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The Price of Love
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The Price of Love
by AshleyTara

CHAPTER 12
Lopez-Fitzgerald House

Theresa slipped on her thin coat and checked herself in the front hall mirror one last time. She was on her way to work and wanted to look perfect. After all, she'd surely see Ethan! "You look okay to me," she said to her reflection.

She opened the front door and was startled for a moment. "Ethan, what are you doing here? Not that I'm not glad to see you," Theresa slyly smiled and kissed his cheek. "But I have to go to work. It wouldn't do to be late for your mother! What would she think of me then?"

Ethan looked a little troubled. "Ethan, is something wrong?" Theresa's mind raced to the worst possible scenario. "Have you changed your mind about us?"

Ethan responded to quickly, "No, of course not! I love you, Theresa, and I always will. It's my mother."

"Is she okay?"

"I don't know. I think so. I looked all over for her this morning and couldn't find her. Then Pilar told me that she left town without her cell phone last night, but that she would call later. It's not that I don't believe Pilar, but it's just not like Mother to go somewhere and not tell me first."

They had left Theresa's house and were nearing the wharf now, holding hands as those in love do. "I'm sure she's fine, Ethan. You're mother is an incredibly strong woman and she loves you to pieces. If anything was wrong, she'd tell you."

"Yeah," he said brightening, "I guess you're right."

"In the meantime, I guess that means I have the day off," Theresa chimed happily.

"Yes, as a matter of fact it does. What would the love of my life like to do?"

"YOU'RE WHAT?"

'Uh-oh,' Theresa thought. 'This can't be good.'

Theresa and Ethan slowly turned around, only to be face to face with Gwen, arms crossed and eyes flaming.

"Answer me! Ethan, what is Theresa to you?"

"Gwen, calm down," Ethan started, but wasn't allowed to finish.

"My Mother was right. Theresa, I trusted you, but now I find out that you're nothing but the little gold-digging trollop my mother always pegged you to be."

"Gwen, don't talk to Theresa like that," Ethan spoke severely.

"Or you'll what, Ethan Crane? This is unbelievable. You know our families won't stand for this. I can't deal with this right now. I'm going home to discuss this with my Mother, and then I'm going to call your mother, Ethan. Oh, won't she be heartbroken," Gwen said coldly. "Then I think I'll make a little call to Officer Lopez-Fitzgerald. I'm sure he won't be too happy either. Well, ta-ta you two. Enjoy your LAST afternoon together," Gwen laughed as she stalked away.

"Ethan, I think she's lost it," Theresa looked scared.

"Don't worry. My mother is on our side and Luis isn't even here. He's still out of town with Sheridan."

"You're right. Everything will work out."

"I hope so. I just hope that Mother's plan will still work now that Gwen knows."

"Can we wait until your mother gets back to town to spring into action?"

"That's the other thing that bothers me about my mother disappearing so suddenly. Why would she leave when we had something this big underway?"

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