Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks & C. Nathaniel Richardson
Sonny lies on the sofa in the living room of the apartment, fast asleep until the sound of the curtains being brusquely opened is heard. The bright morning light billowing into the room jolts Sonny out of his slumber, his eyes blinking wildly as he covers them with one arm, trying to adjust to the new light.
SONNY: Ugh! God! What the He...Oh my God.
Sonny stops, eyes suddenly wide open at the sight of the person standing in front of him. He looks on completely flabbergasted.
Laura steps into the living room of the Horton house, dressed in her housecoat, a lost look on her face, and deep in thought. Her daughter, Jennifer, steps into the living room, coming from the kitchen, with two cups of coffee in her hand, oblivious to her mother's distress at first.
JENNIFER: Good morning, Mom! I heard you stirring upstairs so I got an extra cup of coffee ready for you...
Jennifer looks over as she puts the coffee down on the table in the living room. She stops suddenly and looks with concern at her mother.
JENNIFER: Mom, you look awful, Are you okay?
Laura tries to allay Jennifer's worries, as she tries to rub the sleep from her eyes and stretches her arms and back while she talks.
LAURA: Yes, Honey. I'm fine. I just...I didn't sleep very well last night, that's all.
JENNIFER: (sigh) You're worried about Abigail too, hm?
LAURA: You could say that.
Laura walks over to the other side of the sofa and sits down beside Jenn. They both begin to sip their coffee as they talk.
JENNIFER: I just...I worry that she's in over her head, working for DiMera like this, it's...it just seems so dangerous, Mom.
Laura nods in agreement, putting her coffee cup down as she speaks.
LAURA: I just hope this trip doesn't drag out too long. Quite honestly, Jennifer, the longer she stays in Italy, the more worried I am for her safety.
Jennifer looks at her mom, surprised by her alarmism.
JENNIFER: Mom, what are you saying? Do you know something you're not telling me?
Laura looks up at Jenn, her face looking a bit surprised but still painted with the fatigue of worry.
Sami walks into the DiMera living room, fully dressed, and ready for another day’s work. She smiles as she spies EJ turning toward her, also dressed for the day.
SAMI: As ready as I'm gonna be. Did you get everything set up?
EJ smiles as he hands Sami his tablet.
EJ: We can make the announcement by this evening. Should be finalized by noon.
Sami beams as she reads the tablet. She looks up at EJ, but hesitates to hug him. Her smiles drops off a bit, as the tension persists between them.
SAMI: You are a miracle worker.
EJ: Only when I'm properly motivated.
Sami looks down a moment, trying to contain herself, but EJ, sensing Sami's guard starting to finally come down, touches her chin, prompting Sami to look back up at EJ. She touches his hand to pull away, but stops herself from gripping his hand. They both pull back from each other, as Sami breathes in deeply and speaks seriously.
SAMI: I, uh...I asked Laura Horton if....if we could, uh...do a...umm...a group session together. The three of us.
EJ tries to interject but Sami interrupts, anticipating EJ's objection.
EJ: Samantha, I don't--
SAMI: ...EJ, we need to do this. Do it for me. If you want this marriage to...hold together or survive in any way...we need to do this. Please.
EJ sighs heavily, looking through Sami as he thinks over her request.
Nick bursts into Nicole's office at what is, for now, Titan TV. Nicole is visibly displeased to see Nick, and immediately turns back to her computer pretending to be hard at work.
NICK: Knock, knock.
NICOLE: And here I thought I was gonna have a GOOD morning.
NICK: Ohh, come on now, Nicole. This is easily the low point of your day.
Nicole shoots a glare at Nick before returning to her computer monitor.
NICOLE: Or a bad omen.
Nick sits down opposite Nicole at her desk, undisturbed by her ignoring him. He leans in, a sleazy smile on his face the whole time, enjoying the repartee.
NICK: Life's what you make it. Especially now that you're free from your...suffocating ex-employer. No?
NICOLE: Oh please. Give yourself some credit, Nick. You've managed to somehow be far more suffocating than even being MARRIED to Victor could ever be!
NICK: Flattery will get you everywhere. Come on, you've gotta be at least...somewhat happy with this. Now we can get down to the business we came here to do, right?
Nicole finally breaks her laser-focus with her computer monitor and glares Nick's way. She turns to face him, leaning over her desk, almost hissing her response to him.
NICOLE: What part of this don't you understand, Nick? I don't want anything to do with you or your sleazy plans. Is that clear enough for you or do I have to draw you a diagram?
NICK: I think I hit a nerve. I think I need to remind you of something, Nicole. I hold all the cards here. So I'd suggest dialing that temper of yours back before your little secret ends up the first story you read on the 6 o'clock news.
Nicole rolls her eyes, looking annoyed, but knowing Nick has her number. She shakes her head at him, astounded by his audacity.
Laura turns away from Jenn as they sit on the sofa in the Horton living room. She shakes her head.
LAURA: No, no. Darling, I don't know anything more than you do.
JENN: Well, then I think we need to take a step back. I mean, I know...I'm as worried about her being in Italy working for DiMera as you are, but sitting here...stewing about it all the time is...it's only going to stress us all out, and we know that's not what you need.
Laura gets tense as Jennifer alludes to her mental health. She turns to Jenn with a slight agitation.
LAURA: Don't start with that, Jennifer Rose. I am entitled to show concern for my granddaughter. I just can't...I'm getting worried about how close Abigail is getting to the DiMeras and for her own safety, I think that...well...maybe we should convince her to quit once she gets home. I think it would do her a world of good.
Jenn looks over to Laura, thinking over her idea, shaking her head in agreement.
EJ sighs as he steps away, turning towards the doorway to the garden. He finally speaks up to respond to Sami.
EJ: Samantha, I don't know that that's such a good idea.
SAMI: I know, it's...not exactly what you wanted. But...but it's a good first step, you know? Get all our...awful past out on the table, maybe work out what makes our relationship so...you know...volatile.
EJ: (sigh) I just...I don't like the idea of...pathologizing our problems like this, it seems...
SAMI: EJ, this is for me...and for...Johnny.
EJ turns around, surprised.
EJ: Wait, you're not telling me that Johnny's become affected by everything between us.
Sami shrugs, defeatedly.
SAMI: Are you surprised? He was always...super aware of everything that happens between us. He's a really sensitive kid, EJ.
EJ: Yes, but...to this extent?
Sami sighs, dreading telling EJ the truth of the situation. She finally speaks up.
SAMI: That's not all. He, uh...I've been having trouble when I...
EJ: What? What is it?
Sami stammers and puts her arms up a moment before walking towards the garden doors herself, hoping that focusing on something other than EJ will help her speak.
SAMI: I...uh...I was out...in the garden. Few weeks ago, you know. Just...after our fight. Wanted to (sigh) clear my mind.
Sami turns around to face EJ, who looks on, listening intently, seeing the pain Sami's in, and for the first time, seeing her pain beyond his own suffering. He tears up a bit as he listens to Sami speak.
SAMI: Johnny ran out to see what I was doing...
Sami pauses, looking down. She takes a moment before starting to tear up herself.
SAMI: He hugged me. And I couldn't....I couldn't stand the touch of him. I wanted him...away from me. All I could think about was...you. That night, making me...service you so that Lucas could live. I...
Sami interrupts EJ, increasingly agitated as she recalls the situation.
SAMI: I thought...I was over it. I thought I'd moved on. That...that we were finally past it, but...but I can't do it, EJ. I can't. You...all the things you have done to me, and all the times I've had to fight back.
EJ:Samantha. I love you. And I will spend every...single day of my life...from here on out, making this up to you.
Sami cools down again, fighting her anger with every muscle in her body. She breathes in deeply before speaking again.
SAMI: EJ. If you want to make it up to me...the first step is to come with me to see Laura.
EJ looks down, seriously contemplating Sami's point.
Will turns around from opening the curtains. Fully dressed in a smart, tailored business suit, he smiles with a hint of smugness as he looks down at a half-asleep Sonny.
WILL: Good morning.
Sonny looks Will up and down, awestruck. He finally croaks out a response.
SONNY: I...you look like...a whole new person.
Will raises his eyebrow and smirks at Sonny, in a bit of a pose.
WILL: Amazing what a suit and a shave can do, hm?
SONNY: Yyyyeah. Wow...you look amazing, Will.
WILL: Well, you'll have all kinds of time to ogle me later. I need to get to work.
Will grabs his laptop bag. He smiles at Sonny as he walks over to the door. Sonny calls out to him to stop him.
Will stops and turns around.
SONNY: I...did you feed Ari this morning?
WILL: Oh! Yeah, it's all taken care of, Sonny. Ah, look. Just because...well, you know...how things are right now, I think we should probably stay in separate rooms again tonight. You know? Oh, but if you had a rough sleep, you can definitely sleep in the bedroom while I'm at work.
Will flashes a [!@#$%^&*]-eating grin Sonny's way, while Sonny looks on, brow furrowed, clearly hurt by Will's coldness.
Will laughs, continuing his chipper charade for Sonny.
WILL: Sonny, come on, I'm gonna be late for work.
SONNY: Aren't you forgetting something?
Will looks himself over, feigning ignorance.
WILL: Mmm...got my bag, got my laptop, did my teeth, deodorant...mmmmmmnope!
Sonny sighs audibly, slumping down on the couch.
SONNY: Will, come on, let's talk about this.
WILL: I wish I could, but I gotta go. Bye!
Will struts out the door and shuts it as Sonny calls out, trying to object.
SONNY: Will, come on, I--
As the door closes, Sonny turns away, upset by Will's lingering anger.
SONNY: ...wanted to talk.
Outside the apartment door, Will smiles and adjusts his posture.
WILL: Alright, Sonny. You don't think I can hack this job...time to show you what I can do.
Will walks off, pulling out every ounce of confidence he can muster as he heads off towards his car.