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- Tempest declared that she wants to raise her infant half-brother, rather than having him be adopted by Alex and Trevor.
Conrad’s plans to leave King’s Bay and return home were put on hold after the car accident with Yvette left him hospitalized with two broken legs.
- Sabrina
grew desperate after her car broke down and she realized she would need a quick influx of cash. 
- During a brunch date with Travis, Rosie spotted someone she wanted to avoid and made a quick exit, claiming she’d been called into work. Later, Travis learned from Brent that Rosie had not been called to the station.

“Are you sure this is a good idea?"

Samantha Fisher leans on a table in the center of Cassie’s Coffee House, studying her girlfriend, who sits across from her. But Tempest Banks’s face betrays absolutely no doubt or indecision.

“Why wouldn’t it be a good idea?” Tempest asks.

“It’s just…” Samantha drums her fingers on the cup of tea that she doesn’t even particularly want. Muddy thoughts and blaring emotions fill her insides. After a full day of work at her new job at Objection Designs, this is the last conversation she expected to be having with Tempest.

“This isn’t just taking care of a relative,” Samantha says carefully. “This is raising a child. Becoming a mother. Do you really feel ready for that?"

My mom already had Isaac when she was my age,” Tempest says.

“And you’ve said yourself she wasn’t prepared for kids."

“No, but she didn’t have a good job or people to help her out."

Samantha bites her tongue and gazes around the busy coffee shop. All around her, people are chatting, listening to music, doing work on their laptops, and going about their lives; here, at this table, Tempest is talking about something that will irreversibly change her life -- both of their lives -- forever.

Seeing the intensity in Tempest’s face, Samantha selects her next words very cautiously:

“What would this mean for us?"

“Hey, I’m not telling you you have to do anything.” Tempest sits back in her chair. “I’m gonna get a place for me and the baby, but you can move in if you want, or we can stay together the way we are and you don’t have to take on any of that, you know, stuff with the baby."

The way Tempest says “stuff with the baby” sends a fresh jolt of nervousness through Samantha. She has seen this impulsive side of Tempest before. Usually it has to do with spontaneous drives or staying up all night to do something fun even if she has work the next day, but this is an entirely different category of responsibility, and it strikes Samantha as less impulsive than reckless.

“I just worry that it’s an amount of responsibility that you might not be prepared for yet,” Samantha says. “Like who’s going to watch the baby while you’re at work?"

“That’s what daycares are for."

“And they’re expensive."

She sees a momentary flash of realization in Tempest’s eyes, but as quickly as it appears, it vanishes, subsumed by stubbornness.

“I’ve got to make this work,” Tempest says. “That baby’s my family, and he deserves whatever I can give him."

“What he deserves is a good home with parents who can provide for him. If Alex and Trevor adopt him, you can still see him--"

“I don’t want those two taking this baby and acting like they’re some saviors. They wanted my mom to die so they could get him.” She shakes her head. “‘Him.’ I’ve gotta come up with a name soon. Nothing’s felt right yet."

“They did not want your mom to die,” Samantha presses. “They were talking about adoption before the accident. I know you’re feeling really emotional--"

“You know what? Screw this.” Abruptly, Tempest pushes out her chair and stands. “If you’re just gonna fight me on this, forget it."

“I’m not fighting you--"

“I sure as hell don’t hear you supporting me. You know what? I’m gonna do this whether I’ve got your help or not. So think about that."

Before Samantha can respond, Tempest turns and walks toward the exit and out of the coffee shop. Dazed, Samantha stares after her, then drops her face into her hands. This cannot really be happening. It can’t.


When Sabrina Gage finishes meeting with the mechanic, she walks to the nearby park and finds a seat on a bench. A middle-school baseball team is practicing on a baseball diamond not far away, so she casually watches as she takes from her purse the bottle of water and granola bar that she brought from home. She is nearly done with her snack when the person coming to meet her walks up.

“Thanks for coming down here,” Sabrina says.

Spencer Ragan stands over the bench. “You made it sound important. I’m going to guess this is about the request I made about Philip’s work?"

"It is. I’ve been doing some thinking…” Sabrina crumples up the empty granola bar wrapper and tosses it into the nearby trashcan. “I’ll help you."

He rolls his eyes. “How kind. You know that I have a legal right to those files anyway."

“You could probably make that case.” She feels an electric charge, a surge of power, from delivering such a nonchalant line -- even though she is sure that he is right and a court would rule in his favor if it ever came to that. She has been gearing herself to play this role and is surprised by how exciting it is. She still thinks that it is tasteless of Spencer to want to profit from the notoriety of his late brother’s name -- and for people to want to own photographs simply because they were taken by a serial killer -- but, in the grand scheme of things, no one is getting hurt, and why shouldn’t she receive some sort of compensation for the way Philip’s actions threw her life into a tailspin?

“Come on, Sabrina. Stop screwing around. That was Philip’s work."

“I said I’d help you.” She takes a breath to steel herself. “You said before that you’d be willing to cut me in."

“I did. How does $2,500 sound?"

She has to stop herself from reacting visibly. It sounds like a lot of money, even though she knows it’s likely a drop in the bucket to Spencer, especially if they’re talking about profits to be earned from releasing Philip’s unseen work posthumously. Finally she allows herself to shrug.
  Sabrina Gage

“That sounds really low,” she says. “I was thinking more like… ten percent."

Spencer takes a step backward in surprise. “Excuse me?"

“Fifteen percent of all profits that come from selling any work that you find on those drives."

“Who the hell do you think you are?"

She feels another thrill go through her as she stands up. “Someone whose help you need. You can think of me as a business partner, if you want."

He is silent as he looks her over for several seconds, as if scanning her, trying to recognize something that he has never seen before. 

“You’re out of your damn mind."

“Hey, it’s an offer."

“You have no right to any of Philip’s work."

“I worked really closely with Philip. Some of the photos on those drives are test shots that he let me take. I gave input on other stuff. So I could make an argument…"

“Fine. Ten percent."

“Ten? No.” She makes a move to stand up. 

“Twelve and a half. And that is my last offer,” he says sternly.

She hesitates, even though she already knows how she is going to answer. “Twelve and a half percent. Deal."

She sticks out her hand, and Spencer groans as they shake.

“We’ll have to sign something,” she says. “I’ll bring it to you to sign, and then I’ll put in the passwords."

A smirk cracks over his face. “I didn’t think you had it in you."

“I’m full of surprises,” she says, and as much as she hates the idea of making money off the terrible things Philip did, she cannot ignore the sense of relief that this is going to bring her.


Travis Fisher carefully carries the cardboard box down the stairs of his father’s house and adds it to the growing mound of boxes and bags in the foyer. Just as he is setting it down, a key turns in the front door, and Tim enters. 

“Making good progress, huh?” Tim comments.

“Yeah. We’re picking up the keys first thing in the morning.” Travis wipes his forehead and stands back from the boxes. “I still kind of can’t believe I’m finally gonna have my own place."

Tim grins. “I still can’t believe someone’s letting you and Landon be responsible for an apartment. But I’m excited for you."

He sets his keys down on the credenza and removes his jacket. “If you feel like taking a break, I’m meeting your sister and Diane for dinner in a little while."

“I should probably keep packing,” Travis says, hands on his hips. “But thanks."

As Tim hangs his jacket in the hall closet, he asks, “Where’s Rosie? I thought she was going to help you get all this stuff in order."

“Actually… something kind of weird happened."

Tim pauses, a hanger in one hand and his jacket in the other. “Weird how? Is everything all right?"

“I don’t know. Rosie and I went out to brunch, and we ran into Kathleen and Jimmy, so we sat with them, and then before we’d even ordered, Rosie said she was getting called into work."

“Well, her job can be a little unpredictable.” Tim hangs the jacket and closes the closet door. “Does that upset you?"

“No! But then I ran into Uncle Brent, and he said something about how they’d almost called Rosie in, but he likes her and felt like she deserved a day off, so he had them call another officer instead."

Tim’s eyebrows rise in understanding. “So she never went to work."

“I don’t think so."

“Hmm. Do you think maybe Brent missed something? Or there was something Rosie had to take care of down there that the commander wouldn’t have known about?"

Travis shakes his head slowly. “She told me later that she’d had a long day there and was exhausted. And Uncle Brent seemed pretty sure she hadn’t gone in at all."

“Why would she lie about that?"

“I have no idea. But it’s weird."

“It’s strange,” Tim agrees. “Maybe there was something Rosie had to take care of that she was embarrassed about. Could it have been something about her family?"

“Yeah. Maybe. But every time I try to ask her about her family, she shuts down. She says they aren’t close, but she won’t say anything more.” Travis leans against the bannister. “Should I ask her?"

“You could. If this makes you worry that you can’t trust her, then, yeah… better to be open about it from the get-go."

“I guess. I just don’t understand why she would lie."

“There could be a perfectly reasonable explanation,” Tim says. 

“But if there isn’t…"

“Then isn’t it better to know that now, rather than when things are more serious between the two of you?"

“You’re probably right,” Travis says, sounding dejected.

Tim claps a hand on his son’s back. “Listen. You can’t build a relationship on this kind of doubt. You deserve someone who’ll be upfront with you. If Rosie won’t, there’s someone else out there who will. But I’m crossing my fingers that there’s a completely reasonable explanation for all of this."

“Me too, Dad. Me too."


“I’m sorry to show up empty-handed,” Molly Taylor says as she hangs her purse on a nearby chair. “I didn’t even think until I was parking."

In his hospital bed, Conrad Halston chuckles. “You don’t need to come bearing gifts every single time you visit me."

Molly shrugs. “It’s always nice to have gifts."

Conrad gestures around the room. “If it’s scotch, then yes. But they tell me I’m not supposed to have that right now. I’m all set on flowers, I can tell you that much."

Sure enough, three separate arrangements of flowers rest on the table in front of the window. 

“I’ll be a little more creative next time I come,” she says. “I promise."

“Your presence is gift enough. Truly. Do you have any idea how bored I am?"
  Molly Taylor

“You need your rest."

“I don’t know if you’ve noticed this about me, but I’m not the best about lying back and doing nothing,” Conrad says. 

“Well, this is the time to let yourself off the hook.” Molly pulls the chair closer to the bed and seats herself. “I have some exciting news, though."

Conrad perks up, lifting his head from the pillow. “What’s that?"

“I just came from the office."

“The board meeting! Yes. Sorry, I barely have any sense of what day it is at this point. Did they--"

“They voted to let me return to work.” She nods enthusiastically. “Effective immediately."

“Oh, Molly. That’s wonderful. I’m so happy for you."

“Thanks. Yeah. I’m… I was a little concerned about the probation sentence, but I had enough votes in my favor. I can’t wait to… get back to normal."

“I’m really glad this worked out for you,” he says, reclining against the pillow again. “It’s time you were able to put your life back together again."

“And I can’t thank you enough for all your help.” She folds her hands in her lap. “I know I keep saying that, but it’s necessary. And true."

“It’s my job.” He looks down at the heavy casts on his legs, at the large straps lifting his legs up like two things that might as well not be part of his body. “It’s good to know I helped accomplish something, because I have a feeling the next few weeks are going to be spectacularly unproductive for me."

“What are your plans? Have you made any arrangements yet?"

Conrad lifts one shoulder in a shrug. “My daughter Grace said she’d come stay with me. I’m looking into hiring in-home care. Frankly I’ve been…” He waves a hand over his face. “A bit out of it, so I haven’t quite been focused."

“I’m sure.” Molly looks down at the floor and then back at him with a start. “I have an idea. It might be crazy."

“Should I be concerned?"

“No. Well, maybe. I’m sure this sounds slightly insane, but I have a spare room on the ground floor of my house. Danielle’s daughter stayed in it when she was living with us. We could get a hospital bed in there, and if you needed part-time care, you could have someone come. But this way, you can stay in King’s Bay, and you won’t be alone in your house…"

“That’s so generous of you, Molly. But I couldn’t impose like that."

“It wouldn’t be imposing. Not at all. I know we don’t know each other that well, but my family really owes you for all your help. I’m sure Bree would be thrilled to have you around a little longer, too."

He furrows his brow. “You’re serious."

“I am! I know it’s out of the blue, but… it’s kind of perfect. If you’d be comfortable with it, of course."

“Obviously I’d pay you for the room--"

“Obviously not. No way. You’d be a guest in my home. Guests don’t pay."

“I would insist--"

“And I would refuse.” She smirks at him. “Think about it, all right? This is a genuine offer. It would be nice to know that you’re resting and making progress."

A quiet beat passes between them.

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this,” Conrad says. “It’s really so generous of you."

Molly smiles. “I’m just glad that you’re going to be okay. I really am."

KB Memorial Hospital

“I think I have everything I need,” Veronica Nguyen says as he stands from her seat at the table in the hospital’s cafeteria. “I’ll be in touch about the home visit."

Across from her, Alex Marshall and Trevor Brooks both spring to their feet, as well.

“Thanks so much for taking the time to meet with us,” Alex says as he shakes the social worker’s hand. “We can’t wait to make that little boy a part of our family."

“We really appreciate it,” Trevor adds when it’s his turn to shake. “We’ll look forward to hearing from you."

With a professional nod, Ms. Nguyen gathers her things and exits the cafeteria. The two men remain on their feet, neither moving nor speaking, until she is gone.

“That went well. Right?” Alex says.

“I think so. Yeah. It seemed like it.” Trevor lowers himself back into his chair. 

Alex sits back down. “We just need to go through the house again. Make sure everything is baby-proofed and we haven’t missed anything."

Trevor nods. “Let’s do it as soon as we get home."

Alex toys quietly with his paper cup of coffee for a few seconds.

“Maybe Tempest backed off,” he says. “If she were going to get custody, that’d be it, right? They wouldn’t be wasting time meeting with us?"

“I don’t even know. But from everything Claire has said, it’s up to the social worker to decide where to place the baby. Tempest doesn’t just automatically get him because she’s a relative."

“I still worry they’ll wind up siding with her because she is,” Alex says. “But I guess we can’t control that."

Trevor turns toward his fiancé. “Alex, we’re both successful adults, we own a home, we’re financially prepared to raise a child. Tempest is a great kid, but she’s a kid and she’s just starting out. There’s no way."

“Yeah, but…"

“But what?"

“I’m pretty sure she could paint a less-than-favorable picture of us if she wanted to."

“What does that mean?"

“My whole thing with Liam and the book and… us.” Alex sighs. “And your… acting career."

“Tempest doesn’t know about that,” Trevor says, his eyes widening. “And it’s ancient history."

“It’s still the kind of thing that could be twisted. You did porn. That isn’t something family courts really look highly upon."

“It won’t come up. It won’t.” Trevor pushes out his chair and stands again. “Come on. Let’s get home and make sure everything is in order for the inspection."

Frowning, Alex slowly follows suit. “Yeah. Let’s do that."


In the hospital’s parking lot, Veronica Nguyen is nearly at her car when her cell phone rings. She pauses and sticks a folder underneath her arm so that she can take her phone out of her purse.

“This is Veronica,” she says after not recognizing the number on the caller ID.

She listens to the animated voice on the other end for a moment.

“Of course, Tempest. When are you able to meet?"


Tim quickly crosses the dining room of Harbor Boulevard restaurant when he sees his daughter and her mother waiting at a table. He gives Samantha a hug and a kiss on the cheek before taking his seat. 

“I’m always happy to get a dinner invitation from you,” he says, “but I get the impression this is more than a casual catch-up."

“I wanted to talk to both of you,” Samantha says seriously. 

Diane sets her hands on top of her menu. “Is this about Tempest? And this thing with the baby?"

“Yeah. She says she wants to adopt him. Raise him."

Tim looks to Diane with concern, but she plows right ahead. 

“This is insane,” she says. “She is not ready to raise a child on her own."
  Samantha Fisher

“How do you feel about this?” Tim asks their daughter gently.

“I…” She struggles to produce words for a moment. “I feel like it’s not a great idea. She hasn’t thought it all the way through."

“She’s gone through something very traumatic, losing her mother so suddenly,” Tim says. “I’m sure that taking care of her brother feels like a way of making up for what she’s lost. But I would agree that she isn’t really in a position to become a parent."

“That’s putting it lightly,” Diane says, exasperated. “This is craziness. You don’t have to go along with it if you don’t want to."

Samantha’s eyes dart around, unable to settle. “I know. But I love her. And if this is something she feels like she has to do…"

“You are too young to be tied down with a child,” Diane says. “You’re just beginning your career."

“A baby is a lot more responsibility than you or Tempest can even imagine,” Tim adds. “Have you talked to Claire? What does she say?"

“She thinks it’s not a great idea, either. But Tempest isn’t listening to her."

“Imagine that,” Diane says. “Claire being ineffectual."

“Not the time,” Tim interjects with a warning tone.

“Well, that girl needs to listen to someone.” Diane’s gaze shifts from Samantha to Tim and back again, as the waitress arrives beside their table. “And if it isn’t Samantha and it isn’t Claire, then it might as well be me."

“Don’t do anything crazy,” Samantha says. “Mom. Please."

“Never.” Diane opens her menu. “Now, what does everyone want to drink?"


Will Diane be the one to change Tempest’s mind?
What will the social worker decide about the baby?
Did Sabrina’s handling of Spencer surprise you?
What about Molly’s offer to Conrad?
Talk about it all in the Footprints Forum now!



Friday, June 02, 2017

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