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
"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
"You want to set a
"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!"
"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
"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.
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 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
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."