IT'S FIFTH PERIOD ENGLISH CLASS AT ALBANYVILLE HIGH

Albanyville High SchoolGrace Davis"Dane Manchester" Grace wrote across the top of her notebook as her mind began to wander away from the lecture on Tennyson.  Surely, Sara Summers was too shallow of a girl to hold Dane's interest for long.  He acted like he really enjoyed the conversation that he and Grace had shared at The Well.  If only Sara hadn't shown up and ruined it!  Grace loves Dane she wrote again.  She didn't see the person standing behind her.

"Dane Manchester?"  Stephanie spoke up as she read the writing on the notebook.  She laughed wickedly as she sat down in the desk next to Grace's.  "Now, don't tell me you're in love with Albanyville's resident lothario?"

"You shouldn't have been looking over my shoulder."  Grace lowered her voice to a whisper as she looked up to she if the teacher was watching.  "Besides, it's none of your business!"

"Well, let me give you a little piece of advice."  Stephanie leaned closer to whisper in her ear.  "Give up on any dreams or illusions you might have about the charming Dane.  You don't stand a chance.  He's in love with someone else, you know?  He can only truly love one woman at a time."

"I know all about your cousin Sara.  I had the...pleasure...of meeting her the other night."

Stephanie Lake"I'm not talking about Sara."  Stephanie found the words catching in her throat.  She knew that when Sara learned the truth for herself, she would be devastated.  Now, if she could just prevent Grace from making the same mistake.  Though she didn't know her well, Stephanie knew that Grace was a sweet and gentle person who deserved much better than the likes of Dane.  "He's only truly in love with Jillian Stokes.  That doesn't mean that he doesn't play the field.  Far from it, actually.  Dane sure likes the attention of the ladies and he's quite a playboy.  He won't have any problem at all encouraging your little crush on him despite his relationship with Sara or his love for Jillian.  Understand that and don't be a fool by letting him get to you."

"But if I can just convince him to give me a chance, I'm sure he'll see that one woman can be enough!  I'll prove to him that I can love him so much that the other women in his life won't even matter."  Stephanie grabbed Grace's hand when she realized that she wasn't listen to a word she was saying.  She realized that a stubborn Grace would just have to learn the truth about Dane the hard way.

"Look, Grace, Dane will never change and there's nothing you can do about it."  She leaned away as the teacher began to walk their direction.  "You'll be better off if you find someone honest and decent to devote your love to.  Dane is not that man!"  Grace wondered if maybe Stephanie was right.  Could Dane really be as horrible as she'd claimed, or did Grace really stand a chance and Stephanie was just trying to scare her off for Sara's sake?


MEANWHILE, AT JOE'S CAFE

Lorraine BlakeJoe's CafeLorraine was dining alone when Patterson walked in and spotted her across the room.  He quickly went over to her.  "Hello, Lorraine."  He smiled.  "Can I join you?"

"Of course, Patterson."  She motioned for him to sit down.  He looked at her for a moment and quickly noticed that there was something weighing heavily on her mind.

"Honey, what's wrong?  You seem troubled.  I hope it has nothing to do with your relationship with Trevor."  He reached out and patted her hand gently as he carefully watched and analyzed her expressions.

"Oh, no, nothing's wrong."  She tried to cover her fears, but he saw right through them.  "Trevor and I are wonderful.  I haven't seen him much lately because he's been so busy, but we're doing wonderful."

"I hope you forgive me if I find a hard time believing you.  You've never been very good at lying.  Maybe it's not my place to nose around in your relationship with Trevor, but there's one thing that I can definitely tell you."

"W-what's that?"  She looked up at him with anticipation.  She so wanted him to reassure her that Trevor loved her and would never leave her.

Patterson Monroe"You are the most wonderful woman I've ever met.  If Trevor Callison is stupid enough not to realize that and he lets you slip away, then he never deserved you!"  Patterson pulled her close and hugged her tightly.  She began to think about exactly how special Patterson was to her.  Why did she ever leave him?  It was true that she wasn't in love with Patterson.  She wanted to experience the all consuming love that she'd heard about so often...the kind of love she had for Trevor.  She pulled away and looked at him.  She knew Patterson was good for her.  If they'd stayed together, Lorraine was sure that she wouldn't be filled with doubt and worry as she was now.  She sighed and began to wonder where they went wrong.

"Thank you," she said softly.  "Thank you for being my friend and thank you for caring about me."

"Lorraine, I'll always care about you.  You're one of the most special people in my life."  He thought back wistfully on their past together.  Why couldn't he have been the one who could give her what she needed?  "I'll always be here for you.  Anytime.  If you ever need me, I'm here."  She hugged him again and held on as if she were clinging to a life preserver and going down for the last time.  She prayed that he was right and everything would be fine with Trevor.  Everything had to be alright.  She couldn't bear to loose him.  Lorraine knew it would destroy her.


LATER, AT THE CALLISON HOME

Charles Callison2210 Elmwood Lane, Albanyville, ILCharles walked through the front door and promptly grabbed Francis and kissed her before even hanging up his jacket.  She was slightly stunned, but deeply pleased by her husband sudden display of affection.  "Charles, dear, how was your day?"

"Oh, the same as usual."  He sat down on the sofa and motioned for her to join him.  "More importantly, how was your day?"

"Well, I had lunch with the ladies' auxiliary for the hospital, but other than that, it was the usual."  Francis looked at Charles and tried to figure out what was going on.  She always knew that he loved her very much, but in recent years he seemed to be much more concerned about the family business and the boys than about her and her life.

"I certainly hope all those organizations you're involved in appreciate everything that you do for them."  He pulled her closer to him and she gladly rested comfortably in his arms.  "They've got the best of the best with you.  Just like I do."

Francis Callison"Oh, Charles," she sighed.  She glanced up to look at him and was quick to notice an unusual smudge on his collar.  It was lipstick!  Francis looked closer and realized that it was definitely too dark to be her shade.  "So...what all have you been up to at the office today?"  She subtly fished for information.

"Just the typical.  Meetings and authors and paperwork.  Nothing different than any other day."  Francis pulled away from him, but couldn't take her eyes off the lipstick on his collar.  Could her husband be involved with another woman?  Surely not!  Charles had way to much honor to betray her like that.  She knew he loved her too much to break her heart.  He couldn't be seeing another woman.  Could he?