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


- Lauren and Josh prepared for their wedding and their move to Los Angeles.
- Diane interviewed for a position at a publishing company that specializes in romance novels, but the truth about her strange marriage to Ryan ruined her chances of landing the job.
- Tim proposed to Alex that they look into adapting one of Alex’s novels into a screenplay.
- Travis was upset to discover that his father had offered Spencer an internship at Vision Publishing.


Dress--check. Shoes--check. Less painful shoes for the reception--check.

Lauren Brooks reviews the items in her closet for the hundredth time tonight. Her bedroom is dimly lit, with only the bedside lamp illuminating the space where she has lived her entire life. Normally this is the prelude to bedtime, but tonight, she suspects it might be difficult to sleep.

“I can’t believe it’s your last night in the house,” comes a voice from the doorway.

Lauren turns and smiles at her mother. “I can’t believe I actually lived at home until my wedding day. What am I, some pioneer girl?”

“And I’m so happy that you did,” Roz says. “I know your father and I have been gone traveling so much of the time, but every time we’re back in King’s Bay, it’s so nice to have you around.”

Lauren, in pajama pants and a King’s Bay University sweatshirt, sits down on the edge of the bed. “I don’t know how I’m going to sleep tonight. With the wedding and the move and basically my whole life being turned upside-down, my brain won’t shut off.”

“What you need is a little nip of whiskey,” Roz says. “Or two.”

“Maybe, like, a Tylenol PM or something?”

“I’ll see what we have in the medicine cabinet.”

Before Roz can make it out of the bedroom, though, the doorbell sounds through the house. The women look at each other, surprised to hear it at such a late hour. They certainly aren’t expecting any visitors.

Nervously, Lauren rises from the bed. “I swear, if that’s Josh having some cold-feet freakout the night before our wedding…”

“It’s probably nothing,” Roz says, heading for the stairs. Lauren follows her.

“I’ve got it, honey!” Roz calls in the direction of her husband’s office, as she and Lauren cross the foyer. Lauren braces as her mother unlocks the door and reaches for the doorknob. If Josh is here to have some kind of anxiety attack on her…

But the minute the door is opened, all her nerves and her premature anger go flying out the window--and she goes flying through the doorway.

“What are you doing here?” she yells with excitement as she flings her arms around her big brother.

“You’re getting married, aren’t you?” Trevor asks with his typical goofy grin.

“I thought we wouldn’t see you until morning,” Roz says, waiting for her chance to hug her son.

  Trevor Brooks

“I caught an earlier flight out of London,” the tall man says, moving from his sister to his mother. “I couldn’t wait to get here.”

Patrick comes rushing into the foyer to see what all the commotion is about, and they stay like that for minutes on end, a circle of hugs and warm greetings. Lauren can’t think of a better way to spend the night before her wedding.


“How was work?” Claire Fisher calls out from the kitchen when she hears the front door open.

“Fine for me,” Tempest Banks says, poking her head around the corner. “Not so great for this guy.”

Claire is about to ask what she is talking about when Travis appears behind Tempest.

“What’s going on?” she asks, approaching her son. “Are you all right?”

“I’m fine,” Travis says. “I gave Tempest a ride home because I needed to talk to you.”

Claire can read her son, and it is plain to see that something is genuinely bothering him. When he gets upset, Travis turns into a giant knot of anger; it consumes him wholly.

“What’s wrong?” she asks.

Tempest nods toward the back hallway. “I’m gonna go take a shower,” she says, excusing herself. Claire folds her arms and awaits Travis’s explanation.

“It’s Dad,” the young man says as he fiddles with the zipper on his black Edge of Winter Arena fleece jacket. “He came into work, and we kind of had a fight.”

“About what? Do you want to sit down?” She gestures to the couch.

“No, I’m fine. I came out from the back room and I saw him talking to Spencer. Like they’re old buddies or something.”

Even hearing Spencer’s name come out of Travis’s mouth sends Claire’s blood pressure to new heights. She knows that she cannot ignore the situation forever--or can she?--but the worst would be if Travis somehow found out that Spencer was her and Tim’s biological son before she has the chance to reveal it in the right way.

“Maybe he was just saying hi,” she offers weakly.

“Dad said he saw Spencer on the side of the road with a flat tire a little while back, so he stopped to help him, and then they were chatting and Dad offered him an internship. That kid is psycho!”

Claire purses her lips, choosing to remain silent on that last point. Nothing she has witnessed of Spencer Ragan convinces her that she wants him to be a part of her life--but the biological tie is undeniable. Could Tim be having the same sense, somehow?

“I don’t want you to get too upset about this,” she says. “Your dad is probably just trying to help someone he knows is…”

“A lunatic?”

“I was going to say ‘troubled.’ Spencer wasn’t exactly raised in the most normal of environments.”

“Yeah, and he’s as nuts as his mom.” Travis presses his palms on the back of the couch, leaning his weight forward. “He’s your brother, and you live in the same city and have nothing to do with him. I try my hardest to avoid him on campus. He’s always a jerk to me and to Elly. I don’t get why Dad can’t just leave it alone.”

She tries not to show how nervous the question makes her. “Did you ask him to?”

“Yeah! He told me I was overreacting. But you know Spencer is whacked out, right? Will you talk to Dad?” Travis stands up straight again, running a hand over his rumpled blond hair. It still alarms Claire a little to realize that the little boy she raised is now several inches taller than her.

“Of course I will,” she says, trying her best to keep her reaction internal as the sound of the shower comes through the wall to fill the uneasy silence.

322 Bar & Grill

Tim Fisher sets the pen down on top of his signed receipt and slides out of the booth. “Thanks for meeting me so late,” he says to his dinner companion.

“No problem,” Alex Marshall says as they shake hands. “It’s not exactly like I have a packed schedule.”

“Well, I appreciate it. I’ll get someone at the office to start calling those screenwriters’ agents and see if we can set some meetings up.”

“Great. Thanks, Tim.” Alex, still seated in the booth, holds up his phone. “I’m gonna catch up on a few e-mails before I hit the road.”

“Have a good night.” Tim exits the restaurant, leaving Alex to focus on the e-mails that have been piling up on his iPhone all day. He reaches for a crispy French fry left on his plate, drags it through the smear of ketchup, and re-reads the most recent e-mail. However, his mind keeps drifting to the content of his meeting with Tim; the possibility of adapting his first novel into a screenplay has become progressively more exciting to him over the past few weeks. The back-and-forth energy as they discussed strategies for the adaptation has only fueled his enthusiasm.

Reaching for another French fry, he glances idly around the restaurant. He stops cold when he sees something walk through the door, but it takes another moment--a second or two that feel as if they last a year--for him to process the sight fully.

Then Trevor sees him, too.

Alex raises his hand in a tentative wave, his muscles slowed by the shock. He expected that he would see Trevor at Lauren’s wedding tomorrow, and he has been preparing himself for that, but this… this is not that.

He rises from the booth and lingers there awkwardly as Trevor approaches, his rhythm uncertain and irregular, like he isn’t sure if he is supposed to do this.

“Hey,” Alex says. His voice catches in his throat, making him sound more like a frog than a grown man.

“Hey.” Trevor sticks his hands in his back pockets.

“Did you just get in?”

“Yeah. I was supposed to get here in the morning, but there was an earlier flight out of London, and I couldn’t wait to see everyone, so…”

Alex has no idea what he is supposed to say next. It’s good to see you? That would sound insane, as if he’s been awaiting this encounter for months.

“Is Lauren with you?” he asks. “Or your parents?”

“No, everyone was settling down for the night. I’m staying at the Metropolitan Inn, so I figured I’d swing by here and get something to eat. I’m so screwed up from the time change.”

“I bet.” Alex feels an energy pulsing between them--an awkwardness that he doesn’t know how to address. He wonders if they are supposed to hug or something. Instead, he slips back into the booth. “You can join me if you want. I mean, you don’t have to, but--”

“No, that sounds good,” Trevor says, sliding into the booth across from him. He wears that casual, unbelievably charming smile that always sticks in Alex’s head. And he looks great--older than he did when he left King’s Bay, but in a good way, a solid, mature way. He has what looks like an effortless tan--not too much, just enough to make a person wonder if that’s simply how his skin looks.

As Trevor gestures for a waiter, Alex asks, “So how are you? Lauren said you stopped modeling.”

“Yeah. I’m officially too old for that, I’d say.”

“What have you been up to?”

“Working behind the scenes a lot, actually. I’ve done production design for a few photoshoots, and…” He shrugs, looking like a big kid as he does it. “I don’t know. I’m trying to figure out where I fit, I guess. Honestly, it’s a little confusing. I had a pretty great career that kinda hit a brick wall.”

“Stupid getting older,” Alex offers with a sympathetic smile. “You look great, though. Seriously.”

“You, too,” Trevor says.

The compliments hover between them, suggesting a thousand possible directions for this conversation.

“What about you?” Trevor asks. “I read your second book. Really, really great. I was surprised you went a little more crime-y with it, but it totally worked.”

“Thanks.” Alex looks down at his hands, noticing that he should have cut his fingernails before going out tonight. Of course, he had no idea he would be running into Trevor, but still. “I’ve been working on the next one forever, it feels like. There’s been all this upheaval at my publishing company. I was actually just having dinner with Jason’s brother to talk about next steps. We’re looking at trying to sell a movie adaptation of the first book.”

“Oh, wow. That’s awesome.”

“It’s exciting, yeah.”

The waiter appears beside their table, and Trevor takes a moment with the menu. Alex tries not to watch him too hard, but he can’t help wondering how he went so long without having this guy in his life. Then again, sitting across from Trevor like this, it barely feels like any time has passed at all.


“Damn you! Respond!” Diane Bishop snaps as she clicks the Refresh button in her e-mail once again. But nothing new appears in her inbox. No matter how many contacts in the publishing industry she reaches out to, no one seems to be capable of getting back to her with any solid job leads.

“Is everything okay in here?” her daughter asks from the doorway to Diane’s bedroom.

Diane looks up with a start. She realizes that she probably looks like a madwoman, with a half-eaten chocolate bar unwrapped beside her on the bed, her reading glasses perched on her nose, and her focus drilling into the computer screen while she rants and raves aloud.

“Yep,” she says, forcing a smile. “How’s your homework coming?”

“I’m done.” Samantha gives her mother a curious appraisal. “I heard you yelling…”

“Just getting impatient with the internet.” It isn’t entirely a lie, Diane figures.

  Diane Bishop

“Oh.” Sam, dressed in baggy gray sweatpants and a long red sweater, crosses her feet. “How did your job interview go?”

Diane manages to condense her reaction into a mild groan.

“That doesn’t sound so good,” Sam says.

“You win some, you lose some,” Diane says with a shrug. “Nothing you have to worry about, though.”

“I can tell you’re upset, though. That makes me upset.”

Diane’s instinct is to tell her immediately that she is wrong, that everything is fine, but she knows that her daughter is smarter than that. She is still the sweet, compassionate little girl Diane remembers so well--but now she is also an incredibly perceptive young adult. And Diane knows that she owes her daughter a little more respect than an outright lie.

“I’m just frustrated,” she says carefully. “I was at Vision for so long that I’m a little rusty, you know?”

Sam nods. “That makes sense. But you’re so good at what you do. I’m sure some company is going to realize what an asset you’d be.”

“I’m sure you’re right,” Diane says. She has to force her lips into a smile, even though her heart is breaking at her daughter’s support and how little Diane actually believes it.


After Travis leaves, still distressed, Claire says goodnight to Tempest and retreats to her own bedroom. She picks up the phone, dials, and is only somewhat relieved when she actually receives an answer.

“Hi,” Tim says, the sounds around him making it clear that he is using the Bluetooth in his car.

“Hi,” Claire says. She takes a seat on the edge of the bed. “I’m glad I caught you. Travis just came by.”

“Everything okay?”

She raises her voice in response to what sound like whipping winds on the other end of the line, though it is probably all sounds fine to Tim. “He’s pretty upset. He said you were talking with Spencer at Thaw and offered him an internship?”

“Yeah. That’s all true. I tried to talk to him myself. It’s nothing for him to be upset about.”

“He’s just had some bad experiences with Spencer,” she explains. “You being friendly with him—I think Travis sees that as you taking Spencer’s side in some way.”

“That couldn’t be further from the truth—”

“I know that,” she says, interrupting him. “But I don’t think Travis does.”

“Then I’ll talk to him again.” The rush of noise takes over for a moment.

“How do you even know Spencer?” she asks. If there is any chance that Tim has figured any of this out…

“I saw him on the side of the road a little while back, so I pulled over and helped him change his tire—or changed it for him, I should say. Then I ran into him at Thaw, and I was asking him about school, and it came around to offering him an internship. That’s all.”

“Oh. It’s just… he’s… volatile, from what I’ve seen. Loretta really screwed him up.”

“Doesn’t that make you want to help him?” Tim asks. “He’s your brother!”

“I’ve tried,” she says. “He hasn’t been interested. Sometimes I wonder if it’s for the best. Whatever Loretta did to him…”

“That’s why he needs a shot. Listen, I’ll talk to Travis. This has nothing to do with him. If Spencer interns at Vision, it doesn’t have to affect Travis at all.”

“He’ll be happy to hear that from you,” Claire says, but she cannot calm the fiery ball in her stomach, and nothing Tim says could possibly make this any easier. If only he knew how complicated it really is.


“I just remember her as this little girl who would be running around the house giggling with Lauren,” Trevor says as the waiter clears their dirty dishes and the signed receipt. “It’s hard to understand how she could be gone.”

Alex nods. “I know. I miss her so much.” He goes quiet, lost in thought about Courtney.

Trevor drains the last remaining drops of his third beer, which inspires Alex to finish the rest of his drink.

“I should get to the hotel,” Trevor says, scooting out of the booth. “I need to at least try and rest for my sister’s big day, probably.”

“I think that’s a good idea.” Alex rises to his feet. “I’ll walk with you. I probably need a few minutes to clear my head.”

Trevor smiles. “Great.”

They exit the restaurant. The nighttime air is brisk, though the sky is clear and there is no indication of the rain that so often feels omnipresent.

“It’s really great that you’re helping Jason out,” Trevor says as they walk down the mostly-empty sidewalk. “Sounds like he went through a really rough period.”

“You have no idea. The whole thing with him and Courtney’s parents got really ugly, too.”

  Alex Marshall

“Yeah, Lauren’s kept me filled in.”

Alex notices their hands brush as they walk side-by-side. Feeling self-conscious, he jams his hands into the pockets of his zip-up sweater.

“It’s fun being around Sophie so much, too,” he says after a bout of interminable silence. “Although not always so good for getting work done.”

“Yeah. I bet.” They hesitate at a crosswalk but, seeing no traffic coming from either direction, proceed across the street. Trevor continues, “How do Court’s parents seem now?”

“Better. I mean, they seem different since she died. Older. Really tired, or sad, you know? But since they patched things up with Jason, they do seem better. Spending time with Sophie helps a lot, I think.”

“Of course it does. She’s this living, breathing connection to Court.” Trevor shakes his head sadly. “I seriously can’t even imagine how this has been for them.”

They reach the entrance to the hotel, and Alex pauses, but Trevor just plows through the revolving door. Alex follows him inside to say goodbye, but he is already at the elevator bank, pushing the ‘up’ button.

“This has been fun,” Alex says as he catches up to him. “I’m glad we had time to catch up.”

He reaches in for a hug, which Trevor happily accepts.

“Me, too,” Trevor says, squeezing him. He pulls back, but his hand lingers on Alex’s side. “Are you sure you’re okay to drive?”

“Yeah. I mean… yeah.”

“All right. I was gonna say, you’re welcome to come watch TV and have a bottle of water while I unpack.”

The elevator arrives with a ding, and its golden doors slide open.

“Uh… actually, that sounds like a good idea,” Alex says, a charge coursing through his body.

They step into the elevator together. As the doors close, they are totally quiet. A Nickelback song plays lightly from the speakers.

“They force people to listen to this while they’re trapped in here?” Alex says. His stomach tightens.

“I know. Talk about torture.” Trevor turns to him with a grin.

The rest of it all happens in a blur. Trevor leans in, and Alex eagerly closes the gap between their faces. Their lips draw together as if powered by magnets. The kiss is mind-numbingly familiar and wonderful, starting out soft but quickly growing harder and more intense. By the time the elevator stops at Trevor’s floor, they are making out, hands roaming over each other’s clothes.

They break apart as the doors open, but their eye contact lingers, issuing a silent question: Are we really doing this?

Yes! Alex’s mind shouts. Their feet quickly carry them to Trevor’s room, where he fumbles to insert the key card correctly. Then they are inside the room, the door slamming behind them, as their mouths crash together and their hands tear at each other’s clothing. They collapse onto the bed in a heap, writhing together, as Alex’s brain desperately wonders how he went so long without this.


Will Alex and Trevor be able to renew their relationship?
What should Claire do about Travis, Spencer, and Tim?
Should Diane have opened up to Samantha?
Discuss this episode in the Footprints Forum!

Next Episode



Sat., April 21, 2012

For a printable version,
click here.

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