Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
It's a cool dark night on the outskirts of Salem. A chilly wind has kicked up, as Tyler Houston steps toward the front door of Anita Hernandez's cabin. He knocks, as he looks out at the dark night around him. Rubbing his hands together to keep them warm in the cold, he tenses his body as he awaits Anita.
Opening the front door, Anita is surprised to see Tyler standing there.
ANITA: What the--what are you doing here?
TYLER: (sigh) It's a long story.
Tyler waits a beat before continuing.
TYLER: May I uh...may I come in?
Anita hesitates, looking back inside at Brady, who's just entered the living room, curious about why Anita's at the door.
TYLER: I know he's here, Anita.
Anita opens the door to let Tyler in, as Brady stands back in the kitchen area, stunned to see Tyler again.
BRADY: Tyler...wh...look, if you came to track me down, I, I just can't--
Tyler steps into the room, and holds his hand up to stop Brady from continuing.
TYLER: Brady....no one knows you're here. And no one's going to know. Okay? I didn't come here to try to get you back to Salem.
Anita interjects, slightly annoyed by Tyler's return visit.
ANITA: So why are you here, then? Once wasn't enough?
TYLER: Look, I...ah, something's happened, and I need to leave town. And I won't be back.
ANITA: What? Why?
TYLER: It's...a long story, but I need to call Victor first, and on a secure line. That's why I'm here.
Anita nods slowly, confused by Tyler's vague information. She motions toward the landline phone, as Tyler nods in appreciation, and heads over to call Victor.
Anita turns to face a very baffled Brady, to whom she gives an equally confused expression.
At the Grant house, Jerome sits with his grandmother on the living room couch. He wears a strange expression as he questions his grandmother.
JEROME: You talk like you got some real beef with the Hortons.
Valerie shifts uncomfortably, trying to be somewhat dismissive of what she's already expressed to Jerome about the Hortons, but failing.
VALERIE: I don't really have beef, but like...(sigh) How shall I put it?
Jerome laughs, breaking Valerie's thought.
JEROME: ...But you got beef with 'em!
VALERIE: Look, don't get me wrong, Jerome. They're lovely people. They do their best. I have worked alongside this family for years. But I also know they have their fair share of problems. Ones that are extremely easy for a man like you to get caught up in. And I don't want that for you. I've...pulled your behind out of enough jams for one lifetime.
Valerie notices Jerome's crooked collar, and awkwardly, lovingly adjusts it as she fidgets to distract from her nervousness at the subject at hand. Jerome gently flinches, tickled by his grandmother's touch.
JEROME: Okay, I get that. But...what you mean? What kind of problems?
Valerie stops fidgeting and sighs, before deciding to tell Jerome.
VALERIE: Well...your Uncle Eli's father, for one.
Jerome turns his head quickly to look at Valerie's sheepish expression.
Marlena and Abe head into the underground parking at Marlena's building. Marlena trails Abe, who is eager to get going. Abe looks back to see Marlena, slowly walking towards him, clutching herself as she walks, deep in thought.
Abe walks over to Marlena, and comforts her as they walk toward Abe's car, Abe seeing Marlena clearly distressed by Roman's absence.
ABE: We'll find him, Marlena.
Marlena sighs, leaning against Abe as they walk.
MARLENA: I know. Still doesn't make me worry any less.
No sooner has Marlena finished her sentence do Kim and Andrew pull into a spot right near Abe and Marlena. Kim honks her horn, startling Marlena, as they both step out of Kim's car. Marlena looks stunned to see Andrew.
MARLENA: Oh my...Oh my God, Andrew! Ohh it's so good to see you! Oh, when did you get into town?
Andrew laughs as he gives his former aunt a hug, while Kim looks on, somewhat less-than-impressed by Marlena's enthusiasm, under the circumstances.
KIM: He ah...he just arrived tonight. We were finishing up dinner when we got the call.
MARLENA: Ohh, it's so good to see you. Oh that must've been a fantastic surprise for you, Kim.
Kim nods, with a subdued expression as she tries to speed things along to limit her time with Marlena, whom she's upset with.
KIM: It was. It was just what I needed. Look, um...I don't wanna...break up the reunion or anything, but....I think we need to start dealing with why we're here.
ABE: Kim is right. I think we need to split up and keep each other on a three way call.
MARLENA: Makes sense. I can take the route down Riverside Drive.
KIM: Andrew and I can cover the south end.
ABE: And I'll handle the centre. Alright, let's get on this, the longer we take, the farther away he might have gotten.
As Abe, Kim, Marlena, and Andrew prepare to separate, we see inside the car just a few steps away from where they've congregated. Inside, Roman sits silently in the car, with the engine off. He's almost in a trance, as he states straight out from the drivers' seat, seemingly completely unaware of his surroundings.
Jerome looks quizzically at Valerie as they both sit on the sofa inside Valerie's house.
JEROME: Grandma, what about Uncle Eli?
Valerie takes Jerome's hand, and holds it gently, as she begins to explain the story.
Valerie breathes in deeply, as she considers her words extremely carefully.
VALERIE: See...you remember I told you about when I lived here allll those years ago, right?
VALERIE: Well...I fell in love with a young man here named David Banning, and he just happens to be Miss Abigail Deveraux's cousin.
Jerome slowly nods, making the connection.
JEROME: And that...didn't go well.
VALERIE: Oh no, it was...I mean, it wasn't without its problems, but our relationship was fine. We loved each other. His family was incredibly kind to me, but...they...they had problems. I worked for Abigail's grandmother at University Hospital, and she...she spent a long time in an institution. Abigail's grandfather was a great surgeon, and a very kind man, but...very troubled. David was an alcoholic, like your grandfather. (sigh) I think the pressure was too much for him.
JEROME: What happened to you and David, then?
Valerie sighs, looking down at nothing in particular as she reminisces.
VALERIE: He had a baby. With his cousin's girlfriend.
JEROME: I'm sorry.
VALERIE: I'm not broken up about it. Years later, we met again, away from Salem, and...you know, I think being with him away from Salem was a real blessing. We could be together without the pressure of our families and...people who knew us. It was a great time. It wasn't long but...Uncle Eli came from it, and...it means I have a reminder in my life of that special time.
Valerie takes Jerome's hand in hers, and smiles wistfully.
VALERIE: Look, all I'm trying to say is, the Hortons are lovely people, but don't get bogged down in their problems. They'll take you with them.
JEROME: I won't, Grandma.
VALERIE: Don't be so sure. I know how you take on the problems of people you care about, baby. I don't want you to sucked into something you can't get out of.
Jerome half-smiles, as Valerie pulls him into a tight hug. As she holds her grandson, she looks out from over Jerome's shoulder, a very worried look in her eyes.
At Anita's cabin, Brady pulls Anita aside and quietly asks her about Tyler, who's stood in the corner of the room, using her landline phone.
BRADY: Anita...how do you know that man?
ANITA: Brady, it's not a big deal--
BRADY: The hell it's not! Anita, I do not feel comfortable with that man in this house. He works for my grandfather...
Anita holds up her hands, trying to keep Brady from getting excited (and loud), as she attempts to explain the situation.
ANITA: Brady, don't...don't worry. Look, Tyler has come by before, and he didn't say anything about you being here then--
BRADY: What??! That's supposed to make me feel better?
ANITA: Just don't...shhh...Brady. Listen to me.
Brady stops himself from continuing, giving Anita a chance to finish, but folds his arms, looking mistrustfully at her.
ANITA: I will make sure he doesn't tell anyone you're here. I don't think he will, anyway, but I'll make sure. Okay?
Brady unfolds his arms, unsure if Anita will be able to convince Tyler.
On the phone, Tyler reaches University Hospital main reception desk.
TYLER: (into phone) Yes, may I be put through to Mr. Victor Kiriakis' room, please?
After a moment's wait, Tyler perks up again, hearing the phone ring in Victor's room.
In Victor's hospital room, the phone rings. Victor, watching TV in bed, grumbles silently about the interruption to his show, turning the TV set off with the remote by his bed before picking up the phone, answering exasperated.
VICTOR: (into phone) What?
TYLER: (into phone) Victor! It's Tyler!
VICTOR: (into phone) Oh, look who it is! The World's Worst Hired Help. You had one job, and I assume you're calling to apologize for botching it?
Tyler looks utterly baffled by Victor's snarky comment.
TYLER: (into phone) Wh...Victor, what are you talking about?
VICTOR: (via phone) He's still alive, you idiot!
Tyler looks over at Brady and Anita, trying to speak in pointed but hushed tones.
TYLER: (into phone) Nick?
VICTOR: (into phone) Exactly. And now it's too late to make another attempt, so don't even bother trying. I can only imagine the Salem PD all over that studio as we speak collecting whatever they can to tie your sorry ass to it. So forget it. I sent you a portion of what I promised you, but only if you get out of town.
VICTOR: (via phone) ...and get out tonight.
Tyler looks stunned, unable to respond to Victor, as the receiver drops from his ear.
Hope stands with Nicole and Eric in the WXIR studio, still relatively dressed up from her date with Aiden. She looks around, as other officers snap photos of the fallen lighting rig. Nicole stands in the middle of the studio, arms folded, and explains what happened during the filming of her TV special.
NICOLE: And that's when I heard the snap, and then the light just...came down.
Hope looks up at the scaffolding high above the soundstage. She squints slightly, as she mulls over what Nicole's told her.
After a moment, she asks Nicole a question in a somewhat official "police" tone.
HOPE: Right. Nicole, did you see any...movement up there at all? Maybe someone was on set who shouldn't have been there?
Nicole shakes her head, certain of her answer.
NICOLE: No. I mean, we had a lot of guests in the studio but...no one was anywhere they shouldn't be. I didn't see any movement above us until the light, and that's what caught my attention.
ERIC: And you're sure it wasn't an accident, then?
NICOLE: It couldn't have been. Honestly, Nick's been involved in all kinds of things lately that I think make him a target. I mean, the light that fell was almost exactly over where he was sitting when it dropped. I can almost guarantee someone was trying to kill him.
Eric looks to Hope with concern, wrapping his arm around Nicole. Hope appears surprised, before quickly raising her eyes back toward the lighting rig.
Anjelica and Liam stand on the foggy pier, Anjelica points at Liam accusingly, speaking quietly but hissing her words at him.
ANJELICA: You are letting your feelings get in the way of our goal, and it's becoming a liability.
LIAM: My feelings?
ANJELICA: Absolutely. You want to disengage because you're bitter about losing me to Stefano--
LIAM: It's not that...
ANJELICA: So NOW, you're going to put your energies into Jennifer Horton, which is fine by me, but whatever energy you have left goes to screwing me over as some kind of twisted catharsis for your broken heart. And let me tell you, Mr. Frasier: that's not going to happen.
Liam stares as Anjelica steps in close to Liam, part flirtingly, part threateningly.
After a moment, Liam leans in for a kiss. Anjelica catches him and backs away, never taking her eyes off Liam, as he looks on with disappointment.
ANJELICA: I want to remind you that you're already in this up to your neck, whether you want to be or not. Therefore, if you ever want to be reuinted with your long-lost love...
Anjelica discretely holds out the gun once again, waiting for Liam to take it from her.
ANJELICA: You need to take care of the problem. As soon as possible.
Liam looks down, mulling over his options for a moment before taking the gun from Anjelica, sighing as he puts the gun in his coat pocket.
LIAM: Consider it done.
Liam turns away without another word, and heads up the stairs away from the pier, leaving Anjelica alone. She watches as Liam walks up the stairs, before turning away, sighing as the stress of her situation weighs on her.
Kim, Andrew, and Abe walk away from their huddle in the car park at Marlena's condominium, as Marlena lingers behind, deep in thought, but jumping slightly when Abe touches her arm to get her attention as he walks away.
ABE: I'll bring the car around, Marlena.
Marlena smiles at Abe, as he walks toward the car. Looking away into the sea of cars before her, Marlena spots Roman's SUV parked nearby.
After a moment's glance, she realizes someone's inside.
Suddenly frenzied, she calls out to Abe, hoping he'll double back to where she is.
MARLENA: Abe? Abe! Abe, he's here!
Marlena makes a beeline for Roman's SUV, tapping on the front hood, as Roman stares ahead, in his own world as he sits in his parked vehicle.
Marlena frantically tries to open the passenger's side door, to no avail. She bangs on the passenger's side window, as Roman looks her way.
MARLENA: Roman! It's Doc, open the door, please!
Roman hesitates for a moment, as though still in his trance, before finally unlocking the door. Marlena steps inside, as Kim and Andrew also double back, and Abe arrives.
MARLENA: Roman, I was so worried about you.
ROMAN: Doc, I...
Marlena takes Roman's hand in hers, and holds it, realizing how very cold it is. She kisses it, and smiles warmly, as she begins to tear up again.
MARLENA: Roman, we're all so glad you're safe. Abe, Andrew, Kim, and I we were all about to head off to look for you!
Roman looks puzzled, as he looks out at Abe, Andrew, and Kim, who are standing outside the vehicle, deep concern in their eyes. He looks back at Marlena.
ROMAN: Doc, that...that can't be. Kimmy's dead. I saw her!
Marlena's jaw drops, baffled by Roman's obviously-untrue statement.