From the Past
Fan fiction and fond (mostly) memories
of soap days gone by
Sam Bennett had only loved two women in his life – his wife and the woman that had haunted his dreams for the past
twenty years. Now thanks to the second, he’d lost the first. He still couldn’t believe the secret that Ivy had
kept from him. A son, he thought massaging the back of his neck with his right hand, trying to get the knots out,
he had another son. Ethan. He had known after that disastrous night on the prom boat that there was something about
him, but because he had believed Eve’s lie, that Ivy had given birth to Ethan prematurely, he had let his head
over rule what his cop instinct said and therein lie his mistake. If he had kept digging, if he had gone over those
records himself, maybe he would have been a little more prepared for when the bombshell finally came out. Instead,
he had been kicked in the gut and his family… the life he had built since Ivy had destroyed him all those years
ago, came crashing down around him. He shook his head to clear it of the unwanted thoughts then pushed himself
away from the balcony railing he’d been leaning against and walked back inside the second floor apartment he’d
moved into a little over four months ago. Unpacked boxes still cluttered the floor and several pictures still remained
unhung. The place just didn’t’ feel like home to him. He wasn’t sure it ever would.
He made his way into the kitchen and grabbed a cold beer out of the fridge then twisted off the top and threw it
on the cabinet beside him. It landed on the large manila envelope that had been sitting unopened, in the same spot
for the last three days. He hadn’t been able to face the contents when he’d received the package, but he knew he
would have to eventually. He took a sip of his beer then flicked the cap out of the way and picked up the thick
Sam walked back into the living room then lowered himself onto the beige leather couch that he and Hank had found
in a second hand store a few months back. Once he had himself situated, he sat his beer on the small wooden crate
that acted as his coffee table and tore open the thick envelope in his hands. Once he pulled the papers inside
out, he laid the envelope next to his beer then quickly scanned the documents he held. As far as he could tell,
they were in order, which meant all he had to do was sign them. All he had to do was sign them and he would once
again be a single man. For some men, that freedom would be a blessing. For him it was a curse, a curse he knew
he would have to live with for a long time to come.
Taking a deep breath, he pulled the black ink pen out of the right pocket of his blue button up shirt then scribbled
his signature on page after page. Once he had finished, he placed the papers back in the envelope then sat the
envelope back onto the crate and picked up his beer. He downed the contents within seconds and as his eyes landed
on the reminder of his past mistake, he hurdled the bottle across the room. It landed against the wall with a thud,
it’s broken pieces clattering to the floor. The broken pieces reminded him of his current state of affairs. As
soon as he turned in the papers, the life he had lived for the past twenty years would be over and he would be
left alone to pickup the pieces.
Five months ago, he had everything – a great job, a loving wife, and three children that respected him. Now thanks
to Ivy and the secret she had kept, he had nothing. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. Now instead of three children
who didn’t respect him, he had four. He shook his head then leaned back against the couch and closed his eyes.
His mind flashed back to the night his whole world exploded and he once again got lost in the memories of the past.
He still couldn’t believe he’d let Grace talk him into coming to Ethan Crane’s wedding. If she knew about his past
with Ivy she wouldn’t be nearly as nice to the woman. Then again knowing Grace as well as he did, she would still
be civil just not quick to accept her scheming invitations like the one she had accepted earlier that week. The
minute they stepped into the church, he felt his heart drop to the tips of his black dress shoes. Ivy stood at
the altar in a white dress, her blond hair swept up in a twist with tiny tendrils framing her face. Her dress wasn’t
a wedding gown, but it didn’t stop him from reacting like it was. As she turned and their eyes connected, the air
left his lungs. She was still the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, he thought then started in surprise when
his wife placed a gentle hand on his forearm.
What was he thinking ogling Ivy Crane like that?
She wasn’t the woman in his life anymore. He was married to Grace. He loved Grace. But why did he feel as if he
were lying to himself? And why did time seem to stand still every time their eyes met? He didn’t have an answer,
but then he supposed he didn’t’ really need one either. He would just ignore it the same as he always did when
his thoughts turned to Ivy.
"Sam?" His wife asked with a slight trace of humor. "Did you hear a word I just said?"
He mentally shook himself then turned to meet his wife’s openly curious hazel eyes. "I’m sorry sweetie, I
didn’t. I was just taking in all the scenery."
"The scenery as in Ivy Crane? I saw you looking at her. She looks beautiful doesn’t she?"
He swallowed hard then wondered if how he should
answer his wife’s question. If he answered honestly it could get him in hot water, but if he lied, he would not
only be lying to his wife but also to God as he was in God’s house. It only took him a moment to decide. "Yes,
she does, but she doesn’t hold a candle to you."
"Oh Sam." Grace whispered as she placed a chaste kiss against his cheek. "You are so good to me."
Not as good as he should be, he thought as he felt her pull away from his side and greet Pilar and Theresa that
had just arrived. He noticed the sad look in Theresa’s brown eyes and wondered if it had to do with the fact that
Ethan was getting married. He was pretty sure it did given the way Luis had said she felt for the guy. He was glad
that Luis had the good sense to keep her away from the Crane’s. A nice girl like Theresa would only end up getting
her heart broken, because as far as he could tell Ethan was just like his father. He didn’t care who he hurt as
long as he got what he wanted.
Unconsciously, his eyes darted back to Ivy, still standing at the front of the church looking at him with those
beautiful come hither eyes of hers. He took a few steps toward her then caught himself and froze. Had he really
been about to walk up that aisle toward Ivy? What was he thinking? He and Ivy were over. He was married to Grace.
He loved Grace. He loved his life with Grace. Sure his relationship with Grace lacked the passion that he and Ivy
had shared, but he wasn’t the same naïve kid he had been when he’d first fallen in love with Ivy. He was a
forty-five year old man not some horny kid that craved the inner fire of the governor’s daughter. If he had stuck
to his original plan, to get her into bed then walk away, his life would have been a heck of lot simpler. But of
course, one dance with her, one kiss with her and he was in way over his head. The woman had not been the ice queen
everyone had made her out to be. Instead, she had been a warm, passionate young woman that kept herself closed
off from the outside world because she felt no one would take the time to see past the fact that she was Governor
Sam shook his head then turned away from Ivy and the unwanted memories she was starting to stir within him. His
eyes landed on Grace still talking with Pilar. She looked so excited and so happy, which was a whole world away
from how he felt. He was agitated, restless, and so ready to leave. He wanted to leave before more memories of
Ivy surfaced. Of course, he couldn’t do that though. It would raise too many eyebrows, namely Grace’s.
Someone ran a hand along the back of his dark blue suit coat and he didn’t have to turn to know it was Ivy. He
could smell her perfume, but moreover he could feel when she was near. That much hadn’t changed. He always knew
when she was close to him. Their connection went that deep. She ran her hand lightly over his buttocks and he stiffened
in response then whirled around and pinned her with a glare. "What do you think you are doing? Are you crazy?
Grace, not too mention hundreds of other people could see you!"
"Oh Sam," She said in a voice that caused a shot of desire to shoot through his body. "Quit being
so melodramatic. No one here is even paying attention to us. We could make love right here in the aisle and no
one would notice."
Sam drew in a deep breath then regretted it the moment her intoxicating perfume hit his nostrils. "Ivy, back
off. We’re in church for goodness sake!"
Her laughter filled his ears and the desire in her eyes woke emotions that had laid dormant for over twenty years
– that wild-can’t-live-without-making-love-to-you-one-more-time emotion that he hadn’t felt since the last time
he and Ivy made love – on her wedding night. The night she should have been with her husband, but had instead spent
the night with him. Long forgotten images floated into his brain and caused him to forget where he was momentarily.
But then she spoke and he remembered everything that look in her eyes had caused him to forget. "You’re right
Sam, I apologize for offending you."
The mischief in her eyes belied the words she spoke, causing Sam to shake his head and step back away from her
reach. She was sorry all right but not for what she was apologizing for. No, what she was sorry for was the fact
that she couldn’t make another attempt to seduce him. He had to admit, because he was in church, that he had been
tempted more than once, but he took his marriage vows to Grace seriously and he would never betray them, especially
not with Ivy, the woman that had broken his heart and destroyed his young foolish dreams.
Someone called Ivy’s name, causing her to turn away from him and he took the opportunity to slip away from her.
He needed to get some air. He made his way toward the back door of the church and as he opened the door, he came
face to face with an irate Julian Crane. He was holding something in his hands and Sam barely had time to register
the fact that it was a briefcase before Julian swung it, hitting him in the right temple and causing him to lose
his balance. As he hit the ground, he thought he heard a woman scream, but he couldn’t be sure because in the next
instant he was out cold.
Sam shook his head as the painful memories of waking up
in the hospital to learn the life he had went to sleep knowing was over and in it’s place was the life he now lived
– the life of a man that had lost everything he held dear - played in his head like a bad movie. His wife, his
kids, his job, his home, he’d lost it all thanks to Julian’s revelation of his past relationship with Ivy and the
truth about Ethan’s paternity. He’d been told later, by Pilar, that Julian had announced in front of a room full
of wedding guests that Ethan was the bastard son of his wife’s affair with the chief of police. Grace had fainted
from shock while Ivy had cried and tried to explain to Ethan why she had let him believe Julian was his father.
Ethan hadn’t understood and had left the church in a squeal of tires. Theresa had gone with him and both were involved
in a traffic accident that could have been much worse than it really was.
He had been rushed to the hospital sometime during the ruckus so he woke up to find his whole world had exploded
in his face. Ivy had come to see him to try and explain why she’d kept the truth from him, but he hadn’t been ready
to listen to her. In fact, it had taken him over two weeks to be calm enough to hear her out. He had heard her
excuses, but he hadn’t been able to accept them. He still couldn’t accept them. She had stolen twenty-seven years
of his son’s life from him and there was no way she could give that back to him. Sure the memory album and the
daily summaries of Ethan’s first years had helped, but it didn’t replace the fact that he should have been there
to watch him grow up. He shouldn’t have had to read about his first words or him taking his first steps in a diary,
he should have been there to hear him and see him. But thanks to Ivy he hadn’t been and now he was just getting
to know the son that had been kept from him. It was a long slow process, but both Ethan and he were committed to
making some sort of familial bond. He supposed he had Theresa to thank for what little progress they had made.
He knew she had given Ethan the push he needed, the push to give him a chance and for that he would always be grateful
to her. He could certainly see why his son loved her so much.
Sam rubbed a hand over his unshaven face then hoisted himself up off the couch and made his way into the kitchen
to get the broom and dustpan so he could clean the broken pieces of his beer bottle off the floor. As he grabbed
the broom out from between the refrigerator and his kitchen cabinets, he made a wish that his life would be as
easy to clean up as the broken bottle would be. Of course, even as he made the wish, he knew it wouldn’t come true.
He’d lost his wish granting privileges years ago, probably the same night he’d taken another man’s wife to bed.
Ivy Winthrop stared up at the balcony on the second floor of Harmony Heights Apartments building, trying to find
the courage she so desperately lacked at the moment. His lights were on so she knew he was home, but she couldn’t
seem to make her legs work long enough to walk across the street and up the stairs to knock on his door. She took
a deep apprehensive breath then forced to relax. Once she did, she made herself walk across the street and up the
stairs to Sam’s apartment. She knew he wouldn’t want to see her, but she had to try just one last time. If he still
refused to forgive her then she would do what she’d promised herself earlier tonight. She would leave Harmony and
make a life for herself some place else. She had the rather sizable trust fund her father left her so she would
be okay. She hadn’t touched the money since his death over ten years ago, but desperate times called for drastic
measures and she was beginning to get a little desperate. She had no other way to support herself right now so
the money would have to be put to use. She’d already given Ethan and Theresa a share of it, which Theresa used
to start her own design company. The girl had the talent and the desire to succeed and now she had the money to
make it happen. Besides telling Julian where he could stick the illustrious Crane fortune, it was the best thing
she had done in quite awhile.
Smiling, she finished climbing the stairs to Sam’s apartment, but before she could raise her hand to knock the
door swung open and her eyes connected with Sam’s tortured blue ones. His displeasure was as apparent as his shock.
Maybe her bright idea hadn’t been so bright after all, she thought backing up slightly. Maybe she should have just
left him alone as he asked. She started to open her mouth to tell him she was sorry and that she shouldn’t have
come, but the minute she did his angry somewhat slurred voice cut her off.
"What the hell are you doing here, Ivy? Did you come for a romp in the sack like the good old days? Well,
if so then tonight might be your lucky night, because I’m drunk enough I just might cave in this time!"
He took a step toward her and she instinctively backed up, but she had no where to go when her back hit the wall.
She swallowed hard as he placed his hands on either side of her head then leaned forward. "Don’t play hard
to get now, sweetheart. Isn’t this what you’ve been wanting for the last year?"
It was, but not like this. Not when he was doing it to punish her. "Sam," she said placing her hands
on his rock solid chest to hold him at bay while also trying to ignore the masculine heat underneath her palms.
"Stop. I didn’t come here for –"
"Didn’t come here for what, Ivy? For this?" He asked as he placed an open-mouthed kiss between the hollow
space where her neck met her shoulder, causing her to involuntarily shiver.
"Or for this?" He asked as he moved his lips to her ear and swirled his tongue around her lobe. "Or
maybe this?" He asked removing his right hand from it’s resting place against the wall and placing it inside
her red suit jacket then lowering it toward the bottom edge of her white silk camisole shirt and pulling the shirt
out from the matching red skirt she wore. The minute it was free he slipped his hand underneath the silky material
of her shirt and covered her breast with his large palm.
She moaned as his hand gently began to massage her breast through the thin layer of her bra. She had dreamed of
this moment on so many lonely nights and she still couldn’t believe it was finally happening. But in her dreams
Sam hadn’t been doing it because he was drunk or because he wanted to punish her. He was doing it because he loved
her. The last thought gave her the strength to push him away and the minute she did, his eyes flew to hers in surprise.
She wasn’t sure if the surprise was because of what he’d been doing or because she’d pushed him away. Either way
the desire was in his eyes. He may not love her anymore, but he sure as hell still wanted her. The fact should
have given her satisfaction, but instead it caused her heart to break all over again.
Ivy ducked under his arm and started to walk down the stairs, but his voice stopped her before she made it halfway
down. "Don’t go."
The words were whispered, but she heard them just the same. Now the only question was what was she going to do
about them? Was she going to heed his whispered plea or was she going to continue down the stairs and go home?
She didn’t realize how long her indecision was taking her until she felt Sam walk up behind her and turn her around
to face him. The moment she looked into his pleading blue eyes, she knew. There was no way in hell she could walk
away from him tonight. This was everything she’d ever wanted and she couldn’t bring herself to turn him down not
when he was looking at her with so much desire it threatened to burn her alive. She could face the consequences
of her actions tomorrow. Tonight she wanted him – and for the first time in over twenty years he wanted her too.
She didn’t care if it was the booze talking – she could face his anger tomorrow. Tonight she just wanted him to
love her the way he used to.