Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
Laura, Jennifer & Abby stand outside the Brady Pub, having seen JJ off. Laura turns to them with a tearful smile.
LAURA: Well, I'm gonna have to get myself together again. (laughs)
JENNIFER: Just remember, Mom. JJ's gonna be back for Thanksgiving. I'll make sure of it.
LAURA: And if you don't, I will.
The three women laugh, as Laura digs her keys out of her purse.
LAURA: Look, I've...I've got an appointment in a bit. Did either of you need a ride?
JENNIFER: No, no. I'm waiting for Liam to come back. I'll be fine here.
Laura looks at Jenn, concerned.
LAURA: Are you sure?
Jenn and Laura hug quickly, before Laura asks the same of Abby.
LAURA: Alright. Abigail?
ABBY: I'll wait here with mom.
Laura smiles, before hugging Abby as well. She turns to take off.
LAURA: I'll be back late tonight, okay?
JENNIFER: Alright. Love you!
LAURA: Love you too!
ABBY: Bye Grandma!
Abby turns to Jenn, who's looking out as Laura walks away towards her car.
ABBY: I'm gonna miss him.
JENNIFER: We all are, sweetie.
ABBY: Yeah...but I feel bad. I've been a pretty neglectful sister lately.
Jennifer looks at Abby and puts a hand on her shoulder.
JENNIFER: Honey, no! JJ knows you've had a lot on your plate with work, and finding a new job and...don't worry about it.
A voice calls out to Abby from behind, surprising both her and Jennifer.
(Alicia Keys' "Unthinkable" begins to play over the end of the scene)
JEROME: I think she's right.
Abby turns around to see Jerome, and smiles. Jennifer looks on, a bit startled and confused.
JEROME: You do beat yourself up way too much.
Jerome smiles affectionately at Abby, who blushes at Jerome's remark.
Will and Alex sit at the nearly-finished Penthouse Grill. Julie sashays over to a special dining table in the middle of the room where they sit, eagerly waiting a surprise dessert.
JULIE: Alllright,boys! The final course on our gala opening menu.
ALEX: And the best one, of course.
All three laugh, as Julie looks endearingly at Alex.
JULIE: A man after my own heart. Yes, it's our dessert offering, which will be...
Julie lifts the lids off the two respective plates before Will and Alex, revealing a luscious strawberry cheesecake tart. Alex and Will gasp in awe at the chef's creation.
JULIE: Organic Strawberry cheesecake tart, freshly-picked strawberries with an ever-so-slightly tart drizzle over it. It's absolutely divine.
WILL: It looks it.
Will picks up his fork, and looks over at Julie, in awe.
WILL: Julie, you're gonna have to ban me from this restaurant, you realize.
JULIE: And why's that, Darling?
WILL: Because I will be in here morning, noon, and night, and you'll have to roll me into the elevator. I swear, I will eat you out of business.
Alex, and Julie laugh, as Will takes a bite of the tart, absolutely in heaven.
JULIE: Well, listen. I'm going to go speak with the chef, and grab you something to drink? Champagne, perhaps?
ALEX: (laughs) Julie, that'd be fantastic, but we're still on the clock.
JULIE: Nonsense! You're doing research. How are you going to know how it all tastes together for your press release if you don't try a bit of everything? I'll be right back.
Julie dramatically walks off, leaving Will and Alex cracking up. Alex starts to chat with Will while they dig into their desserts.
ALEX: Your cousin's a riot.
WILL: That she is.
Will looks back down at his plate. The awkward silence hangs in the air for a moment before Alex cuts into it again, noticing Will's silence.
ALEX: You've been really quiet today.
WILL: Just a lot on my mind.
ALEX: Care to share?
Will sighs, putting his fork down for a moment.
WILL: You have to ask? It's this whole Nick thing, obviously.
ALEX: Why? What's Nick gonna do to you?
WILL: He's been slowly trying to worm his way back into Gabi's life. He's already tried to get my daughter away from me once, and I feel like he's doing it again. Now he's taken over the company, and...(sigh) Alex, if this whole EnerNext thing blows up any bigger, and my name is attached to the falsified press release tonight on Nicole's special? I'm afraid Nick to could take everything from me. He could use it to take my career, my family, my daughter...
Alex puts his fork down, and reaches his hand out across the table. He takes Will's hand in his and squeezes it, comfortingly, as he looks intensely into Will's eyes.
ALEX: Hey. Hey. Come on. Look at me.
Will, uncomfortable with Alex's intensity, struggles to maintain eye contact, feeling a strange nervousness at his touch.
ALEX: You are not going to lose everything. I won't let that happen.
WILL: Oh come on, Alex, you don't have that much clout with Nick there--
ALEX: ...Hey. I'm a Kiriakis. I know how to play the game, Will. And I'm gonna stand by you, and I'm gonna make sure you keep your job, and your daughter. I won't let Nick hurt you. I promise.
Will smiles half-heartedly, as Alex squeezes Will's hand tighter.
As he does this, Julie walks out of the kitchen, bottle of champagne and two flutes in hand, and stops just short of their table, dead in her tracks. Julie's taken aback by the rather intimate moment between Alex and Will, so much so that they don't even notice her being there.
Sheryl shuts the tailgate on the SUV she bought from Brady, still hidden in the bushes off the country side road.
She looks around, as she stands in the brush outside Salem, brushing the dirt off her hands as she steps out toward the side of the country road.
Stepping out from behind the bushes, Sheryl carefully checks to ensure no one sees her as the daylight begins to turn to dusk. She looks around with a self-satisfied look on her face.
SHERYL: Just call me a problem-solver. And now off to my new home.
Sheryl chuckles to herself as she steps toward Crystal's SUV. She gets in and takes off, back toward Salem.
Julie steps toward Alex and Will at their table at the Penthouse Grille. As soon as Julie's voice is heard, Alex immediately lets go of Will's hand, hiding it back off the table.
ALEX: Julie! Thank you!
Julie sets the flutes and unwraps the cap of the champagne bottle. She smiles at Alex and Will.
JULIE: Oh it's nothing. Just a precursor to the main event!
Julie pops the champagne bottle, and quickly pours the glasses to avoid the fizz spilling out onto the floor. Alex and Will look at each other while Julie's focus is elsewhere. They hold in a laugh, as they look warmly into each others' eyes.
As Julie finishes pouring, Alex and Will grab their flutes and hold them up to toast.
WILL: To Julie. And to a fantastic grand re-opening of one of the best venues in Salem.
ALEX: Cheers to that!
As Will and Alex clink glasses, Maggie's voice suddenly is heard, distracting them, and Julie.
MAGGIE: Let's hope that happens. In fact, with Nick lurking about, let's hope we get a grand re-opening at ALL!
Looking over at Maggie, who's just stepped into the room, the others look concerned, as Maggie stands, a heavy look on her face.
Liam walks along the pier, shivering from the chilled riverside air. He heads for the Brady Pub through the fog, and is only stopped by the sound of his ringing cell phone.
Checking quickly to see who's calling, he promptly answers, sighing in frustration.
LIAM: (into phone) What?
Anjelica stands in her bedroom at the Kiriakis mansion, leaning against the vanity while she speaks on her own cell phone.
ANJELICA: (into phone) We need to talk.
Liam rolls his eyes, exasperated.
LIAM: (into phone) About what, Anj?
ANJELICA: (into phone) Nick Fallon. He may have compromised the entire plan, and he needs to be dealt with.
Liam looks frustrated, and concerned by Anjelica's strong words. He looks around him to ensure no one's listening in.
LIAM: (into phone) What do you mean, "dealt with", Anjelica? I'm not your hit man.
Anjelica answers in an almost sing-song voice, keeping a cool air to her, while remaining firm in tone. She sits herself down on the edge of her bed, filing her nails while giving Liam his orders.
ANJELICA: (into phone) Yoooou said it. Not me!
Liam sighs, as Anjelica continues.
ANJELICA: (via phone) I just had a run-in with him, and there's something up with him, which means we have to take action.
LIAM: (into phone) Yeah, well, I think I know what the problem is.
ANJELICA: (into phone) Good. Tell me in person after the show.
LIAM: (into phone) I'll meet you at the Kiriakis house.
ANJELICA: (via phone) No. Not here. There's too many people here, they're bound to catch us. Meet at the DiMera house. Stefano's out of the country, and EJ's at work, so we'll be alone.
LIAM: (into phone) Fine. When's the taping end?
Anjelica stops her nail filing momentarily, checking her watch.
ANJELICA: (into phone) 9? I should be back by 9:30, anyway.
Liam checks his own watch. Sighing in exasperation.
LIAM: (into phone) Yeah, that's fine. See you then, Anj.
Liam hangs up, before looking around the pier to be sure he was alone the entire conversation. He quickly scuttles up the stairs, headed for the Brady Pub.
Jerome stands opposite Abigail and Jennifer outside the Brady Pub.
ABBY: Hey! Jerome!
Abby, who is surprised to see him, stares at him, blushing for a moment. Suddenly remembering who she's with, Abby turns to introduce Jerome to Jennifer, who looks at him curiously.
ABBY: Ah...Mom. This is Jerome Grant. Jerome, this is my mom, Jennifer Horton.
Jennifer smiles as she extends a hand to Jerome, who shakes it, smiling warmly at Jenn.
JEROME: Pleasure to meet you, Ms. Horton.
JENNIFER: The pleasure's all mine. I...I know your grandmother from...well, when I was really little.
JEROME: Yeah, the Grants and Hortons...we go a long way back.
Jerome's attention drifts back to Abigail, as he continues his thought.
JEROME: And I hope we have a long future as well.
Abby smiles awkwardly, knowing what Jerome is implying. Jerome smiles as Abby looks at him, momentarily averting her eyes. Jerome ends the moment, looking into the pub before looking back at Abby.
JEROME: Ah, listen. I have to get some lunch before I head back to Salem U, but...Abby, if you're free tonight, I'd....I'd really like to see you again.
ABBY: Oh, ah...Jerome, I'd love to, but I've got to head to the TV station. It's Nicole's TV special on the EnerNext scandal, and...I've gotta be there for it.
JEROME: Well, that's alright. I'd love to be there for it, if that's alright. I've always wanted to see a big TV news show being made. I promise I'll be quiet though.
Abby shifts awkwardly, trying to let Jerome down easily, as Jennifer looks on, silently surveying the situation.
ABBY: No. No. I...(sigh) I wish you could but...it's gonna be super busy and I don't think the producers would be happy if I invited visitors or anything. I'm sorry.
JEROME: It's alright. I understand. Break a leg though, okay?
Abby smiles at Jerome, who keeps his eyes locked on Abby's.
ABBY: Thanks. I'll text you after, okay?
Jerome walks toward the door of the pub, winking at Abby in response before shutting the door.
Once Jerome steps away, Jennifer steps over toward Abby, a curious look on her face.
JENNIFER: Well he seems like a nice young man.
Abby turns to face Jenn, nodding in agreement.
ABBY: He is. We've been out a couple times and he's...he's really cool.
Jenn folds her arms, looking at Jerome through the front door of the pub.
JENNIFER: You like him, don't you.
ABBY: I do.
Jenn turns her head back to look at her daughter.
JENNIFER: Then why did you just push him away like that?
Abby looks back at Jenn in disbelief.
Inside the pub, Jerome sits down at the bar, as the bartender walks over.
JEROME: I'll grab a pint of Blonde. Thanks, Man.
Jerome pulls out his cell phone from his black pea coat pocket, checking to see if there's any updates from Sheryl. When he sees there isn't, he calls her.
The phone rings once. Twice. Three times, before the voice mail message chimes in.
SHERYL: (via phone message) Hey, it's Sheryl. Leave a message after the beep.
After the beep, Jerome, visibly frustrated by Sheryl's sudden silence, leaves an urgent sounding message, as he looks around to make sure no one's listening in.
JEROME: (into phone) It's me. You gone tell me what happened at the hospital or not? Call me the second you get this.
Jerome hangs up, hearing the front door close. His attention is immediately drawn to the person who's just walked in.
It's Jordan. She spots Jerome and freezes in her tracks. Both Jerome and Jordan stare at each other from across the room. Jerome with surprise, Jordan with disdain and a touch of fear.