For Now and Forever
EPISODE #20 (Friday
GOOD HOPE CHURCH
"Why can't you see how Stephanie is trying to sink her claws into you?" Lorraine asked as she looked at Patterson. "She sees you as the next big thing."
"Lorraine, honey, I don't see that at all. She's just grateful to have a friend. She doesn't have a lot of those right now."
"Oh, Patterson," she sighed as she shook her head. "How can you be so blind?"
"Can't you see how sorry Stephanie is for all the trouble she caused?" Patterson looked at Lorraine pleadingly. Why couldn't she understand where Stephanie was coming from? "She realizes that everything she did was wrong. Granted, some of her reasons were valid and some weren't, but she knows she went about everything the wrong way."
"I don't know why I'm surprised you see some sort of good in her." Lorraine shook her head as she turned away from him. "As close as you are to Dane and everything. If you can see the good in him, of all people, I shouldn't be surprised that you can see the good in her."
"She really is trying." Patterson wrapped his arms around Lorraine and pulled her to him. "Besides, she's got me to keep her on the straight and narrow. I can't just turn my back on her when she's working so hard."
"You realize this is going to be full time job, don't you?"
"I know." He let out a small laugh. "Just give her a chance, Lorraine. You'll see. Stephanie isn't near as horrible as you might think she is. Remember, I thought the same things about her, too, once."
"I don't know," Lorraine sighed as she turned again to face him. "I just can't get over this mistrust and dislike of her. I still think she's up to something. I think this is all a trick to win your trust. There's got to be something more."
ALBANYVILLE GENERAL HOSPITAL
"So, Dr. Rutherford," Francis began cautiously.
"Please, call me Fred," he smiled warmly at her.
"Um, Fred, so, exactly how many of these rumors that I've heard about you are true?" She watched him carefully. She wanted to be sure she could separate the fact from the fiction.
"There is not a shred of truth to any of them!" He slammed his fist down into his hand. "This hospital has a way of taking anything that happens inside these walls and blowing it way out of proportion! You know yourself how rumors can be the furthest thing from the truth."
"Yes, I know." Francis hung her head in embarrassment. Of course, everything that she'd heard about him had to be just gossip. "I-I was just curious about that nurse..."
"Ah, Arlene." Fred lifted his hand to his chin as he thought back about the pretty young nurse he'd been involved with some time ago. "I really did care for her. It was so horrible what happened."
"T-that's what I meant," she stammered a bit as tried to find the right words to broach the subject. "I heard that you knew more about her disappearance than you ever told the police."
"That's hogwash!" His eyes began to burn with anger. He'd fought so hard to dispel the cloud of suspicion that followed him ever since Arlene had disappeared. "Yes, I was seeing her at the time, but I had nothing to do with her disappearing off the face of the earth. We had a fight and she took off! She wasn't from Albanyville. She didn't have any family or close ties here other than me. When she didn't have me anymore, she probably just picked up and took off somewhere else."
"Yes, you're probably right." Francis nodded her head in agreement. She glanced down at her watch and noticed the time. "Well, I've talked your ear off long enough. I really must get...home." The word caught in her throat. Home...not the house she'd shared with Charles and her children for so many years, but now the penthouse apartment she shared with her mother. She wasn't sure she'd ever get used to that thought.
"Francis, I hope you won't think I'm being too forward," Fred spoke up cautiously. "But I really would like it if you'd agree to join me for dinner some time."
"Dr....I mean, Fred, are you asking me on a date?"
"Why, yes, I think I am."
"I-I don't know," she felt her face flush as she began to grow nervous. "I-I really can't. I am married, after all." She looked down at her watch again. "I-I do have to go." She quickly turned and walked briskly down the hallway and away from the doctor.
As his eyes followed her, a smile spread across his lips. "Ah, Francis, you're so beautiful and lovely," he muttered to himself. "Charles doesn't deserve a woman like you. If only I could convince you to give me a chance."
DANE & SARA'S APARTMENT
"Oh, Dane, you have no idea how happy I am right now!" Sara glowed as she looked at the wedding band that had found a home on her hand. "I've waited so long to be your wife."
"Yes, I know," he muttered dryly as he sat in his chair with his chin resting in his hand. He gritted his teeth as he wondered how his life took such a drastically different turn than what he'd planned. It had only been a few months before that he was certain he'd take Jillian away from Reginald. Now he was married to Sara. This was not the way it was supposed to be.
"I wish we could've had a real honeymoon," Sara sighed as she sat down on the edge of the chair and laid her head on his shoulder. "You know, someplace nice..."
"That's kind of hard when you don't have any money." Dane began to think about the financial support that his parents had withdrawn as soon as they'd learned of his planned marriage. "If you think you're old enough to get married and settle down, you're old enough to pay for yourself," his father had said in a rather abrupt phone call. "Everything's gonna be hard now," he sighed. "Now I've got to work to support us and try to pay for school. This isn't going to be easy!"
"Dane, I told you I could get a job, too!" She slowly ran her fingers through his dark, wavy hair. "I'm just as capable of helping with the bills and your school, too!"
"No!" He turned to face her angrily. "You're my wife and you'll act like my wife. I will not have people thinking that I can't take care of my household!"
"Okay," Sara sighed. He could be so difficult at times. "Well, I guess since we're spending our honeymoon here...." She snuggled up next to him and leaned in for a kiss.
"Sorry, can't." Dane pushed her away and got up from his seat.
"What? What do you mean you can't?"
"I have to go to work and earn us some money." He grabbed his jacket off of the back of the chair and walked toward the door. "I'm lucky to have gotten this job at the Callison Printing Plant. I can't afford to miss work."
"But, Dane, this is our honeymoon!"
"And I have to go to work to support my new wife." He smiled at her, but it was tinged with sarcasm.
As the door shut behind him, Sara slumped down into the chair and began to wonder if she really knew what she was getting into.
THE LAKE APARTMENT
"Oh, Charles," Annabelle moaned softly as he found the right spot in the hollow of her neck. "The things you do to me!" The sudden ringing of the telephone broke the mood and she glared at it angrily. "Let me get rid of whoever that is," she cooed as she slowly slid out of bed. "Then we can get back to what we were doing."
"Hello?" she said as she cradled the receiver between her ear and her shoulder. The voice on the other end forced her to turn her back to Charles and lower her voice. "Well, no, this isn't exactly a good time...um, yes, he is." She quickly glanced in Charles' direction to see if he were listening. Seeing that he wasn't, she let out a sigh of relief and continued with her conversation.
"Are you taking care of that matter we discussed? I see. And how is that plan going? Well, I guess you'll have to try harder, now won't you? Ah....I see. That does sound promising. You just keep to your end of the deal. Understand? I thought so." She hung up the phone and strolled back towards the bed.
"Who was that?" Charles asked as she returned to her spot next to him.
"Oh, just some silly person trying to do a survey on what kind of laundry detergent I use. Why do those people insist on calling at all the wrong times?" She giggled at her lie.
"Forget about the soap people," he said as he pulled her closer to him. "Now where were we?"
As his lips again found the softness of her neck, Annabelle silently thought about how she had to keep Charles and Francis apart if she were going to make him hers for good.
GOOD HOPE CHURCH
"Lorraine, I'm sure that Stephanie has no designs on me whatsoever," Patterson said as he held her in his arms. "All she needs right now is a friend. I don't even think she wants to be involved with anyone!"
"Then what about that kiss? She sure looked like she was up to something then!" Lorraine pulled away from him and watched him closely. The site of Patterson and Stephanie locked together in a kiss was an image that was still burned in her mind.
"Honey, we've gone over that a thousand times. Why can't you believe that there was nothing to that? She was just so excited that someone, anyone, would look past everything that happened and want to be her friend. It was all innocent." His eyes pleaded with her to accept the truth. "If you'd just stayed around a little longer, you would have seen me push her away and tell her that what happened was inappropriate. I love you. You're the one I've always wanted to be with."
"I'm sure it was all innocent on your part. But her...?" Lorraine lifted her hand to gently rub her temple. Why was she suddenly starting to feel so strange? She squinted her eyes as she tried to focus on Patterson. Why was she starting to feel so odd?
"Lorraine, are you all right?" he asked as he watched her closely. The color had drained from her face and she suddenly looked as pale as a ghost. As he reached out for her, she collapsed and fell into his arms. "Lorraine, speak to me! Lorraine!"
TO BE CONTINUED
What's wrong with Lorraine?
For Now and Forever
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