Ernie Ross was first introduced, in January 1982, as a math and science tutor for Cricket Montgomery who was seeking her G.E.D., because she had needed to drop out of school because she had become pregnant during her senior year the previous year. At 23, Ernie was an excellent choice for Cricket as a tutor, because with a super intellect, he was already a successful chemical engineer. With his superior intellect, Ernie seemed to have it made when it came to matters of pocketbook and science; when it came to matters of the heart -- Ernie was anything but an intellectual. Not that he might not have had his share of women, with his blonde hair, blue eyes, nice grin and athletic build, but the eye glasses and geeky look did not endear him to many women. A matter of fact, Ernie was still a virgin; his new teacher-student relationship with the very beautiful Cricket would soon change all that.
However, this was not the first introduction of Cricket and Ernie. Cricket and Ernie were walking separately near Fashions, Ltd. and the place caught fire. What neither one of them knew, at the time, was that Cricket's older half-sister, Margo was inside. Luckily, Margo was able to scream out and, without thinking of his own safety, Ernie saved Margo. Both Cricket and Margo were grateful and Margo tried to get her stubborn sister to see how great a guy Ernie was -- but Cricket didn't care, the only man for her was a man who was already married and had just left town back on Thanksgiving, Eric Hollister. She had even tried to pass off the kid she was now carrying as Eric's and not producer Cody Sullivan’s. All Cricket would admit was that Ernie was cute, but rather geeky and not her type. Ernie was rather disappointed, so was Margo at her sister's stubbornness and ability to be cruel.
The tutoring continued though, with both Margo and their mother, Nurse Lyla Montgomery recognizing how much Ernie was falling for Cricket. Meanwhile, It was Cody's half-brother, Dr. Jeff Ward, whom Cricket called when she went into labor. Arriving too late to get her to the hospital, "Uncle" Jeff delivered little Billy in Lyla's home. At the same time, Cricket called Eric back to Oakdale from Seattle. Eric for certain thought that Billy was his, until Jeff and, Karen Haines blew the whistle on Cricket’s lies. Eric confronted her and Cricket finally had to admit that the baby’s father was the absent Cody.
Soon after, Cricket’s brother, Craig, returned to the States from the island of Martinique, Cricket introduced Craig to Ernie and the men discovered they shared a common interest: chemical engineering. Craig asked Ernie if he could synthesize a formula that made men go crazy around women who were wearing it. When Cricket wore it, Ernie found her hard to resist (of course that could have been natural attraction). When Dee Stewart put it on, she was surrounded by swooning men. Dee told Craig she'd put up the money for the essence's production. Ernie would own five percent of the company's interest, and Dee's mother, Ellen, would be the secretary. Another investor, James Stenbeck, suggested they name the perfume "Deesire." However, There was trouble in the company almost from the start because Karen Haines got her hands on the formula and blackmailed Craig into hiring her as his assistant. Dee, who despised Karen refused to take orders from Karen and threatened to sell her shares, a threat she carried out in the summer of 1982 when Karen tried to to keep Jeff and Dee's sister, Annie apart.
Ernie continued to pine after Cricket, but she refused to see him. In April 1982, Miss America (Elizabeth Ward) came to town to promote the reopened Fashions, Ltd. and Ernie, trying to get Miss Ward to promote "Deesire," asked her out on a date. Cricket got jealous when she saw them dancing, and she invited Ernie over for dinner. When Cricket tried to seduce him, he left. Later that day he was seen buying a book on how to make love.
Although Cricket and Ernie continued to put distance amongst themselves, it was becoming clear to all they were developing a romance. However, Ernie was nervous about his lack of experience with the opposite sex and was afraid that if he acted on his feelings toward Cricket he'd do something disastrous. Meanwhile, Margo and attorney Tom Hughes asked Ernie to help decipher a code found in a hatband of drug lord, Mr. Big. Ernie helped a great deal when he found the words "Bilan" and "Corsica" on the tape, which was important to Miranda Marlowe Hughes, who had up to that time been coerced by Mr. Big to work for his operation.
In the spring of 1983, a tipsy Ernie finally got up the courage to make love to Cricket, although he did call his friend Craig for pointers first (making Craig feel a little embarrassed about teaching Ernie how to make love to his younger sister). When Ernie saw Cricket in a sexy nightgown, he ran into her arms like a man out of control. The morning after, Ernie was bowled over by the discovery that sex could be so much fun, and Cricket was ecstatic as well. Soon, though, Ernie got a job offer in Los Angeles and they parted ways. Weeks later, Cricket found herself pregnant! For his sister's sake, Craig called Ernie in California, who was quick to return to Oakdale and propose. In the middle of their wedding, on Thanksgiving Day 1983, Cricket went into labor. Determined to tie the knot, the couple completed their vows in the ambulance, with Lyla and the minister in attendance. As they were pronounced husband and wife, their baby girl, Suzianne, was born. Afterwards, the new Ross family moved to California to set up house.
Cricket returned for a brief visit in spring 1984, after Craig was taken to prison, but Ernie, Billy and Suzie did not return at that time, although Cricket told everyone they were doing fine.
Later in her life, after her second husband, Casey Peretti, died, Lyla visited the Ross family often and always told everyone they were doing fine. A young adult, Billy came for an extended visit from 2001 to 2002 and said that Cricket and Ernie were doing well, although Suzie was somewhat of a hand full. The last time the Rosses were mentioned was in a discussion between Margo and Cricket’s younger sister, Katie Peretti Frasier, in early 2003. Margo apparently had gone on a brief vacation to see the family and reported that they were doing fine.