Episode #477

- The bank foreclosed on Ryan’s loft.
- During a run-in at the mall, Elly seemed indifferent to Travis’s advances.
- Brent informed Travis that Elly would be returning to her parents in San Francisco soon.
- Sabrina suggested that, if Courtney could not tell Jason about the baby, perhaps she should consider terminating the pregnancy.
- Courtney told Jason about her pregnancy, and they joyously announced the news to their families.


In the days since Christmas, Courtney Chase’s entire outlook on the world has changed. The enormous burden she was carrying around--the terror over her pregnancy--melted away the moment that she witnessed Jason’s reaction to the news. As soon as she saw his excitement, she knew that, no matter the specifics, it would be all right. They will find a way to make this work; of this she is certain.

It is with renewed vigor that she returns to work after the holiday. The coffee tastes a little sweeter, the half-decorated office a little more charming. Even the e-mails in her inbox make her grateful that she is finally doing work that she enjoys. When Sabrina Gage walks into the office, Courtney greets her merrily.

“Did you have a good Christmas?” she asks.

“It was okay, yeah,” Sabrina says as she settles in at her desk. “Kind of quiet.”

“Did you spend it with family?”

“I don’t have much of a family. One thing I’ve learned is that you have to make your own family--find people you care about, people you can trust, and build a life with them.”

Courtney cannot disagree, though the way Sabrina talks about family makes her thankful for her continued strong relationship with her parents. Don and Helen were shocked by the news of her pregnancy, especially since she has taken great care in the past few months to hide her situation with Jason from them, but they have already shown strong support and are looking forward to being grandparents.

“How about you?” Sabrina asks.

“It was a better Christmas than I had any right to expect,” Courtney says. “Everything really fell into place.”

Sabrina nods, then looks around, a quick check to ascertain that they are alone. She comes closer to Courtney. “Does that mean you were able to make a decision?”

“Yeah.” Courtney glances nervously at the entry, not wanting Jason to walk in and find out that she briefly considered terminating this pregnancy without even telling him. That was a result of panic, and it is behind her now.

“If you need anyone to go with you,” Sabrina says, her voice conspiratorially low, “I’d be glad to go along. I mean, not glad, but if you need someone for support when you go to deal with this thing--”

“No. No. I’m keeping the baby.”

Sabrina slingshots backward. “What?”

“I told Jason. He’s thrilled, and we’ve been talking… we’re going to make this work. We’re having the baby.”

After taking a moment to compose herself, Sabrina leans back in. “I think you’re making a really big mistake.”


Strands of unlit Christmas lights wrap around the light posts stationed throughout the park. Though the lights were festive symbols of joy only a week ago, now their presence is bittersweet. They are a remnant of the holiday gone by, and the only thing left for them to do is be cleaned up and stored away until next year.

Danielle Taylor feels much the same way about her time with Elly Vanderbilt. Despite the troubles between Elly and her parents at home, it has been a pleasure for Danielle to have her goddaughter here with her, especially for the holidays. Now that she has convinced Elly to return to San Francisco, though, every moment feels tainted. As much as Danielle would like to enjoy her last few days with Elly, all she can think about is that the teenager will soon return to her real life, and no amount of bonding in the next few days can make up for all the years that they have spent and will spend apart.

These thoughts hang heavy over Danielle as she and Elly take a morning walk through the park.

“I’m really going to miss you when you head back,” Danielle says.

“I’ll come visit,” Elly says, her smile both hopeful and reassuring. “It’s been so cool of you to let me stay here. I needed some time away.”

“I know. And it’s been my pleasure. Brent and Molly’s, too.” Danielle folds her arms in defense against the light gusts of chilly air coming at them. Then, decisively, she adds, “But it’s time for you to go home. Your parents miss you.”

Elly nods along, but her face is tight and full of uneasiness.

“They made a judgment call in not telling you that you were adopted,” Danielle says. “Maybe it wasn’t the decision you would’ve made, but you can’t deny that they’ve done everything for you that they could.”

“Yeah. I know. It just sucks that they never told me something so big. Like, how am I supposed to go back and act like everything’s normal now?”

“You don’t have to act like everything is normal. No one’s saying you have to pretend like you never overheard what you overheard. It’s just a part of who you are.”

“But there’s more to who I am than what I know about,” Elly says--no, insists. This is a conversation that they have had countless times since her arrival in King’s Bay, and as much as Danielle wants to agree, she forces herself to honor the arrangement that she made with Melanie and Tom all those years ago.

“You’re who you are because of the way your mom and dad brought you up.”

Thankfully, Elly withholds the protests that Danielle knows must be bubbling right below the surface. They continue walking in silence, neither certain what to say next, and they walk behind a bench.

Just as they pass by, a groan rises from the seat of the bench. Both Danielle and Elly jump back instinctively when they see that there is a man lying on the bench.

Silently, Danielle tips her head toward the other side of the walking path. Elly takes the cue and moves away from the passed-out man.

The man sits up, as slowly as if he were forcing his way up through a vat of glue. His bleary eyes dart around and land on them.

“Come on,” Elly says, tugging on Danielle’s sleeve.

Danielle is about to go with her, but something holds her back.

Elly tugs again. “Danielle!”

“Wait,” Danielle says, frozen in place. “I know him.” She moves Elly behind her as she stares at Ryan Moriani.


With The Bravery blaring through his iPod earbuds, Travis Fisher stands on the porch of his aunt and uncle’s house. He has only been here once before, when his dad brought him and Samantha over for dinner to celebrate Molly and Brent moving in. Now, he hopes that his reason for turning up, and his cover story, aren’t completely transparent.

He rings the doorbell and removes his earbuds. Molly answers the door, and her utter surprise at seeing him here is evident.

“Travis,” she says, looking him up and down as if trying to see if there is some event that she forgot about.

“Hey.” He shifts his weight from one foot to the other. “Hope this isn’t a bad time. My mom had other Christmas presents for the boys that she forgot to give you guys on Christmas.”

Molly leads him through the house and into the family room, where the twins are running in circles, chasing each other and shouting. Brent, seated on the couch, appears just as surprised by Travis’s presence as Molly.

“Presents for the boys,” Travis says, holding up the shopping bag. He pulls out the gifts and cringes at the crude wrapping job he did. There is no way it’s going to fool Molly or Brent.

He hands Brent the presents, explaining again the story that he cooked up--that Claire forgot to include these gifts with the other ones that she bought for the twins. He thinks that it sounds pretty convincing, certainly better than the indisputable fact that he, not Claire, wrapped these.

Brent calls Caleb and Christian over, and they unwrap the miniature basketballs and hoops that Travis bought yesterday. He hasn’t figured out how he will keep his mom and Molly from piecing together what he has done, but he can deal with that later. First things first.

“So… you guys both took the day off?” he asks.

“We’re both going back to work after New Year’s,” Molly says. “Can I get you anything to eat? Drink?”

Travis shakes his head. “Nah.” He thinks about how to ask what he wants to ask without seeming desperate. “Big plans today? Or just hanging out?”

“Elly is out with Danielle,” Brent says, regarding Travis with a knowing grin.

His body tingling with embarrassment, Travis tries his best to downplay his reaction. “Oh. I forgot she might even be here.”

Molly and Brent exchange a look, and Molly offers, “Do you want to hang out until they get back? They went out for a walk, and they left a while ago…”

Travis is still contemplating his next move when they hear the front door opening.

“Danielle?” Brent calls out.

“We’re back,” comes the response. Seconds later, Danielle and Elly appear in the doorway. Travis makes eye contact with Elly and can tell that she is surprised to see him, but it is almost an afterthought now, because the real focus of everyone’s attention is the man whom Danielle and Elly are helping along.

“Uncle Ryan?” Travis asks, trying to figure out how this is even possible.


“I think you’re making a really big mistake.”

Courtney’s initial instinct is to shout that Sabrina is wrong, that she doesn’t know what she is talking about. But she also understands that, as a young woman around the same age, she is only trying to be helpful and offer her support… even if it is a little too aggressive.

“I appreciate the offer,” Courtney says, keeping her cool, “but Jason and I are both excited about this baby. We’re going to do this.”

She expected that to be it, but Sabrina’s wariness lingers over them like a storm cloud threatening to burst at any second.

“I hope you’re sure about this,” the blonde says. “It’s easy to assume that everything will work out just because you’re excited, but there are a lot of things to consider.”

“I know. And like I said, I appreciate that you’re willing to help, but I’ve made my decision. Jason and I have, together.”

“You don’t understand. Courtney, I know what I’m talking about.”

Courtney waits for further explanation. Is Sabrina implying what it sounds like she is implying--that she has been through the same thing, that she made her choice and is glad that she did it? The confirmation never comes.

“I really think you should make a decision based on you, not you and Jason,” Sabrina says.

Courtney doesn’t know what happens, but it feels like someone has thrown a switch inside her. Every effort to rationalize Sabrina’s interference, every mental reminder to stay calm--they all vanish. All that remains is anger.

“Enough!” Courtney rises to her feet to even things out. “I have made my decision. You have nothing to do with this. I’m sorry for whatever you’ve been through, and I appreciate your willingness to help, but I’ve made my decision. I don’t know who you think you are, but this stops now.”

A wave of terror crashes over Courtney. She thinks that Sabrina is going to snap back at her, or worse, smack her. There is something intense, almost frighteningly so, in that face.

But it fades, and Sabrina backs away, her composure intact.

“I’m sorry,” she says. “I shouldn’t project my… my own experiences onto you.”

She returns to her desk, and Courtney watches her, trying to process the altercation but also trying to suppress the doubts rising in her own head. Can she really be a mother? Is she looking at the situation through rose-colored glasses now?

“Sorry I snapped at you,” she says to Sabrina.

Sabrina smiles graciously, and with a bit of a freeze lingering between them, they settle in to work. 


After Danielle explains how she and Elly came across Ryan passed out on a park bench, and after some tense stares and a lot of unspoken words among the three adults, Molly and Brent help Danielle get the half-awake Ryan up the stairs. Travis has not seen Ryan since what was supposed to be his mom’s wedding day, though he has often thought about how he’d like to make his uncle pay for what he put Travis’s dad through. Seeing him today, though, in such a pathetic state… Travis gets the feeling that Ryan is suffering more than enough.

He sits in one of the oversized armchairs in the family room and fiddles with his iPod. Elly is curled up on the couch, watching Caleb and Christian play. An awkward silence fills the room, and the television does little to absorb it.

“My Uncle Brent said you’re going back to San Francisco,” Travis says, trying to ignore the possibility that he sounds like a loser. He has to start somewhere.

“Yeah. For New Year’s.”

“Why’d you come up here? Just to visit?” It occurs to him that being away from one’s parents for both Thanksgiving and Christmas is probably more than just a visit.

“I needed to get away,” she says, regarding him with a look that not only doubts his intentions but questions his sanity.

Travis nods along, trying to come off as thoughtful and attentive as possible, and he sets his iPod down on the coffee table. “That sounds… intense.”

“Yeah.” She fixes a stern gaze on him, and suddenly she is an adult talking down to a child, or that’s how she makes it seem. “Look, you seem like a cool kid and all, but I’m going home in like two days, and… I have some pretty intense stuff going on with my parents, so… you’re wasting both of our time here.”

He doesn’t know how to respond to that. He doesn’t want to let on that he is embarrassed at being scolded, and he doesn’t want to lash out angrily, even though part of him thinks that she has no right to talk down to him that way.

He stands, ready to leave. His feet are prepared to carry him out of there; he doesn’t need to put up with this. But something compels him to turn back.

“That guy you and Danielle brought in--he’s my uncle,” Travis says. “And he was going to marry my mom, except he framed my dad for murdering his--my uncle’s--father, who was some, like, mobster.”

That gets her attention. Her whole posture changes, and the way she looks at him…

“So whatever you’re going through,” he says, “I bet I can relate. And if you wanna talk to someone, I’m pretty sure nothing you say will seem weird to me.”

Elly considers him silently. His words replay in his ears, and each repetition makes them sound stupider and stupider. Who does he think he is, Dr. Phil?

But then the faintest hint of a smile rises on Elly’s lips. “Do you have Myspace?”

“Who doesn’t?” Travis responds, doing his best to stay calm and collected on the outside even though his insides are flipping out.


Upstairs, Danielle pulls closed the door to the guest bedroom. Molly and Brent wait in the hallway.

“I’m sorry,” she says. “Maybe I shouldn’t have brought him here, but he’s so incoherent that he couldn’t even tell me where he lives, and he is your brother…”

Guilt flickers over Molly’s face.

“I couldn’t leave him out in the park,” Danielle says.

Brent rolls his head back and stares at the ceiling. “Ryan Moriani is the last person I want sleeping off a bender in my house. With my kids here.”

“He’s not too high on my list, either,” Molly says. “But Danielle’s right. She couldn’t leave him in the park.”

“Why not? He was going to let Tim go to the gas chamber!” Brent counters.

Neither Molly nor Danielle has much of a response to that. What Ryan did is indisputable. But Danielle sees a hint of sympathy--or at least pity--in Molly, and for whatever reason, she feels that she has to use that to her advantage.

“Just until he sobers up,” she says, and she wonders why she is bargaining on behalf of this man who nearly got her and plenty of other people killed. She doesn’t want to align herself too closely with him--even at her lowest, she was only a danger to herself, not to others--but she cannot help wanting to assist him in some way.

“I know what it’s like to be that lost,” she continues, “and to think drinking is going to be the thing to make it all better, only to wind up… a total mess. I need to do this one small thing. For me.”

The next thing she knows, both her brother and sister-in-law are nodding their approval, grudging though it might be.

“Only until he sobers up,” Brent says, “and I don’t want to have to look at him.”

He starts toward the stairs, and Danielle falls into step behind him. Molly, however, lingers by the closed door.

“You coming?” Brent asks.

Molly seems startled by the question, but her response is nevertheless swift. “Yeah. Of course.”

She joins them in heading back downstairs, but Danielle recognizes in Molly the same concern, however unfounded it might be, for the pathetic man passed out in the guest room.


Does Ryan need to seek help?
Is Travis making too much of his crush on Elly?
Will Courtney and Jason really be able to make this work?
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