Gordon looks round as someone walks into the lounge room. Beryl
tells him, "It's Caroline." Gordon looks at Caroline
and smiles, "It's been a while since we've seen each other."
Caroline nods, "Yes." She then goes on seriously, "There's
something I have to tell you - and Beryl - or, should
I say, something I have to own up to. I wrote the book
My Sister My Love. I'm sorry, Gordon: if I'd known it
was going to cause all this trouble, I'd never have put pen to
paper." Gordon stares at her and gasps, "Do you honestly
expect me to believe that? The things you wrote about
and you didn't stop to think there might be some kind of repercussion?"
Caroline cries, "I wasn't thinking clearly at the
time." She then explains more calmly, "I started the
book in prison. I felt so bitter against Wayne and Alison, I thought
this was one way I could get back at them. When I got out, I put
it all together and set it to a publishers. They took an option
on it. I didn't think it was going to come to anything;
in fact, I'd forgotten all about it 'til I got that letter
last week saying they were going to release it, and by that time
it was too late to stop it." Gordon demands, "Where
did you get your information?" Caroline replies, "A
lot of the more recent history I knew..." Gordon
snaps, "And before that?" Caroline explains,
"David told me - not knowingly, of course. Sometimes,
we'd sit down at night and have a few drinks and he'd talk about
how the two families got back together again after all those years
- and I got a lot of details about the companies from financial
sections of the newspapers." Gordon snaps angrily, "Ten
out of ten for research." Caroline says earnestly, "I
am sorry, Gordon - honestly." Gordon mutters,
"You said that before - but it's not going to help,
is it? The damage is already done." Caroline
insists, "I had no idea the impact it was going to make."
Gordon yells, "Didn't you give any thought to the people
you might hurt - other than Wayne and Alison?" Caroline retorts,
"I didn't think; that's the trouble. You
have every right to be angry with me." Gordon yells, "You're
damned right I have - me and a dozen others. What you
did was unbelievably stupid." Caroline stares at him, guiltily.
Alison is talking on the 'phone in the lounge room at Charlie's,
saying, "Thanks for letting me know, Gordon... Yes... Bye."
She hangs up. Charlie comments from the couch, "Sounded very
important. What was it all about?" Alison says, "Guess
who our best-selling author is." Charlie muses, "Not
whom you suspected?" Alison tells her, "Caroline!"
Charlie gasps, "I don't believe it!" Alison replies,
"She's just confessed all to Gordon and Beryl. Apparently,
she got the idea while she was in jail and wrote the book shortly
after she was released." Charlie raises her eyebrows. She
then remarks, "It seems you owe Fiona an apology." Alison
sighs, "Yes - and a trip to the moon!" Charlie
suggests, "The first thing you have to do is stop any plans
to pull the mansion down; there's no reason now Fiona
wasn't behind it." Alison nods, "Gordon said exactly
the same thing; Janice must have been telling tales out of school.
I'll get onto that in the morning - but at the moment, what are
we going to do about Caroline...?"
Caroline is back at home. She walks into the lounge room and
joins Doug, telling him, "I'm sorry the dinner isn't ready
yet - I had to go out for a while." Doug, who's holding a
large cardboard box, replies, "That's alright. I had to wait
for the new T-shirt examples, anyway. Wait 'til you see 'em -
they're fantastic!" He opens the box and pulls out a white
T-shirt, which has a large pair of red lips printed in the centre.
He tells Caroline, "Go on: press." Caroline presses
the lips and a metallic voice says, "Hi, lover. Give us a
kiss!" Doug bursts out laughing as he says, "It's gonna
go through the roof! We are going to make a fortune!"
He puts his arms round Caroline and gives her a hug. Caroline
responds only half-heartedly, though, and Doug asks, "What's
wrong?" Caroline sighs, "I've done something I am not
very proud of." Doug smiles, "Haven't we all! What is
it?" Caroline tells him, "When I was in prison, I got
the idea for a book - and I wrote it. It's just been
published and it's selling very well. The only problem is I based
it on two families that I know." Doug asks, "What's
wrong with that?" Caroline explains, "The Hamiltons
and the Palmers." Doug comments, "As long as you haven't
used their real names, who cares?" Caroline replies, "They
do." Doug asks, "Why?" Caroline tells him, "They
say that it's a bit close to the bone - which I suppose it is."
She then suggests, "Maybe you should read it; you can see
why they're so upset." She hands him a copy of the book.
At Dural, Susan shows Alison into the lounge room, gasping as
she does so, "Why would Caroline do it? What did
she hope to gain from it?" Alison replies, "Revenge
- and a lot of money if it worked." Susan sits down and comments,
"Sinking pretty low." Alison retorts, "That wouldn't
worry her. What does surprise me is she had
the talent to put more than two words together in the one sentence."
Wayne walks in from the hallway and says to Alison sharply, "If
you don't mind, Alison, I'd like to have a quiet word with my
wife. Alone." Susan snaps, "Whatever you have to say,
you can say in front of Alison. What is it?" Wayne pauses.
He then says, "I'm going to Melbourne to be at dad and Beryl's
wedding." Susan stands up and glares at him. She then snaps,
"You are not. You'll ruin the day for everyone."
Wayne retorts, "I've made up my mind." Susan snaps,
"I don't care. You can just forget it." Wayne growls,
"He's my father and I'll be there if I want to."
He goes to walk out. Susan, however, grabs his arm and snaps,
"I'm warning you, Wayne: if you go, I'll pull all my money
out of the company." Wayne looks at her. A smile crosses
Alison's face. Wayne then says to Susan, "You do what you
like. It's your money. Getting back with dad is more
important." Susan growls, "Do you really expect me to
believe that? You just want to go so you can make trouble."
Wayne replies calmly, "No I don't - but you can think that
if you want to. I'm still going." With that, he heads out
of the room. Susan turns to look at Alison. She cries, "How
do I stop him?" Alison, who's still smiling, just muses,
"Oh, I'm sure we can come up with something!"
A while later, Susan is escorting Alison out to the hallway.
Alison asks her, "Happy?" Susan replies warily, "I
think so." Alison insists, "Believe me - it'll work."
Susan comments, "I don't doubt that." Alison asks, "Then
what's the problem?" Susan explains, "I know you
could get away with it; I'm not sure I can." Alison,
however, tells her, "If you believe you can do it,
you can't go wrong." Susan sighs and nods, "Alright
- I'll give it a good try. I don't want anything to go wrong for
mum on her big day." Alison spots Wayne approaching and she
whispers to Susan, "Go for it, kiddo. Good luck." With
that, she heads out. Susan turns to look at Wayne. He heads into
the lounge room, growling at Susan as he does so, "If you
think I've come to tell you I've changed my mind, I haven't."
Susan follows him and says, "I have. I've had a
good think about it and I think it's a good idea that you go to
the wedding. If we want to appear as a happily-married couple,
we should be seen together." Wayne hisses suspiciously,
"What's the catch?" Susan insists, "There isn't
one." Wayne comments sourly, "It's not like you
to change your mind so quickly." Susan tells him, "I'm
just being sensible. There's no way I'm going to stop you from
going - so we might as well make the best of it." Wayne nods
warily, "Yeah, I'll go along with that..."
It's the next morning, and Alison is standing in front of the
mirror in the lounge room at Charlie's, checking her appearance.
Charlie is standing next to her. Alison says, "Do you realise
how long it is since I've seen the twins?" Charlie
nods, "Two years." Alison replies, "At least."
There's a knock on the front door. Alison heads off to answer
it. She opens the door - to find Rob standing there. She mouths
in surprise, "Rob!" Rob looks at her and asks, "Patricia?"
Alison replies, "Yes... Yes. Come in." Rob steps inside
and heads into the lounge room. He smiles at Charlie and gives
her a warm hug. He tells her, "Good to see you." Charlie
beams, "It's lovely to see you, too." Alison
joins them and demands of Rob, "Where are John and Angela?"
Rob turns to her and retorts, "They're not coming."
Charlie asks, "Has something happened?" Rob
tells her, "No. They just thought it was all rather pointless."
Looking crestfallen, Alison asks, "Why?" Rob
explains, "They had no interest in seeing you -
and quite frankly, they didn't like the way they were told they'd
have to come." Alison mutters, "I didn't order
them." Rob points out, "It's what it sounded
like." Alison tells him, "I simply thought after all
this time it would be nice if we could bury the hatchet."
Charlie murmurs to Rob, "She's been so looking forward to
seeing them." Alison, however, mutters, "Forget it,
Charlie." Looking at Rob, she goes on, "Don't they realise
people change? I have - a lot. If they
were here, I could prove it to them." Rob, however,
retorts, "You may have a new face, but I am sure
that, underneath, you're still the same." Alison grows, "That's
original." Rob shrugs, "Just stating the obvious."
Alison mutters, "A talent the Keegan family seem to specialise
in. I've a good mind to go up there and front John and Angela
myself." Rob tells her, "It would be a waste
of time - they'd only slam the door in your face." Alison
growls, "They could try - but I'd make damn sure
that they listened to me if it's the last thing they do."
A smile crosses Rob's face and he comments, "That's
more like the old Patricia we know and love. I knew she'd
still be in there somewhere." With that, he turns and heads
out. Alison stands there, looking annoyed.
There's a knock on the front door at Dural. Susan emerges from
the lounge room to answer it. She finds Rob standing on the step,
and she exclaims in delight, "What are you doing
down here?!" They hug each other and Rob tells his niece,
"I was just passing-by and thought I'd drop in!" Susan
smiles, "It's so good to see you! Come in!" They head
into the lounge room. Susan then tells Rob seriously, "I'm
so glad you're here. I'm so glad you weren't here while
all that business with the wedding was happening. I don't
want to go through that again: everyone taking sides...
having opinions... it was terrible. Rob nods, "I
can imagine." He then asks, "How are things now?"
Susan replies warily, "Alright..." Rob looks at her
closely and then says, "I think you're fibbing. What's wrong?"
Susan says hesitantly, "I'm just not sure if I'm doing the
right thing." Rob offers, "Want to talk about it?"
Susan gives him a hug and nods gratefully.
Alison is sitting at the desk in Fiona's room at the mansion,
adding up some figures on an adding machine." The door to
the room opens and Michael pokes his head around it as Alison
snaps, "Damn it!" at the machine. Michael steps inside
and says, "Hello. I didn't know you were here." Alison
explains, "I crept in. Catching up on unpaid rent."
Michael, handing her some notes, says, "You can cross me
off your list." Alison adds up some figures again and repeats,
"Damn!" She then sighs, "It's not my day. That's
the third time I've tried to add up that column of figures.
I make a mistake every time." Michael says, "I think
I should leave you in peace. I'm sorry to have interrupted."
He goes to head out. Alison, however, tells him, "It's not
you, Michael. The day didn't start too well.
I was all keyed-up, looking forward to my son and daughter arriving.
They didn't come. Instead, I get my son-in-law, who relayed the
message that neither of them want to see me." Michael murmurs,
"Sorry." Alison says, "It's not your fault."
Michael suggests, "But I could do something about
it. Make up for calling in my dues yesterday." Alison asks,
"Like what?" Michael tells her, "Take you out for
a while. Have a bit of fun." Alison asks,"Would your
patients have something to say about that?" Michael
explains, "I've got the afternoon off." Alison looks
at him. She then smiles, "Why not, then?!" She stands
up and asks, "Where to?" Michael replies, "I thought
we might go to the beach, for a start."
Doug is at Beryl's. As Gordon shows him into the lounge room,
he says, "Beryl's out shopping and Debbie's helping her choose
a wedding dress." Doug smiles, "I suppose you're
babysitting!" Gordon, however, laughs, "Oh no, they
took Robert with them. They wanted me to go
as well, but, frankly, it's not my piece of cake! I thought perhaps
a couple of holes of golf!" Doug comments, "Sounds good
to me." They head into the kitchen and Gordon puts
the kettle on. Doug then says, "I really came over to apologise
to you and Beryl on behalf of Caroline. I read most of the book
last night and I can see why everybody's so upset. I don't blame
you." Gordon nods, "It was a bit of a hit below
the belt." Doug goes on, "I didn't know anything about
it 'til yesterday - and when I read it, even I was angry."
Gordon tells him, "Don't be surprised if Caroline gets a
defamation suit on her hands. Beryl and I won't press it, but
the others might." Doug shrugs, "I'm aware that could
happen - but we'll cross the bridge when we get to it." Changing
the subject, he then asks, "How's the job-hunting going?
Any offers?" Gordon sighs, "No, none. I miss out every
time 'cos of my age; they want somebody younger."
Doug asks, "What about your experience?" Gordon tells
him, "Comes under the general heading of 'Over-qualification'."
Doug mutters, "That's ridiculous." Gordon, however,
sighs, "No, that's business - and the sad thing is that,
as an employer, I was guilty of the same sort of discrimination
myself." He sits down at the kitchen table. Doug
does likewise - and says suddenly, "Hey! I just had a brilliant
idea! Why don't you become my partner in my new business venture?"
Gordon warns, "I don't want charity..." Doug, however,
insists, "It's not charity. I've been thinking about
expanding and, quite frankly, I need somebody with your track
record." Gordon asks, "Are you sure you're not doing
it because you feel guilty about what Caroline's done?"
Doug assures him, "No. I could genuinely use you." Gordon
pauses only momentarily before declaring, "Alright. We'll
give it a go." Doug grins broadly, holds out his hand and
says, "Partners." Gordon shakes his hand and replies,
"Partners." He then continues, "Now that we are,
I suppose I should know what this new venture of yours is."
Doug tells him, "It's a goldmine: talking T-shirts."
Gordon looks at him and raises his eyebrows! Doug insists quickly,
"It's better than talking underpants!"
Caroline is laying out some breakfast things in the lounge room
table at her house when the front door opens and Doug walks in.
He says, "Good morning." Caroline turns to look at him
and says, "I went out early to get some things for lunch.
I thought we might make up something different." Doug comments,
"Trying to butter me up?" Caroline replies quickly,
"Not really." She then says warily, "You finished
the book, did you?" Doug retorts, "I read enough to
know that I was disgusted with what you've done. I know there's
a vicious streak in you - I've seen you use it with Alison, and
with very good reason - but how you could write such a vindictive
book that's going to hurt a lot more people than the two you aimed
it at is beyond me. You've shown a side of yourself I've
never seen before - and I'm not sure that I like
it." Caroline insists, "I only wanted to hurt Wayne
and Alison, not the others. I'm going to do everything I can to
make it up to them." Doug growls, "That's all very well,
but I doubt you'll ever make up for the trouble you've
caused." Caroline cries, "You know why I did
it. I explained; can't you try to see it from my
side?" Doug retorts, "No! Not when a lot of those people
are supposedly your friends. Gordon's particularly cut-up,
and I don't blame him when you throw dirt in his face." Caroline
asks, "Have you seen him?" Doug tells her,
"I went around there to apologise on your behalf." Caroline,
her mouth dropping open in fury, snaps, "I don't need you
to do that. Any apologising that's got to be done I can
take care of myself, thankyou very much." Doug retorts
angrily, "It's a pity you didn't have the guts to face me
this morning and tell me that." With that, he turns
and storms out. Caroline stands there, looking annoyed.
Susan emerges from the kitchen at Dural and, walking across to
a seated Rob, smiles, "There you go: scones just like your
mother used to make." Rob takes one and comments, "Sure
smell like the real thing." Wayne, who's seated
in an armchair, reaches out his hand to take a scone - but Susan
puts the plate down on the coffee table, ignoring him." Wayne
reaches out and takes one, remarking as he does so, "We should
have visitors more often. First time we've had homemade scones
for ages." Susan smiles sourly, "Mr. Hard-done-by."
Rob bites into his scone and smiles, "These taste great."
Susan pours some coffee for everyone. She then puts milk into
the cups. Wayne glares at her and growls, "You know
I'm having it black at the moment. Trying to lose weight."
Susan looks at Rob and says, "More scones?" Rob murmurs,
"I'm alright. Ta." Susan looks at her husband and says
coldly, "What about you, Wayne?" Wayne just
mutters, "I think I've had enough. I've got something to
do." With that, he heads out of the room. When he's
gone, Rob looks at his niece and says in concern, "Susie,
you asked for my advice before, right? I reckon you're making
a big mistake. I know you've got a score to settle with Wayne,
but you keep going like this, you'll end up the loser.
You're no match for him - believe me: you're not that hard and
calculating." Susan cries, "I know what you're saying
is right, but he's been so awful to me. I want to get
back at him." Rob pleads, "Just forget
it. Come back up-north with me - or go to Melbourne; stay with
your mum and Gordon. Just get away from him. You're asking
for trouble if you stay here." Susan sits there, looking
upset. Neither of them realises that Wayne is standing in the
A short time later, Rob is telling Susan, "You could enjoy
it up-north. John and Angie have never been happier;
they don't ever want to come back to the city."
Susan, however, sighs, "I don't know, Rob..." Rob goes
on, "Let's face it: if it hadn't been for the money, you
wouldn't be here - so if the money's the problem, get rid
of it: give it away to charity... go on a world trip... just get
away from Wayne." Susan cries, "It's not that easy."
Rob, however, retorts, "It's as easy as you want to make
it." Susan insists, "I need more time to think. I'll
let you know at mum's wedding." She then asks, "Are
you going straight down?" Rob nods, "Yeah. Why?"
Susan explains, "I was hoping that you'd stay here with me
and that we could all go down together." Rob smiles, "I
suppose Gordon and Beryl could hold the fort for a couple of days!"
Susan gives him a quick kiss and says a warm, "Thanks!"
She then heads off to the kitchen to put some hot water on. As
soon as she's gone, the lounge room doors open and Wayne walks
in. He says to Rob coldly, "I couldn't help overhearing a
couple of things you've been saying." Rob raises his eyebrows
and comments, "You know: somebody's going to stick a key
in your ear, one day." Wayne just replies, "Funny. I
get the feeling you want to split me and Susan up." Rob retorts,
"Too right I do. She was an idiot to come back to you in
the first place." Wayne warns, "Stay out of
it, Rob - it's none of your business." Rob stands up and
snaps, "She made it my business when she asked for
advice. The sooner she drops you, the better; you're
only hanging around because she's got money." Wayne growls,
"True - and she knows that. And the reason why she's
hanging around is to see me in hell: I get the money,
she gets to watch me burn. It's a very happy marriage:
we both get what we want - and you've got Buckley's chance of
splitting us up, mate."
Alison and Michael are standing just inside the front doorway
at Charlie's. Alison smiles, "Would you like another
cup of coffee?!" Michael, however, smiles, "No thanks!
Three cappuccinos is enough for one afternoon!" Alison says
earnestly, "Thanks for a great afternoon - it's just what
I needed." Michael tells her, "I could say
the same. We must do it again sometime." With that,
he heads out. Alison closes the door and walks into the lounge
room, where Charlie is sitting on the couch, fussing over Isabella.
She comments to Alison with a smile, "You look a lot happier
than when you walked out of here this morning!" Alison, sitting
down, explains, "I have spent a very agreeable afternoon
with a very attractive young man." Charlie asks, "Who
was it?" Alison replies, "Michael." Charlie smiles,
"I thought I recognised the voice!" Alison
tells her, "It was his idea to take me out and cheer
me up. That's exactly what he did: we started out at
the Northern Beaches and ended up book-browsing in the city. Then
we found this wonderful little coffee chop and stuffed ourselves
with pastries." She then asks, "What did you
do?" Charlie muses, "Nothing as interesting as that.
I went to the hairdresser... bought Isabella a new toy--"
Alison, looking miles away, interrupts and comments, "I must
say, he was very good company." Charlie muses, "So I
gather!" Alison, however, goes on, "I found
out a lot about his work, but nothing about him.
Every time I asked him anything faintly personal, he quickly sidestepped,
and I gave up in the end." Charlie asks, "Do I detect
a hint of interest?" Alison smiles, "I must say: I am
a bit intrigued... Yes, I think I'd like to find out more - especially
about the personal side..."
It's evening-time. Caroline has laid out the dinner table at
her house. Doug walks into the lounge room and comments, "You
didn't have to go to all this trouble." Caroline explains,
"I just wanted you to understand how sorry I am about the
book. Believe me: if I'd been able to stop it at all, I would've
done; I was just too late when I found out about it." A hint
of a smile crosses Doug's face and he shrugs, "Fair enough."
Caroline asks, "Kiss and make up?" Doug puts his arms
round her. There's suddenly a knock at the front door, though,
and he sighs, "Perfect timing. Must be a Tasmanian comedian!"
He goes to answer the door. He finds a middle-aged man standing
there. The man tells Doug, "I'm looking for Caroline Morrell.
Do I have the right address?" Doug nods uncertainly, "Yeah."
The man goes on, "I'm a publisher. I wonder if I could disturb
her for a few moments." Doug tells him, "Come in."
The man steps inside and heads into the lounge room. Caroline
looks at him and exclaims, "Mr. Edwards!" Edwards says,
"Sorry to interrupt, but I have some pretty exciting news:
we have an American publisher who's very interested in your book.
They're offering a deal to publish in the States and with a very
sizeable advance. It's an offer that's too good to refuse."
A broad grin crosses Caroline's face and she gasps, "The
United States! That's marvellous!" Edwards nods,
"Yes, it is. It isn't often the boys over there come up with
a deal like that for a local book - and what's more,
they're very interested in your writing a sequel."
Caroline exclaims, "You're joking!" Edwards tells her,
"It's true!" Caroline smiles, "This calls
for a little celebration." She turns to Doug and says, "There's
a bottle of champagne in the 'fridge, Doug." Doug, looking
worried, murmurs, "I'll get it." Caroline says to Edwards,
"Sit down. About this sequel: let's talk about it. I've got
lots of ideas. Should I start writing?" Edwards replies,
"By all means. Let's go for it. If that's what the public
wants, let's give it to them!" Caroline sits there, beaming