~A Day Late~ short complete Ethan/Theresa/Chad
by Faith81

A Day Late

She looked down at him and swallowed. He was before her on one knee, a diamond ring in his hand and a smile on his face. This was the moment she had prayed for, it was her second chance. Ethan was looking up at her asking her to spend the rest of her life with him. "Will you marry me?" He spoke his smile spreading.
She swallowed trying to find words, but she had none.
"Theresa?" He whispered. "Do you have a answer?"
Theresa lowered her head. Six months ago she would have said yes in a heart beat. She would have grabbed the ring and kissed Ethan with everything in her. That however, was six months ago.
She stared around the crowded room, it was his motherís birthday, why did he have to do this tonight? People stood everywhere, waiting, watching, and she felt numb. In a small corner she saw Gwen, a frown on her face and tears in her eyes.
"You shouldnít have done this here." She whispered. "Not with Gwen here."
"You didnít complain the last time I proposed." He smiled.
Her eyes left Ethan for a moment as she heard a giggle escape her sonís mouth. Looking over toward the door she saw Chad, her Chad, holding Little E. His dark brown eyes stared at her, sadden as clutched her son.
Her heart went out to Chad as she peered at him. No one knew the truth, no one knew about the nights she had spent just sitting by the fire talking to Chad.
Ethan had spent so much time trying to decide who he loved. He wavered back and forth between her and Gwen. Those months had changed Theresa, her sonís near death had forced her to grow up. She moved out of the Crane mansion and into a small apartment. Two weeks after she moved in to her new place her best friend left town. That was what drove Chad to her door one late night. Tears in his eyes as he told her what had happened.
"Theresa." Ethan spoke again forcing her from her thoughts.
"Huh? What?" She stuttered.
"A answer would be good. I love you Theresa, will you be my wife"
"I, I, Ethan." She began then stopped. Her heart was tearing as she looked back up at Chad. For months they had been seeing each other. It wasnít like they meant to hide what they felt, but Theresa couldnít bare to hear people talk. Whitney had left town to follow her dreams, but she was still Theresaís best friend. Chad understood Theresa, he saw something in her no one else did. He didnít ask her to change, he simply wanted her for who she was. He said she was special, and even when she messed up she meant well. Unlike Ethan he didnít try to force her to change, he only asked her to think before she did things.
Now however she was looking down at Ethan, the man she had always loved. The ring in his hand was meant for her, and if she said yes she would have everything she had dreamed of. Taking a deep breath she looked at Ethan, and then back at Chad. Her eyes slowly moved to Ethan again and she sighed.
"I canít." She breathed. "I just canít."
Ethanís face dropped. "What?"
"Ethan." She began. "Iíve waited for so long to hear you say those words to me. I wanted you to love me, only me, but you had to make up your mind. " Looking back up at Chad she forced a smile. "But while you were deciding who you loved, life kept going, and I had to keep living. I couldnít sit and wait on you to decide my life for me, so I slowly picked up the pieces and moved on Ethan. "
"What are you saying?" Ethan spoke standing slowly.
"Iím saying, while you wrestled with who you loved, I changed. My son almost died Ethan, and that changed me. I realized I couldnít live for you any longer, I had to live for Little E, and for myself. I deserve to be loved completely, and so does Gwen. Neither of us should be loved half way, and I wonít do that any longer. Ethan I found someone that loves me for me, and he loves my son as well. I canít marry you, because you donít know me. I canít marry you because youíll never be able to give your heart to just me. Iím sorry Ethan." She whispered. "Iím truly sorry."
"I canít believe this." Ethan frowned. "You begged me to take you back, and when I finally decide I want to spend my life with you, you turn me down?"
"You spent too long trying to decide." Theresa frowned. "I had to move on, it was the best thing for me." The sound of her sonís cries gave Theresa a reason to step back from Ethan. "My son needs me now, Iím sorry Ethan." With those words spoken she slowly walked toward Chad, watching as a smile began to spread across his once nervous face.
In his eyes she could see her future. The way he held her son, the looks he gave her, she knew he was where she belonged.
"I had you scared." She whispered as she reached him, taking Little Ethan in her arms.
"Me? Scared? Never." He laughed, and then lowered his head. "Well maybe just a little."
"I love you Chad." She spoke touching his face. "I love only you."
"You know people are watching." He spoke feeling glares around the room.
"Let them." She spoke. "Let them see what real love is all about."
Chad smiled, "That woman I just saw, the one that told Ethan how she felt, that wasnít the same person I met when I first came to Harmony."
"No, I was a girl then." Kissing her son on the forehead she frowned. "A girl with big dreams."
"Nothingís wrong with dreaming." Chad answered back. "I dreamed of finding real love, and I found it."
"Chad are you sure you want me? I mean you know me, who I am." She frowned. "All my faults."
"I love you for who you are T. I donít want some perfect mold, thatís who Whit tried to be. I want you because you are real, you make mistakes. Donít ya see, your a fighter? And I love that about you. I just love you." He smiled.
"You sound serious Mr. Harris. Are you sure your ready for this?" She teased with a wink.
Taking her hand he smiled. "Well I have a diamond ring at home that says I am." Frowning he blinked. "But its not near as big as that thing Ethan offered you."
Theresaís face beamed as she looked up with Chad, large brown eyes shining. "You have a ring? A ring for me?" She asked. "Oh Chad, I donít care what size it is."
"So does that mean weíll be slipping it on that finger tonight?" He asked taking Little Ethan from her.
"Yes Chad! Yes!" She laughed.
"Did you hear that littleman?" Chad asked hugging the baby, "Weíre going to be a family."
Theresa smiled. "A family, I like the sound of that." And without looking back she walked out of the Crane Mansion with the two men she loved most.

Hope you enjoyed.. . BTW I still see Donn as my Chad, I don't think I'll EVER get use to NotChad umm I mean NuChad..