The same as the first chapter. Alistair finds his long-lost son. Things get worse for Ethan and Gwen. Now on with the Story.
It had been a week since the court hearing for the custody of Jane Winthrop. Gwen was devastated. She had lost her daughter to the woman out to ruin her life. Ethan was just a devastated. He felt that he was losing the love of his life. She had married his father for gripe's sake. Ivy was just furious as was Rebecca. Julian was just drunk. He had been since his father's little party. He also felt like he was losing Eve.
Theresa was in the nursery, getting her daughter dressed for the day. Her mother was going to watch both children that day. Theresa enjoyed this time with her children. At the beginning and end of the day. It was the greatest knowing that no one could take them from her again. Sam agreed to giving this marriage an honest shot. Sam was the kind of man her son needed in his life. God knows Julian wasn't.
Just as Theresa finished dressing Jane, in walked Gwen, Ivy and Rebecca. "I want to spend the day with my daughter Theresa," huffs Gwen as soon as she and the other two enter. "No, she and her brother are spending the day with Mama" Theresa replied as she picked up Jane and went into Ethan Martin's room. This just angered the women.
Gwen made move to follow but was stopped by Ivy. She had noticed Sam coming down the hallway and had an idea. "Theresa please, we just want to spend some time with the children," Ivy says in a raised voice. This catches the attention of Sam as Ivy wanted it to though not the way she wanted it to go. "Ivy, the children are spending the day with Pilar, maybe Theresa and you can sit down and plan a day where they spend it with you," he begins, this overjoys the women. He continues, "provided that Rebecca and Gwen are not around that is." This just floors the three women. They thought for sure that he would side with them. Ivy was Jane's grandmother and she should still be Ethan Martin's. It should be her spending the day with the children. Her and Sam. Together.
"Theresa I just wanted to let you know your mother is here," says Sam coming into the room and smiling at a gurgling Jane, who was sitting in her mother's arms. Ethan Martin was putting on his shoes said, "Do I have to spend time with Grandmother Ivy, she always no fun?" Theresa smiles at her son and says "No you don't if you don't want to. Now come on Mama's waiting."
Sam, Theresa, Jane, and Ethan Martin all leave the other three women standing, fuming in Ethan Martin's doorway. They couldn't believe it. Was everyone on Theresa's side or what?
In the front parlor of the Crane Mansion stood Pilar Lopez-FitzGerald. She was waiting on her daughter and grandchildren. Pilar was spending the day with them. Pilar was thinking over the last few weeks as Theresa, Sam and the children walked in. Pulled from her thoughts, Pilar greets them and crosses to take Jane from her mother. "Mama, you okay," asks Theresa. "Fine mija, just fine" Pilar replies. Bending down to look Ethan Martin in the eyes, Pilar asks him if he is ready for a day of fun. He says yes. Pilar collects the children's things from Theresa and takes Ethan Martin's hand and leaves. Sam and Theresa leave for Crane Industries.
Later that morning at Crane Industries, Theresa was in her office going over the plans and designs for the fall line. She was immersed in her work when there was a commotion in the outer office. Suddenly in walks Ethan.
"Theresa, what are you thinking," he says as the sectary apologizes profusely to Theresa for the interruption, "denying Gwen and my mother the right to see Jane." Exasperated, Theresa replies, "Ethan, Ivy has been told she can see Jane if Gwen and Rebecca are not around," Theresa starts, holding up a hand to forestall the protesting that Ethan begins at that statement. "We both know that Gwen needs help," she goes on to tell him. "Theresa she and my mother would never hurt Jane they love Jane," he says.
"Enough Ethan, this conversation is over," Theresa says, "Jane and Ethan Martin are my priority and they will always come first. Now leave." With that dismissal Theresa went back to her work and Ethan was left speechless. Aware of the stinging dismissal, Ethan turned and quickly left the office, gathering his wounded pride around him. Ethan vowed to fight for the children. There was no way the ruling was legal. Besides, his godson needs a home away from the influence of Alistair. With one last look to the closed door of Theresa's office, Ethan walked away to his, making plans for his appeal.
Seeing his eldest son walk away from his wife's office, Sam could only guess what went on in there. Knocking on the door of Theresa's office, her voice rang out and said, "If that's you Ethan just go away." "It's me Sam," he replies. "Come in," she says. Sam walks in and sees she is tense. "What happened," he asks noting the weariness in her eyes. "Just Ethan and his usual response to Gwen's bellyaching," she responds. "What brings you by Sam," asks a curious Theresa. Sitting down in one of the chairs in from of her desk, Sam smiles and says he is her to take her to lunch. Agreeing to this the couple leave to go to the Seascape for lunch.
They were not the only ones who decided to go to the Seascape for lunch. The new Chief of Police, Luis Lopez-FitzGerald, also decided to take his little sister, Paloma, and her friend, Fancy Crane, both new recruits, to lunch. He and Sheridan Crane have been separated since it was discovered that Beth faked her pregnancy and kidnapped their son, Martin Lopez-FitzGerald. Though Sheridan had been seeing the father of a little boy she had adopted by the name of James. The two of the had agreed to share custody of the child.
Ethan, Julian, Gwen, Ivy and Rebecca had made plans to go to the Seascape to regroup after that morning and make plans on how to get the children back. Ethan and Julian were meeting the women there. All five met up at table reserved for them. Looking around, Ivy notices many familiar faces in the restaurant that day. Just as the group is about to order, Julian sees Sam and Theresa being escorted in by the hostess. Not good, thought Julian. Seeing Julian looking at something in the distance, the rest of the group followed his gaze. Ivy was outraged, same as Rebecca and Gwen. Ethan was beginning to feel the same way as the women.
Sam and Theresa followed the hostess to their table in the Seascape. As they were seated, Theresa decides to look around the restaurant. She saw many familiar faces. Some of which gave cause for a pause. Those were the faces of Ethan, Julian, Ivy, Gwen, and Rebecca. Hearing his wife groan Sam turns to her and asks, "What's wrong?" "Just saw some people I'd prefer not to see," she replies. Sam follows her gaze to the table containing the five people he'd rather not see as well. "Just ignore them, they will only start trouble," says Sam. The two of them set about to order when their waiter came to their table. Putting the other five out of their mind, Sam and Theresa kept up a lively conversation and had a good lunch. The other five at the other table not so much. Ethan told the ladies that he intended to file for an appeal to the custody ruling. As well as for custody of Ethan Martin. On the grounds that he is the rightful father by adoption. This pleased the women. Julian wasn't so sure. He knew that Alistair was on Theresa's side and that it would be an uphill battle. Julian felt that more heartache was in store for the five of them.
At Luis's table, he, Paloma, and Fancy were having a blast. Paloma was feeling like a part of her family for a while now. After learning that their father, Martin, ran off with Katherine Crane, that cause her to be sent to Mexico to live with relatives, she regretted how she treated her mother, Pilar. She and Fancy had a lot in common. Paloma also knew how much Fancy liked her big brother Luis. Luis and Fancy were connecting on many levels. He had not clicked like this with anyone since first meeting Sheridan Crane. Who'd a thunk that it be her niece? Luis saw his sister and Sam come into the restaurant and saw the looks that Ethan's table was giving them. While Luis, Paloma, and Fancy didn't know what cause Sam and Theresa to go along with Alistair and get married, they knew that Sam and Theresa were making the best of things. They deserved all the happiness they could get. Soon all groups finished their lunches and went back to their jobs or training or days. Plans were set in motion and papers filed. Soon all will come to a head.
It was the next day when the papers were served to Theresa. Theresa remained calm, she suspected something like this. Theresa knew that Ethan wouldn't back down unless forced and that Gwen would have nagged him into filing a custody suit. Alistair called her into his office, he was there with the attorney. They discussed the custody suit. It would be before the same judge. The attorney suggested that maybe Sam adopt Ethan Martin and that a home study be done. With that the attorney left. Alistair told Theresa he will tell Sam that he wants him to adopt his grandson Ethan Martin and will schedule the home study. Theresa took her leave after that. Alistair called Sam and asked him about adopting Ethan Martin. Sam agreed. Alistair then made plans to make the mansion a better environment for the children, by removing some unsavory elements from it.
Ethan was working in his office when he got a call from Alistair to come to his office. Going to Alistair's office, Ethan was wondering what the man could want. He knew that Theresa received the papers today. Ethan had paid extra for next day service. Arriving at Alistair's office, he is shown in by the sectary. Alistair waved at Ethan to take a seat, and with no preamble said, "Ethan I want you, your wife and mother out of my mansion." "What," stutters out a stunned Ethan. "I feel like it is time for you to stand on your own two feet and time for your wife to learn her place in life. Besides, I need to make a healthier environment for my grandchildren, and your wife and mother can't provide that," said Alistair the whole while smirking at the dumbfounded man before him. Shaking himself out of his daze, Ethan set his jaw and said, "Fine I will go to the mansion and tell them we will be leaving. I know that this is because I am fighting for my daughter and Ethan Martin." Alistair tells him to take the day. Then he is dismissed and Ethan leaves, giving Alistair a disgusted look on his way out. Alistair leans back in his chair, pleased with himself. He had removed more pawns from the chessboard. Now to focus on getting rid of Rebecca, the red queen.
After getting his things from his office, Ethan immediately went to the mansion to break to the news to his mother and Gwen. He knew that there were going to be fireworks and drama. Arriving at the mansion, Ethan went in search of his wife and his mother. Finding them and Rebecca in the front parlor, Ethan took a deep breath and entered the parlor. Clearing his throat, Ethan got the ladies' attention. "Honey, what are you doing here in the middle of the day," asks a surprised Gwen, as she rises and goes to kiss him on the cheek. "Alistair gave me the day off," starts Ethan, "he also told me something else. He wants me, Gwen and Mother to find someplace else to live." This announcement floored the three ladies. "What do you mean," asks a stunned Ivy. Gwen was just speechless. Rebecca, she was just furious. "I know that you ladies are stunned and angry, but maybe this could be a plus. We could prove that we have a healthier environment for the children in our own place. Plus, we wouldn't have to be around Alistair and worry about him overhearing our plans," says Ethan, trying to keep Gwen and her mother calm. That statement got Rebecca to thinking. She knew Ethan made a valid point. That Alistair was a cruel man and that if Gwennie and he were away from his influence then they could prove they were the better parents. But, to kick them out of the mansion, that had to be Theresa's doing.
Ivy thought over Ethan's reasoning for Alistair kicking them out. She knew that it had little to do with what Ethan said and a lot to do with what he left unsaid. Ivy decided to let sleeping dogs lie, and wholeheartedly agree with her first-born. Together with Rebecca, they convinced Gwen that it was a good thing. Soon the four of them were house hunting. Then they were joined by Julian and they decided to go out for dinner, skipping the awkward situation at the dinner table that night.
In the weeks that passed, Ethan, Gwen moved out of the mansion and into a three-bedroom house in a quiet neighborhood. Ivy moved into a respectable apartment that was a two-bedroom. The court hearing on the custody appeal was close at hand. Home studies had been done on both parties. Paperwork had been delivered on both sides.
Sam had agreed to Alistair's plan to have him adopt Ethan Martin. Theresa and Sam had Ethan and Julian served that day the home study was done for Sam and Theresa. Gwen went ballistic when she saw the papers. She just knew that this was Theresa's doing. Getting back at Ethan for choosing her. Ethan was just crushed. First, she married his father, then she took his daughter, now she was taking away his godson. This can't be happening, thought Ethan. He knew that his and Gwen's home study was for the following day and then the hearing was for the week after that. He just hoped that the outcome was in their favor. Ethan knew that Gwen couldn't take much more heartache.
The home studies were done and the week went by in a flash. Soon it was the day of the court hearing. The day started with a gloomy start that morning. It was rainy and dark. Gwen look out the window of kitchen of her new home and towards the sky. I hope this means bad news for Theresa, thought Gwen. Turning around at someone clearing their throat, Gwen sees Ethan standing in the doorway of the kitchen. "What has you deep in thought this morning, darling" asks Ethan. "Just thinking of the hearing," replies Gwen. "Don't worry, the hearing will go our way," says Ethan coming up and hugging his wife, "the judge will see that we are being kept from the children." "But" she starts but is interrupted. "But nothing. Now let's get going, we are meeting Mother and Rebecca at the courthouse. We don't want to be late" with that he leads Gwen out of the kitchen and into the car. They head to the courthouse, meeting up with Ivy and Rebecca. Seeing that Theresa and her supporters have already arrived; everyone heads into the courtroom when the bailiff calls the case.
"All rise the honorable James Westfield presiding" calls out the bailiff. "Bennett-Crane vs. Winthrop, Crane your honor," he goes on to say. "Be seated," says the judge. "Are all parties in the matter here," Westfield goes on to say. The gathered parties responded with a resounding yes. "Let's begin," says Westfield and then he tells Ethan that since he brought the suit he will go first.
As Ethan stood to speak, Gwen shot a calm Theresa a smug look. Fully confident that her side will be victorious. "Your honor, I bring this case with a heavy heart. My godson and daughter are in a perilous situation. I have been denied access to spending time with them. My ex has prevented…" Ethan says just as Theresa's attorney stood to object. "Objection your honor. My clients have not tried to keep the children from their respective fathers. They only wish the fathers and their wives preplan the visits and wishes that the fathers, and their respective wives, all attend parenting consuling and anger management" Theresa's attorney goes on to say in face of Ethan's sputtering. He clearly didn't expect to be interrupted that early into his speech.
Westfield considered the objection and soon said, "Sustained." Unsure of where to go now that his whole premise was for naught, Ethan hurriedly regrouped. He then went on to say, "Your honor my wife and I have the means and plans in place to take care of the children. My wife is a stay-at-home and I make enough to more than support them…". He is in the middle of saying when out of the side of his eye he sees Theresa's attorney stand to make another objection.
"Objection, your honor. Mrs. Winthrop is still a danger to the children and Mr. Winthrop is never home enough to ensure that the children's safety is secure," says the attorney. The objection is sustained again. Ethan soon admits defeat and rests after calling a few witnesses, namely his wife, mother and mother-in-law. Then it was Theresa's attorney's turn, and he gave it his all.
He went after Gwen's mental health record and the record of both Ivy and Rebecca. He also went after the drinking and sexual games that were played out in the open between Rebecca and Julian. The he rested after calling witnesses that included Theresa, Sam, Alistair, as well as experts and even Ethan Martin. Then the Judge retired to make his decision. Both sides mingled and Gwen shot Theresa evil looks, fully expecting to take the children home with her and Ethan when the judge announces that they could take the children home with them. Though Theresa was confident that the children were staying right where they were. Soon both sides would find out just how the judge would rule.
Thirty minutes later Westfield came back into the courtroom and the bailiff called the room to order. "I have thought hard about the placement of these two children. It was not an easy decision but one I had to make. I find that the best interest of the minor children is served by being in the custody of the mother, Theresa Crane. Furthermore, I find as to visitation rights, I find that Ethan Winthrop is denied any visitation rights to the minor children until he and his wife completes anger management, parenting classes, and counseling. I will revisit this subject in six weeks. Court adjourned," Westfield says.
Theresa and Sam, as well as their supporters, leave as soon as they can. Ethan and Gwen, as well as their supporters are stunned silent. Theresa and her side have just left the courtroom, when Gwen and her side come out of their stupor. Screaming, "You won't keep my kids from me Theresa" Gwen gets up to follow. But she is pulled down by Rebecca and Ivy who remind her about Alistair and the media. Ethan leaves for Crane Industries and the women leave for Ethan and Gwen's home, there they plan out their next step in stopping Theresa.