produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #50 (Friday 6/29/01) click here for a printable version of this episode
a week later - October 1935

THE SUNSET HOTEL - JUDITH'S PENTHOUSE - LIVING ROOM

Judith LinfordThe Sunset Hotel, Penthouse C, Albanyville, IL"I'm really glad that the baby is doing okay," Janet Stokes said as she sat on the sofa across from her sister Judith and sipped her coffee.  "I-I really am sorry I let myself get so upset."  She quickly glanced down at her hands as she avoided Judith's stern gaze.

"Well, I guess that kind of behavior is to be expected out of you."  Judith kept her eyes firmly focused on her sister as she let a slight smirk cross her lips.  "Considering everything that's happened, and all."

Janet's head shot up and she shot Judith an angry look.  "I certainly hope you haven't asked me up here to dredge up a bunch of painful memories!"  She clinched her teeth and took a deep breath.  She really shouldn't let Judith get to her so much.  After a moment, she managed to push her sister's comment out of her mind; however, she began to look at her curiously.  "Why did you ask me up here?"

"I was just wondering about this new boyfriend of yours."  Judith maintained her cool exterior and took a sip of coffee.  "Tell me about him."

"T-there's not much to tell."

"Well..."  Judith leaned back and kept her eyes firmly on her sister.  "Why don't you tell me exactly how much he really knows about you."


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THE GARDENS RESTAURANT

The Gardens Restaurant"I'm so glad that we finally have a night to spend together," Reginald Callison said as he smiled at his fiancée Jillian Stokes.  "You're been spending so much time with Judith and Janet lately that I haven't gotten to see much of you."

"Well, considering my concern for Judith and her baby and the trouble that could result from Janet not going home, I'm sure you can understand."  Jillian paused to take a sip of her wine.  It was so nice to finally spend an evening with Reginald, just the two of them...no Janet and no Judith.  "Actually, I was hoping that this would give us a chance to work out some of the details of our wedding.  We really haven't managed to get a lot of planning done."

"Ahh!" he smiled at her.  "I see your ulterior motives now!  This is a working date!"

"Oh, would you be serious?"  She let out a small laugh which brought a glow to her face.  "These are things that we need to take care of.  Besides, it kills two birds with one stone.  We get to work on our wedding and we get to finally spend some time together."

"Actually, I was thinking about the same thing."  He paused to savor her look of pleasant surprise.  "In fact...what would you say to a Valentine's Day wedding?"

"You want to set a date?"

"I most certainly do!  I want you to finally and officially become Jillian Callison on February 14, 1936.  To me, that date is perfect.  It is the most romantic day of the year and it's just far enough away to give you and my mother a chance to plan the biggest wedding this town has ever seen."  He hesitated for a moment and his look grew slightly more serious.  "I just hope Dane Manchester doesn't do anything to ruin it."

"Why do you have to keep bringing him?" she glared at him.  "Haven't I convinced you that he's a part of the past?  He has no influence now on me or us!"

Reginald Callison"Why do you get so edgy whenever his name is brought up?"  He looked at her closely and quickly grew disturbed.  She had seemed slightly on edge lately, no matter what topic of conversation was brought up.  "It's the exact same reaction you have when I try to discuss Janet and this mysterious secret of hers."

"That's because my family and their...their personal matters should be of no concern to you!"  She felt her body tense up at the mention of both Dane and Janet.  Why did he always have to ruin their few moments of serene happiness together by bringing up things that she didn't want to think about, much less talk about.  "Why can't you leave well enough alone?  None of it is important!  Why do you have to torment me  like this?"

"If it's not important, why does it torment you?"  He watched her closely.  He hated to upset her like this, but he knew that she was certainly hiding things from him.  If she could just confide in him, maybe he could help.

"Because..."  She lowered her head slightly and took a deep breath.  "Because I'm just so embarrassed that I was foolish enough to get caught up in Dane's charms.  I like to pride myself on being a bright and intelligent young woman, but I still couldn't see him for the cad he is."  She'd completely ignored his question concerning Janet.  Secretly, she hoped that he would forget his questions regarding her sister.  "Why do you have to act like you're so jealous of my past with Dane?  That has nothing to do with you."

"But I am jealous!" Reginald spoke up as he held a solid grip on her hand.  "It just...it just unnerves me to think of you ever having been in love with someone else.  It makes me feel anxious to know that you once felt as strongly about him as you do about me.  What if someone else were to come along and you were able to feel that strongly about them?"

Jillian Stokes"Oh, Reginald," Jillian sighed and looked at him lovingly.  "Don't you realize that you have nothing to be jealous of or worried about?  I clearly see that what I had, or thought I had, with Dane was nothing at all like true love.  That was all some immature, childish infatuation.  You are the one that finally made me realize that.  There is no one else in my heart but you and there never will be.  Reginald, I will love you until the day I die.  Remember what the watch said that I gave you at our engagement party?  For now and forever.  That's exactly how long I'll love you."

His heart began to overflow with the love it held for Jillian.  She was the most breathtaking and fascinating woman he'd ever met.  He knew that there would never be anyone else like her and he doubted her could love her more than he did at that moment.

Suddenly, the sight of two familiar faces entering the restaurant caught Reginald's attention.  Jillian followed his gaze and quickly began to grow uncomfortable.  It was Patterson and Stephanie.  Jillian still hadn't fully gotten over the manipulations that Stephanie had been involved in to separate her and Reginald.  Of course, Patterson was constantly insisting that she'd changed, but Jillian still wasn't sure.  Even if Stephanie Lake had miraculously turned into a saint, she still wasn't sure she could ever forget or forgive the pain that she'd caused.

"Now, that's something I still have a hard time understanding," Reginald muttered as he kept his eyes firmly focused on the other couple.  "I remember when Paddy didn't have the first nice thing to say about her.  Now, he's cozied up with her like they were lifelong friends!"

"Dear, you know how he is," she replied as she, too, watched Patterson and Stephanie closely.  "He seems to think it's up to him to guide everyone in the right direction.  He is still friends with Dane.  Somehow, he can always manage to see the good in everyone...even when I'm not sure there's any really there."

"True, but I keep getting this feeling that there's something else going on."  He furrowed his brow slightly and turned to face Jillian again.  "What, I'm not exactly sure, but there's something going on between them."


THE SUNSET HOTEL - JUDITH'S PENTHOUSE - LIVING ROOM

The Sunset Hotel, Penthouse C, Albanyville, IL"I haven't told B..." Janet snapped and then caught herself.  She took a deep breath to calm her nerves which were increasingly on edge.  "I haven't told him anything about what happened, if that's what you're referring to.  He has no reason to know!"  She fidgeted uncomfortably in her seat and tried to find something to focus her eyes on besides Judith's stern gaze.

"But, darling, what if he does find out?"  Judith smirked slightly as she swirled her spoon in her coffee cup.  "What are you going to do then?"

"I am not discussing this with you!"  Janet jumped up from her seat and rushed across the room.  "My relationship with him is none of your business!"

"Oh, quit being so foolish!  I'm only posing these questions because I care.  You are my sister, after all."  Judith kept her position on the sofa and followed Janet's movements with her eyes.

"My relationship with B...with Bradley is none of your business!"

Judith eyed her curiously.  Oh, Janet, you should really work to keep your lies straight.  "Bradley?" she grinned slyly.  "That's odd.  I could have sworn you told us his name was Barrett Lowder.  Which one is it, Janet?  Barrett or Bradley?"

Janet's eyes grew wide with fear.  She was having trouble keeping her stories straight.  Now, Judith, of all people, had caught her in a lie!  Janet began to wring her hands and prayed that she could keep her composure.  She couldn't let it all get to her.  She couldn't give herself away.

Ruby Thomas"Mrs. Linford, will Miss Stokes be staying for dinner?" Judith's maid Ruby spoke up as she stepped into the room.

"Do you mind?" Judith snapped.  "My sister and I are trying to have a private conversation!"

"I-I only wanted to know if I needed to set another place at the table."  Ruby hung her head and sunk back towards the kitchen.

"No, Ruby, thank you anyway."  Janet tried to put on a warm smile to keep the tension between the sisters from being clearly evident to the maid.

Judith Linford"Don't you have some silver to polish or something?"  Judith glared.

"I...um," Ruby stammered.  "I'll leave you two alone."

Judith promptly turned her attention back to the matter at hand.  "Now, where was I?" she asked as Ruby quickly hurried back into the kitchen.   "Oh, yes, I remember!  Have you told Barrett...Bradley...whatever his name is this week...what happened in New York?  Does he know all of our family's dirty laundry?"

"O-of course not!" Janet gasped.  Of course she couldn't tell him.  She couldn't tell anyone!  "That's something he'll never know!  I can't...I can't tell him about what happened.  He'd never understand!  I...I don't even really understand."

"Well, dear, that's the smartest thing I've ever heard you say."  Judith sat her coffee cup down, rose from her seat, and slowly approached her.  "It would be extremely foolish to let him know what happened...what you've done.  If he knew the truth he'd surely leave you."

"I-I know."  Janet began to feel tears well up in her eyes and she bowed her head in an effort to keep Judith from seeing her emotions.

"Why, he'd never want you if he knew the truth about you."  Judith stood directly in front of her and spoke with pointed determination.  "Actually, I don't think anyone would ever want you if they knew the truth."

Janet Stokes"N-No!" Janet sobbed.  "Don't say that!"

"But it's the truth dear."  Judith kept her eyes firmly focused on her.  "Who in their right mind would want fragile, damaged goods?"

Overcome with the anxiety and emotions that Judith's truths elicited, a tearful Janet ran out of the apartment leaving Judith to stand and smile over her small victory.

"Oh, sister dear, you're playing in the wrong field with the wrong opponent," Judith said to herself with a smirk.  "You are in way over your head and you have no idea how much."  She briskly walked over to the closet and pulled out her jacket.  "I think I need to go pay someone a visit and finally clear the air.  I need to go see Burt Lamont."