Ethan pulled into the driveway of the house he'd come to think
of as home. He'd lived here for awhile with the man he thought was his father. Sam & Grace had treated him
like family even after they found out that he really was Julian's son. Sam still treated him like a son and Ethan
still thought of Sam as his father. He didn't care if blood tests proved Julian was his biological father. After
Julian had kicked him & Ivy out of the Crane Mansion, Ethan had swore then he would never return. And he
He had cut himself off from the Crane family - for good. He didn't need the money. His law practice was doing
well enough that he could afford to live comfortably. As good as his life was now, he'd still felt as if something
was missing. Something he couldn't name. At least he couldn't until today.
Now he knew what he wanted. He just wasn't sure how he was going to get it. Ethan got out of his car and was
halfway up the drive when he noticed someone sitting on the porch swing he'd helped Sam install last spring. Stepping
closer he saw that it was Theresa and that she looked upset.
"Theresa," Ethan said kneeling beside her. "Are you okay?"
Theresa looked up with those sad brown eyes and Ethan lost his heart all over again. What he wouldn't give to
put that sparkle back into her eyes.
"Ethan." Theresa said wiping her tears away. "I didn't see you pull up."
"I noticed. You looked like you were a million miles away."
"Not a million just a few years. I was remembering the last time I saw Charity & Miguel together. It
was when Morgan was born. That was four years ago. And just now..."
"Just now what?" Ethan asked.
"I heard him ask Miguel where his mother was. Miguel told him she was singing with the angels. I almost
lost it then and there. But I didn't think Miguel could handle seeing me lose it, so I decided to come out here."
Ethan nodded in understanding. "Miguel & Charity were so happy together. The day before she was killed,
I saw Charity at The Book Cafe and she told me that she & Miguel were trying to have another baby. She looked
so happy and so in love. It just breaks my heart that she's gone. It just isn't fair."
"No it isn't."
Ethan stood and pointed to the empty spot on the swing. "Mind if I sit down?"
"Of course, not." Theresa replied.
"Thanks. So tell me about living in New York. How is your store coming along?" Ethan asked hoping
to get her mind off Charity for a bit. "I saw a commercial for it awhile back."
Theresa gave him a thankful smile. "The store is wonderful. I didn't expect it to take off as well as it
did. But I'm not going to complain."
Ethan laughed for the first time in a long time. He'd missed that about Theresa. She could always make him laugh.
Of course, he had just missed Theresa period. "You shouldn't complain. I see ads for your clothes in magazines
all the time. I think my mother has a few of your dresses."
"Yes, she does. In fact, I'd say your mother & your aunt Sheridan are two of my best customers."
"I don't doubt it." Ethan said breaking into a grin. "Mother & Sheridan have always loved to
Theresa laughed. God how he missed her laughter. "That's the truth. I swear your mother must own a thousand
dresses. Never mind how many Sheridan owns. I think she buys a new one each week."
Ethan joined in her laughter. "Your right. I think Sheridan had Luis build that extra room onto the house
just to hold all of them."
Theresa laughed again. Something woke inside Ethan. Something he hadn't felt in a long time. It was joy, pure
joy. "God, I've missed you."
Theresa looked away and didn't say anything for a long time. When she did, the words were music to his ears.
"I missed you too Ethan."
Ethan smiled. "Have lunch with me tomorrow."
"I...I can't." Theresa said. "I need to be here for Miguel."
"I understand. How 'bout dinner? Luis & Sheridan will be back by then. We could go to the seascape?"
Theresa shook her head no. "I don't think that would be a good idea."
"Because you... I just don't think we should be spending time together."
"I still don't understand why. We used to be friends. Remember? Hell, at one time we were more than friends."
"Yes, but that was before..." Theresa stopped, took a deep breath and then continued. "That was
before you told me you never wanted to see me again."
"That's what I want to talk to you about. I was going to do it tomorrow at lunch, but since you refuse to
go. I guess here is as good a time as any."
"You see," Ethan began. "I -"
"Theresa," yelled Luis through the open screen door. "Mama wants you to come help with dinner."
"Alright, Luis." Theresa answered. "I'm sorry Ethan."
Ethan just nodded and watched her walk inside. Luis opened the screen door for her and then came outside. If
he had only waited another few minutes...
"What was going on out here?" Luis asked. "Theresa looked upset."
"We were talking about the past. "
"What?" Luis yelled. "Hasn't she been hurt enough? My god Ethan. She left Harmony because of
you. Don't you think you put her through enough."
Ethan angrily jumped out of the swing, causing it to fly backwards. "What happened between me & Theresa
is none of your business."
"None of my business?" Luis asked standing nose to nose with him. Ethan refused to back down. "Theresa
is my sister. I won't stand back and watch you hurt her again."
"I won't hurt her Luis. I love her. I always have. I never got a chance to tell her that. But I'll be
damned if I'm going to let you or anyone else stop me from doing it now. Theresa and I will clear the air between
us. And if she can find it in her heart to forgive me, then we will be together. And there's not a damn thing
you can do about it."
Luis just looked at him. Ethan wondered if he was going to hit him. But then he realized that wasn't about to
happen. Sheridan would kill him.
"You love her?" Luis finally asked.
"Yes." Ethan replied never taking his eyes from Luis'.
Luis searched his eyes and after a few moments he nodded. "Well, it's about damn time. If you had realized
that six years ago, Theresa never would have left Harmony."
"Yes, but she also wouldn't have the career she has now." Ethan knew how much that meant to her.
He'd seen it in her eyes earlier.
Luis nodded. "That's true. But Ethan the only thing she ever wanted was you to love her. When she thought
you didn't, she was devastated. Hell, it took Morgan being born before she would even come back for a visit.
And then it was only when she knew you were out of town."
Ethan pointed his face toward the sky, then after a few moments he turned back toward Luis. "You think I
don't know that. Hell, I should have went after her years ago, but none of you would tell me where she was. I
didn't find out she'd gone to New York until two years later when I saw an interview she gave on TV, right after
her store opened. I should have went after her then, but I thought it was too late. Charity's death made me realize
it's never too late."
"Good. Now why don't you tell her that."
Ethan gave a rueful smile. "I was just about to when you interrupted us."
Luis grimaced. "I didn't know. I'm sorry."
"Doesn't matter. I'll tell her soon."
"Why don't you ask to take her to dinner tomorrow night?" Luis asked.
Ethan sighed. "I did. She said no. Said she had to be here for Miguel. That it wasn't a good idea."
"Maybe that's your answer."
Ethan shook his head. "No, I looked into her eyes Luis. She still cares for me I know it. I think she's
just afraid. Hell, after the way I acted when she told me she loved me all the years ago, I can't say I blame
"Tell you what." Luis said putting a hand on Ethan's shoulder. "I'll get Theresa to have dinner
with you tomorrow. But only on one condition."
"What's that?" Ethan asked not sure if he wanted to know what condition Luis had.
"You have to baby-sit Christian and Daniella so Sher and I can have a night out."
"Deal." Ethan said shaking Luis hand. He hoped Luis could keep his part of the bargain. Because something
told him that convincing Theresa to have dinner with him wouldn't be as easy as Luis seemed to think it was going
Theresa finished putting away the dishes then joined Luis, Sheridan, and Sam at the kitchen table. "Where
did Mama and Grace go?"
Luis set his mug of coffee on the table. "They're upstairs with Miguel and Kay. I think they're putting
the kids to bed."
"Well, where is Eth-" Theresa broke off mid-sentence. Ethan's whereabouts were none of her business.
He had probably already gone home to Gwen.
Sheridan gave her an understanding smile. "Daniella sweet-talked her uncle Ethan into reading her and
the rest of the kids a bedtime story."
Theresa had often imagined Ethan reading bedtime stories to their daughter. If they had one that is. "Does
he do that often?"
Luis chuckled. "Yep, every time he baby-sits."
Ethan babysat Luis and Sheridan's kids? "Ethan baby-sits for you?"
"Yeah," Luis said placing his arm around Sheridan. "He baby-sits for us whenever we want to go
"Oh," Theresa said. She wondered if he and Gwen had kids. She was almost afraid to ask. But then
she realized it was a logical question considering the current topic. "Does Ethan & Gwen have kids?"
A sudden noise caused her to turn around. She found Ethan standing in the doorway with a funny look on his
face. Luis, Sheridan, and Sam suddenly decided they were needed in the other room and left. Theresa was left
with the feeling that she'd just put her foot in her mouth. "Ethan, I.... I didn't know you were there."
Ethan didn't answer. He just kept looking at her. He was starting to make her nervous. "Ethan, if I said
something wrong, I didn't mean -"
Ethan shook his head. "You didn't say anything wrong. But I think we need to talk."
He sounded so serious just like on the porch earlier. And just like Whitney did at the church this morning.
"Not here. How 'bout we go for a drive?"
Theresa's head said no, but her heart screamed yes. She chose to listen to her heart. Besides she wanted to know
what was going on. "Okay, let me just get my sweater."
Ethan turned and opened the kitchen door for her. "After you."
Theresa smiled. "Thank you."
Theresa grabbed her sweater and purse from the closet and followed Ethan outside. Since her car was blocked in
they decided to take his Sebring. She wondered where he was taking her, but as he pulled out onto the highway
she realized she already knew. He was going to the beach.
Ethan hit the seek button on the radio and stopped when he heard a familiar song. He glanced at Theresa. "Do
you remember this song?"
Theresa turned and smiled. "Yes, this is the song that was playing the first time you kissed me."
Is it me your looking for
Tell me how to win your heart
cuz I haven't got a clue
but let me start by saying
I love you
(Hello by Lionel Richie)
Ethan pulled into the parking lot at the beach just as the station
went to a commercial. He turned off the engine and immediately got out to open Theresa's door. He had wanted
to talk about this tomorrow over dinner, but one look at the sky told him this was the perfect place to talk. The
stars glittered in the sky. He couldn't have asked for a more romantic atmosphere. Ethan reached for Theresa's
hand and was encouraged when she didn't pull away. Maybe they did still have a chance. He sure hoped so.
Ethan led her down to the beach and stopped near the water. "I'm not sure where to start."
Theresa turned to look at him. "It sounds serious."
"It is. It's about the night you told me you loved me."
Theresa's eyes widened. Obviously she hadn't been expecting that. "Oh, I thought-"
"What? What did you think?"
"Well, when I asked about you and Gwen having children everyone got so quiet. I thought maybe you two couldn't
have kids or something."
"No this has nothing to do with Gwen. Well, it does in a sense, but not really."
"Okay, now you're confusing me."
Join the club, he thought. "I'll try to explain that in a minute. First, I want to talk about what happened
after you told me you loved me."
"Do we have to? That day isn't something I want to relive."
"Neither do I. But there are things you should know. Things I didn't tell you." Ethan took a deep
breath before continuing. "I was so hurt that you'd lied to me that I didn't stop to think about what I was
saying. I just said it. Afterwards, I wanted to take it all back. But when I went to find you no one knew where
"You went to look for me?"
"Yes. I searched all night. I checked the airports, the bus terminal, the train station. I looked everywhere.
I still don't know how you got out of Harmony without my finding you."
Theresa turned to look out at the ocean. "I was here."
"Here? At the beach?"
"Damn, it didn't even occur to me that you could be here."
"That's why I came here. I figured I could be alone. I sat here all night thinking. Just before dawn I
wrote you a letter. Then I stopped by your house and gave it to your father. He said he'd put it in your room
that you weren't there, you were with..." Theresa took a deep breath then continued. "He said you were
with Gwen. After that, I got in my car and drove out of Harmony, only stopping for gas. I drove straight to
New York and checked into a hotel. I called Mama from the hotel. She asked me where I was, but I refused to tell
her. Then she brought up your name and that's when I hung up."
"I didn't see my father that morning, but I did find the letter. After I read it, I went to see Gwen. Once
I read what you wrote, I knew that I-"
"That you what, Ethan?"
"I knew I couldn't go through with the wedding."
Theresa searched his eyes. "You mean you didn't... you didn't marry Gwen?"
Ethan framed her face with his hands. "No, I couldn't marry Gwen. Not when I was in love with you."
Ethan saw the disbelief in her eyes, but he refused to let her doubt him. "Theresa, I never stopped loving
you. Not for one second. You may have been gone, but I never forgot that I loved you."
Tears welled in her eyes and he knew he'd finally gotten through to her. "I never stopped loving you either.
That's the reason I only came back to Harmony when you were gone. I didn't think I could pretend not to love
"So you forgive me then? For all the pain I caused you?"
"Ethan, there's nothing to forgive. We both made mistakes. I think now we should just put it in the past
where it belongs and start fresh."
"Together?" Ethan asked.
Theresa smiled. "I sure hope so, Ethan. Because I don't think I could lose you a second time."
Ethan smiled and did what he had wanted to do for the last six years. He kissed her with all the love he had in
his heart. After they came up for air, he whispered, "I love you, Theresa."
Theresa had waited a lifetime to hear those words from him. Now she knew it had been worth the wait. "I
love you too Ethan. Forever and Always."