Episode #549

Footprints: After Dark

Disclaimer: This special episode contains sexual content and is intended for mature audiences.

- Elly returned to King’s Bay for a summer visit. Things grew hot and heavy between her and Travis, but she put the brakes on, not ready to go that far.
- With Graham’s secret out in the open, Sarah allowed herself to grow closer to him.
- Before her performance at Open Mic Night, Ryan and Danielle reconnected.
- Tim continued to date Cassandra and even introduced her to his family at the opening of Bill’s restaurant.
- In the wake of Courtney’s poisoning, Jason promised her that he would fire Sabrina. When he did, she exploded at him and stormed out of the arena in a rage.


Even with all the anticipation, she gasps when it pulls in.

Shannon Parish stands on the landing of Seth Ashby’s fourplex, watching out the window as his car pulls into the driveway. She saw it turn the corner and travel down the street, and her body itched with each foot that the car drew closer to the apartment house. Soon enough. She sees Seth take notice of her car in the driveway and waits with baited breath for him to enter the building and come up the stairs.

“Thanks for calling me back,” she says as soon as he comes into view.

Seth hurries up the rest of the stairs. “I didn’t think you’d get here so fast.” He pauses to study her, like he must gather vital information before he proceeds. “How are you doing?”

“I’m fine.” It is such a lie that she can’t even force Sabrina Gage to say it convincingly.

“You sure?”

Embarrassed, she shakes her head. Her newly darkened hair swings back and forth. “It just hurts, you know? Getting fired is... humiliating. Especially after you’ve worked so hard for someone for so long.”

“Absolutely. I’m really sorry, Sabrina.” He slides his key into the lock and opens the door, all in one fluid move. “I’m here if you want to talk.”

Suddenly she is on his heels, pressed against him, pushing him inside the apartment. “Talking is not what I need right now.”

She spins him around and forces her mouth against his. This is what she needs. That burning in the pit of her stomach, between her legs, needs to be satisfied. It is the only way to make the pain go away. She fought with every fiber of her being not to pick up a knife and drag it across her wrists, releasing the pain and shame in bright red rivulets of blood. Because if she had done that, she couldn’t do this.

Seth breaks the seal formed by their mouths. “Are you sure? You seem--”

“I’m sure.” She kicks the door closed behind her, and her anxious fingers work at the button of his pants. Within seconds, she is forcing them down, bunching them around his knees along with his underwear. Her desperate hands find his dick, already half-hard. She kisses him with greater urgency, turned on beyond belief that she has done this to him so quickly.

“Shit,” he mutters as her fingers slide up his shaft and dance on the head.

She pushes him onto the couch and kneels before him. Her lips close around his dick, and Seth gasps. Delight surges through Shannon’s body at the reaction. Soon enough, this will be Jason, gasping and moaning at what she can do to him, wondering how and why he has missed out on this for so long. From what she can tell, Jason has filled out since she last was with him; he no longer has a boy’s body, but a man’s. She cannot wait to have her hands on it. The very thought sends such a rush of excitement through her that she yanks her skirt upward and shoves a hand into her panties as she continues to blow Seth.


It was never supposed to be like this.

In the enormous walk-in closet of Graham Colville’s bedroom, Sarah Fisher drops her towel and slips into the silk camisole and boy-cut shorts that serve as her pajamas. She tries to place how and why she wound up here, in this elegant house, with a man who is most certainly not the man she married. This is what happens when she allows herself too long in the shower: her mind wanders and travels, and it is difficult to stop it.

She emerges from the closet and sees Graham, reclining on the bed in his own pajamas--she giggles at the sight of them, both sophisticated and highly old-man-ish at the same time--and then she hangs her towel in the bathroom. Returning to the bedroom, she climbs onto the side of the bed that has effectively become hers after spending so many nights here.

“How was your shower?” Graham asks as he sets down this morning’s edition of The Wall Street Journal.

“Fine? Nothing too crazy happened,” she says with a laugh.

He responds with a smile and takes her hand. “I suppose that’s all you can hope for.” His other hand travels to her bare leg. “Are you tired?”

“Not especially.”

“I’m glad to hear that.” He turns in toward her and trails his lips over the bare skin of her shoulder and neck. The pure physicality of the move takes Sarah by surprise, as it always does; Graham is so reserved, so controlled in everything he does, that it seems out of character. Then again, the directness is perfectly him. He hardly ever wastes a movement or a syllable.

He lowers one strap of the camisole, exposing her left breast, and his mouth tends to it as if it were the most important thing in the world. Sarah drags her fingernails through his dark brown hair and over the back of his neck, as he engulfs her hardened nipple in his mouth. Sensations rush through Sarah’s body like lasers.

She never thought that she would be doing this with anyone besides Matt. She never meant to, never wanted to. And then... something changed. Over time--maybe it was when she lost the baby, maybe it was only after months of pain and awkwardness--he started to feel more like an enemy than an ally. She could never relax around him, not even when it was all she wanted to do. She still struggles sometimes with the thought that she is going to bed with a man other than Matt, a man who--

Her body quivers in anticipation as two of Graham’s fingers trail down her body and hook into the waistband of her shorts.

--a man who seems so much older than her, so much more mature, a real adult like her parents. She knows that Graham is far from ancient, but as she pulls up his pajama shirt to run her hands over his back and sides, she notices the slightly drooping skin of his torso. He keeps himself in good shape, going to the gym a few times a week and playing tennis now and then, but she supposes that there is no fighting time or gravity.

Her toes stiffen and curl at the mere thought of what he is about to do. His tongue still circling her nipple, he deftly lowers her shorts. Fingertips trace down her abdomen and find their destination. She bucks her hips as his fingers tease her entrance, ghosts that keep materializing and then disappearing.

--a man who knows exactly what he is doing.

“Graham,” she mutters as she presses her head back into the pillow and he presses the tip of his finger into her. She inhales sharply as one finger and then another finally make their way inside, skillfully working her in precisely the way she needs, even if she was not aware of it until this very moment.

His lips leave her breast to kiss her on the lips. “You’re beautiful,” he says quietly, his breathing as heavy as hers. And then that mouth moves downward, to replace the fingers.

Sarah grips the bedsheets as his head moves between her legs, his tongue skillfully finding every spot that needs touching. If this is how things were really supposed to turn out, well, maybe that isn’t such a bad thing, after all.


The drone of the television is the first thing of which Travis Fisher is aware. The late-night infomercial burrows its way into his subconscious, and in those first moments of waking, he cannot tell if it is a dream or reality. He peels his eyelids apart and sees the electronic glow of the TV lighting his otherwise dark room.

It’s warm in here. Hot, actually. A fan in the corner swivels back and forth, producing a steady hum and a consistent flow of air, but it does little to cut through the heavy heat of this summer night. The bed itself is warm, too. Travis realizes that he is still in his t-shirt and cargo shorts... he must have fallen asleep watching--

He startles as he realizes that he is not alone in the bed.

Elly Vanderbilt lies beside him, in the tank top and shorts she was wearing when she came over earlier. She is curled up with her back to him and her knees pulled toward her chest. Her body rises and falls with soft, calm breaths, and warmth radiates off her body.

Travis kicks off his heavy cargo shorts and closes his eyes again. He slides an arm over Elly’s stomach and cuddles up to her. There’s no use waking her up now. They might as well sleep and deal with it in the morning. If there’s even anything to deal with, that is; his mom is probably out playing detective or whatever with Uncle Brent, anyway.

He finds the remote on the bed, flips off the TV, and tries to focus on going back to sleep. But he can tell immediately that it will not be an easy task. Not with the heat, and not with Elly lying right here with him. Against him. He shifts his hips backward, not wanting to stab her with any unwelcome surprises.

Even with his eyes closed, his brain will not shut off. Being this close to her, holding her, especially after the making-out they did before, is having an effect on him. He tries to ignore the fact that he is already hard, which is sort of like bringing a vampire to a crime scene and telling him not to pay attention to the blood spattered everywhere.

Elly moves her hand and closes it over his, pulling him closer. He can’t tell if she is awake or just responding in her sleep, but he strokes her hand, drawing small circles on the soft skin. He wonders if she can feel his heart beating, harder and faster than it probably ever has.

This goes on for several minutes, and every time Travis tries to close his eyes, he winds up opening them again, just to look at the back of her brown hair or the curve of her shoulder or... Unable to contain himself, he presses even more tightly against her. His dick presses against her back, and he throws a leg over both of her legs.

“Mmm,” Elly groans. Travis doesn’t even think he has control of his actions at this point. He rubs his boner against the small of her back, over and over. The friction strips away whatever remains of his sanity. He doesn’t think he can stop.

But then he has to. Because Elly flips around to face him. Wordlessly, her hands move into his boxers, find his dick, and begin to tug on it. He presses his head into the pillow, overcome by lust. His hands, desperate to do something, anything, reach out for her boobs. Unlike earlier tonight, she doesn’t push him away, doesn’t even flinch.

“I’m... I’m getting close,” he says, the words blending into his heavy panting.

“Wait.” She pulls her hands from his boxers. Travis is about to protest when she unbuttons her shorts and pushes them down. Her cotton panties follow right behind.

“Are you sure?” he asks.

“Do you have condoms?”

He scrambles for the bedside drawer. He had better have some. He pulls the drawer open and, thankfully, there’s a full box of them. Weird. He doesn’t even remember having bought these. Who cares?!  he thinks as he frantically pulls one from the box.

He tears the package and hopes against hope that he can do this right. He’s practiced putting them on, but his fingers are shaking, and he hopes he won’t screw it up.

“Let me,” Elly says, taking the condom from him. She slides it onto him expertly. Maybe she has done this before. Her rolling the condom down his dick is almost enough to make him blow. He draws a deep breath and holds it, trying not to send his body over the edge.

And then it is on. Elly smiles at him and straddles his body, and in one motion, lowers herself over his dick. Travis groans at the pressure, the tightness, and as she starts to move up and down--

His eyes shoot open.

The room is dark, save for the light of the TV, spewing out that same infomercial he heard minutes ago. The summer heat is oppressive. But there is no one in the bed besides Travis.

The dream floods over him, even as he tries to get his bearings. He remembers Danielle picking Elly up, Elly giving him a sweet kiss goodbye in the elevator... and he remembers how that dream felt. He remembers the tightness, the wetness, how real it all was.

He reaches a hand under the covers and into his boxers. His dick certainly seems to think it was real. He kicks aside the thin top sheet and uses one hand to pull down the waistband of his boxers. It takes the other hand only a few strokes before he fires off what might be the biggest load of his life. He just lies on his back, holding his boxers down and breathing harder than he does after playing an entire soccer game, as he waits for his brain to reassemble itself.


Butterflies swirl in Tim Fisher’s stomach as Cassandra Ward kisses him harder. He has no doubt about where she is leading them tonight, and while he certainly doesn’t mind, he wishes he weren’t so damn nervous.

“I think we should get this off you,” Cassandra says as she unbuttons his white shirt. Tim hopes she can’t see through his grin.

Cassandra pushes him back onto the bed and runs her finely manicured nails over his chest, through the dark blond hair that he wonders if he should have trimmed or shaved. And he really shouldn’t have skipped the gym all of last week. He probably looks--

You’re acting like an insecure teenager, he tells himself as he slides a hand over Cassandra’s cheek and jaw.And he feels like one, too. He is so incredibly excited by the possibility of what is about to happen, but part of him wishes the fire alarm would go off or something. Delay it for a little while, at least.

Cassandra’s hand rests on his stomach as she kisses him again. She wraps his hands around her lower back and allows them to trail down. Nice ass. Definitely nice ass. He cups it and squeezes, eliciting a giggle from Cassandra. He starts to move his hands up and under her skirt but pauses, his palms on her thighs. He doesn’t want her to think that he is some kind of sex-crazed lunatic, that he has only been going out with her to get to this. Maybe he should try a softer approach, or--

Tim! Stop! his mind kicks in. He tries to heed its advice and not overthink every single move. Instead he lifts his hands to unbutton her blouse. Cassandra sits back to give him room.

He pushes aside the blouse and is greeted by her breasts, lifted by a black lace bra. They are on the smaller side but very nice, firm. Sexy. He allows his hands to explore them through the bra.

“You can take that off, too,” she says teasingly. “If you want.”

“I definitely want.” He forces a smile and guides his hands around the back, hoping against hope that he can figure out the damn clasp. It has been far too long since he did this with a woman he wasn’t incredibly familiar with. If he was thinking like a nervous teenager a moment ago, now he feels like one.

His fingers find the clasp, and his nerves find his fingers, causing them to tremble. He tries to ignore it and pulls at the clasp. He has it-- Dammit. No. He tries again and feels it open, but before he can pull the two sides apart, they snap back together. Dammit.

Cassandra’s hands join his, and in an instant, the bra is off. Tim wants to marvel at her breasts, even more impressive now, but the weight of his unsuccessful bra-removal bears down on him.

“Sorry,” he says, dropping his hands to the bed. “I don’t know--”

“Tim. It’s fine.”

He takes that in, wants to believe it, but he feels like an idiot. He’s in his forties, and he’s sitting here with a gorgeous woman, shaking and trembling like a kid. Travis is probably more comfortable with this stuff than he is.

“What’s wrong?” she asks, sitting back. Tim tries not to ogle her naked breasts.

“It’s nothing,” he says, but neither of them believes the denial. A long moment passes before he explains, “It’s been... a while, that’s all. Since I slept with anyone who wasn’t Claire or Diane. I just... I guess I’m nervous.”

“So be nervous. We’re grown-ups, Tim. You don’t have to pretend to be all cool.”

“Great. That makes me feel a lot better.” He says it with a laugh, but the sarcasm is serious. The last thing he wants is to have sex with this woman for the first time feeling like he is uncool or not good enough or--

“Don’t psych yourself out,” Cassandra says. “You wanna know the last time I did this?” He waits. “My ex-husband. That was, God, two years ago. That’s embarrassing.”

“No, it’s not.”

She looks him dead in the eye. “Then why don’t we just calm down and try to get back into the swing of things together?”

“That sounds good.”


He exhales heavily and grins again, but this time, he means it. As she kisses him, he turns his attention to her chest. Her nipples are large, maybe larger than any he has seen in person before. He takes his time playing with them, using his hands and his mouth, getting to know her body, and by the time Cassandra moves her palm to the front of his increasingly tight slacks, he is pretty sure he will be able to put his nerves aside for the night.


“I said I couldn’t stay long.”

“Elly went to bed, right?” Ryan Moriani asks as he leads Danielle Taylor up the stairs by her hand. “And Molly is there with the twins. So there’s no rush for you to get back.”

“I guess not,” Danielle says, sounding less than certain. They arrive on the landing at the top of the staircase.

“What’s this all about?” she asks.

“One second.” Ryan ducks into the master bedroom and gets things in order. He doesn’t even know where this came from, this urge to do something special for Danielle. He has been thinking about her all day, and he was overcome by the desire to create a special night for her, even if they only have a short while together.

When everything is ready, he opens the door. Danielle stands with her back to him, looking over the railing at the foyer and living room below.

“You can come in now,” he says. She enters the dark room hesitantly and gasps when she sees the scene that awaits her. Candles line the room, illuminating it in a soft glow; rose petals cover the bed.

“What’s all this for?” Danielle asks.

“I don’t know. I wanted to do something special.” Suddenly Ryan feels foolish. This is so corny. He should have come up with something more original, something less clichéd.

“Sorry,” he says. “I know it’s cheesy.”

“No. It’s very sweet.” Danielle takes soft, slow steps through the room, apparently soaking up the ambiance. “No one has ever done this for me before.”

Ryan cannot suppress a smile. He was worried that his former stepbrother--the one he barely ever met--had done something like this, but on a much grander scale, for Danielle when they were engaged. Andy Fitch seemed like that type. The fact that she seems to like Ryan’s romantic gesture pleases him to no end.

“You didn’t have to do this,” Danielle says.

Ryan comes closer to her, resting his hands on her hips. “I was thinking about you, and... God, this all sounds very romance novel when I try to say it.”

“I think we could both use a little bit of romance novel in our lives.” She kisses him, a kiss that leaves little question that she understands what that bed is meant for tonight.

“I agree one hundred percent.” This time, he kisses her, his eager hands roaming over her sides and back. Being this close to her ignites the thoughts and feelings that have been swimming around in his head all day, week, month. After the horrible things he did, he doesn’t know how he deserves someone like Danielle, but maybe he had to hit rock-bottom before he could appreciate something this good.

“I guess it’s a good thing Elly was so tired from her flight,” Danielle says as she pulls Ryan’s sweater and undershirt up and over his head. He lifts his arms to get them off and, standing before her like this, feels incredibly exposed. Vulnerable. For the first time in a long time, he is okay with that feeling.

Ryan unbuttons his pants and kicks them off, and in between kisses, he manages to undress Danielle, too. Her body looks perfect to him. She looks healthy, not too gym-toned or skinny. Her waist gives way to a curve at her hips that never fails to excite him. He moves his hand to the light strip of hair that disappears between her legs, and he feels her quiver at the touch and then buck toward him for more.

All the time, his mouth never leaves hers for more than a few seconds. They lower themselves onto the bed, never separating.

“Oh my God,” Danielle says through heavy breaths as Ryan’s hand prepares her. He tries to hold out for as long as he can, knowing that will make it even better, but after a few minutes, he cannot take it any longer. He hastily pulls off his underwear, grabs a condom, and works his way into her.

He moves on top of her, and her legs curl around his back, drawing him in even further. The candles flicker and dance in the dark around them. Every time he gets closer to her, pushes his body a little tighter against hers or moves deeper inside her, he just wants more. He doesn’t think he has ever felt like this before. Even with Claire, even with all the years he spent chasing her, even after she accepted him and they were able to wipe away the stains of the past... It never felt this good, this pure.

“I love you,” he says, his face buried in her neck. He raises it away from her long enough to stare into her eyes. “I mean it. I love you.”

“I love you, too.” Danielle’s face goes slack as he continues to move in and out of her, but her intense eyes tell him that she means it as much as he does.

Ryan wonders if he has ever had a more perfect moment in his whole life.


“Wait.” Seth forces the word out through a groan. “Wait.” She doesn’t pull off until he takes her head in his hands and forcibly moves himself out of her mouth. “Sabrina--”

“Shut up.”

He is sure that she means it to be cute, but something about it chills him. She seems so focused, so desperate, like a robot programmed to do this. He feels her hand working underneath him, searching for a target...

And when her finger finds it, Seth cannot help but moan again. Damn, that feels good. And he wants it. But not like this.

“I’m serious,” he says, pulling away from her. “You seem... I don’t know. This doesn’t feel right.”

“What’s not right? You liked what I was doing a second ago, didn’t you?”

“That’s not the point.” He stands up, his erection jutting out obscenely in front of him, and grabs his underwear. “I just don’t feel right doing this when you’re...”


“Upset.” He scrambles into his clothes. “I know you’re bummed about getting fired. Like I said, I’m here if you wanna talk--”

“I don’t want to fucking talk!” She stands, too, adjusting her clothes. “Why does everybody always want to talk?”

Seth doesn’t even know how to respond. He caught a glimpse of this after she returned to the office today, after Jason let her go, but to have it turned on him is a different story. He doesn’t know if there is anything he can say to calm her down.

“Have fun with your hand,” she says as she storms out of the apartment.

Seth desperately hopes that none of his neighbors can hear this. “Are you sure you should be driving like this?” he says as he chases her out to the landing.

“I’m fucking fine!” she yells, smacking him in the chest. “Leave me alone.”

He backs off in defeat. “Whatever.” He glances out the window and realizes that his car is blocking hers in. “I’ll go move my car.”

Sabrina turns her back to him, apparently not even interested in following him outside. She remains on the landing as he goes out to the driveway. It would’ve been nice if she had come out so that he could let her out and then pull into the space, but he would rather not push her right now. He’ll park on the street and move into the driveway later or something.

As he gets behind the wheel, he can see her through the window, standing at the top of the staircase with her arms folded. Something about that chick is off. Very off.

He is still watching her when he starts the car and steps on the gas and--

“Shit!” he says to himself as the car lurches forward instead of backward, bumping into Sabrina’s fender. The trunk pops open, as if needing to underline his screw-up.

He looks immediately to the window and holds up his hands in apology, then backs the car up and gets out to survey the damage. There doesn’t appear to be any--it was only a tap. He raises the trunk so that he can build up some force to close it.

And that’s when he sees it.

A big bag, tucked toward the back of the trunk. A bag of rat poison.


What will Seth do with this discovery?
What did you think of this special episode?
Come on over to the Footprints Forum to talk about it!

Next Episode