THE LAMONT HOME - KITCHEN

2312 Spring Lake Rd.Burt Lamont took a bite out of his dinner and chewed slowly as he watched his younger brother Randy who sat in silence across the table.  After taking a sip of his soda, Burt paused and took a deep breath.  He was finding the unspoken conversation that was occurring between them to be almost deafening.

"Aren't you going to say anything?" Burt finally spoke as he sat his fork down.

"About?" Randy replied without even looking up from his plate.

"Anything!  You haven't even said two words to me since you got home."  Burt paused and took another bite.  "Is there anything going on at school that's bothering you?  You act like something's on your mind."

"Nothing's going on," Randy muttered as he kept his eyes focused on the half-eaten pork chop that lay on his plate.  What little appetite that he'd had was quickly leaving him.  "Just the same stuff as every day."

Burt shook his head and sighed.  He was certain that there was something troubling Randy in spite of his brother's protestations.  Concerned about what it might be, he decided to take another approach.

"Eliza called for you earlier."  Burt pushed his overly lumpy mashed potatoes around on his plate.  Thankfully, their mother had taught him how to cook.  Unfortunately, Burt wasn't nearly as accomplished in that area as she was.  "You weren't home yet.  I tried to take a message, but she just said that she'd call back later."

"Yeah, okay," Randy muttered in reply.

Burt Lamont"You don't sound too interested in her call," Burt observed.  "I thought that the two of you were dating.  From the way she sounds, you two are pretty serious."

"From the way Eliza sounds, everything is pretty serious."  Randy rolled his eyes.  "She and I are just friends and we spend a lot of time together.  It's not that big of a deal."

"Okay..."  Burt leaned back into his seat and folded his arms across his chest as he kept his eyes focused on his brother.  After several minutes of waiting for Randy to continue the conversation, Burt realized that there wasn't going to be anything else said and took a deep breath.  "Randy, it's obvious that there's something bothering you.  If it's not school and it's not Eliza then it has to be..."  He paused, unsure of whether he should say what was really on his mind.  "Are you having trouble dealing with...well...the fact that we found out that I'm really a Callison?  Are you upset because I'm only...your half-brother?"

"I don't want to talk about it," Randy replied flatly, quickly pushed his chair away from the table, and began to rise from his seat.

"That is it, isn't it?"

"I said I don't want to talk about it!" Randy snapped as he stormed out of the room.

With a shake of his head, a determined Burt sighed and began to follow his brother into the living room.

"We have to talk about this," Burt continued as he walked over to Randy who was now sitting on the couch and trying to occupy himself by reading the evening edition of The Daily Post.  "Even though I'm the one who found out that I'm not who I thought I was, this really affects both of us."  He paused and raked his fingers through his hair.  "Look, we've always been close.  You're...you're my little brother!  I've...always tried to look out for you and..."

"I'm a big boy now, Burt," Randy muttered, never taking his eyes off of the paper, "I can handle myself."

"That's besides the point!"  Burt took another deep breath and sat down in the chair across from Randy.  "We're family.  We're supposed to look out for one another."

"Don't you mean half-family," Randy countered as his head popped up to shoot Burt a look that was filled with a mixture of anger and disappointment.  "You've got this whole other family to look after, now!  You've got this whole other life to live."  He looked away out of awkwardness and his voice grew softer.  "Now, you've got nd aunt and an uncle and cousins and...."  Randy paused and lowered his head.  "And I've got nobody.  Ma's dead and...and we don't have any idea where the hell Pa is and..."

"You've got me!" Burt reminded as his voice rose out of frustration.  "I'm still your brother!  I've been your brother ever since the day you were born and I'm always going to be your brother---real father or not!"

Randy Lamont"It's not the same."

"Yes, it is!  This doesn't have to change a damn thing between us!"

Randy turned to look at Burt again.  Would everything stay the same as before?  Did the fact that they didn't share a father truly mean as little as Burt was trying to make him believe?

"So, are you...changing your name?" Randy asked apprehensively.  "Are you going to become Burt Callison?"

"That's what all of this is about, isn't it?" Burt questioned with a nod as he realized exactly what the root of Randy's concern was.  "You think that if I take on the Callison name then we can't be real brothers."

"I...um...well..." Randy stammered and again looked away.  "It would mean that I would be the only Lamont.  The only person in our family!  I'd be..."  Alone.

"Randy, I can assure you that I am not changing my name."  Burt leaned over and grabbed his brother firmly by the shoulder.  "I might no longer be a true Lamont by birth, but I sure as hell am one by spirit.  Besides,  I just couldn't imagine changing my name.  It would be like...like abandoning you and Ma and everything that you both mean to me."

"Do you really mean that?" Randy asked as he looked at him with eyes filled with confusion and sadness.  "Can you really give up everything that having the Callison name would mean?  We've done without for so long, I just can't imagine that you'd...want to give up the chance to actually be somebody who..."

"But I am somebody!"  As the words came out of Burt's mouth, a look of realization and contentment washed over his face.  He'd always wanted a better life for himself and his family than they'd always had.  He remembered how jealous he was of the Callison family and their money and social standing when he first came to Albanyville.  Now he was a Callison.  However, it didn't seem quite as wonderful as he'd always imagined it to be.  "Randy, I'm your brother.  Callison or not, the fact that I'm your brother makes me somebody."

"I just...can't understand how that could be enough," Randy muttered.  As a new wave of nervousness and awkwardness filled him, he threw the newspaper aside and jumped up from his seat.  "And I just can't...can't talk about this anymore!"

Immediately realizing that the entire situation was much harder for Randy than he'd previously thought, Burt knew that it would take a lot of time for him to sort everything out.  He also knew that Randy could only come to terms with the change in their lives in his own time.  Because of this, Burt fought his initial urge to chase after him and slumped back into his chair to think about what a whirlwind that their lives had become.  As he furrowed his brow in thought, he began to worry that the truth of Burt's real paternity was something that Randy might never be able to accept and get past.


THE MONROE HOME - LIVING ROOM

43 Landings Ct."So, how have you been?" Lorraine asked Todd as she sat down on the sofa.  "I've really missed you."

"I've missed you, too," Todd replied as he attempted to climb into her lap.  Suddenly realizing that there wasn't as much room there as he remembered, he made a face and looked up at her in confusion.  "You're getting fat.  Where'd your lap go?"

"Todd!" Patterson chastised as he came into the room just in time to hear his brother's observations.  "Lorraine, I'm really sorry about that.  Todd can be a little..."

"It's okay," she laughed as she carefully shifted so that the little boy could have more room.  "Todd, I'm not getting fat.  I'm going to have a baby.  I'm going to have my own little girl or little boy just like you."

"A...a baby?"  Todd scrunched up his nose and stared at her swollen stomach before looking up at her again.  "Is that...why you don't love me anymore?"

"What?" Lorraine laughed with surprise.  "Whatever made you think that I don't love you anymore?  Todd, I'm always going to love you.  You're my special little man!"

"But...but..."  He frowned as he curled up in her lap.  "But you never come to see me anymore.  You're...never here.  Now Fanny's here all the time.  I don't like her!"

Lorraine DavisLorraine glanced up at Patterson with a mixture of shock and awkwardness just in time to see Stephanie walk into the room.

"Hello, Lorraine," Stephanie spoke up as she stood by Patterson's side.  "How are you?"

"I'm fine," she nodded curtly.  Interrupting an evening between Patterson and Stephanie definitely had not been in Lorraine's plans for the evening.  "I...um...was just sitting at home and thought I'd stop by for a visit.  Douglas is over at the Callisons' talking with Francis about...well, you know...and Trevor stopped by to see Grace, so I thought I'd get out for a bit."  And she'd clearly traded one uncomfortable situation for another.

"It's good to see you," Patterson smiled and walked over to join Lorraine and Todd on the sofa leaving Stephanie to stand alone feeling increasingly out of place.  "Todd was just asking about you the other day."

"Well, I think about him all the time," she smiled as she held him in her arms and gently stroked his hair.  "Especially since it's getting so close to the arrival of the baby."

"Are you really happy?" Patterson asked softly as he covered her hand with his.  "Truly happy?"

"Yes," she nodded and then smiled.  "Happier than I once thought I could be."

Stephanie Lake"We were just preparing to get Todd ready for bed," Stephanie spoke up as she walked over to them.  "I was planning on reading him a bedtime story."  She narrowed her eyes as she looked directly at Lorraine.  "Isn't that right, Todd."

"Don't want no story!" he shouted angrily.  "'Specially from you!  Don't like you!"  He hugged Lorraine tighter.  "'Rain, make her go away.  Don't like Fanny."

"Now, Todd, that's not a very nice thing to say," Lorraine said firmly.  "You know better than that."

"Y-yes, ma'am," the little boy muttered.  "'Rain, would...you read me a story?"

Lorraine glanced up to look at Patterson who responded with a silent nod.

"I've love to," she smiled as she took his hand and led him towards the stairs.  "And I'll get you ready for bed, too."

Todd Monroe"Great!" Todd beamed as they ascended the staircase.

After watching them disappear out of sight, Patterson turned to look at Stephanie and immediately noticed the solemn and forlorn expression on her face.

"I...I'm sorry," he said softly as he walked over to her.  "I didn't...know that Lorraine was going to stop by."

"There's nothing to be sorry for," she smiled in an attempt to put on a brave face.  "She and Todd have a wonderful relationship.  It would be...horrible for him to have to give that up because...because you two weren't involved anymore."

"This night really didn't turn out quite like I'd intended," he muttered as he hung his head.  "I mean, Todd was a little difficult and then Lorraine showed up and..."

"It's...okay," Stephanie sighed and then glanced towards the clock on the wall.  "Anyway, I...better go home."

"Already?"  He eyed her curiously.  "I'd...hoped that we could spend some time together and..."

"No, it's...getting late.  I...better go."

Patterson Monroe"O-okay," he stammered in disappointment as he slowly began to walk her towards the door.  "Can I...call you tomorrow?"

"I guess," she muttered, "if you...really want to."

She turned to look at him again before walking out of the house.  Once the door had closed behind her, she struggled to put on a brave face, but found it to be increasingly difficult.  She'd had such high hopes for this warm family dinner with Patterson but it had turned out to be a disaster.  Todd couldn't stand her.  How could she ever make Patterson even consider her as more than a friend if she'd failed one of his highest criteria---Todd.  She was certain that Paddy would never think of her romantically now---or ever!

Meanwhile, on the other side of the door, Patterson let out a weary sigh.  He, too, had had such high hopes for his dinner with Stephanie.  In fact, after dinner, he'd planned to tell her that he'd wanted to move their relationship beyond friendship.  He'd wanted to tell her that he really wanted to see her romantically.  However, Todd's misbehavior had completely ruined that!

He walked back across the room and sunk down onto the sofa and rested his chin in his hand.  Why would anyone like Stephanie even consider becoming involved with a guy who already had a child to raise?  True, Todd was only his brother, but he was still his responsibility.  More so, Todd could be a little terror when he wanted to be.  Why would any girl in their right might want to get involved him?


AN ABANDONED FACTORY - OFFICE
RIVERSIDE

An Abandoned Factory in Riverside"Was it really necessary to drag me all the way across the bridge to Riverside?" Fred asked with annoyance as he followed Sammy down the long, dimly lit corridor.  "Couldn't this wait?"

"The boss said he wanted to see you," Sammy said again without looking at Fred.  "That means now."  They came to a stop outside an office door and Sammy banged on it loudly.  "I got Rutherford here."

"Ah, good," came the voice from the other side.  "Send him in."

Fred eyed the door nervously and glanced in Sammy's direction.

"You heard him," Sammy ordered as he pushed Fred towards the door.

Taking a deep breath, Fred opened the door and walked inside for his first meeting with the cause of the majority of his current problems.

Sammy Benedict"Where's my money?" the man said as he got up from his seat behind his desk and walked around to the front so that he could look at Fred more directly and be more of an ominous presence.

"I...I don't have it yet," Fred stammered nervously.  "Almost, but not...yet."

"Almost isn't good enough."

"But I..."  Fred swallowed hard and looked down at the floor.  He couldn't force himself to keep eye contact with the man whose eyes seemed to be as cold as ice.  "I'm working on a plan that will give me enough money to pay you in full and...and make sure that I don't wind up in this kind of situation...again.  I'm...about to come into a lot of money."

"You said you were coming into money months ago!"  He slammed his fist down onto the desk.

"I was, but...but there were...some complications."  Francis Callison's lingering love for her husband, for one.

"What's to assure me that there won't be more 'complications', as you call them?"

"I just...well...there won't be," Fred stammered as he tried to fight his own nervousness.  "Everything is going along just like I've planned it."

"When are you giving me another partial payment?"

Dr. Fred Rutherford"I...um...I don't have it right now, but I could..."  Fred shoved his hands into his pockets as he checked to see how much cash that he had on him.  He swallowed hard when he realized that $20 wasn't exactly going to do the trick.

"And I don't mean some stupid piece of jewelry, either!"  He pulled the ring that Fred had given him months earlier as a partial payment on his gambling debts and threw it at Fred.

"But, I..." Fred muttered as he caught the ring in his hands---Annabelle's ring that he'd blackmailed her out of so that he could hold off his debtors.  "It was the best that I...could do at the time."

"It's not good enough."  He moved around to the back of the desk and sat down again.  "I held onto it as, well, insurance.  It's served it's purpose and I don't need it anymore."  He took a deep breath and leaned back in his seat.  "Now you better pay up, or you'll find out exactly what happens to people who cross me."

"I just...need more time!"

"You know, Rutherford," he smirked, "I like you.  You should be thankful for that."

"You...you do?"  Fred looked at him in shock.

"Yeah, I do.  That's why I'm giving you one month to come up with the full amount that you owe me."

"A...a month?"

The Boss"Yeah, a month."  He smiled and then reached forward to pull open the top drawer of the desk.  "You've got a month to pay up---with interest, I might add---or I'll have to collect in another way."  He pulled out a large revolver and carefully laid it on top of the desk in full view of Fred.  "I'm sure that we don't want that, now do we?"

"N-no."  Fred reached up and loosened his tie which was starting to feel like a noose that was tightening around his neck as he felt the perspiration breaking out on his forehead.  "I'll...I'll get you the money.  I'll do whatever I have to do to..."

"You damn well better make sure of it."  He paused and leveled his gaze at Fred.  "Or else!  Sammy, get in here!"

"Yeah, boss?" Sammy said as he came rushing through the door.

"I'm done with Dr. Rutherford," he smiled.  "We've come to an understanding.  Now, get him outta here."

"Yes, boss," Sammy nodded and quickly grabbed Fred's arm and pulled him towards the door.

"One month, Rutherford!" he called out.

As the door slammed behind Sammy and Fred, the man returned the gun to its home in the top drawer and then lit a cigarette before rising to walk around the room.  Only a few brief moments had passed when another knock came at the door.  Immediately realizing who his next visitor was, he smiled broadly.

"It's about time you got here!" he called out.

Joyce Preston"Well, I would have been here sooner, but I got detained," Joyce Preston smiled slyly as she sauntered into the room.  "You really shouldn't be calling the house.  Someone might overhear and..."

"Just as long as you're here," he smiled and then walked over to her to take her into his arms so that he could kiss her passionately.  "Just as long as you're here."




ON MONDAY

The pieces start falling into place.





produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

2001- 2011 Classic Soap Productions