Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson
Sheryl runs frantically around her room at the Salem Inn, packing up the last of her toiletries, as her cell phone goes off.
Picking it up, she checks and sees that a message has appeared from Jerome.
Lakeview Motel, 1937 Highway 50. Booked under Sally Francis, meet u there
Sheryl takes a moment to read the text before putting the phone in her jacket pocket, and zipping up her suitcase, being sure she hasn't left anything behind.
SHERYL: Thank you, Jerome. Saving lives yet again.
Sheryl grabs her suitcase and runs out of the room, struggling with her bag. As she drops the bag to pull the handle out so she can roll the suitcase out, her ID falls out onto the floor. Sheryl, not noticing, carries on, closing the hotel room door behind her as she makes her escape.
Jerome, quickly walking down the stairs to his family home, is encountered by his grandmother, Valerie, who is just arriving home from the hospital. She looks surprised as she greets him.
VALERIE: Hey, Jerome!...Baby, where you going?
JEROME: Have to take care of something at Salem U.
Jerome quickly kisses his grandmother on the cheek as he grabs his jacket and heads for the door. Valerie turns around, befuddled.
VALERIE: I...he...hey! Weren't we supposed to go for dinner at the Brady Pub tonight?
JEROME: Uh....I don't know how late I'll be, Grandma. Look...why don't I text you when I'm done and we can meet up there, kay?
Jerome stops, having started to open the door, and very clearly in a hurry.
JEROME: Yeah, Grandma?
VALERIE: Don't be too long. I'd love to spend some time with you, we've both been really busy lately.
Jerome stops, and turns to look at his disappointed grandmother. He smiles sheepishly.
JEROME: You're right. I'm sorry. I'll be there as soon as I can.
Valerie looks on, smiling warmly at Jerome.
VALERIE: I love you.
JEROME: Love you too.
Jerome takes off out the door, leaving a frustrated Valerie behind.
Jordan lies in bed next to Rafe. As they lay together in Rafe's bedroom, Jordan wrapped in Rafe's arms, she looks, at last, content, her new engagement ring shining on her finger.
Jordan begins to dream, recalling Sheryl's ominous threat from earlier:
FLASHBACK TO EPISODE 105
Jordan stands in Sheryl's office, and looks down, arms still folded in discomfort as she tries to hold herself back. Sheryl looks on, standing behind her desk. Jordan sighs heavily, as she wordlessly listens to Sheryl’s emphatic words.
SHERYL: You can pretend like you have this great future with Rafe, Jordan, but we both know that once we launch that virus tonight, the ISA and the Salem PD are going to be onto us, and you and I will have to leave town and take on a new identity. There’s no way out Jordan. Even if you back out now.
Jordan's snapped out of her memory by the sound of her phone buzzing.
Trying to pick it up from the bedside table without waking Rafe, she reaches over to the table, and reads the name on the call:
Sighing heavily, she ponders answering the call.
Percy steps into the Titan Lab, excited for the news Nick was to have for him by evening.
PERCY: Greetings! ...Nicholas?
Percy, unsure whether Nick is even in the room, steps delicately into the lab, looking around, confused.
PERCY: Nicholas, I just received your text messages inviting me to come on down here...
Seeing a single desk lamp illuminated by Nick's still-open laptop, Percy slowly makes his way over towards it. Midway there, Percy's shoe crushes some glass from where Nick dropped the test tubes as he fell. The crunching sound startles Percy, as he looks down at the ground.
Looking down with a furrowed brow, Percy pivots the desk lamp slightly to catch a better light at the ground. Seeing more test tubes broken, Percy hastily walks over to one side of the room and flips on the lights, at which point, he sees Nick collapsed on the ground surrounded by the shattered test tubes.
He looks on stunned.
Jordan decides the cancel the call to Sheryl, then fumbles to turn her phone off, before laying it down.
Laying the phone back down before snuggling back into a sleeping Rafe, she sighs, thinking to herself.
JORDAN: (in her head) Sorry, Sheryl. You're on your own from now on.
Jordan shuts her eyes, and nods off, comfortable in the arms of her fiancé.
Sheryl stands in her new room at the Lakeview Motel, irritated as she pulls the cell phone from her ear after Jordan hung up on her.
SHERYL: Dammit. You stupid...(sigh)
Shortly thereafter, Jerome's car pulls up out front of her room. Not wanting to draw attention to herself, Sheryl walks over to the door, and quickly waves Jerome inside.
Once inside, Sheryl quickly closes and locks the door.
JEROME: Glad you made it.
SHERYL: Yeah, well, I had a hell of a time finding the place. The maps app needs to do a bit of updating with all the construction around that stupid oil field.
Sheryl paces the room, keeping an eye out the window for any unwelcome visitors.
JEROME: Well, if things go according to plan--
Sheryl snaps at Jerome, turning abruptly around to respond to Jerome.
SHERYL: Oh things are definitely not going to plan now.
JEROME: What do you mean?
SHERYL: I mean we're caught. They bugged my laptop, and they blew up my laptop before I could plant the virus.
Jerome looks on, very worried. He sighs, looking down away from Sheryl as he tries to help her figure out what to do next.
JEROME: Damn...okay, so...you got a good idea who planted it there?
SHERYL: Fairly certain it was Billie Reed. She's uh...Lucas' sister.
JEROME: Okay...and you can't think of anyone else who might be a suspect? Like that Nick dude who you were planning to set up as the fall guy for this?
Sheryl looks down, eventually shaking her head.
SHERYL: Nah...I mean (sigh) honestly, I don't know. She could be in cahoots with him but...Nick's a bit of a lone wolf. I checked him out pretty thoroughly and he only ever was working alone. From what I've gathered, he's alienated too many people in town to really have any allies at this rate.
JEROME: But you haven't spoken to him at all since before the virus was supposed to be planted.
SHERYL: No, I haven't. I wouldn't bother keeping him too closeby anyway. The little twerp wouldn't know if he was on foot or horseback.
Sheryl flashes a smirk at Jerome momentarily, before looking down more pensively. She continues her thought.
SHERYL: Besides, I honestly thought he was genuinely on our side with this. That's what made this whole set up so easy. Nick was gonna be working late at the lab, playing innocent, while Jordan, you and I planted the virus, and--
Jerome interrupts Sheryl, raising a point of his own.
JEROME: Speaking of Jordan...what's gonna happen there? I mean...if you're caught, I mean...you and Jordan are so tightly connected...it's only a matter of time before the cops come looking for both of you.
Sheryl laughs dismissively, shaking her head as she paces the room some more.
SHERYL: Try telling Jordan that. No, she's completely fixated on this fairytale life she's constructed in her mind with Rafe Hernandez. She's completely beyond seeing any sense about it.
JEROME: Well, what are you gonna do? She can't stay here, she's a liability.
SHERYL: Oh I know. That's the thing, though. She can't stay and we can't go anywhere without her or we're sunk too.
Sheryl stops, and stares out the window, resigned to a fate she didn't anticipate.
SHERYL: We've got to stay here, under the radar until we're able to get Jordan out of here...whether she likes it or not.
Jerome looks on, gravely concerned for Sheryl and Jordan's safety.
Julie, Maggie, Alex, and Will walk out of the archway leading into the new Penthouse Grille. They all are talking amongst themselves, still congratulatory over Julie being named manager by Maggie.
JULIE: Oh, thank you again, Maggie. You know, I know that it's gonna mean long hours and it'll probably put a bit of a crimp in my travel time with Doug, but...you know, honestly, I think it's about time we spent a bit more time here in Salem with the family.
MAGGIE: I agree.
The group laughs, as Julie turns to press the button for the elevator.
MAGGIE: Well, listen, we're going to finalize details this week, and then everything should be ready for the grand opening in a couple weeks. How's that sound?
JULIE: Wonderful. Thanks again, Maggie. For everything.
Julie takes Maggie's hands and holds them in hers. They look warmly at each other, before Maggie pulls Julie into a hug.
MAGGIE: Anything for family.
JULIE: Absolutely. And speaking of family, you keep me posted about how Victor's doing. I want him to make a speedy recovery.
MAGGIE: I will.
The elevator doors open, and Julie steps on, the rest of the group looking on.
JULIE: Good night.
ALEX: Night, Julie.
As the doors shut, Maggie turns to Alex and Will and smiles.
MAGGIE: Now...if you'll excuse me, boys. I still have menu items I'm going to have to finalize ingredient sources for. I'll be in my office.
ALEX: Alright, we'll see you later.
WILL: Thanks, Aunt Maggie.
Maggie hugs both Will and then Alex, before walking back into the still-under-construction restaurant, headed for her office, leaving Will and Alex alone.
Will turns away awkwardly, trying to avoid a private moment with Alex. Alex, meanwhile, turns toward Will, and, noticing Will's avoidance, calls out to him.
ALEX: Hey! Where you going?
Will plays it cool, and checks his watch as he talks.
WILL: Well, I gotta get home. I have a fiancé waiting, and I was supposed to be home about oh....two hours ago?
ALEX: Ahh...yeah. Sonny. Listen, I...I hope you two are in a better place than you were the night of the party at Uncle Vic's, I--
Will holds his hand up to stop Alex midsentence.
WILL: Sonny and I are fine. We worked things out, just like always.
Alex smiles, somewhat half-heartedly, as Will pushes the down button on the elevator himself.
ALEX: I'm glad to hear it.
WILL: And how's...Noelle, is it?
Alex tries to look at Will but the tension in the air between them makes it awkward. Alex shuffles a bit, looking away a lot as he tries to avoid answering Will's question.
ALEX: Yeah! She's...uh...well...she's fine. We had a...bit of an argument but...
WILL: Oh...I'm sorry to hear.
As the elevator door opens, Will smiles at Alex before stepping on. Will turns to face Alex, and smiles at him.
WILL: You coming?
Alex doesn't react for a moment, still deep in his own thoughts, before responding to Will by motioning his refusal.
ALEX: No! No, no. I uh...I gotta take care of some stuff at the office. You go ahead. I'll see you tomorrow.
WILL: Kay. Have a good night.
ALEX: Night, Will.
Will smiles as the elevator door closes. Once the door shuts, Will's face immediately drops in relief. He rests himself against the back wall of the elevator, and lets out a heavy sigh.
WILL: Well, Will? You did it. You made it through another day without cracking. (sigh) How much longer can you keep doing it, though?
On the other side of the elevator door, Alex turns back around, unsure of how he feels. He pulls out his cell phone, to text Noelle, initially, before seeing Will's name at the top of his "recent texts" list.
Nearly clicking Will's name instead, he finally taps on Noelle's name, and texts her:
omw home. u awake?
Alex sighs as looks down at his phone, trying to process the evening's events.
Percy kneels over a still-passed out Nick, shaking him to try to revive him.
PERCY: Nicholas! Wake up! Are you okay???
Nick struggles to revive himself, grunting as he starts to come to. Percy seems relieved when he does.
NICK: Ugh...uhhhh Percy...
PERCY: Yes, Nicholas, what can I do?
NICK: Per...Percy grab my pills, they're in my bag. I need two. My head.
Nick's world spins around him, the pain still pulsating in his head. The pressure unbearable.
Percy leaps into action, grabbing Nick's bag and rummaging through it. Pulling out the pills, Nick begins to lift himself up. Percy struggles to find an in-tact glass to give Nick water, but eventually does, as Nick rests on the ground, head still woozy.
PERCY: They're on their way, Nicholas.
Nick nods slowly, trying to catch his breath, as he lifts one hand up and studies it. Realizing his hands are bloodied, he looks at them, an exaggerated surprise in his eyes.
NICK: What happ--agh!
A sharp pain hits Nick, as Percy tries to feed Nick his pills. Nick hastily swallows the pills and grabs the water, spilling much of it on himself as he drinks up.
PERCY: Excellent, excellent. There we go, Nicholas. Now...how do you feel?
NICK: (gasping) like Hell. But....(pant) I'll be okay. Percy!
Percy, getting up from Nick's side, looks back and kneels back down.
PERCY: Nicholas...who did this to you?
Nick looks at Percy, confused for a moment, before smiling through his pain.
NICK: This? What? Heh heh heh oh this???
Nick holds his hands up to show the bloodied mess to Percy, as well as realizing he has a rather sizeable cut above his eyebrow.
NICK: Oh, that was...nothing.
PERCY: Well, it seems to me like someone's out to hurt you, and it wouldn't surprise me, under the circumstances.
NICK: No, no, Percy....you need to listen to me carefully...(gasp) You can't tell ANYONE, no cops, nobody here at Titan...no one at the TV station...nobody...can know about this...or anything we've been doing here, okay? If anyone asks, you say nothing, and you can't tell anyone anything if something happens to me, okay? You can't....you can't trust ANYONE, got it?
Percy looks at Nick, even more terrified. He nods quickly back at Nick.
PERCY: Absolutely, Nicholas.
NICK: I know...I know I look bad right now, but....you don't understand, now that things have gone down? You have to stay absolutely silent, no matter what. Or there'll be a target on all of our backs. Got it?
Percy draws himself up, petrified, and believing Nick's current state is the result of someone attacking him. He begins to shake a bit in terror at the situation at hand, his eyes never off Nick's intense gaze.