Free to Love

Same disclaimer as before. I don't know the law or am a doctor so I will be making and inferring a lot of stuff. This chapter jumps ahead. Julian tried and failed with his lawsuit just like Ethan and Gwen. It is time for Ethan and Gwen to try the IVF again. That is where we pick up at.

Chapter 6

It had been six months since the court room dramas. Almost eight since Ethan Martin died. Antonio (who had gone back to St. Lisa and then came back to Harmony for his nephew's funeral and decided to stay because he couldn't hurt his mother any more) was applying to the Harmony police force. Paloma and Kay both started college, so has Charity. Miguel has also started school. He plans on studying Criminal Justice. Miguel and Paloma both want to follow Luis and Antonio into the police force.

It was a bright day in early May that found Theresa at the mansion, with Alistair finalizing some plans for a big party he was throwing in a few days. Gwen, Ivy and Rebecca just sat in the front parlor fuming at being shut out of the party planning. Theresa and Alistair just ignored the ladies and continued with their plans and day. Soon Theresa left to finish some work and meet Sam for dinner. Sam had finally asked Theresa out on a real date. Theresa was ecstatic. Ivy was green with envy. Her Sam out with that tramp. What was the world coming to?

After Theresa left, Alistair just smiled at the trio and went to his study. He was proud of how Theresa has handled herself these past months. He is also happy she is getting out in the dating world again. She doesn't need her past with Ethan weighing her down, thinks Alistair as he settles in his study.

-Passions-

As Theresa was getting ready for the big date, so was Sam. He was so nervous; it was his real first date in a long time. He remembers back to the case of nerves he got when he asked Luis and Antonio if it was alright if he asked Theresa on a date. Antonio tried to act confused and said weren't they already dating, referring to the lunches and dinners they shared. Luis just tried not to laugh. Finally, after staring them down they gave their approval. So here he was getting ready for a date with Theresa Lopez-FitzGerald, looking at the clock, I'm going to be late he said. He left to pick Theresa up from the Lopez-FitzGerald's house. He hoped he'd be lucky and Luis and Antonio or even Miguel won't be there. Sam arrives quickly at the house. He knocks on the door and Theresa answers.

Letting out a nervous breath, they both leave. They head to the Diner and then they will hit the movies. They have a wonderful time and Theresa says she can't wait to do it again. He asks her to Alistair's big bash that coming up. The whole town, it seems, was invited. She says yes and he walks her to her door. Theresa surprises Sam with a kiss. He is stunned. She just smiles and goes into the house. Sam goes home on a walking on a cloud. He can't wait until their next date, though they will be having lunch again the next day.

-Passions-

It was the day of Alistair's party. Anyone who was anyone in Harmony was getting ready. Theresa was going to meet Sam at his house, and they would ride in together. Alistair was sending a limo for them. Jessica was giving a ride to Paloma (Jessica's work at Crane Fashions has allowed her to buy a new car). The rest of the Lopez-FitzGeralds were going as well.

At the mansion, the ladies were getting ready for the party. So was Julian and Ethan. Julian was hoping to talk to either Eve or their son Chad. Ethan was actually dreading the party. His and Theresa's engagement party where he was out as Sam Bennett's son flashed across his mind. Ethan felt a sense of foreboding. This night will not end well for someone.

The party started promptly at eight that night. The first guest began to trickle in. There were certain reporters invited especially for tonight. Nobody did a double take when Sam and Theresa entered. Everybody was glad they finally acknowledged what was between the two of them. If even Father Lonagain could see it, then the people in love should recognize what was between them.

Rebecca arrived "fashionable late" with the group that lived at the mansion. They had to wait on the women. Ivy hope that when Sam saw her in all her glory, then he would forget the little gold-digging twit and be with her instead. Gwen and Rebecca felt that they and their husbands would be the most important ones at the party. After all, they were the crème of society. The group made what they thought was a grand entrance to the gala. But they were upstaged.

Just as Rebecca and they were making their entrance to the party. Alistair made a grand entrance himself. All eyes were turned to the Crane patriarch, after briefly shining upon Rebecca and her group. This made Rebecca, Ivy and Gwen furious. They were the center of the party. But as Alistair's eyes landed on them they quickly tried to hide their anger.

Alistair smirked as he walked in but changed when he saw Rebecca, Ivy and Gwen. Then his eyes landed on his oldest, Julian, and the spineless Ethan Winthrop. This made him smirk even more. Watching them and the ladies with them try to hide their anger at not being the spotlight. He knows that with tonight's announcement they will be even angrier then before.

Alistair mingles among the gathered guests. He thinks backs to all the changes. It all started with seeing Theresa with her son. That she could love the child of a man she hated with all her being. Of how she tried to leave Ethan behind and how she remained strong in the face of tragic loss. Just talking with her makes him want to be a better person. Hell, Alistair was even spending more time with his son by Valarie.

Meanwhile, at the party Theresa was having fun talking to her best friends, Fox, Whitney, Chad and her date Sam. Her mother, Pilar, was uncomfortable with attending the party, but Theresa could see that she was having a great time. So was the rest of her family. She was glad they could attend. Also, for whatever reason it seemed that Alistair had a profound change of heart that seemed genuine.

-Passions-

The party was in full swing when Alistair walked to the stage and went to a mike. "If I can have everyone's attention, I would like to say a few words. The past few years have had a great impact on me. I have lost a grandson to a disease that I am very familiar with and have been shown that even the most undeserving deserve a second chance. I wish to announce that I will be retiring and my successors will be taking over at the end of next week. As for the identities of my successors, that's simple. The first is my grandson, Nicholas Foxworth Crane and the other is Chad Harris Crane. That is all" said Alistair to a now speechless crowd.

Alistair stepped down and bid everyone good night. As soon as Alistair was stepping down, chaos broke out in the ballroom of the Crane mansion. Theresa was excitedly congratulating both a stunned Chad and Fox. People swarmed to do the same to the new heads of Crane Industries.

As for Rebecca, Julian, Ivy, Gwen and Ethan, all were floored. Rebecca thought, how could Alistair do this to her, to her Pookie. Ivy just had a fervent hope that she could get through to Fox. Maybe even get him to help with getting even with Theresa. But, most importantly help support her. The alimony from Julian was a paltry sum and Sam still had not sought her out now that he and Grace were over. Gwen was angry for Julian and Ethan. She couldn't believe that Alistair would overlook their work for Crane. Ethan was groomed to take over Crane. Lord forgive her, but a bed-hopping playboy and a street thug couldn't possibly have what it takes to run a company such as Crane Industries. Ethan was floored. His irresponsible brother and Chad, who had no business experience, are now in charge of the most powerful company in the world.

While these thoughts held this group paralyzed, Theresa, her family, Sheridan, Sam, Jessica and their dates, surrounded Chad and Fox. There were no hard feelings about Fox now dating Whitney, Chad realizes Fox treats her like a queen. Also, Chad's feelings for Kay have come to love, he was going to tell her that night when he took her home after the party.

The guests slowly start to leave the party. Before leaving to her room at the mansion, Ivy tries to congratulate Fox on the news. But before she could reach Fox, he'd spotted her and quickly turned and walked away. Putting a lot of space between them and leaving the room at the same time. Chad left to escort Kay back to relieve Tabitha from watching Maria. Chad also wanted to say goodnight to the little girl. He has really grown to love her like his own. They too left the room.

Soon the only ones' left are Julian, Rebecca, Ivy, Ethan and Gwen. They are not happy. Soon they will be even more unhappy.

-Passions-

Sam escorted Theresa back to the Lopez-FitzGerald's house. Both of them were nervous as Sam walked Theresa to the door. Sam had sent the limo home. He lived across the way. They reached the door. Theresa turned to Sam and said, " I guess I will see you tomorrow for lunch." Sam replies, "Yeah, I have a surprise for you." Then he leans in and kisses Theresa on the lips. After what seems like eons, but is merely minutes, they part. Blushing, Theresa bids Sam a goodnight and enters the home. Sam watches her go in then leaves the porch to go to his own home a few houses away.

Goofily smiling, Sam arrives home to find Chad and Kay kissing on the couch. Sam coughed and the couple on the couch jumped apart. They couldn't meet Sam's eyes and were blushing beet red. Sam's smile grew even bigger. "Have a nice time tonight," says Sam. "Yes," says a blushing Kay. "Chief Bennett I have something to ask you before I leave," starts a nervous Chad, as he gets up a approaches Sam. "I would like your permission to date your daughter Kay," Chad says looking Sam in the eye. Sam says nothing for several minutes making Chad squirm, then breaks into a big smile. "Of course, you can," states a happy Sam, "I think you will both be good for each other." Chad and Kay both break into smile. Cad goes over to kiss Kay goodnight and then he leaves, saying goodnight to both Sam and Kay.

"Thank you, daddy, for saying yes" says Kay after Chad leaves then she proceeds to go upstairs to bed and to check on her daughter. Sam thinks to his own lovelife and the beautiful Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald. He wonders on the reasons she wants to spend time with him and the ease with which he can talk with her. He feels that this might, just might be love. He too then goes to bed with a smile on his face, looking forward to the next day and lunch with Theresa.

-Passions-

At the mansion, the ladies are furious. Rebecca and Ivy are in the parlor drinking and complaining about the party. Gwen soon joins them. Ethan and Julian are in his study, heavily drinking to forget the party and being overlooked for two, in their opinion, can't do the job.

"I can't believe that Alistair would put a street thug and a bed-hopping playboy ne'er do well in charge of Crane" says Rebecca as she starts to pace. Ivy sits in the chair and drinks her fifth glass of wine. "I know my no-good son and Chad have no business running a company such as Crane, they can't run a lemonade stand," she says. They look up as Gwen enters. "Well Ethan and Julian are sulking in Julian's study", Gwen states wearily, "We need a plan to get Crane for them" she goes on to state to her mother and Ivy.