For Now and Forever
EPISODE #38 (Wednesday
LORRAINE'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM
"Lorraine, it's obvious that there's something wrong," Patterson stated firmly as he nervously paced the room. "What won't you tell me?"
"Paddy, please!" Lorraine buried her face in her hands in hopes that the anxiety on her face wouldn't be apparent.
"You've been acting strange for weeks now." He sat down beside her and grasped her hands in hopes of drawing her full attention towards him. "Tell me what's wrong!"
Lorraine looked at him with fear and panic in her eyes. How could she tell him she was going to have another man's child?
SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY
"Sara, have you filed those papers yet?" Helga questioned as she walked into the library.
"Um, no ma'am." Sara looked up from a thick stack of folders and papers that lay in front of her on the desk. It seemed like she'd been filing for hours. "There's just so much stuff to put away."
"Well, you need to hurry up!" Helga walked around the room and appeared to be inspecting Sara from every angle. "Your filing skills leave much to be desired. You need to get this work done and then you need to go run some errands."
"Mr. Preston didn't say anything earlier about running any errands?" Sara looked at her curiously. "All he told me to do was file all these stacks of papers and then do some transcription."
"I told you that you need to run errands!"
"With all due respect, Helga, I work for Mr. Preston, not for you!" Sara glared at her and felt her face begin to flush with frustration.
"I'll have you know, Sara, that I've been with Mr. Preston for a very, very long time." Helga walked over to Sara and began to peer at her closely. "You'll do as I request. I know what Mr. Preston needs to have done!"
Sara let out a deep sigh of defeat and slumped her shoulders as she sank back into her chair. "Yes, ma'am," she muttered. "What do you need me to do?"
"Just take these letters to the post office and then I need you to stop at the store and pick up a few things. I've made you a list." Helga handed Sara a stack of envelopes and her shopping list.
Sara rose from her seat and walked towards the door. She hesitated for a moment as she looked down at the things Helga had given her. Turning back around, she opened her mouth to say something, but quickly thought better of it. Without a sound, Sara calmly walked out of the house.
"Honestly, Helga, do you think it's necessary to be so rough on the girl?" Thornton asked as he came down the stairs. He'd remained out of sight during the exchange, but he'd heard every word.
"I don't trust her, Mr. Preston," Helga replied as she walked over to him. "There's just something about her! You know my feelings are usually right. I told you the same thing about Mrs. Preston..."
Thornton threw up his hand to cut Helga off. "I asked you not to bring that woman's name up!"
"Yes, sir," she nodded. "But I can't help this feeling I have. I think Sara Manchester is up to something. You need to watch her very closely."
THE GARDENS RESTAURANT
"I honestly don't know where Jillian could be," Helen Van Dyne sighed as she looked down at her watch. "She was supposed to have met us here almost an hour ago. I'm about finished waiting on her."
"If she said she'd be here, she'll be here," Janet insisted as she sat across from Helen with her hands clasped firmly in her lap.
"Well, it has given us a chance to talk," Helen smiled. "So, Janet, what have you been up to since you've been in Albanyville?"
"Well..." Janet blushed slightly and lowered her head. "I've met a wonderful man and we've been seeing quite a bit of each other. I think we might be falling in love."
"Oh, Janet! That's
wonderful!" Helen nearly gushed with excitement. It was about
time that poor, awkward Janet had found a man. "Tell me
everything! I want to know everything about him! What's his
name? Who's his family? What does he do?"
"Ummm..." Janet looked away again. She couldn't tell her exactly who Burt was. It was too risky. Helen couldn't exactly keep a secret and Janet was sure that she'd run to him and blab the truth about her true identity. "His name is B...Barrett Lowder. He...he..."
"I am so sorry I'm late." Jillian's voice interrupted Janet's story.
Janet quickly heaved a sigh of relief.
"I got detained with an unexpected visitor." Jillian moved subtly to hide someone else's presence behind her.
"Who? Who stopped by?" Helen always had to know everything.
"Me," Judith spoke up as she stepped into sight. "So good to see you again, Helen. Janet."
"J-Judith! W-what are you doing here?" Janet shifted awkwardly in her seat as she stared in shock at her older sister. Judith's sudden appearance was not an indication of good news and Janet knew it.
"I've come to take you back to New York," Judith announced in a very stern tone. "You're little vacation to this little...town...is over."
SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY
"You know, Helga, I've been thinking about that." Thornton carefully paced around the library as he rested his chin in his hand. "You could be right in your concerns about young Mrs. Manchester. It is rather odd how Charles Callison suddenly had the perfect answer to my assistant problems."
"That girl is up to something." Helga trailed along behind Thornton as he walked. "I'm sure of it!"
"I've been wondering why Charles was so gracious in his assistance." He turned and walked behind his desk and took a seat. "Considering all the conflict that's been going on concerning my stupid contract."
"You don't think that this young woman is some sort of spy, do you?"
"Possibly," he nodded as he carefully pulled a large folder out of his top desk drawer. He intently scanned a copy of Sara's personal information which he'd collected from her upon her hiring. "Nothing too revealing here. Recently married...college student...never worked before.... Hmm...I wonder exactly what Sara could be up to?"
"I don't know, but I'm sure she's up to something!" Helga watched Thornton intently as he slowly began to tap his pencil on the top of his desk.
"Helga, get me Simmons in New York on the phone!"
"Your private investigator?" She looked at him curiously. He only used Simmons' services when there was a dire matter at hand. The last time was when Mrs. Preston had disappeared in Switzerland on a grand shopping expedition. Turned out that she'd been at a chalet keeping the company of some wealthy count. Thornton had taken great pleasure in freezing her bank account after that little incident.
"Yes, Helga." Thornton reached for his pipe and leaned back in his chair. "Tell him I want to know everything there is to know about Mrs. Sara Manchester."
LORRAINE'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM
"How many times do I have to tell you that I'm fine?" Lorraine snapped. "I'm just a little tired and I haven't been feeling well. That's all!"
"Well, Lorraine, if you haven't been feeling well, have you been back to see the doctor?" Patterson walked over to her and took a seat next to her. "I've been very worried about you ever since you collapsed at Dane and Sara's wedding. I know the doctor said there wasn't anything seriously wrong, but that can't be a good sign."
"There is nothing wrong! The doctor said there's nothing wrong. I just need to get some rest!" She quickly turned away from him in fear that he would be able to tell she was lying to him. "That's something you're preventing me from doing right now!"
"See, this is exactly what I'm talking about." Patterson reached out and took her hand, forcing her to look at him. "You've been one giant, exposed nerve these last few weeks. You've been unbelievably jumpy and you've been so moody. I-I'm worried about you, Lorraine. You know it's only because I care."
Lorraine looked up and into his soft, blue eyes and felt her defenses weaken. He did care for her. That much she knew all too well. How would those feelings change if he knew the truth? How could he still care for her after knowing what was really going on? The truth was something she was in no hurry to confess, but she clearly realized that she didn't have much time. Either she had to tell the truth, or she had to tell Patterson he was going to be a father.
"Paddy, I-I'm sorry. I just don't know why I've been so on edge lately. I-I'm just tired." She quickly looked away and subtly wiped a tear that had begun to form in the corner of her eye. "Please go. I-I need to rest. M-maybe I'll feel better if I can get some rest."
"Okay," he sighed as he patted her hand in gentle support. "You get all the rest you need. Just promise me something, ok?"
"Take care of yourself." Patterson got up and walked slowly towards the door. He didn't want to leave her in the state she was in, but he didn't have much choice. It was what she wanted. "And, please, go see the doctor again. Maybe there's something wrong that he didn't catch the last time. I just don't want anything to happen to you." Then, with a quick kiss in the air, he left.
Lorraine broke down into sobs as she curled up on the couch. How in the world would she ever find the strength to break Patterson's heart?
THE GARDENS RESTAURANT
"I am not going home!" Janet insisted through clinched teeth as she glared at Judith. "I'm staying right here in Albanyville!"
"Oh, don't be silly," Judith replied in her curt tone that so often irritated Janet. She took her seat at the table and gracefully slid it forward until the edge of the table grazed her quite expectant stomach. "You have to return to Manhattan with me before Daddy gets any more suspicious than he already is. Surely you don't think Mother can hide your whereabouts forever!"
"I think Janet wants to stay here because of the new love of her life," Helen chimed in with a smile. Her comment was quickly met with a hateful glance from Janet.
"Janet, don't tell me you're still seeing that man you met in the park?" Jillian sighed as she flashed her sister a look of disappointment. "I thought I warned you that that wouldn't be a good idea!"
"It's my life to do with as I please!" Janet folded her arms across her chest and glared at the other three girls who seemed to be ganging up on her. "Would you quit treating me like I don't have a choice in my own life!"
"Well, well, well," Judith smirked as she took a sip of the water that the waiter was placing in front of the girls. "Sister dear has a boyfriend! And here I thought the season of miracles wasn't until Christmas. So, Janet, tell us about the man in your life."
"I don't have to tell you a thing!" Janet quickly looked away. Why did she allow Judith to get to her so much? "It's my life and it has nothing to do with you!"
"The poor sap will be devastated when you have to abandon him and return home." Judith eyed Janet carefully as she waited for the desired reaction.
"I told you I'm not going home and that's final!" Janet's loud outburst brought a couple of curious stares from the neighboring tables. Realizing that she was making the foursome the center of unwanted attention, Janet sunk back down into her chair and bit her lip.
"My, my, Janet, your nerves seem to be on edge." Judith looked intently at Janet and paused a moment for dramatic effect. "I certainly hope you're not feeling ill again."
"That's enough, Judith," Jillian warned though clinched teeth. She could not allow this line of conversation to continue. Especially not in front of blabbermouth Helen. She took a deep breath before turning her focus to Helen and prepared for a change in topic. "So, Helen, how have classes been going?"
"Same as usual," Helen smiled as her eyes darted from one Stokes sister to the other. She knew something was going on between them, but realized that it wouldn't be wise to press the matter. "Where have you been occupying yourself? You haven't been to any of the sorority functions. I never get to see you any more."
"Well, dear, there's just so much to do with classes and planning the wedding." Jillian allowed herself to glance back and forth between Janet and Judith the see if any further troubles were brewing. "I'm hoping it will be a much more joyous affair than the engagement party."
"Jillian, I can guarantee that!" Helen flashed a sly smile and gave Jillian an knowing wink.
"How can you do that?" Janet spoke up as she finally entered the new conversation.
"Well..." Helen smiled with false innocence as she fluttered her delicate eyelashes. "I can assure you that that little wretch Stephanie Lake won't be in any position to ruin your happy day."
"Helen, I don't know what you're talking about but I don't like the sound of it." Jillian shook her head. Helen sure could be devious when she wanted to be.
"I like the sound of it very much," Judith spoke up as she leaned in to hear all the details. "Helen, dear, tell me more."
"I'm working on a plan to make Stephanie the most despicable girl on AU's campus. Why, she'll probably have to drop out of school in shame. She may even have to leave town!" Helen began to display a wide, self-satisfied grin.
"Oh, Helen, leave Stephanie alone." Jillian couldn't believe she'd just said that. She truly despised Stephanie for everything that she'd done, but over the last few months she'd heard rumblings from Patterson about how she was working to change her ways and attitudes. Stephanie hadn't even attempted to contact her or Reginald. Why dredge things up again?
"After what that little urchin tried to do?" Judith shot Jillian a look of shock. "I say 'have at her'. Helen, what are you planning?"
"Well, I'm working on a little plot with a friend of mine," Helen took a sip of water before continuing with her tales of spitefulness. "In fact, Jillian, you probably know him."
"He's a Delta Phi," Helen smiled. "His name's Clark Saxon."
TO BE CONTINUED
Burt snoops into Penelope's private effects
For Now and Forever
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