Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
Sheryl sits in the mirror at the seedy Lakeview Motel, where she's been hiding out for the past few days. Her long, light brown hair now a short bob of vibrant strawberry blonde, Sheryl sits before the hotel room vanity, finishing up her makeup. She closely studies the makeup of the picture of Crystal Clarke RN, who, with the help of similar facial features, she is attempting to emulate as closely as possible.
Sheryl hears a knock at the door, and immediately puts down her eyeliner, running to the window to see who's there.
After confirming who's there, she opens the door to find Jerome. Jerome steps quickly inside, as Sheryl closes the door behind him.
SHERYL: Oh good, you're here.
JEROME: Yeah, well, I don't know if I should be. People see me keep coming in here, they're gon' start getting suspicious.
SHERYL: Oh please, this hotel leases out so few rooms, I doubt anyone's seen you.
JEROME: You better hope you're right.
Sheryl sighs, as she walks back over to finish her eye makeup. Jerome sits down at the edge of the bed, preparing to get down to business.
JEROME: So...you ready?
Taking on Crystal's southern twang, Sheryl responds slightly louder than neccessary.
SHERYL: You bet ah am!
Jerome replies dryly.
JEROME: You're hilarious.
Sheryl gives a knowing smirk as she answers him, still looking into her mirror as she outs on the last of her eyeliner.
SHERYL: I try.
JEROME: So you're gonna go down to the hospital, do her orientation, then you're gonna find Jordan and get her out of here, yes?
Sheryl turns suddenly, having finished her makeup. She looks at Jerome with a bit of nervous anticipation.
SHERYL: That's the plan. At least ideally.
JEROME: And what if she's not going? You know she's so taken with this Rafe dude that she could tell him everything to throw us under the bus.
SHERYL: She could, but she won't. Little Miss Virtuous is so afraid of everything, she would never take a risk like that, especially if it potentially opens her up to so many problems. Like losing Rafe, her freedom. Her life?
Jerome looks on, unsure if he agrees with Sheryl.
SHERYL: Trust me. Look, maybe she won't budge the first time I talk to her, but we'll just...keep at her until she gets back on side, we'll get our revenge against Nick, and we'll be out of here. Simple.
JEROME: Yeah. Simple.
Jerome looks away, not remotely convinced by Sheryl's "fool proof" plan.
Sonny stands with Will in Sonny's office at Club TBD. Will having just told Sonny about Nicole's TV special.
SONNY: Nicole wants to use her special to bulldoze Nick? Okay, but how does that impact you?
WILL: It does because I'm the one credited with writing the PR and the info sheets on the EnerNext project.
Will turns and begins to pace the room, deep in his own thoughts, as Sonny looks on, trying to sort through the information his fiancé is giving him.
SONNY: Right, and that info is a lot of PR spin for an oil company. Hardly anything unusual.
WILL: It will be now that it's a political football. Anjelica Deveraux is campaigning on it, and the governor wants the entire project shut down. And after that show airs, if I don't keep this job, my name is going to be attached to that for the rest of my career. I don't know if I can live with that.
Sonny takes a moment, before solemnly responding to Will.
SONNY: Even if that's the only way we can win against Nick?
Will turns aburptly to look at Sonny, both Sonny and Will looking concerned.
Laura steps into the Horton living room, where Jennifer, Liam, and JJ are assembled. Having been in an intense conversation, Laura has caught the family off guard with her arrival. She appears with arms crossed, a stern look on her face.
LAURA: You know, I was expecting my daughter to ask these questions, but I figure now is as good a time as any to ask. What with JJ leaving for Berkley and whatnot.
Laura stops standing next to her grandson, somewhat accusational tone in her voice.
LAURA: Where did you get that $50,000 from to give to JJ, Liam?
Liam looks stunned at Laura's steely eyes. Her sudden resolve making even JJ a bit nervous.
Laura stands, putting on a brave face, as JJ looks at her, intense eyes with a hint of discomfort in them, as Jenn and Liam look on, surprised by Laura's question.
JENNIFER: Mom, I...do you really think...
LAURA: I think, Jennifer Rose, that I need to feel comfortable with where all this money is coming from before I allow my grandson to live off it for the next four years.
Laura's eyes quickly dart toward Liam, who looks uncomfortable with Laura's line of questioning, but remains silent. Laura steps slowly toward Liam, arms still folded in front of her.
LAURA: I'm going to be totally honest with you, Liam. I don't know you all that well, and I am not overly comfortable with how quickly your relationship with my daughter has developed, considering how little I know about you.
LAURA: Maybe Jennifer knows you a bit better, but you still remain a little too much of a mystery to me. So let me just be clear with you. If I don't feel comfortable that you got that $50,000 through legitimate means, I will not allow JJ to live off it while he goes to Berkley, and I will reimburse you for the tuition payment he made using the money. Do we understand each other?
JJ jumps in, stunned by his grandmother's decision.
Laura quickly turns to JJ to stop him continuing.
LAURA: JJ. Don't...argue with me.
Her voice drops to barely a whisper, as she finishes her thought in tones only JJ can comprehend.
LAURA: (whispers) I know what I'm doing.
Liam begins to respond, causing Laura to turn back around, and JJ and Jennifer to turn their attention back his way.
LIAM: Alright. Okay, if it'll make you feel better about me, I'll do it. I'll tell you everything you want to know about me. Including where the $50,000 came from.
Laura looks back at JJ, giving him a knowing look. Jenn looks at Liam, surprised that he'd capitulate to Laura's demand.
Will looks away from Sonny, as he contemplates the question Sonny's put to him regarding Nick.
WILL: I don't know, Sonny. Can I handle having my career taken away from me in exchange for having Nick out of our lives?
Will sighs, taking a moment to come up with answer. He turns his head to face a sympathetic Sonny.
SONNY: Regardless, you have a lot of people on your side in this. We'll be there for you if you take the hit.
Sonny puts his hand on Will's shoulder, squeezing his tense shoulder as Will turns to face his fiancé.
SONNY: You know that, right?
As Will turns around, Sonny wraps his other arm around Will's other shoulder. They look lovingly at each other, as Will cracks a smile.
WILL: I do.
Sonny stops a moment, while Will stands silently, his smile fading almost as quickly as it had appeared. This alarms Sonny.
SONNY: So...why do I feel like something else happened that you're not telling me about?
WILL: Because...there is something else. But...I don't really know what to make of it.
WILL: I went to check on Ari for a sec, and...Nicole just...vanished. I mean...it's probably nothing but...I feel like something was off when I came back in the room. Like...
Sonny's arms drop to his side, as Sonny tries to figure out what happened.
SONNY: Well...was something out of place or...
WILL: No. No, nothing was off, I checked. But...I dunno, Sonny. Something tells me she didn't just come to the house to warn me about the story. She was up to something, and I need to figure out what.
Nicole walks along the path approaching the Brady Pub, cautiously. She hears her text tone go off on her phone and opens her bag, to see a message from Eric.
i love you. thank u for being here today. Dinner 2nite?
Smiling, she texts back.
I'd love to. Meet @ Chez Rouge, 8pm?
Putting her phone away, she breathes in deeply, as she pulls out something new from her bag, a box of handgun ammo. She looks at it momentarily, before putting it back in her bag. She reaches back into her bag, and grabs her phone again, calling Nick.
NICOLE: (into phone) Nick. I need to see you ASAP.
Jordan sits at her office desk as University Hospital, alone, as Sheryl's words spin around in her head, over and over.
There’s no way out Jordan. Even if you back out now.
The words echo over and over, overlapping until they become a deafening chorus in Jordan's head. Wincing as she holds her head, the voice in Jordan's head grows louder until Jordan picks up her coffee mug and hurls it against the opposite wall, smashing it into pieces.
Suddenly the room is quiet, as Jordan breathes a sigh of relief.
JORDAN: You're not gonna win, Sheryl. I won't let you.
Outside, in the 6th floor lobby, the elevator doors open up. Sheryl steps out, dressed as Crystal Clarke. She smiles as she steps over to Maxine at the nurses' station. She speaks in her best southern drawl.
SHERYL: Hi, I'm...sorry, I'm new here, it's mah first day. Could you direct me to Dr. Grant's office?
Maxine smiles, as she looks up at Crystal over her reading glasses.
MAXINE: Sure thing, honey. I'll page Dr. Grant now. What was your name?
Sheryl smiles wryly, as she answers Maxine's question.
SHERYL: I'm nurse Crystal Clarke.