Episode #437

- Danielle decided to stay in King's Bay for a while. She moved in with Brent and Molly to help them care for the twins.
- Trevor took an impromptu trip to New York to deal with Cliff Burkett's continuing blackmail over Trevor's past in adult videos.
- Tim was arraigned on charges of murdering Nick and Lola. To his surprise, Diane seemed to doubt his innocence.


Diane Bishop is in the kitchen, transferring dinner from takeout container to real plates, when she hears a key in the front door. It is followed shortly by the slamming of the door--a wordless answer to the question that she asks anyway:

"How'd it go?"

Tim Fisher straggles into the kitchen, the same exhausted demeanor about him that he always seems to have after interactions with his attorney.

"He wants me to take the deal," Tim says.

Diane knew that this was coming, but for it to be a real, concrete possibility looming before them throws her for a loop. The end of this ordeal could be as simple as Tim signing some papers?

"What is it?" she asks, not sure that she actually wants to know.

"A mere twenty years in prison. Quite a bargain for two murders, huh?" His voice drips with scorn.

"And he thinks you should take it?"

Tim stares at her with horror, as though she has just peeled off her face to reveal that she is really some kind of flesh-eating monster.

"You want me to go to jail?"

She does not know how to address him. Of course she does not want him to go to prison--not only for her sake, but for Samantha's. But with the evidence against him...

"They could still go for the death penalty?" she asks.

He nods just enough to confirm that fact.

"You'd think they would give you a medal for taking that asshole off everyone's hands," she says. When she sees his expression, she quickly adds, "Or whoever did it."

"I think killing the maid put it over the top."

Diane stacks up the takeout boxes and dumps them into the trash. "What choice do you have?" she wonders aloud.

Tim trains a hard stare on her. "I can figure out what the hell happened before this goes to court."


"You're sure?" Brent Taylor calls out to his sister, who has taken off for the front door.

"It's no problem. Really." Danielle already has her coat on when Brent catches up with her. "It will take twenty minutes."

"I can go," he offers, though running to the store for toilet paper sounds less than appealing at the moment.

"Watch the twins. I'll go." Danielle opens the front door, and Brent takes that as permission to relax.

"All right, see you in a few minutes," he says as she slips out. He is on his way back to the boys' room when an electronic jingle bursts into the air.

It isn't his cell phone, or Molly's, that he finds on the coffee table, so it must be Danielle's. He picks it up and is about the silence the ringer when he sees the name on the screen: Melanie.

Brent remembers Danielle's friend from college well, though he hasn't seen her for years. Impulsively, he answers the call rather than letting it go to voicemail.

"Hi, Melanie," he says.

Her confusion is evident. "Hi... Who is this?"

"It's Brent. Danielle's brother. She just ran out for a minute and must've forgotten her phone."

"Oh. All right. Could you tell her I called? I've been trying to get a hold of her forever."

"What, you didn't get enough of her while she was visiting?"

"Visiting?" Melanie sounds perplexed all over again. "I haven't seen Danielle in a long time."

"Really?" The gears in Brent's mind turn furiously, but he keeps his tone casual. "I must've misunderstood. I thought she'd gone to see you and Tom not that long ago."

"No, I wish! We'd all love to see her. Is she up in Washington with you?"

"Yeah, she's helping my wife and I out with our boys."

"Twins, I heard. Congratulations!"

Brent thanks her and goes through the paces of another few minutes of small talk, but his sister's apparent lie about her whereabouts continues to gnaw at him the whole time.


The house feels alive with the spirit of the holidays as Trevor Brooks enters and sets down his bag. After his whirlwind trip to New York and the gruesome hours in airports, the burst of homey comfort is a welcome change.

"Hey!" he calls out. "I'm home!"

Lauren's voice responds from upstairs: "I'm up here!"

Trevor picks up his bag and goes in search of her, but he has no idea from which room her voice came.

"Where are you?" he asks the entire second story of the house.

"I'm in your room, puttin' up your decorations!"

He finds her, as advertised, in his bedroom, which has been transformed into a Christmas exhibit.

"How was New York?" she asks, glancing up from organizing knick-knacks atop his dresser.

"Fine. Quick," he answers hurriedly. "More importantly: what the hell is going on?"

"I'm decorating."

"The bedrooms?"

She shrugs and keeps working. "I thought a little extra holiday spirit couldn't hurt."

Trevor studies her. "Are you depressed about something?"

The smile she flashes at him makes it clear that he has guessed wrong.

"You got some!" Trevor exclaims.

"Gross! Please never allude to sex in my presence again." Still grinning, she adds, "Just a good date."

"Did you cave and join Match.com?"


"Please don't tell me you met someone on Myspace. I will disown you."

"It was with Josh."

"Jerky Josh?" Trevor isn't exactly stunned, but after having resisted Josh's apparent charms for so long, Lauren's change of attitude is a little surprising.

"He can be really sweet. Sometimes."

"Hey, if you're happy..." Trevor pulls out his phone. No missed calls, no voicemails, no texts. "I haven't been able to get a hold of Alex all day."

"Maybe he's doing one of his weird writer-isolation things."

"Maybe." Trevor isn't fully reassured, but if he doesn't hear from his boyfriend by morning, he'll contact Jason. "Any word from Mom and Dad?"

"They'll be home tomorrow, as scheduled," Lauren says, taking a step back to examine her handiwork. "Should be fun, don't you think?"

"I hope so." He also hopes that it isn't weird; this will be the first real time he'll have spent with their parents since telling them that he is gay. He doesn't anticipate a problem, but seeing him with Alex might be awkward for them at first.

At least that's my biggest worry now, he thinks.

As if able to tell what is on his mind, Lauren says, "Tell me about your trip. Was it exciting to be in New York at Christmastime?"

"I barely noticed, to be honest," he says. "It was such an in-and-out trip. Really busy."

"Oh." Lauren's disappointment only lasts a moment, however. "Wanna see what I did to Mom and Dad's room?"

"I think I need to get some sleep, actually." He wants nothing more than to end this day, to put this New York thing behind him for good.

"C'mon, it'll only take a minute!" Lauren urges.

"Should I be worried?" Trevor asks, caving. As he goes with her, he sets his bag down and hears the faint sound of videotapes settling.

The noise is a comfort to him; Cliff no longer has any power over him. It should be a good Christmas, indeed.


"How are you going to track down whatever random mobsters killed Nick?" Diane asks. She wants desperately to support Tim, to help him beat this, but the odds are stacked so greatly against him.

"That's the thing," he counters. "Why would mobsters go to all this trouble to frame me--some random guy?"

"Getting away with murder seems like a pretty good motive," she says as she moves dinner to the table.

"But it took weeks and weeks for Nick to die in the hospital. If they wanted to kill him, they would've done it right. And why bother coming back for the maid?"

She has to admit that he has a good point. This has to be the most roundabout, indirect mob murder in the history of mob murders. But what other option is there?

"To pin it on you," she says, her mind churning with thought.

Tim shakes his head. "This isn't some mob killing. Whoever shot Nick did it for personal reasons."

Diane narrows her eyes at him. "What are you getting at?"

"Where was Ryan when Lola was killed?"

"I'm sure the cops covered that." Her flash of hope vanishes; again this looks like nothing but grasping at straws.

"They didn't have to. Because they found the gun in my car right away."

Samantha comes running into the room. "Is dinner ready?" she asks, sliding into a chair at the table without waiting for confirmation.

"Yep. I've been slaving away in the kitchen to get it ready," Diane says.

As they settle in at the table, the subject of the trial, of Tim's suspicions, is not mentioned again. But Diane can see that gleam in Tim's eye, and she wonders what his next desperate move might be.


When Danielle returns with a paper bag from the grocery store, Brent has brought the twins into the living room, where they are playing on the floor.

"You forgot this," he says, holding up her phone.

"I realized once I was in the car, but I figure it wasn't worth turning back." She takes the phone from him and places it in her pocket.

"There was a call. From Melanie."


Brent isn't sure whether he has imagined the slight blip in Danielle's movement, a minor pause borne of nervousness.

"I picked up," he says, feeling guilty for having done so, though he does not regret gleaning new information into Danielle's recent travels. Or lack thereof.

This time, her pause is real and evident.

"Why would you do that? Brent, that's my phone. You have no business--"

"I know. And I'm sorry. I saw that it was Melanie, and I figured..." He sees that her anger has not faded. "I'm sorry."

"Good." She unpacks the toilet paper and a few other items, and then she disappears into the kitchen with them.

"Why did you tell me you'd been to visit her and Tom recently?" he calls after her.

"Did I say that?" she responds from the kitchen. "Dad must've told you that. It's been way too long since I saw them."

Brent considers that, but he is certain that he remembers Danielle telling him that she'd seen Melanie, Tom, and their daughter just before coming to King's Bay.

"Why would you lie about something like that?" he asks. Danielle isn't a suspect in a crime; there is no use in being any less than direct.

She pokes her head out of the kitchen. "Now you're accusing me of lying?"

"I'm not accusing you of anything. But you're my sister, and I worry about you--and now you're spending all this time with my kids. I'd say I have the right to be curious."

He can feel a shift in the air. Has he pushed too hard? If so, it only fuels his suspicion that something is amiss.

Instead of blowing up, though, Danielle takes a few slow steps out of the kitchen. She folds her arms in front of her and focuses on Brent for a long time before she speaks.

"Dad was covering for me," she says. "I asked him to."

"Why? What's wrong?"

"Nothing, now." Another long pause. "Nothing that isn't getting better by the day."

Concern has begun to override Brent's curiosity. He hasn't seen his sister this vulnerable for a long time, at least not since her breakup with Andy. But, instead of pushing, he waits for her to continue.

"I was traveling," she says, "but things were... not good. I was running all over the place, avoiding all the things that weren't right about my life."

Brent rises from his seat, fueled by genuine worry. What has she been keeping from them?

"I realized that I had a problem, but it took a long time to admit it," she says.

"What kind of problem? Depression?"

She shakes her head. "Drinking. Brent, right before I came here, I was in rehab."


Why did Danielle keep her recent life a secret?
What will this revelation mean for her stay with Brent and Molly?
To what lengths will Tim go to prove his innocence?
Can Trevor finally breathe easy?
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