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The Price of Love
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The Price of Love
by AshleyTara

CHAPTER 33
Beach House

Sam and Ivy entered the kitchen holding hands only to find that it was already being carried to the dining room. "Oh, you finished without me," Ivy said in mock disappointment.

"Weíre starving and you guys were taking a little too long, so we decided to cook tonight. Donít worry though, weíre coming over next week at the same time so YOU can make US dinner," Jessica teased.

"How sweet of you girls to invite yourselves over," Ivy laughed.

"Oh itís no problem, Ivy," Kay chimed in. "In fact, Iíve decided that every Saturday weíre going to have a family dinner here that will most often be prepared by you. And just so you know, next Saturday is Italian night and I like my spaghetti with mushrooms."

"Got it, Kay likes mushrooms," Ivy smiled at the young girl as Sam pulled out her chair at the table.

Dinner continued with more merry banter of the like as everyone nearly ate themselves sick, but Ivy could only pick at her food. Sam had wanted to go home to tell the girls about the baby, but Ivy had objected: "Sam, please let me do it. It can be a woman-to-woman conversation for us. We canít keep this from them and I want them to know the truth. The whole truth. I think it would be easier for them to hear coming from me."

Sam had finally agreed with her and pulled Theresa aside to let her know what was going on. He planned on the two of them sitting down to tell Ethan while Ivy told Kay and Jessica.

When everyone was done eating, Ivy tried to speak cheerfully, "Okay everyone, since you made dinner, Iíll do the dishes. Besides, it will give me something to do tomorrow. But when I cook dinner, you guys have to take turns with dish duty."

"Fair enough," Ethan replied, and then under his breath, "but weíll still have to eat what you make for dinner."

"Very funny Darling," Ivy said sarcastically. "Kay and Jessica, would you like to go for a walk? I havenít gotten to talk to you girls this week."

"Sure," said Jessica. "Come on Kay, itís cold so we better grab our coats."

"Get mine, too please," Ivy called to them as they walked to the entry.

"Okay," Kay called back.

A few minutes later all three of them were walking along the beach away from the house with the breeze blowing in their hair. Ivy searched for a way to start the conversation. "So girls, whatís new?"

Kay didnít need any prompting, "Iím getting closer to my best friend Miguel again."

"Pilarís son. You had a crush on him, didnít you?"

"Iíve loved him for a long time, but weíve been friends even longer. Then my cousin Charity came to town and they started dating, so Miguel and I grew apart," Kay answered sadly.

Jessica rolled her eyes, "Oh Kay, quit being so dramatic."

Ivy joined in the conversation, "Jessica, you shouldnít be so hard on your sister. I know what itís like to suddenly lose the man you love. Itís like having everything you know pulled away from you and living in a foreign country where no one understands you."

Jessica looked a little sheepish. "I guess I never bothered to look at it from your point of view, Kay. I just saw you trying to steal Miguel from Charity. Iím sorry."

"Thatís okay, Jess. One day, youíll be crazy enough about some guy that youíd do the same thing I did to try to keep him."

Ivy stopped, "Girls, could we sit down? Thereís something I need to tell you."

"Sure Ivy," Jessica said a little suspiciously as they all sat in the sand, Ivy between the two girls.

Ivy closed her eyes and took a deep breath of the ocean air for courage before she began. "Do you know what happened between my ex-husband and I?"

"Dad told us some of it," Kay answered. "How he and his father tricked you into marrying him and how he attacked you after finding out about Ethan. Is there more?"

"Oh, so much more," Ivy muttered.

"Julian attacked me twice. The second time I was actually hospitalized, but the first was by far worse in another way. I never loved Julian, but I do love my three girls, despite who their father may be. The truth is, I hadnít even slept with Julian since we conceived our last daughter." She saw Kay and Jessica blush, but she knew she had to continue. "I donít want to embarrass you, so Iíll keep this to a minimum, but I am actually going somewhere with this." They just nodded their approval so she kept talking. "Alright, Julianís first attack on me was actually the day before the second attack. Only on the first day, heÖwell, he overpowered me and then took advantage of me before knocking me out."

Kay asked bluntly, "You mean he raped you?"

"Yes," Ivy was surprised, but thankful for Kayís straightforward manner, "and then I got a divorce from Julian when I woke up at the hospital. The morning after I woke up, youíre father brought me from the hospital to my hotel. Thatís when he told me about your mother. We both broke down and I tried to comfort him." Ivy stopped. "I want you both to know how wonderful I think your mother was. She was kind to me when I needed a friend and I truly admired her, even though I was jealous that she had your father after I had lost him."

"You know, Mom always liked you, Ivy. She told us several times what good person you are, and Mom was never wrong about people," Jessica informed her.

Ivy smiled, "Thank you, Jessica. That means a lot to me. Anyway, your father and I bonded all over again because of the loss of your mother and because of all of the support he gave me in the hospital. Well, one thing lead to another and your father and I spent the better part of the day in bed." Now it was Ivyís turn to blush as the girls stared at her. "It will make you feel better to know that we havenít been together since and had decided to take things slowly for the sake of both of our families. Girls, the reason I had to tell you the whole story is for this specific reason: I found out today that Iím going to have a baby. Iím very happy, but I donít know if Julian is the father or if Sam is. And Eve Russell told me that it would be too dangerous to do a prenatal paternity test, so weíll have to wait until the baby is born to find out." Ivy tried to read the expressions on Kay and Jessicaís faces, but she didnít know them well enough yet.

"Iím sorry girls," Ivy said, choking back a small sob, "I never meant to put you in the middle of a situation like this. Iíll understand if Ė"

Kay cut her off. "Ivy, you make Dad happy, and that makes me happy. Anyway, I love babies and I've always wanted someone little to dress up." Kay embraced Ivy tightly. "Besides, I'd love to live on the beach," she smiled and raised an eyebrow, a technique she had picked up from Ivy over the last few weeks. "What do you say, Jess?"

Jessica finally joined the hug, "Iím sick of being the baby anyway. Now you guys will have someone else to boss around," she giggled.

"Well, letís go ask your father what he thinks of Kayís idea about living on the beach."

"Somehow," Kay replied, "I think heíll jump at the idea. I for one know that youíll do almost anything for love."

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