Soaps The History Part 1 Guiding Light

January 25, 2022

1937The Guiding Light starts to air under creator and first head writer Irna Phillips. GL begins life as a fifteen minute radio drama on NBC Radio in Chicago. Phillips also introduced organ music scene transitions (organ players were cheaper than a live band, but more expressive and versital than a pre-recording) and concluding each episode with a cliffhanger. [Jan. 25]

Today is Guiding Light‘s original birthday as a 15 minute radio soap opera. I have been working on retyping this article for quite awhile and saved it for today. I should mention that the original articles DOES have quite a few black and white photos. I’m still debating whether to scan them or not. If I decide to go ahead I’ll link the post here.

Soaps The History Part 1 Guiding Light

Back before the internet was a thing, specialized information about long term stories was hard to get. Often people would struggle long and hard and have to be lucky to get the right sources to produce histories of how things came to be. Now, on my blog alone, you can get a good idea about Guiding Light and how it came to be, but it used to be that such resources weren’t around. However, printing presses were. Access to a printing press used to give such a power to create and even though it’s now easier to create, it’s also less special and often less specialized. One soap magazine, Afternoon TV, would periodically do a special issue. This particular issue tells the history of soap operas.

Soap history can be a tricky thing, especially pre-roughly mid 1990s when people started to record what happened each day online. So much happens that it can be an easy thing to over simplify or miss a detail that’s important to the over all story or that particular plotline whether the forgetting is either knowingly or not. For instance, both Phillip Spaulding’s adoptive mother and the love of his life are named Elizabeth. [The head writer who created Beth didn’t know that Phillip’s adoptive mother even existed much less knew her name and apparently didn’t think to ask.] Do you tell the history of how Henry Chamberlain came to town with his own company (what we saw happen) or the history that Henry Chamberlain had worked with Brandon Spaulding to build up Spaulding Enterprises and Carmen Santos envied their social position (what they told us happened later)? Do you say that Alan Spaulding moved to town and bought a house (what we saw happen) or that the family lived in the house where Alan AND Alexandra grew up (what they told us happened later)? So that being said any soap opera history is going to have issues. I do not personally stake that this one is a correct account of the first roughly 35 years of Guiding Light history, but this is what they told us the history was in 1983. The article spells the Rev. John Ruthledge’s name as Rev. Rudledge. I confirmed it in the book he “wrote” that Ruthledge was correct. I added quite a few notes correcting some things and explaining why I did others a certain way.

The Guiding Light

The Guiding Light first made its debut on the radio on January 25, 1937. The Fifteen-minute show, created by Irna Phillips, had as its central character the Reverend Ruthledge, a minister who tended his flock in a place called Five Points, USA. Reverend Ruthledge soon became a most beloved figure in homes throughout America, and a book of his Good Friday sermons is reputed to have sold over a quarter of a million copies. [See Note 1] The good minister did not survive the transition to TV and remained Five Points. [See Note 2]

The legendary Bauer family, which forms the core of the show did not make their appearances on the radio show until the late forties. [See Note 3] In those early days, the family was composed of Papa Bauer, played by Viennese actor Theo Goetz, Mama Bauer, and their three children; Bill, Meta, and Trudy. [See Note 4] Mama died soon after the Bauer clan joined the show and shortly thereafter Bill married Bertha or Bert as she was to be affectionately known by millions of devoted viewers. The role was acted at first by an actress named Ann Shepard, but she left after a year and Charita Bauer replaced her. The year was 1950. Man people believe, quiet erroneously, that the Bauer family name was inspired by Charita‘s. In reality the fact that her name and that her character are identical is strictly coincidental.

The Guiding Light was first telecast on June 30, 1952. Like all the early soaps, it had a 15-minute format and it was broadcast live and in black and white, During the many years it was presented to the public, born on radio and television. The actors and the story lines were identical. The local was changed to Selby Flats, and then to Springfield. [See Note 5]

Theo Goetz played Papa Bauer until his death. He was for many years one of the most beloved characters in daytime drama. When he died, millions mourned his passing. Of his children only Meta and Bill continued in the show. Trudy was quickly phased out of the story lines after the show went on television. Meta, who was a strong, self-motivated character, survived for many years. She began her scandalous career by running away when she was young to become a model. Soon however, she became pregnant and was forced to marry. The marriage didn’t last very long and she ended by divorcing her husband. [Note 6] The child [Chuckie] that was born of that unhappy union was tragically killed and Meta murdered her ex-husband whom she blamed for the death of her child. A newspaperman called Joe Roberts helped her get acquitted, and later on they were married. Joe had a daughter called Kathy, and she and Meta did not get along. The friction between them worsened when Joe died and both women fell in love with the same man, whose name was Mark Holden. Mark eventually married Kathy, and they had a daughter named Robin. Both Kathy and Robin were to become very important to the show’s story line and when Kathy died in 1958 audiences flooded the studio with their expressions of grief.

By 1959 the cast included the following characters and actors:

  • Theo Goetz.……………………Papa Bauer
  • Charita Bauer………………….Bert Bauer
  • Ed Bryce…………………………..Bill Bauer
  • Ellen Denning…………………Meta Bauer
  • Bernard Grant…………………Dr. Paul Fletcher
  • Whitfield Conor………………Mark Holden
  • James Lipton……………………Dick Grant
  • Lynne Rogers…………………..Marie Grant
  • Abigail Kellog………………….Robin Holden
  • Les Damon……………………….Bruce Banning
  • Joan Gray………………………….Ann Fletcher
  • Pat Collins…………………………Billy Bauer [aka Ed Bauer as an adult – ed.]
  • Alice Yourman………………….Laura Grant
  • Joe Campanella……………….Joe Turino

In the beginning of the show Bert was a domineering wife and an interfering mother, but she softened with the passing of the years. She and Bill had two sons, Mike, the oldest, and Ed. Mike was played as a child by a young actor named Glenn Walker, who was to become the film star Christopher Walken. The name Michael Bauer was chosen for the older Bauer boy because Charita Bauer had just had a son whom she had christened Michael. She asked the show’s producers to name her TV son after her own child, and they agreed.

In the course of the years Bill Bauer developed a drinking problem and caused a great deal of sorrow to Bert, especially when he had an affair with a woman called Maggie Scott. [Note 7] But he eventually broke up the relationship and became cured of his alcoholism. [Note 8] His son Ed, who also became an alcoholic, was helped by Bill in his struggle against alcohol. By the time Bill died, he was a model husband and father. [Note 9]

Mike and Robin Holden had a love affair which was met with much-opposition from Bert. Bill interceded on his son’s behalf which caused a great deal of friction between him and his wife. Even Meta, who had every reason to oppose the match, tried to keep Bert from interfering, but without much success. All the tensions and problems surrounding the relationship proved to be more than the young lovers could handle, and the romance eventually hit the rocks. Mike left Robin and went to Law school, and Robin married a real cad by the name of Alex Bowden. Mike also married the wrong woman, a neurotic character named Julie Conrad. [Note 10] They had a daughter whom they named Hope, but their marriage began to deteriorate due to Julie’s increasingly mental instability. She was eventually committed to an insane asylum where she later died. By this time Mike had graduated Law school and decided to leave Springfield with his daughter Hope. They somehow ended up as characters on Another World. [Note 11] The invalid lawyer who was to be Mike’s first law partner was called John Randolph and Mike found himself immediately attracted to Randolph’s wife Pat. In order to avoid creating a rupture in the Randolph’s marriage, Mike decided to return to Springfield.

By this time, Ed had become a doctor and had married the daughter of his chief at the hospital, Dr. Steve Jackson. The marriage between Leslie Jackson and Ed Bauer was never successful. Ed’s frequent bouts with alcoholism led him to abuse Leslie physically at times. Slowly she lost all her love for him. When Mike returned to Springfield, he and Leslie were thrown together and the inevitable happened, they fell in love. This created a very popular and sizzling story line which involved practically all of the characters on the show. The viewers immediately took sides and most of them favored a union between Leslie and Mike. Their wishes were eventually granted, but not right away. To begin with, Leslie became pregnant by Ed, and for the sake of her unborn child she decided to give her ailing marriage a second chance. Mike was crushed by her decision, and married on the rebound. His new wife, a nasty character by the name of Charlotte Waring, caused him a great deal of grief, not the least of which was her ill treatment of Hope. After much pain and soul searching and some very complicated story lines, Mike left Charlotte. She was later killed by a psychotic called Kit Vested, who worked as a volunteer in the hospital where Ed worked. She connived to implicate Dr. Joe Werner in Charlotte’s death. Charlotte and Joe had been having a love affair, and Kit, who was in love with Joe, sought in this manner to punish them both. Joe Werner was discharged from the hospital where he worked as Chief of Staff. He was eventually phased out of the show.

Mike and Leslie were finally able to get married and their union was celebrated with much fanfare in Bert’s home. Ed, on the other hand, sought help for his alcoholism and was eventually cured. [Note 8 AGAIN!]

New characters kept flowing in and out of the story lines. The Norris family, composed of Stanley, Holly, Ken, and, Stanley’s ex-wife, Barbara, made their appearance during this period. Holly fell in love with a character called Roger Thorpe. [Note 12] Both Ken and Roger fell in love with another character called Janet Mason. [Note 13] Barbara, on the other hand, became involved with Roger’s father Adam, who was played by Robert Mill. [Note 14] In a series of complicated twists, Stanley was murdered and Leslie was implicated in his death. Mike defended her at her trial and got her acquitted, Holly continued to pursue Roger, who continued to pursue Janet, who was really in love with Ken. In the end Ken and Janet married, but their marriage was always threatened by his excessive jealousy.

By 1981 the cast had more than doubled, even though many of the original characters had been phased out of the show. New names mad their presence be felt in Springfield, names like Alan Spaulding, Tony Reardon, Carrie Todd, Ross Marler, Vanessa Chamberlain, Amanda McFarren, and an archvillainess called Diane Ballard. [Note 15] Also, added to the cast was a mysterious archeologist called Quinton McCord who soon took the show by storm.

The plots and subplots continued to multiply, romances continued to be ill-starred, marriages broke and then mended, people were murdered and innocents were accused of the murder, all very much in keeping with soap opera style.

Around this time the multiple plots went something like this. Ross Marler, a sneaky, conniving schemer, falls madly in love with super sweet Carrie Todd, whose gentle ways transform Ross into a decent, sensitive human being. [Note 16] All looks peaches and cream for the pair until the spiteful and vicious Diane Ballard gets into the picture. It seems that Diane, who makes it her business to know all the skeletons hidden in Springfield’s closets, also knows enough about Ross’ unsavory past to try to blackmail him. Carrie finds out about Diane’s plans and goes to her house to try and dissuade her from her Machiavellic plans. Diane laughs at Carrie’s pleas to spare Ross and mocks her anguish. Carrie jumps at Diane and the two women begin to struggle violently. In the midst of the fight, Diane slips and falls down and hit her head on the stone fireplace. She dies instantly. Carrie is terrified at the accident and flees the scene, but not without taking with her a briefcase full of tapes incrimination Alan Spaulding, someone Carrie is very fond of. Of course, Diane had many enemies, and a lot of people become suspects in her death, including Ross and Alan. But in the end Carrie confesses the truth to Ross and then tries to commit suicide. She survives the suicide attempt and later on Ross marries her.

In the meantime Alan Spaulding is having big troubles of his own. The head of wealthy Spaulding Enterprises, Alan has climbed all the way to the top the same as Ross did, by lying and cheating. Like Ross, Alan meets a woman who changes him into a new man. this woman is Hope Bauer. Very much against Mike Bauer’s wishes, who hates and distrusts Alan, he marries Hope. But his unsavory past caught up with Alan and when Hope finds out the truth, she decides to leave him, even though by now they have a small son, Alan-Michael. After a complicated storyline, where an assassin tries to kill Alan in the desert, he escapes and is finally caught by the police and sentenced to two years in jail. Hope, who by now realizes she loves her husband above all things, decides to stick with him. Even Mike Bauer begins to soften towards his son-in-law, who has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that he has turned over a new leaf.

In other subplots, Nola Reardon gives birth to Floyd Parker’s baby with the reluctant help of Dr. Kelly Nelson, with whom Nola is really in love.  But Kelly is married and although he and his wife Morgan are having martial problems, it doesn’t look like Nola is about to see her dreams of a marriage with Kelly come true. [Note 17] Besides, the mysterious Quint McCord seems to have rather sinister plans to change Nola’s life. If he succeeds in his intentions Nola may never be the same again. In any case, after her baby’s birth, Nola becomes the snoopy household supervisor for Quint McCord. Quint and his foreboding housekeeper, Mrs. Reinfield share secrets involving his profession and some women in his past.

By 1983, some of these plots had been more than entangled than ever. The cast of characters which had almost quadrupled since the soap’s debut, now looked like this [Ed. note: I published this list as a separate post.]

As the Quint/Nola story line unfolded, it soon became obvious that Quint was in love with Nola and meant to make her his wife. This however doesn’t happen so fast in soap operas. Love has to be tried and tested. This proved true also of Quint’s love for Nola. To begin with, there is a mentally unstable woman called Rebecca Cartwright with whom Quint was involved at one time. He doesn’t want her anymore, but Rebecca refuses to buy that. She’s out to get Quint one way or another. Her scheming leads to a car crash where Quint nearly loses his life. While he’s still at the hospital Nola learns that he’s really Henry Chamberlain’s son. This doesn’t please Quint at all.

When Quint and Nola reveal their plans to marry, the furious Rebecca tells Nola that Quint had once thrown Rebecca off a cliff causing her to have a miscarriage and be disfigured. She proposes re-enacting the scene at the same cliff, but while she’s there she changes her mind and reveals that it was her husband, Mark Evans, who tried to kill her. She further reveals that Mark’s real name is Samuel Pasquin while hers is Mona Enright. Rebecca/Mona then goes completely crazy and tried to push Amanda Spaulding off the cliff. Mark/Samuel is able to save Amanda, but is shot by Rebecca and falls to his death. [Note 19] Rebecca jumps over the cliff after him, all of which suit Quint and Nola just fine, even if they are too noble to admit it to themselves. After some other minor complications, they finally get married and take off for a romantic honeymoon in Ireland.

Meanwhile, Kelly Nelson and Morgan continue to have marital problems and even a marriage counselor can’t help. To make things worse, Morgan becomes deeply infatuated with Josh Lewis and finally decides she wants a divorce.

Hope and Alan Spaulding are also having marital woes. He’s now out of jail and back in business. He begins relying more and more on Trish Lewis’ advice and even consults with her on the redecoration of his house. Hope reacts to the situation by immersing herself in alcohol. [Note 18]

A mysterious woman called Annabelle Sims shows up around this time. She becomes romantically involved with Tony Reardon. They both become obsessed by a photograph depicts four men and a girl who bears an uncanny resemblance to Annabelle. As this interesting story line unfolds we learn that the woman in the picture was Anne, Annabelle’s mother, who was killed by someone during a boating trip. Annabelle, who was a witness to the tragedy, had blocked the whole thing from her conscious mind, but now begins to having a series of blackouts. To make the situation more perplexing, someone begins to murder the men in the photograph. One of the first victims is Bill Bauer, whose murder is made to look like a suicide. Then several attempts are made on other people’s lives, including H.B. Lewis. Finally, Annabelle begins to remember begins to remember and the murderer, who turns out to be Eli Simms, takes her back to the river where he killed Anne, and once there tries to kill Annabelle also. Luckily Tony happens to be in the vicinity and saves her life. Very convenient and very lucky for Annabelle. In the meantime, Eli falls from the boat and is shot dead, presumably by H.B. Lewis.

All the untimely demises and cancelled story lines that shook Guiding Light in 1983 were the result of Allen M. Potter, the show’s Executive Producer, being replaced by Gail Kobe. As soon as she was installed in the Producer’s chair, Ms. Kobe grabbed the proverbial axe and proceeded to decimate the show’s plots and cast. [Note 20] This caused a great deal of confusion and demoralization among the actors who managed to survive the devastation. Also, part of the show’s brush with disaster was the prolonged illness that befell Charita Bauer, the beloved matriarch of the Bauer clan. She was away from the show from summer through fall, first with pneumonia, and then with blood clots and diabetes. It is still uncertain whether or not she still will return to the show. If she doesn’t, Ms. Kobe will have to make some further and even more sweeping changes. Whatever happens, we hope that the fans of Guiding Light, some of whom have been faithful followers of the show for more than three decades, will continue watching.


As I mentioned in the introduction I’m not sure what material was used in piecing together these histories. The memory doesn’t always pull up a complete story especially if you started watching after a certain event. I’m adding these notes below to correct information from the magazine as I know it.

  1. Ruthledge’s book, published under the title The Guiding Light, appeared in 1938 as a promotion for the show. It purports to be a history of Five Points written by the character of Dr. John Ruthledge. A good part of the text is a collection of his sermons presumably those used on the radio show. He was fairly isolationist in 1937 which is a bit of a shock for people on this side of World War II history. I don’t know how many copies the book sold or if it was offered as some kind of premium, but I CAN tell you that you fairly trip over used copies in second hand book sellers.
  2. The loss of the actor who played Rev. Ruthledge and the fact that his story and his family’s had been thoroughly explored, actually caused the move to Los Angeles. The Guiding Light only came TV after it had already been set in Five Points and Selby Flats before it moved to Springfield. The TV version has always been set in Springfield.
  3. The radio show started in 1937 and the Bauer family was introduced in 1948.
  4. Mama Bauer died soon after they joined the show and they either never said her first name, or nobody remembers it. She is only known as Mama Bauer.
  5. The article mistakenly calls Selby Flats, Silkly Flats. I fixed it.
  6. They hit all the major parts of Meta’s story, but they put them in the wrong order. Meta had an affair with Ted White, got pregnant, gave the boy, Chuckie, up for adoption, regained custody, married Ted, decided to get a divorce, Chuckie is fatally hurt taking a boxing lesson that Ted insisted he take, Ted realizes his mistakes, Meta kills him, and Meta is cleared of murder.
  7. The text has it Maffie Scott, which would have been a more interesting name, but sadly which is incorrect. I fixed it. It should be Maggie Scott.
  8. You cannot be “cured” of alcoholism, not even in Springfield. It means Bill entered recovery.
  9. Except Bill was presumed killed in a plane crash. Once he learned everyone thought he was dead he ran off to Canada where he apparently had an affair with a woman years before. Her real husband had just died so he married her and became “step-father” to the product of this affair his daughter, Hillary. He will return to Springfield years later to make amends and ended up being murder by Annabelle Simms Reardon’s psychopathic father Eli Simms as part of the famous mysterious photo storyline that kind of unbelievably tied in a lot of older men around the canvas. However, it was much better written than the sorry attempt of a carbon copy Maryanne Curthers storyline which didn’t make a lick of sense towards the end of the show.
  10. I missed a trivia question on the year I went to the real life BBQ about which Bauer died in a mental hospital. It was in fact, Hope’s mother, Julie Conrad, But the way it was phrased I didn’t get it. I really don’t think a short term unhappy marriage that ends in your death really makes you a Bauer. But on the other hand she WAS Hope’s mother. What do you think?
  11. Another Irna Phillips created soap, Another World took its name as a play off of As the World Turns. Originally it was planned to be a bookend with ATWT. CBS didn’t want the soap though so it instead sold to NBC and most links between it and the CBS soaps were dropped except the kickstart of Mike and Hope.
  12. The article is called Roger Dawson for some reason. An odd mistake to make since he was such an important character. I don’t know if he came into town with a fake name, but from the description it’s 1000% Roger Thorpe and I fixed it in the article.
  13. Ken Norris completely dropped out of the story after he was committed to a sanitarium. He returned to the show in 1998 reforming close connections with his sister Holly and niece Blake adopting a very protective attitude to them. However, he acted as if he didn’t know or still love either Janet Mason or their child. In between appearing as an actor he joined the show’s writers including being part of the team that won a Daytime Emmy for writing.
  14. Roger’s father and Holly’s mother, Adam and Barbara, developed a relationship. They married and despite their eventual divorce seemed to keep a warm relationship. I saw a clip and thought it must have been pre-marriage from their interactions and, nope, it was after.
  15. I fixed Diane Balland to Diane Ballard.
  16. I fixed Ross Marlen into Ross Marler.
  17. Kelly and Morgan weren’t married, they were just starting their relationship when Nola moved in on them. They married afterward.
  18. Hope and Alan are my second favorite soap opera couple of all soaps and all time and I’ve written about them before. This is hardly a fair depiction of their terrible fate, but I will just clarify that Hope’s job was as an interior decorator so to have Trish involved in designing Hope’s own home over Hope’s choices was awful.
  19. Mark Evans and Amanda Spaulding were romantically involved – married? – that’s why Amanda was dragged into it. Apparently whatever other crap he pulled Mark truly loved her.
  20. A lot of upcoming issues with the lack of Bauers in the Bauer family can be traced back to Ms. Kobe’s decisions. Having taken over, she was determined the actors realize that no one was safe under her and hers was the will of God. So she took out Hope Bauer and other mainstays quickly began to fall.

Trust Me Chapter 20

January 25, 2022

Republisher’s Note: This is another rescued story from CountryKays which we very much appreciate. Again, there aren’t any chapters in the way she copies them so the chapter breaks are where I think they make sense and likely differ from those the author used if you find it somewhere else. I also broke up the paragraphs to make them easier to read. I don’t know who the author is. Remember when Michelle started investigating to find out the truth behind Carmen faking the shooting? What if she’d taken it to more of an extreme?

Trust Me Chapter 20

John and Mario arrived at Vega’s place of business. He directed one of the men to stay at the front door and proceeded to go around the back with the other. The alley was narrow. Litter strewn about, the smell of urine and garbage was over powering. Both men jumped and drew their weapons at the sudden sound of metal clanking to the ground. Upon their approach they saw a mutt making it’s way through the trash. Beside the dog was an aluminum trash can cover. At the back entrance he pushed open the door. The room was dark, dusk had settled in. It was too quiet. He recognized the rusty odor of blood. He walked in, his weapon ready. He made his way towards the back slowly. He felt his feet slide.

Looking down he saw the dark liquid on the floor. The trail of blood was congealing. It was a rubbery paste, the color, a dark purplish hue. His instincts told him the place was vacant. He followed the blood. Entering each room along the way. In the room farthest from the entrance they found the body. John put away his gun and went to the body. The man was dark haired, he wore black pants and a black shirt. The room smelled of death. The man had been shot through the head. The bullet had ripped all the way through. He turned the body over. “It’s not Ray.,” John was mildly relieved.

“John, you know the body was moved for one reason only…”

“I know,” he snapped, “to keep us busy.” John got his cell phone out and began calling Danny. The phone rang with no answer. “Shit Danny!”

“John, I don’t like this…”

Ray lay gasping for breath. His ribs had been broken and he believed his jaw was too. He leaned against the hard face of an old building. Trying to fight off the desire to close his eyes and sleep. Dietz’ beating had left him seriously injured. His mind was filled with jumbled memories. His head hurt. You’re alive. He closed his eyes and saw Dietz.

“Why don’t you just kill me?”

“Padre, I want you to be there for the finale. Michelle and Danny are waiting.” Then he had forced him inside the car. Ray opened his eyes. Get up. Move. Dietz had driven them through the cobble stone streets. Through one eye, the other was swollen shut, Ray had caught glimpses of people milling around. The ride was anything, but smooth as the tires met the old bricks and jostled him about. His hands were tied behind his back causing him excruciating pain. The car had stopped many times. Dietz honked the horn and yelled, “Get out of my fuckin’ way! Damn tourists.” Suddenly the car had stopped. Ray realized he was a few blocks away from the apartment. Dietz had tugged him out of the automobile and thrown him in the middle of a crowd of tourists. He had managed to crawl out of the road and onto the sidewalk. He lay in the entrance of an abandoned building. Ray knew he needed to sit up. He was having trouble breathing. He felt like dying as he winced and moaned in pain struggling to lift his head and chest higher. It was dark. He saw a young boy pointing at him. Blood trickled to the back of his throat. He spit up. You have to get to Michelle. He tried standing up. Clutching his stomach he limped and made his way through the mass of people. The sidewalks were tiny. He stopped in doorways catching his breath. He coughed up more blood. His vision was blurry and he felt himself loosing conscious again. Dietz’ words echoed through his mind. “Now let’s see who can make it back to them first. I’d say I’m at an advantage Padre. Wouldn’t you?”

He forced himself to continue moving.

Isabel stood outside waiting for the men to finish their search. Who were these people? She had watched in horror as the man had pushed Ray into a car and then sped away. Soon after the other men had arrived. Were they friends of Ray’s? She was terrified, but she felt the need to help. There has to be something I can do. She crouched behind the trash cans. Thank God the dog had covered her before. She heard the men coming back. She tried making herself smaller. “Please God. Don’t let them see me,” she prayed. The men passed her. She breathed a sigh of relief. Then she saw a rat scurrying towards her. She held back her scream. The rat came closer. Stopping at her sandal covered foot. “Ayyyyyyyy!,” she screamed and jumped up.

John turned to the high pitched noise. He saw the girl running away. “Hey!.” he yelled. She kept running. She stumbled and fell hard against the cement. John was hesitant to help her. Maybe the girl knew something. Maybe she didn’t. She was holding her leg and whimpering. She watched in fear as Mario approached her.

“Hey, were not gonna hurt you. Did you see something?,” He kneeled next her and helped her to stand.

“I didn’t see anything.,” she wrenched her arm away from him and began to walk away.

“Listen. A good man, a Priest, is in trouble. Do you know something?”, Mario persisted.

She stopped in her tracks. “A Priest?”

“Yes. Was he here?”

“I don’t know.,”

She moved forward. Could Ray be a priest?

“He’s young. Dark hair. Tall. Please.,” Mario asked. Ray had been like a brother to him.

“Mario leave her.,” John ordered.

“No! Danny and Michelle are as good as dead. Maybe she knows something to help Ray.”

“Michelle?,” Isabel asked.

John exasperated stood with his hands on his hips. “Yes! Michelle. Do you know her?”

“No. The man he took Ray in a car. He beat him.,” Isabel sobbed. “He said he wouldn’t kill Ray because he had to be there for the finale.” Isabel’s words were rushed. She was afraid, but these men were talking about the same Michelle as Ray had. Maybe they could save him. John and Mario ran.

Danny stared at the barrel of the gun in Dietz’ hand. Michelle was petrified. She had the look of a person who had a scream stuck in their throat. Danny stood up slowly his gun still aimed at Dietz.

“Let her go.” Michelle’s eyes reflected fear. Danny looked away from her. Concentrate Santos. Concentrate.

“Danny. Danny. You know better than that. I’m not lettin’ her go.”

“Dietz. You have a problem with me. Not her.”

Dietz pulled Michelle’s head back by her hair. “No, man, you’re wrong. I have a big problem with her. This piece of shit …,”, he spit as he forced her down to her knees.

“DIETZ!” “Put the gun down Danny. NOW!,”

Michelle was mouthing something to him. In the dark her could see her lips moving, but he couldn’t understand her.

“Let her go Dietz.” Sweat covered Danny’s brow. His mouth was dry. Think!

“Drop it!,” Dietz commanded. His voice filled with venom.

Danny stalled. He watched Dietz carefully. His stance never wavered. The gun remained pointed at Dietz. You don’t have a clear shot. He started to bend his knees. Michelle’s eyes closed. He saw her tears cascading down her face. He stood up straighter.

“Stop fucking with me. Put the gun down!” Danny heard the “click” as the Dietz cocked the gun. He panicked as he saw Dietz poised to shoot Michelle. Dropping his gun to the floor he waited for Dietz to make a move. Dietz pulled back and pushed down on Michelle’s shoulder forcing her to her knees. “Oh God!,” Michelle sobbed

Ray got closer to the apartment building. His body was covered in bruises and blood. There was blood all over his mouth, each breath he took more blood would come up. A few more steps… He pushed through the tourists in their leisurely strolls. As he came in contact with them they would move away, repulsed. He heard their whispers filled with disgust. “He touched me…” He fell against the door. It opened slightly. Ignoring the pain he pushed with his body. The door would not budge. He looked down. He saw Peter’s body then. He was laying across the floor. His throat slit. Blood pooled around his body. “Dios Mio…” He eased his way in the opening. He stepped over the body. He crossed himself. “Dios lo guarde”. He stared at the long staircase. You can do this. He began the climb. At the fourth step he had to stop. Gasping for air, he leaned against the railing. He felt a different pain in his stomach. He fell to his knees. He began crawling up. “Father, save them. Keep them safe.” He stopped again. He leaned his head against the tile. He felt cold. The cool ceramic relieved his headache. He let himself fall against it. He looked up. He wasn’t even halfway there. “Oh My God…” Ray grabbed his stomach and fell forward. Everything went black.

John and Mario ran through the crowded streets. There were people every where, standing around, staring in shop windows. In their way. John ran cutting around cars, pushing people, his gun at his side. He heard shouts of anger and surprise as he passed by. When they reached the apartment they found Peter and Ray. “Holy Shit!,” Mario ran up the stairs. John jumped over the bodies and flew up the stairs behind him.

“Any last words before you die?”

Michelle was sobbing loudly now. She fell back into Dietz’ legs causing him to lose his balance. She realized what was happening and she pushed harder against him. His knees buckled. Dietz grabbed Michelle’s hair pulling her back with him. She screamed as he fell backward. Danny reached for his gun. Dietz was sprawled on the floor his hands tangled in Michelle’s honey colored curls. Michelle, her knees underneath her, was leaning back almost on top of him. “Ahhhhhhhhhhh!,” she yelled. The sounds of gunfire at the door startled them. The door fell off the hinges and pounded the wall. Dietz had regained control of his weapon, lifting himself up from the floor, straining against Michelle’s weight and aimed the gun. Michelle saw the barrel over her shoulder. His grip on her hair was stronger. She twisted and turned desperate for him to release her. She saw his index finger moving against the trigger.

“DANNNNNNNNNNY!” The room filled with the echoes of gunshots.


“Star-Crossed Again” Essay 41

January 24, 2022

Republisher’s Note: Republishing another one of the essays from Rustle of the Sheets. This essay is reflecting a spoiler with producer Paul Rauch in Soap Opera Digest. Sadly Soap Opera Digest is now the only soap opera focused magazine as Soaps in Depth has turned entirely to only being a website. Every season they ask the head of each soap either producer or head writer to give the magazines hints about what was coming up this must be for spring/summer 1999.

From The Rustle of the Sheets

Essay #41

“Star-Crossed Again”
(Regarding Paul Rauch‘s “star-crossed” Description of Danny and Michelle)

By BettyM — posted on the Mannyac Board.

I think folks panic at dictionary definitions of that term [star-crossed], but in real life and in literature, when you see it used, it’s actually used as Danny’s wedding speech describes it.

The stars is a metaphor for fate, Divine Providence or even God. What it indicates is that Paul Rauch feels Manny is a great, complex couple, not the ‘meet cute stuff of typical soap supercouples. What is in the stars is the breathtaking observation that it is so right, the stars had to be aligned just so — two people who are so utterly perfect for each other, who seemed meant to be from birth, who you can’t imagine with anybody else but … but who were practically on the other sides of the world, suddenly are thrown together under such circumstances that you think Divine Providence did lay a hand in it, knowing they were meant to be — that’s why I call them a God Match!

I think that’s what they mean — and the irony in Danny’s wedding vows is that he was inadvertently summing up exactly what was going down between him and Michelle — he felt it was an interesting situation that just happened, but boy, he didn’t know how wonderful it is that it did happen.


Trust Me Chapter 19

January 24, 2022

Republisher’s Note: This is another rescued story from CountryKays which we very much appreciate. Again, there aren’t any chapters in the way she copies them so the chapter breaks are where I think they make sense and likely differ from those the author used if you find it somewhere else. I also broke up the paragraphs to make them easier to read. I don’t know who the author is. Remember when Michelle started investigating to find out the truth behind Carmen faking the shooting? What if she’d taken it to more of an extreme?

Trust Me Chapter 19

She stared at the person standing before her and then ran up the stairs. Her hair flew behind her as she fumbled with the keys and tried in vain to open he locked gate. Her heart was pounding in her chest and she felt faint. She choked back tears. Behind her she heard yelling. Then what sounded like a stampede. Suddenly his hand was on hers. It was a calming touch that startled her. She winced as if in pain and withdrew her hands to bring them closer to her body. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Suddenly everything was quiet around her. The shouting ceased and ten eyes focused on her and waited for her next move. She turned to her face her captor. A sarcastic laugh erupted from her mouth and a voice that didn’t seem to belong to her said, “How nice of you to stop by.” With that she unlocked the door and went inside.

On the street corner, Ray watched as five men stormed the building. He saw guns drawn and heard the shouts. He braced himself for the sound of bullets. “Michelle…what have I done?”

Isabel Vargas had no idea why she was following Ray. A man she knew nothing about. A man who’s face had shown her true fear. Maybe she was intrigued by the look of absolute terror that had crossed his welcoming face when he’d answered his phone. Maybe she wanted to know more about the man with the beautiful smile. It was fate that made her stand up and follow him as he ran crazily through the streets. She watched as he stopped and then uttered those words. So he hadn’t been afraid for himself. Michelle? Who is this Michelle? And Why are you so jealous, Isabel? She put her hand on his shoulder. Her warm hand startled him and caused him to turn abruptly.

Ray brought his hand up and behind his head. Right before he delivered the blow he realized who he had before him. His hands covered his head as he shook with anger. He began pacing back and forth. “Shit…”

“I’m sorry,” she tried unsuccessfully to find the words to console him. It was obvious he was beside himself about this woman. Michelle. “Ray. Can I help you?”, she offered.

“No. NO! You should leave,” he nervously stuck his hand in his pocket, looking for his cellular phone. It was gone. Probably lost as he ran.

“Are you looking for this?”, in her outstretched hand was his phone. He grabbed it from her and dialed furiously. Isabel watched as he continued to anxiously walk back and forth on the side walk, eyeing the building before them. “Answer. Fuck! Answer your phone.”, Then she heard him say, “Dear Father, grant me her safety. I beg of you. Let her be safe.” She could hear the phone ringing and he continued to pray. This made her even more curious. He obviously was very religious. He seemed to care deeply for this Michelle. Perhaps she was his wife? Why would those men with guns be after her? Who was she? Isabel had too many questions.

“FUCK! What am I going to do?”, he asked himself. Isabel watched in horror as he suddenly reached down and removed a gun from a strap on his ankle.

“Dios Mio.” For the first time since she had set her eyes on him she questioned her judgment and admonished herself for being so intrigued by this stranger. What was she getting herself into? He ran to the entrance of the building. At the door he pointed the gun and cautiously made his way inside. Isabel followed.

Michelle walked into the apartment. She heard the murmuring of the men and then retreating footsteps. He was sending them away. Interesting. The rooms were enveloped in darkness. Every once and a while a small breeze would come through the room, causing the heavy drapes on the windows to billow slightly. Then the sun’s bright rays would enter the room, casting a golden tint to the air. He looked around. Taking in the scene. The worn kitchen table. The plain white walls. The darkness. “Whoosh” He reacted to the sound of the opening curtains. She stood by the counter watching him. Her body framed by the glowing sun.

“What do you want?”, she asked.

“What do you think?” ”

Who cares what I think? Do what you came to do.”

“What I came to do.”, he repeated.

“Yes! I’ve spent too much time in here wondering about this. I’d rather it be over with.”, her voice was firm. She stepped to the cabinet and on her tiptoes reached for a glass.

“Get some water in you. Don’t be nervous. Stay calm.” She spoke to herself. Her fingers barely grazed the glass. She stretched some more. As her hand came around the surface, his arms reached up and grabbed the glass from her. He stood directly behind her. She felt his chest against her back. She stood still. Quiet. The only sound was the clipping of the ceiling fan. “Clip…Clip…Clip.” Her palms began to sweat. His hand came down to her neck. She squirmed.

“Over? It hasn’t even begun yet.”, He whispered in her ear.

His breath tickled her neck and the heat from his mouth made her shiver. She regrouped. Brought herself to speak, “Oh. It’s over. Believe me.” He had one hand carefully placed on her neck, the other wrapped around her waist. His palm resting on her stomach. .

“It can’t be over. You haven’t screamed.”

She twisted and turned until she was facing him. “I wouldn’t give you the satisfaction.” Her eyes darted back and forth waiting for his reaction.

“I feel confident.”

“You shouldn’t be.” She shifted her weight. His hand fell from her waist.

“I think you’ll cry out my name before it’s over.”

“Really? I think you’ve spent too much time fantasizing.”

“Oh. It’s definitely in my fantasies.” Suddenly he leaned towards her. His lips covered her own. Fighting back she refused his tongue. She tried desperately to untangle herself from his hold. He gripped her tighter.

She broke free. “You coward. Get your hands off of me.”

They stood apart. Both with their hands on their hips. Chests heaving. “Get out Danny.”

“I’m not leaving.”

“You have no right coming here like this. Did you actually think I’d fall into your arms with no problem? Unbelievable…”, she shook her head and ran a hand through her wild curls. He watched her and did not say a word. “What?! Did you believe I’d open my arms wide…oh no wait…my LEGS wide and welcome you home?” She saw a flash of anger in his eyes.

“Michelle”, he warned.

“Oh! That offends you? You know, Danny, I couldn’t give a shit. I am so tired of this. Just let me go. Let me go!” ”

I’m not letting you go. Never again.” And his lips claimed hers all over again. He took possession of her mouth. She felt herself relaxing. Her knees were weak. His desire was evident as he pulled her closer and lifted her to sit on the counter. He stood between her legs, his hand fumbled with the strap of her tank top, pulling it down. He bit at her lip as their tongues danced. She hated herself for succumbing to his powerful charm. She loved him for possessing that same trait.

Inside the building Ray drew his weapon close to his chest, listening. He could hear the raised voices of the men, but couldn’t make out what was being said. His mind was jumbled with thoughts. Steady. You are in control. He was nervous. After he had taken his vows, he had chosen to forget about this part of his life. It all came back to him. He moved with the ease of a trained commando. Listening quietly for the enemy. There were five men. He had six bullets. He knew that he could take them all out. His father and Uncle had made sure of that every Saturday afternoon. He could feel the danger in his bones, and he liked it. He relished the quickening of his pulse. The anticipation built in him. It was a surge of energy that made him feel alive. He was aroused. He recoiled in shock at his own hunger for the kill. He tasted blood on his lip and realized he had bitten through it. Wiping the red away, he began to feel the apprehension he had felt the moment Danny had called to ask for his help. Suddenly, he was Father Ray Santos again. It was then that he noticed Isabel behind him. She was peering through the doorway, a look of fear in her eyes. He ran to her. “What the hell are you doing here? You have to leave. Now.”, the words rushed forth. He wasn’t in control and that terrified him. He heard the pounding footsteps descending the stairs. He pushed Isabel out the door and slammed it shut. He realized he didn’t have enough time. He would be walking into an ambush if he stayed. In a small alley, a few blocks from the apartment building, he stopped to talk to Isabel. “Isabel, you have to leave. You’re in danger.”

“Who are you? Who are these people? Why do you have a gun?” she asked.

“I don’t have time.” He yelled at her. He chose to run then. Leaving a flabbergasted Isabel to stare after him. Ray ran to Ruben Vega’s. As he ran he dialed Danny’s cell phone again. The ringing phone made him more anxious. At Ruben Vega’s he banged on the door. His hands banged at the heavy wooden doors. No one came to answer. He ran around the side of the building. The back door was open. “Senor Vega?” , he called. No answer. He stood inside the dark room and realized it was a kitchen. On the table was a plate of rice piled high with red beans. He could see the smoke coming off the top of the food. The smell caused Ray to heave. Something wasn’t right. “Vega?” Nothing. He continued to walk through. “Senor Vega? It’s Santos.” He passed into what appeared to be an office. He looked around. The high ceilings did little to cool the stifling rooms. The fax machine was receiving a message. The phone on the desk began to ring startling him. He continued his walk through. Suddenly his feet slid from beneath him. He steadied himself with one hand before falling completely to the ground. His hand was warm with a sticky substance clinging to his fingers. Blood. Instinct took over. He began to run from the room. He reached the kitchen door, he felt his body fly forward as he tripped over something. Sprawled on the linoleum, he began to get up. He heard footsteps. They stopped in front of him. He looked up into the eyes of Dietz. “Oh. Fuck!”

John Vasquez was angry at Danny. Here they were in San Juan, Michelle was safe and instead of high tailing it out of there, Danny had insisted on a “visit” with his wife. He stormed down the stairs with the three other men. Tucking his gun into his back holster he thought, “Damn this kid! We’re going to all end up dead if I don’t reign him in.” From his pocket he retrieved his phone and dialed Ruben Vega’s number. The phone rang over and over again without an answer. John persisted, refusing to hang up. Ray hadn’t shown up and the only reason John could think of was that he had decided to go to Vega’s place before coming to get Michelle. It was a mistake that only an amateur would make. John regretted having sent Michelle away with Ray. Danny had been adamant about it though. He wanted Michelle with someone he could trust absolutely. Danny also trusted that Ray could and would use his skills to protect Michelle. John wasn’t so sure about that. He arrived at the lower landing with the phone still at his ear. The ringing continued. At the entrance to the building he told one of the men to stand guard inside with instructions to be on the look out for both Ray and Dietz. “Don’t disturb Danny either. Unless it’s necessary.” John was worried. Everything seemed to be going off without a hitch, but something was off. It was too easy. Wait for Dietz and it’s over. John doubted that was the way it would work out. Vega still hadn’t answered his phone. “Okay, let’s go visit Mr. Vega.”

Michelle felt the hot sun on her back as Danny continued the delicious assault with his lips. Her body betrayed her. She felt her arms reach to embrace him as if they didn’t belong to her. Her mind willed her to protest. Stop this. Her body would not cooperate. Danny had taken possession of her, and she knew it was futile. His kisses moved to her neck. As his mouth reached the hollow of her neck he stopped and began to suckle. Her head lolled back as she felt the hot moisture of his mouth working furiously. Her hands nestled in his dark curly hair. She pressed his head closer. She pulled at his shirt wanting to feel his skin.

Danny’s teeth clasped the soft part of her ear. “I want you…I want you so bad.”

Hearing him she felt a flutter low in her belly. “Danny, wait…”

He pulled hard on the straps of her shirt and she felt it tear, the top fell. He hesitated, staring at the pink peak. He looked up at her. Waiting. Slowly he lowered his head and while he looked up at her, he stuck his tongue out and licked, tasting her. “Did I wait long enough?” Then his lips claimed her nipple. She gasped. She held his head as he sucked. Nothing else mattered in the world. Just this feeling. He unbuckled his pants. Her eyes were closed and she felt herself getting wetter as she heard him unzip his pants.

He grabbed her hand. “Touch me.”

“Noooo…come on.”

“I want…I need you to touch me.”, said in a low voice. He brought her hand to his penis. Engorged, filled with desire, it turned her on even more to wrap her hand around him. She rubbed at the tip with her thumb. He bit his lip as he watched her hand. She made a fist around him and slowly pulled down. She brought her hand up again. He was soft, smooth and warm. His eyes closed as he leaned back and let her play with him. She stared at him and then let go. He opened his eyes and smiled. She remained serious. His hand made its way up her thigh. Kissing her, his teeth pulled at her lips. His tongue deep, probing. Deliciously tantalizing. He pulled at her panties. Her body let him do as he want.


“Michelle…” he responded in a sing song voice to match hers. The silk came off her legs and then his fingers were separating the folds of moisture and rubbing her. She moaned. She gripped at his shoulders as first one finger explored and then another. It wasn’t enough. Desperation. “I want you.”, he said with desire.

“You’re going to do what you want…”, she fought him with words.

“No. I’m going to do what you and I want.” He continued touching her.

She fought to gain control. “I want…”, she attempted.

“What? Tell me…”

“I want…I…”

“Say it. Come on, babe, say it.” Her body was flush. Her nipples stood erect and ready for his mouth. Her hips rotated ever so slightly without her direct command.

She was losing control. She loved it. This is so right. “Now…”

“Only if you say it. I’ll stop if that’s what you want.”, his mouth was dry. He could feel how turned on she was. He knew she wanted him, but he needed to hear her admit it.

“You know…”

He began to pull away. She reached around and held his head. Staring into his eyes she said, “I want you…now…Danny, now.”

His mouth claimed her breast as he lifted her from the counter and brought her down on him. With one swift move he was inside her. “uhhhhh…” She wrapped her legs around him and clung to him. He wanted to go slow, savor the beauty of it all, but pleasure so long denied overcame him. He thrust up and into her. Her hips met his. She was tiny, and feather like in his arms as he lifted her off of him and pulled her back down to cover his length. He moved to the sofa and knelt on it laying her down on the soft pillows. She pushed at his shirt wanting it off. He stopped her roaming hands and finished removing it himself. He placed his hand over her mound. His fingers splayed over her stomach as his thumb rubbed at her glistening nub. She closed her eyes and relaxed. He felt for the gun on his leg and removed it from the holster. He thrust into her slowly. Her hips came up to meet him. Her eyes were still shut. Her face a mask of pleasure. He placed the gun behind him. He picked up speed. Moving in and out. Over and over again. Michelle thought she would explode. Every inch of her body was on fire. The feeling centered on her clitoris traveled throughout her body causing her to tremble. The pleasure was so intense that it threatened her grip on reality. She was flying. She was every where. She was home. Danny watched as his penis slipped into her hot folds. His gaze shifted from there to her face. His hand on her stomach he felt himself inside her with each push. When he thought he couldn’t hold out any longer, she came. Her orgasm lifted her off the couch. Mid thrust he stopped and let her move in a frenzied dance against him as he came inside her. Ecstasy. He fell against her burrowing his face in her neck. He kissed her chest. “I missed you so much…”


“Things are going to be okay. I promise.” Her heavy breathing matched his own. He felt the moisture on his cheek and wiped at it. He remained still and let the realization set in. He lifted himself and looked into the crying eyes of his Michelle. “Honey?”, he put his hand to her face to erase the trail of tears, she immediately turned away. “Hey, don’t cry…come on. Everything’s going to be fine.”

Quietly the tears poured down her face. Suddenly she pushed at him causing him to fall off of her. She sat up quickly and reached for the decorative throw to cover herself. He sat on the floor watching her. The tears continued to flow. “Michelle? Sweetie, talk to me.”, He went to hug her. She stood up and stopped him.

“NO!” She ran to the bedroom.

Danny sat down on the sofa and picked up one of the pillows. He exhaled deeply. Threw the pillow across the room. Pulled his pants on and followed her. He found her in the bedroom. She was tugging on a pair of jeans and he watched as she struggled to button them. She was still crying. He stood in the doorway and folded his arms against his bare chest. “You want to tell me what the hell is going on?”


He sighed. “Michelle, would you please talk to me? Come on.”

She ignored him. She went to the dresser and began searching through the drawers. She threw things around and in between wiped at her face. “Just leave.”

He was all out of patience. In a few quick strides he was next to her. Grabbing her arm he pulled her away from the furniture and slammed the drawer shut with a kick of his foot. She tried prying herself free of his grip. He held on tight.

“Leave?”, he asked. Speaking directly to her face which she promptly hung to her chest so she didn’t have to look in his eyes.

“I told you it was over.” she lifted her gaze and looked at him with eyes that brimmed with tears and fury.

“And I told you it wasn’t.”

She pulled on her arm. “Let go of me.”



“You and I are going to talk.”

“There is nothing to talk about. You came and did exactly what I imagined you would and it’s over. OVER!”

“Wait a minute. You are unbelievable,” he let go of her then and she stepped back trying to regain her balance.

“You know there were two of us on that sofa. Two of us! I seem to recall you wanting me as much as I wanted you…What the fuck is going on?”

“I never said I didn’t want what happened to happen. I just have nothing left to say to you. ”

“We have a lot to say.”

“I disagree. Danny, you know this will never work.”, she began packing a suitcase. Pulling things from the closet and tossing them in.

“Well, I disagree with that.”, he walked to her and slammed the suitcase shut. “Could you please stop doing that and just talk to me?”

“Danny, it’s fate. We can’t live with each other.”, she was looking at the clothes hanging in the closet.

“What? Why? You’re not making any sense, Michelle.”

She slowly turned to him and in voice that was filled with sadness and tears she said, “I don’t trust you.”

“Ha! Is this about me sending you here with Ray? Huh? Because you know I did that to keep you safe…and…I would have…”

“Would have told me?”, she finished for him. “No you wouldn’t have. This is you making decisions and taking action without considering anything else but yourself.”

“That’s not true. How can you say that? You’re going to stand there and tell me that wanting to protect you–YOU, Michelle is wrong. Unbelievable.”

“Protecting is one thing. Letting me believe that I was free to leave and adjust to life without you is another. A decision I had taken and you made me think you respected. You did. I got into a car trusting you. And what did I get? I got Ray. Your cousin, the Priest no less, is taking me to parts unknown and I have no say in the matter. I begged you to pick up the phone. I pleaded with you to talk to me then. What did you do? Huh? What did you do Danny?”

He stared at her. “Just as I thought. You have nothing to say now.”, she turned from him and continued packing.

“Why didn’t you mention you were planning on going to Europe? ”

She stood perfectly still then and he walked around to face her.

“I needed to get away from this. All of this craziness. People were dying all around us. I wasn’t about to sit around and watch you die. Especially knowing you were planning someone else’s death.”

“Michelle…I’m not going to die.”

“Danny, to me you were dying a slow death the minute you decided you had to be the one to avenge Pilar’s death. I love you too much to watch you do that to someone. You have no idea…no idea what it’s like.”

“Michelle, I’m not going to kill any body….”

“When I killed your brother, it was a relief. But every night I go to bed knowing that I am a murderer. I killed someone. Oh, I try and rationalize it. It was me or Mick, and I will always choose me, yet a part of me wonders if I could have talked to him. Maybe I could have stopped him another way. Maybe if I’d reasoned with him. In the light of day, I know that I couldn’t have made Mick stop and I know I couldn’t have done things differently. It was an accident. I hit him, so hard… so hard because I was terrified. I killed him. I feel guilt and remorse. Because of me. I took something precious from you. And you have never held that against me. You’ve loved me in spite of it all. I can’t let you do that. I don’t ever want you to feel the way I do. I don’t want you to be torn between satisfaction and guilt. I don’t want that for you and if I can’t stop it from happening to you, then I can’t stay. It would kill me….I love you too much.” The words rushed from her.

“Michelle, Michelle. I love you so much.” he embraced her then. Holding her tight to him he continued, “I’m not going to kill anyone. I thought about it. I planned it. I wanted to. Dietz, he took away everything, everyone I loved and when I knew he was planning on killing you…you, Michelle, well I had to be the one to end it all. She tried turning away from him.

“No listen…you didn’t kill Mick. You didn’t.”

“What? No. I did. I hit him and he died.”

“No honey. Nino, he came to see me after you were gone. He knew everything. Dietz killed Mick. It’s been him all along.”

She began to sob then. He held her up as she crumbled into his arms. “I didn’t…It wasn’t me. Oh my God! Oh my God….Why didn’t you tell me?”, her body shook.

“I wanted to tell you. As soon as I knew, I thought of telling you, but you were safer away from me. I knew that here you were safe and I didn’t want to compromise your safety. Oh baby, I’m so sorry for everything. Everything you’ve been through…”

She extricated herself from his arms and asked him, “You said you weren’t going to kill Dietz. Why? What made you change your mind?”

“John. John did. I was on he plane plotting my revenge. John in one moment changed everything. I had just spoken to Ray and he told me you were here alone and I was so pissed off. Then John told me that everything would be okay. He didn’t look to sure of himself but he convinced me that if you were okay, I was going to have to give up on my vendetta. He then told me something I never knew. John, a long time ago, promised my father that I would never be involved in this side of the business. My father made him promise to keep my hands clean. So John, tells me that if I want you I have to be clean and that he made a promise to my father that he was planning on keeping. I believed him. He was right. So, I handed everything over to him. I don’t want to know how he does it. All I do know is that I want you and I need you. Michelle. I love you. We don’t have to end. Trust me.”

“Trust me…” Two simple words. All Michelle had to do was say yes, and yet she held back. Taking a deep breath, she walked away from Danny. She stood before the bedroom window. The day was coming to an end. The sky was bluer than ever with a tint of red, that promised tomorrow would be another beautiful day. She sighed.

“Michelle?,” he asked tentatively.

She slowly turned to face him and with sadness in her voice said, “I’m sorry…I–Danny, loving you shouldn’t have to be so hard-…” She rushed past him and into the living room.

“Honey-,”he interrupted. He followed her.

“No. Let me finish. I can’t…, ” she tried again. He waited. “I can’t do this anymore. I’m tired, so tired of it all. I don’t want to always be wondering about what you’re thinking or what you are going to do. I can’t. It hurts so much… I have this perpetual ache in my heart. You–you are the one person I thought would complete me. I had this dream that no matter what we could just love each other and the rest would fall into place. I think about how much it meant for me to be able to say that I loved you and then I think about how much it’s cost me–us. Do you realize that there’s rarely been a minute of peace for us? Have you ever sat down to really contemplate our life? It’s magical and wonderful in certain moments and then it’s nightmarish and horrible. That’s the part I can’t do anymore. I don’t want that.”

He sat on the sofa holding his face in his hands. She watched and waited for his interruption. He remained with his face covered.

She continued, “Danny, I can face it now…”

“Why are you doing this?,” he clasped his hands behind his head and leaned back. His tongue clicked against his teeth. “You talk about magical and wonderful…are you saying that is what you expect from us always? Is that the condition? We have to be this perfect couple? That’s not realistic. ”

“No. I don’t want perfect. I want us to be good for each other. I want to be able to come home knowing that its been an average day,” she finished.

“Michelle, stop thinking of reasons we shouldn’t be together. Stop it!,” he yelled as he stood up.

“I can’t!,” she shouted back. “I can’t stop thinking about the things that make us so…so wrong.,” she finished her voice tapering off.

“Wrong? How can you use the words “wrong” and “us” in the same sentence?”

“There’s the secrets and the lies and the fact that you can’t share with me everything that goes on in your life.”

“Michelle. I’ve kept things from you. I admit that. Everything I’ve kept from you has been related to my family. The things that are ugly…the things you shouldn’t have to live with. It might not have been the right thing to do, but how was I supposed to come home to you and tell you these things? I can’t do that to you.”

“Married people don’t lead separate lives. They don’t… ” She said quietly.

“Don’t do this…” He was standing now. His hands on his hips and then he was walking towards her. In front of her he stopped and then one strong hand caressed her face lightly. The sun was now almost completely set the room was dark.

“Danny? Where do you see us going from here? I wonder about that sometimes. I wonder where we’ll be and how we’ll grow and then I see the things happening around us and I see you responding to it all…Your mother, the family, me? How do we fit together in your life?”

He gave a snort and looked away from her. Then he faced her inquisitive brown eyes again. “Michelle, what family? My mother destroyed any semblance of a family I might have had. Before it was about my father and his dreams for all of us. Now…now I don’t know. I hate everything she’s done. I hate that she’s brought all of this…”, he spread his arms out, “ our lives, but then I remember the person she used to be…,” his voice cracked and she saw that his eyes were beginning to brim with tears. “Michelle…,” he whispered. He hugged her to him and inhaled the smell of her hair, pressing kisses to her forehead. She melted into his arms. She felt safe and comforted.

He let out a frustrated sigh and then in a voice that broke her heart said, “You regret us.” Defeat? She choked back the sobs. He let her go then and before she knew it he was tugging on his dark blue shirt and then picking up his wallet from the floor.

“I regret…” She began. He waited. “I….” She tried again.

He stood up straight and stared at the city lights through the sliding glass door of the terrace. His eyes closed. He felt her arms come around him and her cheek pressed to his back. He shook his head slowly. “I regret saying that we are over.” His arms came around behind him to hold her. Her tears soaked through his shirt wetting his back. He turned in her arms and pulled her chin up to stare into her brown eyes.

“I regret allowing us get to this place in our lives.,” He said. They stood in each others arms. Darkness enveloped the room. The sound of glass breaking startled broke the peaceful quiet. He immediately placed his body in front of hers, protecting her.

“What was that?”, she asked fearfully.

“Shhhhhh.” He reached down for his gun and realized the holster was empty. “Shit!,”

“Danny?,” In the darkness he searched the room, seeking the intruder. He looked towards the front door and debated if he should let her out of the apartment. He pulled her close to him and whispered in her ear. “Stay close to me and be quiet.”

“But-” He covered her mouth and gently pulled her along with him towards the sofa. In his mind he calculated how many steps they would have to take to get to the couch. Quietly they moved and then suddenly he felt her being jerked from his arm and Michelle was screaming. He dove for the couch and found his weapon, turning he aimed at the person holding his wife. In the darkness he heard the raspy voice, “Danny boy, you’re too slow.” Dietz was holding a gun to Michelle’s head.

Trust Me Chapter 18

January 23, 2022

Republisher’s Note: This is another rescued story from CountryKays which we very much appreciate. Again, there aren’t any chapters in the way she copies them so the chapter breaks are where I think they make sense and likely differ from those the author used if you find it somewhere else. I also broke up the paragraphs to make them easier to read. I don’t know who the author is. Remember when Michelle started investigating to find out the truth behind Carmen faking the shooting? What if she’d taken it to more of an extreme?

Trust Me Chapter 18

On a plane headed for the Caribbean, Dietz sat in seat 24B, sandwiched between an old lady who had not stopped praying since lift-off and a young woman with a screaming baby on her lap. He thought of his plans. Here I come Michelle…Here I come.

Michelle paced the small room that she had made into her own prison. She wasn’t sure what day it was. It didn’t matter. Life had stopped. Or at least, she felt it had. The low hum of the air conditioner was the only sound she heard. As she looked out the window, the street with colorful buildings beckoned to her. Opening the window she welcomed the hot sun and embraced it. The ocean breeze carried that salty odor that makes your body stretch and relax. The narrow streets bustled with activity, honking horns, the bells of the ice cream vendor. She watched as a young girl with deep brown skin purchased what appeared to be a snow cone. On the corner, a young man sat creating hats out of palm tree leaves. She heard a knock at the door. Turning to the sound she said, “Come i-…” before she caught herself. It was Ray. She frowned.

“Michelle? I’m going out for a bit. Would you like to come?”

She stayed silent.


She stared at the wooden door waiting for him to leave. This self-imposed isolation was her passive protest. Ray was Danny’s accomplice, and immature as it might be, it comforted her knowing that he was worried. He had proved himself to be a Santos. Every time she thought about how easily she had believed Ray would assist her in keeping Danny safe Michelle felt like screaming. How naïve. Count only on yourself…

Ray’s retreating footsteps were loud against the hardwood floors. In her little room with the beautiful view of the fort overlooking San Juan Bay, she thought of all the things she would say to Danny if he would dare to grace her with his presence. “You’re a coward Daniel Santos….a coward.” She spit the words out and immediately regretted them. Her eyes welled with tears and her throat burned. “You loved me….You love me…” The preceding weeks had been a seesaw of emotions for her. In a flash she hated Danny with all her might and then she loved him for wanting to keep her away from all that was ugly in their world. “Why couldn’t you tell me? For the same reasons you didn’t mention your plan to leave Springfield. You didn’t trust him. Danny took control. That’s what bothers you the most… He was one step ahead of you. Stupid…stupid.”

The conversation in her head varied little. Sometimes it ended with her angrier than ever. Filled with rage that reminded her of her first weeks of marriage to Danny. Other times it ended with tears of pity. An overwhelming sadness would envelope her and she’d see herself and Danny as two beings who existed separately from her. Danny and Michelle…the dream. Perfection… Honesty…

Trust… Staring at her reflection in the mirror, Michelle realized she had lost herself. She loved Danny, but he made it impossible for her to love him. Or did he? Angry, yet sad. Lonely for, …his sweet caress. …his deep voice. …him. The quiet and calm Caribbean days were easy to get used to. Too many weeks had gone by without any word from Springfield. She felt restless. Scared. Soon something would happen. She picked up her journal and wrote: Without him I am terrified…

Carmen made her way to Danny’s room. What could she offer as an explanation? Her feet felt like lead as she made her way up the stairs. The moment after Nino had revealed the truth about Dietz and his plan, Carmen knew that her son, her only living son, was lost to her. Danny would blame her. Her slouched body covered the distance of the long hallway leading to the bedroom. She passed the portraits of her babies– Mick. Pilar. Her Danny. She looked into the dark eyes of her child at three years of age and in them she saw that there would be no forgiveness. She stood up straighter. Her head held high she walked to the door and pushed it open. “Daniel?”


“Daniel, what do you plan to do?”


“DANNY! Look at me!”, she demanded. Her voice gave away her feelings of despai

r. He turned to his mother and glared. “Mother why do insist?, spoken quietly. Then a ball of what seemed like fire grew inside him and exploded from his body. “It’s because of you. Your hatred. Your anger. Revenge. They are all GONE! GO-ne…”, he shook his head and hands on his hips, tears in the corner of his eyes, he challenged his mother to answer his accusations.

Carmen walked to her son and placed her hand on his cheek. “Danny, I–Dietz is acting on his own…this is not…”

“Please…leave.”, as he removed her hand from his face and turned away from her. There were no more words. Swept up in a current of despair she realized that Danny had dealt her the final blow. Carmen’s body recoiled from the shock. She was alone.

As the door closed behind his mother’s retreating form. Danny uttered one last sentence to her. It did not matter than she had not heard it. “I’ve learned your lessons well mother.” Picking up the telephone he dialed John’s extension. “John, Is the plane ready?”

“Yeah! I was just making the final arrangements. Danny, let me handle this. You don’t have to go.”, John’s voice reflected the tension of the last hour since Nino’s revelation.

“Make sure the car is ready.”, with that he slammed the phone down.

Dietz walked down the small cobble-stoned street towards the center of the old city. He had never been to Puerto Rico, and he liked what he saw. He’d sat at a little bar on Tanca Street sipping whiskey and realized that what he enjoyed most was that they were not pretentious. The places were there to sell drinks–not ambiance. It suited him. So far his travels had not revealed any new information to him. He’d flashed a few pictures of Michelle in the faces of the unsuspecting street vendors and they immediately responded. No one had seen Michelle, but they were more than willing to help him find his daughter, especially after he’d explained that she had run away with her evil boyfriend. Time was of the essence. Nino had probably already visited Santos. The bartender approached and in heavily accented English gave Dietz the details he needed. As he walked out of the dark bar into the sunlit street he felt giddy…

Ray walked to the terrace doors and made sure they were locked. He closed the shades. The room was dark. Turning the key in the lock he made sure the bolt clicked. He then locked the iron gate that covered the door. The spare keys had been left on the counter for Michelle. Ray didn’t like leaving her alone. He walked down the street lost in his thoughts. The situation with Michelle wasn’t getting any easier. Her continued isolation was nerve racking. Desperate to communicate with her, he was on his way to the Cathedral to speak with Father Antonio. The two Priests had established a friendship. Padre Antonio did not know that Ray was a man of the cloth. In San Juan, Ray was simply a young man on vacation. He wasn’t.

Cathedral entrance. “Sorry. Perdona. Lo siento…”, the words rushed from his mouth. A soft voice giggled and only then did he look into the bluest eyes he had ever seen. Her grinning face was pink from the sun. She had long black hair, that fell straight down her back. She was beautiful.

“No te apures. It’s okay.” , she said.

“Are you okay?”, he asked.

“Of course. Please! Do not worry…”, she replied in slightly accented English.

“I–I should have been looking where I was going. I’m sorry. I’m Ray Santos.”, he held out his hand.

She smiled and placed her soft hand into his, “Isabel.”

Ray held on to her outstretched hand and stared into her eyes. His cellular phone rang disturbing the perfect silence. “Um…Excuse me.”

She smiled and turned her eyes to her book granting him his privacy.

“Yes?”, he spoke quickly into the phone. “You have to leave.”

“What? Why?” he felt his breathing quicken. A feeling of fear enveloped him. He turned to look at Isabel. She had stopped reading and was watching him. He looked away. “Get out of there. Now.”

“Danny, what’s going on?”

“There’s a man on Cristo Street. Ruben Vega. Number two twenty-two. He has everything you’ll need. Go. Now.”

“Okay..okay, ummmm….I’ll get back to the apartment and get Michelle…”

“What do you mean? You’re not with Michelle?”, Danny bellowed into the phone.

“I went out for a bit.”

“You left her alone? What the fuck were you thinking?”

“I’m sorry. I —She’ll be fine. I’m on my way.” He ended the call and ran down the narrow streets, pushing past people.

“I swear, Ray. If anything happens to her…”, Danny thought. I shouldn’t have left her with him. He’s not used to this. Fuck! He had called from the plane numerous times but had been unable to reach Ray. Now that they were finally on the ground it had been too late. Danny knew Ray wasn’t going to make it back to Michelle on time.

John sat in the seat next to him dialing furiously. The phone was picked up immediately. “Victor, we need you to get to the apartment. Now. Dietz is on the move and the target is alone. Unguarded.”

“Okay boss.” John sat back in his seat and doubted they would be there on time. He looked at Danny and saw a broken man. The kid’s not going to make it unless she’s safe, he thought. “Danny, she’ll be okay. We’re almost there.”

Michelle stared at the keys on the table and considered her choices. She wanted the freedom the keys represented, but was afraid of the consequences. She had absolutely no information about Danny…or Dietz. Was Dietz close by? Would she put herself in more danger? Her stomach felt queasy. Decisions…Make up your mind. Ray had given her the perfect opportunity. She knew she had to decide. Feeling dizzy she sat down and tried collecting her thoughts. You can make it to Europe if you’re smart. Danny won’t let anything happen to you…if only I had…no time for that. What you could have or didn’t do isn’t important now. Decide! She ran to the room and threw a change of clothes in her bag. “Money….you need money.” In her purse she found two hundred dollars and her credit cards. All had the name Michelle Santos printed on them. “They’ll do.” She grabbed the keys and headed for the door. “I can at least get out of here. Away. I need to get away….” She unbolted the gate and headed down the dark staircase. The door to the building flew open and she gasped. “Ohhhh!”

Josh Lewis and Ashland Locke

January 21, 2022

The Character of Ashland Locke

The character of Ashland Locke on The Young and the Restless come on The Young and the Restless with a BANG! Here was a businessman who single handedly shut down Jabot’s operations across the country for a couple of weeks. (If you don’t watch Y&R, Jabot is the Abbott family business and a big deal there in Geona City.) We were promised that this was someone who could not only take on with a chance of winning Jack Abbott (current head of Jabot), but also Victor Newman (think a more ruthless version of Alan Spaulding). Sadly this throughline hasn’t really played out. Instead he’s now married to Victoria Newman (Victor’s daughter) and instead of running a multimillion dollar empire, he’s happily bringing Victoria coffee. (Literally. That’s what he did this week, he brought coffee to his wife’s office.)

Originated the Role

Richard Burgi originated the role. Most recently Burgi appeared on General Hospital in a longtime role as a former husband of Tracy Quartermaine, Paul Hornsby. He’s best known for playing the hero of the primetime show The Sentinel. It’s a fantasy buddy cop show comedy. If that sounds great. It’s because it is. I highly recommend it.

According to Burgi, he was fired because he is unvaccinated and returned to work on the set only 5 days after his exposure as the CDC now recommends, not the 10 days that is CBS soap policy. CBS hasn’t responded and online speculation finds it odd that if it was just a misunderstanding that it was worth firing Burgi, who was popular despite the lack of throughline. However, with only Burgi’s word on the subject that’s what we know about why he’s out.

Burgi reported on Instagram, “I respect the show’s decision. They’re doing the best they can. We all are. I truly wish the gentleman coming in to play Ashland a wonderful time. It’s an amazing show. I have nothing but good memories.”

Source of the quote:

Robert Newman Is the New Ashland on THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS!

Robert Newman Comes To Town

So with the actor gone what will become of Ashland. Well, frankly I thought maybe they were going to have the terminal cancer which has been killing him for the past few months would kill him off. Afterall, as much as I like the actor, he doesn’t have a throughline and how long can he hang around town getting Victoria coffee and telling her how perfect she is? (She totally isn’t.)

Instead in February Robert Newman will take over the role. I’m very glad to have a Guiding Light face come to Geona City. I hope they will take this recasting as a chance to really define the character. If they don’t, I’m not sure how long Newman will remain on the show, but we wish and hope for the best.

Robansuefarm is the handle of one of Manny and Guiding Light‘s biggest fans following in her family’s footsteps of Guiding Light fandom since 1939. This blog is an effort to make it easy to find Guiding Light and especially Manny online. Check back here for her blog, find fanfic previews and fake WSPR newscasts on her YouTube, find podcasts that look back to old shows and audios of her fanfics on Blog Talk Radio, and finally follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Trust Me Chapter 17

January 21, 2022

Republisher’s Note: This is another rescued story from CountryKays which we very much appreciate. Again, there aren’t any chapters in the way she copies them so the chapter breaks are where I think they make sense and likely differ from those the author used if you find it somewhere else. I also broke up the paragraphs to make them easier to read. I don’t know who the author is. Remember when Michelle started investigating to find out the truth behind Carmen faking the shooting? What if she’d taken it to more of an extreme?

Trust Me Chapter 17

Danny walked through the garden of his home.

He stared at the pile of leaves on the ground. He thought about his sister. Closing his eyes he could see her playing on the swings that had stood in this spot years ago. Pilar, lost to the senseless violence his family name represented…

“Danny, higher! Push me higher!” , she squealed with glee.

Moving on, he caught a glimpse of his brother Mick running through the trees…

“Bang! Bang! I got you Danny. I got you!”

A fitting memory…

Reaching the rose garden he remembered…

Music played softly and his parents danced in the moonlight. It was late. He was supposed to be in bed, but he was mesmerized watching his mother and father move together. His mothers smile…Happiness.

He found himself by the pool. He stood on the terrace and smiled. Michelle wrapped in his arms after a midnight swim…

“Danny, I love you. I’ll always love you.”

The memory of her soft touch was vivid. It amazed him that four weeks had passed without seeing her, or hearing her voice. Danny had not dared call Ray. The one thing keeping him from placing the phone call was the knowledge that in a heartbeat he would go to her. He couldn’t face her now. The look of disappointment on her face was far more painful than any look of anger she could cast his way. Dealing with Michelle’s anger was easier.

Michelle would never trust him again. She would never again willingly place her life in his hands. The decision to do so had come easy when he thought of her alive and well. Safe. That was all that mattered. His wife, his love, his Michelle would not be harmed by anything having to do with his familial connections.

Who are you kidding? She’s been done far more damage by you. You violated her trust. She believed in you. Michelle believed in you…

He stood up and walked back to the house. John rushed to meet him.

“Nino’s here. He says he has information. I think you’d better talk to him.”

Danny walked into his office and faced the man who had almost killed them all.

“Nino. What do you know?”

“Danny, Danny, always so straight forward. Hello”, he reached out his hand.

“Nino. I don’t have time for this.” , Danny ignored the outstretched hand.

“Santos, you better watch your back . Actually you better watch your wife’s back.”, said with contempt. He spat the words at Danny. Hating Danny’s condescending behavior.

Danny had felt his blood boil. Finding it difficult to hold back his anger, he flung Nino across the room and pinned him against the wall, “What do you know about my wife?”

“Let’s just say that a certain someone, knows about the island retreat. He’s headed that way.” He laughed then.

“Where is he Nino?”

Nino smirked.

“I’m gonna kill you.” Then he punched Nino in the stomach.

Crumbling to the floor, clutching his gut, Nino tried fighting back. Danny continued his assault. His fists flew in fury. In a fog, he heard the yells of John and the others.

John was finally able to intervene and separate them. Helping Nino to his feet he said, “Nino, Danny’s obviously not in the mood for your little game. What do you want?”

“Fuck you! Your wife’s as good as dead Santos.”, said through a mouth full of blood and chipped teeth.

“You’re dead!” Danny rushed him again.

A voice thundered through the room.


“Mama stay out of this! Jimmy give me your gun.”

Jimmy hesitated.

“Danny, come on. You don’t want to do that. Let me take care of this…”, John tried bargaining with him. In his mind he remembered his promise to Danny’s father…I won’t let him do this.

“Daniel, I demand to know what he is doing here!, Carmen shouted.

“Jimmy give me the GUN!”, he strode towards Jimmy who held the weapon in his hands.

“Carmen…help me.”, Nino pleaded.

“Danny stop this!”, she stood in front of Nino blocking Danny’s aim. “Put down that gun! Put it down!”

“Get out of my way mother!”, his hand remained steady. If the gun was fired, the resulting bullet would strike Carmen directly in the face.

“Put it down, Daniel. You can’t do this…I don’t want you…”

Danny began to laugh.

“This is just perfect…ha ha…You–You..” he waved the gun at his mother, “You don’t want me to shoot.”

“Danny-I…”, Danny turned away from her. “Nino speak.”, she composed herself.

“Carmen, I’m here to help. I know where Dietz is.”

“So he says…”, Danny interjected.

“No, Daniel, let him speak. I want to hear this.”

Nino then explained all he knew. “…Dietz is going to kill Michelle. Then he’s going to come after Danny…All for you Carmen. It’s all for you…”

On that note Danny stared at his mother. His eyes bore into her soul. Carmen turned her eyes downward unable to meet his gaze. She looked up only when she heard the door to the room close.

Danny was gone.

She walked to Nino. “You’re father will be told of this. Out of respect for him, I’m going to allow him to deal with you. I can’t offer you protection. I won’t.” Turning to John she said, “Get him out of my house.”

Sex and the Married Woman by Jan

January 20, 2022

To make it easier to direct people to this story I wanted to put all the chapter links in a single post, in other words do a link roundup. This story is in the general alternative universe fanfic category.

Michelle Kisses Danny after he confronts her over Mrs. Silva

“Sex and the Married Woman” – Early on in the marriage, Michelle had suggested a courtship. Danny comes up with an idea for them to meet as “strangers” in a bar and see where it takes them. It takes them to a very steamy consummation scene. 😉

Sex and the Married Woman

Sex and the Married Woman by Jan Chapter 1

Sex and the Married Woman by Jan Chapter 2

Sex and the Married Woman by Jan Chapter 3

Sex and the Married Woman Chapter 4 by Jan

Archived Links

Trust Me Chapter 16

January 20, 2022

Republisher’s Note: This is another rescued story from CountryKays which we very much appreciate. Again, there aren’t any chapters in the way she copies them so the chapter breaks are where I think they make sense and likely differ from those the author used if you find it somewhere else. I also broke up the paragraphs to make them easier to read. I don’t know who the author is. Remember when Michelle started investigating to find out the truth behind Carmen faking the shooting? What if she’d taken it to more of an extreme? – They make love in this chapter.

Trust Me Chapter 16

One month later…

Dietz paced back in forth in front of the public telephone outside the motel. He was getting restless. He had learned to be patient through his long years of working in the organization. Sometimes it was best to wait for things to come to you. If things went well, Nino would have the information he needed and then he could move on. Carmen was ever present in his mind. He longed to prove to her his love and loyalty.

“Damn it Nino.”, he muttered, blowing into his hands, trying to find some warmth. The weather had turned for the worse.

A car passed by slowly and Dietz hung his head into the lapel of his rain coat. He knew he had little time left. He had to move. He had no doubts Nino would come through for him. If he wanted to live, that phone would be ringing and soon.

The shrill ringing of the phone caused him to jump. He reached for the receiver and barked, “What do you have?”

“Dietz, anxious are we?” Nino was being cocky.

“Give me the information Nino.”, he said curtly. At one point in time, Dietz had taken orders from Nino. He relished knowing that he was in control now and that Nino was simply his lackey.

“Dietz, rule number one, don’t rush things.”

“Nino, I got a little envelope here, ya know, it contains these great pictures of you and Mario Triconi doing some business. Now wouldn’t your dear Papa love to see you and Triconi exchanging money? I think he’d love the picture of you carrying those bundles too. My personal favorite sequence of photographs are of you sticking your pinky in that bag, immediately followed by the one of you stickin’ that finger in your nose…Give me the fuckin’ information, now.”

Nino brought his legs down from the top of his fathers desk. He licked at his lips and ran a hand through his hair. His father would never let the drug involvement go. Nino knew he’d be dead, if his father knew. It was an old family tradition; lie, cheat, steal, kill, but never bring drugs into the family. His Uncle Leo had been the first to break the family rule. He hadn’t lived long enough to explain.

He hissed into the phone, “I’ve got what you wanted, but…”

“But nothin’, Nino…”, This kid was getting on his nerves.

“Dietz, I want those pictures and the negatives.”

“Come through for me and maybe we can work something out.”

“Listen, the stuff I got came from one of our servants, Sofia. She’s friends with Pura. According to Sofia, Pura is in love with Danny and she’s always hanging around him…” Nino got a lot of his information from Sofia. She knew someone in every household. It had been a lucrative “relationship”. Sofia willingly gave up what she knew every time Nino needed. In the process he got laid and Sofia thought of herself as the luckiest girl in the house.

“Get on with it.” Damn! He could care less about the soap opera life of Pura Sanchez, one of the maids at the mansion.

“Anyway, Pura says Michelle is with Ray. Danny’s been on a rampage. He’s, in her words, “very angry.” Pura over heard Danny talking to Father Ray about taking Michelle to Puerto Rico. Apparently Ray has some connections there through the Church.

“So they’re in Puerto Rico in some convent or something?” Dietz questioned.

“No man! The idea is for them to stay in an apartment in Old San Juan. Ray is watching over her.

“You done good, Nino.” He hung up the phone before Nino could respond.

“DIETZ!” He flung the phone across the room. Sweat covered his brow. He needed those pictures. “Think Nino, Think!” Suddenly he knew what to do. Two could play the same game.

Ray stared out the window into the deep dark blue of the ocean. He felt the warm tropical breeze settle around his body. The moonlit waters were calm.


He exhaled deeply and wondered about Michelle. She had not uttered one word to him since their meeting in the car. They had rode in complete silence to the airport. She had boarded the private plane without questioning their destination. Upon arrival at the house she had stared at her new surroundings with a haunted look that had made him feel uncomfortable causing him look away.

On occasion he caught glimpses of Michelle walking through the house. If it hadn’t been for the brief communications he had with Rosario, the young girl who cooked and cleaned, Ray would have believed he was alone. Rosario assured him that Michelle was eating, though not a lot. She told him, “Mrs. Santos seems very sad…she reads and writes in a book…” . If it weren’t for those daily reports Ray would have broken the door down.

He had tried to get Michelle to open up to him. He’d begged through the closed door for her to let him explain. He eventually yelled at her for being so stubborn. And still there was nothing. Michelle had chosen to leave him out. He felt like a traitor. He knew she felt betrayed by him. What was he to do? How could he not do what his cousin requested? How could he not protect her?

There had been no communication from Danny either. The phone lines had remained quiet. Ray hadn’t expected him to call. Those minutes in the car while Michelle pleaded for her husband to answer the phone without success had convinced Ray that Danny would not be in contact. Danny had shut him out as well.

“Maybe it’s better that way. God give them the strength to find their way back to each other…”

The waves crashed against the shore.


“Definition of ‘Star-Crossed Lovers'” Essay 40

January 19, 2022

Republisher’s Note: Republishing another one of the essays from Rustle of the Sheets. This essay is reflecting a spoiler with producer Paul Rauch in Soap Opera Digest. Sadly Soap Opera Digest is now the only soap opera focused magazine as Soaps in Depth has turned entirely to only being a website. Every season they ask the head of each soap either producer or head writer to give the magazines hints about what was coming up this must be for spring/summer 1999.

From The Rustle of the Sheets


Essay #40

“Definition of ‘Star-Crossed Lovers'”
(Regarding Paul Rauch’s description of Danny and Michelle) By Tracee — posted on the Mannyac Board.

After much balking about the term “star crossed lovers,” I re-read Danny’s vows and found the definition that Mr. Rauch was probably intending, all along …

“But by divine Providence, or Fate, or just plain luck, we were thrown together.”

I think the key to being a star-crossed lover (in the soap sense) is that there is a divine Providence or Fate that guides your relationship, that something is “written in the stars,” something other worldly that you have little control over, though circumstances test Providence and Fate. I don’t think Rauch intended anything harmful by using the term, it’s just another one, along the lines of “supercouple.”

I think it’s years of watching soaps, for many viewers that prejudice them against the literal term “star crossed lovers.” But by and large having the Executive Producer of your soap declare your favorite couple “classic star-crossed lovers” is a coup, that some fans of couples could only dream about (notice we’re not discussing Michelle and Jesse or Drew and Jesse as the star-crossed couple). So barring the negative implications of what being “star-crossed” or more likely at cross purposes with mixed communication more often than not, means, there are some positive aspects of being labeled with this term.

1. In one single sentence Manny has just been declared Guiding Light‘s long term story. So despite anything in between, we now know with certainty that all stories involving Manny are ultimately destined to strengthen Manny, and to give them story to play off. I think it’s safe to say that Manny will endure long after TWV is officially declared braindead and Drew screeches her way to popping a lung out over such a tragedy.

2. Sort of tied with the first thing, but now we know that no matter how sad or particularly aggravating some unfortunate “tests” of their relationship will be, ultimately Manny will prosper and survive and ultimately Manny are still working toward the common goal of being in love and being happy. It’s easier thought about in the abstract, than it is in dealing with reality of sucky storylines, at times, but at least we know which couple we should be rooting for.

3. We’ve had little hints all along about just how seriously invested in Manny, TPTB are. We’ve seen them have a beautiful wedding covered by a national magazine, at great expense to production costs and publicity. We’ve seen them given their own theme music, which tells us just how much thought, time and creativity has gone into creating a tone for Manny, something we can hear and automatically just feel what Manny is about. We’ve seen Michelle and Jesse scenes rationed off until they were almost non-existent, and now only serve as a plot device for Manny. We’ve seen them hire actors to portray the Santos family in order to establish them as a major new force in Springfield, giving Danny some much needed history and background (which Michelle already had).

We’ve seen sets built, that aren’t communal, but for Manny and Manny alone, again at great expense. We’ve seen covers of magazines, photo shoots, general magazine publicity, etc. — all of which led up to the final declaration of the “star-crossed lovers.” We weren’t imagining it all along, there really was a sense of building something beautiful in this couple, with writing, acting, story, money, music, set decoration. Now tell me what we got for Drew and Danny, Michelle and Jesse or Drew and Jesse that could even compare to a scintilla of what Manny got. Now we don’t have to wonder if we just imagined it all. It really was happening.

4. Star-crossed lovers are popular couples, period. They’re not studio manufactured couples that TPTB want you to like, they’re couples who have the backing necessary for all the fuss made over them. Polls schmolls, Michelle and Jesse fans, who cares, sudden Drew and Danny fans even more laughable. Manny is popular enough on their own to warrant the star-crossed lovers label. Not even Michelle’s mother’s heart beating in TWV’s chest, can compare the Providence and Fate of one singular act of defense that led to Manny.

5. Planets are forever, stars crossed are pretty much set in stone as well. Long though it may be, painful though it may be, aggravating though it may be, the conclusion is still the same when it’s written in the stars. And that’s a very good thing indeed.

So by divine Providence or Fate, Manny has become “star crossed,” be it for good or for bad. I guess I’ll just choose the good and try to block out the bad.


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