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The Price of Love
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The Price of Love
by AshleyTara

CHAPTER 16
Cheap Motel Out Of Town

Sam stood stunned. How could he have been so insensitive? Sure he had been angry and with good reason, but Ivy had been through a lot, especially the last couple of days. She was just trying to clear the air by being honest and open. And he had ruined it. He hadnít even waited to hear of the whole story. He had just hauled off and slapped her.

Then, everything made sense. Thatís why Ivy had left all those years ago. Buy why? "I would have taken care of her and Ethan," Sam thought out loud. He started pacing the room. "I canít imagine why she didnít tell me about our son. I proved to her on many occasions that I loved her. There has to be some sort of explanation. Of course there is, but I didnít wait to hear it. Iíve got to find her." With that, Sam grabbed his coat and bolted out the door.

Once outside, Sam took a good look around. Ivy had left about fifteen minutes ago. There were only a couple of places around the motel and she couldnít have gotten far on foot in the short time sheíd been gone. He decided to check the diner first. It was the closest and it was where he had gotten breakfast this morning. The lady behind the counter had been friendly and would more than likely be willing to help him out.

Sam pushed open the glass door and found that he wasnít going to need the friendly ladyís help. Ivy was sitting alone in a booth, idly staring into a cup of coffee. He walked up to the booth and when she didnít look up, he lamely attempted at some humor, "Well maíam, I donít suppose youíd let me buy that cup of coffee since Iím pretty sure you donít have any money along. You donít want to end up washing dishes just for some coffee, do you?" Ivy looked up then, but her expression showed no signs of laughter.

Sam gripped the locket in his pants pocket. He had forgotten it was there. He continued to hold it tightly as he sat down across from Ivy. "Look, Iím sorry. I know youíve been through a lot and were just trying to be honest. Iím not trying to excuse my actions, but admit it; you have to know how shocked I was when you told me Ethan was my son. Our son. I didnít know what to think and I just reacted."

"You hit me, Sam," Ivy whispered, the hurt now very apparent in her voice.

"I know, and I was an idiot."

"HE hit me."

Now Sam understood the magnitude of his actions. In less than twenty-four hours, Ivy had been hit by two men. The first, Julian, whom she obviously despised, and the second, himself, the Chief of Police and the man Ivy had once given her heart to."

Ivy spoke again, "I never thought thatÖ" It was just too difficult for her to continue. The one man she had always had faith in had let her down in her greatest time of need. She felt empty inside and more alone than ever. "I want to go home now. I need to talk to Pilar. Sheís the only person that listens to me."

Sam had remained silent after realizing how much his striking Ivy had hurt her. Finally he spoke, "Ivy, Iíll listen to you. I just need to know why. Why did you leave me? I would have taken care of you and Ethan."

Was he actually going to give her a chance to explain? The truth was ugly to say the least, but being Ethanís father he deserved to know. "I want to tell you, Sam, but itís going to be a hard trip down memory lane."

"Hey, youíve had to deal with alone for too long. If youíve survived, I think I can handle it."

"Alright. Iíll start with the morning after my wedding to Julian. I left you to go get some clothes and we were going to meet later on the beach, but my father caught me sneaking into the mansion. He shouted at me and told me that everyone was there because they had been searching for me all night. He said there was no way he was going to let his daughter embarrass him because of her so called love with a fisherman. Thatís when I realized he had set us up. My father had kept you away on that boat and intercepted all of our letters and phone calls. I begged and pleaded with him to let me runaway with you. I promised to change my name and never come back so no one would know why I had run away, but he refused and said if I ever ran to you again, heíd tell Alistair and that Alistair would Ďtake care of you.í I loved you so much, Sam, but I couldnít let my love be the end of you. I stayed in that house married to Julian, but after a month we hadnít consummated our marriage yet. I promised myself that you would be my one and only and there was no way I was going to give Julian the satisfaction of having me when he didnít love me. Well, I found out I was pregnant with Ethan after that first month and thatís how I knew he was yours. I was overjoyed; I had your baby growing inside of me! Our baby was created out of love, and that was the most precious gift anyone could ever have given me. I wanted to tell you, but when I tried to find you, you had already left for Boston. I was young, hurt, and scared. I called my mother to explain the situation. I was sure that once my parents knew I was carrying your baby, theyíd let me go back to you. It would be too much of a scandal and I knew Julian and Alistair would never stand for it. I truly underestimated my father. He called back and told me I would pass off the baby as Julianís. If I ran away with you, he said he would find us and not only kill you, but the baby as well. How could I let that happen? I had to stay, to save you and the baby. To shorten the story, I slept with Julian that night and when Ethan was born I convinced everyone that he was premature. Knowing Ethan was a Bennet and going to takeover the Crane Empire and end the reign of terror was the only thing that kept me going all of these years. Ethan was already at boarding school when I had the girls. I was so happy to have them. Finally, someone to return my love. I love them so much, despite their gene pool. I thought I could raise them and bond with them, But Julian would have nothing to do with them and Alistair insisted they attend boarding school at the age of five. After that, I threw myself into charity events and volunteering, shopping, lunching with the ladies of the country club, anything to keep my mind off of you. I was doing okay. Then Ethan came back home and things were getting better, until that day you walked onto the estate. Granted I hadnít seen you in twenty years, but everything that I had kept down all time came bursting out. I guess you know the rest," Ivy finished. She sat back against the booth, exhausted from telling her story.

"Wow," was all Sam had to say. "I never knew."

"Of course not, I never told you. It was too dangerous."

"You lived an empty life to save me?"

"Yes, and to save our son. What choice did I have? Sam, I would have given anything for you to storm into that house and carry me away into the sunset on a white horse, but lets face facts. Our story is no fairy tale. I donít think we can ever have a happy ending. Not with all of these secrets. The truth about us would kill Grace and your kids."

"Well, where do we go from here?"

"Home. I think itís time to tell Ethan. We can keep it between the three of us if thatís what you want."

"Hold on, wonít that ruin his future plans? I mean, heís marrying Gwen soon."

"Not anymore. He and Theresa fell in love and Ethan knows heís giving up any future he has as the Crane heir to be with her. Now is as good a time as any to tell him."

"Things can change really fast."

"Yes, they certainly can."

"So, are we okay now? Can you forgive me for my inappropriate actions."

"As long as you can forgive me for keeping your son from you."

"Of course I can. Youíre the reason weíre both still around. Now, are you ready to go back to Harmony and deal with all of this."

"I think so. The situation canít get any worse."

As they got up to leave, Sam pulled the locket out of his pocket. "Here, I found this on the stairs of the mansion last night."

Ivy took to the locket from his hands and opened it up. "This has always been my most prized possession." Sam looked over her shoulder and recognized his own picture alongside a baby picture, obviously of Ethan. "Thank you for saving it for me."

"Sure. Letís go home."

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