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(formerly known as Novi) A traditional soap opera set in Novi, Michigan

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Monday, March 19th

Anna is having coffee with John at the estate.

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Anna: I know this was quite short notice, but I needed your expertise immediately.

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John: It's fine, my day was slow today and I always like to help out a friend.

Anna: You've probably already heard the news about McGregor.

John: That shocked the heck out of me. What's going on?

Anna: Apparently, it was some software error.

John: But you suspect otherwise.

Anna: Cassandra was the first to make the news public, she had the scoop. It just seems as if she had

some inside information.

John: Wouldn't be the first time.

Anna: She's committed corporate espionage before?

John: It's how she started in the corporate world.

Anna: Well, if she has a spy in McGregor, I need to find out who it is.

John: Spies are usually long gone after they deliver their information.

Anna: Makes sense, but I haven't a clue about who inside the company it could have been.

John: Low level staffers can do a lot more than you'd ever imagine, even temp workers.

Anna: And we have a lot of those.

John: My advice would be to have Yvette and Joseph keep everything very airtight right now, keep as much between them and board as possible.

Anna: Investors will want to know.

John: Secure communications over a secured network.

Anna: We already have that.

John: Not the kind I'm talking about. My firm has some special software that is made especially for this sort of situation.

Anna: All right, I'll tell Yvette to contact your firm.

John: We will get you squared away.

Anna: Thank you, we've never had to deal wit a spy before.

John: In this economy, it's more common. Everyone wants to make a quick buck.

Anna: When we find out who it is, they will be dealt with accordingly.

___________________________________

Yvette and Joseph are discussing the selling of assets at McGregor, when Leonard walks in.

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Joseph: Afternoon, Leonard.

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Yvette: Yes, we were expecting you.

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Leonard: First things first, since some of our board members can't be present constantly throughout this crisis, they suggested that I

speak collectively for them.

Yvette: That's fine, just as long as we have clear communication.

Joseph: Here is the latest, we have liqudated seven stores already, plus several unused properties.

Yvette: And unfortunately, we are expanding into furloughs. We have to let a ton of people go just to free up the cash.

Leonard: Is that enough to fill the shortfall?

Joseph: Not just yet.

Leonard: I'll report that to the board.

Yvette: I'm sure you will.

Leonard: Just a word of caution, I've talked to some investors, they are growing more restless.

Joseph: That's not a big surprise. We are working on unloading the men's line next.

Leonard: Now that ought to fetch a pretty penny, that's a gold mine.

Yvette: That's why it's up for sale.

Joseph: We did get some good news today, the bankers granted us an extention.

Leonard: Yes, that's fantastic news.

Joseph: It still is uphill from here, though.

Leonard: I've got to go, but please keep the board apprised.

Yvette: Of course.

Leonard leaves.

Yvette: I think it was him that called Mom and let her know about this mess.

Joseph: Why would he do that?

Yvette: I have no idea, but he's been the most vocal since this happened.

Joseph: His family does own stock, he's probably just protecting their investment.

Yvette: Could be, but I still think he's a little sneaky.

Joseph: His uncle was a loyal board member and although he was abrasive at times, he was reliable.

Yvette: I don't know. At this point, I need to focus strictly on the shortfall.

Joseph: We are closing the gap, if we get lucky with the men's line sale, we are in the clear.

Yvette: The offers I am getting aren't quite enough.

Joseph: I do have one potential offer, but I don't know if you'll like that buyer.

Yvette: Who is it?

Joseph: George.

Yvette: Absolutely not, after all the trouble he caused us, I wouldn't trust him.

Joseph: He sounds like he's changed and besides, if he's willing to buy the line, it's a clean sale and we owe him nothing.

Yvette: You've got a point, I'm just very leery about everything now.

Joseph: Hey, I have my reservations too, but if it comes down to his offer being the one saves this company from falling apart, then we have to take it.

Yvette: I still cannot believe that this happened. Everything had been going so well.

Joseph: Let's keep it together and stay focused, we can't afford to miss a step here.

Yvette: It's just overwhelming, especially now that Mom knows.

Joseph: We had breakfast this morning, she wasn't pleased that we didn't inform her immediately.

Yvette: I got the same talking too.

Joseph: Motivation, that's all I see it as.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Cassandra and George are at WNOV's studios.

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Cassandra: So, what do you think of my new station?

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George: You've done well fixing it up, but

Cassandra: There's a but.

George: I think you goals are all wrong.

Cassandra: Listen, I know that the McGregor story was to your liking, but is is news.

George: Which you have used to continue your games.

Cassandra: This goodie good act doesn't fit you

George: I grew up bitter and full of anger, hatred. It didn't feel good and I had to let go.

Cassandra: I'm not bitter and angry at all, I'm running a business and finally doing for myself.

George: I am glad you doing that, but I can tell you still are consumed with anger. I don't like to see that.

Cassandra: Call it what you like, it's your opinion.

George: When are you going to see what this is doing to you?

Cassandra: It's filling up my bank account, that's what it is doing.

George: You already ended up in trouble with the SEC over your antics, you may not be able to beat them again.

Cassandra: That is for me to worry about and trust me, I'm keeping my powder dry.

George: I guess that's the best I'll get from you.

Cassandra: Worrying about me is not something you need to be doing. Focus on what is going on with you.

George: I'm just afraid I'll end up implicated in something you've done.

Cassandra: You should have no fear of that.

George: Please, keep it like that.

Cassandra: Everything I'm doing now, I will own and very happily.

Sterling walks in.

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Sterling: Cassandra, some of our advertisers want more time, what should I tell them?

Cassandra: Give it to them, with the money they pay, it's a no brainer.

Sterling: Cool, I'll get back to them.

Sterling exits.

George: Your old partner in crime is helping out, now I know you're headed for trouble.

Cassandra: Like I said, you need not worry about me.

_____________________________________

Carol arrives at Yvette's office. Yvette's assistant shows her in.

Yvette: Good day, Carol.

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Carol: Likewise.

Yvette: I was a bit shocked at you wanting to make an offer on any of our assets, especially since

it would help save McGregor.

Carol: I see a lucrative buy and I go for it. I know how strong your men's line is and I'm confident I can make it stronger

under the Donahue banner.

Yvette: We are looking for the best offer, because it is such a gold mine.

Carol: I'm willing to offer you over market value, in fact, double.

Yvette: Seems you really want this.

Carol: Oh, yes.

Yvette: Double market value is good, but I do have to run this by the board.

Carol: Expected procedure. My bank is ready to cut a check within minutes of this deal being accepted.

Yvette: You definitely are well prepared to close a deal.

Carol: This is a rare opportunty, acting fast was something I didn't have to think about.

Yvette: It has it's risks for us, handing our best asset to our main competition could be suicide. But, our options are limited.

Carol: You know my offer, so I'm going to make my exit and let you sort things out.

Yvette: We'll get back to you soon.

Carol: Oh, I know.

Carol passes Joseph as she leaves.

Joseph: What's she doing here?

Yvette: She put an in offer for the mens line, double market value.

Joseph: Not hard to tell why she wants it so bad.

Yvette: Yep. So, what did the rest of the bankers say?

Joseph: Bad news.

Yvette: How bad?

Joseph: They've seized our main stores.

Yvette: No.

Joseph: And each day that they don't get a payment, there is a penalty.

Yvette: We can't cover that.

Joseph: I know, at this point, we'd have to have someone else buy into the company just to cover cash flow. We just

don't have enough to sell.

Yvette: Who?

Joseph: George offered to help.

Yvette: If he gets into this company, it's trouble.

Joseph: I'm afraid that he's the only one we can go to, no one else would be willing to buy into the company, he'd do so

just to protect the family company. I think he may be sincere

Yvette: Not long ago, he wanted to bring us down, now he wants to help? I'm not holding my breath.

Joseph: It's worth a shot. We can't lose what Mom and Dad worked so hard to build.

Yvette sighs and looks conflicted about what to do. Fade out.

Monday, March 12th

Anna rings the doorbell at Yvette and Chester's, Chester answers.

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Chester: Anna, this is a surprise. I didn't think you'd be back for a couple of more weeks.

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Anna: I figured I needed to come back quickly in light of what is happening with the company. It's good to see you, Chester.

Chester: You too. I'm guessing you want to speak with Yvette.

Anna: Yes, we do have some things to discuss.

Chester: She's out on the terrace.

Anna: Thank you.

Anna goes out to the terrace.

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Yvette: Mom, you're back.

Anna: Of course, the company is falling apart and I had to find out on television.

Yvette: I apologize for that, I had no idea that Cassandra was going to do that. How did you even know about her show?

Anna: Someone from the board called me.

Yvette: Great.

Anna: While Cassandra is a very vengeful person, I would expect nothing less than cheap tactics from her. But from you,

I expected to hear from the truth right away. Why didn't you tell me that the company had a shortfall?

Yvette: I only found out a few days ago myself and I did not want to burden you with this problem

while you and Dad are trying to get back on track.

Anna: Your father and I are getting there, you telling me the truth wouldn't effect that. I had to come home, it's the wrong time to be away,

especially when we may have to put up some of our own savings.

Yvette: You put me in charge and I felt I had to fix the issue.

Anna: That's all well and good, but I need to be clued in when there is a crisis. This is our family legacy, I want it preserved

for the next generation.

Yvette: And you can rest assured that Joseph and I are handling it.

Anna: It's a pretty large shortfall, what measures have you taken to cover it?

Yvette: Well, we sold off the stores we opened in the Upper Peninsula, as well as various assets.

We are also considering selling the in house Men's clothing line.

Anna: That's a big cash generator for us.

Yvette: I realize that, but I've been shopping it around and I can get a good price for it. We can always start

a new Men's line from scratch.

Anna: Will it be enough?

Yvette: Barely.

Anna: Fortunately, I think I can sink some of my savings into it and borrow against the estate.

Yvette: Wait a minute, borrowing against the estate should be off limits. That's the family home.

Anna: It might be the only way to get some cash quick.

Yvette: I'm just afraid of losing.

Anna: Listen, you've got what it takes, you just hit a roadblock. You can handle challenges.

Yvette: I thought I could, but this one is really throwing me for a loop.

Anna: You got to hold it together, that's why I put you in charge, because you have the strength.

Yvette: Thanks, Mom. It means a lot that you believe in me, but I'm still scared.

Anna: Well, not much can be done to avoid that, it's a human reaction.

Yvette: If we lose this company-

Anna: Don't even think about that.

Yvette: You're right, that doesn't even sound like me to be so defeatist. Tomorrow, I'm going to wheel and deal to keep McGregor from going under.

Anna: That's better.

_____________________________________________________

At Number 37, Andrew finds Cassandra at the bar.

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Cassandra: Well, look who is here.

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Andrew: That show of yours, I have to give it to you. I never thought anyone would bring tabloid style to the business world.

Cassandra: Drew, you know I'm an innovator.

Andrew: I call it spiteful.

Cassandra: You've obviously never heard of not attacking the messenger. I just reported the news, if you wanted to keep it

private, you should make sure McGregor is airtight when it comes to public relations.

Andrew: You've got beef with me, I get it, but I built that company for my family's security. Don't take it out on them.

Cassandra: You are confused, this is not personal.

Andrew: No?

Cassandra: I started my station and I needed a good story to get started, I found one and grabbed it.

Andrew: And in the process, you can get back at me.

Cassandra: I didn't cause McGregor to have a shortfall, you should ask your children about that.

Andrew: But you knew the investors would be sent into a panic by the information you put out.

Cassandra: In reality, they deserved to know the truth.

Andrew: That's what gets me, how did you know about the shortfall?

Cassandra: I have my sources.

Andrew: You've found a leak in the company.

Cassandra: Nothing of the sort, I came by the information honestly.

Andrew: That's the thing, you couldn't have come by it honestly. I may have been out of the corporate game for awhile, but

I know the privacy hasn't changed.

Cassandra: Perhaps it has. You don't tend to get good results when a home maker runs a corporation for years.

Andrew: Anna's a sharp lady, she ran McGregor like a professional.

Cassandra: We all tell our lies for the people we're caught up with.

Andrew: You are so bitter. Have you really been this way for over 40 years?

Cassandra: Look, why don't you go home and see if you can manage to repair your marriage or should I say, what you thought was your marriage.

Andrew: Have you signed those papers yet?

Cassandra: They are in the mail, obviously I want our long deceased marriage to be nullified as much as you do.

Andrew: Good, then we can both get on with our lives.

Cassandra: Now, if you'll excuse me, I'd like to finish my drink in solitude.

Andrew leaves.

____________________________________________________________________

At Donahue, Carol is holding a meeting with Trish.

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Carol: We have a surplus.

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Trish: Yep, what do you want to do with it?

Carol: I was thinking of making a purchase, one that will yield big dividends.

Trish: Okay, I think that's feasible right now.

Carol: Yvette McGregor is putting out the word that McGregor's Men's Line is up for sale.

Trish: They must really be in trouble if they are going to let that go, it's made millions.

Carol: And it can do the same for us.

She hands Trish a folder.

Trish: You've got everything mapped out.

Carol: What we would do is give the brand a renewal of sorts.

Trish: And there is the added incentive of pulling off a coup against the McGregors.

Carol: That is not part of this, it's only a good opportunity.

Trish: But, you have to admit, it is a good one up in this rivalry.

Carol: It's barely even that anymore, McGregor is on the way down and Donahue is up.

Trish: Don't underestimate what they can do over there.

Carol: There's a difference between underestimating and simply know that we are more formidable.

Trish: I do feel bad about the troubles McGregor is having.

Carol: Of course you do, you've always been the compassionate one.

Trish: My son does work there and the company is his future.

Carol: He knows he has a place waiting for him here.

Trish: You always have a deeper motivation for everything, Mom.

Carol: None at all, but there is that added incentive of potentially having all my family running the company.

Trish: Do you think McGregor will sale to you?

Carol: They need the cash flow, they won't be turning down any offers.

Trish: Depends on where the offer comes from.

Carol: I think they are more shrewd than arrogant at this point. It takes a crisis to bring the high and mighty down a peg.

Trish: Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, there have got to be more than a few other interested parties.

Carol: I feel confident. Buying this line is the next step in being number one.

___________________________________________________________________________

At Number 37, George walks in. He sees Joseph at a table and goes over to him

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Joseph: Come to gloat?

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George: No, I want to clear a few things up about my mother's new show.

Joseph: It sent a real panic through our pool of investors.

George: I know and I want to be clear that I had nothing to do with that.

Joseph: And why is it that you needed to make that clear? Not long ago, you were ready to take control of the company.

George: That was then, this is now. I finally realized I have a family I know nothing about and fighting them was a waste of time.

Joseph: I'm not sure if you are serious, but I got to at least hear you out.

George: Now that I have a child, my perspective has changed.

Joseph: That does tend to happen. When JC was born, I looked at everything differently.

George: I was angry for years because I felt like our father didn't care anything about me, that wasn't true and

I'm finally past it.

Joseph: And you can believe that if Dad knew where you were at those years ago, he would have been right there for you.

George: Anyway, that's all in the past and thankfully I can finally move forward.

Joseph: Good for you.

George: Part of me was also sort of envious of how privileged the rest of you grew up.

Joseph: I thought your mother did decent financially when you were growing up.

George: I don't mean money, I'm talking about being part of a good family.

Joseph: We had our ups and downs.

George: Nothing like mine. I have an older brother, Vance, who my grandparents raised and when he did come to live with us, it was a mess. He ended up on drugs and just went away without a trace.

Joseph: That's rough, sorry to hear about that.

George: Yeah, I usually don't like to talk about it, but it's been such a long time and I'm just now dealing with it.

Joseph: I can understand.

George: And just to be fully honest, I also want to talk business.

Joseph: Really?

George: I heard that you are selling off some assets and I thought I would make some offers, just to keep some of them in the family.

Joseph: What is the catch?

George: None at all, I just have this need to help clean up my mother's messes.

Joseph: I think we'll be able to handle it, some good offers are already coming in.

George: I get there is probably not a lot of trust.

Joseph: It's a little shaky, but I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.

George: It takes a time, that's no problem for me.

Joseph: Took awhile to sink it, but it has really hit me that I have another brother.

George: The way I showed up was a shock.

Joseph: Like I said, I'll give you a chance.

They shake hands.

Joseph: Every other Friday, I play cards with Edmund and JC, we could use a fourth McGregor.

George: I think I'll take that invitation up, I'm not a bad card player.

Joseph: All right then, we'll see you.

George: Thanks.

George leaves.

Joseph: I guess time will tell if he's being sincere.

_____________________

Cassandra is at an office in somewhere undisclosed.

Cassandra: I really have to hand it to you, this work you did was amazing.

McGregor Board Member Leonard walks out of another room.

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Leonard: I never half do anything.

Cassandra: Your reputation preceeds you. I just hope the McGregors don't find out you

are backstabbing them.

Leonard: When my uncle passed away, he left his board seat to me, they trust his judgment. They won't be any the wiser.

Cassandra: Getting me classified company information was not hard, but I how exactly did you cause the shortfall in the first place?

Leonard: I planted a bug in the accounting software, one that can't be traced and looks just like one that the manufacturer had problems with in the past.

Cassandra: Per our agreement, you get a certified check. There will be more if you keep up the good work.

She hands him the check.

Leonard: Pleasure doing business with you.

Cassandra: The same here.

Cassandra and Leonard fist bump over their deal. Fade out.

(to allow for more regular episodes, Varied Lives will be posted on weekends mostly)

This episode was Co-written by S.T.E.A.M'S ML Cooks

Anna and Andrew are at a resort in Italy.

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Andrew: This is working out better than I thought it would.

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Anna: Yes, I feel like we are getting back to normal. As normal as is possible after everything that has happened.

Andrew: I know I keep apologizing, but I really am sorry for all those years that I wasn't around.

Anna: I'm trying not to dwell on that. At this point in our lives, we can't afford to be caught in the past.

Andrew: I know, it seems like that's all we were doing before we came here.

Anna: I just want to be sure that this is the right thing for the both of us.

Andrew: Which is why you haven't answered my question.

Anna: I really need time to think about it.

Andrew: Our first marriage was not valid because of all the mess with Cassandra and not filing the correct papers. I want to make that right.

Anna: And so do I, but before that can happen, we have to make sure the issue we have are settled.

Andrew: What it's going to take to do that?

Anna: We are almost there. When you first came back, I wanted nothing to do with you. Now, we are on a vacation and really talking things out.

Andrew: You know, you made me wait before you accepted my first proposal too.

Anna: Yes.

Andrew: I recall you saying that you had to be sure it was exactly the right thing for the both of us. Not just you, the both of us. It wasn't a selfish thing.

Anna: Marriage is a bond, you've got to take your time.

Andrew: And I respect you for that.

Anna: Thank you.

Andrew: I'm also very patient and can wait it out.

Anna: Oh, I know that well.

Andrew: Any chance we can work this out before we head home?

Anna: I think we need a little more time than that.

Andrew: I only say that because you know that we are going to probably have a lot of family issues to deal with.

Anna: Yes, there is never a quiet moment back home sometimes. I've learned to juggle, though. Over the years, I had to set aside time for me, while also being there for the family.

Andrew: If you can do that, so can I.

Anna: Hopefully, we'll have no drama when we get back.

_____________________________________________________

WNOV Television Studios

Cassandra walks onto a news desk like set as make up people, hairstylist, and reporters all bombard her. Sterling walks up to her.

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Sterling: Well Look at you. You are doing the big time now.

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Cassandra: Oh Shut up Hart. This is not what I had in mind.

Sterling: In the end it will be all worth it. So are you ready for your big debut? The new WNOV?”

Cassandra: Most Certainly.

Director: Ok People, off the set. Get into position. We have the two minute warning.

Cassandra reviews some of her cue cards. Some topics she is going to cover are the McGregors. She sits back and relishes in the fact that she is about to unleash her soft power to launch an attack on the McGregor’s. She then thinks back on the scene she had with her son a few days earlier. She remembers telling her son that she would not interfere with the McGregor’s.

She thinks to herself

“I’m not interfering. I’m just reporting on the issue. Big difference. George should be ok with that.

_______________________________________________________________________

Meanwhile at McGregor, the Exucutive office.

Yvette and Joseph take a seat at a table and turns on the TV.

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Yvette

“Ok remind me again what we are watching that is so important that couldn’t wait until our business crisis is over?”

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Joe

“Relax. We have to be in the know of business here in the city and Michigan. Rumor mill has it that someone bought the old WNOV and they are debuting their new programming today. It’s a new business show. I want to see if we make the cut.”

Joe turns the TV on and they are stunned to see Cassandra on the screen

Yvette

“I don’t believe this. Cassandra? Really come on. You better hope McGregor doesn’t make the cut. It’s no telling what that woman will say.”

Joe

“I just hope mother and father aren't watching this mess.” He turn the TV up.

________________________________

Back in Italy, Anna is addressing some postcards, when the phone rings.

Anna: Hello? Yes, this is Mrs. McGregor.

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Leonard: Yes, this is Leonard Underwood.

Anna: Leonard, I'm surprised to hear from you. Is something wrong?

Leonard: I would not have called you on your vacation if it wasn't urgent, but as a board member of McGregor, I'm very concerned about some of the things I've heard.

Anna: Like what?

Leonard: There seem to be some very big problems at McGregor and yesterday, we found out about them at the board meeting.

Anna: Yvette was supposed to keep me apprised of anything serious that was happening.

Leonard: I'm sure that she just didn't want to bother you on your vacation, but I felt I had to tell you.

Anna: Of course, thank you very much for calling, Leonard.

Leonard: It's no problem.

Andrew walks in as she hangs up.

Andrew: Is everything all right.

Anna: No, apparently there are some big problems at McGregor and no one was going to bother to tell me.

Andrew: You know that they probably didn't want to disturb us.

Anna: When I handed over control, I specifically told them to keep me up to date. I'm not CEO anymore, but I've got a lot of assets tied up in the company.

Anna boots up her laptop.

Andrew: Remember, we are supposed to be relaxing.

Anna: I'll relax when I see if the business media has picked up on this.

Anna does a Google News search for McGregor and a link to Cassandra's new station pops up as the first result.

Anna: What in the world?

Andrew: What is it?

Anna: You will not believe who bought the old WNOV station.

________________________________________

WNOVI

Cassandra is sitting behind the news desk reading from the teleprompter.

“Hello Novi. Thank you for joining us today. I am Cassandra Lightner. Some of you may know me from the Lightner Corporation. I want to welcome you to Novi’s newest local access channel owned by me of course. And we are going to start things off by talking about local businesses. One in particular. It seems that things are not what they seem. I have all the latest details and gossip about... wait for it….( A Graphic come up with the McGregor office building with the text being McGregor being in big red letters so no one can miss it) Cassandra continues reading her script

“That’s right Novians. McGregor. They are spinning lies and I got the latest. Stay tuned and after our short message from our sponsors I’ll tell you who’s been sleeping on the job.”

Director

“Ok fade out! And Cut.”

Makeup and Hair people bombard Cassandra one more time. Sterling walks over to her as well

“You’re doing great babe.”

Cassandra

“I know. That’s what I do Hart. Great things.”

Sterling

“Well you keep delivering your brash delivery and the McGregor’s won’t know what them, again.”

Anna is watching a web stream of Cassandra's show.

Anna: This looks very bad.

Andrew: Cassandra's always been sneaky, that's never changed I see.

Anna: And she still isn't done trying to make problems for the company.

____________________________________________________________________--

McGregor

Yvette

“How in the hell does she know inside information here at McGregor!?”

Joe

“It seems we have a mole.”

Yvette

“It couldn’t be George. We hardly give him the time of day.”

Joe

“We have to do something. I’m going to call our attorney and see if I can order a cease and desist order.”

__________________________________________________________

WNOV

Director

“STAND BY! And were back in 3, 2 1-“

Cassandra

“Before the break I told you I had some inside information for you about McGregor.

Well it seems someone at McGregor actually was asleep on the job as a major error was found on the balance sheets. Now the company has to go public and are in the process of selling soft assets to raise capital. Since new owners Yvette and Joe took over a year ago from the found parent duo, Anna and Andrew, turmoil and upheavals has followed the next generation of owners. It seems McGregor is in serious trouble and is in danger of going in the red. Even possibly default to creditors and loans and there are now whispers of bankruptcy. Investors and Creditors beware; McGregor is hiding the truth from you.”

_______________________________________________________________

McGregor

In a rage, Joe throws the TV onto the floor.

“This is war. She is going to pay for doing this. That snake just black listed us and exposed our dire financial straits.”

Yvette

“The better question is, how did she know all of this info? She has to have an insider.”

Then their secretary runs in

“Excuse me guys, the phone lines are blowing up with investors and creditors wanting out. What shall I tell them?”

Yvette

“We are about to lose McGregor.”

Joe

“Never. Call a company meeting immediately. We have to find out who this mole is.”

Cassandra steps off set to a phone call waiting for her.

Cassandra: I'm so glad you called. I really want to thank you for everything you are doing, it's a big help. You just keep up the good work and you'll be rewarded.

Cassandra hangs up.

Cassandra: The McGregors do not know just what has hit them.

Varied Lives picks up one year from where it last left off.

Yvette is in the executive office organizing files when Joseph walks in.

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Joseph: Afternoon.

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Yvette: Joe, I'm glad you're here.

Joseph: Whenever you say that, you really need help.

Yvette: This company is headed for trouble if we don't make some cuts.

Joseph: Yep. And unlike the federal government, we can't just pretend to do it.

Yvette: That's why I want to get your perspective. Where are these cuts going to come from?

Joseph: Advertising is one budget that can stand to be cut. As a marketer, I know that makes you cringe, but it's necessary.

Yvette: Putting it down on my list. I have to agree with you.

Joseph: That will save a ton. I also think that cutting research and development some should be on the table. We aren't producing anything new at this time, we are spending heavily on R&D.

Yvette: That one I really agree with.

Joseph: And we'll need to lessen the burden more. I think we've got to go public again, being only privately held is not for us.

Yvette: It was a precautionary after what Lightner pulled.

Joseph: Yeah, I don't think he'll be doing that anymore, he's been trying to be a part of the family now.

Yvette: It's his mother that concerns me.

Joseph: She's sneaky, but I doubt she can maneuver that well anymore, now that the SEC is on her case.

Yvette: I don't know, Mom was very insistent on the company being privately held. Just family holding shares.

Joseph: She put us in charge so she and Dad could go off and work on their relationship. I wouldn't have suggested this unless it was entirely necessary.

Yvette: I've always wanted to be a decision maker and now I've got it, so I should be decisive.

Joseph: We'll be further in the clear if we do this.

Yvette: I'm still a little nervous about going public again.

Joseph: Don't worry, we're sharper now, no one that we don't want having a piece of this company is going to get it.

Yvette looks closer at a balance sheet.

Yvette: That is not good.

Joseph: What is it?

Yvette: These balance sheets show us with less money than we thought.

Joseph: That doesn't make any sense, if we had less money, we would have known before now.

Yvette: This is the latest balance sheet. There must have been an accounting error.

Joseph: If this is right, we are in bigger trouble than we thought.

__________________________________________________________

Cassandra is sitting down to lunch with George.

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George: I know you have a reason for asking me here.

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Cassandra: Can't I invite my son to lunch without a motive?

George: Ever since I was a kid, you've always taken me to lunch to spring something on me.

Cassandra: You are too paranoid sometimes.

George: Mother.

Cassandra: All right, I do have a small business idea.

George: There it is.

Cassandra: You can at least listen.

George: I suppose.

Cassandra: Rumor has it that McGregor is having a ton of financial problems.

George: I'll stop you right there.

Cassandra: You can at least let me finish.

George: I have no desire to hear about another scheme involving McGregor.

Cassandra: I'm only trying to help you make money.

George: No, you want money yourself.

Cassandra: I look out for you first.

George: If you were looking out for me, you'd know I don't want to go down this road. I'm trying to build some connection with my family and have some normalcy for once in my life.

Cassandra: You barely know these people, you don't know if they even want to know you. Your father has been out of the country for months now, not even trying to get to know you.

George: He calls me often and I very much understand that he's got problems to work out in his marriage right now, which is why he's away.

Cassandra: Whatever. From my viewpoint, no one in that family is all that interested in bridging any sort of connection with you.

George: You are trying to manipulate again.

Cassandra: I just don't want you to make a fool of yourself trying to be a part of this family. They are far to arrogant to ever welcome you into the fold.

George: After how they found out me and the things I did to get control of McGregor, they're going to be apprehensive.

Cassandra: Anyway, since you are not that connected, why not take this opportunity to further our company? Acquisitions are still lucrative for us.

George: No, it's off the table. Look, I know the McGregors aren't a big happy family with me yet, but I at least want to try. I have brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews. You know how much I've wanted that.

Cassandra: What about Vance?

George: After all the grief he caused, he's hardly a brother to me. And I didn't think you'd want him as a son.

Cassandra: Just an observation, there is nothing I dislike more than discussing the past.

George: Your dwelling on past events is what got us here.

Cassandra: It's all up to you, if you choose not to take my advice, I will not press it

George: And you won't go behind my back?

Cassandra: This new trust thing is important to me. I feel bad that I lied to you about your father and I won't deceive you again.

George: I just hope that I can believe you.

Cassandra: Well, I wish I had something to occupy my time and it would be the perfect project.

George: Mother.

Cassandra: But, you don't want me to do it, so I won't.

Cassandra rolls here eyes in frustration.

__________________________________________________________________

Yvette is meeting with the board of McGregor.

Yvette: And that accounting error has put us in even further trouble.

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Alden: I don't understand, how did something like that happened?

Yvette: It was a new software the accounting department switched too, apparently some of the number were transposed.

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Leonard: If we don't have cash flow, we are out of business.

Yvette: We do have a cash flow, but it's far less than we need to pay back on creditors on schedule. We've signed very strict agreements that if one payment is late, we automatically pay high penalties. They were high risk loans and the payments are high, these banks don't want to get burned.

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Evelyn: All right, we can't panic, what assets does the company have that it can use to back up the shortfall?

Yvette: Not enough that can be liquidated quickly enough. We've got to come up with $19 million dollars within the next couple of weeks. Seeing as we aren't that big of a corporation, that's almost impossible.

Leonard: Point is, something like this should never have happened, that accounting department is supposed to be double checking these numbers before they are finalized.

Yvette: I know, but it since the oversight has been made and there is nothing that can be done, we can only move forward.

Leonard: When Anna was running this show, none of this happened.

Yvette: At this time, no one needs to start throwing around blame.

Leonard: It's just an observation.

Yvette: I realize that the transition from my mother's leadership to mine has been difficult for some, but it is how it is and we've got to work together regardless of any qualms.

Evelyn: She's right, being critical of the leadership won't get us anywhere. We need to start thinking long and hard.

Yvette: Thank you, Evelyn. As it stands, Joseph has formulated an emergency plan. Tomorrow we begin the process of liquidation on assets that can offer us immediate cash flow. It will only cover a fraction of the problem, but it's a start.

Leonard: Are we done?

Yvette: This meeting is adjourned.

Leonard leaves, shaking his head. Alden walks over to Yvette.

Alden: I know you were giving us the best case scenario version, which wasn't great itself. How bad is it really?

Yvette: If we default on any of these loans, we are done for.

Alden: Has it made it into press yet?

Yvette: No and I intend to keep it like that.

Alden: Good, because if it leaks, there is no telling what the creditors could do.

Alden leaves. Yvette sits down in a chair and sighs.

________________________________________

Cassandra is reading a business journal on her iPAD, when Sterling Hart approaches her.

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Sterling: Lightner, long time, no see.

Cassandra: Hart, long time, no see and would like to keep it like that.

Sterling: You'd think we'd have a friendship bond over almost going to prison for business offenses.

Cassandra: That's not something I'd be ecstatic about.

Sterling: I'm more excited about the fact that I have more than once dodged incarceration.

Cassandra: We share cleverness in common.

Sterling: That's why I want to offer you an opportunity.

Cassandra: The word is no.

Sterling: When you hear my idea, you'll be saying sign me up.

Cassandra: I don't think I will, but hit me with it anyway.

Sterling: Some ambitious woman who thought she could be the next Oprah decided to buy the old WNOV station, but her venture failed pretty badly and left her with some debt.

Cassandra: Go on.

Sterling: She's selling that station now to cover her bills and her asking price isn't bad at all.

Cassandra: You can't afford it, I imagine.

Sterling: I've got some dough, but as you can guess, my cash flow hasn't been strong for a long time now.

Cassandra: What on earth would you do with a television station?

Sterling: I was thinking we could pull together one of those business channels with a stock ticker, business analysis and things like that.

Cassandra: There isn't a market for that.

Sterling: I have an idea that would make ours unique. You like gossip, there was never a time that I didn't see one of those gossip rags around the office years ago and you like to talk. What if you put on a talk show that was all about the business world and the latest in who is going broke, who is broke and is just flat busted.

Cassandra: You may be on to something.

Sterling: These days, controversial is in. There's no one doing a business show like that, you'd be breaking ground.

Cassandra: Maybe a reality show to supplement it.

Sterling: Now you are thinking big.

Cassandra: My sources tell me that McGregor had a huge accounting error, they could default on their loans. It could be our scoop.

Sterling: You got source inside McGregor?

Cassandra: I didn't say my sources were inside, but I have people who can find information and make things happen.

Sterling: Watch out, you don't want the SEC to come knocking again.

Cassandra: Don't worry, my powder is dry. Besides, George has tied my hands, I can't do a thing at the company and I am very bored.

Sterling: Anyway, this could be great for the both of us.

Cassandra: Just when I think I'm finished, you come up with something fantastic and I can get on my feet again.

Sterling: That's my job. Technically it isn't, 'cause I'm not getting paid, but it could be if this pans out.

Cassandra: Before I invest, I'd like to talk with this gentlewoman, see if her offer is actually fair.

Sterling: Sure, we can meet with her tonight.

Cassandra: Great, you set it up and then give me a buzz.

Sterling: You won't regret this.

Cassandra: I hope not.

Sterling: Hart and Lightner, back in action.

Cassandra and Sterling high five. Fade to black.

After a very long hiatus, Varied Lives is back and better than before. Head Writer Phillip Connelly had this to say.

“The show will be coming from a fresher perspective. I am adhering to a single vision theory and letting the characters drive the story rather than the plot from now on. The progress of the stories will be in real time, meaning that the show's time line will pick up about one year from when the last episode aired. The show is definitely going to be more sleek, but still maintain the modern edge.”

When asked about specifics, the head writer had this to say.

Cassandra: “Cassandra is still trying to regain George's trust, as George is still trying to get over the fact that she lied about his father. Cassandra decides to take a new career path, which makes for more tension.”

Yvette: “Yvette is running McGregor Inc. now that Anna stepped aside to work on her relationship with Andrew. Yvette's approach to running the company is tough and unwavering, which will be a key element that makes the character a strong lead.”

Donahue Family: “Carol wants to take her family's business to the next level, but struggles with a slow moving economy. An unlikely alliance will form and that will take the rivalry with the McGregors to another level. Carol's children will also be involved in some entanglements of their own.”

George: “George is still trying to fit in with his new found family, but is still finding it difficult. His business practices may also take a turn, proving that he's more like his mother than he would like to admit. He'll also have to deal with other problems to deal with.”

Phelps Family: “Teri will be entangled with George mostly, but a new character will play a part in the story for added tension. The rest of the Phelps Family will be involved in a storyline that is to say the least, very shocking. Dark secrets will come to light and shake up the family.”

Other news:

The show is now two episodes a week, maybe more if storyline dictates it. The head writer said, "I'm aiming for basic storytelling with very character driven stories, I feel I can better do that with a short week."

There have been some recasts. The head writer stated that some roles were recast to coincide with the relaunch. “Some of the casting was never quite how I wanted it, now I am more satisfied.

Casting:

Phylicia Rashad joins the cast taking over the lead role of matriarch Anna McGregor. Other additions to the cast include Jada Pinkett-Smith as Trish Donahue-Dutcher and Daphne Duplaix as Lynette McGregor. Bow Wow is also joining the cast in the role of Hoover Phelps.

George and Cassandra are still shocked at the site of Andrew.

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Cassandra: This can't be.

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Andrew: I can't tell you how many times I've heard that since I've been back.

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George: This makes no sense.

Andrew: It's a very long story and we've got a lot to talk about.

Cassandra: I need to sit down.

Cassandra sits down.

Cassandra: I thought you were gone forever, now you're standing at the door.

George: This can't be who I think it is.

Cassandra: I'd know your father anywhere and that's him.

George: It's not possible. We know that he died a long time ago.

Andrew: Like I told you, it's a long story, but I am Andrew McGregor. I held you when

you were just an infant, I know you couldn't possibly remember.

George: I don't know.

Cassandra: Let's hear what he has to say. I want to hear exactly why he left, without

so much as a word why.

Andrew: Now wait a minute, Cassandra. I think we both have some explaining to do to George. He

needs the truth from both his parents.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

At the police station, Edmund and Stephen are just coming out of questioning.

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Edmund: Thanks for coming so quickly.

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Stephen: I'm glad you caught me, I was just about to go to Chicago on business.

It wouldn't have good for you to be questioned without a lawyer.

Edmund: I don't get any of this, I never would have thought Christina would have been involved

in so many illegal things.

Stephen: Sometimes you think you know somebody.

Edmund: They think I had something to do with her dealings.

Stephen: They didn't accuse you of anything.

Edmund: Not in so many words, but it's obvious that I'm implicated. Christina

deals in stolen merchandise, I'm in the retail business.

Stephen: Stay calm.

Edmund: I can't. I just got Troy and Kevin back, what if this causes me to lose them?

Stephen: We'll handle this and it will all be fine.

Christina and her lawyer come out of the holding area.

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Christina: Well, I made bail.

Edmund: Yeah, I can see that.

Christina: I know how upset you must be right now.

Edmund: When were you planning on telling me the truth about you?

Christina: I never intended to get this involved with you again, but

when we started to get closer, I was afraid to say anything. I didn't even

think it was going to be a problem, all of that was behind me.

Edmund: That's not good enough.

Christina: Please, you have got to believe me.

Edmund: I can't even look at you right now. Because of you, I'm under a microscope.

Christina: I'll make sure you don't get pulled further into this, I already told them

you had nothing to do with this.

Edmund: Your word is no good with these people. I could be up on charges of haboring

a criminal and that is something that Leigh could use as grounds to take my kids from me.

Christina: If I could do this all over again, I would have told you everything, I probably

wouldn't have even come here.

Edmund: It's too late for that now.

Edmund leaves.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Leigh and Norm are at her apartment discussing the case.

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Norm: Just talked to my sources and the plan is done.

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Leigh: You mean Christina was busted?

Norm: Yep, right at Edmund's house.

Leigh: The judge surely will see that as an improper environment for children.

Norm: I've petitioned the court on those grounds, we can get a hearing soon.

Leigh: Finally, I have the upper hand. At least I hope I do.

Norm: You do. The fact that the cops hauled Edmund in for questioning is extra security.

Leigh: Wait a minute? They hauled Edmund in too?

Norm: Is that a problem?

Leigh: All I wanted to do was get custody of my kids, I never wanted Edmund to be

in any real legal trouble.

Norm: Relax, it was just questioning.

Leigh: And things like that can lead to even more. I'm starting to think I went to far.

Norm: You can't turn back now.

Leigh: I've been so caught up in the case, I think I've forgotten this is really about the

kids.

Norm: It is, you want a chance to raise them yourself.

Leigh: Yes, but look at what I've resorted to. I may have gotten their father in

real legal trouble.

Norm: Trust me, he won't get in trouble.

Leigh: I don't want to risk it any further.

Norm: It's too late. What's done is done.

Leigh: And I'll have to live with the consequences.

Norm: Stop worrying. The only thing that is going to happen is what you've wanted to happen

and that's full custody of your kids.

Leigh: I've never been a saint and never will be, but I do have a conscience and sometimes

it speaks to me too late. What have a I done?

__________________________________________________________________________

Back at the Athletic Club, Andrew is trying to explain things to George and Cassandra.

George: So, you've been alive all these years? Who would have thought it.

Andrew: It was a long road to recovery for me.

Cassandra: That was you in that car I saw. I'm not crazy after all.

George: You seem to love secrets, don't you? You kept your past a secret and on top of that, you

kept it a secret you were alive.

Andrew: I can tell you've grown into very much your mother's son.

George: She was the only one there to raise me, so it makes sense.

Cassandra: And I think I did a fine job of that, raising a son without a father isn't easy.

Andrew: Don't play that game anymore. I'm sure you've told George a lot of things about me that

aren't fair.

George: You walked out without giving a thought about me.

Andrew: Is that what she told you?

George: It's the truth, isn't it?

Andrew: No. Your mother and I got a divorce, it turns out it wasn't valid, but nonetheless she knew we were finished.

I was supposed to be a part of your life.

George: Divorce?

Andrew: Of course, she didn't tell you. It seems like her goal was to make me out to be the villain.

You mother took you and moved away, I tried to find you, but I never succeeded.

Cassandra: The fact remains that you left me to marry someone else and started another family.

Andrew: I never forgot about my son, but I did move on with my like and you knew that I intended

to do that. And for the record, I didn't get involved with anyone until after the divorce.

George: Is all of this true, Mother?

Cassandra: Who are you going to believe? Me or the father who hasn't seen you since infancy?

George: I know how you can be, sometimes you have your own version of the truth to suit yourself.

Cassandra: What does it matter now? You grew up just fine without him.

George: I want the truth.

Cassandra: All right. After the divorce, I was angry and determined to raise you on my own, so I

took off. When you got older and started asking about your father, I was afraid that you would

want to go live with him because he become a business tycoon and could give you everything I couldn't, so I

told you he left us high and dry.

George: All about you, everything is about you. Do you know how terrible it feels to grow up thinking a parent

cares nothing about you?

Cassandra: I can't make any excuses, what I did was very stupid and selfish.

George: I can't figure you out, it's one thing after another with you. I find out you've done one thing and

try to let it go and then I found out something else you did.

Cassandra: If we can talk this out--

George: I can't deal with this right now, either of you.

George goes in the bedroom and closes the door.

Cassandra: Never thought I'd ever have to deal with you causing me grief again.

Andrew: Take some responsibility here, you didn't have to tell our son those lies.

Cassandra: You broke our home in the first place.

Andrew: That marriage wasn't going to work, had we stayed together, we would have both been miserable.

Cassandra: You didn't want to try.

Andrew: I'm not here to talk shoulda, coulda, wouldas with you.

Cassandra: The funny thing is, we are still married. That quickie divorce lawyer of yours never filed

the paperwork properly.

Andrew: I know that and I'm prepared to fix it.

Cassandra: You are, are you?

Andrew: I certainly am.

Cassandra: I suppose you want to make your marriage to the happy homemaker/CEO legit.

Andrew: You always did have a sharp tongue, it's gotten even sharper over the years.

Cassandra: I adapt over time, in this world you have to.

Andrew: I'll have my lawyer contact you soon about the divorce papers.

Cassandra: You do that as soon as possible.

Cassandra opens the door and Andrew leaves. Cassandra shuts the door behind him and takes a deep breath,

realizing her world just got more complicated.

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It's a bright morning and at the McGregor Estate, Anna is reading the newspaper in the kitchen. Andrew comes in the door with doughnuts and coffee.

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Andrew: Good morning.

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Anna: Morning.

Andrew: I went out and got your favorite muffins, I remembered that after all this time.

Anna: Thanks.

Andrew: I know it's trivial, but it's my way of saying I never forgot about you.

Anna: You know, I still can't bring myself to forgiveness just yet, but honestly I'm glad you are back.

Andrew: And even that's more than I really deserve. I know you've got a lot to hash out before you can even think

about forgiving me.

Anna: Why should I?

Andrew: For one, you haven't even listened to my entire part of the story.

Anna: I didn't feel it was necessary. You married me while you were still married to another woman and

had a child with that woman.

Andrew: I married Cassandra when I was young, we were in love and I thought it was right for me.

But, after awhile, I learned we didn't really fit with each other and we got a quickie divorce.

Anna: So you did divorce Cassandra?

Andrew: I found out later it wasn't valid.

Anna: You should have told me in the first place.

Andrew: You were raised so traditional, I didn't think you'd want a divorced man with a child.

Anna: So you just kept it from me.

Andrew: I'm sorry, I had fallen for you so hard, I didn't want to ruin it.

Anna: What about your other son? How do you explain ignoring your child for all those years?

Andrew: After the divorce I thought was valid, Cassandra moved and I could never find her.

I looked for them so I could at least try to support him.

Anna: Did you ever intend to tell me any of this?

Andrew: Many times, but I always pictured you storming out and leaving me.

Anna: I wouldn't have done that, I would have valued you telling me the truth.

Andrew: We've got so much to hash out.

Anna: You've got a lot to hash out yourself, with your children. Edmund is still so full of anger toward you

and you still haven't told your other son that you are alive yet. Right now, I think your children should be

your first priority. Even though I'm no fan of George's, I do think you owe him an explanation, you are his father

after all.

Andrew: It won't be easy for me, I have to get my mind clear.

Anna: Life isn't easy.

Andrew: Truer words were never spoken.

Anna: Then why haven't you done anything?

Andrew: I feel the pressure even more. I set a deadline for myself everyday and then a keep moving it up.

Anna: Seems that you would have learned that putting things off does no good.

Andrew: I know, but I've got to do this one step at a time.

Anna: When are you going to take that first step though?

Andrew: The sooner, the better.

Anna: Good.

Andrew: I think this is the most you've said to me for weeks.

Anna: I haven't really had much to say.

Andrew: Accept of course when you had to fill me in on all the drama with our children.

Anna: Welcome back to the real world.

Andrew: Guess I better get to work trying mend these fences.

Anna: More like build them back up.

Andrew: Here goes nothing.

Andrew leaves.

___________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

Leigh anxiously waits for Norm at the CoffeeRoom. She finally sees him come in the front door and toward her.

<i>note: The role of Norm Donahue is now being played by Lamman Rucker

</i>

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Leigh: Finally.

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Norm: Sorry to keep you waiting, but it took a bit of time.

Leigh: Did you meet with the feds?

Norm: I did. I gave them all of the information I was able to get about Christina and they think they have a case.

Leigh: The sooner she's arrested, the sooner I can get the courts to question Edmund's associations.

Norm: We don't know if they'll act at all, but I'm hoping there is a good chance they will.

Leigh: And they know where to find her?

Norm: Yep.

Leigh: I wish I knew more.

Norm: All they did was thank me for the information and that was it, no further details were disclosed.

Leigh: What if this falls through?

Norm: Be a little positive, won't you?

Leigh: I can't. I tried everything I could to get my kids before, but Edmund and his mother and all their

money were all there to block me.

Norm: That doesn't sound like the fighting spirit I've heard from you in the past.

Leigh: It's just that I'm tired of getting my hopes up and have them dashed.

Norm: Hey, think of it like this, for all we know, Christina could be getting busted right now and

Edmund being questioned about why he's so close to a criminal like her.

Leigh: When you've got money and resources like Edmund, you can avoid anything.

Norm: You can only buy yourself out of so much.

Leigh: I'm sorry if I sound pessimistic, but I like I said, I can't get my hopes up.

Norm: I promised you I'd help you get you kids back and that's what I'm going to do.

Leigh: Thank you, I don't know where I would have turned had I not had you.

Norm: I care about you, we were close at one time and I hope we can be close again.

_______________________________________________________________________________

At Edmund's condo, Edmund is having breakfast with Christina.

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Christina: You haven't said more than two words since we got here, what's wrong?

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Edmund: Nothing's wrong.

Christina: It's about your father, isn't it?

Edmund: That has been on my mind a lot.

Christina: I can understand that, it's pretty hard to digest.

Edmund: My biggest problem is figuring out why he stayed away so long and let his family grieve.

I could never do that to my family, ever.

Christina: People do the wrong thing sometimes, but some of those times, they should be forgiven.

Edmund: You saying I should forgive my Father?

Christina: I'm giving you my viewpoint, it's up to you to make the decision.

Edmund: I don't know. Part of me is glad to have him back, because the family is back together again.

Christina: I know I wish I had a second chance with my father. He died when I was six years old.

Edmund: I'm sorry. You never told me that before.

Christina: It's not something I like to talk about.

Edmund: I'm sure I'm not going to be angry forever, but right now I just can't let go. My brother and sisters

have welcomed him back with no problem.

Christina: Under the circumstances, there wasn't a right or a wrong way to react, everyone is different.

Edmund: I suppose you're right. But, it is a new year and I want to start fresh, leave all the old behind.

I'm so glad I can leave that custody suit behind me.

Christina: So am I. You're a wonderful father, I can tell by just watching you with the kids.

Edmund: And, I'm glad that we found each other again. Hopefully this year, both of us have nowhere

but up to go.

Christina: I really hope for that too. Thank you for breakfast.

Edmund: No problem.

Christina: I've got some stuff I need to take care of now, so I gotta get going. I'll see you later though.

Edmund: All right.

Christina opens the door to leave and a federal agent is on the other side.

Agent: Are you Christina Davidson?

Christina: I am.

Agent: Miss Davidson, you are under arrest for dealing in stolen goods.

The agent handcuffs Christina.

Edmund: What is going on here?

Agent: And, Sir, are you Edmund McGregor?

Edmund: Yes, I am. Could you please tell me what is going on?

Agent: You'll need to come with us as well, for questioning.

Edmund: What for?

Agent: We just want to know if you have any information about Miss Davidson's activities.

Edmund: Okay, I'll cooperate, but I don't have any idea what's going on.

Edmund looks puzzled.

___________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

At his Athletic Club suite, George is trying to get some work done when he's interrupted by a knock at the door.

He answers it and Cassandra is on the other side holding a bag.

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George: You're here early.

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Cassandra: I wanted to stop by and bring the baby some more things.

George: Mother, you've been bring him stuff since you found out about him. You're

going to spoil him.

Cassandra: This is my first grandchild, you can't blame me for getting a little carried away.

Where is he?

George: He's sleeping right now.

Cassandra: I think it's wonderful how you've rearranged your schedule so you have time to spend with your son. You've

got a good paternal instinct.

George: Teri and I both have made our schedules flexible so that both of us can spend enough time with him.

Cassandra: I'm proud of you, you stepped up to the plate. You know how to be a father despite not having one yourself.

George: Mother, I don't want to rehash all of that.

Cassandra: Just an observation.

George: Should I remind you about the trial you have coming up, partly because you couldn't let go of the past?

Cassandra: It just is very hard to let go, it still hurts.

George: I know it does and it bothers me too. But having a child now has given me a better outlook, the future

is more looking forth too, than rehashing the past.

Just then, there is a knock at door.

Cassandra: I'll get that.

Cassandra answers the door and gasps upon seeing Andrew.

George: Mother, what is it?

George goes over to the door, he is shocked to see Andrew, the father he had only seen in pictures.

This has been Varied Lives. Remember to tune into Point Palace and S.T.E.A.M.

Please join us next time for another episode of Varied Lives.

Get Ready

By ReddFoxx,

After a very long hiatus, Varied Lives will be returning to SON and SONOP.

"November is going to be a good month for Varied Lives and the stories are going to make up for the long hiatus." says the head writer.

So what can we expect to see? The head writer didn't drop many hints, other than that some characters that have been on the back burner will be moving to the front. "We'll be seeing some new character interactions, new friendships and of course, new rivalries."

And same as last year, Varied Lives will have a Thanksgiving Special that is a can't miss for viewers. Head Writer Phillip Connelly says, "This year, the special is going to be very character driven, but stories will be progressing greatly."

Varied Lives returns later on today. Get Ready.

It's been a long hiatus for Varied Lives, but the Head Writer says that is about to change.

"I haven't had a whole lot of spare time to write, but now that I do, there will be more episodes" said Head Writer Phillip Connelly.

As for the storylines, Connelly is just dropping hints.

"All I can say is there won't be any disappointments for readers. There are some characters that will be moving

to the front burner."

In casting news, the role of Norm Donahue has been recast. Lamman Rucker will takeover the role starting in episode 86. The reasoning for the recast given is that the character is being further fleshed out and taking a different direction and a new face was wanted to go along with the changes.

Continued from the previous episode's final scene, everyone at the McGregor table is shocked.

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Yvette: Dad?

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Joseph: How is this possible?

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Andrew: It's hard to explain, but.

Lynette gets up from her seat and goes over to Andrew.

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Lynette: Is it really you?

Andrew: It really is.

Lynette hugs Andrew.

Lynette: I thought you were gone forever, Dad.

Andrew: I'm here now and I'm not going anywhere.

Lynette turns to Anna.

Lynette: Mom, how?

Anna: Your father survived the plane crash.

Yvette: That was 12 years ago.

Andrew: It's a long story.

Yvette: I don't really care about that, I'm just glad you came back to us.

Joseph: Dad, I don't know what to say. I never thought this could happen.

Andrew: Second chances, not everyone gets them, but fortunately we did.

Edmund is still sitting in disbelief.

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Edmund: The surprises in this family just keep on coming. What else is there?

Andrew: Edmund, I realize that---

Edmund: Excuse me, I need some air.

Edmund goes out to the patio.

Anna: Edmund has been going through a rough patch, so this isn't easy for him. I'll go talk to him.

Anna goes to talk to Edmund.

_______________________________________________________________________

At Leigh's apartment, Norm is conducting the conference call.

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Norm: Okay, Mac, what have you got for me.

Mac: (over speakerphone) Looks like what you thought was smoking gun was one afterall.

Norm: Details, details.

Mac: Well, it looks like Christina has some aliases for her black market dealings, including a very well known one that the feds really want, but the Feds have not made the connection that it's Christina. They still think she's laying low.

Norm: Could you fax me the files, you have the number to my law office.

Mac: I'll do that pronto.

Norm: Thank you, if you get anything else, contact me.

Mac: Sure, buddy.

Norm: Enjoy the rest of your holiday.

Norm ends the call.

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Leigh: I'm assuming what I just heard is good.

Norm: It is, now all we have to do is find a way to expose it without being too obvious.

Leigh: This could work out even better than we thought.

Norm: How?

Leigh: Well, Edmund is in the department store business, Christina is in ripped off merchandise, to me that would say that their association could also have something to do with shady business.

Norm: But it's not, they're just dating.

Leigh: Ah, but the courts might be persuaded to think it's more than that, if we can create an illusion of a connection.

Norm: I see your point, but I'm not seeing how we can do that.

Leigh: I'm just afraid mere association might not be enough to persuaded the judge to reverse custody.

Norm: Let's go with what we have and the explore other options if this doesn't work.

Leigh: All right, I trust you on this.

Norm: I'll be speaking with the feds after the holiday.

Leigh: It's a shame I have to go through all this drama just to have a chance at getting my sons back, but it's well worth the trouble.

____________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________

At the Phelps house, Teri has just has arrived.

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John: You kept your word.

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Teri: Home was calling me, when that happens you can't stay away.

John: We were just about to sit down and eat, you got here in just in time.

Teri: I do have to be honest, there is another reason I'm here.

John: It's not bad is it?

Teri: Not bad, just a little surprising.

John: Out with it.

Teri: Okay, I suppose it's better to come out with it straight.

John: I'm ready.

Teri: Have you have thought about what sort of grandfather you would be?

John: I'm going to be a grandfather?

Teri: Actually, you already are.

Teri peeks out the front door and gestures to George. George walks in holding Jonathan. John is surprised to see George.

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George: Meet your new grandson, Jonathan.

John: Now you're the last person I expected to see. Teri, what is going on?

Teri: Now I know you and George have had some animosity, but--

John: Is he this baby's father?

Teri: Yes.

John: This is quite a surprise, but nonetheless, I'm overjoyed to have a grandchild.

Teri: Good.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________

Back at the McGregor Estate

Joseph: Dad, I'm afraid I'm going to ramble on a bit, this still is all quite jarring.

Andrew: That's okay, I understand that.

Joseph: I wish you could see JC, he's grown up into such level-headed young man. He's having dinner with the Donahues right tonight, but you'll get to see him soon.

Andrew: Last time I saw him, he was about 10, right?

Joseph: Yeah, he's 22 now.

Andrew: The years really have passed. Yvette, how is your daughter.

Yvette: She's at the Academy in London, she's got the acting bug. She's doing great, though.

Andrew: I'm glad to hear she's doing well.

Lynette: And you've got a couple of grandchildren you've never met.

Andrew: That's wonderful, I have no doubt you and Jim are great parents.

Lynette: We tried. I don't want to get into all my problems right now, but things have changed quite a bit.

Andrew: I'm ready to get caught up to speed and I really want to meet those grandchildren.

Lynette: They're napping right now, I was just about to wake them for dinner when everything went topsy turvy.

Andrew: I know you all must have a lot of questions and pent up emotions, so I will understand if you don't want to move too fast.

Yvette: Let's not talk about that right now, let's just stay in this moment. Our family has one of it's pieces back.

Andrew: I'm worried about Edmund, he seemed really upset.

Joseph: Life hasn't been to kind to Edmund the past couple of years, he's been through a lot and on top of all that, this has got to be hard to digest.

_______________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________

Back at the Phelps house, everyone is at the dinner table.

John: So, Teri, how did you and George meet?

Teri: At a fashion show, he was thinking of investing in a designer I was working for.

George: And you could say we hit it off right away.

Teri: I never actually liked the corporate type, but George ended up being an exception.

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Den: What are your plans? I hope you and my new nephew will be sticking around awhile.

Teri: They aren't set just yet, but being home probably is best for me for awhile.

John: I know you might not like this idea, Teri, but I've left a spot open in the leadership at Phelps Motors, marketing.

Teri: Is that a job offer?

John: It is if you want it. I'm going back to the SEC, so you'll be working with your brothers.

Teri: I don't know, like I've said before, I'm not good in business.

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Harry: If I can pipe in, I have to say that the position is suited for you, it's about advertising and websites. Being in the modeling industry, wouldn't you have picked up a thing or two about that?

Teri: Yes, I have, but I don't know how I could apply that to office work.

John: You're going to be putting together projects, working with people and constantly on the go, you can limit

your office work.Teri: I guess it could look good on my resume.

John: Is that a yes?

Teri: I'll take it. Sounds like a good opportunity while I'm taking a break from modeling.

John: Fantastic.

George: Looks like everything is just falling into place here.

John: Yes, I've got all my children in town and a new grandson, it's surreal.

George: And don't forget, your new job at the SEC, that's another thrilling thing.

John: Yeah, can't wait to get in there and bust those corporate crooks.

Teri: Please, not right now, let's have dinner in peace.

John: What? We're just discussing regulation.

Teri: I know where it was about to lead.

John: If it makes you uncomfortable, we'll stop, right, George?

George: Of course.

John: (thinking) What luck, I get someone like George Lightner permanently tied to my family.

George: (thinking) He's trying to be decent now, but I bet he still can't wait to nail me when he gets back in the SEC.

______________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

Out on the patio of the McGregor estate, Anna and Edmund are talking.

Anna: So, you want to talk about it?

Edmund: It's just one thing after another.

Anna: Nothing seems normal anymore.

Edmund: You can say that again.

Anna: It was a shell shock to me too.

Edmund: It's all so confusing.

Anna: Some things don't always have an easy explanation, I know I don't have an easy one.

Edmund: If he was alive all this time, why did he wait so long to come back?

Anna: Pride, he didn't want anyone helping him through his injuries.

Edmund: Part of me is glad he's back and the other doesn't know what to think.

Anna: My reaction is a bit mixed too. I guess it's as normal a reaction one can have a situation like this.

Edmund: Everything that has happened this past year, my custody battle, us almost losing the company and now this, it takes a real toll to go through all that.

Anna: I know. I can't promise you it will all turn out okay, but if we try to get through this latest shock as a family, it won't be as bad.

Edmund: I don't know if it will work, but it sounds like it could work.

Anna: It never hurt to try.

Edmund: Easier said than done.

Anna: Hey, this isn't easy for me either.

Edmund: I know. Mom, if it wasn't for your talks, I don't know what I'd do sometimes.

Edmund hugs Anna. Fade to black.

It's Thanksgiving and at the Donahue Ranch, Carol is just starting set the table when Cody comes in.

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Carol: Oh, good, you're here.

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Cody: It's a bit early, don't the caterers usually serve the dinner later than this? They have in the past.

Carol: No caterers this year, this time around, I cooked.

Cody: You cooked?

Carol: Yes, is that surprising?

Cody: I've never seen you cook, we've always had a cook here and the holiday dinners have been catered.

Carol: I'm going for a little more of a family oriented touch this time, after the things that have happened in the past year, I think we should all start acting more like family.

Cody: Okay, I get that, but I just want to know if this dinner is edible.

Carol: You and your wisecracks. I have cooked before, when your father and I were first married, I used to cook dinner all the time.

Cody: If you say so.

Carol: The dinner is fine, do you smell anything burning or see smoke?

Cody: I'll reserve my judgment until later.

Norm comes into the dining room.

Carol: You certainly are dressed to the nines.

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Norm: I'm wondering if you wouldn't mind too much if I left dinner a bit early.

Carol: Why?

Norm: I have a friend who can't make it home for Thanksgiving and I thought I'd spend some time with her so she wouldn't be alone.

Carol: So that's why you dressed up.

Cody: Who is it?

Norm: Leigh Elgin.

Carol: Edmund McGregor's ex-wife? When did you hook up with her?

Norm: You know we go way back. We reconnected recently and it's been good for me.

Carol: She was trouble then and she's probably trouble now.

Norm: It's not like I'm exactly a saint, so I can't judge whatever Leigh has done.

Carol: She always struck me as an opportunist looking for a rich husband. She got one with Edmund, do you want to be her second?

Norm: You don't know her like I do.

Carol: Whatever, just be careful.

Norm: I know what I'm doing. If you'll excuse me, I'll have to go call Leigh and tell her that I'll be on my way soon.

Norm excuses himself to call Leigh.

Norm: Hey, glad I caught you.

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Leigh: This better be about the plan, I'm getting restless.

Norm: Don't worry, it is. I've got a conference call later with someone who could seal this thing up.

Leigh: Are you serious? You can get something done on the holiday

Norm: Some of my people work around the clock

Norm: It could be the smoking gun, if it pans out, the judge will not look at Edmund favorably do to his associations.

Leigh: I like this.

Norm: Meet me at my office in about an hour.

Leigh: Of course.

Leigh hangs up and pumps her fist in excitement.

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__________________________________________________________________________________________

At the Athletic Club, Teri is just arriving at George's suite.

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George: I'm quite surprised to see you, when you blew me off in the south of France last year, I thought we'd never see each other again.

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Teri: We had a fling and it fizzled out because we were going in opposite directions.

George: So, what brings you here?

Teri: There's something you need to know.

George: I can't imagine what it is.

Teri: You remember that last night we spent together? We had way too much champagne and ended spending the night on that beach.

George: How could I forget that?

Teri: Well, now we both have a reminder. You're a Dad now.

George: Excuse me?

Teri: You've got a son.

George: A son? I don't believe this.

Teri: It took me a while to get the courage to come here to tell you. I just want to say up front that this is not about money, it's about you knowing your son.

George: Where is he? I want to see him.

Teri: He's with his governess right now at my hotel.

George: I'd like to see him.

Teri: Of course. I was sort of shocked when I found out you were in Novi, this has been my family's home for a long time.

George: Wait, you wouldn't happen to be related to John Phelps, the SEC vet?

Teri: Yes, he's my father.

George: Oh, boy.

Teri: What's wrong?

George: It's nothing important, let's just go see my son.

______________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________

At the McGregor Estate, Anna is answering the kitchen door for Andrew.

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Anna: Come in.

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Andrew: You look wonderful.

Anna: Thank you, but we really need to talk.

Andrew: Fine.

Anna: I don't like that you involved my aunt in this.

Andrew: I'm sorry, but it was my last resort. She's always been able to get you to see the upside of things and I needed someone else to plead my case.

Anna: Well, I haven't forgiven you yet, but I do think that our children deserve to know the truth and that should not hinge on rather or not we work things out.

Andrew: My children. It's been so long, so much has changed, I don't even know what to say.

Anna: You've got that right, I filled you in on the phone as best I could, so you should be able to connect on some level.

Martha comes into the kitchen.

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Martha: Drew?

Andrew: Miss Martha, is so good to see you again. You know you're the only person who could ever get away with calling me Drew.

Martha: It's a miracle that you survived and came back.

Andrew: It sure is, I'm very thankful.

Martha: I'm sure you are.

Andrew: Just so you know, Anna, Miss Martha chewed me out on the phone over my actions, she didn't just give me a free pass.

Martha: He's telling the truth, you know I never let anybody get by me without giving them a piece of my mind.

_________________________________________________________________________________

In the living room, The McGregor children are having conversation.

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Yvette: Usually, I feel really cheery this time of year, but right now I'm not feeling it. Mom is so down, it

just makes me feel so awful.

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Edmund: It's no wonder with this whole mess with Cassandra and George.

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Joseph: I can't even figure that one out.

Edmund: Why would he do something like that?

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Lynette: Unfortunately, we'll never know.

Yvette: I was just saying yesterday that I wish that there was a way to understand it.

Joseph: No use worrying about it now, it's been done and we have to deal with the consequences.

Lynette: What did you all think of George? I haven't met him yet.

Joseph: Put simply, people like him are the reason the one finger salute exist.

Yvette: He's just a real piece of work, it's like Mother, like Son, he's almost exactly like his mother. Very bitter.

Edmund: I get that he's bitter, but why take it out on us, we're not the ones who hurt him and his mother.

Joseph: It's the blame game, somebody has always got to be blamed, rather they did anything wrong or not.

Lynette: He is our brother after all, perhaps we should give him a chance.

Yvette: At this point, it's up to him to decide rather or not he wants to reach out. He's put us through heck, so I'm not anxious to welcome him with open arms.

Joseph: I second that.

Lynette: It sure is a messy situation.

Edmund: You know, this is the day we are supposed to be thankful, so we shouldn't be talking so negatively.

Yvette: You're right, let's all be thankful for the good things we have. All people like George have is their spite, let's try not to emulate that.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

At the Town and Country Inn, George is holding his son.

George: He's perfect.

Teri: That's what I say everyday.

George: What's his name?

Teri: Jonathan George Lightner, I just call him Johnny for short though.

George: I've always wanted to be a father, but now that it's true, it's so unreal.

Teri: I guess all parents feel that way.

George: So, have you seen your family?

Teri: I'm going over there later, I would have gone there when I first got in town, but I wanted to get things squared with you.

George: You certainly lit up my day.

Teri: Speaking of my family When I told you who my father was, you acted odd, why?

George: It just had something to do with a business deal, he and I had some heated words. I just wondered how he would react finding out who the father of his grandson is.

Teri: Oh, my Dad doesn't hold grudges.

George: He thinks I'm a crook and he really doesn't like me for launching a hostile takeover against some of his good friends.

Teri: You know what? It's Thanksgiving and right now we should be thankful for good things. If you have no plans for Thanksgiving, why don't you come to my house and meet my father on a non-business basis?

George: I don't know, meeting the family dinners can be awkward, especially under my circumstances.

Teri: There's nothing to fear.

George: I'm not afraid.

Teri: Then come with me.

George: I probably should do this, our families are going to be connected from now on because of this little guy.

Teri: It'll be fine.

George: I don't want my son growing up knowing that his Father and Grandfather are arch-rivals, so it's worth a try.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Back at the McGregor House, the family is sitting down to just as Anna and Martha put the last dishes on the table.

Anna: You know, I always give a little speech before we say grace and then eat. I'm going to do that now, but what I have to say is a little different than usual. We can be thankful for all of us being here in good health and thankful for all the other blessings we have. I don't know quite how to say this.

Yvette: Mom, what is it?

Anna: Even though it's going to be hard to understand, but we have something else we can be thankful for this year.

Andrew walks out of the kitchen and everyone at the table is stunned.

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____________________________________________________________________________________________

#83 Wednesday, November 26th

It's the night before Thanksgiving and Anna is baking pies. Yvette comes in.

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Yvette: Evening.

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Anna: Hello, Yvette.

Yvette: I came over to see if there was anything I could help with for the dinner.

Anna: Thanks, but I can handle everything, I do this every year. Besides, I need to stay occupied, I've got a lot on my mind.

Yvette: You've seemed really stressed the past few weeks.

Anna: I've just been scrambling to finalize the plans for the spring collection and that's always very stressful.

Yvette: But I've never seen you this stressed before in all the years you've handled the seasonal collections. I understand this whole situation with Cassandra and finding out that Dad was married to her has been a burden, maybe you need some time off from work to heal.

Anna: Work keeps me going, if I'm not working, then I get even more depressed.

Yvette: I'm used to seeing you so upbeat around the holiday time, it's odd seeing you so down.

Anna: Well, things don't stay the same all the time.

Yvette: And to think, I started this whole mess because I thought Cassandra could help me finance a shopping

mall. I really am sorry, I should have used better judgment.

Anna: We're past that now, I'm not angry at you. I'm angry at your Father's lies. And besides, I'm sort of glad I found out, secrets like that should never stay hidden.

Yvette: It's more disbelief for me. I just wish there was chance to ask him why he did what he did. I guess we'll be wondering forever.

Anna has flashback of when Andrew showing up at the door.

Yvette: Mom, are you all right?

Anna: What? Oh, yes, I'm fine.

Yvette: You seemed to be in another world for a second there.

Anna: Just lost in thoughts again.

Yvette: You're going to get through this, Mom. It won't be easy, but you're strong and I know you can do it.

Anna: That's easier said than done.

Anna sits down and looks pensively out the window.

____________________________________________________________________________________

At a bar outside town, Andrew is having a beer when Aaron walks in.

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Aaron: I don't get this at all, I thought you had left town weeks ago and then you call me and tell me to

meet you here.

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Andrew: Obviously, I changed my plans.

Aaron: So is it truth telling time?

Andrew: Already done.

Aaron: And?

Andrew: Anna wants nothing to do with me.

Aaron: But at least the truth is out and perhaps she'll forgive you in time.

Andrew: I don't know if she should. First off, I lied about my first marriage and that turned her life upside down and then I come back alive, years after letting her grieve.

Aaron: I told you a long time ago that you should have contacted Anna, you were able to get in touch with me

after the Philippine Military rescued you from the ocean, you could have reached your wife too.

Andrew: You know I didn't want to go back in the condition I was in.

Aaron: And in the end, that pride cost you a lot.

Andrew: It hasn't cost me anything, I'm going to fight for my marriage and my family.

Aaron: You've got a lot to sort out, including fixing things with the son you haven't seen since he was an infant.

Andrew: I've fought my way through tougher situations.

Aaron: Man, I would not want to be in your shoes right now.

Andrew: My family is the most important thing to me, so I'm willing to endure whatever I have too in order get things back on track.

Aaron: I'm glad you finally decided to face the music.

Andrew: I never thought my little brother would be the one to talk sense into me.

Aaron: I suppose stranger things have happened before. So how do you plan on fixing this? It's not going to

be easy.

Andrew: I've come up with a plan, I don't know if it will work, but it's worth a try.

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

At a rehab facility, Jim is playing solitare, when the rehab director approaches him.

Director: Jim, you have a telephone call?

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Jim: Who is it?

Director: Your wife. You can take it in the office.

Jim: Thanks.

Jim goes to the office and takes the call.

Jim: Hello?

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Lynette: Jim, you sound a lot better than you did when we last talked.

Jim: I'm making a bit of progress.

Lynette: I'm thrilled to hear that. The kids ask about you all the time, they miss you.

Jim: I miss them too.

Lynette: I was calling because your lawyer dropped off the final divorce papers and said that you requested that things still be expedited.

Jim: Yes, I did request that.

Lynette: I just wanted to call you and make sure that this wasn't going to effect your progress, a divorce is painful on it's own, but during rehab? Are you sure you don't want to wait to do this after you've finished the program?

Jim: I appreciate your concern, but having this over quickly is what is best.

Lynette: I do agree with that, but I don't want anything to jeopardize your progress.

Jim: If anything, it's helping me further ahead. If I'm going to get better, I have to let go of all the anger and regrets I have inside me. My counselor and I have talked here and she agrees that in my case, this

is what I have to do.

Lynette: You seem to know what you are doing.

Jim: I'm getting a lot of my good judgment back, something that I lost a long time ago.

Lynette: I know I keep apologizing, but-

Jim: Don't, we both made mistakes and casting blame now is pointless. We had a good thing for awhile, but now it's over and I've got to accept that.

Lynette: I still feel bad though.

Jim: Another reason why I'm doing this is because I care about you enough to let go. I know how that shrink feels about you and you seem pretty hung up on him, I can't stand in the way of that.

Lynette: You're being far more decent to me than you should be. I know how hard this is.

Jim: It certainly is hard, but like I said, it's the right thing.

Lynette: I'm pulling for you.

Jim: Thank you, that means a lot. I better get off the phone now, don't want to tie up the office for too long.

Lynette: Take care.

They hang up.

_________________________________

___________________________________

At Lightner in Detroit, a woman walks into George's office looking for him, but finds Cassandra.

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Cassandra: Can I help you?

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Woman: I'm looking for George Lightner.

Cassandra: He's not in right now, but perhaps I can help you. I'm Cassandra Lightner, Co-CEO.

Woman: Pleased to meet you. Anyway, I've been trying to get ahold of George for days, so could you please

tell him to get in touch with me, my name is Teri, I'll write down my number.

Teri writes down the number on a piece of paper.

Cassandra: If this is about a business matter, I might be able to resolve it.

Teri: It's not business.

Cassandra: Okay, well I will tell him you were here.

Teri: Thank you, I appreciate that. It's very important.

Teri leaves. Cassandra wonders what could be going on with George.

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Later on, at the Phelps House, John and his sons Den and Harry are at in his office discussing the family business.

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John: Now that I've both of you here for Thanksgiving, we should talk about Phelps Motors.

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Den: Are you coming back from your leave of absence?

John: Actually, I'm not coming back.

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Harry: What? Why?

John: Although I enjoy selling cars, my first love is corporate law and working on the situation on M.I. made me realize just how much I missed it. The SEC liked my work and they offered me a job.

Den: Is it in DC?

John: No, it's in Detroit, so I won't have to move.

Harry: Congratulations.

Den: Yeah, I can see why the SEC would want you on their team.

John: Thank you. But all that aside, we need to figure out what the structure will be at Phelps Motors from

now on. Now, Den, you've been running things since my leave of absence, so I'd like you to be in charge and I'd like your brother to assist you.

Den: Sounds fine to me.

John: Harry, what do you think?

Harry: No complaints here.

John: And I do want to keep a position open for your sister. I know she's in Europe modeling, but sometimes those jobs can dry up and I want her to have something to fall back on.

Den: Teri's such a rebel, I doubt she'd take that even if all her gigs dried up.

John: Nevertheless, I'm leaving a door open for her.

Harry: Didn't she say she was coming for Thanksgiving?

John: She said she'd try to make it and you know with her, you can never tell what she's going to do.

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_________________________________________________________________________

Back at the McGregor Mansion, Alma is arriving she and Alma's Aunt, Martha.

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Alma: Anna, look who I found at the airport.

Anna comes downstairs.

Anna: What's going on?

Anna pauses when she sees Martha.

Anna: Aunt Martha?

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Martha: It's me.

Anna: Why didn't you tell anyone you were coming?

Martha: No point, I just get up and go. And besides, it was an excuse for me to visit so we could talk about that whole mess about your husband.

Anna: We talked about that on the phone weeks ago

Martha: It's not the same as talking in person, this kind of thing requires a face to face talk.

Anna: I'm so talked out about it.

Martha: We still need to talk, there's something else I've got to say to you. Alma, could you give us a minute.

Alma: Sure, I'll just go make some tea for us while you talk.

Alma goes to the kitchen.

Anna: I don't know what else that could possibly be said about the situation.

Martha: You could try forgiving your husband and letting go of all the angry.

Anna: I'm not angry, I'm hurt.

Martha: Sure, he made a mistake, but you've got a good husband and you can't let him slip away.

Anna: What are you talking about slip away? Andrew died a long time ago.

Martha: Don't try to pull that on me, I know he's not dead.

Anna: What?

Martha: Unless I was dreaming, Andrew called me and begged me to help him get your forgiveness.

Anna: Oh, I cannot believe he would involve you.

Martha: He did it because I'm the only person who can talk sense into you sometimes.

Anna: I've got plenty of sense. You might be like a mother to me and everything, but that doesn't mean you can pass judgment on my decisions.

Martha: Look, I'm not saying you have to just forget about what he did, but you had a good life with him and had children, I just don't want you to throw away your second chance without at least thinking about it.

Anna: The man didn't even have the decency to tell me he was alive right away, he waited years. Plus, there's the other thing about our invalid marriage.

Martha: You remember back at the funeral how upset you were and you wished you had another chance to say a

lot of things you never got to say to Andrew? This is your chance.

Anna: Don't you think there's a part of me that just wants to take him back and live the life we had? It can't happen though, there are too many issues.

Martha: At least give him a chance to try and make up for it.

Anna: Maybe I can in time, but not now.

Martha: If it's one thing I learned in my life, there are times that you can't waste time, you have to grab opportunity and work out the kinks later.

Anna: Where is Andrew?

Martha: He's still in town, I've got the number and address of where he's staying.

Anna: I'll probably regret it, but let me have the number.

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_____________________________________________________________________________________

#82 Monday, November 24th (BONUS EPISODE)

At the hospital, Lynette is sitting in the waiting room resting when her cell phone vibrates. She goes outside to answer it.

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Lynette: (into phone) Hello?

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Greg: I just called to see how you were doing this morning.

Lynette: Not good at all.

Greg: What's wrong?

Lynette: Jim had a heart attack.

Greg: That's awful, is he going to be all right?

Lynette: The doctors say he should be, but he's still not awake yet.

Greg: That's good, the paramedics must of gotten him here quickly.

Lynette: I've been up all night, the stress has just drained me.

Greg: Is anyone there with you?

Lynette: My mom was here earlier and is coming back later.

Greg: Right now, words cannot describe how bad I feel about all of this.

Lynette: The blame lies squarly with me, it was my lying that caused the problem.

Greg: Still, I had an affair with a married woman and now her husband has had a heart attack, that

sort of makes me feel terrible.

Lynette: I understand, but the fact still remains, it was up to me to be truthful and I didn't do that.

Eleanor comes outside.

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Eleanor: Lynette?

Lynette: I've got to go, talk to you later (hangs up)

What's wrong?

Eleanor: The doctor said Jim is awake.

Lynette: That's wonderful.

Eleanor: She said he's asking for you.

Lynette: Well, I better get in there.

Lynette hurries back inside.

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____________________________________________________________________________

Anna stands in disbelief, seeing Andrew at the door.

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Anna: This can't be real.

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Andrew: It's me.

Anna: Andrew? How?

Andrew: It's a long story

Anna: There has to be some explaination, this can't be happening.

Andrew: I didn't even know how to tell you, because I knew it would be so unbelievable.

Anna: My husband died in a plane crash years ago. Is this some sort of hoax?

Andrew: I survived. It's not a hoax and I can prove it.

Andrew takes a tattered old photograph of him and Anna from his wallet and hands it to Anna.

Andrew: Turn it over.

The photo has Anna's handwriting on the back, dated 1968.

Andrew: That is a photo that I always carried in my wallet, nobody else would have that.

Anna: I remember this, it was the only one in a set I had, the photographer made a mistake and

didn't make duplicates. You liked it so much, you wanted it for your wallet.

Andrew: So now you believe it?

Anna: I've got to sit down.

Andrew helps Anna to the couch.

Andrew: I know this is all a terrible shock.

Anna: You have no idea.

Andrew: It took me a long time to figure out how I was going to do this.

Anna: I have so many questions, I don't know where to start.

Anna looks at Andrew again in disbelief.

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Lynette comes into Jim's hospital room.

Lynette: Jim?

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Jim: (weakly) Lynette.

Lynette: It's me, I'm here.

Jim: What happened?

Lynette: You had a heart attack.

Jim: A heart attack?

Lynette: It's all right now, the doctor says you are going to be fine.

Jim: How are the kids? Are they all right?

Lynette: My aunt Alma has them. I've been here at the hospital all night, your parents are here too.

Jim: My head is killing me.

Lynette: You probably just need to rest and not try to talk.

Jim: I haven't had a headache like this since-- , Don't tell me I was drinking?

Lynette: Don't get yourself all worked up.

Jim: I was, wasn't I?

Lynette: We don't need to talk about that now.

Jim: All I remember is that I was so angry about what you did and---, I don't even know why I wanted you in

here, after everything that has happened.

Lynette: Please, let's not get into that now.

Jim: I was sober for so many years, I thought I had it kicked.

Lynette: And you will beat it again, it's just a matter of time.

Jim: A divorce and rehab, now those are some things to look forward to.

Lynette: Like I said, let's not think about all that now, you need rest.

Jim: I feel like the biggest idiot in the world right now. All those years of sobriety, gone.

Lynette pats Jim's hand.

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_____________________________________________________________

Andrew is explaining everything to Anna.

Anna: So you've been alive all this time and didn't tell anyone?

Andrew: I was in such terrible shape, I didn't want to come back and be a burden.

Anna: It wouldn't have been a burden, you're my husband. It certainly would have been better than

letting your family grieve.

Andrew: It's complicated

Anna: What finally made you come back?

Andrew: I heard you lost the company and I had to step in. Aaron acted as my proxy.

Anna: Aaron, I knew it was strange that he just showed up out of the blue.

Andrew: He also helped get me back to health and sort of convinced me I needed to come home.

Anna: You needed convincing? How could you not want to come back to your family?

Andrew: After the whole thing with Cassandra came out, I knew you would be very upset about it. I wanted to make up for

it in some way, but not face the possibility of you not forgiving me, that's why I had Aaron act as my proxy.

Anna: Don't even get me started on Cassandra.

Andrew: There were so many times I wanted to tell you.

Anna: Of course, but it always just slipped your mind, right?

Andrew: I made a mistake when I was young and I didn't know how to rectify it.

Anna: Well, that mistake meant that our marriage was never valid.

Andrew: We could fix that.

Anna: It's not that easy, Andrew.

Andrew: You know that I love you, so why can't we get through this together? I know I don't really deserve forgiveness, but I really am sorry.

Anna: You haven't been back in an hour, I've barely had time to process the fact that you are alive.

Andrew: You're right, I'm moving to quickly.

Anna: I can't deal with all of this.

Andrew: What are you saying?

Anna: I'm saying that things just cannot go back to the way they were.

Andrew: Please, I know you're angry, but--

Anna: You should have just stayed wherever you were at.

Andrew: What?

Anna: I had a hard time with finding out your were already married when you married me, but I'm having a harder

believing that you would let me grieve over you for years and not let me know you were alive. How could you do that?

Andrew: I'm back now, I'm not going to hurt you again, I promise.

Anna: You've already done enough damage. Just go.

Andrew looks sad and slowly walks out. Anna breaks down crying.

#81 Monday, November 24th

Aaron comes back to the clinic where Andrew is at

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Andrew: I saw the press conference on TV, Anna did a great job.

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Aaron: Yes, she did.

Andrew is packing a suitcase.

Aaron: You're really going to leave without telling your family the truth?

Andrew: I did what I came here to do, now it's done.

Aaron: I know I can't tell you what to do, but I think you know better than this.

Andrew: It's the right decision.

Aaron: You're afraid to face the truth.

Andrew: I'm not afraid, I just don't want to turn lives upside-down.

Aaron: We all make mistakes and we've all got to face them.

Andrew: This isn't something selfish for me.

Aaron: Yes it is. You don't want to tell the truth because you are afraid your family won't forgive me.

Andrew: You're not in my position.

Aaron: You're right, because if I was in your shoes, I would have already told the truth by now.

Andrew: Please, try to understand my side of this.

Aaron: I can't understand it, but it's your choice and you have to live with it.

Andrew: I've got to get to the airport soon, my flight leaves in a couple of hours.

Aaron: I'll call the car.

Andrew looks conflicted, unsure if leaving is what he really wants.

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______________________________________________________________________________________

Cassandra's lawyer, Cenk arrives to discuss Cassandra's case at the jail.

Cenk: We've got a lot to work on.

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Cassandra: That's what I was afraid of.

Cenk: Good news is, I was able to swing bail for you, you'll be out shortly

Cassandra: Thank goodness, I couldn't tolerate spending the night in this dreadful jail.

Cenk: Reviewing the charges, these are some pretty heavy allegations.

Cassandra: I realize that, I just want to avoid jail. I'll even pay a fine.

Cenk: Well, the feds are always looking to make an example of someone, you never know how much time you'll get.

Cassandra: Give me an estimate.

Cenk: 5-10 years.

Cassandra: Good grief. I can't go to prison.

Cenk: We could cut a deal.

Cassandra: What?

Cenk: You pay back everyone that lost money in the savings and loan.

Cassandra: I can do that, my resources are enormous.

Cenk: It's not a sure thing, though. The US attorney still might decide to prosecute.

Cassandra: So I could still be doomed?

Cenk: We'll see what happens. Keep relatively quiet, no statements to the

media.

Cassandra: Sounds fine to me.

Cenk: I'll be speaking with you again soon.

Cenk leaves.

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At Number 37, George is at the bar, John Phelps enters and sits at the other end of the bar.

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George: I bet you're real happy right now. You made it clear you wanted to embarrass my company and you got

what you wanted.

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John: You're right, I am happy, I'm always happy when one of my investigations is successful. I can't take all the credit though, your mother had a lot to do with it.

George: That's low, it's really low.

John: It's not like it isn't true.

George: You are pathetic, you make a career out of shaming people.

John: No, I try to keep them honest. And people like you, I don't like, you think you are above the law.

George: You can't call me dishonest, I didn't know anything about the fake documents.

John: It's still pretty laughable that you didn't have a clue what was going on in your own company.

George: Laugh all you want, but I'm still going to break into retail and compete with your friends, the McGregors.

John: You talk about the McGregors like you aren't one.

George: I'm not one in the same sense as the others are.

George gets up to leave.

John: Whatever that means. (sarcastically) You have a good day and stay clear of the SEC.

George leaves the bar.

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____________________________________________________________

Lynette is still crying as Anna hugs her.

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Lynette: I feel like this is my fault.

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Anna: Blaming yourself won't do any good now.

Lynette: None of this would have happened if I was just honest with him, he would have

never started drinking or taking those pills.

Anna: It's all so awful.

Lynette: I handled things in the worst way possible.

Anna: Right now, you need to focus on Jim's recovery, he's going to need all the strength he can get.

Lynette: I'm so scared right now.

Lynette looks over and sees Elliot and Eleanor sitting on the other side of the lobby, they looked very

stressed. Just then, Dr. Claiborne returns to the lobby.

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Leslie: Well, I have good news.

Lynette: That's fantastic.

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Eleanor: You mean Jim's going to be all right?

Leslie: It looks like he will. We got him to the OR just in time, we did an angioplasty.

Eleanor: Do you know if there will be any permanent damage?

Leslie: In most cases like this I've worked on, the patient has a good recovery rate.

We're keeping him on clot busting drugs just in case anything else happens, other than that, I don't think we have to worry.

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Elliot: Thank god, he's going to be all right.

Leslie: He won't be conscious for quite awhile, but you can see him if you like.

Eleanor: Thank you very much, Dr. Claiborne.

Leslie goes back to the ER.

Lynette: He's going to be all right.

Anna: That's why it's good to have faith, it can move mountains.

Lynette: It really does.

Anna: I'm so relieved right now.

Lynette: You've been here with me all night, you need to get some rest.

Anna: I don't want to leave you here.

Lynette: We know Jim is all right now, so I'll be fine here. You can come back later.

Anna: I could use a bite to eat and a quick nap, so I'll go home and do that, but I'll come back later.

Lynette: That's fine.

Anna: Call me if there are any new developments.

Lynette: I will.

Anna leaves. Lynette goes over to Eleanor and Elliot.

Lynette: I know you don't want to speak to me right now, but now that we know Jim is okay, I was hoping that we

can all at least try to pull together to help him when it's time for him to start recovery.

I know you're upset with me, but just for Jim's sake, I'm asking you this.

Eleanor: Whatever is best for my son's recovery, I'll do it.

Lynette looks sad, thinking about the entire situation. A montage of scenes of the characters lamenting their troubles begins, as Faith Hill's Cry plays in the background.

We see Andrew riding in a towncar to the airport and again look at a picture his family, still conflicted.

At the hospital, Lynette walks into Jim's room. She stands by his bed side and sighs deeply.

At the McGregor Estate, Anna is in the den having a cup of tea. She looks over at the mantle and sees a picture

of her and Andrew. Anna shakes her head, thinking of Andrew's deception. She prepares to go up stairs, when the

doorbell rings. She goes to answer and finds Andrew on the other side. A look of shock comes over her face.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Varied Lives (formerly Novi) will be returning from hiatus to gear up for an extended length Thanksgiving episode.

"As soaps have traditionally had holiday episodes, I've decided to do one for Varied Lives and really use it to advance some of the storylines further and introduce the next elements. The timeline will be moving forward just a bit to adjust for the hiatus and the lack of episodes I posted, but everything will be in order in terms of continuity and story consistency, all your favorite plots will still make sense."

The head writer also spilled these tidbits:

Anna's traditional family Thanksgiving celebration will get quite a surprise and some of the McGregors will not be happy about it.

As long promised, the rest of the Phelps Family will be introduced, on Wednesday the 26th. John's daughter, Teri comes to town for the holiday, but she has a surprise connection to some already in town.

The holiday doesn't make Leigh and Norm take a break from their scheme, look for them to put the final element of their plan against Edmund in place. What happens will really advance this storyline in a big way.

Plus, there are a couple of other surprises, but you'll have to wait and read. "Readers will not be disappointed" said the Head Writer.

Casting News:

Varied Lives will have a special guest star on Nov. 26, 27 and 28th.

Jim is rushed into the hospital. Dr. Leslie Claiborne rushes over to check him out as the paramedics wheel him in.

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Leslie: What have we got?

Paramedic: Heart attack.

Leslie: Get him to the OR, stat!

Lynette runs in as the the paramedics wheel Jim into the ER.

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Lynette: Dr. Claiborne, is he going to be all right?

Leslie: It's too early tell.

Leslie goes into the ER.

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Later on, Anna is back at McGregor, triumphant in her victory.

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Anna: I got the company back.

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John: You certainly did.

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Yvette: It's nice to have this company back in the right hands.

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Roberta: I'm just glad we got ahold of that information when we did.

Anna: Thanks to Aaron.

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Aaron: This company is my family's legacy, I helped out.

Anna: We couldn't have done it without you. And John, thank you, you bought me enough time.

John: That's what I do, no problem.

Anna: Well, celebration can only last so long. We've got to get back to business, we have several new stores opening and we need everyone's best effort.

Yvette: My marketing strategy is ready to go, so we are good in that area.

Anna: That's great. In light of what has happened, I want to hold a fresh shareholders vote and nominate Aaron and Roberta as members of the board.

Aaron: No, I didn't do this for reward, I just did it because it was the right thing to do.

Roberta: Neither did I, Andrew was a good friend and client.

Anna: Never turn down a reward, that's what I always say. Besides, we need smart people in this company.

Aaron: I'll give it some thought.

Anna: How about you, Roberta?

Roberta: I'm game, it's been awhile sense I was in the corporate sector, I'm ready to come back.

Anna: Good, it's settled. And Aaron, I do hope you will consider my offer.

Aaron: I will.

The phone rings and Anna answers it.

Anna: (into phone) Hello?

Lynette: Mom, it's me.

Anna: What's wrong, you sound upset?

Lynette: It's Jim, he's in the hospital, he's had a heart attack.

Anna: Oh, no. How bad is it?

Lynette: I don't know, they rushed him to surgery.

Anna: I'll be there soon. (hangs up) That was Lynette, her husband Jim has had a heart attack. I've got to go.

Anna prepares to leave.

Yvette: I'll drive you.

Anna: Thanks.

Anna and Yvette leave.

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At the hospital, Elliot and Eleanor have arrived.

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Eleanor: What could have happened?

Lynette: He had a heart attack

Eleanor: I don't understand.

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Elliot: I don't either.

Lynette: He was so upset.

Eleanor: I thought he was in such good help, what could have caused that?

Elliot: There must be something else to it.

Lynette: (hesitant) He had been drinking and I think he was on something else too.

Elliot: What?

Eleanor: Oh, my god, no.

Lynette: I feel so responsible right now.

Eleanor: You should, you caused this whole mess in the first place.

Elliot: Please, calm down, dear. This isn't the time.

Eleanor: I can't believe this is happening.

Dr. Claiborne comes out of the ER.

Lynette: Dr. Claiborne, these are Jim's parents, Eleanor and Elliot Craig.

Leslie: Pleased to meet you. Your son's condition is very stable right now, he's had a heart attack, but was wheeled in at just the right time. Plus, he had extremely high levels of valium in his system.

Elliot: Valium?

Eleanor: What? I didn't even know he took that.

Leslie: It seems have had an effect on his condition, he's not conscious right now.

Eleanor: Is there anything you can do?

Leslie: We had him in surgery for awhile now, all we can do is wait.

Eleanor: Does he have a chance of pulling through?

Leslie: He has a very good chance, my concern is what damage the valium may have done. I've got to get back, but I will update you when I know something new.

Elliot: Thank you, Doctor.

Anna and Yvette walk in.

Lynette: Mom, I'm so glad you're here.

Anna: When did this happen?

Lynette: Earlier.

Anna: Elliot, Eleanor, I am so sorry.

Yvette: So I am, I hope Jim is all right.

Elliot: Thank you.

Lynette turns to Eleanor

Lynette: Mrs. Craig, I---

Eleanor: Don't talk to me right now.

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____________________________________________________________________________

At the jail, Cassandra is in a holding cell, George is with her.

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George: I don't get it, I really don't. We had this sowed up, but you had to destroy it.

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Cassandra: I had to do something, the shareholders would not have been convinced with you

study. It had to be solid.

George: It was all lies, lies. The only way we were going to win is to do it all legal, it was the only way.

Cassandra: If I had just hidden that disc better, this wouldn't have happened.

George: You don't get it, you shouldn't have done it in the first place.

Cassandra: I just wanted you to have what should be yours.

George: I've called you a lawyer, he's well known in Novi and he should be able to get you off light.

Cassandra: I apologize for this turning out like it did.

George: Don't do that. Just worry about yourself and these charges you are up on. I've got to go back to Lightner

and explain to our shareholders how this mess happened.

Cassandra: Is everything going to be okay?

George: I'll find a way to fix it.

George leaves.

______________________________________________________________________________

Carol returns to her office Donahue Headquarters, dissapointed. Trish walks in.

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Carol: I bet your glad right now, since you seemed to feel so sorry for the McGregor.

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Trish: I'm glad they got the company back, I'm not glad that you ended up in a bad deal though.

Carol: It looked so good, I thought it would work.

Trish: Can't say I never thought the whole thing wasn't trouble.

Carol: It was a good deal, but it ended up going the wrong way.

Trish: You're lucky you didn't get caught up in the dragnet, you could have easily been brought down too.

Carol: I'm on the up and up, Donahue is a clean corporation.

Trish: Sometimes in these things, the SEC just doesn't care and everybody gets in trouble.

Carol: What's done is done, nothing lost, nothing gained.

Trish: Something to be thankful for.

Carol: I suppose all that time I spent working that deal, I could have spent helping you plan your wedding. How is it coming?

Trish: Henry and I still haven't set a date yet.

Carol: What's the hold up?

Trish: There is none, we just haven't decided yet. And if you say one word about Joseph, I'm leaving.

Carol: Who said I was going to talk about Joseph?

Trish: I know you, you were going say I'm still pining away for him.

Carol: I was not going to say that.

Trish: Yeah, right.

Carol: Okay, okay, you caught me. It just seems a little odd that you keep putting things off, Henry's a great guy and it seems like you would be jumping at the chance to get married.

Trish: I'm not listening.

Trish walks out.

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#79 Wednesday, August 20th

The next morning, Anna, John and the McGregor board of directors are meeting with an SEC official.

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Anna: And everything there is solid enough for you.

Official: It's clear enough for us and the US attorney seems to be on board.

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Roberta: After reviewing everything this morning, There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that something fraudulent happened. I haven't seen anything like this in years.

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John: Then we have a case.

Anna: Cassandra, buckle your seat belt.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Lynette comes to she and Jim's house, looking for Jim. She finds him in the kitchen.

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Lynette: You've been drinking again.

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Jim: What? Don't come into my house accusing me of anything.

Lynette: The bank called me, I've got the statement.

Jim: So you caught me? It's my life.

Lynette: You practically drained the checking account.

Jim: I'm not having this conversation with you.

Lynette: I'm not going to stand by while you destroy yourself.

Jim: Why would you even care? You have Greg.

Lynette: You're the father of my children, they need you.

Jim: I needed something to clear my mind.

Lynette: I realize I caused you a lot of pain, but please think of the children.

Jim: You are not one who can tell anyone about being unselfish.

Lynette: I'm not trying to lecture you, I'm trying to keep you from ruining your life.

Jim: I'm giving you a divorce, now leave me alone.

Lynette: Regardless of that, I still care about you. Our marriage might be over, but it doesn't mean

you aren't important to me in some way.

Jim: I can stop drinking any time I want.

Lynette: That's what all alcoholics say, none of them can control it though.

Jim: Not everyone is like me.

Lynette: You couldn't have possibly spent all that money on alcohol the past couple of days, what else

were you doing?

Jim: Nothing.

Lynette: There's something else going on, it's not just the drinking, is it?

Jim: Leave me be.

Lynette: Just answer me.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

At Lightner, a live press conference is about to get underway. George, Cassandra and Carol are all there.

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George: With that injunction in place, we need to insure all our stockholders that we are going to be stable.

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Carol: Precisely, we can't afford our stocks to fall.

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Cassandra: Let's hope so.

Meanwhile, outside Lightner, Anna's limousine is pulling up in front of Lightner's headquarters. Anna and John all get out and walk into the lobby to the reception desk.

Receptionist: Can I help you?

Anna: We need to speak with Mr. Lightner.

Receptionist: He's not available right now.

Anna: It's urgent.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Edmund is at Leigh's apartment.

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Leigh: Edmund, it's nice that you stopped by.

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Edmund: Yeah, I had a little time before I have to go into work.

Leigh: Would you like some coffee?

Edmund: No thanks.

Leigh: Did you want to talk about something?

Edmund: Yes, this whole change of heart you've had.

Leigh: I've already explained, I'm doing what's best for the children.

Edmund: As much as I want to believe that, it's hard for me to do so. Just a couple

of months ago you were bent on getting full custody and making me out to be the bad guy.

Leigh: I simply saw the error of my ways.

Edmund: You've always got something up your sleeve, you never give up.

Leigh: I should have known it would go this way, I try to reach out and you come out swinging.

Edmund: Look, I'm not trying to argue, I just want you to be honest. Do you have something up your sleeve?

Leigh: No, I don't.

Edmund: It's just that it doesn't make any sense.

Leigh: Maybe not to a person like you who is so combative.

Edmund: You know what, for the boys' sake, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt.

Leigh: Thank you.

Edmund: But remember, I'm not letting my guard down.

Leigh: There you go again.

Edmund: Please, I'm not trying to argue, I'm just making sure we are clear on everything.

Leigh: Sure.

Edmund leaves.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The press conference at Lightner is starting. George is at the microphone.

George: This press conference is to answer anyone's questions about the takeover and how the injunction could effect shareholders. Anyone holding stock in this company should rest assured that their interest are protected.

Just then, Anna walks into the press room.

Anna: You sure about that?

Cassandra: What are you doing here?

Anna: Since this is press conference is for airing out everything, let's really shake out the details.

Cassandra: This is a nationally televised event, are you really going to make a spectcle of yourself right now.

Anna: Of course not, I've got proof.

Carol: I knew you were desperate, Anna, but I never knew you were willing to make a fool of yourself.

Anna: If I were you, I'd be quiet until I heard the whole truth.

George: Mrs. McGregor, we have throughly discussed this takeover and---

Anna: We haven't discussed what I have.

George: All right, let's hear it.

Cassandra: What are you doing?

George: Letting her talk, I'm sure whatever she has is nonsense. Could someone please hand Mrs. McGregor a microphone?

A technician hands Anna a microphone.

Anna: Thanks. It has come to my attention that the deal that Lightner Corp. made to take over my company was based on fraudulent information.

Cassandra: That is a lie.

Anna: Would you kindly let me talk? If you have done nothing wrong, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Anyway, I have uncovered evidence that the shareholder responsible for this vote passed off a study full of fraudulent figures and data in order negatively influence other shareholders.

George: Excuse me, but that study was very well put together, I saw the final draft.

Anna: Apparently, there were two different drafts of this study, one for the shareholders and one to throw off the current board of McGregor. Copies of both reports can be obtained from my litigator, Mr. John Phelps. These files were obtained from a disc that was mistakenly included with files on the takeover that Mr. Lightner made available to our attorneys.

Anna points to John who is standing by the door holding copies.

George: I want to see this.

John: Be my guest.

John gives George a copy and proceeds to hand copies to interested members of the press.

George: I don't know what you are trying to pull, but this is not the study that I approved.

Anna: Really? Several shareholders have said this is the study they were given.

George: This can't be right.

Anna: It is. It's not surprising that fake documents would be used, since Mr. Sterling Hart has worked with Mrs. Lightner in the past and forged documents to save them from prosecution.

George: Mother, what is she talking about?

Cassandra: This is libelous, it's all untrue.

Anna: Can you deny that Mr. Hart was your associate at Silver Hills Savings and Loan?

Cassandra: We both worked there at the same time.

Anna: It doesn't take much to draw the conclusion that they were colluding together to take this company by any means.

George: You didn't tell me you knew Sterling, Mother.

Cassandra: I didn't think it was important.

Carol: How do we know any of this is true? Mrs. McGregor is desperate to hold on to her company.

Anna: Everything I've said has been verified by the SEC. Plus, we have someone here to substantiate our findings. Mr. Hart?

Sterling walks in and Anna hands him the microphone.

Anna: Mr. Hart is here and can verify everything.

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Sterling: Mrs. Lightner came to me and asked if I could create a report that gave a negative futures report about McGregor's new stores. When it turned out that the stores would be a success, we fabricated everything.

George: Are you serious?

Sterling: Yes.

Cassandra: That man is lying.

Sterling: It's also true that I helped Mrs. Lightner save several assets of her and other promienant associates when the savings and loan collapsed all those years ago.

Sterling hands Anna the microphone back. He gets ready to walk out when Cassandra stops him.

Cassandra: How could you do that?

Sterling: The SEC cut a deal with me to avoid jail time if I talked. At this point, I had nothing to lose coming here.

Cassandra: You rat.

Sterling: I look out for number one.

Sterling leaves.

Anna: In conclusion, I think the evidence clearly shows that the takeover was a fraud and that I am still the rightful owner of McGregor.

Just then, two federal agents walk in.

Cassandra: What is this?

Federal Agent: Cassandra Lightner, you are under arrest for securities fraud.

The agent proceeds to handcuff Cassandra. Flashbulbs from the press photographers go off rapidly.

Cassandra: This is all absurd.

George: Mother, what have you done?

________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________

Back at Jim and Lynette's house

Lynette: Please, just answer me.

Jim: I just want to be left alone.

Lynette: Fine, but until you clean yourself up, I'm afraid I can't let you see the kids.

Jim: What? You can't take them away from me, they are the only thing that I have left in my life.

Lynette: I'm not taking them away from you forever, but you know it's not good for them to be around you in this condition.

Jim: I guess you haven't hurt me enough, well I--

Jim stops talking mid-sentence and clutches his chest, then collapses to the floor.

Lynette: Oh, my god, Jim!

Lynette runs over to Jim, then pulls out her cell and dials emergency.

#78 Monday, August 18th

Sterling is in his hotel room, when there's a knock at the door. He answers it and Cassandra walks in.

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Sterling: What's wrong?

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Cassandra: We've got trouble.

Sterling: What kind of trouble?

Cassandra: I think one of the original discs with the real study on it may

have went out with some papers to John Phelps.

Sterling: What?!

Cassandra: Calm down.

Sterling: Calm down? How could you let this happen?

Cassandra: I'm saying stay calm because I'm not for sure that's what happened.

Sterling: We're in big trouble if he sees the date the study was really written, if he shows

the SEC we're toast.

Cassandra: I know that. We've got to find a way to get it back.

Sterling: I have no idea how to do that.

Cassandra: Well, think of something. If I go down, you go down.

Sterling: That's right, crap.

Cassandra: If you have any bright ideas, call me. I'll be brainstorming too.

Cassandra leaves.

_________________________________________________________

John, Anna and Aaron are at McGregor going over the files that Lightner handed over to them about the takeover.

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John: There's nothing else here.

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Anna: If we could find just one slight slip-up to go along with what we've got, we'd be home free.

John: This is frustrating, because I feel we are this close.

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Aaron: The injunction only last for another day now, we've got to find something quick.

John: I know, but what?

John starts looking through the box of files again, when he feels something hard inside a manila envelope. He reaches inside the envelope and finds a disc.

John: Here's something we missed.

Aaron: A disc.

John: It's not even labeled and it wasn't with the other disc Lightner sent over.

Anna: Pop it in.

John puts the disc in the PC. The disc loads and an explorer window showing the file on the disc pops up.

Aaron: It's a PDF.

John: Let's find out what's in this thing.

John clicks the PDF and brings up the study.

John: It's just the study from Sterling.

Anna: I thought we might have been on to something.

Aaron: We still might be on to something.

Anna: What?

Aaron: Look at the date at the top of the page.

John: It's different than the date on the one he gave us. Look at this, there are all sorts of

bogus figures here, fake pie charts, spreadsheets, this isn't even close to what McGregor's projected outlook would be.

Anna: In the study he gave us, everything was just innuendo.

John: He didn't want us to see the original, because we could refute it with our own facts.

Anna: So he gave us another copy so we could go to court.

John: Exactly.

Anna: Can we get the company back with this?

John: If they tricked the shareholders with fake data, then this takeover is definitely null.

____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________

Jim walks into the bar in Flint where he first got the Valium. He approaches the woman who sold him the pills.

Woman: What are you doing here again? I just gave you something a little while ago.

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Jim: You only gave me a couple and I need more.

Woman: You got the dough?

Jim: I got out everything I could out of my bank.

Jim pulls out the money.

Woman: You look a mess, I don't think you need anymore of this stuff.

Jim: Please, please. I've got the money.

Woman: I'm in the small time, I only sell a little bit at a time. I don't get

into big transactions, because that's where the trouble starts.

Jim: This is all the money I've got, it could do you a lot of good.

The woman looks around hesitantly and then pulls out a larger bottle of pills. She grabs the money

and gives Jim the bottle.

Woman: Now get out of here.

___________________________________________________________________

Lynette getting ready to start work at Number 37 when her cell phone rings.

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Lynette: Hello?

Banker: (over phone) This is Oakland County Bank, is this Mrs. Craig?

Lynette: This is she.

Banker: We are calling to inform you about suspicious activity on your joint account, we tried

to reach Mr. Craig as well, but we haven't been able to.

Lynette: What's going on?

Banker: There have been several transactions on your account at a liquor store and most recently

a large cash withdrawal from an ATM.

Lynette: I don't know anything about those.

Banker: Have you lost your card?

Lynette: No, I didn't.

Banker: Well, the account has been frozen for security.

Lynette: Thank you, I'll try and get to the bottom of this.

Lynette hangs up and a look of fear comes over her face realizing that Jim probably made transactions.

#77 Friday, July 18th

Aaron walks up to the front door of the McGregor Estate. He rings the doorbell and Anna answers.

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Anna: Aaron McGregor, I haven't seen you in I don't know how long.

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Aaron: You do remember me, I'm glad.

Anna: Come on in the house, I was just about to sit down to dinner with a friend.

Anna brings Aaron into the dining room.

Anna: Aaron, This is my friend John Phelps. John, this is Andrew's nephew, Aaron.

Aaron: Pleased to meet you.

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John: Likewise.

Aaron: Anna, I spoke with Yvette earlier, I assumed she told you I was in town.

Anna: She picked up a lot of the slack for me at work today, so she probably forgot.

So what brings you to town?

Aaron: Business actually, M.I. to be exact.

Anna: I'm guessing you heard about the mess.

Aaron: Yes and I'm here to lend my assistance. I know a little about corporations.

Anna: I can use all the help I can get.

Aaron: I especially though you could use this.

Aaron gives Anna a printout of Lightner's record with Sterling.

Anna: This is very interesting. John, take a look at that.

Anna passes the printout to John.

John: This is exactly the sort of thing I needed, a link between Lightner and Sterling Hart.

Where did you get this?

Aaron: A reliable source.

John: This could prove Sterling had the motivation to help Cassandra and George.

Aaron: Possibly.

Anna: Well, with Sterling Hart's history of assisting hostile takeovers, this should be the proof we need

for court.

Aaron: I was hoping it would.

John: Check this out, it's an old telephone transcript between Cassandra and Sterling.

Anna: Let's see that.

John: Seems like Sterling phonied up records to keep him and Cassandra from being prosecuted for the savings and loan failure.

Aaron: I saw that, but I wasn't sure if it was of any significance.

John: Yep, it is. Sterling gave us a study that he claimed caused the shareholders to vote against the board, but

no one seems to have viewed it until now.

Anna: You think he faked that study?

John: It's not out of the realm of plausibility.

Anna: How could we prove he did that?

John: I don't know. There are some discs with the papers that George handed over for review, but I doubt

there's anything incriminating there.

_________________________________________________________

Cassandra is in her office at Lightner, looking for something.

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Cassandra: Where could it be? I know I had it here.

George walks in.

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George: What are you looking for?

Cassandra: It's a disc, it has the study we gave the shareholders on it.

George: Don't worry, we've got other copies.

Cassandra: No, that was my original disc, I needed it for something,

George: The study is all the same, it makes no difference what disc it's on.

Your disc might have accidently gone out when the courier took some of the files I sent Phelps to show him the takeover was legal.

Cassandra: What? That's not good.

George: It's no big deal, calm down.

Cassandra: This is serious.

George: I think it's time you took some time off, you've been acting odd. First, you say you

saw Dad and now you're freaking out about a disc.

Cassandra: I'm fine.

George: Just try to relax then, now is not the time to stress out.

George leaves.

Cassandra: (thinking) If Phelps sees that disc, this whole deal is finished.

________________________________________

________________________________________

Jim stops by Lynette's room at the Town and Country Inn.

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Lynette: Jim, come on in.

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Jim: I can't stay long, I just wanted to let you know there's been a change in plans

for the divorce proceedings.

Lynette: What?

Jim: I want it over as soon as possible, so I'm having my lawyer expedite things, just wanted to give you notice.

Lynette: That's fine.

Jim: How are the kids doing?

Lynette: They're great. I'm glad they are too young to understand what is going on.

Jim: Yeah, I thought the same thing.

Lynette looks at Jim, noticing that there's something different about his demeanor.

Jim: Why are you looking at me like that?

Lynette: I don't know, something seems different about you.

Jim: I am about to get divorced, that can change a person's personality.

Lynette: No, it's more than that.

Jim, thinking that Lynette has sensed that he's been drinking, slowly back away from the door.

Jim: I've got to go, I just needed to tell you that.

Jim walks away. Lynette has a puzzled expression on her face, not sure why Jim seemed so different.

#76 Wednesday, July 16th

Cassandra comes into George's office.

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George: Mother, what's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost.

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Cassandra: I may have.

George: What are you talking about?

Cassandra: You'll just think I'm crazy.

George: If it's gotten you this spooked, then I want to hear what it is.

Cassandra: I think I saw you're father.

George: How can that be, Mother? He died twelve years ago.

Cassandra: I was driving down the boulevard and I saw a man in a town car and I could have sworn it was him.

George: It probably was just someone that looked like him.

Cassandra: No, I'd know his face anywhere.

George: I think you need to sit down and take a breath.

Cassandra sits down.

Cassandra: I know it doesn't make any sense, but I know what I saw.

George: It's probably just stress from everything that's been going on.

Sometimes our minds play tricks on us when we have too much on our plate, it's happened to me.

Cassandra: Maybe you're right, but something just tells me it was him I saw.

George: We both know that's not possible.

Cassandra: I know, I know. It's just bothering me so, I can't get it out of my head.

George: Now probably isn't the right time to tell you this, but you're going to find out anyway, so.

Cassandra: What?

George: The judge put up an injunction, we can't legally make any changes at M.I. yet

Cassandra: Great, just fantastic.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Later, John is in his office at Phelps Motors, Anna has just walked in.

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John: Sorry you had to come over here, I had some work to do here and couldn't get away, but I wanted to give you this

news in person.

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Anna: Good news?

John: Yes, the judge put the injunction in place.

Anna: Terrific.

John: It buys us a bit of time.

Anna: Now all we have to do is find out if Cassandra and George did anything illegal.

John: That's why we need as much time as we can get, before Lightner can appoint an interim board

to M.I.

Anna: He's got his cronies waiting in the wings. Have you looked over the documents George gave you.

John: I've been pouring over them, nothing incriminating so far. They've covered their tracks well. I did

find something interesting though, Sterling was very involved with Lightner just before the shareholders revolt even started.

Anna: Probably up to his old tricks.

John: That's my guess, but we need the proof.

Anna: Where do we get the proof though?

________________________________________________

In an office, Andrew is typing on a computer, looking through documents about Cassandra's problems with Silver Hills Savings and Loan.

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Andrew: Aaron, have you been able to find out how long this Sterling guy held shares with M.I.?

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Aaron: Since about 2004.

Andrew: He's kind of shady, I'm wondering if he's the key to everything.

Aaron: It's possible.

Andrew: This is all very confusing, how does a strong company get taken over?

Aaron: It's supposed to have to do with some study that no one has ever seen.

Andrew: That's even more shady.

Aaron: I'm going to phone John Phelps, see if we can compare notes.

Andrew: Hold the phone for a minute, I may have found something in these documents.

Aaron: What?

Andrew: It looks like Sterling worked with Cassandra during the time of the bank failure. There's even a telephone transcript.

Aaron: Sterling's worked a lot of places, so that probably won't do us much good.

Andrew: We could possibly make a connection between the two. With Sterling's history of shafting companies,

it could show they were in cahoots on the takeover.

Aaron: It's worth a shot.

Andrew: I'll print this off and you take it to Anna, I'm sure she can make use of it.

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

Lynette is at the CoffeeRoom

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Greg: So he served you with divorce papers? That's what he meant when he told me he did something.

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Lynette: You talked to him?

Greg: I ran into him at Guido's and we had a talk. He's in terrible shape.

Lynette: I still just feel so awful, this could have been avoided.

Greg: It's not all your fault, I let myself get too close to you.

Lynette: Well, I just came over to give you the number of where I'll be staying.

Greg: You could have stayed with me if you wanted to.

Lynette: I have a room at the Town and Country Inn, I really think it would be

appropriate I stay there until this divorce is over. Besides, I'm going to be keeping the kids for awhile, it's best this way.

Greg: You're right.

Lynette: As soon as this divorce is finalized, we'll take things from there.

Greg: I understand completely, it shouldn't be any other way. I can wait.

Lynette: In the meantime, I really going to be worried about Jim, I just don't know how he's going to take this.

Greg: Hope for the best.

Lynette: I've got to run, or I'm going to be late picking the kids up from kindergarten.

Greg: See you later.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Jim is at home, sitting at a desk with a bottle of wine and a half empty glass. He's talking on the telephone to a divorce lawyer.

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Jim: I need this divorce to go through as fast as possible. What do you mean it will take that long? I want it over and done with. Isn't there anyway to expedite thing? If you find a way, call me please. Thanks (hangs up)

Jim pours himself another glass of wine, then pulls a piece of paper out of his pocket with the number of the woman that sold him the Valium scribbled on it. He calls the number.

Jim: Listen, those pills you gave me, I'm down to my last one. How much is it going to cost me to get more? I'm good for it.

#75 Monday, July 14th

Aaron arrives McGregor Inc., looking for Anna, but Yvette is in her office.

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Aaron: I'm looking for Mrs. Anna McGregor.

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Yvette: She had to take care of some business at one of the stores, I'm just

holding down things here until she gets back, I'm Yvette McGregor-Browne. You look familiar?

Aaron: Aaron McGregor.

Yvette: Wait a minute, you're Aaron as in Dad's little brother Aaron?

Aaron: I guess you wouldn't recognize me right off, we haven't seen each other since grade school.

Yvette: This certainly is a surprise, it's good to have you back. What brings you to town?

Aaron: Business. As soon as I heard about the takeover, I thought I should come back and

help my brother's family fight to get M.I. back.

Yvette: Well, it certainly is welcomed, we need all the help we can get.

Aaron: I've been trying to find some sort of loophole to get around this takeover.

Yvette: Our corporate litigator John Phelps has been looking for one as well, you might

want to work with him a little.

Aaron: I think it would be best now if we tried to find out more about the internal structure

of Lightner, past history and anything else.

Yvette: What good would that do?

Aaron: It's best to attack the heart of the problem.

Yvette: Ah, I understand now. Makes perfect since.

Aaron: Here's my card, tell your Mother what I said and tell her to give me a buzz.

Yvette: Will do.

Aaron: Great.

Yvette: It's great having another McGregor in town, this family needs more strength.

Aaron: Absolutely. You have a good day.

Aaron leaves.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

At Number 37, Cassandra is meeting with Sterling.

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Cassandra: What is it you want now?

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Sterling: I'm only here to make sure my deal is still secure.

Cassandra: It is as long as things don't fall apart.

Sterling: Like I said before, I need a guarantee of security if I'm going to be in on this.

Cassandra: We'll talk after things get settled.

Sterling: I think we should talk now, especially after I dummied up that fake study to throw

off that nosy John Phelps.

Cassandra: You'll be rewarded for that.

Sterling: It's the last thing I'm doing though, the SEC has wanted to nail me for a long time,

I can't keep giving them fuel.

Cassandra: Were all in this together, if you want to make a profit you'll stick with it.

Sterling: I'm not trying to back out by any means, I'm only going to limit my actions so I don't

draw anymore unneeded attention.

Cassandra: Fine, but we have a deal, if I need you to do something else, you better be prepared to do it.

Sterling: Far be it from me to be a deal breaker.

Cassandra: Good, just as long as we are clear on everything we will be just fine.

Sterling: Perfect.

Cassandra: Now you're sure you covered your tracks on that fake study?

Sterling: You and I have the only discs that could incriminate us.

______________________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________

Edmund is at Stephen's office.

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Edmund: I want to thank you again for helping draw up the custody agreement, it's really the one that works best.

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Stephen: I was glad to do it, but I called you over here to give you a little advice.

Edmund: Sure.

Stephen: You ought to be cautious of Leigh, her sudden change of heart seems a little suspect to me.

Edmund: I think she just finally realized that dragging the boys through a long custody battle wouldn't

do them any good.

Stephen: Perhaps, but I'd still be careful.

Edmund: I'm trying to keep positive, things are finally going my way.

Stephen: I've taken a lot of custody cases in my time and I've never seen a person have such a

quick reversal in attitude.

Edmund: I know you are concerned, but I'm taking this one step at a time, I'm sick of worrying.

Stephen: That's fine, but you're treading a little close to rose-colored glasses territory.

Edmund: Look, I'm not naive, I know Leigh has schemed in the past. This time I'm hoping she's really

turned over a new leaf.

Stephen: I'm not trying to rain on your parade, but this all seems too good to be true.

Edmund: You really think so?

Stephen: I'm just saying be careful and don't let your guard down. The minute you do it leaves you

open to a strike.

_____________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________

Aaron and Andrew are in the back towncar.

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Andrew: Did you speak with Anna?

Aaron: She wasn't there, I spoke with Yvette.

Andrew: Yvette. She was always most like me, so I know she took right to the plan.

Aaron: She was very open to it.

Andrew: That's great. Did you see anybody else?

Aaron: Nope.

Andrew: I'd really like to know how the others are doing

Aaron: I think all of this would be better if you were doing it.

Andrew: Let's not start that again.

Aaron: All right, I was just saying.

Andrew: My family is a mess right now. One son is trying to take the company from my wife and my other children.

And to think, all this drama stems from me being a fool when I was young.

Aaron: What's done is done, all you can do now is live for today.

Andrew: Anyway, what did Yvette say?

Aaron: She said I should talk with John Phelps, he's some sort of litigator.

Andrew: I remember him, he was a good friend of ours some years back.

Aaron: I'll give him a ring later then, see if I can get a meeting.

As they stop at an intersection, Cassandra is in the lane next to them, she glances over and sees Andrew.

Cassandra: Andrew? It can't be.

Before she can get a good look, the light turns green and traffic begins moving again. As Cassandra continues driving, she looks puzzled.

Cassandra: How could it be?

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

#74 Wednesday, July 9th

Lynette walks in her and Jim's bedroom, holding the papers. Jim is sitting

on the bed.

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Lynette: Papers to start divorce proceedings?

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Jim: It's what you want isn't it?

Lynette: I don't know what to say.

Jim: There's nothing to say. You're in love with someone else, there was no other choice.

Lynette: How on earth did we get here?

Jim: I guess we're both to blame, one of us more than the other though.

Lynette: I never even thought about this, although I knew it was coming.

Jim: And I never thought I'd find myself getting a divorce lawyer and filing papers, but

here I am.

Lynette: It's not that I don't love you--

Jim: It's just that you love him more.

Lynette: It's not an issue of who I love more.

Jim: You love me enough to stay married though.

Lynette: It's complicated. Doesn't mean I don't love you.

Jim: I've never told you this before, but you're the only woman I've ever really loved.

There's been nobody else.

Lynette: How come you never told me that?

Jim: I'm not one to speak what I feel, which probably causes me a lot of problems.

Lynette: I know I've said it a thousand times, but I really am sorry.

Jim: Hey, it's me that should be sorry. If I hadn't been such an ass to you in the first place we wouldn't

be in this predicament. I guess I'm angry at myself a whole lot too.

Lynette: We're still parents, we've got to figure out a way to at least stay united in that aspect.

Jim: No argument from me there, we'll figure something.

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

At M.I. headquarters, George, Cassandra, Carol, Anna, Estelle and Stephen are all waiting for John to arrive. John enters the boardroom and sits down.

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Anna: What is all this about?

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George: It's a disclosure meeting, to settle for once and for all the legality of this takeover.

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Stephen: We need more time to determine that.

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John: Yes, I've just started my inquiry.

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Carol: These stalling tactics will not work, you can't avoid the inevitable.

Stephen: Come on, Carol, everyone here knows that this takeover was highly unusual.

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Cassandra: Only to the people who don't want to accept defeat.

Anna: We prospered in the last quarter, it makes no sense why the shareholders are so upset.

George: They saw the potential for mismanagement in the future.

John: Speaking of mismanagement, that study you provided me with was completely made up of speculation, no

real evidence of future loss.

Estelle: Especially sense Carter Enterprises was handling part of the expansion project, the budget balanced out because of that.

George: Apparently the shareholders had another opinion.

Stephen: It's very bizarre that the shareholder leading this has been accused in the past of making shady deals

against the companies he holds stock in.

Cassandra: If that were true, which it isn't, Sterling has never been convicted of anything. If it were true, wouldn't it mean the board was incompetent anyway for letting someone like Sterling hold stock with the company?

Anna: Now you know that is bogus.

Cassandra: It's a simple query.

Estelle: Don't try to turn this conversation around.

John: Until there is a full inquiry into this, one from me and one from the SEC, there should be no change in management.

Carol: That's not fair.

Stephen: It is and we've filed an injunction with the court.

Carol: The judge will take one look at it and throw it out.

Anna: Don't be so sure.

George: I've submitted every document on this takeover and I assure you it's all legal. They are all here, for your review. In the meantime, I propose appointing interim board members just for the transition.

Anna: Out of the question.

George: At this point, you have no say, because legally I own the majority of the stock in this company.

Anna: Stephen, John, can he do this?

Stephen: Unfortunately, yes. Until we can file the injunction, he can legally make changes.

John: That's right.

Anna: How long before the injunction is filed and decided on?

John: A couple of days.

Anna rubs her forehead in grief.

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Back at the clinic, Andrew and Aaron are still talking.

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Aaron: I still think this is ridiculous, not to mention unfair to your family. Anna needs to know you're alive.

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Andrew: How can I just re-enter their lives like this? They believe I died 12 years ago.

Aaron: By just coming back and saying "here I am". I'm sure they held out some hope anyway, you

were only presumed deceased in that plane crash. You've made full recovery, there's no reason for you to stay hidden.

Andrew: I'm only trying to help my family get the company back, not make some big return.

Aaron: How do you expect me to do the work for you and not tell your family you are alive?

Andrew: It's very simple, you just get the job done and nothing else.

Aaron: You're just afraid you won't be forgiven for the whole bigamy thing.

Andrew: I shouldn't be forgiven, I don't expect to be. I just don't want to put myself out there like that.

Aaron: Not everyone gets a second chance, you were lucky enough to have one, man.

Andrew: Things are different now, it's not going to be the same as it was before.

Aaron: That's not an excuse for hiding out. It's time to face the truth.

Andrew: I wish I could, but I can't. I was married to another woman and had a son and I hid it from her, how is she

supposed to forgive that?

Aaron: Maybe she would or maybe she wouldn't, but I do know she'd be glad to know you are alive.

Andrew: I wish I could face it, but I can't.

Aaron: One thing I learned from you is to not run away from anything. I think it's time you started following your own advice.

Andrew: Like I said, I'm only helping them get the company back. You are helping me do that by being my proxy.

Aaron: I have no problem acting as the proxy, but you aren't going to be able to hide this forever.

Aaron leaves. Andrew takes out a picture of Anna and their children and looks at it.

Andrew: How do I fix this mess?

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#73 Monday, July 7th

At Number 37, John is talking with Sterling.

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John: Thanks for lending me a few minutes of your time, I'm sure you are very busy.

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Sterling: I'd like to know what this is about.

John: You led the shareholders revolt against the board of M.I. (McGregor Inc.), I'm

curious to know why.

Sterling: Myself and some other shareholders felt the board was getting dangerously

close to mismanagement.

John: That's what I don't get, the company has done well the past few quarters and the

projected revenue for the next quarter is unprecedented.

Sterling: Private study of M.I's plan for expansion proved that it could lead to loss.

John: Why hasn't anyone been made privy to that study?

Sterling: Shareholders have obtained copies.

John: But shouldn't the board of M.I. at least been given the chance to review said study, just

so they would know why they were being voted out?

Sterling: It was a simple miscommunication that prevented M.I. from reviewing the study.

John: I would like to have a look at it, do you have a copy I could review?

Sterling: Uh, not with me, but I can fax one to you later.

John: That'll be fine. You can understand my curiosity, especially after the takeovers at Northrup/Western and

Jefferson you were involved in.

Sterling: I was never proven guilty of any wrongdoing.

John: I know, just giving you a reason for my curiosity.

John leaves.

Sterling: (thinking) Crap, how I'm going to get out of this one?

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Jim is at Guido's waiting to pick up an order. Greg walks in, he sees Jim and goes over to him.

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Greg: I've got to say something.

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Jim: Do I look like I want to hear it?

Greg: I feel like I need to apologize, although I know it won't do any good.

Jim: Of all the conversations I want to have, one with my wife's lover isn't one of them.

Greg: I tried to support your wife when she needed it, but it ended up turning into something else.

Jim: Yeah, we know what that something else was. Tell me, is it common practice for shrinks to go around boning their

patients? I bet that would make a fun tabloid headline, what do you think?

Greg: You wouldn't?

Jim: I'm capable of it right now, I've got nothing else to lose.

Greg: Humiliating the mother of children isn't going to help. She didn't set out to hurt you.

Jim: You don't think I was humiliated? Lynette made a damn fool out of me. I'm sitting around

thinking things will right with her and she's with you. Did she put you up to trying and justify her actions to me

some more?

Greg: No, I'm saying this on my own. Lynette's a good person who just did the wrong thing, she didn't do it on

purpose.

Jim: Whatever, I've heard it before. Anyway, I have a question.

Greg: What?

Jim: Does she love you?

Greg: What?

Jim: Does she love you or was this just some fling?

Greg: I can't answer that, you'd have to ask her.

Jim: So it is true. I suppose I knew it deep down inside, it's not like it makes it hurt anymore than it

already does though. It also makes me know what I've already done was the right thing to do.

Greg: What's that?

Jim: The only thing possible.

The cashier gives Jim his bag and Jim leaves.

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At Number 37, a man walks in holding an envelope. He goes over to the hostess desk.

Man: Are you Lynette Craig?

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Lynette: Yes.

Man: You've been served.

The man hands her the envelope and leaves. She opens and finds divorce papers filed by J

________________________________________________________________

Edmund is at the McGregor Estate with Anna in the kitchen.

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Edmund: I just had to stop by and tell you the great news.

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Anna: I could use some good news.

Edmund: Leigh and I worked out the final agreement for joint custody.

Anna: That's wonderful, I'm so happy.

Edmund: Oh, me too. It's like a huge burden was lifted from my shoulders. Best of all, Leigh's going to be

staying in Novi, so the boys will have both parents close and won't have to take long trips back and forth.

Anna: That's one less thing for you to worry about.

Edmund: Something else good for me happened too.

Anna: What?

Edmund: Christina is back in town, we had dinner the other night and coffee this morning.

Anna: Well, you've really hit the jackpot. I know Christina being around will be really.

nice for you.

Edmund: I'm feeling much better than I have in months. It seems like everything is looking up.

Anna: I wish I could say the same for the company.

Edmund: Hey, were going to get M.I. back, we're all determined and ready. You taught me how not to give up.

Anna: You're right, I should follow my own advice and look at this positively.

Edmund: If things can turn around for me, they can turn around for the company.

Anna: It's going to take a miracle.

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Meanwhile, at a clinic in Detroit.

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Aaron: Man, I don't know why you won't tell your wife you're alive, but it's past due.

A man steps out from the terrace.

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Andrew: It's been too long, Anna's already grievied. Besides, she knows about Cassandra and George, she'd never

forgive me now.

Off Andrew's face, fade to black.

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#72 Friday, July 4th

Jim is back in Novi, his parents have driven him and the kids home.

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Jim: You really didn't have to drive us home.

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Eleanor: Just thought we'd help you out as much as possible.

After everything that has happened, we thought the last thing you wanted to do was take a long drive.

Jim: I appreciate the concern, but I'll be fine.

Eleanor: I think we should talk.

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Elliot: I'll take the kids upstairs so you can talk.

Jim: Okay.

Elliot takes the kids upstairs.

Jim: Look, I know it seems like I'm a little on edge, but it's nothing to get alarmed about.

Eleanor: I'm going to ask you something and I hope you answer me honestly.

Jim: Of course.

Eleanor: Have you started drinking again?

Jim: No, how could you even think that?

Eleanor: You were always great at hiding it, but I eventually was able to figure it out anyway.

Jim: This is absurd.

Eleanor: Remember, you have two children to think about. Don't let something push you

so far over the edge that you destroy your life and can't be there for them.

Jim: Believe me, I know that.

Eleanor: I just hope if you have a problem, you'll tell it before it's too late.

Just then Lynette walks in the front door. Jim looks at her and scoffs.

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Leigh as at the Donahue Ranch with Norm.

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Leigh: So how's the rest of the plan coming on along?

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Norm: It's moving along.

Leigh: How long before we can drop the bomb?

Norm: Patience. We don't even know how far Edmund and Christina's relationship will go.

Leigh: He was having coffee with her at his place this morning, I'd say it's going nicely so far.

Norm: It's still not time.

Leigh: I can't wait. A few tabloid headlines about Edmund being caught up with a black market ring leader and I'm sure the courts will question his judgment.

Norm: It's not a sure thing.

Leigh: What do you mean?

Norm: Remember, the McGregors hold a lot of clout around here, who knows what the judge could rule?

Leigh: Okay, I don't need the negativity from you right now.

Norm: Only trying to keep things realistic, as you should.

Leigh: You're right, I'm sorry I snapped at you. I take this very seriously.

Norm: I know. I wouldn't be doing this if getting your kids didn't mean so much to you.

Leigh: I want the opportunity to raise them the way I think they should be raised.

Norm: You might be a schemer, but you certainly are sincere. I like that about you, always have.

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George is at the CoffeeRoom, Cassandra walks in holding the newspaper.

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Cassandra: What are we going to do about this new annoyance Anna has sent out to do her bidding.

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George: He's not that big of a problem, he's all talk.

Cassandra: I think you are underestimating him, he seemed serious.

George: I'm not worried, I've steamrolled right over guys like him.

Cassandra: Maybe I should handle him, I think I'm a better match to go up against him.

George: You taught me everything I know, you think I can't take this on?

Cassandra: That's not what I'm saying, I just think it would be better for me to deal with him.

George: You have a tendency to make things worse sometimes.

Cassandra: What?

George: Like when you didn't tell me about your whole little savings and loan fiasco, that almost cost us a lot.

Cassandra: That's not fair, it was years ago and I didn't think you needed to know.

George; Right, because it was so insignifcant.

Cassandra: Well, that has nothing to do with this, this is a completely different situation.

George: Mother, please let me take care of this. It's all just a stalling tactic by McGregor, it means nothing.

There's no who can stand in our way now.

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______________________________________________________________________________

Jim: If you are here to try to justify your actions some more, I don't want to hear it.

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Lynette: I'm not, I was wondering you had come home yet and came to check on you and the kids.

Jim: Nice, you took time from your affair to come check in.

Lynette: I've tried to apologize.

Eleanor: An apology doesn't undo the damage.

Jim: Mom, don't start anything.

Eleanor: I want to talk to Lynette, privately.

Jim: I don't know if that's such a great idea.

Eleanor: I have some things I need to say.

Jim: All right.

Jim goes into the kitchen.

Eleanor: I really expected better of you.

Lynette: Could you try to understand that I feel horrible about this?

Eleanor: Are you asking me to feel sorry for you?

Lynette: Of course not.

Eleanor: Good, because if you were, I'd think you were insane.

Lynette: It's all very unfortunate.

Eleanor: My son is really on the edge right now, I think he might have started drinking again.

Lynette: My god.

Eleanor: For your children's sake, you better hope that he hasn't.

Lynette: I was afraid this would happen.

Eleanor: He told you about his drinking problem?

Lynette: A few years ago.

Eleanor: So you knew that this could push him over the edge, but you went ahead and hurt him anyway?

Lynette: No, I tried to make the marriage work to avoid hurting him.

Eleanor: You knew it wasn't going to work out, yet you lied and created false hope, only to then destroy

him. That was an incredibly reckless thing to do.

Lynette: I realize that now.

Eleanor: You know, I never imagined you of all people would do this, but I guess I was wrong. I really don't understand where your logic was, I just don't.

_________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________

Aaron and Roberta walk into her law office.

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Roberta: A lot of information about shareholders and shareholder agreements is here. Andrew had me archive it years ago.

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Aaron: What about the company charter?

Roberta: I think I have a copy here. Andrew structured this company well to avoid takeovers, but Lightner found a loophole.

Aaron: I'd like to look over it.

Roberta looks in a file cabinet and pulls a folder.

Roberta: Here it is.

Aaron: Thank you. Looks pretty standard.

Roberta: I assume this is the first place the family looked when the company was taken over, but

there's not much in there that could help.

Aaron: It appears not.

Roberta: Another course of action is probably going to be your best bet.

Aaron: Do you know anything about Lightner's internal structure, things like their board, shareholders?

Roberta: Not in detail, since I've never worked with them.

Aaron: I've got some research to do then. I'll contact you if I find what I'm looking for.

Roberta: What are you looking for?

Aaron: The key to everything.

Aaron steps outside and makes a call on his cell phone.

Aaron: Nothing new yet, but I'm working on it. I'm on my way over now.

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#71 Wednesday July 2nd

George is coming out of the Athletic Club when he bumps into John Phelps.

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John: What a good timing, you're the other person I've been needing to talk to.

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George: I'm afraid I don't know you.

John: John Phelps, corporate litigator and investigator.

George: Oh, you're the guy that spoke to my mother yesterday. I haven't the time for your idle threats.

John: This is more of a request.

George: I'm very busy.

John: Fine, I'm sure you'd gladly like for the SEC to ask these questions.

George: What is it?

John: Have you had a contact with a guy name Sterling? You know, the one who led the shareholder's revolt?

George: I haven't the faintest idea of who that is.

John: You sure? The guy has a history of screwing over the companies he holds shares with by helping

other corporations take them over. He's really good, he's never been prosecuted for his dirty deals.

George: If you have any questions about the takeover, submit them to my proxy solicitor.

John: I will be doing that.

George: I've heard about you, you consider yourself some sort of corporate malfeasance crusader.

John: I've heard about some of the dirty, not to mention illegal stunts you and your mother have pulled in the past.

George: You don't stop until you bring good companies down.

John: Never brought a good company down in my life, some bad ones, never any good ones. Lightner is next.

George: (laughs) I needed some good comedy today, thank you for that.

George walks out.

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_________________________________________________________________________________________

The sun is coming up and Jim comes downstairs

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Eleanor: You seem better this morning.

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Jim: I had time to clear my head and I really feel better.

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Elliot: Well that's good.

Eleanor: Are you sure you are all right? You seem different.

Jim: I'm just steadily starting to cope with what has happened, that's all.

Eleanor: This quickly? It's only been a day.

Jim: I'm a Craig, there's nothing that can keep a Craig down.

Jim goes outside.

Eleanor: Something is wrong, I'm convinced now.

Elliot: A couple of nights ago, he was a wreck and now this? I'm starting to agree with you.

Eleanor: Remember, he was able to hide his drinking from us in the past.

Elliot: I remember, he'd walk around just as normal as anyone and nobody would know

he was smashed. It was like he was another person.

Eleanor: It was so hard helping him get sober that last time, he almost didn't make it.

Elliot: Let's not panic just yet, we don't have any proof yet. It's possible we are wrong.

Eleanor: I'm trying to hold out hope, but I just don't feel right about this.

On the porch, Jim holds the pill bottle and looks at it.

Jim: My new best friend.

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_____________________________________________________________

At Edmund's condo, Edmund and Christina are having coffee.

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Edmund: You know, I'm glad you are back in town. I forgot how good we get along.

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Christina: I like being here to. It's nice to just settle down a bit after being in all those big cities.

Edmund: Tell me about it, when the store sent a team to New York for Fashion Week once, I couldn't wait to get home.

There's a knock at the door. Edmund answers it, it's Leigh holding papers.

Edmund: What's this?

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Leigh: The final draft of the joint custody agreement our lawyers drew up, I'm sure you'll find it fair.

Edmund: Great. Let me introduce you to some one. Christina Davidson, this is Leigh Elgin, my former wife.

Leigh: Nice to meet you.

Christina: Nice meeting you too.

Leigh hands Edmund looks at the agreement.

Edmund: This certainly is very fair.

Leigh: I wouldn't have it any other way.

Edmund: I'm glad we were able to come to an agreement that is satisfactory for the both of us.

Leigh: So am I. We both need to get on with our lives.

Edmund: Yeah.

Leigh: I know it might strike you as a bit odd coming from me, but I really do want to

have a civil relationship with you for the sake of the kids.

Edmund: That's the only thing I wanted out of this. We have to be strong parents, even if we aren't married anymore.

Leigh: Oh, yes. I couldn't agree more. Well, I'll be getting on now.

Edmund: Oh, okay. And thanks again for not making this harder than it had to me.

Leigh: No problem.

Leigh leaves, once she's outside she chuckles a bit.

Leigh: What a sucker. He has no idea what I've got up my sleeve.

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___________________________________________________________________________________

John stops by the McGregor Estate to give Anna a progress report.

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Anna: Cassandra told me you met with her.

John: That woman is a trip.

Anna: I know, she was in my office not long after you had met with her. Just

sitting in my chair, like she owned it.

John: I came over to tell you, I got some information about that Sterling guy.

Anna: Ah, I'm interested in hearing that.

John: He's been suspected of shafting companies he holds stock with.

Anna: Do you think he could have done that with McGregor?

John: I don't have any proof, but it's probable.

Anna: I thought there was something funny about him.

John: He gets away with because he covers his tracks.

Anna: Well, is there anyway to uncover those tracks.

John: I'm looking into it now.

Anna: Please keep me posted, this is all so important to me.

John: I know, I'm doing my very best.

Anna: Thank you so much again.

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__________________________________________________________________________________

Meanwhile, on the private jet, the man on the laptop reading a pie chart. The phone next to him rings and he answers it.

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Man: (into phone) Dr. Aaron McGregor speaking. I want a full report of the current status as soon as this plane is on the ground. I've got to be well prepared for what I'm going to do.

He hangs up and resumes reading about the McGregor takeover. A woman comes in the from another section of the plane.

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Woman: I'm a bit shocked you contacted me instead of someone in the family. You even came to Manila to find me.

Aaron: Roberta, you were my big brother's most trusted attorney, someone who knows all the information I needed. I'll be contacting the family soon though.

Roberta: They haven't seen you since you were a child.

Aaron: They did help pay my way through school though, I wouldn't be a doctor without them.

Which is why I want to help them get the company back.

Roberta: We'll see, doesn't seem like that's going to be easy.

Aaron: It might not be easy, but I'm not about to fail. Besides, I've done some

business myself and have encountered the Lightners, I know what I'm dealing with.

Roberta: Hey, the McGregors are a good family, I'm with you all the way. You know, you look

exactly like your brother did when he was young, it's uncanny.

Aaron: I've been told that before.

Pilot: (over PA) We're approaching Detroit Airport.

Aaron: Almost time for the fight to begin.

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