Episode #610

- Molly informed Philip that Objection Designs would no longer require his services.
- Brent moved back into his and Molly’s home, and the couple began to repair their damaged marriage. Still, Molly was upset after Claire came to Brent for help with a mysterious matter.
- Danielle told Ryan that she was not sure she could give him another chance because surprises always pop up to threaten her trust in him.
- Ryan confronted Diane about her plan to publish Julian St. John’s memoirs, but Diane had no interest in hearing his arguments.


“That woman! She is the absolute worst!”

Sarah Fisher sits at the kitchen table, nursing a glass of pinot grigio and watching as her half-brother paces back and forth over the hardwood floor.

“She’s insane,” Ryan continues ranting, as he reaches the large bay window and turns on his heels to tread back over a well-worn patch of floor. “In what universe is it appropriate to publish Julian St. John’s memoirs?”

“She did publish your book,” Sarah says.

Ryan pauses long enough to cast a sharp glare at her. “That was different.”

“Not that different. You both… committed crimes.”

Unable to come up with an adequate response, Ryan lets out a huff and continues pacing. “Why isn’t this bothering you more?” he asks. “Julian took advantage of you. He sent you on a wild goose chase to get proof of an affair that he knew wasn’t happening. Shouldn’t you be pissed off?”

“Believe me, I’m not happy.” She takes another sip of her wine. Though it is an excellent bottle from Graham’s ample supply, it is a bit sharp and not particularly appealing to her; if she weren’t digesting this news about Diane’s plan to publish Julian’s book, she would set the glass aside. “I just don’t know what to do.”

“Scream in Diane’s face! Tell her what a horrible idea this is! Sarah, you should be furious about this. Julian could make you look completely incompetent. He could wreck your entire practice with this book.”

Her lips linger over the rim of her glass as she considers this. She wants to believe that Julian’s deception of her would have no place in his book. It shouldn’t.

“Why are you so worried about this?” she asks. “Everyone knows what happened. You worked with the police to expose your dad and Julian’s operation. It isn’t like you were secretly running the entire thing yourself.”

“I know,” he mutters. He fixes his gaze out the large window, at the Northwest landscape trying to transform itself into an autumn ideal while the stubborn evergreens stand strong in protest. “I don’t want it dredged up. That’s all. I’m trying to convince Danielle to give me another chance. The last thing I need is a very public reminder that I used to be involved in organized crime.”

“It happened, and you’ve moved on. You can’t control whether people remember it.”

“I can certainly try.”

“Then talk to Diane. She published your book. She isn’t interested in wrecking your reputation.”

“Diane doesn’t care, as long as she saves her own ass.” He shakes his head. “I don’t even understand why you’re still friends with her.”

Sarah’s mouth opens, but no answer emerges. She has asked herself the same question many times. When it comes down to it, though, Diane is the best friend she has ever had. She understands where Sarah is coming from better than perhaps anyone else in the entire world. Despite some of Diane’s less-than-brilliant decisions, their bond cannot be disputed.

“Diane wouldn’t do that to me,” she says.

“Really? The same Diane who forced our mother to admit on the stand in court that I was her son?” Finally the pacing ceases, as he moves in closer to make his point. “The same best friend who e-mailed you those pictures of Molly and Brent together just so you would know they were having an affair? Some best friend.”

In spite of all the warm feelings she has toward Diane, and regardless of everything she has just said to her brother, all Sarah can think now is that she needs to get to Vision Publishing and talk some sense into that friend of hers.


“I don’t understand how we wound up with fifty percent less fabric than we need,” Molly Taylor tells one of her designers as they cruise through one of the hallways in Objection’s clean, modern office. “I want to use that print for both cuts of the shirt. I made that very clear from the outset.”

“We can put the order in immediately,” the designer says.

“And then we’ll be paying the setup costs twice,” Molly counters. “I’ll have to think about this a little more.”

With another apology on behalf of his team, the designer slips off, and Molly covers the remaining few yards toward her office. As she crosses the threshold of the COO suite, her attention goes immediately to her assistant, Cameron, stationed at a desk to the left. Cameron, however, nods his head toward the other side of the reception area--where Molly sees that she has a visitor waiting.

“Molly,” Philip Ragan says, rising from the all-white chair to greet her. “It’s good to see you.”

“What are you doing here?” she asks.

Philip gestures toward her office. “Could we talk in private?”

Molly looks to Cameron for help. “I have a busy calendar today.”

Cameron begins to say something, but Philip holds up a hand to cut him off. “It will only take a few minutes,” he says.

The way he says it makes Molly’s brain do a mental shifting, scooting everything for the rest of the day back five or ten minutes. Sighing in defeat, she leads Philip inside her office.

“Why are you still in King’s Bay?” she asks once the doors are closed.

“That’s why I wanted to speak with you. I’ve decided to settle in King’s Bay for the foreseeable future.”

Molly has no idea how to respond to that. Finally she settles on, “You could have sent me an e-mail.”

“E-mails are incredibly easy to disregard.” A hint of a grin plays at the corner of his mouth. He pushes open the jacket of his light gray suit to place his hands upon his hips; Molly notices the impeccable cut of his white dress shirt. “My brother is attending school here, and it makes sense for both of us to have something of a fresh start in a new place.”

“If your mother tried to kill the majority of people you know in a town, it’s probably not much of a fresh start.”

“Touché. Molly, all I ask is that you give me the opportunity to prove myself--to prove that you can trust me.”

She can tell that he wants to move closer but is forcing himself to maintain a respectful distance. Grateful though she is for that, Molly finds it necessary to busy herself. She moves to the teardrop-shaped mirror on the wall and pretends to evaluate her earrings.

“I will never be able to apologize adequately for the things my mother has done,” Philip says, as he manages to catch her eye in the mirror. “But you--your friendship means a great deal to me. Please allow me the opportunity to regain your trust.”


Ryan brings his Acura to a stop at the curb and walks briskly up the driveway. Overhead, the autumn sky has washed itself into an dense sheet of gray.

He rings the doorbell and waits. When the door is opened a few seconds later, he is surprised to be greeted not by Danielle, or by one of the twins, but by Elly Vanderbilt.

“Elly. Hi.” A cloud of awkwardness swoops over them. “Is Danielle home?”

“She had to go out. She, uh, she went to a meeting. I wanted to get out of the dorms to study, so I said I’d watch Caleb and Christian for a little.” Her inflection tells Ryan exactly what type of meeting.

“Oh. That was nice of you.” He takes in the sight of her, fresh-faced and dressed down in a sweatshirt and jeans, with her brown hair pulled back into a ponytail. “I suppose I’m glad I ran into you, though. I owe you an apology.”

Elly’s lips form a stiff line.

“Setting up you and Danielle at Travis’s party--that was a remarkably stupid thing of me to do. All I wanted was to bring the two of you back together, so that Danielle could be happy, but it was… it was not my finest hour. I hope you’ll accept my apology.”

“Thanks,” she says, and while it isn’t exactly the wholesale reprieve from his guilt that Ryan might have liked, it is promising enough.

Even with that out in the open, though, the awkwardness lingers.

“How’s school going?” he asks.

“Good. Classes just started. I’m trying to stay a little bit ahead so I don’t get, like, buried alive.”

“Smart kid.” Ryan spins his keys around on his index finger. “I’ll let you get back to your studying. Good luck in school.”

“Thanks. Do you want me to tell Danielle you stopped by?”

He is about to answer in the affirmative, but something gives him pause. “You know what? Not necessary. But thank you.”


A tank full of indignation and anxiety fuels Sarah, propelling her out of the house, into her car, and downtown to the offices of Vision Publishing. By the time she arrives in the doorway of her friend’s office, though, that fuel has burned off, replaced by the intermittent spark of worry but also an oversized dose of uncertainty.

“Hey,” she says after Diane looks up from her work and spots her.

“Hey. What are you doing here?” Diane gives her stack of papers another glance before setting it aside, red pen on top. “I don’t think I have time to duck out for lunch--”

“This’ll only take a minute.” Sarah takes a few tentative steps into the office and, after a moment of fiddling with her purse strap, places the bag on a chair. If this were anyone else--Molly, her mother, Julian himself--she would not be half this hesitant in condemning such a horrible idea. But with Diane, it is somehow different.

“Ryan told me you’re going to publish Julian’s book.” The words tumble out in a rush, landing in a messy pile.

Diane takes a few seconds to sift through them, untangle the threads. She seems to be sizing Sarah up, trying to gauge how angry she really is.

“They have me up against a wall here,” she says at last. “I need to produce something high-profile and profitable. That moron’s book is… it’s too ripe an opportunity to pass up.”

“There has to be something else.”

“There isn’t. Not a manuscript that’s seventy five percent ready to go. If I can pull this off, I save my ass here. If not…” Diane trails off, and behind her eyes, Sarah can see something that Diane rarely exhibits: genuine fear.

Nevertheless, Sarah feels the ire building again inside herself. “You know how I feel about this. You knew when you made this deal with Julian.”

Diane stomps across the office and closes the door, stopping just short of a full slam. “I didn’t have a choice!”

“You didn’t have to go behind my back! You always do this, Diane. You have some brilliant idea, and suddenly it doesn’t matter how it’s going to affect anyone else, because you’re the only one who matters.”

Diane’s luxuriant lashes flutter with shock. “You sound like Ryan.”

“Yeah, well, maybe he has a point.” A tight fist of anger pushes against Sarah’s lungs, stifling her breath. “Look at what you did to Danielle at the book release. Why, because she blamed you for getting Ryan drunk?”

“Danielle is a sanctimonious hag.”

With half a shrug, Sarah fires back, “She didn’t deserve that. And even if she did, Elly definitely didn’t. Just stop for once and think about what you’re doing to other people.”

Then, incredibly, Diane folds her arms across her chest. In a calm, almost chilly voice, she says, “I didn’t get to where I am by thinking about other people.”

“Who are you?!”

“You know exactly who I am. God, Sarah. You’re worried that the book is going to make you look stupid, right? I promise there will not be a single mention of you in there. We’re not publishing anything that has to do with the way Julian’s marriage ended. Did you really think I wouldn’t look out for you?”

Sarah wishes that could be enough. Even as relief sweeps over her, though, the rage persists. She shouldn’t have to extract a promise like that from her best friend.

“Well, thanks,” she says, grabbing her purse. “I appreciate it.”

“Sarah. Come on.”

“Good luck with the book,” Sarah says as she opens the door and leaves the office.


As Danielle Taylor rushes down the stairs to the basement of the community center, the clock in her head ticks away every passing second. Even though people usually trickle in and out during these meetings, she hates the idea of being late and drawing more attention to herself. Her shoes clap against the steps and the sound echoes off the cement walls of the empty main room.

When she reaches the door of the meeting room, though, a sense of calm washes over her. It almost always does when she arrives at a meeting. After all these years of doing this, she has come to the point where a meeting feels like a safe haven, like a place where she can step out of whatever stress or trauma has invaded her life and regain some much-needed perspective. Some days, like today, she simply wakes up with the odd desire to have a drink; finally, she has enough control to get herself to a meeting rather than indulging that destructive voice within her.

She opens the door as quietly as she can, and a man’s voice floats toward her. “It’s been a hundred and four days since my last drink,” he is saying.

Danielle does the quickest possible scan of the room and is grateful to see an open chair at the end of a row only a few feet away from the door. She moves, almost lunges, toward it, desperate to get into that chair and settle into the meeting.

“I was saving that seat,” the man beside her says as she touches down in the chair.

“Oh, I’m--” But before she can rise out of the seat, she glances over at him to complete her apology…

…and realizes that the man is Ryan Moriani.

“Luckily, the person I was saving it for just showed up,” he says.

“What are you doing here?” she whispers.

Instead of answering, he simply reaches over, squeezes her hand, and continues to hold it as they listen to the man who has the floor. And Danielle lets him.


Cameron maintains his post outside the office. When the phone rings, he quickly determines that the call is not urgent and takes a message for Molly to return later. He is not sure of the specifics, but he knows that she and Philip Ragan went from being extremely close--even taking a trip back east together--to hardly speaking at all. Something must have happened on that trip, though Molly has been very sparing with the details.

Regardless of what is happening behind those closed doors, though, Cameron suspects that it is not something in which Molly’s husband needs to take part. Which is why it is a problem when Brent comes strolling into the reception area.

“Hey, Cameron,” Brent says with a smile that manages to be genial even though Cameron can tell it is forced. “Is Molly in?”

“She’s, um, she’s actually having a meeting in there right now. Do you need me to pull her out?”

Brent shakes his head. “Nah. Do you think she’ll be long?”

“I have no idea,” Cameron says, relieved that he can at least be honest about that much.

* * * * *

Inside the office, Philip presses Molly to maintain eye contact in the mirror. Against her better judgment, she does.

“We obviously have a connection,” he says. “The work we did on the Objection campaign--it was so successful because we shared a vision.”

“I told you that we’re no longer going to need your services.” She doesn’t even know what she is saying--it isn’t as though Philip asked to work for Objection again--but it seems like the only way to shove that all in the past.

“And I asked you to give me the opportunity to prove myself.”

The intensity of his stare becomes too much for her, and she spins away from the mirror. Before Philip can press her any further, she beelines for the door.

“You should go,” she tells him.

He does not move.


“Molly.” He takes a few slow, careful steps toward her. “Try and understand what this is like for me. All of a sudden, everything I believed about my family turns out to have been lies. My father was a dangerous criminal who kidnapped his own grandson. My mother is obsessed with revenge and tried to murder an entire restaurant full of people, among other things. I have a sister I never knew about, and she, along with everyone else, wants to believe that I was part of some grand conspiracy that I never even knew existed.”

She hates how sincere he seems. She hates that, in spite of what she thinks she should do, she believes him.

“I don’t know what to tell you,” she says.

“Say you’ll try to be my friend. That’s all I’m asking.”

She attempts to relax and even offers him a reassuring smile. “I can try that.”

“Thank you.”

With that, the tension between them seems to have dissipated back to a bearable level. Still, there is something intense about the way Philip watches her, as if he wants to make sure that she means what she said. Hoping to release some of that pressure, she pulls the door open.

What she sees out in the reception area makes an entirely new tension overtake her body.

“Hi,” she says to Brent, knowing that this is about to become uncomfortable.

“Hey. Are you done?”

“Um, yeah.” She turns back and can tell that Philip, despite not having a view outside the office door, knows exactly who is there.

“I’m going to go,” Philip says, and before Molly can do anything to control the situation, he moves past her and out of the office. She can practically see Brent’s blood pressure shoot up as he recognizes the other man.

Thankfully, Philip moves swiftly and is gone before Brent can react in any meaningful way. Molly sees Cameron hovering on the edge of his seat, ready to take some action that he has not figured out yet. She grabs Brent by the sleeve and draws him into the office.

“What are you doing here?” she asks as casually as she can while she closes the door again.

“I just dropped by to see my wife. I think the better question would be, what are you doing?”


Is Molly wrong to give Philip a second chance?
Should Sarah forgive Diane for this latest stunt?
What will Julian’s book mean for Ryan and Danielle?
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