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Beautiful Deception

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2

 

Disclaimer: I am in no way associated or a part of Passions. That honor belongs to NBC and JER.
Rating: R (non-explicit sexual content)

     

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Beautiful Deception
by Stephanie

Chapter 2

[Theresa’s bedroom: The Next Day]

Theresa was so nervous. She just wanted this whole mess to be over with. As she nervously paces her room she waits for Gwen to arrive. She and Ethan were supposed to be on their honeymoon right about now. But they’d agreed to leave a day later. That way they could rid themselves of this entire mess, and enjoy their time together as completely worry free.

Just as Theresa figured she would, Gwen had called her early that morning. More than likely, Theresa assumed it was to gloat. Theresa also deduced that Gwen would attempt to practice damage control, which was why she wasn’t the least bit surprised when Gwen asked to meet her today. Theresa only hoped she could hold herself together long enough to get through this.

Then suddenly, there was a knock on the front door. Sucking in her breath, she made her way through the house and opened the door. Behind it stood a very satisfied looking Gwen. Theresa was immediately sickened at the sight of her grin. {Well here goes nothing!} "Gwen." She greeted her and gestured her to come inside. "Well, I’m glad to see that you left your baseball bat at home this time." {I need to get her annoyed enough to spill everything if this is going to work} To her disappointment Gwen only stared at her.

"Theresa, I came here to tell you that I think it would be best for you to stay away from Ethan!"

"What?! Gwen, you’re not going to tell me to stay away from my husband! Do you understand me?"

Laughing Gwen spats, "Ethan doesn’t want anything more to do with you! He wants a divorce! In fact, he told me last night that as soon as you were finally out of his life, he and I could be together again!" Theresa knew she was lying. First of all, she and Ethan had spent the whole night together, and secondly, even if Ethan had said some pretty unsettling things yesterday, she knew he’d never say anything like that.

"I don’t care what you think he said. Ethan is my husband, and I will not leave his side!" she manages with calm determination.

"Theresa, don’t you get it? You don’t have a choice. You did this to yourself. You had the proof of Ethan’s paternity all along and kept it from him for weeks!"

"How did you know that?!" {That’s it Theresa, keep it going} "You! You’re the person who leaked the story to the tabloid aren’t you?"

Smiling Gwen answers, "And it was quite brilliant if I do say so myself. I mean mother’s cooked up some pretty brilliant schemes before, but sending the tabloid that letter from YOUR computer, only to have the secret of Ethan’s paternity revealed on the night we threw you both an engagement party? That was sheer genius!"

"Why Gwen? Why hurt Ethan? He didn’t deserve this."

"Ethan was just a pawn in the grand scheme of things. What I really wanted was to destroy you. And it worked like a charm!"

Shaking her head in disgust Theresa presses her for more answers, "And Rebecca? What’s in it for her?"

"Well Julian of course! Once Julian found out that Ivy deceived him all these years, he’d divorce her and fall right into mother’s open arms. She would marry him and be Mrs. Julian Crane. All the money, and all the power, will be all hers…and mine of course. You see once Ethan divorces you and deserts you like the trash you are, he and I will be married. And given enough time, and pressure from mother and myself, he will be rejoined in the family, and one day reinstated as the Crane heir. And I will be Mrs. Ethan Crane once and for all!"

"And what if he doesn’t want to be Ethan Crane? Or doesn’t his happiness mean anything to you?" Theresa interjects.

"Being heir to the Crane fortune will make him happy! And he and I will live out the rest of our lives in luxury…and you Theresita will be a distant memory!"

"No Gwen! I wont let you do this. I love Ethan! And I’ll tell him what you’ve done. I’ll tell him everything!"

Laughing in satisfaction Gwen explains, "Oh, poor Theresa…you can tell him anything you like. It won’t make a bit of difference because he won’t believe you. After all you are the one who destroyed his life remember? He’ll never suspect I had anything to do with this!"

"Think Again!" A voice from behind her says with controlled anger. Gwen’s face immediately pales in recognition, and her ‘shining victory’ disappears from her stare.

"Ethan," Gwen whispers in horror. Turning around she tries to act as though nothing’s wrong, unsure of how much of their conversation he’s heard. "Ethan, sweetheart, what are doing here?" she manages innocently.

"Don’t call me sweetheart," he tells her with controlled anger, "I came to see me wife!"
Then more pointedly he asks, "What are you doing here?"

"Me? Um, I’m just…uh," she fumbles for an explanation.

"I can’t believe you Gwen!" he shouts.

"Ethan, I…" she tries.

"Get out of here!" he demands. She is startled still in her place, "GET OUT!" he yells more angrily and she quickly scrambles out of the house as Ethan and Theresa watch her.

Needing her comfort, Ethan walks slowly to Theresa and gathers her in his arms. Embracing one another, they simply hold on in quiet comfort as they ease the other’s pain. The feeling of her warm body pressed against his, and the steady beat of her heart against his chest reminds him of what he’s found in her love. With her by his side, anything and everything is possible. He inhales the sweet scent of her skin and the familiar scent of her shampoo and perfume and he sighs out all his frustrations.

"Are you okay?" she asks quietly. Slightly turning his head, he places a warm kiss against her neck.

"No," he answers calmly. "But I will be. I have you, and I love you with all my heart and soul."

Leaning in slowly she kisses him gently and smiles up at him. "I love you." Ethan allows his body to absorb her words and then kisses her back tenderly.

Sighing deeply he asks, "So did you get it?"

Slightly pulling out of his embrace she reaches down and unbuttons her blouse. She pulls out the small microphone and tape recorder she’d hidden there earlier. "Every word," she answers as he nods and pulls her into him again. Wrapping her securely in his arms he whispers against her ear. "Well what do you say we go let Julian and Alistair in on our little charade?" Then whispering more tenderly he adds, "Then we can finally leave for that honeymoon by the lake."

Smiling against his shoulder she answers, "Sounds like a plan to me."



"I can’t believe this!" Julian manages. Ethan and Theresa had arrived a short time ago at the mansion and played the tape of her conversation with Gwen for Julian, Ivy and Alistair. Needless to say, the Crane patriarch was livid.

"Well, Ethan, Theresa, it seems we owe you a bit of gratitude for bringing this information to our attention. I assure you, Julian and I will see to it that Gwen and Rebecca are dealt with accordingly," Alistair tells them over the speakerphone.

Ethan and Theresa exchange glances and hold onto each other, "What will become of Gwen and Rebecca?" Ethan asks. "I want to know that neither one poses a threat to Theresa and I."

Nodding his understanding Julian assures them, "Well, I doubt either one will be capable of giving you any trouble from here on out."

"Yes. I imagine once Julian severs all ties with the temptress and her daughter, and Rebecca’s husband hears of his wife’s treachery…they’ll be in serious need of funds." Alistair speaks in a pleasant tone that gives them all the impression he would enjoy destroying the Hotchkiss women immensely. Ethan nods and begins to lead him and Theresa out of the mansion.

"Ethan!" Julian tells him with a smile, "Thank you my boy." Ethan smiles in response. Perhaps he and Julian could still maintain some kind of relationship. "Let us know if you need anything," he adds.

Nodding in appreciation to the man he’d once called ‘father’, Ethan turns slightly and gazes longingly into the eyes of his beautiful wife beside him. She looks up at him with all the love she has for him reflected in her eyes. The excitement and peace that claimed his soul at that sight almost brought him to his knees. {She is truly my life.} Smiling tenderly to the woman in his arms Ethan tells them all, "Thanks. But I think we’ll be just fine."

The End

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