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- Tori walked out after Zane seemed to have little interest in spending time with her. Sarah was relieved that the relationship might be ending without her having to intervene, but Zane later showed up at the house with roses for Tori as an apology.
- Travis was confused about why Rosie lied that she had to leave their brunch date to go to work, when he learned from Brent that she had not actually gone into the station that day.
- During
a struggle with Natalie over Peter’s paternity test results, Spencer fell down the stairs and was left unconscious. Sabrina, who had just arrived at his house, heard the commotion inside and called 911. Natalie fled before anyone saw her there.

“Please, tell us everything,” Jason Fisher says. “How is Spencer?"

He, Natalie Bishop, and Sabrina Gage stand in the waiting area of King’s Bay Memorial’s emergency area. Before them is a short, middle-aged man with gray hair, the doctor heading up Spencer’s care after his fall down the stairs. 

“Dr. Montgomery!” a voice calls out. All heads turn to see Claire Fisher, with Tim right behind her, rushing toward them. 

“Claire,” the doctor says, his tone cautious and his eyes filled with something that looks alarmingly like pity. “Hi. I was just telling your family…"

“How is he?” Claire asks her colleague, nearly breathless.

Dr. Montgomery pinches the bridge of his nose. “He’s in surgery now. There are a lot of things we’re trying to address as quickly as we can. We found a fracture in his skull."

“Oh my god,” Tim says as he brings a balled fist to his mouth.
  Claire Fisher

“He also ruptured his spleen,” the doctor continues. “At this point, it’s all about minimizing what’s happened. He’s lucky that he was brought here as soon as he was."

Jason casts a grateful look toward Sabrina, which Natalie notices. Inside her chest, her heart thumps hard and fast, anticipating whatever news is coming that might change the course of her life forever. 

Dr. Montgomery rattles off a few more details, and Claire peppers his explanation with follow-up questions. The others listen carefully and thank the doctor before he passes back through those swinging doors toward the surgical unit. 

“He fell down the stairs?” Tim asks. “Was he drunk? On something?"

“I can see if they ran a tox screen,” Claire says. “One of the nurses will be able to tell me."

“Sabrina found him,” Jason says. “She was outside the house."

She nods dutifully, her hands folded in front of her. “I heard something going on inside. Like he might’ve been shouting at someone--"

Tim’s eyes flare. “Someone else was there?"

“No,” Sabrina says. “Not when the paramedics got there and broke down the door. He was alone."

“He might’ve been on the phone,” Natalie offers. “That’s the most logical explanation."

“You’re probably right,” Claire says. “I’m going to go check on that tox screen. I’ll see if I can find out anything else."

Tim places a hand on her arm. “Thank you."

Claire slips off in the direction of the nurses’ station, and the other four remain there, at a loss for what to say or do. Jason reads the anguish on Tim’s face.

“He’s going to be okay.” Jason moves toward his brother and grips his shoulder. “We’re all thinking good thoughts. You heard the doctor -- he got here fast enough for it to make a difference. That’s huge."

“I know,” Tim says, but his voice is distant as he stares down at the patterned carpet, dark thoughts shrouding his mind no matter how hard he tries to push them away.


The instant Diane Bishop enters her condo, she is aware of the thick, suffocating tension in the living room. She freezes, phone clutched in her hand, when she sees her daughter and Tempest Banks staring right at her.

“Hi,” she says with uncharacteristic hesitance.

Tempest rises from the sofa. “We’ve gotta talk."

Samantha’s stomach flip-flops as she observes the waves of rage radiating off Tempest and the deer-in-the-headlights expression on Diane’s face. She has rarely seen her mother this way, and Samantha herself doesn’t know how to feel, given what Tempest just told her.

“You brought him here,” Tempest says. “How could you?"

“Slow down.” Diane sets down her purse and slips out of her coat. “What’s got you so worked up?"

“You know damn well! Hank. You brought him here. You called him and you paid for his flight so that you could mess with me--"

“That is not what I was doing,” Diane says, her tone snapping back to its usual firm, confident self. “That was a precaution as much as anything. The social worker even asked if Alex or I knew who the father was."

“And what’s it your business for?"

“Because the biological father has rights when a child is being given up for adoption.” Diane holds up her phone and quickly unlocks it. She punches a search into the browser and reads: “A legitimate birth father--"

“Do you know what motherfucker did to me and my brother?” Tempest rails. “Do you even know?"

Samantha sees the color drain from Diane’s face.

“No.” Diane’s hand drops to her side. “Tempest, I’m so sorry if seeing him brought up…” She trails off, lost again. “That wasn’t my intention. I didn’t know any of that."

“That’s right, you didn’t know. Because it’s none of your damn business."

“Hey.” Samantha reaches out for her girlfriend. “Try and relax."

Tempest shrugs out of her grasp. “I had to stand there and look him in the face. And he stood there acting like nothing ever happened! You’re gonna put my brother’s life in the hands of that kinda man?"

“He made it clear that he doesn’t want to raise the baby,” Diane says. “He said he’d approve the adoption--"

“He said Alex and Trevor should have him! Not me. I’m his blood. That’s exactly what you wanted, isn’t it?” Tempest waits only a millisecond before shouting, “Isn’t it?!"

“Calm down,” Samantha says with more force than she expected. “Stop shouting."

Tempest jerks her neck and head back. “Don’t you tell me to calm down. Unless you’re on her side. That it?"

Something about the unbridled anger in Tempest’s face scares Samantha; she hasn’t ever seen Tempest this enraged before. “I’m not on anyone’s side,” she says carefully. “I just want to work this out."

“There is no working this out! And if you’re gonna defend her, I don’t have anything to say to you, either.” Tempest bolts for the door.

“Tempest, wait,” Samantha says, but aside from a glare backward, Tempest doesn’t even pause in exiting the apartment.

The slam of the door echoes around Samantha and Diane. Finally Samantha is able to breathe again, and she looks toward Diane.

“Mom… how could you do this?"


“What’s going on in here?”

Sarah Fisher Gray stands at the entry to her mother’s living room. She sees her daughter doing Paula’s makeup on the couch, with Zane Tanaka sitting on the loveseat -- and a bouquet of red roses resting on the nearby end table.

“Don’t mind all this,” Paula says, indicating the broad smears of dark makeup currently on her face. “Tori is teaching me something called ‘contouring.’"

“I’m just blending it in,” Tori explains.

Her lips pursed, Sarah gives a terse nod, but her focus is on Zane and the flowers. 

“I didn’t realize you were coming over, Zane,” she says pointedly.

“He brought me these!” Tori says, indicating the roses. “Aren’t they nice?"

“Mm-hmm.” Sarah folds her arms. “You should put those in water, Tori.” 

“I’ll do it as soon as I’m done with Grandma’s makeup."
  Tori Gray

Zane hops to his feet. “Is there a vase somewhere? I can do it."

“Oh, that’s so sweet of you,” Paula says as Tori continues to use the makeup sponge on her face. 

Sarah crosses to the roses and picks them up. “That’s a very nice offer, Zane, but I’ll do it."

He tries to take the flowers from her. “But I insist."

“I’ve got it,” Sarah says, but before she can leave the room, the house phone rings. She grabs the cordless receiver from the coffee table and holds the roses in her free hand. 

“Hello?” she answers. The other three don’t pay much attention until they notice the tone of her next words: “What do you mean? How is he?"

Sarah’s face flattens with concern as she listens. Tori stops blending Paula’s foundation. 

“He just fell? Yeah… She’s right here. I’ll tell everyone. See you soon. And here’s hoping for good news."

Still shocked, she ends the call and stands there holding both the phone and the flowers. 

“Dear, what is it?” Paula asks. “Who fell?"

“It’s Spencer,” Sarah says. “Apparently he fell down the stairs at his house. He’s in surgery now. That was Tim. He and Claire and Jason are all at the hospital."

“Well, let’s go.” Paula springs from the couch, only to pause once she is on her feet. She looks down at the monitor around her ankle. “He’s my grandson. I have to be there."

“Mom, you can’t. I’ll go and call as soon as I know more."

“I want to come,” Tori says. “What else did Uncle Tim say? How bad is it?"

Sarah shakes her head. “I don’t know anything else."

“Tori, why don’t we stay here and keep your grandma company?” Zane suggests as he places a hand on Tori’s shoulder. “She shouldn’t be alone right now."

“That’s very sweet of you,” Paula says, “but you should go--"

“No, Grandma, he’s right. We’ll stay.” Tori turns to Sarah. “But call as soon as you know anything."

“I will.” Sarah glances around. “Where’s my purse?"

Zane steps up and takes the roses from her. “Here, let me deal with these."

“There’s a blue vase on the dining room table that you can use,” Paula tells him, and he moves out of the room. 

“He really is such a kind young man,” Paula says after Zane is out of earshot. “I’m glad you two are working through your differences.” 

Tori smiles. “Me, too.” Then she notices her mother’s expression. “What? What is it?"

“I just want you to be careful,” Sarah says. “I’ll call as soon as I have news about Spencer, okay?"

“Please tell Tim that we’re sending good thoughts,” Paula says, “and I would be there if I could."

“He knows that. I promise you that he does,” Sarah says reassuringly before she ducks out to find her purse and leave.


“You can put that in the corner,” Travis Fisher says, tipping his chin to indicate the spot he means. As Rosie Jimenez places the floor lamp by the exposed brick wall, Travis sets down the cardboard box in his arms by a pile of similar ones. 

“That’s it for this trip, right?” Rosie asks.

He wipes the sweat from his forehead. “Yeah. Thanks again for your help."

“Well, I promised to help… and if there’s one thing I don’t do, it’s break my promises."

He pushes a smile over his lips as he gazes around his and Landon Esco’s new apartment. The place is still mostly bare; he wanted to bring over a few things before the movers do the bulk of the work tomorrow. But even once it is all here, there is going to be so much unpacking and arranging to do that he can hardly picture how it will all look once it’s done. Making it even harder to imagine, of course, is how distracted he is by every little thing that Rosie says and does. Ever since Brent accidentally revealed that Rosie lied about having to leave brunch to go into work the other day, Travis has found himself questioning everything about their relationship. 

“Well, it was nice of you to take tomorrow off to help,” he says. “Especially since your day off on Sunday got all screwed up."

He swears that he sees Rosie freeze momentarily, and then she is suddenly moving around a stack of plastic tubs that have been left in the middle of the dining area.

“It’s no big deal,” she says. Travis cannot tell if it is because he knows that she actually went to work on Sunday or if she really does sound skittish and hollow. To his ears, she is coming off as a bad liar, but he can’t be sure. 

She finishes stacking the tubs next to an empty white wall.

“Really, I’m happy to help,” Rosie says, and then she closes the distance between them and kisses him on the lips. “And given how I feel about moving, that should tell you a lot."

When she kisses him again, Travis tries to put the lie about Sunday out of his head. She wouldn’t be acting as if she likes him if she didn’t. Maybe she had something embarrassing to take care of on Sunday. Maybe something happened with her family and she used work as an excuse. Maybe it’s nothing.

Maybe it’s nothing, he tells himself as her tongue parts his lips.

KB Memorial Hospital

“Tim? Hey, Tim!"

He looks up abruptly to find Claire standing over him in the hospital’s waiting area. She holds two paper cups of coffee and is staring intently at him.

“Sorry, I think I was in another world,” he says as she hands him one of the coffees. “Thank you."

“I figure we could use these. We could be waiting a while.” She takes the seat beside him. 

He carefully tests the coffee and finds that it is still scalding hot.

“You know what I keep thinking about?” he says.


“How Spencer would feel if he knew we were here."

“Hmm.” She nods contemplatively as she watches the steam rise off her own coffee. “I’d like to think that he would be grateful. That it would make him feel safe. Loved, even."

“I’d like to think the same. But the way he is with us… the way he’s so reluctant to trust us… It’s been a few years since we found out he was our son, and in so many ways, he’s still a stranger to us."

“I know. It’s…"

“It’s miserable. All the progress I thought I’d made while he was working for me turned out to be nothing,” he says. “And now we could lose him -- without ever having had a real relationship with him."

“You know what I think?” Claire says.

Tim lifts his gaze from his shoes to look over at her. “What?"

“I think Spencer is going to be fine. And when he’s better, we are going to keep fighting to have the kind of relationships with him that we have with Travis, and that you have with Samantha and that I have with Tempest. He wants to be a part of this family. I can tell. He’s just so skittish about it."

He feels something close to optimism bloom inside his chest. “I hope you’re right. It isn’t fair what your father and Loretta did to us -- to our family. And they did such a number on Spencer and Philip. I know there’s no changing the past, but sometimes I wish…"

“That you could go back and stop my dad from taking Spencer from the hospital?"

“Maybe.” Tim lets out a sigh. “But then we wouldn’t know Travis. I just wish I could make them pay, you know?"

“I do. Yeah."

“Hey, you guys,” Sarah says as she hurries from the elevator into the waiting area. “Is there any more info?"

“Nothing significant,” Tim says as he stands to hug his sister. “Thanks for coming. You didn’t have to."

“I wanted to be here. And it made Mom feel better that someone from the house could come."

“She must’ve been frustrated that she couldn’t come,” Claire says.

“Beyond.” Sarah glances across the room and sees their younger brother. “Who’s that with Jason and Natalie? Is that that Sabrina woman?"

“She’s actually the one who found Spencer,” Tim explains.

“I didn’t even know they knew each other."

“Sabrina used to work for Philip,” Claire says. “And thank god she was there tonight. Dr. Montgomery said the fact that Spencer was brought in so soon after the fall could make all the difference."

“That’s good to hear,” Sarah says. “Is there anyone else we need to call? Is Samantha here?"

Tim shakes his head. “I didn’t want to upset her until I had some more solid information. She’s been through so much with Tempest’s mom lately… but I guess we need to let her know."

“Why don’t you let me call her?” Sarah offers. “You guys just stay here and try to be positive, okay?"

“Thanks,” Tim tells his sister. She slips back toward the elevator bay, cell phone in hand, and Tim and Claire take their seats again. 

“He’s going to be okay,” Claire says. “We have to believe that."

Tim watches the steam still coming off his coffee. “I’m trying my best."


Diane stares defiantly back at her daughter. “I did this for you."

“What are you talking about?” Samantha asks.

“I know you,” Diane says. “I know you would’ve stood by Tempest. You would’ve stood by her as she got in way over her head raising that baby. You would’ve thrown away your life to make things work with her."

Samantha’s mouth flutters open and closed. “I wouldn’t…"

“You would. Because you’re a good person. You take after your dad that way. I couldn’t let you get pinned into a life you weren’t even choosing."

“But I’d be choosing to be with Tempest,” Samantha says, still stunned by the clarity and intensity in her mother’s eyes.
  Diane Bishop

“Because you love her. And that’s a good thing. You two deserve to grow up together, and figure out what it means to love someone else as an adult, and start a family when you’re really ready, if that’s something you want."

“It is something I want."

“Then you should have it! But I could look down the road and see this whole thing playing out, and--” Diane looks to the ceiling, as if there might be a clear answer up there somewhere. “It’s my fault that you had to stay here and go to KBU."

“KBU is a good school! And I’m glad I was around for everything that happened the past few years,” Samantha counters.

“You should’ve been at an Ivy League school. I lost my job, and we couldn’t afford it, and-- Sam, I’m sorry that Tempest had to face that man, but if I had to do it again, I would do whatever it took to make sure you didn’t get saddled with a baby when you’re barely old enough to drink. And if that makes you consider me a terrible mother, so be it. But I don’t think it does."

The sheer force of Diane’s conviction is almost overwhelming to Samantha, and deep down, she knows that her mother has a point: that she doesn’t want a child right now. She wants Tempest to stop hurting so badly, and she wants to support her, but she doesn’t want a child herself. She is still trying to ascertain how to articulate that when her cell phone rings. She pulls it out, assuming that it will be Tempest calling now that she’s had a few minutes to calm down, but the name on the caller ID surprises her.

“Who is it?” Diane asks.

“It’s Aunt Sarah,” Samantha says, feeling strangely nervous as she picks up.


Back at the hospital, Jason and Natalie stand with Sabrina.

“You can go home if you’re tired,” Jason says. “Please don’t feel like you have to stick around. You’ve already been such a big help."

“I don’t mind,” Sabrina says. “Spencer should have all the people here for him that he can get. Actually… I might go find the chapel and say a few prayers."

“I think that’s a great idea,” Natalie pipes in, eager for anything that will get rid of this woman before she speaks another word about how she heard Spencer arguing with someone through the front door. 

Before Sabrina can go anywhere, though, Dr. Montgomery once again emerges from the swinging doors. Seeing him, Tim and Claire rush over, too.

“Is he out of surgery?” Claire asks. 

“Yes,” the doctor says. “The good news is that we were able to control the bleeding from his spleen. But he did still suffer a head injury--"

“You said before that his skull was fractured,” Jason says. “Was it worse than that?"

“Not that we can tell,” Dr. Montgomery says. “Which is promising. But Spencer’s body underwent a great deal of trauma. And it’s difficult to determine just how much cognitive damage was done while he’s still unconscious."

“When do you think he’ll be awake?” Tim asks.

“That’s what I came to tell you.” The doctor draws a deep breath. “Spencer is in a coma."


Is Natalie’s secret safe now that Spencer is comatose?
Was Diane right for doing what she did?
Should Travis let his concerns about Rosie go?
Talk about it all in the Footprints Forum now!



Wed., June 28, 2017

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