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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.


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DAYS #115: Percy finds Nick, and Jerome and Sheryl discuss their next move

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson  
Sheryl runs frantically around her room at the Salem Inn, packing up the last of her toiletries, as her cell phone goes off.   Picking it up, she checks and sees that a message has appeared from Jerome.   Lakeview Motel, 1937 Highway 50. Booked under Sally Francis, meet u there   Sheryl takes a moment to read the text before putting the phone in her jacket pocket, and zipping up her suitcase, being sure she hasn't left anything behind.   SHERYL: Thank you, Jerome. Saving lives yet again.   Sheryl grabs her suitcase and runs out of the room, struggling with her bag. As she drops the bag to pull the handle out so she can roll the suitcase out, her ID falls out onto the floor. Sheryl, not noticing, carries on, closing the hotel room door behind her as she makes her escape.   ---  
Jerome, quickly walking down the stairs to his family home, is encountered by his grandmother, Valerie, who is just arriving home from the hospital. She looks surprised as she greets him.   VALERIE: Hey, Jerome!...Baby, where you going?
JEROME: Have to take care of something at Salem U.   Jerome quickly kisses his grandmother on the cheek as he grabs his jacket and heads for the door. Valerie turns around, befuddled.   VALERIE: I...he...hey! Weren't we supposed to go for dinner at the Brady Pub tonight?
JEROME: Uh....I don't know how late I'll be, Grandma. Look...why don't I text you when I'm done and we can meet up there, kay?
VALERIE: Okay...sure...Jerome?   Jerome stops, having started to open the door, and very clearly in a hurry.   JEROME: Yeah, Grandma?
VALERIE: Don't be too long. I'd love to spend some time with you, we've both been really busy lately.   Jerome stops, and turns to look at his disappointed grandmother. He smiles sheepishly.   JEROME: You're right. I'm sorry. I'll be there as soon as I can.    Valerie looks on, smiling warmly at Jerome.   VALERIE: I love you.
JEROME: Love you too.   Jerome takes off out the door, leaving a frustrated Valerie behind.   ---  
Jordan lies in bed next to Rafe. As they lay together in Rafe's bedroom, Jordan wrapped in Rafe's arms, she looks, at last, content, her new engagement ring shining on her finger.   Jordan begins to dream, recalling Sheryl's ominous threat from earlier:   ***   FLASHBACK TO EPISODE 105   Jordan stands in Sheryl's office, and looks down, arms still folded in discomfort as she tries to hold herself back. Sheryl looks on, standing behind her desk. Jordan sighs heavily, as she wordlessly listens to Sheryl’s emphatic words.   SHERYL: You can pretend like you have this great future with Rafe, Jordan, but we both know that once we launch that virus tonight, the ISA and the Salem PD are going to be onto us, and you and I will have to leave town and take on a new identity. There’s no way out Jordan. Even if you back out now.   ***   Jordan's snapped out of her memory by the sound of her phone buzzing.    Trying to pick it up from the bedside table without waking Rafe, she reaches over to the table, and reads the name on the call:   It's Sheryl.   Sighing heavily, she ponders answering the call.   ---  
Percy steps into the Titan Lab, excited for the news Nick was to have for him by evening.   PERCY: Greetings! ...Nicholas?    Percy, unsure whether Nick is even in the room, steps delicately into the lab, looking around, confused.   PERCY: Nicholas, I just received your text messages inviting me to come on down here...   Seeing a single desk lamp illuminated by Nick's still-open laptop, Percy slowly makes his way over towards it. Midway there, Percy's shoe crushes some glass from where Nick dropped the test tubes as he fell. The crunching sound startles Percy, as he looks down at the ground.  
Looking down with a furrowed brow, Percy pivots the desk lamp slightly to catch a better light at the ground. Seeing more test tubes broken, Percy hastily walks over to one side of the room and flips on the lights, at which point, he sees Nick collapsed on the ground surrounded by the shattered test tubes.   He looks on stunned.   ---     ---   Jordan decides the cancel the call to Sheryl, then fumbles to turn her phone off, before laying it down.   Laying the phone back down before snuggling back into a sleeping Rafe, she sighs, thinking to herself.   JORDAN: (in her head) Sorry, Sheryl. You're on your own from now on.   Jordan shuts her eyes, and nods off, comfortable in the arms of her fiancé.   ---   Sheryl stands in her new room at the Lakeview Motel, irritated as she pulls the cell phone from her ear after Jordan hung up on her.   SHERYL: Dammit. You stupid...(sigh)   Shortly thereafter, Jerome's car pulls up out front of her room. Not wanting to draw attention to herself, Sheryl walks over to the door, and quickly waves Jerome inside.  Once inside, Sheryl quickly closes and locks the door.   JEROME: Glad you made it.
SHERYL: Yeah, well, I had a hell of a time finding the place. The maps app needs to do a bit of updating with all the construction around that stupid oil field.   Sheryl paces the room, keeping an eye out the window for any unwelcome visitors.   JEROME: Well, if things go according to plan--   Sheryl snaps at Jerome, turning abruptly around to respond to Jerome.   SHERYL: Oh things are definitely not going to plan now.
JEROME: What do you mean?
SHERYL: I mean we're caught. They bugged my laptop, and they blew up my laptop before I could plant the virus.   Jerome looks on, very worried. He sighs, looking down away from Sheryl as he tries to help her figure out what to do next.   JEROME: Damn...okay, so...you got a good idea who planted it there?
SHERYL: Fairly certain it was Billie Reed. She's uh...Lucas' sister.
JEROME: Okay...and you can't think of anyone else who might be a suspect? Like that Nick dude who you were planning to set up as the fall guy for this?   Sheryl looks down, eventually shaking her head.   SHERYL: Nah...I mean (sigh) honestly, I don't know. She could be in cahoots with him but...Nick's a bit of a lone wolf. I checked him out pretty thoroughly and he only ever was working alone. From what I've gathered, he's alienated too many people in town to really have any allies at this rate.
JEROME: But you haven't spoken to him at all since before the virus was supposed to be planted.
SHERYL: No, I haven't. I wouldn't bother keeping him too closeby anyway. The little twerp wouldn't know if he was on foot or horseback.   Sheryl flashes a smirk at Jerome momentarily, before looking down more pensively. She continues her thought.   SHERYL: Besides, I honestly thought he was genuinely on our side with this. That's what made this whole set up so easy. Nick was gonna be working late at the lab, playing innocent, while Jordan, you and I planted the virus, and--   Jerome interrupts Sheryl, raising a point of his own.   JEROME: Speaking of Jordan...what's gonna happen there? I mean...if you're caught, I mean...you and Jordan are so tightly connected...it's only a matter of time before the cops come looking for both of you.   Sheryl laughs dismissively, shaking her head as she paces the room some more.   SHERYL: Try telling Jordan that. No, she's completely fixated on this fairytale life she's constructed in her mind with Rafe Hernandez. She's completely beyond seeing any sense about it.
JEROME: Well, what are you gonna do? She can't stay here, she's a liability.
SHERYL: Oh I know. That's the thing, though. She can't stay and we can't go anywhere without her or we're sunk too.
JEROME: So?   Sheryl stops, and stares out the window, resigned to a fate she didn't anticipate.   SHERYL: We've got to stay here, under the radar until we're able to get Jordan out of here...whether she likes it or not.   Jerome looks on, gravely concerned for Sheryl and Jordan's safety.   ---  
Julie, Maggie, Alex, and Will walk out of the archway leading into the new Penthouse Grille. They all are talking amongst themselves, still congratulatory over Julie being named manager by Maggie.   JULIE: Oh, thank you again, Maggie. You know, I know that it's gonna mean long hours and it'll probably put a bit of a crimp in my travel time with Doug, but...you know, honestly, I think it's about time we spent a bit more time here in Salem with the family.
MAGGIE: I agree.
WILL: Completely.   The group laughs, as Julie turns to press the button for the elevator.   MAGGIE: Well, listen, we're going to finalize details this week, and then everything should be ready for the grand opening in a couple weeks. How's that sound?
JULIE: Wonderful. Thanks again, Maggie. For everything.   Julie takes Maggie's hands and holds them in hers. They look warmly at each other, before Maggie pulls Julie into a hug.   MAGGIE: Anything for family.
JULIE: Absolutely. And speaking of family, you keep me posted about how Victor's doing. I want him to make a speedy recovery.
MAGGIE: I will.   The elevator doors open, and Julie steps on, the rest of the group looking on.   JULIE: Good night.
ALEX: Night, Julie.   As the doors shut, Maggie turns to Alex and Will and smiles.   MAGGIE: Now...if you'll excuse me, boys. I still have menu items I'm going to have to finalize ingredient sources for. I'll be in my office.
ALEX: Alright, we'll see you later.
WILL: Thanks, Aunt Maggie.   Maggie hugs both Will and then Alex, before walking back into the still-under-construction restaurant, headed for her office, leaving Will and Alex alone.   Will turns away awkwardly, trying to avoid a private moment with Alex. Alex, meanwhile, turns toward Will, and, noticing Will's avoidance, calls out to him.   ALEX: Hey! Where you going?   Will plays it cool, and checks his watch as he talks.   WILL: Well, I gotta get home. I have a fiancé waiting, and I was supposed to be home about oh....two hours ago?
ALEX: Ahh...yeah. Sonny. Listen, I...I hope you two are in a better place than you were the night of the party at Uncle Vic's, I--   Will holds his hand up to stop Alex midsentence.   WILL: Sonny and I are fine. We worked things out, just like always.    Alex smiles, somewhat half-heartedly, as Will pushes the down button on the elevator himself.   ALEX: I'm glad to hear it.
WILL: And how's...Noelle, is it?   Alex tries to look at Will but the tension in the air between them makes it awkward. Alex shuffles a bit, looking away a lot as he tries to avoid answering Will's question.   ALEX: Yeah! She's...uh...well...she's fine. We had a...bit of an argument but...
WILL: Oh...I'm sorry to hear.   As the elevator door opens, Will smiles at Alex before stepping on. Will turns to face Alex, and smiles at him.    WILL: You coming?   Alex doesn't react for a moment, still deep in his own thoughts, before responding to Will by motioning his refusal.   ALEX: No! No, no. I uh...I gotta take care of some stuff at the office. You go ahead. I'll see you tomorrow.
WILL: Kay. Have a good night.
ALEX: Night, Will.   Will smiles as the elevator door closes. Once the door shuts, Will's face immediately drops in relief. He rests himself against the back wall of the elevator, and lets out a heavy sigh.   WILL: Well, Will? You did it. You made it through another day without cracking. (sigh) How much longer can you keep doing it, though?   On the other side of the elevator door, Alex turns back around, unsure of how he feels. He pulls out his cell phone, to text Noelle, initially, before seeing Will's name at the top of his "recent texts" list.   Nearly clicking Will's name instead, he finally taps on Noelle's name, and texts her:   omw home. u awake?   Alex sighs as looks down at his phone, trying to process the evening's events.   ---   Percy kneels over a still-passed out Nick, shaking him to try to revive him.   PERCY: Nicholas! Wake up! Are you okay???   Nick struggles to revive himself, grunting as he starts to come to. Percy seems relieved when he does.   NICK: Ugh...uhhhh Percy...
PERCY: Yes, Nicholas, what can I do?
NICK: Per...Percy grab my pills, they're in my bag. I need two. My head.   Nick's world spins around him, the pain still pulsating in his head. The pressure unbearable.   Percy leaps into action, grabbing Nick's bag and rummaging through it. Pulling out the pills, Nick begins to lift himself up. Percy struggles to find an in-tact glass to give Nick water, but eventually does, as Nick rests on the ground, head still woozy.   NICK: The...pills...
PERCY: They're on their way, Nicholas.   Nick nods slowly, trying to catch his breath, as he lifts one hand up and studies it. Realizing his hands are bloodied, he looks at them, an exaggerated surprise in his eyes.   NICK: What happ--agh!   A sharp pain hits Nick, as Percy tries to feed Nick his pills. Nick hastily swallows the pills and grabs the water, spilling much of it on himself as he drinks up.   PERCY: Excellent, excellent. There we go, Nicholas. Now...how do you feel?
NICK: (gasping) like Hell. But....(pant) I'll be okay. Percy!   Percy, getting up from Nick's side, looks back and kneels back down.    PERCY: Nicholas...who did this to you?   Nick looks at Percy, confused for a moment, before smiling through his pain.   NICK: This? What? Heh heh heh oh this???   Nick holds his hands up to show the bloodied mess to Percy, as well as realizing he has a rather sizeable cut above his eyebrow.   NICK: Oh, that was...nothing.
PERCY: Well, it seems to me like someone's out to hurt you, and it wouldn't surprise me, under the circumstances.
NICK: No, no, Percy....you need to listen to me carefully...(gasp) You can't tell ANYONE, no cops, nobody here at Titan...no one at the TV station...nobody...can know about this...or anything we've been doing here, okay? If anyone asks, you say nothing, and you can't tell anyone anything if something happens to me, okay? You can't....you can't trust ANYONE, got it?   Percy looks at Nick, even more terrified. He nods quickly back at Nick.   PERCY: Absolutely, Nicholas.
NICK: I know...I know I look bad right now, but....you don't understand, now that things have gone down? You have to stay absolutely silent, no matter what. Or there'll be a target on all of our backs. Got it?   Percy draws himself up, petrified, and believing Nick's current state is the result of someone attacking him. He begins to shake a bit in terror at the situation at hand, his eyes never off Nick's intense gaze.   ---




DAYS #114: Maggie makes Julie a gracious offer, Nick's blackmail spree continues

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson    
Maggie, Julie, Alex, and Will step into the main hall of what will soon be the re-opened Penthouse Grille. The building is still very much a work-in-progress, with scaffoldings all around the room, and half-completed painting on the walls. Still, the group is impressed by what will soon come.   MAGGIE: So I just want to thank everyone for coming down here. I know it was last minute and I apologize for changing the venue so suddenly, but I'm glad you could all make it down here.
WILL: It's no trouble at all. 
MAGGIE: I'm pleased. Because I couldn't wait to show you all.   Maggie holds out her arms, beaming with excitement as she turns around like a game show model to show off the new restaurant.   MAGGIE: This is the new space.   Julie looks around the room, smiling excitedly alongside Maggie.   JULIE: Maggie, this is going to be incredible! Oh, you must be so excited.
ALEX: She's not the only one. We have an elaborate marketing campaign planned for this space to go along with a modern, upscale decor, and plush furnishings. This place is going to be THE hotspot of Salem.   Will looks to Alex, giving a playful grin to him.   WILL: You'd better be careful, your brother might get jealous and fight back.   The group share a laugh, before Alex responds in kind.   ALEX: Well, it's all in the family. I think there's enough of a market in Salem for both spaces to operate successfully.
MAGGIE: Well, I agree. And I think Sonny's plan, from what he told me earlier, was that he planned to use the TBD space going forward more as a lounge and less as a dinner space, so I'm absolutely sure we can find the right balance.
JULIE: Absolutely. Besides, with how unbelievably grand this place is, this could be a premier spot for events.   Maggie smiles and turns to face Julie, almost bursting with excitement.   MAGGIE: Well, I'm glad you're so enthusiastic about it, Julie, because I had something I wanted to ask you.   Julie stands dumbstruck. Unsure what to expect, she turns to face Maggie.   JULIE: Me? What is it, Maggie?
MAGGIE: Well...I know you have a whole lot of enthusiasm and decades of experience in running clubs like this...would you do me the honour of running the Penthouse Grille? Julie looks at Maggie, suprised and beginning to smile.   ---  
Tyler stands in the Titan Lab with Nick. Tyler is incensed by Nick's demands of him, and responds angrily.   TYLER: You have absolutely no grounds to make demands of me, young man.   Nick turns to face him, nonchalantly. He looks directly into Tyler's eyes as he smriks, cooly responding to Tyler's rage.   NICK: I would watch that tone you take with me. You remember the fact I had access to the security system and was able to not only track down but also prevent this virus from going through? What makes you think I don't have access to anything else around here?   Tyler draws himself up, uncomfortable with the direction Nick's going with this.   NICK: You see, I know an awful lot about a lot of people in this building. Including you...your brother...and where your connections in "business" really are. Don't test me, Tyler.   Tyler's face goes ghost white as Nick slowly hints at his familial connections, sighing heavily as he realizes what's at stake.   ---  
Noelle and Nicole sit at the bar at Club TBD. The soft, intimate lighting creates a relaxed mood for the two, as the tensions between them lower with each drink. As Nicole sets her martini down, Noelle lifting hers to her lips to take a sip.   NICOLE: So for the record: Victor Kiriakis is a safe topic with me. There is no love lost between him and I.   Noelle turns, intrigued.   NOELLE: Oh really? Why, what did Old Man Vic do to you?
NICOLE: Ohhh...I could tell you but...we'd need a few weeks before I finish. Let's just say it took me a few years, a murder attempt, some blackmail, and a court case...yeah...he's...taken me to the cleaners a few times.  
Nicole quickly finishes her martini, trying to wash down the memories of Victor, before holding up her finger to catch T's attention.   NICOLE: T! Another martini?
T: Sure thing, Miss Walker.
NICOLE: Thanks, darlin'.   Nicole turns again to face Noelle, with a raised eyebrow and a cheeky grin.   NICOLE: What did that sour old malaka do to you?   Noelle chortles at Nicole's crack, before turning back in Nicole's direction, putting her martini down on the bar.   NOELLE: Well..for one, he killed my father.   Nicole looks on, stunned by the grave news.   ---     ---   Julie stands, amazed as Maggie smiles back at her.   JULIE: Me? You...You want me to run this...this beautiful place?
MAGGIE: I couldn't think of anyone better suited to it. You and Doug have been masters in this field for a very, very long time. Heck, you even teach ME a thing or two now and then.   Everyone laughs as Maggie reaches into her bag and pulls out the keys to the restaurant. She holds them out for Julie to take.   JULIE: Maggie, I don't know what to say!
MAGGIE: Say yes! (laughs) It would be my honour to have you be my right hand.    Julie takes a moment, before taking the keys from Maggie. They immediately reach for each other and give each other a warm hug, laughing and beaming as Alex and Will applaud their new family venture.   ---  
JJ holds the cheque Liam's given him in his hands as he sits on the sofa in the Horton living room. He looks over at a smiling Liam, who sits nearby in an easy chair, with Jenn sitting along the back of the chair, beaming at her son.   JJ: I...I honestly don't know what to say, Liam.
LIAM: Don't say anything right now. Think about it. I know we...we really haven't seen eye-to-eye so far but...I just figured this could be a step in the right direction.    JJ looks up at Liam, seriously. He then looks up at his smiling mom, and nods.   JJ: Alright. Give me some time. But...I just want you to know...I really appreciate this.   JJ gets up from the sofa, as Liam does as well, and Jennifer walks toward the two of them, resting her arms on Liam's broad shoulder.   LIAM: It's my pleasure, JJ.   The two men shake hands as Liam turns toward Jennifer.   LIAM: I think....it's time we took ourselves out for the evening. JJ, let me know what you decide.
JJ: Will do. Have a good time, you guys.   Jennifer pulls JJ into a tight hug.   JENNIFER: Thank you, Sweetie. I'll see you later.
JJ: Bye, Mom.   As Jenn follows Liam out of the room, JJ turns back away from the two of them, his face dropping with worry as he holds the cheque in his hands. He shakes his head, increasingly unsure of Liam and his motives.   ---   Nicole looks at Noelle, shocked by what she's just heard, as she uncomfortably stirs her martini, trying to find a response.   NICOLE: So...uh...wait, your...your dad...
NOELLE: Neil Curtis.
NICOLE: Neil Curtis...how did he get involved with Victor?   Noelle casually takes a sip of her martini before responding to Nicole.   NOELLE: Oh, I don't think we have time for all that--
NICOLE: Oh come on, you can't drop a bomb like that and just tell me you don't wanna talk about it--   Noelle interrupts Nicole's complaining, leaning back and sighing, rolling her eyes in defeat.   NOELLE: OKAY, okay, fine. If you really wanna know, my dad had a gambling problem, and...ugh...it's complicated, my mother-in-law...Anjelica...she was with my dad at the time, and...   Nicole's eyes dart back and forth as Noelle explains, trying to keep track of the complicated connections in her head.   NOELLE: I dunno, Victor wanted Anjelica for himself, so he manipulated dad into going back into gambling and then...started loan sharking him and...well...that's when things started going downhill. Dad had to close Blondie's, I dunno if you remember driving past that place when you were young.
NICOLE: Must've been before my time.   Noelle shrugs, and stirs her martini, still a bit wistful as she recalls her early childhood.   NOELLE: Well...by then I was living with my mom in LA anyway, so...I wasn't around for any of that, really. I just know that when my dad finally moved to LA to be near us...he was...he wasn't well. He was...weary. Worn down. He never told us anything about what happened with Victor after he lost Blondie's but...you could tell it hurt him a lot. Mom and I really helped him feel....normal again, I guess, but...he put himself head first into his work. Mom and I never knew why he was obsessed with working and money and...he just...never seemed to have enough on the go, never let a penny slip.   Noelle looked up at Nicole, deadly serious. Nicole looks back, engrossed in Noelle's confessional story.   NICOLE: Victor still had Neil by the balls?
NOELLE: Oh yeah. You could definitely say that. Victor may have mellowed with the mafia stuff...
NICOLE: ...But he can still hold a grudge better than anyone.   Noelle nods before looking down, holding her martini glass between her hands.   NOELLE: Exactly. And my dad had a heart attack...about two years ago. And only when he died did we find out...he barely had any estate left. He had bled every account, every...trust...down to nothing...just so Mom and I didn't feel deprived or like...he was a burden on us. It was all a show, Nicole. Victor had never stopped feeding his addiction...but it was always there, and to the day he died, he was on the hook to that man. It was sick.   Nicole reaches a hand out to Noelle, squeezing it gently.   NICOLE: I'm so sorry.   Noelle, fighting back tears, smiles half-heartedly, never looking up from the table.   NOELLE: Thanks...so...yeah...
NICOLE: You know....I know this is rich coming from me but...do you think, maybe it's healthier to just....let go of that anger? I mean...you've got a good life, a wonderful husband who loves you--   Noelle guffaws at Nicole's mention of Alex, interrupting her.   NOELLE: Yeah. He loves me so much he just chastised me like a three year-old for saying mean things to his almighty Uncle Vic's lifeless body.   Noelle rolls her eyes as she takes a sip from her drink. She then stops...shakes her head slowly in response, still looking down at her hand, clasped in Nicole's.   NOELLE: Nah...Victor Kiriakis...he's got some reparations to repay me...heh...and my mom. I'll never forgive him for what he did to my dad. And I'm gonna make sure he pays.   Noelle looks intensely into Nicole's eyes, while Nicole looks back, taken a bit aback by Noelle's simmering rage.   ---   Tyler, incensed by Nick's posturing, steps towards him, pointing angrily at him.   TYLER: You don't know what you're getting yourself involved in, little boy. This goes way deeper than you want to get into.   Nick scoffs, laughing at Tyler's attempts to scare him.   NICK: Oh, hah, I know. Trust me, I looked into it. I mean, I know Houston is a relatively common name and all, but...like...seriously, Tyler, it doesn't take all that much digging to make the connection. 
TYLER: I don't know what you're talking about.
NICK: The fact that you've been involved with Victor Kiriakis up to your neck for decades. This whole...EnerNext thing is just the first time we're hearing about it. Victor hired you to run his mob businesses under a separate corporation from Titan to distance himself, and he knew you'd be able to do the job thanks to you and your brother's biker gang ties.   Tyler looks exasperated, not knowing exactly how to shut Nick down, he lets him carry on.   NICK: So you ran it all, keeping Victor at arm's length until it became expedient for Victor to reign you in because he started to run out of money from his legitimate business. Only by then, you'd gone big time. Got all involved in shady middle eastern oil cartels. Shall I bring up Jack Deveraux's kidnapping in Afghanistan while he was doing a story on your shady dealings? I think that'd go over real well at the Titan meeting--   Tyler finally snaps, cutting a smug Nick off.   TYLER: Alright, ENOUGH!   Nick looks at Tyler dead in the eye, a deep intensity between the two men as Tyler moves in extremely close to Nick, a threatening look in his eye. He threatens him in a quiet but firm voice.   TYLER: You get what you want this time from me, Fallon...but you better watch your back from here on in. Those connections you spoke of aren't child's play. You're in with the big boys now.   Tyler steps away from Nick, heading for the door of the lab, Nick stays still, but donning his trademark smirk as he watches Tyler leave.   NICK: See you at the board meeting tomorrow, Tyler.   Tyler looks back momentarily, before stepping out of the room. As Tyler leaves, Nick exhales, as though he'd held in the world's pressure on his shoulders and is suddenly releasing it. The pain in his head becomes immediately visible on his face, as he struggles to maintain his balance.   Nick hears a shrill, high-pitched sound get louder and louder, as he struggles to maintain his balance and clarity.
Nick rests against the counter of the lab, fighting to keep his balance as dizziness overwhelms him. He screams out in pain as he falls over, taking a collection of test tubes down with him. They shatter on the ground as he collapses.   ---




DAYS #113: Sheryl's on the run, Liam has a surprise for JJ

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson    
Jennifer and Liam laugh and chatter as they walk into the Horton living room, as JJ sits on the couch, snacking and watching TV.    JENNIFER: JJ! Hey, honey.   JJ turns toward Liam and Jennifer, greeting his mom and her boyfriend unenthusiastically.   JJ: Oh. Hey, guys.
JENNIFER: Listen, JJ, honey? Liam and I are just getting ready for a later dinner, so I'm gonna pop quickly in the shower.
JJ: Sure, Mom.   Jennifer turns to Liam for a moment.   JENNIFER: You don't mind if you wait for me a few minutes?
LIAM: Yeah! That's great. I uh...I had something I wanted to talk about with JJ, anyway, so...   Jennifer smiles warmly at Liam as she leans in to give him a quick peck on the lips before heading upstairs.   JENNIFER: Alright. See you in a few minutes.
LIAM: You bet, Jen.   Jennifer runs upstairs, as Liam walks toward the archway between the Horton living room and foyer. JJ tries to avoid engaging with Liam, instead focusing closely on his TV show. He can sense Liam's presence and is made increasingly uncomfortable, before Liam speaks.   LIAM: Hey, JJ. 
JJ: Yeah. Hey Liam.   Liam saunters into the Horton living room casually, hands in his pockets as he moves toward the sofa, where JJ is.   LIAM: Look, I...I kinda feel like you and I we...we started off on the wrong foot.
JJ: You could say that.   Liam pauses a moment, looking over JJ's unchanging expression, before carrying on with his attempts to converse with him.   LIAM: I ah...I talked to your mom about you.   JJ continues to avoid Liam's gaze, staring instead straight ahead at the TV set.   JJ: Oh yeah.
LIAM: Yeah...I uh...(sigh) Look...JJ....   Liam steps over to sit beside JJ on the sofa, JJ still trying to avoid engaging, but upon Liam sitting down, JJ looks over, and locks eyes with his mom's mysterious beau.   LIAM: I know I've sorta...given off a very negative impression to you in the last few months and I...I didn't know really what I could do to change your mind.   JJ shrugs dispassionately, trying to turn his attentions back to the TV.   JJ: I dunno. You kinda freaked me out there a couple times but...I don't really have a bad impression of you.   Liam smiles warmly at JJ.   LIAM: That's good.   Liam reaches into his blazer pocket, and pulls out an envelope, handing it to JJ.   LIAM: Because I was hoping that I could change that impression into something really good.   JJ looks down at the envelope, then, confused, up at Liam. Liam meets JJ's eyes and nods, trying to prompt JJ to take the envelope.   ---  
Nick sits at his computer in the Countess W lab, he suddenly leans back in his chair, lurching back looking victorious. It shocks a focused Tyler, who looks over at Nick.   NICK: Got it!
TYLER: What? Did you get 'em?
NICK: And dropped them right in your lap.   Tyler walks over towards Nick, staring at his laptop seriously, trying to figure out what's happened.   TYLER: Alright, but what, or should I say, who...did you drop in my lap?   Nick turns to look up at Tyler, smugly satisfied.   NICK: One employee in marketing by the name of Sheryl Connors...except that's not exactly her real name. She's been trying to take down your systems...and your company for months. And tonight, she and her cronies attempted to launch a virus to take your systems out, just like they did this morning with the Salem City Hall servers.   Tyler looks at Nick, stoic and taking in all the information he's being given.   TYLER: But you...stopped them in time?
NICK: There's some damage but nothing that's unrecoverable. So...yes.
TYLER: Did you get enough info on them to make charges stick.   Nick gives his now-trademark smirk, savouring the moment.   NICK: Ohh yeah. And then some.   ---  
Sheryl looks down at her smoking laptop, stunned and amazed by the collosal meltdown of her computer. Her shock quickly fades into anger as she realizes what's happened.   SHERYL: I'll kill h...   Sheryl picks up her laptop suddenly, ready to toss it across the room, when she notices a bump just on the lip of the bottom side. Turning the unit around suddenly, as the heat is too much for her hands, she drops the computer back onto her desk, and sees the bug Billie planted on her unit.   She flashes back to the door of the elevator opening and seeing Billie standing there.   Jolted back to reality, she comes to the obvious conclusion.   SHERYL: Billie.   ---  
Billie sits at her computer desk at Titan, flanked by her brother Lucas, and her mother, Kate. They all look on in awe as Billie exclaims suddenly.   BILLIE: They beat me.
LUCAS: Who did?
BILLIE: I have no idea...but someone got to them before we did...and now we...well...now we basically have nothing.   Kate's face sours instantly, standing up in frustration and begins pacing the room at her daughter's news.   KATE: DAMMIT. I can't believe that little tramp wins again.
BILLIE: Well...on the bright side, we did stop them from taking the entire company's secrets and flushing them down the drain on their way out.
KATE: That's cold comfort when the whole reason we did all this was to put Jordan Ridgeway and Sheryl Connors behind bars where they belong.   Billie looks up at her mother, a strange look in her eye.   BILLIE: Well...what if there's still a chance they do?   Kate stops, looking skeptically at Billie, as Lucas looks over at Billie, confused.   ---     ---  
Noelle walks into Club TBD, where she looks around to see the crowd. She spies a seat at the bar, and walks casually over, before speaking to the woman sitting the next seat over.   NOELLE: Excuse me...I seem to have caught this place on a busy night...is this seat taken?   The woman turns around to face Noelle.  
It's Nicole.   She looks at Noelle, sighing as she looks her up and down. She shakes her head.   NICOLE: No. It's free. Have a seat.   As Noelle lifts herself onto the stool, Nicole turns herself slightly toward Noelle.   NICOLE: Look, I'm...I'm sorry I snapped at you the last time we met...   Noelle pauses a moment before realizing Nicole's prompting her for her name.   NOELLE: Noelle--
NICOLE: Noelle! Yes! Sorry. I...look, I feel bad, I...I've had a really bad few weeks at work and...Eric and I...I don't have the best luck with men, and...Eric...he's the love of my life, and we were supposed to get married today.   Noelle looks at Nicole, nodding in understanding.   NOELLE: But the server at City Hall was down. Eric told us earlier.
NICOLE: Yeah...  
Nicole laughs half-heartedly to herself before taking a drink of her martini. During that moment, Noelle quickly prompts to T to give her a martini of her own, as Nicole continues.   NICOLE: I just really want this stress to be over with.
NOELLE: Oh, I get it. More than you'll ever know.   Nicole looks back at Noelle, intrigued.   NICOLE: Oh yeah? You sound like you had a rough evening, yourself.
NOELLE: I did indeed. And I have one Victor Kiriakis to thank for it.   Nicole looks on, suddenly fascinated by their common adversary.   ---
JJ stares at the envelope Liam's handed to him, as he sits on the sofa in the Horton living room. After a moment, he reaches for the envelope, as Jennifer emerges from upstairs.   JENNIFER: Liam, what's that?   JJ and Liam turn quickly around to see Jenn walking down the last of the stairs and heading toward the living room, wearing a simple dress and her hair still in a towel. Jennifer has a smile on her face as she approaches her boyfriend and her son.   LIAM: Oh this?   Liam points to the envelope he's just given JJ. He then turns to face JJ and smiles earnestly.   LIAM: This...well...see...when I said your mom and I we...talked about you...see...we talked about your dreams, JJ. How you wanted to go to Stanford, pursue a law degree. Well...that's expensive.   Jennifer looks at Liam, and back at JJ, trying to gauge the other's reaction. A smirk on her face as she wonders what Liam has up his sleeve. Meanwhile, JJ looks stunned by Liam's sudden shift in demeanour and tone towards him.   JJ: Yeah...it is...
LIAM: Your mom, she ah, she told me you'd have to take out student loans for this if you're accepted and that that's...put you off applying...I think...I hope this will make you reconsider.   JJ hesitates a moment before slowly opening the envelope. Inside, a cheque for $50,000. JJ's taken aback.   JJ: Wh...what?? What is this?   Liam points to the cheque and smiles at a confused JJ.   LIAM: Think of it as an investment in a great young mind.   JJ looks stunned, turning to a beaming Jennifer, who begins to tear up looking back at JJ, then back to a beaming Liam.   ---   Tyler stands in the Countess W lab, staring seriously at a very self-satisfied Nick.   TYLER: So you're saying that you've got this Connors woman...but what about her cronies?
NICK: The cronies are a bit harder to crack, but...I think if I...work on a bit...I should be able to get them too.   Tyler finally cracks a smile at the end of it all.   TYLER: That's fantastic, then.   Tyler shakes Nick's hand firmly, a proud look on his face, as he turns to head for the door of the lab.   TYLER: Listen, I'll make sure you receive a commendation with the board for this, and I'll have security escort Ms. Connors out right now--   Nick interrupts him, stopping him in his tracks as he emphatically interjects.   NICK: Wait wait wait wait. No, stop. We can't just go in there and throw her out. We're gonna do this my way...and she'll never see it coming.
TYLER: What do you mean?
NICK: If you want what I've got here, you're going to have to agree to my terms, Mr. Houston.   Tyler looks disgusted at Nick, shouting back in protest.   TYLER: I beg your par--
NICK: ...This is NOT a negotiation, Mr. Houston. Let Sheryl go for tonight. She won't be going anywhere just yet. She's got too many loose ends to tie up in Salem first.   ---   Sheryl hastily packs up her things from her office, including her computer and hard drive. She gets on her bluetooth and frantically calls Jerome as she grabs her jacket to leave.   ...  
Jerome stands in the Grant living room, holding the phone up to his ear, concerned.   JEROME:  (into phone) Hey, Sheryl, what happened?   ...   Struggling to put her jacket on as she races out, Sheryl speaks to Jerome.   SHERYL: (into phone) Someone caught us, and I'm pretty sure I know who. We need to meet NOW.   ...   Jerome's eyes bug out, suddenly in crisis mode.   JEROME: (into phone) Woah woah woah, wait. No no. We are not meeting now, not if they know about you.   ...   SHERYL: (into phone) Well, what else are we gonna do, Jerome?   ...   JEROME: (into phone) Just chill, ok? Get your stuff out your hotel room, check out. I'll get you a room at a motel at the edge of town. We'll meet there. I'ma text you the address, ok?   ...   SHERYL: (into phone) Fine, but make it quick. All hell's about to break loose.   Sheryl ends the call, and closes the door to her office, she sighs heavily, checking the hallways to make sure they're empty before heading out.    SHERYL: If it hasn't already.   Sheryl makes a beeline for the service stairwell, hoping the trip down eight floors will be faster and make her less liable of being caught.   ---   Kate stands by Billie and Lucas in Billie's office, looking unsure.   KATE: What do you mean? Is there a chance we can still nab them?   Billie looks down at her computer, thoughtfully. She taps her desk as she thinks, before turning toward Kate.   BILLIE: Well...the bug still caught a lot. Enough that we can probably still get charges to stick...and whoever it was that DID stop her from taking the server out...they're probably going to play their hand very soon.
LUCAS: So what are you saying? We just have to wait and see what happens?   Billie turns toward Lucas, nodding slowly.   BILLIE: Pretty much.   Kate and Lucas look at each other, incredulous.   ---




DAYS #112: The Virus

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson     Nick and Tyler burst into the MadWorld lab, making a beeline for Nick's laptop, which sits on a conference table at the far side of the room.   TYLER: I'm telling you, this better be the real deal or I'll have your head on the chopping block so fast, Mr. Fallon--
NICK: Don't worry. Once I show you what's going down...you'll be thanking me.   Nick leans over the table where his laptop sits, and opens it. Pressing the "on" button, the computer boots up quickly.   NICK: I don't make a habit of wasting anyone's time. Particularly my own.
TYLER: You better hope not, or I'll get security to hightail you out of this company so fast your head will spin.
NICK: That won't be neccessary. Just wait. I promise this'll be worth it.   Nick pulls up a chair and sits down in front of his computer. Opening up his surveillance program, he logs into Titan's security camera system. Tyler looks on, stunned.   TYLER: Wait, how did you get access to this? And who authorized it?
NICK: There's no time to explain that. I started checking things out when I became suspcious something was rotten with our suspect here, and this helps me keep tabs on them.    Nick turns to face Tyler, a blank, matter-of-fact look on his face.   NICK: You know, you really need to work on your firewalls. For a multinational, your digital security is incredibly vulnerable.   Tyler looks back at Nick with concern and surprise. Nick turns back toward the screen as he zeroes in on Sheryl's office.   NICK: Quite frankly, a security breach would be not only embarrassing...but could be really catastrophic.   Tyler and Nick focus in on Sheryl's office, where they spy her working away furiously at her workstation.   ---  
Sheryl sits at her desk, Bluetoon in ear, as she stares intensely at her screen. She speaks to Jerome through the Bluetooth, careful never to utter his name as she types and clicks her mouse through the various screens, preparing to load the virus that would destroy Titan's servers into her work computer.   SHERYL (into phone): I'm through the EnerNext partition.   Through her bluetooth, Sheryl hears Jerome's voices come through into her ear with his next instruction.   JEROME (via phone):  Alright. Two minutes to launch. Make sure you start in the backup hard disk. The backup isn't typically in use, therefore will be harder to detect we're in there before it gone.   Sheryl stares dead ahead at her screen. A smug smirk appears on her face as she answers Jerome.   SHERYL: (into phone) Roger that.   ---  
Billie sits in her office, Lucas by her side, as she focuses on her computer screen as well. Hoping to catch some activity from the marketing wing where Sheryl works, she and Lucas listen in on her conversation, unsure who she's speaking with, as they only hear her side.   BILLIE: Come on, Sheryl. Slip up. Say this guy's name.
LUCAS: You know, I think I know exactly who it is.
LUCAS: I'm pretty sure it's this guy...Jerry? Or Jerome? He came into her office last week when I was there. I hadn't seen him before, and I just...I get a feeling about him.
BILLIE: Well...we're not gonna be able to use a feeling as evidence, unfortunately. We gotta have her say his name and make it clear he's connected to what she's up to or else it doesn't exist.  
As Billie finishes her sentence, Kate comes into the office. Billie and Lucas turn to face her.   KATE: It's just me. What did I miss?   Billie guffaws as she turns back toward her computer screen as she answers her mother's question.   BILLIE: Well...you missed me nearly getting caught by Justin Kiriakis, and Sheryl Connors as I bugged her office.
KATE: You didn't...
BILLIE: No. Thankfully, I didn't. But I did run into her at the elevator. Apparently Sheryl thinks you're manipulating Lucas into possibly breaking things off with her, Mom.   Kate turns toward Lucas with a sour expression.   KATE: Lucas, I told you you had to keep up the charade with Sheryl, and I meant convincingly.
LUCAS: Okay, enough, Mom. Look, it's nearly over now, and I don't see the point in trying to hide my feelings about her any longer than I have to.
KATE: Well, you still had to while Billie was putting the bug in Sheryl's office, didn't you? And apparently, you didn't do a very good job and you might have put this entire plan in jeopardy.   Kate turns back toward the screen, shaking her head in indignance at her son's irresponsibility.   KATE: I just hope this is enough to get Rafe away from that conniving little tramp, Jordan Ridgeway or whatever her name is supposed to be.   Lucas looks back Kate's way, shaking his head at his mom's persistance.   LUCAS: You just better hope this plan DOES work, or else you're gonna alienate Rafe more than you already have.   Kate looks back at her son, the both of them glaring at each other, as Billie seems oblivious to it all, keeping close watch over the Titan server, and Sheryl's actions.   ---   ---   Nick types and clicks furiously at his computer, as Tyler paces behind him, on his cell phone with Justin.   TYLER: (into phone) Justin, I know, but this kid is certain that there's about to be an attack and he says it's directly related to the City Hall server crash and the delay in approving the Ruggles land expropriation deal. I know he's got a handle on this...yes, I know you don't like him...I have a strong feeling he....well we don't have much choice right now, do we? If we wait on this...it might be too late...   Nick smirks as he listens on, simultaneously listening to Sheryl through a single earbud, studying Sheryl's movements closely as she is about to launch her virus.   ...   Sheryl, meanwhile, is still at her desk, very nearly ready to launch her attack (with Jerome's remote help).   SHERYL: (into phone) Alright, we ready to do this thing?
JEROME: (via phone) In 3...2...1...   Sheryl hits "Enter" on her keyboard, almost ceremoniously.   ...   Up in Billie's office, Kate, Lucas, and Billie study the screen as Billie jumps into action, noticing the activity appear in the backup server.   BILLIE: Damnit! She started in the backup system. I have to double back to access it.   Billie types away furiously to try to access the backup server, but is denied access.   LUCAS: Do you know the password?
BILLIE: No, but there's other ways to work around it.   Billie moves her mouse over to another window, and begins to work from there, disabling a specific firewall that protects the backup server from being accessed by her computer.   ...   Nick, meanwhile, is overwhelmed by the activity. Realizing suddenly that someone else is trying to work on the backup server, he flips back to the surveillance program, and realizes it's Billie, Kate, and Lucas.   NICK: Oh, no.   Tyler, upon hearing Nick, quickly ends his call to Justin and darts over to Nick's computer again.   TYLER: Yes, it...I gotta call you back, Justin. Don't worry, it's under control.   Tyler looks intensely at the screen, as Nick springs back into action.   TYLER: What's wrong?
NICK: Nothing. I'm on it.
TYLER: I hope so.   Nick ignores Tyler's panicked threats, and takes advantage of Billie's disabling the firewall and leaps in. As the files from the backup server begin to be downloaded, then systematically destroyed, Nick locates the IP address for Sheryl's laptop.   NICK: Not so fast, little lady.   ...   Sheryl's laptop displays the progress of the virus installation:   2%...
Sheryl smiles as her external hard drive she's attached to her computer works overtime, downloading and destroying the Titan files.   SHERYL: (into phone) We're on our way now. JEROME: (via phone) And we only saving the small files and documents about the workings of the company, right?
SHERYL: (into phone) Not to worry, I programmed it to only save document files, spreadsheets, graphics, media. The rest is getting corrupted and discarded.
JEROME: (via phone) Perfect. How far we at?
SHERYL: (into phone) Only 3% so far.   ...   Billie digs further in, tracking down Sheryl's IP.   LUCAS: What are you doing now?
BILLIE: I'm gonna throw the program they're using into an endless loop that hopefully will jam the program up, and buy me enough time to close up the security hole so they'll be booted from the system.
KATE: Do you have enough time?
BILLIE: I'll be fine...   Billie looks on her screen, and realizes there's someone else accessing the server.   BILLIE: If someone else doesn't beat me to it.   Kate looks over at Lucas, who looks back at her, concerned. They both turn their attentions back to Billie, and to her computer screen.   ...   Sheryl looks on more and more intensely.   The progress bar inches forward...   5%...   SHERYL: (into phone) I'm gonna shift this over to the EnerNext subserver once we're done with this backup. JEROME: (via phone) Got it. SHERYL: (into phone) Okay...we're in. Downloading EnerNext's documents...   6%...   ...   Nick plugs a memory stick into his laptop, as he continues to work furiously at stopping Sheryl. Tyler looks on in wonder.   TYLER: What are you plugging in there?
NICK: Just a program to destroy whatever device these guys are using against us.
TYLER: Like...digitally...   Nick looks up at Tyler, his classic smirk on his face.   NICK: Oh no. Not just digitally.    Tyler looks on, concerned by Nick's plan.   ...   Billie continues to work away at stopping Sheryl's virus from progressing, as Kate and Lucas sit on pins and needles.   LUCAS: Billie, how much longer is this gonna take.
BILLIE: Not long now, I'm nearly there.
KATE: This better work.
BILLIE: It will, Mom. Don't worry.   Billie focuses in as she clicks to access Sheryl's computer remotely, so she can trip it up and stop it from continuing to spread the virus.   BILLIE: Almost there.   ...   8%...   Sheryl stares straight ahead as she notices unfamiliar activity happening around her.   SHERYL: (into phone) Dammit! We got company.   Sheryl clicks to kick Billie's computer out of hers.   ...   Nick double clicks his mouse, launching his counterattack against Sheryl.   NICK: Buh-bye!   ...   Billie's computer is suddenly kicked out of the server altogether, shocking Billie, as she leans back in her seat, taking a stunned Kate and Lucas with her.   LUCAS: What happened?   ...   11%...   Sheryl looks down quickly at her work computer and her external hard drive, as her computer's fan abruptly shuts down, and her computer's processor goes into overdrive, causing the computer to freeze up.   SHERYL: (into phone) What the Hell?
JEROME: (via phone) What's wrong? Sheryl???   As Jerome tries in vain to get Sheryl to answer him, her and laptop begin to overheat quickly, and sparks, with a plastic burning smell and smoke emerging from the laptop. The sparking causes Sheryl to jump back from her laptop, breathing heavily from the shock, as Jerome continues to call out to her over the phone to her Bluetooth.   JEROME: (via phone) SHERYL....SHERYL! You there??? SHERYL...   ---




DAYS: Episode 109-111

More DAYS blog entries are up. Thinking of posting back on here with each episode again after this.







DAYS: Episodes 103-105

More DAYS: TAT is up on Blogspot! Thanks for continuing to check in!







DAYS: Episodes 100-102

After an unusually long break, the next three episodes are up! Feel free to comment and check 'em out!







Episodes 97-99

For those who want to check out the latest DAYS episodes (hopefully still more interesting than the Dena dreck):


  Enjoy! Be sure to leave comments and keep following the blog!  




DAYS: Episodes 93-96

Hopefully this is cool, just wanted to keep those of you who've been following my DAYS up to date with my new entries, which I'm posting externally.





Gonna lurk around at SON, but again, likely not gonna be posting much. Hope you all follow DAYS: TAT. Thanks for reading  




Days of our Lives: The Alternate Timeline is moving!

After two years, I've had the pleasure of sharing my vision of Days of our Lives with you here at SON. I regretfully will be moving my posts to Blogger, after some lingering formatting issues, and the banning of ML Cooks (aMLCproduction) from the forums (look for his Y&R to appear as well soon), I have decided that it is best for me to move the blog onto another account. All episodes from #93 will be posted at http://daystat.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/days-93-abbys-home-and-kim-finds-roman.html, as have the previous 92 episodes here. I likely won't be posting much, if at all here anymore, but greatly appreciate the time I've spent here at SON, and hope you all will follow my story there, and please feel free to leave me feedback. Every bit helps motivate me to improve and grow as a writer. This has been a fabulous exercise for me, and I really appreciate your support through it all. It's been quite the ride! ETA: If you'd like to keep updated with new episodes, check out the DAYS: ETA page on Facebook.  




DAYS #92: Roman is found, while Nick moves forward with the next part of his plan

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson  
The sunlight fights its way through every available crack between Nick's blinds. One beam brightly hits Nick right in the eyes, jolting him from his slumber. The bright sunlight shocks him, causing him to squint.
Nick goes to sit up, but is hit almost immediately with a searing headache. It nearly cripples him, but he manages to stumble over to the window of his small studio apartment.
Looking out the window, he sees the bright day, sighing as he winces, the sunlight hurting his eyes. He turns back to find his laptop bag. Rifling through it, he finds his pills. But his fingers slide across what's resting next to the pill bottle: Marlena Evans' perscription pad. Just as he's about to lift the pad up, he lurches back in pain. The pad gave him a papercut.
Nick puts the cut finger in his mouth, wincing at the pain and discomfort.
NICK: Mm! Dammit!
Nick holds in his pain a moment to awkwardly open the bottle of pills. He struggles, as his hands shake violently. He looks at them, concerned greatly by his symptoms.
He quickly opens the bottle, taking two pills from the bottle. He looks down at the bottle, shrugs, and pulls another one out. Taking all three, he steps into the bathroom, and turns on the tap, pouring half a glass of lukewarm water, which he uses to wash down the pills.
After downing his medication, he looks into the bathroom mirror. He looks at his messy appearance, the emerging circles under his eyes, and shakes his head.
NICK: You gotta get it together, Fallon. You got too much to do today to let this stop you. Wayyy, way too much.

Sheryl lies half-asleep in bed, sighing after a good night's rest, before she reaches out slowly to caress Lucas' face. She reaches out and finds no one there.
Opening her eyes in surprise, she gets up with a start. She looks confused around her room.
SHERYL: Lucas?
Getting up from her bed, covers, of course, covering her body, she inspects the bathroom before looking for her phone.
SHERYL: Where the Hell did you go?
Pulling her phone out, she looks down, seeing no texts or calls from Lucas. She looks up, confused by his absence.

Hope walks into her living room, dressed and ready for work, coffee cup in hand, as the doorbell rings. She jumps momentarily, before putting her coffee cup down, and calls out toward the door.
HOPE: One second!

She runs over to the door, looking in the small window in the door, she spots Marlena. She opens the door, smiling.
HOPE: Hey! Marlena!
Her face drops, however, upon seeing the heavy concern on Marlena's face.
MARLENA: Hope, I...
HOPE: ..W...What's wrong? Come in, come in!
Hope moves back away from the door, welcoming Marlena in. Marlena walks in solemnly. She hesitates to speak, sighing as she begins.
MARLENA: Thank you. Uh...I had to see you, and I'm...I'm sorry to bother you so early in the morning.
Hope shakes her head, looking very concerned at Marlena.
HOPE: No, no! Nonsense, you're always welcome here, you know that. Uh...sit down. You, uh...you want some coffee? I just made a fresh pot.
MARLENA: Ah...no. No, thank you. I couldn't possibly keep anything down right now.
Marlena obliges Hope's request, sitting down, breathing heavily, struggling to hold herself together. Hope quickly walks to Marlena's side and sits down next to her.
HOPE: Marlena...you're scaring me. What's wrong?
Marlena looks up at Hope, starting to tear up.
MARLENA: Roman's missing. And I need your help to find him.

Lucas wanders through the park, deep in thought over the events of the previous night. Up ahead, he spies Club TBD. He craves a drink, but resists. Looking at the nearby bench, he spots something unusual.

It's Roman, asleep by the bush. Lucas looks on, baffled by the sighting, and calls out to him.
LUCAS: Roman?
Roman doesn't answer, but is startled by Lucas. He stirs, as Lucas approaches. Lucas kneels down next to him, shaking him gently to make sure he's okay.
LUCAS: Roman! Hey, man. You alright?
Roman grunts as he starts to wake up. Lucas bursts into action as he takes his jacket off to try to warm a freezing-to-the-touch Roman up.
LUCAS: Man, you're freezing! Here, take my jacket.
ROMAN: Uh...where am I?
LUCAS: You're in the park, just outside Club TBD. Are...are you okay? What are you doing sleeping out here? It's got to be like...fourty degrees outside!
Roman's eyes widen, as he struggles to catch his breath. He looks around, confused.
ROMAN: I...I have no idea. I went for a walk and...who...how did I end up here?
LUCAS: I dunno, man, but we gotta get you inside. Come on.
Lucas hoists Roman up on his feet and guides him slowly towards the club.

A tray of food is set down in front of a sleeping Sonny. The sound of the tray hitting the table jolts Sonny from his sleep. He looks, wide-eyed at the tray, before looking up, and seeing Will standing over him, a smile on his fiance's face.
WILL: Good morning!
Sonny looks stunned a moment, before lifting himself off the couch he'd spent the night on in the hospital lounge. He stutters a bit before he answers.
SONNY: I...ah...Will...hey!
Will laughs a bit, watching Sonny stumble over his words.
WILL: You surprised to see me? I've been with you all night.
SONNY: You...you have?
WILL: Yeah. I was worried about you. I...I saw Adrienne walk out of here last night, she...she seemed really upset. Did you--
SONNY: ...Yeah. We talked.
Will folds his arms, nodding slowly, knowing exactly how it turned out from Sonny's reaction.
WILL: Aaand obviously that didn't go very well.
Sonny raises his eyebrows, before shrugging, a hint of sadness in his voice.
SONNY: You could say that. 
Will sits down next to Sonny, putting his arm around Sonny's waist, drawing him close to him. Sonny leans into Will, feeling comforted by Will for the first time in a long time.
WILL: I'm sorry, Sonny. I...feel like I'm...I dunno, like it's my fault this all happened.
SONNY: (sigh) Don't say that. It's not your fault my mom has this...vendetta against you.
WILL: Well...what happened?
Sonny lifts himself off Will's shoulder, turning to face Will. He sighs with sadness in his eyes before answering him.
SONNY: Well...she came to me to tell me what her and my dad were fighting about in the garden.
Will looks at Sonny, a very concerned look on his face as he asks Sonny a question, almost not wanting an answer.
WILL: And...what was it?
SONNY: She says that you are a carbon copy of your mother, and that you are, and I quote: lusting after my brother. 
Will tenses up, knowing that Adrienne has his number, but he hides the uneasiness.
--- ---

Sami stands in the DiMera living room, sipping her coffee, as she flips through some paperwork. She hears her phone ring. Picking it up, she quickly answers.
SAMI: (into phone) Hey! Uh...Suzanne, it's Samantha Brady...yeah. I, uh, I'm heading into the station today and I just need you to pass along a message to Nicole Walker.

EJ walks into the DiMera living room, Johnny on his shoulders, laughing heartily. Sami turns and sees EJ and Johnny step into the room. She smiles as she sees them come into the room, but is immediately striken with tension, as they approach. She fights the tension, as she continues her phone conversation.
SAMI: (into phone) ...YES! I, I just want to pass along to her that I would like to meet with her for 11am. Tell her it's imperitive that I speak with her, and she should cancel all other arrangements for that time...Thank you.
Hanging up the phone, she looks at Johnny and EJ and smiles.
JOHNNY: Mommy! 
SAMI: Hey, sweetie! You ready for your trip today?
EJ and Sami laugh as Sami gently pats Johnny's head. She smiles, though her hand trembles. EJ catches Sami's hesitation and speaks up.
EJ: I uh...I packed the children's things, Harold...helped me out, but...
SAMI: That's great. Thank you. Uh...
EJ leans down to lift Johnny off. EJ crouches down by Johnny and speaks kindly to him.
EJ: Now, I need you and your sisters to be downstairs in twenty minutes. No later. Alright?
Johnny runs off out of the living room, heading upstairs, as EJ approaches Sami. He nearly places a hand on her shoulder, but thinks better of it, as Sami, sensing the nearness of his hand, flinches slightly. Setting his hand down by his side, EJ sighs.
EJ: Are you sure about this?
Sami responds, not turning around the face EJ.
SAMI: I think it's better that they are with family far away from all this tension right now, yes.
EJ sighs, as Sami turns to face him, explaining her rationale.
SAMI: Look, EJ, I don't want them to go to Colorado any more than you do, but the truth is that while you and I are going through therapy and I'm struggling with...our...past...it just isn't healthy for them. They need to feel loved and cared for. I can't give that to them right now, especially Johnny.
EJ nods, trying to understand.
EJ: I understand...but it seems as though you're punishing the children for something that I did. And by extension, you're punishing me, and yourself.
SAMI: I have to do what's  best for them. And what's best for them isn't to be around us right now. Not until I'm able to deal with what happened between us that night, and not until I'm comfortable...I'm comfortable being with you again.
EJ looks down, fighting his emotions, as he nods. He tries to understand Sami's situation, though he struggles. He finally responds.
EJ: I...uh...I need to go check on the children. I'll see you at the office later?
SAMI: Yeah! I'll be in after I take care of business at the station.
EJ: Alright. Samantha...
Sami turns back at look at EJ, who stares at her, hurt, but lovingly.
EJ: I do love you, very very much.
Sami smiles, unsuccessfully holding in her desire to cry.
SAMI: Me too.
EJ swallows heavily as he turns back around, heading out after Johnny. Sami stays behind, wiping her tears away, as she hears another notification ping. She looks at her phone, stunned.
SAMI: Oh my God!
Sami reads the headline:
Victor Kiriakis suffers heart attack, hospitalized
Will sighs heavily, biting his lip as he looks up at Sonny, almost afraid to ask what Sonny did next.
WILL: And...what did you say about that?
SONNY: Well, of course, I told her it was nonsense...and then I told her that I wanted her to stay away from you, and from me.
Will looks stunned, unsure what to say in response to his fiance's act of loyalty.
WILL: Sonny...you didn't have to do that--
SONNY: Yes...I did, Will. Look, you know...this is why I was afraid of you taking this job at EnerNext. I...I don't mean to interfere in your career, but...my family, they have this way of...meddling, of worming their way into our lives. And it looks like they found their way in already.
Will takes Sonny's hand, and holds it tightly. He smiles warmly at his fiance.
WILL: Sonny, I love you. And I really appreciate what you did for me. But I don't want you to ruin your relationship with your mom over me. It's not fair to you, or your mom.
SONNY: No, what's not fair is my mom deciding to meddle in our business. She's trying to create problems and make me doubt you. And I'm not going to let her do that.
Will looks down, still tightly gripping Sonny's hand, he smiles warmly at him.
WILL: I know. But don't you think you're just...both under a lot of stress right now, what with Victor's heart attack, and Chad being AWOL from TBD, and...our...problems at home...don't you think you overreacted just a bit?
Sonny looks at Will, then looks down. He thinks over what Will says intensely.
Hope gets off the phone to the station, and turns back around to Marlena, who is furiously texting, a very worried look on her face.
HOPE: Okay, uh...so I just spoke to Rafe...they can't formally put out a missing persons' report yet, but...they are looking into it.
Hope looks down at Marlena finishing up her text.
HOPE: Who are you texting?
MARLENA: Kim. She was with me when...Roman took off.
Hope looks on, increasingly concerned for Roman. She takes a moment, unsure whether to ask or not, but decides to go ahead.
HOPE: Marlena...is something wrong with Roman?
Marlena looks up at Hope, incredibly hesitant to tell her the truth. She looks down and sighs before responding.
MARLENA: In all honesty, I don't know. But if we don't find him, I'm very concerned for his well-being.
Hope, shocked, rushes over to the sofa again and sits at Marlena's side.
HOPE: Good God...it's not Stefano is it? Has Stefano kidnapped--
MARLENA: ...No! No, no, no, it's not Stefano...at least not that I'm aware of. No, it's...Roman himself...I am so worried that he may be a danger to himself.
Hope looks on, before pulling a tearful Marlena into a hug. Still unclear as to Marlena's concern, she furrows her brow, concerned for her brother-in-law.

Lucas sits Roman down on the bench, as T comes over to see what's wrong.
T: Hey, uh...Lucas...what's wrong with Mr. Brady? Is he okay?
LUCAS: I uh...I think he's okay, but...he's been outside for quite awhile, can you grab us some coffee for him?
T: Yeah, absolutely.
T runs off to grab Roman a cup of coffee, as Lucas pulls out his phone.
ROMAN: Who are you calling?
Lucas doesn't look up as he scrolls through his contacts.
LUCAS: I'm calling Marlena, first off. She needs to know you're okay.
Roman panics at Lucas' suggestion, holding his hand up to reach out for Lucas' phone to stop him.
ROMAN: I don't want Marlena to hear about this, you understand me?
Lucas looks at Roman, stunned and concerned.

Nick steps into the lab, where Percy sits at a desk, headphones in, listening intently to various conversations throughout the Titan complex. Nick waves silently to Percy, who, over the sound of his headphones, welcomes Nick loudly.
Percy fumbles, realizing not everyone hears the things he is, and quickly takes his headphones off. He walks quickly over to Nick.
PERCY: Oh, Nicholas, I have very important news for you.
NICK: Oh do you.
PERCY: Well...strictly speaking, I have two items for you to look over, but...this first one is of utmost importance.
Nick looks to Percy, intrigued, as he sets down his bag on the table.
NICK: I'm listening.
PERCY: Well...you may not be especially thrilled about this first one.
NICK: Try me.
PERCY: Well...it seems as though Miss Ridgeway and Miss Connors have taken on a new addition to their ensemble--
Nick pulls out an apple, which he bites into as he replies.
NICK: Oh yeah...I met him last night. Jeremy or...
PERCY: Yes, uh, a Jerome Grant. Well...it seems as though the three of them have some sort of...computer software they're looking to install on the Titan servers, and it appears to me, as though today is the day they will go ahead with this. It sounds actually like something that could really cause a lot of damage.
NICK: Really!
Nick smiles wryly as he crunches into his apple.
PERCY: Yes...I say this because I have a concern that...well...they may try to use you as a...what did they call it, a...uh...."fall guy" for their plan. And knowing that your intentions are only to assist these young ladies...I wouldn't want to see you harmed.
Nick laughs, slapping Percy heartily on the back before pulling him in close to him.
NICK: (laughs) Ohhh Percy. Not to worry, I won't be taking the fall for anyone. You can bet on that.
Nick looks down at his apple, and bites into it, almost maniacally.




DAYS #91: Roman's condition worsens + Sonny & Adrienne have a huge fight over Will

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

The doors to the elevator at University Hospital open, to find the Kiriakis clan step out, by and large upset and a bit panicked, as Maggie in particular moves briskly to the nurses' station to ask Maxine about Victor.
MAGGIE: Maxine! Where's Victor's room?
Maxine quickly points down the hall to guide Maggie, as she turns herself toward the room.
MAXINE: Just over here, Maggie. But you can't go in yet, they're operating!
Maggie runs before Maxine's even finished her sentence toward the door, stopping just outside, upset that she can't go in to see her ailing husband.
Alex, Sonny and Will hang back, as Justin and Adrienne step forward, the shock still plain on their faces.

Daniel steps out from the room VIctor's in and immediately sees his mother's worried face. He sighs, giving a half-hearted smile, as Maggie rushes over to him.
MAGGIE: Daniel! How is he?
Daniel holds up one hand, a half-hearted attempt to calm Maggie down, as the others move over closer to him to hear what he has to say.
DANIEL: He's stable. Victor had a heart attack.
Maggie clenches, upset by the news, she grabs Adrienne's hand for support.
ALEX: How bad was it?
DANIEL: (sigh) It wasn't minor. But...I wouldn't worry too much, he's getting prepped for surgery now.
WILL: Is he gonna be okay?
DANIEL: Victor's in...remarkably good health for his age. I think the bulk of the problem has been the stress he's been under lately. We may have underestimated how much pressure he's been under the past few months.
Maggie looks at her son, the feelings of guilt rushing over her as she recalls her snapping at him, knowing the pain he's been through.
JUSTIN: Alright, Daniel, just...keep us updated.
DANIEL: For sure.
Daniel stops to give Maggie a hug, before stepping away to prep for surgery. 
DANIEL: Alright, I gotta go prep for surgery, I'll let you know as soon as I know anything. I love you.
MAGGIE: I love you too. Thank you.
Daniel walks off at a determined pace, as Maggie starts to crumble. Sonny takes her other hand and pulls her towards him, putting her in a tight embrace.
MAGGIE: It's all my fault.
ADRIENNE: No, sweetie! Absolutely not! You were upset, and we've all been under a lot of pressure. You can't blame yourself for this.
Maggie begins to sob as she holds onto Sonny, Adrienne provides comfort, gently stroking Maggie's back, as the family circles Maggie for support.

Kim walks through Horton Town Square, quickly scurrying to get to her car as she's walking alone at night, when she spots a familiar face.
KIM: Roman! Hey!

Roman looks confused, before turning to face his sister. He looks at her with a look of a total stranger.
ROMAN: I...Hello...
Kim looks at her brother, a concerned look on her face and she leans over to touch his shoulder.
KIM: I...Roman, it's...it's me...Kimmy!
Roman stares at Kim, totally bewildered by her. Kim looks back, a smile on her face, but with an increasing tension and panic in her face.

Jennifer smiles as she and Liam sit at a late evening dinner at Chez Rouge. Liam pours Jennifer a glass of champagne, never taking his eyes off her.
JENNIFER: You know, you have this really sexy look in your eyes right now.
LIAM: Oh yeah? Well if that's a come-on, we haven't had our food yet.
Jennifer feigns offense, as Liam laughs.
JENNIFER: Well, I never! Putting off romance for food? I don't know about you, Mister!
LIAM: Ohh, I've always got time for romance.
Liam leans over the table and gently kisses Jennifer on the lips, before sitting back down in his seat.
LIAM: But I've also learned, that good things come to those who wait.
JENNIFER: Isn't that the truth.
Jenn raises her glass, as Liam does the same. They toast, once again never taking their eyes off each other.
A woman in black pumps walks quickly into the terminal of Salem International Airport. She walks over toward the exit, but stops just beforehand. Pulling her phone out, she taps the screen on her phone to get an Uber from the airport to the Horton House.

It's Abigail.

Nicole lies in bed, Eric's arms around her, as she sleeps soundly, deep in a dream:
*** Nicole stands before the justice of the peace, beaming as she looks at Eric. Flowers in her hand, she's about to become Mrs. Eric Brady.
JUSTICE OF PEACE: We are gathered here to today to join Nicole Walker, and Eric Brady in marriage.

Daniel and Chloe stand on either side of Nicole and Eric, smiling, happy for their friends' big day.
Nicole can't help herself and blurts out to Eric in joy.
NICOLE: I can't believe it's finally happening for us. I love you so much.
Eric, far cooler and reserved, smile back, responding warmly but casually.
ERIC: Me too, Nicole.
The justice of the peace continues:
JUSTICE OF PEACE: If anyone can show just cause why these two should not be joined in marriage, may they speak now, or forever hold their--

Everyone jumps as Sami's voice cuts the happy mood in the room, jolting everyone out of the moment. Sami and Marlena storm into the room, Sami and Marlena shooting daggers from their eyes at Nicole. Nicole turns around in horror as Sami walks over to her.
ERIC: Sami...Mom, what are you doing here?
SAMI: We're here to stop you from making the biggest mistake of your life, Eric.
Eric looks at his sister, annoyed at her constant interference.
ERIC: Sami...
MARLENA: No! Eric, she's right. Nicole has gone way too far this time.
Nicole rolls her eyes, irritated at the interruption, and trying to remove them from the room.
NICOLE: Oh whatever, you know what, you two have done more damage to our happiness than I ever could have.
SAMI: Oh that's REALLY rich, Nicole.
Eric, upset by what's happening, cuts in between Nicole and Sami, who are now right up in each other's faces.
ERIC: Wait wait wait wait wait, STOP! What is the meaning of this.
MARLENA: Eric. Nicole lied to you. She DID get the evidence proving that Kristen hired Dr. Chyka to drug you in that hotel room. 
ERIC: What?!
NICOLE: No! I wouldn't do that! If I knew what happened to that evidence, don't you think I would have turned it over?
Sami looks at Nicole, an angered, mistrustful look on her face.
SAMI: I don't know, would you?
NICOLE: You know, if I did do all this, where IS the proof, where did you get it?
NICK: I think I have the answer to that question.

Nick saunters into the room, a smug, self-satisfied look on his face, as Nicole begins to hyperventilate. Nick walks over to Eric, and casually places the folder with all the documentation into Eric's hands. He places a small flash drive on top for him.
NICK: Merry Christmas. Oh, and if you're wondering what the flash drive is, it's proof that she had this folder the whole time and just hid it in her desk so you wouldn't see it. At least, not if I hadn't broken in. (laughs)
Nicole panics, almost unable to breathe, before letting out a bloodcurdling scream, jolting her out of her dream.
Eric, scared stiff, jumps up, shocked at Nicole's freak out. He looks quickly at Nicole, and wraps his arms around her to comfort her.
ERIC: Shhh! Shhh! It's okay. It's okay. I'm here.
Nicole sobs, shaking in fear over her nightmare.
NICOLE: No, no no no no, it can't it can't, no...
--- ---
Kim looks with a sense of dread at her brother, as Roman looks at her like she's a stranger.
ROMAN: I...I'm sorry. I...
KIM: Roman...come sit here with me. You do remember me, right?
Roman looks down as Kim takes his hand, holding it tightly. His confusion plain on his face as he tries to back off.
ROMAN: I'm sorry, Ma'am. I...
Marlena walks past at that moment, spotting their exchange and immediately springs into action, as Roman looks her way.
MARLENA: Kim! Kim, it's okay. Roman, Roman!
Marlena walks over quickly, as Roman begins to panic, feeling ambushed by Marlena and Kim.
ROMAN: Lady, let go!
MARLENA: Roman! It's okay! It's okay. It's me. It's Doc. Look at me!
As Kim lets go of his hand, she steps back, tears in her eyes. She observes the panic in Roman's eyes as he begins to calm down.
MARLENA: Roman. You recognize me? It's Marlena.
Roman, breathing heavily, nods as he holds Marlena's face in his hand. He gently carresses her cheek as he begins to tear up.
ROMAN: Doc...what is happening to me? Who...wha...
MARLENA: Roman, that woman is your sister. It's okay. Her name is Kimberly Brady. Do you remember a Kimberly Brady?
Roman shakes his head a moment, before cooling down.
ROMAN: That name means something to me, but...
MARLENA: That's her. That's your sister.
Roman squeezes Marlena's hand, nodding in understanding. Marlena looks at Kim and guides Roman to the bench.
MARLENA: Look, let's...let's sit down.
Kim approaches Marlena and Roman as Roman sits on the bench. He puts his hands behind his head and leans down, looking down at the ground.
ROMAN: My God...What's happening to me, Doc?
KIM: No, seriously, Marlena...what's happening to him?
MARLENA: I..uh...I'm going to talk to Kimberly for a moment, okay?
Roman nods, as Marlena takes Kim's arm and steps away from Roman for a sec to talk quietly to Kim.
MARLENA: I think...I don't want to say for certain before we've had a chance to look closer into things but...
KIM: Marlena, I can take it. Just...tell me straight up.
Marlena looks back at Roman, seeing him taking deep breaths on the bench behind them.
MARLENA: Valerie Grant and I are looking into it. We...we think it could be some form of dementia, but...
KIM: Roman as well?
MARLENA: That was my first thought, but...it's progressing too quickly to be anything like Caroline's...and anyway, I don't think this is the same situation as Caroline, anyway.
KIM: Wha...why is this the first I've heard about it?
MARLENA: Well, if I'm being honest, I didn't realize until today it was getting so bad so quickly. Honestly, Kim, I wanted to wait until I had a definitive answer before I said anything, and Roman...well, he didn't want to alarm you all what with Kayla leaving and Bo still missing...
Kim nods, understanding Marlena's point.
KIM: I understand that...but I wish you'd told me something was wrong sooner.
MARLENA: I know...and I'm sorry, just...I had to think about Roman's wishes as well.
KIM: I know. (sigh) Look, I...I think we should speak to someone at the police station about this before Roman ends up hurt. I mean...
MARLENA: I thought about that as well...I think, considering what's happened tonight, we might...maybe consult with Hope and...maybe Abe as well. I know Abe isn't...directly involved with the police right now, but...
KIM: It's still worth a try. I mean, I just...I don't want my brother to end up injured on duty or worse.
MARLENA: I agree. Look, for now, let's just get him home.
Kim nods again, in agreement.
KIM: I agree, I think...uh...I'd rather he not be alone though, maybe he should go with you.
MARLENA: Absolutely.
Kim sighs, a bit relieved, though still horribly concerned for her brother.
KIM: Okay.
Marlena and Kim turn to grab Roman from the bench, only to stop in their tracks upon realizing he's vanished.
MARLENA: Oh my God.
KIM: Oh no, he's gone.
Nicole is held in Eric's arms as she breathes deeply, still deeply shaken by her dream.
ERIC: It's okay...do you...do you want to tell me about it?
Nicole shakes her head as Eric cradles her.
NICOLE: No, it was too awful. I just...just hold me.
ERIC: I'll never let you go. Just know that, okay?
Nicole looks off, desperate to believe that what Eric says is true.
Eric, sensing her tension, kisses her gently on the lips and smiles at her.
ERIC: I love you.
NICOLE: And I love you. More than you'll ever know, Eric.
Eric smiles as Nicole finally smiles again, they kiss again deeply, as Nicole holds onto Eric for dear life.
Jennifer laughs again as Liam finishes a story. She's not drunk, but has had a few glasses on champagne by now.
JENNIFER: You know...I don't have to work tomorrow and...well...JJ's out with Rory...God help him, and my mom went out with some friends for the evening...so...we have the house to ourselves, you know.
LIAM: I'm listening...
JENNIFER: Unless...you...maybe wanted to take me back to your place? I haven't seen it yet and all...
Liam stiffens at the suggestion, shifting uncomfortably in his seat.
LIAM: I...uh...I think we should maybe...maybe your place is a better idea.
Jennifer looks concerned suddenly by Liam's shuffling.
JENNIFER: You...you okay? I...
LIAM: Yeah, no. I'm...I'm fine, I just...my place is a disaster zone still, we're...we're kinda...still renovating the place so...
Jennifer smiles, a bit relieved but still thinking about what Laura told her earlier.
JENNIFER: That's fine...maybe we should just...take it easy tonight, if you're not up to it.
Liam catches on, and changes his tone again, trying to reassure Jenn.
LIAM: No! No, it's fine, I just...(sigh) I just don't want to disappoint you at all. You know?
Jenn smiles, reaching her hand across the table to meet Liam's.
JENNIFER: You could never disappoint me. Trust me.
Liam smiles back, grasping Jenn's hand in his. They both gaze intensely into each other's eyes.
Abby arrives at the Horton house. The lights all out. She turns them on as she walks into the living room.
ABBY: Well...so much for surprising everyone. (sigh)
Abby looks down at the table, and sees Jennifer's files from work. She looks wistfully at them, recalling the circumstances that led to her leaving the hospital.
ABBY: Back to keeping secrets and telling lies. Thank God it'll be easier now. No one will ever know about the baby now.
In the University Hospital lounge, Adrienne stands, holding a cup of coffee in styrofoam cup. Her hands shaking like a leaf as she struggles to raise it up to her lips to take a sip. Her sons, Alex and Sonny sit in the opposite corner of the room, a deep concern for Adrienne plain on their faces. Sonny sighs, as he slowly gets up, as Adrienne nearly spills her coffee. He puts a hand on her shoulder, causing her to jump momentarily.
SONNY: Mom...are you okay?
Adrienne turns to face her son. She smiles as she takes her son's hand. Alex looks on from the corner, a smile on his face as well.
ADRIENNE: Honestly, I'm terrified. But I'm grateful my boys are here. 
SONNY: Mom, we wouldn't be anywhere else.
Alex gets up from his seat, taking Adrienne's other hand.
ALEX: Sonny's right. We're here for you and for Dad.
ADRIENNE: Thanks, sweetie. Uh...Alex, honey, can...can I talk with your brother alone for a moment?
ALEX: Of course, Adrienne! I..uh...I'm gonna go check on Noelle.
Adrienne gently squeezes Alex's hand as he walks off toward the hallway. As he disappears around the corner, Adrienne turns to Sonny and looks at him intensely.
ADRIENNE: Sonny...look, I don't want to start a fight, but..I--
SONNY: Then don't.
SONNY: No! Seriously, Mom! This is SO not the time to start going in on me about my marrying Will.
Sonny turns away from Adrienne, as Adrienne reaches out, pleading with her son to listen.
ADRIENNE: Sonny, Listen! I didn't want to start a fight. All I'm saying is I want you to be careful. (sigh) Will has never been with another man before, and...
Adrienne pauses, looking out the door to make sure no one hears what she's about to say. Sonny, not watching his mother, interjects, prodding her for an answer.
SONNY: ...And??
ADRIENNE: ...And I saw Will...I saw how he was looking at...
Sonny turns around, exasperated by his mother's stalling.
SONNY: At??? At who, Mom? Spit it out!
Adrienne shouts out her response, shaking in fear and frustration over Sonny's demand for an answer.
ADRIENNE: At Alex! He was giving your brother the eye. The whole evening we've spent in that house, Sonny. I couldn't stand it. You were looking at him with such...love and affection and...it's so honest and...all I could see was the lust in Will's eye for Alex.
Sonny looks at his mother, absolutely stunned at what she's saying. Sonny begins to laugh at his mother's answer, totally in disbelief.
SONNY: You...you have absolutely lost your mind!
ADRIENNE: I'm serious, honey. I'm not making this up. I swear, I saw it with my own eyes.
Sonny backs away from his mother, holding his hands up to stop her from approaching.
SONNY: No! No no no, THIS...this is it, Mom. I know you can't stand the idea of me marrying Will, but to make up something like THIS? You stay away from my home, and away from Will.
Adrienne begins to tear up, petrified of losing her son.
ADRIENNE: Please! No...
SONNY: No, Mom! Enough! If you want to see Arianna, I'll bring her to the house, you can see her then, but I'm not going to allow you to meddle in our lives anymore. I've had it.
Adrienne shouts out as she watches her son walk out of the room. She holds her head in her hands as she cries.




DAYS #90: The Kiriakis Family Dinner (Part 6) - A shocking fate, and Eric makes a spontaneous suggestion

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson
Inside Anita's cabin, the dark night is lit up by the roar of the fire. A late winter snow and wind whips past outside, but inside, the home is warm and comforting. Anita sits inside, curled up on her sofa, engrossed in a book. She stares down at the page through her reading glasses, perched on the tip of her nose, as the sound of footsteps emerge from the guest bedroom.
It's Brady. Anita turns, surprised to see him finally up and out of his room. ANITA: Good Lord! You're out of your room! Brady looks at Anita, inquisitively. BRADY: Yeah! I mean...well...the fire and all... Anita pulls her reading glasses off, a smile on her face as she looks at Brady, amazed to see him out. ANITA: I just...well...I knew you'd been moving around your room but...you've barely been out since you've been here.
BRADY: I...I know. I just...I'm glad you gave me the space to...you know...recover and...clear my mind. Anita moves over slightly on her sofa, then pats the space next to her, encouraging Brady to sit down, he walks slowly over and sits down, though awkwardly, his legs weak from weeks of under-use. ANITA: Sit, sit! Look...Brady, I...you know I don't mean to pry but...darling, what happened to you before I found you on the shore? Whatever it is...it's deeply troubling you, and...maybe I can help you with it? Brady looks down, sighing, as his mind wanders back to the night of his accident. The memories flood back to him. ***
Theresa pulls her little vial of cocaine out for Brady. He brazenly pours it out on the table in front of him and grabs his wallet to grab a credit card to cut it up with. Theresa is barely paying attention, as she uses her cell phone camera to try to get a good look at her makeup.
THERESA: I still look so good right now. Better than that bitch Chloe. God, her singing got on my nerves you know that?
BRADY: Stop talking about Chloe like that! She's...great.
THERESA: Sure, Brady. Whatever. I think I'm gonna take a selfie of this.
Theresa fumbles with her phone, trying to flip the phone around to use the flash, but ends up reversing which lens is in use, and begins recording a video of Brady as he does the line of cocaine from the table. Theresa, not sure why the camera isn't working, flips the phone back around in frustration.
THERESA: Ugh, this damned phone. Never...oh...
BRADY: What?
THERESA: Nothing. Stupid camera was on the wrong function, just...
BRADY: It didn't get a shot of me, did it?
THERESA: I can't even tell. Nothing's working right. ***
As the car takes off, Brady is back at the club, looking for Theresa. Unable to see her, he sees Chloe and stops her to ask.
BRADY: Hey, uh...have you seen Theresa at all?
CHLOE: No, the last time I saw her she was heading out the door in a hurry.
BRADY: What? ***
Brady opens the doors to the board room, overhearing Victor's announcement.
VICTOR: Then it is so...as of today, the 27th of July, 2014, Brady Black is temporarily relieved of his duties as CEO of Titan Industrie--
The board turn around in shock at Brady's outburst...
Brady's foot presses more and more on the accelerator, as the car pushes up towards 70, 75, 80mph. Theresa holds onto the grip on the door tightly.
THERESA: B...Brady, slow down.
Brady is looking straight ahead, barely even acknowledging Theresa's existence.
THERESA: Well...well the speed limit, Brady is--
BRADY: Do you honestly think I care right now? Like...at all? Do you think what you want matters to me right now?
THERESA: Brady, you're scaring me.
Brady starts to pay closer attention to Theresa now, but it is mostly anger he shows her as he intermittently divides his attention between her and the road before him.
BRADY: Do you think I'm scared? Huh? Do you think I can feel anything right now?
THERESA: Brady, what are you talking about?
BRADY: What do I have now, Theresa? Think about it for a second, yeah? I just lost my job, my reputation is ruined, the woman I thought I was getting to know and care about, she double-crosses me because she's so damned insecure about me being able to be nice to my ex-wife. Every single woman I ever get involved in betrays me. My family hates me. Tell me, Theresa.What do I have to live for now? Tell me.
THERESA: Okay, okay, Okay--
BRADY:...TELL ME! Do you get it?
THERESA: Okay! I'm sorry, Brady, would you PLEASE slow down.
Brady takes his eyes off the road now entirely, and begins to lean in closer and closer to Theresa.
His speed is now reaching 85mph.
BRADY: Ohhhh no. You don't get it, do you? I want you to listen to me for once. No distractions. No one around to watch you to see the glamourous life you're living off my back. Just you, finally facing the person you are. The despicable, self-absorbed piece of street trash you really are--
Theresa looks away from Brady. 
Theresa looks up and sees a sharp turn in the road ahead, she panicks and screams out.
Brady looks up and tries to steer into the turn while slamming on the brakes.
Theresa, in a moment of quick thinking, pulls her door open and leaps from the vehicle, but due to the speed the car is travelling at, she is knocked unconscious and severely injured immediately upon impacting the ground.
Brady's car skids off the road and drives through the barrier, off the side of the embankment, into the lake below.
*** Brady snaps out of his haze, as he begins to breathe heavily, almost having a panic attack right in front of a very concerned Anita, who has wrapped her arm around Brady's shoulders. ANITA: Brady! Brady! Are you alright? Talk to me! Brady shakes his head, coming out of his state, he looks at Anita, swallowing heavily before answering her, still gasping for air. BRADY: I...I can't, Anita. I just...I gotta... Brady gets up from the sofa, and grabs a coat from the coat rack. He quickly darts toward the door and steps out, shutting it hastily behind him. Left behind in the house is Anita, looking at the door in shock. She settles back down on the couch, mouth left hanging open in shock. ---
Sheryl lies asleep in her bed, lying next to a wide-awake Lucas. Lucas stirs silently, unable to close his eyes. He sighs as he turns to look at a dormant Sheryl, he breathes heavily, looking uncomfortably at Sheryl in bed. He swallows, as if gasping for air, as he turns away to get up out of the bed, trying not to wake Sheryl. He sits quietly at the edge of the bed, as though trying to catch his breath. He looks up, standing up as quietly as possible, grabbing his boxers from the floor and hastily putting them on before turning to walk over to the window. Deep in thought, he looks out and sighs as he stares off into the night. ---
Nicole and Eric flop down, spent from the passionate sex they've just had. Breathing heavily, they look lovingly at each other in bed. Nicole turns back towards her new fiance and puts her hand on his chest, playing with his chest hair as she talks softly to him. NICOLE: You know...if it's like this every time, I can't wait to be Mrs. Eric Brady. Eric smiles, laughing a bit to himself as Nicole looks on, mock-offended. NICOLE: What?!
ERIC: I just had a thought... Nicole looks at Eric, inquistively. NICOLE: And that is...? Eric turns his head to face Nicole. He raises his eyebrow and replies casually to her. ERIC: Are you gonna take me to Red Lobster now?  Nicole punches Eric's arm playfully as he laughs, clutching his arm in pain momentarily through his laughter. NICOLE: You're so WEIRD.
ERIC: (laughs) No, but seriously...I was thinking...why wait? Why don't we get married tomorrow? Nicole looks at Eric, shocked by his suggestion. --- Inside the living room of the Kiriakis mansion, Victor stands, sipping his drink slowly. While his family appears to unravel before his eyes in the garden, and his great-nephew is married to a woman he loathes, his stress is high. His glass of bourbon shakes in his hand as he simmers with rage.
Looking down after taking a sip, he sees a picture of Brady on his desk. Feeling emotional, Victor grits his teeth hard. Suddenly, something appears to jolt Victor from within. He drops his glass of bourbon on the carpet, as he grabs his chest, the glass shattering on the ground. ---
Jordan and Jerome stand in Jordan's hotel room, a palpible tension between the ex-lovers. Jerome stands behind Jordan, waiting for an answer. Jordan turns, looks at Jerome, annoyed by his probing questions, and answers angrily. JORDAN: My decisions and who I'm with now are no longer any of your concern, got it? Jerome stares at Jordan a moment, before bursting out laughing. He shakes his head at Jordan, crossing his arms. JEROME: That was a great performance, girl. I gotta hand it to you. But I'ma tell you something. Okay, you...you're in love with that dude. It's obvious. And you and I know damn well how dangerous that is when you're in town on a job. Especially when you in deep with a cop.  Jordan turns away from Jerome again, now folding her arms, and rolling her eyes, not wanting to hear Jerome's advice. Jerome responds by stepping in closer to his ex. JEROME: For God's sake, Kay! Have you looked this Hernandez dude up? He used to be an FBI agent! You know how much danger you're in if he figures out your ties to this EnerNext takedown? You have no choice but to leave town...and him. Jordan turns back around, walking right past Jerome toward the door again, not even  looking him in the eye. JORDAN: You're just trying to stir up trouble becuase you want me back. And as God is my witness, I am never EVER going back to you. You need to get that through your head, Jerome. Jordan swings the door open to her suite, pointing the way out to Jerome. JEROME: I'm not trying to stir anything up. I'm just looking out for you. Evidently something you aren't doing.
JORDAN: I am looking out for me. And I found a better way out. So whatever you and Sheryl have cooked up for tomorrow, I want no part in. Jerome shakes his head as he steps toward the door. JEROME: I got news for you. You're already too far in. There's no way out now. Jordan snaps at Jerome, staring him down menacingly as her voice raises at him. JORDAN: GET. OUT! Jerome obliges, never taking his eyes off Jordan as he steps past the doorway. He turns before Jordan closes the door, and gives Jordan one last tidbit of advice. JEROME: Alright! I'm out. But remember. There is no way out of this. Even if you do manage to worm your way out of this situation, your little detective friend is gonna find out all about your...extra-curriculars. And it ain't gone end well. Jordan looks unmoved by Jerome's warning. JORDAN: Goodbye, Jerome.
JEROME: See you tomorrow, Kay! Jordan rolls her eyes as she slams the door shut behind him. Jordan leans against the door after its shut, the front of strength she put up against Jerome withering away, as she looks around, panicked by his stern warning. --- Lucas looks intensely out the window of Sheryl's apartment. The night sky is dark, and the cloudcover means not a star in the sky. Looking out over the lights of the centre of Salem, he barely blinks as he thinks over what has just happened.  Sheryl's words still linger in his head from earlier. "You know....I never could understand...how a man....could still call himself a man...and not want to make love."
Lucas looks back at Sheryl, a bitterness in his eyes as she glares her way. Wordlessly, he walks back over, puts on pants, and hastily throws back on his white t-shirt and dress shirt, barely managing to grab his suit jacket before he heads for the door.
On his way out, he takes one look back at Sheryl, before quietly closing the door behind him. On the floor near the door, his tie has fallen in his haste to leave. --- Nicole can barely choke out her reply to Eric about his offer to elope, as she lays in bed next to him, wide-eyed, and open-mouthed. NICOLE: I...what? Eric, I mean...that's not what I had in mind for this wedding...at ALL!
Eric interrupts her just at the end, taking her hand in his as he speaks gently to her, trying to calm her nerves with reason. ERIC: I...I know. Look, I would love to do it the traditional way and have a huge wedding with all our families there but...I mean...think about it, Nicole. That's really unlikely with my family. Nicole shrugs, acknowledging the facts Eric's laying out. NICOLE: Fair enough, I mean, your sister alone would probably try to drag me back up the aisle.
ERIC: ...Aaaaand not to mention my mother. I...I had a long talk with her and...I mean, we're just patching things up after what happened with Kristen and...(sigh) I just don't...I don't want another huge falling out. I'd rather just...quietly get married and...well, we can tell our families in our own time. Hopefully, without drama or any attempts to stop the wedding from happening.
NICOLE: Do you honestly think we can make that happen, though? Eric thinks momentarily, sighing at the thought of having to hide his nuptuals. ERIC: We stand a better chance of just making it to the altar this way. 
NICOLE: But we'll still have to face your family when we get back. I mean, Eric, I don't want our marriage to be this deep, dark secret, like we're ashamed of it. 
ERIC: I know. But...I'll make you a deal. We get married officially tomorrow. Just a simple justice-of-the-peace ceremony, and once my family gets used to the idea of us being together and..their opinion of you mellows a bit, we do a big ceremony, the right way. Okay? Nicole smiles, nodding slowly in agreement to Eric's idea. NICOLE: I think I can handle that.
ERIC: Good. I uh...I'll call Daniel in the morning, and we'll get this all organized?
NICOLE: And I guess I'll call Chloe, and...we head up to Chicago? Eric smiles warmly at his soon-to-be-wife, raising a hand to gently stroke her cheek.
ERIC: You ever feel like a teenager?
NICOLE: Doing something BAD and rebellious? Eric and Nicole giggle as they lean in slowly to gently touch each other's lips in a kiss. --- Brady stands out by the lake, watching the waves crash against the shore. He stares straight ahead, barely even blinking as Anita walks over to him, wrapped warmly in her winter coat. She stands silently beside him for a moment, looking up at him with a piping hot cup of tea in her head.
Looking up, she offers him the tea. ANITA: You took off in a real hurry. Brady breaks his gaze, looking down at Anita, as he accepts the cup of tea. BRADY: I had to get out of there. Brady takes a sip of the tea, before raising the cup in a toast. BRADY: Thanks for the tea, by the way.
ANITA: Anytime. I thought you'd be cold out here.
BRADY: Nah...it's not that bad. Besides, gives me some time to think. Some fresh air's good for the ol' brain.
ANITA: I would have thought you'd have plenty of time to think cooped up in that room all the time. Brady laughs a bit at Anita's remark, still staring straight out at the water before him. BRADY: Funny enough, I spend most of my time in there trying not to think. About anything, really...sneaks up on you sometimes.
ANITA: What do you mean?
BRADY: (sigh) Just...thinking about your family. What you left behind. Anita stops a moment before responding. She hesitates even to say it, but eventually goes ahead anyway. ANITA: Brady, don't you think you should eventually go back to Salem? Brady looks back out at the water, shaking his head quickly. BRADY: Nah. No way. If I do go back, my life in Salem is over, anyway. There's nothing left for me there. Anita looks at Brady with a pained expression. Brady continues to look straight out for a moment, before turning to look at Anita. BRADY: You know...you ever get the feeling that something terrible is about to happen, you just...no rhyme or reason to feel that way, it's just...your gut?
ANITA: Ohhh yeah. I've had that feeling a lot the last few weeks.
BRADY: Yeah...I'm feeling that now. And it feels like it's partly my fault. Brady stares back out at the water. Anita joining him as the sound of the waves crashing against the shore mesmerize them. ---
Maggie, Alex, and Noelle stand in the kitchen at the Kiriakis Mansion. Maggie, still prepping dinner for everyone, turns toward the couple, who are stood together, with Alex embracing Noelle from behind. She smiles at them, loving their closeness. MAGGIE: Well, you two. Dinner's almost ready. I'm just going into the living room to let Victor know and we'll be ready to start. Okay?
NOELLE: Alright, Maggie. We'll be in the dining room in a minute.
MAGGIE: Alright, but I don't want you two lovebirds to be late to the dinner table either, okay? Alex and Noelle laugh as Maggie heads for the swinging door to the kitchen. ALEX: Alright, promise. Alex and Noelle hold up one hand, gesturing the promise to Maggie, who shakes her head while laughing at the happy couple. After Maggie steps out of the room, Noelle quickly turns around to face her husband, kissing him quickly on the lips. NOELLE: You know, I could really get used to being a Kiriakis.
ALEX: Now THAT is something I never thought I'd hear you say.
NOELLE: (laughs) It's true, though. Honestly, I'm grateful that Maggie's been so welcoming to me. It's really made a difference. Alex takes both of Noelle's hands and looks her intensely in the eyes. ALEX: Look, Victor will come around. Just give him time, and whatever misgivings he has about you are gonna fade away.
NOELLE: I'm...not so sure.
ALEX: Well, I am. So don't worry, okay? Noelle smiles, leaning in to kiss Alex again. The couple wrap their arms around each other as their kiss evolves from a quick peck on the lips to a more passionate one. ---
Outside, in the Kiriakis garden, Justin puts a hand on Sonny's shoulder to try to get his attention, but Sonny shrugs it off immediately, aggravated by Justin and Adrienne's intense conversation at his and Will's expense.
SONNY: Don't...touch me right now, Dad. I'm serious. You two have seriously got to back off. All the way off.  Adrienne pleads with her son, stepping towards him, and trying to take his hand, but Sonny will have none of it and lurches away. ADRIENNE: Please, Sonny, just...you have to understand, I'm just trying to look out for yo--
SONNY: ...No! No, you need to stop doing that. Okay, your idea of looking out for me, which, by the way, I don't need because I am an adult...is smothering me, and it's toxic. It is starting to tear away at my relationship with the man I want to spend the rest of my life with, and we haven't even made it to the altar yet! Adrienne stops, trying to choke out a response to Sonny while holding back tears. ADRIENNE: I just don't want you to make a big mistake. And I'm sorry, Will, but I think that Sonny marrying you would be a huge mistake. Will shakes his head, feigning cluelessness at Adrienne's reasons for not wanting he and Sonny to marry, knowing that her answer will sound absurd to Sonny. WILL: But why, Mrs. Kiriakis. I mean, you know Sonny and I have been through a lot. And I've stood by him. So why are you so concerned now?
ADRIENNE: Because, Will, I know what your mother's like, and I've seen the way you look at-- Adrienne gets cut off by the sound of Maggie's shocked voice coming from inside the house.
MAGGIE: (from inside) OH MY GOD, VICTOR! Everyone turns around suddenly, stunned by what they hear. Sonny is the first to react, running quickly inside, as the others filter in.
Inside, Maggie kneels by Victor's limp body, sobbing as she panicks, trying to figure out whether Victor is alive or dead.
Sonny arrives first, followed by Alex, Will, Adrienne, and Justin, as Noelle slowly saunters in behind them all, arms folded, with a much different look on her face from the others. Maggie looks up as Sonny rushes into action, pulling his phone out from his pocket. Maggie shouts out to the others. MAGGIE: I think he's had a heart attack, call the ambulance. Sonny dials 911 immediately, as the others are stunned, almost too stunned to react, as they observe Victor lying on the floor, struggling to breathe. Justin then jumps over, kneeling down with Maggie, as he grabs Victor's hand. SONNY: (into phone) Yes, this is Sonny Kiriakis, we think my uncle's just had a heart attack... ---




DAYS #89: The Kiriakis Family Dinner (Part 5) - Sonny confronts Adrienne and Justin, Sheryl makes a bold move on Lucas

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

Rafe and Hope stand in their office at the Salem PD. Hope looks at Rafe with a concerned look on her face, as Rafe stands stunned at what Hope's just asked her. RAFE: I...I don't even know how to answer that...I mean...I know these cops like they're family to me, Hope. No, I don't think they're racist.
HOPE: But what if...what if it's deeper than that. What if we've...(sigh) what if we're so used to seeing certain faces committing crimes that we've started to believe that they're inherently criminal people?  Hope walks away from Rafe, increasingly uncomfortable looking him in the eyes. She paces the room, deep in thought, as Rafe's eyes follow her around the room. HOPE: I know it's...I know it's not that they're bad people. I mean, we're trying to keep the community safe. I mean...everyone loves Abe...they loved Lexie when she was on the force, you're respected...but...
RAFE: Hope, come on. Don't let this one case hit you so hard, I mean...so the profile was wrong. There's a million ways that could have happened. The eye witness could have seen the wrong person, it could have been dark out...Hell, the perp could have an accomplice, this may not even be over yet--
HOPE: ...But what if it is, Rafe?! What if the Salem PD is the problem here? What if Jerome was right? Rafe sighs as he looks at Hope, shaking his head in disbelief of what she's asking him. ---
Sheryl sits at the table at Club TBD, where the lights are dimmed as the evening clientele mills about, having their cocktails and eating their dinner. She keeps one eye on the door as she looks over her menu. Her impatience building as she sees each person step in, and not seeing Lucas.
Finally, Lucas steps in the door, nervously looking around for his date. Sheryl immediately spots him, and waves in his direction. After a moment, Lucas feigns a smile and heads over to greet her.
Sheryl gets up from her seat, a big smile on her face as she reaches out to her date. SHERYL: Lucas, honey! I'm glad you finally escaped your mother's clutches.
LUCAS: Sheryl--
SHERYL: ...Oh come off it, Lucas, it was a JOKE! 
LUCAS: Yeah...sorry. I'm just...you know, tense. Sheryl leans over to touch Lucas' shoulder, causing Lucas to flinch again at her touch. Sheryl looks on, hurt again by Lucas' resistance to her. SHERYL: Okay...I'm sorry. I guess I'm just...not used to you being quite so...prickly. Sheryl sits down, a sense of defeat in her eyes. Lucas follows, adjusting himself a bit as he gets comfortable in his seat. Sheryl looks at Lucas, a bit annoyed at him. Lucas picks up on it, and leans in to speak softly to Sheryl. LUCAS: Look, I'm sorry. I haven't had a very good couple days. With work, and...the TV station selloff...I've been really overloaded.
SHERYL: I understand that.
Sheryl reaches out across the table to Lucas, almost touching his hand, but hesitating at the last moment.
She pulls her hand back into her lap. She looks down, appearing a bit sombre. SHERYL: I just...I wish I could...maybe find a way to help...I dunno, make it easier on you. Maybe take some of the load off. Lucas sighs, remembering his mom's advice before he left for dinner to be more convincing in his 'relationship' with Sheryl. Lucas looks up at Sheryl, who looks back at him with a lustful look in her eye. Lucas looks back curiously, as Sheryl gently slips her left pump from her foot, and glides it up his leg.
Lucas' eyes widen, as Sheryl's not-so-subtle come-on becomes obvious to him. LUCAS: Well! I uh...ahem...Gee I...I feel better already. Uh...
Lucas quickly turns to get T's attention as he passes by. LUCAS: Hey! T! Can you uh...can you get me a cup of coffee...and a uh... Lucas turns to face an expectant Sheryl, who looks Lucas' way unwaveringly, as she makes her order. SHERYL: Double vodka on the rocks. T looks on at the situation before him, slightly amused, and intrigued as he responds, fighting back laughter. T: Alright...coming up, guys! T rushes off, leaving an uncomfortable Lucas at the mercy of Sheryl. He squirms uncomfortably, but decides to play along, against his better judgment. LUCAS: I uh...I knew you wanted to help me unwind but...I had no idea you meant like this. Sheryl looks on, raising her eyebrow seductively, as she responds to Lucas. SHERYL: Maybe we should skip dinner. I think I'm feeling hungry for something a little different. Lucas tries to hold back an uncomfortable look, as he tries to formulate a response to Sheryl. ---
Jerome steps off the elevator at the Salem Inn, walking over to Jordan's door. He knocks.
Inside, Jordan jumps up from her chair, startled by the sudden unexpected visitor. Through the door, she hears Jerome's voice. JEROME: Kay? Baby, it's me. Jordan races over to the door, hoping none of her neighbours heard Jerome call her by her real name. She quickly opens the door and motions him inside, an irritated look on her face. JORDAN: I told you not to call me that! Get in here! NOW! Jerome slides casually inside, with Jordan stuffing him inside as she tries, through her frustration, to close the door while resisting her urge to slam it.
She glares as she speaks menacingly to him. JORDAN: How did you find me here? Jerome smirks as he looks at his ex-, appearing to take pleasure in her dismay. JEROME: I texted Sheryl. She said you could use the pep talk.
JORDAN: Oh right, I forgot. Sheryl's my mom now and I need her to tell me what I need to do.  Jordan opens the door back up, motioning to Jerome to leave, as Jerome walks toward the door. JORDAN: Look, I'm sorry you wasted your time, but I don't need you, and I don't need your 'pep talks'. Jerome puts his hand against the back of the door, shutting it, while blocking in Jordan. They stand mere inches apart, as Jerome looks lustfully in Jordan's eyes. Jordan, still clearly attracted to Jerome, looks at him intensely. JEROME: Maybe you don't know what you need as much as you think you do. Jordan looks back at him, her defenses wearing thin against Jerome, though still trying to put up the front. ---
Adrienne stands, still uncomfortably cold in the Kiriakis garden with Justin, as Adrienne tries to explain her calling Alex "Justin's son". ADRIENNE: I didn't mean it like that, Justin.
JUSTIN: No, but what else COULD it mean, Adrienne? You've always resented Anjelica's presence in our lives, even being just on the peripheral.
ADRIENNE: Well, I don't know, Justin. Maybe her trying to blow me up might have something to do with it? I mean, I know, I'm just talking crazy here, but-- Justin sighs, knowing this argument's going to go around in circles. He tries to stop it from moving further down this road. JUSTIN: Adreinne. I don't blame you for hating Anjelica. But you have helped raise Alex from the time he was a toddler. I thought you have accepted him as your own--
ADRIENNE: ...I have, Justin...I just...
JUSTIN: You just...what? You see Anjelica every time you look at him? You...resent his presence in our lives again? You question his motives in marrying Noelle Curtis because you're just, so certain that he's got something to hide?
ADRIENNE: A mother knows her son, Justin. Justin explodes with anger at Adrienne's remark. JUSTIN: You just reminded me he isn't your son, Adrienne! So how do you know he's hiding something? And how do you know that Will is so...eager to play the field that he's willing to risk what he has with Sonny to make a play for his brother. His brother who is married to a woman?
Justin and Adrienne jump back, looking towards the door as a voice calls out to them. SONNY: Is that really what you feel, Mom? Adrienne stands, shocked and at a loss for words as she's caught by her visibly upset son. ---
  --- Rafe puts his hand on Hope's shoulder, as Hope stays fixated on the view through her office window. RAFE: Hope, you can't fix everything, you know.  Hope stays fixated on the street below, leaving Rafe unsure if she's even listening. He squeezes her shoulder gently, hoping to rouse some kind of reaction in Hope. RAFE: Look, I know this case has thrown you for a loop. That's why I was pushing Grant so hard. But you gotta realize, we're only human.
HOPE: Yeah, but we also need to have some humanity.  Hope sighs, turning around to face Rafe finally. HOPE: You know, I just...seeing Jerome and...seeing Valerie again just reminded me why I became a cop in the first place. I didn't do it to hurt people, or...punish people. I did it to help protect people. To make my community a better place. 
RAFE: And you do that. Every day. I see that. Rafe puts his arms around Hope, as she reciprocates, holding Rafe in a tight embrace. HOPE: Well, I need to do more, Rafe. I need to figure out a way. As Rafe and Hope separate from their hug, Hope walks over to her desk, grabbing her purse and jacket. As she puts it on, she sighs. HOPE: I gotta...I gotta pick Ciara up. She's probably upset, I've been...really busy lately.
RAFE: You want me to give you guys a ride home? I gotta head that way anyway, pick up Sheryl at the Salem Inn. Hope smiles a bit, nodding appreciatively. HOPE: Yeah. I'm...not exactly in any shape to drive right now, am I?
RAFE: Come on, Partner! Rafe puts his arm around Hope, walking with her out of her office, finally coaxing a lasting smile out of his sombre partner. --- Jordan inhales deeply, taking in Jerome's scent as she tries to hide her discomfort, and her attraction to Jerome. JORDAN: Don't patronize me, Jerome. Jerome lifts his right hand up to gently carress Jordan's face, causing Jordan to flinch, and push Jerome away. Jerome doesn't fight back as Jordan walks away from her. JORDAN: Dammit, Jerome! Don't you get it? It's over between you and me. And it has been for a very long time.
JEROME: You know...that's funny because...I didn't think we ever officially broke things off between us. You know, as far as I remember...you just up and left town without saying where you were going, what you were doing, or who with. Now, what I wanna know is...is that how you normally break things off with the men you get with, or am I just a special case? Jordan turns around to face Jerome, eyes rolling, cutting him off as he finishes his question. JORDAN: I didn't...I didn't think we had anything more to talk about. You didn't want to tie yourself down to me, and...then this whole...EnerNext thing came up. I mean...Kate's offer to come to Salem came up way sooner than Sheryl and I expected.
JEROME: And you couldn't take two minutes to pick up a phone and tell me what was happening. Say goodbye? Dear John letter? A text message--
JORDAN: ...I couldn't! Dammit, Jerome. It wasn't safe! The RCMP were onto us, and if I stopped to make that call, I'd be setting myself up. Jerome looks down, shaking his head, knowing Jordan's making excuses. Jordan looks him dead on, as earnestly as she can. JORDAN: Look, I know I left suddenly. And I'm sorry for that. But we were having too many problems to ignore. And it wasn't going to get any better if I stayed in Toronto.
JEROME: But you don't know that. Jordan stops, sighing as she looks up to the ceiling. She throws her hands up in defeat. JORDAN: No. No, I don't. But it's too late to go back now. We have a job to do. That's the only relationship we're going to have here in Salem. You put that virus in the Titan server, and it's done. Jerome cocks his eyebrow, sensing a hint of hope. JEROME: And after that? Jordan rolls her eyes at Jerome's badgering, she looks away, folding her arms in discomfort. JORDAN: After that, I don't know.
JEROME: Does that mean you'll be leaving Salem? Jordan hesitates, looking down, away from Jerome's intense gaze. JORDAN: I haven't decided yet. Jerome leans toward where Jordan's looking, hoping to catch her gaze. Jordan looks away, and Jerome follows her eyes. Jordan sighs again, as it hits him just why she's hesitating. JEROME: Oh God. It's that sumbitch cop you been screwing around with. Hah! You're in love with him, aren't you? Jordan bites her lip, trying to avoid giving Jerome the answer he's searching for. --- The elevator dings before the door opens to Sheryl's floor. As it opens, Sheryl is pressed up against a visibly-uncomfortable Lucas, who is trying to get into the mood for the sake of Kate's plan, but Sheryl notices his tension. They kiss, but Sheryl, feeling Lucas' tension, steps back. SHERYL: Lucas! Come on, what's wrong? Sheryl grabs Lucas' hand and guides him from the elevator toward her apartment door. LUCAS: Ahh, it's nothing. I guess I'm just still tense from the office. Sheryl wraps her arms around Lucas, smiling seductively at him. He feigns a smile in return, putting his arms around her. SHERYL: Well, you know what I say to that.
LUCAS: Yes, I do.
SHERYL: Well, do you want to come in? Maybe I can...work out those knots in your shoulders, and maybe...help you relax? Lucas inhales, trying to gather his strength to go through with what's surely about to happen. LUCAS: I think that's a great idea. Sheryl smiles back, as she turns to open the door to the apartment. SHERYL: Good. As Sheryl steps in, Lucas lingers behind, almost afraid to step inside. Sheryl laughs at Lucas' reticence, coaxing him inside. SHERYL: (laughs) Come on, silly. You're acting like a school boy. Haven't you ever been to a girl's bedroom before. Lucas furrows his brow, as though Sheryl's wounded his pride. LUCAS: Hey! I resent that! I'll have you know I've been to...p...a few ladies' bedrooms in my time. Sheryl giggles as she sits herself down on her bed. Kicking off her shoes, she bites her lip seductively as she looks up at Lucas, who stands nearby, hands in his pockets, looking Sheryl up and down. SHERYL: Hmm...that's good to know then. Aren't you gonna come over here.
LUCAS: I uh...ahem, I dunno if I'm up to it. Sheryl looks up at Lucas, getting up off the bed and walking over to him. He backs up slightly, as Sheryl forcefully grabs his belt buckle and undoes it. Lucas resists momentarily. LUCAS: Sheryl...
SHERYL: Not. A. Word. Sheryl leans in, nearly kissing Lucas, but instead whispers, half seductively, half threateningly, as she kisses his cheek, and slowly nibbles his earlobe. SHERYL: You know....I never could understand...how a man....could still call himself a man...and not want to make love. Lucas' resists the urge to leave, his masculinity called into question, but simultaneously hearing his mother's voice in his head, nagging him to stay: KATE: If you intend on seeing this plan through, you're going to have to be an awful lot more convincing than what just went down. Before he can respond, Sheryl pushes Lucas onto her bed, straddling him aggressively. LUCAS: Wh...what are you doing, Sheryl?
SHERYL: Isn't it obvious? Sheryl rips open Lucas' shirt, as she kisses him full on the mouth. Lucas looks disgusted, but doesn't resist, replaying his mother's words over and over in his head, and Sheryl's emasculating whispers spliced between his mother's voice.
you'll have to do better than that
what kind of man doesn't want to make love?
better than that SHERYL: I want you, Lucas Horton. Make love to me. Sheryl leans over aggressively to kiss Lucas again, her legs straddling his torso as she kisses down his neck, kissing further and further down his chest, as Lucas lays back, closing his eyes momentarily, trying to simply go along with Sheryl's desire as best he can, still hearing the threatening voices circle in his head.
what kind of man...
you'll have to do better than that
...doesn't want to make love
I never understood
you'll have to do better... Lucas gasps in a combination of mental anguish and physical stimulation as Sheryl moves her way down his body. Tensing with an anxious uncertainty as Sheryl takes sexual control over him. ---
Maggie and Alex carry on talking to each other in the kitchen, as Noelle steps into the kitchen. MAGGIE: Noelle!
NOELLE: Hi, Maggie! I just came to check in on my husband. Noelle wraps her arms around Alex, who turns his head to kiss his wife on the cheek. Noelle smiles widely as she hugs him. Maggie looks on, smiling. MAGGIE: I'm so glad you two are so happy. (sigh) We could use a lot more of that in this house lately. Noelle looks on, sighing quietly, understanding Maggie's pain. NOELLE: I'm sorry, Maggie. I...I know the last few months haven't been easy on you and Victor...but...I have a feeling things are going to change very soon. Maggie smiles at Noelle, leaning against the island, feeling Noelle and Alex's concern and warmth. MAGGIE: Thank you, both of you. I hope so, too! --- Sonny and Will step into the garden, Sonny fuming at his parents' argument over his relationship. Adrienne stumbles over her words as she tries to respond to her son's question. ADRIENNE: I...I...Sonny! Look, your father and I--
SONNY: ...Were just nosing their way into my personal business. Again.
ADRIENNE: Sonny...
SONNY: Can it, Mom! Justin steps in to defend Adrienne, glaring at Sonny angrily. JUSTIN: Sonny. Don't talk to your mother like that. Will steps toward Sonny, touching Sonny's arm gently. WILL: Sonny...look, I didn't mean to cause trouble, I--
SONNY: No. No, that's all my mother's job. My mother, who can't seem to separate mother from son. My mother, who seems to think that Alex Kiriakis and Anjelica Deveraux are the same person, just like Sami Brady and Will Horton. Adrienne tries to calm Sonny down, trying to step toward her son, but Sonny shakes his head, backing away from her. ADRIENNE: Sonny...
SONNY: No! No, not this time, Mom. I love Will. And I know that Will is in love with me just as much. Whatever problems we're having right now, we will work them out, because that is what marriage is about. I know that's hard for you two since you seem incapable of going half a decade without some kind of litigation against each other, but--
JUSTIN: Sonny! Enough! Now, you owe your mother, and myself, an apology. Sonny laughs mockingly at Justin, incredulous that Justin would make such an assertion. SONNY: Hah! Like Hell, I do! You know, this is exactly why I wanted Will away from Titan. I didn't want him to be involved in all this family drama, and melodramatics. And I definitely didn't want anyone in this family, especially my own parents, to spend so much energy trying to run our lives, and trying to manipulate, and and and speculate about our sex lives. I mean, what business is it of yours?
Adrienne and Justin look solemnly at each other, realizing only now the depth of Sonny's anger at his family's involvement in his life. They stand, stunned, not realizing that inside the house, from the doorway, stands a solemn Victor, holding a drink in his hand. He listens closely to the entire conversation. Victor takes a sip from his drink, before breathing in heavily, an almost pained expression on his face as he contemplates his family's growing tensions. ---




DAYS #88: The Kiriakis Dinner (Part 4) - Noelle confronts Victor, Adrienne & Justin do battle

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

Hope stands in her office at the Salem PD, staring thoughtfully out the window. Rafe slowly opens the door. Observing Hope, he sighs to himself, as he stands in the doorway, holding a cup of coffee in his hand.
Never once looking away, barely even blinking, Hope doesn't notice as Rafe walks over to her, and hands her the cup. She jumps a bit, startled by Rafe. She looks down at the coffee cup and smiles as she takes it from Rafe.
RAFE: Figured you could use this.
HOPE: Thanks.
RAFE: You alright? Mrs...what was it, Grant? She really got to you.
Hope looks down, then back out the window, not looking Rafe's way as she takes a sip of her coffee. She takes a second before replying to him.
HOPE: Was it that obvious?
Hope turns around to face Rafe, a slight smile on both their faces, as they attempt to relieve a bit of the tension from dealing with Valerie and Jerome. Rafe shrugs as he makes a bit of a joke.
RAFE: Enh, not really. Heh. But seriously, that Valerie woman really shook you up. You...obviously have met before?
Hope looks down, nodding slowly as she answers Rafe, though almost zoning out.
HOPE: Ohh yeah. My...nephew David was supposed to marry Valerie a looong long time ago.
RAFE: And...obviously that didn't work out so well.
HOPE: You could say that.
Rafe looks on with concern, as Hope stays brooding in her own head, as though Rafe wasn't even in the room.
RAFE: Look, I don't wanna pry here, but...you look really upset by this.
HOPE: Yeah, well...(sigh) besides all the personal history...there's something about this whole situation that...it's just not right.
Hope looks up, looking intensely at Rafe, who looks back in stunned confusion.

Nicole and Eric unlock the door to Nicole's unlit apartment, laughing in between kisses. Eric holds a bottle of champagne in his hand, and places it down on the kitchen counter, as Nicole quickly turns on the light.
NICOLE: Ahhh! I...I cannot believe this.
Nicole runs back over to Eric, wrapping her arms around him from behind, much to his surprise. Eric laughs as he loses his balance while trying to grab champagne glasses from the cabinet above.
ERIC: Woah! Hey, Miss soon-to-be-Mrs. Brady.
NICOLE: Mmm, I like the sound of that.
Eric turns around, champagne glasses now in hand as he puts one arm around Nicole. Guiding her around to his side, he grabs the bottle and squeezes Nicole gently.
ERIC: Well, you better get used to hearing it, because I can't wait to make you my wife.
Eric twists off the cork with a loud pop. The cork flies out of the bottle and smashes the lightbulb above them, rendering the apartment once again pitch black. Nicole and Eric duck momentarily to protect themselves from the shattering glass, before looking up in stunned silence.
ERIC: Well...at least the darkness is romantic.
NICOLE: Yyyyyeah, I was never a fan of making love on broken glass, though.
Nicole turns toward the cupboard, pulling out a big flashlight.
NICOLE: Fortunately...
Nicole turns on the flashlight, startling Eric, who jumps back to protect his eyes from the bright light.
ERIC: ...AH! Hey!
NICOLE: I'm prepared for anything!
Nicole strides quickly back around, heading for the closet to find another bulb.
NICOLE: Don't move, I don't want you to step in the glass or anything.
ERIC: Yeah. Sure.
Eric looks on, sighing at the romantic, celebratory mood being gradually killed before his eyes.
Adrienne and Justin stand outside the Kiriakis Mansion, in the garden. Adrienne holds herself tightly, cold from the chilled winter air, as her husband drapes his jacket across her shoulders.
JUSTIN: You're shivering.
Adreinne waves dismissively at him.
ADRIENNE: I'm fine. I can handle it. Thank you. I just...I needed to breathe. You could cut the tension in that room with a knife.
JUSTIN: Don't I know it. You never explained yourself, why are you suddenly so against this wedding.

Adrienne steps in close to Justin, her voice gets softer as she explains herself. From inside, Will stands by the slightly-ajar door, straining to hear her.
ADRIENNE: I saw what was happening with Will and Sonny in there, Justin.
JUSTIN: And what was happening, exactly? Remember, I just got here.
Adrienne responds incredulously.
ADRIENNE: You didn't see it?? Justin, Will might as well have been on another planet, he was so completely...fixated on Alex.
JUSTIN: Well...Alex is an extremely attractive guy, I mean, it doesn't mean anything. Alex is with Noelle.
Adrienne rolls her eyes at what she views as her husband's naivete.
ADRIENNE: Oh please, Justin, I've told you a thousand times, Alex isn't with that girl for love. It's so obvious.
JUSTIN: You know, I don't exactly appreciate you making assumptions about my son's sexuality--
ADRIENNE: Why? Are you ashamed of Sonny now?
Justin looks down, stopping and sighing before answering as thoughtfully as he can. Careful not to say something he'll regret.
JUSTIN: You know that's not what I meant, Adrienne. I just--
ADRIENNE: ...You just still wish he were straight? I don't get it.
Justin explodes in anger, raising his voice, pointing back into the house emphatically, as though Sonny stood behind him.
JUSTIN: NO! I am so proud of our son, Adrienne. He has more strength and self-respect than most men twice his age. I would go to my death for that kid.
ADRIENNE: Then you need to stop him from making a huge mistake.
JUSTIN: He can decide that on his own, Adrienne.
Adrienne leans in close to Justin again, her one finger raised to make her point to Justin. She speaks softly but firmly.
ADRIENNE: If it isn't Alex, it'll be some other guy. He's Sami Brady's son in every. Single. Way.
Will leans back, the back of his head hits the wall behind him. He rests himself there, standing in stunned disbelief at what he's overheard. He breathes heavily before looking around for Sonny, then darting off.
--- ---   Nicole kneels on the kitchen counter of her apartment, as she finishes screwing in the lightbulb that had previously burnt out. Eric looks on from behind the counter, silently spotting Nicole, trying to protect her if she loses her balance.
NICOLE: Aaaaalllmost got it. Aaaaaand THERE!
The light flickers on, causing Nicole to throw up her arms in victory.
NICOLE: HaHA! So? How many Nicoles DOES it take to change a lightbulb?
ERIC: I'd say one.
Nicole looks down, glaring at Eric for his dry 'wit'. 
NICOLE: Smart-ass.
Nicole leans over to playfully swat Eric, but misses and loses her balance. She shrieks as she falls into Eric's arms.
After a moment of panic, Nicole and Eric stop for a second, looking into each other's eyes. After a long moment, they slowly lean in and kiss each other passionately. Their kiss leads to Nicole reaching around to wrap her arms around Eric's neck, as she draws him in closer.
Aroused by the intensity, Eric lifts Nicole onto the counter, as Nicole draws Eric close to her. She wraps her legs around his waist as he pulls open her blouse, kissing down her neck as Nicole closes her eyes, enjoying the sensation of every kiss.
Nicole takes a breath as Eric lifts his head, looking into Nicole's eyes. She smiles wryly, as she pulls his shirt off quickly, exposing his rippled body.
NICOLE: The bedroom?
Eric nods, a playful glint in his eye.
ERIC: Bedroom.
Eric effortlessly scoops Nicole up into his arms, her arms and legs still wrapped around his body. The kiss passionately as he carries her into her bedroom, the lights, newly changed, left on.

Noelle casually walks toward Victor, both of them standing in the Kiriakis living room alone. She looks at him smugly, as Victor tries to ignore her completely, looking the other way.
NOELLE: You know, this really is such a beautiful home. I could get used to it here.
Victor squints his eyes, trying to stop from spitting his drink out, as he chokes out an answer. He turns around, glaring at her.
VICTOR: You expect to live here? I was hoping you'd at least settle for a neighbouring zip code.
Noelle crosses her arms, a wry smile on her face. She begins to pace the room as she talks, contemplating as she speaks. Victor gets tense as she speaks.
NOELLE: Victor, you're a card. You know as well I do, though, that as long as Alex is staying here with you and Maggie...
Noelle turns around suddenly, staring down Victor.
NOELLE: ...I...will be right here with him. I mean, I am his wife, after all.
Victor grimaces, never once looking away from Noelle as they each try to intimidate the other.
VICTOR: Mm. Don't remind me.
Noelle laughs quietly as Victor turns back around, finishing his drink.  She saunters around to the other side of Victor, grabbing a glass for her own drink as she picks up the caraffe and begins to pour herself a drink.
NOELLE: Oh come now, don't you want your nephew to be happy?
VICTOR: Yes. Which is exactly why I want him far away from you, and preferably the rest of your dysfunctional family to boot!
Noelle takes a sip from her drink, savouring the flavour, as she responds to Victor's repeated snipes, again with a smile and cool exterior.
NOELLE: Well, don't worry about my family. You've already done your part in tearing ours apart. And juding by how tonight's going...it looks like you're doing wonders on your own.
Victor looks menacingly at Noelle, who takes the opportunity to turn toward the hallway heading for the kitchen.
NOELLE: I best check on Maggie and the boys. Enjoy your wallowing!
Victor watches from his peripheral vision as Noelle casually walks out of the room. Once gone, he quickly finishes his drink, before slamming the glass down on the desk before him.
VICTOR: Damn that little...

Maggie turns around in the Kiriakis kitchen, holding some serving bowls she's pulled out from the pantry, and walks slowly toward the centre island, where Sonny leans against the counter, and Alex sits casually on a bench. They're relaxed, catching up, and helping bring a smile back to Maggie's face.
MAGGIE: It's so nice to be back in a kitchen again.
Alex, who's stealing some mini-profiterols from a bowl on the counter, looks over to Maggie, a wide smile on his face.
ALEX: You know how funny that sounds, knowing you own a restaurant?
Maggie and Sonny laugh, as Maggie smacks Alex's hand away as he reaches over to grab another profiterol.
MAGGIE: Restaurants! And you're gonna spoil your supper if you keep that up.
SONNY: And those abs, I might add.
Alex gives Sonny a smug, mocking look.
ALEX: Ahh you're just jealous because I got the good genes.
SONNY: Yeah, well, apparently modesty's a Johnson thing anyway.
ALEX: Ohhh! I know you didn't go there just now.
SONNY: I SO did!
As the boys laugh, Maggie leans over the table and grabs their hands, squeezing them tightly as she smiles, looking back and forth between the two of them.
MAGGIE: You know...can I just say...this was exactly what I needed?
SONNY: I'm glad to hear it, Maggie. I'm sorry about what's been happening between you and Uncle Vic.
Maggie smiles warmly at Sonny.
MAGGIE: Thanks, Sonny. I mean...I know it's not his fault. With everything that's happened. Titan being in so much trouble, and...Brady dying...I know it's been hard on him.
ALEX: But it's not your fault, either.
SONNY: Exactly. Don't be afraid to have some sort of...release.
Maggie nods, sighing in a sense of relief of having been able to talk this out with Alex and Sonny.
MAGGIE: I know. I was never very good at that. At least tonight, I've got the kitchen free for a bit.
SONNY: Yeah! I was amazed you got Chef to go home early.
Maggie gives a cute smile to Sonny.
MAGGIE: I have my ways.
As Maggie winks at the boys, everyone laughs, and Alex smiles, nodding in approval of his great aunt.
MAGGIE: But you know...honestly, it's nice having a kitchen again. I thought I'd love being waited on hand and foot but...I miss everyone coming down to my house and hanging out in my kitchen.
SONNY: Yeah! That used to be like...every lunch break. Me, Chad, Will, Gabi, Melanie...
MAGGIE: I really miss that. But...I wouldn't trade it for life with Victor for anything.
Alex pats Maggie's back gently, smiling approvingly, as Sonny takes a sip of his drink.
ALEX: Well...we wouldn't trade you for anything either. You make a great addition to this family.
Sonny holds up his drink, as Alex reaches over to grab his. Maggie, not having hers, laughs awkwardly, slightly embarrassed by the praised being given to her.
SONNY: Hear hear!
As Sonny and Alex toast, Will bursts into the room. He sees Sonny and Alex toast and senses the same tension as before.
ALEX: Hey, Will!
Will stops a moment before calling out to Sonny.
WILL: Hey! ...Uh...Sonny, can I...talk to you a second?
Sonny, sensing something's troubling Will, immediately walks over.
SONNY: Uh, sure. Everything alright?
WILL: Yeah, I just...I need to ask you something...in private.
SONNY: Ssssure.
Sonny and Will both look back into the room, with Sonny giving both Maggie and Alex a smile, while Will looks on, fixated on Alex, before catching himself and looking away.
WILL: I won't keep him long, I promise.
Maggie and Alex laugh quietly, as Sonny is dragged into the hall.   Once in the hall, Sonny looks around, a bit annoyed by Will's awkward behaviour, he whispers intensely at Will.
SONNY: What's wrong? You alright?
Will begins to panic as he grabs Sonny, holding him tightly for a moment.
WILL: I...I don't know.
Sonny reciprocates, holding Will tightly in his arms for the first time in days. He savours the moment, as much as he worries for Will.
SONNY: What is it? Tell me.
Will holds back tears as he pulls back from his embrace with Sonny. Looking intensely at his fiance, tears in his eyes, he answers.
WILL: It's your mom, Sonny.
Sonny looks on, worry and aggravation painted on his face.
Adrienne stands in the Kiriakis garden, facing away from a confused Justin. Justin stands, hands on hips, trying to sort out Adrienne's thought process.
JUSTIN: Do you seriously think that Will is going to marry our son, his first boyfriend, I might add, only to throw everything they've worked so hard for away just as things are starting to smooth out for them?
Adrienne laughs softly, as she turns around, shaking her head at her husband.
ADRIENNE: Justin, you cannot be that naive.
JUSTIN: And you can't possibly be that cynical. Do you hear yourself right now? Will is Sami's son, therefore he's inevitably going to turn to be a Samantha Gene Brady mini-me?
Adrienne sighs, holding in her feelings as Justin ravishes her for her remark.
ADRIENNE: That's not what I'm sayin--
JUSTIN: Then what ARE you saying, Adrienne? Because whatever it is, I don't think it's fair to Will, or to our son if you start trying to separate them again. All you're going to do is alienate them both. Is that what you really want?
ADRIENNE: No! Of course not! Justin, I just...there is something going on between Alex and Will, and so help me, if your son comes between Sonny and Will--
Justin, taken aback by Adrienne's slip, cuts her off, stunning her into silence with his interjection.
JUSTIN: My son? Adrienne, you helped raise Alex like he was your own...what are you saying?
Adrienne struggles to find an answer, hoping not to make matters worse. Justin looks on, an increasingly hurt and angered look in his eye.
Rafe looks confused at Hope.  He looks on, attempting to figure out what she's referring to.
RAFE: I...I don't know what you mean...I mean...we went on the info we had on this guy...it turned out to be wrong. End of story.
Hope turns around, shaking her head in disagreement. She takes a second, sighing before responding to Rafe.
HOPE: Not...exactly.
Rafe squints in confusion, now shaking his head.
RAFE: I don't get it.
HOPE: Oh, Rafe, dammit! I just...I have...concerns.
RAFE: About--
Hope turns around quickly, interrupting Rafe, a sudden intensity and anger in her voice.
HOPE: ...About Jerome! About why we arrested him when he was...so diametrically opposite to what the real thief looked like.
Rafe shrugs, trying to rationalize with Hope, but still uncomfortable.
RAFE: Well...these things happen all the time, you know that--
HOPE: No! This...it's more than that. I mean...
Hope looks down, turned back away from a confused Rafe. She looks at the ground, as if not even focused on anything in the room. She's intensely inside her own thoughts, and Rafe, her audience for her self-reflection.
HOPE: ...I mean...Rafe, that profile. How many profiles have we seen...black male...early 20s...
Hope turns back around, prepared to look at Rafe again.
HOPE: What...what if Jerome's right? What if he was only made a suspect in the first place...because he was black?
Rafe looks on, a conflicted look on his face, as he contemplates what Hope says to him.




DAYS #87: The Kiriakis Family Dinner (Part 3) - Adrienne gets suspicious, Victor's mouth gets him in trouble

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson   Will, stood in the living room of the Kiriakis mansion alongside his fiance Sonny, looks on at Noelle and Alex's cosy togetherness. Stunned, he can barely choke out a response to Alex's introduction of Noelle, his wife.
WILL: I...your wife! I...wow! You...I didn't realize.
Alex laughs at Will's surprise, as Sonny reaches out to Noelle.
SONNY: It's so good to finally meet you.
NOELLE: And you, Sonny.
Noelle breaks free from Alex's arm to give her brother-in-law a hug, as Adrienne steps forward into the scene from across the room, as Victor, still stood in front of the living room bar, looks her way.
ADRIENNE: Well, now that we've all had a chance for introductions, shall I uh...set the table?
VICTOR: Nonsense, Adrienne. Have a seat. Would you like a drink?
Adrienne looks behind her to the chair behind her. She sits herself down as the others follow suit, seated across the sofa, with Maggie taking the easychair opposite Adrienne. 
ADRIENNE: Uh, no thank you, Victor. I'll just...wait until dinner.
Maggie senses tension in the air, and tries to break it after a moment of awkward silence.
MAGGIE: Ah, so...Noelle! It's...really nice to see you again. Ah, I was just saying to Adrienne and Noelle in the kitchen that I hadn't seen her since she were a little girl. And now here you are...all grown up--
Noelle looks Maggie's way, smiling, as Victor interrupts Maggie with a snarky remark.
VICTOR: Marrying for money and status, just like her louse of a father.
Maggie immediately turns to Victor, disgust plain on her face, as Victor takes a sip of his drink.
MAGGIE: Victor, we have guests. They may be family, but it is no time to be airing your greivences.
Adrienne chimes in, hoping to reclaim some good humour in the room.
ADRIENNE: I agree. This is supposed to be a pleasant evening, and...
MAGGIE: ...And it's a time for celebration. Alex is back in Salem, with a beautiful new bride, no comment from the peanut gallery, thank you.
Victor scowls as Maggie looks pointedly his way.
MAGGIE: And we have one more marriage soon to come in the family. As Will will soon be part of our family as well.
Will smiles awkwardly as Maggie gets up from her seat to pour herself a soda. Sonny puts a hand on Will's knee, causing Will to look down quickly, before looking up at Sonny. Sonny's eyes are glued to Will's, almost pleading with him to be civil. Will looks at Sonny, lovingly, but with a degree of coldness.
MAGGIE: Adrienne, would you at least like a soda to toast with?
Adrienne looks away from Sonny and Will, as if snapping out of a daze. She responds to Maggie, awkwardly, but pleasantly.
ADRIENNE: Ahh....oh, yes! Yes, thank you!
Maggie turns back to pour the drink, as Victor paces behind the sofa, observing all the tension bubbling under the proceedings. His face tells the story, as his scowl persists.
MAGGIE: There you are. So, to our guests of honour. Will, Sonny, Alex, and Noelle. May they live and love for many years to come.
As everyone raises their glasses, Maggie fixes her gaze on an unmoved Victor, who raises his glass only at the behest of his wife.   ---
Billie picks up a cup of tea from the coffee table in the Horton living room, as Jennifer sits down in the chair near her.
JENNIFER: Billie, I don't see why you're so curious about my feelings for Daniel.
Billie stirs uncomfortably, as she tries to answer Jennifer as gently as possible.
BILLIE: Look...Jenn, I don't mean to pry, that certainly isn't my intention. But...I think you should know...Daniel and I have been...well, we've been seeing each other, and it's been getting pretty serious.
Jennifer keeps a cool exterior, setting down her tea on the coffee table. She nods at Billie and feigns a smile.
JENNIFER: That's great. That's good to hear, Billie. But Daniel and I are through. What he does is really none of my business.
BILLIE: Well...that's where you're wrong.
Jennifer looks at Billie, confused, and a touch resentful at Billie's insistence.
JENNIFER: What do you mean by that, Billie? 
Billie looks down at the ground, trying very hard not be tactless in how she answers the question.
BILLIE: Because, based on what I've seen today, it's obvious to me that he's still very much in love with you.
Jennifer looks at Billie, contemplative and a bit frustrated, by Billie's revelation.
Laura knocks gently on JJ's bedroom door. JJ sits at his desk, typing away on an assignment, with her earbuds in, and doesn't hear Laura. Laura, seeing this, lets herself in, walking over to JJ and tapping him on the shoulder. JJ jumps, and upon seeing Laura behind him, takes his earbuds out.
JJ: Grandma!
LAURA: Sorry if I scared you, but...I wanted to give you some news.
JJ turns around, as Laura sits down at the edge of JJ's bed.
JJ: Okay, what's up?
Laura smiles, trying to sum up everything she's learned today. Still a bit tense and uneasy with some of it, she decides to start with the good news first.
LAURA: Well, there's some good news, and some...troubling news.
JJ: Alright, lay the bad on me first.
LAURA: Well, maybe I should give you the good news first. I...I don't want to cause you alarm.
JJ: Grandma--
LAURA: Look, the good news is...I spoke to Daniel today, and...well, he agreed to look into Liam a bit more deeply for us.
JJ smiles, a look of relief on his face.
JJ: That's fantastic! Do you...do you think this will mean that...maybe there's a chance they'll find their way back to each other?
Laura looks down, a bit worried. She shakes her head.
LAURA: JJ, I know you just want your mother to be happy, but...it's too late for your mother and Daniel.
JJ: But, I mean, he still loves her, right? I mean, he's agreed to help us--
LAURA: ...That doesn't mean that they're getting back together. Look, I know you blame yourself for your mother and Daniel splitting up, but...what's important right now is that we keep your mother safe.
JJ nods, a bit disappointed, but understanding his grandmother's thinking.
JJ: No, you're right. So...what was the bad news, then?
Laura breathes in deeply, hoping the right words will come out.
LAURA: Look, I don't want to...(sigh)...I don't mean to worry you, but...I overheard Liam having a conversation on the phone at the hospital today.
JJ: A conversation? Okay, with who?
Laura takes a second to answer, her eyes staring intensely at JJ as she speaks, worry causing her voice to shake.
JJ looks on, more worried for his mom than ever.
---   ---   Valerie and Jerome step into their new house. Valerie tosses her car keys casually on the table by the door, as she and Jerome step in from the winter cold.
VALERIE: Well...it's not exactly how I planned your welcome. (sigh) But here it is.
Jerome looks around, a smile on his face as he takes in his surroundings.
JEROME: Well, well. Not bad, Grandma.
Valerie turns around, cracking a smile. She puts her hand up to Jerome's face, looking affectionately at him.
VALERIE: I'm glad you're alright. You know, I know it sounds like I'm paranoid but...I mean, you know this, every time you...turn on a TV or look at a newspaper, it's another black person dying in custody, and--
JEROME: Grandma, I told you. You don't need to worry about me.
VALERIE: That's where you're wrong, Jerome. You're dead wrong.
Jerome looks at his grandmother, confused by her persistance.
JEROME: What do you mean, Grandma? I mean, you talk like you're speaking from experience or something.
Valerie sighs, hesitating to answer. She looks unflinchingly at Jerome, a simmering rage inside her that she tries desperately to hold back.
VALERIE: Maybe I am.
Jerome looks on, dumfounded, shaking his head, as his phone rings. The disruption cuts the tension, as Jerome turns to find his jacket, where the phone is.
JEROME: I gotta get that.
Valerie sighs, as Jerome walks over to pick up the phone. Seeing that it's Sheryl, he immediately answers, but quietly.
JEROME: (into phone) Hey.
Sheryl steps off the elevator at the lobby of the Titan building. Her cell phone in hand, as she responds.
SHERYL: (into phone) Hey, where are you?
JEROME: (into phone) Ohhh I'm at my new house. Just settling in after my stint as a hardened criminal.
Sheryl, surprised by the news, scrunches her face in displeased surprise.
SHERYL: (into phone) WHAT? You're joking.
Jerome continues, looking at Valerie, trying to keep the conversation light.
JEROME: (into phone) No joke. Look, I uh...I don't really wanna get into it right now, but...you alright?
SHERYL: (into phone) Not really.
Jerome rolls his eyes, knowing Sheryl's problems will be something petty.
JEROME: (into phone) Alright, spill. What is it?
SHERYL: (into phone) I think Lucas might be onto us. I don't know how but...something's wrong.
Jerome looks ahead, responding without hesitation.
JEROME: (into phone) Meet me at Jordan's in 20 minutes?
Sheryl again furrows her brow, confused by Jerome's request.
SHERYL: (into phone) I can't until morning.  Uh...besides, you don't even know where she lives...
JEROME: (into phone) Text me directions now. She and I need to clear the air. You be there at 8:30 tomorrow morning. Bye.
Jerome hangs up abruptly, putting his jacket back on, much to Valerie's chagrin. Valerie starts to head toward Jerome.
VALERIE: Jerome Grant, where are you going?
Jerome opens the front door of the house, barely stopping to explain himself.
JEROME: There's an emergency at the University I have to deal with, Grandma. I'll see you in a bit.
VALERIE: Jerome, wait!
The door slams shut behind Jerome, causing Valerie to flinch, before looking off resigned and angry.
--- Nick walks up to Stefano's grand leather chair. Resting against the back of it, he watches the fire along with Stefano.
NICK: You know...you remember those...photos I sold you? Those ones Percy took of Abigail and EJ doing the do? Whatever happened to those?
Stefano laughs heartily, never taking his eyes off the fire as he answers Nick.
STEFANO: Ohh I have them in a very safe place. And if Elvis plays his cards right, they won't move from that place.
Jennifer gets up from her seat, arms crossed, pacing the room uncomfortably as Billie looks her way, hoping to find a way to calm her nerves.
BILLIE: Jenn, I'm sorry if I upset you, but...
Jenn shrugs, shaking her head, deep in her own thoughts, almost not answering Billie, but just verbalizing her inner thoughts.
JENNIFER: No, it's...it's okay, Billie. it's not your fault, and I'm sorry it's gone this way. But Daniel and I can't be together...I can't trust him. Besides, I've moved on.
Billie looks Jenn's way, uncertainty in her eye.
BILLIE: Jenn, I mean...maybe it's my insecurity talking but...it doesn't sound like you have.
Jenn stops pacing, clicking back and turning to face Billie. She puts her hand over to meet Billie's, which rests on the top of the sofa near where Jenn was pacing. She smiles warmly at her longtime friend.
JENNIFER: I have. And I've met a wonderful man who loves me and...it feels like we've known each other forever.
Billie cracks a smile, as Jenn walks around to the other side of the sofa, never letting go of Billie's hand as she goes to sit on the sofa next to Billie, where she begins to gush about Liam.
BILLIE: That's...GREAT. Tell me more!
JENNIFER: Oh, Billie, I mean, you know, I know, I've..moved on kinda fast but...this guy, we talk about he just...he understands where I'm coming from, and he...I mean he even remembered Abigail's birthday a couple months ago, I like...I barely remember mentioning it to him. (laughs)
Billie doesn't join in Jennifer's gushing, schoolgirl laughter, though she tries momentarily. The realization hits her, that this was what Laura was talking about to Daniel. She tries to hide her concern.
BILLIE: What a...sweetheart.
JENNIFER: He really is. Billie, I can't wait for you to meet him.
BILLIE: I'm sure I will soon. He uh...he works at the hospital as well?
JENNIFER: Yeah! He's a uh...pharmaceutical rep.
BILLIE: I see.
Billie nods in feigned approval, before starting to get up from the couch.
BILLIE: Look, I need to get going, but I'm glad I stopped by. It's good to see you again.
Jennifer gets up from the couch as well, smiling widely. She reaches quickly over to hug Billie.
JENNIFER: It's SO good to see you. Ohhh my gosh, you, Daniel, Liam, and I...we should get together sometime soon. 
Billie smiles, nodding in strained agreement.
BILLIE: Yes, we...definitely should. And...again, I'm sorry if I upset you.
JENNIFER: No! Sweetie, never. I know what you're feeling right now. You're going through a lot of emotions. You're feeling...vulnerable. Insecure. It's okay. I understand that. And if you need me, I'll be there for you. Okay?
Billie smiles earnestly, almost blushing at her friend's warmth and caring.
BILLIE: Thank you.
Billie turns and heads for the door, as Jennifer stays behind in the living room, an intense, thoughtful look on her face, as Billie heads out the door.
Outside, Billie stands in the doorway, more concerned than ever.
BILLIE: Alright, Billie. Time to find out who this Liam Frasier guy is...and what he wants.
JJ gets up from his seat, his worry about his mom's safety palpible, he starts to panic as he speaks, building himself up into a bit of a frenzy, which Laura can't bear to watch, worried she'll be worked up herself.
JJ: Grandma, what are we gonna do? I mean...if this Liam guy is really working for the DiMeras...I mean...mom could be in serious danger...and Abigail. I mean...she's working for them already. What if they're spying on her. What if this trip to Italy was...what are they gonna do to her?
Laura looks at JJ, welling up with concern for her family, she can no longer hold back. She stands up from the edge of JJ's bed
LAURA: I don't know, JJ. But I do know one thing for sure, is that you need to be kept safe from all of this. And I promise you, I will keep you safe, no matter what it costs me.
Laura leans over and takes JJ in her arms, holding her grandson tightly.
Maggie continues to try to cool the frayed nerves in the Kiriakis living room, trying to keep the mood light with banter, which falls on deaf ears to the rest of the party.
MAGGIE: So it looks like The Penthouse Grille reopening will be ready to go by the spring. Isn't that great?
ALEX: That's fabulous news, Maggie. I can't wait to see the place.
Just then, Justin walks in the doors of the living room. Upon seeing his son looking back at him, Justin's face lights up, as does Alex's.
JUSTIN: You gotta be kidding me! Come here, big guy!
Justin and Alex laugh and share a warm hug, as Adrienne gets up from her seat to greet her husband.
JUSTIN: And I'm assuming you brought Noelle with you?
JUSTIN: Noelle! It's been awhile.
NOELLE: (laughs) Yes, it has. 
Justin steps over to Noelle, giving her a kiss on the cheek as a greeting. Adrienne, awkwardly stands near Justin, finally piping up.
ADRIENNE: Ahh, Justin. Sweetie.
Justing and Adrienne quickly kiss on the lips, Justin smiling warmly at his wife, though sensing her tension.
JUSTIN: Yes, my dear.
ADRIENNE: Could I, uh, speak to you in the kitchen a moment.
Justin shrugs casually, pouring himself a quick drink before taking off.
Adrienne leads Justin out of the room into the side room. Inside the living room, Will's eyes follow Adrienne and Justin out, an air of suspicion as he watches them leave. Victor walks back around toward his previous seat.
VICTOR: God, I hope dinner's soon. All this fretting and suspicious behaviour is working up my appetite.
Maggie, starting to lose her cool, begins to crack, her voice raising in irritation not just as Victor, but everyone.
MAGGIE: Victor, I swear to God. One more snide remark out of you--
VICTOR: ...And what, Maggie? You'll divorce me?
Maggie gets up from her seat, finally blown her cool.
MAGGIE: Don't press your luck, Kiriakis!
Noelle sits, revelling in Victor's misery, but Sonny thinks better of the situation and gets up as well to try to calm things down.
SONNY: Okay, maybe we should go set the table. I think Chef is nearly ready for the starters, so...
Will follows suit, still more fixated on Adrienne and Justin's whereabouts, but using this as an opportunity to spy.
WILL: Yeah. Yeah, I think that's a great idea, Sonny.
NOELLE: Ohh, and miss all this great together time? Victor will be so disappointed. Won't he?
Victor stands stoically by the bar set. Taking a sip of his drink, he casually retorts.
VICTOR: Blow it out your nose, Hussy.
MAGGIE: That does it! I've had enough. Victor, I hope you enjoy the poolhouse, because that's where you're staying tonight.
Victor looks at Maggie, incredulously.
VICTOR: What on Earth are you talking about, woman? This is MY house!
MAGGIE: And I own half of it. Remember? I'll be in the kitchen.
Victor scowls in defeat, as Maggie steps around Victor, heading to the kitchen to join the others in preparing dinner.
Victor lingers in the living room, alone, save for Noelle, who has stayed behind, a smug smile on her face. Once the last of the group leave the room, Noelle begins to clap at Victor's misfortune.
NOELLE: Great work, Victor. I have to say...that's one for the books. You've managed to alienate your entire family before the first course is even served. That's got to be a new record. Even for you!
Victor looks away from Noelle, shaking his head slowly, before quickly downing the rest of his drink.
Will and Sonny head for the kitchen, but Will stops just short of the kitchen. Sonny looks back in Will's direction, and Will motions to him, holding one finger up to tell him to hold on a moment.
WILL: Just need to have a pit stop for a moment.
SONNY: Okay.
Sonny disappears through the saloon doors into the kitchen, while Will hangs back, spotting Adrienne and Justin chatting in the garden. Being sure not to be seen, he hides around the corner, just close enough to overhear their conversation outside.  
Adrienne stands  stone still. Arms folded, staring straight ahead, as Justin tries desperately to discover what's wrong. He walks up behind Adrienne, putting his hands tenderly on her shoulders.
JUSTIN: Hey, you alright?
ADRIENNE: (sigh) I hope so.
Justin, unsatisfied with his wife's answer, resists his urge to roll his eyes, as Adrienne continues.
ADRIENNE: I uh...I think I must be losing my mind.
Adrienne momentarily laughs at herself a bit, before carrying on.
ADRIENNE: Yeah! Well...see...you know how I've always....had some misgivings about Will and Sonny being together.
Justin nods, worried that he knows the direction this conversation's headed.
JUSTIN: Yyyes. And we've reminded you to stay out of it. Let the boys handle it.
Adrienne spins around quickly, almost cutting Justin off.
ADRIENNE: Yes! Exactly! And I told you over and over again that Will is just...he is too much like Sami, and Lucas has not been a much better example for him.
JUSTIN: Okay. I mean, Lucas has had his fair share of drama, but...you know...so did we.
Adrienne looks seriously into her husband's eyes. She inhales deeply while she works out her next thought.
ADRIENNE: Well, I didn't realize how right I was...not until tonight. Justin, this wedding CANNOT happen. I won't let it happen.
Justin looks on, stunned by his wife's sudden emboldened, and passionate plea.
Will, meanwhile, hides around the corner, enraged by Adrienne's pointed disapproval.




DAYS #86: The Kiriakis Family Dinner (Part 2) - Will meets a new (unwelcome?) family member

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson
Sonny walks up to the door of the Kiriakis Mansion, and rings the doorbell, while Will stands behind him, trying to hide his annoyance at having to be at this family dinner to begin with. Henderson opens the door. SONNY: Hey, Henderson, we're here... Sonny is taken aback, when he looks behind Henderson, to see a face he hasn't seen in years.
SONNY: Oh my God....Alex???
ALEX: Hey, my man, how are you??
SONNY: Oh WOW, this is...WOW, look at you, man! It's so good to see you! Sonny races inside to give Alex a hug, as Will steps inside, a wave of horror washes over him. Sonny turns to face Will, a huge smile on his face as he speaks. SONNY: Alex, I want you to meet my fiancé, Will Horton. Will, this is my brother, Alex Kiriakis. Will turns ghost white, stunned into silence. Realizing what's happening, he snaps out of his daze and chokes out a reply. Feigning a smile. WILL: I...yeah, we...we've met.
ALEX: Yeah! Turns out Will's my new employee.
WILL: Yeah! Keeping it in the family. You know. Will sneaks a look at Sonny, whose eyes beg Will not to keep antagonizing him on this night. Will smiles, as Alex motions them into the living room. ALEX: You, uh...you guys wanna come into the living room. We're having drinks before dinner.
SONNY: That...sounds like exactly what I need. Will?
WILL: Absolutely. Lead the way. Sonny and Alex head into the living room, Will following closely behind, his face dropping as his sudden tension at being at dinner with both Alex and Sonny shows. ---
Jennifer walks into her living room, a file folder in hand, as Laura sits on the sofa, reading a book on her tablet. As Jennifer walks in, Laura looks up at her daughter and smiles. LAURA: Jennifer! How was your day? Jennifer sets the file folder on the desk in the corner of the room, before turning toward her mother, smiling, but with an visible tension about her body language. JENNIFER: Oh, it was good. You know...quiet day. I had...a press release to finish up about our brand new chief of staff.
LAURA: Ohh Valerie Grant. It's...so exciting to have her back. I mean, I wish it were under different circumstances, but...
JENNIFER: I know...it's such a shock...Kayla taking off like that so suddenly. No word on why or...what's happening with Steve and Joey.
LAURA: I just hope they're okay.
JENNIFER: Yeah...so do I. Jennifer looks to one side in the momentary silence between mother and daughter. She smiles quickly before heading for the kitchen. JENNIFER: I, uh...I should go get myself together. Liam and I are going out tonight. This causes Laura's eyes to bug out, suddenly worry showing across her face as she watches her daughter head out of the room. LAURA: Going out, again? You...Jennifer, you and Liam have become...really close really quickly. Jennifer stops in her tracks in the doorway. Turning around, a strange look on her face. JENNIFER: Yes, we have. Uh...Mom...you know, you've been rather...uneasy with Liam lately. I mean...I know JJ has also had some...rather vocal misgivings about him as well.
LAURA: Yes, he has. And...I confess...so have I. But--
JENNIFER: ...Has JJ been putting these ideas in your head, Mom? Laura turns to Jennifer, trying to put her at ease and reaching out, as Jenn walks back into the room, arms folded. LAURA: Darling, no! Look, we just...we love you, and with Abigail away, and it being so little time since you and Daniel split...I just...I don't want you to rush into anything, I mean...are you going to be coming home tonight? Jennifer turns to face Laura, arms still folded in discomfort at her mother's invasive line of questioning. JENNIFER: Mother! Look, this is none of your business, I am a grown woman with adult children of my own. I don't have to tell you where and when I'm spending the night with a man I'm dating. Laura puts up her hands to try to calm Jennifer down a moment. LAURA: That's....that's not how I meant it. I'm just....I'm just saying, I want you to take it slow. I know how Daniel hurt you by lying about JJ and Theresa and I just...
JENNIFER: You're just looking out for me, I know... Jennifer walks away again, her arms unfolding as she tries to calm down, realizing her mother's only looking out for her. After a moment, she turns again, cooled off enough to speak again. JENNIFER: I know. It's just...JJ's different. I know he wants me and Daniel together, and...I don't know...
LAURA: Do you think JJ's making up trouble for nothing? Jennifer ponders Laura's question a moment before answering. JENNIFER: I don't know. I mean, maybe. Maybe he's just looking out for me. Jennifer shrugs as she continues, pacing the room as she talks to Laura, almost thinking aloud as she does. JENNIFER: Sometimes I wonder about Liam. I mean...today he came to visit me at work, and...he had some phone call. He hurried off. It was...it was bizarre, he seemed so...tense. 
LAURA: A phone call?
JENNIFER: Yeah...some deal he had to close with another hospital. It really seemed to upset him and he ran off. Laura feigns cluelessness, as she tries to coax more information out of her daughter. LAURA: Well, hopefully it clears up before tonight. Laura gets up from the couch, putting a hand on her worried daughter's shoulder. LAURA: Look, JJ will come around, and soon Abigail will be home, and...things will get back to normal again. Jennifer smiles, the tension starting to ease off as she turns to face her mother, a warm smile on her face again. JENNIFER: Thanks, Mom. And for the record, I have not been to Liam's home yet...I actually...honestly don't even know where he lives, if I'm honest. It's...strange, isn't it? Suddenly, the doorbell rings, prompting a chuckling Jennifer to head for the door again, leaving Laura behind, her worry intensifying. Laura responds quietly, as Jenn leaves the room. LAURA: Yes...very strange.

Jennifer steps into the foyer. Opening the door, she's surprised to see Billie waiting at her door. JENNIFER: Billie! Oh my God, it's so good to see you! Billie smiles widely, looking almost too happy to see her old friend as she waits at the door. ---
--- Jennifer hesitates for a moment, before stepping back from the door to invite Billie inside. JENNIFER: Uh, sorry, oh gosh, Billie, come in. Billie steps in, all smiles, with a tension in her smile, as she looks around to see if anyone else is at home. Jennifer turns to face Billie, holding her arms out for a hug. BILLIE: Ohhh, thank you, it's so good to see you! Jennifer and Billie hug tightly. Billie steps away from Jennifer, still holding her hands. JENNIFER: You too. I'm surprised to see you just...drop by.
BILLIE: Yeah, sorry, I should have called first. I've been in town...well...a month or two now and...I just never called. I'm sorry, there's just been....a lot happening. Jennifer looks with concern at Billie. JENNIFER: I heard what happened with Theresa. I can't see her and I...ever saw eye to eye but...she didn't deserve this. Billie looks down, trying to hold in her emotions. Her voice cracks a bit as she talks to Jennifer. BILLIE: Yeah, well...ahem...she'll pull through this. She's pulled through a lot already. Jennifer simply smiles in response. After a moment, Laura walks over, a bright smile on her face as she sees Billie. LAURA: Billie! It's good to see you again.
BILLIE: Hi! Yes, it's been...years. Wow!
LAURA: Look, uh...Jenn, I'm just going upstairs a minute. I have a call to make.
JENNIFER: Alright, Mom. Laura heads upstairs, as Jennifer guides Billie into the living room. Jennifer motions to the couch for Billie to sit. Billie obliges, as Jenn steps to the side table. JENNIFER: Did you, uh...did you want some tea?
BILLIE: I'd love some, thanks. Jennifer flips over two teacups from the tray on the table, pouring out tea from the pot next to it. Billie reluctantly speaks up, breaking the increasingly awkward silence. BILLIE: So, uh...Jenn. I uh...I hear you've been...seeing someone. Does this mean you are...you know...over Daniel? Jennifer looks up, setting the tea down before she overpours the tea. Turning to face Billie, she looks on with confusion at Billie's strange line of questioning. ---
Lucas sits at his desk at Titan, typing away at his computer, as Sheryl knocks on the door of his office. Lucas barely flinches at the distraction, choosing to continue his work. Sheryl, refusing to be ignored, speaks up. SHERYL: Oh Mr. Horton. You have a visitor. Lucas looks away finally, seeing Sheryl looking at him sensually. Lucas smiles back. LUCAS: Sheryl! Hey! Um...hey, come in, I'll just be one second, okay?
SHERYL: Alright. Sheryl steps into Lucas' office, walking up behind him, putting her hands on his shoulders, sensing tension in them. Lucas flinches as Sheryl rubs his shoulders gently. SHERYL: Ooh, someone's feeling a bit tense.
Sheryl leans in, speaking softly into Lucas' ear as she rubs Lucas' shoulders more deeply. Lucas can't hide the discomfort he increasingly feels. As she does, Kate is about to enter Lucas' office, but stops, hearing Sheryl inside. She leans against the door and listens in silently. SHERYL: I guess I should...(whispers) take care of that. Sheryl bites Lucas' earlobe, finally causing Lucas to jump back. Sheryl jumps back as well, stunned by Lucas' strong negative reaction. LUCAS: Sorry, I just...you caught me at a bad time. Sheryl looks Lucas up and down, annoyed at the reaction to her sensual play from her partner. SHERYL: I should say so. God, far be it from me to disturb you. Lucas gets up from his seat, putting a hand to his forehead, as he tries to apologize. LUCAS: Look, it's...it's not you, I just...there's a lot of stuff going down right now with work. You know, the TV station selling, the oil sands fiasco, and  Brady dying. It's just...I got a lot on my mind. Sheryl takes a moment, before stepping towards Lucas again, trying to put a comforting hand on his shoulder. Kate spying even closer by the door, just out of eyeshot of the two inside. SHERYL: Honey, I know that. That's why I wanted to...surprise you with a little...you know...affection.
LUCAS: I know, babe, but...look, just...just give me ten minutes and, I promise...I'll make this up to you, we'll go for some drinks and maybe a late dinner at Club TBD? How's that sound? Sheryl cracks a smile again, noticing Lucas relaxing again. SHERYL: Alright, you're on.
LUCAS: Great, uh...why don't you go ahead of me and, I'll meet you there in 20.
SHERYL: Sure. As Sheryl responds, Kate opens the door to let herself in. Sheryl looks on, surprised to see her. SHERYL: Kate!
KATE: Sheryl! What a surprise to see you in so late...putting in those overtime hours is paying off?
SHERYL: You could say that. Kate smiles, but with an underlying coldness in her tone that Sheryl can sense. KATE: Well, I wouldn't want you to overwork yourself. Go enjoy your evening.
SHERYL: Ohh, I intend to. I'll see you later?
KATE: Indeed. Sheryl walks toward the door as Kate steps inside. Sheryl turns back to speak to Lucas as she rests her hand on the doorknob. SHERYL: See you in a half hour?
LUCAS: Sounds good.
SHERYL: Alright, bye, honey. As Sheryl closes the door, Kate turns to face Lucas, looking unimpressed. KATE: A piece of advice? Lucas looks at his mother, dreading what's about to come. LUCAS: No, but I'm sure you'll give it to me anyway. Kate leans over Lucas' desk, never taking her eyes off Lucas for a second. KATE: If you intend on seeing this plan through, you're going to have to be an awful lot more convincing than what just went down. Lucas looks on, looking simultaneously annoyed at his mother, and confounded that she was able to listen in. ---
At the DiMera Mansion, Stefano sits quietly in his executive chair, facing a raging fire, as the sun dims into dusk. He stares directly into the fire, contemplating the many matters on his mind at the moment. 
As he does, the doors of the living room open, Nick Fallon making something of a grand entrance. NICK: Mr. DiMera, Sir! You will be pleased to know that everything is moving ever-so-quickly into place. Stefano smiles, his eyes never moving from the fire as he responds to Nick. STEFANO: I should hope so. You've done very well in bringing us Titan TV, now to bring us the rest of the empire...and Victor Kiriakis' head on a platter. ---
Victor stands in the living room, pouring himself a drink, as Sonny, Will, and Alex step inside. Victor looks over, and smiles. VICTOR: Ah! Sonny! Will! Glad to see you've made it. A drink? Will immediately pipes up, cheerily chiming in his response. WILL: I'll have a double. Sonny looks back, annoyance still lingering on his face, as Victor responds, holding a glass up. VICTOR: Sonny? Sonny hesistates, trying to communicate to Will to cool it, before turning to respond to Victor. SONNY: Uh, yeah, Uncle Vic. Just a single for me, though.
VICTOR: Fine. You, Alex?
ALEX: I'll pass, Uncle Vic. Victor prepares the drinks, as Victor continues, casually starting conversation. VICTOR: So, Will! How are you finding working for EnerNext? Will looks at Sonny, then Alex, smiling wryly as he responds to Victor. WILL: So far, I love it. Everyone's been lovely, and your uh...nephew here has been incredibly welcoming. Victor turns, heading over to hand Will his drink. VICTOR: That's good to hear. And how are things between you and Sonny? Sonny and Will look awkwardly at each other, before Sonny tries to end this line of questioning. SONNY: Uh...Uncle Vic, I'd rather not--
WILL: ...Oh it's fine, Sonny. After all, you were more than open with Victor about how you feel about me having this job, I'm sure Victor won't mind me sharing how I feel. Sonny looks at Will, shocked by his petulence. SONNY: WILL!
ALEX: I...think I should go...check on...dinner...
WILL: No, no! Alex, don't be ridiculous. Stay, it's nothing major. Victor looks at the situation, taking a sip from his drink while he frets about the mess created. VICTOR: So you heard about our conversation then, Will? Will looks at Victor, smiling, a smugness in his eyes. WILL: Oh yes. We had a really...intense talk about it. Oh, don't worry. He and I came to a very good resolution about it. I mean, you know...it's not perfect but...well, I'm definitely not going to be giving up my job anytime soon.
VICTOR: That's good to hear. We're lucky to have you with us, Will. WIll smiles warmly, the layer of artifice melting away at Victor's compliment. WILL: Thank you, Mr. Kiriakis. Victor smiles back, as he hands Alex his drink. Alex obliges, nodding slightly in thanks. Alex turns to Will in the same moment. ALEX: Victor's right, you know. I'm really glad Sonny has gone along with this job. Personally, I didn't think he would be down with it. He's really....proud that way. Sonny laughs uncomfortably at Alex's dig at him. Alex continues before Sonny can respond. ALEX: Ahhh, I'm just playing. Look, bro. Your fiancé's a great writer. He's gonna be an awesome addition to the team. Sonny smiles graciously, if sheepishly. He nods in agreement, though looking to the ground, deep in thought. SONNY: Yeah, that's...no surprise to me. He's a very talented guy.
WILL: You're all so kind. I mean, honestly, thank you. All of you.
As Will finishes, Maggie, Adrienne, and Noelle walk into the living room from the side room leading to the kitchen. Maggie's face lights up upon seeing Will and Sonny. MAGGIE: Will! Sonny! You're here! Maggie walks over quickly, giving a hug to both Will and Sonny, while Noelle hangs back, curling her arm around Alex's. Adrienne, meanwhile, hangs back, watching Victor's quickly-souring face as he watches Noelle slinking herself around Alex, never talking her eyes off Victor as she does. A moment later, Adrienne's eyes are taken with Will's sudden fascination with Noelle and Alex's closeness. Will looks stunned, almost despondent, by the gesture of affection between Noelle and Alex. WILL: Um...Alex...who is this? Alex looks over at Noelle, who rests her head affectionately on Alex's shoulder. ALEX: Oh! Yeah, where are my manners? I'd like to introduce you and Sonny to my wife. Noelle Curtis. Noelle smiles proudly as Will's face drops, another bombshell hitting him. Victor, meanwhile, grips his drink tightly, immediately taking a sip while he looks away bitterly, and Sonny looks on, cheerily oblivious to everyone else's displeasure. Adrienne, meanwhile, looks on from the corner, fixated on Will's miserable expression. She can't hide the displeasure and concern in his face. ---




DAYS #85: The Kiriakis Family Dinner (Part 1) - The Guests Have Arrived

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson
Laura, Marlena and Will walk into Laura's office at University Hospital, laughing as Laura tries to break the tension from her earlier close encounter with Liam. LAURA: So, I was hoping to grab something Ariana was really going to need, but...I kept thinking to myself, "Laura, remember when you just had Jennifer, and all you wanted was a couple glasses of wine to mellow you and Bill out?"...and then I remembered that you and Sonny are nowhere as dysfunctional as Bill and I, so (laughs) I just went with it. Will and Marlena laugh as Laura reaches down into the cabinet behind her desk and pulls out a rather large box. Will looks on, pleasantly surprised by Laura's gesture, as she sets it down on her desk, but is unsure whether or not to open the package. Laura motions towards him. WILL: I...what is this?
LAURA: Go on! Open it! I have another one for your wedding, so don't feel like you have to wait on Sonny. This one is all for you. Will smiles warmly at Laura. Feeling a bit emotional, he sighs as he responds. WILL: Thank you, Laura. You know, you don't have to do all these things for us.
LAURA: But I enjoy doing them.
MARLENA: And, I have to say, she is persistent too! Everyone shares a laugh, as Will opens the package, revealing a set of wine glasses, and a pair of fine wines, one red, one white. Will is stunned by the gift. WILL: I...Laura! Oh my GOD, you didn't have to do this for us! Will leans over and gives Laura a warm hug. Will, Laura, and Marlena share a laugh, as Will's phone rings. Separating from their hug, Will looks at Laura and Marlena apologetically. WILL: Sorry, I...I gotta take this.
LAURA: Oh, not to worry. Go ahead.
WILL: Thanks. Will turns to head out into the hall, and sees who's phoning. He glowers a bit when he sees it's Sonny. ...
Sonny calls Will's phone from outside Club TBD, hoping to get an answer from his fiancee.  As the phone rings repeatedly, Sonny becomes increasingly impatient. SONNY: Come on....come on, Will, pick up. Exasperated, and just about to hang up, Sonny is about to move the phone from his ear when Will finally answers. ... WILL: (into phone) Hello? ... Sonny immediately bugs his eyes out, glad to finally get an answer, but annoyed he had to wait so long. He covers his annoyance on the phone. SONNY: (into phone) Hey! I uh...I'm heading to Victor's now, just...wanted to check to see if you were on your way. ... Will closes the door to Laura's office behind him, a bit annoyed by Sonny's persistence. Will doesn't hide his exasperation, however. WILL: (into phone) Of course, I am, Sonny. Just...finishing up at the hospital. ... Sonny, sensing Will's frustration, gets a bit agitated, but tries to suppress it. SONNY: (into phone) Look, I'm sorry I bugged you, but...we haven't been talking much the last few days, and I was worried you were gonna back out. ... WILL: (Into phone) I'm not gonna back out, Sonny. I keep my promises. ... Sonny bites his tongue, knowing the subtle implications of what Will just said. He smiles sarcastically, and responds politely, but coldly. SONNY: (into phone) I'll be there in 15. Meet you at the gate? ... WILL: (into phone) Will do.  Will hangs up the phone immediately. ... SONNY: (into phone) I-- Sonny hears the phone click, ending the call. He stammers in frustration at Will's continued petulence.  SONNY: ...love you. Sonny sighs, disappointed by how the call's gone. He walks off toward his car. ---
Kate walks back toward the seat where she and Nick had been waiting for Gabi, with Ari in her arms. Nick still looks distraught, the searing headache still gripping him. She looks on, feigning concern, slightly. KATE: Didn't find anything for that headache, hm? Nick looks up, sitting at the booth, lifting his head from the table. He looks groggy. NICK: No, I did. Just...didn't work.
KATE: I see, so I guess Gabi's your only hope then, now, hm?
NICK: I dunno. These headaches have been getting pretty bad. Kate smirks as she starts to put Ari in her high chair. KATE: Well, then! I guess you're going to need something stronger to dull the pain, aren't you?
Trying to hold in her smug laughter, Kate looks over suddenly as she hears Gabi walks in just at that moment, the bag of pills in hand. Almost leaping over to the table, she reaches into the bag and pulls out the bottle of what appears to be acetominophen. Handing it over to Nick, she smiles. GABI: Here you go, Nick. Nick smiles back, accepting the pill bottle eagerly. Kate looks on with amusement. NICK: You're a lifesaver.
KATE: Yes, she certainly is. Gabi looks at Kate curiously, as Kate looks back with her trademark smirk. Nick takes the glass of water on the table in front of him and downs two of the pills quickly. Gabi breathes a quick sigh of relief, as Nick gets up from his seat. NICK: I uh...I need to go to the bathroom just a minute. You'll...you'll watch my things, yeah?
GABI: Of course!
NICK: Thanks. I'll be right back. Kate smiles, playing with Ari as she watches Nick leave. KATE: We'll be waiting! Once Nick's out of eyeshot, Gabi sits down nervously by Nick's things. Kate looks at Gabi with a knowing look, which renders Gabi ten times more nervous than she was already. GABI: Kate, you're....you're scaring me.
KATE: Oh, I'm sorry. I just...I can't get over your chutzpah! Gabi looks at Kate, increasingly confused. GABI: My what? Kate, what are you talking about?
KATE: Why Gabi, don't be so coy! It's not every day you get your psycho ex-boyfriend hooked on prescription drugs again. Quite frankly, I'm impressed. Gabi looks at Kate, horrified that she's been caught, as Kate casually sips on her martini. ---
Hope is at the Salem Police Station, questioning Jerome in the interrogation room, as Valerie Grant storms into the station, the look of a woman on a mission. She stops at Rafe's desk, trying to grab his attention. RAFE: Uh, can I help you?
VALERIE: Yes, you can start by explaining to me why my grandson has been arrested for having the audacity to move into my home, and make it fast. Rafe looks on, a cocky grin on his face as he prepares to do battle with Valerie. ---
--- Inside the interrogation room, Hope interrogates Jerome about his alleged crime spree. Jerome continues to evade all of Hope's questions, looking straight ahead at nothing in particular, deep in his own thoughts. HOPE: Look, we're getting nowhere, and you're going nowhere before you talk. Jerome doesn't respond, as though not even in the same room. Hope becomes exasperated and gets up from her chair, slamming the palms of her hands against the table in frustration. HOPE: Dammit, Jerome, talk to me. Jerome doesn't move, except for his eyes, which suddenly flash, as he looks at Hope. JEROME: Why? So you can intimidate me with what you claim you know about me?
HOPE: No, because we need the truth. Now, I'm not gonna ask you again: What were you doing with that rental van? Jerome bites his lip a moment, before finally answering. JEROME: You want the truth, hm?  Hope stands upright, thinking she's finally got somewhere. HOPE:Ideally. Jerome looks Hope dead in the eyes, disdain and malice cutting the tension in the air. JEROME: How's this for you? If you had done any research before making your arrest, you would know that that was my rental that I used to bring my stuff from Toronto to Salem. If you had bothered to check whose house you stopped at, you'd know that was my grandmother's house I was parked in front of, trying to move my things inside. If you remembered anything, which I get the strange feeling you know a lot more than you're letting on, you'd know that Valerie Grant was going to marry your nephew, a certain...David Banning? Yeah. So you only had to make one two minute phone call to see that my story checks out. But that would be too difficult for you, wouldn't it? Because anytime a black man 'fits the description', y'all are all too happy to scoop him up whether you have a shred of credible evidence or not-- Hope finally snaps, not wanting to hear Jerome's accusations of racial prejudice. HOPE: ...ENOUGH! Look, this has nothing to do with the colour of your skin, Jerome. Whether you want to believe it or not, we had every reason to arrest you for these burglaries. The description matched you perfectly-- The sound of Valerie's voice cuts through, stopping Hope in her tracks. VALERIE: ...Let me guess. Black male, mid-to-late 20s, muscular build, wearing a hoodie. Hope turns around to see a fuming Valerie at her door, with Rafe close behind. Valerie continues into the room, a confident stride as she steps toward Hope in confrontation. VALERIE: Am I getting warm, Detective Williams? Hope stands, unable to think clearly when faced with her nephew's ex-fiancee. She looks to Rafe, who looks on, a bit sheepish. HOPE: What is she doing in here? This is an interrogation ro--
VALERIE: ...And this interrogation is OVER. It ends NOW, Hope.
RAFE: The, uh...the boys brought in the real perp. Caught in a woman's house on Greeson St. Hope turns, and Jerome looks up to see the main room, where a man in a similar hoodie to Jerome's is brought in...but the man is white. Valerie looks back in the room, giving almost menacing looks at Rafe and Hope. VALERIE: Another accurate description by the local police. And they wonder why we're dying. Valerie looks at the ground, disappointment stinging her watering eyes, before she speaks again, looking at Hope at the tail end of her sentence. VALERIE: Is my grandson free to go? Hope doesn't speak, only nodding in agreement. Valerie turns to Jerome, as Rafe walks over to remove his handcuffs. VALERIE: Let's go, baby. As Jerome's handcuffs are removed, Valerie guides Jerome out the door. Before stepping out, she turns to Hope one last time. VALERIE: Give David my regards, Hope. Hope looks on, too stunned to respond, as Rafe guides Jerome and Valerie out of the room. The door closes behind them, as Hope turns away, looking shellshocked by what's just transpired. --- Gabi looks behind her, hoping that Nick hasn't heard what Kate's just said, before leaning in and speaking just above a whisper to Kate. GABI: What are you talking about, Kate? Kate almost chokes on her martini, setting it down on the table as she tries to hold back her laughter. KATE: Gabi, come on! You can drop the act. I heard your phone conversation.
GABI: WHAT? You were spying on me, Kate?
KATE: Ohhh, relax. Honestly, I'm actually impressed. I wish I'd come up with it, myself. The truth is, if you're going to get rid of Nick, the best way to work is under his nose. So tell me, who's supplying you? Gabi sighs, as she tries to find a way to evade the question. GABI: Look, Kate, I really can't talk about this here. Nick could be back any moment, and--
KATE: ...And you don't want to get caught with that perscription pad you're also trying to hide from me, right? Gabi looks down, terrified that Kate really does know what's going on. Kate looks quickly down toward Nick's bag and nods very subtly, a signal to Gabi. Gabi takes the cue and gently glides Marlena's perscription pad into Nick's laptop bag. Kate reaches out at this point across the table to Gabi, attempting to reassure her. KATE: Gabi, you need to understand something. I've been in your shoes before. My ex-husband was an absolute tyrant, and I regret not having taken the steps to put him away when I had the chance. I lost years with Billie and Austin I'll never get back because of that, and there's no way I'm going to let the likes of Nick Fallon do the same to you.
GABI: Kate, thank you. But you don't need to get involved in this, I'm handling it.
KATE: I'm sure you are...as well as you're able to. Gabi looks at Kate, a bit annoyed at her lack of faith. GABI: What's that supposed to mean?
KATE: It means you need all the resources you can get. I heard you on that phone call. Let me guess, the police didn't take the bait the first time, and that's why you're trying again, this time taking the extra...embellishment of planting perscriptions pads on him? It's smart, but you have to have a plan B. Someone to help you with the potential pitfalls. Kate looks over at this point, and sees Nick approaching. She nods and almost mouths her next words. KATE: (whipsers) Think about it. Nick steps over to the table, still a bit groggy. GABI: Nick. How are you feeling?
NICK: I'm uh...still a litle sore, but...the pain's going down at least. Thanks for running out and grabbing the pills for me. I owe you one. Gabi waves dismissively at Nick's offer. GABI: Oh, it's nothing. Don't even worry. You don't have to pay me back for that. Kate looks at Gabi, trying to hold back a smile at the hidden irony, as Gabi tries to ignore Kate's look. GABI: Uh, hey. If you're free at all tomorrow night, we should get together for a bit.
NICK: I'd like that. 
GABI: Great, text me.
NICK: Sounds good. Hey, could you grab me my bag from the corner there.
GABI: OH, sure! Gabi reaches around to lift Nick's bag over, the perscription pads poking out slightly. Gabi spots it and slyly pushes them in as Nick takes the bag. NICK: See you ladies later on. OH, and Kate. We have to talk about your current proposal soon. Kate looks ahead, drink in hand, almost completely ignoring Nick. KATE: Nick, we have nothing to talk about. You handle your business, and I'll handle the rest.
NICK: So you're okay with Gabi taking on the modelling gig?
KATE: If she's okay with it. Kate looks at a stunned Gabi, who is studying Kate's face, looking for a clue as to what she should say in this moment. On the spot, she chokes out a reply. GABI: I....sure! Yes! Sure.
KATE: Great! We'll sign the papers at my office tomorrow morning, okay?
GABI: Sure!
NICK: Okay, well, I'm out then.
KATE & GABI: Bye, Nick! As Nick heads out, Gabi and Kate wait with baited breath to see him close the door to the Brady Pub behind him. The moment it closes, Gabi turns quickly, and angrily to Kate. GABI: What was that, Kate?? You told me you were trying to get me away from Nick, not sucking me deeper into his...sick...web. Kate raises her glass, smiling widely as she offers a toast to Gabi. KATE: Oh, don't worry, Gabi. You may not realize it now, but I have everything under control. You're just gonna have to trust me. Kate takes a sip, smiling as she does, while Gabi looks on in stunned amazement. --- Will walks up to an awaiting Sonny outside the front door of the Kiriakis manion. Will looks anything but pleased to be there, but Sonny manages a half-hearted smile. He speaks nervously. SONNY: Hey...you made it.
WILL: Yep. Just like I promised.
SONNY: Yeah, you mentioned on the phone. Look, Will...just...speaking of promises, can you and I...make a deal? A pact? Will almost laughs in Sonny's face, giving a spiteful smile to Sonny's request. WILL: Heh...Sonny, come on. Your promises don't mean much to me right now.
SONNY: Will, I'm serious. Let me...make this a chance to make it up to you. Will's smile disappears, looking down to one side as he sighs, knowing Sonny's being earnest. WILL: Alright. What do you want us to do? Sonny steps toward Will, placing his hands on Will's shoulders tenderly. Will flinches, but doesn't step back. SONNY: Just...pretend to be happy, for tonight. Look, my...my parents will be here, and...you know how my mom is about you and I...just...we'll pretend nothing's wrong, and whatever we're feeling, we can talk it out tomorrow. We'll sit down, have breakfast...and we'll talk. Just you and I. Will takes a moment to think over his words, still not quite looking Sonny in the eye. He finally looks up, nodding slowly in agreement. WILL: Okay. But don't expect instant results. Sonny smiles, finally being given a glimmer of hope by his fiancé. SONNY: Thank you. (sigh) Look, we...we better go in.
WILL: After you. Sonny walks up to the door, and rings the doorbell. Henderson opens the door. SONNY: Hey, Henderson, we're here... Sonny is taken aback, when he looks behind Henderson, to see a face he hasn't seen in years. SONNY: Oh my God....Alex???
ALEX: Hey, my man, how are you??
SONNY: Oh WOW, this is...WOW, look at you, man! It's so good to see you!
Sonny races inside to give Alex a hug, as Will steps inside, a wave of horror washes over him. Sonny turns to face Will, a huge smile on his face as he speaks. SONNY: Alex, I want you to meet my fiancé, Will Horton. Will, this is my brother, Alex Kiriakis. Will turns ghost white, stunned into silence. ---




DAYS #84: Eric's HUGE surprise for Nicole

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson  
Billie sits at Theresa’s bedside, holding her friend’s hand, watching her comatose body rest. Billie looks on, solemnly, and deep in thought. She smiles after a moment.   BILLIE: Theresa. It’s me. Billie.
Billie stops a moment as she watches her friend lie in silence. The only sound in the room is the machinery around her bed, the beep of her heart monitor. Billie fights the urge to tear up, and smiles instead.   BILLIE: You know, I was thinking the other day...about one of our phone calls. You were fifteen and you were so mad at your Dad because he was…off on another ISA mission, and you had made plans with him for the weekend to have a ski trip in Colorado. You were…so upset, but you told me that you knew that you had to be there for your mom. You knew what she was in for when your dad left…I….I know you love your mom, Theresa. No matter what she’s done…underneath all that anger.  
Billie’s tears up, in spite of her best efforts. The door to the room opens, startling Billie. Daniel walks in, allowing Billie to relax a bit. She gets up from her chair, regardless.   BILLIE: Daniel…
DANIEL: You…probably shouldn’t be here right now.
BILLIE: I know. I just…I needed to cool off a bit.   Daniel looks on, concerned, noticing Billie’s teary eyes.   DANIEL: Yeah, I’m not so sure you succeeded at that.
BILLIE: Yeah. Really.   Billie wipes the tears from her eyes, and puts her hands on her hips, trying to regain her composure.   BILLIE: Look…uh…Daniel…about…earlier.
DANIEL: Billie, I…I can’t talk about it, you know that.   Billie holds up her hands to stop Daniel continuing.   BILLIE: I know. Look, it’s…it’s not about that. I just…look, I know we haven’t been together very long, but...you know…listening to you talking to Laura and…doing…whatever you’re doing to protect Jennifer…I…I mean…   Daniel looks at Billie with uncertainty.   DANIEL: What are you saying?   BILLIE: Daniel, you’re still in love with Jennifer, aren’t you?   ---  
Nicole slams her files down on her desk in frustration. Sighing audibly, she begins talking to herself aloud.   NICOLE: And yet again, my shadow follows me. (sigh) Except now I gotta work for her. Dammit!   As she raises her fist in aggravation, she stops herself.   NICOLE: Having said this...EJ did give me the go-ahead to do the EnerNext exposé...   Nicole smirks a bit, realizing how this could work to her advantage.   NICOLE: Maybe that little bastard Nick isn't such a bad guy after all.   Laughing to herself, Nicole is suddenly interrupted by a text message. Searching momentarily for her phone, she finds it. Picking it up, she swipes over to check her messages.
It's from Eric.   meet me @ Anderson park 535. dont b late, its important. Love, eric   Nicole looks a bit concerned. She scrunches up her face.   NICOLE: Hm! Wonder what HE wants. Maybe he's finally made up his mind...   Nicole stops herself a moment before continuing, laughing sarcastically.   NICOLE: Right. Maybe the Pope's become an atheist too! God, I need a drink. Good thing TBD's near the park.   Nicole grabs her files, shoves them hastily into her briefcase before grabbing her coat, and heading out of her office.   ---  
Tyler sits uncomfortably in his seat in Victor's office at Titan, as he tries to talk his way out of his dismissive comment against Maggie he just made to Victor. Victor, meanwhile, stands in the corner of the room, sorting through some documents.   TYLER: I...I'm sorry, Victor. I didn't realize...Maggie was...your...wife.   Victor turns, smiling wryly as he saunters over to his desk, slowly sitting himself down in his executive chair.   VICTOR: I had a feeling. Personally, I'm amazed you've made it this far in business without learning to do your due diligence. A man in your position could stand to be a bit more careful.   Tyler swallows hard, nodding fervently as he swivels himself slightly to reach a jug of water on Victor's desk. Pouring himself a glass, he continues to backtrack.   TYLER: Well...knowing what I do about Maggie now...I...well...she'd be a great fit. I will say though...   Victor glares Tyler's way as Tyler continues to fumble.   TYLER: You, uh...you might want to take a few days to...you know....assess the situation.
VICTOR: Well, naturally, I'll be attending to some other things, dealing with the last of Brady's affairs with Titan, and handling the selloff of Titan TV.   Tyler, suddenly snapping out of his own worries, remembers something important to bring up to Victor. Scurrying to grab his tablet, Tyler gets up from his seat, and walks to Victor's side of the desk.   TYLER: Speaking of which, you uhh...you might want to look at this.   Tyler hands Victor his tablet, showing the news report, revealing DiMera Enterprises has acquired Titan TV. Victor's rage escalates immediately.   VICTOR: Dammit!   ---  
Gabi walks carefully down the steps onto the foggy pier, looking cautiously around for Liam. Spotting him approach through the mist, she looks nonchalantly about before heading his way.
Gabi cautiously looks around before speaking to Liam, who never quite looks her in the eye as they chat.   GABI: Have you got it?
LIAM: Yeah.   Gabi looks at Liam intensely suddenly, holding out her hand in anticipation, but Liam doesn’t hand the bag containing the pills quite so quickly.   LIAM: NOT…so fast. I didn’t go to all this trouble for you to just grab and go. You need to understand a few things first.   Gabi breathes quickly, very uncomfortable suddenly with a very intense Liam.   ---
Jerome is escorted by Hope into the police station in handcuffs. He stays silent, but has an intense, embittered look on his face as Hope leads him into the interrogation room, where a curious Rafe joins them.
Looking over, he points toward Jerome.   RAFE: Who's this?
HOPE: THIS is the burglar that's been targeting the houses in the west end.
RAFE: Is that so? Well, then I guess it's time we had a little chat then, huh?
JEROME: I'd love to...after my lawyer shows up.   Hope rolls her eyes as Rafe leans over the table, trying to stare Jerome down. Jerome won't engage. He stares at the floor, head tilted.   RAFE: You'll talk now if you know what's good for you, man. That's the eighth house you've hit this month. You're a hard man to track down!
JEROME: I thought I was entitled to a phone call.   Rafe grins, shaking his head.   RAFE: Heh. Yeah, no. You're not entitled to one.
JEROME: I know my rights. What little I have--
RAFE: ...You've been watching too much Law & Order. You're not going anywhere until we hear those magic words.   Jerome sighs, fighting his urge to roll his eyes. He simply closes them and responds as if on cue.   JEROME: Please?
HOPE: Wrong magic words, Jerome. He means "I did it".   Jerome finally turns to face Hope and Rafe, as if suddenly HIS magic words have been spoken. He looks intensely at Hope as his temper flares.   JEROME: Would it make a difference if I did?
HOPE: What's that supposed to mean?
JEROME: It means when a black man is in the wrong place at the wrong time, he could saving the President from a terrorist attack and you suckers would think he's the one trying to kill him!   Rafe steps toward Jerome in anger, but Hope holds him back. She focuses in on Rafe a moment, speaking softly to him.   HOPE: No. We're doing this my way, okay?   After a moment, Rafe cools off and nods. Hope turns back to Jerome.   HOPE: You want your lawyer? Call them.
JEROME: I need to contact my grandmother to get a lawyer for me.   Hope sighs. She walks up to Jerome.   HOPE: Stand up.   Jerome responds dutifully, as Hope walks him toward the door. Rafe hangs back, as Hope leads Jerome out into the main room, Rafe following behind them, arms folded, looking imposing.   HOPE: We have to book you anyway.
RAFE: You alright or you want me around?
HOPE: I think I can handle this one.
RAFE: Alright. Suit yourself. You know where to find me.
HOPE: Yup...alright, sit down here.   Jerome sits down in front of the desk, as Hope motions another cop to stand behind Jerome to monitor him, which elicits a momentary eye roll from Jerome. Hope barely notices as she pulls up the file on the computer.   HOPE: Right. Full name.
JEROME: I'm not getting my phone call first--   Hope interrupts in a booming voice that could silence a football field.   HOPE: FULL NAME.   Jerome looks down again, defeat in his voice as he responds.   JEROME: Jerome Grant.   Hope looks up suddenly, taken aback by Jerome's last name.   HOPE: Uh...right. I think the uh...booking can wait. Did you...your phone call. It was to...
JEROME: University Hospital. Ask for Valerie Grant.   Hope looks over at Jerome, wide eyed, her cool truly lost.   ---   Daniel and Billie walk into Daniel's office. Daniel shuts the door behind them as Billie walks in, still emotional from her visit with Theresa, and with her questions for Daniel.   BILLIE: You didn't answer me, Daniel.
DANIEL: No, I didn't. Because I wasn't going to start an argument in a room you're not even supposed to be in.   Billie sighs as Daniel walks over to her, putting his hands firmly on her upper arms. He holds her there, staring deeply into her eyes.   DANIEL: Look...Billie, I know it hasn't been that long that I've been...separated from Jennifer, but....you really need to understand. What she and I had together...it's over. Completely.
BILLIE: That's not what I asked, Daniel.   Billie tries to shake Daniel off of her, but Daniel lets go anyway. Billie starts to pace the room, looking down as she carefully chooses her words.   BILLIE: Look...I don't want to bring up the past and...painful memories any more than you do, but...when I saw Laura in your office, and you were talking about helping Jenn and Abby out, I...I saw the look in your eye, Daniel. You still love her.
DANIEL: Well, yes. I mean...it's not like those feelings just...disappear overnight, you know. I mean...yes...YES, I love Jenn. I probably always will. But, Billie...   Daniel walks back over to Billie and tenderly caresses her cheek with his hand. Billie initially tries to wriggle away but relents quickly, as Daniel continues.   DANIEL: I'm IN love with you. That's all that matters.   Billie says nothing, sighing a bit as she leans her face into Daniel's hand.   DANIEL: Right?   Billie starts to crack a smile as she steps toward Daniel, putting her arms around him.   BILLIE: I guess...I guess you're right.
DANIEL: Thaaaat's better.   Daniel smiles as he holds Billie. They lean in for a kiss.   Separating, Billie smiles.   BILLIE: Look. I...I have to get going. Thanks again for getting me in there today.
DANIEL: Anytime.
BILLIE: Uh...maybe we can meet up tonight? Dinner at my...   Daniel looks at Billie, shaking his head.   BILLIE: ...mom's...bad idea.   Simultaneously they shake their heads, responding over each other.#   DANIEL: Baaaaad idea.
BILLIE: Yeah, no. Not going there. Well...I'll text you?
DANIEL: Better idea.
BILLIE: Alright.   Billie leans against the doorway to Daniel's office, she smiles playfully, blowing a kiss Daniel's way.   BILLIE: I love you.
DANIEL: I love you too.   As Billie turns the corner, her expression changes immediately to one of determination.   BILLIE: Alright, Daniel. What are you trying to protect Jenn from, and why are you Laura's only hope.   Inside Daniel's office, Daniel shakes his head, expression changed as well, as he mulls over what he knows about Jenn, and Abby.   DANIEL: God, I hope Billie doesn't go digging now. I'm not even sure Abby's safe now. God help her if Billie gets involved.   ---   Gabi looks fearfully at Liam, who's grabbed her one arm, hands her a plastic pharmacy bag, containing a bottle of what's marked as generic Acetaminophen, and Marlena's stolen perscription pad.   GABI: What...what's in here?
LIAM: Everything you asked for. But you can't go demanding anything like this again. It's too risky. You got it? No more contact.   Gabi nods furiously, scared stiff.   LIAM: Okay, here's what you need to know. These are Dr. Marlena Evans' perscription pads. Slip them in his bag when his back's turned, and make sure they nab the guy this time.
GABI: Okay. Okay. Look, what if this doesn't work?
LIAM: Then he's your problem. There's no third chance here.   Gabi sighs. Eventually nodding. She grabs the bag and runs off, stopping momentarily to thank Liam.   GABI: Thank--   Gabi looks and finds Liam's already vanished into the mist. Gabi sighs audibly and heads quickly back up toward the pub.   GABI: This HAS to work. Please, God. For my daughter's sake.   Gabi looks around again, careful not to be seen by anyone as she makes her way up the steps from the pier.   ---   Nicole walks into the clearing at the park. Looking around for Eric, she doesn't see him. Or anyone. She stands in her winter coat, shivering as she goes to grab her phone from her purse.   She looks down to see a bright red envelope attached to the bench in front of her.   Intrigued, she steps towards it, picking it up.   Her name is on the front. Opening it, she begins to crack a smile as she sees the card inside. She pulls the all-white card from the envelope and reads its inscription.       Nicole looks up.   NICOLE: 8-3-5? What the...?   Jarred by the abrupt end to the letter, she begins looking around again. She notices a single red rose on the ground on the other side of the bench. Tilting her head around, she approaches it.   Picking it up, she sees a trail of roses leading into a larger, but dimly lit clearing on the other side of the bushes. As it's getting dark, she fishes through her bag to pull out a small flashlight she keeps on her keychain.   Following the trail leads her to a small box with a combination lock on it.   Nicole studies the box carefully as she picks it up. A song gently begins as she does.     (0:13) Nicole checks the note again and begins to plug in the combination.   ---  
(0:26) Valerie hears her office phone ring at the hospital, as she prepares to leave for the day. Picking up the receiver, she's immediately upset by what she hears on the other end. Tearing up as she shakes her head, she responds to the person on the other end shortly before hanging up.   ---   (0:51) Jerome looks straight ahead, a distant blank look in his eye as the phone is placed back down at the police station. Hope looks on, now more distracted and concerned than she would normally be on the job. She tries to speak to Jerome.   HOPE: Is she on her way?   Jerome doesn't answer, lost in his own mind, he doesn't even look Hope's way.   HOPE: Jerome?   Knowing he's not paying attention, Hope carries on with the paperwork, sighing in resignation.   ---   (1:30) Billie drives down the road, deep in thought about her friend Jennifer and the insecurity she feels about her relationship with Daniel, as well as the tragic circumstances that have led to her close friend Theresa ending up in a coma she may not wake up from, and Kim barring Billie from visiting Theresa in hospital.   Distracted, she begins to veer into oncoming traffic.   (1:55) She catches herself as a horn blares out, causing her to quickly jerk the steering wheel right, pulling her car over to the shoulder. Braking hard, she begins to tear up. Resting her head against the steering wheel, she lets her emotions out, crying hard in her car.   ---   (2:08) Victor sits alone in his office, the headline of DiMera taking over Titan TV resting on his desk.   Victor looks over to see a picture of Brady looking back at him. He stares into it, wistfully.   ---   (2:30) Nicole finishes setting the combination on the box, and opens it.   Seeing a beautiful diamond ring, she takes a step back, trying in vain to hold back from crying.  
(2:45) Eric appears, as a series of lights are turned on via dimmers. Eric smiles warmly at a teary-eyed Nicole.  
The lights are strung up to read "Will you marry me?". Nicole reads them over, and tears up even more.   ERIC: So...I've been doing some thinking.   Nicole laughs through her tears, Eric joining her. Nicole responds as she wipes her tears away.   NICOLE: I can see that.
ERIC: I just want you to know that...if doing the right thing means a life without you...I don't want that life.   Nicole wraps her arms around Eric, moved beyond words.   ERIC: Nicole. I love you...so...much. So...what do you say?   Nicole breathes in deeply, as Eric gets on one knee to put the ring on her finger.   ERIC: Nicole Walker. Will you marry me?   (3:34) Nicole shouts out her answer, bouncing in place, still freezing.   NICOLE: Oh my God, YES!   Eric puts the ring on, lifting Nicole into the air for a passionate kiss that they wish would never end. Eric and Nicole's hands wrap around each other, holding each other tightly as they kiss with an intensity that heats up the cold evening.   When they do end their kiss, Nicole rests in Eric's arms, as they tenderly hold each other, Nicole's tears still smearing her mascara. Eric looks on with a look that shows he's finally at peace.   ---




DAYS #83: "Jerome Grant, you are under arrest!"

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson       Eric walks out of the flower shop at Town Square, a huge bouquet of red roses in his arms, as he ponders his next stop. He strolls alongside the shops lining the town square before stopping before The Hourglass. Looking inside, he smiles before opening the door to step in.   ERIC: Perfect.   The door creaks as it shuts behind him.   ---   Jerome makes his way down the street in his rented van, transporting his belongings to his new home in Salem. He approaches his grandmother’s new house. Radio on, he overhears the news.   RADIO: Salem PD are on the lookout this hour for a suspect involved in a string of burglaries in West Salem. Suspect is said to be an African-American male—   Pulling into the driveway in his rented U-Haul, he turns the van off, pulling the keys out of the ignition, shaking his head.   JEROME: Always a black man. (sigh)   Opening the van door, he remembers to press the button to automatically unlock the back of the van. Walking around to the back, he pulls out one lighter box from on top, breezily slinging the box under his arm. Jerome shuts the back of the van before heading for the door.   Looking through his keys, he finds the key that Valerie told him would open the door. Awkwardly trying to balance the box and manoeuvre himself around to get the key in the lock, he nearly drops the box. Jerome finally gives up, and places the box on the ground, focusing his attention on unlocking the door to his new home.   The key doesn’t work.   Jerome’s arms drop to his side, frustrated, he curses in his head, as he pats his jacket, searching for his phone.   JEROME: Where the Hell…is my phone??   ---   Jerome’s phone sits on Valerie’s desk in her new office at University Hospital. As she flips through the files on Roman Brady, she’s struck by something. Concerned, she flips back to the previous page, studying the page through her reading glasses.   VALERIE: Wait a minute…this file…there’s nothing in here from before in 1997…maybe it’s still in John’s file?   Valerie flips through to find John’s file. Opening that up, she takes a minute to search through his records before closing that file.   Valerie looks up, deep in thought.
VALERIE: Where on Earth is the rest of Roman’s file?   ---   Liam walks quickly into the lobby at University Hospital. Looking around, he sees Marlena step off the elevator, and head for her office. Hanging back, he watches her intently.   She stops, then turns back towards the opposite hallway, stopping quickly at the nurses’ station.   MARLENA: Maxine, is Jennifer still in her office?
MAXINE: Yes, Dr. Evans, she’s in her office right now.   Marlena smiles her trademark warm smile as she heads back towards Jenn’s office.   MARLENA: Thank you.   As Marlena disappears down the hall, Liam smirks, and begins down the opposite hall, heading for Marlena’s office. Not far behind is Laura, still trying to keep out of sight from Liam. Maxine watches as Laura follows Liam at a distance. She furrows her brow as she tries to figure out what’s going on, but Laura’s eyes are trained on Liam, as she makes her way down the hall.

Around the corner, Liam looks around to make sure no one sees him. Sensing the coast is clear, he closes his eyes momentarily as he puts his hand on Marlena’s office door handle. Twisting it, the door opens and Liam breathes a sigh of relief as he enters, still checking to see if anyone’s looking.

As he steps inside and goes to shut the door, Laura turns the corner. Seeing the door shut, Laura looks on in fear for her friend’s safety. She doubles back to seek out Marlena.   ---   ---   At Titan HQ, Victor steps into Tyler’s office, an unhappy look on his face. Tyler turns around, surprised to see him.   TYLER: Victor! I thought you were working from home again today. VICTOR: I was, but I had to go over some things quickly with you before the day was out, and it isn’t anything we can go over on the phone.   Tyler, sensing something serious is up, sets down the files he had in hand and sits down in his chair behind his desk.   TYLER: Alright. What’s the trouble? VICTOR: John’s declared Brady dead. Says he doesn’t want to drag the matter out any longer when there’s so little chance of Brady being alive. And as much as I don’t want to believe that he’s really gone…I really don’t have much choice but to accept it.

Tyler looks on, mulling over Victor’s words. He nods gently as he responds.   TYLER: I’m sorry, Victor.   Victor doesn’t look up from the ground after Tyler speaks. He continues, still deeply in his own mind.   VICTOR: I have, as a result, room to appoint a new member to the Titan board. TYLER: Do you have anyone in mind? VICTOR: Not really. No one I particularly trust, anyway. Phillip’s removed himself from the board while he’s working for another company, and Daniel has no interest in the business. TYLER: I see.   Victor looks up at Tyler suddenly, his gaze piercing through Tyler, almost causing Tyler to jump back a bit.   VICTOR: I was considering my wife. TYLER: Oh? VICTOR: Yes. I have set up arrangements so that my wife will have full ownership over the top floor of this property. She’ll be regenerating the space as The Penthouse Grille once again. I’ll need your sign-off, of course on that.   Tyler, still a bit off-kilter, almost intimidated by Victor, nods quickly to Victor’s request.   TYLER: Absolutely. No problem. I do have to...well, question your taking on your wife as a board member, I mean…what kind of business credentials does she have, really?   Victor looks at Tyler incredulously. He scoffs back at Tyler.   VICTOR: She owns three thriving restaurants across the city, and is about to reopen a fourth, all while also running a health spa. I don’t know, Tyler. You tell me. She goes by Maggie Horton in the professional world, perhaps you’ve heard of her.   Tyler’s eyes widen, surprised to hear the woman he’d been flirting with was Victor’s wife, and so accomplished.   ---   Eric steps out from the parking lot outside Horton Town Square and locks his car remotely. He stands in the park just outside Town Square and smiles widely, a relaxed feeling he hasn’t felt in ages.   ERIC: Everything’s set. Now…the last step.   Eric pulls his phone out of his pocket and texts Nicole.   meet me @ Anderson park 535. dont b late, its important. Love, eric   Eric smiles as he hits send.   ERIC: And now, we wait.   ---   Laura walks briskly back down the opposite hallway, in hot pursuit of Marlena, who’s just about to enter Jennifer’s office. Before Marlena has a chance to knock, Laura calls out to her.   LAURA: Marlena!   Marlena turns quickly to see a panicked Laura.   LAURA: I really need you for a moment, it’s urgent! I think someone’s breaking into your office.   Marlena draws herself up, a worry rushing over her as she lets go of the handle of Jennifer’s door.   ---   Inside Marlena’s office, Liam leaves the light off, but pulls a pocket flashlight from his pocket, attached to his key ring. Holding the keys so they don’t jingle, he walks over to Marlena’s desk.

He crouches down, and attempts to open the top drawer. It’s locked.   Noting that a couple are locked, he quickly adjusts his key ring to pull out a long pin-shaped device. Sliding the device into the lock, he manages to fix the lock to open the drawer. He begins to dig inside, while holding the flashlight above the drawer. He spots what he’s looking for.   LIAM: Bingo.   Pulling the pad out, and sliding them quickly into his pocket, Liam quickly closes the drawers and gets up, heading quickly for the door.           As Liam heads for the door, Will makes his way down the hallway, approaching Marlena’s office door. As he puts his hand up to the handle of her office door, Laura and Marlena quickly approach, concerned looks on their faces as Marlena call out to him.   MARLENA: WILL!   Will turns around fast, smiling widely as he spots his grandmother and Laura. His smile fades as he looks at their worried expressions.   WILL: Hey! I was just looking for you. Uh…you alright? MARLENA: Yes. I…we’re fine. We just had a scare. Laura was…just telling me she thought someone had broken into my office. You…weren’t just in there looking for me, were you?   Laura looks on, realizing that Will is dressed almost exactly the same as Liam, and realizes she could easily have confused him for Liam. She sheepishly responds as she begins to second-guess herself.   LAURA: Uh…maybe I…I must have made a mistake. I…saw you in the hall, Will and had to…call Marlena over. I thought…well, it doesn’t matter. Uh…mm…hey, I bought Arianna an early Christmas gift. It’s…in my office if you wanted to come see.   Will smiles broadly, though still confused. He nods at Laura, while Marlena smiles.   WILL: Uhmm…sure! I have to get going in a minute though. Family…dinner tonight or something. LAURA: Oh, I won’t keep you long. MARLENA: I have to grab something from you anyway, so I’ll come along. LAURA: Great! Let’s go…   Laura scurries away, as Marlena and Will look at each other with confusion.   After Marlena and Will walk away, Liam creaks the door open to Marlena’s office. Seeing them round the corner, and noting that coast is now clear, he slyly exits Marlena’s office, before heading casually back down the hall. He gets on his cell phone once again.   LIAM: (into phone) I got everything you need. I’ll be at the pier in ten.

Liam hangs up, rolls his eyes, and sighs, as he walks over to the elevator, hitting the down button and waiting for the elevator to arrive.   ---   Hope drives the road, heading for the elementary school to pick up Ciara. As she drives, she’s in the middle of a call piped through the sound system in her car. It’s Rafe.   RAFE: (through the speakers) I’m just gonna put through the final papers on that case and we’re done, alright? HOPE: Sounds good, Rafe. Um…Rafe, I have to meet with that…(sigh) Aiden Jennings tomorrow morning, can you…   Midsentence, Hope spots the infamous rental van parked outside a house she’s driving by. She becomes transfixed by it, nearly running herself off the road. Hope slows down slightly, as she changes her subject to Rafe.   HOPE: Uhm…Rafe? RAFE: (through the speakers) Yeah. HOPE: What was that description you gave me of the burglary suspect?   After a moment, with the sound of papers ruffling, Rafe finally answers.   RAFE: (through the speakers) Uhhhh…black man, 6 foot, driving a rental van. Possibly wearing an out of state college sweater—   Hope interjects before Rafe can even finish.   HOPE: …I think I just got him. Hold on. RAFE: (through the speakers) What? …   Rafe’s next comments get cut off as Hope parks her car and quickly turns off the ignition. She steps out into the street, as Jerome walks back over the back of the van, placing the box he had planned on bringing into Valerie’s house back inside the van. He mutters to himself.   JEROME: I can’t believe I forgot my phone…   As Jerome shuts the back doors to the van, Hope appears behind the door, gun in hand, pointed at a stunned Jerome.   HOPE: Put your hands up! You’re under arrest! JEROME: WHAT?!? HOPE: NOW!   Jerome, visibly angered, but knowing he shouldn’t say another word, raises his hands, palms facing Hope as he turns to face her, a resigned look on his face.   ---                




DAYS #82: Kate and Laura make big discoveries

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson    Will walks down the hallway on the EnerNext floor of Titan towards his office. As he walks, he passes Alex, who’s heading into his own office across the hall from Will. Will looks up, suddenly nervous as Alex locks eyes with Will and smiles. Will holds back a giggle and smiles back awkwardly.   ALEX: Hey Will! How’s the first day going?   Will nearly chokes on his words as he responds, voice cracking.   WILL: Gre…(clears throat) great! Heh.   Will immediately bugs his eyes out as he turns away, opening his office door and quickly scurrying away in embarrassment. Closing the door behind him, he leans up against the other side of the door, exhaling audibly in relief to be out of that situation. A moment later, Will’s cell phone rings. Frantically trying to remember where he’d put his phone, he jumps over to his desk to grab his phone. Seeing Sonny’s name on the screen, his face drops. Looking unimpressed, Will holds his finger over the ‘hang up’ button, but thinks better of it and, after a moment, answers.   WILL: Hey.   …   Sonny is sitting standing by the bar at Club TBD, nervously tapping his fingers against the bar as he begins to speak to Will.   SONNY: Will! Hey…I…uh…I’m glad you answered.    …   WILL: Sonny, I don’t really have much time, I got a lot of work to do.   …   SONNY: Don’t worry, this…this won’t take long. I uh…I just got off the phone with Maggie, she and Victor invited us to dinner at the mansion tonight.   …   Will rolls his eyes and tries to cut Sonny off.   WILL: Sonny, I don’t really have time—   …   SONNY: Will, it’s…a big deal. Apparently Victor has a surprise for us or something. It’s a big family dinner.   …   WILL: This wouldn’t happen to be some ploy to get me to forgive you, would it? Because, seriously, Sonny, I’m really not in the mood for any more games right now, I’m serious—   …   SONNY: Will, I’m serious. This is no game. Now, please, can we just…put our problems aside, just for tonight and just…pretend everything’s okay?   …   Will bites his lip, looking to the sky as he mulls over Sonny’s plea. Reluctantly, he answers.   WILL: Fine. But this does not mean everything’s good between us. Don’t even try to use this as an opportunity to try to squirm your way back into bed tonight. You understand.   …   Sonny closes his eyes in frustration, sighing audibly.   SONNY: Fine. Meet me at TBD for 6 and we’ll head over together?   …   WILL: Meet me at Victor’s for 6:30 and we’ll walk in together.   …   Sonny snaps, finally losing his cool at Will.   SONNY: Will, come on!   …   Will smiles evilly, knowing his got Sonny’s goat.   WILL: Final offer!   …   SONNY: (sigh) FINE. See you at Vic’s.   Sonny hangs up angrily.   …   Will hangs up, a deliciously evil smile on his face as he chuckles to himself.   WILL: Sonny, you are not gonna get away with lying to me that easily.   Will sits down in his office chair, smirking as he leans back confidently.   WILL: You did the crime, now you’re gonna do the time.   ---   At the hospital, Billie steps into Laura’s office, having interrupted Daniel’s talk with Laura about Liam. Both Laura and Daniel are taken aback by Billie’s arrival, and both struggle to speak.   DANIEL: Uh…Billie! Hey…uh…mm, Laura and I were going over some… BILLIE: …Something I’m not supposed to know about? Sorry to drop in like this, Laura. I couldn’t find Daniel in his office and I heard his voice from the hall.   Laura, sensing tension in the air, looks back and forth between the two of them and starts to back away.   LAURA: I think…I’ll leave you two for the moment. Daniel, we can finish this later. DANIEL: Sure, Laura.   Laura walks towards the door, but, before walking out, stops and turns back toward Daniel.   LAURA: Oh! And, by the way, Daniel! Thank you so much for everything. You’ll lock up behind me?   Laura smiles, and heads out the door, as Daniel holds up his hand in a half-hearted wave back at Laura.   DANIEL: Sure. Don’t mention it.   Once Laura leaves, Billie crosses her arms, impatiently waiting for an answer from Daniel.   BILLIE: Far be it from me to be sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong, but what exactly was that?   Daniel looks off to the side in frustration, knowing Billie won’t stop until she has an answer.   DANIEL: (sigh) I can’t go into this with you, Billie. BILLIE: Oh come on, Daniel. I mean, I…Jenn’s a good friend of mine. If something’s wrong with her and Abigail, I want to know about it. DANIEL: Billie, there’s nothing wrong. I…Jenn’s worried about Abigail being in Italy working for the DiMeras, and Laura just wanted me to check in on her.   Billie’s eyes peer down at Daniel, who’s sitting in front of Laura’s desk. Billie leans over and perches on top of Laura’s desk. She looks at him intensely as she responds softly and slowly to him.   BILLIE: I don’t believe a word you’re saying. And I’m going to find out exactly what’s really going on.   Daniel sighs in frustration at Billie’s resolve.   ---   In Jennifer’s office, Jenn sits behind her desk, working away on her computer, when she hears a knock at the door.   JENNIFER: Come in.   The door opens and Liam’s smiling face appears. Jenn smiles in return, pleased to see him.   JENNIFER: HEY! I wasn’t expecting you!   Liam comes in and walks immediately over to Jenn’s desk. The two kiss quickly on the lips.   LIAM: I figured you could use a break from the nonstop…press releasing.   Jenn laughs and smiles warmly as Liam sits down across from her at the other side of her desk.   JENNIFER: Well, it’s definitely welcomed. I gotta get this all done by the end of the week. We have to announce the new head of HR that’s replacing Anne and then…ugh, I’m boring you, aren’t I? LIAM: Never. JENNIFER: Well, good, cos I’m boring myself. (laughs) So what brought you here, I thought you had to go consult at a hospital in Chicago.   Liam shuffles in his seat a bit before leaning in close to Jenn, a sensuous look in his eye as he gives Jenn his news.   LIAM: I…yeah, but I finished early, so, I thought you and I could leave work a little early today for a little…quiet dinner at Chez Rouge?   Jenn leans in, smiling wider than ever, she nuzzles in close to Liam as she answers.   JENNIFER: I think that is something that can be arranged, Mr. Frasier.   Jenn leans in and touches Liam’s nose with hers. They look intensely in each other’s eyes before leaning in ever-so-slowly for a soft kiss.   ---   Gabi looks up from reading Nick’s tablet, as she sits across from him at a booth at the Brady Pub. She looks stunned by what she sees: An old modelling picture of her in an apparently new ad for MadWorld Cosmetics.   GABI: Wh…what? You want me to be new face of MadWorld?   Nick smiles broadly, anticipating a favourable reaction from Gabi to his gift.   NICK: Absolutely. I mean, Gabi, you’re gorgeous, and you’re already established with MadWorld…there’s nothing stopping you. GABI: I…Nick, I mean, this isn’t the first time you’ve set up modelling jobs for me and it was a disaster—   Nick holds up his hands to stop Gabi midsentence. He interrupts her.   NICK: I know! I know, it’s…I didn’t go about it the right way last time. This way, you can stay here in Salem, you can co-parent with Will and Sonny, there’s no great upheaval. We can take it slow. GABI: Nick, you’re…you’re talking like…   Gabi stops herself mid-sentence, stopping herself from letting Nick know her true (lack of) feelings for him, but Nick’s suspicious, and it shows in his eyes.   NICK: Like what?   Gabi tenses up almost immediately, trying to backtrack to allay Nick’s suspicions.   GABI: You’re talking like…like I can just stay in Salem and model, I mean…that isn’t exactly how it works.   Nick nods in understanding, but pinches the bridge of his nose, as though feeling a sudden pain. Gabi looks on, trying to sort out what’s happening.   NICK: No, you’re…you’re right. GABI: Nick, you okay?   A voice is heard approaching Gabi and Nick from behind, while the sound of approaching heels clicks closer slowly.   KATE: Is he ever?   Gabi and Nick look up in surprise to see Kate looking down with her usual sour expression. She catches a glimpse of the MadWorld ad and looks over at Nick, unimpressed.   KATE: What are you up to now, Nick?   ---         ---   Kate leans against the edge of the booth casually, waiting for an answer from an obviously pained Nick.   NICK: Nothing, Kate. Just…ugh, taking care of business with Gabi.   Kate, unmoved by Nick’s pain, grabs his tablet and looks at it momentarily before holding it up to show Nick the picture of Gabi.   KATE: I see, and this wouldn’t have anything to do with your little…amateur adventures at Photoshop, would it? Because I never authorized you to set up any ad campaigns, Nick. You work in the lab, remember? You make the formulas, I sell them.   Nick groans as he tries to keep up with Kate, trying to grab his laptop bag to grab his “ibuprofen” tablets. He replies as he searches.   NICK: God, Kate. You never let up, do you? KATE: In business, if you let up, you get screwed. You should know that better than anyone.   Kate looks over, watching Nick struggle to find anything in his bag.   KATE: Having trouble, Nick? NICK: Yeah, can’t find my aspirin, you have any, Gabi? I’d take them from you, Kate, but you have a bit of a history with poisoning things, I’m not gonna take my chances.   Kate rolls her eyes as Gabi hesitantly goes through her bag. Not finding anything, she gets up from her seat.   GABI: Uh, no. I don’t…if you want, I’ll run down to the drugstore at the corner and grab you something, okay? NICK: Sure, thanks, Gabi. GABI: No problem, uh…Kate, can you do me a huge favour and watch over Ari— KATE: …Say no more, but hurry. I have places to be.   Gabi turns back and nods appreciatively.   GABI: Yep, no worries, I’ll be right back.   Kate turns around and picks Ari up from her high chair, as Nick fumbles out of his seat.          Outside the door, Gabi looks back to make sure she isn’t spotted by Kate or Nick. She walks just to the edge of the building, just out of sight from those inside. She grabs her cell phone and makes a call.   GABI: (into phone) EJ! I need your help. NOW.   ---   Will walks onto the elevator to head for home. When the doors open, Will steps in, and leans casually against the back wall, catching up on messages on his cell phone. As the doors are nearly closed, a hand stops them from completely shutting, and the doors open again.   Will sighs, impatient to go home, and looks up unimpressed by the new passenger.   Until he sees who it is.   WILL: Alex.   Will immediately lights up as he sees his new supervisor dressed in skin-tight biking gear. Will’s eyes look Alex up and down as he steps on. Alex smiles back at Will.   ALEX: Hey! Will! How you doing? WILL: I…uh…good, I…heh. You look, awfully casual. ALEX: Oh! Yeah, this. I…heh…I usually bike home from work, and I wanted to try the commute home from the new office before the weather got too cold.   Will nods, half-listening to Alex, as he’s too distracted by Alex’s biking outfit, which leaves…little to the imagination. Will licks his lips and, catching himself, looks up at Alex, smiling.   WILL: Yeah, it’s…good weather for that.   Alex smiles, before the air fills with an awkward silence, broken only by the sound of the elevator as it beeps, passing each floor on the way down. Alex finally breaks it.   ALEX: So, how was your first day? WILL: Oh, it was great. I’m…really glad you were able to help. I have a feeling I’ll…need a bit more. Heh. ALEX: Oh, don’t even worry about it. I’ll definitely be around whenever you need. Just ask. WILL: Thanks.   Will looks up, looking at his watch. The awkward silence hits again for a moment, but Alex again takes the opportunity to break it.   ALEX: So…you…uh…have any plans tonight?   Will thinks a moment, before answering carefully.   WILL: I…uh…yeah. A bit later, but...hey, maybe…did you wanna maybe grab a drink before you head home, we can maybe…go over…a few more things and get to know each other better…   Will quickly realizes what he’s just said and quickly backtracks.   WILL: In a totally professional way, of course.   Alex laughs as Will blushes, Alex’s eyes linger into Will’s as the elevator finally stops at the ground floor. The doors open as Alex responds.   ALEX: I would love that, but I have dinner plans tonight, and I’d better go shower before all that, so…maybe tomorrow? WILL: I…YEAH! Definitely. ALEX: Alright, I’ll see you tomorrow.   Alex goes to head out the door, but puts a hand on Will’s lower back on his way out. Will tenses as he feels Alex’s hand touch him gently.   ALEX: Great work today, by the way.   Will nearly chokes as he feels Alex’s hand slide away, Alex walking out the door, smiling at him as he waves, that Will nearly forgets to leave the elevator himself.   WILL: I…yeah…I mean, thanks!   Will exhales as he exits the elevator. He watches Alex walk towards the door, mesmerized momentarily by his muscled body in his tight-fitting sportswear. Will snaps out of it a second later, feeling like the biggest fool on the planet.   WILL: Yeah, Will. Great work. (sigh)   ---   Daniel gets up from his desk, still trying to find a way to allay Billie’s concerns.   DANIEL: Billie, you can’t do anything about this.   Billie watches from atop Daniel’s desk, looking at him incredulously.   BILLIE: Like Hell, I can’t. Look, I know you want to protect them, but if something’s seriously wrong…I mean...you’re not exactly chummy with Jennifer since you two split. DANIEL: That’s…putting it mildly.   Billie gets up from Daniel’s desk and slowly walks up behind him. She puts her hands gently on his shoulders and sensuously rubs them, as she softly speaks in his ear.   BILLIE: So…why not let someone who’s a little less…let’s say…controversial get the goods you need, hm?   Daniel smiles and has a bit of a laugh, but turns around to face Billie. Putting his arms around her, while she rests her arms on his shoulders again, he tries to let her down gently.   DANIEL: I would love nothing more than to fill you in on every detail of this… BILLIE: Good— DANIEL: But…it’s not going to happen, Billie. This is something I have to do myself.   Billie’s drops her arms to her side. She sulks as she backs away from Daniel.   BILLIE: Fine! I’ll just go to Jenn myself and find out from her what’s going on—   Daniel’s voice booms as he instructs Billie.   DANIEL: NO YOU WON’T!   Billie is stopped in her tracks by Daniel’s explosion. Her face looks toward Daniel, shocked by his intensity. Daniel walks back towards Billie. His voice returns to its soft tone, but the intensity remains, forcing Billie to take in every word.   DANIEL: Look, you cannot go to Jenn about ANY of this, do you understand? She has no idea what’s going on, and if she does, she may be in grave danger, okay? And if I tell you, there’s a good chance that you’ll be in just as much danger as she is, okay?   Billie looks at Daniel, a mix of worry and fear in her eyes as she nods slowly in understanding.   BILLIE: But…will YOU be okay?   Daniel bites his lip, thinking things over a moment before speaking.   DANIEL: God, I hope so.   ---   Kate holds Ari, bouncing Ari in her arms as she speaks to Nick, unimpressed by his latest antics.   KATE: I told you to keep out of my business.   Nick, still struggling with his sudden headache, pinches the bridge of his nose while he responds.   NICK: Kate, we had a deal. You had to get Gabi a contract with MadWorld or I say what I know.   Kate leans in, speaking softly, as if to get Nick to quiet down by proxy by lowering the tone of her own voice.   KATE: And it wasn’t time to offer anything to her yet. We had to have product first. NICK: No, no. You were stalling. I knew you were. And I decided to take matters into my own hands. You should be thankful this is all I did. You know what I could do.   Kate rolls her eyes, unable to counter Nick once again.   NICK: I’m gonna go check with Mrs. Brady and see if she has anything for this headache.   Nick heads off to the bar to talk to Caroline, while Kate saunters over to the front of the pub. Suddenly spotting Gabi just outside the doorway, she walks closer to the door to spy on her.          Outside, Gabi stands slightly off to the side, thinking she can’t be seen in the building. She has her cell phone out, talking on her phone.   GABI: (into phone) I know I was supposed to just get him hooked and get him arrested but it wasn’t that easy…   …   EJ stands in his office at DiMera Enterprises, an agitated tone in his voice as he talks to Gabi.   EJ: (into phone) What do you mean, Gabi? What’s happened?   …   GABI: (into phone) Hope didn’t take the bait. She couldn’t find the bottle of pills I switched out at all. I know he’s been using it, I mean, he’s been getting these really bad headaches. But…he’s out of pills and I don’t know what to do.   Kate is now outside, looking on, brow furrowed as she catches some of what Gabi’s saying. She listens closer as she approaches, as quietly as she can.   …   EJ: (into phone) Okay…I have an idea. Just…head to the pier and meet the same guy as before in one hour.   …   GABI: (into phone) No, I don’t have that kind of time, EJ. He thinks I’m already headed out to the pharmacy. Please, you have to make it sooner than that. I can’t do this anymore. This time, the plan has to work. He has to be caught red handed before he goes any farther.   …   EJ: (into phone) Well, if the pills weren’t enough last time…   …   GABI: (into phone) Well, then we need something more incriminating then. A prescription pad, a…phony doctor’s note.SOMETHING.   Kate is stunned by what she’s hearing. A wry smile starts to appear on her face as she begins to realize what Gabi’s up to.   …   EJ slams his fist on the desk in anger. He shouts into the phone.   EJ: (into phone) Dammit, Gabi! Okay, just head there now. I’ll try to get my guy over there, but no promises.   …   GABI: (into phone) Oh my God, thank you, EJ. I owe you BIG time.   Gabi hangs up the phone, and quickly walks off toward the pier. As she walks away, she doesn’t see a smiling Kate behind her. As she bounces baby Ari in her arms, she laughs quietly to herself.   KATE: Bravo, Gabi. I gotta say, I didn’t think you had it in you.   ---   Liam and Jenn’s kiss is interrupted by Liam’s cell phone ringing. The pair are jolted out of their romantic moment, as Liam leans back in his chair, grabbing his phone and looking at who’s calling.   Frustrated, he gets up from his seat and holds up one finger to indicate to Jenn.   LIAM: Ahh I gotta take this, it’s Chiacgo, one moment. JENNIFER: That’s fine, take your time, sweetie.   Jenn nods, going back to work, as Liam hastily leaves her office, shutting the door behind him.   Liam storms into the hallway, checking all around to see who’s passing by, before sliding into the waiting room. As he turns into the waiting room, Laura passes by and spots Liam going in. She carefully follows to the doorway and, just out of his line of sight, listens in closely.   LIAM: (into phone) This better be important.   …   EJ responds, now pacing his office, a headache developing for him as well now.   EJ: (into phone) You need to get Percocets and a prescription pad to the pier in 15 minutes or less.   …   Liam reacts in angered disbelief.   LIAM: (into phone) WHAT?   …   EJ: (into phone) Exactly what I just said. We’ve got an emergency on our hands and if Gabi Hernandez doesn’t get Percocets and a prescription pad in her hands by…   EJ checks his watch hastily before continuing.   EJ: …4:30, everything we’ve worked for is in jeopardy.   …   LIAM: (into phone) A prescription pad? EJ, I mean…the drugs are one thing but…   Liam looks around the room to make sure no one’s watching or coming into the room. He leans in and speaks softer. Outside, Laura focuses in even closer.   LIAM …a prescription pad? That’s not exactly easy to get.   Laura looks on, confused as all get out as to what Liam’s up to. She whispers almost inaudibly to herself.   LAURA: Prescription pad? And why is he talking to EJ? (sigh) I have a bad feeling about this.   …   EJ: (into phone) You’re in a hospital, you’ll manage. 15 minutes, Liam. No ifs, ands, or buts.   …   LIAM: (into phone) Oh, what? I’m just supposed to pull one out of my ass now? Come on, EJ. This is crazy.   …   EJ: (into phone) There is no time argue or question me. Get the pills, put them in the same ibuprofen package as before, get the prescription pads, give them to Gabi Hernandez, and tell her she needs to sneak the pad into the target’s bag when he isn’t looking. That’s it.   …   Liam, resigned to his fate, throws his hands up.   LIAM: (into phone) (sigh) Yep. Right. I’ll be there.       EJ hangs up the phone. Liam follows suit.   LIAM: Okay. Percocets…and prescription pads. Good luck, Liam. You’ll need it.   Liam turns and storms out of the room. Laura, still standing outside, leans up against the wall as closely as she can, praying Liam doesn’t spot her. He turns away from her, and walks down the hall in the other direction. She breathes a sigh of relief, but looks on, more worried than ever.   LAURA: Selling pills and prescription pads…to EJ DiMera. Oh Daniel, I hope to hell you figure out what he’s up to before it’s too late.




DAYS #81: Eric and Marlena have an intense talk, and Nick has a surprise for Gabi

Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson           Hope walks through the Salem Police station towards her office as Rafe approaches. Hope looks over and smiles in greeting as Rafe does the same.       RAFE: Hey! Just who I was looking for.     HOPE: Well, don’t I feel flattered. Come in.       Hope opens the door to her office and props it open for Rafe come in behind her. He shuts the door after entering as Hope sits down behind her desk.       HOPE: So I got a few things I’ll need to take care of today so I’m not here long. What’s up?       Rafe walks over to Hope’s desk and drops a file on it before her.       RAFE: Well, this can’t really wait. There was another burglary in the west end again last night.       Hope looks up, stunned and disappointed.       HOPE: You’re kidding.     RAFE: Nope! This time, they at least got a description of the suspect. It’s not perfect, but…       Hope picks up the file and looks it over quickly, studying it as best she can.       HOPE: Young male, black, 20-25, muscular build. Grey college hoodie, not Salem U. Wow, okay. Anything turn up so far?     RAFE: Nah. This guy seems to have vanished into thin air after the robbery. All they know is he was in a rented moving van, but no one can trace it, they didn’t get the licence plate or anything.       Hope drops the file on her desk as she looks back over at Rafe.       HOPE: Damn. (sigh) Alright, well, we’ll keep looking. You doing okay?       Rafe shrugs, smiling half-heartedly.       RAFE: Yeah, I’m fine. Can’t complain too much.       Hope looks at Rafe’s face and raises her eyebrow skeptically.           HOPE: Why don’t I believe you?       Rafe looks up, confused.       HOPE: It’s Jordan, isn’t it? Rafe, is something going wrong between you?       Rafe sighs, hesitant to get into this discussion now.       ---           Daniel stands, stunned in Laura Horton’s office at University Hospital. Laura looks up at him, worried about Daniel’s sudden silence. She gets up from her chair and tries to get Daniel’s attention.       LAURA: Daniel? Daniel!       Daniel blinks, suddenly back to reality.       DANIEL: Hi. Sorry. Umm…look. I think I just…put two and two together and…yeah, I’m worried about Abigail. Very worried.       Laura looks at Daniel, now more worried than before about her granddaughter.       ---           Nick sits casually on Percy’s sofa in the cabin, as Percy works away, carefully studying the Titan security videos. Nick scrolls through his tablet, earpiece in one ear, smiling widely at what he’s seeing and hearing as he suddenly gets up and turns to Percy.       NICK: Got it!       Percy looks up, peeling the headphones off his ears as though they’d been on for hours. Percy winces in pain as his ears appear, red as tomatoes.       PERCY: My apologies, Nicholas. I didn’t hear you.     NICK: I think I know exactly what we’re going to need to stick it to Victor. Check this out.       Nick offers his tablet to Percy, who studies the image of Jordan, Sheryl, and Jerome’s meeting. After squinting at it a moment, Percy dons his bifocals, staring once again at the screen looking down his nose.       PERCY: But…Nicholas, who is that young man there? I’ve never seen him before.       Nick pulls his tablet away, casually flipping the case around it to close it as he heads back to the sofa to put the tablet away.       NICK: That…is apparently a man named Jerome Grant. From what I caught, which, incidentally isn’t much because those girls need to stop mumbling so damn much, he knows Jordan and Sheryl from before they came to Salem.       PERCY: Could he be a danger to us?       Nick pulls out his cell phone from his bag, smiling his classic smug smirk.       NICK: Ohhh, I don’t think that’ll be a problem, Percy. Look, I’m gonna head into town, I’ll see you later, okay?       Nick grabs his laptop bag and slings it over his shoulder as he heads for the door. Percy smiles, nods, and waves as he begins to put his headphones back on.       PERCY: Absolutely, I’ll keep you informed if I hear or see any so-called “juicy tidbits”, Nicholas!     NICK: Great stuff, Percy. See you later on.       Nick closes the door to the cabin, as he makes his phone call.       …           Gabi, sitting at a table at Town Square, rocking Arianna back and forth in her stroller, hears the phone. She suddenly stops and looks frantically for her phone. Pulling it out, she looks down with a sickened look on her face as she sees Nick’s name on her screen.       GABI: Oh God.       Quickly answering, she swallows hard, expecting the worst.       GABI: Hey Nick, w…what’s up?       …       NICK: Hey, Gabi! Uh…look I really have something important to talk to you about. Can you meet me in 20 minutes at the Brady Pub?       …       GABI: Uh…sure. Yeah, I can!       …       NICK: Great. See you then.       Nick hangs up the phone, beaming.       NICK: Ohhh Gabi. You’re gonna love the surprise I have for you.       Nick walks off toward his car, feeling on top of the world.       ….       Gabi hangs up the phone, a look of dread on her face, as she tries to distract Ari, but silently curses Nick. Her sudden tension isn’t lost on Ari, who begins to cry, upsetting Gabi even more.       ---           Marlena and Eric walk into Club TBD, Eric finally having a laugh with Marlena after spending two days in solemn silence. They find a seat and are handed menus by the server. Marlena and Eric both look up pleasantly, Marlena holding up her hand to stop her before she puts the menus down.       MARLENA: Oh, it’s okay. I’ll just have a coffee.     ERIC: Same for me.       Marlena turns back to Eric with a serious, but loving face that Eric recognizes immediately. He reacts to it with a change of expression, back inward.       ERIC: Mom…     MARLENA: (interrupting) I know you don’t want me to pry…     ERIC: No. Actually, I do. Mom, you’re the only person I can turn to about this. I’m…honestly, I’m really struggling.       Marlena looks on, now really concerned for Eric. She squints a bit, staring intently at him. Eric catches this and looks down as his coffee is put down on the table in front of him by the waitress, Marlena’s in front of her.       MARLENA: Eric…what’s the problem?       Eric breathes in deeply, then sighs as he prepares to tell his mother about his dilemma.       ERIC: Mom, I’ve been…really troubled ever since this whole…situation with Kristen went down and…I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.     MARLENA: Okay. I mean, it’s understandable that you’d have a lot of conflicting emotions, Eric. You lost your vocation. It meant a lot to you, you don’t just…lose that overnight.     ERIC: Right, but…(sigh), some things have happened since then…I mean…Sonny and Will’s wedding, among other things…and it’s made me sort of…realize…       Marlena leans in, trying to catch Eric’s eyes. Eric, stirring his coffee mindlessly, stops, finally looking at his mom.       MARLENA: Sweetheart. Realize what?     ERIC: I’m thinking of leaving the church altogether.       Marlena’s eyes widen at Eric’s revelation.       ---     ---           Valerie stands in her office at University Hospital, leaning against her desk with her other hand on her hip, as she stares down her grandson, Jerome.       VALERIE: Come on now, out with it! Something is on your mind, and you’re a bad liar.     JEROME: Grandma…     VALERIE: Well, maybe you can fool other people but you sure as Hell can’t fool me. Now spit it out.       Jerome rolls his eyes, pausing a moment before he gives in. He turns and faces his grandmother, earnestly responding to her.       JEROME: I just…I ran into old university friends from Toronto here and…we didn’t leave things on a good note. That’s all.     VALERIE: Well, you know, it’s not like you’re still kids, Jerome. I think taking the year off before you started your PhD was probably a good idea. Maybe things have mellowed and you’ll work things out.     JEROME: Hopefully….I just can’t shake the feeling that something’s happening that I don’t quite understand. I got a bad feeling, Grandma.       Valerie smiles as she walks over to Jerome, putting her hand under his chin in a form of encouragement.       VALERIE: You will be alright. In all your years on this Earth, you’ve managed to be smarter, and more resourceful than anyone I’ve ever met. You just remember that.       Jerome smiles slightly, a warmth in his eyes as he looks at Valerie. He suddenly looks down at his phone and sees the time. Fumbling around a moment, he sets his phone on Valerie’s desk as he asks her a question.       JEROME: Thanks, Grandma. Look, I gotta get going, uh…you got the keys to the new house?       Valerie digs into her pocket and pulls out a keyring with three keys on it, tossing them Jerome’s way casually.       VALERIE: Yep! Got ‘em right here.       Jerome catches them with ease as he starts for the door.       JEROME: Thanks. I gotta get this stuff into my room before I head into Salem U. Get into the registrar’s office before it closes. Thanks, Gran!     VALERIE: See you later, Sweetie.       As Jerome closes the door, Valerie watches him, a warm smile on her face, before she grabs her file folder on Roman. She stops as she picks it up, putting it back down again as she sees Jerome’s cell phone.       VALERIE: Oh Damn it, JEROME!       She jumps up from her seat and runs for the doorway, but Jerome is already gone. She stops in her doorway, turns back around and sighs. As she heads back to her desk, she stops before it, and stares at Roman’s file.       VALERIE: Well...maybe it’s time we found some answers for you, Roman.       ---       Rafe looks at Hope, sitting opposite her at her office desk. Rafe tries to hold back his emotions a bit. Hope leans in, trying to catch Rafe’s eye.       HOPE: Rafe, come on. I think we’ve known each other long enough to know when something’s up with each other.       Rafe looks up at Hope and sighs. He decides to speak his mind. He begins, fidgeting uncomfortably.       RAFE: Well…yeah, you’re right. I dunno. Jordan’s been…really distant the last few weeks and I can’t put my finger on why.       Hope looks at Rafe, concerned.       HOPE: Has anything changed in the last few weeks? Like…I know she’s been busy with work and all but…     RAFE: Nah. It’s mostly been Sheryl. I think she’s going through something and…apparently can’t go to Lucas about it so she goes to Jordan.     HOPE: And you get left out in the cold.     RAFE: (sigh) Right.       Hope reaches out and puts her hand over Rafe’s, giving him a comforting look.       HOPE: Just be patient. Whatever’s going on is not going to break the two of you. I see the both of you and you’re always…incredibly happy when you’re together. Whatever’s going on with Jordan or Sheryl…it’ll pass.       Rafe smiles slightly, as Hope gets up from her desk and slips on her jacket, and grabs her keys.       RAFE: Hope you’re right.     HOPE: I know I’m right. Look, I’m going to pick up Ciara from school, I’ll keep my eyes open for anything about the burglaries. Okay?       Rafe gets up from his seat to head into the hallway himself. He holds the door for Hope as she exits the room, with Rafe right behind her.       RAFE: Sounds good. I’ll text you in a bit if I come up with anything.     HOPE: Great. See ya!     RAFE: Bye!       Rafe shuts the door behind Hope. He sighs as he grabs his phone to check for any notification from Jordan.       RAFE: Nothing. (sigh)       ---       Laura looks at Daniel, she takes a moment before asking her next question to Daniel, almost afraid of the answer she’ll get.       LAURA: I’m afraid to ask.       Daniel immediately starts to pace the room, trying to calm himself a bit in hopes of also placating a now-frantic Laura.             DANIEL: Look, just…I was Abigail’s doctor when she had that…accident at work. And…I’m not saying to panic but…I will look into this for you, okay? But…don’t worry. I will make sure Abigail is okay.       Laura exhales and smiles at Daniel, nodding in satisfaction. She relaxes a bit, feeling reassured.       LAURA: Thank you.       Laura stops a moment, seeing that Daniel still appears troubled by their conversation. She puts a hand on his arm in reassurance.       LAURA: And, Daniel. Just…I’m sorry to insert you back in Jennifer’s business like this…I know you two have, well, gone your own way. But…I feel like you…you know my family better than anyone at this hospital and…well…Jenn and Abigail could really use your help. I just…I didn’t know who else to turn to.           Daniel nods in understanding. As he responds, Billie approaches Laura’s office door. She hears Daniel’s voice and stops, creaking the door open as he speaks.       DANIEL: No, it’s okay. I…totally understand why you came to me, and I mean…I’m always going to love your daughter, no matter what’s happened between us. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep Jenn and Abigail safe.       BILLIE: What are we keeping Jenn and Abby safe from?       Daniel and Laura both turn around, surprised by Billie’s entrance. Billie looks back, a curious look on her face.       ---       Marlena looks at Eric incredulously. She leans in closer to him, almost scolding him with her reaction.       MARLENA: Are you serious? Eric, you were so passionate about being a priest, it…it was your life—     ERIC: …WAS my life, Mom.     MARLENA: Eric, don’t let Kristen win. She’s taken so much from us already, you can’t…       Eric holds up his hand to try to stop his mom from continuing.       ERIC: Mom…please. It’s not about Kristen. In fact, I’m starting to think that it’s because everything that happened was because of Kristen, that…maybe that’s why it’s taken me until now to make this decision.       Marlena chokes a bit on her words, unsure how to respond, but still not pleased.       MARLENA: I…I, I mean how…look, you just need the proof that Dr. Chyka’s drug is what poisoned you that night, and you’ll be exonerated. We know that.       Eric looks down, already exhausted by Marlena’s unrelenting pressure.       ERIC: Mom—     MARLENA: Eric! You can’t give up when you’re so close to clearing your name.     ERIC: Mom! I’m not about to give up. I will never stop until people know the truth about what happened to me that night. But, Mom, how am I supposed to support a system of beliefs that tells me that my nephew…not only doesn’t have the right happiness with the man he loves, but that they both should be killed for it. Just for loving each other? How do I support a church that is so ready to throw me under the bus, and to judge me as this…monster, when I was a victim? There is so much…evil that is swept under the rug in this church, and they want to dismiss a priest who comes out as gay? I mean…Mom, they won’t even acknowledge your marriage to John, even with all the extenuating circumstances that caused your affair and your divorce from Dad.       Marlena looks down, nodding sadly as she thinks back on her affair with John.       MARLENA: I know that was hard, but…     ERIC: Mom, it’s…I chose to overlook it for a very, very long time. Because I saw the good that being faithful, and being a priest could do. The benefit it could have to humanity, and the…the joy and comfort that my faith could bring, and I wanted to share that with the world. And maybe I was doing it, in a way to…make my family proud, I don’t know. But the fact remains that I could not reconcile my faith and my love for my family. And my desire to see them happy with the people they love.       Marlena reaches out across the table and grabs Eric’s hands in hers. Squeezing them tightly, she begins to cry, a look of pride across her face.       MARLENA: Ohh, Eric. My darling boy. I don’t care what your vocation is. I will ALWAYS be proud of you. And so will your father, and your grandmother, and your aunts and uncles and everybody.       Eric and Marlena share a laugh, as Marlena holds Eric’s hands firmly.       MARLENA: I want you to remember, no matter what…I couldn’t be more proud of you than I am right now. Don’t you ever forget that.     ERIC: Thanks, Mom.       Marlena and Eric get up from their seats and share a tight, warm hug that seems to last ages. As Marlena lets go of Eric, she looks him dead in the eyes, still a bit teary.       MARLENA: And whatever you do decide…I will support you. No matter what.       Eric nods, feeling the first bit of comfort he’s felt in a long time.       ERIC: You know, you don’t realize how comforting it is to hear that. Seriously, thank you. I love you.     MARLENA: Oh, Eric.       Marlena pulls Eric in again for a hug, once again holding him tightly, like she was comforting him as a boy.       ---       Nick looks up from his tablet, as he sits in the booth at the Brady Pub. He spots Gabi in the doorway and gets up from his seat. He goes to grab Arianna, but Gabi tenses up, reactively pulling her closer to her chest. She tries to pass it off as nothing and points to the high chair in the corner.       GABI: No, no! I got her, can you just…grab the high chair for me.       Nick turns around and spots the high chair, springing into action dutifully.       NICK: Oh! Yeah, absolutely.       Nick steps over to grab the high chair, and sets it up for Ari to sit in. Gabi smiles and slots Ari in carefully, with Nick’s help.       GABI: There we go! Easy does it.       Once Ari’s in place, the pair sit down.       GABI: Ohh, thank you, Nick.       Nick shifts midsentence towards Ari, paying the beautiful young child some attention, but Ari is not having it and flinches at Nick’s touch.       NICK: Anything for you and this beautiful little girl of yours! Hey sweetie!!       Ari kicks Nick’s hand away, causing Nick to jump back a bit, and having a short laugh about it.       NICK: Wow, she’s feisty today!       Gabi laughs nervously in response before becoming fairly serious, nervously asking Nick the question of the hour.       GABI: Heh, yeah. She’s…like that some days. You never know. So…uh…why did you ask me to come, Nick? It sounded...pretty important on the phone.     NICK: Oh, trust me, Gabi. This is…life-changing news. Without a doubt.       Gabi looks to one side, grimacing, trying to fake a smile and failing.       GABI: Can’t wait.       Nick looks down at his trusty tablet, swiping through different screens until he pulls up the screen to show Gabi.       NICK: Kate and I have been working on a new line for MadWorld. It’s a young, fresh line of skin care that is 40% less heavy than your main line products with just as long-lasting coverage. Can’t really get into details more than that, but…it’s tested REALLY well.     GABI: That sounds fantastic. W…what does it have to do with me?       Nick turns the tablet toward Gabi and hands it to her. On the screen is a beauty shot from Gabi’s old modelling shoots with a tester from the new line photoshopped in. Gabi looks on in shock as Nick reveals his intentions.       NICK: We want you to be the face of the new line.       Gabi looks up at Nick, breathing in deeply, an almost panic-stricken look on her face.       ---      




DAYS #80: Sami and Nicole get into it, Laura recruits Daniel to dig into Liam's history

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

Laura sits in her office at University Hospital, recalling what JJ told her the previous night about Liam. 
Laura breathes in deeply, standing in her bedroom, as she tries to relax herself and keeps asking JJ questions.
LAURA: Right. Okay...so...JJ...what happened after that conversation you had with your mother?
JJ: Well...they took off, mom and Liam did...and I stayed behind to try to...sort this out in my head...and as they left...Liam...he looked at me...I caught him trying to...like...stare me down or something. But I'm more worried about Abigail than anything. I mean...she's working for Stefano but...Liam works at the hospital, he has no ties to Stefano.
Laura thinks intensely about what JJ said, while shaking her head.
She swallows hard before talking to herself.
LAURA: Ohhh, let's just hope I'm wrong about Liam.

As she finishes, Daniel opens her door, knocking gently on it. Laura looks up and smiles at him.
LAURA: Daniel!
DANIEL: You asked to see me?
LAURA: Yes, I...I have a favour to ask you.
Daniel squints a bit, unsure what to expect.
DANIEL: Oh? What kind of favour?
Laura stirs awkwardly for a moment, trying to find the best way to ask.
LAURA: I need you to do a bit of digging on someone...Liam Frasier.
Daniel looks down, sighing in frustration.
At the former Titan TV studio, Nicole stands with Miles before hearing the sound of the doors to the studio opening, as a group of people enter the room.
She closes her eyes, anticipating the worst before turning around to see who's come in.
As she turns, she spots a group of men in suits approaching.

Followed by none other than Sami Brady and EJ DiMera.
Sami stops before the group of men, and immediately launches into her announcement.
SAMI: Good afternoon, everybody! I'm sure you all know by now, I'm Samantha Brady. And I will be operating the TV operation formerly known as Titan TV, as of today.
Nicole breathes in deeply, choking back a scream, as Sami locks eyes with Nicole, a huge smile across Sami's face.
NICOLE: No! You've got to be joking!
Sami smiles widely, trying to stop herself from laughing as EJ responds.
EJ: Oh, believe me, Nicole. This is anything but a joke.
Nicole looks at EJ incredulously, before looking back towards Sami.
NICOLE: How is it not? Samantha Brady has as much experience running a TV station as Billy Baldwin has at the Oscars.
SAMI: My God, Nicole. Even your references are dated...
Sami saunters over a little too causally over towards an agitated Nicole. She stands inches in front of her as she continues.
SAMI: You know...considering how our...advertisers demand our programming be....youthful, fresh...ahead of the curve? I might be really careful what I say around here. Know what I mean?
Nicole scowls at Sami, as Sami smiles smugly.

Marlena walks into the 7th floor lobby at University Hospital as the door to the elevator opens. Eric walks out, catching Marlena's eye. He spots her as well and stops, walking back towards his mother.
MARLENA: Eric! It's good to see you.
ERIC: Mom.
The two hug warmly, though Eric's troubled face doesn't get past Marlena, who immediately begins to worry.
MARLENA: You alright? You seem...a bit distracted.
ERIC: Yeah, you could say that.
The two separate, and Marlena looks at her son. She steps back a moment before answering, a worried look on her face.
MARLENA: You want to grab a coffee and we can talk about it?
Eric nods solemnly.
ERIC: I'd like that.
Marlena smiles warmly as she presses the down button to the elevator, headed for the ground floor.
MARLENA: Great. I've had quite a morning myself.
As the door opens, the two step on, and Eric looks on, puzzled himself.
ERIC: Oh? What happened?
MARLENA: Ohhh....it's a long story.
The elevator doors shut as Marlena looks over at her son, whose own worried expression is now equally directed as his mother as it has been at himself.

Valerie steps into her office, holding Roman's medical files in hand. Pouring over them, she looks confused by the contents.
VALERIE: This...can't be right...

As she speaks, Jerome steps into the room, knocking on the door of her office, causing her to jump a moment.
JEROME: Hey Grandma.
VALERIE: Jerome! Baby, how are you?? When did you get into town?
Valerie puts the folder down, and almost runs over to Jerome, throwing her arms around him, gleeful at seeing her grandson.
JEROME: Just this morning. I...actually haven't had a chance to go to the house and drop my things off yet.
VALERIE: Well, actually that's good because I should probably go help you out when I'm done here.
JEROME: Okay, I'll meet you after.
Valerie smiles, happy to see her grandson again.
VALERIE: Sounds good. I should be done in an hour or so. I just gotta...figure out something with this patient file first. Hey, did you get everything settled at the university yet?
Jerome stops a moment, a strange look on his face that Valerie spots immediately.
JEROME: I...yeah...I just was taking care of a couple things.
Valerie looks at Jerome, squinting her eyes like she knows something's up.
VALERIE: Jerome Paul Grant. I have raised you from the time you were in diapers, and I know you're lying to me. Now out with it. What were you really up to?
Jerome breathes in, eyes darting quickly to the side as he tries to quickly come up with something to tell his grandmother.   ---
Nicole keeps her eyes firmly locked on Sami, as she puts one hand on her hip.
NICOLE: You know, this is hardly the way to build workplace morale, Sami.
SAMI: Well, I always figured it wasn't exactly great for workplace morale to have a murderous psycho on staff, but these folks seem to manage just fine.
Nicole rolls her eyes.
NICOLE: (sigh) Sami, get over it. Whether you want to admit it or not, I'm good at my job, and I work hard. So at least someone thinks I have something worth holding onto.
Sami begins to laugh at Nicole's assertion.
SAMI: Like who?
NICOLE: Your brother for a start! 
SAMI: Right, well, Eric always did have rotten taste in women.
NICOLE: Oh that's rich, considering you're the one taking my sloppy seconds. 
EJ finally has had enough and interjects.
EJ: Okay, ladies, that's enough, alright? Look, Nicole, I recognize you've done a lot of fine work for Titan TV, and you're in no danger of losing your job now, you understand.
Nicole looks back EJ's way with a smug smile.
NICOLE: Thank you, EJ.
EJ walks up behind Sami, putting both hands on her shoulders.
EJ: Besides, Samantha, we have a very special project for Nicole to work on for us.
NICOLE: And what would that be, exactly?
EJ: You're going to work on that expose of all the shady business practices over at EnerNext. We'll give you every dollar you need. I want you to nail the bastards for us.
Nicole smiles widely, partly in relief to get her bosses' support.
NICOLE: Oh, I think I can arrange that.
Daniel squirms as he tries to respond to Laura's request, visibly uncomfortable getting involved in this situation.
DANIEL: Laura...I want you to understand something, okay? Jenn and I...when we split, I made the point to stay out of her life as much as possible, and I've held to that--
LAURA: ...Yes, but now she needs you, Daniel.
DANIEL: What do you mean? I mean...Liam's a good guy, I work with him every day here at the hospital.
Laura begins to appear visibly agitated by Daniel's refusal, her desperation becoming clear to him as she continues.
LAURA: Daniel! Look, I know what your situation has been with Jennifer, and I understand you're moving on, but I do NOT trust this man at ALL.
Daniel looks stunned by Laura's statement. Laura, meanwhile, gets up from her desk, and begins to pace nervously around the room.
DANIEL: Wha...why not? I mean, he treats Jenn really well from all accounts, and...honestly, I don't understand what all the fuss is about, Laura.
LAURA: No, you don't understand. Look, before I say anything to you about this, you need to promise me this stays between you and I. Nobody else can know about any part of this. Do you understand.
Daniel puts his hands up in surrender, as Laura stands tense before him, looking directly into his eyes with a great intensity that is offputting even to Daniel.
DANIEL: You have my word.
LAURA: Alright...
Laura looks away, a bit more relaxed again, but once again pacing the room.
LAURA: JJ came to me last night...he was...he was shaking, Daniel. He was terrified.
Daniel looks at Laura, a real concern starting to come across his face.
DANIEL: Terrified of what?
LAURA: Of Liam. He had overheard Liam talking to someone outside the Town Square on his cell phone, and that someone mentioned that they would be keeping tabs on Abigail while she's out of the country, and...something about reporting to Stefano.
Daniel looks down a moment, mulling over what Laura's just told him.
Daniel thinks back to Abigail's fall, and her being his patient afterwards. He recalls her nervousness regarding her pregnancy.

Abigail lies in her hospital bed as Daniel casually goes over her chart. Abigail is nervous thanks in part to Daniel's close ties to her family and ex-colleagues at the hospital.
ABBY: That's good. Uh...Daniel...umm...you're not going to tell my mom about any of this, are you?
DANIEL: Nah, that's...that's not gonna happen. See, your mom and I are, in no uncertain terms, finished.
ABBY: Good. Uh...that's....not quite what I meant. I mean, I just...well, you know a lot of my family and friends and...
DANIEL: Doctor-patient confidentiality. Cross my heart.
Abigail smiles, feeling reassured that Daniel won't speak to anyone about her condition.
After this moment, his eyes snap back up towards Laura, a realization having struck him.
DANIEL: My God. 




DAYS #79: Nicole's Worst Nightmare Come True

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

Maggie walks down the stairs at the Kiriakis mansion, a worried look on her face as she calls out to her husband.
MAGGIE: Victor??
Maggie looks toward the doorway, then the living room. Not seeing Victor, or indeed anyone else, she slowly walks into the living room. Spotting an envelope on Victor's desk, she sees her name written on the front of it.
Curious, she touches the envelope reluctantly. She then turns around, looking behind her, making sure Victor isn't looking in on her. 
Once she deems the coast clear, Maggie slowly opens the envelope, pulling the paper out and unfolding it nervously. She struggles to read it, having left her reading glasses in her purse.
MAGGIE: Oh My God. 

Hearing a noise behind her, Maggie turns around to find a morose-looking Victor behind her. She smiles warmly at him.
MAGGIE: The title for the Penthouse Grille.
Victor smiles slightly. Maggie looks on lovingly.
VICTOR: I wanted to make sure you had control over the property regardless of what happens to Titan.
Maggie looks at Victor, surprised by his attitude.
MAGGIE: Victor...what on Earth are you talking about?
Victor looks down, away from Maggie, the sadness and worry plain on his face as he struggles to answer her.

Marlena opens the door to her office at University Hospital. Roman and Valerie follow Marlena into the room. Valerie immediately closes the door behind her, ready to get down to business.
VALERIE: Okay, so, talk to me. Tell me about these memory lapses.
Roman stands, head down, hands on his hips, as he thinks over the moments he's missed so far. His reluctance to talk about his problem being obvious as he stutters his way through his troubles.
ROMAN: Well...they...just started a few months ago. Minor stuff. There were these....holes in my memories that weren't there before.
VALERIE: Such as...?
Marlena, resting against the front of her desk, chimes in.
MARLENA: The first time I met Bo, for a start.
Roman turns to look at Marlena. He makes a strong face of frustration, recalling her reaction to his misremembering of that memory. Marlena sees his frustration and stops herself for a second, having been caught off guard by his look.

Nicole walks into the studio at what is no longer Titan TV, as many of her colleagues mill about, chattering. All are fascinated by what's going on, curtains obscuring the studio wall that formerly held the Titan logo.
Nicole looks around, as Miles appears, immediately going to speak to Nicole.
NICOLE: Miles!
MILES: Hey, Nicole. You excited about the news?
NICOLE: To be honest...I'm more nervous than excited.
Miles nods, and takes a moment before responding.
MILES: Yyyyeah. So am I. If the news matches the rumours I heard, you won't like the news any more than I will.
Nicole looks up, eyes widened. A thousand negative outcomes fill her head.

Kate sits at her desk at her office. She looks up at a worried Lucas, who has just come in panicked about Sheryl and Jordan. Lucas, meanwhile, paces back and forth in front of Kate's desk as Kate tries to relax him.
KATE: Oh come on, Lucas. What do you mean, you can't carry the charade with Sheryl? You owe this to me, and to your sister. She's worked way too hard on this for you to back out now.
LUCAS: I'm not backing out, I just...we need to talk to Roman and Billie and get them to start making a move. 
KATE: Oh sure! And blow this whole thing up? And then what? 
Kate holds up her hands and dramatically makes air quotes.
KATE: "Jordan Ridgeway" and "Sheryl Connors" catch wind of what we're doing, and throw US under the bus. No way.
LUCAS: Well, Mom. I'm sorry. But I just can't keep up this ruse anymore. I'm not gonna sit there wasting all of my time and energy on a phony relationship just so YOU can win Rafe back.

Billie steps into the room as he finishes his sentence, closing Kate's office door behind her, startling Lucas.
BILLIE: Well, you're gonna have to, or else this whole operation goes down the toilet. And this is way bigger than keeping Rafe away from Jordan at this point, Lucas, and you know it.
Lucas looks on at his sister, sighing audibly.
Valerie, Roman, and Marlena stand in Marlena's office at the hospital, going over Roman's recent history of memory lapses. Marlena hesitates to continue, knowing Roman's frustration and hurt over his disappearing memories is building each time she brings them up, but she presses on.
MARLENA: He...I mentioned the day I met Bo, and his "wedding gift" for us...and...well, it troubled Roman quite a bit that he couldn't remember it properly.
Valerie looks on, almost through Marlena and Roman as she contemplates the situation.
VALERIE: Properly, or at all?
Roman looks down, shaking his head. He sighs before turning back toward Valerie.
ROMAN: At all. I don't remember that happening. But it WAS over thirty years ago. These things don't always stay as clear in your mind as you get older.
Marlena looks on, concerned for Roman, she attempts to chime in, but Roman interrupts.
MARLENA: Roman, I--
ROMAN: Now, look, I...want to figure this out as much as you do...but I...I gotta get going. I have to deal with some police business, okay, Doc?
Marlena closes her eyes, visibly frustrated by Roman's volatility. She exhales before speaking.
MARLENA: Okay. Sure.
Roman turns back to Valerie as he turns to head out of Marlena's office. He speaks sternly, with a hint of irritation in his voice.
ROMAN: Valerie. If you need anything more from me, let me know. But I can't do this right now. I'll see you later.
Roman leaves, closing the door behind him forcefully, causing Marlena to tense up visibly. Valerie shuts her eyes a moment, before looking back up at a troubled Marlena.
VALERIE: He's worried, Marlena.
MARLENA: (sigh) I know. So am I.
Valerie racks her brain, deep in thought over what she's witnessed. She throws her hands in the air, before pacing across Marlena's office. An idea strikes her.
VALERIE: I mean...the symptoms, top to bottom....it reads like Alzhymer's. But...
Marlena nods. She herself looks down, not giving Valerie eye contact, as her troubled mind racks through all the possibilities.
Valerie stops pacing, and looks up at Marlena.
VALERIE: Roman's medical records.
MARLENA: What about them?
Valerie, perking up, moves toward the doorway, an idea having finally hit her.
VALERIE: I'm going to grab them. If there is any clues as to what may be wrong with him...chances are it'll be there. I'll be right back.
Valerie opens the door, almost running down the hallway towards the records room. Marlena stays behind, a concerned but hopeful expression on her face.
MARLENA: My God, I hope you're right, Valerie.
Maggie shakes her head at Victor in disbelief. She puts down the title deed for The Penthouse Grille and puts her hand on her hip, the other on the desk beside her.
MAGGIE: Victor, nothing is going to happen to Titan. It hasn't so far, and there's no way it will now.
VICTOR: You can't guarantee that, Maggie.
MAGGIE: Oh I don't have to. I've seen how much blood and sweat you put into this company, Victor. And I'm not exactly new to this whole business thing myself, you know?
VICTOR: Maggie, that's different. You run a restaurant, not a conglomerate.
Maggie looks at Victor, exasperated.
MAGGIE: Victor, I've never seen you be such a defeatist. In my entire life, I haven't.
Victor looks away from Maggie. He shrugs.
VICTOR: Maybe I've always had a reason to fight before.
Maggie's face changes, realizing how Victor's been affected by Brady's demise. She approaches him and puts her hands on his shoulders, prompting Victor to look up at her.
MAGGIE: Victor...do you remember when I lost Janice?
VICTOR: Maggie, this isn't the same--
Maggie raises a finger to hush Victor up. She raises her voice over him.
MAGGIE: NOT...a word! Now, I recognize that the circumstances were different...but we pulled through Janice's death. It took time....but we were able to put our lives back together. And remember...you have Phillip, you have Daniel...whether you believe it or not, you have Justin!
Victor rolls his eyes, holding back his feelings at the moment about Justin, which Maggie anticipated, and quickly continues before Victor can retort.
MAGGIE:...and you have me. Just rememeber that.
Victor leans in to kiss Maggie, and embraces her warmly, as Maggie smiles.
Billie walks into Kate's office, pleasing Kate, as she could use the backup against Lucas' hysterical position. Lucas folds his arms, knowing what's coming from his sister.
BILLIE: We have too much on the line for you to be giving this up already, Lucas. We nearly have them right where we want them, right?
Lucas rolls his eyes, answering begrudgingly.
LUCAS: Right.
BILLIE: And...we are VERY close to getting them to do something major that will get them into jail. The deeper we dig, the better the chances of getting Jordan and Sheryl in jail, where they belong.
KATE: Exactly. So Lucas, you're doing us all a favour by staying the course for just a little longer. 
Lucas sighs heavily. Throwing his hands up in defeat, he responds.
LUCAS: Okay, fine. Sure. I'll stay with Sheryl for now, but we need to figure out what they're up to with this...Jerome charater. And fast.
KATE: Jerome? Who the...
LUCAS: That's what I wanna know. I was just in Sheryl's office and Jordan was there...with this...guy named Jerome Grant. Said they were working on a project together. She made out like it was for my birthday but...
Billie thinks a moment, before pointing Lucas' way.
BILLIE: Okay. I'm gonna look up this Jerome Grant guy, and see what his story is. If that's his real name, and we can get a handle on what he's actually here for, we might be able to intercept them before they do too much damage.
Kate smiles Lucas' way, confidence beaming in her eyes. Lucas looks back, much more unsure than Kate.
Nicole looks around, making sure no one's paying attention as she talks quietly with Miles.
NICOLE: What do you mean? What did you hear?
MILES: I heard a major corporation was taking over the station, and they're planning to flip the whole operation on its head, and it's someone well-known to us.
NICOLE: Like who?
Miles hesitates to answer. He stutters a bit as he does.
MILES: I erhh...it's someone you know very well, put it that way.
NICOLE: I don't like the sounds of this at all, and if you're playing a game on me, Miles, I swear to God...
Nicole hears the sound of the doors to the studio opening, as a group of people enter the room.
She closes her eyes, anticipating the worst before turning around to see who's come in.
As she turns, she spots a group of men in suits approaching.

Followed by none other than Sami Brady and EJ DiMera.
Sami stops before the group of men, and immediately launches into her announcement.
SAMI: Good afternoon, everybody! I'm sure you all know by now, I'm Samantha Brady. And I will be operating the TV operation formerly known as Titan TV, as of today.
Nicole breathes in deeply, choking back a scream, as Sami locks eyes with Nicole, a huge smile across Sami's face.



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