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The Price of Love
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The Price of Love
by AshleyTara

CHAPTER 27
Hospital

Sam got as close to Ivy as he could without getting on the bed. "Ivy, Iím here."

"Oh God, Sam, it was terrible." Ivy changed her line of conversation quickly and her eyes shot open. "Where are Ethan and Theresa? They were just here. And my girls. Where are they," Ivy was beginning to get panicky.

Sam hadnít let go of her hand yet. He gave it a squeeze, "Calm down. He and Theresa just went down to the cafeteria. With the exception of this morning, Ethan has been by your side for the past three days."

"Iíve been asleep for three days?"

"Yes. No one has contacted your girls yet. We found no reason to worry them when there was nothing we could tell them. Weíve all been so worried about you." Ivy looked Sam in the eye for the first time. "Um, I should get Eve to check on you and let Ethan and Theresa know youíre awake. Iíll be back in two minutes." Ivy just nodded her head.

Sitting in her bed, Ivy looked out of the open door and down the corridor. The elevator doors opened and she recognized Ethan and Theresa stepping off of the elevator, carrying some bags from the cafeteria. They began coming down the corridor towards her room. Ivy decided to surprise them, so she tried to pull herself up a bit and then smiled and waved with the arm that wasnít sore.

Ethan stopped short and dropped the bag he was carrying. "Theresa, did you see that?"

"Your motherís awake!" They began running down the corridor only to be intercepted by Sam.

Thatís all Ivy saw because at that moment Eve walked into her room and shut the door. Eve breathed a sigh of relief when she saw that Ivy really was awake. "Oh thank God. You really are awake."

Ivy was confused. "Donít get me wrong, Eve, I appreciate all the care youíve given me in thisÖsituation," Ivy said, her voice still hoarse, "but I would expect you to be one of the last people to care if I woke up or not."

"Well, the past is the past. A lot of people I care about have been really worried about you. Iím a doctor, and I donít like to see any of my patients die." Eve had already checked Ivyís heartbeat and fractured arm.

"Well, thank you for your concern, Eve. I just hope youíll believe me when I say again, no more blackmail. Iím done with that. Right now Iím just going to concentrate on Ethanís happiness. I donít expect us to be friends now, or for you to even forgive me for what I did, but I hope we can be civil with each other."

"I think I could arrange that," Eve smiled down at Ivy. She suddenly felt her heart go out to the obviously pain stricken woman. Eve had her husband and children to go home to. She had a loving environment. All Ivy had was Ethan, and he would be gone soon. Julian was no comfort, Eve knew that all too well, and she was almost positive he was the reason Ivy was in the hospital. "I think now that youíre awake, you can go home first thing in the morning. Is there anything you need right now?"

"No, but please tell Ethan to come in on your way out."

"Sure," Eve began to open the door.

"Eve, thank you." Eve just smiled again and went out into the corridor.

Not five seconds later Ethan came running into the room with Theresa in tow. Sam slowly came in after them and stood in a corner. "Mother, Iím so glad youíre awake," Ethan gently tried to embrace his mother without hurting her sore body. Then he kissed her on the forehead, "I was worried sick about you. Worried that youíd never wake up." Ethan had tears in his eyes.

Theresa joined in, "The doctor said that youíd only wake up if you wanted to. If you felt there was a reason for you to come back to us."

Ivy smiled slightly, "I guess I found my reason for waking up."

"And we have Chief Bennet to thank for that," Ethan got up and shook Samís hand. "You were the last one to talk to my mother before she woke up, so you must have convinced her to come back to us."

Sam was humble, "I was just trying to help."

Ivy knew it was time. "Well, Eve said I can check out tomorrow, but thereís something I need to tell you right now, Ethan." She looked at Sam who nodded and came to stand by her side.

Ethan was looking confused. "Okay, what do you have to tell me?"

Ivy took a deep breath and with her hoarse voice answered, "Itís about you father."

"What does Father have to do with this? Unless," Ivy saw the anger build in Ethanís eyes. "Mother did he do this to you?"

Ivy was shocked. This wasnít what she had been planning on telling Ethan. Certainly not in this way. "WellÖyes, but Ė"

"How could he," Ethan roared as he got up from the chair he had been sitting in.

"Please, Ethan," Ivy pleaded.

Theresa placed a hand on Ethanís arm, "Ethan, letís just sit down and listen to your motherís story. Thatís what she needs right now." Ethan nodded and sat down with a storm still in his eyes.

Ivy smiled at the calming effect Theresa had on her son. He really did love her.

Ethan spoke again, "Why, Mother? Why did he do it?" Then he rephrased his question. "Was it because of Theresa and me?"

Ivy had to tell him the truth. Lying hadnít proved good in the past. She hesitantly replied, "Well, partially Darling."

Ethanís anger began to boil again. "I canít believe I let this happen to you because of me. I should have known he would find out."

"Ethan, stop," Ivy said loudly. They were all surprised by her outburst. Her hoarse voice had been barely above a whisper throughout their whole conversation. "Please, just listen to me. It was about you, but it wasnít your fault, it was mine."

Now Sam jumped in, "Ivy, it wasnít your fault either. You had no choice."

"Not to be rude," Ethan interjected, "but why is it Chief Bennet already knows about whatís going on and I donít."

"Because I told him the other day. It involves him, too."

Something clicked in Theresaís mind. Earlier in the week, the night she and Ethan had been talking in the garden, Pilar had come home quite late and very agitated, almost as if she was worrying about something. The next day, Mrs. Crane had disappeared. She had gone out of town the night before, according to Mama. When Mrs. Crane had come home, her eye was purple and her cheek swollen, but she had said it was from running into a wall in the dark. But Theresa had noticed a bruise on her neck and an uncovered one on her arm as well. Theresa acted on her suspicions, "Mrs. Crane, has this happened before?"

Ivy looked flustered, "What do you mean dear?"

"Well, several days ago, when you went out of town without telling anyone, what was the real reason? Please, donít cover up for Mr. Crane. I saw the bruises on your neck and arm the day you came back. We just want to help you."

Ivy stiffened. "Alright, Iíll tell you about it, but first I have to start at the beginning." She looked at Sam. "It all started over twenty years agoÖ."

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