Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks & C. Nathaniel Richardson
Eric sits alone by the river, skipping stones into the river as he stares ahead intently. Deep in intense thought, he doesn't hear as Nicole approaches him carefully. As not to scare him, she simply takes her heels off and sits down with him. Eric finally stops to look and see Nicole sitting next to him before going back to looking out at the water.
Nicole hesitates before finally speaking up, speaking gently to not antagonize Eric any further.
NICOLE: You're not an easy man to find, you know.
ERIC: I hate to say it, Nicole but...that was kinda the goal.
NICOLE: I went to St. Luke's first thing and...they suggested coming out here, since you used to head out to the riverside whenever you were feeling lost.
ERIC: I'm amazed you didn't know that.
Nicole laughs half-heartedly.
NICOLE: I guess I was too focused on not...falling back in love with you to notice? Sounds corny, doesn't it?
Eric softens a bit at Nicole's words. He looks her way again, giving half a smile before he speaks, then returning to looking away at the water.
ERIC: Nah...I understand.
NICOLE: Well...I don't. What happened at the square that's got you so upset? You were fine before--
Eric tenses again, interrupting Nicole immediately.
ERIC: ...It's nothing. Just...(sigh) Marlena gave me some news and...
NICOLE: And? Come on, Eric, what is it? Is everything okay?
ERIC: Will and Sonny are getting married.
Nicole looks at Eric, confused by what he's saying until she suddenly clues in and reacts.
NICOLE: I don't...wait, Eric. What are you saying? Do you have a problem with Will and Sonny getting married?
Eric looks at Nicole, an upset and frustrated look on his face, matching Nicole's confused and disappointed look.
Will storms into his shared apartment, with Sonny following not far behind. Will appears to ignore him, as he walks into the bedroom, leaving Sonny in the living room. Will walks back out with blankets and a pillow, hastily piled together and throws them down on the sofa, his eyes laser-focused on Sonny. Sonny looks at Will with concern and points to the sofa.
SONNY: What, you're not gonna sleep out here tonight, are you?
Will folds his arms and keeps his eyes focused on Sonny, a cold anger in his eyes.
WILL: No. You are.
Will turns and walks back into the bedroom, and shouts out to Sonny before the door slams.
Sonny closes his eyes, wincing at the sound of the door slamming.
Gabi stands in the park with Hope. She stammers, trying to cover herself about her plan for Nick.
GABI: I...I meant I...I was so sure because he was...he was...he's been acting...
Hope motions to Gabi to spit it out, finally finishing Gabi's sentence for her.
HOPE: ...unusual? Like he had been before?
Gabi nods, looking up hesitantly at Hope.
HOPE: Well, the thing is, Gabi. I don't buy it. Any of it.
Gabi looks up, shocked by Hope's rebuttal.
HOPE: Gabi, I spent all afternoon with Nick. He seemed absolutely fine.
GABI: No, no no no no, you don't understand. I saw him taking something this morning, I was out with him last night, he was off, he was...
HOPE: Drunk, Gabi? Maybe he had a hangover and took an Aspirin. You know, people DO that sometimes.
GABI: No, Hope, you don't understand. You need to go back and check his bag again. I'm telling you he's got to be on something.
Hope shakes her head, silencing Gabi.
HOPE: I can't. I looked, there was nothing. Look, Gabi, I'm worried about Nick too. I'm worried he isn't making the progress I thought he was after this whole ordeal with you and Sonny and Will, but...I can't just go searching through people's stuff on a whim. If I do find something? Gabi, it wouldn't hold up in court. It sure as hell wouldn't help Nick.
Gabi looks pleadingly at Hope, petrified that her plan will fall through.
GABI: Hope, please!
HOPE: No. Gabi, I'm sorry. But until you can find me proof that something is up with Nick, I can't...and I won't go snooping again. I'll see you later.
Hope walks off back toward the town square, leaving Gabi behind, shaking with anger and disappointment.
GABI: Damn you, Nick. Damn you.
Billie steps into Club TBD, and, upon seeing Justin waving from one of the corner booths, smiles and heads over to him.
JUSTIN: Billie! Long time, no see.
Billie puts her bag down and sits down across from Justin at the table.
BILLIE: Ha ha. Glad to see you're still keeping your sense of humour.
JUSTIN: Well, we do what we can, even when we're the pariah of the family.
BILLIE: I'm sure. Victor must be really livid with you about the divestment deal with Titan TV.
Justin shrugs, clearly resigned to his fate.
JUSTIN: It is what it is. Victor couldn't hold onto both the station and the oil sands project. I just...forced his hand a little.
BILLIE: Well...I'm glad you did.
Justin looks to Billie, intrigued by her interest.
JUSTIN: Why's that? I mean...I know you voted in favour of divesting, but...I mean, you work with MadWorld, why do you care what happens to EnerNext?
Billie looks to Justin, knowing what direction he's taking this conversation, she stops herself and gives Justin a 'gotcha' smile.
BILLIE: I don't think you wanna get into that.
JUSTIN: Oh, but I'm SO fascinated. Do tell!
BILLIE: Let's just say that I want what's best for everyone at Titan. Now, let's get to why I asked you to meet me here.
Billie reaches down into her bag and pulls out an envelope, containing the restraining order Kim presented her with earlier.
JUSTIN: Is this business or...?
BILLIE: Personal. But...I'm pretty sure I know which lawyer my, uh...the other party in this whole...situation consulted, so...
JUSTIN: Say no more. So what's this about?
Billie hands Justin her copy of the restairaing order.
BILLIE: Well...obviously, since Brady and Theresa's accident...I've been visiting Theresa at the hospital for the last few days.
JUSTIN: Right. And that...from what I can see here...really displeased Kim.
BILLIE: That's...(sigh) putting it mildly. Justin, she hates that I have a relationship with her daughter. She gave some judge a...sob story about me harrassing her and her daughter and he bought it.
Justin looks up from the order and shakes his head slowly.
JUSTIN: I hate to tell you this, but a restraining order is very easy to put into effect.
Billie looks a bit disappointed at Justin. Sighing as she speaks, she responds.
BILLIE: And...not so easy to get lifted.
JUSTIN: Unfortunately. So...whatever issues you're having with Kim, you may just have to find a way to work around them, I'm sorry to say.
Billie nods, pondering over what Justin's said, gears turning in her mind.
Gabi unlocks the door to the apartment and sees Sonny watching TV on the couch alone, blankets covering him. She looks on, confused, as she speaks softly, trying not to wake Ari.
GABI: I...what are you doing out here?
Sonny looks up from the TV, a resigned, shamed look on his face.
SONNY: I'm uh...I'm kind of in the dog house right now.
Gabi looks confused as she turns on the light in the living room. Sonny squints with the sudden change in light.
GABI: What did YOU do to get thrown out of the bedroom.
SONNY:Ohhh nothing huge, just...lied to Will about where I was going and then tried to convince my Uncle Vic that he should rescind Will's job offer.
Gabi looks surprised and upset by Sonny's confession, nearly blurting out her surprise aloud before catching herself and returning to a soft voice, this time, agitated.
GABI: I...you...are you serious, Sonny?? What kind of stupid move is that?
SONNY: I know! I know...I should've just...kept my mouth shut.
GABI: You don't say. You know I was waiting for you guys to come around at the memorial service and you never showed. I was getting worried something was wrong. Obviously, I had good reason to worry.
SONNY: Yeah....and now Will is...so mad he's threatening to call off the engagement and...I...I just feel like a...an ass. So...yeah, sorry we couldn't meet you at the memorial.
Gabi gets up off the couch and walks over to the kitchen to grab a drink of water, as Sonny looks at the time and realizes how late it is.
SONNY: Oh yeah, speaking of which, that...that was...hours ago...where have you been, anyway?
Gabi nearly spits out the water as she drinks it, trying to come up with an answer for Sonny.
GABI: I, uh...I was catching up with Will's family. They...wanted to see Ari.
Sonny nods, a bit unconvinced, but willing to accept Gabi's answer.
SONNY: Makes sense.
Gabi walks back around to sit beside Sonny, concerned more for him than her own trouble, she puts a comforting hand on his knee.
GABI: So? What are you gonna do about you and Will? You think you'll work through this?
Sonny sighs looking down at the floor in contemplation, almost as though Gabi weren't even in the room.
SONNY: I'm not sure...I'm just not sure.
Will stands in the bedroom, staring intently out his window at the moon shining outside. He looks at the alarm clock beside his bed and sighs, knowing he won't be able to sleep, between the pressure of the new day and new job, and his pressures at home with Sonny, Gabi, and Nick, Will has a lot on his mind, as, saying nothing, he closes his eyes, as if to make a wish.
Eric stares up at the same night sky, by the river, Nicole by his side, upset by his reaction to the news of Sonny and Will's engagement.
NICOLE: I mean, you can't be against them getting married. I never took you for a bigot, Eric--
Eric interrupts Nicole, clearly irritated by her implicit accusation.
ERIC: ...I don't have a problem with them getting married. I mean...(sigh) It's complicated.
Nicole looks on, confused by Eric's statement, she responds more emphatically this time.
NICOLE: What's complicated about it, Eric? They love each other. They...they take care of that baby better than I've ever seen anyone care for a baby. There's...so much love in that home...that's the stuff marriages are made of...not that I'd know from experience or anything, but...
ERIC: But there's more to it than that. Nicole, I've spent years dedicated to a church that tells me that marriage is a sacred vow under God between a man and a woman. It's about creating children together, and having their love recognized by God under his laws...
Eric trails off at this point, clearly troubled by what he's saying.
ERIC: ...but I can't look at Sonny and Will and think that their love's any different. And how can I reconcile that with what my beliefs have taught me?
Nicole tries, unsuccessfully, to bring some levity to Eric's clearly troubled mind.
NICOLE: Well...it's not like you've tried stoning me to death for not being a virgin on my wedding day.
Eric looks up at Nicole, a wry smile on his face as Nicole chuckles and leans into Eric, playfully.
NICOLE: Come on, Eric. My point is, maybe it's time you stopped following the....silly little intricate rules of the Bible and just...followed the basic outline. I mean...come on, one day...down the road, I'd love to get married to you, and I know you won't let some...archaic rule about not divorcing stop you from marrying me, right?
Eric hesitates to answer, making Nicole nervous almost instantly. She looks back at Eric, very frantic, very fast.
Eric looks up at Nicole.
ERIC: That's the thing, Nicole. I don't think I can.
NIcole's face turns white as a sheet at Eric's revelation.