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While cross-examining Tori, the District Attorney presented evidence suggesting that Tori had known Spencer wasn’t at home on the night that Philip attacked her — calling her entire testimony into question.
- Travis was confused about why Rosie suddenly went cold on them when their burgeoning relationship seemed to be going well.
- Spencer
demanded that Natalie submit baby Peter to a paternity test.

King's Bay District Courthouse

“Are you sure? Or did you know that Spencer was out of town, and you still went over to his home -- with the intention of visiting not your cousin, but Philip?"

The District Attorney’s question descends upon the courtroom like a thick blanket, muting even the faintest of sounds into a tense hush. On the witness stand, Tori Gray feels every particle of attention in the room hone in on her even more strongly than before.

At the defense table, Molly Taylor leans over to her attorney. 

“What’s going on?” she whispers. “What is she trying to do?"

Conrad Halston furrows his brow, his face an uneasy network of lines. Then he springs up from his chair.

“Objection,” he says in a strong, assured voice. “Complete speculation."

The D.A., Audrey Tam, shoots a dark look Conrad’s way. 

“Your Honor,” she says, her words dripping with annoyance, “we have records of a social media post showing that Spencer Ragan was in Seattle, not King’s Bay, on the night of October 16th, as well as data showing that Victoria Gray logged into her social media account several times between the time that post was made and when she arrived at Philip Ragan’s claiming she was there to see Spencer."

“Your Honor, this has nothing to do with my client shooting Philip Ragan in self-defense,” Conrad says.

“But it does,” Tam counters. “I promise this is relevant, Your Honor."

Judge Ricardo Sandoval looks between the two attorneys for an uncomfortably long moment.

“I’ll allow you to proceed,” he says, “but please keep it relevant to the shooting in question."

Tam nods and then refocuses on Tori. Conrad reluctantly takes his seat.
  Tori Gray

“Had you seen that Facebook post?” the D.A. asks Tori. “Did you know your cousin, Spencer, was in Seattle that evening?"

Tori keeps her shaking hands in her lap. She glances toward Conrad and Molly, but only for a split-second -- she doesn’t want them knowing the truth any more than she wants the prosecution or the judge knowing.

“I never saw it,” she says. “Otherwise I wouldn’t have gone."

“Not even to ask Philip for advice about those art classes you mentioned?"

“I wouldn’t have gone all the way there to do that. I didn’t know Philip that well.” She wipes her sweaty palms on the bottom of her skirt as a chill rolls through her body. 

In the audience, Matt Gray nervously watches his daughter undergo questioning. 

“What the hell’s this about?” he quietly asks his wife, who’s seated beside him. 

Sarah shakes her head, but her stony gaze never leaves the D.A. as she studies the woman with near-superhuman intensity. 

"I'm not sure," she admits. "It has to be more of them trying to cast doubt on whether Philip was actually the killer."

"He tried to kill Tori!"

Sarah sighs. "That's why they want to discredit her." She recalls how Conrad's preparation for this testimony sent Tori into such a tailspin that Sarah herself had to ask whether Philip's attack on her had a sexual component, too; she feared that might be why Tori was so closed-off about the attack. 

Matt lets out a frustrated huff. Sarah has to remind herself not to rush up there and snatch Tori off the stand. The only consolation is that she suspects the D.A. will not tread into that territory, because it will only make Philip seem more dangerous and Molly’s shooting of him seem more justified to the jury. 

“Okay,” the D.A. says as she paces over the floor, her high heels clicking lightly. “You said you found that duffel bag under Philip’s bed, yes?"

“Yeah. Yes."

“And why did you open a bag that, as far as you knew, had nothing to do with you and was Philip’s personal property? What did you expect to find in there?"

“I-- I don’t know,” Tori says. “I maybe wouldn’t have thought anything was weird, but he came in and saw me and freaked out."

“Freaked out how?"

“Like I said before: he came in and saw me kneeling. Maybe he thought I was taking too long. I don’t know. But he told me to get away from it. There was something so weird about it."

“So you unzipped the bag."


“The shoes that you say were inside that bag -- how could you be sure that they were the same shoes you claim to have seen a photograph of months earlier?"

“For God’s sake,” Sarah mutters in the audience. 

“There was red paint on them,” Tori answers, sounding a little more confident than she did even a minute ago. “And the way Philip reacted -- he started panicking. That’s how I knew.” 

Tam stops moving and squares her shoulders toward the witness stand. “Ms. Gray, did Philip Ragan ever admit to you that he was the so-called Footprint Killer?"

Tori’s mouth flaps open and closed several times, and again she looks to Conrad for assistance. 

“He attacked me!” she finally answers.

“Did he ever verbally confirm that he had committed the murders of Sandy James, Ryan Moriani, Cameron Kelley, or Rosalyn Brooks?” the D.A. asks.

Tori hesitates, but she knows there is only one answer she can give. “No."

“No further questions."


After the cross-examination wraps up, Judge Sandoval calls for another brief recess. Attendees file out into the hallway. Diane Bishop is responding to an e-mail from work -- a typical KBAY e-mail on which far too many people are CC’d and far too many people are chiming in -- when Alex Marshall and Trevor Brooks approach her.

“That was kind of brutal, huh?” Alex says. 

“If you ask me, they’re just firing shots in the dark,” Diane says. “They’ll try to make Tori sound like a liar, and if that works, then it’ll sound like Molly had less reason to be scared of Philip."

Trevor shakes his head. “That’s crazy."

“No crazier than the rest of this.” Diane finishes tapping out the message on her phone and tucks it back into her purse. “Sorry. Work BS."

“I’ve been checking in all morning, too,” Trevor says. “I can’t wait until Molly is back in the office. Everything is weird without her there."

“I hope she gets to go back,” Diane says ominously. 

The weight of that hangs over them for a moment before Alex claps his hands together and forces a smile.

“I figure we could all use some distraction right now,” he says, “so we wanted to invite you to a little dinner party on Saturday. You and Samantha, I mean. Tempest is welcome, too, obviously. And if you’re seeing anyone--"

“I’m not. But that’s sweet of you. As long as the wine is flowing, I’ll be there. I can’t wait to see the new house."

“It’s finally coming together.” Alex throws a sideways glance at Trevor, which Diane does not fail to clock.

“What’s the look for?” she asks.

Instead of answering, they trade that look again.

“Okay, boys.” She plants her hands on her hips. “What’s up?"

“We wanted to have a real dinner party,” Alex says, dragging out the words a bit, “so, of course, I invited Jason--"

Diane interrupts him with a groan. “And my sister."

“And Natalie. Yeah. Is that okay?"

“I already have to share DNA with that cow,” Diane says. “Now you want me to share a meal with her?"

“We felt weird not inviting Jason to our first dinner party,” Trevor explains. “If it’s too awful for you, we can do two separate dinners…"

“I’m a big girl. I’ll handle it. Or at least drink a lot of wine."

“It’ll be fun,” Alex says cheerily.

A smirk spreads over Diane’s face. “You really haven’t seen my sister and me together much, have you?"


“You did a great job up there,” Conrad says to Tori once the family has gathered around the defense table.

Molly reaches out a hand and touches it to Tori’s arm. “You did. Thank you."

Tori shrugs. “It was nothing."

“It was something,” Sarah says. “It was really brave. And you didn’t crack -- they were hoping that you would."

Tori feels all of their eyes on her, burning into her, and suddenly the pressure is too much. There is no way that prosecutor could know that she really went to the loft to see Philip that night, but it still felt as if, somehow, she knew

“I need to use the ladies’ room,” Tori says, and before any of them can stop her, she breaks for the back of the courtroom. 

Normally, she would be annoyed at how crowded the hallway is, but right now, it feels good to be lost in the sea of faces and bodies. She bobs along, pushing her way through mostly unnoticed, until she reaches the restrooms and ducks inside.

There is one woman washing her hands at the sink, and she can see a pair of feet in one of the stalls, but otherwise, it is empty. And calm. She approaches the mirror and takes in her reflection. She is surprised to see that she doesn’t actually look as tired or frazzled as she thought she did.

The other woman dries her hands and exits. As Tori catches her breath, she reaches into her purse and takes out her cell phone. It has been on silent since before she took the stand, and she sees that there are several notifications. Most are not of any particular interest -- two Snapchats from people she barely ever speaks to, a notification from the Kim Kardashian game that she hasn’t really played in months -- until she notices the sole text message.

Hey stranger. It’s Zane. How’ve you been?

She double-checks that it was sent a safe time ago -- over half-an-hour -- and begins typing a response. She starts and stops a few times before she comes up with the right one.

Pretty good. Today’s been weird. What’s going on with you?

The person in the stall flushes, and the sudden noise startles Tori. Just as she is calming herself down, the stall door opens, and Helen Chase emerges. They catch eyes in the mirror. 

“You did very well up there, Victoria,” Helen says as she comes to the sink and turns on the water. 

“Thanks.” Tori sighs. “I’m just glad it’s over."

“I’m sure it was difficult for you.” Helen soaps up her hands. “That prosecutor seems like such a nasty lady!"
  Helen Chase

“I guess it’s her job,” Tori says. Her phone buzzes again, and she glances at it.

Day off today. Wanna hang later?

“Could you do me a favor?” she says.

Helen finishes rinsing her hands and turns off the water. “Of course, darling."

“Tell my mom and dad that I went to get some fresh air. I don’t really feel like being here anymore."

“I can understand that. Of course I’ll tell them. Are you sure it’s safe for you to go out alone?"

“I might meet a friend,” Tori says, “or just go get food and go home. But I need some space."

“I’m sure they’ll understand.” Helen uses paper towels to dry her hands. “You take care of yourself."

“Thanks, Mrs. Chase."

“How many times do I have to tell you to call me Helen?” With a smile, the older woman exist the restroom. As the door closes behind her, Tori returns her focus to her phone and types out one more text.

How about now?


Back in the courtroom, Officer Rosie Jimenez is called to the stand and sworn in. 

“You were on duty at King’s Bay Memorial Hospital the morning after Thanksgiving last year. Is that correct?” Conrad asks.

“Yes. The King’s Bay PD was -- I was assigned to guard Tori Gray’s hospital room."

“And what did that entail?"

“Monitoring who came and went from the room. There was a list of approved visitors. No one besides those people and hospital staff was supposed to be allowed in."

“Was Philip Ragan on that list?"

Rosie’s entire being seems to seize up at the mere mention of the name. Still, she forces out her answer: “Yes."

From his seat in the audience, Travis watches intently. He has only really ever seen Rosie in two contexts: as a police officer, on duty and in her uniform, all business, and as a civilian, looking younger and much less serious. This new version of her, in a conservative black suit up on the witness stand, throws him for a loop. She seems so adult, so grave, and yet without the confidence that she normally radiates when she is in uniform. 

And she will not make eye contact with him, no matter how hard he tries.

“On that morning, did you allow Philip Ragan into Tori Gray’s room?” Conrad asks.

“I did.” Rosie pauses and swallows hard. “He had brought flowers. He told me that if I needed to go use the restroom, he’d be in with Tori until I got back."

“So you went to the restroom?"


“Had you stepped away while other family members or people on the approved list had been in the room?"

“A few times, while Tori’s parents were in with her,” Rosie says. “I always checked in with them. I would never just step away without…"

She trails off, and the courtroom waits.

“Without what?” Conrad prompts her.

“Without being sure someone safe would be in that room until I came back. And I thought Philip was someone safe. He was on the list. I really never thought...” Something catches in Rosie’s throat, interrupting her. 

Conrad’s tone softens into something gentler, something almost comforting, as he proceeds. “Never thought what?"

Travis watches carefully as Rosie looks to the judge and then to the jury, as if needing reassurance that she won’t be attacked for what she is about to admit.

“That he was dangerous. He killed Tori’s grandfather while I was gone,” she says. “When I left, Philip was in there, and when I got back… Paula Fisher was yelling for help, and her husband had been strangled to death."

Travis feels his stomach turn at the memory of receiving the news from his father that Bill had been murdered. It seemed impossible, after they had all celebrated Thanksgiving together the night before -- after Travis had helped Bill prepare the meal that they brought to the hospital for the family. And the next morning, he was dead.

He leans over to his sister. “I get what’s going on."

Samantha screws up her face. “What do you mean?"

“With Rosie.” 


“It’s about Grandpa,” he whispers. “She still feels guilty."

At the front of the courtroom, Conrad asks, “How long were you away from Tori’s room?"

“Only a few minutes. I went to the restroom, and on my way back, I got a call from Detective Harris -- the detective heading up the murder investigation. He said there had been a threat sent to the radio station, so we should be extra-careful about guarding Tori Gray."

“Did you go right back to Tori’s room after that call?"

She nods. “Right away. That’s when I found Mrs. Fisher there--” Her mouth quivers. “I’ll always regret walking away from that room and leaving Philip Ragan to do what he did. Always."


Natalie Bishop sets the baby monitor down on the kitchen counter. She takes a moment to drink in the utter stillness and silence of this moment, the sort of moment that is in very short supply around this house recently. Bree and Sophie are both at school, and Peter is down for a nap, and the house is utterly quiet. She is considering whether to take the monitor into the family room and lie down on the large, sectional sofa when she feels her phone vibrate in the pocket of her hooded sweatshirt.

A feeling of dread overtakes her when she sees the name on the screen: Lindsay. Because there is no Lindsay. But she knew that she very well couldn’t put Spencer Ragan’s number in her phone under his actual name, and if Jason or someone else were to see the name Lindsay pop up on her phone, they’d never question the existence of some fictional girlfriend she met at yoga class. 

As much as she has been fearing the arrival of this message, part of her is relieved, too. She just wants this nightmare of a paternity test to be over with. And sure enough, there it is: the name of a lab, with next Monday’s date and an 11 a.m. appointment time.

Fine, she types back. I’ll be there.

Now she just needs to figure out how to ensure that the results state that Spencer isn’t Peter’s father.
  Natalie Bishop

“Is he napping?” comes a voice from behind her, causing Natalie to jump nearly right out of her skin.

“You scared me,” she says as she turns to face Jason, wondering how in the hell she didn’t hear the front door opening or closing. 

“Everything okay?” He sets his keys and phone down on the granite-topped island. “I thought I’d check in on my way to the office."

“Everything’s fine. Yeah. Peter just went down for his nap.” She tries her best to appear steady, to look normal and a little tired and not nervous. “How was court this morning?"

“The D.A. really went after Tori during cross-examination. Conrad thinks they’re just trying to discredit anyone who testifies that Philip was the killer, so Molly seems less justified in shooting him, and…” He exhales heavily, as if trying to push the stress of the day out of his body. “The whole thing is exhausting."

“I bet. I feel bad that I can’t be there, but I’m not sure an infant would do too well in court."

“Everyone understands. And you put Molly in touch with Conrad, which was huge. He’s great. I think she feels very safe with him."


A buzzing grabs both of their attention. Natalie’s phone, now sitting on the countertop, lights up with the name again: Lindsay.

“Who’s Lindsay?” Jason asks.

“That woman I met at yoga a few months ago? She has a three-month-old. We’ve been talking about getting together for lunch, but… you know how easy that kind of scheduling is."

He nods sympathetically. “Speaking of which: looks like we have a reason to get a sitter on Saturday.” 

“Oh really? What for?"

“Alex and Trevor are having a dinner party,” he says. “Alex feels like the new house is finally ready to show off."

“That’ll be fun. I can call some people…"

“I think my mother would be more than happy to take Peter for a few hours."

Natalie laughs. “Okay, yeah. She has said that a few hundred times."

“I’ll ask her,” Jason says. “There is one thing…"


“They invited Tim. And Samantha. And--"

“Diane? Ugh. Are you serious?"

“Diane and Alex are close,” he explains. “I know you and your sister don’t get along, but I can’t tell my friends who they’re allowed to invite or not invite to their parties.” 

“I know that. But the thought of sitting there eating dinner across from my smug sister--"

“We don’t have to go. Or you don’t have to go. I’d really like to celebrate my best friend’s new house, especially after all the help he gave me over the past few years."

She feels a familiar rush of panic and quickly says, “We’ll go. I can behave. We’ll see if Diane can do the same.” 

“Great. Thank you.” He folds her into a hug. “It’ll be good to spend some time with Samantha, too. How bizarre is it that we can both call her ‘my niece’? Should that be a red flag?"

She feels his chest heave as he chuckles, but before she can respond with a joke, something else takes shape in her mind.

“It’s a little weird that we’re both related to her, yeah,” Natalie says, as offhandedly as she can, even as the idea continues to crystallize. “But you’re right: I’m sure dinner will be great."


A blue-gray haze shrouds King’s Bay as Tori makes her way down Pier 14. She walks past the handful of businesses toward the end of the pier, watching the uneasy water shift and shimmer as the light that manages to peek through today’s clouds hits it, until she finds Zane Tanaka waiting at the railing at the very end.

“How did you beat me?” she asks. “And what are those?"

“You sounded like you could use a pick-me-up, and it’s a little early for booze, so… ice cream it is.” He holds out the two cones, one in each hand. “Sea salt caramel or cereal-and-milk? I took some shots in the dark."

“Umm… I’ll do the caramel."

He hands her the cone. 

“Sounded like you had a rough morning,” Zane says as he takes in her outfit, a combination of black sweater, pink collared shirt, and gray skirt selected to make her appear innocent and young to the jury. “Work thing?"

“No, it was a-- a family thing. I’m actually still in school."


“Yeah. I had to take spring semester off, but I’m taking classes again this semester.” She pauses to take a lick of the ice cream. “Okay, that’s really good."

“It’s from that place over there.” He points to one of the small shops, an ocean-themed hole in the wall, on the very pier on which they’re standing.

“Really? I always thought that was some kind of, like, tourist trap. It’s so cheesy."

“So did I. Until I discovered its secret.” 


He lets his shoulders drop in exaggerated defeat. “Okay, I read about it online. But it’s awesome, right?"

“It is. Yeah. Thanks for getting these. That was nice of you."

“Like I said, sounded like you could use something. So I guess your family’s from around here, if you were with them and you had your little brother at the park…"

“Yeah. They’re all here. My mom grew up in King’s Bay. My dad’s from Pittsburgh. How about you?"

“They’re all over,” he says. “I was born in Eastern Washington. My mom moved us out here after she and my dad got divorced. And I kind of just stuck around. I’ve thought about moving down to Silicon Valley."

“Probably a lot of jobs there for you."

“If I could break in, maybe. That’s why I need to get at least one of these apps off the ground. And to do that, I need money, which…” He holds up an index finger and swirls it around. “You just wind up going in circles, you know?"

She nods along.

Zane finishes another taste of his ice cream before asking, “So is everything okay with your family? Seems like you had an intense morning."

She opens her mouth to begin explaining, but just as it seemed when she ran through it in her head on the Uber ride over here, every version of it sounds insane. This guy seems cool and nice and down-to-earth. Telling him that she was just a key witness in her aunt’s murder trial could not possibly do her any favors. 

“It’s complicated,” she says, “and honestly, the number one way for my day to get better would be to not talk about it. Is that cool?"

“Fine by me. You want to walk a little?"

She looks out at the soupy sky and then back at him. “Yeah. Let’s walk."


“We’ll take our lunch recess now and reconvene in exactly one hour,” the judge says, using a rap of his gavel to punctuate the declaration.

As the courtroom begins to buzz and move around, Travis watches Rosie, who has been waiting anxiously near the back of the room. When she moves for the doors, he stands, too.

“I’ll be right back,” he tells Samantha. “Or maybe not."

“Where are you going?” she asks, but as she watches him go, the answer is clear.

“Hey! Wait up!” Travis calls once he is out in the hallway. Up ahead, Rosie stops and turns around, and he uses the paused moment to work through the crowd and catch up to her.

“Thanks for going up there and testifying,” he says. “That’s gonna be a big help to my aunt."

Her brown eyes shift around. “It’s my job. And I was subpoenaed, so I wouldn’t have had much choice, anyway."

“Still. Thank you.” He lets that settle as he gathers his nerve to plow ahead. “Listen, I don’t know exactly what changed, but it seemed like things were going well with the two of us, and then this court thing came up and it was like..."

“Like what?"

“Like you totally pulled back. I like you, Rosie. Okay? I like you. I’m into getting to know you better. So if this is all because of what happened with my grandpa, you don’t have to keep beating yourself up over that. I know I said some shitty things to you at the time, but I apologized, and I’ll apologize again. I don’t blame you. None of my family does."

He feels as though he has just ripped his heart out of his chest and slapped it in front of her, and now he waits. And waits. 

When Rosie finally speaks, her voice is as measured as he has ever heard it: “That’s sweet of you. But it isn’t going to work, okay? Sorry, Travis."

“Why? Why not?"

“Because.” She gestures toward the courthouse entrance. “I’ve got a shift coming up. Gotta go."


But she just keeps walking until she is out of the courthouse, leaving Travis to wonder what the hell just happened.


What is really going on with Rosie?
What is Zane’s ulterior motive with Tori?
Will Alex’s dinner party be a disaster?
What is Natalie up to now?
Talk about it all in the Footprints Forum!



Friday, November 11, 2016

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