Footprints Home Episodes People King's Bay Step Inside Forum Episodes People King's Bay Step Inside Forum Episodes People King's Bay Step Inside Forum


- Despite Diane’s best efforts to stop her, Natalie revealed to everyone at Ryan and Danielle’s wedding that Ryan married Diane in Vegas--and that their annulment was never filed.
- Diane shamefully had to admit to her daughter and to Sarah that Natalie was telling the truth.
- Ryan pleaded his case to Danielle and begged her to continue the wedding ceremony.


“Please, Danielle. You have to believe me. We can have the paperwork taken care of. Just marry me today.”

Time stands still for Ryan Moriani as he awaits her response. When Danielle finally does speak, her words shock him:

“I want to.”

A long moment passes before he comprehends what she is saying. She actually wants to go through with the wedding. She still wants to marry him, even after Natalie’s atomic bomb of a revelation.

“Then let’s go,” he says, taking her hand. “We’ll go out there and tell everyone that this was an enormous misunderstanding. That a lawyer forgot to file some paperwork that was only necessary because I got drunk and--”

He feels her yank her hand away.

“I can’t,” she says, a millisecond of guilt flashing over her meticulously made-up face.

  Ryan Moriani


“I can’t spend my life like this, Ryan. Sobriety is an everyday battle for me. To be with someone who’s so reckless--”

“It was one night!”

“It wasn’t one night. It’s the way you live your life. I’m not just talking about the fact that you got hammered and accidentally married Diane--although that’s a pretty big problem. But you’re rash and impulsive and, really, destructive. That is the antithesis of what’s healthy for me.”

His heart is pounding so hard that it is becoming harder to breathe. “I need you.”

Her visage hardens again. “I can’t do it, Ryan. I can’t have a lifetime of surprises sprung on me. If you’d just come to me after Vegas and told me the truth--”

“You would have been furious!”

“Yes, but I wouldn’t have had to find out in the middle of my wedding ceremony, with my family and friends all around!” With that, she breaks the eye contact. Her arms fold over the front of her simple, elegant cream dress. “You need to go.”

“No.” He is surprised by the strength of the word. “No. I’m not leaving without you.”

“Then I’m leaving with you.” She moves past him, using her shoulder to force him out of the way, and pulls the door open.


But she flees without another look back at him.


The summer sun makes it a little uncomfortable to be outside, even at this evening hour, but for Diane Bishop, anything is preferable to being back at that wedding. Everyone staring and gawking at her… it’s too much. She lingers outside the lodge’s entrance, periodically picking crumbs of cake or chunks of icing off her clothing.

“I’ve got to say, you always manage to surprise me,” comes a voice from behind her.

She turns to see Tim Fisher approaching her. She doesn’t even bother trying to suppress a groan. Here comes another in the endless parade of people who need to scold or vilify her for her role in ruining this wedding.

“I was trying to stop Natalie from saying anything,” she says. “Believe me, I did not want any of you finding out about this.”

“That I can believe.” Tim sticks his hands in the pockets of his black suit pants. The jacket has been left inside, leaving him in a crisp white shirt and light blue tie. “Ryan? Really? I thought you, of all people, would be…”

“Better than that?”


“Tim, I did not want to marry him. I barely even remember doing it. It was just a complete circus of a night. I was chasing them around Vegas, trying to convince Julian to stick with Vision.”

He takes that in and gazes off at the rich green treetops shooting up into the clean Northwest sky. “How are you going to explain this to Sam?”

“I already talked to her a little,” she says. “I’ll just be as honest as possible.”

“This is going to be very weird for her.”

“It’s weird for me. But she’s a smart kid, Tim--and I think she expects me to get myself into trouble, anyway. In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t such a big deal.”

“Maybe there’s a lesson for her in here somewhere.” He muses on what that might be but doesn’t offer any ideas out loud.

“And for the record,” Diane adds, “I did not have sex with that man. We eloped and then passed out in separate beds.”

Tim snickers. “That man. You’re my sister-in-law. Never expected that one.”

“I’m sure your mother will be pleased that I’m finally an official part of the family, huh?”

“Oh, yeah. It’s all she’s ever wanted.”

“You know what’s truly shocking?” Tim says. “This is only the second crappiest aborted wedding Ryan has had.”

Diane laughs, harder and louder than the jokes necessitate, but she is simply grateful for the relief. Then they fall into silence as they take in the hints of navy blue beginning to bleed onto the sky’s canvas.


The wedding guests, gathered outside the banquet hall where two lodge employees are cleaning up the wrecked wedding cake, all fall silent when Danielle emerges from the bridal room. She goes directly to her family.

“I need to go home,” she tells the group at large.

“I’ll drive you,” Brent volunteers at once, pulling his car keys from his pocket.

“You know what?” Molly says. “Why don’t you take the boys over to Josh’s, and I can take Danielle back to the house? That way she has a little peace and quiet.”

“Good thinking,” Brent says.

Danielle turns outward from the circle of Taylors, where--just as she could sense--everyone is watching her out of the corners of their eyes.

“I’m so sorry, everyone,” she says in a slightly louder voice. “There isn’t going to be a wedding tonight. Thank you all so much for coming. I’m very sorry.”

People begin to murmur variations on “Don’t be sorry” and “It’s okay.” The mumbled chorus is strangely reassuring to her. It feels like an official verdict that she is off the hook for luring all these people here just to witness this awful carnival.

“Where are your things?” Molly asks Danielle.

“In the bridal room,” she realizes aloud. “And he’s…”

“I’ll get everything together and bring it to your house later,” Elly says. “Just go.”

Hugs, kisses on the cheek, and words of encouragement are exchanged among the circle of family members.

“I’ll come by to see you in a little while,” Danielle’s father, Bob, says before Molly escorts her carefully down the stairs.

Two steps down, Danielle pauses to remove her high heels. I wish I could tear off the whole damn dress, too, she thinks, a surge of anger flowing through her. The thought of having to wear this monument to a broken relationship for the entire drive home makes her vaguely ill.


When Ryan finally emerges from the bridal room, it is with tear tracks visible on his cheeks. The crowd has mostly dissipated, leaving just the Fishers and a few others. He spots Elly among them.

“Where is she?” he asks the teenager.

“Molly took her home. And she does not want to see you,” Elly says.

“Maybe once she has a few hours to calm down…”

  Elly Vanderbilt

“No.” The strong, authoritative voice belongs to Travis, who stands beside Elly clasping her hand. In his suit, with his hair slicked back, he looks more like a grown man than Ryan has ever seen him look--and he sounds like one, too. “Listen to Elly. Leave Danielle alone.”

“This is all a misunderstanding,” Ryan insists.

Elly shakes her head. “You keep saying that, but it’s a lie. Danielle understands what happened. Everyone does. And they don’t like it. There’s nothing to misunderstand there.”

“Seriously, man, just leave her alone,” Travis says.

Try as he might to think of some other loophole, Ryan cannot. But the idea of letting this go, of allowing his relationship with Danielle to slip through his fingers without one last try, is too devastating to truly process.


When Danielle comes down to the kitchen, her hair is wet and she is clad in a fluffy blue bathrobe, a far cry from the constricting dress of earlier.

“Did the shower help any?” Molly asks.

“It didn’t not help,” Danielle says. “That’s a start.”

“I guess so.” Molly opens the refrigerator and scans its contents. “I’ll make you something to eat. You must be starving.”

“I don’t really have an appetite, honestly.”

Molly tilts her head to the side, a sign that she doesn’t quite believe Danielle. “You should have taken my dad up on his offer to send over some of the food he’d made.”

Danielle winces. “I’m not sure that eating food from my called-off wedding is going to make me feel any better tonight.”

“Good point.” Molly closes the refrigerator. “You know, I think I’m going to go upstairs and take a shower, too. When I finish, maybe your appetite will be back.”

“We’ll see about that.”

Molly heads upstairs, and Danielle turns on the TV in the family room. The channel was left on the Style Network, and sure enough, Say Yes to the Dress is on. The mere sight of brides at this moment sends a shiver through her, and she just as quickly flips off the television.

Aside from the light hum of the shower running upstairs, the house is dead silent. Danielle settles on one of the stools at the kitchen’s nook and thumbs through this morning’s Seattle Times. Either it contains nothing interesting or she has completely lost her ability to focus.

The newspaper still open before her, she lets herself be carried into her wandering thoughts. Ryan knew about this for so long and never said anything. Never considered that coming clean about a mistake was better than creating a bigger mess in order to cover it up. Never thought about how it would feel for Danielle to learn the truth at the same time as all her family and friends.

Before she knows it, she is wondering how much of their relationship was a lie. Perhaps the entire thing.

As if operating under their own free will, her eyes gravitate to a cupboard door in the corner of the kitchen. It looks just like every other door, a deep cherry wood with a small silver knob. But it is the one door that she never approaches--of which she is careful to steer clear.


Tonight, though, that burning inside her chest is so hot, so furious, that it propels her to that cupboard door. When she opens it, she finds exactly what she expected: liquor. Gin, vodka, a few bottles of red wine.

Her hand trembles as she pulls out the bottle of vodka. It has been opened, though not even a quarter of it has been consumed.

She thinks about what it would feel like to blur out this disaster of a day.

She unscrews the cap.


Will Danielle go back to drinking?
Will Ryan continue trying to win her back?
Who else’s reaction to Ryan’s secret marriage do you want to see?
Talk about it all in the Footprints Forum!

Next Episode



Thursday, August 25, 2011

For a printable version,
click here.

Home / Episodes / People / King's Bay / Step Inside / Forum