THE SUNSET HOTEL - MARK & JUDITH'S PENTHOUSE - LIVING ROOM

The Sunset Hotel, Penthouse C, Albanyville, IL"Did you manage to get in touch with Jillian and Reginald?" Mark Linford asked as his wife stepped back into the room.

"Yes," Judith Linford replied as she stood and looked at her disheveled sister, Janet, who sat silently on the sofa.  "They're on their way...with Burt."

"What?"  He took several steps back from shock and fought to control his displeasure.  "I thought you said that they were at Reginald's parents' house for a dinner party?  What the devil is that urchin doing there?"

"I don't know!" She snapped, uncomfortable with the condescending tone her husband was using in reference to Burt.  "All I know is that Jillian said he was coming with them."

Mark Linford"I still think you had something to do with upsetting Janet and causing her to run off."  He eyed Judith closely, hoping to catch a glimmer of a response.  "Are you sure your not the one who spilled the beans to Burt about Janet's rather unsavory past?"

"What?  Me?"  Judith's hand flew up to her chest in defense.  "Why in the world would you think I'd do something like that?  I have no idea how he found out!  You didn't even find out everything about Janet until after she disappeared and you're my husband!"

"Yes, I know," he muttered rather dryly.  "It would benefit you a great deal if he learned about her scandalous past and ended things with her.  It would give you a clear shot at him...ignoring the fact that you are married."

Janet Stokes"Would you both stop talking about me as if I weren't here!" Janet Stokes spoke up rather angrily.  "Why does everyone have to act like I'm not here?"

"Janet, now it's not that way at all and you know it!"  Judith nervously bit her lip as she eyed her sister closely.  Would Janet tell everyone that she had, in fact, been the one to tell Burt the truth?  Would she reveal to everyone about her past with him?  "I just want to know where the devil you've been!  You've had us all worried sick."

Both Judith and Mark eyed Janet intently and waited for a response.  The question was only met with silence as Janet continued to stare off into space.

Ruby Thomas"Here you go, Miss Janet," Ruby Thomas spoke up as she entered the room with a glass of water.  "Maybe this will help."

"Why did it take you so long?" Judith snapped as she snatched the glass away from her maid.  "Did you have to go draw this water from a well?"

"N-no, ma'am," Ruby stammered as she took a step back.

"Ruby, that will be all for this evening.  We're dealing with a very delicate situation.  You can go home."  Mark nodded curtly to the maid.  He wasn't in the habit of being chummy with the hired help, but he also couldn't quite understand the rather vicious manner with which Judith addressed Ruby.

"Yes, sir," Ruby muttered before going to grab her coat and hat and head out the door.

"Now, Janet, where have you been?"  Judith glared at her intensely, but was met only by a vacant, unflinching stare.  "Are you listening to me?"

"I said I was out," Janet finally muttered.

Judith Stokes Linford"Oh, I can't believe this!"  Judith threw her hands up in frustration and spun around to walk away from her.

"Janet, how did Burt Lamont find out about Gordon Scott and what happened in New York?" Mark asked as he knelt down beside her.  "How did he know about what you'd done?"

Judith promptly turned to stare at Mark and Janet in fear.  Surely, Janet wouldn't reveal that it was she who in fact told everything!  If Mark knew that Judith had been the one who'd told Burt the truth, he'd surely suspect that she was trying to disrupt their relationship.  What in the world would he do to her then?

Janet looked at Mark blankly and hesitated before speaking.  "I...I..."


THE DAVIS HOME - DINING ROOM

23 Green St., Albanyville, IL"Lorraine!  What's wrong?"  Douglas began to feel a sense of panic begin to overtake him.  "The baby!"

"Yes, silly, the baby," Lorraine laughed as a smile spread across her face.  "Here, give me your hand."

Confused, he did as she requested and soon found his hand resting comfortably on her stomach.  It was only a matter of seconds before he realized what had brought about her reaction.

"Can you feel it?" she asked as she began to glow.  "It's the baby!"

"Oh, my, yes," he muttered with astonishment as he felt the active rumblings in her stomach.  "Well, that's definitely a boy."

"And how are you so sure of that?"

"Feel the way he's kicking!  It's like he's trying out for the football team!"  Douglas let out a hearty laugh as he watched the excitement in his wife's face.  "Wow.  I know that we've known about the baby for quite a while, now, but this just sorta...you know..."

Lorraine Davis"Makes it all real?"  Lorraine covered Douglas' hand, still resting on her stomach, with her own and gave it a gentle squeeze.

"Yeah!  Real."  He inhaled deeply, trying to take in the depth of the tender moment between them.  "You know, we'll have to starting thinking about names for the baby."

"Well, if it's a girl, I like Norma," Lorraine smiled.  "I think 'Norma Davis' has a nice ring to it."

"Ummm..."  He furrowed his brow and quickly shook his head.  "I don't think so.  I think it should be a family name.  How about your mother's name if it's a girl.  Edwina Davis."

"Um, no."  She let out a small laugh.  "Even my mother doesn't like that name."  As her mind raced to put together different combinations of names, she lifted her hand to her chin in thought.  "How about...your mother's name."

"Louise?"  He leaned back slightly as he thought about the idea.  "Louise Davis.  I like it!"

"But what if it really is a boy?"  Lorraine bit her lip and thought intently.  "I like the name Jefferson."

"No!  We are not having a son named Jefferson Davis."  Douglas covered his eyes and shook his head as he laughed at the humor of it all.  "Since we're going for my mother's name if it's a girl, how about 'Michael Martin Davis'?"

"You're father?"  She gasped with shock.  "But...but after everything you've told me about him, why would you want to name our child after him?"

Douglas Davis"Why?  Because it would give me the chance to correct so many things," he confessed.  "It would give me the chance to make sure this Michael Davis didn't turn out like his name sake.  Together, we can raise a decent, responsible, loving son."

"I...I can see your point.  Well, 'Michael' it is," she smiled and then paused.  "If it is a boy...of course."

"Yes, dear."

"Oh, Douglas!" Lorraine exclaimed as she grabbed his hand and put it back on her stomach.  "There it is again!"

"Yep, that's definitely a boy!"  He laughed and then looked deeply into his wife's eyes.  

Suddenly, he seemed very close to her.  All of the tension and conflict surrounding their situation had mysteriously vanished and the only thing left was the two of them...and their family.  Lorraine felt it, too.  For the first time in what seemed like forever, she'd found a new sense of hope...a sense of promise for tomorrow.  Caught up in the moment, Douglas pulled her into his arms and kissed her deeply.  Lorraine was more than a little surprised when she returned his kisses without reservation.  Maybe everything would be okay, after all.


THE SUNSET HOTEL - MARK & JUDITH'S PENTHOUSE - LIVING ROOM

The Sunset Hotel, Penthouse C, Albanyville, IL"Oh, my god!  Janet!" Jillian called out as she burst through the door.  "We came as soon as Judith called."

"Yes, it gave us good excuse to leave that disaster of a party," Reginald mumbled as he followed along behind her.

"Janet!" Burt exclaimed as he pushed past both of them and rushed to her side.  He sat down on the sofa next to  her and took her into his arms and kissed her lovingly.  "Oh, Janet, I've been so worried  about you.  Please tell me you're all right?  Nothing happened to you, did it?  Oh, I love you so much."

"I love you too, Burt," Janet smiled as she looked up at him.  "I'm...I'm fine.  Nothing happened.  I just...had to get away...to think."

Burt Lamont"Are you sure nothing happened to you?"  Burt held onto her tightly, almost as if in disbelief of seeing her again and in fear of loosing her.  "I don't know if I'd ever have forgiven myself if something had happened to you.  I was so wrong for the way I acted.  I love you so much."

Janet Stokes"Oh, I love you, too, Burt," she sobbed softly.  "It...it wasn't your fault.  None of this is your fault.  I should...I should have been honest with you from the beginning instead of having..."

"Well, that's all in the past, now," Judith interrupted, fearing that Janet was about to expose her part in the revelation of Janet's secrets.

Mark LinfordMark, keeping a watchful eye on the sisters, was quick to notice his wife's nervousness.  Had Judith been the one who'd told Burt about Janet and Gordon Scott?  He suspected that she was, but realized that all he had were assumptions.  However, he was sure that, despite Judith's protestations, she was most definitely trying to come between Burt and Janet.

"Well, just as long as you're okay," Jillian smiled as she held on to Reginald's arm.  "That's really all that matters.  Honey, we were so worried."

"I know," Janet blushed, slightly embarrassed from all of the attention.  "I just want to forget that this all happened.  I never want to think about it again."

Judith Stokes LinfordJudith let out a small sigh of relief, but found herself growing uneasy when she realized that Janet's eyes were locked on her.  She quickly looked away, but when she again turned to face her sister, Janet's eyes were still there...unblinking, unflinching, and unmoving.  It all made Judith very nervous.

Reginald CallisonSuddenly, the doorbell rang and broke the tension.

"I'll get it," Mark said as he quickly walked to the door.  "It's probably the doctor I phoned to come and take a look at Janet."

"I told you that I was fine!"

"I know, I know," Mark replied as he reached for the door, "but we just need to be certain.  We..."

"Hello, Mark," Leticia Stokes said as he opened the door to find his mother-in-law standing there.

Jillian Stokes"Mother!" Jillian cried out and rushed over to her.  "W-what are you doing here?"

"My daughters are here!  Why wouldn't I want to be here?"  Leticia quickly strode into the apartment and pulled off her jacket.  "And how are my beautiful girls?"

"W-we're fine, Mother," Judith muttered as she eyed her carefully.  She'd never had the most comfortable of relationships with her mother.  She'd had a much easier time with her father.  Judith had always suspected that her mother was a tad jealous of all the attention that her Daddy had focused on her.

"Okay, what's going on?" Leticia questioned as she eyed everyone closely.  "I get the strange feeling that I've walked in on the middle of something."

"Oh, it's nothing, Mother," Judith said as she took her by the arm and led her over to a chair.  "Just a little family talk.  Nothing important.  So, what brings you here to Albanyville for a visit?  I'm surprised that Daddy let you get away."

Leticia Stokes"Well, dear, that's one of the reasons I'm here."  Leticia eyed her eldest daughter carefully.  Judith was being entire too warm and friendly...highly unusual.  However, it was good that everyone was there together.  It gave her the right opportunity to break the news to everyone at once.

"So, this isn't just a social call?" Jillian questioned curiously.

"Um, yes, and no."  Leticia hesitated for a moment and looked at each of her daughters individually.  She knew that what she had to say would affect each of them in much different ways.  However, she couldn't put off the news indefinitely.  "Girls,  what I have to tell you is going to come as a great shock to each of you.  Now, I have to stress that this has nothing to do with any of you, but...but..."

"Mother, go on," Janet said as she looked at her with deep interest.  "What is it?"

"Well," Leticia muttered as she lowered her head.  "I've left your father.  We're getting divorced."



 


TOMORROW

Two families make a move.




 


produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

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