For Now and Forever
EPISODE #52 (Tuesday
THE DAVIS HOME - LIVING ROOM
"Okay, Douglas, are you going to tell us what this is all about?" Reginald asked curiously as he and Jillian stood in the doorway. "Why did you call us over hear so urgently?"
"Well, let's just say that I've got a big surprise for you today." Douglas smiled and led them into the house where they were quick to notice the array of flowers and candles. When Lorraine and Grace walked into the room, Reginald and Jillian grew even more confused.
"Lorraine? What are you doing here?" Jillian questioned. This all seemed so odd.
"You'll find out soon enough," Lorraine replied.
"Douglas, are you going to tell us what's going on or not?" Reginald watched his friend closely. He had no clue what they could be up to.
"Well..." Douglas hesitated for a moment and then looked at Lorraine. He reached over and took her hand and pulled her close to him. "Lorraine and I are getting married today. We called you over here to be witnesses at our wedding."
Reginald and Jillian's jaws dropped in shock.
THE LAKE APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM
"Stephanie, darling, you've been sitting around all day," Annabelle spoke up as she breezed into the room. "What in the world is wrong with you?"
"Nothing's wrong, Momma; I'm fine." Stephanie sat curled up on the sofa with her knees tucked up under her chin. No matter what she did, her mind kept going back to what she'd overheard between Clark and Helen. He'd only been a pawn in Helen's plans to embarrass and humiliate her! How could she have been so foolish to have gotten caught up in his charms. Why couldn't she see through him?
"Stephanie Lake, you haven't been listening to a word I've said!" Annabelle stood in front of her with her hands on her hips. "I asked you if you've been getting serious with this Clark Saxon?"
"Oh...um...no, Momma." Stephanie bit her lip and avoided meeting her mother's stern eyes. She just couldn't let her know that she'd been a naive fool. She couldn't let her know how she was deceived. "Clark and I are just dating right now. It's nothing serious."
"Well, you better make sure it's nothing serious!" Annabelle lit a cigarette and took a lengthy draw. "I'm telling you that something about that boy makes me uneasy."
"I wish you'd quit harping on that!" Stephanie glared at her. "Clark is just fine! I am just fine! Would you just drop it!"
Annabelle took a deep breath as her eyes widened with surprise at her daughter's sharp outburst. With a stern look, she examined Stephanie's demeanor closely. "Something's happened, hasn't it? You're awfully touchy where Clark is concerned. What did he do?"
"He didn't do anything! Why do you have to keep badgering me about him?" Stephanie quickly got up off of the couch and walked across the room to avoid her mother's interrogation.
"Because I don't trust him, that's why!" Annabelle folded her arms across her chest and followed Stephanie.
Stephanie maintained her defiant stance. She refused to admit that her mother could have been right about Clark. She refused to let her know exactly what Clark and Helen had been up to.
"Listen to me, Stephanie, if that boy has done anything to hurt you.... If he does anything to hurt you...." Annabelle paused as a determined look covered her face. "Then, heaven help him once I get hold of him. He'll wish he was never born!"
THE DAVIS HOME - LIVING ROOM
"Reginald, would you help us finish getting things ready for the ceremony?" Douglas asked as he motioned towards Grace and the justice of the peace. "I didn't expect you and Jillian to show up so quickly."
"Oh, um, sure, Douglas," Reginald nodded before turning to Jillian. "You stay here and chat with Lorraine. We'll get everything ready."
As Reginald walked away, Jillian quickly turned her attention to Lorraine. "Have you lost your mind?" she asked as she grabbed Lorraine's arm and pulled her off into a corner. "What the devil do you think you're doing?"
"I'm getting married. That's what I'm doing!" Lorraine avoided looking Jillian in the eyes. She was the only person besides Douglas and her mother who knew about the baby. Jillian had naturally assumed that the child was Patterson's.
"But what about Paddy?" Jillian asked. "What about the baby? How can you keep him away from his own child? That's not right!"
"Jillian, you don't know everything!" Lorraine turned away from her and choked back tears. "You don't really know what's going on!"
"Well, then why don't you tell me!" Jillian grabbed her arms and forced Lorraine to face her. "Why aren't you marrying your child's father? Why are you...." Her eyes widened with realization and she let out a sharp gasp. Surely, Lorraine wasn't carrying Douglas' baby! That would explain why Lorraine had been so upset. That would explain everything, including this wedding! But...but what about Patterson? How did he fit into all this. Jillian wasn't sure. She was still so stunned that she couldn't even think.
SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY
Sara carefully poked her head out of the library and into the hallway. She exhaled slowly when she realized that neither Mr. Preston nor Helga was nowhere in sight. After gently shutting the door, she careful crept over to desk and began to search for some proof as to why Mr. Preston would want out of his contract.
As she hurriedly shuffled through papers and files, she came upon a picture lying face down in a top drawer. Out of curiosity, Sara pulled it out to take a look. The picture was of an elegantly dressed woman who was very attractive. She silently wondered who the woman could be. Could it possibly be Mrs. Preston? Sara had heard Helga mention her in passing from time to time. Of course, Helga didn't have the first nice thing to say about her employer's wife. Sara couldn't help but wonder why.
"What in the devil do you think you're doing?"
Sara jumped up with a jolt. She'd been so lost in her own thoughts about the identity of the woman in the picture that she didn't hear the large wooden doors slide open or Helga walk in. Taking a deep breath, Sara slowly turned around to face Helga.
"I-I was just..."
"You were snooping! That's what you were doing!" Helga glared at Sara with her cold, hard eyes.
"No! I swear! I wasn't snooping!" Sara's hands began to shake. She just couldn't get caught searching for information. She had to be more careful. "I-I...I was just looking for a pencil. I broke mine!"
Helga quickly walked over to where Sara was standing and snatched the photograph out of here hands. "And what's this? This doesn't look anything at all like a pencil!"
"I-I...I found it while I was looking. I admit that I was curious about who it is, but that's all!"
"For your information, that's Mrs. Preston," Helga explained as she quickly returned the picture to its face down position in the drawer. "You will never, ever mention her to Mr. Preston! Do you understand me?"
"y-yes, ma'am." Sara's voice shook slightly. Helga could be very intimidating. "B-but I wasn't snooping."
"You were most definitely snooping! Just like when we caught you eavesdropping at the door!" Helga reached out and grabbed Sara's arm forcefully. "Don't you think we don't know what you're doing? I've tried to warn Mr. Preston about you, but he won't listen to me! He should have fired you! Don't you ever bring up Mrs. Preston...ever!"
"You better watch your step around here, young lady," Helga warned as she glared at her. "You might have fooled Mr. Preston into falling for your charms and schemes, but I'm not nearly as trusting! If I ever catch your nose where it doesn't belong, I will personally make sure you are tossed out on your ear!"
"Y-yes, ma'am." Sara hung her head in embarrassment over having been caught. She knew she had to be more careful. She couldn't afford to lose this job; her entire future with Dane depended on it.
THE LAKE APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM
"Why won't you talk to me?" Annabelle asked as she calmed herself and sat down on the couch. "We always used to be so close. Ever since that blasted engagement party, you've seemed to be pulling away from me."
"Oh, Momma, no!" Stephanie rushed to her side in an effort to dissuade her fears. Secretly, however, she had been pulling away from her. She fully realized that her mother had been a primary force in her renewed interest in Reginald Callison and it had been her push that had caused her to pursue him so doggedly.
"Then why won't you talk to me about Clark?" Annabelle would not give up on this. She knew her daughter well and knew when she was hiding something from her. Stephanie was truly the most important thing in the world to her. She'd given up so much, and had done so much, to protect her and take care of her.
"Momma, just leave it alone." Stephanie let out a heavy sigh. She just had to occupy her mother's thoughts with other things. Her face lit up when she realized a surefire topic changer and quickly sat down next to her. "So, how are things going with Charles Callison?"
"Oh, they're going splendidly!" Annabelle exclaimed as her face lit up at the mention of Charles' name. "That dreadfully boring wife of his has even started to date an eligible doctor from the hospital! Now, if I could just convince him to officially start those divorce proceedings, everything would be set!"
"You seem pretty sure of yourself."
"Well, darling, I am!" Annabelle giggled with glee. "You know, it will be quite ironic when you become Reginald's step-sister, won't it dear?"
"I'd prefer not to think about that idea." Stephanie grumbled slightly at the mention of his name. She did, however, have to admit that that little twist could be very humorous. "Well, Momma, I guess it was a stroke of luck that Mr. Callison got a little drunk at that party and let down his defenses. I guess that if he weren't intoxicated, he might never have given in to his attraction for you."
"Dear, luck had nothing to do with it!"
Stephanie eyed her curiously. "What do you mean, Momma? Luck had everything to do with it. There's no way you could have planned for him to have had too much to drink."
Annabelle hesitated for a moment. She'd never been completely forthcoming to Stephanie about the exact details of her plans that evening. She'd never told her about the little bottle or Dr. Rutherford. "I never told you this, dear..." She paused again. Should she tell her everything that she did to insure that Charles would be receptive to her advances? Finally, she realized that if she couldn't trust her own daughter, who could she trust? "Well, I slipped a little something into Charles' drink. It made the alcohol act a little quicker and a little stronger. I couldn't take any chances that all of my hopes and dreams would go up in smoke!"
"You drugged him, Momma?" Stephanie gasped slightly. She'd never suspected something like that. She'd always believed that Mr. Callison had willingly started an affair with her mother because he was attracted to her and wanted to be with her, not because her mother had drugged him and preyed upon his vulnerability. "Oh, Momma, how could you?"
"Oh, it wasn't easy, dear," Annabelle laughed, not realizing exactly what her daughter meant. "The first drink I tampered with got mixed up with Lorraine Blake's drink. I didn't put a lot of the drug in it, but I'm sure there was enough that she would have felt some effect. I've always wondered what happened to her that night in her altered state."
"How? How could you be so...so malicious?" Stephanie shot up off of the couch and rushed across the room. "I always thought that he started that affair with you because he wanted you! Not because you tricked him into it! You're entire relationship is nothing more than a sham!"
"Don't you get all high and mighty with me, missy!" Annabelle scolded as she glared at her daughter angrily. "Don't forget everything you did to snare Reginald away from Jillian!"
"T-that was different." Stephanie hung her head in embarrassment over her actions. "I truly thought he loved me and was only blinded by her social standing and coy charms. I-I was sure that if she were out of the picture, he would see that. I would never have drugged him to do it!"
"Dear, you threw yourself at him!" Annabelle let out a small sigh. "I was so proud. You knew what you wanted and you went after it! What's happened to you? You've become as boring as milquetoast! Where's that strong young woman I raised? Why, if I didn't know better, I'd say you were trying for martyrdom!"
"Oh, I can't believe this! I just can't believe this!" Stephanie quickly bolted from the room leaving Annabelle to worry about the pathetic sap her daughter had turned into.
THE DAVIS HOME - LIVING ROOM
"I am marrying my child's real father!" Lorraine explained as she quickly turned away from Jillian in an attempt to hide her shame and embarrassment over the entire situation.
"Oh, my lord!" Jillian fought to catch her breath. This was something she wasn't expecting. "Now, it all makes sense. You were so distraught that day in the park. You were so upset about having a child. You tried to look happy, but I knew you weren't. You were so upset because you knew you were carrying Douglas' child, not Patterson's!"
"Yes...yes, I knew as soon as I found out about the baby that Patterson couldn't be the father." Lorraine's eyes started to fill with tears and Jillian quickly reached into her purse for a handkerchief.
"Here, compose yourself," Jillian said as she handed her the handkerchief. "We can't have you getting married looking like a raccoon." She hesitated for a moment. "Does Patterson know?"
"About the wedding, yes. That was...that was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I had to break his heart. I didn't want to, but it was the only thing I could do." Lorraine looked away in discomfort. She truly did care for Patterson. Of course, she knew that she wasn't in love with him...not like he was in love with her. Then again, she wasn't in love with Douglas, either.
"Does he know about the baby?"
"Oh, my lord, no! I-I couldn't tell him about that! It nearly killed me to tell him that we couldn't see each other any more because I was getting married to Douglas." Lorraine sighed and looked across the room at her future husband. He looked so happy as he finished getting everything in place for the ceremony.
"Lorraine! You have to tell him!"
"I'll tell him...eventually." Lorraine let out a labored sigh. "Just not now...not yet." Suddenly, she looked up with a wide-eyed look of fear. "Oh, please, Jillian, please don't tell Paddy! Not yet!"
"Okay," Jillian nodded as she placed a supportive hand on Lorraine's arm. "This is not my secret to tell. But you realize that you have to tell him. You can't hide this baby forever."
"I-I know. I'll tell him. I promise. Just not yet." Lorraine lifted her head and took a deep breath before forcing a slight smile. "I guess I should make it official and ask you to be my maid of honor."
"Oh, Lorraine, I'd be honored to!" Jillian threw her arms around her and hugged her tightly. "You know you're making the right decision. This is the best thing for both you and your baby."
"Girls, are you ready?" Douglas spoke up as he walked over to them. "We've finally gotten everything all set up and ready to go."
Jillian cautiously looked over at Lorraine who nodded silently.
"Alright, boys and girls," Douglas smiled as he led them over to where Reginald, Grace, and the justice of the peace were standing, "let's have a wedding!"
TO BE CONTINUED
Douglas and Lorraine marry.
For Now and Forever
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