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THE GRAND SUNSET ROOM

Grace DavisThe Grand Sunset Room"Wow," Grace exclaimed as she stepped off the elevator into the foyer of the large ballroom.  "I don't think I've ever seen anything quite this spectacular before."  She carefully looked around and noted all the gleaming crystal and fresh bouquets of flowers.

"Well, that's my family for you.  We don't like to do anything half way."  Trevor smiled at her as he took her hand and led her into the main ballroom.  

As he pulled the delicate satin wrap from her shoulders, her eyes began to dart around the room.  Everywhere she looked were tuxedo clad waiters rushing around attending to the guests' every need.  She saw all the handsome gentlemen in their most formal attire and the Trevor Callison elegant ladies in their most glamorous evening gowns.  Grace glanced down for a moment and looked at her own simple emerald green dress.  It had cost an entire week's pay from the bookstore; but she just had to have a special dress to wear.  Now, in comparison to the other gowns, it didn't seem quite as spectacular as she'd thought when she first saw it hanging in the window at Lerner's.  Catching the figure of a man moving through the crowd, Grace gasped.  It was Dane.


Judith Linford"The party's just started, don't you think you've had enough to drink?" Judith Linford asked as she watched her husband Mark quickly down yet another scotch and soda.

"I think I'll know when I've had enough," he responded coolly as he leaned against the bar to steady himself.  "When is Jillian supposed to get here anyway?  I can't wait for this silly affair to be over.  I can't believe you dragged me to some little hick town for some stupid party."  Judith glared at him.

"This is my baby sister's party and I would hope that you'd have the decency not to ruin it."  She clinched her teeth as she spoke and pulled the glass from his hand.  "I think you've had enough!"

Mark rolled his eyes as he turned his back to her.  "Whatever you say.  After all, you seem to be the one in control of this marriage.  I thought we were getting divorced."

"Other things happened."  Judith rested a hand on her swollen stomach.  "I can't change the fact that I'm carrying your child and I refuse to raise a bastard.  Besides, you rather like being a part of my family.  If I were you, I'd watch my mouth or you could wind up without anything."

Mark Linford"Yes, ma'am!" he sneered sarcastically.

"Now, I'm going to find Father and see if he knows when Jillian is supposed to arrive."  She began to walk away, but turned to face her husband one last time.  "Don't do anything to embarrass me while I'm gone."

"Of course not!"  He breathed heavily as he watched her glide across the ballroom.  As soon as she was out of sight, he turned and grabbed the bartender's attention.  "I'll have another one just like this one.  Well...actually, make it a double."


Trevor Callison"Grace, what is it?  Is something wrong?" Trevor asked as he gently placed his hand on her shoulder.

"Oh, no, it was nothing."  She sighed in disappointment when she realized that it hadn't been Dane that she'd seen.  "I just thought that I saw someone."  Grace turned to look at Trevor again and was pleasantly surprised to find him holding a single rose.

"Something for you."

Grace DavisGrace was quick to see the mangled centerpiece on the table behind him and smirked as she took the flower from him.  "I didn't know the Callisons made a habit of vandalizing floral arrangements."  She motioned to the butchered bouquet and laughed.

"Well..." he grinned sheepishly and lowered his head in embarrassment.  "I saw them and thought they were so beautiful.  They reminded me of you.  Then I couldn't get the darn thing out."  He laughed warmly but  then paused for a moment as their eyes met.  "Grace, I love you.  I know you don't want to hear that, but I do.  I can't help how I feel."

"Trevor, you have to put those thoughts out of your head!"  Her look grew stern and she stepped away from him.  "You told me we were just coming as friends.  I-I can't love you.  I don't want to hurt you, but I can't be in love with you."  She lifted the him of her long skirt and quickly walked away.  Trevor stood solemnly as he watched her move into the crowd, still holding the rose in his hand.


THE GRAND SUNSET ROOM

Lorraine BlakeThe Grand Sunset RoomLorraine carefully watched Trevor and Grace from across the room.  She felt her heart beat faster as she thought about how Trevor had hurt her.

"Honey, are you all right?" Patterson asked as he walked up to her and handed her a glass of wine.  Following the direction of her gaze, he quickly noticed Trevor and Grace together.  "Lorraine, is that the other woman Trevor left you for?"

"Y-yes."  She muttered before turning away from the site of the man she loved.  "Grace Davis is the one Trevor loves...not me."

Patterson MonroePatterson gently took her in his arms and stroked her soft hair.  "If seeing Trevor is too much for you, we can leave.  We don't have to stay here.  I'm sure Reginald and Jillian will understand."

"No!"  Lorraine stepped back and took a deep breathe.  She looked at Trevor again and saw his dejected face as Grace walked away from him.  "I will not let Trevor Callison affect where I go and whom I see.  We will have the time of our lives tonight despite him!  I'm going to show him that he might have hurt me, but he did not destroy me!"


Judith Linford"JanetHelen!"  Judith called out as she glided across the room.  "Where in the world is Jillian?  I thought she would have arrived by now."

Helen Van Dyne"Oh, you know how it is.  She just wants to make sure she looks her best."  Helen giggled and casually scanned the room for all the eligible bachelors.  "It's her party and she wants to make a grand entrance."

"Well, I just want to get this night over with!"  Judith folded her arms across her chest and scowled.  She hadn't wanted to make the trip to Albanyville in the first place.  She only came because her father had insisted.

Janet Stokes"Judith, why can't you be happy for Jillian?" Janet questioned.  "She's finally found the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with.  This marriage isn't going to turn out like yours."

Judith bristled at her sister's comments.  "You have no idea what you're talking about!  My marriage is just fine, thank you very much!  Now, while we wait for the little prima donna to grace us with her presence, I'm going to go find my husband."  She quickly stormed away leaving Janet and Helen alone to look at each other and regret ever involving Judith in their conversation.


Patterson MonroeLorraine Blake"Now, that's the spirit I love about you!" Patterson exclaimed as Lorraine slowly began to relax.

"Trevor is simply out of my life and I have to move on."  She took a sip of her wine and nodded in agreement with herself.  "I really don't know how I could have ever competed with Miss Perfect over there anyway!"

"Well, I don't know about Grace being perfect."  He smiled at Lorraine.  "But I do know about you."

"W-what do you mean?"

"What I mean is that you're perfect."  He gently stroked her cheek.  "Well, at least, perfect for me."  He leaned in to Lorraine and kissed her.  It was tentative at first, but soon grew in to one of deep passion.  Patterson was sure that this would be the night that would cement their futures forever.


Mary AlbanyThe Grand Sunset Room"Francis, dear, this party is wonderful!" Mary exclaimed as she surveyed the room.  "You've really outdone yourself."

"Actually, Mother, a lot of this is Jillian's doing."  Francis smiled and waved at a hospital board member she spotted across the room.  "She had very specific ideas about how she wanted this evening to go.  Now, I just wish you'd wired us and told us you were coming.  I don't have the guest room ready and..."

"Oh, nonsense!  I've already had my driver drop my things off here at the hotel.  I'm just a couple of floors down in one of the penthouses."  She turned to see her grandson beginning to look rather nervous.  "Reginald, when is Jillian supposed to get here?  I would think that she'd want to attend her own party!"

"Um...well, Nana, Jillian sort of likes to make an entrance."  Reginald's eyes again darted toward the foyer by the elevators.  Sure, Jillian liked to make an entrance, but she was already nearly an hour late.

Maggie Callison"I bet she's having second thoughts."  Maggie's sarcasm was met with a stern glare from Francis and a furrowing of the brow from Reginald.  "What girl in her right mind would want a stupid lug like you?"

Reginald Callison"Very funny, Maggie...."  Reginald's voice trailed off as he began to wonder exactly was taking his fiancée so long.

"I'm sure she'll be here in no time," Charles spoke up.  "Jillian wouldn't miss this party for anything."  He glanced at his wife and noticed the scowl that had begun to form on her face.  "Francis, what's wrong?"

Francis Callison"I can't believe she's got the nerve to show her face her."  Francis' teeth clinched at the sight of Lorraine standing across the room.  "After what's she's done to Trevor!"

"I don't know how you can blame her breakup with Trevor on her.  You don't know what happened between them."

"I know that Trevor thought the world of her!  Surely he didn't leave her.  Somehow, this is her fault and I'm sure that Patterson Monroe had something to do with it!"

"Mother!" came the voice from behind her.  Francis stopped cold and turned to see Trevor's angry face.


Leticia StokesNelson Stokes"Where is that daughter of yours?" Nelson Stokes asked as he tapped his foot impatiently.  "She drags us all the way her for this engagement party and doesn't even have the decency to show up!"

"Nelson, you know how she is," Leticia reminded.  "She's probably gotten herself tied up fixing her hair or something.  She is very particular about things like that.  Besides, I think this city is rather quaint.  It's much cleaner than New York and the people are quite friendly."

"Hello, Daddy!"  Judith flew into her father's arms with a big smile on her face.

"Where has Mark wandered off to?"  Nelson looked through the crowd for his son-in-law.  "I wanted to talk to him about becoming my exclusive legal counsel."

"What?"  Judith tried to hide her surprise.  She had serious misgivings about allowing Mark anywhere near her father's important legal matters.  "Daddy, I don't think that such a great idea."

"And why not?  He is a member of this family and a brilliant attorney.  I know he's not extremely well versed in financial law, but he's an excellent attorney, nonetheless."

Judith LinfordJudith rolled her eyes and turned away in hopes of catching sight of her husband.  Why her father couldn't see him for the man that he really was was beyond her.  But, then again, she'd been duped by him, too.  Now, her eyes were open.  It was imperative that Mark Linford beat a hasty retreat out of her family.  Having Mark's baby had not been in her plan.  She looked for him again and quickly felt her temperature begin to rise.  He was propped by the orchestra stand, busily chatting up the female singer.  She knew she had to get rid of him before he destroyed her family.  But how?


Trevor CallisonFrancis Callison"Trevor!  I was just...um..." Francis stammered.

"You were just making assumptions!"  Trevor looked at her angrily while Grace stood by as an unwilling observer.  "I'll have you know that Lorraine is completely blameless in this entire mess!  Everything that went wrong between us went wrong because of me.  I will not have you bad mouthing her!"

Francis looked down at the floor, ashamed of her judgmental attitude.  "I-I'm sorry.  I just know how you feel about her...how you felt."

Trevor took a deep breath and tried to move the conversation in a more pleasant direction.  "Everyone, this is Grace Davis.  She's Douglas' sister and she's given me the great honor of being my date for the night."

Grace DavisGrace smiled nervously at Trevor's family.  She was familiar with most of them in passing, but felt more than a little uncomfortable being referred to as Trevor's "date".  "Um...hello."

Reginald Callison"I've heard Douglas mention you a great deal," Reginald smiled as he extended his hand to her.  "You're every bit as beautiful as he said."

"So, Grace, what did my brother have to do to con you into going out with him?"  Maggie's words elicited a chuckle from Reginald and a stern visual reprimand from her mother.

"Maggie!" Francis grabbed her daughter's arm to silence her.

"It's okay," Trevor laughed.  "Actually, I...."

Jasper St. John"Mr. Callison!" Jasper St. John interrupted as he briskly walked over the them.  "Miss Stokes..."

"I know, Jasper, I know."  Reginald shook his head and sighed as he tried to find yet another reason to explain Jillian's absence.  "I don't know what's taking her so long.  I know she likes to make an entrance, but...."

"No, Mr. Callison!  That's not what I'm talking about.  She's here!"

All eyes turned to follow Jasper's outstretched hand toward the foyer as the music began to swell.  Jillian had arrived.

Jillian Stokes makes her grand entrance.