Episode #590

- JD hijacked Samantha’s car and forced her, with Tempest as a passenger, to get on the freeway.
- Over the phone, JD demanded that Tim acquire from Cassandra the information to retrieve the Equinox diamond ring from a safe deposit box in Houston.
- In a desperate move, Samantha merged onto a slower-moving freeway, hoping that the traffic would derail JD’s plans... but the sound of approaching sirens ruined her plan.


Two minutes ago, sirens would have been the most welcome sound in the world to Samantha Fisher. All she wanted was to know that someone was coming to rescue her from this nightmare, to make JD and his gun fade into some shudder-inducing memory. But that was before JD’s proclamation into the phone:

“I hope you learned your lesson about keeping your damn fool mouth shut, Fisher. You breathe a word of this to anyone--that brother-in-law who’s a cop, whoever--and I come back for this kid and the boy, too.” Then, turning to Samantha and Tempest, he added,  “That goes for you two little bitches, too. You let anyone know about this, I come back for you. Got it?”

Fine, Samantha wanted to tell him. Whatever you say. Leave us alone and get the gun away from me, and we won’t tell anyone. Just let us go!

Then, of course, came the sirens.

She hoped her father would somehow get a hold of the police while on the phone with JD. Not that she has been dying to be part of a car chase, but she would like to believe that the authorities might be more adept at getting her and Tempest out of this mess than she is. Now that it is happening, though, it is the worst possible twist in what has already been a remarkably terrible situation.

“What the fuck?” JD exclaims. He pulls the phone right up to his mouth and barks into it, “You’re an idiot, Fisher, you know that? Thank your father, kid. He just got you killed.” In one deft motion, he lowers the back window and hurls Samantha’s phone out into the rain.

She is vaguely aware of her phone’s demise, but what is more troubling is the traffic situation up ahead. She had planned to veer, at the last minute, onto State Route 202, where the rush-hour traffic is already backing up, rather than continuing on the relatively wide-open I-90. But if the police are coming, maybe she should be on the open road. Or maybe this is better. She can’t decide. Everything is happening too quickly, with the rain beating on the roof and the windows, caking the world in a gauzy haze that makes her wish she could go to sleep, and she is barely holding back tears that seem like they might become permanently lodged behind her eyes.

By the time JD turns the gun back on her and orders her to keep driving, it is too late. She has pulled to the left, into the thick of the 202 traffic, and has to hit her brakes to slow down so that she doesn’t slam into the slow-moving cars lined up like blocks on the road up ahead.

“Goddammit,” JD says, again glancing behind them. Samantha can see the faint light of the sirens building in the rearview mirror, but cars are stacking up behind hers. The police won’t be able to get to them.

“Fuck. Nice work!” Without warning, JD’s palm flies out and smacks Samantha on the side of the head. The impact pushes her toward the window and makes everything spin a little more.

“Hey!” Tempest yells out, snapping back toward JD.

Just as quickly, he turns the gun on her, and it is poking right into her face. “Shut your fucking mouth,” he says.

Samantha’s head stings, but she is too numb to react otherwise. Her hands grip the steering wheel tighter, and suddenly all she wants to do is drive, fly down the rain-slicked freeway and see what happens. In the soup of confusion outside, the sirens continue to whir, growing louder. JD swivels his head backward once more.

Her head still aching, Samantha turns to her right and catches Tempest’s eye. She doesn’t know how to communicate what she is thinking, but she tries to indicate the door handle. Tempest’s eyes brighten, suggesting that she understands.

Samantha takes a deep breath. It’s now or never.



Tim Fisher stares at the cell phone in his hand, as if that might resurrect his call with JD. But nothing happens. The line is dead, the call is gone... and Samantha, stuck in that car with that madman...

He runs back to Diane Bishop’s office, dialing Samantha’s number as he goes, but it goes straight to voicemail.

“I lost them,” he says breathlessly as he bursts into the office.

“What do you mean, you lost them?” Diane grabs the phone from him. He happily lets her take it, hoping that someone else might be able to fix this, somehow. She doesn’t get an answer, either.

“What’s going on with the police?” he asks.

“I don’t know. They were going out, but the dispatcher said--and I quote--‘Ma’am, I’m not going to be able to give you a play-by-play.’ Uppity bitch.”

Tim stares into the neverending pattern that sprawls over the carpet. This does not even seem like real life. How can this be happening to Samantha? He remembers all too well the terror he felt when JD accosted him in the parking garage, or when Nick Moriani’s men discovered him on the docks all those years ago, but his terror is amplified a thousand times at the thought of his daughter being caught in such a situation.

“Nothing on the news yet?” he asks, nodding toward the TV in the corner of the office. Its volume is turned low, almost muted entirely, but the evening newscast shows nothing related to a police chase on the freeway.

“Not a thing.” Diane looks past him, out into the expansive bullpen area of the office, and suddenly shouts, “What are you looking at? Don’t you have some work to do?”

Tim turns as the employees, who are no doubt more interested in whatever is happening with him and Diane than in their work, pretend to scatter.

“Let’s go out there,” Diane says, snatching her keys off the desk.

“Out where? In the middle of traffic? What are we going to do?”

“Save our daughter? Come on.”

Tim knows that it is a ridiculous plan, but he is on her heels anyway. Before they make it out the door, though, a phone rings. It is Tim’s.

“Is it Samantha?” he asks, but Diane is already handing it to him and shaking her head. He sees the name on the screen and answers abruptly, “What is it, Cassandra?”

“What’s happening?” she asks. She sounds genuinely terrified, and for a moment, he recalls the woman that he has known all this time, the strong, supportive woman whom he has enjoyed having in his life. But perhaps that was all an act. This, too, could be an act.

“JD has my daughter driving along the freeway at gunpoint,” he says. “All because of you and your stupid ring.”

“Tim, I’m... I’m so sorry.”

“That’s not going to fix this.” Beside him, Diane nods along. “You’d better hope the police get to them in time.”

“JD can have the ring. I don’t care. I’ll fly to Houston and bring it back for him myself, if he lets her go.”

“Tell him that!”

“He won’t answer his phone.” She sighs loudly, filling the line with fuzz for a moment. “This is all my fault. First my mother, and now this. I’m so, so sorry.”

“What the hell happened to your mother, anyway?” he asks. “Is there something JD knows that we could use--”

“Her death was my fault,” Cassandra says. “She died because of my greed.”


The two teenagers’ minds might as well be one. Samantha can feel that they are on the same page, thinking the same thing. This is going to work. She bobs her head to count down: one, two...

“Get on the shoulder,” JD says. “Drive down the--”


In perfect unison, Samantha and Tempest tug at their door handles. The doors fly open, and the girls spring out of the vehicle.

“Fuck!” JD screams from the backseat. Samantha hears the sounds of him scrambling behind her. She tries not to think about the gun in his hand.

She smacks her hand against the window of the car beside them. Someone inside--a woman, she can tell, but all other details are lost in the blur of panic--turns to look. There is no way JD would shoot at them with this many witnesses.

JD’s voice reaches out over the freeway. “Get back in the car!”

Samantha sees Tempest running down the shoulder of the freeway. She tries to dodge around a car to catch up to her, but her foot catches on something, probably a bumper. It happens in slow-motion: her foot snags; her balance wobbles; she tries to steady herself by placing her hands on the back of a car; her hands slip off the rain-slicked vehicle; and she feels herself tumbling down to the pavement.

One hand manages to break her fall at least a little bit, but it still hurts, and--

“Back in the car,” JD says from somewhere far too close behind her. “Get back in the car and drive!”


As curious as Tim is about what really happened to Millicent Ward, his concern for his daughter far outweighs his interest. “Cassandra, I don’t really have time--”

“I hired JD to break in and steal the ring,” she says anyway. “He and a friend were supposed to make it look like a robbery. Break in while Mama was out, steal some things, make sure the ring was one of them. End of story.”

In spite of himself, Tim listens. He has wanted to know the truth for too long; he has spent too many months wondering what kind of person Cassandra really is, wondering if he was truly so wrong about her.

“Why did you have to steal from her?” he asks.

“You didn’t know my Mama,” Cassandra says. “I loved her, she was a wonderful mother in a lot of ways... but she was also vengeful. And when Daddy left that ring to me and not to her, she lost it. She refused to give it to me, kept it locked up in the house.”

From the doorway, Diane shoots him a look: You coming, or what? He nods and follows her, still on the phone.

After a period of silence, Cassandra continues. “She wasn’t supposed to be home. Her car was gone. It turns out that she was having it serviced and took a taxi home. JD and his friend, they got startled--” Her voice cracks, and the words cut off.

“And they killed her,” Tim fills in.

A muffled sound on the other end of the line offers confirmation.

Diane pushes the button for the elevator. Tim can feel eyeballs from all over the office searing into them. In his ear, Cassandra is sniffling, probably crying.

“She wasn’t supposed to be there,” she says. “She wasn’t supposed to get hurt.”

As the elevator doors open and they step inside, Tim is torn between offering sympathy and chastising her. The former might win out, if not for Samantha’s current predicament.

“JD is a maniac,” he says. “He’s out of control. If Samantha gets hurt--” He doesn’t even want to entertain the idea, but he also knows that she has already been hurt. Going through something like this would do a number on anyone, let alone on a sweet, trusting kid like Samantha.

“I need to hang up,” he tells Cassandra.

“Tim, I’m sorry. I’m praying for Samantha. I’m so sorry.”

Unsure what he is supposed to say in response, he simply ends the call. The yellow lights atop the elevator door move downward with excruciating slowness.

“What the hell was that?” Diane asks.

“Nothing important,” Tim says, stuffing the phone into his pocket. “I just wish I’d realized that months ago.”


Sounds and sights flash all around Samantha, but none of them make any sense. There is too much noise, too much to think about. She tries to push herself up off the ground, and gravel sticks in her palm, radiating pain up her arm.

“Get back in the car!” JD screams from somewhere behind her, or above her.

Rain splashes in her face as she cranes her neck to see him, no more than a few feet away. The gun does not appear to be in his hands, but she has no doubt that it is nearby, probably tucked away to make him appear less menacing to onlookers. His stature is imposing, though she cannot tell if it is genuine or if it is because of her angle.

“Back off!” Tempest’s voice comes to her over the din of traffic and whatever else is going on. The sirens are coming closer, too--that much Samantha can tell.

“Shut up and get back in the car,” JD says, but there is something different about his voice now. Something desperate. He is no longer in control, and he knows it.

Samantha wills her body and her mind to work together. She scrambles to her feet, using the car in front of her for balance.

“Come on!” Tempest yells to her.

JD counters, “Get in the car!”

On unsteady legs, her head whirling, Samantha rushes to join Tempest on the shoulder of the freeway. Now she can see that traffic has come to an utter standstill, and people are watching, even getting out of their cars. Horns honk, random beeps shooting out from all over the road. And a police car is making its way down the shoulder.

In one sudden, panicked move, JD darts back into the car, in the driver’s seat. It starts moving, and Samantha realizes that she just put it in park, rather than turning it off.

“Hey,” Tempest says, grabbing Samantha’s sleeve and pulling her out of the way. Then, before she knows what is happening, JD takes off down the shoulder in her car, and the police car slides up right behind him, its sirens blaring and lights flashing.

As they watch the cars move down the shoulder at a pace so glacial that it is almost comical, a thought occurs to Samantha: We’re alive. We’re okay. JD is gone. Finally, the tears that have been pushing at the backs of her eyes spill out, and her whole body goes limp with exhaustion. The rain beats down upon and around her, flicking against the pavement and the cars. Samantha feels Tempest’s arm wrap around her, and as stupid as she feels for crying now, when this whole thing is over and done, she has no control over it.


Is JD no longer a threat?
What should happen to Cassandra now?
How will Samantha and Tempest cope with this event?
Come discuss this episode in the Footprints Forum!

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