Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson
Alex comes down the steps of the Kiriakis mansion, adjusting his tie as he prepares for work. At the bottom of the steps, he turns to enter the living room, finding Justin there, as he ends a call on his cell phone.
JUSTIN: (into phone) Yeah, thanks. I'll be there.
Hanging up, Justin turns to face Alex.
JUSTIN: Alex! Good morning!
ALEX: Hey, Dad. I've uh...I've got some news.
JUSTIN: Yeah, so do I. Uh...you want a cup of coffee before you head out?
Alex walks into the living room and sits down on the sofa, as Justin steps over to the caraffe placed on a silver tray in the corner.
ALEX: Yeah, sure. Thanks.
Justin pours Alex a cup, as well as one for himself, and hands one over to his son. He then sits down in the easy chair next to Alex.
ALEX: So uh...what's your news?
JUSTIN: Well...it looks like we've got a hell of a day ahead of us...someone tried to break into the Titan server last night, someone who was trying to sabotage the EnerNext project.
Alex looks up at his dad, surprised and concerned.
Jerome walks back into the living room from the kitchen at the Grant house, finding Valerie sitting in her living room, finishing up her interview with Crystal Clarke, the nurse she's looking to hire at University Hospital. She makes a final note on her notepad, before looking up at the screen.
VALERIE: Alright, I think that's everything I need. Listen, Crystal, you've really impressed me, so...I can't guarantee anything, but there's a very good chance you'll be coming on board with us at University Hospital.
CRYSTAL: (through the computer) Oh that's great, thank you so much!
VALERIE: Now, I have to check your references, but either way, I'll let you know by this afternoon if you have the job or not, okay?
Jerome stands back, out of his grandmother's sight, listening in on the end of the interview. As he does, he looks toward the coat rack by the door, and quietly as possible, makes his way over to it.
Jerome smiles widely as he realizes his plan's coming together nicely. He leans into Valerie's coat pocket, and pulls out her hospital key card, slyly placing it in his own pocket, as Valerie finishes up her interview, oblivious to Jerome's theft.
CRYSTAL: (through the computer) I can't wait. Thanks again, Dr. Grant.
VALERIE: It's no trouble at all, Crystal. I'll speak to you soon.
Valerie shuts her computer and Jerome comes into the living room about then. Valerie looks up, and smiles.
VALERIE: Oh hi, Baby.
JEROME: Hey Grandma!
VALERIE: Did you get yourself a cup of coffee from the kitchen?
JEROME: Yeah! Yeah I did. Hey...uh...how did the interview go?
VALERIE: Oh, extremely well. I'm absolutely going to be hiring her. I just...you know, I can't say it straight out or else I can get into all kinds of trouble.
Jerome hangs back, as Valerie gets up from her seat on the couch, and picks up her laptop from the table, putting it in her laptop bag.
JEROME: So how soon will you have her come to Salem, then?
VALERIE: Well...if everything works out right...I'm hoping we can have her up here by the end of this week.
Jerome nods, trying to hide a smile as he collects his information for Sheryl's plan.
At the office of the Justice of the Peace, Eric, Nicole, and Daniel wait with the Justice of the Peace for Chloe's arrival. As they mill about, chatting excitedly, the door opens. Chloe pokes her head in and smiles, calling out to the group in a singsong voice.
CHLOE: I'm heeeere!
Nicole screams in excitement as she runs over to give her best friend a hug.
NICOLE: Ohhhh I'm so glad you could make it.
CHLOE: Ohhh I wouldn't miss this for the world.
As they pull out of their hug, they hold each other's hands and smile at each other.
CHLOE: You have no idea how happy I am for both of you. You deserve this, Nicole.
NICOLE: Thank you.
Nicole turns toward everyone else, a big, glowing smile on her face.
NICOLE: Well, I guess we should get started.
Nicole steps toward Eric, and the Justice of the Peace, while Daniel and Chloe stand behind them, as Eric takes Nicole's hand in hers, and looks deeply into her eyes, as they begin the ceremony.
Sami and Marlena sit in traffic, Sami anxiously trying to find a way to escape the endless traffic jam she finds herself in.
MARLENA: Do you know when they were planning to start the ceremony?
SAMI: No idea. Nick just said they were headed there now, so I don't think we have much time.
MARLENA: Oh God. What is Eric THINKING?
SAMI: Oh come on, you know Nicole's his achilles heel, Mom. She's suckered him in once before.
MARLENA: You're right...I just hope we aren't already too late.
Marlena looks out the window and sees the next exit clearing up ahead. She frantically points toward it to get Sami's attention.
MARLENA: Sami! Take the next exit, right there. Quick!
SAMI: I'm on it!
Sami quickly puts her signal on, turning out into the next lane to make their way off the crowded highway.
Gabi and Will stand in their living room, looking down at the gun that EJ has handed Gabi for protection. Will sighs as he slowly looks up at Gabi.
WILL: I hate to say this but...EJ was right to give you this.
GABI: You won't hear any argument from me.
Gabi starts to walk away toward the kitchen area to put on a pot of coffee. Will watches her walk off, surprised by her appearance of nonchalance.
WILL: You don't seem the least bit fazed by this.
Gabi stops, as she grabs the caraffe from the coffee maker. She looks at Will and shrugs.
GABI: Will, I'm doing what I have to do to protect all of us.
Will looks on at Gabi, incredulous.
WILL: You don't think this is just a bit...extreme? Gabi, this should be such a red flag to you of how far this whole situation has gone. Don't you see how deep you've got yourself involved in all this?
Gabi runs the water, filling up the caraffe, before turning and placing the caraffe down on the countertop, exasperated.
GABI: Don't you think I know that? Don't you think I've replayed this over and over and over in my mind a million times? I'm terrified, Will. I'm fighting for my life, and your life, and Sonny's life...but most important is that little girl over there.
Gabi points toward Ari sitting in her crib, Will looks over at his daughter momentarily, a mix of love and worry in his eyes, as Gabi continues, growing increasingly emotional, before starting to tear up.
GABI: I am fighting to make sure that Arianna doesn't have to live another day with the threat of that sick bastard hanging over all our heads. I want that little girl to grow up with her family around her. And I am running out of ways to do that. And I am scared, Will. I am so scared.
Will looks back at Gabi, realizing how terrified shs really is for the first time, and responds softly.
WILL: You don't have to be scared, Gabi. We're all here for you--
Gabi snaps, cutting Will off as she becomes more and more emotional.
GABI: YOU CAN'T GUARANTEE THAT, WILL! Not if we don't do something to stop Nick. And fast. Because I will not let my daughter lose her parents, or her grandparents because of that sleaze. EVER.
Will stares at an almost-crazed Gabi, both of them deeply worried and deeply upset by their circumstance. Will walks over to an emotional Gabi and gives her a hug, as Gabi begins to sob on his shoulder.
Alex looks at his father, totally stunned by the news he's just heard.
ALEX: I'm sorry, what?
JUSTIN: The um...the same people that hacked the City Hall server yesterday that was in the news? They tried to break into Titan's servers last night, and corrupt all the files associated with the EnerNext oil sands project, including all your promotional work you've been working on with Will.
ALEX: Oh my God.
Justin holds up a hand, hoping to stop Alex from freaking out.
JUSTIN: Now, hold on. Before you panic, we stopped them in time, but you have to know, it's someone in the graphic design department that's responsible.
ALEX: That means they're under my watch.
Justin nods, uncomfortable sharing the news with his son.
JUSTIN: Yeah. Now, Tyler may have something to say about that. Umm, for now the press doesn't know, but they want to hold an emergency board meeting about it later today, and...hopefully, we can get some of this sorted out.
Alex looks down, away from Justin's gaze. He tries to soak in all the information, momentarily holding his head in his hands.
ALEX: God. When it rains, it pours, doesn't it?
JUSTIN: You can say that again.
Alex gets up from his seat and begins to pace the room, Justin looks on, trying to reassure him.
JUSTIN: Listen, I don't think anything grave is going to happen where your department is concerned. I just want to give you the head's up. Keep quiet if anyone calls or any press get wind of it. We need to keep this out of the press at all costs. There's way too much riding on getting this project off the ground.
ALEX: I know, Dad. Don't worry. (sigh) But...that's not even the biggest problem we've got right now.
Justin looks over at Alex, confused.
JUSTIN: What do you mean?
Alex pulls his tablet out from his briefcase, and, after pressing a few spots on the screen, hands it over to Justin.
ALEX: Mom's decided to follow in Harper's footsteps.
Justin studies the electronic edition of the Salem Spectator for a moment, before looking up at his son, surprised by the headline.
Sheryl steps out of the bathroom, her hair wrapped in a towel, and wearing a matching white dressing gown. She hears a heavy knock on the door and quickly makes her way over to the front door of the motel room, checking to see who it is through the peephole. Seeing that it's Jerome, she quickly lets him in, hoping no one sees him.
SHERYL: Get in, get in, get in.
Closing the door behind her, she looks at Jerome expectantly, as Jerome takes off the hat he wore to disguise himself, and reaches into his pocket.
SHERYL: So...what did we get?
Jerome pulls a USB stick from his pocket, and hands it to Sheryl.
JEROME: Everything you need to become Crystal Clarke, RN.
Sheryl cocks an eyebrow, impressed by what Jerome has managed to do.
Sami pulls up to the City Hall, and quickly puts her car in Park and turns the car off.
SAMI: Okay. We're here!
MARLENA: Now, let's just hope we get in there before it's too late.
SAMI: From your mouth to God's ear, Mom.
Ripping the keys from the ignition, she and Marlena, make a made dash inside, hoping to stop the wedding in time.
Justice of the Peace Watkins stands before a beaming Eric and Nicole, as they stand before him, holding each other's hands.
JOP WATKINS: Well, good morning, and I am pleased to stand before you today, to join Nicole, and Eric, in matrimony.
Running up to the front desk, Sami waves frantically, trying to get the attention of the front desk clerk.
DESK CLERK: Can I help you ladies?
MARLENA: Yes, I'm Dr. Marlena Evans, and I--
The desk clerk lights up, recognizing Marlena immediately.
DESK CLERK: Oh my GOSH! Dr. Evans! I remember you from when you used to have that radio show on years ago! Never thought I'd see the day...
Marlena tries to cut her off, impatiently trying to move things along without being rude.
MARLENA: Yes, that was...years ago, listen, my son is getting married today, and we need to know which room they're in. Can you help me and my daughter? We're very late.
The desk clerk smiles, ever-so-casually getting up from her seat, and smiling warmly at Marlena.
DESK CLERK: Oh, for you? Anything, Dr. Evans.
MARLENA: Thank you. I don't mean to be short but we're very late, and I don't want to miss the big moment, so...if you could.
The desk clerk sits herself slowly down at the computer, nodding happily.
DESK CLERK: No trouble at all, Dr. Evans.
MARLENA: Thanks again.
Much to Marlena's chagrin, the desk clerk continues to prattle on as she slowly starts to look up the room for the wedding.
DESK CLERK: You know, you hear all these things about what's happened to you in the years since the show ended, and I think it's just such a shame, all these ridiculous rumours that swirl around, them saying you killed all those people but...really...kidnapped them and...I can't even keep track! (laughs) People really need to stop with all this fake news, you know?
Marlena resists rolling her eyes, as Sami gives Marlena a look of pure irritation.
JOP WATKINS: If anyone sees just cause why these two should not be joined, let them speak now, or forever hold their peace.
After a moment of silence in the room, Nicole quietly laughs, thrilled that the ceremony can go on without objection.
JOP WATKINS: In that case...Eric Brady, do you take Nicole Walker to be your wife?
Eric smiles warmly at Nicole, squeezing her hands gently, as he answers softly.
ERIC: I do.
The desk clerk clicks on a tab on her computer screen, almost too deliberately, before turning toward Marlena and Sami.
DESK CLERK: What did you say your son's name was, Dr. Evans?
MARLENA: Ah, Eric Brady...he's to be married to a Nicole Walker.
DESK CLERK: Alright...
The desk clerk hits "search" on her database window, and the computer begins to work.
After a tense moment, the desk clerk looks back at Marlena and Sami and smiles, slightly apologetically.
DESK CLERK: I don't know if you heard, but the servers were down here yesterday, so it's taking a while for the system to get back into the groove of things. (laughs) Oh, you know technology!
Sami and Marlena smile awkwardly, as Sami responds this time.
SAMI: Oh, do I ever.
JOP WATKINS: Do you, Nicole Walker, take this man, Eric Brady, to be your husband?
Nicole, without a moment's hesitation, excitedly answers, nearly bouncing as she answers.
NICOLE: I do!
Everyone laughs, as Nicole continues to jiggle with girlish excitement.
A moment passes, as Sami cracks her knuckles, unsure whether this relieves any tension, or if she's winding up to punch the desk clerk. Finally, the results come in.
DESK CLERK: Here we go!
Sami and Marlena snap back to the desk, staring attentively, awaiting their answer.
MARLENA: Yes, which room is it?
DESK CLERK: Ooo! You better hurry, it's happening now. It's in Room 341. It's on the third floor, three doors down on your right...
MARLENA: Thank you!
Marlena and Sami take off like a shot for the elevator. The desk clerk barely having time to finish her thought. She looks on, as both Sami and Marlena disappear around the corner.
The desk clerk shouts out to them, while waving.
DESK CLERK: Good luck, Dr. Evans!
The desk clerk sits back down in her seat, her expression immediately changing to one of irritation as she does.
DESK CLERK: Damn society folks in this town, always in such a hurry they forget their manners.
Eric places the wedding ring on Nicole's finger. She beams as she looks at the beautiful silver wedding band.
ERIC: I promise, when we do this properly with the family, I'll have something a little bit more...formal prepared (laughs) but for now....just know that I love you, and I am so grateful that I've been given a second chance with you. I don't know what I'd do without you, Nicole.
Nicole begins to tear up, as she leans in to kiss Eric.
NICOLE: Oh, Eric! I love you too...
As they kiss, the Justice of the Peace makes his final declaration.
JOP WATKINS: By the power vested in me by the state, I now pronounce you, husband and wife.
As he finishes the announcement, and Daniel and Chloe begin to clap in congratulations, the door to his office swings open, and a voice screams out, startling everyone inside.
Nicole and Eric break their kiss, as they, the Justice of the Peace, Daniel and Chloe turn around with a start, finding a panicked Marlena and Sami standing just inside the doorway.