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Secrets

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Secrets
by Jamie Yarbrough

Chapter 15

Ethanís eyes widened as he spotted a woman with dark hair sitting at a corner table. His heart-beat quickened as he thought of Theresa, no he thought to himself, it couldnít be. He shifted staring at the woman, drinking steadily telling himself he knew he would never get another chance with her, and there was no way she would be in a place like this.

Theresa was feeling more relaxed than she had in the entire last year, but she also felt more sad and angry than be-fore, all thanks to the extra shots. She was pondering going over to the bar for a third drink when she looked up and straight into the eyes of Ethan Crane. Theresa felt all the blood rush to her face and her heart was slamming against her rib cage as he just sat and stared at her. If she didnít know better she would have thought his eyes were full of pain and lust and something Theresa would have called love before she knew the real Ethan Crane.

Ethanís heart stopped when the girl looked up and met his eyes. Theresa. Ethan wondered if his mind were playing tricks on him as he continued to stare at her. No, he thought. There is no mistaking her anywhere. He rose from his ta-ble and staggered over to her wondering if it was the large amount of scotch or just being near her that made him feel so woozy. He stepped up to her table and stood silently waiting to think of something to say to her that wouldnít send her running instantly. Ethan was dying to tell her he loved her and pull her into his arms and pour out his sorrows over the last year, he reached out and brushed a piece of hair from her face and realized as she leapt from his touch that he couldnít possibly do that.

Theresa wondered if she were dreaming as Ethan came to her table and then stood looking at her, she waited for him to speak and jumped back as though she were burned when he touched her face. The pleasure and pain and love flooded over her and she felt strangled with such a rush of emotions from such a simple touch. Her vision blurred mo-mentarily and she closed her eyes then opened them trying to focus again on Ethan.

"Resa," He said thickly. He ran his hands through his hair to keep from touching her again and she looked at his ques-tioning as he stumbled over words.

"Resa, take a walk with me please." Ethan begged.

"Ethan why arenít you home with your wife?" She asked.

"Gwen was never my wife." He replied wincing as he said Gwenís name. "She isnít you..."

Theresa felt her heart break again as he spoke and she moved from her chair prepared to dash from the bar. She wob-bled on her feet and Ethan wrapped his arms around her.

"Please." Ethan said pitifully, "please let me finally explain."

Theresa was unsure if she could even walk on her own so she nodded as Ethan lead her outside and down the road to a small park. They sat together on a cool stone bench, Theresa took several deep breaths clearing her thoughts as Ethan held her close. She knew she should not be there, they should not be together, but it still felt perfect in his arms and Theresa was so very tired of being alone. She pressed her head against his shoulder and listened as Ethan told her about that night so many months earlier. It was the night Charity and Miguel had gotten engaged, Theresa thought back to that night when they had all been so close to happiness.

Ethan explained how Gwen had been calling nightly and how he had felt obligated to meet her, give her some closure. He remembered leaving Theresaís and going to Gwenís apartment to talk to her, then the whole night became a blur in his mind, like he was drunk or drugged, but he didnít remember drinking there with Gwen. The next thing he remem-bered was waking up in bed with Gwen. Ethan choked on his own words remembering the horror he felt as he woke up. His head was throbbing and he felt his stomach roll as he realized who he was with and what he had done.

Theresa felt herself freeze up as Ethan told her about that night, she recalled all the pain and anger. She had been haunted by that night from the day Ethan had told her.

Ethan went on saying he hadnít told her that day because he wanted one more wonderful day and he knew it would be hard but they could work through it. He had told her the next day and although Theresa had been both heartbroken and furious she too had felt that they could get over it and that Ethan perhaps needed more time, they postponed the wedding and began over, trying to build up the trust that was lost. Ironically the same day Ethan proposed to Theresa again was the day, three and a half months after the incident, that Gwen showed up at the Crane mansion. She ex-plained to Ethan that she had tried to move on and it was impossible she would love him always, and (she dropped the bombshell) she would always have their child to help keep that love alive. Ethan remembered almost fainting at the statement. He had spent hours talking to Gwen about it, she insisted it was his child, she had been with no one else and that she understood that he didnít want the child or her. Ethanís guilt at away at him and his head ached as he thought of telling Theresa. He had done it immediately, crawling through her window in the middle of the night. Theresa had been utterly devastated she wanted to have her perfect life with Ethan but now it seemed Fate was against her. She had told him it was over and that although she loved him he needed to be with his child and with Gwen. They needed to both be there for this child Theresa insisted, she had grown up for years without a father and that was something she wouldnít allow for Ethanís child. She had sent him away that night and never allowed him to be alone with her again. Until tonight.

Ethan told her of how the last months had been miserable. As soon as his son, Liam had been born Gwen had flown off to Paris for a month, she had felt bad leaving her child but the marriage was killing her as well. She was nearly as mis-erable as Ethan, it had turned out that although the child was Ethanís she hadnít loved him for a very long time, she love a young man she met in Paris on a business trip shortly after her last night with Ethan. She had come to her par-ents telling them she was marrying him for love and that they would be happy. Rebecca had raged at that and had threatened Gwen that if she even thought about it the man would have an "accident" Gwen, terrified for his life and just realizing she was in fact pregnant with Ethanís child was forced to tell her mother who arranged for her to go to Ethan and get him to marry her. Gwen was crushed and knew that she could never be happy, but the life of her child and the life of her lover were both at risk if she didnít. Luc had understood about the marriage because of the baby, he had never learned of the threat to his own life and although he was heart broken he resigned himself to life without Gwen. Ethan explained how they both had tried so hard during the first few months after the marriage but both were completely miserable. Finally Gwen confessed everything to Ethan and told him she could not live with out Luc, she had made several trips to see him over the last months and the day before they had decided that their parents had manipulated them enough, Gwen had agreed to leave Liam with Ethan and she and Luc would go into hiding with the money Ethan gave them. Gwen had signed over her rights to Liam that morning and had asked for just tonight with her son before she had to leave him, so Ethan gladly left and had ended up at the Watering Hole, wondering once again how his life had gotten to be such a mess.

Theresa had listened while Ethan explain and she was horrified to learn that in the end no one had been happy and her sacrifice had been for nothing because Liam would grow up motherless now instead of fatherless. She held Ethan and he spoke and was pulled off into her own thoughts of hurt and betrayal. She refused to allow herself to think of a fu-ture with Ethan now, she didnít know if she could handle another obstacle. She was pulled back to reality by Ethanís breath on her skin, something she had felt in her dreams each night. She leaned in close and finally gave in to her urge, to comfort them both and in part because she couldnít live without him any longer. She poured herself into the kiss, letting go of all the emotions she had held inside over the last year. Ethan ran his hands over her body thinking he would die without her tonight.

"Resa..." he whispered as he kissed her neck and nibble on her collarbone. She moaned and Ethan knew he had to stop now or he wouldnít be able to. He pulled himself back and looked into Theresaís dark eyes. There in the moonlight, filled with passion and love he saw her again. She was like a goddess to him, even in red leather. He glanced at her skirt and forced himself to pull back further.

Theresa saw the lust in his eyes, mirroring her own. She thought about what he had said, how Gwen had her lover and was leaving her own child to be with him. Ethan doesnít deserve that she thought, she shifted and knew that the alco-hol was no longer influencing her actions, she reached over and grasped Ethanís hardness in her hands. Ethan nearly shouted at her touch and tried to back away. Theresa kept coming forward.

"Ethan," she said huskily, " I know what I am doing. I love you, I know we canít be together now, but I need you now, tonight, I need to be with you -- completely."

Ethan could hardly hear her voice over the blood roaring in his head. He couldnít believe his sweet innocent Theresa was doing this. He knew he shouldnít agree but if he pushed her away he would be giving up the only thing he had ever really wanted.

"Theresa, You have got to stop touching me." He managed to say as she slid closer and leaned in to kiss him. "If you donít, I donít think I can stop baby..."

Theresa swallowed hard and then moved over Ethan she kissed him softly and whispered, "Donít stop."

Ethan lost it, the woman he loved had just offer herself to him and he knew he couldnít say no this time. He ached at the thought of her skin against his and didnít even notice the cool night any longer, he pulled Theresa over him and wrapped his arms tightly around her, kissing her over and over. Theresaís head swam with love and the passion he had always drawn from her, she knew it was right to be with him now, even if she couldnít be there later. She tossed her head back as he feasted on the soft skin just above he bra. A full moon shone bright on her and Ethan felt his breath catch as he watched the pleasure wash over her face. They tore at each others clothes, hot and eager. Theresa moaned as his rough fingers slid over her smooth sensitive skin. She had never felt more in love and she pressed herself against Ethan. He sucked in his breath as she slid her hands down and took his hard cock into her hands. Theresa smiled at his reaction then quickly lost her own smile into a gasp as Ethanís fingers slipped inside her. Theresa moan against his lips and turned to him begging for more. She need something and though she didnít know what she knew Ethan could give it to her. She shifted over him and he thought he would die from the pleasure. He wanted her more than to keep breathing. She kissed him again and slipped off his lap and spread his jacket on the ground and lay on it. Ethan groaned at the sight, she was far more beautiful that he had imagined. He knelt in front of her then covered her body with his Theresa sighed at their bare skin touching.

Ethan felt himself pressed against her, he knew he would be the fist and he was delighted and terrified, he wanted nothing more than to be with her forever. Theresa squirmed against him and Ethan sucked in his breath before he be-gan trailing kisses over her face and neck he braced himself over her and slid inside her. She gasped at the feel and Ethan leaned close and whispered that it would only hurt a second. He pushed deep inside and Theresa let out a little cry of pain. Ethan moved over her thrusting into her and Theresa quickly met his strokes as pain turned to pleasure. They moved together in the cool air no longer caring about anything but themselves. Theresa felt heat flow over her body and whimpered as she felt herself slide into oblivion. Ethan felt her tighten around him as he drove into her and her soft whisper of love sent him over the edge, he groaned her name as he poured himself into her and both lay ex-hausted as the air around them cooled again.

Theresa bent over her sketched and tried to concentrate on her latest sketch, her mind kept drifting back to the night before. Theresa had been so happy but now she wondered more than ever what she should do and where she stood with Ethan. She knew Ethan would be spending as much time at home with Liam as he could. She had planned to work at Luisí office that day but she didnít feel up to dealing with other people, especially not her brother. Luis had been more furious than anyone when Ethan had announced he was marrying Gwen and Theresa hadnít been up to fighting with either man so she had just learned not to mention Ethan to anyone in her family any longer.

She wondered if he even remembered the night, could have been he was completely drunk. She have cursed herself for not being able to control her urges as she crumpled up another sketch. She picked up her pencil to try again and wrinkled her brow as a shadow passed over her page. She glanced up and then squealed when she spotted who had walked over to her.

"Kay!" Oh my god! Does anyone know youíre home?" Theresa rushed to hug her friend.

Kay was nearly bowled over by Theresaís hug, she held her back protecting the little sling across her chest.

"Theresa, wow I am glad to see you, I thought everyone would want to kill me the minute I stepped back into Har-mony." Kay laughed, relieved that at least one person didnít hate her, yet.

Theresa had been oblivious before and now she glanced down and saw Kayís hands slide protectively over the bag across her chest.

"Kay?" Theresa questioned.

Kay sighed well here goes she thought.

"Theresa, I would like you to meet your niece, Ahnna Louisa Lopez-Fitzgerald." Kay beamed at her daughter as she pulled the blanket back then looked up nervously to see Theresaís reaction.

Theresa paled and then realized what Kay was saying, she peeked at the tiny baby in Kayís arms now and she held back tears as she thought of Luis and all the pain he had gone through and now would again. She glanced at Kay with a wa-tery smile.

"Can I hold her?" She asked tentatively.

While Theresa held her niece Kay wondered how she was going to manage through the next few days. She had a room at the small bed and breakfast because she realized how unwelcome she would be when she told her father her motherís secrets and Luis would probably want to kill her once he found out about Ahnna. Kay wiped away tears as Theresa handed her daughter back to her. Theresaís own tears were flowing free now, bitter ones at the thought of Ethan and the life they could have and about Liam and even though Theresa had no love for Gwen she knew it must be killing her to choose between her son and the love of her life. Theresa leaned against Kayís shoulder and the two wept together unable to hold back the pain of love lost any longer.

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