Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson
Jennifer and Liam laugh and chatter as they walk into the Horton living room, as JJ sits on the couch, snacking and watching TV.
JENNIFER: JJ! Hey, honey.
JJ turns toward Liam and Jennifer, greeting his mom and her boyfriend unenthusiastically.
JJ: Oh. Hey, guys.
JENNIFER: Listen, JJ, honey? Liam and I are just getting ready for a later dinner, so I'm gonna pop quickly in the shower.
JJ: Sure, Mom.
Jennifer turns to Liam for a moment.
JENNIFER: You don't mind if you wait for me a few minutes?
LIAM: Yeah! That's great. I uh...I had something I wanted to talk about with JJ, anyway, so...
Jennifer smiles warmly at Liam as she leans in to give him a quick peck on the lips before heading upstairs.
JENNIFER: Alright. See you in a few minutes.
LIAM: You bet, Jen.
Jennifer runs upstairs, as Liam walks toward the archway between the Horton living room and foyer. JJ tries to avoid engaging with Liam, instead focusing closely on his TV show. He can sense Liam's presence and is made increasingly uncomfortable, before Liam speaks.
LIAM: Hey, JJ.
JJ: Yeah. Hey Liam.
Liam saunters into the Horton living room casually, hands in his pockets as he moves toward the sofa, where JJ is.
LIAM: Look, I...I kinda feel like you and I we...we started off on the wrong foot.
JJ: You could say that.
Liam pauses a moment, looking over JJ's unchanging expression, before carrying on with his attempts to converse with him.
LIAM: I ah...I talked to your mom about you.
JJ continues to avoid Liam's gaze, staring instead straight ahead at the TV set.
JJ: Oh yeah.
LIAM: Yeah...I uh...(sigh) Look...JJ....
Liam steps over to sit beside JJ on the sofa, JJ still trying to avoid engaging, but upon Liam sitting down, JJ looks over, and locks eyes with his mom's mysterious beau.
LIAM: I know I've sorta...given off a very negative impression to you in the last few months and I...I didn't know really what I could do to change your mind.
JJ shrugs dispassionately, trying to turn his attentions back to the TV.
JJ: I dunno. You kinda freaked me out there a couple times but...I don't really have a bad impression of you.
Liam smiles warmly at JJ.
LIAM: That's good.
Liam reaches into his blazer pocket, and pulls out an envelope, handing it to JJ.
LIAM: Because I was hoping that I could change that impression into something really good.
JJ looks down at the envelope, then, confused, up at Liam. Liam meets JJ's eyes and nods, trying to prompt JJ to take the envelope.
Nick sits at his computer in the Countess W lab, he suddenly leans back in his chair, lurching back looking victorious. It shocks a focused Tyler, who looks over at Nick.
NICK: Got it!
TYLER: What? Did you get 'em?
NICK: And dropped them right in your lap.
Tyler walks over towards Nick, staring at his laptop seriously, trying to figure out what's happened.
TYLER: Alright, but what, or should I say, who...did you drop in my lap?
Nick turns to look up at Tyler, smugly satisfied.
NICK: One employee in marketing by the name of Sheryl Connors...except that's not exactly her real name. She's been trying to take down your systems...and your company for months. And tonight, she and her cronies attempted to launch a virus to take your systems out, just like they did this morning with the Salem City Hall servers.
Tyler looks at Nick, stoic and taking in all the information he's being given.
TYLER: But you...stopped them in time?
NICK: There's some damage but nothing that's unrecoverable. So...yes.
TYLER: Did you get enough info on them to make charges stick.
Nick gives his now-trademark smirk, savouring the moment.
NICK: Ohh yeah. And then some.
Sheryl looks down at her smoking laptop, stunned and amazed by the collosal meltdown of her computer. Her shock quickly fades into anger as she realizes what's happened.
SHERYL: I'll kill h...
Sheryl picks up her laptop suddenly, ready to toss it across the room, when she notices a bump just on the lip of the bottom side. Turning the unit around suddenly, as the heat is too much for her hands, she drops the computer back onto her desk, and sees the bug Billie planted on her unit.
She flashes back to the door of the elevator opening and seeing Billie standing there.
Jolted back to reality, she comes to the obvious conclusion.
Billie sits at her computer desk at Titan, flanked by her brother Lucas, and her mother, Kate. They all look on in awe as Billie exclaims suddenly.
BILLIE: They beat me.
LUCAS: Who did?
BILLIE: I have no idea...but someone got to them before we did...and now we...well...now we basically have nothing.
Kate's face sours instantly, standing up in frustration and begins pacing the room at her daughter's news.
KATE: DAMMIT. I can't believe that little tramp wins again.
BILLIE: Well...on the bright side, we did stop them from taking the entire company's secrets and flushing them down the drain on their way out.
KATE: That's cold comfort when the whole reason we did all this was to put Jordan Ridgeway and Sheryl Connors behind bars where they belong.
Billie looks up at her mother, a strange look in her eye.
BILLIE: Well...what if there's still a chance they do?
Kate stops, looking skeptically at Billie, as Lucas looks over at Billie, confused.
Noelle walks into Club TBD, where she looks around to see the crowd. She spies a seat at the bar, and walks casually over, before speaking to the woman sitting the next seat over.
NOELLE: Excuse me...I seem to have caught this place on a busy night...is this seat taken?
The woman turns around to face Noelle.
She looks at Noelle, sighing as she looks her up and down. She shakes her head.
NICOLE: No. It's free. Have a seat.
As Noelle lifts herself onto the stool, Nicole turns herself slightly toward Noelle.
NICOLE: Look, I'm...I'm sorry I snapped at you the last time we met...
Noelle pauses a moment before realizing Nicole's prompting her for her name.
NICOLE: Noelle! Yes! Sorry. I...look, I feel bad, I...I've had a really bad few weeks at work and...Eric and I...I don't have the best luck with men, and...Eric...he's the love of my life, and we were supposed to get married today.
Noelle looks at Nicole, nodding in understanding.
NOELLE: But the server at City Hall was down. Eric told us earlier.
Nicole laughs half-heartedly to herself before taking a drink of her martini. During that moment, Noelle quickly prompts to T to give her a martini of her own, as Nicole continues.
NICOLE: I just really want this stress to be over with.
NOELLE: Oh, I get it. More than you'll ever know.
Nicole looks back at Noelle, intrigued.
NICOLE: Oh yeah? You sound like you had a rough evening, yourself.
NOELLE: I did indeed. And I have one Victor Kiriakis to thank for it.
Nicole looks on, suddenly fascinated by their common adversary.
JJ stares at the envelope Liam's handed to him, as he sits on the sofa in the Horton living room. After a moment, he reaches for the envelope, as Jennifer emerges from upstairs.
JENNIFER: Liam, what's that?
JJ and Liam turn quickly around to see Jenn walking down the last of the stairs and heading toward the living room, wearing a simple dress and her hair still in a towel. Jennifer has a smile on her face as she approaches her boyfriend and her son.
LIAM: Oh this?
Liam points to the envelope he's just given JJ. He then turns to face JJ and smiles earnestly.
LIAM: This...well...see...when I said your mom and I we...talked about you...see...we talked about your dreams, JJ. How you wanted to go to Stanford, pursue a law degree. Well...that's expensive.
Jennifer looks at Liam, and back at JJ, trying to gauge the other's reaction. A smirk on her face as she wonders what Liam has up his sleeve. Meanwhile, JJ looks stunned by Liam's sudden shift in demeanour and tone towards him.
JJ: Yeah...it is...
LIAM: Your mom, she ah, she told me you'd have to take out student loans for this if you're accepted and that that's...put you off applying...I think...I hope this will make you reconsider.
JJ hesitates a moment before slowly opening the envelope. Inside, a cheque for $50,000. JJ's taken aback.
JJ: Wh...what?? What is this?
Liam points to the cheque and smiles at a confused JJ.
LIAM: Think of it as an investment in a great young mind.
JJ looks stunned, turning to a beaming Jennifer, who begins to tear up looking back at JJ, then back to a beaming Liam.
Tyler stands in the Countess W lab, staring seriously at a very self-satisfied Nick.
TYLER: So you're saying that you've got this Connors woman...but what about her cronies?
NICK: The cronies are a bit harder to crack, but...I think if I...work on a bit...I should be able to get them too.
Tyler finally cracks a smile at the end of it all.
TYLER: That's fantastic, then.
Tyler shakes Nick's hand firmly, a proud look on his face, as he turns to head for the door of the lab.
TYLER: Listen, I'll make sure you receive a commendation with the board for this, and I'll have security escort Ms. Connors out right now--
Nick interrupts him, stopping him in his tracks as he emphatically interjects.
NICK: Wait wait wait wait. No, stop. We can't just go in there and throw her out. We're gonna do this my way...and she'll never see it coming.
TYLER: What do you mean?
NICK: If you want what I've got here, you're going to have to agree to my terms, Mr. Houston.
Tyler looks disgusted at Nick, shouting back in protest.
TYLER: I beg your par--
NICK: ...This is NOT a negotiation, Mr. Houston. Let Sheryl go for tonight. She won't be going anywhere just yet. She's got too many loose ends to tie up in Salem first.
Sheryl hastily packs up her things from her office, including her computer and hard drive. She gets on her bluetooth and frantically calls Jerome as she grabs her jacket to leave.
Jerome stands in the Grant living room, holding the phone up to his ear, concerned.
JEROME: (into phone) Hey, Sheryl, what happened?
Struggling to put her jacket on as she races out, Sheryl speaks to Jerome.
SHERYL: (into phone) Someone caught us, and I'm pretty sure I know who. We need to meet NOW.
Jerome's eyes bug out, suddenly in crisis mode.
JEROME: (into phone) Woah woah woah, wait. No no. We are not meeting now, not if they know about you.
SHERYL: (into phone) Well, what else are we gonna do, Jerome?
JEROME: (into phone) Just chill, ok? Get your stuff out your hotel room, check out. I'll get you a room at a motel at the edge of town. We'll meet there. I'ma text you the address, ok?
SHERYL: (into phone) Fine, but make it quick. All hell's about to break loose.
Sheryl ends the call, and closes the door to her office, she sighs heavily, checking the hallways to make sure they're empty before heading out.
SHERYL: If it hasn't already.
Sheryl makes a beeline for the service stairwell, hoping the trip down eight floors will be faster and make her less liable of being caught.
Kate stands by Billie and Lucas in Billie's office, looking unsure.
KATE: What do you mean? Is there a chance we can still nab them?
Billie looks down at her computer, thoughtfully. She taps her desk as she thinks, before turning toward Kate.
BILLIE: Well...the bug still caught a lot. Enough that we can probably still get charges to stick...and whoever it was that DID stop her from taking the server out...they're probably going to play their hand very soon.
LUCAS: So what are you saying? We just have to wait and see what happens?
Billie turns toward Lucas, nodding slowly.
BILLIE: Pretty much.
Kate and Lucas look at each other, incredulous.