Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson
Eric walks out of the flower shop at Town Square, a huge bouquet of red roses in his arms, as he ponders his next stop. He strolls alongside the shops lining the town square before stopping before The Hourglass. Looking inside, he smiles before opening the door to step in.
The door creaks as it shuts behind him.
Jerome makes his way down the street in his rented van, transporting his belongings to his new home in Salem. He approaches his grandmother’s new house. Radio on, he overhears the news.
RADIO: Salem PD are on the lookout this hour for a suspect involved in a string of burglaries in West Salem. Suspect is said to be an African-American male—
Pulling into the driveway in his rented U-Haul, he turns the van off, pulling the keys out of the ignition, shaking his head.
JEROME: Always a black man. (sigh)
Opening the van door, he remembers to press the button to automatically unlock the back of the van. Walking around to the back, he pulls out one lighter box from on top, breezily slinging the box under his arm. Jerome shuts the back of the van before heading for the door.
Looking through his keys, he finds the key that Valerie told him would open the door. Awkwardly trying to balance the box and manoeuvre himself around to get the key in the lock, he nearly drops the box. Jerome finally gives up, and places the box on the ground, focusing his attention on unlocking the door to his new home.
The key doesn’t work.
Jerome’s arms drop to his side, frustrated, he curses in his head, as he pats his jacket, searching for his phone.
JEROME: Where the Hell…is my phone??
Jerome’s phone sits on Valerie’s desk in her new office at University Hospital. As she flips through the files on Roman Brady, she’s struck by something. Concerned, she flips back to the previous page, studying the page through her reading glasses.
VALERIE: Wait a minute…this file…there’s nothing in here from before in 1997…maybe it’s still in John’s file?
Valerie flips through to find John’s file. Opening that up, she takes a minute to search through his records before closing that file.
Valerie looks up, deep in thought.
VALERIE: Where on Earth is the rest of Roman’s file?
Liam walks quickly into the lobby at University Hospital. Looking around, he sees Marlena step off the elevator, and head for her office. Hanging back, he watches her intently.
She stops, then turns back towards the opposite hallway, stopping quickly at the nurses’ station.
MARLENA: Maxine, is Jennifer still in her office?
MAXINE: Yes, Dr. Evans, she’s in her office right now.
Marlena smiles her trademark warm smile as she heads back towards Jenn’s office.
MARLENA: Thank you.
As Marlena disappears down the hall, Liam smirks, and begins down the opposite hall, heading for Marlena’s office. Not far behind is Laura, still trying to keep out of sight from Liam. Maxine watches as Laura follows Liam at a distance. She furrows her brow as she tries to figure out what’s going on, but Laura’s eyes are trained on Liam, as she makes her way down the hall.
Around the corner, Liam looks around to make sure no one sees him. Sensing the coast is clear, he closes his eyes momentarily as he puts his hand on Marlena’s office door handle. Twisting it, the door opens and Liam breathes a sigh of relief as he enters, still checking to see if anyone’s looking.
As he steps inside and goes to shut the door, Laura turns the corner. Seeing the door shut, Laura looks on in fear for her friend’s safety. She doubles back to seek out Marlena.
At Titan HQ, Victor steps into Tyler’s office, an unhappy look on his face. Tyler turns around, surprised to see him.
TYLER: Victor! I thought you were working from home again today.
VICTOR: I was, but I had to go over some things quickly with you before the day was out, and it isn’t anything we can go over on the phone.
Tyler, sensing something serious is up, sets down the files he had in hand and sits down in his chair behind his desk.
TYLER: Alright. What’s the trouble?
VICTOR: John’s declared Brady dead. Says he doesn’t want to drag the matter out any longer when there’s so little chance of Brady being alive. And as much as I don’t want to believe that he’s really gone…I really don’t have much choice but to accept it.
Tyler looks on, mulling over Victor’s words. He nods gently as he responds.
TYLER: I’m sorry, Victor.
Victor doesn’t look up from the ground after Tyler speaks. He continues, still deeply in his own mind.
VICTOR: I have, as a result, room to appoint a new member to the Titan board.
TYLER: Do you have anyone in mind?
VICTOR: Not really. No one I particularly trust, anyway. Phillip’s removed himself from the board while he’s working for another company, and Daniel has no interest in the business.
TYLER: I see.
Victor looks up at Tyler suddenly, his gaze piercing through Tyler, almost causing Tyler to jump back a bit.
VICTOR: I was considering my wife.
VICTOR: Yes. I have set up arrangements so that my wife will have full ownership over the top floor of this property. She’ll be regenerating the space as The Penthouse Grille once again. I’ll need your sign-off, of course on that.
Tyler, still a bit off-kilter, almost intimidated by Victor, nods quickly to Victor’s request.
TYLER: Absolutely. No problem. I do have to...well, question your taking on your wife as a board member, I mean…what kind of business credentials does she have, really?
Victor looks at Tyler incredulously. He scoffs back at Tyler.
VICTOR: She owns three thriving restaurants across the city, and is about to reopen a fourth, all while also running a health spa. I don’t know, Tyler. You tell me. She goes by Maggie Horton in the professional world, perhaps you’ve heard of her.
Tyler’s eyes widen, surprised to hear the woman he’d been flirting with was Victor’s wife, and so accomplished.
Eric steps out from the parking lot outside Horton Town Square and locks his car remotely. He stands in the park just outside Town Square and smiles widely, a relaxed feeling he hasn’t felt in ages.
ERIC: Everything’s set. Now…the last step.
Eric pulls his phone out of his pocket and texts Nicole.
meet me @ Anderson park 535. dont b late, its important. Love, eric
Eric smiles as he hits send.
ERIC: And now, we wait.
Laura walks briskly back down the opposite hallway, in hot pursuit of Marlena, who’s just about to enter Jennifer’s office. Before Marlena has a chance to knock, Laura calls out to her.
Marlena turns quickly to see a panicked Laura.
LAURA: I really need you for a moment, it’s urgent! I think someone’s breaking into your office.
Marlena draws herself up, a worry rushing over her as she lets go of the handle of Jennifer’s door.
Inside Marlena’s office, Liam leaves the light off, but pulls a pocket flashlight from his pocket, attached to his key ring. Holding the keys so they don’t jingle, he walks over to Marlena’s desk.
He crouches down, and attempts to open the top drawer. It’s locked.
Noting that a couple are locked, he quickly adjusts his key ring to pull out a long pin-shaped device. Sliding the device into the lock, he manages to fix the lock to open the drawer. He begins to dig inside, while holding the flashlight above the drawer. He spots what he’s looking for.
Pulling the pad out, and sliding them quickly into his pocket, Liam quickly closes the drawers and gets up, heading quickly for the door.
As Liam heads for the door, Will makes his way down the hallway, approaching Marlena’s office door. As he puts his hand up to the handle of her office door, Laura and Marlena quickly approach, concerned looks on their faces as Marlena call out to him.
Will turns around fast, smiling widely as he spots his grandmother and Laura. His smile fades as he looks at their worried expressions.
WILL: Hey! I was just looking for you. Uh…you alright?
MARLENA: Yes. I…we’re fine. We just had a scare. Laura was…just telling me she thought someone had broken into my office. You…weren’t just in there looking for me, were you?
Laura looks on, realizing that Will is dressed almost exactly the same as Liam, and realizes she could easily have confused him for Liam. She sheepishly responds as she begins to second-guess herself.
LAURA: Uh…maybe I…I must have made a mistake. I…saw you in the hall, Will and had to…call Marlena over. I thought…well, it doesn’t matter. Uh…mm…hey, I bought Arianna an early Christmas gift. It’s…in my office if you wanted to come see.
Will smiles broadly, though still confused. He nods at Laura, while Marlena smiles.
WILL: Uhmm…sure! I have to get going in a minute though. Family…dinner tonight or something.
LAURA: Oh, I won’t keep you long.
MARLENA: I have to grab something from you anyway, so I’ll come along.
LAURA: Great! Let’s go…
Laura scurries away, as Marlena and Will look at each other with confusion.
After Marlena and Will walk away, Liam creaks the door open to Marlena’s office. Seeing them round the corner, and noting that coast is now clear, he slyly exits Marlena’s office, before heading casually back down the hall. He gets on his cell phone once again.
LIAM: (into phone) I got everything you need. I’ll be at the pier in ten.
Liam hangs up, rolls his eyes, and sighs, as he walks over to the elevator, hitting the down button and waiting for the elevator to arrive.
Hope drives the road, heading for the elementary school to pick up Ciara. As she drives, she’s in the middle of a call piped through the sound system in her car. It’s Rafe.
RAFE: (through the speakers) I’m just gonna put through the final papers on that case and we’re done, alright?
HOPE: Sounds good, Rafe. Um…Rafe, I have to meet with that…(sigh) Aiden Jennings tomorrow morning, can you…
Midsentence, Hope spots the infamous rental van parked outside a house she’s driving by. She becomes transfixed by it, nearly running herself off the road. Hope slows down slightly, as she changes her subject to Rafe.
RAFE: (through the speakers) Yeah.
HOPE: What was that description you gave me of the burglary suspect?
After a moment, with the sound of papers ruffling, Rafe finally answers.
RAFE: (through the speakers) Uhhhh…black man, 6 foot, driving a rental van. Possibly wearing an out of state college sweater—
Hope interjects before Rafe can even finish.
HOPE: …I think I just got him. Hold on.
RAFE: (through the speakers) What? …
Rafe’s next comments get cut off as Hope parks her car and quickly turns off the ignition. She steps out into the street, as Jerome walks back over the back of the van, placing the box he had planned on bringing into Valerie’s house back inside the van. He mutters to himself.
JEROME: I can’t believe I forgot my phone…
As Jerome shuts the back doors to the van, Hope appears behind the door, gun in hand, pointed at a stunned Jerome.
HOPE: Put your hands up! You’re under arrest!
Jerome, visibly angered, but knowing he shouldn’t say another word, raises his hands, palms facing Hope as he turns to face her, a resigned look on his face.