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


- King’s Bay gathered at the Edge of Winter Arena for Jason’s New Year’s Eve fundraiser party.
- When Jimmy came to surprise Danielle on New Year’s Eve, she told him that she thinks it’s best if they remain friends.
- Jason revealed to his late wife Courtney’s parents that he has begun seeing Natalie, and Helen was less than pleased by the news.
- Tempest opened up to Samantha about how Annie broke up with her. Fueled by impulse and alcohol, Samantha kissed Tempest--just as Diane walked around the corner and saw them.

Edge of Winter Arena

The sounds of music and conversation from the New Year’s Eve party are difficult to miss, but in one back hallway of the arena, two young women might as well be on another continent.

“Where’d that come from?” Tempest Banks asks, both incredulous and amused, when she and Samantha Fisher’s mouths part.

Samantha’s cheeks flare bright pink. “I don’t know. I guess I wanted to do it.”


This time, Tempest is the one to initiate their kiss, and when Samantha feels a tongue dart past her lips, she wonders why hasn’t done this sooner. The girls are so caught up in their kiss that neither notices Diane Bishop start around the corner, freeze in her tracks, and then back away in shock.

It is only after several seconds of standing there, her mind racing, that Diane realizes she must remind her body to start breathing again.

Samantha? And that girl? she wonders, thoughts crashing around in her head like runaway bumper cars.

She shakes her head loose enough to move back in the direction of the party, but she is still barely cognizant of her surroundings when she almost bumps right into Travis Fisher.

“Did you find Sam?” he asks.

“Oh. She…” Diane struggles to push past the disbelief that has wrapped itself around her like the overgrown tendrils of some wildly growing, ominous plant. “They must’ve gone outside. I’ll catch up with her later. It isn’t important.”

“Oh. Okay. Cool.” Travis turns back to the group of coworkers with whom he has been chatting, and Diane hurries away from the scene, desperate to get back to the party before Samantha has any idea that her mother was around to witness that kiss.

* * * * *

It takes another full minute for the girls to separate again. Samantha’s gaze reflexively drops to the ground between them and settles on the tips of the uncomfortable black heels that she chose to wear tonight.

“That was something,” Tempest says. When Samantha doesn’t respond immediately, Tempest reaches for her hand, and Sam feels the rough skin of the other girl’s palm twisting into her own.

“You okay?” Tempest asks.

Samantha forces herself to nod. She is okay. They kissed--made out--and the world hasn’t ended. But everything seems to be moving in a sort of painful slow motion, as if her brain and body are trapped in quicksand and she can’t get either to move any faster.

  Samantha Fisher

“I am,” she is finally able to say. “That was just… I didn’t expect that to happen.”

“Seemed like you liked it.”

“I…” Samantha feels her head nodding. “Yeah. I think I did.”

“Good.” Tempest squeezes her hand. “But look, no pressure or anything.”

“Okay. Thanks.”

Tempest withdraws her hand, and Samantha feels something inside her nearly jump up and call out, Don’t go!

“I’m gonna go back to the party,” Tempest says. “Come find me if you want.”

* * * * *

“I think we’ll easily exceed our fundraising goal,” Ryan Moriani says as he swirls the club soda in his plastic cup.

“That’s fantastic,” his mother replies with a warm smile. “I’m sure Courtney would be so happy to see how many kids this program is helping.”

“I hope she would.” Ryan lifts the cup to his mouth but pauses when he notices a blonde woman entering through the arena’s front doors. “Would you excuse me for a minute?”

Paula glances toward the entry and sees Danielle Taylor, in her black dress and upswept hair. She pats Ryan on the arm. “Go right ahead. I’m going to see how Molly’s doing.”

Ryan moves quickly to greet Danielle, who lights up at the sight of him.

“I’m so glad you made it,” he says.

“Did Molly tell you what happened?”

Ryan’s face creases with concern. “No. She just said you were held up and would be running a little late. Is everything all right?”

“Yes. Yes,” Danielle says, nodding emphatically. “Actually… Jimmy surprised me by coming to the house tonight.”

Ryan is not sure how to react to that, though he feels his insides sink a little. “Oh. Is he… also coming?”

“No. I stayed behind to talk to him for a few minutes, though. I told him that I thought we should stay friends--and nothing more.”

“Oh. Wow.” Ryan tells himself not to let his sudden inward joy show too clearly on the outside. “How do you feel about that?”

“I think it was the right decision.” Her expression brightens again. “Ryan, I want to ring in the new year with you.”

He allows the last of the barrier to fall and grins broadly. “That’s exactly what I want.”

“Good.” She slips her arm around his. “Now show me where to get a glass of water, and then let’s enjoy ourselves.”

* * * * *

“Ryan looks happy,” Sandy James observes as she sweeps up beside Jason Fisher and Natalie Bishop.

“Very,” Jason says as he watches his brother escort Danielle deeper into the party. “I didn’t know he and Danielle were on such good terms again.”

“Isn’t that the one he almost married?” Natalie asks, scowling slightly.

Jason raises his eyebrows. “Yeah, until someone made a scene and fell into the wedding cake.”

“Hey, I’m not the one who eloped with him and caused that whole mess.” Natalie throws back a swig of her wine. “You can blame my sister for that.”

“Regardless,” Sandy says, ever the teacher trying to keep things on-track, “they look very happy now.”

“Yeah,” Jason says. “I feel bad interrupting him.”

  Jason Fisher

“Why? Is something wrong?” Sandy asks.

“No. I just need him to go up to the A/V booth and make sure everything is set for the video presentation before we start dinner.”

“Oh, I can do that.” Sandy glances over the ice toward the booth, which sits up beside Jason’s office on the exposed second floor. “Just tell me what you need.”

“Are you sure?” Jason says. “I can go--”

“No. You guys enjoy the party.”

“Thanks, Sandy.” He looks at the navy blue wrap around her shoulders and the bare tops of her arms. “Do you have a coat? You can grab my arena jacket out of the coaches’ dressing room if you want. It’s probably freezing upstairs.”

“Good call. I’ll do that,” she says. “I’ll go check in a minute.”

“Great. And I’ll start moving people toward their seats for dinner.” He places a hand on Natalie’s arm. “Can you help with that?”

“Just tell me what to do,” Natalie says as they move off.

* * * * *

As word spreads that dinner is ready to be served, partygoers move onto the ice surface, where black carpet now covers the ice so that people can walk between the tables draped in pristine white linens. Travis and his coworkers from Thaw are making their way toward the ice when he spots his younger cousin coming through the arena’s doors with three other girls.

“There you are,” he calls to Tori Gray, summoning her over. “Your mom and dad were just looking for you.”

“Oh. We just went outside for a minute.”

Travis takes note of the glassy look in her eyes, which are also a little bloodshot. This only confirms what he thought he smelled when she approached.

“You reek of weed,” he says, leaning in close to her long chestnut hair, where the scent is even more noticeable.

Tori pulls back, her mouth open. “What?”

“I’m not an idiot,” he says quietly. He looks at the three friends behind her, all wearing similarly skimpy party dresses. “Do you have, like, perfume in your purse or something?”

“I don’t carry perfume around in my purse,” she says, pronounced irritation in her voice.

  Tori Gray

“Well, your mom used to be a cop. She knows that smell.” Again he looks at the other girls, all of whom he recognizes as longtime friends of Tori’s. One of the Felicias--Fee C., he is pretty sure--has eyes that are totally bloodshot. “Here, come into the coffee shop with me. I have some Clear Eyes in the back room.”

Tori looks like she’s about to protest.

“Or don’t,” he says, throwing up his hands. “Just trying to help.”

“Okay, fine.” She groans, and then she and the three friends fall into step behind him and follow him to Thaw.

* * * * *

Seated at the dinner table, Diane is distantly aware of the salad being placed in front of her. Though she tells herself not to stare, she cannot help but continue to glance over at the table where Samantha is seated with Bill and Paula, Travis, Claire--and Tempest. The two young women seem to be behaving perfectly normally, but Diane keeps trying to see signs of something deeper. How long has this been going on between them? She thinks back to the way they were hanging out and chatting on Thanksgiving and Christmas at the Fishers’. Were they sneaking off to make out then, too?

“Earth to Diane,” Alex Marshall says from the seat beside her. “You okay?”

“Yeah. I must’ve hit the red wine a little too hard. That stuff makes me so sleepy.”

“Well, you have to make it to midnight tonight,” Alex says.

Diane picks up her fork and smiles at him. “Don’t worry about me.”

“Besides, we have to celebrate,” Sarah Fisher says from across the table, holding up her left hand--and the stunning ring upon it.

“I’m glad I don’t have to keep that to myself anymore!” Diane says. She can tell how genuinely happy Sarah and Matt are about their engagement, and the good news is a welcome distraction from the matters otherwise fogging up Diane’s head.

She eats her arugula salad and tries to focus on the conversations taking place around the table: Sarah and Matt talking about their ideas for wedding plans; Alex explaining that he went a little over-the-top buying Christmas presents for Billy and Sophie. When the pairs at the table seem to float off into more private conversations, Diane swallows a lump in her throat and leans over to Alex.

“No date tonight?” she asks.

He finishes the final bite of his salad. “Nah. Cameron and I kind of cooled it. I haven’t even thought of trying to meet someone else, honestly.”

“I hear you on that.” She takes another bite of her own salad and chews thoughtfully. “Can I ask you kind of a personal question?”

Alex lets out a little chuckle. “I know you well enough to know that you’re gonna ask anyway. What’s up?”

She opens her mouth to start speaking but cannot find the proper words.

“You know what? Never mind.” She goes back to eating.

“No, you’re allowed to ask. Is something wrong?”

She finishes chewing. “No. Just thinking about something.”

“Does this have anything to do with Samantha?”

Diane stops cold and has to tighten her grip to keep from dropping the fork onto her plate. “What? No--why would you--”

“You’ve been looking over there all night like you expected her to burst into flames.” When Diane does not quickly respond, Alex adds with a knowing look, “If there’s ever anything you want to talk about, you can call me up. Okay?”

Diane looks across the way to see Samantha and Tempest clinking their glasses together in some kind of toast.

“Thanks, Alex,” she says.

* * * * *

“Thank you,” Jason says as a member of the waitstaff takes his empty salad plate from the table.

“Is it time for the video?” Natalie asks from beside him once her own plate is cleared.

“Yeah.” Jason glances around. “I don’t see Sandy. She must be up there checking the DVD now.”

He stands and looks up toward the A/V booth, but it is dark up there, and he cannot see Sandy through the window.

“I wonder where she is,” he says.

Across the table, Ryan rises to his feet. “Why don’t I go check?”

“You don’t have to,” Jason says.

Ryan sets his napkin on the table. “It’s fine! I’ll be right back.” He squeezes Danielle’s shoulder and then sets off over the carpet to exit the ice.

  Ryan Moriani

“Looks like you guys are enjoying yourselves,” Jason comments to Danielle once Ryan has gone.

Danielle looks after her date, unable to wipe the grin from her lips. “Yeah. I think 2015 is going to be a very good year.”

Jason feels a hand on his shoulder and turns to see Don Chase standing there.

“Everything okay?” Jason asks his former father-in-law.

“I’m sure it is, yes,” Don says. “You haven’t by any chance seen Helen in the past few minutes, have you?”

Jason shakes his head. “Can’t say that I have.”

“Maybe that’s a good thing,” Don says, widening his eyes with exasperation. He looks from Jason to Natalie. “I’m sorry about Helen’s reaction before. She just misses Courtney so much. I’m sure it seems to her like this is somehow going to erase our daughter’s memory. She’ll come around.”

“I know she will,” Jason says, knowing it is the polite thing to say even though he is not quite convinced that Helen will.

“I hope you’re both enjoying your night,” Don tells them. “I’m going to go track down my wife.”

* * * * *

Ryan climbs the stairs up to the second floor, shivering slightly through his suit jacket now that he is away from the plentiful heat lamps set out throughout the party. When he reaches the top of the stairs, he sees no light coming from beneath the closed door of the A/V booth--but that is not surprising, since the room is seldom fully lit up.

“Sandy?” he asks, first knocking lightly on the door and then trying the knob. It turns, and he pushes the door open.

At first, he sees nothing but darkness and the lights from the various machines. He decides that he might as well make sure the DVD is ready to go and walks toward the control panel--but when his feet strikes something, he stops in his tracks and looks down.

And that is when all oxygen seems to leave his body. Horrified, he covers his mouth and slowly backs up.

But he cannot take his eyes off the lifeless form of Sandy James--sprawled on the floor and covered in what Ryan is certain must be, despite the darkness of the room, blood.


What could have happened to Sandy?
Should Diane speak to Samantha about what she saw?
Is Tori headed down a bad path?
Join us in the Footprints Forum to discuss it all now!

Next Episode



Wed., January 07, 2015

For a printable version,
click here.

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