Episode #764

- Liam learned that, while he and Trevor were engaged, Trevor slept with Alex. Liam's agent contacted the movie studio and negotiated to have Alex removed as a co-writer of their film. 
- Sarah and Matt announced their engagement to family and friends. 
- The medical examiner told Brent that there is no way to perform DNA testing to prove that the body that was cremated years ago was actually Shannon Parish. Meanwhile, Jason received word that a woman calling herself Sabrina Gage wanted to see him. 


"There's some woman here to see you," Tempest Banks says, a solemn expression on her face as she stands in the doorway of the office, "and she says her name is Sabrina Gage."

The mere mention of that name casts a deathly chill over the room. Jason Fisher swallows hard, struggling to process this alarming piece of information, and glances over at Ryan Moriani.

"Is it her?" Jason asks. The question sounds ridiculous to his ears, like the sight of one's own body twisted grotesquely by a funhouse mirror. 

"I don't know." Tempest looks to her left, presumably at this person, whoever she is. "I wasn't here when--"

"I'm calling the police," Ryan says. He already has the handset in his grip. 

A stampede of footsteps sounds from outside, the familiar clatter of feet quickly ascending the staircase. 

"You don't need to call the police," says a woman's voice. It is not one that Jason readily recognizes.

And then she is there: a face he does not recognize, not even as he searches it; dark hair that falls to her shoulders; a small frame--short, not leggy, the way he remembers Shannon being.

"I'm not here to hurt anyone," she says. Her attention steers back and forth between the two men before landing on Jason. "Are you Jason Fisher?"

"Yeah." His entire body has tensed, muscles that were pliable only moments ago now turned to concrete. "What is this? Some kind of sick joke?"

"No. I have questions for you."

"I'm the one with questions," Jason says. "For starters, who the hell are you, really?"


The elevator rises through the hotel at an excruciatingly slow rate, pausing to pick up passengers twice before it mercifully arrives at the tenth floor. Alex Marshall flies through the doors the millisecond after they part and pounds a path down the hallway and around a corner. He hesitates only once he reaches the door of room 1013, his earlier conversation with Tim Fisher blazing through his mind. 

"Liam doesn't want to step back from the project. He wants you off it."

With a deep breath, Alex brings his hand up and knocks.

The wait seems to last another eternity. He strains to listen through the door and thinks that he hears movement inside the room. Finally, there is the unmistakable clack of the bolt being undone. Alex braces as the door opens.

Liam Cassel's expression darkens as he takes in the sight of his visitor.

"Hey," Alex says. "I was hoping we could--"

"I don't have time. I'm sorry."

"Liam. Come on."

The other man does not respond, but he does not slam the door, either. 

"I am so sorry about what happened," Alex says. "I've been a bad friend to you. I should have told you what happened between Trevor and me. I guess I felt caught, and I found a way to justify keeping my mouth shut…"

"Because you didn't want me to know."

"Because--" Alex cuts himself off as a bellhop comes down the hallway. The bellhop offers an annoyingly friendly grin. Alex's mouth twitches as it tries to respond in kind. 

"Can I come in?" he asks Liam.

Instead of answering, Liam steps aside, as if he's long been resigned to having to endure this conversation. Alex enters the room, and his gaze falls upon the open suitcase and the small stacks of clothing on the bed.

"You're checking out?"

"I have a flight this afternoon," Liam says.

"Where are you going?" 

Liam averts Alex's eyes and moves toward the bed, where he moves one of the stacks of clothes into the suitcase. 

"I hope you aren't leaving because of me," Alex says. "I really have come to consider you a friend--"

"Friends don't do what you did!"

"And they don't do what you did, either."

"I'm looking out for my professional interests," Liam says. "If I can't trust you on a personal level, why should I leave my career in your hands?"

"I am sincerely, truly sorry," Alex says, hoping that this shows through. "I'm sorry you got hurt, I'm sorry Trevor called off the wedding, and I'm so, so sorry that I slept with him. I completely understand why you're furious with me."

Liam turns to him. "Good."

"I swear," Alex presses on, "I had no idea Trevor was engaged. I ran into him, we had some drinks, we went back to the hotel… and I didn't know anything about a fiancé until he introduced you at the wedding the next day."

He sees that land on Liam, reactions brewing like storm clouds not quite ready to burst. 

Alex pushes through, desperate to make his point. "I never would have slept with him if I'd known. And through getting to know you and work with you, I've really come to value your friendship. I didn't want you to get any more hurt than you had to--and I didn't want to be the reason your engagement fell apart. Please, Liam. You have to believe me."


"Sorry I'm late," Diane Bishop says as she removes her coat. "I got held up at the station."

Paula Fisher rises from her seat at the head of the dining room table. "It's no trouble at all. We were just going through some things on this--what do you call it?"

"Pinterest," Sarah Fisher says with a laugh. 

"Can I get you any coffee?" Paula asks Diane.

"I've had so much already that my heart's liable to explode before we finish here. I'll stick to water."

As Paula pours her a glass of water from the pitcher on the table, Diane hangs her coat on the back of one of the chairs and then sits down beside Sarah.

"I was just showing my mom this dress," Sarah says, turning her laptop slightly toward Diane. "The shop says they can do the alterations quickly, since we're working with such a short timeframe…"

Diane tilts her head as she studies the dress.

"You don't like it?" Sarah asks.

"No, I think I do. I'm not sure about this--" Diane swipes a finger over the beading on the bust of the white dress.

"I still think you should ask your sister if she can help," Paula says. "I'm sure she would be able to have a dress made for you in no time at all."

Sarah casts a dubious look down the table. "Mom. No. I'm not asking Molly for a wedding dress."

Paula sets down her coffee cup. "Why in the world not?"

"Because she just called off her own wedding. And also because she married my damn ex-husband."

"It was a little more complicated than that," Paula says.

Sarah just groans and returns her attention to the screen. "What about this dress?"

"Isn't it a little plain?" Diane says. 

"I like the simplicity," Paula chimes in. "This isn't exactly your first trip down the aisle."

"So what?" Diane challenges before Sarah can get a word of her own in. "It's your wedding. You're not planning on having another one after this, are you?"

"No!" Sarah says.

Paula shakes her head. "I would hope not!"

"My point," Diane says, her long fingernails drumming on the tabletop, "is that this is a day for you and Matt to celebrate that this is really it. You guys did it. You made it. So celebrate. Don't hold yourself back because of convention or because it isn't your first wedding."

Sarah clicks on another dress, unsure what to think.

"Diane, you have a point," Paula concedes. "Honey, you should have whatever you'll feel most beautiful in. This is your special day." 

Sarah takes that in, and she feels a weight lifting off herself--a weight she didn't even realize was there until just now.

"Okay," she says, scrolling down the page. "Then can I show you guys one that I really like?"

The tension of a moment ago is forgotten as oohs and aahs fill the house, the excitement of the upcoming nuptials fully overtaking all three women. 


The woman's dark, intense eyes narrow at Jason.

"This is insane," Ryan proclaims. The next sound anyone hears is the electronic squawking of the buttons on his phone. "Hi, this is Ryan Moriani up in the office…"

As he continues his call, their visitor focuses on Jason. "Mr. Fisher. Please listen. I'm telling the truth--my name is Sabrina Gage."

"Sabrina Gage is dead," Jason says, "and she wasn't a real person to begin with--"

"Yes, she was! She is. That crazy woman--she stole my name. My identity."

Realization washes over Jason. He doesn't know if he should trust this person or why in the world she is here, but she is right: there was a Sabrina Gage. Lauren and Josh told him all about her. 

"She's in a coma," he says, "or a, a vegetative state. In Iowa."

"I was. I woke up two and a half years ago."

"The police are coming," Ryan says as he sets down the receiver, hard.

Jason barely hears any of it. He is too focused on this woman, this phantom from the worst time of his life, to take in anything else.

"What are you doing here?" he says.

"I don't want to upset you," she says, taking a tentative step forward into the office. Tempest remains in the doorway, watching the woman's back as if ready to pounce at the slightest hint of danger. "That's why I put off coming for so long. When I woke up--they waited a long time to tell me what had happened. That there was some person out there who had used my name and killed someone."

"That someone was my wife."

"I know. That's why I never contacted you. Even though it's been a--" She stops, seemingly unsure of her word choice, and then blows into the next thought altogether. "I was declared legally dead after she died. She was using my Social Security number, and there was some mix-up in how it all got processed--I don't know. I still don't have a credit card in my own name because of what she did. And I was never going to drag you into it, not after what you went through, but I was finally up for a job last week, and even though I explained the identity theft, they did a background check and found out that someone had filed a petition to exhume my body."

"Not your body. Hers." Jason doesn't know why he feels the need to be defensive, if this woman is who she says she is--but the fact that she bears that name is probably all the explanation he needs.

"That's the problem," she says. "Legally, she is me. I didn't get the job--I think it was just too crazy for them to even deal with."

"Why are you telling me this?" Jason asks, unable to stop from raising his voice. 

"Because." She forces him to make eye contact with her. "I need your help."


Alex feels like he is going to go insane awaiting Liam's verdict.

"Are you going back home? To see your family?" he asks, unable to stand the silence.

"No." Liam picks up another small pile of folded shirts. "Los Angeles."

The information strikes Alex like a punch to the face. "Oh. Are you…?"

"I need to be there for meetings and such. The studio is eager to move into pre-production."

"This is my story," Alex says. "It's my book. I cowrote the script with you--"

"And you're going to get credit for that. Your name will be a part of the writing credits. You'll be paid fairly."

"It's literally my life!" Alex shouts. "You can't do this."

"Actually, I can. And I have." Liam quickly moves the remainder of his clothes into the suitcase. "I'm sorry, Alex, but this is really what's best."

"How can you say that?"

"Because you are a liar and a fraud and I no longer want to work with you."


"No." Liam snaps around sharply. "I'm not going to change my mind on this."

Alex watches in a daze as Liam zips up the suitcase. 

"We're friends," he pleads. "I know you're upset, but we've been good friends. I was there for you after Trevor called off the wedding--"

"You were lying to my bloody face!"

"I was not lying."

"Yes, you were."

"So because I made an error in judgment, I have to sit here and twiddle my thumbs while you go to Hollywood and turn my personal story into a movie?"

"Yes." Liam heaves the suitcase off the bed, setting it on the floor with a decisive thud. "I'm the screenwriter, Alex. You're the novelist who helped me adapt your work for the screen. It's a shame you had so much trouble letting go of the source material and make the process so difficult."

Alex feels as if the ground is turning to water beneath him. "That's a lie."

"And now you know how it feels." Liam crosses and yanks the door open. "Now I'm going to have to ask you to leave. I'm headed for the airport shortly."


"Goodbye, Alex."

Reluctantly, Alex walks to the door, but he gets in a parting shot. "This isn't over."

"Keep telling yourself that," Liam says with a sneer, and as soon as Alex crosses the threshold, Liam lets the door slam closed. Its echo bounces around the big, empty corridor, surrounding Alex as the reality of what just happened sinks in. 


"What could I possibly do for you?" Jason asks. "Why should I even believe you are who you say you are?"

She reaches for her purse, and Jason flinches.

"Hold it!" Ryan says as he darts out from behind the desk. Tempest follows his lead and advances on the woman, as well. 

But a split-second later, she is pulling out not a weapon, but her wallet. She holds out something that, as Jason calms down, he quickly recognizes as a driver's license. Ryan and Tempest both freeze in their places.

"Here," she says. "Look."

Cautiously, Jason moves forward and takes the ID to inspect it. Though the format of the Iowa license isn't immediately familiar to him, it looks legitimate--and her name is right there: Sabrina Elizabeth Gage.

"How do I even know this is real?" he says as he hands it back to her.

She sighs. "I don't know. I'm not sure what else to say. Do you want to speak to my mother? Your friends came to see me--they could identify me."

"What do you even want from me?" Jason asks. 

"Your help. That's all. I need a statement for a judge that I am not the same woman who came here and tortured you and--" She stops short, mid-thought; Jason can see the reluctance to bring up his wife's murder again, and he is momentarily grateful until his mind again flashes to that horrible name printed on her ID.

"I don't know," he mumbles.

He sees her face drop and a protest mounting, but before she can get it out, another voice sounds from the doorway:

"Hands up!"

All four heads turn, and all four sets of arms fly up--Tempest's, then Ryan's, then Jason's, and finally this woman, Sabrina, whoever she is, her face stretched and contorted with confusion at the sight of the police officer at the door.

Jason sees that it is Officer Jimenez, one of the members of the King's Bay PD who has been assigned to keep an eye on him wherever he goes until Sandy's killer is caught. Jimenez moves past Tempest and approaches the visitor.

"What's going on?" the dark-haired stranger asks. "I said you didn't need to call the police. I'm who I say I am--"

"Save it," Jimenez says, "at least until you have your lawyer present. You have the right to remain silent…"


Is this woman who she says she is?
Could she have anything to do with Sandy's death?
Is there anything else Alex can do about Liam?
Come on over to the Footprints Forum to discuss now!

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