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- Spencer exposed Claire and Brent's romantic relationship during the Fishers' dinner party. Paula was critical of Claire for getting involved with someone so closely tied to the family.
- At Diane’s urging, Alex met with Yvette, who approved of him as an adoptive parent for her baby.
- Yvette
attempted to drive herself to the hospital while in labor -- but, mere blocks from the hospital, she lost control of the vehicle and had a head-on collision with Conrad’s car.

In her bathrobe, Diane Bishop flicks off the light in her bathroom and walks toward her bed. Her iPhone sits on the nightstand, bathed in the warm glow of the bedside lamp. She picks up the phone and quickly scrolls through the litany of e-mail messages that have accumulated over the last few hours, most of them spam and one from her condominium’s Homeowners’ Association, which is far worse than spam because it requires gritting her teeth and dealing with her neighbors.

She rattles off a quick response and sets down the phone. But as she reaches for the mound of pillows so that she can move them aside and fold down the duvet, the phone roars to life with an incoming call.

“Who the hell is calling this late?” she grumbles as she turns, especially when she sees the unfamiliar number on the display. But something about the nighttime hour compels her to reach for the phone and, instead of silencing it, pick it up.

“Hello?” she asks cautiously.

“Hi. This is Officer Kent with the King’s Bay PD. Who am I speaking with?"

“You’re the one who called me. What’s this about?"
  Diane Bishop

“There’s been an accident,” the officer says.

Diane’s heart rate kicks into overdrive. “What do you mean?"

“A woman named Yvette Banks. She has a California driver’s license--"

“I know her. What’s going on?"

“You were the last person she called, according to her cell phone. We’re looking for her next of kin."


“I wanted to tell you myself,” Claire Fisher says as she sets a plate of cookies on the dining table of her apartment. “Face to face, so I could explain what’s going on."

Travis Fisher looks up at her from his seat at the table. “I’m an adult. I can handle it."

“I know. But I also know it’s a sensitive situation."

“Leave it to Spencer to ruin something,” Travis says as he reaches for a chocolate chip cookie.

Claire hesitates; as much as she wants to agree with the statement, she also would love to avoid stoking the flames of resentment between the son she raised and her biological child any further. 

“It’s done now,” she says, taking a seat at the table. “As for Brent and I…” 

“Are you happy?"

An involuntary smile spreads over her face, and a warm sense of contentment moves through her. “I am. We are. I never expected this, but… at this point in my life, after everything that’s happened, it just feels… right."

“Then you should be happy.” He breaks the cookie in half and takes a bite out of one piece. “It doesn’t really affect anyone else."

“I just hope your grandma can see it that way.” Memories of Paula’s judgmental glare from earlier consume her for a moment, and she tries to force them aside. “Things seem to be going well between you and Rosie."

Now it is Travis’s turn to smile. “They are. She’s awesome--"

Before he can finish the thought, Claire’s phone rings. She quickly stands and goes to the kitchen counter, where she sees an unexpected name on the screen.

“What is it?” Travis asks, noting her reaction.

“It’s Diane.” Brow furrowed, she answers the call. “Hi. Diane. Is something the matter?"

“I need you to bring Tempest to the hospital right now,” the frantic voice spits over the line.

KB Memorial Hospital

Some time later, Samantha Fisher sits in one of the stiff plastic chairs in the hospital’s emergency waiting area. Her mother is on her feet, pulling her long sweater-jacket around her body as she paces the floor. 

“This is ridiculous,” Diane mutters. “There has to be something they can tell us."

“Maybe they don’t know anything yet,” Samantha says. The young woman fiddles nervously with her fingers, flexing and bending them. 

“Diane?” a voice asks, and they both turn to see Molly Taylor hurrying into the waiting room.

“What are you doing here?” Diane says.

“There was an accident. It’s-- it’s Conrad.” Molly reaches a hand up to her dark hair; she still wears her tasteful cream-colored blouse and navy pencil skirt from the dinner party at her mother’s home. “He left something at the house, and I tried to call him, but the phone kept ringing, and then… Someone called back and said he’d been in a car accident."

Samantha stands. “Tempest’s mom was in one, too. I wonder…"

“We haven’t heard a damn thing yet,” Diane says.

“Okay.” Molly takes her phone from her purse. “I told Natalie I’d call as soon as I know anything. She didn’t want to upset Bree before it’s absolutely necessary."

“He has another daughter,” Samantha says. “From his first marriage."

“She must be in college by now,” Diane adds.

Samantha interjects, “She’s older than that. She graduated two years ago. I can find her number--"

“Natalie was going to let her know, but thank you,” Molly says.

A weary-looking male doctor, wearing blue scrubs and a black-and-white surgical cap, enters the waiting area. 

“Is anyone here the family of Yvette Banks?” 

The three surge toward him.

“What’s going on with Yvette?” Diane asks. “And the baby."

The doctor looks at them. “You’re her family?”

“Her daughter and my daughter are together,” Diane explains. “We’re practically in-laws. What’s going on with her?"

“She’s still in surgery. There was significant damage to her heart, and she suffered a subdural hematoma. It’s…” The doctor frowns, his droopy eyelids drooping even further. “It’ll be a long surgery. We’re doing all we can."

“What about Conrad Halston?” Molly asks. “He was the other person in the crash."

“I’m afraid I don’t have any news, but I can find a doctor who can speak with you,” the surgeon says. “Are you family?"

“I’m… uh, I’m his fiancée,” Molly says. “His children aren’t here yet."

The doctor nods. “Let me see what I can find--"

“What about Yvette’s baby?” Diane asks, her voice escalating with anxiety. “Did the baby make it?"


Steam rises off the pair of mugs as Jason Fisher pours hot water over the teabags. He watches the vapor climb through the air as he struggles to comprehend the upsetting turn this night has taken.

“Everyone’s in bed,” Natalie Bishop says as she enters the kitchen from the hallway. 

Jason holds out one of the mugs to her. “Here. Might help us relax."

She takes it gratefully, her shoulders slumping. “I can’t believe this is happening."

“Molly hasn’t called with any updates?"

“Not yet. Maybe it’s for the best. By the time Bree wakes up in the morning, I hope I can just tell her that there was an accident but that her dad is fine."
  Natalie Bishop

Jason nods as he picks up his own tea. “Yeah."

“She shouldn’t have to deal with this,” Natalie says. “Losing her dad when she’s so young…"

He flinches as emotions are instantaneously stirred up. 

“What?” Natalie asks.

“Nothing. It’s just… this could bring up so much stuff for Sophie, too. I don’t want to…"

“None of us want to deal with it.” She moves to the other side of the kitchen island to join him. “Conrad’s going to be fine. He’s a stubborn bastard -- I can tell you that much from having been married to him."

“Fingers crossed,” Jason says, and then they sip their hot tea in silence, each of them attempting to will positive things into existence.


The doctor levels a serious stare upon Diane, Samantha, and Molly. “The baby--"

“There you are,” Claire exclaims as she rushes into the waiting room, holding Tempest by the hand. “What’s going on?"

“The doctor was just updating us,” Diane says. 

Tempest stands, wide-eyed and slack-jawed, a thousand emotions flashing behind her face, waiting for the doctor’s explanation. 

“We were able to deliver the baby,” the doctor says. “He’s in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit."

“It’s a boy?” Tempest says.

The doctor nods. “He’s stable at the moment. He’s suffering from something known as caput succedaneum — essentially swelling of the scalp due to the amniotic sac being damaged in the crash."

“That could be a lot worse,” Claire says. “It should resolve on its own, right, Doctor Albright?"

“Yes. That’s our hope.” He wipes a hand over his tired eyes. “I need to get back to Yvette’s surgery."

“What are you treating?” Claire asks. 

“A subdural hematoma and damage to the heart tissue. It’s too soon to say much else. I’ll be out with news whenever I have some. And I’ll ask about Mr…"

“Halston,” Molly says.

“I’ll have someone come speak with you right away.” Doctor Albright disappears back through the swinging doors. 

“Do you want to see your brother?” Claire asks Tempest. “I can take you upstairs.”

“I don’t know.” Tempest watches the swinging doors, as if expecting news to come flying out of them at any second. “That stuff he said about my mom -- what does it mean?"

Claire bites her lower lip. “If they’re still in surgery, it’s too soon to make much of a prognosis. But the fact that they’re operating is good. If she survived the crash and the baby is all right…"

“I’m gonna get some air,” Tempest says abruptly, and already she is breaking toward the balcony across the way. The four women watch her go, uncertain what to do.

“I’ll keep an eye on her,” Samantha says. She follows behind her girlfriend.
  Tempest Banks

“Let me see what else I can find out. I don’t want to freak out Tempest any further, but I get the impression that Yvette’s condition might be much worse than he was letting on,” Claire tells Diane and Molly. “Some of the nurses might be able to tell us something."

“I’ll come with you,” Molly says. “I want to be able to tell Natalie what’s going on with Conrad."

The two of them head toward the nurses’ station. Diane remains in the waiting area, arms folded across her chest as she continues to process tonight’s events and all the possible implications. After a long moment, she takes her cell phone from her purse and dials.

Alex, it’s Diane,” she says once the call goes to voicemail. “I’m sure you’re asleep by now, but there’s been an accident. It’s Yvette. The baby is okay, from what they’re saying. But Yvette is in surgery, and it sounds bad. You should get down to the hospital as soon as you get this. I’m worried she might… she might be close to death."


Samantha pauses outside the door to the balcony. She doesn’t want to intrude upon Tempest’s private processing of this terrible news, but she also knows that her girlfriend has a tendency to isolate herself and push anyone and everyone away in trying times such as this. After counting to ten, Samantha opens the door and steps out into the night. The chilly air assaults her.

Tempest looks up, and it’s clear that her eyes are watery. She uses the back of her hand to wipe them. 

“I’m fine,” she says, despite not having even been asked.

“Okay.” Samantha closes the gap between them and simply stands beside Tempest. “You don’t have to be, though."

Tempest gazes out at the collage of streetlights and headlights and stars up above. “This wasn’t supposed to happen."

“I know. Things like this don’t make any sense. But it’s good that the baby -- your brother -- is all right. I’m sure the doctors will have more about your mom soon."

With trembling lips, Tempest says, “I don’t want my mom to die. I never wanted that."

“Of course you don’t.” Samantha slides an arm across her girlfriend’s back and pulls her closer. “No matter what happens, I’m here with you. Okay?"

She feels Tempest nodding against her arm as they stand there, taking in the vastness of the dark night and the world going about its business all around them.


What will happen to Yvette and Conrad?
Will Alex heed Diane’s call and come for the baby?
Should Natalie tell Bree about the accident?
Discuss it all in the Footprints Forum now!



Sunday, April 23, 2017

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