Episode #424

Previously ...
- Frustrations with rink management led Courtney and Sandy to suggest that Jason use the money from Shannon to remedy the situation.
- Trevor received a call from his agent, who had been mailed one of the videos over which Cliff blackmailed Trevor. After Trevor came clean about his past indiscretion, his agent promised to handle the situation.
- Brent fumbled to connect the dots and solve Nick's shooting.
- Balancing work, motherhood, and Brent's preoccupation with the case had Molly on edge.


It is barely 8 a.m., and already the summer sun threatens to boil everything beneath it. Molly Taylor can feel a fine sheen of sweat accumulating on her forehead as she tucks a diaper bag into the trunk of her car.

"I still think the living room was too small," Brent is saying beside her. He sounds weary from their frustrating weekend of house-hunting--the same way that Molly feels.

He finishes compacting the twins' double stroller and holds it out to Molly, just as Caleb begins to cry. Molly looks down to the sidewalk, where the boys are waiting in their carseats, and sees that he has dropped his bottle.

"It might be worth the tradeoff of having a guest room," she says. She bends down and hands Caleb his bottle; the crying stops instantly.

Brent gives her the folded stroller, and she stashes it in the trunk.

"But if you think about it," he says, "how often are we--"

He stops mid-sentence. Molly fears that something is seriously wrong, until he leans in and kisses her on the cheek.

"I have to run," he says. He bends down to say a quick goodbye to the twins.

"What? Why?"

"I just had a huge brainstorm. A breakthrough. That's the last of the boys' stuff, right?"

"Yeah, that's it." She looks into the packed trunk, then back at Brent. "Have a good day."

"You, too. Love you."

She calls out the same, but he is already getting into his car.

Molly pauses to think about how nice it will be once the investigation into Nick's shooting is over, but before she can complete the thought, her cell phone rings.

She digs it out of her purse and answers. "Hi, Claire."

As she listens to her sister-in-law, Molly picks up Christian's carseat and places it in the car.


Jason Fisher stands outside the loft's front door, wondering if this visit is a bad idea. He got so caught up in the excitement of possibility that, until this moment, he did not consider alternate outcomes. However, now that he has to stop--and think--he cannot help but fear that his plan will be shot down as some stupid folly.

Then the door swings open, and he has to spring into action.

"Hey, Ryan," he says to his half-brother.

"Jason. Hi." Ryan looks perplexed to see him, let alone at this early hour. "Is everything all right?"

"Yeah... yeah. Sorry for dropping by so early. I was on my way home from the rink, and there's something I need to talk to you about, if you have some time."

Ryan swallows his surprise. "Sure. Come in."

Jason takes in the massive loft as he follows Ryan inside. The industrial character of the space contrasts with the more traditional decor, but the two styles complement each other surprisingly well. The result is a distinctive lookthat is both sleek and sophisticated, a far cry from the sheer functionality of Jason and Alex's place.

"Can I get you anything to drink? Eat?" Ryan asks.

"Nah, I'm good. But thanks." Jason forces himself to be casual, not to look so in awe of the loft. "Really nice place."

"Thanks. Having Claire around helps me keep it in order..." Ryan clasps his hands together. "What can I do for you?"

"You understand this business stuff a lot better than I do... Say someone wanted to buy a business and overhaul it. How would you even start doing that?"

Jason cringes. His lack of knowledge in business matters must make him sound hopeless, he is sure.

Ryan smiles, but it is pleasant, a sign of amusement, rather than mocking.

"First of all, you have to find out if the business is for sale," he says through his grin. "Why? Are you thinking of overtaking some empire?"

"Er... sort of. Look, I know this sounds nuts and totally out of left field, but I have a lot of money coming my way. Or I will, if this is even possible. I want to do something useful with it."

"How much money are we talking?"

"A lot." Jason hesitates, unable to fathom the sum himself. "Millions."

"Then you might be able to pull this off."

Ryan sits down and motions for Jason to do the same.

"First things first," Ryan says. "Where did you get millions of dollars?"

Jason laughs. He can feel himself relaxing. "It's a long, ridiculous story..."


A Gavin DeGraw song emanates from the coffeehouse's speaker system. The place is busy with the morning rush of patrons desperate for their caffeine fixes. After waiting a solid five minutes for his order, Alex Marshall takes his coffee to the quiet table in the back where Trevor Brooks is waiting.

"Tell me again why we don't just make coffee at home and drink that," Alex says.

"Because our kitchens don't do hazelnut lattes, remember?" Trevor shakes his cup halfheartedly.

"We'll work on that. Coming here stresses me out when it's all crazy."

"Yeah." Trevor scans the room, as if noticing for the first time how chaotic it is. He seems preoccupied, perpetually two steps behind real time.

"Everything okay?" Alex asks.

"Yeah." Trevor spits the word out as though he has had it waiting for precisely this occasion. Then he brightens, seems to gather himself. "Did you see this yet?"

He holds up a copy of People magazine, with Lance Bass on the cover.

"I haven't read the article yet," Alex says. "Is it any good?"

Trevor shrugs. "Sure. I mean, it's interesting, but it's not like anyone is too surprised."

"Seriously. Did you have a crush on him during the 'N Sync days?"

"Gross! No." Trevor sips his latte. "Justin all the way."

"Even when he had that white boy 'fro?"

"Totally." Trevor reaches across and musses Alex's hair. "Maybe I'll make you grow one."

"Yeah, because that would work so well." Alex picks up the magazine and flips to the cover story. "Can you imagine being in the spotlight like that and having to hide something so major about yourself?"

"Must be scary," Trevor says. Without warning, his demeanor goes dark again.

"You're sure nothing's wrong?"

"I'm sure." Trevor practically snaps his response, and Alex takes the hint to stop fishing.

He contents himself with looking over the article. He wishes he knew what was bothering Trevor, but he doesn't have the slightest idea. The only that that he knows for sure is that there is definitely something wrong, something that Trevor won't tell him.


The station seems more alive to Brent than it has in weeks. As he beats a determined path to his office, the sights and sounds around him are no longer the dull trappings of frustration, but full of the vibrant color of new inspiration.

It makes so much sense. Sure, the cut on Ryan's hand is suspicious, but they have not been able to find any evidence connecting him to the broken window or to the crime scene. He has been operating on the assumption that someone unknown to them entered the house through that window. But what if it were a deliberate diversion?

"I need you to pull up Katherine Moriani's statement from the night of the shooting," he says to an officer whom he passes in the hall. "She'd better have a clear alibi for the time between when she left the auction and when she showed up at Nick's front door."

The officer hurries off to take care of it.

Brent stops at a desk and tells its occupant, "We need to get Lola Bouvier down here to answer more questions. I think we might've overlooked something huge."

He continues on to his office. He says good morning to Millie, the secretary who works with several of the higher-ranking individuals in the department, and is about to enter his office when Millie calls out:

"There's someone in there waiting to see you. A woman."

Thanking her for the information, Brent opens the door. Maybe one of the people he needs to check on has come right to him. He puts on his game face--and then freezes when he sees her.

"What are you doing here?" he manages to ask.

"Hi, Brent," his sister replies.


"Things will settle down. It will just take some time," Molly says in her most reassuring tone.

She strains to keep her focus on the road as she maneuvers the car through morning traffic. The clock ticks away minutes at a rate that is entirely too fast for her liking, and she balances the cell phone between her ear and shoulder.

"You're right," Claire says on the other end of the line. She sounds equally as stressed as Molly, though for entirely different reasons. "It's hard to accept something when it doesn't even seem real."

Molly waits to answer while she makes a left turn.

"It's a necessary step for you and Tim to move on," she says at last. "I bet Ryan is thrilled."

"He is." Claire sounds exasperated, but then a heavy coating of guilt overtakes her voice. "He has every right to be. He's been so patient."

"I promise you, you'll appreciate having done this. It's what you wan--"

Christian cries out from the back seat. The boys have been blessedly quiet so far during the drive, a rarity for Molly's morning commute.

"Of course it is," Claire says.

Molly glances into the mirror to make sure that everything is all right. As soon as she does, panic tears through her body. She couldn't have--

But she knows it is true.

"Molly?" Claire asks.

She had nearly forgotten that she was on the phone. Now she struggles to answer. "Yeah, I'm here... Sorry..."

She twists her head around to look into the back seat. How could she have--

"Claire, I have to go."

Claire doesn't even finish responding before Molly hangs up.

Her hands tingle, barely able to control the steering wheel. But she swings the car around in a frantic U-turn, unable to believe that she left Caleb behind.


Will Molly get back to Caleb before someone else does?
What is Danielle doing back in town?
Will Ryan be able to help Jason execute his plan?
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