Episode #600

- Danielle rejected Ryan after he ambushed her and Elly in an effort to force them to talk. An equally irritated Elly refused to have anything to do with her mother, but later that night, she turned up at Danielle’s door.
- With Loretta Ragan exposed for her crimes, the tension between Claire and the Fishers seemed to ease up, and their relationships appeared to be returning to normal.
- Diane was concerned when Samantha awoke screaming and did not deny that she was having nightmares about her recent hostage trauma.

In one hand, the woman clutches the opened envelope; in the other, the piece of paper that was, until a moment ago, stashed inside it.

She wants to stick it back in there and forget about it. Forget it ever showed up here.

But she knows that is impossible. She knows that, even if it were to go back into that envelope, she wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about it--about what it might mean.

The world around her falls away as she lets the implications surge through her mind. The date--it’s so close--it must mean--


“What’s that?” asks the voice from across the room. “Everything okay?”

She forces herself to look up and smile pleasantly, blandly. “Yeah. Everything’s fine. Something from work.”

So she stuffs it back inside, fastens the clasps on the envelope, and stashes the envelope in a drawer in the end table. But even removing its physical presence does not prevent it from looming in her mind, canceling out all other thought.

What does it mean? Why would someone send her that birth certificate?


Danielle Taylor does not know how to react. The last person she expected to find at the door tonight was her daughter.

“Hi,” Elly Vanderbilt says.

“Hi.” Danielle takes in the sight of this young woman, her child, so--not because of anything Danielle has done--well adjusted and intelligent and lovely. “Is everything all right?” she asks. It is a strange question, but she feels the need to help the conversation along.

“I wanted to talk to you. I mean, I do want to talk. I...” Elly trails off, staring at the clear polish on her fingernails.

Danielle closes the door behind herself. She sees Travis sitting in his car outside the driveway; she can hear the faint noise of his iPod playing but cannot make out the song.

“I’m sorry you were put in that position earlier,” Danielle says. “I know you weren’t ready to see me, and to have it sprung on you like that... Are you and Travis all right?”

Elly shrugs. “I’m really annoyed that he did that. It isn’t his business.”

“Funny. That’s exactly what I said to Ryan.”

A light smile passes between them. Danielle takes heart in the moment of connection, fleeting though it might be.

“But I can’t stop thinking about what you said,” Elly says. “About your mom and losing her when you were so young, and... I just don’t want to regret wasting time or anything.”

Danielle stands there, stunned into silence, too overwhelmed to say anything.

Elly goes on: “So I guess I want to stop not talking to you, and do whatever we’re supposed to do now.”

“There’s nothing we’re supposed to do. I just want to have you in my life, the way I did before. Only without secrets now.”

“Yeah. That sounds good.” Elly moves forward and embraces her. Danielle immediately thinks about how this is the first hug they have shared since Elly found out Danielle is her mother.

When they separate, Elly looks her directly in the eyes. “There’s one condition, though. One thing you have to promise me.”


After all the hoopla and ceremony surrounding her son’s graduation from high school, Claire Fisher returns to her apartment, where she happily changes into a pair of yoga pants and a sweatshirt. She settles on the couch to watch television and is more than a little surprised when Tempest Banks emerges from her room to join her.

“This that HGTV or whatever?” Tempest asks.

“Yep. I know you’re a big fan.” Claire offers her a grin.

“The people all just seem dumb to me, that’s all. Like, you got a house, now shut up and stop complaining about the floors.”

“I guess I can’t really argue with that.”

Nevertheless, Tempest tentatively settles in on the other end of the sofa.

“Did you have a good time today?” Claire asks. “I know it was probably a little overwhelming, with everyone around.”

“No, it was cool. Everyone’s really nice.” Tempest blankly watches the TV for a few moments before turning to address Claire. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Of course.”

“You think of these people--the Fishers and all--like your family, right?”

“They’re the only real family I’ve ever had.”

“Even though you’re not married to Tim anymore?”

“Yeah.” Claire pulls one of the soft throw pillows close to her body as she searches for the correct words. “The Fishers took me in at a time when I didn’t really have anyone. My son is a Fisher. I think those bonds override a lot of the things that have happened.” She hears the words as she speaks them, wills her body to soak them up and have faith. Things with the Fishers certainly seem to have taken a turn for the better since her adventure in New Hampshire.

Tempest nods along, taking that in. “What about your dad? Everyone’s been talking about him.”

“My father was not a good person. Actually, he was a bad person. I knew it for years. He drove my mother away, and... apparently he was living some kind of double life all along anyway. He didn’t love me. He just wanted to control me.”

She watches Tempest turning this all over in her mind. In their time together, Claire has observed that the young woman is very curious, very interested in what is going on around her, but she often seems embarrassed to show that.

“What about your family?” Claire asks. “You told me you had a brother...”

Just like that, something changes. Tempest’s face, which seconds ago was warm and open, turns to cold steel. “I don’t wanna talk about them.”

“Okay. If you ever do, I’m happy to listen.” Claire continues watching the teen out of the corner of her eye, but Tempest barely moves, let alone changes demeanor. That tension is still hanging over the room when there is a knock at the door.

Grateful for something that might alleviate the friction, Claire sets the throw pillow aside and goes to the door. When she opens it, however, she is unable to understand what she sees.


“I think we need to find her a new doctor,” Diane Bishop says as she paces over her living room carpet, cell phone pressed to her ear.

Tim Fisher’s voice cuts through a thin blanket of static on the line. “She’s going to have to start all over with a new doctor. It’s only been a few weeks.”

Diane can feel something brewing inside her--a drive, an instinct to take action, to do something to make this better for her daughter. She thought they might be over the hump, but when Samantha woke up screaming from a nightmare earlier tonight, Diane realized that the experience of being held hostage by JD Robinson is still very much haunting the poor kid.

“We’re paying this guy way too much money not to be seeing results,” she says firmly.

“It took Travis months and months of seeing Dr. Arcaro before the work really started to make a difference in his life.”

And that’s a great example of a well adjusted kid, she thinks, even as she forces herself not to let the sarcastic statement out into the world.

“I just think it’s something we should consider. I’m going to ask around at the office, see if anyone has a recommendation,” she says.

Tim lets out an exasperated sigh. “Okay. Can’t hurt to ask.”

“I’m glad you see things my way.”

A knock on the door catches her by surprise.

“There’s someone at the door,” she tells Tim. “I swear to God, if it’s that damn new neighbor wanting to chit-chat again...”

“Go take care of that. I’ll come by and see Sam in the morning.”

Diane ends the call and sets her Blackberry down on the coffee table. Before opening the door, she peers through the peephole... and what she sees is reason enough to pull her hand away from the doorknob.

“Diane, I know you’re in there! Open up.”

She suppresses the urge to shout back something nasty and, after taking a moment to steel herself, whips the door open.

“Natalie,” she says, regarding the younger woman with irritation. “What in the hell are you doing here?”

“Am I not allowed to visit my sister?” Natalie Bishop says through the fake smile plastered on her red, red lips.

“What do you want? Why are you in King’s Bay?”

“Because I have a big surprise for you, Diane.”


Danielle takes a step back and examines her daughter, hoping to discern what kind of condition Elly might have in order for them to renew their relationship. Not that it matters--Danielle would agree to nearly anything to restore the bond they once had.

“What is it?” she asks.

Elly proceeds tentatively, as if she used up all her courage in stating that she had some terms for Danielle. “It’s just something I need to know... like, I need to know you’re open to it and not going to keep anything else from me.”


There is another long pause before Elly spits it out: “My father. I want to know who he is.”

Danielle finds herself nodding. “I can do that. I’ll tell you whatever you want to know.”

With those few words, Elly’s entire body seems to relax. She springs forward and gives Danielle another hug.

“Thanks. It’s just, it’s important for me to know this stuff.”

“I understand,” Danielle says, her arms wrapped around her daughter’s back. “And I’m willing to discuss anything you want. I know you’ve been hit with a lot of surprises in the past few years. It makes sense to want all the information.”

“That’s great.” Elly allows the hug to linger for another few seconds before stepping back. She fishes her cell phone out of her pocket. “I need to call my mom--I mean--”

“Your mom. Melanie is your mom.”

“Yeah.” Elly plays with the phone’s buttons. “I need to call and tell her not to change my flight, so I can stay a few more days like I was supposed to.”

“That sounds nice.” A warm smile spreads over Danielle’s face as she watches Elly place the call, and she tries, at least for the time being, to banish her trepidation about reopening that chapter of her past.


“What kind of surprise?” Diane asks warily.

“Aren’t you going to invite me in?”

Diane steps out of the way and flings her hand outward. It is the closest to an invitation she can muster. Natalie saunters inside the condominium, giving Diane an opportunity to appraise her younger sister. She is overdressed for an evening drop-by, in a black sheath dress with a scooped neckline and expensive black heels, but that does not exactly shock Diane; she presumes that Natalie spent hours in front of the mirror, selecting just the right ensemble to come annoy her sister with whatever asinine ‘surprise’ she might have.

“I would’ve thought you’d have upgraded to a nicer place by now, like an actual house,” Natalie comments as she lets her eyes graze over the condo’s interior. “Things are going well at work, aren’t they?”

“Work is great. And for what it’s worth, I don’t have any desire to deal with landscaping or any of that. Samantha and I are very happy here.”

She has a vague urge to go out and buy a house first thing in the morning, just to stick it in Natalie’s face. However, she decides to go with a less expensive dig.

“Where are you living these days, exactly?” Diane asks. “I can’t imagine Conrad is paying you enough alimony for anything too extravagant. Mom said the prenup--”

“Conrad is an asshole,” Natalie interrupts. “At any rate, that brings me to why I’m here.”

Diane folds her arms and waits. Knowing her sister, this should be ridiculous.

“It’s big,” Natalie says, winding up as though Diane might actually care. And then she holds out her left hand... where an impressive diamond sparkles on the ring finger.

“You’re remarrying Conrad?” Diane says with as little interest as possible. “I thought you said he was an asshole.”

“Not Conrad. A new man. A wonderful man.”

“Does he have brain damage?”

“Be careful. Your jealousy is showing.” Natalie pauses to admire her diamond ring. “He’s based in King’s Bay for the time being. So Bree and I will be here for at least a short while.”

“Wow. I’m overjoyed.” It will be nice for Samantha to have her younger cousin around, but Diane doesn’t even want to give Natalie that glimmer of satisfaction right now.

“Well, congratulations,” Diane says. “I hope this one turns out just as well as your first. That still doesn’t explain why you decided to drop by at this time of night. We’re not exactly... close.” Horror strikes her. “If you’re even thinking of asking me to be your maid of honor--”

“Don’t worry. I’m not.” That same superior smirk settles back onto Natalie’s face. “I actually have a proposal for you. I wanted to set a meeting with you, me, and my fiancé.”

“What kind of proposal?”

“A business one. I think you’ll find it intriguing, actually.”

“Wouldn’t bet on it,” Diane says as her sister begins rattling off possible dates and times.


There was a knock on the door no more than ten seconds ago. And yet, when Claire pulls that door open, there is no trace of anyone who might have knocked. She looks one way and then the other down the hallway. Nothing. No one.

“That’s weird,” she mutters, wondering if perhaps one of Travis’s friends might have thought he was staying there and decided to play a prank of some sort, but that explanation doesn’t make a great deal of sense. She is about to close the door when she notices something on the ground.

A manila envelope.

Her name and address are written on the front, but there is no return address. Her curiosity surging, she brings it inside and uses a knife to cut through the heavy tape that seals the flap. She unclasps the envelope and pulls out its contents: a single sheet of paper.

She looks it over, takes in its official appearance and seemingly innocuous content, but none of it makes sense. Why would someone send this to her?

“What’s that?” Tempest asks from her position on the sofa. “Everything okay?”

Claire manages to look at her and toss out a vague smile. “Yeah. Everything’s fine. Something from work.”

Implications swim through her mind, splashing and kicking and burying everything else that she might use to distract herself. It barely makes any sense, but the date... it’s so close. And the strange delivery--it all makes her think that this must mean something...

She forces herself to put the document back in the envelope, clasp it shut, and place it in a drawer in the end table. She returns to her seat and, unable to focus on the TV, tells Tempest that she can put on whatever she wants. Claire stares at the color and the movements on the screen, but she takes in none of it. That birth certificate means something--and as much as she wants to block out its existence, she has to know what that something is.


What could the birth certificate mean to Claire?
Why is Danielle so nervous about Elly’s father?
What kind of trouble will Natalie bring into Diane’s life?
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