THE SUNSET HOTEL - MARY'S PENTHOUSE - LIVING ROOM

Sunset Hotel, Penthouse A"Ruby, dear, are you all right?" Leticia questioned in shock as she jumped up from the sofa, half out of concern and half out of embarrassment.  "Oh, Mrs. Albany, I am so, so sorry.  I've just never known her to be so clumsy."

"Leticia, it's quite okay," Mary replied and hurriedly ran into the kitchen to grab some towels.  "Ruby, you didn't burn yourself on the hot tea, did you?" she asked once she'd returned to the room.

"N-no, I'm...fine," Ruby muttered, her hands still shaking, as she fought to tear herself away from Calvin's curious stare.  "Oh, Calvin, I'm...I'm s-sorry.  I...I..."

Mary Albany"You know Calvin?"  Mary's eyes jumped from Ruby to Calvin and back again.  "Well, I guess it is a small world."

"Ruby, what...are you doing here?" Calvin asked as he quickly rushed to her side.

"Calvin, I'm...I'm..."  Ruby bit her lip and nervously looked away.  How in the world could she ever explain the truth to him?  How could she tell him that she'd been lying to him all of these months?

Leticia Stokes"Well, she's supposed to be working," Leticia spoke up with a sigh, "but, apparently, Judith was right to be a little concerned."

"Mother!" Jillian snapped angrily.

Dorothea Jackson"All right, now," Dorothea finally said as she carefully watched the awkward looks that were being shared by Ruby and her son.  The true tension of the moment wasn't lost on her.  "I have a feeling that there's more going on here than we're aware of."  She walked over and took the towel from Mary and began to help clean up the mess.  "Now, young lady, why don't you tell me what's going on."  She turned and looked up at Calvin.  "Or maybe I should be asking you this question."

"Momma, I..."  He took a deep breath and silently hung his head.  "Momma, this is the girl I've been seeing.  This is Ruby Thomas."

"Well, it's about time I got to meet the lady that my son is so smitten with," Dorothea laughed and reached out to take Ruby's hand.  "Now that I've set eyes on you, I can see why.  You're quite a lovely young woman."

"T-thank you."  Ruby blushed slightly and bowed her head for a moment before looking up to meet Calvin's curious gaze.

"C-Calvin..." she spoke tentatively.

"Ruby, I..." he muttered, unsure of what to say.  He knew that he couldn't hide the truth any longer.  Also, there was something rather odd about what was going on.  There were more than a few questions bouncing around inside of his own head.

Ruby Thomas"Oh, Calvin, I'm sorry," Ruby finally began as she fought back tears.  "I...I haven't been honest with you.  I'm not from a well-to-do family.  I'm really...nobody.  I'm just a maid for the Stokes family.  With you being a doctor and all....and...and you being from such a prominent family, I...I..."

Dr. Calvin Jackson"Ruby, there's nothing for you to be sorry for," Calvin laughed as he gently placed his finger under her chin and lifted her head so that their eyes met.  "Actually, I'm the one who should be apologizing to you."

"W-what?"  She looked at him curiously.  "You're not mad at me?  You're not upset that I'm only a maid?"

Calvin grinned broadly as he shook his head in amusement.  "How can I be mad that you're a maid when my mother is just a housekeeper, too?"

"I am more than just a housekeeper!" Dorothea spoke up suddenly with a tone of mock offense.

The room quickly grew quiet as all eyes fell on Dorothea who immediately eased the tension by breaking out into laughter.  Within moments, everyone else followed suit, including Calvin and Ruby.

"Darling, I am so sorry," he sighed in between laughs.  "I thought that you...well...you know..."  He blushed.  "And I was so worried that you would think less of me if...well..."

"Yes," Ruby grinned.  "I was worried about the exact same thing."

Jillian Stokes"Gee, I feel so foolish."

"Me, too."

A great weight lifted from their shoulders, Calvin and Ruby fell into a kiss.

"Calvin, I promise that I'm never going to keep anything from you ever again," Ruby sighed as she rested her head on his shoulder.

"Oh, Ruby, I love you," he smiled warmly.

Reginald Callison"I...I..." she stammered as she looked up into his eyes.  "I love you, too."

"See," Reginald whispered as he leaned over to Jillian, "we're getting married, Calvin and Ruby are in love.  All is right with the world.  This has to be a sign that happy days are straight ahead."

"I hope so," Jillian sighed, not extremely convinced by his observations.  "I hope so."


ALBANYVILLE UNIVERSITY - STUDENT CENTER

Albanyville University"What I've done to you?" Helen gasped in shock.  "Well, aren't you just determined to paint yourself as a martyr!  In case you've forgotten, you're the one who did all of those rotten and horrible things to Jillian and..."

"Oh, just shut up about Jillian!" Stephanie snapped angrily.  "I know I did some horrible things.  I admit that I was wrong!  But...but...what you tried to do to me was beyond rotten!"

"I don't have to stand here and listen to this," Helen muttered as she started to push past Stephanie and walk away.

"Not so fast!"  Stephanie reached out and grabbed Helen firmly by the arm and gave it a solid yank.  "I'm sure you'd be very interested in what I have to say about Mark Linford."

"W-what?"  Helen's jaw dropped as she froze in her tracks.  Surely Stephanie didn't know!  "What are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about your little romantic rendezvous with Jillian's brother-in-law!"  Stephanie eyed Helen carefully as she watched her reactions.  Pleased that she now had her full attention, a sly smile of victory spread across her face.  "Yes, that's right.  I know all about your little affair.  What do you think Jillian would say if she knew that you were trying to ruin her sister's marriage?"

Helen Van Dyne"You don't have any idea about what your saying!"

"Don't I?"  Stephanie paused and took a deep breath which gave her time to savor the moment.  "I know how important family is to Jillian.  I know how much her sisters mean to her.  I don't think that she'd be the least bit amused that her so-called 'best friend' is having a trashy affair with her sister's husband!"

"It's not like that!" Helen snapped before she caught herself.  She exhaled slowly when she realized that she'd said too much and tightened her jaw.  "Not that it's any of your business, but Mark and Judith only have a marriage of convenience.  It's all for appearances sake!  He doesn't love her!"

"And I suppose he loves you?"  Stephanie took a couple of steps back and folded her arms across her chest as she looked at Helen with astonishment.

"I...well..." Helen's voice trailed off.  "I don't know, but...but...it's none of your business!"

"Maybe not," Stephanie laughed wickedly, "but I'm sure that Jillian will think that it's plenty of her business!  I'm sure that Judith Linford will think that it's plenty of her business!"

"Stephanie, you wouldn't dare!"

"Oh, wouldn't I?"

Stephanie LakeAnd with those words, Stephanie fired off another evil look and quickly stormed away.  As she burst through the doors out into the crisp winter air, a smile spread across her face.  Boy, that felt good, she thought to herself, for the first time in what seems like months, I finally feel like I have some kind of control over my own life!  As she continued on her journey down the walk, she began to relish the self-confident feeling that had begun to wash over her.  Maybe the "poor pitiful me" state that she'd been in since the engagement party wasn't necessarily all it was cracked up to be.

Meanwhile, inside the student center, a nervous Helen was growing increasingly worried.  What if Stephanie followed through on her threat?  What if she did go to Jillian?  Even worse, what if she went to Judith!  Helen was more than a little aware of what a witch Mark's wife could be from stories she'd heard from both Mark and Jillian.  As she bit her lip nervously, she didn't see the shadowy form move up behind her.  Lost in her own thoughts, Helen was completely taken off guard as a mysterious hand grabbed her from behind and covered her mouth to muffle her resulting scream.


THE STOKES MANSION - FOYER

76 Mapleton WayWith an unsteady hand, Judith pushed open the front door and stepped into the foyer.  She was still quite shaken by her earlier conversation with Burt and her unpleasant encounter with Talbot's wife hadn't helped much, either.  Feeling more than a little out of sorts, she pulled off her coat and gloves and carried them over to the closet.  While standing at the door, she heard voices coming from the living room.  Curious, she stood very still and listened closely.  She immediately recognized the voices as Burt and Janet's.  When she heard her name mentioned, she quietly shut the closet door and carefully walked over to the doorway to the living room.  While keeping her presence hidden, she listened very closely.

"Janet, I just don't know how I can make this up to you," she heard Burt say.  "You have to believe that the last thing that I ever wanted to do what hurt you."

Hurt Janet?  What had Burt done?

Janet Stokes"I...I know that," she heard Janet mutter softly.  "I don't think you kept this from me out of cruelty or spite, but I...I don't know if I..."

Judith furrowed her brow slightly.  Surely, they weren't talking about...  No, that was impossible!

"If I'd known from the beginning," Burt continued.  "If I'd known that you and Judith were sisters, things might have been different.  If she had told me about the baby as soon as she'd found out..."

"Oh, Burt," Janet sighed, "there's nothing we can do about any of that now.  We can't go back and change the past."

"I know, but..."  Burt let out a weary sigh.  "This doesn't change how I feel about you.  There has never been a question in my mind about that.  Even knowing about the baby didn't change my love for you."

The baby?  They couldn't be talking about her baby, could they?

"But, Burt, what about Judith?"

Burt Lamont"Your sister is part of my past.  You have to believe that.  I'm not in love with her; I'm in love with you!  You're the only woman I love."

"But...but what about the baby?  What about your baby?  Didn't the baby mean anything to you?"

"Of course it did!"

She knew!  Janet knew about the baby!

"Then how can you..."

"Darling, just because I cared about the baby doesn't mean that I love you any less.  I don't have to love Judith to love that child."

He loved the baby!  He...

Judith Stokes LinfordJudith winced slightly.  Even though Burt admitted to loving the baby that they'd lost, it hadn't changed his feelings for Janet.  Damn her!  How did she find out about the baby?  How did she know?  Why did she have to find out and spoil the one last hold she had over him?

Suddenly, Judith began to feel light headed.  She reached out for the wall to steady herself as her mind began to whirl with memories and images that she couldn't explain.

"Burt is the father of this child.  So, you see, no matter what you might do, he'll always be connected to me.  If you think you can keep us apart forever, you're sadly deluding yourself."

"No!  You can't do this to me!  I won't let you do this to me and Burt!  You're lying!  You are a lying, vengeful, jealous witch!"

"Oh, throw names around all you want to, Janet, but that doesn't change the truth.  I'm carrying Burt's child and that means everything!"

"That means nothing because you're lying!"

"Janet, you know Burt and I had an affair in New York!  You know that this is the truth.  I can tell by the look on your face that you know that what I'm telling you is true.  You don't want to accept it, but you know it's true!"

"No!  You're just trying to keep me and Burt apart!  Just like you tried to keep me and Gordon apart!  You're not happy unless everyone else is as miserable as you are!  Well, I'm not going to let you!"

Janet knew!  Janet knew the truth about the baby because...because...Judith, herself, had told her?  When?  When had this all happened?  Why couldn't she remember?  How long had Janet known and had kept it too herself?  How long had Janet been hiding the truth of her knowledge from Burt?

An unsteady Judith slowly stepped away from the wall that she had propped herself up against during her dizzy spell and tried to compose herself enough to enter the living room and Burt and Janet's conversation.  Just then, she was distracted by the delicate chimes that wafted through the house announcing a visitor at the front door.

Joyce PrestonStill slightly unsteady, she took a deep breath and carefully made her way across the foyer.  Pausing just long enough to massage her temple, her head still spinning, she opened the door.  She was not physically or emotionally prepared for who she found on the other side.

"Hello, Judith," Joyce Preston smiled snidely as she pushed past her and into the foyer, "I hope that you don't mind an impromptu visit from an old and dear friend."



 


TOMORROW

Joyce and Janet come face to face.




 


produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

2001- 2011 Classic Soap Productions