quickening of her heartbeat that Theresa was exhilarated as well.

"Letís go to the garden so we can have some privacy while we talk," Theresa said as she took his hand and led him to a bench by her mamaís irises.

"What could you possibly want to talk about," Ethan teased.

Theresa gently punched his arm, "Like you donít already know. Did you talk to your mother yet?"

"Yes and she explained the all mysterious Ďplaní to me. Actually, she gave me this note for you."

"Have you read it yet," Theresa inquired.

"No, it was sealed," said Ethan playfully.

"Well, arenít you a noble young man," Theresa laughed as she opened the note.

The Note

Dearest Theresa,
I want to take the time to say congratulations and welcome to the family. Youíre a marvelous and charming young lady with a fabulous talent for fashion and a great love for my son. I hope you know how fortunate you are to have won his heart. I for one am very thankful that he has someone as wonderful as you in his life.

Although I may be enthusiastic about the happiness Ethan has found with you, I must warn you, not everyone will be so pleased. Namely Julian and Alistair. Might I be right when I assume also that your brother, Luis will be a little angry to say the least? It will be a hard road for you and Ethan in the near future, but as they say, ĎLove Conquers All.í In time, the waves will settle and then you and Ethan will be able to live your lives happily and together. All Iíve ever wanted for my children is happiness Ė and I know Ethan has found it in you.

One last thing before I close. For the sake of our plan, please donít take any of my actions to heart. Anything I say or do is for your future happiness with my son and we must be convincing if everything is to work out. I hope you understand, Dearest.

With love from Mother,
Ivy

End Note

Theresa smiled at the closing as she refolded Ivyís note and put it back in its envelope.

"Well, donít keep me in suspense. What did it say," Ethan pouted.

Theresa laughed, "Oh, thatís between me and your mother. All you need to know is that everything is under control. Now, what all did she tell you about the plan?"

"That we canít tell anyone, even Pilar, in order to make it all believable."

"Right, and we should wait to tell Gwen until your mother is there in order to make it look real. Gwen wonít believe itís over unless you say so in front of your mother."

"Exactly. She also told me that Iíd have to be the one to break it to Father and Grandfather. So it wouldnít look suspicious."

"Ouch. I donít envy you that one."

"Yes, well, I donít envy you having to tell Luis. Would you like me to do it?"

"Mios dio," exclaimed Pilar from behind them.

"Mama! How long have you been there?"

"Long enough. Ethan, no matter what you and Theresa may feel for each other, your family will never allow you to be together. Your wedding to Gwen means the world to your mother and you know how Julian and Alistair can be."

"I understand your concerns Pilar, but I donít care. I love Theresa, and love is all that matters. My mother once told me that."

"I will not let this happen. It will tear both of our families apart. I have seen the result of star-crossed lovers before and it was not a happy ending."

"Mama nothing is going to keep me from Ethan," Theresa looked her mother in the eye.

"Theresa, donít make me out to be an ogre. If you will not do this of your own free will, I will have no choice to make you quit your job with Mrs. Crane."

"Mama, I love you and I donít want to hurt you, but if you try to keep us apart, Iíll leave. Iím eighteen and free to make my own choices now. Iím not a child."

Pilar sighed, "Yes, I know. I cannot tell you what to do anymore, but be warned. The two of you being together can only bring disaster to our families."

"Thank you, Pilar. Youíre like a second mother to me and I appreciate this," Ethan said with sincerity.

"Well, I must head back to the mansion now. Iíve been a little overwhelmed with extra work lately with the wedding plans. There are few things I want to finish before I go in tomorrow. Iím sure I wonít get much done with the storm thatís brewing. Good-night."

"Good-night, Mama."

When Pilar had gone, Ethan turned to Theresa, "You know, Pilar is right. My mother may be on our side, but that still leaves a lot of other people who will be furious about this. I think we better play it down for a while, just until we have everything figured out. And when the time is right, weíll tell Gwen."

"I think youíre right, Ethan," Theresa said lovingly.

"Well, itís late. I should get going. I have to stop at the office to check on some things. Iíve had twice as much work lately now that Grandfather disinherited my Father."

"Okay, but call me first thing in the morning?"

"Of course, who else would I call," Ethan replied playfully. Then he gave her one last tender kiss before he got into his car and took off for Crane Industries.

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