Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson
Hope stands in her office at the Salem PD, staring thoughtfully out the window. Rafe slowly opens the door. Observing Hope, he sighs to himself, as he stands in the doorway, holding a cup of coffee in his hand.
Never once looking away, barely even blinking, Hope doesn't notice as Rafe walks over to her, and hands her the cup. She jumps a bit, startled by Rafe. She looks down at the coffee cup and smiles as she takes it from Rafe.
RAFE: Figured you could use this.
RAFE: You alright? Mrs...what was it, Grant? She really got to you.
Hope looks down, then back out the window, not looking Rafe's way as she takes a sip of her coffee. She takes a second before replying to him.
HOPE: Was it that obvious?
Hope turns around to face Rafe, a slight smile on both their faces, as they attempt to relieve a bit of the tension from dealing with Valerie and Jerome. Rafe shrugs as he makes a bit of a joke.
RAFE: Enh, not really. Heh. But seriously, that Valerie woman really shook you up. You...obviously have met before?
Hope looks down, nodding slowly as she answers Rafe, though almost zoning out.
HOPE: Ohh yeah. My...nephew David was supposed to marry Valerie a looong long time ago.
RAFE: And...obviously that didn't work out so well.
HOPE: You could say that.
Rafe looks on with concern, as Hope stays brooding in her own head, as though Rafe wasn't even in the room.
RAFE: Look, I don't wanna pry here, but...you look really upset by this.
HOPE: Yeah, well...(sigh) besides all the personal history...there's something about this whole situation that...it's just not right.
Hope looks up, looking intensely at Rafe, who looks back in stunned confusion.
Nicole and Eric unlock the door to Nicole's unlit apartment, laughing in between kisses. Eric holds a bottle of champagne in his hand, and places it down on the kitchen counter, as Nicole quickly turns on the light.
NICOLE: Ahhh! I...I cannot believe this.
Nicole runs back over to Eric, wrapping her arms around him from behind, much to his surprise. Eric laughs as he loses his balance while trying to grab champagne glasses from the cabinet above.
ERIC: Woah! Hey, Miss soon-to-be-Mrs. Brady.
NICOLE: Mmm, I like the sound of that.
Eric turns around, champagne glasses now in hand as he puts one arm around Nicole. Guiding her around to his side, he grabs the bottle and squeezes Nicole gently.
ERIC: Well, you better get used to hearing it, because I can't wait to make you my wife.
Eric twists off the cork with a loud pop. The cork flies out of the bottle and smashes the lightbulb above them, rendering the apartment once again pitch black. Nicole and Eric duck momentarily to protect themselves from the shattering glass, before looking up in stunned silence.
NICOLE: Oh God.
ERIC: Well...at least the darkness is romantic.
NICOLE: Yyyyyeah, I was never a fan of making love on broken glass, though.
Nicole turns toward the cupboard, pulling out a big flashlight.
Nicole turns on the flashlight, startling Eric, who jumps back to protect his eyes from the bright light.
ERIC: ...AH! Hey!
NICOLE: I'm prepared for anything!
Nicole strides quickly back around, heading for the closet to find another bulb.
NICOLE: Don't move, I don't want you to step in the glass or anything.
ERIC: Yeah. Sure.
Eric looks on, sighing at the romantic, celebratory mood being gradually killed before his eyes.
Adrienne and Justin stand outside the Kiriakis Mansion, in the garden. Adrienne holds herself tightly, cold from the chilled winter air, as her husband drapes his jacket across her shoulders.
JUSTIN: You're shivering.
Adreinne waves dismissively at him.
ADRIENNE: I'm fine. I can handle it. Thank you. I just...I needed to breathe. You could cut the tension in that room with a knife.
JUSTIN: Don't I know it. You never explained yourself, why are you suddenly so against this wedding.
Adrienne steps in close to Justin, her voice gets softer as she explains herself. From inside, Will stands by the slightly-ajar door, straining to hear her.
ADRIENNE: I saw what was happening with Will and Sonny in there, Justin.
JUSTIN: And what was happening, exactly? Remember, I just got here.
Adrienne responds incredulously.
ADRIENNE: You didn't see it?? Justin, Will might as well have been on another planet, he was so completely...fixated on Alex.
JUSTIN: Well...Alex is an extremely attractive guy, I mean, it doesn't mean anything. Alex is with Noelle.
Adrienne rolls her eyes at what she views as her husband's naivete.
ADRIENNE: Oh please, Justin, I've told you a thousand times, Alex isn't with that girl for love. It's so obvious.
JUSTIN: You know, I don't exactly appreciate you making assumptions about my son's sexuality--
ADRIENNE: Why? Are you ashamed of Sonny now?
Justin looks down, stopping and sighing before answering as thoughtfully as he can. Careful not to say something he'll regret.
JUSTIN: You know that's not what I meant, Adrienne. I just--
ADRIENNE: ...You just still wish he were straight? I don't get it.
Justin explodes in anger, raising his voice, pointing back into the house emphatically, as though Sonny stood behind him.
JUSTIN: NO! I am so proud of our son, Adrienne. He has more strength and self-respect than most men twice his age. I would go to my death for that kid.
ADRIENNE: Then you need to stop him from making a huge mistake.
JUSTIN: He can decide that on his own, Adrienne.
Adrienne leans in close to Justin again, her one finger raised to make her point to Justin. She speaks softly but firmly.
ADRIENNE: If it isn't Alex, it'll be some other guy. He's Sami Brady's son in every. Single. Way.
Will leans back, the back of his head hits the wall behind him. He rests himself there, standing in stunned disbelief at what he's overheard. He breathes heavily before looking around for Sonny, then darting off.
Nicole kneels on the kitchen counter of her apartment, as she finishes screwing in the lightbulb that had previously burnt out. Eric looks on from behind the counter, silently spotting Nicole, trying to protect her if she loses her balance.
NICOLE: Aaaaalllmost got it. Aaaaaand THERE!
The light flickers on, causing Nicole to throw up her arms in victory.
NICOLE: HaHA! So? How many Nicoles DOES it take to change a lightbulb?
ERIC: I'd say one.
Nicole looks down, glaring at Eric for his dry 'wit'.
Nicole leans over to playfully swat Eric, but misses and loses her balance. She shrieks as she falls into Eric's arms.
After a moment of panic, Nicole and Eric stop for a second, looking into each other's eyes. After a long moment, they slowly lean in and kiss each other passionately. Their kiss leads to Nicole reaching around to wrap her arms around Eric's neck, as she draws him in closer.
Aroused by the intensity, Eric lifts Nicole onto the counter, as Nicole draws Eric close to her. She wraps her legs around his waist as he pulls open her blouse, kissing down her neck as Nicole closes her eyes, enjoying the sensation of every kiss.
Nicole takes a breath as Eric lifts his head, looking into Nicole's eyes. She smiles wryly, as she pulls his shirt off quickly, exposing his rippled body.
NICOLE: The bedroom?
Eric nods, a playful glint in his eye.
Eric effortlessly scoops Nicole up into his arms, her arms and legs still wrapped around his body. The kiss passionately as he carries her into her bedroom, the lights, newly changed, left on.
Noelle casually walks toward Victor, both of them standing in the Kiriakis living room alone. She looks at him smugly, as Victor tries to ignore her completely, looking the other way.
NOELLE: You know, this really is such a beautiful home. I could get used to it here.
Victor squints his eyes, trying to stop from spitting his drink out, as he chokes out an answer. He turns around, glaring at her.
VICTOR: You expect to live here? I was hoping you'd at least settle for a neighbouring zip code.
Noelle crosses her arms, a wry smile on her face. She begins to pace the room as she talks, contemplating as she speaks. Victor gets tense as she speaks.
NOELLE: Victor, you're a card. You know as well I do, though, that as long as Alex is staying here with you and Maggie...
Noelle turns around suddenly, staring down Victor.
NOELLE: ...I...will be right here with him. I mean, I am his wife, after all.
Victor grimaces, never once looking away from Noelle as they each try to intimidate the other.
VICTOR: Mm. Don't remind me.
Noelle laughs quietly as Victor turns back around, finishing his drink. She saunters around to the other side of Victor, grabbing a glass for her own drink as she picks up the caraffe and begins to pour herself a drink.
NOELLE: Oh come now, don't you want your nephew to be happy?
VICTOR: Yes. Which is exactly why I want him far away from you, and preferably the rest of your dysfunctional family to boot!
Noelle takes a sip from her drink, savouring the flavour, as she responds to Victor's repeated snipes, again with a smile and cool exterior.
NOELLE: Well, don't worry about my family. You've already done your part in tearing ours apart. And juding by how tonight's going...it looks like you're doing wonders on your own.
Victor looks menacingly at Noelle, who takes the opportunity to turn toward the hallway heading for the kitchen.
NOELLE: I best check on Maggie and the boys. Enjoy your wallowing!
Victor watches from his peripheral vision as Noelle casually walks out of the room. Once gone, he quickly finishes his drink, before slamming the glass down on the desk before him.
VICTOR: Damn that little...
Maggie turns around in the Kiriakis kitchen, holding some serving bowls she's pulled out from the pantry, and walks slowly toward the centre island, where Sonny leans against the counter, and Alex sits casually on a bench. They're relaxed, catching up, and helping bring a smile back to Maggie's face.
MAGGIE: It's so nice to be back in a kitchen again.
Alex, who's stealing some mini-profiterols from a bowl on the counter, looks over to Maggie, a wide smile on his face.
ALEX: You know how funny that sounds, knowing you own a restaurant?
Maggie and Sonny laugh, as Maggie smacks Alex's hand away as he reaches over to grab another profiterol.
MAGGIE: Restaurants! And you're gonna spoil your supper if you keep that up.
SONNY: And those abs, I might add.
Alex gives Sonny a smug, mocking look.
ALEX: Ahh you're just jealous because I got the good genes.
SONNY: Yeah, well, apparently modesty's a Johnson thing anyway.
ALEX: Ohhh! I know you didn't go there just now.
SONNY: I SO did!
As the boys laugh, Maggie leans over the table and grabs their hands, squeezing them tightly as she smiles, looking back and forth between the two of them.
MAGGIE: You know...can I just say...this was exactly what I needed?
SONNY: I'm glad to hear it, Maggie. I'm sorry about what's been happening between you and Uncle Vic.
Maggie smiles warmly at Sonny.
MAGGIE: Thanks, Sonny. I mean...I know it's not his fault. With everything that's happened. Titan being in so much trouble, and...Brady dying...I know it's been hard on him.
ALEX: But it's not your fault, either.
SONNY: Exactly. Don't be afraid to have some sort of...release.
Maggie nods, sighing in a sense of relief of having been able to talk this out with Alex and Sonny.
MAGGIE: I know. I was never very good at that. At least tonight, I've got the kitchen free for a bit.
SONNY: Yeah! I was amazed you got Chef to go home early.
Maggie gives a cute smile to Sonny.
MAGGIE: I have my ways.
As Maggie winks at the boys, everyone laughs, and Alex smiles, nodding in approval of his great aunt.
MAGGIE: But you know...honestly, it's nice having a kitchen again. I thought I'd love being waited on hand and foot but...I miss everyone coming down to my house and hanging out in my kitchen.
SONNY: Yeah! That used to be like...every lunch break. Me, Chad, Will, Gabi, Melanie...
MAGGIE: I really miss that. But...I wouldn't trade it for life with Victor for anything.
Alex pats Maggie's back gently, smiling approvingly, as Sonny takes a sip of his drink.
ALEX: Well...we wouldn't trade you for anything either. You make a great addition to this family.
Sonny holds up his drink, as Alex reaches over to grab his. Maggie, not having hers, laughs awkwardly, slightly embarrassed by the praised being given to her.
SONNY: Hear hear!
As Sonny and Alex toast, Will bursts into the room. He sees Sonny and Alex toast and senses the same tension as before.
ALEX: Hey, Will!
Will stops a moment before calling out to Sonny.
WILL: Hey! ...Uh...Sonny, can I...talk to you a second?
Sonny, sensing something's troubling Will, immediately walks over.
SONNY: Uh, sure. Everything alright?
WILL: Yeah, I just...I need to ask you something...in private.
Sonny and Will both look back into the room, with Sonny giving both Maggie and Alex a smile, while Will looks on, fixated on Alex, before catching himself and looking away.
WILL: I won't keep him long, I promise.
Maggie and Alex laugh quietly, as Sonny is dragged into the hall.
Once in the hall, Sonny looks around, a bit annoyed by Will's awkward behaviour, he whispers intensely at Will.
SONNY: What's wrong? You alright?
Will begins to panic as he grabs Sonny, holding him tightly for a moment.
WILL: I...I don't know.
Sonny reciprocates, holding Will tightly in his arms for the first time in days. He savours the moment, as much as he worries for Will.
SONNY: What is it? Tell me.
Will holds back tears as he pulls back from his embrace with Sonny. Looking intensely at his fiance, tears in his eyes, he answers.
WILL: It's your mom, Sonny.
Sonny looks on, worry and aggravation painted on his face.
Adrienne stands in the Kiriakis garden, facing away from a confused Justin. Justin stands, hands on hips, trying to sort out Adrienne's thought process.
JUSTIN: Do you seriously think that Will is going to marry our son, his first boyfriend, I might add, only to throw everything they've worked so hard for away just as things are starting to smooth out for them?
Adrienne laughs softly, as she turns around, shaking her head at her husband.
ADRIENNE: Justin, you cannot be that naive.
JUSTIN: And you can't possibly be that cynical. Do you hear yourself right now? Will is Sami's son, therefore he's inevitably going to turn to be a Samantha Gene Brady mini-me?
Adrienne sighs, holding in her feelings as Justin ravishes her for her remark.
ADRIENNE: That's not what I'm sayin--
JUSTIN: Then what ARE you saying, Adrienne? Because whatever it is, I don't think it's fair to Will, or to our son if you start trying to separate them again. All you're going to do is alienate them both. Is that what you really want?
ADRIENNE: No! Of course not! Justin, I just...there is something going on between Alex and Will, and so help me, if your son comes between Sonny and Will--
Justin, taken aback by Adrienne's slip, cuts her off, stunning her into silence with his interjection.
JUSTIN: My son? Adrienne, you helped raise Alex like he was your own...what are you saying?
Adrienne struggles to find an answer, hoping not to make matters worse. Justin looks on, an increasingly hurt and angered look in his eye.
Rafe looks confused at Hope. He looks on, attempting to figure out what she's referring to.
RAFE: I...I don't know what you mean...I mean...we went on the info we had on this guy...it turned out to be wrong. End of story.
Hope turns around, shaking her head in disagreement. She takes a second, sighing before responding to Rafe.
Rafe squints in confusion, now shaking his head.
RAFE: I don't get it.
HOPE: Oh, Rafe, dammit! I just...I have...concerns.
Hope turns around quickly, interrupting Rafe, a sudden intensity and anger in her voice.
HOPE: ...About Jerome! About why we arrested him when he was...so diametrically opposite to what the real thief looked like.
Rafe shrugs, trying to rationalize with Hope, but still uncomfortable.
RAFE: Well...these things happen all the time, you know that--
HOPE: No! This...it's more than that. I mean...
Hope looks down, turned back away from a confused Rafe. She looks at the ground, as if not even focused on anything in the room. She's intensely inside her own thoughts, and Rafe, her audience for her self-reflection.
HOPE: ...I mean...Rafe, that profile. How many profiles have we seen...black male...early 20s...
Hope turns back around, prepared to look at Rafe again.
HOPE: What...what if Jerome's right? What if he was only made a suspect in the first place...because he was black?
Rafe looks on, a conflicted look on his face, as he contemplates what Hope says to him.