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- In the wake of Yvette’s death, Tempest lashed out at Diane and Alex, accusing them of being vultures waiting for Yvette could die so they could snatch her baby.
- Trevor told Alex that he agrees they should adopt Yvette’s newborn son.
- Spencer
arranged for baby Peter to undergo a second paternity test, much to Natalie’s annoyance.

“Well, I think that’s wonderful,” Helen Chase says as she refills her mug of tea with hot water from the kettle. “It’s a very generous thing of you boys to do.”
Alex Marshall reaches for one of the homemade brownies that Helen has set out on the kitchen table. “We both know that we want a family. It’s very…” He casts a glance at Trevor Brooks, who is seated beside him at the Chases’ kitchen table. “…sudden, but it does seem like this opportunity came right to us.”
“And maybe that means it’s something we’re not supposed to ignore,” Trevor adds as he clasps Alex’s hand.

Helen places the kettle back on the stove and returns to the table, where she slips back into a chair next to her husband’s. “We couldn’t be happier for you two,” she says. “And please know that if you ever need any kind of help, we’re here for you. This is almost like having another grandchild!”
“It really is,” Don agrees, nodding over his own cup of tea. “It’s just horrible what happened to that poor woman.”
Alex’s lips settle into a thin, stern line. “I know. I saw her only a few hours before the accident. If she had just called 911 -- or Uber--”
  Alex Marshall

“Well, I can hardly blame her for not wanting to get in the car with some stranger,” Helen says. “You never know what kind of crazies you’re going to encounter in today’s world!”
Don shakes his head. “It’s just so sad.”
“It is,” Helen continues. “Poor Tempest must be beside herself.”
“Yeah…” Alex lets out a heavy sigh. “I think she’s grieving very hard. She and Yvette had so many unresolved issues.”
“It will be nice for her that you’ll be raising her brother,” Don says. “Maybe that will help her keep up some kind of connection with her mother.”
“We hope so. She’s really struggling right now, from the sounds of it.” Trevor checks the time on his phone. “We want to talk to her after we meet with the social worker. Really make sure that she understands that we’re open to her being a part of the baby’s life, if she wants to be.”
Helen sips her tea and then asks, “Have you figured out a name yet?”
Alex and Trevor trade a look, and a conspiratorial glimmer lights up both their faces. “We have an idea. We’ll let you know as soon as it’s official.”
“Like Helen said earlier,” Don says, “we’re here for you. Anything that you or that baby need -- just call us and we’ll be there.”
“Thank you,” Alex says, smiling warmly across the table at Don and Helen.
KB Memorial Hospital
Natalie Bishop nervously bounces her infant son on her knee as she sits in a plastic chair in an exam room on the hospital’s fourth floor. The room is deadly silent, the air dense as molasses and nearly as suffocating. Across from her, seated on the padded exam table, is Spencer Ragan.
“You’d think they would want to get to us as soon as possible,” Natalie mutters, “so they could squeeze some more people in here to rip off.”
Spencer turns, a nasty gleam in his eye. “You’re that eager to blow up your entire life, huh?”
“I just want this over with,” she snaps, as the door opens and a short woman with close-cropped red hair and pink scrubs enters.
“Hi, I’m Doreen,” the woman says. “I’ll be collecting your samples today.”
Both Spencer and Natalie simply stare at her.
“Well, then,” Doreen says as she focuses on Peter. “Who’s this little fellow?”
“This is Peter,” Natalie says grudgingly, “and he would love to get home for his nap, so if we could move this along…”
Doreen gives a dutiful nod. “Of course. Let me just get things ready…” She rustles around in the cabinets and emerges with three vials. “What I’m gonna need to do is get a swab from all three of you. Then we seal them up in these and send them down to the lab.”
“Ladies first,” Spencer says, gesturing toward Natalie. “In fact, make sure that you do her and Peter before me. That way they can be on their way.”
Natalie’s mind races. “No, you can go first--”
Spencer grins at her. “I insist. You first. Then I can hang around and watch Doreen pack up and label these samples. Make sure everything winds up in the right place.”
Doreen recoils. “I assure you, we hold ourselves to the highest standards--”
“It isn’t you I’m worried about,” Spencer says, flashing another warning look in Natalie’s direction.
Natalie sighs as Doreen moves toward her with one of the swabs.
“It’s so good to see you,” Claire Fisher says as she leans into Brent Taylor’s chest.
Brent wraps his arms around her. “Same. Hell of a weekend, huh?”
They stand beside the nurses’ station in the hospital’s emergency room. Hospital staff and nervous visitors hustle past them; voices sound almost continuously over the PA system.

“It feels like it was six months long.” Reluctantly, Claire takes a step back from their embrace. “I’m glad you could stop by, at least.”
“Hey, even if you only have fifteen minutes, it’s better than not getting to see you until tonight.”
“At which point I will actually be a zombie.” She rubs a palm over her eyes. “Even when I did get to get in bed last night, I felt so jumpy that I couldn’t actually fall asleep.”
“Like I said, hell of a weekend.” Brent shakes his head in disbelief. “How’s Tempest holding up?”
  Claire Fisher

“She’s upstairs visiting the baby now. I wasn’t sure she would even want to see him at first, but after everything…” She waves a hand through the air to indicate the chaos of the past 48 hours. “I think he’s giving her something to focus on. She was even talking about naming him.”
“I guess that couldn’t hurt,” Brent says. “Put a name on the birth certificate, and then whoever adopts him can do what they like.”
“Yeah. I’m just trying to feel out what she needs. If she wants me around, great. I’m there. If she wants space, I can make myself scarce. It seems like she’s feeling so many conflicting emotions.”
“She’s lucky to have you.”
“And I’m lucky to have her,” Claire says. “It’s tough to imagine a time when I didn’t have her in my life, you know?”
“I’m glad you’re there for her. She’s going to need a lot of support.”
“Yeah.” She bites her lip, lost in thought for a moment. “It really does put things in perspective, though. Paula being upset about us being together… that seems like it doesn’t even matter now.
Brent leans against the nurses’ station. “Because it doesn’t. Not in the long run. It sucks if she wants to hold that against us, but if we’re happy, we’re happy. We aren’t hurting anyone.”
Claire widens her eyes. “Paula begs to differ.”
“Molly will survive this,” Brent says, exasperation sneaking into his voice. “She’s the one who divorced me.”
“Try telling that to an angry ex-mother-in-law.”
“I guess I need to go over there and face her soon,” he says. “But in the meantime, let’s not worry about Paula. Or even Molly. We’re going to work all of this out, okay?”
She is unable to hold back a smile as she stares up at him. “I know we are.”
With her black-framed reading glasses perched on her nose, Molly Taylor hunches over her laptop at the kitchen table. When Danielle Taylor enters, she stops at the sight of her former sister-in-law.
“Back to work already?” Danielle asks.
Molly takes off her glasses. “I’m catching up on as much as I can for the board meeting. I tried to keep an eye on everything, but…” She lets out a groan. “Being away for this long, there’s stuff you miss. I just don’t want to slip up at all.”
“You ran that company forever. You are its vision. You’re going to be great.”
“I don’t know about that,” Molly says wearily. “If I had just been exonerated, end of story, that would be one thing. But this entire ordeal has been so big, and I did still get convicted of something.”
Danielle refills her water glass from the dispenser on the front of the refrigerator. “I’m crossing my fingers for you.”
“Thank you. How are you?”
“I’ve been writing like a fiend,” Danielle says as she crosses to the table. “This thing with Yvette… it kind of threw me for a loop.”
“I can imagine. I didn’t even realize you knew her.”
“We only met a few times, but I could tell she had such a fire inside her. The way she sang at that Open Mic Night -- it was like she had been waiting her entire life to let all of that out.”
“It sounds like she was…” Molly sets her glasses down on the table. “Like she had trouble focusing on being a mother. A really complicated life, I guess.”

“Yeah. No surprise, from what we knew about Tempest running away. Still, it’s just… sad. A life over before she even knew what to do with it.” Danielle looks up at the ceiling. “It makes me grateful that I didn’t make more of a mess of my life. That I had people around to help get me back on the right path.”
“Hey,” Molly says. “You were as much a part of getting clean as any of us.”
Danielle shrugs. “Still. Yvette never had that kind of support system. She and her kids paid for it. And now…”
“It really is so sad.”
  Danielle Taylor

After a sip of water, Danielle says, “I’ve been writing so much since I found out yesterday. It’s like there were all these emotions I needed to get out.”
“It’s a good way to handle grief, I would imagine.”
“Yeah. And I’m realizing there were all these things left over from losing Ryan, too -- things I kind of danced around in writing songs but didn’t fully lean into. I really thought the album was just about done, but now... I’ve been feeling like I needed something a little more personal. Raw. And now I feel like it’s just coming out.”
“Then get back upstairs and write!” Molly says. “You have to seize those moments when they come.”
Danielle quickly refills her glass again. “You’re right. Don’t make yourself too crazy over the Objection stuff. They’re going to be thrilled to have you back.”
“I hope you’re right,” Molly says as she reaches for her glasses and refocuses on the laptop.
“Damn you, Spencer,” Natalie grumbles to herself as she steps off the elevator onto the hospital’s ground floor. With Peter hiked on her hip, she quickly makes tracks through the busy space toward the exit that leads to the parking garage.
“Natalie!” a voice calls out, and she instantly tenses up. When she turns, she sees Alex and Trevor coming her way, looking far too pleased to see her.
This is exactly what I was worried about, she thinks as she fixes a pleasant expression on her face.
“What are you two doing here?” she asks as they converge in the middle of the lobby.
“We’re headed upstairs to see Claire and Tempest,” Alex explains. “And… well, there’s some stuff going on that you’ll hear about soon enough.”
“I hope everything’s okay.”
“It should be, yeah,” Trevor says. He pauses to poke Peter on the nose, which elicits a giggle from the baby. “What are you doing here?”
Conrad. I actually just stopped in to see him. Bree wanted me to drop off a present,” she says quickly, and now that they know Conrad is going to make a full recovery, she doesn’t even feel bad using his hospitalization as her cover story.
“She’s a sweet kid,” Alex says. “Is she doing okay with all of this?”
“She’s good, yeah. Happy that her dad is okay. Listen, I need to get this one home to eat and nap before he turns into an absolute monster.”
Alex grasps Peter’s little hand. “You could never be a monster. Could you, little guy?”
“Talk to me at 3 a.m. sometime,” Natalie says. “When you guys have one of your own…”
A secretive look passes between the two men.
“We’ll let you get him home,” Alex says. “Good to see you. I’m sure we’ll be by the house soon.”
“I’m gonna hold you to that,” she says, and with a final wave, she hurries toward the exit.
That could’ve been a lot worse, she thinks. But then again, the results of Peter’s paternity test will be back very soon… and if she doesn’t figure out a plan right away, worse is going to seem like a walk in the park.


What will Natalie’s next move be?
Will Tempest be receptive to Alex and Trevor?
Will Molly be reinstated at Objection?
Talk about it all in the Footprints Forum!



Friday, May 19, 2017

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