For Now and Forever
EPISODE #139 (Thursday,
CALLISON PUBLICATIONS - CHARLES'S OFFICE
"So, that was what you two were talking about, wasn't it?" Douglas Davis asked, shaking his head in disbelief. Why couldn't Trevor Callison just leave it alone? What did he have to be so obsessed with Grace's disappearance?
Charles Callison stopped and inhaled deeply, unsure whether to reveal the exact nature of his conversation with his son, Trevor.
"Never mind," Douglas muttered as he slumped down into one of the large chairs. "You don't have to say anything. Your silence is all I need to hear."
"Douglas, Trevor loves Grace. He really loves her." Charles leaned forward onto his desk and looked intently at Douglas. "I don't understand why you're being so secretive about all of this."
"No, you don't understand," he sighed and looked down out his hands. "No one would understand." After several long moments, he looked up at Charles and took a deep breath. "Tell me exactly what you two were talking about."
"Tell me." Douglas leaned forward. "I want to know exactly what Trevor is up to concerning my sister and I want to know now!"
THE DAVIS HOME - LIVING ROOM
"I can't believe that you barely got off the plane and you came over here," Lorraine Davis said as she carried two cups of coffee into the living room -- one for her and one for her best friend, Jillian Callison. "I would have thought that you and Reginald would still be in the middle of honeymoon bliss."
"We would have been," Jillian laughed, "if his mother hadn't come for a visit."
"Mother-in-law trouble already?" Lorraine cocked an eyebrow in surprise. "I never took Francis Callison as being the meddling mother-in-law type."
"She's not, really." Jillian lifted the cup to her lips and took a sip of coffee. "I think the world of her."
Jillian set the cup down on the coffee table and let out a deep sigh before slumping back wearily into her seat on the couch. "She and Reginald have got it in their heads that I can't be a proper wife on my own."
"Excuse me?" Lorraine shook her head, slightly, not sure she understood what Jillian was trying to say.
"They want me to hire a housekeeper," Jillian explained. "Apparently they don't think I'm capable of doing things on my own."
"Well, you don't exactly have a background of domestic service," Lorraine laughed. "I don't think finishing school prepared you for scrubbing floors."
"That's besides the point!" Jillian folded her arms tightly across her chest and glared. "You sound like you don't think I can do it, either!"
"That's not what I'm saying. I have no doubt that you can do anything you set your mind to."
"Look at you! You don't have a housekeeper or a maid and you do just fine."
"I don't have one because we can't afford one," Lorraine reminded. "Besides, I had Grace around to help out and then my mother came to visit...."
"All right, all right." Jillian threw up her hands to stop Lorraine. "I see your point. But you've got a baby to take care of, too. I just have to take care of me and my husband." She shook her head, unable to comprehend why everyone was having such a difficult time seeing her point of view. "Let's talk about something else. I've spent the better part of the morning going over this with Reginald and his mother and I just don't feel like getting into it again."
"Okay," Lorraine nodded and then paused to think of other local news that had happened during Jillian's absence. "Did you know that Patterson and Stephanie got back today, too?"
"No, I didn't. Did you see them?"
"I was over at Paddy's when they got home." Lorraine winced due to the uncomfortable memory of her earlier clash with Stephanie Monroe.
"What's wrong?" Jillian asked as he eyed her friend closely. "You don't seem too happy about Paddy and Stephanie being back."
"Oh, I'm very happy that Paddy's home," Lorraine explained. "Stephanie, on the other hand...."
"What happened?" Jillian leaned forward so that she could listen closely.
"Stephanie's just being Stephanie," Lorraine grumbled. "She wants to keep me from having anything do to with Todd. She doesn't want me to visit him or see him or...."
"You can't be serious." Jillian shook her head in disbelief.
"I'm very serious!" Lorraine slowly began to pace around the room. "She's got it into her head that I'm trying to interfere in her marriage."
"Well..." Jillian paused as she tried to consider logical reasons for Stephanie's attitude. "She and Paddy did just get married. I know exactly what that's like, remember? In spite of all the happiness she's feeling, there's a lot of adjustments to make."
"I know that. I had to go through the same things when Douglas and I got married."
"Well, the situation there was slightly different," Jillian pointed out, "but, still, this is a big change. Maybe you should just give her and Paddy a little time to get used to things."
"What?" Lorraine's jaw dropped. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. "You sound like you're taking her side!"
"Now, wait a second." Jillian threw up her hands to silence her friend. "I'm not taking anyone's side. All I'm saying is that you should give them some time. Stephanie will come around, eventually, and see the connection you have with Todd. Besides, I'm sure that Paddy will talk some sense into her. He's got a positive effect on her."
"Well, I hope you're right," Lorraine muttered.
The conversation was interrupted by the sudden ringing of the telephone.
"I'll get it!" Lorraine's mother, Edwina Blake, called out as she came down the stairs and headed for the phone. "Hello? Oh, hello, dear. Yes, I was waiting for your call." She smiled warmly and turned her back to her daughter so that she could have a private conversion with her husband. "What? Oh, Anton, you can't be serious! Oh, no! I...I...." She glance back over her shoulder at Lorraine, a worried expression on her face. "Yes, dear, I understand. I love you, too."
"Mom, what is it?" Lorraine asked as she quickly went to Edwina's side. "What's wrong."
Edwina bit her lip and looked down at the floor in disappointment. "Honey, I've...got some bad news."
SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY
"Well, I just helped Naomi put Aubrey down for his mid-morning nap," Sara Manchester said as she walked through the doors of the library. "I swear, that little baby looks so cute and peaceful when he's asleep."
"I think you're getting too attached to that baby," her husband, Dane, commented as he glanced up from the morning paper. "I don't think it's good that you're becoming so involved with that girl and her kid."
"How can I not get attached?" She walked over to the sofa and sat down before picking up one of her movie magazines and flipping through it. "They live here. I've kinda gotten used to them being around." She looked up and smiled wistfully. "Besides, Aubrey is so cute."
"Sara, we only let them move in so that we could keep an eye on her -- so we could find out whether she's telling the truth." He put down his newspaper and got up out of his seat so that he would walk over to the sofa and sit down next to his wife. "We didn't move her in so that we could make her part of our family."
"We didn't do anything," Sara reminded quickly. "You've been opposed to her living her since before she moved in."
"And I'm still opposed to it, if you want to know the truth!"
"Oh, Dane, Naomi's had a difficult life." She wrung her hands anxiously. "My heart goes out to her. It can't be easy to raise a baby alone. I mean, Mr. Preston's dead and...."
"What?" Dane looked at her with surprise. "You...almost sound like you believe her story!"
"Don't tell me that you actually think that Thornton Preston is that baby's father!"
"Well...." Sara's voice trailed off as she turned away. She couldn't bear to look at him. "I'm...inclined to believe it more and more."
"I can't believe I'm hearing this!" Dane quickly rose to his feet and began to angrily pace around the room. "Sara, you can't believe a word that comes out of that girl's mouth! She's here for one thing and one thing only...money!"
"Dane, I agree with you about that." She got up and walked over to him so that she could grab his arm, forcing him to look at her and listen. "She is only here for the money. But that money is for her baby. How can we...consider not providing for that child?"
"You can't be serious."
"I'm very serious, Dane." She looked him dead in the eyes, determined to get her point across. "I'm going to go ahead and set up the trust fund for Aubrey. I can have it arraigned so that Naomi can administer it and..."
"But, Dane!" she pleaded. "We can't just leave that poor child without anything. He's Thornton Preston's son, for goodness sakes. How can we, in good conscience, deny that baby what's should rightfully be his?"
"We're not giving either that girl or her baby a dime!" Dane felt his blood pressure starting to rise as he looked at his wife sternly. "Do you hear me? Not. A. Dime."
"No 'buts', Sara!" He jerked himself out of her grasp and clinched his fists tightly. "We're not giving that girl anything! And furthermore, I want her and that kid of hers out of this house -- today!"
CALLISON PUBLICATIONS - CHARLES'S OFFICE
"It was really nothing," Charles said as he again rose from his seat so that he could walk around the room. "In fact, I'm...the one who brought Grace up."
Douglas watched Charles suspiciously. He didn't believe a word of it. "So why did I overhear you two talking about a detective?"
"Douglas, can we please just forget this? It bothers me enough, as it is, that Trevor's so consumed with the idea of finding her that he's starting to slip in his responsibilities to the paper."
"I don't mean to tell you how to conduct personal business with your son," Douglas began as he tried to pick his words carefully, "but we're talking about my sister. As much as you want what's best for him, I want what's best for her."
"I understand that," Charles nodded. "And, for whatever reason, she left town and clearly doesn't want Trevor to know why or where she is. That's her choice."
"Please, Charles, talk to Trevor. Convince him to give up on Grace."
"I wish I could, but...well...Trevor can be a little thick headed about things when he wants to be."
"You have to make him understand that he has to put her in his past." Douglas's eyes nearly pleaded with Charles. "I'm only looking out for what's best for her."
"I have no doubt about that, but...." He paused and took a deep breath. "Trevor's my son. I only want what's best for him and he's convinced that Grace is it."
"Trust me on this, Charles. If you really do want what's best for Trevor, you'll get him to give up on her. If he keeps up this quest of his to find her, he's only going to end up hurting everyone involved."
Charles leaned back against the edge of his desk and considered what Douglas was saying. Even though he was as in the dark about what was going on with Grace as Trevor was, he realized that Douglas had a point.
"If only Trevor had some big project to keep him occupied," Charles muttered as he rubbed his chin. "Maybe that would keep him too busy to worry about Grace. I probably should be sending him on this trip instead of you, but...."
"Trip?" Douglas interrupted. "What trip?"
"That's what I wanted to meet with you about," Charles began to explain as he walked around his desk and sat back down in his chair. "Do you remember me telling you about Orin Macalister?"
"I've almost got him convinced to sign with us." Charles reached into his top desk drawer and pulled out the file he'd been going over earlier. "But he's still holding out for a better deal. However...."
"I've got a meeting scheduled for you with Macalister." Charles flipped through the schedule book on his desk.
"Yes. This is going to be a big deal for us and I want you to handle it." Charles leaned back in his chair and eyed Douglas intently.
"But...why me?" Douglas shook his head in confusion. "Shouldn't you send one of your vice-presidents or someone actually in the publishing department to...."
"I'm sending you," Charles interrupted. "If anyone can convince Macalister to sign that contract -- one that you've drawn up, incidentally, and know better than anyone -- it's you. Besides, if that contract needs a little revision to get him to sign, you'll be right there to do it."
Douglas let out a small sigh of resignation. He knew that there'd be no talking Charles out of this. "Okay," he nodded. "I'll meet with him." He paused and eyed Charles curiously. "So, when's this meeting?"
"Next week in San Francisco."
"W-what?" Douglas's jaw dropped in shock.
"I've already booked you on a flight to Chicago with a connecting flight to San Francisco." Charles pulled an itinerary out of the file. "I would've preferred that this meeting was here, but he's off on some adventure in the South Pacific and he's only flying into country for the night before leaving for a trip to Africa and this is the only time we're going to be able to set up a meeting with him until he gets back."
"I want Macalister to be a part of Callison Publications before he boards that flight for Africa." Charles's tone implied that his statement was not as much a desire, but an order. "Get him to sign that contract."
Douglas slumped back into his seat and sighed. California, here I come.
THE DAVIS HOME - LIVING ROOM
"Mom, what's wrong?" Lorraine asked as she looked at her with eyes filled with worry. "Is it Dad? Nothing's wrong with him, is there?"
"Oh, no, dear. It's nothing like that." Edwina shook her head and sighed. "It's just that...well...you know he was planning on coming to see the baby and..."
"Yes, dear," Edwina nodded. "It looks like he'd scheduled himself to attend an educator's conference during the mid-term break and he can't get out of it. He's not going to be able to come."
"Oh, no." Lorraine's shoulders slumped in disappointment. It had been so long since she'd gotten a chance to see her father and she'd been looking forward to it. "Can't he reschedule?"
"No, sweetheart, he can't."
"Oh, well," Lorraine muttered with a sheer lack of enthusiasm as she walked over to the couch and slumped down into her seat. "I guess there's not much we can do about it."
"I know he'd be here if he could be," Jillian spoke up and put a reassuring hand on Lorraine's.
"I miss him."
"I know you do," Jillian nodded. "I know exactly how it feels to miss your father." She thought wistfully about her own late father.
"That just ruins my whole day." Lorraine propped her elbow on her knee and leaned forward, resting her chin in her hand. "As if Stephanie weren't enough to ruin it, as it is."
"I have an idea," Jillian smiled with enthusiasm. "Let's get you out of this house and go do something."
"Do something?" Lorraine turned to look at her friend curiously.
"Yes! You know how Reginald's mother is determined to make me the perfect Callison wife?"
"Yes," Lorraine nodded, not quite sure what Jillian was getting at.
"Well, she thinks that it would be in my best interest if I got involved with the hospital's ladies auxiliary," Jillian explained, "and they've got a meeting this afternoon. Now, I don't know about you, but being in the company of a bunch of old society hens isn't exactly my idea of the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon." She paused and sighed wearily. "But she's insisting that I go. They're planning that big Fourth of July fundraiser for the hospital."
"What does this have to do with me?" Lorraine was quickly growing more and more leery of Jillian's idea.
"I want you to go with me!"
"I...I don't know." Lorraine shook her head with uncertainty. "I mean, I'm not quite in the same league as those women. There's the mayor's wife and the wife of the president of the bank and Corinne Campbell and...."
"Lorraine, don't be silly," Jillian laughed. "You're the wife of the top attorney at Callison Publications. You're definitely in the same league."
"Please?" Jillian grabbed her hand again. "If you go with me, I won't feel so out of place."
"You? Out of place?" Lorraine couldn't help but laugh. "Jillian, you were raised as part of Manhattan society. You went to the best finishing schools and...."
"And I'm going to be bored silly if you don't go with me. Please?"
Lorraine let out a weary sigh and shook her head, not certain about what she should do. Would she really fit in with the type of women that belonged to the auxiliary? Did Douglas's promotion really up her social standing? She wasn't sure, but was slowly beginning to seriously contemplate Jillian's idea.
SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY
"Dane, you can't be serious!" Sara shook her head in disbelief. "We can't just throw a mother and her child out into the street!"
"I seriously doubt that she's going to be living on the street." He walked away from her and over to the bar where he poured himself a cup of coffee. "She does have a brother here in town. I'm sure that all she'd do would be to go to him and beg him for a place to stay."
"That's not the point and you know it!" She walked over to the bar so she could talk to him face to face. "Why are you so opposed to this? Aubrey is Thornton Preston's son and he deserves to have what's rightfully his."
"Open your eyes!" Dane snapped angrily. "That girl is nothing but a lying cheat! She's trying to pull a scam on you. That baby is no more Thornton Preston's son than I am! All she wants to do is weasel you out of a hefty sum of money. She wants control of that trust fund for herself -- not for her baby."
"The money," Sara nodded with realization. "That's what all of this is really about, isn't it?"
"I'm talking about your attitude about all of this. This has nothing to do with doing the right thing or being conned." She looked him dead in the eyes. "This has everything to do with greed. Your greed!"
"I don't have any idea what you're talking about," he grumbled and then took a sip of his coffee as he tried to ignore her accusations. "I just trying to take care of you."
"Dane Manchester, the only person you're trying to take care of is yourself! You're so opposed to this because you don't want to let go of even a dime of the money we got from Mr. Preston. You're greedy!" She paused and took a long breath to calm herself down. "In case you've forgotten, that money really shouldn't belong to us, anyway."
"Don't you ever say that!" Dane snapped as he slammed his coffee cup down, sloshing coffee out onto the bar. "Everything we inherited, we got because he wanted us to have it. Us, Sara. Us!"
"He only left us that money to spite my mother," she reminded. "If he hadn't found out that I was his wife's daughter, he wouldn't have left us a penny and you'd still be slaving away at the printing plant, trying to scrape together enough money for law school."
"It's about time your mother did something good for you," he grumbled to himself under his breath.
"What did you say?" Sara eyed him carefully, not sure that she'd heard his mutterings correctly. "What did you mean by that?"
"What I mean," he spoke up, realizing that he'd been overheard and couldn't explain his way out of it, "is that she ran off and left you when you were a kid. The entire time you were growing up, she wasn't there. She didn't do anything for you!"
"I know that, Dane, but...."
"It's about time she came through for you after all that time. Still, if you want my opinion, it's all too little too late!"
"Leave my mother out of this!" she snapped angrily. "I admit that she wasn't around when I was growing up. She was never there to be a mother to me, but....she's been trying to make up for that. For the first time that I can remember, I actually have a mother." She paused and inhaled deeply. What she was saying was having a greater emotional affect on her than she was prepared for.
"Do you really?" he sneered. "Wake up, Sara. You've got these Pollyanna dreams in your head about her and they couldn't be further from the truth."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Do you really want to know why I think this whole trust fund is a bad idea?" He paused for just a second -- not even long enough for Sara to give an answer. "I'll tell you why! That girl is working with your mother to con you out of your inheritance! Your mother is using her to get her hands on every penny you're stupid enough to hand over to her. She thinks that money should be hers and that you stole it from her. While you're ready to declare her 'mother of the year,' she plotting to rob you blind!"
Dane's words stunned Sara speechless. He was lying! He had to be lying. Her mother wouldn't do something as horrible as he was claiming. Not after everything they'd done to repair their relationship. He was wrong. He had to be wrong!
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to either Dane or Sara, Joyce Preston was standing right outside the open doors to the library and listening to every word.
"So you're going to talk her into it without her realizing it, eh?" she muttered to herself as she felt her blood begin to boil. "Why, you lying snake. I'll teach you to double cross me, Dane. This is one thing you're going to regret for a very long time."
TO BE CONTINUED
Jillian receives unexpected news.
For Now and Forever
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