THE SUNSET HOTEL - JILLIAN'S SUITE
can't believe Father
make this trip by herself," Jillian
said as she sat on the sofa wrapped in Reginald's
arms. "I know she's supposed to be in Chicago for an artists'
seminar, but he's so protective of her."
"So you've said," Reginald laughed. "You
know, it almost seems hard to believe that she's your older sister."
"And what's that supposed to mean?" She
looked up at him with a scowl.
"I just mean that she seems so naive and passive about
things. You, however, are much more worldly and sophisticated. You
just seem like you should be the older sister and not the other way
"Well, Father has always been over protective of her ever
since she was a baby." Jillian paused to chew on her lip as she
contemplated telling Reginald the entire story. She quickly shook off the
idea. It was a part of her family's past that was better off not being
discussed. "She came down with scarlet fever and nearly died.
Our parents were always so protective of her after that. Both Judith
and I went to boarding school, but Janet was schooled at home. They
refused to let her out of their sight. That's one of the reasons she can
seem so awkward in social settings."
"What about what happened before?" he questioned her
tentatively. A few months ago, Jillian had almost revealed a dark secret
about her family that concerned Janet, but had avoided discussing it.
Reginald began to wonder exactly what she was hiding from him.
"T-that's a lot of it, too," she stammered as she
quickly tried to think of ways to change the subject. She just couldn't
tell him everything...not after they'd all tried so hard to forget.
"Reginald, I can't go into this! I just can't!"
"Jillian, I thought we'd agreed not to keep secrets from
each other. Aren't secrets what almost tore us apart before?"
"This is different!" she said firmly as she turned
away from him. "This has nothing to do with us. This is about
my family! I can't tell you what happened. I just can't!
Please don't ask me again."
"Okay," he muttered as he quickly backed down.
He could clearly see how upset she was getting and knew not to press the matter
any further. However, he couldn't help but wonder what could be so
horrible as to elicit such a reaction. "It's just good to have Janet
here on such a calmer visit than before."
"Yes, it is." She sighed with relief that he was
willing to let her family's past rest. "I'm just afraid what will
happen if Father finds out she and Mother
lied to him. If he finds out that she's here and not in Chicago, like
she's supposed to be, I'm afraid there'll be hell to pay."