Running Scared

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A tired traveler cautiously approaches Grey House. Cassie appears from the shadows and welcomes the woman. She ushers her inside and gets her a room for the night.

Sam is outside looking for Nick when Cassie tells him that his son is at Grey House having breakfast. Sam confides in Cassie that he and Nick have had a rough couple of weeks and that Nick is actually grounded. Cassie asks Sam if he has ever tried meditation and he confirms that he has not - he prefers running to work off the caffeine and stress of being a single parent. Cassie just smiles.

Over breakfast, Cassie introduces Ashley, the new guest at Grey House to Brandon. She is skittish, and says she will pay for her room in cash. Additionally she says her plans have changed and that she may not be staying long. Cassie insists that she stop by the Bell, Book and Candle before she leaves town.

Ryan is having trouble with his knee, and stops by Sam’s office to see if he can help. They compare their running accomplishments. Sam makes it clear that he will not be participating in the upcoming 10k. Derek stops at Cassie’s shop looking for help in the dating department. She assures him that soon a vacancy in his life will be filled and Derek is relieved. A visiting man stops by too, and tells Cassie that he met his wife in Middleton many years ago. He tells Cassie that he is in town to run the 10k in honor of his wife, who has passed away. He turns away to browse and Ashley enters the store. She and the man exchange a curious glance, and Ashley leaves in a hurry, telling Cassie that she will see her back at the house. Cassie asks the man if he has seen Grey House, and urges him to stop by and visit.

Meanwhile at the courthouse, Martha and Derek set up the banner for the Heritage Festival Ball and 10k Run. Martha needs it to look majestic because she has plans for more festivals to come to Middleton! Later, Martha sees Sam running and calls him over. They discuss the 10k and Martha declares she does not run in the race; she only officiates and hands out medals. On her own, she decides Sam has challenged her to run in the race and she will do so!

Back at the shop, the man from out of town appears again and Cassie asks him if he wants to know more about Ashley. She asks if he knows Ashley, and he admits to knowing someone like her. Cassie suggests some comfort food at the Bistro may be just what he needs. At the café, the man shows Stephanie a photo of Katherine, his daughter, and shares that he has not spoken to her in years. Just then Ashley appears at the café and orders a coffee. Stephanie looks again at the photo and glances at Ashley. Is there a resemblance?

Sam gets a call to come and see Stephanie about her knee. She welcomes him into the house and Sam comments on how she is his first housecall – ever. It becomes obvious that she is trying to romance him and does not actually have a sore knee. Sam is about to leave when Stephanie insists he stay for some appetizers and a glass of wine. He reluctantly agrees to stay.

Later at the café, Ryan and Cassie enjoy a dinner together. Cassie insists on paying the bill and they talk about how glad they are for their friendship. The conversation turns to Sam. Ryan thinks that Sam is not long for the town--a city boy like him won’t stick around. Derek approaches Ashley at the café and it is clear that he is interested in getting to know more about her.

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Grace learns that Nick has decided to train Anthony for the big 10K. However, when Grace calls Anthony, he is definitely not in training with Nick. It turns out Nick is falsely using Anthony’s training as an excuse to get out of being grounded. Grace is crestfallen. She really wanted to believe that Nick was helping her friend.

Grace confides in Cassie that Nick has used her again. She either needs to rat him out or be part of his lie. But Cassie thinks there’s a third option. Grace has Anthony come by for a visit, and sends him home right when she sees Sam pull into his driveway. Sam asks Anthony how training went with Nick. Anthony is confused, and the cat’s out of the bag—Nick is busted.

Derek and Ashley get into a conversation, and Ashley tells him that her plans for the future are up in the air. She tells him that she could use a job, and Derek indicates that he could probably help her out with that.

Sam confronts Nick again and takes away his cell phone. Sam is fed up and sick of having the same conversation over and over and Nick not changing his behavior. Sam goes to see Cassie for a slice of pie and some advice. He needs help from Cassie on how to move forward with his son.

At the café Stephanie confides in Cassie that she knows she is getting to Sam, she is wearing him down! Cassie advises Stephanie not to chase him too hard, otherwise her plans will backfire. Just then Sam shows up and Cassie leaves the café. Stephanie pours him a triple espresso on the house. Sam asks about her knee and if he will be seeing her on his morning run--she demurs. He seems surprised when she says no, that her running days are over and that she is overdoing it with the doctor visits. Sam says he will miss her at the office.

Ryan returns to Sam’s office for a re-check of his knee – Sam clears him to return to running. He urges Sam to re-think participating in the race, and that in a small town this is an opportunity to build relationships. Ryan says that to him being the best means beating the best. The competition is on!

Meanwhile, Martha has started training for the 10k, but she’s already complaining about pain to Cassie. The Mayor visits Sam on Cassie’s advice, and Sam he finds some scar tissue on her foot and lets her know she may have Plantar fasciitis. To be on the safe side, she should not run. Martha is pleased with the outcome.

Sam and Nick have a fight, and he takes Nick’s phone and other items as a punishment for lying. Sam says they need a game changer, that they don’t have a solid relationship. Despite his fears for the future, he stands firm and says that Nick’s behavior is going to stop—right now.

At Grey House, the man from out of town shows a photo of Ashley to Cassie, saying she was a friend of his daughter’s. Just then Ashley walks in and sees the man on the couch. She says hello, and the man greets her as “Heather.” She denies the name and bolts. Meanwhile, a US attorney visits the police station in search of Ashley. The attorney reveals that Ashley is a witness against her fiancé, who needs to be put behind bars.

Back at Grey house, Ashley says goodbye to Cassie, and confesses her true identity as Heather. Cassie urges her to stay, but an apologetic Heather feels as though she has no choice. She’s made many mistakes in the past, and staying on the run might just be another one.