This part starts out on one of Theresa and Fox's dates. Whitney too decides to go out and so do Ethan and Gwen. There is jealousy abound. Soon, too, is a deal reached for Kay? And Jessica, Noah, and Paloma, they too find Harmony changing for them. Tabitha sees what Alistair means by wanting to help and Pilar finds out Martin's fate, so does Alistair. Now on with this chapter.

Chapter 5

It was a hopping night at the Blue Note. Fox has decided to treat his girlfriend of several months, Theresa, to a night of fun and dancing. They arrive and take a booth near the stage. Looking around after giving the waitress their drink order, Fox spots several people.

Two people in particular he doesn't want Theresa to notice or for them to notice Theresa. It was Ethan and Gwen. Though Ethan wasn't the problem, Gwen was. Anytime she was near or saw Theresa, a different person emerged. There have been loud shouting matches with Gwen doing all the shouting, until Gwen realized that it made Theresa look like the bigger person by not engaging. Then Gwen was also telling everyone that if Theresa wasn't after her husband then she wouldn't have lost her daughter. So have Rebecca and Ivy. Though the older ladies were distracted by their own problems lately to worry much about Theresa. Hoping that luck will hold and Gwen will stay at her own table. Fox also noted Whitney at another table and remember the blow that her and Theresa's relationship took when Eve's license was suspended pending the outcome of her hearing. Which was coming soon. He knew his father was furious with his grandfather over that.

Turning back to his girlfriend, Fox noted the look in her eyes. The weariness was lessening. He thought she was always beautiful but it always seemed that there was a sadness she carried since the death of her son. Here was the woman that change the villainous Alistair Crane into a man one could proudly call friend or family. Hell, Alistair was even bringing his sisters back and bring them into Crane Industries.

The drinks come and the song ends, so Theresa decides to take a look around and sees what Fox sees. She groans hoping that none of those people see her. Though she and Ethan have no problem, talking only at work, she has her share of problems with the two women. Her vanishing friendship with Whitney and the hatred that Gwen seems to have for her.

Hearing her groan, Fox asks, "What's wrong?" "Not what, but who" says Theresa. She tells he about spotting the two women. Fox tells her not to let them ruin their night and takes her hand. Looking into Fox's face she kisses him and says, "You're right." "I'm always right" replies a laughing Fox. They look toward the stage where a new singer is being announced.

At Ethan and Gwen's table, Gwen catches sight of Theresa. At first she if livid. Accusing Theresa of following them. But Ethan reminds Gwen that Theresa couldn't have known where they were going, as this was a last minute decision. Gwen settles down after reminding herself that Ethan hasn't been around or alone with Theresa in ages. Theresa it seems has left her husband alone and moved on to a man with bigger pockets like all good little gold-diggers. She also spots Whitney. She had heard about Whitney and Chad. Gwen felt for the poor girl. It seemed she saw the true colors of her supposed friend and Eve, Whitney's poor mother, is paying the price. Gwen just tries to forget about her problems, namely Theresa, and tries to enjoy a nice evening with her husband.

Whitney, on the other hand, was trying to forget the past months and the problems she was having with her parents. It seemed her Aunt Liz was trying to break up her parents' marriage. Then they all found out that Aunt Liz wasn't even her Aunt. After that Chad and her broke up. He just didn't understand that Alistair and, surprisingly, Theresa were trying to ruin her mother. They already taking away Eve's right to practice medicine. Now it seemed her parents' marriage was imploding. Her mother was staying out all hours of the day and night and her father, TC, was spending a lot of time with Liz even though she wasn't family. Simone was hanging with Jessica and Paloma, who had returned some weeks before. Like the others, Whitney saw the other couples. While angry at her friend for the situation with her mother, she decided to ignore them in favor of trying to enjoy her evening. She concentrated on the singer on stage and tried to focus on the new singer that took the stage. Whitney hoped to pass the night relaxing and enjoying a song or two.

The night was enjoyable for one of the couples and Whitney, but the other couple couldn't forget past hurts enough to truly relax and enjoy the music. That couple was Ethan and Gwen. Gwen just couldn't let things go. Her demeanor turned brittle and there was a tension in her shoulders. Ethan decided to end their evening early and took Gwen home by nine that evening. The other stayed later. Ethan wondered later in bed if Gwen would ever get over her hatred of Theresa. That was his last thought as he fell asleep. It took Gwen longer to fall asleep. Her final thought was I hate Theresa.

-Passions-

It was a few days after that night at the Blue Note. Fox was planning a big surprise. He was also surprised by his brother, Ethan, when Ethan stopped to talk to him. Ethan told him to treat Theresa well. That she deserved happiness in her life after all the sorrow that has come. That really surprised him that Ethan approved of his relationship with Theresa. He saw that Ethan was really trying to make his marriage to Gwen work and be a faithful husband. That Ethan was letting go of the idea of him and Theresa being together.

Fox had gone to both Luis and Pilar and asked their permission to marry Theresa. Now having that permission, he planned a romantic evening at a house not far from the Lopez-FitzGerald's home. A house he hoped that he and Theresa would soon share. He and Theresa were going after work that day. Snapping out of his daydreams, Fox buckled down to work

In her own office, Theresa sat looking over various designs submitted by aspiring designers. She had several vacancies to fill on the different design teams. Fancy and Pretty both jumped at the chance to work in the new fashion department. Fancy was heading up one of the design teams and Pretty was working on the marketing end. Both were excelling in their respective positions. Theresa was glad Alistair was reaching out and reconnecting with his grandchildren, hell, he was even reconnecting with Sheridan. Watching Marty for Sheridan and Antonio so they could have a night out once and a while. Alistair had made a big change from the man he used to be. She also thought he might like her mother a bit. Theresa wasn't sure about just where that relationship stood. They had become sorta friends.

Then her thoughts turned towards her younger siblings. Paloma and Miguel. Miguel and his wife Charity were doing good. Both were going to school and working, as well as taking care of his young daughter, Maria. Kay was sentence to a year in jail and another five years' probation on top of the five she already has. So now Kay has ten years' probation with strict rules. She felt for Chief Bennett and his wife. As for Paloma, she has been going to finishing school and hanging with Simone and Jessica. The three of them have stayed relatively trouble-free.

Snapping out of her thoughts, Theresa got back to finding designers. She couldn't wait to find out what Fox had planned for tonight. She knew she loved that man.

In another office at Crane Industries, Ethan was hard at work. He had a lot of paperwork to get through. Like Fox and Theresa, his mind also wandered. He wondered if Gwen was doing okay. They had a minor fight that morning. She wanted him to file a lawsuit against Theresa on the death of their daughter a year earlier. Ethan keep trying to explain that it was a horrible thing to have happen, but there was nothing that connects it to Theresa. Theresa went out of her way to avoid them since they got married. She even barely speaks to him now, out of respect for the vows they took. But Gwen was adamant. Though she was becoming less vocal as time passes. Rebecca and his mother seem more caught up in their own dramas then to be concerned about Theresa lately. His mother has been trying to work her way between his father and Grace. His father and Grace's relationship has never been stronger. Now it seems his father is avoiding his mother. He had a talk with Fox on treating Theresa right. He knows Fox truly cares for Theresa and that Theresa has found love again with Fox. Though it hurts somewhat, he knows that he can't hold out any hope for him and Theresa being together. Shaking his head, Ethan gets back to his paperwork wanting to get done early so he can surprise his wife with a surprise date night.

-Passions-

A blind-folded Theresa was guided in to a house on the same street as her mother's by a hopeful Fox. He carefully guided her to a white table-cloth draped candle lit table set with beautiful china and pressed linens. Fox removed the blind-fold and Theresa took in the scene before her. The table, the candle light, everything was perfect. They sat down and Fox served the food that was being kept warm. They passed a wonderful evening. Fox says at the end of the meal, "Theresa, you know that I love you and want to spend my days with you." This piques her interests. "I think it is time we move to the next level; will you be my wife" he asks. "YES" she shouts, throwing her arms around him. Fox slips the diamond ring that belonged to is great-grandmother on her finger. He goes on to tell her that he bought this house for them. She immediately asks to be shown around. So he gives her that grand tour. They plan on moving in together and decorating the big house how they want it. Fox then escorts Theresa back to her mother's and bid her a good night. Theresa invites Fox to spend the night. Fox asks if she is sure and she says yes. They go to her room and Fox spends the night with Theresa in his arms. He could think of no better place to sleep.

Back at the Crane mansion that night, Ethan surprised Gwen with a candle light dinner for two. He pulled out all the stops. Gwen was deeply touched by the gesture, and resolved to forget about any and all her problems for the night. As the night progressed she was quite successful at putting her worries out of her mind. It was like when they were first dating. Back before Theresa and the whole mess with the tabloid. Gwen still felt some guilt about the whole mess with the tabloid. She often wondered if she should confess the whole truth to Ethan. But, her mother reminds her that Ethan will go running back to Theresa if she were to do that. Snapping out of unwanted thoughts, Gwen just enjoyed a wonderful night with a wonderful husband. Soon, if all goes good, they soon should be parents and be a family. That was all she wanted, to be a family with Ethan.

Elsewhere in the mansion, Rebecca and Julian were once again fighting. They had been doing that a lot. Her Pookie, as she calls Julian, seemed to change and not for the better. He had been spending a lot of time with that Eve Russell and locked in his study. She also heard through her informants that he has been getting into fights with his father as well. Rebecca thought to herself, after Julian stormed angrily out of their shared room, that she didn't send Ethan's true paternity to the tabloids and then tricked Julian into marriage for nothing. She wasn't going to stand by and be replaced by another woman. Rebecca vowed not to be cast out of the Crane family like Ivy was. She knew if the truth about the tabloid ever came out then she would be. She didn't trust Alistair's change of heart and new family-friendly persona. Julian was just chomping at the bit to find a reason for a divorce. She wasn't going to give him one even if it meant no sex. Please God let Julian come back to me, she thought, I don't think I can last much longer.

Ivy, on the other hand, was spending a lonely evening at home. She hadn't realized how much she missed in her daughters' lives. They wanted little to do with her. Fox was deeply involved with that Theresa and Sam cut her neatly out of his life. He and Grace were as strong as ever. It gets irritated Ivy to no end that she couldn't get the man she loved for all these years. She always held out hope that they would be together and be a family with their son. Ivy knew she lived at the Crane mansion because of two reasons. One, Alistair had crafted a new kinder persona to present to people, and two, Rebecca loved to rub it in that she now was Mrs. Julian Crane. The only consolation for the second reason was that Rebecca and Julian's marriage was now in as much trouble as her and Julian's once was. Only now Julian couldn't cheat on Rebecca thanks to Alistair's decree. Ivy overheard the fight Rebecca and Julian had. It sounded like a bad one.

A bright spot for both women that night was the fact of Gwen and Ethan's relationship being stronger. Both overheard the help gossiping about the romantic evening Ethan planned as a surprise for his wife. Like Rebecca, Ivy hoped that all will be well between them.

It was the next day, when a jubilant Fox return to the mansion. He whistled as he walked to his room. The rest of the residents were just waking. Fox walks into the bathroom attached to his room and quickly showered and dressed for the day. He then joined everyone else for breakfast.

Alistair was the first to notice Fox's good mood. "I wonder what is so great about this morning, Nicholas" asks the Crane patriarch. "Well grandfather, I simply woke to a beautiful site after a fantastic evening" Fox says. "What made that evening so fantastic Fox" ask an intrigued Ivy, silently hoping it meant he broke up with Theresa. "Well ladies and gents, I formally asked Theresa to marry me and she said yes" Fox replies with a wide, beaming smile on his face. This announce stuns Gwen, Ivy, Rebecca and Julian. Fancy, Pretty, Ethan and Alistair were also a little stunned but they were happier for Fox and Theresa. They congratulated Fox and his sisters were excited to have Theresa as a sister-in-law. Ethan saw how genuine the smile on Fox's face really was and was happy for the couple. They both deserved some happiness.

At the Lopez-FitzGerald's that morning, Theresa was up bright and early. She was woken up by Fox leaving for the mansion so he could shower and change. He also wanted to tell his family about the engagement. Pilar was up early as she usually was, greeted Theresa when she walked into the kitchen. "Morning, mija" Pilar calls out. Still walking on a cloud, Theresa calls back with, "Morning Mama." "I see that Fox spent the night" Pilar playful scolds her eldest daughter. Blushing, Theresa replies, "Yes." "Mama, I have something to tell everyone, so I'll wait until everyone's up" Theresa states. "Well if you're sure, Theresa, you're also in luck Sheridan, Antonio and Marty are coming for breakfast" says Pilar. They lapse into familial silence, as Pilar cooks breakfast for everyone and Theresa prepares coffee. Soon everyone is either up or arrived.

Sitting around the table, Theresa takes in the warmth of her family. The only thing that was missing was her father. She still felt the sting to this day. Clearing her throat, Theresa gets everyone's attention. "Everybody, I have a major announcement to make," she begins, "last night Fox ask me a very important question. He asked me to marry him and I said yes." At first there is silence then an explosion of noise. Sheridan, Pilar, Paloma and Charity all hugged Theresa after the moment of total silence. This broke the brothers out of their stupor and they congratulated Theresa too. Telling her that this won't change them looking out for her. She may be getting married but she was still their sister. The two babies present squealed as if to say they approved. The Lopez-FitzGerald family finished their big family breakfast and headed their separate ways.

That day, Grace was going to watch Maria for Miguel and Charity. Paloma was going to hang out with Jessica. Sheridan was spending the day with Pilar and Antonio was having a "Man's Day" with Marty. Luis had the day shift that day. Theresa had meetings all day at Crane. So the breakfast ended with everyone in a good mood.

-Passions-

The news traveled fast and soon everyone heard about Fox and Theresa's engagement. Whitney wondered, bitterly, if Theresa was only interested in Fox's deep pockets. Because of the fact he was the heir to the Crane Empire. Whitney had also found out about what her mother had been up to during her suspension. Her mother was having an affair with Julian Crane of all people. Also her father was having an affair with Liz. Whitney's whole world was shattering. Simone was being secretive and there was no point in being at the Russell home anymore. Whitney had gotten her own apartment and was moving in at the end of the week. The Russell family was no longer a family.

Kay was trying to behave and keep her head down in the jail. She was serving county time so she wasn't far from her daughter. Miguel was good about letting her parents bring Maria to the jail so she could see her. Kay was also receiving intensive therapy while she was in jail. She saw what she had become and was for the first time in a long time seeing things with a clear head. She saw what she did to Miguel and was ashamed for it. Kay realized how close she came to being labeled a sex offender for life. That would have effected not only her but everyone one she loved. She also saw how strong her parents' marriage become and how much her mother truly loved her. Kay saw all the hurt she caused and wanted to change. With the help of her therapist and a social worker Kay was making plans for after jail. She had better hopes for the future and she knew that the plans for that future didn't feature Miguel as her partner.

As for Eve Russell, the past few months were a rollercoaster of blows. First her license is suspended pending a review of her handling of Ethan Martin's care. It came out that she was extremely negligent in handling his care. That cause a 90-day suspension on her record. Now there was another one. This one is one her handling of Jon Hasting's maternity test. Her privileges at the hospital are suspended as well. Eve feared losing her right to practice medicine. That was her livelihood. She was certain her husband was having an affair. It angered her because it was with Liz. But she was having her own with Julian. Eve felt conflicted. Her daughters were distant. Simone was being very secretive and Whitney was moving out. Eve felt that Whitney knew her parents were cheating on each other. T.C. no longer shared a bed with her so there was no use in keeping a pretense with that.

Sam found out that the whole lost husband bit was a ruse set in motion by Ivy. He didn't inform Ethan, not wanting to come between him and Ivy. But Sam and Grace were furious with Ivy and cut her out of their lives. Jon was told the truth and David felt all of two inches tall. Father Lonagain counseled Sam and Grace to forgive Ivy her deception. They forgave but didn't forget or trust. Sam heard the news and was happy for the couple. He knew that Grace was watching Maria that day. He was there when Charity dropped Maria off. Charity asked how much longer will Kay be in jail. Grace told her about three more months with good behavior and that she is much better mentally. Charity smiled at this and said great, Maria really needs her mom. With that Charity left for class. Sam left for the station and Grace and Maria began their day.

-Passions-

The weeks passed quickly for many of Harmony's residents. Theresa and Fox passed in to a haze of wedding preparations and work at Crane. The parents of Marty and Maria passed it watching them get bigger and discover the world. Kay surprised everyone by getting out a few weeks ahead of schedule. She settled into the Bennett home and attended her therapy appointments with a renewed vigor. Kay also signed up for parenting classes in hopes of getting joint custody of Maria at some point. Right now she would settle for visitation. Eve was informed that they were pulling her license. She could no longer practice medicine. Eve immediately contacted an attorney and appealed. T.C. was at a crossroads. What to do about his marriage to Eve? Leave or stay. Whitney has moved out and rarely visits her childhood home. She also no longer plays tennis. Working at the hospital in the billing department and going to college full time takes up all of her time. She even has been on a few dates here and there. Simone feared for her secret. She was in a relationship with another woman. Simone knew that her parents took the church seriously. She hadn't been around much but she hoped they would accept her if they ever found out. Jessica was excited for her sister. She was also happy to be starting college. Jessica was going to Harmony University, planning on majoring in nursing. She wanted to be a nurse practitioner. Pilar was formally asked out by Alistair and she accepted. She also found out that Martin ran off with a maid. He died in a car crash a few years afterwards. Luis asked Fancy out on a date and she accepted. It was the first time he felt something for someone other than Sheridan in a long time. He didn't know where it was going but he hoped for the best. Pretty was keeping a secret from people. She was in a secret relationship. She was involved with Simone. She didn't know if her grandfather, mother or father would accept the relationship. She knew her brothers and sister would. Noah was enjoying life and had asked out the youngest Lopez-FitzGerald. Paloma was in college and trying to find a path in life. She was seeing Noah Bennett and also seeing a therapist about her anger of being sent to live in Mexico.

It was at a dress fitting for the wedding when Theresa is asked if she and Fox plan to live at the mansion. "No Fox bought us a beautiful house not far from Mama's" Theresa replies. "In fact he proposed there" she continues. "That's so romantic" gushes Fancy. Pretty watches Theresa and wondered if not for the first time if she and Simone could be that happy if they were public. Sheridan wondered about the look on Pretty's face. It was part sadness, part something else.

They finish the fitting and the ladies go to lunch. Theresa had invited Ivy along but Ivy refused citing her non-support of this marriage to her youngest son as a reason. Ivy wanted Fox to leave Theresa and when he refused she told him she would not support him in getting married to Theresa.

As for Rebecca and Julian, they were barely speaking to one another let alone Fox. Neither one wanted Theresa and Fox to get married. But there was nothing they could do. Alistair was behind them 110%.

The group at lunch broke up and went their separate ways. Pretty was meeting Simone in their spot. As for the others, they had to meet their SO as well.

In a few weeks a scandal would rock Harmony. One that would involve the Cranes and Russells. Bring with it truths that are painful for all.