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The Price of Love
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The Price of Love
by AshleyTara

CHAPTER 14
Cheap Motel Out Of Town

Ivy called Ethan on his cell phone while he was in the park with Theresa. She had finally convinced him that she was fine and nothing peculiar was going on. When he said she sounded distracted she had told him that she had run into a wall looking for the bathroom in the middle of the night and that she was still a little sore. Well, that lie was partially true. She was still sore. At least she wouldn't have to explain the bruises she was sure she had. Ivy hadn't had the courage to look in the mirror yet.

She sauntered over to the chair where the bag was, emptied its contents onto the bed and began sorting through it. Toothbrush, long-sleeved lavender cotton tee shirt, jeans, a pair of white socks, canvas shoes, and undergarments. Ivy blushed in spite of herself. It was true; at one time she and Sam had been very intimate. They had known every curve of each other's bodies, but that was a long time ago. She was a little embarrassed at the thought of Sam picking out and buying undergarments for her. 'Well,' she thought, 'if I'm embarrassed, poor Sam must have been mortified picking out things like this in public and having to pay for them when he was all alone. It was really quite sweet of him.'

Ivy went to the bathroom and instinctively locked the door behind her. She set her things on the vanity and looked in the mirror for the first time. She sighed, "I really am a sight." Her cheek was still a little swollen and her eye purple from Julian's blow, not to mention the bruises on her arms and upper body. She looked down and the long-sleeved lavender tee shirt. It had a high cut neck. Hopefully it would cover all of the bruises. "Sam certainly was thinking."

Ivy removed her slip and tossed it in the garbage, realizing that it had been the only thing she had been wearing. "Well, it's over and done with." Then she showered quickly and put on the clothes Sam had bought for her. She couldn't remember the last time she had worn a pair of jeans. Certainly not in the last twenty years. She felt out of place in them yet strangely comfortable. She combed her fingers through her wet hair and proceeded to brush her teeth. When she was done she laid her toothbrush next to the other one on the vanity. As a final preparation, she looked in the mirror as she bit her lips to give them some color. She flipped her hair upside down once then opened the door to the bathroom.

Sam was sitting on the neatly made bed with a box of bagels and two cups of coffee next to him. "I see it takes you just as long to get ready when you don't have any of your gear," he laughed. She joined his laughter, and then they both stopped. A comment like that alluded to the intimacy they had once shared. There was an uncomfortable silence.

"Thank you for the clothes. They fit nicely."

"Oh, it was no problem. Sit down and have some breakfast so we can talk."

Ivy sat down cross-legged on the bed and sipped the coffee Sam handed her.

"So," Sam began, "did you remember anything else while I was gone?"

"A little." Ivy wasn't going to volunteer any information.

"Let's talk about it. I am the Chief of Police you know."

Ivy shifted on the bed. The air was uncomfortable again. "Sam, that's exactly why I don't want to talk about it. Like it or not, I am a Crane now, and there are some things that we just don't talk about because they are not to be made public."

"Ivy, you can't live like this. Now I want some answers. No, I demand some. I think you owe it to me to let me know what's going on. I almost lost you yesterday." Oops. He knew Ivy had heard his slip to by the look she was giving him. "I mean--we almost lost you."

She knew he was right. She had to tell him…everything. She couldn't keep these secrets anymore. "Alright Sam. You deserve to know the truth, about a couple of things. But the first is something you can do nothing about, are we understood?" Sam nodded his head. "And please don't interrupt," she added. "No matter how angry you get. It will only make what I have to say harder."

Ivy took a deep breath to prepare herself. "I got home yesterday from shopping and the hospital at about 4:30. I walked in to find Julian and Ethan talking in the living room. Julian went to the library and I had a nice talk with Ethan. Then Ethan left and while I was still in the foyer, Julian came. He was drunk. I could tell by the slur of his speech and the smell of his breath. He had a glass of brandy in one hand. He started questioning me about our marriage and made a few advances. When I refused him he just got angry and then he slapped me." She saw Sam's jaw tighten in anger. "Remember, you promised me." Then Ivy continued. "I was distracted when I saw that I was bleeding. Julian took the chance to grab me by the hair and drag me up the stairs by it. When we got to my room he locked the door, threw me on the bed, and began tearing at my clothes…. I blocked the rest out I guess, because the next thing I remember is waking up on the bed and seeing him smile from across the room. I got angry and lunged at him. He just laughed at me while he held, me back so I kicked him. He was furious. He punched me to the ground. Then he kicked me. Once in my back and then in the back of my head. Then I woke up here."

Sam was stunned. She'd just relayed the whole ugly event to him and not even flinched. It was like she thought it was completely normal and wasn't even phased. Ivy certainly was a strong woman. "That bastard."

"Really Sam, I'm okay now. There's nothing that can be done. I am his wife after all. For the past thirteen years in name only. Until yesterday that is," Ivy spoke with bitterness in her last sentence.

"Ivy, rape is still rape, whether it's a stranger or your husband."

"Please Sam, just let it go. I hate to think what Alistair would do if any of this got out."

Sam sighed, "I don't agree with you, but I see your point. But if this happens again –"

"Thank you. I appreciate it." Ivy got up, not sure how to start the rest of her speech. "I have to tell you something else now. I've kept it from you for too long, and now with Ethan finding love, I can't keep it a secret any longer."

"What secret, Ivy?" Sam got up and joined her.

"Sam, it's about Ethan. He – he's – he's our son. Yours and mine."

Ivy didn't get a second chance to think because she felt a sharp slap against her face.

"How could you keep something like this from me," Sam yelled.

That was it. He wasn't even going to give her a chance to explain. 'He should have just left in my room to die,' Ivy thought.

Ivy looked up at him. A single tear rolled down her cheek. Never before, despite everything she had been through, had Sam ever seen Ivy come near to crying. Before he could stop her, Ivy ran for the door and slammed it behind her.

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