ALBANYVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT - MAIN SQUAD ROOM

Albanyville Police Department"Well, if it ain't my two favorite officers of the law!" Larry Rawlings exclaimed as he walked into the station.  "Any new bits of information about the Lake murder that you'd be willing to give to the press?"

"Beat it, Rawlings," Detective Jim Fitzpatrick muttered sternly as he glanced up from the stack of paperwork on his desk at the slimy reporter.  "There's no story for you here."

"Oh, but there's always a story!" Larry laughed as he walked over to the desk and sat down in an adjacent chair.  "Especially when the case is as interesting as this one."

"Didn't you hear the man?" Officer Russ Leeds asked.  "He said 'beat it'!"

"Ah, I see," Larry grinned slyly as he stretched his arms and leaned back in his seat.  "Albanyville's finest aren't talking because they're no closer to solving this one then they were the day that woman was killed."  His eyes jumped from Jim to Russ and he carefully analyzed their every reaction.  "I guess that working here in this dull city has made you boys soft.  You guys don't know how to really go about investigating a murder!"

"I admit that we don't have a lot of experience with murder cases," Jim replied as he kept his eyes focused on the papers on his desk, "Albanyville is a rather peaceful city, unlike Riverside where they seem to be dragging a body a week out of their side of the river."

Larry Rawlings"Well, I'm sure Albanyville has their own fair share of bodies," Larry laughed.  "It's just that our boys in blue know how to find them."

"Rawlings, we have nothing to say to you!" Russ snapped.

"Okay..." Larry sighed and then paused as an idea popped into his head.  "Boys, I'll make a deal with you..."

"No deals," Jim said firmly, his eyes still focused on his paperwork.

"I'll make a deal with you," Larry continued, completely ignoring the comment.  "I'll leave you boys alone if you'll answer one small question for me."

"Just one question?"  Jim finally popped his head up and eyed Larry curiously.  He was certain that Larry was up to something, but wasn't exactly sure what it might be.  "All right, Rawlings.  One question and then you're outta here."

Larry smiled victoriously.  He knew that he had him hooked.

"What can you boys tell me about the mystery witness?"

"Mystery witness?"  Jim furrowed his brow and rubbed his chin.  "And what 'mystery witness' would you be referring to?"

"Well..."  Larry smiled and leaned forward in his chair until he was nearly eyeball to eyeball with Jim.  "I have it on very good authority that there was a witness at The Grand Sunset Room the night of the Lake murder."

Russ Leeds"There was a room full of witnesses," Russ spoke up, more than a little annoyed with the reporter's intrusion.  "No one saw a thing!  Well, more accurately, no one's saying anything if they did see anything."

"Ah!  But that's where you're wrong."  Larry grinned again.  "I know for a fact that there was a waitress there that night that saw Reginald Callison go into the lounge."

"We already know he was in there!"

"Did you also know that this waitress saw another woman go into the lounge and come back out right before Callison went in?"  Larry paused for a moment and then smiled broadly when he saw that he knew much more about the Lake murder than the police did.

Jim Fitzpatrick"Are you trying to say that there was someone who can state for a fact that there was someone else in that room right before Callison?"  Jim set his pencil down and pushed his papers aside as he leaned forward on the desk giving Larry his full attention.

"Not only did she see the woman go in..."  Larry paused for effect.  "But she can also identify the woman based on what she was wearing."

Jim turned to glance in Russ' direction who was standing close by, nearly dumbfounded by Larry's revelation.  Perhaps the annoying reporter did know more about the Lake murder than they'd given him credit for.  Maybe this was just the break that they'd needed.  Unfortunately, they were also both aware that his information would come with a very high price tag.


JOSEPH HAYNE RAINEY MEMORIAL NEGRO HOSPITAL - CALVIN'S OFFICE

Joseph Hayne Rainey Memorial Negro Hospital"I just can't deal with that woman anymore!" Naomi exclaimed as she burst into the office, her son placed precariously on her hip.

Dr. Calvin Jackson immediately looked up from the report he'd been working on and saw the intense emotions that were being displayed by his sister.  Realizing that he was about to have another ringside seat for one of her tirades, he let out a heavy sigh and resigned himself to the inevitable.

"Who are you talking about?" he asked, knowing full well that the cause of Naomi's apparent frustration was their mother.  "What's happened now?"

"Mamma!  That's who!" she replied and moved further into the office so that she could take a seat next to Calvin's desk.  "That old woman is just impossible."

"Naomi, why don't you just take a deep breath and calm down," he muttered, less than enthusiastic about listening to another one of her rants, "and tell me what happened."

"I can't believe how she just prisses around like she's somebody just because she works for Mrs. Albany.  Why she has to moon over those people is beyond me.  Is she so stupid that she can't see that she's only a maid?"  Naomi paused and rolled her eyes.  "It's just embarrassing!"

"Naomi, you know it's not like that.  Mary Albany and the entire Callison family have been good to Mamma.  They're not like a lot of other people."

"Oh, now don't tell me that you've bought into her fairytale, too!"  She shook her head and stared at him in disbelief.  "I thought that you hated it that Mamma was working for them!  Didn't you just tell me in a letter a few months ago that..."

"Yes, yes, I admit that I got myself a little bent out of shape," he nodded, "but I was wrong.  I thought Mamma would be better off if she were living with me and I were taking care of her.  I couldn't understand her devotion to those people, but...well...Mary Albany and her family aren't like regular employers.  They're friends, too."

Naomi Jackson"I can't believe my own ears!"

"Just accept that Mamma knows what she's doing and that she knows what's best."

"Oh, Mamma always thinks she knows what's best!" Naomi snapped.  "She's always trying to tell me what a horrible life I've made for myself and how everything I do is a mistake!"

"Now, Naomi, you know that's not true," he sighed and hung his head.  She could be so headstrong.

"Yes, it is!  All I've ever wanted is her support, but the only time she'll ever support me is if I do exactly what she wants me to do, letter for letter!  I'm sick of it!  I'm sick of her and I'm sick of that old woman she works for!"

"Mary Albany has been very good to our family," he nodded as he tried to reason with her.  "Besides, you should be grateful to Miss Mary for giving you and the baby a place to stay.  She didn't have to do that, you know."

"Oh, Mamma only talked her into letting me stay there so she could watch my every move!  I swear that woman is like a hawk.  I can't take a breath without her hovering over my shoulder waiting to tell me that I'm doing it wrong!"  Naomi's jaw tightened as she thought about her mother's constant interference.  "I'm just sick of it!  I'm not staying there anymore!"

"Naomi, if you don't stay with Mamma and Miss Mary, then where are you going to go?"  Calvin eyed her curiously as he waited for her to explain her latest half thought out plan.  "You don't have any money.  You don't have a job."

"Well..."  Naomi's expressions softened slightly as she stuck her bottom lip out into a pout.  "You've got that extra room in your house.  It would be nothing to set the crib up in the corner for little Aubrey and..."

"You want to live with me?"  His eyes grew wide with shock and apprehension.  He wasn't sure that kind of living arrangement would be a good idea.  His sister could be quite a whirlwind and he knew that her constant presence in his home would most definitely upset his normal routine.  However, she was his sister and...

"You sound like you don't want to give me a place to stay!" she snapped angrily.  "I guess you think that because you're some big shot doctor now that you're too good for me, too!"

"No, Naomi, that's not it at all," he sighed with a shake of his head.  "It's just that...well..."

"We're family!  I wouldn't think that you'd want your own sister and her baby out on the street!"

"You don't have to be out on the street!" he reminded as he became more and more annoyed with her dramatics.  "Mamma and Miss Mary have given you a perfectly nice place to stay and..."

"I told you that I'm not staying with her anymore!  I'm staying with you!"

Calvin's shoulders slumped in defeat and he sunk back into his chair.  There would be no winning this argument.  That much was certain.

Dr. Calvin Jackson"Okay," he relented with a half-hearted nod, "I'll let you stay with me...on one condition!"

"I shoulda known that there'd be strings," she grumbled.  She paused to take a deep breath and realized that she had to take what she could get.  "What do I have to do?"

"Get a job," he replied flatly.

"Oh, all right," she sighed with a scowl.  "I'll bring my things over tonight and I'll start looking for work tomorrow."  She paused and glared at him.  "Happy now?"

"Well, I guess it'll do," he muttered.

As Calvin hung his head in defeat, Naomi clutched Aubrey close to her chest.  Of course, staying with Calvin and working at some silly job would only be a temporary arrangement.  She couldn't let him know that, however.  Once she'd set her plans into motion, she would have everything that she'd ever wanted and she wouldn't have to rely on him or their mother---and all of their interference in her life---ever again.  She wouldn't need any of them.


SPRINGHILL MANOR - STEPHANIE'S BEDROOM

54 Spring Lake Dr."Stephanie?" Sara Manchester asked tentatively as she knocked lightly on the door.

"Yes?" Stephanie Lake replied as she paused in the process of putting her things away.

"I just...wanted to see...if you were having any trouble settling in," Sara said awkwardly as she walked into the room.  "Are you...finding everything you need?"

"Yes," Stephanie muttered with an equal amount of awkwardness.  "I just brought in the last of my stuff and I've got all of the furniture from the apartment moved into the garage."  She casually eyed the numerous suitcases that she spread throughout the room and let out a weary sigh before turning to look at her cousin.  "Sara, I...I just want to thank you for...giving me a place to stay.  Only until I get on my feet, of course, but..."

"Well," Sara said softly and looked away to avoid Stephanie's eyes, "you're family, no matter what's happened, and I couldn't just let you have no place to go."

"But still!"  Stephanie paused and bit her lip.  "After...after everything that's happened, I'm...a little surprised."

Sara Manchester"Let's not go into that now."  Sara looked away awkwardly.  She was still rather conflicted as to whether allowing Stephanie to move in had been the right decision.  True, she missed the closeness that they'd once shared and she felt horrible for what Stephanie was going through due to her mother's death, but had too much happened?  Were there still too many hard feelings for them to even have only a passing relationship?

Stephanie stared at Sara with her own sense of uneasiness.  She so wanted to be able to make up for the mistakes of her past.  Of course, she'd only persevered with Dane's plans in hopes of sparing Sara the eventual heartache that she knew that a life with Dane would cause.  However, Dane's own twisting of the truth had painted her as the villain---the one responsible for all of the schemes and turmoil.  Would she ever be able make up for things that weren't entirely her fault?

"I...I can't believe that Dane agreed to this," Stephanie muttered and looked away.  "We...don't exactly...have the best history."

"Well, Dane..."  Sara hesitated and bit her lip.  "Dane doesn't know you're here.  I haven't...told him that I asked you to move in."

"You haven't told Dane?"  Stephanie's hand flew up to her mouth which was hanging open in shock.  "Sara!  You have to tell him!  He's going to...to have a fit!  How can he not know that I'm here?  Surely he heard me moving some of my things in last night."

"I...he..." Sara winced and took a deep breath.  "He's a very sound sleeper."  She just couldn't let Stephanie know that the real reason that her husband hadn't heard her was because he hadn't been there!  In fact, he hadn't come home at all the night before---something that was still weighing heavily on Sara's mind.

Stephanie nodded, accepting Sara's lie, and looked up to eye her cousin carefully.  "Do you...think that we'll ever be...close like we used to be?  Do you think that we can..."

"I...I don't know," Sara muttered.  "I don't know if things can ever...go back to the way they were.  But...well...you're still family and I'm going to help you out---just until you can get back on your feet."  She bit her lip again and nervously looked away.  "Um...I really have some things to take care of.  If you...need anything, just...let me or Helga know."

And then Sara quickly walked out of the room, shutting the door behind her leaving Stephanie alone in her new home.

Stephanie let out a weary sigh and flopped herself down onto her bed.  So much had happened, so much had changed.  As she casually glanced around her room, she thought about how uncomfortable it would be to live under the same roof as Dane and about what kind of blow up would happen when he finally learned about her new living arrangements.  With a nod of her head, Stephanie decided that her time at Springhill Manor needed to be as short-lived as possible.  She had to get her finances in order and get out from under Dane's roof.  However, she quickly realized that she also had to avoid Dane at all costs.  The last thing she needed was to have unpleasant run-ins with Dane at every turn.

Stephanie LakeGlancing down at the morning edition of The Daily Post that lay on the edge of the bed, she immediately saw one of the headlines on the front page---"Callison-Stokes Wedding Set for Today!"---and sighed deeply.  It was Reginald and Jillian's wedding day---the two people that she could directly trace the source of most of her problems to.  If it hadn't been for Reginald and Jillian's engagement, she would never have found herself in alliance with Dane to separate them and she would never have found herself on the receiving end of Clark and Helen's wicked schemes.

Patterson had been so insistent on her changing her outlook on life and her tactics for achieving happiness.  At one time she'd thought that Reginald was the only thing that could make her happy and that using any means necessary was justifiable.  Now, however....

She so wanted to make Patterson proud of her, but sometimes it could be so difficult staying on her new path.  Her confrontation with Helen in which she'd had the upper hand had left Stephanie feeling powerful and in control for the first time in months.  She'd reveled in that feeling, yet later felt awkward for having enjoyed the moment because that reaction seemed like something that Paddy wouldn't have appreciated.  He'd been so supportive of her and he believed in her, something that no one had ever done before.  She owed it to him to be on her best behavior and stick to the straight and narrow.  But, yet...

Stephanie glanced down at the newspaper again and eyed the pictures of Reginald and Jillian carefully.  Their wedding day.  As a determined look filled her eyes, she made a slight nod of her head before standing and reaching for her coat.  It was Reginald and Jillian's wedding day and there was something that she had---no, needed---to do.



 


TOMORROW

The Callison family comes together.




 


produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

2001- 2011 Classic Soap Productions