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Keeping Up With the Deverauxes
By Jennifer-Lynn D'Anna
Episode 17

It is a few hours later. Jack, Jennifer, and Hope are seated on the plane. Jack is sitting in the window seat, Jennifer is in the middle, and Hope is sitting in the aisle seat. Jack is fiddling away on his laptop and has headphones on. He is working intently and chewing a pencil. Hope is looking at him strangely.

HOPE: (GLANCING AT JACK) You know, Jenn, I really don't know how you did it.

JENNIFER: (LOOKING UP FROM HER MAGAZINE) Did what, Hope?

HOPE: (NUDGING HER TO LOOK AT JACK) Stayed married to him as long as you did.

JENNIFER: (LOOKING AT JACK AND SMILING A LITTLE. HE IS OBLIVIOUS TO THE FACT THAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT HIM) The sad part is I once found him endearing.

HOPE: (SHAKING HER HEAD) What's he doing anyway?

JENNIFER: Twenty-to-one, he's day-trading. That, or working on a budget.

HOPE: He's really into making money, isn't he?

JENNIFER: Always has been, Hope. Always has been. (SHE GLANCES BACK TO JACK, WHO IS STILL TYPING AWAY)

(JUST THEN THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT COMES OVER WITH THE BEVERAGE CART)

FLIGHT ATTENDANT: Can I get you ladies and gentleman (SHE LOOKS OVER AT JACK WHO DOESN'T EVEN REALIZE SHE IS THERE) something?

HOPE: That sounds great. I'll have a glass of white wine.

JENNIFER: Make that two.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT: And for the gentleman? (SHE LOOKS AT JACK)

JENNIFER: (LOOKING AT JACK, WHO IS NOT RESPONDING) Actually, could you bring him a martini, straight-up. Oh, and could you put two olives in that for him?

FLIGHT ATTENDANT: (NODDING) Two olives. I'll be back in a moment with your order. (SHE LEAVES)

HOPE: (LOOKING AT JENNIFER SMUGLY) Uh-huh.

JENNIFER: (EYES WIDENING AT HOPE'S COMMENT) Uh-huh?

HOPE: (SETTLING BACK INTO HER SEAT AND OPENING HER MAGAZINE) Ordering for Jack now, I see.

JENNIFER: Hope, there is nothing odd about me ordering for Jack. Along with learning and living with his quirks, I learned what he drinks.

HOPE: Whatever you say, Jenn, whatever you say. (SHE SMILES AND STARTS TO READ HER MAGAZINE)

(JENNIFER OPENS HER MOUTH WIDE AND GOES TO SAY SOMETHING BUT DECIDES NOT TO. INSTEAD SHE SITS BACK IN HER SEAT AND READS HER MAGAZINE. SHE IS ANNOYED AT HOPE'S INSINUATION, BUT SHE CANNOT HELP GLANCING OVER AT JACK, WHO IS HARD AT WORK. SHE GLANCES OVER THREE TIMES BEFORE GETTING A REACTION. ON THE THIRD GLANCE, JACK LOOKS UP SLIGHTLY AND SMILES NERVOUSLY AT HER AND WAVES. SHE SCRUNCHES UP HER NOSE AND WAVES BACK AND THEN SETTLES BACK INTO HER SEAT. SHE IS WONDERING WHY HE STILL GETS TO HER)


SCENE 2: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT BRINGS BACK THEIR DRINKS.

(HOPE AND JENNIFER ARE STILL READING THEIR MAGAZINES AND JACK IS POUNDING AWAY AT THE COMPUTER. JENNIFER CANNOT HELP BUT LOOK OVER AT JACK. HOPE CANNOT HELP BUT SMILE AT THE WAY JENNIFER IS LOOKING AT JACK.)

FLIGHT ATTENDANT: Here you go. (SHE HANDS HOPE AND JENNIFER THEIR DRINKS) What shall I do with the gentleman's drink?

JENNIFER: (LOOKING OVER AT JACK WHO IS STILL OBLIVIOUS AND THEN BACK TO THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT) You can give it to me. You have to excuse the gentleman. He's not very social today.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT: (HANDING JENNIFER JACK'S MARTINI) That's a shame.

(JENNIFER LOOKS AT HER ODDLY)

FLIGHT ATTENDANT: (NOTICING JENNIFER'S LOOK) I'm sorry. Are you two together? I just assumed since he wasn't wearing a ring.

(HOPE LOOKS AT JENNIFER, WHO IS OBVIOUSLY JEALOUS)

JENNIFER: (COVERING) Together? Us? No, no...not together..not anymore at least.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT: (SMILING) Good. Since you two are not together, would you mind giving him my number (SHE WRITES DOWN HER NUMBER ON HER ORDER PAD AND THEN HANDS IT TO JENNIFER). I'm based in Salem most of the time. (COOING) I bet I could get his attention away from that computer (SHE NODS TOWARDS THE LAPTOP). He really is quite the looker.

JENNIFER: (SMILING WIDELY. SHE IS SEETHING AND TRYING TO REMAIN CALM) Quite. (TO HOPE) Hope, did you want anything else?

HOPE: (LETTING OUT A BIG BREATH, KNOWING THAT JENNIFER IS UPSET) No. No, I think we're done here.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT: (NOTICING THE TENSION) Okay. I'll be over there if you need me (GESTURING TOWARDS THE BACK OF THE PLANE AND WALKING OFF)

JENNIFER: (MOCKINGLY) If I need you...(SHE LOOKS DOWN AT THE NUMBER AND BALLS IT UP)

(HOPE IS AMUSED AT ALL THIS)

HOPE: Jenn, aren't you going to give that number to Jack? It could be your ticket out of that house. Maybe if Jack were to find an attractive woman to settle down with...

JENNIFER: (LOOKING AT HOPE ANNOYED) Attractive? You thought she was attractive?

HOPE: (SMILING) I can't believe this. You are jealous.

JENNIFER: I am not.

HOPE: (SMILING) Yes, you are. You are greener than grass right now, Jenn. Jealous over another woman's interest in your ex-husband.

JENNIFER: I am not. Oooh. (LOOKING AT JACK AND THEN BACK TO HOPE) I am anything but jealous, Hope. This is going to be the longest flight ever. Now, if you'll excuse me (SHE PICKS UP JACK'S MARTINI AND SLAMS IT ON HIS TRAY NEXT TO HIS LAPTOP, CAUSING HIM TO JUMP AND WONDER WHAT'S GOING ON. SHE THEN HANDS HOPE HER DRINK AND TAKES OFF TO THE LADIES' ROOM)


SCENE 3:

JACK: (TAKING OFF HIS HEADPHONES AND LOOKING AT HOPE) Tell me I didn't do that.

HOPE: (A LITTLE SURPRISED AT JENNIFER'S REACTION) No, not purposely, anyway.

JACK: (NERVOUS BECAUSE HE DOESN'T LIKE BEING ALONE WITH HOPE) Hehehe. (BEAT) Long flight, huh? (HE SIPS HIS DRINK)

HOPE: Jack, you don't have to make small talk. I don't hate you.

JACK: One can never be too safe or too sorry. At least with the Horton crowd.

HOPE: Jack, please don't judge me by the actions of my sister. Julie is not a reflection of how I feel.

JACK: Okay, the bitter greeting I got from your half-sister-slash-stepmother aside, how do you feel about me?

HOPE: (SETTING JENNIFER'S DRINK DOWN ON HER TRAY) Well, I certainly don't hate you. I don't like what you made my cousin feel, though.

JACK: And how was that?

HOPE: How was what?

JACK: How did I make your cousin-Jennifer-feel?

HOPE: You honestly don't know, do you?

JACK: If I knew, I wouldn't be asking. Truth is, I'm actually grasping at straws here. One minute we were fine in Africa. I'd come home and we'd laugh and play with Abigail, and then one day she was gone.

HOPE: From what I understand, Jack, it was you that were gone all the time.

JACK: Hehehehe. For good reason, I assure you.

HOPE: What reason is good enough that you leave your wife and young daughter alone for months at a time?

JACK: The reason...the reason is...I'm not going to tell you. It was very important, though...trust me.

HOPE: (INTRIGUED BY JACK'S RESPONSE) Jack, Jennifer trusted you. She trusted you to come home and be with her and Abby every night. She trusted you to tell her, to show her, that she was needed.

JACK: Do you think I liked being gone? Do you think I wanted to be away from them? Do you?

(HOPE IS SURPRISED TO SEE THIS ANGRY, PASSIONATE SIDE OF JACK. SHE KNOWS THAT HE IS TELLING THE TRUTH)

HOPE: Jack-

JACK: (NOT HEARING HER. HE IS NOW FACING THE BACK OF THE SEAT IN FRONT OF HIM, RANTING) You know I thought I could do it. I thought that if I went away that Jennifer would be there when I got back. I was wrong. I don't really blame her, though. I mean, how many times did I leave her in the past? I just thought it would be different this time. We had it all-a nice home, fairly stable income, Abigail was healthy. We even had friends. She seemed to spend a lot of time with them. There was that Mary lady, the teacher from Chicago, they enjoyed each other's company, Eve and Francoise would visit from time to time, and then there was that guy friend of hers, the one that worked with her father, she liked helping him out. What was his name? Corbin? (HE RUBS HIS CHIN) Carlin? No. Colin. That's it.

(HOPES EYES FLY OPEN AT THIS)

Colin, she liked helping him out with his work. Point is, she seemed happy. And then I go off and screw it up. I thought if I can do this one last thing, do this one last job, I would come home and that would be it. I would just settle down and Jennifer and Abigail and I would be the ideal family. Well, what do you know? Too little too late. I should've known better. Jack Deveraux, the guy who screws up everything.

(HE FINISHES OFF HIS DRINK IN ONE GULP AND TURNS TO LOOK AT HOPE)

(HOPE JUST LOOKS AT JACK SADLY. SHE KNOWS THAT IT WOULD KILL HIM IF SHE KNEW ABOUT JENNIFER AND COLIN. SHE ALSO BELIEVES THAT HE REALLY WAS GOING TO CHANGE AFTER HIS LAST JAUNT)


SCENE 4:

JACK: (LOOKING AT HOPE) I'm sorry. I didn't mean to go on like that.

HOPE: It's alright, Jack. You've been keeping it in for awhile.

JACK: (SARCASTICALLY) Could you tell?

HOPE: (SMILING) A little (SHE HOLDS HER FINGERS UP TO SHOW A LITTLE).

JACK: (SMILING BACK) Hehe. It's crazy. I know I screwed up, but I was not alone here.

HOPE: I never said Jenn was without fault, Jack.

JACK: Good. That's the most reasonable thing a member of the Horton clan said to me in a long time, sans Grandma H., or course.

HOPE: I'll take that as a thank you. (BEAT) You're welcome, Jack. (BEAT) So you and Jenn had quite a few friends in Africa, huh?

JACK: They were more of Jennifer's friends, but yes.

HOPE: That's good. I was worried that you two would be all by your lonesome out there. And a guy friend, Jack? I'm proud of you.

JACK: You should be. I was never one to bond with the fellows. I always think back to that hackneyed baby shower that the Brady gentlemen threw me. (HE SHIVERS AT THE THOUGHT OF IT) But Colin, (TO HIMSELF) it was Colin wasn't it? Yes, Colin, I liked him. He was smart, but not smarter than I, funny, but not as funny as I,and he did seem to care a great deal about Abigail and Jennifer.

HOPE: (INTRIGUED) And this didn't bother you?

JACK: I'd be lying if I say it didn't at first. But after awhile, though, it didn't. It was weird. I kind of equated him with Steve. I mean, I'd bounce ideas off of him, and stuff.

HOPE: (A LITTLE WORRIED THAT JACK WAS CLOSE TO COLIN) So you thought of him as a brother?

JACK: In some ways, yes. In fact, when I went away that last time, he assured me that he would look after Jennifer and Abigail. (BEAT) I guess Jennifer was too much of a force to be reckoned with. You know how she is when she makes up her mind to do something. Unfortunately for me this time, that something was leaving me.

HOPE: And you never saw Colin again?

JACK: No, no. Actually, I saw him when I got back from my excursion. He was working with Bill, like always.

HOPE: (CONFUSED) He was?

JACK: (NARROWING HIS EYES AT HOPE. HE IS NOTICING JUST HOW MUCH SHE IS ASKING ABOUT COLIN) Hey, why do you want to know so much about Dr. Colin Murphy?

(HOPE JUST SITS THERE SPEECHLESS AND WORRIED)


SCENE 5:

HOPE: (COVERING) Interested? Really, I'm not. I just found it interesting that you, Jack Deveraux, would have a male bonding moment. You always seemed kind of affeminent to me.

JACK: (ANNOYED AT THIS COMMENT) Hey! So I know a few things about good wine and literature and not football, and baseball and RBA's--

HOPE: RBI's, Jack.

JACK: That's what I meant. I am all man, here, I'll have you know. (HE GOES TO TAKE A SIP OF HIS MARTINI AND THEN REALIZES NOT ONLY IS IT EMPTY, BUT IT REALLY IS NOT A MANLY DRINK. HE CALLS OUT TO A FLIGHT ATTENDENT WHO IS PASSING BY) Can I get a brewskie over here? (HE NERVOUSLY SETS HIS EMPTY GLASS DOWN)

HOPE: Jack, I'm not saying that it's a bad thing. Not everyone has to drink beer and know a sport to be manly.

JACK: (MEEKLY) I could tell you about golf or maybe polo.

HOPE: Jack, it doesn't matter to me what you like. It mattered to Jennifer.

JACK: So you're saying that it doesn't matter that I'm not Bo Brady, He-man, the Master of the Universe (HE GRUNTS AND FLEXES HIS BICEPS)?

HOPE: (LAUGHING) No, it doesn't. And Bo is not like that. He is a really sweet man when he wants to be.

JACK: A really sweet man that just happens to have pure testosterone running through his veins.

(THEY BOTH LAUGH AND JENNIFER COMES BACK)

JENNIFER: (SMILING ODDLY) What's so funny?

HOPE: Nothing. Nothing. (SHE LOOKS AT JACK WHO MAKES ANOTHER BICEP FLEX AND LAUGHS EVEN HARDER)

JACK: We were just talking (HE GIGGLES) talking (GIGGLES) about muscle men and the women who love them.

(HOPE GUFFAWS AND LAUGHS EVEN HARDER. SHE IS WIPING HER EYES IT IS SO FUNNY. JACK IS TRYING TO STOP LAUGHING)

JENNIFER: (LOOKING AT THEM AND FINDING THE SITUATION VERY ODD) Okay. (SHE STEPS OVER HOPE AND SITS DOWN)

JACK: (FINALLY STOPPING LAUGHING) No, we were talking about our friends in Africa.

HOPE: (CHANGING THE SUBJECT FROM COLIN) Jack was just telling me that Frankie and Eve visited a few times.

JENNIFER: Yeah, they did. I can't believe that they are still together. (SHE SIPS HER DRINK)

JACK: Yes, I really didn't give them very long myself. I mean after all, it was Bundt Cake that he fell in love with.

(JENNIFER SMILES AT THIS REFERENCE)

JENNIFER: Did you tell her about the time that we took Eve to the tarpits? Hope, it was sooo funny.

HOPE: What happened?

JACK: Well, Francoise and Eve had come over to visit and we decided...

(THE SCENE ENDS WITH JACK LEANING IN ACROSS JENNIFER AND JENNIFER AND JACK TELLING HOPE THE STORY. THEY KEEP INTERRUPTING EACH OTHER AND LAUGHING LIKE OLD TIMES. WHEN THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT BRINGS JACK'S BEER, HOPE AND JACK STIFLE THEIR LAUGHTER)


SCENE 6:

(IT IS SOME TIME LATER. JACK HAS FALLEN ASLEEP AND IS COVERED BY AN AIRPLANE BLANKET. HE IS LEANING HIS HEAD AGAINST THE WINDOW. JENNIFER AND HOPE ARE STILL AWAKE AND ARE PLAYING RUMMY)

JENNIFER: Hope, have you thought about what you're going to tell Bo when you see him in Ireland?

HOPE: I'll think of something. I always do. (SHE PUTS A CARD DOWN)

JENNIFER: But he's going to be mad, isn't he? (SHE PUTS A CARD DOWN)

HOPE: He cannot honestly expect me to sit at home and not do anything. He'll be mad, but he'll get over it. (SHE PUTS ANOTHER CARD DOWN)

(A FEW SECONDS OF SILENCE PASS)

JENNIFER: I'm sorry about earlier.

HOPE: About earlier? (SHE PUTS DOWN HER LAST CARD) Rummy.

JENNIFER: (PICKING UP THE CARDS AND SHUFFLING) Yeah. I didn't mean to blow up at you. I'm just so confused.

HOPE: Don't worry about it.(SHE CUTS THE CARDS) I tell you, though, you're not the only one who is confused (SHE COCKS HER HEAD TOWARDS JACK).

JENNIFER: (LOOKS BACK AT JACK AND THEN BEGINS TO DEAL) Jack? What about Jack?

HOPE: (LOWERING HER VOICE) Jenn, you didn't tell me that Jack knew Colin.

JENNIFER: (LOOKING WORRIED) What happened, Hope? Did he tell you that he suspects something?

HOPE: (PICKING UP HER HAND AND LOOKING AT IT) Calm down. No, he doesn't know anything. I just think you're playing with fire.

JENNIFER: How, Hope? (SHE PICKS UP HER HAND)

HOPE: How? Jenn, they knew each other. It's bound to come out. It's better if it comes from you. Don't hurt him anymore than you have to, Jenn.

JENNIFER: Him? Jack Deveraux has hurt me enough. He will not find out about this, I swear to it. There will be no exchanges, there will be no coming clean. Jack Deveraux and I will never see Dr. Colin Murphy again.

HOPE: How can you be so sure?

JENNIFER: I'm not. I just don't think it will happen.

HOPE: I really think you should tell him, though, Jenn. There might be a chance for you two yet.

JENNIFER: (LOOKING BACK AT JACK WITH LOVE IN HER EYES AND THEN BACK TO HOPE) No, Hope, it's over. (SADLY) We can't take it anymore.

HOPE: (SEEING HOW MUCH JENNIFER REALLY LOVES HIM) Fine. I still think that you should try, though. (SHE GETS UP)

JENNIFER: Where are you going?

HOPE: To the ladies' room. (SHE TOUCHES HER SHOULDER) Just think about what I said, huh? (SHE WALKS AWAY)

(JENNIFER PUTS HER CARDS DOWN AND SIGHS. SHE IS SO TERRIBLY CONFUSED RIGHT NOW. SHE DOESN'T WANT TO HURT ANYMORE AND THINKS THAT IS WHAT SHE WOULD DO IF SHE TOLD JACK. SHE SINKS BACK INTO HER SEAT AND LOOKS OVER AT JACK, WHO MOVES IN HIS SLEEP AND RESTS HIS HEAD ON HER SHOULDER)

JENNIFER: (TO HERSELF. SOFTLY, SHE DOESN'T BELIEVE IT HERSELF) We can't take it anymore.

JACK: (STILL ASLEEP) Hmmmmm?

JENNIFER: Nothing (SHE STROKES HIS HEAD). Nothing. (SHE BEGINS TO CRY SILENTLY)

END OF EPISODE 17

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