produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

EPISODE #131 (Monday, 11/11/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
Same Day
June 1936 - Evening


63 Mapleton WayJanet StokesJanet Stokes's lower lip trembled slightly as she thought about her role in the loss of Judith and Burt's child and of how she'd struggled for months to keep it a secret.  True, for the longest time she hadn't remembered what had actually happened that night, but once she had, she knew it would be something that Burt could never forgive her for.  However, Janet hated keeping secrets from Burt.  After all, secrets had been what had caused them the most trouble.

She thought about Charles Callison's toast concerning new beginnings.  Maybe this night would be a new beginning for Burt and Janet, as well.  Maybe it was time to finally tell Burt the truth and weather the fallout from it.  If he truly loved her as much as he said -- and Janet believed that he did -- he'd be able to understand and, in time, forgive her.  However, Burt sounded more urgent in his need to tell her something.  The truth had waited for months.  It could wait a few moments more.

"All right," she said as she gazed deeply into his eyes.  "What is it?  What do you want tell me?"

"Well, actually...."  Burt Lamont smiled slyly and slipped his hand into his pocket.  "It's something that I want to ask you.  See, this wedding of new beginnings got me thinking."

Janet cocked her head slightly as she tried to figure out what Burt was talking about.  Her questions were answered in moments as he pulled a tiny velvet box out of his pocket and held it out in front of her.

"I love you, Janet Stokes," he said softly and then pulled the box open to reveal a beautiful, delicate diamond ring.  "Will you marry me?" 

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63 Mapleton Way"Get off me!" Joyce Preston cried out in disgust as she held a collapsed Judith Linford in her arms.  "Do you hear me, you witch?  I said, 'get off!'"  She stopped for a moment and waited for a response from Judith, but when only silence came, Joyce immediately grew alarmed.  "Judith?  Judith?  Are you...all right?"

"" Judith stammered as she slowly regained consciousness and struggled to focus her eyes and regain her footing.  "I...must have...fainted."

"Always have to put on your best dramatic show, don't you?"  Joyce eyed her rival carefully as she brushed out the skirt of her gown and tired to compose herself.

Judith, meanwhile, staggered over to the railing and grabbed onto it firmly in an attempt to steady herself.

Joyce Preston"Are you sure you're all right?" Joyce asked again.  "You're looking a little green."

"If I didn't know better, I'd say you were worried about me."

"The only thing I'm worried about is that something will happen to you before I get my chance to make you pay for everything you've done to me."  Joyce walked up behind Judith and leaned closer so that she could speak directly into her ear.  "That would take all the fun out of it."

"I-I'm sure it would," Judith muttered, only half listening to her.

"If I were you, I'd watch my step.  You just never know when your time is going to come."

"I won't let you do this!  I won't let you ruin my life like you've always tried to ruin my life!"

Judith Stokes Linford"No, you...really don't."  Judith's eyes glazed over with confused anger as she stared down at the partiers and looked for two guests in particular.

"Well, it's been lovely catching up on old times with you, dear," Joyce laughed, "but I really need to get back to my family."  She headed for the stairs, but before she took the first step, she turned towards Judith one last time.  "Just remember what I said.  Your time is coming."

As Joyce descended the staircase, Judith's mind quickly moved onto other things.  Joyce and her inane threats meant nothing to Judith, at the moment.  She had more pressing things to take care of.  Namely finding Burt and Janet.  There were a few things that she needed to ask her dear sister about the night she fell.


63 Mapleton Way"M-marry you?" Janet gasped in shock.  "You're...asking me to marry you?"

"I think that's what I said," Burt laughed with amusement.  "Janet, dear, I love you so much.  I want to spend the rest of my life with you.  Would you do me the honor of agreeing to be my wife?"

"Oh, darling, yes!  Yes, I'll marry you."  She flew into his arms and kissed him long and tenderly.  "You have no idea how long I've wanted to hear that question.  I...think that I've loved you almost from the moment I met you."

Burt Lamont"I feel the same way."  He took her hand into his and carefully slipped the ring onto her finger.  "Today is truly the start of new beginnings.  Not only with Reginald and Jillian, but it's going to be a new beginning for us, as well."

"Yes, it is, isn't it?"  She held out her hand and admired the diamond ring on her finger as it sparkled in the moonlight.

"We're going to put everything that's happened in the past and move on."  He wrapped his arms around her tightly and pulled her close.  "Judith can't touch us, now.  That horrible ordeal you went through with Gordon Scott is a thing of the past.  We can let all of that go and focus on what really matters -- us.  I love you and nothing is ever going to change that."

Janet StokesAs she felt his arms around her, Janet smiled.  However, her smile quickly faded when she thought about how the past couldn't be left behind quite so easily.  There was still something that she was keeping from him -- something that she didn't want to tell him, but knew that she had to.  But not now.

Burt had professed his love and proposed marriage to her.  She couldn't just blurt out that she was the one responsible for the loss of his child with Judith.  She couldn't tell him that, in a brief moment where she'd gone out of her head, she'd pushed her own sister down the stairs.  She finally had everything that she'd ever dreamed of.  Telling Burt the truth would destroy him -- and her.  No, she couldn't tell him.  Not now.  Not ever.