Episode #370

Previously ...
- Sarah's surveillance of Julian St. John's wife was cut short when she and Diane had an encounter with an unfriendly Rottweiler.
- Matt came to understand Jennie more, as she opened up about her mother's death.
- Ryan filled in Molly about the latest developments between Claire, Tim, and himself.
- With Dylan's troublemaking and their own miscommunication out of the picture, Alex and Trevor finally got together.


Sarah Fisher rests her cheek against her palm, the dining room table hard beneath her elbow.

"There's a lot of circumstantial evidence," she says, "but nothing really concrete." She levels her gaze upon Julian St. John, awaiting his reaction. This is the point where some clients would freak out and blame the dearth of solid proof on her.

Thankfully, Julian maintains his composure, as always. "Do you think my wife is having an affair?"

"I have no way of knowing that," Sarah answers, as diplomatically as she can. "There is certainly a lot to suggest a close bond between her and this man. Besides, my opinion doesn't matter--the judge's does."

"But I need substantial proof of infidelity in order for it to affect the outcome of the proceedings, correct?"

"Generally, yeah. I'm afraid I can't offer you anything more than what I've found, though."

Julian smooths the sleeves of his Oxford shirt.

"If she really is sleeping with this man, they're doing an amazing job of covering it up," Sarah says. "My advice would be to take all this to your attorney--" She gestures broadly at the jumble of findings spread over the table. "--and see what course of action he suggests."

"I suppose I could do that," Julian says. His reluctance to give up on the investigation is apparent. After all the time Sarah has spent on his case, though, she is almost positive that they will not find anything conclusive, no matter how hard they try.

The sharp ring of her cell phone cuts into the air. She glances at the number, intending to let it go to voicemail, but when she sees who is calling, she swiftly excuses herself.

She answers as soon as she ducks into the kitchen. "Jake? What is it?"


Matt Gray opens the bathroom door, and steam rushes out into his bedroom. He breathes in the cool air with relief. There is nothing better than a hot shower after a long day at the restaurant--nothing, that is, aside from getting out of that muggy bathroom and into some fresher air.

He tosses his towel aside and slides into an old t-shirt and his favorite sweatpants. Once dressed, he opens the bedroom door, ready to be greeted by the smell of a freshly prepared dinner.

What he finds, however, is much more elaborate. The lights are dim, and some soft music--he has no clue what it is--plays from his stereo. As he steps into the living area, he even spots a candle resting in the middle of his tiny kitchen table.

"Where'd this come from?" he asks, looking to Jennie Burkle.

She stands near the table, and he gets the impression that she has been standing there for several minutes, waiting for him to emerge.

"The candle? I brought it with me--"

"No, everything. I thought you were just gonna throw together something to eat while I showered."

"I wanted to do something special." She watches him carefully, awaiting approval. "Something romantic."

Matt turns his head and stares into the candle's flame. He can't remember his table ever having been set before.

Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Jennie coming nearer.

"This isn't a good idea," he says suddenly. Jennie stops in her tracks; her smile melts into something fearful.

"It's my fault," Matt adds quickly. "I shouldn't have led you on."

Her eyelids flutter. "What do you mean?"

"I should've been up front with you, awhile ago. That morning we ... woke up together--I should've been clear that it was a one-time thing."

"Matt, what are you talking about?" She gestures at the table, as if the candle and the dinner setting might make him realize that he's got it all wrong.

He looks her directly in the eye. "Jennie, I'm really sorry."


"It's so good to see you!" Molly Taylor declares, settling onto one of the high chairs at the restaurant's striking marble bar. "We really need to get together more often."

"Yeah, we do," Claire Fisher agrees. "God, you look great."

Molly laughs as she pats her stomach, which seems to be growing rounder and firmer with each passing day. "Maybe strapping a basketball to myself permanently would be a good look, then."

"You really look terrific. Pregnancy suits you."

"Thanks." Molly catches the bartender's eye and orders a tonic water with lime. "I'll tell you, though, my back is absolutely killing me."

"That's how it was for me, too," Claire says. "I hate to tell you, but it only gets worse."

"I figured as much."

Claire lifts her martini glass. "Everything's looking good with the baby, though?"

"Yeah. My doctor says everything is exactly how it should be."

"Good, good. You're going to make an excellent mother, Molly."

Molly hopes that is true, despite what her recent nightmares have been trying to tell her. "And how about you? How are you holding up?" she asks.

"That's a good question," Claire says. Her gaze falls into her glass, and she brings it to her mouth for a drink.

"Ryan told me what happened with Tim. That he knows."

"He's not stupid. It was foolish to think that we could just keep it from him forever."

Molly nods but holds her response as the bartender hands her her drink. Setting it down in front of herself, she says, "Why are you running off to spend time alone with Ryan?"

Claire looks sharply up at her. "It's not like that."

"It doesn't matter what it's like, Claire. You can't be sneaking off with Ryan."

Another protest slides past Claire's lips, but she restrains it. "It was a dumb thing to do, yes. But I am committed to Tim, end of story. I married him, and I'm going to honor those vows."

Molly takes another contemplative sip of her water before saying, "That's what Brent said about Sarah."

"This is a completely different situation!"

"In some ways, yeah, it is. But when you feel that kind of passion for someone other than your spouse, there is bound to be trouble. Even if you never act on it, it's going to rear its head in one way or another."

Claire is quiet, something Molly takes as confirmation that she has hit a chord.

"I want you to be happy, and I don't want to see either of my brothers hurt," Molly says. "But if you keep up this charade, all three of you are going to be miserable."


A blast of cold air charges at Alex Marshall as he opens the freezer door. He scans the ice cream selection, moves to pick up a carton of chocolate-peanut butter, and then hesitates when the oatmeal cookie catches his eye. An instant later, oatmeal cookie it is, and Alex closes the door.

He turns the corner out of the freezer aisle and is nearly run down by an elderly woman steering a shopping cart with more force than she should possess, given her tiny frame. Alex dives out of the way--and it's a good thing he does, because the woman doesn't even pause; her only acknowledgement of the near-collision is a quick scowl in his direction.

Still in one piece, Alex sets course for the checkout stand. He gets only a few steps, however, when another potential disaster, a much less avoidable one, presents itself.

He thinks of ducking into the nearest aisle, but it is too late: Dylan Carrington has already spotted him. In step behind him are his three cronies, whom Alex identifies as Stephen, Colton, and Marty, though he has no idea which of the indistinguishable young men is which. Drawing a deep breath, Alex decides to get this over with as quickly as possible.

As they move closer, Dylan is the first to speak: "I don't want any trouble, okay?"

Alex finds that a strange thing for him to say, but since Dylan had to open that can of worms, Alex responds, "I find that kind of surprising. Isn't trouble your M.O.?"

"Your book's gonna be fine, right? No harm done."

"Only because Trevor was able to knock some sense into you." Remembering Trevor's explanation of how he convinced Dylan to recant, Alex adds, "For what it's worth, Trevor and I have worked things out, so none of your little games turned out to be very successful in the end."

"Fine. You two can get fat together, for all I care," Dylan says, indicating the carton of ice cream. "Just make sure your psycho boyfriend leaves me the hell alone."

"I don't really think Trevor is the one who should be called a psycho in this situation."

"You don't call coming after me with a knife psycho? Your mother really did do a number on you, honey."

Alex stops just short of choking on his own breath. "What are you talking about?"

Dylan breaks out into a laugh as realization strikes him. He turns back to his clique. "Apparently someone didn't tell the whole story ..."

"Trevor told me everything," Alex lies. Disturbed as he is, he cannot stand to see Dylan so smug.

"Fine. Whatever. Just keep him away from me. I'm going back to Alaska next week, anyway, so he'll have to find someone else to assault." Dylan puckers his lips. "Have a nice life, sweetie."

Alex doesn't say anything more. The four boys go off in search of whatever it is they are here for, and Alex hurries toward the checkstand, almost frantic to get home and, he hopes, get his hands to stop shaking.


Standing in front of Matt's door, the same she has countless times before, Sarah finds herself wishing that she were anyplace but here. There visits rarely turn out well. Lately she and Matt have foregone the actual visits altogether, instead exchanging Tori at her school: one drops her off, the other picks her up. And so, as much as Sarah does not want to get into the middle of this any more than she already is, the chance to see Matt is just enough to keep her from bolting.

A sense of dread fills her as she knocks. She isn't sure that she can handle another disappointing encounter with him.

When Matt answers, she sees something similarly worried in his expression, but it quickly gives way to ... relief?

"Oh, good, it's you," he says. Given the recent dynamic between them, that seems like a weird thing for him to say.

"What, you were expecting Satan?"

The beginnings of a laugh stir on Matt's lips. "No, I ... I had to set the record straight with Jennie a little while ago, and she got kind of hysterical. I thought she might be back to reason with me or something."

"You broke up with her?"

"There was nothing to break up. She had the wrong idea. I made sure she got the right one. End of story."

"Fair enough," Sarah says, and when Matt leaves the door, Sarah wanders after him into the apartment. "Listen, Matt, I really don't want to be in the middle of this, but I kind of already am, so ... your brother called me tonight."

Matt stops cold but leaves his back toward her.

"He wanted to check in, find out how we were doing ... see if maybe there's a chance you'd be willing to talk with him, now that a little time has passed."

She takes his silence as a bad sign, so she adds quickly, "I promise I am not trying to use this as a way to get back into your good graces or anything. I'm done interfering."

His head bobs up and down in a slow nod, and he turns to face her. "Thanks, then."

"You'll talk to him?"

His features harden. Typical Matt: clamming up when something gets uncomfortable.

"For what it's worth, I want you to be happy," she says, taking a few steps toward him. "Maybe it doesn't feel like it right now, but patching things up with your brother will do that, once you get past the initial roughness."

"I dunno. It seems wrong, or something, like we shouldn't be able to put everything that happened with Nicole behind us."

"You've got to stop punishing yourself for that. Jake is ready to put it in the past. You should give yourself the opportunity to be free of it."

"I don't think I'll ever be free of it."

"Maybe not, but this could be a huge step."

His eyes drop to the carpet. His sudden vulnerability takes Sarah by surprise; he is usually so reserved that, whenever she has the chance to see him this way, it affects her greatly.

"You owe it to yourself," she says, reaching out to touch his arm. Even this slight bit of contact is electric.

Matt looks up at her, and in her head, everything stops.


Are Sarah and Matt about to have a breakthrough?
Is Dylan trying to make more trouble, or is he telling the truth?
Will Claire be forced to make a choice?
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