For Now and Forever
produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

 

EPISODE #6
April 1935

A FEW AFTERNOONS LATER IN THE LIVING ROOM OF THE CALLISON HOME

"I almost think you're more excited about this engagement party than I am."  Jillian laughed as she looked warmly at the woman who would soon become her mother-in-law.  Francis sipped her coffee and leafed through yet another book of invitations in hopes of finding just the right pattern.

"Actually, I think I am.  Jillian, you know, this is the first wedding we've had in the family since..." she paused to think.  "Well, since Charles and I got married!  We didn't have a big to-do party for our engagement.  Things were much simpler back then."

"Well, Mrs. Callison, you just plan away!"  Jillian was so happy to be marrying into such a wonderful family.  She had always felt so at ease in the Callison home.  "Besides, the more you take care of, the less I have to do!"

"Jillian, I'm glad this is something we can do together."  Francis reached over and put a kind hand on Jillian's.  "But there is one thing you've got to do."

"What's that?"

"Stop calling me 'Mrs. Callison'!  You're going to be family and none of my children refer to me as 'Mrs. Callison'.  Call me 'Mother' or 'Mom' or 'Francis'....anything but 'Mrs. Callison'."  Jillian's heart began to swell.  Francis had always treated her like a daughter.  Even early in her relationship with Reginald, Jillian knew that there was a special connection between them.

"Alright, Mrs....I mean, Mother."  Francis put her arms around Jillian and hugged her tightly as if to seal the new family.  The warm moment between future in-laws was quickly disrupted when Maggie bolted in the door from school.

"Jillian!" Maggie called out as she rushed into the room and flopped herself down on the sofa next to her and began to thumb through the stacks of brochures and magazines.  "Are you two working on the party?"

"Yes, dear."  Francis replied as she cast a disapproving eye towards her daughter and the pile of discarded text books.  Maggie ignored her mother's subtle hints.

"So, Jillian, have you decided what dress you're gonna wear yet?  I told Mother that I wanted her to get me that light blue dress  they've got down at Lerner's Department Store.  It's absolutely gorgeous!  Oh, I can't wait!"  Maggie barely took a breath as she continued on with her excitement.  "Mother, you will let me stay for the whole party, won't you? At the New Year's party you sent me home to bed at 10 o'clock!  Who goes to bed at 10 o'clock on New Year's Eve?  I was so embarrassed!  You always have to treat me like a kid!"

"Maggie..." Francis tried to maneuver into the conversation when her daughter finally took a breath.  "We can talk about all of that later.  Right now, Jillian and I are very busy working on plans for the party.  If you don't let us finish, there won't be a party for you to worry about staying up for."

"Oh, Mom!"  Maggie sulked a little before grabbing her books.  "Alright.  I can take a hint.  I'm going."  After she left the room, Francis and Jillian burst out into laughter.

"I don't remember ever being that much of a character when I was that age."  Jillian smiled as she thought back to her childhood in Manhattan.  "Kids today are so different!"

"Well, that's my daughter."  Francis again reached out for Jillian's hand and held it close to her heart.  "Soon, I'll have two."

Jillian couldn't wait to officially be part of this wonderful family.  However, thoughts of Dane suddenly invaded her happiness.  She tried to push her concerns to the back of her mind, but they proved to be too stubborn.  She couldn't let him disrupt her wedding to Reginald.  It had become more than about her own happiness.  Now, through her, Dane was threatening to destroy the happiness and plans of the entire Callison family.

MEANWHILE, IN CHARLES' OFFICE

"Your mother is driving me crazy with this engagement party!"  Charles leaned back in his chair as he talked to Reginald.  "You'd almost think it was her party and not yours and Jillian's."

"Well, that's Mother for you.  You know how she gets excited about anything her children do.  My marrying Jillian is the biggest thing to happen to this family in years."  Reginald paced around the office.  He paused for a moment to look at a picture of Trevor, Maggie, and himself as children that sat on his father's desk.  He smiled as he remembered the summer it had been taken.  The entire family had gone to Florida for vacation and had the time of their lives.

"I must say I agree with her on this one, son.  The Grand Sunset Room is an excellent place to have this party.  You know that a Callison getting married is a big event in Albanyville.  This town hasn't seen a Callison wedding since your mother and I married."    Charles got up from his chair and walked over to Reginald.  "That's why I don't want to see you do anything stupid to mess up your relationship with Jillian."

"Dad, what are you talking about?  I'd never do anything to ruin what I have with Jillian.  Loosing her is the last thing on my mind!  Why are you even bringing this up?"  Charles paused a moment before explaining his reasons.

"Son, I've had my eyes open and it's obvious that Stephanie Lake has some sort of interest in you.  I really don't think she even cares what your relationship with Jillian is like."  Charles put a reassuring had on his son's shoulder.  "If she's anything like her mother, I'm sure she can be very persistent.  I'll have to admit, she's a very attractive young woman.  Don't let her use that to her advantage!  You must stay away from her at all costs."

"Father, I have no idea what you're talking about."  Reginald grew nervous as he lied to Charles.  He privately wondered exactly how much his father knew about his past with Stephanie.  Surely he didn't know about their affair.  "Besides, how do you know so much about what kind of woman Annabelle Lake is?"

It was now Charles' turn to grow nervous and evasive.  He thought for a moment about exactly how much he should reveal about Annabelle's advances, but quickly decided that it was information Reginald was better off not knowing.  "Let's just say I've seen enough of Annabelle to know how she is.  There have been little rumors around for years about her.  Now, I can't testify to the validity of any of them, but I am sure that the Lake family is one that we have no business getting mixed up with."  Reginald looked at his father and realized the truth behind his words.  "Annabelle and Stephanie are no good!  If you get too involved with that family, they'll eventually destroy you and everything you've work so hard to build.  Don't let that happen!"

Reginald thought about what Charles was saying and knew he was right.  Stephanie Lake was a virus who was intent on infesting his life.  Reginald knew he couldn't let that happen....for his sake and for Jillian's.

MEANWHILE, AT LORRAINE'S APARTMENT

"I'm really glad that you came by to see me."  Lorraine poured another cup of coffee and gave it to Patterson.  "I hated calling in sick, but I just really feel under the weather."

Patterson took a sip of coffee and watched her closely.  It had only been a few days since their impetuous kiss in the park, but they hadn't spoken to each other since.  Silently, he wondered what it all had meant, if anything.  "Lorraine," he began tentatively, "I want to talk to you about the other night...the night in the park."

She looked up quickly from the copy of The Daily Post that she'd been casually thumbing through.  She knew they would have to talk about their kiss eventually.  She hesitated to call it a mistake, but she also realized that Patterson was more than willing to give her what Trevor apparently was not.  "Patterson, I don't know what to say.  I don't know how to explain what happened between us that night."

"It was a mistake.  You don't love me; you love Trevor.  I don't know why you acted like you did that night, but I feel guilty.  You were obviously upset and vulnerable and I took advantage of that.  I am so sorry..."

"No, don't be sorry!" she interrupted as she went to sit by him on the sofa.  She looked into his eyes and saw how much emotion and concern he held for her.  Why couldn't she feel the same way about him as he did for her?  "I needed you that night.  I needed everything that happened!  Look, I've been reevaluating my entire life these past few days and I'm beginning to understand that, maybe, Trevor isn't the right man for me."

"W-what are you trying to say?"  He grew nervous as he listened to her words.  Patterson had hoped for months that Lorraine would come to her senses and see exactly how much he loved her.  He never really believed that she'd chose him over Trevor, but now...

"I think Trevor may be involved with someone else."  The words stuck in her throat.  It was the first time she'd told anyone of her fears about her relationship with Trevor.  "I-I can't be certain, but I don't think we're gonna work out.  I don't think he's capable or willing to give me the love I need."  She felt her eyes begin to water and turned away quickly so Patterson wouldn't see her tears.  She felt embarrassed that she'd let Trevor get her so badly.

"I like Trevor and everything, but I swear to god, if he hurts you..."  Patterson put his arms around her and pulled her close to him.  He really did love her and couldn't understand why anyone wouldn't feel the same way.

"Oh, Patterson, it's not his fault.  If he doesn't feel as strongly about me as I do about him, he can't help it.  I-I just wish I knew for sure.  It's the not knowing that hurts so much."  She wiped her eyes and turned to look at him.  "You know I still care about you very much.  M-maybe my breaking up with you like did was a mistake."  He couldn't believe his ears!  Was she regretting ending their relationship?  "I couldn't have asked for a better man to love me and care for me."

"You know I'm always here for you.  No matter what happens!"  He looked into her eyes that had begun to turn red from her tears.  Her lips quivered slightly and she leaned closer to him.  Suddenly, their lips met and they kissed tentatively.  Soon, their passion grew and their kisses became more fervent.  Oh, how she needed him now!  In that instant, Lorraine needed Patterson more than anyone else in the world.  Her head began to spin and she slowly pulled away.

"M-maybe, if Trevor and I don't work out...."  Her voice trailed off as she tried to sort out the thousands of thoughts that collided in her head.  "M-maybe we could start over again from the beginning?  Maybe we could still have a chance?"  Patterson's heart began to swell.  He couldn't believe his ears!  Lorraine was willing to give him another chance to make her happy?  His answered her with a kiss even deeper than before.

A LITTLE LATER, IN CHARLES' OFFICE

"I don't care what he said!"  Charles all but shouted into the phone before slamming his fist down on the desk.  "He promised me that The Manhattan Conflict would be finished!  We have to have that book run through the editing department before we can hit the presses with it.  We've already sent out publicity notices stating that that book is going to hit the stands in September.  I don't care if he's tied up with Cecil B. DeMille working on the screenplay for Tainted Woman, he signed a contract with us for Conflict and he told us that book would be ready!"  He looked up from his desk in time to see Annabelle walk into the room.  Great, just what I need he thought wearily to himself.  He motioned for her to sit down and went back to his business on the phone.  "Well, you handle it!  You tell Thornton Preston that if he can't follow through on his contract for that book, he can go back to McBride Publishing for all I care!"  Charles hung up the phone and stopped to catch his breath.

"I hope I haven't come at a bad time."  Annabelle watched him cautiously.  He always seemed to get so fired up when dealing with troublesome authors.

"No, everything's fine.  Thornton Preston is late delivering that book he told us was finished."  Charles got up from his desk and walked over to his private cabinet to pour himself a mid-afternoon martini.  "What are you doing here, anyway?"

"I came to see you, of course."  She walked over to him and put her hand on his arm.  "And from the looks of things, you need to blow off a little steam."  She began to gently massage his shoulders as she leaned in close to him.  Her actions had the opposite effect as Charles tensed up when he felt her warm breath on the back of his neck.

"Annabelle, I think you need to leave."  He turned around and pushed her hands away.

"So, have you given any more thought to getting rid of that stuffy wife of yours and finally living a little?"

"Don't you know when to quit?"  He looked at her with surprise.  He knew she was a very persistent woman, but he had hoped  she'd gotten the hint.  "I love my wife very much.  We have children together and the best life we could ever hope for.  Why would I risk throwing it all away for you?"

She looked him in the eyes and smirked slightly.  Slowly, she raised her hand and traced the outline of his lips.  She took the martini away from him and sat it down before moving closer. "That all sounds so wonderfully boring, Charles."  Her voice was so low it was almost a purr.  "It's not nearly as exciting as being with me would be.  Don't you crave some kind of excitement in your life?  Don't you crave me?"

Charles tried to pull away from her, but her words had a note of truth to them.  He did miss the carefree days of his youth.  He missed the days before his brother died and he had to become heir to the Callison legacy.  He missed how his life might have turned out if he hadn't had to become the responsible one.  He swallowed hard.  "Y-you really need to go."  His voice became softer as he felt his pulse begin to quicken.  She moved closer still and he felt her body press tightly against his.  Their lips met.  He tried to pull away, but Annabelle would not be denied any longer.  Charles' mind fought against his body, but he soon found himself meeting her kisses with equal passion.  He truly didn't want to do it.  He didn't want to kiss her.  He didn't want to want her.  He loved Francis, but he couldn't resist the passion and excitement that Annabelle had come to represent.  Caught up in the moment, neither Charles nor Annabelle saw Reginald standing in the doorway.

MEANWHILE, AT THE GARDENS RESTAURANT

"I am so glad that you got me out of the apartment."  Lorraine smiled at Patterson they walked into the restaurant.  "I've been cooped up in there all day.  I was beginning to get a little crazy!"

"Well, at least you're feeling better."  Patterson held her hand tightly and looked around for the maître d'.  "Both physically and emotionally.  You can't let this situation with Trevor get to you.  You're a better person than that."

"Two?" the suave gentleman asked Patterson as he walked up to the couple.  Patterson nodded in response and they were soon led across the room to a table.  Lorraine casually scanned the room and quickly became uncomfortable when she saw Francis and Jillian seated at a table by the gardens.

"Um...maybe we should go somewhere else."  She tried to hide behind Patterson as they walked.  Francis had never been anything but kind to Lorraine, but considering her tenuous relationship with Trevor, she didn't feel like dealing with his mother.  She discreetly motioned in the direction of Francis and Jillian's table.  Patterson was quick to catch her meaning.

"Then let's get out of here before they spot us."  Too late.  Francis threw up a hand to wave at them and quickly called them over.  Lorraine realized that she had no choice but to speak to her.  She looked desperately at Patterson and he squeezed her hand in reassurance as they walked over to the table.

"Lorraine, honey, what are you doing out of bed?" Francis asked with concern.  "Charles told me you'd missed work today because you weren't feeling well."

"It must have been a 24 hour bug.  I started feeling much better as the morning wore on.  Patterson stopped by to bring me some soup and decided that I needed to get some fresh air."  She smiled at Jillian.  There were stacks of magazines and brochures sitting on the table.  Lorraine realized that they were planning Jillian and Reginald's engagement party.

"Well, I'm so glad that you're feeling better.  I've been concerned about you.  It seems like you and Trevor haven't been spending a lot of time together lately."  Francis really wasn't one to meddle in her children's lives, but she'd always been so fond of Lorraine.  Secretly, she'd hoped that they would have the next big Callison wedding.

"W-well...." Lorraine stammered and looked to Patterson for support.  He nodded slightly and gave her hand another squeeze.  Oh, how she was glad that she had him to lean on.  "Well, Trevor has been really busy at The Post.  You know how he gets about his reporting."  Francis laughed and nodded.  She knew exactly what Lorraine meant.  If Trevor had a big article due, he could lock himself in the study for hours...if not days.  "And I hate to bother him when he's so busy."

"Bother him, Lorraine," Jillian spoke up.  "I'm sure he'd appreciate the diversion from work.  Besides, it's not good for a couple to spend too much time apart."

"This is true."  Lorraine looked at Patterson and then back at Francis.  This situation was getting increasingly uncomfortable.  "I-I just hate to bother him while he's working."

"So, how's the party planning coming?"  Patterson spoke up quickly in hopes of changing the topic.  Jillian knew exactly what he was doing and shot him an inquisitive look.  He pretended not to notice.  "I bet with the two of you in charge, this'll be one party that Albanyville will never forget."

"We're hoping!"  Francis smiled at Jillian.  "This will be the first Callison wedding this town has seen in years.  Jillian and I have been working on it all afternoon.  Finally, we had to come for a bite to eat."

"Well, we don't want to disturb your planning."  Patterson gave Lorraine's hand a slight tug.  "Lorraine, let's get to our table and leave them alone.  I'm sure they has lots of work to do."

As Patterson and Lorraine walked away, Francis watched them closely.  She couldn't explain it, but something just didn't seem right between Lorraine and Trevor.  They were always so close, but lately...  And what exactly was going on between Lorraine and Patterson?  Francis hadn't failed to notice all of their poorly disguised looks and glances.  She knew that something was up, but what?  She silently prayed that Lorraine wouldn't do anything to hurt Trevor.  He loved her so much.

A LITTLE LATER, AT THE WELL

"So, are you ready for graduation?"  Sara sipped on her cherry soda and carefully thumbed through the latest issue of Movie Star Magazine.  She just had to see what fabulous clothes Jean Harlow was wearing.  "It's only a couple of weeks away."

"I'm ready to get it over and done with.  I'm ready to write the epilogue to my high school career.  I'm so tired of hanging around with the kiddie set."  Stephanie played with her hair and checked her makeup in her mirror.  Sure, she'd thought high school was exciting once.  All the dances and boys had been thrilling for her.  Now, however, she was ready to finally take her roll as an adult.  She'd turned 18 in January and it seemed like, overnight, the rest of Albanyville High had become so childish.  She had grown tired of the boys she'd once found so thrilling.  Now, she didn't want a boy...she wanted a man!  A man like Reginald.  "Once I walk down that isle for the last time and toss my cap into the air, I'm done.  Good-bye, Albanyville High, hello, world!"

"So...how many of your future plans include Reginald Callison?"  Sara looked up from her magazine to see what Stephanie's reaction to the mention of his name would be.

"All of them."  Stephanie grinned widely.  "Except, he's so caught up in the idea of a perfect little life with Jillian that I'm not having the best of luck."  She looked at Sara as her face grew serious.  "You don't think I'm losing my looks in my old age, do you?"

"Never!"  Sara broke down into giggles.  She didn't think that Stephanie would ever get too old to use her looks and charm.  Heck, Annabelle was over 40 and still knew how to use what god had given her to get what she wanted.  Sara smiled when she realized that, surely, that skill must run in their family.  "Steph, I don't think there's any danger of that!  Reginald just doesn't know what's good for him."

"I honestly don't understand what he sees in that frosty Jillian.  That whole high-and-might attitude of hers makes me sick.  She thinks that just because she's from Manhattan and was raised in society, then she's better than everybody else.  Well, she's not!  I might not have come from anything, but I'm still somebody.  I'm a million times better than Jillian will ever be.  She's been handed everything her entire life.  She doesn't know how to fight to get what she wants."

"And I've got to say, you're working very hard to get Reginald.  But, you've got to admit, she's got him wrapped around her little finger.  He thinks the sun rises and sets because of her.  I honestly don't think he'll ever clear his head enough to dump her."  Sara paused to think.  She knew that, although Stephanie had the beauty, she had the brains.  Sara managed to bail her cousin out of trouble on more than one occasion with her quick thinking and accurate planning.  "Steph, what if Jillian were the one to dump him?"

"Oh, she wouldn't do that.  She's got her hooks into a good thing and she knows it!"

"Look, I know you never really told me about it, but you've said enough that I know what happened between you and Reginald."  Sara confirmed Stephanie's suspicions.  Sara did know about her affair with Reginald.  "And, unless I'm mistaken, you were seeing him after he and Jillian got together.  I bet she doesn't know anything about it, does she?"

Stephanie's eyes grew wide with realization.  Of course, she didn't.  Reginald made sure to keep their affair a secret.  The only people who knew about it besides Stephanie and Reginald were Sara, Dane, and Reginald's best friend Patterson.  She knew Patterson wouldn't have said anything.  What if Jillian found out?  Stephanie knew how self-righteous she could be.  "Sara, I'm must be the densest person in the world!  Why I didn't think of this before, I don't know!"

"What are you thinking?"  Sara knew exactly what she was thinking.  She was finally realizing exactly what she needed to do to separate Reginald and Jillian.  Sara smiled to herself.  Sometimes Stephanie just needed a little push.

"You've hit the nail on the head."  Stephanie smiled and heaved a huge sigh of relief.  "I have a plan.  I know just how to ensure that those two don't make it to the alter.  Then he'll have to turn to me to mend his broken heart."  She smiled at Sara.  "I have something very important I have to tell Jillian...tonight!"

EARLY EVENING AT THE PAGE TURNER BOOKSTORE

"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.

"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

Sara 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!"

"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

Jillian flipped the pages of her copy of The Manhattan Conflict.  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?"

"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."

TO BE CONTINUED

NEXT TIME

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

For Now and Forever
produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

©2001- 2010 Classic Soap Productions