SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY

54 Spring Lake Dr., Albanyville, ILSara Manchester sat cross-legged on the floor of the library as she straightened up a pile of manuscripts.  She was doing everything she could to keep her mind of the events of the last few days...Thornton Preston was dead.  Still in shock, she sat a folder down and ran her fingers through her dark hair.

His death had come quite suddenly and had been very unexpected.  Mr. Preston's behavior had led her to believe that he wasn't in the best of health, but she'd never even considered that it was so bad.  And to just find him like that...unconscious on the floor!  A chill ran down her spin and she bit her lip in an effort to hold back a tear.  She'd never considered how important he'd become to her...until now.

Helga Grimm"What are you doing here?" Helga Grimm's voice bellowed as the housekeeper walked into the room.  "You shouldn't be here!  You, of all people!"

"I'm just trying to get some of Mr. Preston's things in order," Sara muttered as she tried to avoid eye contact with Helga.  Secretly, she feared what would become of her job now that her employer was dead.  Charles Callison wouldn't need her services to spy on Mr. Preston any longer.  How would she be able to keep slipping money into her and Dane's account?  How would they ever be able to pay their bills and Dane's college tuition?

"You stay away from Mr. Preston's things!"  Helga's eyes glowed with anger as she glared at Sara.  "You, of all people.  You killed him!"

Sara Manchester"I did nothing of the sort!"  Sara jumped up and spun around to face her accuser.  "You heard what the doctors said!  Mr. Preston's heart gave out.  There was nothing anyone could have done!"

"You caused what happened!  You and your spying!"  Helga folded her arms firmly across her chest as she kept her eyes leveled at Sara.  "Mr. Preston was gracious enough to give you a job and take you into this house; and what did you do?  You betrayed him!  You're as much responsible for his death as if you plunged a knife into his heart!  Instead, you plunged it into his back!"

Sara's lip quivered as Helga's accusations echoed in her mind.  Could she actually be right?  Could the knowledge of Sara's betrayal been too much for him to bear?  Could Sara really be responsible for Thornton Preston's death?


THE SUNSET HOTEL - JILLIAN & JANET'S SUITE - LIVING ROOM

Sunset Hotel, Suite #2, Albanyville, IL"I really need to stop answering the door," Jillian grumbled to herself as she followed Mark into the living room.

"What was that?" Mark asked as he walked over to the bar and began to pour himself a cocktail.

"I said I wasn't expecting to find you standing at my door."  Of course, Jillian knew Mark Linford's arrival in Albanyville would be inevitable.  He had to realize where Judith was sooner or later.  Taking a deep breath, she asked the question to which she already knew the answer.  "What are you doing here, Mark?"

"I've come to get Judith."  He took a long sip of his drink and then sat down on the sofa.  "And don't try to tell me she isn't here.  I know your sister isn't in Los Angeles.

"W-what?  How do you know Judith isn't in Los Angeles?"  She quickly turned away to keep Mark from seeing the truth on her face.  She couldn't reveal Judith's true whereabouts or Mark might discover that Janet was in Albanyville instead of Chicago.  Jillian couldn't risk her father learning the truth.

"It wasn't that difficult to figure out, dear," he smirked slyly.  "Not one hotel in the Los Angeles area had a room registered to Judith Linford or Judith Stokes.  All it took was a little expert questioning of your mother to discover that Judith was actually here."

Jillian Stokes"M-mother told you?"

"Jillian, why don't you just stop the charade?"  He rolled his eyes and took another sip of his cocktail.  "Leticia told me Judith was here and now I've come to take her home.  She's been gone for far too long."

"Mark, you can't!  She's under doctor's orders not to travel!"

"What 'doctor's orders'?"  He eyed her cautiously.  What kind of scheme had Judith cooked up?  Surely she hadn't come to Albanyville to divorce him.

Jillian let out a long sigh and realized that she had to be completely truthful with him or risk him ruining everything.  "You see, Judith collapsed not long after she got here.  The doctor warned her that traveling might not be in the baby's best interest since she's so far along.  She has to stay here at least until the baby's born."

"Oh, yes, the baby." he muttered dryly.  "How could I forget about the baby?"  He couldn't forget about the baby.  The fact was, he'd tried to forget about the baby...Judith's baby with Burt Lamont.  "She is alright, isn't she?"  The concern in his voice was genuine.  No matter what problems they had, he did love her...well, at one time, at least.  No matter whose child she carried, he didn't want anything to happen to her.

"She's fine, Mark, but she just can't travel."  Jillian lifted her hand to her forehead and began to gently massage her temple.  She suddenly felt a headache coming on.

Mark Linford"Well, where is she?"

"She didn't want to stay here with me and..."  She hesitated for a moment.  Had her mother told him everything?  Did Mark know that Janet was also in Albanyville?  She sighed again when she realized that she wouldn't be able to hide Janet's presence from Mark.  "She didn't want to stay here with me and Janet, so she rented a penthouse, upstairs."

"Don't worry, Jillian.  Your mother told me all about Janet's impetuous trip here."  He thought about his wife and rolled his eyes sarcastically.  "Leave it to Judith to only want the most opulent comfort.  Well, I guess that settles it."

"Um...settles what?"

"I guess I'm staying here until Judith is able to travel."  Mark quickly sat his glass down and rose from the sofa before walking towards the door.  "What penthouse is she staying in?"

"She's in penthouse C."  Jillian's eyes followed Mark as he walked across the room.

"Well, I guess it's time I had a little reunion with my wife.  Good to see you again, Jillian."  He nodded politely to her, noting the look of worry on her face, and then promptly headed upstairs. 


THE DOCKS

The Docks"Lorraine, wait up!" Douglas called out as he raced after his wife.  "Chasing after Patterson isn't going to do any good.  He's not going to listen to you.  He already has his mind made up."

Lorraine reached the railing at the edge of the docks and stopped, the crisp autumn breeze blowing against her tears.  "Oh, Douglas, he must hate me now!  I've just got to tell him what really happened!"

"He's not going to listen to you."  He put his arms around her and pulled her close to him so that her head rested on his shoulder.  "He's too upset...too angry.  There's nothing you could say to him, right now, that would make any difference to him."

"I could tell him the truth!  I could tell him what really happened that night and why!"

"He's not going to listen.  Not yet."  Douglas gently stroked her hair as she tried to swallow back her tears.  "Just give him some time.  Let this news about the baby sink in.  You know this has to come as a terrible shock to him."

Lorraine Davis"I-I know."  Everything must have come as a terrible shock to Patterson...Lorraine's sudden marriage to Douglas, the revelation that she was carrying Douglas' child...everything.

"You knew this was going to happen eventually.  You couldn't hide the baby forever."

"I'm just so worried about Paddy.  He feels so hurt and betrayed."  Lorraine paused to take a deep breath in an effort to quell her tears.  "And who can blame him after everything I've done."

"Darling, stop blaming yourself.  You did the best that you could do under the circumstances."  Despite the seriousness of the conversation, Douglas was discovering that he rather enjoyed the feel of Lorraine wrapped in his arms.  Suddenly, it all felt so right.  "Paddy's going to realize that, eventually.  You've just got to give it time to all sink in.  This is the way things have to be.  There's no changing that.  Paddy's just got to accept that."

"I-I know, Douglas.  I know this is the way things have to be."  She fought back another tear as she let out a sigh.  "B-but what must he think of me?  What kind of horrible, evil person does he think I am?  Surely, Patterson thinks I willfully and maliciously had an affair with you behind his back and then lied to him about it."  She began to feel the tears well up again, when another, more urgent, feeling struck her.

Douglas Davis"Lorraine?"  Douglas asked tentatively when he noticed the sudden change in her demeanor.  "Are you alright?  Lorraine, what's wrong?"

"D-Douglas, I...I'm not sure."  She winced slightly as a sharp pain when through her.  Instantly, a look of terror covered her face.  "Oh, Douglas, something's wrong!  Something's...."  Her voice trailed off as her body fell limp in his arms.

"Lorraine?  Lorraine, sweetheart!"  He held her in his arms and slowly sank to the ground, carefully cradling her unconscious body.  "Oh, my god!  Lorraine!"



 


TOMORROW

Douglas seeks help from an unlikely source.




 


produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

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