For Now and Forever
produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

 

EPISODE #60 (Friday 8/31/01)
same day - October 1935

THE LAMONT HOME - KITCHEN

"How?" Janet Stokes spat as she eyed Burt Lamont and Judith Stokes Linford curiously, "how do you two know each other?  How!"

Burt's eyes filled with fear and worry.  He looked at Judith pleadingly, but was met only with a look a calmness that sent a chill through his body.

"Do you really want to know?" Judith asked pointedly.  "Do you really?"

"No, Judith, don't," Burt pleaded.  "Don't do this.  Is it really worth it?"

"Judith?" Janet asked as a looked of confusion covered her.  "Judith, what's going on?  How do you know Burt?"

"I want to know why you lied to me!" Burt shouted in an attempt to deflect the questioning away from Judith.

"Judith?" Janet asked as she kept her eyes locked on her sister.

Judith stood silently, taking the moment in.  Her eyes moved from Burt to Janet and back again as her hand rested easily on her swollen stomach.  Taking a deep breath, a slight smile spread across her lips.  I believe in chess this is what is called "check",  she thought to herself.  Finally, after what seemed like forever, she began to speak.

ALBANYVILLE HIGH SCHOOL - GYMNASIUM

"I can't believe I let you talk me into this," Maggie Callison muttered as she stood awkwardly next to Randy Lamont and Eliza Campbell.  "I should have just stayed home."

"Nonsense!" Randy laughed as he took both of their hands and led them into the gymnasium.  "We couldn't just leave you stuck at  home all alone."

"Yeah."  Eliza gritted her teeth slightly as she gave Randy a quick glance.

"So, I guess, now, you're both my dates."  He smiled broadly and gave their hands a little squeeze.

"Wonderful," Maggie muttered and then rolled her eyes.  As they walked through the crowd, heads turned toward the unlikely trio.  Maggie felt herself blush because of the sight of cliques of girls turning to cover their mouths and whisper mysterious comments before giggling uncontrollably.

"I don't know why you had to insist on bringing Maggie along," Eliza muttered under her breath to Randy.  "This was supposed to be our date, not our date with Maggie!"

"You saw how upset she was.  We couldn't just leave her like that."  He stood by Eliza's side and watched Maggie as she slowly moved away from them.  "She wouldn't admit it, but you know she was really looking forward to this dance.  Look how upset she is!"

Eliza took a deep breath in an effort to relieve her tension as she watched Maggie, seemingly on the verge of tears.  "I guess."

"Look, if it wasn't for Maggie, we both would be sitting home alone tonight.  We're just here as friends, anyway."

Eliza flinched at the word "friends".  That wasn't at all what she'd intended this night to be.

"Will you be okay here, by yourself, for a moment?" Randy asked as he turned to look at Eliza.  "I think I'm going to ask Maggie to dance.  Maybe that will take her mind of off Stanley."

Eliza felt her teeth clinch at his suggestion, but silently nodded her agreement.  As she watched him walk over to Maggie and lead her onto the dance floor, she felt her temper begin to rise.  This wasn't how this night was supposed to turn out...not at all!  There was one thing she was sure of, Maggie better not get any ideas about Randy.  He was her date, not Maggie's, and she better not do anything to foul up everything Eliza had worked for.

THE DAVIS HOME - LIVING ROOM

"Trevor!  What are you doing here?" Grace Davis exclaimed at the sight of him standing in the doorway.

"I knew you didn't have to work at the bookstore, tonight, so I thought that you might want to go out to dinner."  Trevor Callison walked into the living room.  "Um, hello, Lorraine."

"Trevor," Lorraine Davis nodded politely as she tried to hide her uneasiness.

"I can't tell you how surprised I was to hear about your marriage to Douglas."  He felt slightly awkward around her.  It wasn't easy to simply erase the past that they shared from his mind.  "And about the baby."

"So, I guess you've heard."  Lorraine blushed slightly.

"I...um...spilled the beans, I guess," Grace confessed.

"Well, nonetheless, I hope you're very happy."  Trevor eyed her curiously.  No matter, what had happened, he'd always wanted Lorraine to be happy.  Even during the difficult period at the end of their relationship and afterward, he'd never wanted to see her hurt.  Now, maybe should could find the happiness she'd always been searching for.

Happy? Lorraine thought to herself.  No, that wasn't exactly the right word.  "Relieved" was more like it.  Relieved that the truth was finally out.  Relieved that the horrible choice of what to do with her child was behind her.

"Have you talked to Patterson?  I saw him right after the wedding and he didn't seem to be doing very well."  He walked over and sat down next to Lorraine on the sofa.

"I know this is difficult for him."  Lorraine chose her words very carefully.  "But this is something he's going to have to deal with and accept.  There's no changing what's happened."

"I'm sure he'll realize that in time."  He gave her hand a reassuring pat and then turned to look at Grace who stood off to the side and watched them intently.

"Well, I guess I better leave you two alone," Lorraine spoke up as she rose from the sofa and proceeded to head upstairs.  "There's a book I've been meaning to finish."

After Lorraine had left the room, Grace walked over and took her place on the sofa next to Trevor.  She smiled at him awkwardly as she thought about how much he cared for her and about how difficult she found it to accept his feelings.

"You know, Trevor, I've been thinking about you a lot, lately," she confessed sheepishly.  "About you and how you feel about me."

"You have?"  His face nearly lit up with excitement at the thought that he hadn't been very far from her thoughts.  "Have you been thinking about how you feel about me?  Have you finally come to realize that you can't deny my feelings?"

"I...I went to see Momma the other day."  Uncomfortable, she tried to make a swift change in the topic of conversation.  "She's not doing too well.  She didn't even know who I was.  She...she went a little crazy."

"Honey, you know that your mother has her ups and downs."  He wrapped his arm around her and pulled her closer for support.  "She's still quite ill.  That's not going to change overnight."

"I know."  With his arms around her, she suddenly began to feel safe as worries about her mother and her life began to slip away from her.  Why did being around him fill her with the strange sense of both calm and panic?  Slowly, she looked up at him and found herself lost in his eyes.  They could always have such an effect on her.  "T-Trevor," she stammered, "Why are you always there when I need you?  Why do you care so much?"

"I'm here because I love you, Grace," he smiled as he gently placed a finger under her chin.  "And when you love someone as much as I love you, you want to be there for them...no matter what."

"I-I really haven't done a very good job of being there for you," she confessed as she thought about the difficult situation his family had been facing concerning his parents' separation.

"You've been exactly what I've needed to take my mind of my father's inexcusable behavior with Annabelle Lake."  He watched her closely and noticed the slight quivering of her bottom lip.  "And, besides, I know how you really feel about me.  You won't admit it, but I know how you feel."

"W-what do you mean?"

"Grace, I love you and I know you love me, too."  Trevor looked deeply into her eyes.  "When are you going to just give up on fighting it and admit it to me?  When are you finally going to tell the truth and tell me that you love me?"

Grace tried to fight the fear that must surely have filled her eyes.  He had nailed her, point blank, on her feelings and emotions.  Now, what in the world was she going to do?

THE LAMONT HOME - KITCHEN

"You have no idea who Janet really is!" Judith said coldly as she kept her eyes locked on her sister.  "You don't know what's she's done!"

"What in the devil are you talking about?"  Burt looked at Judith curiously.  "You've already told me that Janet's really your sister.  What else could their possibly be to tell?"

"No, Judith, please?"  Janet's eyes grew wide with fear.  Surely Judith wasn't going to tell Burt everything.  She couldn't!  Burt wouldn't want anything to do with her if he found out what she'd done!

"You see, Burt, when Janet was only a naive girl of 17," Judith began as she slowly began to circle her sister, "she met a successful, older businessman.  She'd been a rather sickly child, so Daddy had always kept a close eye on her.  She was schooled at home by tutors and really wasn't allowed out into the world.  I'm sure that had a lot to do with her, shall we say 'warped', sense of reality."

"Judith, please!"

"Anyway," Judith shot Janet a victorious glance and ignored her pleas, "when she met this man, she had no idea how men really operated.  She didn't know that men could be liars and cheats.  She made the mistake of trusting this man totally and completely.  That man's name was Gordon Scott."

"What?"  Burt's eyes grew wide with shock and confusion as he quickly realized that Janet had assumed this man's last name as her alias.

"Gordon was a louse," Judith continued.  "He clearly saw Janet's innocence and used it against her.  He plied her with flattery and attention, the first time she'd even been treated like that.  She had no idea that he'd only been using her."

"Please, Judith!  Stop this!"  Janet grabbed hold of her sister's arm and begged her not to reveal everything that she'd fought so hard to forget.

"It's time the truth all came out, dear," Judith smirked.  "It's time your lover learned everything."  She yanked her arm away and turned to again face Burt.  "Gordon convinced Janet that he loved her and they began a passionate affair.  She didn't know that Gordon was really married!"

Burt turned away from Judith to look at Janet as his mind tried to process everything he was being told.

"I tried to warn Janet, but she refused to listen to me.  She told me that I was just jealous of her happiness and was trying to cause trouble for her and Gordon.  I tried to help her!"  Judith gave Janet and angry look.  "Mrs. Scott found out about her husband's mistress and, needless to say, was not amused.  However, Janet still refused to believe that there even was a Mrs. Scott!  I don't know how she did it, but Janet managed to convince Gordon to run away with her.  It was the night of her 18th birthday.  She'd planned on eloping with Gordon."

"No, Judith!"  Janet's eyed filled with tears as he hands trembled.

"Now, I don't know if Gordon really intended to go through with his bigamous plans.  In fact, I guess we'll never know."

"What do you mean?"  Burt eyed her curiously.

"You see, somehow, Gordon slipped up.  Janet realized the truth!  She found out the truth about Gordon and realized that he was, in fact, married.  She finally believed that he'd only been using her for his own tawdry amusement."  Judith shuddered slightly as she began to think about what had happened next.  "By now, I'm sure, you've realized that Janet has never been the most stable of girls.  She's always been a little troubled, shall we say."

"Judith, what happened?"  He felt his tensions begin to rise.  What was Judith getting at?  What did Janet do?

"Oh, please, Judith!" Janet cried.  "Please, don't do this!"

Judith inhaled deeply.  "Janet Stokes...the girl who's lied to you from the very beginning, the girl you're so apparently in love with...is a murderess!"

"What?"  Burt stumbled backward in shock from the revelation.

"When Janet learned the truth about Gordon, she went out of her head.  She couldn't handle his betrayal."  Judith paused for a moment as her tone lowered to a near whisper, as if she were afraid of anyone hearing her story of what had happened.  "Now, we will probably never know exactly what really happened that night in that hotel room, but the police found Janet unconscious next to Gordon's cold, lifeless body.  He'd been bludgeoned to death and Janet held the murder weapon, a marble statue, in her hands!  In her fury and her anger, she killed him!"

"Oh, my god!" Burt gasped as he looked dead at Janet.  Exactly what kind of girl had he gotten involved with?

DANE & SARA'S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM

Sara Manchester sat on the sofa thumbing through a movie magazine.  She tried to focus her attention on the article on Joan Crawford and the accompanying pictures, but she continued to find her mind drifting to worries about her financial future with Dane.  Now that Thornton Preston was dead, she didn't have a job.  No job meant no extra money coming in to help with their financial problems!  With a deep sigh, she tossed the magazine onto the floor and began to worry about what she was going to do.

"Gee, I'm surprised to actually find you home," Dane Manchester spoke up as he came through the front door.  "You never seem to be here."

"D-Dane!" she exclaimed as she jumped up with a start.  "W-what are you doing home?  Shouldn't you be at work?  It's not time for your dinner break!"

"I don't want to talk about it," he muttered as he let out a weary sigh, hung his coat and hat on the hook by the door, and walked across the living room to his desk.  "I think this has been the worst..." he paused as he turned to look at his wife, "well, one of the worst days of my life."

"What?  What are you talking about?"  She got up off of the sofa and went to him.  "Dane, are you okay?  What's wrong?"

"I...I got laid off from the plant," he muttered in embarrassment.  "They said that there just weren't enough printing orders coming in and they had to cut costs.  Since I'm still relatively new, I had to go."

"What?  What does that mean?"  She looked at him with eyes filled with worry and fear.

"It means I'm out of a job!  I'm unemployed!"  Dane slammed his fists down onto the desk in frustration.  "Thank god we've got this extra money saved up."  He turned to shoot Sara a curious glance.  "This extra money that I can't figure out will come in handy to pay our bills.  My tuition for next semester, however..."

"But...but it's not a lot of money!"

"Exactly," he sighed, "It will last for a little while, but if I can't find another job, quick, we're gonna be out on the street in no time!"

Sara's hand flew up to her mouth in shock.  Oh, what a time for Mr. Preston to die!  With Dane out of work and without her secret income, they'd never be able to pay all of their bills!

Suddenly, a knock came at the door.  Without a word, Sara went to answer it and was shocked to find that Douglas Davis was paying them a visit.

"Douglas?  W-what are you doing here?" she asked in confusion.

"May I come in?"

She nodded and he quickly stepped into the apartment.  He immediately grew uncomfortable once he sensed the tension in the room.  However, he sat down on the sofa, took a deep breath, and opened his briefcase.

"Sara, I'm sure that you were as shocked by Thornton Preston's death as I was," he began as he turned to look at her.  Despite the look of horror that covered her face at the mention of Mr. Preston's name, he continued.  "And I'm not sure if you're aware of it, but his will is being read tonight."

"What the devil does that have to do with Sara?" Dane questioned as he rose from his seat and walked over to them.  "Why would the death of that stupid writer or his will mean anything to us?"

"D-Douglas, please," she pleaded as her hands began to tremble.  Surely, he wasn't going to tell Dane that she'd been working for Mr. Preston in secret!  If Dane found out that she'd gone behind his back to take a job, he'd be furious!  She knew he'd never forgive her betrayal.

"We had to wait until Thornton's wife made it to town before we could read the will," Douglas continued to explain.

"I still don't understand what this has to do with my wife!"

Douglas' eyes moved from Sara to Dane.  Inhaling deeply, he prepared to deliver a surprising announcement.  "Well, Dane, Sara needs to be present for the reading of the will."

"W-what?"  Dane's eyes grew wide with shock.  "That doesn't make any sense!  You've got to be mistaken.  Why on earth would she need to be at the reading of a will of a man she'd never met?  Sara, you don't know anything about this, do you?"

"Dane, I...I..." she stammered as she began to wring her hands with worry.

"Look, Sara, I know that you've been keeping this quiet," Douglas said and then turned to look at Dane, "for obvious reasons, but the contents of this will make that impossible."

"What in the world is going on here?"  Dane walked over to Sara and grabbed her arm.  "Sara, what is he talking about?"

"I...I..."

"Sara, you can't hide this any longer," Douglas explained.  "You have to tell Dane the truth."

Sara felt her heart begin to race as she looked from Douglas to Dane.  How could this be happening?  How in the world could she tell her husband that she'd been lying to him for months?  How was she going to get out of this?

THE LAMONT HOME - KITCHEN

"J-Janet?" Burt questioned, still in a state of shock from Judith's story.  "Janet, tell me this isn't true!  Tell me she's lying!"

"I...I can't," Janet confessed as she hung her head in fear and embarrassment.

"Oh, my god," he gasped.

"See, I told you that you didn't know your girlfriend quite as well as you thought you did," Judith smirked as she folded her arms across her chest.  "She lied about her name, who she is, and what she's done.  Who knows what else she's been lying about that even I don't know!"

"Janet, please!  Please help me understand all of this!" he begged.

"I...I can't," she sobbed.  "I don't even understand it myself!"

"What do you mean?"  Burt looked at her curiously.

"I don't remember what happened!"  Janet fought to contain the trembling in her voice as she tried to find the strength to tell her version of the events.  "I...I remember running away with Gordon.  Father didn't approve of our relationship.  I pressured Gordon into running away with me the night of my 18th birthday...to get married."  Her mind flashed back to that night as a frightening chill ran down her spine.  "I remember being in the hotel room with him.  Somehow, I found out that he really was married...I don't remember how."

"Janet, what happened!"

"We...we argued.  We fought violently.  I accused him of only using me.  He called me young and stupid."  Janet's eyes filled with tears as her hands began to shake.  "I...I don't remember what happened next.  All I can remember is waking up, on the floor, covered in blood, with the police standing over me.  I...I don't remember killing him."

"Then how do you know for certain you did it?"

"Oh, please!" Judith laughed.  "The people in the next room heard them arguing.  They heard Janet tell Gordon that she hated him and that she could kill him for what he'd done to her!  How much more proof do you need than to find her covered in Gordon's blood and holding the murder weapon!  She'd clearly gone out of her head."

"I...I just don't understand any of this," Burt muttered as he raked his hands through his hair.

"Thank god for Daddy," Judith continued.  "If he hadn't made that deal with the judge, heaven only knows what might have happened.  You see, Daddy got her to confess to the crime and then he made a deal to have her sent away to a hospital.  It was clear to everyone that she'd gone off her rocker."

"No!  That's not how it was!" Janet shouted angrily.  "You make it sound like he did something for my own good.  It wasn't!  He did what he did for himself!  He promised the judge that he'd have me put away if the judge managed to keep the incident quiet and out of the newspapers.  He was afraid that what I...what I did would tarnish the Stokes name."

"And there she sat until just before Jillian's engagement party...in a padded cell!"  Judith shook her head in disgust.  "Whatever made Daddy think you were well enough to come home, I'll never know.  Your behavior here in Albanyville really does put your mental state in question."

"I just can't believe this," he muttered.  "Judith, why didn't you tell me about this?  After all of this time, why didn't you tell me about what happened with your family?"

"What a minute," Janet spoke up as she looked at Burt and her sister curiously.  "Why are you two acting like you know each other?  What's going on here?"

"I...um..." Burt stammered nervously as he flashed Judith a pleading glance.

"That's because we do know each other, dear," Judith smiled.  "Quite well, actually."

"What?  I...I don't understand."  Janet's eyes darted back and forth between them as she tried to comprehend what her sister was saying.

"You see, Janet, Burt and I have known each other for quite some time."

"Judith, don't!" Burt cautioned.  "Haven't you dredged up enough past?"

"Actually, Burt, no, I haven't."  Judith paused for a moment and turned her attentions fully on Janet.  "Burt and I first met in New York, quite some time ago.  We were very close, once."

"I...I don't understand."  A look a fear filled Janet's eyes as she again felt her body begin to tremble.

"Janet, Burt and I were lovers," Judith revealed to a horrified Janet.  "We had an affair!  Long before you two ever met."

"B-Burt?"  The tears began to well up in her eyes.  "Burt, is this true?  Were you having an affair with my own sister?"

"Y-yes, Janet, it's true."  He bowed his head to hide his embarrassment.  "But...but, it was long before I ever met you!  I-I didn't even know you existed.  Since you kept the truth about who you really were from me, I had no way of knowing that you two were sisters!"

Janet gasped for air and reached out for the wall in an attempt to steady herself.  "Oh, my god.  My own sister?  D-did you...did you love her?"

"I...I..."  He briefly glanced at Judith and became angry with her self-satisfied arrogance.  "Yes," he confessed in an attempt to put an end to all of the lies.  "At the time, I was very much in love with her.  But, that was over a long time ago!  The only thing I feel for her now is complete and total disgust!"

"Oh, my god," Janet gasped as she began to feel the walls closing in.  "My own sister?  You were in love with my own sister?  Oh, my god!"

"Janet, please, try to understand!"  Burt reached out for her, but she yanked her arm away.  

"Don't!  Don't touch me!  You've just been using me!"

"No, Janet, that's not how it is!  I love you...I've always loved you!"

"No!  It's just like Gordon!  You've just been using me!" Janet sobbed as she quickly turned and ran out of the house.

"Janet!  Wait!" Burt called out as he ran to the door.

"Oh, let her be," Judith muttered with a shake of her head.  With a sigh, she quickly remembered another, shocking revelation that she'd planned to make...the true paternity of her unborn child.  She held back a wicked laugh when she realized that that was one piece of news that would have to wait for later.

TO BE CONTINUED

ON MONDAY

Burt chases after Janet, will he catch her?
What will Sara do when she's backed into a corner?

For Now and Forever
produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

2001- 2011 Classic Soap Productions