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- Travis jumped in to assist Bill in the kitchen when his sous chef for the wedding reception fell ill.
- Claire realized that the date Tempest told her about might have been with Samantha.
- Shortly before the wedding, Molly accidentally locked the door to the walk-in freezer while Sarah and Tori were inside. When they got out, Sarah tore into Molly and claimed she had done it on purpose to ruin the wedding.
- Sarah and Matt were remarried in front of family and friends.

Harbor Boulevard

Outside, the sun has sunken down behind the horizon, leaving the city in darkness. Inside the restaurant, the lights are dimmed, and the waitstaff moves among the tables, placing slices of wedding cake and filling coffee cups. Many of the guests, however, have already moved to the makeshift dance floor beside the wall of windows that look out into the King's Bay streets.

Travis Fisher stands hunched over his spot at the dinner table, shoveling an oversized forkful of the chocolate cake into his mouth. 

"Did you enjoy dinner?" his grandmother asks from behind him.

His mouth full of cake, Travis turns and nods. "I guess," comes his garbled answer.

"Well, I thought it was fantastic," Paula says, beaming. "My compliments to the chefs."

He finishes chewing. "I didn't do that much--"

"I beg to differ," Bill Fisher says as he steps up from behind his wife. "You're a natural. And I couldn't have pulled off this reception without you."

Travis shrugs, but before he can produce another bashful response, his young cousin rushes up to him and tugs on his hand. 

  Travis Fisher

"Come on! It's 'Happy,'" Sophie says. "We have to dance!"

"You'd better listen to the young lady," Bill says with a laugh. 

"One more bite of cake," Travis tells Sophie, but as soon as he scoops it into his mouth, the little girl is dragging him back to the dance floor.

Bill wraps an arm around Paula as they watch Travis try to keep up with Sophie's hyperactive dance moves. Beside them, Sarah stands in her wedding dress, bopping to the music and laughing as Billy runs in circles around her. Samantha waits on the edge of the floor as Tempest shows--or tries to show--Caleb and Christian some kind of dance move that Christian is picking up much more easily than Caleb appears to be. And even though they are only a few feet away, Jason and Natalie might as well be in a different zip code, given that they are completely focused on each other and don't seem to be aware of anyone else.

"What a lovely night," Paula says as she leans back into Bill. 

"I agree… aside from Sarah nearly strangling Molly before."

"Yes, there was that. But she looks so happy now. I'm so glad she and Matt found their way back together."

"I know." Bill squeezes her shoulder. "Look at what we've done."

"What do you mean?"

"Look at how happy they all are. That's our family. We did this."

"Yeah," Paula says, feeling a smile curl her lips. "We did."

* * * * *

"There, you're getting it," Tempest Banks says as she watches Christian trying to put together the footwork and the hip move she has been trying to show him and Caleb. His brother, on the other hand, doesn't appear to have a coordinated bone in his body. 

The Pharrell song ends, shifting abruptly into a ballad that Tempest vaguely recognizes. The twins hurry to evacuate the dance floor as all the couples come together for a slow dance.

"I'd ask you to dance if we were someplace else," Tempest whispers to Samantha, who has been watching the impromptu dance lesson with amusement.

Even in the dim light, she can see Samantha blush. "That's okay. I'm gonna go try that wedding cake."

"Cool. Me, too. Meet me back here when the music gets good again," Tempest says, and the girls go their separate ways. Tempest heads for the table where she was seated during dinner, where Claire is enjoying her cake and coffee while talking with the best man.

"You look like you're having fun out there," Claire says as Tempest returns to her seat.

"Yeah, and Christian isn't a total lost cause," Tempest says, picking up her fork. "I dunno about Caleb, though."

Claire and Jake laugh.

"I see my wife lingering over by the dancefloor," Jake says. "I should go grab her before we miss too much of the song." He slips away from the table as Tempest digs into her wedding cake.

Claire leans in toward Tempest. "I was thinking about something."

Mid-chew, Tempest turns. "Huh?"

"Our road trip to the San Juans next weekend."

"You still wanna go, right?"

"Of course! I was just thinking… if you wanted to invite anyone along, that would be okay."

"Like who?"

"I don't know. Samantha?"

Tempest hesitates, her fork frozen in mid-air as her heartbeat escalates. "Really?"

"Yeah. I know you guys are close. It'd be fun to have her along. And I booked two rooms at that bed-and-breakfast, so you and she could share. That would be okay, wouldn't it?"

"Yeah." Tempest's breathing eases. "That would be cool. Thanks."

"It's my pleasure," Claire says with a smile.

* * * * *

Sarah rests her head on Matt's shoulder as the slow dance winds down. 

"Wound up being a pretty great wedding after all, huh?" Matt says as they sway back and forth.

"Yeah." Sarah pulls back to look up at him. "It has." She gives him a kiss just as the song ends and the DJ kicks into Sister Sledge's "We Are Family."

"Okay, that's all the dancing you're getting out of me for now," Matt says with a grin. "Wanna go get another glass of champagne?"

"Nah, I'll stay out here. The babysitter is going to be here to take Billy home soon, and I want to get in as much dancing with him as I can." 

Matt heads to the bar, and Sarah watches as Tori holds Billy's hands and tries to corral him into actual dancing. 

"Congratulations," Ryan Moriani says as he and Danielle Taylor come up beside Sarah. "Having fun?"

  Sarah Fisher

"I am. Thanks." Sarah hugs her brother and then holds out a hand to Danielle. "And I need to thank you, too, Danielle."

Danielle tilts her head curiously. "Why?"

"For being here. I know this has to be a little awkward for you…" Sarah trails off, thinking it best to leave Danielle's history with her new husband unspoken. "But I'm glad you're here with Ryan. You make him really happy."

"He makes me happy, too," Danielle says as she knots her fingers together with Ryan's. "Congratulations, Sarah. I wish you and Matt nothing but the best. I hope you know that."


Ryan looks at Danielle. "Could you give me a second alone with my sister?"

"Yeah, of course. I could use some coffee, actually." 

As Danielle makes her exit, Ryan leads Sarah to the edge of the dance floor.

"Is everything okay?" the bride asks.

"Yeah. I just wanted to say--" Ryan hesitates, letting the music fill the space between them until he can choose his words. "I think you might owe Molly a little apology."

"She locked me in the freezer! On my wedding day!"

"She didn't know you were in there, Sarah."

Instead of responding, Sarah simply purses her lips and huffs.

"All I mean is… you got your wedding," he continues. "You and Matt have your happy ending. Molly's still struggling with what happened with Philip, and on a day where she just wanted to lay low and quietly support you…"

"Okay, I kind of lost my cool. I know."

"You guys are so lucky to have each other, even if it doesn't always seem like such a good thing," Ryan says. "I look at the four of you and wonder what my life would've been like if I had been raised with you, really been a part of things, you know? And then when I did get the chance to know you, I had to go ahead and make Tim the enemy, throw him under the bus, and it almost cost me your entire family. So maybe I'm speaking out of turn, but it's tough to see you guys at war that way--and to see you taking it for granted."

Sarah folds her arms. "You're right."

Ryan breathes a sigh of relief.

"You're also a huge know-it-all," she says with a grin, "but in this case, you're right." Unfolding her arms, she gives him a hug.

* * * * *

Tempest finds Samantha at her table, finishing her slice of the chocolate cake and half-listening to a conversation between Diane and Tim.

"Hey," Tempest says as she slides into the chair beside Samantha. 

"Hi, Tempest," Tim says. "Having fun?"

"Yeah. Great wedding," Tempest says. She feels Diane's eyes boring into her, but no greeting accompanies the stare. Instead Tempest focuses on Sam. "Got a question for you."

"I'm still not dancing," Samantha says.

"Not that. Claire and I are gonna go on this, like, road trip thing next weekend--I've never been out to those San Juan Islands or whatever, and she says it's awesome, and she just said I should invite you, so--this is me inviting you."

"Oh, that'll be nice," Tim says cheerily. "We took Samantha on a trip to Orcas Island when she was younger. I remember she wasn't a big fan of the ferry--"

"Dad!" Samantha says through a groan, covering her face.

"She got a little sick during the ferry ride," Tim explains. "But I'm sure she'll be better this time. And it's beautiful out there."

"Yeah, it sounds fun," Samantha says. "And I promise I'm not going to get sick."

"You better not!" Tempest laughs. "Cool. I'm gonna go tell Claire you're coming." She jets off across the room.

"That's nice of Claire, isn't it?" Tim says. 

"Yeah, what a saint," Diane says with a roll of the eyes.

* * * * *

Sarah eyes Molly from a distance for a long while, watching as she chats with Jason and Natalie. When Jason leads Natalie off toward the bar, Sarah takes a deep breath and darts toward her sister.

"Molly. Hey," she says.

Molly turns with a  startled expression, which Sarah can quickly see her trying to cover. "Sarah, I just want you and Matt to enjoy your night. I don't want any--"

"That's what I want to talk to you about. I mean, I want you to enjoy your night, too." 

"I'm fine."

"Okay, but… I'm sorry, okay? It was wrong of me to blow up at you the way I did earlier. I was freaked out about something going wrong today, and when we got locked in there, I just felt--it took me back to what happened at the last wedding, and then I realized it was you who'd locked the door--"

"I swear. I did not mean to lock you in there," Molly says as she picks up her glass of red wine from the table beside them.

"I know. I believe you. I'm sorry I blew up. It was inappropriate. I'm glad you stayed, and I hope you're having a nice time."

"I am. Thank you. For that and for apologizing."

"Okay. Good." Awkwardness lingers over them; it always feels like this, somehow, after all these years, after all that they have gone through. Maybe it will always feel this way, Sarah thinks. 

"Well, thank you," Molly says. "Congratulations to you and Matt. Seriously."

"Thanks, Molly."

"I'm going to go track down my sons before they destroy anything. Enjoy the rest of your reception, okay?"

"I will."

Wine glass in hand, Molly moves off. Sarah watches her go and then redirects her attention toward the dance floor, where the party is still very much in progress, and resolves to make the most of what remains of her night.

* * * * *

"What's this all about?" Danielle asks as Ryan ushers her out the restaurant's front door. "I'm not ready to leave yet."

"We aren't leaving." Taking her hand, he leads her toward the shrubs that separate the parking lot from the street. "I just wanted to talk to you."

"We could talk in there. Where it isn't freezing."

"I suppose. Here." He sets his club soda down on the curb, slips off his suit jacket, and slides it over her shoulders. "Better?"

"Much. Now what's so important?"

"You're going to think I'm insane--"

"What makes you think I don't already?"

  Ryan Moriani

"Funny." Ryan picks up his glass from the curb. "Sometimes it still shocks me that we found our way back together."

"If it shocks you, think about how I feel."

"I can only imagine. And that's kind of what I want to talk about…"

Danielle's brow furrows. "Ryan. Is something wrong?"

"No. Not at all! What I did to you, though… it's this enormous blemish on our relationship, the way I ruined our wedding so badly. Tonight has really made me think about it."

"You can't change the past. You can only make things better going forward."

"Exactly." Ryan's stomach does a somersault. "Danielle, I'm so sorry that we wasted all that time because I wasn't in control of my life. But I am now. I love you so much, and I want to be with you."

"You are with me."

"I know, but…" He exhales heavily. "I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I know this is impromptu and weird and maybe it's crazy, but I want to marry you. For real this time. What do you say?" He drops to one knee, feeling the hard cement beneath the thin material of his suit pants. "Danielle Taylor, will you be my wife?"

Her hands rise up to cover her mouth. "Oh my god. Ryan."

"That isn't an answer," he says, suddenly wondering if this wonderful, romantic impulse was actually a terrible mistake.

"Yes." She lets out a giggle as Ryan springs to his feet. "I can't believe I'm saying this, but yes. I'll marry you."

Ryan presses his lips against hers, needing the contact to believe that this moment is real.

"We're--we're getting married," he says, his words broken up by an incredulous laugh. "I don't even have a ring for you--I wasn't planning--" An idea hits him. "Wait."

"What are you doing?"

He sets the glass down on the sidewalk again, but not before taking the thin black cocktail straw out of it. He deftly bends it into a circles and ties a big knot in it.

"Here," he says as he takes her hand and slides the straw around it. "This is your ring for the time being. The knot sort of looks like a diamond, doesn't it?"

She admires the makeshift jewelry. "I don't know about that… but I think it's beautiful." This time, she is the one to lean in and kiss him.


Will Ryan and Danielle make it to the altar this time?
Will Diane interfere with Samantha and Tempest's plans?
Was Ryan right to suggest Sarah apologize?
Discuss it all in the Footprints Forum now!

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Friday, April 17, 2015

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