HOME - CHARLES' BEDROOM
just hope that Reginald and
Trevor don't try to start trouble,"
Callison muttered and he looked at himself in the mirror and attempted to tie
his bowtie. "I know they've really tried to accept Burt into the
family, but I realize how hard it must be for both of them. Their entire
lives we've thought that we were the last of the Callisons...the ones who were
left to carry on our family's name."
you can't help it that you didn't know about Burt being your brother's
son," Annabelle Lake spoke up as she stepped behind him and
hand on his shoulder. "Burt didn't even know until his mother
"I know," he sighed
as he hung his head, "but...I just feel like I owe him so much.
His entire life, he's been denied the benefits and advantages that go along with
our name. What my parents did to him and his mother just wasn't
"But the job of making
amends shouldn't fall completely on your shoulders!"
Father's gone, now, Annabelle. I'm the only one who can make up for all of
the horrible sins of the past." He eyed his reflection closely.
When did he get to be so old? Where had all the time gone?
"Well, darling, I think
this party is a wonderful step in the right direction." She glided
away from him and reached for her mink coat that was draped gracefully over the
side chair. It had been a Christmas present from him and she'd squealed
with delight when she'd opened the box from Lerner's Department Store on
Christmas Eve. "I think tonight's coming out party for Burt as a
Callison will show him how much this family truly accepts him."
"As long as there aren't
any problems with Reginald and Trevor," he mumbled to himself with
apprehension. Seeing her awkwardness in pulling on her coat, he turned
away from the mirror and walked over to help her. "I'm sure this has
all got to be difficult for Burton, too. He's discovered a family that he
didn't know that he had. He really didn't seem overly thrilled with the
idea of this party."
"That's one of the
reasons that I suggested also making it a birthday party for Stephanie,"
she explained with a slight tilt of her head. "She is going to
be 19 in a few days. I'm sure that if Burt thinks he's not the complete
center of attention, it will ease his burden somewhat."
"I...I guess you're
right," Charles muttered, still not completely convinced about the
intelligence in mixing Stephanie's birthday with the family celebration.
However, considering what he had planned, the presence of Annabelle's daughter
would be timed perfectly. He did, though, have other worries where
Stephanie was concerned. "But, I'm not sure how Reginald and Jillian
are going to react to her being there. I haven't...told them about this
being a joint celebration."
"Oh, Charles, they'll be
fine!" she exclaimed as she gently stroked his cheek. "You worry
so much. Just relax and enjoy this wonderful evening." She
stopped to glance down at her expensive diamond watch, a New Year's present from
Charles, and quickly realized how late it was getting. "Darling, we
need to hurry! We're late as it is. Fashionably late, of course, but
it wouldn't look good to have us come strolling in at some ungodly time."
"Yes, you're right,"
he muttered as he suddenly became filled with nervousness and
apprehension. "We do need to get going."
As Charles followed Annabelle
out of the room and down the stairs, he couldn't shake the ominous feeling that
had taken hold of him. Why was he overcome with a sudden sense of
dread? What could possibly go wrong?