Episode #465

- Bill told Paula that he had no intention of rebuilding the Fisherman’s Pier restaurant as it was before the explosion.
- Trevor told Alex that he needed time to think about their relationship.
- After finding out that Josh had gone behind her back to provide their potential clients with drugs, Lauren ended her relationship with him.
- Unable to work with Ryan any longer, Jason struggled to handle the financial aspects of his business.


“Thanks for meeting me,” Bill Fisher says as Matt Gray slides into the booth across from him. The restaurant is busy; the lunchtime rush must be reaching its zenith.

“It’s been too long,” Matt says, grabbing a menu off the table.

Bill peruses the menu and finds exactly what he expected to find, the same food this place has been serving for years. He feels that familiar urge to get in the kitchen and experiment, be creative, devise something new and unexpected. He can only do so much of that at home before he starts to drive Paula a little crazy.

“Being a menu critic?” Matt asks with a sly grin.

“Oh. No, just trying to decide what to get.” But Bill knows that he has not fooled his son-in-law one bit.

“You miss it? Because I miss it. Every damn day.”

With a laugh, Bill agrees. “You have no idea.”

The waitress arrives and takes their drink orders. They ask for another moment to decide on what to order for lunch, but as soon as she departs, Bill sets down his menu, his immediate mission not a concern.

“That’s why I wanted to sit down with you,” Bill says. “To talk about the restaurant.”

“Have you decided what you’re gonna do yet? Sarah said the insurance stuff all worked out.”

“It did.” A deep sigh takes the place of Bill wondering out loud whether he is crazy for doing this, but some part of him knows that it is exactly how he must proceed. “But I’m not going to rebuild.”

“Really.” Matt catches himself and shows little emotion in his response. “Well, might as well enjoy your retirement. You’ve worked hard. I wish I was at that point. I’ve been looking for something new, and let me tell you: not fun.”

“I don’t want to retire, either.”

“It’s either that or rebuilding, isn’t it?”

“Not exactly. I can’t rebuild the Pier in the same spot. It would seem… disrespectful, somehow. That’s why I want to do something new.”

“You wanna build a new restaurant?”

“Yes.” Bill hesitates, knowing that once he says this, there is no going back. “And I’d like you to be my partner in it.”


When Jason Fisher returns to the arena after his meeting, it is with a tentative calm. He might not be able to go stretch out by a pool and spend a carefree afternoon in the sun, but at least he can breathe a little easier than he could this morning. As far as he can tell, he and Courtney did an adequate job of negotiating with the vendor, even without Ryan’s help. Still, Jason wishes he had that person by his side--the advisor who could process information, translate it to him, and make it clear how to tackle it. Then, maybe, he could relax enough for an afternoon off.

His calm is disrupted as he enters the office, as Sabrina Gage rushes out to meet him. Her eyes are wild as she grabs his arm and leads back out into the hallway.

“What’s going on?” Courtney asks as she comes up behind them.

“Is something wrong?” Jason asks Sabrina, instinctively knowing to lower his voice.

“I have someone in there. A prospective accountant,” she explains.

Jason doesn’t quite understand. They didn’t have any interviews set up for today…

“He saw your ad and wanted to come introduce himself,” Sabrina says.

“And?” Jason wonders if the solution to their problems could have walked right through the door.

“He seems great. He’s young, focused, looking to relocate. Worked in investment banking until recently, but he says he’s ready to get out of that and wants to do something smaller and more hands-on right now.”

Craning his neck, Jason peers into the office for a look. The guy certainly doesn’t look like a psycho or an idiot, or any combination of the two. Then again, you can never tell, he thinks. But it does sound promising.

“Let’s meet him, then,” Courtney says.

Jason agrees, and they pull themselves together. Sabrina leads them calmly into the office.

“Jason Fisher,” Sabrina says, stepping aside so the two men can shake hands, “I’d like you to meet Seth Ashby.”


Lauren Brooks is making herself some lunch when her brother walks into the kitchen, his face and body still lazy with sleep.

“Good to see you’re alive,” she says. “Did you go out last night?”

Trevor shakes his head as he drops into a chair at the kitchen table. “Just couldn’t fall asleep.”

She observes him carefully as she continues making her sandwich. It seems that he has done little over the last few weeks other than lie around the house. She was worried enough about him after Objection terminated his contract, and the recent troubles between him and Alex appear to have made things worse.

“I know the feeling,” Lauren says. Hoping he will take the bait and open up, she asks, “What’s the matter? You just weren’t tired?”

“Couldn’t stop thinking. And you know how much I hate thinking to begin with.”

She puts the turkey and cheese back in the refrigerator and then cuts her sandwich in half.

“Thinking about what?” She does a woeful job of sounding casual about it and hopes it will not sound too much like prying.

“I don’t know. How my life is a damn mess, maybe?”

“It’s a rough patch, that’s all. Things will turn around.”

“Really? I lost my job and my boyfriend, and there are probably multiple porn movies with me in them all over the internet.”

Lauren does not know how to put a positive spin on any of that. She joins him at the table, hoping that perhaps her presence will provide at least some comfort to him.

“Are things really that bad with Alex?” she finally asks.

“Yeah. I mean… I keep having this thought that everything would be fine if Seth would just go away, but really, it’s more than that. Because it’s not just Seth--it’s Alex, too.”

Lauren would like to believe, for all the anguish that Alex put her through, that he is better than that. He didn’t cheat on her, and he didn’t love her the way that she knows he loves Trevor.

“You think he wants to be with Seth?” she asks.

“I think he doesn’t know what he wants. I think he is so obsessed with what happened between him and Seth in college that he can’t leave well enough alone, even if he knows he should.”

“I’m really sorry, Trev.”

“I wish I could blame this on you and have an apology be enough to fix it,” he says with a weak grin. “How about you? What’s going on with you and Josh?”

“Nothing. We work together. That’s it.”

“So you’re done with him?”

“I have to be. He’s never going to change. And he shouldn’t have to, right? If we were supposed to be together, we could be ourselves.”

She takes a bite of the sandwich, even though this talk of Josh is quickly dissolving her appetite.

“Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just get over ourselves and be with them? It’s not like there’s anything in the way but us,” Trevor says.

“It would also be nice if Louis Vuitton bags grew on trees and Britney Spears could be sane again, but I don’t see any of those things happening.” She holds up the other half of her sandwich. “Wanna share?”

 “Thanks. I’m too depressed to make food for myself, anyway.” He takes a bite of the sandwich and finishes chewing before he muses, “You don’t think we’re being too hard on them?”

“I think we have to be hard on them, or we’ll always be settling for less than we deserve.”

“Okay, I like that explanation a lot better,” Trevor says as he takes another bite.


Bill expected more enthusiasm to follow his proposal. Surprise, at least. But what shows on Matt’s face is more of a casual bemusement, like the waitress just told him that they are out of coleslaw and he’ll have to choose a different side.

“If you aren’t interested, just say so,” Bill says, hurrying to fill the silence. “It’s just an idea I had.”

“No.” Matt falls quiet again, and now Bill can see that he is turning the idea over in his head, getting used to it before he makes any kind of outward reaction.

“You really wanna go into business with me?” he finally asks.

“I’d be thrilled,” Bill says. “When I opened the Pier, it was all about family. This seems like the next step--getting my own family involved in the new restaurant.”

“Wow. Thanks.”

“Then you’re interested?”

“Of course.”

The waitress returns with their drinks and with her pen at the ready. Both men scramble to focus on their menus long enough to make their decisions.

“I’d like to do something a little more polished than the Pier,” Bill says. His mind has been generating ideas faster than he can file them away, and he is grateful to have someone to share them with. “Still a family environment, but a bit more upscale.”

Matt nods along. “Maybe do more with seasonal seafood, the way you always wanted to.”

Bill likes the idea, but before he can get any further into it, he sees the change in Matt--as though someone flipped a switch and reminded him of the turmoil at home.

“I’m honored you’d even wanna go into business with me,” he says. “God knows I could use something to keep me busy, too.”

“Sarah seemed a little more talkative when she was over for dinner the other night.”

“Talkative’s not a problem. She’ll talk and talk about stuff that doesn’t matter. It’s when you try to talk about the baby that she shuts down.”

“Give her time. When she’s ready to talk, she will.”

“I’m trying. But she’s not the only one who needs to talk.”

“If you ever want to talk,” Bill says, “you come to me.”

“Thanks,” Matt says, but it is as much a thank-you as it is a sad admission that the one person he really needs to talk to will not allow him that opportunity.

Bill understands well Sarah’s desire not to spend time dwelling on something so awful and difficult to comprehend. The way that his daughter is shutting out Matt is the same way that Bill acted for years regarding the child Paula conceived with Stan Lincoln--he simply refused to acknowledge that the child or the situation existed. And even though he was able to lie to himself on the outside, it continued to gnaw at him inside, and the sum of all those silent years nearly destroyed his marriage.

“You need to get her to talk,” Bill says, “even if, at first, all she does is listen. Hearing you talk about it will get to her eventually. But you can’t let this go unacknowledged forever. It’s not healthy.”

“I know,” Matt says, his eyes wide, “but you know how hard it is to get her to do anything she doesn’t want to do.”

Bill does. He can only hope that his daughter will come around before she does permanent damage to the best things in her life.


It takes only a second for Jason to place the name. Seth Ashby. Alex’s Seth. Shaking his hand here in the office.

“Pleasure to meet you,” Seth says, his face all charm and smile.

“Same,” Jason says before turning to Courtney and Sabrina. “Could I speak with you guys in the hallway for a second? Excuse us, Seth.”

The three retreat to the hallway. Jason can see the concern on Sabrina’s face.

“What’s wrong?” she asks. “Did I do something wrong?”

“You? No, no.” Jason catches Courtney’s eye as he explains, “I know this guy. Kind of. He’s a… friend of our friend.”

He can see Courtney doing the math mentally, trying to place the name and face, until she inhales sharply and her eyes widen.

“Alex’s Seth?” she whispers.

“I think so,” Jason says. “And if it is, I don’t think I can…”

“Just talk to him,” Sabrina says. “I’ve had him in here for a few minutes, and he really does seem to have his stuff together. He’s way better than the other people who have been in here for this job.”

“That’s not exactly a difficult thing to achieve,” Jason notes, recalling the woman who demanded that she be able to bring her cat to work each day and the man who, though he had no actual experience, said he wanted to “explore” accounting.

“Maybe we should meet him and talk to him,” Courtney says. “If we don’t like him, there’s no problem. And if we do, we talk to Alex about it, just to see…”

“…if it would make him uncomfortable. Yeah.” It is starting to sound like this could actually work, though the whole thing is still too weird for Jason to process fully.

“She’s got a point,” comes a voice from inside the office.

All three of them glance back through the doorway to see Seth looking at them.

“You guys don’t really whisper as quietly as you think,” he says with a slightly apologetic look.

Jason leads the way back into the office, and the two women follow.

“I had a feeling you were the Jason who Alex is always talking about,” Seth says. “I mean, I read the ad, and when Sabrina here said that the boss’s name was Jason…”

“You’re looking to move to King’s Bay, then?” Jason asks, unable to disguise the fact that this is as much a personal screening on Alex’s behalf as it is a job interview.

“I am. I’m sure you’re aware that I just split up with my fiancée, and Portland is a little too cluttered with history of all that. I’m looking for a clean start.”

In the same place that Alex lives, Jason adds mentally.

“I’m sure you’ve read the book, and that’s why you’re looking at me like I’m not to be trusted,” Seth says. “But those were mistakes I made when I was eighteen. Please, just interview me like you would any other candidate. You can check my references--I promise they’re excellent.”

Not sure what he is getting into, Jason slides behind his own desk as he prepares his next question.


Will Jason give Seth the job?
Is Lauren being too quick to dismiss Josh?
What do you make of Bill and Matt’s new venture?
Discuss this episode in the Footprints Forum!

Next Episode