THE DAVIS HOME - KITCHEN
that's a good boy," Lorraine Davis cooed as she cradled her infant son in
her arm while she continued working on the evening's dinner. She looked down
at him -- completely absorbed in the task of taking milk from his bottle -- and
If someone had told her months ago how much
her life would truly change with the birth of her baby, she wouldn't have been
able to understand the true magnitude of those words of wisdom. Of course,
she knew that having a baby would result in a whole world of new
responsibilities and chores, but she never realized exactly how much joy would
come out of those new tasks -- tasks made possible by the new life she'd carried
her mother Edwina Blake spoke up as she pushed the kitchen door open,
"you're got...a visitor."
"A visitor?" Lorraine reached
down and adjusted the temperature on the oven so that the roast she had cooking
wouldn't be done too quickly and then turned towards the door in time to see
Stephanie Monroe walk into the room.
"Honey, I tried to tell her that you
weren't in the mood for...."
"Mom, it's okay," Lorraine sighed
and then walked over to the bassinet in the corner of the room so that she could
lay Mikey down. Turning back to face Stephanie, she inhaled deeply and
said a silent pray for strength. "Is there something I can help you
"I...think I'll leave you two girls
alone," Edwina said with an uneasy smile and left the room, allowing the
kitchen door to gently swing shut behind her.
"What can I do for you, Stephanie?" Lorraine held her shoulders back in
preparation for what she anticipated to be some kind of verbal attack. She
and Stephanie had never really gotten along and the tension had only increased
with Stephanie's involvement with Patterson
"There's something I want to talk to
you about," Stephanie finally spoke. She tried to choose her words
carefully. She didn't want a full-fledged heated confrontation, but there
were several points she felt needed to be made perfectly clear. "I
want you to stay away from Paddy and Todd."
"How did I know you were going to say
"I mean it, Lorraine."
Stephanie stepped closer. "I don't know what you're up to, but my
family isn't any of your business."
"Your family?" Lorraine let
out a thin, bemused laugh. "You just married into it. Paddy is
an old and dear friend of mine. Both he and Todd are like brothers to
"And you think that by marrying me, he's
made the worst mistake of his life."
"Your words. Not mine."
Lorraine turned away from Stephanie, the resulting chill in the air being more
than a little noticeable. "Look, Steph, I care about both of them very
much. Granted, I admit that Paddy is more than capable of making his own
decisions -- right or wrong -- but Todd's just a little boy."
"And he's my responsibility now!"
"Would you please keep your voice
down?" Lorraine immediately went to the bassinet and checked on
Mikey. "My son is taking a nap and I'd don't want your histrionics to
wake him up."
slowly walked over next to Lorraine and gazed down at the sleeping baby.
"He really is a beautiful child."
"Thank you, Stephanie. Mikey's my
pride and joy."
"And he should be what you're focused
on. Both him and your own husband -- not my family."
"I've already told you. I care
about Paddy and Todd a great deal." Lorraine walked over to the sink
and began washing potatoes -- anything to distract herself from Stephanie's crazy
insinuations. "And I'm not going to abandon Todd when he needs
"Todd's my responsibility now!"
"You don't care about Todd!"
Lorraine snapped angrily as she spun around. "You've never cared
about Todd. You're only acting so concerned about him now because you're
married to Paddy and you know that you have to care about Todd to make Paddy
"I'm warning you, Lorraine. Stay
away from my family or you'll regret it!"
Lorraine froze in her tracks, her gazed
defiantly leveled at Stephanie. "Is that a threat?"
"Let's just say it's a word of
advice." Feeling that she'd made her point, Stephanie turned on her
heel and stormed out of the kitchen, nearly knocking down Lorraine's husband,
Douglas -- just arriving home from work -- in the process. "You're
married to her! You talk some sense into her!"
"W-what was that all about?" he
asked as the door swung shut behind Stephanie. "What was she doing
"Trying to cause trouble," Lorraine
sighed. "Why else would Stephanie be anywhere?"
Douglas, that girl is always going out of her way to get under my
skin." She went into her husband's arms and began to soak in the
safety and security that they always brought her. "Do you know what
she's trying to do? She's trying to keep me away from Todd! She as
much as threatened me if I didn't stay away from him."
"Well, maybe you should give her and
Paddy some space," Douglas commented as he held her tightly.
"You know as well as anyone that it takes some time to grow
accustomed to a new marriage. The added responsibility of looking after a
child has got to make that adjustment period even more difficult for her."
"You sound like you're taking her
side!" Lorraine pulled away and looked at him in surprise.
"Honey, I'm not taking anyone's
side. I'm just saying...well...maybe you should give them a little
space. I'm not suggesting that you give up on your relationship with Todd altogether. Just give them some time."
"But the things that she...."
Douglas pressed his index finger against his
wife's lips to silence her. "Don't worry about Stephanie. You
know that she can be a lot of hot air. Just give her a little time."
"Oh, alright," she sighed, resigned
to the fact that this was a conversation that was better off not
continuing. Remembering the roast that she had in the oven,
she returned to the task of fixing dinner. "Why are you home
so early, anyway? I wasn't expecting you for another hour or so.
I've just gotten started here and...."
"I'm...not going to be able to be here
for dinner," he interrupted reluctantly.
"W-what?" She turned to face
him, shocked by his news. "But I thought you promised me that you
would never miss sitting down to dinner with us as a family."
"I know, I know," he nodded with a
sigh. "But I told you about that new author Charles wants me to sign
"You're not leaving until in the
it turns out that Macalister is flying in early, so I've got to be in San
Francisco tonight to meet with him." He paused and looked at her with
apprehension. "And I could be gone for a few days."
"Honey, I'm sorry, but it just can't be
helped. This could be a big deal for the company. Charles is really
depending on me for this."
"I know," she muttered with
disappointment. "It's just...."
"I'll be back before you know
it." He turned and headed for the door. "Now, I've got to
throw some things in a suitcase and get to the airport. My flight leaves
in a half an hour and I've got to hurry."
As the kitchen door swung shut behind him,
Lorraine looked at the half-prepared dinner and frowned. So much for
always eating dinner together as a family. Douglas's wonderful promotion
wasn't turning out quite like she'd anticipated.
Meanwhile, on the front porch, Stephanie
stood and inhaled deeply, collecting her thoughts. She was determined to
keep Lorraine from undermining her role as Patterson's wife and Todd's maternal
figure. After all, just because she'd turned over a new leaf, it didn't
mean that she'd completely forgotten where the old leaf was.