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The Price of Love
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The Price of Love
by AshleyTara

CHAPTER 41
Beach House
(October 24)


Ashley’s tiny eyelids finally closed as Ivy hummed her a lullaby. Ivy finished the lullaby, kissed Ashley’s small blonde head, and checked on Amanda who was already asleep in her own crib. She was sleeping soundly. Ivy kissed her head as well, and then sat down in a rocking chair that was positioned by an open window.

Ivy closed her eyes and let the cool October breeze blow over her face. She was literally exhausted. The twins kept her busy, needing to be fed, changed, rocked, burped, and entertained. She had spent the afternoon taking care of them and trying to work in her garden. The purple, red, and orange roses for her bouquet had been flourishing all summer. She had had a little trouble with the jasmine that was to be an accent, as well as the ivy that had been growing on the old beach house for years. The flowers needed to be ready for the wedding, which was in two days.

‘The wedding,’ Ivy thought, ‘my wedding to Sam. It’s the day I’ve always dreamed of.’ Every girl dreams of the wonderful day she would marry the man she loved. Of course she was already married to Sam, but this wedding, on their one-year anniversary, would be a grand event. It would show everyone just how happy she and Sam were. It was a proclamation to world of just how much they loved each other.

Before she new it, exhaustion and drowsiness overcame Ivy, and she began to dream…

Ivy’s Dream

Ivy put the last of the dishes in the dishwasher and dried off her hands. ‘The girls have been asleep for awhile, I suppose I should check on them.’

Ivy ascended the staircase and walked down the hallway and entered the nursery. ‘Damn! I left the window open again. You can’t do that, Ivy,’ she thought to herself. ‘It’s no longer summer and the twins could catch a cold.’ She sauntered over to the window, closed it and then locked it for good measure.

‘Well, I wonder how my little princesses are." Ivy smiled as she walked over to Amanda’s crib. Amanda was gone. Ivy ran over to Ashley’s crib. Ashley was missing as well. "Oh my God!"

Ivy fell to the floor sobbing, "Noooooooooooooo!" She cried, "Please, give me back my babies, please…."

End Ivy’s Dream

Ivy bolted up so fast that she was catapulted out of the rocking chair. She landed on her hands and knees in cold sweat. "Thank God, it was just a dream." She sat down on the floor for a minute to catch her breath and wipe the sweat from her forehead. She knew it was all a dream, but she would feel much better after she checked on her little princesses and was assured that they were okay.

Ivy got up and walked over to Amanda’s crib. The baby was missing. "It has to be another dream," she tried to convince herself. What was supposed to happen next in her dream? She remembered and walked over to Ashley’s crib. There was no sign of her little tow-headed princess. "I have to be dreaming," Ivy pinched herself as she began to panic. She realized it wasn’t a dream.

"Okay, calm down, Ivy," she was pacing now. "Maybe Sam came home early and has them in our room," she hurried out of the nursery and down the hall. "Oh Sam, you’re going to hear it for scaring me like this. Sam! I know you’re home. Don’t ever do that aga –," she stopped in the doorway of her bedroom. Sam wasn’t there. Okay, she would check Kay and Jessica’s rooms.

Ivy did check their rooms, and every other room on the upstairs and main floors. She came up with nothing. She was sobbing now, "How could I have fallen asleep? It’s a classic kidnapping story. Busy mother neglects her infants and they’re stolen from her own home…while she’s there no less."

"Sam, the police. I have to call them now." Ivy hurried to the living room and as she picked up the cordless phone, she spotted something she hadn’t seen before. Ethan and Theresa were sitting on the porch, one of her babies in each of their arms.

Ivy dropped the phone and threw open the French doors. Ethan looked up at his mother and saw the tears in her eyes and running down her face. "Mother what’s wrong."

Ivy had already taken Amanda from Theresa and was now pulling Ashley from Ethan’s arms. "Oh my precious babies, you’re alright," she cried kissing the tops of their heads. Then she looked at Ethan and Theresa. "You two scared me to death. Don’t ever do that again!"

"We’re sorry, Mother. We were just trying to help," Ethan pleaded.

"Really, we didn’t mean to frighten you," Theresa offered. "We got here and found you sleeping in the nursery. We were talking and woke up Ashley and Amanda. You looked so tired and were sleeping so well that we didn’t want to wake you. So, we picked them up and brought them outside."

"Mother," Ethan continued, "I know how tired you get. I think you’re over doing it here. I wish you’d let us help or hire someone to help you."

Ivy looked at her son seriously. "Darling, when you’re a mother, the last thing you worry about is yourself. Just remember that for the future. And in the future," she now looked at both Ethan and Theresa, "please, just wake me up."

"Okay, point taken," Theresa replied with understanding.

"Good. Now, if you two would help me with dinner, I’d love it if you would join us." Ivy was quick to forgive, but not quick to forget. Her terrible dream was still lingering in her mind.

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