Episode #425

Previously ...
- Brent had a brainstorm about the shooting case and rushed to work to follow up on it. When he got there, he found a surprise awaiting him: his sister, Danielle.
- In a rush to get to work, Molly loaded the twins into her car while fielding a phone call and saying goodbye to Brent. While driving, she was horrified to realize that Caleb wasn't in the car!


Brent Taylor can hardly believe the sight that greets him when he enters his office. Of all the people whom he might have expected to be waiting here for him, his sister would not have been one.

"What are you doing here?"

"Hi, Brent." Danielle rises from her seat and approaches him. "Surprised?"

"Uh, yeah. Very."

They hug, and Brent steps backward to look her over. Only then does it sink in that she really is here.

"I hope you don't mind," she says. "I wanted to surprise you, but by the time I got off the plane, I figured you'd already have left for work..."

"No, this is definitely a good surprise." He steps around his desk and sinks into his well-worn chair. "But... What are you doing? Dad said you've been traveling."

"Yeah." Danielle pauses to brush her blonde hair behind her ears. "I'm sorry I was out of touch for so long, but you know how it is."

Brent nods, but in truth, he has no idea "how it is." He cannot imagine taking off for months on end, leaving his family with no way to get in touch. But that is the way that Danielle has always been, and he is long past getting worked up over it.

"I can't wait to meet the twins," she says, a smile brightening her face once again. "How is everything--fatherhood? How's Molly doing?"

"Things are really good. I mean, the boys are a handful, and we're both exhausted most of the time, but it's worth it."

"I always knew you'd make a great dad."


"Never doubted it."

Brent leans back in his chair and clasps his hands behind his head. "Where've you been? All over Europe?"

"A little bit of everywhere, yeah. Visiting people, seeing things... I just needed some time to clear my head."

"From what?"

Danielle hesitates and then averts her eyes to the suddenly fascinating news clippings on the wall.

"Danielle? Did something happen?"


The sedan shoots through the streets of King's Bay like a wayward bullet. It darts around other vehicles with abandon and barely pauses for stop signs; traffic lights are cruel hindrances met with growling impatience.

Inside the car, Molly Taylor grips the steering wheel with fingers so fatigued that they feel ready to fall off. She cannot remember ever having driven so recklessly, but she hardly cares now. If not for Christian's presence in the back seat, she might not care at all.

The only thing that matters now is getting home, getting back to Caleb. She casts regular glances into her mirror to confirm that Christian is still there, as though he, too, might go missing at any moment.

Another stoplight looms ahead, practically laughing at her as it turns from yellow to red.

"Dammit!" she cries out, her voice cracking with terror. She picks up her cell phone but makes no move to open it; there is no one she can call who would be able to do anything. The thought of calling 911 occurred to her when she realized that she'd left Caleb behind, but they wouldn't get there any sooner than she will.

Besides, she can only imagine how they regard mothers who forget their infant children on the sidewalk... or if word got back to Brent...

"Come on!" she shouts. Several excruciating seconds later, the light turns green, and Molly rockets through the intersection.

She fights back the mist of tears in her eyes and tries to focus on the road--on getting back to her son.


The Jeep rolls through the complex's maze-like parking lot, like a secret agent creeping around on a stealth mission. Finally it slows to a stop and, after letting another car pass, pulls into a parking space.

Its driver gets out, an envelope in hand. She uses the Jeep's window as a mirror and transfers the envelope to her teeth so that she can pull her hair into a ponytail.

Once done, she steps around the car and onto the sidewalk--and freezes mid-step.

Sarah Gray instantly recognizes the baby on the sidewalk as one of her nephews. She rushes over to make sure that he is okay and then looks around for the element that she has obviously missed.

Except that she has not missed anything. There is no sign of Molly or Brent; she doesn't even see their cars here. Just one of the twins, sitting in his carseat.

Instinctively she unbuckles him and picks him up. The baby cries for a few seconds and then relaxes into her. Sarah rocks him gently, the way she used to do with Tori. In spite of the confusing, increasingly worrisome circumstances, there is something so comforting about the contact.

She carries him to Molly and Brent's apartment, but several frantic knocks on the door produce no response. She goes back down to the curb, still without any sort of explanation.

"What are you doing out here?" she asks as she pulls her cell phone from her purse.


Danielle shakes her head. "No. Everything as a whole. Getting dropped from my contract..."

"I'm really sorry about that," Brent says, now regretting that he drove the conversation into such unpleasant terrain.

"I've made peace with it, really. It was still an experience that very few people ever get to have--hearing my music on the radio, actually being paid to do what I love. Getting dropped by my label doesn't take away any of that."

"That's a great attitude to have." He is not entirely sure that he believes her, but he has no intention of pushing the issue.

"I read about Nick Moriani," she says, out of nowhere. "Have you figured out what happened? I wouldn't put it past Katherine to shoot a man."

He exhales loudly, a sigh like the thousand others he has let out since the shooting. "Don't get me started."

The comment barely has time to settle before Danielle changes track again.

"I need to drop in on Josh, too," she says. "How's he been?"

"I barely know. Half the time he seems like he's settling down, and then he goes and does something ridiculous like getting into a fistfight at Christmas dinner."

She grimaces. "He seems to be doing well at work, at least."

"At least. I'm sure he'll be glad to see you, though."

"Well, first things first. I want to meet these nephews of mine."

"They're in daycare at Molly's office," Brent says, "but if you come home with me for dinner... Hey, where are you staying?"

"I've got a hotel reservation. I know you and Molly are pressed for space as it is." She holds up her hands in a preemptive refusal to consider other options. "I'll let you get back to work. I can go visit Josh, see some other people, and then I'll hook up with you for dinner, all right?"

"Sounds good. I'm glad you're here."

"I'm glad to be here," she says before exiting the office.

Brent watches her leave, and his focus lingers on the open doorway after she is gone. He meant what he said: he is glad to have her here. Still, he cannot shake the feeling that there is more to her sudden reappearance than Danielle is letting on.


Molly's eyes are scanning the sidewalk long before she reaches the spot where she knows she left Caleb. She just doesn't know where else to look, what else to focus on, while she rushes to get back to her son.

When she does reach that spot, she sees something that she never, ever expected she would. She leaves the car running, jumps out, and doesn't bother to close the door.

"What's going on?" Sarah asks, holding Caleb with one arm and her cell phone in the other hand.

"Thank God." Molly holds out her arms, and Sarah hands the baby over.

"What's going on?" Sarah repeats.

"I don't know-- It was a mistake. Everything was so crazy this morning, and I--" Molly holds Caleb tight, presses his little body to her.

"Where's... the other one?"

"Christian. In the back seat." Molly uses her head to motion toward the car. "Thank God you found him."

"You forgot him here?"

Molly starts to nod but stops suddenly. "What are you doing here?"

Her sister holds up a manila envelope. "Brent asked me to do some side research for him."

"He did?"

"Yeah. Finding cases like Nick's shooting, to see how they were solved."

"Oh." Molly concentrates on her son, but she can feel Sarah watching her--passing silent judgment on her.

"I swear, it was a mistake anyone could have made," she finds herself saying. "Brent took off all of a sudden, and I was in such a rush to get to work, and--"

"You're lucky I found him before someone else did."

Something about her sister's tone makes Molly want to challenge her, but she keeps herself in check. "I know."

They stand in silence, and Molly feels her breathing and her heartbeat slowly returning to normal.

"You think I'm a horrible mother," she says, unable to look at Sarah.

Quiet. Molly swears that she can hear Sarah swallow.

And then comes the biggest shock of all: "I don't. You're right--it's a mistake anyone could have made. I remember how crazy things were when Tori was so little. And you have two of them."

Molly slowly raises her eyes. "Really?"

"Yeah." Sarah reaches out, rubs Caleb's back, and then places her hand on Molly's shoulder. The contact only lasts a second, but it is enough to push Molly over the edge.

She feels the tears gathering in her eyes, and they come spilling out all at once. All the panic and anger and frustration of the morning comes bursting forth, and Sarah stands there beside her as she cries.


Will this event bring Molly and Sarah closer?
Is Danielle keeping something from Brent?
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