Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
Billie sits across the table from Kate at Club TBD. She's stunned by Kate's reticence to take on Nick Fallon at the upcoming Titan baord meeting.
BILLIE: Mom...I can't believe what I'm hearing right now.
Kate casually sips her martini, trying hard to hide her fears about Nick.
KATE: Believe it.
BILLIE: I mean, this is not you. The Kate I know would have the jump on a louse like Nick in a heartbeat. You'd be eager to knock his arrogant behind down a few pegs.
KATE: Billie, sometimes, it's best to play your cards close to your chest. As far as I'm concerned, we need to let Nick fall on his own sword.
Billie looks at Kate, still incredulous by her mother's seeming willingness to allow Nick to take over Titan.
BILLIE: Mom, isn't that exactly what we were trying to avoid? Nick destroying this company.
Kate casually places her empty martini on the table, before looking back at Billie calmly, a wry smile painted on her face.
KATE: Billie, have you never heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect? Nick's arrogance and incompetence is going to destroy him long before he can destroy Titan. And I, for one, welcome the chance to have a front-row seat.
Billie glares at Kate, annoyed by Kate's nonchlanace and cynicism.
BILLIE: Okay. So we enjoy Nick fall apart in slow motion. Then what?
Kate leans in close to Billie, and responds softly, but firmly.
KATE: That's when I make my move to take over Titan for myself.
John saunters toward Kim and Roman, and Marlena and Sami, who are gathered around the booth where Kim and Roman are sitting. The group have turned around after hearing John's voice call out to them. They're surprised by his arrival, and Marlena, in particular, is unhappy to see him.
JOHN: Hey Doc.
Sami steps in, immediately hostile towards her ex-stepfather.
SAMI: You have an awful lot of nerve showing your face in here right now.
Marlena immediately chastises Sami, stopping her from continuing.
MARLENA: Sami, stop it!
Marlena turns back to face John, still an icyness between them.
MARLENA: I wasn't expecting to see you.
JOHN: Well...there was an emergency board meeting called at Titan today, and...Justin made it seem urgent that I be here, so...I decided to pop in and grab something quick to eat before heading over.
MARLENA: I see. Well,it's nice to see you're still at least committed to your business affairs.
John, stung by her stuble dig, looks away in frustration.
MARLENA: No, I mean, really, John. I know you're hurting from Brady's death, but to divorce me, after reaffirming your love for me? I don't believe any of it. Something is going on and I want to know what it is.
John attempts to reach out to touch Marlena, but she steps back. John immediately backs off, but responds emotionally.
JOHN: Doc, I'm sorry. And I know this doesn't mean much to you right now. But I have my reasons. I think you'll come to understand them one day soon.
MARLENA: Like Hell. I will never believe for a second that your feelings for me have changed yet again.
John sighs, trying to avoid any further emotion. Marlena steps toward John, speaking softly, but emphatically.
MARLENA: I know you inside and out. If someone put you up to this, you need to tell me.
John looks over at Kim, Roman, and a glowering Sami, and nods cordially to them.
JOHN: Look, I made a mistake coming here. I'm sorry if I upset any of you. I'll head over to TBD instead.
John steps out, leaving Marlena visibly drained. She turns back toward the others, who look on sympathetically.
Sheryl sits at the desk in her darkened hotel room, curtains shut. In the room, the main source of light remains the glow of her laptop screen.
She pours over articles discussing how to successfully dye auburn hair a strawberry blonde colour.
She grabs her phone to quickly text Jerome the shopping list she'll need to successfully pull off Nurse Crystal Clarke's hair colour, and fool Valerie, and the University Hospital staff.
SHERYL: Okay...I'll have to get Jerome to buy...bleach, reddish blonde dye, ruby red dye...and a mixing bottle.
As she sends the text, and puts her phone down, her e-mail notification goes off. Hastily checking the message, it's from Brady, requesting she phone Anita's home to set up a meeting time to test drive and potentially purchase the blue SUV. Sheryl smiles as she reaches the end of the e-mail.
SHERYL: Okay, here goes nothing.
Sheryl picks up her phone, but stops herself, and heads over to the hotel landline. Hesitating momentarily, she breathes in deep, psyching herself up to take the call.
SHERYL: Alright, Sheryl. Your first big test as Nurse Crystal Clarke. Let's see if we can pull this off.
Sheryl picks up the receiver, and puts it to her ear, before beginning to dial Anita's number.
Nick walks off the elevator at University Hospital. Almost ready to take on the Titan board, he steps out into the lobby, and spies Maggie stepping into Victor's hospital room. He smirks as he steps toward the nurses' station. He catches Maxine's attention.
MAXINE: Yes, can I help you with something?
NICK: Uh, yes. I'm here to see Jordan Ridgeway? Do you know which is her office?
MAXINE: Her office is down the end of this hall, but I don't know if she's in her office. Did you want me to page her for you, Mr...?
Nick smiles in gratitude to Maxine before stepping away.
NICK: Oh, don't worry, I'll wait for her.
Nick walks over toward Jordan's office, as Maxine looks on, slightly uneasy.
Nick makes his way to the end of the hall, and knocks on Jordan's door.
Inside, Jordan is signing some paperwork, and hears the knock. She responds without raising her head.
JORDAN: Come in.
Nick opens the door to Jordan's office, and smiles like the Cheshire Cat. Jordan looks up, trying to hide the fear in her eyes.
Billie looks on, irritated by Kate's intentions, as Kate looks over her shoulder, attempting to get T's attention for another martini.
BILLIE: I cannot believe you're using this as an opportunity to seize control at Titan. Oh, wait! No, I totally can. Because you're my mother, and that's all you do is look for tiny openings you can use to make a power play.
KATE: Billie, you of all people should know that business is a dog-eat-dog world.
Billie rolls her eyes, thinking back to her own past dealing with Kate in business. She responds sarcastically.
BILLIE: Oh how could I forget? It's not like my own mother stole my company away from me or anything.
KATE: You of all people know that was nothing personal. That's just how it works, Billie. Those are the rules.
Catching T's attention, Kate smiles his way, and he winks back, knowingly. She then turns back to Billie, and finishes her thought.
KATE: And if I don't play by those rules, I'm going to get eaten. And I refuse to allow that to happen.
As Kate responds to Billie, Will walks into the room, dressed professionally for work at the Titan building. He spots Billie and Kate and walks over to greet them.
WILL: Grandma Kate, Aunt Billie, how are you doing?
Billie and Kate look up at a smiling Will, and Billie stands up to give Will a hug.
BILLIE: I'm great, Will. How are you, honey?
WILL: I'm good! I haven't seen you much since you've been back in town!
Will and Billie separate from their hug, and Billie takes Will's hands in hers, as they smile warmly at each other.
BILLIE: I KNOW! I feel terrible about it. There's been a LOT going on, but...I promise, we'll catch up soon, okay?
BILLIE: Look, I gotta go, but...Mom...think about what I'm saying, okay? Don't let your need for power cloud your judgment, okay?
Kate looks non-plussed as she looks up at her daughter from her seat.
KATE: My judgment is fine, Billie. I think you're the one who's in a panic.
Billie sighs, frustrated by her mother's obstinance.
KATE: Billie, I know what I'm doing.
Billie says nothing, but sighs again before grabbing her bag and marching out the door, leaving a confused Will behind. He looks down at Kate before sitting opposite her at the booth.
WILL: What was that about?
KATE: You don't wanna know.
WILL: Try me.
Kate thinks it over a moment, as T steps over with Kate's drink. Will looks up at T with a smile.
T: Here you go! Will, nice seeing you, man! How's the corporate life?
Will smiles awkwardly as he answers his friend.
WILL: Ahh well. You know...I haven't been fired yet so...it's a start. Uh...can I get a...uh...
Kate interrupts, using a very firm tone as she gives T the order.
KATE: Scotch on the rocks.
Kate looks over to Will, realizing she has to tell him what's going on.
KATE: You're gonna need it after I tell you what's happening at work.
Will looks back at Kate, puzzled and concerned.
Outside, John approaches the door to Club TBD, when Billie steps out. Noticing John, she grabs him by the arm and steps in close to him.
BILLIE: We need to talk, NOW.
Marlena and Sami stand before a seated Kim and Roman at the Brady Pub. Roman looks puzzled by the goings-on around him.
ROMAN: Doc, you wanna explain to me what da hell's going on with you and John?
Marlena sits down next to Kim, smiling wistfully.
MARLENA: Don't you worry about me. I am here for YOU, Roman.
ROMAN: Now, come on, Doc. Stop that. I know you're hurting from Eric marrying Nicole, and your divorce from John, but I'm here for you too.
Roman reaches across the table, and takes Marlena's hand in his. Squeezing it gently, he looks deeply into her eyes. Marlena looks back, still emotional from her confrontation with John, and appreciative for Roman's comforting words.
KIM: Roman's right. You're still family, Marlena. We'll always be here for you.
MARLENA: Thank you.
As Marlena tears up, Kim reaches over as well to put her hands on Marlena's shoulders, giving her a comforting embrace as well.
At Anita's cabin, the phone rings. From Brady's perch at the computer desk, he calls out to Anita.
BRADY: I got it!
Brady walks quickly over to the rather anachronistic wall-mounted corded phone. Picking it up, he adopts a phony, chipper expression for the caller.
BRADY: (into phone) Hello!
In Sheryl's hotel room, Sheryl stands by the nightstand, clutching the cord from her landline phone. She clears her throat before speaking in an overt, but authentic-sounding southern accent.
SHERYL: (into phone) Uh...hayyy it's uh...I'm callin' about the truck you had for sale?
BRADY: (into phone) Oh! Yes! Hi! Ah...well, it's all ready whenever you'd like to come down to see it...again, the brakes work but they're not the best, so I can't let you test drive it off the property or anything but, uh...
SHERYL: (into phone) Oh, that's fine. I can just fix it up at my local garage, you don't have to do nothin' for me. But, uh...I don't have a car, exactly, so...can you meet me out near the Floatin' K truck stop on Route 15 for say....five? I can catch a taxi out that far.
Brady checks his watch, then shrugs, as though Sheryl were in the room.
BRADY: (into phone) Uh...sure! Yeah, that works. I'll see you then?
SHERYL: (into phone) That's great. I'll be there. Thaaaanks.
Sheryl hangs up the phone, breathing a massive sigh of relief. Resting her hand, and most of her own weight on the receiver, she takes a second before pulling herself back up, a serious look on her face.
SHERYL: Well...I guess it's time to test out the new look.
Sheryl walks over to the mirror on the oppsite wall. She looks into it, intensely. She pulls her hair back, and looks up at herself, all the while maintaining an air of confidence.
SHERYL: Goodbye, Sheryl Connors. Hello, Crystal Clarke.
Letting go of her hair, Sheryl continues to look into the mirror, she begins to chuckle. At first, quietly, but soon growing into an almost hysterical, sinister laugh.