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


- Alex finished a first draft of the screenplay adaptation of his novel with the help of screenwriter Liam, who is also engaged to Alex’s ex, Trevor.
- Tim informed Claire that their biological son, Spencer, had returned to King’s Bay after a three-month absence--and had responded poorly to a surprise visit by Tim.
- Travis was upset when he learned that his father, Tim, has set up a room for Spencer in their new house.

Thaw Coffee & Tea

Still wearing his ice-blue employee apron, Travis Fisher comes out from behind the bar carrying a freshly heated turkey panini. He makes a beeline for the small table where his girlfriend is hunched over a slew of forms and envelopes.

“Mind if I bug you while I’m on break?” he says.

“Please bug me,” Elly Vanderbilt says with a smile. “I’m just trying to get this study-abroad application all finished.”

Travis sits down across from her. “You really wanna do that? During senior year?”

“Yes. Totally. A semester in London would be unbelievable. I wish I had been more on top of it this past year, but at least I might have the chance before college is over.”

Instead of responding, Travis focuses on unwrapping his sandwich.

“I just have to finish revising this personal statement, and then I’m done,” she says. “How’s the party-planning going?”

“Fine,” Travis says through a mouthful of panini. He finishes chewing and swallows before continuing. “Gonna have some people over to my dad’s house first, so my family can do the whole cake and singing thing. Then we have a limo coming to take us down to the waterfront and go to the bars. Figure we’ll start at Ammo, then just kinda work our way down.”

“That sounds really fun. Too bad I can’t go to the bars with you guys.”

“Soon, though! Landon will keep an eye on me.”

“That makes me nervous,” Elly says through a laugh. She sets down her pen and brushes her brown hair back behind her ears. “So when you say your family is going to be there…”

“No.” Travis shakes his head, knowing exactly where this is going. “My mom is not invited.”


“What are you going to do?”

Claire Fisher sits--though, really, she is more perched on the edge than anything--on the light gray, mid-century modern sofa in the living area of her half-brother’s vast loft. She clutches a glass of iced tea between her hands, though she accepted it only out of politeness and has barely given it a stray thought since Philip handed it to her.

“I don’t know,” he admits, his ambivalence clear. “I want Spencer to stay nearby. Being near family would be good for him.”

“I agree.”

“But,” he says, interrupting her unspoken rationale for wanting Spencer in King’s Bay, “he’s also an adult. And what he’s been through is jarring. I can’t deny that.”

“I know you love Spencer. You’ve done a lot of good by insisting that he live here and go to college,” Claire says. “And he needs family now more than ever. All his family.”

Philip leans back in the armless chair across the coffee table from Claire. “I don’t want Spencer to resent me for holding him hostage here, either.”

  Claire Fisher

“I understand that. But I worry he’s going to run off to New York and none of us will ever hear from him again.”

Philip nods. It is obviously not the first time he has entertained this possibility.

“He would get more for his money here, anyway,” she says.

“King’s Bay is not New York.”

“I know.” Claire lets out a heavy sigh. “I just… I’ve lost so much time. I’m losing time with him now. He isn’t going to warm up to me when he’s an entire country away.”

As Philip nods sympathetically, Claire takes an obligatory sip of the iced tea and then places the glass on a black lacquered coaster.

“He’s almost 21,” she says. “I’ve missed 21 years of my son’s life. This whole thing is so…”

“Bizarre,” Philip finishes for her.

“He and Travis celebrate the wrong birthdays. Isn’t that strange? Travis thinks he’s three days older than he really is. His ID will say he’s 21 before he’s actually 21.”

“It’s really incredible, in an awful way. And Claire--I understand why you want to make sure Spencer stays in King’s Bay. He’s my brother. I would rather be able to keep an eye on him. I’ll do everything I can to convince him that it’s best for him to remain here. But I need to ask something of you.”


“Whatever you do,” Philip says, “please stay away from him right now.”

“I can’t promise that.”

“You have to. Anything that feels like pressure is going to send him running. I can tell. Please, for Spencer’s good and for your own… stay away from him for the time being.”

Claire knows, on a logical level, that Philip is correct--so she forces herself to nod along, even if it feels like the worst idea in the world.


When he enters the kitchen, Alex Marshall finds his roommate sitting on a barstool at the counter, staring at his iPad. Alex drops the pile of mail on the counter as Jason looks up at him.

“What’s the stupid grin for?” Jason asks with amusement.

“You are looking at the owner of a full first draft of an actual movie script,” Alex announces.

“Nice! Good work.” Jason swipes something on the iPad and then asks, “So I guess working with Liam has turned out okay, huh?”

Alex goes over to the refrigerator and opens it. “Yeah. We really work well together. He understands exactly what I was trying to say in the book--even stuff that isn’t actually on the page--and he has this way of translating it into the screenplay without just copying, you know?”

“Not really. But I’ll take your word for it.”

“Anyway, I’m thrilled, even if it’s just a first draft,” Alex says. “We have to go through it before we can show it to your brother or anything, but it’s a huge step.”

“Congrats. Wanna throw me one of those beers so we celebrate?”

“So slick.” With a smile, Alex takes one of the glass bottles from the fridge and walks it over to Jason. “I’m not taking my chances with a throw.”

“Good call.”

Alex grabs himself a beer. “What do you have going on this weekend? Sophie has that Lara girl’s birthday tomorrow?”

“Yeah. You’re welcome to come if you want.”

“Thank you,” Alex says as he pulls up the stool beside Jason, “but I think I have plans with Cameron tomorrow afternoon. He wants to go for a hike.”

Jason pops open his beer. “You guys are hanging out a lot lately, huh?”

“Yeah. I think… it’s good. I like him.” Alex takes a sip from his own bottle. “He’s a nice guy.”

“Well, good. Seems like you could use one of those.”

“Totally.” Alex rests his elbows on the granite countertop, looks over at Jason, and then hesitates. Finally he drags the question out of himself. “How about you?”

Jason pauses mid-sip. “What about me?”

“Is there anyone you’re… interested in?” Alex understands logically that there is nothing wrong with asking it, and he genuinely wants Jason to be happy, but some part of him does feel like it’s a betrayal to Courtney to entertain that idea.

“Nah.” Jason shakes his head. “I’m not even… No. I don’t think I’m ready.”

“Okay.” Alex regards him for a moment longer, wondering if there is more to come, but Jason has clammed up.

“Just know that if and when something happens, you aren’t doing anything wrong,” Alex says. “You’re allowed to continue your life.”

“I know,” Jason says, but he doesn’t sound at all convinced of that. He takes a long swig of the beer as he stares across the room.


Elly and Travis sit in silence for a long moment. He can feel her judging his decision, so he just keeps eating his sandwich. There isn’t much he needs to justify right now.

“Are you sure about that?” Elly asks in her typical gentle manner. “Not inviting your mom to your 21st birthday?”

“After what she did? Yeah, I’m not inviting her.”


“What? I don’t want any drama.”

“I know.” But the way that Elly glances away tells him that she doesn’t agree.

“You remember how mad you were at your parents when you found out you were adopted,” Travis says.

  Elly Vanderbilt

“I was. Yeah. But they’re still my parents. And Claire is still your mom. She always will be.”

“I get it, okay? But it’s my 21st birthday. Can I just have fun? I just don’t want to think about this shit, you know?”

“Yeah, I do.” She reaches across the table and takes his hand. “Just know that I’m here for you, okay? That won’t change, for sure.”

A sense of relief floods through Travis’s system, just as it always does when Elly reassures him like this. Knowing that he has something so stable in the midst of the tornado that has been his life lately… it makes it all feel a little more manageable.

“I just don’t want you to regret not having her there,” Elly says, “or doing more damage to the whole situation than you might realize.”

“Thanks for even caring,” he says, squeezing her hand before returning to his sandwich. “As far as my mom goes… let me think about it, okay?”

“That’s all I’m asking,” she says, and he doesn’t know what it is, but Travis suddenly has hope that this whole mess might turn out okay after all.

KB Memorial Hospital

After meeting with Philip, Claire heads to the hospital for her shift. She is exiting the employee locker room, having just changed into her scrubs, when she spots an all-too-familiar face coming down the hallway.

She groans to herself while simultaneously attempting to pull herself together. This doesn’t have to be awkward.

“Hey,” she says when Brent Taylor looks up and notices her.


He closes the few remaining steps between them. Claire notes the slightest hint of a limp, due to his prosthetic.

“Are you, uh… What are you doing here?” she asks.

“I had an appointment. For my leg.”

“Oh. Is everything all right?”

“It’s fine, yeah. Just more of a check-up. For the fit and stuff.”

  Brent Taylor

She can feel the encounter sputtering to a halt, running on fumes. Her mind races to try and salvage it. Finally she lands on a strategy that she has been considering for weeks.

“I just want to say I’m sorry,” she says. “For that night. It was--I was out of line.”

“Don’t worry about it. It’s fine.” He offers a friendly smile, but there is something obligatory about it, a whiff of Let’s just be polite about this so it goes away.

“Thanks. That’s nice of you.”

“No problem.” There is another awkward blip, and then Brent says, “Listen, I have to get the boys from baseball practice…”

“Oh, okay. Good seeing you.”

“Yeah. You, too.”

There is an instant during which a look linger between them, a reminder of the friendship that they shared. Claire isn’t sure how one awkward, misguided night melted that bond down into the shapeless blob that it seems to have become.

She cringes as the hazy memories float across her mind…

“No one has to know.”

Her hands paw at his shirt. Loose fingertips clumsily undo the top button.


“I need this,” she says as she leans in closer. She can feel the heat from his face against her lips.

With a shudder, she yanks herself out of the memory. It’s too uncomfortable to relive. She wishes she could go back and erase what she did--getting drunk and throwing herself at Brent, as if that would fix the chaotic mess that her life became in the wake of Travis and Spencer’s parentage being revealed.

Try as she might, though, the incident won’t go away, not from her mind and certainly not from Brent’s, it seems. So she does the only thing she knows how to do and marches down the hallway, determined to get to work so that she doesn’t have the mental space to entertain thoughts of that night any longer.


Should Travis invite his mother to his birthday party?
Will Claire and Brent be able to repair their friendship?
Is Jason holding himself back from moving on?
Talk about all this and more in the Footprints Forum!

Next Episode



Friday, July 05, 2013

For a printable version,
click here.

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