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The Price of Love
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The Price of Love
by AshleyTara

CHAPTER 39
Hospital

Two nurses carried in the two little Winthrop angels. "Here they are," said one of the nurses, "all cleaned up and ready to meet their mother and new family."

Everyone crowded around the bed as the nurses placed both little girls in Ivyís open arms. They were all cooing and exclaiming over how adorable and perfect the twins were, but Ivy was lost in her own little world. She was flooded with happiness and knew for sure that heaven was a reality. A question brought her back, "What did you name them?"

"Iím sorry," Ivy apologized, "wasnít paying attention."

Sam repeated the question, "Ethan was asking what you decided to name them. Iím a little curious myself." Sam was smiling and just aching to hold the twins, but Ivy was in her element. She needed them right now.

"I was struggling with the same question earlier today, but now that Iíve seen them I know which names are perfect for each of my little princesses," Ivy kissed the tops of each of their heads.

"Tell us!" Jessica was bursting with excitement.

Ivy held the babies up a little higher so everyone could see, "Iíd like you all to meet Ashley Tara and Amanda Jeanne Winthrop."

"I think those regal names befit the tiny royal princesses, donít you two agree?"

Everyone in the room looked to the door where the voice had come from. The three young ladies that had been standing in the doorway walked into the room with perfect posture and their heads held high. They reminded Sam of someoneÖ.

"Heather, Lily, Holly, I canít believe youíre here," Ivy cried handing Ashley and Amanda to Ethan and Theresa. "Get over this instant and hug your mother," she said, half demanding, half eager. The three sauntered over quickly and allowed themselves to be enveloped in their motherís strong, warm embrace.

When Ivy finally let them go, she was crying all over again. Heather, the eldest, was bewildered and frankly a little frightened. "Mother, Iíve never seen you cry before."

Ivy laughed slightly as she reached for a tissue, "Iím afraid to tell this isnít the first time Iíve cried today. Itís been an emotionally trying day. Iím just so happy that youíve all finally come to see me," fresh tears were forming in her eyes once again. "Iíve missed you so much, and not just recently. Iíve missed seeing you grow up all these years and missed being there for you."

"You really mean that, donít you?" This was Lily, the middle daughter. She was pleasantly surprised by her motherís confession. It had always been the opinion of her and her sisters that Ethan was Motherís favorite, she doted on him so.

"Of course I mean it," Ivy was a little hurt, but she knew why her daughters felt this way. "Julian would never allow me to send for you to come home. His only interest was Ethan, believing that he would take over the empire. Iíve written you letters, but I never heard back from you, so I assumed you were still angry with me."

At this point Ivy motioned for Ethan and Theresa to bring Ashley and Amanda back to her. Ethan finally came forward to hug his sisters. While he was hugging them he whispered, "You know how Julian and Alistair are. This wasnít motherís fault Ė please give her a chance."

Ethan backed away from his sisters and Ivy spoke again. "You are still angry, arenít you," she wasnít crying, but her eyes were said and full.

Holly, the youngest of the Crane daughters, explained, "Mother, Heather, Lily, and I have been talking about this. Weíre not angry anymore, but this is hard. We are trying to understand, but it is going to take awhile."

Ivy finally had a smile for her daughters, "Thank you. It makes me so happy to know that youíre going to try to accept all of this." Ivy realized that they werenít the only people in the room. "Oh, Iím so sorry everyone. I havenít even introduced you yet."

Ivy nodded her head towards Pilar, "You girls remember Pilar, donít you?" The three nodded and smiled.

"Itís nice to see you again," Pilar answered the nods.

Ivy continued, "Standing next to Ethan is his wife and Pilarís daughter, Theresa." Theresa just smiled and waved to them, never leaving Ethanís side. Then Ivy looked to Kay and Jessica who were meekly standing by the window. "And these are your step-sisters, Kay and Jessica Bennet."

Ivy was nervous for a moment because none of the girls made a move to acknowledge each other. She was afraid of the competition that might arise. Competition for the mother they all claimed until Kay stepped forward, hand outstretched, "Hi, Iím Kay. This is Jessica."

Ivy began to breathe again as Heather smiled shook hands with Kay and Jessica, "Itís nice to meet you." Lily and Holly followed suit.

Ivy finally got to Sam. "And this," she said as Sam placed a hand on her shoulder for support, "is my husband, Sam Bennet."

Ivy had been more worried about this introduction than any other. But her worries were for naught, for the girls were more like Ethan and their mother than she had ever known. Lily offered, "Itís nice to meet you Mr. Bennet. Weíve heard a lot about you in Motherís letters. We want you to know that even though this is hard for us, but if you make Mother happy, then youíre worthy of her. Please, take good care of her."

Sam thanked the bright young lady, "I will, and please, call me Sam. Your blessing means a lot to your mother and me. Now, what are your names," Sam asked with a smile.

"Oh, Iím sorry," Ivy interjected. Her happiness at her daughtersí acceptance was evident by the single tear on her cheek. "Girls, can you please introduce yourselves? My hands are a little full," she held the babies up a little higher.

Heather was the first to introduce herself. She was tall and had long auburn hair and big brown eyes. "Iím Heather. I am eighteen and am in my second year of university in Europe."

Lily was blonde like her mother, but was shorter than Heather with deep green eyes. "My name is Lily. I will be seventeen soon and starting university in the fall."

Holly finally came forward, a little shy. She was about the same height as Lily. Holly had shoulder length dark brown hair and bright blue eyes. "Hi. Iím Holly. Iím thirteen and still attending boarding school in England."

The introductions over, something occurred to Ivy, "How did you convince your father to let you come home to visit?"

"Well actually," Heather began, "he didnít know we were planning coming."

"Damn right he didnít," Julian sneered from the doorway.

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