Episode #418

Previously ...
- In New York, Trevor met with Cliff Burkett--who demanded $5,000 in exchange for not releasing adult videos that Trevor made for him years ago.
- Seth Ashby turned up in King's Bay to apologize to Alex. He also invited Alex to his upcoming wedding.
- The police released Katherine after finding that the gun she was holding was not the one that shot Nick. Brent later questioned Tim, who claimed to have punched Nick but done no more.


Fully dressed after his shower, Alex Marshall opens his bedroom door and returns to the bathroom to hang up his towel. Despite the still-running air vent, a mist of fog lingers in the bathroom. When Alex looks to the mirror, he finds it still cloudy. He touches a finger to its surface, leaving one small, clear area in the midst of the haze.

There is a knock at the door, and it jolts him back to reality. He has moved through the entire day so far in his own fog. After Seth's visit last night, he went to bed immediately, although it took him much longer than that to fall asleep. He didn't wake up this morning until Jason had already left for the rink, so it has been only him and his thoughts ever since Seth left last night.

Now the knock serves as notice that it is time to pull himself together. He answers the door to find Trevor Brooks's smiling face staring back at him.

"You made good time!" Alex says as Trevor hugs him. "I just barely finished showering."

"I don't suppose you're up for another one right away, then?" Trevor suggests, shutting the door behind him. He holds on tightly to Alex.

"Not really." Alex buries his head against Trevor's shoulder. "Unless maybe someone gave me a reason to need another one..."

They collapse onto the couch, lips already sealed together, arms tangled up in one another, and it is several minutes before another actual word is spoken.

"Did you have a good trip?" Alex asks as he rests against Trevor's body.

"I don't know about good, but it was... productive, I guess."

"Was it a bad shoot?"

"No, nothing like that." Trevor stares off at some remote spot on the ceiling. "Just a bunch of crap I didn't want to deal with, but I guess it's better to have it done. Right?"

"Right..." Alex's answer is tentative; it dribbles out while he studies Trevor, trying to put his finger on what seems off.

"Did you have fun at the auction thing?" Trevor asks suddenly. He seems to snap back to life.

"You would not believe what a catastrophe it was."

"Long story?"

"Very. Entertaining, but long."

"Save it for later, then," Trevor says as he rolls on top of Alex and kisses him again.


The arena is abuzz with noise and activity as skaters file off the ice after the morning's group classes. Jason Fisher and Courtney Chase manage to slip off to the coaches' room, where they find one of the other coaches already removing her skates.

"I don't know if I can handle another five weeks with this group," Courtney says as she sits down on one of the benches.

"Hey, at least you don't have the kid who demanded a bathroom break every four minutes," Jason says.

"No. I have the one who asked if he could see my 'good girl.' He actually said that. Can I see your good girl?"

Jason and the other coach burst out into laughter. Courtney makes a tortured face and then joins in.

The laughter flags when the door opens and Sandy James enters the room. The other coach picks up her skates and slips out after offering a quick goodbye, and Sandy takes a seat beside Courtney.

"I take it you guys had good classes," Sandy says as they finally stop laughing.

"If by 'good' you mean 'completely insane,'" Jason says.

Sandy nods knowingly. "I've been doing this for long enough, believe me." Then she falls quiet.

"What's the matter?" Courtney asks.

"I just got out of a meeting with the rink management. They don't want to give us any more time for figure skating, even though I keep telling them that if we don't have the ice time to work with, we can't build a program that will earn them money..." She lets out a moan and drops her face into her hands.

Courtney and Jason exchange a brief look. They have been around this sport--and this facility--long enough to know that there is no easy fix to the problem. Now that they are trying to build coaching careers, the threat is even more troubling than when they were "just" skaters.

Jason finishes taking off his skates and pulls his cell phone from his bag. Seeing that he has a voicemail message, he dials his mailbox to listen to it.

Meanwhile, Sandy continues venting to Courtney about the frustration of the meeting. Jason tries to keep an ear on their conversation, but the voicemail quickly commands all of his attention.

Courtney reads the puzzled expression on his face and, as soon as he finishes listening to the message, she asks, "What was that all about?"

"A message from some attorney, asking me to make an appointment to meet with him as soon as possible."

Both of the women lean forward, intrigued.

"What attorney?" Sandy asks.

"I have no idea," Jason says, staring at the phone as if it will provide an answer. "He just said it's of the utmost importance and that he needs to meet with me soon."


Lauren Brooks pushes her cart down the bread aisle, glancing casually through the glass doors as she goes. Sandwich bread... dinner rolls... even though she knows that she needs to fill up the cart with some kind of food for the coming week, none of this looks especially appealing to her.

She is so distracted by her perusing that she fails to notice Josh Taylor, paused at the end of the aisle, waiting for her to notice him.

"Hey!" Josh finally calls out.

Lauren looks up, a bit startled, and finds him standing at the end of the aisle with a basket in hand. Once she notices him, Josh approaches.

"This is awfully domestic of you," Lauren says. "You cook?"

Josh picks a frozen dinner from the basket. "I microwave."

"I should've guessed."

"What, are you planning some fancy, luxurious meal?"

She gestures at the random assortment of produce, pasta, and yogurt in her cart. "Not exactly."

"You know what I think?" He doesn't wait for her to guess. "I think we should get going on that little date you purchased, seeing as how neither of us has a good meal to look forward to..."

"Oh, very smooth," she says, unable to suppress a smile. "What about this play we're supposed to go see?"

"It looks so boring. Since you're not the 60-year-old hag I expected to be going on a date with, maybe we can trade up for, like, a concert next weekend."

Lauren nods. "That sounds good. When I get home, I can check Ticketmaster."

"I believe it's Ticketmaster dot com," Josh says with a crazed smile. "You'd better find something... festive."

She laughs, despite having no idea what she is even laughing at, and leans on her cart. "Do you trust my taste?"

"Hey, you did pay to go on a date with me. If that's not good taste, I don't know what is."


As soon as the door closes behind his latest visitors, Brent Taylor picks up his phone. The day has been beyond busy, and now that he has a free moment, he doesn't hesitate to make a call that he has been planning to make all day.

It rings twice on the other end before he receives an answer.

"Hello?" Molly asks, sounding ragged.

"Hey," Brent says gently. "How are things going?"

"Fine." One of the twins shrieks in the background. "Crazy. Are things getting any clearer with the Nick situation?"

Brent sighs. He can't say much about his talk with Tim, especially not to Tim's sister, and there are few promising clues at this point.

"It'll take some time," he finally says.

"Will you be home for dinner?"

"I'm going to do my best. I'll keep you posted."

Another cry in the background. "Let me get going. Oh--where did you put your toolset?"

"It should be above the washer and dryer, on that rack."

"Okay. I'm going to try and put that bookshelf together when the boys go down for their nap."

"Mol, try to relax. Last night was a late night."

"I will, don't worry. Get back to work, okay? I love you."

"I love you, too," he says, but as he hangs up, he cannot shake the sense that something is off.

He doesn't have long to dwell on it, because there is yet another knock on his door.

"Come in!" he yells.

This time, the visitor is Detective Diaz. He enters with a certain energy, an excitement, that makes Brent immediately shoot to his feet.

"What is it?" Brent asks.

"There was something we totally missed overlooked in the crime scene report," Diaz says. "There was a broken window at Moriani's house."


"The family room, on the first floor. It was hidden behind a curtain. Broken glass on the floor."

"The broken glass was inside the house?"


The two men are quiet, but the significance of this does not need to be spoken to be understood: Someone else was in Nick's house that night.


"It was so crazy," Alex says as he pulls his t-shirt back on. He sits on the floor, his body slumped against the couch and Trevor right beside him.

"I'm sorry I missed it," Trevor says. "It's hard to find a good public commotion these days."

"That's why I keep hanging around Jason's family!"

They both laugh, and Trevor stands to button his jeans.

"It's so weird to me that Lauren would bid on Josh, let alone fight hard enough to win him," Trevor says as he strolls aimlessly around the room.

"I've given up trying to figure out what's going on there. I mean, do you think she's into him?"

Trevor makes a face, although Alex has no idea what it's supposed to represent, besides utter confusion.

"What's this?" Trevor asks. Alex looks up just in time to see Trevor pick up the square envelope from the bookshelf--the envelope that Seth left here last night.

For some reason, Alex's heart goes into overdrive. "Nothing. Just a wedding invitation."

"Ooh, who's getting married?"

"Friend from college." Alex stands up quickly. He tries, as gracefully as possible, to take the envelope from Trevor; he isn't sure that he succeeds in being subtle, but at least he gets it before Trevor opens it up.

"Do I get to be your plus-one?"

"I don't even think I'm gonna go," Alex says. He files the envelope away in the drawer where he keeps his bills and mail.

"Why not?"

Alex shrugs. "There's no reason. Nothing there for me."

"Way to make someone else's wedding all about you," Trevor teases. "Come on, it'll be fun. Is it around here?"

"No, Portland. I don't think it's worth the trip."

"We could do a weekend road trip--"

"I don't want to go, okay?" Alex turns away and heads for the kitchen. "Do you want anything to eat? I'm starving."

"Sure," Trevor answers. He lingers in the living room for another moment before following Alex.


Should Alex tell Trevor about Seth's visit?
Will Lauren and Josh's date be a success?
What does the attorney want with Jason?
Come on over to the Footprints Forum to discuss!

Next Episode