produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

EPISODE #112 (Tuesday, 4/9/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
Same Day
February, 1936 - Evening


54 Spring Lake Dr.Stephanie Lake"Oh, Daddy, you don't know how many times I'd lay in bed at night and dream that you were coming back for me," Stephanie Lake sighed dreamily.  "I missed you so much."  She paused and furrowed her brow slightly.  "Daddy, why did you go away?  Why did everyone think you were dead?"

"Well, I didn't have much of a choice," Stephen Lake sighed with a shake of his head.  "I had gotten into...well...some trouble, you could say.  I'm sure that you remember those 'friends' of mine that would stop by all the time."

"I never did like them," she grumbled and scrunched up her nose as she shook her head.  "They were always so mean and rude---pushing you around and stuff."

"They weren't the nicest of guys," he admitted.  "Anyway, they had it in for me.  I disappeared and went into hiding for a while in hopes that they would just give up and move on.  But, guys like that don't give up.  Finally, in an attempt to get to me, they threatened you.  I..."  He winced  slightly as if the memory were too painful, but still continued.  "I realized that the best way to keep you safe would be to make everyone think that I was dead.  Once everything had settled down, I'd always planned to come back for you,'re mother took you and disappeared."

"Oh, Daddy," she gasped.  "And you...have been looking for me all this time?"

"All this time," Stephen smiled.  "But now that I've found you, nothing is ever going to keep us apart again."  He paused and took a deep breath.  "Now, come on, Princess, it's time for us to go."

"Go?"  Stephanie eyed her father curiously.  "Go where?  What do you mean?"

"It's time for us to leave Albanyville.  It's time for us to finally be together."  He held out his hand for her.  "C'mon, Stephanie, it's time for us to go."

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Albanyville General Hospital"Oh, my god, Jillian!" Janet Stokes called out as she rushed into the emergency room quickly followed by Burt Lamont.  "We came just as soon as we heard.  What happened?  What's going on?  Was anyone hurt?"

"Honey, just calm down," Burt said gently as he held her hand for support.

"I...can't calm down!" she snapped.  "I have to find out what's..."  Immediately noticing Judith's emotional state, Janet began to grow increasingly worried.  "W-where's father?  Was he...hurt badly?"

"Janet, I don't to say this," Jillian spoke up, not sure of exactly how to break the tragic news to her already emotionally fragile sister, "but...well...father is...dead.  He didn't survive...the accident."

"W-what?"  Janet's eyes grew wide from shock as her hand flew up to her mouth to muffle the cries that wanted to break free.  "N-no!  That's...impossible!  I just...saw him tonight.  We all saw him!  We were all...together and....  No!"

"Janet, darling, it's going to be all right," Burt said tenderly as he took her into his arms before she could completely break down.  While he held her, he took a deep breath and turned his attention to Jillian.  "How...did it happen?  They said on the radio that it was some kind of accident."

Reginald Callison"Apparently Nelson and Judith were in Judith's car heading into town," Reginald began to explain.  "Judith was driving too fast and the roads were wet.  She didn't make that sharp curve coming into the city.  I think that the police said something about the brakes failing."

"Dear lord," Burt sighed with a shake of his head.  "This is horrible."

"The doctors said that it's a miracle that Judith wasn't killed, too," Jillian continued as she glanced over to a row of chairs where her oldest sister was sitting, still extremely distraught, while being comforted by Dr. Talbot Campbell.

"Jillian, if any of you need anything at all, let me know."  Burt slowly began to lead Janet over to a chair so that she could sit down.  "I feel such a strong loyalty to all of you for being so welcoming to me that it's the least that I could do."

"Well, I see you're trying to weasel your way into all of the finest families in Albanyville, now, aren't you?" Reginald spoke up coldly as he eyed Burt.  "First the Callison family and now the Stokes family!  It's a good thing that the Rockefellers aren't in town or they just might be next on your list!"

"Reginald, you know good and well that it's not like that!" Burt argued.  "I love Janet very much and that makes me care about her family.  Besides, it hasn't been that long since I lost my own mother.  I know exactly how difficult it is to lose a parent."

"This is not the same!"  Reginald felt his temper begin to rise.  How dare Burt Lamont try to worm his way into places where he didn't belong.  "From what I understand, your mother was sick for a long time before she died.  It wasn't like you didn't know it was coming.  Nelson was in the prime of his life, the picture of perfect health, and he died suddenly and tragically."

"You seem to have an awfully high opinion of a man who couldn't stand the sight of you!" Burt countered.  "It's amazing how death can change a person's attitude!"

"Well, he would have come a lot closer to accepting me as part of his family than he would you.  You're just an over glorified stable boy, after all!"

Jillian Stokes"Both of you stop it this instant!" Jillian ordered as her eyes began to fill with tears that were brought on by a mixture of anger and sorrow.  "I will not have you two going at each other like a couple of little boys on the playground.  This is a hospital and my father just died and I can't...I can't..."

"Oh, Jillian, I' sorry," Reginald muttered, quickly overcome by embarrassment because of his outburst.  "I wasn't thinking.  I...lost my head and I..."

"I...apologize, too," Burt sighed.  "I wasn't...thinking."  He paused and took a deep breath before turning to address Reginald.  "Look, I know that you don't like me.  I know that you resent me for being Landon's son, but...well...there's nothing we can do about that.  Besides, this isn't the time or place."

With a silent nod of agreement, Reginald took Jillian by the hand and led her down the hallway so that they could check on Judith, leaving Burt and Janet alone.

"How are you...holding up?" Burt asked softly as he pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket so that she could dry her eyes.  "I'm here for you.  You know that, don't you?"

"Y-yes," Janet stammered shakily, still too emotional to think straight.  "I just...can't believe...that he's gone.  This is just"

You did it!  It's your fault!

Burt Lamont"Janet, are you all right?" Burt asked with concern as he saw a strange look cover her face.

"I...I'm fine," she mumbled as she tried to focus her eyes which were growing blurry.

If you hadn't done all of those horrible things, none of this would have happened!

"Are you sure you're all right?"  He continued to eye her closely.  Her breathing was labored and she was looking exceptionally pale.  Something was definitely not right.

"I said that I'm...fine."

You killed Gordon and you killed your sister's child!  God is punishing you!

"You don't look fine."  Burt carefully lifted Janet's chin so that he could look into her eyes and immediately noticed that she was more than a little disoriented.  "Let me get a doctor over here to look at you."

Janet Stokes"No!" she snapped angrily and quickly jumped up out of her seat.  "No!  I said I'm fine!"

You took two lives.  Now, one has been taken away from you as punishment.  There's only one left!

"No! Janet cried out again before crumpling to her knees.

Burt immediately rushed to her side and waved for a doctor to come help.  However, Janet was barely aware of any of it.  It was almost as if everything that was suddenly going on around her wasn't really happening and she wasn't really there.  She was lost in her own terrifying thoughts.  What if her father had died as a punishment for her sins?  What if his death wasn't enough?  Would someone else have to be taken away from her as penance?  Would it be Burt?


54 Spring Lake Dr."I...I can't go," Stephanie replied and shook her head.  "My home is here in Albanyville.  I just started a new job that I think I'm really going to like.  I've got friends here.  I can't leave them!  I can't leave..."  Paddy.  "I can't go!  Why don't you...just stay here with me?  You'll love it here.  I just know you will.  We can get a little apartment, just the two of us, and it can be just like it used to be."  She paused as a sadly ironic thought flashed through her mind.  "Except...Momma won't be there."

"We'll be just fine, the two of us," Stephen smiled.  "But we can't stay here.  I originally came to town because of dealings, you could say...but too many people know too much about me now.  It would be too dangerous for both of us to stay.  We have to go."

"I can't go!"

"You have to, Princess!" he repeated sternly.  "I've spent entirely too much time and energy trying to find you to just walk away from you again and I can't stay here.  You have to come with me!"

"I can't!" she repeated defiantly.  "I am not leaving!"

Stephen Lake"After all that I've done to protect you, you're willing to turn your back on me?"  His eyes grew wide from shock.  "Do you have any idea what I've done for you---to what lengths I would go to keep you safe?"

"W-what are you talking about?" she asked curiously as a sense of uneasiness began to overtake her.  "What...have you done?"

"You won't have to worry about that Saxon boy ever again," he explained calmly.  "I took care of that."

"But...but...Clark left town months ago!  He's...not any kind of threat to me anymore!"  She stopped and furrowed her brow as she thought.  " you know about Clark?"

"I told you that I've been watching over you since I came to town and found you," he elaborated.  "I found out that Clark Saxon was here and watching you, too.  He was going to hurt you, sweetheart, but I stopped him.  He'll never hurt you again."

Her father's tone and change in demeanor caused a knot to form in the pit of Stephanie's stomach.  From the way he was talking, it almost sounded like he'd...

"W-what did you do to him, Daddy?"

"I killed him, Stephanie," Stephen revealed rather bluntly.  "He'll never hurt you again."

"Oh, my god," she gasped, stunned by the news.  "Why, Daddy?  Why?  Why did you do something so...horrible?"

"I did it for you, Princess," he explained calmly.  "I'd do anything to protect you.  That's why you have to come with me.  I can't protect you and look out for you if we're not together."

Stephanie Lake"But, Daddy, I can't go with you!" she cried.  "I can't!"

"You can and you will!" he ordered sternly and then swiftly reached out and grabbed her wrist tightly.  "We're leaving together.  I refuse to let anyone keep us apart again!"

"Daddy, you're hurting me!"

"I'm sorry, baby, really I am," he sighed.  "But this is for your own good.  I know what's best for you."

"No, Daddy!" she cried out again.  

As he began to drag her out of the room, she flailed her arms and began to kick at him in an attempt to force him to let her go.  Why was he doing this to her?  Why was he forcing her to leave everything that she'd known?  In her struggle to break free from his grasp, she bumped up against an end table and it toppled over, sending a small collection of framed photographs crashing to the floor.

"Don't fight me," Stephen ordered as he picked her up in his arms and began to carry her towards the door.  "You'll see that this is for your own good."  As he opened the door and drug her out, he took a deep breath and smiled joyously.  "I've waited too long to find you to simply just leave you again.  No one will ever separate us again, Princess.  I promise you that and I will kill anyone that tries to hurt you or keep us apart."