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- Yvette went into labor and tried to drive herself to the hospital, only to wind up in a head-on collision with Conrad's car.
- After learning of the accident, Molly came to the hospital to check on Conrad's position, while Natalie put Bree to bed and awaited word.
- Diane,
Samantha, Tempest, and Claire gathered to hold vigil for Yvette, who underwent surgery for a subdural hematoma and cardiac damage.
- The doctor reported that Yvette's baby boy had been delivered safely. Diane left a voicemail for Alex to inform him of the situation.

KB Memorial Hospital

The sun creeps over the horizon, and faint brushstrokes of color stretch across the sky as dawn breaks over King’s Bay. 

In the waiting area of the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, the first thing Tempest Banks sees when she cracks her eyes open are the harsh fluorescent lights overhead. Squinting against the unexpected visual assault, she cranes her neck until she spots Claire Fisher in a nearby chair, a magazine in her hands.

“Looks like you got some sleep,” Claire says when she notices that Tempest is awake. 

“Yeah.” The word comes out as more of a croak. Tempest swallows hard, then sits up and tries to shake off the fuzziness of her slumber.

Claire sets down the magazine on a small, short end table. “Your mom is out of surgery."

“And she’s okay?"

“She’s hanging in there. They have her listed as being in critical condition right now. It’s too soon to know more."

Tempest lets that sink in as she looks around. Everything about the waiting room feels less urgent, less frantic, than it did last night. Maybe because the news of Yvette’s car accident was such a shock then, or maybe because that’s how things are around here in the mornings. 

“Is she awake?” she asks.

Claire shakes her head. “Not right now. Someone is supposed to tell me the minute she wakes up, though."


“The baby is doing all right,” Claire says. “They seem pretty confident that he’s going to be fine. I went up and saw him a little while ago. He’s very cute."

Tempest isn’t sure what to do with that. The fact that Yvette actually had a baby in the midst of all this -- that this child they’ve been talking about for months is now an actual person and a little brother to Tempest -- doesn’t feel real.

“Do you want to go meet him?” Claire asks, a hopeful note in her voice.

“I need to get food,” Tempest says, pulling herself to her feet. “You want anything?"

“I’m all right, but thank you."

“Cool. I’ll be back.” Tempest heads for the elevator to make her way to the cafeteria.


Alex Marshall resists acknowledging that he is awake for several minutes. He luxuriates in the warmth and safety of his bed, listening to the muted sounds of the shower from the adjoining bathroom. When he hears Trevor turn off the shower, Alex decides that it’s time for him to wake up, too, so he lazily reaches toward the nightstand and picks up his cell phone. 

A glance at the display reveals that he missed a call and a voicemail from Diane late last night. He assumes that it must be mere follow-up about their meeting with Yvette last night… but as the recording plays in his ear, he bolts upright in the bed.

“Alex, it’s Diane. 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."

Any lingering traces of sleepiness vanish into the ether as Alex processes the news. He has a hundred questions that he wants to ask, but the message fades into nothingness, and there is no one to ask, let alone answer him. He is about to dial Diane back when the bathroom door opens. 

Trevor emerges, a white towel wrapped around his waist, his impossibly toned torso on full display. But he stops in his tracks when he sees Alex sitting there, phone in hand.

“What’s wrong?” Trevor asks at once.
  Alex Marshall

“It’s…” Thoughts and scenarios race through Alex’s brain. “There’s something I need to tell you."

Trevor’s face goes gray with worry. “You’re scaring me."

“Last night, when I said I went to check Don and Helen’s garage… I lied to you."

“What? What are you talking about? Why would you--"

“Diane called. She said Yvette wanted to meet with me. And I thought, well, it wouldn’t hurt just to have a conversation with her. But I didn’t want you to think I was doing it to pressure you."

“So you went behind my back and lied.” Anger flashes in Trevor’s eyes. “What did you say to her? That you’re open to adopting her kid? Even when I said I’m not?"

“I just wanted to see if-- I don’t know, if we even got along.” Alex’s chest tightens with anxiety. “I’m sorry. I wouldn’t have even brought it up--"

“Oh, great. So you would’ve just kept lying to me. Cool.” Flustered, Trevor throws his hands up in the air. “And it was so easy for you. Just pick up some cupcakes and dumb old Trevor will never know, right?"

“It wasn’t like that."

“But it was. You lied to my face and walked out of this house. What made you tell me the truth now? Are you going to pick up the baby?"

“Yvette was in a car accident,” Alex says. Somberness falls over the room, like a fire blanket thrown over a growing flame. “A serious one. Diane left me a voicemail while we were asleep."

Trevor stands awkwardly, his body seemingly frozen. “Is she…?"

“I have to call Diane back. I don’t know anything besides that she was in surgery last night and it didn’t look great."

“Okay.” Trevor’s head nods slowly and uncertainly. 

“I’m sorry I lied,” Alex says as he climbs out of bed, phone in hand. 

“I hope she’s okay."

“Yeah. Me, too.” With one final glance at his fiancé, Alex lifts the phone to his ear and exits the bedroom.


Molly Taylor peeks her head through the cracked door of the patient room. She sees Conrad Halston staring in the general direction of the TV in the corner of the room, on which the morning news plays. Both of his legs are in casts and elevated, and another bandage is wrapped around his head.

“The nurse said you were awake,” she says.

Conrad turns and takes her in with glassy eyes. “What are you doing here?” he asks after a long moment of contemplation.

“I came as soon as we heard about the accident. I’m so glad you’re okay."

He looks at his immobilized legs. “I don’t know about okay…"

“They say you’ll make a full recovery, though.” She moves closer toward the bed. “Natalie’s going to bring Bree by in a little while."

“Bree…” His voice has a hazy, faraway quality, no doubt thanks to the many painkillers that have been administered since his surgery. “Is she okay?"

Molly nods. “She went home with Natalie and Jason last night. Natalie didn’t want to tell her until there was concrete news. She called your older daughter, too.” 

“Natalie hates Grace."


“Grace. My daughter. Natalie always hated her and her mother. She thought I worried about them too much.” His head lolls back against the pillow. “Sorry, I’m a little…” He waves a hand over his face.

“You’re fine,” she assures him. “Can I get you anything?"

“No. But thank you.” He offers a lopsided grin. “I can’t believe you’re here."

“I wanted to make someone was here in case… in case you needed anything. And I still owe you."

“You stayed all night?” 

“Yeah. Claire, Diane, and the girls have been here, too.” 

The lines etched in his face deepen as he frowns in confusion. “Why?"

Molly glances at the TV as she attempts to gather the proper words.

“The other car in the accident… it was being driven by Tempest’s mom. Yvette."

She watches as concern, then panic, pierce the bubble of medication that has been enveloping him.

“What?” He struggles to sit up in the bed. “Is she okay? What happened--?"

“Don’t move too much,” she says, reaching out both hands to steady him. “You just got out of surgery yourself a few hours ago. So did Yvette. She’s-- she was in labor at the time of the accident. Driving herself to the hospital, they think. She must have lost control of the car. They were able to deliver the baby, and his prognosis is good so far."

“My god.” He lies there, propped up on his elbows, stunned. “I remember headlights coming at me…"

“It’s a good sign that she made it through surgery,” Molly says, “and that the baby was delivered all right. And that you’re okay, too. The doctor says you have two broken legs, some cracked ribs, and a few other bumps and bruises, but you should be okay in the long run."

Again he stares at the pair of casts on his legs. “I’m… I’m lucky to be alive, aren’t I?"

“You could say that,” Molly says. “But you are, and we’re going to do whatever is necessary to make sure you’re as good as new as quickly as possible. Deal?"

It takes him a second or two to focus on her again, but when he does, he manages a smile. “Deal."


The crowded elevator seems to take an eternity to climb to the ICU, as it stops at every floor along the way. When it finally arrives, Alex waits impatiently for a lady with a walker to step off the car before he can make his own exit. Once free, he beelines for the waiting area, where he spots Claire scrolling through her phone. 

"Hey, Claire," he says. "Is Diane here?"
Claire reacts to the sight of him with surprise. "Not yet. She and Samantha went home to shower."

"That's what she said. I must've beaten her back. What's the word on Yvette? How about the baby?"

"Yvette is in critical condition. The baby is in the NICU, but things are looking good," she says. "Diane told you to come down here?"

"I met with Yvette last night. We hit it off. I thought..." He shakes his head as another pang of guilt strikes him. "I don't even know what's going on, to be honest. But I felt like I needed to be here."
  Claire Fisher

"It's good that you came."

"Be straight with me," he says. "How is Yvette really looking? Diane said she might be close to death."

"What?!" a voice exclaims from behind him. He and Claire both look to where Tempest stands, a coffee in her hand and an expression of utter devastation on her face.


“Move it, asshole!"

“Mom, calm down,” Samantha Fisher says from the passenger seat as she braces against the dashboard.

“I just want to get back there already,” Diane Bishop says, “and this person going 25 in a 40 is not making it any easier."

Samantha watches the traffic ahead with mild terror. “Well, just be careful. Especially after what happened last night."

She watches Diane’s face darken, and her grip on the wheel loosens ever so slightly. 

“I’m a little on-edge. Sorry,” Diane says. She glances over at her daughter. “How are you holding up? You must be exhausted."

“I slept as much as you."

“So, not very much."

“Yeah. But it’s hard to turn off my brain when things like this are going on. Especially because Tempest is so upset.” Samantha sighs. “I wish there were something I could actually do."

Diane eases the car to a stop at a red light. “The best thing you can do is be there for her. She needs people around her right now."

“You know, I wouldn’t have thought she’d be this upset,” Samantha continues. “I mean, of course, it’s her mother, and it’s scary, but it’s like she hasn’t wanted to admit that she cares about Yvette -- even in spite of how terrible things were when she was younger. And now it’s like she can’t just pack all that away and ignore it."

“I think Tempest has been protecting herself for a long time,” Diane says, “and I can’t really blame her, based on how her childhood sounds. But your parents are always your parents. Even if they aren’t very good at it…"

“Like how you never want to see Grandma and Grandpa."

Diane shifts uncomfortably in her seat. “Your grandparents and I have never been close. Never will be. But I still wouldn’t wish on them what’s happening to Yvette. Doesn’t mean I want to deal with them on a daily basis."

“Why not?"

“You’ve seen how they talk to me.” Diane takes her foot off the brake as the light turns green, and the car begins to roll forward. “But this isn’t about me. It’s about Tempest and Yvette -- and making sure everything turns out okay for that new baby."


“This is a nice surprise,” Patrick Brooks says as he lets his son into the house. “I thought you spent your Sunday mornings at that spin class."

“Not really in the mood for spin today,” Trevor says. 

“What’s the matter?"

Trevor shrugs, burdened by the enormity of it all.

“Come on.” Patrick leads the way to the kitchen, where the morning paper is spread over the table beside a mug and a plate with a donut on it. “Coffee? Donut?"

“Coffee would be great.” 

As Patrick retrieves a mug, Trevor sinks into one of the chairs at the kitchen table. 

“Am I wrong in guessing that this is about Alex?” Patrick asks.
  Trevor Brooks

“You are very right. He went and… last night, he told me he had to go out to do something for Don and Helen, and it turns out he actually went to meet with that Yvette lady about adopting her baby."

Coffee pot still in hand, Patrick turns. “I thought you told him how you felt about that."

“I did. And he turned right around and met with her anyway. Let her think it was still on the table.” 

“How’d you find out?"

“He told me,” Trevor says, accepting the mug of coffee from his father, “but only because he had to. Diane called -- there was a car accident. It sounds like Yvette was hurt pretty badly.” Seeing the next question forming on his dad’s lips, Trevor hastens to add, “The baby is fine, from what Alex said. In the hospital but born okay and just being monitored."

“Well, that’s a plus.” Patrick joins his son at the table. “And you and Alex left things unresolved?"

“He went to the hospital. I don’t blame him, really. He’s obviously interested in this. But, like… he lied to my face."

“You have every right to be upset about that."

“Right? Dad, I just… I want to trust him. I want to spend my life with him. But if he can lie to me that easily…"

“Keep in mind that he did tell you the truth only a few hours later,” Patrick says. “That’s something."

“True. But he had to, because of the accident. What if… what if I don’t get onboard with this? What if this is something he feels like he has to do?"

Patrick holds his coffee in front of his face as he thinks. “Then you cross that bridge when you come to it. Maybe it’s worth thinking about why you’re so opposed to this."

“Because I don’t feel like we’re ready! This is a real, live baby now,” Trevor says, jerking forward as he speaks. 

“And that’s a valid feeling. If you aren’t ready to be a parent, you shouldn’t be a parent."

“Exactly. But what if Alex is, and I’m not? What if this is the thing we just can’t agree on?"

“You’re the only one who can decide if this is all a dealbreaker for you,” Patrick says, “and whatever you feel is all right. There’s no right or wrong here--"

“Besides him lying to me."

“Besides that. But it’s up to you and Alex to decide what’s most important to each of you, and whether those things are compatible."

Trevor sips his coffee. “I’m just scared that they won’t be. And then what?"


Claire and Alex stare back at Tempest. 

“Why would you say that?” she demands. 

“I was just…” Alex holds up both his palms. “I’m sorry, Tempest. We’re all just worried about the worst."

“She’s not gonna die,” Tempest says. 

“No one thinks she is,” Claire says. “She’s in critical condition, so we’re just--"

“You said her body needs to rest. That she could be fine."

“And she could be!” Claire moves toward Tempest, but as she does, Tempest recoils and steps backward. 

“Can we go up and see the baby?” Alex asks. “I hear he’s doing well."

“What are you even doing here?” Tempest asks, her eyes narrowed and her brow furrowed hard. 

“Alex met with your mom last night,” Claire explains, “to talk about adopting the baby."

Tempest shakes her head vigorously. “No. You shouldn’t be here."

“I’m sorry,” Alex says, looking to Claire for help. “You shouldn’t have heard that. I shouldn’t have said it."

“You said she was close to death! What, are you waiting for her to die so you can take her baby? You’re twisted if you think that’s how it’s gonna go.” She turns on her heels and heads back to the elevators.

“Where are you going?” Claire calls after her.

“I’m gonna go see my brother. And he’s not allowed to come up there, you hear me?” Tempest turns the corner and disappears from view.

“I’m so sorry,” Alex says to Claire. “I didn’t realize…"

“It’s a delicate situation. That’s all. She’s in a lot of pain and having a lot of intense emotions.” Claire folds her arms and then lowers her voice. “Between you and me, I’m not that optimistic about Yvette’s prognosis. And I’m not sure if it’s better or worse to shield Tempest from that until we have more information."

Alex looks toward the corner that Tempest rounded moments ago, as if expecting to find her still standing there. “That poor girl."

“I wish there were something we could do besides wait,” Claire says as she nods gravely.


Is Tempest right to be angry with Alex?
Can Alex and Trevor work things out?
What will happen to Yvette?
Will Conrad’s injury bring him and Molly closer?
Discuss it all in the Footprints Forum!



Friday, April 28, 2017

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