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To Make Her Smile

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To Make Her Smile
by Fate

     

Chapter Ten

Clasping her new trophy, Theresa and Ethan walked up to the Lopez- Fitzgerald house. After many acts, including Ethan’s rousing version of ‘Jail House Rock’ by Elvis, the audience had decided that Theresa was the winner.

"Theresa, you were amazing tonight."

Theresa glowed. Inside her heart was throbbing madly.

This is it! Ethan is finally going to tell me he loves me!

"So, are you ready to get to work?"

Theresa’s face fell a bit.

"Actually, Ethan, about that. Tonight’s not a good night."

"What do you mean?"

"Ethan, I’m exhausted. It’s been a long day. All I want to do is crawl into bed and veg."

Ethan felt his temper beginning to flare up. They had to work on his wedding! It was the only way that Ethan could keep his mind on Gwen!

"Well, Theresa, actually, it’s not ok. My wedding is in three weeks, and you want to veg. That’s great."

Theresa just stared at him like he was crazy. What was wrong with him? Ethan never talked to her that way.

"Look, Ethan, we can work on it tomorrow, okay? I-"

The stress of the past few days, and realizing he had feelings for Theresa was beginning to take its toll. He knew it was wrong of him to take his aggression out on Theresa, but he was powerless to fight it.

"Theresa. You work for me, remember? So when I say that we have work to do, then you had better get up and work. Got it?"

Theresa stared at him, visibly shocked. Her lip began to quiver, and tears formed in her eyes.

What in the hell did you just do, Crane? he asked himself. Theresa had finally cheered up, and now he was making her miserable again.

"Theresa, I-"

She held up her hand to cut him off.

"I don’t work for you, I work for your mother. I thought you were the most wonderful man I had ever met, Ethan. You know what, though? I was so wrong."

She broke into sobs and set her trophy down. She ran down the porch and into the night.

Ethan stared at the trophy, hardly containing his disgust with himself. No matter what was going on, Theresa was the only one who had been with him through thick and thin. Ethan had sworn to himself that he would kill Chuck for making Theresa so upset. Now he had gone and done it himself.

He had to find Theresa. His friendship with her depended on it.

Theresa sat on the pier, sobbing. It was hard to imagine that less than an hour before; she had been on this pier, laughing with Ethan.

Ethan.

What was going through his head? Why had he spoken to her so harshly? She thought that she was at least his friend. But he had called her an employee!

Why did you have to go and fall for him again? Whitney was right: Men are nothing but heartache.

"Hey," a soft voice said, coming up behind her. Theresa would know that voice anywhere. She didn’t move a muscle as Ethan came around the bench. He sat down next to her and gently took her hands in his. She yanked them away in disgust.

"What do you want?" she spat at him, barely containing the violent sobs that were inside.

"Theresa, I am so, so sorry. I took all of my frustrations out on you. You are the one thing in my life right now that is solid. I would never do anything to destroy that. I lo-care so much about you. Please, will you forgive me?"

He looked so lost that Theresa had lean over and hug him. He held her tight, listening to her sniffles subside.

"So, am I forgiven?"

Theresa looked away from him, staring at the moon.

"Ethan, you really hurt me. You made me feel like I was one of your employees! Is that really how you view our friendship? That you own me or something?"

Ethan was stunned. He hadn’t realized the harshness of his words until now.

"Theresa, you know I don’t believe that. I was just upset, and I took it out on you."

Theresa looked into his eyes. She believed him.

"Well, I guess I forgive you then."

"Great. Well, let’s go for a walk. Work can wait until tomorrow."

This was getting harder by the second. Something was going to have to give. These feelings that Ethan was starting to feel were threatening to ruin his friendship with Theresa. And he couldn’t let that happen.

"Ethan, do you believe in fate?"

They had walked down to the beach, and found a log to sit on. This question took Ethan by surprise. Why did that suddenly sound so familiar to him? Suddenly, his dream came rushing back to him.

"Theresa, fate wants us together. We’re meant to be."
"You believe in fate, Ethan?"
"I’d have to believe in it, seeing that I found you"

Ethan was at a loss. Was his dream telling him something?

"Why do you ask?"

Theresa looked lost in her thoughts. Her hair whipped about in the wind. Ethan wished that he could reach over and run his hand through it.

"Well, I believe in fate, Ethan. How else could you explain how lucky I am to have you in my life?"

Ethan stared at her, completely mesmerized by her beauty. Not only her outside beauty, but her inside as well. She was, in a word, perfect.

"I believe in it too, Theresa. Fate wanted us to meet. Fate wanted us to be…"

Ethan couldn’t take it anymore. He had to touch Theresa.

He leaned into her, and ran his hand down her cheek. She closed her eyes at the touch.

"What were you saying?" Theresa asked, her voice barely above a whisper. His hand traced it way to her hair and slowly began stroking it.

What are you doing? Why aren’t you stopping, Crane?

His heart had more power than his head tonight. It seemed like an unworldly force was pushing them together.

"I was saying that fate brought us here to…"

He couldn’t go on. He had to kiss her.

Theresa’s eyes were still closed. Ethan felt powerless as he leaned in and gently placed his lips on hers. He slipped his hand behind her neck, drawing her even closer.

Theresa let out a small whimper as Ethan’s hands caressed her cheek. As the kiss deepened, she put forth all of the love and longing that she had had for years.

There was no pulling them apart. Neither one could stop it. Fate was working in favor for them. They were kissing one another from the heart, from their mutual desire.

Suddenly, there was a crash of lightning, followed by the clap of thunder. Ethan jumped away.

What have I done?

This kiss had been no accident. Ethan’s insides were quaking. It was like they were connected. Ethan couldn’t quite figure it out.

Theresa stared into his eyes, willing him to say what she was longing for him to say. Ethan stared back. It had been a mistake.

But if it was a mistake, why did it feel so right kissing Theresa?

Ethan lost himself in her eyes. Neither one spoke, they just looked at one another, trying to read the other’s thoughts.

There was another loud clap of thunder. The sky decided to open up right then, drenching the two. Theresa didn’t move.

Suddenly, Ethan jumped up.

"I’m sorry, Theresa. I have to go."

With that, Ethan ran down the beach, leaving Theresa in her thoughts.

Where do we go from here?

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