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The Price of Love
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The Price of Love
by AshleyTara

CHAPTER 6
Crane Mansion

Ivy watched her son drive away and shut the front door. She felt the tiniest twinge of jealousy. Theresa was getting to spend eternity with the man she loved…and at least one parent approved. Not even Mr. or Mrs. Bennett had condoned Sam’s relationship with Ivy, let alone the Governor and her Mother. Her parents disapproved for obvious reasons that were later revealed to all and Sam’s parents disapproved because they knew a future for Sam and Ivy would be impossible. And, she admitted, they had been right. In the end both she and Sam had been hurt. Ivy shook off her jealousy though and was happy for Ethan and Theresa just the same. It was the way things were meant to be and probably would have been all along if Ethan’s last name were Bennet.

She had explained most of the plan to Ethan and then composed a note for him to deliver to Theresa, explaining some details of their new partnership. Ethan had left in a hurry, eager to see his ladylove.

Ivy’s train of thought was broken when Julian stumbled in from the library, brandy in hand. "Well, my love," Julian slurred, "been out spending the Crane millions again I see. By the looks of those bags, I’d say you did quite well."

"Oh really, Julian," Ivy rolled her eyes. "You know I can’t do any real shopping in Harmony. These are just a few things I picked up from Grace Bennet’s shop."

"Yes, now, enough about the local slime," Julian came up behind her and whispered in her ear as he slipped his arm around her waist. "Tell me Dearest, how did your father convince you to marry me? I know there had to have been some incentive. Come now, give in to my curiosity."

Ivy stiffened at his touch and was immediately repulsed. The heavy smell of brandy was evident on his breath. "Why the sudden curiosity Dear," she shot back.

"Oh, I see my frigid wife The Ice Princess has returned. I thought you had started to melt while lounging around with the riff-raff."

"To answer your question Dear, my father didn’t give me a choice. I’m just merely taking full advantage of the situation by spending your money." It was partly true. No one knew about the money she had hidden away that her father had left her when he passed away. She reserved it for emergency use. She’d rather anger Julian by spending his money anyway. Besides that, she had never really appreciated the inheritance. She had always felt like it was a payment for being the whore her father had sold her as. After her little speech, Ivy was feeling full of power. She shoved Julian’s arm away from her, causing him to drop the brandy that was in the other hand. He looked at her with fury and she stared back in defiance. "Oh, poor Julian has lost his only friend," Ivy mocked.

Julian smiled devilishly, "No matter. I’ll be getting something much sweeter tonight, anyway."

"What could you possibly mean? Isn’t your little Crepe Suzanne out of town?"

"All too true light of my life, but we are husband and wife. In that kind of arrangement you give and take, wouldn’t you agree, my Sweet?"

Ivy was getting nervous. She could handle Julian when he was sober, but was an even more determined man when he was drunk and didn’t think about the consequences of his actions. "I’m afraid I just don’t know what you’re babbling about," she nonchalantly lied.

"Oh, too bad. I guess you may have forgotten my little iceberg. It’s been about thirteen years now, hasn’t it? Well, I figure since you’re taking advantage of your position in this arrangement, I’ll take advantage of mine." With that he forcefully grabbed Ivy and began sloppily kissing her neck, "You’re still as lovely as ever for an Ice Princess."

Outraged by his actions, Ivy yelled, "Get your filthy hands off of me you bastard." Then she made a mistake. She slapped him.

He stood there for a moment in drunken silence and surprise, and then the anger grew within him. "You worthless B***H," he bellowed as he sent her reeling into the table of the foyer with a powerful blow to her face.

Slumped over the table, she saw a drop of blood fall onto her pale blue jacket. Ivy reached up to her mouth and then looked at her hand and the floor to discover them both splattered with small drops of her deep red blood. She didn’t have any more time to think though because Julian grabbed her by her hair and began dragging her up the long staircase by it. Ivy yelped in pain, but his only reply was, "Shut-up and spare us both you conniving trollop. There’s no one here to help you anyway."

When they reached Ivy’s room, Julian, still holding her by her hair, slammed the door and locked it, then threw her on the bed. She tried to get up, but he pushed her down again. He was too strong for her to fight. He began tearing off her clothes and kissing her neck again.

This wasn’t right. She despised Julian. But she was too weak to fight him. She had to be strong. He may take her body, but he would never take her soul. That belonged to one man alone…even if he didn’t want either of them. There was only one thing for her to do. Remain unaffected. She wouldn’t let her husband see how much she was hurt by what he was doing to her.



Two Hours Later…

Julian sat across the room smoking a cigar and nursing a fresh brandy his other hand. He was wearing his best suit and smirk. Then he saw the body on the bed begin to stir. "Welcome back to the world, my sweet. You dozed off. You always did like a nap after a good ‘roll in the hay."

Ivy sat up in her bed, clad only the ripped and blood stained cream slip she had been wearing under her clothes. Her scalp was sore and her whole body ached. She heard his voice from across the room and it all came back to her. Ivy lost all of her earlier resolve to remain unaffected and shot off the bed towards Julian in anger. "YOU SON OF A B***H! How dare you!!!"

Julian held her back and laughed, "Really my Dear, how can I not? You are my wife after all."

She took a swing at him and he caught her arm, "Now, now, after that scene downstairs earlier I would have thought you would have learned your lesson. NEVER mess with a Crane man."

Ivy couldn’t stand it any longer. She kicked him in the shin with all of the energy that was left in her. He reacted with a punch that made her head spin and sent her to the floor. She gasped in pain. But he wasn’t through with her yet. Julian kicked hard in the back. Her eyes widened, her back arched, and her mouth opened, but she was too consumed with pain to scream. He kicked her once more, this time in the head.

The last thing she heard was the downstairs door slam. Then everything turned black.

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