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


- Tempest was held at gunpoint during a robbery at the ice arena, but she managed to send Travis a text asking for help, and Rosie stopped the robber before he hurt Tempest or got into the safe.
- Following the ordeal, Diane conducted an interview with Tempest.
- Tim informed Spencer that he would be heading to the east coast on a business trip.
- Spencer was shocked to learn that Natalie is pregnant. 


The gun presses into Tempest Banks’ back. Even through her heavy coat, she can feel it — its pressure, its firmness, even its coldness — so concretely that she fears it might break through the material, if not through her skin itself. It is the only thing she can feel, really; the banister is soft in her hand, as if it might turn to nothing at all at any instant, and her legs are so heavy and numb that she is only faintly aware of the stairs as she plants upon them. The effort to pull herself up those stairs is monumental, and the only thing that keeps her from collapsing is the gun at her back.

And then she tries to lift her leg — and nothing happens. It won’t move. She won’t move. She can’t. 

“Did I say you could stop?” the man snarls from behind her.

“I can’t— my leg,” she says through loose, unreliable lips that won’t form the words the way they usually do.

He merely jabs the gun harder into her back.

“My leg,” she repeats, and she wants to cry, even though she knows that she isn’t supposed to. She doesn’t want him to see her cry. But she can’t help it as her legs crumble beneath her and her body falls onto the steps. 

“You did this to yourself, you dumb bitch."

“Did what?” She swivels her head to look at him, but his face is a blur. Is it even there at all? All she sees is the gun, its barrel pointed right at her.

“Don’t,” she chokes out, even though her throat is closing. “Please don’t—"

But a blast cuts her off, and as the sound overtakes her, everything goes dark.


Tempest awakens with a start. She jolts upright, her eyes wide, and it takes her several seconds to recognize her surroundings. She is in her bedroom, with dim light peeking between the slats of her blinds. Her bed is beneath her; she realizes with relief that she can feel the sheets and the mattress and the pillow just fine.

“Dumbass nightmare,” she mutters as she tries to get her head to stop spinning. As she catches her breath, she reaches for her phone on the nightstand. She has several texts from Samantha, Travis, and Jason, and by the time she finishes reading them, she knows that she will not be able to go back to sleep. 

With her mind still foggy, she climbs out of bed. The carpet is soft beneath her bare feet as she opens her bedroom door. As she does, she hears voices. It takes a few seconds for them to become clearer.

One of the voices belongs to Diane Bishop. “What were you thinking in that moment?"

  Tempest Banks

The question triggers something in Tempest’s brain, and she knows what the response will be even before she hears it. But it is still jarring to hear her own voice speaking:

“That it’s bad enough I gotta be up at the butt-crack of dawn every day to come here and get frostbite in my damn drawers. I don’t need some hotshot waving a gun in my face, too!"

She has to laugh at how fired-up she sounds. She remembers the charge that was running through her after Officer Jimenez led the robber away in handcuffs. At the sound of her snicker, though, Claire Fisher looks up from her spot at the dining table.

“Oh. You’re up!” Claire’s hand fumbles for the remote, and she clumsily turns off the radio after Diane asks another question. 

“She’s playing that on the air?” Tempest asks.

“I didn’t mean for you to hear that,” Claire says apologetically. 

“It’s okay. I didn’t think she was doing a damn interview to listen to all by herself."

Claire shakes her head. “I should’ve stepped in—"

“Nah, it’s fine. It’s funny.” Tempest waves off the concern and then drops onto the couch. She wonders if she is as ready to be awake as she thought a few minutes ago. 

“Did you sleep all right?” Claire asks. 

“Okay. Yeah.” A flash of the nightmare rushes back up to greet Tempest, and she tries to force herself to focus elsewhere. “Do we have coffee?"

Claire smiles. “I’ll get you some."

Tempest lays her head on one of the throw pillows on the couch. She hears Claire moving around in the kitchen: opening a cabinet, getting out a mug, removing the coffee pot from the burner and then replacing it.

“I traded shifts with one of the other nurses,” Claire says as a spoon clinks against the mug. “We can do whatever you want today. If you want to stay in and watch TV, great. If there’s something that would help take your mind off things, we can do that, too. It’s up to you."

“I’m fine. I told you.” Tempest sits up to accept the steaming mug. “Thanks."

“I still think it would be a good idea for you to talk to someone. A professional. What you went through was—"

“Not as bad as some of the other crap I’ve been through.” 

She can see Claire resisting the urge to counter that. When Tempest first came to live with her, she was full of urgings for Tempest to talk about her past, tell her about exactly what had happened at home and while she was living on the streets. Now they have an unspoken — if uneasy — agreement not to go there at all. 

“I’m gonna be fine,” Tempest says, so decisively that she knows she is trying to convince herself as much as she is Claire. 


For Spencer Ragan, the night passes in a blur of half-formed images and accusations. The darkness seems to take whatever is in his subconscious and forms it like clay, shaping a scenario that is so terrifying that, when he wakes up in a cold sweat sometime around 2 a.m., he is certain that it’s all been real. 

The voices echo through his head:

“This is your baby, Spencer."

“How could you do this to Jason?"

“You aren’t a part of this family."

“You belong with Philip."

He gets a handle on reality and reminds himself that none of this is real. Not yet, anyway. He passes a few more hours in a light, disturbed sleep before he gives up and grabs his laptop to watch something on Hulu. On his way back to the bed, he stops in front of the blackout curtains on the hotel room’s window; the utter blankness of the dark seems oppressive, so he pulls them open. By the time an episode of Mr. Robot finishes, daylight has begun to appear outside. 

Unable to help himself any longer, Spencer grabs his phone and punches out a text.

??? - we really need to talk

He figures it’s best not to put the reason why in writing — but Natalie will understand. Sure enough, his phone vibrates only two minutes later with a response.

There’s nothing to talk about.

He groans in annoyance. So this is how she wants to play it, huh? He writes back quickly.

So you don’t care if I go to Jason and double-check about the baby? Cool

A devious grin twitches over his lips as he watches the screen. Sure enough, the telltale bubbles pop up within seconds. But then they disappear. The heat of annoyance bursts into a full flame of anger within Spencer. She’s really going to treat him this way? He could just drive to Jason’s and—

The insistent buzzing of the phone interrupts his thoughts. He sees Natalie’s name — well, “Nat 322 slut” — on the screen and picks up immediately.

“I thought you were going to ignore me,” Spencer says.

“I’m not ignoring you. There just isn’t anything to talk about."

“That’s weird, because Tim — you know, my father, your boyfriend’s brother — told me that you guys are having a kid. Well, at least you are."

Natalie huffs into the phone. “What do you want?"

He doesn’t have a rejoinder as ready as he would like. “I— Look, we need to get on the same page about this."

“The page says that Jason and I are having a baby. That’s the whole story."

“But it isn’t."

“Okay.” He can feel her discomfort pulsing over the line. “Where are you?"

“In my hotel room. Why?"

“I just dropped my daughter off for her lesson. I’m coming to see you. What’s your room number?"

Twenty minutes later, there is a knock on the door. A wave of nervousness moves through Spencer as he goes to answer it. 

“Okay,” Natalie says as she marches into the room, pushing right past him. “Let’s get this over with."

Spencer closes the door and can’t help but look her up and down. Even with her coat on, the bulge in her stomach is visible.

“You’re really pregnant,” he says.

“Yes. Thank you for the wisdom. I never would’ve noticed otherwise."

She plants her hands on her hips, and as the coat opens, the sign of her pregnancy is unmistakable.

“Just tell me,” Spencer says. “Is there any chance this kid is mine?"


“Pockets empty?"

“Yeah, that’s it,” Tim Fisher says, though he nevertheless digs his hands into the pockets of his suit pants once more. Sure enough, they are empty; his keys are already in the bin provided for such items, as are his belt and his blazer. He assumed there would be no point in bringing his wallet or his keys with him, so he locked them in the glovebox of the rental car.

The guard waves him through the metal detector, and he passes without setting it off — not that there is anything on his person that would be likely to do so. He fastens his belt, slips on the blazer, and sticks his keys in his pocket before following the signs to the visiting area of New Hampshire’s Carroll County Jail. He checks in with another guard and, after she consults her list, she calls out, “Ragan!” in the general direction of the windows across the room.

Tim sees her immediately. Loretta Ragan is already stationed at one of the windows, a sheet of glass separating her from this side of the world. He has only seen her in person once, years ago when he rushed to her estate to save Claire and Brent, but he has seen numerous pictures of her on the news and online, and it is clear that prison has taken its toll on her — or at least on her beauty regimen. She looks every bit of her 60-something years, in spite of — or perhaps even because of — her generous amounts of cosmetic surgery, and her orange-red hair is pulled back into a simple ponytail. 

She watches him intently as he slides into his chair and picks up the receiver.

  Loretta Ragan

“You aren’t the first member of that family I expected to see,” she says. “Should I be flattered?"

Tim sits stiffly across the glass from her. He spent the entire flight here running through various scenarios in his head, imagining how this might go. Now that she is right in front of him, though, he doesn’t know what to do.

“Did you know?” he asks flatly. 

“Excuse me?” She touches a hand to her sternum. “Are you asking if I knew that my son decided to go on a killing spree? Absolutely not.” 

He doesn’t know what to make of the curl at the corners of her mouth, expect that he should have expected this to be difficult. 

“Philip caused a lot of pain. My poor mother—"

“What, is she still weeping over that banal dead husband of hers, may he rest in peace?"

Tim slaps a hand against the countertop in anger. “He was my father! He was a good man. He didn’t deserve this. And our family— my mother—"

“How do you think I felt?” Loretta’s entire face hardens. “That disgusting ex-wife of yours ripped my husband away from me — from Philip, Spencer, and me. I had to live with that! And now I’ve lost my son, too."

“Both of them,” he says.

“I wouldn’t be so certain of that."

“Spencer is his own man. A smart man. Resourceful."

“I’m aware. I raised him."

“He’s seeing the world in a way he hasn’t been able to before,” Tim goes on. “He’s devastated over what became of Philip — and don’t fool yourself: he knows that you were part of that, too."

Loretta drums her neatly filed nails, covered in a sheen of clear nail polish, against the window. The sight of even this minuscule amount of indulgence ignites a fury in Tim that shocks him. 

“Is that why you came here? To pry some kind of confession out of me?” Her green eyes lock onto his. “I suppose you have some kind of listening device somewhere on you, too."

Tim flinches, even though he has nothing of the sort. He feels like an idiot for not even thinking of that, though. The truth is that this trip was something of a whim — a necessary whim. He didn’t see his father every day for the last few years, but he feels the loss every single day. He knows, on a cerebral level, that it might be foolish to expect answers for madness, but he had to try.

“I want to know,” he says, as honestly as he can, “why this happened. Why Philip did these things. If you know anything—"

“My son was troubled. More so than I realized. But am I sorry that your father and your traitorous brother are dead? No, not particularly. I hope your entire family experiences even a fraction of what I have felt since losing my James.” Abruptly she pulls the phone from her face and shouts, “I’m finished here!"

A guard comes up behind her to escort her off. Before departing, Loretta speaks into the receiver one more time:

“I hope this has been all you hoped for, Mister— Clayton, is it? Tom Clayton?” Her lips do that infuriating curl again, but before Tim can even process what she has said, she sets the receiver back in its cradle and allows the guard to lead her away.

Tim remains in his chair, the receiver in his shaking hand, as he attempts to process what an absolute waste — and yet how furiously illuminating — this visit was.


"Hi, honey," Claire says as she stands at the open door. "What's that?"

Samantha Fisher, holding the rectangular pink box with both hands, shrugs bashfully. "Donuts. I thought we could all use a treat this morning."

Claire has already stepped aside to let her in. "I think that's a great idea."

"Me, too," Tempest says as she pulls herself onto her knees to face them over the back of the sofa. Claire reaches out and takes the box from Samantha, knowing that the young woman would never otherwise foist it upon her. 

"Thanks," Sam says before she hurries toward Tempest and embraces her, their upper bodies meeting over the top of the couch. 

Claire opens the box and sets it on the table. "These look great. Thank you."

"They're from that new artisan donut shop by Grandpa's restaurant."

Tempest screws up her face. "Artisan? How weird are they?"

"Not that weird," Samantha says. "Maple bacon, apple cider..."

"Y'all are nuts. Any cronuts in there?"


"I call one! And I'm the one who almost got shot, so it's official." Tempest scrambles over the couch to get to the donuts, though she stops to loop her arm around Samantha's back. Claire watches them as she grabs a stack of napkins, happy that they feel comfortable being more affectionate in front of her now.

"Did you sleep?" Samantha asks. 

Tempest turns back from the donut box, and as though the mere words conjured it, her exhaustion is somehow suddenly plain upon her face. "Sort of. Think I'll crash hard later."

Samantha looks at her solemnly. “I’m so glad you’re okay. When my mom called me—"

“I’m fine,” Tempest says. Holding the cronut in one hand, she grabs the remote and aims it across the room. The sound of the radio springs to life. 

“What were you thinking in that moment?” Diane’s voice asks from the speaker.

“That it’s bad enough I gotta be up at the butt-crack of dawn every day to come here and get frostbite in my damn drawers. I don’t need some hotshot waving a gun in my face, too!"

“I can’t believe they’re still playing this,” Claire says.

Samantha shakes her head. “I told my mom it was a bad idea."

“Why’s it bad?” Tempest says. “I outsmarted that guy. Let people hear about it."

On the radio, Diane and her cohost can be heard laughing.

“I like her attitude,” Luke Berman says. “And she’s right!"

“I know,” Diane says. “Look, we keep having people calling and texting for us to play it again — so I’m going to have the full video of our interview posted on KBAY’s website in a few minutes."

“You guys hear that?” Tempest asks. 

“I guess it can’t do any harm,” Samantha says.

“Right. Now get one of those watermelon donuts or whatever and let’s all try and relax,” Tempest says as she drops back down onto the couch.

“That’s exactly what we should do,” Claire says.

Claire holds out a napkin for Samantha to use, and the two women exchange the briefest of concerned looks — one that says, We’re going to have to talk about this later.


Natalie glares at Spencer for what seems to him an unbearably long time. The glint in her eye and the lift of her brows tell him that she is screwing with him, and he is debating whether it would be all right to throttle her by the time she finally opens her mouth.

“Do you think I’m an idiot?” she says. 

“I don’t know! You definitely weren’t super-careful about using protection—"

“We used it."

“Not when we woke up in the middle of the night."

She stares him down. “Do you want a kid, Spencer?"

“Me? No!” But even hearing her pose the possibility makes this real in a new way — a way that not even the sight of her stomach did. 

  Spencer Ragan

“Then leave well enough alone, would you? The baby isn’t yours."

“It isn’t? Why didn’t you just say so?"

“Because women generally don’t go out of their way to inform men that they aren’t expecting a child."

“Yeah, but we—"

“I did the math."

“So did I. It’s possible."

She sighs. “I was pretty sure it wasn’t — I mean, I know my body. My timing. But I had a test done just to be sure."

“You did?” He exhales so heavily that it feels as if someone just punched a hole in his throat, letting him take in his first oxygen in years. 

“Yes. I didn’t want to spend my whole pregnancy stressed out about some minute possibility, so I went ahead and had a test done before I even told Jason. The baby is his. You’re in the clear."

“Oh, thank god.” For the first time since she entered the room, he looks at something besides her — out the window, at the light coming up over the bay in the distance. 

“Jason still has no idea,” Natalie says. “And he won’t. Ever. As far as you and I are concerned, you’re Jason’s nephew, and that’s it."

“Fine by me."

“Great. I know this is what’s best for all of us."

He watches as she moves toward the door. “It is. Yeah."

Natalie opens the door and then turns back just long enough to add, “I’m glad we got this cleared up."

Then she is gone. Spencer remains standing in the middle of the room and catches sight of himself in the mirror above the credenza. His dark hair is still rumpled from sleep, and the bottom of a white t-shirt sticks out from beneath his zipped-up hoodie. He doesn’t look like anyone’s father. And he won’t have to.

So relieved that his whole body somehow feels weak — probably from an adrenaline crash — he goes into the bathroom and turns on the shower.


Natalie pulls the door to Spencer’s room closed behind her. The sound reaches down the corridor in both directions. She passes two housekeepers huddled around a supply cart, and they both smile gently at her when they notice her pregnancy. She returns the smile.

Only once she is alone in the elevator, riding back to the lobby, does she allow the facade to fall.

It’s done. That was all it took. She could tell that Spencer didn’t want to hear he could be a parent any more than Natalie wants him to be this child’s father. She has considered trying to have a paternity test done without Jason’s knowledge, but there is the chance that the results could come back saying something other than what she wants to hear. No, it’s much better this way.

When the elevator doors open, she strides confidently across the lobby and out to the parking lot, eager to drive off and face this new chapter of her life without any worries. 


Did Natalie do what’s best for everyone?
Will Claire and Samantha convince Tempest to get help?
Should Tim be concerned about Loretta?
Discuss it all in the Footprints Forum now!

Next Episode



Wed., February 17, 2016

For a printable version,
click here.

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