Part Two: Wishing
On A Falling Star
ETHAN CRANE was a desperate man. He knew what he had to do tomorrow,
but his heart... his heart still didn't understand why he had to do it. How could he marry Gwen knowing he was
in love with Theresa? How could he stand before God and pledge to love Gwen when in his heart he knew he never
could? Well that wasn't true, he loved Gwen, he probably always would, but he wasn't in love with her. He hadn't
known the difference until he met Theresa. She showed him the meaning of love, real true love. If only they could
be together, he thought, if only he and Theresa could be together. But they couldn't and he had to find a way to
He hit the steering wheel with the palm of his hand then cursed as the bitterness slowly started to over take him.
His family was determined that he would marry Gwen and he knew if he defied them - called off the wedding and told
them he and Theresa were in love - they would make life a living hell for both him and Theresa. He knew his father
and grandfather would never allow him to marry Theresa. Neither would his mother. They, along with Gwen's father,
had been planning the Crane/Hotchkiss merger since his birth. A merger, he thought in disgust that's all his family
saw it as, a damn merger.
He wanted more out of life than a loveless marriage like his parents had. He wanted... he wanted Theresa. He wanted
to marry Theresa and spend the rest of his life with her. But he couldn't. He couldn't do that because both of
their families would forbid it. It wasn't fair. It just wasn't fair. He had finally found love, real love, and
he couldn't even enjoy it because his family wouldn't let him.
Ethan let out a breath of frustration then swung his car onto the access road that led to the beach. He needed
to clear his head and the ocean air always seemed to help. He knew he had to get a grip on these emotions that
were threatening to tear him apart. He had to get control of himself. His wedding to Gwen was in less than twelve
hours and he had to make sure he played the part of the happy groom. If anyone knew how he felt about Theresa or
how she felt about him, it would be disastrous for both of them. Her brother would have a fit if he even thought
that he and Theresa knew each other let alone were in love. And his parents and grandfather? He didn't even want
to think about their reaction. If only he and Theresa were different people... then they would be free to be together.
He pulled into the beach parking lot and shut of his engine. Just as he opened the door and stepped out into the
cool night air, he heard someone cry out. The pain was so heart-wrenching that it hit him in his own heart. He
slammed the door then took off running down the path that led to the ocean. As he finally reached the clearing,
he heard a woman scream out. "God help me. Give me the strength to deal with what will come tomorrow! I can't...
I can't do it on my own!"
He recognized the voice immediately and began scanning the beach for her. He found her a few yards away, sitting
on a blanket hugging he knees to her chest. He heard her cry out again and the next thing he knew, he was pulling
her to her feet and wrapping his arms around her. He couldn't bare to see Theresa in so much pain... pain he knew
he had caused.
Ethan pulled her head to his chest and began to gently stroke her hair. "Shh. Baby, please don't cry. I can't
stand to see you cry."
"Ethan." She cried into his chest. "It hurts. It hurts so much."
He heard the pain in her voice and felt the tears start to rise in his own eyes. "I know, sweetie. God, do
He wasn't sure how long they held onto each other, but he knew it felt right. It felt right to hold her and comfort
her. When her sobs finally stopped, he pulled back and wiped the tears from her eyes. She closed her eyes as the
pad of his thumbs brushed her cheeks and he knew she felt it too. That tingle of electricity that sliced between
them each time they touched. He couldn't stand it anymore. He had to kiss her. If he was going to marry Gwen tomorrow
then tonight he had to kiss Theresa, just one last time...
His lips brushed hers gently at first, but then, when she began kissing him back, he increased the pressure. He
wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her body to his as her arms wrapped around his neck and held his head
to hers. The passion exploded between them and he wondered how he would ever live with just one kiss. She moaned
as his tongue slid along her bottom lip and he took the initiative and slipped it inside. The moment he tasted
her sweet honey-dipped mouth he knew one kiss would never be enough. And that was when he pulled back. It wasn't
fair to torment them both like this.
Ethan raised his head to the sky and prayed for God to help him. To give him some kind of sign as to what he was
supposed to do. A second after he made the request, he saw a star shoot across the sky and he closed his eyes and
made a wish. He made a wish that somehow, someway, he and Theresa could be together.
"Ethan," Theresa said placing her hands on his cheeks and pulling his face back down to hers. "Please
don't stop. I need you. If I have to lose you tomorrow... If I have to live without you for the rest of my life
then please give me something wonderful to block out the pain. Make love to me, Ethan. Give us at least one night
He swallowed hard then groaned as her lips covered his. He wasn't strong enough to resist her a second time. He
wanted her too badly. He could deal with the consequences tomorrow... tonight, tonight he just wanted to love her.
In one swift motion, Ethan reached down and picked her up into his arms then he carried her toward the blanket
and gently laid her down. Another star shot across the sky and Ethan knew in his heart that it was time to show
Theresa just how much he loved her. If they couldn't have forever then he would make tonight last for as long as
he possibly could.
to part three