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- Tim and Alex made plans to adapt Alex’s first novel into a feature film screenplay.
- Spencer accepted Tim’s offer of an internship at Vision Publishing, much to Travis’s irritation.
- Diane’s job search after being let go from Vision proved fruitless.
- Trevor returned to town for Lauren’s wedding and promptly slept with Alex--only to introduce Alex to his fiancé, Liam, the next day.
- In order to protect herself and her baby, Sarah had to pretend not to be suspicious of Graham’s possible role in Matt’s beating and kidnapping.


Sarah Fisher Colville is staring out the bay window in the kitchen, idly observing the landscapers at work in the backyard, when she hears the front door open and close. Moments later, her husband walks into the kitchen in a navy tracksuit. Sweat sits on his forehead, and his cheeks are flushed as he catches his breath.

“Good run?” Sarah asks, turning.

“Yes. It’s a beautiful day out.” Graham takes the towel from around his neck and wipes his face. “How are you feeling? Were you able to get any sleep?”

“Sort of. At this point, I think it’s just a matter of getting through it. That’s how it was with Tori, too.” What she doesn’t say is that she never thought she would be so grateful for pregnancy-induced discomfort and insomnia--but it gives her an excuse not to sleep in the master bedroom with Graham, which is something she does not think she could handle right now.

He removes his keys and Blackberry from his pocket and places them on the counter. “I’m glad you’re awake. I wanted to speak to you about something.”

Sarah tenses but forces herself not to show it. “Yeah?”

“I spoke to my attorney last night,” Graham says as he fixes himself a cup of coffee. “About Tori and our options.”

“What do you mean? What options?”

Matt is clearly not a stable force in her life. He could even be dangerous. It might be wise of us to pursue full custody.”

Her body’s extinct is to expel a loud No!, but she keeps it in check. Thank goodness for police training, she thinks as she draws out the moment and makes it seem as though she is wrestling with this information.

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea,” she says. “I mean, I don’t know if it’s necessary.”

  Graham Colville

“Neither of us wants to see Tori put in danger because of Matt’s reckless behavior.”

“Of course not. But she’ll be a legal adult in not too long--maybe before the case is even officially decided. I don’t want to put her through all of that legal maneuvering.”

It takes Graham a few seconds to respond, and Sarah worries that he is going to persist. Instead, he sips his coffee and nods. “I understand that. I do think it’s worth considering, though.”

“I appreciate you looking into it.” It almost makes her sick to say the words.

“I missed so much time with Alex. His entire childhood. I want to do everything I can to protect this family--you, Tori, and our baby.” His hand caresses her ever-expanding stomach.

“I know,” Sarah says, needing to do something to stop his touch. “Why don’t you go upstairs and have a shower, and I’ll make you some breakfast? I think you earned it after that run.”

“That sounds perfect. Thank you.”

Graham exits the kitchen, and Sarah busies herself with taking out a pan, digging some breakfast items out of the refrigerator, and the like. But as soon as she hears the shower go on upstairs, she leaves the pan to heat up on the stove and makes a grab for the Blackberry that Graham left on the counter.

There has to be something in there that she can use to clear Matt and prove Graham’s guilt. And she has to find it as soon as possible.

Vision Publishing

“Hey! Do you have a minute?” Tim Fisher calls out from behind his desk.

Outside his office door, Spencer Ragan stops mid-step and backtracks. “What’s up?” he asks as he peers into the office. He wears a striped light blue dress shirt and a pair of gray slacks, both very well tailored--no doubt the result of his lavish upbringing.

“Just wanted to see how your first day’s going,” Tim says as he stands from his chair.

Spencer shrugs. “Fine. I’ve made a lot of copies. And those fax machines suck. I think they’re older than I am.”

“Welcome to the publishing industry.”

“You think you could, like, pull some strings and get me some cooler stuff to do?” Spencer asks, lowering his voice.

Tim glances out the door to be sure that no one is too close within hearing range and then, with a grin, tells the young man, “This is kind of what interning is. You make copies, you get coffee, you get to sit in on some meetings…”

Spencer lets out a huff that Tim can imagine coming from Travis in almost the exact same form. There is a knock on the open door, and Tim looks up to see Alex Marshall standing there.

“Hey, Alex. Come in.” Tim goes over to shake his hand. “This is Spencer Ragan, one of our summer interns.” He cannot think of a way to explain that he has a closer tie to Spencer than he might to the typical intern, but he doesn’t think referring to him as “Claire’s brother” will make Spencer too happy.

“Nice to meet you,” Spencer says as he shakes Alex’s hand.


“Alex, want something to drink?” Tim asks.

“Uh, just a water.”

Tim looks to Spencer: “Why don’t you go grab Alex a bottle of water? Then if you wouldn’t mind, we’re meeting with a screenwriter who should be here in ten minutes or so. If you could wait for him at reception and then show him back here, that’d be great.”

“Got it,” Spencer says as he dashes out the door.

“That’s Claire’s younger brother,” Tim explains quietly as they sit down.

Alex’s eyes widen with understanding. “He doesn’t seem like he was raised by the devil.”

“Yeah. So far, so good.”

They make small talk about Lauren and Josh’s wedding for a minute before Tim redirects things back to the business at hand. “I figure we’ll talk to this guy, see how he responded to your book, see where his instincts take him as far as an adaptation. There’s no need to commit to anything now, but I want to get the ball rolling.”

“I appreciate it,” Alex says, fiddling with his cell phone case. “I could use the distraction.”


“Sammy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do!”

At the sound of her mother yelling to her from down the hallway, Samantha Fisher emerges from the bathroom. “What?”

“These!” Diane says, holding up two pieces of paper.

“No, I meant that voice.”

“It’s Ricky--nevermind.” Diane approaches the bathroom, while Samantha ducks back in to rinse off her toothbrush. “Your acceptance forms for Brown and Berkeley. I thought you were going to send one in by the end of the week.”

Samantha avoids eye contact as she meticulously turns off the faucet. “I haven’t decided yet.”

“They aren’t going to hold your spots forever. So which is it?” Diane realizes that she might be pressuring her daughter and decides to take a different tack. “What’s your gut instinct?”

“Mom. I don’t know.”

Diane manages to catch her eye in the mirror. “Samantha, this isn’t like you. They’re both great schools with amazing English programs. You’ve been excited about both of them for months. I bet you’d be happy at either one. But I don’t want to see you--”

Sam cuts her off: “I think I’m going to go to King’s Bay U.” 

“What? Where’d that come from?” She hasn’t heard Samantha mention King’s Bay University in months. She applied to it as her safety school, and of course she got in, but Diane wasn’t aware that it was still on the table as an option.

  Samantha Fisher

“I just think it’s the best place for me.”

Samantha moves past Diane and heads for her bedroom, where she grabs her backpack. Diane stands in the doorway, effectively trapping her in there.

“Are you nervous about leaving home?” Diane asks. “Because I promise, that goes away very quickly. You’ll fill out one of these forms, I’ll write a check--”

“Just let me do what I want, okay?”

The way that Samantha interrupts her, the sheer force of it, causes something to click into place for Diane. Her stomach drops as the realization hits her.

“Hon. Is this about the money?” she asks.

Samantha’s flinch gives her away. “No,” she says. “I like KBU.”

“So do I. But you’ve gotten into some amazing schools. And I want you to have the best opportunities you can possibly have.”

“But… how are we gonna pay for it? You haven’t had any luck finding work, and I’ve been reading about student loans. This is turning into the next mortgage crisis. And--”

“Sam, I appreciate you being so responsible about all this,” Diane says, stepping forward to rest her hands on her daughter’s shoulders. “But the financial part of this is not for you to worry about. Your father and I will make it work.”

“Mom… I can be happy at KBU. I promise.”

“I know you can. But I want you to go someplace where you’ll be happiest. So here’s the deal: you’re going to spend the day not worrying about this. Tonight, we’ll see down and make lists of the pros and cons of Brown and Berkeley. Tomorrow, we’ll mail off the acceptance form for whichever one you choose.”

“Are you sure?” Samantha asks tentatively.

“Yes, I’m sure.” Diane wraps her arms around Sam. She hates that her employment situation has put this much pressure on Samantha--pressure that this conscientious, hard-working, good-spirited kid should not have to feel. “We’ll make this work. I promise.”

Objection Boutique

Trevor Brooks knows that it probably seems strange for him to be wandering around a women’s clothing store, but this place holds sentimental value for him. He was one of the first models ever featured in Objection’s ads. He remembers seeing his face on the walls here. That seems like a lifetime ago, back when modeling was still mostly a dream for him. Now he stares up at the walls and sees new faces, younger faces.

“Trevor Brooks? Is that you?” comes a voice from the back of the store.

It takes him only a second to place it. “Hey!” he calls out before he even sees Molly Taylor.

They meet in the middle and hug.

“How are you?” she asks. “How was Lauren’s wedding?”

He has to remind himself that Josh is no longer Molly’s brother-in-law. “It was great. Really, really nice. I’ve never seen my sister look so happy.”

“Good. She deserves this. I hope L.A. is good to them.”

“Me, too.”

“How long are you in town for?” she asks as she smoothes out her emerald jersey top.

“I’m not sure, exactly. My fiancé has some meetings—”

“Wait. Fiancé? Really?”

“Yeah. His name’s Liam. We met in London. This seemed like the perfect time to introduce him to my family.” Trevor feels a stab of guilt in his gut at the memory of what he did with Alex on his first night back in town, knowing full well that Liam would be coming the next day.

“Well, congratulations. That’s good to hear. Lauren said you’ve officially retired from modeling, too.”

“Yep.” Trevor gazes up at the models pictured in the latest Objection ads. “They look so young. I can’t get over it.”

“You’re telling me. So what are you up to now?”

He sighs. “Trying to figure that out. I’ve done production design for a few smaller shoots…”

“Well, if you’re in town long enough,” she says, pausing momentarily to take in the sight of another customer entering the store, “we have a shoot coming up. You’re more than welcome to hang out with the art department, even help out if you’d like.”

“Really? That’d be great. The more people in that side of things I get to know, the better.”

“I’ll forward you an e-mail about it,” Molly says. “Who knows? Maybe we’ll even convince you to stay in King’s Bay.”

“Maybe,” he says good-naturedly, all the while knowing that if he is ever going to settle back in King’s Bay, there are some serious issues he’ll need to resolve first.


Her heart pounding, Sarah scrolls through the Blackberry. There has to be something in there that will help prove that Graham was behind Matt’s beating and kidnapping—at least something that will send Sarah down the right investigative path.

But with every second that passes, her hope dims a little more. His e-mails reveal nothing. He keeps his text messages meticulously managed, so that only a few conversations even remain on the phone. Desperate, she scrawls down a few phone numbers that are not identified by a contact’s name, but she doesn’t have much hope at all.

Then, without warning, she hears steps in the foyer. She scrambles to put down the phone and look casual just as Graham walks back into the kitchen.

“Everything okay?” she asks as she confirms that she still hears the shower overhead.

“Yes, just letting the shower heat up. I realized that I needed to respond to a business e-mail.”

As he picks up his phone, which is more or less where he left it, Sarah goes back to the stove and makes a show of holding her hand over the pan to test its heat. She hears Graham tapping away on the phone’s keyboard as she breaks an egg in the pan.

“I’ll be down in a few minutes,” he says as he heads back upstairs.

Sarah tries to focus on producing an adequate breakfast so that he won’t see through her entire charade, but all she can think about are those phone numbers in her pocket. They aren’t much to go on, but they’re all she has—and she’ll be damned if she is bringing a baby into this world without knowing whether its father is actually a monster.


“So it’s down to UC Berkeley and Brown,” Tim says. “She has to decide in the next few days.”

Alex takes a drink from the bottle of water and then sets it down on the desk. “They’re both great schools and great English programs. You should be proud of her.”

“We are.” Tim sees Spencer arrive outside his door with their guest and rises. “Hi. I’m Tim Fisher. You must be—”

Liam Cassel. Nice to meet you.”

Alex hears the voice before he sees the man, and as much as he would like to think that he is imagining this, he knows he is not. That accent is too unmistakable. He has to force himself to turn around and see…

And sure enough, it’s Liam. The Liam who is engaged to Trevor.

“Liam?” Alex says, having to work strangely hard at a genuine reaction even though he is most certainly shocked.

“Alex? You’re Alex Marshall? Why didn’t Trevor tell me?”

  Liam Cassel

Liam extends his hand for a friendly, enthusiastic shake, and Alex does his best to match it, even though his head is spinning. There are a lot of things Trevor hasn’t told you, he thinks, all the while hating himself for being so bitter.

“You guys know each other?” Tim asks.

“Uh, Liam is… engaged to Trevor,” Alex explains. “We met at the wedding.”

“I had no idea it was your book I was meeting about,” Liam says. “Fantastic piece of writing, I have to say. I’m truly excited about discussing it with you.”

“That’s great to hear,” Tim says. “Liam, can we get you anything to drink? Water? Coffee?”

“Black tea would be great, if you have it.”

Tim looks to Spencer, who is already on his way to retrieve it. The three men take their seats around Tim’s desk, but Alex’s mind is still racing in an attempt to adjust to this new paradigm.

“This is so wild,” Liam says, obviously delighted by the coincidence. “I told my agent I’d be in the States because of Trevor’s family, so he set a few meetings for me. I just can’t believe one of them is with you.”

“Small world.” Alex shakes his head and forces a convivial smile.

“Then let’s get down to business, shall we?” Tim says. “Liam, I don’t want to poison any of the fresh perspective you have on the novel, so why don’t you talk a little about your reactions to it and where you might go with a screenplay, and we’ll chime in as necessary?”

Alex hears words start to come out of Liam’s mouth, and he tries to focus, but the last thing in the world that he wants is to have an in-depth discussion about his first love with the man who is going to marry the man Alex once thought he would marry.


How can Sarah find proof of Graham’s guilt?
What will Trevor and Liam’s new career opportunities mean?
Discuss all this and more in the Footprints Forum!

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Friday, June 22, 2012

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