SPRING LAKE

Spring Lake"You're turning into quite the horsewoman," Burt Lamont commented as he road his horse, Trouble, alongside his fiancée, Janet Stokes, who was on her own horse, Triumph.  "Those lessons I've been giving you have paid off."

"I never knew how refreshing and relaxing being on a horse could be."  She smiled as she road along the path with the sun beaming on her face.  "It was a good idea to take the horses out early before it got too hot."

"Well, with the way this heat's been, it's not too smart doing anything during the heat of the day."  He maneuvered Trouble up to the edge of the lake and stopped before climbing down so that he could lead him over for a drink.  Janet immediately followed suit.

"I'd hoped that I'd have caught Randy at home this morning," she began carefully.  "I can't believe that he was already up and out of the house so early."

"I told him you were coming over to ride last night," Burt explained cautiously, trying to put it in a way that wouldn't upset her.

Janet Stokes"So he knew I was coming and left early so he wouldn't have to see me."  She nodded with the realization that her suddenly strained relationship with his brother wasn't showing any signs of improving.  "Oh, Burt, how can I get through to him?  How can I make him see that I'm not a bad person just because my last name is Stokes?"

"I wish I knew," he sighed and sat down on a rock facing the lake.  "I've been trying to reason with him for weeks now and he just won't listen."

"I can't believe that he's having such a hard time with this."  Janet sat down on her own rock and rested her chin in her hand.  "I thought that he liked me.  We've always gotten along before.  I mean, he's got plenty of reasons to disapprove of me.   I don't exactly have the most immaculate history."  She thought about her hospitalization for a mental break after her accidental murder of Gordon Scott.  A murder, incidentally, that she could barely even remember.  "Why has his attitude changed, now, all of a sudden."

"Randy's attitude has nothing to do with you," Burt pointed out.  "It's more to do with the fact that Landon Callison's my real father.  I could be marrying Ginger Rogers and he'd still have the same reaction.  It's not you.  He's just scared."

"Scared?  Scared of what?"

Burt Lamont"That you're going to take me away from him," he explained as he picked up a stone so that he could skip it across the surface of the lake.  "Pa ran out on us and Ma died and then he found out that we didn't have the same father....  This has all been a lot for us to deal with.  I'm all he's got left and I think he's terrified that with me actually being a Callison and getting married -- to anyone, not just you -- he's going to be left on his own."

"There's got to be some way to change his mind."  She began to go over ideas in her head of how to win Burt's brother over to her side.  "Somehow, we've got to make him realize that us being married doesn't change the relationship you have with him.  After all, you're still as much his brother as you were before you found out about Landon."

"I know that and you know that, but Randy just can't see that, right now."  Burt leaned back on his elbows and sighed.  "He'll come around, eventually, but he's got to do it in his own time.  That's one of the reasons I don't want to rush this wedding.  It has nothing to do with you.  We've just got to give him time to adjust and understand."

"But...what if he never adjusts?  What if he never approves of us getting married?"  Janet began to feel her heart flutter with panic and she grabbed hold of Burt's hand tightly as if she were petrified of losing him.  "Does that mean we'll never be able to get married?"

Burt sat in silence, unsure of how to answer.  However, his lack of a response told Janet everything she needed to know.  As a look of worry and fear filled her eyes, she realized that she needed to figure out some way of winning Randy back over to her side.  She had to convince him to support Burt's marriage to her before it was too late.  There just had to be a way.


THE STOKES MANSION - FOYER

76 Mapleton Way"Ruby!  Where's my bag?" Dr. Fred Rutherford called out as he hurried down the stairs.  "I need my bag!  I'm late for the hospital!"

"Your bag is exactly where you left it last night," Ruby Thomas said as she walked up to the foot of the stairs and glared at him, "in your office."

"Well, don't just stand there, get it!"  He barked angrily.  "I don't have time to waste standing around waiting for you to get yourself in gear!"

As Ruby stormed off to retrieve Fred's medical bag, Leticia Rutherford walked in from the living room to see what the commotion was about.

"Darling, what's going on?  What's wrong?  Why were you shouting at Ruby?"

"That girl is utterly and totally incompetent," he grumbled before leaning down to kiss his wife on the cheek.  "It's like pulling teeth to get her to do even the simplest task."

Leticia Stokes Rutherford"I think you're being too hard on her."  She reached up to brush a speck of lint off of his doctor's jacket.  "I've never had a single problem with her.  She's always done wonderful work.  In fact, I've got to say that she's one of the best maids I've ever had.  I don't know what I'd do without her.  She's come a long way from when she first started."

"Well, you might not have a problem with her, but...."

"Here you go, Dr. Rutherford," Ruby spoke up as she hurried back into the room, the doctor's bag in tow.

"It's about time!" he turned to her and snapped.  "If it was so easy to find, why did it take you so long?"

"Fred!" Leticia chastised sternly, a look of shock in her eyes.  After taking a deep breath, she lowered her voice so she could address him privately.  "I don't think that this is the way to deal with the servants.  We've always believed in treating our help with courtesy and respect.  I don't care who they are."

"And that's part of the problem.  You give them too much courtesy.  They think they can get away with anything!"

"Fred, would you keep your voice down?"  She grabbed his arm and pulled him off to the side.  "Ruby's still in the room and she'll hear you."

"And?"

Ruby Thomas"Actually, Mrs. Rutherford, I have some chores to take care of," Ruby spoke up as she again glared at Fred.  "Let me leave you two alone so you can have some privacy."

"I want those shirts I gave you ironed before I get home!" Fred ordered as Ruby disappeared up the stairs and then turned his attention back to his wife.  "Did you see that?  Did you see the look she gave me?  That girl needs to be taught some respect!"

"Yes, dear, I saw that look," Leticia nodded, "and if were in her shoes, I'd probably have given you the exact same look myself."

="You?  In her shoes?"  He let out a hearty laugh.  "Don't lower yourself to her level, even in theory."  As the grandfather clock in the corner struck the hour, Fred realized that he was running even later than before.  "Look, we'll discuss this when I get home.  I can't be late for my shift or Dr. Campbell will have my hide."  Of course, he couldn't tell her that he'd left early on several shifts, already, to make clandestine rendezvous with nurse Donna Allison.

"All right ,dear," Leticia said and leaned in to give him a kiss good-bye.  "Have a good day at work."

As Leticia walked back into the living room, Fred headed for the door.  However, as soon as he opened it to leave, he collided with a delivery man who was standing right outside, preparing to ring the bell.

"Oh, I'm sorry," the young man said in embarrassment and surprise.

Dr. Fred Rutherford"Can I help you?"

"I'm just here to deliver a package to a Dr. Fred Rutherford."  The delivery man pulled out the large envelope he'd had tucked under his arm.  "You wouldn't happen to be him, would you?"

"Yes, that's me."  Fred eyed the envelope curiously.  He hadn't been expecting a delivery and wondered what it was.

"Well, then, if you'll sign here, I'll leave this with you and I'll be on my way."  He held out a clipboard for Fred to take.

Fred hurriedly scribbled his signature on the designated line and shoved the clipboard back in the delivery man's hand along with a small tip and sent him on his way.  Once the man had gotten back in his car and disappeared down the drive, Fred headed to his own car so that he could sit down and examine the mysterious envelope.

He ripped the envelope open and slipped out a small stack of papers that were completely unrecognizable.  After he quickly scanned the documents, his eyes grew wide with shock and horror when he realized exactly what they were -- the file on him that Stephen Lake had!

Fred shook his head in confusion.  He clearly remembered that Sammy Benedict had told him that he'd destroyed all of Lake's files.  If so, how had this one survived?  Fred wasn't sure, but a quick read of the enclosed letter told him more than he needed to know...

 

Dr. Rutherford, as you see, I know a great deal about you.  I know exactly what you've done and what you've been up to.  If you want to make sure that no one else finds out this information, you'll readily meet my demands.


ALBANYVILLE GENERAL HOSPITAL - THIRD FLOOR MEETING ROOM

Albanyville General Hospital"It was so good to see you both here again today," Corinne Campbell smiled as she gathered up her things.  "The auxiliary is always looking for new, quality members."

"That's exactly what I told Jillian," Francis Callison nodded.  "And I think that this organization is a wonderful thing for a young wife to get involved in."

"Well, actually, we've only been coming to check things out."  Jillian nodded to her best friend, Lorraine Davis.  "I don't think either one of us is ready to actually become members, yet."

"That's understandable," Corinne commented.  "Despite the wonderful work that we do for charity, we are a rather exclusive organization.  Only the finest members of society and women with the most important husbands are even considered for membership.  This is as much a chance for you to get to know us as it is for us to get to know you."  She paused and smiled warmly.  "Of course, with your mother-in-law's high recommendation, I'm sure you'll have no trouble getting the required votes for admission."

"Actually, we're not really sure that we...."

Corinne Campbell"And, Mrs. Davis, it's been a pleasure to have you sit in on our meetings, too.  It's not often that we allow outsiders to attend."

"O-outsiders?" Lorraine stammered awkwardly as she quickly glanced in Jillian's direction.

"What Corinne meant to say," Francis spoke up, "is that membership is usually only available on recommendation only.  We weren't expecting you to come with Jillian."  She smiled sweetly in Lorraine's direction.  "But I'm glad you came.  I'd actually considered inviting you some time ago, but I didn't realize that you were interested."

"You know, Francis, dear, if Jillian and Mrs. Davis join our auxiliary, that will mean bonus points for you when it comes time to vote for member of the year."

Francis Callison"Well, I didn't invite Jillian to gain points or win an award," Francis explained.  "I simply thought that the work we do would be a wonderful experience for her."

"Of course," Corinne nodded.

Lorraine Davis"When are we leaving?" Lorraine whispered to Jillian.  "I don't...feel like I belong here."

"Nonsense," Jillian replied softly as she continued to smile and nod while half-listening to Corinne.  "You belong here just as much as I do -- not that that's saying much."

"Francis, you did take care of those details for the 4th of July Ball, didn't you?" Corinne said as she turned to her.  "Time's running out and we need to get everything finalized."

"I told you that I was taking care of it, Corinne.  I've done everything that you asked me to."

The quartet of ladies slowly walked out of the conference room and into the hallway.

"That's good," Corinne nodded.  "I have to confess that I was a little worried.  You've had a lot on your plate, lately."  Her attention was immediately drawn to the sight of her husband, Dr. Talbot Campbell, as he walked down the hallway in their direction.  "Talbot, darling!" she called out.  "I was hoping I'd be able to see you today."

"I'm sure you were," he muttered half under his breath.  "Actually, I'm on my way to a meeting, but if you've got a moment."

"Yes, dear, of course," Corinne smiled.  "I've always got time for my wonderful husband."

Dr. Talbot Campbell"I wasn't talking to you," Talbot said coolly.  "I was talking to Jillian."

"Me?"  Her eyes grew wide with surprise.  "What do you want to talk to me about?"

"I've been trying to call you this morning, but you weren't home."  He walked over and opened the door to the conference room and motioned for Jillian to step back inside.  "I really need to talk to you in private."

"A-all right," she stammered awkwardly as she glanced to both Francis and Lorraine.

"I need to get home, anyway," Lorraine said softly.  "There's only so much time I can stand to be away from Mikey."

After saying her farewells to both Francis and Lorraine, Jillian stepped into the room.  Talbot followed close behind her -- saying nothing to his wife -- and closed the door.

"Dr. Campbell, what's this all about?" Jillian asked with concern.  "What's so important that you've been trying to get in touch with me?"

"Do you remember those tests you had done before the wedding?"

Jillian Stokes Callison"Yes," she nodded.  "Both Reginald and I had complete physicals."  She froze as her eyes filled with horror.  "There's...nothing wrong with him, is there?  He's not sick is he?"

"No, Jillian, your husband is the picture of perfect health."

"Then what..."  Her hand flew up to her mouth when she realized that if he wasn't referring to Reginald, then he was referring to her.  "Oh, my god," she gasped.  "What's wrong?  What did those tests show?  Am I sick?"

"No, you're not sick," Talbot laughed.  "And nothing's wrong with you.  Granted, I'm sure that you'll think the timing isn't exactly the best, but...."

"Dr. Campbell, if I'm not sick, then what are you talking about?"

"Jillian, I have the pleasure of telling you...."  He paused and took a deep breath, punctuated by a smile.  "That you and your husband are going to have a baby." 




NEXT TIME

Much to Naomi's horror, Ruby gets an ear full.





produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

©2001- 2011 Classic Soap Productions