A Beautiful Mess - Chapter 15 (Kaguel, Chadresa, Evian)
She ran until she couldn’t run any more, and when she stopped, she was out of breath and alone. Tears were streaming down her face as she bent down in the icy snow. She wasn’t sure why she was crying, nor did she understand why her hands were trembling. All she knew was that she couldn’t stop, and she didn’t want too. She wrapped her arms around herself, as she let out tiny sobs. Her face was streaked with makeup and tears, but she didn’t care.
“Theresa!” A voice yelled out in the distance.
She heard the female calling to her, but she never looked up. Instead
she cried harder, loosing her breath for a moment as the last few years
of her life flashed in her mind.
She felt two gentle arms wrap around her. Looking up she saw Eve Russell holding her, wiping her hair from her face.
“Theresa honey, what’s wrong?” Eve questioned.
“I, I don’t know.” Theresa whispered through her tears. “I think I’m loosing my mind.”
Eve smiled. “Now I’m sure that’s not true. What made you cry like this sweetheart?”
Theresa’s eyes stared back at Eve. She had the look of a wounded animal, scared, abandoned and alone. “I was with Chad.” She managed catching her breath. “And we were talking. Talking about something that happened between us.”
”I see.” Eve frowned. “Theresa would you like to come inside? Its very cold out here.”
“No, I want to stay here.” Theresa answered quickly. “Please.”
“Of course, just tell me what upset you like this.”
Dropping her head she finally moved her arms from around her body. “Chad and I, we kissed a few days ago.” She confessed. “I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when he asked me about it, something snapped.”
“Theresa, are you sure a kiss caused you to get this upset? I saw you from the window running, you looked terrified.”
“I am.” Theresa trembled. “I’m terrified of myself.” She admitted rising to her feet. Wiping her eyes with her hand she looked at Eve. “I have made such a mess of my life. I don’t deserve to ever be happy Dr. Russell.”
”Oh now that’s not true. Theresa, everyone deserves happiness.”
Turning her back Theresa looked toward the house. “When I was little, I would look at that house.” She spoke taking a deep breath. “And I would dream of living there. Mama would bring me with her to work at times, and I loved it. It was my goal in life, to be part of that family. I wanted to be a Crane, no I needed to be a Crane.”
“Theresa, you were a child.”
Theresa shook her head. “I wasn’t a child when I went after Ethan. I was young, but I knew what I was doing. I knew he was a man in love with another woman. He was also a Crane, the Crane I dreamed of marrying, and that changed everything. I believed fate would bring us together, that destiny would somehow help me win Ethan and everything that went along with him.” Still trembling she turned to look back at Eve. “Fate isn’t real, and the kind of love I wanted to believe in isn’t either.”
“Love is real Theresa.” Eve spoke reaching her arm out to the young woman. “You can’t stop believing in love.”
”It might be real for others, but not me. I don’t deserve it, not after I tried to take what wasn’t mine. I didn’t let things happen like they should, instead I tried to control everything and make it happen like I wanted. Someone like that, like me.” She stopped as she dropped her head. “Well I just don’t deserve to be loved like that.”
“And you decided this all because of kissing Chad?” Eve questioned becoming confused.
“Chad is a good man.” Theresa smiled. “One of the only good men left. He told me he felt something when he kissed me, and that’s when I knew I couldn’t go there with him. He’s so wonderful, and a man that good, I would only taint.”
“No, Theresa.” Eve smiled. “That’s not true, you would never taint Chad.”
“Dr. Russell, you don’t understand. As good as Chad is, no man will ever love me. Not completely.” She whimpered. “Chad will always care about Whitney, just like Ethan cared for Gwen. I’m second best to everyone and nothing will change that!”
“Theresa, what happened to that girl I use to know? The one that believed in that true love was real?”
“Ethan took her heart and ripped it out. He bought a ring and bounced it between two women, and in the end, he showed her true love isn’t real.” Theresa frowned crossing her arms. She had never felt more fragile in her life. Staring up at Eve Russell she realized just how alone she really was. She missed Whitney, but more than that she missed the closeness she had once shared with her mother. She spent her days in a mansion scheming, and taking care of her son. She laughed and talked with Chad and Fox, spoke to her brothers often, but she had no woman to share with. Now she stood pouring her heart out to Chad’s mother. Loving Ethan had took so much from her, and it was on ones fault but her own.
“You can’t give up on love because Ethan hurt you Theresa.” Eve spoke her voice gentle and caring.
“I gave up so much for him.” Theresa frowned. “You know, my friendship with Whitney became fragile because of my need to have Ethan. I ignored her feelings, and put myself first. When she needed me, I wasn’t there; instead I was in my room crying over Ethan. If that is the kind of person I become when I fall in love, well I just don’t want to fall in love again.” She declared.
She was pouring excuse after excuse out as she stood in the freezing snow. Jumping from one reason to another, rattling on like a crazy person. She was surprised Eve hadn’t called security, to have her taken away. Instead the woman simply touched her shoulder and smiled.
“Theresa honey, I am so proud of you.” Eve whispered.
“What?” Theresa questioned. “Dr. Russell you’re confusing me.”
“You’ve grown up Theresa. You’ve realized your mistakes and your taking responsibility for them. You’re going to fall in love again, but the next time, you’ll be ready for it.”
“Dr. Russell, I’m scared.”
“I know sweetheart, believe me I know.”
Sheridan Crane sat in the brown leather chair facing her brother. She
watched as he stared out the window, and then turned back to her.
“I suppose you wonder why I asked you here.” Julian spoke taking a seat in front of her.
“Yes Julian, I am rather curious.” Sheridan admitted. “What’s going on now?”
Smiling Julian picked up a pen and looked at it, sitting it back down he clamped his hands together. “Things are about to become very different Sheridan. This family is going to go through a very radical change, and I need your help.”
Laughing Sheridan looked at her brother. “My help?” She questioned. “Julian why would I help you?”
“Because, its in your best interest.”
“My best interest is to stay as far away from as possible.” She spoke arching her eyebrow. “But go on, I would like to hear more.”
“As you know Chad married Theresa, and that made him my heir.” Julian smiled. “Chad and Theresa didn’t marry just to make him my heir however, they married so they could get back at father.”
“What?” Sheridan gasped. “Julian what are you talking about.”
“I’m talking about a take over Sheridan. Up rooting our father as CEO and me taking his place.” Standing Julian walked away from his desk and sighed. “Its all very complicated.
“You’re going to go behind our father’s back? Take his company away from him while he’s still alive?” Sheridan questioned her eyes becoming wide. “Julian, that’s so, so wrong.” A smile suddenly began to play on her lips as she looked up at him. “And yet I love it.”
“I thought you might be intrigued.” Julian smirked.
“But why would I help you.” She sighed. “You’ve never did anything for me in my life. “As much as I’d like to see father get what he deserves, I also want to see you get yours.”
“And I deserve that.” Julian admitted his eyes never leaving his sister. “But if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll realize, I am the lesser of the two evils, sister dear.”
“I suppose you have a point.” Sheridan frowned. “But I don’t see how I can help you anyway.”
“Your vote.” Julian simply spoke. “I need your vote.”
“I see.” Looking up at Julian she smiled. “And Chad will be your heir? Is that the plan?”
Julian laughed, “Oh not only is he my heir, but I plan to put him in control of the company. He’s my son, and he deserves it.”
“What about me? What do I deserve?” A voice suddenly boomed as the door flew open.
Julian and Sheridan both looked stunned as Fox walked into the room. His eyes were staring straight at his father as he slammed the door.
“Fox.” Julian frowned. “You were always a nosey brat.”
“And it pays off.” Fox fumed. “So Chad gets everything, is that correct father? He suddenly bounds into your life and you’re going to hand the company over to him?”
“I will be CEO.” Julian sighed. “But yes I do want my son to run the company.”
“You have three sons.” Fox spoke. “Three sons, and two daughters. I do see how it would be easy to forget about my sisters and me though, I mean its not like you and mother ever gave us a chance. We were your throw a way’s, and I guess that hasn’t changed.”
“Fox, please.” Sheridan spoke looking up at her nephew. “Don’t be like this.”
“Oh like you ever gave a care either Auntie. You and Ethan were always so close, you never cared about the rest of us.” He growled shooting Sheridan a look.
“Fox that’s enough!” Julian shouted. “You knew that Chad was my heir, that was made quite clear.”
“Yes, but I assumed you’d be controlling the company. What does he even know about it? He works in music, that hardly qualifies him to take over something like Crane industries.”
Julian looked at his son, shaking his head he crossed his arms. “Are you telling me you want to run the company? Somehow I find that very hard to believe. Running a company like Crane Industries would take away from all your hobbies. You couldn’t chase your women, or gable away like you do now.”
“What about my sisters? Where they ever considered? You never asked any of us how we felt. I know what it is to be a Crane, and I know what it takes to run our company.”
“Perhaps I should have talked to you.” Julian frowned. “But Chad, he is my oldest child.”
“And he is the only child that you had out of love.” Fox added. “I am right aren’t I father? You want Chad to have everything, because his mother is the only woman you have ever loved. Just like mother will always favor Ethan, you will favor Chad. “
“You will get your money Fox.” Julian sighed. “That’s all you really want anyway. You’re a Crane and you’ll get what is yours. You can spend your life doing whatever you want, so why should you care if I want Chad to run things?”
“Your forgetting one thing father.” Fox smirked. “You need my vote.”
“You’ve already promised me your vote.” Julian argued.
”Yes, but promises are made to be broken. It happens all the time in this family.” Glaring at his father he walked toward the door, “And I am a member of this family, whether you want to accept it or not.”
“I want the crib to go there, and the rocking chair your mom is giving
me to go there. Oh, I think painting the room a pale yellow would be nice
too. What do you think? Or should we wait and find out what the baby is
before we paint?” Kay Bennett rambled on pointing around the room she stood
in. Miguel watched her with a smirk on his face, she was so happy, beaming
like a mother should.
“Miguel, Miguel are you even listening? What theme should we go with?”
“I’m listening Kay.” Miguel snickered. “I’m listening to every word that comes out of that pretty little mouth of yours.”
Smiling Kay looked up at him, “So, what do you think? Pale yellow? Or do we wait?”
“Why wait?” Miguel shrugged. “I think we should go with pink though, since we’re having a girl.”
Rolling her eyes Kay crossed her arms. “Miggs, we don’t know for sure. Yellow is neutral, and it’s a happy color. We could do little ducks, or something cute like that.” She smiled.
“Little ducks?” Miguel laughed. “I don’t think so Kay. I don’t like ducks.”
“What do you like?” Kay questioned.
“I don’t know.” Miguel shrugged. “But not the ducky theme.”
“I like the ducky theme.” Kay frowned.
“Kay we have time to work on this. Right now we need to call Jess and see what she has for us.”
“Do we have to call Jess right now?” Kay questioned. “I want to get a vision of what I want to do with the rest of the house.”
Miguel sighed, “Kay, you do realize we’re going to have to find money to furnish this house. Money that we really don’t have right now.”
Dropping her head she stared down at the hard wood floor. “I know.” She whispered. “But I have a few things, and I have a little move saved up.”
She smiled. “There was this cute little convertible I had found before I got pregnant. My car is okay, but it was just adorable. I started saving, hoping I could buy it or one like it.” Touching her stomach she shrugged. “But now I don’t need that car, so I can use that money to buy a few things for the house. Nothing fancy, just nice.”
“But you shouldn’t have to take your money to furnish our house Kay. I’m supposed to be able to do these things. I should be able to afford us a house, and our child its on bed. Instead everyone else is doing it for me. I’m letting you and our baby down Kay, and I’m sorry.”
The scared teenage boy emerged in Miguel as he looked up at Kay. Running
his fingers through his hair he watched her stare at him. This wasn’t what
he had planed for his life. Getting married so young, having a child to
take care of wasn’t what he had pictured.
Swallowing, reality hit him; he had planned to marry Charity at the same age. He had made the same plans with her, and had never stopped to think about how hard it would be. He had been living in a dream world, the same dream world he had laughed at his sister about. He had never worried about taking care of Charity, and that puzzled him. With Charity, marriage just seemed like what they should do. Now as he looked at Kay, he felt something so different. There was a force driving him to want to make her life good, a stress on him, to keep her and their child safe. When he looked at Kay, he saw reality, but with Charity, it was simply a world of make believe.
“Miggs, we will make it.” Kay spoke interrupting his thoughts. “Let’s just have one day without worries.” She begged pulling at his shirt. “Let’s go look at our bedroom.” She grinned.
“Our bedroom you say?” He smirked.
“Oh, so that’s all it takes to put a smile on your face?” Kay questioned arching a eyebrow. “You are such a man. We are going to look at it, and decide what color to paint it.”
“You mean you’re going to tell me what you want to do to it, and I’m going to nod my head in agreement?” Miguel laughed as Kay turned to walk out of the small room. Wrapping his arms around her from behind, he smiled as she relaxed against him.
She turned around slowly, snaking her arms around his neck. “You know, I’ve spent my whole life loving you Lopez-Fitzgerald.”
“Oh yeah?” He smiled, “Was it worth it?”
Pressing her forehead against his, she smiled. “Maybe.”
“Maybe?” He questioned watching as her eyes began to dance.
“It’s getting there.” She whispered giving in a quick kiss.
Smiling as she pulled away, Miguel pulled her closer to him. “Is that the best you can do?” He asked.
“Oh I can do much better.” Kay laughed moving in to kiss Miguel again.
Before she could kiss him, Miguel pulled back his eyes getting wide as he stared in front of him. Turning around Kay’s mouth dropped open, as she saw the two women Miguel was staring at.
“Mother, Charity.” She spoke, Miguel’s arm still wrapped around her. “What are you doing here?”
Grace eyed her daughter, and then looked at Miguel. “We came to move in.”
“You did what?” Kay asked glaring at her mother. “I don’t suppose you’ve talked this over with daddy?”
Grace frowned. “I’m sure your father will have no problem with me living here. He’s the one that kicked me out of our home. I can’t live at the B and B forever.”
“Well you can’t live here.” Kay spoke crossing her arms. “Daddy gave this house to us.”
“He did what?” Grace fumed.
“You heard me mother, daddy and Uncle Hank gave me and Miguel this house as a wedding present. So you’re going to have to find somewhere else to live.”
“Aunt Grace, we should go.” Charity whispered her eyes lowering to the floor.
“Charity sweetie, its ok.” Grace soothed. “I am going to have a talk with your Uncle and work everything out.”
“There is nothing to work out.” Kay spoke rolling her eyes. “This house belonged to my father and his brother. They can do whatever they want to with it, and they gave it to us as a wedding present. Miguel and I will be living here, its that simple.”
“Miguel still hasn’t married you.” Grace spat, “And I doubt he ever will.”
Miguel looked at the hurt that fell on Kay’s face. “I’m marrying Kay next week.” He spoke up, his voice booming and in control. “I would have married her sooner, but Theresa wanted to give us a nice wedding.”
“Aunt Grace please lets just go.” Charity begged again.
Ignoring her niece Grace stared over at Miguel. “You don’t love her. You can’t love her when your heart belongs to Charity.”
Kay glanced at Miguel, who had never left her side. He stood holding her close to him as he stared at her mother. He wasn’t backing down, and his eyes had never strayed to Charity.
“Mrs. Bennett, you don’t know how I feel.” He spoke. “What I felt in the past is in the past. What I feel for Kay and our child is stronger than anything I ever thought possible.” Finally his eyes wavered to Charity and he sighed. “I’m sorry you have to hear this Charity, but I think you both need to understand. My life is with Kay and our baby. I plan to marry her, and grow old with her. She’s a beautiful, strong woman, and I’m lucky to have her in my life.”
“You love your child Miguel, and that’s why you’re feeling connected to Kay. Charity is the one you belong with.” Grace insisted.
“Mother, will you please just leave!” Kay yelled. “I’m so tired of this.”
“I agree with Kay.” Miguel frowned. “She doesn’t need this stress right now. She’s still in the early stages of her pregnancy. Mrs. Bennett, please just go before you really upset her.”
“Aunt Grace, Miguel’s right, I just want to leave.” Charity whimpered.
“But Charity.” Grace frowned.
“He loves her Aunt Grace.” Charity whispered. “Can’t you see that he really loves her? Just let it go, and lets get out of here.”
“He doesn’t love her, he’s confused.” Grace whispered back.
“Hello? We’re standing right here.” Kay spoke up rolling her eyes. “Does Miguel have to spell it out for you? He’s marrying me because he wants to.”
“I expected more of you Miguel.” Grace spoke dropping her head. “I can’t believe you’ve broke Charity’s heart.”
“And I can’t believe you don’t see how you’ve hurt your daughter.” Miguel spoke. “Now please, just leave.”
Nodding her head Grace lead Charity out of the room. When the front door slammed shut Miguel looked over at Kay and saw the tears in her eyes.
“Are you ok?”
“Hormones.” She lied. “They make me crazy.”
“I meant every word I said.” Miguel promised. “In case you’re wondering I mean.”
“No, I believed you.” She smiled wiping her eyes. “You stood up for me Miguel. In front of Charity, you told my mother how you felt. You don’t know what that means to me.”
“I’m going to stand in a church and promise to spend my life with you Kay.” Miguel smiled. “Looking your mother in the face and telling her the same thing wasn’t hard.”
“Saying it while Charity was in the room?” Kay questioned. “That must have been hard.”
“No.” Miguel shook his head. “I was standing beside the woman I want to be with. I was standing holding my future in my arms, while I looked at my past. Charity is my past Kay, she has been for awhile now.”
Tears slowly fell down Kay’s face as she wrapped her arms around Miguel. She held him tight as she closed her eyes, trying to convince herself to believe in what he was saying. In one week she would be marrying the man she loved. One little week was all that stood between her and everything she had worked so hard for. All she had to do was put the guilt out of her mind. She wasn’t the same girl who had schemed to get Miguel. No, she had changed, and she had to let the past go. Miguel would never know the things that she did, and they would live a good life together. She just had to convince herself of that, once she did, she would be home free.
“Miguel.” Kay whispered refusing to let go of him. “Just remember, no matter what happens, I love you and our child. The person I am now, you helped me find. I’m not the girl I used to be, I just want you to know that.”
“I do know that Kay.” Miguel smiled. “Now don’t worry, everything is going to be ok. Nothing can come between us now. I’m not leaving you, not for Charity or anyone else.”
“Reese, you promised you’d meet me for lunch.” Jessica Bennett frowned gripping her phone in her head. She stood on the pier, a frown on her face as she listened to her boyfriend explain about some strange rock he had found on his way home. “Reese I don’t know anything about rocks. I just wanted to have a normal lunch with you today. I’m sure it’s a very pretty pebble, but can’t you look it up later?” Rolling her eyes she sighed. “Fine Reese, if you want to spend time with some stupid rock, go ahead.” Clicking her phone she groaned.
Dropping her head she wondered if Reese actually cared about her. When he was with Kay, he never gave up a chance to spend time with her. Kay had treated him terrible and he still hung by her side every chance he got. She knew she wasn’t like Kay, but that was supposed to be what attracted Reese to her. She treated him like a human being, and she cared about him.
“Excuse me, have we met?” A voice spoke as Jessica looked blushing.
“Yeah, at Chad’s studio.” She nodded as Fox Crane smiled down at her. I’m Jessica Bennett.”
“Oh, that’s right you’re Kay’s little sister.” He nodded. “Now I remember.”
“You remembered Kay?” Jessica questioned with a sigh. “Of course you did.”
“She’s a very interesting woman, your sister.” Fox spoke with a grin. “We spoke at that little coffee place.”
”You mean the Book Café?” Jessica questioned. “You saw Kay there?”
“Yeah, we have a nice little chat. She’s very charming isn’t she?”
“Kay is a very interesting person.” Jessica agreed. “You either love her or hate her.”
Fox smiled, “How do you feel about her? Love or hate?”
Jessica glared at him, “I love my sister.”
“She’s very complex isn’t she? She seems to have many layers.” Fox thought out loud.
“Why are you so interested in my sister? I’m sure you know she’s getting married and having a child.”
Fox shrugged his shoulders, “Just makes her even more intriguing.”
Jessica dropped her head; of course Fox Crane would be interested in her sister. Kay was a beautiful person, and had always been strong and stubborn. She was someone a Crane would be interested in.
“My sister has been in love with her fiancée for most of her life. Now that she has him, she’s not going to let him go for anything.” Jessica spoke crossing her arms. “She has what she wants now and she’s happy.”
“Yes, I suppose she is. “ Fox sighed. “I should go I have business to attend to.”
“It was nice seeing you again.” Jessica frowned.
“Yeah, you too kid. Tell your sister I said hi, when you see her.” Fox smiled as he walked away.
“Kid.” Jessica muttered. “Who does he think he is?”
Julian Crane paced in his office. He was trying to be a father to all
his children, but that was a hard task. Making Chad, head of Crane Industries
only seemed fair, after everything he had been through. Fox had made a
excellent point, Chad was the one child born from his love, and he knew
he saw him in a different light. As much as he hated to admit it, Fox was
right; Chad did hold a special place in his heart.
“Julian, may I come in?” A voice spoke from the door.
Without turning around Julian smiled. “Eve darling, of course you may.”
Eve walked in the room and shut the door behind her. “I’ve been with Theresa.” She sighed. “The poor girl is so upset.”
“Has something happened?” Julian spoke concern in his voice as he walked over to Eve.
“She’s going through some things.” Eve frowned. “I think she’s simply becoming her own woman, she just hasn’t realized it yet.”
“I hope she works through her issues.” Julian said, “At the moment however, I have my own problems to deal with. Eve, I believe I’ve really hurt Fox.”
“Fox? What did you do to Fox?” Eve questioned.
“He heard me talking to Sheridan. I was telling her that I wanted Chad to control the company once I got control of it. When he heard that, he stormed in and just started screaming.”
“Julian, does Chad know what you have in mind?” Eve questioned.
“No, I plan to tell him soon however.”
“Chad is into his music Julian, I’m not so sure running the business is what he wants to do with his life. Fox on the other hand, he’s used to being a Crane. He knows the business, and he knows this family.” Eve pointed out.
“I just didn’t think he’d be interested.” Julian frowned. “Fox likes the money, but to do the work, no I don’t think that’s in him.”
“Maybe he just wanted to be considered.” Eve smiled.
“Perhaps.” Julian sighed. “He accused me of caring more about Chad.”
“Oh now that’s not true.” Eve smiled.
“No Eve, I’m afraid it is true. I’m ashamed to admit it, but Chad is the son I always longed to have. We lost him, and now he’s here again. The son I made with you out of love, of course Chad is special to me. I love all my children, but you were the only woman I loved, and Chad he’s the product of that.”
Eve frowned. “You have to make things right with Fox, Julian. You can’t let him feel like he’s unloved. He’s your child, and you have to show him that.”
“I have a lot to make up to that boy.” Julian frowned.
Eve smiled, “Out of all your children, he’s the most like you.”
”I suppose that is true.” Julian grinned. “And I have treated him, much the same way my father, treated me.”
“Julian, go find Fox and talk to him. Make things right before its too late. Fix this before he looks at you, the way you look at your father.”
Julian smiled as he hugged Eve gently. “You truly are my angel Eve.” He whispered. “Thank you.”
“Go find your son Julian.” Eve smiled. “We’ll talk later.”