Episode #343

Previously ...
- While Josh grew closer with Courtney, he continued to aggravate Lauren at work.
- Brian asked Kelsey for her number, and--to his astonishment--she happily gave it to him.
- In Vermont, Molly realized that clinic patient "Tom Clayton" is really her brother, Tim. As Molly attempted to figure out how to get Tim out of the clinic, Dr. Domingo and a guard burst into the room to stop her.


As Jason Fisher holds the car door open, Lauren Brooks stomps her foot and refuses to get in the vehicle. "You still haven't told me where we're going."

"Wouldn't be much of a surprise if I told you, now would it?"

"You suck," she pouts, making a face at him while he walks around and sits behind the wheel.

The two of them are impeccably dressed this evening, and Lauren has yet to figure out what her boyfriend has planned for the evening. She looks at herself in the side mirror. Her dark blonde hair is expertly curled and pinned up, and she's wearing a strapless pink dress she bought earlier today from the Objection boutique. She looks over to Jason in his dark suit. The whole scene reminds her of a Homecoming dance or prom ...

It's been a while since they've had the chance to do something like this. It seems like all Lauren's done lately is work nonstop at Willis. But it's Saturday night, and a break from the office--and Josh Taylor's continued agitation--is just what she needs.

"Seriously, where are we going?" Lauren asks again a few minutes later, as Jason turns a corner and heads downtown.

"Not telling ..." Jason teases. Lauren pinches his side as punishment, and the car veers to the center of the road. "Nice one. If you get us killed, you'll never find out where we're headed."

Lauren fights against the restraint of her seat belt to kiss his cheek in apology, then pops back to her seat as she figures out where they're going.

"We're going to Windmills?" Lauren exclaims, as Jason slows near the restaurant. "That place is, like, packed on Saturday nights!"

"Not if you make reservations three weeks in advance. Come on!"

He takes her hand as they walk from the car to the front door. Lauren feels like a celebrity all dressed up and out on the town.

"Please follow me," the host says, leading the two of them to a table by the window.

"You really went all out, didn't you?" Lauren says, giving him a wide smile. "I'm impressed, Jay."

"And all you have to do is sleep with me tonight in return for all I've done!"

"Jason Fisher!" Lauren chides, knowing he's joking, but still blushing in spite of herself. "Such a gentleman," she mutters, rolling her eyes.

Jason laughs to himself and looks around Windmills for their waiter or waitress. As he searches, his eyes fall upon something that makes him do a double-take. "I can't believe it!"

Lauren notices his expression and turns to look in the same direction. "What is it, Jason?"


"Step away from my patient," Salvatore Domingo says, his arms folded tightly over his chest.

Molly Fisher takes a tentative step away from the bed where her brother lies, but only enough to keep Domingo's massive guard from grabbing her. The musclehead lingers mere feet away from Molly, and she has no doubt that he could snap her in two at any instant.

Domingo opens his mouth to speak, but he freezes when he catches sight of Tim. "Mr. Clayton! You're awake! This is incredible."

"I don't suppose you have authorization to be in here," he says, turning to Molly.

Drawing shallow breaths through her nose, Molly decides to be as calm as possible--or at least to present herself that way. "Why is he here?" she asks.

Domingo laughs at what he clearly perceives to be a ridiculous question. "I'm afraid I'm not at liberty to discuss the details of a patient's treatment."

"I want to know what my brother is doing here," Molly says, a little more firmly. She looks down at Tim, who appears absolutely bewildered by the situation. She can only imagine how much energy it is taking for him to remain awake and to listen to this conversation.

A flash of surprise washes over the doctor's expression. "Brother?"

"This is my brother. Tim Fisher. I don't know where the name Tom Clayton came from--"

Domingo's confusion fades away and is replaced by a knowing grin. There is something very unsettling about it; Molly's body tenses.

Domingo nods, as if remembering something that he hasn't thought of in a long time. "Mr. Clayton warned us to be on the lookout for you."

Molly grabs onto Tim's hand. The guard takes a step closer to her, but she doesn't let go.

"Mr. Clayton did what?" Molly asks. "That's impossible! First of all, that isn't his name, and I don't know why you would think that. He doesn't even have any idea what's going on, let alone--"

"His father," Domingo interjects. "The older Mr. Clayton."

Molly doesn't know how to react to that. What father? What older Mr. Clayton? This is getting stranger by the second--too strange for words.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Molly says, "but this is my brother. Maybe you have him mixed up with this Tom Clayton, whoever that is. I don't know. But I'm not leaving my brother in the middle of this nightmare."

"She's my sister," Tim says. His voice is thin, barely audible, and Domingo acts as if he hasn't even heard it.

She isn't even sure why, but she cannot bring herself to trust the doctor. He is too forceful, too intimidating; he isn't the type of man she would want in charge of her brother's care, even if the circumstances were normal.

"I'm going to have to ask you to step outside," Domingo says. "We'll have to have a look at the patient. This is very significant progress in his recovery--"

"His recovery from what?" Molly asks, finally raising her voice. "This is insane!"

She grasps Tim's hand even tighter. She has to get her brother out of here, somehow. She has to get him home.


"What is it, Jason?"

He nods his head, lifting his chin to point toward something beyond Lauren. She turns in her chair, suddenly worried, but her pain morphs into confusion when her sight lands upon Kelsey Barker.

"Oh! We should go say hi," Lauren says, already rising from her seat.

"Yeah. But you wait here." Concern continues to distort Jason's expression as he looks past Lauren.

"Why? It's not like I don't--"

"Look at who she's with."

Lauren spins her head around again. The man is vaguely familiar, but very vaguely. He is a good-looking guy, smiling nervously as he talks with Kelsey. Despite his youthful appearance, Lauren can tell that he is a couple of years older than her, Jason, and Kelsey.

"Brian Hamilton," Jason says, seeing that his girlfriend isn't able to place the face. "He dated my sister. And he's pals with Diane Bishop."

Recognition dawns on Lauren. "Ohhh! I was wondering why you were looking so constipated about seeing Kelsey."

A laugh cracks through Jason's troubled visage. "I look constipated?"

"Just a little bit," Lauren says with a laugh.

He stands. "Wait here for a sec. I'm gonna go have a quick word with her."

"Jason! You can't do that!"

He looks at her skeptically. "She probably has no idea--"

"Yeah, but you can't just barge in and break up their date," Lauren says. "Wait until tomorrow, give her a call."

He pauses to consider her point, but instead of sitting back down, he starts walking toward Kelsey and Brian's table.

"I'll be back in a minute," he says.

Lauren remains turned in her chair, watching as Jason approaches Kelsey. He'd better not make some huge scene.

She is so focused on watching Jason that she doesn't notice the bodies approaching her own table. The sound of a throat clearing grabs her attention, and she swings back around.

"Of all people to run into," Josh Taylor says, with a smirk on his lips--and Courtney Chase on his arm.


Lauren's remonstration echoes inside Jason's head as he moves toward Kelsey and Brian. Maybe this isn't the slickest idea. Then again, he knows it's going to drive him insane if he sits there all night and watches Kelsey with Brian, especially since conversation between the two couples is inevitable.

I wonder if they're a couple. Kelsey hasn't mentioned anything about Brian to him yet, but they're still in an uncertain stage of friendship. Maybe she just hasn't been comfortable talking about the guy she's dating.

Jason puts on the most cordial smile he can manage as he steps up beside their table.

"Kelsey!" he says as she notices him for the first time.

"Hey!" A grin spreads over her face. "What are you--" She looks around and spots Lauren. "Are you guys out on a little date?"

"Gotta keep things interesting in our old age. You know, I thought the weekend meant I didn't have to see you for a couple of days," he says sarcastically.

She giggles. "Jason, I'd like you to meet Brian. Brian, this is my skating partner--"

Jason shoves his hand in Brian's direction. "Jason Fisher."

Brian's eyes widen as he remembers who Jason is.

"We actually sort of know each other," Jason tells Kelsey.

She appears pleased by the news. "Really? Weird."

"Yeah, weird." Jason keeps a hard stare on Brian. "Kels, could I talk to you alone for a minute?"

"Sure," she says, already out of her seat. "You don't mind, do you, Brian?"

"No, go right ahead." Brian appears to be working very hard to maintain his pleasant expression, to conceal his worry about Kelsey knowing the Fishers.

Jason leads Kelsey several feet away from the table, far enough away that Brian should not be able to overhear them.

"How long have you two been seeing each other?" he asks in a hushed voice.

"This is actually our first date," Kelsey says, still showing no sign of concern. "It was kind of cute--he came into the store, all shy, and he was trying to ask for my number--"

"You need to watch out for him."

Kelsey's expression tightens. "What? Why?"

"Brian dated my sister, Molly," Jason explains. "He lied to her, kept secrets from her ... She was already going through a rough time, and he made it even worse."

"What did he do?" Kelsey asks. Jason can tell that she is resisting the urge to look back at Brian, to reexamine him in light of this new information.

"He's good friends with this woman, Diane, who did everything she could to break up my brother's marriage. He helped Diane out, even while he claimed to care about Molly. He is not a trustworthy guy."

Worry is now etched deep into Kelsey's demeanor. Her eyes cast downward, she shifts her weight from one foot to the other, then back again.

"Look, I'm sorry to drop all this on you right now," Jason says, "but I don't wanna see you get hurt. I thought you should know."

"Yeah ..." She nods weakly. "All right. Thanks, Jason."

"Just trying to look out for you." He tries to brighten up and lift the mood. "Doesn't mean you can't have a nice dinner and conversation with him. Just be careful. I don't think this is a guy you wanna get involved seriously with."


"I'll ask again," Domingo says, "but this is the final time. Please step outside, ma'am." His words themselves might be polite, but his tone leaves no doubt that this is a threat.

Molly glances quickly at the silent musclehead of a guard. She has to take her chances.

Domingo takes a step backward. "Bruno, if you would ..."

The guard advances quickly on Molly. His grip locks upon her shoulders, and despite placing every bit of energy she can muster into it, her struggle is useless. Bruno picks her up and moves her several feet away from the bed.

"Let her go!" Tim calls out weakly.

Hands still grabbing her shoulders, Bruno finally speaks. "Get out. Leave. Right now."

Unwilling to admit defeat, Molly simply stares back at him. She opens her mouth to say something, but determination suddenly flares within her.

She draws her knee upward as sharply as she can, ramming it right into the guard's groin.

The pain registers on his face, but only for a second. At the same time, his hold on her softens, and Molly slides away from him. She darts for the bed, where Tim is struggling to sit up, with little success. She reaches out for him--

But before she can make it, a thick hand snags her by the arm and yanks her backward.

"Let go of me!" she screams, but her desperation only seems to make Bruno pull harder on her arm. She watches as Tim scrambles to get out of the bed, but he can barely move one of his arms, let alone his entire body.

She turns and takes a swing at Bruno, but her arm makes it only halfway before being blocked. The next thing she knows, a solid fist slams into her cheek, and she tumbles backward onto the floor.

"Molly!" Tim strains to yell. His sister crumbles into a heap on the floor. The guard hurries toward the bed and pins Tim down easily with one hand.

Dr. Domingo approaches the bed. "I'm sorry your time awake has to be so brief, Mr. Clayton, but we have to get you someplace safe before we can do anything else."

"I'm not Clayton," Tim insists. Why do these people think he is Tom Clayton? He wonders if he missed some part of the conversation, some explanation of what is actually going on. He wonders if he is even really awake.

"We'll discuss that later," Domingo says. He pulls a syringe from the cart beside the bed. "But for now--"

"Hold it!"

All three men's heads snap to the doorway, where Brent Taylor stands, his gun trained right on Salvatore Domingo.


Will Brent be able to rescue Tim? Is Molly okay?
Has Jason ruined any chance Brian had with Kelsey?
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