THE STOKES MANSION -
Dr. Rutherford, tell me a little about yourself?" Nelson asked as he rocked
back and forth on his heels and inspected his romantic rival closely.
"I assume from what my wife has told me that you hold a position at
"That's correct," Fred
nodded as he looked at Nelson suspiciously. He was certain that Leticia's
estranged husband was up to something.
"I could have sworn that I was
under the impression that you were seeing Francis Callison romantically."
Nelson subtly cocked an eyebrow, feeling that he was onto Fred and his game.
don't know where you might have gotten that impression," Fred
countered. "True, Francis and I have become rather close, but
it's only as friends. She's been through quite a bit this past year and I
find her to be a very dear and lovely woman, but..." He paused and
smiled slightly. "But I find Leticia much more fascinating and
appealing---romantically speaking, of course."
"Don't you mean to say that you
find her money to be more appealing?" Nelson shot Fred a
hateful and accusatory glance. "Isn't that the real reason
you're intent on wining and dining my wife?"
"Soon to be ex-wife,"
Fred reminded firmly and folded his arms tightly across his chest. He was
quickly growing tired of Nelson's word games. "And, no, that's not
the reason I'm interested in Leticia. I appreciate her for her.
Apparently that's something you can't---or aren't willing---to do. She's
tired of you, Nelson. She's tired of your control and she's tired of your
"You have no idea what you're
"I don't?" Fred
chuckled. "You see, Leticia feels comfortable enough to confide in me
about her deepest fears and concerns. You don't really care about
her or her innermost thoughts."
"That's not true!"
"You might have been married to
her for years, but you don't really know her." Fred smirked
with an air of victory. "Not like I know her, at least."
"Rutherford, I should bounce
you out of here on your ear!" Nelson's hands drew into tight fists as
his jaw clinched in anger.
"You do feel threatened,
don't you, Nelson?" Fred asked smugly. "It's written all over
your face. Well, I can assure you that if you truly cared enough
about her to listen to her and accept her for the woman she is, you wouldn't
have lost her."
"I haven't lost
her!" Not yet.
"Nelson, are you still
here?" Leticia asked in annoyance as she slowly came down the stairs,
dressed for her dinner date with Fred. "Why do you keep doing this to
I love you," Nelson explained as he looked up to watch her descend the
staircase. "I've always loved you. You're my wife.
I just can't let the wonderful life we've shared together just slip through my
fingers." He paused as she reached the foot of the stairs and took in
her elegant and stately beauty. "Darling, you look
breathtaking. Why don't you make a change in plans and go out with me this
evening? You have no idea how honored I'd be to be seen in your
"N-Nelson, I...I don't know
what to say," she blushed slighted, completely taken off guard by his
comments. "I'm...flattered, but..."
"But she already has plans with
me," Fred spoke up as he reached out to take Leticia's hand so that
he could direct her to his side. "I do have to agree with Nelson,
dear. You look wonderful."
"Thank you, Fred," Leticia
smiled as she bowed her head in genuine modesty. "I've...really been
looking forward to tonight."
"You see, Nelson," Fred
smirked, "she's going out with me. Why don't you save yourself a lot
of trouble and frustration and just pack it in and head back to your lofty
apartment in New York. There's only room for one of us in her
"She's my wife!"
"That's only a temporary
technicality," Fred reminded. "She's divorcing you! Or
have you forgotten?"
"You're the one who's a
temporary technicality!" Nelson spat. "It's only matter of time
before she sees you for the sleazy gigolo that you are and then your game will
had about enough of this," Leticia spoke up sternly and threw up her hands
to separate the two men in her life. "Nelson, why do you have to keep
doing this? Why can't you be a man and accept the inevitable? What
we had is over!"
"It will never be
over!" Nelson's eyes blazed with anger and frustration.
"You're my wife! You will always be my wife!"
"Nelson, please stop doing this
to me!" Leticia begged as she tried to fight back her tears.
"Why can't you just let me go and let me by happy?"
"Look what you're doing to
her?" Fred ordered sternly. "Look! I think it's time for
you to leave."
"W-what?" Nelson stammered
in shock. "You're throwing me out? Of my own
"I don't think that I
stuttered!" Fred spat. "You're not wanted here. Now get
"I am not leaving!"
"Oh, please, Nelson, just
go!" Leticia sobbed.
"You heard the lady," Fred
said firmly as he grabbed Nelson by the arm and began to drag him towards the
door. "Get out!"
Stunned and incredulous, Nelson came
to a stop outside as the door slammed loudly behind him. Fred had the gall
and the audacity to throw him out! As he spun around to glare at the
closed door, his face burned with a mixture of rage and jealousy. There
was no way in hell he was going to let that low class doctor woo Leticia and
scam her our of her money. With steely determination, Nelson vowed that it
would be a cold day in hell before he ever let that happen.
Meanwhile, inside, Fred took Leticia
into his warm and supportive arms. Although he was giving her tender
support and reassurance, his own head was filled with intense thoughts. He
was quickly beginning to realize that Nelson Stokes would prove to be a much
more formidable adversary than he'd once thought. His effect on Leticia
was clear evidence of that. Maybe it wasn't going to be so easy to get his
hands on the Stokes fortune as he'd once thought. Maybe he had to step up
his plans and take more drastic actions.