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

 

EPISODE #136 (Monday, 11/18/02)
Same Day
June 1936 - Evening

SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY

"Dane, it's time someone taught Sara a lesson."  Joyce Preston'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," Dane Manchester 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."

THE WISHING WELL SODA SHOPPE

Randy Lamont walked through the front doors with his head hung low.  He didn't look at anyone or anything.  His mind was too full of thoughts to focus on anything else.  In fact, he hadn't even intended on going to The Well.  When he'd left home, he hadn't had a destination.  All he knew was that he had to get away -- away from his brother and away from everything that was going on.  Little did he know that he was about to run right into yet another part of his life that had been weighing heavily on his mind.

"Randy!" Maggie Callison called out as she shot up out of a booth and ran over to him.  However, once she reached his side, she stopped, realizing her over enthusiasm, and took a deep breath.  "I...I mean...hi.  How are you doing?  I didn't expect to see you tonight."

"What are you doing here?" he muttered, not really looking at her.  "I figured you'd be at home enjoying your big new house."

"Well, it is pretty nice," she admitted, "but a house is just a house.  If it's just me and Mom and Dad in it, it still gets pretty boring."

Slowly, Maggie's bright attitude and warm demeanor began to drag Randy out of his somber mood and his own tone began to lighten.

"So, where's your boyfriend?" he asked curiously as he looked around the shop.  "If you're out on the town for the evening, he can't be far away."

"Stanley is not...."  Maggie caught herself.  "I don't know where Stanley is.  I think he said something about going to the library."  She looked down at the floor, unable to meet Randy's eyes.  "I...don't want to talk about Stanley."  She paused and looked up at Randy.  "I want to talk about you."

"Me?"  He let out a small laugh, surprised by and curious about her interest.  "What do you want to talk to me about?"

"Are you okay?" she asked with concern as she looked at him closely.  "You...don't seem like yourself.  You look like there's something on your mind.  Is there...something you want to talk about?"

"No, I'm fine," he muttered and then pushed past her, causing her to turn and follow after him.  "It's just...some things at home."

"Well...maybe talking about it might help."

"Nothing's gonna fix this," he grumbled as he threw himself into a booth.

"You don't know that."  Maggie slid into a seat across from him, watching him the entire time.  "Oh, come on and tell me what's wrong?  Maybe I can help."

"I don't want to talk about it!"

His stern tone startled Maggie and she leaned back in her seat, unsure about what to say next.

"Randy, please talk to me," she finally said as she reached across the table to take his hand.  "This isn't...like you.  You're...worrying me."

"I said I don't want to talk about it!" he snapped angrily and jerked his hand away.  "Don't you listen?  What is it with you people?"

"W-what?"

"You Callisons are all the same!  You just want to stick your noses in where they don't belong.  Don't any of you know how to just leave people alone?"

Randy's words cut Maggie to the quick and she sank down deep into her seat.  Why had he said such things to her?  What had she done to make him so angry?  She wasn't sure, but his biting comments hurt her terribly and she fought to keep her bottom lip from quivering.

"Well!  Look who we have here!" came the all too familiar voice of Eliza Campbell as she quickly walked over to where Randy and Maggie were sitting.  However, as soon as she reached the table, she noticed the tension between them.  "I'm not interrupting anything, am I?"  Her eyes darted from Randy to Maggie.

"No," Maggie mumbled, unable to look at either of them.

"Good!" Eliza smiled broadly in response and then slid into the booth next to Randy.  "So, what's going on?"

As her eyes again jumped from Maggie to Randy, they both sat in utter silence.  However, that silence said a thousand words.  Eliza had interrupted something -- but what?  That was something that Eliza was determined to find out.

SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY

"Answer me!" Joyce snapped angrily.  "Are you a man or are you...."

"If you'd shut up long enough, I'd give you an answer!" Dane interrupted angrily, his mother-in-law's ravings quickly grating on his nerves.

She paused for a moment and inhaled deeply as she waited for what he had to say.

"Well, go on."

"I told you that I was going to help you put Sara in her place and that's exactly what I'm going to do."  He began to pace around the room, only stopping for a moment to look in her direction.  "You're absolutely right.  Sara's way out of line.  She can't get away with everything she's done.  I'm going to show her who's in charge of this marriage."

"You have a fine way of going about it," Joyce said as she followed him around the room.  "You're supposed to talk Sara into drawing up that trust fund -- not out of it!"

"If you think it's going to be that easy, you've been fooling yourself."  He stopped at the bar and poured himself a snifter of brandy.  "You know good and well that Sara's a smart girl.  If I just threw all of my support behind this trust fund idea, she'd know something was wrong.  She knows that I wouldn't voluntarily part with the money we got from your husband."

"But, I...."

"That's why I've got to talk her into it, but make her think it was her idea," he continued as he ignored Joyce's obvious questions.  "Then I get her to talk me into it.  I can't be a pushover about this or she'll know something's up."

"You've got a point," Joyce muttered and then pursed her lips together in deep thought.  "Hmmm.  Talk Sara into it, but make her think it's all her idea."

Dane carefully glanced in Joyce's direction, making every effort to keep her from realizing that he was watching her closely.

"So, do you really think that your husband is the father of that girl's baby?"

"Honestly?"  She walked over to the bar and began to pour her own drink.  "I don't know.  It's very possibly that what she says is true, but I've got no concrete proof of it."

"Then how do you know that she's not the one conning you?"

"She very well could be," Joyce agreed with a slight nod.  "That's why we're going to use her to our advantage.  Give her just enough to pacify her and then cut her off without any recourse.  She's too stupid to read the fine print on the trust fund documents, anyway."

"Are you sure about that?"

"I'm positive," she smiled slyly.  "If this plays out exactly as I've planned -- and with your help, I'm sure it will -- Naomi will only get a pittance of what she's expecting while the rest will be divided up nicely between the two of us."

"And Sara?"

"Oh, she'll still have a nice sum of money," Joyce grinned, "but it won't be anything compared to how much you have.  You'll finally have controlling interest in my husband's estate and your marriage."

"I like the sound of that."  Dane savored the idea as he took a lengthy sip of his brandy.

"Now, I think I'm going to go talk to Naomi and tell her that Sara's about ready to start drawing up those trust fund papers."  Joyce began to walk towards the door.  "It's only a matter of time before we all have everything we've ever wanted."

Once Joyce had stepped out into the foyer, she struggled to hide the Cheshire cat grin on her face.  Dane was a fool if he honestly thought that he'd see any of Sara's money.  Joyce had no intention of sharing her ill-gotten gains with anyone.

Meanwhile, back in the library, Dane downed the last of his drink and smiled broadly with satisfaction.  She'd bought it.  Joyce had bought every word hook, line, and sinker.  There was no way in hell he was about to let his mother-in-law or that girl get their hands on his wife's money.

As he turned around to catch one final glimpse of Joyce as she walked up the stairs, he noticed a gnawing feeling in his gut.  Something wasn't right.  Of course, his mother-in-law was a greedy witch, but his instincts were telling him that there was more than that going on.  But what?  Dane realized that his approach in dealing with Joyce was the right one -- keep your friends close and your enemies closer.  As she disappeared up the stairs and out of sight, he silently vowed to be stuck to Joyce like glue.

THE DAVIS HOME - LIVING ROOM

"Darling, that's wonderful!" Edwina Blake exclaimed as she held the telephone receiver up to her ear.  "I'm glad that the summer semester is going so well.  Do you think you'll be able to make it for a visit during the mid-term break?"

"Dad's coming?" Lorraine Davis asked as she looked up from the needle point that she'd been working on.

"I think so," Edwina mouthed silently to her daughter as she continued to listen to what her husband was saying on the other end of the line.  "Oh, Anton, that's great!  I miss you so much.  Yes, Lorraine misses you, too.  You just have to come and see the baby.  I know, dear."

"Mom, ask him about Grace."  Lorraine set her needle point aside and rose from the sofa so that she could walk over to her mother.  "Is she doing okay?  Is she having any problems?"

"Honey, Lorraine wants to know about...."  Edwina paused and listened carefully.  "Well, that's good, isn't it?  So, she's not having any problems?  Good."

"Ask him about...."

"What about her classes?  Good.  Good.  I was a little afraid that she wouldn't be able to stay caught up by leaving so late in the semester.  Well, of course, it's going to be difficult, but she's a very determined and stubborn young lady.  What?  Oh, all right, dear.  Yes, I'll talk to you later.  I love you, too."

"Mom, what did he say?" Lorraine asked as Edwina hung up the phone.  "How's Grace doing?"

"Your father said she's doing fine."  Edwina took her daughter's hand and led her back over to the sofa.  "She's enrolled in classes at Rosehill College.  He said that it's a good thing that he's such good friends with Dean Sterling or he wouldn't have been able to get the work that she'd done so far last semester to transfer, but she's still right on track."

"And what about...?"

"Honey, she's fine," Edwina reassured.  "A little frightened, I'm sure, but she's going to be fine."

"Oh, sweetheart, I'm sorry I'm late," Douglas Davis spoke up as he came hurrying through the front door.  "I just got so tied up at the office that I lost track of time and...."  He paused and lifted an eyebrow as he sniffed the air.  "Don't tell me you held dinner for me.  You know that if I get tied up and I'm late that you're supposed to just...."

"This family eats at the same time," Lorraine said firmly.  "I just hope that chicken isn't as tough as shoe leather by now."

"You should've gone ahead without me."  Douglas draped his jacket over the back of his chair and yanked off his tie.  He hated wearing those things.

"Darling, next time you're gonna be late, call and let me know."  Lorraine again rose from the sofa and walked over to pick up her husband's discarded jacket and tie so that she could hang them on the coat tree by the front door.

"I'm sorry, I thought that I would've been done before now.  It's just that I had all of these contracts to review and I'm still straightening out the organizational mess that Chamberlain left behind and I haven't had a secretary that stays around longer than a week since Annabelle died."

"I'm going to go check on dinner," Edwina spoke up and quickly excused herself from the room.

"Douglas, we've barely been able to spend any time together as a family."  She bit her lip nervously.  "You know I think the world of Mr. Callison, but he's working you far too hard.  Maybe you should just ease into your new position and...."

"Honey, the publishing world can't just come to a grinding halt just because I got promoted and need time to get accustomed to my new responsibilities."  He walked over to the bar and poured himself a bourbon and water in an effort to unwind.  "I've got to jump in there with both feet and figure out what I'm doing while keeping the office running as smoothly as possible all at the same time.  Besides, you knew that this promotion would involve some long hours when I accepted it."

"I know, but..."

"This is going to be good for this family," Douglas smiled and then quickly downed the rest of his drink before walking over to her and taking her into his arms.  "This promotion is going to allow me to take care of this family the way it needs to be taken care of."  He paused and looked down into Lorraine's eyes and smiled.  "But, from now on, I'll be sure to call and let you know when I'm running late and I promise you that I'll never miss a meal with this family."

"Oh, Douglas," she sighed and hugged him tightly.

"Now, you go help you mother finish getting things set up for dinner and I'll be in in a moment."  He walked back over to the bar and fixed himself another drink.  "You'll see.  Once the kinks in this promotion are ironed out, things are going to be better than ever for all of us."

THE STOKES MANSION - LIVING ROOM

"Join us again next time for another dramatic story on Powell & Gilbert Playhouse!" the radio announcer said as Leticia Rutherford and her daughters Judith Linford and Janet Stokes listened carefully.  Just as the program went to commercial, the telephone rang.

"Mrs. Rutherford," Ruby Thomas, the family maid, spoke up as she entered the room, "it's for you.  It's Miss Jillian."

"Wonderful!" Leticia exclaimed and quickly jumped up out of her seat so that she could switch off the radio before hurrying to the phone.

Left alone on the sofa, both Judith and Janet made every effort to avoid direct eye contact.  Neither one of them had forgotten the events that had happened at the wedding reception, but neither did they feel like bringing them up.  Well, at least Janet didn't.

"What are you trying to hide from me?" Judith finally asked, breaking the silence.  "What is there about my accident that you don't want me to know?"

"Judith, I thought that we'd settled this," Janet muttered, still avoiding eye contact.  "What you remember happened after you fell.  It was after you fell when you saw me."

"So you've managed to convince Burt."

"It's the truth!"

Judith eyed her younger sister carefully as she considered what she had to say.  Finally, she realized that it would be best not to press the issue -- at least not yet.  Janet was clearly determined to keep whatever she knew a secret and no amount of needling on Judith's part was going to get it out of her.  However, Judith knew that the truth was locked somewhere inside her own head and she was certain that if she worked hard enough at it, she could remember it.

"Jillian said that she's having a wonderful time in Hawaii," Leticia spoke up as she walked back into the room.  "She sends her love to both of you and wanted me to tell you that she'll be home soon."

"Oh, that's great!" Janet exclaimed enthusiastically.  "I'm so glad that she and Reginald are enjoying their honeymoon."

"Speaking of being home soon...."  Judith turned her attentions from her sister to her mother.  "Where's step-father dearest tonight?  I would have assumed that he would have wanted to spend a nice evening alone with the family."  She made little effort to hide the sarcastic tone in her voice.

"He's at the hospital," Leticia explained as she tried to ignore the real meaning behind her daughter's question.  "You know he has responsibilities as a doctor that he has to take care of."

"As much time as he spends at the hospital, you'd think he was trying to find the cure for polio."

"Judith, I'm not discussing this with you," Leticia said firmly.  "You've made your opinions about my marriage very clear.  I honestly don't see any reason for you to state them again."

"Of course you don't," she sighed in annoyance.  "It's not like you listen to them anyway.  You're too busy having your head up in the clouds and eating up every line that man has been spoon feeding you to listen to the voice of reason."

"Judith, why do you have to act like this?" Janet asked in a stern, yet hushed whisper.  "Are you such a miserable person that you can't stand to see anyone happy?  This is the happiest I've seen Mother in years and you seem dead set on ruining it for her!"

"What kind of real happiness can it be if it's all based on a lie?"  Judith turned to coldly look at her sister -- so coldly, in fact, that it sent a chill down Janet's spine.

"Just stop it right now!" Janet snapped angrily.  "Burt loves me and you know it.  Why do you always have to...."

"Burt?"  Judith eyed Janet curiously.  "I never said anything about Burt.  Why would you think that I was...."

Suddenly, Judith felt her head start to spin and she shakily rose to her feet.

"Judith, are you all right?" Leticia asked as she noticed her unsteady state.  "You don't look..."

"I'm...fine."

"No!  You're just trying to keep me and Burt apart!  Just like you tried to keep me and Gordon apart!  You're not happy unless everyone else is as miserable as you are!  Well, I'm not going to let you!"

And then, Judith collapsed into a crumpled heap on the floor.

THE WISHING WELL SODA SHOPPE

"I just can't believe my wonderful luck!" Eliza exclaimed as she quickly grabbed onto Randy's arm, pulling him closer to her.  "I come down here for a quick malt and here you are!"  Her eyes darted to Maggie.  "So, where's your boyfriend?"

"I...um...don't know where Stanley is," Maggie muttered, her eyes focused only on the paper menu that lay in front of her.  She just couldn't bring herself to look up at Randy and Eliza while they were cozied up together.

"Oh, what a shame."  Eliza made an over-exaggerated sigh.  "Too bad he's not here.  We could have ended up with an impromptu double date."

"I...really don't feel up to this tonight, Eliza," Randy said softly and then fidgeted in his seat.  "I'm just not in the mood."

"Nonsense!" she laughed and then glanced from him to Maggie again.  "So...you two looked like you were having a deep conversation when I came in.  What were you talking about?"

"Nothing," Maggie spoke up quickly, alarming Eliza.  "We were...not really talking about anything important."

"It sure looked important."  Eliza's eyes moved back to Randy.  "Is everything okay?"

"Everything's fine," Randy said sternly.  "Maggie and I were just...having a difference of opinion."

"Oh, really?"

"Yes, we were."  Maggie felt her face flush as she remembered the nature of their disagreement.  As she stared intently at Randy, she turned her attention to her best friend.  "So, Eliza, could I ask you a question?"

"Sure!  You know you can ask me anything."  She grabbed onto Randy's hand and held it tightly, making sure Maggie would notice.

"Do you think there's much of a difference between your family and my family?"

"Of course, there is!" Eliza laughed.  "My goodness, Maggie, your family's rich!  Your dad owns an entire company.  My dad's just a doctor."

"He's not just a doctor, Eliza," Maggie corrected, quickly, not at all happy with the answer she'd been given.  "He's the chief of staff at the hospital.  That's an incredibly important position.  He's responsible for saving lives.  My dad's just responsible for printing a bunch of books and the newspaper."

"True," Eliza nodded as she considered what Maggie had said.  "My father's job is much more important than your father's, but...well...your family still has tons of money."

"We. Don't. Have...."

"And you are a direct descendent of the founder of this town," Eliza continued, ignoring Maggie's obvious unspoken pleas for her to stop.  "And your family is probably the most important family in town and...."

"See?  I told you," Randy spoke up as he looked directly at Maggie.

"Randy Lamont, you're acting like a real creep!" Maggie snapped angrily.  "This has nothing to do with her family or my family and you know it!"

"I don't think I...."

"This is really about your brother being my cousin and the fact that you can't stand it!"  As soon as the words were out of her mouth, Maggie realized she'd broached a topic that she clearly knew had been off limits.

"I think I've had about enough of this," Randy spat angrily.  "I'm going home!"  He began to rise to leave, but stopped and turned his full attention to Maggie.  "Maybe you need to go find your boyfriend and pester him some!"

His words stung Maggie and, before he had a chance to fully rise to his feet, Maggie jumped out of her seat and ran for the door.  As she pulled open the door and dashed outside, she ran smack dab into none other than Stanley Fitzpatrick -- the "boyfriend" in question.

"Mags!" Stanley exclaimed with surprise.  "Gee, I didn't expect to run into you tonight."  He paused and cocked an eyebrow as he considered what he'd said.  "Hmmm....  'Run into.'"  He let out a hearty laugh.  "Get it?  I literally ran into you and...."

"Shut up, Stanley," Maggie snapped as an impetuous idea popped into her head.  Seizing a spiteful impulse, she grabbed hold of Stanley tightly and pulled him close before giving him a long and deep kiss.

TO BE CONTINUED

TOMORROW

Naomi's attitude upsets Ruby and angers Calvin.

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

2001- 2011 Classic Soap Productions