Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
Eric wakes up in his bed at the Salem Inn, smiling as he turns to touch his new bride. Eric wakes up a start as he realizes Nicole never returned to their room. Looking around the room, he realizes she never returned from the office. Regardless, in vain hope, he calls out to her.
After hearing no response, Eric sighs, shaking his head as he pulls himself out of bed.
Nicole sits at her desk, sipping on another cup of coffee as she picks up her phone to try calling Will again.
After a moment of waiting for someone to answer, she leaves a message.
NICOLE: (into phone) Hey, Will. It's Nicole Walker. I need to speak to you about something...it's pretty important, business stuff. Call me when you get this. Thanks.
After hanging up, she looks at the time on her phone, panicking as she jumps from her seat.
NICOLE: Oh my God. Oh God, poor Eric. I've been in here all night. I gotta...I gotta go.
Bolting from her seat, Nicole hastily grabs her essentials, putting them in her purse as she rushes back to her husband.
Gabi paces the pier on a foggy morning. Struggling to see, she feels uneasy with her surroundings. She holds herself, trying to keep warm against the cool air of the lakeside.
Behind her, EJ approaches Gabi from behind. Gabi turns around suddenly and jumps back with a start.
GABI: You scared me!
Gabi smacks EJ for giving her a fright, which EJ winces at.
EJ: Sorry! Sorry, I...guess I step lightly.
GABI: Dammit, EJ. Announce yourself or SOMETHING! God!
EJ: Again, I'm..(laughs) so sorry. Look, we should...try to be discreet.
GABI: That's fine. Just...do you have the pill refill for Nick?
EJ: I don't. I haven't spoken to Liam yet today, but I'll make sure I do immediately.
Gabi nods, somewhat disappointed by the news.
GABI: Well, I hope so. Nick was in...a lot of pain last night.
EJ: What do you mean?
GABI: Well, he...he and I were out on a "date", and...we were heading back to my place and he just...collapsed. He had this intense headache that crippled him like...completely! And that's when I called you.
EJ sighs, concerned what this plan is doing.
EJ: And the pills are making the headaches go away.
GABI: Seems to be the only thing. And I mean, he's definitely been unpredictable since he's been hooked on them. Maybe not delusions but...he asked me to move in with him last night.
EJ's eyes widen, his ears perking up at the news.
EJ: What did you tell him?
GABI: Nothing so far, but...EJ, when I was reaching for his pills last night, Nick got a phone call from Anjelica Deveraux. Why would he be in contact with her? She's running for governor.
EJ nods, suddenly a lot of things becoming clear.
EJ: Gabriella...you need to say yes to Nick's proposition. Move in with him. The first chance you get.
Gabi looks stunned by EJ's strong insistence.
Kate stands with Rafe in Horton Town Square, coffee cup in hand. She looks with concern at a confused Rafe.
RAFE: Well, come on, Kate. Out with it. What do you need to tell me about Jordan?
Kate hesitates a moment before answering.
KATE: Alright, but I need you to promise you're going to listen to me, and believe me when I say I am not making this up.
RAFE: Kate, what are you talking about?
Kate bursts out, almost shouting emotionally over an increasingly desperate Rafe.
KATE: Jordan is not her real name, Rafe!
Rafe looks on, stunned by Kate's revelation.
Jennifer stands before her full-length bedroom mirror, putting her hair up in a loose bun. Wearing overalls, she's all ready for the day of painting Liam's house. She smiles widely as she excitedly talks to a still-in-bed Liam about her ideas for the day.
JENNIFER: So, I figured we'll stop at the hardware store first. Grab the paint we need and any other supplies you don't have and...
Liam stops her mid-sentence, sighing at putting a damper on Jenn's enthusiasm.
LIAM: Jenn...we can't do this. I'm sorry.
JENNIFER: Well, why not? Liam, you said yourself, your house needs a lot of work, and the painting won't get done on its own...
JENNIFER: No! Liam! I want to help you. I haven't seen your home yet. You...you almost act like there's something to hide there or something.
Liam furrows his brow, shaking his head almost too quickly as he begins to speak tersely.
LIAM: No! Of course not! I just...I told you, I'm embarrassed by the place, and I...I kinda wanna leave a good impression.
Jenn turns to face Liam, laughing as she speaks to him.
JENNIFER: Liam, we've been together for months, it's not like you're a stranger to me.
Liam, becoming agitated, cuts Jenn off without thinking.
LIAM: Yeah, but it's not like it was when we lived together, things changed!
Jenn looks puzzled by Liam's statement.
JENNIFER: What did you say?
Liam looks up at Jenn, trying desperately to think quickly of an answer.
Rafe looks stunned, as Kate sighs, looking at her watch. She moves in to try to touch Rafe, but thinks better of it.
KATE: I'm sorry, but I have to go.
Rafe grabs Kate's arm, in an attempt to stop her from leaving their conversation, a hint of rage in his voice.
RAFE: No, you can't just leave after dropping a bomb like that.
KATE: I can't say anything more, Rafe. Ask Jordan.
Rafe stands in complete shock, as Kate frees her wrist from Rafe's grip, and walks away.
Nicole scrambles to the door of her hotel room, fumbling to try to find her card key to get in, as Eric opens the door, fully clothed and ready for the day.
He scowls as he sees his new bride standing before him. Nicole looks up, smiling sheepishly.
NICOLE: Eric, I'm...I'm so sorry.
Eric tries to hold his anger in, sighing in frustration as he stands in the doorway.
ERIC: (sigh) Nicole. Where were you?
Nicole begins to explain, as she steps into the suite, putting her purse down on the desk in the corner of the room. Eric turns around, listening as he stands with his hand on the doorknob.
NICOLE: We got a scoop late last night and...I got so caught up working on it that I lost track of time, and...I am so sorry.
Eric closes the door firmly, stopping short of slamming it, but clearly annoyed.
ERIC: Last night was our wedding night, Nicole. Last night was supposed to be exclusively about us sharing our love for each other. Consummating our marriage, and you decided that your job was more important than that?
Nicole looks down, visibly ashamed of herself.
NICOLE: I know. I know. Look, I...wouldn't have let this story take up so much of my time, but...I mean, you know how hard I've been working on getting the EnerNext story done. I have a special airing tomorrow night, I'm...I'm scrambling to make sure this thing is PERFECT.
Eric stands near the door, arms folded. He breathes in deeply, still trying to maintain a cool expression.
ERIC: I know how hard you've been working on this. And...I will admit, it's an incredibly important story. But this cannot be how our marriage goes, Nicole. I will not spend my life chasing after you trying to get a moment alone.
NICOLE: I know. And you shouldn't have to.
Eric's temper flares, shouting out his response almost over Nicole.
ERIC: You're damn right, I shouldn't!
Nicole tenses in response to Eric's outburst. After a moment, Eric cools back down and continues.
ERIC: I am not going to stand in your way, and I'm not going to let this hurt our marriage. Your career is just as important to you as mine was to me.
Nicole looks back at Eric, realizing where his anger stems from, and steps toward her husband. She puts her hands on his shoulders as he stares intensely at the ground.
NICOLE: Eric. We're gonna fix this, I promise.
After a moment, Eric looks away, trying to stifle tears, as he turns away.
ERIC: I gotta...I gotta go.
NICOLE: Eric, where are you going?
ERIC: I'm sorry, I gotta...I gotta clear my head a bit. Just...finish up with your story, I'll see you in a bit.
Nicole, still not ready to let Eric leave, calls out to him, as he walks out the door to the suite. closing it behind him.
NICOLE: Eric! Eric, wait! Can...
As the door slams behind Eric, Nicole sighs, frustrated by the stress she's helped bring out in Eric.
Before Nicole can grab her bag to follow Eric, Nicole's phone rings. She pulls it from her purse.
Frantically, Nicole answers back.
NICOLE: Will! Hey!
Will stands alone in his apartment, standing at the desk near the front door in the living room. He looks uncomfortable as he stands with his cell phone in his ear.
WILL: (into phone) Hey, Nicole. You called?
NICOLE: (into phone) Yeah. It's...it's really nothing bad, I just...I needed a bit of information for a story I'm doing...
Will interrupts Nicole, speaking firmly back to her.
WILL: (into phone) Nicole, I can't talk to you about anything business-related, that's a complete conflict of interest.
Nicole motions with her hand, trying to get Will to calm down as though he were in the room.
NICOLE: (into phone) N..no no, I understand, but...I think you'll want to see me. It's about Nick Fallon.
Will's expression immediately changes, as he suddenly is at a loss for words.
Nicole's voice is heard through the receiver, snapping Will out of his trance.
NICOLE: (via phone) Hello?
WILL: (into phone) Yeah. Umm, come over. I'm alone.
NICOLE: (via phone) I'll be there in 20 minutes.
WILL: (into phone) Perfect.
Will hangs up the phone, sighing as he lays it down on the desk. He looks sternly off into the distance, curious as to what Nicole knows.
Gabi looks at EJ with incredulity as she stands, arms folded, trying to keep warm on the cool, foggy pier.
GABI: I'm sorry, what?
EJ responds firmly, reiterating his earlier point.
EJ: You need to accept Nick's offer to move into the Kiriakis house. And the sooner the better.
Gabi continues to stare at EJ, squinting in confusion.
GABI: I don't...why? This is exactly what we don't want, EJ. Are you TRYING to feed me to the wolves?
EJ: Gabriella, I have a feeling that Nick is working with Anjelica Deveraux on something, and whatever it is could have greater consequences than we realize.
After Gabi doesn't immediately make the connection, EJ continues, stepping in closer to ensure no one is listening in.
EJ: Anjelica Deveraux is running for governor, and if she has Nick Fallon in her pocket, that would mean a conflict of interest. That's enough to bring Nick and Anjelica down, and enough leverage to get you, Kate, and Samantha off the hook.
Gabi looks back at EJ, suddenly realizing what could come from her moving into the mansion.
EJ: And besides that, I think it's time we got ahold of those pictures of you, Kate, and Samantha by the river. If we can destroy those pictures, you're off the hook.
GABI: Yeah, but...EJ, he's got to have other copies made. That's way too important for Nick to not have.
EJ: I wouldn't be so sure.
Gabi guffaws, not at all convinced by EJ's skeptical comments.
GABI: You sound like you're talking from experience.
EJ: In matters like this, one needs to have tight control over any and all evidence one may have on someone. If anything, Nick has one physical copy, plus a digital copy saved to his hard disk. Anything more than that would be too much of a liability.
Gabi looks on, starting to be persuaded.
GABI: Alright. So how am I going to go about finding these originals.
EJ looks at Gabi, deadly serious.
EJ: He'll have them. You're going to have to put yourself in very close proximity to him to get them. Make certain you bring your weapon to keep yourself protected, but don't let him think for a second that you're nervous around him.
GABI: Even if that means I have to go to bed with him?
EJ: Absolutely, if you have to.
GABI: EJ, I...I can't do that. The thought of sleeping with that man again makes my skin crawl.
EJ: I realize. But your family's lives are at stake here. You need to be prepared to do whatever it takes to take Nick down.
Gabi sighs, slowly nodding in reluctant agreement with EJ.