IT'S LATE AFTERNOON AT JILLIAN'S APARTMENT

Sunset Hotel, Suite #2, Albanyville, ILJillian Stokes"I'm coming!"  Jillian called out as she rushed across the living room to answer the knock at the door.  "Hello?"  she said as she flung the door open.

"Beautiful flowers for a beautiful lady."  Dane smiled warmly as he held out the bouquet of roses.  Without saying a word, Jillian quickly shoved the door closed, but he blocked it with his foot and pushed his way into the apartment.

"Dane, don't you understand that I don't want to see you?"  She moved away from him as he continued to hold out the flowers.  "How many times do I have to tell you to leave me alone?"

"I just saw these and thought of you."  He smiled and moved closer to her as he watched her expressions and movements.  "Jillian, don't tell me you won't even accept beautiful roses!"

"Not from you!"  She folder her arms across her chest and glared at him.  "Get out!"

Dane Manchester"When are you going to realize that what we had is too strong to deny?  When are you going to admit that you still love me?"

"How does 'never' sound?"  Jillian began to grow angry at Dane's persistence.  Why couldn't he leave her alone?  Was he hell bent on destroying any chance at happiness that she had?  "Yes, Dane, I did love you once.  That was my mistake.  I was young and foolish and you took advantage of that.  Finally, I saw through all of your lies and betrayals.  I am marrying Reginald.  He is kind and decent and honest and sincere....nothing like you at all!"

"Really?"  Dane smirked slightly as he thought about what Jillian didn't know.  "Is he really as wonderful as you say?"

"Yes!"

"Gee, Jillian, are you sure you know Reginald as well as you think you do?"  Dane smiled confidently at her as she began to wonder exactly what he was trying to imply.


MEANWHILE, AT THE GARDENS

The Gardens RestaurantTrevor CallisonTrevor paused for a moment to organize his thoughts as he thought about Lorraine and exactly what she meant to him.  "Grace, Lorraine is probably one of the kindest and most wonderful women that I've ever met.  I don't even think she realizes exactly how wonderful she is."

"But....do you love her?"  Grace's question shook Trevor.  It was the same question that he'd been asking himself for weeks now.  At one time, he was sure the answer was "yes", but now that he'd met Grace....

"At one time, yes, I was very much in love with her.  Well, actually, I realize, now, that I only thought I was in love with her.  Like I said, Grace, she's a wonderful woman, but there's something I really just can't explain.  Love really isn't something you can define.  There's no checklist to mark off so that you'll know when you're in love."

"I know that, Trevor."  She began to grow a little irritated with him.  Why is he starting to talk to me like I'm three, again?  I know what love is!  "Love is more than a feeling; it's a state of being.  It's like something that wraps itself around you and you can't shake it, no matter what!  You don't know why...you can't explain it, but it's there.  That's why, sometimes, the people we should be in love with, we aren't; and the people that we'd be least likely to fall for have our hearts in an instant."

"That's it!" he exclaimed. "That's exactly how I'm feeling!  I can't explain it, Grace, but I thought I had everything figured out.  I loved Lorraine and I knew my life was going to be with her, but then something happened and I had to reevaluate everything.  I had to totally rethink all of my feelings!"

"So, what happened?"

"You!  You happened!"  Trevor leaned closer to her and looked deep into her eyes.  "Since I met you, I can't keep you out of my thoughts and out of my dreams.  You've made me realize that I don't love Lorraine and maybe I never did.  Grace, I can't explain any of it.  I want you, not her."  Surprised, Grace leaned away from him.  She'd had no idea his feelings were this intense.

Grace Davis"Trevor, you need to forget any kind of romantic feelings you have for me!  My heart is set on another man!  There is no way we can be together."  She felt sad for him as she watched the pained expressions on his face.  "That unnamed, mysterious feeling that you can't shake is exactly what I feel for someone else...not you."

"W-who is he?"  His voice trembled slightly as the realization of his foolishness began to sink in.

"I can't say.  I'm afraid that if I tell anyone who has my heart, I'll curse any chance I have.  Just know that it isn't you."

"Well, whoever he is is one very lucky man."  Trevor leaned in to her once again and gently placed his hand on hers.  "I hope he appreciates you and everything that you are."  He pressed his lips to hers softly.  Though, stunned, Grace didn't pull away.  It wouldn't hurt anything to give him just one kiss.  Neither one saw Lorraine as she walked into the restaurant.


MEANWHILE, AT THE LAKE APARTMENT

800 W. Rose St. Apt #3, Albanyville, ILStephanie Lake"Now who could that be?"  Stephanie asked and turned in the direction of a knock at the door.  "I'm coming!"  She opened the door to see Patterson.  "Oh, Patterson, come in.  Um...what are you doing here?"

"I need to have a word with you, Stephanie," he said as he eyed her closely before looking at Sara.  "Alone!"

"I get the hint."  Sara scooped up her purse and sweater and headed for the door.  "Besides, I've got to go check on some information about a wedding.  I'll talk to you later, Steph."

"Alright, now that you've got me to yourself, what do you want?"  Stephanie asked after Sara was gone.

"I want you to leave Reginald and Jillian alone.  They are two very good friends of mine and I don't want you doing anything to ruin any kind of happiness they have!"

"Actually, this is really none of your business."  She turned a cold shoulder to him.  "But if you must know, Jillian is not the right woman for Reginald.  She's just not able to deal with a man as passionate as he is."

Patterson Monroe"Stephanie, I know all about your little fling with him right after they started seeing one another."  His revelation shocked her.  She'd had no idea that Reginald had confided in anyone about their affair.  She, herself, had only hinted about it to Sara.  Granted, Sara had figured it out and now knew everything, but Stephanie was sure that Reginald wouldn't have told anyone in fear of Jillian finding out.

"So, he told you?"  She waited until Patterson's nods confirmed the truth.  "Well, to say I'm surprised would be an understatement.  I really didn't believe he'd be so forthcoming about our affair."

"It was his guilt that forced him to tell me.  He felt guilty for betraying Jillian and their love and he had to tell someone."

"I didn't realize that you were his official 'confessor', Patterson."  She paced around the room nervously.  If his guilt had forced him to confess to Patterson, did it also force him to confess to Jillian?  "Who else did he spill his guts to?"

"Not Jillian, if that's what you're asking!  He knows what that kind of a betrayal would do to her.  The last thing Reginald wants to see is Jillian hurt.  He loves her too much for that."  She breathed a sigh of relief.  Jillian didn't know the truth.

"He might love her, but he needs me!"

"What he needs is to be left alone!"  Patterson reached out and grabbed Stephanie's arm and held it tightly.  "Why are you so hell bent on destroying any kind of happiness they might have?"

"Why are you so insistent on sticking your nose where it doesn't belong?"  She snatched her arm away and shot him a disdainful look.  "Why do you feel the need to come into my home and interfere in my life?"

"Because you're trying to destroy the lives of two people I care about very much!  Reginald and his family have been very good to me and my brother since the accident.  The last thing I want is to see them hurt."

"You know, Patterson, maybe if you had a woman of your own, you wouldn't be so obsessed with everyone else's love lives!"  Stephanie's verbal slap forced him to take a step backwards.  "Why don't you go home and play 'daddy' to that little brother of yours and lock yourself away from the rest of the world because you're too scared of it!  Leave those of us who are still intent on living life alone!"  Patterson was speechless.  Did he really hide from the rest of the world after the plane crash?  True, he spent most of his time either at school or with Todd, but did that really make his as pathetic as she'd made him sound?  Without saying a word in rebuttal, Patterson stormed out leaving Stephanie to smile at one small victory.