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Meant To Be
by
OKDeanna

     

ETHAN CRANE stretched out on his huge four poster bed and wondered what was taking Gwen so long. He had been waiting over an hour. Did it really take her that long to get ready for dinner at The Lobster Shack?


Ethan sighed, then got up and flipped on the radio. He recognized the song playing immediately.

Have you ever really loved somebody so bad
It makes you cry
Have you ever needed somebody so bad
You just can't sleep, you just can't sleep at night

Have you ever...
Have you ever...

He and Theresa had danced to the song last night. He thought Chad said it was Brandy singing, but he couldn't be sure. The only thing he remembered was the words - and dancing with Theresa. It seemed as if they had known each other forever. They certainly danced like it.

Would making love to Theresa feel the same? Ethan shook off that thought. He was engaged to Gwen. Gwen was the woman he loved. Not Theresa. But if he loved Gwen then why couldn't he get Theresa out of his mind



AS SHE LISTENED to the song playing on the radio, Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald couldn't stop the tears falling from her eyes. She really thought this song would make Ethan realize he was in love with her - not Gwen. But then Gwen had showed up and ruined everything.

Have you ever really loved somebody so bad
It makes you cry
Have you ever needed somebody so bad
You just can't sleep, you just can't sleep at night


Have you ever...
Have you ever...

This song could be her anthem, Theresa thought sadly. She identified with it so much. Why couldn't Ethan see they were meant to be together? Why couldn't he see he belonged with her and not Gwen?


"Ahhhhhhhh!" Theresa screamed flopping down on her bed. She knew she should forget about Ethan. She had tried. She really had. She couldn't help the fact that she was in love with him. It was as natural as breathing to her. Still, she had to do something. She couldn't keep on waiting for Ethan to realize he loved her. If she did she could be waiting forever.


No, she had to think of a way to make him realize it. But how? She'd tried practically everything and nothing had worked. Suddenly an idea occured to her. It was brilliant, she thought jumping to her feet. "It's so brilliant it just might work!"



"I love you, Theresa." Ethan said staring deep into her eyes. "I don't know why it took me so long to realize it. But I know it now. You are the only woman for me, Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald. And I want to spend the rest of my life making you happy. Will you marry me, Theresa?"

"Oh yes, Ethan, yes I'll marry you!"

The ringing of the phone woke Theresa from the glorious dream she'd been having. "Hello?"

"Hey, Theresa. It's Ethan. I didn't wake you, did I?"

"No, I was just resting. What's up?"

"Resting? Are you feeling alright?" Ethan asked in a worried tone.

Theresa smiled. "I'm fine. I was just feeling tired is all."

"Well, are you too tired to join Gwen & I for dinner tonight? She wants to go over the wedding plans. We're going to The Lobster Shack."

Now was the time to put her plan into action. "I'd love to go to dinner with you & Gwen tonight, but unfortunately I can't. I have a date."

"A date? With who?"

Was that jealousy in his tone? She hoped so! "Just some guy I met awhile back. He's been asking me out for awhile and I kept saying no because I wasn't completely over... Chuck. But then I realized it was time to get on with my life. I may have lost... Chuck, but there are plenty other fish in the sea. I deserve to be happy and who knows maybe Alex is the guy I've been looking for."

"So you really like this Alex guy, huh?" Ethan asked.

Theresa wished she knew what Ethan was thinking. "Yeah, I do. He's extremely cute and he treats me like I'm someone special. What's not to like?"

"He treats you like you're special because you are special."

Theresa smiled again. "Thank you Ethan. Listen he'll be here to pick me up soon so I really need to go and get ready."

"Oh, okay. Well, I guess I'll see you at work tomorrow."

"Okay, see you then. Bye Ethan."

Theresa smiled at her reflection in the mirror. She prayed her plan worked, because if it didn't... No, it was going to work. It had to.


ETHAN put the receiver back in it's cradle and wondered why he was so bothered by the fact that Theresa had a date? Maybe because she hasn't had one since that idiot Chuck broke up with her? That must be it. He was just worried for her. He was worried she would get hurt. It wasn't like he was jealous or anything. I mean, it couldn't be jealousy he was feeling. Because to be jealous, he'd have to...

No, he did not love Theresa. He loved Gwen. Gwen was the woman he was going to spend the rest of his life with. And Gwen was the woman he was taking to dinner tonight. "Gwen are you about ready?"

"Yes, sweetheart. Just give me five more minutes. Did you call Theresa and ask her to join us?" Gwen asked from the bathroom.

"Yeah, but she already made plans. She has..." Ethan stopped to clear his throat. "a date."

"A date? Really? With who?"

"Some guy named Alex. She sounded really excited." Too excited, if you asked him. What was wrong with him? He wanted Theresa to be happy. He was glad she was finally getting on with her life. Wasn't he?

"Well, good for her. It's about time she got out there again."

"Yeah, it is." Ethan mumbled.

Gwen stepped out of the bathroom a few moments later. "I'm ready."

"Good, I'm starving."

"Ethan, aren't you forgetting something? Aren't you going to tell me how good I look?"

"Of course." He said giving her a kiss. "You look beautiful as always."

Ethan prayed he could get through dinner tonight without thinking about Theresa. Something told him that it wasn't possible. Of course, that probably had to do with the fact that these days Theresa was always on his mind.


THE DOORBELL rang just as Theresa finished applying the final touches to her makeup. She drew in a deep breath then took one last look in the mirror. "Well, Theresa, it's now or never."

Theresa walked into the living room just as Luis opened the front door. "Theresa, your dates here!"

"I'm right here, Luis. You don't have to yell."

"Sorry, " Luis said giving her a rueful smile before turning back to her date. "So where are you and Theresa going tonight?"

"I thought we might go to The Seascape for dinner. If it's alright with Theresa, of course."

Theresa smiled. She could, of course, tell him she wanted to go to The Lobster Shack, but that wouldn't exactly fit in with her plan. "The Seascape is fine by me. I've only been there a few times."

"You look beautiful. " Alex said giving her a gorgeous grin.

"Thank you." Theresa said grabbing her jacket off the back of the chair. "I'm ready if you are."

Luis gave her a kiss on the cheek as she stopped in the doorway. "Have fun."

Theresa turned giving Alex a smile. "I'm sure we will."


ETHAN didn't know why he'd let Gwen talk him into having dinner with his parents at The Seascape. He understood his mother was anxious to hear about the wedding plans, but tonight Ethan was anxious to spend time with Gwen alone. Maybe if they were alone, Theresa wouldn't be invading his thoughts so much.

Ethan knew the moment Theresa entered the room. He felt it. It was strange, the connection he and Theresa had. It was even stranger that they ended up at the same restaurant tonight. Theresa would call it fate, but that was ridiculous. Fate couldn't be that cruel.

"Look Ethan, " Gwen said interrupting his thoughts. "It's Theresa and her date. Hmm, he's very handsome. They make a cute couple. Don't you think so?"

"Sure." Ethan said as he shifted in his chair. He hoped no one else noticed how uncomfortable he was. But then he saw the gleam in his father's eye and realized someone else had noticed. Just his luck. His father had been trying to get him to sleep with Theresa for months now. It was his fault Ethan was having all this fantasies about Theresa.

"Why don't we ask Theresa and her date to join us?" Leave it to his father to make him even more uncomfortable. Couldn't the man leave well enough alone?

"Ooh, that's a marvelous idea Julian." Ethan couldn't believe it. His mother was actually agreeing with his father? "I'd love to hear some of Theresa's ideas for the wedding."

Gwen nodded her head in agreement. "I'd like to hear her ideas too."

Didn't anyone realize Theresa was on a date? "Don't you think Theresa and her date would like to be alone?"

"It wouldn't hurt to ask them, would it?"

Ethan closed his eyes and prayed this wasn't happening. He did not want to spend the evening with Theresa and her "date". That would be pure torture.

"Hello, Ethan, Gwen, Mr. And Mrs. Crane. "

Ethan's eyes flew open the moment at the sound of Theresa's voice. When he looked up he found himself staring into Theresa's deep brown eyes.

"Hello Theresa. Who is this handsome gentleman you have with you tonight?" For once, Ethan wished his mother didn't like Theresa so much.

Theresa smiled. "This is my date Alex. Alex, I'd like you to meet Mrs. Crane, Mr. Crane., Gwen Hotchkiss, and Ethan Crane."

"It's nice to meet you all." Alex replied putting his hand on Theresa's back.

"You too, Alex. "

Ethan remained silent.

His father gave him a grin before asking Theresa to join them. "We're dying to hear more about the wedding plans you and Ethan have been working on."

"Oh, um, can we do that another time? Alex and I were hoping we could spend the evening alone. You understand don't you?"

"Of course, we do." Ethan said a little too quickly, which prompted Gwen to give him a curious look.

"Okay, well, Alex and I are going to go find our table. I hope you enjoy your evening." With that, she was gone.

Ethan didn't know which was worse. Actually sharing a table with Theresa and her date or watching them from across the room and wondering what they were saying to each other. Ethan only knew one thing for sure. He had never seen Theresa look happier and that fact bothered him immensely.

continued

       
     

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