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- Tori set her sights on her Aunt Molly’s ex-fiancé, Philip, and made a mental note that he would be exhibiting his photography at the end-of-summer festival. 
- An intruder broke into the Brooks home to steal the recorder Trevor had taken from Cameron’s desk, which contained an audio recording of Cameron’s murder. Roz Brooks came upon the intruder, who shoved her out the window. 
- Alex and Trevor watched as Roz fell to the driveway. Trevor raced into the house to catch the man, who got away and destroyed the recorder. 
- Roz was rushed to the hospital but was soon pronounced dead. 


In the days since his mother's passing, Trevor Brooks has hardly been able to piece an entire thought together. Their family's home feels so empty and hollow; even though Roz was so often away on cruises and trips, there was a comfort in knowing that she was out there, having adventures and snapping photos to share with her kids and her granddaughter. He keeps envisioning her dangling from that window and lying on the cement driveway. He's so grateful that he didn't witness her fall, but he finds it frustrating to replay the event over and over with such a large piece missing -- as if, by seeing the full footage, he might somehow be able to change the course of events. 

Now he stands over a closed casket in a solemn and sterile funeral home. The mahogany wood of the coffin is surrounded by sprays of flowers and a large portrait of Roz, her vibrant smile leaping out of the frame and making it even more difficult to process that she is gone. Trevor stares down at the coffin, wondering how she can possibly be in there, and when he glances back at the portrait, it seems even more impossible. 

A hand rests on his shoulder from behind. 

"It still doesn't seem real," a voice says. 

Trevor turns and immediately embraces his sister. "I know. I thought this might make it... I don't know... sink in. But it feels like a bad dream that I can't wake up from."

Lauren rests her head against his sternum. "She was Mom. She was so full of life. It doesn't make any sense."

  Trevor Brooks

"She should still be here," Trevor says. "It wasn't her time."

He feels Lauren nodding against him. 

"I can't believe she'll never get to know her granddaughter as more than a toddler," Lauren says. "Or that the only way our kids will know her is through stories and pictures."

"And all those weird iPhone videos she sent us from her trips."

"Those, too." Lauren takes a step back and sighs. "We have to help Dad get through today."

Trevor looks at their father, sitting at the end of one of the rows of chairs in the mostly empty room as he waits and steels himself for guests to arrive. 

"I don't want to do any of this," Trevor says. He knows that he sounds like a teenager again, and he doesn't care. 

"We have to." Lauren squeezes his hand as Josh, holding their daughter and bouncing her in his arms, offers them a hopeful smile from the back of the room. "We will."


A few miles outside King's Bay, the sprawling lawns and rustic buildings of the local winery have been overtaken by the merriment of the end-of-summer festival. Molly Taylor marvels at the turnout as she parks her car in the busy lot.

"No running off without telling me where you're going," she tells her sons as they all pile out of the car. 

"We're not little kids, Mom," Caleb protests, in a whiny voice that makes a case for the opposite. 

"I'm just a little on-edge, okay?" She locks the car and, despite the bright and welcoming summer sunshine pouring down upon them, shivers. The memory of her trip to Dallas for Cameron's funeral yesterday -- and the knowledge that Roz Brooks is being buried today -- haunts her and gives the entire world a shadowy, frightening veneer. A day in the sun with her kids will, with any luck, be the remedy, or at least offset the dread that seems to be consuming their lives of late. 

In spite of her warnings, the boys run ahead in a sort of jerky, uneven race in which they keep stopping, turning back, and then surging onward. Logically, she knows they are fine and that she can see them clearly, but the thought of this many people swarming around -- when there is a crazy person on the loose, identity unknown, and he or she might be targeting her family -- is nerve-racking. 

Try and calm down, she tells herself. The point of today is to enjoy some time with the boys and try to keep things normal for them. 

She draws a deep breath and then calls out to the twins, “This way! Come with me!” After a moment’s hesitation, they follow her into the maze of tents and booths where a startling variety of vendors have set up shop.

Molly pauses to peruse some jewelry. There is a turquoise necklace that wouldn’t normally be her style, but something about it is appealing, and she picks it up to put it on. Before checking her reflection in the mirror, she looks over and sees Caleb and Christian busy with one of their favorite pastimes: trying on the largest, least appropriate pairs of sunglasses they can find.

She turns back toward the mirror, and her eyes land on a tent only 50 or so feet away. She notices the photographs first; many of them are very familiar to her. Already knowing what she is going to find, she focuses on the people at the end of the table, engaged in conversation. Sure enough, the man is Philip Ragan

She hesitates in front of the mirror but realizes that she is no longer in the headspace to evaluate whether or not she likes the necklace. She hangs it back up, checks that the boys are still nearby and occupied, and then makes her way over toward Philip’s booth. Philip stands behind a table. A younger woman with large eyes and dark hair is beside him.  When he sees Molly coming, a glowing smile spreads over his handsome face. 

“Hi,” she says uncertainly as she approaches.

“Molly. Hi,” Philip says. “I’m so glad you came."

“I actually… I didn’t realize you’d be here. I just got back from Dallas last night and wanted to take the boys out to do something.” Hoping to brush aside the awkwardness of Philip’s presumption that she came purposely to see him, Molly turns to the other woman and extends a hand. “Hi. Molly Taylor."

Sabrina,” the woman says as they shake hands.

“Sabrina is my new assistant,” Philip explains. “And Molly is Jason Fisher’s sister."

“Oh.” Sabrina’s eyes widen, and she shifts uncomfortably in place. “I’ve… I’ve met your brother."

Molly regards Sabrina curiously as she attempts to place her. Philip reaches for his wallet and hands Sabrina a 20-dollar bill.

“Would you mind going to get me another of those iced coffees?” he asks. “Get something for yourself, of course. Molly, would you like anything?"

“No, thanks. I’m okay."

Sabrina heads off, and after making sure the twins are still where she left them, Molly turns back to Philip. 

“I wasn’t sure if your ex-husband had warned you about Sabrina,” he says.

“What do you mean?"

“Her full name is Sabrina Gage."

The name hits Molly like a freight train. “What?"

“It turns out she’s the woman whose identity Shannon Parish stole,” he says. “I met her by chance while she was in King’s Bay and offered her the job. But Brent was convinced I was, I don’t know, up to something devious. He gave me quite an earful over it."

“I’m sorry about that,” Molly says. “He’s just… he’s wound really tight over the case right now."

“That’s what I reminded myself. But I was concerned he might try to convince you that I had some ulterior motive in hiring Sabrina."

The whole thing is too odd for Molly to wrap her mind around fully in the moment. “No. Of course not."

Philip relaxes visibly, his shoulders dropping and the tension falling from his face. “Thank you. And whether or not you knew I was going to be here, it really is terrific to see you."

This time, Molly is the one who cannot suppress a smile. “It’s good to see you, too."


The first visitors, members of Roz’s extended family who have traveled from Eastern Washington, trickle into the room to pay their respects. Trevor, Lauren, and Patrick share sorrowful greetings with their relatives and then step back to allow them time at the casket. Trevor is waiting nervously by the guestbook, scanning the few messages that have been added to it thus far, when Alex Marshall enters in a black suit. 

“Hey,” he says, automatically roping Trevor into a hug. “How are you?"

Trevor dips his head down to rest it against the shorter man’s head. “Not great. Thanks for coming."

After giving them a few moments alone, Lauren comes over to join them.

“It’s so good to see you,” she tells Alex, and she wraps her arms around her old friend. 

“I just wish it was for a better reason,” he says sadly.

The three step back and regard the portrait of Roz and the mourners paying their respects.

“I hope you guys know how special your mom was,” Alex says. “She always made me feel so welcome in your home, and she had so much energy — she was really one-of-a-kind."

Lauren hooks her arm through Trevor’s. “We know. That’s how I want to remember her."

  Alex Marshall

“Jason should be here soon. He and Natalie were just getting Sophie and Bree squared away at his parents',” Alex continues, but something across the room catches his eye. “Oh my god. She’s gotten so big."

“I see her every day, and it still blows my mind,” Lauren says as they watch her daughter playing with Josh at the back of the room.

“I need to go say hi,” Alex says, and he slips away. 

The Brooks siblings stand in silence for several seconds as they watch Alex greet Josh and the youngest member of the family. 

“So what’s going on with you guys?” Lauren asks quietly, her arm still looped through her brother’s. 

Trevor’s head swivels sharply toward her. “What do you mean?"

“Come on, Trev. Alex was with you the day Mom died, wasn’t he? And the way he grabbed you when he walked in here… he cares about you."

“I’m sure he does,” Trevor says gloomily, “but not the way I want him to."

Lauren raises an eyebrow at him.

“Because of all that stuff with Liam,” he explains. “It’s like he put this wall up, and there’s nothing I can do to knock it down."

She squeezes Trevor’s arm as she watches Alex playing with her daughter. “I wouldn’t be so sure about that, big brother."

* * * * *

Outside, Brent Taylor leads the way through the parking lot, his suit uncomfortable against his skin as the sun beats down upon the dark fabric. When he reaches the front doors of the funeral parlor, eager to get out of the heat, he looks back and finds his sister waiting several feet away, back by the curb.

“Are you okay?” he asks, already knowing the answer.

“Yeah.” Danielle swallows hard and adjusts her sleeveless black dress. “I just need a second."

“I know this is hard for you. Your husband’s funeral was here only a few months ago. I’m sure Josh and the Brookses would understand—"

“No, I can do it.” She takes another moment to steel herself and then steps up onto the curb. “Whoever’s doing these terrible things—”

“I’m going to find him and make him pay,” Brent says. “But in the meantime, if this is too much for you, it’s all right."

“No. We’re here to support our brother and his wife. Come on.”

She brushes back him and inside the building. Hoping that she is being honest, with him and with herself, Brent follows her into the funeral home. 


The Uber drops Tori Gray off at the entrance to the winery, and she finds herself having to walk an annoyingly long way before she actually gets to the area where the festival is being held. The place is overrun with people, and she feels incredibly conscious of being here alone. She thought that she could play it cool and pretend that she came with friends who were off in a different area, but insecurities creep over her as she navigates through the crowd. 

She locates the space where artists and merchants have set up their stands. There are far more than she expected, but the opportunity to blend into the chaos comes as something of a relief to her. When she spots a stand selling snow cones, she decides to grab one as an accessory so that it appears she is just strolling around. She has just finished paying when she turns around, colorful cone in hand, and spies her target.

Philip stands beneath a tent, his photography hanging all around him as he chats with Molly. 

Tori huffs quietly to herself and then gives the snow cone a lick. The sweetness of the syrup takes her by surprise. She can’t go up to Philip when her aunt is there, especially not with them looking so friendly. She is contemplating her next move when she spots someone else familiar.

Spencer!” she calls. Her cousin turns and scans the area until he sees her waving. She hurries over toward him. 

“Tori,” she says when she sees the confusion in his face. “I’m your cousin? Sarah’s daughter."

“Yeah, of course.” He bobs his head quickly, as if it is all coming back to him now. “Sorry. What’s up?"

“I know we don’t know each other that well, but I saw you over here and thought I should say hi.” She does her best not to look in Philip’s direction. 

“You here alone?” Spencer asks.

“Me? No!” She focuses on the vibrant red and green of the snow cone for a moment. “My friends are over watching that stupid band or whatever. I wanted to come look at the…” She spots a nearby booth and hastens to add, “Some of the jewelry and stuff."

“Cool. It’s kind of lame, but I told my brother I’d hang out for a while."

“Oh! Is Philip here?"

“Yeah. He has a booth right over there.” He points, and she follows his finger with her eyes and feigns surprise. “That’s cool.” She scrunches up her face and waits carefully.

“Hey,” she says more quietly. “Do you know what’s up with him and Aunt Molly? I thought they were done."

“They are. Or were. But I guess they’re talking again. He’s better off without her, if you ask me. She’s always got such a stick up her ass.” He speaks without even considering the words and then turns quickly toward Tori. “From what I’ve seen, anyway."

She laughs. “No, she kind of does. Philip doesn’t think so?"

Spencer shrugs. “I don’t know what he’s thinking most of the time. He’s been hoping she would take him back since last year, though."

“I think they might be better off without each other,” she says, keeping her tone as casual as she possibly can. 

“Yeah. Whatever.” He runs a hand over his dark, wavy hair and then holds up a slew of red raffle tickets. “I have all these free wine tickets they gave Philip. Want to hit the other tent with me?"

Tori regards the snow cone with a grimace and then drops it into a nearby trashcan. “Let’s go.” 


“She was such a nice lady,” Jason Fisher says as he clasps Patrick Brooks’s hand. “So full of life. I’m so sorry you have to go through this."

“Thank you,” Patrick says, his watery eyes risking only a momentary glance up from the floor. 

The room has filled up, with clusters of mourners spread throughout, talking somberly and looking at the mementos from Roz’s life that are on display. Jason introduces Natalie to Patrick, and once she offers her own condolences, they allow him to move off and speak with others who have just arrived.

Jason and Natalie settle into a loose circle with Lauren and Josh. 

Jason sighs. “I don’t even know what to say. This is so awful."

“First Courtney, then Sandy and Ryan and my mom… When is it enough?” Lauren says. “I’m tired of feeling this way."

“Brent’s working his ass off trying to crack the case,” Josh says. “I hope he can do it before anything else happens."

 “You’ve got to be kidding,” Natalie says, half under her breath. Jason is about to call her out for her rude response to Josh when he realizes that something else entirely has caught her attention: Don and Helen Chase, standing at the entry to the room.

“Helen and my mom were good friends,” Lauren says, her usual diplomatic self, “because Courtney and I spent so much time together."

Josh scowls but remains silent, and Natalie catches his eye in quiet but not particularly subtle agreement.

  Natalie Bishop

“I’m gonna go see Trevor,” Jason says, nodding toward the back row, where Lauren’s brother is playing with his young niece.

“I’ll be right there,” Natalie tells him. Jason heads toward Trevor, and Natalie slinks through the crowd until she reaches the Chases, who are waiting in line for the guestbook.

“Could I have a minute with you? Outside?” Natalie asks quietly.

Helen’s eyelids lower. 

Don raises a palm. “I really don’t think—"

“It’s all right,” Helen says. She walks out of the room, and Natalie follows.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Natalie asks once they are alone in the dimly lit hallway, though it is really more of an accusation than a question. 

“I’m trying to pay my respects to a friend,” Helen says. “Which you might understand if any of this were your business."

“It is my business. Because I care about Jason, and Alex is his best friend, and Mrs. Brooks meant a lot to both of them.  For you to show your face here—"

“Roz meant a lot to me, too! We raised our daughters together."

“Yeah, and you’re about to go on trial for killing two other people and starting this whole mess."

“I didn’t kill Sandy or Ryan. I would never do that!” Helen exclaims, before catching herself and glancing around self-consciously. She lowers her voice as she adds, “The D.A. will realize that soon enough and drop those charges. As for you, missy, don’t think I haven’t got your number."

Natalie plants her hands on her hips. “What’s that supposed to mean?"

“You might have Jason snowed for now. But he’s a good man and a good father. Soon enough, he’ll see what a poor substitute you are for—"

“That is enough!” comes a loud whisper from several feet away. The women whip around to see Don standing there, his face red with exasperation. 

“What is wrong with you?” he says, stomping over and taking Helen by the arm. “Both of you. You’re out here fighting like schoolgirls—"

“I’m trying to keep your psycho wife away from a bunch of people who have been through enough,” Natalie spits.

“Roz Brooks was my friend,” Helen says, her head cocked. “You need to think before you speak."

“Enough.” Don forcibly steers Helen toward the room where Roz’s service is being held. “This is not the time or the place.” Before Natalie can breathe a sigh of relief, he turns back. “And leave my wife alone."

“Thank you,” Helen says, and they retreat back inside the room. 

With a grunt, Natalie folds her arms and shakes her head, her chestnut tresses falling over her shoulders.

“You do not want to make an enemy of me, Mrs. Chase,” she mutters as she stares out the front door of the funeral parlor into the summer sun. 


Was Natalie wrong to confront Helen?
Will Tori and Spencer be able to bond?
Is Molly falling for Philip again?
Discuss all this and more in the Footprints Forum!

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Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015

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