THE GRAND SUNSET ROOM
and I have had the supreme misfortune of having our relationship come under
attack by Dane
Manchester and Stephanie
shot a hateful look at Stephanie.
"Reginald, don't," Jillian muttered.
"I'm tired of these games. It's time for the entire truth to come
out!" He turned to Dane and looked at him coldly. "This
man...Dane Manchester...has been hell bent on coming between me and Jillian.
He thinks that just because he and Jillian were once together...because Jillian
was once foolish enough to believe his lies and fall prey to his charms...that
he has the right to torment her unjustly. He has been obsessed with
destroying the love she and I share. He has schemed with Stephanie to
cause misunderstanding and conflict between us. These two are the lowest
excuses for human beings I've ever encountered."
"Why? Why do have to do this to me?" Stephanie
wailed as she grabbed his arm in an effort to halt the truth.
"Why? Stephanie, I really did care about you once. I felt
sorry for you because of what happened between us. I don't feel sorry for
you anymore!" He turned again to address the crowd. "Yes,
it's true! I was unfaithful to Jillian with Stephanie. I was afraid
to accept the love that Jillian so readily offered me. When I realized
that, yes, I did truly love Jillian, I immediately told Stephanie the
truth and ended things with her. However, she couldn't accept that!
She fought tooth and nail to use our past against me. She held it over my
head like a guillotine! She went to Jillian and told her everything hoping
that Jillian would abandon me so she could have me all to herself. That
didn't work! Our love was too strong and Jillian forgave me for my
mistakes. Likewise, Dane tried to use his past with Jillian to
confuse her about her love for me. Again, that didn't work!"
"You have no idea what you're talking about," Dane sneered.
"Don't I?" Reginald continued with his verbal attack.
"When none of Dane's attempts worked to dissuade Jillian away from me, he
and Stephanie decided to use this party to their advantage! Stephanie
into bringing her and Dane wormed an invitation out of Annabelle
so they could act out their vicious plans!"
"Stephanie?" Douglas looked at her with shock.
"They tried to get Jillian to believe a lie! They tried to
convince Jillian that Stephanie and I were still involved." He
glanced over to Jillian and smiled warmly. "It almost worked, but
again, our love was too strong. Jillian knows I wouldn't have anything to
do with such an evil girl as Stephanie just as I know that she would never again
lower herself to fall prey to Dane's lies and charms."
Jillian looked away uncomfortably.
"I am here to tell you all of this so that you know not to trust these
two people....ever! They are users and liars and cheats! They
will use you in a heartbeat if it will advance their malicious plans!"
looked at him as he still lay in her arms. "H-have you been using me
all this time?"
"No." he muttered in response. His eyes darted from Reginald
to Stephanie to Jillian. Slowly he began to rise to his feet.
"No! You have this all wrong, Reginald. I don't know
where you've gotten your information, but these are all slanderous assumptions
on your part. There is not one hint of truth to any of it!"
"Are you trying to say that I'm wrong?" Reginald looked at
him in disbelief. "Are you trying to deny that you're in love with
Jillian and have been trying to destroy our relationship?"
"That's exactly what I'm saying!" Dane stood straight up and
turned to the crowd. "It is true that Jillian and I were once
involved. It is true that I hurt her terribly. I betrayed her
and she couldn't forgive me for that. It is not true that I've been
plotting to destroy her happiness with you! All I have been trying to do
is make amends to her for the pain that I've caused. I want to reconcile
so that there are no hard feelings. I want to begin a new relationship
with her...as friends!"
Jillian shook her head at Dane's audacity.
"Do you want to know who's really responsible for causing trouble
between you two?" Dane's eyes burned with anger. "Do
you? I'll tell you who's been behind the entire thing! I'll tell you
who tried to use what they knew about my past with Jillian to their own wicked
advantage." He pause to scan the crowd and sneered when his eyes
found their desired target. "I'll tell you who! It was her!"
He stretched out his and to point at his intended target. "It was
Stephanie Lake! She's the one who's truly behind everything. She's
been behind this entire thing!"
Stephanie's eyes grew wide in fear. He really was going to blame
everything on her!