produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #140 (Friday, 11/22/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
A Week Later
June 1936 - Morning


REGINALD & JILLIAN'S HOME - FOYER

2210 Elmwood LaneReginald Callison hurried down the stairs, tightening his tie.  He'd over slept and was worried that he was going to be late for work.  However, a quick check of his watch proved that he still had enough time for a quick cup of coffee at Joe's Cafe before he had to be at the office.

As his foot hit the bottom step, he paused and looked around curiously.  What was that smell?  Coffee?  Confused he followed the scent down the front hall and towards the kitchen.  What he found utterly shocked him.

"Good morning, dear," his wife, Jillian, turned and smiled as she put the bread in the toaster.  "I hope you've got time for breakfast."

"Breakfast?"  He eyed her suspiciously and moved further into the room.  There he saw an elaborately set table with their best china, polished silver, and delicate crystal.  In the center of the table was a bouquet of fresh cut flowers.  "When did you have the time to do this?  When I got up to get ready for work, I left you sound asleep in bed!"

Jillian Stokes Callison"You only thought I was sound asleep," she laughed as she wiped her hands on her apron before going over to kiss him tenderly.  "I got up right after you did."

"So...what's this all about?  You fixed breakfast?"

"Honey, I'm tired of you having to stop at Joe's on the way to the office for a bite to eat."  She walked over to the coffee pot and poured him a cup.  "I'm your wife and I should send you out of the house in the morning with a full stomach, ready to start your day."

"But you didn't have to go to so much trouble just for breakfast."  He glanced at the elaborate table as he took the cup from her.  "It's just breakfast."

"But I wanted it to be perfect!"

Reginald exhaled slowly and then took a sip of his coffee -- and then immediately made the worst face of his entire life.

Reginald Callison"Ew...um...."  He shuddered from the acrid taste.

"Is it all right?" she asked, looking at him with concern.  "I followed the directions and...."

"Have you...um...had a cup of coffee, yet?"  He tried to casually set his own cup aside, but his actions weren't lost on her.

"No, I've been so busy that I haven't had time."  She looked down at the discarded cup of coffee and furrowed her brow.  "What's wrong with it?"

"Nothing," he smiled warmly as he tried to hide his true feelings before picking up the cup and forcing down another sip.  "It's wonderful."

"Oh, I'm so glad," she sighed with relief.  "I was worried for a second."

Reginald set the cup down again and swallowed hard as he watched Jillian while she continued finishing breakfast.  A sinking feeling in his gut -- one other than the settling coffee -- gave him an uncomfortable sense of foreboding about the meal at hand.


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SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY

54 Spring Lake Dr."I'm gettin' tired of this waitin'," Naomi Jackson grumbled as she held her infant son, Aubrey, in her arms and fed him his bottle.  "I thought you said that I'd have my money by now?"

"Patience, Naomi.  Patience."  Joyce Preston hurried over to the large wooden doors of the library and pulled them tightly closed so that no one could overhear their conversation.  "Instead of griping about your share of the money, you should be happy that Sara managed to talk Dane out of throwing you out of the house."

"Speaking of that, I thought you said he was on our side?"  Naomi set the bottle down and leaned the baby over her shoulder so she could burp him.  "Wasn't he supposed to be pushing Sara to draw up that trust fund."

"Apparently, I was mistaken about my son-in-law's loyalties."  Joyce walked over to the sofa and sat down next to Naomi.  "It seems that Dane has decided to stab me in the back."

"What?"  The comment drew Naomi's full attention and she laid the baby down in the bassinet so that she could concentrate only on what Joyce was saying.

"Dane told Sara about our plan to use that trust fund to get our hands on her inheritance."  The more Joyce thought about what she'd overheard between Dane and Sara, the angrier she became.  "That little weasel told Sara everything!"

Naomi Jackson"Oh, my...."  Naomi's jaw dropped in shock.  "But...but...if she knows what we're doin', she's never gonna hand over that money.  That means I've been wastin' my time just sittin' around here waitin' for you to come through with the money you promised me!"

"Calm down."  Joyce took a deep breath and silently prayed for the strength to deal with Naomi.  "Just because he told her what's going on doesn't necessarily mean that she believed him.  After all, it's only his word against mine."

"And of course you told her that he was lying!"

"Well, not in so many words," Joyce smiled smugly.  "Besides, neither one of them has any idea that I know what he told her.  That means that if I set about to disprove Dane's claims without acting like I know what he's said, it makes me much more believable."

"And she'll just think he's lying to stir up trouble between the two of you!"  Naomi nodded as she slowly began to understand Joyce's plan.

Joyce Preston"Sara is just blissfully thrilled to have me back in her life.  She's not about to throw away our 'wonderful' relationship just because Dane told her to."  Joyce rose from the sofa and began to slowly pace around the room.  "But we can't completely discount the influence he has on her.  If he persists with his claims that you're a fraud and that we're only trying to get our hands on the money, he might start putting doubts in her head whether she wants them there or not."

"But...but..."  Naomi's voice started to shake as her eyes filled with worry.

She was starting to see all of her plans and dreams for her share of the money slowly go up in smoke.  She didn't have a real home, she didn't have a job, and she didn't have any money at all -- plus she had a kid to take care of.  If she didn't get her hands on the money Joyce had promised her, she didn't know what she was going to do.

"Now, you just leave this to me," Joyce grinned.  "I had a feeling that Dane couldn't be trusted, so I took out a little insurance policy."

"You did?"

"Yes," Joyce nodded.  "It should keep him preoccupied for a while so I can make sure that Sara believes that my intentions are noble."

"How are you...."

"You let me worry about that."  The look on Joyce's face immediately told Naomi that the gears inside her head were working overtime.  "The less you know, the better.  Let's just say that by the time I'm finished, the last thing on his mind will be some silly little trust fund."


REGINALD & JILLIAN'S HOME - KITCHEN

2210 Elmwood Lane"Honey, you've barely touched your eggs," Jillian pointed out as she peered over his shoulder.  "I thought that you liked them like that."

"I...um...like them over easy."  Reginald speared the eggs with his fork and lifted them off the plate.  "These are more like over...well...I'm not exactly sure what they're like."

"But I turned them over really easy."  She pointed out as she tried to think about what she'd done wrong.  "I was very gentle with them."

"Sweetheart, that's not...."  He let out a sigh and hung his head.

"You better hurry up and finish your breakfast or you're going to be late for work."  She began to scurry around the kitchen, straightening and cleaning as she went.  When she realized that she hadn't had her own cup of coffee, yet, she reached for the pot -- still almost completely full -- and poured herself a cup.

"Um...maybe I should just skip breakfast," Reginald muttered as he glanced at his watch and then at the overdone bacon, burnt toast, and something that was supposed to pass as eggs.  "I'm running a little late, already."

Jillian Stokes Callison"I can't have you going into the office on an empty stomach!"  She paused and took a sip of her coffee and then immediately made the worst face of her entire life.  "Oh, my lord!  This is horrible!  Why didn't you tell me?"

"Well, you went to so much trouble I didn't want to hurt your feelings."  He carefully covered his plate with his napkin and then rose from his chair so that he could walk over to her and take her into his arms.  "Honey, I appreciate the effort, but...."

"But I can't cook."  Her face showed her disappointment as she completed his sentence.  She'd tried so hard to make everything perfect.

"Not everyone can be a master chef," he pointed out.  "But...maybe you should reconsider hiring a housekeeper.  I mean, at least you'd have some help around the house and...."

"No, Reginald!" she spoke up firmly.  "I'm going to do this on my own."

"But all she'd be doing is helping.  She could teach you a few things that you don't know and then...."

"No!"  She folded her arms tightly across her chest in defiance.  "So, I'm not the best cook in the world.  I can learn on my own."

Reginald Callison"I'm sure you could."  He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close.  "But in the process, we're going to starve to death."

"Or have a table with our name on it at The Gardens," she grinned.  As an idea struck her, she stepped out of her husband's embrace and slowly tapped her chin with her index finger as she thought.  "You know, the university has a home economics department.  I'm sure they've got a beginning cooking class during summer school."

"You're going to take a class?"

"Of course!  Where's the best place to learn something?  School!"  Feeling a new sense of excitement, Jillian's face practically glowed with anticipation.  "I'm sure if I talk to the Dean, he can squeeze me in.  I'll just stop by the Registrar's office after my meeting and fill out the papers."

"Meeting?  What meeting?"

"Oh, that ladies auxiliary your mother has dragged me to," Jillian grumbled.  "Thank goodness Lorraine's been going with me.  I'm afraid that I'd be bored to tears if it weren't for her."

"I still think you should reconsider hiring a housekeeper."  Reginald eyed his wife with concern.  "It's not that I think you can't do it; it's because you shouldn't have to.  I don't want you slaving away here at home while I'm...."

"I'm doing it because I want to do it."  She walked over to him and touched him gently on the cheek.  "I'm your wife.  It's my job to take care of you."

"All right," he muttered with a nervous nod and then glanced down at his watch.  He still had enough time for a quick stop at Joe's to grab a doughnut and a real cup of coffee before his first editors' meeting.  "I just hope you know what you're getting yourself into."