Episode #511

- Travis went to a party with Amelia, only to find Elly there. Amelia was all too happy to inform Elly that she and Travis hooked up, and Elly made a quick exit.
- While out with Elly, Danielle ran into Ryan. Not wanting to face him or her feelings over their kiss, Danielle brushed him off.
- Sarah confessed to Matt that she had dinner with Graham but insisted it was platonic. Matt wondered if Sarah wants to end their marriage.


He ignores the shouts of his name coming from the front porch. He focuses only on one thing: the girl hurrying away from the house--from him--so quickly that she must not even have an idea where she is headed. This entire situation caught him by surprise, and yet it is so familiar; he realizes that it is exactly what he expected would happen when he hooked up with Amelia.

“Elly! Wait up!”

Travis Fisher feels stupid breaking into a full sprint, but he does just that. Elly Vanderbilt glances back and, seeing him, increases the pace of her walking, but thankfully she does not run. Within moments, Travis has caught up to her. He settles into a jog and then into a fast walk to match hers.

“I’m sorry,” he says, though he is unclear as to what he is apologizing for. Doing it? Getting caught?

Elly glares at him and keeps walking. She gives a cursory look up and down the street and then crosses. Travis remains right beside her as he realizes that she is headed for the park.

“I didn’t want you to find out that way,” he says. “If I’d known Landon was bringing you--”

“Would that really have changed anything?” She maintains a straight-ahead focus as she speaks, syllables snapping out of her mouth.

He doesn’t even know how to answer that. He didn’t want to go to the party with Amelia in the first place. He just didn’t want to hurt her feelings--or make her feel like he’d used her. Not that he should be worried about that, he reasons: Amelia was the one who made a move on him.

Instead of trying to explain something that he doesn’t even understand, Travis tries a different approach to making her slow down. “What are you gonna do, walk home?”

“There’s a bus stop here. In case you forgot.”

Of course. It is the place they met, on the night of the blackout last fall.

“Will you please just listen to me?” He still has no idea what he is going to say or how he is going to change the situation, but he can’t bear to have her hop on a bus and leave things between them this way.

Elly consults the bus schedule. Travis plants himself on the bench.

“What are you doing?” she asks after she finds the bus she is looking for.

“It’s a free country,” he says, settling in. “I can wait for the bus, too, right?”

Elly folds her arms in annoyance and looks down the road, but there is no bus in sight yet.


As Danielle Taylor sits in a chair on the deck, looking out over the yard where her nephews are playing, she knows that time is running out. It has reached that point in the summer where each beautiful day could be the last, snatched away in the dark of night by the autumn chill and hazy sky. She tries her best to enjoy the weather, but given her emotional state, it might as well be the dead of winter already.

When the doorbell rings, she moves mechanically to answer it. It does not even occur to her that it might be for her; answering it is just another part of her job as the twins’ nanny, a functional part of Brent and Molly’s household. Thus she answers without hesitation, only to find Ryan Moriani there.

“Don’t slam the door in my face,” he says. “I need to talk to you. And I know Molly and Brent’s cars are both gone.”

Danielle does not give him permission, but neither does she turn him away. Ryan steps inside the house.

“The boys are playing in the back,” she says, already on her way to continue watching over them. Ryan follows, and they stand out on the deck as Christian and Caleb run around in the yard.

“I wanted to apologize for having put you in an awkward position the other day. And I was hoping we could continue that conversation,” Ryan says.

“Is there a conversation to continue?”

“Yes.” He folds his arms, shifts his weight. “Which I suppose begins with me apologizing again, for kissing you. The last thing I wanted was to make you uncomfortable. I got caught up in the moment.”

“It’s okay.”

She can feel him studying her, trying to determine just how “okay” it is.

“You don’t have to apologize for that,” she says. “I was caught off-guard. That’s all.”

She expects him to pounce on that statement and take it as a sign that she wants it to happen again. She cannot figure out how she got herself into this mess. All she wanted was a clean break, to come here and live a simple life--

“Are you all right?” he asks instead.

“I just told you, I’m fine.”

“No, not about that.” Ryan steps around to the front of her, and this time, he looks her over in a way that no one has in a long time. “Danielle, what’s wrong?”

“I said I’m--”

“You’re not fine. Talk to me. Please. You’ve done nothing but help me work through terrible situations. Now it’s your turn.”


Sarah Gray steps out of her apartment just in time to see the elevator doors parting. She is about to turn back to lock her own door when she recognizes the person emerging from the elevator: Graham Colville.

“Don’t try and tell me this is a coincidence,” she says, half-joking.

“Absolutely not. I came to see you.”

“Oh. I… don’t have a clever response for that.” She feels her body tensing up simply because of his presence; this is the first time she has seen Graham since her blowout with Matt. “I’m actually on my way to meet with a client.”

“Of course. This will only take a moment.”

Sarah stands back and waits. She has only met Graham a handful of times, but already there is something comfortable and familiar about him.

As soon as she has the thought, she is horrified. She should not feel more at ease in the presence of a stranger than she does around her own husband. It isn’t right.

“First of all,” Graham says, “I wanted to let you know that I’ve rented a house here in King’s Bay. I’m going to be here for the foreseeable future.”

“Does that mean the deal you were working on went through?”

Graham nods. “I’ll be here at least through the development process.”


“Thank you.” He straightens his charcoal gray suit jacket. “Which leads me to the real reason I came to see you. Would you like to have dinner with me sometime in the near future? Say, tonight?”


Travis and Elly sit in silence, as she waits for the bus and he waits for some sign that she is not going to hold this Amelia thing against him forever.

“I really am sorry,” he finally says, unable to bear the quiet between them any longer. “It wasn’t serious. Amelia and I are not… we’re not anything.”

He waits for a reaction, but all he gets is another turn of Elly’s head, as she peers down the road for a sign of her bus.

“And just for the record, we didn’t… have sex-sex. We just hooked up.”

Elly says nothing. A woman, probably around Travis’s mother’s age, approaches the bus stop and sets a bag down at her feet. Travis cannot fathom how to keep having this conversation with an adult around.

“It was mostly Amelia doing… the work, if you wanna get technical about it,” he says, hoping that the woman isn’t paying any attention.

“I don’t. But thanks for clearing that up.” Elly continues staring into the road.

Her attitude irks him. He’s trying here, and she’s giving him nothing to work with. But, as much as he wants to storm away and pretend he doesn’t care, he does care. He has been waiting for Elly to visit for months. This is not how it was supposed to go.

“Elly, I don’t know what else to say. I’m sorry that it happened, and I’m sorry you had to find out the way you did.”

He doesn’t know what brings it on, but he can see a change in her, in her posture and her attitude. Travis notices the woman trying to act as if she isn’t listening to them, although there is no way she hasn’t picked up on their conversation. He feels his cheeks flush.

“You don’t owe me an explanation,” Elly says. “Or an apology.”

Not exactly what he expected. “Really?”

“We’re friends. You can do whatever you want with whoever you want.”

“Then why’d you rush out of there like that?” As soon as the words make it past his lips, he worries that he has pushed a little too hard.

Elly simply shrugs. “I don’t know. I was caught off-guard, I guess. It wasn’t how I expected to see you.”

Travis has no clue how to react. So they’re fine? She’s okay with it? He asks, “We’re cool, then?”

“Yeah. Friends, okay?”

He didn’t think there was a way that they could leave this conversation on good terms and yet he could feel so… disappointed. Apparently there is.

He swallows his pride. “Sure.”

“I promise I’ll be fine taking the bus,” she says. “You can go back to Landon’s.” When he doesn’t move, she hastens to add, “Seriously.”

Travis catches the other woman throwing him a glance, as if to say, Take a hint, kid. He obliges by standing up.

“It was good to see you,” he tells Elly. “Maybe we can hang out before you go home.”

“Yeah. Maybe.”

He wanders away from the bus stop and back toward Landon’s house, trying to figure out how he could have so completely misread what has been going on between himself and Elly for months and months.


If he weren’t Ryan Moriani, the man who was willing to allow his own brother to be blamed for a murder that he committed himself, then this would be easier. If Danielle weren’t present in that basement, forced to listen to the awful revelations while wondering if she and her loved ones were going to die at any moment, then it would be a hell of a lot easier. No one has paid this kind of attention to her in a long time. Too long. Not that her brothers and Molly don’t care about her, but… it’s different.

But he is Ryan Moriani, and she was in that basement. So she puts on the strongest face she can. “It’s nothing.”

“It doesn’t look like nothing.”

Something draws her attention away from him. “Caleb, put down that stick!” She is prepared to rush out into the yard and take the object away from her nephew, but he obliges, surprisingly.

“This is my life,” she says. “Taking care of someone else’s children. My entire function in life is to help other people’s lives run smoothly. Isn’t that pathetic?”

Ryan shakes his head emphatically, no doubt for her benefit. “No. It’s a job. And you’re helping out your family in the process. Why would that be pathetic?”

Immediately she feels foolish for having been so melodramatic. He is right, of course.

“This isn’t how I pictured my life,” she says, calmer now. “That’s all. I had a record deal! I was doing what I loved. And now I’m a nanny.”

“Because you’re taking care of yourself. That lifestyle didn’t make you happy. It wasn’t good for you.”

She cracks a faint grin. “Stop being the voice of reason when I’m trying to have a meltdown, would you?”

“Danielle, you’re the best person I have met in a long time. You’re generous, you care about others--God, no one in this town was willing to give me the time of day, and you went out of your way to help me because you could see I was in trouble.”

“Anyone would’ve done that.”

“No, they wouldn’t have. There’s a reason Molly and Brent want you around the boys: you’re a role model. An excellent one. And look at Elly…”

The mere mention of Elly causes Danielle’s breath to catch in her throat. “What about her?”

“Obviously she admires you. How many teenagers do you know who leave their friends for the summer to hang out with their godmothers?”

“That’s complicated,” Danielle says. He is getting a little too close to the real root of her frustrations--or, at the very least, the thing that is causing them to boil over.

“It isn’t complicated. She looks up to you.”

Danielle will not argue with that. She knows that Elly does look up to her. She wonders how things would have been if they could just be mother and daughter; their bond, which Danielle is always trying to keep from becoming too much, might be even deeper. But she can never let Elly know any of this.

“I’ve screwed this up so badly,” she says.

“Screwed what up?”

“You wouldn’t understand.”

“Try me.”

Danielle doesn’t know what has gotten into her. She never intended for this to happen, especially not with Ryan, of all people. But, as much of a gift as Elly’s presence in King’s Bay is, it is also an enormous burden. Having her around makes it impossible for Danielle to ignore the decisions she has made, decisions that she can never reverse. Time she can never have back. And Ryan stands before her, so willing to listen, so interested in her in a way that no one has been for so long.

“Elly isn’t my goddaughter,” she says, her chest so heavy that it feels impossible to suck in enough air to keep breathing. “She’s my daughter.”


Sarah stiffens even further at Graham’s question. Echoes of her conversation with Matt ring in her head. The conclusions he jumped to--that she wants to end their marriage, that she and Graham are more than friends…

But none of that is true. Graham is a friend. How dare Matt presume otherwise? How dare he not trust her?

“We can do another night, if tonight is a problem,” Graham says. “I realize it’s short notice.”

“No, it isn’t that.” Something swells within Sarah, a unique combination of anger and determination. She can have friends, even friends who are men. It doesn’t make her any less committed to saving her marriage.

“Dinner tonight, then? Some colleagues took me to a new restaurant called Sid’s, down on the waterfront. If you’ve ever been to Heaven,” he says, referring to another of the bay-adjacent eateries in town, “this is twice as nice.”

Sarah wants to say yes, simply to prove that she can do this, that her intentions are pure and that her new friendship with Graham has nothing to do with her marriage. But before she can even open her mouth to speak the words, another realization rears its head: Matt has every right to be concerned, to question her intentions. She has done nothing but pull away for months. She knows that her relationship with Graham is purely platonic, but what reason does Matt have to believe that?

“I can’t,” she says. “I’m sorry. Things with my husband--they’ve gotten--”

She is still tripping over her words when the elevator dings again. Its doors open, and Sarah automatically goes quiet, not wanting a neighbor to overhear details of her personal life.

However, the man who steps off the elevator looks directly at her--or, more accurately, right past her, at the number on the door of her apartment.

“Sarah Gray?” he asks, eyeing the door and then her.


He hands her a large envelope. “You’ve been served.”

In a flash, the man is gone, back on the elevator. Sarah hurriedly opens the envelope, wondering if perhaps something has gone awry with one of her cases. There is no telling what some people will do once they find out their significant other has hired a P.I. to follow them.

She freezes as she pulls the papers from the envelope.

“What is it?” Graham asks. “Is everything all right?”

Sarah cannot possibly answer that question. She simply stares at the papers, certain that she is seeing things or imagining this.

“They’re divorce papers.”


Can Sarah change Matt’s mind about the divorce?
Has Travis blown his chance with Elly?
Did Danielle make a mistake by telling Ryan the truth?
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