For Now and Forever
produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

 

EPISODE #135 (Friday, 11/15/02)
A Week Later
June 1936 - Evening

THE LAMONT HOME - KITCHEN

"Eliza called for you earlier," Burt Lamont said casually as he spooned a large helping of green beans onto his plate.  "I told her that you were down at the stables doing your chores."

"Okay," Randy Lamont muttered in between bites of pot roast.

"So, what's the story between the two of you?  I'm guessing that you're still dating."  Burt paused and waited for a confirmation, but none came.  "I'd always suspected that you and Maggie would have been the couple, not you and Eliza."

"Maggie Callison is just a friend," Randy spoke up quickly.  "Nothing more than that."

"Well, I guess it's true that you don't have any control over who you fall in love with."  Burt eyed his younger brother closely.  "That is if you're in love with Eliza, of course."

Randy sat in silence and then took a bite of his dinner.  Of course, that bite was, in reality, more about giving himself time to think of a response than it was about eating.

"What's all this talk about love and romance for?" Randy finally asked as he leaned forward onto the table.  "You've never really...um...gone out of your way to counsel me about girls before."

"I never had to!" Burt laughed.  "But...well...I guess you're right.  There is more to it than that."  He hesitated as he searched for the right words.  "In fact, there's something that I've been meaning to tell you."

"Really?"  Randy suddenly became filled with a sense of dread, though he fought to hide it.  "Well, what?"

"Janet and I haven't told anyone else this," Burt began carefully.  "She wanted to wait until her sister got back from her honeymoon, but...well...I wanted you to be the first to know."

"Know?  Know what?"

"Randy, I've asked Janet to marry me.  She said 'yes.'"

"What?"  Randy's eyes grew wide with shock.  "But...but....no!  You can't!"

Now, it was Burt's turn to be surprised.  "Randy, what do you mean?  What are you talking about?"

"You can't marry that woman!" Randy said flatly.  "This is wrong!  You can't marry Janet and I won't let you!" 

THE RIVERVIEW NIGHTCLUB

Dr. Fred Rutherford stepped through the doors of the night club and smiled broadly at the pretty young hostess.

"May I get you table?" she asked coyly.  "For one?"

"No, I'm meeting someone," he explained as he walked past her a few steps so that he could survey the club.  However, he paused and turned back to her and smiled.  "You're new here, aren't you?"

"Not really."  She stepped out from behind her hostess stand so that he could get a good look at her voluptuous form.  "I started a few months ago.  Seems one of the girls quit suddenly and a job came open."

"I see," he nodded, but then remembered what he was really there for and went back to searching the crowd.  When he saw the person he was looking for, he smiled broadly.  "If you'll excuse me, I see my date."

He began to walk towards the bar, but stopped and turned back around, once again, to catch a glimpse of the pretty new hostess before completing his journey across the club.

"I was afraid you wouldn't come," he said softly as he walked up behind the young woman who was seated at the bar.

"Oh, doctor, I wouldn't have missed this for the world," Donna Allison smiled as she turned around to face him.  "Truthfully, I was afraid that you'd be the one not to show up."  She cocked an eyebrow and eyed him cautiously.  "You did sound rather mysterious on the phone."

"Well, you never know what kind of prying ears might be nearby."  Fred sat down on a barstool next to her and immediately noticed that her drink was empty.  "May I buy you another?" he said as he motioned to the empty glass.

"You most certainly can," she grinned.

Fred waved for the bartender and signaled that he wanted two of what Donna had been having -- martini on the rocks.  The bartender quickly mixed and brought over the two drinks and then left the couple alone.

"So, what's the intention behind this evening?" Donna finally asked after several moments of silence.  "You said something about wanting to make up for that collision we had the other day."

"That pretty much sums it up," he smiled.  "I didn't want you to think that I was a complete oaf.  Contrary to what you might have heard, I am a gentleman."

"I'm sure you are."  She lifted her glass to her lips and took a lengthy sip.  "And how did you explain your absence this evening to your wife?  Certainly she wonders what you're up to when you're not at home."

"Let's not think about her tonight," Fred said softly and then reached over to gently lay his hand on her thigh.

His touch made Donna flinch, slightly, but she recovered quickly and tilted her head so that she was looking up at him through her lashes.

"Think about who?" she whispered coyly and then leaned in closer to him.

The comment brought a smile to Fred's lips.  Maybe this marriage thing wasn't going to be nearly as difficult as he'd thought it would be.

SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY

Sara Manchester sat on the sofa, thoroughly involved with a new book she'd picked up a few days earlier at The Page Turner Bookstore.  As she flipped the pages, she realized that, although the book was rather enjoyable, she was thoroughly bored.  Letting out a deep sigh, she looked up and across the room at her husband, Dane, as he sat in his chair, reading the evening edition of The Daily Post.

"Dane?" she spoke up, not exactly wanting to disturb him, but still bored from the silence.  "Dane, I think I made a mistake by not signing up for the fall semester."

"Hmm?" he muttered, not really listening to her.

"I said that I think I made a mistake."  She marked her place in the novel and set it aside before rising from the sofa so that she could pace around the room.  "I mean...well...I enjoy being home all the time like a regular wife, but...."  She stopped in her tracks and bit her lip nervously.  "Oh, Dane, I'm bored silly!  I miss going to class.  I miss the lectures and the papers and...."

"Honey, it's only the summer break," he murmured, still only half hearing her.  "You can't possibly miss school already.  You've never had this reaction to summer break before."

"I know, but...."  Her voice trailed off as she glanced over to the now unused text books that were still stacked neatly on the desk.  "Well, I always knew that I was going back in the fall.  But, now...."

"It'll pass once you get used to it."  He paused and turned to the next page of the newspaper.  "Once you get accustomed to being a normal wife like everyone else, school will be the last thing on your mind."

"Dane, I don't think so."

"Honey, what you need is something to occupy your time."  He finally looked up from his reading, neatly folded up the newspaper, and set it aside before rising to walk over to her.  "Maybe take up a new hobby like gardening or knitting or...."

"I have been reading a lot, lately," she nodded.  "In fact, I just picked up this new book the other day.  It's about some spoiled southern belle at the dawn of the Civil War."

"See!  That's something to occupy your time when my classes start back up in the fall."

"Dane, it's not the same.  Reading and knitting and gardening are so...well...solitary.  I do enjoy to read, but I've got to have some kind of interaction with other people.  I can't just sit around this house by myself all day."

"You're not by yourself," he reminded as he gently placed his index finger under her chin so that he could lift her head and look into her eyes.  "You've got your mother and Helga and even Naomi here with you."

"Oh, Dane, it's not the same and you know it!"  She paused and let out a heavy sigh.  She never thought that giving up college for the sake of her husband and her marriage was going to be so difficult.  Realizing that he wouldn't understand, she decided to change the subject.  "Honey, since you've mentioned Naomi, maybe it's time that we talk about what we're going to do with her and the baby."

"Do?"  He looked at her with curious interest.  "What do you mean?"

"Dane, they've been living here for months, now," she continued as she again began to pace around the room, " and Naomi's starting to get a little antsy.  She thinks that we're stringing her along; that we're not going to follow through with the plans for the trust fund for Aubrey."

"Well, she's right!" he interrupted.  "We're not going to do anything!"

"But, Dane..."

"No, Sara.  We're not going to give anything to that girl.  She should be grateful that we've even let her live under the same roof as us!"

"But, Dane, what about the baby?"  She eyed him sternly, not believing that he could be so cold hearted.  "I'm convinced that she's telling the truth about Aubrey.  Momma is too.  How can we not give that child what's rightfully his?"

"We are not giving either one of them one red cent and that's final!" Dane shouted angrily as he slammed his fist down into his hand, startling Sara.

Meanwhile, neither one of them had heard Sara's mother, Joyce Preston, slide open the large wooden doors of the library just in time to hear Dane strong orders.  To say that she was less than amused would have been an understatement.

THE LAMONT HOME - KITCHEN

"Randy?"  Burt froze, taken completely off-guard by his brother's strong reactions.  "What do you mean I can't marry Janet?  You can't be serious, can you?"

"I'm completely serious!"  Randy jumped up out of his chair and tossed his napkin onto the table before storming out of the room.

"You come back here!" Burt called out as he quickly rose to follow him.  "I'm not about to let you say something like that and then just simply walk away!"

"There's nothing to talk about."  Randy took long strides into the living in an attempt to keep his distance from his older brother.  "This is a bad idea and you know it."

"A bad idea?  But...but I always thought you liked Janet."

"My feelings about Janet personally have nothing to do with this," Randy grumbled.  "This is about you and what's happening to you."

"W-what?"  Burt jaw hung open in confusion.  "What the devil are you talking about?"

Randy stood in silence for several long moments in order to collect his thoughts before turning to face Burt and speak again.  "Ever since you've gotten mixed up with those Callisons and Stokeses, you've become a different person.  Can't you see that?"

"I don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about!"

"I figured you wouldn't."

"Randy, I love Janet.  She loves me."  He walked over to his brother and put his strong, authoritative hand on Randy's shoulder.  "We want to get married and spend the rest of our lives together.  What's so wrong with that?"

"It won't work!" Randy snapped.  "We're not like those people!  We're Lamonts, not Callisons or Stokeses.  We have no business being a part of that world."

"You forget, I'm a Callison, now, too."

"How can I forget?" Randy muttered.  "It's thrown in my face every time I turn around."

"Ah, so now I see," Burt nodded.  "This has nothing to do with Janet and everything to do with Landon Callison being my father.  That's it, isn't it?"

"It's part of it," Randy confessed as he hung his head, unable to meet Burt's penetrating stare, "but that's not all of it.  I've got a bad feeling about this.  We've got no business getting mixed up with those people.  Ever since we came to Albanyville and started running around with them, we've had nothing but trouble!"

"Would this sudden hatred of the Callisons extend to Maggie?" Burt asked pointedly, immediately recognizing a potential double standard.

"Maggie has nothing to do with this."

"She is a Callison, Randy."

"She's...different."

Randy's simple explanation caused Burt to lift an eyebrow, both shocked and confused by the fine line Randy was drawing.

"She's still a Callison!"  Burt paused and took a deep breath.  "And what about Eliza?  Her family's not exactly part of the poor and downtrodden class, either."

"No, she's not," Randy conceded, "but she doesn't live in a big house on the other side of the lake, either.  Our family doesn't work for her family."

"You've got some nerve and some double standard!" Burt snapped angrily.  "I love Janet.  I'm sorry that you have a problem with that, but it's the truth.  And I want to marry Janet."

"Can't you see what's happening?" Randy asked pleadingly.  "Can't you see that they're drawing you in more and more?  How long is it going to be before you end up drowning in their world and you forget who you really are?"

"I know who I really am!"

Randy couldn't help but smirk at the irony.  "Yes, you do.  Landon Callison's son!"  Without saying another word, Randy stormed out of the house leaving Burt completely confused about his brother's attitude and worried about what his future marriage to Janet Stokes might do him.

THE SUNSET HOTEL - ROOM 213

"A reservation?" Donna smiled slyly as she waited for Fred to unlock the door.  "You must have been awfully sure of yourself."

"Assuredness had nothing to do with it," he laughed as the door swung up and he stepped aside to let her enter the room first.  "I call it planning ahead.  There's nothing wrong with being prepared, is there?"

"Not at all."

Donna moved further into the room and subtly wrapped her arms around herself in an attempt to keep from shaking with nervousness.

"Are you okay?" he asked as he came up behind her and touched her lightly on the shoulder.  "You're not getting cold feet, are you?"

"Of course, not," she laughed.  "I don't get cold feet."

Fred moved away from her and to the bar and began to mix himself a drink.  "Can I fix you something?  It might help to relax you."

"Um...yes, please," she replied softly before taking a deep breath.  "Martini.  On the rocks."

"You certainly have rather lavish tastes," he observed as he carefully poured the vodka into the glass and over the ice.  "I would've assumed that you were a bourbon type of girl."

"And why would you say that?"  Donna looked up and eyed him curiously.

"No reason," Fred replied.  "Just a guess."

She took the cocktail from him and pressed it to her lips so that she could take a lengthy sip.  The alcohol immediately began to relax her and eased her tensions.  As she swirled the drink around in her glass, she casually walked around the room, making sure to note every little detail.

"Feeling better?"  He spoke up as he came up behind her once again and gently kissed her on the neck.  This time she didn't flinch.

"Much."

"Donna, you're so beautiful," Fred said softly as he took her by the hand and led her over to the bed before pulling her into a deep and passionate kiss.  "So beautiful."

As she gave in to his kisses, he lowered her onto the bed.  However, Fred was too involved to see that Donna kept her eyes wide open the entire time.

SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY

"I'm sorry," Joyce spoke up as her eyes moved from Sara to Dane.  "Am I interrupting something?"

"Oh, no, Momma.  Not at all."  Sara walked over to her and gave her a warm hug.  "Dane and I were just discussing Naomi and what we should do about her and the baby."

"I see."  Joyce walked further into the room, her eyes firmly locked on Dane.  "And what have you decided?"

"We've decided that we're not given that girl one penny!" Dane spoke up sternly.  "She's trying to scam Sara out of all her money.  I'm certain of it!"

"Now, Dane, darling, I think you're being a little harsh."  Joyce never once moved her eyes away from him.  "If anyone has a reason not to trust Naomi, I believe it's me.  After all, she did have an affair with my husband and bore him a child."

"So, you're saying that you believe that girl's wild story?"  He meet her stern stare with a look just as severe.  He knew exactly what kind of game she was playing.

"I'm inclined to believe that it's true, yes."  She turned away from him so that she could address her daughter.  "Sara, you're certain of it too, now, aren't you?"

"Actually, yes, I am," Sara nodded.  "And I don't see how we can, in good conscience, deny her or her baby something that's rightfully hers."

"We don't owe her a damn thing!"  Dane's hands balled up into tight fists.

"Sara, dear," Joyce spoke up softly, "maybe I can convince him that this is the right thing to do."  She turned and shot Dane a strong and angry look, unseen by her daughter.  "Maybe if you just give us a few minutes alone...."

"Okay," she nodded before turning to look at her husband.  "Please, Dane.  This is the right thing to do."

As soon as Sara had walked out of the library, closing the doors behind her, Joyce spun around to face Dane, an enraged fire in her eyes.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" she snapped angrily.  "You're supposed to convince her to set up that trust fund, not talk her out of it!"

"I don't think this is a good idea," he muttered in response as he tried to act nonchalant about the entire thing.  "I'm not sure that convincing Sara to give up a chunk of her inheritance is going to be beneficial to either of us."

"What?"  Joyce's eyes grew wide with disbelief.  "You can't mean that!"

"I most certainly do."

"And here I thought you were a man," she laughed wickedly.  "I thought you were a person who took control of his own destiny and didn't bow down to anyone -- least of all, not your wife."

Dane stood in silence as his jaw tightened.

"Besides.  We had a deal!" she reminded.  "I convinced Sara to drop out of school -- to stay at home and be a proper and respectable wife.  I thought that you agreed with me that as long as she had a controlling share of your inheritance, you would constantly be at the beck and call of whatever whim she might have."

"Sara's not like that!" he spoke up suddenly.  "She's never been the type of girl to hold something like that over my head."

"But she is the type of girl who'd blackmail you into a marriage that you didn't want?"

He couldn't say anything.  He knew she had a point.  However, even so, that didn't matter.

"Dane, it's time someone taught Sara a lesson."  Joyce's features grew softer and more pleading as she decided to try a different approach.  "She forced you into a marriage you didn't want and then she cheated on you with my husband so that she could get her hands on his money.  "

"I'm...I'm not so sure I believe that anymore," he muttered softly.  "No matter what faults Sara might have, she's always been loyal to me."

"You're a fool!" she snapped, again growing angry.  "You're a damned fool!"  Feeling that her emotions were starting to get out of control, Joyce took several long breaths to calm herself before speaking again.  "She's making a fool out of you, Dane.  It's clear that she has all the control in your marriage.  She forced you to marry her which caused your father to disinherit you and then she cheated on you with my husband so that she could get all of the money she didn't get when she married you.  She took away everything that you had and then gave a little bit of it back, but gave herself more so that you'd be dependent on her!  She's got you wrapped around her little finger and she controls every move you make!"

"No one controls me!" Dane barked.  "I'm my own man and I make my own decisions.  I do as I damn well please, Sara or no Sara."

"I'm sure you do."  Joyce smiled slyly as if she knew much more than she was willing to let on.  "So, Dane, what is it?  Are you going to remain Sara's little lap dog, bowing to her every whim, or are you going to be a man and teach her a lesson?  What are you going to do Dane?  The choice is yours."

TO BE CONTINUED

ON MONDAY

Dane decides where his loyalties lie.

For Now and Forever
produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

2001- 2011 Classic Soap Productions