For Now and Forever
EPISODE #16 (Monday
GOOD HOPE CHURCH
"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 gripped the edge of the pew as she struggled for the strength to stand. She had to stop Sara from making the biggest mistake of her life. But would Sara listen to her? Would anyone? Would her protests be in vain? Stephanie silently prayed for an answer.
"By the power vested in me by the state of Illinois, I now pronounce you husband and wife. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder."
"You did the smart thing, Stephanie," Annabelle leaned over and muttered to her daughter. "Disrupting this wedding wouldn't have accomplished anything. You know how Sara is. She wouldn't listen to you. No one would."
"Thanks to Dane." Stephanie glared in the direction of the happy couple as they shared their first kiss as newlyweds.
"No matter who's to blame, bringing this wedding to a halt would cause much more trouble than it's worth. Sara's going to have to learn things for herself. Besides, your name isn't worth a whole lot in this town, right now." Annabelle watched Stephanie's growing discomfort at being reminded of her current social status. "Now, I know that Dane's the one responsible for all of that, but that doesn't change things.
"I understand what these people think of me," Stephanie muttered under her breath. "I understand that I've managed to make myself the town pariah by trying to separate the sainted Reginald and Jillian, but what about you, Mother? How much is your name worth now that you're publicly carrying on with a married man?"
THE SUNSET HOTEL - JILLIAN'S SUITE
"W-what are you doing here?" Jillian asked as her sister Janet stepped into the room. "How did Father let you leave Manhattan?"
"Mother sent me to deliver some more money to you." Janet held out the envelope. "She would have liked to have done it herself, but Father would have been too suspicious."
"And how did he let you come?"
"Well, he doesn't know I'm here," Janet confessed. "Mother convinced him that I was going to an artists' seminar in Chicago. He really didn't want me to go alone, but Mother can be very persuasive."
"So, you know about your mother's support of Jillian?" Reginald asked as he walked over to her. "I thought your mother wanted to keep all of this a secret."
"She does! She doesn't want Father to ever find out what she's doing." Janet replied. "He was completely wrong to do what he did. I can't understand how he could just disown you for wanting to follow your heart. I told Mother I disagreed with him and she told me what she was doing. I support her decision, and yours, every step of the way."
"I'm so glad that someone else in my family is on our side." Jillian hugged her sister tightly.
"Now, there's just one problem." Janet grinned as she carefully eyed Jillian and Reginald. "I need a place to stay while I'm in Albanyville. Can I stay here with you?"
"Of course!" Jillian's face beamed with excitement. "I'd love to have you stay! It gives us a chance to catch up on what's been going on."
"Wonderful!" Janet pulled her suitcase in from the hallway. "I have a feeling that this is going to be a much more pleasant visit than last time."
ALBANYVILLE HIGH SCHOOL
"I can't be late for Biology again," Maggie grumbled to herself as she rushed down the hallway. She picked up speed as she turned the corner, but was stopped with a thud as she collided with another student.
"O-oh!" the young man exclaimed because of the force of the impact. "I-I'm sorry."
"Could you get out of my way? I'm late for Mr. Harrod's class!" She yelled as she struggled to maintain her grasp on her books.
"I'm sorry. Here, let me help you with those." He reached out to ease her load, but she quickly pulled away from him.
"I told you I'm late!"
"My name's Randy Lamont. I just moved here from..."
"I don't care where you're from!" Maggie tried to maneuver around him. She looked nervously at her watch and realized that she'd never make it to the end of the hall before the bell rang. "Look, I'm gonna be late for class. I've already been late 4 times since school started! Get out of my way!"
"I-I'm sorry." Randy's face fell. It had been very hard for him to leave his old school and all of his friends back in Kentucky. Now he was in a brand new school in a brand new town. He realized all of his former popularity didn't mean anything now. Here at Albanyville High, he was nothing.
"Um, hey, I-I'm sorry," Maggie muttered sincerely when she noticed how her tone had hurt him. "I-I've had a lot going on lately. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. Really, I didn't. I just can't be late for class again." Her mind drifted for a moment to her parents and the problems that they'd been having. She blamed herself for a lot of it. If she'd only kept her mouth shut about seeing her father and Annabelle Lake together, none of it would have happened. Suddenly, the bell rang to announce Maggie's tardiness. "Look, now I am late! I've got to go."
As Maggie rushed on down the hallway, Randy's eyes followed her the entire distance. He smiled to himself as he thought how pretty she was.
THE CALLISON STABLES
"Of course, this all happened way before I was born," Trevor began as he and Grace slowly walked along leading the horses behind them. "In fact, Father was still just a boy. He had an older brother named Landon. Father worshiped him. Uncle Landon liked to come out her and take the horses out. Father often tagged along right behind him." He laughed as he tried to picture his father as a child.
"W-what happened?" Grace asked as she listened attentively.
"One day, Father and Landon were out here and Landon took off on one of his rides." He had no trouble retelling the story; it was one that had been repeated to him over and over by his father. "Something happened. Something scared the horse and he bucked. Landon was thrown off and hit his head. He died because of that fall. Father saw everything."
"Oh, my god! How horrible!"
"You see, Landon was the favored son. He was the one who was supposed to take over the family business. My father always felt like second best to Landon." Trevor paused for a moment as he thought about his own relationship with his brother Reginald. "Anyway, after Landon died, Father was forced to take over his spot as heir to the Callison name. He's spent his entire life trying to live up to Landon's memory."
"I never realized that your father felt such pressure." Grace held on to Trevor's arm as they walked. She was beginning to enjoy their deep, personal talks more and more.
"After Landon's death, my grandfather forbid my father from ever coming to the stables. Likewise, my father has continued that ban. He'd be very upset if he knew I came here."
"Oh, I won't tell!" Grace assured him. "But, if your father forbids you from coming out here, why do you?"
"Because it gives me a chance to be alone and think." Trevor stopped at the edge of Spring Lake and began to watch the ripples form in the water. "Here, no one bothers me and I can get away from everything."
"So, when you're out here, what do you think about?"
"You, Grace," he confessed as he turned to look into her eyes. "For the past few months, the only thing I can think about is you."
Grace swallowed hard as she looked back into his eyes. She didn't have a clue what to say next.
GOOD HOPE CHURCH
"Oh, thank you so much for coming," Sara smiled as another guest passed through the line. She turned to Dane and was disturbed to find him not looking quite as happy as she was. "Could you at least smile?" she muttered under her breath while keeping a smile on her face.
"Oh, I forgot! I'm supposed to be happy about all of this," Dane replied through clinched teeth. "What do you want me to do? Cartwheels? I'm not here because I want to be. I'm here because you blackmailed me into marrying you. It was either marry you or loose my future."
"I am your future, darling." Sara's smile remained, but it was beginning to feel more and more forced. "I am going to make you very, very happy. You'll see! You'll realize that this was the best thing for us."
Dane nodded politely to a guest before rolling his eyes at his new wife's persistence.
"I just wish your parents could have been here to share this day with us."
"Trust me, you wouldn't have wanted my parents here. They're completely opposed to this entire marriage. They cut off my financial support, remember?" He flinched as he finally realized how much he'd relied on his parents' money.
"Hello, Sara," the voice intruded on the conversation. "I-I just want to offer my congratulations and tell you that I hope you're both very happy together."
Sara turned away from Dane to see Stephanie standing in front of her. Her blood ran cold as she remembered everything her cousin had done to tear Dane away from her. Sara stood up straight as she prepared to tell Stephanie everything she thought of her.
TO BE CONTINUED
Francis fears public opinion.
For Now and Forever
©2001- 2010 Classic Soap Productions