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- Ryan made it back from Eastern Washington in time for his wedding to Danielle, but he neglected to tell her that he had been on the trip with Diane.
- Despite her best efforts, Diane was unable to convince Vision Publishing to give her another chance.
- Natalie, still blaming Ryan for her failed engagement to Julian, had a run-in with Eric Westin. After he had gone, she noticed that he’d dropped some papers, which she picked up with great interest…


“You look amazing,” Elly Vanderbilt comments. She and her mother stare into the same mirror, where Danielle Taylor’s simple, cream-colored, sheath dress is the focus of attention.

“Thank you,” Danielle says, hardly able to believe the sight before her. It was strange enough putting on the dress when she bought it; to be wearing it on her actual wedding day, a day that she was never certain would really happen, is something else entirely.

“You look beautiful. So grown-up,” she tells Elly, who wears a light pink dress that hits just above her knee.

Elly smiles warmly. “Thanks. But today is about you.”

“Maybe… but I’m so grateful that you could be a part of it. It means so much to have you be my maid-of-honor.”

“It means a lot that you asked me.”

Danielle feels the sudden threat of tears behind her eyes. Desperate not to ruin the makeup that was only recently applied, she pulls Elly to her, first giving her a kiss on the forehead and then drawing her into an embrace.

  Danielle Taylor

A knock on the door of the small room designated as the bridal headquarters brings an end to their quiet moment of togetherness. Elly crosses the room in a few short steps and lets Paula Fisher in to join them.

“I wanted to let you know that everyone is ready to begin,” Paula says, though the sight of Danielle already has her distracted from the message. “You look marvelous, Danielle. So beautiful.”

“Thank you.” Danielle folds her hands in front of her. She is not accustomed to being the subject of everyone’s focus like this. She is more comfortable being on stage in something casual, letting her music speak for her--and even that is a rarity these days. “Elly, why don’t you go ahead?”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah. I’d like a moment with Paula.”

Elly closes the door behind herself, leaving the two women alone.

“I want you to know how thrilled I am to become a part of your family,” Danielle says. She doesn’t know Paula or Bill Fisher particularly well, though she has been acquainted with them for many years. “I hope it won’t be awkward, considering the situation between my brother and Molly.”

“Not at all. We’re thrilled to have you. And I need to thank you for being such a grounding force for Ryan--he needs you.”

“I need him.”

“Then you’re getting married for the perfect reasons,” Paula says. She reaches for the doorknob. “Shall we?”

“Let’s do it,” Danielle says, taking a deep breath as she heads out to marry the man she loves.


Diane Bishop takes a long, hot shower in the hopes of relaxing. The steam and the warm water are, unfortunately, not much help in soothing what really needs soothing: her ego and her sense of security. She still cannot believe that her career at Vision Publishing is over, just like that.

She hears her cell phone ringing just as she is drying off. She wraps the towel around her and hurries into the bedroom, where she is able to answer the call, which comes from a number she doesn’t know, by the fourth ring.

“Hey, Sam. What’s going on?” she answers.

“Is Aunt Natalie there?” her daughter asks.

“I don’t think so. She headed out a little while ago. Not a moment too soon, either. She’s one of the last people I want to deal with today.”

“Oh… She texted me, but I can’t get my phone to send a text back to her. My reception is really weird up at this lodge place. I’m on one of the phones here.”

“What did she text you about?” Diane asks. It seems strange that her sister would be texting Samantha at all.

“She wanted to know where the wedding was.”

“She what? Why?”

“I have no clue. Anyway, I was hoping I could get a hold of her there, but could you just let her know that I called back, if you see her?”

“Yeah. Of course. Has the wedding happened yet?”

“No. They’re starting in a few minutes. I should actually go.”

“Okay. Thanks, kiddo. I’ll see you tonight,” Diane says. Samantha says goodbye, and they end the call.

But something continues to nag at Diane, keeping her glued to her spot on the bedroom carpet. Why in the world would Natalie care where Ryan’s wedding was being held?

The answer comes to her in an instant. Natalie said that she had an idea, and she’s been blaming Ryan for ruining her relationship with Julian--and now for ruining Diane’s career. Knowing that her hunch has to be correct, Diane furiously begins drying off and searching for clothes to throw on.


Jason Fisher leaves Ryan in the Enatai Room so that he can have a minute alone before the wedding begins. He rounds a corner en route to the banquet hall and passes the wedding cake, waiting to be moved into the hall after the ceremony concludes. He pauses to admire it. Its three tiers are covered in silky white frosting, and a vine of fondant leaves cascades down one side.

“You guys all ready?” Tim Fisher asks as he comes down the hall toward Jason.

“Yep. Ryan will be out in a minute.”

“Perfect. It’s time to get this show on the road.”

Jason sizes his brother up. “You’re okay being here?”

“Yeah. I mean…” Tim trails off and lifts one shoulder in a nonchalant shrug. “I’m not here for Ryan. He knows that. But it’s a family thing, and it means a lot to Mom. How are you?”

“Fine, I guess.” Jason lets out a weighty sigh. “Still trying to figure out how yesterday actually happened.”

  Tim Fisher

Sophie’s in there with Dad. She seems fine. Great.”

“She is. She’s a little trooper. And lucky for her, she’s too young to understand what her grandmother did.”

“I never would’ve thought Helen was capable of that,” Tim says.

“Me neither. But she was--she is. And she’s probably never going to see Sophie again because of it.”

He sees the protest forming on Tim’s lips, but thankfully, he keeps his opinion to himself.

“Let’s get in there and have a wedding,” Jason says, nodding toward the banquet hall’s doors.


Minutes later, the pianist and violinist play a serene processional as the members of the wedding party take their positions. Ryan escorts Paula down the aisle, and she joins Bill in the front row of chairs. Caleb and Christian follow, carrying the rings on small pillows. Elly and Jason walk, arm in arm, to join Ryan and the justice of the peace at the head of the room, where a pair of wooden trellises have been draped in English ivy.

The musicians pause, and the entire room draws a deep breath. When the music strikes up again, Danielle and her father appear through a light pink curtain.

Danielle waits before taking her first step. She scans the small group assembled for her wedding, only about thirty people. It is an event for family and friends, a day for her and Ryan to share their relationship with the people closest to them; though she has been worried it might feel too small, she now knows that it was the perfect choice to do something so intimate.

She looks ahead to where her nephews and her daughter stand, where Ryan waits to marry her. With a glance and a smile at Bob, she begins to walk down the aisle.

Melanie and Tom offer her a little wave as she passes them. Josh watches her intently, and for once, the expression on his face is not sarcastic or annoyed, but genuinely happy. And Brent--whom Danielle knows must be dying with Molly just across the aisle--projects nothing but genuine pride and joy for his sister.

This is how it was always supposed to be, she realizes as Bob gives her a kiss on the cheek and takes his seat. The music floats to its conclusion.

“Family and friends,” the justice of the peace begins, “today we come together to celebrate the union of Danielle and Ryan, two people who--”

And that is when they hear the crash from outside.


Diane sees her sister’s car in the parking lot, just as she expected. She races inside the rustic facility and immediately storms over to the reception desk.

“I’m here for a wedding,” she snaps.

The blonde behind the counter appears startled and gives Diane’s sweatsuit and messy hair a thorough once-over. “The Taylor-Moriani wedding?”

“Yeah. Where is it?”

“Upstairs in the banquet hall,” the woman says, pointing uncertainly toward a wooden staircase. “It’ll be to your left, at the end of the hallway.”

Diane is already dashing up the stairs. Sure enough, she finds Natalie outside the banquet hall, holding some kind of document in her hand. The pristine wedding cake sitting outside confirms that this is the space where the wedding is being held.

  Diane Bishop

“What do you think you’re doing?” Diane calls out.

Natalie turns with a start. “What are you doing here?”

“You didn’t answer my question. What are you doing here?”

“Teaching Ryan a lesson. For both of us.”

“What is that? The marriage certificate or something?” Diane makes a grab for the document, but Natalie pulls it back.

“Don’t worry about it.” Natalie reaches for the door handle, and Diane flies at her, shoving her out of the way.

“Don’t do this,” Diane says, trying again--unsuccessfully--to snatch the papers. Natalie thrusts an arm outward, knocking Diane back.

“He deserves it!” Natalie yells. Again she grabs for the door handle. Diane does the first thing she can think of to stop her sister: she shoves her.

She swears that it all happens in slow-motion. Natalie goes flailing backwards, hands in the air. Diane reaches out to swipe the document from her. Instead, Natalie gets a hold on her wrist and pulls her down with her. They go slamming into something big and soft that explodes beneath them.

For a moment, Diane’s vision is consumed by white. She realizes that she and Natalie are lying on the floor in a pile of decimated wedding cake.

“I don’t need you telling all of those people that I was married to Ryan,” she mutters through clenched teeth, wiping a chunk of cake off her face.

“That’s the thing,” Natalie says at full volume, a sneer spreading over her face. “You’re still married to Ryan.”

But Natalie isn’t looking at Diane--she is looking somewhere off to the side. And when Diane follows her line of vision, she sees that Ryan, Danielle, and probably the entire rest of their wedding are all standing at the open door, staring at the Bishop sisters in utter shock.


How will everyone react to Natalie’s revelation?
Will Diane and Ryan be able to cover the truth?
Talk about it in the Footprints Forum!

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Wed., August 24, 2011

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