Episode #612

- Sarah was furious when she learned that Diane and Vision Publishing planned to publish Julian St. John’s memoir of his criminal exploits.
- Diane promised Sarah that the book would contain no mention of how Julian duped Sarah.
- Ryan tried to prove his devotion to Danielle by attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting with her to provide support.


A checkbook rests open atop the dining room table… though “rest” might be the wrong word. Sarah Fisher flips between various forms and the checkbook, intermittently filling out checks, paper-clipping them to documents, and then resuming her back-and-forth activity.

“Is everything coming together okay?” her older brother asks from his seat across the table.

She sets down her pen and looks up. “Yeah, actually. It’s a lot easier organizing a small wedding at your house than some huge thing on the beach, believe it or not… even if I got locked in a freezer and didn’t even get to have that wedding.”

“We’ll try really hard not to get you stuck in any freezers this time around,” Tim says with a genial smile. “I’m glad everything is going smoothly, at least.”

“So am I.” She lets out a heavy sigh. “I have enough other nonsense to worry about, between Tori and… this mess with Diane.”

“I can’t believe she did that.”

Sarah frowns skeptically at him.

“Okay, I can believe it. If I’d known she was making a deal with Julian St. John, I would’ve stepped in and tried to talk her out of it. But of course, she had the contract signed before I even heard a murmur about it.”

“No way she would’ve risked you finding out and ruining it,” Sarah says as she places one of the forms and its accompanying check into an envelope. “She knew you might tell me, or even Ryan…”

“Please. She can hang Ryan out to dry, for all I care.” Tim seems almost embarrassed at expressing this bitterness--not that Sarah would ever hold it against him. “She at least promised you that there wouldn’t be any mention of Julian’s divorce or how he involved you, right?”

“Yeah. But still… she knew how I felt about the entire thing, and she didn’t even care.”

Tim shakes his head grimly. “I’m sorry. I wish there were something I could do about it.”

“It’s not even the fact that she’s publishing it anymore, really,” Sarah says. “I don’t think she’s lying and planning to make me look like an idiot in the book.”


This is the part that has been driving her nuts. If the book is not going to be harmful to her reputation or her business, what does it matter? But it does matter. It matters that someone she trusts as much as she trusts Diane would go behind her back like this. Diane is someone she chose to be a part of her life--not like Molly or her parents--and she wants to be able to have faith in her loyalty.

“I’m just questioning the whole thing,” she says, dropping the pen onto the table with a thump. “I’m not sure I even want her at the wedding, let alone being my maid of honor.”


“Now go with your cousin,” Natalie Bishop tells her young daughter. “I’m sure she has all kinds of fun toys.”

Samantha Fisher casts a critical side-glance at her aunt. “I’m sixteen. I don’t have toys, per se.”

“I’m sure you two can find something to play with,” Natalie says, widening her eyes in exasperation.

Diane Bishop shakes her head at her sister’s idiocy and gives Samantha a pat on the shoulder. “There are all those board games in your closet. Why don’t you find one that you and Bree can both play?”

“Okay,” Samantha says dutifully. She gestures to Bree and starts toward the bedroom. “Come on.”

The cousins disappear down the short hallway and into Samantha’s room. Natalie remains by the door, clutching her purse with both hands.

“It’s sweet to see them playing together,” she says. “They haven’t seen nearly enough of one another growing up.”

Diane wheels around to face her sister head-on. “What do you want, Natalie?”

“I wanted Bree to have some time with her cousin!”

“Please. You haven’t bothered to make time for that since Bree was born.”

“Excuse me if I was busy trying to make my marriage work,” Natalie says.

“And that was so successful.”

Natalie glowers at her, then changes tacks. “I wanted to thank you for deciding to publish Julian’s book. You won’t regret it.”

Diane hates that smug look on her sister’s face--the same one she remembers from when they were younger, like she somehow deserves credit for any moderate success that tangentially involves her.

“Listen,” Diane says. “I am not publishing this thing because I want to help you out. I need to deliver a sure thing, and this is the closest I’ve got.”

Natalie waves off the rebuke. “Julian and I still get what we need.”

Her refusal to be bothered sets Diane off, makes her want to push harder. She has never been able to tell if Natalie is really good at bluffing or just stupid enough not to be offended when she should be.

“And another thing,” Diane continues. “If I were you, I wouldn’t get too comfortable with Julian. He has his publishing deal, which is exactly what he needed out of you. What’s to say he has any use at all for you now?”


Ryan Moriani peers over the stroller’s handle at his niece, who is conked out inside the basket.

“She’s out cold,” Ryan observes. “You must have worn her out at the park.”

Around them, the coffee shop is quiet. A few Sunday afternoon patrons are scattered throughout, reading newspapers and having low-key conversations. The sound system plays a subdued, folksy album by a male artist whom Ryan suspects he is too old to know.

“She wore me out, too,” Jason Fisher, seated across the small table from Ryan, says with a smile. He cradles a latté in a paper cup between his hands.

Ryan takes a sip of his tea. “I can’t wrap my mind around how big she’s getting. I always expect her to be an infant.”

“You’re telling me. Seems like she grows a little every day.”

After examining his brother for a few silent ticks of the clock, Ryan leans toward him. “How is everything? How are you managing?”

“Fine. Pretty well, honestly. Just going day-by-day.” Jason shifts in his seat--a highly self-conscious move of which Ryan takes notice--and then refocuses on Ryan. “So Vision is doing that book? It’s official?”

“Diane is a complete lunatic. Part of me thinks she’s doing this to spite me. She knows how much I hate the idea.”


“Because St. John worked really closely with my father,” Ryan says, feeling his blood pressure spike. “I don’t need--I don’t want any of that dredged up again. It’s sensationalizing something that caused a lot of pain for a lot of people.”

“You’ve told this to them? Diane and Julian?”

“Yeah. Neither of them gives a shit. Diane is only concerned with turning a profit, and Julian--he mainly cares about earning money despite being a convicted felon. I wish I could make him some sort of counter-offer, just to stop this thing in its tracks.”

An idea has been brewing in the back of his mind, and as hesitant as he is about putting it on the table, he knows that he has to try.

“You know, he’s a finance guy,” he starts. “At Objection, he did a lot of what I did--both there and at your arena.”

By the look that dawns on Jason’s face, Ryan can tell that he instantly knows what is being suggested.

“Are you seriously suggesting that I hire a convicted felon? A guy who ran a drug ring through my sister’s company? For real?”

“I was only floating the thought,” Ryan says. “Nevermind.”

“Yeah. Nevermind. It’s insane.” Jason pauses only long enough to grow more appalled. “God. Ryan.”

“Sorry. Very stupid idea. I’m a little desperate, that’s all.”


“I told you. I don’t want all of this being brought up again. It’s finally faded away… kind of.”

“But, I mean, why? It’s not like we don’t all know what your dad did and how you were involved with it. It’s not ideal to have it written about, but it won’t exactly ruin your life.”

Ryan attempts to maintain his cool. He sits back in his chair and explains in a measured tone, “Things are finally coming together. I’m on good terms with your family again. Danielle and I are finally talking. I don’t want the past to ruin any of that. That’s all.”

Jason offers a quizzical look but does not grill him any further. Ryan, relieved, steers the conversation back to Sophie. He needs to prevent that book from being published--because if Julian includes one tidbit that Ryan is almost certain he will include, all Ryan’s hard work to reform his reputation could be ruined.


After her brother leaves, Sarah throws on a wool winter coat and heads downtown. She drops off a check at the florist and confirms the details of the wedding flowers and their delivery. As she steps back out onto the street, she braces for the nasty, damp chill of the outdoors--but she makes it only a few steps before spotting something that causes her to forget all about the weather.

“I would have thought I’d run into you sooner,” Julian St. John says, coming toward her with the slow, calculated steps of a predator on the hunt.

“If I had my way, it would’ve been an indefinite wait,” she replies. Seeing him in the flesh is difficult for her to comprehend; since his release from prison and his reemergence as Diane’s sister’s fiancé, he has seemed a larger-than-life figure, a mythical villain. Now, however, she is reminded of the suave, sophisticated man she met several years ago, the professional who came to her as a prospective client.

“How did you fool them into letting you out of prison, anyway?” she says.

“It’s called parole. Normally I would expect a former police officer to be familiar with the concept, but given your less-than-impressive investigative skills…”

She suspects that the mature way to handle this would be to excuse herself and not pay him another lick of attention, but it would feel really, really great to tear into him.

“You’re disgusting,” she says, entertaining vague thoughts of goading him into grabbing her so that she could have him arrested on assault charges and sent back to prison. “From the sounds of it, though, you’re going to get exactly what you deserve. I hear your fiancée is a real handful.”

“My relationship with Natalie is none of your business.”

“Promise?” She begins to move past him, but she cannot resist one final dig. “Hey, how’s your son doing? I’m sure your ex-wife is letting you see him lots… oh wait, is that whole convicted-felon thing causing problems?”

Julian’s face falls, and though Sarah has a flash of guilt for hitting anyone in that soft spot that all parents possess, it passes quickly. The man is slime, and he deserves it. With a renewed lightness in her step, Sarah heads off down the sidewalk, content never to see Julian St. John again.


For a brief moment, Natalie appears as if she might burst into tears at the suggestion that Julian merely used her to get to Vision Publishing. If she weren’t such a haughty bitch, Diane might feel bad for her.

But she is one, so no use wasting time or energy on that.

“Maybe you should stop projecting,” Natalie spits back at last. “Just because men toss you out as soon as they’re done with you--”

“Um, which one of us is recently divorced?”

Diane hears her own voice escalating and reminds herself to keep it down. Samantha knows that she doesn’t care for Natalie, but she doesn’t need to hear this--and poor Bree does not need to be hit over the head with what a bitch her mother is. The kid has enough to worry about, growing up with the woman.

Before either of them can push the argument further, though, there is a knock on the door. Diane gladly steps around Natalie to answer it. She is genuinely surprised to see Tim on the other side of it.

“We should talk,” he says, admitting himself to the condo. Only then does he spot Natalie. He sputters and adds, “I didn’t realize you had company. Sorry.”

“Tim, this is my sister, Natalie,” Diane says. “Natalie, this is Tim--Samantha’s father.”

Tim extends his hand to Natalie and says, “Nice to meet you.”

“No, it isn’t,” Diane says as she watches them shake hands. “What’s going on? Is it about Samantha?”

“No. Sarah.”

Diane turns quickly back to Natalie. “Help yourself to some wine. There’s an open bottle of chardonnay in the refrigerator. Glasses are above the toaster.”

She leads Tim out to the balcony, where the sharp bite of the air reminds her that fall is leading them on an irreversible trek toward a Northwest winter. Her thin sweater does little to ward off the cold.

“Is this about Julian’s book?” she asks Tim once the sliding door is closed behind them.

“Yeah. Sarah is really upset.”

“I promised her there wouldn’t be a single mention of her in it! I wouldn’t do that to her.”

“But you went ahead and signed him to a deal without even consulting Sarah.”

“I didn’t have a choice. You heard what Ellis told all the VPs. I couldn’t--”

“It doesn’t matter.” He folds his arms over his chest, standing firm and without any pretense or bullshit, as he always does. “Sarah is really hurt that you would go ahead with this book without even talking to her first. You have to understand that.”

Diane doesn’t know what she is supposed to say. She already went over all this with Sarah. “I do understand. But my back was against the wall. It still is, until this thing is on the shelves and selling decently.”

Tim goes quiet, pausing to take a deep breath, and something about it gives Diane an uneasy feeling. When he speaks again, his words are simple and direct: “She isn’t sure she wants you to be her maid of honor anymore.”

“She what? Oh, that’s ridiculous.”

“Is it? This isn’t the first time you’ve pulled something shady on her, Diane.”

“Then what the hell am I supposed to do?” Something deep inside her is panicking, in a way that she hates to admit. “My position at Vision is hanging on this book.”

“You need to talk to Sarah,” he says. “And you need to take a long, hard look at what it means to be someone’s friend.”

Normally, she would fight back, tell him that he’s wrong, try to figure out some loophole. But the thought of losing Sarah as a friend genuinely disturbs her, and all she can manage to say is, “I know.”


Can Diane win back Sarah's friendship?
Should Natalie be worried about her relationship with Julian?
Is there anything Ryan can do to change Julian's mind?
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