THE SUNSET HOTEL - MARY'S PENTHOUSE - LIVING ROOM

Sunset Hotel, Penthouse A"Naomi, what are you planning to do?" Dorothea asked again as she stood with her hands on her hips.  "How do you expect to care for this child without a husband?"

"Why don't you let me worry about that?" Naomi snapped angrily.  "I've taken good care of myself by myself so far that taking care of the two of us on our own shouldn't be that big of a problem."

"Oh, dear, you really are in for a rude awakening!"  Dorothea shook her head with the realization of how completely naive her daughter could be.  "The father of that baby should be here to help you!  He gave you that child and he should take responsibility for it!  Now, honey, why don't you tell me who little Aubrey's father is and..."

Dorothea Jackson"Who the father of my son is is none of your business!"  Naomi jumped up off of the sofa with her baby and spun around to turn away from her mother.

"Young lady, don't you ever turn your back on me when I'm speaking to you!" Dorothea said sternly.  "Haven't you even stopped to think about what all of this is going to mean for this child?"

Naomi Jackson"I am determined to do this alone---without a husband or a father for Aubrey." Naomi said firmly as her teeth clinched.  Why did her mother have to be so judgmental?  Why did she have to be so self-righteous?  Naomi knew it would be a mistake to let her mother know that she was in Albanyville, but she also knew that if she were to have kept her presence a secret and then it was later discovered, there would have been much more trouble in the long run.

"Oh, Naomi," Dorothea muttered in frustration as she slowly shook her head.  She had never been able to get her headstrong daughter to listen to reason.  Why did she think that she would be able to now?

Meanwhile, across the room, Naomi silently stared out the window and smirked slightly.  As she held her son tightly in her arms, she knew full well that he would be the key to getting everything that she'd ever wanted.


CALLISON PUBLICATIONS - CHARLES'S OFFICE

Callison Publications"Dad?" Trevor Callison spoke up as he rapped lightly on the door which was slightly open.  "Are...you busy?"

"Trevor!" Charles Callison exclaimed and quickly rose from his seat so that he could walk over and greet his son.  "This is a pleasant surprise.  There's not anything wrong down at the paper, is there?  I know you've been working a lot of extra hours trying to help Reginald out what with everything he's got going on right now."

"Um...no," Trevor shook his head.  "Everything's fine with The Post.  This isn't about that.  In fact, this isn't professional at all."

"Really?"  Charles eyed his son carefully as he contemplated what could have motivated his sudden visit.  

Over the past few months, Trevor and Charles had barely been on speaking terms considering the elder Callison's relationship with Annabelle Lake.  In fact, Trevor had been so repulsed by his father's actions that he took the drastic step to move out of the family home and into his own apartment.  The only times that Trevor had even bothered to communicate with his father concerned the family business.  It was a break that pained Charles greatly.

"I...um..." Trevor stammered as he stepped further into the office.

Charles Callison"Son, I just want to tell you how sorry I am for everything that's happened to this family for most of the past year.  It's all my fault."  Charles lowered his head, more than a little embarrassed by his foolhardy actions.  "I just can't believe that I was such a daft idiot where that woman was concerned.  Oh, if I only had it to do all over again, things would all have been so different."

"A-actually, um, that's the reason why I'm here."  Trevor paused for a moment and nervously looked at his father.  There was so much that he wanted to say, so many feelings that he needed to express, if he could only find the right words.

"It is?"

"Father...Dad, I was...I'm...sorry."  Trevor awkwardly glanced down at the floor, slightly embarrassed about the situation.  "I shouldn't have...well...come down so hard on you.  I mean..."

"Trevor, there is no need for you to apologize for anything!" Charles said sternly as he quickly approached his son.  "I'm the one who should be apologizing here, not you.  I'm the one who was an old fool who was easily duped by Annabelle's lies and schemes.  You were only standing up in the defense of your mother.  You saw right through everything and I'm...I'm proud of you for that.  You were loyal to your mother and to this family while I did nothing but try to tear it apart!"

"Dad, it's...not all your fault.  Annabelle was very clever---more clever than any of us gave her credit for."  Trevor eyed his father cautiously, the uncomfortable wall that had grown up between them still not fully torn down.

"Well, I'm still an old fool," Charles sighed.  "I just hope I can make up to your mother and this family for all of the pain that I've caused.  I don't care if it takes the rest of my life to..."

"D-Dad..." Trevor muttered as, layer by layer, the wall started to crumble.  In one brief instant, the two men, father and son, fell into each other's arms and embraced.  No matter what horrible things had happened---no matter what wicked tricks and schemes that Annabelle Lake had pulled, the were still family.  And, during this difficult time, this family had to come to gather and stand as one unit.

Quickly feeling slightly embarrassed and awkward by their emotional displays, Charles and Trevor pulled apart.

"W-would you consider moving back into the house?" Charles asked tentatively.  "You're old room is still there---just like you left it."

Trevor Callison"Um...actually, no, Dad," Trevor replied.  "I've gotten rather used to the apartment.  I think I'll stay there."  He paused for a moment and looked at his father earnestly.  "But...that doesn't mean that I can't visit all the time."

"I...I'd like that," Charles smiled.

"Um...well...I have to go," Trevor muttered as he glanced down at his watch.  "The funeral for Grace's mother is this afternoon and I really need to be there for her."

"This afternoon?"

"Yes.  It's really hit her hard.  She's...not accepting it all too well.  It even seems like she's pulling away from me a little bit."

"Trevor, I'm going to try and clear my calendar for this afternoon," Charles spoke up urgently and walked around to the back of his desk, "I really need to be there to show my support and sympathy to Douglas and Grace.  But...if I can't make it, please send my condolences."

"I sure will, Dad," Trevor smiled as a sense of relief and release washed over him.  

Maybe the dark cloud named Annabelle Lake was finally beginning to lift from their family.  Trevor couldn't help but feel glad that the woman was dead.  If only Reginald weren't the one accused of the crime....


JOE'S CAFE

Joe's Cafe"Well, that was odd," Patterson spoke up as Mr. Lowell quickly walked away from the table.  He eyed Stephanie curiously and when no response or visible reaction came, he spoke up again.  "Stephanie?  Are you listening to me?"

"Um...oh...what?" she asked as she popped her head up.  She'd been too busy staring at Mr. Lowell's card to hear what he'd said.

"I said that was odd.  That Mr. Lowell just showing up like that and raving about your voice."  He furrowed his brow in curiosity and looked at the card, still clutched in Stephanie's hand.  "What does it say?  Who is he?"

"He's...a radio producer..." she muttered, half to Patterson and half to herself, "for WALB."

"Well, maybe he wants you to star in a new radio show," Patterson laughed.  "You know, maybe one of those serials in the afternoon.  I can hear it now!  The Romance of Stephanie Lake!"

"Oh, very funny," she grumbled and sunk down into her seat.  "What romance?"

Patterson MonroePatterson's face fell slightly.  "You...know what I mean."  He paused for a moment.  "Wouldn't it be kinda neat if you did become a big radio star?"

"Oh, that's silly!  I'm not an actress!  There's no way I could ever be on a radio show!"  But still, the idea was intriguing.

"Please!  I've seen you in action!  You're just so naturally dramatic anyway!"

"And what's that supposed to mean?"  Stephanie narrowed her eyes and looked at him in annoyance.

"Don't get your feathers all in a ruffle," he laughed, slightly amused with how easily she could become defensive.  "I just meant that you have a tendency to act dramatically in real life.  A lot of those scheming stunts that you've pulled weren't really you.  They were just a role you were playing because you thought you had to.  I'm sure being on radio---and getting money for it, I might add---wouldn't be much of a stretch for you."

"Well, it's not going to happen," she grumbled again, "I'm not an actress.  I don't know the first thing about acting!"  But still....

"Oh, all right," he sighed as he rose from the table.  "Well, I need to go to the restroom.  If you'll excuse me?"

Stephanie Lake"Um...yes, of course."  

As Patterson slowly walked away, Stephanie continued to eye the card that Willis Lowell had given her.  A radio producer?  Could Stephanie really become an actress on the radio?  It would help solve the financial dilemma that she'd found herself in.  While she contemplated the pros and the cons of the idea, she briefly glanced up from the card and caught sight of something that greatly peaked her interest.

In the back corner of the cafe sat Helen Van Dyne and a very handsome mystery gentleman.  Stephanie stared at them intently and felt herself growing deeply angry at the sight of a giggly Helen enjoying herself in the company of the man.  How dare Helen have so much fun after she'd worked so hard to ruin Stephanie's life?  As she began to seethe, Stephanie couldn't help but find the gentleman oddly familiar.  She was just sure that she'd seen him somewhere before.

"Um, excuse me," Stephanie spoke up as she grabbed the attention of a nearby waitress.  "That couple sitting at that back table..."

Stella Wagner"Yes," the waitress asked as her eyes darted to Helen and her date.  "Cute couple."

"Who is he?"  Stephanie leaned in closer as if she were about to hear a very intriguing secret.

"Well, I'm not one to gossip," the waitress smiled slyly, "and I must add that I'm not one to pry, either, but..."  She glanced around for a moment as if she were checking out the security of the area and she was about to deliver top secret information.  "Well, I do manage to overhear things when I'm pouring coffee and serving food."

"I'm sure you do," Stephanie nodded, eager for the waitress to continue.  "Who is he?"

"Well..." the waitress' voice trailed off into a whisper, "his name is Mark Linford...."



 


TOMORROW

Stephanie gets an ear-full.




 


produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

2001- 2011 Classic Soap Productions