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- Spencer was rushed to the hospital after a car accident with some of his fellow King’s Bay University students. A blood donation from Tim saved his life.
- Philip overheard Claire discussing the truth about Spencer’s parentage. She asked him to keep the secret until she has the opportunity to reveal it in the proper way.
- Following a heartfelt talk with Trevor about their regrets over their relationship ending and their recent one-night stand, Alex apologized to Sarah for blaming her for his father’s death.
- Unable to find a job after being let go from Vision Publishing, Diane spiraled downward and slept with Ryan on the night their divorce was finalized.


In the weeks since his brother was released from the hospital and came to stay with him, Philip Ragan has grown accustomed to sharing his living quarters. Spencer is not always the most genial houseguest, but the painkillers have dulled his sharp edges somewhat. Claire’s revelation about Spencer’s true parentage is still thumping around inside Philip’s head, always threatening to burst out if he doesn’t work hard to suppress it, but in some ways, he has never felt so close to his younger brother. Philip was already college-aged when his parents adopted Spencer--“adopted,” he mentally revises with an inward grimace--that they never really lived under the same roof as siblings. Now, with their father long gone and their mother imprisoned, there is a bit of comfort for Philip in sharing his home with family.

He slides open the heavy metal door of the loft, balancing a paper bag on his arm. Spencer’s music, some kind of pulsing electronic rock that Philip is distressed to realize he does not recognize at all, plays at a volume that Philip has decided he can tolerate for the time being.

“Hey!” he calls over the music as he moves to set the paper bag on the counter. “I got some gnocchi from this Italian place downtown that Molly told me about…”

But he trails off when he sees what is going on. Spencer is out of bed and on his feet, with his various suitcases spread around and lying open. He is in the process of moving his belongings into them, his clothes in a not-quite-folded state that immediately threatens to drive Philip mad.

“What’s going on here?” Philip asks, attempting to keep his tone neutral.

“I’m gonna head back to campus tonight,” Spencer says matter-of-factly. He drops a stack of t-shirts into one of the suitcases. “Gnocchi sounds bomb, though.”

Philip crosses to the iPod dock and lowers the music to a volume more conducive to conversation. “Are you sure that’s a good idea? I can take you to campus for your finals--”

“I’m fine. See?” Spencer thumps on his chest--he cracked his sternum and several ribs in the car accident that landed him in the hospital--with a closed fist. “Just a little sore. That’s all. And the stitches in my head are healing fine.”

“Still. Isn’t it better to be here just in case?”

Spencer screws up his face. “Why?”

  Spencer Ragan

“Spencer, you’re recovering from some fairly serious injuries. I know you feel much better, but…” Philip glances around the room as if some overriding reason might present itself. “I’d feel better if you stayed here through winter break,” he admits.

“Phil. I’m fine. Chill out.” The younger man closes one of the suitcases and, pressing down on its top with all his might, manages to yank the zipper closed.

“And you’re planning on moving back into the Sigma Chi house?”

“Where else would I go?”

Philip takes a deep breath and turns the music off completely. He has been steeling himself for this conversation since Spencer was released from the hospital, and he knows there is no more putting it off. “Spencer… I think it’s time you and I discussed something important.”

Cassie's Coffee House

A familiar voice--and even more familiar words--float across the coffee shop to Diane Bishop as she enters and approaches the counter.

Thunder only happens when it’s raining
Players only love you when they’re playing
Say, women, they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know
You’ll know…

She steps up to the counter, surprised to find no line this afternoon, and watches Danielle Taylor onstage, singing as that ape Jimmy Trask plays the guitar beside her. There are only a handful of patrons in the shop, and their rendition of the Fleetwood Mac song is more of a private jam session than a show.

Diane places her order for a peppermint mocha and notices Elly Vanderbilt sitting right in front of the stage, watching her biological parents perform. Danielle finishes the final chorus and Jimmy concludes the song with a heavy strum along the guitar’s strings. Diane finishes paying and decides to approach them.

“That was awesome,” Elly is saying as Jimmy sets down the guitar.

“Can’t believe you don’t know that song,” Jimmy says. “We’ve gotta do some serious educating here.”

“Impressive,” Diane says as she strolls over to them, her arms folded in front of her chest. “What is this, the new King’s Bay version of the Partridge Family?”

Danielle flips her loose blonde hair behind one shoulder. She is dressed casually, in a dark gray fleece jacket and jeans. “We’re just showing our daughter what we used to do. Nothing serious.”

Diane is too cranky to give her a serious response and instead addresses Jimmy: “I’ve been meaning to get in touch with you.”

Jimmy cocks his head and stands from his stool. “What about?”

If she hadn’t rehearsed these words so many times, Diane doesn’t think she could spit them out now. “About that job offer you mentioned.” He doesn’t show even a flicker of recognition, and Diane’s stomach drops. If I just made an idiot out of myself after all this… She hastens to add, “The bookstore…”

“Yeah. We haven’t hired anyone yet.” Jimmy says it as though it hasn’t even occurred to him to look for someone to fill the position, even though it’s been weeks. “You’re interested?”

“I’m interested,” she says as she hears the barista call her name from the counter. She sees Danielle and Elly exchange a surprised look and does her best to ignore it. “Can we talk?”

“Here,” Jimmy says, and Diane is foolish enough to expect something as professional as a business card. Instead he pulls out his cell phone and says, “Give me your number. I’ll call you tonight or tomorrow, and we can discuss it.”

Unable to believe that she is doing this, Diane rattles off her phone number. Then, with the clearest thanks she can muster, she slinks off to grab her mocha and exit the coffee shop. She might have her reasons for doing this, but it’s going to be a long while before she feels all right about it.


A light but insistent mist falls over the gravestones as Alex Marshall traverses his way across the wide lawn of the cemetery. Usually, after all these years in the Pacific Northwest, he barely even notices the rain during non-summer months. Today, however, he is noticing everything: the names on the gravestones that he passes, the startlingly vibrant green of the grass beneath his feet, the gray sky that seems to stretch on forever and ever.

At last he locates the headstone he has been seeking. His father’s eternal resting place. He remembers this, vaguely, from the day of Graham’s burial, but that entire day is such a blur in his mind, a confusing haze of suppressed emotions and bitten tongues.

Now, in the rain, with no crowd of people gathered and no priest to anoint the site, it all looks so different. Matter-of-fact. Alex slows his stride as he takes the final steps toward Graham’s burial site. He clutches in one hand an arrangement of flowers, ones he purchased from the good florist downtown, not from the grocery store, and wonders if it was stupid to bring them. He often brings flowers when he visits his mother’s grave, but his mother liked flowers when she was alive. She thought receiving them was “fancy”--her phrasing. Alex is fairly certain that Graham never thought much about flowers beyond purchasing them for a woman or maybe noticing that the housekeeper had replaced the old ones with fresh ones.

“Father,” he says as he squares up to the gravestone. “Dad.” Neither word sounds exactly right. Graham was his biological father, but he was never quite a father in the way that Alex thinks of the role.

Maybe he never would have been, even if he’d lived, Alex thinks.

He glances around and ensures that there is no one nearby to hear him. “I’m sorry I haven’t come to visit more,” he says, still feeling a little silly in a way that he doesn’t when he talks to his mother’s grave, “but honestly… I wasn’t sure how to face this. I think you understand what I mean.”

  Alex Marshall

The raindrops start to accumulate on top of his head and across his face. He wonders why he thought he could get by without a hood or a hat.

“And I’m sorry I never got to say goodbye,” he says. “I know if I’d forgiven you sooner, we might have had the chance, but…” He has gone over this so many times in his head, and he still doesn’t have an adequate answer. If he had known Graham’s time was so limited, would he have been able to forgive him?

“I guess I’ll never know exactly what happened or why,” he continues, feeling too awkward to vocalize what Graham did to Matt and Sarah in a more overt way. “But I’m really glad that you found me before it was too late, and that I got to know you, even a little bit.”

He envisioned this as a little more dramatic, more drawn-out and momentous, but in spite of the rain’s well-timed appearance, it feels so ordinary.

“I just want you to know that I’ll watch out for Billy,” he says. “I’ll be an older brother to him in every way I can.” He leaves the rest of the thought unspoken, guilt stinging his insides for even thinking it: And I’ll be a father to him, like I never had.

Then he sets the flowers down right in front of the grave. Within seconds, drops of rain have covered the petals.

“Goodbye,” Alex says, and he turns away, walking back over the wet grass with fewer answers than he expected he might glean from this.

Objection Designs

“It sounds terrible out there,” Molly Fisher says as she indicates the window pane in her office, upon which raindrops are beating with seeming ferocity.

“Sounds worse than it looks,” Trevor Brooks says as he unwraps his scarf and takes off his coat.

Molly pauses, a sly grin crossing her face. “Is that why you have… that?”

Trevor sheepishly sets his umbrella against the wall.

“That must be something you picked up in Europe, because I know that no one born and raised in King’s Bay even thinks about carrying an umbrella,” she says.

“I know. I’ve gotten weak,” he says, hanging his coat.

Molly settles back into the chair behind her desk and invites Trevor to have a seat across from her.

“Thanks for coming down,” she says. “I was hoping to talk to you at Jason’s party, but I was barely there…”

“How is Philip’s brother doing?” Trevor asks.

“Really well, actually. He’s been staying with Philip while he recuperates. Seems like he’ll be just fine.”

“That’s good to hear.” Trevor hikes his right leg up so the ankle rests on his left knee. “I haven’t exactly been easy to schedule with, either, so I’m sorry.”

“How was London?”

“Fantastic. Liam was happy to spend some time with his family. And Lauren wasn’t going to come back up here for Thanksgiving, so it wasn’t a big deal to be gone for it. I figure Liam has put in a few months here, so the least I could do was go back to England with him for a few weeks.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re back,” Molly says. She pulls out a thin, glossy publication, about half the size of a standard sheet of paper. “I wanted you to see this.”

She watches as Trevor takes the booklet and flips through it. His eyes widen as he realizes what it is.

“This is the employee lookbook?” he says, still paging through it. “It looks amazing.”

“Because of the work you did on it. First of all, I wanted to thank you. Your tinkering- around was way more than I could have imagined anyone doing. I love what you did with the layout, duplicating the pieces and pairing them with a few different options… It’s just great.”

“I’m glad it was helpful.”

“And I was wondering… especially since it sounds like you’re going to stick around King’s Bay for a while… if you’d be interested in heading up the lookbook for next quarter, too.”

His incredulity is apparent, as he sits up sharply and noticeably inhales. “Really?”

“Yeah. You’d be working with the Art Department, but it would be a contractor role for the time being. I just love what you did, and you have a real eye for this. It’s such an important element as we open more stores and try to keep things standardized but not robotic.”

“I… wow. I’d love to, Molly. Thanks.” He leafs through a few pages of the booklet again. “Yeah. That would be amazing. Plus having some work here means I have a reason to stick around, and I really want to be stateside when Lauren has the baby.”

“See? This works out for everyone. I’ll have Business Affairs put together a formal offer, but I wanted to talk it out with you first.”

“Well, thank you. I’m really excited.”

“Oh, just one catch,” she says, sitting back in her chair.

“What’s that?”

“If you’re going to fit in here, that thing has to go.” She points a manicured nail toward his umbrella, propped against the wall.

“I think I can live with that,” Trevor says with a laugh.


“When did you become such a dad?” Spencer says as he crosses the room and turns the iPod back on.

“Since you decided it was advisable to get into a car with a driver who’d been drinking,” Philip says. His body hums with the instinct to turn the music off again, but he tries to ignore it. Better to focus on the real issue here. “You haven’t given me the most faith in your decision-making skills.”

“Hey, I wasn’t the one driving drunk.”

“I didn’t say you were. Spencer, I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to live in that house anymore.”

Spencer appears to be on the verge of exploding upon hearing this opinion.

“Are you kidding? That’s bullshit!” he proclaims, and he starts moving in fast-motion to dump the rest of his belongings into suitcases.

“I’m serious,” Philip says, unsure if he is supposed to make a physical effort to stop Spencer. Not that he has a way of getting back to campus without a ride from Philip, but still.

Spencer dips up a duffel bag. “That’s not fair. You’re being an asshole.”

“I’m being concerned about you.”

“Brad got in trouble. He went to jail, and his parents made him go on academic leave. I wasn’t driving the car, and I’m fine.”

“How do I know you won’t do the same thing again? Or make an even worse decision?”

“Just trust me,” Spencer says as he grabs his phone off the dock and dials a number.

“What are you doing?” Philip asks.

“Calling a cab. You can’t keep me here, Philip. I live in that house.”

“You can live here.”

“With you? Yeah, right.” Spencer holds the phone to his ear and gives the address to the automated system. Philip makes a weak attempt to swipe the phone from him, but physical altercations are a foreign thing for the Ragans.

“It’ll be here in five to ten minutes,” Spencer says as he hangs up. He picks up one of the bags and grips the handle of a rolling suitcase.

“I’m not helping you move out of here,” Philip says, unsure what else to do.

“Great. Force the injured kid to make a bunch of trips to get all his stuff. That’ll show me.” With that, he marches out of the loft, leaving Philip in a desperate brainstorming session about how to play a role he has never had to play before.


When Elly returns to her dorm, she finds her roommate half-falling off a bean bag chair as she reads from a heavy, hardbound volume of Shakespeare.

“Are you okay?” Elly asks cautiously as she hangs up her coat.

“Yeah.” Only after Samantha answers does she seem to become aware of her physical state. With the book still open and occupying both of her hands, she attempts to right herself--only to fall right off the chair.

Elly bursts out into laughter. “I really hope you’re okay now, because that was way too funny.”

Samantha finally lays the book on the floor, rolls onto her stomach, and then pushes herself up to a standing position. Little pops of laughter push through her mouth as she adjusts her glasses. “Yeah, I’m fine. That was not my most graceful moment.”

“That was maybe the least graceful moment in the history of human beings,” Elly says, punctuating it with another cackle that causes her to double over.

  Samantha Fisher

The girls ride out their laughter, and Samantha carefully re-plants herself on the bean bag chair, this time in its center.

“How was hanging out with your mom and dad?” she asks. “Biological mom and dad, I should say.”

“It was good. Really good. It’s just so different from how things are with my regular parents--not regular, but you know what I mean.”

“The parents who raised you.”

“Yeah. They would never sit around a coffee shop teaching me Fleetwood Mac songs on a guitar. Oh, and something interesting happened.”

Samantha peers over the Shakespeare collection. “What?”

“Your mom came in,” Elly says as she turns on her computer. “I guess my dad offered her a job at that bookstore he’s running with his friend, and she wanted to take him up on it.”

“My mom wanted to work in a bookstore?”

“I know. It seemed weird. But good for her for taking work where she can get it. I know she’s been really stressed out about finding a job. At least this might help tide her over.”

“Yeah…” Samantha rests the book face-down on her chest as she mulls this over. “I’ll have to give her a call. That still seems strange for my mom.”

Elly just shrugs and sits down at her computer, but Samantha is unable to shake the feeling that there is more to this situation than either of them know.


Once she is back at home, Diane goes to the bathroom and grabs a towel. She wipes the rain from her hair and face, which--she confirms after a glimpse in the mirror--leaves her looking less than optimal. Fortunately, she has no plans to leave the house for the remainder of the day.

White lights from the Christmas tree, which she and Samantha put up last weekend, create a glow on one side of the otherwise dim room. Little sunlight is coming through the glass doors that lead out to the balcony. Diane doesn’t bother turning on any other lights before sinking into the sofa.

This is going to work out, she tells herself, though believing that is another matter entirely. Her body flinches with the instinct to spring up and pour herself a glass of wine, but she has to resist it. And wine might definitely help right now.

“Wine is what got you into this,” she mutters to herself. Her hand comes to rest uneasily atop her stomach, which is just beginning to bulge out.

How did it come to this? She thought losing her job at Vision was her rock-bottom, but this is so much worse.

Pregnant. With Ryan Moriani’s child. It cannot possibly get worse than this, can it?


What is Diane going to do now?
Can Philip get Spencer under control?
What will staying in King’s Bay mean for Trevor?
Talk about it all in the Footprints Forum!

Next Episode



Saturday, Dec. 08, 2012

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