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- Ryan made it back to Danielle in time for their wedding day, and he managed to conceal the full truth behind his overnight trip with Diane.
- Brent led the police search for Sophie and was instrumental in rescuing her from the kidnapper.
- Diane was fired from her job at Vision Publishing.
- Natalie had a run-in with Eric Westin and made a surprising discovery amongst his paperwork.


The Emerald Lodge sits a few miles outside King’s Bay proper. It is a rustic facility nestled in the woods, accessible via a single long, paved driveway that cuts through a bounty of evergreen trees. The scenery, Ryan Moriani has to admit as he pilots his car up that narrow road, is indeed breathtaking.

He leaves his car with the valet and takes his garment bag from the backseat. The front desk clerk directs him to the Enatai Room, one of a few small spaces assigned for use by the wedding party. He is surprised to find his mother waiting outside that room, already dressed in a pale pink jacket and skirt.

“You look beautiful,” he says as he greets her with a hug.

“Thank you,” she says in a tone that implies that he must be humoring her. Humble as always. “How are you feeling?”

“Great. I get to marry Danielle today. What’s not to feel good about?” It is a huge lie, of course. Not the part about being thrilled to marry Danielle--the part about having nothing else to trouble him. He still feels guilty about having omitted certain details about his overnight trip, such as the fact that he was with Diane… because she essentially blackmailed him with the reality of their drunken Vegas nuptials.

“She’s really a wonderful woman. So strong. She’s rebuilt her life after so many struggles. Not everyone can do that.”

“I know. I’m lucky to have her.

  Paula Fisher

“And she’s lucky to have you.”


“Ryan.” She levels a stern, no-nonsense gaze upon him. “You have to stop believing the worst about yourself. There is more to you than the parts that were influenced by Nick and Stan. If there weren’t, I never would have brought you into my family.”

Her words strike a chord deep inside him--both because he is touched and because, no matter what he does, he keeps making mistakes that make him unworthy of having such a supportive and forgiving woman in his corner.

“Thank you,” he says. “Why are you here so early? Is Bill with you?”

“He wanted to get everything set with the food. He’s in the banquet hall now.”

“It was really generous of him to offer to cater the wedding.”

“We both want you to have a wonderful day,” Paula says, and as much as it touches him to have, finally, a mother and a stepfather who are so giving, it also makes him very, very nervous that he will never be able to live up to their standard--or Danielle’s, for that matter.


When Sarah Fisher Colville returns from her morning jog, sweaty but energized, her head finally cleared after last night’s long hunt for clues about her missing niece, she is surprised to find a moving truck in the driveway and the foyer of her home filled with boxes and crates.

“Are we moving and I missed the news?” she asks her husband, who is handing a pair of movers a very generous cash tip.

“Hardly,” Graham says, offering his usual dashing smile. The movers exit the house with a final thanks and a wave. Once the door closes, Graham explains, “I had some things in a storage unit for far too long. I decided it was time to have them brought here.”

“Yeah, I would say that’s a little overdue.” She surveys the multitude of boxes, three or four of which have already been opened. “What kind of surprises do you have in here?”

“It’s funny that you should mention surprises, because I happen to have one for you.” He pulls an item from his pocket. “This is one of the reasons that I wanted to take these things out of storage. It belonged to my mother, and it would thrill me for you to have it.”

He shows her what is in his hand: a fine cameo necklace, made of sterling silver and inlaid with pearl, hanging on a silver chain.

“It’s beautiful,” Sarah says, and she means it. The necklace is the sort of item that looks like it has a great deal of history--like it might have stories to tell.

“And it will look beautiful on you.” He deftly places it around her neck and moves behind her to secure the clasp.

Sarah takes in her reflection in a nearby mirror that hangs over an antique side table. The cameo isn’t quite her style, but it is lovely.

“I’m not so sure it goes with my workout clothes,” she says with a little laugh, “but thank you.”

“You can wear it to Ryan’s wedding.”

“Definitely.” She has a few dresses picked out for the wedding, and she quickly determines that one of the options will go well enough with the cameo.

“It makes me so happy to see you wearing that,” he says, admiring her. “My beautiful wife and my mother’s cameo. Terrific.”

If it makes him that happy, wearing it to the wedding is the least she can do, Sarah figures.


Molly Taylor chooses a bold green knee-length dress and sparse gold accessories for her brother’s wedding. She loads her two young sons, both in khaki pants and blue oxfords, into her Audi sedan and drives outside King’s Bay to the Emerald Lodge. Despite the panic and anguish of the past 24 hours, she does feel the calming effects of her wooded surroundings, so removed from the bustle of downtown and everyday life.

Outside the banquet hall where the wedding is being held, she sees Brent waiting with his brother and father. Bob steps forward and gives Molly a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

“It’s good to see you,” her former father-in-law says.

“You, too.” As nice as it is to see him again, Molly cannot shake the feeling of awkwardness; it is their first encounter since she and Brent were divorced.

“You made it back in time,” she says to Josh, who is wearing a black suit and a long black tie with a white dress shirt, just like the other two men.

“Yeah. Got in early this morning. I just had some work stuff to take care of. Speaking of--” He nods his head toward the entrance. “I’ll be back in a minute.”

Molly and the others turn to see Lauren Brooks entering. Josh hurries over to her, leaving Molly with Bob and Brent.

“Where are the boys?” Brent asks.

“There was a lady with a golden retriever in the lobby, and they wanted to play with it.”

“Of course.”

Bob takes a step away from them and says, “Why don’t I give the two of you a moment alone? I should go check on Danielle, anyway.” Without giving them time to protest, he takes off.

“I want to thank you for all your help last night,” Molly says. “It sounds like you were really a hero.

  Brent Taylor

Brent shrugs. “It’s my job.”

“Still, you went above and beyond. If anything had happened to Sophie…”

“Well, it didn’t. She’s safe. And you should know that just because we aren’t…” He makes an awkward gesture with both hands, indicating the two of them. “…it doesn’t mean that I don’t care about you and your family.”

“I do know. I just want to say thank you.”

“You’re welcome, then.” He says it with just enough lightness that, for a split-second, Molly forgets about everything that has happened between them in the past few years. She can see the man with whom she fell in love, the hero who wants to protect his loved ones at all costs.

And that unnerves her more than the initial awkwardness did.

“Have you seen my parents yet? I should find them,” she says.

“They’re both inside.” He gestures toward the banquet hall’s double doors. “It looks great in there.”

“Good. I hope it’s everything Danielle wanted.” With that, she opens the door and ducks inside the hall. She tries not to think about the cruel irony of running into a wedding in order to escape the discomfort of being alone with the man she once planned to be with for the rest of her life.


Josh spots Lauren first, and before she knows it, he is hurrying toward her.

“You look awesome,” he says, reaching for her hand. She allows him to take it, since she doesn’t quite know how to react to him.

“Thanks. When, um, when did you get back from L.A.?”

“I took the first flight back this morning. It was just a one-day thing.”

“Oh.” She doesn’t know how to respond, and his lack of details renders her even more speechless. Maybe she is making too much of it. She isn’t entitled to know every single thing about his life simply because she is his girlfriend… Is she?

Then again, he claimed it was work-related, and they work together. She knows everything that he is involved in at Willis. Unless the company is keeping things from her--a thought that makes her even more unsettled.

“You missed a really awful night,” she says stiffly.

“Brent filled me in. At least they were able to get Sophie back so fast.” He shakes his head. “I can’t believe Courtney’s mom would do something like that.”

“Me neither. I’m still trying to process it.”

He is still holding onto her hand, so Lauren pulls it back, breaking the contact between them. “I should call Jason to make sure he’s okay to get here. I didn’t even think about that earlier.”

“Okay,” Josh says, obviously noticing how odd things feel between them. Lauren stares into his eyes, silently instructing him that this is the time to come clean about his trip, but all he says is, “Probably a good idea.”

She goes outside and goes through the motions of calling Jason, to whom she already spoke an hour ago and who is being driven to the wedding by Alex. As much as she keeps trying to tell herself that she is being crazy for being suspicious about Josh’s trip, she cannot make those uneasy stirrings go away.


Diane Bishop paces back and forth over the living room carpet, her cell phone pressed tightly to the side of her head.

“Without me, Vision wouldn’t have Alex Marshall, among plenty of other people,” she spits into the phone. Her boss--former boss, at least for the time being--rattles off some platitudes about budgets and an unstable industry and it being nothing personal.

“I’ve been loyal to Vision for years,” she says. “This isn’t fair.” It’s all edging a little too close to begging for her tastes, but this is the definition of desperate times. After a fitful nap that lasted less than an hour, she started reaching out to contacts in the publishing industry and investigating potential avenues of attack, but the results were bleak enough to make her call Ellis.

“I’m sorry, Diane, but my decision has been made. It wasn’t an easy one, but it was necessary. Best of luck.” She hears a click in her ear, and that’s that. Her career at Vision Publishing is over.

A hurricane of rage builds inside her, starting in the pit of her stomach and swelling, growing, up through her chest and her throat. She feels like it is going to rip her apart from the inside out. All at once, she lets out a scream that sounds scary even to her own ears, and she flings her Blackberry against the door.

Only it doesn’t hit the door. Because in that instant that it is flying through the air, the door opens, and Natalie enters the condo just in time for the phone to smack her in the center of the chest.

“Ow! What the hell was that for?” Natalie demands as the Blackberry drops to the carpet.

“That wasn’t meant for you. But it’s actually a good thing you walked in, because I probably would’ve regretted breaking that. I can’t deal with the people who work at the AT&T store today.” She goes over and picks up the phone, which appears to be undamaged, thanks to its unexpectedly soft landing.

Natalie rubs her sternum as she sets a shopping bag down on the floor. “Then what was that assault-by-smartphone all about?”

“I got the crazy idea to call my boss from Vision and tell him why I deserved another chance. He wasn’t having it.”

  Natalie Bishop

“Sorry,” Natalie says, her tone surprisingly sympathetic--but only for a split-second, because then it turns angry. “You know whose fault this is: Ryan.”

“I never should have gotten tangled up with Julian in the first place.”

“No, that was a smart business move. The mistake was letting Ryan steal him away from Vision. Just like he stole Ryan away from me.”

Diane cannot suppress a big roll of her eyes. “I think you’re being a little dramatic.”

“What I’m being is serious. Ryan Moriani did this to us. And he deserves to pay.”

The expression on Natalie’s face makes Diane uncomfortable, not least of all because she recognizes it from her own face. “What are you up to?”

“I have an idea,” Natalie says. “Just leave everything up to me, okay?”


What is Natalie going to do?
Is Lauren right to be suspicious of Josh?
Did Molly make a mistake by walking away from Brent?
Discuss this episode in the Footprints Forum!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

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