Episode #340

Previously ...
- Matt explained that while he was proud of Sarah for finally making peace with Molly and Brent, that wasn't enough to make him renew their relationship.
- In Vermont, Molly checked into the same hotel as Brent, hoping to find out the real reason for his trip.
- After his fight with Dylan, Alex realized he had to see Trevor. When he arrived at the Brooks' house, however, he found not only Trevor--but Dylan, as well! Alex rushed off, while Trevor realized that Dylan had lied to him about the fight and forced Dylan to leave.


September in the Pacific Northwest is a schizophrenic month. It seems unable to make up its mind whether to linger in the sun-dappled beauty of the summer or forge ahead into the drizzly months of a cozy winter. This morning, it has apparently become caught between the two choices. A dull, gray sky hangs over King's Bay, simultaneously threatening to burst into a rainstorm and teasing that the brightness of the past few months could reappear any minute.

In the small space that serves as the dining room of his apartment, Jason Fisher sits at the square table. He is hunched over a plate of eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns, which he awoke at 9:00 to find almost ready to eat.

Lauren explained that she hadn't been able to sleep, so she thought it would be nice to surprise him by making a real breakfast, a departure from their usual cereal or bagels in the morning. As he devours his last strip of bacon--cooked to a crisp, the way he loves it--Jason makes a face at her across the table.

"I'm starting to think your cooking skills might not be as questionable as I thought," he teases.

"Trevor and I have had to learn to fend for ourselves," she says. "You can only do yogurt and breakfast bars for so long before you have to buck up and try your hand at a real meal."

The explanation makes a lot of sense to Jason. Even during college, Lauren's parents were constantly gone on cruises, ski trips, weekends at the beach. Sometimes he wonders how she can still bear to live at home, until he remembers how infrequently the Brookses are actually in town.

They hear the sound of feet padding down the hallway, seconds before Alex Marshall appears in the living room. He looks like a captive unable to escape sleep's hold: hair skewed in every possible direction; eyes puffy and refusing to open any more than absolutely necessary; arms dangling, as if not ready to pull their own weight.

"Morning," he says in a craggy voice. Jason wonders whether he omitted the "good" on purpose.

"You look thrilled to be awake," Jason says, hoping it might spur Alex to open up about whatever had him so upset when he came home last night.

Instead, Alex simply shakes his head and lets out a shallow sigh.

"Hey," Lauren informs him, "there's more food in the kitchen, if you want some. I went insane and woke up early to make breakfast."

Alex seems taken aback by her friendliness. Jason is, too, to a degree, given the history between the two of them, but he is also enormously pleased by it. Lauren isn't the type to hold a grudge, especially not toward someone as genuinely good as Alex. It's nice to see the awkwardness between them finally easing.

"Thanks," Alex says after his surprised pause. He moves wearily into the kitchen.

Almost as soon as Alex exits the room, there is a knock on the door. Lauren looks to the door and then Jason with confusion.

"This better be good," he says, "for this early on a Saturday. And it better not be that lady next door wanting to jack our peanut butter again."

From the kitchen, Alex lets out a laugh through his grogginess. The reference is lost on Lauren, but Jason snickers as well. He tells him to share the story of their kooky neighbor with her later.

But first, their visitor. Jason runs a hand over his hair--not that it does anything to help its matted state--as he crosses the room.

When he opens the door, a siren flares in his head, even before his brain puts together the complexity of the situation.

"Hey," he greets Trevor. "What's up?"

"I, uh--I know it's early, but I was wondering if Alex was awake yet."

"Yeah, he's in the kitchen," Jason says. He steps aside to let Trevor into the apartment, trying to figure out a way around this potentially very awkward situation. Trevor must realize what he's walking into, shouldn't he?

Apparently he does, because as soon as he and Lauren see each other, he says, "Hey. I figured I'd see you here."

"I didn't really figure I'd see you here," Lauren says. She rises from her chair. "What's going on?"

"Oh, nothing," Trevor answers. "I just need to, uh, talk to Alex."

Jason watches Trevor carefully. He looks almost as exhausted as Alex does. There has to be a reason both of them look like crap and why Trevor's here so early, Jason thinks.

Alex peeks his head out of the kitchen. He seems to be on the verge of speaking, but he stops when he sets eyes on Trevor.

"Hi," Trevor says. He looks nervous. And very uncertain.

"We'll leave you guys alone," Alex says to Jason and Lauren. Without another word, he heads out of the kitchen and down the hall, presumably to his room. After a moment's hesitation, Trevor follows.

Jason returns to the table, and as he sits back down, Lauren grips his forearm.

"What's that all about?" she asks. "Is there ... do you think something's going on with Alex and my brother?"


The building is squat, its exterior an anonymous gray. As Molly Fisher walks from her rental car to the front doors, she tries to interpret something about the clinic's character, but the only thing she can tell is that it is trying very hard not to show much character.

Her suspicion mounts as she reaches for the door. It is a glass pane with the clinic's name and address lettered onto it in white; there are no doctor's names, no words to explain who the clinic serves or what its specialties are. The strangeness only fuels Molly's determination to figure out why this place lured Brent all the way across the country.

She passes through the front door to find a lobby as sparse as the building's exterior might suggest. The carpet is dark gray and industrial, and a handful of metal chairs with black padding sit against the wall in one corner of the room. Either the place doesn't have many people waiting in here, or it doesn't want them.

Molly cuts short her evaluation of the lobby and strides as confidently as she can to the front desk. An Asian woman in her thirties, her coal-black hair pulled back severely from her face, sits behind a virtual barricade of a desk. She regards Molly with a stare, appraises her with an unflinching coolness.

Obviously customer relations aren't a priority, either, Molly thinks, having to divert her eyes from the receptionist's. She waits for a cue to speak, but unsurprisingly, there is none.

"I need to see Dr. Domingo," Molly proclaims, emulating to the best of her ability the statement that she practiced earlier.

The Asian woman drops her chin just an inch. "And your name is?"

"Melody Hilton." The alias now sounds ridiculous to Molly, and she briefly considers whether she should have more carefully chosen a name.

Barely feigning a glance at the appointment book that Molly presumes is resting on the desk, the receptionist says, "You don't have an appointment. The doctor is only available by appointment."

Molly does her best to appear offended that someone of Melody Hilton's calibur would be turned away simply for not having an appointment.

"Well, then," she says, "I need to see Tom Clayton. At once."

For the first time, Molly sees the receptionist's expression register something other than cold mistrust. The woman's eyes widen, her nostrils flare, and she pulls back in her chair.

In an instant, though, she covers her reaction.

"I'm sorry, that isn't possible," the receptionist announces. Her tone leaves little doubt that this is the end of Molly's business here.

Molly considers pleading, but she has a feeling that would have the opposite of the desired effect. Besides, she has a better chance of finding something out if she takes the time to compose herself and devise a new course of action.

"I see." She adjusts her purse on her shoulder. "I suppose I'll be going, then."

The receptionist doesn't bother to say goodbye. But she keeps a hard eye on Molly as the visitor turns to exit.

As soon as Molly takes her first step toward the door, however, she freezes. Right outside, approaching the building, is Brent, flanked by a pair of other men.


Flipping through the copy of 'Time' she brought here to kill the time, Sarah Fisher looks to the arrivals board. Not yet. She knew she left too early. She's already read this entire damn magazine but has nothing better to do, so she peruses it again.

Sarah can hardly believe what she's doing now. Waiting here for this plane from Pennsylvania. Waiting for Jake Gray. When Matt finds out she was responsible for this, he'll either throw her out of his life forever--or thank her for this opportunity to finally put his past behind him. If he's willing to give this a shot, she's sure it will be the latter.

She can't understand why Matt is so insistent on keeping his distance from her. She thought she proved her motives to him by forgiving Brent and Molly--at least publicly--and by letting go of the past. But something's still missing, and Matt's still holding back.

Doesn't he know what he's done for her? Without his encouragement and his love, Sarah would never have been able to let go of Brent. Matt showed her how to move on. Now, she wants to return that favor.

If bringing Matt's brother to King's Bay helps the Grays repair their relationship, maybe Matt will be ready to start over with Sarah, too. Maybe he'll let her back in, and they can do it right this time, with nothing to hold them back.

Sarah snaps out of fantasy-land when she hears the announcement. Jake's plane has arrived. She tosses her magazine aside and steps closer to the narrow passage through which incoming passengers stream into the airport. She curses the increased security measures that prevent people from waiting right at the gate.

Finally, passengers begin streaming out. Where is he?

Then she sees him--at least she thinks she does. He bears a passing resemblance to Matt, but nothing so striking that she can be completely sure. His description matches what little detail Matt has given her, though. A younger, darker woman accompanies him. She's breathtaking, but Sarah has no idea who she is. I guess it's not him, after all …

"Sarah?" the man asks. Her gut instinct was correct. This is Jake, after all.

"Hi, Jake." She takes his hand. "Welcome to King's Bay. I didn't know you were bringing company."

"I didn't know I was either," Jake says with a smile. "But when Mia found out I was coming to see Matt, she decided to tag along."

"Tag along? Oh no you didn't," Mia says, casting him a sharp look. Sarah remembers her now. Mia Davich was the friend of Nicole Gray's she called when she first began investigating Matt's past. "Matt would never forgive you if you hadn't asked me to come."

"Then it's a good thing you're here, Mia," Sarah says, earning the woman's broad smile while they grab their luggage.

"How's he been?"

Sarah is thrown by Jake's question. Jake seems to be very receptive to meeting Matt--moreso than she expected. And if Mia can be the mediator the two of them need, even better. "He's been through a lot. We all have. But it's getting better."

Sarah breathes a sigh of relief. This just might work.


The weight of the situation crashes down upon Jason. Until now, the whole scenario has been little more than a possibility--that something might happen between Alex and Trevor, that Lauren might not react well to it. Now that the burden is suddenly upon him, Jason has no idea how to respond to Lauren's question.

"Not that I know of," he says tentatively, cutting around the perimeter of the question as much as he possibly can. "As far as I know, Alex is still with Dylan."

"Oh." Lauren contemplates the situation for another moment, then shrugs. "They just seem awfully serious. There was some major tension when Trevor walked in."

"Maybe you should ask him about it."

"Yeah," she says, sounding distant, as if trying to determine how she would react if there were something going on.

Alex waits for Trevor to follow him into the room and then shuts the door.

"You should not have come here," Alex says. "You knew Lauren would be here."

"I know ... but I'm not worried about her, not right now."

Leaning his back against the door, Alex stares off at the window, the shades pulled down halfway over it.

"I need to explain," Trevor says, "about what happened. It wasn't what it looked like."

Skepticism twists Alex's expression, but he still doesn't look at Trevor.

"Alex, it's not like I just decided to screw around with Dylan for no reason!"

Trevor's plea hangs in the air for a long moment. Alex isn't even sure how he is supposed to react to this. Anger? Confusion? Nonchalance?

"You don't have to explain anything to me," he says. "You're not, like, accountable to me or anything."

"But that's the thing. I am. I feel like I am." Trevor tries again to catch Alex's eye but is unsuccessful. "When you showed up at my house and found Dylan there, something clicked. Even after the things Dylan told me, I felt sick to my stomach over doing something with anyone but you."

As much as he doesn't want it to, the confession registers with Alex. It is the first outright acknowledgement between them that either has wanted anything to happen, and hearing it fills Alex with emotion.

Foremost in that indistinguishable tangle of feelings, though, is an acute sorrow.

"So if you were interested in me, why'd you let anything happen with Dylan?"

"It was stupid! I admit that. I was an idiot. I am an idiot." Trevor sighs, and for the first time, he is the one avoiding eye contact. He turns his back to Alex and presses his hands on the windowsill. "He called me and said that even though we didn't know each other that well, he needed to talk to me. He came over, and ... he told me all about this horrible fight you guys had."

It's the sort of thing Alex would have expected from Dylan, but not from Trevor--at least not from the person he hoped Trevor was. "So him telling you about a fight with me just kinda led into having sex?"

Alex watches the back of Trevor's head move quickly in a nod, as if agreeing with how stupid the entire thing is.

"We did not have sex," Trevor says firmly. "We had a drink, and then another one, and Dylan was telling me all about how horrible you'd been to him."

"How horrible I'd been?"

"He said you had accused him of cheating, and when he asked you if anything happened between you and me, you laughed and made some remark about toying with me."

"That's not how it went at all," Alex says, wondering why he even feels the need to justify himself to Trevor now. "I confronted him about cheating, which I'm about 99% sure he did, and he turned the whole thing around on me. I never said anything about--I mean, I would never even have thought about 'toying' with you--"

"So he's a manipulator," Trevor interjects. He moves toward Alex, who turns a shoulder to him. "He manipulated you, and when he didn't like the way it went, he obviously came after me to piss you off."

As insane as it sounds, it also makes perfect sense to Alex. When he left Dylan's apartment, he was sure their blowup had sent Dylan on the warpath. Little did he realize how swift Dylan's next attack would be.

"You're totally blameless, then?" Alex asks. "The fact that you even believed him--not to mention that you did whatever you did with him ..."

"I didn't do anything to him! He made a move, and I got caught up in it. It's not like we full-on slept together."

"It still says a lot that you even let anything happen. And that you bought into his crap to begin with."

Trevor fumbles for a comeback. But Alex doesn't want to hear it; he doesn't want to deal with this anymore, not this morning.

"Just go," he says.



Trevor looks dejected, but instead of arguing further, he opens the door. Head cast down, hands crammed into the pockets of his jeans, he leaves the room.

Part of Alex wants to stop him, tell him that he understands and that they can work through it. But another part of him, the part that's burning from the rawness of his disappointment, knows that he can't honestly say those things. So, instead, he watches Trevor leave.


There isn't anyplace to hide. Molly briefly considers trying to conceal herself in the waiting area, but odds are that the receptionist would draw Brent's attention to her anyway. Nor can she dart out of the clinic without being seen; Brent and the other men are mere feet away from the door.

She makes a split-second decision. Hurrying, she makes it to the door before the men and pushes it open. They step aside to let her through the doorway, and at first, their attention moves over her as it would any ordinary person. But an instant later, Brent's focus snaps back to her.

"Not now," she whispers, realizing that this exchange would have been impossible were she still inside, with the receptionist just feet away from them. "We'll talk later. Pretend you don't know me."

His gaze lingers over her, but Molly shoots him an expression that insists he listen to her. Slowly he slides his eyes off her. With a wordless nod, he follows the other two men inside the building.

She pauses just outside the door, hidden from the receptionist's view. The door closes, and Molly watches the men's backs as they address the receptionist.

It takes only a moment before Brent shows his badge, and the other men quickly follow suit.

So it is police business, she realizes, her stomach plummeting. Brent wasn't lying; he really couldn't divulge details about the trip. Of course he wouldn't have kept anything important from me.

She continues to watch the muted play inside the clinic. She can see the receptionist's head through the men's shoulders, and from the quick rising and falling action, she guesses that voices are escalating. Brent leans in closer to the fortress of a desk and holds up what looks like a photograph. The receptionist shakes her head, stubbornness making her features even sharper.

The other men now appear to be speaking to the woman. Molly is about to head back to the rental car when she sees Brent turn ever so slightly, obviously checking to see if she is still outside.

She backs away from his gaze sheepishly--but then she catches sight of the picture in his hand, the picture he flashed at the receptionist.

Molly turns her back to the door. It can't be. She crosses her arms over her chest to ward off the sudden cold, even though she knows it has nothing to do with the weather.

Unable to drag herself away, she keeps watching. Finally the receptionist shoots up from her seat--though she is barely any taller standing than seated--and storms through the white door behind her desk. The three men take the opportunity to move behind the desk, and they practically surround the door.

As much as she knows she should leave, Molly cannot ignore her instinct. It tells her to go back inside and find out what's really going on here. She has to.

With the men turned completely away from the front door and focused wholly on the door into which the receptionist disappeared, Molly slips back inside the clinic. She manages to do it almost noiselessly, or at least enough to prevent Brent from noticing her re-entrance.

She glances around quickly, even as she moves across the lobby. There is only one hallway to head down; the building's layout makes her decision for her.

Without attracting the men's attention, Molly disappears down the hallway and into the heart of Heritage Clinic.


Was it foolish of Molly to go back inside the clinic?
Has Alex and Trevor's budding relationship been ruined?
How will Matt react to his brother's arrival?
Visit the Footprints Forum to join in the discussion!

Next Episode