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Chapter three

The next few days, Ethan put all his energy into his work, he closed deals, signed new contracts, and added new businesses into his growing conglomerate. New Staff were employed to help with the pile of workload that kept growing even though his old staff worked hard and some put in bonus hours. 

 Ethan was driven by the emotions he refused to address and this worried his business partner Gaius.  He tried to talk to his friend but was always met with a dead end.  Even though Gaius was not surprised that his friend was inaccessible and always refused help or advice given to him, still he was worried and he knew it was time to make an Intervention using any means possible. If Gaius understood anything, he knew what pain was, And even though he knew his own pain had nothing to do with the death of a loved one,  it still hurts having to live a lie. 

 However,  since he could do nothing about his own demons at least, for now,  he had a duty towards Ethan's children and he intended to help out.  If he were still up to date,  Emma should be fifteen,  Williams almost thirteen, and the baby of the house Sophie five. He would never forget Sophie's age even if he forgot that of the other children hers was imprinted in his memory. 

He made up his mind to visit Ethan at home the next day, he also wanted his mother around and knew she would agree with him and both of them would work towards convincing Ethan to make himself available to his children and also get a wife. 

The fateful day which was on a Saturday Gaius paid his friend a visit unannounced at about 8:00 in the morning, He had a feeling that his friend would be at home. He was no stranger to the St. James household and Immediately he arrived,  he was ushered into the living room by the housekeeper Jane who had served the family for almost 15 years.

“ I'll inform Mr. Ethan of your presence.”  the housekeeper informed him.

“ good,  tell him to get a lazy ass down here.” Gaius joked. 

 Jane stifled a smile at his comment,  she was already used to his sassy remarks.

***************

“ Did you catch any sleep last night?”  Ethan’s baritone voice rang in the air.

 At the sound of the Voice, Gaius jerked awake,  he could not believe he dozed off on his friends' couch.

“Your couch should be blamed.”

“Hahaha,  you can park in and live with us.”  Ethan joked.

“Sounds like a plan.”

After their laughter had died down, Ethan asked his friend the reason for his early morning visit. “And to what do I owe this early morning visit.”

Gaius pretended to be hurt “ you mean I should have a reason for visiting my good friend,  I feel so hurt right now.”

“ Cut the crap,  I know you too well and you never waste a visit.”

“If you must know,  I came for an Intervention.”

“What?”  Ethan replied. 

“ I want you to come on a double date with me and Fiona.”

“ you are joking right,  you know I am not dating anyone right now.”  he looked chagrined

“It does not matter,  I can arrange a date for you.”

“ not interested.”

“ Think about it,  you can't stay alone forever.”

 Before  Ethan could reply,  a voice spoke on his behalf  “ set the date,  he will  join you.’

“ Mrs. Theresa,  good to see you again, you look breathtaking.”   Gaius complimented and rose to give her a perk on both cheeks.

“ You don't look bad yourself,  and congrats on your engagement.”

“ Thank you.”

Theresa sat beside Gaius “ now tell us more about the double date.”

“ There is nothing to say mother,  I am not interested.  and I would appreciate it if both of you stop acting as if I was not present here.” Ethan was getting irritated. He was angry that they both refused to let him be.

“ But why are you not Interested,  I know that you have not dated for a while now.  you need to put yourself out there,  you can't live in your past forever.” Theresa looked at her son Who was the exact replica of his father,  brown eyes,  beautiful gray eyes that had turned sad since losing his wife. She knew no woman would say no to dating her son if only he would just ask them out and also commit. At his remarkable height of 6 ft,  he was probably every woman's dream man.

“I am simply not interested, not now,  not  ever.”

“ Please don't say that,  even Vanessa would want you to move on.  she would want you to move on with your life, and not carry her death  like a plague forever.” Gaius interjected.

Ethan rose to his feet  “ she should have thought of that before dying and leaving me with three children to take care of.”  Ethan retorted.

“ She did not ask for death and you know that. Stop blaming her and stop blaming yourself.  Please just stop.”  his mother cried.

Gaius was not happy with the way things were going,  he did not mean to bring back the past, he just wanted his friend to move on and be happy. “It's already been five years since Vanessa died,  it's time you moved on,  for your sake and that of the children, clinging to the past has never been healthy.”

“ Just mind your business Gaius,  it does not concern you so stay out of it.” Ethan stormed out of the living room.

Gaius watched his friend walk away,  The Silent sob of his mother beside him tore at his heart. “I will talk to him, and make him see reasons. We can't give up on him now. He touched her shoulders for comfort.

“I don't know anymore, Gaius.” she looked at him with tear-streaked eyes. Suddenly Vanessa felt her head swoon, she heard someone calling her to wake up. Then silence.

*************

The ambulance ride to the hospital was the Longest Journey he had had in his life.  As he went off to cool his temper after the argument with his mum and friend, he heard a loud thud on the ground and a shout from his friend. He ran immediately into the living room and found his mother lying on the ground fighting for her life,  the children came running into the living room and when they saw their grandmother they froze in shock. 

 The ambulance came in some minutes later. As soon as his mother was loaded into the ambulance, Ethan turned to face his children,  the look in his eyes was that of  Horror and blame. However, there was no time to contemplate on that. He drove behind the ambulance in this Range Rover as they sped off to the hospital. 

As the paramedic wheeled his mother through the hospital Hall into the ER,  the frenzy at the hospital was another emotional battle for him, as it was all too familiar. The sad and scared faces that stared at him,  the beeping sound of emergency workers pagers,   the chaos synonymous with hospitals left a dull ache in his heart as memories of his wife's last days came back in full swing. 

A few hours later, his mum was brought out of ER  and was taken into a private ward where she would recuperate. 

“Go home and shower,  and have something to eat.  she won't be awake in another four to five hours.” Doctor Killian advised.

“ I can't leave her alone,  I have to stay here with her.”  Ethan objected

Gaius Who had come along with his friend encouraged him to go home,  there was nothing their presence in the hospital would do for his mum and he needed to get some rest. “ You won't be of any help to her if you are tired and gloomy.  I'll come with you so you can shower and have some meal then come back to the hospital.”

 “I'd rather stay here.” Ethan refused to bulge. 

Gaius remained silent for a while,  the doctor was lost for words and left them alone.

“ At least you can comfort the children, so they will be aware that their grandma is okay.” Gaius finally said

“The children.”  Ethan suddenly realized how selfish he had been once again. She was their grandmother After all and the closest they have to a mother and probably a father too since he was hardly ever home.

Resigning himself to do what was in the best interest of his children,  he led the way out of the hospital with his friend driving them home.

It was almost ten at night when he got home,  the kids were all waiting for him in the living room. They were watching a movie when their father walked in.  Emma was the first to see him and rushed over to meet him “ how is grandma doing,  will she be alright.”

Ethan nodded in affirmation, he was so emotional to speak, Partly because he just noticed how grown-up his daughter was,  she was almost a lady and he had missed out on that. 

 William joined them soon afterward, he was barely awake. “Can we see her,” he asked hopefully.

“Maybe later, she is still not out of the woods. I just came home to let you know that she is okay and also to shower” 

His youngest daughter Sophie woke up from where she was sleeping on the couch,  she came over and stood beside Emma. “Is grandma coming home tonight?”  she whispered beside her sister. 

 Emma squatted and faced her little sister “No she won't. But dad says she will come home soon.'' Emma said, at the mention of her father, Sophie looked at her father and removed her eyes as soon as their eyes met, Ethan was hurt by it and he did not know how to reach his youngest child, she barely knew him and it was entirely his fault.

“I will shower and go back to the hospital, you should also prepare and go to bed, it's late already.”

Gaius, who had been standing by the side and witnessed the interaction between his friend and his kids, knew it would take a miracle to make his friend bond with the children again.

Ethan was also aware of the tension between him and his children, This was the longest conversation he had had with them for a while now, he was beginning to see things from his mom's perspective.  

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