Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson
Jerome sits down in front of Sheryl's new laptop, inside her grungy motel room at the edge of Salem. As Sheryl paces behind him, almost supervising him as he works, Jerome types away, intensely focused at the screen as he helps formulate a plan to help Sheryl.
JEROME: There we go. And that should also give you access to Billie as well, since she'll be at this event with the rest of the Titan executive.
Sheryl takes a moment, and smiles. She nods and puts her hand on Jerome's shoulder in approval.
SHERYL: Yeah, I think this is good. Billie Reed, you're gonna pay for what you've done to me...and I'm gonna make sure of it.
Sheryl smiles and laughs to herself as she thinks of what's to come.
Kate and Billie walk through town square, chatting as they sip their morning lattes. From the far end of the square, Rafe and Jordan emerge, holding each other. Kate looks over and stops dead.
KATE: Oh God.
Billie looks at Kate, baffled by what's distracted her mother.
Billie follows Kate's eyes, and finds a happy Jordan and Rafe approaching them. Jordan and Rafe smile as they come up to them, Jordan with a much less friendly smile than Rafe.
JORDAN: Good morning, ladies!
Kate looks at Jordan, purse-lipped and scowling eyes.
Kate looks over to Rafe, a sudden shift to a more pleasant expression as she greets her ex-lover.
KATE: Rafe, how are you doing?
RAFE: Can't complain.
KATE: That's good.
Kate looks back at Jordan's smiling face, and works hard to resist rolling her eyes.
KATE: I wish I could say the same.
Billie elbows her mother to try to keep the interaction polite, Kate flashes a dirty look Billie's way.
BILLIE: (under her breath) Mom!
KATE: (quietly) Ow!
Jordan, ignoring the jab, keeps on smiling, as she excitedly tells Kate her news, knowing how much it'll irritate Kate.
JORDAN: Listen, Kate, I'm so glad to see you. I just couldn't wait to show you.
Kate looks confused, and mostly disinterested, as Jordan pulls her arm from around Rafe.
KATE: Show me what?
Kate gasps, and Billie does as well, as Jordan extends her hand, showing off her gorgeous new engagement ring.
JORDAN: Rafe and I are getting married. Isn't that great?
Kate and Billie look at each other, Kate in some kind of revulsion, Billie remaining stunned with surprise.
Nicole, Sami, Eric, and Marlena stand in the Justice of the Peace's office at Salem City Hall. Nicole is standing uncomfortably, arms folded, as Sami stares her down, intimidating her with a bold question.
SAMI: I know you've been cozying up to Nick and Percy the Greetings guy for the EnerNext story, but we all know Nick never does anything out of the goodness of his heart...so, tell us, Nicole...what's he got on you that's got you so nervous? Hm?
Nicole looks over at Eric, and shakes her head.
NICOLE: He doesn't have anything, Sami. Don't be ridiculous. The only thing that Nick wants is to tell his story, and that's to help his friend stop this stupid oil sands project.
SAMI: Oh please. You're not seriously gonna tell me that this rushed wedding isn't some kind of ruse to snow my brother before the other shoe drops, are you? I know you, Nicole.
NICOLE: No, you don't, Sami. Not as well as you think you do. I've changed. Loving Eric has helped me change.
Marlena interjects, stepping in to stop Nicole's saccharine story.
MARLENA: How touching. But if you've really changed as much as you say, don't you think having Eric's family be there for his wedding day would've been a nice gesture? His father is dying, Nicole. Why would you want to deny him that?
Eric cuts in as well, trying to stop his family from ganging up on Nicole.
ERIC: Hey, come on now! Don't lay that at Nicole's feet. We discussed this already. Like the adults that we are. And I know that's hard for either of you to believe, but we are grown adults who can make our own decisions. We decided that it would be better to take some time and find a way to make this easier for you all to accept, and THEN we were going to plan a big wedding. That was MY idea.
MARLENA: Eric, by then it might be too late for your father. He's declining every day. The other night, he ran off and slept in the park in 40 degree weather. He was that confused. He deserved to be here today. I deserved to be here, regardless of what I think of Nicole. I would have respected your decision.
Eric balks at his mother's statement, shaking his head in disbelief.
ERIC: Yeah. Yeah, your showing up here in a fit of rage, the two of you, shows me exactly how much respect my decision would've gotten had I done it your way. At least this way we get it all out in one shot, instead of weeks and weeks of people trying to guilt me out of marrying the woman I love.
Eric puts his arm around Nicole's waist. She snuggles in close to him.
ERIC: So you can save your guilt trips. Nicole and I are married, and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.
Sami and Marlena look at each other, then at Eric and Nicole, deeply unhappy about Eric's words.
Justin approaches Tyler in the Kiriakis living room, while Alex gets up from his seat, both Alex and Justin curious about Tyler's stern warning.
JUSTIN: I'm sorry...Nick Fallon is going to torpedo the company? Nick Fallon works in the cosmetics lab at MadWorld. How is HE going to destroy all of Titan?
NICK: Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but he knows everything. And probably about everyone.
Alex puts his hands on his hips, still not following what Tyler's saying.
ALEX: What does he know?
JUSTIN: Ahh...long story.
ALEX: Well, I've got nothing but time for this.
Justin sighs, holding the bridge of his nose momentarily while he looks down at the floor. Tyler resists momentarily before he turns toward Alex and begins.
TYLER: Basically, Victor never got rid of the shadier parts of his business. We all knew this. But he tried to keep them separate from the main Titan business, all sort of his attempt to appear legitimate once Isabella died.
As Tyler says this, Noelle emerges from upstairs, doing her hair up in the pony tail as she walks down the steps casually. Midway, she overhears Tyler, and stops to listen, slowly, quietly heading down toward the living room, making sure to remain out of sight.
TYLER: But he kept them all at an arms length through my business, using shell corporations to launder money whenever there needed to be any transfer of capital or resources to Titan. Now that Titan's in trouble, that's when he decided to, quote-unquote "buy out" EnerNext. When EnerNext was just a branch of the other business that I had been working on for the past twenty years.
ALEX: So you're telling me that EnerNext is basically an oil company that's mostly been used as a front for gambling, loan sharking, and smuggling this entire time, and only the bare minimum's been going to actual oil production?
Tyler sighs, nodding as he continues his story.
TYLER: Just enough to make us look legit to the outside. Now, granted, we did do a lot of work trying to partner with firms in the middle east to tap into those resources, but we ran into...complications.
From the foyer, Noelle smiles widely, loving all the turmoil and shady dealings that Titan has undertaken, and relishing the worries that it'll be exposed.
In the living room, Justin cuts in, hoping to stop Tyler from overdivulging to Alex.
JUSTIN: Look, this isn't really...relevant, nor is it something we really want everyone to know about. So...the important thing here is, how does Nick know about this, why does he want to use this against his own employer, and what are we gonna do about it?
Jerome steps off the elevator at University Hospital. He looks around after stepping off, and looks down at his phone momentarily to text Sheryl.
at UH. will fix email for u. will text when done
Putting his phone away, he notices Abby hugging Maggie outside Victor's hospital room, and approaches her.
JEROME: Well good morning!
ABBY: Oh, hey!
JEROME: Hey, I didn't expect to see you so fresh so early.
Abby chuckles to herself, blushing a bit as she responds to Jerome.
ABBY: Well, I'm a pretty early riser, plus, I had a lot to do today, and I had to check in on my Aunt Maggie's husband, who's a patient right now, so...
Jerome turns to face Maggie, extending a hand to her to shake, they smile warmly at each other.
JEROME: Jerome Grant.
Maggie's eyes widen in recognition before they shake hands, and Maggie jumps slightly, pointing toward Jerome, excitedly.
MAGGIE: OH! You're Valerie's grandson!
Jerome laughs as he answers.
JEROME: Yeah! How did you know?
MAGGIE: Ohh, we've known Valerie a lot of years. I was married into the Horton family for...well...most of my life, and we all knew and loved Valerie very much.
Jerome smiles back at Maggie, and finally does shake her hand.
JEROME: Well, it is good to meet you, Maggie. I hope your husband makes it out of here soon.
Maggie smiles warmly, but with a hint of sadness.
MAGGIE: I hope so, Jerome. And thank you.
ABBY: Listen, Maggie. I gotta head to the station, and I wanted to talk with Jerome, so I will see you later. Let me know if anything changes with Victor, okay?
MAGGIE: Absolutely. I'll talk to you later, Abby! Nice to meet you, Jerome.
JEROME: Likewise, Mrs. Kiriakis!
As Abby and Jerome step away, Abby looks playfully at Jerome.
ABBY: So...what brings you by here?
JEROME: Well, I had a little something to take care of for my grandma but...then I saw you and figured I'd maybe...ask you for a late breakfast?
ABBY: I could be persuaded...but I do need to get to the station. Nicole's big exposé on EnerNext airs tomorrow night, and we need to tighten up a lot of stuff before then, so...it all falls to me.
Jerome looks deeply into Abby's eyes, smiling widely, almost transfixed by his attraction to her.
JEROME: Edward R. Murrow would be proud. You don't see that kinda journalism anymore. Taking down the bad guys against all the pressure from big business? I admire that.
Abby giggles, blushing a little more as she averts her eyes for a moment, then looking back up at Jerome.
ABBY: Well, it isn't really my doing, but I'll take all the credit if you want.
JEROME: Hah...alright...well...if a late breakfast is no good...how 'bout I stop by around 2 and we'll make it a late lunch. That work?
ABBY: It's a date.
JEROME: Is it?
ABBY: You bet it is.
Abby winks as she walks off, heading for the elevator, catching glimpses back at Jerome, who still can't take his eyes off her.
At Horton Town Square, Jordan stands before a stunned Billie and Kate, showing off her engagement ring to Rafe, who stands next to her.
JORDAN: I know, it's probably nothing compared to the flashy, ostentatious stuff you would normally wear, Kate, but...for me, it's...better than all the money in the world. Anyway, I gotta go. Rafe? I'll see you after work?
RAFE: You got it, babe.
Jordan turns and wraps her arms around Rafe, and they kiss lovingly, making Kate visibly uncomfortable.
Jordan breaks the kiss, and waves at Billie and Kate as she happily trots away. Rafe watching Jordan lovingly as she walks away.
Kate gives Jordan major sideye, and Billie waves politely. Once only Billie, Kate, and Rafe remain, Billie decides the time is right to make herself scarce to give Rafe and Kate a chance to talk alone.
BILLIE: Ahh...so they have free refills at the Java Café, so...I'm gonna...re...fill myself...a cup...yeah.
Billie steps away in a hurry, leaving only Rafe and Kate behind. Kate looks at Rafe with disappointment, but tries to feign happiness for her ex-.
KATE: I suppose congratulations are in order.
KATE: No, no. No...look...I knew whatever it was between us wasn't going to work, there was way too much in our way, between Stefano and...
Rafe reaches out to try to take listen, but she won't, and steps away from Rafe's hand.
RAFE: Kate, come on.
KATE: ...No, Rafe. I gave you the space, because there was so much happening at work, and...well, I guess I stupidly thought you and Jordan wouldn't last. I was wrong. So, I hope you're happy together. Because, I personally don't think you know what you're getting yourself into, and I don't want you to end up heartbroken at the end of all of this.
Rafe reaches out again to Kate, who tries to resist showing any vulnerability, but Kate steps away, heading back toward the café to meet Billie.
KATE: It's good to see you, Rafe. Congratulations.
Rafe watches as Kate walks away, frustrated and disappointed by how their conversation turned out.
Marlena stands with Eric, Nicole, and Sami, and takes Eric's hand for a second.
MARLENA: Eric...I'm sorry. Listen, can we...can we step into the waiting room down the hall and talk for a moment in private?
ERIC: Mom, I don't know what we have to talk abo--
MARLENA: Please. Please just...let's...I promise, I won't say anything to attack Nicole, I just...I want you to understand where I'm coming from, okay?
Nicole looks up at Eric, and lets go from his embrace. She nods approvingly at Eric.
NICOLE: Go ahead.
Eric sighs, before shaking his head, and stepping toward the doorway.
ERIC: Okay. Sure...sure, Mom. Let's go.
Eric and Marlena step out into the hallway, leaving Nicole and Sami behind. Sami stands with cocked eyebrow, arms folded, and an imposing stance, as Nicole rolls her eyes, uncomfortable around Sami.
SAMI: And then there were two.
Nicole glares back at a smug-looking Sami.