THE GRAND SUNSET ROOM

The Grand Sunset RoomMark LinfordMark Linford stood at the bar and quickly downed another drink.  As he wiped his mouth, he motioned for the bartended to make another.

"Don't you think you've had enough?" Mary Albany spoke up as she stood behind him.  "You've had a little too much to drink as it is."

"I really don't think it's any of your business."  Mark turned to sneer at her and then quickly returned his focus to the scotch in his hand.  "I don't know why they had drag me to this pitiful little town."

"I beg your pardon?"

"I don't see why I really had to come just because my sister-in-law got herself engaged to some hot shot local boy."  He gritted his teeth and swirled his drink so that the ice made tinkling noises in the glass.  "My wife insisted on dragging me here.  What's so special about this city, anyway?  It's just a bunch of nice buildings stuck in the middle of a bunch of trees.  This place is horribly low class."

Mary Albany"Let me tell you a thing or two..."

"I mean, it's alright and all."  He took another drink. "Well, if you're some local farmer or something.  I don't understand how these pitiful people can act like this place is the center of the universe!  Albanyville can't even compare to New York.  Now that's the center of the universe."

Mary took a deep breath as her blood began to boil.  It was about time she set this arrogant drunk straight.


Annabelle Lake"Ah, Dr. Rutherford," Annabelle grinned as she approached the man standing in the foyer.  "It's about time you got here."

"Why the formalities?"  He reached out and stroked her face.  She flinched a little and slowly stepped back, but didn't let the smile fade from her lips.  "If I recall correctly, it was 'oh, Fred' last week."  He grinned at her slyly.

Annabelle quickly grew uncomfortable and looked away.  "Let's just cut to the chase," she finally spoke.  "Did you manage to bring me what I asked for?"

Dr. Fred Rutherford"I've got it right here."  He pulled the tiny bottle from his pocket and held it out for Annabelle to see.  "This should be more than enough to do the trick.  You never did tell me why you wanted it."

"And I don't intend to."  She snatched the bottle from his hand and examined it closely.  "The less you know, the better."

"Just remember, if you get caught, you didn't get that from me!"

"Oh, don't worry."  She allowed a smile to again cross her lips.  "I'm very good a keeping a secret."  Without another word, she turned a walked away.  Still smiling, she thought about how her plans would seal the fate of Charles and Francis


Mary Albany"You better realize who I am!"  Mary's eyes burned as she grabbed Mark by the ear and spun him around.  "My name is Mary Albany and my husband's family founded this 'little town', as you so naively called it!  I'll have you know that this city is one of the best places in this country to live!  There is a sense of community here that you will not find anywhere else...not in Chicago, not in Los Angeles, and not in your precious New York!"

Mark's face began to flush with embarrassment over his comments.  He swallowed hard as he tried to think of a way to recant his comments, but realized he'd become trapped in his own words.

"And, furthermore, my grandson is that 'hot shot local boy' you apparently have such disdain for!  Now, if you're any indication of the type of family Reginald's planning on marrying into, I don't think this wedding is such a good idea.  My family is too upstanding to be associated with the likes of you!"

Mark Linford"Now, wait a minute, lady!"  Mark began to raise his voice as a couple of nearby guests glanced their way.

"No!  You wait a minute, buster!  I'm watching you.  I'm watching you closely.  You make any trouble for Reginald or Jillian or anyone in my family and you'll have to deal with me."  She stood her ground with her hands firmly on her hips.  "And I guarantee I'm someone you don't want to deal with!  I've been around and I've seen a lot in my life.  I can spot a snake when I see one and you're definitely a snake.  Why don't you just slither back to your precious New York and spread your venom there?"

"Trust me, lady, I intend to get back to New York as soon as I can."

"And another thing..."  Mary narrowed her eyes and glared at Mark as she yanked his drank out of his hand.  "Lay off the sauce.  You've reached your limit."  With those words, She stormed away leaving Mark to seethe with anger at his public humiliation at Mary Albany's hands.


THE GRAND SUNSET ROOM

The Grand Sunset RoomNelson Stokes"I don't know where that daughter of ours gets that stubborn streak of hers," Nelson muttered as he stood in the corner watching the party revelers.

"Oh, really?"  Leticia let out a small laugh and then smiled at her husband.  "I think it runs in the family.  You're not exactly a pushover yourself.  And then there's Judith..."

"We're not talking about me or Judith."  He turned to face Leticia.  "I don't like the fact that the first time we meet this Callison boy is after Jillian's gotten engaged to him.  We don't know anything about these people.  I'm not sure this is the proper family for my daughter to be associated with."

Leticia Stokes"Nelson, dear, they seem like a nice enough family.  Charles owns a very well known publishing house and the family is very prominent in the community."

"Yes, this community."  He rolled his eyes as he made the comment.  "It's not exactly the epicenter of high society.  I want better than this for my daughter.  She's way too good for Reginald Callison."  He looked across the room at his future son-in-law as Reginald chatted with a few of his friends.  "I'll be watching him very closely."


Reginald CallisonLorraine Blake"Patterson, Lorraine, I'm so glad you both could make it," Reginald smiled as he shook Patterson's hand.

"Yeah, I bet," Lorraine muttered under her breath.

Reginald heard her comment and quickly turned to her.  "Look, I can't deny that I was a little surprised by what happened between you and Trevor, but none of that is any of my business.  My brother is a grown man and can handle his own affairs.  Besides, he's made it perfectly clear that whatever went wrong between you two was entirely his fault."  He paused as he gently touched her shoulder.  "None of us hold any ill feelings toward you.  I still consider you a friend.  I hope you feel likewise."

Patterson Monroe"Oh, I do!  I still care about all of you so very much.  It's just that, well, Maggie said that your mother held me responsible."

"Ignore my little sister.  She has a habit of opening her mouth when it's the least appropriate.  Besides, Trevor set Mother straight on who was at fault.  She knows it wasn't you."

Lorraine let out a huge sigh of relief and fell into Patterson's arms.

"See, I told you everything would be okay."  Patterson hugged her tightly and kissed her on the forehead.

"Now, if you'll both excuse me, I need to find my lovely fiancée."  Reginald turned and scanned the crowd for Jillian.  "There's the matter of a certain dance I'd like to take care of."


Leticia Stokes"Oh, Nelson, you know I'd have liked for Jillian to marry a more prominent member of society," Leticia said as she moved closer to him.  "I always thought that Rockefeller boy was such a nice match for her.  But this is the man she's fallen in love with.  Who are we to deny her happiness?"

Nelson Stokes"Leticia, she's just a child!" he turned to face her angrily.  "She doesn't know what she wants!  I just pray that this is only a whim for her that she'll soon get over.  She needs to find a nice young man like Mark.  He's very visible in the community and very active in our family.  How involved with the Stokeses do you think this Callison boy will be?"

"Honey, leave this alone!  Let Jillian live her own life!"

"I care about all of our girls and I only want what's best for them.  I'm afraid that Reginald Callison is not what's best for Jillian."  He looked into his wife's pleading eyes and his attitude began to soften.  "But, I'll let it go...for now.  However, I'm keeping my eye on Reginald.  If he does anything to hurt my daughter, I will not rest until he's out of her life for good."


THE GRAND SUNSET ROOM

Reginald CallisonThe Grand Sunset Room"Excuse me," Reginald said as he tapped the orchestra leader on the shoulder.  "Could you play this song as one of your next selections?"  He handed over a slip of paper and the man smiled and nodded.

"Well, hello, Reginald, " Stephanie spoke up as she walked over to him.  "You and Jillian have really outdone yourselves.  This party is quite a success."

"What do you want?"  He looked at her coldly and silently wished for her disappearance.  "I thought I warned you to stay away from me.  I still can't believe you managed to con Douglas into bringing you."

"I didn't con Douglas into anything!"  She felt herself grow angry at his accusations.  "I'll have you know that I care about Douglas very much.  He's a wonderful man.  He just simply asked me to be his date.  Of course I said 'yes'."

"Yes, he is a wonderful man, but don't think I'm going to believe that you didn't have ulterior motives."  He turned away from her and casually began to search for Jillian in the crowd.

Stephanie Lake"What's wrong?  Have you misplaced your fiancé again?"  Stephanie allowed a little grin to spread across her face.  "I hope she hasn't gotten cold feet and run off with some other dashing fellow."

Reginald shot her a hateful look and continued his search.  "Jillian hasn't run off with anyone.  She's completely committed to me...despite your schemes."

"If you say so."  She smirked.

As he again looked through the crowd, he began to wonder exactly where Jillian could be.  Privately, he began to hope that the earlier scene between their families hadn't changed her mind.


Dane Manchester"C'mon, Jillian, you know you're making a mistake with Reggie," Dane said as he moved closer to her.

"I am doing nothing of the sort!"  She stood up straight in preparation to defend her love for Reginald.  "The only mistake I made was getting involved with you in the first place."

"Look, you told me yourself that you left Manhattan to escape all the rules of high society."  He reached out for her and laid a hand on her shoulder.  "What do you think you'll be doing by marrying him?  You're gonna be subjecting yourself to an entirely new set of rules!"

"Yes, I am, but they'll be rules that I've chosen for myself!  Not the rules imposed on me by my family or anyone else."

"So, is that what this is all about?  Showing your family that you can make your own decisions without their interference?"  He again stole a quick glance through the French doors and was pleased to see Stephanie talking to Reginald.  "Jillian, don't make a mistake by using Reginald to show your independence to your family.  He's not right for you."

Jillian StokesJillian again leaned against the railing and looked out on the city.  As she watched the lights twinkle in the distance, she thought about Manhattan and the life she'd had there.  Soon, her thoughts returned to Reginald and the deep, true love she felt.  She wasn't using him to escape her family.  She wasn't using him at all.

"You know you're having second thoughts," Dane continued.  "How else do you explain being over an hour late to your own party?  You were scared to come.  Now, this entire life of rules is become real for you and you know you're making a mistake."

"That's not how it is!"  She spoke up as she spun around to face him.  "I was late because I had to run and pick up a gift for Reginald, the man I love!  That's why I was late, not because I'm having second thoughts!"

"Jillian, this entire wedding is a mistake."

"The only mistake I made was getting involved with the likes of you!"  She tried to walk away from him, but he grabbed her and held her back.

"You're gonna see what kind of trap you're really setting for yourself.  And I've got a feeling that you're gonna see it sooner than you think."  He stole another quick glance into the ballroom and carefully watched Stephanie and Reginald.


Stephanie Lake"I confess, I do have an ulterior motive," Stephanie said as Reginald turned to face her.  "Not in my being here, but for talking to you."

"I thought so."  He looked at her coldly.  She was beginning to wear on his nerves.

"There's something I want to say to you."  She began to grow nervous, but fought to hide it.  If Dane held up his part of the deal, it was about to be the moment that they'd been waiting for.  "But not here.  There's too much noise.  Can we go somewhere else and talk?"

"I don't think that's such a good idea."

"Please?"  She lowered her head slightly and gazed up through her long lashes.  It was her best innocent look and she'd been practicing it all night.  "We can just go into the lounge and talk.  There's no one in there because it's not being used for the party.  Just give me a chance to apologize in private.  I-I don't want the entire town witnessing me groveling for forgiveness."

"You're actually going to grovel?"  He allowed himself a slight grin at the thought of her lowering herself to such a level.  "Well...it's against my better judgment, but I guess I can allow you that.  Only if this means that everything else ends right there.  No more hanging around and no more confrontations with Jillian."

"I promise!"  She smiled as she crossed her fingers behind her back.  "This will all end tonight."

Reginald CallisonHe nodded his head in defeat and slowly followed her as she lead him into the lounge.  The intermingled sounds of music and guests were silences as the doors of the lounge closed behind them.  Because of its emptiness, only a few lights were on and it give the room and soft and dreamy look that accented its art deco design.  She stopped and turned to face him.

"Oh, Reginald," she sighed as she fell into his arms.  "I can't believe I let you get away from me.  I-I really did love you, you know?"

"I know," he sighed as he held her in his arms.  "But you and I were never meant to work out.  You know hurting you was the last thing I ever wanted."

Stephanie rested her head on his shoulder and began to act as if she were crying.

"Oh, honey, I'm so sorry," he responded as he believed her act.  "I wish I could make it up to you so you could move on.  Douglas is a good man for you.  He's who you should focus your energy on, not me.  I love Jillian and that's not going to change."

"There is one thing you could do to make it up to me."  She looked up at him and wiped her eyes as she smiled.  "One thing that could make all the difference."


Dane ManchesterJillian Stokes"Now I wonder where your loving fiancé is going with Stephanie?" Dane asked with a smirk as he led Jillian in from the balcony.

Jillian stopped cold in her tracks and watched Reginald follow Stephanie out of the room.  "I'm sure it's nothing." she lied as she felt herself grow anxious.  "Um, look, Dane I really need to go find my family.  I'm sure they're wondering where I am.  I kind of left them a little upset."

"You're not going to follow Reggie and Steph and find out what's going on?"

"Why should I?" she asked as she looked at him closely.  "I trust him implicitly.  He's not going to do anything to jeopardize what we have."

"If you say so."  Dane let out a laugh as his eyes darted around the room.  He smiled when he saw Sara standing at the bar chatting with Annabelle.  "Well, it's been good talking to you civilly for a change, but I need to get back to Sara.  I'm sure she's wondering where I disappeared to as well." 

Reginald CallisonStephanie LakeAs Dane slowly walked away, Jillian again turned to face the direction that Reginald and Stephanie had gone.  Once he was long gone, she began a brisk walk toward the lounge.  She hesitated for a moment as she reached the doors and reached out to touch the handle.  Her insides began to churn and she took a deep breath to calm herself.  In one swift movement, she flung the doors open and gasped at what she saw...Reginald and Stephanie locked in a deep and passionate kiss.

"Oh, my god!" she muttered as Reginald turned to face her.  His guilty look told her everything she needed to know.

 



 


NEXT TIME

Patterson & Lorraine have a run in with Trevor & Grace.
Annabelle gets friendly with Leticia.
Reginald & Jillian argue.  Is this the end?




 


produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

©2001- 2010 Classic Soap Productions