Episode #428

Previously ...
- Brent questioned Katherine about the shooting. He insinuated that she had shot Nick, left the crime scene, and returned to discover the body and act surprised. She vehemently denied the claim.
- Molly kept to herself about having forgotten Caleb on the sidewalk. Brent told her that they would have a special guest for dinner but did not tell her that Danielle is in town.
- Jason consulted Ryan about a business plan that he hopes to execute using Shannon's money.


Katherine Fitch Moriani ignores the basket of bread that the waiter has just set down; she is too engaged in ranting about the injustice of her afternoon to think about eating.

"It really was an outrage," she says to her dinner companion, who listens attentively. "In spite of all the evidence to the contrary, that man has nothing better to do than accuse me of shooting Nick."

"He's only doing his job, trying to investigate every angle," Brian Hamilton says.

The duo sits at a table in the middle of the restaurant, which is sufficiently busy for comfortable privacy but quiet enough not to feel unwelcoming or distracting.

"Still, you would imagine that there might be more interesting angles to pursue than the woman who was shown not to have fired a gun!"

Katherine takes Brian's silence as a sign of his agreement. The waiter arrives with their bottle of wine, and after Katherine tastes it and grants her approval, the man pours a glass for each of them and departs.

"I wouldn't worry too much about Brent Taylor," Brian says. "He's a good guy. If the evidence says you're clear, you're clear."

"I wouldn't be so certain of that, what with his brothers-in-law being two of the prime suspects."

Brian holds his wine glass. "Listen, try not to let that ruin your night. God knows you paid enough for it."

She waves away the mention of money. "All for charity. I'm sure it will be a lovely show, and thank you for joining me, given the circumstances."

"It's my pleasure." He raises his glass. "Why don't we--"

But Katherine's focus is elsewhere: somewhere behind Brian. He turns to look and sees what has caught her attention.

"Three ladies for dinner!" Dar announces to the maitre'd. Tenille and Marj linger behind her, giggling.

"Wonderful," Katherine mutters as the maitre'd leads her former friends into the dining room.


"Just wait out here for a minute," Brent Taylor tells his siblings before opening the door to his apartment. He leaves them out on the landing and partially closes the door.

"I'm home!" he calls out. He is unable to resist the scent in the air. "Is that dinner? It smells amazing."

He finds his wife in the kitchen, busy at the stove.

"It sure is," Molly says. She hurries over, gives him a quick kiss on the cheek, and then peeks into the oven. "Roasted halibut in an onion-wine sauce, with a summer salad dressed in a truffle vinaigrette and rosemary rolls on the side. Who's this mystery date Josh is bringing?"

"You'll find out in a minute." He peers into the dining room and sees the immaculately laid out table. "Wow. You really outdid yourself."

"I was out of the office by four, so I swung by the supermarket, and the halibut looked great..." She finishes tossing the salad and sets it aside.

"Your thing at work went well?"

"The preview? Yeah. Terrific." She brings the salad into the dining room and then returns for the rolls. "I put the boys down for their nap a little while ago. We should be able to eat in peace, and then you can play with them for a while."


Brent stands back and watches her buzz around. In a way, this is typical Molly: all her bases covered, making sure everything down to the last detail is right. But there is something off about it. Brent cannot put his finger on what it is, exactly, but everything seems too perfect.

Molly pulls the fish from the oven and transfers it to a serving platter.

"Are Josh and his friend supposed to be here soon?" she asks. "We should be all ready to eat in a minute or two."

"Yeah, really soon. Molly, is everything okay?"

She freezes mid-movement, looks right at him, and then quickly looks away. "Why would you think that?"

"I can tell. C'mon, tell me what's going on."


Paula Fisher heaps an oversized helping of pasta onto her son's plate, then covers it with a generous helping of meat sauce.

"I really am capable of serving my own dinner," Jason says, though he does not mind at all. Since he moved out, he has gained a new appreciation for parental pampering.

Smiling, Paula ignores him and adds a mound of salad to his plate.

"There you go," she announces, passing it to him. While she serves herself, Jason addresses his father across the table.

"There's actually more to this visit than me dropping by to have dinner with the parentals," Jason says.

Bill finishes chewing. "Is that so?"

"Yeah. I have news."

Both his parents set down their forks in anticipation. Jason looks from one to the other and back again. His discussion with Ryan allayed some of his anxiety, but he still fears that everyone will know that he is in over his head.

"I'm taking the money," he says, exhaling all the words in a rush. Seeing that Bill and Paula are about to pounce with a thousand questions, he hastens to add, "Not just to live off it. I'm going to invest it in a business."

Paula clasps her hands together and makes a noise that is dangerously close to a squeal. "That's wonderful!"

"That sounds like a wise idea," Bill says. "What kind of business do you have in mind?"

"Don't laugh, but... the rink." He sees their skepticism and rushes along. "I ran my ideas by Ryan already, and he thinks they're pretty feasible."

"You went to Ryan about this?" Paula asks, seeming pleased by the news.

Jason nods. "I figure he has a pretty good understanding of this stuff."

"And he thinks it's smart for you to invest in the rink?" Bill asks, his tone gentle but critical. "I was always under the impression that the management didn't care too much about that place."

"They don't. That's why someone who gets skating, and cares about it, needs to be in charge."

This renews their confusion, so he elaborates:

"Maybe 'invest' was the wrong word. I'm going to make an offer to buy out majority ownership in the rink."

Both his parents smile, but when Paula speaks, her tone is guarded.

"This sounds exciting," she says, "but are you sure you're up to handling that level of responsibility?"

"That's why Ryan's going to help me. Mom, Dad... this is something I actually care about. It's a great opportunity. I'm going to turn that rink into the place I've always wished it was."

A look passes between Bill and Paula, and then Bill turns back to him.

"Then we'll support you however we can," he says, and a new confidence comes over Jason.


Katherine attempts to avert her eyes, but it is too late. Marj spots her, and soon the trio is beside Katherine and Brian's table, looking smug as ever.

"So sorry I haven't returned any of your calls," Tenille says, "but you know how busy things can get..."

"I'm sure," Katherine says. She tries to suppress the old feeling of being intimidated by these women. On a logical level, she knows that they are all walking disasters. However, that makes being excluded--and looked down upon--no easier to accept.

"We went to the most fabulous party last night," Dar pipes in. Her words are, as usual, slightly slurred. Katherine cannot tell if she has been drinking or if being intoxicated so often has had a permanent effect upon her.

Marj takes the baton. "A fundraiser for the public schools, thrown by Miranda's sister-in-law."

"The one who had that gastric bypass procedure?" Katherine asks. "Maria?"

"You've got to see her! She looks stunning. And she can throw quite the party."

Tenille fixes a pointed stare on Katherine. "Nary a criminal in sight. Certainly no embezzlement scandals."

Katherine feels her cheeks growing hot. She scrambles to think of a way to get rid of them without letting them know how uncomfortable they have made her. She looks across at Brian, who appears equally uneasy.

Suddenly he reaches over and takes her hand. "Ladies, you'll have to excuse us."

"On a charity date?" Dar asks distractedly as she roots around in the bread basket.

"This is supposed to be a very special evening," Brian says. "For just the two of us." He kisses Katherine's hand.

She hears the three ladies gasp, and she can feel the confusion and jealousy emanating from them, but she cannot pull her eyes from Brian.

Through a bite of her bread, Dar exclaims, "How much did you pay for this one?!"

"This has nothing to do with charity," Brian tells her. He leans across the table and pulls Katherine softly toward him.

The sensation of his lips on hers sends a shiver through Katherine's body.

"Now, please, we have a date to get back to," Brian tells the trio.

They scuttle away, muttering their surprise. Katherine is certain that she hears a "I didn't think she had it in her!" as they go.

"You didn't have to do that," she whispers to Brian.

"My pleasure. Those old biddies need to be knocked down a few pegs." He raises his wine glass again. "Here's to bigger and better things."

"To bigger and better things." As their glasses clink together, Katherine's cheeks are still flushed, though it no longer has anything to do with embarrassment.


"Nothing is wrong," Molly says. She ducks away again to deliver the halibut to the table. From the dining room, she adds, "I'm just relieved to have this preview over with. I've been on pins and needles."

"But it went well?" Brent asks.

She returns to the kitchen. "Very well. Now where is that brother of yours?"

"Um, I think I might have an idea." He teases her with an expression that makes it clear he knows more than he is letting on.


"Hang on a sec." He goes back to the front door and ushers Josh and Danielle inside.

"Hey, Molly!" Josh calls out.

"Hi, Josh! Who's this mystery--" Molly emerges from the kitchen and sees Danielle walking into the apartment.

"Oh my gosh!" she exclaims, as Danielle laughs. Molly rushes over and pulls her sister-in-law into a hug.

"What are you doing here?" Molly asks as Brent and Josh look on.

"I thought I was overdue for a visit," Danielle says. "And I need to meet those nephews of mine."


Suddenly Molly seems quieter, more reserved, to Brent. But she recovers quickly.

"Let's go sit down for dinner, and we can do all our catching up," she says, leading the others toward the dining room.

As Josh and Danielle take their seats, fawning over how good all the food looks, Brent comes up behind Molly.

"Are you sure everything's okay?" he whispers.

"I am," she insists, and before he can press any further, she takes her seat and is every bit the smiling hostess.


Will Brent find out what happened with Caleb?
Can Katherine regain her social status?
Is Jason's plan a foolish endeavor?
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