Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
Hope walks into Club TBD in a nice gown. Dressed up for dinner, she steps inside, looking for Aiden. Aiden, sitting at the table he'd chosen for them both, notices Hope walk in and stands up, smiling.
Hope smiles and walks over to the table. Aiden seems pleasantly surprised to see Hope in such formal attire.
AIDEN: You look...amazing.
HOPE: Thank you.
Aiden stares a moment before snapping back to reality and jumping over to the opposite side of the table to pull out a seat for Hope, who is clearly waiting for him to do so.
HOPE: You were distracted, it's alright.
Hope's self-confidence amuses Aiden, who gently pushes Hope's chair in as she sits down, before heading back to his own.
AIDEN: Glad you understand. Guess I'm just surprised, you're not dressed like you normally do.
HOPE: Well, being a cop's pretty demanding but...I'm not always on duty. And I have to admit, this was a nice excuse to dress a little more...glamourous.
AIDEN: You know...you brush up real well. So well, in fact, I'm gonna guess you do this pretty often, actually.
Hope chuckles for a moment before responding to Aiden, leaning in and placing her head against her hands as she rests her elbows on the table. She gives a cute smile Aiden's way.
HOPE: Would you believe I used to?
AIDEN: Let me guess, before the cop days?
HOPE: Let's just say, I have a complicated backstory.
AIDEN: I'd love to get to hear about it.
Hope looks at Aiden, a touch surprised by his awkwardness.
HOPE: I could tell you sometime...if you tell me why you're so nervous.
Aiden draws himself up, his posture becoming poker straight, as he realizes Hope has caught him.
AIDEN: Wh....what do you mean?
HOPE: I mean you obviously aren't at all comfortable right now. You're giddy like a schoolboy, and that is the last thing I would associate with Aiden Jennings.
Aiden looks away, sighing before explaining himself.
AIDEN: This...this is my first date with anyone since Chase's mom.
Hope looks sympathetically at Aiden, as he motions to T to come over.
HOPE: I'm sorry, I had--
AIDEN: A bottle of prosecco for us, please.
T walks away, as Hope looks awkwardly, having no idea how to respond to Aiden now, realizing the root of his nervousness.
Kim sits with Andrew in her apartment. As they sit quietly on her sofa, Kim sighs wearily. Andrew looks on with deep concern for his mother.
KIM: You want me to be totally honest?
ANDREW: Preferably, yeah.
Kim chuckles, gently slapping Andrew's knee.
KIM: I don't think I've ever needed my family around me as much as I do right now. You know, between Ma being so ill, Roman being so ill, Kay and Shane and Bo, they're all off...trapesing around the other side of the world.
Kim stops herself, trying to contain her emotion.
KIM: (sigh) Your sister.
Andrew wraps hia arm around Kim's shoulder, pulling her close to him as she begins to tear up.
ANDREW: You got me, you know?
KIM: I know...and believe me, I am so grateful to you. You came just at the right time.
Kim wipes her tears from her eyes gently, trying to avoid ruining her mascara, as Andrew and she separate from their embrace.
KIM: I honestly don't know how much more loss I can take, Andrew. I (laughs) I even have Marlena trying to tell me that the man who is slowly losing all his memories...isn't even my brother.
Andrew looks at Kim, incredulous.
KIM: Yeah. She says it's another one of Stefano's tricks. She's even got Dr. Grant at this hospital on board with her, and trying to get Eric and Sami to get DNA tests to prove it.
ANDREW: Well, mom, maybe there's a good reason for that--
KIM: Andrew Donovan, don't you dare tell me you're on her side about this?
Andrew's eyes bug out, as he shrugs, trying to diffuse his mother's evident anger, as Kim gets up, nervously pacing the room.
ANDREW: Well? That could actually help them figure out what is actually causing Uncle Roman's memory loss. What if they aren't his memories? What if Stefano implanted them in someone else and it wasn't...permanent? I think it's worth looking into.
Kim turns around suddenly, speaking empthatically to her son, who's now standing up.
KIM: That's the problem, though, Andrew. There's no time for 'what if', Andrew. Roman needs treatment, and he needs it now.
Kim sighs, as she turns and leans against her vanity in the corner of the room. After a moment of silence, and Kim trying to hold back her tears, Andrew walks over to her, and puts a hand on her shoulder.
ANDREW: Mom, why don't we...why don't we grab a bite to eat, and...get some fresh air.
Kim sighs, before turning, and smiling at her son.
KIM: Yeah. Maybe I should.
ANDREW: Brady Pub sound good?
Kim wipes away her tears, nodding, before pulling her son for a hug.
KIM: Ohhh Andrew! I'm so happy to have you home.
ANDREW: Me too, Mom.
Kim holds her son close to her, grateful to have a family member around her again.
At the WXIR TV studio, Nick and Anjelica sit in chairs on the set of Nicole's TV special. They're being mic'd up in preparation for the broadcast, which is fast approaching.
Above them, and the hustle and bustle of the crew getting ready to start the show, Tyler stands up on a scaffold by the lighting rig, ignored by all others in the studio.
Tyler looks down intensely, studying the movements of those below as he plots his attack on Nick, who remains confident, and oblivious of his danger. Tyler hears Victor's words in his head as he studies Nick's position and movements on the set.
VOICEOVER FROM EPISODE 167
VICTOR: (voiceover) Get rid of Nick Fallon. By any means neccessary.
Tyler sighs, knowing the severity of what he's about to do. He looks up at the ropes, holding the lights up. He slowly follows where the cables lead, and pulls out a switchblade from his pocket.
Below, Nicole briefs her guests on the format, Abby taking notes beside her, as the crew do some final touches.
NICOLE: So I'll start with Anjelica, just going over her campaign as it relates to EnerNext and the shift in the project's goals, very basic stuff. And then in the second segment, I'll be turning my attentions to you, Nick.
NICK: Sounds good. I do...have some stats, and a couple other quick items I'll be wanting to share, just...to be fully transparent.
Nick pulls a sligthly folded manila envelope from his jacket pocket to show Nicole, who nods in approval.
ANJELICA: You? Transparent? That's a rarity.
Nick's eyes dart over to Anjelica, as Anjelica chuckles from her seat, as Nicole takes her seat. Anjelica mutters to Nick just loud enough that he can hear.
ANJELICA: You better make me look good out there, Nick. You have a lot riding on this interview, I hear.
Nick looks at Anjelica, sighing as he looks ahead. Anjelica and Nick's attention is suddenly diverted to the crew, as the countdown begins to the broadcast. Abby scoots back behind the camera to avoid being in the shot.
Will, standing well back of the action with Alex beside him, breathes in as the countdown begins.
WILL: Here we go.
Nicole, in her seat on the stage, sits straight up, as the camera preps to take its first shot of her as host.
STAGE MANAGER: Okay, we're live to tape in 5...4...3...2...
T walks over to Hope and Aiden's table, a bottle of prosecco in hand, and two glasses. He sets them down on the table, and after popping cork, pours both Hope and Aiden a glass.
Aiden raises his in a toast.
Hope looks up, smiling in agreement.
HOPE: Thanks, T.
T: My pleasure.
T walks away, as Hope looks at Aiden sternly.
HOPE: Couldn't spring for the champagne, hm?
AIDEN: Ever heard anything about gift horses?
Hope raises her glass, chuckling to herself before taking a sip of her champagne.
HOPE: Seriously, though, Aiden. I'm sorry for dredging up old memories for you.
AIDEN: Don't worry about it.
HOPE: Well...I just...you know, I'm going through a lot of the same emotions right now. Bo's been gone a long time and...I don't know if he's ever coming back.
Aiden looks frustrated, making limited eye contact with Hope.
HOPE: I figured...he may be the father of my children but...honestly, it's time I moved on with my life. Let that all go.
AIDEN: I wish it were that easy.
HOPE: It can be.
AIDEN: Maybe for you.
HOPE: Aiden, sometimes talking about it can--
AIDEN: I don't want to talk about it, okay? Just drop it!
Aiden snaps at Hope, taking her aback, and causing a small scene, with people at surrounding tables turning their heads. Aiden looks down, immediately embarrassed by his outburst. He grabs his glass and takes another gulp. Hope looks on, embarrassed and annoyed.
Jerome knocks at the door to Sheryl's new apartment. Looking around to ensure no one sees him in the hall, he knocks again after a moment.
Sheryl opens the door slightly, letting Jerome in. Once inside, she quickly shuts it behind him.
JEROME: Nice new digs.
SHERYL: Yeah, well, thank Crystal Clarke for that.
Jerome looks at Sheryl, worried about what transpired during the day.
JEROME: Do I wanna know?
SHERYL: The less you do know, the better.
Sheryl flops down on the sofa in front of the TV, which she grabs the remote to turn on.
SHERYL: Just know that Crystal Clarke will no longer be a problem for us.
Jerome looks down at an all-too-comfortable Sheryl, and sighs before sitting down next to her.
JEROME: I was afraid you were gonna say that.
SHERYL: Well, you know...you didn't have any solutions so I had to come up with my own.
JEROME: Fair enough. Did you talk to Jordan?
Sheryl rolls her eyes, as she channel surfs.
SHERYL: I might as well have been talking to a brick wall.
JEROME: She's not leaving.
SHERYL: Not yet. She's still convinced her Man in Blue is gonna save her from big bad me. She even tried to convince me she'd told him the truth about her past.
Jerome's eyes widen at Sheryl's news.
JEROME: And did she?
SHERYL: Do you see any cops at our door?
JEROME: Not yet, but...
SHERYL: ...But nothing. Jerome, she was bluffing. She told him about her childhood and about her and her brother running away. She knew I caught her.
Jerome relaxes a bit, turning to face the TV, as Sheryl continues to flip stations.
JEROME: Okay. That's a relief. So what now?
SHERYL: Well...now we take care of Billie Reed before she can nab us for the virus, and then we get Jordan out of town. By any means neccessary.
Jerome looks over at Sheryl with a worried expression, as Sheryl's attention is piqued by what's on her TV screen.
VOICEOVER: (from TV) Coming up next, it's The Walker Report: The EnerNext Project, here on WXIR.
SHERYL: Well, well. Speaking of which.
Sheryl flashes an intrigued grin Jerome's way. Jerome, meanwhile, feels sick to his stomach, as their plans become more and more complicated.
At the pub, Andrew and Kim are sat with Andrew finishing the last of his fries, while Kim pushes away her bowl of chowder.
KIM: How was it?
ANDREW: It's been years since I've had any of the pub food, and I'm telling you, it's just as good as I remember it.
KIM: Good. I'm glad Ma's talents passed down to me. I confess I was...pretty nervous when Ma asked me to take over the Pub, but...I've been keeping the cooks on their toes.
ANDREW: Well, it's been working.
KIM: I'm glad.
Kim cracks a smile, as she reaches across the table and takes Andrew's hand in hers.
ANDREW: It's good to see you smile, Mom.
KIM: Well, it's good to have something to smile about. I really do hope you'll be here awhile.
Andrew smiles awkwardly, unsure of how to respond, when the door to the pub opens, and Eric walks in. Andrew perks up, as he sees his cousin walk in. Eric stops himself just inside the doorway as he shuts it. Both men smile, as Andrew stands up and walks over to Eric.
Andrew and Eric hug, excited to see each other after so long.
ERIC: What are you doing in Salem?
ANDREW: Well...I came to see my mom. Been awhile since I had, and...well, there's some work I'm doing for the election.
ERIC: Oh yeah...the governor's race.
ANDREW: Yeah. Anjelica's made a splash with her campaign.
ERIC: You can say that again.
Andrew realizes they're standing to one side, and motions to the table with Kim.
ANDREW: Ah, Eric, Mom and I were just finishing dinner, but...if you wanted to join us for a bit.
ERIC: Ah, sure.
As Eric and Andrew sit down, Eric checks his watch.
ANDREW: So what's new with you, Cuz?
ERIC: Well, I...I just got married.
ANDREW: Wow! Congrats, man!
ERIC: Yeah, it's...it's great. I ah...Nicole and I are pretty happy. Ah, Aunt Kim. I just realized what time it is, and...Nicole's special's about to start. I wanted to catch it, if I could.
Kim leaps to her feet, heading for behind the bar.
KIM: Oh, sure! I wanted to catch it myself. I can put it on the TV in the pub, if you want.
ERIC: Sure, that'd be great.
KIM: Alright. Gimme a sec, here. WXIR is Channel 5?
Andrew looks over at Eric, giving a sly look.
ANDREW: Married to a reporter. I'm impressed.
ERIC: Heh. Yeah, she's...she's a real talented lady.
Andrew and Eric turn their attention to the TV, as the beginnings of the intro music to Nicole's special begin.
A graphic appears on the screen, introducing The Walker Report: The EnerNext Project, as the serious instrumental theme music plays.
The lights go up in the studio, as the camera shoots Nicole sitting in her chair on the stage, smiling confidently.
NICOLE: Good evening, Salem. And welcome to tonight's special report on the controversial energy project, spearheaded by Titan Industries. Tonight, we will investigate the origins of the project, the spin of the corporation, and the twists and turns that have led us to where we are now: A confusing labyrinth of changing motivations, corporate manipulations, and greed.
Alex and Will stand a distance from the action on the set, observing and listening closely to the goings-on in front of the camera, as Nicole continues.
NICOLE: Tonight, we begin with a woman who is in strong support of the EnerNext project. So much so, that she is willing to bet her entire candidacy for governor on it. She is a controversial figure, but she currently is second in the state polls. I introduce to you, Ms. Anjelica Deveraux.
Nicole turns to greet Anjelica, who sits beside her, ready for the interview. Anjelica flashes a million dollar smile to the camera.