Episode #416

Previously ...
- Following the disastrous bachelor auction, Katherine awoke from a nightmare. She went to Nick's house and was admitted by the maid, Lola.
- Tim went out for a mysterious errand and, upon returning home, refused to tell Diane where he had been.
- Claire told Ryan about Nick's threat regarding Travis. Ryan went to see Nick, but he found Katherine already in the study--standing over Nick's body and holding a gun.


Red and blue lights fill the sky. Police and officials flow in and out of the house. Neighbors stand on their front porches or at their windows, watching as a stretcher is loaded into an ambulance. The doors close and, in an instant, the ambulance speeds off, sirens blaring.

Ryan Moriani and Lola Bouvier stand on the curb, watching the ambulance disappear into the distance.

"I wish I'd known what she was gonna do," Lola says. "I never would've let her in to see him."

Ryan's gaze shifts to one of the police cars, where his stepmother sits in the back seat.

"There's nothing anyone could have done to stop it," he says. "One way or another, my father was going to get what he had coming."

Lola's mouth gapes open. "He's your father!"

"He wore out that card long ago."

Brent Taylor approaches the pair.

"I'm going to need to get statements from both of you," Brent says. Ryan and Lola nod in agreement.

"Is Mr. Moriani gonna be okay?" Lola asks, looking down the road as though she expects the ambulance to reappear.

"Too soon to tell," Brent says. "The bullet got him right in the chest."

Again Ryan looks to Katherine. Her face is expressionless, pale. She stares straight ahead, at the headrest of the driver's seat.

"If both of you could come to the station and give your statements tonight, it would really help," Brent continues. "I'd like to have everything lined up as soon as possible."

"Of course," Lola says, wide-eyed and shaky.

Ryan lowers his voice and asks, "Do you have to take Katherine to the station? Look at her--she's terrified."

"Ryan, she shot a man! We found her holding a gun and standing over his body. Evidence doesn't get much more damning than that."

Brent starts to move away, and Ryan cannot think of a solid counterargument. But then Brent turns back to him.

"What happened to your hand?" he asks, gesturing at Ryan's bandaged hand.

"Oh, I dropped a bottle," Ryan says. "One of those glass ones with the sparkling water. I was picking up the pieces and nicked myself."

Brent takes in this information with a stern nod before returning to his work.


The sounds of footsteps and clanking metal echo off the concrete walls and through the hollow space. Katherine Fitch Moriani eyes the steel bars in front of her; she nears them one reluctant step at a time. Inside the cell are two other women: one, probably in her late 30s, with stringy blonde hair and deep creases in her face; and another young enough to be Katherine's granddaughter, wearing jeans so baggy that she could probably fit two of herself in them.

The officer escorting her pulls out a large ring of keys and slides the door open.

"How long will I be here?" Katherine asks, appraising the cell from its doorway.

"'Til your arraignment," the officer, a burly woman with short, curly hair, says.

"No, no." Katherine lets out a small laugh, as if to share in the silliness of the misunderstanding. "How long until I'm transferred to my own room?"

"This is the holding cell. It's where you all stay until you're arraigned."

Katherine glances at the other two prisoners and then whispers to the officer, "You mean there could be others?"


"And when will my... arraignment be?"

The officer checks a sheet in her hand. "Tomorrow morning. Nine a.m."

"Surely you don't expect me to go so many hours without... using the facilities."

The officer points to something against the wall. Katherine turns--and gasps.

"You can't mean..."

With a grim nod, the officer ushers Katherine inside the cell. She stops mere inches past the doorway, frozen in place and staring at the alleged toilet.

A slamming noise jolts her back to reality, and she turns to find the cell door closed behind her. With a heavy sigh, Katherine turns back into the cell and takes in her surroundings.

This cannot be real. She'd have tried to reason with the officer out there, but she spoke to her attorney on the phone, and he advised her not to discuss her case at all with anyone. When he arrives in the morning, he will take care of all of this. She is sure of it.

But in the meantime... she cannot help but stare at that toilet. Right here in the middle of the room!

"You get used to it," the stringy-haired woman says, flashing a gap-toothed smile in Katherine's direction.


Ryan waits in a chair outside the office where Lola is currently being questioned. He keeps wiping his hands on his pants--taking extra care with his right, thanks to the hastily bandaged cut--but cannot seem to get his palms to stop sweating.


He looks up to find Claire hurrying toward him. Her hair is pulled back into a ponytail, and she wears a sweatsuit.

"You didn't have to come down here," he says.

"Don't be ridiculous." She takes the seat beside him, and her eyes go right to his hand. "What happened?"

"I'm an idiot. I brought one of those glass bottles of water with me, and I dropped it outside the car. I cut my hand picking up the pieces."

"Are you okay?"

"I'm fine, yeah."

Claire stares at the bandage for a long moment, then asks, "What's going on right now?"

He nods toward the closed door. "My father's maid is in there giving her statement. It's my turn next."

Claire settles her oversized purse in her lap and appears, for a moment, to be at a total loss for words.

"What happened?" she finally asks. "Katherine shot Nick?"

He starts to shake his head but freezes. "I don't know, really. Lola let me into the house, and she said Katherine was already in the study with my father. By the time I got back there--"

"Why were you there to begin with? I thought were getting ice cream."

"I did. It's--" He cracks the slightest smile. "It's still in the car, so I assume it's no good anymore. But I couldn't get what my father did out of my mind, and I thought I'd stop by just to--I don't know, yell at him, try and make him realize what he'd done."

Claire looks dubious. "Like that would do any good."

"Yeah." He glances at the still-closed door. "I gather Katherine had the same idea, only a little more extreme."

"I'd say so. And what about Nick? Is he--I mean--"

"We're still waiting for word," Ryan says, casting his eyes down at the linoleum.


Inside the office, Lola sits across the desk from Officer Cheatham. He can't be older than 30, and he has a fresh-faced quality about him that belies his utmost seriousness in doing his job.

"And what time would you say Mrs. Moriani arrived at the house?" the officer asks, his pencil poised above his notepad.

"It was right around 11:30," Lola says. "I know because I went upstairs to brush my teeth right afterward, and I checked the clock. I didn't wanna change into my nightclothes until I'd seen her out, but I figured I could get a jump on--"

"Yes, yes." Officer Cheatham records the time. "And Ryan Moriani arrived when?"

"No more than ten minutes later. I brushed my teeth and came right back downstairs, and I was getting things in order for the night when the doorbell rang."

"All right. Thank you." The officer's lips remain a thin, tight line. "When did you see that Mr. Moriani had been shot?"

"As soon as I let Mr. Moriani--Ryan, that is--in. He went back to the study, and then I heard him call out her name, and she screamed, and I rushed back there."

Lola tries to steady her trembling hands on the edge of the desk. She can't help noticing that Officer Cheatham stares at them intently, as though her hands hold some kind of answer.

"Did you hear a gunshot during the time between Katherine Moriani and Ryan Moriani's arrivals at the house?"

"No. But like I said, I was upstairs in my room, and it's a big house..."

The officer is quiet for several seconds, though it feels to Lola like several minutes, while he scribbles notes.

Finally he looks up at her. "Those were the only two visitors tonight?" he asks.

Lola shakes her head and has to swallow the lump in her throat. "No. There was someone else. Earlier."

"Who was that?"

"A man. He said his name was... Tim. Tim something-or-other."


Brent closes his office door behind him and drops down into his desk chair. He closes his eyes and lets his mind go blank--but only for a moment. He knows that he has a long night and an even longer day ahead of him.

First, now that he has a minute to breathe, he picks up his cell phone. He holds it to his ear and listens to the ringing. Once, twice...

And then the click.

"Hello?" Molly sounds groggy, unsurprisingly.

"Hey," Brent says softly. "Sorry to wake you."

"No, it's okay. What's going on? Is everything--"

"Just work. I'm sorry I rushed out like I did, but something big happened." He pauses before spitting it out: "Nick Moriani was shot."

"That's not just work!" Suddenly his wife sounds alert, like her usual self. "What happened? Who shot him?"

"Katherine. Ryan went over there and found her standing over Nick's body with a gun in her hand."

"My gosh!" Several seconds of silence follow before she says, "I guess he really did push her over the edge tonight."

"That's what it looks like," Brent says solemnly. "Look, I can't talk details right now, but I wanted to check in with you. Why don't you get back to sleep?"

"When will you be home?"

"I might be here 'til morning," he says, softening his voice again in hopes of softening the blow. "Get some rest."

"All right. I love you."

"Love you, too."

Brent ends the call and sets down the phone. Before it even makes contact with the desk's surface, there is a knock at his office door.

"Come in!" he calls out.

Rafael Diaz, a detective who's been with the force nearly as long as Brent has, comes into the office. Worry is etched deep into his face, a sign that makes Brent sit up straight in his chair.

"What's going on?" Brent asks.

"It's the gun," Detective Diaz says.

"We took it into evidence, right?"

"Yes... but there's a problem with it."

Brent rises halfway out of his chair now. "What kind of problem?"

"The gun that Mrs. Moriani had in her hand--it had a full round still in it."

"She could have reloaded it," Brent says, though even he is skeptical of the words coming out of his mouth.

"That's not all," Diaz says, shaking his head. "The bullet that was removed from the victim doesn't match the gun."

The air around Brent seems to hollow out. "You mean...?"

"Nick Moriani was shot with a different weapon."


Who do you think shot Nick?
Will Nick survive his injuries?
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