Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
On the desk in the DiMera living room, sits the invitation to the gala grand re-opening of the Penthouse Grille. Next to it, a freshly-emptied coffee cup is slammed down on the desk. We see that it is EJ's who is dialing a local bank branch.
EJ: (into phone) Yes, this is EJ DiMera, may I speak with Michael Howell, please?...Yes, Michael, it's EJ DiMera. I was curious if you were available to meet with me this morning before 10am....no, the ah...the sooner the better. This is somewhat of an urgent matter...I...I mean, it's not really to do with any particular business account, this is more to do with our safe deposit boxes....Yes, 8:45 is perfect. Cheers.
EJ hangs up, relieved to get a time window with Michael, as he holds the safe deposit box key in his hand. He flips it, feeling momentarily triumphant that maybe he will get an answer to what is in that box.
EJ: Alright. Time to find out what's in you.
EJ picks up his briefcase and heads for the door, only to run into a groggy Sami, who's just emerged from upstairs in her robe. She furrows her brow, curious as to what EJ is up to.
SAMI: You're...you're ready awfully early. Where's the fire?
EJ stands in the doorway of the living room, visibly uncomfortable with Sami's suspicion.
Gabi walks into the Kiriakis living room, checking frantically to ensure she's alone. She is dressed for the day, and has her purse with her.
After a moment, she closes the double doors leading to the living room, and scurries to the other side of the room, checking the hallway toward the kitchen. Realizing she's truly alone, Gabi relaxes slightly, her actions becoming a bit less stacatto.
From her purse, she pulls out the photos of her, Sami, and Kate in their attempt to drown Nick in the river. Carefully, she studies them, sighing as she flips through them.
GABI: Well...all you gotta do is burn them, Gabi. And you're homefree.
Gabi stops flipping when she hits upon the photos of EJ and Abby in a passionate liplock at the Smith Island cabin. After an excruciatingly long moment, Gabi looks ahead at the fireplace, with a roaring fire burning before her. She continues, thinking over her problem.
GABI: (voiceover) But what if I'm not.
Gabi takes a moment, and ponders over her situation more carefully, pacing the room as she thinks to herself.
GABI: (voiceover) What if EJ's been playing Sami, Kate, and I all along? I've never trusted him, and he's never exactly been all that loyal to Sami, either. Plus, what if Nick has him by the balls. Nick could making EJ play Sami for his own benefit...or...EJ could be on the level this time.
Gabi stops herself as she stands before the fire, ready to toss the pictures in.
GABI: Burn 'em, or keep 'em. (sigh) What are you gonna do, Gabi?
Gabi stares into the fire, more confused than ever.
Nick walks into the Salem PD Headquarters, his manila envelope containing the files on Sheryl and Jordan in hand.
Spotting Rafe nearby, he walks over to greet him.
NICK: Rafe! Good morning!
Rafe is less-than-thrilled to see Nick, and takes a good swig of the black coffee in his hand before responding. The coffee's heat and bitterness causes Rafe to wince as he answers, his words dripping with sarcasm.
RAFE: Nick. You're up awfully early. Got tired of tormenting my sister so you decided to torment me, hm?
Nick chuckles, giving him his trademark smirk as he follows a disintered Rafe around like a lost puppydog.
NICK: You know, I think your protectiveness of Gabi is admirable. And I get it. I mean, we both love her, we both want what's best for her--
Rafe sits down at a desk in the middle of the room, setting his coffee cup down and leaning back as he interrupts Nick's diatribe.
RAFE: Naaah, see...see, you want what's best for you, and you've got some real wild ideas about what love is, Nick. I gotta tell you, so...I think the best thing for you to do, if you really love my sister...you know, like a normal person would do, is to leave her the Hell alone.
Nick leans in closer to Rafe, across the desk from him, still smiling smugly.
NICK: Well...I'd love to go tête-a-tête about what's best for Gabi, but...I have some business to take care of before I go home to have breakfast with her. See, since we live together now and all...
Rafe sits up suddenly, shocked by what he hears.
RAFE: What...are you talking about?
NICK: You haven't heard? She moved in last night with me at the Kiriakis mansion.
Rafe laughs mockingly, shaking his head at what he perceives as a sick joke of Nick's.
RAFE: Give me a break. She'd never move in with the likes of you--
NICK: ...Oh, don't worry. She has her own bedroom, so...no hanky panky, for now anyway. If you don't believe me though? Ask her yourself. Now, if you don't mind, I have some information for Roman, and--
RAFE: You sick...
Hope approaches at this moment, stifling Rafe's enraged reaction to Nick's news. She looks at Nick sternly.
HOPE: Ahhh...Roman's...not in yet. And I don't know if he will be today. Is everything okay here?
Rafe looks up at Hope, a little startled by her arrival. Suddenly overcome by concern over Gabi, Rafe answers her question in a bit of a panic.
RAFE: Like Hell it is. This clown just told me Gabi moved in with him.
NICK: Like it or not, Rafe...it's true.
HOPE: Now, hold on. Rafe, just cool--
RAFE: I'm not cooling down, Hope. Look, I gotta go talk to my sister. Find out what the Hell's going on.
Rafe gets up from his desk, and grabs his jacket. Quickly downing his coffee, he starts to walk off, almost ignoring everything around him as Nick goads him on his way out of the station.
NICK: Tell her I won't be long, Rafe!
Nick chuckles to himself, as Rafe storms off. Hope stays behind, unimpressed by Nick's harrassing way.
HOPE: Your mother wouldn't be very impressed by you right now, you know.
Nick's smug look disappears, as Hope motions Nick toward Roman's office.
HOPE: Don't worry, I'm not gonna call her. Come on with me, I wanted to talk to you anyway about last night.
Hope turns and leads Nick into Roman's office. Once Nick's inside, Hope slams the door shut to the office, prompting Nick's almost-unbearable pain to arise once again. Hope doesn't notice at first, and begins to speak to Nick with her back to him, oblivious as Nick begins to hold his head in immense pain.
HOPE: So let's start with what you've got for Roman, since I'm gonna be taking care of his case load while he's...
Hope turns around, struck by the image of Nick leaning against the nearby desk, clutching his head. She cautiously steps toward him to see if he's okay.
HOPE: Nick? Nick, are you okay? NICK!
EJ stands in the doorway of the DiMera living room, trying to think of an answer to Sami's question, as Sami stands before him, rubbing her eyes of sleep.
EJ: Samantha...I umm...I have to head out to a...an early meeting.
SAMI: Meeting? It's like...not even 8am, EJ.
EJ: I realize, I just...I have some prep to do before so I'm gonna...head into the office early and get myself organized. You know?
Sami looks at EJ with a furrowed brow. She looks at him for a moment, before nodding and walking into the living room, making a beeline to the coffee tray Harold laid out.
EJ isn't sure if Sami has bought his story, and watches her walk to the coffee carefully.
After a moment, Sami turns to respond further to EJ.
SAMI: Well, I'm gonna be at the office for 9:30. I have to stop off at Kate's. We have to...figure out what the plan is for tonight. I'm hoping Lucas was right and that this is the last we have to deal with Nick.
EJ sighs, responding somewhat more naturally to this than his previous statement.
EJ: Yeah. Trust me, I know. Gonna try to make sure of that.
SAMI: Right? Ummm...why don't you call me when your meeting's done, okay?
EJ nods, walking over to Sami, and giving her a goodbye peck on the lips.
EJ: Absolutely. Let me know how the meeting with Kate goes, alright?
SAMI: Yeah. Will do. Love you.
EJ: Love you.
After a moment spent looking lovingly at each other, EJ heads out of the room. Sami listens carefully for EJ to close the door to the house, before slowly walking over to EJ's desk in the corner of the room.
Sami pulls out the tablet from the top drawer. Shifty-eyed, she turns it on, and begins to tap the screen.
SAMI: Alright, EJ. Let's see who this so-called "meeting" is with.
Sami tries to log in and is immediately successful.
SAMI: (sigh) EJ, you really need to be better at passwords if you're gonna be married to me.
Sami smiles, pleased with herself at getting access to EJ's tablet so quickly, before opening up the Calendar app.
After a moment's work, she pulls up today's schedule. Other than the Penthouse Grille party in the evening, there's nothing on his calendar for today.
SAMI: Aaaaand just as I thought. Nothing.
Sami sets the tablet down on the desk, sighing as she looks around the room, trying to figure out what EJ's up to.
SAMI: Alright, EJ. What are you not telling me?
Hope rests a hand on Nick's shoulder, as he grasps at his head, trying to calm the intense head pain he's experiencing, as he leans against the desk in Roman's office.
Nick begins to bring himself into check. He breathes deeply, while Hope looks on, deeply concerned for him.
NICK: I'm okay. I promise. Umm...Hope, do you have a glass of water or anything?
HOPE: Yeah! Yeah, one sec.
Hope races over to the water cooler in the corner of the room, and hastily pours Nick a cup, as Nick grabs a pill from his jacket pocket and quickly pops it in his mouth without Hope seeing it.
Hope returns with the glass of water, and Nick downs it and the pill quickly.
NICK: Thank you.
HOPE: Nick, are you sure you're okay? This...this isn't because of the light falling last night, is it?
Nick shakes his head quickly, trying to not upset his head any futher, as he tries to focus himself to talk to Hope.
NICK: No, no. This started before then. I'm okay, though. Um...did you...did you make any progress on that, by the way?
HOPE: Not really. We found a...drop of blood by the door of the elevator, but...haven't been able to tie it to anyone so far.
NICK: Hm...well, I can make a statement for you later if you want. I just...I wanna get this info I have to Roman about the people who were trying to sabotage the Titan servers.
Hope sits down next to Nick, as they both lean on the edge of Roman's desk.
HOPE: Yeah, that's fine. I'll look into it if you want. Do you...you think the light falling on the soundstage is connected to the Titan hack?
Nick shrugs, speaking unusually candidly to his cousin, without the dastardly pretense he usually carries himself with.
NICK: Pfft, I don't know. It's not like I've been making a lot of friends lately. It could be anybody, for any number of reasons.
HOPE: But you didn't see anything or anyone unusual in the studio at all?
HOPE: What about Jerome Grant? Did you see him at all?
Nick takes a moment to think it over, before slowly shaking his head.
NICK: No...no I haven't seen him since I ran into him with Abby at Salem U a few weeks ago. Like I said Hope, I didn't see anything, and I don't know that there's a connection between the light falling in the TV studio and the Titan hack.
HOPE: Well someone was out to get you, Nick. And you've become pretty powerful, pretty quickly. That usually creates a lot of enemies in a hurry, especially in this town.
NICK: No, you're right.
HOPE: Plus, I did watch Nicole's special last night, and you were about to drop some names that seemed extremely delicious to you. So, I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that the two are connected.
Nick nods, taking a moment to compose himself before answering Hope.
NICK: Yeah, you're right. I mean, I do know who the Titan hackers are, and I was going to expose them. Right there, on TV.
HOPE: That's why you're here now, isn't it? You know who they are.
Abe's voice cuts through, causing Nick and Hope to look toward the door of Roman's office, where Abe has just walked in.
ABE: Well that's good to hear. Because I want them caught by the end of tonight. And I think you, Nick, can help us make that happen.
Nick looks a bit confused, but smiles at Abe's determined statement.
Kate stands in the kitchenette of her loft, scooping yogurt into a bowl for herself, as Billie opens and walks through the front door to her mother's home. Kate barely looks up as her daughter enters, continuing to prep her breakfast.
KATE: Another good night with the good doctor?
Billie shuts the door to Kate's loft, giving her mother an annoyed look.
BILLIE: As a matter of fact, yes. Thank you.
Kate throws some banana slices on top of her yogourt, before pulling a spoon from the utensil drawer. She raises it as if it were a teacher's ruler, scolding Billie playfully.
KATE: I told you to be careful with Daniel, honey.
BILLIE: Mother....just because you've had your problems with Daniel doesn't mean I will.
KATE: If it were just me, that'd be one thing. But the only person he hasn't screwed in some form or fashion in this family has been Austin...well, and...wait, no, just Austin.
Kate shrugs, before picking up her bowl to eat her breakfast.
KATE: Okay, he didn't REALLY do anything to Phillip and he doesn't know Rex or Cassie, thank God, but other than that--
Billie becomes exasperated with Kate, cutting her off a second time.
BILLIE: Mother! Enough! I get it!
KATE: Well, I'm sorry but I don't see where I'm wrong here. And yes, I know I do this to you daily but I'm HOPING, maybe eventually I'll get through to you!
BILLIE: Well, that makes one of us, because I know I won't get through to you.
Kate downs a spoonful of her breakfast, before pointing her spoon once again Billie's way to help make her point.
KATE: Mm! You're right. You won't.
Billie rolls her eyes as she sits down on a stool on the other side of the kitchen bar, as Kate changes the subject abruptly.
KATE: So, what's on the agenda today? You going to the big gala at the Penthouse Grille tonight?
BILLIE: I will be, yeah. I'm hoping we can get this business with Sheryl, Jordan, and Nick finally finished tonight.
KATE: Oh, honey, don't worry. I know for a FACT we're gonna bust them before the night's done. We have them dead to rights!
Billie pauses a moment before responding, less confident than her mother.
BILLIE: I'm not so sure about that, honestly.
Kate looks back at Billie, a little confused.
KATE: What do you mean by that?
BILLIE: I mean we're going to have to come up with a plan, and fast to get them into our trap, or they're gonna slip through our fingers.
KATE: We'll get them. I have faith in you, and in Abe.
BILLIE: Well, let's hope so.
KATE: Want me to pick you up?
Billie is about to answer, when the doorbell rings. Getting up from the stool she's been sitting on, she heads for the door, still turning back to look at Kate.
BILLIE: No, it's fine. I'm going to the hospital to visit Theresa first, and Daniel's gonna drive me over.
Kate takes the last bite of her breakfast, before holding her spoon up, wagging it disapprovingly at Billie again.
KATE: More bad decisions.
BILLIE: Whatever, Mother.
Billie turns away from Kate, and slides open the door to the loft, revealing John at the other side. Billie is surprised to see him.
Gabi stands before the raging fire in the Kiriakis fireplace, holding the photos of her, Sami, and Kate trying to drown Nick in her hands. She throws the pictures in, one by one.
She exhales audibly, the relief visible in her face as the evidence that Nick held over her disappears before her eyes. She stops suddenly once she hits the photos of Abby and EJ together at Smith Island. She sighs again, holding the pictures in her hands.
GABI: Do I? Or don't I?
After a moment, Gabi silently makes her decision. She draws the photos close to her chest, and slowly returns those particular pictures back into the manila envelope that contained them.
She sighs again, nodding slowly.
GABI: It's the best insurance. Just in case EJ's playing both sides. Now I have some power.
Gabi places the envelope in her bag, before turning to head for the doorway, only to be stopped by the sound of Maggie and Rafe chatting as Maggie opens the door to the Kiriakis living room.
The sound startles Gabi, who hasn't quite got the pictures stuffed into her purse, and she quickly swings her bag behind her back, which Rafe spots immediately.
MAGGIE: Ahh...Gabi...Good morning! Rafe's here to see you.
Gabi smiles awkwardly, her arms trying desperately to hide her handbag from Rafe's view (unsuccessfully). Maggie seems equally baffled by Gabi's strong reaction to Rafe's arrival, and observes both of their reactions to each other.
GABI: Awesome! What...what did you want, Rafe?
RAFE: Gabi...you and I need to have a little chat.
Gabi tenses up, not sure what exactly is going on, as Rafe looks at her stoicly.