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The Price of Love
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The Price of Love
by AshleyTara

CHAPTER 36
Beach House
(About seven months later)

Ivy finished putting away the last of the groceries she’d just purchased and sat down at the table in the kitchen, very pregnant and very exhausted. "Good grief," Ivy said as rubbed her ample belly, "you two aren’t even born yet and you’ve already exhausted me."

Ivy grabbed the small notepad and pen that were sitting on the kitchen table. She slowly scanned the name list she had begun to make. Sam had left the name picking completely up to her. They had decided that the babies would have Ivy’s maiden name until they knew the paternity for sure, but she was having a terrible time trying to pick first and middle names for her children. She had thought about naming them after someone, but there were too many people in her life now that she cared about to just pick randomly. She didn’t want any hurt feelings. "Funny," Ivy addressed her stomach, "at this time a year ago, I was completely alone. Oh!" She felt a sharp kick come from inside her belly. "Okay, I’ll be quiet. Maybe it’s time for a nap anyway. It’s Saturday and I have a big dinner to cook later."

Ivy waddled to the living room and slowly lowered herself onto the couch. Several minutes later she was laying comfortably on the soft couch with a chenille blanket draped over her, but she was still awake. She began to recall how much her life had changed over the last seven months:

A week after she had told Sam, Kay, and Jessica about the baby, they had all moved into the beach house with her. A week after that, on October 26th to be exact, she and Sam had been married by the Justice of the Peace.

In November, Ethan and Theresa had moved into a cozy little house not far from Sheridan and Luis. Ivy had helped Theresa decorate the house in an attempt to keep her occupied after finding out that she could never have her own children. Ethan still had some friendly contacts from college and he had been able to start up an independent law firm with two of them that was beginning to flourish.

By the time Christmas rolled around, Luis and Sheridan were married and you would never have expected that the large happy group hadn’t always been a family. Kay and Jessica were now calling Ivy "Mother" and Noah came home for the holidays. He wasn’t about to call Ivy "Mother," but he was polite otherwise and offered no offense. He had however secured a good job at a radio station in Boston where he was attending college and had gotten his own apartment. He was so informing Sam of this to let him know he wouldn’t be coming home as much anymore…Boston was his home now.

In January, Ivy acted on in impulsive dream she had always had and employed Theresa to help her. Together, they founded, owned, and co-presided over Impeccable, a fashion design company whose stock was skyrocketing daily. Ivy was thoroughly enjoying what she was doing there, finding out that she had talent and could actually have made something of herself if she hadn’t married Julian all those years ago.

By March though, Ivy’s pregnancy was amply apparent and it was beginning to get very hard for her to get around and spend the whole day in the office. Sam had insisted that she quit working until long after the babies were born. Theresa and Ethan had agreed and Theresa assured her that she could handle things on her own.

So, no longer being allowed to work, Ivy began to do some volunteering at the hospital to fill her long days while Sam was at work and Kay and Jessica were at school. She was actually starting a friendship with Eve who saw a different side of Ivy when she was volunteering and interacting with her new family. Eve no longer saw a bitter vindictive woman, but the warm, conscientious woman Ivy always would have been if not trapped in the Prison Crane. In the third week of April, Ivy had to give up volunteering at the hospital. She had made a lot of friends there reading to the children and patiently coaxing the old and sick to eat and they were all sad to see her go. But Ivy had been getting to a very emotional stage in her pregnancy and seeing all of those sick children was beginning to make her extremely depressed.

At home, Ivy had found a couple of projects for herself. She converted the library and one of the bedrooms upstairs into one large room for a nursery and decorated it in pastels. She loved flowers, so she tried her hand at gardening, determined to grow the flowers for her wedding bouquet herself. She had also been making phone calls and arranging things in the evenings with Theresa for the upcoming October wedding. And lastly, when Pilar, was also finding herself a good executive at Impeccable. When she didn’t have to be in the office, Pilar gave Ivy cooking and baking lessons. Ivy, being the stubborn and determined person she was, turned out to be an eager and willing student. She’d listen carefully as Pilar explained the instructions to her and would say, "I can do that," then chew her bottom lip and grit her teeth until she got it right. The lessons were paying off because Kay and Jessica had actually stopped teasing her about her cooking.

Ivy finally began to drift off to sleep when she thought about her three older daughters. She had written them all several times to tell them about the twins, Impeccable, and how much she missed them. Her last thoughts were of them as her eyes finally closed and she fell asleep.

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