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


- Jason apologized to Natalie and admitted that the sexual tension between them wasn’t one-sided. He asked her on a date, and after giving him a hard time, she accepted.
- Jimmy surprised Danielle by kissing her and asking her to have dinner with him.
- Travis asked Claire for his birth mother’s contact information, since he wants to meet her. Claire was supportive but warned him that the woman might not be receptive.


“You’re sure the tie isn’t too much?”

“The tie looks good,” Alex Marshall repeats.

Jason Fisher studies himself in a wall mirror beside the front door. “Not too… I don’t know… fussy?”

“No! You look nice. If a guy showed up in a limo--”

“It’s not a limo. I just called a car.”

“--in a car to take me on a date, dressed like that, I’d be happy I finally found an adult to date. Besides, wasn’t Natalie married to some rich older guy?”

Jason’s jaw goes slack as he stares at his reflection. “Oh god. What if it’s too, I don’t know, unsophisticated?”

Alex grabs his friend by the shoulders and spins him around. “Jason. Calm down. You look handsome. The restaurant is going to be great. Natalie will think you’re a perfect gentleman. And it’s a date, not the Hunger Games. Just have fun.”

  Jason Fisher

“Do you know how long it’s been since I went on a date--let alone had to plan one?” Jason asks with widened eyes that threaten to bug out of his head.

The doorbell interrupts their conversation, though to Jason, it sounds like a death knell.

“You’re gonna be great,” Alex says before opening the door.

A barrel-chested man in a black suit, with a dark, closely cropped beard, stands there with his hands folded. “Mr. Fisher? I’m Ivan. I’m going to be your driver this evening.”

“This is Mr. Fisher,” Alex says, pushing Jason forward. “Have fun, Jason.”

But Jason is already focused on the vehicle in the driveway. “I didn’t order a Hummer.”

“This is one of our stretch Hummers,” Ivan explains, as if Jason couldn’t see that it is far longer than the regular version. “It’s a very busy night for bookings, so the company sent this for you--at no additional charge, of course.”

Jason walks outside to look at the vehicle. It is a ridiculous vehicle for only two people, and even more so for picking up a woman for a date. But it isn’t until he opens the back door that he nearly drops dead from horror.

“This won’t work,” he announces.

“Why not, sir? This is one of our premium vehicles--”

“It has a stripper pole!”

“It has what?” Alex asks as he rushes out of the house to come see for himself.

“This is a very popular choice for our customers’ big nights out,” Ivan says.

“I’m going on a date, not a bachelor party!” Jason says. “She’s going to think I’m a lunatic if I pick her up in this. I’m sorry, but you need to get me the car I ordered.”

Ivan pulls out his smartphone and scrolls through something, but it is only seconds before he is shaking his head. “I’m afraid there are no vehicles available right now. If you’d like to wait, say, two hours…”

“I can’t wait two hours!” He looks back toward Alex, who merely shrugs.

“Might be fun,” Alex says. “Or at least a good story.”

Jason stares through the open door and into the cavernous vehicle, not so convinced.


Fueled by impulse and Red Bull, Travis Fisher makes the drive from King’s Bay to Tacoma in surprisingly good time, especially considering that it overlaps with rush hour. After locating the address that his Aunt Sarah found, a duplex with peeling white paint on the outside, Travis sits in the car for several minutes, working up the nerve to do what he came here to do. Finally, he gets out, marches up to the door, rings the bell, and… waits. He rings it again, but there is no answer. Seeing that the lights seem to be out, he retreats to his car and turns on the heat to wait in the dark some more.

He is streaming the Arctic Monkeys album on his phone and flipping through Instagram for the millionth time when a pair of headlights catches his attention. He watches a white Ford Taurus station wagon pull into the driveway of the duplex. A figure, which he can tell is a woman even though that’s about all he can see from this distance, gets out and carries a reusable grocery bag up to the front door.

A fresh surge of adrenaline hits Travis and, before logic can shout it down, he gets out of his car, too.

  Travis Fisher

“Excuse me!” he calls to the woman as she is unlocking her door.

She turns with a start, and it occurs to him that perhaps ambushing a woman in the dark as she’s going into her house alone might not have been the best plan.

“Sorry,” he says. “I didn’t mean to sneak up on you.”

She lets the grocery bag fall to the porch and pulls out her cell phone. “Do I know you?”

“No. I mean, kind of. You’re Kathleen Bundy, right?”


“We’ve met before. A long time ago.” Travis stays where he is, down at the bottom of the stairs, hoping to prove that he isn’t about to assault her or something. He can see the woman attempting to study him, decide if he’s familiar; he is doing the same to her. She has blonde hair that lands just below her chin, and she wears a purple winter coat. But what he wants to see is her face, to see if there’s anything about it that reminds him of what he’s been looking at in the mirror for 22 years.

“We have?” she asks uncertainly.

“My name is Travis Fisher,” he explains. “I came out here from King’s Bay--I grew up there. You met my mom once. Claire Fisher?” When Kathleen hesitates, Travis adds, “She and my uncle came to see you at work once. About a baby you gave up for adoption.”

Kathleen’s gasp is audible.

“That’s me,” he says.

“What did you say your name was?”

“Travis. Travis Fisher.”

She shakes her head. “No. You’re not my son.”


There was a mix-up with the car. On the way now.

That is the text that Jason sends to Natalie while Ivan pilots the stretch Hummer toward her apartment. She simply replies that she will be ready, and he resists the urge to send a follow-up message about how she should be prepared for something ridiculous. Maybe if he doesn’t make a big deal of it, she will just regard it as the company’s fault and they can go on with their night.

At her apartment, Ivan insists on opening the back door for Jason, who climbs out of the absurdly oversized vehicle and walks up the path to ring Natalie’s buzzer. She responds that she will be right down. As Jason waits, he glances back at the Hummer, with Ivan stationed outside it; the entire thing looks so foolish.

Finally, Natalie appears in the lobby. He spots her through the door, and his breath actually catches in his throat at the sight of her. She wears a short black dress that shows off her legs--legs he never realized were quite so long or toned--without being too flashy, and a blue topaz necklace hangs from a silver chain and makes him very aware of her cleavage. Very aware.

“You look terrific,” he says as she opens the door. Terrific? She’s not a remodeled kitchen, he scolds himself mentally. “Beautiful,” he adds, knowing that it sounds stupid but too far along to stop it.

A smile crosses her red lips. “Thank you.”

“We have reservations at Bella Norte, that new Italian restaurant downtown. It’s supposed to be amazing.”

“That sounds great,” she says--and then her gaze lands on the Hummer.

“Apparently they overbooked, so they were nice enough to upgrade us to this totally unnecessary vehicle,” Jason hurries to explain. “I promise I didn’t order this.” With a grin, Natalie strides down the path.

Ivan holds the door open for her. “Good evening, miss.”

“Hi,” she says as she peers inside the vehicle. “Jason, is that--”

“I promise I did not order a car with a stripper pole to take you on a date!”

Natalie plants one heel on the car’s runner and climbs through the door. “That’s exactly what someone who wanted a stripper pole on a date would say.”

Ivan chuckles at her comment, which makes Jason want to reach out and smack him.

“Will you tell her I didn’t order this?” Jason says.

“I can assure you that Mr. Fisher placed an order for a standard black car,” Ivan says.

“You mean you didn’t want these?” she says as she pushes a button that lights up a pink tube that runs all the way around the interior of the Hummer. Jason watches in horror as it morphs from red to purple, then to blue, then to green…

“I’m sorry,” he says, shaking his head.

“It’s fine! Now get in so we can go to dinner.”


Claire Fisher has just parked in the restaurant’s lot when her car’s speakers explode with the sound of an incoming phone call. As always, she practically dives for the control panel to answer the call as fast as she can--but she hesitates when she sees the name on the screen.

Perhaps it is the dire possibility of having to sit through four more rings at this volume before it goes to voicemail, but she decides to answer the call.

Paula. Hi,” she says.

“Hi, Claire.” Her former mother-in-law’s voice is softer than Claire expected, more the woman she recalls from when she was married to Tim and involved with Ryan than the one of the past few years, who holds her responsible for keeping Spencer away from the Fishers for so long. “How are you doing?”

“I’m fine. Thanks. I actually just pulled up to Windmills to pick up take-out for Tempest and me.”

“Oh, that sounds wonderful.” Paula inhales deeply, and the sound reverberates through the car. “I won’t keep you long. I just have a question for you.”

Claire feels her stomach tighten. “Go ahead.”

“I was wondering if you had Thanksgiving plans. You and Tempest, I mean. I invited Spencer to join us, and he actually agreed, so it only seemed right--”

“He agreed?” Claire cannot fathom a reality in which her and Tim’s biological son has actually consented to spend a holiday with their family.

“Yes. I was surprised, too. So was Tim. I think the fact that Philip will be there helped a lot.”

“I’m sure, yeah.”

“So… do you have plans?”

“Um… not really. I was just going to cook dinner at my apartment for Tempest and myself.”

  Claire Fisher

“Well, we’d love to have you.” Paula’s tone is conciliatory, the syllables stuffed with something far beyond their surface meanings.

“That sounds great. You can put us down as a ‘yes.’”


“And Paula?” Claire says. “Thank you very much.”

As she enters the restaurant a minute later, Claire’s head is still spinning. She never expected to receive a personal invitation from Paula to join the Fishers for the holiday--and she certainly never thought Spencer would voluntarily participate in such a celebration, either. The thought of actually getting to spend a Thanksgiving with her son, after all these years they have missed, fills her with both excitement and uneasiness.

She checks in with the host, who goes to check on her takeout order, and is casually scanning the semi-full dining room when she sees a familiar face--though, given the setting and his uncharacteristic attire, it takes her a moment to process just what she is really seeing.

Jimmy Trask wears a brown blazer with a blue-striped button-down shirt underneath, a far cry from his usual costume of t-shirts and cargo shorts. Then his blonde dinner companion turns slightly, and Claire realizes that it is Danielle Taylor, who is also dressed up.

Are they back together? Claire wonders, trying her best not to stare.

In the course of her contemplation, though, Jimmy spots her, too. He waves, his surprise apparent, and she waves back. She debates whether it would be better or worse to go over and say hello, given their history, and is still grappling with that when the host returns with her food.

“Here you go, ma’am,” he says, presenting the receipt for her signature. She scribbles down some form of her name and then, with one quick final wave in Jimmy’s direction, hurries out of the restaurant.


By the time Ivan drives them downtown, Jason has finally begun to relax. He and Natalie sit across from one another on the leather benches that run around the perimeter of the back area, having what actually feels like a normal conversation.

“Your family used to have a restaurant down here, didn’t they?” Natalie asks.

“On Pier 22. Yeah,” Jason says. “I miss it.”

He watches through the tinted windows as the streets and buildings pass by, and the Hummer soon slows to a stop in front of Bella Notte. A vibrant red awning hangs over the restaurant’s heavy wooden door.

“I think I read about this place online,” Natalie says as Jason helps her out of the backseat. “It’s supposed to be a bitch to get reservations.”

“But I managed to do it.” He leads the way across the sidewalk and holds open the restaurant door for her.

“Hi,” he says to the hostess, a woman with a very crisp white blouse and a jet black bob with very severe bangs. “We have a reservation for 8:00. The last name is Fisher.”

The hostess looks at her screen, scrunches up her face, pushes a button, and then scrunches her face some more.

“Didn’t you already check in?” she finally asks.

“Obviously not, if we’re doing it now,” Jason says, his body tensing. “It’s still a few minutes before 8 o’clock.”

“It says here that your reservation was moved up to 7:30.”

“I didn’t do that.”

“Fisher, yes?”

“Yes. I made a reservation for 8 p.m. for two people. Us.”

The hostess again checks her screen. “I’m sorry, but we already seated your party.”

“How is that possible?” Jason asks, risking a sideways glance at Natalie, whose mouth is now pulled into a tight red line.

“You called and changed the reservation,” the hostess says, her rigid face not cracking one iota with compassion or at least the admission that this is insane.

“Lady, we are literally standing in front of you and not sitting at the table,” Natalie says.

Her tone stirs something in Jason. “I didn’t change the reservation. So whoever those people are, you need to ask them to leave so we can have that table.”

“I’m sorry, but I have no way of knowing it was you who made that reservation in the first place.”

“This is insane,” Jason says. “I’d like to see a manager.” As soon as he says it, he regrets it; the last thing any date needs is an awkward confrontation with management. But it might be their only chance of actually getting that table.

“I can get one for you,” the hostess says, her words slowing with condescension, “but I can assure you there’s nothing that can be done. If you’d like to have a drink at the bar, I can put you on the list for a table.”

  Natalie Bishop

“How long’s that going to take?” Natalie asks, unable to conceal her annoyance.

“No more than 90 minutes. Fisher, is it?”

Jason mumbles a confirmation and then turns to Natalie. He wants to puff up and lead her to the bar as if nothing is wrong, but he feels like he has been completely deflated, and it is impossible to pretend that everything is fine. A 90-minute wait at the crowded bar? Nevertheless, he bellies up to… the cluster of people waiting to get the bartender’s attention.

After a frustrating minute or two of watching the single bartender craft some complicated artisan cocktail, Jason spins around to Natalie.

“I’m sorry,” he says. “I screwed this all up. I don’t know how to do this. I’ve never had to--Courtney and I were friends first, so dating was different. And I tried to make these elaborate plans, but I totally overshot, and now we’re gonna have to sit here getting drunk and starving, and then you have to ride home with a stripper pole--”

“Jason. Stop.”

“I promise, you can go and it won’t be weird,” he rattles on. “I’ll call you a cab. We never have to mention it again.”

“Oh my god. You’re insane.”

“More like inept, but--”

“Just shut up!” she says, with enough force that his mouth actually clamps shut. “This is funny. The car’s funny, the fact that people stole our reservation… it’s fine. Stop stressing out so much.”

He tries to read her expression, gauge her sincerity, but as always, there’s something a little inscrutable about her.

Natalie elbows a younger guy in a suit out of the way and grabs a cocktail menu off the bar. “So let’s order a damn drink and relax,” she says. “You have a babysitter, Samantha’s hanging out with Bree, and we have all night.”

“Really? You’re fine waiting?”

She reviews the menu for another moment.

“You know what? This is all overpriced bullshit.” She flings the menu back toward the bar.

Jason feels himself deflate again. “Oh.”

“What do you say we go back out there and ask what’s-his-face if that thing will fit through a drive-through? We can hit the liquor store for a bottle of champagne on the way.”

Her enthusiasm proves infectious; it radiates outward and into Jason’s being.

“That sounds really good, actually.”

“Then let’s go.” She grabs his hand and drags him back through the entryway.

“Tell your manager not to bother!” Jason calls to the hostess as they slip out the front door.

Once they’re outside, Natalie stops abruptly.

“What’s wrong?” Jason asks.

“I forgot to tell you,” she says. “I did take a strip aerobics class one time…”


“No, I am,” Travis says. “I’m your son.”

Kathleen fumbles for a moment and then turns on the flashlight on her phone. Its sharp beam of light causes him to wince and turn away. “My kid was adopted by some people named Clayton.”

“Clayton?” The name is vaguely familiar to Travis, as some confusing part of the whole convoluted tale of his father’s kidnapping and Nick Moriani’s revenge plot against the Fishers.

“Yeah. So if your name is Fisher, you’re not my kid.”

“I swear I’m not lying,” he says, still shielding his eyes.

“Didn’t say you were lying. But you’ve got it wrong. I’m sorry.”

Travis’s brain whirrs for a long moment before he blurts out, “John Charles McClintock.”

Now Kathleen is the one who freezes. “What did you say?”

“That was my birth name, right? John Charles McClintock. I have a copy of my birth certificate right here--” His cold fingers pull the folded sheet of paper from inside his jacket, and he unfolds it so that Kathleen can examine it. She takes a few tentative steps nearer as she shines her light on the paper.

“You could’ve gotten that anywhere,” she says. Now that she is a little bit closer, he can make out more of her face; she wears very little makeup and looks tired, puffy. He frantically tries to make out some common resemblance between them.

“There was a switch,” he says. “Those people who adopted me from you--Clayton wasn’t their real name. It was Ragan. And they took another kid from my mom--from Claire Fisher--and raised him, and my parents got your baby.”

“This is nuts.”

“I know. But you have to believe me.”

A pickup truck rolls down the quiet street, its headlights temporarily bathing them in their glow.

“And what do you expect me to do?” Kathleen says.

“Tell me about yourself. About your life. About who my father is. I don’t know.”

Kathleen hesitates. “I don’t even know if you’re telling the truth.”

“Then let’s do a DNA test.”

“Are you crazy?”

“No. I don’t know. Maybe. I just wanna know where I come from.”

A long spell of quiet follows, and Travis is about to give up and go back to his car when Kathleen finally speaks:

“You’ve gotta understand, this is a lot to find out. And I have no way of knowing if this is just some wild story and you’re gonna rob me or what--”

“I promise I’m not here to rob you.” His shoulders droop. “I’m sorry I snuck up on you like this. I should have called ahead or something.”

“Look. Why don’t I give you my e-mail address? We can talk that way. I have questions, too.”

“I’m sure you do,” he says, brightening at even this crumb of connection.

“Here.” She retreats to the porch, grabs something out of her purse, and seconds later is coming back toward him, this time close enough to hand him a slip of paper with a Hotmail address written on it in cursive. Travis can feel her evaluating him the way he has been trying to evaluate her this entire time.

“Now get yourself home safely, okay?” she says, and then she is headed back for the porch, where she grabs her groceries, unlocks the door, and slips inside before Travis can figure out what else he is supposed to say.

He returns to his car, the slip of paper clutched in his fist. It isn’t much, but it’s a start.


Will Travis be able to have a relationship with Kathleen?
What did you think of Jason’s date with Natalie?
Is Claire completely over her feelings for Jimmy?
Talk about it all in the Footprints Forum now!

Next Episode



Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014

For a printable version,
click here.

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