Episode #567

- Jason and Courtney were married. As loved ones celebrated with them, Shannon lurked around the hotel, plotting her next move.
- Alex was unsettled to be at the same wedding as his biological father, Graham, and told Sarah that he has no desire to know the man.
- Shannon lured Sandy out of the reception and, at gunpoint, forced her up to the roof.
- Jason received a photo on his phone, showing Sandy with a gun to her head. Shannon then called him and instructed him to come to the roof--alone. Jason went, but not before alerting Brent, who waited in the wings.


“Tell me, Shannon.”

When Jason Fisher calls her by her name, it feels to Shannon Parish as if she is able to breathe for the first time in years. The world has been holding her in a vice grip, and she has grown so accustomed to it that she barely noticed it anymore. But now that it has been released... she can finally breathe. 

“I want you,” she says, straining to see him through the darkness. “Either you leave here with me, or Sandy is done for. Your choice.” At her feet, Sandy James struggles against her restraints, to no avail.

His answer is swift, immediate. “I’ll go with you. I’ll leave with you right now, Shannon.”

Her lungs pull in the cold night air, sucking in as much of it as possible. The world suddenly feels fresh, open, in a way that it hasn’t seemed since she first secured her job working for Jason as Sabrina Gage. She will finally be with him. After all these years, she will finally have him.

“Then let Sandy go,” Jason says. “Let her go, and I’ll do whatever you want.”

Though Shannon wants nothing more than to pitch Sandy off the roof, and the gun after her, and be done with the whole sordid mess, she knows that she cannot toss all her cards in the trash just yet. “Sandy is coming with us,” she says.

“You just said--”

“I’ll let her go. Later. Once we’re far away from here.”

Sandy cries something out, but the gag pulled tight over her mouth turns the syllables to mush. Shannon has a good idea what she is trying to say and kicks the woman who was, once upon a time, her skating coach.

“Shut up,” she mutters.

“What is it?” Jason asks Sandy. The woman yells it out again, but another kick from Shannon’s foot silences her. And the word--the name--that Shannon is sure she is saying sounds like nothing at all, thanks to the fabric in her mouth.

Jason steps a few feet closer. The faint glow of streetlights below and billboards in the distance cast a lazy glow over his face. Shannon cannot stop looking at him, drinking him in. His tuxedo is cut just right, accentuating the broadness of his shoulders, and the tailored pants reveal his strong, athletic legs, honed by years of skating. She can hardly imagine what it will be like when she can peel the suit off his body, have him in a way that she hasn’t in so many years.

“Where are we going?” he asks. In the dim light, she can see the gears of his mind cranking and shifting behind his eyes. He is formulating. Plotting. No, she cannot discard Sandy yet. She needs the leverage to get him away from this place, away to somewhere free of distractions where he can realize what he has been missing.

“Not yet. You’ll find out when we get there.”

Her hand shakes against the cold steel of the gun. It is uncomfortably heavy, and she doesn’t know how she is going to get both of them out of the hotel without arousing suspicion. And if one of them attracts any kind of attention, it could all be ruined.

“I want you to go first,” she tells Jason. “Go down the stairwell, turn right, and go out the back door by the pool. Do not walk through the lobby.” Even through the dark, she can still see those wheels turning. “I’ll be a few steps behind with Sandy. If I don’t find you out by the pool, I will shoot her then and there.” She presses the gun against Sandy’s neck. “Don’t think I’m kidding.”

“I don’t,” he says. “I’ll do what you say.”

Shannon’s heart pounds in her chest as she realizes how close to victory she finally, blessedly, is.


On the ground floor of the hotel, Jason’s family and friends are gathered in the restaurant, celebrating his marriage to Courtney Chase. The father of the bride waits at the bar.

“Could I have a club soda and a glass of white wine, please?” Don Chase asks when the bartender turns around. While the drinks are being poured, Don feels the presence of someone beside him.

He swivels his head to see that it is a man he has avoided all night, aside from a single disdainful stare at the ceremony. Now, however, there is no avoiding Graham Colville.

“Congratulations,” Graham says. “Courtney and your granddaughter look beautiful today.”

“Thank you,” Don says tersely, silently willing the bartender to hurry up.

Graham does not relent. “Strange that we’d both wind up in the same place all these years later. Especially at your daughter’s wedding.”

“It’s bizarre, yes.”

The bartender hands Don the drinks, and with a hurried thanks, Don spirits them away from the bar. Unfortunately, Graham follows him.

“I should apologize for what happened,” Graham says. “Between Sally and me. It was distasteful.”

Don stops in his tracks. As much as he would like to escape from Graham, he does not want to drag this confrontation back to the table where his wife, granddaughter, and friends are waiting.

“I don’t resent you because you slept with my wife over thirty years ago. I got past that long ago,” Don tells him. “I resent you because of the way you treated Alex.”

“That’s where you’re mistaken. I never had the opportunity to treat Alex in any way. Sally kept me away from him.”

Don is still contemplating the appropriate response when Lauren Brooks approaches them. He is all too glad to turn his attention toward his daughter’s best friend and away from Graham.

“Sorry to interrupt,” Lauren says, “but do you have any idea where Courtney is? Or Jason?”

Already scanning the restaurant for his daughter, Don says, “No. Courtney stepped out to take a call, but that was quite a while ago...” He sees no sign of his daughter or her new husband. Panic twists his insides. “Where’s Brent?”

As they spring into action, the annoyance of Graham Colville is the furthest thing from Don’s mind.


Thoughts pump through Jason’s brain faster than they ever have before. He wants to reassure Sandy that everything will be fine... he needs to make Shannon believe that he is committed to going with her... he knows that he only gets one shot to pull this off. If anything goes the slightest bit wrong, it could all be ruined, and Sandy could be--

No, he can’t think about that.

“How did you do it?” he asks, stalling. “How did you get out of the hospital? How did you become...?”

“Sabrina? It wasn’t easy, let me tell you.” Her gaze drifts off to the midnight blue sky; he can tell that she relishes the opportunity to explain this to someone after all this time. “There was a very weak, very lonely doctor at that hospital. I had to do some things that I’m not proud of.” Suddenly her focus snaps back to him. “You have to understand. I didn’t want to sleep with him. I did it for us.”

Jason nods along, as if what she is saying has any grounding in reality whatsoever. He continues to listen nervously. Though he is morbidly fascinated by the details, he is also steeling himself to make his move: to make it appear as though he is going along with Shannon’s plan and then, before she realizes, give Brent the sign to move in.

“I had to do something awful,” she says. “I had to destroy my face, my real one, as soon as I left the hospital. I was supposed to be dead. So I took a brick, and...” Horror sweeps over her, and she physically recoils at the memory. “I had to do it. The doctor turned me into Sabrina, and then I was able to come to King’s Bay and see what you were doing with my money.”

It takes every bit of willpower within him not to snap that he never asked for that money. He never wanted it, and as grateful as he is that he has been able to build a business, he would give it all back in an instant if it meant that she never would have returned to his life.

“That sounds horrible,” he says instead, knowing that he needs her to feel that he is sympathetic. “I’m sorry you had to go through that.”

She seems on the verge of tears. “Thank you for understanding. It was terrible. But I did it for you. For us.”

Jason swallows hard. His breaths come in rapid succession, ragged and desperate, and his heart is not pounding so much as vibrating wildly. “I need you to promise me something,” he tells her.

“Of course.”

“That you’ll let Sandy go, unharmed, as soon as we get to wherever we’re going.”

Shannon’s head bobs up and down eagerly. “Yes. Of course. I just want it to be you and me, Jason. Like it was always supposed to be.”

He cannot fathom how someone can be this crazy, but at least it makes her willing to go along with his terms. “There’s more,” he says. “Sophie and Courtney. You can’t hurt them, either. We leave here and you forget about them.”

“I would never hurt Sophie. She’s a part of you. Someday we’ll come back for her. We can be a family.”

“And Courtney. You forget about her. You leave her alone.”

Sandy lets out a plaintive wail. Jason thinks that there might be some words in there, but they are lost amidst the tears and the primal nature of her scream. He moves closer. He wants to dive for Sandy, untie her and let her run out of here, but he knows that he needs to play this smarter than that.

“Promise me you’ll leave Courtney alone,” he says to Shannon.

“You will never have to worry about Courtney again. I promise.” A sneer creeps across her face.

“Promise me!”

“Courtney will never be a problem again,” Shannon says, as Sandy lets out another scream.


A bloodcurdling scream hacks through the thick net of her unconsciousness.

“Promise me!”

That’s Jason’s voice, she thinks, at first casually, as if it has no bearing whatsoever on her current situation.

Then something clicks. Jason. He’s nearby. If she can just--

She tries to open her mouth but finds it already open. No matter how hard she tries, she cannot make a sound, cannot push past whatever is blocking her throat.

My jaw hurts. My stomach...

The searing pain in her gut is like nothing she has ever experienced. It feels like the strongest fist in the world, a fist made of brick and iron, is pushing so hard into her, twisting and grinding in ways that she never thought were possible.

She tries to scream again. It doesn’t work. But now she tastes it: the metallic tang of blood in her throat.

Then there are footsteps. Fast, furious.

“What did you do to her?”

It is Jason’s voice again. Courtney tries to lift her head to see him. She can’t.


Jason did not think that this could get any more horrific. But when he rounds the corner, all he sees is blood. Even in the weak light, he cannot deny the reddish-brown pools and streaks and splotches on the cement floor... on the half-wall bordering the roof... and all over his wife’s body.

“What did you do to her?” he shouts, diving down by Courtney’s side. There is so much blood, too much for him even to begin--

“Court. Courtney. It’s me. Wake up.” He reaches for her head and sees something sticking out of her mouth, forcing her lips wide.

“Let her go,” Shannon commands him. He ignores her and works the object out of Courtney’s mouth. Turning it over in his hand, he realizes that it is a wedding cake topper, of a bride and groom standing side-by-side, smiling and caked in blood. A rivulet streams out of the corner of Courtney’s mouth.

“You’re sick!” He grabs Courtney’s head with both hands and cradles it. He doesn’t want to shake her too hard, doesn’t want to do any more damage than Shannon has already done, but he just wants to make her wake up.

“Let her go,” Shannon commands him. He glances up to see that she has turned the gun on him. “One bullet and she’ll really be done for.”

Jason rises slowly to his feet. Her mouth still stuffed with the gag, Sandy cries, moaning shapeless words into the restrictive cloth. Shannon rotates the gun between the two of them.

“You have to let her go,” Shannon says. “She kept getting in the way, Jason. When I came back, you weren’t even with her. But she tricked you. She seduced you as soon as you had all that money and you were successful and--”

“Yeah, that was Courtney’s plan,” he says, unable to mask his disdain--his disgust--now. “Have a baby by me, be a millionaire. It couldn’t possibly have been because she loved me.” He glances back at Courtney, who jerks slightly on the ground. He has to get her help.

Reaching into his pocket, he fumbles for the Send button on his phone. He presses it and prays that his pre-programmed call to Brent goes through.

In a flash, he gets his answer. He hears the door to the roof swing open. Shannon startles at the sound and aims her gun in their direction.

“Let us go!” Jason yells for effect, and soon enough, Brent and two officers appear with guns drawn.

The police steal disbelieving glances at Courtney. Jason can tell that Brent is particularly dismayed, no matter how hard he tries to remain focused on Shannon.

“Call for help! Call 911. She’s been stabbed,” Jason says, once again kneeling by Courtney’s side.

“You even think of placing that call, and I shoot Courtney and Sandy here and now,” Shannon warns.

Jason grasps Courtney’s hand and finds it covered in blood. “Come on, Court. Stay with me.” He turns to Shannon. “I’ll leave with you, right now. I’ll do whatever you want.”

He sees Shannon flinch. She wants to believe him.

So he presses. “Let’s leave. You and me.”

“Do you promise?” she asks, unconsciously lowering her gun.

“Yes.” It pains him to tell the lie to this maniac. “I’ll go wherever you want.”

Shannon rattles her head, as if shaking off a trance. “I can’t trust you. Not right now.” Her expression darkens. “I want to watch her die.”

“You sick bitch!” Jason yells.

“Put down the gun,” Brent says to Shannon. “Or I will shoot.”

Instead, Shannon pulls Sandy to her feet and presses the gun to her temple. “How about I give the orders here?”

Sandy’s eyes widen in despair, but they never stray from Courtney’s limp form for too long. Jason cannot even comprehend the horrors taking place on this roof. His new wife... his mentor... and this sick, insane woman at the root of it all. A sob rattles Sandy’s body.

Suddenly, he loses control. “Let her go!” He dives at Shannon and swats at her hand. The gun is knocked away from Sandy’s head.

“I did this for you!” Shannon cries. Jason elbows her in the gut and shoots out a blind hand in search of the gun--but before he can find it, the sound of a bullet exploding out of a gun’s chamber rings out into the night.


Has anyone been shot? Who is it?
Can Courtney be saved in time?
Who will not make it through the night?
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