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Episodes #240 - 279

Stan Lincoln's presence in King's Bay became increasingly ominous as the year began. Convinced there had to be a reason for Ryan's change in attitude toward him, Stan hounded his son until Ryan finally snapped. He bombarded Stan with the entire truth of the long-ago rape, from Stan's guilt to Ryan's cover. Stan refused to believe it.

Diane was annoyed when her lawyer and lover, Eric Westin, spurned her amorous advances in the middle of the day in his office. He wanted to keep their personal and private lives separate. Insulted, Diane rushed off into a snowstorm and crashed her car -- with Samantha inside. The little girl was fine, but Diane was unconscious for several days before awakening. When she awoke, Claire informed her that a man had called to inquire about her condition. Sarah later confessed that Brian must have been the caller, since she had called him to tell him about Diane's accident. Furious, Diane told Sarah that their newfound friendship was over.

Discontent filled Ryan's life. His drinking grew heavier as Nick haughtily shot down Ryan's idea of leaving the mob and Claire resisted his attempts to get closer to her. But Stan knowing the truth made Ryan very nervous, and he wanted to protect Claire. After a confrontation with a drunken Stan in which rejected him as his son, Ryan pleaded with Claire to join him for dinner at Windmills, and she agreed.

Windmills was busy that night. Nick and Katherine dined out after returning from a vacation, and Molly and Brent decided to share a night out to spend some time together. Diane and Eric, who had squabbled after her hospital stay, reunited and also went to the restaurant that night. Eric was annoyed when Diane harassed Molly and Brent about their poor taste in going out in public together and also took the opportunity to needle Claire about Ryan.

But Diane was the least of Claire's worries. Both Brent and Molly were troubled to see her with Ryan, while Nick insisted that Ryan wake up to the fact that Claire was undeserving of his attention. Katherine offered to help Nick keep the couple apart. Meanwhile, Claire broke down and ran from the restaurant in tears.

Ryan followed her out and decided to drive her home. Seeing Claire in such a fragile state, he realized how battered the last few years had left her. He promised to back off, seeing for the first time that it might be impossible for them to be together. He walked her up to her apartment and was shocked when Claire asked him to stay. She admitted to having feelings for him and being unable to admit them because of the past. She acknowledged the deep connection she still felt to him and wondered if he might be the only one who could help her move on. They made love that night.

In the morning, Brent came to warn Claire about Ryan and was shocked to see Ryan leaving her apartment. The men shared hostile words, and then Brent went upstairs and unsuccessfully urged Claire not to get involved with a Moriani. But she countered that she might have been wrong about Ryan and that she needed him in her life. Later, Molly's words of discouragement similarly fell on deaf ears. However, they convinced her that it might be wise to pursue charges against Stan for the rape.

Stan and Sally decided to get married. When Ryan refused to retract what he'd said -- that Stan had raped Claire -- Stan got drunk and lashed out at Sally. She wondered if marrying him was the right decision, but felt that she had no better option. Alex and Don both voiced their disapproval, but ultimately gave Sally their blessings, though each worried that she was waiting to be "rescued."

Sally Marshall

Sally Marshall accepted Stan Lincoln's marriage proposal thinking that she should grab whatever chance at happiness she could find. But his drunkenness and violent behavior were merely an indication of the price that Sally would pay for the relationship.


As the Fishers saw Travis off to kindergarten, Claire informed Paula that she had begun dating someone new. Paula was troubled by the news that the new man in her daughter-in-law's life was Ryan Moriani, but Claire explained the entire story and insisted that Ryan could be good for her. Meanwhile, Ryan struggled with how to balance his involvement in Nick's business with his deep feelings for Claire and grew more upset by his role as Nick's "lackey."

Stan made a final attempt to repair his relationship with Ryan by inviting him to his upcoming wedding. Ryan refused to cave and blurted out that Claire might press charges against Stan. In a drunken rage, Stan went to Claire and threatened her with a gun. He was about to rape her again when they were interrupted: Ryan had been coming to see Claire, and Sally had followed Stan from their apartment.

Though the interruption was enough to save Claire from Ryan, a struggle for the gun ensued. In the frenzy, Sally was shot. Stan fled the scene; Claire and Ryan called 911, but Sally died before the emergency personnel arrived. In the aftermath, Claire moved in with the Fishers. Bill and Paula recognized that they should give Ryan a chance if he meant so much to Claire.

Though they had admitted their love to each other, Molly and Brent realized that, given the circumstances, they could not be together as a couple. Nevertheless, they continued to provide friendship and support to one another. Brent gave Molly a puppy that she named Rex as a Christmas present. And Molly's new job in the fashion industry brought a new spark to her life, as she became the assistant of top designer Camille Lemieux.

However, the couple found it difficult to ward off their feelings. Encouraged by the strength of her relationship with Matt, Sarah finally signed the divorce papers. For Brent and Molly, it was a somewhat hollow victory; although he was no longer married to her sister, he and Molly still felt they could not be together, especially after Diane told Sarah that she'd seen them at Windmills and Sarah told Paula, who chided Molly.

Sarah and Diane renewed their friendship. Sarah shared with Diane her fears about Matt's past, fears that were brought to the fore after she secretly observed him looking over old photographs. The one photo that Sarah got a chance to examine was of two young boys -- presumably Matt and a brother, although when questioned, he insisted that he had no siblings and that his parents were dead.

After Diane convinced her that she could not pursue a further relationship with Matt without knowing the truth about his past, Sarah took a trip to New York. She visited Andrea Yang, Matt's ex-fiancee, and learned that he once told Andrea that he had a living brother. Sarah's investigation confirmed that Matt had told one truth, at least: His parents did die in a car accident years before.

Matt was puzzled by Sarah's sudden resistance to his efforts to make their relationship more serious. She was torn between the desire to be happy with the man she knew and the need to find out if he was even really that man. The mystery deepened when she discovered that his brother, Jake Gray, was still living in Pennsylvania, and that Matt had been a witness in the investigation of the death of a woman named Nicole Gray nine years prior.

Meanwhile, Sarah coerced Diane into addressing what had happened in Los Angeles. Without telling Eric, she went to L.A. to see Brian, who quickly told her to get lost. She returned to King's Bay, unwilling to bend or grovel for forgiveness. But she remained troubled by the conflict that had soured their friendship -- something involving their work at a publishing house and a woman named Serena Scott.

However, Brian regretted his hasty rejection of Diane's visit and surprised her in King's Bay. Unfortunately, he interrupted a romantic evening between Diane and Eric. They called it quits for good, but Diane and Brian remained in a deadlock: She refused to admit that she'd overstepped her bounds; he admitted to missing her but was unwilling to have any part in her impulsive, destructive behavior.

Contact between Brent and Molly lessened, as she backed off due to her family's opposition and both found it painful to spend time together without being able to act upon their feelings. One night, Molly ran into a charming man at 322. It turned out to be Eric Westin, fresh off Brian's interruption of his evening with Diane. Eric was taken with Molly's sincerity, and she had to admit that the handsome, successful, courteous man intrigued her. When he asked for her number, she gladly gave it to him.

After a frustrating run-in with Brent, Molly received a call from Eric, asking for a date. She accepted, hoping that she could enjoy spending time with the lawyer, free of the complications that plagued her relationship with Brent. And she did find the evening enjoyable -- until she realized that she kept comparing it to her time with Brent. Apologizing to Eric, Molly took off and headed straight to Brent's.

She explained that the date had made her realize that she wanted to be with no one but him -- she couldn't be with anyone but him -- and they finally made love. In the morning, Molly worried that reality would come crashing down on them and they'd have to return to the way things had been, but Brent proposed that they keep their new relationship a secret for a while. She agreed.

The revelation about Alex's sexuality rocked his group of friends. While Alex received support from Jason and Don, his relationships with Courtney and Lauren were strained, at best. Lauren explained that she understood that he hadn't meant to hurt her, but that didn't make it any easier to feel comfortable around him or to forgive him for what had happened.


Eric Westin

Eric Westin grew tired of Diane's scheming and secrets. He ended their relationship and promptly pursued Molly Fisher -- but, despite his charm, Eric could not weaken Molly's feelings for Brent.

Jason and Courtney remained on the outs until he was finally able to convince her that he could not have betrayed Alex by telling and that he'd done what he could to protect Lauren. The couple reunited, but their bliss was short-lived. After they slept together, Courtney found an instant-message conversation between Jason and Alex that made her realize how the whole debacle had begun: with the incident in the bed between the two young men!

Though Jason tried to explain that nothing had happened aside from Alex making a move on him, Courtney was horrified. She told Jason that she could not trust him again after he'd kept that information from her despite their agreement to start fresh. They split again, this time for good.

Jason was surprised to find a friendly ear in Lauren, who felt Courtney was treating him too harshly. Lauren attempted to raise his spirits about the breakup, particularly after Courtney began skating with a new partner, Dylan Carrington. She also tried to convince Courtney to ease up, but Court insisted that their trust had been shattered too badly to make a reconciliation possible.

Courtney Chase

Courtney Chase's world exploded when she learned that her friend, Alex Marshall, was gay. Not only had Courtney spent months trying to hook Alex up with her friend, Lauren, but Courtney's boyfriend, Jason, knew the truth all along and kept it from both girls!


Alex and Jason moved into an apartment together. Jason assured his friend that things would not be awkward and that he'd always be there for him. He became upset over his mother's involvement with Stan Lincoln but tried to make progress on his first novel. He admitted to Jason that he was intrigued by another young man he'd seen -- and had a brief argument with -- at Cassie's Coffee House, and Jason encouraged him to pursue someone if the chance presented itself.

Lauren's bond with Jason annoyed Courtney. She began to understand how difficult things had been for Alex and renewed her friendship with him. She tried to get him to focus on his personal life and took him to a gay and lesbian night at The Lookout, a nightclub. He had a good time despite his discomfort but was intrigued to spot the guy from the coffee house there, albeit only fleetingly.

Meanwhile, Lauren's parents left for several months to go on a cruise, and soon after, her brother Trevor returned to King's Bay. He admitted that he still had not finished college and did not want to face their parents, but he missed Lauren and wanted to spend time with her. He decided to stay in town for a while and later confessed to Lauren that he had undertaken the beginnings of a modeling career in lieu of finishing school. He also called Courtney on her attitude when she lashed out at Lauren for remaining close with Jason and thereby prevented a rift between the friends.

Dylan Carrington told Courtney that he was gay, and she immediately proposed setting him up with Alex. Dylan was up for it; Alex took some convincing, but Court managed to talk him into it. Though the blind date started off awkwardly, Alex appreciated Dylan's very different perspective: Dylan had been "out" for years and was very comfortable with his sexuality. The date ended at a club, where Dylan surprised Alex by kissing him -- after Alex spotted the "mystery man" yet again and shared very brief words with him.

But Alex's world was shattered when he returned home to the news that Sally had been killed. He blamed himself for not getting her away from Stan sooner, despite the insistence of his friends and the Chases that he could not have done anything to prevent the tragedy. And though he was initially furious with himself over having been on a date when his mother died, he accepted Dylan's attempts to comfort him, though Alex insisted that they take things slowly.

Trevor wondered if Lauren might be interested in Jason, while Molly questioned Jason about his relationship with Lauren. Both denied that anything would ever happen, though their respective siblings were not so sure. Jason was encouraged by a civil encounter between himself and Courtney as both worried about how Alex was responding to Sally's death.

Months earlier, Paula had asked Sarah to search for her missing son. The women kept the search between them while the court assigned an intermediary to locate Paula's son. The day after Sally was shot, Sarah received a call from the intermediary -- Paula's son had been found. At the same time, Paula was walking in the park with Travis when a man bolted out of the bushes and knocked her over. She recognized him, and he clearly recognized her, too, despite all the years that had passed. It was the man she had an affair with years ago ... Stan Lincoln.

While Paula confided in Bill about seeing "Stanley," as she knew him, Sarah learned from the intermediary that Ryan Moriani was really Paula's son. At first she considered keeping the knowledge to herself, but she shared it with her mother and they agreed to keep the news to themselves for the time being.

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Total Episodes: 40

Notable Events:

Sarah Fisher and Brent Taylor

Sally Marshall and Stan Lincoln

Sally Marshall