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The Price of Love
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The Price of Love
by AshleyTara

CHAPTER 26
Crane Mansion

Julian being in his library with a glass of brandy, as usual, walked over to the desk and answered the phone by pushing the speaker button. "Julian Crane."

"Julian, did you get everything I sent over," Alistair's voice boomed.

"Yes, someone from Crane security just brought it up to the house," Julian replied, looking over the papers. "Aren't we going to do something else though, Father?"

"All in good time my son. You already gave Ivy a good scare, if you didn't kill her. When she does come to and tells Ethan, being cut off without a cent will certainly be quite enough of a punishment…for now."

"Do you have a plan," Julian asked giddily.

"Not as of yet, but I'll come up with something soon. And the longer we wait, the more unsuspecting she'll be. I'll have to admit, Ivy was a clever one, but no one meddles with the Cranes and gets away with it."



Hospital

Sam walked up to Ivy's room and found Ethan and Theresa inside quietly having a one-way conversation with Ivy. He decided not to interrupt and waited in some of the chairs in the hallway. Ethan was certainly devoted to his mother. It was clear that he loved her and she meant a lot to him.

Inside the hospital room, Ethan was holding his mother's delicate hand and talking to her. "Well Mother, Theresa and I had a good day. It's beautiful outside. I wish you could see it. I know how you love autumn and the leaves. Anyway, Theresa and I have some exciting news for you. We've decided to get married. Right, Theresa?"

"Right. Oh, today was so wonderful. Your son is so sweet and romantic. A few days ago while we were shopping on the wharf, I pointed out a ring I admired. Lo and behold, today while we were walking in the park, Ethan pulled me aside, professed his love, and popped the question with the ring," Theresa gushed happily. Then she added a little more quietly, "I wish you were awake to see it and celebrate with us."

Ethan chimed in, "Yes Mother, you have to wake up. We need your help planning the wedding." Then he joked, "I hear you and Theresa plan great weddings, although I've never been to one." Theresa joined him in a light-hearted laugh for a moment, and then they stopped. Ivy still hadn't moved since she'd been brought in to the hospital.

Theresa broke the silence, "Ethan, could you go down to the cafeteria and get us some coffee or tea? I'm really thirsty and could use something to warm-up. I'll stay with your mother."

"Alright, but don't go anywhere."

Theresa smiled at him, "I won't, now hurry up!"

When he had gone, Theresa moved closer to Ivy's bedside. "Mrs. Crane, I'm begging you, please wake up. Ethan needs you so much. It's killing him to see you with all of these machines and tubes hooked up to you," Theresa said with a tear in her eye. "Please pull through this. Ethan loves you so much, and so do I. And so do Mama and your daughters. What would your daughters do if they lost their mother? Someday, Ethan and I will have children, and I want them to know both of their amazing grandmothers. I know you're strong enough to get through this, but you won't have to do it alone, we'll all be here to help you. And you don't have to be scared. Chief Bennet is already trying to find whoever did this to you so he can put them away forever. But we need your help, you have to wake up." Theresa heard voices in the hallway, so she wiped her eyes and got up to find out whom it was.

She found Ethan holding two cups of coffee while talking to Chief Bennet. "How is she doing Ethan?"

"Nothing has changed. I know the hospital is doing everything that they can. Dr. Russell checks on her almost every hour. By the way, I hope you'll believe me when I say I'm sorry about your wife. I know we haven’t always seen eye to eye, but I want to thank you for putting all that aside and being so supportive."

"Thanks Ethan, I appreciate that. And thank you for coming to the funeral today. That meant a lot to me."

"Well, you've been there for me the past couple of days despite your problems, so I wanted to be there for you. I know my mother would have wanted to be there, too. She thought a lot of your wife."

"Yeah, I know."

Then Ethan noticed Theresa's presence in the hallway. "Did anything happen while I was gone," he asked hopefully.

"No, but I had a nice little chat with your mother. Well, a one-sided one. Hello, Chief Bennet."

"Hi, Theresa. Hey Ethan, would you mind if I went in and talked to your mother for awhile."

"Go ahead. Would mind staying with her until Theresa and I get back? We haven't eaten all day, so we'll just go down to the cafeteria for a little while."

"No problem, take your time."

Sam entered Ivy's room. God, this was going to be harder than he thought. He sat down in the chair closest to Ivy's bed and brushed a stray hair from her face. "Hey Ivy, it's Sam." Now he took her hand. "I'm going to get you through this, you know that don't you? You know, our son is one amazing man. He's been by your side for the past three days with the exception of this morning. Theresa tried to get him to leave sooner to get some rest, but he refused. He wanted to be with you. I want to tell him, but not without you. I saw a ring on Theresa's finger in the hallway. I guess that means they're getting married, huh? Can you believe it; our son's getting married. I couldn't be happier. Theresa's a wonderful girl." Sam didn't know how much more of this he could stand and he began to crumble. "Ivy, I can't live without you. I lost you once and I'm not going to let that happen again. Ivy, I -"

Then Sam felt her hand tighten around his. He looked at it hopefully and then up at her face. Ivy's head slowly turned to the side and without opening her eyes he heard her voice hoarsely whisper, "Sam?"

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