Chapter 8, Part 1
Julian directed his words to the shed. “For goodness sake, Eve. Why
are you blowing this all out of proportion?!”
“Blowing it out of propor--!!” she yelled equally as loud in TC’s direction. “Damn it, Julian. I told TC I wanted to spend my life with you. I confessed my past and told him I wanted a divorce because we were in love. Because you loved me as much as I loved you and we were going to be together.”
“And that’s true!”
“How the hell can you say that when I caught you having sex with another woman!!”
The shed door creaked open, alerting the duo that their audience had been aroused. Eve gave him a subtle nod then continued their ‘argument’. “I was devastated after talking with TC. I needed you. And what do I get when I finally find you after looking all over Harmony. You on your desk at Crane Industries with some bimbo!”
“Come on, Eve. You know that didn’t mean anything.” Julian trailed his forefinger along her cheek. “How do you expect me to say no to a lush, lovely, and oh so lively young thing,” he said with a lascivious growl.
Eve closed her eyes tight and covered her mouth to keep from laughing out loud. Julian’s heart skipped a beat. She was so beautiful.
In the next moment, TC stormed out the shed, and with amazing care and calm, locked the wooden door before bounding toward them with an angry scowl on his face. “What the hell is going on out here?!”
Eve looked over at the enraged man. “TC, I didn’t know you were out here.”
“This is my house and my property. I can be on any part of it I want, at any time I want. The question is, what the hell is Crane doing here?!”
“It’s not important. Julian was just leaving.” Eve turned to Julian and gave him a wink. “He should have never followed me in the first place.”
Now was time for phase two. “I’m not going anywhere until I’m finished talking. I am Julian Crane, damn it. Seems every time I come here that fact is forgotten.” Julian fixed his gaze on TC. “I will not be pushed around a moment longer. I’m in a discussion with Eve that does not involve you, so whatever you need or want to say is unwelcome.” He motioned his hand in the direction of the back door of the house. “You are dismissed.”
Julian swallowed as TC stared poison daggers his way. He prayed Eve was right about this part of the plan.
Rubbing his left hand over his balled right fist, TC took deliberate steps toward Julian, taunting him as he approached. “Never before have I taken as great a pleasure in the prospect of pummeling you as I am right now.”
When his fist came flying, Julian ducked and connected with a hard punch to TC’s midsection. TC doubled-over. When he lifted his head, Julian’s fist met his chin with an uppercut that sent him flying into the evenly cut shrubbery lining the yard. Julian smiled. Eve was right. It felt good to be punching TC instead of the other way around, for a change.
Eve’s eyes widened. “Wow,” she mouthed before turning to her injured spouse. “TC!” she shrieked, racing to his ‘rescue’. “Julian, I want you to leave!” She stroked TC’s hair. “Are you okay?”
Julian flexed his bruised hand as fire burned in TC’s eyes. “No, I’m not,” he snapped, wincing in obvious pain once the words were said. Had TC not been leaning on the bushes, he would surely be in a heap on the ground.
Eve checked his jaw, it was beginning to swell. “That might be fractured. I think we should check this out at the hospital.”
TC jerked away from her. “I’m not going to any hospital.” He extracted himself from the bushes, his eyes still on Julian. “I want him gone,” he ground out.
Eve stomped over to where Julian stood, and flashed three fingers. “Well?”
Julian brushed his thumb against her cheek. “Come along, Eve. Let’s go someplace quiet so we can, uh, talk,” he said with a lusty grin.
Eve slapped his hand away from her face. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”
“Ah, Eve, don’t be that way. You know that tryst with Muffin didn’t mean anything.”
“I have needs, Eve. And with your current situation--” he glanced over at TC. “Somebody’s got to keep Little Julian happy. Rebecca was shopping with Gwen, so….”
“You’re a pig, Julian! You disgust me. I can’t believe I let this happen again. I was at my lowest point today, and when I needed you most, you were servicing some tart! This is it. I can’t trust you. I should have never trusted you. Get out of my sight! If I never see you again it will be too soon.”
Julian combed his fingers through the ends of her silky hair. “Come now, Eve,” he said with a grin, gently tugging the dark strands, “you don’t mean that.”
Eve pushed away his hand. “Yes, I do!” After mouthing, ‘I’m sorry,’ she slapped him so hard his teeth rattled.
Julian knew the slap was coming so he readied himself for it, but the preparation did scant little to diminish the pain. He covered his burning cheek. As expected, TC eyes danced with joy as he watched the scene from the sidelines. The plan seemed to be going as they hoped. “You’ll regret this, Eve.”
“No more than I already regret ever meeting you. I just pray it’s not
too late for my husband and me. Now get the hell out of my sight!”
He stepped closer to her. “I’ll be waiting for your call,” Julian whispered. He cleared his throat. “I’ll give you one more chance, Eve. If you don’t apologize and plead for my forgiveness right now, I’m never coming back.” Eve turned her back to him. “Fine! I hope you enjoy your woefully middle-class existence with him.” Julian gave TC a hard stare, then strolled the concrete walk to his car before speeding away.
Eve took a deep breath. So far, so good. Now was the time to see if she really knew TC as well as she thought she did. She journeyed the seemingly mile long walk to his side. “I’m so sorry about this, TC. About everything.”
TC’s laughter was filled with derisive scorn. “I imagine so.” He covered his jaw, grimacing in pain.
“Listen, we can work this out. I made a mistake, a huge mistake, but you know all about that now. You know about everything. I’m so sorry.” She took his hand, stroking it between hers as she put on her best pleading performance. “I know what I said today hurt you, but I’m willing to do anything to make this right. We can go to Father Lonigan, get some counseling.”
TC shook his head. “I don’t need any counseling.” He held up his hand. “No, that’s wrong. We are going to need some counseling. Legal counseling.”
Eve’s heart pounded. Please, God, say this worked. Tears filled her eyes. “What are you saying?”
“I don’t want you. I don’t want anything to do with you. I could get past you sending Whitney to California with that street punk, but sleeping with Julian Crane?” His mocking laughter returned. “I don’t care if the last time was over twenty years ago, the fact that it even was is my problem. You gave this man a child.”
“But before, you--”
“I said I wanted you to stay in the house and keep up the façade
of the happily married wife. I remember that. But that was when you still
wanted Julian and I thought he wanted you. All that’s changed. You’re going
to be alone in the gutter, just like you were when you met Julian all those
years ago. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of that fate than you.
I’ll be filing for divorce tomorrow morning. A quickie divorce. The sooner
I’m rid of you the better.”