Jillian StokesSunset Hotel, Suite #2, Albanyville, IL"Alright, what's wrong?" Jillian asked when she looked up to find Reginald staring at her intently.

"I just can't stop wondering why you're so concerned about Dane and Sara's marriage."  He walked over to her and sat down beside her on the sofa.  "It really is none of your concern."

"Well, I can't help but wonder about your obsession with my concern!" Jillian snapped as she quickly looked away.  "I've told you that I'm only concerned for Sara.  She just doesn't realize what she's getting into with Dane."

"And you know all too well, don't you?"

"Yes, in fact, I do."  Jillian quickly began to grow uncomfortable with this topic of conversation.  She really didn't like discussing her past with Dane.  It was something she'd like to forget as if it had never happened.  She slowly took a deep breath to collect her thoughts.  "I know what kind of lies he can spread.  I know how his influence can destroy your life.  I just don't want Sara to have to go through that."

Reginald Callison"Leave it alone, Jillian," Reginald said as he laid his hand on hers.  "This was Sara's decision and I'm sure she didn't make it blindly.  She's a smart girl.  I'm sure she knows what she's doing.  We might not agree with it, but it's her life to live."

Jillian took a deep breath and turned to face him.  Why couldn't he understand her concern?  Why did he feel the need to bring it up?  "So, have you talked to your father?" she asked as she tried to turn the subject around.  "I just can't believe what's going on between your parents."

"I don't want to talk about my parents and Annabelle Lake."  He closed his eyes and swallowed hard.  Charles and Francis' separation had been difficult for him.  He'd always seen them as such a loving couple.  After the confrontation he'd had months ago with his father, he was sure that nothing had been going on between Charles and Annabelle, but Francis' discovery clearly proved otherwise.  Reginald just could believe that his father could be so deceptive.  He wasn't sure he could ever forgive the pain his mother was having to endure.

As he drug his thoughts away from his parents' relationship and back to his own, he snapped his head up and looked at Jillian.  She'd clearly brought up his parents' problems to distract him from his own concerns for her.  "Why are you trying to avoid talking about Dane?" he asked as he carefully watched her reactions.

"I just don't think my feelings about Dane and Sara's marriage are as big of a deal as you're trying to make them!" she snapped.

Reginald bit his lip and backed down.  He didn't want to fight with her, but he was sure that there was more to Jillian's feelings than she was willing to admit.


Baily ParkLorraine BlakeAs Lorraine sat on a park bench, she watched the various groups of children playing.  Their happy faces brought a smile to hers.  However, as some of them played with their fathers, she was forced to think of her own desperate situation.

"Oh, what am I going to do?" she muttered to herself as she carefully watched how the fathers acted with their sons.  She knew that Patterson would be a wonderful father.  She knew how well he'd done so far with Todd.  But was it right to lie to him and force on him the responsibility of a child that wasn't his?  How could that be fair to him?  How could she live with such a horrible lie?

Her hands shook as she nervously twisted the handkerchief that they held.  Then her mind quickly turned to Douglas.  She was sure that he, too, would make an excellent father.  He was so kind and loving.  Did she really have the right to deny him knowledge of his own child?

As she continued her internal debate over the rights and wrongs of her two choices, her mind slowly shifted to the repercussions that revealing the truth might bring.  If she told the truth now, Patterson would be hurt terribly.  She wasn't sure if he'd ever forgive her betrayal.  However, if she told Patterson he was the father and the truth came out later, she knew he would hate her for her deception.  But, she could keep the secret, couldn't she?  There was no reason anyone ever had to know the truth.

Lorraine exhaled slowly as she continued to weigh her options.  She looked down at her hand that rested on her stomach and realized that she had to make a decision and she had to make it soon.  It wouldn't be long before she couldn't hide her condition.  The only thing she knew for certain is that whatever she decided would change three lives forever.


Dr. Fred RutherfordRiverview Nightclub"I'll have another Manhattan on the rocks," Fred said as he motioned to the bartender.  As the fresh drink was placed in front of him, he strummed his fingers nervously on the bar.  He glanced down at his watch and grimaced.  "She's late," he muttered, "as usual."  He let out a heavy sigh as he prayed that everything went just as he'd intended.

"Well, hello, Dr. Rutherford.  Fancy meeting you here."

"It's about time," he turned toward the direction of the female voice.  "Annabelle, I've been waiting for you for almost an hour."

"So sorry.  I got caught up in other things."  Annabelle took a seat next to him on a bar stool and indicated to the bartender that she wanted a vodka tonic.  "And how are things with you?"

"Actually, they're going quite well."  Fred allowed a grin to spread across his face as he casually sipped his drink.  He paused for a moment before speaking again.  "I've made a date with one Francis Callison.  I believe I'll be taking her to dinner.  The Gardens sounds nice."

"Wonderful!  That's so good to hear."  Annabelle smiled as she gave his hand a congratulatory pat.  "It's about time you came through on your end of the deal."

"I told you I was working on it!" Fred snapped as he glared at her with irritation.  "Francis is not exactly the easiest woman in town, you know.  She's still quite hung up on that loser husband of hers."

Annabelle Lake"Charles Callison is far from a loser!"  She gritted her teeth at Fred's comments.  "In fact, to me Charles is the grand prize I've been trying to win for quite some time now.  I could lose everything I've worked for if you can't keep her away from him."

"Annabelle, I think you need to be the one keeping Charles away from her."

"You let me worry about that.  You just handle the not-so-happy homemaker."  She took a big swig of her drink.  "And you better be sure you keep your trap shut about your part in my seduction of Charles during Reginald and Jillian's engagement party.  He has to believe his betrayal of her was all his own doing.  He can know nothing of my true involvement in it."

"Oh, don't you worry."  Fred grinned slightly as his mind worked out his own plans.  "I have my own designs for Mrs. Callison."

"And what is that supposed to mean?"  Annabelle looked at him closely.  She'd never been entirely sure she could trust him.  However, he was her best shot at an ally and she couldn't risk blowing her chances.

"Let's just say that I need Francis just as much as you need Charles."  He took another drink.  "But for very, very different reasons."



Penelope takes a trip down memory lane.


produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

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