Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
Nicole steps into her office at WXIR, shutting the door behind her, as Sami and Abby look on in shock.
SAMI: I'm sorry...what did you say?
NICOLE: Nick just held a press conference, and announced to the world that he is now the CEO of Titan Industries. So, hey, at least you can take solace in knowing that at least ONE thing is going your way today, right, Sami?
Sami rolls her eyes, as Abby looks on, somewhat confused.
ABBY: Why? What happened?
NICOLE: Well, I wasn't gonna say anything but...Eric and I got married today.
Abby lights up, surprised, and pleased for Nicole.
ABBY: Wow! Oh my God! Congratulations!
Nicole looks on, less excited than Abby.
NICOLE: Yeah! I was real excited until THIS ONE decided to crash the party! Brought her mom too to REALLY rub the salt in!
Abby's face freezes, as she looks over Sami's way. Sami grimaces, with her arms folded. Nicole gives a sarcastic grin to emphasize her displeasure.
Maggie walks into Victor's hospital room, closely watching her husband as he lays comatose in his bed, still recovering from his heart attack.
She looks on lovingly, as she steps toward him. Gently speaking to him as though he were awake.
MAGGIE: Victor. It's me. Maggie.
After a moment, she pulls up a chair and sits down beside his bed. She smiles though she's tearing up slightly.
MAGGIE: I hope you can hear me. I hope you know I'm here. They say...that coma patients can hear people in the room. And I'm really hoping my voice will help you.
Maggie takes Victor's hand in hers, and pulls it up to her lips, gently kissing it.
MAGGIE: We need you back, Victor.
Eric stands in Marlena's penthouse, sighing in frustration at being put on the spot by his mom.
ERIC: Mom, I...
MARLENA: Eric, you loved your vocation so much. Being a priest meant everything to you. Wouldn't you at least want the world to know that you were a victim of a...vicious sociopath? Don't you want to clear your name?
Eric snaps at his mom, before stepping back a bit, hoping not to escalate things between them further.
ERIC: Of course I do! I just...
MARLENA: Just what? Eric, don't tell me you're giving up everything you worked so hard for for Nicole.
ERIC: Can we not...make this another attack against Nicole? Please?
Marlena steps back from Eric, trying to keep her cool despite her visceral frustration at Eric's weakness for Nicole.
MARLENA: Yes. I'm sorry.
Eric remains calm, but speaks firmly with Marlena, which Marlena silently accepts.
ERIC: Look, Mom, I'm not interested in going down that road right now. I struggled with what happened with Kristen for a long time, and I finally got the answers I needed. I'm going to tell the public what really happened, but when I do, it will be when I am ready. I can't do this on your schedule...and I'm certainly not going back into the priesthood, even if I am accepted back.
Marlena looks down, disappointed.
MARLENA: I wish you'd reconsider.
ERIC: I know this hurts you, but I am happy with Nicole. I am happy to be married to her. And I'm not going to give up that happiness, not for anything.
Marlena tries to hold her sadness and disappointment in, but can't help but tear up a bit.
Daniel and Kim stand in Theresa's hospital room. Kim looks horrified as Daniel looks down, contemplating how to relay his news to Kim.
DANIEL: Kim, no one is drugging your daughter. Okay? I promise you. No one unauthorized is visiting her. My only concern is that she's emerging from her coma irregularly. That tells me that there's more complications in her recovery than I initially realized.
Kim looks up at Daniel, squinting a bit as she mulls over whether or not she believes him. She slowly nods, before taking Theresa's hand in hers, and squeezing it gently, as she watches over her, lovingly.
KIM: I know...I know it's a miracle that she's even alive. I mean...considering how badly she was injured in the ac--the crash.
Kim stops herself, looking up at Daniel, suddenly becoming very stoic, trying to hold herself together.
KIM: I know you and Brady are family, but I really struggle with what he did to my daughter. And I am finding it really hard to forgive him. I don't mean to sound cruel but...sometimes I'm...
Kim stops herself from speaking out of spite. Daniel stands silent, acknowledging Kim's pain. He nods slowly as she expresses her anger in a subdued, controlled way.
KIM: You know...it's hard to forgive a lot of people. Because a lot of people have a hand to play in how my sweet little Jeannie ended up like this.
Kim begins to tear up, as she fails to hold it together. Never shouting, Kim overflows nonetheless with emotions.
KIM: She struggled so hard. And... and the worst part is, the person I have the hardest time forgiving...(sigh) is me.
Kim wipes away tears, as she walks out of the hospital room, leaving Daniel behind with Theresa.
KIM: Excuse me.
Kim steps outside, closing the door behind her, as she struggles to compose herself. Daniel, still in the room, stares at Theresa, as her lifeless body lays in her hospital bed, her progress ever-stagnant.
Marlena stands, facing away from Eric, hoping to hide her tears from her son. Eric knows better, and walks up behind her, putting his hands on her shoulders to try to comfort her.
ERIC: Mom. Mom, I'm sorry. I know how proud you were of me being a priest. But...
Marlena turns around with a start, speaking emphatically, as she touches Eric's face.
MARLENA: No, no, no, you don't...Eric, I don't want you to think for a second I'm not proud of you every minute of every day. Eric, you're a wonderful, compassionate man who gives so much of himself every day. You don't need to be a priest to give back to this world.
Marlena takes Eric's hands in hers, then looks up at her son, proudly.
MARLENA: No matter what way you choose to take your life...I will accept it.
Marlena gives a cheeky smile as she struggles to hold in a laugh.
MARLENA: I may not like the direction you're going (laughs)...but I always accept your decisions. I trust you to know what's best for you.
ERIC: Thanks, Mom.
Marlena pulls Eric into a hug, suddenly overcome with emotion. She closes her eyes as she embraces Eric tightly.
MARLENA: Ohhh Eric, I love you so much.
ERIC: I love you too, Mom. Love you too.
Eric looks off, a wistful smile on his face as he holds his mom in his arms, feeling a sense of true comfort.
Sami gives Nicole sideeye as Nicole steps over toward her desk, trading places with Abby.
SAMI: You know, I really didn't want to crash your little party either, Nicole. But when I found out you were getting married, I had to stop my brother from making a huge mistake.
NICOLE: Right. The huge mistake being me. We get it, Sami. You hate me. Can we stop pretending you're keeping me here because you respect my talents?
Sami puts a hand on her hip, annoyed by Nicole's accusation, and expecting another glib response.
SAMI: Okay Nicole. Tell me, since you know everything. Why am I keeping you here?
NICOLE: To keep an eye on me. Make sure I don't step outta line.
Nicole laughs to herself, as she shakes her head. Abby stands off to one side, increasingly uncomfortable being in the room with the two adversaries.
NICOLE: You know, ever since you took over Titan TV, I've been wondering exactly why you didn't fire me right away. And now I get it. You know the old saying: Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer? You're a master at that! That's why you made Abigail my assistant, isn't it? She's your little spy, isn't she, Sami?
Abby tries to interject, trying to refute Nicole's claim, but can barely get a word in edgewise.
ABBY: I...wait, for the record, I--
SAMI: Oh come on, Nicole. If I had that kind of time to micromanage our local station's what...third-most recognized reporter? I really don't think I'd get much work done.
NICOLE: You're right. You don't get much work done. Just like I'm not getting much work done arguing with you. So, if you'll excuse me, your spy and I have an extremely important piece to complete for tomorrow's newscast. So you need to leave.
Sami prepares to leave, when Nicole holds up a finger, leaving Sami with a final thought.
NICOLE: But just remember something, Sami. If you even think of firing me for marrying Eric, I will slap DiMera with a lawsuit so fast, you won't have time to pack your crap up before they kick you out of your office. Got it?
Sami sighs, folding her arms as she gives a knowing look to Abby, who tries to very subtly shrug as her eyes widen.
SAMI: Fine. I'll go.
Sami walks out of Nicole's office, with a parting shot.
SAMI: But just for the record, Nicole. If I find out you did ANYTHING to hurt my brother, you WILL be out on your ass faster than you can say "annullment", let alone spell it.
Sami gives an almost saccharine smile, as she gives a sarcastic parrellel retort to Nicole, her eyes shooting daggers her way.
SAMI: Got it?
Sami steps out of the office, slamming the door behind her with a casual but brisk motion. Abby and Nicole look at each other, Abby looking very uncomfortable, and Nicole looking exasperated, and relieved to have Sami gone.
Maggie holds on tightly to Victor's hand, as she suddenly feels a bit of pressure back on her hand. Taking a moment to loosen her grip, she feels Victor tighten his around her hand, as Victor's heart monitor begins to pace up sligthly.
Gently wiping away tears, Maggie laughs through the tears, as Victor begins to stir. She smiles as Victor begins to open his eyes.
Groggy, he looks at Maggie and, almost silently, calls out to her.
Maggie, hearing her name, breaks down in tears of joy, holding her husband's hand as he comes to.
MAGGIE: Victor! You're back!