SUNSET ROOM - MAIN BALLROOM
dare you?" Burt
spat back angrily, his hands balled up into fists.
"You know, to hear your father talk, you're
nothing short of the second coming, but right now I
see exactly what kind of man you are!"
be so sanctimonious, Burt," Reginald
replied coolly. "I'm the kind of man who
would do whatever it took to protect his family and
that includes getting rid of some opportunistic
mongrel." He moved even closer to Burt.
"Take the money, Burt. It'll be much easier
for you this way. You'll have a tidy sum to go
start a new life somewhere else where you'll be far
away from this family."
tell you what you can do with your money!"
make this difficult." Reginald was so calm
and confident that it was rather unsettling.
"You know this would be best for all of us."
How can you do this?" Burt shook his head
in confusion, still in shock from Reginald's proposal.
"I...thought that we were friends. We've
always gotten along. You've had no problem with
back when I took you at face value. That's back
when you were just a simple guy working on a farm who
seemed to want to make the best out of his life."
Reginald stepped back and began to slowly pace around
Burt. "But then I saw to what lengths you'd
go to do that. You set out to con your way into
not just my family, but Jillian's
family, too. I love my family, Burt, and I love
my wife's family. I refuse to let some two-bit
hayseed with some outlandish story of long-lost
paternity con his way into all of this. It
wouldn't be right -- not to my father and not to Janet.
How could you use them like this?"
disgust me," Burt hissed, his jaw tightening up.
"I love Janet. I married Janet. And
I've grown to care a great deal about your father and
your family. Look, I admit that I wasn't exactly
ready to do back flips over the idea of who I really
was and I came in with guns blazing, furious and angry
with your family for throwing a innocent little baby
and his mother
aside like garbage, but I realized that it wasn't your
and it wasn't your family as a whole who deserved my
anger -- it was your grandfather. He's the one
who caused all of this hurt and pain. He's the
one who should be reviled and held up for
you dare drag my grandfather's name around in the
dirt!" Reginald reached out and grabbed
Burt by his collar. "My grandfather was a
good man. He was a hardworking and generous man
who built this family and our business from the ground
up! How can you even attempt to make judgments
and assessments about him when you never even knew
never had a chance to know him! He saw to
that!" Burt grabbed hold of Reginald's
wrist as the duo began to struggle. "I'll
tell you what you can do with your money and your
attitude -- you can take both of them and go to
the devil is going on here?" came the voice of
Jillian Callison from behind them.
sound of his wife's voice startled Reginald and he
immediately let go of Burt and took several quick
steps away from him. His face was beat red with
anger and he was breathing heavily. He couldn't
have covered up the intensity of the situation if he'd
what's going on? What happened?"
Janet Lamont raced over to Burt's side and took his
arm. "What's wrong?" Her eyes
instantly went to Reginald. "What did you
do? What did you say to him?"
telling the truth," Reginald muttered, unable to
look in Jillian's direction. He knew how overly
generous and kind she was. He knew she wouldn't
be able to understand. "And it appears that
your husband and I don't see eye to eye."
say we don't." Burt pulled Janet to him and
put his arms around her. "Look, don't worry
about it. I'm fine." He placed his
index finger under her chin and lifted her head gently
so that he could look deeply into her eyes.
"Honest." He paused and turned towards
Reginald. "It's over now. We just had
a little disagreement." His eyes bore a
deep hole into Reginald before he turned back to his
wife and took a long, deep breath. "I think
I need some air. Care to join me?"
course, I would." Janet smiled warmly as
her husband took her by the arm and led her away.
However, she couldn't help but turn back to look at
Reginald. She was certain that something serious
had happened and it wasn't merely as innocent as a
happened?" Jillian's tone was stern and
severe once her sister and brother-in-law were out of
earshot. "What did you say to Burt?"
"We had a
difference of opinion," he replied coolly.
"It's obvious that we don't agree on a few
walked up on was more than just a difference of
I think you're making too much out of this."
He gently took her by the arm and began to walk with
her across the room back to where their families were
gathered. "I had to make sure that Burt's
intentions towards Janet were honorable and he simply
took it the wrong way."
nothing for you to get yourself worked up over."
He stopped and turned to her and smiled. "I
love your family very much and anyone who intends to
become a part of it better pass inspection."
A hearty chuckle punctuated the levity he was trying
to inject. "I was just testing him."
him?" She gasped at how cavalierly he was
treating what had happened. "Reginald, you
and Burt were almost involved in a full-fledged brawl!
That was no 'test,' as you put it." She
paused and inhaled deeply. "Now, what did
you say to Burt? Either you're going to tell me
or I'm going to find out from Burt!"
silently for a few moments and nodded, mentally
weighing his options. It would sound better
coming from him, after all. Finally...
"I offered to pay Burt to leave town."
The words hung
in the air. Jillian was visibly stunned and
didn't quite know what to say.
wait!" He threw up his hands to silence
her. "Before you go jumping to conclusions,
let me explain."
Explain?" She raked her fingers
through her golden hair, unable to fathom what he'd
said. "How could you? How could you
do something like that? Burt's your own flesh
and blood!" His jaw tightened as she spoke
the words. "No wonder it looked like Burt
wanted to slug you in the jaw! I know I would
like I said, I just wanted to test him -- to see what
he'd do." He took a long deep breath.
"And he passed with flying colors."
Reginald, what were you thinking? I know there's
been tension between the two of you for months -- ever
since everyone found out that Burt was your uncle
Landon's son. I haven't forgotten your behavior
at the hospital the night that Daddy
making too much out of this."
think I am! Reginald, I swear to you...."
Suddenly, a sharp pain pierced her side and she
doubled over slightly in reaction. "Ohhhh...."
Jillian, what's wrong? Are you all right?
The baby...." He flew to her side and put
his arm around her to support her until the pain had
passed. "What happened?"
know," she muttered, quite startled and uneasy
about what had just happened. However, as soon
as the pain had come on, it was gone.
"I'm...fine. I don't know what it was,
but...I'm fine, now. It's gone." She
rubbed her abdomen gently.
Campbell over here to take a look at you?"
fine." Her tone was unnervingly calm --
almost as if she was trying to stave off her own
internal concerns. "I have a checkup
scheduled for in the morning. I...I'll ask the
doctor about it then." She allowed her
husband to lead her by the hand, his arm still around
her waist, as they continued to walk across the room.
"Reginald, please try to get along with Burt.
He's your family -- a part of both of our
families, now. Please, do this for me?"
he nodded, his eyes focused only on her.
"Anything for you, Jillian. Anything for
you." And, in that moment, he meant every
word he said because Burt Lamont was now the furthest
thing from his mind. His thoughts were only of
his expectant wife and the unnerving sequence of
events that had just happened.