Mrs. Wallace moved her walker toward the crazed woman. "I think Sheridan is a nice lady," she protested. "Sheridan is good."
"Sheridan is a blonde," Charlie stressed. "All blondes deserve to suffer."
Mrs. Wallace fingered her graying hair. She was glad she was not a blonde or she would have been in the pit right alongside Sheridan.
"Listen, Charlie," Mrs. Wallace tried to reason with her, "Sheridan is pregnant. She needs to get out of the pit so she can have her baby in peace. She needs to go back to Luis. Can't you do that? Can't you just let her go?"
Charlie groaned. "I'll never let Blondie go!" she insisted. "Sheridan will never get out of that pit! That baby is mine and Beth's. We're going to raise it together."
"And you don't think anyone will get suspicious - Sheridan disappearing and you two showing up with a baby?"
"We've got all of that covered, see," Charlie answered. "Everyone thinks Beth's pregnant, so she'll just have to fake giving birth and..."
"How does someone fake giving birth?" Mrs. Wallace asked. "What's she going to do when the doctor delivers the baby? Say, 'Would you like some tea to go along with that sugar?' "
"We haven't actually worked that part out," said Charlie. "I guess Beth'll have to have the baby here. Yeah, that's it - she'll have a home birth. I can be the midwife!"
"But don't you think people will be suspicious. I mean, Luis will want Beth to see a doctor, won't he? And what are you two going to do when that happens?'
"We'll work that out," Charlie replied. "My Bethie is one smart cookie. She'll know what to do."
Mrs. Wallace just shook her head.
Frowning, Charlie asked, "Where is Bethie? Where has she been all day?"
"Where do you think?" Mrs. Wallace answered. "She's with Luis."
Jealous at the mention of Luis's name, Charlie started fuming. "She's been spending too much time with Luis lately - way too much time. We'll just see about this!"
With that, she stormed out of the house, leaving Mrs. Wallace to smile to herself. "That woman's a loose cannon. Maybe she'll explode, and Luis will find out the truth about Sheridan. Yeah, and then he'll come and rescue her. Oh, Bethie, you will pay for this! You'll pay!"
Charlie parked her old sedan down the road from the gates to the Crane estate. Looking around to make sure no one was watching, she made her way over the fence. The psychopathic nurse headed for the cottage near the main house. She crept close to the cottage and pressed her face to the window. Inside, she could see that Beth and Luis were talking.
"Luis, Sheridan wanted to go away," Beth insisted. "She wanted to protect her baby. You can understand that, can't you? I mean, if my baby's health was in danger, I would do anything I could for it."
"I know, Beth," Luis agreed. "Sheridan would do anything for our baby. It's just, I can't see her leaving - not without telling me."
"But, Luis, I think she left because of you."
"What are you talking about, Beth? Sheridan loves me. She wanted more than anything for us to be together. If it weren't for Antonio..."
"Luis, Sheridan does love you; I agree. But it's you who were putting all that pressure on her to get her to tell Antonio the truth about the two of you. It's you who were causing all that stress on the baby."
Luis sadly shook his head. "I didn't want to put her under any kind of stress - or the baby. I just wanted to make everything OK. Telling Antonio the truth would have been tough, but then it would have been all out in the open. The stress would have been gone."
"Do you really believe that, Luis?"
"What do you mean?"
"Have you ever thought that that's when Sheridan's troubles might have really begun?"
"No, everything would be out in the open then. Sheridan and I would be free to be together."
"Luis, I hate to say this, but maybe Sheridan wasn't sure who she wanted to be with. Have you ever thought of that? If you told Antonio the truth, Sheridan would have to face that head on. She would have to choose who she wanted - you or Antonio."
"That's not a choice, Beth. Sheridan said she wanted to be with me."
"I know that's what she said to you, Luis. That's certainly what you wanted to hear. But what would she have said to Antonio in the same situation?"
Luis raised his hand in protest. "No, she doesn't want to be with Antonio. She only wants to be with me."
"Are you sure?" Beth continued relentlessly. "I mean, didn't Sheridan ever tell you that she cared about Antonio - that she loved him?"
"She did say that she loved my brother," Luis replied, "but not the way she loves me. Sheridan is in love with me, Beth - totally and completely. We're soul mates."
"That's what she told you, Luis," Beth said. "But what did she tell Antonio when you weren't around?"
Luis turned away from Beth, a pained expression on his face.
"Good," Beth thought, "from the look on his face I can tell the seed of doubt is there - ever so small. I'll just keep watering that seed. Soon you will be mine, Luis. You'll forget all about Sheridan Crane."