For Now and Forever
EPISODE #138 (Wednesday,
REGINALD & JILLIAN'S HOME - FRONT PORCH
"As much as I loved Hawaii, it's good to be home," Reginald Callison sighed as he carried the suitcases up the walk.
"Home," his new wife, Jillian, smiled and stopped to look at their house, a wedding gift from his parents. "We're really home."
"Yes, we are." He carried the suitcases up the front steps and onto the porch before setting them down so that he could fish the keys out of his pocket. "I still can't believe that Mom and Dad gave us this house and bought that one out by the lake."
"You know, dear, all my life I've dreamed of having a house that was mine." She clasped her hands together tightly as she thought of her girlhood fantasies. "Growing up in Manhattan, we lived in a large penthouse apartment. We didn't have a back yard or a front porch. We had a lobby and an elevator."
"Well, you've got a house, now." He stuck the key into the lock, but paused when he noticed a slight change on the mailbox -- clearly the handiwork of his mother. "I think Mom's been working a little overtime while we've been gone." He nodded towards the box.
"Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Callison," Jillian read with delighted surprise. "She has been busy!" She turned and smiled at him before wrapping her arms around him. "Have I told you how happy I am to be your wife?"
"Only about a million times since the ceremony," he laughed and then unlocked the door before pushing it open. "And nothing would make me happier than hearing you say it a million more."
Jillian started to walk into the house, but Reginald quickly put his hand on her shoulder so that he could gently hold her back.
"Ah!" he cautioned. "We have to do this properly, Mrs. Callison."
"Yes, sir, Mr. Callison!"
And, with that, he scooped her up into his arms and carried her over the threshold of their new old home.
THE MONROE HOME - LIVING ROOM
"Hello, everybody!" Patterson Monroe called out as he flung the door open and carried his new wife, Stephanie, into the house. "We're home!"
"Paddy!" Mrs. Oliver, the Monroe housekeeper, cried out with excitement. "You just give me those things and I'll put them away for you and..."
"Oh, just leave them there, Mrs. Oliver," he laughed as he carried the bags into the living room and sat them down by the door. "We've got plenty of time to worry about unpacking, don't we, dear?"
"All the time in the world," Stephanie smiled sweetly before giving him a tender kiss on the cheek.
"It's good to see you both home and so happy," Lorraine Davis spoke up as she walked into the room from the kitchen -- young Todd Monroe trailing along behind her -- carrying a tray of cold drinks. "It looks like you had a good time."
"What are you doing here?" Stephanie asked coolly as she glared at Lorraine.
"'Raine came over to play with me," Todd explained as he held his toy plane out and ran around the room with it as if it were flying.
"I...hope that's okay." Lorraine looked from Stephanie to Patterson. "I didn't know that you two were planning on coming back today until Mrs. Oliver told me."
"Of course, it's okay." Patterson walked over to Lorraine so that he could give her a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. "Todd loves seeing you."
Meanwhile, behind Patterson and out of his line of sight, Stephanie tightly folded her arms across her chest and silently seethed.
"It's okay with you, isn't it, Stephanie?" Lorraine eyed her carefully. "I hope I haven't...spoiled any plans you had for your homecoming."
"We didn't have any plans. Just recuperating from the drive from Davenport." Patterson sat down on the couch and lifted Todd up and into his lap before tousling the little boy's hair. "You know that anytime you want to stop by and see Todd is fine with us. He thinks the world of you."
"And I think the world of him." Lorraine knelt down by the couch and kissed Todd on his forehead.
"But, maybe you should call first, next time." Stephanie quickly walked over to the couch and sat down next to her husband, taking his hand into hers. "I'm sure that things are gonna be quite out of sorts around here for the next few weeks as we all get used to me living here."
"I understand." Lorraine sat down on the couch on the opposite side of Patterson. "I remember when Douglas and I got married. It was quite an adjustment. Marriage is a big step and full of a lot of responsibility." She casually glanced over at Stephanie. "But, I suppose that you've already thought about that, haven't you?"
Stephanie sat in silence, her jaw tightening.
"We're going to be just fine," Patterson smiled as he wrapped his arm around his wife and pulled her closer. "Now that Stephanie and I are married and we've all become a family. I don't think we're gonna have any trouble getting used to things."
Despite the security that Patterson's arms always brought her, Stephanie couldn't help but glare at Lorraine. All of her good wishes and heartfelt advice didn't fool her. Stephanie knew that Lorraine far from approved of their marriage and she suspected that it wouldn't be long before Lorraine was trying to convince Patterson that he'd made a horrible mistake. Taking a deep breath, Stephanie vowed that that was something that she couldn't allow Lorraine to do.
REGINALD & JILLIAN'S HOME - FOYER
"Well, that takes care of that," Jillian sighed as she came down the stairs. "Everything's unpacked and put away. I can't believe that all of my things are already here."
"Looks like our mothers have been busy," Reginald laughed. "They sure did a good job of keeping this all a secret from us."
As Jillian walked into the living room, her eyes immediately went to the beautifully framed pictures that sat on the mantle above the fireplace.
"Oh, my!" she exclaimed as she walked over to the mantle and picked up one of a series of pictures of their wedding. "Look at all of these pictures!"
"That's my mother, for you," he grinned. "I swear she had Dad ordered Artie to take at least 50 rolls of film to the wedding."
Just then, the conversation was interrupted with the light tinkling chimes of the doorbell.
"Let me get that." Reginald walked out of the living room and towards the front door.
"Wait for me!" Jillian laughed. "This is going to be our very first guest in our own house and I want to be there for...."
"Welcome home!" Francis Callison exclaimed, her arms full of packages, as her son opened the door. "I hope I'm not barging in."
"Mom, you could never barge in." He quickly began to help her with the myriad of boxes and bags she was carrying. "What is all of this stuff?"
"Just a few things to help you get settled in." Francis turned her attention to Jillian who was standing in the doorway of the living room. "Oh, Jillian, how do you like it? I've been working nearly non-stop since you two left to get everything in order."
"It's wonderful, Mother Callison," Jillian replied as she rushed over and hugged her mother-in-law tightly. "You really shouldn't have gone to so much trouble."
"Trouble? It wasn't any trouble. In fact, it was my pleasure. After all, how often does my oldest son get married?"
"It better be only once," Jillian quipped as she cocked an eyebrow and gave her husband a sideways glance.
"Then once it is!" he agreed with enthusiasm. "That is unless you want to make us getting married an annual event."
"Oh, please!" Francis laughed. "It was difficult enough pulling of this wedding. Let's not get carried away."
"By the way," Reginald eyed his mother curiously, "how did you know we were back? Our plane just landed a few hours ago." He pondered his own question until the answer -- which should have been more than a little obvious -- struck him. "Mrs. Fielding across the street!" He then turned to Jillian and whispered slyly, "You've got to be careful. She's got spies everywhere."
"I do not have spies, young man," Francis corrected. "And Mrs. Fielding only happened to be watering her begonias when she saw you two pull in. Naturally, she phoned me right away and I came over as soon as I knew you'd both had a chance to recover from your flight. We've still got a lot of work to do."
"Work?" Jillian furrowed her brow as she turned to shake her head at Reginald, not sure she knew what Francis was talking about.
"Yes, dear," Francis laughed as she walked into the living room. "We've got to finish getting this house in order and we've got to start setting up interviews for a housekeeper and...."
"I...I don't really think that's going to be necessary," Jillian interrupted. "We don't need a housekeeper."
"You see, Mom, Jillian is determined to be the perfect housewife," Reginald explained. "She wants to do it all by herself and she doesn't want any help."
"So, no housekeeper." Jillian eyed Francis sternly.
"Dear, I don't think you understand how difficult it can be to set up housekeeping." Francis took her daughter-in-law by the hand and led her to the sofa where she could sit her down and try to reason with her. "There are things to buy and things to organize and schedules to set up." She paused to make sure Jillian was listening to her. "There's a lot to it. My mother taught me a lot of stuff growing up, but I still discovered that I needed help. Hannah's been with us ever since."
"Honestly, I appreciate your concern," Jillian smiled warmly, "but this is something I want to do for myself. I know that growing up in Manhattan hasn't exactly given me much opportunity to learn a lot of the things that I probably need to know, but I'm a quick study." She turned to look at Reginald. "Besides, how hard can it be to wash dishes, cook dinner, and do the laundry?"
Francis looked up at her son and they booth shook their heads simultaneously. Neither one of them doubted that Jillian couldn't do anything she set her mind on nor did they think she was incapable of learning. However, they did know that it was going to be much, much tougher than Jillian even came close to anticipating.
CALLISON PUBLICATIONS - CHARLES'S OFFICE
"Dad, are you busy?" Trevor Callison asked as he rapped lightly on the door. "I need...to talk to you about something."
"Come in. Come in." Charles Callison waved his son into the room as he continued to go over the report he'd been working on. "What is it? What do you want to talk to me about?"
Trevor stood silently in front of the desk for a moment before quickly taking a seat in one of the large chairs. "Dad, I...wanted to ask you if the detective has come up with any leads about Grace."
"Detective?" Charles looked up from his desk and furrowed his brow as he tried to remember what Trevor was talking about. "Oh, yes! That!"
"Have you heard from him?"
"Um...yes, actually, I have," Charles replied as he closed the file and slipped it into the top draw of his desk before turning his full attention to his son.
"Nothing," Charles explained and then slowly rose from his seat so that he could walk around to the front of his desk.
"Nothing? What do you mean?" Trevor shook his head in disbelief. "We've had that detective searching for Grace for weeks, now! I would've thought that he'd at least found something."
"It's not as easy as that," Charles began to explain. "If someone has disappeared and wants to stay that way, there are any number of ways to cover your tracks. He hasn't found anything that might give him an idea where she is."
"But he's a detective! He's supposed to be able to find people!" Trevor jumped up out of his seat and began to nervously pace around the office. "Dad, we've got to find her!"
"Son, maybe you should rethink this." Charles leaned back against the edge of his desk as his eyes followed Trevor around the room. "Maybe it would be best for everyone if you just gave up on this."
"Give up? You want me to just give up?"
"Yes, I do," Charles nodded. "Forget about Grace. Move on with your life. After all, it's what she wanted you to do."
"I can't -- I won't -- give up until I find her!" Trevor shouted angrily. "I don't care how much it costs or how much time it takes. We're paying that detective to find Grace and he's going to find her one way or another!"
"Um, excuse me," Douglas Davis spoke up hesitantly as he pushed the office door open. "Charles, I hope you don't mind, but I think we had a meeting scheduled."
"Oh, yes, of course." Charles motioned for him to come into the room as he simultaneously gave his son a stern look of warning.
"I...hope you'll forgive me, but the door wasn't completely closed." Douglas walked over to the desk and set down his briefcase before turning to look at Trevor. "Could I ask what you two were arguing about?"
Trevor's eyes darted to his father as he became filled with a sense of dread. Douglas had proven to be a major stumbling block in his search for Grace -- even more so than his own father. Silently, Trevor feared that if Douglas were aware of the lengths to which he'd gone in his search, he might fix it so that he'd never see Grace again.
THE MONROE HOME - LIVING ROOM
"Now, have you been a good boy while Stephanie and I were away?" Patterson asked as he held Todd in his lap.
"He was a very good boy," Lorraine smiled. "I stopped in and checked on him almost everyday."
"Lorraine did wonders for Todd's spirits while you were gone," Mrs. Oliver spoke up as she brought a fresh pitcher of tea in from the kitchen so that she could refill their glasses. "She even bought him a new toy train."
"A toy train?" Patterson looked at his little brother with over-exaggerated surprise for the child's benefit. "Lorraine, you really shouldn't have. You're going to spoil him."
"Yes, Lorraine, you shouldn't have," Stephanie grumbled under her breath so that neither one of them could hear.
"Well, Paddy, Todd's birthday is coming up and I'd tucked it away for that...." She paused and looked at Todd and smiled. "But I just couldn't wait."
"Yeah, Paddy!" Todd exclaimed as he jumped up out of his lap and grabbed his hand. "It's so neat! Come look!"
"Okay, Todd, I'm coming," he laughed as Todd kept a tight grip on his hand and drug him towards the stairs. "Girls, I'm going to check out this neat train and I'll be back down in a bit." He paused as his eyes darted from Lorraine to Stephanie. "You two have a nice talk while I'm gone."
Stephanie sat in silence on the sofa until Paddy had gone upstairs and was clearly out of hearing range. "What the devil do you think you're doing?" she asked angrily.
"What?" Lorraine asked in shock. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"You most certainly do know what I'm talking about!"
"Stephanie, I really don't think you need to use that tone," Mrs. Oliver spoke up.
"If you'll excuse us," Stephanie glared at the housekeeper. "I'd like to speak with Lorraine in private."
"As you wish."
As Mrs. Oliver disappeared into the kitchen, Stephanie returned her focus to Lorraine. "Who do you think you are coming over here every day and buying Todd presents like that?"
"Stephanie, I think you're making too much out of this."
"Oh, I'm sure you do," she snapped. "Why can't you mind your own business?"
"Excuse me?" Lorraine's eyes grew wide with surprise.
"You heard me!"
"I'll have you know that Todd is like a little brother to me. He's like the brother I never had!" Lorraine quickly found her own temper starting to rise. Who the devil did Stephanie think she was, anyway? "I care about that little boy very much."
"I care about him, too!"
"Oh, you only care about him because he's Paddy's brother and you have to!" Lorraine leaned forward and stared Stephanie right in the eyes. "I care about him because he's a wonderful little boy who's been through entirely too much in his life. Who do you think was there when their parents died? Me! Who do you think held Todd's hand during the memorial service? Me! Before Mikey was born I promised Todd that I would never leave him and that's a promise I intend on keeping."
"That was before Paddy and I got married," Stephanie pointed out bluntly. "Paddy's my husband, now, and Todd's my responsibility. I appreciate everything you've done for him, so far, but you're not needed, anymore."
"Your responsibility?" Lorraine couldn't resist the urge to laugh. "Stephanie, in case you've forgotten, Todd doesn't like you. What makes you think that you're going to have any sort of influence over him?"
"Well, I would if you'd just butt out!"
"That's never going to happen," Lorraine responded firmly. "I care about that boy very much and there's not anybody in the world who's going to stop me from caring about him. And that includes you!"
CALLISON PUBLICATIONS - CHARLES'S OFFICE
"We're just...talking about some business matters," Trevor explained as he searched for an explanation. "Personal business."
"I thought I distinctively heard you mention my sister's name." Douglas eyed Trevor suspiciously.
"Yes, I mentioned Grace," Charles confessed despite a cautionary look from his son. "I was telling Trevor that it would be a good idea to put her in his past."
"I think you're father is giving you good advice." Douglas kept his eyes locked on Trevor. "Forget Grace. Put her in your past and move on. Stop mooning over her. It's not doing you any good."
"I know that!" Trevor's hands balled up into fists as his frustration started to get to him. "I know that sitting around here worrying about her and wondering if she's okay isn't doing me any good! But what else can I do? Douglas, I love her. You know that."
"Then love her enough to let her go." He grabbed Trevor by the shoulders and shook him in hopes of forcing him to listen to reason.
Trevor fell silent and pulled away from Douglas, unable to look at him.
"Now what's this I heard about a detective?" Douglas stood and stared at Trevor, but when no answer came, he turned to look at Charles. "I know I heard you mention a detective before I came in."
"You misunderstood," Trevor muttered, his back to Douglas. "Dad and I were talking about a story I'm working on for The Post."
"But I thought you said you were discussing personal business."
"Look, you two have a meeting to get to and I've got to run a few errands before lunch." Trevor hurriedly headed for the door.
"Trevor, I'm not done talking to you!" Douglas shouted as he followed along behind him.
"Douglas!" Charles spoke up. "Just let him go."
"Why can't I get him to listen?" Douglas asked with a sigh as he shut the office door and walked back over to the desk. "Why can't I make him understand?"
"I've been trying to do that for months, now." Charles walked around to the back of his desk and sat down in his chair. "He's so obsessed with Grace that I don't think he can concentrate on anything else."
"So, that was what you two were talking about, wasn't it?"
Charles stopped and inhaled deeply, unsure whether to reveal the exact nature of their conversation.
"Never mind," Douglas muttered as he slumped down into one of the large chairs. "You don't have to say anything. Your silence is all I need to hear."
"Douglas, Trevor loves Grace. He really loves her." Charles leaned forward onto his desk and looked intently at Douglas. "I don't understand why you're being so secretive about all of this."
"No, you don't understand," he sighed and looked down out his hands. "No one would understand." After several long moments, he looked up at Charles and took a deep breath. "Tell me exactly what you two were talking about."
"Tell me." Douglas leaned forward. "I want to know exactly what Trevor is up to concerning my sister and I want to know now!"
TO BE CONTINUED
Dane is a tattletale.
For Now and Forever
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