EARLY EVENING AT THE PAGE TURNER BOOKSTORE

The Page Turner BookstoreTrevor Callison"Hello, Grace."  Trevor stood at the counter and cautiously waited for her to respond.  She looked up at him, but didn't say a word.  Silently, she began to walk away.  "You won't even talk to me?  Why, Grace?  I tried to call you the other day, but Douglas said you were out.  Why are you trying to avoid me?"

"I think the reason should be obvious."  She maintained her cold exterior and moved from behind the counter and walked over to a rack of books.  Turning her back to Trevor, she began to put the books on the shelves.

"Is it because I kissed you?"  He reached out for her and put his hand on her shoulder.  She quickly pulled away and turned to face him.  She inhaled deeply as she tried to find the right words.  Of course, she thought the world of him.  He was probably one of the nicest people she'd ever met.  Their kiss, however, had made her uncomfortable around him.

"Yes," she finally muttered.  "Trevor, you took me completely off guard the other night.  I wasn't expecting you to tell me that you feel for me like you do.  I-I wasn't expecting you to kiss me like that."  She thought about what their kiss had meant to her.  It had meant nothing, she'd  decided.  It didn't change anything.  She still wanted to be with Dane.  Her feelings hadn't changed.

"Honestly, I wasn't expecting it either.  It just sorta happened.  I wasn't planning to kiss you.  But, in that moment, that was the only thing I wanted to do."  He reached out to caress her cheek.  She tensed up slightly, but she didn't pull away.

Grace Davis"Trevor, you've made it very clear how you feel about me."  She paused for a moment.  She really didn't want to hurt him, but she couldn't let him think that there was a chance she could return his feelings.  "I only thought of you as a friend.  Now, I'm not sure we can even be friends.  I-it would be too awkward."

"Don't say that!  If all we can be is friends, I'll accept that.  I just don't want to lose you in my life.  I can't explain it, but you've come to mean so much to me...more than I ever realized.  The last thing in the world I'd want is to loose your friendship."

"We can't."  Grace turned away from him.  Why is this all so hard for me? she thought as she felt her eyes begin to tear up.  "It's gotten too complicated.  You have a girlfriend and I'm interested in someone else.  We can't be friends.  Not with you feeling the way you do!"

"Look, although I really do care for Lorraine, I've realized that I don't love her."  He spun her around to face him.  "I-I think I love you."

"You can't!  You can't love me!"  Grace's tone grew stern as she tried to convince Trevor of the truth.  "You better find a way to love Lorraine or you're gonna wind up hurting her terribly.  If you do, it will be all for nothing.  I will never be able to return you feelings.  Give up on any idea you have of that."  Silently, she walked away from him and left Trevor standing alone.

What kind of fool have I been? he asked himself.  Why did I ever think that she would be interested in me?  What am I doing to Lorraine?  I have to make things right again before I hurt anyone else.


A LITTLE LATER, AT DANE'S APARTMENT

343 Anderson Lane, Albanyville, ILSara SummersSara sighed serenely as she thought how wonderful Dane's arms felt around her.  She always felt so safe and loved when she was with him.  She rolled over in bed and looked at him and smiled.  "Do you have any idea exactly how much I love you?"

"I think I do."  He laughed as he brushed a wisp of hair off of her forehead.  Dane always thought Sara was one of the prettiest girls he knew.  Often, he thought she didn't even realize how beautiful she truly was.

"I think I've waited my entire life for someone like you.  You know, growing up I didn't have a lot of stability.  I didn't have a mother and my Dad just took off one day.  I never thought that anyone would ever love me.  Then you came into my life and that all changed.  You do love me and I love you.  I think I love you more than you'll ever realize."  Sara words echoed in the background of Dane's thoughts.  His mind had already began to wander.  While Sara was talking about her feelings, Dane had become lost in his thoughts of Jillian and Reginald.

I hope Stephanie can get her act together and get Reginald away from  Jillian, he thought to himself as Sara snuggled into him arms.  Jillian's way too stubborn to listen to me.  She's gonna make the biggest mistake of her life and she's too hell bent on proving me wrong to admit it!

"...we should get married."  Sara's words snapped Dane back into reality.

"What the hell are you talking about?"  He pushed her away as he tried to string together what little he'd heard of their conversation to understand what she was saying.

"I said that since I love you and you love me, we should get married.  You know, make our love official.  Dane, you're the only one I want to be with.  I want to marry you!"

Dane Manchester"I don't think so."  He tone grew colder as he got out of bed and walked across the room.  "Sara, forget it!  We're not getting married.  You need to get those ideas out of your head!"

"B-but, why?"  She followed him across the room and wrapped her arms around him.  "We love each other!  Why can't we get married?"

"Look, Sara, you knew when you met me that I'm not the marrying type!  I've never hid that from you and I've never made you any promises.  I'm not the type of guy who can just settle down with one woman.  You know this!"

"I-I know."  She wrapped her arms around herself and suddenly felt very alone.  True, she knew about Dane's playboy ways and dislike of commitment when they first met.  Why had she convinced herself that she could be all he would ever need?  "I-I just that we'd gotten past that.  I thought we'd gotten to a point where all of that didn't matter.  I love you, Dane!"

"A-and I love you, too, Sara."  He took her into his arms and began to stroke her hair.  "It's just that I've always believed marriage was a serious matter.  I don't take those vows lightly.  If I ever do get married, I want it to be a marriage that'll last forever.  I want it to just be me and my wife.  I want a faithful union.  That's what I believe and until I'm ready for all of that, I can't even think about marrying anyone."  She thought about his words and knew he was right.  Dane couldn't commit to one woman or to marriage until he was ready to be faithful.  "Sara, I'm just not ready for that kind of commitment.  Honestly, I don't know if I ever will be.  You just have to accept things between us just as they are."  Sara could understand his feelings, but she didn't have to accept them.

So, if he gets married, he plans on being completely faithful.  she thought as she looked deeply into his eyes. Then I'll have to get him to marry me weather he wants to or not.


MEANWHILE, AT JILLIAN'S APARTMENT

Sunset Hotel, Suite #2, Albanyville, ILJillian StokesJillian flipped the pages of her copy of Tainted Woman.  She was lost in the words of the novel when a knock at the door disrupted her thoughts.  She sighed as she marked her place in the book before tossing it onto the coffee table.  She got up and went to open the door.  She wasn't prepared to see Stephanie on the other side.  "Hello, Stephanie.  What are you doing here?"  Jillian's words were chilly.  There'd never been a great deal of love lost between them.

"Well, I just happened to be in the neighborhood and thought I'd stop by."  Stephanie sounded chipper as she brushed passed Jillian and walked into the apartment.  "I wanted to offer my congratulations on your engagement.  I hear you're planning a big party.  How's that going?"

Stephanie Lake"It's a little stressful trying to put it all together," Jillian admitted as she cautiously watched Stephanie walk around the room.  "But, let's cut this pitiful excuse at small talk, okay?  What are you doing here?  We've never been exactly the best of friends.  What do you want?"  Stephanie grinned wickedly as she turned to face her rival.

"Okay, you're right.  I do have an ulterior motive.  There's something I need to talk to you about."

"Well, out with it!  What's so important that you have to interrupt my quiet evening?"  Jillian folded her arms across her chest and waited for Stephanie to reveal the real reason for her visit.

Stephanie sighed deeply as she realized this was her moment of truth.  She'd always remember this moment as the one where she got everything she wanted.  "Jillian, I have something very important to tell you."  Stephanie smirked cockily and walked closer to her.  "I have something to tell you about Reginald that's going to change your life."



 


NEXT TIME

Stephanie receives a surprise.
Trevor rededicates himself to Lorraine.
Reginald confronts Charles.




 


produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

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