Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
Gabi stands in Nick's room at the Kiriakis mansion, holding the pictures he's had hidden in his desk drawer of Gabi, Sami, and Kate trying to drown him in her hand. She's relieved to have finally found them, holding the pictures up to her chest, smiling for the first time in ages.
GABI: Oh my God, yes.
As she celebrates her mission being completed to retrieve the photos, lurking on the other side of the door is Nick, who is spying on her through the slight crack in said door. He practically seethes, livid as he watches her invade his privacy and betray his trust, but he keeps silent and still, observing her every move, as he grips the handle of the door tightly.
Gabi, oblivious to the threat behind her, flips through the photos, before stumbling upon one pic that takes her aback: Abby in a liplock with EJ.
Gabi looks stunned. Realizing what she's unintentially uncovered, she hastily shoves the pictures back in the envelope, and walks them over to her purse, stuffing them inside. As she does this, Nick watches her closely, seeing what she's done with the pictures. Before Gabi can catch a glimpse of Nick, he walks away, defusing the situation.
Gabi closes her purse, and looks up to the ceiling, taken aback by the picture she's seen of EJ and Abby.
GABI: Oh God, you guys. What did you get yourselves into. (sigh) I gotta get out of here.
Gabi sighs, before getting up from sitting on the bed, and rushes out of the room, making sure everything is as she found it. Turning the light off and shutting the door completely behind her.
After leaving Nick's bedroom, Gabi checks both ways down the hallway, before walking away toward her own bedroom.
As Gabi walks past, a face looms from the linen closet next to Nick's room. It's Nick, making sure he's hidden before heading back for his room. From the dark of the closet, he threatens Gabi softly.
NICK: You haven't won yet, Gabi. I'll make sure of that. They're poisoning your mind against me. And we can't have that. Can we?
In the Kiriakis living room, Anjelica and Alex walk in after being dropped off by Will. Anjelica sets down her bag, as Alex sets his things down on the desk. Neither speak at first, but Alex looks at his mother, worry in his eyes. Anjelica catches this look, and furrows her brow in annoyance.
ALEX: Anjelica, are you sure you're okay?
Anjelica looks away, as she steps over to the bar, and pours herself a drink.
ANJELICA: I'm fine. Never been better!
Anjelica downs the drink in one shot, and Alex looks at her, not believing a word she says.
ALEX: Somehow I doubt that.
Anjelica glares at him, as she pours herself another drink.
ANJELICA: Well, other than my nerves being shot after nearly being killed by a stage light...I'm feeling fresh as a daisy.
Anjelica quickly turns to look at Alex, her mockingly chipper tone of voice suddenly dropping to a threateningly low pitch as she holds a second glass up.
Alex isn't amused by Anjelica's snark, and glares at his mother, disapprovingly.
ALEX: I'll pass. Come on, Mother. Tell me what's bothering you. You've been miserable since we left the studio.
ANJELICA: I'm just trying to figure out whether Nick Fallon was onto something or not.
ALEX: What do you mean by that?
ANJELICA: I mean between you and Will Horton.
Alex drops his shoulders, looking away in frustration.
Roman drives out along a quiet country road in the dark of the night. Over the radio, he hears an announcement.
RADIO HOST: (via radio) An update from WXIR-TV. The Walker Report, the live television special hosted by local investigative journalist Nicole Walker, was abruptly cut short midshow tonight after an overhead stage light fell on the soundstage, nearly striking newly-appointed Titan CEO Nick Fallon, as well as Candidate for State Governor, Anjelica Deveraux. Both are said to be fine, but shaken up, and Salem Police are investigating the potential for foul play. More news as it becomes available.
As an advertisement kicks in, Roman is surprised by the news, but is quickly distracted by the reflection of a tail light on an SUV up ahead, obscured by nearby bushes.
ROMAN: What da...
Intrigued, Roman pulls over to investigate.
Stopping his car at the side of the quiet country road, Roman gets out, and fumbles with his phone to turn on his cell phone flashlight.
Slowly walking over to the abandoned vehicle hidden in the brush, Roman inspects the vehicle, a concerned look on his face.
He looks around the otherwise-abandoned roadway, checking to see if anyone's around. When he sees nobody, he flashes the phone light into the front seat.
Slowly walking back to the back seats...
Only a snorkel, and a roll of duct tape.
Roman tilts his head slightly, confused by what he sees.
Even slower, Roman steps back toward the rear of the SUV, inhaling deeply as he spots more scuba gear, but freezes when he sees in the very corner...
A woman's dead body, ghost white from laying there overnight. We see that it is Crystal Clarke's body, though Roman doesn't recognize her.
In the Kiriakis living room, Alex folds his arms, annoyed by his mother's inference about his relationship with Will.
ALEX: You know, I don't appreciate you insinuating that there's anything going on between Will and myself that's not professional.
Anjelica takes a sip of her drink, then turns to face her son, a sour, dismissive expression on her face.
ANJELICA: Wouldn't be the first time.
ANJELICA: Look, Alex, you know I am supportive of you no matter what, but I cannot stress to you enough that I am running on a family values platform in this campaign, and that requires my family to maintain that appearance as well. That. Includes. You.
Alex steps in closer to his mother, speaking firmly, while also appearing visibly uncomfortable.
ALEX: Besides the fact that that's not how support works, I'm telling you, Will is my right hand at work. That's it. And he is very good at his work.
ANJELICA: And that's where you leave it. At work.
Alex, clearly agitated, begins to raise his voice to Anjelica.
ALEX: Mother, I can't believe that Nick teasing Will has got you so worked up.
Anjelica begins to, in turn, raise her voice to Alex, trying to make her point as clear as possible.
ANJELICA: That's not what's working me up, Alex. It's the fact he sees something going on between you. And whether it's there or not, other people are seeing it, and they will start to talk.
Alex leans in close to Anjelica and softly, but firmly, punctuates his point.
ALEX: Let them.
Alex turns to walk away, but Anjelica follows him, trying to look him in the eyes as she shouts out to him.
ANJELICA: I will do no such thing! I am running for the highest office in the state. I have our family's legacy on my back here. And I will not let it be ruined once again because the men in this family can't get a handle on their moral compass!
Alex laughs sarcastically at Anjelica's comment, raising his voice to match hers.
ALEX: Ohhhh, I think murdering sex workers is a little different--
ANJELICA: Not to these people, it isn't! You need to keep up appearances, Alexander Kiriakis. We need to present an image of good ol' American apple-pie eatin' wholesomeness for my sake, AND for yours.
Alex cools his tone, and scratches the back of his neck, before speaking again.
ALEX: And after the campaign ends? Then what?
ANJELICA: I don't care after the campaign ends, you can ruin your life all you want!
ALEX: Bull! Face it, Mother. You're always going to have your nose in every relationship I have. I don't even know why I bother having relationships at all, quite frankly!
ANJELICA: Oh, now it's a relationship. I'm sure your WIFE would love to hear that!
Alex sighs, rolling his eyes at his mother. She ignores him, and continues.
ANJELICA: Let me tell you something, dear son of mine: I involve myself because I care about you, and your happiness.
ALEX: And if you care so much about my happiness, I'd kindly ask you to butt out.
Alex throws his hands up, walking around Anjelica as he heads for the stairs, exhausted from arguing.
ALEX: Look, I need to get to bed. I'm tired.
ANJELICA: Alexander, don't walk away from me--
ALEX: There is nothing to say. Anjelica, I am happily married, that's the end of it. Okay? Goodnight.
Alex walks away, as Anjelica watches him, frustrated.
Marlena emerges from her darkened Penthouse bedroom, wearing her nightgown. She wears a worried expression as she calls out to the empty room.
MARLENA: Roman?? Roman, are you there?
Marlena walks over to the lamp on the side table in the living room, immediately looking around now that the lights are on. She's stunned by Roman's absence.
Taking a moment to think, she walks over to the front closet door, opening it to see Roman's shoes not there. She realizes immediately that something's wrong, and rushes over to her sideboard, where her cell phone's been left to charge overnight.
Picking it up, she calls Roman.
After the fourth ring, the call goes to voice mail. Marlena waits through Roman's voice mail message to leave one for him.
ROMAN: (via voice mail) It's Roman, leave a message.
The beep afterward prompts Marlena to leave a somewhat uncertain message. Not wanting to alarm Roman, Marlena holds it together and restrains herself into a calm masquerade.
MARLENA: (into phone) Ah Roman, it's Doc. I'm....I'm just a bit worried, it's....it's midnight and I was expecting you back at the penthouse by now. If you....if you are able to give me a call. If you're...if you're lost at all...just....just call me back, okay? Let me know where you are...or if you need me to come out to meet you. Alright.
Marlena hangs up the phone, now more worried than ever.
After a moment's hesitation, Marlena checks her watch. It's past midnight.
She calls Abe, who answers after two rings.
MARLENA: (into phone) Abe? Abe, it's Marlena....I'm...I'm calling because Roman is missing again, and I could really use your help in tracking him down....yes, if you want to meet here at the penthouse. Please, as soon as you can. Thanks.
Marlena hangs up, and after a moment's hesitation, makes one more call.
Kim is just walking into her apartment after dinner with Andrew, when she hears her cell phone ring.
KIM: Oh wow, who could be calling at this hour?
ANDREW: Could be important.
Kim pulls the phone out and looks at who it is. Her face drops as she looks up at her son.
KIM: Honey, I gotta take this.
ANDREW: Sure! No problem.
Kim answers the phone with a definite harshness in her greeting.
KIM: (into phone) Yes?
MARLENA: (into phone) Ah, Kim, it's Marlena...I just...I'm sorry to call so late, but...it's Roman. He's missing again. I don't mean to alarm you, but...I could use your help tracking him down.
Kim is shocked, and worried, her tone changes slightly in her response to Marlena's request.
KIM: (into phone) Oh Gosh, ahh...yeah. Yeah, I'll be right over.
MARLENA: (into phone) Thank you, Kim...I'm sorry about this, I know it's late.
KIM: (via phone) It's fine.
MARLENA: (into phone) Listen, Kim, if you don't mind, I just wanted to take a moment to apo--
KIM: (via phone) Listen, Marlena, I can't really talk right now, just...I'll be right over, okay?
Kim hangs up the phone, with Marlena wincing after the call ends, hurt by the terseness in Kim's voice, and their strained relationship thanks to Roman's decline. She puts down her phone, as she leans against the edge of the sideboard.
MARLENA: Please God, let him be alright.
Marlena turns and walks toward her bedroom to get changed back into her street clothes.
Roman, still stunned by the sight of Nurse Crystal Clarke's body in the backseat of the abandoned SUV he's spotted in the bush, panics as he looks around in the dark, trying to figure out what to do.
He remembers after a moment to check his phone to call for help, but there's no signal.
ROMAN: Dammit! No signal out here.
He races over to his car. Opening the door, he climbs inside to try to radio into dispatch for help, but his hands tremble, as he realizes he can't remember how to operate the radio. He drops the receiver, and puts his idling vehicle into gear, taking off back down the road in hopes of getting back to Salem to call for help.
Nick returns to his room, now that Gabi's gone. He shuts the door behind him, looking around the room to see what's out of place. Realizing nothing's out of place, meaning if he hadn't caught her, he would've never noticed Gabi was in his room.
He pulls open his desk drawer, and makes sure the manila envelope he'd hidden inside was missing, before slamming it shut in frustration.
NICK: Dammit! Damn you, Gabi.
He holds his head, trying to avoid another migraine, when his cell phone rings.
He rolls his eyes as he answers the phone, pinching his nose to try to stop the throbbing in his head from worsening.
NICK: (into phone) Sheryl, what do you want?
Sheryl paces her living room at her new apartment, phone in her ear, her game face on, as she sarcastically replies to Nick.
SHERYL: (into phone) You know, I just love your phone manner. It's so warm and genuine.
Nick leans against the desk in his room, shutting his eyes and grimacing through the dull pain.
NICK: (into phone) Sheryl, I don't have time for this right now, what do you want?
SHERYL: (via phone) I want to give you some advice, Nick...
SHERYL: (into phone) You remember what happened tonight at the studio? With the falling stage lights?
NICK: (into phone) Obviously.
SHERYL: (into phone) Well, you should know....that was my doing.
Nick's eyes open as Sheryl lies to Nick about her responsibility for the "accident" at the TV station.
SHERYL: (via phone) And I want you to know that it was not my intention to miss. So you'd better watch your step before you make your next move...
NICK: (into phone) Or what?
Sheryl gives an evil smile as she purrs her threat through the phone to Nick.
SHERYL: (into phone) Or it'll be your very...last...move. Understood?
Nick slowly begins to crack up, laughing through the phone at a surprised Sheryl.
NICK: (into phone) You have got to be kidding me.
SHERYL: (via phone) I am deadly serious, Nick.
Nick laughs over the phone yet again, shaking his head as he begins to walk toward his bedroom window.
NICK: (into phone) Sheryl, you don't get it, do you? I know full well it wasn't you who dropped that light on me. There's no way, because up until two hours ago, you thought someone else botched the virus operation.
At Sheryl's end, Sheryl's smile drops from her face, as she realizes Nick's got her dead to rights.
NICK: (via phone) So, because I'm such a nice, forgiving guy, I'm gonna make you a little deal. Alright?
Sheryl sighs before answering Nick, putting a hand on her hip in frustration.
SHERYL: (into phone) And just what kinda deal would that be?
Nick looks out his bedroom window, his steely eyes looking straight ahead into the night as he delivers his own threat to Sheryl.
NICK: (into phone) You get Jordan and leave town forever tonight, or those photos of you and Jordan that I was going to show on Nicole's TV special? I'm gonna take them straight to the police station. Got that?
Sheryl tenses up, sighing once again, but this time with a certain pent-up rage.
SHERYL: (into phone) Loud and clear.
NICK: (into phone) You got 12 hours, Sheryl. Don't test me.
Nick presses "End Call", his eyes never moving from looking outside.
The double beep of Nick ending the call signals to Sheryl to drop her show of strength, her body unclenching from the tense back-and-forth.
She grunts in frustration, before slamming her phone into the side table next to her. She looks around frantically, trying to figure out exactly what to do next.
In her own bedroom at the Kiriakis house, Gabi texts EJ on her cell phone, as she stands with the manila envelope she's just collected from Nick's desk drawer in her other hand.
She texts EJ:
got the pics
The photo of EJ in a compromising position with Abigail is out of the envelope, as Gabi stares at it carefully while hitting "send".
Gabi looks up from the photos after a moment, stunned by the photo she holds in her hands.