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


- Ryan, now sober, began to consider the possibility of a reunion with his former fiancée, Danielle. But he saw Jimmy plant a kiss on her, and later, Claire informed him that she had seen Danielle and Jimmy out on a dinner date. 
- Despite Jason's plans for the evening being completely derailed, Natalie seemed to enjoy herself, and Jason hoped there would be a second date. 
- Travis confronted Spencer about the car crash and alleged that Philip, not Spencer, had been driving the car. Though Spencer denied it, Molly walked in on the boys and forced Spencer to tell the truth. She lashed out at Philip for having lied to her and asked him to leave her family's Thanksgiving dinner. 


The rain has been thumping against the building and windows on and off for hours, seemingly as lazy as the feelings it inspires in the residents of King's Bay. It has lulled Philip Ragan into something of a daze--though that could also be attributed to recent occurrences in his life--and although he has spent the bulk of his day at his oversized iMac monitor, attempting to edit images, he has not achieved the focus to accomplish much at all.

He has been trying to keep his focus on one particular shot for close to an hour when the heavy sliding door opens and Spencer Ragan enters, his red windbreaker soaked.

"Please don't drip on the floor," Philip says. 

"Okay." Spencer has already removed the jacket, over the small rug by the door. He wipes his shoes and then takes those off, too.

Philip turns back to the monitor but can hear Spencer moving around in the kitchen. There has been a palpable tension in the loft since Thanksgiving, when Molly discovered that it was Spencer who had been driving the car that crashed into her home and that Philip lied to cover for his brother. 

"Do you have anything planned for dinner?" Spencer asks. 

  Philip Ragan

Philip glances back briefly. "Not particularly."

"I was thinking of ordering Thai…" The comment hovers in the air, its echoes pulsing outward until they seem to squeeze all the oxygen out of the room. 

"Are you just going to freeze me out forever?" Spencer asks.

"I'm not freezing you out." Philip waits another moment before swiveling around in his chair. "But I'm not particularly in the mood to socialize, either."

"It's not like I'm asking you to go to a club. We live together. We're brothers."

"It wasn't very brotherly of you to tattle on me to Molly."

"Oh, come on. I didn't tattle on you. Travis heard us talking. I tried to deny it--"

"Until Molly asked you point-blank and you came clean."

Spencer closes the refrigerator with far more force than necessary. "I didn't ask you to lie for me. It was your idea."

Philip bolts to his feet. "To keep you out of trouble!"

"That's bullshit, and you know it. You were worried Molly would keep thinking I was a bad seed and not want me around those brats of hers and it would be a problem for your marriage."

The sudden desire to strike something--the computer monitor, maybe--rages through Philip, but he forces himself to restrain it. He simply balls up both fists, hard.

"Which would not have been a concern if you hadn't spent the past two years tearing through King's Bay like a tornado." Philip marches toward the door and grabs his gray duffle coat from one of the hooks. 

"Where are you going?" Spencer asks.

"To see Molly. I've waited around long enough." Philip hurriedly pulls on the coat. "I'm going to change her mind before this goes any further."

Cassie's Coffee House

The shop is swarmed with patrons clad in rain gear and carrying holiday shopping bags. Ryan Moriani is waiting at the end of the counter for his drink when he feels a finger tap upon his shoulder.

"Hey there," Danielle Taylor says as he turns around. "Saw you standing over here, so I thought I'd come say hi."

Her blonde hair is pulled back into a ponytail, she wears very minimal makeup, and she has an oversized gray sweater pulled over her hands--and she looks radiant. Ryan's whole being brightens as he takes her in.

"Good to see you," he says. "Did you just come in?"

She points toward the back corner of the shop. "I just finished a lesson with an 11-year-old boy who is convinced that a woman can't possibly teach him to play guitar."

"Seems like he's going to go far with that attitude."

"Yeah. Real promising future for that one." She folds her arms in front of her body. "How are you? How was your Thanksgiving?"

"My Thanksgiving was fine. Nice, even. Aside from the part where Molly's engagement got blown to pieces…"

Danielle grimaces.

"How's she doing?" Ryan asks. "I texted her yesterday and she said everything's okay, but I wasn't sure if that meant things were better between her and Philip."

"Not as far as I know. She's keeping busy with work and the boys. I don't think she and Philip have even seen each other."


"Yeah. We've talked about it a lot, but I'm not sure where things stand besides 'in limbo.'"

"I'm glad she has you at the house with her," Ryan says. "How about you? How was San Diego?"

"Good. Elly came down with Tom and Melanie. And it's always so great to get to spend time with my dad. He's going to come up here to do Christmas at Brent's house, which will be nice."

"That sounds great." He pauses for a moment. "And how are things with you and Jimmy?"


"Can I give you a hand?" Tim Fisher asks.

"Oh, it's okay," Molly says as she winds garland through and around the banister. "You know I love doing this."

"And I'm sure you don't mind having the distraction."

"Absolutely not." She wraps the end of the strand and then lets out a deep breath. "This week has kind of been hell."

"I would imagine. Have you and Philip talked?"

She shakes her head. "Not really. Texted. He's called a few times. I've been busy with work--"

"Actually busy?" Tim asks with a raised eyebrow.

"Sort of. I don't know what I'm supposed to say to him." She sits down on the stairs and props her elbows on her knees. "It's such a giant betrayal."

"I know. For whatever it's worth, I'm really sorry about Spencer's role in this entire thing--and however I might have contributed to that."

"Please. You didn't do anything. You gave him a job to try to keep him on the straight-and-narrow. I thought you and Philip had the same goal."

"We did. We do." Tim sticks his hands in his pockets as he carefully contemplates his next words. "I completely understand why you're upset--the way he lied to you--"

Molly looks up sharply. "What's the 'but,' Tim?"

"It's just…" He spends several more seconds searching for the right way to explain himself. "Philip is a good guy. You love him. He made a terrible error in judgment here… but I do believe he had good intentions."

"He lied to me."

The sound of piano keys tentatively being hit floats out from the living room.

"Christian," Molly explains. "He's been getting really into his lessons with Danielle lately."

They remain quiet as the notes begin to form the recognizable sounds of "Silent Night."

"He's getting good," Tim comments.

"Yeah. It's nice." A smile briefly warms Molly's face, but it just as quickly retreats. "I want the boys to be comfortable here. And safe. This is their home."

"And you're still worried about Spencer spending time here," Tim finishes for her.

"Yes. And now I'm concerned about Philip's judgment, too. It sucks, you know?"

Tim sighs. "I hear you."

Before Molly can respond, her cell phone cries out from the console across the foyer. Tim reaches over to grab it and hands it to her. She freezes when she looks at the screen.

"What's wrong?" he asks.

"It's Philip."

Edge of Winter Arena

Jason Fisher sits on a bench beside the ice, tightening his laces while the voice of a woman he can't quite place sings "Run, Run, Rudolph" over the arena's sound system.

"Thank goodness the Christmas show is only a week away," says the voice of a woman that he can place quite well.

Jason looks up. "So we won't have to hear these songs fifty times a day anymore?"

"Precisely." Sandy James smiles as she fits her hands into thick black gloves. "Do you have a lesson on this session?"

"I do, and then I'm gonna go upstairs to the office and do some serious work on the New Year's Eve party. There's still so much to get done."

"Did someone mention a party?" Natalie Bishop asks as she walks up. 

"Hey," Jason says, unable to keep a grin off his face at the sight of her. She is dressed more casually than she usually is--in jeans and flats, not even heels--but she is just as intriguing to Jason as always. He barely remembered what this feels like.

"Hi, Natalie," Sandy says. "I need to get on the ice, actually. My lesson is out there and her mother is giving me a death glare from across the way." She hurries off to get on the ice. 

"Actually, I was meaning to talk to you about said party," Jason tells Natalie, his nerves suddenly dancing. 

"Why? Do you need my help planning?"

That gets a snicker out of him. "No. No, no, no. There is no way you are getting involved in the planning of any other parties that have anything to do with this arena."

"Oh my god. They were a few ice sculptures!"

  Jason Fisher

"A few very expensive ice sculptures. For a charity event."

Natalie rolls her eyes. "Well, if you were going to ask for my help, you're not getting it with an attitude like that!"

"I don't want your help." He stands, the laces on his left skate still hanging loose. "What I want is your company."

He sees something resembling delight pass over Natalie's face, but she quickly covers it with an exaggerated pout. "Then you'd better stop bringing up those damn ice sculptures."

"Okay. I promise. But if I keep that promise, how would you feel about being my date to the party here on New Year's Eve? It's for a good cause…"

"That sounds much better than having to do work," she says with a grin, "especially for you. It's a date."

"It's a date." Excitement and relief wash over Jason, and he drops back to the bench to finish tying his boot.


Danielle's surprise is evident, and Ryan immediately fears that, in the course of trying to make friendly conversation, he has overstepped his bounds.

"Sorry," he hastens to add. "I saw the two of you together, and it seemed pretty… non-platonic…"

"Oh. It's okay." She takes a few seconds to gather herself. "Yeah, we're… Jimmy asked me out to dinner. I was a little thrown, but we've been enjoying spending time together, so--who knows, right?"

Ryan forces a smile. "Right." He glances toward the baristas as if expecting his drink to come out at any instant, but it does not. "I'm glad you're… I'm happy for you."

"Thanks, Ryan." There is something inscrutable about her expression--amusement, perhaps? "That means a lot."

"Of course."

"Ryan!" he hears from somewhere behind him, and he whips around immediately. 

"I should go grab that," he says.

"And I should go get the check before that kid drags his mom out of here. Just wanted to say hello, anyway."

"I'm happy that you did. Take care--and merry Christmas, if I don't see you before then."

"You, too, Ryan." And then, before she walks off, she gives him a squeeze on the arm.

Ryan forces himself to spin around and grab his drink from the bar, but that squeeze stays with him for the entire drive home.


After Molly gets off the phone, Tim offers to take the twins out for hot chocolate. Grateful to have the house to herself for a bit but also anxious about the impending visit, she tries to intertwine white Christmas lights with the garland on the banister, but when she comes to tangled section of the strand, she gives up on the enterprise entirely. Instead she fixes herself a cup of tea and sits on the stairs until the doorbell finally rings. 

"Come on in," she says to Philip.

"It's good to see you," he says, his gaze lingering on her. Molly turns away to close the door.

He wipes his shoes on the mat and slips them off. 

"Can I get you some tea?" she asks.

"No, I'm all right. Thank you."

An overwhelming awkwardness slithers and settles around Molly like an old winter coat, and judging by Philip's stiff posture, he feels it, too. 

"So," she says, unable to handle that oppressive feeling for very long at all.

  Molly Taylor

"So." He draws a great breath, as if preparing for some extreme physical feat. "I want to tell you again how sorry I am for lying to you. It's inexcusable. I made a horrible error in judgment, and it was disrespectful to you and to our relationship. I'm very sorry, Molly."

She allows his words to sink in. They are the right words, delivered in the right tone, and judging by the look on his face, they are sincere. She knows Philip; she knows he isn't running some long con on her. She can feel it.

"Thank you," is how she finally responds. There is too much going on in her head for her to process anything greater than that. 

He cocks his head, clearly awaiting more. 

"I want us to work through this," he says at last. "I want us to find a way, whatever it might be. What we have is special, Molly. We have a wedding planned for only a few weeks from now, and it's going to be the most wonderful moment of my life when I can finally call you my wife. You want that, too, don't you?"


She allows him to take her hands in his.

"Oh, thank goodness." Relief spreads over his face. "I love you, Molly. So much. And I hope that you can understand that I only did what I did because I wanted this family--this new family of ours--to work."

And that is the moment when it crystallizes for her. 

Philip must notice it, too--notice her hands go cold in his. "What is it?" he asks.

"I can't do it." The firmness of the statement surprises even Molly as it comes out of her.

"What do you mean?"

She pulls her hands away from him. "I loved Brent. We have two beautiful children together. And--"

"You're still in love with Brent?" he asks with horror.

"No. But I loved him. That was never in question. And I still ended our marriage."

"I don't see what this has to do with us."

"I divorced Brent because we had fundamentally different ideas about what it meant to keep our family safe," she says. "Everything he did back then was in the name of protecting the boys and me--but it was fanatical. All he did, in the course of that, was put us in more danger. But he was so blinded by his need to--I don't know, avenge everything Nick Moriani did--"

"I still don't follow."

"Brent put that need above his family, whether he saw it that way or not. And you did the same thing when you covered for Spencer."

Philip's eyes light up with--not quite rage, but something close. "I did it for us."

"No. You did it for you. You didn't want Spencer to be a problem in our marriage, so you swept something under the rug, even though I had every right to know about it. You would have brought him into this house, knowing full well that he could be dangerous to the boys or to me--"

"He isn't going to hack us all up in our sleep!"

"This isn't about Spencer. It's about you. You made a unilateral decision about what was best for all of us, and you would have kept it from me forever if you had your way. I won't do that again."

"Do what?"

"Go into that sort of marriage." She shakes her head, somehow needing the physical punctuation. "I can't marry you, Philip."

His whole body surges toward her. He stops short of grabbing her--proper as always--but he looms over her, bringing their faces close.

"Molly, please. I love you. And I know you love me."

At such close range, his handsomeness is nearly overwhelming; his strong jawline and deep-set eyes send her memory tumbling back to days curled up on the sofa, nights tangled in bedsheets. It takes every ounce of strength within her to say it anyway:

"I'm not going to marry you, Philip."

His entire form shrinks away, the same as if she had just delivered some devastating blow to his midsection. 

"You can't mean that," he chokes out.

"I do. I'm sorry." She cannot keep looking at him right now. "I think you should go."


"Please. Go."

She retreats to the kitchen, clinging to her resolve by the thinnest of strings. Her eyes well up as she listens to him put his shoes back on. But only when the door closes behind him does she allow the tears to fall. Such a large part of her wants to run after him, tell him that she was wrong and that he should not leave, but she knows, deep in her core, that this is the right decision for her to make, as a woman and as a mother, and so she stays in that kitchen, doubled over as she waits for the tears and the pain to pass.


Will Molly regret her decision?
Will Philip attempt to win her back before the wedding date?
Should Ryan give up on Danielle for good?
Will Natalie behave at the New Year's Eve party?
Discuss it all in the Footprints Forum now!

Next Episode



Friday, Dec. 12, 2014

For a printable version,
click here.

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