produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #120 (Friday, 5/31/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
A Few Days Later
March, 1936 - Early Evening


THE STOKES MANSION - JANET'S BEDROOM

76 Mapleton WayJanet StokesAs the shadow of dusk began to climb through the window and stretch across the floor, Janet Stokes lay asleep on her bed, the novel that she'd been reading cast aside next to her.  Although the book had been about nothing but magnificent romance, her dreams were not nearly as bright.  In fact, they were as dark as the evening shadows.

As she tossed and turned, her slumbering mind raced through confusing images and memories of the past.  One moment, she was standing at the top of the stairs...

"O-oh, my god.  Oh...my god.  W-what have I done?  Oh, my god.  I've done it again, but this time I've killed my own sister!"

The next moment, she was kneeling on the floor of a hotel room, staring at the lifeless body of her lover Gordon Scott...

"G-Gordon?  Gordon, speak to me?  Oh...god, Gordon!  I-I'm s-sorry!  Oh, god, w-what have I...done?"

But suddenly, the scene inside her head changed.  No longer was she at the top of the stairs or in a grand hotel room.  Instead, she was staring at a closed door and she felt her heart racing.  She just had to get away!  Away?  Away from what?  She wasn't sure.  She couldn't remember.  However, as she reached for the door knob, she had the strongest sense of foreboding that she'd ever felt before.


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SPRINGHILL MANOR - FOYER

54 Spring Lake Dr."I really don't know if this is gonna work," Naomi Jackson said as she followed Joyce Preston down the stairs.  "Do you really think that your daughter is just going to turn over her entire inheritance to me?"

"She's not turning it over to you," Joyce snapped.  "She's turning it over to me so that I can give it to you.  Which I'm not going to do, of course."

"What?  But what about my money?  I thought that you were..."

"You'll get your share of the money!" Joyce barked through clinched teeth.  "But the bulk of it is mine.  All you have to do is..."  She stopped mid-sentence and furrowed her brow before pressing her index finger to her lips to silence Naomi.  "Shhh.  I thought I heard something."

Naomi Jackson"Probably that old bat," Naomi grumbled.  "That woman lurks around her like she's involved in top secret espionage."

"Helga's been a thorn in my side since Thornton and I met," Joyce commented before leading Naomi across the foyer and to the library.  "Let's go in here so we can have some privacy."

However, as Joyce slid the large wooden doors open, she realized that they wouldn't be alone---Patterson Monroe was seated on the sofa, nervously thumbing through one of her daughter's movie magazines.

"Oh, Mr. Monroe," Joyce gasped nervously, "I...didn't know that we had company.  Dane and Sara went out to dinner, so I don't know what time they'll be home."

"I know.  The housekeeper told me," Patterson explained as he tossed the magazine aside and rose to his feet.  "Actually, I'm not here to see them."

"Y-you're not?"  She hesitated briefly and then turned to quietly address Naomi.  "Dear, would you...leave us alone for a moment?  We'll...chat later."

With a silent, yet curious, nod, Naomi agreed and quietly slipped out of the library, pulling the doors closed behind her.

"So, Mr. Monroe, what are you doing here if you're not here to visit them?" Joyce asked curiously as she kept a careful eye on him.

"I'm waiting," he replied calmly.  "I'm waiting for...Stephanie to come home."

Joyce Preston"Mr. Monroe, pardon me if I laugh," she chuckled, "but that silly little niece of mine doesn't have good sense to come in out of the rain."  She paused and her tone grew more serious.  "I...know that you're worried about her, but...well...I'm sure that it's just like Dane and Sara have suspected.  She's probably just run off with her father and they're enjoying a tender reunion.  It's nothing more than that.  Considering everything that I've heard about some of the things that she's done, I really don't suspect that she'd even want to come home."

"Stephanie did not run off!" Patterson insisted firmly.  "She's been kidnapped by her father.  If, by some miracle, she manages to get away from him, I think she'll come back here, first, and I want to be here."

"Why in the world do you think that Stephen would kidnap his own daughter?"

"Well, anyone capable of murder is certainly capable of kidnapping."  Patterson began to slowly pace around the room as his worries again began to build.

"M-murder?" Joyce gasped.  "Stephen?  I really find that hard to believe."

"The police don't seem to think so," he replied.  "In fact, I have every reason to suspect that they're trying to prove that he was the person that murdered Stephanie's mother."

"Stephen killed Annabelle?"  She covered her mouth in shock.  "Oh, my!  I..."  Her voice trailed off and she shook her head slightly, almost as if she couldn't believe what she was hearing.  "But, he couldn't have killed Annabelle and he couldn't have kidnapped Stephanie.  I refuse to believe it.  He never said..."  She froze mid-sentence, seeming to appear as if she'd caught herself before she'd said more than she should.

"What...did you say?"  He eyed her curiously, her verbal miss-step not slipping past him.

"I...said that I find it hard to believe that..."

Patterson Monroe"No, not that."  He walked closer to her, keeping his eyes carefully trained on hers.  "When you said that Stephanie's father never said something to you, you sounded like you'd actually spoken to him."  He paused and eyed her closer.

"Well, when Mort and I were married, I spoke with Stephen rather often.  He was my brother-in-law, after all."  She turned away, unable to meet Patterson's eyes, and nervously fumbled with the collar of her blouse.

"No, you sounded like you've spoken to him recently."  He reached out and grabbed her by the arm and forced her to look at him.  "Have you talked to him?  Did you know he was alive?"

Joyce took a deep breath and swallowed hard as she found herself unable to avoid Patterson's penetrating glare.  After taking several moments to formulate exactly how she would respond and what she would say, she spoke again.

"I...guess that in light of recent events, some things make much more sense than I thought that they did," she sighed.  "M-maybe I was wrong."  She paused again and looked away.

"W-what are you trying to say?"

"Mr. Monroe," she began carefully, "I think that there's something that I need to tell you.  I...have a confession to make."


AN ABANDONED FACTORY
RIVERSIDE

An Abandoned Factory in Riverside"Sammy, have you got everything ready?" Stephen Lake asked as they walked down the long, dark hallway.  "Time's running out and we need to get out of this pathetic town as soon as possible.  The longer we stay, the more chance we've got of them finding us."

"I got everything set up just like you wanted, boss," Sammy Benedict replied and then took a lengthy drag off of his cigarette.  "I can't wait to get outta here, too."

Stephen stopped in his tracks and then turned to look at Sammy.  "You're not going with me.  It's just going to be me and my daughter."

"W-what?" Sammy asked in shock.  "What do you mean I'm not goin' with you?  You ain't gonna leave me behind, are you?"

Stephen Lake"I've got no choice," Stephen muttered as he hung his head.  "If I take you and your sister along, it's going to slow us down.  It's best if Stephanie and I go alone."  He paused and took a deep breath.  "Sammy, I appreciate everything that you've done for me.  I can honestly say that I wouldn't be standing here, right now, if it weren't for you."

"Gee, boss, it was nothin'.  When I saw what those guys did to you, I just couldn't..."

"Nothing?"  Stephen let out a hearty laugh.  "Sammy, you saved my life!  In my opinion, that's a pretty big something.  When those guys shot me and threw me in the river, you're the one who dragged me out.  You're the one who helped convince the cops that I really had died."

"You offered me a lot of money," Sammy reminded.  "Any guy faced with that kind of money would have done it."

"But it just wasn't any guy.  It was you and I'm more grateful than you'll ever know.  Now...well, it's time to move on."

"Boss, what are you gonna do about Rutherford?" Sammy asked curiously.  "When he pays up, how am I gonna get the money to you?"

Stephen paused and rubbed his chin as he thought.  "You're not," he finally replied.  "I've got my daughter back with me and that's the only thing I'm concerned with.  My business dealings in this town are done.  I want you to take all of my personal files and destroy them.  You can't leave any proof that I might still be alive.  Nothing can be left behind that can trace anyone to me."

"So, do you want me to just let the doc off the hook?"

"Of course not," Stephen laughed heartily.  "Even though I don't really need the money that he owes me, I'm not letting him completely out of his debt.  He needs to learn that his actions have consequences."

Sammy Benedict"I...don't think I'm followin' you."

"Sammy, it seems that the good doctor's time has run out," Stephen smiled.  "Once he gets back from that little trip he's on, I want you to finish him off.  Show him that I'm not one to trifle with."

With a silent nod of his head, Sammy agreed to his boss's orders.  "I'm...gonna miss you, boss," he spoke up, trying valiantly to cover his own emotions.  "It just ain't gonna be the same with out you around."

"You'll do fine.  You did fine before we met and you'll do fine after I'm gone."  Stephen paused as they reached the doorway to his office.  "Now, go.  It's almost time for us to leave and there's still a lot to take care of."

"All right, boss," Sammy nodded again before turning to walk back up the hallway.

Once Sammy had turned the corner and disappeared out of sight, Stephen took a deep breath as he pulled the key out of his pocket and unlocked the door.

"Princess, it's almost time for us to go," he said as he swung the door open.  "We have to get out of here."

Stephanie Lake"Oh, Daddy, please don't do this," Stephanie Lake cried as she bolted from her chair and ran into his arms.  "Please.  I love you, Daddy, but I don't want to leave.  Why can't we stay?  Why are you doing this?"

"I've told you, already," he explained calmly as he held her tightly in his arms. "It's for your own good.  There are too many people that might harm us if anyone ever found out that I'm still alive.  The only way we can finally be together is if we leave.  I can't stay here."

"Daddy, I don't want to go!"

"You have to, Princess," he said sternly as he pulled away from her and grabbed her tightly by the shoulders in an attempt to force her to listen to him.  "You don't have a choice.  I've waited too long to have you back in my life to just let you slip away from me again."

"B-but..."

"No, 'buts'.  No one will ever keep us apart again."  He turned and carefully closed the door, locking it behind him.  "And I'll kill anyone who tries to."