Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
Marlena sits in Valerie's office at University Hospital, as they go over Roman's case. Valerie shakes her head as she goes over his file.
VALERIE: You know, Marlena, I've gotta say...I know that there's a lot of missing pieces here, but...this man has been in your life for so many years. I...I mean, wouldn't you have known sooner that he isn't who he claims he is?
Marlena looks down, contemplatively.
MARLENA: I've thought about that. But he felt so....familiar to me. That day that Kristen wheeled him into my room...I wasn't sure but...something felt so...I knew that I knew this man.
VALERIE: But you didn't believe Kristen when she told you he was Roman.
Marlena looks at Valerie, remembering that day with Kristen, the anger coming through in her voice as she thinks of Kristen.
MARLENA: I wasn't really willing to believe anything that...that woman told me. She'd told so many lies already, it was...it just looked like another scheme to keep John and I apart.
VALERIE: Understandable, but what made you realize she was right?
MARLENA: I just...I heard him speak. I heard his voice and...what he had to say. We knew...I knew I knew and cared for this man. We knew he was Roman. Nobody....questioned it once we'd spoken with him.
VALERIE: Marlena. From what you've told me, that's the same thing everyone said when John arrived in town. We need to be absolutely certain that this man IS Roman Brady.
Marlena looks up, deeply troubled by Valerie's suggestion.
Stefano's limo pulls up to a grand castle on the remote Italian island. His driver parks and hustles to open the door for him. Stefano steps out of the car, and pulls off his sunglasses, gazing upon the beauty of his grand home.
In the Kiriakis living room, Alex and Justin stand, discussing Justin's animosity toward Anjelica. Justin steps over to the bar, hoping to grab a drink, as Alex looks on.
Justin looks at the mostly empty caraffe, stunned by how much Anjelica's taken already. He pours himself what's left. The awkward silence holds in the air a moment, before Alex sighs and begins to tell his father what's on his mind.
ALEX: Look, I don't mean to downplay what Anjelica did to you, or to Adrienne.
Justin puts his drink down on the bar with a bit of a slam. He speaks harshly to his son.
JUSTIN: Then don't.
Justin turns around, another awkward moment of silence between them, as the doorbell rings.
JUSTIN: And don't make excuses for her either. Your mother rigged a construction site to blow Adrienne up. Then she kidnapped you. This isn't stealing a few hair ties from a store at the mall, Alex. I'm not entirely prepared to forgive and forget.
ALEX: But she did bring me back. And you and Adrienne were wonderful parents to me. You did a great job.
Justin sighs, smiling at his son. As Anjelica steps back into the room from the foyer, escorting Will into the room with her. Upon seeing Alex, he stops, smiling awkwardly as Justin and Alex look back.
ANJELICA: Well, look who I found at the door. Does this fine young man belong to anyone in the house?
Alex smiles back at Will, as they both stare without a word shared. Justin ignores this, as he fixates on Anjelica.
Gabi and Kate sit across from each other at the table at Club TBD, having an intense conversation about the state of affairs at Titan. Knowing Nick will be back from the bathroom any second, they remain tense and vigilant, each checking over their shoulder every few moments to ensure he isn't on his way back.
GABI: Honestly, Kate, I don't know that I like the odds of that 4% stakeholder remaining loyal to Titan. I mean, I've heard how rocky things are, and with Nick coming on...he's completely inexperienced running a company like this, they're bound to sell before the shares become completely worthless.
KATE: Leave that to me. Nick may in for a fall sooner than you think, and at least at my end of things, I'm going to make sure we make Titan a lot of money so that we can get out of this rut.
Nick approaches from behind Kate, causing both she and Gabi to look up with a start.
NICK: That's the spirit I wanna hear from my staff, Kate.
KATE: You know, Nick. Relish calling us staff members for now, because it won't be long before the board sees through you, and your incompetence will earn you a nice fat pink slip.
NICK: I guess I should've anticipated a little resistance. But I still wouldn't push my luck if I were you, Kate.
Kate chuckles momentarily to herself, unthreatened by Nick's confidence. She looks back at Gabi, a bit amused, as she rolls her eyes, and looks back at Nick and responds sarcastically.
KATE: I'm quaking in my boots.
NICK: You should be. Because I just found out some good news.
KATE: I'm waiting with baited breath to hear it.
Nick smiles, as he leans in closely at their table.
NICK: I just got the controlling interest of the Titan stock. So not only am I running the show, I own it, too!
Nick laughs, almost maniacally, as Gabi and Kate's faces turn sheet-white.
Justin gives Anjelica sideeye, as he grabs his drink from the bar table and shakes Will's hand firmly.
JUSTIN: Will! Good to see you! Ah, Sonny's already at the table, they're serving dinner about now. We should probably join them.
ANJELICA: Well, am I going to be introduced or not?
Alex interjects to spare everyone Justin's cutting remarks at Anjelica's expense.
ALEX: Ah...Anjelica Deveraux, this is...Will Horton. Will is...Sonny's fiancé. Will...meet my mother.
Anjelica gives a surprised smile, turning to shake Will's hand, which he accepts, though still unsure what to make of the situation.
ANJELICA: Ahh! Will!
WILL: Pleased to meet you.
ANJELICA: And I, you. You know, I have always really admired the Horton family. Such a pillar of our community. Tom and Alice were such lovely people.
Justin rolling his eyes at Anjelica's phoney interest in Will, turns to head for the dining room.
JUSTIN: (sigh) Talk about laying it on thick.
Justin turns back to motion the others into the dining room.
JUSTIN: Come on, guys. Let's get this over with before we lose what's left of our appetites.
Will smiles awkwardly, not sure whether to laugh at Justin's joke or not, as Anjelica nods to Will and touches her son's forearm on her way into the next room.
ANJELICA: I'll see you in there.
Leaving Alex and Will alone in the living room, the tension between them remains. Will looks up at Alex, unsure what to say.
WILL: Ah...so I didn't...I didn't know your mom was in town.
ALEX: Yeah...we're...not exactly close. I mean...
WILL: It's okay. I understand. My mom and I have...a similar relationship.
Alex and Will share a laugh. As things grow quiet again, Will's eyes squint a bit, looking at Alex with concern.
WILL: Ahhh....so, I haven't had a chance to ask anybody yet but...I know there's been a huge upheaval at work today. What does that mean for us?
Alex is taken aback by Will's question, leaving him momentarily speechless.
Kate gets up from her seat across from Gabi at Club TBD, looking disgusted. She gives Nick a murderous glare.
KATE: Well, I don't know how you managed this, but don't expect me to cowtow to your every demand. I expect to be able to continue to run my business the way I see fit.
Nick plays it cool, as usual. Shaking his head as he gently responds to Kate, hands in his pockets.
NICK: Not to worry. Just make sure that you stay out of my way, and you'll have all the autonomy you need.
All three turn abruptly upon hearing Sami's voice from behind them. She's revved up to play her part in the ruse, and takes on a snide tone straight away.
SAMI: GABI! Don't sign anything. I have news.
Nick turns to face Sami, smiling even wider now that the games have really begun.
NICK: Sami! Glad you could join us!
Sami reaches into her bag, handing Gabi a document of her own.
SAMI: Gabi, I need you to reconsider Kate's offer. You don't wanna be working under Nick. He's been named CEO of Titan.
GABI: Sami, I know, he...
Sami doesn't wait for Gabi to answer, instead carrying on in her fake tirade.
SAMI: He told you, okay. GREAT. But he didn't tell you that he's completely ineffective as CEO without also holding controlling stock interest. So he won't be able to do for your career what I can, seeing as he'll be working in a hostile environment.
Nick immediately interjects, cutting Sami off before she can continue making her "case".
NICK: Aaactually, Sami. That part's not quite true. As I was just telling Kate and Gabi...I just got the stock I needed to take controlling interest.
SAMI: You what?
NICK: Yeah! Isn't that fantastic?
SAMI: That's impossible. You don't have the resources to buy up 1,000 shares, let alone the amount it would take to take 51%...
Kate, and Sami both realize at the same moment, with Gabi putting the pieces together moments after.
SAMI: ...You have a benefactor.
NICK: Not quite.
NICK: No! Honestly. Titan shares are worth next to nothing at this point. It was actually pretty easy for me to buy up shares from the public supply at cut rate prices bit by bit over the last few months. Thanks to a rather...generous infusion of cash from Julie, some good timing with a good broker, plus my big bonus for my hard work on the latest foundation line for MadWorld, my package for taking over as CEO...I ah...well, I managed to secure the last bits I needed to take advantage when a major shareholder gave up her piece of the pie.
Nick shrugs, convinced he's thrown Sami and Kate off the trail, but Sami's not so convinced. She bites her tongue, instead looking at an equally unconvinced Kate.
KATE: That's still millions of dollars in shares, Nick.
Nick nods, casually.
NICK: Mmhmm. See, when you start investing and you make a couple good deals...it all snowballs.
Sami stops herself, looking over at Kate, who looks on cautiously.
SAMI: Gabi. Choose wisely. Your future depends on it. Call me when you decide.
Sami nods to Kate, then Nick.
SAMI: Kate. Nick.
As Sami takes off, Nick chuckles to himself, sitting himself down at the table with Gabi. Kate, putting on her purse, preparing to leave, looks to Gabi.
KATE: Gabi, Sami's right. You need to choose wisely. Go with the team that has your back.
Kate's eyes widen, almost in disbelief of what's coming out of her mouth. Gabi looks down at the papers on the table, as Kate turns to Nick.
KATE: Nick, thank you for filling me in.
NICK: Oh, are you kidding? It was my pleasure.
KATE: I'm sure it was. Have a great evening.
Kate turns away, rolling her eyes at Nick as she follows Sami out of the building.
Just outside the door, both women breathe a sigh of relief.
SAMI: Do you think we got him fooled?
KATE: I don't know, but I think we need to find out who's bankrolling this, and fast.
Sami's expression morphs into one of worry.
Marlena paces Valerie's office, deeply troubled by her earlier suggestion.
MARLENA: Valerie, I can't just go around asking everyone Roman's related to for DNA samples. I know I'm gonna run into...well, more than just some resistance.
VALERIE: It doesn't hurt to ask. This is extremely important, particularly if we're going to attempt to properly treat his symptoms.
MARLENA: I know that, Valerie, but...these people have over twenty years invested in this man. My children...to them, this is their father.
VALERIE: Then don't ask them right away. Maybe Roman's sister can do it.
Marlena sighs, turning her back to Valerie, as she shakes her head.
MARLENA: I couldn't do that to Kim. I mean...she has it hard enough right now dealing with Theresa being in a coma, Caroline's health is in decline, Shane is off doing God knows what with the ISA. She's worried about her brother, she's not going to want the rug pulled out from under her again.
Valerie gets up from her desk, putting a hand on Marlena's shoulder in comfort.
VALERIE: Marlena, your life isn't exactly a cakewalk right now, either. And the more you wait, and the more you agonize over whether or not this man you've thought was Roman all these years is actually the real deal?
Marlena turns to face Valerie, tears in her eyes. Valerie puts both hands on Marlena's shoulders, looking worriedly into Marlena's eyes.
VALERIE: Honey, I'm afraid of what carrying this burden entirely on your own shoulders could do to you.
The door of the large, remote Italian villa open to the living area, as a staff member ushers Stefano inside.
Once inside, Stefano removes his jacket, casually laying it down on the back of the armchair, as he looks on inside the dimly lit room. A chair is turned to face the large window, facing a picturesque view of the sea.
Stefano chuckles in his inimitable fashion, as he claps his hands together a single time, excited to have finally arrived. He calls out to the person in the chair.
STEFANO: Ahh! Tell me the good news. Is our patient finally ready?
The chair turns, as Dr. Rolf looks Stefano's way, giving him a half-hearted smile.
DR. ROLF: Not quite. But, I feel we should be ready any day.
STEFANO: Good. We have waited long enough. The time will soon come to put our plan into action.
Dr. Rolf nods, as Stefano looks off, determination in his eyes.