Episode #627

- Molly and Brent admitted that their marriage was over, and he once again moved out of their home.
- Samantha helped Tempest prepare for her GED test.
- Elly’s roommate, Georgia, confided in her about how Spencer humiliated her, but she made Elly promise not to say anything to Travis.
- In Las Vegas, Diane awoke beside Julian St. John--with a wedding band on her finger. She fled the room, only to run into Natalie, who seemed strangely amused. Soon, Diane learned why: she saw Ryan approaching with an identical wedding band.


As soon as Diane Bishop sees the gold band on Ryan Moriani’s finger, she knows.

“Him?” she mutters in disbelief, turning her attention toward her sister.

“Him.” Natalie Bishop can barely restrain her mirth. “What did you--oh my God, you thought you married Julian?”

“What the hell happened last night?” Ryan asks, his gaze darting back and forth between the two sisters. He looks as horrible as Diane feels right now, his shirt unbuttoned and untucked, exposing a white undershirt. The three of them must be quite the sight, standing there all disheveled and panicked in the middle of the grand hotel’s busy lobby.

“Believe me,” Diane says to Natalie, “I was equally horrified.” She looks again to Ryan, trying to figure out what in the hell might have motivated her to marry a man she loathes so deeply. “Are we sure about what happened? Maybe we just bought these stupid rings.”

“There’s a marriage certificate in my room,” Ryan says with a grimace.

“Why did you let me do this?” Diane demands of her sister.

Natalie shrugs. “You kept insisting it was part of your plan. Julian and I tried to get a marriage certificate and couldn’t because of some complication with the paperwork from his divorce. But we were all there, and you decided that if you married Ryan… I don’t even know what kind of plan you had.”

“Obviously a terrible, awful, very drunken one.” Diane pauses to take a few deep breaths; her stomach and head are competing to see which can churn faster. She glares at Ryan: “Why were you stupid enough to fall for whatever I was trying to do?”

Ryan’s eyes widen, but all he can do is shake his head.

“He kept telling me that we should let you guys get married because he had a plan, too,” Natalie says. “Julian and I just thought it was kind of funny, and you wouldn’t let us stop you, so…” She gestures back and forth between their matching gold bands. “There you go.”

Diane tries to make sense of this, tries to pull up some memory that might reveal this is all an enormous practical joke, but all she can recall is the inside of the tacky Vegas chapel.

“Wait, then why did Julian and I sleep in the same bed?” Diane asks.

“You what?” Ryan says, jutting his neck out. “You cheated on me on our wedding night?”

Natalie’s face turns to stone. “You better not have touched him, Diane. You went up to our room after the wedding, I guess because you realized what you’d done, and you wouldn’t talk to me, so Julian went in to talk you down, and then you passed out. I was waiting in your room and fell asleep. I had a text from him this morning that he was just going to sleep up there…”

“Believe me, nothing happened.” Diane doesn’t even try to suppress her shudder. “Nothing.”

“You’re truly a lady,” Ryan says. “Danielle is going to kill me. Oh my God.”

“Not if I have the pleasure first.” Diane looks him up and down, and she tries again to figure out how in the world this seemed like anything but the very worst idea in the history of horrible ideas. And then she feels something surging inside her.

“Give me my room key,” she snaps at Natalie.

Natalie opens her purse. “What? Why?”

“Because I’m gonna be sick,” Diane says, snatching the card key and rushing toward the elevators.


Molly Taylor turns off the burner and transfers the last of the fresh pancakes to the already-heaping stack on a nearby plate. Caleb and Christian sit at the kitchen table, their knives and forks in hand and tongues hanging out.

“Breakfast is served,” Molly says, setting the plate in the center of the table. The boys manage to restrain themselves as she loads a few pancakes onto each of their plates. “Who wants blueberries on theirs?”

“Me, me!” Christian says. She douses his pancakes in blueberries and syrup, then repeats the process with bananas for Caleb. Finally, she takes a seat at the table herself and fixes her own breakfast plate.

“These are good, Mom,” Caleb says between bites.

Molly laughs at the sight of him trying to form words around the pancakes. “I’m glad you like them. And it’s okay to slow down and chew. They won’t disappear, I promise.”

Caleb seems unconvinced, as he continues to devour his breakfast. Christian eats at a more moderate pace but still very intently. Molly leans back in her chair and watches the two of them. She never ceases to marvel at how big they are getting; it isn’t perceptible on a day-to-day basis, but suddenly, she will look at them and realize how much they have grown right under her nose.

She is in the middle of a bite of her own pancakes when the phone rings. For a brief moment, she considers ignoring it, but Danielle would probably answer it upstairs, anyway. Molly goes to the island, where the cordless phone is resting, and picks it up.


“Mrs. Taylor? This is Eileen calling from Thompson & Breck.” The law firm. Immediately Molly knows what this must be about.

“I’m sorry to disturb you on the weekend,” Eileen continues, “but I’m trying to catch up on some paperwork today, and I have your divorce papers prepared.”

“Oh.” The news knocks the wind out of Molly’s lungs. She knew that such a thing was floating out there in the ether somewhere--she contacted Jim Thompson about official divorce proceedings weeks ago--but to hear it in such concrete terms is another thing entirely. “Are they…” She doesn’t even know what to say.

“I need to messenger them to you for your signature,” Eileen says. “Should I send them to your home address?”

All Molly wants to say is, No. Don’t send them at all.


While Diane runs upstairs to throw her brains up, Natalie makes her way to the eleventh floor, where she and Julian were supposed to spend their wedding night. She finds him in the bed, awake but not by much; with relief, she observes that he is fully clothed.

“Where’s your sister?” Julian asks as he notices the empty spot beside him.

“Puking her guts up. I ran into her in the lobby and had to fill her in on what happened last night.”

Julian lets out a hoarse laugh. “What a sideshow act that was.”

“You’re telling me. Total trash.” She sits down on the edge of the bed. “How are you feeling?”

He rubs his eyes and props his back up against the headboard. “A little fuzzy, but not too awful. No doubt better than her and Ryan. You?”

“I’m fine. I went downstairs and got some coffee. Didn’t sleep too badly, either.” She takes his hand and cradles it between both of hers. “So what do you say we make some phone calls today and make this thing official?”

She can tell by the way he pauses that she isn’t going to like the answer.

“I don’t think that will be possible,” he says. “We have to take care of this back in Washington.”

“But they said it was probably just a clerical issue--and it’s business hours now--”

“On the weekend. Besides, I think there’s been more than enough matrimonial craziness for one Vegas trip, don’t you think?”

She feels like a black cloud is expanding inside her chest. “Diane’s going to leave Vegas married, and I’m not?”

“Are you jealous?” Julian asks, a glimmer of amusement flashing over his face.

“No! Annoyed, that’s all. She always makes everything all about her.” She strokes his hand. “I wanted to leave here as your wife. That’s all.”

“Soon enough.” He pulls her down onto the bed with him and enfolds her in his arms. “We don’t need a piece of paper, anyway. This is enough for me, this right here.”

“Yeah,” Natalie says, trying to appreciate the warmth of his body against her, but she is not so sure that she agrees.


The stench of ground coffee is all over Travis Fisher, and it is barely halfway through his shift. He always thought that being a barista would be much more glamorous than driving the Zamboni and shoveling snow out in the arena, but there is nothing he looks forward to more than taking a long, cleansing shower after a shift at the coffee shop.

“You look happy,” Tempest Banks observes when she walks in, wearing her puffy, blue Edge of Winter Arena staff jacket.

“I’m tired as hell, and the weekend morning customers are somehow more annoying than the weekday ones,” Travis says as he marks a cup for the hazelnut latté that she always orders.

“You opened this morning?”


“Me, too. And I stayed up way too late.”

Travis hands the cup to the other barista and rings up Tempest on the register. “How’s the studying going? Isn’t your test really soon?”

“Yeah, next week. I dunno. It’s good, I guess.” She hands over a few dollar bills. “Sam’s helping me a lot.”

“You can’t do much better than that. She’s so damn smart.” Travis hands Tempest her change. “You feel ready for it, though?”

She shrugs. “I guess. I hope I am. Who knows?”

“You totally are. Come on, you’ve got this stuff done. You’re smart.”

Tempest doesn’t seem entirely convinced of that, but before Travis can encourage her any further, she changes the subject.

“How’s school?” she asks. “Your mom said you were gonna come for dinner on Thursday…”

“Yeah. I got busy. This semester is kinda kicking my ass.”

“I’m sure you’re not partying at all,” she says with a knowing grin.

“Trying to keep it under control. I’m just busy as hell.” He goes quiet for a moment, then adds in a slightly quieter voice, “And Elly’s been a little weird.”

“You two are crazy! What’s wrong now?”

“I don’t know. I feel like there’s something she’s not telling me.”

Tempest shakes her head. “You’re paranoid, you know that?”

“Probably. But still.”

“Hazelnut latté!” the other barista calls out from the end of the counter.

“I should grab that and get back to work,” Tempest says. “See you later.”

“Later. Don’t crash the Zam out there, okay?”

“No promises,” she says before exiting the coffee shop and heading back inside the arena. As Travis watches her go, he thinks about how odd it is that, a year ago, he had one sister, and now he basically has two--this girl who tried to rob him and Elly the first time they met her. Weird how things work out.

And then another customer shows up, and he has to snap out of his reflection and pretend to care about people’s weekends again.


Danielle manages to make it downstairs before the twins inhale all the pancakes. As they finish the meal, Molly can feel her sister-in-law’s eyes upon her, clearly noticing that something is bothering Molly. Later, while Molly cleans up and the boys run off to play, Danielle lingers in the kitchen.

“Something bothering you?” she asks as she pours herself a fresh cup of coffee.

“No. Just tired, that’s all.”

Molly can still feel that gaze burning into her, and sure enough, she glances up to find Danielle zeroed in on her like a laser searching for its target.

“You seem weird,” Danielle says.

With a sigh, Molly admits, “The lawyer’s office called. They’re sending over the divorce papers.”

“Oh. Wow.” Danielle takes a few seconds to absorb that. “I’m sorry, Molly.”

“Thanks. And I’m sorry—I don’t mean to drag you into this. I’m sure it’s already strange enough for you to be living here while your brother and I are in the midst of…”

“It’s not strange. You’re family. The boys are family. You and Brent are just doing what you need to do.” She moves toward Molly and offers a hug, which Molly gladly accepts. She pulls away only to turn off the sink, which is still running—one of her pet peeves.

“Enough about that,” Molly says, not wanting to go too far down this path with her estranged husband’s sister. “How’s the wedding planning coming along?”

Danielle sips her coffee. “We haven’t done too much yet, to be honest. We’re meeting with a planner next week, after Ryan gets back from Vegas.”

“He’s in Vegas?”

“He didn’t tell you?”

“We don’t really speak on a daily basis. What’s he doing there?”

“He said he had a meeting with a publisher,” Danielle says. “I don’t think he wanted to say too much until he had a better idea of what might be going on.”

“Do you think he’s going to write another book?”

“Maybe. He hasn’t mentioned anything, aside from a few ideas here and there.” 

“It would be nice,” Molly says, flipping the water back on to clean off the griddle. She picks up the sponge. “He hasn’t really seemed to know what he wants to do next.”

“I know,” Danielle agrees. Steam rises from her hot coffee and curls around her face. “It would be nice if he came back from Vegas with a little surprise like that.”


Diane is too queasy to keep Ryan from tailing her up to the room. She darts into the bathroom, slamming the door in his face, and he waits while she empties her very angry stomach and cleans up. She knows that he is on the other side of the bathroom door, no doubt waiting to ensnare her in his total panic, but right now, all that exists in the world is her and the cold porcelain of the hotel toilet.

Finally, feeling relieved and a little less like she is going to die, she pulls herself to her feet and goes to the sink. She washes her hands, splashes water over her face, and rinses her mouth. As she does so, she catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror: dark circles conspire to make her eyes look hollow; her skin looks worn and lifeless. As much as she hates to admit it, she looks old. Nothing a good sleep and some makeup can’t fix, of course, but whenever she has thought about whether she’d ever get married, this was not the face that was supposed to greet her in the mirror immediately afterward.

“Feel any better?” Ryan asks when she emerges from the bathroom.

“Yeah. I guess.” She surveys the room; the bed is large and appealing, but there is far too much going on in her head for sleep to be much of a possibility.

“We need to talk about this,” he says.

“There’s not that much to talk about. We got hideously drunk, we made an even more hideous decision, the end.” She pulls out her Blackberry and starts going through the e-mails that have been piling up all night and morning. Vision business. Ugh. She doesn’t know how she is going to face her boss and report that she lost Julian’s book.

“So you aren’t going to tell anyone?”

“Oh, yeah. I’m dying for everyone back in King’s Bay to find out I married you.”

He lets out a loud sigh of relief. “Good. Great. Thanks.”

She looks up from her Blackberry. Ryan’s nervousness is palpable. For her, this is an embarrassing inconvenience; for him, this marriage could be life-ruining.

“Then again, you aren’t exactly in a position to ask me for favors,” she says.

“Diane.” His face goes slack with horror. “You wouldn’t.”

“I didn’t think you would swoop in and steal a high-profile project from me, but you did. Lesson learned: never underestimate a rival.” It makes her vaguely ill again to think of Ryan Moriani as a rival, because that would imply he’s on some sort of equal level, but her brain hurts too much to think of a more suitable word.

“I’m begging you. If Danielle finds out about this…”

“Then your life will be as much of a disaster as mine is at the moment.” She drops onto the edge of the bed and tosses her Blackberry onto the luxurious duvet. “I’m gonna lose my job, I’m married to an idiot…”


“Hey what? I hope you’re happy, Ryan. You completely screwed up my life. That’s what you wanted, isn’t it?”

“I wanted to keep certain parts of Julian’s book quiet.”

“Well, congratulations. Now get out of my face.”

He does not comply. Instead he stands there, as if waiting for something else to happen miraculously.

“I said, go!” she snaps. She flops onto her back and stares up at the ceiling.

“It won’t be difficult to get an annulment,” he says. “I can get the ball rolling. This will be taken care of in no time.”

“Great. I can’t wait to be an out-of-work divorcée.”


She shoots back up to a sitting position. “I swear to God, if you don’t get lost—”

“Going, going.” He bolts for the door. “I’ll take care of this.”

“Great. You’re a real fucking prince.”

Blessedly, the door opens and closes without another word of idiocy spewing from Ryan’s mouth. Diane wants to crawl beneath the covers and not wake up for several days, but all she can do right now is lie there on her back, intent upon the white paint on the ceiling.


Can Diane and Ryan keep their marriage under wraps?
What will Danielle do if she finds out?
Is Molly really ready to divorce Brent?
Talk about all this and more in the Footprints Forum!

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