Sunset Hotel, Penthouse A, Albanyville, IL"Mother, have you lost your mind?" Reginald asked very pointedly.  "You know all the stories about Dr. Rutherford!  Why, The Post ran articles about him and Arlene Donaldson for weeks after she disappeared!"

"That's all that they were...just stories!"  Francis folded her arms across her chest defiantly and clinched her teeth.  "Fred had nothing to do with that woman's disappearance!  The police found no proof!"

"Just because they couldn't prove anything doesn't mean he wasn't involved!"

"Reginald..."  Jillian cautiously placed her hand on his shoulder to calm him.  She knew that the state of his parents' marriage was a source of great pain for him even though he avoided discussing it.  However, she also realized that his railings against Dr. Rutherford would not change Francis' opinion of him.

"No, Jillian!" he snapped.  "I will not stand by and let my mother, in the vulnerable state that she's in, be taken in by this scoundrel!"

"If I choose to continue seeing Fred, that will be my decision!"  Francis glared at her son.  Why couldn't he see that Fred was the only source of happiness that she'd found over the last few months?  Why couldn't he understand?  "And if...and if this relationship develops into something more serious, then it will have nothing to do with you!"

Reginald Callison"I-I can't believe that I'm hearing this."  Reginald's head sunk down into his hands as he continued to deal with the shock of his mother's actions.  "What about Father?  What about your feelings for him?"

"In case you've forgotten, your father has moved on with his romantic life!  He's running around town with that...with that shrew of a woman!"  Francis felt her temper continue to rise.  Oh, how did this warm and loving visit with her son and his fiancée turn into such a heated argument?  "Who are you to deny me the right to move on with my life?"

"So, that's what this is all about...getting even with Dad?"

"This has nothing to do with that!"

Mary Albany"Alright!" Mary shouted as she threw up her hands to silence the both of them.  "That will be more than enough out of both of you!"  She paused and took a deep breath to calm her own ragged nerves before turning to face Reginald.  "Your mother has the right to see whomever she chooses.  I will have to agree that this is her life.  However, I'm forced to agree with you about Dr. Rutherford."

"Mother!" Francis snapped in anger.

"I said that will be enough!"  Mary glared at her daughter.  "Now, Francis, Reginald has posed a very pertinent point."

"Which is?"

"Your feelings for Charles."  Mary quickly looked from her daughter to Reginald.  She looked briefly at Jillian who was sitting motionless on the sofa.  Mary deeply regretted having such a heated family squabble in front of her, but realized that if she were truly going to be part of the family then she would have to see them at their worst as well as at their best.  "Francis," Mary began tentatively as she again turned to face her, "do you still love your husband?  Are you still in love with Charles?"

"Why does everyone have to keep asking me that question?"  Francis glared at her mother.

"Because it's something you need to be asking yourself."  Mary kept her eyes firmly focused on her as she waited for her daughter to respond.

Francis Callison"I...I don't know!  I don't know what I feel anymore!"  Francis shook her head as she tried to shake the question and its answer's ramifications out of her mind.  "I just don't know!"  Suddenly, she shot up out of her seat and ran from the room leaving her family to look at one another with concern.

"Why your parents are acting like a couple of stubborn teenagers, I don't know!" Mary finally spoke as she looked at Reginald.

"Well, I know one thing," Reginald said as he alternately looked at Jillian and his grandmother.  "They would still be together if it weren't for Annabelle Lake!  That woman is the cause of this entire mess!"

"I'm forced to agree with you, Reginald," Mary sighed as she sunk down into the seat that Francis had vacated.  "But how can we rectify this?  How can we remove her from your father's life and make them realize that they were meant to be together?"

None of them knew the answer to that question, but they all realized that the had to find a way to push Annabelle out of Charles' life before it was too late.


23 Green St., Albanyville, ILAs Grace Davis walked down the stairs, she heard her brother Douglas talking on the telephone.  Curious as to the nature of the call, she paused at the foot of the stairs and listened closely.

"Yes, that's right," he said as he held the telephone receiver to his ear.  "Well, I know this is very short notice, but this needs to happen right away.  I was hoping that the justice of the peace would be available.  Wonderful!  No, not a formal affair.  It'll happen right here in my home."

"Douglas?  What's going on?" she spoke up, announcing her presence.  "Why in the world are you talking to a justice of the peace?"

He threw up his hand to indicate that he would be with her in a moment and continued with his call.  "Yes, that's fine.  Thank you very much.  I'll see you then."

"Okay, now what's going on?" she asked again as he hung up the phone.  "What do you need a justice of the peace for?"

"It all has to do with that big surprise I told you and Trevor about."  Douglas could barely contain his joy as he walked over to his favorite chair and sat down.

Grace Davis"You know, I have been wondering about that."  She lifted her finger to her chin as she thought.  "I just don't have any idea what it could be."  She examined his expressions closely and let out a small laugh.  "But whatever it is, you sure are happy about it."

"Oh, Grace, I am," Douglas smiled.  "Come, sit down on the couch.  There's something I need to tell you."

"Alright."  She looked at him curiously as she took a seat and waited for him to reveal his big news.  "Now, what's got you in such a good mood?  What's this big surprise?"

Douglas took a deep breath and looked at her very intently.  "Now, what I'm about to tell you is a secret.  You can't tell anyone about this until after it happens and I tell you it's okay.  This is very important."

"O-okay."  She kept her eyes focused on him and waited for the news.  He sure was acting awfully mysterious about everything.

"Well, in just a few days, I'm getting married."  He leaned back into his chair as another smile spread across his face.  The look of surprise on Grace's face was exactly the look he'd expected.

"What?  Married?"  She paused for a moment in shock as the news started to sink in.  "To whom?  Who are you getting married to?  You haven't been dating anyone!  You haven't even been on a date since Stephanie Lake!"  Grace suddenly sat up, straight as a board, as her jaw dropped.  "You're not marrying her are you?"

Douglas Davis"Oh, of course not!  Don't be silly."  He chuckled slightly at the preposterousness of that idea.  "Do you think I've gone completely batty?  I'm not marrying Stephanie.  I'm marrying Lorraine Blake."

"Lorraine?"  Grace's jaw dropped again.  That was just as shocking as the idea that he would marry Stephanie.  "B-but I thought she was seeing Patterson?  H-how are you marrying Lorraine?  Why are you marrying Lorraine?"

"Don't worry about that right now.  You'll find out everything soon enough."  He smiled at her again.  "Just know that I'm the happiest right now that I think I've ever been.  I'm getting married to a wonderful woman and you're finally reconnecting with our mother..."

"Douglas, don't bring Momma up."  Grace's eyes clouded over with the uncertainties she still had about renewing her ties with their mother.  "I-I don't feel like discussing her."

"Okay," he relented.  He was in too good a mood to press the issue with her.  "Now, remember, this is just between us right now.  You can't tell anyone about this, yet.  Not even Trevor."

"I understand."  She furrowed her brow and looked at him curiously again.  "I think."  As Grace watched Douglas and the happiness that radiated from him, she couldn't help but wonder about his sudden announcement.  He was going to marry Lorraine Blake in just a few days.  Why so soon?  Why so suddenly?  She thought intently about those questions, but realized that she had no choice but to wait for the answers.


2312 Spring Lake Rd., Albanyville, IL"Burt, you know that's not how I feel."  Judith took a deep breath as she tried to calm herself.  This revelation had been much harder on her than she'd thought it was going to be.  "You'd make a wonderful father."

"Then why are you so insistent on refusing to let this child know who its real father is?"  Burt glared at her as he grew more upset.  "Why would you even consider trying to pass this child off as your husband's?"

"What choice do I have?  What do you want me to do?  Tell the whole world I had an affair...conceived a child out of wedlock?  Do you have any idea what would happen?  Why, I'd be the ridicule of all of Manhattan society!  They...they wouldn't understand the love that we shared."  She swallowed hard and looked away from him.  Why couldn't he listen to reason?  This was going to be the best thing for everyone.

He just looked at her and shook his head as he sighed.  "So, that's it.  It all boils down to the exact same thing...your high and mighty social standing and what everyone else might think.  To hell with them!"

"And what about your life, Burt?"  Judith looked at him closely.  "Wouldn't publicly revealing the true paternity of my child cause countless problems in your life?  Surely you must be seeing someone.  What would happen to that relationship if she knew you'd fathered a child with another woman?  What would your family think?"  Of course, she realized that if Janet were to discover the truth, the consequences would be devastating...for Janet.

Burt LamontBurt paused as he thought about what she was saying.  She did have a very good point.  What would happen if Janet were to find out about his romance with Judith in New York and the child that she carried?  Would Janet be able to deal with it?  How would their love for one another be affected?  Burt was sure that if Janet were to learn that he'd been in love with a wealthy society girl, she wouldn't be able to cope with it.  He knew that one of the main reasons that they'd been so attracted to one another was because they were so similar.  Janet wasn't some rich and snotty girl with a high society background.  He had to keep the truth from her to protect her and their love.

"I-I am seeing someone.  She's a wonderful girl.  Nothing at all like you!"

She fought to hide her smirk, but flashed in an inquisitive look.  "Oh, really?  Who is this girl, Burt?"

"Who she is isn't important!" he snapped.  "But she's nothing like you!  She's a simple girl...her parents are dead and she's from a poor background.  She's beautiful, both inside and out!"

As Judith struggled to contain her surprise, she realized that Janet had lied about everything!  She quickly suspected that she must have even lied about her name.  Of course, during Burt's time in New York, he must have head about the Stokes family.  Then again, even she hadn't been completely forthcoming about that.  All Burt knew was that she was Judith Linford, society wife.

"B-but what about your husband?" he finally spoke after stopping to consider Janet again and what this child might do to her.  "You said he knows that the child isn't his?  Why in the world would he want to raise another man's child as his own?  Especially considering the circumstance in which it was conceived!"

Judtih Linford"Mark knows what kind of social devastation would happen to both of us if the truth came out."  Judith was quickly regaining her composure.  She'd come to see Burt with a single purpose in mind and she felt a little foolish that she'd let her own emotions get the better of her.  "He knows that our social prominence is a key factor in his successful business contacts.  Well, that and his marriage to me.  He realizes that if we were to reveal the truth that we could loose everything.  He's willing to make that sacrifice for the greater good."

"More like the greater greed!"  Burt scowled at her and turned to slam his fist against the wall in frustration.  "How?  How do you expect me to deny my own child?"

"It's the only way."  She approached him slowly and placed her hand on his shoulder in an effort to reassure him that what she said was true.  He promptly jerked himself away and glared at her coldly.  "Don't do anything foolish!  Don't let your foolhardy sense of right and wrong destroy both of our lives.  You have just as much to loose as I do."

And he did!  He knew that any future he hoped to have with Janet would be ruined if she ever knew about Judith and their child.  He had to obey her wishes and keep this secret to himself.  He looked at Judith with eyes filled with defeat and she knew that he understood that her way was the only way.  Without saying a single word, Judith turned, grabbed her jacket, and walked out of the house.

As she approached her rented car, she couldn't help but smile slyly.  Let's see how much of a future Janet has with Burt now!  The weight of all of this will eat at him and he won't be able to avoid pulling away from you, sister dear.  I can just imagine how he'd react if he were to ever learn that you're my sister!



Reginald and Jillian are shocked by Douglas and Lorraine's plans.


produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

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