Episode #372

Previously ...
- Kelsey noticed a close moment between Jason and Courtney at the rink.
Sarah and Matt came close to sharing a kiss but were interrupted by a bruised Jennie. Matt took care of her after she explained that her father had turned violent.


The restaurant's kitchen door swings open, and Courtney Chase emerges with a heaping plate of 322's signature golden, crispy fries. She sets them down on the bar and then takes a seat beside Kelsey Barker.

"Thought you might like some of these."

"They look great. Thanks." Kelsey picks up one of the fries, heat rising from its surface. She blows on it and takes a delicate bite.

"Ooh, that is so good," she says. She finishes chewing. "Thanks for meeting me. I hate to take up your time, but it's important."

"It's no big deal. It's not like it's packed in here anyway. I can afford a little break."

Testing out another fry, Kelsey asks, "Did you do anything exciting this weekend?"

"Um, rented a movie with my mom. Had the most awkward 20-second conversation ever with this girl I went to high school with who I ran into. Grocery shopped. So unless you call any of that exciting ..."

"You've got me beat. I worked almost the entire weekend."

Courtney dumps a blob of ketchup onto the side of the plate. "How's everything going at the store? I was in there a couple weeks ago, looking at this jacket. It was kind of a greenish ..."

"I love that one. It's been selling like crazy," Kelsey says, nodding. "Things are going really well there. I love it."

"Seems more fun than serving greasy food to obnoxious people all day."

"We do have our share of sketchy people wandering in off the street, which always freaks me out a little."

"There are a lot of weirdos in that area," Courtney agrees.

"Definitely." Kelsey bites into another fry. "So, the reason I wanted to talk to you ..."

"Yeah. What's up?" Courtney asks, propping both of her elbows up on the bar.

"I have kind of a ... proposal for you."


From his spot on the couch, Matt Gray glances toward the door. If he doesn't move, he reasons, chances are that whoever it is will go away. He is in no mood for visitors, especially given the night he had last night. But then comes a second knock, and he realizes that the white noise of the television, to which he has barely paid any attention all morning, has possibly given him away.

"Matt, it's me!"

Sarah Fisher's voice comes loud and clear through the door, and Matt wonders if seeing her might be what he needs to kickstart himself. He drags himself from the couch and trudges to open the door.

Sarah takes in the sight of him before speaking. "Are you okay?" she asks.

"I'm fine. Tired, that's all." It is true--just not complete. "Slept real badly last night."

"I'm sorry. You have a minute?"

"Come on in," he says. She does, and he closes the door behind her.

"I thought we should probably talk about what happened--almost happened--last night," Sarah says, arms folded in front of her.

"Yeah." He switches off the television and finds the quiet a relief. "Look, I'm sorry about the interruption. Jennie looked like she needed help."

"You did the right thing," Sarah assures him. "And it's none of my business."

Grateful for her understanding, he nods.

"As for us," she says, "maybe it was a good thing we were interrupted. It gave me some time to think before ... anything happened that either of us might regret."

"I wouldn't have regretted it."

A smile spreads over Sarah's face. "Good. Me neither. I wanted us both to be sure of that, though."

"I am. All that stuff that went down when Jake was in town--I overreacted."

"I shouldn't have sprung him on you that way," she says. "So last night: was that a breakthrough for us? And what now?"


The lobby of the police station looks very different from what Jennie Burkle expected. Movies and television gave her the impression that the place would be dark and intimidating, full of hardened, unfriendly individuals. What she steps into, however, looks more or less like any other place of business: desks and windows manned by employees who appear personable, if bored; hallways branching off from the lobby in several directions; people standing around, engaged in regular conversation.

She isn't sure if this switch from what she anticipated is a good thing. True, the police station is more welcoming than she thought it would be, and that helps her to relax. But someplace dreary seems more fitting for what she is here to do. She feels seedy coming into a place like this to do what she must.

Waiting for her nerves to settle, Jennie looks around, searching for some clue as to how she should go about this. Her attention pauses over a familiar face. She can't remember his name, but it takes her only a second to place him: Sarah's ex, the guy she cheated on with Matt. Probably lucky for him, getting away from a walking disaster like that.

Too bad Matt had to get sucked into it, she thinks.

"Can I help you, ma'am?"

She turns to find a middle-aged man in uniform. Her fingers brush over the bruise on her face.

"Yes," she says, touching her hand to her chest. "I have an ... an assault to report."


Kelsey waits by the side of the ice. She knows that Jason has seen her, and now that the session is over and the Zamboni is about to take to the ice for a resurfacing, she hopes that he will have a few minutes to chat.

"What are you doing here?" Jason asks when he comes off the ice.

"I have something to talk to you about," she says. "Are you done teaching for the day?"

"No, I've got two more lessons on the next session."

"I'll keep it quick, then."

Jason slips the plastic guards over his blades. "Let's get away from all these kids," he says. He leads the way over to the bleachers.

As Kelsey settles down onto one of the worn wooden planks, she comments, "That looked like an, um, interesting lesson you were giving."

With a groan, Jason says, "As much as I appreciate Sandy handing off some students to me, I wish she'd pick some less insane ones. All that girl wants to do is hear that she's the best skater around. She's always like, 'Whose Axel is better, mine or Kayla's? You can only say one!'"

"Oh, one of those."

"Yeah. I'm running out of diplomatic answers." He removes his gloves. "So what's up?"

"This might sound like it's coming out of nowhere," Kelsey says, "but I've been thinking about it, considering all the stuff that's happened the past few months, and it makes a lot of sense to me. It's just an idea, though, something I want to run by you, so if it doesn't sound good, just tell me."

"Okay ..."

"I know you're determined to pass that Senior test as soon as possible." She pauses, praying that this goes over well. "And so is Courtney."

Jason's expression shifts. Suddenly Kelsey detects something more reserved, more comtemplative, about him.

"It'd make sense for you guys to take the test together," she says. "Courtney really got messed up when things fell apart with Dylan, and until she finds someone new to skate with, she can't take the test. You guys already know you're compatible together."

"As skaters," Jason says, a darker note shading his words.

"I already spoke to Courtney about it, and she thinks it's a good idea. I wanted to run it by you without her around, though."

"It does make sense," Jason admits. "But after all that we've been through ... I'm not sure that it's a good idea. You weren't around when things blew up between us or when Lauren and I started dating. It was really ugly."

Kelsey can't disagree, but from what she has observed, that tension has cooled greatly since her arrival in King's Bay.

"It's worth considering," Kelsey says.

"I guess. I need to talk to Lauren before I even start considering it, though."

Kelsey stands and pats his shoulder. "Just something to think about. And hey, if you decide that it's not a good idea, I'm more than happy to keep skating with you."

She takes a few steps away from him and then stops.

"I do know Courtney would really appreciate it," she says.

Jason looks back at her, shoulders slumped, as if the weight of the world has been placed upon him.


Matt's hesitation fills Sarah with panic, but she relaxes as soon as she feels his fingers curl around hers.

"Definitely a breakthrough," he says. "And now? I don't care, as long as we're together."

The moment is surreal to Sarah. After all the plans and the misunderstandings, this is it? It seems too simple--and yet totally complete.

"Tori is going to be so happy," she says.

"You look pretty happy yourself." Matt smiles, for what seems to Sarah to be the first time in months and months, and she cannot resist doing the same.

She leans toward him. "What do you say we seal the deal?"

"Sounds like a plan."

An insistent knock cuts into their calm. Sarah can tell that Matt is prepared to ignore it, but it sounds serious.

"You should get that," she says. When Matt appears reluctant to move away from her, she adds, "I'll wait right here."

Matt moves swiftly to the door, clearly eager to get the interruption out of their way, but as soon as he opens it, everything grinds to a standstill.

"Mr. Gray?" asks one of the police officers before them.

"That's me," Matt says. "What can I do for you?"

His identity confirmed, the two officers move quickly. It is a procedure that Sarah recognizes from her days as an officer, but it seems very wrong for Matt to be on the receiving end.

"Mr. Gray, there have been some very serious charges filed against you, and I'm going to have to ask you to come with us."

Sarah can see Matt's body tense with panic.

"What's going on?" he asks, hand still on the door as if ready to slam it shut.

"Mr. Gray, I'm placing you under arrest for rape."


What really happened between Matt and Jennie?
Will Jason go along with Kelsey's plan?
Come discuss this episode in the Footprints Forum!

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