This is starting from the court battle for Ethan Martin. Only Gwen, Rebecca, Ivy, Ethan and Julian call him Little Ethan. Julian is still being blackmailed by Rebecca to take Ethan Martin away and give him to Gwen and Ethan. Gwen and Ethan are, also, at this time trying to find a surrogate. This story starts at the beginning of the first custody hearing, before the judge comes in there is a quite an upset. Will change some things but on with the story.

Chapter 1

The two parties look across the aisle at each other. Camp Theresa and Camp Gwen. The opponents were about to face off in the custody battle over Theresa's two-year-old son named, Ethan Martin Crane.

Though Theresa always regretted Bermuda, she never regretted her son. She stood there aware of the looks Gwen, her mother and Ivy were giving her. Theresa knew she threw them for a loop by walking in with Michael Sterling, a hi-powered shark if there ever was one. Laughing to herself, she remembered Ethan once saying how much he admired Sterling and wanted to be of his caliber. Fox and her mother was there for her. Luis and Sheridan was watching Ethan Martin for her. They all were surprised when she took the job designing for Alistair. But it afforded her a better attorney and a home of their own for herself and Ethan Martin.

Meanwhile on Gwen's side, there was Gwen, Ivy, Rebecca, her husband Ethan and Julian. Gwen asked Ethan, as soon as she saw Theresa's new attorney, if this was a bad sign. Rebecca was quick to tell her daughter that Theresa didn't stand a chance. What with Judge Reilly presiding over the hearing? Gwen took a deep breath at that, and sent a scathing glare Theresa's way.

Just as the two parties were getting restless, the bailiff called the room to order. Everyone took a seat. Then they were told to stand for the Judge. But instead of Judge Reilly's name being called, Judge Jameson was called.

Judge Erin Jameson was not a judge to be bought or blackmailed. Rebecca was stunned. It was supposed to be Judge Reilly. What happened? The color drained from Gwen's face. Her mother promised that Judge Reilly would hear the petition for custody and they would win. Did Theresa somehow get the judges changed? She seems a little too close to Alistair these days. What with her working for him now and all? As for Ethan, he could see that the Judge would rule on the facts and their facts were shaky at the moment.

As for Theresa, she was thrilled. Alistair must have pulled some strings to get an impartial judge to hear the case. Soon the Judge issued her warnings.

"I will have no outbursts in my court. If you have an objection to something, please by all means have your attorney object. I will hold the offending party in contempt and either fine or jail them accordingly. All decisions final. Now, as you have brought the petition, Mr. Crane, your side will go first" stated Judge Jameson.

Ethan stood and straighten his suit. Here he was going up against his idol. Ethan was sure his case was solid. "Your honor, my client is seeking sole custody of his child with Miss. Lopez-FitzGerald. We have evidence that she is neglectful and that she is a danger to the child. She has no permanent residence as well as having an open case with CPS" Ethan starts. As he ready's his next statement, Sterling objects.

"Objection your honor, the case with CPS is officially closed with a finding of no abuse and no neglect. Also my client has a permanent residence of her own with room for her son and is working for Crane industries as head of Crane Fashions" says Sterling smugly. "Sustained" says the judge, "The information is hereby entered into evidence."

This flabbergasts Julian's side. That was the backbone of their case. Color drained from Rebecca's face. She glared in Theresa's direction. How could the little chulpa do this? She has no money, no nothing. Ethan was equally as stunned. This was his best work. Rebecca, his mother and Gwen all showed him the videos and reports to support what they say. Now Sterling had made it irrelevant. And what was this about Theresa working at Crane, for Alistair? How come he heard nothing about it he was head consul? Gwen was worried. Could Theresa really win?

She franticly tried to get her husband's attention by hissing at him and standing. This attracted the attention of the Judge. "Mrs. Winthrop, I will ask you one time to be quiet and sit down" stated the Judge calmly. Gwen opens her mouth to speak but the Judge shuts her up with a look. Angered, she takes a seat. Ethan tries once again to change the judge's mind, unsuccessfully.

Ethan then is told to continue with his case. He brings up the fight in LA. Once again Sterling objects. Citing no charges were ever filed and they have a video showing the fight that they wish to have entered into evidence. This again floors Julian's side. Going on he, meekly finish up his case, deciding against calling any witnesses to testify.

After Ethan was seated, Sterling stood and presented his case. He offered proofs that she had completed suggested parenting courses and he also presented video proof of the kind of environment that Julian and Rebecca provide. Then Sterling stuns even Theresa by calling Alistair to the stand.

"What is your opinion of your son and his wife" asks Sterling. "I find that he is a drunken lout and is not fit to raise a young child. Don't get me started about that wife of his" replied Alistair. "Where do you think your grandson should live" asks Sterling. "With his mother, where he can be looked after properly" states a calm Alistair.

"You have any questions Mr. Winthrop" asks Jameson. "NNNNO your honor" stammers out Ethan. They hear from the social workers and others then the Judge says, "Well I have certainly heard enough. I have no need to think over the evidence provided" says the Judge. Ethan and his side looks optimistic. "I can only conclude that this is brought about by some vendetta on behalf of Mrs. Crane. The only ones giving any thought to the child are his mother and grandfather. So I have decided that full and sole custody go to the child's mother, Ms. Lopez-FitzGerald" stated the judge.

There was silence for about a full ten minutes. That gave enough time for Theresa, her attorney, and those that came with her to leave. Then all hell broke loose inside the court room. Gwen was livid as was Rebecca. Ethan was just floored. They raced out of the courtroom to see Theresa tell the news to her family and her son. As Gwen was about to walk up to Theresa, she was stopped by Alistair. "Gwen, I would like to talk to you your mother and Ivy as well as Ethan at the mansion. You have twenty minutes to get to the mansion" he says. Stunned they all nod. During this Theresa and her family leaves, taking with her, her son, Ethan Martin. Gwen and her group leave to go to the mansion, after realizing Theresa has left with her son.

-Passions-

Theresa and her family decide to go out to celebrate winning custody. They are joined by Fox, Whitney, and Chad. Fox had finally gotten over his silly crush on Whitney. They found out that Chad was really Alistair's and Liz's. Everyone also found out that Eve and Liz weren't even sisters or any family at all. This made Chad and Whitney very happy. Seeing the love and happiness on his two friends' faces made Fox see his own feelings for the Irish-Mexican beauty, Theresa Lopez-FitzGerald.

Fox and Theresa had been quietly dating for the past three months. It was the most stable relationship either had ever had. They both knew each other's faults and positive attributes. Tonight, with sharing of Theresa's victory in court, they would share the news they were dating with Theresa's family and all their friends.

They were all gathered in the private room of the Seascape. Everybody had congratulated Theresa on winning custody of her son. Sheridan was a bit upset for her friend, Gwen, but knew Ethan Martin should stay with his mother. Sheridan knew that she shouldn't let her upset show at the dinner. She would go the next day and console her friend on her loss.

Everyone was enjoying themselves, having a grand time when Fox cleared his throat and clinked his glass. "Attention, everyone, Theresa and I have something we'd like to tell everyone," said Fox, "I just want to tell everyone that Theresa and I have been seeing each other for the past few months." As Theresa beamed at this, everyone was stunned. "Furthermore, I have an important question for girlfriend," states Fox as he gets down on his knee. Pulling out a black velvet box, he turns to a stunned Theresa to ask "Theresa Alana Lopez-FitzGerald, will you marry me?"

Theresa sits stunned for a few seconds, then she jumps into his arms and yells, "Yes!" Everybody cheers the happy couple as Fox slips the diamond ring on her finger. They kiss and champagne flows to celebrate the engagement.

-Passions-

The next day at breakfast at the Mansion, Gwen and Ethan were sitting down to eat. Ivy and Rebecca had just walked into the dining room, talking about the "fiasco", as they called the court hearing yesterday. Julian stumbled to the table in a fit of a hangover. They all looked up when they heard a laugh. It was Alistair. They all thought to themselves, why hasn't he left yet, Hasn't he caused enough trouble.

Alistair took in the scene before him. His drunkard son, treacherous ex-daughter-in-law, slut for a new daughter-in-law, a moron for a former grandson and his murderous bride thought the man. Oh, what tangled webs we weave, thought the old man.

"Well, well, well, what do we have here," Alistair started. "Don't start Alistair," said Ethan, "None of us are in the mood." Gwen, Ivy and Rebecca just glared. "Father, please dispense with the pleasantries, and say what you have been wanting to say" says Julian, fighting a huge headache.

"Since you want it that way, I'll come right out and say it" Alistair starts, "The family is growing by one." "What are you talking about Alistair" asks Rebecca. "See for yourselves" says a gloating Alistair as he hands them the Harmony Times.

They saw for themselves, there on the front page, was the announcement. Crane Heir to Wed Theresa Lopez-FitzGerald, there in bold print. Underneath it read how after the win in court and while celebrating, the Crane heir, Nicholas Forxworth Crane decided to propose to his girlfriend, Theresa Lopez-FitzGerald. Ms. Lopez-FitzGerald was very enthusiastic in her acceptance of his proposal. The Harmony Times also wished the couple well.

Shaking, Gwen thrust the paper at Ivy as she sat there. "What's wrong" she asks. "Look at what Fox has done" Gwen says trembling with anger. Ivy looks at the paper that was thrusts at her and her jaw dropped with shock. How could Fox actually think about marrying that slut, thought Ivy. She looks up at Alistair, intending to ask him if he was really going to allow this, when something about the look on his face caught her eye. It dawned on her that he was totally fine with the prospect of Theresa marrying Fox.

"I hope that you will put a stop to this at once Alistair" says Rebecca, snapping both Gwen and Ivy out of their respective reveries. Both Ivy and Gwen knew that Alistair would allow this. Gwen knew her mother just borrowed trouble by questioning Alistair. Ivy just knew that Rebecca just put herself on Alistair's bad side by saying that.

"Rebecca, I have no intention of stopping anything" says a confident Alistair as he stares down Rebecca. Now wary, Rebecca asks, "But she is a lair and low class. No good will come of it." "The only low class lair I see is sitting before me" replies Alistair. That brings silence to the dining room of the Crane Mansion. No one else wishes to anger the Crane patriarch. Alistair finishes and leaves for Crane Industries. So does Ethan and Julian. That leaves the three ladies at the mansion. Ivy tells the other two women that she can't the thought of being Theresa's Mother-In-Law. Gwen is positive it is a ploy to make Ethan jealous. Rebecca tells the others that they have to find a way to stop Theresa. The three women spend the day trying to come up with a plan to put a stop to Fox and Theresa getting married.

-Passions_

At Crane Industries, Alistair has decided to call an impromptu meeting of all the executives and board of Crane Industries. It takes about one and a half hours to gather everyone together. Everybody is anxious and excited about the meeting. They all wonder what Alistair has instore for them and whether it will be good or will it spell doom for anyone.

The meeting started out pretty routine, the department heads reporting in on the progress of their various projects. There were not only Julian, Ethan and Alistair at the meeting, but Fox and Theresa. Alistair stood after the last executive gave their report. "Ladies and gentlemen, I am sure you wonder as to why I called this meeting" Alistair started, "I have an important announcement." "I have decided to retire", this stuns the room, "and I have decided that upon my retirement my heir will take my place. That heir is..." At this Julian begins to straighten his suit. "Nicholas Foxworth Crane," says a smirking Alistair looking right at Julian and Ethan. They and the rest of the room are stunned at this as well. Except for Julian and Ethan, the rest of the gathered crowd all clap for the younger Crane.

"Well, thank you grandfather" says a still stunned Fox. Alistair calls the meeting to a close and Theresa and Fox along with the rest of the room leave. "Father, what do you mean Fox is you heir" Julian immediately asks when the three of them are alone. Both Julian and Ethan can't understand how Alistair could make Fox, an unrepentant ne'er-do-well in their opinion, the next head of Crane Industries. I deserve to be the heir after everything I've done for father, thought Julian. Fox doesn't deserve to be the Crane heir and be marrying Theresa, she is only doing this to spite me for staying with Gwen and the custody case, thought Ethan. Alistair took in the disgruntled and angry expressions on both men's faces. He then said, "Who I leave my company too is none of your business. Be lucky that both of you gentlemen still have jobs. Now I have paperwork to get to." With that he left two furious men in his wake.

Realizing that this was a veiled threat, both men decided that it was a better to get back to work. Not wanting to give Alistair any reason to end their employment. Julian, he was going through paperwork with his mind on how to explain this to Rebecca and Ivy. Ethan, he was planning on how to explain everything to Gwen and find a way to talk to Theresa, all while going through paperwork of his own. Both men were dreading going home that afternoon.

Meanwhile, Fox walk Theresa to her office. "Theresa, why do you think grandfather did that" asks Fox, breaking the companionable silence. "I think he knows that you care about Crane and just need a chance to prove that you are more than just a ne'er-do-well playboy rich kid, gambling his way into one jam or another" says introspective Theresa. Both lapse into silence again as they arrive at Theresa's office. Theresa and Fox kiss and say their goodbyes. Fox then leave to go to his office near his grandfather's and Theresa enters hers after getting her messages from her assistant. She knew that more crap was going to hit the fan. Even though Gwen, Rebecca, and Ivy knew she was working at Crane, and probably knew by now that she and Fox were getting married, Theresa just knew deep down to her bones that more conflict was headed her and Fox's way.