Michelle meets Sheila.
Abby was putting the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher when a knock sounded at the door. She went to answer it and was surprised to find Ellen Coughlin there, looking a bit rumpled and a bit flushed. She hesitated for a moment, remembering what Greg had told her about not letting anyone in. "My goodness, Ellen's my friend," she thought, feeling silly, "I certainly don't need to worry about her harming me." She opened the door and let her friend in.
"Ellen, what are you doing here?" Abby asked.
"I...I heard about what was happening in your marriage," Ellen said, walking by Abby, into the kitchen. "And I was worried about you. I...I knew about the cabin, and when it looked like you weren't home, I thought maybe you came up here."
"Oh," Abby said, touched by her friend's concerned, and by the fact that Ellen had driven all the way up here to check on her. At the same time she was filled with guilt because of what she'd allowed to happen between herself and her friend's husband. "I...would you like a cup of coffee?" she asked.
"I'd love some," Ellen said. She was surprised how calm she was able to act. She'd gone to Abby's house after finishing with her husband a few nights earlier, but as she drove up, she saw Abby's car driving down the street. Still livid, Ellen followed her former friend, intending to deal with her when Abby got wherever she was going.
Ellen's car was the one Abby had seen following her. And, when Ellen finally located Abby's home at the lake that night, she'd tried to get in, but couldn't because the door was locked. Still angry, she'd slashed Abby's tire.
The next day when Ellen again intended to confront Abby, the young man next door, who Ellen discovered was a cop, was in the way. Still fuming, she'd set fire to Abby's garage. Now, finally, she had Abby alone. Today she was going to make her pay for what she'd done.
Abby walked to the counter, got two cups out of the cupboard, and poured coffee into them. As she did, she wondered how Ellen knew where to find her.
"How did you know where I was?" she asked Ellen as she carried the cups to the table.
"I...ah...I didn't," Ellen replied, flushing a little. "I...I went to your place and there was no one home, so I came over here to your neighbor to see if they could tell me where you were and...lo and behold...here you are. Whose house is this, anyhow?"
"Believe it or not," Abby said, placing the cups on the table. "It belongs to a sheriff's deputy by the name of Greg Atkinson. Some really weird things have been happening since I got here, and he had me stay here last night so I'd be safe."
"Safe?" Ellen said, picking up her cup. "Are you in danger?"
Abby nodded. "Since I got here, my tire was slashed and the garage was burned down," she told her friend. "Greg, he owns this house, he thinks someone may be trying to harm me."
"Why would someone be out to harm you, of all people?" Ellen asked after she took a sip of coffee.
"Well," Abby said, "Greg thinks it might have something to do with the problems I've been having with my marriage."
"Exactly what's going on?" Ellen asked. "I mean, I've heard rumors, but..." She shrugged.
"I'm going to divorce Lee. He's cheating on me," Abby said. "He's been having an affair with Carol Burke."
"Are...are you sure about that?" Ellen asked, "I mean, how do you know?"
"I...I saw them together, at the dinner at Boswell's," Abby said.
"How...where...?" Ellen asked.
"They were upstairs, in one of the bedrooms," Abby said. She felt her eyes filling with tears. "I still can't believe I saw them. And...and then they went off to Las Vegas, to that medical convention, together."
"What are you going to do?" Ellen asked.
Abby shrugged. "I...I guess I'm going to divorce Lee," she said. "I mean, I...I just can't let things go on like they are. Actually, my marriage has been in trouble for sometime now, I guess I've just been ignoring the signs..."
Alexis Loomis turned the unmarked