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


- Consumed with grief over Ryan and Sandy’s deaths, Jason pushed Natalie away. She got drunk and had another fling with Spencer (unaware of his connection to Jason), and when Jason apologized for his behavior and asked for another chance, she made sure he didn’t find out she had been with another guy.
- Tori was upset to see Philip reconnecting with his former fiancée, her Aunt Molly, but was pleased when Philip agreed to meet with her to talk about potential art classes. 
- Brent confessed to Claire that he shut down her previous advance because he felt insecure about his prosthetic leg. They finally kissed, but Brent was called away by news of another murder. 
- Tim rallied his siblings to keep everyone safe from the Footprint Killer and speculated that Loretta Ragan must be behind the murders. 

Cassie's Coffee House

A folksy tune that is equal parts ballad and rap song, which Tim Fisher realizes with a sting of terror he must be too old to recognize, plays lightly behind the din of activity in the coffee shop. Tim and Spencer Ragan huddle over a table by the back windows of the shop, a tablet in front of Tim and a laptop before Spencer. Given the late afternoon hour, the environment is relatively calm and not at odds with getting some work done. 

With his iPhone pressed to his ear, Spencer lets out an irritated grunt. 

"You're still on hold?" Tim asks wearily. 

"Yeah. It just went silent and I thought I was finally getting a person, but then the music started up again." As Spencer leans away from the phone to speak, Tim can hear the faint, tinny sound of whatever Muzak tune is being piped through the line. 

"I can't believe this is taking so long. Still better than rushing across town just to take a phone call at the office, though."

Spencer simply widens his eyes in exasperation. They have been waiting nearly the entire day to have an actual conversation with someone at Vision's shipping partner who has real authority; so far it has just been a run-around of various lower-level employees who keep handing them off like a hot potato. 

"Crap," Spencer mutters suddenly. 


"I have to move my car. There's no parking there after 4, remember?"

Tim stands. "Give me your keys. I can move it while you hold."

Spencer hesitates. 

"I promise I won't crash it," Tim says, biting his tongue to keep from making reference to Spencer's crash into Molly's house last year. 

"I know you won't." Spencer's hand remains over his keys. "I can do it. It's fine."

"And then they'll pick up and you won't have the account information in front of you. Or I'll be on the phone and totally lost."

Spencer's mouth flattens into a tight, thin line. 

"Just give me the keys," Tim says. "I'll move it into the parking lot. The crowd here has thinned out a lot in the last hour."

"Do you know how to drive stick?"

"Yes! What do I look like?"

Spencer exhales and grins. "Fine. Just keep it safe." He hands Tim the keys. 

"You have nothing to worry about," Tim says, heading off. I'm going to have to teach that kid to trust someone eventually, he thinks as he exits the shop and hurries toward the red BMW across the street.


Claire Fisher is just finishing up her last-minute tidying when there is a knock on the door. She takes a step back and evaluates the apartment. It looks good. It looks fine. She hates that she is feeling this way, but she cannot help it. With her nerves jangling, like a car idling at a light waiting for it to turn green, she gives the sofa pillows a final fluff and then answers the door. 

"Hi," she says when she sets her gaze upon Brent Taylor. He looks casual but handsome, in a olive shirt unbuttoned over a gray t-shirt, but his usual businesslike manner can still be found in his stony face. 

"Hey." He relaxes enough to greet her with a smile. "Good to see you." 

"You, too." She isn't sure what the proper greeting should be, considering what happened between them last time -- and how Brent had to break off their kissing to race off to the scene of Cameron's murder -- so she simply steps aside and lets him into the apartment. 

  Claire Fisher

"Can I get you anything? Water, coffee... I have some soda..."

"I'm okay. But thanks." 

He promptly seats himself on the sofa, leaning back to squish one of the pillows she just fluffed. Claire feels like a fool for being nervous, or for thinking that minute details about her apartment might sway this conversation one way or the other, but nevertheless, she can't quell the feeling. But he sat down without being prompted, she figures, and that must be a good sign.

“How are things going?” Claire asks as she contemplates where to perch and makes a split-second decision to join him on the couch, though she is careful to leave a cushion’s worth of space between them.

He groans even as he says, “Fine. We’ve hit another wall with the investigation. I have no idea what it’s going to take to get this thing to crack open."

“But there were no footprints left when Roz Brooks was killed, were there?” she asks. “They’ve mentioned that on the news a few times…"

“No. But it was connected.” Brent leans forward, as if he wants to say more, but he stops himself. “You know I can’t say too much."

“I know. Sorry."

“Anyway, the murder case isn’t what I wanted to talk to you about,” he says, and when his eyes meet hers, they speak the rest of what his mouth doesn’t.

She folds her hands together in her lap. “Okay."

“I think we need to get our cards out on the table,” Brent says. “About what happened between us the other night — when we kissed."


“Dammit. Work!” Natalie Bishop hisses at her laptop. She is stationed at the small table in the dining room of her apartment. The chandelier above provides some sparkle to the otherwise peacefully dim apartment, which receives little direct sunlight due to its second-floor location and the towering building right across the breezeway.

She stares at the screen, willing her internet browser to load faster, but it refuses to cooperate. The seconds tick away with excruciating speed, and she is sure that she is going to miss a major opportunity.

She is still eyeballing the progress bar, where the blue line is moving so slowly that she has trouble telling if it has changed at all, when a loud rap sounds against the front door.

“Who is it?” she calls out, not wanting to leave her post in front of the computer.

“It’s me!” Jason Fisher’s voice announces through the door.

“Hang on!” With one eye still on the screen, she hops up and quickly lets him in. He swoops in to give her a kiss, but it barely grazes her cheek before she is back at the dining table.

“Did I catch you in the middle of some top-secret hacking mission?” he questions, standing behind her.

“No. Way more important. Gilt is having a sale on Louboutins. There’s only one pair of the emerald ones left, and it’s—“ Suddenly the blue line surges toward the end, and the new page loads in front of her. “Oh my god. It worked!"

Jason rests his hands on the back of her chair and watches as she speedily checks her billing and shipping info and then places the order.

“You have no idea how happy this makes me,” she says with a sigh of relief.

“What? Are they, like, super-exclusive shoes?"

“At this price, they are! And I need them for winter."

His face crinkles with a grin. “Need?"

She hops up from the chair. “Need!"

“For winter."

  Jason Fisher


“They don’t look very practical."

“It’s not like we live at the North Pole."

“What if I decide to sweep you away for a romantic holiday trip to the North Pole?” he asks, wrapping his arms around her waist.

“Then I’ll buy some chic snow boots,” she says. “What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be at work?"

“I was thinking you’d never ask. I wrapped up work early — honestly, it’s still so slow that it’s tough to fill a whole day — and I knew Bree had her ballet class, so I thought…"

Natalie cocks an eyebrow. “Thought what?"

“Thought you might be up for some midday fun."

“I wish I had some idea what you meant by that,” she says with a sly expression.

“I don’t know… Something like this?” He leans closer and presses his lips to her neck. They press down hard, and once his tongue sweeps over her skin, he trails his mouth across her collarbone, pulling back the neckline of her gauzy top as he goes.

“I like the way you think,” she says, her breaths catching in her throat as he continues to kiss her.

He looks up for only a split-second. “I was hoping you’d say that.” As he returns his lips to her bare skin, Natalie’s fingers work at the buttons of his light blue dress shirt, more eager to remove it than she could have imagined mere minutes ago.


Claire unconsciously scoots closer to the edge of the couch as she waits for some cue from Brent, some signal of how he feels about what happened between them. She hates that she feels like a teenager right now, but with the insecurity and uncertainty also comes that wonderful, heady rush of excitement and potential — something she hasn’t felt in far too long.

“I’ll just be frank,” Brent says. “I’m glad it happened."

She exhales, even though she wasn’t aware until this moment that she was holding her breath. “So did I."

“I didn’t expect it to happen after all that time,” he says, “but I had forgotten how comfortable you make me feel."

“Maybe the timing wasn’t right before.” She isn’t sure what to say next; rationalizing the past, especially now that they have agreed that they are pleased with the present, does not seem especially useful. “What happens next?"

“I’m not sure. Dinner?"

“Dinner sounds nice."

"But I can think of one more immediate thing…"

He leans in toward her, and she feels the heat radiating off his body. His hand moves up toward her cheek, and the touch of his fingers against her skin sends a jolt of electricity--

Which is interrupted by a knock on the door.

Immediately, they both yank backward and sit stiffly upright.

“I should see who that is,” Claire says, her tone apologetic, as she rises from the couch. Brent looks as if he wants to register a protest but knows that he has no right to do so.

Surprise rattles Claire as she opens the door. She was expecting a delivery or a neighbor with a question; instead, her ex-husband stands before her.

“Hi,” she says to Tim. “What’s going on?"

There is something wild about his expression. “Hey. I have to—” But he looks past her and sees Brent inside, still on the couch. “Oh. Sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt."

“Interrupt? No, it’s fine. Come in.” Claire’s heart pulses at an uncomfortably fast clip. “Brent and I were just… catching  up."

“Yeah, I’ve been so busy with the case.” Brent claps his hands together as he stands. “Nothing too big to report, I’m sorry to say."

“I know you’re doing your best,” Tim says. He turns to Claire. “I wouldn’t have dropped in, but I really need to talk to you. It’s about… the kids."

Her mind races. “Yeah. Okay. Is something wrong?"

“No, but… we really need to talk."

“I should get going, anyway,” Brent says. “Claire, I’ll be in touch about that, uh, dinner we discussed."

“Great. Thanks so much, Brent.” She opens the door again, and he wastes no time stepping through it. “I’ll see you soon, Tim."

Tim races a hand in a wave. “Same. Bye, Brent."

As soon as the door closes, Claire looks toward Tim, fearing that he is going to drop the nice-guy act and grill her about what Brent was doing here. But he already appears to have forgotten about that entirely.

“What’s going on?” she asks, genuine concern overriding whatever awkwardness she feels about Tim nearly having caught her and Brent together. “Are the kids okay? What happened?"

“It’s about Spencer,” he says. “I’m worried."

“Why? What happened?"

Instead of answering her, Tim reaches into his pocket and pulls out an object for Claire to see.


After they finish their call with the shipping company, Tim makes a somewhat abrupt exit, insisting that he can take a cab and Spencer shouldn’t worry about him. Spencer’s first instinct is to head for home as quickly as he can, but he remembers that Philip is still there working on some project with that weird-ass assistant of his. He decides to hedge his bets around the coffee shop, since the crowd hasn’t gotten too granola yet, and begins scrolling through Facebook on his laptop.

He wonders if there are any girls he could text to hang out. There was that girl, Kate, who Facebooked him after the party at the beach the other night... but he isn't really in the mood for all that "Where are you from?" and "What's your major?" crap right now. And there's Jen, the girl he went out with twice before he left KBU and has seen a few times since, but he doesn't want her thinking this is a regular thing. He wishes he could text that chick Natalie, the older one, but she got super-weird about rushing him out of her place last time, and she has a kid, anyway, so there's probably all kinds of weird shit with that. 

He is still browsing Facebook when he glances up and sees his cousin headed toward him. 

"Done with work early?" Tori Gray asks, holding an iced latte in her hand. 

"Yeah. Tim and I stopped here to do some work, and he had to cut out all of a sudden, so he cut me loose for the day. Kind of sweet."

"Awesome. I saw you over here and wanted to thank you for bringing me to that party the other night. It was pretty nice to get to stand up to Ian and Fee."

  Spencer Ragan

"I think that serial killer lady kind of did it for you," Spencer says through a laugh, "but yeah." He flicks his head toward the empty chair across the table. "Here. Sit."

She does, and Spencer asks, "What's up tonight?"

"Nothing. Just had my first class of the semester. Ugh. I was headed home, and -- god, my mom is paranoid and doesn't want me living on campus until this psycho killer gets caught. So I stopped here to kill a little time."

"Yeah, I don't want to go home yet. My brother's working there with that freak assistant of his--"

Tori leans forward eagerly. "Yeah. What's up with her?"

"I don't know. I think she just moved from Buttfuck, USA, or something. Grew up going to the county fair and the church social and shit, I bet."

"Okay, I couldn't figure out what her deal was," Tori says with a wide grin. "I couldn't tell if she and Philip were--"

"No way is he banging that yokel. No way." The idea hadn't really occurred to Spencer previously, but he only has to mull it over for a second before he is able to dismiss it. 

Tori shifts in her seat and takes a drink of her latte. "What about you? I saw you talking to that girl Kate at the party..."

"I don't know. Nothing, really." His body tenses; he doesn't know why, but talking about shit like this makes him more uneasy than it should. "What about you? Got some new guy to throw in Ian's face?"

She shrugs. "Working on it. There's this-- There's a guy. It's still early. I'm still trying to feel it out."

"Feel what out? Are you into him?"

"Yeah. He's amazing. So much more mature than the idiots I've been dating."

"Well... Is he into you?"

She hesitates. "That's what I'm trying to figure out. I mean, yeah, I think so. I think he's hesitant-- because I'm still in college."

"Let me tell you something," Spencer says, closing his laptop for emphasis. "There's not a man on earth who wouldn't be into a hot college girl if she was into him. Unless he's gay. Is he gay?"

"He's not gay."

"Then make a move. I promise he'll be into it."

"You think so?"

"I know so. Make a real move. He'll be down."

"Thanks, cuz." With a smile, she toys with the straw in her drink. 

"No problem, cuz. Now call your mom and tell her you're grabbing dinner with me so I don't have to go home so soon. Deal?"

"Deal," Tori says as she pulls out her phone.


“That was a way better pick-me-up than going down to the coffee shop for an espresso,” Jason says, panting as he tries to catch his breath.

“Way better,” Natalie agrees. She rolls onto her back and places a hand on his bare chest. “Between that and the Louboutins, this is one hell of an afternoon."

They lie in silence for a minute, coming down from the euphoric high of their lovemaking, before Jason turns onto his side. A contented smile crosses his face. 

“I’m so glad you badgered me into giving you a shot,” he says.

Natalie draws back in mock outrage. “Badgered? I would never!"

“Oh, yeah. Trying to rip my towel off in that hotel room in Spokane was super-subtle."

She laughs. “Okay, maybe that wasn’t my slickest moment."

“Maybe not. But I’m glad you did it."

“Me, too,” she says, her fingers toying with the sandy-colored hair on his chest. They remain there in comfortable bliss, chattering for another few minutes, while Natalie attempts to ignore an unpleasant sensation coming over her. All at once, though, it becomes overwhelming. In a flash, she bolts upright.

“What’s wrong?” Jason asks.

“I…” But she can’t even bother to explain. Naked, she sprints from the bed to the bathroom. She barely gets the door closed behind her before she is on her knees in front of the toilet, heaving.

The sudden intensity of the sickness leaving her breathing hard and exhausted, though she feels much better once her stomach has emptied itself out. Embarrassment stings her as she rinses her face with cold water and brushes her teeth. She wraps her still-naked body in a towel before opening the door and bashfully returning to the bedroom.

Jason lies in bed, playing with his phone, but he sets it down the moment she emerges.

“Are you okay?” he asks.

“Yeah, I… Ugh, it’s so gross. I’m sorry.” She clutches the towel to her body. “I ate some shellfish for lunch. It must’ve been bad."

“Yuck. Do you feel okay now?"

“I think so. Yeah.” She approaches the bed and carefully seats herself on the edge of it. “Sorry to ruin a perfectly good moment."

“Don’t apologize to me. As long as you’re okay."

“I’m fine,” she assures him. “But no way am I trusting seafood from anywhere other than your dad’s restaurant from now on!"

“At least if you get sick there, you can blame it on me,” he says, pulling her to him. Still clad in her towel, she stretches out on the bed, her back to Jason as he closes his arms around her and holds her close. 


Claire stares at the item in Tim’s hand.

“What is that? Touchup paint?” she asks in confusion. 

“I found it in Spencer’s car,” Tim explains. “We were parked at a meter outside Cassie’s, and he was on hold with a vendor, so I moved the car for him, and I found this inside."

She takes the tube from him and examines it. Dried spatters of red, having seeped out from the top, mar the white packaging. 

“I don’t understand,” she says, still studying the paint. “Why does this have you so worried?"

“The footprints near Cameron’s body were made with red paint."

A stab of panic jars Claire, even as she attempts to work through the logic. “But Spencer has a red car. I think you’re making some big leaps here—"

“Does Spencer strike you as someone who does his own touchups on his car? And he did not want to hand me the keys. I almost had to pry them out of his hands. He didn’t want me in the car."

“I don’t know, Tim.” She hands him the tube of paint and begins pacing over the light brown carpet. Her mind churns, generating thoughts faster than she can express — or even process — them. She hears her phone, resting on the coffee table, vibrate, but she cannot spare it even an instant of attention now.

“I know it sounds crazy,” Tim says. “But in spite of all the progress we’ve made with him, he still has this attachment to Loretta. If she somehow convinced him…"

“Our son isn’t a serial killer."

“This isn’t something I want to even think about. But there’s a lot of paint missing from that tube. And I walked around the car. The paint job is perfect. Wherever that paint was used, it wasn’t on the car I saw today."

Still attempting to steady herself, she turns back to Tim. “What are you going to do now?"

“I don’t know. I’m sure the police already tested the paint from the crime scene, so they would know right away if this was it—"

“You can’t turn him in to the police!"

Tim’s shoulders drop. “I know. It’s the last thing I want to do. I just… What if this is happening? We can’t let it go on."

“Did you say anything to Spencer?"

“No! He has no idea I found this."

“He’s going to figure out that it’s missing."

“Yeah. But he won’t know for sure that it was me.” He flips the tube over in his hand several times quickly, as if this might illuminate some new angle or aspect of it. “I didn’t want to do anything without talking to you first."

“Good.” With a deep breath, she sits down on the arm of the couch. 

“Maybe there’s a way we can find something out without telling the police what I found,” Tim says. “Brent might talk to Sarah about the paint. Or you. You guys are close."

“We aren’t that close,” she says, a little too quickly. “But no, I don’t know if he would disclose details of an investigation to me that way."

“I’ll talk to Sarah."

“You can’t tell her—"

“I’ll fish. I’ll have her fish. I won’t tell her what I found. Not yet."

“Okay.” The reality of what he is saying hits her all at once, or perhaps it is simply an adrenaline crash, but suddenly she feels overwhelmed and limp. “It can’t be. He wouldn’t… No.” Tears threaten to push past her eyes.

“I don’t even want to think about it,” he says, crossing the room to hug her. She leans into him readily. “He’s had it bad enough. For it to go this wrong…"

They hold one another silently for a long time, aware that no words can make the horror of this possibility all right. Finally, Tim draws up and places the tube back in his pocket.

“I’m going to give Sarah a call,” he says. “Don’t worry. I won’t say much."

“Okay. Please be careful."

“I will."

They exchange nervous goodbyes, and Tim leaves the apartment. Once alone, all Claire can do is crumble onto the couch. This cannot be happening. Spencer has put up walls, but he doesn’t hate them. Even if he has hated her for a long time — because Loretta poisoned him to think that she murdered James in cold blood — he has been softening toward her since last Christmas, and from the sounds of it, he certainly does not outright loathe Tim or the rest of the Fishers. 

Unless it’s all been an act.

With a shudder, she reaches for her phone. The text message from earlier was from none other than Brent, and fear spikes within her as she worries that he somehow knows what she and Tim were discussing.

Instead, it is a simple, bright message: Dinner tmrw? 8 pm? I can pick you up.

Half-an-hour ago, the prospect of a dinner date with Brent would have had her spirits soaring. Now it only feels like a trap, albeit an unintentional one. Either she tells him about Tim’s suspicions and puts her son on the fast track to a prison sentence, or she says nothing and is, in effect, hindering the investigation over which Brent has been torturing himself for months. 

She places the phone back on the coffee table without responding to his message and then lies on the couch, hoping for some clarity to come to her.


Is Tim jumping to conclusions?
Should Claire say anything to Brent?
What is going on with Natalie? 
Join us in the Footprints Forum to discuss it all!

Next Episode



Friday, October 02, 2015

For a printable version,
click here.

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