produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #103 (Wednesday, 3/27/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
Same Day
February, 1936 - Early Evening


SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY

Joyce Preston54 Spring Lake Dr."Helga!  Would you get the damn door?" Joyce Preston barked angrily.  Why did she have so much trouble getting Helga to obey orders?  After a few more intrusive chimes, Joyce took a deep breath to ease her rising temper.  "Helga!  Get the door!"

"Yes, ma'am," Helga Grimm muttered with a smirk as she sat her feather duster down and began to do as requested.  "Anything for you.  After all, you are the---ahem---lady of the house."

After stepping out into the foyer, Helga rolled her eyes and let out a frustrated growl.  She simply couldn't stand Joyce Preston and was finding it harder and harder to deal with her.  Sure, Dane was nice enough, but she loathed Joyce and Sara.  And now that brat Stephanie had moved it?  The manor was becoming a veritable three ringed circus!  Helga wasn't sure how much more she could take.  Thank god it couldn't get any worse.

"Hello?" Helga muttered as she opened the door to find an unfamiliar face.  "Can I help you?"

Naomi Jackson smiled broadly as she shifted little Aubrey's weight in her arms.  "Yes, you can," she replied matter-of-factly and pushed her way into the house.  "I'm here to see Thornton Preston and I'm not leaving until I do!"


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THE DAVIS HOME - KITCHEN

23 Green St.Lorraine Davis walked into to the room to find her sister-in-law Grace Davis standing at the sink and doing the dinner dishes.  However, Grace didn't seem to be making much progress.  It seemed like she'd been doing the dishes for almost a half an hour, yet she'd barely made a dent in the stack.  Lorraine furrowed her brow, clearly knowing that it shouldn't take that long to do the dishes, and watched Grace closely.  By the vacant and lost look on Grace's face, it became immediately apparent to Lorraine that something was weighing heavily on her mind.

"Here, let me help you with those," Lorraine spoke up as she walked over to the sink and picked up a dish towel.  "You wash and I'll rinse and dry."

"Douglas said that he didn't want you doing anything to over exert yourself," Grace muttered and kept her eyes focused on the sink full of suds to avoid meeting Lorraine's eyes.  "It won't be long before the baby's here and he doesn't want you doing anything that might cause you any more problems."

"Nonsense!" Lorraine exclaimed with a frown.  "I would like to know how doing the dishes is going to cause me to over exert myself.  I swear, that brother of yours treats me like an invalid!"

"Well, you did have all of those problems with the baby and..."  Grace's voice trailed off as she returned her focus to the suds and took a deep breath.

"Okay.  Out with it," Lorraine ordered sternly.  "What's eating at you?"

"I...I don't know what you mean," Grace stammered awkwardly and popped her head up to look at Lorraine.  "I'm...fine."

Lorraine Davis"No, you're not.  It's written all over your face."  Lorraine's eyes narrowed as she inspected Grace closely.  "So what's bothering you?  You know, you haven't really been acting like yourself for weeks now."

"It's just...um..."  Grace looked away in discomfort.  "I guess that Momma's death is harder on me than I realized.  I know that she really hadn't been in good health for years, but I'd always hoped that maybe---somehow---things could be the way they used to be when I was little and now...well...now we'll never get that second chance."

"Honey, your mother's death has been hard for all of us---your brother included."  Lorraine took a plate out of Grace's hand and carefully ran it under the running water to rinse away the suds.  "But I think that there's more to it than that.  You've been acting rather odd around Trevor, too, and I would think that he'd be the one you'd be most likely to confide in right now.  You two have gotten rather serious over the past few months and..."

"Why do you care what's going on between me and Trevor?" Grace snapped, her tone startling Lorraine.  "Why do you care about me period?  It's not like we're best friends or anything!  We've...we've barely even gotten along in the past because of him and..."

"I...well..."  It was now Lorraine's turn to be uncomfortable and she quickly looked away as she dried the plate and gently placed it into the dish rack before laying the dish towel down onto the counter.  "I know that we didn't exactly get off to a very good start, but whatever I had---or might have had---with Trevor was over a long time ago.  I know that it took me a while to get over it, but I did.  Trevor Callison is a part of my past and he's a part of your future."

"Oh, Lorraine, I'm...I'm sorry," Grace muttered as her eyes grew large with the realization of what she'd said and how she'd reacted.  "I really didn't mean to say that.  I..."

"No, it's all right," Lorraine nodded.  "This has been hanging in the air between us for months---ever since Douglas and I got married, in fact.  As difficult as this situation between your brother and me has been, I should have realized that it would be just as awkward for you considering...well..."  She paused and took a deep breath.  "I wasn't exactly very nice to you at the time, was I?"

"I really don't hold that against you.  It was an awkward situation for all of us.  I'm not sure I would have reacted any better if I had been in your position.  I never...wanted things to happen between me and Trevor the way that they did, but..."

Grace Davis"I know," Lorraine sighed and leaned against the counter, the dishes in the sink having been forgotten in favor of more important things.  "I just want you to know that I've put my relationship with Trevor in the past.  It took me a long time to get past everything that happened, but I realized that it wasn't going to do me any good to hang onto some foolish kind of jealous rage.  Trevor and I just weren't meant to work out.  Neither were Paddy and I, for that matter."  She hesitated and looked down vacantly down at the floor.

"Lorraine, I'm sorry," Grace spoke up as she carefully put her hand on her sister-in-law's shoulder.  "I really shouldn't have brought any of this up."

"No, it's all right," Lorraine sighed.  "Everything happens for a reason.  I'm discovering that I'm happier with Douglas more than I ever thought I could be.  Actually, I think I'm...well...."

"Yes?"

"Grace, Trevor loves you with all of his heart," Lorraine continued with a completely different thought.  "Even I can see that.  Don't shut him out like I know you've been doing.  If anyone can be there for you and help you to deal with your mother's death, it's him."

"I...I don't know..."  Grace's voice trembled slightly as she thought about the real reasons for her distance from Trevor.

"Just give him a chance to be there for you," Lorraine urged.  "I know he wants to be there.  Whatever it is that you're going through, talk to him about it.  I'm sure he can..."

The ringing of the doorbell intruded on their conversation.

"Saved by the bell," Grace quipped with a half smile.

"Just let me see who that is and---if you want---we can finish this conversation in a minute."

"O-okay," Grace nodded, uncertain whether it was a conversation she truly wished to continue.

As Lorraine walked out of the kitchen and through the living room to the front door, she gently rested her hand on her swollen stomach so that she could feel the slight rumblings of the baby inside.  It would only be a few more weeks and she would be a mother---a fact that both thrilled and terrified her.  However, those thoughts were quickly pushed out of her head when she opened the door to see who was on the other side.

Trevor Callison"T-Trevor!" she gasped, more than a little surprised by the timing of his visit.

"Hello, Lorraine," he smiled awkwardly, "I...I hope Grace is home.  I really...want to talk to her."

She nervously bit her lip and glanced back towards the kitchen.  Would her words of advice be heeded?  Would Grace actually see him after weeks of avoidance?


SPRINGHILL MANOR - FOYER

54 Spring Lake Dr."Don't just stand there!  Tell Thornton that I'm here," Naomi ordered as she stood in the foyer and surveyed the lavish surroundings.  When she turned to again look at Helga, she saw that the housekeeper still remained, frozen to the spot with her jaw hanging open.  "Don't you listen?  I said for you to get Thornton Preston!"

"I...um..." Helga stammered, immediately thrown off-guard by Naomi's arrival and demeanor.  "I don't know what business that you, of all people, could have with him, but you won't be having it today or ever!  Mr. Preston is dead."

"W-what?" Naomi gasped with shock.  "D-dead?"  A myriad of conflicting thoughts and emotions began to collide inside her head before a renewed sense of determination began to take over.  "No!  You're lying to me!  You're lying to me because you don't want me to see him."  She took a deep breath and her jaw tightened.  "Well, I won't let you stop me!  Thornton!  Thornton!  You come here right now!  If you think that you can just run out on me like you did, you've got another thing coming!"

Helga Grimm"Helga, what the devil is going on out here?" Joyce asked in annoyance as she stepped out of the library and into the foyer.  "Who is this...this...girl and why is she yelling like a woman possessed?  I certainly hope she's not going to be the new maid.  Her behavior is certainly leaving much to be desired."

"Maid?" Naomi spat.  "You think I'm going to be the maid?"

"Well, yes," Joyce replied matter-of-factly.  "Why else would a girl like you be here?"

"A girl like me?"  Naomi let out a deep, throaty laugh and shifted her baby's weight in her arms once again.  "I'll have you know that my name is Naomi Jackson.  Address me as either 'Naomi' or 'Miss Jackson' or don't address me at all!"  She paused to inspect Joyce carefully.  "You're Thornton's wife, aren't you?  I recognize you from pictures that he's shown me."

Joyce Preston"More accurately, I'm Thornton's widow," Joyce corrected as she folded her arms across her chest.  "My husband is dead or weren't you listening?  Now, my question is what business would a girl like you---Miss Jackson---have with my husband?  Why are you here?"

"Well, I guess it's understandable that he wouldn't have mentioned me to you," Naomi replied smugly.  "A husband doesn't confide such...indiscretions, shall we say...with his wife."

"What are you getting at?"

"You're not quite as smart as I thought you'd be," Naomi chuckled.  "Do I have to spell it out for you?  I'm your husband's mistress.  Well, I guess that would be 'was', now."

"W-what?"  Joyce took several steps backward as the effect of Naomi's announcement began to set in.

Naomi Jackson"I'd hoped to see him here in Albanyville," Naomi sighed and shook her head, "but I didn't know that he'd died.  I...I'm really sorry that I didn't have a chance to see him again."  She paused as a look of realization spread across her face.  "But...but certainly a man with as much money as Thornton had left provisions for his children in his will."

"We didn't have any children," Joyce correctly sternly.

"Not your children!  Thornton's children!"

"My husband didn't have any children!"  Joyce's teeth clinched as she became more annoyed with her unexpected visitor.

"Oh, really?" Naomi smiled slyly.  "Well, Mrs. Preston, I'd like you to meet my son Aubrey---Thornton's son!"