THE GRAND SUNSET ROOM
called out as he grabbed her arm. "Please let me explain."
"There's nothing to explain! I saw everything! I saw you and
kissing." She turned away from him to hide her tears. "I
thought you loved me."
"I do! I do love you!" He pulled her to him and wrapped
his arms around her. "I didn't want to kiss her. That wasn't
what was happening. She told me she wanted to apologize for everything.
She told me she wanted to clear her conscience and get on with her life. I
thought if I gave her that chance, she would leave you...us...alone."
"And you believed her?" she snapped. "After what she's
tried to pull, you believed her? Stephanie Lake wouldn't know the truth if
it slapped her in the face. I warned you what would happen if I found out
you were lying to me about her! I told you it would be over!"
"No! You can't mean that! Jillian, I love you. You're
my life." He hung his head and ran his hands through his hair.
"She told me she wanted to beg for my forgiveness in private. She
said she didn't want it to be a public spectacle. Once we got alone, she
started to cry and I felt so sorry for her. I had been so wrong to
use her like I did."
"And, of course, you just had to comfort her!"
Jillian's eyes blazed as she stared at him. "Reginald, don't play me
for a fool."
"I'm not." His voice grew softer as he looked deep into her
eyes and reached out to brush away a wisp of hair from her forehead.
"I felt so sorry for her that I held her to comfort her. I thought it
was the least I could do, but...but she started to talk about how much she loved
me and how she knew that we were meant to be together." He took a
deep breath. "She was trying to seduce me, but I refused to let her.
I didn't expect her to kiss me like that."
Jillian watched him closely and saw the earnestness on his face. Oh,
how she wanted to believe him.
"I'm sure she wanted you to catch us like that. She knew how you'd
react." He lifted his hand to his chin and began to think.
"It must have all been planned. But how did she know you'd walk in
when you did? How did she know you'd find us?"
Jillian thought to herself. Of course! Stephanie and Dane had
been working together. Dane made sure I saw Reginald leave with Stephanie.
"I-I don't know," she muttered.
"I told her she was a fool to think I'd ever love her the way I love
you." He took her in his arms again as she began to sob softly.
"I told her I hated her for hurting you...for trying to ruin what we have
"Oh, Reginald, how can I be sure you're telling me the truth?"
"Look at me." He lifted her chin so that their eyes met.
"Look in my eyes. Can't you see all the love that I have for you?
Can't you see that you're my world?" He swallowed hard and thought
again about what Stephanie had said...
"Jillian had an affair with
Dane! It was before you two ever met. She was in love with him, but
she discovered he was cheating on her with Sara.
She was so devastated that she ran back to Manhattan. She only came back
to town to prove to him that he didn't matter to her. Then she met you.
Dane's wanted her back ever since!"
"B-but she said something I find
hard to believe." He suddenly grew nervous. "Something
"What? What did she
"It was about you and Dane
Jillian's eyes grew wide with horror.
"Tell me, Jillian...tell me
about your affair with Dane!" He looked down at her sternly.
"Tell me! Are you in love with Dane Manchester?"