DANE & SARA'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM

343 Anderson Ln. Apt. #1, Albanyville, IL"I can't believe I forgot that folder for Mr. Preston," Sara Manchester grumbled to herself as she quickly turned the knob to the front door.  In her haste, she flung the door open, but gasped slightly at the sight of her husband Dane sitting at his desk.

"Ah, there you are," Dane muttered as he briefly turned towards her before returning to his work.

"W-what are you doing here?"  She quickly walked into the apartment and began to reach for the file that lay on the couch, half hidden by a cushion.

"Last time I checked, I lived here."  He turned to look at her again.  Making an annoyed face, he turned back to his work.

"Um...well...that's not what I meant."  Sara fought to hide her nervousness.  Dane had been coming home from work at unexpected times, lately, and she never seemed to be there thanks to her work for Thornton Preston.  She secretly feared how long it would be before Dane realized that something was going on.  "Aren't you supposed to be at work?"

Dane Manchester"My last class was cancelled.  I had some extra time, so I thought I'd grab a bite here and sit down to work on this month's bills."  He ran his finger along a line in his ledger as he worked out his calculations.  He furrowed his brow slightly before turning to face her again.  "Sara, these numbers just aren't adding up right."

"What do you mean?"  Sara shoved the file under her jacket that she had draped over her arm.  "You're an excellent bookkeeper, dear, I'm sure that you've got all your numbers in order."

"Well, I'm sure of that, too, but these numbers just don't make any sense."  He strummed his fingers along his desk as he focused his eyes on his calculations.  "We've got a lot more money than we should have.  There's no way we could have this much extra money."

"Darling, I have been working extra hard to save on grocery expenses and household bills."  She lay her jacket down on the sofa, making sure that it completely covered the file, and walked over to him.  With a look of concern on her face, she lay her hand on his shoulder and carefully looked at the open ledger.

"I know you have and I have to admit that you've done a wonderful job at keeping your spending in check."  Dane smiled with a slight look of satisfaction.  "However, there's no way we could have saved this much money.  It's impossible!  At best, we should have just enough to squeak by.  Maybe a little extra, but not this much!"

Sara Manchester"I guess we've just done better than we thought."

"Sara, by these figures, I've almost got enough money set back to pay for my tuition for next semester.  There's no way!"

"Well, I guess there had to be a way because we did it.  We've managed to get ourselves out of our financial mess."  Sara smiled a little uneasily.  Their positive financial outlook made her happy, but Dane's suspicions had her more than a little worried.  "My saving and your hard work is what's done it."

"I guess," Dane muttered, still unsure about how their bright financial outlook could be possible.  Noting the time, he quickly closed his ledger and slipped it back into the drawer.  "Look, we'll talk about this later.  I've got to get to work or I'm going to be late."

"O-okay, dear."  Sara heaved a slight sigh of relief.  She'd managed to deflect Dane's suspicions about their finances, but she clearly realized that he was much smarter than she'd given him credit for.  How long would it be before he realized the truth?  What would he do if he were to learn that she'd been working behind his back?  Sara greatly feared the fallout of that revelation.


LORRAINE'S APARTMENT - EXTERIOR HALLWAY - LATER

98 River Rd Apt. #1, Albanyville, ILGrace Davis furrowed her brow slightly as she stood in the hallway and prepared to knock on the door of Lorraine's apartment.  Trevor's phone call to her earlier in which he'd asked to meet her there had left her slightly confused.  Why in the world would he want to meet her at Lorraine's?  As of that day, Lorraine didn't even live there anymore.  She'd finished moving all of her things into Douglas and Grace's house.  Letting out a small sigh, Grace rapped gently on the door.

"Grace, there you are!" Trevor smiled as he opened the door quickly.  "I was waiting for you to get here."

"Well, I'm here.  Now could you tell me why you wanted to meet me at Lorraine's old apartment?"  Grace walked into the room and quickly noticed several boxes sitting in the middle of the room.  She was sure that Lorraine had finished moving everything.  Why were there things still left behind.

"Actually," he smiled sheepishly, "this isn't Lorraine's apartment anymore.  It's mine!"

"What?"

"I moved out of my parents' house and into here.  Lorraine helped get it worked out through the landlord."  He took Grace's jacket from her and laid it on a large box by the front door.

Grace Davis"You've moved in here?  Why?"  She fought to hide her look of surprise.

"Honestly, I just couldn't stand living in that house another minute considering everything that's been going on."  Trevor shook his head in disgust as he thought about his parents' separation and his father's very public affair with Annabelle Lake.  "I can't stand being around Dad if he's going to act so...so foolish as far as Annabelle is concerned.  It all just sickens my stomach!"

"I know all of that has been rough on you."  Grace gently touched his arm as she looked at him with concern.  Although Trevor didn't like to talk about it much, she was fully aware that almost everyone knew about the rift in the Callison marriage.  Nothing could happen to a family as prominent as the Callisons without news quickly getting around.  "But here?  In Lorraine's apartment?"

"Well, I've always liked this apartment...even when Lorraine and I were together.  When I found out about her marriage to Douglas and that she would be moving out, she told me she'd talk to the landlord about me renting it."

"So...you know about Lorraine's wedding?"  Grace looked at him cautiously.  Douglas and Lorraine's marriage still wasn't widely known.  Of course, it wouldn't take long before everyone knew about it.

Trevor Callison"Yes.  Lorraine told me.  I can't tell you how shocked I was."  Trevor began to open boxes and pull things out in an attempt to sort through all of his stuff.  "I mean, I thought she was happily involved with Patterson.  I had no idea that she and Douglas were even seeing one another."

"I'm Douglas' sister and I didn't even know."  She sat down on one of the boxes and looked at him.  "I was even more shocked about the baby."

"Baby?"

"Yes!  Can you believe it?  Douglas and Lorraine are going to have a baby!"  Grace let out a small laugh.  The news was something she still had to get used to.  She was very happy for them, but it had all come as quite a shock.

"Oh, my god," Trevor gasped as he sunk down onto a box.  "That must be why they got married.  I-I wonder if Paddy knows."

"I doubt it," Grace replied.  "I'm the first person they told and I just found out today."  Her hand flew up to her mouth as she let out a slight gasp.  "Oh, maybe I shouldn't have said anything!"

"Nah, everyone's going to find out eventually."  Trevor shook his head as he tried to allow the news to sink in.  "I'm sure she can't hide her condition forever.  Still, though, I wonder if Paddy knows.  Surely, he doesn't."  A look of worry and concern began to cover Trevor's face.  "I'm afraid how he'd take news like this."  Trevor quickly grew concerned.  He knew Patterson wouldn't take the news well, at all.


SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY

54 Spring Lake Dr., Albanyville, IL"Sara, did you get that last thing I said?" Thornton Preston asked as he stopped in mid-pace in the middle of the room and turned to look at her.

Sara had been trying to take dictation, but was finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate.  Her mind kept returning to thoughts of Dane and exactly how close he was to realizing that everything about their finances was not what it appeared.

"Oh, um, I'm sorry," she muttered, slightly embarrassed that she couldn't keep her mind focused.  "Could you start again with 'and further more...'."

"You really need to pull your head out of the clouds and stop wasting Mr. Preston's time!" Helga interrupted with a stern glare.  "You're paid to work, not sit and daydream!"

"Helga."  Thornton quickly shot his housekeeper a cautionary look.  He'd grown quite protective of Sara since his investigator's report into her past had arrived.  Although he understood Helga's concerns and dislike for Sara, Thornton was quick to realize that he needed his young assistant for much more important, spiteful things.  However, Sara's intelligence and determination had earned his respect and he'd found himself growing quite fond of her in a fatherly sort of way.

Helga Grimm"But, Mr. Preston!"  Helga just couldn't understand his continued coddling of Sara.  She was working as a spy for Charles Callison, after all.  Sara wasn't in Mr. Preston's employ just to file papers and take dictation.  They were both fully aware of her true motives.

"Helga, that will be enough!"  He turned angrily toward her again.  "Could you please leave me and Sara alone so we can get some work done?"

"Yes, sir."  Helga gritted her teeth and quickly rushed out of the room.

"Now, Sara," he began as he turned back to face her, "you seem distracted from your work.  Why don't you tell me what's on your mind."

"Um...well...it is rather personal."

"Maybe it would help if you talked to someone about it."  Thornton walked over to the desk and sat down behind it so that he was closer to her.  "Is it about your husband and the fact that he doesn't know about your working for me?"

"Yes," she confessed as she lowered her head in embarrassment.  "He...he's starting to figure out that we've got more money than we could possibly have from his work alone.  I'm afraid what he'll do if he finds out I've been lying to him."

"I'm sure you are."  He eyed her closely.  "After all, you aren't a very good liar."

"W-what do you mean, Mr. Preston?"  Sara's hands shook slightly as a wave of nervousness began to cover her body.

"What I mean is that you've been lying to me from day one."  He carefully rolled a pencil around in his hands as he kept his eyes locked on her.  "I know that you're really here as a spy for Charles Callison.  You're really here to find out my reasons for wanting out of my contract."

"Oh, no!  No, that's not it at all!"

Thornton Preston"Please, Sara."  Thornton leaned back into this chair and chuckled slightly.  "Like I said, you've not a very good liar.  I've been trying to figure out what to do with you."

"Do with me?"

"Yes, Sara."  He clearly realized that he couldn't let her spying go unpunished.  However, he had his own personal plans for her and he had grown to be quite fond of her...almost paternal.  "I have to admit that you are a very sweet girl, but I cannot ignore your duplicity."

"B-but I'm not spying!"  Sara began to wring her hands in fear.  Surely, he wasn't going to fire her.  He'd said himself how fond he was of her.  But, what kind of punishment could he be talking about?

"Mr. Preston, you have a phone call," Helga spoke up as she poked her head into the library.  "It's New York."

"Ah, yes, I've been waiting for this call."  He rose quickly from his seat and headed toward the door.  "Apparently, my lovely wife has returned from her sojourn abroad.  If you'll excuse me, Sara?"

"Oh, of course."

"I'll take this call in my office upstairs."  As he reached the doors, he turned to look at Sara again.  "We'll continue this conversation later."

Once Thornton had left the room, Sara tried to return her concentration to the work at hand.  However, her mind again drifted to worries about Dane and their finances.  Now, though, her mind was also filled with concerns about Mr. Preston and what he would do to her.  

As she tried to wipe the disturbing thoughts from her head, she began to read a rough manuscript for a new novel that Thornton had been working on.  Sara was supposed to take the handwritten text and type it out, but she was having quite a bit of difficultly making out a few of the sentences.

"I'm surprised he's not a doctor," she laughed before leaning back into her seat to wait for Mr. Preston to return.  After a lengthy wait, Sara realized that she would never get any work done if she couldn't read his handwriting.  With the manuscript in hand, she rose from her seat and headed upstairs to find out exactly what the handwriting said.

Finally reaching the closed door to Thornton's upstairs office, she hesitated slightly.  She was a little uncomfortable about interrupting him during an important phone call, but knew that without his explanation, she'd never be able to understand what he'd meant.

Sara Manchester"Mr. Preston?" she spoke up as she knocked on the door.  After a short pause with no answer, she knocked again.  "Mr. Preston, I'm trying to read your handwriting from the new novel and I'm having a bit of trouble."  She eyed the closed door cautiously before reaching for the knob and carefully turning it.  "Mr. Preston?"

She let out a sharp, horrified gasp at what she saw.  Mr. Preston was laying face down on the floor in the middle of the room.  "Oh, Mr. Preston!"  Sara quickly ran to his side and knelt down beside him.  After several shakes and no response, she knew he was unconscious.

"Oh, Helga!  Helga, help me!" Sara called out in panic.

"W-what?" Helga replied as she appeared in the doorway.  "Girl, what's wrong?  What have you done to Mr. Preston?"

"Oh, Helga, I found him like this!"  Sara began to cry in fear.  "Helga, help me!  I-I think he's dead!"




ON MONDAY

Patterson confronts Lorraine.





produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

2001- 2011 Classic Soap Productions