The Turns Life Takes by yhh
Summary:

The death of a Harmony resident sends the lives of the remaining residents into a tailspin.


Categories: Daytime Television, Passions Characters: None
Classification: Alternate Universe
Genre: Drama
Story Status: Active
Pairings: None
Warnings: Character Death
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 11 Completed: No Word count: 15325 Read: 1362 Published: August 16 2021 Updated: December 01 2021

1. Chapter 1 by yhh

2. Chapter 2 by yhh

3. Chapter 3 by yhh

4. Chapter 4 by yhh

5. Chapter 5 by yhh

6. Chapter 6 by yhh

7. Chapter 7 by yhh

8. Chapter 8 by yhh

9. Chapter 9 by yhh

10. Chapter 10 by yhh

11. Chapter 11 by yhh

Chapter 1 by yhh
Author's Notes:

I found this story laying about and thought I'd post it.  I hope you enjoy our adventure in Harmony.

"Clear!"

 

The still body jumped on the table, but it was still flatlined.

 

"Again. Clear!"

 

The body again jerked, yet the line remained flat.

 

"Calling it. 11:50 PM."

 

Quickly, quietly, and efficiently the nurses worked to restore order in the cubicle.

 

The doctor gently removed the incubation tube from the deceased's mouth and the IV the paramedics had placed in the arm.

 

The nurses finished, left. The room was frightfully motionless and calm as the noise of the ER permeated around them.

 

Dr. Eve Russell brushed the hair out of Tabitha Lenox's face that had been amazingly unmarred in the horrific car accident that had taken her life.

 

She could easily imagine Tabitha and Timmy together again now, laughing and sipping MarTimmies.

 

Poor Kay, Maria and of course, Endora. Motherless at such a young age, her father not in the picture, what was to become of this little girl?

 

While Kay had matured and come into her own as a mother to Maria, Eve didn't think she could handle rearing two infant girls on her own. Tabitha's only family had been Timmy and vice versa, and now they were both gone.

 

Taking Tabitha's cold hand into her own warm one, Eve made a vow to Tabitha. "I promise to help Endora in anyway I can from now until the day I die."

 

Eve then leaned over and kissed the older woman's cheek. "That's for Endora."

 

She moved up and kissed her forehead two times. "And those are for Kay and Maria."

 

She gently laid the still hand down and with much tenderness; slowly she raised the sheet over the face of Tabitha Lenox.

 

Giving the ecletic woman one final touch, Eve left the dead behind and took on the task of informing the living.

Chapter 2 by yhh
Author's Notes:

I hope you guys enjoy chapter two.  Have the best day ever!

As she pulled into Tabitha's driveway and parked, she wondered why this patient was affecting her so much. It wasn't as if she had been friends with Tabitha. If anything, they had been acquaintances, neighbors, at best.

 

Eve, like the rest of the neighborhood, had always found Tabitha to be quite strange. An odd, eclectic, aging British woman who carried around and talked to a life-size doll. Although if she were truthful, on more than one occasion, she thought she had seen the doll move and talk back to Tabitha. And it hadn't escaped her notice that the doll disappeared when Timmy came on the scene and that there was a striking resemblance between the two. Or that the doll was never seen again after Timmy's tragic death.

 

Maybe she felt such compassion because Endora was motherless as she was once and still was childless. Forever Endora would ache to feel her mother's arms around her one last time. And forever she would ache to hold her precious baby boy again.

 

She got out the car and walked to the front porch of 1313 Mockingbird Lane, the secret name that the neighborhood had given the house. The house had always given off a weird, even creepy vibe, but the kids loved it especially during Halloween. Tabitha would go all out. Sadly, that wouldn't be the case this year, Eve thought as she rang the doorbell for the second time. Finally, a sleepy and disheveled Kay answered the door.

 

"Dr. Russell, what are you doing here?" Kay asked as she stepped aside to let Eve into the house.

 

Looking around the living room, Eve saw a comforter strewn across the sofa and baby paraphernalia in all the other remaining seating areas. Moving quickly, Kay moved the comforter.

 

"Sorry, Dr. Russell. I haven't had a chance to straighten up yet. I must have fallen asleep waiting for Tabitha to come home. She's usually never out this late," Kay commented.

 

Eve took a seat on the sofa and patted the space next to her. "Kay, come sit next to me."

 

"What is it? What's wrong?" Kay asked worried, reluctantly sitting next to Eve. "Is it Dad?"

 

"No, it isn't your dad or your mom or Jessica or Simone," Eve reassured her. She took the teen's hands and held them, aware that just over an hour ago she had done the same to Tabitha's hand. "Tonight there was a horrible pile up on the highway." Eve paused.

 

"And?"

 

"Tabitha was involved- -"

 

Kay stared into the brown eyes that had always been there for her and always told her the truth. And the truth was clear to see. Tabitha hadn't made it. Before she knew it, tears were streaming down her face. "Auntie Evie," she cried as she crawled into Eve's lap.

 

Eve hadn't heard that name in ages. She held, rocked, and crooned to the young adult woman as she used to do all those years ago when Kay was a little girl. "Oh, Kathleen," Eve whispered.

 

Time had no meaning as she comforted the woman she considered a third daughter. She promised to be a better, more involved aunt to Kay. She couldn't believe she had let their relationship fall to the wayside. She would not allow that to happen again. Regardless of what was going on in her life, Kay needed to know she had always had time for her. Moving the hair out of Kay's face, Eve planted tiny, soft kisses on her forehead.

 

"Auntie, what am I going to do without her?" Kay cried.

 

Ah, Eve thought, there was her sometimes self-centered Kathleen rearing her head. "You'll be the strong young woman Tabitha knew you were. And you'll make her proud."

 

"What about Dora? Her mom is dead. What's going to happen to her?"

 

"I'm sure Tabitha had a will detailing where she wanted Endora to go just like your parents had for you, Noah, and Jessica and Mr. Russell and I had for Whit and Simone," Eve informed her.

 

Kay nodded.

 

"But let's not worry about that now. Do you know if Tabitha had a lawyer?"

 

Kay nodded. "He's an old guy in London. His number is in her phone book," she said walking over to Tabitha's desk and finding the book. Mr. William Giles." She handed the book to Eve.

 

Eve glanced at her watch. "It's morning over there now, I'll call him."

 

Kay busied herself while Eve made the call and talked to the lawyer. Ten minutes later, Eve lowered the phone back into its cradle.

 

"What did he say?" Kay inquired anxiously.

 

"Tabitha did indeed have a will and all of her funeral plans made. She wanted a simple service at the cemetery and to be buried next to Timmy. But Tabitha did say that if you wanted to add anything you could."

 

"Good, good," Kay said nodding absentmindedly.

 

"Mr. Giles is leaving on the next flight out of London and he'll contact us once he arrives. The services will be the day after tomorrow with the reading of the will following."

 

Again Kay nodded.

 

"Kathleen," Eve said in her best mother's voice.

 

Kay looked up.

 

"Go get in bed and I'll sleep down here if you need me."

 

"You don't have- -"

 

"Kathleen Elizabeth Bennett, march yourself up those stairs and get some sleep. You have some trying days ahead and you need all the strength you can get," Eve stated.

 

Slowly Kay made her way up the stairs. She paused mid-way. "If you need- -"

 

"I'll be fine, Kathleen," Eve reassured.

 

At the top of the stairs, Kay paused again. "Auntie Evie will you stay with me until I fall asleep?" she asked in a voice barely audible.

 

Eve knew that was code for will you sleep with me or can I sleep with you. As a child, Kay would never ask to sleep with her and TC after a nightmare or when she was scared. She would always ask if she could just lay with them until she fell asleep. Sometimes Kathleen Bennett had too much pride to ask for the simple things she needed. Some things never changed.

 

Eve ran up the stairs, embraced Kay, and walked to Kay's room. After settling Kay in the bed, Eve stripped down to her slip and climbed in. She closed her eyes and let the day wash over her. Suddenly she felt Kay shaking; she pulled the girl into her arms and rocked her. She sang to Kay the song she had sung to her baby on their first and last day together. As she sang and soothed Kay, she wished she had had someone to console her on that day so long ago.

Chapter 3 by yhh
Author's Notes:

I hope you enjoy the latest chapter of this oldie but goodie.  Have the best weekend ever!

"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, may Tabitha Lenox, rest in peace," the owner of Summers and Harris Funeral Home concluded.

With Maria in one arm and the other hand holding Endora's, Kay walked up to the casket and placed three red roses on Tabitha's casket as it was being lowered into its final resting place. Kay and Endora stared down at the casket until all movement stopped, then they turned and greeted the few who had attended the services.

Eve looked around. There were less than twenty people in attendance and they were mostly people here for Kay. Grace, Sam, Jessica, Simone, Reese, TC, John, Whitney, Chad, Fox, Theresa, Pilar, and Miguel were all in attendance. Besides Kay, Charity might have been the only other person to spend any real time with Tabitha.

A few people from the neighborhood, had out of neighbor courtesy, attended also. And all during the abbreviated service, she had felt like there were others watching. When she turned her head to look beyond the sparse crowd, she thought she had caught a glimpse of a shadow or person ducking behind a tree. Maybe she was seeing things or maybe not. Who knew? With Tabitha involved anything was possible.

Picking up a handful of dirt, she gently let it slide out of her hand onto the coffin. Whispering she said, "I won't forget the promise I made to you."

Before she could think to say more, TC touched her.

"Baby, it's time to go," TC informed her.

She nodded and followed him to the car.


 

Thirty minutes and one interrogation from TC later, the brown skinned doctor slipped into her deceased neighbor's house.  Apologizing for her lateness, Eve quickly sat on the sofa next to her niece.  She reached for Kay's hand and Kay smiled as she felt their hands clasp.

Mr. Giles looked down in his nose at them. "We're waiting for one more person, then I'll begin."

Eve was surprised to see Miguel and Charity present, but she was equally shocked that she was asked to come to the reading of the will. There was no way Tabitha knew she would be the doctor that would one day try desperately to save her life and fail.

After a swift knock, the front door opened and in walked none other than Julian Crane. Eve was stunned, flabbergasted. He was definitely the last person in the world she expected to see here. He nodded his greetings to everyone in the room and leaned against the wall.

Kay looked at her in complete astonishment. She patted Kay's hand for reassurance and then turned to the lawyer.

"First, I will read the will of Timmy Lenox. Mr. Lenox wrote a letter. 'Dear Charity, I sit here in the waiting room, hoping you'll pull through. I have a feeling you will, but a strange feeling has been with me for the past few weeks. I don't know what it is, but I figured I should put all my affairs in order. Charity when you get better and I know you will, I want you to go to school. You and Miguel both should take this second chance at life and love and live it to the fullest. So I've set up a trust fund for you and Miguel to go to school and become the people you want to be. Charity, you're also free to take any of my things, after Tabby, of course. I wish you all the best, Charity. I really hope you and Miguel are happy. Love, Timmy.' So reads the last will and testament of Timmy Lenox," Mr. Giles concluded.

Charity and Miguel were speechless.

"Oh my! Oh, Timmy, I was never expecting this. I don't know, what to say," Charity said, looking to Miguel for help.

"Thanks," he said, shrugging his shoulders.

"Yes, thanks," Charity concurred.

Feeling Kay's grip tightened, Eve faced Kay and silently communicated to Kay to stay calm and mature. Kay nodded.

"Miss Standish, the boxes containing Mr. Lenox's remaining possessions will be waiting for you at your house now. Miss Standish, if you, and Mr. Lopez-Fitzgerald would please come sign these documents, the trust fund will be transferred over to you."

Miguel and Charity walked to the desk where Mr. Giles was sitting and signed at the x.

"Thank you for coming," Mr. Giles said curtly, "you may now leave."

Miguel and Charity mumbled their thanks again. Charity walked over to Kay and stooped to Kay's level. "I'm so sorry, cousin," she murmured in Kay's ear.

"Thanks," Kay said with a modicum of grace.

Eve was proud and nudged Kay.

Kay blushed as Miguel and Charity exited the house.

"Now onto Miss Lenox's will. It's been a long day for everyone so I will skip the legal speak and surmise her will. Miss Bennett, Tabitha leaves you the house and her car. The insurance agency is replacing her car with a brand new one."

Kay squealed and squeezed Eve's hand.

"You've also been left a trust fund for the maintenance of the house and one for your education and personal maintenance. Miss Lenox wanted you to go back to college and further your education. She also left a trust fund for Miss Maria Ivy Lopez-Fitzgerald," he stated.

No longer able to contain her excitement, Kay jumped up out of her seat. "Yeah! Tabitha, thanks so much," she shouted up at the sky. Then suddenly remembering the occasion and circumstances in which she received this windfall, she quickly sat back down next to Eve, meekly.

Once Mr. Giles was sure the outbursts had been contained, he continued. "Miss Bennett, if you would sign here, you and your daughter will take ownership of all that I've stated with Dr. Eve Johnson being the overseer of your trusts."

"What?" Eve exclaimed. "Me?" she questioned, clearly not understanding how she got involved in Tabitha's business.

"Yes, you, Dr. Johnson," Mr. Giles answered.

"It's Dr. Russell," Eve corrected him.

He nodded. "Miss Lenox felt that this was a large sum of money for Miss Bennett to handle on her own and she felt you would be the perfect person to teach her and guide her."

"How much is in the trust funds?" Eve asked.

"A few million," he replied.

Kay was speechless.

Eve was bowled over. This day kept getting bizarre by the moment. She had never known, Tabitha to work how did she come into this money.

"Miss Lenox and Mr. Lenox were the last remaining members of a wealthy family. They were the eccentric ones," Mir. Giles said, answering Eve's unasked question. "Miss Bennett," Mr. Giles called.

Kay walked to the desk and looked over the documents. "Auntie?"

Eve got up and walked over to the desk. She read the documents and while she felt she understood what most of said, she knew the silent man against the wall. The Harvard Law School graduate could spot an error or loophole in the document in a heartbeat.

"Julian," Eve called out to him.

Upon hearing the love of his life call his name, he perked up and left his daydream behind. "Yes, Dr. Johnson?" he asked, might as well watch her breast heave from anger while he was stuck here.

Eve glared at him, but remained calm as she spoke. "Could you please take a look at this document for us?"

Casually walking over to the desk, Julian read through the document swiftly. "It is as he says it is," he stated referring to Tabitha's lawyer.

"Thank you," Eve replied politely.

"Anytime, Dr. Johnson," he smiled.

Eve accidentally fell backwards and her high heel shoe stumped his toe.

"Ouch!" Julian yelled, as he hopped around on one foot.

"Sorry," Eve apologized as sincerely as possible.

Julian laughed, further disturbing Eve and ruining her glee at one-upping him.

Hearing Maria cry, Kay excused herself.

"If everyone would please return to their seats. I have one final piece of business and then I can finish my business here," Mr. Giles requested to the remaining duo.

Eve returned to the sofa. Julian took a seat to the right of Eve so he could stay in her line of sight.

"When it comes to the custody of Endora Lenox. The minor will henceforth be known by her new name Endora Kathleen Lenox Crane and live with her soon-to-be adopted mother, Dr. Eve Johnson."

"Wha- - what?!" Eve and Julian said simultaneously in shock.

"Julian, you slept with Tabitha, too," Eve said in anger quickly realizing her mistake she corrected herself. "You slept with Tabitha?"

"Timmy was making those MarTimmies of his- -"

"Excuses, excuses. You're really good with those," Eve shouted at him.

"There is no way that child is mine," Julian yelled to everyone, but particularly to Eve.

"No, it is 99.999% that you are the child's father. Dr. Johnson performed the DNA test herself after the birth of the child," the British lawyer informed Julian.

"I did," Eve said more to herself. She remembered Tabitha asking her to run a DNA test, but she had no idea it had revealed Julian as the father. Or that is was Julian's DNA, she was testing. Another Crane child, Julian wasn't there for. "Is there anyone in this town you don't have a child with?" she asked of Julian.

"Plenty, you for one," Julian bellowed in his anger.

Hurt beyond belief, Eve ran from the room.

Instantly realizing his mistake, Julian took off after her.

Kay watched the two from the top of the staircase, maybe Whitney had reason to be worried that something more was going on between Auntie and Mr. Crane. Tabitha had been right sometimes it does pay to eavesdrop. She couldn't believe Julian was Endora's father. Tabitha and Mr. Crane. Yuck! But on the bright side, at least Dora never had to worry about money again.

Julian caught up with Eve as she ran to the backdoor. He grabbed her and turned her to face him. He lifted her chin so he could look directly into her eyes full of tears. "I'm sorry, my love. I didn't mean it. I spoke out of anger and confusion. I would never do or say anything to hurt you. Somewhere out there, Eve, is our son. And he's waiting for us to find him and give him all the love we've been holding inside," Julian said as gently as possible. "Please forgive me."

"You slept with Tabitha," Eve stated not knowing which hurt her more his angry outburst or the fact that he had a living child with another woman, that wasn't Ivy or Theresa.

"I was drunk. We both were," Julian reminded her.

"That's not a good enough excuse, Julian."

"No, but without you I was drunken and lost fool and I made tons of foolish mistakes."

"Jul- -"

Julian was through with words. He picked Eve up and brought her lips even with his and kissed her passionately and tenderly, conveying his apologies for his past and his intentions for the future. He walked over to the nearest wall and put her back against the wall, freeing his hands to roam over her luscious body. And roam his hands did, until the cry of a baby jerked Eve out of the sensuous haze that Julian created.

Turning her head to the side to avoid his mouth, his lips quickly found her neck.

"Julian, no," she said softly.

His pleasurable and mind blowing attack continued.

"Julian," she repeated a bit more forcefully and with a push.

"You don't want to stop, Eve," he murmured against the nape of her neck.

Eve groaned as the crying grew louder. "Yes, I do," she said coming to her senses and escaping from Julian's embrace.

Straightening her clothes and hair, Eve reprimanded herself. How did she get in these situations with Julian? Why was it happening now? They had gone decades without this pas- - without this lust.

"I allowed alcohol and other women to ease the pain of losing you and our son, but the pain was still there. The passion and love, I felt and feel for you were still there just buried underneath all the other junk," Julian whispered in her ear.

Leaning back against him, Eve pondered how it was that he could read her mind, her thoughts. She never had anything like this with TC. TC! The magic word popped into her head. She scrambled away from Julian. "This can't happen again," she commanded and left the kitchen.

Julian allowed her to leave. Soon he would overcome her connection with TC and this will of Tabitha's might be the final nail in TC's coffin. He smiled and went to join the others in the living room.

"I want another DNA test done," Julian stated to the lawyer over the crying babies.

"As you wish, sir," Mr. Giles replied.

Eve took Endora from Kay and instantly Endora stopped crying. They stared into each other's eyes. Eve instantly recognized the eyes looking back at her. She would recognize them anywhere. They were Julian's eyes. "Julian, another DNA test isn't necessary," she informed him.

Studying Eve's face and the odd look upon it, Julian didn't question her statement. "Cancel the test."

The lawyer nodded. "Now Dr. Johnson, if you would sign here."

"I'll make sure she signs them and returns them to you before you leave. Thank you," Julian said, dismissing the lawyer.

"Very well, sir," Mr. Giles agreed and hurriedly gathered his belongings and left.

Kay took Maria upstairs to change and feed her, leaving Eve, Endora, and Julian alone.

Julian enjoyed the picture Eve and the baby presented, Madonna and child. He didn't want Tabitha's daughter to be his, but if Eve said it was, then it was.  And it if this little girl gave him a  foothold in Eve's life, then he would kiss Tabitha's headstone when it was put up.

Eve could feel Julian watching her. Her life was quickly unraveling at the seams, yet holding this baby made all of her problems disappear. Endora reminded her of all the good times when Whitney and Simone were little. She knew TC would flip when he found out that Endora had been left in her care, particularly when he discovered Julian was her father. But she didn't care; she made a promise to Tabitha, one mother to another. And maybe just maybe this was her second chance to do right by a Crane child, even if it wasn't biologically her own.

Chapter 4 by yhh
Author's Notes:

Sorry I've neglected posting, here's the first makeup chapter.  Thanks for reading and commenting.

Giving her hair a final stroke, Eve stared at herself in the mirror. She couldn't delay this any longer. She had to tell TC the truth. Kay had given her a reprieve for the night, along with Endora's tiredness from the draining day, but tomorrow she would be ready to start her new life. It was only fair. "TC, honey," she said, in her sweetest voice as she made her way to the bed.

 

"Yeah, hon?" he said, engrossed in Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

 

"You remember how you were wondering why I was being asked to go back to Tabitha's for the reading of the will?"

 

"Uh-huh," he replied, never taking his eyes off the TV.

 

"Well, it was because she gave me custody of Endora." Maybe she should have said us.

 

"Oh, that's nice of her."

 

Climbing into the bed, she stayed on her side, knowing he would react when what she said processed in his brain. "It shocked me. We weren't close."

 

"Yeah, well, people do strange things all the time- - Babe, look at that backhand. If Whit had that backhand- -" TC shook his head and whistled.

 

"That they do. So I'll bring her home tomorrow. The more I think about it, the better I feel. I always wanted fo- - three kids, but it never happened. Maybe this is why, this is the way God wanted it," Eve said, more to herself than to her husband.

 

"Yeah, maybe so."

 

They had tried for two years after Simone was born to have another child. Boy or girl, it didn't matter. It didn't happen possibly because Endora was meant to be her fourth child. And a Crane to boot. She felt a slight pain at saying that. Part of her was overjoyed at the idea of finally raising a child that was part Julian. This was her opportunity to right the wrongs she had done to her, their baby. The drugs, the drinking before she found out she was pregnant. But the other part of her was upset that Julian had a healthy, living child with someone who was not her. Another woman he slept with. How could she have ever fallen in love with such a whoremonger? As much as she wanted to hate him, she knew the truth in his words, when he said he slept around and drank to ease the pain of losing her and their son. She wanted to tell him that but she feared it would make him more determined to harass her and she didn't need that. "I'll go into the office and take a leave of absence- - can I take some sort of adoption or maternity leave? I'll find out tomorrow. Then I'll pick Endora up from Tabi- - Kay's before lunch."

 

"Sounds good."

 

Lying down and pulling the covers to her chin, Eve drifted off to sleep to prepare for the battle that would come tomorrow when TC realized what he had just agreed to.

 


 

"Pancakes, grits, bacon, eggs, freshly squeezed OJ, apple juice, and milk.  Did someon die?"  Simone asked, taking a seat at the table.

 

"Simone," Whitney reprimanded.

 

"Oops, I'm sorry," Simone replied, remembering Tabitha's death.

 

"No, no one else has died," Eve assured her youngest- - her used to be youngest daughter. It would take some time to wrap her mind around that one.

 

"Well, is it my birthday and I forgot?" TC inquired, walking to the head of the table after kissing and greeting each of his girls.

 

"No, dear, it's not. I had to go into the hospital early and take care of some business and I decided to wake my family with a smile."

 

"Well, baby you did a great job."

 

They said grace and dug into Eve's delicious breakfast.

 

"So there's no special occasion?" Whitney asked. Her mom only cooked like this if there was a reason.

 

Sending up a silent prayer, Eve decided to jump in with both feet. "Well, your dad and I do have something to tell you."

 

Whitney and Simone looked at each other, then at their parents, waiting impatiently for their mother to continue.

 

"TC, do you want to tell them?"

 

Drinking his oj, TC shook his head. He quickly stuffed his mouth so as to not verbally answer Eve's question. Damn, she had been talking about something important last night. He thought she had just been blabbing about some woman or household related issue. If he admitted that he didn't remember one iota of their conversation, she would start bringing up marriage counseling again, as if they needed it. His parents had been married over thirtty years before his father died and they had never needed it and they were happy as clams. If his parents could make it work without counseling, then so could he and Eve.

 

She had been right, he hadn't heard a word she said. Well he admitted he had by allowing her to tell the girls so maybe his pride would keep him from getting too angry. "Endora is coming to live with us. You two are going to be big sisters."

 

"What?! Really?!" the girls exclaimed, excited yet bewildered. The Russell sisters silently communicated. This was weird. Mom and Tabitha weren't even friends, but when it came to Tabitha they had learned to expect the unexpected.

 

TC let Eve's words sink in. She had told him this last night. No way. He would have heard that. "What?" he roared. "We barely even knew that kooky woman- -"

 

"Daddy, she's dead. Be nice," Whitney admonished.

 

"How could she leave us her kid? No," he said, shaking his head, "I'm not- - we're not starting over again. If God had meant for us to have more kids it would have happened when Sugar Bear was still in diapers. We're not taking her- -"

 

"Daddy, we have to. Who else is there? According to Kay, Timmy was Tabitha's last living relative. And can you imagine Kay raising two kids by herself?" Simone said, interrupting her father's tirade.

 

TC paused. No, he couldn't imagine his Katie-Bug with two kids. She had amazed him with how well she took care of Maria, but two kids. That would be way too much for her. She was trying to get her life back together after that punk left her high and dry to be with her cousin. Every time he saw that kid he wanted to punch him. He didn't know how Sam kept himself from murdering Miguel.

 

"TC?" Eve called to him.

 

Moving away from his murderous thoughts, he turned his attention back to his family. "Eve, why us?"

 

His wife shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know- -" She had to do it. She didn't want to, but she had to appeal to his prideful side. A side of her husband she wasn't particularly fond of. "She lived down the street from us for years, maybe she admired what a great father you are to Whit and Sim. The girls' relationship with each other. The way their carry themselves. How much our family loves each other. In a world, where it seems more and more families are falling apart, we're still together." She prayed she hadn't laid it on too thick.

 

Simone and Whitney had to bury their smirks. Their mom had hit the right note. There was nothing their dad liked better than hearing what a great job he was doing as a father and husband.

 

TC didn't know what to say. A thrill shot through his body at the idea that Tabitha had been watching and observing their family, wanting her little girl to grow up in such a family. But the idea of rearing a child that wasn't his own flesh and blood. He remembered how quickly he shot down Eve's suggestion of adopting when she hadn't gotten pregnant after Simone was born. He knew he was being contradictory being that he and Eve were listed as Noah's, Katie-Bug's, and Jessie's guardians, but that was different. Sam was his brother, in every way but blood. Those kids were his kids. But this. He didn't know.

 

"Dad, she has no one else," Whitney added. "If we don't take her in, then she'll be part of the system- -"

 

"And didn't you say, one of your players was a foster kid and how you felt so bad for him that he was constantly bounced around. Well that would be Endora's fate," Simone continued. "I personally think Endora would be very lucky to have you as a daddy."

 

TC looked at his youngest daughter and his heart melted. To have another little girl look at him like this, maybe just maybe he could overlook where she came from. Maybe he could make sure she wasn't as wacky as that mother of hers had been. First off, he was banning her having any human looking dolls.

 

Eve watched as TC's mind change. Next she would tell him about Julian, but that was for another day. If Julian gave her that much time and she prayed he did. Today she would savor this victory. This wonderful, wonderful victory. She was a mom again.

Chapter 5 by yhh
Author's Notes:

I hope you enjoy this latest chapter!

"Kay, you don't have to pack everything. I would like for some of her things to stay over here," Eve said, folding Endora's undershirts and putting them in the suitcase.

"Really?" Kay asked surprised.

"Yes." Pausing, Eve turned to look at the younger woman, who was packing up the toys. "This is her home just like my home will become hers. You are her family. You are a big sister/aunt figure to her and Maria is her little sister/cousin. Uncle TC, Whitney, Simone, and I are just being allowed the privilege to join the family she already has."

"Oh, Auntie," Kay cried, hugging her aunt fiercely.

"It's all true, Kathleen. So I hope you'll allow her to continue to consider this her home."

"Of course. This will always be a second home to her like yours was to me."

"I'm sorry."

"For what?"

"For not being there for you when you needed me. I knew Charity moving in and Noah being gone was a big change for you and I wasn't there for you like I should have been. Can you forgive me?"

Kay's mouth dropped open. Aunt Eve was apologizing to her. She couldn't recall any adult doing that before. And no one had ever acknowledged how hard it was to have newly found always perfect cousin, Charity, to move in so shortly after the big brother she idolized, Noah left for college. "Auntie Evie, you didn't do anything wro- -"

"Yes, I did. I wasn't there. If I had been there for you, you wouldn't have moved in with Tabitha, a woman you barely knew at the time, rather than with me and your uncle."

"Auntie, I knew I could have moved in with you, but- -" Looking into her aunt's eyes, Kay knew it was total truth time. "I knew what I was doing wasn't right and I knew you wouldn't approve. I was doing things you, Dad, Mom, and Uncle TC had always taught us not to do. And Tabitha wasn't judgmental- - not that you guys are, but she just wasn't- -" She didn't know how to explain it. "I didn't really know her so I knew I couldn't disappoint her or let her down like I could with you guys."

"Kay, whatever problem you have or situation you're in, you can always talk to me about it. No judgment. No questions asked. Okay?"

"Okay."

Going back to their individual tasks while Maria and Endora slept, Kay decided to use this opportunity to ask the questions she had been dying to ask.

"Auntie, what's going on with you and Mr. Crane?"

Eve hadn't been expecting that question and fought hard not to freeze. She couldn't be seen reacting so strongly to the question. "Nothing. Why do you ask?"

Kay shrugged. "Simone and I have seen you two together a few times and your discussions always seem really intense."

Damn you, Julian. Now Kay and Simone, besides Fox and Whitney were suspicious. And knowing her niece like she did, she knew Kay was like a dog looking for a bone; she wouldn't rest until she found out the truth. Great. Now she had to lie to her; she had no other choice. "It was probably hospital business. He can be very tight-fisted sometimes when it comes to the hospital's needs."

Kay suspected there was more to the story than that, but for now she'd let it rest. She'd do some more investigating later when things were more settled. "How is Uncle TC going to react when he finds out that Mr. Crane is Endora's father?"

That was a subject weighing heavily on Eve's mind. "He won't be happy, but hopefully Endora will wow him. And maybe, if you don't mind, Julian could have his visits here? So the two of them rarely have to see each other- -"

"Except at ballet recitals, school performances, programs at the church, birthdays, and holidays."

How could she have forgotten all that? Maybe Julian would forget, too, but she had a sneaking suspicion she wouldn't be that lucky. "We'll deal with him. Don't worry."

With her back turned to her aunt, Kay rolled her eyes. Now her aunt was living in a fairy tale. Things were going to get bloody around here as soon as Uncle TC found out about Julian, unless- - "Auntie, we don't have to tell- -"

Shaking her head, Eve knew where Kay was going with this one. "No, it wouldn't be fair to Endora. She's gone the first two-and-a-half-years without her father, I won't allow to miss anymore."

"But Uncle TC would be her dad."

"Yes, and he still will be. But Julian deserves to get to know her and love her."

Hearing the finality in her aunt's voice, Kay wisely decided to drop the subject and they continued to pack making casual conversation.


 

"What's this?" Eve asked herself out loud, while givin the bedroom a once-over to make sure they hadn't left anything important behind.  Getting on her hands and knees, she pulled out a box wedged underneath the dresser.  Eve opened the box and found pictures of Timmy and Tabitha dressed for a costume party.  They were dressed in outfits she thought looked to be from around the late 1800s.  Feeling the texture of the paper and looking closer at the picture, she was puzzled.  She had never seen a photograph made from this type of paper.  Shrugging her shoulders, Eve decided to let the mystery go for now.  Anything having to do with Tabitha usually left her with more questions than she had at the beginning.  Returning the photo to the box and putting the lid on it, she decided to look at the other photos when she got home and had some time.

"Mom, we're ready to shop," Simone called out.

Grabbing the box, Eve made her way downstairs. "Kay, are you coming? I think your room and Maria's could us a little sprucing up."

Happy to be included, Kay smiled.

"Yeah, Kay come with us. It's been forever since we've been shopping," Simone encouraged her best friend.

"Okay, let me grab Maria's coat and stuff."

"Already in the car," Simone informed her.

"That sure of me, huh?"

"Kathleen, when have you ever passed up an opportunity to shop?" Eve added.

"So true, Auntie. So true," Kay replied, locking the door and happily heading out to spend some quality time with people whom she loved that were still here.

Chapter 6 by yhh
Author's Notes:

Here's another chapter, enjoy!

Ringing the doorbell, Julian waited patiently for the door to open. Patience was a new virtue he was learning, especially with Ethan-Martin running around. A month had passed since he had seen his precious Eve or rather a month since he had seen her in public and talked to her. He had watched her and Endora at the park and other little outings they had taken around town, sometimes with Eve's older daughters and sometimes without. Endora. He tried to see if he saw any of himself in the little girl, but he could never get close enough. But if Eve thought and believed the girl was his then he believed it too. Plus Endora's presence in his life was allowing him to put another foot in Eve's life, now if he could find their son, and get her to acknowledge the love she feels for him, life would be perfect. Maybe he should buy Endora a pony. Didn't every little girl want one? It was the least he could do for the person who brought his love back to him.

 

"Julian, what are you doing here?" Eve demanded, closing the door behind her.

 

"I've come to visit my daughter," he replied with a smile.

 

"A month later, you remember you have a daughter?" she questioned, praying she hid the hurt she felt because he hadn't bothered to come and visit Endora sooner.

 

"I thought she needed time to deal with her mother's death and to bond with her new family. Eve, she is a young child. I didn't think all these changes at once would be beneficial to her mental health or emotionally for that matter."

 

Eve stared at the man in front of her. Was Julian giving her parenting advice? Who was this man? Though she had to admit to herself only, his sensitivity towards Endora touched her. For a moment it was like having back the Julian she'd once loved.

 

Allowing Eve to process his sincerity, Julian decided to put his plan into action. "I was wondering if we could meet at Kathleen's house so as to keep down the ugliness between myself and that brute you married?"

 

"He is not a brute."

 

"A man who uses his fists to settle disagreements is a brute- - no, no," Julian stated when Eve was about to argue with his comment. "I came to see my daughter. I will be waiting for you at Kathleen's." Looking at his watch, as he stepped away from the door, he said, "I'll see you both in twenty minutes." Before Eve could get a word in edgewise, Julian had taken off.

 

What in the world had just happened?

 

"Honey, who was at the door?" TC asked.

 

Walking back into the house, Eve closed the door. "A salesman."

 

"Oh. Okay. Well, I better get out of here," he said, walking up to her. "Have I told you how much I enjoy you being home?"

 

"Yes, you have." On numerous occasions. How did he think they could keep the lifestyle they had if she quit her job to be a stay-at-home wife and mother? Did he forget he was a teacher and a coach? Did he even look at his paychecks or did he just deposit them knowing she would take care of everything else?

 

"I love you, honey." He kissed her cheek, grabbed his coat, and headed out the door.

 

"TC?"

 

"Yes?"

 

"Aren't you forgetting something?"

 

TC did a mental checklist, but nothing came to mind.

 

"Endora?"

 

"Eve, she doesn't like me."

 

What was he, two? "TC, she's a toddler who has just lost her mother and now is living in a new house with a new family. You're the first father figure in her life. Give her some time, she'll warm up to you."

 

"The girls weren't like this," TC reminded her.

 

"That's because you were there from day one. They remembered your voice from the womb. Endora hasn't had that advantage- -"

 

"She likes Sam."

 

"Because she doesn't see him every day." Why did he have to act like such a child? "I'm not asking you to hug and kiss her. I just want you to treat her like a human being and say goodbye to her. That's it."

 

Noticing his wife's rising temper which she rarely displayed, he decided to do as she asked. Though he had noticed her temper showing through more and more since this kid had come to live with them. He knew this hadn't been a good idea from the beginning. This kid was coming between them. "Goodbye, Endora."

 

The toddler sat on the floor in the dining room, happily playing with her doll.

 

"Endora?" Eve called out.

 

Turning towards Eve, Endora looked up at her new mother. "Yes?"

 

"Daddy TC said 'goodbye' to you. Didn't you hear him?" Eve asked, knowing Endora had heard him.

 

Endora stared blankly at Eve.

 

Eve wanted to scream. Her angelpie had the stubbornness of Simone, TC, and Julian in her pinky finger and it drove her batty sometimes. If she was like this at two, God help them when she was fifteen. Giving up on the did you hear him fight, Eve continued on. "What do you say back to him?"

 

"Bye," Endora said dismissively, then with a flip of her curly hair went back to playing with her doll.

 

If that wasn't pure Julian Crane, she didn't know what was.

 

"See Eve," TC complained, walking outside. "She doesn't like me. And the way she looks at me. Your `angelpie' should be called Damien- -"

 

"TC! Don't you dare talk that way about that precious little girl. Remember how you felt when your dad died? Now imagine being two when it happened and then tell me how you'd feel and act," Eve reprimanded him angrily. "Is she stubborn? Yes. Can she be difficult? Yes. But dammit, TC, you're the adult in this relationship with Angelpie and you need to start acting like it." Eve raced into the house and slammed the door behind her.

 

Damn that little girl, TC thought, climbing into his truck. Endora Lenox was not going to break up his happy home. Maybe he should talk to Grace, she loved children and with only Jessie-poo and Charity in the home, she would be delighted to have another child to occupy her. Yeah, he would have to call her and have lunch with her.

 

Julian came out from his hiding place at the side of the Russell home and smiled brightly. His new little one was doing him proud. Her Crane genes were kicking in and she sensed and knew that TC was no good for their Eve. Now it was only a matter of time before Eve was his again.

 

Eve was astounded. Julian Crane once again surprised her. She had wanted to introduce Julian to Endora, but he refused. He said he didn't want to be introduced as her father; just as a friend. She wanted to question his reasoning, but she didn't and let it go. After playing dolls with Endora for a while, Julian asked her to follow him into the kitchen, where he explained with Daddy TC being so new into her life, the toddler didn't need a Daddy Julian also. Her admiration for him shot up a million degrees when he explained his reasoning. She was slightly concerned that he was pulling one over on her, but she saw the sincerity in his eyes. Her Julian was staring right back at her.

 

Retuning with snacks, they ate the crackers, cheese, and apple juice happily then played some more. She hadn't been on the floor playing with dolls since Jess and Simone were little. She missed this feeling. Though she was still shocked to look up and see Julian next to her playing with a Barbie. She couldn't imagine he was like this with Ivy's children. Her question must have been apparent because the next thing she knew he was answering her.

 

"My first time in parenthood land, I failed. My son died."

 

Eve felt the tears roll down her cheek.

 

"I failed him and his mother, the woman I loved with all my heart and soul, but I was too stupid, greedy and a creature of habit to know any better. My second time around I closed myself off, I didn't deserve to be a father again when I had fell so miserably the first time. Fox, Fancy, Cassie, they were all much better off in boarding school. Ethan probably would have been too, if I could have pried Ivy's hands off of him. And this third time, it's being forced on me. All of my foolish mistakes, due to my drinking have come home to roost. Out of me and Theresa, a judge found me, with no Crane strings pulled, the better parent for Ethan-Martin. What an odd world we live in? And now with this situation, once again I'm all she has left. But with Ethan-Martin and Endora, I'm not afraid. I see this as a chance to do all the things for them that I couldn't do for our son."

 

"Oh, Julian," Eve cried.

 

Opening his arms to comfort her, Endora jumped in his way and threw her arms around Eve.

 

"No cry," the toddler begged.

 

He was going to have to work on her timing.

 

Wrapping her arms around her newest daughter, Eve sniffled and composed herself. "Thank you so much, Angelpie."

 

Angelpie, Julian snorted quietly. He had seen his daughter in action this afternoon and the last thing she was was an angel. But once again his lovely Eve could look beyond the Crane temperament and see an angel. Eve Johnson was a remarkable woman.

 

"I apologize, but I must leave in order to pick Ethan-Martin from school. But I have a gift for Miss Endora."

 

Eve hoped Julian didn't think he could win Endora's affection and love with gifts, regardless of the price tag.

 

Reaching behind the sofa, Julian pulled out a bag and took out three dolls.

 

"Julian," Eve cried, "they're beautiful. Simply beautiful."

 

"Mommy," Endora screamed and ran into Julian's arms, hugging Julian and the dolls.

 

Eve cried openly at the thoughtfulness of Julian's gift, three replicas of Endora's first family, Tabitha, Timmy, and Endora herself. It was just what the little girl needed. Watching him hold his daughter in his arms, Eve marveled at the Julian Crane she had once loved sitting before her once again. The walls she had built against him were slowly crumbling.

Chapter 7 by yhh
Author's Notes:

I apologize for the erratric postings of this story.  I'll try and do better.  Have the best weekend ever!

"Come in," Eve called out, trying to catch up on her emails that had been sent while she was on maternity leave. Looking up from the computer, Eve saw no one so she stood and much to her surprise she saw Endora. "Angelpie, how did you get here?" Walking around her desk, she swept the little girl into her arms and showered her with kisses much to the delight of Endora.

 

With sushi in hand, Ethan-Martin walked through the door. "Hi, Auntie Evie."

 

"Ethan-Martin, hi sweetie," Eve greeted her newest visitor with a big hug and a kiss.   "What do you have there?"

 

"Susi," he replied.

 

"Sushi, sweetie. It's called sushi," Eve laughed.

 

Nodding his head, Ethan-Martin agreed with his honorary great-aunt. "Susi, like I said."

 

A Crane through and through with Theresa's stubbornness thrown in to boot. "Who brought you here?"

 

"Daddy," he responded, as if the answer was painfully obvious.

 

"Did someone call for me?" Julian asked, walking into Eve's office with a wicker picnic basket. "Good afternoon, Dr. Johnson."

 

"Dr. Russell, as you well know. And what are you all doing here?"

 

"We came to bring you lunch."

 

"That's so sweet, but- -"

 

"You haven't eaten yet, the dumpy, unattractive nurse informed us to the fact."

 

"Jul- -" Why bother trying to reprimand him? Some things about him would never change and although she hated to admit it, he was right; that particular nurse had a face only a mother could love. "I would love to have lunch with you guys." Clearing space at the table in her office, she helped Ethan-Martin into his seat.

 

Pulling out her chair, Julian assisted her and placed Endora on her lap.

 

"Thank you, sir," she said.

 

"My pleasure," he whispered in her ear, sending shivers down her spine.

 

Trying desperately to distract herself, she turned to Ethan-Martin. "What treats did you bring for lunch?"

 

"None," Julian answered. "I'm working on my son's taste in foods. He wanted to bring peanut butter and jelly and those greasy, disgusting things called potato chips. How did the FDA ever approve those things?"

 

Eve watched Julian unload caviar, foie de gris, and other items out of the basket. "Julian, what are the kids supposed to eat?"

 

"This food. Eve, darling, if you don't teach them culture now, they'll never learn it and end up like TC." He couldn't help adding that last part.

 

"Julian," she warned.

 

He grinned at her. "Besides the children love caviar."

 

She raised an eyebrow.

 

"I do, Auntie Evie," Ethan-Martin assured her. Holding out his hand, his father handed him a slice of French bread.

 

Eve stared in amazement as Ethan-Martin spread a healthy dose of caviar on the bread and gave it to Endora.

 

"Tank you," Endora said.

 

"You're welcome, Dor," he answered, getting another piece of bread and repeating the process.

 

As the children happily ate their bread and caviar, Julian smiled triumphantly. "Shall we eat?"

 

Nodding Eve dug in. The last time she ate like this was when she had been with Julian. She had once tried to create new memories with these delicacies that she had learned to love with TC, but he had literally gotten sick to his stomach when she told him exactly what he was eating. That had been the first and last time she'd attempted to feed TC anything he couldn't easily and instantly identify.

 

"Do you remember the last time we ate like this?" he asked as the children left the table to play.

 

She nodded. She could instantly remember, the night before it occurred to her that she might be pregnant. They lounged in bed, laughing and talking, and just enjoying being with each other. He had truly been her best friend and closest confidante. With him by her side, she had felt powerful, like nothing could touch her. She'd been upset when he made her get off of him so he could go to the kitchen, but when he came back with the caviar and champagne all had been forgiven. And it wasn't so much the food as it was the fact that he fed it to her and followed each feeding with a kiss that became more and more heated. And finally, the caviar would end up places other than her mouth.

 

When she had left, she found herself craving caviar. Her son had loved the taste, but it was difficult to buy on her waitress salary once she left Boston for the anonymous New York City to get away from Julian. Every once in a while she would spend money she couldn't afford to splurge and treat herself. But the treat always led to memories of him and to a night full of erotic dreams and never ending tears.

 

"I never ate caviar again after that night. It seemed wrong, sacrilegious even, to enjoy it when you weren't by my side to partake of it also," Julian informed her, holding out a cracker spread with caviar.

 

Gazing into his eyes, Eve was transported to a time when life was simpler, when it was just her and Julian. She opened her mouth and gently bit into the cracker, nipping his finger in the process.

 

Feeling her lips on him, Julian worked overtime to suppress his moan. He couldn't afford to startle her or scare her off. He closed his eyes and let the sensation run through his body. He was in heaven as he finished feeding her the caviar. How could he have ever given this up? She touched him in ways no one ever had or ever would. Slowly opening his eyes, he saw that Eve was as lost in the sensuous haze as he was as he dipped his finger in the caviar and fed it to Eve.

 

Ever so slowly, Eve sucked the Bulgarian dipped finger into her mouth and swirled her tongue around it, getting every little drop and taste of it and him that she could possibly get. She shouldn't be doing this. She was playing a very dangerous game by encouraging Julian. But over the last two months, she felt her defenses crumbling as the man she always imagined Julian could and would be emerged. He was attentive and loving towards Ethan-Martin and Endora. He never made them feel less than important, yet at the same time he always made sure she was right there next to him and with him. They felt like a family. This was the family she could have had. This was what she'd dreamt about when she was pregnant with their son. This was- -

 

"Mama, Daddy hurt?" Endora asked, staring at her father's finger in her mother's mouth.

 

Quickly removing Julian's finger from her mouth, Eve left the passionate moment with Julian and returned to the present. "Uh- -"

 

He thought he had worked on this kid's timing. It was atrocious. Seeing the fear and panic rising in Eve's eyes, he knew it was time to retreat. "Yes, Daddy hurt himself, but now I'm all better. So let's clean up and then we can go to the park."

 

"Yippee!" Ethan-Martin yelled, scrambling to the table to help clean-up.

 

Distancing herself, Eve walked back to her desk, leaving the kids and Julian at the table. She couldn't let herself be sucked back into Julian's web. She was free. And that freedom had cost her, her son. She wasn't going to allow herself to get caught again. She- - Wait did- - Eve looked up to find Julian staring at her.

 

She saw the question in his eyes. Did Endora call him daddy? They still hadn't explained Julian's connection to the toddler yet. Should they risk it and ask? Julian gave her his tentative approval. "Angelpie?"

 

The curly head toddler turned to her mother.

 

"Did you call Mr. Julian, Daddy?"

 

"Of course," Ethan-Martin answered. "She's my sister, like Fancy and Cassie."

 

"Who told you that?"

 

Exasperated, the young boy looked at the two puzzled adults and put them out of their misery. "No one. We've got the same noses and eyes as Daddy," he declared and went back to playing.

 

Julian took a closer look at his daughter and saw what his youngest son was talking about. They all indeed did have the same nose and shape of eyes. He grinned, catching Eve's gaze.

 

Eve shrugged. Out of the mouths of babes.

Chapter 8 by yhh
Author's Notes:

2 months from today, we'll be almost finished with Christmas Day.  :(

"Auntie, Maria and Dora aren't sleeping, but they are lying down quietly in bed," Kay informed Eve as she sat the baby monitor next to Eve's mug on the coffee table.


"Got it," Eve said absentmindedly, as she organized papers in front of her.


"Are you sure you don't want to come with us?"


Taking a break, Eve looked up at her niece. "Thanks, sweetie, but I think I'll pass on seeing a movie with the four of you. I'm happy to stay at home and watch Angelpie and Marebell."


"Aren't you going to be lonely with Uncle TC out with Dad and Luis for boys' night and Mom helping Charity finishing packing?"


"Do you get lonely when Maria is finally asleep and you have time to actually get things done?"


Kay shrugged her shoulders. "Sometimes."


She stared at this young woman who was thrust into adulthood much too soon due to poor choices. Sometimes Kathleen reminded her so much of herself, minus the manipulation and lies.  She would do whatever she could to help Kay. "Well, when you are, call me or come over. I'll be happy to keep you company."


"Auntie, you're busy with the hospital and now with Dora- -"


"Kathleen, I'm never too busy for you. I love you. And I'm always available when you need me or you just want to chat. Have you been keeping up your lunches with your Mom?"


Finding a sudden fascination with the rug, Kay lowered her head. "Yes," she mumbled.


"How is it going?"


"It's going."


"You can give me a better answer than that."


"I don't know. She's just so- - so- -"


"Human, non-perfect. Doesn't have all the answers."


Kay nodded.


"Welcome to another part of adulthood, when you discover your parents are human and make mistakes and can hurt you without meaning to."


"It sucks."


"Yes, it does."


"When did you discover your parents weren't perfect?" Kay asked innocently.


Eve paused. When did she discover when her parents weren't perfect? She felt like she had always known that, but when did she discover her parents' love had conditions on it? Maybe she always deep down knew that, too. "When I told them I wanted to pursue my dreams."


"They didn't want you to become a doctor?" Kay said shocked.


The lies. They were everywhere. And always caught her at the most unexpected moments. With practiced and well-learned ease, she began to add another lie to her house of lies.


"Kay, let's go," Simone interrupted. "Fox is here."


"Fox?"


"Yes, he was dropping off Resa and decided to tag along."


"Aunt Evie, can we finish this discussion later?"


Eve nodded.


Looking from her Mom to her best friend, Simone wondered what she walked in on. It seemed very heavy and deep.


"Do you girls have enough money?" Eve asked, thankful that Simone saved her from lying again.


"Yes, Mom. We all have money. Come on, Kay. I want to catch the trailers," Simone commanded, heading back out the door. "Don't have too much fun without us, Mom."


"I won't," Eve replied, walking Kay to the door. "I'm proud of you Kathleen. You made some poor decisions that led to you making some choices you never thought you would ever have to make, but you're doing the best you can and giving it all you've got and I admire you for that."


Finishing buttoning her coat, Kay turned to her aunt and hugged her. "Thanks," she answered, hoping she conveyed how deeply touched she was by her aunt's words and her vote of confidence.


"Have fun," Eve said, watching Kay catch up with Simone and get into Fox's Escalade. She waved to the kids and stayed on the porch until the headlights were no longer visible.


Going back inside the house, she decided to look through the box of pictures she found in Angelpie's bedroom. Making herself comfortable on the sofa, Eve grabbed the box and began looking through the photos which seemed to be of one costume ball after another based on the way Timmy and Tabitha were dressed, yet they didn't seem to age in any of the photos. Why wasn't she surprised by that? There was just something about Tabitha and Timmy that struck her as odd and oddness and strange occurrences seemed to cling to them and follow them like a black cat or bad luck from a broken mirror. And why was Timmy in all of these pictures, yet it took him years before he came to Harmony? Maybe he enjoyed where he was living before he moved here, where ever that was, but he obviously saw Tabitha on a regular basis. Though she couldn't remember Tabitha taking any vacations over the years the older woman lived down the street from her. Hmmm. Strange indeed.


Eve continued to look at the pictures, amazed by the outfits, and the detail paid attention to make it seem like Tabitha and Timmy were from that certain time period. Then she came across a picture of a hospital which looked vaguely familiar to her. The next photograph was of her.


A young her. A young pregnant, sleeping her. How in the world did Tabitha get this picture? And how was it taken? When was it taken? Trying not to panic, she dove for the phone and quickly dialed a number she knew by heart but had never used before.


"Why does she have a picture of me? I don't understand this, Julian. No one knew where I was. No one knew what hospital," Eve said, pacing the floor.


So true. He had hired the best private investigators and they hadn't been able to turn up one credible lead of his pregnant, teenage lover. How did Tabitha have pictures of Eve? Was his father somehow involved? But why would Tabitha have any dealings with Alistair? He would have to go through Alistair's files again with a fine-toothed comb and investigate. "I'm not sure at the moment how and why Tabitha had pictures of you, but I will get to the bottom of this. Trust me."


She did with all of her heart even though she didn't want to. She would without a second thought place her life in his hands. Maybe it was time to trust him with a deepest secret and concern. "Start the search."


Julian paused and stared up at her from the pictures. "Are you positive?"


"I never took any pictures of myself when I was pregnant and there in your hands are pictures of me with our son living inside me. I'm taking that as a sign. Along with that precious little baby upstairs who has brought us together again, given us a second chance at parenthood. That is a sign. A sign from our son. We need to find him. We need to find out what happened to him."


He nodded. He didn't necessarily agree that these things were signs, but he wouldn't dare say so out loud. Whatever got her to agree to give him the go-ahead to start the search was fine by him.

Chapter 9 by yhh
Author's Notes:

Sorry I'm posting so irregularly.  I'll post two chapters today since it's so sparodic.  Have the best weekend ever!

"Where are we going again?" Eve asked as she pulled her coat tighter against her as the wind blew fiercer.

 

"To see a man, to help us find our son," Julian answered, walking across the deck of the boat to wrap his scarf around the shivering Eve.

 

"Who is this man?" She had had almost enough of Julian's cloak and dagger behavior.

 

"You'll find out when we get there."

 

"Julian," she warned, raising her voice.

 

"Eve, just because my father is in a coma doesn't mean he'll stay that way or that his spies aren't still out there gathering infor-mation for him or that he truly isn't fooling us all- -"

 

"He's not fooling us. I check on him every day and the amount of stimuli it takes for him to respond to in a natural and instinctual way can not be faked- -"

 

"You have no idea the types of people my father knows."

 

"You're right and I don't want to. But trust me, he's in a deep coma and the longer he stays in his current state the less likely it will be for him to recover."

 

Julian nodded. He knew Eve wasn't being naïve, her innocent mind couldn't even begin to handle or imagine the depths of his father's depravity and those of the people he knew.

 

As the boat pulled into the dock, he escorted Eve off and towards the home.

 

"He lives on his own island?" she asked, hoping she kept her starry-eyedness out of her voice. She held on to Julian so she could take in the outer grandeur of the mansion and its landscape.

 

"Yes, he likes his privacy and his mother is a lot like Father so this island keeps their disagreements away from the public."

 

Why did these rich families have such issues? Couldn't they disown their children like her parents did her, instead of keeping the hatred alive and burning for years? Maybe the hatred and meanness were the only things that kept men like Alistair alive. How sad if that was true.

 

Stopping at the front door, Julian turned to Eve and gazed into her eyes. "Are you ready?"

 

"Of course."

 

"Eve, think about this very carefully because darling, once we walk through these doors, life as you know it, as we know it, will change forever."

 

His concern for her touched her. "You're that positive that this man will find our son?"

 

"Yes," he answered confidently.

 

If Julian had this much confidence in this man, then she would soon know where her son was, possibly holding him in her arms.

 

He hated to do this, but he had to make sure she was sure. "TC will never understand this. He will never accept our son."

 

Taking a step back from Julian, she fought the urge to slap him. He always did this reeled her in, made her forget who he was, and then painfully reminded her. How did she ever forget that she was dealing with the Julian Crane? "You have no idea what TC will or won't accept. Unlike you, my husband truly loves me- -"

 

She could say and do many things to him, but doubt his love was not one of them. "If you're so assured of his love then why haven't you told him I am Endora's father? If you thought your children would be so accepting, why haven't you told them? It's because you know you live in a house full of sanctimonious people and you fear their judgment and that they will cast you out of their lives like your parents did- -"

 

"Don't you dare bring my parents into this. And my children and TC would never- -"

 

"Why is Kathleen the only person in your life that knows the truth? Because you see yourself in her, though you weren't as dumb or as manipulative as her, but you see yourself in her."

 

Breathing deeply, Eve tried to block his words from her head. He was lying. TC loved her. She was his dream woman. He would understand. The girls would forgive her for the lies. They all would. They were a strong family. They loved each other. But deep, deep in her subconscious, her mind knew that Julian was speaking the truth.

 

"I love you, Eve Johnson, with all that I am. And before we walk through these doors I want you to be 100% sure you can handle the fallout of what we find out. If you can't, then we'll get back on the boat, return to Harmony and never mention any of this again."

 

Only Julian had the power to take her from anger to ecstasy in seconds. His thoughtfulness amazed her. Taking his hand in hers, she nodded. "Right now, our son is the most important thing in my life. Damn the consequences, we'll worry about them later," she told him sincerely.

 

We, she said, we. There was hope for them, he thought, as he rang the doorbell.

 

"Mr. Crane, it's good to see you. Dr. Johnson, pleased to meet you. Please come in; Mr. Cassadine is waiting for you," Mrs. Landsbury, the gray haired maid, greeted the two.

 


 

His green eyes were bewitching and mesmerizing. They revealed his intelligence, his empathy and compassion, and a hidden passion that she was sure knew no bounds. Looking covertly at the refined Stefan Cassadine reminded her of Julian. She could see why they were friends. They both carried the aura of power, wealth and prestige well. Though she couldn't imagine a woman bringing Stefan to his knees as Julian said she did to him. But she never would have said that about Julian either. The amount their eyes had seen, revealed, and concealed would probably astound her.

 

"Dr. Russell, Julian has apprised me of your situation and I promise you I will do my utmost to make everything as problem-free as possible," Stefan assured her.

 

Tuning in to Stefan's assurance in time to catch what he was saying, Eve nodded. "I thank you for that, but more important to me than the ramification is finding my son. I want him with me."

 

Stefan nodded. "I will do my best to have him in your arms as soon as possible."

 

Seeing the truth in his eyes, Eve believed he would and could.

 

"I will also see what I can discover about Tabitha and Timmy Lenox for Endora's sake."

 

"Thank you, my good friend," Julian said.

 

"Yes, thank you. I, we, want Endora to know as much as she possibly can about her maternal birth family," Eve added.

 

Observing Eve throughout their meeting, Stefan agreed with Julian's assessment and description of her. As always Julian was a keen observer of people. He could see why Julian was still besotted with her after all these years. "It takes a strong, compassionate woman to raise another's child."

 

Though his tone of voice and mannerism were neutral, Eve sensed, knew that Julian's friend was referring to her raising the child of her former lover's with another woman. Gazing into his eyes, she also saw that he believed her to still be in love with Julian. How was that possible? Was she radiating with love for Julian? She knew Julian was for her. How could this astute man believe that when she herself wasn't sure of her feelings for Julian? Those were questions to ponder at a later time; for now she would answer Stefan's question as he asked it. "A child is innocent of their parents' wrongdoings and deserves to be loved for the precious human being he or she is."

 

Admiration flashed in Stefan's eyes. "I believe the same, Dr. Russell."

 

She would have to remember to ask Julian about Stefan's past. He felt strongly towards children, she wondered if he had any. She didn't notice a ring on his finger or evidence one had been there recently.

 

"Thank you again, Stefan for your help; unfortunately, we must go and rescue Kathleen from Ethan-Martin and Endora," Julian informed their host, rising and helping Eve to her feet.

 

"My pleasure. I will call you as soon as I have any information," Stefan said, ushering them to the door.

 

"I know you will. And I look forward to having you and Nikolas for a visit next month, regardless of our current business."

 

"I can not speak for Nikolas, but I look forward to visiting with you again. Will you be in attendance, too, Dr. Russell?"

 

"Umm," Eve said, desperately looking to Julian for help.

 

Julian just smirked at her.

 

Infuriating man, she thought.

 

"Well, I hope you can make it." Assisting her on to the boat and shaking Julian's hand, Stefan stepped back onto the dock and gave them one final wave.

 

Eve watched as the mansion, Stefan, and Spoon Island became smaller and smaller, while her dream of holding her son again grew larger and larger.

Chapter 10 by yhh
Author's Notes:

Okay, here's another one.  Have a good weekend.

Eve walked in the front door, glad to finally be home. Her day at the office had been out of this world. Taking off her coat and slipping off her shoes, she hurried over to the sofa to rest before she started dinner. She laid her head back on the sofa then instantly sat up. Where was Endora? Where was her Angelpie? Every evening since she went back to work Angelpie would greet her at the door with her Mommy and Timmy dolls. Looking around the room, she noticed the dining room table was set for two with flickering candles. She also noticed the dim lighting. Crap, TC had planned a night of seduction. The last thing she wanted or needed tonight.

 

"Good evening, honey," TC greeted her, walking over to the sofa and handing her a glass of wine.

 

"Thank you. Good evening to you, too. Where are the girls?" she asked, no use in delaying the inevitable fight.

 

"Sugar Bear and Jessie-pie are working on a school project. Whit is with Resa. And Kay offered to watch Endora."

 

"Did she offer or did you ask?"

 

TC shrugged. "I don't remember. It's not important. What is important is us spending some time alone."

 

Eve sighed. He just didn't get it.

 

"Okay, what's wrong?"

 

She thought about lying, but why bother- -her frustration wasn't going to dissipate any time soon. "What's wrong is that you don't get it. How can you send Endora to spend the night with Kay when she is not completely bonded to us?"

 

"Oh, please, she's been here for over three months and I'm sick of walking around on egg shells around her. You say treat her like she's one of our daughters, well, when Whit and Sim were three- months-old we had spent a night away from them and the world didn't end and it won't end for her," TC spat, getting up from the sofa and slamming his wine glass on the table.

 

"They hadn't just lost their mother- -"

 

"How long is that going to be used as an excuse to allow that child's out of control behavior?"

 

"She's not that child. Her name is Endora. And I'm sorry her grieving for the loss of her mother and home is an inconvenience to you and your life."

 

Realizing how insensitive he sounded, TC quickly tried to make amends. "I didn't mean it that way. I'm just frustrated. She hates me. We never spend any time together. Between Whitney, Simone, the hospital, and now Endora, I never see you. When was the last time we were alone together? When was the last time we laid in bed together and held each other? This isn't about sex, though that would be really nice, but I just miss my wife."

 

She could see TC was being sincere, but how could he be so insensitive to a baby's needs? Hearing the stories over the years from Sam and himself, she knew it had taken TC years to properly deal with his dad's untimely death, yet he expected Endora to just get over Tabitha and her grief within a month or two. But pointing this out to TC would do nothing but fan the flames further and she didn't want that, not tonight. All she had wanted since lunch time was to order some pizza and veg on the couch with Angelpie in her arms and her pookies next to her. But obviously that wasn't going to happen tonight. "TC, I'm- -" no she wasn't going to apologize to him. "I know it's been a tough adjustment for you, the girls, me, and Endora. None of us could have expected our lives to turn out like this. I was looking forward to having you to myself again in two years when Simone went off to college and now we have another fifteen-and-a-half years before we'll be alone. I wasn't sure how I would feel with a baby in our home again, but I love it. I've missed having little arms wrap around me and butterfly kisses. I've been thinking maybe Endora deserves to have a sibling running around here her own age."

 

A big grin spread across TC's face. Now she was talking. Maybe a new baby would help Endora be less high maintenance and if they didn't succeed in making one then they could have a lot of fun trying. "I'm all for that," TC agreed, moving back towards his wife with a glint in his eye.

 

"No, TC, not like that. That particular train has left the station. I meant adopting a little brother or sister."

 

TC froze. She was back to the adoption thing again. He thought he had tabled this discussion after her failure to get pregnant after Simone was born. He couldn't raise another man's child. And he wasn't going to apologize for that fact. The only reason he had allowed Endora to move in with them was because she had no place else to go because if she had a father TC would have made sure that man came and got his daughter. "Eve, you know how I feel about this."

 

"I know, but that was then and this is now. Almost two decades have passed since we discussed this last."

 

TC shook his head as he walked to the table and blew out the candles. His evening of seduction and love making had officially been killed. He wondered if Sam was still at the station; maybe he could go hang out there with him for a while. "Time may have passed, but I'm still the same guy. And I don't want to raise someone else's child. If it's not a little TC or Eve, I don't want to have any part of the kid. Sorry Eve, but that's not going to change."

 

Eve felt the tears well up in her eyes; she fought hard to keep them back. He couldn't mean what he was saying. She prayed to God not. What would this mean for her son? Her son with Julian of all people. No. No. She had to try again make him see reason. "What if I had a child before we got together?"

 

TC laughed. Eve, his proper, rule abiding wife, having a child out of wedlock, what a joke.

 

"It's not- - it wasn't beyond the realm of possibilities, TC," she said, angrily.

 

"Honey, I'm not trying to upset you. I didn't mean to laugh, but the idea of you, Miss "I can't make an illegal u-turn" having an illegitimate child is funny. You have to admit that."

 

Now she really wanted to cry. That's how her husband saw her. A woman who followed the rules, made sure every "i" was dotted and every "t" was crossed. She had done such a good job lying and distancing herself from her past, the man she loved and trusted most in the world got the biggest kick out of imagining her as she really had been. Damn. Julian was right. Finding her son could quite possibly cost her her second family. She couldn't let that happen. "Say I did have a son, would you have still married me?"

 

Seeing this was for some reason important to her, TC answered honestly. "I don't know. I would like to think I would have, but I'm not sure. I'm not sure I would have even dated you if you had had a kid."

 

There was the blinding truth. "Why? Are you saying no man will marry Kay or Resa?"

 

"No, I'm not saying that. Out there are some great men and I know my girls will find them. But it's hard as a man, day in and day out, to look at and raise living proof of the other man your wife had slept with."

 

"But it was in the past?"

 

TC shrugged. "I know, but the kid would be evidence that your woman had a sex life before you."

 

"But it's okay for the man to have one? I would have dated you if you had a kid."

 

"That's why you women are so great. You're much more compassionate, loving, forgiving. Men aren't. That's why we're from Venus and you're from Mars. Or is it the other way around?"

 

Staring at the man she had been married to for so long she didn't know what to say. But in her heart, she knew her days of being married were numbered. And strangely enough it didn't break her heart the way it would have had Julian not come back into her life.

Chapter 11 by yhh
Author's Notes:

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and prosperous Black Friday.  Sorry my posting has been so erratic.  The month of November has just been INSANE!  It's going down in the history books for our family.  I hope you enjoy this latest chapter!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

 

"Are you sure you can watch all three by yourself?" Kay asked again, as she adjusted her suit one last time.

"Leave it alone. You look very professional and beautiful," Eve informed her. "And yes, I can handle the three of them. I watched you, Noah, Jessie, Whit, and Sime all by myself when your mom was busy so I think Marebelle, Angelpie, and EM will be no problem."

"Yeah, but you were much younger then." Letting her tongue run faster than her brain, Kay realized what she said. "Oh, Auntie- -"

Eve laughed. "I maybe older, but I'm also wiser. We'll be fine. Are you sure you want this job?"

Kay nodded. "I think it's right up my alley. I get in the temp pool at Crane Industries and Fox assured me the temps work all over the office so I'll get to see all the different aspects of the company. And when a position opens up in a certain department, I can say yay or nay. And after a year of employment, they pay for you to take college classes and even consider your class hours as part of your regular working hours. So I'll be learning on the job and in a classroom and getting paid for both."

Kay had really thought this out. The little baby girl that had made her ache to have another one was all grown up.

"My mom thought it sounded like a great idea, plus I have the added bonus of never getting bored."

"She's right, you won't. Now get out of here and knock 'em dead."

"You and the kids- -"

"Get out already. Wait," Eve called out as Kay opened the door, "take my car- -"

Kay's eyes widened. "The Jag?"

"Yes, the Jag. The smooth ride will keep you in the positive mood."

Not wanting her aunt to change her mind, Kay ran back grabbed the keys, kissed her aunt, and ran out of the house.

Eve smiled and sent up a prayer that her niece got the job and didn't wreck her precious Jag. Now what to do with three children under five; Kay had been right. It had been a long time since she had to keep so many little ones occupied and out of trouble. The park. The perfect place to keep them busy. "Ethan-Martin, Maria, Endora, let's go to the park," she announced, walking to the kitchen to prepare some snacks.


"EM, you have to watch out for your sister and your cousin, okay," Eve told the older boy.

"Yes, Auntie Evie," he replied before running back to the jungle gym.

This had been a good idea. She sat a little ways away from the stay-at-home moms and the nannies and found a quiet little bench to enjoy her solitude, catch up on her medical journals, and watch the kids all at the same time. This was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. Maybe she would take them to McD's for dinner; she'd call the girls and have them meet them there.

"Are these private musings or can anyone join in?" Julian whispered over her shoulder, sending goosebumps down her back.

"No, please have a seat," she offered, moving her things out of the way. "How did you find us?"

"I thought to myself if I was a beautiful woman with legs that never ended, full breasts, luscious lips begging to be kissed," he paused to see if she was with him and by the look in her eyes he knew he had her, "with three kids to occupy for the afternoon, where would I go? The zoo was my first choice, but security couldn't find you- -"

"You had security search for us?"

"Well of course, how else was I to know if you were at the zoo or not?"

Eve grinned. "Of course, Mr. Crane."

"The park was my second guess."

"Good second guess."

"I thought so."

"But what brings you by? Did you need something? Did Stefan call?"

"No to your last two questions. I was sitting in my office wondering why the Chairman of the Board was sitting behind a desk when I could be outside enjoying the sunshine with a beautiful woman by my side, watching my youngest children play happily," he answered, taking her hands in his as he moved closer to her ending right next to her.

Eve blushed. "It must be nice to have such power."

Julian laughed. He loved her attempts to distance herself from him, from their love. As time progressed, they became weaker and weaker. "Oh, really Eve, is that the best you can come up with? You Dr. Johnson, I've seen you wield your power at the hospital. Don't play coy with me."

"It is fun at times," she smiled.

"That it is. And more than fun, it allows me the opportunity to do things like this." He pulled her face closer to his and kissed her softly at first, then as he felt her token resistance drop, he parted her lips with his tongue.


"My mom has got to be somewhere around here.  SHe wouldn't sit too far away from the kids," Whitney said, searching for her mohter in the sea of mothers, nannies, and au pairs.

"Yeah, she should- -" Fox paused, zeroing in on his father and Dr. Russell locked in a passionate gaze. He knew. He knew something was going on between the two of them. As much as he wanted to savor this moment and rub it in his father's face, he couldn't let Whitney see them. This would devastate her. "Maybe she went to the restroom, why don't you go look while I look around here?" he suggested, hoping he sounded normal.

"I don't think she would have- - oh my- - Fox, please, please tell me that your dad knows another black woman with a haircut similar to my mom's."

Damn he failed. "He knows tons, so let's keep searching for your mom." He hoped she would go along with the lie, but judging by the look on her face he had no such luck.

"How could she? How could she do this to my dad? To our family? When did my mom become Julian Crane's whore?"

Time for damage control and quick. "Whitney," he said, turning her away from their oblivious parents. "We don't know what's going on."

"Yeah, maybe they're giving each other CPR," Whitney said sarcastically.

"Or maybe those two people aren't our parents at all," he tried lamely.

Whitney rolled her eyes as tears streamed down her face. Why would her mother- - how could she- - unless- - unless. She shook her head; she couldn't deal with this now. "Fox, take me away from here."

Looking for any way to help, he grabbed her hand and raced her to the car.


Slowly and with much regret, Eve pulled away from Julian.  Resting her forehead against his shoulder, she shook her head.  "This is wrong.  we can't do this.  I'm married."

"But you love me," Julian declared.

"No, Julian, I'm sorry, but I don't love you. I love my husband. I love TC Russell. I'm very proud to be Mrs. Thorton Chandler Russell. I will never, never be Mrs. Julian Linus Crane," she said heatedly. Gathering up her belongings, she ran away from Julian as fast as she could, hoping to outrun her feelings for him and her growing lack of feelings for her husband.

He started after her, but decided against it as he sat on the bench and watched her and the children leave.


 

"Did you hear that, Kay?  I told you nothing was going on between my mom and Mr. Crane.  Mom just confirmed it.  He's been bothering her," Simone said, sounding more confident than she felt, from behind the tree near Julian.

Kay saw what her Aunt Eve had said, but her body language and her eyes said something completely different. Her Aunt Eve was feelin' Mr. Crane, but for Simone's sake, she wouldn't say so out loud. "You were right; I was wrong. Now let's go before Aunt Eve starts wondering where I am in her car."

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