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                 The Stars...Renee Goldsberry & David Fumero


CHOICES By Stacey Jackson  soap_events_6_2_07_016   (smaller size photo).jpg
                             (2005)                      Mary, Renee, & Stacey

Main Line Philadelphia, 8:30 a.m.:

Evangeline sat at her vanity, just outside the still steamy bathroom. She tightened her favorite terry robe closer around, not wanting to part from its softness. As she opened her toiletries bag, she looked at her reflection, closed her eyes, and flashed back to....

She made her way past the crowd for a tiny room at the backyard, grasping her train before closing the door and exhaling. Wisely, she kept the cosmetics case on standby overnight. As the reception was to start in ten minutes, she proceeded to the mirror and desk when....


She immediately was onto that voice. No one said it like he did....

Her eyes traced that sound in the mirror as he rose to his feet.

"Please let me have a look at you and wish you well. I had to show up...."

Evangeline's mouth moved, yet no words came forth as she neared him, not believing her eyes. That handsome face was now etched with furrows, cobalt electricity replaced with cornflower. A few gray veins resided in his hair and beard. Tears were flowing again as she wished he could be revived back to the man she knew and would always love.



His hands reached out for hers; the gesture was impossible to resist. Feeling their chill, she touched his face. His eyes closed with her touch, as if she could rescue him from his despaired state.

When he witnessed the vows shrouded in shadow, he thought she looked so ethereal in her snowy princess gown and lace mantilla. All he could not watch was another man claim what once was his.

She sobbed as once upon a time, she was certain they would be many times had she dreamt of him saying those promises, tasting that special kiss?

John finally opened his eyes and continued,
"I know you have to go...I just had to be here...I had to...."


With both hands at his face, her lips grazed his before taking them one last time. His hands did the same for her face, his desperate need coming out. Both exchanged light pecks, their tears mingling.

Llanview, 11:31 a.m.:

Another sweltering morning in the station, and John crouched in his swivel chair, back aching and head throbbing with pain. He reluctantly poured another cup of the clerk's bad coffee as he turned to the bureau to peruse the stack of newspaper and mags. With a slow day at the office, he flipped through the latest issue of Cite. He would have made it past the wedding section had it not been for those pesky subscription cards. John's eyes froze on the largest spread -- exclusive coverage of Cristian and Evangeline's nuptials. For all technicalities, they had moved; somehow the magazine felt obligated to feature the pair anyways. Fingers trailed over her face, and then, her figure. Looking at the photos were painful, yet gratefully, they were in glorious color as John could magicially feel Evangeline's skin for real, recalling each sigh, tremble, and calling of his name.
He avoided reading, not willing to connect with his emotions. Instead, he gathered up the article, skillfully tore it out, and placed it into his hidden folder -- a tribute to his true love. Afterwards, he bent his head down and cried.

Main Line Philadelphia, 5:28 p.m.:

Cristian secured the gallery doors and made the quick trek to his car. Placing the key in the ignition, he started it up and sat back to exhale. It had been quite some time since his release, and he still felt the need to stop and test his reality. "Thank you, thank you, thank you," he whispered, comparing his time in a cold, dark cell to the bliss and vigor he had now with a revived career, nice business, and a loving, charming wife.

Driving, he thought of how wrong his hopes were when he was set free. The partner he adored and longed for felt the same for someone else. Yes, he intended for Natalie to go on -- but certainly, not that soon. He admitted he'd made a drastic, ill-conceived decision that affected so many people. But he also knew what he lacked was the fight in him. How sad it was not his beloved in his corner...but another woman, in her own way, a victim.

Evangeline not only defended him and his case, but his wife's love -- love given in another direction. Cristian could never get any clear details of her lost year. Evangeline ended up being the bridge. That glimmer of hope held for his titian-haired spouse slowly dimmed as the legal eagle would divulge little pieces here and there, during many pep-talk afternoons. He always liked his girl's spunk; not so when Vangie shed tears over her frequent and fake-assed run-in's with John on their time. And John? As much as Cris was still in love, he knew Evangeline was a class act. Any other man would break the shackles to run free with someone like her...and what did he do instead? Took and led the poor woman through hoops like a circus animal.
When he connected those pieces, Natalie's "I--I--I..." diatribes fell onto deaf ears. After a bitter last rant, he left her blustering, hate you/want you ambivalence behind in the town square. Too frustrated to go to home, he instead reached inside his pocket and found the scribbled-on piece of paper....

At the railroad crossing, he remembered the evening he stood at Evangeline's doorstep. Looking at the flashing red lights, he recalled how red his eyes must've been, considering the change in her demeanor. He saw her smile vanish, tears fall, and arms reach out over that threshold. So compassionate, he thought, as she selflessly comforted, asking no questions but providing all she could give from that strong mind and deceptively small frame. He thought Statesville was the last place where he'd cry like a baby. In her condo, he had finally let go of the grief that kept him imprisoned. As he wept, all traces of Natalie blew away like sand as he was anew and instantly devoted to slender fingers that brushed tears away...the body that withstood his sobbing, crumpled self...the voice that conjured up only the best times ahead.

Fast forward...he was beyond himself as he and Evangeline were pronounced husband and wife. He was happy they agreed to learn all about each other before and during their courtship. Neither liked discussing hurt, but felt it necessary to air their feelings to avoid further harm; and as an incentive, not to end up like their respective exes. Cristian took the relationship even further, by not becoming intimate with her. He wasn't sure if she actually recalled this, but during a dinner featuring wine, she alluded to some passionate time with McBain in a basement. He immediately knew making love was not the best thing to get involved in. Alas, both needed a great, big shot of romantic innocence. Mama Carlotta raised him right, and with her available, he was going to give the world.

Main Line Philadelphia, 7:52 p.m.:

He was just as enamored with her as he was on their honeymoon, not wanting to let go of the fresh banter they'd adapted very well into; but wanting to go further, needing to solidify their love. Whether covered from head to toe or without a stitch on, Evangeline was flawless. That first night in the grand suite...his hands shook like the first time with brush and canvas as he unhooked her gown, then pantyhose....
He recalled the tears of joy as everything he ever wanted was held against him, returning all of the passion that flowed out effortlessly.

Seeing her in his paint splattered tee, from dinner to the movie, he was hypnotized. He let out another low whistle as he gathered her in his arms, whirled around, and lay her atop the rumpled bed. Cristian thought of an idea as he halted his kisses and went to the cupboard.

"You'd better hurry back," Evangeline shouted in passionate frustration, missing him already.

"I'd never be away from you for too long, you know that," he responded, excited with what he was about to do. She waited, up on her elbows as he produced a small pink canister and brush.

"You've got me nervous with that jar," she said, as he twitched his eyebrows.

"Where's your canvas, then?"

He crawled to her side, doffed the shirt, unscrewed the top, and dipped the brush.

"You're it."

"I can't believe this," said incredulously as she gave in, swirls of paint decorating her skin.

"It's 'fessing up time," he said, letting the brush hover around her mouth.

"What's this?" she wondered as it purposely hit. As she drew her lips in, she tasted strawberry frosting.

"Oh Cristian," she moaned as he licked the thick confection off of her exquisite self.

Main Line Philadelphia, 10:17 p.m.:

It'd been a year and a half since he became her husband. Who knew life could be so unpredictable? Evangeline couldn't help but ask Cristian once if he ever thought about Natalie; with every fiber in his being, he declared she was a distant memory, to be kept in the past. She lay in his arms as the full moon dangled outside their window. As a breeze caressed the curtain, she flashbacked to the times when John would survey the outside, standing like a stoic yet tortured superhero, consigned to his fate and placing the world's troubles on his shoulders. Yes, it was she who left him -- the right choice -- but she also cared despite the bete noire that kept them from true happiness.

She didn't imagine becoming Mrs.Vega. One of her sweetest court victories became the turning point of her love life. Evangeline smiled as she went back to their night at Capricorn...his moves leading her across the dance floor, those hands and eyes giving away his intentions to woo and make her his. She could easily hide her own pain from John, who was too wrapped up in his to notice; in Cristian, she found he held the same antennae towards deep feelings. As their first date at an art gallery led to a proposal in one of the finest museums, Evangeline was finally able to surrender vulnerabilities to one up for the challenge and able to express himself.

Now, she savored this new love while saying goodbye to one once so familiar. She retired the low and raspy voice, tattoos, and watchdog habits. Eyes watered as she let go of the steely gaze and lips that could speak irrationally yet make her feel pleasure unbound. Then, she smiled again as Cristian stirred, his warm brown pools immediately fixed on her. Her hand tangled itself in that mussed mop of hair as she brought him closer for a kiss, letting him know he was on her mind. Her warm, hearty laugh filled the air as his caresses and espanol occupied her night again.

Llanview, 8:53 p.m.:

John sat in his well-worn chair in the corner, the one with the neon sign and the best view in his cramped room. He had been having another one of his worse nights, eventually using a roll of Tums to rid the heartburn. The corner also held a fresh reserve of air; cigarette smoke permeated the bed and made him ill.

Another beer was popped open to rinse the grit. John sighed and reached for his secret book. He used a certain passage in the text to hide his version of gold -- the wedding announcement.

Although he didn't care for the man, he admitted Cristian's rendering of Evangeline extraordinary. The portrayal of her ink black mane, doe eyes, and cherub face was pinpoint accurate...a blend of dream bride and fantasy supervixen. How many times did he lose himself in those eyelashes, that smile, the beauty mark?

The decades old streetlight, with its yellowed bulb, cast just enough brightness for him to glance at his side of the bed; the one once occupied by that dazzling, sexy attorney.

If she ended up phoning, a quick chat would extend to hours as he'd bite his lip as she talked, her innocent remarks turning on those sexual fireworks...his voice betraying the familiar reaching for the pillow to contain himself. And if she planned to stay, the hovel would be transformed into a suitable place for royalty like she. John loved giving up the dollars for her favorite food and movies. Never did he think he'd sit through ballet documentaries or eat something homeade. Whether they'd wrap up the night early or have it last 'till daybreak, he would feel well-rested, calm, and centered.

Yet another driver with blasting bass sat at the light as John made out the song. Listening and looking at the bed again, that empty spot dissapated; in its place were the two between the sheets, hands linked together at the headboard....

And as the car and its noise sped away, Natalie's flailed arm came into view. John exhaled as he took another swig, disappointed he couldn't jump into those memories. This pair was now a year into their 'new' relationship, and he still could not free the Angel from his mind. The cheap, wannabe spritz couldn't compete with Flowers in Springtime; the wan, cold skin had nothing on the warm, inviting blanket that was Evangeline. Even sex was a mental ordeal. Natalie, to his relief, only liked it from behind; at least he didn't have to look the girl in the face or even perform well. Such a contrast versus a woman who would bloom like a flower and share her world, taking him to heights unimaginable. How many times had he awoken during the night just to sit near and watch her sleep, she grasping and inhaling the sheets in his absence while he memorized each and every curve?

Llanview, 10:24 p.m.:

Now, those sheets bore the imprint of a hanger-on...ruthless, calculating, and two-faced. John ended up settling for easy, and now reaped its unfortunate reward. Here he was, savoring silence better used for rest he could not recoup.

As the beer buzz took over, Natalie woke at feeling mattress instead of flesh. "Shit...he's in the corner again" she said, awake for seconds and already pissed off. Why he wasn't knocked out, she didn't know -- they had done the deed for ten whole minutes! She maneuvered to face the opposite way. In the dark, she wondered why her man couldn't seem to accept what was now. She was doing everything right, right? John made a decision and chose her. Natalie knew he had feelings for her...wasn't it evident all along? She knew she was better than that lawyer...even better than the mysterious Caitlyn he never discussed.

"I understand him," she whispered.
Still, she couldn't figure out why they still were here, in this semblance of a room. She was jealous at hearing of their exes. The guy is hardly removed from prison and has a townhouse and thriving business?!

"Ugh," she exhaled as she rolled her eyes at visions of the fading, peeling wallpaper and brick wall views. Natalie sucked her teeth at John. What happened to her knight in armor? The guy seemed to live on java and seemed too bleepin' eager to take a case rather than play pool or sit on the roof with her.

The rare times E-vang-leen would be at the station, he'd turn into a Pavlovian dog with the click-click-click of her heels. She remembered a particular time E. was there, researching files in the archive room. To her credit, she didn't inquire about nor need John.

But, the precinct is something else; four-inch heeled designer shoes and floral fragrance elicited several whistles from the beat cops and set John's radar off.

So, she peered through the blinds like a hawk as McBain's pouting, schoolboy self. He looked as if he were about to cry...or apologize...
apologize for what? Most of all, why was the ring Cristian had given her so miserly compared to the rocks dripping on Evangeline?!
"If only I had been quiet," she thought, rueing the moment when, in her frustration, the piping coffeepot was knocked over, revealing her locale.
Evangeline somehow sensed an extra presence, and John looked thoroughly embarrassed. Shortly afterwards, she departed to leave the detective and clerk with their collective mess. Well, until she was nearing the elevator...he hesitated, then went after her like a moth to a flame.

Natalie couldn't keep herself in cover anymore. She reached for the purse on the bureau and pulled out her smokes.

Llanview, 12:49 a.m.:

Her nagging and his silence led her to flipping the channels, the colors whizzing and popping on the walls...the only action his room would see from this duo. John hoped Natalie wouldn't take her mood to the deep end again -- network shopping sprees on his cards created yet another divide.

"If only I had opened up...." he thought as he slid out of view enough to take the cordless, crouch in the dark corner, and dial her number.

Hi, you've reached the office of attorney Evangeline Williamson-Vega; operating hours are....

Fat tears emerged as John would hang on to each inflection, each syllable as he could only say...I love you.

                                 THE END



 THE WEDDINGS OF LANDVIEW (  SOME COUPLES TIE THE KNOT! GUESS WHO!!!)                                     by Mary Catherine Stomer-McGregor (2007)  picture1   ( ms. mary).png

  Mary-The Author


Todd & Evangeline's Wedding Day

Rev. Carpenter: "Is there anyone here who feels this couple should not be joined in marriage, let him speak now or forever hold his peace."

Cris: (bursting into the church and running toward T&E)

Cris: "Excuse me Reverend". (Cris pushes Todd into the pulpit) "I'm still in love with you Evangeline" and I know you're still in love with me, right?"

Van: (smiling ) YES....YES....I never stopped loving you, ever.

They grab each other and kiss passionately while everyone's mouth in the church is open in shock and awe. Cristian and Evangeline realize people are staring at them and they stop.

Cris: (looking Van straight in the eye) Okay, babe, then let's get the HELL out here.

Van: (laughing) Yeahhhh, let's go baby.

They turn and walk out the church arm in arm smiling at each other. Meanwhile Todd comes too and tries to sit up. Groggily he says "What the hell happen? Ouch, my head hurts. (looking around confused) Where's Evangeline?"

Vicki: (kneeling beside Todd, smirking) "Oh, Todd, I'm so sorry honey, but she changed her mind and left with Cristian."

Todd: (holding the front of his head in shock) "You got to be kidding me. She left with Vega. (thinking for a moment) Well I'll be DAMN! (Todd trying to stand up and looking around) Where's Blair then?"

Blair: (smiling slyly) "I'm right here Todd sweetie. And I'm wearing white today."

Todd: (slowly smiling) "For real?! You're wearing white TODAY. (a moment of clarity/revelation) Oh, HELL, come here woman. I paid too much damn money to let this ceremony go to waste. Will ya...".

Blair: (rushing to Todd) "YESSSS.....YESSSS....I will. I'm still in love with you Todd."

Todd: (grabbing Blair and her passionately) "I'm still in love with you too. I never stopped."

Rev. Carpenter, coming out of shock , regains his composure and proceeds with the cermony.

Starr to Jack: "See, I told you they live happily ever after."

Jack: (smiling) "Yup, we're the big happy family."

Meanwhile, at the court house, JOTP says "I now pronounce you husband and wife.
What GOD hath joined together, let no man put asunder."

Cristian & Evangeline kissed passionately and they left the court house, living happily ever after.... all the while continuing to make future DEPOSITS!!!! (4 little Vegas in 4 years....2 boys and 2girls)


                              THE END


LOOK INTO MY HEART Chapters 1-51  2006

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   Mary and Stacey-The Authors

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A NEW LIFE WITH YOU Chapters 1-99   2007

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BY YOUR SIDE Chapters 1-5   2008

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