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- Hank Bassett, the biological father of Yvette’s baby, declared that he wants Alex and Trevor to adopt the boy. Tempest, who was already upset about seeing the man who abused her years ago, was infuriated after Hank revealed that Diane was the one who summoned him to King’s Bay.
- Tori was upset after Zane declined dinner with her to stay home and work on his app. Sarah was secretly relieved that the budding relationship might already be over.
- Spencer
showed Natalie the DNA results, which named him as Peter’s father. They struggled, and Spencer fell down the stairs. Natalie took the results and fled, while Sabrina heard the commotion from outside.

Natalie Bishop’s teeth chatter and her fingers rattle against the steering wheel as she pulls into the driveway of the home that she shares with Jason Fisher and their kids. It is such a normal sight, such a hallmark of her everyday life, that for a moment, what she just experienced seems like it must have been some sort of dream.

But it wasn’t. She was in Spencer Ragan’s house. She saw him tumble down those stairs, his body twisting and thumping and finally falling over the edge of the staircase to land in some eerily contorted pile on the dark floor. She keeps replaying the moments before the fall in her head; she is sure that she didn’t push him, that Spencer’s fall was an accident. She was trying to stop him from going down the stairs. She knows it.

But he still fell. And she was in the house -- the only one in the house -- when it happened. If anyone finds out...

She looks at the folded set of papers on her passenger seat. The paternity test results. Even in her panicked state, she knew that it would be ruinous for Spencer to be found with those papers in his hand. And after all that she’s been through to keep their fling a secret… She shakes her head, as if to reassure herself. She had to take those papers. 

Now there is only the question of how Spencer will be found.
  Natalie Bishop

She thought of stopping on her way home to call 911 from a payphone. But that would open up so much suspicion. The police would know that someone had been in that house. As it is, the fall could have been an accident. Hell, it was an accident! And that Sabrina girl was there. Natalie has no idea why she would’ve been there, but she was there and clearly alarmed that Spencer wasn’t opening the door. 

Natalie looks up at the house. The sun is setting above it, its light fading away as a sheath of black overtakes the King’s Bay sky. She draws a deep breath, shoves the folded papers into her oversized purse, and steps out of the car. 

She is walking up the stone path when the door flies open.

“There you are,” Jason says, a jovial grin on his face. 

She finds that thoughts are flying through her mind so rapidly that there is no space for words, that her thoughts have to duck and weave even to present themselves clearly.

“I, um, sorry, I got held up,” she says. “I didn’t mean to worry you."

“No, it’s fine. The food just got here. I heard your car in the driveway.” He steps out onto the porch as she approaches, purse over her forearm. Mechanically, she plants a kiss on his cheek. 

“Traffic on the way back from the hospital was a nightmare.” She lets out a groan for added effect.

“How’s Conrad doing?” Jason asks as he steps aside to let her enter the house.

“He’s good. Yeah. He’s being released soon."

“Glad to hear it."

As Natalie slips off her high heels, Jason closes and locks the door. She places her purse on the floor, then realizes that it is open and picks it back up. Having those papers inside makes the entire thing feel like a ticking time bomb. She wonders if she should just shred them. They don’t have a shredder in the house, but she could go to one of those copy places--

“Nat?” Jason says.

She snaps out of her thoughts as she realizes that she was hearing his voice as a gentle hum in the background but not processing any of his words. “What?"

“I was saying that Bree finished her homework.” He steps in front of her as she scrambles to zip up the purse. “What’s going on with you? You look like you’re a million miles away."

Natalie could swear that she feels more color drain from her face, if that is even possible.

“I haven’t eaten all day,” she says weakly. “We should get into the kitchen…"

Before she can finish the thought, the sharp blare of Jason’s cell phone ringing cuts in. She is so grateful for the interruption that she lets out a heavy exhale, which she prays that he did not see. He is already taking the phone from his jeans pocket.

“That’s strange,” he mutters as he looks at the screen.

Natalie’s heart rate spikes again. “What? What’s wrong?"


Outside Spencer’s house, Sabrina Gage folds her arms against the nighttime chill and holds the phone to her ear.

“Hi, Jason,” she says after hearing his voice. “It’s Sabrina."

“Sabrina. Hi,” comes the voice through the phone. “What can I do for you?"

“I’m sorry to call while you’re at home.” She gulps, staring out at the flashing sirens that light up the increasingly dark sky. “But something has… something happened that I need to tell you about."

“What’s going on?"

“There was an accident. I don’t know, but-- it’s Spencer. He fell down the stairs at his house."

“What?” She can almost hear him gripping the phone tighter, his breath heavy against the minuscule mouthpiece. “Is he okay?"

“I don’t know. He isn’t… he’s not awake. I was outside and heard something, and then he wouldn’t answer, so I called 911. They’re taking him to the hospital."

Mere feet away, in the driveway, medics load the stretcher carrying Spencer’s body into the ambulance. Sabrina feels on the verge of tears as she takes this in. 

“I…” Jason pauses to take several rapid, shallow breaths. “Thanks for letting me know."

“You’re welcome. I didn’t know how to get in touch with his parents -- your brother and Claire -- but I thought I should tell you."

“I appreciate it. We’ll get down to the hospital. Thank you, Sabrina."

“Okay. I’m sorry to be the one to have to tell you.” She listens to the harsh slam of the ambulance doors. “I’ll keep Spencer in my prayers."

“Thank you,” Jason says, and then she hears the line go dead. She lowers her phone to her side and looks through the front door into the gorgeous, modern house. From this angle, she can see the dangerous staircase beside which Spencer was lying when the medics broke down the door. 

“Please, God, watch over Spencer and keep him safe,” she whispers as she gazes up at the sky.


“I have to call Tim, and then I have to get to the hospital,” Jason says as he clutches his phone in his hand.

Natalie’s anxiety is so intense that she can hardly form words. “That was Sabrina? What happened?"

“Spencer fell down the stairs,” he explains. “She called 911, and they’re taking him to the hospital. He’s unconscious."

“Oh my god.” She walks herself through the motion of lifting a hand to her mouth in shock. “Okay, let’s go."

He shakes his head. “You can stay with the kids. I’ll call when I have news."

Natalie’s head is spinning. There is no way she’s sending him off to that hospital, where he could wind up with more information than her. What if he somehow sees Conrad and learns that she wasn’t actually there earlier? What if Sabrina saw something? What if Spencer wakes up?

“No, I’m coming with you,” she says. “I’ll call Kayla from down the street. She’s good with the kids. You call Tim and Claire. We can be out of here in ten."

He stares back at her, but his surprise melts quickly into something warm. 

“Thank you,” he says. “You’re the best."

As he lifts up his phone to start making calls, Natalie rifles through her purse for her phone. She doesn’t know whether to be relieved that help got to Spencer in time. She would never want his death on her conscience, and yet, if he wakes up and reveals all...

I can handle this. I can handle all of it, she tells herself as she finds Kayla’s number in her phone.


“And then, after your regular foundation, you use the darker one to put some blocks on your face,” Tori Gray says as she picks up one of the makeup sticks on the coffee table. “You should definitely do your temples and your cheekbones."

As her granddaughter lifts the foundation toward her, Paula Fisher shrinks back. “Are you sure this isn’t going to make me look crazy?"

Tori laughs. “Grandma, lots of people contour. Look at the Kardashians!"

“I don’t really watch their program,” Paula says with a shrug.

“Well, you see them on magazine covers and on the internet. And they always look so well defined and angular, right? It’s because of contouring."

Paula regards the stick in Tori’s hand as though it were a butcher knife. 

“I’m just afraid I’ll look silly,” Paula says. “Won’t it be garish?"

“Not when we’re done blending.” Tori straightens her grandmother’s shoulders so that she is facing her head-on. “And if you hate it, we can wash it right off. Just something new for you to learn."
  Paula Fisher

Paula relaxes slightly, her shoulders lowering. “You’re right. I appreciate you taking the time to do this, dear."

“Like we all said, it’s good for you to have some stuff to keep you busy while you’re… you know,” Tori says.

“Under house arrest."

“Yeah. And come on! House arrest is a very Kardashian thing. So you’re halfway there."

Paula sighs. “I suppose so. Have at it, then."

Tori begins applying thick blocks of the dark foundation just beneath Paula’s cheekbones. She then moves to her temples and is finishing them when the doorbell rings. 

“Oh dear,” Paula says as she picks up the hand mirror and studies her face.

Tori stands. “I’ll get it. You stay here."

She moves swiftly from the living room into the entryway, and when she pulls open the door, she sees Zane Tanaka standing there with a bouquet of red roses in one hand.

“Hey,” he says, his tone somber. “I’m glad you answered, actually. Can we talk?"

Tori stiffens and places her hands on her hips. “What are you doing?"

“I saw on your Insta story that you were at home, so I thought I’d surprise you.” He holds out the flowers. “Peace offering?"

She stares down the roses. They’re beautiful, their color a rich red and the petals just beginning to open. But she doesn’t say anything. 

“Look, I’m an idiot,” Zane says. “I have a tendency to get all caught up in my work and shut other stuff out. I know it’s dumb. I should make time for you. That’s my bad. So… will you give me another chance? Please?"

The swiftness with which he says it all -- as if he has been thinking about it for hours, as if he urgently wants to get it all out -- thrills her. She felt so small earlier at his apartment, when he declined her dinner invitation because he was too busy and barely even seemed to care. Now it feels as if he is desperate to make sure she knows that he cares.

“The roses are a nice touch,” she says tentatively.

“You like them?"

“They’re gorgeous. Yeah.” She takes them from him and smiles. “Do you mean what you said?"

He nods hurriedly. “Yep. I’m the idiot. I’m sorry."

“Okay. Good.” She leans in and purses her lips. Zane takes the cue and kisses her. She revels in the warmth from his lips.

“Oh, this is wonderful!” comes a voice from behind Tori. They both turn to see Paula clapping excitedly.

“Grandma!” Tori says. 

“I’m sorry, dear. I just had to see what was going on.” 

Zane lets out a laugh. “What’s, uh, what’s going on here?"

Paula gasps and lifts both hands toward her face. “Oh, no. I forgot."

“We’re in the middle of a contouring lesson,” Tori explains to Zane. “Come on, Grandma. Let’s go back in the living room and I can finish it for you."

“I don’t want to interrupt,” Zane says. “I’ll let you get back to it."

“It’s all right, dear,” Paula says. “You’ve already seen me like this! How much worse can it get? Please, come spend some time with us."

Tori closes the door, and the three of them return to the living room. Zane plants on the loveseat while Tori and Paula sit on the sofa. Paula examines herself in the hand mirror.

“Now how do you make this look less ridiculous?” she asks. 

“That’s what this is for.” Tori takes a droplet-shaped sponge from her makeup kit, which rests on the table. “Come here."

“I think you look great already, Mrs. Fisher,” Zane chimes in. 

“I’m not so sure about that,” Paula says through closed lips as Tori works on her, “but that’s very sweet of you."

Tori is still blending the foundation when her mother enters the room. Her expression goes from amused to stern the moment she spots Zane on the loveseat -- and then sees the roses resting on the end table.

“What’s going on in here?” Sarah asks, her brow furrowed.


Samantha Fisher rushes to answer the door. She is halfway through the living room of her mother’s condominium when the doorbell sounds again.

“I’m coming!” she calls out, and a moment later, she undoes the lock and pulls open the door to find her girlfriend standing there. Waves of cartoon rage might as well be radiating from Tempest Banks’s body.

“Are you okay?” Samantha asks. “Your text--"

“Where is she?” Tempest demands.


Your mom! Where the hell is she?"

“I…” Samantha stops, perplexed. “She’s out. I don’t know where she is. What’s going on?"

“This is her fault. It’s all her fault."

“What is?"

“She called him!” Tempest slams the door closed, and the force rattles the walls. “She called Hank and had him come here."

“The guy your mom-- the baby’s father?"

“Yes! You know I had to stand there and talk to him like he was some kinda normal person who didn’t smack the shit out of me when I was 12 years old?” Tempest grits her teeth and shakes her head. “You have any idea what that was like?"

“No. I…” Unsure what else to do, Samantha reaches out and places both hands on her girlfriend’s shoulders. “I’m so sorry you had to see him. Come here."

Tempest looks at her, still seething with rage, but something cracks just enough so that Samantha has the opportunity to wrap her arms around the other girl. They stand there, bodies pressed together, and Samantha takes deep breaths, hoping the rhythm will transfer to Tempest and calm here.

“Tell me what happened,” she says. 

Slowly, Tempest pulls back from the embrace. “That social worker -- she called us all to meet. And she walks in with Hank and tells us that since he’s the dad, he gets to pick who adopts the baby."

Samantha already understands the rest of the story before Tempest tells it.

“He chose Alex and Trevor,” she says.

“Yeah!” Tempest makes a fist and slams it into the palm of her other hand. “And it’s her fault. She called him and got him to come here. She did this."

Although Samantha’s mind is racing, she feels the need to keep as level a head as possible and keep things civil. 

“She’s been trying to help,” Samantha says.

“Yeah. Help Alex and Trevor take my brother away from me."

“But don’t the birth parents have the legal right to decide who adopts a baby? If you had him and then Hank showed up--"

“He didn’t show up. She found him. She called him! Because she decided Alex and Trevor should be his parents and there isn’t a damn thing anyone can say to change her mind.” Tempest grunts loudly, frustration rumbling through her. “She knew what she doing."

She marches over to the couch and sits. Samantha isn’t sure what to think. On one hand, she feels terrible for Tempest, who has been through so much lately. On the other, it is a relief to know that Tempest will not be raising a child -- and that she will not have to be part of that at this stage of her life. Being a parent seems like such a far-off concept right now. 

“The important thing is that your brother is going to be safe and loved,” she says.

Tempest jabs a finger toward her own chest. “It should be up to me to decide that! Not Hank, and not your mom!” 

The sound of the key in the lock steals both their attention, and they are silent as Diane opens the door and enters the condo. 

“Hi,” she says, clearly sensing the tension in the room as she looks between the two young women.

Tempest springs to her feet. “We’ve gotta talk."


Hands clutched together, Jason and Natalie rush out of the elevator and into the waiting area. They spot Sabrina sitting in a chair with her hands folded together in her lap.

“Oh, good,” Sabrina says as she stands up. “Are Spencer’s parents coming?"

Jason nods. “They’re on their way. Thank you again.” He glances around nervously. “Do we know anything yet?"

“No one has come out to tell me anything.” Sabrina’s face twists up in agony. “I still can’t believe this happened."

Natalie steels herself and puts on her best innocent expression. “You found him? How did that happen?"

“I was coming over to… There’s some stuff with Philip’s estate that Spencer had asked me for,” Sabrina explains, her voice as shaky as her hands. “When I got there, I rang the doorbell, but there was no answer. I heard Spencer yell from inside the house--"

“Yell?” Jason asks. “Was that when he fell?"
  Sabrina Gage

Sabrina’s wide eyes grow even larger. “It sounded like he was fighting with someone."

“But there was no one there once the ambulance showed up?” Natalie asks. “That seems strange."

“I don’t know,” Sabrina says with an uncertain shake of the head. “It sounded like he was yelling at someone else. But there wasn’t anyone else there."

“Maybe he just shouted as he was falling,” Natalie says with a shrug. “That could be what you heard."

“Maybe. Yeah.” Sabrina nods along, still not totally convinced. “But I’m glad I called 911. When they broke down the door, he was…” She shudders. “He was just lying there."

Natalie tries to calm herself by taking long, slow breaths, but they hardly do any good. 

“Did the paramedics tell you anything?” Jason asks.

“Not really.” Sabrina swallows hard. “I really hope he’s okay."

“We all do,” Natalie says gently, though inside her head, thoughts are dueling for prominence: Of course you want him to live. But if he doesn’t, no one will ever know about Peter. If he wakes up, he might tell everyone right away. 

A doctor, a short man with gray hair and a white lab, pushes through the swinging doors, and all three of them focus on him, somehow knowing that this must be about Spencer.

“Are you here for Spencer Ragan?” the doctor asks.

“I’m his uncle,” Jason says. “Please, tell us everything you can. How is Spencer?"


Will Spencer survive his fall?
What will Tempest do to Diane?
Will Sarah expose Zane’s duplicity?
Talk about it in the Footprints Forum!



Thursday, June 22, 2017

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