Episode #311

Previously ...
- Another officer informed Brent that someone fitting Stan Lincoln's description had been spotted by the supermarket.
- Trevor told Lauren he had some sort of secret mission to handle but refused to divulge the details. He wound up being chosen as one of the print models for Camille's new fashion line.
- Diane was shocked to discover that Brian lived in the same apartment complex as Brent -- which she learned when she spotted Brent and Molly kissing!


Camille Lemieux clasps her hands together and smiles warmly. "All right, everyone, that will be all for today. Thank you for helping this run so smoothly."

Molly Fisher watches from her seat at the front of the room as the executives, models, and other individuals who gathered for today's set of meetings leave their chairs for the exits. It has been a long afternoon, but a remarkably productive one. Discussing the logistics of the upcoming show, where the Objection line will debut, has filled Molly with a sense of excitement -- though it's vying for attention with her anticipation of leaving work and getting busy on her plans for the evening.

"See you tomorrow, Molly," says a tall blond woman, waving as she walks past on her way to the door.

"Have a nice night, Joanna," Molly answers with a smile. It's nice to be acknowledged by and even friendly with Camille's other associates, especially considering how nervous she has been about leaping into a designing position. Despite the lingering intimidation factor, she is beginning to feel more comfortable around the staff, particularly those with experience in the fashion industry.

Well, mostly.

Julian St. John stands close to the front wall of the room, huddled in conference with Camille. The moment Molly glances at him, his eyes meet hers -- harsh, disdainful, almost mocking.

She wishes there were a way to win his acceptance, but she knows better than to think there is a magical recipe for that. Proving herself as a designer is probably the only way.

Pulling her gaze from Julian, Molly turns her attention to gathering her things. It takes only a few moments, and soon she is putting on her coat. Camille calls out her name just as she slips her purse onto her shoulder.

"Molly," she says, "I need to have a quick word with you."

Camille hurries over to her, a sketchpad in hand. "I was hoping that you'd be able to spend some time working on that top. I'm at a loss for what to do with it, and we need it -- or something like it, anyhow -- to pair with the skirt in the show."

Molly accepts the pad but looks downward as she explains, "Of course, yeah. But I, uh, I might not get to it tonight. I have something planned--"

"Oh, that's quite all right," Camille says. "Anytime in the next few days will be fine. Do you have exciting plans for the evening?"

"Sort of, yeah," Molly admits with a shrug. "Maybe not exciting to anyone else, but ... it should be very special."


Brian Hamilton's hands fly off his keyboard as the door to his office bursts open.

"Oh, good, I'm glad you're in here," Diane Bishop says. She looks absolutely flustered: eyes wide, brow crunched, moving a million miles a minute. "I need your help."

Turning his chair to face her, Brian folds his hands on the desk. "What's this about -- or should I be afraid to ask?"

"You already did, so tough luck. But no, you shouldn't. I just need help working this thing." She thrusts a hand toward him, and in it is a small digital camera.

"Oh. I can handle that." He takes the camera from her and turns it on. "Did you get this from downstairs?"

"Yeah. But I don't have a damn clue what I'm doing with it."

"It shouldn't be too hard to explain, if you've got a couple of minutes."

"I've got 'em. Now get to explaining."

She joins him behind the desk, and he holds up the camera to demonstrate the various functions. When he finishes, she takes it from him.

"So I hit this to take a picture ..." It takes her a few seconds to focus the image, and then she clicks a shot. "And then I push down on this wheel thing to look at it?"

"That's the menu--"

"Oh yeah." She pushes the button, selects the saved pictures, and scrolls through until she finds an overlit picture of his desk and bookshelf. "There we go. Thanks, Bri."

"No problem. But why didn't you just ask one of the guys down in design? They work with this stuff day in and day out."

Diane waves a hand through the air dismissively. "They smell. And they stare. Besides ... there's something else I needed to ask you, actually. Kind of a favor."

He recognizes the tone. "Uh-oh."

"It's nothing huge," she says, sounding overly casual. "I just need to use your apartment for a little while."


"Your apartment. That thing you live in with the refrigerator and your bed and that ugly coffee table--"

"I thought you said you liked that table!"

She shakes her head. "No, I smiled and nodded. You were happy about getting it, and I didn't wanna burst your bubble."

"Well, you burst it." He smooths his tie and ponders the coffee table, trying to see what might be wrong with it. "So what makes you want to spend time in the presence of my ugly table?"

"This," she says, holding up the camera.

"What are you gonna do, take out an ad in Home & Garden to chastize me publicly for buying it?"

"No! Forget the table, Brian. What I really need is your window."

He throws up both hands. "Hey, the drapes came with the apartment. You can't blame me for those!"

"Focus. Go with me here. No drapes. No coffee table. What I'm really interested in is what I can see from your window."

What she's saying only takes a split second to sink in. He looks at her in disbelief. "You don't mean ... ?"

"Oh, but I do," she says. "Your neighbor Brent Taylor and his little girlfriend Molly are about to be caught in the act."


"Brent. Hi."

Brent Taylor swivels his chair around to face his desk and closes the file folder that he has been reviewing. He has been expecting that Claire would drop by on her way home from the hospital.

"Hey," he says, feeling the need to proceed with caution. She looks fragile, the way she has all too often in the past few years. He remembers a strong, vibrant woman -- the woman she was when Tim was alive and, as much as Brent hates to admit it, the woman she also was when she and Ryan Moriani were together. But clearly she has not recovered from the shock of Ryan's parentage and losing custody of Samantha. If anything, she is even more of a shell than she was following Tim's death.

She approaches his desk with an equal amount of care, as if she already knows that the reason he wanted to see her was to share bad news.

"Have a seat," he says.

"Is this about Stan?"

The question catches Brent off-guard. He was hoping he would be able to ease into the subject a bit more; he wanted to work it in as a "by the way" type of thing, part of his concern for her general well-being, rather than throwing it right at her.

"Yeah," he admits, nodding sympathetically. "We, uh, we had a report of someone digging through the dumpsters behind the supermarket. Employees yelled at the guy and he wouldn't leave, so they called 911."

"And it was Stan?" She grasps behind her for the chair, keeping her focus squarely on Brent as she fumbles her way into the seat.

"We don't know. He had a little confrontation with one of the employees, but he took off before the officer showed up. But he fit Stan's description, and it fits with some of the recent sightings of a man or men in the area who also matched--"

"So what does this mean? Do you think--"

"To be honest, anything I tell you would only be a guess," Brent says. "But if it is Stan, and if he is hanging around King's Bay knowing that there are some pretty serious warrants out for his arrest--then yeah, I'd venture to say that he might be targeting you."

"God." The word comes out in a heavy sigh, and Claire buries her head in her hands.

Brent feels a flood of guilt for even sharing the news with her. She doesn't need this right now, not after everything that she has been through.

"I'm sorry," he says, knowing immediately that it makes no difference. "But the reason I really wanted to talk to you was that I wanted to make you an offer."


"I'd like to offer you police protection. It would make it much more difficult for Stan to get close to you, and if he were to try anything, the officers would be right there to apprehend him."

He had hoped that she would accept the offer without protest, but this is Claire. He sees her jaw tightening with resistence.

"I don't want to risk anything happening to you," he says. "If Ryan hadn't shown up last time, God only knows what Stan might've done to you."

She locks her eyes with his. "I can't live like this, Brent. As it is, I'm trying my best to hold it together for Travis ... I don't know how much more I can take."

"This is for Travis's protection, too. Stan is a loose cannon. We shouldn't take any risks."

He sees that she is ready to continue fighting him, but logic -- and the mention of her son -- win out.

"All right," she says, dipping her head in resignation.

Brent folds his hands on the desk and leans forward. "Claire, I want you to know that it's of personal importance to me that we catch Stan. I'm not just going to let this fall by the wayside."

"I appreciate it."

"I'm sorry that we were never able to pin anything on the Morianis," he continues, knowing that it must be a sore spot but needing to say it anyway. "Maybe if we had gotten to the bottom of that, this situation with Stan could've been avoided."

"Ryan isn't a criminal," she says with surprising force.

He opts not to get into that debate. "Maybe not. But his father -- Nick, I mean -- he is, and we are going to turn up proof of that sooner or later. I'm still not convinced that he's free of blame as far as Tim's death or Katherine Fitch's shooting go."

She accepts that in silence, and Brent decides not to push the subject right now.

"But you'll be protected," he says. "I want you to feel confident about that."

"Thanks." She draws another deep breath, and it looks to Brent as though even that minor exertion might crack her into thousands of pieces.

Stan Lincoln needs to be caught before he even has the chance to hurt this woman any further.


As his feet carry him across the sleek black tile floor of the building's lobby, Trevor Brooks's eyes scan one of the many sheets of paper in his hand. Until today, this job has seemed almost like a mirage, something that could slip away at any time. But now it's official.

He is so focused on the fine print that he pushes open the front door without looking up -- and he realizes, a moment too late, that he has nearly hit a woman with it.

"Sorry about that," he says, lifting his eyes.

"Oh, it's--"

They both pause at the same instant.

"What are you doing here?" he asks, unsure whether this encounter is really taking place.

"Willis is handling a big new account, and they just assigned me to work on it," his sister replies. "What are you doing here?"

"I, uh--" What? New account? "Are you working with this new Objection company?"

Lauren nods slowly, her eyes open wide, as if it should be the most obvious thing in the world. "Yeah ..."

"Whoa. That is--yeah, whoa. That's nuts."

"Trev, what are you talking about?"

For the first time, her gaze moves down to the papers in his hand. He starts to pull them away from her sight but stops. There is no need to keep this secret any longer, now that he has officially signed on.

"You're never gonna believe this," he says, "but I, uh, I'm modeling for them."

She gives him a light shove. "Get out!"

"Seriously! I didn't want to say anything until I signed the contract, but--" He waves the papers.

"That is too weird, Trevor."

He is still trying to wrap his mind around the idea. "It's nuts. So I guess we're gonna be ..."

"... working together." A smile spreads across her face. "And to think I was all worried about having to work with a bunch of tempermental models. Turns out I've been putting one of them in his place since we were kids."

"Oh, you put me in my place, huh?"

"You know I did!" She glances quickly at her watch and speaks again before he has the chance to refute the claim.

"Hey, I need to get upstairs," she says. "I have a meeting. But I'll see you at home ..."

She trails off, clearly just as amazed by the coincidence as Trevor is.

"Yeah, I'll see you later." He moves past her and out the door, and she makes her way across the lobby.

There is no way this can be real, he thinks as he crosses the parking lot, unable to wipe the colossal grin from his face.


Brian springs to his feet. "That is not a good idea."

"Why not?" Diane asks, false innocence virtually radiating from her pores.

"We discussed this," he says. "I think I made it pretty clear that I'm not really okay with doing things just to watch people suffer."

"Ah, but you misunderstand me."

"So you're not using that camera to take incriminating pictures of Molly and Brent with the intention of making their lives difficult?"

"No, no, you've got that part clear."

He makes a grab for the camera, but she stuffs it into the pocket of her blazer.

"I'm not really a big fan of blackmail, either," he says.

"I never said anything about blackmail!"

"Then what the hell are you up to?" he asks, narrowing his gaze at her.

Diane plants her hands on the desk and leans forward, so close to him that their faces are nearly touching.

"Think about what happens when Sarah realizes that they've been carrying on behind her back," she says, her voice barely more than a whisper.

He stares incredulously at her for a moment before backing away. "I think I've seen this movie before. Please tell me it doesn't end with a gun or handcuffs or anything."

"No," Diane says, though she seems to be contemplating the possibility. "Sarah's going to realize that the family she's been standing up for would stab her in the back if they needed to. And if she hates them, then she doesn't really have a reason to be mad at me anymore, does she?"

Brian follows the logic, but it seems impossible.

"There is no way this is gonna work," he says. "There are more holes in your plan than there are in one of Christina Aguilera's outfits."

"Just go with me on this. I know what I'm doing."

Brian isn't certain how to respond to that, but he is beginning to see that this could be one of those unwinable debates.

"Besides," Diane adds, "they deserve to be found out. Think about how much trouble this little affair has caused."

He promised himself long ago that he wouldn't harbor any bitterness toward Molly over their failed relationship -- especially since he was the one whose actions caused her to end it. But when he came back to King's Bay and found out that Sarah and Brent had divorced because of Brent and Molly's mutual feelings, Brian did do some re-examining of the way his and Molly's relationship progressed. Despite his conscience, it's hard not to cast some of the blame upon her for having used him as a distraction.

He drops back into his chair with a sigh. "I've noticed that she usually comes over after work, at least for a little while. So there's a good chance that they'll be there tonight."


"But I want no part of this," Brian warns. "You can use my apartment, but that's it. I'm not climbing up on the roof to get you a better angle or anything crazy like that."

"I don't expect you to. You've already been a big help." Diane pulls the camera from her pocket and holds it between her palms. "Now, with any luck, Molly and Brent will be just as cooperative."


Will Diane's scheme work as she hopes?
Will Brian regret being a part of it?
Now that Lauren is involved with Objection Designs, what could be in store for the company?
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