For Now and Forever
EPISODE #15 (Friday
GOOD HOPE CHURCH
Sara smiled at Dane warmly as they stood at the alter in the front of the church. In just a little while, she was going to be Mrs. Dane Manchester.
Dane, however, looked around the room uncomfortably. He couldn't believe that he'd allowed himself to be blackmailed into marriage. He realized, though, that he had no choice. If he didn't marry Sara, she would tell the dean how he'd cheated on his entrance exam. He'd surely be expelled and it would mean the end of his dream to be a prominent attorney. He swallowed hard as the minister began.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today..."
"I really can't believe that Sara's foolish enough to go through with this," Stephanie muttered as she squirmed in her seat. She watched her cousin as she stood next to Dane at the alter. The minister was rambling on about love and devotion and the sanctity of marriage.
"Shhh." Annabelle glared at Stephanie. "Be quiet. You don't want to cause a scene. Besides, you did everything you could to show Sara how wrong he was for her. It didn't work! She's too stubborn for her own good. I just don't know how she finally talked him into marrying her."
"I wish I knew." Stephanie rested her chin on her finger as she thought. "There's more going on here than meets the eye. That much I know for sure. I'm gonna find out exactly how she managed to change his mind on the idea of marriage. Now, if I could just keep her from making the worst mistake of her life."
"Darling, don't be getting any foolish ideas." Annabelle leaned closer to her daughter. "You really need to work on your skills at getting what you want. They weren't very useful in landing Reginald. All that got you was total embarrassment and disgrace in front of the entire town at Reginald and Jillian's engagement party. Sara won't even speak to you now! I, on the other hand..." She discretely motioned towards Charles who was sitting next to her.
Stephanie rolled her eyes and quietly thought of the promise she'd made to Patterson. She'd promised him that she'd try to change her outlook on life and try to be a better person. She really did want to learn how to find happiness without scheming to get it. Her face twisted into a frown as she pushed thoughts of Patterson out of her head. She just had to think of some way to stop this wedding.
THE CALLISON STABLES
"Trevor, I really don't know about this." Grace eyed the horse with trepidation. "W-what if I get thrown off?"
"Just calm down. It's not going to be that bad." Trevor allowed himself a slight laugh as he watched her clumsily attempt to mount the horse.
After a few failed attempts she stood with her arms folded defiantly across her chest. "This isn't going to work!"
"C'mon, let me help you." He walked over to her and knelt down to make a step with his folded hands. With one swift movement, he hoisted Grace into the air. However, just as she came to the top of the horse, she awkwardly jabbed her knee into its side. The impact startled the horse and he began to jerk.
"Oh my God!" Grace screamed as she fell backward and into Trevor's arms. Her body shook slightly in shock and she looked up into his eyes. She swallowed hard as she found herself caught up in Trevor's gaze. Oh, why do his eyes do that to me? she asked herself as she finally found the strength to will herself to look away. "W-why did you have to bring me here?"
"Well, honestly, I thought it might do you some good to get away from the city. What with Dane's wedding and all..."
"I don't know what I ever saw in him." Grace looked down at the grown and thought about how foolish she'd felt when she realized exactly what a cad Dane truly was. She looked back up at the horse and frowned. "I don't think I'm getting on that horse."
"Okay, okay," Trevor smiled. "Maybe Trouble isn't the horse you need to ride your first time out. Why don't you give Triumph a shot. She's much more docile." He slowly led Grace over to the other horse as she looked at it apprehensively. "These stables aren't really used much anymore except by me and some other people Father rents lodging space to."
"Well, it all has to do with my Uncle Landon and what happened here."
Grace looked at him inquisitively.
"He died here, Grace."
THE SUNSET HOTEL - JILLIAN'S SUITE
Jillian eyed the newspaper closely. "Summers/Manchester wedding set for today," she muttered to herself as she read. She flung the paper onto the table and sat down in one of the large chairs by the window.
"Why are you even interested in anything about Dane Manchester?" Reginald questioned as he watched her closely. "After everything that man has done to you...to us...why do you care whether he's getting married or not?"
She absently gazed out the window and onto the city as she nervously bit her lip. "Well...um...it's not so much Dane as it is Sara. I'm just trying to figure out how she can be stupid enough to still be in love with him after everything that's happened? I'd really like to know how she convinced him to marry her! He's always been so vocal about his aversion to marriage and commitment."
"Forget about Dane and Sara." Reginald leaned against the armrest of the chair and wrapped his arms around her. He gently nuzzled his face into the softness of her hair. "Now that everyone knows what underhanded tricks he pulled to separate us, there's no way he can do anything to us again."
Jillian was beginning to enjoy the comfort that Reginald's arms brought. As her mind began to drift away from thoughts of Dane and Sara toward thoughts of Reginald and the love they shared, a knock came at the door. "Now, I wonder who that could be," she said as she got up and began to walk across the room. As she slowly opened the door, the shock was apparent on her face. "W-what are you doing here?"
"Is that any way to greet your sister?" Janet Stokes laughed as she stepped into the room. "Give me a hug. I've come for a visit."
THE LAMONT HOME - KITCHEN
"Burt, dear, can I fix you a bite to eat?" Penelope Lamont asked as her son walked briskly into the kitchen. "I know you've been down at those stables all day. Surely, you must be hungry."
"Not really, Ma," Burt muttered as he washed his hands in the sink. "Just kinda tired. That's all. Trevor Callison is down there right now with some girl. They're taken Triumph and Trouble out for a ride."
Penelope looked at her son and grimaced. "You know, I really don't think it was a good idea for you to take this job for the Callisons. You should have just stayed in Chicago. Randy and I could have left Kentucky and followed you there. I'm sure you could have found a good job at one of those factories."
"Ma, jobs don't exactly grow on trees these days, now do they?" He wasn't looking forward to having this discussion with her again. She'd been strongly opposed to moving to Albanyville ever since he wired her and told her about the job. "I tried to find a job in Chicago. There aren't any! Just like there weren't any in New York other than that job in that bar I had. I couldn't make enough money off of that to support us all."
"I just don't like the idea of you working for them!" She shuffled nervously around the kitchen as she tried to busy herself with various chores. "And I don't like living in this house!"
"This house is the reason I took this job!" Burt crossed his arms and glared at her. "How could I pass up a good, honest job with good pay that provided a place for us to live? I've got the background for it. Look at all those years I worked on those horse farms in Kentucky! Why are you so opposed to this?"
"I just am!" Penelope slammed the skillet down onto the stove. "Nothing good will come of this Burton! Nothing at all!"
"J-just calm down." Burt walked over to her and put his arms around her. "I don't want you getting too upset. You might have another spell. The doctors told you that you had to be careful. I can't have you going and getting sick on me again."
"What do those doctors know?"
"They know a lot! Please, just trust me on this. This job and this house are exactly what we need right now. This is all gonna work out for the best."
Penelope covered her mouth with her hand and coughed. Silently, she prayed that her son wasn't making a mistake that could destroy the rest of their lives.
GOOD HOPE CHURCH
Stephanie watched the ceremony attentively. She had to admit that Sara did look beautiful in her long white gown. She looked at the pretty flowers that lined the isle and the lovely bows on the windows. How had Sara managed to pull this off so quickly? She'd only announced her engagement to Dane a couple of months ago. Could Sara be expecting? Stephanie shook her head at that thought. No, that wasn't possible. Annabelle would've known about it and would've told her.
Stephanie's eyes drifted toward Patterson as he stood next to Dane. He looked so handsome in his tux. She quickly turned her eyes away when she realized what she had to do. She listened to the minister as he continued his long message about how it was God's will that two people join together in holy marriage to become one unit. Finally, the point in the ceremony she'd waited for had arrived.
"If anyone here has just cause as to why this couple should not be married, let them speak now or forever hold their peace..."
Stephanie nervously clutched the edge of the pew as she began to rise...
TO BE CONTINUED
Will Dane and Sara actually get married?
For Now and Forever
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