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


- Natalie insisted that Jason be the coach to accompany her daughter, Bree, to the Regional Championships. Jason dreaded the idea of traveling with Natalie. 
- A man named Wade came into the bookstore and, when he realized Diane is the person who handles the bank deposits, demanded information about a discrepancy in the bookkeeping. Sarah interrupted before he could make good on his threats.
- Jimmy was jumped and knocked out by a mystery man… who turned out to be Wade. 


Jason Fisher is at his desk, trying to complete the brain-mangling puzzle of matching up instructors with Learn To Skate classes even though certain instructors don't want certain returning students and a thousand other complications. He hears the footsteps coming up the stairs and down the hallway toward his office, and he is about to be grateful for the impending interruption until the wearer of the high heels appears in his doorway.

"Hi," he says to Natalie Bishop.

She is dressed down, for her, in a light coat, sweater, and skinny jeans (but still the heels), and she immediately crosses her arms over her chest. Her facial features are stony with rage.

"We need to have a conversation," she says.

Jason swallows a lump in his throat. "I know." He had a feeling this visit was coming.

Natalie points a manicured nail at him. "You lied to me."

  Jason Fisher

"I didn't lie."

"You weren't truthful, either--and Bree is the one who paid for it."

"You're right," Jason says. "You are. And I owe you an apology."


Rain spatters against the front window of the shop. It has been like this all day--not a driving, forceful rain, but a continuous flow, so steady and monotonous that it has nearly lulled Diane Bishop into sleep. She is nursing a cup of coffee and staring out at the rain when she sees, through the window, a man in a navy blue jacket and a baseball cap headed for the store's entrance.

"Welcome," she says as the broad-shouldered figure enters, only to realize that it is one of her bosses.

Jimmy Trask barely glances up at her. "Hey."

"I was going to close down for an hour and head out to lunch in a few minutes."

"That's fine." Jimmy's response is muttered and disengaged, and he moves right past her and the front counter quickly, as if attempting to avoid detection. He slips into the back room.

"Do you need something?" Diane asks, rising from her stool. Neither Jimmy nor Keith usually comes in here like there is urgent business to be done.

"Waiting on a fax." He keeps his back toward the small room's entrance.

"Everything okay?"


There might be some things Jimmy Trask is good at--something, somewhere, Diane supposes, though no real possibilities present themselves at the moment--but lying is not one of them. 

"What's up with you?" Diane says, stepping fully into the room. 

"Nothing's 'up.'" Jimmy lingers over the fax machine, still not facing her. "Don't worry about it."

That's enough for Diane. She storms over to him, and even in a profile view, she can't miss the black eye.

"What the hell happened to you?" 

"Nothing." He turns more fully to her now that the injury has been exposed. "Got caught in a brawl while I was watching football."

"Where are you watching football--the Thunderdome?!"

"Seahawks fans are nuts, man." Jimmy shakes his head.

The fax machine stirs to life with its familiar whirring, a sound just rickety enough to make it a gamble whether a paper is actually going to appear at the end of all this. Diane studies the bruising around Jimmy's eye some more. It is still fresh, all purple and red and blue. As much as she doesn't care about football, the headlines are hard to avoid, especially about local sports, and something isn't sitting right with her…

"Didn't the Seahawks play last Sunday?" It is now Thursday. There is no way that bruise is five days old.

She sees Jimmy's mouth open and close with an attempt at speech that fails. It takes him another few seconds to eke out an explanation:

"I said Seahawks fans are nuts. Wasn't them playing. Okay?" 

Miraculously, the fax machine spits out a piece of waxy paper with actual print on it. Jimmy grabs it from the tray and pushes past Diane.

"You're sure everything is okay?" she asks.

"I said not to worry about it," he says as he heads out of the store.

Edge of Winter Arena

Jason can tell that Natalie is disarmed by how forthcoming he is with his apology. But she is derailed only momentarily.

"We trained all year for Regionals! Do you know how much I spent on Bree's costumes--and that says nothing for your coaching fees, or the choreographer, or the dance classes and everything else!" she rails.

"I know," Jason says. "I'm sorry. I am."

"You should be! We just wasted a year because you couldn't be bothered to show up at Regionals and coach her."

Her tone and her undeterred anger light a fire beneath Jason and send him rocketing to his feet. "We didn't waste a year. Bree made incredible progress this year, she tested up two levels--"

"And she was completely thrown off-balance not having you there."

"I'm sorry! My daughter was sick. And Julie is more than capable of putting a skater on the ice. I really thought it would be okay."

"Well, it wasn't." Natalie becomes surprisingly quiet, and a fresh wave of guilt crashes over Jason.

"I made a judgment call," he says. "I'm sorry it threw Bree off so badly. She needs to learn to adjust to unexpected circumstances--"

"Don't you blame this on Bree."

"I'm not. But a thousand things that you never planned for can happen at a competition."

"And she needed you there to keep her on track!"

"Look, I know this didn't go the way any of us wanted to go," he says. "I really thought she'd be top five this year."

"Yeah, not 11th," Natalie says, her disdain suggesting that finishing in 11th place is roughly equivalent to committing mass genocide. 

"I'm gonna make this up to her--to both of you."

"How are you gonna do that?"

"I don't know yet. But I'm going to be more attentive. I will be at the next competition. That's a start, right?"

Natalie refuses to let any cracks show in her armor. "I guess." 

"I'm sorry," Jason says again, as he takes his seat. 

She takes a long moment to consider something before she speaks again.

"If I accept your apology," she says, "can we finally call it even? Will you stop holding that damn fundraiser over my head?"

He knows that he doesn't have a choice, but he can't let it go without one last massive sigh. "Fine. Deal."

"Good. Then we'll see you at 6:15 tomorrow for Bree's lesson."


"Don't let us down," she says, and with that, she turns and clacks her way out of the office and down the stairs. Jason listens as the steps fade away and then tries to savor the renewed quiet in the office, but he cannot quite ignore the voice in his head telling him that Natalie Bishop's demands are about to get a whole lot more insistent. 


Diane wrestles with her umbrella, which refuses to close the way it's supposed to a good ninety percent of the time, as the rain drips down around her. Finally she forces it closed and enters the restaurant. She spots Sarah Fisher at a table toward the center of the dining room.

"Where's the fire?" Diane asks as she shakes out of her coat and takes her seat. "You made it sound like the fate of the free world hung on me meeting you for lunch."

"I've been doing some digging," Sarah says. "About the bookstore."

"Oh." Diane lowers herself into the chair across from Sarah. "Something funny is going on."

"Yeah. That guy who came in to threaten you was shady. And Keith told you he was using the store to move around money from real estate?"

  Diane Bishop

"Something like that."

"He owns a grand total of one rental property--a little house out on Camden. He rents it out to KBU students. Not a lot of house-flipping going on there."

"Then what the hell are these guys doing? And why do I have to be in the middle of it?"

"I asked someone to come meet us," Sarah says. "Maybe we can get some insight into what's going on."

"Oh, really? Who?"

Diane sees Sarah hesitate, but before she actually produces an answer, her gaze moves toward the door. Diane naturally follows it--and is horrified by what she sees.

"You've gotta be kidding me," Diane says.

As he approaches their table, it is clear that Ryan Moriani shares her reaction. 

"You didn't tell me it was for her," he says to Sarah. "You can forget about me helping with whatever disaster she's gotten herself into now."

Thaw Coffee & Tea

Jason needs a break from the office, so he heads downstairs. Tempest Banks is driving the Zamboni after the lunchtime stick-and-puck session. Jason rounds the rink and goes through the glass double doors into the attached coffee shop. His nephew waves to him from behind the counter, and Jason waits for the single customer to finish paying before he steps up to place his order.

"Your usual?" Travis asks. Jason nods. "How's it going?"

"Fine. Kind of a crappy day up there, but…"

Travis looks up from the register. There is something knowing in his eyes. "Anything to do with Diane's sister?"

That catches Jason off-guard. "What do you mean?"

"She came through here huffing and puffing a little bit ago. Figured she went up to see you."

"Yeah…" Jason puffs up his cheeks and then lets the air out in a slow leak, though it does little to unleash his frustrations.

"What happened?"

Jason hands over his debit card and watches while Travis swipes it. He tries to find the appropriate wording.

"I sent her daughter to Regionals with another coach," he explains. "Sophie was sick, and Bree is my only student, and… she choked, and Natalie blames me."

"That's stupid. You're not the one out there skating."

"She's not entirely wrong. I should've been there."

"But you said Sophie was sick."

"She was." Jason takes the card back and places it in his wallet. "She had a cold. Your grandma and grandpa would've been more than happy to have her for two days, though. Or Alex. Or the Chases."

Travis screws up his face. "Then why didn't you let one of them watch her?"

"I don't know." Jason pauses, just long enough for the words to echo and sound false. "Actually, I was almost grateful for the excuse. I just… I haven't been to a competition for a long time, and…" He feels like a fool even voicing it, so weak.

"Since you and Courtney were competing?" Travis says.

Jason is surprised at how Travis picks up on that; then again, he is surprised on a daily basis that his nephew is an adult, that he can work here and go to college and do all the other things that Jason knows he was quite capable of doing at that age. 


"Makes sense that you'd be weirded out."

"I guess. It still wasn't fair to Bree… or Natalie, honestly. Even if I hate admitting that." 

"She's still a pain in the ass," Travis offers.

Jason snickers. "Yeah. She is."

"Don't be too tough on yourself, man. It's one competition."

"I know," Jason says. He senses a presence behind him and glances back to see another customer approaching. "Thanks, kiddo. You're getting kind of smart, you know that?"

"I'm trying," Travis says with a smile, as Jason heads to the end of the bar to wait for his drink.

322 Bar & Grill

Diane grabs Ryan's sleeve to force him to look at her. "For the record, all I got myself into was a job. It's not my fault the two idiots I work for are trying to pull one over on me."

Ryan's eyes do a big, dramatic roll. "I'm sure it's your fault somehow."

"Just sit down," Sarah says to her brother. "Please?"

"You can't seriously expect me to help her after what she did to me," Ryan says. 

"But you can help me."

The waitress, a middle-aged woman with Mediterranean coloring and tortoise-shell glasses, floats up to their table. "Can I get you two anything to drink?" she asks. 

"Sparkling water for me," Diane says.

The waitress looks to Ryan.

"Iced tea for him," Sarah says. 

Ryan regards Sarah with annoyance--an expression that asks, "Are you really doing this to me?"--but then sits down. The waitress promises to be right back with the drinks and heads off. 

"I filled him in on what you told me," Sarah says to Diane. "And on that guy who came in."

"There's more," Diane interjects. "Jimmy came in today with a black eye, and he was being all cagey about where it came from."

Ryan folds his hands and sets them on the table. "It's drugs. It has to be. That real estate story is bull. People get beaten up over drugs."

Diane lets out an agonized groan. "Great. I really thought I was just working a regular, degrading retail job! And now this?"

Ryan grimaces, as if it pains him to address her directly, but he manages it. "Your name is on all the bank deposits?"

"I'm the only name. They said it made sense, since I'm the manager and I'm doing the drops. They totally set me up, didn't they?"


"We're going to get you out of this," Sarah says. "That's why I wanted Ryan's help. He knows this world--"

"What a noble skill set to bring to the table," Diane says, half under her breath but apparently not enough.

Ryan pushes his chair out from the table. "Do you want my help or not?"

"Yes. I do. Sorry."

"Good," Sarah says, as though she is arbitrating a dispute between two kindergartners. "Now, Ryan, tell us what we're going to do about this."


Will Ryan be able to help Diane?
What have Jimmy and Keith gotten Diane into?
Will Jason and Natalie ever get along?
Talk about all this and more in the Footprints Forum!

Next Episode



Sat., Nov. 30, 2013

For a printable version,
click here.

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