THE GRAND SUNSET ROOM - LOUNGE

The Grand Sunset RoomAs the darkened, empty lounge flooded with light, Reginald Callison hurriedly shoved the silk scarf into his coat pocket and braced himself for whomever had discovered his presence.

"Who's in here?" came the voice again.

Reginald's voice caught in his throat and he sunk back into the corner, hoping to remain unnoticed.  However, he knew, deep down, that his attempts would be in vein.

"Well, well, well," the man smiled as he turned to see Reginald in his hiding place.  "Did you decide to return to the scene of your crime?"

Immediately recognizing the man, Reginald let out a heavy sigh and stepped forward into the light.

Reginald Callison"What are you doing here, Rawlings?" Reginald asked with a sneer.  "Trying to dig up some good dirt for that rag you call a newspaper?"

"Don't sound so bitter, Callison," Larry Rawlings laughed heartily.  "If The Post really wanted to report the truth, you could have scooped us on this one.  Not my fault that you want to keep your lily white reputation or that you want to keep your readers in the dark."

"Unlike The Examiner, we only print the truth!"

"More likely, your version of the truth!"  Larry eyed Reginald, a longtime professional rival, curiously as his mind whirled with possible reasons for his presence at the scene of Annabelle Lake's murder.

"So, Rawlings, what are you doing here?"  Reginald casually walked around the room, making an intense effort to keep the contents of his pocket hidden.

"Well, now that the police have cleared out, I thought I'd get a look at the scene of the crime, myself."  Larry's eyes followed Reginald around the room.  "You know, catching some of the things that the police missed.  What are you doing here?"

"Actually, I'm working on the same story," Reginald replied coolly.  "Just from a different perspective.  I think it would come across very interestingly from the view point of the accused."

"So..."  Larry let out a thin laugh.  "Any chance that I might get a statement from you...on the record?"

"Not a chance," Reginald said flatly.  "You and your scandal sheet aren't getting a thing out of me.  In fact, I'd advise you to give up on finding anything here.  The police's sweep was very thorough.  There's nothing to see."

Larry Rawlings"Right."  Larry wasn't buying a word he was saying.

"Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm tired of looking for clues that don't exist and I'm going home."  Reginald pushed passed him and headed for the door.  "My best advice would be for you to do the same."

"Sorry, but I think I'll take a look around for myself."

"Suit yourself."  As Reginald prepared to walk out the door, he turned around to look at Larry again.  "Don't say I didn't warn you."

As soon as Larry was left alone in the lounge, he carefully surveyed his surroundings.  He was well aware, thanks to his sources at the police department, that Reginald had said nothing to the police in his defense when questioned about the Lake murder.  The question that loomed large in Larry's mind was why.  Considering all of the possibilities, he rested his chin in his hand and carefully evaluated what he did know.  However, the facts gave way to more questions than answers.  Now, he'd found Reginald back at the scene of the crime and clearly hiding something.  Larry Rawlings was determined to find out exactly what that was.  After all, his readers deserved to know the truth.


DANE'S CAR - SOMEWHERE ALONG ANDERSONVILLE RD.

1935 Cadillac"W-what do you mean?" Grace asked as she began to panic.  "What do you mean 'we're stuck'?"

"Exactly what I said," Dane replied as he looked intently down at the gearshift and again tried to shift into reverse.  "We're stuck!  It's the snow.  We can't go anywhere!"

"We can't be stuck!"  Her hands began to shake as she felt tears start to stream down her cheeks.  "I've got to get to Douglas!  I've got to get back to my mother!  Do something!"

"Okay, okay," he muttered and got out of the car.  "Now, Grace, you slide over into the driver's seat and I'll try to push.  You press on the gas and try to steer us out."

"O-okay," she nodded shakily and did what he asked.  

With fierce determination, she shifted the car into reverse and pressed down onto the gas.  When all her actions merely caused spun wheels and only a slight rocking of the car, more from Dane's pushing than her efforts, she tried again.  Over and over, she repeated her attempts to shake the vehicle free.  However, all of their efforts were in vein.  They were still stuck.

"Stop!" Dane called out as he walked back up to the driver's side door, covered in a icy mixture of snow and mud.  "This...isn't going to work."

"It has to work!" Grace cried.  "I have to get home!"

Dane Manchester"We're stuck!" he said firmly as he grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her in an attempt to calm her and force her to accept their fate.  "This car isn't going anywhere."

"Then I'll...I'll walk!"  With determination, she got out of the car and immediately sank down into the snow before turning to start on her trek down the highway.

"Grace, there aren't any houses close by," he called out after her.  "It's freezing out here!  You'll get frostbite before you make it home."

"I have to get home!"

"Look, this is a main road.  Cars come along here all the time."  Dane leaned up against the car and discreetly glanced up and down the road.  Of course, he hadn't seen a car in quite a while, but he didn't need to remind her of that.  "Let's just get back in the car and wait for someone to come along.  It shouldn't be very long."

Grace stopped in her tracks and considered what he'd said.  The frigid wind blew against her face and she shivered from the cold.  Maybe he was right.  Maybe it would be better to just sit and wait.  After all, a car could come along at any time.

"All right," she relented as she turned and walked back to the car.  With a sigh, she got back in on the passenger side and sat down.

"Now, that's better."  Dane slammed his door shut and turned to look at her.  Grace's emotion and anxiety were obvious and effected him deeply.  "I'm sorry we're stuck."

"It's not your fault," she sighed and slumped down into the seat, wrapped her arms around herself, and shivered, still chilled from the cold winter air.

"Come here."  He leaned over and wrapped his arms around her in an attempt to warm her.  "I told you that you wouldn't make it.  You're already freezing.  Can you imagine how cold you would have gotten if you'd kept going?"

Grace Davis"I know," she muttered as she allowed him to hold her.  It was a situation she found both comfortable and awkward.  She turned to glance in his direction and found him staring at her with a sly gleam in his eye.  "What are you looking at?"

"You," he chuckled.  "Even turned into a human snow cone, you're still beautiful."

His complement made her blush, but she found the resulting heat comforting.  Suddenly, she felt his lips brush her ear and the warmth of his breath on her neck.  As a chill ran through her, she swallowed hard.  She was alone with Dane, in his arms.  It was a situation she'd often dreamt of.  However, she thought that she'd pushed those dreams aside and put them in the past.  Now, in such close proximity, she wasn't so sure.

"Grace, you are so beautiful."

Dane pressed his lips against hers as the intimacy of the moment overcame them.  He was more than a little pleased when she began to respond and began kissing him back.


ALBANYVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT - MAIN SQUAD ROOM

Albanyville Police Department"It's not a fit night out for man nor beast," Officer Russ Leeds said as he came through the front door, shaking snow off of his coat and out of his hair.  "I swear that we've gotten every bit of that foot of snow that they were calling for."

"Yeah, well," Detective Jim Fitzpatrick nodded as he sat as his desk reviewing a stack of files.  "Anything going on out there?  Everything quiet?"

"Oh, yeah," Russ nodded as he hung his coat up.  "Anybody with any sense is at home by the fire.  No one's out tonight."

"It's just as well."

"What're you doing here?  You're off duty."  Russ poured himself a hot cup of coffee and sat down in the chair by Jim's desk.  "I figured you'd be at home, yourself."

"Well, I'd like to be."  Jim leaned back into his chair and stretched.  "But, I'm still working on this case."

Officer Russ Leeds"The Lake murder?"

"Yep."  Jim squinted his eyes and rubbed his temples as he tried to massage out the headache that had started to appear.  "There's just too much about this case that doesn't make sense."

"You still think Reginald Callison did it?  Looks like a pretty open and shut case, to me.  I'm sure the District Attorney's gonna think so, too.  How often to you find the perpetrator kneeling over the body with the murder weapon in his hands?"

"I'm not so sure," Jim sighed as he glanced back down at the open file that lay on his desk.

"What do you mean?"  Russ looked at him curiously.  "All of the evidence is right there!  Hell, you can't even get Callison to say anything in his defense!  I say he did it.  That's almost an admission of guilt, right there."

"Well, I'd be inclined to agree with you," Jim muttered as he furrowed his brow, "but it's all just too simple...too cut and dried."

"I...I don't get what you're saying."

Det. Jim Fitzpatrick"Why would he not even attempt to say anything in his defense?  Why wouldn't he come up with some kind of excuse?"  Jim tapped his pencil against his chin as he thought about the answers to the questions he'd asked.

"Simple.  He knows he got caught and he knows he's guilty.  Why make excuses?"

"But if he knows he's caught..."  Jim leaned forward onto the desk and looked at Russ intently.  "Then why not just come right out and confess?  Reginald Callison hasn't said much of anything, period!  Not an admission of guilt and nothing in his defense...not a word!"

"I see what you're saying," Russ nodded.  "It is kinda odd."

"There's just something about what he is saying that's just not quite right.  Actually, it's more what he's not saying."

"So, what do you think is going on?"

"I think he's trying to cover for someone," Jim revealed.  "And I'm determined to find out exactly who that someone is."



 


TOMORROW

Eliza tries to play matchmaker.




 


produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

2001- 2011 Classic Soap Productions