produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #107 (Tuesday, 4/2/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
Same Day
February, 1936 - Evening


THE SUNSET HOTEL - MARY'S PENTHOUSE - LIVING ROOM

Sunset Hotel, Penthouse AFrancis Callison"Dear, I will always be supportive of you," Dr. Fred Rutherford said softly as he held Francis Callison in his arms and began to slowly stroke her hair, "and I will always stand by you.  In fact, I...I..."

"Yes?"

"Francis, darling, I love you," Fred seemed to blurt out.  "I love you with all of my heart.  I love you more than I ever thought possible.  You are the most amazing woman than I've ever met in my entire life."

"Oh, Fred, I...I don't know what to say."  Francis slowly pulled away from him, more than a little taken off guard by his proclamation.

"Don't say anything just yet."  His voice quickly took on a more serious tone as he removed his  arm from her shoulder and reached into his pocket.  "I...I wasn't planning on doing this right now, but...well...you've always had such an effect on me that...well..."

"W-what are you doing?" she asked curiously.  "What are you trying to say?"

"What I'm trying to say is," he paused as he pulled the ring out of his pocket and held it out in front of Francis so that she could see, "Francis, darling, would you make me the happiest man in the world?  Would you marry me?"


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THE STOKES MANSION - LIVING ROOM

76 Mapleton Way"I swear that woman has lost her mind," Judith Stokes Linford grumbled as she stood at the bar and mixed herself a martini.  "How can she even think about doing this to Daddy?"

"Doing what?" Mark Linford asked as he glanced up from the evening edition of The Daily Post that he'd been reading.  "All I see is a woman still in the prime of her life trying to live that life the best way she knows how."

"W-what?" she gasped and spun around to face him.  "Are you saying that you actually approve of mother's involvement with this man?  She's still married to my father!"

"They're separated," he reminded as he returned his focus to an article on the police's investigation into the murder of Annabelle Lake.  "Your parents are going to get a divorce.  I think it's about time that you accepted that."

"I will not!" she said flatly.  "I refuse to accept this.  How can she do this to him?  How can she betray Daddy after he's done nothing but stand by her and support her for all these years?"

Mark Linford"Well, I'm certain that she has a different take on the situation than you do.  It's much different being that man's daughter than it is to be his wife."

"Are you trying to say that Daddy has mistreated my mother?" Judith questioned angrily.  "How can you say such horrible things about him when he's the one responsible for any kind of advancement that you've made in your career?  Don't you think that the least you owe him is your loyalty and support?"

"I'm not saying anything negative about your father," Mark sighed.  "All I'm saying is that I'm certain that your mother sees things from a completely different point of view than you do."

"Well, she's wrong!"

"Judith, right or wrong it's really none of your business."  He paused and took a sip of his own cocktail.  "This is your parents' marriage and it doesn't concern you."

"Well, I'd like to know how you came to that conclusion!"  Judith folded her arms tightly across her chest and glared at him.  "They're my parents and that makes their marriage my business!  Somebody in this family has to have some sense.  Lord knows that it's not my mother!"

"Then, Judith, why don't you explain to me exactly what I should do?" Leticia Stokes spoke up as she stood in the doorway.  "Why don't you tell me what you'd do in the exact same situation?"

Judith Stokes Linford"I wouldn't be gallivanting all over town on the arm of another man, that's for sure!" Judith snapped angrily.  "Mother, how dare you do this to Daddy!  I can't believe that you've become so heartless and cruel.  How can you just rip his heart out like you're doing?  It's almost as if you're determined to make him a complete laughing stock!"

"I'm trying to do no such thing," Leticia replied calmly in spite of her daughter's wild accusations.  "Your father and I have problems that go back quite a few years.  I tried...to ignore them, but I finally got to a point where I couldn't deny the truth.  If you want me to be brutally honest, my marriage to your father was over a long, long time ago."

"What has this man said to you?" Judith questioned sternly.  "What has he done to force you to leave Daddy?"

"Fred hasn't done anything!" Leticia insisted.  "Well, anything except be the most kind and gracious and attentive man that I think I've ever met.  Those are qualities that you're father lost a long time ago.  Fred makes me...well...feel good about myself and I enjoy myself whenever I'm with him."

"Oh, brother!" Judith grumbled and rolled her eyes.  "I'm beginning to think that you're becoming just as loony as Janet!  At least now we know exactly where she gets it from!"

"Judith, my relationship with your father and my relationship with Fred are really none of your business!"

"See, I told you," Mark muttered with a smirk as he glanced up from the newspaper.

"So, you're having a relationship with this man now?"  Judith's jaw tightened because of that idea.

Leticia Stokes"Well, I...I wouldn't exactly call it that," Leticia responded, "but I...well...I would like to think that it's the beginning of one."  She paused as her expressions softened and she began to try to reason with her daughter.  "Look, Judith, I don't try to meddle in your marriage so I don't think you have in place to meddle in mine.  I'm sure that if I put my mind to it, I could spot flaws in your marriage to Mark."

"Helen Keller could spot the flaws in this marriage," Mark muttered under his breath, only to be heard by Judith who quickly turned and shot him a sharp glare.

"My marriage to Mark is not the point!  We're talking about your marriage to Daddy!"

"Which is none of your business!"  Leticia felt her temper begin to rise as she grew more and more frustrated.  Why couldn't Judith just leave this alone?

"So, are you having an affair with this man?" Judith questioned bluntly.  "Are you cheating on Daddy?"

"Judith!" Leticia chastised.  "Don't be vulgar!  Not that it's any of your business, no, we are not having an affair.  And, please, his name is Fred.  I would appreciate it if you'd call him by name."

"Well, what are you intentions concerning this man?" Judith spat.  "Even if you're not having an affair with him, surely there's some kind of romantic involvement going on?"

Faced with her daughter's question, Leticia paused and bit her lip as she considered the possibilities.  She hadn't really given much thought to exactly where her relationship with Fred was going.  Now that she had to actually think about what her plans for the future were, she wasn't completely sure of what she was going to say.


THE SUNSET HOTEL - MARY'S PENTHOUSE - LIVING ROOM

Sunset Hotel, Penthouse A"M-marry you?" Francis stammered in shock.  "Fred, I don't...know what to say.  This is so...sudden."  She pulled away from him as she tried to recover from her surprise.  "I didn't...know that you felt so...strongly about me."

"Any man with good sense would feel this way about you," Fred smiled as he continued to hold the ring out in front of her.  "Please make me the happiest man in the world.  Please take this ring and tell me that you'll be my wife."

"Oh, Fred, I...I..."  She looked away and bit her lip.  How could she answer him?  How could she explain to him how she really felt?

"You...don't seem quite as excited about this as I'd thought you'd be," he muttered as he realized that things weren't going exactly as he'd hoped.  "You will say 'yes,' won't you?"

Francis Callison"I...I..."  Francis again turned to look him in the eyes and took a deep breath.  "Fred, I can't.  I can't marry you."

"W-what?" he muttered as his jaw dropped.  "But I...I thought that you felt the same way about me that I feel about you."

"Fred, please, I don't want to hurt you," she sighed as she grabbed onto his arm.  "You've been such a dear, dear friend to me and I don't know what I would have done these past few months if it hadn't been for your kindness and support, but I...well...I still love my husband.  I will always love Charles.  Nothing in this world could ever change that."

"Even after everything he's put you through?" Fred questioned incredulously.  "My god!  That man cheated on you and lied to you and did everything in his power to hurt you and push you away and..."

"But none of that was really his fault!" she reminded him firmly.  "That was all because of Annabelle.  He loves me.  He never stopped loving me."  She paused and gently touched him on the cheek.  "And I love him.  That has never changed."

Dr. Fred Rutherford"So you're going back to him?" he asked as the reality of the situation began to sink in.  "You're going back to that lying..."

"Please, Fred, if you care anything about me at all, don't talk that way about Charles."

"But..."

"No!  I love my husband.  I can't marry you."  She paused and took a deep breath.  She truly didn't want to hurt Fred's feelings---especially since he'd been such a dear and wonderful friend---but she couldn't lead him on.  She couldn't make him think that she had any sort of romantic inclinations towards him when, in truth, her heart could only belong to Charles.

"Francis, you have to know that you're making a mistake by going back to him!  Please don't tell me that he's blinded you with all of his pitiful recollections of the past."  He grabbed onto her hand and held it tightly as he tried to force her to reconsider her decision.

"Oh, please, Fred, why do you have to make this so difficult for me?"

Mary Albany"Yes, Fred, why?" came the voice of Mary Albany from the doorway.  Fred and Francis had clearly been too involved in their discussion to hear Mary's key in the lock or her coming into the apartment.  "Why do you seem so obsessed with tearing my daughter away from her husband and rushing her down the isle?"

Fred immediately turned to look at Mary and bit his lip before he could respond to her questioning glare with a biting comment that would have been horribly inappropriate considering how hard he was trying to sweet talk Francis.  He immediately realized that with Mama Bear present, the task of convincing Francis to marry him would become infinitely more difficult.