Episode #378

Previously ...
- Tim and Diane visited Nick Moriani and proposed a deal: Tim would keep his knowledge of Nick's criminal activity quiet if Nick provided proof that Ryan was involved with Tim's captivity. Katherine overheard the offer.
- While at work, a pregnant Molly experienced severe stomach pains and told Camille that she had to get to the hospital.
- Sarah confronted Jennie in an effort to get the truth out of her, but she only made the situation worse.
- Jason told Courtney that he'd like to try skating together again--and they realized that Courtney might hold the key to clearing Matt's name.


The elevator climbs with its usual steady slowness, humming loudly as it passes the time between floors. Its lack of urgency seems like a taunt to Brent Taylor. He wishes that he took the stairs: it might have taken a little longer to reach his destination that way, but at least he would be moving the whole time--feeling like he was actually doing something, rather than standing helplessly in this box.

When it finally arrives at the correct floor, the elevator tortures him for another excruciating instant by pausing before opening its doors. They part only enough for him to fit through before he bursts out and speeds toward the area where Camille told him to meet them. Sure enough, there are Camille and Ryan, still dressed in their office attire. Paula and Tim are also present.

"Any word yet?" Brent asks before any of the four can greet him.

Camille rises from the uncomfortable-looking chair and shakes her head. "Nothing yet, no."

"What happened, exactly?"

"She didn't look well at all," Camille explains, "and then she told me that her stomach was hurting badly. She thought it would be wise to come here."

"She said the pain kept getting worse during the car ride over," Ryan adds.

Brent offers Camille a grateful expression and then, somewhat grudgingly, offers it to Ryan, as well. "Thanks for getting her here so fast."

He moves closer to Paula and Tim. "How are you guys?" he asks. Their responses indicate their preoccupation more than anything, and when they lapse into silence, Brent realizes that he can't deal with the waiting. He addresses Tim: "I'm glad you're here, 'cause there's some stuff I wanted to fill you in on."

Brent leads Tim back out into the hallway, just around a corner, before he explains any further.

"We worked out a deal with Domingo," he says.

Tim looks appalled. "You're letting him go?"

"No, he hasn't accepted yet. But here's the thing: we'll reduce the charges against him only if he identifies whoever it was that had you sent to his clinic."

"Whoa. Do you think he's going to take it?"

"It would be stupid of him not to," Brent says. "It works fully to his benefit. So, assuming that he does go for it, you could have those answers very soon."

Suddenly Tim has a hundred questions, all of which Brent is more than happy to answer. Anything to keep him from obsessing over what could be going on with Molly.

So distracted by their discussion are both men, however, that neither notices that Ryan has conveniently wandered to the edge of the waiting area, well within earshot.


"I got here as soon as I could," Sarah Fisher says as she enters her younger brother's apartment. "I had to drop Tori off at her friend Fee's house--"

Jason closes the door and motions for her to settle down. "Don't worry about it. We're just glad you could make it."

Sarah begins to respond, but then she spots Courtney waiting in the living room.

"Hi, Courtney ..." The tail end of the statement, unspoken but audible nevertheless, poses the question on Sarah's mind: What are you doing here?

"Courtney and I are going to skate together again," Jason explains, though he isn't sure why he feels the need to offer that information. He hopes it will quell Sarah's obvious intrigue--make her see that Courtney's presence is completely justified, nothing to worry about.

"Here's the thing," he continues. "Court and I were talking, and I told her about this thing with Matt and Jennie--"

Immediately Sarah's face droops.

"Sarah, we know Matt didn't do this," Jason says.

That perks up his sister a little bit, but she still looks glum. "Thanks, but I'm not sure that it matters what any of us think. Unless we can find proof--"

"That's where Courtney comes in." Jason gestures toward the dark-haired young woman, as if offering her a cue to jump in.

"I ran into Jennie a few weeks ago," Courtney explains. "I remember that it was the night before I met with Kelsey to talk about skating with Jason, and he says that's the same night that ... Jennie says this happened."

Sarah's interest in piqued. "The 26th?"

"Yeah. The thing is, I ran into Jennie at the store, and we had to make awkward small talk for a few minutes. But the whole time, I couldn't take my eyes off her face. She had a fresh bruise on her eye."


Brent turns his wrist to check his watch, but he barely notices the time. It doesn't matter, anyway--it only confirms that the minutes are dragging their heels. It won't produce news about Molly any sooner. By now, even the stiff waiting room chairs are starting to hold some appeal, but Brent remains on his feet. He paces the floor, sharing the occasional bit of small talk with Tim or Paula or Camille.

Plenty more minutes creep by before the doctor, a young man whom Brent recognizes from Molly's past appointments, steps into the waiting room. Brent's pulse soars: maybe the waiting was better than staring bad news right in the face.

"How is she?" Brent asks immediately. "Is she okay? And the baby--"

"Your wife is fine," Dr. Flowers assures him, "and there's nothing to worry about." Molly appears behind him, looking contrite.

"Sorry I got you all so worried," she says to the others, who have gathered around. They shower her with a litany of reassurances that they are just happy to hear that she and the baby are okay.

"Well," the doctor says, "there is one major thing that we found."

Fresh alarm surges through Brent's veins. "What? What is it?"

The doctor defers to Molly, who hesitates for a moment before saying, "It is a major thing, yeah."

"Something to be concerned about?" Paula asks.

"Something unexpected," Molly says. "That one thing--it's another baby."

The moment feels surreal to Brent. "Another baby? You mean ..."

"We're having twins!"


A wave of shock ripples through the small group, and as it settles, the gasps and stunned laughter turn into a torrent of congratulations. Molly moves to Brent's side, and slowly--very slowly--the notion that he has two children on the way begins to absorb.

The doctor explains that he'd like to have a quick word with them about continued care for the remainder of the pregnancy, so the couple sees the others off in another flood of congratulations and thanks. Only when they are finally alone does Brent truly look at his wife and linger over the sight of her: her rosy smile, her rounded belly, her delicate hands intertwined with his.

"I cannot believe this," he says. It is the most he can manage.

"Neither can I. I never guessed ..." Her words trickle into an excited giggle.

"You have no idea how worried I was." Brent wraps his arms around her and pulls her close. "I am so glad everything's okay. And not just okay, but amazing. Completely amazing."

"I know." Molly breathes a contented sigh, and Brent feels it against his chest, calming his racing heart.

In the parking garage, Ryan pauses mid-step when he hears the chirp of his cell phone. He removes from his jacket and answers all in one liquid movement.


The voice that meets his ear is not the one that he expected, based upon the caller ID. Its urgency, however, gives him little time to ponder that point.

"I'll meet you there as quickly as I can," he says, putting the phone away as he hurries toward his car.


Jason stands to the side, watching the conversation between the two women. Their words are coming faster now as the pieces shift into place.

"What time did you see her?" Sarah asks, leaning forward.

"Eight o'clock? Eight-thirty? It had to be somewhere in there," Courtney says, "because my mom and I were watching a movie, and we started it before nine."

Sarah's eyes grow even wider. "Jennie didn't come over to Matt's until after nine."

Courtney nods encouragingly.

"Oh my God, you guys, thank you!" Sarah exclaims, grabbing Courtney's hands and then squeezing Jason in a hug. "Courtney, would you be willing to testify--if it comes to that?"

"Of course, yeah."

Sarah breathes an enormous sigh of relief, closing her eyes as if to savor the moment.

"I have to go tell Matt about this," she says. "I'll give you guys a call to let you know what's going on." She dashes for the door, pulls it open, and then pauses. "Thank you so much!"

They see her off, and once she has gone, the excited buzz lingers in the apartment. Jason turns to Courtney.

"I really appreciate you doing this," he tells her, "and it means so much to Sarah and Matt."

"I know. I'm glad I could help," Courtney says.

Jason takes his eyes away from her and focuses them on the closed door, where Sarah was only a few moments ago. "I just hope that this is what they need to break the case open."


Ryan's blood is still racing from his hurried drive as he arrives at the top floor of his building. He got here as quickly as he could, but when he reaches his door, he finds his stepmother standing outside his loft.

Both hands clutch the handle of her purse, and Katherine's face holds its features tight, as if working hard to seal any emotion behind them.

"What's this about?" Ryan asks, frustrated that he cannot discern anything from her expression.

Katherine glances around the empty hallway. "Why don't we go inside first?"

Ryan unlocks the door, and they enter the spacious loft. Katherine surveys the place but makes no move to sit down.

"I'm not sure that I should even be here," she says.

Well, you are, so don't waste my time, Ryan's mind snaps, but he reins himself in. "Is something the matter?"

"Yes." She looks to the door, as though she expects someone to come bounding in at any instant. "It's about your father."

"That's what I figured. Did he do something to you?"

She shakes her head but stops in mid-movement. "Actually ... yes. Your father--he had something to do with my shooting. And with the fire at my mansion."

Ryan feigns surprise as best he can, though he isn't sure that he does a particularly effective job of it. He doesn't want Katherine to know that he had any idea about Nick's activities, but he certainly wasn't expecting to be ambushed like this.

"Katherine, I'm ... I don't know what--"

"You needn't bother," she intercedes. "I've known for some time. I was sure that you knew, also. Some things that he said made me almost certain of it."

Ryan opens his mouth to defend himself, but she holds up her palm.

"That isn't what I'm here to speak with you about," she says. "Not directly, at any rate. Something else has come up."

Too stunned to speak, he stands back and awaits her response. He hovers over one of the deep, leather armchairs and eventually finds himself planted on its arm.

"You see, I have something of a dilemma," Katherine explains. "As you can imagine, I was less than pleased to learn about your father's activities--not entirely surprised, either, but I hadn't considered that he had been responsible for the things that had happened to me. As upset as I am, he is my husband, and ... well, I'm not going to be made to look like a fool."

"So you're staying with him?"

She nods. "Nick and I have an understanding. I'll stay with him, and in public we'll act as though nothing is the matter. In private, of course, he is on very thin ice. One misstep and I could go to the police at any moment."

Ryan tries his best to suppress a snicker, recalling his encounter with his father and Katherine at the mall a few months back. The thought of control-freak Nick being yanked around by this lady is hilarious to him.

"I don't see where the dilemma comes in," Ryan says. "Are you second-guessing your plan?"

"No. Not in and of itself, anyhow. But I was privy to a conversation that Nick had--" She pauses, apparently trying to figure out how to approach this next bit. "Your brother--Tim, is it?--came by the house to speak with Nick. He had a woman with him. Dark hair, big lips ..."


"Yes, that's it. They wanted to make a deal with your father: if he could provide proof that you had something to do with Tim being missing all those years, Tim would agree to keep quiet with his knowledge of Nick's ... unsavory activity."

"What?" Ryan's heart starts pounding, and he springs to his feet. "I didn't--I don't know anything about that! He's trying to set me up!" He thinks immediately of going after Tim and teaching him a lesson, but it seems wise to gather all the information first. "I don't understand why you're telling me this. Wouldn't keeping quiet fit into your plan much better?"

"Yes, but ..." The lines in her face become more apparent now. "As much as I'd prefer not to make any noise about this, I don't feel that I can stand by and watch Nick throw you to the wolves--especially if you had no part in this to begin with."

Ryan forces himself to draw a few calming breaths, and clarity begins to settle in.

"Thank you, Katherine," he says, already fingering the keys in his pocket. "I know exactly what I have to do now."


What will be Ryan's next move?
Was it wise of Katherine to admit the truth to Ryan?
Can Sarah and Matt use this new information to their advantage?
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