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About this blog

Follow the lives of the residents of Salem. This blog begins with events following the February 14, 2014 episode of the TV series, taking it on a new course based on events prior to that date.


Please feel free to comment, all feedback is welcome!

Entries in this blog




Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco


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Sonny steps into the living room of the Kiriakis mansion, heading over from the kitchen. Adrienne, Justin, Noelle and Alex are all assembled in the living room, and all look up at Sonny as he steps into the room.


SONNY: Hey! Ahh, cook just let me know that dinner was gonna be about another 15 minutes? So...just to wait here.
ADRIENNE: Great, Honey! Just waiting on Maggie and I guess we'll get everything started.


Sonny pops over to sit down on the sofa next to Justin.


SONNY: Where is Aunt Maggie?
JUSTIN: Oh, she's just gone to visit Victor for a bit.
ALEX: Any news on Victor's condition?


As Alex asks that question, Maggie walks into the living room, trying in vain to hide her good news.


MAGGIE: Well...yes and no.


Everyone in the room looks on expectantly, as Maggie stands near the doorway of the living room, her hands clasped together in front of her.


NOELLE: Well, what does that mean?
MAGGIE: It means that he's turned a corner...but...we can't tell anybody about it.


Everyone looks at Maggie, baffled, as Maggie smiles awkwardly back.




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Billie steps off the elevator at University Hospital, and stumbles upon Kim, having a chat with Valerie in front of Theresa's room. Knowing she's not meant to be there, Billie hangs back a bit, but Kim spots her, anyway. Kim glowers as Billie lifts her chin up and walks over.


KIM: Billie. I wish I could say I was surprised.
BILLIE: Kim. I was actually here visiting Daniel, so you have nothing to worry about.
KIM: I'd better not. 


Billie looks down, trying to compose herself, hoping to avoid another confrontation.


BILLIE: I umm...how is Theresa?


Kim immediately snaps back at Billie, causing both Billie and Valerie to tense up.


KIM: She's the same. Not that that's any of your business.
BILLIE: Kim, I...


Valerie cuts Billie off, knowing this will go nowhere good.


VALERIE: Look, I'm not gonna tolerate you two having an all out brawl in the middle of my hospital. Now, if you wanna have a chat, we can step into the lounge, but we aren't doing this here.
BILLIE: Don't worry, Valerie. I'm leaving.
KIM: I hope so. And I hope you stay gone, because if I find out you had anything to do with my daughter lapsing back into her coma, I will find out. 


Billie looks at Kim, incredulous.


BILLIE: Kim, what the Hell are you talking about?
KIM: I have reason to suspect that someone has been poisoning my daughter to keep her in a coma.
BILLIE: And you assume it's ME? (laughs) Oh my God, Kim, you've REALLY lost it this time!


Kim glares daggers at Billie, as Billie looks on, laughing at the ridiculousness of Kim's claims.




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Gabi and Will stand in their living room with Sami, deeply troubled by the news Sami's just given them regarding Nick.


GABI: Okay...so...if Nick's now the CEO of Titan...I mean...Sami, how far do we want this plan to go? Obviously hooking him on his old medication isn't stopping him, and it's certainly not causing him to get tripped up. Quite honestly, I don't know how much longer I can take this.
SAMI: Just...stay the course, Gabi.


Will cuts in, getting uneasy with Sami's insistence on persevering.


WILL: Oh come on, Mom. How far do we really wanna go with this whole plan? I mean, every time we think we've got this guy handled, he manages to worm his way out and get the upper hand again. And quite honestly, I'm sick of finding out more bad news every time I hear his name.


Sami, arms crossed, laughs a bit in resignation.


SAMI: Heh. Yeah. You and me both. But there's nothing we can do now. If we don't follow through, Nick WILL win. And Gabi, and Arianna will end up on the other side of the world with Nick Fallon.
GABI: Ohhh no. I will die before I let that happen.


Gabi and Will looks at each other with a certain level of fear they try to hold back. Sami walks over to the sofa, sitting down and grabbing the pen from the coffee table. She hovers over the modelling contract on the table. Signing the document, she looks up at Gabi.


SAMI: Well then, I guess you better sign on the dotted line then.


Gabi hesitates, standing back from Sami with her arms folded, clearly tense from the pressure.







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Anita stands in her living, while Brady stands facing her, arms folded in front of him. Brady looks at Anita, upset by Anita's seeking the news story of Nick taking over as CEO of Titan.


ANITA: Yes...I know who you are, Brady. I've known for a long time.
BRADY: Have you, now? And just how long were you planning on keeping this little...secret from me?


Anita sighs, trying to find the words to stop Brady from getting too wound up.


ANITA: As long as it was going to take for you to trust me.


Brady guffaws at Anita's statement, as Anita walks past Brady, looking intensely at the article on her computer screen about Nick's takeover.


BRADY: How perfect. So you were gonna keep lying until I trusted you, and for what?
ANITA: Then maybe you'd open up to me about what happened to you. Maybe you'd finally let me help you. If I told you that I knew you were Victor Kiriakis' grandson, you'dve been out the door as soon as you were strong enough to crawl out of that bed.

BRADY: And maybe I should've.


Anita grabs Brady's arm, stopping him from walking out of the room.


ANITA: Brady. I didn't keep this from you for my own gain. I did it so that you felt safe here. Nobody from Salem knows you're here, and nobody will as long as YOU want it that way.


Brady looks at Anita, a mix of uncertainty, anger, and a strange sense of trust.




Gabi stares at the pen Sami holds up for her, as Sami sits at the desk in Gabi's living room. Will looks on, unsure of what the situation is, when all hear a knock at the door. Will heads over to open the door, revealing Kate.


KATE: Hi! Sorry, I'm late, I had...a lot to take care of.
SAMI: So I heard. 
GABI: So...now that Nick's CEO of Titan...does this change anything where this supposed bidding war is concerned.


Kate smiles, confident in her statement.


KATE: Oh absolutely not.


Gabi smiles, still clearly nervous about the plan.


GABI: Okay, good. I uh...I confirmed a date with Nick for tonight. He...uh...he actually asked me first, so...
SAMI: Perfect, so we're all set. All you have to do, is sign, and let the fun begin.


Sami hands Gabi her pen, as Gabi steps over to the desk, and signs the modelling contract, putting her into a contract with MadWorld at DiMera. Kate, and Sami look at each other with a confidence, while Will looks on, concerned, and slightly confused by the proceedings.




Valerie opens the door to the hospital lounge, and leads Kim and Billie inside, closing the door behind them. She looks at them sternly.


VALERIE: Now, I assume you're gonna keep in civil in here. 


Kim stands, facing Billie, arms folded as she looks at her with a scowl.


KIM: Naturally.
BILLIE: Thank you.


Valerie looks at both women seriously for a moment, before stepping out of the room, closing the door again behind them, as Billie looks at Kim, exhausted by the fighting.


BILLIE: Look, Kim. I've had it with the accusations and the arguments. Okay? I have no idea who, if anyone, is poisoning Theresa, but...
KIM: But I guess we're gonna find out. Becuase I have made sure that there is a guard at that door, 24/7 from now on, and they can't so much as take a bathroom break without getting a relief guard. So if you're taking advantage of your little doctor boyfriend to try to sneak into Theresa's room without my knowing? 


Kim steps in close to Billie, attempting to intimidate her.


KIM: I WILL find out about it. Make no mistake.


Billie looks back at Kim, unflinchingly.




The Kiriakises look confused at Maggie, who stands surrounded by them in the Kiriakis living room. She smiles, knowing how awkward her news is.


JUSTIN: I'm sorry....what?


Maggie smiles, and looks at Justin, before repeating herself a beat later.


MAGGIE: We can't tell anyone he's recovering. He doesn't want anyone to know, I guess partly because of what happened at the board meeting today. Honestly, I don't even think he wanted me to tell you all but...I just can't keep it bottled up. We just need to give him the space to recover, and not push him too hard with too many visitors right now.

ALEX: Wait...he doesn't? So...does this mean...
MAGGIE: That's right. Victor's awake.


Everyone, particularly Noelle, take notice, as their eyes widen in surprise.






Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco


Brady walks into the living room at Anita's cabin. Stepping over to the computer, he moves the mouse slightly, triggering the computer to wake up from its dormant state. He calls out to Anita, who is in the next room.


BRADY: Anita! I'm just gonna pull down the ad for the truck, alright?!


Anita calls back from the other room, the sound somewhat muffled.


ANITA: What was that?!


Sitting down with a soda in hand, he looks at the screen, and has to hold himself back from spitting out a mouthful when he reads the news on the screen:


BREAKING: Nick Fallon declares self CEO of Titan Industries


Brady sets his drink down before he spills it, his hands shaking.


Anita steps into the room, about to repeat herself when she sees a distressed Brady looking at the computer screen.


ANITA: Wh...Brady?


Brady quickly turns around to face Anita, getting up from the desk chair. He points at the computer monitor, stunned and angry.


BRADY: What is this? Why do you have this page open? Wh...did you see this??


Anita looks on, puzzled by Brady's strong reaction.




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Sami stands in Will, Gabi, and Sonny's apartment, trying to hold in her panic, as Will stands before her, stunned by the news she's just given him.


WILL: I'm sorry. Nick just took over Titan?
SAMI: Yep! You've got a new boss. Congratulations.


Will sighs, frustrated by the turn of events.


WILL: Wh...well how did he manage that?
SAMI: The only way that little worm knows how to accomplish anything in life. Blackmail.




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Billie sits in the hospital cafeteria, taking a sip of coffee while she reads a book. After taking a sip, she realizes the foul taste of the coffee, spitting it quickly back into her cup and pushing it away, as Daniel walks in.


DANIEL: Hey, I got your text.


Billie gets up upon hearing Daniel's voice, wrapping her arms around him and giving him a soft kiss on the lips. They talk while gazing into each other's eyes, their voices growing softer and more sultry with every sentence.


BILLIE: Mmm, good. I just was waiting here while you finished up your shift. You all done? I could use a little...soft music and a nice dinner after the day I've had.
DANIEL: Oh yeah?
DANIEL: Well, I think I could be persuaded. On one condition though.


Billie looks at Daniel, mockingly giving him attitude, but unable to hold in a laugh as she does.


BILLIE: (laugh) Okay.
DANIEL: I get to take you back to my place first and work up an appetite.


Billie can barely finish her sentence as she begins to kiss Daniel more and more sensually.


BILLIE: Mmm, okay, that's a condition I think I could live with. But I got a condition for you if you want some personal time with me.


Daniel laughs slightly as he gives Billie another quick kiss. He continues, resting his forehead against Billie's as his arms wrap around her waist.


DANIEL: Heh, okay. I'll bite. What's my condition.
BILLIE: Make me a better pot of coffee, and I'll be putty in your hands.


Daniel laughs heartily, as Billie cracks up a bit herself. 




Billie smiles as she wraps her arms around Daniel's neck, pulling him into another kiss, as Maggie bursts into the cafeteria, catching Daniel and Billie off guard.


MAGGIE: Daniel! I'm so glad I found you!


Daniel and Billie pull away from each other, as they turn to Maggie, concerned.


DANIEL: Mom, what is it?


Maggie beams with the news she shares with them.


MAGGIE: It's Victor. He's awake! He's finally awake!


Daniel turns quickly to look at an equally surprised Billie.




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Victor looks on from his hospital bed, too weak to really react to Tyler.


VICTOR: Nick...Nick Fallon?


Tyler stands next to Victor's bed, arms folded, as he softly nods.


TYLER: Yeah. He called everyone to a board meeting and handed out little envelopes, detailing all the dirty little secrets he knows that the board doesn't want publicized and voila! Everyone cowtows to him.

VICTOR: H...how the Hell did you let this happen?
TYLER: It's a long story, Victor. All I need to know for now is...do you want me to take care of him, or shall I sit on this until you've been released?


Victor sighs, looking stoically at Tyler as he mulls over his options regarding Nick.







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Adrienne and Alex stand in the living room in the Kiriakis house. Adrienne is shocked, as Noelle has just walked in, making a crack about inviting Anjelica to dinner.


ALEX: Noelle. Tell me you didn't...
NOELLE: Didn't what? Invite your mother to dinner? Of course I did.


Adrienne rolls her eyes dramatically, displeased with this turn of events.


NOELLE: What?! I heard she was in town for her campaign, she called me earlier while you were out because, big surprise, she couldn't get ahold of Alex. I mean, she certainly wasn't gonna call you or Justin, was she, Adrienne?


Adrienne stands with her arms folded. She sighs audibly before responding to Noelle, sulking.


ADRIENNE: I guess not.
NOELLE: So...there you go. What am I gonna do? Tell her 'no'? She'd kill me!


Adrienne guffaws dismissively at Noelle, as she turns to walk away.


ADRIENNE: You have no idea how right you are about that--


Alex steps in, trying to stop things from escalating, as Adrienne tries to stand her ground.


ALEX: ...Okay, Adrienne. Can we just hold our fire a little bit, here?
ADRIENNE: All I'm saying is, you'd opened up Pandora's Box by even just letting her in the room. And now we're all going to have to suffer the consequences for that. 


Noelle rolls her eyes at Adrienne.


NOELLE: Oh come on, Adrienne, you're being melodramatic--


Adrienne cuts Noelle off, waving her hand in front of her as part of her refutation.


ADRIENNE: No, no. Believe me, it's not just going to be a single awkward dinner. We will be stuck with that woman now for as long as SHE decides we are useful to her. And I really don't know if I'm prepared to give up my time and energy to such a worthy cause.


Adrienne grabs her shopping bags, and heads for the staircase to her room.


ADRIENNE: If you'll excuse me.


Alex turns to Noelle, who stands, arms folded, nonplussed by Adrienne's concerns. Alex sighs, sensing the brewing conflict between the two women who raised him.




Will puts down his cell phone, as Sami stands in the apartment, holding a now-awake Ari in her arms.


SAMI: So? What did Alex have to say about it?


Will sighs, looking away from Sami, trying to process the news.


WILL: Yeah. Nick pulled it off. Even Kate apparently voted in favour of it.
WILL: Yeah. I mean, I guess she had her reasons but...
SAMI: Well, she's coming to meet us in a few minutes, anyway, so...I guess we'll get our answer then.


As Sami finishes her sentence, Gabi comes through the door, grocery bags in her hands. She looks over, pleased to see Sami.


GABI: Oh good, you're here.


Sami smiles half-heartedly, as she bounces young Arianna in her arms.


SAMI: Hey! Did you, uh...hear the news?
GABI: What news?
WILL: Nick's just become CEO of Titan.


Gabi sets the bag down on the kitchen table, before looking at both Will and Sami, stunned.


GABI: You're kidding.

SAMI: Nope! So we need to take the next few steps incredibly carefully, or else we are all just a step away from going to prison for a long time.


Gabi looks at Sami, sighing in despair as she realizes the corner she's being put in.




Victor lays in his hospital bed, as Tyler stands next to him, awaiting his answer. Victor responds slowly and breathlessly.


VICTOR: Wait him out. Let Nick bury...bury himself. And make sure...nobody knows that I...I've come to. I ca...I can't handle any visitors.


Victor exhales gently and falls into a sleep. Tyler looks on as Victor closes his eyes, sighing. As he does, Maggie and Daniel step into the room, only to find Victor back asleep. Tyler turns, holding a hand up to reassure Maggie, whose face has immediately fallen upon seeing Victor's eyes shut.


TYLER: Don't worry. He just fell asleep. I think he's still very weak.
MAGGIE: I know. Thank you, Tyler.


Maggie takes Tyler's hand, squeezing it gently as Tyler cups Maggie's hands in his. Daniel grabs a stool and scoots over to Victor's bedside. He turns back to Tyler and Maggie, shooing them away.


DANIEL: I'm gonna need to check on Victor, so, I'm gonna have to ask you to step out.
TYLER: That's fine. I have to head back to the office anyway. Um...Maggie, Daniel. Victor asked us to keep quiet on his coming to for awhile. Doesn't want a slew of visitors or anything while he's this week.

DANIEL: I'll co-sign that. The last thing Victor needs is a procession of family members crowding in here before he's ready for them.


Maggie nods in agreement, still a bit emotional from the turn of events.


MAGGIE: I understand. I'll umm...Daniel. Thank you. I'm gonna go home. Tyler, thanks again.
TYLER: You alright to drive, Maggie?
MAGGIE: I'll be fine. Thank you, though!


Maggie and Tyler step out of the room, closing the door behind them. Daniel stares at Victor, smiling warmly at him.


DANIEL: Good work, old man. You made it back.


Victor sleeps, oblivious to Daniel's words, as Daniel begins to work on updating his chart.




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Kate stands in Roman's office at the Salem PD. She's baffled by Roman's sudden confusion about his whereabouts.


KATE: Roman...wh...Anderson Manufacturing hasn't been around in...over 30 years. And you were never involved with them, it--I mean, at least not that I'm aware of I...


Roman stands facing away from Kate, looking down at the ground, lost in his thoughts, as Kate steps slowly over to him.


KATE: Roman, I'm worried about you. 
ROMAN: Kate, don't be.


Kate looks on at Roman, frustrated resignation, as her arms fall to her side.


KATE: Look, I don't know what's going on with you, but...if you need to step aside from this case, I'd be happy to let Billie handle it unilaterally from here on in.
ROMAN: Nah, I...it's okay.


Roman turns back toward Kate, shaking his head, still an uncertainty in his tone and demeanour.


ROMAN: I um...I just need some time to refresh myself with the case. So...you just e-mail me what you need to fill me in on and...I'll take it from there.


Kate stares at Roman, as he sits down at his desk and grabs the framed photo of his family, a grave concern for him plainly visible in her eyes. She wordlessly puts her purse up over her shoulder and walks out, leaving Roman behind, trying to fight back his pent-up emotions. 


As Kate closes the door behind her, Roman stares at the photo in his hands. Marlena, Sami, Eric and himself, from the time Sami & Eric were babies. The longer he stares, the more frustrated he gets, finally throwing the picture across the room. The picture frame shatters as Roman breaks down in tears.




Anita approaches Brady, baffled by his outburst.


ANITA: See what?


Brady steps aside, ushering Anita closer to the computer.


BRADY: This!


Anita studies the headline, before sighing. Brady looks at her, arms folded. He motions at the computer as he continues.


BRADY: I think you better explain yourself right now.
ANITA: Brady, I didn't want to get into this until you were ready to talk about what happened to you.


Brady snaps at Anita, not waiting for her to finish.


BRADY: I am not ever going to be ready if you keep being secretive with me.


Anita raises her voice momentarily to match Brady's, before stopping herself mid-sentence to finish her thought.


ANITA: I'm no--I'm not being secretive. But...maybe I haven't been completely forthcoming.


Brady laughs sarcastically at Anita's statement, putting his hands up in the air in frustration.


BRADY: Yeah, you could say that.
ANITA: You haven't been either.
BRADY: And how do you know that, Anita?


Anita looks away momentarily, before looking up at Brady solemnly.


ANITA: Because I do know who you are, Brady. And I know exactly how you got here.


Brady tenses his lips, trying very hard to keep from saying something he'll regret in anger.






Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco


Roman walks into his office at the Salem PD, and looks the room over, suddenly feeling foreign to him.


After a moment of inspecting everything, his desk, the window to outside, the picture of his family from years ago, he sets the framed picture down on the desk face down, and looks the room over once again. 


His eye turns to the door as Kate walks in, briskly.


KATE: I'm sorry I'm late, but I had to be in the square for Nick's press conference.


Kate puts her clutch down on the table, oblivious to Roman's confused state, she throws her hands in the air in frustration.


KATE: There's just...so much going on the last few days, I need to get you up to speed. For instance, when are we going to get Jordan and Sheryl's arrest warrants out, and how much evidence do you need to pro--


Kate stops upon turning toward Roman, who looks on at her, confused.


KATE: Roman. Are you alright?


Roman looks back at Kate with a blank expression.




Adrienne walks briskly into the Kiriakis living room, dropping her shopping bags on the sofa, before calling out as loudly as possible in the hopes that someone is home.




Alex walks in casually from the hallway heading into the kitchen, a curious expression on his face as he pops a blueberry in his mouth.


ALEX: Adrienne? What's up? You look like you've seen a ghost.
ADRIENNE: Yeah, you could say that. I quite literally just ran into your mother in Town Square.


Alex swallows hard, an uncomfortable look on his face.




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Maggie sits beside Victor's hospital bed. Victor having just emerged from his coma. Victor manages a weak smile as he gently squeezes her hand.


MAGGIE: Victor! You're awake!


Victor barely peeps out a sound, as he remains incredibly weak.


VICTOR: Maggie. Wh...where am I?
MAGGIE: At University Hospital, darling. You've been in a coma for a number of weeks now.


Victor looks around, sighing as he realizes what's happened. Maggie, eager to see Victor's progress continue, gets up, heading excitedly for the door.


MAGGIE: I'm going to go get Daniel to come check up on you. 
VICTOR: Mag...


Victor reaches out for a moment before his weak body gives in. Struggling to keep his eyes open, Victor sighs in frustration as Maggie heads out of the room.

Outside Victor's hospital room, Tyler emerges from the elevator. Maggie walks over to him.


TYLER: Maggie!
MAGGIE: Oh, Tyler! I'm so glad you're here. 
TYLER: What is it?


Maggie puts a hand on Tyler's shoulder, and smiles warmly.


MAGGIE: It's Victor. He's awake.


Tyler looks back at Maggie with a mix of happiness, and of dread.







Will races to the door of his apartment to stop the frantic knocking at the front door.


Opening it, he finds Sami, who bursts into the apartment in an enraged frenzy. Will tries to cool Sami down, pressing a finger to his lips to motion her to keep quiet.


SAMI: Thank God you're here.
WILL: SHH! Ari's having a nap!


Sami stops herself for a second, resting against the edge of the armchair in the living room, as Will walks quickly over to close Ari's bedroom door.


SAMI: Sorry.
WILL: What was so urgent?
SAMI: Where's Gabi?


Will stumbles over his words, thrown off by Sami's lack of focus. He responds firmly without shouting.


WILL: Gabi's at the corner store grabbing milk. What is the problem?
SAMI: Well, for one, you have a new boss.


Will looks confused, furrowing his brow.


WILL: What do you mean?
SAMI: I mean Nick Fallon just staged a coup to take over Titan, and if you're not careful, he's got enough on you to ruin your entire career before it even begins.


Will's jaw drops at the stunning news of Nick's ascent.




Alex stands in the Kiriakis living room, watching an on-edge Adrienne pace behind the sofa, while he continues to munch on his blueberries.


ADRIENNE: So she basically just...invited herself to dinner, which, of course, I turned her down, but...not that THAT would ever stop her...
ALEX: Well, I think she should come to dinner.


Adrienne stops in her tracks, looking incredulously at Alex.


ADRIENNE: Alexander Kiriakis, are you serious?


Alex looks at Adrienne and shrugs at the idea.


ALEX: I don't see why not. Look at it this way, if she comes to dinner tonight, it'll probably pacify her and we won't have to have her asking me to stay here while she's in town.
ADRIENNE: Alex, that's exactly why I DON'T want her coming to dinner. You know full well she's going to use that dinner invitation to guilt you into letting her stay for however many days she claims she'll be in town, and before you've even shown her what room she's staying in, she'll have her entire campaign team set up in the dining room!


A voice calls out from behind them, causing both Alex and Adrienne to turn toward the entrance to the living room.


NOELLE: Well, I guess that answers my question on how everyone feels about having company for dinner tonight, then?



Noelle walks into the room, hands on hips, with a wry smile. Adrienne looks on, unimpressed, while Alex seems...uncertain, looking back at Adrienne before turning back to look at his wife.




Kate steps over to Roman, putting a hand on his shoulder out of concern. Roman fidgets at Kate's touch.


KATE: Roman...
ROMAN: Just stop...I'm sorry. I haven't had much of a chance to look into this the last few days.


Kate looks over at Roman, shocked by his uncharacteristic lack of attention, as Roman sits down behind his desk.


KATE: I...I don't get it. You knew this was a huge case, Roman. I put my relationships with my kids, with...with Rafe...I put that on hold for this. All to see justice done. And with all the...chaos that's been going down between the virus and...Nick taking over Titan, you...Roman, are you okay?


Roman snaps at Kate, taking her aback.


ROMAN: Dammit, Kate, I'm fine! I can't even have a cup of coffee in the morning without someone asking me what's going on here at Anderson and how I'm gonna take care of this, and I'll tell you, since Bob died, it's been absolute chaos.


Kate looks at Roman, confused and stunned.


KATE: Anderson? Wh...what are you talking about?




Tyler stumbles over his words, stunned by the news that Victor's awakened from his coma.


TYLER: Y...You're sure?


Maggie looks on, excitedly, almost bouncing as she speaks with joy.


MAGGIE: Yes! Isn't it terrific news? I mean...he's...I'll admit, very groggy. I think it's gonna take some time before he's fully awake but...oh this is such good news. I'm going to have to tell the family, but...first I need to get ahead of Daniel. Excuse me.


TYLER: Certainly.


Tyler watches Maggie run off to speak to the nurses in hopes of tracking Daniel down, before looking over toward Victor's room. He slowly walks over, peering inside the room as he gently pushes the door open.


Looking back again as Maggie runs off to find Daniel, Tyler steps into Victor's room.


Victor, still barely revived, gently turns his head to see who's come in. Barely audible, he chokes out a greeting.


VICTOR: H...Houston.


Shutting the door behind him, Tyler slowly walks toward Victor's side. He speaks softly,but with urgency.


TYLER: Victor. It's good to see you awake.
VICTOR: ...It's....it's good to see you...at all.


Tyler chuckles to himself, before his face drops again, sighing as he continues.


TYLER: Victor...I don't mean to hit you with bad news so soon after you've come to, but...we have a...we have a situation at Titan.


Victor looks at Tyler, his expression unchanging, but with a tension in his face that wasn't there a moment before.


VICTOR: Wh...what kind of situation?

TYLER: It's Nick Fallon. He blackmailed the board into making him CEO.


Victor turns his head slowly, looking up at the ceiling. He closes his eyes for a moment and curses, barely above a whisper.


VICTOR: Damn. 


Victor turns his head back toward Tyler, their eyes locking in a serious gaze.


VICTOR: Make him pay...for this.






Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco


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Nicole steps into her office at WXIR, shutting the door behind her, as Sami and Abby look on in shock.


SAMI: I'm sorry...what did you say?
NICOLE: Nick just held a press conference, and announced to the world that he is now the CEO of Titan Industries. So, hey, at least you can take solace in knowing that at least ONE thing is going your way today, right, Sami?


Sami rolls her eyes, as Abby looks on, somewhat confused.


ABBY: Why? What happened?
NICOLE: Well, I wasn't gonna say anything but...Eric and I got married today.


Abby lights up, surprised, and pleased for Nicole.


ABBY: Wow! Oh my God! Congratulations!


Nicole looks on, less excited than Abby.


NICOLE: Yeah! I was real excited until THIS ONE decided to crash the party! Brought her mom too to REALLY rub the salt in!


Abby's face freezes, as she looks over Sami's way. Sami grimaces, with her arms folded. Nicole gives a sarcastic grin to emphasize her displeasure.




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Maggie walks into Victor's hospital room, closely watching her husband as he lays comatose in his bed, still recovering from his heart attack.


She looks on lovingly, as she steps toward him. Gently speaking to him as though he were awake.


MAGGIE: Victor. It's me. Maggie.


After a moment, she pulls up a chair and sits down beside his bed. She smiles though she's tearing up slightly.


MAGGIE: I hope you can hear me. I hope you know I'm here. They say...that coma patients can hear people in the room. And I'm really hoping my voice will help you. 


Maggie takes Victor's hand in hers, and pulls it up to her lips, gently kissing it.


MAGGIE: We need you back, Victor.




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Eric stands in Marlena's penthouse, sighing in frustration at being put on the spot by his mom.


ERIC: Mom, I...

MARLENA: Eric, you loved your vocation so much. Being a priest meant everything to you. Wouldn't you at least want the world to know that you were a victim of a...vicious sociopath? Don't you want to clear your name?


Eric snaps at his mom, before stepping back a bit, hoping not to escalate things between them further.


ERIC: Of course I do! I just...
MARLENA: Just what? Eric, don't tell me you're giving up everything you worked so hard for for Nicole.
ERIC: Can we not...make this another attack against Nicole? Please?


Marlena steps back from Eric, trying to keep her cool despite her visceral frustration at Eric's weakness for Nicole.


MARLENA: Yes. I'm sorry.


Eric remains calm, but speaks firmly with Marlena, which Marlena silently accepts.


ERIC: Look, Mom, I'm not interested in going down that road right now. I struggled with what happened with Kristen for a long time, and I finally got the answers I needed. I'm going to tell the public what really happened, but when I do, it will be when I am ready. I can't do this on your schedule...and I'm certainly not going back into the priesthood, even if I am accepted back.


Marlena looks down, disappointed.


MARLENA: I wish you'd reconsider.
ERIC: I know this hurts you, but I am happy with Nicole. I am happy to be married to her. And I'm not going to give up that happiness, not for anything.


Marlena tries to hold her sadness and disappointment in, but can't help but tear up a bit.







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Daniel and Kim stand in Theresa's hospital room. Kim looks horrified as Daniel looks down, contemplating how to relay his news to Kim.


DANIEL: Kim, no one is drugging your daughter. Okay? I promise you. No one unauthorized is visiting her. My only concern is that she's emerging from her coma irregularly. That tells me that there's more complications in her recovery than I initially realized.


Kim looks up at Daniel, squinting a bit as she mulls over whether or not she believes him. She slowly nods, before taking Theresa's hand in hers, and squeezing it gently, as she watches over her, lovingly.


KIM: I know...I know it's a miracle that she's even alive. I mean...considering how badly she was injured in the ac--the crash. 


Kim stops herself, looking up at Daniel, suddenly becoming very stoic, trying to hold herself together.


KIM: I know you and Brady are family, but I really struggle with what he did to my daughter. And I am finding it really hard to forgive him. I don't mean to sound cruel but...sometimes I'm...


Kim stops herself from speaking out of spite. Daniel stands silent, acknowledging Kim's pain. He nods slowly as she expresses her anger in a subdued, controlled way.


KIM: You know...it's hard to forgive a lot of people. Because a lot of people have a hand to play in how my sweet little Jeannie ended up like this.


Kim begins to tear up, as she fails to hold it together. Never shouting, Kim overflows nonetheless with emotions.


KIM: She struggled so hard. And... and the worst part is, the person I have the hardest time forgiving...(sigh) is me. 


Kim wipes away tears, as she walks out of the hospital room, leaving Daniel behind with Theresa.


KIM: Excuse me.


Kim steps outside, closing the door behind her, as she struggles to compose herself. Daniel, still in the room, stares at Theresa, as her lifeless body lays in her hospital bed, her progress ever-stagnant.




Marlena stands, facing away from Eric, hoping to hide her tears from her son. Eric knows better, and walks up behind her, putting his hands on her shoulders to try to comfort her.


ERIC: Mom. Mom, I'm sorry. I know how proud you were of me being a priest. But...


Marlena turns around with a start, speaking emphatically, as she touches Eric's face.


MARLENA: No, no, no, you don't...Eric, I don't want you to think for a second I'm not proud of you every minute of every day. Eric, you're a wonderful, compassionate man who gives so much of himself every day. You don't need to be a priest to give back to this world.


Marlena takes Eric's hands in hers, then looks up at her son, proudly.


MARLENA: No matter what way you choose to take your life...I will accept it. 


Marlena gives a cheeky smile as she struggles to hold in a laugh.


MARLENA: I may not like the direction you're going (laughs)...but I always accept your decisions. I trust you to know what's best for you.
ERIC: Thanks, Mom.


Marlena pulls Eric into a hug, suddenly overcome with emotion. She closes her eyes as she embraces Eric tightly.


MARLENA: Ohhh Eric, I love you so much.

ERIC: I love you too, Mom. Love you too.


Eric looks off, a wistful smile on his face as he holds his mom in his arms, feeling a sense of true comfort.




Sami gives Nicole sideeye as Nicole steps over toward her desk, trading places with Abby.


SAMI: You know, I really didn't want to crash your little party either, Nicole. But when I found out you were getting married, I had to stop my brother from making a huge mistake.

NICOLE: Right. The huge mistake being me. We get it, Sami. You hate me. Can we stop pretending you're keeping me here because you respect my talents? 


Sami puts a hand on her hip, annoyed by Nicole's accusation, and expecting another glib response.


SAMI: Okay Nicole. Tell me, since you know everything. Why am I keeping you here?
NICOLE: To keep an eye on me. Make sure I don't step outta line. 


Nicole laughs to herself, as she shakes her head. Abby stands off to one side, increasingly uncomfortable being in the room with the two adversaries.


NICOLE: You know, ever since you took over Titan TV, I've been wondering exactly why you didn't fire me right away. And now I get it. You know the old saying: Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer? You're a master at that! That's why you made Abigail my assistant, isn't it? She's your little spy, isn't she, Sami?


Abby tries to interject, trying to refute Nicole's claim, but can barely get a word in edgewise.


ABBY: I...wait, for the record, I--
SAMI: Oh come on, Nicole. If I had that kind of time to micromanage our local station's what...third-most recognized reporter? I really don't think I'd get much work done.
NICOLE: You're right. You don't get much work done. Just like I'm not getting much work done arguing with you. So, if you'll excuse me, your spy and I have an extremely important piece to complete for tomorrow's newscast. So you need to leave.


Sami prepares to leave, when Nicole holds up a finger, leaving Sami with a final thought.


NICOLE: But just remember something, Sami. If you even think of firing me for marrying Eric, I will slap DiMera with a lawsuit so fast, you won't have time to pack your crap up before they kick you out of your office. Got it?


Sami sighs, folding her arms as she gives a knowing look to Abby, who tries to very subtly shrug as her eyes widen. 


SAMI: Fine. I'll go.


Sami walks out of Nicole's office, with a parting shot.


SAMI: But just for the record, Nicole. If I find out you did ANYTHING to hurt my brother, you WILL be out on your ass faster than you can say "annullment", let alone spell it. 


Sami gives an almost saccharine smile, as she gives a sarcastic parrellel retort to Nicole, her eyes shooting daggers her way.


SAMI: Got it?


Sami steps out of the office, slamming the door behind her with a casual but brisk motion. Abby and Nicole look at each other, Abby looking very uncomfortable, and Nicole looking exasperated, and relieved to have Sami gone.




Maggie holds on tightly to Victor's hand, as she suddenly feels a bit of pressure back on her hand. Taking a moment to loosen her grip, she feels Victor tighten his around her hand, as Victor's heart monitor begins to pace up sligthly. 


Gently wiping away tears, Maggie laughs through the tears, as Victor begins to stir. She smiles as Victor begins to open his eyes. 

Groggy, he looks at Maggie and, almost silently, calls out to her.


VICTOR: Maggie...


Maggie, hearing her name, breaks down in tears of joy, holding her husband's hand as he comes to.


MAGGIE: Victor! You're back!




Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco

Sami glares at Abby as they stand in Nicole's office at WXIR. Abby looks on, somewhat uncomfortable by the position Sami is putting her in, and stands with her arms folded.
SAMI: Well? Should I be worried that this report is going to implicate Will?
Abby sighs, dropping her arms to her side in frustration.
ABBY: Sami--
SAMI: I think I have a right to know. My son took a job at Titan, and no, I'm not happy about it, but I am still going to protect him.
Abby responds, looking away thoughtfully.
ABBY: I understand that. I would...(sigh) I would want the same for my child.
SAMI: Then, as your boss, I should tell you that if Will is involved in this EnerNext mess in any way...you will keep his name out of Nicole's report.
Abby looks at Sami, struggling to answer.

Daniel stands at the nurses' station at University Hospital, as Kim approaches him, a look of concern on her face.
KIM: Daniel!
Daniel turns around with a start, looking pleasantly at Kim.
DANIEL: Kim! Hey! I'm glad you're here.
KIM: Well, I heard there was some news about Theresa and I headed straight down.
DANIEL: Yeah...
Kim's brow furrows as she questions Daniel's peculiar reaction.
KIM: It's good news right?
Daniel struggles to give Kim an answer, causing Kim to look even more concerned.

Marlena walks into her living room, surprised and worried, as Roman and Eric look over at her.
Eric looks at Marlena, respondingly politely but coldly.
ERIC: Mom.
Marlena, unsure how to approach the situation, looks over at Roman as she continues to approach.
MARLENA: Roman...what is going on? Are you alright?
Roman relaxes somewhat, but is still deeply frustrated. He turns, and, without looking at Marlena, begins to walk away.
ROMAN: Yeah. Fine. I'm gonna head out.
Roman grabs his jacket, but Marlena tries to stop him.
MARLENA: Roman. ROMAN! Where are you going?
Unable to stop Roman from leaving, Roman quickly responds before walking out and closing the door.
ROMAN: To work!
As the door slams shut, Marlena winces, and Eric looks over at the closed door. He looks back at Marlena, suddenly worried, but trying to hide it.
ERIC: Mom, I'm sorry. I...
Marlena interrupts, overwhelmed and angry. Unable to stay calm anymore, she grabs Eric's arm, forcing him to look her in the eye.
MARLENA: Eric, what did you say to him?
Eric meets Marlena's stare, confused and surprised.
Eric pulls away from his mother, looking away after a moment of intensity between them.
ERIC: I didn't say anything. I realized he didn't remember me or the entire Kristen fiasco and he...he lost it.
Marlena stops a moment, before turning back to Eric, a bit confused.
MARLENA: Kristen?
ERIC: Yes, Kristen. The whole mess that YOU helped create.
Marlena stops herself, looking down partly in shame and partly to cool her misplaced anger.
MARLENA: I know.
ERIC: I came here to give you both news about it, in case you're wondering.
Marlena looks up, intrigued.
Eric nods, remaining cold and sombre, not quite able to look Marlena in the eye.
ERIC: (sigh) Yeah. A package came in the mail for me after Nicole and I got home from City Hall.
Eric reaches over to the sideboard where he'd placed the envelope containing the Chyka files. He hands them to Marlena, who immediately pulls them out, looking them over in an increasingly excited way.
MARLENA: Oh my...Oh my God, Eric! This is the evidence you needed! Oh HONEY!
Marlena lurches forward, hugging Eric tightly, causing him to tense up, before gently forcing Marlena from her hug.
ERIC: Mom. Please.
MARLENA: Wh--Eric, I'm sorry.
ERIC: Just...don't right now. After the stunt you and Sami pulled today, just...don't. I came here to tell you the news, that's all.
Marlena reaches out to stop Eric before he leaves.
MARLENA: No. Eric, stop. 
Eric stops in his tracks, rolling his eyes and sighing as he turns back to face his mom.
ERIC: Mom, I don't have time for this, I--
MARLENA: This, this will just take a second. I need to know what this means for you and...you and the priesthood.
Eric looks to Marlena, as Marlena waits impatiently for his answer.

Nick stands behind the podium at the press conference in Horton Town Square, gesturing for Tyler to step forward and join him at the podium. Once Tyler does, very reluctantly, step forward, Nick continues his announcement.
NICK: Mr. Houston here has been a major help to me in not only tracking down these hackers, but also with giving me the...confidence to put my name in the ring to lead this company. With his help, and my vision, I firmly believe that Titan will be a successful power player into the coming decade and beyond. Thank you, everyone.
Tyler grabs Nick's arm and pulls him aside just out of the earshot of the microphones, as the press begin to buzz furiously within seconds of Nick's speech ending.
Tyler looks at Nick, enraged.
TYLER: What the HELL do you think you're doing?
Nick laughs softly, giving Tyler a shrug.
NICK: I thought you'd be thrilled. I keep your secret, you help me fullfil my goals.
TYLER: And what if I don't. I have no loyalty to you, kid.
NICK: Then I guess you'd better develop a loyalty to the colour orange. Cos' that's the only colour you'll be wearing if you back out now.
Nick quickly looks Tyler up and down, before chuckling to himself.
NICK: ...Nah. Not your colour.
Nick walks away, heading out of the square, leaving Tyler behind, incredulous. Justin approaches him, his eyes trained on Nick. Justin puts a hand on Tyler's shoulder.
JUSTIN: Something tells me that appointment wasn't exactly a mutual decision.
TYLER: You'd be right. And it's not going to happen, either. Excuse me.
Tyler walks off, following Nick out of the town square.
Daniel and Kim step into Theresa's room. It's dark, and the only sound is the beep of the heart monitor, as a comatose Theresa lays in the bed.
Kim looks down lovingly at her daughter, as she holds Theresa's hand. Daniel looks over at Theresa before he begins.
DANIEL: I have reason believe she may be starting to...come out of the coma.
Kim looks on surprised and thrilled by the news, but it's immediately tempered by Daniel, as he interjects to stop her from reacting.
KIM: Oh my--
DANIEL: Wait...Kim, there's something else you need to know.
Kim's face drops as she moves from excitement to panic.
KIM: What? Is something wrong? Wh-what's happening?
DANIEL: She's...we...okay, I don't mean to alarm you, it's...it's likely nothing, but, I noticed something in her chart, I' ve never seen it before. Coma patients don't tend to start emerging from their coma and then immediately drop back into it...not unless they're being induced into it.
Kim clutches Theresa's hand, increasingly worried, as Daniel tries to keep calm.
KIM: Well you're not inducing the coma, obviously. I mean, that's...that doesn't make sense.
DANIEL: You're right. And we aren't.
Kim looks over at the door, then Daniel, confused and increasingly frustrated.
KIM: Well, then, I don't get it, I...I mean you have the door guarded, they would've seen anyone who's been coming in or out of here, they'dve had to. We're trying to keep Billie out, so...
Daniel looks away for a moment, sighing, as he tries to keep Kim from digging any deeper.
DANIEL: Yes...it's just been me, you, and the nurses. That's all, I promise you.
KIM: So, then, I don't understand, Daniel. Are you saying one of the nurses could be drugging my daughter?
Daniel sighs, unsure whether to tell Kim or not.
Abby folds her arms, as she furrows her brow, frustrated by Sami's interference.
ABBY: Sami, I can't force Nicole's hand. She's going to see right through me if I do that.
SAMI: Find a way, Abby. 
ABBY: It's not that easy.
SAMI: I'm sorry, who's your boss here?
Abby sighs, dropping her arms to the side, and tensing her hands into fists, as she stops herself from shouting at Sami.
ABBY: If I suppress information about this story to protect Will or anybody else, for that matter, I might as well kiss my career goodbye. We have journalistic standards to adhere to.
SAMI: Let me handle that. Just keep Will out of it.
Abby throws her hands up, exasperated. After a moment, she argues back.
ABBY: Look, Will's name probably won't even be important enough to mention on air.
SAMI: Like Hell it won't be. He wrote all their press releases.
ABBY: So we may have to speak with him to get more information. Look, Sami, I honestly don't think Will is the one you should be worried about right now.
Sami folds her arms, raising an eyebrow as she looks at Abby incredulously.
SAMI: Oh really? And just who should I be worried about?
ABBY: Nick. 
As Abby says this, Nicole opens the door to her office, not hiding her irritation at Sami's presence.
NICOLE: Abby's right. You should worry about Nick.
Nicole looks over to Abby, exhausted, and worried.
NICOLE: He just declared himself CEO of Titan Industries.
Sami looks back at Nicole, jaw dropped, as Abby's eyes widen, looking over to Sami with the same surprised face.

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco

Nicole rushes into her office at WXIR, where Abby and Jerome await her. The sound of the opening door causes Abby to turn toward the door, exciting her as she steps toward Nicole.
ABBY: Nicole! Just in time!
NICOLE: Why? What's happening? 
Nicole stops in her tracks as she sees Jerome at her computer. Her demeanour changes instantly, as she points to Jerome while speaking to Abby.
NICOLE: What's he doing here?
ABBY: Oh, Jerome and I were on a date, and...
Nicole, not waiting for Abby to answer, immediately shoos Jerome from her desk.
NICOLE: And he's not going to be sitting behind my desk on my computer. I've got sources on there I'd like to keep anonymous.
JEROME: Sorry. Sorry.
Jerome jumps up from Nicole's desk chair and steps away as Nicole sits down in it.
NICOLE: Oh you will be if I find out even one of my sources backs out of the story for the special.
Abby steps in, nervously, but firmly supporting Jerome.
ABBY|: Nicole, I wouldn't worry about Jerome. He's on our side in this.
Nicole turns to look at Abby, then over at Jerome. She points at Abby, looking her squarely in the eyes.
NICOLE: I'm holding you to that. 
ABBY: Fine by me.
Jerome looks at Nicole, feeling uncomfortable staying, he looks at Abby, and nods.
JEROME: You know what, it's fine. I gotta get going anyway. 
ABBY: You sure?
JEROME: Yeah. Look, I had a great time, even with the interruptions.
Abby takes Jerome's hands and kisses his gently on the lips.
ABBY: So did I. Let's do it again?
JEROME: You know it. I'll call you.
ABBY: 'Kay.
Jerome kisses Abby again, before taking off out the door of Nicole's office.
Abby then looks back to Nicole.
ABBY: There! Now it's just us. 
NICOLE: Good. Look, try to keep your dates out of our personal business stuff, okay? There is way too much as stake here, regardless of whether he supports this story or not. I just want to keep this under tight wraps until we go to air.
Abby throws her hands up.
ABBY: Fair enough! I totally get it.
After a moment, she sighs, and turns her chair to look at her screen.
NICOLE: Good. Okay. Now, what am I looking at?
ABBY: Well...that's what I was gonna tell you. Nick tracked us down on our date today. Seems he had been trying to get ahold of you for awhile to give you this.
Abby leans over and moves Nicole's mouse over to click the tab where Nick's PDF file is open. Nicole reads the headline, causing her eyes to widen immediately.
EnerNext & Titan: Fraudulent Arguments in Environmental Impact Study & Associated Payoffs

In Horton Town Square, a podium is set up for a press conference, as Justin, John, and Tyler stand by, uncomfortably mulling over their situation. Justin steps toward John, and asks him a question.
JUSTIN: John, if you don't mind my asking...just what did you mean about not underestimating Nick? I mean, come on. He's a...cocky kid with a criminal record. Surely there's no way he could run Titan, we have rules stating he couldn't take over if he'd committed a felony.
JOHN: And I'm sure Nick is also plenty aware of the number of crimes Brady and Victor have committed over the years. Not to mention the dozens of crimes neither of them have ever been held criminally accounatable for that they probably should've. He's not gonna let that slide, Justin. If you poke the tiger enough times, he's gonna bite back.

John looks over as he spots Kate, Lucas, and Billie arriving at the square.
JOHN: Besides, that's not the biggest thing I have to worry about with him.
Justin looks on at John, puzzled by his vague last statement, but before he can say anything, John grabs the attention of Billie, who nods in recognition of John's greeting. They stand by Tom & Alice's tree, and huddle together, speaking quietly.
BILLIE: Okay, what did you find out?
JOHN: This kid is in up to his neck.
BILLIE: Well, I figured that. Out of curiosity, what did he whisper to you at the meeting?
John shakes his head, looking over his shoulder to ensure the others aren't approaching.
JOHN: He said he knows about my plan to help save Roman. Now that can mean only one thing.
BILLIE: Yeah, but what if he's bluffing?
JOHN: How is Nick Fallon gonna find out about our mission unless he's working for the guy?
Billie sighs, knowing the truth of the situation, and realizes the gravity of it.
BILLIE: So it's true.
JOHN: There's only one person that can be behind this, and it means that this goes way deeper than we thought. It's GOT to be Stefano.
BILLIE: I'll contact Steve and give him the heads' up.
Billie heads out of the square, phone in hand, preparing to call Steve, as John hangs back, looking over at the rest of the crowd at the square, as Nick shows up, looking ever the image of smugness.

Anjelica sits in the back of her limo, alone. Cell phone in hand, she looks out over the city as it moves past her. Finally, someone picks up.
ANJELICA: (into phone) We have good news. He's got it. Titan is in our hands now.

Stefano sits on the DiMera jet, finishing a martini as he holds the plane's phone up to his ear. He enjoys the end of the drink and laughs heartily at the news.
STEFANO: (into phone) Excellent. And once I take care of our business here in Italy, we can celebrate your victory as state governor, yes?
Anjelica smiles wryly as she answers Stefano.
ANJELICA: (into phone) I look forward to it. You still haven't explained to me exactly what you're doing in Italy.
STEFANO: (into phone) Nothing for you to worry about. This is a little project of mine I need to handle...on my own.
Stefano looks out the window, looking stern as his plane descends into Aeroporto Elba.

Stefano sits in the DiMera jet, looking pensively out the window as the plane makes it descent into Aeroporto Elba on Elba Island, Italy. 
As he looks out over the island, the pilot makes his announcement.
PILOT: (over intercom) Good evening, Mr. DiMera, we are about to make our final approach into Aeroporto Elba, please prepare for landing, and fasten your seatbelt. 
As Stefano fastens his seatbelt, he speaks with his attendant, who passes by on her way to her seat.
Maria, the attendant, stops and stands by Stefano's seat, looking at him with a warm smile.
MARIA: Yes, Mr. DiMera.
STEFANO: Is everything ready for my arrival?
MARIA: Yes, I spoke with the driver. They've already arrived, and they're ready to take you to the yacht immediately upon your arrival at Elba Island. The ship to Capraia Isola is manned and ready for you to board as well.
STEFANO: Thank you, my dear.
Maria leaves for her seat, leaving Stefano alone. He thinks to himself about his upcoming plans.
STEFANO: And once I'm on the compound, my plans for Roman Brady will finally be realized.
Stefano sits back in his seat, a sense of comfort washes over him.

Sheryl walks back into her motel room, taking her handkerchief off her head and removing her sunglasses. She shakes out her dyed-red hair before flopping down on the edge of her bed, smiling widely.
SHERYL: Well THAT could NOT have gone any better.
Sheryl hears a knock on the door, and gets up, heading for the door. Checking to see who it is, she opens it immediately upon recognizing Jerome through the window.
SHERYL: Come in, come in, come in.
Jerome walks inside, a somewhat shaken look on his face.
JEROME: Hey, how'd it go?
SHERYL: Better than you could imagine. We have new leverage we can use against Titan if they keep trying to push the oil sands project through.
Jerome looks at Sheryl, surprised and confused.
JEROME: I thought you were done with all that? Isn't time to cut and run and protect yourselves here? That was what this whole disguising yourself as Nurse Crystal Clarke thing was meant to be about. Convince Jordan to leave town with you, and move on with new identities.
SHERYL: Well...let's just say I had a change of heart after today.
JEROME: What's that supposed to mean?
Sheryl turns around, positively beaming.
SHERYL: Because whatever vote Titan takes on anything is completely null and void.
Jerome looks at Sheryl, stupefied.
JEROME: What? How?
SHERYL: Let's just say that...rumours of Brady Black's demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Jerome's eyes widen, as Sheryl starts to laugh at her great fortune.
Nicole turns quickly back to Abby, stunned by what Nick's presented to them.
NICOLE: This is explosive.
Abby nods, stepping toward Nicole, who's still sitting in her computer chair.
ABBY: I know. I was...floored by what was in there.
NICOLE: This is enough to destroy Titan completely. This is huge, we can't afford any mistakes on this.
ABBY: I understand.
Nicole gets up from her seat, and prepares to take something from her bag, when Miles bursts into her office, startling Abby and Nicole.
MILES: Nicole! You need to get down to the Town Square right now. Titan's holding a press conference. Looks like it's a big one.
NICOLE: I'm on it.
Nicole turns to Abby and points at her while giving direction.
NICOLE: I need you to make a list of everyone implicated on that document, and find out who wrote all their press materials. I'll go through the list when I'm back.
ABBY: Got it.
Abby springs into action, sitting herself down in Nicole's chair, and launching herself into the task, as Nicole packs her bag back up and races out to the press conference.

John steps back into the Town Square, as Nick approaches Tyler near the podium. They engage in a somewhat secretive chat.
NICK: I'm gonna need you to play along with this. I don't think I have to explain why, but you are a crucial part of this handover.
TYLER: I don't see why I have to be involved in any of this.
NICK: Need I remind you that your very freedom rests in whether or not you can play nice for the cameras. Unless you want the world to know that you've been running a shell corporation used primarily for money laundering and bankrolling a failing enterprise all this time.
Tyler sighs, looking down as Nick threatens him. Once Nick finishes, Tyler looks up at Nick, and shakes his head.
TYLER: You're in way over your head, kid.
NICK: No more than you are.
Nick turns to step toward the podium, as Billie returns to the square, having finished her call to Steve. She steps over to John's side. John looks over to her, and she nods, before stepping over to stand with Kate, Lucas, and Justin. Kate, Lucas, and Justin all stand around, looking sombre.
JUSTIN: So...who wants to put money on how long before he's thrown out of the tower by security?
KATE: Less time than you think.
LUCAS: That's fascinating, Mom. Especially since you're part of the reason he was made CEO in the first place.
Kate turns to face Lucas, agitation in her tone.
KATE: I had no choice, and you know it.
LUCAS: Yeah, you keep saying. Too bad we don't know why your hands were tied or we might've been able to change your mind.
KATE: Ohhh trust me. Lucas, there's no changing my mind. Like I told your sister, I'll still come up trumps on this. Just you wait.
Lucas, Billie, Kate, and Justin all look up, as Nick steps up to the podium. As he does, Nicole arrives with her cameraman, ready to get the footage from Nick's press conference.
John looks over at Tyler, who stands behind Nick, trying to hide his frustration at this turn of events.
Nick looks out into the crowd, and smiles broadly.
NICK: I think we can get started now. Welcome everybody!

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco

Eric and Nicole lay in bed together, truly happy. They smile, breathing heavily as their heart rates descend from a long session of lovemaking. Nicole rolls over, resting against Eric's naked chest, before leaning in for a kiss.
NICOLE: You know...I could handle this whole...being married thing if this is how it's gonna be every day from now on.
Eric laughs, as Nicole smiles back at him.
ERIC: Yeah, if this was all being married was about, I could get used to it too.
NICOLE: Well, it could be. You know...I think we're both...very secure in our love for each other...and I know that whatever comes our way...I think we can get through it, as long as we work together.
Eric smiles, taking his hand and putting it up to Nicole's face.
ERIC: I will always be here for you, no matter what.
Eric pulls Nicole in for another kiss, as Nicole's phone goes off. They both stop and sigh. Nicole's head falls face-first into Eric's chest, as Eric laughs quietly to himself.
ERIC: You'd better get that.
Nicole lifts her head, and begins to whine jokingly.
NICOLE: But I don't wannaaaa...
Eric continues to laugh, as Nicole leans over and grabs her phone from the bedside table.
It's Abigail.
Nicole's expression immediately changes, as she answers the call.
NICOLE: (into phone) Abby?

Abigail stands in Nicole's office, her back to Jerome, who sits at Nicole's desk, looking at her computer. He looks on, stunned by what he's seeing on the screen.
ABBY: (into phone) Hey Boss! Uh...I...I'm sorry to bother you. I know you had an appointment and all, but...
Nicole furrows her brow, a bit annoyed and a bit confused as to why Abby's calling.
NICOLE:  (into phone) Uh...it's fine. Now's not really a...great time...
ABBY: (into phone) No! I, I'll make it quick. Promise. It's...really important.
Abby looks over her shoulder to see a stunned Jerome reading the article headline from the flash drive Nick sent them.
EnerNext & Titan: Fraudulent Arguments in Environmental Impact Study & Associated Payoffs
ABBY: (into phone) You're gonna wanna come down to the office...right away.

Nick paces the Titan board room, holding a pack of sealed envelopes in his hand, as the rest of the Titan board sits in stone silence, stunned by what Nick's held over their heads, and what he wants. Tyler, ready to stop Nick before he goes too far, gets up from his seat.
TYLER: I...uh...I think we've heard enough to make our decision on your proposition, Mr. Fallon.
Nick smiles, and turns to face Tyler, responding with a condescending tone.
NICK: Oh, I don't think so. Not quite yet. 
Nick holds the envelopes in his hand up to prominently display them to the rest of the room. He paces up and down the room still, as the others, most notably Kate, look on in discomfort. Tyler sits down, knowing he won't be able to stop Nick.
NICK: You see, as I mentioned before, I've been keeping a veeeery close eye on all of you here at Titan. And I've gotta say, you guys know how to cover your tracks. But not quite well enough.
JOHN: And what exactly does that mean?
Nick looks over to John, placing the first envelope down in front of him. Without breaking his gaze for a second, even to blink, he looks John dead in the eyes.
NICK: Why don't you open the envelope and find out?
Nick suddenly breaks gaze, and turns to walk around the table. As he does, Nick flips through the envelopes, placing down one before each board member as he finds the ones for the person before him.
Once completed, he leans on Kate's shoulders slightly, causing Kate to stiffen instantly.
NICK: I think we're ready to begin. 
Nick looks at everyone, a sickening, smug smile on his face, as the board members glare at him murderously.

Anjelica stands in the Horton Town Square, smiling at a less-than-impressed Adrienne, who stands opposite Anjelica, with her arms folded.
ADRIENNE: Anjelica. What are you doing back in town?
ANJELICA: Well, I see you don't pay much attention to the news. Not that that surprises me. You always were a bit of an intellectual lightweight.
Adrienne rolls her eyes at Anjelica's jab, biting her tongue before she says something she'd regret.
ANJELICA: Among other more...personal matters, I am here as part of my campaign for the state governor's office.
Adrienne can't help but crack up at Anjelica's announcement. Incredulous, she responds, very amused.
ADRIENNE: As if you have a snowball's chance in Hell of winning.
ANJELICA: Oh, come now, Adrienne. A person's past indiscretions are hardly a reason to keep a person out of government these days, we all know that.
ADRIENNE: Yes, well, I don't think I've ever seen anyone run for office after having tried to blow someone up.
Anjelica looks at Adrienne, a more serious, lethal expression in her eyes, as the smile disappears from her face.
ANJELICA: Ah! those old lies, and innuendoes. Frankly, Adrienne, I think being in that explosion knocked something loose that should've stayed in place. You're long overdue for a doctor's visit. May I suggest ah...Dr. Marlena Evans?
Adrienne, fed up, grabs her shopping bags, and brushes past Anjelica to leave.
ADRIENNE: I don't have to listen to this. Enjoy your visit, Anjelica. I hope it's very short.
Anjelica turns to call out to Adrienne, goading her once more, and stopping Adrienne in her tracks momentarily.
ANJELICA: Oh, I expect it won't be. Seeing as my son's living with you and Justin. I hope I'll see you at dinner tonight at the Kiriakis mansion?
Adrienne sighs, before turning back around to face Anjelica.
ADRIENNE: Well, I would but we tend to not let stray cats in the house, much less eat off the dinner table. 
ANJELICA: What are you saying? You're not even going to let me share a meal with my son?
ADRIENNE: Anjelica, quite frankly, I'm sure no one would have an appetite with you there. And I hate wasting food.
Anjelica chuckles to herself.
ANJELICA: Ahh yes, that old blue collar spirit. Waste not, want not!
ADRIENNE: Which reminds me that I don't have the time to waste on you. So...
Adrienne grabs her shopping bags from the bench and gives Anjelica a fake smile.
ADRIENNE: Have a great day, Anjelica.
Adrienne walks off, leaving Anjelica behind, a raised eyebrow and shaking her head.
Kate holds open the card Nick's enclosed in her envelope, sighing as she's reminded of her part in his attempted drowning. Lucas looks over, panicked as he holds his card in Kate's direction, tensing in frustration. He whispers forcefully.
LUCAS: How the HELL does Nick know about the entire plan?
Billie sighs, resting her fingertips on her forehead, as she reads her card.
Billie, the spy came to town to hide in plain sight at Titan. Trying to get the goods on her mama's boytoy's new girlfriend. What a wonderful waste of our secret service's resources.
Billie sighs, knowing her reason for being in Salem has been found out.
BILLIE: Maybe mom was right.
Kate looks over momentarily at Billie, shrugging as she looks back toward Nick.
KATE: Trust me. This is the best thing we can do.
Across the table, Justin looks at his card, reading:
Justin, actively trying to falsify environmental assessments so you can rush through a forcible eviction from a citizen's hard-earned property? You should be ashamed.
Justin looks over at Billie, a similarly concerned expression on her face as his. He closes his card and lays it down on the table, as he looks over at a smug Nick.
JUSTIN: And just how do you think you can prove any of this.
NICK: You really wanna test this theory, huh? That I didn't come to this meeting prepared? 
John jumps in, closing his own note. He holds his arms out, looking at Nick incredulously.
JOHN: Oh, come on, Nick! You're bluffing! There's no way you have something on every single one of us with enough proof to back it up that you could take each of us down.
Nick saunters over to John, staring him down with his trademark grin.
He leans in close to John, never breaking gaze.
NICK: I wouldn't push your luck, Mr. Black.
Nick leans in and whispers in John's ear.
NICK: (whispering) I know about your little plan to save Roman Brady. And it's not gonna work.
John tenses immediately. He recognizes Nick is serious, and looks over at a concerned Justin. Sitting back down, he puts his hand over his mouth, sighing heavily.
Nick, meanwhile, turns back toward the head of the table, leaning over it to speak to the rest of the room.
NICK: Now, as I said, I'm not bluffing. In fact, as I speak, I am about to have a small...wedding present sent to one of my greatest allies in the fight to stop this little project of yours: Nicole Walker. 
Nicole readies herself to leave Eric's hotel room, frantically trying to adjust her dress, as Eric stands nearby, shirtless, trying to help zip her back in. Meanwhile, we hear Nick's voice over the hurried scene.
NICK: (voiceover) You see, I've sent a little document to her new husband, detailing some of the things I've uncovered about HER indiscretions, using the same methods I used to dig up all kinds of dirt on all of you. I'm sure you'll be hearing all about it shortly.
As Nick speaks: Outside the hotel room, a man walks toward the door. After a moment, he makes his over and knocks on the door.
Inside, Nicole and Eric stop in their tracks, before Eric heads quickly over to open it.
ERIC: I'll get it. Might be room service. I didn't get them in time.
Nicole laughs quietly, as she adjusts herself, before putting her shoes on.
Eric opens the door, to find the messenger Aiden sent to his room, with a large manila envelope in hand.
MESSENGER: Eric Brady?
Eric looks on, confused, as he clutches the envelope.
ERIC: Yeah. That's me.
After taking the envelope, the messenger holds out a tablet and a stylus for Eric.
MESSENGER: Sign here.
Eric signs for the document, still unsure of what to expect to find inside. As he finishes, he hands both the tablet and stylus back to the messenger, before shutting the door behind him.
Inside, Nicole looks puzzled as well, as Eric begins to open the document.
NICOLE: What is it?
ERIC: Dunno. Wasn't expecting anything. Were you?
Nicole shakes her head, as Eric opens the envelope and pulls out what's inside. As he does, one of the pages of the document falls out of
Eric's grasp and falls to the floor, just out of sight underneath Eric's nightstand.
NICOLE: What is it?
Eric's jaw drops, as he struggles to catch his breath. He realizes the information the documents contain.
ERIC: Oh my God. This is it.
ERIC: It's the Chyka file. I finally have proof that Kristen drugged me.
Nicole gasps in horror, as she realizes Nick's taken action against her. She braces herself for Eric's reaction. For now, Eric looks up at Nicole, stunned, but with a bit of a smile on his face.

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco

Nick and Percy walk onto the elevator together at the Titan building. Both men appear to be in a chipper demeanour, standing silently as the doors to the elevator close.
Nick presses the button to the floor they intend to travel to, and the lift begins to move. Percy turns to Nick with a nervous smile.
PERCY: Nicholas, I...I hate to ask--
Nick immediately interrupts, looking straight ahead, unflinchingly.
NICK: --Then don't.
Nick turns to look at Percy. He smiles, as Percy's smile fades, suddenly far more nervous.
NICK: We've got this.
PERCY: Are you absolutely certain?
NICK: Totally. I even have insurance now. 
Percy looks back at Nick, wondering what he means. Nick recognizes Percy's look of curiosity immediately.
NICK: When I was meeting with Tyler last night, I found the press release Will was working on for the EnerNext project. 
PERCY: Alright. What exactly is the significance of this press release?
NICK: Well, I took a moment to read through it...and then I did some fact-checking...and they made every bit of their research up. Anything they didn't pull out of thin air, they paid off scientists to back them up on. So I did a bit more digging. Found out who paid what, how much, as to whom. If that press release goes out, there's a lot of people whose careers will be in shambles.
Percy looks on, contemplative, before the elevator announces its arrival at their floor. The ding of the opening door snaps Percy's head back forward.
PERCY: I see. Then I do believe we're in good stead. Onward!
Nick and Percy step off the elevator in lock step.

In the Titan board room, Billie walks in to find Justin alone in the room, unpacking his tablet at the table. Billie smiles warmly at him.
BILLIE: Well, long time, no see.
Justin looks up with the same smile as he logs into his tablet.
JUSTIN: Likewise. How did it go with the family?
Billie rests her bag on the table across from Justin, giving him a grimace.
BILLIE: It...it was an interesting talk.
JUSTIN: You're making me nervous now.
BILLIE: That's because I'm nervous enough for the both of us. My mother's preparing to cave to Nick's proposal, and she expects me to follow suit.
Justin looks at Billie, stunned.

Abby and Jerome sit together on their lunch date at the Brady Pub, sitting across from each other at a booth. They look relaxed together, enjoying each other's company thoroughly.
ABBY: Sorry about...Nick interrupting.
JEROME: No no! Don't worry about it. The guy gives me a bad vibe but...you two are cousins. I can tell you care a lot about him.
Abby smiles, as she looks down at her coffee cup, stirring it casually as she stares into the cup. Jerome's expression changes to one of concern.
JEROME: I...I...Earth to Abby.
Abby snaps out of her thoughts, blinking momentarily as she looks up again at Jerome.
ABBY: Sorry. Yeah, I...I guess I've just been worried about him. 
JEROME: Why's that?
Abby sighs, unsure whether she wants to delve into the whole story, but, after a moment, she looks up at Jerome.
ABBY: He hasn't been himself in a very long time. He was this...sweet tech nerd kid growing up. You know...always willing to help someone out and he'd....he'd make stupid mistakes sometimes but you always knew he was trying to do the right thing.
Jerome looks on, interested in Abby's story.
JEROME: So what changed?
Abby sighs, looking down sadly.
ABBY: He was shot...and the pain meds they gave him while he was in recovery...they...they totally messed him up. He became addicted.
JEROME: I'm sorry.
ABBY: It's...not your fault. I thought he'd kicked it while he was in jail, but...when I saw him the other day at Salem U, the way he was acting...it was like...
JEROME: Like he was still on the pills?
ABBY: Honestly, I wonder if he ever stopped. And it's almost like he was going through withdrawals or something. 
Jerome looks at Abby, thoughtfully and contemplating her view on Nick's behaviour.
Abby looks down, still slowly stirring her coffee, as Jerome looks on, taking a sip. Suddenly, she appears to snap out of it, looking back up at Jerome.
ABBY: Sorry, I know you didn't come here to hear me talk about my weird cousin.
JEROME: Nah, it's cool. Like...I know you love the guy. I just worry after what I saw at Salem U. Abby, I just get this feeling this guy's up to something, and it's not good. I feel like I need to protect you from him.
Abby smiles at Jerome, reaching a hand out to touch his across the table.
ABBY: You don't have to. But I love that you want to. It's sweet.
Jerome looks down at Abby's hand, resting on his, and cups his other hand over hers. He looks into her eyes seriously.
JEROME: I think you're a very special lady, Miss Deveraux.
Abby giggles, as Jerome squeezes her hand gently, a smile on his face knowing he made Abby laugh.
JEROME: You got this...this look in your eye. There's a lot more to you than what I see on the outside, I can tell.
Abby blushes, smiling a goofy, embarrassed smile as Jerome charms her.
JEROME: I'd like to get to see what's under that calm surface...if you'd let me.
Abby smiles, and nods softly.
ABBY: We'll see.
JEROME: That's all I can ask for.
Abby pulls her hand away, and grabs her bag from beside her on the seat.
ABBY: I hate to cut this short but, I gotta see what's on this flash drive and report back to my boss. 
JEROME: You sure you wanna bug your boss when she told you specifically not to?
Abby gets up from the booth and pulls the flash drive out, holding it in her hand and casually waving it as she makes her point to Jerome, who's also gotten up from the booth.
ABBY: If what's on here is important enough that Nick would take the time to track me down in the middle of a work day? It may warrant it, yeah.
Jerome looks on, casually nodding in agreement, before heading for the door.
JEROME: Well, come on. Let me drive you to the office.
ABBY: Thanks.
Jerome and Abby head for the exit, as Jerome drops enough money to cover the cheque on the table before heading out.

EJ looks up from his desk at DiMera Enterprises, surprised by the news Sami's just given him.
EJ: Nicole married Eric? As in your brother, Eric.
Sami leans against the edge of EJ's desk, fuming.
SAMI: YEP! Mom and I tried to stop them but we were too late, and now Eric isn't speaking to either of us.
EJ: No surprise there.
Sami glares at EJ, shouting him down for his quip.
SAMI: I'm sorry, WHAT?! My brother just married a lying BITCH and you're making jokes--
EJ: No, no, I'm not saying I don't blame him, Samantha, but I know how people are when they're...that in love with someone.
Sami sighs, rolling her eyes, balking at the idea that Eric's feelings for Nicole are that strong.
SAMI: Love. Yeah, right. He was manipulated into marrying her. He was vulnerable because your sister raped him, and he was kicked out of the priesthood because YOUR FAMILY made sure the proof disappeared.
EJ gets up from his desk, suddenly feeling defensive of his family.
EJ: Okay, Samantha, that's not fair.
SAMI: The hell it isn't! 
EJ sighs, holding his tongue before he says anything he regrets. Sami, meanwhile, continues her tirade.
SAMI: Your father is always bailing that harpee of a sister of yours out like she's an eight year old child instead of making her take responsibility for her actions, and you're so afraid of getting on his bad side that you just let him. 
EJ stands behind his desk, folding his arms as he quietly, but sternly responds to Sami.
EJ: Need I remind you of everything I am doing to protect you and your loved ones, including your son from being implicated in an attempted murder. Without my help, Nick Fallon would have had you all in jail months ago, and taken off with your grandchild and that insipid idiot Gabriella Hernandez.
Sami looks down, sheepishly. The reminder snaps her back to reality, and she answers EJ, a guilty calm suddenly in her voice.
SAMI: Yeah, I remember.
EJ: So don't you ever think for a second that I am not thinking of what is best for you. You are everything to me. I know we have our problems, Samantha, but I am dedicated, 100% to making sure you know every day that you are the most important thing to me. You got that?
Sami looks up at EJ, a faint smile on her face as she nods, acknowledging EJ's vow.

Brady steps back into Anita's cabin, calling out to her to let her know he's returned.
BRADY: Anita! I'm back!
Anita steps out from the kitchen, a casserole dish in her hands, as she walks over to the dining table in the main room. She smiles as she greets Brady.
ANITA: So, is she sold?
Brady pulls a wad of bills from his pocket and holds it out to her.
BRADY: $800 cash. All for you.
Anita sets the casserole down on the table, and turns back to take the wad of bills from Brady, before taking two bills from the wad to give back to Brady, a huge smile on her face. She presses the bills into Brady's hand.
ANITA: Your commission, kind sir.
Brady looks down and laughs as Anita laughs playfully with him. He hesitates a moment before handing the money back to her.
BRADY: You know, I don't know, Anita. You really don't need to give me this.
ANITA: Absolutely, I do. You need money. And you did a great thing for me.
BRADY: Well, yeah. But you've done so much for me already. I feel like I owe you. I...I can't accept this.
Anita holds up her hand, shaking her head.
ANITA: You can, and you will. Besides, I hear southerners drive a hard bargain!
BRADY: Well, that's the thing. See...she talked like she was from the south, and all...but...there was something about her, Anita. I swear, I recognize her. Like...I've seen her somewhere before.
Brady looks over at Anita, racking his brain to place "Crystal's" face.

Sheryl backs the big blue SUV she'd just purchased from Brady into a secluded spot off the side of the road. Turning off the engine, she steps out of the car, to look over at the road, and see how well-hidden the truck is to traffic.
SHERYL: At least I'm not too far from that general store. Gotta get this thing hidden away well enough that no one will find it when I make a getaway.
She grabs her phone from her pocket and makes a voice note:
SHERYL: (into voice memo on her phone) 2.4 miles up State Road 45, past Six Mile Road. Look for the old beige fence ending with a group of large pine trees. 
Putting her voice memo away, Sheryl looks over the position of the truck, making sure it's hidden from all angles. Once she's satisfied, She locks up the truck, and calls a cab. 
SHERYL: (into phone) Yes, I'd like a cab to the corner of County Road 8 and Smith Island Road, please? ...yes, and please hurry, my car broke down, and I'm running late...thank you.
Sheryl hangs up the phone, satisfied with herself, as she walks off toward the country intersection.
Justin stands across the board room table from Billie, stunned by the bomb she's just dropped.
JUSTIN: I'm sorry, what? Your mother's voting IN FAVOUR of Nick's proposal?
BILLIE: Look, there's more to it than that, it's just--
As Billie tries to tell Justin Kate's reason for her vote, the doors to the board room open, and Nick and Percy walk in with a confident stride.
NICK: Ahh, I see we're nice and early for the festivities.
Justin and Billie turn to look at them, a somewhat disdainful look on their faces. Justin comes back with a quick retort.
JUSTIN: Not that you should be privvy to them in the first place. But yes, we aren't due to start for another twenty minutes.
NICK: Well, I think I've got enough going for me that I won't be missing any more of these going forward. 
Nick sits his bag down on the conference table and unzips it, pulling his laptop from his bag as he talks.
NICK: I think, personally, this is going to be a very productive meeting. Don't you?
Billie and Justin look uncomfortably at each other, then looking back Nick's way with the same uneasiness. Nick, meanwhile, pulls out his stack of envelopes, one for each of the Titan board members. He lays them neatly on the conference table in front of him, as he sits down, looking very self-satisfied.

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco

 Brady walks into the main room of Anita's cabin, as she sits on her sofa reading the paper. Hearing Brady come into the room, she looks over her shoulder to see him putting his jacket on.
ANITA: Going somehwere?
BRADY: Not far. Just gotta meet with that woman I was telling you about.
Anita sets down the paper and turns her body toward Brady. She looks on, pleasantly surprised.
ANITA: Already? 
Anita pulls her reading glasses from her face, and shakes her head in amazement.
ANITA: I'm telling you, today's technology is a miracle.
BRADY: Tell me about it. From when you told me about it until now, we're looking at about...ohh...about a four hour turnaround time. Crazy, huh?
ANITA: You better believe it. If I'd have known how much I could get done this fast, I'dve gotten on this internet years ago.
Brady and Anita laugh, as Brady opens the door to the cabin to head out.
BRADY: Right? Okay, I've gotta meet this woman at the general store in about 10 minutes, so I'll be back in about an hour. Hopefully minus one blue SUV.
ANITA: ...and plus a thousand dollars or two.
Brady points at Anita, agreeing to her point.
BRADY: Exactly. (laughs)
ANITA: Alright, I'll see you in a bit.
Brady shuts the door to the cabin behind him, leaving Anita behind, as she looks over at the PC sitting in the corner. She contemplates sitting down to use it.
ANITA: Well...you've seen enough people use it, Anita. About time to try it for yourself, no?
Anita hesitates as she steps towards the computer, sitting down in the office chair. She rests her fingers on the keyboard. She looks up at the screen, a determined look on her face.
ANITA: Besides...you've got some work to do.

Laura sits with JJ on the bench at Horton Town Square. JJ hugs a despondent Laura.
JJ: No one is going to hurt mom, or Abigail, or me. You got that? I'm gonna make sure of it.
Releasing Laura from his hug, Laura looks down, suddenly no longer hungry. She gets up to throw her partly-melted ice cream sundae in the nearby garbage can, and turns back toward JJ.
JJ looks at Laura with a hint of determination in his eyes.
JJ: Grandma, we have no choice. If I refuse this money, it'll just force mom even further toward Liam. This way, Liam thinks I'm pacified, and I'm far enough removed that I can do some digging in safety. This way, mom, and Abigail, and you are safe.
Laura takes a moment, before slumping down beside JJ on the bench. She nods, fully understanding JJ's position.
LAURA: You're right, JJ. There's no other way. 
Laura turns, looking intensely at JJ as she emphatically instructs JJ.
LAURA: Cash the cheque.

Nick sits in the exam room, on the exam table, as Daniel taps away at his tablet, editing Nick's chart. Nick looks on, still hazy from his fall.
Maggie stands by Nick, a hand on his back, being concerned for her relative.
NICK: Dr. Jonas, I don't mean to rush you but...I have somewhere to be.
Daniel doesn't look up, still fixated on his work on the tablet. Despite this, he answers Nick immediately.
DANIEL: Yeah, well, I'm not quite done yet. One more question...did you...prior to this fall you took today...did you suffer any other head injuries recently?
Nick looks up at Daniel, before having a flashback to the night he was dumped in the river. Nick remembers being on top of Gabi, and being hit in the head with a rock.

As the rock makes impact with Nick's head, Nick snaps out of his flashback, immediately locking eyes with Daniel.
NICK: Yeah. Yeah, I did. But uh...it wasn't anything major.
DANIEL: Well, sometimes these injuries sort of...lie dormant for awhile before symptoms appear. I might want to schedule some more tests for you.
Nick looks at Daniel, sighing as he worries about missing the Titan board meeting.
NICK: Ah...Dr. Jonas. I'd love to do that but...can we schedule these for another time? I...I'm really running behind.
Maggie steps in before Daniel can respond, voicing her concern to Nick.
MAGGIE: Nick...I know you're eager to get back to work, but...Honey... head injuries are so unpredictable. If you don't stop and think about your health for a moment...it could kill you.

Nick looks up at Maggie, affected by her grave warning, but unsure whether or not to proceed.

Jordan sits in her office, consumed by the realization that her safety is in jeopardy thanks to Nick. She plays with her engagement ring nervously, as she stares straight ahead, oblivious to everything around her.
JORDAN: As long as Nick's alive...you'll never be safe...you'll never be free...
Jordan looks on, unblinking, unmoving. She fixates on the point as she continues to fidget with her engagement ring.
JORDAN: As long as he's alive.
As she receives a notification on her phone of a voicemail, she snaps out of her trance, and looks at it. Knowing it's from Sheryl, Jordan ignores it, and quickly gets up from behind her desk.
JORDAN: Dammit...
Scooping up her phone, and realizing the time, she grabsher tablet and heads quickly out into the hall.
JORDAN: Gotta get down for my 5pm.
Closing and locking the door to her office, she quickly walks down the hallway, and into the main lobby. As she steps into the lobby, Maggie steps out of the exam room Nick is in with Daniel. Out of the corner of her eye, she spots Nick inside. Quickly turning to Maggie, she nervously smiles.
JORDAN: Maggie!
Maggie smiles, a bit nervous herself from all the health crisies in her family.
MAGGIE: Jordan. How are you doing?
JORDAN: Oh, I'm....I'm good. Just...on my way to my next patient. Uh...I saw Nick in there...everything okay?
Maggie furrows her brow slightly, still smiling, but with a curious expression on her face.
MAGGIE: Ah....I think so...
Maggie hesitates a moment before continuing.
MAGGIE: I didn't realize you knew Nick.
JORDAN: Oh, we...we only met once or twice but...well...you know me, always concerned.
MAGGIE: Oh, I know. And I appreciate it...
Maggie looks down, spotting Jordan's engagement ring. Her face lights up with excitement.
MAGGIE: ...Oh MY! What is THIS???
Jordan takes a moment to realize what Maggie's referring to, before Maggie takes her hand and Jordan happily extends her hand out to show off her ring.
JORDAN: Oh! Yes! Rafe and I are engaged. I'm...I'm so overwhelmed I didn't even...(laughs)
Maggie looks at the ring, holding Jordan's hand in hers. She looks up at Jordan, a seriousness in her voice, but with an earnest joy.
MAGGIE: Jordan, it's beautiful. You're a very lucky woman. And Rafe is an extremely lucky man.
Jordan begins to tear up at Maggie's kindness. They exchange a warm, congratulatory hug.
Inside the exam room, Nick hops off the exam table, and readjusts himself, preparing to leave. Daniel looks up at Nick, putting his tablet down on the counter.
NICK: Look, Dr. Jonas. I appreciate that you wanna help and all, but...I need to schedule these tests for another day. I'm already way behind for this meeting I've got to get to today.
DANIEL: You know, I wish you would go in for the tests right away but...I can't force your hand. Look, I'll see if I can schedule you for first thing tomorrow morning, and if I can, I'll give you a call on your cell. Okay?
NICK: Appreciate that.
Nick extends his hand to Daniel, and they share a firm handshake, as Nick grabs his laptop case from beside the exam table.
DANIEL: It's what I do. Oh, and Nick.
Nick stops as his hand is on the doorknob, ready to step out of the room.
NICK: Yeah?
DANIEL: You're not on any medications, right?
Nick looks at Daniel, shrugging off his recent pill popping.
NICK: Ah...no. Just...since I've been having these headaches I've been taking Aspirins whenever one flares up, but...nothing more than that.
DANIEL: Hmm, ok. If anything that should help your blood pressure. (sigh) Okay. Yeah, I'll see you tomorrow morning.
NICK: You got it. Thanks, Dr. Jonas.
Nick walks out of the exam room, and closes the door behind him. Taking a second, he texts Gabi.
hey. U avail 2nite? meet me @ TBD 4 dinner. 8pm xx
He smiles as he hits send. He then puts his phone in his pocket and walks away.

Jennifer and Liam sit out at a table outside the café at Horton Town Square, laughing and holding hands.
JENNIFER: It was a great idea to bring me to lunch. Thank you, Liam.
LIAM: Anything for you, Jenn. You don't know how much it means to me to have you in my life. I want to take every moment I can.
JENNIFER: Me too. And I wanna thank you as well. Your gift to JJ was...beyond what I ever expected. I mean...where did you even FIND that kind of money to give away like that?
Liam stumbles momentarily, trying to find an answer, as JJ and Laura approach them. Jennifer spots them and waves, beaming as they approach, a more solemn expression on both their faces. Liam turns as well to see who's approaching.
JENNIFER: Hey JJ! Mom! What are you two up to?
LAURA: Oh, JJ and I had some free time before I had to head back to the hospital, so I took him out for lunch and we grabbed a frozen yogurt. And you?
LIAM: Well, Jenn and I were just having a quick lunch break together.
JENNIFER: We've already ordered but would you like to join us?
JJ nods while looking over at Laura, who looks equally stoic. Laura then turns her attention back to Jennifer, feigning a smile through her nervousness.
LAURA: Ah, sure!
Liam gets up to pull up a chair for Laura, who sits down, looking over graciously at Liam. JJ grabs a chair for himself and sits down as well.
LAURA: Thank you. Ah, so...how's your day been, everyone?
JENNIFER: Oh, fantastic. Liam and I were talking before about the family cabin on Smith Island. It's really beautiful going out there this time of year.
Jennifer looks over at Liam, excitement in her eyes as she reaches her hand out to tap Liam's thigh.
JENNIFER: You know, I've got the long weekend free, why don't we go up together for a quiet weekend, just the two of us?
JJ and Laura try unsuccessfully to hide their discomfort at the idea, while Liam looks back at Jenn uncomfortably as well.
LIAM: I ah...Jenn, I'm sorry. I have contractors coming up to my house this weekend, I've gotta...supervise them. Need to...put on a new roof.
Jenn smiles, shrugging off Liam's disappointing news.
JENNIFER: That's fine. I'll just come up there with you. I haven't seen the house yet, and all.
Laura nervously observes the exchange, as Liam squirms yet again.
LIAM: Yeah, that's...I'm sorry, Jenn. The house is a mess, and...look, I just think it's better we don't do it this weekend. I'm sorry.
Jenn looks on, disappointed. 
JENNIFER: That's...that's alright. Yeah, we'll do another weekend.
JJ eyes Liam studiously. Observing something is strange in his behaviour, he interjects.
JJ: Hey! I ah...I forgot to mention, Liam. (sigh) I ah...I decided to take you up on your offer. I'm accepting the cheque. I put in my acceptance at Stanford for the winter semester.
JJ looks Liam dead in the eyes as Jennifer looks at JJ, once again excited for her son.
JENNIFER: Oh, Honey, that's fantastic! And thank you, Liam.
Liam looks back at JJ, a smile on his face, but both men barely blinking, as they look each other dead in the eyes.
LIAM: It's my pleasure, Jenn. Anything to help you and your family.
JJ remains locked in with Liam, as Laura looks on, eyes darting back and forth between the two men, and reading the tense body language between them.
Outside the country general store, Brady leans against Anita's old blue SUV. He checks his watch as from around the corner, a taxi pulls up. A woman steps out of the car wearing a navy blue trenchcoat, sunglasses, and a sheer white kerchief over her head, disguising her flame red hair.

It's Sheryl.
She hands the taxi driver money, and he takes off. She strides confidently over to Brady, who looks at her with interest.
SHERYL: Brady?
BRADY: Yes! Hi. 
Brady pulls himself upright off the front of the truck fender, and extends a hand to shake Sheryl's.
BRADY: And you must be...
SHERYL: Crystal. Crystal Clarke.
Brady smiles, intrigued by "Crystal's" myserious appearance.

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco

Billie pulls John aside into the alley behing Club TBD. Looking behind her left and right to ensure no one is around to hear, she speaks to him softly so as not to draw attention to herself, but with a great intensity.
BILLIE: We need a new plan to stop Jordan and Sheryl. Like...yesterday.
John holds his hand up in a stopping motion, trying to get Billie to cool off.
JOHN: Woah, woah, woah, calm down. Okay, Shane told me the virus was halted, so what's gone down since then?
Billie sighs, trying to retain a cool exterior as she relays the news onto John.
BILLIE: Well, you know about the board meeting today, obviously.
JOHN: Yeah. That's why I'm back in town.
BILLIE: Well, Justin told me that Nick Fallon is using it as an opportunity to blackmail the board into giving him control over Titan.
John looks at Billie, incredulous, and, quite franky, amused. He responds, trying to hold back his laughter.
JOHN: Wait, what? He's a lab tech for MadWorld.
BILLIE: The lead one. I mean, he HAS come up with some real moneymaking formulas for us. Particularly in the new skin care line, no question, but...(sigh) John, he's got something on each member of the board. And he's prepared to use it.
John suddenly looks concerned. He sighs, contemplating what that could mean for him, and the rest of the board.

Inside Jordan's office at University Hospital, Jordan is signing some paperwork, and hears the knock. She responds without raising her head.
JORDAN: Come in.

Nick opens the door to Jordan's office, and smiles like the Cheshire Cat. Jordan looks up, trying to hide the fear in her eyes.
NICK: Hey Jordan! It's been awhile. 
Nick steps inside Jordan's office, and closes the door brusquely behind him.
NICK: Let's talk.
Jordan looks on, the fear plain in her face despite her best efforts.

Will sits across from Kate at Club TBD, as Kate sips her martini. Will grasps his scotch on the rocks tightly, worry about what his grandmother is about to tell him.
WILL: Okay...lay it on me. What's happening at Titan that I need hard liquor at 1pm?
Kate breathes in, taking a moment to find the right wording before laying the truth on Will.
KATE: Nick Fallon is going to use every bit of dirt he's been able to scrounge up about the Titan board to gain control of Titan today at the board meeting. And that includes what happened at the river.
Will's face drops as he takes in the news.

Sheryl sits at her computer, with headphones on. She hits "rewind" on the program playing the video of Valerie's interview with Nurse Crystal Clarke. Listening closely, she studies the cadence of Crystal's words. She mouths the sounds of Crystal's words, letting some slip out loud, not hearing the sound of the door opening behind her.
SHERYL: ...thaaaynk yew, Dr. Graaaant.

As Jerome steps into the room, he overhears Sheryl's overpronounciation of the southern accent, and observes her as she leans back in her chair, eyes closed. He tries to hold in his laughter as he listens in.
SHERYL: Ya know you're a reeeeally niiice...
Sheryl opens her eyes to see Jerome standing over her, giggling to himself. Sheryl's expression changes immediately to a sour one as she rips her headphones off her head, turning angrily to face a still-hysterical Jerome.
SHERYL: Dammit, Jerome. Don't scare me like that!
JEROME: (in between laughs) You know, you...you are...you, heeeee you need to spend some time in Georgia 'cos you not gone convince nobody like that!
Jerome continues to laugh as he sets down the plastic bag containing the supplies Sheryl requested. Sheryl almost immediately snatches them from the table, as Jerome tries to contain himself.
SHERYL: Ughhh...did you find everything I asked for?
Cooling down, Jerome clears his throat before responding.
JEROME: Yeah, I uh...(clears throat) I got the hair dye, the applicators, everything.
SHERYL: Excellent.
JEROME: I just hope you're not trying to trick anyone just yet. You need to take your time and practice before we do this.
Sheryl turns to look at Jerome, annoyed.
SHERYL: What do you think I've been doing. And quite honestly, I thought I was doing a damn good job, considering.
Jerome starts to laugh again at Sheryl but contains himself successfully before continuing.
JEROME: You uh...you know, for someone that lived in Birmingham so long, you really picked nothing up.
Sheryl rolls her eyes at her accomplice. She grabs her headphones, preparing to put them back on.
SHERYL: I think I've heard everything I need to.
JEROME: That's fine. Look, I gotta get going anyway, so...
Sheryl stops herself, turning back Jerome's way.
SHERYL: Why? What the hell do YOU have to do?
Jerome gives his best mockingly upper crust demeanour in response.
JEROME: I happen to have a previous engagement with a young lady.
Sheryl rolls her eyes, leaning back as she puts her headphones back on.
SHERYL: (sigh) Typical. I'd tell you not to get attached, but I know you're allergic to attachment, so have fun.
As she finishes her statement, she slaps the spacebar on her laptop, triggering the playback on the video. Jerome stops a moment, before shaking his head in amusement and walking out of the hotel room.
John looks at Billie as they walk through Town Square together, a contemplative look on his face.
JOHN: So, really...we have no recourse but to go along with this.
BILLIE: For now.
Billie and John stop as Billie turns to face John.
BILLIE: Mom thinks that going along with Nick will be an opportunity for her.
JOHN: I don't see how.
BILLIE: Okay, come on. It's my mom. If she sees an opening to take power, she'll take it.
John nods, understanding Billie's point.
JOHN: Fair enough.
BILLIE: But I think it's misguided, especially if it damages the company. I mean...how long is Nick going to run Titan into the ground before we get a chance to stop him.
JOHN: You're probably right. But, okay, back up a little, going along with Nick...how's this tie into Jordan and Sheryl?
Billie looks around nervously, trying to make sure no one is listening.
BILLIE: I'm fairly certain that Nick was in cahoots with Jordan and Sheryl, but that Nick double-crossed them to gain power for herself. I mean...think about it. Nick's friend is that kooky owl watcher that EnerNext is trying to buy the land from for the oil sands project. They're like two peas in a pod. And we KNOW that that was Jordan and Sheryl's motive for coming to Salem.
John nods, taking in what Billie's saying, before thinking of something of his own.
JOHN: So you're thinking Nick's playing all of them?
BILLIE: It makes sense. If Nick can use these people to get what he wants under the guise of helping them, they'll all be willing to do his bidding until he throws them under the bus.
JOHN: And God knows who else he's already thrown to the wolves that we don't yet know about.
BILLIE: Exactly. Which is why I think we need to make sure Nick gets taken out. The sooner we get him put in his place, the better.
Will sets down his drink on the table after taking a big swig of it. He looks up at Kate, while still taking in the news of Nick's plans to take over Titan.
WILL: So...what does that mean for you, Mom and Gabi?
Kate swirls her martini about, looking down upon it as she casually explains the situation to her grandson.
KATE: Well..I'm not entirely sure. But it's in his best interests not to expose us. If only because we know for a fact he still wants to have a chance with Gabi. And he's willing to do whatever it takes to have it.
WILL: (sigh) Yeah, I know that a little too well. Gabi told us this morning that she'd been...drugging Nick to try to get him hooked onto his pills so that he'd go back to jail, but...apparently that backfired.
Kate nods knowingly. Will looks on, a bit surprised, before realizing the truth.
WILL: Wait...you...you knew about the pills.
KATE: I found out about it the other day. I know she's very stressed out about it, because Hope won't arrest him, but...I don't know what she expected. I mean, Hope's his cousin, for God's sake!
WILL: I know. (sigh) And it's getting worse.
Kate looks up at Will, suddenly even more worried.
KATE: What do you mean?
Will hesitates momentarily, sighing before responding to Kate, dreading her reaction.
WILL: EJ is so worried about Nick and his...state of mind that he bought Gabi a gun today.
Kate's eyes widen, suddenly horrified at the prospects of what could come of it.
Nick steps into Jordan's office and shuts the door quietly behind him. Jordan draws herself up in her chair, clearly very tense.
JORDAN: Wh-what do you want, Nick?
Nick laughs at Jordan's fear, stepping casually toward her.
NICK: Oh my GOD! RELAX, Jordan! I mean, come on, we're partners in all this, aren't we?
JORDAN: I don't know what you're talking about, Nick. Look, as far as Sheryl and her plans go, I am no longer associated with her, okay? So...
NICK: That's fine. But I expect she's still going to be trying to contact you.
Jordan looks up at Nick, trying to put on a steely reserve. Her voice continues to tremble slightly.
JORDAN: I'm sure she will. But I want nothing to do with her. So whatever you want from her, talk to her about it.
Jordan turns toward her computer, but Nick walks over, and sits down in the chair opposite Jordan's at her desk.
NICK: I don't think that'll be very easy. 
Jordan sighs, turning back toward Nick, exasperated.
JORDAN: Look, Nick, I've had a hard enough day today, so whatever you're trying to say, just spit it out, and go, okay?
Jordan tries hard to ignore Nick, turning back to her computer work, but Nick leans in and stares almost without blinking at her. His intense gaze makes Jordan extremely nervous.
NICK: Alright, I'll get right to the point. You know your little virus? I was the one who stopped it from going through last night. And the folks at Titan know that Sheryl's the one that was trying to put it there.
Jordan turns to look at Nick, contempt in her eyes as she tries to hold her emotions in.
JORDAN: And just how do they know that?
Nick smiles evilly, never moving his gaze, making Jordan even less comfortable.
NICK: I told them. See, I've been monitoring every little thing that's been going on in that building for months now. And I have the evidence to back up everything I claim. So Sheryl's probably on her way out of town as we speak. 
Nick lets out a little chuckle to himself before continuing, standing up to sit down on Jordan's desk, leaning in even closer to her, never once breaking their gaze.
NICK: At least she better be. 
Jordan sighs, worrying about her own fate now that Nick knows their connection. Nick puts his hand up to Jordan's chin, and casually caresses it, causing Jordan to flinch.
NICK: But don't worry. If you keep your nose out of where it doesn't belong...I'll let you keep your life here with your little boyfriend, the cop. Just remember...I know who you really are. So stay out of my way. 
Nick gets up from his perch on Jordan's desk and walks slowly out of Jordan's office.  Just before stepping out the door, Nick turns back toward Jordan with another ominous warning.
NICK: Oh, and if Sheryl does try to contact you...do me a favour and let her know about our little chat, yeah?
Jordan glares at Nick and he smirks, before turning around and leaving her office. As the door closes, Jordan sighs in relief. 
She looks down at her phone as sees another call from an unknown number. Jordan doesn't answer, contemplating whether to refuse the call or not.
Outside Jordan's office, Nick is hit with a sharp head pain yet again. Holding his hand up to his temple, he quickly opens his bag, digging to find his pills. 

Upon finding them, he stumbles down the hall toward the water fountain. As he approaches it, Maggie turns the corner and sees Nick struggling. She calls out to him.
Nick, in his haze, doesn't hear her. Maggie walks over, as Nick clasps both hands on his head, as the pain intensifies to an unbearable pressure.
MAGGIE: Nick! Are you okay?!

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson

Kate and Billie sit at a booth at Club TBD together. Sitting stirring her martini as she chews solemnly over what Billie's told her about Nick's plan to take over Titan.
KATE: Billie...are you absolutely sure that was Justin told you is the truth?
Billie looks at her mother, unflinchingly. She nods her head before responding.
BILLIE: Yeah. I'm almost certain of it. Justin seemed...(sigh) he seemed...more than flustered, he...he seemed petrified, really. That's why it's so important that we vote him down.
Kate looks down at her martini, before looking back up at Billie. Kate's expression remains solemn.
KATE: We may not be able to do that, Billie.
Billie frowns, a clear, pressing worry on her face.
BILLIE: Why not? I mean, the ball's in our court, Mom. You know he's just bluffing...
KATE: No....Billie, he's not. We'll have to go after him some other way. But....for now...you're going to have to let him have what he wants. 
Billie looks on at Kate, stunned.

Anjelica steps into the DiMera living room, and is greeted by a warm embrace by Stefano. Nick stands back, looking on as the other two greet each other.
STEFANO: Ahhh Anjelica, it's so good to see you again, my dear.
ANJELICA: Thank you, Stefano. It's been far too long.
Stefano breaks their embrace, but guides Anjelica toward Nick, one hand behind her back as she steps toward Nick, extending a hand in greeting.
STEFANO: I would like you to meet our very loyal liaison in our mission. Nick Fallon, meet Anjelica Deveraux.
Nick extends a hand in return, smirking as Anjelica returns a wry smile his way.
NICK: Pleasure to meet you, Ms. Deveraux.
ANJELICA: Likewise. And please, call me Anjelica. We're about to get very familiar, you and I.

Anita steps into her living room, as Brady sits at the desk in the corner, typing away.
ANITA: Brady.
BRADY: Yeah! Anita! What's happening?
Brady stops typing and turns to face Anita, who leans against the frame of the doorway into the room.
ANITA: I had a favour to ask you.
BRADY: Okay.
ANITA: Well...you know that old blue truck you were using to head over to the general store for groceries.
Brady nods, knowing which one she meant.
BRADY: Yeah, the one I nearly crashed into that guy with.
Anita walks into the room, and sits down on the couch as she talks with Brady.
ANITA: That's the one. Well...I was thinking...you're relatively handy. If you can do a bit of work on the brakes...I was thinking of selling it, and using the money we get to buy a replacement for you to use.
Brady shrugs, feeling reasonably confident about the idea.
BRADY: Seems reasonable to me. You want me to set up an ad online?
Anita laughs heartily.
ANITA: You know, crazy old me was thinking of asking you to call the Salem Spectator and place an ad that way. I completely forgot about the internet.

BRADY: You're living in a new age, Anita.
ANITA: Ain't that the truth! 
Anita gets up from the sofa, and walks over toward Brady.
ANITA: Well, listen. You set the ad up, we'll put it up for, say...$1500 or best offer, and we'll see if we can get anyone to come in and look at it later. Who knows? Maybe we can get rid of the damn thing by tonight!
Anita pats Brady on the shoulders as she passes by. Brady turns around and looks back at his computer, ready to take on the task.

Marlena and Sami walk over to Kim and Roman, who are sitting at a booth at the Brady Pub. Roman and Kim are stunned by the news that Eric has married Nicole.
ROMAN: Now wait just a minute! Eric is marrying Nicole? I thought he was a priest! He can't...
Sami looks on at her ailing father, worried by his mental lapses. Kim takes Roman's hands into hers, settling Roman back down into his seat.
KIM: Roman...Eric was defrocked. It wasn't his fault, but...Nicole helped him through it.
Sami snorts, folding her arms as she looks down, embittered.
SAMI: You could say that. 
ROMAN: Well...so...Nicole married Eric...I mean...their relationship didn't cause Eric to be defrocked, did it?
Kim shakes her head, still looking at a confused Roman.
KIM: No, Roman. No, she just helped Eric deal with some problems that happened. The important thing is that Eric is happy. We should all remember that.
JOHN: I'll go along with that.
Everyone turns as John walks toward the group. Marlena looks on, a deep pain on her face as she looks at her now-ex-husband.
Nick and Anjelica sit in the DiMera living room, chatting with each other, as Stefano puts away papers at his desk. As he struggles to get up from his seat, Nick and Anjelica's focus shifts to him.
STEFANO: Alright. Now, I am going to head out. Nicholas. I want you to keep Anjelica abreast of any problems you encounter. Make sure that your plan goes right today at that meeting.

NICK: Absolutely, Mr. DiMera.
STEFANO: And Anjelica, I would offer you to make yourself at home, but...
Anjelica raises her hand, stopping Stefano midsentence.
ANJELICA: Not to worry, Stefano. I have a wonderful suite at the Salem Inn, and of course, for my campaign, obviously it's best that we keep our little connection private.
STEFANO: I'll leave you to it.
Stefano heads out of the room, leaving Anjelica and Nick in the living room. Nick looks over at Anejlica, intrigued.
NICK: Campaign? You running for office or something?
ANJELICA: You better believe it. State governor.
Nick's face lights up at the news.
NICK: Ahhh, so I see. So I guess it's important to keep our rather...unethical connection private, hm?
ANJELICA: Absolutely. In fact, the best thing we can do is make sure that no one can connect me to DiMera Enterprises, or Stefano, at all costs.
Brady walks into the cabin, a digital camera in hand. He walks over to the desktop computer in the corner of the room, all the while opening the flap of the camera holding the memory card. He carefully places the card into a slot on the computer, and prepares to upload the pictures onto the computer, as Anita walks in from the kitchen.
ANITA: Any luck?
BRADY: Yeah! Just uploading the pictures now, and it'll be up in just a second.
ANITA: Wow. Technology these days, hm?
BRADY: Tell me about it.
As Brady types up the last of the ad, Anita walks over and puts a hand on Brady's shoulder.
ANITA: You know, it's been a real help having you here, Brady. It's hard being an old woman separated from her family like this, and my family doesn't come around like they used to. I can't do all the things I've been wanting to do. So, I really appreciate the help.
Brady hits send, then turns around the look up at Anita, a warm, caring expression on his face.
BRADY: You know...Anita...you're the one who's helped ME. I needed a refuge from...everything that went wrong in my life up to now. I...I truly haven't had it easy in a lot of ways, but...I almost feel guilty for feeling that way. So many people have it so much worse than me.
Anita smiles, looking back at Brady lovingly. She sits herself down in the chair by Brady, taking his hands in hers.
ANITA: Never compare your struggle with someone else's, Brady. You've come a long way in a short amount of time. And, no, I don't know a lot about you, but I know that you're a kind, gentle man. A man who's been hurt a lot..and needs to do a lot of healing. I know you'll tell me about what's happened to you in your own time. Don't feel you need to rush.
Brady looks at Anita, smiling sheepishly.
BRADY: You know...I have been feeling so...so down about everything...I just don't wanna burden you with my stupid....stories of self-inflicted wounds. But it comes so easily with you. I feel like...like I've known you all my life. I want to thank you, Anita. You've been a big help to me.
ANITA: Anytime, Brady.
After a moment, Brady turns to look back at the computer, and points to it, looking back at Anita.
BRADY: The ad's gone live!
ANITA: Fantastic. Thank you, Brady.
Brady looks back at Anita, smiling genuinely for the first time in a long time.

In her dimly lit motel suite, Sheryl sits at her laptop, blinds drawn. She sits alone, going through ads on an online classified site, when she spots an ad for an older blue SUV, $1500 or best offer. Intrigued, she opens the ad. 
SHERYL: 1995...in good shape but brakes will need replacing soon. $1500, or $2000 with brake replacement included. Lakeview Drive. Sounds perfect.
Sheryl clicks to send off an e-mail about the truck. She smiles her devious smile as she starts her e-mail to come view the truck at Anita's home.
Billie looks on, stunned by her mother's sudden cowtowing to Nick's blackmail.
BILLIE: Mother...I have known you a lot of years, and you've never been one to back down against the likes of Nick Fallon.
KATE: Well, there's a first for everything, isn't there?
Billie looks at Kate, puzzled. Her voice taking on an incredulous tone as Kate takes a sip of her martini.
BILLIE: I'm sorry, am I talking to Kate Roberts right now? What is it about Nick that's scaring you right now.
Kate puts down her drink, noticeably agitated by Billie's pressing of the topic.
KATE: Look, Billie, you know my history. And you know yours. There's all kinds of skeletons Nick could dredge up at that meeting. None of which you would want exposed. So I think it's best that we play along, do what he says so that we don't alarm him, and build our case against him until we're able to put him away.
Billie shakes her head, in total disbelief about what she's hearing her mother say.

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson

Stefano sits in his living room on the recliner, as Nick sits on the adjacent sofa. Stefano looks intensely at Nick, who listens attentively.
STEFANO: I need to be clear with you about this, Nicholas. This woman is MY partner in this plan. You are only privvy to this information to assist me. You will not hold any sway when it comes to decision making. Much like things stand now. Do you understand?

NICK: I do.
After a moment, Nick leans in, giving Stefano an intense, confident look as he continues.
NICK: But I think it should be made clear that I don't intend to remain silent forever. I want to work hard for you and prove that my ideas are just as valid anything you or your partner come up with.
Stefano laughs, shaking his head. He leans over and pats Nick on the hand.
STEFANO: You impress me, Nicholas. That will be very useful to us going forward.
Stefano leans in a little closer, holding a finger up as he becomes increasingly intense.
STEFANO: But...do not overrule me...or there WILL be consequences.
Nick looks back at Stefano, unflinchingly.

On a flight high above the Atlantic, John Black sits in his First Class seat next to Anjelica Deveraux. Both of them returning to Salem. John sits back in his chair, his head tilted toward  a smiling Anjelica.
JOHN: You know...we never really talked much when you were in Salem before.
ANJELICA: That's because you didn't have anything I needed then. I think it had something to do with you claiming to be Roman Brady. I didn't have much use for policemen when I was engaged in dalliances with heirs to multinationals, and doctors and the like.
John laughs quietly at Anjelica's comment, nodding in response.
JOHN: Yeah, that might have something to do with it. 
John stops a moment, before looking back Anjelica's way.
JOHN: A lot's changed in all those years.
ANJELICA: Tell me about it. I hear Victor's stepped down from his pedastal as Big Bad of Salem since I've been away.
JOHN: Yeaaah that's mostly true. 
Anjelica retorts, a quick roll of the eyes as she shoots out a pithy remark.
ANJELICA: How noble of him.
JOHN: Well, it hasn't hurt him business at all. He's still a very powerful man in Salem.
Anjelica stays looking focused on John, as though trying to carefully read him.
ANJELICA: So I heard. And likewise, I've heard the same about you.
John looks at Anjelica, an eyebrow cocked, unsure what Anjelica's getting at.

Billie gets up from behind her desk at Titan and steps toward Justin. She looks flustered at Justin's news.
BILLIE: I'm sorry, what?
JUSTIN: Nick Fallon...is the one that halted the EnerNext virus last night.
Billie nods, contemplating the ramifications.
BILLIE: Okay...so what does that mean?
JUSTIN: It means we need to take action, and fast.
Billie narrows her eyes, unsure what Justin means.
BILLIE: Wh...why?
Justin sighs, looking down away from Billie as he chooses his words carefully.
JUSTIN: Apparently...and...I don't know how he knows this, but...Tyler came around this morning, and...Nick has somehow managed to dig up information on the entire Titan board.
JUSTIN: That I can't say. But it means that he'll be at that board meeting this afternoon, and he will use what he knows if he has to. That's why I need your help.
Billie looks at Justin, concerned and surprised.

Kim walks into the Brady Pub, excited to find her brother Roman waiting in one of the booths. Roman lifts himself out of the booth and gives Kim a tight hug.
KIM: Ohh Roman. It's so good to spend some time with you. 
As they separate from their hug, Kim holds onto Roman's arms, looking warmly at her brother.
KIM: How are you feeling?
Roman nods, smiling as he responds to his sister.
ROMAN: Well...you know...I feel a heck of a lot better than I did the other night, that's for sure.
Kim laughs at Roman's answer, and Roman joins in, as they both sit down in the booth. Their waitress comes by, and they both look up at her, responding before she has a chance to speak.
KIM: I'll have a cup of coffee, please.
ROMAN: Same for me.
Turning back toward Kim, Roman smiles at his sister, eager to catch up with her.
ROMAN: So! How's things going with Theresa?
Kim looks down, a bit wistful as she answers Roman's question.
KIM: Still nothing.
Roman looks back, puzzled.
ROMAN: Nothing? I thought she was coming home for...
Roman catches himself, realizing his memory's slipped again. His face drops. 
ROMAN: She's had that accident...I forgot.
Kim looks over at her brother, taking his hands in hers across the table.
KIM: Trust me, I wish I COULD forget.
ROMAN: Kimmy--
KIM: No, no, Roman. It's okay. Listen, Theresa's in good hands. And as soon as there's any changes, I will let you know.
Roman smiles, squeezing his sister's hands.
ROMAN: I appreciate that.
Kim smiles back at Roman, not letting go on his hands.
KIM: Roman.
ROMAN: Yeah, Kimmy.
Kim looks down, trying to tread carefully with her next statement.
KIM: Look...I know this isn't my place...and I think that it's really important to keep your mind active with everything going on.
Roman looks over at Kim, expectantly.
ROMAN: But...?
Kim hesitates a moment, closing her eyes as she finishes her thought.
KIM: I think you might need to...take a step back from the force.
Roman looks at Kim, stunned.
ROMAN: Wh...Kim...Kim, I can't do that.
Kim looks back at her brother, a deep concern in her eyes.
Billie leans against the front of her desk, with arms folded, as she takes in what Justin's told her.
BILLIE: So, wait...Nick Fallon...he stopped the virus from being implanted...how would he know it was even being put in?
JUSTIN: I have a few ideas, but no evidence to back it up.
Billie walks past Justin, pacing the room in contemplation.
BILLIE: I can't see any other way than...
Billie looks up, spying a small security camera in the corner of her office. She looks on, having a moment of realization before turning suddenly toward Justin.
BILLIE: Of course. 
Billie laughs to herself, almost amazed that she'd overlooked the obvious.
BILLIE: I should've know, paranoid Victor has this place rigged up like Big Brother. Nick would've have to have been tapping into Titan's server, not to mention the surveillance system. If we can prove it...

JUSTIN: I'm sure you're right, but that's not gonna stop the board from panicking and giving into his demands.
Billie turns to face Justin, curious about his last statement.
BILLIE: What do you mean?
JUSTIN: Well, Tyler told us about a run-in he had after the virus got taken down last night, and...he says Nick knew a lot...specifics about things, information that needs to stay private.
BILLIE: Okay...
JUSTIN: Tyler was under the impression that Nick is going to use that at today's board meeting as blackmail.
Billie looks incredulous.
BILLIE: To what end? He's gonna get laughed out of that board room.
Justin looks back at her, less than amused.
JUSTIN: I wouldn't be so sure. And by the time we get concerte evidence that Nick's been performing corporate espionage to blackmail the board, it'll be too late. That's why I need you to promise me, you'll get your mother and your brother to form a voting bloc against Nick today.
Billie nods, still frazzled by all the information coming her way.
BILLIE: Naturally. Do you think that'll be enough?
JUSTIN: Well...between you three, myself, and John...that should be enough people with clean hands that we should be able to stop Nick from taking us all down in one fell swoop.
Billie raises her eyebrows, arms still folded. She looks at Justin with concern.
BILLIE: Well...we'd better, and we'd better find out exactly what Nick's doing and where he's getting his information from, or else we may not have much of a Titan left to save.
John sits in his seat on the plane, chuckling about Anjelica's statement about his riches.
JOHN: You know, you don't mess around, do you?
Anjelica looks back, a self-satisfied grin on her face as she looks John's way.
ANJELICA: After this many years? Why start now?
JOHN: Good point.
ANJELICA: Thanks. I try. You didn't answer my question, though.
John shakes his head, looking straight ahead before responding seriously.
JOHN: I've been fortunate enough to have resources I never imagined I'd have. Through family, business...but I've lost a lot too.
Anjelica looks thoughtfully at John.
ANJELICA: You're talking about your son.
JOHN: Brady, yeah. 
ANJELICA: I'm sorry to hear. I don't know what I'd do if I lost Alexander.
John nods, not looking Anjelica's way as he responds.
JOHN: Let's hope you never have to find out.
Anjelica smiles, showing rare genuine concern for John's situation, as John crooks his neck to better look at Anjelica, he looks at her curiously.
JOHN: So, tell me...what's brought you back to Salem after all these years?
Anjelica's smile shifts into a devilish grin, almost chuckling as she answers John, while pulling her tablet out from her bag.
ANJELICA: Oh I've got a number of...fascinating projects on the go.
Anjelica opens the browser, showing him the Salem Spectator headline.
ANJELICA: Starting with the governor's office.
John looks down at the headline:
Surprised, and intrigued, he looks back at Anjelica, who raises her eyebrows cheekily in response.
Nick sits on the sofa by Stefano, smiling at his boss cockily.
NICK: Mr. DiMera...I am hardly worried about any consequences. You know I do good work.
STEFANO: As you should.
Nick gets up from the sofa, and wanders around the back of it, heading toward the terrace doors.
NICK: But, just for the sake of us all being on the same page...what exactly are these issues you're attending to?
Nick looks quickly over at the desk, and spies upon a manila envelope from University Hospital.
Stefano responds firmly to Nick's question.
STEFANO: That is none of your concern. They are simply business issues that need attending to.
Nick quickly diverts his eyes back toward the terrace doors.
NICK: Right.
STEFANO: Your main concern is this meeting. Now, I have given you all the envelopes for the board members, yes?
Nick nods as he turns his attention back Stefano's way.
NICK: Yeah, they're in my bag.
STEFANO: Okay, now, there is a strong possibility that John Black will be back for this meeting. If he returns, I want you to give him this envelope, and I want you to tell him something so that he KNOWS you're not fooling around.
Nick walks over to the chair and takes the envelope from Stefano's hands. Nick walks back over to the sofa, and puts the envelope in his bag with the others, as Stefano continues.
STEFANO: I must be clear. This must stay strictly between yourself, and John. No one else must hear this information, okay?
Nick nods dutifully, as he turns back to face Stefano.
NICK: Okay.
Stefano points toward Nick, speaking softly, but very firmly.
STEFANO: You must tell him you're onto his little mission to save Roman Brady. And you must tell him it ends immediately.
Nick smiles, pleased by this extra tidbit of information.

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson

Valerie sits at home, preparing an e-mail to Crystal Clarke, the new nurse she's hired on at University Hospital.
She finishes up the e-mail, and hits send. Closing her laptop, she smiles.
VALERIE: Alright. There we go Crystal. Welcome to University Hospital.

Alex, Tyler, and Justin stand in the Kiriakis living room, contemplating their next step in dealing with Nick.
ALEX: Well, not knowing much about this Fallon guy, I...I mean the best thing to do is assume he has stuff on all of us and collect whatever we can on him.
Justin shakes his head, walking toward his briefcase to grab his tablet.
JUSTIN: Mmm, probably not enough time for that. We have the board meeting this afternoon.
TYLER: What we're going to have to do is ensure we have a strong bloc of board members who won't budge on Nick. 
JUSTIN: That won't be easy. Especially when we're flying blind like this.  John's out of the country...
Tyler shakes his head, frustrated by the sudden turmoil everything's been flung into by Nick's hubris.
TYLER: We'll have to do some convincing other board members. Who else have we got?
Justin looks up at Tyler, suddenly having a thought.
JUSTIN: Billie Reed. Her and I have had a rapport as of late, it shouldn't be too hard to convince her, and if she's on side, Kate and Lucas will easily follow suit.
TYLER: Let's do it.
Justin zips up his bag, and pulls his cell phone from his front pocket on his soft briefcase.
JUSTIN: I'll have Billie meet me at the office.
ALEX: Excellent.
As Justin steps out of the room, Tyler shakes Alex's hand.
TYLER: I'll see you all at Titan, then. Good work, men.
ALEX: Absolutely. See you.
Tyler steps out of the Kiriakis mansion, his tension immediately lessens, as he exhales loudly.
TYLER: Let's just hope this stops everything from falling apart, now. Titan can't afford any more problems. And neither can I.
Tyler steps away, heading off for his car to head to Titan.

Daniel and Chloe pace the main lobby at City Hall, as they wait for Marlena and Sami to finish grilling Eric and Nicole on their now-not-so-secret wedding.
CHLOE: How do you think it's going in there?
DANIEL: Ohhh, pretty terrible, I'm sure.
CHLOE: I was afraid you'd say that.
Daniel sighs, putting his hands in his pockets as he looks toward the elevator door, expecting anyone from the family to step out.
DANIEL: Well...Sami's anger is all at Nicole, but I also don't think Marlena took too kindly to being shut out of her son's wedding, and personally, I can't blame her.
Chloe looks up at Daniel, nodding gently in agreement. She turns toward the elevator, looking very concerned for her friend.

Nicole stands with Sami in the Justice of the Peace's office at Salem City Hall. Visibly uncomfortable, Nicole folds her arms, as Sami looks back at her. Sami steps towards Nicole, arms folded, shaking her head at Nicole.
SAMI: You know, I'm really impressed by your chutzpah, Nicole. Sneaking away the first chance you get to marry my brother like that. 
Nicole rolls her eyes at Sami's petulence.
SAMI: And it's funny, because you're doing it on company time, too. 
NICOLE: Sami--
SAMI: You are SO lucky that your big report airs this week, because otherwise I'd have grounds to fire you.
Nicole looks at Sami, who's still staring her down, trying to intimidate her. Nicole holds firm.
NICOLE: If you try to have me fired, I will sue you for wrongful termination. And I will win.
SAMI: (laughs) Oh yeah right, Nicole. Even you're not that stupid.
Nicole ignores Sami's petty comments and speaks firmly and cuttingly in response, never taking her eyes off Sami.
NICOLE: I'll win because everyone in the entire state knows how much you hate me. You are so petty. Really, Sami, you're better than this. Don't even TRY to fire me.
SAMI: Oh why? So you can sink your claws even deeper into my brother? You know, it wouldn't surprise me if you had found those files on Dr. Chyka and you'd just been hiding them all along? That's how desperate you are, Nicole.
Nicole stirs uncomfortably at Sami's insinuation.


Marlena and Eric step into the waiting room at City Hall, Marlena closing the door behind them. 
Eric looks over at Marlena, clearly displeased by Marlena and Sami's intervening in their wedding.
ERIC: Look, Mom, I said it in the other room, and I'll say it again. I have really nothing more to say about this.
Marlena holds up on hand to try to stop Eric from continuing.
MARLENA: I know. I know, but hear me out, anyway.
Eric sighs, and shakes his head as him mom carries on.
MARLENA: Eric, this is your wedding day. And, regardless of who you're marrying, I think your father and I deserved to be there.
ERIC: Mom, you knew that this was just a private little ceremony and that we were going to take our time and plan a big wedding with all the family down the road.
MARLENA: I know. But that doesn't change the fact that this....this looks like you're running away from something. And I'm pretty sure I know exactly what it is.
Eric looks at Marlena, annoyed by Marlena's prying.
Nicole stands in front of Sami, arms folded, uncomfortable with Sami's insinuation, but trying to deflect.
NICOLE: You know, Sami. I would have to be really sick to keep something so important from the man I love.
Sami looks at Nicole, a smug, mocking smile on her face, almost laughing as she responds.
SAMI: Yeah. Real sick. Sounds just like you.
Nicole rolls her eyes, and starts to head for the door.
NICOLE: I don't have to listen to any more of thi--
Sami grabs Nicole's arm as she walks past, stopping Nicole from leaving the room.
SAMI: Oh no, not so fast, Nicole.
NICOLE: Sami, there is absolutely nothing you can do. Eric and I are married. And nothing you, or Marlena can say is going to change that. 
Nicole rips her arm away from Sami, and glares back at her.
NICOLE: If you'll excuse me.
Nicole turns to leave the room, leaving an annoyed Sami behind.

Billie sits at her office at Titan, behind her desk, finishing a phone call while putting away some papers in her desk drawer.
BILLIE: He'll be at the airport at 11:40am? Perfect. Okay, thanks, Shane. Yeah, I'll pick him up and fill him in. Great. Bye.
Billie hangs up the phone, breathing a bit of a sigh of relief, when she hears a knock at the door.
BILLIE: Come in!

The door opens, and Justin steps in. Billie looks up at him and smiles.
BILLIE: Justin! How are you?
Justin looks a bit less than enthused as he away from the door, closing it behind him.
JUSTIN: I've...been better.
BILLIE: Uh oh. What's happening?
JUSTIN: Well...I don't know if you heard about the attack on the Titan server last night.
Billie looks down, debating momentarily whether she should speak on it or not.
BILLIE: I uh...I had. In fact, I was trying to stop it from happening...but someone beat me to it.
Justin looks at Billie, confused and surprised.
Valerie walks through the main hall of her home, turning the lights out, and grabbing her coat and bag from the coat rack by her front door.
VALERIE: Okay...oven's off. Got my laptop. Got my...
As she grabs her jacket, she feels in her pocket, suddenly realizing she doesn't have her hospital key card.
VALERIE: Damn it...where's my key card.
Valerie frantically searches her purse, hoping to find the key card, but to no avail.
VALERIE: (sigh) Where is that damn thing?

Jerome steps toward Valerie's office at University Hospital, carefully checking to make sure the coast is clear, before pulling Valerie's key card from his pocket. He carefully inserts the card into the card reader on the door, unlocking it.
Checking once again to make sure there's no one around, he opens the door and quickly steps inside, closing the door behind him.
Once inside, he turns the office light on, heading for the office's desktop computer. At Valerie's desk, he moves the mouse slightly, waking the dormant machine back up. 
JEROME: Computer still on, and logged in. Grandma, you need to work on your computer security a bit.
Double checking the info on his phone momentarily, he goes online, and accesses Crystal's e-mail. Quickly digging into his bag, Jerome pulls a USB from his bag, and plugs it into Valerie's computer. After a moment, a program loads.
JEROME: Alright. Let's open you up.
The program deciphers Crystal's password character by character, slowly plugging in the resulting characters into password input box on the screen.
JEROME: Come on...come on.
After a minute, the password is entered, and Jerome presses "enter" to login to Crystal's e-mail account.
Inside, he finds the first e-mail, sent by Dr. Valerie Grant. He smiles, as he notices it hasn't been marked as "read". He quickly deletes the e-mail, and empties the trash folder, covering his tracks, before quickly logging out.
JEROME: Alright, Sheryl. You are now officially Nurse Crystal Clarke.

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson

Jerome sits down in front of Sheryl's new laptop, inside her grungy motel room at the edge of Salem. As Sheryl paces behind him, almost supervising him as he works, Jerome types away, intensely focused at the screen as he helps formulate a plan to help Sheryl.
JEROME: There we go. And that should also give you access to Billie as well, since she'll be at this event with the rest of the Titan executive.
Sheryl takes a moment, and smiles. She nods and puts her hand on Jerome's shoulder in approval.
SHERYL: Yeah, I think this is good.  Billie Reed, you're gonna pay for what you've done to me...and I'm gonna make sure of it.
Sheryl smiles and laughs to herself as she thinks of what's to come.

Kate and Billie walk through town square, chatting as they sip their morning lattes. From the far end of the square, Rafe and Jordan emerge, holding each other. Kate looks over and stops dead.
KATE: Oh God. 
Billie looks at Kate, baffled by what's distracted her mother.
Billie follows Kate's eyes, and finds a happy Jordan and Rafe approaching them.  Jordan and Rafe smile as they come up to them, Jordan with a much less friendly smile than Rafe.
JORDAN: Good morning, ladies!
Kate looks at Jordan, purse-lipped and scowling eyes.
KATE: Jordan.
Kate looks over to Rafe, a sudden shift to a more pleasant expression as she greets her ex-lover.
KATE: Rafe, how are you doing?
RAFE: Can't complain.
KATE: That's good.
Kate looks back at Jordan's smiling face, and works hard to resist rolling her eyes.
KATE: I wish I could say the same.
Billie elbows her mother to try to keep the interaction polite, Kate flashes a dirty look Billie's way.
BILLIE: (under her breath) Mom!
KATE: (quietly) Ow!
Jordan, ignoring the jab, keeps on smiling, as she excitedly tells Kate her news, knowing how much it'll irritate Kate.
JORDAN: Listen, Kate, I'm so glad to see you. I just couldn't wait to show you.
Kate looks confused, and mostly disinterested, as Jordan pulls her arm from around Rafe.
KATE: Show me what?
Kate gasps, and Billie does as well, as Jordan extends her hand, showing off her gorgeous new engagement ring.
JORDAN: Rafe and I are getting married. Isn't that great?
Kate and Billie look at each other, Kate in some kind of revulsion, Billie remaining stunned with surprise.
KATE: Just...fantastic.

Nicole, Sami, Eric, and Marlena stand in the Justice of the Peace's office at Salem City Hall. Nicole is standing uncomfortably, arms folded, as Sami stares her down, intimidating her with a bold question.
SAMI: I know you've been cozying up to Nick and Percy the Greetings guy for the EnerNext story, but we all know Nick never does anything out of the goodness of his heart...so, tell us, Nicole...what's he got on you that's got you so nervous? Hm?
Nicole looks over at Eric, and shakes her head.
NICOLE: He doesn't have anything, Sami. Don't be ridiculous. The only thing that Nick wants is to tell his story, and that's to help his friend stop this stupid oil sands project.
SAMI: Oh please. You're not seriously gonna tell me that this rushed wedding isn't some kind of ruse to snow my brother before the other shoe drops, are you? I know you, Nicole.
NICOLE: No, you don't, Sami. Not as well as you think you do. I've changed. Loving Eric has helped me change. 
Marlena interjects, stepping in to stop Nicole's saccharine story.
MARLENA: How touching. But if you've really changed as much as you say, don't you think having Eric's family be there for his wedding day would've been a nice gesture? His father is dying, Nicole. Why would you want to deny him that?
Eric cuts in as well, trying to stop his family from ganging up on Nicole.
ERIC: Hey, come on now! Don't lay that at Nicole's feet. We discussed this already. Like the adults that we are. And I know that's hard for either of you to believe, but we are grown adults who can make our own decisions. We decided that it would be better to take some time and find a way to make this easier for you all to accept, and THEN we were going to plan a big wedding. That was MY idea.
MARLENA: Eric, by then it might be too late for your father. He's declining every day. The other night, he ran off and slept in the park in 40 degree weather. He was that confused. He deserved to be here today. I deserved to be here, regardless of what I think of Nicole. I would have respected your decision.
Eric balks at his mother's statement, shaking his head in disbelief.
ERIC: Yeah. Yeah, your showing up here in a fit of rage, the two of you, shows me exactly how much respect my decision would've gotten had I done it your way. At least this way we get it all out in one shot, instead of weeks and weeks of people trying to guilt me out of marrying the woman I love.
Eric puts his arm around Nicole's waist. She snuggles in close to him.
ERIC: So you can save your guilt trips. Nicole and I are married, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.
Sami and Marlena look at each other, then at Eric and Nicole, deeply unhappy about Eric's words.

Justin approaches Tyler in the Kiriakis living room, while Alex gets up from his seat, both Alex and Justin curious about Tyler's stern warning.
JUSTIN: I'm sorry...Nick Fallon is going to torpedo the company? Nick Fallon works in the cosmetics lab at MadWorld. How is HE going to destroy all of Titan?
NICK: Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but he knows everything. And probably about everyone.
Alex puts his hands on his hips, still not following what Tyler's saying.
ALEX: What does he know?
JUSTIN: Ahh...long story.
ALEX: Well, I've got nothing but time for this.
Justin sighs, holding the bridge of his nose momentarily while he looks down at the floor. Tyler resists momentarily before he turns toward Alex and begins.
TYLER: Basically, Victor never got rid of the shadier parts of his business. We all knew this. But he tried to keep them separate from the main Titan business, all sort of his attempt to appear legitimate once Isabella died.

As Tyler says this, Noelle emerges from upstairs, doing her hair up in the pony tail as she walks down the steps casually. Midway, she overhears Tyler, and stops to listen, slowly, quietly heading down toward the living room, making sure to remain out of sight.
TYLER: But he kept them all at an arms length through my business, using shell corporations to launder money whenever there needed to be any transfer of capital or resources to Titan. Now that Titan's in trouble, that's when he decided to, quote-unquote "buy out" EnerNext. When EnerNext was just a branch of the other business that I had been working on for the past twenty years.
ALEX: So you're telling me that EnerNext is basically an oil company that's mostly been used as a front for gambling, loan sharking, and smuggling this entire time, and only the bare minimum's been going to actual oil production?
Tyler sighs, nodding as he continues his story.
TYLER: Just enough to make us look legit to the outside. Now, granted, we did do a lot of work trying to partner with firms in the middle east to tap into those resources, but we ran into...complications.
From the foyer, Noelle smiles widely, loving all the turmoil and shady dealings that Titan has undertaken, and relishing the worries that it'll be exposed.
In the living room, Justin cuts in, hoping to stop Tyler from overdivulging to Alex.
JUSTIN: Look, this isn't really...relevant, nor is it something we really want everyone to know about. So...the important thing here is, how does Nick know about this, why does he want to use this against his own employer, and what are we gonna do about it?
Jerome steps off the elevator at University Hospital. He looks around after stepping off, and looks down at his phone momentarily to text Sheryl.
at UH. will fix email for u. will text when done

Putting his phone away, he notices Abby hugging Maggie outside Victor's hospital room, and approaches her.
JEROME: Well good morning!
ABBY: Oh, hey!
JEROME: Hey, I didn't expect to see you so fresh so early.
Abby chuckles to herself, blushing a bit as she responds to Jerome.
ABBY: Well, I'm a pretty early riser, plus, I had a lot to do today, and I had to check in on my Aunt Maggie's husband, who's a patient right now, so...
Jerome turns to face Maggie, extending a hand to her to shake, they smile warmly at each other.
JEROME: Jerome Grant.
Maggie's eyes widen in recognition before they shake hands, and Maggie jumps slightly, pointing toward Jerome, excitedly.
MAGGIE: OH! You're Valerie's grandson!
Jerome laughs as he answers.
JEROME: Yeah! How did you know?
MAGGIE: Ohh, we've known Valerie a lot of years. I was married into the Horton family for...well...most of my life, and we all knew and loved Valerie very much. 
Jerome smiles back at Maggie, and finally does shake her hand.
JEROME: Well, it is good to meet you, Maggie. I hope your husband makes it out of here soon.
Maggie smiles warmly, but with a hint of sadness.
MAGGIE: I hope so, Jerome. And thank you.
ABBY: Listen, Maggie. I gotta head to the station, and I wanted to talk with Jerome, so I will see you later. Let me know if anything changes with Victor, okay?
MAGGIE: Absolutely. I'll talk to you later, Abby! Nice to meet you, Jerome.
JEROME: Likewise, Mrs. Kiriakis!
As Abby and Jerome step away, Abby looks playfully at Jerome.
ABBY: So...what brings you by here?
JEROME: Well, I had a little something to take care of for my grandma but...then I saw you and figured I'd maybe...ask you for a late breakfast?
ABBY: I could be persuaded...but I do need to get to the station. Nicole's big exposé on EnerNext airs tomorrow night, and we need to tighten up a lot of stuff before then, so...it all falls to me.
Jerome looks deeply into Abby's eyes, smiling widely, almost transfixed by his attraction to her.
JEROME: Edward R. Murrow would be proud. You don't see that kinda journalism anymore. Taking down the bad guys against all the pressure from big business? I admire that.
Abby giggles, blushing a little more as she averts her eyes for a moment, then looking back up at Jerome.
ABBY: Well, it isn't really my doing, but I'll take all the credit if you want.
JEROME: Hah...alright...well...if a late breakfast is no good...how 'bout I stop by around 2 and we'll make it a late lunch. That work?
ABBY: It's a date.
JEROME: Is it?
ABBY: You bet it is.
Abby winks as she walks off, heading for the elevator, catching glimpses back at Jerome, who still can't take his eyes off her.
At Horton Town Square, Jordan stands before a stunned Billie and Kate, showing off her engagement ring to Rafe, who stands next to her.
JORDAN: I know, it's probably nothing compared to the flashy, ostentatious stuff you would normally wear, Kate, but...for me, it's...better than all the money in the world. Anyway, I gotta go. Rafe? I'll see you after work?
RAFE: You got it, babe.
Jordan turns and wraps her arms around Rafe, and they kiss lovingly, making Kate visibly uncomfortable.
Jordan breaks the kiss, and waves at Billie and Kate as she happily trots away. Rafe watching Jordan lovingly as she walks away.
Kate gives Jordan major sideye, and Billie waves politely. Once only Billie, Kate, and Rafe remain, Billie decides the time is right to make herself scarce to give Rafe and Kate a chance to talk alone.
BILLIE: Ahh...so they have free refills at the Java Café, so...I'm gonna...re...fill myself...a cup...yeah.
Billie steps away in a hurry, leaving only Rafe and Kate behind. Kate looks at Rafe with disappointment, but tries to feign happiness for her ex-.
KATE: I suppose congratulations are in order.
RAFE: Kate...
KATE: No, no. No...look...I knew whatever it was between us wasn't going to work, there was way too much in our way, between Stefano and...
Rafe reaches out to try to take listen, but she won't, and steps away from Rafe's hand.

RAFE: Kate, come on.
KATE: ...No, Rafe. I gave you the space, because there was so much happening at work, and...well, I guess I stupidly thought you and Jordan wouldn't last. I was wrong. So, I hope you're happy together. Because, I personally don't think you know what you're getting yourself into, and I don't want you to end up heartbroken at the end of all of this. 
Rafe reaches out again to Kate, who tries to resist showing any vulnerability, but Kate steps away, heading back toward the café to meet Billie.
KATE: It's good to see you, Rafe. Congratulations.
RAFE: Kate...KATE.
Rafe watches as Kate walks away, frustrated and disappointed by how their conversation turned out.
Marlena stands with Eric, Nicole, and Sami, and takes Eric's hand for a second.
MARLENA: Eric...I'm sorry. Listen, can we...can we step into the waiting room down the hall and talk for a moment in private?
ERIC: Mom, I don't know what we have to talk abo--
MARLENA: Please. Please just...let's...I promise, I won't say anything to attack Nicole, I just...I want you to understand where I'm coming from, okay?
Nicole looks up at Eric, and lets go from his embrace. She nods approvingly at Eric.
NICOLE: Go ahead.
Eric sighs, before shaking his head, and stepping toward the doorway.
ERIC: Okay. Sure...sure, Mom. Let's go.
Eric and Marlena step out into the hallway, leaving Nicole and Sami behind. Sami stands with cocked eyebrow, arms folded, and an imposing stance, as Nicole rolls her eyes, uncomfortable around Sami.
SAMI: And then there were two.
Nicole glares back at a smug-looking Sami.

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks & C. Nathaniel Richardson  

At Titan HQ, Victor and Tyler approach the closed doors of the Titan board room. Victor motions to Tyler to stop before entering.
VICTOR: Now. Remember what we planned. This has to go down properly.
TYLER: Victor, as long as you have Kate and her kids on board, it tips the balance.
VICTOR: That's true. And having my vote plus Brady's proxy vote will make all the difference. If we lose the TV station, we are never going to get the public support for the fracking operation. We need that station, dammit. Nothing, and I mean nothing can go wrong today.

Hope knocks on the door of the MadWorld lab, seeing Nick closing up his briefcase. Nick, hearing the knock, looks up and smiles, seeing his cousin.
NICK: Hope! What a great surprise. How are you?
Nick walks over and gives Hope a big hug.
HOPE: Good to see you. Got time for lunch?
NICK: You know, I was just about to head out for lunch. I just gotta stop off at my place quickly for a sec, do you mind tagging along?
HOPE: No, no. No problem at all.
NICK: Great. Uh...give me one sec. I just gotta run to the bathroom and we can go, okay?
HOPE: Sure! I'll just wait here.
NICK: Awesome.
Nick steps out of the lab, leading Hope to immediately begin casually snooping around. A bottle on one of the shelves catches Hope's eye, and she reaches up to grab it.

Will steps into his living room, where Sonny is prepping lunch. Will smiles as he walks over to his fiancee and kisses him quickly on the lips.
SONNY: Hey. How's Ari?
WILL: Oh, I just laid her down to sleep, so she'll be out for awhile.Gabi's gone to run some errands. Which is perfect because I need to share some news with you.
WILL: Yeah...well...you know how your uncle Vic is involved in this whole...EnerNext business?
Sonny looks at Will with an almost suspect look in his eyes, trying to figure out where he's going with this.
SONNY: Yes. And you also know how I feel about that project.
WILL: Well, that's it. I know you're dead set against it because of the environmental damage and the pollution it could cause--
SONNY: ...Will cause, Will. Not to mention, don't you think it's really convenient that they're planning to do all this fracking right near the poorest section of Salem?
WILL: I know, but...you know, this could be good for people in those areas too, no? I mean...the jobs that that could create--
SONNY: ...Will. They will be spending all that money in health care. The pollution...Salem would be completely inhospitable if they go ahead with this fracking operation.
WILL: Oh come on. Lots of places do this, and they're just fine.
Sonny pauses and looks at Will with confusion.
SONNY: Will, why are you so defensive of Uncle Vic's fracking project. What's going on?
Hope grabs a pill bottle from the shelf and opens it.
HOPE: Empty.
Hope puts it back on the shelf, not sure if she should be thrilled or disappointed. She keeps looking before hearing the door swing open, and Hope jumps back into an awkward waiting pose as Nick walks in.
NICK: Ready?
HOPE: Yeah! Let's go!
Hope looks back into the lab, trying to think of any other place Nick could have hid any pills before they walk out, and Nick closes the door.
Will stumbles over his words, trying to formulate the best way to tell Sonny the truth. Sonny pours himself a glass of juice and takes a drink as Will explains himself.
WILL: Well...see, I ran into Aunt Maggie yesterday, right?
SONNY: (through his drink) Mmhmm.
WILL: And, well, I had written an article that I'd had published on a blog. I showed you that article, yeah?
Sonny nods as he sits down on the sofa next to Will.
SONNY: Yeah, I know which one. That was a really good article.
Will smiles, still flattered by his husband's praise, even if it's almost expected of Sonny.
WILL: Thank you. Well, Aunt Maggie liked it too, and the next thing I know, I get this call from this man, Tyler Houston.
Sonny's expression changes immediately when Sonny hears the name. Will pulls out the contract Tyler handed him from his bag and shows it to Sonny.
SONNY: Oh no, not...
WILL: And...Sonny, he liked my work so much that...offered me a job. A good job, I'd be the one writing all public relations releases for EnerNext.
SONNY: Oh no, NO way.
Will is taken aback by Sonny's visceral refusal.

Victor opens the doors to the board room to find a room filled with executives from various divisions of the corporation, including Kate, Billie, Lucas, and Justin. Tyler walks in alongside Victor, and the two prepare to sit down at the head of the table.
VICTOR: Good afternoon, everyone. I trust we will be able to settle this with some expediency, as my grandson's so-called memorial service will be held later this afternoon. 
Kate looks over to Lucas, hiding her mouth with her one hand as she whipsers to him.
KATE: Poor old fool still thinks there's a chance that boy's alive.
LUCAS: Well, he's right. There's no body.
KATE: That means nothing, it's all just an attempt to keep the votes in his favour and you know it.
Victor continues to speak, grabbing an envelope from Tyler as he continues his announcement to the room.
VICTOR: Now on that note, as we have no actual confirmation of Brady's untimely demise, I move to have his place on the board retained until such time as there is an official death certificate issued by the coroner's office.
BILLIE: Well, Victor, that could take months!
VICTOR: I'm well aware of that. I'm not jumping the gun on this. Brady is family, and I'm not giving up on him, unlike some of his so-called friends in this damn town. So on that note, and in the absence of his father, I will act as Brady's proxy on today's vote.
Kate rolls her eyes and looks to Lucas again.
KATE: Told you.
LUCAS: But will that give him enough votes to win?
KATE: Not sure, there's a couple wild cards. But I will say this, if Victor does get his way, start looking for a new job. Fast.
Victor opens his briefcase, pulling out paper packages which he begins handing out to the members of the board gathered around the table. Once the paperwork is handed out, Victor continues.
VICTOR: Now, the matter at hand today is a motion put forth by one of our board members, one that I am fundamentally opposed to, I might add. It is, as a costcutting matter, whether or not to shed our television operations. I need not explain to you the service our TV station will provide us in the fight against the loopy treehuggers who want to shut EnerNext down. If we shut down the TV station and sell it off, sure it will save us some money. However, if we don't get this fracking operation on the right side of public opinion, this company will be in very real danger of brankruptcy, and we can't let that happen.
Tyler steps in at this point, continuing Victor's statement.
TYLER: Now, I would like to have the board member who put forth the motion to have their say. Justin?
Justin Kiriakis stands, buttoning his suit jacket button as he begins. He begins with a bit of trepidation, but picks up steam quickly, as his lawyer instincts kick in.
JUSTIN: Ahh yes. Thank you, Tyler. Now, as I am legal counsel for Titan, and, by extension, EnerNext, I have brought forth this motion to prevent any possible...concerns we may have down the road, particularly with regards to any potential anti-trust lawsuits, as well as a particularly glaring conflict of interest between Titan TV and its reporting on the EnerNext deal. 
Kate leans over once again, to Billie this time, and whispers her rolling commentary yet again.
KATE: Uh oh. Dear old Uncle Vic's gonna have some choice words for little Justin.
Billie looks at her mom with a smile, trying not to laugh.
BILLIE: (whispering) Mom, stop!
KATE: (whispering) Well, it's true! If I'd done something like this, Victor would've had me hung.
Justin tries to ignore Kate and Billie, barely giving the faintest of eye rolls as he continues to make his case to the board.
JUSTIN: While I am fully in support of the EnerNext proposal, I...do think we would be better off long term avoiding possible FCC fines, that could be in the region of tens of millions of dollars, if not more. The revenue from the EnerNext deal may not be enough to offset the potential disastrous effects of the FCC fines, and we may end up in an even worse situation than we're in already. Thank you.
The board members flip contientiously through the handouts provided, and there is a bit of a pause between the end of Justin's speech and when Victor rises back up from his seat at the head of the board room table to finish up.
VICTOR: Thank you, Justin. Now, with that, I would like to quickly ask if there are any concerns or questions from the board before we vote.
Victor takes a quick pause, looking around the room, as do all the other board members, eager to see what the others in the room have to say. When no one speaks up, Victor continues.
VICTOR: Very well. In that case. We will commence voting. If in favour of retaining Titan TV, vote Aye. If you're in favour of divestment, vote nay. Tyler Houston.
VICTOR: Nelson Hamilton.
VICTOR: Justin Kiriakis.
Victor looks at his nephew with a look of disappointment, as the vote continues to the next board member.
VICTOR: Michael Browning.
VICTOR: Billie Reed.
Billie breathes in deeply before responding.
Victor's expression changes immediately, as he looks Billie's way, shooting daggers from his eyes. He continues the voting, with a much more bitter tone in his voice.
VICTOR: Lucas Horton.
Lucas responds, never taking his eyes off his mother.
Victor looks at Lucas and Kate, noticing the communication happening between them just with their eyes. Lucas almost mouths to his mother.
LUCAS: I hope you know what you're doing.
Kate nods her response to Lucas, before the inevitable. Victor almost spits out Kate's name.
VICTOR: Kate Roberts.
Kate turns her glare the way of Victor, and, staring him down as if facing the devil himself, responds cooly.
KATE: Nay.
Victor holds his stareat Kate for a moment before looking back out to the board room before him.
VICTOR: Victor Kiriakis. Yay. And naturally, as John nor Brady is present, I will be voting for Brady by proxy, and I--
The moment these words escape Victor's lips, the board's attention is pulled away suddenly by the board room doors opening. Victor and Tyler quickly turn around, shocked by the abrupt noise behind them.

Before them, John stands in the now-open doorway, nodding his greeting to the room, with a cool confidence.
JOHN: Sorry, I'm late, everyone.
Victor looks at John with a stoic look, but dread lingers behind his eyes.

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco

In Marlena's penthouse, Roman walks through the living room, sandwich in hand. He's evidently walked in for a quick bite to eat while on duty.
ROMAN: Thanks, Doc for the sandwich, I'll be back around 7.

He grabs his jacket to quickly put on as he's heading back out to work, when the doorbell rings. Looking back to see if Marlena's headed over or not to answer it, Roman walks over and opens the door to find Eric standing there.
ERIC: Dad! I've got some great news.
Roman looks at Eric, trying to appear upbeat but confused, regardless.

In her motel room, at the edge of Salem's city limit, Sheryl stands in front of Jerome, laughing at her great fortune, as Jerome stands next to her, somewhat less enthused. The TV plays quietly in the background as she and Jerome speak.
JEROME: Brady Black...as in, the guy that drove himself and his girlfriend off an embankment into the lake trying to kill himself and her?
SHERYL: The very same. And trust me, I know it's him. 
SHERYL: He's the one I bought our getaway vehicle from, silly. I've got it all planned out. Just need a few things from in town...
Sheryl walks over to the desk, and grabs a notepad and pencil. Quickly jotting down what she needs, Sheryl tears the paper from the pad and hands the list to Jerome.
SHERYL: ...which...I will need you to order for me. Make sure the Salem PD can't track your IP address or you'll have to make a break for it, too.
SHERYL: Anyway, so, knowing that Brady's alive...it means that if we can get the word out that Brady isn't actually dead...the EnerNext project can be delayed if not completely halted.
Jerome sighs, before shaking his head, causing Sheryl to look at him, somewhat alarmed.
JEROME: You may not need to use that information after all. Not that I'd be able to spill that tea anyway since that makes a clear line between you and me.
SHERYL: Okay. Still not getting why we may not need it.
Jerome wordlessly points up at the TV, where Nick Fallon appears, giving a press conference. Sheryl looks on, curious, as she quickly grabs the remote and turns the volume up.
Nicole's voice blasts through the TV, giving a preamble to the proceedings.
NICOLE: (via TV) ...Mr. Fallon will be making his address shortly, he is expected to make a major announcement in Titan's name.

Nick stands at the podium at Horton Town Square, where most of the Titan board, as well as Nicole, and various other members of the press, are gathered to hear Nick speak. 
Nicole finishes her report as the rest of the crowd begins to simmer their conversations.
NICOLE: Now, this is unusual for a lab technician to be speaking for a corporate board at his level, but, as we've learned with Titan in recent months, expect the unexpected.
With the TV cameras on, Nick lays on the charm for the masses, as he waits for the crowd to go silent. He leans into the microphone slightly, and begins his speech.
NICK: Today, Titan Industries has a new hope for the future. After months, perhaps, years of struggling in an uncertain economy, we have decided as a company to make a radical change of direction. 
Kate looks on from the crowd, trying not to roll her eyes as she listens to Nick's speech. Billie leans over and whispers to her mother.
BILLIE: Is it too late to sell a chunk of my Titan stock?
KATE: Honey, if this ship is sinking, we go down together.

As Nick carries on, Anjelica appears from the back of the square. She hangs back, not wanting to be seen by the larger crowd, standing with her head ccovered by a black scarf and dark glasses, as she observes Nick from afar. Nick is still able to spot her, as he carries on in his speech.
NICK: Due to a series of tragedies that have befallen the Kiriakis family in recent weeks, the....board felt it best to appoint someone...more youthful. An outsider with a clear, decisive vision for the company. One who would be willing to make the changes neccessary to carry the company well into the next decade.
Anjelica nods approvingly from her post at the back of the crowd, as Nick looks right at her as he delivers his announcement.
NICK: That person is me.
The crowd buzzes at the announcement, with camera flashes going off, the board members standing around, solemn as Nick looks around from his perch, beaming.

Abby sits at Nicole's computer, working her way through the documents Nick sent her about EnerNext, when Sami steps in.

Abby looks up from the computer, surprised to see Sami.
SAMI: Abby! How's everything?
ABBY: Good! I uh...I'm just...working on something for Nicole.
SAMI: I figured. Listen ah...I hope you remember exactly why I'm having you work with Nicole.
Abby looks up from the screen to look at Sami. She sighs.
ABBY: Sami, I'm not....really comfortable with what you were suggesting, I--
Sami interrupts, holding her hands up to stop Abby from continuing.
SAMI: I know. I know. I know, I shouldn't have asked but...(sigh) Nicole's not exactly a model employee. She's incredibly...tricky.
Abby turns away from the computer, giving Sami her entire focus, still sitting in Nicole's chair.
ABBY: Oh, believe me. I know. She and my mom have a hell of a history. But I'm trying to just...let the past stay in the past. She's doing some...really great work on this EnerNext story.
SAMI: So I've heard. I just want you to tread carefully. If anyone you love is implicated in this story...Nicole...can't be trusted. A lot of people could get caught in the crossfire.
Abby gets up from her seat, walking over toward a frustrated Sami.
ABBY: You're worried about Will, aren't you?
Sami turns around to look at Abby, sternly.
SAMI: Should I be?
Roman steps back to let an excited Eric in. Somewhat awkwardly, he responds.
ROMAN: I...uh...I'm just about to head back to work. Wh...what is it?
ERIC: Dad, I...well...I just got some really good news about what...what happened with Kristen.
Roman looks at Eric, trying to appear excited but looks almost blankly at Eric, who slowly realizes something's horribly wrong.
ERIC: You don't...you don't know what I'm talking about, do you?
Roman explodes, shouting in a frustrated rage at Eric.
ROMAN: Dammit, would you cut that out? You know, between you and Doc and the rest of the damn family trying to take any opportunity to test my memory. I've had it just about up to here with it!
ERIC: Dad! Calm down, I was just--
Roman gets right in Eric's face, shaking with rage, as Eric grabs Roman's hands and holds them tightly, trying to stop Roman from physically attacking him.
ROMAN: I WILL NOT CALM DOWN!! You...Dammit, let me GO!

Marlena races over from the opening to the kitchen, worried about the shouting she hears from the living room.
MARLENA: What is going on here? Eric?? Roman? Are you two alright?
Eric and Roman turn to look at a deeply concerned Marlena, who approaches them cautiously.
At Town Square, Nicole's voice cuts through the din of the rabbling crowd, as she asks a question of Nick.
NICOLE: How is it that you, someone with exactly zero experience, have managed to secure the vote to take over Titan?
Nick smiles at Nicole before responding with a phony graciousness to her question.
NICK: I'm glad you asked. Ah...well, you see, the board had to make some tough decisions. It actually brings me to a very important point I need to bring up. See, last night, Titan Industries was targeted by outside forces in a major attempt to breach our computer systems, steal vital corporate information, and destroy our servers. I will be in contact with the Salem PD later today to track down the perpetrator or perpetrators, and make sure they are brought to justice.
Nick clears his throat as he continues, looking directly into Nicole's camera. Nicole takes this opportunity to interject again.
NICOLE: Do you know the name or names of the hackers?
NICK: I can't speak on that at this time. However, I will say this. The Titan board was grateful to me, as I was the one who discovered that there had been a security breach, and was able to prevent the virus from causing any major damage. Thanks to my efforts, as well as my proposals, which I will be detailing at a later date for the turnaround of Titan Industries, I have been named CEO of Titan, with none other than Tyler Houston as my right hand through the transition period.
Tyler looks on, stunned by the news, he looks over at a shocked Justin, while Nick smiles his trademark smirk as the crowd once again begins to buzz with chatter, as Anjelica, still at the back of the crowd, gives Nick an 'ok' gesture with her hand.
As the press conference plays on TV, Sheryl and Jerome look on, stunned by the news. Sheryl looks on, slack-jawed as her rage builds.
SHERYL: That little BASTARD.
Sheryl looks over at Jerome, whose head twists to meet her gaze. Sheryl speaks to him with intensity, finger pointed at the TV screen.
SHERYL: HE'S the one who stopped the virus. And I'm gonna make that little twerp pay.

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco

Gabi paces in her apartment, holding the modelling contract in her hand, as she debates whether or not to sign. She turns to Arianna, who sits in her crib, playing, and rests on the ledge of it. She talks to her.
GABI: Should I even do this?  Sami and Kate say that playing along is the best way to keep Nick in line. But I don't want you to get hurt. And I don't know if playing along with Nick any more than I have is even safe.
Gabi sighs as her phone's text tone goes off. Looking over at the desk where the phone sits, Gabi gets up from the side of the crib and walks over, looking at the phone.
The text is from Nick:
hey. U avail 2nite? meet me @ TBD 4 dinner. 8pm xx
Gabi sighs, putting down the phone, as she debates how to reply.

Eric holds the documents proving Kristen used Dr. Chyka's formula to drug him in his hands, as he stands by the door of his hotel room.
Nicole looks at him, a deep fear in her eyes as Eric looks up at her, stunned. Slowly, Eric begins to smile widely.
ERIC: Oh my God.
Nicole responds timidly, almost stuttering her meek reply.
NICOLE: Wh...wh..w...what is it?
ERIC: It's a miracle. Nicole, It's...amazing. I finally have the proof.
Nicole looks at an excited Eric, still unsure of whether to be excited or scared.

Nick steps to the head of the conference table at the front of the Titan board room. He looks around as he finishes his toxic presentation making his case for why he should be named CEO of Titan.
NICK: ...In fact, my messenger should be presenting Ms. Walker with the evidence I have against her right now. It's enough to destroy her brand new marriage to Eric Brady.
Lucas, Billie, Kate, Justin, and particularly John, all look on in surprise at the news. Nick pretends to have accidentally spilled the beans, holding his hand coyly over his mouth.
NICK: Oops! I wasn't supposed to say anything about that either. (laughs) My bad.
Nick leans against the edge of the conference table, as he looks around the room with an over-confident demeanour. The others look on, with Kate, in particular, scowling his way.
NICK: So...I guess that tells you everything you need to know to make your decision, folks. What say you?
Eric looks up at Nicole, thrilled by the news he's just received by the courier. Nicole looks on, still nervous, as she steps forward to look at the papers.
NICOLE: Can I...Can I see that for a moment?
ERIC: Yeah! Sure!
Nicole takes the documents and looks them over, knowing exactly who sent them to Eric. She flips through them to check the contents of every page, almost frantically. Eric senses Nicole's tension and puts a hand on her shoulder.
ERIC: You alright? You don't seem...thrilled by this.
NICOLE: I'm just...I feel like there's some kind of catch. Like...who had these all this time?
Eric turns Nicole around and kisses her quickly on the lips, leaving Nicole speechless.
ERIC: Nicole. I know why you're worried.
NICOLE: You do?
ERIC: Yeah. You're worried that now that I have the evidence that Dr. Chyka drugged me, that I'm going to abandon you for the priesthood.
Nicole looks away, giving a shrug and a cockeyed smile.
NICOLE: Well, I...I can't say I'd be surprised if you did. 
Eric begins to laugh as Nicole reaches out to put her hands on Eric's shoulders, she responds emphatically.
NICOLE: Eric, the priesthood meant SO MUCH to you. Never in a million years would I think I could compete with that...dedication you had to your faith, your vocation--
Eric puts his finger up to Nicole's lips, and Nicole stops herself midsentence.
He sighs, as he looks down momentarily, thinking for a second about what to say to Nicole.
ERIC: Nicole...my dedication and my faith are in you now. I can see that...this was planned all along. I love you, and no matter what happens now that we have this evidence...I made a promise to you today. And I intend to keep it. We are gonna take every step of this journey together. Okay?
Nicole begins to cry, hearing Eric's reassuring words. She throws her arms around Eric and kisses him deeply to show her gratitude to him.
However, under the chest of drawers by the door of the hotel room, one of the pages Eric received in the package lies, unchecked, hidden just out of both Eric and Nicole's view.
Gabi looks down at her phone, looking at the text message Nick sent her. She sighs before replying to him.
sure, see u then xx
Hitting 'send', Gabi puts her phone down on the table, sighing heavily. 
GABI: Not exactly how I wanted to spend the evening. But...gotta stick to plan.
Looking at the contracts on the desk, Gabi tenses for a moment, knowing she will have to make the decision of whether or not to sign the contract, as she, Sami, and Kate had discussed.
GABI: Speaking of 'plans'. 
Gabi throws her hands up and steps back over to the table, making a call to Sami.
GABI: (into phone) Hey, Sami. I'm ready to sign....yeah, let's get this over with.
Justin, John, and Tyler all step onto the elevator at Titan, heading down to the lobby to leave after the board meeting. All three men have sombre expressions on their faces, and remain quiet as the doors shut.
After a moment of awkward silence, Justin finally breaks it.
JUSTIN: I trust we have a plan to deal with this.
Tyler turns to Justin, an unwavering resolve clear in his reply.
TYLER: You just leave this to me. If this press conference goes how I hope...he'll be toast by sunset.
John immediately cuts in, looking stoically in Tyler's direction, causing both Tyler and Justin to turn suddenly in John's direction.
JOHN: Don't be so sure about that. If I'm right about him, Nick Fallon could be very dangerous to all of us.
Tyler and Justin stay focused on John, a grave concern on both their faces.
Billie, Kate, and Lucas stay behind in the board room at Titan, Billie and Lucas looking dejected, while Kate packs up her things, looking unworried. Billie seems on edge, almost slamming her files and papers into her bag, which doesn't go unnotcied by Kate.
KATE: You know, if you slam those into that bag any harder, you'll tear a hole in the bottom.
BILLIE: Well, I'm due to get a new one anyway. You know, I can't believe this, Mom. This is a complete disaster.
Kate rolls her eyes, as she continues to get her things organized in a blasé manner.
KATE: You are being so melodramatic right now. 
BILLIE: I think I have a right to be. You just exposed all of us to a serial blackmailer, and you let him win.
LUCAS: Billie's right, Mom. He knows we we were onto him, and he knows all about our plans, which, while Sheryl and Jordan are still out there, means we're all in danger.
Kate, finally exasperated with her children's worries, stops putting her things away and turns toward Billie and Lucas, looking at them sternly as she puts a hand on her hip.
KATE: Okay. Enough. You are both acting like scared children right now, and it's for nothing.
Lucas laughs sarcastically, irritated by Kate's dismissive attitude.
LUCAS: I wouldn't call this nothing, Mom. Nick's got enough on everyone to turn all their votes in his favour when he has ZERO experience running so much as a popsicle stand. That means he's got enough to sink ALL of us, and YOU know it.
KATE: Maybe he does. Hell, Nick could have enough information to put the Pentagon to shame. But that doesn't mean he's going to get away with it.
BILLIE: And how do you know that?
Kate turns her head to look straight at Billie. She looks at her daughter with a cocky smile.
KATE: Because nobody pisses off that many Kiriakises that quickly without retalliation. He may think that with Brady dead and Victor in a coma that the family's been defanged, but I have consorted with these people longer than that child has been alive, and I can tell you now...he's overdue to be knocked down a peg or two.
Lucas and Billie look at each other, unsure whether to believe Kate or not. Lucas folds his arms and looks Kate's way skeptically.

Anjelica stands in the DiMera living room, organizing files on her tablet, as the door opens. She looks over to see Nick walking in. She spots a confident expression in his eyes and sets her tablet down on the desk.
ANJELICA: Well, you certainly have a spring in your step.
NICK: You could say that.
ANJELICA: I suppose this means it's good news.
NICK: You could say that as well. Because as of about twenty minutes ago, you are looking at the new CEO of Titan Industries.
Anjelica's face lights up at the news, and she begins to chuckle to herself gleefully.

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco

Abigail sits next to Jerome, as they drive down the road toward the DiMera Tower. Abigail seems on edge, anticipating what could be on Nick's flash drive. Jerome senses Abby's tension and looks over at her, flashing a smile that helps comfort her.
JEROME: I will say this is nothing like any first date I've ever been on.
Abby laughs, looking over and smiling at Jerome as he oscillates his gaze between Abby and the road ahead.
ABBY: Yeah, it's...pretty unusual, I'll admit.
JEROME: Well, look, I'll help you however you need. Sounds like this is pretty important so...
ABBY: I think it is. 
Abby looks down at the flash drive in her hand, she looks at it, curiously.
ABBY: I think whatever's on this drive...could change a lot of lives.

Nick sits confidently at the conference table in the Titan board room, sitting next to Percy. A small stack of letter-sized envelopes lay on the table in front of them, as he watches the other board members mill about, conversing solemnly in their seats.

Billie Reed, for one, is especially discomforted by Nick Fallon's relaxed air, knowing what the meeting has in store. She looks over at Kate, who looks unusually at ease, given the circumstance. Kate has her game face on, something her son, Lucas, does not share. He looks back at Billie, trying to hide his worry.

John Black walks in, a similarly solemn expression on his face, as he silently catches Billie's eye. She gives him a worried look, which John mirrors, as he sits down across from her and her family members at the table. He nods over to an equally-worried Justin, who sits next to him.

Eventually, realizing the entire board is present, Tyler finally calls the meeting to order.
TYLER: I, umm...I think we have everyone. So...let's call the meeting to order.
The board members settle in their seats, as Tyler looks around the room a moment, waiting to begin.
TYLER: We...ummm...we're calling the meeting today due to a series of rather...unfortunate events that have occurred in the preceding few days which are hitting our business rather hard.
Tyler takes a moment, looking over at Justin, then Nick, before turning back to the rest of the board, a certain sadness in his voice.
TYLER: Ah...(clears throat) first off, our CEO, Victor Kiriakis has unfortunately suffered a heart attack, and is currently in an induced coma at University Hospital while he recovers from surgery. In the meantime, Justin Kiriakis and myself are acting as interim co-CEOs, as per Victor's request, outlined on Page 4 of the presentations before all of you. 
As Tyler speaks, Kate looks over, glaring at Nick, who winks back at her from across the conference table. Kate rolls her eyes at Nick's smug demeanour and cockiness. She leans over toward Lucas as he whispers snidely to her.
LUCAS: Imagine how good it would feel to smack that irritating smirk off Nick's face?
KATE: I know the feeling. But just remember how good it'll feel to watch him do it all by himself.
Lucas sighs, having doubts about Kate's strategy.
LUCAS: I hope to God you're right, Mom.
KATE: I always am.
Tyler carries on with his address to the board, ignoring Kate and Lucas' asides.
TYLER: Additionally, we've fended off an attack to our internal servers. As some of you may have heard. Last night, Nick Fallon prevented a complete and total destruction of our company's mainframe server, and cloud server, preventing the loss of millions of important documents and files, not to mention saving this company. I think we owe him a debt of gratitude.
Justin looks over at Nick, unsure if he shares Tyler's sentiment. Kate, Billie, and Lucas all look at each other, equally unimpressed. John stares ahead, giving his best poker face the entire time.
TYLER: I hear that Nick has a few words for us, and I would like to give him the opportunity to speak to you all. Without further ado, Nick Fallon.
Nick gets up immediately, confidently smiling at the board, who look on with a mix of indifference and, in some cases, dread.
NICK: Thank you. I have to say that...I appreciate all of your efforts. I thank each and every one of you for inviting me here today, and giving me the floor, even if it's just for a few moments. If you'd indulge me, I would like to use this moment to do something very unusual for someone in my position.
Kate looks over at Billie, resting her head on her hand as she leans on the armrest of her chair.
KATE: Here we go.
Nick looks around the room, and grabs the stack of envelopes from the conference table. He holds them tightly in his hands, as he smiles broadly, and speaks earnestly and professionally, looking each board member squarely in the eyes as he looks around the room from his place at the table.
NICK: I would like to put forth a motion. And before you respond to that motion...I would like to make my case for it. I think, once you hear everything I have to say...you'll find it all...extremely compelling.
Nick holds the envelopes in one hand, gently tapping them against his other hand as he carefully studies the faces of everyone in the room.
He smiles again before finally speaking.
NICK: I am proposing making a change. To appoint myself, with the close, guiding assistance of longtime professional, and trusted colleague, Tyler Houston, as new permanent CEO of Titan Industries.
The room stirs, incredulous at Nick's outrageous manoevre. Kate tries in vain to hold in her amusement at the spectacle Nick is making of himself, while Lucas and Billie look her way, more concerned. 
Billie looks over at a frustrated Justin, looking his way with a defeated look.
Nick relishes the reaction he's getting. Looking around the room with his trademark smirk while watching everyone react.

Adrienne walks through Horton Town Square, shopping bags in hand as she races through to get back to her car.
ADRIENNE: Gotta get this home before the boys get back.
Stopping a moment before she leaves the square, Adrienne heads to the bench by Tom & Alice's tree, and lays her bags down, digging through her bag to find her car keys.
ADRIENNE: You can't get into your car with only mind power, Adrienne. They haven't invented that yet.
Finally digging her keys out, she grabs her bags and quickly turns to dart out of the square.
ADRIENNE: Got 'em.
As Adrienne turns, she runs immediately into a woman who's to her left. Not realizing who it is, Adrienne begins to apologize profusely before she stops dead in her tracks.
ADRIENNE: Oh my God, I'm so sorry, I...
Adrienne looks up, realizing the person standing before her is very familiar.
ADRIENNE: Anjelica.

Anjelica flashes a quick smile, looking ever the professional as her insincerity drips out of every word she speaks.
ANJELICA: Well! Adrienne! Isn't it lovely bumping into each other like this?
Adrienne looks on at Anjelica, stunned and visibly displeased.
Abby unlocks the door to Nicole's office at WXIR, letting herself and Jerome in. Jerome turns on the light as Abby fumbles with her keys, trying to put them in her purse.
Closing the door behind them, Abby steps over to the computer and moves the mouse, waking the computer from its sleep. She plugs the flash drive in and waits impatiently, as she sits down in Nicole's office chair, Jerome standing over her.
ABBY: And now we wait.
Tyler stands up at the conference table, as the rest of the room still reacts to Nick's motion. Holding up his arms, Tyler attempts to calm the room down, calling out over the din.
TYLER: Excuse me, everybody! I need order, please. 
After a moment the room quiets down again, prompting Tyler to continue.
TYLER: Look, I know what Mr. Fallon has suggested is...highly unorthodox...to say the least, but...well, let's hear him out.
Tyler finishes his sentence, a grave feeling in him that expresses itself plainly in his voice. Tyler sits down, clearly dreading what's to come, as Nick smiles and nods graciously at Tyler.
NICK: Thank you, Mr. Houston. So...I expected that...eruption. To put it mildly. However, I'm sure a lot of you don't know quite why this company is so important to me....and why this job is so important to me.
Nick steps out from behind the table, and begins to pace the room, starting by pacing behind the head of the table, where Tyler and Justin are seated beside him. Tyler refuses to turn to watch Nick, needing to stare straight ahead as Nick carries on. Justin looks around the room, while leaning his chair to ensure he can see Nick as well.
NICK: You see, a lot of why we're all here today is down to a very important project started by me many years ago. Titan's alternative fuels project, was patented by myself. Unfortunately, since being acquired by Titan, the project has laid dormant while all of you pour billions of dollars you do not have down the drain pursuing a fossil fuels project that will never see the light of day.
Nick stops behind Percy's seat at the table. He turns to look out at the room.
NICK: And why is that?
Nick puts his hands squarely on Percy's shoulders, causing Percy to startle slightly.
NICK: This man. Percy Ruggles. Surely you all remember Percy. The lone holdout of your plan to devastate the local agriculture and air quality in your attempts to filter tar from the ground by the Salem River? 
Nick lets go of Percy's shoulders, holding his arms out to pose a question to the group.
NICK: Why do that when you have a completely workable project right here that is 100% sustainable? Why waste millions manipulating politicians to force people from their homes...when you have everything you need to supply every person in Salem with all the power and energy they need with my patent?
Nick laughs as the group remains dead silent. He nods, knowing they remain unmoved.
NICK: That's what I figured. Your egos don't want to believe you could be wrong about this. That you squandered all this potential because you wanted to own the rights to this and never use it. Just so you wouldn't have to deal with the threat. Well that ends today.
Justin, fed up of Nick's grandstanding, gets up from his seat and holds a hand up to Nick, trying to convince him to stop.
JUSTIN: Nick, that's enough! Now--
NICK: No! No, Justin. It's not. 
Nick steps back away from Justin, laughing as headache begins anew. Nick's vision blurs as a piercing pain shoots through him once again, Nick stops a moment before continuing his response.
JUSTIN: Nick, are you okay?
NICK: I'm fine....woah, I am SO fine. Better than any of you will be in a few minutes. Believe me.
TYLER: Nick, I think we may have...had enough now.
Nick laughs as Tyler awkwardly tries to get Nick to stop his raving.
NICK: (laughs) You....(laughs) you are the last person who should be trying to get me to stop right now, Tyler. And you know it.
Nick breathes in, leaning over, and looking straight into Tyler's eyes with a crazed, laser-focused intensity.
NICK: Besides, the fun is just about to start.
Billie squirms as Nick gathers himself together and walks over to his seat at the conference table. He still holds the stack of envelopes, but also opens his laptop bag, pulling out a single manila envelope, which he drops in the middle of the table. The entire group remains stone silent as they watch Nick drop the envelope down.
NICK: You see, I have been keeping tight surveillance over eeeeevery one of you here at the Titan HQ these last few months....and you know what? You people are some pieces of work. Not a single honest thought or word between any of you. You know that?
Nick cackles as he points at the envelope in the middle of the table.
NICK: THIS....this is the fact sheet detailing every falsehood contained in your sham of a proposal for the EnerNext oil sands. Every half-truth, every outright lie, where it came from, and the money trail that led to it being printed, and propagated throughout the state, and beyond. 
Nick looks around the room, feeling oh-so-satisfied as he surveys the ghost-white expressionless faces of the Titan board members.
NICK: And guess who has all this info? WXIR! The same station you geniuses were so damn ready to rid yourselves of so you could free up capital to invest in this big SCAM!
Nick smiles, seriously amused by the situation, as Justin looks over, trying not to panic, at an unsurprised Kate. John looks over at Billie, then back at Kate, still maintaining a poker face, but a tinge of concern is there if you look closer. Tyler looks down, unable to hide his worry.
As Nick's last words are spoken, we see Abby and Jerome at Nicole's computer, as the document from Nick's flash drive appears on the screen. 
NICK: (voiceover) And very soon everyone in Salem, and beyond is going to know the truth about what you've all done.
The title appears in bold on the screen:
EnerNext & Titan: Fraudulent Arguments in Environmental Impact Study & Associated Payoffs
Abby draws herself up, stunned by the headline alone, as Jerome looks at the screen, knowing the impact this has on his and Sheryl's own aims.
ABBY: I think I need to call Nicole.
Abby grabs her phone from her purse and frantically makes a call to Jerome, as Jerome looks intensely at the screen, certain that he needs to read more, and now.

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco

Noelle paces nervously inside the Kiriakis Mansion by the glass doors to the garden. She holds her cell phone up to her ear, hoping her call will be answered, checking to see if anyone's coming from either the kitchen or the living room.
NOELLE: Come on, Nick. Pick up your damn phone.
After a second, the call goes to voice mail. Noelle hangs up in frustration and walks back into the living room, upon which point she hears the doorbell ring. Further exasperated, she walks out into the foyer and opens the door.

It's Anjelica.
ANJELICA: Ahh! Dear daughter-in-law. 
Noelle looks stunned by Anjelica's arrival.
NOELLE: A...Anjelica.
Anjelica responds with a chipper tone, dripping with a phony pleasantness.
ANJELICA: Well, aren't you gonna let me in?
As Anjelica says this, she walks right through the opened door, as a surprised Noelle stands back in shock.
Once inside, Anjelica makes a beeline for the Kiriakis living room, as Noelle turns and closes the door.
NOELLE: What are you doing here? And why haven't you been answering my phone calls?
Anjelica walks over to the bar in the corner of the room and pours herself a scotch, as though in her own home. As she does, she pours a second glass for Noelle.
ANJELICA: Oh come now, Noelle. I'm surprised at you! You know that the signals emitted from cellular devices have been known to interfere with the mechanical equipment on airplanes. 
Noelle looks annoyed at Anjelica, while folding her arms, as Anjelica turns around and holds a drink out to Noelle.
NOELLE: Of course, how could I forget?
Anjelica smiles at Noelle's sarcastic reply, as Noelle takes the drink from Anjelica's hand.
ANJELICA: I did get your messages, though. Have you been able to get ahold of Nick?
NOELLE: Not yet. But I honestly don't think it'll make a difference. Once he lets the board know what we have on them, they're gonna be eating out of the palm of his hand.
Anjelica raises an eyebrow to Noelle, a wry smile on her face as she casually leans her glass over to toast Noelle's. They share a quick laugh as they take a sip from their respective drinks.

Brady stands in front of the truck outside the rural general store, as a heavily disguised Sheryl stands before him, scarf covering most of her dyed-red hair, and large sunglasses. 
Brady pulls himself upright off the front of the truck fender, and extends a hand to shake Sheryl's.
BRADY: And you must be...
SHERYL: Crystal. Crystal Clarke.
Brady smiles, intrigued by "Crystal's" myserious appearance.
BRADY: Nice to meet you. Although, I gotta say...you look awfully familiar. Have we...have we met?
Sheryl looks on at Brady, mouth agape, as she tries not to show her internal panic on her face.

Abby and Jerome sit in the Brady Pub at a booth, laughing awkwardly as they smile at each other. Abby takes a sip of her soda, as Jerome looks her in the eyes with a warmth that Abby finds irresistable.
JEROME: You know...I think I'm starting to get to like Salem.
ABBY: Well, good. Cos I could get used to having you around. So tell me, where were you before here, anyway?
Jerome takes a sip of his beer before answering Abby, answering almost too quickly.
JEROME: Toronto. I was finishing my Masters' at University of Toronto.
Abby looks on, impressed.
ABBY: Oh NICE! What in?
JEROME: Computer science.
ABBY: Oooh a tech guy.

Abby laughs, giving Jerome a flirtatious look, as Nick opens the door to the pub, immediately spotting Abby and Jerome on their date. He smiles, observing them from afar.

Sami slams the door to EJ's office at DiMera Enterprises, startling EJ who is sitting at his desk.
SAMI: UGGGGH! That...woman!
Sami paces the room, tense and enraged. EJ looks up at Sami, still uncomfortable, as he looks at her through his reading glasses.
EJ: Jeez...what woman, Samantha?
SAMI: I'll give you three guesses.
EJ sighs and takes off his glasses, placing them down on the desk in front of him.
EJ: Nicole?
SAMI: We have a winner!
EJ: What did she do this time? Is that why you went running out of the house this morning?
Sami laughs maniacally, as she walks over to EJ's desk and leans over it, staring intensely at EJ.
SAMI: That's right! That manipulative bitch married my brother.
EJ looks at Sami, genuine surprise on his face.
Anjelica walks over from the bar in the Kiriakis living room, planting herself on the sofa kitty corner from Noelle, who sits in the armchair. She hands Noelle another scotch on the rocks, and holds another in her own hands. Anjelica sounds self-satisfied as they speak of their impending victory over the Titan board.
ANJELICA: You know, I was a bit skeptical at the beginning, but I think this relationship is going to work out just fine between us.
NOELLE: Well, it can. It all depends on you.
Anjelica takes a sip of her drink, then feigns shock, holding a hand to her chest.
Noelle looks at Anjelica, speaking in a no-nonsense tone.
NOELLE: Yes, you. I thought we agreed that we would be in close contact whenever either of us made any moves. 
ANJELICA: Well, we have, haven't we?
Noelle picks up the newspaper from the coffee table, showing Anjelica's picture prominently on the front page. She holds it up, looking unimpressed.
NOELLE: You call this communication?
ANJELICA: I call that publicizing what we've already discussed for months. 
Anjelica sets down her drink, her tone changing from one of light-hearted repartee to a more serious business voice.
ANJELICA: Listen, I have not only this campaign to run, but I also have business deals to take care of, and family matters to ensure are being attended to. That's why I asked you to be involved in this arrangement. 
Noelle leans back, looking away and rolling her eyes as Anjelica becomes increasingly empthatic.
ANJELICA: You are the only woman that my son is ever going to love, and if I want my bid for the state legislature to be a successful one, that requires any and all scandals be headed off at the pass. 
Noelle continues to look away, and Anjelica leans in closer to Noelle, hardly blinking as she softly, but cuttingly delivers her next remarks.
ANJELICA: Harper Deveraux ran his political life on being a man of family values, and I intend to run my house the same way. Now, you know Alex has been involved in certain relationships that a lot of my base would be incredibly upset about. But he loves you enough to put those affairs behind him. 
NOELLE: I know he does, Anjelica. And I love him just as much.
ANJELICA: Good. Then we have no problem here. 
Anjelica gets up from her seat, walking toward the doorway of the Kiriakis living room. She grabs her clutch from the side table. Stopping momentarily before stepping out, she looks down, and turns back to face Noelle.
ANJELICA: Don't question my methods again, Noelle. I need you to trust that I know what I'm doing at all times. Even a second of doubt on either of our parts could ruin everything.
Anjelica turns back toward the door, leaving Noelle alone in the living room, deep in thought as the front door of the house closes behind a departing Anjelica.
Sheryl stands opposite Brady at the General Store parking lot, looking uneasy. She swallows hard, hoping to stay in character despite Brady's vague recognition.
SHERYL: Ah...no. I just...you must be mistaking me for someone else, I...I just moved up here from down south the other night.
Brady looks on, unsure for a second, before laughing to himself.
BRADY: Yeah, I guess I'd remember meeting someone with a southern accent in Salem. Well, look, if you wanna test drive her before you take her...
Sheryl shakes her head. She smiles as she looks the car over.
SHERYL: Nah, I...I think we're good. It's just a temporary thing until I get myself settled in and I get myself a new car. You know?
BRADY: Makes sense. 
Sheryl walks around to the other side of the car and reaches over to her purse to look for her cash.
SHERYL: Uh...how much do I owe ya?
BRADY: Ah, what was it, we agreed on $1000?
SHERYL: Well, how 'bout we do $800 cash, and you don't have to worry about them brakes?
Brady looks "Crystal" up and down for a second, before furrowing his brow. Sheryl holds up the $800 and smiles at Brady.
SHERYL: Do we have a deal?
BRADY: We do.
Brady takes the money, and hands "Crystal" the keys to the truck. Sheryl smiles and unlocks the door.
SHERYL: Good doing business with ya, Mister. You wanna ride back to your house?
BRADY: Ah, sure!
Brady loops around to the passenger side, as Sheryl puts on her best phony cowgirl voice and enthusiastically invites him in.
SHERYL: Hop in!
Brady opens the door to the passenger side of the truck, as Sheryl looks in the rear view mirror, smiling cockily as she realizes her disguise has worked.
Abby and Jerome sit at their booth at the Brady Pub, their eyes barely straying from each other, as Nick approaches the table. Spotting her cousin from across the room, Abby waves Nick over, to Jerome's chagrin.
ABBY: Nick! Hey! How are you doing?
NICK: I'm doing better. Was just at the hospital to make sure everything was okay.
ABBY: I'm glad, I've been worried.
Jerome stays silent, staring Nick down, menacingly, monitoring his interaction with Abby to ensure he doesn't fly off the handle again at her.
NICK: Not to worry. Listen, I...I don't mean to interrupt your date, guys, but...
Jerome tries to interject to try to get Nick to back off, but Abby cuts in before he can.
ABBY: You're not...interrupting, Nick. Don't worry.
NICK: Well...I had something I had to give you. It's ah...it's work-related.
Abby looks at Nick, confused.
ABBY: Oh...ah...for me?
NICK: Well, strictly speaking, it's...it's for Nicole but...well, she's not taking my phone calls right now.
ABBY: Oh, she's...well, she had to take the day off today. She's not even answering MY calls, so...
Nick nods, trying to feign innocence when he knows the real reason Nicole stopped responding.
NICK: Right. Well, this is part of the big story you're working on for Nicole's special this week. I think you'll find it very interesting. 
Nick pulls a flash drive from his bag and hands it to Abby.
NICK: Make sure Nicole gets it as soon as possible. Let her know that if there's any doubt about where it comes from or if it's real, that I have the originals.
Abby holds the flash drive tightly in her hand, before looking up at Nick and nodding.
ABBY: Alright. I'll let her know.
NICK: Thanks. Enjoy yourselves.
ABBY: Glad you're feeling better, Nick.
Nick waves back at Abby, as Jerome scowls at him, watching him leave the pub.
Once outside, Nick looks ahead, his trademark smirk on his face.
NICK: And another domino falls. Sorry, Will.
Nick walks off, as inside, Abby holds the flash drive in her hands, curious about its contents, before she carefully places it in her bag.

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco

Sheryl, standing in her motel room at the edge of town,  hears the beeping sound of Jordan refusing her call, and hangs up the motel room's landline phone, frustrated.
SHERYL: Dammit. Jordan, none of us are safe as long as you're in Salem. 
Sheryl turns toward the bathroom door, where she's placed the supplies Jerome's given her. Sheryl looks on at the box of bleach, and of hair dye, makeup, among other supplies. She looks on, steely-eyed.
SHERYL: But I'm gonna make damn sure you do. And make Billie Reed pay for what she's done to us.

Jordan sits at her desk at University Hospital, contemplating accepting the call from an unknown number that's currently coming in on her cell phone. As the phone buzzes on her desk, she stares it down, frozen still.
Jordan remembers back to her conversation moments before with Nick:

Jordan tries hard to ignore Nick, turning back to her computer work, but Nick leans in and stares almost without blinking at her. His intense gaze makes Jordan extremely nervous.
NICK: Alright, I'll get right to the point. You know your little virus? I was the one who stopped it from going through last night. And the folks at Titan know that Sheryl's the one that was trying to put it there.
Jordan turns to look at Nick, contempt in her eyes as she tries to hold her emotions in.
JORDAN: And just how do they know that?
Nick smiles evilly, never moving his gaze, making Jordan even less comfortable.
NICK: I told them. See, I've been monitoring every little thing that's been going on in that building for months now. And I have the evidence to back up everything I claim. So Sheryl's probably on her way out of town as we speak. 
Nick lets out a little chuckle to himself before continuing, standing up to sit down on Jordan's desk, leaning in even closer to her, never once breaking their gaze.
NICK: At least she better be. 
Jordan sighs, worrying about her own fate now that Nick knows their connection. Nick puts his hand up to Jordan's chin, and casually caresses it, causing Jordan to flinch.
NICK: But don't worry. If you keep your nose out of where it doesn't belong...I'll let you keep your life here with your little boyfriend, the cop. Just remember...I know who you are. So stay out of my way. 
Jordan snaps back to reality, realizing the gravity of the situation and how it could so easily impact her. She down at her phone, still ringing, and quickly dismisses the call, sending it to voicemail.
JORDAN: Sorry, Sheryl. From now on, you're on your own.
Outside Jordan's office at the hospital, Nick struggles to steady himself as he rifles through his bag to grab his bottle of pills, hoping to stop his throbbing headache. 

Turning the corner after exiting Victor's hospital room, Maggie spies Nick, in visible distress. She walks quickly over to him to see if he's okay.
MAGGIE: Nick? Nick?? Are you okay?
Nick doesn't respond to Maggie's worried call, instead popping a pill and stumbling quickly over to the water fountain. After taking a sip, Nick quickly lifts his head up, before stumbling again, causing Maggie to panic, and grab Nick to catch his fall.
MAGGIE: Nick!! Somebody help!

Nick wakes up to see Maggie and Daniel standing over him as he lies in a hospital bed. Stunned, Nick looks around, barely moving.
DANIEL: Nick, it's me. Dr. Jonas. You just passed out for a minute, but you're fine.
Nick struggles to respond to Daniel, still groggy, and with a dull, lingering head pain.
NICK: I....huh?
MAGGIE: You passed out, Honey. You were holding your head in your hands. You looked like you were in a lot of pain, and you were stumbling down the hallway. I called out and got Daniel to help.
NICK: (sigh) You didn't have to do that.
Daniel keeps busy, grabbing his tablet from the counter, and focuses in on Nick's chart as he responds to Nick's statement casually.
DANIEL: Yeaaah well it's a good thing she did. You took a pretty nasty spill. And from what Maggie tells me...you had a pretty major migraine there. You under some stress lately? Work?
Nick looks away from Maggie and Daniel, almost zoning out. He sighs before answering.
NICK: It's nothing. I've got it under control now.
DANIEL: Well...I hope so, because you need to watch it, Nick. Your blood pressure was high enough to cause a heart attack. Take these headaches as a warning sign.
Nick looks back at Daniel, concerned by Daniel's diagnosis.

Laura and JJ walks through Horton Town Square, JJ with an ice cream cone, and Laura with a cup holding a small sundae. They laugh as they eat their treats, and talk about their days.
LAURA: (laughs) Well, it's good that Rory's keeping his job with the pizza place. I know things haven't been easy for him. 
JJ: Yeah, you can say that again. I just hope this job gives him enough money that he can afford to head down to Stanford next year without student loans.
Laura nods, before looking up at JJ, a glint of concern in her eye.
LAURA: Yeah...speaking of which...have you...decided what you're going to do about Liam's offer?
JJ sighs, as they both sit down on the bench by Tom & Alice's tree. Looking off into the distance, JJ takes a moment to finish his ice cream cone, then shakes his head.
JJ: I'm not sure. I mean...I know taking it will throw Liam off my trail, and it would certainly help us get the money we need to find out what we need to know about this guy, but...
LAURA: But it's risky. I don't want you beholden to this man. Especially not if he's tied to Stefano. That man has done too many horrible things to this family. And I am not about to let him harm us anymore.
Laura looks at JJ, clearly upset, verging on tears, as JJ pulls his grandmother in for a hug as they sit on the bench.
Jordan sits quietly at her computer desk. She types quickly at her desk, working on patient files, before the shine from her engagement ring catches her eye, causing her took down at it. 
Jordan takes a moment, soaking up the extreme highs and lows of the past 24 hours. From Rafe's marriage proposal to finding out her pregnancy test gave a false positive, to walking away from a lifelong friendship with Sheryl. She begins to play with the ring as she thinks over her situation.
JORDAN: (voiceover) Sheryl was right. If you stay in town, you're bound to be found out for as long as Nick Fallon is around. He's got your number, Jordan. You're never going to be safe, as long as Nick's alive...
Jordan stops herself momentarily, looking up, realizing the gravity of the situation. She very softly verbalizes the realization she's come to.
A song begins over the scene:
[0:06] JORDAN: As long as Nick's alive...you'll never be safe. You'll never be free.
Jordan looks on, unblinking, unmoving. She fixates on the point as she continues to fidget with her engagement ring.
JORDAN: As long as he's alive.
The song carries on into this scene
[0:22] Sheryl steps out of the shower, causing a burst of steam to emerge out into the rest of the motel bathroom and into the main room.
Sheryl emerges, wrapping a towel around herself and her hair before stepping out into the main room, where her toiletries are laid out carefully in front of the vanity.
[0:49] Sitting herself before the vanity, she pulls a picture of Nurse Crystal Clarke from a file in her top dresser drawer. She slides it in between the mirror and the frame of the vanity, allowing her to study Crystal's look.
[0:59] Sheryl then applies her foundation, a shade somewhat lighter than her own, in order to mask her lightly bronzed skin. Sheryl slowly blends in a contour, careful to match the hues from the picture.
[1:27] Sheryl slowly puts on her eyeliner, purposely too heavy, along with a heavy black eyeliner, punctuating the look with a strong cateye. She puts in contact lenses, changing her eye colour from green to a hazel colour.
[1:48] Sheryl moves to her lips, applying a bold, bright, almost orange-tinted red lipstick. She moves the stick across her lips, almost seductively. As she puts the stick down, she smacks her lips, giving a confident look into the mirror as her look is complete.
[2:09] The final step in her transformation: Sheryl rips the towel from her head, exposing a long, lush head of fire red hair. She smiles before looking into mirror, and holding up a large pair of scissors.
[2:21] With a deep inhale, she hacks off the last third of her hair, leaving her with a shoulder-length cut.
[2:39] Once the hair has fallen to the floor, Sheryl looks into the mirror, a transformed woman. She laughs quiety to herself before greeting the new woman in the mirror playfully.
SHERYL: Helloooo, Nurse!
Sheryl's laugh grows into a possessed cackle as she admires her work.

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco

Billie sits across the table from Kate at Club TBD. She's stunned by Kate's reticence to take on Nick Fallon at the upcoming Titan baord meeting.
BILLIE: Mom...I can't believe what I'm hearing right now. 
Kate casually sips her martini, trying hard to hide her fears about Nick.
KATE: Believe it.
BILLIE: I mean, this is not you. The Kate I know would have the jump on a louse like Nick in a heartbeat. You'd be eager to knock his arrogant behind down a few pegs.
KATE: Billie, sometimes, it's best to play your cards close to your chest. As far as I'm concerned, we need to let Nick fall on his own sword.
Billie looks at Kate, still incredulous by her mother's seeming willingness to allow Nick to take over Titan.
BILLIE: Mom, isn't that exactly what we were trying to avoid? Nick destroying this company.
Kate casually places her empty martini on the table, before looking back at Billie calmly, a wry smile painted on her face.
KATE:  Billie, have you never heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect? Nick's arrogance and incompetence is going to destroy him long before he can destroy Titan. And I, for one, welcome the chance to have a front-row seat.
Billie glares at Kate, annoyed by Kate's nonchlanace and cynicism.
BILLIE: Okay. So we enjoy Nick fall apart in slow motion. Then what?
Kate leans in close to Billie, and responds softly, but firmly.
KATE: That's when I make my move to take over Titan for myself.

John saunters toward Kim and Roman, and Marlena and Sami, who are gathered around the booth where Kim and Roman are sitting. The group have turned around after hearing John's voice call out to them. They're surprised by his arrival, and Marlena, in particular, is unhappy to see him.
JOHN: Hey Doc.
Sami steps in, immediately hostile towards her ex-stepfather.
SAMI: You have an awful lot of nerve showing your face in here right now.
Marlena immediately chastises Sami, stopping her from continuing.
MARLENA: Sami, stop it!
Marlena turns back to face John, still an icyness between them.
MARLENA: I wasn't expecting to see you.
JOHN: Well...there was an emergency board meeting called at Titan today, and...Justin made it seem urgent that I be here, so...I decided to pop in and grab something quick to eat before heading over.
MARLENA: I see. Well,it's nice to see you're still at least committed to your business affairs.
John, stung by her stuble dig, looks away in frustration.
JOHN: Doc--
MARLENA: No, I mean, really, John. I know you're hurting from Brady's death, but to divorce me, after reaffirming your love for me? I don't believe any of it. Something is going on and I want to know what it is.
John attempts to reach out to touch Marlena, but she steps back. John immediately backs off, but responds emotionally.
JOHN: Doc, I'm sorry. And I know this doesn't mean much to you right now. But I have my reasons. I think you'll come to understand them one day soon. 
MARLENA: Like Hell. I will never believe for a second that your feelings for me have changed yet again.
John sighs, trying to avoid any further emotion. Marlena steps toward John, speaking softly, but emphatically.
MARLENA: I know you inside and out. If someone put you up to this, you need to tell me.
John looks over at Kim, Roman, and a glowering Sami, and nods cordially to them.
JOHN: Look, I made a mistake coming here. I'm sorry if I upset any of you. I'll head over to TBD instead.
John steps out, leaving Marlena visibly drained. She turns back toward the others, who look on sympathetically.

Sheryl sits at the desk in her darkened hotel room, curtains shut. In the room, the main source of light remains the glow of her laptop screen.
She pours over articles discussing how to successfully dye auburn hair a strawberry blonde colour.
She grabs her phone to quickly text Jerome the shopping list she'll need to successfully pull off Nurse Crystal Clarke's hair colour, and fool Valerie, and the University Hospital staff.
SHERYL: Okay...I'll have to get Jerome to buy...bleach, reddish blonde dye, ruby red dye...and a mixing bottle.
As she sends the text, and puts her phone down, her e-mail notification goes off. Hastily checking the message, it's from Brady, requesting she phone Anita's home to set up a meeting time to test drive and potentially purchase the blue SUV. Sheryl smiles as she reaches the end of the e-mail.
SHERYL: Okay, here goes nothing.
Sheryl picks up her phone, but stops herself, and heads over to the hotel landline. Hesitating momentarily, she breathes in deep, psyching herself up to take the call.
SHERYL: Alright, Sheryl. Your first big test as Nurse Crystal Clarke. Let's see if we can pull this off.
Sheryl picks up the receiver, and puts it to her ear, before beginning to dial Anita's number.

Nick walks off the elevator at University Hospital. Almost ready to take on the Titan board, he steps out into the lobby, and spies Maggie stepping into Victor's hospital room. He smirks as he steps toward the nurses' station. He catches Maxine's attention.
MAXINE: Yes, can I help you with something?
NICK: Uh, yes. I'm here to see Jordan Ridgeway? Do you know which is her office?
MAXINE: Her office is down the end of this hall, but I don't know if she's in her office. Did you want me to page her for you, Mr...?
Nick smiles in gratitude to Maxine before stepping away.
NICK: Oh, don't worry, I'll wait for her.
Nick walks over toward Jordan's office, as Maxine looks on, slightly uneasy.
Nick makes his way to the end of the hall, and knocks on Jordan's door.

Inside, Jordan is signing some paperwork, and hears the knock. She responds without raising her head.
JORDAN: Come in.
Nick opens the door to Jordan's office, and smiles like the Cheshire Cat. Jordan looks up, trying to hide the fear in her eyes.

Billie looks on, irritated by Kate's intentions, as Kate looks over her shoulder, attempting to get T's attention for another martini.
BILLIE: I cannot believe you're using this as an opportunity to seize control at Titan. Oh, wait! No, I totally can. Because you're my mother, and that's all you do is look for tiny openings you can use to make a power play.
KATE: Billie, you of all people should know that business is a dog-eat-dog world.
Billie rolls her eyes, thinking back to her own past dealing with Kate in business. She responds sarcastically.
BILLIE: Oh how could I forget? It's not like my own mother stole my company away from me or anything.
KATE: You of all people know that was nothing personal. That's just how it works, Billie. Those are the rules.
Catching T's attention, Kate smiles his way, and he winks back, knowingly. She then turns back to Billie, and finishes her thought.
KATE: And if I don't play by those rules, I'm going to get eaten. And I refuse to allow that to happen.

As Kate responds to Billie, Will walks into the room, dressed professionally for work at the Titan building. He spots Billie and Kate and walks over to greet them.
WILL: Grandma Kate, Aunt Billie, how are you doing?
Billie and Kate look up at a smiling Will, and Billie stands up to give Will a hug.
BILLIE: I'm great, Will. How are you, honey?
WILL: I'm good! I haven't seen you much since you've been back in town!
Will and Billie separate from their hug, and Billie takes Will's hands in hers, as they smile warmly at each other.
BILLIE: I KNOW! I feel terrible about it. There's been a LOT going on, but...I promise, we'll catch up soon, okay?
WILL: Alright.
BILLIE: Look, I gotta go, but...Mom...think about what I'm saying, okay? Don't let your need for power cloud your judgment, okay?
Kate looks non-plussed as she looks up at her daughter from her seat.
KATE: My judgment is fine, Billie. I think you're the one who's in a panic. 
Billie sighs, frustrated by her mother's obstinance.
BILLIE: Mom...
KATE: Billie, I know what I'm doing.
Billie says nothing, but sighs again before grabbing her bag and marching out the door, leaving a confused Will behind. He looks down at Kate before sitting opposite her at the booth.
WILL: What was that about?
KATE: You don't wanna know.
WILL: Try me.
Kate thinks it over a moment, as T steps over with Kate's drink. Will looks up at T with a smile.
T: Here you go! Will, nice seeing you, man! How's the corporate life?
Will smiles awkwardly as he answers his friend.
WILL: Ahh well. You know...I haven't been fired yet so...it's a start. Uh...can I get a...uh...
Kate interrupts, using a very firm tone as she gives T the order.
KATE: Scotch on the rocks.
Kate looks over to Will, realizing she has to tell him what's going on.
KATE: You're gonna need it after I tell you what's happening at work.
Will looks back at Kate, puzzled and concerned.
Outside, John approaches the door to Club TBD, when Billie steps out. Noticing John, she grabs him by the arm and steps in close to him.
BILLIE: We need to talk, NOW.
Marlena and Sami stand before a seated Kim and Roman at the Brady Pub. Roman looks puzzled by the goings-on around him.
ROMAN: Doc, you wanna explain to me what da hell's going on with you and John?
Marlena sits down next to Kim, smiling wistfully.
MARLENA: Don't you worry about me. I am here for YOU, Roman. 
ROMAN: Now, come on, Doc. Stop that. I know you're hurting from Eric marrying Nicole, and your divorce from John, but I'm here for you too.
Roman reaches across the table, and takes Marlena's hand in his. Squeezing it gently, he looks deeply into her eyes. Marlena looks back, still emotional from her confrontation with John, and appreciative for Roman's comforting words.
KIM: Roman's right. You're still family, Marlena. We'll always be here for you.
MARLENA: Thank you.
As Marlena tears up, Kim reaches over as well to put her hands on Marlena's shoulders, giving her a comforting embrace as well.

At Anita's cabin, the phone rings. From Brady's perch at the computer desk, he calls out to Anita.
BRADY: I got it!
Brady walks quickly over to the rather anachronistic wall-mounted corded phone. Picking it up, he adopts a phony, chipper expression for the caller.
BRADY: (into phone) Hello!
In Sheryl's hotel room, Sheryl stands by the nightstand, clutching the cord from her landline phone. She clears her throat before speaking in an overt, but authentic-sounding southern accent.
SHERYL: (into phone) Uh...hayyy it's uh...I'm callin' about the truck you had for sale?
BRADY: (into phone) Oh! Yes! Hi! Ah...well, it's all ready whenever you'd like to come down to see it...again, the brakes work but they're not the best, so I can't let you test drive it off the property or anything but, uh...
SHERYL: (into phone) Oh, that's fine. I can just fix it up at my local garage, you don't have to do nothin' for me. But, uh...I don't have a car, exactly, so...can you meet me out near the Floatin' K truck stop on Route 15 for say....five? I can catch a taxi out that far.
Brady checks his watch, then shrugs, as though Sheryl were in the room.
BRADY: (into phone) Uh...sure! Yeah, that works. I'll see you then?
SHERYL: (into phone) That's great. I'll be there. Thaaaanks.
Sheryl hangs up the phone, breathing a massive sigh of relief. Resting her hand, and most of her own weight on the receiver, she takes a second before pulling herself back up, a serious look on her face.
SHERYL: Well...I guess it's time to test out the new look. 
Sheryl walks over to the mirror on the oppsite wall. She looks into it, intensely. She pulls her hair back, and looks up at herself, all the while maintaining an air of confidence.
SHERYL: Goodbye, Sheryl Connors. Hello, Crystal Clarke.
Letting go of her hair, Sheryl continues to look into the mirror, she begins to chuckle. At first, quietly, but soon growing into an almost hysterical, sinister laugh.

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson

John and Anjelica sit next to each other in First Class on the flight from Paris to Salem. John sits, looking at the Salem Spectator headline displayed on Anjelica's tablet:
He looks up at Anjelica, as she looks back, a wry smile on her face.
JOHN: Governor Anjelica Deveraux, hm?
John hands Anjelica back her tablet, as she moves to put it away in her bag.
ANJELICA: That's the plan. I mean, I could've done with a slightly less antagonistic headline, but I'll take the free publicity.
JOHN: Well, these days, is there really any such thing as bad publicity?
Anjelica points John's way playfully.
ANJELICA: Touché, Mr. Black.
John laughs at Anjelica, as the flight crew make an announcement through the loudspeaker.
FLIGHT ATTENDANT: (via speaker) Attention, passengers. We are commencing our descent into Salem International Airport. Would all passengers please take their seats, and fasten their seatbelts as we prepare for landing in Salem.
Anjelica looks John's way, a broad smile on her face as she buckles her seatbelt.
ANJELICA: Well. Look out, Salem. Anjelica's comin' home!

Billie walks into Club TBD, finding Kate sitting at a booth alone, sipping a gin martini. Billie sighs as she looks at her mother, heading over to sit with her. Kate looks up, a half-hearted smile on her face as she sets her drink down.
BILLIE: Isn't it a bit early to be drinking, Mom?
Kate sets her drink down on the table, choosing to ignore Billie's comment. 
KATE: You were looking for me, I presume.
Billie crosses her arms as she stops in front of Kate's table.
BILLIE: You're damned right, I was. Mom, I was worried the way you just...ran off like that after talking with Rafe.
KATE: Well, it took you awhile to find me. 
Kate looks up and gestures to Billie to come sit with her.
KATE: Well, don't just stand there glaring, come sit.
Billie sits down across from Kate in the booth. She leans in toward her mother and speaks to her sternly.
BILLIE: I figured you went to the office, so I went there.
KATE: I couldn't focus. I just needed some time alone. You know, just to...process everything that's happened.
Billie looks down, then nods her head in understanding.
BILLIE: I get it. But you need to understand, you played a part in creating this situation, Mom.
Kate rolls her eyes, immediately retorting to Billie.
KATE: I know, I know, you can blame it all on me. I should've vetted this woman better before inflicting her and her psychotic best friend on all of Salem, I get it. Alright?
Billie sighs, looking down again with regret.
BILLIE: I'm sorry, Mom. I shouldn't have said that.
KATE: It's okay. I know you're just trying to help. But I need to understand there's no way to fix this.
Billie nods, before looking up at her mother, who finishes her martini.
KATE: Now...let's focus on things we CAN control. You were just at the office. Any new developments?
Billie sighs heavily as she gives a worried look Kate's way. Kate catches this and her face echoes Billie's.
KATE: What happened?
BILLIE: We may not have as much control over what's happening next as you think.

Kim and Roman sit in the Brady Pub at a booth. Kim leans in toward Roman, her hand cupping his across the table. Roman looks at Kim, a grave sadness in his eyes. Kim looks back at him, a deep concern in hers.
KIM: Roman, I don't want you to think that I'm trying to push you to retire...or to do anything you don't want to do. But...
ROMAN: But you think that these...memory lapses I'm having are starting to affect my ability to do my job.
Kim looks away from Roman for a second before slowly nodding.
KIM: Yeah. I do.
Kim's eyes looks back into Roman's, an earnest concern still plain in her eyes, as Roman looks back, disappointed by his sister's assessment.
Roman looks on, as he contemplates what his sister has told him. He sighs before responding.
ROMAN: Look....Kimmy, I know....I've been having some...lapses in my memory. But you need to understand...I need this job. It's the only thing keeping me going every day. I...
Kim squeezes her brother's hand. She looks deep into his eyes, and nods before answering her brother.
KIM: I know. I know, you're...you haven't had an easy few years, but...Roman, your line of work, it's...(sigh) people's lives are on the line here. I don't know how responsible it is for you to carry on working on the police force on the front lines making decisions like that.
ROMAN: Kimmy, I...
Kim interrupts Roman, trying to clarify her position.
KIM: I know. But...I had an idea. And...jJust....tell me you'll think about it. 
Roman sips his coffee, unsure about what his sister's about to suggest.
ROMAN: I'm listening.
KIM: Okay, well...ma's...not doing so well...and you know...I've been struggling since Theresa's been in the hospital. I'd like to help ma out. You know...try to...handle the pub for her. I'd like you to help me.
ROMAN: Kim, that's a...that's a really important thing you're doing. And I think it's great that you want me to help you out, but...
Kim smiles, holding up her hand to stop him from continuing.
KIM: Roman...just...promise me you'll think about it? I just...I want you to try to take a step back  from the force before you hurt someone, especially yourself?

Roman smiles, still holding his sister's hand as he nods in understanding. As they complete their exchange, Sami and Marlena storm into the pub. Recognizing Roman and Kim, they make a beeline for their booth, which catches both Kim and Roman's attention.
ROMAN: Doc! Sami?
SAMI: Daddy, we have a huge problem.
Roman looks on, brow furrowed, as Marlena and Sami stop in front of their booth. Kim looks up at them, also worried.
KIM: Why? What happened? Is everyone okay?
MARLENA: Depends on what constitutes 'okay'. Eric just married Nicole Walker.
Roman and Kim both look on, stunned by the news, as Marlena and Sami look down at both of them, distinctly unimpressed, and aggravated.

Nicole and Eric burst through the door of his suite at the Salem Inn, Eric carrying Nicole into the room, deep in an intense liplock.

Breaking momentarily from their kiss, Nicole giggles gleefully, opening her eyes slightly to look at her new husband.

ERIC: Welcome, Mrs. Brady.
NICOLE: Mmm, you know how I love to be called that.
Eric and Nicole kiss again, laughing happily.
ERIC: Yeah, well...you'd better get used to it! 
NICOLE: (laughs) I think I can manage that. In fact, I will. Gladly.
Nicole looks into Eric's eyes as they kiss again, deep in their newlywed bliss.
ERIC: Great. Let's start now. Where to, Mrs. Brady?
NICOLE: Ohhh I'm sure you know where, Mr. Brady.
Eric smiles as he and Nicole stop momentarily before walking over to the hotel room bed, where Eric lays Nicole gently down, as Nicole wraps her arms around Eric's neck, never allowing him back up. They continue to kiss deeply as Eric carefully leans forward into their kiss and lays down on the bed with Nicole.
Billie and Kate sit at their booth at Club TBD. Kate looks at Billie with concern.
KATE: What do you mean, we won't have as much control as we think? What aren't you telling me?
Billie sighs as she sips her drink. Billie puts her drink down before responding.
BILLIE: Justing came to see me this morning.
Kate raises an eyebrow as she raises her own cocktail.
Billie looks at Kate, knowing what she's hinting at.
BILLIE: Don't.
Kate puts her drink down and raises her hands, feigning surrender.
KATE: I'm just saying, Justin is a great guy, and definitely a step up from our spray-tanned surgeon friend--
Billie rolls her eyes, cutting Kate off before she starts a full-on rant against Daniel.
BILLIE: ...Mom! Stop. I don't get to judge you on your partner choices, you don't get to judge mine. Okay?
KATE: I'm just looking out for you. Now, come on. Tell me what Justin said to you.
Billie sighs, taking a second to clearly tell Kate her story.
BILLIE: He told me that Nick Fallon is planning a coup. He has all kinds of...dirt on every member of the board, and he's planning to use it to take control of Titan at today's board meeting. And if we don't do something about it, Mom....he could very well succeed.
Kate looks away, stunned by the news, and trying to figure out how to deal with it.

Nick and Stefano stand in the DiMera living room, as Nick looks amused, enjoying the new tidbit of information Stefano has just given him.
NICK: John Black trying to save Roman Brady, hm? I don't exactly see Roman in any imminent danger.
Stefano snaps, holding a finger up to Nick's face, making his previous point extra-clear.
STEFANO: NO QUESTIONS! You do NOT get to find out anything more than what I give you. Do you understand?
NICK: Oh, I understand. 
Stefano backs down slightly, but still glares unflinchingly at Nick.
STEFANO: Good. Because I will not be able to tell you anything. Don't try to squeeze even a DROP more from me. You will not get it, Nicholas. You just keep your head down, and do as I say.
As Stefano finishes his sentence, the doorbell rings. Stefano's demeanour changes slightly with the arrival of their guest.
STEFANO: Ah! Our partner has arrived.
Harold opens the doors to the living room, as Stefano and Nick turn to face their guest.
STEFANO: Ah! Welcome!
Anjelica Deveraux stands into the doorway, smiling widely as she slowly steps into the room.

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.
SONNY: Oh...ok. 
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.
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.

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson

Alex stands, tablet in hand, in the Kiriakis living room. He taps a few spots on his tablet screen before handing his tablet to a waiting Justin, who sits in the easy chair nearby, looking baffled.
ALEX: Mom's decided to follow in Harper's footsteps.
JUSTIN: I'm hoping you mean that exclusively in the political sense.
Justin studies the electronic edition of the Salem Spectator for a moment, before looking up at his son, stunned by the news.
ALEX: Well...considering her history...it could go either way.
JUSTIN: We need to tread really carefully here. 
Justin hands back Alex's tablet, deeply contemplative, as Alex places the tablet back in his briefcase, nodding in agreement with his father.
ALEX: Exactly. If she supports EnerNext, and her past becomes tabloid fodder, we could go down in flames with her.
JUSTIN: Or, on the other hand, we distance ourselves from her, she reacts by campaigning against the oil sands, and she wins...
ALEX: And the project could be dead in the water as well.
Justin nods, trying in vain to think of a solution.
JUSTIN: (sigh) There's only one way to deal with it. And it's not one I'm a big fan of. We have to wait for her to make the first move.
Alex sighs, equally frustrated by the spot they now find themselves in.

EJ follows an enraged Sonny into the Brady Pub, where he puts a hand on Sonny's shoulder, forcing him to turn to face him.
SONNY: What do you want, EJ?
EJ leans in closer to Sonny, speaking softly so as not to catch the attention of the rest of the pub.
EJ: Listen, you and I need to have a serious chat about what's going on with Gabi.
SONNY: Oh, you mean, you want to convince me that putting a deadly weapon in an apartment with a toddler is a smart idea? I don't think so.
EJ: Sonny, stop. Okay? I know you're angry about this. Trust me, I wasn't too keen on coming by with that gun, myself. But you have to understand exactly what's happening and why I'm so worried about Gabi.
Sonny looks at EJ, unconvinced, but willing to listen. Barely.
SONNY: Alright, I'll bite. But this better be the best explanation you've ever given anyone, so help me.
EJ nods solemnly, acknowledging the gravity of the situation.

Nicole, Eric, Chloe and Daniel stand in the office of the Justice of the Peace, stunned by the sudden arrival of Marlena and Sami at the conclusion of Eric and Nicole's wedding.
ERIC: Mom! Sami, what are you guys doing here?
Sami storms into the room towards Eric. Nicole steps in to ward off Sami from Eric.
SAMI: Stopping you from making the biggest mistake of your life.
NICOLE: Well, you're too late.
Nicole stares down Sami for a moment, before looking Marlena's way, smiling defiantly at both of them.
NICOLE: Eric and I are already married.
Nicole takes Eric's hand, and attempts to walk him out of the office, but Sami stops him, as Marlena advances to try to intervene as well.
NICOLE: So if you'll excuse us--
MARLENA: Oh no you won't! 
Marlena attempts to intimidate Nicole as well, staring at her intensely before turning to Daniel and Chloe.
MARLENA: Daniel. Chloe. Would you excuse us a moment?
Chloe and Daniel look at each other, gravely concerned for what's to come, before Daniel puts his hand on the small of Chloe's back, guiding her to the door.

Justice of the Peace Watkins surveys the situation and addresses Marlena as well.
JP WATKINS: I'll...uh...I'll see myself out as well.
MARLENA: Thank you.
Marlena turns back toward Eric and Nicole.
MARLENA: I think it's time, we all had a little talk.
Nicole looks exasperated, looking at Eric to see a similarly frustrated expression on his face.
Sonny and EJ sit down at a booth at the Brady Pub. Both with coffees in hand, they look at each other solemnly.
SONNY: Well? I'm waiting.
EJ sips his coffee, before looking at Sonny, keeping his voice low so as not to alarm anyone.
EJ: Look, Sonny...all I can say is that Gabi has been trying so hard to get Nick out of everyone's life before he goes too far, and at every turn he's evaded us so far. 
SONNY: But then why does that mean you have to go to such extreme lengths to get rid of him?
EJ: Sonny, come on. This is Nick Fallon we're talking about. He's a convicted murderer, and kindapper. He tried to rape Gabi, and tried to manipulate her into leaving the state with him, just so he could keep her daughter away from you and Will. We know what he's capable of, and we know what he can do to all of us if we don't deal with him exactly the right way.
Sonny leans in, emphatically pointing at EJ as he responds sternly.
SONNY: That does NOT mean you bring a gun into our home. I know full well what Nick is capable of. Quite frankly, he terrifies me. But I know that that gun is only going to escalate things. And someone's gonna end up hurt...or dead.
EJ: I agree. But where you and I differ, Sonny...is that I see it as an inevitability, whether or not Gabi has a weapon at her disposal. The difference being that, unarmed, there's a far greater chance that the person who may be killed is Gabi, or Will...or yourself. And I can't allow that to happen.
Sonny looks at EJ, then looks down into his cup of coffee, deep in contemplation.
Nicole folds her arms, as the door to the Justice of the Peace's office shuts, leaving only Marlena, Sami, Eric and Nicole inside.
NICOLE: Well, if you're going to try to get me to leave, you can save your breath. I'm not going anywhere.
SAMI: But God knows I wish you would.
Nicole shoots a look at Sami, snapping back at her snarky remark.
NICOLE: Well, too bad, Sami. I'm his wife now.
SAMI: I swear to God, Nicole, if I had legal grounds to, I'd be firing you so fast right now.
NICOLE: But you can't. And I'd like to see you try to make that hold up in court--
Eric steps in, cutting Nicole and Sami's argument off.
ERIC: ...Okay, enough. Both of you. Listen, I don't know how the two of you found out about this wedding, but we weren't doing this to pull one over on you.
MARLENA: Well, you could have fooled me. Eric, I know you're hurting over what happened with Kristen, and I know you feel some kind of gratitude toward Nicole for trying to track down Dr. Chyka, but to sneak around behind everyone's back and MARRY her?
ERIC: Mom, I am in love with her. Whether you and Sami believe it or not. And we were going to tell you--
SAMI: Oh, when?
ERIC: As soon as we figured out the best way. We were going to...take our time, let things settle down with dad, and...hopefully give you some time to start seeing Nicole in a different light.
Sami rolls her eyes, laughing at the thought of forgiving Nicole. Eric ignores his sister's petulence and continues.
ERIC: And when the time was right, we were going to let you know, and plan a big wedding for the family. But we wanted the time to allow you to accept our relationship first.
MARLENA: So to do that, you had to marry first? You couldn't wait for us to accept her and THEN marry?
ERIC: Mom, I just...I didn't want to wait.
SAMI: No, Nicole didn't want to wait. Because, like usual, Nicole rushes into things when she's up to something.
Sami steps in closer to Nicole, making her squirm.
SAMI: I know you've been cozying up to Nick and Percy the Greetings guy for the EnerNext story, but we all know Nick never does anything out of the goodness of his heart...so, tell us, Nicole...what's he got on you that's got you so nervous? Hm?
Nicole glares at Sami, visibly uncomfortable.

Jerome shuts the door to the motel room, a laptop bag in his hand, which he sets down on the desk for Sheryl.
JEROME: Okay. I pulled some strings and got you a basic laptop so you can get what you need done while you're out here.
Sheryl steps over to the desk, arms folded. She looks down as Jerome opens the screen, and plugs the USB stick into the laptop.
SHERYL: Great. So this has everything I need?
JEROME: I recorded the interview with my grandmother, took a copy of her resumé, and did a search on her professional profile. I think that we've got enough here that you'd be able to fool the people at University Hospital pretty easily into thinking you're Crystal.
SHERYL: Well...it's not like they know her.
JEROME: Exactly. Valerie's the only one who's spoken to her, and you'll just have to work on Jordan until you're able to get her alone and get her out of there, and then you can get out of town.
Sheryl smirks, putting a hand on Jerome's shoulder.
SHERYL: You do think of everything, don't you?
JEROME: I try.
SHERYL: Just one thing you didn't think of.
Jerome turns back toward Sheryl, confused.
JEROME: What's that?
SHERYL: What we're gonna do about Billie Reed. She's the only one who knows it's me, and not Nick that put that virus on the server. If we don't take her out somehow, the entire plan falls apart.
Jerome looks back at the laptop screen, sighing under his breath, as he thinks about what to do about Billie.

Justin packs up to head off for the office, as Alex finishes his cup of coffee, still deep in thought about how to deal with his mother's campaign for governor, and the server breach at Titan, when Henderson walks into the room, with Tyler in tow.
HENDERSON: Good morning, gentlemen. A Mr. Houston to see you.
JUSTIN: Thanks, Henderson, have him come in.
Henderson stands back to allow Tyler to come in, before exiting the room.
TYLER: Justin! Alex! I'm glad I caught you before you headed in for the day. I think we need to have a bit of a talk.
ALEX: Us? I thought we were having an emergency board meeting today?
TYLER: We are. And it's an all-departments one so you'll be expected to join us, Alex. But the three of us are going to have to come up with an action plan beforehand.
Justin turns to look at Tyler, confused.
JUSTIN: Action plan? For what?
TYLER: For how exactly we're going to make sure Nick Fallon doesn't singlehandedly torpedo this entire company.
Alex and Justin look at each other, more baffled than ever. Tyler looks at both of them with deadly seriousness.

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks & C. Nathaniel Richardson  

Sonny gets up from the sofa in his apartment, a bit angry as Will holds onto the contract from EnerNext, which he had attempted to present to Sonny.
WILL: What do you mean, I can't take this job?
SONNY: You can't, Will! This job...it's a mistake.

Will gets up from the sofa, and walks over to the desk, placing the contract on it, deliberately where Sonny can see.
WILL: Why? Because you don't like it? I thought you just said you believed in my work.
SONNY: I've told you why, Will. It's not about your talent or your work, it's that you're working for a corrupt organization--
WILL: That your Great Uncle owns. That your father works for as legal counsel. If they're so damned evil, why is it that every penny of your family's money stem from that corporation.
Sonny walks off toward the bedroom, shaking his head as Will follows him.
WILL: Don't walk away from me! You know I'm right.
Sonny stops and turns around, pointing angrily at Will.
SONNY: No. No, I don't know you're right, Will. In fact, I can give you a hundred reasons why this is the worst decision you could possibly make.

EJ stands in the DiMera living room, looking over some paperwork quickly, when he hears a commotion from the foyer. 

After a moment of listening, he heads for the doorway and not long after, the doors to the living room swing open, with Harold trying in vain to keep an enraged Jennifer Horton from walking into the room.
EJ: Good Lord, Jennifer! I would've figured a family of middle class doctors would have raised their children to have better manners than that.
JENNIFER: Don't even START with me, EJ! I want answers.
EJ: About what?
JENNIFER: About where my daughter is, and why did you send her halfway across the world, and don't even think for a second it wasn't your idea, I saw you yesterday at the hospital, so give up the game!
EJ looks frustrated, and looks away for a moment to try to answer respectfully.

John steps into the Titan board room, striding in with casual confidence, much to Victor's chagrin.
VICTOR: John! What a surprise. I expect you've come for the meeting.
JOHN: Well, I wasn't planning on it, mostly because no one told me until just very recently.
John stops behind Kate's seat and casually puts a hand on Kate's shoulder. Kate tenses, a bit surprised by John's touch, but looks back to Victor, who notices the small but pointed gesture.
VICTOR: Fascinating.
JOHN: I thought so. Now, I've got a question for you, Vic.
VICTOR: Now isn't a great time, we're in the middle of a vote.
John puts both hands on his hips. A smile grows on John's face as he walks towards Victor.
JOHN: A vote, hm? See. Now, that actually, was exactly what my question was about.
VICTOR: Really.
JOHN: You know it! Here's what I wanna know, Vic. Have you retained Brady's place on the board, or have you had him declared dead?
Will folds his arms, looking unimpressed at Sonny as Sonny lays into him for considering the EnerNext job.
WILL: Alright. Go ahead, Sonny. Tell me why I shouldn't take the best damned job that's ever been offered to me.
SONNY: Will, there will be other jobs that are just as good as this one.
WILL: Oh, so I should follow my dreams, but only when they line up with your world view.
SONNY: Will, that's not what I'm saying.
WILL: Yes, it's exactly what you're saying! What makes you the authority on what's right and what's wrong?
SONNY: I'm saying that I know what it's like to have someone flash a lot of money in front of your face. It can change you really quickly.
Sonny walks in closer to Will and puts his hands on Will's shoulders. He looks intently into his eyes.
SONNY: I want you to be careful, Will.
WILL: I'm not exactly from a poor home, you know. I can take care of myself.
Sonny looks down, dropping his hands to his sides as he thinks his answer through.
SONNY: Okay. I don't think you should take this job, but if it's something you really want, and I mean truly, truly, want....then I will support that.
Will leans over and kisses Sonny on the lips. They both smile as they look warmly at each other.
WILL: Thank you.
SONNY: Just remember, Uncle Vic can suck in even the best, most generous people in the world, and turn them into cynical, bitter, entitled bastards. Watch yourself.
Will nods in understanding.
WILL: Got it.
Will and Sonny come together for a warm embrace, before slowly leaning in to kiss each other gently on the lips. They look at each other, standing forehead-to-forehead and giggle before kissing again. Flopping down on the couch, they kiss a bit more intensely, before Will pushes Sonny back gently and climbs on top of him. 

Gabi walks in just at that same moment and jumps back, but smiles as she sees her roommates together.
GABI: Well what did I just walk in on.
Sonny and Will laugh as they separate. Will jumps off the couch and heads towards Gabi, greeting her with a quick hug.
WILL: Ohhh nothing, just some fiancee/fiancee bonding time. Oh I have some news.
GABI: Oh yeah?
Will walks over to the desk again and pulls the contract from the manila envelope it had been in. He shows it to Gabi.
WILL: I have been offered a job. A very...very...good...job.
Gabi's eyes widen as she quickly looks at it.
GABI: Wow! PR for Titan. That's HUGE, Will. Congrats!
Gabi and Will lean in to hug each other. Gabi's smiling widely as she embraces him. Will pulls back after their hug and looks at Gabi a little oddly.
WILL: You seem so...relaxed.
Gabi's taken aback slightly by Will's statement. She walks past him, heading for the couch, where she quickly flops down.
GABI: Really? Why, was I super-tense before?
SONNY: Well...not to put too fine a point on it, but....yeah.
Gabi looks at Sonny, who's sitting next to her on the sofa, and laughs a bit.
GABI: Well...if I am, it's because all of our troubles are soon gonna completely disappear.
EJ sighs as he walks over to the minibar and grabs a glass, holding it up as he speaks to an unimpressed Jenn.
EJ: You look like you could use a drink.
EJ turns around as Jenn smacks the glass from his hand, smashing it against the wall. EJ stands still, stunned by her rage.
EJ: Or several.
JENNIFER: This is not a game, EJ. I want to know where my daughter is.
EJ: Jennifer, your daughter took a job in Italy for a few weeks. It is not a big deal. It's a very short assignment that came up last minute. I apologize if she didn't talk to you about it, but I have a feeling, considering your rather hysterical reaction just now that I know why she didn't.
Jennifer, undaunted, steps in close to EJ, an intensity in her eyes that says she means business.
JENNIFER: My daughter would not have done anything like this if it weren't for you. She has been acting like a complete basket case for months ever since she quit the hospital.
EJ: And you blame me for that.
JENNIFER: Yes, I blame you! You are the only thing that connects all of this. Ever since you two have been talking about Jack's book, ever since she's been looking after Johnny and Sydney and Allie, then quitting her job out of nowhere to work for you and Sami.
EJ stops Jennifer, holding up one finger to make a quick interjection. He speaks almost too calmly back to an enraged Jennifer.
EJ: That was all Samantha's idea. She saw your daughter was in need and did what any good friend and shrewd businesswoman would do.
JENNIFER: Because of you. It's all because of you. It's so obvious to me now. You did something or said something to her that upset her so much that she was forced out of the hospital. Didn't you?
EJ rolls his eyes, worried that Jenn is onto him, he looks back at Jenn with a frustrated look.
Victor stands at the head of the board room table, looking on angrily at John.
VICTOR: How dare you? Of course I'm retaining Brady's seat on the board. No one's declared him dead yet, have you?
JOHN: Nope, I had no intention of it. I know strange things can happen in this town, and I won't believe he's gone until I see a body.
VICTOR: Then what the hell are you asking for?
John steps forward towards Victor and puts his briefcase down on the table. He speaks very casually, which is offputting to Victor.
JOHN: Well, Brady made me proxy in the event of his absence from all vital Titan board meetings, and I know that in the event of my absence, that you, Victor, would gain his proxy vote.
Victor sighs, knowing John is right, and with a glint of worry in Victor's eye.
VICTOR: That is the truth.
TYLER: We were just coming up on Brady's vote, in fact.
JOHN: Perfect. I'd be happy to help.
Victor looks sharply at Tyler, muttering to him in hopes John doesn't hear.
VICTOR: Be careful, Houston. We may be in big trouble now.
TYLER: (quietly) Well, you thought Kate and company were on your side as well, so John may surprise you yet.
VICTOR: Fair enough.
Kate looks at the goings on at the head of the table and pulls both Billie and Lucas in close.
KATE: (whispering) I think I see sweat forming on Victor's brow already.
LUCAS: (whispering) Let's just hope for everyone's sake that John doesn't vote against us.
Billie shushes both her mom and brother, pointing to the front of the board room.
Victor looks back John's way, as Tyler clears his throat, looking back toward John.
TYLER: So! Yes. Back to the vote. John Black, as proxy voter for Brady Black, a vote of 'yay' would mean you are in favour of retaining the Titan TV division, a vote of 'nay' would mean you are in favour of Titan divesting of all Titan TV properties. What say you?
John looks calmly around the room, smiling as the rest of the room impatiently waits for his answer.
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