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- As Alex forced himself to accept the fact that Trevor is marrying Liam, Jason and Molly set Alex up with Molly's assistant, Cameron.
- Sarah began seeing a therapist to cope with the trauma of Graham's attempt to murder Matt and sudden death.
- Sarah felt badly for lashing out at Matt and gave him a gift certificate to a bed-and-breakfast as an apology. She encouraged him to take Danielle on a romantic getaway.

Objection Designs

When Alex Marshall steps off the elevator, he is nearly bowled over by a wardrobe cart being pushed through the office at warp speed. He takes a step back, adjusts his hold on the two cups in his hands, and waits until the tornado of clothes and employees passes before he continues toward his destination. 

He navigates through the glossy, modern office--with only one wrong turn along the way--and finds Cameron Kelley perched behind his desk in front of Molly Taylor's office. Cameron has his headset on and appears to be wrapping up a phone call.

"I have 9 a.m. open on both the 5th and 6th. Is one better than the other for you?" he asks as he looks up and greets Alex with a smile. "Great. I'll put that down. Thank you."

Cameron finishes the call and directs his attention toward Alex. "What are you doing here?"

"I was downtown and thought I would stop in to say hi." Alex holds out the two paper cups, each with a lid atop it. "Salted caramel or cake batter?"

"You got fro-yo? You just made my day." Cameron scrambles out of his chair to give Alex a hug. Then he focuses on studying the two cups. "Want to just split both?"

"That works for me," Alex says as he sets them down on Cameron's desk and removes the lids. 

Cameron drags a chair over from the wall. "Here, sit. What have you been up to all day?"

"Um, I was supposed to be working on the screenplay rewrite… so I went shopping. I found a cute button-down."

  Alex Marshall

"That's almost like writing." Cameron picks up one of the plastic spoons and starts with the salted caramel. Alex watches as Cameron eats a bite and then rolls his eyes up to the ceiling. "Oh my god. That's amazing. You have to try it."

Before Alex can use his own spoon, Cameron digs his back into the cup of salted caramel and scoops up some of the rich brown yogurt. He holds it up for Alex to enjoy.

"Okay, that is insane," Alex says as he finishes the bite. "It's so good."

"I know! I have my doubts that this cake batter is going to measure up."

As they move in on the second cup, a nearby voice interrupts them.


Surprised to hear his name--especially in that voice--here, Alex turns with a start. Trevor Brooks stands a few feet away, watching the two of them.


"He's slept through the night for the entire last week," Sarah Fisher says, "so I'm starting to feel a little less stressed about that. Tori was never like this."

"They're all different," Dr. Tamara Croft says with a soft smile. "I'm sure being more well rested will be nice for you."

"That's an understatement." Sarah tugs the long sleeves of her emerald green t-shirt down over her hands. Despite the summer heat outside, it's borderline-freezing in her psychiatrist's office; she can hear the air conditioning whirring up above. "I'm just ready for things to get back to normal, you know?"

Dr. Croft tilts her head. "That's an interesting word."

"What is?"

"'Normal.'" The doctor's auburn bob shifts slightly as she brings her head back to center. "What does 'normal' mean to you?"

Sarah hesitates. She realizes that she walked right into that one. She begins to scold herself mentally for not having seen that coming, but she stops the thought midstream and reminds herself that the point of therapy is not to fake out the doctor or cruise by undetected.

"I just mean… regular. Sleeping consistently. Having a good caseload. Tori not getting into trouble," she says, fumbling over the words a bit.

"Okay." Dr. Croft unfolds and then refolds her hands in her lap. "It's a funny concept, 'normal.' I know I often catch myself being disappointed in myself or my life because things somehow feel not normal--like they're in disarray, or I'm stressed, or nothing goes according to plan."

"Yeah, I know that well."

"But I try to remind myself that 'normal' is something that we construct. There is no right way that things should be--just the way that they are. It can be very freeing to let go of that. Do you understand what I mean?"

"Yeah." Sarah nods along, even as she keeps turning the concept over in her brain.

"When you think of 'normal,' what do you think of?" the doctor asks.

An image springs to Sarah's mind before she even has time to process the question, really. It is a scene from years ago, a moment from the narrow window of time when things made sense. When things were "normal."

"There was this morning," she begins, "when Tori was maybe six or seven, and I remember I was sitting at the kitchen table, trying to finish up a report for a client. She kept asking me questions and wanting to do things, and of course I wanted to play with her, but I had to get work done… and then Matt came in and announced that they were going to make pancakes."

She looks up at the doctor, who sits patiently, her face betraying nothing behind her thick-framed glasses.

"And I stayed at the table and got my report finished while they cooked," Sarah says. "I can remember them laughing, and the smell of the batter, and in spite of all that, I felt like I had enough peace to finish my report--so that I could have it out of the way and spend time with my family. By the time the pancakes were ready, I was all finished, and we ate together and then went to the park."

"That sounds lovely."

"Yeah." Sarah glances down at the beige carpet, which has become so familiar that she can now picture the pattern of the weave even when she isn't here. "I guess I want that. That sort of… comfort. Confidence. I knew that was my family. I kind of imagine it's how my mom felt when the four of us were growing up and my dad was there with her."

"And you don't feel that way now?"

The answer takes a little coaxing, but she knows it is right: "No." 

"Why not?"

"My husband is dead. My daughter is all over the place--and I know she's a teenager, and they are like that, but still. And I just feel distracted and hazy so much of the time."

"Well, you are a single mother with a teenager and an infant," Dr. Croft says.


"Are there any other moments like that you can remember?"

"Maybe." Sarah considers it, but for some reason, that one stands out so specifically. The others tend to be from big events like birthdays or weddings. That moment with Matt and Tori was such a moment in passing--a shot of real life.

"More specifically," Dr. Croft says, "can you remember any moments like that from the time you were married to Graham?"

Harbor Blvd

"Are you sure you don't mind eating here?" Danielle Taylor asks as she sets down the menu, a wooden board with a printed sheet affixed to it.

Matt Gray continues perusing his own menu. "Nah. At least I know the food's good. Not that I have any idea what I'm gonna get."

"I'm going for the chicken eggplant sandwich," she says, but the statement trails off as her attention is drawn away by a waiter delivering a bottle of champagne, two glasses, and an ice bucket to the next table. The table is occupied by a middle-aged man and woman, both of whom look like typical King's Bay residents.

The restaurant is only moderately busy, and that, coupled with the midday hour, makes the elegant delivery a sight worth noting. After the waitress opens the bottle and pours both glasses full, she passes by Matt and Danielle's table.

"Hey, Allison," Matt says, signaling for her to come over. 

"Can I get you guys anything?" Allison, a Chinese-American woman in her mid-20s, asks. 

"Still not ready to order. What's the occasion over there, though? That's a really expensive bottle."

"I guess it's their fifteenth wedding anniversary, and they're making a whole big day of it. Not a bad sale to make during lunchtime, either."

"No kidding."

"I'll give you a few more minutes to figure out your order," Allison says. 

"You would think he'd know what he wants, since he usually makes the food," Danielle says. 

"Yeah, stop picking on me," Matt says with a laugh. 

Allison departs, and Danielle finds herself watching the happy couple toast to their anniversary.

"Do you ever think about doing it--again, I mean?" she asks.

"Doing what?" He pulls himself away from the menu and realizes what she means. "Getting married?"

"Do you think you would do it again? Or was one time enough?" She sees his reluctance and hastens to add, "I'm really asking because I'm curious. This is not some undercover mission to feel out your intentions."

Matt shrugs. "To be frank… I don't know. I kinda thought that was it, and then it wasn't. And now I've got Tori to worry about, too."

"Yeah. For me, the weirdest part is that I've had two actual weddings and I've still never been married." She lets out a sigh. "Then again, I was the one who decided not to marry Andy, and I really should've seen it coming with Ryan. But I'd be lying if I said I weren't curious what it's like."

"Stress. Lots of stress. But amazing, too. I just wish I knew how people like those two--or Bill and Paula--make it work."

"That is a mystery I'm not sure I'll ever figure out." Danielle can feel herself sliding inside her thoughts and decides to turn the conversation before that continues. "Now figure out what you want to eat, okay? We don't have all day."

"Hold on, hold on," Matt says as he goes back to making his decision. Then he glances up from his menu, grinning. "For the record, though--even if we don't know where it's going, I think this thing we've got going here is pretty great."

Danielle returns his smile. "Me, too." 


Alex takes an involuntary step back from the desk. 

"You're back from L.A.," he says to Trevor, who clutches his iPad between both hands. "How's Lauren? How's the baby?" 

"They're both really good. I just got back last night." Trevor eyes Cameron, who is sitting on the edge of the desk with the fro-yo cup and spoon in his hand. "Hey, Cameron."

"Hi, Trevor," Cameron says. He sets down the cup. "Are you looking for Molly?"

"Yeah. We were supposed to go over a few things." Trevor offers a smile, though he isn't sure why. His head is spinning from trying to do the math here. Alex and Cameron must be seeing each other. He wonders how he didn't know that, even though there's no  reason he would know about their personal lives.

"Trevor Brooks is here to see you," Cameron says into the phone. Another moment passes, and he sets down the handset. "Go on in."

"Thanks." Trevor lifts his hand in an awkward wave. "Good to see you, Alex. And you, too, Cameron. I, uh…" He points toward the office and then disappears inside.

Once the door closes, Cameron looks to Alex. "Is it just me, or was that super-weird?"

"Oh, it was definitely weird." Alex taps the plastic spoon against his lips. "I suppose it's time I told you that whole story."

Inside Molly's office, Trevor closes the door behind himself. Molly, dressed in a loose-fitting pink top, rises from her seat to come greet him with a hug. 

"How was the trip?" she asks. "How's the baby?"

"She's beautiful. So small. Lauren and Josh are completely over the moon."

"Did they decide on a name yet?"

He keeps his lips clamped shut and darts his eyes around the room. 

"I'm guessing you're not allowed to say," Molly says.

"Not yet. They were still debating on the middle name. Said I wouldn't tell anyone 'til it's official."

"I'm sure whatever they pick will be beautiful." She moves back toward her seat. "Have a seat. What did you want to discuss?"

Trevor opens up his iPad as he has a seat. "I wanted to talk about some of the photos that were sent over for the next lookbook." As he scrolls through the pictures, he asks as casually as he can, "So are Cameron and Alex…?"

"Dating? Yep. Jason really wanted to set Alex up with someone. It took a little bit of convincing, but they've been seeing each other for a little while now, and it seems like it's going well."

"Alex had just brought him fro-yo when I came in," Trevor says.

"Oh." She pauses, and he can feel her gaze studying him, even though he keeps his focus on the iPad. "That must be a little strange for you."

"I mean… yeah. Of course. He's my ex. But I'm the one who's getting married, right?"

"Right. How are the wedding plans coming together?"

"Everything's pretty much set. Only a few weeks now." 

"It's so great that same-sex marriage was legalized here in time for you guys to do it," Molly says. "It's going to be one of the happiest days of your life. Just try and enjoy it and not get too caught up in all the logistics."

"I'm gonna try," Trevor says as he spins the tablet around to show her the photos.


Sarah feels put on the spot. Ambushed. This wasn't supposed to be about Graham. It's about her, now. 

"I don't know," she says. "I wasn't thinking about that. And that time--it's kind of colored by the way that it ended."

"I understand that," Dr. Croft says. "But your marriage to Matt also ended, and you talk about memories from that time--"

"One memory." 

Silence falls over the office. Dr. Croft never responds to those challenges; she just lets them fade off into the air until calm somehow prevails. 

"Things with Matt and I got screwed up," Sarah finally says, "but it was different. Graham was… not who I thought he was."

"But before you knew that, you did love him, didn't you?"

  Sarah Fisher

"Of course." She has explained all of this before. She loved Graham, but it was different, more practical. 

"If you'd known who he was beneath the facade, would you still have loved him?" the doctor asks.

Sarah shakes her head, but the verbal answer isn't as immediate. "I don't know. I don't even know if he was that way when we met--I know he was controlling, a little cold sometimes, but the man he became--for all I know, that was because of me."

"It isn't your fault that Graham tried to kill Matt."

"Maybe not directly. But I married him, and I was… he knew there was reluctance. And it drove him crazy."

"That isn't how mental illness works, Sarah." Dr. Croft waits some more and adjusts her glasses. "Why do you think your actions drove him crazy, as you say?"

"Because." She wishes it were enough to say just that much, but she can feel Dr. Croft staring into her, waiting, willing her to expound. "Because of Matt?"

"How do you mean?"

"Because of Matt and me!"

In her usual measured tone, the doctor says, "You told me previously that you and Matt didn't have an affair while you were married to Graham."

"But we kissed once."

"Okay. And you think that kiss was what somehow Graham over the edge?"

"I just feel like he knew…"

"Knew what?"

"That I was…" She doesn't even know how to phrase it. "That there was something unfinished between Matt and me."

Dr. Croft nods, as if this is precisely what she has been expecting all along. "And do you still feel that way?"

"I don't know."

"Just think about it. Do you still feel that there is unfinished business between you and Matt?" 

Sarah swallows hard and finally says it. "Yeah." But she rushes to add, "But he's with Danielle now, and I--I have Billy, and--"

Dr. Croft holds up her palm. "Stop right there. What you just said is so important. I want you to take a moment and realize that. It's the first time you've ever vocalized those feelings to me."

"And what am I supposed to do about them? I've already made such a mess of everything."

"The one thing you can control," the doctor says, "is how you regard those feelings. They aren't shameful. They aren't wrong. And they did not cause Graham to do what he did. The sooner you're able to stop feeling like your feelings for Matt are a shameful secret that you have to keep even from yourself, the sooner you'll be able to heal. Truly heal."

Sarah turns that advice over in her mind. She wishes it were that simple. But after everything that has happened, everything she has set in motion… she doesn't know how it can be.


Will there ever be another chance for Sarah and Matt?
Do Matt and Danielle deserve to be happy together?
What did you make of Trevor's reaction to seeing Alex with Cameron?
Join us in the Footprints Forum to discuss this episode now!

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Friday, August 23, 2013

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