Risking It All


Alistair Crane, Julian’s father, made it quite clear to Eve, one stormy night, when he practically banged down her door and demanded that she leave Julian alone, that he did not intend for his family name to be tarnished by black blood. Alistair prided himself, and made no attempt to hide the fact that he disapproved of Eve’s color.

‘Pig,’ Eve thought, her body trembling as she recalled that horrible night.

Out of fear for her life as well as Julian’s, she ran, as far as she could, all the way to a town called Harmony. There she met a young man named TC Russell. He took a liking to her immediately, and they started dating.

Julian Crane, however, was the man in her heart. He somehow had managed with very little effort to steal that part of her that no on would ever be able to take away. She loved him!

Sadly, Eve thought of all the wonderful times they had had together. She smiled as she remembered how loving and romantic he was. Marrying Julian would have been a dream come true for her, but Alistair Crane’s hovering threats to destroy her if she didn’t leave him alone continually haunted her.

Then it happened, that fateful day - she was busy trying to get her car door open at the hospital, when she dropped her keys. A hand reached out and picked them up as Eve bent to retrieve them.

Startled, she had held out her hand and took the keys. Looking up, she dropped them again when she stared into the deep eyes of Julian Crane. Her heart stopped! She could scarcely believe it. Yet here he was, more handsome than ever, and still making her heart flip-flop at the sight of him.

His eyes were filled with pain as he searched hers. A tear managed to escape as his hand brushed hers. “Eve,” he’d whispered.

Struggling to calm her rattled senses, Eve had just stood and stared stupidly at him, not knowing what to say, knowing the pain in his eyes was a mirror of what he was feeling inside. A tear had run down her cheek, and she’d quickly batted it away as Alistair’s voice filled her head. “I have to go,” she’d lied and quickly jumped in her car and rushed off, nearly knocking down a jogger in the process.

Julian wasn’t about to let it go at that. He showed up everywhere, trying to find out why she left, why she wouldn’t let him love her. Each time, Eve managed to fight him off; difficult as it was, she managed, somehow, with Alistair’s menacing face looming in her mind as inspiration.

Desperate to keep Julian away from her, she agreed to marry TC. He was continually pledging his love for her, and asking for her hand in marriage.

Eve stared at her wedding dress. Marrying TC was what she considered a smart move, a good decent choice of a man to spend her life with.

Though she never really intended to go through with the wedding, she went along with TC’s pleas, just so that Julian would leave her alone and stop pursuing her. She didn’t, however, count on Julian’s determination to prove that he was the man of her dreams, and his willingness to go to whatever lengths necessary to get her to see it.

Despite her claims that she no longer felt the same, Julian didn't give up, no matter what she said. In his mind, he thought that she would never go through with her plans to marry TC.

He couldn’t understand why Eve would do this to him. She never gave him a satisfactory explanation as to why they couldn’t be together. All in all, he thought she was lying to herself and to him - that she did love him, and that there was some reason that she suddenly changed her mind about being with him - that the love he was certain they had between them would stand the test of time, and she would forsake this insane idea of marrying TC Russell…but he was wrong!

In desperation, Julian had forced Eve to take drastic measures and actually marry TC and hope that maybe then, Julian would move on. She could always learn to "like" TC, sort of, she hoped!

TC, on the other hand, was thrilled to marry Eve. He had come to like her a great deal since she had first stitched him up at the Harmony hospital. He would have a nice life with Eve Johnson - so he figured anyway.

Tomorrow was the wedding. Julian was not invited, ‘not that he would come,’ Eve mused to herself. She hated having to go this far. The last thing she had wanted was to be stuck in a loveless marriage. But she figured, for staying alive, that this was a small price to pay.

To her, Julian was one in a million. There would never be another man like him for her. She doubted that she would ever be able to love another man again. This was something so real, so genuine, and so honest. She had loved him since the moment she laid eyes on him, and time hadn't changed the way she felt. He was her soul mate, her destiny, her one true love, and she loved him more than life itself.

But she was willing to throw it all away for the chance to finally do what she thought was the right thing to do - keep Julian and herself safe from Alistair’s wrath.

Now here she was, sitting in her room at the Crane Hotel, waiting for tomorrow and whatever it would bring. TC, superstitious about seeing the bride before the wedding, was staying in another hotel.

So Eve was alone, for all her friends had already left for the night. She stood by the window and stared at the beautiful sky full of stars. Tears clouded her vision when she thought of Julian - his handsome face, his tall, strong body, his warm arms, and his gentle kiss. Her bottom lip quivered as she longed to be in his arms, to hold onto him, to kiss him, at least one more time.

Her heart ached with sadness, and a pain that she feared she would never be free of consumed her soul. It was almost more than she could bear. It tore her up inside, and she found it difficult to breathe as she walked to her bed and crawled under the covers. She curled up in a tight ball and hugged the other pillow close, squeezing her eyes shut, pretending it was Julian.

She lay in bed for a while and wondered why Julian hadn't made any attempts to see her that evening. She found it odd and thought for a moment that her plan may have worked - that he might actually have given up. This saddened her a great deal. She wanted him to come to her, to tell her that he loved her, to try to stop her from marrying TC, maybe even kiss her. Just one more time! She started to cry when she realized that he may have given up on her.

Julian sat in his library, a pen in his hand, scribbling on a piece of stationery. It was almost eleven, and he was having trouble sleeping, so he decided that he would try and get some work done.

His mind, however, wasn't on work. His head was filled with thoughts of Eve, and his heart was filled with sadness. He couldn't believe that she was going to marry TC Russell. He had tried every trick in the book to try to convince her to change her mind, but nothing had worked. In fact, it seemed to have made her more determined than ever to go ahead with this ridiculous idea of a marriage.

His hopes to ever find love again were dead. His desire to try and love another woman was totally gone. He had come to a point where he thought that he would be alone forever. For it seemed that every time he found something worth holding onto, it was torn from him, leaving a big empty hole where his heart used to be.

Then Eve Johnson came back into his life. The emptiness in his heart was filled with determination to win her back, no matter how hard she resisted him.

She was a damned determined woman. No matter how hard he’d tried, much to his dismay, she kept resisting him, even to the point where he really thought that what they had once shared was dead. But his heart refused to believe it.

Julian snapped out of his train of thought when the clock struck eleven. He watched it for a moment as the pendulum swung back and forth, and tried to find a way to relieve his aching heart. He breathed deeply; his chest felt like a ton of bricks was laying on it. This was too much. He couldn't go through this again. The thought of being without her was too painful for him to bear.

He hurled the pen across the room, as tears streamed down his face. Why? Why did God allow her to come into his life, only to have her torn from his grasp? They had never even had a chance to explore their love. It had still been so new and so fresh, so full of hope and life.

He couldn't believe it; he had lost her again, to an absolute putz! A total loser! Was she out of her mind? For the life of him, he couldn't figure it out. What the hell had happened? He summed it up to temporary insanity on her part.

‘Women! Who could figure them out? Just when you think that you've caught onto their game, they change the damn rules!!’ He thought that he had it all figured out. They would live happily ever after. Then suddenly out of left field came a curve ball named TC Russell, and it hit him right in the gut.

Furious, Julian slammed his fist on the table. Just who did this guy think he was anyway? Raining on his parade! Stealing the woman that had captivated his heart the way no woman ever had. Well, there was one thing left to do that he hadn't tried yet. It was his last hope. He jumped to his feet, grabbed his coat and headed for the Crane Hotel.

Eve was tossing and turning restlessly when there was a knock at the door. She lifted her head and looked at the clock: 11:30 pm. Who on earth would knock on her door at this time of the night? She paused a moment, thinking that whoever it was would go away. There was another knock.

Putting on her robe, she walked to the door and peeked out to see who it was. She had thought that it may have been Julian, but was disappointed to see that it was the bellboy. Sighing deeply, she opened the door.

"Sorry to bother you, Miss Johnson, but there is a delivery for you, and I was told that you must get it tonight, no matter how late,” he explained, as he handed her a small flat package.

"It's all right," she said as she reached and took the package from him. "Who gave this to you?" she asked.

"There is a card," he pointed and then turned to leave, not waiting for her to tip him.

She looked at his back in surprise. "But don't you want a tip?" she asked.

"It's OK; I was already paid for this delivery." He smiled gently and left.

Eve shrugged her shoulders and closed the door. She pulled the card off the package and pulled it out of its envelope. It was a plain card, with a simple design of flowers on the cover. She opened it and read simply, 'My wedding gift to you, from the man of your dreams.' She smiled weakly and said, "TC, only Julian is the man of my dreams!"

She threw the card onto the table, not wanting to even think about being in another man's heart other than Julian's. She ripped open the package and was surprised to find a CD in it. She stared at it for a moment and wondered what it was for.

There was no cover, just the CD in a clear box. She opened it to inspect who the artist was, but a second knock at the door distracted her. Placing the CD it on the table and thinking it was the bellboy again, she just opened the door.

"Julian!" she gasped. "What are you doing here?"

He smiled at her warmly and said, "I just came to see if you got my wedding gift."

"The CD, that was from you?" she blurted out.

"Don't forget the card!" he reminded her. "May I come in for a minute?" he asked politely.

"Why?" she asked suspiciously.

"I just want to talk to you for a bit. Please, it will only take a minute."

She looked at him for a moment and said, "I don't think that is such a good idea, Julian. After all, I am going to get married tomorrow," she pointed out.

"That's why I'm here," he said. "I want to talk to you about your wedding tomorrow."

"Don't you mean you want to try to stop me from marrying TC tomorrow?" she corrected impatiently.

"No!" he stated firmly, then immediately calmed down and continued. "No, that is not why I am here." He swallowed and balled his hand into a fist. He stepped closer and reached out to her, but stopped when she backed away from him.

His face twisted in pain, but he managed to squeeze out a slight smile. He then pressed his lips together and dropped his hand.

Her heart ached at the pain she saw in his face, but she kept up her defenses, for she knew that it wouldn't take much for Julian to break down her walls. All she had to do was to keep space between them. "So, what is it that you want?" she asked, a little confused.

"I..." he started, "I have tried everything to get you to marry me instead, but...nothing has seemed to work. You seem to really want to go through with this, so, I am here to make peace with you," he explained.

"Make peace?" she questioned in sarcastic disbelief\. "Well, you sure started on a good note," she said with a laugh.

"What do mean?" he asked.

"Oh, don't play innocent with me Julian." She pointed at the card on the table. “The man of your dreams?" she quoted his card.

"Just writing the truth!" he explained.

"Well, I see you still have a healthy ego," she fumed. "Tell me, Julian, what are you really here for?"

"Like I said, I am here to make things right with you."

"Make things right? How, Julian? What do you have in mind? Are you going to force me to get together with you, or will you hold me captive until I give in?" she asked, not believing any of his claims.

"What a great idea!" he chirped. "But no, that is not what I came to do. I am here," he paused for a moment, "I am here to wish you well, and to tell you that I wish you all the happiness in the world." He swallowed hard as he watched her jaw drop in utter disbelief.

"You are wishing me well?" She laughed. "Is there some cotton in my ears? I don't think I heard you right!" She wiggled her finger in her ear.

He reached out and pulled her hand from her ear and lowered it. He looked into her eyes. "It's not a joke, Eve. I mean it!"

She squinted, and wrinkled her forehead, suddenly alarmed by his behavior. "Why?" she asked, swallowing hard and staring nervously at the base of his throat.

Julian put a finger under her chin and lifted her face so she was forced to look into his eyes. His heart pounded, he could hardly stand the tension. He wanted to grab her and hold her, to love her and protect her. But he knew that she would push him away, so he had to contain himself and be a total gentleman.

Eve didn't know what to think; her mind was spinning out of control. Julian was giving up? "Why the sudden change of heart?" she finally asked.

He shuffled his feet for a moment, and then looked her in the eyes and said, "I realized what this must be doing to you." He paused a moment. "And it isn't right. You shouldn't be torn apart like this. So..." he breathed deeply, "I am going to be the bigger man. I will leave you alone. I won't bother you again if you marry TC tomorrow."

She cocked her head to one side, wrinkled her brow and said, "Have you been drinking?"

Realizing that convincing her that he was sincere wasn't going to be easy, Julian brushed his hand over his face. "Eve, I'm serious!" he said wearily.

Eve swallowed and looked away. "Thank you, Julian. I appreciate that." When he didn't say anything, she turned to look at him.

Mesmerized, they stared at each other for a few moments. The air was charged with love and longing, heavy and painful for both of them. They seemed to sway, as if their bodies had minds of their own. It was like a magnet, trying to pull them together. One could see how much they loved each other.

Julian reached out and traced his finger gently along her cheek. "There is just one more thing," he whispered.

As if burned by fire, Eve snapped back to reality, "W...what’s that?" she asked, visibly shaken by his touch.

He stepped around her and picked up the CD that was lying on the table. He placed the CD into the stereo and turned on the power.

"What are you doing?" she asked in confusion.

"One last dance?” he smiled gently as he held out his hand to her.

Eve swallowed nervously. "I thought you said you would leave me alone?"

"After you marry TC. And that still leaves tonight!" he pointed out.

"Julian, please..."

"Just one dance, that's all I ask," his eyes pleaded with her, "one last dance."

'What would it hurt to dance with him one more time?' Eve was lost in thought for a moment, shivering at the thought of being in his arms. "Well, I guess it would be all right," she said.

"Great! Let me get the music. We can't dance without music, can we?" he said.

"I guess not! Anything specific on that CD?" she asked, suddenly suspicious.

"Nope!" he lied. "Whatever comes on, we'll dance to. OK with you?"

"Fine!" she said, wringing her hands nervously.

Julian switched on the CD and turned to her as the music softly filled the room. He held out his hand and said, "Shall we?"

The sound of a piano could be heard, soft and slow - the melody, an air of haunting sadness as it softly filled the air. Eve wasn't familiar with the tune, but she guessed that the song was deliberately chosen by Julian. The atmosphere in the room was heavy, and Eve found it difficult to breathe as she placed her hand in his, carefully avoiding his eyes.

His hand engulfed hers, warm and gentle. Pulling her close, Julian closed his eyes, a tear rolling down his cheek. He bowed his head against her hair, loving the feel of it, the sweet scent of her shampoo, but mostly how it caressed his cheek as he pulled her closer still.

Eve's head swam from the intoxicating scent of his cologne. The nearness of his strong body, his gentle arms holding her close, and his warm breath slightly rustling her hair against her cheek caused her body to tremble.

The haunting melody of "The Dance," filled Eve's ears. The words filled with sadness, causing Eve to hold onto Julian as tears streamed down her cheeks.

Julian gently swayed her with the rhythm of the music, feeling her body tremble, his own heart breaking, as he held her tightly against him, letting the song say it all for him.

Looking back,
On the memory of,
The dance we shared,
Beneath the stars above,
For a moment,
All the world was right,
How could I have known,
You'd ever say good bye.

And I, I'm glad I didn't know,
The way it all would end,
The way it all would go,
Our lives are better left to chance,
I could have missed the pain,
But I'd have had to miss the dance.

Holding you,
I held everything,
For a moment,
Wasn't I the king,
If I'd only known,
How the king would fall,
And whose to say,
You know I might have changed it all.

And I, I'm glad I didn't know,
The way it all would end,
The way it all would go,
Our lives are better left to chance,
I could have missed the pain,
But I'd have had to miss the dance.

As the melody of the song continued to haunt their broken hearts, Julian knew, had he been given the chance to do it again, that he'd love her all over again - no matter what the cost.

Weak and shaken, Eve’s body trembled as she sank against Julian, unable to stand on her own. She knew that she would have fallen had it not been for his strong arms holding onto her. She loved him! She never knew what real pain was, until that moment. With each word, cutting like a knife, her heart was being torn to pieces.

She would never get over this; time would not heal this wound, and no light would appear at the end of a tunnel someday, for there was no tunnel for Eve, only Julian and her love for him.

Julian pulled back slightly, his tears mingled with hers. His face leaned against her cheek, and his heart ached with love for her, as he tried to collect his wits. He breathed painfully and held her away from him so he could look into her face.

"I want you to be happy, Eve. I want to see you smile again," he broke the silence between them, the music still playing in the background. "I never thought that there would be a day in my life that I would love you as much as I do right now. So it’s because I love you that I am letting you go, Eve. Go and be happy with him, if that is what you want," he said, pain written all over his face at the sacrifice he was making. "But just remember one thing: I will always be here for you when you need me."

Eve could only stare at him. She didn't know what to say. She was afraid that her voice would give out on her, and that she would start to cry, so she just nodded.

Julian knew she was affected by his presence. He knew that she loved him too. It was all over her tear-stained face. She looked so beautiful to him. He wanted to kiss her, but kept his emotions in check. He had to do this right if he wanted it to work.

Eve could hardly stand it anymore. She needed air, and fast! This was all too much for her to bear. She feared that she would completely lose control of whatever little composure she had left.

Before she could pull away, Julian leaned her back and took her face in his hands. He lifted her chin so she was looking him in the eye. Then he gently pressed his lips to hers. He held the kiss there, not moving, just pressing, feeling her tears once again against his face.

He pulled back, and his voice broke as he said, "Goodbye, my love." Then he turned and walked out the door.

Eve sank to the floor in a heap and sobbed, "Julian, oh, Julian."

Early the next morning, about two hours after dawn, Julian sat on the front steps of the Crane Mansion. The sun warmed his face despite the chilly breeze.

He had been out driving most of the night, trying to drive her from his mind. Hugging his jacket closer, he let his mind play back the night’s events. Over and over again it tormented him, not leaving him any peace of mind. He had done the hardest thing he had ever been challenged to do, letting her go!

There was the saying, 'If you love someone, let her go. And if she was meant to be yours, she'll come back to you. And if not, it was never meant to be.'

"A lot of consolation that is," Julian muttered, wondering if he had done the right thing, if he could have convinced her somehow, made her see that she belonged with him. He wracked his brain trying to figure out what he could have done to keep the woman that he loved.

A cool gust of wind caught his breath away, leaving him slightly winded. Shivering, he got up to unlock his door. The silence that greeted him, when he opened the door, was deafening - the quiet stillness, the creaking of the door, and his heart pounding painfully in his ears.

Julian welcomed the silence. It seemed to bring some relief to his aching head, but did nothing at all for his aching heart. Sighing loudly, he threw his keys onto the desk and unbuttoned his jacket. He rubbed his face wearily, as exhaustion started to set in.

He thought of going to bed, but decided he would get a brandy first. He glanced over the mail on the front room desk, checking to see if there was anything that might take his mind off Eve. Nothing!

While shuffling a few papers around on the desk, he felt her presence before he even saw her. The scent of her perfume filled his nostrils, and his heart started to pound with excitement. He stood, unable to move, as if he was frozen to the floor, afraid that if he even looked at her that she would fade away like a dream.

Eve stood quietly in the doorway. He didn't look up at her, but she knew that he was aware of her presence. Her heart went out to him. He looked tired and completely spent. The night had been very rough on both of them, and she realized that it was all her fault. No matter how sincere she had been trying not to provoke Alistair, not once did she think of how it was going to affect Julian.

She didn't mind that he didn't look at her; she hadn't expected him to greet her with open arms. This was her doing, and if she had any sense at all, she would make it right.

She finally unglued herself from the threshold of the mansion and closed the door. Her heart pounded nervously, afraid that he had withdrawn from her completely. Not that she blamed him. She moved closer to him, almost afraid to breathe.

Julian held his breath, unsure of what she was doing. He felt her behind him. He wanted to turn and pull her into his arms, to hold her close, kiss her, love her, but nothing could have prepared him for what she did next.

He felt her hand on his back, sliding around to his chest. She moved closer, and with her other arm, she embraced him. Pressing her face into his back, she began to cry.

Julian was dumbfounded and didn't know what to think; all he knew was that he had to do something. He turned and pulled her into his open jacket, pressing her head against his chest, holding her tight, and never wanting to let her go.

Eve hugged him closer, releasing all her pent-up emotions. All the longing that was hidden in her heart, all the love that she felt for him, came pouring out of her as she sobbed into his shirt.

Tears flooded Julian's eyes as her arms tightened around him. He didn't need words to explain what was happening. He knew in his heart that she wanted him and him alone.

He rocked her gently, letting her find comfort and peace in his arms. He loved her, and she loved him, or she wouldn't have come. He smiled through his tears as his heart flooded with joy.

This is what it was all about - love, real love, the kind of love that bore no secrets; the kind that when they looked into each other's eyes, the past and all its pain, all its grief, ceased to matter. There was only him and her, man and woman, and a magically genuine, pure love for each other.

"Julian..." she cried, trying to move from his arms.

He held her tighter, not willing to let her go yet. "Shhh, you don't have to say anything. I know," he assured her.

He pressed his face against the side of her head, kissed her hair, and whispered, "I love you so much."

Her heart melted, and she turned her head so that she was face to face with him. "I love you too, Julian." She trembled as she finally said the words he so longed to hear.

They were so close, their breathing becoming shallow, and their lips moved closer still. He paused, unsure if he should continue, but all his doubts were erased when she closed the breath’s space between them and pressed her lips to his.

Immediately his mouth fused to hers. He kissed her, tasted her, hardly believing that finally she was here. Her mouth, soft and full, completely surrendered to his.

Eve's heart pounded in her ears as she opened her mouth and allowed him to deepen the kiss. She loved the feel of his tongue dancing with hers, the pressure of his lips tasting every part of her mouth and lips.

When they finally came up for air, their breathing was ragged and shallow. They stared at each other, unable to pull away. They couldn't deny their love any longer. It was there - there hearts were open to each other, no holds barred, and most important, neither of them wanted it any other way.

She was surprised to find his face wet with tears. "Why are you crying?" she asked.

"When you’re in pain, I am in pain. I can't stand to see you so unhappy. It tears me up inside." He shifted slightly. "I want to be the man who makes your dreams come true, the…..."

"Oh, Julian, you do,” she interrupted. “Being here with you, loving me, making me feel so safe, you have made all my dreams come true. You’ve given me the one thing I longed for most in my life."

"What's that?" he smiled.

"Love, an honest and pure love," she smiled happily.

Touched, he said, "Well, my love, loving you is like breathing to me. It’s just part of me. It always will be."

Tears filled her eyes. "You say the sweetest things. You could make a toad feel better about his looks." She suddenly chuckled at the thought of him face to face with a frog.

"Gee, thanks. But you’re the only one I care to be sweet with right now." He pulled her close and kissed her.

Eve pulled back slightly, "Julian..."

"Hmmm..." he drawled lazily, trying to coax her into another kiss.

"Last night, you made me see just how precious what we have really are. I finally realized what a fool I would be to give that up, so I'm not going to marry TC," she said, trying to keep from losing her senses as he nuzzled her neck.

"If you did, you'd be dreaming about me all night anyway, so why bother if you can marry the real thing?" he grinned wickedly.

"You’re impossible!" she laughed.

“Well, I'll have to show you just how possible I really am." He pulled her with him to the sofa. Sitting down, he pulled her onto his lap.

She shrieked as she fell against him. Looking up into his smiling face, she knew that there was no other place she would want to be. Reaching up, she traced his face with her fingers, her eyes never leaving his.

Julian felt like his heart was about to burst as she ran her fingers along his cheek up to his lips. He opened his mouth and caught her finger before she could move it away. After a few moments of teasing her with his tongue, he let her finger escape, pulling her up to him, and captured her lips with his.

As his mouth settled on hers, Eve’s heart soared as she returned his kiss. She ran her hands up his chest and across his broad shoulders.

Playing with the collar of his white shirt, she grazed her finger lightly against the side of his throat. Moving up his cheek, she could feel the rough stubble of his beard pushing through his unshaven face.

Smiling, she slipped her hands to the base of his throat to the buttons on his shirt. She expertly slipped the first one through the loop and opened it, her lips never leaving his. One button after another was opened, till his smooth chest was revealed.

Slipping her hands inside, her heart pounded as her body reacted to the masculine strength of his presence. A moment later, she pulled back, and laughed when he protested, following her lips with his lips.

He laughed with her, and leaned back just enough to look into her eyes. “Why don’t we take this wonderfully seductive thing you are doing to me up to my room?” His eyes twinkled with promise.

“Mmmm, I can’t wait,” she grinned as she jumped off his lap, and holding his hand, led him up to his room.

Later, upstairs in his bedroom, after making love for the second time, Eve told Julian of Alistair’s sinister plan to keep them apart - how he had threatened her into leaving him, how she was manipulated into believing that he would indeed harm her if she did not comply.

Furious that his father would hurt him like that, Julian vowed to Eve that he would not let any harm come to her, and that he would take care of his father, once and for all. He promised her that she would never have to worry about Alistair again.

Eve snuggled against him happily, knowing without a doubt that he would keep his word.

And he did! Julian removed himself from his father’s life and moved away from Harmony with Eve, now his wife. Together, they lived on a private island that Julian had purchased and planned to raise a houseful of children.

When Alistair found out that Julian married Eve, he disowned him and never contacted him again. Thinking he did Julian a great evil by cutting him out of the Crane billions, he didn’t, however, count on the fact that Julian had been investing his own money and had earned millions himself, therefore, never needing Alistair or his money ever again. Together, he and Eve, along with their family, lived happily ever after.

* No part of this story may be reproduced in whole or in part without the consent of the author. Copyright © 2003 by Bailey. Published by Evian Dreams.