Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson
In the DiMera living room, Stefano sits alone at his desk, rifling through paperwork, when Harold steps in, Nick behind him.
HAROLD: Mr. DiMera...
Stefano responds, not looking up. Harold responds nervously.
HAROLD: Uh...Mr. Nicholas Fallon to see you, Sir.
Stefano looks up, as a smirking Nick steps forward in through the doorway of the living room.
STEFANO: Nicholas. What can I do for you this fine morning?
Nick walks toward Stefano, as Harold closes the doors to the living room, leaving Nick and Stefano alone.
NICK: I came to let you know, we're all ready.
STEFANO: You have put everything in place?
NICK: I have. And as of this afternoon, we will have control over Titan Industries.
Stefano looks up at Nick, smiling and beginning to laugh victoriously.
Sonny steps into his shared apartment, looking around to see if anyone's around. He calls out to be sure.
SONNY: Gabi? Will?
Gabi walks out of her bedroom, and Sonny smiles sheepishly.
GABI: Hey. Umm...Will's...Will's in the shower.
GABI: Did you, ummm...did you talk to EJ about the...
SONNY: The gun. Yeah.
Gabi hesitates a moment, looking around awkwardly as she asks Sonny a question.
GABI: Did you umm...what did you decide?
Sonny looks at Gabi, and sighs.
Eric stands in the waiting room at City Hall, sighing as Marlena continues to try to talk him out of staying married to Nicole.
ERIC: Mom, I'm not running away from anything. Look...I don't have my vocation anymore. I don't have...my...(sigh) my faith abandoned me in my hour of need--
MARLENA: Don't you think that this could be a test of your faith, Eric? That this is only designed to make your stronger? And to make your faith stronger?
Eric snaps at Marlena, his voice quivering as he cuts her off.
ERIC: How strong do I have to be? How much is enough? At least I know for a fact that Nicole loves me, and is there for me when I need her.
MARLENA: Eric, you are so strong. You are every bit your father's son, and look what he's been through.
Eric looks away from his mother, responding sombrely, as the door to the waiting room opens behind him.
ERIC: Yeah, well, I may be my father's son, but I guess I'm not as strong as he is.
Nicole stands in the doorway, emotional. She calls out to her new husband.
NICOLE: You are every bit as strong as your father, Eric Brady. And I love you for it.
Eric and Marlena turn to see Nicole in the doorway, before Nicole walks into the room, and pulls Eric into a tight hug. Marlena stands back, folding her arms, as Sami stands in the doorway of the waiting room, equally unimpressed.
Billie stands in front of her desk at the Titan head office, as Justin looks on, concerned.
JUSTIN: Now, wait just a minute here. You're telling me you knew that someone was trying to hack into Titan's servers? Why is this the first I'm hearing about it?
Billie sighs, before carefully explaining the situation to Justin.
BILLIE: I knew because that's what I was brought back to Salem to do. Stop them from implanting the virus.
JUSTIN: I don't understand.
BILLIE: Look...before I tell you any of this, you have to promise me everything I tell you stays in this room. No exceptions.
Justin nods, empthatically complying with Billie's request.
JUSTIN: My lips are sealed. You have my word on that.
Billie folds her arms and begins to pace the room, as she begins to explain herself to Justin.
BILLIE: Kate wasn't the one who had me transferred back to Salem. It was the ISA.
JUSTIN: The ISA?
BILLIE: (sigh) Yes. Which is why I can't have you spreading this information anywhere.
Justin nods in understanding.
JUSTIN: No, no, I get it.
BILLIE: Kate was suspicious of one of our staff members, Sheryl Connors, and Jordan Ridgeway, who Kate had hired to help Rafe recuperate after he was shot...and...well...she kind of uncovered more about them than she bargained for.
JUSTIN: So...wait...Jordan and Sheryl....that's not their real names?
Billie shakes her head, still unsure how much she can safely share with Justin.
BILLIE: She...they're out to take Titan down, for a number of reasons, and...specifically EnerNext.
JUSTIN: Okay. So...what exactly happened last night, then? You say you...tried to stop them?
BILLIE: Right. But I didn't. Someone stopped them before I did.
JUSTIN: I think I know who that was.
Billie looks at Justin, surprised and curious.
BILLIE: You do?
Justin nods, looking off momentarily before looking back at Billie, very worried.
JUSTIN: Yeah. Nick Fallon. And because of that, I need your help.
Billie looks at Justin, confused and concerned.
Eric and Nicole stand in the City Hall waiting room, in a tight embrace, as Marlena and Sami stand around them, upset by the sight of them together.
After a moment, they separate, Nicole looking lovingly in Eric's eyes, as she shoots a look over to Marlena.
NICOLE: Marlena...I know this isn't what you wanted.
Marlena cuts Nicole off, speaking sharply to Nicole.
MARLENA: You can say that again.
Nicole stops for a moment before continuing.
NICOLE: But I want you both to know that I love Eric, with all my heart. He needs me just as much as I need him, and I am not going hurt him. Not this time.
Sami steps in closer to Nicole, arms still folded as she glares menacingly at her brother's new wife.
SAMI: You better hope you don't, Nicole. Because if you do, I will be on you like white on rice. You can bet on that.
NICOLE: Well then I guess you have nothing to worry about, then. Because we are going to be happy together, Eric and I. Forever.
Nicole puts her arm around Eric, and he does the same. Eric nods at Marlena and Sami, as he and Nicole step out.
NICOLE: Eric? Let's go.
Marlena and Sami look at each other, stunned by what's gone down, both deeply unhappy with Eric's nuptuals to Nicole, and feeling powerless.
Sonny steps into the living room, as Gabi looks at him, very concerned.
SONNY: Look, I'm not saying I love having a gun around the apartment with a baby in here.
GABI: If I'm being honest, neither do I.
SONNY: But I know what a threat Nick is. And I think that if the choice is between you and Ari being at risk, and us having someone to defend you against Nick? I mean...I know I don't like it but...(sigh) this has all gone so far...
Gabi nods, contemplating the gravity of the situation before them.
GABI: I know. It's...this is all way out of hand.
SONNY: But I understand why EJ gave it to you. We just have to make sure it's in a safe place away from Ari's reach.
Gabi smiles, nodding again, as she reaches out to hug Sonny.
GABI: Thank you.
Sonny hugs Gabi back, but looks on, a deep worry within him of the consequences of this choice.
Nick looks at Stefano, who continues to sign off on paperwork as he responds to Nick.
STEFANO: You know...our partner in all this is going to be very impressed by your ingenuity.
NICK: Well, I had great support from you.
STEFANO: And you shall continue to be compensated generously for your service to this organization. Believe me. However, remember one thing. I control the business. You take orders from me, and from our partner. You are not autonomous in this. You understand?
Nick nods in agreement.
NICK: I think I can control my impluses in this regard.
STEFANO: Excellent. When the time comes, I will give you more control over things, but for now, you listen to us. Understand?
NICK: I do.
STEFANO: Good. Now, I must ask you to leave and prepare for your board meeting. I unfortunately will be absent for the subsequent fireworks, as I shall be taking a rather...extended hiatus from Salem.
Nick looks at Stefano, surprised by the news.
NICK: Oh? I'm surprised. What brings this on?
Stefano looks over at Nick, somewhat frustrated.
STEFANO: There are some problems that have arisen in Italy and in Paris. If I don't attend to them, all of our plans will blow sky high. So I must leave tonight. But not to worry. I will be meeting with our partner today, and you be able to confer with her for the time being.
Nick looks over at Stefano, intrigued, as he leans on the arm of the easy chair nearest to Stefano's desk.
NICK: Oh, I finally get to meet our elusive partner, hm? Wonder what she's like?
Stefano looks at Nick, unimpressed by his cheeky nature.
On an airplane sitting on the tarmac awaiting takeoff from Charles De Gaulle Airport, John Black sits in first class, looking out the window, as a well-dressed woman sits in the seat next to his. John quickly looks over at the woman as she speaks to him.
ANJELICA: Well, well. Long time, no see.
John looks over and raises a curious eyebrow as Anjelica Deveraux flashes a sly grin back at him.