INT. INTRUDER (EMILY’S OFFICE)
Emily drags Lucinda in and slams the door. She spins around like she possessed, and clearly angry.
Emily: Seriously, Lucinda! After all these years—
Lucinda: Darling, it had to be done, and I cannot help that Rachel Cory wants to appoint her step-granddaughter as co-editor. . .
Emily: What you could’ve done was given me some sort of warning! And why the h*ll do I have to be demoted to co-editor?!
Lucinda: It’s hardly a demotion. You still have power.
Emily: (sarcastically) Oh yes. I still have power. . . shared power!
Emily starts to pace the floor—a total wreck. She can sense her world starting to crumble around her. Lucinda, watching on, picks up on Emily’s misfortunes. She reaches out for Emily, and
Lucinda: You should be happy. Take it as a blessing. You being co-editor allows you to have free time with Daniel, fix your marriage with Paul. . .
Emily: Clearly you’ve been living under a rock, but there is nothing to fix with Paul. He wants nothing to do with me, and honestly, I am at the point in my life where I am done fighting for men.
Lucinda shoots a side eye at Emily. She finds this hard to believe.
Emily: Yes, I said it! Emily Stewart is done chasing after men, and being with men who have out the world expectations for me. . .
ANNOUNCER: The role of SAMANTHA CORY has been recast with CHRISHELL STAUSE.
Samantha, unbeknownst to Emily, is standing the doorway as she rambles on. Lucinda (now) cringes.
Emily: (continuing) But I am going fight for this newspaper because it’s been the one constant in my life, and I’m not about to lose it to some young, wet behind the ears brat—
Samantha clears her throat. Emily freezes in place. Then Emily turns around with a grin on her face, an attempt to hide her guilt.
On Samantha returning a not so pleasant grin,
INT. BOB & KIM (LIVING ROOM)
Scene opens up with a shot of a fire crackling in the fireplace. Boys ii Men’s Let it Snow rings in the background. Then we pull back to reveal Bob and Kim, nearby, decorating the Christmas tree.
Bob is on a ladder adjusting the star. Kim, with tinsel in one hand and a glass of wine in the other hand, watches on smirking.
Kim: Honey, maybe I should do it.
Bob: No, Kim. I got it. Now tell me if the star is on straight.
Kim: It’s not. A blind man could see that.
Bob: Was that a dig?
Kim: Yes. If you’d wear your glasses. . .
The doorbell rings.
Kim: I’ll get it.
Kim puts down her glass of wine and goes to open the door.
Tom: Thank God.
Tom enters bearing a bunch of gifts. Kim helps relieve him of some.
Kim: My God. Who are all these for?
Tom: (exhausted) Well there is you, Dad, Mom, Casey, Daniel, Katie, Chris. . .
Kim: Ok, honey. Just sit the gifts down. You look like you’re about to pass out.
Margo (O.C.) Oh he’s fine.
Margo enters. She takes her and Tom’s coats and hangs them up. Just as Kim is about to close the door. . .
Lisa: Hold on!
Lisa comes running up with a bunch of bags in her hands. Lisa and Kim exchange hugs and kisses.
Kim: Anyone else?
Lisa: Yep. Barbara and Henry rode with me. Their getting their stuff out, and Katie and Chris just pulled up. (looking around) Where’s Casey?
Tom and Margo glance at each other, then:
Tom & Margo: Monique!
INT. OAKDALE UNIVERSITY (JAMI & MO’S DORM)
Casey and Mo lie in bed kissing each other passionately. Their seconds from falling victim to their true carnal when Mo pulls away, second guessing.
Mo: I can’t.
Casey: What? Is it me?
Mo: No. (off Casey’s uncertainty) H*ll no! I just can’t do this.
Casey: Then I’ll wait. One thing I don’t want to do is rush another relationship.
Mo: Would you do that for me?
Casey: Yes. As crazy as it sounds and as much as I want to pounce on you, I respect you. . . I’m falling in love with you.
Mo is overcome with emotion, then:
Mo: Me too, but I just don’t want to hurt you.
Casey: You won’t.
Mo: Casey, but—
The two gaze into each other eyes before falling into a kiss. Suddenly:
Jami: (barging in) Mo! (taking notice) Oops.
Mo: (buttoning shirt) Yes. Your bad. (scooting off bed) What’s wrong?
Jami: (pointing to Casey) Your ex!
Tired and moody, Jami tosses her backpack on her bed. She sits on the bed crossing her arms.
Mo: Ok. . . not to be rude, but can you go be moody somewhere else?
Mo: What?! Don’t you see that Casey and I were having an intimate moment?
Jami looks over to see Casey waving. Jami scowls. Mo, on the other hand, grins and blows kisses.
Jami: Can’t you both hear me out?
Mo: Sure. After we get done.
Jami: Monique, do you have to be so crass? Do you have to think with your vagina instead of your heart?
Mo: I’m not being crass. And he is my heart.
Casey smiles. He then gets up and joins them.
Casey: It’s alright, Mo. Jami, what has she done now?
Mo: No! H*ll no! I don’t wanna talk about that tramp, Allison. Not on Christmas Eve. It’s bad enough that I’m not home from Christmas, so could I at least have a good day with my man and best friend without hearing her name! Jesus!
Jami: What’s bothering you?
Mo: Everything. Me and you. Our lie!
Mo: (to Jami) You know if you’d be truthful with everything, we wouldn’t have to deal with this mess!
Jami: (warning tone) Mo. . .
Mo: No d*mmit! This secret is clouding everything. My relationship with Casey. A potential one you could have with MJ!
At this moment, MJ comes up to their door and stops, listening in.
Mo: As your best friend, I’m going to take a stand and do what’s best for you. You need to tell MJ that you have feelings for him just like you need to tell Casey that you’re related to him!
Jami gasps. Casey looks at Mo bewildered.
Mo: You both will thank me later on.
Mo grabs Casey’s and Jami’s hands and joins them together.
Mo: Casey, meet your cousin. Your Aunt Sabrina’s daughter.
The door creaks open and everyone snaps their heads back to reveal an equally stunned MJ in the doorway. On his reaction,
INT. OAKDALE UNIVERSITY (JAMI & MO’S DORM)
There is a bit of an awkward silence. No one is speaking. No is looking at each other. Then, still a bit dazed, MJ steps in and closes the door behind him. Jami pulls away from Casey.
MJ: Don’t let me interrupt.
Jami: (teary eyed, irate) I can’t believe you, Monique.
Mo: Again, you’ll thank me in the long haul.
Mo glances over at Casey, who is still reeling from the news.
Mo: Casey. . .
Casey holds up his hand, suggesting she stop.
Casey: Cousin? Are you two serious? (nearly hysterical) This is joke, right?
MJ: I’m thinking the same thing.
Mo: It isn’t! When was the last time your family has really heard from Sabrina? Seen her? Know what she’s been up too? Huh?
Jami: She’s not lying. If you don’t believe us—
Casey: Oh, don’t worry. I’m questioning it.
Mo snatches Jami’s phone from her bag and hands it to him. The phone is on the contact that reads “Mom” with a photo of Sabrina.
Mo: Want more proof?
Mo switches to another contact—Frannie’s profile. A photo of her pops up.
Mo: That’s your aunt, right?
Casey: Yeah, but—
Mo: We could’ve gotten that image from anywhere? Is that where you were about to go? If you don’t believe me now then we can always call her.
Mo pushes the dial and speaker buttons and the phone rings.
Jami goes for the phone when Casey snatches the phone.
Frannie (V.O.) Sweetheart! I was wondering when you were going to call home. Merry Christmas!
Casey holds out the phone to Jami with a look of determination—a dare to see if she’ll prove her own accusations.
Jami: Hey, Aunt Frannie. Merry Christmas to you too. How is everyone in London?
Frannie: Great. Andy and I took your mom and brothers out to eat. She wanted to hop on the Eurostar and head to Paris to see you, but Andy handed her the card that you sent earlier saying that you and Monique would be in Athens. Took us hours to reassure her you’d both be fine. How is Monique by the way?
Jami: She’s doing great. Right here beside me listening on.
Mo: Hi, Ms. Hughes.
Frannie: Hey, baby. And don’t worry. Your mom is doing great too. . . Anyways, how is Oakdale? Mo, I’ve received your last email telling me that you’ve fallen for my nephew. A real cutie, huh?
Mo: (looking at Casey) Yep. He doesn’t know how much he means to me. . . A real Christmas miracle if you asked me.
Frannie: Aww. How sweet. If only he knew how you really feel.
Casey is a mixed bag of emotions—angry, confused, saddened.
Casey: He does, Aunt Frannie! Just like he knows that Jami is a Hughes.
Frannie: Casey?! Casey—
MJ intervenes ends the call. Casey wipes the tears from his eyes.
MJ: Point proven.
Casey turns away in disbelief.
Mo: Now what? You wanna take back what you said, Casey? You wanna go tell everyone? You wanna peg me as a liar like Allison. Go ahead.
Jami: (to Mo) Haven’t you done enough today!
Mo: I’m just getting started. Might as well as things are about to blow up!
Casey: (turning back) Why? That’s all I can say. . . Why?
Mo and Jami glance at each other, then back at Casey.
INT. INTRUDER (EMILY’S OFFICE)
Emily: Sorry. I didn’t mean it.
Samantha: I doubt that, but I understand why you feel the way you do.
Emily: I doubt that.
Emily walks over to her window that overlooks the city.
Emily: Guess I can kiss this all goodbye.
Samantha: You quitting?
Samantha: (sighs) Can you give us moment, Ms. Walsh?
Lucinda: Of course.
Samantha: Look, Mrs. Ryan—
Emily: Emily. Call me Emily. You calling me Mrs. makes me feel old, and I’m not that old.
Samantha: Fine. Emily, I just don’t see why you see me as a threat. If anything, I’m here to help you.
Emily: Help me? More like dictate.
Samantha: I beg to differ. . .
Emily: Well I don’t! If you think about it, I’m not an equal to you. As much as you sit here and try and reassure me otherwise, that isn’t the case. You’re a Cory. Your family now owns this paper meaning you have the real power. I’m nothing but a figurehead. Classic nepotism if you ask me!
Samantha: Do you think my grandmother is like that?
Emily: Didn’t she just appoint you to co-editor? A position that should not be held by someone that has probably graduated from college a few weeks ago?
Samantha: Ouch. But I guess I deserved that. However, I can reassure you that she won’t decide with me just I am a Cory.
Emily: Whatever! I’ve heard how close your family is!
Samantha: Then you need to go check your sources again because my family is just like any other family. We have rifts, and everyone isn’t that close.
Emily: (sarcastically) Oh goody! I feel so much better. (roll eyes) Still doesn’t convince me or make me feel safe.
Rachel: (entering) Then what about you hearing it from me?
INT. OAKDALE UNIVERSITY (JAMI & MO’S DORM)
Mo: You wanna know why? Fine—
Jami: No! I’ll tell him. I’ll tell you both.
Jami looks to MJ, who gives her a reassuring smile.
Jami: You know that my mom left Oakdale for Montega, correct?
Jami: Well that’s true. Now her spending all those years there was a lie. She met my father there. He was a young law student helping restore the country like she was. They had a May to December romance resulting in them eloping. Knowing how Grandma and Grandpa weren’t big fans of her last relationship. . .
Casey: Tonio Reyes?
Jami: Yes. She decided to keep him a secret for a while. They had me and my brothers, and we moved to Los Angeles where my dad got a position as in a top law firm. He worked his way through and became a partner, but unbeknownst to my mom, he had been doing shady business dealing with some men from Montega. Drug and mob related activities. Things went array. A rival mob family had a hit on my dad, and when my mom learned the truth and fled to Europe with us to avoid being killed.
Casey: Wow. . .
Jami: She didn’t want us to have contact with my dad either—something I can totally understand. We eventually settled down in London and that’s where we’ve been.
Casey: But why didn’t she inform us about you all?
Jami: Embarrassed. She didn’t want to bring the family anymore grief. That along with her worrying about the rival mob family eventually targeting you all. She doesn’t even know I am here. If she did, she’d blow a gasket out of fear that my dad will contact me or I’ll become a target to his old foes.
MJ: How long have Frannie and Andy known?
Jami: Aunt Frannie has always known. She was the one helping us move around. Uncle Andy didn’t learn the truth until leaving Oakdale and taking a photography job abroad. He wound up in London and learned the truth. There you go. Happy?
Casey: Yeah. . .
Casey’s phone rings. It’s Tom.
Casey: I better answer it.
Jami watches on apprehensively.
INTERCUT - INT. JAMI & MO’S DORM/INT. BOB & KIM (LIVING ROOM)
Tom: Hey! Where are you?
Casey: Uh… hanging out with some friends.
Tom: Well are you coming over?
Casey: Yeah. In a few.
Tom: Ok. See you then.
Casey: Dad. . .
Jami tense up.
Casey: Save some of Grandma Kim’s cookies for me. You know how Daniel gets.
Tom: Sure will. See you in a few.
Tom hangs up.
Casey: Your secret is safe with me. You’re family, and I’ll do whatever I can to keep you protected.
Casey grabs Jami and hugs her.
Jami: Thank you.
Casey: And don’t worry about Aunt Frannie. I’ll call and talk to her later and let her know I won’t say a word.
Casey: (to MJ) You coming?
MJ: No. I’ll catch up with you later on.
MJ places his hands on Jami’s shoulders, comforting her.
Meanwhile, Casey grabs Mo by the hand as they head into the
He closes the door so they can be alone.
Mo: You breaking up with me? Because if you are then you could’ve did that in the room.
Casey: Look up.
She looks up and sees mistletoe dangling over their head. As she looks back down, her lips meet with Casey. They kiss passionately, then:
Mo: You’re not mad?
Casey: No. Disappointed but not mad.
Mo: (dully) Great.
Mo drops her head but Casey lift it up.
Casey: (smiling) Thank you. While I may never fully understand, you’ve given me the best three gifts of the year. . . a cousin, honesty, and you.
Mo lights up.
Casey: Till tomorrow.
Casey kisses Mo hands and leaves.
On Mo love stricken,