produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #73 (Wednesday 9/19/01) click here for a printable version of this episode
a week later - November 1935, afternoon


THE STOKES MANSION - FOYER

76 Mapleton Way, Albanyville, ILJillian Stokes"Gee, just look at this place," Jillian Stokes gasped as she stood in the foyer next to her older sisters Judith and Janet and Judith's husband Mark.  "This makes the apartment in Manhattan look little!"

"Yes, it does," Judith muttered curiously as she carefully  looked around.  "I just can't believe that Mother is divorcing Daddy and moving to Albanyville."

"I guess she finally got tired of his high handed control tactics."  Janet walked through the foyer and into the grand living room.  "And since we're all living here in Albanyville now, I'm sure she wants to be close to her family."

"But to buy this huge mansion and insist that we all come live here with her?"  Judith still couldn't quite understand it all.  How could their mother just up and desert their father?  Why, it was just such an awful and scandalous idea that she just couldn't think about it!

"Oh, stop looking a gift horse in the mouth," Mark muttered as he quickly walked to the large French doors on the back side of the living room that overlooked Spring Lake.  This house was much more suited to his lifestyle than that hotel penthouse.  This was almost as good as one of the finest estates in Manhattan!

"Well, this is a little much," Jillian observed.  "After all, once Reginald and I are married, we'll be moving into our own home.  This could just be too much!"

"Nonsense!"  Mark pushed open the French doors and took a deep breath of crisp autumn air.

As the rest of the family began to explore their new home, Judith couldn't help but be drawn to a large painting of their mother that rested over the fireplace in the living room.  Silently, she began to seethe.  How in the world could her mother do this?  How could she desert their father?  Judith was sure this was something she would never understand.


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THE MONROE HOME - LIVING ROOM

43 Landings Ct., Albanyville, IL"Oh, I just can't believe how big you're getting," Stephanie Lake smiled as she sat on the floor with young Todd Monroe and rolled the ball towards him.  "You'll be starting school in no time!"

"Yup," Todd muttered as he kept his eyes focused on the ball as it rolled back across the floor toward Stephanie.

"Now, if this just isn't a sight for sore eyes!"  Patterson Monroe walked into the room from the kitchen carrying a tray of milk and cookies and let out a warm laugh.  "Two of my most favorite people on earth enjoying each other's company."

"He's really a good kid, Paddy.  You should be so proud of him."  She reach over to rub Todd's head and slightly mussed his hair.  With an irritated look, Todd threw up his hands and quickly pulled away.

Todd Monroe"It hasn't been easy considering...well, everything that's happened."  Patterson winced slightly as he thought about the tragic accident that had claimed the lives of his and Todd's parents.  He didn't like to think about it very often and rarely tried to remind Todd of the turmoil that their lives had been thrown into.  He'd only wanted to remind his brother of what wonderful, caring parents they'd had and of how much they'd loved them.

"I really am envious of you," Stephanie spoke up as she watched Todd as he rolled away to play with another toy, completely ignoring the now stagnant ball.  "I just don't understand how you manage to keep up with your school work and Todd as well as deal with everyone else's problems.  I can barely manage two research papers and my job in the admissions office.

"Truthfully, if it weren't for Mrs. Oliver, I don't know what I'd do."

Mrs. Oliver"And don't you forget that, young man!"  Mrs. Oliver breezed into the room from the kitchen and smiled at Patterson before shooting Stephanie a hateful look.

Stephanie quickly sunk down and took a deep breath.  She was more than aware of Mrs. Oliver's deep dislike of her and her disapproval of Patterson's friendship with her.

"Todd, why don't you go and let Steph put your coat on you so we can go to the park before it gets dark."  Patterson was finding himself greatly enjoying these little moments with Stephanie.  It seemed to be the only times that they weren't forced to deal with memories of Clark Saxon or Lorraine's horrible betrayal of his love.  In fact, if it hadn't been for Stephanie's intense loyalty and friendship, Patterson wasn't sure if he'd be able to handle everything that had been going on as well as he had.

"No!"  Todd wrinkled up his nose and stomped his feet as he balled his hands up into tiny fists.

"Young man!" Mrs. Oliver scolded as she shook her finger at him.  "Don't you behave like this.  All you've talked about all day is going to the park.  Now, you just march right over to...Stephanie...and get that coat on!"

"No!  Don't want Fanny!"  Todd stuck out his bottom lip and scrunched up his nose.  "Want 'Rain!  'Rain!"

Patterson eyes grew wide with shock and quickly flashed Stephanie a look of sincere apology.  Todd had been extremely fond of Lorraine and his break up with her hadn't been easy on Todd.  Patterson just wasn't sure how to answer his brother's questions concerning why Lorraine wasn't coming to see them anymore.

"Oh, stop being difficult!" Stephanie snapped, without thinking.  "We're just going to the park!  I thought you liked the park."

"Not wif you!  I want 'Rain!"

Stephanie LakeStephanie clinched her teeth tightly.  In spite of herself, she was finding herself growing quickly annoyed with the little boy's tantrum.  In one swift movement, she reached out and grabbed Todd by the arm in hopes of forcing his jacket on him.  A stubborn Todd responded by flailing his arms wildly, hitting her in the face in the process.

"Todd Nathaniel Monroe!" Patterson snapped as he rushed over and grabbed the boy before giving him a swift whack on the behind.  "I cannot believe you're acting like this!  I thought I told you, no hitting!"

"Ahhhhhhhh!" the little boy wailed.  "I want 'Rain!  I hate Fanny!  I want 'Rain!"

"Well!" Mrs. Oliver gasped.  "I guess Todd doesn't want to go to the park with Miss Lake."  She sat down on the couch and took Todd into her arms and held him tightly as he began to sob.  "Now, Todd, you hush that crying right now!  You're a big boy!"

"Y-yes, m-ma'am," Todd sniffled.

"What if I just take you to the park?  Would that be okay?"  She held his head on her shoulder and gently rubbed his back.

"Y-y-yes."

"Oh, Steph, I'm so sorry," Patterson said as he helped her up off of the floor and looked at her with pleading eyes.  "I just don't know what's gotten into him.  I've never know him to be like this."

"I-It's okay," Stephanie muttered, quickly feeling quite uncomfortable and out of place.

Patterson Monroe"No, it's not!  Todd has no reason to act like this!"  He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer.  After a few minutes he pulled away and turned to Mrs. Oliver.  "Maybe you should just go to the park without us.  I think I'm going to take Stephanie out for a bite to eat."

"You're not coming with us?" Mrs. Oliver question with a tone of shock.

"Um, not today."  He turned to again look at Stephanie and was quick to notice the hurt and embarrassment on her face.  He just had to make up for Todd's behavior.  

Over the past few months, Patterson had found himself growing increasingly close to Stephanie and had desperately hoped that Todd would, as well.  His break up with Lorraine had been extremely difficult, but he hadn't realized that it would affect young Todd as strongly as it had.  Now, Patterson began to grow worried that this would be another tragic loss that Todd would have to face.  Would the child ever be able to warm up to Stephanie?  Did he really resent her for seemingly taking Lorraine's place as a frequent visitor?  Patterson quickly began to grow worried about how Todd would react if Patterson ever fell in love again.  He had a sinking feeling that no matter who that would be, Todd would most definitely not approve.


THE STOKES MANSION - LIVING ROOM

76 Mapleton Way, Albanyville, IL"Judith, did Mother say when she was going to be here?" Jillian asked as she carefully looked around their new home.

"All she said was that she had to go run a few errands," Judith replied as she sat down on the sofa in front of the grand fireplace.  "She said that she'd be here later."

"I'm so glad that she hired Ruby to be one of the housekeepers," Jillian smiled as she stood at the foot of the long winding staircase and carefully ran her fingers along the intricate banister.  "I really like her."

"You would!"  Judith folded her arms across her chest in annoyance and clinched her teeth.  "Why, that girl is the most incompetent..."

"Now, now, darling," Mark said as he tried to suppress a small chuckle.  "Don't get yourself all worked up.  Whatever Ruby's shortcomings, I'm sure your mother will have her whipped into shape in no time."

Jillian Stokes"Come on, Janet!  Let's go pick out our rooms!" Jillian called out as she began to hurry up the stairs.  "I'm getting the one with the balcony that faces the lake."

Janet Stokes"That's not fair!" Janet scowled as she raced up the stairs after her.  "You're getting married in February and moving out!"

"Well, if you want it that badly, you can have it then," Jillian smiled slyly, "after I move out!"

As both Jillian and Janet reached the landing at the top of the stairs, Judith's eyes kept close watch on them until they disappeared down the hallway.  Judith was still a little uncomfortable having both Janet and Mark in the same town, let alone under the same roof.  She was surprised that Janet hadn't run right to Mark and told him how Judith had told Burt Lamont everything about her scandalous past in New York.  However, it had been a week since Janet had come home after her mysterious disappearance and she had yet to say a word.

"Well, lets go check out our suite," Mark said as he headed for the stairs.

"No!" Judith blurted out before she had a chance to catch herself.  "I...I mean, let's just stay down here awhile.  I think I'm...I'm going to sit out on the terrace and watch the lake for a bit."

Mark turned and eyed his wife curiously.  "You don't like the idea of Burt and Janet being in love with each other at all do you?"

Judith Stokes Linford"W-what makes you say that?"  She spun around quickly to face him, frightened that her feelings were so transparent.

"Just look at you!  I mention their names in the same sentence and you get all flustered and nervous."  He kept his eyes firmly on her as she approached her slowly.  "You do still have feelings for him!"

"Of course not!  Burt Lamont is in my past and I would thank you to just shut up about it!"  As her teeth clinched tightly, she turned away from him and hurried out onto the terrace.  

She just couldn't stand to be in the same room with Mark and his incessant questions about her feelings for Burt.  Leaning against the railing of the patio, she felt the crisp autumn breeze blowing in off of the lake and she took several deep breaths to calm her nerves.

Mark Linford"I know you, Judith," Mark continued as he followed her.  "I know you didn't stay here in Albanyville just because the doctor told you to.  You stayed here because Burt was here!"

"Nonsense!"

"And I just bet you're how he found out all about Janet's past with Gordon Scott!"  He narrowed his eyes as he stared intently at the back of her head.  She was trying to act as if she weren't listening to him, but he was well aware that she was paying attention to every word.  "You don't want him, but you'll be damned if someone else does!"

"You don't even the slightest idea of what you're talking about," Judith muttered as she tried to fight back tears.

"Oh, don't I?"  Quickly realizing that there was no talking to her, Mark turned on his heal and stormed out of the house leaving his wife to think about exactly how much of what he'd said was the truth.