THE CALLISON HOME - DINING ROOM
thank you, Lord, for my wonderful family who are finally all together, once
again, in our home. Amen."
As Charles finished his prayer
everyone unclasped each other's hands and lifted their heads. Maggie,
who'd been forced to hold Annabelle's hand, quickly made it a point to exaggeratedly
wipe her hand on the edge of the table cloth.
"Maggie!" Charles chastised,
refusing to ignore his daughter's blatant act of spite.
that's all right. I think she's just darling," Annabelle said through
a forced smile. Yep, adoption for that one was at the top of her
list. "If I may, I'd like to say a few words."
The sudden rush of muffled,
mumbled comments echoed through the room before Charles quickly tapped his glass
with his knife to silence the chatter.
"Well...if you have
something to say, then very well." He shot his family a stern look of
warning. "The floor is yours."
"First of all, I'd like
to thank you all for inviting me into your wonderful home," Annabelle
smiled as she made a deliberate point of locking eyes with every person at the
table. "Maggie, sweet Maggie. You are truly the joy of your
father's heart." And I wouldn't be sitting here tonight if it
hadn't been for your help.
"Reginald, you are so
much like your father. You have made him so proud of you. I couldn't
be any prouder if you were my own son." Of course, I would settle
for son-in-law, if I could just get Stephanie to get her act together.
think I'm going to be sick.
"Trevor, you have such a
spirit and sense of imagination about you. I hope you realize exactly what
a true gift you are." And unbelievably dull, but why quibble.
I can just slip out and say I've got an article due for the newspaper that I've
got to write.
"Jillian, I could only
dream of having the grace and charm that you have. This family should be
proud to welcome you has the next Callison." Unless, of course, I
manage to beat you to it.
she's not expecting us to buy all of this garbage?
"And, dear Grace, you're
brother Douglas has built his world around you."
And I can't
exactly figure out what the hell you're dong here.
here I thought my mother was the crazy one!
"Please tell me she's
finished," Reginald muttered as he leaned over to Jillian. "I
think I'm about to loose my appetite."
"Here's to the Callison
family!" Annabelle gracefully rose from her chair and extended her
glass in a toast. "Long may the first family of Albanyville
"Now, where's the food so
we can get this over with," Trevor grumbled as he folded his arms across
his chest and sunk down into his chair.
"Oh, Annabelle, darling,
that was just beautiful," Charles smiled as he stood up and moved beside
her to give her a tender kiss on the cheek. At the sounds of Maggie
gagging, he shot her a stern look just in time to see Jillian grab her shoulder
to give her a vicious shake. Suddenly, the doorbell rang. "Now,
who the devil could that be?"
Mr. Callison?" Hannah spoke up cautiously as she walked into the dining
room. "There is...there is a young man at the front door and he
insists on speaking with you."
"Could you just tell him
that I'm in the middle of a family dinner?" Charles furrowed his brow
in annoyance. "I cannot be disturbed! Take his name and tell
him to telephone me at the office tomorrow."
"I will not be put
off!" came the voice as it echoed from the foyer. "I've been
forced to wait my entire life for this moment and I refuse to wait any
A shocked and confused
Callison family quickly turned towards the sound of the voice to find Burt
Lamont standing in doorway of the dining room.