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beebs

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  1. beebs
    EPISODE 172
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Abby and JJ step out of the Brady Pub, while Jennifer and Laura settle up. JJ looks out at nothing in particular, while Abby puts her hand on JJ's shoulder.
     
    ABBY: You know we'll miss you, right?
     
    JJ looks down, nodding slowly.
     
    JJ: Believe me, the feeling's mutual.
     
    Abby's hand slides off JJ's shoulder, as she turns to stand beside him, both looking out at the sky.
     
    JJ: It's funny, it was always so grey out in London. That winter after Dad died, it rained all through December and January. And one day, the sun finally came out after like...weeks of clouds, and...I promised myself I'd always take the time to enjoy it. No matter where I was.
    ABBY: There's gonna be a lot of sun in California, JJ. You'll start taking it for granted.
     
    JJ turns to Abby and smiles, shaking his head.
     
    JJ: Nah. You never take it for granted. Just like family. You can't take it for granted. 
     
    Abby smiles back at JJ, as JJ becomes emotional, and pulls Abby into a tight hug.
     
    JJ: Take care of Mom and Grandma for me, okay?
    ABBY: I will.
     
    ---
     

    Gabi creeks open the door to Nick's bedroom, checking behind her to make sure no one spots her walking into the barely-unpacked room.
     
    Gently closing the door behind her, she steps further into the room, and gives a cursory look around the room.
     
    GABI: Alright, Nick. Where would you hide those pictures of us dumping your sorry ass in the river?
     
    Gabi spies Nick's laptop bag, and smiles, knowingly. She steps slowly over to it, and is about to unzip it, when the door opens with a flourish, startling Gabi and making her shriek!
     
    PERCY: Greetings!
    GABI: AH!!
     

    Gabi turns around with a start, to find Percy standing in the doorway, confused by Gabi's presence in Nick's room.
     
    ---
     

    Nick looks at Noelle across the Kiriakis living room, confused by Noelle's sudden panic. Noelle walks toward Nick, a horrified expression on her face.
     
    NOELLE: Nick, what did you say to Victor in his hospital room?
    NICK: Who cares, Noelle? He's in a coma!
    NOELLE: NO, HE'S NOT! That's what I'm trying to tell you. Anjelica tried to reach you last night but you never answered. Victor's awake.
     

    The colour drains from Nick's face, as Anjelica casually strolls into the room.
     
    ANJELICA: Ah! There you are, Nick! I didn't want to cause alarm earlier so I didn't ask, but I assume you got my message about Victor's "miraculous recovery"?
     
    Nick looks away, as though he's going to be sick.
     
    NICK: I have now.
     
    Nick begins to hear the familiar high-pitched sound that accompanies his headache. Holding his forehead to try to put pressure on to help it subside, he disengages while Noelle explains the situation to Anjelica.
     
    NOELLE: Apparently Nick never got the message, so he decided it would be a great idea to go to Victor's hospital room this morning and gloat about our plans.
     
    Anjelica turns her head sharply, looking daggers at Nick.
     
    ANJELICA: You have got to be kidding!
     
    Nick shakes his head, trying to keep the pressure down, as Anjelica approaches him, annoyed.
     
    ANJELICA: I messaged you last night, you never responded, and I've told you to keep that phone on you at all times. What were you thinking?
     
    Nick, in the thoes of pain, tries to mask his symptoms, closing his eyes to try to keep the pressure down.
     
    ANJELICA: I knew I should've followed you out of the room this morning, but I didn't want to have anyone figure out what we've been up to. But I guess I didn't have to worry, because you'd fill everyone in all on your own--
     
    Nick explodes in rage, the pressure from the two women in the room plus his headache proving too much for him. He lurches forward and grabs Anjelica's arm, startling her.
     
    NICK: SHUT UP, ANJELICA! 
     
    A flash of unbridled rage stirs in Nick's eyes, as Anjelica looks back in terror, unable to move as Nick grasps Anjelica's arm painfully tight.
     
    Noelle stands back, concerned but not sure how to handle the situation.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     
    Noelle shouts out in terror at Nick, as Nick squeezes Anjelica's arms, a look of unbridled rage in his eyes.
     
    NOELLE: Dammit, Nick, let her go! What's wrong with you?!
     
    Nick realizes what he's doing and after a moment, the intensity in his eyes wears off, his grip loosening on Anjelica, who immediately breaks free and steps back, her expression immediately changing from fear to anger.
     
    NICK: I'm sorry, I--
    ANJELICA: You will be. I swear to God, Nick, if you weren't essential to my plans, you'd be back face-first in that river right now.
    NICK: I know, I...
     
    Nick's head begins to throb, as the high-pitched squeal returns, and his headaches intensifies again, drowning out Anjelica's words.
     
    ANJELICA: I mean it, Nick. Don't you EVER lay a hand on me ever again, or I swear to God, it'll be the last thing you ever do.
     
    Anjelica steps in closer to Nick, who is trying to hide his intense pain from her and Noelle.
     
    ANJELICA: And believe me, I have the means and resources to make sure you are taken care of, so don't think for a SECOND you can outsmart me. Because I promise you, I will win.
     
    Anjelica looks with the same intensity that Nick previously had, a finger raised in scolding to him, while Nick looks on, intimidated. 
     
    ---
     
    Gabi looks over at a baffled Percy, who stands in the doorway of Nick's room.
     
    GABI: Mr. Gr...Percy. You startled me.
    PERCY: Gabriella. What are you doing here?
    GABI: I could ask you the same thing. I don't think Nick was expecting you.
     
    Percy steps into the room slightly, looking around for Nick to no avail.
     
    PERCY: Well...the ah...the butler let me in, lovely chap. Hanson, was it?
    GABI: Henderson.
    PERCY: Right. Well, I actually came about because Nicholas and I had some business to discuss. 
     
    Gabi looks at Percy, hoping he'll take off again so she can continue her search.
     
    GABI: I see. Well, I think he's downstairs, if you want to catch up with him.
    PERCY: Oh that won't be neccessary, I'm sure he'll be up shortly.
     
    The two stare at each other, an awkward silence fills the air, before Gabi sighs audibly, trying to hold in her laughter at the absurdity of the situation.
     
    GABI: Well, I was going to unpack my things, since I'm going to be moving in here, so...if you'll excuse me.
    PERCY: Oh, not to worry, I'll try not to be in your way.
     
    Percy sits down at Nick's desk, while Gabi looks on, annoyed by Percy sitting exactly where she intended to look. Unable to say anything to that effect, Gabi rolls her eyes and walks out of the room.
     
    GABI: I'm sure Nick will be up in a moment.
    PERCY: Oh, good to see you, Gabi!
     
    Percy's goodbye to Gabi is cut off by the sound of her closing the door behind her. He looks over at the door, looking suspiciously as Gabi leaves the room.
     
    On the other side of the door, Gabi grimaces, annoyed by Percy's foiling her attempt to find the pictures of Gabi, Kate, and Sami dumping Nick in the river. She takes off down the hall toward her own bedroom.
     
    ---
     

    Julie floats over to a table in the middle of the nearly-ready Penthouse Grille, while Will and Alex sit across from each other, blindfolded. Julie lays down two delicious desserts on the table for them to try, taking a spoonful each for them, and guiding their hands over to it.
     
    JULIE: Alright, boys! This is the last one. La Pièce De Résistence!
     
    Will and Alex both take a mouthful of the dessert, and savour the flavours. Even blindfolded, you can tell they're delighted.
     
    WILL: Oh my God! Julie! This is....this is amazing.
    ALEX: Seriously, this...if I come to this place every day once you're open, I'm gonna gain fifty pounds just from dessert alone.
     
    Will, Alex, and Julie laugh, as Julie walks behind both of them and gently removes their blindfolds.
     
    JULIE: I still got the touch, I guess.
     
    Alex and Will look on in wonder as Julie reveals the elaborate dessert before them.
     
    JULIE: Our chef is Michelin Star rated, and we'll be offering a unique feature dessert every evening that will combine delicious flavours with breathtaking design, such as what you see before you.
     
    The decadent strawberry tarts sit before them, as Julie hands Alex and Will pictures of other desserts the chef has prepared before.
     
    ALEX: Julie, I'm impressed. This place is ready.
    JULIE: Oh, I hope so, Darlin'. (sigh) It's been a long time since I ran one of these places, and...I'll tell you, it's been great getting back into the habit.
    WILL: Well, you're handling it like an old pro.
     
    Julie smiles, but messes Will's hair slightly as she scolds him gently for his remark though her million-dollar smile.
     
    JULIE: I may be a pro, dear cousin, but, a word of advice...don't ever call me old.
     
    Alex snickers at Will and Julie, as Julie walks off toward the kitchen. Will blushes, embarrassed by his slip.
     
    WILL: Oops.
    ALEX: (laughs) Julie's a real wonder, you know that? I'm glad Maggie chose her to help run The Penthouse Grille, seriously.
    WILL: So am I. I just hope now that...Nick's taken over the company that...you know...things don't go south.
    ALEX: Don't worry about that. I'll protect you from anything that comes our way.
     
    Will laughs, not sure whether he believes Alex or not.
     
    WILL: Yeah, okay. Sure.
    ALEX: Seriously! Will, what have you done that might cause things to go out of hand? You've done every job I've tasked you with, you've done an amazing job writing our press releases. You've even come up with ideas for campaigns I've never even considered. Titan would be so much worse off without you being here.
     
    Will looks down, touched by, and slightly uncomfortable with Alex's compliments.
     
    WILL: I guess I should thank you for that. Even if I don't believe it.
    ALEX: Well, believe it. You're one of the best writers I've worked with.
    WILL: Well, I just hope you still think so after Nick's on TV tonight.
     
    Alex looks at Will with confusion, as he stabs at his dessert to take another bite.
     
    ALEX: What do you mean by that?
    WILL: (sigh) I mean, Nick has it out for me. He wants Gabi, he wants my daughter, and he resents that so far he can't have either. So he's gonna be looking for anything he can use against me to ruin my career and make me look like a deadbeat.
    ALEX: Well, you're not. I know that, you know that, anyone who knows you knows that.
    WILL: Yeah, but...if he goes out there and tells people on Nicole's special that I falsified those press releases for EnerNext...you may not have a choice but to fire me, Alex. And your job might be on the line, too.
     
    Will looks concerned at Alex, who looks back, contemplating what Will's told him.
     
    ---
     

    JJ and Abby are still in mid-embrace outside the Brady Pub when Jennifer and Laura emerge from the pub, ready to leave. Mother and daughter smile, as their kin end their warm hug, turning to face them.
     
    JENN: You know, I remember when I couldn't stop them from trying to kill each other when they were kids, and now look at them.
     
    Laura and JJ crack up, though Abby's a bit more emotional, trying to fight back her tears.
     
    JJ: Yeah, well, that's probably because I stopped trying to pull her hair out when she walked ahead of me.
    ABBY: Yeah, I'm amazed I'm not bald from that.
     
    Abby looks at JJ, giving him sideeye, as the others laugh. Abby finally cracks a smile as she envisions the memories.
     
    As the laughter dies down, Jennifer also becomes emotional, taking a second to drink in her grown son, as he begins his new life in college.
     
    JENN: Your father would be so proud of you, JJ. 
    LAURA: Your mother's right. You've come so far in so little time. We're all...so proud of you.
     
    JJ, also trying to keep from crying, walks over and gives his mother and grandmother big hugs. As he ends his hug with Laura, JJ and Laura share an extended look, before JJ speaks at barely more than a whisper.
     
    JJ: Look out for them, okay?
     
    Laura nods in agreement, before JJ and Laura hug again, before JJ turns to head off.
     
    JJ: I love you guys!
    JENN: You me you'll call me when you get there.
     
    As JJ takes off toward his car, Laura looks on, more worried than the others, as she thinks of the worries she has with Liam.
     
    LAURA: (voiceover) My God, JJ. I hope you stay safe, and nail that bastard, Liam.
     
    ...
     

    Liam walks along the pier, shivering from the chilled riverside air. He heads for the Brady Pub through the fog, and is only stopped by the sound of his ringing cell phone.
     
    Checking quickly to see who's calling, he promptly answers, sighing in frustration.
     
    LIAM: (into phone) What?
     
    ...
     
    Anjelica stands in her bedroom at the Kiriakis mansion, leaning against the vanity while she speaks on her own cell phone.
     
    ANJELICA: (into phone) We need to talk.
     
    ...
     
    Liam rolls his eyes, exasperated.
     
    LIAM: (into phone) About what?
     
    ...
     
    ANJELICA: (into phone) Nick Fallon. He may have compromised the entire plan, and he needs to be dealt with.
     
    ...
     
    Liam looks frustrated, and concerned by Anjelica's strong words.
     
    ---
  2. beebs
    EPISODE 171
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     
     
    Nick and Gabi step through the door to Gabi's room in the Kiriakis Mansion, lugging their suitcases behind them. Nick steps in to help a struggling Gabi. At first, she resists him, but remembers she needs to keep up the charade.
     
    NICK: Let me help you.
     
    After a moment of the two of them almost suspended in time, Gabi stares into Nick's eyes, and slowly, nervously smiles, loosening her grip on the bag. Nick smiles back and puts the luggage down by the bed. Gabi stands back, smiling awkwardly at Nick.
     
    GABI: Thank you for...agreeing to let me have a separate room.
    NICK: Gabi, I just want you to be comfortable. Whatever that takes.
    GABI: I know...and I promise it won't be forever, but...you know...on the bright side, you'll actually have closet space this way?
     
    Nick chuckles at Gabi, taking her hands in his.
     
    NICK: In fairness, every closet space is my closet space now. The house  DOES belong to me. Isn't that fantastic?
     
    Nick pulls Gabi into a tight hug, from which Gabi tries to hide her discomfort. After Nick lets go, Gabi smiles at a beaming Nick.
     
    GABI: Yeah! Yeah, it is. 
     
    Nick notices Gabi's less-than-enthusiastic response, and crooks his neck to look closer at Gabi.
     
    NICK: Gabi, I'm not totally convinced you're excited about this.
    GABI: Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm...thrilled about this. But what I'm not thrilled about is having to explain this to Will and Sonny.
     
    Nick takes Gabi in his arms, and holds her, as Gabi looks over his shoulder, uncomfortably.
     
    NICK: You'll find a way. I'll be there for you when you do.
     
    ---
     
     
    Eric sits outside the café at Horton Town Square, as Marlena walks over to him. Eric looks up, spotting Marlena.
     
    ERIC: Mom.
    MARLENA: Eric. Mind if I sit down?
    ERIC: Go ahead.
     
    Marlena sits down, as Eric sets down his coffee.
     
    MARLENA: Eric, I...I know we're good, but...I wanted to apologize for my reaction to your marrying Nicole.
    ERIC: I appreciate that. And I know you have your misgivings, but...I know you're just looking out for me. 
    MARLENA: I am. I just want you to be careful. But I also recognize I shouldn't have tried to ruin your day...and I also understand why you didn't want to tell anyone about your getting married. It's not as though we would've been particularly...receptive.
    ERIC: No, but...I should've been an adult about it, and come to you and dad, regardless.
     
    Marlena smiles at Eric warmly.
     
    MARLENA: Speaking of your father...I ah...I spoke to Valerie again today.
    ERIC: Oh?
    MARLENA: She ummm...she suspects that your father has some form of early onset dementia. 
    ERIC: Well, the signs pointed to it, I'm not completely shocked. Disappointed, of course.
     
    Marlena nods, her smile fading. She sighs before she musters the courage to continue.
     
    MARLENA: Naturally. She did...suggest that my asking for a DNA test of you and Sami wasn't so out of line after all.
    ERIC: What do you mean?
    MARLENA: Well...Valerie thinks that we should find out if you carry the same gene that caused Roman's dementia, so that we can prevent it from affecting you and Sami. We'd also need to test Carrie, Rex and Cassie, of course.
    ERIC: Right. So...you're asking me if I'll be willing to do the DNA test, at the risk that it may reveal that the man we've been calling 'Dad' all these years....isn't even our father?
     
    Marlena looks awkwardly at Eric, knowing her real reason for wanting the test is clear.
     
    ---
     
     
    In the bowels of the DiMera compound in Italy, a light creeps into an otherwise blackened room from an opening door, revealing the rows of dimly lit prison cells. Bo steps inside, in awe, Steve following closely behind him.
     
    STEVE: Check it out, partner!
     
    Bo looks around in awe, as the dimly lit room lights up as Steve lights a gas lantern sitting on a nearby table.
     
    BO: What the...what is this place?
    STEVE: DiMera's dungeon, from the looks of it. Mostly empty, too. Except for one thing.
     
    Steve points to the largest cell. 
     
    BO: Stefano's new Pawn
     
    Bo strains to see, as he takes the lantern and walks slowly over to the cell, seeing a man crouched in the corner. Bo looks over at Steve, unsure who the man is.
     
    BO: We got a key in here? 
    STEVE: Nah, man, I couldn't find one.
    BO: Dammit.
     
    Bo walks over, as close as he can to the man in the corner, trying not to startle him. 
     
    Reaching through the bars of the cell, he touches the man. The man flinches wildly at first, before both he and Bo realize who the other is.
     
    Bo looks on, completely stunned, as Steve looks on, thrilled.
     
    BO: Oh my God...
     
    As Bo's about to say the prisoner's name, Bo and Steve are hit by bottles being smashed over their heads from behind.
     
    Bo and Steve drop to the ground, unconscious.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     

    At the curbside of the rural road just outside Salem, Sheryl finishes lugging Crystal's dead body into the back of her SUV. Having hastily wrapped Crystal's head with her scrubs to avoid bleeding out all over the backseat of the SUV, Sheryl slams the back of the SUV shut, making sure to check around to ensure no one is around.
     
    She slowly makes her way to the drivers' side door, and gets in. Before taking off, she plugs her phone into the SUV's audio system, and calls Jerome.
     
    The phone rings and rings, frustrating Sheryl.
     
    SHERYL: Come on....come on, dammit, Jerome. Pick up!
     
    Finally, Jerome's voice is head over the loudspeaker. But it's his voice mail.
     
    JEROME: (via stereo) Hi, you've reached Jerome Grant, I'm not available to--
    SHERYL: Dammit!
     
    Hanging up the phone, she hears the sound of Crystal's phone from her purse. Noticing it's Kim again, Sheryl switches out the phones quickly, before answering in a thick (fake) southern drawl.
     
    SHERYL: (into phone) Ms. Brady! Haiii!
    KIM: (via phone) Hi, Crystal! I ah...I just was curious to know when you'd be coming to pick the key up and sign the sublease.
    SHERYL:  (into phone) Oh, Ms. Brady, I'm so sorry I haven't been able to come by sooner. I'm in my truck now, I'ma be right over.
     
    Sheryl adjusts her rear-view mirror, checking to be absolutely sure Crystal isn't waking up again.
     
    SHERYL: (into phone) I just gotta drop somethin' off real quick, okay?
    KIM: (via phone) Sounds great. Alright, I'll meet you at the building in about an hour?
    SHERYL: (into phone) Sounds perfect! I'll be right there!
     
    The beep notifies Sheryl of the end of the call, and Sheryl relaxes somewhat, leaning back in her seat. 
     
    Looking around her, Sheryl takes a minute to breathe before she turns the car on.
     
    SHERYL: Just gotta take some trash out first, Ms. Brady.
     
    Sheryl checks the rear-view mirror, before pulling away from the curbside.
     
    ---
     

    Nick walks into the Kiriakis living room, finding Noelle sitting on the couch, reading. Nick walks in, casually.
     
    NICK: Workin' hard, I see.
     
    Noelle looks up from her book momentarily, before looking back down at it, disinterested in Nick's presence.
     
    NOELLE: Not like I have much else to do during the day.
    NICK: Ahhh, to live the life of a bourgeois housewife.
    NOELLE: I'm sure Gabi will find that out soon enough. I assume that's where you've been this whole time?
     
    Nick saunters over to the bar area, pouring himself a drink as he speaks to Noelle.
     
    NICK: Yeah, there. Made a detour to the hospital to check in on our old pal, Victor.
     
    Noelle looks up from her book, suddenly interested.
     
    NOELLE: You did?
     
    Nick turns back toward Noelle, a glowing smile on his face as he takes a sip from his drink.
     
    NICK: Yeah! I had to do a bit of gloating. It's not like he was awake to hear any of it.
     
    Noelle drops her book to one side, a look of horror washing over her face as she gets up from the couch.
     
    NOELLE: Nick...Nick, have you checked your phone recently?
     
    Nick looks back, bemused.
     
    NICK: What do you mean?
    NOELLE: Anjelica texted you last night to warn you that Victor's out of his coma.
    NICK: I didn't get any text--
    NOELLE: WHAT DID YOU TELL HIM?!
     
    Noelle appears panicked, as Nick looks on, also horrified by what he's just done.
     
    ---
     
    Gabi creeks open the door to Nick's bedroom, checking behind her to make sure no one spots her walking into the barely-unpacked room.
     
    Gently closing the door behind her, she steps further into the room, and gives a cursory look around the room.
     
    GABI: Alright, Nick. Where would you hide those pictures of us dumping your sorry ass in the river?
     
    ---
     
    Marlena sits across from Eric at the table outside the café. She looks seriously at her son.
     
    MARLENA: Well...it's something we would have to deal with. Are you...emotionally ready for that possibility?
    ERIC: Honestly? I don't know. I think, given the circumstances, though...Sami is the one you really need to worry about. 
     
    Marlena looks down at the table, gently nodding in agreement.
     
    MARLENA: I think you're right. The problems she's dealing with between her and EJ are a lot right now. She seems strong, but I can tell she's under a tremendous strain.
    ERIC: So can I. The trouble is, I agree with you, I think it's important that we find out whether or not we carry that gene, so we can be prepared for the worst if we also carry it. Especially since it's now Dad AND Grandma that have had that diagnosis.
    MARLENA: That's what concerns me most. (sigh) Honestly, I do wish Kim would reconsider having the test done herself. 
    ERIC: Let's not get ahead of ourselves. I ah....(sigh) Look, I'll take the DNA test first. If something comes up on the test that we should worry about, then we can tell the others. And, heaven forbid, this man turns out not to be Dad...well...we can revisit that.
     
    Marlena looks at Eric, a faint smile on her face.
     
    MARLENA: So...you'll do it?
    ERIC: I will.
     
    Marlena lets out a huge sigh of relief, almost tearing up as she smiles widely at her son's decision. Eric smiles back, more faintly, unsure if he's making the right choice or not.
     
     ---
     
    Bo and Steve lie on the ground of the Pawn 2.0's cell, unconscious from a bottle each to the head, as someone steps toward them, gently kicking them to ensure they're knocked out.
     

    It's Stefano.
     
    Stefano laughs maniacally at his two uninvited guests, as his henchmen pick Steve and Bo up, and cart them out of the cell.
     
    ---
  3. beebs
    EPISODE 170
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    EJ stands in the DiMera living room, sipping on cognac, as he looks out through the terrace doors.
     
    The sound of the front door opening and closing doesn't deter him, as he keeps his focus out on the lovely day.
     
    From the foyer, a familiar voice calls out to him, as they step inside.
     

    It's Liam.
     
    LIAM: You called?
     
    EJ continues to stare out the window, his only acknowledgement of Liam's arrival is a sly smile that appears on his face as Liam stands in the doorway of the living room, awaiting a response.
     
    ---
     

    Bo stands around the corner from the living room at the DiMera compound in Italy, listening in as Stefano and Rolf sit before a roaring fire in the fireplace, cackling away at their latest scheme.
     
    DR. ROLF: So what is our progress on the Salem front?
    STEFANO: Ohhh, Rolf. The greatest news. Our friend Nicholas has succeeded in taking the Kiriakis holdings. 
    DR. ROLF: Excellent news! So when do we make the exchange public?
     
    Stefano leans in, taking a puff of his cigar before responding.
     
    STEFANO: First of all, Anjelica must be elected first as state governor. Once this goal is accomplished, we can unleash our new recruit, and retrieve John Black. Once we have him, we can get the final piece to the puzzle for the alternative fuels project, and we will revolutionize the energy sector.
    DR. ROLF: But Stefano, that is Nicholas Fallon's project. Wouldn't he have the information we need?
     
    Stefano gets up from his seat, walking slowly over to the bar, where he pours himself a drink as he speaks. Bo stands off to the side, in disbelief as to what he's hearing.
     
    STEFANO: There is an additive that was considered after our dear friend, Mr. Fallon sold the project to Titan. The government tested it, but shelved it when funding ran out. They never released the information, but the ISA knows what it is. John Black has this information, Rolf. It is the key to maximizing the efficacy of the fuel source.
     
    Stefano turns as a hand reaches across to cover Bo's mouth and pulls his back, disappearing from Stefano's view almost in time.
     
    STEFANO: And it will be ours!
     
    Stefano looks at Rolf, but notices a movement around the corner, and looks over. Seeing nothing, he studies further. Rolf turns around to see what Stefano's looking at, but no one is there.
     
    ---
     

    The elevator doors open to the parking garage under University Hospital. Sheryl steps out, dressed as Nurse Crystal Clarke, who lies in the back of Crystal's SUV, after Sheryl knocked her out.
     
    Sheryl hastily walks over to the truck, unlocking the doors remotely, before stepping inside.
     
    Once inside, Sheryl turns the car on, and hurriedly drives out of the parking garage, exiting University Hospital.
     
     
    Driving down the road on her way out of the city, Sheryl is blissfully unaware of Crystal's presence behind her, assuming Crystal is still tied up and unconscious. However, we notice the shine of the tire iron slowly become visible behind Sheryl's head.
     
    At a red light, Sheryl adjusts her mirror, to see Crystal, now untied, wielding a tire iron aimed at Sheryl's head, and ready to swing.
     
    Sheryl's eyes lock with Crystal's, as Sheryl's widen in terror at her potential demise at the hands of the woman she captured.
     
    ---
     
    ---
     
    EJ stares out the window at the DiMera mansion, holding an empty rocks glass in his hand, smiling as Liam steps into the living room.
     
    EJ: You finally decided to show up.
    LIAM: It's not like you gave me much choice, you know.
    EJ: It was extremely important.
    LIAM: So I gathered. So what's this all about?
     
    EJ finally turns around, spotting an annoyed Liam standing near the piano.
     
    EJ: Well, I requested something from you not long ago, and I've yet to recieve it.
    LIAM: Yes, and you're not going to.
     
    EJ places his empty rocks glass on the desk near the french doors. He turns back to face Liam, now visibly irritated.
     
    EJ: And why's that?
    LIAM: Well, I was at Club TBD last night with Jennifer, and...I spotted your little friend Gabi there with Nick Fallon. She was not looking too well, and neither was he. And I realized what was happening.
     
    Liam saunters slowly over to the couch, sitting himself down as he continues to explain himself to EJ.
     
    LIAM: You're giving Gabi those drugs to give to Nick.
    EJ: And just what's wrong with that?
    LIAM: What are you up to, EJ?
    EJ: Well, I don't see how that's any of your busine--
     
    Liam's temper escalates as he cuts EJ off.
     
    LIAM: Oh, the Hell it isn't.
     
    EJ is stunned into silence by Liam's reaction. He watches as Liam gets up from his seat and walks toward EJ in a somewhat menacing way.
     
    LIAM: You have been working against your family interests for weeks now and I wanna know why.
    EJ: The family's interests aren't neccessarily my interests.
     
    Liam chuckles as he steps in closer to EJ, keeping a tension between them that belies Liam's cool expression.
     
    LIAM: Your interests are making sure that Sami never finds out about Abigail, or her baby. I know that. Anjelica knows that. You know that. 
     
    Liam leans intimately close to EJ, and almost hisses out his next words in a whisper to EJ.
     
    LIAM: Stefano knows that.
     
    Liam pokes EJ in the chest as he utters EJ's father's name. EJ barely budges, and his expression remains stoic, as Liam smiles almost maniacally.
     
    LIAM: So, I...am not going to let you ruin this. So you either keep in line with the plan, or those pictures our friend Percy took of you and Abby get made public. And you know how much I love that little girl. I'd never want to hurt her. 
     
    Liam steps back over to EJ, walking in close to him to taunt him one more time.
     
    LIAM: So...choose wisely, EJ.
     
    Liam walks out of the room, leaving EJ behind, a simmering rage inside him.
     
    ---
     
    Dr. Rolf gets off the phone, as Stefano pours himself a drink.
     
    Rolf looks up at Stefano, concern in his eyes.
     
    DR. ROLF: I've got security checking the house to double check if anyone got in.
    STEFANO: Excellent. We cannot be too careful.
    DR. ROLF: Speaking of which, Stefano...I don't mean to...shall we say, stick my nose where it doesn't belong but...you're drinking an awful lot. It's not good for your diabetes...
     
    Stefano takes a big gulp of his drink, sounding refreshed as he sets his drink down on the coffee table before sitting down in an armchair.
     
    STEFANO: I normally would not, but we have plenty to celebrate. So today, I will make an exception.
     
    Rolf bites his tongue, pressing on with the matters at hand.
     
    DR. ROLF: Alright...if you say so.
    STEFANO: Believe me, Rolf. We have all of Salem right where we want them. And there isn't a single thing that could happen now to stop us.
     
    ---
     

     Down at the bottom of the staircase to the cellar of the DiMera compound, Steve leans in and speaks softly into Bo's ear.
     
    STEVE: It's just me.
     
    Bo fights Steve off, turning around angrily.
     
    BO: The Hell, Steve.
     
    Steve is quick to get Bo to simmer down. Putting his finger to his lips before Bo can continue.
     
    STEVE: You were thiiiis close to getting found out, my man.
    BO: Maybe, but I found out a whole lot about what Old Man DiMera's up to.
    STEVE: Oh yeah? I found something too, but you first.
     
    Bo steps in closer to Steve to fill him in, checking around carefully to ensure no one overhears.
     
    BO: This whole thing back home with Titan? Nick Fallon taking it over in some big coup?
    STEVE: Yeah, I heard about that, Kayla told me.
    BO: Well, I'd been wondering how he got his hands on all that money to buy them out. Turns out, DiMera, and Anjelica Deveraux are behind it.
     
    Steve's face twists, stunned to hear Anjelica's name pop up.
     
    STEVE: Anjelica? How the Hell does she fit into it?
    BO: I dunno, man. This is just getting more and more complicated the more we dig up.
     
    Steve comes up behind Bo and smiles.
     
    STEVE: Speaking of digging things up. 
     
    Bo turns to face Steve, looking confused, as Steve motions toward the door at the end of the hall they've just walked down.
    Bo and Steve step toward it, opening the door, to reveal the rows of dimly lit prison cells. Bo steps inside, in awe, Steve following closely behind him.
     
    STEVE: Check it out, partner!
     
    Bo looks around in awe, as the dimly lit room lights up as Steve lights a gas lantern sitting on a nearby table.
     
    BO: What the...what is this place?
    STEVE: DiMera's dungeon, from the looks of it. Mostly empty, too. Except for one thing.
     
    Steve points to the largest cell. 
     
    BO: Stefano's new Pawn
     
    Bo strains to see, as he takes the lantern and walks slowly over to the cell, seeing a man crouched in the corner. Bo looks over at Steve, unsure who the man is.
     
    BO: We got a key in here? 
    STEVE: Nah, man, I couldn't find one.
    BO: Dammit.
     
    Bo walks over, as close as he can to the man in the corner, trying not to startle him. 
     
    Reaching through the bars of the cell, he touches the man. The man flinches wildly at first, before both he and Bo realize who the other is.
     
    Bo looks on, completely stunned, as Steve looks on, thrilled.
     
    BO: Oh my God...
     
    ---
     
    Sheryl is frozen, staring through her rear-view mirror at Crystal, who threatens her with a tire iron from the back seat of her SUV, a maniacal look in her eyes.
     
    CRYSTAL: Don't....move. Or I'ma kill ya.
     
    Sheryl doesn't flinch, not even moving her hand from the rear view mirror, as she studies Crystal's slow movement from behind her.
     
    CRYSTAL: Now, I'm gonna count to three, and you're gonna drive this truck to the next parking lot, and put your hands up, and you're gonna keep em up. And you're gonna explain to me just what the Hell's goin' on here.
    SHERYL: Crystal, I do--
     
    As Sheryl tries to object, the light turns green, and Crystal's shrill command cuts Sheryl off.
     
    CRYSTAL: DRIVE!
     
    Crystal's Southern drawl tightens into an imperative, terse command. Sheryl immediately complies, slowly stepping on the gas to head through the intersection.
     
    CRYSTAL: Right here...turn now, or you're gonna get it.
     
    Sheryl ignores Crystal's order, suddenly accelerating, and knocking Crystal back in her seat.
     
    Crystal struggles to get back upright, as Sheryl drives to try to thwart Crystal's attempts on her life.
     
    CRYSTAL: Stop this truck, right now, dammit!
     
    Sheryl pulls over on a quiet side road. Braking hard, Crystal stumbles forward, dropping the tire iron beneath the back seat.
     
    CRYSTAL: Dammit!
     
    Now outside the city, there are no witnesses around to spot them. Sheryl puts the SUV in park, and takes the keys out quickly, while Crystal lurches forward to hunt for the tire iron, her only hope to save herself.
     
    Sheryl leaps from her seat, out the front door of her SUV, before running to the backseat herself, opening the door and prying Crystal from the floor of the SUV before Crystal can find the tire iron, or escape.
     
    CRYSTAL: No, don't...
    SHERYL: Get back here, you--
     
    The two women struggle in the backseat, as Sheryl finds the tire iron before Crystal can.
     
    In terror, Crystal throws open the back passenger side door of the SUV, in hopes of escaping, but Sheryl runs around the opposite side and, as Crystal exits the vehicle and tries to make a run for it, Sheryl swings the tire iron at Crystal.
     
    SHERYL: Oh no you don't.
     
    Sheryl's swing strikes Crystal hard in the head, as Crystal falls to the ground outside the truck, mortally wounded.
     
    Sheryl slowly steps toward Crystal's lifeless body, and looks down upon it, coldly.
     
    SHERYL: Well....looks like it's time for Plan B.
     
    ---
     
  4. beebs
    EPISODE 169
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     
     

    Hope stands in the Horton Square with John, her arms folded as she waits for John to answer her.
     
    HOPE: John, whatever it is you're keeping from Marlena, I can tell it's connected to Bo and his mission. So you might as well tell me.
    JOHN: Come on, Hope! You know I can't do that.
    HOPE: Why not, John? This is obviously important enough that you're here, making Marlena crazy with your vague insinuations, and now you're telling me the same things. Why?
     
    John leans in close to Hope to try to explain the situation to her without others hearing.
     
    JOHN: Look, all I can say is that Bo is really close to being done this mission.
    HOPE: How close? A few days? A few weeks? Months? I need more than that, John.
    JOHN: I can't give you anything more than that. I'm sorry.
     
    Hope sighs, frustrated by John's vagueness.
     
    ---
     
    Off the shore of the island where Stefano's compound is, a small boat sails by the lone dock.
     
    On it are two men. One anchors the boat to the dock, while the other looks through binoculars to see further inland at Stefano's compound.
     

    Steve Johnson climbs up onto the dock, and holds his hand out to help his shipmate, who pulls his binoculars down from his face, revealing himself to be Bo Brady.
     
    STEVE: Come on, partner. Let's get inside the compound and take DiMera down.
    BO: I'm right with ya, my man.
     
    Bo takes Steve's hand, helping him off the boat and onto the dock. They stare up at the island, where Stefano's massive compound sits, amazed by its scale.
     
    ---
     

    Valerie sits at a booth at Club TBD, checking over the menu, as Marlena walks in. Spotting her friend at the entrance, Valerie waves Marlena over. Marlena obliges, a weak smile on her face, which Valerie catches.
     
    As Marlena sits down, Valerie looks inquistively at her.
     
    VALERIE: You okay?
    MARLENA: (sigh) Not quite. Neither of the kids want to take a DNA sample to prove if this is the real Roman or not, and to top it all off, I just had a run-in with John. 
    VALERIE: Oh dear. How'd that go?
    MARLENA: He had the nerve to tell Hope not to give up on Bo, just as she's about to finally get out there and start dating again. Meanwhile, he still insists on divorcing me and he won't say why.
     
    Valerie reaches across the table, taking Marlena's hand in hers.
     
    VALERIE: I'm sorry to hear about John.
    MARLENA: It's okay. Nothing much I can do about that.
    VALERIE: You're right. But what I can do is give you some advice on how we can convince Sami and Eric to give the DNA samples you need.
     
    Marlena looks up suddenly, intrigued.
     
    ---
     

    ---
     
    Hope walks over toward a seat in the Brady Pub with John, having walked back over from visiting the Horton clan at a nearby booth where they're having a goodbye lunch for JJ.
     
    Hope sits down, looking wistfully over at the group eating happily.
     
    HOPE: I can't believe JJ's already heading to college. Where does the time go?
    JOHN: You're tellin' me. Feels like just yesterday I was sending Belle and Brady off to their first day of kindergarten, and now look at 'em!
     
    Hope and John laugh, then Hope sighs, a touch saddened. John knows instantly the cause of the sadness, and squeezes her hand.
     
    JOHN: You're not gonna be alone for much longer, Hope. Ciara's gonna have both her parents see her off to school again real soon.
    HOPE: How can you be so sure, John? Especially when you won't tell me anything?
    JOHN: You have to trust me on this. This mission is too dangerous for you to be getting involved, especially this late in the game. But when it's all done, I promise you, it'll be well worth it.
     
    Hope looks on, unsure whether she believes John or not.
     

    Across the room, Jennifer, JJ, Abby, Laura, and Liam are eating lunch together at the largest booth.
     
    LIAM: I know we were planning to drive you down there, JJ, but...are you sure you wanna go it alone?
    JJ: Oh yeah. I don't see why not. You guys have enough to handle here.
    JENN: Okay, well, just make sure you're safe on that highway. And call us every night. We'll miss you, and we'll worry.
     
    JJ rolls his eyes slightly, slightly embarrassed by his mom's doting.
     
    JJ: Yes, Mom.
     
    Abby looks over at JJ from eating her lunch, speaking earnestly to her brother as the others continue to eat.
     
    ABBY: JJ, I know I've been totally out of it the last while, but...I really am gonna miss you.
    JJ: I'm gonna miss you too, Abs. But I'm gonna make sure I check in every few days, okay?
    LAURA: You'd better. I'm gonna have so many questions for you.
    JENNIFER: Me too. You need to behave. I don't want another incident like in England, okay?
     
    JJ laughs at his past bad behaviour.
     
    JJ: I promise, Mom. Besides, Rory and Bev are gonna be...thousands of miles away. You won't have to worry.
    JENNIFER: I'd better not.
     
    Jennifer wags her french fry at JJ, and laughs before taking a bite. As she does, Liam gets a call, and immediately gets up from the table, barely even checking to see who it is.
     
    LIAM: Mm! I gotta take this.
     
    Jenn looks up, concerned, as Liam has already been relatively quiet at the table, and is now quick to exit the pub to answer his call.
     
     
    Outside the pub, Liam answers the call.
     
    LIAM: (into phone) Yeah.
     
    ...
     

    EJ stands in the DiMera living room, alone. He speaks matter-of-factly.
     
    EJ (into phone)Where are you?
     
    ...
     
    Liam rolls his eyes at EJ's presistence. His tone of voice noticeably curt over the line.
     
    LIAM: (into phone) I'm at the pub with Jenn's family. JJ's leaving town. I'll be over after we're done.
     
    ...
     
    EJ, holding a drink in his hand, slams the drink down on the bar, sounding displeased.
     
    EJ: (into phone) No, you will not. I rang you hours ago, and I've got a lot to do today. I told you it was an emergency, so get over here now!
     
    EJ hangs up the phone, sighing in frustration, trying to hold his simmering rage in.
     
    ...
     
    LIam realizes EJ's hung up, and bites his lip, trying to hold in his own anger, as he steps back inside.
     
     
     
    Inside, the rest of the family is still chattering away, laughing as they eat together. Liam returns, and Jennifer notices his troubled demeanour.
     
    JENNIFER: Liam? What's wrong.
    LIAM: I ahh...I got a call about a client at a clinic across town. I have to head out for a bit, I'm sorry, guys.
    JENNIFER: It's fine. Are you alright?
    LIAM: I'm fine, just...just disappointed, that's all. Look. I'll be back in time for JJ to get going, okay?
    JENNIFER: Sure! 
     
    Liam leans over and kisses Jenn quickly, before taking off.
     
    As Liam heads off, Laura and JJ give each other a knowing look, both suspecting something big is going on.
     
    ---
     
    Marlena sits across from Valerie at Club TBD, a curious look on her face.
     
    MARLENA: Okay, I'm listening.
    VALERIE: Well, from what tests we have done on Roman, it's suggesting he's suffering from an early onset Alzheimer's, which is genetic. Now, one way we can be sure of that is to test Eric and Sami's DNA against Roman's to determine whether or not they have the same markers as him for predisposition to the early onset Alzheimer's.
     
    Marlena responds, clueing into what Valerie's suggesting.
     
    MARLENA: ...And while you're at it, check the markers to see if there's any genetic match whatsoever.
    VALERIE: Exactly. Plus, this can help us determine whether or not the origin of his memory loss even is Alzheimer's at all! It could be some other kind of damage.
    MARLENA: And if Stefano's involved, you never know.
    VALERIE: Right. Look, it can't hurt. But if you need any help convincing them to do the test, you let me know right away, okay?
     
    Marlena smiles half-heartedly, nodding in agreement to Valerie's advice, though still wearing a trouble expression.
     
    MARLENA: I will. Thank you.
     
    ---
     
    Steve and Bo both walk quietly through a dark hall within the DiMera compound, having made their way past the guards.
     
    STEVE: You're damn lucky the guard was on his break or we wouldn't have made it in.
    BO: Tell me about it. Problem is now, we gotta figure out where Stefano is, and find the patients.
    STEVE: Well, I'm gonna take this hallway here, since I think this is the access to the cellar, and you see if you can track down old man DiMera.
    BO: Got it.
     

    Steve bolts off down one hallway, while Bo walks down the other, leading to the large living area. Bo overhears the voice of Stefano and Dr. Rolf, and leans back against the wall, tucking himself quickly around the corner out of sight, as he listens in.
     
    STEFANO: The Patient is making fantastic progress. Rolf, you have done it again.
    DR. ROLF: All at your service, Stefano.
     
    Stefano pours a drink from his bar, and offers one to Rolf as he takes one for himself.
     
    STEFANO: Ahh, here. Salut!
     
    The two men raise their glasses, as Bo looks on from the darkened corner of the room, studying them closely as they toast and down their drinks, laughing heartily at their work.
     
    ---
     
    Downstairs, Steve makes his way into the darkened cellar. Fumbling in pitch darkness, he struggles to find a lighter to light his way down, trying to whisper in frustration so as not to tip off anyone.
     
    STEVE: Damn it, why'd I quit smoking, man! HA, there!
     
    Steve finds a lighter in the pocket of his leather jacket, and finds a gas-powered lamp at the bottom of the stairs on a table. Lighting it, he holds up the lamp, looking to see what he can find.
     
    After a moment, his eyes spot something through the bars of the cell before him.
     
    STEVE: My God. It's really you.
     
    Steve smiles as he spots the Patient in his cell.
     
    ---
  5. beebs
    EPISODE 168
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     
     

    Brady sits on the sofa at Anita's cabin, reading the newspaper, as Anita finishes up the dishes in the kitchen area. Brady calls out to Anita about a news item he's reading.
     
    BRADY: Hey Anita, you read this?
     
    Anita shuts the kitchen tap off, and grabs a rag, drying her hands as she heads toward Brady.
     
    ANITA: Read what?
     
    Brady gets up from the sofa, closing the newspaper and showing her the headline:
     
    FALLON HOLDS MAJORITY STAKE IN TITAN, PROMISES DRASTIC CHANGES
     
    Anita sighs as she reads the headline, realizing the gravity of the situation. Brady drops the paper onto the coffee table and walks over to the fireplace mantle, leaning against it, frustrated.
     
    ANITA: Oh no. Brady, I'm sorry.
     
    Brady shakes his head, sighing before stopping Anita from continuing her apology.
     
    BRADY: No, it's my fault, I shouldn't have encouraged you to sell those shares off, and once again...
     
    Brady slams his fist against the mantle, causing one of the framed family photos on the mantle to fall off, cracking the frame, as the pictures inside fall out.
     
    BRADY: Damnit! I just make everything worse.
     
    Brady looks down, as he bends to pick up the photos from the floor, and spots a familiar face.
     
    A photo of the late Arianna Hernandez.
     
    ---
     

    Marlena and Hope sit at a table at Horton Town Square at the café, Marlena looking inquistively at a distracted Hope.
     
    MARLENA: So are you going to go on this date with Aiden?
    HOPE: Honestly, I'm not sure.
    MARLENA: Bo's been gone a long time, Hope. I know he loves you desperately, but I think it's incredibly unfair of you to wait for him forever.
     

    A voice snaps both women out of their conversation, causing them to look over. It's John.
     
    JOHN: Thankfully, he won't be gone forever.
     
    Marlena looks at John, somewhat displeased to see him, while Hope looks on, confused.
     
    ---
     

    Valerie steps out of her office at University Hospital, with "Crystal Clarke" following closely behind (really Sheryl Connors in disguise). "Crystal" listens eagerly as Valerie finishes their conversation.
     
    VALERIE: So, that's about it. I know you've had a lot of experience with this in...
    SHERYL: Birmingham.
    VALERIE: Right. I think you'll a perfect fit here, Crystal. I knew it from the moment I spoke with you at the interview.
     
    "Crystal" smiles broadly, appearing appreciative of the compliment.
     
    SHERYL: Well, I just gotta thank you, Dr. Grant. You've been amazing. Ah...if you don't mind, I know it's my first day and all, but I have an appointment I gotta keep. Getting everything settled moving into town and all, I need to finish unpacking.
     
    Valerie nods in reaction, smiling approvingly, as the two women walk down the hallway toward the nurses' station. As Valerie responds to "Crystal", the door to the elevator behind the nurses' station opens, and Daniel steps off, overhearing Valerie's words.
     
    VALERIE: Oh, absolutely! Today is mostly just orientation and paperwork. You're fine to head out. 
    SHERYL: Oh, thank you, Dr. Grant. It's great to finally meet you.
    VALERIE: Pleasure's all mine, Crystal. Good luck getting yourself settled in.
    SHERYL: Thanks!
     

    Daniel looks on as Sheryl walks off, making a beeline for the locker room. Daniel steps over to Valerie, who is standing at the nurses' station.
     
    DANIEL: Ahh...Dr. Grant.
    VALERIE: Yes, Dr. Jonas, what can I do for you?
     
    Valerie turns toward Daniel with a smile.
     
    DANIEL: Ahh...the nurse you were just speaking to...Crystal...Clarke was it?
    VALERIE: Yes, she just started today.
    DANIEL: Right. Ahh...has she...been assigned any patients as of yet?
     
    Valerie looks at Daniel, confused. She looks over toward where "Crystal" had walked off, then back at Daniel.
     
    VALERIE: Uh...no, she...she just did her orientation just before meeting with me. She won't be taking on any proper nursing duties until Monday. Why?
     
    Daniel looks down the hallway toward where "Crystal" had walked as well, before shaking his head and turning back toward Valerie.
     
    DANIEL: Nah, nothing. Just...curious about the new staff member, that's all.
     
    Valerie looks back at Daniel, unsure whether to believe him or not.
     
    ...
     
    Downstairs, in the University Hospital parking garage, inside the back of Sheryl's SUV, a still-unconscious Crystal Clarke lies, tied up with her mouth taped shut, her hands and feet bound.
     
    After a chilling moment of deafening silence, Crystal begins to wake up, her eyes twitching as they slowly open. 
     
    She looks around her, and tries in vain to move. She attempts to scream, but the duct tape prevents her from making much sound, as she panics, writhing about in the back of the SUV, unable to free herself, and with no one anywhere nearby able to help.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     
    Brady leans over, picking up the picture that fell to the ground. Turning around suddenly, he looks up at Anita, who's quickly walked over with a dustpan, before realizing what Brady has in his hand.
     
    BRADY: You know, I know you're their grandmother, but...I guess I just can't help but be surprised to see her picture.
    ANITA: You miss her a lot, don't you?
     
    Brady nods, unable to take his eyes off the photo.
     
    BRADY: Every day.
     
    Brady sits down on the sofa, as Anita sweeps the broken glass off the floor.
     
    Setting it aside, sits down beside Brady.
     
    ANITA: You know, she didn't talk much to us later in her life. I think she was still upset...knowing what had happened with her father. How he left them.
     
    Anita shakes her head, visibly upset by Eduardo.
     
    ANITA: That never left her. And then to find out she wasn't even related to me.
    BRADY: What?
    ANITA: Oh, no. We...never spoke about it, but...(sigh) Eduardo got another woman pregnant, she couldn't keep the baby but wouldn't abort. I...quite stupidly suggested that he and Adriana raise the baby as theirs, and try to work out their problems. 
    BRADY: And did they?
    ANITA: Oh, for awhile. I didn't want the affair to destroy them. It...I lost my husband because of a stupid mistake I made. And...it nearly cost me everything. Including my life. I didn't want that for them. 
     
    Brady listens intently, as Anita looks on, thinking back on her daughter's marriage.
     
    ANITA: It ended up all for nothing. They had Dario, then Gabi, and...then...Eduardo up and left one day, never came back. And we struggled. Oh, did we struggle. But I made sure those kids were fed. Clothed. I did everything I could for them. Adriana didn't want the handout, but...I knew she would struggle to do it all on her own.
     
    Anita sighs, taking Arianna's picture from Brady, and looking wistfully at it.
     
    ANITA: Then about...fifteen years ago? Arianna's last year of high school, she found out. Her and Adriana got into it. You know how mothers and daughters do. But Adriana let it slip.
    BRADY: That Arianna wasn't really hers.
     
    Anita nods, before biting her lip, trying to keep the tears at bay.
     
    ANITA: (sigh) Ari was a mess. She withdrew. Oh, she was already involved with the wrong crowd, but it got ten times worse after that.
    BRADY: I'm sorry, Anita.
    ANITA: Oh, Brady, don't feel responsible. You were a bright spot for her before she died. The few times I did talk to her, she said some wonderful things about you. When I realized who you were after I found you by the river...I knew it was fate that brought you to me. Arianna's spirit, giving you a second chance.
     
    Anita puts a hand on Brady's and squeezes it tightly. She looks with a weak smile on her face, but love in her eyes.
     
    ANITA: Don't waste your second chance, Brady.
     
    Brady looks at Anita, feeling touched by her words, though still unsure of his future.
     
    ---
     
    Back in the locker room at the hospital, Sheryl walks quickly over to her locker. Opening it up, she checks Crystal's phone once again. Ringing up Crystal's voice mail, she listens to the message Kim left.
     
    KIM: (via phone message) Ah hi Crystal! It's Kimberly Brady. I'm just calling to check in, I know you're probably busy at the hospital getting started up with work, but I just wanted to see when would be a good time to meet up so I can give you the key to the apartment. 
     
    Sheryl's eyes widen with delighted surprise at her good fortune, as the message continues.
     
    KIM: (via phone message) I know you're new in town, you probably don't know your way around very well, but just meet me at the Brady Pub near the pier. I'll take you up to the apartment from there and we can get you settled in. Ummm, just give me a call when you get this. Thanks, Crystal!
     
    The sound of rustling as Kim presses the 'end call' button on her phone prompts Sheryl to hang up the phone herself. Sheryl beams with delight, realizing her plan will take further shape now.
     
    SHERYL: (sigh) Sheryl Connors, or should I say, Crystal Clarke, you are, without a doubt, the luckiest woman on the planet.
     
    Grabbing the rest of her things, Sheryl then closes the door to her locker, and locks it. She walks out with a glowing confidence, heading for the car park.
     
    ...
     
    Downstairs in the parking garage, the real Crystal continues to struggle to free herself from Sheryl's bondage in the back of her SUV. 
     
    As Crystal attempts to kick at the back door of the vehicle, hoping to break the taillight of the truck and possibly free herself, Crystal pulls a muscle, and lets out a muffled scream of frustration and pain.
     
    Crumbling in a heap on the floor of the SUV, Crystal cries, equal parts angry and scared.
     
    ---
     

    Abby looks at Nick, standing with his hands on Gabi's shoulders, as they stand at the Brady Pub. Abby is stunned by Nick's news that he and Gabi will be moving in together.
     
    ABBY: Moving in together?
    GABI: Yeahhh, it's a big change.
    ABBY: I'll say! How are Sonny and Will taking the news?
     
    Gabi looks aside awkwardly before answering.
     
    GABI: I....haven't told them yet.
    ABBY: Gabi!
    GABI: I know! I Know! There hasn't been any time. I...I'm gonna talk to them this afternoon.
     
    Abby stands with her arms folded, uncomfortable with the news, she tries to feign being happy for them, but fails.
     
    ABBY: Well...I just...I want you to be happy, both of you, but...
    NICK: But...
     
    Abby looks at Nick, flashing back to his episode at Salem University not long ago.
     
    ***
     
    FLASHBACK TO EPISODE 104
     

    Nick stands in the main hall of Salem U, taking deep breaths as Abigail and Jerome stand back, stunned by Nick’s behaviour, and obvious pain. Nick holds his head in his hand, his head pounding, his vision blurred. He stumbles, trying to collect himself, as Abby steps back towards Nick, trying to see if he’s alright.
     
    ABBY: Nick…are you SURE you’re alr—
     
    Nick turns abruptly back around, as Abby lurches backwards, scared by her cousin’s unpredictable behaviour.
     
    NICK: I’m fine, just…just LEAVE ME ALONE!
     
    Jerome jumps in as Nick raises his hand to Abby in a fury. Jerome grabs Nick by his jacket and slams him against the wall, holding him there for a moment, staring him down.
     
    ***
     
    Abby snaps out of her momentary trance, trying to cover her fear of Nick's outbursts.
     
    ABBY: I just want everyone to be...sure this is the right thing to do. We're all under a lot of pressure lately, and...you know...I'm just looking out for my friends.
     
    Nick nods in agreement, studying Abby's face closely. Abby feels intimidated by Nick's stare, and looks away immediately back to Gabi, and smiles half-heartedly.
     
    GABI: I appreciate that, Abigail. I really do. But ummm...trust me. I know I'm making the right choice.
    ABBY: I'm glad to hear. If you need anything--
    GABI: I'll definitely call.
     
    Abby smiles half-heartedly, as Jennifer, JJ, Liam, and Laura all arrive at the pub. Gabi and Nick look up at the doorway, as Abby spins around to see her family walking in. She turns back to face Nick and Gabi, pointing back at the group as they filter into the pub.
     
    ABBY: My family's here. JJ's....taking off for college today, so we're gonna have lunch together before he takes off. I should...join them.
    NICK: Yeah. It's nice to see you, Abby.
     
    Abby feigns a smile, as she tries to look at Nick without setting off any alarm bells.
     
    ABBY: Yeah, you too. Good luck, Gabi. Nick.
     
    Gabi looks on at Abby as she steps away. Nick squeezes Gabi's shoulders as he stands behind her. Gabi looks uncomfortable, but plays along with Nick, putting her hand on his gently. 
     

    ---
     
    John stands before Marlena and Hope at their table at the café in Horton Square. Marlena looks at him, annoyed by his presence, while Hope immediately notices the awkwardness, but is curious as to what John meant.
     
    MARLENA: John, what are you still doing in town?
    JOHN: I came back, Doc. I had some business I had to take care of.
     
    Hope looks at John, with a glimmer of hope in her eye.
     
    HOPE: ISA business?
     
    John sighs, wishing he could say one way or another.
     
    JOHN: Hope, you know I can't tell you that.
     
    Hope sighs, slumping in her chair, as John tries to reassure her.
     
    JOHN: Hope, I'm serious, okay? They're making good progress with their mission. I understand if you're ready to give up, but please don't. You're making a mistake.
     
    Marlena gets up from her seat, now enraged by John's insistance.
     
    MARLENA: OH? So Hope's supposed to put her entire life on hold for God-knows-how-long for Bo, but you're ready to divorce me on the drop of a dime? 
     
    John looks away, sighing in exasperation.
     
    JOHN: Doc, it's differen--
    MARLENA: Oh, the Hell it is. 
     
    Marlena moves to make sure John looks her in the eye when she speaks.
     
    MARLENA: You expect Hope is supposed to have unwavering loyalty, even when there are plenty of other men in Salem who would be only too lucky to have her. 
     
    John looks down, knowing the talking-to he's about to receive.
     
    MARLENA: And yet, when I try to defend my children...YOUR children, from being entangled by a sociopath, a RAPIST? Suddenly I'm a villain. Suddenly I'm not worthy to live in the same house as you.
    JOHN: Doc, come on, it's not like that--
    MARLENA: You know it is. You are angry with me because I wouldn't sit by and let you handle Kristen your way. But you should have involved me from the get-go. Instead you play the martyr, and look what you have to show for it. Brady is dead, Kristen has ruined Eric's life. 
     
    John looks back up at Marlena, trying to hold his emotions in, and Marlena continues to chastise him.
     
    MARLENA: But you and your pride. You just couldn't admit you were wrong. And now we're all paying the price for it. 
    JOHN: Doc. I'm sorry. Alright. I'm sorry. I wish I could take it all back, but there are reasons I can't go into why we needed to divorce that go beyond anything that happened with Kristen.
    MARLENA: Like what?
     
    John hesitates, and Marlena immediately notices and reacts angrily.
     
    MARLENA: Damn it all, John, tell me.
    JOHN: I can't.
     
    Hope cuts in, getting up from her seat and putting her hand on Marlena's shoulder.
     
    HOPE: Marlena...look...I know you and John are going through a hard time, but...I really do have a strong feeling that whatever he isn't telling you...maybe it's important that we just sit tight and wait.
    JOHN: Hope's right, Doc. 
    MARLENA: Well, I'm not going to wait around for you to decide whether you're going to make it make sense for me or not.
     
    Marlena turns sharply to face Hope.
     
    MARLENA: And neither should you. You've waited long enough for Bo. As much as I love him, it's time you lived your life. Enjoy yourself with Aiden, alright?
     
    Hope nods, as Marlena turns back to face John.
     
    MARLENA: Now, if you'll excuse me, I have someone I need to meet in a few minutes.
     
    Marlena marches off, leaving a saddened John and a curious Hope behind.
     
    HOPE: And just what is all that about, John? What are you keeping from her?
     
    John sighs, knowing it's best he not tell Hope anything either.
     
    ---
     

    On the island off the coast of Italy, Stefano walks into the catacombs underneath his compound, with Dr. Rolf in tow. They make their way down to the cage where The Patient sits, tied up. 
     
    A black rubber mask covers The Patient's face, with only his eyes, nose and mouth exposed.
     
    Stefano looks over from outside the cage, gleefully.
     
    STEFANO: Ahhh I see this is going exactly to plan.
    DR. ROLF: So far so good, Stefano. I think he is nearly ready.
     
    Dr. Rolf inserts the key to the cage into the lock, opening the door, as the two men step in. The Patient looks on, quietly surveying their movements.
     
    When the two men are standing before The Patient, whose arms and legs are bound to a metal-framed chair, Stefano smiles, speaking directly to The Patient.
     
    STEFANO: Alright, my friend. I know you've been waiting awhile, wondering where we've been.
     
    Stefano begins to pace in front of Rolf and The Patient, almost sermonizing as he explains himself.
     
    STEFANO: But we had many things to take care of before checking in on you. We had to remove your friend from the adjacent cell. His time had come, you see. And soon, yours will as well.
     
    Stefano pulls out his wallet from his suit jacket pocket. He pilfers through it before pulling out a single photo.
     
    STEFANO: But...first, the test. Rolf?
     
    Dr. Rolf looks back at Stefano, pulling a syringe out, ready to react to the Patient's response, as Stefano slowly turns the photo around.
     
    The photo of John Black appears, causing a vicious reaction from The Patient. Snarling, spittling, and trying to fight through his bonds, Stefano can't help but smile with glee as The Patient fights to attack the image before him.
     
    Dr. Rolf injects the syringe into the patient, as Stefano laughs heartily. The Patient's rage begins to simmer, as he lapses quickly into unconsciousness.
     
    ---
  6. beebs
    EPISODE 167
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Hope stands outside the café at Horton Town Square, looking in disbelief at a downright humble Aiden.
     
    HOPE: You want to take me out for dinner? I'm sorry, are you feeling okay?
    AIDEN: Hope, come on, I'm trying here.
    HOPE: No no, I mean...cut me some slack here. We haven't had a single conversation since we've met where we haven't argued. I mean...I would think you wouldn't want to share the same zip code with me, never mind a meal.
     
    Aiden shrugs, slightly amused by Hope's reticence.
     
    AIDEN: I mean...I know it's hard for guys to admit when they're wrong, but...
    HOPE: Don't I know it.
    AIDEN: But I do want to make it up to you. Seriously.
     
    Hope cocks her eyebrow as she takes a sip of her coffee. She looks to one side before shrugging casually.
     
    HOPE: Okay. Dinner it is. TBD tonight.
     
    Aiden smiles at Hope's decision. 
     
    AIDEN: You're on. I'll pick you up at 7?
    HOPE: (laughs) Not the way you drive. I'll meet you there for 7:30.
    AIDEN: Deal. I'll see you then.
     
    Aiden walks away, leaving Hope standing by the café, bemused by Aiden's change of attitude.
     
    ---
     

    Sheryl closes the door to Jordan's office, standing before a stunned Jordan in her getup to emulate Nurse Crystal Clarke.
     
    Jordan is speechless, as Sheryl smiles, almost laughing as she speaks.
     
    SHERYL: Surprised to see me?
    JORDAN: Wh...what are you doing here?
    SHERYL: I came to get you. I'm going to save you from ruining your life, and ours. 
     
    Jordan looks at Sheryl, worried of what's to come, but baffled by what Sheryl intends to do.
     
    ---
     

    Tyler sits on a stool next to Victor's hospital bed, reeling from the news that Nick's working for Stefano.
     
    TYLER: Victor, are you absolutely sure Nick told you he was funded by Stefano. You didn't mishear him.
    VICTOR: 100%. 
     
    Tyler shakes his head, resigned but not totally surprised by the news.
     
    TYLER: You know, it makes almost too much sense.
    VICTOR: I agree. That's why we have to take action, immediately.
    TYLER: What kind of action?
    VICTOR: Simple. We'll send Stefano a message, and clean up the filth that's rotting this town from the inside.
     
    Tyler sighs, knowing what Victor's implying.
     
    TYLER: Victor, we can't be working underhandedly.
    VICTOR: Too late. The gloves are already off. Get rid of Nick Fallon. By any means neccessary.
     
    Victor looks steely-eyed at a concerned Tyler, who is far less convinced of Victor's plan than Victor is.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     

    Gabi and Nick sit at a table at the Brady Pub, next to Gabi's packed bags. They sip their coffee as they finish their brunch. Gabi looks pleasant, but nervously at Nick, as Nick discusses his decorating plans for the Kiriakis mansion.
     
    As he does this, Abigail steps into the pub and Gabi and Abby's eyes immediately meet.
     
    NICK: So I wanna give Ari the biggest stuffed toy collection for her room, and we'll give the stuffed toys their own crib just like Ari's...
     
    Gabi interjects, trying to tell him that Ari won't be staying with them.
     
    GABI: Nick...don't get carried away.
    NICK: Why not?
    GABI: Well, Ari's...
     

    Nick notices Gabi's eyes turn away from his, causing him to turn his head around toward the door. He calls out excitedly to Abigail.
     
    NICK: Abby! Hey!
     
    Abigail looks surprised to see Nick and Gabi together, but smiles upon seeing them, and heads toward their table.
     
    ABBY: Hey, guys! How are you? 
    GABI: I'm good. You wanna join us?
    ABBY: Oh, I'm just...I'm waiting for my family to get here. JJ's leaving for college today, and...
    NICK: Oh! Wow! Wish him the best from me.
     
    Abby smiles awkwardly at Nick. She nods as she responds, folding her arms in slight discomfort after Nick's prior volatile interaction with Abby at Salem U.
     
    ABBY: Oh definitely, I will. Thanks, Nick.  Ah...you... you guys going somewhere?
     
    Abby points at Gabi's bags, and Gabi laughs at Abby's question.
     
    GABI: Ah, not...not really...
     
    Nick interrupts Gabi, telling Abigail the news excitedly.
     
    NICK: Gabi's agreed to move in with me.
     
    Abigail looks a bit shocked, but tries to stifle her reaction, smiling in a subdued way.
     
    ABBY: Ah...ah wow. That's...a surprise. I guess I should be congratulating you too?
    GABI: Thanks, Abby.
     
    Nick notices Abby's less-than-enthused reaction, and comments on it.
     
    NICK: You seem a bit...concerned, Abby. What's wrong?
    ABBY: Well, no, I just...I guess I'm just surprised. You seemed really happy at Will and Sonny's, and Ari had her whole family there, and...it's just so sudden.
    GABI: Yeah, I know.
    ABBY: Plus, I mean...there's not much room up in Nick's little room upstairs--
     
    Nick cuts Abby off, smiling widely as he shares his other news with her.
     
    NICK: Oh! That's not gonna be a problem. We're moving into the Kiriakis mansion. See, I own it now.
     
    Abby's face drops in response to Nick's news.
     
    ---
     
    Jordan stands facing Sheryl in her office. Sheryl, dressed up to emulate Nurse Crystal Clarke, stands blocking Jordan's office door, and smirks at Jordan with arms folded. Jordan stands nervously, stuttering out her words.
     
    JORDAN: Wh...Sheryl, what are you doing here?
    SHERYL: I came to get you out of this hospital, and out of Salem before it's too late.
     
    Jordan glowers at Sheryl, now folding her arms herself in defiance.
     
    JORDAN: I'm not going anywhere, Sheryl. Besides, what you doing dressed like that, you look ridiculous.
    SHERYL: Thank you. I'm the new nurse here, Crystal Clarke. 
     
    Jordan rolls her eyes at Sheryl's get-up. Responding snarkily.
     
    JORDAN: Original. How'd you manage to pull this one off, hm? You dropped out of nursing school in your first year.
    SHERYL: It all comes back to you. Like riding a bike. Besides, I won't have to do this very long, it's just for the day to get you to come along with us.
    JORDAN: Not happening. I'm staying right here.
     
    Jordan turns to put a file away in her filing cabinet behind her desk, as Sheryl continues, walking toward Jordan while menacing her gleefully.
     
    SHERYL: Oh you're not, hm? Gonna stay here with you cop boyfriend?
     
    Jordan slams the door to her cabinet shut before turning around and raising her voice to Sheryl.
     
    JORDAN: Actually, I am, Sheryl. Or...Crystal or whoever you are.
     
    Sheryl looks on with a raised eyebrow, unconvinced.
     
    SHERYL: Yeah. I'm sure. I'm sure he'll also be just thrilled when I tell him who you really are and that you've been lying to him about your identity this entire time!
     
    Jordan smiles smugly, knowing Sheryl can't touch her with this information.
     
    JORDAN: Nice try. But he already knows.
    SHERYL: Oh, does he?
    JORDAN: Yes.
    SHERYL: Hm.
    JORDAN: I told him not 20 minutes ago. He was here. He promised that no matter what, he was gonna stand by me.
     
    Sheryl steps in closer to Jordan, calling her bluff.
     
    SHERYL: Well, see now, THAT tells me that you've been pickin' cherries, my dear Kaylie. Except you didn't tell him your name was Kaylie Matthews, because THAT would mean he could find your name on an FBI casefile.
     
    Sheryl begins to chuckle, as Jordan becomes more and more tense.
     
    JORDAN: I told him everything I could, Sheryl. And I'm not afraid of you anymore.
    SHERYL: Oh, really. What, are you gonna play informant now? Thow me and Jerome under the bus so you can have your little happily-ever-after? I don't think so.
    JORDAN: I think it's time you left.
     
    Jordan makes a beeline for the door of her office, as Sheryl turns around, watching Jordan huff and puff her way to the door.
     
    SHERYL: You're right. I have a lot I need to do. Let me know when you're ready to come with me, Jordan. 
    JORDAN: I won't be, because I'm not leaving. You are.
    SHERYL: Don't be so sure about that.
     
    Sheryl walks slowly over to the door, slowing her walk to whisper her threatening words to Jordan on her way out.
     
    SHERYL: I'll be back later.
     
    As Sheryl saunters out of Jordan's office, Jordan slams the door behind her. She leans back against the door, relieved that Sheryl's gone, but livid that she's still not rid of her.
     
    ---
     

    Hope stands outside the café at Horton Town Square, texting Rafe to let her know she's on her way to the police station, when Marlena walks up behind her and startles her.
     
    MARLENA: Boo!
     
    Hope jumps slightly, turning to see Marlena behind her, and breaks out laughing.
     
    HOPE: Oh my God, Marlena, you startled me.
    MARLENA: (laughs) I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. Did you have a moment?
    HOPE: I do, just...not long, I have to head back to the station.
    MARLENA: Oh, that's fine. I'm meeting Valerie here anyway, in a few minutes. I just thought I'd see how you were doing.
     
    Hope looks to one side and shrugs as she responds.
     
    HOPE: Wellll...confused.
    MARLENA: About what?
     
    Hope sighs, looking a bit flustered.
     
    HOPE: Aiden Jennings.
    MARLENA: What about him?
    HOPE: Well...he just asked me out on a date.
     
    Marlena looks at Hope, somewhat intrigued. Hope looks back, still baffled and a bit unnerved.
     
    ---
     
    Tyler sighs as he stands beside Victor's bed.
     
    TYLER: Victor, I am not playing your hitman.
    VICTOR: On the contrary. That's exactly what you'll do, and it's the only way you're gonna get out of this mess.
    TYLER: Oh, really now? And how do you figure that?
    VICTOR: When I say Nick Fallon told me everything, I mean he told me everything. That includes him blackmailing the Titan board into making him CEO. Which means he knows about our previous connections and the fact you've been running my, shall we say, undocumented business dealings.
     
    Tyler looks aside, sighing once more as he realizes Victor's correct.
     
    TYLER: Okay, you got me.
    VICTOR: And I also expect that that's how he got you to play mentor to his scrawny behind while he figures out what the Hell he's doing in a three-piece suit as opposed to a lab coat.
    TYLER: That's exactly it. But I figured if I coached him, all the while working with you, possibly with Kate, and Justin, that we'd be able to steady the ship and lull Nick into a sense of security so we could oust him.
    VICTOR: Not a chance. I'm not in any position to gamble with what little this company has left. We need Nick out of the picture, Stefano to relinquish control of our assets, and all without the public finding out all our dirty laundry. The only way that can happen is if Nick disappears, and you along with him.
     
    Tyler looks at Victor, a certain disappointment and sadness in his eyes.
     
    TYLER: I know this sounds somewhat...melodramatic of me, but...where will I go?
    VICTOR: I'll see to it that you'll be financially stable, and no one will find you.
    TYLER: So I'll be living out in the woods with Anita?
    VICTOR: Nonsense. That'll put a target on both your backs. Anita's finally out of danger, and you wanna put her back in? You'd have to be mad to do that.
    TYLER: I was out there today. She needs help, Victor. She won't admit it, but she does.
     
    Victor looks at Tyler, confused.
     
    VICTOR: What do you mean?
     
    Tyler sighs again, looking down as he takes a moment before speaking.
     
    TYLER: Anita sold off her stock in Titan. That's how Nick and Stefano were able to get the 4% they needed to have majority ownership.
    VICTOR: Damn it! 
    TYLER: I know. I was furious with her at first, but...the house is in a real state. The dividends weren't paying out like they used to and she's burning through her savings fast. I...honestly don't think she had another option.
     
    Victor shakes his head in disappointment.
     
    VICTOR: I'll make sure Anita's covered. Just make sure you get the job done, and get out of Salem. When you do, you tell me immediately. And do not come back under any circumstances.
     
    Tyler looks back at a steely-eyed Victor, who stares him down unflinchingly.
     
    ---
  7. beebs
    EPISODE 166
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson
     
     

    Tyler steps off the elevator at University Hospital, making a beeline for Victor's room.
     

    As Tyler opens the door, he's followed in by Daniel, who tries to stop Tyler from advancing.
     
    DANIEL: Ahh...Mr. Houston...
    TYLER: Yes?
    DANIEL: I'm sorry, I'm...just about to do a quick check-up on Victor, and...
     

    Victor, hearing Tyler and Daniel's voices, opens his eyes, and interjects.
     
    VICTOR: It's alright, Daniel. Can you give us five minutes?
     
    Daniel sighs, knowing Victor won't budge.
     
    DANIEL: Victor, I gotta finish my rounds before noon. I have a lunch date with Billie.
    VICTOR: Tell her to postpone. This is important.
     
    Daniel takes a moment, before giving in.
     
    DANIEL: Yeah. Okay. But just five. I'll be at the nurses' station.
     
    Tyler turns, nodding in appreciation to Daniel, as Daniel reaches for the door on his way out.
     
    TYLER: Thank you.
     
    As Daniel shuts the door, Tyler turns his attentions back to Victor, speaking dryly to his longtime business associate.
     
    TYLER: You called?
    VICTOR: Yes. I was just paid a visit from our good friend Nick Fallon. How long were you all gonna keep me in the dark about what he's up to, anyway?
     
    Tyler sighs, frustrated and disappointed that Nick's broken the news to Victor of his takeover of Titan.
     
    ---
     

    Sheryl emerges from the service elevator at University Hospital, checking around to ensure no one has spied her with the wheelchair, before placing it back by the locker room door, as before.
     
    Sneaking back into the locker room, she walks over to her locker, realizing that Crystal's phone is inside, ringing.
     
    She checks to see who's calling.
     
    It's Kim.
     
    Ignoring the call, Sheryl puts the phone back in the locker, and locks it up.
     
    SHERYL: Okay, Crystal. Time to deal with your next problem. Jordan Ridgeway.
     
    Sheryl walks off in search of Jordan.
     
    ---
     

    Kim puts her phone down from her ear, as she stands behind the bar at the Brady Pub, somewhat confused by "Crystal" hanging up on her, as Nick walks into the pub, a bright smile on his face.
     
    Kim turns to greet him.
     
    KIM: Nick!
    NICK: Hey Kim! Ah...have you seen Gabi anywhere?
     
    Kim shakes her head, as she scans the restaurant to be sure she hasn't missed Gabi somehow.
     
    KIM: Ahh no. Can't say that I have. You're supposed to meet her here to get the rest of your things?
     
    Nick leans casually against the bar, smirking with his usual self-satisfaction.
     
    NICK: Mmmm...you could say that.
     

    Just then, Gabi steps in, causing Nick to turn his head around excitedly.
     
    NICK: There's the woman I've been waiting to see!
     
    Gabi walks in, suitcase in tow. Nick looks down, and realizes what this means. He looks back up at Gabi, with a growing smile on his face.
     
    NICK: You....is this what I think it is?
     
    Gabi smiles ,nervously, breathing in deep before answering. She flashes back to what EJ told her when they met earlier:
     
    ***
     
    FLASHBACK TO EPISODE 156
     

    Gabi stands with EJ on the pier, her face lined with worry, as she speaks to EJ softly, trying not to be heard lest someone overhear.
     
    GABI: Alright. So how am I going to go about finding these pictures?
     
    EJ looks at Gabi, deadly serious.
     
    EJ: He'll have them. You're going to have to put yourself in very close proximity to him to get them. Make certain you bring your weapon to keep yourself protected, but don't let him think for a second that you're nervous around him.
    GABI: Even if that means I have to go to bed with him?
    EJ: Absolutely, if you have to.
    GABI: EJ, I...I can't do that. The thought of sleeping with that man again makes my skin crawl.
    EJ: I realize. But your family's lives are at stake here. You need to be prepared to do whatever it takes to take Nick down.
     
    ***
     
    Gabi smiles at Nick, feigning a warm look as she tells him her decision.
     
    GABI: Yeah. I'll do it, Nick. I'll move in with you.
     
    ---
     

    ---
     

    Hope walks out of the café in Horton Town Square, a coffee cup in hand to go, as she see Aiden approach the café at the same time.
     
    Catching each other's eyes, Hope moves to go around Aiden without greeting, but Aiden calls out to her, stopping her in her tracks.
     
    AIDEN: Hope.
     
    Hope responds coldly, not even turning to face Aiden.
     
    HOPE: What do you want, Aiden?
    AIDEN: I wanted to...apologize for how I behaved the last time we...heh, ran into each other.
     
    Hope turns around, speaking politely, but not warmly.
     
    HOPE: Aiden, there's nothing to say. Just....forget about it. You live your life, and try to stay out of mine.
    AIDEN: Well, wait. Look, I...I kinda wanted to make it up to you. If you don't mind, that is.
     
    Hope furrows her brow, unsure what Aiden means.
     
    HOPE: Don't mind what?
    AIDEN: Well...I was hoping to maybe...heh, maybe I could buy you dinner or something? Maybe meet up at Club TBD tonight?
     
    Hope looks on, stunned by Aiden's turn in attitude.
     
    ---
     
    Nick beams with delight as he hugs a tense Gabi, who looks on as Nick embraces her, positively stunned by what she's doing. 
     
    Nick laughs obliviously with excitement as he pulls Gabi out of their hug.
     
    NICK: Oh wow! This is...this is the best news I've had today. Seriously. 
    GABI: Well, you...you've had a lot of good news lately, I...I'm just the icing on the cake, I'm sure.
    NICK: That you are.
     
    Nick puts a hand on Gabi's arm, as Gabi looks on, trying not to let his discomfort with Nick's touch show. She looks over at Kim, who takes the cue and speaks up.
     
    KIM: Ah, Gabi! Did you...did you want a coffee or something?
     
    Gabi looks over at Kim, as she steps over toward a table for two.
     
    GABI: Ah...double vodka, straight.
     
    Nick looks curiously at Gabi as they sit down.
     
    NICK: You ah...you drinking so early?
    GABI: Nick, I need all the courage I can to live under Victor Kiriakis' roof. Especially if I'm going to be living there as your guest.
    NICK: That's just it, Gabi. It's not Victor's....it's my house. I own it. 
    GABI: Doesn't make it any less awkward. I mean, I'm moving out of Sonny and Will's and...I mean, I haven't even told them I'm leaving, and...
     
    Nick grabs Gabi's hands and holds them across the table. He looks seriously into her eyes.
     
    NICK: No. No, it doesn't need to be. Gabi, I'm serious. The Kiriakises are guests in our home. If anyone gives you trouble, you leave them to me. Okay?
     
    Gabi nods slowly, feeling very uncomfortable with the situation. Nick lowers his voice as he leans in closer.
     
    NICK: And as for Will & Sonny? We'll figure it out, we'll...we'll make a schedule for Ari, whatever you need. But you need to remember, you're entitled to live your own life. Now, I know Will won't mind as much, he usually doesn't...but If Sonny has that much of a problem with you living with me, I will make sure he stays out of our way, okay?
     
    Gabi interjects, cutting the end off of Nick's last statement.
     
    GABI: No, Nick, you don't have to--
    NICK: No, I...I think this is important. Let me handle Will and Sonny. You just need to make yourself comfortable, and we'll choose some great furniture for Ari's new bedroom, and...
    GABI: Nick, no, I can't--
    NICK: I...insist. I'll ask Maggie to help you out. It'll be no problem. I just want this place to feel like home for you, okay?
     
    Gabi looks down, nodding as she feigns a smile.
     
    GABI: Anywhere I go with you feels like home.
     
    Gabi looks up at Nick, hoping to see for sure if her lie was convincing to Nick.
     
    ---
     
    Tyler steps towards Victor's hospital bed, trying to explain himself to an impatient Victor.
     
    TYLER: Victor, we wanted to make sure you were alright before we bombarded you with business.
    VICTOR: Oh, save it. It's not like I'm at death's door.
     
    Tyler looks at Victor, vaguely amused by his resolve.
     
    TYLER: Maggie just wanted to be sure you made a speedy recovery. Any undue stress would've risked a relapse.
    VICTOR: I'd rather know now and get ahead of it than be blindsided by that arrogant weasel. He came in here giggling and bragging like he'd lost his virginity on prom night.
    TYLER: Well, there's an unpleasant thought.
     
    Victor relaxes slightly as he responds to Tyler's wry comment.
     
    VICTOR: It was equally unpleasant to hear. But it wasn't the worst of it.
     
    Tyler looks at Victor with a hint of confusion.
     
    TYLER: What do you mean?
    VICTOR: I mean that little worm's not working alone. 
    TYLER: Well, we suspected that for awhile. I mean, no one gets their hands on enough money to singlehandedly buy out a major corporation like that without major financial backing.
    VICTOR: Mmm, that's no lie. You'll be as surprised as I was to hear the source of that financial backing.
     
    Tyler rests against the edge of Victor's bed, now extremely curious to know who Victor's talking about.
     
    TYLER: And just who is that?
    VICTOR: Stefano DiMera.
     
    Tyler shakes his head, confirming his suspicions about Nick's sudden victory.
     
    ---
     

    Jordan sits at her office chair at University Hospital, as she hears a knock at the door. Looking up, she calls out to the person.
     
    JORDAN: Come in.
     

    Checking her watch, Jordan assumes it's another patient. But it's Maxine, with some paperwork for her.
     
    JORDAN: Maxine! Hi!
    MAXINE: So...how'd it go with Rafe?
     
    Jordan gets up from behind her desk, taking the paperwork from Maxine's outstretched hand.
     
    JORDAN: Very well...I think we're gonna be okay.
     
    Maxine beams at the news.
     
    MAXINE: I'm so glad to hear it. 
     
    Jordan quickly steps over to the other side of her desk and gives Maxine a warm hug.
     
    JORDAN: Ooo thank you so much, Maxine. You don't know how much your advice helped.
     
    Pulling away from their hug, Maxine gives Jordan a stern look, wagging her finger as she speaks.
     
    MAXINE: Listen, Jordan. If you ever need anything at all, any advice, I will be here. Even if it's just to listen. Sometimes that's all you need.
    JORDAN: I'll remember that. Thank you.
    MAXINE: Anytime, honey.
     
    Maxine steps out the door, closing it behind her, and Jordan turns her back to the door to check out the documents Maxine left behind.
     
    A moment later, there's another knock on the door. Jordan calls out again without turning to look.
     
    JORDAN: Maxine (laughs) what did you forget?
     
    The door opens, revealing Sheryl disguised as Crystal Clarke. Putting on her best fake southern accent, Sheryl steps just inside Jordan's office.
     
    SHERYL: Oh, nothin' big. Just came to get you.
     
    Jordan looks up from her papers, confused by the voice she hears.
     
    She turns suddenly, as Sheryl looks back at her, grinning widely. Jordan's face drops, terrified by Sheryl's arrival.
     
    ---
  8. beebs
    EPISODE 165
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     
     

    Kate stands in her penthouse condo, finishing pouring a smoothie in her kitchenette, as she hears the front door unlock.
     
    She turns to see who it is, and smiles upon seeing Billie's face.
     
    KATE: Ah! You finally made it.
     
    Billie walks in, clutching her jacket, trying to hide the fatigue in her eyes. Kate turns around and smiles wider, trying to hide her laughter at her daughter's disheveled appearance.
     
    KATE: Long night, I see.
    BILLIE: Shut up, Mom.
     
    Kate sours her expression momentarily, scolding her daughter for her response.
     
    KATE: Hey, now! Watch it! I could just as soon use that room I've given you as a home office.
    BILLIE: Sorry. What's that you're drinking?
     
    Billie plants her purse down on the kitchen island, as Kate takes a sip of her green smoothie. She winces as she tastes it. Setting it down, she passes it over to Billie.
     
    KATE: Green smoothie. My nurtitionist said it'll help my immune system and help keep my weight in check, but I think the only reason I won't gain weight is from being too nauseated to eat anything the rest of the day. Try it.
     
    Billie looks down. She gives an unimpressed look back to Kate and turns away.
     
    BILLIE: I'll pass.
    KATE: Ungrateful child.
     
    Billie laughs, as Kate picks the smoothie back up, and tries another sip of it. Billie sets herself down on the sofa in the living room area.
     
    KATE: So how was last night?
     
    Billie looks back over at Kate, a wide smile on her face.
     
    BILLIE: Absolutely beautiful. We were gonna have a moonlight picnic, but it was raining so, Daniel set his place up to be just like the park, and the place was lit up with all these lights...oh, I'm telling you, Mom. It was amazing.
    KATE: That's good to hear. I just hope he isn't using you like he used me and Chelsea.
     
    Billie sighs, immediately exasperated by Kate's overbearing nature.
     
    BILLIE: Mom...
    KATE: I'm sorry, but he's screwed over me, your brother, and your daughter, and I'll be damned if he makes a fool out of three entire generations of this family.
    BILLIE: And just how is he gonna do that, Mom? He loves me.
     
    Kate scoffs at Billie. She steps over toward her, sitting next to her on the sofa.
     
    KATE: Honey, I know this man. He's with you on the rebound from Jennifer. As much as he's going to deny it, he's still in love with her. And I know you know that.
     
    Billie grimaces, furrowing her brow as she looks back  disapprovingly at her mother.
     
    ---
     

    Anita stands facing Tyler in her cabin. She sets her cup of tea down on the dining table, as she nods to Tyler, feigning a solemn expression.
     
    ANITA: Well, it's disappointing to hear, but...I don't see why you should put Victor through any more pain. If Brady's gone, then....he's gone.
    TYLER: I'm sorry, Anita. 
     
    Anita shrugs. She paces past Tyler, leaning out the window by the doorway.
     
    ANITA: (sigh) Not much you can do. I understand.
    TYLER: You seem...somewhat resigned about all this.
     
    Anita turns back to face Tyler, snapping at him for his line of questioning.
     
    ANITA: Well, what am I supposed to say, Tyler? What do you want me to feel? Happy? I know there's nothing we can do. Just like there's nothing I can do about my situation.
     
    Tyler walks towards Anita, appearing sympathetic.
     
    TYLER: I know. I'm sorry. I...I wish there was another way, but...it's been too long. To change things now would just...it would cause more problems than it would solve. You know this. I know this.
     
    Tyler puts a hand on Anita's shoulder, as she sighs, shaking her head.
     
    ANITA: I guess so. (sigh) But I do wish I could be closer to Salem...my loved ones.
    TYLER: We both know that's not possible.
    ANITA: The threat is gone, Tyler. It has been for years. I know it's going to be complicated, but...
     
    Tyler grabs Anita by the shoulders, trying to shake a bit of sense into her.
     
    TYLER: But nothing, Anita. You are going to stay living as Anita Hernandez, and you are going to stay away from Salem. And that's final.
     
    Anita looks at Tyler, wide-eyed, infuriated by his forceful manner.
     
    ---
     

    Nick stands inside Victor's hospital room at Univeristy Hospital. As Nick watches Victor's comatose body, he continues to speak to Victor.
     
    NICK: You know, I didn't set out to do any of this, yeah? All I was trying to do was get enough evidence against you to stop EnerNext from taking over Percy's land. 
     
    Nick sits back down on the stool facing Victor's bed. He rests his arms on the edge of the bed.
     
    NICK: You know Percy, right? My right hand at the lab. Says "Greetings" when he walks into a room? Yeah, him. Well...he saved my life a little while ago when your friends Kate and Sami tried to drown me in the river. (laughs) I know, right? Unbelievable. Two known killers trying to kill again. 
     
    Nick giggles as he rests his arm on the side of Victor's bed. He sighs, pausing a moment before continuing.
     
    NICK: How did I get so lucky? I should be honoured. They were willing to throw their lives away for little ol' me.
     
    Nick's expressions changes, as he remains laser-focused on Victor's eyes, he becomes more stern.
     
    NICK: Well, this time...they weren't so lucky. Percy found me, and this....this is my thank you to him. Watching you suffer. And believe me, it feels good.
     
    Nick sneers the last part of his sentence, never once moving or looking away from Victor's face.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     
    Billie closes the door to the fridge in Kate's kitchenette, frustrated with her mother's intrusiveness. Kate, meanwhile, sits on the sofa in the adjacent living room, looking Billie's way.
     
    KATE: You know, I'm only telling you this for your own good, right?
    BILLIE: (sigh) Mom. Remember why I left Salem the last time?
    KATE: Because I was interfering in your life, and being deceptive.
     
    Billie holds her arms out, as though denoting Kate's 'a-ha' moment.
     
    BILLIE: She gets it! She finally gets it!
    KATE: Yes, well, a leopard can't change its spots, and I guess, maybe I'm protective of you and Austin because I lost so many years with you.
    BILLIE: Yes, but you don't get it. The more you try to control everyone's lives, the more years you go without us in your life. You have to let us live ours, make our own mistakes. 
     
    Kate gets up from the couch as Billie speaks and reaches over to take Billie's hand across the kitchen island.
     
    KATE: I just don't want you repeating the same ones I made. Daniel can be a very charismatic man, and I'm sure he really is enjoying his time with you, but you're going to have to realize that he does this whenever he loses somebody he loves. 
     
    Billie bites her tongue, looking away as Kate squeezes Billie's hand gently.
     
    KATE: And he loves Jennifer. Very much. 
     
    Billie pulls away from Kate, and looks at Kate defiantly.
     
    BILLIE: Well, maybe he loves me just as much. Did you ever think of that? Or is it just impossible for you to believe that I could be the woman to help him get over Jennifer Horton?
    KATE: Maybe you're right. But I'd rather spare you from finding out you're wrong.
     
    Billie looks at a concerned Kate, trying to maintain her stern expression, but a hint of uncertainty is in Billie's eyes.
     
    ---
     
    Anita shakes Tyler off her suddenly, her enraged look never leaving Tyler's eyes as she raises a finger in stern scolding.
     
    ANITA: Don't you EVER lay a hand on me like that again, Tyler Houston. 
     
    Tyler backs away slightly, looking sheepishly.
     
    TYLER: I'm sorry, I--
    ANITA: You have absolutely no grounds to keep me here. Not anymore. I am not beholden to Victor Kiriakis, and certainly not to you.
    TYLER: Anita, now, hold--
    ANITA: I will not hold on. 
     
    Anita looks increasingly emotional, as she stands a good two feet away from Tyler, scolding him like a child.
     
    ANITA: You and Victor have spent the last 30 years controlling where I go, what I do. You threatened to pull my stake in Titan when my grandchildren moved to Salem, and I had to beg you to leave them alone. What good has that done me? What good has any of this done me?
    TYLER: We were keeping you safe. That's all we wanted to do.
    ANITA: That's great. Well, I'm safe. I'm alone, I'm facing destitution. But I'm safe. I bet you don't even know what you're protecting me from anymore.
     
    Tyler looks sternly at Anita.
     
    TYLER: If you come back to Salem, there will be too many questions that need to be answered.
     
    Anita steps toward Tyler, she looks him dead in the eyes, with the same sternness he showed her. She speaks softly, but firmly.
     
    ANITA: You go back to Victor, and you tell him to bring 'em on. I'm ready for every single question they can throw at me.
     
    Tyler shakes his head, frustrated by Anita's determination.
     
    Anita, meanwhile, walks over to the door. She opens it wide, showing Tyler the way out.
     
    ANITA: Now get out.
     
    Tyler walks toward the door, stopping momentarily before he leaves.
     
    TYLER: I will come back. And you'd better still be here when I do.
     
     

    Tyler walks off, as Anita slams the door behind him. Brady walks back into the living room moments later, confused.
     
    BRADY: Anita? Was someone at the door?
     
    Anita brushes off her frustration, and puts on her best smile for Brady.
     
    ANITA: Nah, just someone lost on the road, needed directions.
    BRADY: Oh, okay.
     
    Brady accepts the answer as they make their way back to the dining table.
     
     
     
    Outside, Tyler lingers outside in the bushes near the front door of Anita's cabin, struggling to see who is inside with Anita through the dirty window. 
     
    ---
     
    Nick steps away from Victor, holding his head, wincing slightly in pain as he reaches for his meds in his bag. He pulls them out as he continues.
     
    NICK: You know, It's really funny, Vic. 
     
    Nick opens his bag up, and pulls out a metal water bottle. He pops two pills in his mouth and washes them down with the water from his bottle before continuing.
     
    NICK: You almost had me there.
     
    Nick turns back to face Victor, smirking again.
     
    NICK: But I got the drop on ya. And the best part of all this is...well, I got everything I wanted. 
     
    Nick slowly walks over to Victor's bedside again, and plants himself back on the stool next to the bed.
     
    NICK: ...And then some. See, the part you don't know, and that you're neeeeever gonna figure out, is who's helping me out. I mean, obviously I got the oil sands project stopped, but...with a little persuasion from two of your favourite people, I was able to pull off the coup of the century!
     
    Nick laughs, holding his water bottle up, as if to give a toast.
     
    NICK: Wanna guess who I'm talking about?
     
    Nick waits a moment, mockingly waiting to hear an answer from an unresponsive Victor.
     
    NICK: That's right. Anjelica Deveraux....and Stefano DiMera.
     
    Nick laughs heartily at the "genius" of his own plan. 
     
    NICK: Crazy, huh? Yeah, see, our future governor's in cahoots with Stefano DiMera. Betcha didn't know that lil' tidbit. Oh, I had some other help along the way. See, Jordan and Sheryl, they're really these internationally known eco-warriors, and they were gonna plant this virus in the Titan mainframe. You remember that, right, Vic?
     
    Nick waits a beat before continuing.
     
    NICK: But, see...I stopped them, and the board were SO grateful to me for saving their asses, that...with a little bit of extra incentive, they gave me to top slot. Go figure, eh? (laughs) I swear, you would be so proud of what I've managed to pull off. I'm just playing by your rulebook, you know?
     
    Nick's smile fades, he looks a little more intensely at Victor, shaking his head before he carries on.
     
    NICK: But, you know what? The best part of all of this...is knowing that I can finally be the man that Gabi needs. I fought my way up to the top of the food chain. I got mine, I am a success thanks to MY hard work. 
     
    Nick becomes more intense, more cutting with his words, as he leans in close to Victor.
     
    NICK: All the people, all the people in this town who get away with everything because of their power, and their money...
     
    Nick suddenly pounds his fist against his chest, hissing his words out at Victor.
     
    NICK: I own them now. I will ruin them. And tonight, on Nicole's special, I'm going to make sure that everyone knows....they're on notice.
     
    Nick smirks, as he gets up from his stool.
     
    NICK: Godspeed, Victor. Hope you live to see what Titan can be now that it's part of DiMera Enterprises.
     
    Nick grabs his bag, and steps out of Victor's hospital room. 
     
    Moments after the door shuts, Victor's eyes open, intense with fury. He musters the strength to reach for the telephone on the table by the bed. He immediately calls Tyler.
     
    ...
     
    Tyler is surprised by the sudden vibration of his cell phone in his pocket. He turns back, away from Anita's door, and answers quietly.
     
    TYLER: (into phone) Hello?
     
    ...
     
    VICTOR: (into phone) Tyler, it's me. Get your ass into my hospital room, RIGHT NOW!
     
    Victor slams down the receiver, before laying back in his bed, shaking with fury at what he's just experienced.
     
    ...
     
    Tyler looks down at his phone, checking to see that the call's ended. He looks baffled by Victor's harsh tone, but looks back one last time to see inside Anita's cabin, before giving up.
     
    TYLER: I know someone's in there, Anita. But who the hell could it be?
     
    Tyler shakes his head before turning back away and walking to his car.
     
    ---
  9. beebs
    EPISODE 164
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     
     

    Sami storms down the hallway at University Hospital, making a beeline for Marlena's office. Visibly enraged by the news Kim has just passed onto her, she knocks loudly on her mother's office door.
     

    Inside, Marlena looks up from her desk, concerned by the urgency of the knocking sound.
     
    MARLENA: Come in!
     
    Sami throws the door open, taking everything within her not to shout at Marlena.
     
    SAMI: How could you, Mom? 
     
    Marlena takes her reading glasses off, and sighs, already knowing the answer to the question she's about to ask.
     
    MARLENA: How could I what?
     
    Sami slams the door behind her, looking intensely at her mother.
     
    SAMI: How could you ask us to get DNA tests to prove dad isn't really who he says he is?
     
    Marlena sighs, looking frustrated.
     
    ---
     

    Brady sits down at the dining room table at Anita's cabin, as Anita lays down an omelette on a plate before him. Brady looks up at Anita and beams with delight.
     
    ANITA: Western omelette, and your coffee coming right up.
    BRADY: Oh yeah! Anita, I gotta ask...
     
    Anita stands at the kitchenette counter, pouring Brady's coffee as she answers him.
     
    ANITA: Yes, Brady, dear?
    BRADY: How is it that you can make this just as good as my dad used to when I was kid?
     
    Anita turns with his cup of coffee and sets it down before him. She shrugs casually.
     
    ANITA: Maybe we're both gifted chefs? Who knows?
     
    Anita and Brady share a laugh as Anita sits down with her own plate of eggs and toast.
     
    BRADY: Well, I thank you.
    ANITA: You're welcome, Brady.
     
    Anita smiles, as she picks up her fork. She suddenly remembers something she needs to tell Brady.
     
    ANITA: By the way, I've been meaning to ask you if you were able to get that part for the backup generator or not.
     
    Brady finishes a bite of his food before responding.
     
    BRADY: Mm! I did. But I haven't put it in yet, it's in the shed.
     
    Brady gets up from his seat, and sets down his napkin by his plate, while Anita tries to stop him from going.
     
    BRADY: I'll bring it in now while I'm thinking about it--
    ANITA: Oh Brady, no. You don't have to now, finish your breakfast.
    BRADY: No! No, it's okay. It'll only a take a minute. I'll be right back, I promise.
     
    Brady begins to take off, out the front door, as Anita calls out to him.
     
    ANITA: Okay, but don't let your food get cold.
    BRADY: I won't!
     
    As the back door closes to the cabin, Anita shakes her head in amusement. As she's about to sit back down at the table, she hears a loud knock at the front door.
     
    Surprised, Anita turns around, and walks over. The knocking continues, an almost frantic tone to it. This prompts Anita to call out to whomever is there.
     
    ANITA: One second!
     
    Upon opening the door, Anita is stunned to see a very familiar face before her.
     
    ANITA: Tyler?!
     

    Tyler looks at Anita, a frustrated look in his eyes.
     
    TYLER: How could you do it, Anita?
    ANITA: Do what?
    TYLER: Sell your shares. Do you know what you've just done?
     
    Anita looks on, puzzled by both Tyler's visit, and his tone, as he invites himself inside.
     
    ---
     

    Victor lays silently in his bed, resting in his hospital room at University Hospital. The darkened room lay silent save for the gentle hum of his respirator and the gentle rhythmic beep of the heart monitor.
     

    A moment later, the door to Victor's room opens, and Nick steps inside. 
     
    Closing the door softly, he steps over to Victor's bedside. Slowly, a smile grows on his face, as he tries to hold in the laugh that's building inside him, as he sees the powerful man he appears to have defeated lying motionless before him.
     
    NICK: Hello, Victor. Good seeing you like this.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     
    Anita slams the door to her cabin behind her as Tyler walks in, with an indignant expression on his face.
     
    ANITA: I beg your pardon? 
     
    Tyler turns to face Anita, his voice raised as he responds to her.
     
    TYLER: You sold your shares in Titan. 4% of the company stock, and now we've been bought out.
    ANITA: What do you mean?
    TYLER: I mean that that was the amount we needed to hold onto Titan, and you just sold it. Now we have a novice running the show, bankrolled by God-knows-who, because if there's one thing I do NOT believe, it's that a lab technician can afford to buy 51% of a company's stock. Even a company in dire financial straits like ours.
     
    Anita stands, arms folded. Her expression one of defiance, as she paces the living room area.
     
    ANITA: And there it is. The reason I sold the shares in the first place. You know, Victor told me that if I took those shares, I would never want for anything in my life ever again. I would have my home, I would have enough to live on, comfortably. I would have enough to retire on. That was our deal, Tyler. I stay out here in this cabin in the middle of nowhere, build a new life, and he would take care of the rest. 
    TYLER: He's done his best, and so have I.
    ANITA: And you failed. You, and Victor failed me. And you failed Brady. You failed Isabella. You're damn lucky I was able to get Gabi, Rafe, and Dario out the door and into good careers before you failed them too with your incompetence, though I guess the jury's still out on Dario, since you have him on your payroll.
     
    Tyler sighs, realizing the precarious position Anita's in, as he looks around the room. It's run down, in bad need of repairs. Water damage apparent on the upper walls. As he does, the kettle begins to whistle on the stovetop. Anita walks over to take it off the element.
     
    TYLER: Speaking of which, you'll be pleased to know Dario's job is secure, for now.
     
    Anita responds with an acidic sarcasm, as she pours herself some tea.
     
    ANITA: OH! Well, that's a relief. You haven't failed another member of my family. YET. Would you like a medal?
    TYLER: Anita...
     
    Tyler turns to rebutt but is struck by two placesettings at Anita's dining table. Realizing she's probably not in the house alone, Tyler's expression changes. He looks quickly around the room and spots nobody. Anita barely notices, as she's putting a lump of sugar in her tea before turning around.
     
    ANITA: No, I'm not done, Tyler. You have an awful lot of nerve coming into this house and chastizing me for protecting myself from being out on the street, penniless.
    TYLER: We wouldn't have let that happen, and you know it.
     
    Anita turns around, placing her tea on the table, and looking up at Tyler, speaking gently, but firmly.
     
    ANITA: I don't know anything. But I certainly was not going to trust you with controlling interest in Titanic Industries.
     
    Tyler shakes his head, sighing again, as he holds his hands up, hoping to stop the argument.
     
    TYLER: Look, I get it. I wish you had consulted with me or Victor before you had sold the shares, but...I get it.
    ANITA: I wasn't about to do that. The payout was more than enough to ensure I could reinvest the money in a company that wasn't about to bottom out. Simple as that. Now, if that's the only reason you came out here--
    TYLER: It's not. 
     
    Anita looks at Tyler, confused by his answer.
     
    ANITA: Alright. Tell me, then. What did you want to tell me?
     
    Tyler sighs heavily before answering Anita, almost ashamed to say what he's about to say.
     
    TYLER: Victor's in the hospital from a heart attack.
    ANITA: I heard.
    TYLER: Well...what you probably haven't heard is that he ah...he was sinking a lot of company resources into finding Brady, even though we all know Brady's dead.
     
    Anita remains tight-lipped, knowing better, but not saying anything.
     
    After a moment, she nods slowly.
     
    TYLER: Justin...and I, we made the call to...call off the search.
     
    Anita feigns showing sadness at the news. Her muted reaction to the news is curious to Tyler.

    ---
     

    Liam stands midway down the Horton house stairs, as JJ and Laura look up at him from the foyer, surprised by his appearing there.
     
    LIAM: JJ! You ah...you all packed up?
    JJ: Yeah, just...couple more boxes. Ahh...Grandma, did you wanna help me out?
    LAURA: Sure.
     
    Liam walks down the rest of the way, sensing something is off. Meanwhile, Laura bends down to pick up a box of JJ's things, and turns to head out the door.
     
    LIAM: Oh, don't trouble yourself, Laura. I'll take it.
    LAURA: Oh, you don't have to.
     
    Liam stops Laura, putting his hands on the box Laura is attempting to carry out.
     
    LIAM: Look, I must've interrupted something very important, so...I'll just help in any way I can and let you both finish.
     
    JJ looks uncomfortably at Laura, who smiles awkwardly at Liam, before letting go of the box.
     
    LAURA: Alright. Thank you, Liam.
    LIAM: Anytime.
     
    As Liam walks out the door with the box, Laura looks on, turning back to face JJ the second the door shuts behind Liam, her voice speaking with a newfound urgency.
     
    LAURA: I don't trust that man.
    JJ: Neither do I. But there isn't a lot we can do right now.
     
    Laura sighs, frustrated by the situation.
     
    LAURA: Look, I know it's going to be hard trying to research this from afar, but...honestly, JJ, maybe it's safer for you this way.
    JJ: I hope so.
     

    At this point, Jennifer descends from upstairs, all smiles.
     
    JENNIFER: Hey, guys! Have you seen Liam at all?
     
    JJ turns to face his mother, feigning a smile, himself to put his mother's mind at ease.
     
    JJ: He just stepped out to help me finish packing.
     
    Jennifer beams, thrilled by Liam's supposed cooperation.
     
    JENNIFER: Great. Ahh...so Abigail left early, she had to finish some kind of assignment for Nicole, but she says she'll meet us at the pub and we'll all grab lunch there before you head off, okay?
    JJ: Sounds good, Mom.
     
    Jennifer looks at her son, beaming with pride. She gently carresses his cheek.
     
    JENNIFER: You know how proud I am of you right now, JJ?
    LAURA: We all are.
     
    JJ blushes a bit, laughing awkwardly at his family's fawning over him.
     
    JJ: You guys are too much. (laughs)
     
    JJ pulls himself together, looking a bit misty-eyed as he smiles at his mom and grandma.
     
    JJ: Thank you. Thanks for supporting me. I really appreciate it.
    JENNIFER: Anytime, JJ.
    JJ: I'm gonna miss you guys.
     
    Laura, and Jennifer get emotional as JJ pulls them both in for a group hug.
     
    As they do, Liam returns from the car, and witnesses the tender moment. He flashes back to his mysterious phone conversation earlier, while he was in Jenn's bedroom.
     
    ***
     
    FLASHBACK TO EPISODE 163
    Liam paces the room, looking intensely at the chest of drawers, where a photo of Jenn, JJ, Abby, and Jack rests. Liam glares at it, menacingly.
     
    LIAM: (into phone) Trust me. They'll never know what's really going on. Promise.
     
    ***
     
    Liam sighs as he observes the family bonding moment, holding in his unsteady emotions.
     
    ---
     

    In the Salem University Hospital parking garage, Sheryl suddenly gets up from being crouched over Crystal Clarke's lifeless body in the wheelchair. Having heard the voice of Dr. Daniel Jonas behind her, she turns around suddenly, putting on her best southern accent for him.
     
    SHERYL: Ah...no. Nah, I'm good. But thank you!
    DANIEL: Well, I know it's not easy helping someone into their car. She....she not waking up?
     
    Sheryl shuffles nervously, trying to hide Crystal's face from Daniel, though she's covered by a blanket.
     
    SHERYL: Oh she's pretty sleepy. We ah....she's a very quiet old lady. Just gettin' over the flu, ya know? She's being discharged, but her daughter just had to go validate the parking ticket, so I agreed to help get her mama up and at 'em so they could get home.
     
    Daniel looks on, a curious look on his face, as Sheryl smiles at him.
     
    DANIEL: Yeah. Yeah, I'm sure. You, ah, you're now around here?
     
    Sheryl smiles warmly, extending a hand to Daniel.
     
    SHERYL: Why, yes, I am! I'm Nurse Crystal Clarke.
     
    Daniel smiles in turn, slowly extending his own hand to "Crystal's".
     
    DANIEL: Ah, Crystal. Yeah. Valerie mentioned she was looking to hire a few new nurses. Welcome aboard.
    SHERYL: Well, thank you, Dr. Jonas! It's a pleasure to meet you.
     
    Daniel once again tries to get a look at the patient in the wheelchair, but Sheryl once again distracts his attention.
     
    DANIEL: You sure you don't want a hand there? I don't have to be upstairs for another few minutes--
    SHERYL: Oh, oh no, I appreciate the offer, but...I gotta take care of this one myself, ya know?
    DANIEL: You sure?
    SHERYL: Oh I am. Thank you, though!
     
    Daniel starts to walk away, though unsure if he's making the right decision. As he walks toward the elevator, Sheryl crouches down by Crystal, pretending to gently wake her up. All the while, her eyes are on Daniel.
     
    After the doors to the elevator finally close, with Daniel inside, Sheryl sighs in relief. 
     
    SHERYL: Thank God he's gone. Now to deal with you.
     
    Grumbling to herself as she moves the front seat back, then hoists Crystal into the backseat of the small SUV. As Sheryl struggles, she dumps Crystal onto the backseat.
     
    SHERYL: Alright. Do I take care of this orientation meeting now, or do I make sure you don't escape?
     
    Sheryl thinks a moment before opening the glove box, and pulling out some yellow rope, and duct tape.
     
    SHERYL: Always gotta be prepared. Glad girl scouts was useful for something.
     
    Sheryl pushes the front passenger seat  gets herself back into the truck, where she ties Crystal's arms behind her back, as well as her feet together. She covers her mouth with the duct tape, then covers Crystal once again with the blanket.
     
    Once Sheryl's finally done, she pushes the front passenger's seat back into place, and shuts the door to her SUV. Locking the vehicle manually before she does.
     
    SHERYL: Well, that's one problem down. Time to take care of the rest of this agenda.
     
    Sheryl walks away back toward the elevator, leaving a comatose, bound and gagged Crystal Clarke in her SUV.
     
    ---
     
    Sami stands in the doorway of Marlena's office, visibly upset with her mother.
     
    SAMI: How could you do this to Daddy?
     
    Marlena stands up from her desk, trying to keep Sami calm, to no avail.
     
    MARLENA: Sami, I have my reasons for this.
    SAMI: There is no good reason to be doing this right now, Mom. Dad is dying, his memory is slipping away day by day.
    MARLENA: And that is exactly why we need to do it now.
     
    Sami looks at Marlena, incredulous, as Marlena steps away from her desk.
     
    SAMI: What are you talking about, Mom? We don't even know what's causing his symptoms.
    MARLENA: No, but I have a pretty good idea. But without Roman's medical records, we have nothing. 
    SAMI: I know, Kim told me.
     
    Marlena folds her arms, frustrated by the news, though unsurprised.
     
    MARLENA: Well, that figures. Look, I don't know what your Aunt Kim told you, but she misconstrued my intentions--
    SAMI: Oh, of course she did. Because nothing you do is ever wrong. Right?
    MARLENA: Sami...
    SAMI: No. Mom, enough. Look, we all know you don't care what happens to Daddy, otherwise you wouldn't have left him for John all those years ago in the first place.
     
    Marlena snaps at her daughter's petulance.
     
    MARLENA: Samantha Gene Brady, that's enough!
     
    Sami stops interjecting immediately, holding her sniveling rage in while Marlena continues.
     
    MARLENA: your father means the world to me. He is staying in my home. I have to watch him...deteriorate little by little every single day, right before my very eyes. 
     
    Marlena begins to tear up, as she becomes more emotional telling Sami her reasons.
     
    MARLENA: So maybe this feels for you like I'm giving up on your father. But for me, this feels like the only way I can keep your father with us. And I'm not going to let go of that hope, that...that dream that maybe we can keep him with us. Not until I know for sure that there is no hope.
     
    Sami takes a moment, holding her own emotions in, as she responds, softly, but wavering with emotion.
     
    SAMI: Well, I'm sorry, Mom. But forgive me if I don't go along with your dream this time. Excuse me.
     
    Sami turns and heads out the door, leaving a sorrowful Marlena behind in her office. Marlena bites her lip, trying to suppress the tears building inside her.
     
    ---
     
    Nick stands over Victor, lying motionless in his hospital bed, smirking gleefully at his rival's frail appearance.
     
    NICK: You know, never in a million years would I think I would be looking down at you like this. But...here we are. 
     
    Nick laughs to himself, holding his arms out, almost in triumph.
     
    NICK: I get to run the company you started with all your mob money. I get all your toys. Your cars, your office...your desk. 
     
    Nick saunters over to Victor's bedside, and pulls a stool over to sit on. As he sits down, he finishes, gloating ever-so-close to Victor's face.
     
    NICK: Your house.
     
    Nick begins to crack up, starting softly and building into an echoing horror that fills the room.
     
    NICK: I am going to have everything I ever wanted Victor. And you and your pathetic family aren't gonna be able to stop me. 
     
    ---
  10. beebs
    EPISODE 163
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     
     

    Jennifer and Liam step into Jennifer's bedroom, Jennifer smiling as she walks toward her chest of drawers, looking for a towel.
     
    LIAM: Well, I think that went pretty well.
    JENNIFER: I do too.
     
    Jenn turns around after grabbing a fresh towel, and looks lovingly at Liam.
     
    JENNIFER: I want to say, I am so proud of you.
     
    Jenn wraps her arms around Liam, pulling her body in close to his.
     
    JENNIFER: For being so honest with me, with my mom and JJ. I know you have a lot of anger at how things went with your ex-, but...this is a huge step. I  really am proud of you.
    LIAM: Thank you.
    JENNIFER: No problem.
     
    Jenn leans in and gives Liam a quick kiss on the lips, before turning away and heading for the ensuite bathroom. 
     
    JENNIFER: Now, if we're gonna see JJ off, I need to shower.
    LIAM: Alright, I'll be here.
     
    Jenn smiles as she shuts the bathroom door, leaving Liam alone. His expression changes almost instantly as he pulls his cell phone out, quickly making a phone call.
     
    LIAM: (into phone) Yeah, it's me....
     
    Liam walks over toward the door to the bedroom and shuts it, ensuring no one overhears him.
     
    LIAM: (into phone) Oh, just wanted to give you a heads up. I had to put out a fire with Jenn and the family...no! I didn't name names, I just...twisted some truths around.
     
    Liam paces the room, looking intensely at the chest of drawers, where a photo of Jenn, JJ, Abby, and Jack rests. Liam glares at it, menacingly.
     
    LIAM: (into phone) Trust me. They'll never know what's really going on. Promise.
     
    ---
     

    Sami walks down the pathway to the Brady Pub, on her cell phone to Lucas.
     
    SAMI: (into phone) Hey Lucas. We need to get together soon...yeah, I need to go over some plans for Will and Sonny's wedding...oh yeah, it's no rush...okay, talk soon. Bye.
     

    Stopping outside the pub's front door, as she ends her call. Stepping inside, she's immediately greeted warmly by Kim.
     
    SAMI: Hey, Aunt Kim! How are you?
     
    Kim beams from behind the bar, thrilled to see her neice. She nods slowly, as she motions to Sami to come over to the bar.
     
    KIM: I'm alright. Come sit down.
    SAMI: Sure!
     
    Sami obliges, sitting down across from Kim at the bar. Sami senses something slightly off with Kim, but chooses not to address it right away.
     
    KIM: So how's things? How's the wedding planning coming along?
     
    Kim deflects, smiling broadly as she asks Sami about WIll & Sonny's upcoming nuptials.
     
    SAMI: Oh my God, Kim, it's going so well. I know Will has a lot on his plate right now with work, so I've been taking some initiative myself. 
    KIM: Ooh! Show me, show me, show me!
     
    Sami pulls out her tablet from her bag to show Kim pictures of the matching tuxedoes Sami's proposing to Will & Sonny.
     
    SAMI: So...I wanted to do something slightly different with the tuxes, but still keeping it traditional.
     
    Sami turns the tablet toward Kim, whose eyes light up at the pictures.
     
    KIM: Oh wow, that's amazing. You know, I can't wait for the big day.
    SAMI: Neither can I. I dunno if Will and Sonny can, though. They seem pretty...stressed out.
    KIM: It'll pass. I'm sure of it.
     
    Sami nods with a hopeful smile.
     
    SAMI: I know it will. So, how's things with you?
     
    Kim rests her elbow on the bar, looking less than enthused.
     
    KIM: (sigh) Alright, I guess.
     
    Sami furrows her brow, knowing for sure Kim's not telling the whole truth.
     
    SAMI: Why don't I believe that?
    KIM: Ahh, it's just a few things have come up, that's all.
    SAMI: Like?
    KIM: Like...(sigh) I've had to find a sublet for Theresa's apartment.
     
    Sami sighs, realizing the situation she finds herself in with Theresa in a coma.
     
    SAMI: Oh wow. I'm sorry, Kim.
    KIM: It's okay. I know this woman's going to be dependable while Theresa's in the hospital, so that sets my mind at ease.
     
    Sami looks intrigued.
     
    SAMI: Oh? How do you know?
    KIM: Well, she's a new hire at University Hospital. Valerie Grant hand picked her herself, and...from the conversations I've had with her, and her background check and all, I think she'll work out fine. 
    SAMI: Oh that's fantastic. She's a doctor or something?
     
    Kim smiles confidently, feeling an increasingly unusual sense of relief.
     
    KIM: Nurse, actually. Her name is Crystal Clarke.
     
    ---
     

    Sheryl emerges from inside the locker room, checking both ways to make sure the coast is clear. She looks down the hall, noticing at a nearby patient room sits an empty wheelchair, with a neatly folded blanket on the seat.
     
    Thinking quickly, Sheryl darts over and swipes the wheelchair, and wheels it hastily inside the locker room.
     

    Inside, Nurse Crystal Clarke's lifeless body lays on the ground, a towel draped over her wet body just near the showers. Sheryl reaches down and covers Crystal's head with the towel, then struggles to lift her upper body upright, wrapping the blanket around her to hide her naked body.
     
    After struggling with this, Sheryl manages to steady the wheelchair enough to drag Crystal into the wheelchair. Strapping her in the best she can. 
     
    Sheryl quickly runs over and moves the contents of Crystal's locker to her own, before shutting Crystal's locker, and locking her own.
     
     

    Outside the room, Maxine emerges from the patient's room where Sheryl stole the wheelchair, and looks confused by the disappearing wheelchair.
     
    MAXINE: What the...?
     
    Looking around, baffled, Maxine turns herself around, before tutting in frustration.
     
    MAXINE: These new hires, I tell you.
     
    As Maxine walks off back to the nurses' station, Sheryl pokes her head back out the door, ensuring the coast is clear. She momentarily backs into the room when she notices Maxine passing, but once Maxine is around the corner, Sheryl opens the door wide, and pushes Crystal's comatose body out the door on the wheelchair, rushing as fast as she can while still walking for the service elevator.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     

    Laura and JJ stand in the foyer of the Horton house, resting for a moment after loading some more boxes into JJ's SUV. They pant in exhaustion from their labour.
     
    LAURA: Something tells me you're taking the entire house with you.
     
    JJ laughs through his breaths.
     
    JJ: Hah, well, I don't think I'm....gonna have enough room in dorm for that.
    LAURA: You know I'm so proud of you, JJ.
    JJ: Thanks, Grandma.
     
    Laura sighs, as JJ questions her.
     
    JJ: So...once I'm gone, what's gonna be your next move?
    LAURA: Well, I'm gonna get out of the line of fire as soon as I can.
    JJ: What do you mean?
     
    Laura looks upstairs to be sure Liam nor Jennifer hears her.
     
    LAURA: Well...I've been looking at getting a place of my own. I mean...the house is lovely and all, but...I have a feeling that if I'm not around, that might lull Liam into a false sense of security. Maybe...just maybe we can investigate him better from a slight distance.
     
    JJ takes a drink from a water bottle he left on the side table. His brow furrowed, uncertain about Laura's plan.
     
    JJ: You sure that's a good idea? I mean...Abs is still living here and all.
    LAURA: Well, hopefully not for long. Now that she's working at WXIR, she's been saving some money. She may be moving into her own place soon, too. At least, that's what I'll be encouraging her to do.
    JJ: Alright. But what about Mom? Are you sure Liam isn't gonna hurt her?
    LAURA: Trust me, JJ. The last thing he will want to do is hurt your mother. If he feels threatened, then I worry, but I don't think that's the case. She'll be safe here.
     
    JJ nods slowly, as Liam emerges from the top of the stairs. Both JJ and Laura immediately look up at him with surprised expressions, which catch Liam off-guard.
     
     
    ---


    Justin slams his coffee cup down on the bar table in the Kiriakis living room, fed up with Alex once again siding with his mother.
     
    JUSTIN: Anjelica, do you pay our son to do this? Or is he just hardwired to see things your way.
     
    Alex snaps back at his father from behind the sofa, walking around to confront his father.
     
    ALEX: You know, I resent that. Dad, you know full well if my mother is doing something I don't approve of, I'm gonna call her out on it. But the same goes for you. And right now, I think Nick Fallon is too dangerous for us to be riling him up.
    MAGGIE: Alex has a point, Justin. 
     
    Justin looks away, shaking his head, but listening to his son's point of view.
     
    ALEX: He holds all the cards. He has our company, he has our property, he has everything. If we want it back, we have to play smart, not with brute force. Not by lashing out. Not by throwing tantrums around the living room. Now, I don't like him being here any more than you do, but I can't stop him. 
     

    Justin looks up at his son, as Noelle walks in through the front door, the lattes she went out to get in hand. She listens in on the conversation her husband is having with his father very closely, never stepping into the room so as not to be seen.
     
    JUSTIN: Who says I can't?
    ALEX: The law, Dad. You know, that thing you practice?
     
    Justin rolls his eyes at his son's barb, as Alex continues.
     
    ALEX: Besides, Anjelica is right. As much as you don't want to admit it. If you want to get the drop on Nick Fallon, you have to let him live here, get comfortable here, let him get sloppy, let him make mistakes. THAT is how we're gonna win our company back. And you know I'm right.
     
    Justin sighs, nodding in agreement with Alex, as Noelle stands just outside the cracked-open double doors to the living room, beaming with delight at her husband's convincing argument that unwittingly helps her plans.
     
    ---
     
    Sami sips on a cup of coffee while sitting on the barstool at the Brady Pub. Kim finishes settling up with a nearby customer, before turning back to Sami.
     
    KIM: So, how are the kids doing at school?
    SAMI: Oh, they're good. They miss home, of course, but...I needed to give them space with everything going on here. With all this drama with Kristen, and Nick, EJ and I and our problems...and Dad doing so badly.
    KIM: Trust me, I get it. 
     
    Sami sighs, a bit saddened by the family's situation.
     
    SAMI: You know, I'm really worried about him.
    KIM: So am I. (sigh) I just wish your mom felt the same kind of urgency.
     
    Sami looks at Kim, baffled.
     
    SAMI: What's that supposed to mean?
     
    Kim leans in closer, trying to speak in hushed tones to Sami.
     
    KIM: Your mom met up with Eric here last night.
    SAMI: Last night? It's Eric's wedding night, what's he doing alone at the pub?
     
    Kim shrugs, before continuing.
     
    KIM: I have no idea. Presumably, Nicole was busy? I...honestly, I couldn't tell you.
    SAMI: Okay...?
    KIM: Anyway, when I came in, she was asking Eric to do a DNA test with Roman. 
    SAMI: What? Why?
    KIM: That's what I wanted to know. Apparently, Marlena thinks there's a chance that the man that Kristen brought back to Salem in 1997 wasn't actually your father. They have no medical records before then. So of course, Marlena thinks there's some kind of DiMera conspiracy at play, and now instead of getting Roman the help he needs and figuring out what's causing his decline, she's spending all her time trying to figure out whether this really is your father or not.
     
    Sami looks on, increasingly frustrated. She chokes out a response.
     
    SAMI: And every day that goes by, he loses more and more of his memories.
    KIM: That's what I said. But she and Valerie are convinced. This is the only way. Eric didn't want give a sample either, and I told Marlena...
     
    Before Kim can even finish, Sami interrupts, getting up from her stool, and reaches into her bag for her cash.
     
    SAMI: Sorry, Aunt Kim. I gotta take care of something.
     
    Sami lays down a $20 bill on the bar and runs out of the bar, Kim calling out after her.
     
    KIM: Sami? Wait, Sami!
     
    Not once looking back, Sami leaves the pub as if she hadn't even heard Kim. Kim stands behind the bar, more worried than ever.
     
    ---

    Sheryl waits impatiently inside the service elevator, as it descends to the parking garage below University Hospital.
     
    SHERYL: Come oooon, come on come on come on come on...
     
    As the elevator dings, indicating it's arrival on the underground level, and the doors open.
     
    Sheryl, wheelchair in tow, jettisons out of the elevator, and into the parking garage, checking carefully to ensure she's alone.
     
    Arriving at her vehicle, Sheryl struggles to open the door to the SUV, and keep the wheelchair containing Crystal's lifeless body. As Sheryl locks the wheels, she attempts to lift Crystal out of the wheelchair when a familiar voice calls out to her.
     
    DANIEL: You need a hand there?
     

     
    Sheryl drops Crystal back into the wheelchair, as she stands back up. Her mouth agape, as she hears Daniel's footsteps, as he stops, standing behind her.
     
  11. beebs
    EPISODE 162
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     
     

    Nick sits in the Horton Town Square, sipping on a coffee while he flips through his phone. Moments later, Nicole makes her way into the square.
     
    NICOLE: Nick! I've been looking for you.
     
    Nick looks up, nonplussed. He responds cooly.
     
    NICK: Oh, so now you're looking for me? But when I try to reach you, you're too busy. So...
     
    Nicole rolls her eyes, sighing as she sits down at the table opposite Nick.
     
    NICOLE: Look, I'm sorry about yesterday, but...it was a very important day for me, and I couldn't meet up with you. I'm sorry if that's a problem.
    NICK: Nicole, cut the crap. I know you were getting married to Eric yesterday. 
     
    Nicole looks back at Nick, sternly, but with begrudging respect.
     
    NICOLE: (sigh) Right. And I know it was wrong to ignore your calls. 
    NICK: I had a lot of very important things we had to discuss.
    NICOLE: I know, I KNOW. 
     
    Nicole calms down, knowing Nick has power over her. Keeping her temper in check, she continues.
     
    NICOLE: Look, I...I just wanted to thank you.
     
    Nick looks up at Nicole, slightly confused.
     
    NICK: Thank me? For what?
     
    Nicole sighs, trying to hold her emotions in.
     
    NICOLE: I know you could've sold me out with Eric yesterday. I get that. But you didn't. You gave him the Chyka files, and you never said a word about how I kept them from him. And I really...I really appreciate it.
     
    Nick's face changes, starting to smile as he realizes what has happened.
     
    ---
     

    Sheryl steps into the supply closet by the locker room at University Hosptial. She hastily pilfers through the cleaning supplies, desperately searching for something.
     
    After a moment, she turns from the shelf, hands on hips. Her frustration clear on her face, as she shakes her head.
     
    SHERYL: The hell am I gonna do?
     
    Sheryl looks back over at the shelf, and slowly realizes what to do.
     
    Stepping slowly over to the shelf, she pulls out a bottle of rubbing alcohol. She looks at it momentarily, before reaching down for the jug of bleach. Sheryl opens the bleach and notices it's half-empty. She smiles knowingly.
     
    SHERYL: Perfect.
     
    Sheryl, without hesitation, covers her mouth with her hand, and pours the bottle of rubbing alcohol into the bleach container, making chloroform. She quickly seals the bottle up to avoid contact with the fumes.
     
    Standing up, Sheryl looks for a cloth. Digging around through the shelves, the finds a package full of clean cloths. She steals one, and places it in the nearby mop sink.
     
    Sheryl then quickly turns back to the shelf and looks for some kind of safety mask, and rubber gloves. The gloves are easy to find, but the mask, not so much. Desperately rummaging through the shelf, she's unable to find one. She stands back, cursing her misfortune.
     
    SHERYL: Dammit! What kind of hospital doesn't even have face masks in every room?!
     
    After a moment, Sheryl rummages through the cloths and pulls another one out. Sheryl pulls on the rubber gloves, then grabs the cloth. 
     
    Hastily covering her mouth and nose to avoid being knocked out herself, she picks up the container of chloroform mix, and brings it over to the mop sink. She drops to her knees, and opens the bleach bottle again. Holding the cloth back up to her mouth and nose, she then tips the bottle gently over, and soaks the cloth in the chloroform mixture.
     
    ---
     

    Jordan paces her office at the hospital, as Rafe stands up from his seat at her desk, stunned by the news she's just told him.
     
    RAFE: What do you mean, you're not Jordan Ridgeway? So Kate was right?
     
    Jordan lashes out, stopping Rafe from continuing as she shouts her response.
     
    JORDAN: YES! Yes, Kate was right! Kate...(sigh) Kate wins again. I'm not Jordan Ridgeway. 
     
    Rafe stands, stunned. He stammers out an answer.
     
    RAFE: Well, then...I...what the...well, who are you then?
    JORDAN: Rafe, I--
     
    Rafe explodes, demanding an answer from his fiancée.
     
    RAFE: Dammit, J...just tell me who you are. I think I have a right to know who I'm engaged to.
     
    Rafe's tone drops after nearly calling her Jordan, as she begins to tell Rafe her story.
     
    JORDAN: (sigh) Fine. You want my whole life story? Here it is. My name is Tammy Sue Weston. I'm from the Ozarks, my father is an abusive sociopath who made my life and my brother's life such a living hell that we had to run away from home the first chance we got, and I have been lying about pretty much everything I have told every person I have met since then about myself.
     
    Rafe stands back, staring back at Jordan in stunned heartbreak, before Jordan steps toward Rafe. She puts her hand up to his chest. She looks deeply into his eyes.
     
    JORDAN: But I haven't lied about how I feel about you. And if you want to know anything more about me...about what I've done in the past? The good? The bad? All of it. I will tell you, Rafe. I'll tell you all of it.
     
    Rafe takes Jordan's hand in his, he holds it, and looks down at her hand, wearing his engagement ring. He studies it intensely, as he thinks over the bombshell Jordan just dropped.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     

    Justin stands in the Kiriakis living room, pouring another cup of coffee from the caraffe on the bar, while Anjelica sits behind him in an armchair, calmly sipping her coffee. Alex stands behind the sofa, fixing his tie, while Maggie sits on the sofa. Alex and Maggie share Justin's uneasy expression.
     
    JUSTIN: I would love to know how this family manages to get itself into such fine messes.
     
    Anjelica smiles and responds with her usual dry sarcasm.
     
    ANJELICA: You're all just especially fortunate that way.
    JUSTIN: No one asked for your input, Anjelica.
     
    Anjelica looks around the room as she replies, looking ever-so-smug as she reaches for her own coffee cup.
     
    ANJELICA: Oh come on, Justin! This could be extremely advantageous for you. I mean, Nick isn't throwing us all out on the street. Quite frankly, I see this as an opportunity.
     
    Justin turns around, a confused, and frankly irritated look on his face.
     
    JUSTIN: An opportunity for what? My blood pressure to go up? We've already got one family member in the hospital from a heart attack, you wanna try for two? Maybe that way, we WILL have room if Gabi Hernandez decides to stay at the Kiriakis Inn!
    ALEX: You know, Justin...Anjelica may be right. Maybe there's something to be said for keeping your enemies closer.
     
    Anjelica turns to look at an unimpressed Justin, who glowers at his son for once again siding with his mother.
     
    ---
     
    Nick leans forward to engage with Nicole, as Nicole pats her eyes dry, hoping to keep her mascara from running.
     
    NICK: I'm glad the wedding went alright.
    NICOLE: Well, kinda. Sami and Marlena found out, and...I know that was likely your doing too, so...don't think I don't know that was a warning. 
    NICK: I was angry. 
    NICOLE: I know.
     
    Nicole nods sheepishly, but then looks up, a steely look in her eyes, indicating she means business.
     
    NICOLE: But if you intend to keep this working relationship going, you need to cool that temper. I am not working against you, Nick.
    NICK: I wanted to be sure.
    NICOLE: Well, be sure about this. I've been given my own TV special at WXIR.
     
    Nick raises an eyebrow, though is still slightly distracted by his phone.
     
    NICK: Oh? What about?
     
    Nicole looks on, a sly expression on her face, knowing the subject matter will intrigue Nick.
     
    NICOLE: The EnerNext project.
     
    Nick looks up immediately, as Nicole anticipated.
     
    NICOLE: Sami gave me the green light. It airs tonight, and...I know it's last minute, but...I want you to be a guest. Our featured guest, in fact.
     
    Nick smiles broadly at the invitation. He leans in with interest.
     
    NICK: I am IN.
     
    Nick and Nicole reach across the table to firmly shake hands. Nick keeping his smug grin, and Nicole with a cheeky smile.
     
    ---
     
    Rafe holds Jordan's hand tightly. He nods before looking up at his fiancée.
     
    RAFE: Tammy Sue Weston, hm?
    JORDAN: Yeah. Even if I wasn't hiding, I think I would've probably changed my name by now.
     
    Rafe looks down at Jordan's hand again, amused. He responds softly, before looking lovingly in Jordan's eyes.
     
    RAFE: You know...I'm still upset about you lying to me.
     
    Jordan cuts Rafe off, intent on getting through to him.
     
    JORDAN: Rafe, if I could have told you, I would have. But I just...I need to be safe from my family. They're dangerous people.
     
    Rafe holds up his finger to Jordan's lips, silencing her gently. He looks into her eyes as he leans in closer to her.
     
    RAFE: Look, it's gonna take some time, but...I promise, no matter what your name is, I love you. All I want is for you to feel safe confiding in me. Okay?
    JORDAN: I know. I will. But I need you to realize that I'm not perfect. There's a lot you don't know about me still, and...yeah, it is gonna take time. But I know that you're worth telling it to.
     
    Rafe pulls Jordan into a kiss, then a tight embrace. Jordan closes her eyes tightly as she holds onto Rafe, as if afraid to let go.
     
    JORDAN: I love you, Rafe.
    RAFE: Me too. Me too.
     
    ---
     
    Sheryl steps quietly back into the locker room, holding the chloroform-soaked cloth in one hand. She can hear Crystal humming to herself inside, but doesn't see her.
     
    Sheryl steps softly into the room, and notices Crystal's locker is open, but Crystal isn't there. 
     
    Looking behind her to make sure Crystal isn't lurking, Sheryl grabs Crystal's keys and cell phone from her locker, and quickly unlocks her own locker, hiding them inside, as well as Crystal's purse.
     
    As Sheryl does this, the sound of the shower turning on comes from the next room. Sheryl turns her head suddenly, the sound making her jump. Realizing what is is, Sheryl relaxes, and finishes closing her locker. At this point, Sheryl steps almost silently into the next room. There, Crystal showers, humming a song to herself as she shampoos her hair, blissfully unaware of the sinister woman approaching her from behind.
     
    Sheryl takes a step closer.
     
    Crystal moves her head under the shower head.
     
    Sheryl steps closer again.
     
    Crystal closes her eyes as she lathers her hair in shampoo.
     
    Crystal's humming drowns out any noise from Sheryl's movements toward Crystal.
     
    As Crystal rinses the shampoo from her hair, Sheryl pounces, grabbing Crystal and covering her mouth and nose with one hand with the chloroformed cloth.
     
    After a few moments of struggle, Crystal succumbs to the fumes, and loses consciousness. Sheryl beams, almost busting out laughing at her latest victory.
     
    ---
  12. beebs
    EPISODE 161
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     
     

    In the Horton living room, Laura paces the room, while Liam, Jenn and JJ look on. Laura has an intense look on her face, trying to sort out the details of Liam's story.
     
    After a moment, she stops and turns to face Liam.
     
    LAURA: You know, Liam, I realize you've had a lot of struggles the last few years. And I do appreciate you being so honest with us about your past.
    LIAM: Thank you, Laura.
     
    Laura takes a moment before continuing, looking over at a concerned JJ.
     
    LAURA: Liam, I don't mean to be ungrateful. I just....I'm very protective of my daughter, and my grandchildren. I wasn't there for them for a lot of years, through no fault of my own, and...I want to protect them at all costs.
    LIAM: Believe me, I understand.
     
    Laura looks down, trying to word her thoughts carefully.
     
    LAURA: I'm glad. Because I hope that this means you won't hold any feelings of animosity toward me for this. 
     
    Laura looks up at Liam, then at Jennifer. She smiles.
     
    LAURA: I know that things can become very volatile in families, and you need to separate yourself from them for a time. But just know that, no matter what, we are always here when you need our help.
     
    Laura reaches out and takes Liam's hand in hers. She smiles broadly. Liam looks back with the same broad smile.
     
    LIAM: I really appreciate that, Laura. You don't understand just how much.
    LAURA: I'm sure I do. Welcome to the family, Liam.
     
    Laura and Liam hug, as a thrilled Jennifer looks on. JJ hangs back, confused and somewhat horrified at his grandmother's sudden change of heart.
     
    ---
     

    Nick steps into the Kiriakis living room. He carries a pair of crossbody bags on his shoulders, and a pair of large suitcases are wheeled in behind him. To the shock of the Kiriakis family, Nick sets his luggage down and smiles broadly.
     
    NICK: Morning, everyone. Feels great to be home.
     
    Justin, sitting on the sofa in his dressing gown, sets down his coffee on the coffee table, giving Nick a confused glare.
     
    JUSTIN: Nick...this isn't funny. Especially this early in the morning. What's going on?
    NICK: Just coming to meet and greet with my housemates.
     

    At this moment,  Maggie steps into the room, a tray of croissants in her hand.
     
    MAGGIE: Morning, everyone! Chef made some croissants, so I figured I'd help out and bring them in.
     
    Maggie goes to offer everyone some, but notices Nick before her, and looks at him, puzzled.
     
    MAGGIE: Nick! What are you doing here?
     
    Nick looks up at Maggie and smiles broadly, almost enjoying seeing the pained look of the Kiriakis clan as he tells Maggie his news.
     
    NICK: Isn't it obvious, Aunt Maggie? I'm moving in!
     
    Maggie, and the others, look back at Nick, with a sickened confusion.
     
    ---
     

    Sheryl stands in the stairwell at University Hospital, on her phone with Jerome. She speaks in whispers, but is clearly panicking.
     
    SHERYL: (into phone) We have a major problem on our hands.
     
    ...
     

    Jerome walks into the living room at the Grant house, cell phone in ear. He checks behind and around him to make sure Valerie is not in earshot.
     
    JEROME: (into phone) You couldn't have picked a worse time, you know?
     
    ...
     
    SHERYL: (into phone) I don't think that's what matters right now. You need to listen. Crystal got the memo. She's here. NOW.
     
    ...
     
    Jerome's jaw drops, floored by the news. He stammers as he tries to answer.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     
    Justin tosses his tablet to his side on the couch, as he gets up from the sofa, exapserated.
     
    JUSTIN: Are you serious right now? It's not bad enough you've taken over our company, now you want our house?
    NICK: Ahh Justin, don't worry. It's not like I'm kicking any of you out. In fact, I think this place is big enough for all of us.
     
    Nick turns to a waiting Henderson, who reluctantly takes Nick's suitcases from him, as Nick turns to give him instruction.
     
    NICK: Oh, ah, there may be one more person staying in my room with me, Henderson. But if she isn't, can you make the adjacent room up for her for me?
    HENDERSON: Ah...
     
    Henderson looks over at Maggie, who nods in agreement, before responding gracefully.
     
    HENDERSON: Absolutely, Mr. Fallon.
    NICK: Thanks, Henderson.
     
    As Henderson leaves with Nick's bags, Maggie asks the pertinent question.
     
    MAGGIE: Ahh...one other person?
     
    Nick smiles proudly as he responds.
     
    NICK: Yeah, Gabi may move in with me. She's gonna let me for sure today.
     
    Justin snaps at the news of yet another person in the house.
     
    JUSTIN: Oh, come on! What are we running, a boarding house here?
     
    Alex interjects, trying to keep his father's temper in check.
     
    ALEX: Dad! Nick...much as I hate to say it...he has a right to be here.
    ANJELICA: Alex is right.
    JUSTIN: Oh, how do you know, Anjelica?
     
    Anjelica stands by her son, giving Justin an emotionless, dry response.
     
    ANJELICA: I do my research. Apparently, this is a concept that escapes you.
     
    Justin sighs, as Nick corroborates Anjelica and Alex.
     
    NICK: They're right. Since I own a majority stake in Titan now, and this property is not Victor's personal property but Titan corporate property...well...
     
    Nick shrugs, feigning helplessness, as Justin shakes his head.
     
    JUSTIN: How the Hell did we manage this.
     
    Nick smirks, as he turns to leave the room, heading for his bedroom. On his way out, he makes a snarky retort.
     
    NICK: Guess you shouldn't have tried to shirk your taxes by making the house corporate property, Justin! See ya!
     
    As Nick disappears around the corner, Justin, Maggie, Alex and Anjelica stand around, with only Anjelica looking remotely pleased. Even Maggie looks uncomfortable with the situation they find themselves in.
     
    ---
     
    As Laura and Liam separate from their embrace, Jenn smiles broadly, excited by the apparent thawing of Liam and Laura's relationship. 
     
    JENNIFER:Ohh this is great. Isn't it, JJ?
     
    JJ responds cooly, shaken by Laura's sudden change of heart toward the man he fears.
     
    JJ: Yeah. Awesome.
     
    Laura turns back toward JJ and smiles, winking just out of the line of sight of either Jenn or Liam.
     
    LAURA: Look, you should all be going. I need to take care of some things before JJ leaves. 
     
    Laura turns to face Jenn and Liam.
     
    LAURA: You don't mind if JJ and I have a word alone before he leaves, do you?
    LIAM: Not at all.
    LAURA: Great.
     
    Jennifer and Liam step out of the room, leaving JJ behind, almost exploding to find out what Laura just did.
     
    JJ: Grandma, what the Hell was that?
     
    Laura turns to JJ, speaking softly so as not to be heard, but emphatically. She takes JJ's hands in hers and smiles wryly.
     
    LAURA: That was a factfinding mission, JJ. And I struck gold.
     
    JJ looks on, puzzled. Laura looks over as Liam and Jennifer close the front door to the house.
     
    LAURA: At least, I think so. And in any event, it's enough information for us to work with while you're at Berkley.
    JJ: Grandma, I don't get this.
    LAURA: It's simple, JJ. Things are going to be a lot easier around here if I make my fears about Liam appear to be addressed, and resolved. Now, Liam thinks I'm out of his hair. I get all kinds of information that you, myself, and Daniel can research, and we get to figure out exactly what's going on and who Liam is involved with before it's too late.
     
    JJ sighs, looking over at the doorway, his fear of Liam palpable.
     
    JJ: Grandma, I hope to God you're right about this.
     
    ---
     

    Jordan sits at her desk at University Hospital. She looks at her fiancé, Rafe, in horror, as he sits across from her at her desk.
     
    JORDAN: I don't...I don't understand...wh...
    RAFE: You heard me, didn't you?
    JORDAN: Yyyes, but I don't know how to respond to that kind of question, Rafe. What do you mean, who are you really marrying? I...you're marrying Jordan Ridgeway. 
     
    Rafe looks steely-eyed at Jordan, entering into interrogation mode.
     
    RAFE: Kate seems to think otherwise.
    JORDAN: Kate thinks a lot of things, Rafe. And a whole lot of them are lies.
     
    Jordan gets up from her desk, leaning against it as she stares into Rafe's eyes.
     
    JORDAN: I have only known this woman for a matter of months, and I know this. Why can't you figure this out?
    RAFE: Because I know Kate. And I know that she would lie in a heartbeat if it would suit her, but I also know when she's telling the truth.
     
    Jordan sighs, looking away from Rafe. She shakes her head as she responds to Rafe.
     
    JORDAN: And you think this is one of those times.
    RAFE: Well? Is it?
    JORDAN: I'm not even going to dignify that with--
     
    Rafe interrupts Jordan, exploding with anger as he shouts her down.
     
    RAFE: Is it?!
     
    After a moment of silence, Rafe gets up from his seat, and leans in toward Jordan, almost hissing his words.
     
    RAFE: J...Jordan, if you don't tell me the truth right now, I swear to God, I will walk out that door, and I will NEVER look back.
     
    Jordan sighs again. She slowly sits herself back down behind her desk. She throws her arms out, as though admitting defeat.
     
    JORDAN: Fine! Yes. I am not Jordan Ridgeway. Are you happy now?
     
    Rafe looks on, disappointment clearly in his eyes, as Jordan looks away, sensing his feeling.
     
    ---
     
    Jerome paces the living room of his family home, on his cell phone with Sheryl, as they both panic about the news of Crystal's arrival in Salem.
     
    JEROME: (into phone) W...ah...we...I intercepted that e-mail within minutes, how the hell...
     
    ...
     
    Sheryl stands in the stairwell at the hospital, shaking her head as she answers Jerome's question before he finishes.
     
    SHERYL: (into phone) I couldn't tell you. All I know is, she's here now, in the locker room, and is just SO happy to meet me. And now I gotta figure out what to do about it.
     
    ...
     
    JEROME: (into phone) Okay (sigh) look, just...sit tight, don't raise alarms. Just get to Jordan's office as fast as you can, and try to get her out of town.
     
    ...
     
    Sheryl shakes her head, annoyed by this turn of events. She responds to Jerome sarcastically.
     
    SHERYL: (into phone) Sure. Simple as that. (sigh) I'll figure something out. You keep your nose clean. I'll report back in a bit.
     
    Sheryl hangs up the phone, before turning back toward the door to the 7th floor. She opens the door back to the hallway outside the locker room, when she spies the cleaner leaving the supply room, pushing her cart out the door.  As she does, she's on her walkie talkie, responding to a call from another floor.
     
    VOICE: (via walkie talkie) Sandra, there's a spill in the lounge on the 4th floor.
    SANDRA: (into walkie talkie) Yeah, I'm on it, thanks. Just on the 7th floor...
     
    As Sandra walks away with the cart, she's distracted by the conversation into the walkie talkie and doesn't notice Sheryl behind her. She pushes the cart away, forcing the door open, as the quiet hallway remains nearly empty.
     
    Mere milliseconds before the door shuts behind her, Sheryl sticks her foot out, stopping the door from fully closing. The cleaner doesn't notice, and Sheryl looks around at the empty hallway, and gives a knowing smirk, before stepping inside.
     
    ---
  13. beebs
    EPISODE 160
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Justin sits in the Kiriakis living room, wearing his robe. He sits on the sofa, sipping a coffee while he flips through the morning edition of the Salem Spectator on his tablet.
     

    Alex walks into the room, fully dressed for the day, surprising Justin.
     
    ALEX: Morning.
    JUSTIN: Well, you're off to an early start.
     
    Alex pours himself a cup of coffee from the caraffe on the bar by the entrance to the living room.
     
    ALEX: Yeah, have to go into the office for a bit to sort out some things. Gotta figure out my action plan with WXIR breathing down our necks about the EnerNext project.
    JUSTIN: Yeah. I don't regret selling the station, but...we could have used the PR right about now.
    ALEX: Believe me, I know. The only thing we can hope for now is for Nick to self-sabotage, and hopefully, we get the company back.
     

    Anjelica steps into the room at this moment, perky as the morning sun.
     
    ANJELICA: Good morning, all!
     
    Anjelica kisses Alex on the cheek, to which Alex winces in slight embarrassment.
     
    ALEX: Morning.
    JUSTIN: Ahhh Anjelica! Bright like the sun, and just as irritating to look directly at.
     
    Anjelica turns to Justin, smiling broadly.
     
    ANJELICA: I'll chalk that remark up to that being your first cup of coffee for the day.
    JUSTIN: It's definitely my second. Your resemblance is just uncanny.
     
    Justin sips his second coffee, as Anjelica chooses to ignore his barbs and carries on.
     
    ANJELICA: Well, I am just thrilled to wake up to such handsome men first thing. However, I do have a lot of campaigning to do. I hope you all have time to see me on TV tonight. I'll be making an appearance on WXIR.
     
    Justin nearly spits out his coffee at Anjelica's response.
     
    JUSTIN: I'm sorry?
    ANJELICA: Yes! Nicole Walker wants to have me on for an interview regarding my plans for the energy sector, and I'm planning to lend my full support to the EnerNext project. I mean, unless that's a problem for you?
     
    Anjelica looks back and forth at her son, then at Justin, gauging their reaction.
     
    ---
     

    Jordan sits at her desk at University Hospital, struggling to concentrate after her intense conversation with Maxine about Jordan's relationship with Rafe. She leans back in her chair, sighing as she takes a break from her attempts to work, as a knock on the door is heard.
     
    JORDAN: Come in!
     

    Rafe opens the door to Jordan's office, a serious look on his face that Jordan spots immediately.
     
    JORDAN: Rafe!
     
    Rafe closes the door behind him, remaining standing close to the door.
     
    RAFE: We need to talk.
     
    Jordan's face holds a look of dread, as she waits to hear what Rafe wants to discuss.
     
    ---
     

    Maxine guides Sheryl, disguised as Nurse Crystal Clarke, over to the hospital locker room, motioning to the door of the room, as patients and staff hurry by.
     
    MAXINE: And here you go, here's the locker room. Your locker is 39D, and I hope you brought a lock.
    SHERYL: I did indeeed! 
    MAXINE: Gooood. Now, get yourself changed, Dr. Grant will be meeting with you in...
     
    Maxine checks her watch.
     
    MAXINE: About half an hour. Her office is on the 8th floor.
    SHERYL: Thank you, Maxine!
    MAXINE: You're welcome, Honey! And I hope to be seeing more of you around here!
     
    Maxine walks off, as Sheryl keeps her keen (fake) smile on. As Maxine disappears from view, Sheryl darts into the locker room. She drops the fake southern accent almost immediately.
     
    SHERYL: That was a challenge.
     
    Sheryl sighs as she studies the lockers. She stumbles upon her locker, which is right next to another staff member. Sheryl draws herself up and gets back into character, as she plays friendly newbie, cutting through to her locker.
     
    SHERYL: Hiya!
     
    The woman turns around, her freshly-dyed blonde hair cut in a bob. She smiles warmly at Sheryl.
     
    WOMAN: Well hi there!
     
    The woman's thick southern accent sounds strikingly similar to Sheryl's, though the woman doesn't look up, as she tries to quickly change.
     
    SHERYL: Sorry, I know you're probably pretty busy.
    WOMAN: I am, it's mah first day here.
     
    As Sheryl opens her locker and puts her bag in, she smiles as she connects with her fellow new hire.
     
    SHERYL: Well, what a coincidence! Me too! What's your name, sweetheart??
     
    The woman turns suddenly, her bright smile meets Sheryl's as she extends a hand in a greeting shake.
     
    WOMAN: I'm Crystal Clarke! What's your name??
     
    Sheryl's face drops in horror as she realizes who is standing before her.
     
    ---
     

    ---
     
    Justin gets up from the sofa, unsure he heard Anjelica correctly.
     
    JUSTIN: Anjelica...did you miss the part where we no longer control Titan?
    ANJELICA: Well, that's neither here nor there, you still have an interest in maintaining the company's bottom line, no? Last time I checked, you were still the company's attorney. I would think you'd be thrilled by my support.
    JUSTIN: I'm not gonna lie, I am. Begrudgingly, but...as I told Alex...we need all the support we can get.
     
    Anjelica gives a wry smile, as she turns to pour herself a cup of coffee from the caraffe.
     
    ANJELICA: I just figured one good turn deserves another, and since you've all been so gracious about letting me stay here, I figured, well, at the very least I can...lend some support to your ends.
    ALEX: Trust me, Anjelica. That does a lot more than you know. Nicole Walker's planning to do a real butcher job on us with this report.
    ANJELICA: Well, not to worry, my son. 
     
    Anjelica steps over to Alex, putting her hand lovingly (and patronizingly) on his cheek.
     
    ANJELICA: I eat women like Nicole Walker for breakfast. 
     
    Turning back toward Justin, she sits herself down in the armchair next to the sofa.
     
    ANJELICA: Speaking of Titan...have you heard from your new CEO yet?
    ALEX: Thankfully, no.
     
    As Alex finishes his thought, Henderson steps into the room, looking somewhat weary. Justin spots this immediately as Henderson enters.
     
    HENDERSON: Ah...pardon me, Mr. Kiriakis, but...have things become so dire that we've begun letting rooms in the house?
     
    Justin looks on, baffled by Henderson's remark.
     
    JUSTIN: Well, last I checked, only the Martin House had rooms on BedAndBreakfast.com, why?
    HENDERSON: Ah...well...
     

    Before Henderson can finish his thought, Nick steps into the room, his luggage in tow. A broad smile on his face as he whips his sunglasses off, jubilantly.
     
    NICK: Ahhh! Home, sweet home.
     
    Nick surveys the room, as the others look at him, totally confused.
     
    ---
     

    Laura, JJ and Jennifer stand around the Horton living room, as Liam begins to explain himself to them. He uncomfortably stutters and paces the room, as the others listen.
     
    LIAM: So, like I told Jenn, I...basically had been in Chicago for awhile after my divorce from my wife. We um...we had some major issues. Things ended pretty badly between us. I still struggle with my anger at times.
    JJ: What did she do that was so awful?
     
    Liam sighs, as he sits down in an armchair in the room. He sighs for a moment before answering, solemnly.
     
    LIAM: It's....it's very complicated but...she wasn't interested in love. She wanted...power. And lots of it. Things I couldn't give her. In the end, she left me for my...father.
     
    JJ's eyes widen at the revelation. Laura looks on, still skeptical. Jenn reads the room, uneasy with the story coming out to her family.
     
    JJ: Wow! That's...that's heavy.
    LAURA: Jennifer, did you know about this?
    JENNIFER: Not really. And I'm not exactly comfortable with this having to come out to my entire family.
     
    Liam looks up at Jenn, a saddened look in his eye.
     
    LIAM: And I'm sorry about that. I just...I didn't want to waste the time we had together...dwelling on the past.
     
    Jenn nods, disappointed but understanding.
     
    JENNIFER: I understand. I do wish you'd tell me first, but...I understand.
     
    Laura, nonplussed by the revelation, interjects.
     
    LAURA: So how does the $50,000 come into it. And why are you so willing to give it away?
    LIAM: That...that was a combination of some good investments, and my divorce settlement, in a way. My father's a successful businessman, he offered me a lot of money if I went away quietly. Told me I'd never make her as happy as he could. (sigh) I knew he was right.
     
    Liam sits in the chair, solemn. He looks straight ahead, barely blinking as he stares with laser focus.
     
    LIAM: So I decided I was going to put the money to good use. Help someone I cared about that truly needed it. I want to build a life with Jennifer, Laura. I want to be a part of this family. And part of that is helping to make her children's dreams come true. I want that for them.
     
    Laura looks on, unsure whether she believes Liam or not. JJ's eyes dart back and forth between Liam, and Laura.
     
    LIAM: Will you let me do that for them?
     
    Laura stares unflinchingly at Liam, silently deciding what to make of what he's just told her.
     
    ---
     
    Jordan adjusts herself in her office chair, a look of dread on her face as Rafe walks toward her.
     
    JORDAN: Ah...sure. Sit down.
     
    Rafe takes a seat on the opposite side of Jordan's desk. He wears a grave look as well. Jordan hesitates before asking Rafe a question, almost as though she doesn't really want to know the answer.
     
    JORDAN: So...what did you want to talk about?
    RAFE: Well...I need you to explain some things to me.
    JORDAN: Like what?
    RAFE: See...I ran into Kate at the Town Square just now.
     
    Jordan sighs, frustrated by Kate's constant meddling.
     
    JORDAN: Kate. I knew it. What did she want this time? 
    RAFE: Well, she told me something, and she said you'd have an answer for me.
     
    Jordan blurts out a sarcastic laugh.
     
    JORDAN: Oh, I'm sure. What did I do this time?
     
    Rafe looks cooly at Jordan, himself almost afraid of the answer he'll receive.
     
    RAFE: It's not what you did, Jordan. It's about who you are.
     
    Jordan looks back at Rafe, suddenly stone silent.
     
    RAFE: She told me Jordan Ridgeway isn't your real name. So who exactly did I just get engaged to?
     
    The colour drains for Jordan's face, as she thinks fast, reaching for an answer.
     
    ---
     
    Sheryl stand across from Crystal in the locker room at University Hospital. She smiles at Crystal, as she shakes her hand.
     
    SHERYL: Pleasure to meet you.
     
    Crystal beams, having met her first co-worker at the hospital.
     
    CRYSTAL: And your name is...?
     
    Sheryl jumps momentarily, sharing her name in a moment of desperation.
     
    SHERYL: Ah Sheryl. Sheryl...Matthews.
    CRYSTAL: Well, it's great to meet you, darlin'!
    SHERYL: Same here.
     
    Sheryl turns, looking into her locker with a sudden look of dread on her face. She glares into the void of her locker, hoping to maybe disappear into it as she stands next to the woman she intends to impersonate. Crystal, meanwhile, carries on jovially, without a care in the world, as she dons her scrubs.
     
    CRYSTAL: Gosh, you know, it's funny. Mah hair was exactly that colour not a week ago.
    SHERYL: Oh is that right?
    CRYSTAL: Yep! I dyed it blonde since I was movin'. Got a new job, moved to a new town. New life. Just what the doctor ordered.
    SHERYL: I understand that. 
    CRYSTAL: You sound like a fella Southerner, where you from, Honey?
     
    Sheryl suddenly closes the door to her locker, her expression unchanging, as she turns to Crystal suddenly.
     
    SHERYL: Birmingham! I'm sorry, Crystal. I gotta meet with Dr. Grant in a moment. I'm sure I'll be seein' ya!
    CRYSTAL: Oh, it's fine, I'm sure you will! I gotta shower before my shift anyway. I haven't had a chance to yet, I just got into town this morning. So I best be goin' myself. Nice to meet ya!
    SHERYL: Likewise.
     
    Sheryl walks off, coldly, trying to avoid giving away her discomfort, as she quickly darts off around the corner. 
     
    Quickly taking her cell phone in hand, Sheryl calls Jerome, her face shifting immediately into one of rage and panic, as she shouts into the phone, but in a hushed tone.
     
    SHERYL: (into phone) We have a MAJOR problem on our hands.
     
    ---
  14. beebs
    EPISODE 159
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Sheryl sits in the mirror at the seedy Lakeview Motel, where she's been hiding out for the past few days. Her long, light brown hair now a short bob of vibrant strawberry blonde, Sheryl sits before the hotel room vanity, finishing up her makeup. She closely studies the makeup of the picture of Crystal Clarke RN, who, with the help of similar facial features, she is attempting to emulate as closely as possible.
     
    Sheryl hears a knock at the door, and immediately puts down her eyeliner, running to the window to see who's there.
     

    After confirming who's there, she opens the door to find Jerome. Jerome steps quickly inside, as Sheryl closes the door behind him.
     
    SHERYL: Oh good, you're here.
    JEROME: Yeah, well, I don't know if I should be. People see me keep coming in here, they're gon' start getting suspicious.
    SHERYL: Oh please, this hotel leases out so few rooms, I doubt anyone's seen you.
    JEROME: You better hope you're right.
     
    Sheryl sighs, as she walks back over to finish her eye makeup. Jerome sits down at the edge of the bed, preparing to get down to business.
     
    JEROME: So...you ready?
     
    Taking on Crystal's southern twang, Sheryl responds slightly louder than neccessary.
     
    SHERYL: You bet ah am!
     
    Jerome replies dryly.
     
    JEROME: You're hilarious.
     
    Sheryl gives a knowing smirk as she answers him, still looking into her mirror as she outs on the last of her eyeliner.
     
    SHERYL: I try.
    JEROME: So you're gonna go down to the hospital, do her orientation, then you're gonna find Jordan and get her out of here, yes?
     
    Sheryl turns suddenly, having finished her makeup. She looks at Jerome with a bit of nervous anticipation.
     
    SHERYL: That's the plan. At least ideally.
    JEROME: And what if she's not going? You know she's so taken with this Rafe dude that she could tell him everything to throw us under the bus.
    SHERYL: She could, but she won't. Little Miss Virtuous is so afraid of everything, she would never take a risk like that, especially if it potentially opens her up to so many problems. Like losing Rafe, her freedom. Her life?
     
    Jerome looks on, unsure if he agrees with Sheryl.
     
    SHERYL: Trust me. Look, maybe she won't budge the first time I talk to her, but we'll just...keep at her until she gets back on side, we'll get our revenge against Nick, and we'll be out of here. Simple.
    JEROME: Yeah. Simple.
     
    Jerome looks away, not remotely convinced by Sheryl's "fool proof" plan.
     
    ---
     

    Sonny stands with Will in Sonny's office at Club TBD. Will having just told Sonny about Nicole's TV special.
     
    SONNY: Nicole wants to use her special to bulldoze Nick? Okay, but how does that impact you?
    WILL: It does because I'm the one credited with writing the PR and the info sheets on the EnerNext project.
     
    Will turns and begins to pace the room, deep in his own thoughts, as Sonny looks on, trying to sort through the information his fiancé is giving him.
     
    SONNY: Right, and that info is a lot of PR spin for an oil company. Hardly anything unusual.
    WILL: It will be now that it's a political football. Anjelica Deveraux is campaigning on it, and the governor wants the entire project shut down. And after that show airs, if I don't keep this job, my name is going to be attached to that for the rest of my career. I don't know if I can live with that.
     
    Sonny takes a moment, before solemnly responding to Will.
     
    SONNY: Even if that's the only way we can win against Nick?
     
    Will turns aburptly to look at Sonny, both Sonny and Will looking concerned.
     
    ---
     

    Laura steps into the Horton living room, where Jennifer, Liam, and JJ are assembled. Having been in an intense conversation, Laura has caught the family off guard with her arrival. She appears with arms crossed, a stern look on her face.
     
    LAURA: You know, I was expecting my daughter to ask these questions, but I figure now is as good a time as any to ask. What with JJ leaving for Berkley and whatnot.
     
    Laura stops standing next to her grandson, somewhat accusational tone in her voice.
     
    LAURA: Where did you get that $50,000 from to give to JJ, Liam?
     
    Liam looks stunned at Laura's steely eyes. Her sudden resolve making even JJ a bit nervous.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     
    Laura stands, putting on a brave face, as JJ looks at her, intense eyes with a hint of discomfort in them, as Jenn and Liam look on, surprised by Laura's question.
     
    JENNIFER: Mom, I...do you really think...
    LAURA: I think, Jennifer Rose, that I need to feel comfortable with where all this money is coming from before I allow my grandson to live off it for the next four years.
     
    Laura's eyes quickly dart toward Liam, who looks uncomfortable with Laura's line of questioning, but remains silent. Laura steps slowly toward Liam, arms still folded in front of her.
     
    LAURA: I'm going to be totally honest with you, Liam. I don't know you all that well, and I am not overly comfortable with how quickly your relationship with my daughter has developed, considering how little I know about you.
    JENNIFER: Mom...
    LAURA: Maybe Jennifer knows you a bit better, but you still remain a little too much of a mystery to me. So let me just be clear with you. If I don't feel comfortable that you got that $50,000 through legitimate means, I will not allow JJ to live off it while he goes to Berkley, and I will reimburse you for the tuition payment he made using the money. Do we understand each other?
     
    JJ jumps in, stunned by his grandmother's decision. 
     
    JJ: Grandma!
     
    Laura quickly turns to JJ to stop him continuing.
     
    LAURA: JJ. Don't...argue with me.
     
    Her voice drops to barely a whisper, as she finishes her thought in tones only JJ can comprehend.
     
    LAURA: (whispers) I know what I'm doing.
     
    Liam begins to respond, causing Laura to turn back around, and JJ and Jennifer to turn their attention back his way.
     
    LIAM: Alright. Okay, if it'll make you feel better about me, I'll do it. I'll tell you everything you want to know about me. Including where the $50,000 came from.
     
    Laura looks back at JJ, giving him a knowing look. Jenn looks at Liam, surprised that he'd capitulate to Laura's demand.
     
    ---
     
    Will looks away from Sonny, as he contemplates the question Sonny's put to him regarding Nick.
     
    WILL: I don't know, Sonny. Can I handle having my career taken away from me in exchange for having Nick out of our lives?
     
    Will sighs, taking a moment to come up with answer. He turns his head to face a sympathetic Sonny.
     
    WILL: Maybe.
    SONNY: Regardless, you have a lot of people on your side in this. We'll be there for you if you take the hit.
     
    Sonny puts his hand on Will's shoulder, squeezing his tense shoulder as Will turns to face his fiancé.
     
    SONNY: You know that, right?
     
    As Will turns around, Sonny wraps his other arm around Will's other shoulder. They look lovingly at each other, as Will cracks a smile.
     
    WILL: I do.
    SONNY: Good.
     
    Sonny stops a moment, while Will stands silently, his smile fading almost as quickly as it had appeared. This alarms Sonny.
     
    SONNY: So...why do I feel like something else happened that you're not telling me about?
    WILL: Because...there is something else. But...I don't really know what to make of it.
    SONNY: Oh?
    WILL: I went to check on Ari for a sec, and...Nicole just...vanished. I mean...it's probably nothing but...I feel like something was off when I came back in the room. Like...
     
    Sonny's arms drop to his side, as Sonny tries to figure out what happened.
     
    SONNY: Well...was something out of place or...
    WILL: No. No, nothing was off, I checked. But...I dunno, Sonny. Something tells me she didn't just come to the house to warn me about the story. She was up to something, and I need to figure out what.
     
    ---
     

    Nicole walks along the path approaching the Brady Pub, cautiously. She hears her text tone go off on her phone and opens her bag, to see a message from Eric.
     
    i love you. thank u for being here today. Dinner 2nite?
     
    Smiling, she texts back.
     
    I'd love to. Meet @ Chez Rouge, 8pm?
     
    Putting her phone away, she breathes in deeply, as she pulls out something new from her bag, a box of handgun ammo. She looks at it momentarily, before putting it back in her bag. She reaches back into her bag, and grabs her phone again, calling Nick.
     
    NICOLE: (into phone) Nick. I need to see you ASAP.
     
    ---
     

    Jordan sits at her office desk as University Hospital, alone, as Sheryl's words spin around in her head, over and over.
     
    There’s no way out Jordan. Even if you back out now.
     
    The words echo over and over, overlapping until they become a deafening chorus in Jordan's head. Wincing as she holds her head, the voice in Jordan's head grows louder until Jordan picks up her coffee mug and hurls it against the opposite wall, smashing it into pieces.
     
    Suddenly the room is quiet, as Jordan breathes a sigh of relief.
     
    JORDAN: You're not gonna win, Sheryl. I won't let you.
     
    ---
     

    Outside, in the 6th floor lobby, the elevator doors open up. Sheryl steps out, dressed as Crystal Clarke. She smiles as she steps over to Maxine at the nurses' station. She speaks in her best southern drawl.
     
    SHERYL: Hi, I'm...sorry, I'm new here, it's mah first day. Could you direct me to Dr. Grant's office?
     
    Maxine smiles, as she looks up at Crystal over her reading glasses.
     
    MAXINE: Sure thing, honey. I'll page Dr. Grant now. What was your name?
     
    Sheryl smiles wryly, as she answers Maxine's question.
     
    SHERYL: I'm nurse Crystal Clarke.
     
    ---
  15. beebs
    EPISODE 158
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Jennifer and Liam walk downstairs at the Horton house to find JJ walking in, suitcases and a couple boxes by the door. Jenn looks on shocked, as JJ smiles.
     
    JENNIFER: JJ, what are you...?
    JJ: Hey, Mom. I ah...sorry, I didn't wanna wake you guys but...I decided to leave today instead of tomorrow for Berkley.
     
    Jenn's face drops, as Liam pulls Jenn in close.
     
    LIAM: Well that's...that's a surprise, JJ. I think your mom and I were hoping to spend some more time with you before you go.
     
    JJ looks at Liam, not entirely confident that Liam's being genuine.
     
    JJ: Well, I'm not leaving right away. I did wanna spend some time with you guys before heading off. Besides, I had a few things I wanted to discuss...mostly with you, Liam.
     
    Both Liam and Jennifer look at JJ with confusion, as JJ shuffles uncomfortably.
     
    ---
     

    Will emerges from Gabi's bedroom, having settled Ari down and back to sleep. He speaks out as he closes the door to Gabi's room behind him, assuming Nicole is still in the living room waiting for him.
     
    WILL: Hey, sorry about that, I just had to...
     
    Will looks around to find no sign of Nicole, and her jacket and purse gone. He looks confused as he calls out to her.
     
    WILL: Nicole?
     
    Will sighs, confused and a bit worried by Nicole's sudden disappearance.
     
    ---
     

    In the park near Town Square, Noelle and Eric remain on the bench, finishing their coffees.
     
    ERIC: I'm sorry I put all my problems on you like this.
    NOELLE: Don't worry about it. Sometimes you just need an outside voice to...inject some reason back into your life. You know?
     
    Eric looks at Noelle, and smiles warmly.
     
    ERIC: Yeah, I do.
    NOELLE: Look, I'm sure once this special airs, things will go back to normal between you and Nicole, and you'll probably laugh at how stressed out you were about this.
    ERIC: (sigh) I hope you're right.
     

    Noelle puts a hand on Eric's shoulder, as Nicole walks quickly into the bushy area where Eric and Noelle are sitting. Caught off guard, they both look up suddenly, as Nicole stands startled to see them together.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     

    Jordan gets up from behind her desk at University Hospital, taking the patient files Maxine has brought her to her filing cabinet. As she opens the drawer, Maxine, sitting in front of Jordan's desk, turns to face her, visibly concerned.
     
    MAXINE: Honey, I'm serious. Rafe Hernandez just proposed marriage to you and you look like you're about to hold a funeral for that man. Now what is wrong?
     
    Jordan puts the file folder away and closes the drawer with a light slam. She turns around, holding her head in her hands. She resists the urge to scream.
     
    JORDAN: It's...it's nothing, okay? I just...there's a lot going on and I just...I don't know if I can marry him.
    MAXINE: Honey, what are you talking about? That man loves you more than anything in this world.
     
    Jordan begins to calm down, her arms dropping to her side as she nervously walks back toward her desk.
     
    JORDAN: I know but...Maxine, I...I've done a lot of things in my past that Rafe doesn't know about.
     
    Jordan sits down in her office chair, looking toward the ceiling, clearly frustrated.
     
    MAXINE: We all have! Come on, now. I'm sure it's nothing he wouldn't completely understand.
    JORDAN: Ohhh I don't know about that.
     
    Maxine looks at Jordan, unimpressed. Her tone deepens as she answers Jordan.
     
    MAXINE: Try me.
     
    Jordan sighs, knowing Maxine will keep digging if she doesn't give her something.
     
    JORDAN: He doesn't know about my ex-boyfriend. He doesn't know that I got dumped when I told him I was pregnant.
    MAXINE: So?
    JORDAN: He doesn't know I ended the pregnancy after he dumped me because I couldn't raise a baby on my own.
     
    Maxine sits back in her chair, sighing heavily. She takes a moment to mull her thoughts over before answering Jordan.
     
    MAXINE: Honey, I'm sorry. 
     
    Jordan turns away from Maxine, opening her drawer to pull out a pen.
     
    JORDAN: Well, there's not much you can do about it now.
    MAXINE: Look, I don't know if I would've made the same decision you did under the same circumstances, but that man loves you with everything in him. Even if he had a hard time accepting what you did, he would try to understand it.
    JORDAN: Maxine, I don't know. What I do know is that I've tried very hard to move on with my life, and every time I turn around it gets harder and harder to do that.
     
    Jordan becomes more and more agitated, as Maxine faces Jordan with a look of curiosity.
     
    MAXINE: What do you mean? Has something happened?
    JORDAN: It's nothing, Maxine.
    MAXINE: No. Girl, you need to tell me what's happened?
     
    Jordan looks down at her desk, as Maxine persists.
     
    MAXINE: I can't help you, Jordan, unless you tell me what's going on.
     
    After a tense moment, Jordan sighs and fesses up.
     
    JORDAN: My ex- is back in town, and I know he's up to no good, and if I'm not careful, he may just tell Rafe all about my past.
     
    Jordan begins to tear up, as she continues to tell Maxine about her situation with Jerome.
     
    JORDAN: And I don't know if I can handle that, Maxine. I really don't know.
     
    Maxine looks on as Jordan breaks down in tears. Slowly getting up from her seat, she takes Jordan's hand and pulls her up into a tight hug, Jordan crying on Maxine's shoulder.
     
    ---
     

    Will walks into Club TBD, searching for Sonny. Not seeing him, Will walks over to T, who is bartending.
     
    WILL: Ah, hey, T. Have you seen Sonny at all?
    T: Hey! Yeah, he's just in the office. Go ahead.
    WILL: Great. Thanks, man.
     
    Will looks over before walking quickly over to the office, and knocking on the door.
     


    Inside, Sonny sits at his desk, looking over a spreadsheet on his laptop.
     
    SONNY: Come in!
    Will opens the door, and quickly closes the door behind him. He makes a beeline to Sonny, who gets up from his desk with a smile and kisses Will on the lips as a loving greeting.
     
    WILL: Hey!
    SONNY: Will! Hey! What's up? Everything okay at the apartment?
    WILL: Yeah. Yeah, I um...I dropped Ari off with Marlena for a bit. I had to...I had to tell you about something that happened that's....got me a bit worried.
    SONNY: Why? What happened?
     
    Will turns away from Sonny momentarily, trying not to let him see the worry in his face, but Sonny can tell, regardless.
     
    WILL: Well, Nicole had been trying to get ahold of me, and so I had her come over.
    SONNY: Nicole? What did she want?
    WILL: That's what I wanted to know. She was...digging for information on Nick and Titan, and...
    SONNY: Uh oh. 
     
    Will turns around, almost laughing as he nods emphatically at Sonny.
     
    WILL: Yeah, exactly. Uh oh.  Sonny, I don't know who else to turn to, so just...
    SONNY: Yeah, don't worry. You can always tell me anything, you know that.
     
    Sonny puts his hand on Will's shoulder. Will smiles half-heartedly.
     
    SONNY: So what did she say then?
    WILL: Well, that my mom gave her permission to bulldoze Nick, but that...I may get caught in the crossfire. Professionally speaking.
     
    Sonny looks at Will, seeing the worry in Will's eyes does the same to him.
     
    ---
     
    Nicole stands startled, as Noelle rises from her seat on the park bench next to Eric.
     
    NOELLE: Hey, Nicole.
     
    Nicole looks at Noelle, a faint smile on her face, as she senses she's interrupted a moment.
     
    NICOLE: Hey.
    NOELLE: I ah...was just catching up with Eric, but...I do need to go. Can we ah...can we get together this weekend sometime? Maybe a double date at Club TBD or something?
    NICOLE: I'd like that.
    NOELLE: Great. Eric, it was good to see you.
     
    Noelle puts her hand on Eric's shoulder, as Eric looks up and smiles back at Noelle, before she takes off.
     
    NOELLE: Nicole.
     
    Nicole smiles half-heartedly as Noelle leaves the park, leaving Nicole alone with Eric.
     
    ERIC: I'm sorry I ran off like that.
     
    Nicole slowly steps over to Eric, and sits down beside him on the park bench.
     
    NICOLE: It's okay. I figured you needed some time to...decompress. Be alone, although, I guess you weren't completely alone, but...
    ERIC: Noelle just...happened to be walking by. Offered me a coffee for my thoughts.
    NICOLE: I'm glad she was there.
     
    Nicole looks at Eric, who looks out at the park before him, never once turning to face Nicole.
     
    After a moment's silence, Nicole pipes up.
     
    NICOLE: Eric, if...if I made you feel like you were coming second to my work, I'm sorry. I didn't mean--
    ERIC: No! No, Nicole.
     
    Eric turns suddenly, now looking Nicole's way, his gaze focused on her.
     
    ERIC: You have something so important to say right now. Your job is to inform the people of this city about something incredibly...pressing to their lives and their health. It was selfish of me to react the way I did to it.
    NICOLE: But Eric, you're allowed to feel that way. I wasn't there with you on our wedding night. The first night of our lives together and I spent it sitting at my desk trying to build a case against Nick Fallon. I...Nick isn't important enough to make me waste away a night that should've been so special.
    ERIC: There will be so many more of those. Besides. We haven't had our big wedding yet. 
     
    Eric and Nicole both smile at each other, as Eric leans back in his seat, his gaze never leaving his new bride.
     
    ERIC: You know, the one we talked about with all our family and friends there.
    NICOLE: Oh, I remember. 
    ERIC: I'm so happy to be your husband, even if we did kinda...rush to the altar.
     
    Nicole furrows her brow slightly.
     
    NICOLE: What do you mean?
    ERIC: Well, I mean...you didn't force my hand or anything, I think it was my idea to get married right away, but...
    NICOLE: But...
     
    Eric sighs, knowing he may have hit a nerve. He looks away again before continuing.
     
    ERIC: I worry that we got married in a hurry because I was running from something.
    NICOLE: Like what?
    ERIC: I dunno. The rejection of losing my vocation. Of all the...judgmental people that look at me with contempt like I've done something horribly wrong.
    NICOLE: But you didn't. And if I thought for a minute that that was why you were marrying me, Eric? I would have stopped you from marrying me the moment I realized.
     
    Eric smiles, as he puts his arm around Nicole.
     
    NICOLE: Truth is, yeah, I was insecure about our relationship for awhile. I...thought that maybe...if you were cleared and the church wanted you back that...that you'd want to leave me. That I was some sort of...consolation prize.
    ERIC: Nicole, I would never--
    NICOLE: I know. I know that now. I know you love me...more than anything in this world. Hearing the way you stood up for me at our wedding? How you made it clear to your mom and your sister that...that I was the most important thing in your life, and that nothing they could say, or do was gonna change that. I know there's nothing that could keep us apart now. I believe it with everything in me.
     
    Eric leans in and kisses Nicole, as Nicole wraps her arms around her husband. They hold each other as they kiss each other gently, but passionately.
     
    ---
     
    JJ, Jennifer and Liam step into the Horton living room, as Jennifer and Liam sit side-by-side on the sofa. JJ takes the armchair, as he leans in, looking seriously.
     
    JENNIFER: Okay, I don't like the look on your face, JJ. What's wrong?
    JJ: Mom, it's...just that I have some concerns about things here at the house right now.
    LIAM: What do you mean, JJ?
     
    JJ sighs, unsure how to phrase his thoughts.
     
    JJ: I just...Mom, I know you and Liam have been seeing each other for awhile, and...you know, you seem very happy. And I want that for you guys, but...I have...concerns. 
    JENNIFER: What do you mean? JJ, if this is about Daniel--
    JJ: It's not...It's not about Daniel, Mom. I understand, things are over between you and him. And that's my fault.
     
    Jennifer reaches over and takes JJ's hand in hers. She speaks emphatically to him.
     
    JENNIFER: JJ, it is NOT your fault things didn't work out between Daniel and I. You have got to let that go, honey.
    JJ: I won't. Mom, I let you down too many times when I came back to Salem. I was in a lot of pain and I hurt you a lot. And I will never be able to say I'm sorry enough times.
     
    Jennifer smiles wistfully, as she squeezes JJ's hand.
     
    LIAM: You know your mother's so proud of the changes you've made recently, JJ. Don't think I haven't noticed either. That's why I offered you that money to go to college at Berkley. I think you're ready.
     
    JJ breathes in, as he musters his courage.
     
    JJ: That's...that's actually one of the things I wanted to ask you about...I probably should have asked sooner, but...
    LIAM: Sure, go ahead.
     
    JJ looks up, hiding his fear as he asks Liam his question.
     
    JJ: Where did you get all that money from, anyway?
    LAURA: That's something I'm dying to hear, myself, actually.
     

    Liam, Jenn, and JJ all turn with a start toward the archway leading into the living room, as Laura walks slowly into the room, a stern look on her face.
     
    LAURA: Just where DID you get $50,000 from to give away to my grandson, Liam?
     
    Laura stands, staring straight at Liam, her arms folded accusingly.
     
    ---
  16. beebs
    EPISODE 157
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Liam sits upright in Jenn's bed, as Jenn stands over him, arms folded, still dressed in overalls in preparation to paint Liam's house.
     
    JENNIFER: Liam...
    LIAM: I'm sorry. Jenn, I didn't mean--
    JENNIFER: You said it wasn't like before when we lived together. Now, I know that you and I never lived together, so the only thing that can mean is that you're fixating on your ex-wife again.
     
    Liam tries to interject, hoping to stop Jenn from becoming even more agitated.
     
    LIAM: Jenn--
    JENNIFER: No, just stop, Liam. Okay, you have got to let go of the anger feel toward her.
     
    Liam stops himself from speaking. Instead, looking down as Jenn continues to speak.
     
    JENNIFER: You know, I held onto my anger when I thought Jack left us in Africa. I thought he just...disappeared on some walkabout, and
    I kept that anger for years. It made me bitter, and...and...miserable.
     
    Liam looks up at Jenn, as Jenn sits down on the edge of her bed, and looks tenderly at Liam.
     
    JENNIFER: But I realized that that anger and that bitterness was just making it impossible for me to...to move on with my life. 
     
    Jenn takes Liam's hand in hers, she holds it close to her chest.
     
    JENNIFER: You have so much generosity in you. I've seen that in how you've handled JJ, and the way you are with Abigail and I. Liam...don't lose that because you're still holding onto this...this rage within you from what happened with your wife before.
    LIAM: Jenn, I'm not, I'm--
    JENNIFER: No. You are. I can tell. Just...let me help you, we can talk to my mom, she can refer you--
     
    Liam cuts Jenn off, something approaching terror in his voice as he almost jumps out of the bed.
     
    LIAM: No no no, I am NOT talking to your mother about this. Okay?
     
    Jenn looks on, confused and disappointed by Liam's strong reaction.
     
    ---
     

    Eric sits on a park bench, deep in thought. As he sits, silently, staring off into space, Noelle walks by, a tray with two coffee cups in her hand.
     
    Stopping a moment, she looks down at Eric, who barely notices she's there.
     
    NOELLE: Rough night?
     
    Eric looks up at Noelle, a troubled look on his face, before looking back down.
     
    ERIC: Could say that.
    NOELLE: Well...if you wanna talk about it, I'm here.
     
    Noelle sits down beside Eric on the bench, a thoughtful smile on her face as she does. Eric remains looking away.
     
    ERIC: Not much to say really. Just got a lot on my mind.
    NOELLE: This is...not how I expected you'd be acting the day after your wedding.
    ERIC: Yeah, same here. But then, I didn't expect my bride to spend our wedding night in her office working on a news story. 
     
    Noelle puts her hand across Eric's shoulders, giving him a comforting hand, before reaching over to pull one of her cups of coffee from the tray.
     
    NOELLE: Well...it looks like you haven't slept much. So...here. Triple Shot Espresso Caramel Macchiato.
     
    Eric looks over as Noelle extends the coffee cup to him. Reluctantly, he takes it.
     
    NOELLE: It's supposed to be for Alex, but...I can always double back to the Java Cafe and get another one.
     
    Eric looks down, before taking a sip. He manages a faint smile.
     
    ERIC: Thanks.
    NOELLE: Don't mention it. So...where's Nicole now?
     
    Eric looks out again, before shrugging, and turning to face Nicole.
     
    ERIC: To be perfectly honest, I have no idea.
     
    ---
     

    Nicole rings Will's doorbell, and stands outside Will's door, waiting to be let in. She's anxious as she waits.
     

    Will opens the door, and ushers Nicole into the apartment.
     
    WILL: Hey Nicole.
    NICOLE: Hey.
     
    Closing the door behind her as Nicole steps in, Will stands by and offers a hand to Nicole.
     
    WILL: Can I take your coat?
     
    Nicole looks back, smiling as she sets herself down on the sofa.
     
    NICOLE: So polite. You sure you're Sami's kid?
     
    Will is momentarily amused by Nicole, before quieting down quickly again. He shrugs sheepishly.
     
    WILL: I guess I get it from my grandma.
    NICOLE: Let's go with that.
     
    Will nervously steps toward the kitchen area.
     
    WILL: Did you ah...did you want anything? Tea? Coffee?
    NICOLE: No. No, I'm fine. Thanks. I don't really have that much time. Just...I had some things to go over with you regarding Nick.
    WILL: Right. You said on the phone. I a...
     
    Will sits down on the sofa next to Nicole, looking at her in an attempt to be firm.
     
    WILL: I ah...as I said, I can't tell you much about the inner workings of my job, since...a lot of what I work on is pretty confidential, but...
    NICOLE: That's fine. Look, I know this isn't going to be pretty but...Sami found out that Nick took over as CEO at Titan, and...she basically gave me license to bulldoze Nick. At all costs. 
     
    Will looks at Nicole seriously. A bit worried about what she would say next.
     
    WILL: Okay.
    NICOLE: So...what that means for you, then...(sigh) your press releases for EnerNext. They were...from what a lot of very reliable sources tell me, heavily biased, and the sources you used were, can I say, flat out wrong.
     
    Will tenses somewhat, responding slightly more curtly.
     
    WILL: I used the data I was given, nothing more.
    NICOLE: I figured as much. 
     
    Nicole looks down, sighing as she continues.
     
    NICOLE: Will, I'm not trying to...hurt your career or throw you under the bus, but...your press releases may be a big part of my report tomorrow night, and...are you going to be okay if you're implicated in this?
     
    Will looks up at Nicole, worried and slightly confused by Nicole's question.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     

    Jordan sits in her office, playing with her engagement ring. As she stares at it, her mind wanders to the night Sheryl and Jordan had their falling out. Sheryl's words haunt Jordan.
     
    ***

    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 snaps back to reality thanks to a knock at the door. Jordan adjusts herself, trying to clear the mist from her eyes as she calls out.
     
    JORDAN: Ah, come in!
     

    Maxine steps into the office, a patient file in hand. Maxine announces her arrival as she spots Jordan's emotional expression mid-sentence.
     
    MAXINE: Morning, Honey. I brought...your patient files.
     
    Jordan clears her throuat as she reaches her hand out to take the files from Maxine, who gives Jordan a stern, concerned look.
     
    JORDAN: Thanks, Maxine.
    MAXINE: What's wrong.
    JORDAN: Nothing.
     
    Maxine sits down in the guest chair across Jordan's desk. She folds her arms expectantly.
     
    MAXINE: Come on, Girl. Out with it. You are engaged to be married to the man of your dreams. So why you been crying?
     
    Jordan sighs, knowing Maxine won't back down.
     
    ---
     
    Jennifer stands up from the edge of her bed, watching as a frustrated Liam begins to get dressed, incensed by her suggestion that he seek therapy.
     
    JENNIFER: Liam, I wasn't implying you go to therapy with my mom, I just...
     
    Liam turns around suddenly after having put a t-shirt on, the simmering rage in his voice.
     
    LIAM: No, you just think I'm crazy.
    JENNIFER: I do not. I just...I know what it's like to feel betrayed by someone you love. Okay. Jack....isn't the first person who's let me down, I mean...I was married before to a man who broke my trust in so many ways, I can't begin to go into it. He...he abused my trust for...for years before I finally realized what he was really like.
     
    Liam looks at Jenn, almost feeling heartbroken as he listens to her speak. He becomes more and more tense as she continues, trying to hold in his rage.
     
    LIAM: Jenn, please, don't--
    JENNIFER: ...And I thought I couldn't trust anyone ever again after that. But...I had family that loved me, and a man who was patient with me, and loved me enough to take his time and rebuild my trust.
     
    Liam tries desperately to hold it together, as Jenn looks lovingly at him.
     
    JENNIFER: Jack was that person for me after Peter hurt me so badly. I want to be that person for you, Liam. 
    LIAM: I...
     
    Jenn walks over to the other side of the bed, and puts her arms around a tense Liam. She holds him tenderly, and he reluctantly embraces her, all the while holding in so many emotions, but finally being unable to hold in a tear.
     
    JENNIFER: Let me be that person for you.
     
    Liam breathes deeply, suppressing his anger as he embraces Jennifer.
     
    ---
     
    Noelle sits with Eric on the park bench, as they enjoy their coffees. She looks interested as Eric tells her about his wedding.
     
    ERIC: So once my mom and Sami knew I wasn't backing down....well...they took the hint.
    NOELLE: Right, but...I mean, obviously that's gonna cause a huge rift between you and your family. I mean, I don't know Nicole well but it sounds like your family's...I mean, they have their reasons not to like her.
     
    Eric sighs, looking down at the ground as he speaks.
     
    ERIC: I know. Doesn't mean they have any right to judge her. As though she's completely incapable of personal growth.
    NOELLE: Well, some people change, a lot don't.
     
    Eric looks up at Noelle, who holds Eric's gaze. Noelle smiles, as Eric holds his serious look.
     
    ERIC: I've known Nicole a very long time, and...in our time working together at St. Luke's...I saw a change in her. A huge change. It's...it's almost impossible to describe. But...I'm worried she's slipping back.
    NOELLE: What do you mean?
    ERIC: I mean since she's been working on this story...it consumes her. I understand it's an important story to tell, but she behaves as though nothing else matters. She tells me she loves me, and I believe her, but it's almost as though she's working to...protect our relationship somehow. As though us being together would somehow destroy what we've built. 
     
    Noelle looks at Eric, her expression thoughtful.
     
    NOELLE: That sounds...complicated. Are you sure it's not just a...temporary thing. I mean, you said yourself, the special airs in a day or two. I've known some people who work in the news and when a big story's about to break, it eats a lot of their time.
     
    Eric shakes his head, getting up from his seat, and beginning to pace in front of the bench.
     
    ERIC: No. No, there's....there's something different about this. And I can't put my finger on what it is. Even how we got married felt strange. I...admit, I raced into it, but...
    NOELLE: But you felt a kind of...pressure?
    ERIC: I don't know. Maybe. I just know something is wrong, and I can't get Nicole to tell me what it is.
     
    Noelle stands up from the bench, and puts a hand on Eric's shoulder in comfort. Eric turns his head to look at Noelle, still looking pensive.
     
    ---
     
    Will paces in front of the sofa, where Nicole is still sitting.
     
    WILL: Nick didn't commission the report, Nicole. I mean, if anything, he's trying to stop the EnerNext project.
    NICOLE: I know that. I'm actually hoping to get him to commit to an interview on air tomorrow night. Hopefully catching him live on TV, he won't be able to escape the questions. 
     
    Nicole pauses for a moment. Will stops and turns to look at her as she continues.
     
    NICOLE: But we all know Nick is...extremely volatile.
    WILL: Especially lately.
    NICOLE: Oh I realize! Believe me. We don't know what he'll come out with, and...since you were the one whose name is on those releases...you may be putting your writing career at risk if he names you as being responsible for the report. I want you to be prepared for that.
     
    Will looks on, thoughtfully, though uncomfortable with what could potentially happen.
     
    WILL: Thanks for the head's up. Gabi, Sonny, and I...we've been preparing. Nick can be...extremely dangerous.
     
    As Will finishes the thought, Ari begins to cry from the next room. Nicole is startled for a moment, as both her and Will suddenly turn to look into Gabi's room, where Ari is sleeping in the crib.
     
    WILL: I should...
    NICOLE: Yeah, go! 
    WILL: Just, ah...sit tight, I'll be back in a sec.
     
    Nicole nods, a faint smile on her face as she watches Will dart into Gabi's bedroom, closing the door behind him.
     
    As he does, Nicole gets up from the sofa, and makes a beeline for the desk by the front door. Ever-so-quietly sliding open the middle drawer, Nicole searches for whatever information she can.
     
    As she flips quickly through, one eye on the door, and one on the papers in Will's desk, she sees nothing. Quickly, she closes the top drawer and opens the next drawer to the right. 
     
    Her mouth opens, as she spies the pistol EJ has left for Gabi. 
     
    Pulling it out, Nicole looks over toward the door, before holding it up, nodding slowly.
     
    NICOLE: Well, that's one way to be prepared, Will.
     
    Nicole chuckles to herself as she holds the gun up right in front of her face, giving a wry smile as she studies it like a preserved artifact.
     
    ---
  17. beebs
    EPISODE 156
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Eric wakes up in his bed at the Salem Inn, smiling as he turns to touch his new bride. Eric wakes up a start as he realizes Nicole never returned to their room. Looking around the room, he realizes she never returned from the office. Regardless, in vain hope, he calls out to her.
     
    ERIC: Nicole?
     
    After hearing no response, Eric sighs, shaking his head as he pulls himself out of bed.
     
    ---
     

    Nicole sits at her desk, sipping on another cup of coffee as she picks up her phone to try calling Will again.
     
    After a moment of waiting for someone to answer, she leaves a message.
     
    NICOLE: (into phone) Hey, Will. It's Nicole Walker. I need to speak to you about something...it's pretty important, business stuff. Call me when you get this. Thanks.
     
    After hanging up, she looks at the time on her phone, panicking as she jumps from her seat.
     
    NICOLE: Oh my God. Oh God, poor Eric. I've been in here all night. I gotta...I gotta go.
     
    Bolting from her seat, Nicole hastily grabs her essentials, putting them in her purse as she rushes back to her husband.
     
    ---
     

    Gabi paces the pier on a foggy morning. Struggling to see, she feels uneasy with her surroundings. She holds herself, trying to keep warm against the cool air of the lakeside.
     

    Behind her, EJ approaches Gabi from behind. Gabi turns around suddenly and jumps back with a start.
     
    GABI: You scared me! 
     
    Gabi smacks EJ for giving her a fright, which EJ winces at.
     
    EJ: Sorry! Sorry, I...guess I step lightly.
    GABI: Dammit, EJ. Announce yourself or SOMETHING! God!
    EJ: Again, I'm..(laughs) so sorry. Look, we should...try to be discreet. 
    GABI: That's fine. Just...do you have the pill refill for Nick?
    EJ: I don't. I haven't spoken to Liam yet today, but I'll make sure I do immediately.
     
    Gabi nods, somewhat disappointed by the news.
     
    GABI: Well, I hope so. Nick was in...a lot of pain last night.
    EJ: What do you mean?
    GABI: Well, he...he and I were out on a "date", and...we were heading back to my place and he just...collapsed. He had this intense headache that crippled him like...completely! And that's when I called you.
     
    EJ sighs, concerned what this plan is doing.
     
    EJ: And the pills are making the headaches go away.
    GABI: Seems to be the only thing. And I mean, he's definitely been unpredictable since he's been hooked on them. Maybe not delusions but...he asked me to move in with him last night.
     
    EJ's eyes widen, his ears perking up at the news.
     
    EJ: What did you tell him?
    GABI: Nothing so far, but...EJ, when I was reaching for his pills last night, Nick got a phone call from Anjelica Deveraux. Why would he be in contact with her? She's running for governor.
     
    EJ nods, suddenly a lot of things becoming clear.
     
    EJ: Gabriella...you need to say yes to Nick's proposition. Move in with him. The first chance you get.
     
    Gabi looks stunned by EJ's strong insistence.
     
    ---
     

    Kate stands with Rafe in Horton Town Square, coffee cup in hand. She looks with concern at a confused Rafe.
     
    RAFE: Well, come on, Kate. Out with it. What do you need to tell me about Jordan?
     
    Kate hesitates a moment before answering.
     
    KATE: Alright, but I need you to promise you're going to listen to me, and believe me when I say I am not making this up.
    RAFE: Kate, what are you talking about?
     
    Kate bursts out, almost shouting emotionally over an increasingly desperate Rafe.
     
    KATE: Jordan is not her real name, Rafe!
     
    Rafe looks on, stunned by Kate's revelation.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     

    Jennifer stands before her full-length bedroom mirror, putting her hair up in a loose bun. Wearing overalls, she's all ready for the day of painting Liam's house. She smiles widely as she excitedly talks to a still-in-bed Liam about her ideas for the day.
     
    JENNIFER: So, I figured we'll stop at the hardware store first. Grab the paint we need and any other supplies you don't have and...
     
    Liam stops her mid-sentence, sighing at putting a damper on Jenn's enthusiasm.
     
    LIAM: Jenn...we can't do this. I'm sorry. 
    JENNIFER: Well, why not? Liam, you said yourself, your house needs a lot of work, and the painting won't get done on its own...
    LIAM: Jenn...
    JENNIFER: No! Liam! I want to help you. I haven't seen your home yet. You...you almost act like there's something to hide there or something.
     
    Liam furrows his brow, shaking his head almost too quickly as he begins to speak tersely.
     
    LIAM: No! Of course not! I just...I told you, I'm embarrassed by the place, and I...I kinda wanna leave a good impression.
     
    Jenn turns to face Liam, laughing as she speaks to him.
     
    JENNIFER: Liam, we've been together for months, it's not like you're a stranger to me.
     
    Liam, becoming agitated, cuts Jenn off without thinking.
     
    LIAM: Yeah, but it's not like it was when we lived together, things changed!
     
    Jenn looks puzzled by Liam's statement.
     
    JENNIFER: What did you say?
     
    Liam looks up at Jenn, trying desperately to think quickly of an answer.
     
    ---
     
    Rafe looks stunned, as Kate sighs, looking at her watch. She moves in to try to touch Rafe, but thinks better of it.
     
    RAFE: What?
    KATE: I'm sorry, but I have to go.
     
    Rafe grabs Kate's arm, in an attempt to stop her from leaving their conversation, a hint of rage in his voice.
     
    RAFE: No, you can't just leave after dropping a bomb like that.
    KATE: I can't say anything more, Rafe. Ask Jordan.
     
    Rafe stands in complete shock, as Kate frees her wrist from Rafe's grip, and walks away.
     
    ---
     
    Nicole scrambles to the door of her hotel room, fumbling to try to find her card key to get in, as Eric opens the door, fully clothed and ready for the day. 
     
    He scowls as he sees his new bride standing before him. Nicole looks up, smiling sheepishly.
     
    NICOLE: Eric, I'm...I'm so sorry.
     
    Eric tries to hold his anger in, sighing in frustration as he stands in the doorway.
     
    ERIC: (sigh) Nicole. Where were you?
     
    Nicole begins to explain, as she steps into the suite, putting her purse down on the desk in the corner of the room. Eric turns around, listening as he stands with his hand on the doorknob.
     
    NICOLE: We got a scoop late last night and...I got so caught up working on it that I lost track of time, and...I am so sorry.
     
    Eric closes the door firmly, stopping short of slamming it, but clearly annoyed.
     
    ERIC: Last night was our wedding night, Nicole. Last night was supposed to be exclusively about us sharing our love for each other. Consummating our marriage, and you decided that your job was more important than that?
     
    Nicole looks down, visibly ashamed of herself.
     
    NICOLE: I know. I know. Look, I...wouldn't have let this story take up so much of my time, but...I mean, you know how hard I've been working on getting the EnerNext story done. I have a special airing tomorrow night, I'm...I'm scrambling to make sure this thing is PERFECT.
     
    Eric stands near the door, arms folded. He breathes in deeply, still trying to maintain a cool expression.
     
    ERIC: I know how hard you've been working on this. And...I will admit, it's an incredibly important story. But this cannot be how our marriage goes, Nicole. I will not spend my life chasing after you trying to get a moment alone.
    NICOLE: I know. And you shouldn't have to.
     
    Eric's temper flares, shouting out his response almost over Nicole.
     
    ERIC: You're damn right, I shouldn't!
     
    Nicole tenses in response to Eric's outburst. After a moment, Eric cools back down and continues.
     
    ERIC: I am not going to stand in your way, and I'm not going to let this hurt our marriage. Your career is just as important to you as mine was to me. 
     
    Nicole looks back at Eric, realizing where his anger stems from, and steps toward her husband. She puts her hands on his shoulders as he stares intensely at the ground.
     
    NICOLE: Eric. We're gonna fix this, I promise.
     
    After a moment, Eric looks away, trying to stifle tears, as he turns away.
     
    ERIC: I gotta...I gotta go.
    NICOLE: Eric, where are you going?
    ERIC: I'm sorry, I gotta...I gotta clear my head a bit. Just...finish up with your story, I'll see you in a bit.
     
    Nicole, still not ready to let Eric leave, calls out to him, as he walks out the door to the suite. closing it behind him.
     
    NICOLE: Eric! Eric, wait! Can...
     
    As the door slams behind Eric, Nicole sighs, frustrated by the stress she's helped bring out in Eric.
     
    Before Nicole can grab her bag to follow Eric, Nicole's phone rings. She pulls it from her purse.
     
    It's Will.
     
    Frantically, Nicole answers back.
     
    NICOLE: Will! Hey!
     
    ...
     

    Will stands alone in his apartment, standing at the desk near the front door in the living room. He looks uncomfortable as he stands with his cell phone in his ear.
     
    WILL: (into phone) Hey, Nicole. You called?
     
    ...
     
    NICOLE: (into phone) Yeah. It's...it's really nothing bad, I just...I needed a bit of information for a story I'm doing...
     
    ...
     
    Will interrupts Nicole, speaking firmly back to her.
     
    WILL: (into phone) Nicole, I can't talk to you about anything business-related, that's a complete conflict of interest.
     
    ...
     
    Nicole motions with her hand, trying to get Will to calm down as though he were in the room.
     
    NICOLE: (into phone) N..no no, I understand, but...I think you'll want to see me. It's about Nick Fallon.
     
    ...
     
    Will's expression immediately changes, as he suddenly is at a loss for words.
     
    Nicole's voice is heard through the receiver, snapping Will out of his trance.
     
    NICOLE: (via phone) Hello?
    WILL: (into phone) Yeah. Umm, come over. I'm alone.
    NICOLE: (via phone) I'll be there in 20 minutes.
    WILL: (into phone) Perfect.
     
    Will hangs up the phone, sighing as he lays it down on the desk. He looks sternly off into the distance, curious as to what Nicole knows.
     
    ---
     
    Gabi looks at EJ with incredulity as she stands, arms folded, trying to keep warm on the cool, foggy pier.
     
    GABI: I'm sorry, what?
     
    EJ responds firmly, reiterating his earlier point.
     
    EJ: You need to accept Nick's offer to move into the Kiriakis house. And the sooner the better.
     
    Gabi continues to stare at EJ, squinting in confusion.
     
    GABI: I don't...why? This is exactly what we don't want, EJ. Are you TRYING to feed me to the wolves?
    EJ: Gabriella, I have a feeling that Nick is working with Anjelica Deveraux on something, and whatever it is could have greater consequences than we realize. 
     
    After Gabi doesn't immediately make the connection, EJ continues, stepping in closer to ensure no one is listening in.
     
    EJ: Anjelica Deveraux is running for governor, and if she has Nick Fallon in her pocket, that would mean a conflict of interest. That's enough to bring Nick and Anjelica down, and enough leverage to get you, Kate, and Samantha off the hook.
     
    Gabi looks back at EJ, suddenly realizing what could come from her moving into the mansion.
     
    EJ: And besides that, I think it's time we got ahold of those pictures of you, Kate, and Samantha by the river. If we can destroy those pictures, you're off the hook.
    GABI: Yeah, but...EJ, he's got to have other copies made. That's way too important for Nick to not have. 
    EJ: I wouldn't be so sure.
     
    Gabi guffaws, not at all convinced by EJ's skeptical comments.
     
    GABI: You sound like you're talking from experience.
    EJ: In matters like this, one needs to have tight control over any and all evidence one may have on someone. If anything, Nick has one physical copy, plus a digital copy saved to his hard disk. Anything more than that would be too much of a liability.
     
    Gabi looks on, starting to be persuaded.
     
    GABI: Alright. So how am I going to go about finding these originals.
     
    EJ looks at Gabi, deadly serious.
     
    EJ: He'll have them. You're going to have to put yourself in very close proximity to him to get them. Make certain you bring your weapon to keep yourself protected, but don't let him think for a second that you're nervous around him.
    GABI: Even if that means I have to go to bed with him?
    EJ: Absolutely, if you have to.
    GABI: EJ, I...I can't do that. The thought of sleeping with that man again makes my skin crawl.
    EJ: I realize. But your family's lives are at stake here. You need to be prepared to do whatever it takes to take Nick down.
     
    Gabi sighs, slowly nodding in reluctant agreement with EJ.
     
    ---
  18. beebs
    EPISODE 155
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Will wakes up from a deep sleep, hearing his phone light up from an unexpected phone call. Through, half-shut eyes, he grimaces at the bright light of the vibrating phone, checking to see who's calling him.
     
    It's Nicole.
     
    WILL: Nicole? (sigh) She can leave a message.
     
    Will puts down his phone, ignoring Nicole's call, and lays back down in his bed, next to Sonny. Before he can cuddle up to his fiancé, Will hears the cries from the next room of Arianna. Will sighs again, knowing Sonny is too deep in his sleep to get up.
     
    As Will gets up, Will mutters to himself.
     
    WILL: Daddy's coming.
     

    Leaving the bedroom, he opens the door to find Gabi asleep on the sofa. Confused, Will steps over to Ari's crib, and smiles, trying to calm down the toddler.
     
    WILL: Hey, honey. I'll get you something to eat in just a moment, okay? Daddy's gotta check on something first.
     
    As Ari is soothed somewhat by Will's presence, Will steps away, toward the kitchen. Noticing that Gabi's bedroom door is closed, Will's curiosity gets the best of him, and he steps toward the door.
     
    Will looks over at Gabi, with his hand on the doorknob. He braces himself for the worst, as he turns the knob.
     

    Swinging the door open, he finds a sleeping Nick in Gabi's bed. His shocked outburst wakes everyone else up.
     
    WILL: Nick?? Wh...what the HELL are you doing here?
     
    Nick rouses himself, groggy and stunned by the sudden invasion.
     
    ---
     

    Liam lays next to Jennifer in her bed, as she lays fast asleep. The morning sun peaking through the window of her room. He lays in bed, unable to fall back asleep, as he mulls over what he encountered the night before.
     
    ***
     
    FLASHBACK TO EPISODE 151
     
    Gabi stops as she looks over at Jennifer's date, realizing it's Liam, the man who's been supplying her with the pills for Nick. He looks back at her with a blank expression.
     
    JENNIFER: Oh! Gabi, sorry, this is my date, Mr. Liam Frasier!
    LIAM: Pleased to meet you.
     
    Liam extends his hand to Gabi, taking hers in his, as he looks up at her, a wry smile. Gabi stands, stunned before him.
     
    ***
     
    Liam sighs, debating his next move. He stares up at the ceiling as he silently thinks things over.
     
    LIAM: (voiceover) I can't have Gabi drugging Nick...or the entire Titan takeover is dead in the water...Stefano won't be happy. Stefano's obviously kept EJ in the dark for a reason. I can't let Gabi get ahold of any more pills.
     
    Jennifer stirs next to Liam, as she turns to face her lover. She smiles as she drapes her arm across his bare chest, and lays her head down.
     
    JENNIFER: Good morning. 
     
    Liam wraps his arm around Jennifer, looking down momentarily, but something still weighing heavily on his mind.
     
    LIAM: How'd you sleep?
     
    Jennifer catches onto Liam's intensity, and, through her sleepiness, makes an incisive comment.
     
    JENNIFER: Pretty good. But I think maybe you didn't. Is something wrong?
     
    Liam looks away, sighing as he tries to think of what to respond with.
     
    ---
     

    EJ comes down the steps of DiMera mansion, emerging from his bedroom. He calls out to see if anyone's there.
     
    EJ: Samantha? You up?
     
    Hearing nothing, EJ, in his robe, looks about, before stepping into the living room. Spotting his tablet on the table, he picks it up, and sits down in one of the armchairs. 
     
    The headline immediately pops up from the Salem Spectator website:
     
    TITANIC TITAN: NOVICE NICK FALLON NAMED CEO AND MAJORITY STOCKHOLDER
     
    Still baffled by the sudden shift in fortune for Nick, EJ reads the headline, frustrated, but contemplating a new strategy.
     
    ---
     
     
     
    ---
     

    Kate steps out of the café at Horton Town Square, a to-go cup in hand, as she heads for work. Walking away, she spies Rafe, heading her way.
     
    The two smile at each other, though somewhat awkwardly.
     
    KATE: Good morning.
    RAFE: Hey...you holding up?
    KATE: Oh yeah. Nothing to worry about. I'm ah...I'm sorry about the last time we saw each other, I...I didn't expect to see a ring on Jordan's finger so soon.
     
    Rafe nods, somewhat sheepishly.
     
    RAFE: Yeah...circumstances. I ah...I thought something was happening to Jordan, and...it got me thinking.
    KATE: Oh?
    RAFE: Yeah, just...I realized I had to hold onto her. I've let too many people I care for slip away, and...I just didn't want to wait. You know?
     
    Kate smiles, half-heartedly.
     
    KATE: I do. But...(sigh)
     
    Rafe looks at Kate, curious about what she's trying to tell him.
     
    RAFE: What?
     
    Kate hesitates a moment, unsure whether it's a good idea to finish her thought or not. Rafe persists.
     
    RAFE: Come on, Kate. Out with it!
    KATE: Okay, okay. Look...there is something...you need to know about Jordan, Rafe. Before you marry her.
     
    Rafe looks at Kate, confused.
     
    ---
     
    Gabi gets up from the sofa, where she'd been asleep, wondering what Will's shock is about.
     
    GABI: Will? What the--
     
    Will looks at Gabi, trying to hold back his shock at Nick being in Gabi's bed.
     
    WILL: You...I wasn't expecting to see Nick here, that's...that's all. Just...
     
    Gabi, still groggy, squints, as she holds the bridge of her nose momentarily, trying to stifle a bit of a wine hangover of her own.
     
    GABI: Sorry, I should've texted you. Just...we were out late, and I knew you were bringing Ari home from the sitter's after dinner, but...then we got here and Nick had SUCH a bad headache...I didn't feel comfortable letting him go home alone so...
     
    Sonny emerges from the bedroom, less than pleased by Gabi's explanation. Nick gets up as well, heading for the doorway of Gabi's room. He leans, exhausted, against the archway.
     
    SONNY: Well I'm deeply touched that you're so concerned about your slimy ex-fiancé's well-being. You could put that much concern in for your daughter's well-being too, you know?
    NICK: Sonny, don't blame her for this. Okay?
     
    As Nick finishes his sentence, Gabi receives a phone call. Clamouring for her phone, she uncovers it under the blankets she slept under on the sofa.
     
    It's EJ.
     
    GABI: (into phone) Hey...uh...this is a...not a good time.
     
    ...
     
    EJ stands, fully dressed and ready for the day, in the DiMera living room. He sips on his morning coffee as he responds to Gabi.
     
    EJ: (into phone) Well, unfortunately, Gabriella, I don't have any other time, so...meet me at the Pier in one hour.
     
    ...
     
    GABI: (into phone) Ah...sure.
     
    Gabi hangs up, looking apologetically at the others in the apartment.
     
    GABI: I have an emergency meeting for my new job. So...I have to go get ready.
    SONNY: I thought you hadn't decided yet on who to sign with.
     
    Gabi gets up from the sofa, hastily grabbing her keys, her phone, and heading toward her room to grab a change of clothes and a towel.
     
    GABI: That's what the meeting's about. Kate came to TBD last night, trying to outbid Sami...so now I have to make a decision as to which way to go. So...I'll see you all later. Hopefully I don't look too shabby for having just got up, but...I'm sure I'll figure it out. Nick...I'm glad you're okay.
     
    Nick gives Gabi a tired smile as he steps out of her bedroom dooway. Gabi walks toward him, then looks Nick up and down with an awkward smile as she then shuffles past him.
     
    NICK: Thanks, Gabi.
     
    As Gabi steps into her room, closing the door behind her, Sonny looks over at Nick, menacingly.
     
    NICK: I think I'd best be leaving.
    SONNY: Yeah, I think you should.
    NICK: Guys, I'm...I'm sorry for crashing here last night unannounced. It won't happen again.
     
    Will looks back at Sonny, before they both turn to a sheepish Nick. Nick gives a half-hearted smile as he grabs his bag and heads out the door. Just before closing the door, Nick turns back, and mentions something to Sonny and Will.
     
    NICK: Oh! Before I forget, tell Gabi she can give me an answer anytime. There's no rush.
     
    Sonny looks on, arms folded. He appears irritated by Nick's request.
     
    SONNY: Sure.
     
    Once outside, Sonny snaps at Will.
     
    SONNY: Do you see? This is exactly why I want all this to stop, Will. This plan is putting us all in danger.
    WILL: Don't you think I know that? We don't have any choice now. We are too far in to turn back now. Gabi, my mom, my grandmother? All their futures are at stake now. 
     
    Sonny shakes his head, unmoved by Will's dedication to the plan to take Nick down.
     
    ---
     

    EJ prepares to head off from the DiMera living room to meet Gabi at the pier, but is stopped in his tracks as Sami walks in. She looks at EJ with a tepid smile.
     
    EJ: There you are!
    SAMI: Here I am. You ah...you heading out?
     
    EJ stands back, awkwardly as Sami grabs a cup from the tray and pours herself some coffee.
     
    EJ: Ah yeah. We ummm...Gabriella and I need to go over something.
    SAMI: Is it to do with Nick? Because if it is, I should probably know about it, don't you think?
    EJ: Ah...yes. I suppose. 
     
    Sami waits a moment before turning to face EJ, expectantly.
     
    SAMI: Well? I'm waiting.
    EJ: It's...I think Gabi needs to get in even closer to Nick, and hopefully she can snag those photos that...Greetings man has taken of you and Kate trying to help drown Nick in the river.
     
    Sami begins to interject, but EJ continues, stopping her from rebutting by raising his voice slightly.
     
    EJ: If she can get those pictures...and destroy them...we may all be in the clear, and Nicholas won't have a single bit of leverage against you, and Gabi won't have to entangle herself in Nick's life any further.
     
    Sami looks back at EJ, not sure whether she approves of this plan or not.
     
    ---
     
    Liam lays in bed next to Jennifer, with a serious look on his face, though he's trying to hide it.
     
    LIAM: No...no, nothing's wrong.
     
    Jennifer looks down at Liam, giving him a skeptical look that Liam immediately recognizes.
     
    LIAM: Seriously!
    JENNIFER: Come on, you've been distracted ever since we ran into Gabi at Club TBD last night. I mean...it seemed to me like that was the first time you two had met, but...you've been...
    LIAM: Sorry, no, no, it's...it wasn't Gabi. 
    JENNIFER: Well, then...what's wrong? Honey, you've been so distant.
     
    Liam looks down, keeping himself in check, as he attempts to explain away his mood.
     
    LIAM: Sorry, just...the renovations at my house are going slower than I wanted.
    JENNIFER: Oh, Honey, I'm sorry. 
     
    Jenn puts her arm on Liam's shoulder in comfort. Liam looks up, smiling half-heartedly as he continues.
     
    LIAM: Yeah, I...I was supposed to have the place painted on Saturday and...they just texted me last night saying it'll be another week, then the roof needs to get done.
     
    Jenn interrupts, responding excitedly.
     
    JENNIFER: Well, there's only one thing to do, then!
     
    Liam's brow furrows in confusion, as Jenn excitedly gets out of bed, and heads for her closet to pull out clothes to wear.
     
    LIAM: Wh...what are you (laughs) where are you going?
    JENNIFER: We're gonna go get some paint and paint your house, of course!
     
    Jenn smiles widely, as Liam sits upright in her bed, a stunned and worried expression on his face, which Jenn begins to spot, as her face drops.
     
    ---
  19. beebs
    EPISODE 154
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Gabi looks at the bottle of pills in her hand, as she stands in her apartment, watching Nick lie on her sofa, in severe pain from his headache.
     
    She sighs, as she contemplates her options.
     
    Without a word, Gabi turns back toward Nick's jacket, to put the pills back in, and thinks about opening the desk drawer, containing the gun she was given by EJ.
     
    Behind her, Nick lays on the couch, writhing in pain, pleading with Gabi.
     
    NICK: Ga....Gabi! My pills, please...please.
     
    Gabi looks back momentarily, seeing a sweating, wincing Nick on the sofa, before turning back to the desk. Her face hardens into a cold glare, as she opens the desk drawer, and slowly pulls the gun out.
     
    NICK: Gabi...please...
     
    Gabi holds the gun up, just out of Nick's line of sight, as she raises it up to just in front of her face. She breathes in deeply, as she turns arounds, and points the gun at Nick.
     
    NICK: Gabi...Gabi, what are you doing?
    GABI: I'm stopping you. You've hurt me for the last time, Nick. 
    NICK: Gabi, wha...stop....no, Gabi!
     
    Gabi looks at Nick, almost laughing as she cocks the pistol. Her voice becoming increasingly emotional.
     
    GABI: You'll never hurt another person I love, ever again.
    NICK: Gabi! Don't--
     
    BANG!
     
    Nick's eyes widen as the sound of the gun silences all other sounds in the room.
     
    BANG!
     
    Gabi's face remains like a stone as she fires the gun again.
     
    BANG!
     
    And again.
     
    BANG!
     
    A moment passes before Nick collapses on her sofa.
     
    Gabi lowers the gun. Breathing out in sweet release of all her lingering tension and fear.
     
    ---
     

    Noelle walks into her bedroom, where Alex lays in their bed, reading. She's in her nightgown, and heads over to her vanity. She looks at her husband via the large mirror of her vanity, as she puts moisturizer on her face.
     
    NOELLE: You know I'm proud of you.
     
    Alex puts his book down, looking curiously at Noelle by way of the same mirror.
     
    ALEX: For what?
    NOELLE: For letting Anjelica stay here.
    ALEX: Yeah, well...it's not like I wanted to. Just...it didn't seem right to have her in town and not...at least...offer.
     
    Noelle turns to face Alex, smiling.
     
    NOELLE: You were under absolutely no obligation to offer her a place to stay. I mean, I'm sure your dad would've been a lot happier if she weren't here.
     
    Noelle sits on the edge of their bed, as Alex sets his book on the nightstand beside him. He sighs, clearly gearing up to have a serious chat with his wife.
     
    ALEX: My dad forgets that a lot of years have gone by since they were in the same room last. I mean, look at how Uncle Vic's changed in that time.
     
    Noelle looks at Alex, somewhat dubious of his commentary of Victor.
     
    NOELLE: How do you mean?
    ALEX: I mean, like...I bet you if you'd asked my dad whether he'd expected Victor to be running a legit media company and married to Maggie Horton all those years ago, he would've keeled over laughing. You know?
     
    Noelle's face relaxes, as she shrugs acceptingly.
     
    NOELLE: Touché. 
    ALEX: Either way, I just...I'm not totally convinced my mother's not up to something. But...I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.
     
    Noelle looks at her husband, smiling as she puts her hand over his, squeezing it gently.
     
    ---
     

    Downstairs, Henderson opens the front door to the Kiriakis mansion, as a procession of luggage carts wheels into the foyer. After the third and final cart is pushed through by Anjelica's staff, Anjelica appears, walking hastily through the door.
     
    ANJELICA: Just down that hallway, boys. There's a service elevator at the end at the left.
     
    Anjelica looks up at Henderson, smiling as she passes by him. Henderson closes the door behind Anjelica.
     
    ANJELICA: Thank you, Henderson! Tell Maggie 'thank you' for her hospitality.
    HENDERSON: I ah...I think the person you should be thanking, Ms. Deveraux is your son.
    ANJELICA: Oh, I intend to. Ah, Henderson, regarding meals. I need you to remind cook that I'm on a very strict gluten-free diet. Breakfast I'm going to need at 6:30am sharp, daily. No exceptions. Two eggs, scrambled or poached, and they MUST be free range. I CAN tell the difference.
    HENDERSON: Ah...duly noted.
    ANJELICA: Wonderful. I'll be heading to my room, then.
     
    Henderson looks at Anjelica, stopping her just before she turns to head out of the room. Henderson appears visibly uncomfortable asking, but he stammers out his question, regardless.
     
    HENDERSON: Ah...Ms. Deveraux, if you don't mind my asking...how long are you intending to stay here at the house?
     
    Anjelica smiles defiantly, almost cracking herself up as she responds to Henderson's worried question.
     
    ANJELICA: Oh, gee. I'm really not sure. Could be just a few days, but...(shrug) I guess you'll just have to wait and see, won't you? 
     
    Anjelica beams as she takes off down the hall, following her staff to her room. She slyly waves back to a befuddled Henderson.
     
    ANJELICA: Goodnight!
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     

    Adrienne lays in bed next to Justin, stirred by a rustling sound outside their bedroom door. She shakes Justin's shoulder, rousing him from his sleep.
     
    ADRIENNE: Justin. Justin!
    JUSTIN: Mmm Adrienne, I can't tonight, I've got work in the morning...
     
    As Justin drifts back to sleep, a sudden thud in the hallway forces his eyes open wide.
     
    ADRIENNE: Justin, someone's there.
    JUSTIN: (sigh) I'll go check on it.
     
    Justin angrily throws the covers off, as he dozily gets up from his bed, and saunters over to the bedroom door, as the sounds continue.
     
    Justin throws open the door to discover Anjelica and her team in the hall of the Kiriakis mansion, loading her plethora of luggage into the bedroom directly across from them. Justin sighs, irritated by her presence.
     
    ANJELICA: Okay, now one more trip and I think we've got it all.
     
    Anjelica turns as she hears the creak of the door, and smiles broadly as she spots Justin's tired, annoyed, and squinting face.
     
    ANJELICA: Justin! I hope I didn't wake you.
    JUSTIN: You did. And probably half of Salem.
    ANJELICA: Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to. We just had to get our things in here as quickly as possible. You know, I was SO excited to stay with you all here, I just couldn't wait.
     
    Justin looks on, bleary eyed, boiling with anger but too tired to react to it.
     
    JUSTIN: I'm sure you couldn't. Just...how much longer will you be?
    ANJELICA: Oh, I don't know, as I was telling Henderson, I don't really know how long my stay will--
    JUSTIN: I meant in the hallway, Anjelica. I have meetings in the morning.
     
    Anjelica checks her watch, smiling smugly all the while.
     
    ANJELICA: Oh of course. Silly me...ah...another 20 minutes?
     
    Justin looks back, a pained expression on his face.
     
    JUSTIN: (sigh) Right. You know, Anjelica...I'm sorry about earlier.
    ANJELICA: Oh, don't even mention it, Justin. I know how difficult this would be for you and Adrienne, but...I think, in time...
    JUSTIN: In time you'll be gone, Anjelica. Don't think this is going to be a long-term stay, and don't get too comfortable.
     
    Anjelica smiles, amused by Justin's statement.
     
    ANJELICA: Well, Justin, I have to say that your hospitality is very lacking.
    JUSTIN: It isn't, usually. You're just special.
     
    Anjelica's expression begins to sour as she responds.
     
    ANJELICA: I'm touched.
    JUSTIN: I'm doing this for Alexander, Anjelica. Not for you. Don't push your luck around here, or I will change my mind. Have a good night.
     
    Justin closes the bedroom door, leaving a sour-looking Anjelica behind in the hallway, before the turns back toward the car, following her team to get her last pieces of luggage from the car. Anjelica casually pulls her cell phone from her pocket and begins texting as she saunters down the hallway.
     
    ...
     
    Noelle emerges from the kitchen of the Kiriakis mansion, holding a glass of water as she walks through the living room toward the foyer, heading back upstairs to hers and Alex's room. She jumps as she stumbles upon Anjelica in the foyer. Trying to quietly get her attention,
     
    Noelle whispers out to her, as Anjelica hits 'send' on her text message.
     
    NOELLE: Psst.
    ANJELICA: Can I help you?
     
    Noelle grabs Anjelica by the arm and pulls her into the living room. Turning the lights on, Noelle shuts the double doors to the living room, and quietly asks Anjelica a question.
     
    NOELLE: Did you get ahold of Nick or not?
    ANJELICA: He's not answering, so I sent him a text.
    NOELLE: Of course. He needs to know Victor's awake before he does anything drastic.
    ANJELICA: Well, I know that. That's why I sent him a text. Even if he's so focused on wooing that drip Gabi Hernandez that he's ignoring his phone, at least he'll see the text, and hopefully, he'll govern himself accordingly.
     
    Noelle shakes her head, as Anjelica smiles, and turns back toward the double doors, heading back out toward her car.
     
    ANJELICA: Now go back to your husband and stop stressing out about everything. Everything is going just fine.
     
    As Anjelica leaves, Noelle folds her arms, not quite as convinced as Anjelica.
     
    NOELLE: You say that now, Anjelica, but I have a feeling things are about to get really messy around here.
     
    ---
     

    Sami stands opposite EJ, her hair soaked from having been caught in the rain. She hastily ties her hair back into a pony tail, all the while seething at what EJ's just confessed to.
     
    SAMI: You bought Gabi a GUN?
     
    EJ shrugs, unable to back out of what he's just admitted to. He attempts to calmly explain his motives.
     
    EJ: Samantha...I was concerned that with Gabi's situation, that Nick would attempt to do something to her again. Or maybe try to take Arianna. I didn't want them to feel powerless when dealing with a loose cannon like Nicholas.
    SAMI: Then you install a security system. You hire a bodyguard, or have a PI follow them around. What you don't do is have a deadly weapon in a home with a toddler in it, EJ.
    EJ: Samantha, don't you think you're being a bit hypocritical living in this house and lecturing me about keeping weapons in the home.
     
    Sami rolls her eyes, holding her hand up to stop EJ from continuing.
     
    SAMI: Whatever, EJ. Don't even start with me on this. You're putting my granddaughter and my son in harm's way.
    EJ: I am trying to protect them.
    SAMI: And it's not going to work. Trust me, EJ. This is gonna backfire. And when it does, I'm gonna blame you.
     
    EJ looks at Sami, shaking his head at her stubbornness.
     
    ---
     
    Gabi stands, facing Nick. She drops her arm holding the pistol EJ gave her drops to her side, as she looks on, a mix of shock and relief as she looks at Nick bleeding to death on her sofa.
     
    Nick gasps out his last breaths, as he holds his blood-soaked chest.
     
    NICK: Gabi....I...wh...why? I loved...I loved you....
     
    Gabi looks on, seemingly unaffected by her act of violence.
     
    Gabi watches as the life fades from Nick's body, and a sickening smile appears on her face. She begins to laugh, quietly at first. Then it builds into a hysterical laugh, almost victorious, only broken by Nick calling out to her.
     
    ***
     
    NICK: GABI!!!
     
    Gabi snaps back to reality, as she realizes Nick is still on her sofa, screaming out in pain from another severe headache. Gabi turns to face him, seeing him writhing in pain, and kicks into gear.
     
    Gabi hastily tears into Nick's bag, and pulls out his cell phone. Curious, she stops a moment, and slyly checks his lock screen. Spying a message from Anjelica, Gabi looks on intrigued by the message.
     
    Victor awake. You need to move into the house ASAP for our plan to work. Call me when you get this.
     
    Confused momentarily, Gabi swipes quickly to hide the notification, then quickly hides the phone back in Nick's bag and digs out his pills, as she hears Nick moaning in pain on her sofa.
     
    Gabi walks quickly over, and hands Nick his pill.
     
    GABI: Get up, I'll grab you water. You sleep in my bed tonight.
     
    Gabi helps pull Nick up from the couch, as he objects, holding his head.
     
    NICK: Gabi, you sure?
    GABI: Don't argue with me, Nick. I'm worried about you.
     
    Nick sighs, nodding slowly.
     
    NICK: So am I.
     
    Gabi steps over to the sink in the kitchen, and pours Nick a glass of water to take his pill with. She turns around quickly, mothering Nick.
     
    GABI: Here, here, here, take the pill.
     
    Nick swallows the pill and downs the water. Gabi grabs the glass and lays it in the sink, before guiding him to her room.
     
    GABI: Come on, let's go. 
     
    Nick stumbles, as the pain cripples him, but he manages to find his way to Gabi's room, as she helps prop him up.
     
     
    In her room, he lays down, and closes his eyes, hoping to fall asleep quickly. Gabi stands over him, deep in her own thoughts.
     
    GABI: (voiceover) What was that text about, Nick. And what does this Anjelica woman have to do with everything?
     
    Gabi looks on, disturbed, before turning back away from her room. She turns the light out before closing the door, leaving a slowly-relaxing Nick on her bed.
     
    ---
  20. beebs
    EPISODE 153
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    It's late, and Nick walks Gabi to the door of her apartment. They talk (mostly Nick talks, while Gabi pretends to listen), as they walk, arm in arm. As it's still raining, Nick holds a big umbrella over them both, protecting them.
     
    NICK: So it's basically the biggest EDM festival in Europe, and...I think we should check it out.
    GABI: That sounds really good, but...we're gonna be really busy this summer, with the shoots and everything, I just don't think that's gonna happen.
    NICK: We can make time. I'll make sure of it.
     
    Gabi smiles, trying to be gentle in her rebuffing Nick's offer.
     
    GABI: We'll see. Ah...look, I'm heading in, thanks again for walking me home.
    NICK: It's the least I could do. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself with me.
    GABI: You know I always do.
    NICK: Oh come on, we both know that's a lie.
     
    Gabi rolls her eyes, knowing Nick's right, she laughs.
     
    GABI: Yeah, I guess, you're right. But I'm serious. Plus, I'm really excited. So much is changing for me, and for you. I think things are really starting to look up.
    NICK: I think so too.
     
    Nick smiles, as he looks at Gabi. He hesitates for a moment, before asking his question.
     
    NICK: You never answered me before about moving into the Kiriakis mansion with me. Now that I'm...well...now that it's mine.
     
    Gabi looks down, her hands in Nick's. She smiles half-heartedly as she looks down. Knowing it's a bad idea, but having to hold in those thoughts.
     
    GABI: Nick, I...I have to think about it. I mean...you know, everything's moving so fast, and...can you just give me a bit of time to think it over?
     
    Nick raises his hand to Gabi's chin, and gently lifts her head up to look into his eyes. He smiles gently.
     
    NICK: Gabi, I'm not gonna make the same mistakes I did before. No pressure. You tell me when you're ready.
     
    Gabi smiles back at Nick as she responds softly.
     
    GABI: Thank you.
     
    Nick and Gabi share a long gaze into each other's eyes, before he leans in for a kiss, but is suddenly struck by a severe pain. He shouts out in agony, as a high-pitched ringing hits his ears. He holds his head, as he crumples from the pain. Gabi panicks, unsure what to do, as the rain soaks her hair and makeup.
     
    GABI: Nick? NICK?! Are you okay???
     
    ---
     

    Sami arrives back at the DiMera mansion, to find EJ at his desk. Standing soaking wet in the doorway to the living room, EJ looks over, pulling his reading glasses off his face. He attempts to stifle a laugh at his the expense of his partner.
     
    EJ: You ah...I see you made it back in one piece.
    SAMI: Save it.
     
    Sami storms into the room, dumping her bag in the corner and making a beeline for the roaring fireplace.
     
    SAMI: I didn't know it was gonna rain so I left my umbrella here this morning, and got caught in the storm on the way back from the office.
     
    EJ looks on, curiously.
     
    EJ: The office? You left hours ago. Did you go back?
    SAMI: EJ, I had to. We had a situation on our hands.
    EJ: Well, it would've been nice to have been kept in the loop, Samantha.
     
    Sami turns herself toward the fire, speaking dismissively to EJ.
     
    SAMI: I didn't have time. 
     
    EJ becomes agitated, getting up from his seat at the desk and beginning to grill Sami.
     
    EJ: What does that mean? It would literally take you ten seconds to send me a text or something.
     
    Sami turns her head, snapping at EJ before turning back toward the heat.
     
    SAMI: EJ, Nick has controlling interest of Titan, I had to make sure we had everything in place to take him out.
    EJ: I agree, that's smart, but shouldn't I be privvy to that? 
    SAMI: I'm telling you now, aren't I?
    EJ: That's not the point.
     
    Sami turns her body to face EJ, now exasperated by EJ's grilling.
     
    SAMI: Look, FINE. I'll tell you what's going on. But you need to keep this to yourself. Okay?
     
    ---
     

    Marlena sighs, as she sits on a barstool at the Brady Pub, next to Eric. Kim stands across from her, awaiting her answer to Kim's demand.
     
    KIM: Marlena. Promise me you won't run a DNA test on Roman.
     
    Marlena sighs again, closing her eyes, before shaking her head. She looks at Kim and responds with conviction.
     
    MARLENA: You know I can't do that.
    KIM: Marlena, that's a cop out and you know it. Roman needs Valerie to be focused on what's wrong with him right now, and getting him treatment, not focusing on some hairbrained idea that he may not be who we know he is.
    MARLENA: But that's exactly it, Kim. What if the cognitive degradation is related to his true identity? What if he isn't your brother and your brother is out there somewhere, trying to get home to Salem?
    KIM: And what if he's not? Marlena, it's been 20 years! Something would've come up by now, surely.
    MARLENA: Not neccessarily. Not if Stefano's involved. 
     
    Kim sighs, certain Marlena's being extremely optimistic.
     
    KIM: What if you're right, Marlena? What if Stefano did send this...impostor to Salem, but then the real Roman did actually die while on that assignment all those years ago like we thought? Hmm? Then what?
     
    Marlena looks back Kim, struggling to answer her question.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     
    Sami stands, arms folded, facing EJ in the DiMera living room. Her hair still soaking from the storm outside, as she explains what she's been up to.
     
    SAMI: Nick was trying to goad Kate and I into turning on each other over Gabi. I guess he wanted to do some kind of divide and conquer and try to manipulate Gabi into trusting him over us. But Kate and I figured it out, and we're playing along for Gabi's sake.
    EJ: How did that go?
    SAMI: So far so good. Nick's totally snowed, Gabi's on a date with him, making him think she's falling for him again. Thank GOD that's a big charade.
    EJ: Is it?
     
    Sami nods, certain of her answer.
     
    SAMI: Yeah. She's terrified of him. I'm surprised you didn't see it before.
    EJ: I did, but...frankly, that girl should be acting instead of modelling because I know she's pulled the wool over our eyes once before where Nick was concerned. That's why I tested her this morning.
     
    Sami looks baffled by EJ's statement.
     
    SAMI: Tested her?
    EJ: That's what I was trying to tell you earlier. I paid Gabi a visit this morning. I wanted to sort of...gauge her reaction when I gave her a gift I'd been planning to give her.
    SAMI: Okay...I'm afraid to ask...what was the gift?
     
    EJ hesitates for a moment, before sighing and responding.
     
    EJ: I gave her a gun to keep with her in case Nick tries to hurt her or Arianna.
    SAMI: You did WHAT?!
     
    Sami looks at EJ, aghast at his decision.
     
    ---
     
    Gabi steps toward a visibly suffering Nick as his headache worsens. Nick drops the open umbrella, an leans against the wall by Gabi's apartment doorway. Deeply concerned by his sudden pain, Gabi coaxes him toward her door, all the while getting herself wet.
     
    GABI: Nick! Nick, okay, it's gonna be okay. We just gotta get you inside. Okay?
     
    Nick, wincing from the pain, barely hears Gabi through his pained grunts. Trying to maintain control over his breathing, Nick holds his head, as Gabi tries to open the door.
     
    GABI: Okay, we got you.
     
    Once open, Nick and Gabi stumble through the door to the darkened apartment. Gabi grabs Nick's umbrella and closes it behind her. Closing the door and turning on the light, Gabi walks Nick over to her sofa, and peels his wet blazer off his shoulders, throwing it on the floor.
     
    Afterwards, she lays him down, fluffing up pillows for him to lay on.
     
    NICK: Nnnng, hm...Gabi, please....please, my medication.
    GABI: Okay. Okay, I'm getting it.
     
    Gabi runs over to grab his blazer, and rifles through it in a panic, before finding the nearly-empty bottle in one of Nick's pockets.
     
    Gabi turns quickly to face Nick, then has a moment of realization, as she becomes aware of what's happening and who she's dealing with. A sudden rush of calm comes over her. She stares at Nick for a moment, seeing him writhe in pain on her sofa.
     
    She bites her lower lip, as she holds the pill bottle in her hand, and contemplates her next move. She then looks down at the desk drawer, where she placed the gun EJ had given her earlier in the day, and contemplates opening it.
     
    ---
     
    Marlena stands up from her barstool, looking at Kim with compassion. Eric gets up from his stool, as well, surveying the situation.
     
    MARLENA: Kim, I get it. You don't want to lose your brother all over again...but you could have him back, and back to stay.
     
    Kim looks back at Marlena, unmoved.
     
    KIM: I could, but if you don't start looking for a treatment for the disease that's eating his brain, then we WILL lose him, Marlena. 
    ERIC: Aunt Kim, you know we're all trying to find answers.
    KIM: Eric, I'm not blaming you for this. But you don't want to be doing this test any more than I do. 
    ERIC: I have my own reasons.
    KIM: That's fine.
    ERIC: But I also think that what Mom's saying has merit.
     
    Kim looks back at Marlena momentarily, nodding before responding to Eric.
     
    KIM: Okay. That's fine. You...you do what you want. But let me make something very clear. If Roman doesn't get the treatment he needs in time, and my brother dies? I'm putting that on you, Marlena.
     
    Kim storms off to the staircase, headed away from a distraught Marlena. Eric pulls his mother into a hug, as a song begins to play.
     
     
     
    ---
     

    As the song continues, Billie and Daniel lay together in Daniel's living room, sharing their blanket after making love. Billie's arms around Daniel's naked torso, as Daniel points up toward the LED lights on his ceiling.
     
    DANIEL: See, I put a big dipper right over there.
     
    Billie laughs as she squints, trying to see the constellation Daniel attempted to replicate.
     
    BILLIE: That looks more like a soup ladle, but...I'll play along.
    DANIEL: Hey! Never criticize an artist in his own studio. Got it?
     
    Daniel teases Billie playfully, as they laugh together, before Billie cuddles in closer to Daniel, looking into his eyes with a loving warmth.
     
    BILLIE: You know...I'm really glad I went to get that coffee.
    DANIEL: Are you?
    BILLIE: Mmhmm. This has turned out to be a beautiful night after all.
     
    Billie leans in to kiss Daniel's lips. He smiles after she does, savouring the moment.
     
    DANIEL: I think so. And in here, there isn't a cloud in the sky.
    BILLIE: Heh, yeah, you're right. 
     
    Daniel looks at Billie, but notices a certain sadness in her eyes.
     
    DANIEL: You okay?
    BILLIE: Yeah, why?
    DANIEL: I dunno, just...after you ran into Kim earlier, I just...I worried that she might've said something to upset you or...
    BILLIE: Nooo, no no no. I'm used to Kim's anger toward me, it's more....it's more that I'm worried about her, really.
     
    Daniel looks surprised, as Billie's expression changes, and she stares off momentarily from Daniel.
     
    DANIEL: Worried? About Kim Brady?
    BILLIE: Yeah. She's got a lot on her shoulders. Theresa, her mother's health declining, Roman going through...I dunno, I guess it's dementia? Being separated from her husband for so long? Your children? That's....that's gotta be so hard on a person.
    DANIEL: Well...she'll be fine, I think. She's stronger than she seems.
    BILLIE: Yeah, but...being alone like she is? I couldn't imagine dealing with all that without you.

    Billie moves in to where her face nearly touches Daniel's. They look adoringly into each other's eyes, as Daniel shifts his body to face Billie's, as he moves his arm up to Billie's face, gently carressing her face. He responds softly to her.
     
    DANIEL: You'll never have to find out the answer to that. I'll always be here.
     
    Daniel and Billie share a tender kiss, as Billie leans into the kiss, and the two roll over, preparing for another round of lovemaking.
     
    ...
     
    Back at the Brady Pub, as Kim descends the staircase, and looks out on a now-empty pub (save for the lone bartender cleaning up), Kim walks into the room slowly. 
     
    She puts a hand on the bartender's shoulder and smiles half-heartedly.
     
    KIM: You're good for tonight, hun. Thanks.
     
    The bartender heads back into the kitchen to pack up to leave, as Kim shuts off most of the lighting.
     
    As the song ends, she leans against the bar, and thinks over the problems facing her. Missing her daughter, and her son, her husband, and the slow decline of her brother and mother. 
     
    Kim is emotionally overwhelmed by a sense of grief, and begins to sob uncontrollably. 
     
    ---
  21. beebs
    EPISODE 152
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Kim stands by the bar at the Brady Pub, looking at Eric and Marlena with a stunned expression.
     
    KIM: I'm sorry, what did you just tell me?
     
    Marlena takes a moment to find the right words before re-explaining her request to Kim.
     
    MARLENA: Kim...Valerie and I have been going over Roman's files, trying desperately to figure out what exactly is wrong with him.
    KIM: Right. I mean...it's obviously some kind of dementia, right? I mean...what else could it be? The memory lapses, the hostile outbursts, it's all the symptoms.
    MARLENA: Yes...but there's a problem.
     
    Kim reacts with increasing volume and hostility toward Marlena.
     
    KIM: Which is?
     
    Marlena breathes in deeply before responding.
     
    MARLENA: There are no medical records for Roman from before he returned to salem in 1997.
     
    Kim looks at Marlena, completely stunned.
     
    ---
     

    Gabi stands at Jennifer and Liam's table at Club TBD, suddenly snapping out of her stunned moment of silence. She extends a hand to greet Liam.
     
    GABI: Oh! Sorry! Yes, I'm Gabi Hernandez. It's...nice to meet you.
    LIAM: Likewise.
     
    They shake hands awkwardly, as Liam gives Gabi a firm look, which Gabi picks up on. She steps away slowly, as Jennifer attempts to continue their chat.
     
    JENNIFER: How is Nick doing, anyway? I heard he's...been given a...huge promotion.
    GABI: Yeah, we're...we're celebrating that now.
    JENNIFER: Good. I'm glad. I was worried when Abigail told me how much pain he was in at Salem U the other week.
     
    Gabi feigns concern, but is mostly just uneasy with the line of questioning.
     
    GABI: Oh, ah...I dunno. He's been fine tonight. We're having a celebration dinner for me. I'm...getting back into modelling.
     
    Jennifer perks up at the news, making Gabi smile, but half-heartedly, as her worries consume her thoughts.
     
    JENNIFER: Oh my gosh, that's amazing news, Gabi! Congratulations!
    GABI: Thanks. I..ah...anyway, I'm gonna just...head back to him now. It's...it's good to see you, and to meet you. Thanks for asking how we're doing, Jennifer.
     
    Jennifer looks on, confused by her subdued reaction.  She smiles, regardless.
     
    JENNIFER: Anytime, sweetheart.
     
    Gabi steps away from the table, leaving Jennifer looking confused as she watches Gabi hustle back to her table with Nick.
     
    Jennifer then turns back toward Liam, her brow furrowed.
     
    LIAM: Something the matter?
    JENNIFER: Yeah. Something is very wrong with Gabi. And I really hope it has nothing to do with Nick.
     
    ---
     

    Billie stands in Daniel's apartment, disappointed by Daniel's declaration that they're out of coffee.
     
    BILLIE: Well, I mean, I'm disappointed that you're out of coffee, but...I don't really...NEED it.
     
    Daniel emerges from behind the kitchen island, and walks toward Billie, wrapping his arms around her waist.
     
    DANIEL: Well, here's what I propose.
     
    Billie reciprocates, looking seductively into Daniel's eyes.
     
    BILLIE: Mm, what?
    DANIEL: You go pick up some coffee--
    BILLIE: Me? 
     
    Daniel tries to stifle a laugh as Billie feigns indignation.
     
    DANIEL: (laughs) Yes. You go pick some up for me at the corner store...and when you come back...I'll have everything else ready for you.
     
    Billie responds, herself now trying not to laugh at Daniel's suggestion.
     
    BILLIE: You're gonna make me go out, in the rain, and grab coffee for YOU.
    DANIEL: Mmmhmm.
     
    Billie replies sarcastically, giving Daniel a displeased look. 
     
    BILLIE: And they say chivalry is dead.
     
    Daniel laughs, as Billie rolls her eyes. Daniel steps to his chest of drawers in the corner of the room, and grabs an umbrella for Billie, handing it to her.
     
    DANIEL: Here. I promise I'll make it up to you when you get back, 'kay?
     
    Billie raises an eyebrow at Daniel, taking the umbrella and playfully jabbing him in the side with it.
     
    BILLIE: You better. Okay, I'll be back. Love you.
     
    Billie and Daniel share a quick kiss, as she heads out the door of Daniel's apartment.
     
    DANIEL: Love you.
     
    As the door closes, Daniel looks at his living room, particularly looking up at the ceiling, and clasps his hands together, rubbing them together as he nods his head eagerly.
     
    DANIEL: Time to get to work.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     

    Justin stands by the doorway to the kitchen at the Kiriakis mansion, observing Anjelica and Alex in an embrace in the living room. As they separate from their hug, Alex looks warmly at his mother.
     
    ALEX: I...ah...I'm gonna call the Salem Inn for you and we'll get a car to bring your stuff over, okay?
    ANJELICA: Oh, sweetheart, thank you, BUT...
     
    Anjelica grabs her clutch from beside the bar, and pulls out her phone.
     
    ANJELICA: I've gotta head back there, anyway. I have a lot to take care of. 
    ALEX: Alright.
    ANJELICA: I should be back in an hour, okay?
     
    Anjelica spots Justin from the doorway, and smiles smugly at him.
     
    ANJELICA: JUSTIN! You'll be pleased to know you'll have many more opportunities to show off your biting wit. 
    JUSTIN: So I've heard.
     
    Justin steps into the room, a far more humble demeanour than he'd carried before.
     
    JUSTIN: Look, Anjelica...I don't relish the thought of you staying here, don't get me wrong...
     
    Justin looks at his son, and sighs before finishing his thought.
     
    JUSTIN: But it's important for me that my son is happy, and that he spends time with his mother. And that's what he wants, then I'm not going to deny him that.
    ANJELICA: That's a very thoughtful thing to say.
    JUSTIN: Well, don't pat me on the back just yet. See, I just want you to know that I will not tolerate any of the manipulations that I've known you to engage in over the years. I don't want your campaign team in this house. It'd be a conflict of interest.
    ANJELICA: Duly noted.
    JUSTIN: And just so we're clear. If I find out you've been up to anything even remotely duplicitous, you're outta here. Do I make myself clear?
     
    Anjelica nods, for once, not a snarky retort to be heard.
     
    ANJELICA: Crystal.
     
    Anjelica looks up at her son, who smiles at both her, and Justin.
     
    ---
     

    Gabi sits back down in her seat at the table she's sharing with Nick at Club TBD. Nick's pleased to see her return.
     
    GABI: Hey! Sorry that took so long.
    NICK: Don't even worry about it. Who's that with Jennifer?
    GABI: Oh! It's ah...some guy, Leon I think? Liam? Apparently they've been seeing each other for awhile. Abby thinks he's okay, but JJ's not sold on him.
    NICK: Well, you know. There's always someone who's not going to approve of who you're with.
     
    Gabi nods, trying to appear disinterested so that Nick changes the subject.
     
    GABI: Hey, ah...you know, it's pretty late, and...well...I was hoping to at least say goodnight to Ari. Besides, sitters aren't cheap, and...with Will and Sonny out for the night...
     
    Nick holds up a hand, in an attempt to stop Gabi for continuing.
     
    NICK: Say no more, I'll get the bill, we'll be outta here. Can I at least walk you to your door?
     
    Gabi smiles, nodding her approval.
     
    GABI: I'd like that.
     
    Nick smiles back as he flags down T for the bill.
     
    ---
     
    Billie steps back into Daniel's apartment, carrying a wet umbrella, and shopping bag with a tin of coffee in her one hand. She calls out to Daniel as she enters, but stops midsentence from surprise at what she sees once inside.
     
    BILLIE: Okay, Daniel, I got...the coffee...
     
    In the living room, the couches have been moved away, the lights turned off but for strings of blue-tinted LEDs strung from the ceiling, simulating the stars. Daniel sits on a blanket, placed on the floor of the living area. Daniel holds his arms out, welcoming Billie inside, as a song begins to play.
     
     
     
    DANIEL: Welcome.
     
    Billie lays her umbrella down against the chest of drawers next to the door, still stunned by the display Daniel's put on.
     
    BILLIE: Wh...what is all this?
    DANIEL: Well...
     
    Daniel points up to the ceiling, looking up at the lights he's strung up. Billie looks up curiously, following Daniel's eyes.
     
    DANIEL: Since we weren't able to see the stars in the park like we wanted...I improvised a bit. 
    BILLIE: It all makes sense now.
     
    Billie slowly walks over to where Daniel's sitting on the blanket.
     
    DANIEL: And now, I can make the coffee you wanted.
    BILLIE: Well, there's just one problem now.
    DANIEL: What's that?
     
    Billie kneels down next to Daniel, looking into Daniel's eyes with a fiery sensuality.
     
    BILLIE: I'm not really in the mood for coffee anymore.
     
    Billie leans in closer to Daniel, who raises an eyebrow at Billie's suggestion.
     
    DANIEL: Oh? And just what are you in the mood for?
     
    Billie rests her arms on Daniel's shoulders, their faces now mere inches apart.
     
    BILLIE: I think you can guess.
    DANIEL: Mmmm yeah.
     
    As Daniel and Billie lean into their passionate kiss, they lay back on the blanket, caught up in the heat of the moment.
     
    ---
     
    Kim leans against the bar at the Brady Pub, stunned by the news Marlena's just shared with her about her brother.
     
    KIM: Marlena...are you seriously trying to tell me that because of some...clerical error, you're going to leap to the conclusion that the man we've been calling my brother for over twenty years is an imposter?
    MARLENA: Kim, there's more to it than that--
     
    Kim snaps at Marlena, shouting out, causing more than a couple stares from other patrons.
     
    KIM: I should hope so!
     
    Kim, quickly realizing the scene she just caused, looks around her, and quickly calms herself down.
     
    KIM: You're supposed to be helping to save my brother, figuring out what's wrong with him, and why he's losing his memory. Not trying to prove some hairbrained theory you've cooked up.
     
    Eric pipes up, coming to his mother's defense. He's firm, but respectful to his aunt.
     
    ERIC: Aunt Kim, it's not like that. Look, I don't like this any more than you do, but I understand why Mom's asking this.
    KIM: Then, if you understand it, why aren't you the one agreeing to get a sample for this test?
     
    Eric looks away, sheepishly backing down. Kim raises her eyebrows, looking to Marlena pointedly.
     
    KIM: That's what I thought.
    MARLENA: Kim, I'm not trying to cause a problem for you, or for the family. I just want to get to the truth.
    KIM: The truth is that my brother is losing his memory in chunks, and it's only a matter of time before he is going to be a shell of the man we knew. We need to be looking for solutions, or at the very least, looking to make arrangements to ensure Roman is well cared-for when he becomes incapable of doing so himself. Not trying to solve some kind of...tin foil hat conspiracy theory true. 
    MARLENA: Kim, Stefano has done some outrageous things in the past, it's not inconceivable--
    KIM: It may not be inconceivable...but it's also not likely. And it's definitely not the time.
     
    Kim looks intensely at Marlena, who looks back, pained by Kim's rejection of her plans.
     
    KIM: Let this go, Marlena. Please.
     
    Marlena sighs, closing her eyes to keep herself calm, as Eric looks on, concerned for his mother, putting a hand on her shoulder.
     
    ---
  22. beebs
    EPISODE 150
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Abby and Laura emerge from the kitchen of the Horton house, laughing as they talk to each other about their day. As they enter the living room, a moment of awkward silence hits them.
     
    ABBY: You know, I know I don't say this very often, Grandma, but...it's good to have you back in Salem.
     
    Laura takes Abby into a warm embrace, feeling grateful for her granddaughter's love.
     
    LAURA: Oh, Sweetheart. It's so lovely to be back. And to see you so grown, and...happy again. I know, it's been hard with Chad gone.
     
    Abby looks down, wistfully. She shrugs, trying not to think too much on it.
     
    ABBY: Yeah, I mean...it hasn't been easy but...you know...Chad and I...things didn't work out.
     
    Abby sits down on the sofa, and Laura quickly follows suit. The pair lean against the back cushion, looking at each other as they converse.
     
    LAURA: Well, maybe not for now, but...I mean...Chad's recovering from being shot, it's not like he's never coming back to Salem. Honey, anything can happen.
     
    Abby looks back, somewhat uncomfortably, as she thinks over what her grandmother has suggested.
     
    ---
     

    At the Kiriakis Mansion, the family gathers around the long dining table to share a dinner. The tension thick in the air. Anjelica tries in vain to break the stone silence.
     
    ANJELICA: So...I have to thank everyone for allowing me to come tonight.
     
    Justin raises his head from his plate, swallowing hard as he interjects.
     
    JUSTIN: It's not like we had much of a choice, Anjelica.
    ANJELICA: Well, now, that's not very hospitable of you, Justin. I simply wanted to spend some time with my son. After all, we have been living apart for awhile now, since he's living with his lovely wife.
     
    Noelle smiles awkwardly through chewing her food. She looks to Alex, who is also trying to eat (and hopefully stay out of the conversation).
     
    ANJELICA: Alex, how do you like living here with your father's family?
     
    Alex nearly chokes on his lamb souvlaki, attempting to answer Anjelica quickly. He finally swallows, and coughs before answering.
     
    ALEX: Ah...great. It's been very...eventful.
    ANJELICA: I'm pleased to hear. I know we haven't had much chance to talk since I've launched the campaign and all, but...I'm so proud of you.
    ALEX: Thanks...Anjelica.
     
    Maggie interjects, hoping to quell the tension in the room by addressing the elephant in the room.
     
    MAGGIE: Ah...Anjelica? You're staying at the Salem Inn, I heard. 
    ANJELICA: Yes, I have! I've taken a suite there for the time being.
    MAGGIE: Mm! Ahh...how long do you plan on staying?
     
    Adrienne looks knowingly at Justin, she mutters under her breath.
     
    ADRIENNE: Here it comes.
     
    Anjelica smiles at Maggie as she responds to her question.
     
    ANJELICA: Well, funny you should ask. As it turns out, I'm going to be doing a lot more campaigning in the Salem area than I previously thought. Since I'm all about cutting back on fiscal waste and finding inefficiencies in government, it somewhat behooves me to practice what I preach. So...I was hoping to ask a small favour of you all...
     
    Justin shouts out across the dining table, firmly and clearly.
     
    JUSTIN: NO, ANJELICA! You may NOT stay here!
     
    All eyes immediately begin to dart back and forth between Justin and Anjelica, as Anjelica gives a curious, and almost-amused look Justin's way.
     
    ---
     

    Eric sits on his stool at the Brady Pub's bar, a look of total incredulity on his face, as he faces his mother, who stands before him.
     
    Marlena looks down, almost ashamed of what she's said.
     
    ERIC: I'm sorry, did I hear you right?
     
    Marlena nods, reluctantly.
     
    MARLENA: Yes. I asked you to help me run a DNA test on your father.
     
    Eric looks baffled by Marlena's suggestion.
     
    ERIC: For what reason, Mom?
    MARLENA: Look, just...hear me out. Valerie and I were discussing your father's treatment, and...well...we can't locate any medical records on him from before the time Kristen brought him back to Salem.
    ERIC: Mom, that was over 20 years ago!
    MARLENA: Yes. I know. 
    ERIC: So you only noticed this now?
     
    Marlena looks to the ground, half-shrugging as she's confused by the development herself.
     
    MARLENA: Well...we never had to dig into his file that way, and...quite honestly, I was just thankful to have him home again, after we thought he'd died.
    ERIC: Okay...so where does the DNA test come in?
    MARLENA: (sigh) When your father came home, his face was bandaged up, and at first, I didn't recognize him. And when Valerie told me the files were missing, I...my mind went back to that day. I knew something was wrong, and...I followed my wish to see your father again instead of following my gut.
     
    Eric's tone softens as he guides Marlena to the stool beside his. 
     
    ERIC: What did your gut tell you, though?
    MARLENA: That Kristen and Stefano were up to something. As usual. Eric, neither of them would think anything of taking some stranger off the street, and brainwashing them into thinking they were Roman. They've done it before.
     
    Eric breathes in deeply, nodding quietly as Marlena tells her story, then sighs.
     
    ERIC: I know you're right. But we've been so sure for so long about Dad...Mom, he's so ill. Do you really think now is the time to be...going down this path? We should focus on trying to make sure his time left with us are as comfortable as possible.
    MARLENA: I agree, if we know that it's just dementia. Quite frankly, Eric, I couldn't live with myself if I knew there was more to it than that. That Stefano had implanted these memories in him, and caused this terrible illness in him, and I didn't find out the truth in time? When I could possibly find out it's something else, and potentially save his life? 
    ERIC: I understand.
     
    Marlena leans over, putting her hand over Eric's on the bar. She looks her son dead in the eye.
     
    MARLENA: Eric, you know I wouldn't ask unless it was extremely important. Will you do this for me?
     
    Eric furrows his brow, in deep thought over whether he should help Marlena or not.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     

    Nicole sits at her desk, focused on her computer, scouring the documents Nick sent her regarding the EnerNext deal. She hears a knock on her office door, which she responds to without looking up.
     
    NICOLE: Come in!
     

    Sami enters Nicole's office, a determined look on her face. Nicole turns quickly to see who it is, and immediately sighs, rolling her eyes as she realizes it's Sami.
     
    NICOLE: (sigh) What do you want? I'm busy.
     
    Sami closes the door behind her, and folds her arms as she stands across the room from Nicole.
     
    SAMI: Where's Abby?
     
    Nicole looks over at Sami, giving an icy glare, as she responds cooly.
     
    NICOLE: She went home. I figured I could handle this by myself. 
     
    Sami doesn't budge, as Nicole takes a moment to look over a paper on her desk. Moments later, Nicole looks back up at Sami, then the door.
     
    NICOLE: That was a hint.
    SAMI: Yeah, well, I'm not going anywhere. I have something important to talk with you about.
     
    Nicole looks up, giving Sami a fake smile and a sarcastic reply, as she tries to focus on her work.
     
    NICOLE: Oh. Great. 
     
    Sami begins to saunter over to Nicole's desk, beginning to talk to her as she heads from Nicole's desk. Nicole carries on working as she half-listens to Sami, never looking up at Sami.
     
    SAMI: I just had a kind of a meeting with Kate...and...we learned something more about the situation with Titan that I think you'd wanna know about.
    NICOLE: Oh?
     
    Sami leans against Nicole's desk. The intrusion into Nicole's personal space causes Nicole to look up at Sami, suddenly engaged in what she has to say.
     
    SAMI: Nick now has controlling interest in Titan, and that makes him powerful, and dangerous. So I am going to follow EJ's promise, and give you total freedom for your special about the EnerNext project. 
    NICOLE: Even if Will gets caught in the crossfire?
    SAMI: I'll make sure Will lands on his feet. You take that son-of-a-bitch Nick Fallon down before he destroys any more lives.
     
    Nicole and Sami look intensely at each other, Sami's simmering rage in her eyes.
     
    ---
     
    Abby smiles half-heartedly at Laura, as they sit across from each other on the couch in the Horton living room. Abby shrugs as she thinks over what her grandmother's said.
     
    ABBY: I mean...I guess, but...Grandma, a lot's gone down since Chad left town. I mean (laughs) I just went on this...great date with this guy I met at Salem U.
     
    Laura perks up, excited to hear about Abby's date.
     
    LAURA: Ooo! Tell me more! Who's this handsome stranger?
     
    Abby laughs, starting to blush at Laura's teasing.
     
    ABBY: (laughs) Grandma, stop! His name's Jerome Grant, and he's a grad student. I really enjoyed myself.
    LAURA: Oh! Grant! Is his mother Valerie Grant?
    ABBY: Grandmother. And yeah, he lives with her, she just moved back to town.
    LAURA: YES! I remember her! She worked with me when she was nursing student years and years ago. She's a fantastic woman. I remember your cousin David was madly in love with her. They were so beautiful together.
     
    Laura looks at Abby, who looks on, fascinated by Laura's story. She stops, and pinches her granddaughter's cheek.
     
    LAURA: And I know that you and Jerome will be just as beautiful. Especially if he's anything like his grandmother.
     
    Abby and Laura share a laugh, and Abby smiles warmly at her grandmother.
     
    ABBY: From what I hear, Jerome thinks the world of his grandma. Honestly, Grandma, I think losing Chad was the best thing that ever happened to me.
     
    ---
     
    Eric sits next to Marlena on the barstools at the Brady Pub. Eric takes a moment to mull over what his mother's just suggested to him before responding.
     
    ERIC: I dunno, Mom. I don't know if I can go along with a DNA test on Dad.
    MARLENA: And I understand. But you need to understand why I have to ask.
    ERIC: I think I do. You got burned once before with John. Stefano took years away from you with Dad, and...he made you second guess yourself. Now there's a chance that this man we've spent so many years thinking is Roman may not be...but...Mom, I don't see what value there is in that. 
     
    Marlena looks at Eric, pensively.
     
    MARLENA: There is, though. We need to know his medical history if we want to be able to treat him properly.
    ERIC: Yeah, But....Mom. Think about it. Sami's going through therapy to overcome her repressed trauma over her relationship with EJ. I'm just trying to get my life back together after Kristen turned it upside down. Carrie's in Europe, trying to juggle her career, raising Noah, and feeling helpless because she can't help Dad...Caroline's struggling to make it through every day now. She may not have much time left. And then there's Kim...
     

    Kim's voice calls out from behind them, causing both Marlena and Eric to turn around suddenly.
     
    KIM: What about me?
     
    Kim stands before Marlena and Eric, an awkward smile on her face as she anticipates being filled in on their conversation.
     
    ---
     
    Anjelica feigns being stunned, as the rest of the family look on silently, some awkwardly trying to continue their meal, as Anjelica responds to Justin's outburst.
     
    ANJELICA: Well, Justin! I'm suprised at you! I didn't realize you were still holding onto such hostility toward me after all these years--
     
    Justin stands up abruptly from his seat at the table, his voice raising over Anjelica's as he vents.
     
    JUSTIN: Oh, come off it, Anjelica! We all knew this was coming. We knew why you wanted so desperately to come have dinner with us. You can drop the charade now.
    ANJELICA: Well, I don't know what you're talking about, Justin, because I have been nothing but forthright with my intentions tonight. 
    JUSTIN: Oh, have you?
    ANJELICA: Yes, I have. I came here to see my son, and his lovely wife, and his family. I came here to do business with them, and help further my campaign. I hardly see the issue in that.
     
    Noelle sits back, attentively listening to the back-and-forth between the ex-lovers.
     
    JUSTIN: Of course you don't! You never do! Sometimes I think you're completely oblivious to any and all social cues! 
    ANJELICA: Oh, believe me, Justin, I am aware of them. 
     
    Anjelica slowly rises from her seat, leaning on the edge of the dinner table as she zeroes in on Justin.
     
    ANJELICA: I know the resentment you hold toward me. I even understand it. I did some things that were incredibly cruel to both you and Adrienne. And for that, I am tremendously sorry. But I refuse to stand back and allow hostility and pettiness continue to keep a wedge between my son's family and myself. All I ask is to stay here. To spend time with my son, his wife, and his family. All I want is an opportunity to allow us all to heal from the damage that I fully admit...that I caused.
     
    The family look on, stone silent, as Anjelica stares down a defiant Justin. She then turns her gaze over to Alex.
     
    ANJELICA: Are you willing to give me the opportunity, or not?
     
    Alex looks back at his mom, awkwardly. He looks over and notices all eyes are now on him. He struggles to find an answer to his mother's question.
     
    ---
  23. beebs
    EPISODE 151
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Alex sits in his seat at the Kiriakis dinner table, with all eyes in the room on him, as he stirs uncomfortably. 
     
    ANJELICA: Well, darling? I'd love to stay here with you and the family. If you'll have me. What do you say?
     
    Alex looks around the table, visibly uneasy with his mother's request. He finally musters up the courage and shakes his head.
     
    ALEX: Mom, I don't...I don't know if that's such a great idea.
    ANJELICA: Well, why not? Alexander, I haven't spent time with you in months. I've barely talked to you on the phone since you moved to Salem with Noelle. I've missed you.
     
    Alex sighs, trying not to get sucked into Anjelica's guilt trip.
     
    ALEX: Me too, Mom. But...(sigh) Mom, it's not like you're...you know...
     
    Justin cuts in, interjecting with a snarky, cutting ending to his son's sentence, frustrating Alex in the process.
     
    JUSTIN: Welcome? Wanted? Remotely tolerated?
    ALEX: Dad!
     
    Justin gets up from his seat at the table, with Adrienne pawing at him to get him to sit down, to no avail.
     
    JUSTIN: Face it, Anjelica. You've put us all through enough, and we're not going to let you use us again. Got that?
     
    Anjelica looks stunned, before turning to look at her son, who looks guiltily back at her. Alex gets up from his seat at the table, laying his napkin down by his plate, and leaves the room.
     
    ALEX: Excuse me, everyone.
     
    Justin attempts to stop Alex, as the others look on in stunned silence.
     
    JUSTIN: Alexander, where are you going?
     
    Alex ignores him as he walks out toward the living room.
     
    ---
     

    Marlena and Eric turn around while sitting on the barstools at the Brady Pub, having just heard Kim greet them.
     
    MARLENA: Kimberly!
    ERIC: Aunt Kim! Hey!
     
    Kim smiles broadly as she steps toward them both, giving Eric a warm hug, then Marlena.
     
    KIM: Hey! I ah...I heard about your wedding, Eric. I...I hope that isn't a sore subject to bring up?
     
    Kim looks over awkwardly at Marlena, who smiles diplomatically at her ex-sister-in-law.
     
    MARLENA: It's alright. 
    KIM: Well, I'm happy if you're happy, Eric.
     
    Eric smiles warmly at his aunt, as Kim looks back toward Marlena, curious as to their previous conversation.
     
    KIM: I heard you two were talking about me? My ears are burning.
    ERIC: Ahhh, yeah. I...think you better sit down for this one. It's...it's pretty intense, Aunt Kim.
     
    Kim looks between Eric and Marlena, surprised and a bit concerned as to what to expect.
     
    ---
     

    Gabi and Nick are still on their date at Club TBD. Their meals cleared away, Nick pours the last of the bottle of champagne they'd ordered.
     
    Gabi stirs in her seat, preparing to get up.
     
    GABI: I ah...I think I'm gonna use the ladies' room for a sec. I'll be right back.
    NICK: Sure thing.
     

    Getting up from her seat, Gabi walks quickly to the back of the club, disappearing into the restroom. As she does, Jennifer and Liam step in, arm in arm. T greets them at the door.
     
    T: Hello hello! Table for two?
    LIAM: Yes! Thank you.
    T: Right this way.
     
    T guides them over to a booth in the back corner of the club, away from where Gabi and  Nick are seated.
     
    The pair get settled in, as T recounts their specials for the night.
     
    T: So...here are the drink specials, and I have a mild lamb curry for our dinner special. I'll give you guys a minute if you like?
    JENNIFER: Actually...this place serves an excellent chardonnay...do you...do you drink chardonnay?
     
    Liam laughs at Jennifer's question.
     
    LIAM: If you recommend it, I'll try it.
    JENNIFER: Great.
     
    Liam turns to T, smiling.
     
    LIAM: I guess a bottle of your chardonnay.
    T: Sure thing.
     
    Liam turns to Jennifer, as Jennifer smiles, looking lovingly in his eyes.
     
    JENNIFER: You know, I'm really happy we were able to get out tonight.
    LIAM: It's all good. You had a late night at work.
    JENNIFER: Yeah. I feel like they've all been late nights since Anne quit. 
    LIAM: You've had a lot of catching up to do, I guess.
    JENNIFER: Yeah. That's why nights like this are so special. Can't really take the time off and get away, much as I'd like to. You know, you, and me, up to your little cabin in the woods.
     
    Liam squirms a bit, as Jennifer attempts to paint a romantic picture for the two of them. Jenn immediately notices, and her face changes into a slight frown.
     
    JENNIFER: Liam...what's wrong?
     
    Liam tries to change his expression to allay Jennifer's suspicion, but is unable to respond.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     

    Daniel and Billie step into Daniel's apartment, as Daniel holds the door open for his girlfriend. Billie graciously steps inside with a quick nod of recognition.
     
    DANIEL: After you.
    BILLIE: What a gentleman.
     
    Billie and Daniel laugh as Daniel shuts the door behind Billie, and steps over to the kitchen area, suddenly on the hunt.
     
    Billie sets her clutch down on the coffee table, somewhat oblivious to what Daniel's up to.
     
    BILLIE: It's so nice to finally be out of that stuffy hospital.
     
    Daniel opens and shuts the kitchen cabinets, startling Billie as Daniel rummages around.
     
    With a slam of the cupboard, Daniel's head emerges from below the kitchen counter.
     
    BILLIE: What exactly are you doing?
    DANIEL: We have a problem.
     
    Billie attempts to raise an eyebrow at Daniel, as Daniel grimaces.
     
    DANIEL: We're out of coffee.
     
    Billie's face drops, disappointed by the news.

    BILLIE: I mean...Daniel it's a little late for coffee, no?
    DANIEL: No, but...you know...you said you wanted some, and there's nothing I won't do for my lady. So...there's only one thing to do.
     
    Billie looks at Daniel, curiously, as he gets up from behind the kitchen counter.
     
    BILLIE: And that is?
    DANIEL: One of us will just have to go get some!
     
    Billie looks bemused, as she looks back at Daniel.
     
     
    ---
     
    Justin sighs, as he goes to get up from his seat at the dinner table, but Anjelica gets up first, admonishing him for his behaviour.
     
    ANJELICA: And just where do you think you're going?
    JUSTIN: I am going to talk to my son.
    ANJELICA: Ohh, I think you've done quite enough talking tonight. Now it's my turn. Excuse me, everyone.
     
    Anjelica quickly walks out toward the living room, leaving Justin to look down at the others at the table. He sighs as Adrienne looks up at him, disappointed. He sits down again, trying to finish his meal.
     
    JUSTIN: I'm sorry, everyone. But I will not have that woman trapese into this house and--
     
    Adrienne suddenly snaps at Justin, fed up with his attitude.
     
    ADRIENNE: Oh just STOP IT, Justin! 
     
    Justin is stunned by Adrienne's reaction, and raises his voice back, in disbelief.
     
    JUSTIN: Adrienne, you want her here as much as the rest of us--
    ADRIENNE: ...Not if it means you drive Alex away. And acting like a spoiled brat about it isn't going to get you anywhere.
     
    Maggie cuts in at this moment, speaking more gently, but just as firmly.
     
    MAGGIE: Adrienne's right. Goading Anjelica into a fight in front of her son is just playing right into her hands. You're gonna lose him, Justin.
     
    Justin looks at Maggie, considering hers and Adrienne's point of view.
     
    ...
     
    In the living room, Alex stands at the bar, pouring himself a drink, as Anjelica walks in.
     
    ANJELICA: Alex?
     
    Anjelica stops herself for a moment, before stepping toward him gently.
     
    ANJELICA: Honey, I'm sorry about what just happened in there.
     
    Alex answers cooly, his eyes focused on his glass, as he slams the glass down on the counter.
     
    ALEX: Not your fault. Dad's made his point of view pretty clear, though.
    ANJELICA: Well, your father doesn't run your life or mine. You're an adult, and you have as much say as anyone else what you want to do.
    ALEX: I know. Doesn't mean I want you two down each other's throats every day.
     
    Anjelica shakes her head, sighing as she responds to Alex.
     
    ANJELICA: It won't be like that. I promise I will try...I will not cause problems with Justin. I have way too much work to do anyway.
     
    Alex looks off, not saying a word to Anjelica's vow. Anjelica takes this as a hint, and looks down at the ground, thoughtfully.
     
    ANJELICA: I can just stay at the Salem Inn, if that makes it easier. 
     
    After a moment, he turns to Anjelica, who's turned back toward the dining room. His words stop her dead in her tracks.
     
    ALEX: N...Mother...you can stay with us.
     
    Anjelica smiles genuinely, turning back toward her son.
     
    ALEX: I'll ah...I'll send for your stuff tonight, you...you can stay as long as you like.
    ANJELICA: Ohhh, thank you. Thank you.
     
    Anjelica walks over to Alex, hugging his tightly. Alex reciprocates, as Justin walks into the living room from the dining room.
     
    ANJELICA: Thank you.
     
    Alex looks up, seeing his dad in the archway. He looks blankly at Justin, who looks on, defeated.
     
    ---
     
    Gabi stands in the doorway to the restrooms, just out of sight of Nick and the others in the main room of Club TBD. She types furiously on her cell phone, texting to Sami and Kate.
     
    good work. i think we got him. will keep u informed
     
    Gabi then looks into the dining area, and spots Nick, popping a pill. Noticing Nick lament how empty the bottle's getting, she sends a text out to EJ.
     
    running low again, call me
     
    Gabi puts away her phone, turning back to head into the main room, but as she does, Jennifer waves her down.
     
    JENNIFER: Gabi! Hi! Oh, it's good to see you. 
    GABI: Hey! Jennifer! I ah...I was just out with Nick. How are you?
    JENNIFER: I'm fine. I...I just wanted to see how you were doing. Abigail says you've been...a bit distant lately, and she's been worried about you.
    GABI: Oh, I'm...I'm fine. Really I am. I--
     
    Gabi stops as she looks over at Jennifer's date, realizing it's Liam, the man who's been supplying her with the pills for Nick. He looks back at her with a blank expression.
     
    JENNIFER: Oh! Gabi, sorry, this is my date, Mr. Liam Frasier!
    LIAM: Pleased to meet you.
     
    Liam extends his hand to Gabi, taking hers in his, as he looks up at her, a wry smile. Gabi stands, stunned before him.
     
    ---
     
    Kim emerges from the back of the Brady Pub, her things put away as she walks around to the front of the bar, nervously waiting to hear what Eric and Marlena were discussing.
     
    KIM: Okay, guys. Lay it on me. What's got you both so worried.
     
    Kim sits down on a barstool next to Eric and Marlena, as Eric begins to attempt to explain their discussion.
     
    ERIC: (sigh) We...look, Kim, I know you've got a lot on your plate right, helping out with the pub while Grandma's sick and all, but...
     
    Kim looks at Eric, a nervous smile on her face as she waits for Eric to finish.
     
    KIM: But...
     
    Marlena cuts in, hoping to reassure Kim as she explains the situation to her.
     
    MARLENA: Ah...Kim. we're worried about Roman.
    KIM: I know. I've been...really worried about him too. I mean, the memory lapses, the suddenly vanishing, the...
     
    Kim trails off, making a realization based on Eric and Marlena's troubled faces.
     
    KIM: ...There's more, isn't there?
     
    Marlena takes a second before continuing. 
     
    MARLENA: We're not just concerned about that anymore...and we need your help.
     
    Kim nods emphatically, now very worried about what's to come.
     
    MARLENA: We need you to do a DNA test with Roman. We need to prove that he really is Roman Brady.
     
    Kim's jaw drops, stunned and horrified by what she's hearing.
     
    ---
  24. beebs
    EPISODE 149
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    In the Kiriakis dining room, Anjelica stands alone with Noelle in the corner. Looking around to make sure they're alone, Noelle approaches Anjelica.
     
    NOELLE: So...?
    ANJELICA: I think Alex will be on our side on this.
    NOELLE: Perfect.
     
    Noelle looks around, highly suspicious of anyone entering the dining room, so much so, despite being alone, Noelle continues to whisper to Anjelica.
     
    NOELLE: (whispering) Look, I have news.
    ANJELICA: Well, spit it out!
    NOELLE: (whispering) It's Victor!
    ANJELICA: What???
     
    Noelle gestures emphatically to get Anjelica to quiet down, as she whispers to Anjelica.
     
    NOELLE: He's awake, we have to tell Nick.
    ANJELICA: Wh--
     
      
     
    As Anjelica begins to respond, Justin, Maggie, and Sonny enter the dining room, all sharing a laugh as they sit down at the table. Noelle and Anjelica awkwardly halt their conversation and join them.
     
    Sitting down, the room falls quiet, as they all look at each other, unsure how to start the conversation.
     
    NOELLE: It's....so nice to have family together for once.
     
    All five of them look around at each other, unsure what to do, before Noelle grabs her drink from in front of her and awkwardly raises a toast. 
     
    NOELLE: To...family!
     
    The others reluctantly join in, most looking awkwardly at each other, wondering what brought on Noelle's toast.
     
    ALL: Cheers!
     
    As they clink their glasses, they immediately take sips so long, most finish their drinks in one go.
     
    ---
     

    Alex and Will stand alone together in the Kiriakis living room. They look awkwardly at each other, as Will asks a serious question.
     
    WILL: Ahhh....so, I haven't had a chance to ask anybody yet but...I know there's been a huge upheaval at work today. What does that mean for us?
     
    Alex is taken aback by Will's question, leaving him momentarily speechless.
     
    ALEX: Ahh...you mean at the office?
     
    Will laughs, his heart aflutter, as he, without thinking, blurts out a response.
     
    WILL: Yeah, I mean...what did you think I meant? I mean, you're cute and all but...
     
    Alex and Will laugh, as Will realizes what he's just said and begins to blush.
     
    WILL: I mean...oh God. What did I just say?
    ALEX: No...(laughs) God, Will, don't be embarrassed. I know what you meant. Don't worry.
     

    Will looks to the ceiling, closing his eyes in embarrassment, as Adrienne steps into the doorway from the dining room. She looks on, troubled by what she observes.
     
    WILL: Ugh, sorry. I didn't mean to imply that I was...attracted to you at all. You're my boss, and MARRIED. I'm marrying your BROTHER. I just...I tend to put my foot in my mouth a lot. I'm sorry.
    ALEX: Don't worry. Seriously. It's okay. Just as long as you don't have this problem with words on the page, we're good.
     
    Will laughs, as Adrienne steps into the room.
     
    ADRIENNE: Ah, boys? Are you gonna join us for dinner at all?
     
    Adrienne looks directly into Will's eyes, an almost accusatory look in them, despite her sweet tone. It immediately discomforts Will.
     
    ---
     

    Outside club TBD, Kate and Sami stand, having confronted Nick and Gabi on their date, pestering Gabi about her modelling contract offers. Now, Sami's expression becomes more one of worry.
     
    SAMI: You seem worried. You weren't before.
    KATE: I had no reason to be before. Nick worming his way into the CEO position at Titan was nothing. He could be out of there within hours if he so much as breathed the wrong way. But if he has controlling interest? All bets are off, and we need to tread carefully.
    SAMI: Oh, to Hell with that. He's going to put us all in jail, Kate.
     
    Kate tries to quiet Sami down, but Sami continues, increasingly panicked.
     
    KATE: Sami, C--
    SAMI: ...Oh don't try to shut me up. You know I'm right. What is he gonna do when he finds out we're trying to set him up? Dammit, Kate, we need to do something about him, and fast.
     
    ---
     

    Inside Club TBD, Nick and Gabi sit, Gabi deep in thought about what just transpired. Nick notices Gabi's contemplative look, and crooks his head slightly to get her attention.
     
    NICK: Hello?? Earth to Gabi.
     
    Gabi snaps out of her trance, shaking her head suddenly, looking Nick's way.
     
    GABI: Ugh, sorry. Just...in case you didn't notice, I have....a decision to make.
    NICK: Nah, I get it. But I think you know what you're doing. I trust you.
     
    Gabi smiles, as Nick reaches across the table to take Gabi's hand gently in his. Gabi wants to pull away, but manages to stop herself.
     
    NICK: I know I haven't been....exactly the most trustworthy person, myself. But I do want you to know, I'm gonna do everything I can from now on, to give you exactly the life you deserve. 
     
    Gabi looks down momentarily at Nick's hand holding hers. 
     
    NICK: I love you, Gabi.
     
    Gabi hesitates to answer Nick, the words caught in her throat.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     
    Kate walks in closer to Sami in front of Club TBD, and attempts to calm Sami down.
     
    KATE: Sami, you need to think of the long game here. Nick has the power to destroy all of us. That includes Will. So let's stay the course for now, and keep our eyes peeled for any opening.
    SAMI: We don't have time for that, Kate. It's time we make an opening.
     
    Sami, determined, storms off, leaving Kate behind, more worried than ever.
     
    KATE: Sami! Sami! (sigh)
     
    ---
     

    Inside Club TBD, Gabi struggles to respond to Nick, as Nick waits for a response. T arrives with their tapas, which he starts putting down on the table, breaking the tension.
     
    T: Alright! I've got some grilled calamari...lamb proscuitto dumplings, and a mango salad.
    NICK: Thank you.
    GABI: Thanks, T.
     
    T stands by them, ever the professional.
     
    T: Anything I can get you guys? Refill on your drinks? 
     
    Nick holds up a finger, never taking his eyes off Gabi.
     
    NICK: Yeah...give me a bottle of your best champagne.
    T: You got it!
     
    T walks off, leaving Nick and Gabi alone, as she hastily reaches for her fork, trying to eat before she has to respond to Nick.
     
    NICK: I know we've got a lot of baggage, Gabi. And...I know you're probably not ready to tell me you love me, but...I just wanted you to know that I do. And I will always look out for your best interests.
     
    Gabi smiles, as she swallows her calamari. 
     
    GABI: I know. Thank you. Thank you for being so patient.
     
    Nick smiles back at Gabi, looking intensely at her for a moment before asking another question.
     
    NICK: Gabi.
     
    Gabi looks back, inquisitively, if a little tense.
     
    NICK: I...I don't wanna put any pressure on you at all, but...well...now that I've got this job, and...the company assets...I'm planning to finally move out of the room upstairs at the pub.
    GABI: That's great! I'm glad you're finally able to do that.
    NICK: Yeah, so...now, once I have a home to call my own, and...don't feel like you have to say 'yes' or anything...but...would you like to move in with me?
     
    Gabi's eyes widen, stunned by Nick's suggestion, and unsure how to react, or respond.
     
    ---
     
    Will and Adrienne stare off at each other, clearly communicating unspoken thoughts with each other, as Alex looks on, trying to cut the tension.
     
    ALEX: Ah...Adrienne. Sorry, we were...catching up on work stuff. 
     
    Adrienne continues to focus her eyes on Will, though breaking her gaze eventually as she responds to her stepson.
     
    ADRIENNE: Of course. Ah, well...dinner's about to be served, so...come on.
    ALEX: Sure thing.
     
    As Alex leaves the room, Will is held back by Adrienne, who speaks quietly to Will, as she grabs his arm, not forcefully, but firmly.
     
    ADRIENNE: A little advice, Will? If you expect me to play my part, you'd better do a lot better job of yours.
     
    Will looks down at Adrienne, and nearly bursts out laughing. He shakes his head dismissively.
     
    WILL: Adrienne, you're looking for something that isn't even there. 
    ADRIENNE: Am I? Because those eyes you were giving each other just now tell me otherwise.
    WILL: What looks? The only looks I was giving were directed at you when you once again inserted yourself in a conversation that was none of your business.
     
    Adrienne folds her arms, giving Will a squinted glare.
     
    ADRIENNE: Despite what you think, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck. I can tell you're attracted to Alex. 
    WILL: I love Sonny--
     
    Adrienne snaps back at Will, cutting him off from continuing his thought.
     
    ADRIENNE: And Justin loved me. But he still had that affair with Anjelica and still had her child. 
     
    Will stops himself, momentarily looking down, as he soaks in what Adrienne is saying to him. Adrienne steps in closer to Will, speaking a bit more earnestly, and less bitingly.
     
    ADRIENNE: You have two very impulsive parents, who lead with their hearts and not their heads. Don't be like them. Alex may not be my son by blood but I love him just as much as I love Sonny, and I don't want either of them hurt. If you do, I will make sure you regret it.
     
    Adrienne backs away, releasing the tension in her body with a sigh as she turns toward the dining room. As Adrienne walks away, Will looks down, shaking his head as he sighs, his head full from Adrienne's warning. He makes his way to the dining room as well.
     
    ---
     

    Eric sits at the bar of the Brady Pub, a pint of beer before him, as he makes a call on his cell phone to Nicole. Waiting to hear her pick up, he is unsuccessful, and the call goes to voice mail.
     
    ERIC: Hey, Nicole. It's Eric. I ah...I know you've had a big break in your story for tomorrow but...I'm just wondering when you'll be back. I mean...it is our...our wedding night, and I'd...just call me back when you get this. I love you.
     

    Hanging up, Eric takes a drink, as Marlena walks into the pub. 
     
    MARLENA: Ah! Eric!
     
    Eric turns around to see his mother, and gives her a hug.
     
    ERIC: Mom! Hey. How'd your meeting go at the hospital?
    MARLENA: Oh well...Valerie and I had...a lot to talk about. It's actually why I'm here. I'm glad I ran into you. I...I have something to ask of you, and I don't think you're going to like it very much.
     
    Eric looks at Marlena, concerned.
     
    ERIC: Why? What is it?
     
    Marlena hesitates for a moment, before reluctantly responding, unable to look Eric in the eyes as she does.
     
    MARLENA: I need your help to run a DNA test on your father.
     
    Eric looks back in amazement, stunned by his mother's request.
     
    ---
     

    Dr. Rolf sits opposite Stefano in a dimly lit room in Stefano's Italian island villa. The two longtime partners-in-crime discuss their plans as the sun sets.
     
    STEFANO: So! When can we expect the patient will be ready?
    DR. ROLF: Stefano, I cannot give you a firm timeline on this. You know what happened the last time.
    STEFANO: Yes, unfortunately, I do. 
     
    Stefano looks off in a distance momentarily, as Dr. Rolf continues.
     
    DR. ROLF: We cannot have a repeat of what happened before. As you know, the second Pawn project was effective but ultimately we couldn't utilize him because we caused too much brain damage. He would never be able to take proper direction from us.
    STEFANO: Hmmm, yes. And now he appears to be in terminal decline.
     
    Dr. Rolf nods sadly.
     
    DR. ROLF: Yes, indeed. It is a real shame. And, of course, our attempt to reprogram John Black failed miserably as well. 
     
    Dr. Rolf thinks aloud, becoming more and more agitated as he contemplates his strategy.
     
    DR. ROLF: There has got to be a way to find the balance. My work on the second pawn was too potent, and on John Black, not enough.
    Stefano looks Rolf sternly in the eyes, as he points at him to make his point.
    STEFANO: And THAT is why THIS Pawn MUST work for us to get us what we need, or else everything we have worked so hard for will be destroyed!
     
    Rolf looks back at Stefano, nodding with a sombre expression on his face.
     
    ---
     

    In a dark, windowless room, a man is tied to a chair in an otherwise empty room. His hands and feet are bound.
     
    On a screen in front of him, a flurry of images appear on a projector screen. Many disturbing images flash by, changing almost as soon as they appear.
     
    Crawling insects. 

    Scenes from bloody warfare. 

    A gun being fired.
     
    John Black's face then appears, before disappearing, replaced by more violent images.
     
    The man writhes about, his mouth gagged, keeping him from shouting out. He struggles, trying to resist the intense images presented before him, but enraged far more by John than any other.
     
    ---
  25. beebs
    EPISODE 148
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Marlena sits in Valerie's office at University Hospital, as they go over Roman's case. Valerie shakes her head as she goes over his file.
     
    VALERIE: You know, Marlena, I've gotta say...I know that there's a lot of missing pieces here, but...this man has been in your life for so many years. I...I mean, wouldn't you have known sooner that he isn't who he claims he is?
     
    Marlena looks down, contemplatively.
     
    MARLENA: I've thought about that. But he felt so....familiar to me. That day that Kristen wheeled him into my room...I wasn't sure but...something felt so...I knew that I knew this man. 
    VALERIE: But you didn't believe Kristen when she told you he was Roman.
     
    Marlena looks at Valerie, remembering that day with Kristen, the anger coming through in her voice as she thinks of Kristen.
     
    MARLENA: I wasn't really willing to believe anything that...that woman told me. She'd told so many lies already, it was...it just looked like another scheme to keep John and I apart.
    VALERIE: Understandable, but what made you realize she was right?
    MARLENA: I just...I heard him speak. I heard his voice and...what he had to say. We knew...I knew I knew and cared for this man. We knew he was Roman. Nobody....questioned it once we'd spoken with him. 
    VALERIE: Marlena. From what you've told me, that's the same thing everyone said when John arrived in town. We need to be absolutely certain that this man IS Roman Brady.
     
    Marlena looks up, deeply troubled by Valerie's suggestion.
     
    ---
     


     

    Stefano's limo pulls up to a grand castle on the remote Italian island. His driver parks and hustles to open the door for him. Stefano steps out of the car, and pulls off his sunglasses, gazing upon the beauty of his grand home.
     
    ---
     

    In the Kiriakis living room, Alex and Justin stand, discussing Justin's animosity toward Anjelica. Justin steps over to the bar, hoping to grab a drink, as Alex looks on. 
     
    ALEX: Dad?
    JUSTIN: Yeah.
     
    Justin looks at the mostly empty caraffe, stunned by how much Anjelica's taken already. He pours himself what's left. The awkward silence holds in the air a moment, before Alex sighs and begins to tell his father what's on his mind.
     
    ALEX: Look, I don't mean to downplay what Anjelica did to you, or to Adrienne.
     
    Justin puts his drink down on the bar with a bit of a slam. He speaks harshly to his son.
     
    JUSTIN: Then don't.
     
    Justin turns around, another awkward moment of silence between them, as the doorbell rings.
     
    JUSTIN: And don't make excuses for her either. Your mother rigged a construction site to blow Adrienne up. Then she kidnapped you. This isn't stealing a few hair ties from a store at the mall, Alex. I'm not entirely prepared to forgive and forget.
    ALEX: But she did bring me back. And you and Adrienne were wonderful parents to me. You did a great job.
     

    Justin sighs, smiling at his son. As Anjelica steps back into the room from the foyer, escorting Will into the room with her. Upon seeing Alex, he stops, smiling awkwardly as Justin and Alex look back.
     
    ANJELICA: Well, look who I found at the door. Does this fine young man belong to anyone in the house?
     
    Alex smiles back at Will, as they both stare without a word shared. Justin ignores this, as he fixates on Anjelica.
     
    ---
     

    Gabi and Kate sit across from each other at the table at Club TBD, having an intense conversation about the state of affairs at Titan. Knowing Nick will be back from the bathroom any second, they remain tense and vigilant, each checking over their shoulder every few moments to ensure he isn't on his way back.
     
    GABI: Honestly, Kate, I don't know that I like the odds of that 4% stakeholder remaining loyal to Titan. I mean, I've heard how rocky things are, and with Nick coming on...he's completely inexperienced running a company like this, they're bound to sell before the shares become completely worthless.
    KATE: Leave that to me. Nick may in for a fall sooner than you think, and at least at my end of things, I'm going to make sure we make Titan a lot of money so that we can get out of this rut.
     

    Nick approaches from behind Kate, causing both she and Gabi to look up with a start.
     
    NICK: That's the spirit I wanna hear from my staff, Kate.
    KATE: You know, Nick. Relish calling us staff members for now, because it won't be long before the board sees through you, and your incompetence will earn you a nice fat pink slip.
    NICK: I guess I should've anticipated a little resistance. But I still wouldn't push my luck if I were you, Kate.
     
    Kate chuckles momentarily to herself, unthreatened by Nick's confidence. She looks back at Gabi, a bit amused, as she rolls her eyes, and looks back at Nick and responds sarcastically.
     
    KATE: I'm quaking in my boots.
    NICK: You should be. Because I just found out some good news. 
    KATE: I'm waiting with baited breath to hear it.
     
    Nick smiles, as he leans in closely at their table.
     
    NICK: I just got the controlling interest of the Titan stock. So not only am I running the show, I own it, too!
     
    Nick laughs, almost maniacally, as Gabi and Kate's faces turn sheet-white.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     
    Justin gives Anjelica sideeye, as he grabs his drink from the bar table and shakes Will's hand firmly.
     
    JUSTIN: Will! Good to see you! Ah, Sonny's already at the table, they're serving dinner about now. We should probably join them.
    WILL: Oh...yeah.
    ANJELICA: Well, am I going to be introduced or not?
     
    Alex interjects to spare everyone Justin's cutting remarks at Anjelica's expense.
     
    ALEX: Ah...Anjelica Deveraux, this is...Will Horton. Will is...Sonny's fiancé. Will...meet my mother.
     
    Anjelica gives a surprised smile, turning to shake Will's hand, which he accepts, though still unsure what to make of the situation.
     
    ANJELICA: Ahh! Will!
    WILL: Pleased to meet you.
    ANJELICA: And I, you. You know, I have always really admired the Horton family. Such a pillar of our community. Tom and Alice were such lovely people.
     
    Justin rolling his eyes at Anjelica's phoney interest in Will, turns to head for the dining room.
     
    JUSTIN: (sigh) Talk about laying it on thick.
     
    Justin turns back to motion the others into the dining room.
     
    JUSTIN: Come on, guys. Let's get this over with before we lose what's left of our appetites.
     
    Will smiles awkwardly, not sure whether to laugh at Justin's joke or not, as Anjelica nods to Will and touches her son's forearm on her way into the next room.
     
    ANJELICA: I'll see you in there.
     
    Leaving Alex and Will alone in the living room, the tension between them remains. Will looks up at Alex, unsure what to say.
     
    WILL: Ah...so I didn't...I didn't know your mom was in town.
    ALEX: Yeah...we're...not exactly close. I mean...
    WILL: It's okay. I understand. My mom and I have...a similar relationship.
     
    Alex and Will share a laugh. As things grow quiet again, Will's eyes squint a bit, looking at Alex with concern.
     
    WILL: Ahhh....so, I haven't had a chance to ask anybody yet but...I know there's been a huge upheaval at work today. What does that mean for us?
     
    Alex is taken aback by Will's question, leaving him momentarily speechless.
     
    ---
     
    Kate gets up from her seat across from Gabi at Club TBD, looking disgusted. She gives Nick a murderous glare.
     
    KATE: Well, I don't know how you managed this, but don't expect me to cowtow to your every demand. I expect to be able to continue to run my business the way I see fit.
     
    Nick plays it cool, as usual. Shaking his head as he gently responds to Kate, hands in his pockets.
     
    NICK: Not to worry. Just make sure that you stay out of my way, and you'll have all the autonomy you need.
     

    All three turn abruptly upon hearing Sami's voice from behind them. She's revved up to play her part in the ruse, and takes on a snide tone straight away.
     
    SAMI: GABI! Don't sign anything. I have news.
     
    Nick turns to face Sami, smiling even wider now that the games have really begun.
     
    NICK: Sami! Glad you could join us!
     
    Sami reaches into her bag, handing Gabi a document of her own.
     
    SAMI: Gabi, I need you to reconsider Kate's offer. You don't wanna be working under Nick. He's been named CEO of Titan. 
    GABI: Sami, I know, he...
     
    Sami doesn't wait for Gabi to answer, instead carrying on in her fake tirade.
     
    SAMI: He told you, okay. GREAT. But he didn't tell you that he's completely ineffective as CEO without also holding controlling stock interest. So he won't be able to do for your career what I can, seeing as he'll be working in a hostile environment.
     
    Nick immediately interjects, cutting Sami off before she can continue making her "case".
     
    NICK: Aaactually, Sami. That part's not quite true. As I was just telling Kate and Gabi...I just got the stock I needed to take controlling interest. 
    SAMI: You what?
    NICK: Yeah! Isn't that fantastic? 
    SAMI: That's impossible. You don't have the resources to buy up 1,000 shares, let alone the amount it would take to take 51%...
     
    Kate, and Sami both realize at the same moment, with Gabi putting the pieces together moments after.
     
    SAMI: ...You have a benefactor.
    NICK: Not quite.
    SAMI: Bull.
    NICK: No! Honestly. Titan shares are worth next to nothing at this point. It was actually pretty easy for me to buy up shares from the public supply at cut rate prices bit by bit over the last few months. Thanks to a rather...generous infusion of cash from Julie, some good timing with a good broker, plus my big bonus for my hard work on the latest foundation line for MadWorld, my package for taking over as CEO...I ah...well, I managed to secure the last bits I needed to take advantage when a major shareholder gave up her piece of the pie.
     
    Nick shrugs, convinced he's thrown Sami and Kate off the trail, but Sami's not so convinced. She bites her tongue, instead looking at an equally unconvinced Kate.
     
    KATE: That's still millions of dollars in shares, Nick.
     
    Nick nods, casually.
     
    NICK: Mmhmm. See, when you start investing and you make a couple good deals...it all snowballs. 
     
    Sami stops herself, looking over at Kate, who looks on cautiously.
     
    SAMI: Gabi. Choose wisely. Your future depends on it. Call me when you decide.
     
    Sami nods to Kate, then Nick.
     
    SAMI: Kate. Nick.
     
    As Sami takes off, Nick chuckles to himself, sitting himself down at the table with Gabi. Kate, putting on her purse, preparing to leave, looks to Gabi.
     
    KATE: Gabi, Sami's right. You need to choose wisely. Go with the team that has your back. 
     
    Kate's eyes widen, almost in disbelief of what's coming out of her mouth. Gabi looks down at the papers on the table, as Kate turns to Nick.
     
    KATE: Nick, thank you for filling me in.
    NICK: Oh, are you kidding? It was my pleasure.
    KATE: I'm sure it was. Have a great evening.
     
    Kate turns away, rolling her eyes at Nick as she follows Sami out of the building. 
     
     
    Just outside the door, both women breathe a sigh of relief.
     
    SAMI: Do you think we got him fooled?
    KATE: I don't know, but I think we need to find out who's bankrolling this, and fast. 
     
    Sami's expression morphs into one of worry.
     
    ---
     
    Marlena paces Valerie's office, deeply troubled by her earlier suggestion.
     
    MARLENA: Valerie, I can't just go around asking everyone Roman's related to for DNA samples. I know I'm gonna run into...well, more than just some resistance. 
    VALERIE: It doesn't hurt to ask. This is extremely important, particularly if we're going to attempt to properly treat his symptoms.
    MARLENA: I know that, Valerie, but...these people have over twenty years invested in this man. My children...to them, this is their father. 
    VALERIE: Then don't ask them right away. Maybe Roman's sister can do it.
     
    Marlena sighs, turning her back to Valerie, as she shakes her head.
     
    MARLENA: I couldn't do that to Kim. I mean...she has it hard enough right now dealing with Theresa being in a coma, Caroline's health is in decline, Shane is off doing God knows what with the ISA. She's worried about her brother, she's not going to want the rug pulled out from under her again.
     
    Valerie gets up from  her desk, putting a hand on Marlena's shoulder in comfort.
     
    VALERIE: Marlena, your life isn't exactly a cakewalk right now, either. And the more you wait, and the more you agonize over whether or not this man you've thought was Roman all these years is actually the real deal?
     
    Marlena turns to face Valerie, tears in her eyes. Valerie puts both hands on Marlena's shoulders, looking worriedly into Marlena's eyes.
     
    VALERIE: Honey, I'm afraid of what carrying this burden entirely on your own shoulders could do to you.
     
    ---
     
    The door of the large, remote Italian villa open to the living area, as a staff member ushers Stefano inside.
     
    Once inside, Stefano removes his jacket, casually laying it down on the back of the armchair, as he looks on inside the dimly lit room. A chair is turned to face the large window, facing a picturesque view of the sea. 
     
    Stefano chuckles in his inimitable fashion, as he claps his hands together a single time, excited to have finally arrived. He calls out to the person in the chair.
     
    STEFANO: Ahh! Tell me the good news. Is our patient finally ready?
     
    The chair turns, as Dr. Rolf looks Stefano's way, giving him a half-hearted smile.
     
    DR. ROLF: Not quite. But, I feel we should be ready any day.
    STEFANO: Good. We have waited long enough. The time will soon come to put our plan into action.
     
    Dr. Rolf nods, as Stefano looks off, determination in his eyes.
     
    ---
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