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beebs

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  1. beebs

    Episodes
    JUNE 1979
     
    Susan, fresh back in Salem, pays the David Martin Clinic a visit, and the first person she visits is Tom, who is thrilled to see her back in Salem. When he presses Susan as to the reason for her visit, Susan informs Tom that this isn't merely a visit, Susan and Anne are back in Salem permanently. Things with Eric didn't work out, and she feels that, no matter what, she's at home in Salem. Tom is thrilled to have her back, and wonders if Susan will return to working at the David Martin Clinic. Susan wishes to do so, but also feels the clinic is running fine without her, so she's intending to loosen the reigns somewhat, and involve herself in other projects as well. Tom is pleased for her.
     
     
    Donna and Pete ride off on Pete's motorcycle to grab burgers and a soda, and catch up on what's happened since Pete's been away. Pete tells Donna that he's now graduated, and has decided to spend the summer in Salem with his uncle Neil. He hopes to work, save some money, and hopefully head away to college in the fall. Donna is happy to have Pete back in her life, but insists they keep their reunion private, especially from her father and stepmother. Pete is reluctant, not wanting to begin their renewed connection with a lie, but Donna insists that is the way it has to be, as Don would never accept Pete back in her life.
    Pete goes along with this for a few nights, but resents sneaking around. He also is firm with Donna that they're just friends for now, he wants to take it slow, and he wants to see other girls. Donna doesn't love this idea, but goes along with it, simply happy to have Pete back in her life at all.
    One of the girls Pete has his eye on is Anne Peters. He spots her one night while out with a friend, and approaches her. After some flirtation, and more than a hint of presuasion on his part, Anne agrees to go out with him, but asks that he keep it a secret, as her mother is, in her words, "ridiculously overprotective". Anne keeps the dates secret from Donna as well, admitting she's just getting to know Donna, and some of the other girls in school consider her a blabbermouth and a troublemaker.
     
     
     
    Mickey is approached by Kate, sharing the news that her mother has passed away, and that there is some degree of dispute with her relatives over her share of the inheritance. She hopes Mickey can advocate for her. Mickey is pleased to help, and takes on the case. They meet at his office to discuss the matter, and Kate reveals to Mickey that she, in fact, has little interest in the money in her mother's estate for herself, she plans to use it as a scholarship for medical students at Salem University. The reason her family objects is entirely based upon greed. They argue Kate has no need for the money herself and is estranged from the family. Additionally, their mother's will was last updated in 1966, and she has been ill for years, too ill to update the will, but her relatives insist Kate would not be included, based on the word of their mother. Mickey thinks it an easy win for Kate, as the relatives can’t speak on behalf of the mother, and Kate assures Mickey that her mother was of sound mind to the end, regardless of her physical health.
     
    At home, things are not so serene. When Mickey discusses his day, and the help Linda had given him, and how she's been an excellent fit, as though she'd never been away, Maggie seems distant. When Mickey points it out, Maggie gets defensive, but quickly catches herself, admitting to a hint of lingering insecurity. She wishes Linda would return to working for Anderson, though she knows that's not possible. She laments that Susan's return means that she won’t be as involved with the children at the David Martin Clinic as she had hoped.
    At the hospital, Susan's return means Maggie knows she’ll be needed less in the clinic, but Susan insists she’d love Maggie to be around to help out as needed, and Neil offers her more work with him, if she's interested. Maggie accepts. The two work closely together, with Maggie working as his de facto secretary, while also volunteering some of her time with Susan at the clinic.
    Through this, Maggie begins to see Neil's softer side, and is charmed by him, and he is wowed by her quick connection with Pete when he visits Neil at the office. Maggie provides Pete with guidance when he comes by Neil’s office, troubled by his deception in seeing Donna behind Don and Marlena's back (though he doesn't mention Donna or her parents by name). Neil sees the two talk at one point, and it wowed by Maggie’s easy connection with Pete, whom Neil hasn’t had quite as easy a time getting through to.
     
     
    Stephanie makes the trip to Margo's to help her set up the house and paint. There, she and Margo talk about her situation with David, and Margo asks why she feels such animosity toward Trish, wondering if it's a degree of insecurity. Stephanie denies this, saying she actually doesn't mind Trish as a person. In fact, in another life, she's sure they'd be the best of friends. The problem is, beyond David's obvious lingering feelings toward Trish, Stephanie resents how Trish ripped Scotty away from David early in life, when he had the love of both parents. A sore spot for her, she says, as she grew up without a father. Margo understands, but counters that Trish wanted a career, much like Stephanie has. In Trish's world, the only way to have that career is to leave for Hollywood, which David had no interest in doing. As much as she feels that what Trish did was wrong, she understands why she did it. Stephanie agrees with Margo, but doesn't feel like being as magnanimous, under the circumstances.
     
    As their bond gets closer, Stephanie visits Margo again, and they discuss Stephanie's injury to her hands. Margo is stunned by how extensive the burns are, and asks how she got them. Stephanie is vague about details, but repeats her story about dropping the hot pan, then picking up the hot pan from the floor so as not to damage the laminate. Margo seems uncertain about the story, since the scabs on the burns look too uniform to her eyes, but she keeps quiet. Stephanie and Margo have an intense discussion over dinner regarding what would happen if her leukemia came back. Margo is hopeful, but says that if it does come back, it will likely be fatal, and could be incredibly painful. Stephanie wonders how long Margo could remain in this state, and Margo tells Stephanie the doctors speculate she could die within days or could linger for months, but that Margo has decided that, if things get too hard, and there's no hope, she'll ask Mike to allow her to pass away on her terms. Stephanie believes that's the best idea, though she hopes it doesn't go that way for her. Margo thanks Stephanie for her optimism, but also tempers it by making it clear that she's very at peace with her fate.
     
    Mary is increasingly uncomfortable with Stephanie’s confidence at work, and is still uneasy about Stephanie's story about her burns, and troubled by the convenient timing of her burns: just as the government ID checks were beginning. She recalls how familiar everyone found Stephanie to be when she was hired, and finally decides to ask Bob about Stephanie's hiring. Bob confirmed that Stephanie's documentation is with Linda, in fact, when they had begun the government background checks, Bob wasn't able to locate the files, as he assumed Linda had them when she was off in New York.
    Mary approaches Linda, asking if she had seen Stephanie's employee file. Linda, still playing the amnesiac, tells Mary that she didn't take the file when she left for New York, and doesn't remember ever having seen it. Mary is stuck, until she has a chat with Margo over lunch one day, and discusses the burns on Stephanie's hands. Margo is struck by how severe the burns on Stephanie's fingertips are, and how fortunate she is that the burns weren't so bad as to require skin grafts. This sparks an idea in Mary's head, and she heads for Tom's office to ask about accessing Stephanie's records. Tom, of course refuses, despite Mary's pleas. Mary voices her frustrations to Chris, who, while believing that something is amiss with Stephanie, encourages Mary to drop her investigation, or, at least, hire a PI. Mary doesn't want to raise any alarm bells prematurely, but desperately wants an answer, and resents Chris' advice, snapping at him after he receives a call from Amanda, asking him when they'll get together that night.
     
     
    Chris and Amanda continue to see each other, with Chris becoming more and more attached to Amanda, though Amanda is still uncertain about how attached she can get before divorcing Greg. Greg, of course, still hopes that Amanda will return with him to Chicago. When Amanda visits Chris at Anderson, Chris feels Amanda is being pulled in two different directions, and tells her to go back to Chicago with Greg for the time being to try to get her house in order. He will be here for her whenever she’s ready, and tells Amanda that he will call her every day until that time. Amanda is grateful to Chris for his patience, and vows to return to him, and Salem, again soon. They kiss for a long moment, long enough for Mary to walk into the room and catch them. Mary makes snarky remarks about their lack of professionalism that Chris brushes off. Chris then asks Mary about her new beau, Steve. Mary is less-than-thrilled by that line of questioning, frustrated by Steve’s extended stay in Paris. She makes the flip remark that she doesn’t need Steve to be hanging from her lips at every moment to keep him. Chris thinks Mary is a bit defensive, which Mary finds insulting, and storms off.
     
     
    Bob is thrilled by the progress Anderson is making with the government contract. They’re nearly ready to commence production, and Bob is looking at expansion of the plant to accommodate secondary assembly lines. He tasks Stephanie with arranging a trip for himself and Chris to head to Washington, in hopes of approving the expanded contract, as well as potentially finding other investors looking to have product lines assembled via Anderson.
    Chris finds the timing perfect, as he’ll be leaving town just as Amanda heads back to Chicago, so he’s all set to head off. Mary resents that she can’t go along, but Bob pacifies her by giving her more control at the plant while he’s away, essentially evenly dividing Mary’s and Stephanie’s workloads. Bob recognizes Mary’s hurt from when Stephanie was away recovering from her burns, and he thinks this is a much better opportunity for Mary to show her worth. Mary jumps at the chance.
     
    Stephanie has been calling to make the arrangements for Chris and Bob’s hotels. After a conversation with Bob about the details of their trip, and which government offices they’ll need to be in relatively close proximity to, Stephanie slips in a call under hushed tones to a friend of hers. While looking over her shoulder and being generally secretive, Stephanie gives the person on the other end some very specific details about the trip, and what Bob and Chris will be looking for in an investor. She smiles broadly as she hangs up the phone.
     
     
    Marlena and Don are mostly happy at home, though both are very busy people. They make a point of spending at least one night together at the weekend alone, and one with Donna. The system seems to work, though tensions arise one weekend night when Jordan calls Marlena to the hospital on one of her date nights with Don for an emergency with a patient. This doesn't bother Don too much the first time, but the second time, when Jordan calls while he and Marlena are in bed making love, does. Marlena is indignant, recalling numerous times when Don has had to be called away during intimate moments. Don attempts to explain those away, but Marlena doesn't buy it, and asks that they discuss it when she comes back from the hospital.
    While at the hospital, Marlena feels ill, which concerns Jordan. After collecting herself, Marlena goes to see Neil, who runs some tests, while Jordan calls Don. Don is initially openly hostile on the phone, but when Jordan explains the situation, Don races to UH. Upon arriving, Neil informs Don that there's good news, and tells both he and Marlena that they're expecting a baby. The news lifts both Don and Marlena's spirits, softening any hard feelings between them for the time being. Don apologizes for his hostility both to Marlena and toward Jordan.
     
     
     
    Doug feels he's made the correct decision in not revealing Dougie's paternity to Julie, particularly after yet another negative pregnancy test result, and hearing the news of Marlena's pregnancy. Julie feels a sense of inadequecy in not being able to give Doug a child, and, while she loves Hope, wants to give her a brother. Doug wonders if adoption is the answer, but Julie is dead set against that, particularly after her own experience in having David adopted. She's even more dead set against using Doug as a sperm donor to another woman's egg (which is, of course, how Dougie was conceived), feeling that their baby should be THEIRS. Doug feels that this is giving Julie a complex, and that maybe they should hold on on trying for a baby. Julie refuses, expressing that this is what she really wants. Doug thinks it wise to maybe visit Neil again, and ask what options there are for them.
     
    Neil believes they don't have many options, but thinks an avenue to consider is IVF, a new treatment that has worked for a couple in the UK and is beginning trials in the US. Neil believes Doug and Julie could be ideal candidates for this new treatment. Julie is excited by the news, but Doug wants her to really think about it first. Julie agrees. Julie is thrilled when Steve calls Julie, telling her of a huge find he has uncovered at an estate sale in Provence. He encourages Julie to fly over to help him. Doug thinks this is the distraction Julie needs, and thinks she should go, so Julie makes last minute arrangements and heads for Paris.
     
     
     
    David and Stephanie sneak moments alone while at work at Anderson, but David is strict about not being seen together for the divorce hearing, which will soon begin. Stephanie is trying to be patient, but admits she resents the distance in their relationship. David insists it's only temporary. Stephanie is increasingly unsure.
    Trish, meanwhile, is feeling increasingly confident about her chances with the case, and says as much to Jeri while visiting her mother. Jeri, feeling that there's still a sense of sadness in Trish, asks her if she still carries a torch for David. Trish admits that, yes, she'd rather reconcile with her husband, but, knowing that's impossible, she has to win custody of her son. Jeri isn't so sure it's as much of a lost cause as Trish would believe, noting that since Jeri's visit to David's apartment, David and Stephanie have probably been keeping their distance. At least, she says, that's what she's heard. Trish doesn't appreciate her mother giving her false hope, but Jeri explains that she doesn't actually want her and David together, not after how cruel he's been in keeping Scotty away from Trish. Trish blames herself for David's behaviour.
    As Trish performs at Doug's Place one night, Jerry Reinhart shows up, and commends Trish on her performance. Trish is flattered, and they sit together. Jerry admits he came to see what kind of work environment Trish has here and how suitable it would be for Scotty in the eyes of the court. Trish recognizes it's not neccessarily the greatest, but it's a clean, respectable establishment, and she works with people that are like family to her. Jerry agrees. The conversation turns from talking business to more casual conversation, but Jerry, sure to be seen keeping things professional, keeps things brief. Trish, however, is definitely charmed by Jerry.
     
     
     
  2. beebs

    Episodes
    Marie and Laura embrace, not having seen each other for awhile, but the happy reunion is short-lived. Marie is concerned to learn that Laura hasn't told anyone in Salem of her visit. Marie insists that Laura tell her family of her whereabouts, but Laura pleads with Marie to keep her secret, if only for a few days. She just needs to be alone.

    In Salem, Bill heads for the airport, hoping to find out where Laura flew to. When the desk clerk is reticent to share that info, Bill pleads, insisting that he's looking for his wife, and asks if a Laura Horton had booked a last minute flight the day before around 4pm. When that doesn't turn out, Bill wonders if a Laura Spencer had. Again, nothing. The only name booked at the counter that day was a Carrie James that flew on a 4:35pm flight to Montreal. Instantly it clicks for Bill. Carrie for her mother's name, James for her father's name. Laura has gone to see Marie.
     
    Bill asks Tom to have his cases covered while he's away, as Alice promises to watch Jennifer. Bill books a flight out to Montreal. Marie and Laura discuss her mental state, and her guilt over Laura not seeing her mother before her death. Marie tells Laura that her guilt is understandable, but that sometimes one is stretched too thin, and can't process traumatic events at first. They can freeze or simply block them out. She also tells Laura that her mother's suicide is not Laura's responsibility. Carrie was mentally ill, and it's easy to look inward to think of what you could've done differently, but, realistically, what could Laura have done differently. Laura knows Marie is right, but wants to take her time to think everything over.
     
    Bill arrives at the convent, and Marie greets him. She's happy to see him, but with a twinge of sadness in her eyes, particularly with regard to Laura. Marie tells Bill that Laura needs time to herself, and that her mother's death hit her hard. Marie goes to check on Laura, to see if she'd like to see Bill, but Laura isn't in her room, and no one can find her. A bit of panic ensues as Bill and Marie search for her, but eventually Bill catches up with her at a fountain on the property. Laura is, at first, depressed, and doesn't want to speak to Bill, but Bill speaks in affirmation of her feelings, and reminds her of the great life they've built together in Salem, one her mother can be proud of. Laura expresses that that life has a lot of painful memories attached as well, ones she wishes she could break away from and start anew. Bill understands, and promises that whatever Laura wishes to do, he will follow her. 
     
    After a long discussion, Bill and Laura decide that, since Laura must travel to Chicago to settle her mother's estate anyway, that maybe she and Bill can take some time there. Perhaps a new start, just Laura, Bill and Jennifer. Bill thinks it's a lovely idea.
     
    Marie expresses that she'd love to come with them back to Salem, hoping to make things easier for them both. So the three of them head for the airport, and back to Salem to say their hellos and goodbyes.
     
     
    Tom, in Laura's absence, has hired Dr. Jordan Barr to replace her, after Marlena makes it clear that she's not entirely interested in the position for herself, still somewhat ill at ease after Laura began to chip away at her self-confidence.
     
    Marlena meets Dr. Barr, and they hit it off immediately. Marlena's confidence begins to turn around again under Jordan's wing, reminding Marlena of her talents with patients. Jordan's warmth rubs Don the wrong way, but he retains a professional exterior in front of Marlena at the hospital. But at home, Don makes some snide remarks about Marlena's new mentor, reminded of Marlena's history with  Dr. Paul Whitman. Marlena senses some tension over breakfast, but initially chalks it up to Don being stressed over his work caseload.
     
    Donna begins receiving phone calls from a "friend", but is secretive as to whom the friend is. Don becomes increasingly concerned when Donna becomes withdrawn from the family. Marlena chalks it up to Donna's angst over her babysitting mishaps with Scotty and Jennifer, which allays Don's fears for a bit.
     
    One night, after Donna recieves a call from this "friend", Donna asks Don to take her to a friend's place for a slumber party. Don agrees, provided Donna leave a phone number where she can be reached. Donna leaves the number of a young friend, Anne, where she can be reached. Satisfied, Don and Marlena agree to let her head off, and pack an overnight bag for her. Marlena offers to drive her, but Donna says Anne's mom, Susan, will pick them up. Donna says her goodbyes, claiming Susan is downstairs waiting for her.
     
    Outside the apartment building, Donna steps outside, and smiles. Waiting for her is Pete.
     
     
     
    Doug asks Don to file Rebecca's letter regarding Dougie separately from his and Julie's other paperwork, and that he set up a living trust fund for baby Dougie as well.
    Robert, meanwhile, tries to do Doug a favour, and find out any information he can about the artificial insemination that Doug took part in. I guess, hoping to find out if Doug has a child out there somewhere, since he and Julie are struggling to conceive. Neil insinuates that the insemination didn't work out, hoping Robert will stop prying.
     
    David visits, and asks Julie to come to Stephanie's with him tonight, hoping that, if anyone sees him there, at least he's there with Julie, so it doesn't look untoward. Julie is reluctant, but agrees. Doug bites his tongue hard, until David leaves, when he makes it clear that he doesn't like David using Julie in his games against Trish. 
     
    Trish pays Stephanie a visit, Stephanie is less than thrilled to see Trish, but lets her in anyway. Once inside, Trish tries to fish for information about her relationship with David. Stephanie is honest that she hasn't seen David in days, but will see him the next day as she's well enough to return to work. Trish makes it clear that she won't give up David or her son without a fight, and Stephanie better stay out of her way. Stephanie blows up at Trish at this point, laying into her for taking off out of state with Scotty, not letting David know where she was, and up and leaving for Europe without her son. Stephanie calls Trish a rotten mother, she vows that she will do everything she can to make sure Trish stays out of David's, and Scotty's life. At this point, Trish is so livid that she slaps the hell out of Stephanie, just as Julie and David come through the door. Stephanie immediately plays the victim, and David throws Trish out of the house, telling her he will absolutely make good on his threats to divorce her now.
     
    After Trish leaves Stephanie's, Julie gives David and Stephanie some alone time, where Stephanie pressures David to finally bite the bullet and file the divorce decree. David, though enraged, still needs some convincing before he finally is convinced, but he does. The next day, he heads to Mickey's to file the petition. Mickey tries to talk him down, asking what precipitated David's action, and once David explains the situation, Mickey asks if he's doing this out of anger and spite, or does he really feel like things are irrepairable between him and Trish. David considers it, but tells Mickey that he loves Stephanie, and that he can't stand to be apart from her any longer. It's time. Mickey files the paperwork.
     
    Trish is devastated when she gets served with the divorce petition, and immediately meets with Jerry Reinhart. They begin to compile a case against David, while Trish stews over whether or not to involve Stephanie in it as David's adulteress. Trish visits Jeri, who convinces her to do just that. Despite Trish's lingering anger over Jeri's vicious visit to David, she knows that it's her best shot of keeping custody of Scotty. Upon telling Jerry, he agrees with Trish.
     
     
     
    Doug and Julie go to another check-up with Neil, and again get the same news, Julie is not pregnant. Julie is frustrated, but Doug seems okay with the news. His attempts to reassure Julie only
    frustrated her more, causing her to wonder why Doug isn't more upset by the news. Doug won't say, knowing Julie would like them to have a child of their own. Doug plays it off as trying to lift Julie's spirits, but Julie is too annoyed, and heads out of the hospital without him.
     
    At home, Doug apologizes for his attitude at the hospital. Julie also feels regretful for snapping at Doug. They go to bed early, and make up by making love.
     
     
     
    Amanda puts the brakes on soon after, though. She admits to Chris that she really doesn't want to pursue anything further with him, as she IS still married, and an affair with a married woman could ruin Chris' career. Chris tries to convince Amanda that he doesn't care about anything but the here and now, but Amanda won't budge, and insists she should return to Chicago before things get out of hand. Chris feels once again rejected.
     
    The chaos of Laura's departure convinces Amanda to stay in Salem. She turns to Chris for comfort. Once Laura returns to Salem, Bill and Laura hold a goodbye party at the Horton house. Amanda arrives with Chris. During the party, Laura tells Amanda about what transpired in Montreal, and how she and Bill were able to come together. Caught up in the spirit of romance, Amanda is reminded how empty her life in Chicago has been with Greg. She tells Chris she's decided to stay in Salem after all. Chris is ecstatic, but their joy is short-lived when Greg appears at the party.
     
    Greg puts on the appearance of being happy for his friends in the Horton family, but when he manages to get Amanda alone, he harps at her to return home to Chicago. Amanda refuses repeatedly, avoiding telling Greg about her and Chris' budding relationship. Greg pushes her repeatedly throughout the evening. At one point, Greg pulls Amanda into the Horton kitchen, and tells her how he's realized how neglectful he's been, and apologizes for it. He promises to Amanda that he will be the kind of husband that Amanda needs, will treat her like a queen, make her feel like the toast of Chicago.
     
    Amanda tells Greg that he's way off-base, and that she doesn't need to be put on a pedestal. She needs to feel like a partner in their marriage, and to feel like she's respected by her husband. Greg insists he can do this if Amanda will just leave Salem and rejoin him in Chicago. Amanda counters that Greg still doesn't, and what he's doing now proves it, as he still isn't listening to what she's saying. Amanda leaves at this point, and Chris asks if she wants a ride home. Amanda would like to, but thinks it a bad idea under the circumstances. She asks Doug to drive her back to Doug and Julie's.
     
     
     
     
    Mike and Margo move into their new house, financed partially by Laura's gift. Margo sets about organizing a housewarming party for them. Mike wants to have a serious talk with Margo: since her cancer has remained in remission awhile now, he'd like to consider trying for a baby. Margo tries her level best to change the subject, pretending to be so focused on planning the party that she's too preoccupied to answer Mike. Mike, for now, doesn't push the subject.
     
    Secretly, Margo is horrified at the very idea of trying to have a baby right now. She visits Trish, and confides in her that the idea of having Mike's baby when she could very well die at any time seems cruel, and even if she does give birth successfully, she's scared Mike would very quickly be raising their baby alone. Trish tells her to be honest, but gentle with Mike.
     
    At home, Margo can't bring herself to let Mike down, seeing how his face lights up when he talks about their potential child. She asks Mike to wait, as Anderson's government contract is eating up a lot of her time at work, and she'd just like to get settled in first. Mike's face drops upon hearing this, rightly believing that Margo is deflecting because she's afraid of her cancer coming back. Margo insists that isn't true, and assures Mike that when things settle down, they will try for a baby. Mike backs off, and he and Margo share a lovely evening together.
     
     
     
    Returning to work at Anderson, Stephanie is welcomed back by Margo, who invites her out to lunch. Stephanie accepts, and the two discuss their respective lives. Stephanie admits to Margo that she's still on a low dosage of medication for the pain in her hands, but insists she'll be able to manage. Stephanie asks how things are with her. Margo discusses buying the new house, but talks about how low-energy she's been, and unmotivated to handle the decoarting. Stephanie offers to help out, hoping to take some of the stress off Margo's back. Margo refuses at first, but Stephanie insists that helping to decorate would offer a nice distraction for her from the heaviness of her own situation with David and Trish. Margo accepts.
     
     
    Mary continues to be wooed by Steve, though Mary is still clearly still hung up on Chris. Steve tries to entice Mary with a trip to Paris, as he's on another antiques hunt for Chez Julie. Mary seems intrigued, but is clearly distacted. When Steve sees this, he tells Mary that, if they are to get closer, Steve wants to be certain that Mary's eyes are only for him. Mary apologizes, and admits that she's still very much in love with Chris. She asks Steve to forgive her, but he's right, it wouldn't be fair to see him until she is well and truly over Chris.
     
    Steve heads off to Paris, and checks in occasionally with Julie regarding any finds he encounters for Chez Julie.
     
     
     
     
    Maggie, feeling unchallenged by her work life, asks Julie what she would suggest to give her life more meaning. Julie counters that Maggie may simply be looking for a way to distract from missing Janice. Maggie is certain Julie's right, but Julie wonders why Maggie isn't focusing her attentions on Mickey. Maggie tells Julie she appreciates Mickey and loves to spend time with him, but his hectic schedule leaves her alone far too often, and it's beginning to wear her down, her time alone gets her thinking about Janice, and about alcohol. Julie suggests she spend some time volunteering at the hospital, particularly in pediatrics. She suggests maybe helping by connecting with other young children may help Maggie fill the void in her life that Janice left.
     
    The next day, when Maggie goes to ask Tom about the idea, he is enthusiastic about it, but worries if Maggie is up to it, what with having lost Janice so recently. Maggie tells Tom that she'd considered it, but that since having children with Mickey is simply not in the cards, she needs to find other ways to connect with children, and to bring joy into their lives, and hers. Tom agrees to it, and arranges for Maggie to assist Neil in the clinic.
     
     
    Linda, still feeling her position in the Anderson home is vulnerable, sets about trying to break down Bob's defenses, and get back into his bed. She plans a lovely evening for herself, Bob, and Melissa. Bob, largely to project a secure, happy home for Melissa, plays along, eventually being drawn into the joy of the evening. Once Melissa is sent up to bed for the night, Linda makes her move. Sensually wrapping her arms around Bob, she thanks him for a lovely evening, and wishes it didn't have to end. Bob, conflicted between his attraction to his wife, and revolted by her previous actions, resists her. He tells Linda he'll take the spare room tonight. 
     
    Linda is not deterred, however. Knowing she's making progress, she attempts the next night with a much more provocative display, donning a sexy negligée, and lighting candles in the bedroom. Bob, already worn down by the previous night, gives into Linda this time, and they spend the night together.
     
    The next day, Bob has regrets, and claims nothing's changed between them, he just needed to get off. He even has a moment of clarity, and accuses Linda of using sex to get her way. Linda lays on the wounded dove routine extra thick, claiming she cannot BELIEVE Bob would make her feel so VIOLATED and be so ABUSIVE towards her, and is convinced Mary's influence is to blame for his coldness, knowing she is still mistrustful of Linda's motives.
     
    Linda tries for some financial insurance in case her scheme with Bob doesn't work out, and asks Don for a job as a legal secretary for him and Mickey. Don's all for it, but Mickey points out that their lawfirm handles Anderson's affairs. He isn't so sure, but hires her anyway. Of course, Linda's intent in having the job is to have access to Anderson info to worm her way back into the company.
    When Mickey tells Maggie about his having hired Linda, Maggie tries to bite her tongue, but cannot. She has deep misgivings about Linda working so closely with Mickey. Mickey counters with his own discomfort with Maggie working so closely with a womanizer like Neil Curtis, but he knows Maggie would stay loyal to him, seeing the men who've been close to her in the past, even during rough times in their marriage. Maggie has never strayed once, and for that, Mickey is grateful, and will do the same in kind. Recognizing his wife's insecurities, Mickey also tries to reassure her that his affections for Linda died many years ago. Maggie accepts Mickey's words, but it's obvious in her face that she isn't 100% certain that Linda won't manipulate things to her favour in some way.
     
  3. beebs

    Episodes
    So, I decided to bite the bullet and make another DAYS Alternate Timeline blog. After months of writing up recaps of the late 70s and into the (GOD-AWFUL) 1980 Nina Laemmle run, I got so frustrated by the missed opportunities on the show, that I decided to have some fun and build some stories of my own based on what Ann Marcus and Elizabeth Harrower had set up. If any of you have ideas, suggestions, questions, complaints, have at it. Let's have some fun together with this, and run with the story opportunities DAYS missed way back when.
     
    NOTE: I will be italicizing segments of the story that actually played out on screen (because I didn't hate EVERYTHING Elizabeth Harrower did). I know it'll be tonally different than the rest of it, but I'm being lazy.
     
    ONWARD!
     
     
    APRIL 1979
     
    So, as Stephanie recovers from burning her hands off, David spends time at her apartment caring for her, which leaves Donna alone with Scotty a lot more often, giving Trish far more opportunity to see Scotty. But this all blows up in her face when Alice finally convinces Donna that it's a bad idea to continue keeping secrets from David, and implores her to keep her distance from Trish, she will handle telling David about Trish's visits herself.

    Before Alice can get a chance, however, Trish tries to pay another visit. Donna won't let her in, and David returns from Stephanie's apartment, needing to grab something from his place before he makes her dinner. He spots Donna trying to keep Trish at bay, and goes off on Trish, vowing to have her evicted from the building for harrassment, and to slap a restraining order against her.
    Once Trish is dealt with, David tries to find out from Donna what was going on. Donna breaks down and admits that she had been letting Trish visit for some time, also admitting Alice knew, but before Donna can explain that Alice intended to tell David about the visits, David fires Donna, and heads for Alice's in a rage.
     
    Alice attempts to explain the situation to David, noting that she only just found out about Trish's visits herself, and was going to visit David this evening to explain the situation to him. David cools off a bit, but still needs time to think. Realizing he's neglected Stephanie, he heads back to her apartment. Stephanie tries to further cool David's nerves, but to no avail, he's too deep in thought. 
    Mary, after hearing the news of Stephanie's "accident" pays her a visit while David is away. Mary isn't particularly comfortable, but feels for Stephanie. Mary, her usual unfiltered self, wonders out loud how Stephanie could've injured her hands. Stephanie is defensive, raising Mary's suspicion. Stephanie quickly backtracks, and apologizes, before quickly feigning exhaustion. Mary shows herself out.
     
    Bill continues to fixate on the strange burns on Stephanie's fingers the next day. Mary pays him a visit, and tries to casually bring up the subject. Bill, of course, can't divulge any information to her, but privately, the question nags at him. He takes the question to Tom, and together they discuss the possibility that Stephanie didn't burn her hands the way she claimed to. 
     
    Julie, now back from her antiquing trip to Scotland, visits David, who fills her in on Trish's latest machinations. Julie is more irritated with Trish than ever. While understanding her need to leave Salem with Scotty years before, she agrees with David that taking Scotty and running away was a terrible thing to do. Still unsure about how she feels about Stephanie, she asks David how he feels about her. David's eyes light up when he speaks of her, saying that it feels like they've known each other for years. Julie makes a decision: to avoid arousing suspicion, Julie will check in on Stephanie instead, which will allow her to keep an eye on Stephanie (not that she's telling David that part, of course).
     
    Julie's first visit to Stephanie goes as expected. Stephanie is shocked to see her instead of David. When she asks Julie where David is, Julie tells her plainly that she doesn't think it's a good idea that David be seen to be taking care of Stephanie while they prepare for the court case, so instead, Stephanie is stuck with Julie. Stephanie, while displeased, understands and resigns herself to spending a lot more time with her potential mother-in-law. The first visit is awkward, but Stephanie is thankful to Julie for coming around to help her.
     
    Bob is stunned when he pays Stephanie a visit, learning of Julie's decision to help her during her recovery. Bob suggests Stephanie stay with him at the lakehouse instead, but Stephanie won't hear of it, noting that the house is full up as it is with Linda, Mary, and Melissa staying there. Bob relents, but insists on visiting her regularly until she's ready to come back to work.
     
     
    Linda plays Bob like a fiddle once again. She suggests to him that she needs to start over with a new job, and a new home, knowing full well Bob's ego wouldn't allow his wife to be working full time as a typist in a cramped apartment. He also feels for Melissa, and wants to give her a secure, stable home life, so he promises Linda he'll provide for her and Melissa generously and she can stay with him, regardless of whether or not they eventually separate. 
     
    Linda then asks for a copy of the PI's report on her, then feigns horror at what she "used" to be like. She begs his forgiveness and asks for his help in remembering her "lost" past. Bob feels guilty, but admits he could have forgiven Linda if her affair had been with anyone other than Neil, but doesn't hold what she can't (allegedly) remember against her.
     
    Linda then sets about ruining Bob's relationship with Stephanie. She doesn't get it. She doesn't like it. She's gonna END it. She decides to get Mary on-side, convincing her that it is best for Bob if Linda stay at the lakehouse because then Linda can protect Bob from Stephanie. Mary is her usual blunt self, and admits she agrees that Stephanie is not to be trusted, but neither is Linda.

    Linda is shot down again, this time by Bob, who is lauded with compliments and flirtatious come-ons, and pathetic pleas for forgiveness by Linda. Bob wants to hear none of this, and goes to bed alone.
     
     

    Neil convinces Amanda to go to dinner with him at Doug's Place. After falling for his trickery once again, Amanda is left alone almost immediately, as Neil gets an emergency call from the hospital and has to bail. Chris, who's been drowning his sorrows over Mary having the audacity to have boundaries, offers to step in for Neil. They hit it off and have a lovely evening.
    Chris and Amanda go out once again to a local dive. Amanda finds the dive bar charming, as well as her company. Amanda later comes down with the flu, and Chris brings her some soup, but is pushed out of the way by Neil, who comes around on a "house call".  Chris is falling hard for Amanda, but Amanda, still wounded by the breakdown of her marriage, is still needing some time. She enjoys Chris' company, but doesn't want to rush things. Chris agrees.
     

    Julie, now back from her Scottish antiquing trip, hears of Amanda's dates with Chris. She warns Amanda that Chris may be cute, but not worth dating. Julie feels he doesn't have the maturity, nor the refinement that would suit Amanda in a partner. Besides, Amanda is still married. Amanda gets Julie's point, but Chris makes her feel special, unlike Greg. 
     
    Mary is convinced that Chris will come crawling back soon enough, but when she spies Chris and Amanda at Doug's Place, her insecurities begin to gnaw at her. Steve, still fascinated by Mary, sees Mary's sudden rush of anxiety, and takes full advantage. They make a date, and Mary relaxes enough to even be a little openly flirtatious in front of Chris and Amanda.
    The next day at Anderson, Chris is put off by what he saw as a desperate display by Mary to get his attention. Mary denies this, and plays it cool to Chris about her connection with Steve. Chris warns Mary to watch out for Steve. "There's something about that guy I don't like." Mary tells Chris to mind his own business.
     
    Robert collects Rebecca's safe-deposit box. Inside he discovers a letter addressed to Doug.
     
    Robert hands Doug the letter, and Doug reads it. Inside, Rebecca tells Doug that Dougie is, indeed, his son. He decides to keep the news that Dougie is his a secret from Robert, as he doesn't want to take Dougie away from him as well, but also from Julie, due to her insecurities about her inability to conceive.
     
    Julie and Doug continue to try for a baby, unsuccessfully. Neil is reticent to run any tests on Julie for it, but recommends she take it easy, as the stress of running Chez Julie can't be helping matters. Julie asks Maggie and Steve to take on more responsibility at the shop, hoping to spend more time with Doug. Steve sees this as an opportunity to involve himself in more seedy nonsense, but Doug makes it clear that his eyes will be on Steve.
     
    Julie and Doug get into a row over Trish and David's impending divorce. Julie tries to hold back, but ultimately wishes Doug would fire Trish for her conduct with Scotty. Doug is more sympathetic to Trish, and tries in vain to convince Julie of Trish's position. Julie understands why Trish left town all those years ago, and is sympathetic to a point, but is enraged that she expects to return to Salem and simply pick up where she left off as though nobody's moved on with their lives. Julie feels David has a right to move on with his life, despite her reservations about Stephanie. Doug feels similarly, but instructs Julie to keep her nose out of it. Julie insists it's too late for that, as she's the one helping Stephanie out around the house while she recovers. Doug is livid about this news, and things are tense at home afterwards. 
     
    Amanda picks up on this tension the next morning at home, and attempts to mediate, but to no avail. 
     
     
     
    Maggie decides not to uproot Janice again, and lets her stay with Joanne and he fiancé in San Francisco. Instead, she buries herself in her work. Mickey, equally distracted by his law practice, barely notices as Maggie becomes less and less engaged in their home life.
     
     
     
    At home, Laura is stunned by the news that her mother committed suicide, after calling out for her to come visit repeatedly. Laura sinks into a steep depression, and withdraws from everyone, including Bill. Marlena visits her, hoping to open the virtual prison she's built for herself just a crack, but Laura only asks Marlena to take over her caseload, saying she needs time to herself.
     
    Bill, worried immensely about Laura, tries to reach out to her, but is pushed away at every turn. He commiserates with Kate, who comforts him in a friendly way, but once Laura spies them in an embrace, Laura hits a new low. She confronts Kate, congratulating her on taking advantage of Laura's suffering for her own gain. Kate insists that isn't the case, but Laura won't hear of it. Laura hands in her resignation to a shocked Tom, before paying Mike and Margo a visit. She writes Mike a cheque for $2000 to help cover the expenses of their new house, and heads to her house. She informs Donna, who is watching Jennifer, that she won't be home for a couple weeks, as she needs to do an emergency consult at Brookville Hospital. Laura insists that Bill knows all about it, and after a heartfelt goodbye to Jennifer, Laura heads off.
     
    Once Tom tells Bill about Laura's resignation, he makes a beeline for home, only to find Donna there with Jennifer. Upon Donna filling him in on Laura's alleged consult at Brookville Hospital, he calls there, only to hear, as he suspected, there was none. Bill is now clueless as to where Laura could be.
     
    Laura heads to the airport, where she books a last minute flight. At the airport, Laura runs into Julie, who is just coming back from her trip to Scotland with Doug (Doug is getting the car). Laura is awkward and evasive with Julie, but is warm and glad to see her. Julie suspects something is wrong, but Laura insists she's just there  to pick up a friend from the airport (deftly hiding her plane tickets out of Julie's sight), apologizing for not giving Julie a ride back into town. Julie tells her it's fine, as Doug's just picking up the car to drive them back, but she buys Laura's story, and leaves. Laura then boards her flight. It's not until Julie arrives home that she realizes that Laura was leaving town. Bill fills her in on not only that, but also on Stephanie's accident. After much probing from Julie, Bill admits he feels that Stephanie is hiding something from everyone, as her injuries were inconsistent with what she claims happened.
     
    Julie doesn't know where Laura was flying off to, and can't give Bill much more information, but she notes that Laura didn't have much in the way of luggage with her, which, if she were flying for a long time, she would likely need. Bill doesn't even know where to start looking for Laura, but Kate offers to lend him a hand in his search, for which he is grateful.
     
    Marie is called into Mother Superior's office. Concerned, she heads straight over and asks why she's been called. Mother Superior informs her that there is someone here who really needs her help. When Marie inquires who it is, Laura enters the room.
     
  4. beebs
    EPISODE 188
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    On the desk in the DiMera living room, sits the invitation to the gala grand re-opening of the Penthouse Grille. Next to it, a freshly-emptied coffee cup is slammed down on the desk. We see that it is EJ's who is dialing a local bank branch.
     
    EJ: (into phone) Yes, this is EJ DiMera, may I speak with Michael Howell, please?...Yes, Michael, it's EJ DiMera. I was curious if you were available to meet with me this morning before 10am....no, the ah...the sooner the better. This is somewhat of an urgent matter...I...I mean, it's not really to do with any particular business account, this is more to do with our safe deposit boxes....Yes, 8:45 is perfect. Cheers.
     
    EJ hangs up, relieved to get a time window with Michael, as he holds the safe deposit box key in his hand. He flips it, feeling momentarily triumphant that maybe he will get an answer to what is in that box.
     
    EJ: Alright. Time to find out what's in you.
     

    EJ picks up his briefcase and heads for the door, only to run into a groggy Sami, who's just emerged from upstairs in her robe. She furrows her brow, curious as to what EJ is up to.
     
    EJ: Samantha!
    SAMI: You're...you're ready awfully early. Where's the fire?
     
    EJ stands in the doorway of the living room, visibly uncomfortable with Sami's suspicion.
     
    ---
     

    Gabi walks into the Kiriakis living room, checking frantically to ensure she's alone. She is dressed for the day, and has her purse with her. 
     
    After a moment, she closes the double doors leading to the living room, and scurries to the other side of the room, checking the hallway toward the kitchen. Realizing she's truly alone, Gabi relaxes slightly, her actions becoming a bit less stacatto.
     
    From her purse, she pulls out the photos of her, Sami, and Kate in their attempt to drown Nick in the river. Carefully, she studies them, sighing as she flips through them.
     
    GABI: Well...all you gotta do is burn them, Gabi. And you're homefree.
     
    Gabi stops flipping when she hits upon the photos of EJ and Abby in a passionate liplock at the Smith Island cabin. After an excruciatingly long moment, Gabi looks ahead at the fireplace, with a roaring fire burning before her. She continues, thinking over her problem.
     
    GABI: (voiceover) But what if I'm not.
     
    Gabi takes a moment, and ponders over her situation more carefully, pacing the room as she thinks to herself.
     
    GABI: (voiceover) What if EJ's been playing Sami, Kate, and I all along? I've never trusted him, and he's never exactly been all that loyal to Sami, either. Plus, what if Nick has him by the balls. Nick could making EJ play Sami for his own benefit...or...EJ could be on the level this time.
     
    Gabi stops herself as she stands before the fire, ready to toss the pictures in. 
     
    GABI: Burn 'em, or keep 'em. (sigh) What are you gonna do, Gabi?
     
    Gabi stares into the fire, more confused than ever.
     
    ---
     

    Nick walks into the Salem PD Headquarters, his manila envelope containing the files on Sheryl and Jordan in hand.
     
    Spotting Rafe nearby, he walks over to greet him.
     
    NICK: Rafe! Good morning!
     
    Rafe is less-than-thrilled to see Nick, and takes a good swig of the black coffee in his hand before responding. The coffee's heat and bitterness causes Rafe to wince as he answers, his words dripping with sarcasm.
     
    RAFE: Nick. You're up awfully early. Got tired of tormenting my sister so you decided to torment me, hm?
     
    Nick chuckles, giving him his trademark smirk as he follows a disintered Rafe around like a lost puppydog.
     
    NICK: You know, I think your protectiveness of Gabi is admirable. And I get it. I mean, we both love her, we both want what's best for her--
     
    Rafe sits down at a desk in the middle of the room, setting his coffee cup down and leaning back as he interrupts Nick's diatribe.
     
    RAFE: Naaah, see...see, you want what's best for you, and you've got some real wild ideas about what love is, Nick. I gotta tell you, so...I think the best thing for you to do, if you really love my sister...you know, like a normal person would do, is to leave her the Hell alone.
     
    Nick leans in closer to Rafe, across the desk from him, still smiling smugly.
     
    NICK: Well...I'd love to go tête-a-tête about what's best for Gabi, but...I have some business to take care of before I go home to have breakfast with her. See, since we live together now and all...
     
    Rafe sits up suddenly, shocked by what he hears.
     
    RAFE: What...are you talking about?
    NICK: You haven't heard? She moved in last night with me at the Kiriakis mansion. 
     
    Rafe laughs mockingly, shaking his head at what he perceives as a sick joke of Nick's.
     
    RAFE: Give me a break. She'd never move in with the likes of you--
    NICK: ...Oh, don't worry. She has her own bedroom, so...no hanky panky, for now anyway. If you don't believe me though? Ask her yourself. Now, if you don't mind, I have some information for Roman, and--
    RAFE: You sick...
     

    Hope approaches at this moment, stifling Rafe's enraged reaction to Nick's news. She looks at Nick sternly.
     
    HOPE: Ahhh...Roman's...not in yet. And I don't know if he will be today. Is everything okay here?
     
    Rafe looks up at Hope, a little startled by her arrival. Suddenly overcome by concern over Gabi, Rafe answers her question in a bit of a panic.
     
    RAFE: Like Hell it is. This clown just told me Gabi moved in with him.
    NICK: Like it or not, Rafe...it's true.
    HOPE: Now, hold on. Rafe, just cool--
    RAFE: I'm not cooling down, Hope. Look, I gotta go talk to my sister. Find out what the Hell's going on.
     
    Rafe gets up from his desk, and grabs his jacket. Quickly downing his coffee, he starts to walk off, almost ignoring everything around him as Nick goads him on his way out of the station.
     
    NICK: Tell her I won't be long, Rafe!
     
    Nick chuckles to himself, as Rafe storms off. Hope stays behind, unimpressed by Nick's harrassing way.
     
    HOPE: Your mother wouldn't be very impressed by you right now, you know.
     
    Nick's smug look disappears, as Hope motions Nick toward Roman's office.
     
    HOPE: Don't worry, I'm not gonna call her. Come on with me, I wanted to talk to you anyway about last night.
     
    Hope turns and leads Nick into Roman's office. Once Nick's inside, Hope slams the door shut to the office, prompting Nick's almost-unbearable pain to arise once again. Hope doesn't notice at first, and begins to speak to Nick with her back to him, oblivious as Nick begins to hold his head in immense pain.
     
    HOPE: So let's start with what you've got for Roman, since I'm gonna be taking care of his case load while he's...
     
    Hope turns around, struck by the image of Nick leaning against the nearby desk, clutching his head. She cautiously steps toward him to see if he's okay.
     
    HOPE: Nick? Nick, are you okay? NICK!
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     
    EJ stands in the doorway of the DiMera living room, trying to think of an answer to Sami's question, as Sami stands before him, rubbing her eyes of sleep.
     
    EJ: Samantha...I umm...I have to head out to a...an early meeting.
    SAMI: Meeting? It's like...not even 8am, EJ.
    EJ: I realize, I just...I have some prep to do before so I'm gonna...head into the office early and get myself organized. You know?
     
    Sami looks at EJ with a furrowed brow. She looks at him for a moment, before nodding and walking into the living room, making a beeline to the coffee tray Harold laid out.
     
    SAMI: Right.
     
    EJ isn't sure if Sami has bought his story, and watches her walk to the coffee carefully.
     
    After a moment, Sami turns to respond further to EJ.
     
    SAMI: Well, I'm gonna be at the office for 9:30. I have to stop off at Kate's. We have to...figure out what the plan is for tonight. I'm hoping Lucas was right and that this is the last we have to deal with Nick.
     
    EJ sighs, responding somewhat more naturally to this than his previous statement.
     
    EJ: Yeah. Trust me, I know. Gonna try to make sure of that.
    SAMI: Right? Ummm...why don't you call me when your meeting's done, okay?
     
    EJ nods, walking over to Sami, and giving her a goodbye peck on the lips.
     
    EJ: Absolutely. Let me know how the meeting with Kate goes, alright?
    SAMI: Yeah. Will do. Love you.
    EJ: Love you.
     
    After a moment spent looking lovingly at each other, EJ heads out of the room. Sami listens carefully for EJ to close the door to the house, before slowly walking over to EJ's desk in the corner of the room.
     
    SAMI: Mmmhmm...
     
    Sami pulls out the tablet from the top drawer. Shifty-eyed, she turns it on, and begins to tap the screen.
     
    SAMI: Alright, EJ. Let's see who this so-called "meeting" is with.
     
    Sami tries to log in and is immediately successful.
     
    SAMI: (sigh) EJ, you really need to be better at passwords if you're gonna be married to me.
     
    Sami smiles, pleased with herself at getting access to EJ's tablet so quickly, before opening up the Calendar app.
     
    After a moment's work, she pulls up today's schedule. Other than the Penthouse Grille party in the evening, there's nothing on his calendar for today.
     
    SAMI: Aaaaand just as I thought. Nothing.
     
    Sami sets the tablet down on the desk, sighing as she looks around the room, trying to figure out what EJ's up to.
     
    SAMI: Alright, EJ. What are you not telling me?
     
    ---
     
    Hope rests a hand on Nick's shoulder, as he grasps at his head, trying to calm the intense head pain he's experiencing, as he leans against the desk in Roman's office.
     
    HOPE: Nick! 
     
    Nick begins to bring himself into check. He breathes deeply, while Hope looks on, deeply concerned for him.
     
    NICK: I'm okay. I promise. Umm...Hope, do you have a glass of water or anything?
    HOPE: Yeah! Yeah, one sec.
     
    Hope races over to the water cooler in the corner of the room, and hastily pours Nick a cup, as Nick grabs a pill from his jacket pocket and quickly pops it in his mouth without Hope seeing it.
     
    Hope returns with the glass of water, and Nick downs it and the pill quickly.
     
    HOPE: Here.
    NICK: Thank you.
    HOPE: Nick, are you sure you're okay? This...this isn't because of the light falling last night, is it?
     
    Nick shakes his head quickly, trying to not upset his head any futher, as he tries to focus himself to talk to Hope.
     
    NICK: No, no. This started before then. I'm okay, though. Um...did you...did you make any progress on that, by the way?
    HOPE: Not really. We found a...drop of blood by the door of the elevator, but...haven't been able to tie it to anyone so far.
    NICK: Hm...well, I can make a statement for you later if you want. I just...I wanna get this info I have to Roman about the people who were trying to sabotage the Titan servers.
     
    Hope sits down next to Nick, as they both lean on the edge of Roman's desk.
     
    HOPE: Yeah, that's fine. I'll look into it if you want. Do you...you think the light falling on the soundstage is connected to the Titan hack?
     
    Nick shrugs, speaking unusually candidly to his cousin, without the dastardly pretense he usually carries himself with.
     
    NICK: Pfft, I don't know. It's not like I've been making a lot of friends lately. It could be anybody, for any number of reasons.
    HOPE: But you didn't see anything or anyone unusual in the studio at all?
    NICK: No.
    HOPE: What about Jerome Grant? Did you see him at all?
     
    Nick takes a moment to think it over, before slowly shaking his head.
     
    NICK: No...no I haven't seen him since I ran into him with Abby at Salem U a few weeks ago. Like I said Hope, I didn't see anything, and I don't know that there's a connection between the light falling in the TV studio and the Titan hack.
    HOPE: Well someone was out to get you, Nick. And you've become pretty powerful, pretty quickly. That usually creates a lot of enemies in a hurry, especially in this town.
    NICK: No, you're right. 
    HOPE: Plus, I did watch Nicole's special last night, and you were about to drop some names that seemed extremely delicious to you. So, I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that the two are connected.
     
    Nick nods, taking a moment to compose himself before answering Hope.
     
    NICK: Yeah, you're right. I mean, I do know who the Titan hackers are, and I was going to expose them. Right there, on TV.
    HOPE: That's why you're here now, isn't it? You know who they are.
     

    Abe's voice cuts through, causing Nick and Hope to look toward the door of Roman's office, where Abe has just walked in.
     
    ABE: Well that's good to hear. Because I want them caught by the end of tonight. And I think you, Nick, can help us make that happen.
     
    Nick looks a bit confused, but smiles at Abe's determined statement.
     
    ---
     

    Kate stands in the kitchenette of her loft, scooping yogurt into a bowl for herself, as Billie opens and walks through the front door to her mother's home. Kate barely looks up as her daughter enters, continuing to prep her breakfast.
     
    KATE: Another good night with the good doctor?
     
    Billie shuts the door to Kate's loft, giving her mother an annoyed look.
     
    BILLIE: As a matter of fact, yes. Thank you.
     
    Kate throws some banana slices on top of her yogourt, before pulling a spoon from the utensil drawer. She raises it as if it were a teacher's ruler, scolding Billie playfully.
     
    KATE: I told you to be careful with Daniel, honey.
    BILLIE: Mother....just because you've had your problems with Daniel doesn't mean I will.
    KATE: If it were just me, that'd be one thing. But the only person he hasn't screwed in some form or fashion in this family has been Austin...well, and...wait, no, just Austin.
    BILLIE: Mom!
     
    Kate shrugs, before picking up her bowl to eat her breakfast.
     
    KATE: Okay, he didn't REALLY do anything to Phillip and he doesn't know Rex or Cassie, thank God, but other than that--
     
    Billie becomes exasperated with Kate, cutting her off a second time.
     
    BILLIE: Mother! Enough! I get it!
    KATE: Well, I'm sorry but I don't see where I'm wrong here. And yes, I know I do this to you daily but I'm HOPING, maybe eventually I'll get through to you!
    BILLIE: Well, that makes one of us, because I know I won't get through to you.
     
    Kate downs a spoonful of her breakfast, before pointing her spoon once again Billie's way to help make her point.
     
    KATE: Mm! You're right. You won't.
     
    Billie rolls her eyes as she sits down on a stool on the other side of the kitchen bar, as Kate changes the subject abruptly.
     
    KATE: So, what's on the agenda today? You going to the big gala at the Penthouse Grille tonight?
    BILLIE: I will be, yeah. I'm hoping we can get this business with Sheryl, Jordan, and Nick finally finished tonight.
    KATE: Oh, honey, don't worry. I know for a FACT we're gonna bust them before the night's done. We have them dead to rights!
     
    Billie pauses a moment before responding, less confident than her mother.
     
    BILLIE: I'm not so sure about that, honestly.
     
    Kate looks back at Billie, a little confused.
     
    KATE: What do you mean by that?
    BILLIE: I mean we're going to have to come up with a plan, and fast to get them into our trap, or they're gonna slip through our fingers.
    KATE: We'll get them. I have faith in you, and in Abe.
    BILLIE: Well, let's hope so.
    KATE: Want me to pick you up?
     
    Billie is about to answer, when the doorbell rings. Getting up from the stool she's been sitting on, she heads for the door, still turning back to look at Kate.
     
    BILLIE: No, it's fine. I'm going to the hospital to visit Theresa first, and Daniel's gonna drive me over.
     
    Kate takes the last bite of her breakfast, before holding her spoon up, wagging it disapprovingly at Billie again.
     
    KATE:  More bad decisions.
    BILLIE: Whatever, Mother.
     

    Billie turns away from Kate, and slides open the door to the loft, revealing John at the other side. Billie is surprised to see him.
     
    ---
     
    Gabi stands before the raging fire in the Kiriakis fireplace, holding the photos of her, Sami, and Kate trying to drown Nick in her hands. She throws the pictures in, one by one.
     
    She exhales audibly, the relief visible in her face as the evidence that Nick held over her disappears before her eyes. She stops suddenly once she hits the photos of Abby and EJ together at Smith Island. She sighs again, holding the pictures in her hands.
     
    GABI: Do I? Or don't I?
     
    After a moment, Gabi silently makes her decision. She draws the photos close to her chest, and slowly returns those particular pictures back into the manila envelope that contained them. 
     
    She sighs again, nodding slowly.
     
    GABI: It's the best insurance. Just in case EJ's playing both sides. Now I have some power.
     

    Gabi places the envelope in her bag, before turning to head for the doorway, only to be stopped by the sound of Maggie and Rafe chatting as Maggie opens the door to the Kiriakis living room.
     
    The sound startles Gabi, who hasn't quite got the pictures stuffed into her purse, and she quickly swings her bag behind her back, which Rafe spots immediately.
     
    GABI: Rafe!
    MAGGIE: Ahh...Gabi...Good morning! Rafe's here to see you.
     
    Gabi smiles awkwardly, her arms trying desperately to hide her handbag from Rafe's view (unsuccessfully). Maggie seems equally baffled by Gabi's strong reaction to Rafe's arrival, and observes both of their reactions to each other.
     
    GABI: Awesome! What...what did you want, Rafe?
    RAFE: Gabi...you and I need to have a little chat.
     
    Gabi tenses up, not sure what exactly is going on, as Rafe looks at her stoicly.
     
    ---
  5. beebs
    EPISODE 187
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    At the Kiriakis mansion, Noelle stands in front of her bedroom vanity, dressed in her silk robe, which covers her lacey lingerie she's put on to entice her husband, Alex.
     

    We see her spritzing some perfume across her chest, as, in the reflection of the mirror, Alex emerges from the bathroom, freshly showered, and wearing only a towel. Noelle's expression softens immediately upon seeing him, and she smiles at him, looking at him in the mirror. He glistens with steam from the shower, enticing Noelle even more.
     
    Alex is somewhat oblivious to his wife's intentions, prompting her to speak up.
     
    NOELLE: Have a good shower?
     
    Alex suddenly turns his head toward Noelle, who turns to face him, giving him a sensuous look. Alex looks her over carefully, smiling as he steps to his dresser, and pulls out a pair of briefs. 
     
    ALEX: Yeah. Wasn't bad.
     
    He puts the briefs on under his towel, before ripping the towel off, and hanging it on the back of the bathroom door.
     
    ALEX: Just what I needed really, after the day I've had.
     
    Alex steps back towards the bed he shares with Noelle, and flops down on it. Noelle slowly walks over to it, gracefully setting herself down next to him. She looks lovingly in his eyes, and strokes his hair.
     
    NOELLE: Well...You can tell me all about it....or maybe, I can be a distraction from it.
     
    Noelle leans in and kisses Alex gently on the lips. Alex doesn't react, and Noelle lifts herself out of the kiss, resting herself upright on the bed on one hand, a little frustrated.
     
    ALEX: It's okay. Babe, I just need rest.
     
    Noelle rolls her eyes, before gently massaging her partner's shoulder.
     
    NOELLE: It's fine. If you want...I can help you relax a little.
    ALEX: (laughs) I'd love it, but...I don't wanna put you to any trouble.
     
    Alex yawns, as Noelle gets up, standing right in Alex's line of vision. She slowly undoes her robe, peeling it off her body, showing her revealing lingerie. She stands proudly before her husband, tempting him to come to attention.
     
    NOELLE: It's no trouble at all. 
    ALEX: Noelle, I...I just need to unwind a bit before bed.
    NOELLE: Then let me help you.
     
    Noelle walks over to the bed, ready to straddle Alex, but he instead grabs her by the wrist, pulling to one side, stopping her before she can. 
     
    ALEX: NO!
     
    Noelle looks on, stunned by Alex's explosive reaction.
     
    ---
     
     
    The darkness of Eric's suite at the Salem Inn is broken by Eric and Nicole opening the door, and stepping inside. As the light turns on, Nicole groans, exhausted from the events of the day.
     
    Nicole cuts ahead of Eric, and flops down on the bed. 
     
    NICOLE: I never want to get up from this bed as long as I live.
     
    Eric chuckles to himself, despite also being exhausted. He drops his car keys on the chest of drawers next to the door.
     
    ERIC: You know you're gonna have to eventually.
     
    Nicole winces, pained by the mere suggestion of another work day. She whines back at Eric, prompting him to chuckle again.
     
    NICOLE: Noooo, I don't wanna. My feeeet.
     
    Eric smiles, as he look at his wife, lying pathetically on the bed before him. He slowly kneels before her, slipping her shoes off her feet.
     
    ERIC: Maybe this'll help?
     
    He takes her right foot in his hands, tenderly massaging the soles of her feet. Nicole lays back, her shoulders instantly relaxing from her new husband's touch.
     
    NICOLE: Ugh, yeah. Yeah, that helps.
     
    Eric smiles, as Nicole lays back on the bed, looking as though she's in absolute heaven. As Nicole lays back on the bed, Eric massaging her
    feet out of shot.
     
    Eric begins to kiss up Nicole's leg, before eventually laying beside her on the bed, gently kissing her neck. Nicole purrs with pleasure, as Eric makes a suggestion to her.
     
    ERIC: You know what?
    NICOLE: Mmm, what?
    ERIC: Well. I figure tonight is as good a night as any to make up for our honeymoon night.
     
    Eric kisses Nicole's lips, before Nicole turns her head, seeing Eric stare lovingly in her eyes.
     
    NICOLE: I think you're right.
    ERIC: Good.
     
    Eric kisses Nicole again, as Nicole suggests something in return, as he nibbles her earlobe, before kissing down the side of her neck.
     
    NICOLE: We spend all night together. Here. Just us. Making love all night.
     
    Eric stops suddenly, pulling himself back up. Nicole notices immediately and turns to look at Eric with a concerned expression. Eric responds sheepishly after a moment.
     
    ERIC: Ahh...maybe not.
    NICOLE: Wh...Eric, why?
    ERIC: Mom's asked me to take a DNA test with my dad tomorrow morning.
     
    Nicole looks stunned, lifting herself quickly up from the bed.
     
    ---
     

    Outside Anita's cabin, Brady sits in the passenger seat of Anita's SUV, sobbing. 
     

    As he lays his head against the steering wheel, Anita emerges from inside the cabin. She  holds a book in one hand, as she slowly walks over and stares sadly at her grandson. 
     
    After a moment of not noticing her, Anita gently knocks on the window. Brady looks up, red-eyed and visibly in turmoil. Anita motions to the lock, asking Brady to unlock the door to the passenger side without saying a word. 
     
    Brady sighs, taking a moment before he reluctantly obliges. Once he reaches across the vehicle and unlocks the door, Anita gets in.
     
    They both sit, completely silently for a moment. Anita looks at Brady's hands, clutching tightly to the steering wheel. For a moment, Anita raises her hand to rest hers on Brady's, but she thinks better of it, and sets her hand back in her lap.
     
    Instead, she speaks up.
     
    ANITA: Brady....
     
    Brady doesn't respond, his head resting on the steering wheel. Anita makes another attempt to speak to him.
     
    ANITA: Brady, I...I'm sorry for keeping this from you. I really am. But I need you to know, whatever you think of me right now...I love you. And I care about what happens to you. I always will. From the moment I found you washed up on the shore--
     
    Brady snaps out of his silence, his head lifting from the steering wheel to look tearfully at Anita. He cuts her off, angrily hissing his words to her.
     
    BRADY: If you love me so damn much, you would've left me in that damn river to drown!
     
    Anita looks back at Brady, stunned by his pained statement.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     
    Noelle rips her arm out of Alex's tight grasp, enraged by his sudden burst of anger.
     
    NOELLE: Don't you EVER grab me like that again!
    ALEX: Well, don't put me in that position again!
     
    Alex breathes for a moment, while Noelle flexes her wrist, hoping Alex didn't actually injure her. Admittedly, she's putting on a bit of a show for effect. Alex sighs after a moment, before speaking again, this time, in a much calmer tone.
     
    ALEX: Look, I'm sorry, okay? Just...we had one HELL of a day today, Noelle. Between everything that happened tonight with Nick at the TV station, and...I mean, you know how Anjelica loves to stick her nose in where it doesn't belong. I'm just...I feel smothered. It's not you.
    NOELLE: It never is.
     
    Alex frowns, confused by Noelle's statement.
     
    ALEX: What do you mean by that?
    NOELLE: I mean you haven't been in the mood at all lately. I haven't so much as been kissed by you in bed since we GOT to Salem.
    ALEX: Well...you know, things have been incredibly busy since we got here. You know that!
    NOELLE: I do!
     
    Noelle walks in closer to her husband, and runs her hand down Alex's muscular arm sensuosly.
     
    NOELLE: And I also know how you used to enjoy unwinding from a day like that.
     
    Noelle's hand runs down Alex's chest, but he grabs her hand in his before she can make her way south of there.
     
    Noelle looks up at Alex, who gives a playful smirk as he pulls her into a quick kiss on the lips.
     
    ALEX: You're right. But tonight isn't the night. 
     
    Noelle rolls her eyes, as Alex keeps his grip on her hand, making sure she listens to what he has to say.
     
    NOELLE: Uuggh, whatever--
    ALEX: ...No, I'm serious. Noelle. Listen to me. 
     
    Noelle stops verbalising her disappointement, as Alex takes his hand and turns her head to face him. Staring deeply into her eyes, he continues.
     
    ALEX: I love you. Only you. No matter what's going on. No matter what's implied, no matter what is going on in my life. At work, at home, whatever. It's you. I love you. Okay? Just because I'm not up to a wild night in bed doesn't mean that's changed. I promise.
    NOELLE: Mmhmm.
     
    Noelle nods, clearly not believing what Alex is telling her. She turns away, back to her vanity to adjust her robe, as Alex spies the invitation to the Penthouse Grille gala. He quickly grabs it, and, as Noelle looks into the mirror, Alex holds up the invitation, and looks over her shoulder into the mirror to continue talking to her.
     
    ALEX: Look, tomorrow night? We'll go to the Penthouse Grille gala together...but I'm gonna make sure we keep the celebration going afterwards, okay?
    NOELLE: Okay.
     
    Alex sets the invite back down, before resting his head on her shoulder, gently caressing her face as he continues.
     
    ALEX: Just you. Me. A bottle of champagne. Soft music. Softer lighting.
     
    Noelle finally cracks, giggling as Alex lips gently graze the side of her neck.
     
    NOELLE: (laughs) Stop. The lights aren't even on a dimmer.
    ALEX: There's always candlelight. Use your imagination.
    NOELLE: Alright, fine. It's deal.
     
    Alex smiles, lifting his head from his wife's shoulder.
     
    ALEX: Good. I love you.
    NOELLE: I love you too.
     
    Alex turns away, walking back to go to bed, leaving Noelle staring into her vanity mirror, her smile quickly fading, as the continued frustration is clear in her expression.
     
    ---
     
    Eric sits up at the edge of his bed, next to Nicole, as he attempts to explain his plans for tomorrow to her.
     
    NICOLE: Eric, what do you mean, a DNA test?
    ERIC: Yeah, I know. (sigh) It's...it's complicated, but...my mom asked me to be there, and...
    NICOLE: Does she not think you're Roman's son, or...
    ERIC: No, she does. It's just...she doesn't know if the man we've been calling my father...is my father.
     
    Nicole looks even more confused than before.
     
    NICOLE: I think I'm more tired than I thought. I'm even more confused than before! What are you talking about?
     
    Eric tries to hold back his laughter, as he tries to explain the situation in more detail.
     
    ERIC: No, see...there's been...a lot of confusion over the years about who actually is Roman.
    NICOLE: Right? Didn't your family think John was Roman at one point?
    ERIC: Yeah. For a long time. Most of my childhood, actually. But this time...my mom's just making sure, and...at the same time she's trying to rule out something that could be...passed down.
     
    Nicole looks immediately concerned.
     
    NICOLE: Passed down? Like what?
    ERIC: Like...dementia. 
    NICOLE: (sigh) Right. First your grandmother, then your dad.
    ERIC: Exactly. So if my mom can get us both tested to see if we share the same gene that led to my dad's dementia, then we can better prepare for it.
     
    Nicole nods. She looks pensive for a moment before responding.
     
    NICOLE: I mean...I get that you wanna help your mom, but...what about Sami.
     
    Eric rolls her eyes, sighing immediately upon hearing Sami's name.
     
    ERIC: Sami won't do it. In fact, she's livid with all of us for even doing the test at all. 
     
    Nicole responds with more than a hint of derision and mockery in her voice.
     
    NICOLE: She figures it's Marlena trying to take her daddy away again.
    ERIC: Nicole, you know that's not fair. My dad being gone so long really messed with Sami...and with me.
     
    Nicole nods, immediately regretting her snarky remark.
     
    NICOLE: No, you're right. I'm sorry. Umm...do you want me to be there for you? Just in case...or...?
    ERIC: No, no! It's okay. I (sigh) I don't ever mind if you want to come but, I know you have a lot going on at the station, and...Aunt Kim and my cousin Andrew will be there, so...I'll have more than enough support.
     
    Nicole gives Eric a half-smile, slightly disappointed that he didn't need her there.
     
    NICOLE: Okay.
     
    Eric notices Nicole's expression, and puts his hand under her chin, gently lifting Nicole's head back up to look into her eyes.
     
    ERIC: Hey. Look, I'll take you to the Penthouse Grille gala tomorrow , though. Okay?
    NICOLE: Yeah.
    ERIC: And then...
     
    Eric properly lays down on the bed, pulling Nicole in close to him.
     
    ERIC: How about we take a weekend away. Just us, away from Salem. A little...mini-honeymoon.
    NICOLE: I love it. Let's do it.
     
    Nicole giggles as Eric tickles her. They writhe around for a moment before Eric has her pinned down on the bed. They begin to kiss, solidifying their romantic plans for the weekend, as Eric turns the bedside lamp off.
     
    ---
     

    Steve sits in the cell he shares with Bo in Stefano's island compound, staring at Jack's locket that he found in the corner of the cell. He's smiling widely, as Bo turns around, standing at the cell door, hoping to figure out how to escape the cell.
     
    Steve mutters happily to himself.
     
    STEVE: Jack's alive.
     
    He turns to look at Bo from the flimsy, dirty cot he's sitting on.
     
    STEVE: Bo, he's ALIVE!
    BO: Maybe. Steve, we don't know if the reason that locket's there is because they took him somewhere and killed him.
     
    Steve's face drops immediately, as Bo realizes the effect his words had on his friend.
     
    BO: Sorry, Partner. I didn't mean that. 
     
    Bo walks closer to Steve, trying to reason with Steve.
     
    BO: Look, there is a good chance Jack is alive. But I don't want you to get your hopes up. Especially when we don't even know how WE'RE gonna get outta here.
     
    Steve becomes emphatic, getting up from the cot, and walking over to the cell's door, studying it as he talks.
     
    STEVE: Oh, we are getting outta here, one way or another! I'm gonna make sure of that, my man.
    BO: Yeah, well, even if we do...
    STEVE: I know, I know. It's not just us we have to make sure get out of her alive.
    BO: Exactly.
     
    Steve puts the locket in his jeans pocket, before looking around the cell for anything that might help.
     
    STEVE: Well...what we could do....is start an argument...raise holy hell in here, get the guards attention. When they come, we knock em out and steal the keys.
    BO: Yeah, great plan, but we still gotta get...
    STEVE: I know, still gotta get our neighbour out. That's gonna be...
    BO: Next to impossible with the amount of security Stefano has in this place.
     
    Bo walks over to look over at the cell across the hall from them, where the Patient sits, still tied up. Bo is increasingly concerned as he watches the Patient passed out before him, his hands and legs bound to a steel chair.
     
    BO: But we can't just let him stay here. We gotta get him out.
     
    Steve walks over, joining his friend in looking at the Patient, as Steve puts a comforting hand on Bo's shoulder.
     
    ---
     
    Anita sits back in shock by Brady's words, as they sit in her SUV together. 
     
    ANITA: Brady--
    BRADY: I mean it, Anita. You should've just left me to drown. 
     
    Anita goes to grab Brady's head to pull him in close to her in an embrace, but Brady rebuffs her immediately.
     
    ANITA: Shhh--
    BRADY: No! Get your hands off me! 
    ANITA: Brady, I--
    BRADY: You honestly think I believe your story you and Tyler told me about being my grandmother? Wh...what kind of grandmother leaves her entire family for decades, pretends to be dead even after her daughters die? Huh?
     
    Anita looks down, ashamed of the pain she's put her family through.
     
    ANITA: I let you down, and I let your mother down. I know that. But Brady, I AM your grandmother. 
    BRADY: Prove it.
     
    Anita holds up the book she brough with her from inside the cabin.
     
    ANITA: If you ask your uncle about the lengths everyone went to to get their hands on this, they'll tell you. 
     
    Anita hands the book to Brady. Reluctantly, he takes it from her. She tightens her grip momentarily as Brady takes it into his hand.
     
    ANITA: Be careful. There's some loose pages in there. Those are the pages you'd want to read most closely.
     
    Brady takes the diary gently in his hands.
     
    ANITA: Ernesto wanted the diary because it proved that Isabella was Victor's daughter, and that's why he tried to kill me. When Ernesto was killed, Victor returned the diary to me.
     
    Brady studies the cover, afraid to open it, despite wanting to know the answer to his questions.
     
    ANITA: You don't have to read it now. But I hope you do. And carefully.
     
    Brady looks down at the book, his hands shaking. Anita notices, and puts her hand over Brady's. This time, he lets her.
     
    ANITA: But this is the real thing. I promise you. You'll be able to tell. There's...there's things in that book I could never make up. Things that will prove to you...I am your grandmother, Brady Black. And I love you.
     
    Brady looks at Anita, the hostility fading in his eyes, as Anita gazes at him, the affection apparent in her expression.
     
    ---
  6. beebs
    EPISODE 186
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Kim stands in her living room, held in Andrew's arms tightly, her tears over Roman subsiding through her son's comfort. 
     
    ANDREW: It's okay, Mom. It's okay.
     
    As Andrew cradles his mother, Kim reaches around, holding her son. She feels the soothing comfort of someone to lean on.
     
    KIM: (laughs) I know. I...Andrew, I missed you so much.
    ANDREW: Shhh...I'm here now.
    KIM: I know. Just...with mom, and Kayla, and Roman. I just...I feel so alone.
    ANDREW: I know. But I'm here now. And whether you believe it or not, Marlena is too.
     
    Kim breaks away from Andrew's embrace upon hearing Marlena's name. Wiping away her tears, and turns away.
     
    KIM: (sigh) Yeah.
    ANDREW: Somehow I don't feel like you agree.
     
    Kim throws up her hands, before sitting down on the couch.
     
    KIM: Oh Andrew, I do. I...(sigh) Marlena's family to me. You know that. I just...she's been so caught up in trying to unlock this mystery of Roman's illness that I feel like she's forgotten there's a man underneath. It's almost like he's a...case she needs to solve.
    ANDREW: Oh come on, Mom. You know that's not true. She cares about Uncle Roman. He's the father of her children, for crying out loud!
    KIM: I know that! I just...maybe I'm just angry at the situation and lashing out, but...I think she figures these test results tomorrow are going to unlock some kind of...hidden DiMera conspiracy, and I...I don't think it will. And I don't think Roman has the time left for us to be playing detective. It's just not worth it.
     
    Andrew puts a hand to Kim's back, rubbing his mom's back gently, comforting her.
     
    ---
     
    In the basement dungeon of Stefano's compound in Italy, the candelight flickers, dimly illuminating the dank room.
     
    Eventually, as we pan the room, we find two bodies laying unconscious on the ground, locked in a cell.
     

    The flickering light reveals it's Steve and Bo.
     
    The light hits Steve's eye, as Steve begins to wake up, slowly stirring on the ground. 
     
    After a moment of silently laying there, blinking to try to focus on his surroundings, Steve manages to focus. At the very end of his outstretched arm, his eye spots something up against the wall. Curious, he reaches out for it as far as he can. 
     
    Finally reaching it,  and taking it into his hand, he slowly, painfully pulls it toward him, analyzing it closely.
     
    It's hard. Metallic. Yet delicate. It seems familiar to him.
     
    A locket.
     
    ---
     

    Anita stands between Tyler and Brady in the kitchen of her cabin, a pleading look in her eye as Tyler holds her back away from Brady.
     
    ANITA: Please, Brady. I'm telling you the truth. If there was any way I could have been there...gotten to know you all these years, don't you think I would?
     
    Brady steps in closer to Anita, an almost-maniacal look in his eyes, as he very quietly answers her question.
     
    BRADY: I don't believe a single word that comes out of your lying mouth. 
     
    Tyler steps in once again, trying to cool the situation down before Brady's anger builds any further.
     
    TYLER: Brady, please. She's telling the truth.
     
    Brady's eyes dart toward Tyler, the same quiet, simmering rage in his voice as he turns his attentions to Tyler.
     
    BRADY: And you know all about the truth, huh? Doing all of Victor's dirty work all these years, and we had to pretend we didn't know who you were?
    TYLER: Brady...
    BRADY: You put on a hell of show, Tyler. Upright businessman, philanthropist.
     
    Brady chuckles as he steps over toward Tyler, the same unhinged look in his eye.
     
    BRADY: When all along you were Victor Kiriakis' lackey. Nothing more. Bravo.
     
    Brady applauds loudly, mockingly, as Tyler and Anita stand in frustration, helpless in the face of Brady's anger.
     
    TYLER: Brady, please.
    BRADY: Oh what. You gonna try to...to spin her story another way for me? You always could convince people of pretty much anything. So why not a dumb sap like me, huh? Easy mark!
    TYLER: Brady, Ernesto was dangerous. It was the only way to keep your grandmother safe. No one was trying to pull the wool over your eyes.
     
    Brady laughs, in complete disbelief over what he's hearing. He shakes his head.
     
    BRADY: Well, you sure fooled me. Just like everyone else in my life. I just keep getting lied to. For "my own protection". Right? Well, I'm sick of it. You don't have to worry about protecting me anymore. I'm done.
     
    Brady turns to walk out of the cabin, as Anita tries to run after him. Tyler stops her just before Brady races out the cabin door.
     
    ANITA: Brady!
     
    Anita winces as the door slams behind Brady. Tyler holds Anita's arm, as Anita tries to fight herself free for a moment, before quickly giving in, sobbing on Tyler's shoulder, as he pulls her in close to him, comforting her as she cries.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---

    At the Kiriakis mansion, Alex Kiriakis opens the door to his bedroom. His wife, Noelle Kiriakis, turns around from her seat her in front of her vanity, as she finishes putting on a layer of skin cream on her face. She smiles as her husband enters the room.
     
    NOELLE: Alex!
     
    Alex responds, though with far less enthusiasm as his wife, given his far more emotionally intense day.
     
    ALEX: Hey. I'm home.
    NOELLE: So I see.
     
    Noelle gets up from her vanity and wraps her arms around Alex's neck, gently kissing him on the lips as a welcome home. 
     
    NOELLE: How was your day?
     
    Alex smiles weakly, before removing himself from his wife's arms and flopping down on the bed next to them, exhausted.
     
    ALEX: That answer your question?
     
    Noelle looks down at her husband, amused by his theatrics.
     
    NOELLE: Yeah, that says it all, really.
     
    Noelle kneels on the bed next to her husband, casually rubbing his chest as she tries to speak to him.
     
    NOELLE: So really, though, what'd you get up to?
    ALEX: Not a whole lot...less than I wanted to. We ah...we tried the new menu at the Penthouse Grille.
     
    Noelle perks up at the news.
     
    NOELLE: OO! Yes! I got the invite today! The gala tomorrow!
    ALEX: Yeah.
    NOELLE: You excited for the big event?
    ALEX: Yeah...yeah I am.
     
    Alex fades off, as he thinks over his interactions with Will while they were at dinner. His recollections are abruptly halted by Noelle's kiss on his cheek.
     
    NOELLE: Good. Cos I picked up a new dress. I think you're gonna love it.
     
    Alex sits up from the bed, half-interested in what Noelle's saying.
     
    ALEX: That's awesome. I can't wait.
     
    Noelle catches wind of Alex's less-than-enthusiastic response, and her face drops, as Alex begins to strip his work clothes off. Noelle looks on with a combination of arousal and frustration, as Alex pulls his shirt, then his pants off, in preparation to head to the ensuite bathroom before bed.
     
    NOELLE: Yeah, I can tell.
    ALEX: Look, I'm...I'm sorry, babe. I just...I'm so tired, I gotta get cleaned up for bed, kay?
     
    Alex leans in to kiss Noelle on the cheek, but she leans away, pointing to the facial cream on her face.
     
    NOELLE: The...cream...
    ALEX: Right.
     
    Alex down sheepishly, as he backs off his wife, and walks into the bathroom, shutting the door behind him. Noelle sighs, irritated by her husband's lack of interest in her.
     
    ---
     
    Kim sits on the sofa in her apartment, as Andrew stands behind her in the kitchenette, pouring them both a glass of red wine. They sit in silence for a moment, while Kim stares off into the abyss. Andrew watches over Kim carefully before finally speaking, snapping his mother out of her apparent trance.
     
    ANDREW: Mom? You alright?
     
    Kim looks back, shifting her body in her seat, smiling warmly at her son, but with a hint of sadness in her eyes.
     
    KIM: Yeah. Yeah, I'm okay. Just thinking about what's gonna happen tomorrow.
    ANDREW: At the hospital with Marlena?
     
    Kim nods, slipping back into thought about the tests.
     
    KIM: I'm still not sure this is the best thing to do...but I also know that it's important to know whether the gene that might've caused Roman's dementia...might be passed on to Sami and Eric.
    ANDREW: You're not convinced that's her reason for doing the tests, are you?
     
    Kim scoffs at Andrew's question.
     
    KIM:  I KNOW it's not her reason. I mean....
     
    Andrew hands Kim a glass of wine, looking down at her disapprovingly. Kim sees Andrew's face and relents immediately, as Andrew sits down on the sofa opposite Kim.
     
    KIM: I don't think it's the only reason.
    ANDREW: It probably isn't. But, knowing Marlena as long as we both have...when has she ever done anything for purely, single-mindedly selfish reasons?
     
    Kim sighs, realizing her son's right. 
     
    KIM: Yeah.
     
    Kim looks up at Andrew, smiling with a sense of relief.
     
    KIM: Where have you been all these months while I've been...(sigh) flustered and stressed out!
    ANDREW: I was just a call away, you know.
    KIM: I know. But I am so grateful you're here now, Andrew. It's been so lonely without you...your Aunt Kayla...your sister.
     
    Kim begins to tear up, as Andrew puts a hand on Kim's back, gently rubbing her back, as Kim tries to hold her sadness in.
     
    ANDREW: I know. I'm here now, though. And Theresa will get better, Mom. You know that. Who knows? Maybe we'll hear some good news tomorrow.
     
    Kim looks curiously at Andrew.
     
    KIM: Andrew...are you...how are you feeling about seeing Theresa tomorrow?
     
    Andrew frowns slightly at Kim's question, unsure of the best response.
     
    ANDREW: I'll be fine. I think it's important that I see her.
    KIM: I do too. I think you being there will really help her with her recovery, Andrew. It's....it's very important. To her, and for me.
     
    Andrew smiles, with a pinch of sadness in his face. 
     
    ANDREW: I agree.
     
    Andrew gets up from the couch, ready for bed. He drinks the rest of his wine as he gets up, and places his glass on the kitchen island.
     
    ANDREW: Look, I ah...I gotta get to the hotel, Mom. I have to get some work done on this story about the campaign for governor, and...
    KIM: Oh, no no, I...don't let me keep you. 
     
    Kim gets up from the couch, and gives Andrew an incredibly warm hug. It lasts a few seconds, and it's clear that Kim is reticent to let him go.
     
    KIM: I am so grateful to have you home again.
    ANDREW: Thanks, Mom.
     
    Andrew lets go of his mom, before walking toward the door. He stops, as Kim turns to tearfully say goodnight. Andrew smiles back as he opens the door.
     
    ANDREW: Goodnight.
    KIM: Night!
     
    As Andrew closes the door to Kim's apartment, Kim stands, smiling as she brushes her tears away.
     
    ---
     
    At Anita's cabin, she pulls out of Tyler's embrace, despondent over Brady's walking out. She begins to head for the door.
     
    ANITA: Let go of me, Tyler!
    TYLER: Anita! Don't do it! 
     
    Anita stops in her tracks, but looks out the window as Brady walks away.
     
    TYLER: Anita, he needs to be alone right now.
     
    Anita's lips purse together, angered by Tyler's words.  She turns suddenly to face Tyler, hurt obvious in her voice.
     
    ANITA: You did this. 
    TYLER: Anita, he needed to know.
    ANITA: No, he didn't! Not now! Tyler, he's miserable. You don't understand. He drove off that embankment to commit suicide! He wanted nothing to do with his life in Salem.
     
    Tyler looks sheepishly, as Anita turns her attentions back out toward the dark night, hoping to see Brady re-emerge. Her tone softens as she continues to speak of her grandson.
     
    ANITA: He was trying to forget. To build a new life for himself here, a simpler life...and he found it.
     
    Anita tenses up, turning back around to face Tyler, her voice raising again as she spits her words at him.
     
    ANITA: Until you showed up, with your stupid phone call, and you ruined everything.
    TYLER: (sigh) Anita, I'm sorry. I didn't realize his mental state when I asked you to tell him who you are.
    ANITA: You never do. And you should've asked me, Tyler. It wasn't time yet. Damn it, Tyler. He wasn't ready to know yet.
    TYLER: Anita, when did you think would be the right time?
     
    Anita turns away from Tyler again, holding herself, rubbing her arms gently to comfort herself as she listens to Tyler speak.
     
    TYLER: You know as well as I do that the months would drag on, and Brady would stay tucked away here, hidden from reality, from his past. You here, pacifying him. Making believe you're just this benevolent stranger who just happened to take him in? Purely out of the goodness of her heart. Who loves him just because he's a special boy?
     
    Anita sighs, shaking her head at what Tyler's telling her. The uncomfortable truths she's hearing almost too much to hear.
     
    ANITA: Oh shut up...
    TYLER: And then what? After you've spent months lying to him.
     
    Tyler steps in closer to Anita, speaking softly to her, but firmly.
     
    TYLER: Anita, do you honestly think that the truth would've been any easier if it came out then?
     
    Anita turns to Tyler, speaking in as measured a tone as she can muster through her upset.
     
    ANITA: Maybe not. But I would have had time to help Brady recover emotionally, so that the truth wouldn't put salt in the wounds he already has. As it stands, he's still running, Tyler. And that's what I'm afraid of.
     
    Anita walks back toward her front door, looking helplessly out into the dark night.
     
    ANITA: I'm afraid he's not gonna stop. And we'll lose him for good.
     
    ---
     
    Outside Anita's cabin, Brady desperately attempts to open Anita's SUV, but can't find the key. Pulling frantically on the door handle, he smacks the door, in a fury.
     
    BRADY: Dammit!
     
    Looking around him, Brady contemplates running off into the night, but he sees only blackness, and thinks better of it. After a moment, he finally finds the right one and hops inside.
     
    Brady turns the key, but the enging makes a gurgling sound.
     
    BRADY: Come on....come on!
     
    He attempts once again, but the same result.
     
    When the ignition fails to engage, Brady slams on the steering wheel in frustration, giving up.
     
    BRADY: Damn! DAMN! (sigh)
     
    Brady leans back in the drivers' seat, sobbing in pain and confusion about the discovery that Anita is actually his long-presumed-dead grandmother.
     
    ---
     
    In the basement dungeon of Stefano's Italian island compound, Steve sits up slowly, holding his head in immense pain from his earlier blow to the head.
     
    STEVE: Ughhh, Stefano, these goons of yours don't mellow with age, man.
     
    He holds a piece of jewelery he found on the ground in the cell that he and Bo are currently locked in. A locket.
     
    He opens the locket, and sees a familiar picture inside. Steve inhales suddenly, shocked by what he's discovered inside. Suddenly forgetting about the immense, pounding pain his head is in, Steve immediately leans over to Bo's unconscious body, and desperately attempts to revive him.
     
    STEVE: Bo! Bo! 
     
    Steve shakes Bo's shoulders, gently slapping his face hoping to wake Bo up. 
     
    STEVE: Come on, partner! I got something to show you, man! It's big! Come oooon, dude!
     
    Bo begins to come around, grunting in pain, as he begins to return to consciousness.
     
    BO: Ughhh, come on, man, I'm hurtin' here.
    STEVE: Heh, yeah well, so am I but I got something that'll put a little pep back in your step.
     
    Bo slowly gets up, shaking his head and rubbing his eyes, before his eyes bug out as his head begins to throb.
     
    BO: Ohhhh MAN! 
    STEVE: Yeah, I know, but come on, partner. Focus here.
     
    Steve holds up the opened locket for Bo, who takes it in his hand. He looks it over closely.
     
    BO: Okay, it's a locket. What about it?
    STEVE: Look at the picture.
     
    Bo inspects the picture inside the locket. His eyes begin to widen.
     
    BO: Steve, this...this is Jack's, isn't it?
     
    Steve nods, excitedly.
     
    STEVE: That's right, my man. And you know damn well it hasn't been here very long. These goons woulda found it ages ago and destroyed it, especially if they were gonna throw us in here. So that only means one thing.
     
    Bo looks up from the locket, a hint of a pained smile on his face.
     
    BO: Jack didn't die when the elevator collapsed.
    STEVE: You got it! He's probably alive, Bo! My baby brother's alive!
     
    Steve can't hide his excited smile, as he reaches across to hug Bo, who looks simply stunned by the turn of events.
     
    ---
  7. beebs
    EPISODE 185
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Brady stands in Anita's living room, stunned by her announcement that Anita is not, in fact, a kind stranger that plucked him from the river, but his grandmother, Loretta Toscano.
     
    He struggles to speak a single word, sputtering as Anita tears up, Tyler holding her shoulders, trying to keep her calm.
     
    BRADY: Wh....what did you say?
     
    Anita stands shaking before Brady, terrified of what this revelation will do, before repeating herself.
     
    ANITA: I am Loretta Toscano. Brady, I am...your grandmother.
     
    Brady catches his breath after a moment, and clumsily tries to form a response without snapping at his grandmother.
     
    BRADY: I...you...you can't be my grandmother. My grandmother died decades ago, she...my mother died of cancer, and...
    ANITA: I know, Brady. I desperately wanted to be there, but it wasn't safe--
     
    Brady snaps upon hearing this, turning his back to his grandmother, and beginning to pace the kitchenette nervously, before turning around suddenly, startling Anita with his anger, and raised voice.
     
    BRADY: Oh come on, lady! I don't buy it. Not for a second. If you were really my grandmother, and you were ANYTHING like the woman you claim was your daughter, wild horses wouldn't keep you from seeing your daughter before she died. 
     
    Tyler steps in, hoping to calm Brady down, to no avail.
     
    TYLER: Brady, calm down. Anita is not lyling to you, she IS your grandmother, I prom--
    BRADY: Bull!
     
    Brady turns to look at Anita, an almost-maniacal glint in his eye, as he stares her down.
     
    BRADY: Now, if, and I mean IF you really are my grandmother, I want an explanation about where you've been all these years.
     
    Anita shivers, partly in fear, and partly in sadness, as she hears Brady's demand loud and clear.
     
    BRADY: And I want it, right, now.
     
    ---
     

    In the parking garage under the condo building where Marlena lives, Kim and Marlena shake hands, while Andrew looks on.
     
    KIM: It's a date. I'll come with you to the hospital tomorrow at...
    MARLENA: Meet me at 10am. 
    KIM: Where, exactly?
    MARLENA: Just outside Dr. Grant's office. 6th floor.
     
    Marlena smiles, as does Kim, albeit weakly. Kim nods in agreement, as Marlena looks over to Andrew, beaming brightly at the handsome young man.
     
    MARLENA: And if you'd like to come, it would be great to spend more time with you. It's been way too long.
    ANDREW: Tell me about it! I've missed you. And Salem.
    KIM: And we've missed you.
    MARLENA: We have.
     
    Marlena leans over to give Andrew a warm hug, before looking warmly at Kim, squeezing Kim's hand.
     
    MARLENA: I'm sorry to have put you through so much worry. I really am. 
     
    Kim smiles back, still half-heartedly, as Marlena collects herself to head back upstairs.
     
    KIM: Thank you.
    MARLENA: I'll see you both tomorrow.
    KIM: Sure thing.
    ANDREW: Goodnight, Marlena.
    MARLENA: Goodnight, Andrew. Kim.
     
    Marlena walks away, heading for the elevators, as Kim looks on. Andrew puts his hands on her shoulders, trying to comfort his troubled mother.
     
    ---
     

    Sonny gets up from the sofa inside his apartment with Will, as Will shuts the door of the kitchen cabinet, having grabbed a glass for a drink of water. Sonny is stunned by what he's just heard Will tell him.
     
    SONNY: I'm sorry, Gabi moved out?
     
    Sonny stares at the open door to Gabi's room, seeing for himself that the room is virtually empty after Gabi's move to Nick's, earlier in the day.
     
    Will turns on the tap, almost spitefully nonchalant in his reaction to the news, the polar opposite of Sonny's panic.
     
    WILL: This afternoon. 
     
    Will turns the tap off, having filled his glass, and turns back toward Sonny. Will is visibly annoyed by Gabi's departure, but replying glibly and dismissively.
     
    WILL: I'm sure Nick sent movers in within minutes of hearing the news. I'm amazed they kept a crib for Ari. I expected they'd take any trace of her too.
    SONNY: I'm afraid to ask--
    WILL: Don't worry. Ari's staying with us. I didn't...take her tonight, I left her with Mom. I just...
     
    Will sighs, looking down as his sarcastic demeanour softens, turning to a grim resignation. He paces the room, as Sonny watches him, still in disbelief.
     
    WILL: I needed some time to...process...everything.
    SONNY: I can imagine. Wh....when did you...when did you hear the news?
     
    Will responds automatically, without thinking until he's halfway through his sentence.
     
    WILL: Oh I heard it when I was out to dinner with Alex--
     
    Will catches himself, and stops just after revealing the truth of what he did with his evening.
     
    WILL: ...Alex and I were at the Penthouse Grille for work...sort of a...press preview of sorts, and....Maggie came in. Told us what she walked into at the breakfast table this morning.
     
    Sonny remains surprised, probably too stunned to absorb most of what Will's just told him, nor his strange reaction to telling Sonny about the dinner, but stammers out his next question.
     
    SONNY: Did um...did Maggie say why Gabi made the decision?
     
    Will shakes his head. Still looking off at the ground mindlessly.
     
    WILL: Nah. Nah, I didn't give her the chance to explain. I...I took off right away to the studio to...confront Nick. Get some answers out of him.
    SONNY: And?
    WILL: Well, they were already setting up for Nicole's special, so...Alex and I stayed in the studio to watch. And then...
    SONNY: And then the light fell.
     
    Will looks up at Sonny momentarily, then away again, nodding.
     
    WILL: You heard.
    SONNY: Heh, I think everyone in the state heard...or saw.
     
    Will chuckles to himself a moment, rubbing his eyes from exhaustion as he does. 
     
    WILL: Yeah. Yeah, I'm sure.
     
    As Will chuckles to himself, Sonny looks intensely at Will as Will rubs his eyes, speaking seriously to him.
     
    SONNY: That...begs the question, though. And I want you to be 100% honest with me.
     
    Sonny hesitates momentarily before asking his question, almost afraid of the answer. Will  tenses up, worried about what Sonny might ask.
     
    SONNY: Did you rig that light to fall on the stage?
     
    Will looks up suddenly, surprised by Sonny's question. Sonny continues to look intensely into Will's eyes.
     
    SONNY: Were you so angry at Nick, that you were willing to try to kill him?
     
    Will is stunned, and can't answer, while Sonny frustratedly demands an answer.
     
    SONNY: Will! Tell me! Were you??
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     
    Brady stands, incensed by Anita's deception. He steps in close to her, almost hissing his words to his grandmother, while Tyler hangs back, trying to observe the situation and keep everyone calm (and failing).
     
    BRADY: Well? I'm waiting. 
     
    Anita doesn't respond right away, prompting Brady to speak up once more.
     
    BRADY: Where have you been?
     
    Anita, holding her head in her hands, uncovers her face after a moment, tears in her eyes. She finally responds, regaining some of her composure through her tears.
     
    ANITA: I was here. I was here all along. Watching. Waiting for any news I could get. 
     
    Anita tries to step toward Brady, to take his hand in hers, but Brady recoils from her. Anita sees this immediately and stops herself. Instead, she sombrely relays her past to him.
     
    ANITA: Victor wouldn't let me come to Salem. When Ernesto found out about my affair with Victor, he nearly killed me with that poison. Victor managed to make it look like I'd died, but whisked me away out of danger just in time, and...
     
    Anita stops, before turning to face Tyler, taking his hand in hers.
     
    ANITA: Victor had Tyler set me up with a new home. A new life. He demanded I never come back for my children until he knew for a fact it was safe to do so. 
    BRADY: And it's been safe for years. Ernesto died before I was even born, and yet here you are.
     
    Anita looks down, frustrated and ashamed.
     
    ANITA: I know. And I probably should've fought harder, but...after awhile, you just lose the fight. And besides, just when I finally worked up the nerve, Hope came back and Victor was spooked. He figured...maybe Ernesto had managed to survive as well.
    BRADY: So you stayed here. Playing dead.
     
    Anita looks up at Brady, making her position clear to her grandson. She retorts firmly.
     
    ANITA:  So I settled for the life I could have. I had already made a life out here. I met a lovely man. Had another daughter, got to know her children...I had a great life, Brady. 
     
    Anita turns to face Brady, and looks him firmly in the eyes as she finishes her thought.
     
    ANITA: But I never forgot my other family, Brady. And I made sure I stayed in touch with, and up to date about you. You mean the world to me. You must believe that.
     
    Brady looks back with a look of skepticism, his words cutting Anita like a knife.
     
    BRADY: And what if I don't?
     
    ---
     
    After a tense moment staring at each other, Will begins to crack up at Sonny's assertion that he was the one responsible for the light falling at WXIR. 
     
    WILL: Sonny, I WISH I had thought of that. But see, this is how you know I wasn't the one who did it.
    SONNY: Why?
    WILL: Because if I had done it? I wouldn't miss.
    SONNY: Not funny.
     
    Will cracks up even more at Sonny's serious tone, walking casually into the living area as he quips to Sonny about murdering Nick.
     
    WILL: It's hilarious! What are you talking about?
     
    Sonny sighs and walks back over to the couch, sitting down on the sofa again, overwhelmed by everything that's gone down today. Will, meanwhile, takes a sip of water, then continues to talk about his day.
     
    WILL: But seriously, though. I didn't see anything that would help them figure out who dropped the light on the stage. 
    SONNY: Did you get a chance to talk to Nick at all?
    WILL: Eventually. I ended up driving him, Anjelica, and Alex back to the Kiriakis mansion.
     
    Sonny turns to look at Will, amused and surprised.
     
    SONNY: Anjelica? You drove Anjelica Deveraux home? Will, you drive a compact car with cloth seats--
    WILL: Oh I know. And I heard all about it from her, believe me.
     
    Sonny chuckles as Will continues.
     
    WILL: Ugh, that wasn't the worst part of the ride, though.
    SONNY: Oh?
     
    Will sits on the arm of the sofa, next to Sonny.
     
    WILL: Yeah. After gloating about Gabi moving in with him, Nick tried to imply something was going on between Alex and I.
     
    Sonny tries to stifle a laugh, failing miserably.
     
    SONNY: You cannot be serious.
     
    Will feigns being wounded by Sonny's laughter.
     
    WILL: I'm sorry, I didn't realize it was that hard to believe someone like Alex could POSSIBLY be interested in me.
     
    Sonny playfully jabs Will in the ribs, causing Will to crumple in, shouting out in pain.
     
    WILL: Ow! Stop! 
    SONNY: Whatever, you know you're stuck with me.
     
    Sonny starts to tickle Will, as Will wraps his arms around Sonny. Will yelps in discomfort from the tickling, as he inadvertently lands in Sonny's lap. 
     
    WILL: Ah! Fine, fine! You win! (laughs)
     
    Sonny finally stops tickling Will, figuring he's won, and the two look at each other lovingly.
     
    SONNY: Good. Cos you know what I wanna do for you tomorrow to take your mind off all the stuff with Nick?
    WILL: What?
    SONNY: I wanna sit down and start pinning down our wedding plans.
     
    Will beams at Sonny even mentioning their upcoming wedding.
     
    WILL: It's a deal.
    SONNY: Good. I think we've left enough of this up to your mom. It's time you and I take care of some things ourselves. What do you say?
     
    Will rests his forehead against Sonny's.
     
    WILL: I think you're right. Sounds like the perfect day. And you know what's a great way to start that perfect day?
     
    Sonny smiles, kissing Will gently on the lips before answering his question.
     
    SONNY: What?
    WILL: Having the perfect night.
    SONNY: Mmmm, I think you're right.
     
    Will giggles, leaning in to kiss Sonny once, twice, three times, before grabbing his collar and pinning him down on the couch, just out of our view.
     
    ---
     
    Kim and Andrew enter Kim's apartment, exhausted from the emotional situation at Marlena's. Kim flips the lightswitch on, as Andrew shuts the door behind them. 
     
    Andrew calls out to Kim, who takes off her jacket, and heads for the closet, completely oblivious to her son's calls.
     
    ANDREW: Mom. Mom?
    KIM: You know Andrew, I swear that whole...scare with Roman wore me right out.
     
    Kim hangs her coat up, almost in a trance. Andrew walks over to her, pulling her hand down after she hangs up her coat.
     
    ANDREW: Mom.
     
    Kim stops herself. She looks down at her hand, being held firmly in Andrew's, before looking up at her son, fear, hurt, and anger in her eyes.
     
    KIM: Andrew, I...
    ANDREW: Mom, are you alright?
     
    Kim looks into Andrew's concerned eyes, and immediately wells up. She nods, before cracking, weeping openly as she wraps her arms around her son, trying to calm herself down, as Andrew comforts her.
     
    ANDREW: It's okay, Mom. It's okay.
     
    ---
     

    Arriving back upstairs in her penthouse, Marlena closes the door, and sees Abe emerge from the bedroom, having laid Roman down to sleep. Marlena smiles half-heartedly at Abe.
     
    MARLENA: How is he?
    ABE: Pretty shaken up. But he's asleep now. He'll be okay.
     
    Marlena sighs, as Abe looks at her, very worried for her.
     
    ABE: What about you, though?
     
    Marlena shrugs, as Abe takes Marlena's hand in his.
     
    MARLENA: I'll be alright. 
    ABE: You sure?
     
    Marlena nods.
     
    MARLENA: My main concern is Roman.
    ABE: I have to tell you, Marlena...under the circumstances...I cannot afford to have Roman stay on the police force.
     
    Marlena sighs, knowing Abe's right. She nods reluctantly.
     
    MARLENA: I agree. Unfortunately, I think, at this rate, Roman staying on the force will...definitely be more harmful than helpful.
    ABE: I think you're right. Look, Marlena, I plan to put Roman on medical leave for the time being. I don't want to retire him completely until we have an official diagnosis.
    MARLENA: That makes sense. I'm actually planning to get a firm answer on that tomorrow. So I'll let you know as soon as we hear something.
     
    Abe smiles half-heartedly, nodding appreciatively.
     
    ABE: Thank you. Leave letting Roman know to me. I'll tell him on Monday. I ah...I better go.
    MARLENA: No, thank YOU. I know it's...incredibly late to be out.
     
    Marlena guides Abe toward the door, as they continue saying their goodbyes.
     
    ABE: It's no trouble at all. Believe me, I feel a lot better helping you out, under the circumstances.
    MARLENA: I appreciate it so very much, Abe.
     
    Abe and Marlena hug warmly, before Abe opens the door to leave.
     
    MARLENA: Thanks again.
    ABE: Goodnight, Marlena.
     
    Abe walks toward the elevator, before Marlena closes the door behind him.
     

    Now alone in the apartment, except for Roman, Marlena walks silently over to Roman's door. In the shadows created by the moonlight beaming in through his window, Marlena watches him sleep.
     
    As James Blake's "Retrograde" begins to play, Marlena quietly cries as she thinks about the decline of her former husband.
     
     
    ---
     
    [0:49]
    As a light dimly flickers, we see the outline of two bodies laying unconscious in the basement of Stefano's compound in Italy.
     

    Despite the darkness of the night, we begin to see Steve and Bo's faces, as they lay unconscious in a cell in the basement. 
     
    [1:39]
    Across from them, in the next cell, The Patient sits, tied to his chair.
     
    [2:15]
    He shakes, trying in vain to escape the restraints, while his eyes, forced to remain open, view a slideshow of violent images and short videos, punctuated by flashes of John Black's face.
     
    [2:29]
    We see closeups of the Patient's hand, clenched tightly, fighting the restraints, as he's tormented by the pictures being shown to him. We snap, with each beat of the music, between the images on the screen, and back to The Patient. His eye, his tied-up hand, his bound ankle, fighting to break free.
     
    [2:53]
    We cut to black, as the music continues to play hauntingly, as the hourglass appears for the closing credits to the end of the song.
     
    ---
  8. beebs
    EPISODE 184
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Marlena sits with Roman in his SUV in the undergorund parking of her building. She appears concerned about him, as Roman stares out the front windshield, almost acting as though she's not there. Outside the vehicle, Kim, Andrew, and Abe look in on them.
     
    After a moment's awkward silence between then, Marlena tries to coax him out of his apparent trance.
     
    MARLENA: Roman? 
     
    Roman continues to look out his window, looking out at Kimberly in particular. His focused stare unnerves Kim, which Marlena catches, momentarily looking out toward Kim herself.
     
    MARLENA: Roman, that woman right there, that's Kimberly. Honey, your sister is alive. She's fine.
     
    Roman, still looking at Kim, blinks momentarily, his fixation starting to break, as he shakes his head in disbelief.
     
    ROMAN: Nah...no, that....that's not...
    MARLENA: It's true, Roman.
    ROMAN: No, Doc. She...I was out in the country by the Lake Road, and...there was...there was a woman in the back of this blue truck, and...she had red hair. She was dead, it...it was Kimmy. I tried to radio in and...I...I just...
     
    Roman shakes his head, becoming visibly distressed by what Marlena's told him. 
     
    Marlena motions to Abe to step in, she calmly leans in closer to Roman to try to get his attention.
     
    MARLENA: Roman! Roman. Abe is going to take you inside, and we can relax. Okay?
    ROMAN: No--no, Doc. That's not...damn it, you're lying! You're all lying to me! It was Kimmy in that SUV, you gotta find her!
     
    Roman slams his fists on the steering wheel, as Abe rushes in to collect Roman. Marlena puts her hand on Roman's shoulder tenderly, though her voice raises with concern.
     
    MARLENA: Roman! No one is lying to you, I promise. Kimmy is okay. Now come on. It's okay.
     
    Roman holds in his sobbing, before giving in, and letting Abe take him out of the car.
     
    As Roman and Abe head up toward the elevator, Kim and Andrew stand back away from Roman. Andrew holds his mother's shoulders as they watch Abe take Roman up to Marlena's penthouse. As they do, Marlena leaves Roman's vehicle herself. Looking serious, she walks slowly over to a visibly upset Kim.
     
    MARLENA: Kimberly. I hate to keep harping on this, but...I thought I should let you know what's happening with Roman, and what I'm planning to do.
     
    Kim turns around suddenly, fighting tears, with a hostile look on her face, as she looks to a stoic, serious Marlena.
     
    ---
     

    Eric waits by the elevators down the hall from the TV studio at WXIR for Nicole. He plans to pick Nicole up from the TV studio, and finds her walking toward the elevators with Hope, as they emerge from scouring the studio for evidence of the light "accident". 
     
    HOPE: So we'll inspect the cuts to the wire, and check for fingerprints. Should have it all analyzed by Monday.
    NICOLE: Works for me. 
    HOPE: Now, has there been anyone other than Abigail that's been around the station anytime in the last week?
     
    Nicole looks around, racking her brain to think of an answer, she clocks onto one suddenly.
     
    NICOLE: Jerome.
    HOPE: I'm sorry?
    NICOLE: Jerome, Abigail's friend. I wanna say his last name is Grant? Handsome guy, black...mid-20s?
    HOPE: He's been here?
    NICOLE: Yeah...he and Abigail were out for lunch, just like a friendly lunch date thing, and he was helping her out with some research one day, and he came by.
     
    Hope's interest is piqued, she probes further.
     
    HOPE: Did he seem to be...engaged or...?
    NICOLE: Oh, no, he was totally into it. I didn't really think much of it, though. He's a postgrad student at Salem U, so...this is right up his alley.
     
    The gears almost visibly turning in Hope's mind, she and Nicole finish their long stroll down the hallway toward Eric.
     
    Nicole and Hope finally approach Eric, who gets up from his seat in the waiting area by the elevators. Once Nicole arrives, she wraps her arm around Eric's back, gently kissing his lips as a hello.
     
    ERIC: Ready to roll?
    NICOLE: I think so. Unless you need anything else from me?
     
    Hope shakes her head, fairly comfortable with what she's collected so far.
     
    HOPE: No, I think you're good for tonight. Look, thanks for everything, and ah...one thing. Make sure you call me first thing tomorrow morning, just in case they have any questions at the lab that might fill in any information gaps, okay?
     
    Nicole nods, before turning to Eric.
     
    NICOLE: Come on, let's go.
    ERIC: Night, Hope.
    HOPE: Night, Eric. 
     
    Eric presses the 'down' button on the elevator, as Hope surprises them with a final question.
     
    HOPE: OH! One thing! Do you know if Abby left for the night?
    NICOLE: Ahhh, I sent her home about a half hour ago when you told me, but...I didn't see her leave.
     
    Hope looks back toward the studio.
     
    HOPE: Hm.
    NICOLE: She's probably just being her usual eager beaver self and double checking some things in the control room.
    HOPE: Alright, thanks. I'll have a look for her.
     
    The doors to the elevator open, and Eric and Nicole step on.
     
    Eric waves to Hope, who smiles warmly at her nephew.
     
    HOPE: Night!
     
    As the doors to the elevator close, Hope notices a small drop of blood on the floor by the foot of the elevator door. Curious, she kneels down by it. Realizing for sure what it is, she calls another officer over.
     
    HOPE: Gabe!
    GABE: Yeah? 
     
    Hope waits til Gabe's run over, before pointing down at the blood drop.
     
    HOPE: Blood. get a sample to the lab and find out how long it's been there.
    GABE: Got it.
     
    Hope steps away from the elevator, and looks around her. She lingers momentarily, looking as Gabe collects the blood sample from the floor, speaking to herself softly before carrying on to find Abby.
     
    HOPE: Jerome Grant, hm? What a coincidence.
     
    Hope raises one eyebrow, as she heads back toward the studio, in hopes of finding Abigail to question her on the night's events.
     
    ---
     

    At Anita's cabin, Tyler walks back into the kitchen area, where Anita stands with Brady. They turn to face Tyler as they hear his footsteps walking away from the phone after his call to Victor. Anita speaks nervously after a moment.
     
    ANITA: Tyler...h-how's Victor?
     
    Tyler folds his arms before him, debating whether to be honest with her or not.
     
    TYLER: He's fine. He'll be released from the hospital tomorrow.
    BRADY: And what about you?
    TYLER: (sigh) I....I have to leave Salem.
    BRADY: What?
     
    Tyler nods. Trying to make it clear that it's not a big deal to him.
     
    TYLER: Call it...early retirement. I'll have to finalize some arrangements, and I'll be off to the Costa Del Sol by the weekend.
     
    Brady tenses up, before Anita interjects.
     
    ANITA: And just what are those arrangements?
     
    Tyler hesitates momentarily, with Anita continuing before Tyler gets a chance to respond.
     
    ANITA: Tyler, please tell me you won't let Victor know that Brady's staying here.
     
    Tyler doesn't respond again, panicking Anita.
     
    ANITA: PROMISE ME, TYLER!
     
    Tyler finally cuts in, responding firmly in an exasperated tone.
     
    TYLER: Alright! Fine. On one condition.
     
    Anita shakes her head, knowing what Tyler is about to suggest. Tyler points to Brady as he offers his demand.
     
    TYLER: You tell him who you really are. And you do it right now, or I will.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     
    Kim stands with Andrew and Marlena in the parking garage below Marlena's building, her arms folded, as she speaks to Marlena pointedly.
     
    KIM: Alright, Marlena. What have you planned for my brother now? Another DNA test to make sure he isn't another imposter sent by Stefano to upend all our lives?
    MARLENA: Kim--
    KIM: Look, I don't...I don't want to fight with you again. You're...you're a dear friend of mine, you're basically family, but...Marlena, I don't understand where your head's at with this. I mean, it's....it's so obvious to me that this is dementia, and that my brother needs treatment, and the sooner, the better.
     
    Marlena nods in agreement with Kim, before interjecting with her support.
     
    MARLENA: And I agree. Completely.
     
    Kim looks at Marlena, somewhat skeptical, and equally surprised.
     
    MARLENA: That's what I wanted to discuss with you. I was hoping you could join Roman and I at University Hospital tomorrow morning. We're meeting Eric there for a battery of tests, and then Valerie and I were going to go over a treatment plan for Roman--
    KIM: Tests. DNA tests. Am I right?
     
    Marlena sighs, nodding before carrying on.
     
    MARLENA: Yes, I admit it. But Kimberly, I only want to run the test to be sure that the gene that caused Roman's and Caroline's dementia hasn't been passed along to Eric. Or potentially to Sami, or Carrie. 
     
    Kim seems somewhat unmoved, and after a moment, Marlena continues.
     
    MARLENA: Kimberly...I didn't do this as some kind of roundabout deception to get the DNA tests done. It was honestly a bonus, just to give myself peace of mind. But I also want you to know that I am serious about Roman's condition, and I want to keep him with us as long as possible. Believe me.
     
    Marlena puts her hand on Kim's arm, trying to be of some comfort to her, as she explains herself passionately.
     
    MARLENA: Now please. Come with me tomorrow. I promise you, you will be an active part of our plans for your brother. It would mean an awful lot. To him and to me.
     
    Kim takes a moment, with Andrew joining in with Marlena in attempting to convince Kim to go.
     
    ANDREW: Mom, I...I think it might be a smart idea. It might help...give you a sense of empowerment over the situation. I think you'd feel a lot more at ease if you had that right now.
     
    Kim looks at Andrew, then Marlena, before slowly nodding.
     
    KIM: Alright...I'll be there.
     
    Kim extends a hand to Marlena in peace offering. Marlena smiles, as she shakes Kim's hand firmly.
     
    MARLENA: It's a date.
     
    ---
     

     
    Will walks into, then shuts the door to his apartment with Sonny. The apartment sits dark, as Sonny's gone to bed. 
     

    Will sighs, exhausted from a frustrating day. Flipping the lights on, he slowly hangs up his jacket, and sets his new briefcase down in the closet, as a frustrated Sonny emerges from the bedroom.
     
    SONNY: Will!
     
    Will turns around with a start when Sonny calls out to him.
     
    WILL: Sonny!
     
    Sonny looks at his fiancé with a mix of exhaustion and annoyance.
     
    SONNY: You made it. Would've been nice if you'd called.
     
    Will sighs, walking toward Sonny.
     
    WILL: Sorry. I know I should've. I just...
    SONNY: I know, I know. The big day's coming. 
    WILL: PR for Titan is...it's a lot of work.
    SONNY: I know. More than you realize.
     
    Sonny speaks in a resigned tone, as he sits himself down on the couch, just before Will flops down beside him.
     
    SONNY: Look, I'm sorry if I've been...less than enthusiastic about this job. I just...I don't want you sucked into my family's problems, and working for them...you just, you can't escape them.
    WILL: Sonny, I'm going to be sucked into them no matter what.
     
    Will turns his head, a cock-eyed smile on his face as he touches Sonny's cheek gently.
     
    WILL: I'm marrying you. Remember? 
     
    Sonny smiles, laughing softly to himself.
     
    SONNY: Yeah. And I can't wait.
    WILL: Neither can I.
     
    Will leans in to kiss Sonny gently on the lips. After their kiss, Sonny stares at his fiancé, soaking him in.
     
    WILL: Look, don't worry about my job. If you're willing to move past it, I am too.
    SONNY: Deal. (sigh) Speaking of work, how was it today?
     
    Will takes the opportunity to get up from the couch, walking around to the other side of it, presumably toward the kitchenette.
     
    WILL: Oh, fine. Until I heard the news about Gabi.
     
    Sonny straightens his posture, wondering what Will means.
     
    SONNY: Wh...what news?
    WILL: Oh, you didn't hear?
    SONNY: Will...Will, what are you talking about? I knew she was out, but I figured she was visiting Rafe, and...
     
    Will laughs, rubbing his eyes in exhausted frustration, as Sonny turns his body while still on the sofa to face Will.
     
    WILL: Oh no. No, Mom's watching Ari. No, the reason you don't see Gabi right now is...
     
    Will walks over to Gabi's bedroom door, throws it open and turns on the light, revealing it to be empty.
     
    WILL: Because she moved out. And in with Nick Fallon.
     
    Sonny's jaw drops, as he looks into Gabi's room, completely dumfounded.
     
    ---
     
    Outside the WXIR studio, standing by the elevators, Hope confers with another officer about the drops of blood found on the ground. 
     

    As they talk, and the officer snaps photos, Abby walks to the elevator to leave, surprised to see Hope still there. 
     
    ABBY: Hope!
    HOPE: Abigail! I'm glad you're still here, I was looking for you.
    ABBY: Yeah, I, ah, just had to go up to the control room and finalize a couple...paperwork things before I went home. Why...why, what's up?
    HOPE: Well, I need you to make a statement about the accident, if you can.
     
    Abby looks at Hope, stumped at what she could offer.
     
    ABBY: Honestly, Hope, I...I don't know what I could tell you, I was so busy with all my...papers and trying to keep the show running, I...honestly, if I could tell you anything, I swear I would.
    HOPE: And you didn't bring anyone along with you to the studio?
     
    Abby furrows her brow, unsure what Hope's implying with her question.
     
    ABBY: What do you mean?
    HOPE: I mean, more than a couple people have seen you at the WXIR offices with Jerome Grant the last few days, and--
     
    Abby cuts Hope off, slightly insulted by Hope's implication.
     
    ABBY: Whuh, what are you implying, Hope?
     
    Hope is caught off guard by Abby's defensiveness. Abby catches herself and backtracks when Hope's expression changes in reaction to Abby's response.
    ABBY: Look, I...I actually specifically told Jerome not to come tonight. I didn't feel comfortable having him here in such a high-pressure environment. Especially when I'm so new.
    HOPE: You worried he'd distract you?
     
    Abby shrugs, trying to downplay her inner conflict.
     
    ABBY: I guess. (sigh) Look, if you're wondering whether Jerome might have been here and potentially tampered with the cables, I'm almost 100% certain he wasn't here. But as to who WAS up on that scaffolding? I have no idea.
     
    Hope nods, disappointed by the lack of information Abby was able to provide.
     
    ABBY: Look, I gotta go.
    HOPE: Yeah, sure. If you do remember anything at all, even if you think it's not worth mentioning, give me a call, 'kay?
     
    Abby nods quickly, as she presses the 'down' button on the elevator.
     
    ABBY: I will. Night, Hope.
     
    The elevator door opens, and Abby steps on, leaving Hope behind with a couple other officers.
     
    HOPE: Night, Abby.
     
    Hope sighs, still sensing her bad feeling about Jerome Grant isn't misplaced. Hope mutters to herself.
     
    HOPE: He's gotta tie into this somehow. But how?
     
    ---
     
    Brady steps in between Tyler and Anita, baffled by the exchange occurring before him.
     
    BRADY: Okay, does someone mind explaining to me what's going on here?
     
    Anita tries to cool Brady's curiosity, speaking dismissively, before being cut off by Tyler.
     
    ANITA: Brady, it's--
    TYLER: ...Promise me, Anita. 
    ANITA: Why, Tyler? What does it benefit you to put this on him now?
     
    Tyler steps in close to Anita, looking her square in the eyes.
     
    TYLER: He has a right to know. I've always thought that.
    ANITA: Then why now?
    TYLER: Because he's here now. It made no sense to tell him before. And quite frankly, if you're so adamant that there's no threat against you, then I don't see why you haven't already.
     
    Anita turns away from Tyler, as Brady stands to one side, confused.
     
    BRADY: Tell me what?
     
    Anita stands, facing away from both Brady and Tyler, tearing up. Brady is getting increasingly agitated the longer he has to wait for some kind of response.
     
    BRADY: Dammit, would someone just tell me what's going on here?
     
    Tyler walks over, putting a hand on Anita's shoulder, as she turns to him, shaking her head.
     
    ANITA: I can't do it.
    TYLER: Of course you can.
     
    Tyler takes Anita and turns her to face Brady. He gently answers his question.
     
    TYLER: Brady, meet your grandmother, Loretta Toscano.
     
    Brady's eyes widen in shock, as he realizes who Anita really is.
     
    ---
  9. beebs
    EPISODE 183
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    It's a cool dark night on the outskirts of Salem. A chilly wind has kicked up, as Tyler Houston steps toward the front door of Anita Hernandez's cabin. He knocks, as he looks out at the dark night around him. Rubbing his hands together to keep them warm in the cold, he tenses his body as he awaits Anita.
     

    Opening the front door, Anita is surprised to see Tyler standing there.
     
    ANITA: What the--what are you doing here?
    TYLER: (sigh) It's a long story. 
     
    Tyler waits a beat before continuing.
     
    TYLER: May I uh...may I come in?
     

    Anita hesitates, looking back inside at Brady, who's just entered the living room, curious about why Anita's at the door.
     
    TYLER: I know he's here, Anita.
    BRADY: Who's...
     
    Anita opens the door to let Tyler in, as Brady stands back in the kitchen area, stunned to see Tyler again.
     
    BRADY: Tyler...wh...look, if you came to track me down, I, I just can't--
     
    Tyler steps into the room, and holds his hand up to stop Brady from continuing.
     
    TYLER: Brady....no one knows you're here. And no one's going to know. Okay? I didn't come here to try to get you back to Salem.
     
    Anita interjects, slightly annoyed by Tyler's return visit.
     
    ANITA: So why are you here, then? Once wasn't enough?
    TYLER: Look, I...ah, something's happened, and I need to leave town. And I won't be back.
    ANITA: What? Why?
    TYLER: It's...a long story, but I need to call Victor first, and on a secure line. That's why I'm here.
     
    Anita nods slowly, confused by Tyler's vague information. She motions toward the landline phone, as Tyler nods in appreciation, and heads over to call Victor.
     
    Anita turns to face a very baffled Brady, to whom she gives an equally confused expression.
     
    ---
     

    At the Grant house, Jerome sits with his grandmother on the living room couch. He wears a strange expression as he questions his grandmother.
     
    JEROME: You talk like you got some real beef with the Hortons.
     
    Valerie shifts uncomfortably, trying to be somewhat dismissive of what she's already expressed to Jerome about the Hortons, but failing.
     
    VALERIE: I don't really have beef, but like...(sigh) How shall I put it? 
     
    Jerome laughs, breaking Valerie's thought.
     
    JEROME: ...But you got beef with 'em! 
    VALERIE: Look, don't get me wrong, Jerome. They're lovely people. They do their best. I have worked alongside this family for years. But I also know they have their fair share of problems. Ones that are extremely easy for a man like you to get caught up in. And I don't want that for you. I've...pulled your behind out of enough jams for one lifetime.
     
    Valerie notices Jerome's crooked collar, and awkwardly, lovingly adjusts it as she fidgets to distract from her nervousness at the subject at hand. Jerome gently flinches, tickled by his grandmother's touch.
     
    JEROME: Okay, I get that. But...what you mean? What kind of problems?
     
    Valerie stops fidgeting and sighs, before deciding to tell Jerome.
     
    VALERIE: Well...your Uncle Eli's father, for one.
     
    Jerome turns his head quickly to look at Valerie's sheepish expression.
     
    ---
     

    Marlena and Abe head into the underground parking at Marlena's building.  Marlena trails Abe, who is eager to get going. Abe looks back to see Marlena, slowly walking towards him, clutching herself as she walks, deep in thought. 
     
    Abe walks over to Marlena, and comforts her as they walk toward Abe's car, Abe seeing Marlena clearly distressed by Roman's absence. 
     
    ABE: We'll find him, Marlena.
     
    Marlena sighs, leaning against Abe as they walk. 
     
    MARLENA: I know. Still doesn't make me worry any less.
     

    No sooner has Marlena finished her sentence do Kim and Andrew pull into a spot right near Abe and Marlena. Kim honks her horn, startling Marlena, as they both step out of Kim's car. Marlena looks stunned to see Andrew.
     
    MARLENA: Oh my...Oh my God, Andrew! Ohh it's so good to see you! Oh, when did you get into town?
     
    Andrew laughs as he gives his former aunt a hug, while Kim looks on, somewhat less-than-impressed by Marlena's enthusiasm, under the circumstances.
     
    KIM: He ah...he just arrived tonight. We were finishing up dinner when we got the call.
    MARLENA: Ohh, it's so good to see you. Oh that must've been a fantastic surprise for you, Kim.
     
    Kim nods, with a subdued expression as she tries to speed things along to limit her time with Marlena, whom she's upset with.
     
    KIM: It was. It was just what I needed. Look, um...I don't wanna...break up the reunion or anything, but....I think we need to start dealing with why we're here.
    ABE: Kim is right. I think we need to split up and keep each other on a three way call. 
    MARLENA: Makes sense. I can take the route down Riverside Drive.
    KIM: Andrew and I can cover the south end.
    ABE: And I'll handle the centre. Alright, let's get on this, the longer we take, the farther away he might have gotten.
     

    As Abe, Kim, Marlena, and Andrew prepare to separate, we see inside the car just a few steps away from where they've congregated. Inside, Roman sits silently in the car, with the engine off. He's almost in a trance, as he states straight out from the drivers' seat, seemingly completely unaware of his surroundings.
     
    ---
     
    ---
     
    Jerome looks quizzically at Valerie as they both sit on the sofa inside Valerie's house.
     
    JEROME: Grandma, what about Uncle Eli?
     
    Valerie takes Jerome's hand, and holds it gently, as she begins to explain the story.
     
    VALERIE:Well...
     
    Valerie breathes in deeply, as she considers her words extremely carefully.
     
    VALERIE: See...you remember I told you about when I lived here allll those years ago, right?
    JEROME: Mmhmm.
    VALERIE: Well...I fell in love with a young man here named David Banning, and he just happens to be Miss Abigail Deveraux's cousin.
     
    Jerome slowly nods, making the connection.
     
    JEROME: And that...didn't go well.
    VALERIE: Oh no, it was...I mean, it wasn't without its problems, but our relationship was fine. We loved each other. His family was incredibly kind to me, but...they...they had problems. I worked for Abigail's grandmother at University Hospital, and she...she spent a long time in an institution. Abigail's grandfather was a great surgeon, and a very kind man, but...very troubled. David was an alcoholic, like your grandfather. (sigh) I think the pressure was too much for him.
    JEROME: What happened to you and David, then?
     
    Valerie sighs, looking down at nothing in particular as she reminisces.
     
    VALERIE: He had a baby. With his cousin's girlfriend.
    JEROME: I'm sorry.
    VALERIE: I'm not broken up about it. Years later, we met again, away from Salem, and...you know, I think being with him away from Salem was a real blessing. We could be together without the pressure of our families and...people who knew us. It was a great time. It wasn't long but...Uncle Eli came from it, and...it means I have a reminder in my life of that special time. 
     
    Valerie takes Jerome's hand in hers, and smiles wistfully.
     
    VALERIE: Look, all I'm trying to say is, the Hortons are lovely people, but don't get bogged down in their problems. They'll take you with them. 
    JEROME: I won't, Grandma.
    VALERIE: Don't be so sure. I know how you take on the problems of people you care about, baby. I don't want you to sucked into something you can't get out of.
     
    Jerome half-smiles, as Valerie pulls him into a tight hug. As she holds her grandson, she looks out from over Jerome's shoulder, a very worried look in her eyes.
     
    ---
     
    At Anita's cabin, Brady pulls Anita aside and quietly asks her about Tyler, who's stood in the corner of the room, using her landline phone.
     
    BRADY: Anita...how do you know that man?
    ANITA: Brady, it's not a big deal--
    BRADY: The hell it's not! Anita, I do not feel comfortable with that man in this house. He works for my grandfather...
     
    Anita holds up her hands, trying to keep Brady from getting excited (and loud), as she attempts to explain the situation.
     
    ANITA: Brady, don't...don't worry. Look, Tyler has come by before, and he didn't say anything about you being here then--
    BRADY: What??! That's supposed to make me feel better?
    ANITA: Just don't...shhh...Brady. Listen to me.
     
    Brady stops himself from continuing, giving Anita a chance to finish, but folds his arms, looking mistrustfully at her.
     
    ANITA: I will make sure he doesn't tell anyone you're here. I don't think he will, anyway, but I'll make sure. Okay?
     
    Brady unfolds his arms, unsure if Anita will be able to convince Tyler.
     
     
     
    On the phone, Tyler reaches University Hospital main reception desk.
     
    TYLER: (into phone) Yes, may I be put through to Mr. Victor Kiriakis' room, please?
     
    After a moment's wait, Tyler perks up again, hearing the phone ring in Victor's room.
     
    ...
     

    In Victor's hospital room, the phone rings. Victor, watching TV in bed, grumbles silently about the interruption to his show, turning the TV set off with the remote by his bed before picking up the phone, answering exasperated.
     
    VICTOR: (into phone) What?
     
    ...
     
    TYLER: (into phone) Victor! It's Tyler!
     
    ...
     
    VICTOR: (into phone) Oh, look who it is! The World's Worst Hired Help. You had one job, and I assume you're calling to apologize for botching it?
     
    ...
     
    Tyler looks utterly baffled by Victor's snarky comment.
     
    TYLER: (into phone) Wh...Victor, what are you talking about?
    VICTOR: (via phone) He's still alive, you idiot! 
     
    Tyler looks over at Brady and Anita, trying to speak in pointed but hushed tones.
     
    TYLER: (into phone) Nick?
     
    ...
     
    VICTOR: (into phone) Exactly. And now it's too late to make another attempt, so don't even bother trying. I can only imagine the Salem PD all over that studio as we speak collecting whatever they can to tie your sorry ass to it. So forget it. I sent you a portion of what I promised you, but only if you get out of town. 
     
    ...
     
    VICTOR: (via phone) ...and get out tonight.
     
    Tyler looks stunned, unable to respond to Victor, as the receiver drops from his ear.
     
    ---
     

    Hope stands with Nicole and Eric in the WXIR studio, still relatively dressed up from her date with Aiden. She looks around, as other officers snap photos of the fallen lighting rig. Nicole stands in the middle of the studio, arms folded, and explains what happened during the filming of her TV special.
     
    NICOLE: And that's when I heard the snap, and then the light just...came down.
     
    Hope looks up at the scaffolding high above the soundstage. She squints slightly, as she mulls over what Nicole's told her.
     
    After a moment, she asks Nicole a question in a somewhat official "police" tone.
     
    HOPE: Right. Nicole, did you see any...movement up there at all? Maybe someone was on set who shouldn't have been there?
     
    Nicole shakes her head, certain of her answer.
     
    NICOLE: No. I mean, we had a lot of guests in the studio but...no one was anywhere they shouldn't be. I didn't see any movement above us until the light, and that's what caught my attention.
    ERIC: And you're sure it wasn't an accident, then?
    NICOLE: It couldn't have been. Honestly, Nick's been involved in all kinds of things lately that I think make him a target. I mean, the light that fell was almost exactly over where he was sitting when it dropped. I can almost guarantee someone was trying to kill him.
     
    Eric looks to Hope with concern, wrapping his arm around Nicole. Hope appears surprised, before quickly raising her eyes back toward the lighting rig.
     
    ---
     

    Anjelica and Liam stand on the foggy pier, Anjelica points at Liam accusingly, speaking quietly but hissing her words at him.
     
    ANJELICA: You are letting your feelings get in the way of our goal, and it's becoming a liability.
    LIAM: My feelings?
    ANJELICA: Absolutely. You want to disengage because you're bitter about losing me to Stefano--
    LIAM: It's not that...
    ANJELICA: So NOW, you're going to put your energies into Jennifer Horton, which is fine by me, but whatever energy you have left goes to screwing me over as some kind of twisted catharsis for your broken heart. And let me tell you, Mr. Frasier: that's not going to happen.
     
    Liam stares as Anjelica steps in close to Liam, part flirtingly, part threateningly.
     
    After a moment, Liam leans in for a kiss. Anjelica catches him and backs away, never taking her eyes off Liam, as he looks on with disappointment.
     
    ANJELICA: I want to remind you that you're already in this up to your neck, whether you want to be or not. Therefore, if you ever want to be reuinted with your long-lost love...
     
    Anjelica discretely holds out the gun once again, waiting for Liam to take it from her.
     
    ANJELICA: You need to take care of the problem. As soon as possible.
     
    Liam looks down, mulling over his options for a moment before taking the gun from Anjelica, sighing as he puts the gun in his coat pocket.
     
    LIAM: Consider it done.
     
    Liam turns away without another word, and heads up the stairs away from the pier, leaving Anjelica alone. She watches as Liam walks up the stairs, before turning away, sighing as the stress of her situation weighs on her.
     
    ---
     
    Kim, Andrew, and Abe walk away from their huddle in the car park at Marlena's condominium, as Marlena lingers behind, deep in thought, but jumping slightly when Abe touches her arm to get her attention as he walks away.
     
    ABE: I'll bring the car around, Marlena.
     
    Marlena smiles at Abe, as he walks toward the car. Looking away into the sea of cars before her, Marlena spots Roman's SUV parked nearby.
     
    After a moment's glance, she realizes someone's inside.
     
    It's Roman. 
     
    Suddenly frenzied, she calls out to Abe, hoping he'll double back to where she is.
     
    MARLENA: Abe? Abe! Abe, he's here!
     
    Marlena makes a beeline for Roman's SUV, tapping on the front hood, as Roman stares ahead, in his own world as he sits in his parked vehicle.
     
    MARLENA: Roman?
     
    Marlena frantically tries to open the passenger's side door, to no avail. She bangs on the passenger's side window, as Roman looks her way.
     
    MARLENA: Roman! It's Doc, open the door, please!
     
    Roman hesitates for a moment, as though still in his trance, before finally unlocking the door. Marlena steps inside, as Kim and Andrew also double back, and Abe arrives.
     
    MARLENA: Roman, I was so worried about you.
    ROMAN: Doc, I...
    MARLENA: Roman...
     
    Marlena takes Roman's hand in hers, and holds it, realizing how very cold it is. She kisses it, and smiles warmly, as she begins to tear up again.
    MARLENA: Roman, we're all so glad you're safe. Abe, Andrew, Kim, and I we were all about to head off to look for you!
     
    Roman looks puzzled, as he looks out at Abe, Andrew, and Kim, who are standing outside the vehicle, deep concern in their eyes. He looks back at Marlena.
     
    ROMAN: Doc, that...that can't be. Kimmy's dead. I saw her!
     
    Marlena's jaw drops, baffled by Roman's obviously-untrue statement.
     
    ---
  10. beebs
    EPISODE 182
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Marlena emerges from her bedroom at her penthouse, freshly changed into her street clothes, as the doorbell rings.  She calls out to the person ringing the bell, as she heads for the door.
     
    MARLENA: Coming!
     

    Marlena walks over and opens the door to find Abe there. She quickly motions him inside.
     
    MARLENA: Abe! Thank you, I know it's short notice.
     
    Abe steps inside and gives Marlena a quick hug.
     
    ABE: It's alright. I'm glad you called. Have you heard anything?
    MARLENA: Not a word. 
    ABE: (sigh) Alright. How long since you've heard anything?
    MARLENA: I mean, he...he was working, so I didn't think anything was wrong, but...I woke up and checked the entire penthouse, he's nowhere to be seen.
     
    Abe nods, then looks down sorrowfully.
     
    ABE: He's....he's in worse shape than any of us thought.
     
    Marlena stops, and looks at Abe. Her energy shifting as she turns to look his way. After a moment, Marlena nods in agreement.
     
    MARLENA: I umm...I've been taking him for tests at the hospital. We...we aren't 100% sure what's going on.
    ABE: It's obviously dementia of some kind.
    MARLENA: Well, that's what we assume, but...I have reason to believe Stefano is involved somehow.
     
    Abe sighs, shaking his head.
     
    ABE: Wouldn't surprise me. But...considering his performance at work...
     
    Abe hesitates momentarily, before continuing. Marlena furrows her brow, not sure she likes what Abe is about to say.
     
    ABE: I'm starting to believe it would be a good idea to...(sigh) ask Roman to take a leave of absence from the force.
     
    ---
     

    Tyler drives down the dark highway leading out of Salem.
     
    The occasional passing car shines its headlights his way as they drive opposite him down the road. Tyler is looking on intensely, as he thinks back to the events of the evening.
     
    ***
    FLASHBACK TO EPISODE 167:

    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.
    ***
     
    Tyler is distracted by a passing car's bright lights, that snap him back to reality with a jolt. Tyler struggles to see and his car begins to swerve onto the gravel at the edge of the road.
     
    TYLER: Dammit!
     
    As Tyler swerves to get the car back onto the road, he brakes to stop the car before he causes an accident. Pulling over, he stops and leans his head back against the headrest, trying to regain his composure.
     
    After a moment, and a heavy sigh or two, Tyler looks out his drivers' side window, then at his GPS. He realizes he's right by Anita's cabin. 
     
    TYLER: Well, I'll be damned.
     
    He decides to pull in, turning suddenly in to the darkened country gravel driveway.
     
    ---
     

    It's a foggy night, as Anjelica stands alone on the pier. She's dressed in a long black coat and wide-brimmed hat semi-obscuring her face.
     
    She paces slowly checking around her to be sure she remains safe, as she waits for Liam to meet her.
     
    ANJELICA: (sigh) Come on, Liam, get down here.
     

    No sooner has those words come out of her mouth, than Liam walks down the steps of the pier to meet her. Anjelica turns to look at him, looking a bit annoyed.
     
    ANJELICA: Took you long enough.
    LIAM: Sorry, had to wait for Jenn to nod off.
    ANJELICA: Ahhh yes, precious Jennifer Horton. 
     
    Liam rolls his eyes, as Anjelica sarcastically waxes poetic about Liam's partner.
     
    ANJELICA: Love of your life. Apple of your eye. Tell me, Liam: did you take an extra moment before you departed to watch your beloved as she slept as well?
    LIAM: You're hilarious, Anj. Now, what did I come all the way down here for, exactly?
     
    Anjelica gives Liam an intense deadpan look as she pulls a gun from her coat pocket and places it in Liam's hand.
     
    LIAM: What's this for?
    ANJELICA: Our little problem we were discussing earlier? I want you to take care of him.
     
    Liam looks down at the gun, then up at Anjelica, stunned by what she's asking of him.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     

    Jerome shuts the front door to the Grant family home, and steps inside quietly. Inside, Valerie emerges from the kitchen entrance and looks stern, but relieved to see her grandson home.
     
    VALERIE: Jerome Grant, where have you been?
     
    Jerome stops himself at the first step of the staircase heading upstairs when he hears Valerie's voice.
     
    JEROME: Hey, Grandma, uh...Sorry I'm so late.
    VALERIE: Well, I don't really mind that, but the fact you didn't even text me or call? 
    JEROME: Nah, I know. I should've.
    VALERIE: You're damned right.
     
    Valerie turns and heads into the living room, with Jerome reluctantly following behind her as she continues to speak to him.
     
    VALERIE: You know, I've been worried about you. You're avoiding coming home again, and--
    JEROME: Grandma, you don't have to worry about me. I'm fine.
     
    Valerie stops in front of the couch, and turns to face Jerome, who's slowly stepping into the room.
     
    VALERIE:  And that's exactly the same conversation we had in Toronto before we moved down here. And I didn't buy it then, and I don't buy it now.
     
    Valerie motions to Jerome to join her on the sofa, before sitting down.
     
    VALERIE: Come on, baby. Let's talk.
     
    Jerome complies, as he sits down next to Valerie.
     
    JEROME: Grandma, I know what you're gonna say, and--
    VALERIE: No, I don't think you do. Now, listen. I know you're grown, and I can't stop you from doing what you wanna do, but I can and I will tell you what I think about it. And what you're doing right now, it is way too familiar to me. 
    JEROME: Grandma, I promise you, I am not falling into those same patterns. Look, Kaylie and Siobhan are far behind me, now. I don't...I don't even know what made you think of them.
    VALERIE: Well, different things. 
     
    Jerome looks at Valerie, a bit confused.
     
    JEROME: Like what?
    VALERIE: Well, you know how I had you set up that video chat for the interview I was doing?
     
    Jerome tenses up slightly, becoming uncomfortable with her story.
     
    JEROME: Yeah...
    VALERIE: Well, we hired that girl, and...you know, it's funny, there's...there's something about her. She looks just a little like that girl Siobhan you knew in school. 
     
    Jerome looks intensely at Valerie, hoping she doesn't make the connection. Valerie continues her story, looking away from Jerome as she recalls their journey back to Salem.
     
    VALERIE: You know, I started thinking about it, and...you know, I know they're far behind you, and...you know...after your father was killed, I just...we moved her for a fresh start. Somewhere that felt like home, but...somewhere we could forget the bad memories, bad habits.
     
    Valerie takes Jerome's hand in hers, she smiles as she looks at Jerome.
     
    VALERIE: I don't want you to fall back into them.
    JEROME: I promise, Grandma. That's not happening. Things are going well! I'm...doing my research for my thesis, and...I met someone.
     
    Valerie perks up at the news.
     
    VALERIE: Ooh! Who is this fine young lady?
    JEROME: Her name is Abigail Deveraux. I met her mom, Jennifer today. I think she said she works at the hospital as well.
     
    Valerie raises an eyebrow at Jennifer's name.
     
    VALERIE: Jennifer Horton?
    JEROME: Yeah, I think so.
     
    Valerie sighs, shaking her head, as Jerome looks confused.
     
    VALERIE: Oh boy. 
     
    Jerome chuckles at his grandmother's reaction to the news, still puzzled by her less-than-enthusiastic response.
     
    JEROME: What? What do you mean?
     
    Valerie sighs, taking a second before answering Jerome's question.
     
    VALERIE: Look, I'm not gonna tell you you're forbidden to see this girl, but you need to tread lightly with Hortons. They are messy. Okay?
     
    Jerome frowns, curious about what his grandmother means.
     
    ---
     
    At the pier, Liam's face scrunches up after Anjelica has handed him a revolver, confused by Anjelica's request.
     
    LIAM: What, am I your hitman now?
    ANJELICA: You are part of the team that's meant to be helping me get through this plan in one piece.
     
    Liam looks down at the gun, shaking his head, as Anjelica slowly walks around behind him, placing a hand on his shoulder as she speaks gently in his ear.
     
    ANJELICA: You don't want to let the team down, do you?
     
    Liam turns his head slightly, giving Anjelica a deathly glare as he holds the gun in his hand tightly.
     
    ---
     
    Marlena looks at Abe, disappointed and worried.
     
    MARLENA: Oh no, Abe, don't take Roman off the force--
    ABE: No...no, Marlena, I'm serious. He's made too many mistakes recently. He has completely...just...blanked out on entire cases. Important ones! He could be putting himself in danger every time he steps out of the house.
     
    Marlena steps in closer to Abe, pleading with him to reconsider.
     
    MARLENA: Abe, if...if it is Alzheimer's...I want to be sure of the diagnosis first, but...if it is...I firmly believe keeping Roman working for as long as possible can only help him cognitively.
    ABE: And put him in the line of fire!
    MARLENA: Not if he does admin--
     
    Abe shakes his head, getting riled up as he tries to resist laughing at Marlena's suggestion.
     
    ABE: Marlena, be serious! Can you honestly imagine Roman Brady accepting administrative work? 
     
    Marlena looks down solemnly. She shakes her head, realizing Abe's right.
     
    ABE: Now, I will wait for the official diagnosis before I do this, but I am asking that you have the doctors confirm this diagnosis ASAP. Every day we wait, the more danger Roman's in.
     
    Marlena nods in agreement. She looks up at the ceiling, sighing in frustration.
     
    MARLENA: You're right. I'll have Roman head down to the hospital first thing tomorrow.
    ABE: Alright.
     
    As Abe responds, Marlena gets a text message from Kim. Taking her cell phone from her coffee table, she checks it, before turning to Abe.
     
    MARLENA: It's Kimberly. She's downstairs.
    ABE: Alright, let's meet her down there.
     
    Abe and Marlena head for the door. As Abe races out, Marlena is stopped by a picture of her with Roman, Carrie, Sami, and Eric, from when Sami and Eric were newborns. She spots the picture on her mantle by the door, and looks it over, tearing up.
     
    Taking a moment to look the picture over, she sets it back down on the mantle and heads out of the penthouse, locking the door behind her.
     
    ---
     
    Tyler pulls into Anita's property, his headlights guiding him down the dark country dirt road.
     
    Approaching the cabin, Tyler stops the car outside, and gets out after turning the car off.
     
    He slowly walks up to the front door, seeing the bright lights inside. He stops, noticing movement through the window.
     
    Peeking carefully through the window, he makes out a familiar face.
     
    TYLER: My God.
     

    Inside, Brady finishes the last of the dishes, turning to Anita and smiling warmly, as they laugh and joke. Tyler is stunned. Brady is alive.
     
    ---
  11. beebs
    EPISODE 181
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Gabi stands in Nick's room at the Kiriakis mansion, holding the pictures he's had hidden in his desk drawer of Gabi, Sami, and Kate trying to drown him in her hand. She's relieved to have finally found them, holding the pictures up to her chest, smiling for the first time in ages.
     
    GABI: Oh my God, yes.
     

    As she celebrates her mission being completed to retrieve the photos, lurking on the other side of the door is Nick, who is spying on her through the slight crack in said door. He practically seethes, livid as he watches her invade his privacy and betray his trust, but he keeps silent and still, observing her every move, as he grips the handle of the door tightly.
     
    Gabi, oblivious to the threat behind her, flips through the photos, before stumbling upon one pic that takes her aback: Abby in a liplock with EJ.
     
    Gabi looks stunned. Realizing what she's unintentially uncovered, she hastily shoves the pictures back in the envelope, and walks them over to her purse, stuffing them inside. As she does this, Nick watches her closely, seeing what she's done with the pictures. Before Gabi can catch a glimpse of Nick, he walks away, defusing the situation.
     
    Gabi closes her purse, and looks up to the ceiling, taken aback by the picture she's seen of EJ and Abby.
     
    GABI: Oh God, you guys. What did you get yourselves into. (sigh) I gotta get out of here.
     
    Gabi sighs, before getting up from sitting on the bed, and rushes out of the room, making sure everything is as she found it. Turning the light off and shutting the door completely behind her.
     
    After leaving Nick's bedroom, Gabi checks both ways down the hallway, before walking away toward her own bedroom.
     
    As Gabi walks past, a face looms from the linen closet next to Nick's room. It's Nick, making sure he's hidden before heading back for his room. From the dark of the closet, he threatens Gabi softly.
     
    NICK: You haven't won yet, Gabi. I'll make sure of that. They're poisoning your mind against me. And we can't have that. Can we?
     
    ---
     

    In the Kiriakis living room, Anjelica and Alex walk in after being dropped off by Will. Anjelica sets down her bag, as Alex sets his things down on the desk. Neither speak at first, but Alex looks at his mother, worry in his eyes. Anjelica catches this look, and furrows her brow in annoyance.
     
    ANJELICA: What?
    ALEX: Anjelica, are you sure you're okay?
     
    Anjelica looks away, as she steps over to the bar, and pours herself a drink. 
     
    ANJELICA: I'm fine. Never been better!
     
    Anjelica downs the drink in one shot, and Alex looks at her, not believing a word she says.
     
    ALEX: Somehow I doubt that.
     
    Anjelica glares at him, as she pours herself another drink.
     
    ANJELICA: Well, other than my nerves being shot after nearly being killed by a stage light...I'm feeling fresh as a daisy.
     
    Anjelica quickly turns to look at Alex, her mockingly chipper tone of voice suddenly dropping to a threateningly low pitch as she holds a second glass up.
     
    ANJELICA: Drink?
     
    Alex isn't amused by Anjelica's snark, and glares at his mother, disapprovingly.
     
    ALEX: I'll pass. Come on, Mother. Tell me what's bothering you. You've been miserable since we left the studio.
    ANJELICA: I'm just trying to figure out whether Nick Fallon was onto something or not.
    ALEX: What do you mean by that?
    ANJELICA: I mean between you and Will Horton.
     
    Alex drops his shoulders, looking away in frustration.
     
    ---
     

    Roman drives out along a quiet country road in the dark of the night. Over the radio, he hears an announcement.
     
    RADIO HOST: (via radio) An update from WXIR-TV. The Walker Report, the live television special hosted by local investigative journalist Nicole Walker, was abruptly cut short midshow tonight after an overhead stage light fell on the soundstage, nearly striking newly-appointed Titan CEO Nick Fallon, as well as Candidate for State Governor, Anjelica Deveraux. Both are said to be fine, but shaken up, and Salem Police are investigating the potential for foul play. More news as it becomes available.
     
    As an advertisement kicks in, Roman is surprised by the news, but is quickly distracted by the reflection of a tail light on an SUV up ahead, obscured by nearby bushes.
     
    ROMAN: What da...
     
    Intrigued, Roman pulls over to investigate.
     
    Stopping his car at the side of the quiet country road, Roman gets out, and fumbles with his phone to turn on his cell phone flashlight.
     
    Slowly walking over to the abandoned vehicle hidden in the brush, Roman inspects the vehicle, a concerned look on his face.
     
    He looks around the otherwise-abandoned roadway, checking to see if anyone's around. When he sees nobody, he flashes the phone light into the front seat.
     
    Nothing.
     
    Slowly walking back to the back seats...
     
    Only a snorkel, and a roll of duct tape.
     
    Roman tilts his head slightly, confused by what he sees.
     
    Even slower, Roman steps back toward the rear of the SUV, inhaling deeply as he spots more scuba gear, but freezes when he sees in the very corner...
     
    A woman's dead body, ghost white from laying there overnight. We see that it is Crystal Clarke's body, though Roman doesn't recognize her.
     
    ROMAN: Damn.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     
    In the Kiriakis living room, Alex folds his arms, annoyed by his mother's inference about his relationship with Will.
     
    ALEX: You know, I don't appreciate you insinuating that there's anything going on between Will and myself that's not professional.
     
    Anjelica takes a sip of her drink, then turns to face her son, a sour, dismissive expression on her face.
     
    ANJELICA: Wouldn't be the first time.
    ALEX: Mom--
    ANJELICA: Look, Alex, you know I am supportive of you no matter what, but I cannot stress to you enough that I am running on a family values platform in this campaign, and that requires my family to maintain that appearance as well. That. Includes. You.
     
    Alex steps in closer to his mother, speaking firmly, while also appearing visibly uncomfortable.
     
    ALEX: Besides the fact that that's not how support works, I'm telling you, Will is my right hand at work. That's it. And he is very good at his work.
    ANJELICA: And that's where you leave it. At work.
     
    Alex, clearly agitated, begins to raise his voice to Anjelica.
     
    ALEX: Mother, I can't believe that Nick teasing Will has got you so worked up.
     
    Anjelica begins to, in turn, raise her voice to Alex, trying to make her point as clear as possible.
     
    ANJELICA: That's not what's working me up, Alex. It's the fact he sees something going on between you. And whether it's there or not, other people are seeing it, and they will start to talk.
     
    Alex leans in close to Anjelica and softly, but firmly, punctuates his point.
     
    ALEX: Let them.
     
    Alex turns to walk away, but Anjelica follows him, trying to look him in the eyes as she shouts out to him.
     
    ANJELICA: I will do no such thing! I am running for the highest office in the state. I have our family's legacy on my back here. And I will not let it be ruined once again because the men in this family can't get a handle on their moral compass!
     
    Alex laughs sarcastically at Anjelica's comment, raising his voice to match hers.
     
    ALEX: Ohhhh, I think murdering sex workers is a little different--
    ANJELICA: Not to these people, it isn't! You need to keep up appearances, Alexander Kiriakis. We need to present an image of good ol' American apple-pie eatin' wholesomeness for my sake, AND for yours. 
     
    Alex cools his tone, and scratches the back of his neck, before speaking again.
     
    ALEX:  And after the campaign ends? Then what?
    ANJELICA: I don't care after the campaign ends, you can ruin your life all you want!
    ALEX: Bull! Face it, Mother. You're always going to have your nose in every relationship I have. I don't even know why I bother having relationships at all, quite frankly! 
    ANJELICA: Oh, now it's a relationship. I'm sure your WIFE would love to hear that!
     
    Alex sighs, rolling his eyes at his mother. She ignores him, and continues.
     
    ANJELICA: Let me tell you something, dear son of mine: I involve myself because I care about you, and your happiness.
    ALEX: And if you care so much about my happiness, I'd kindly ask you to butt out.
     
    Alex throws his hands up, walking around Anjelica as he heads for the stairs, exhausted from arguing.
     
    ALEX: Look, I need to get to bed. I'm tired.
    ANJELICA: Alexander, don't walk away from me--
    ALEX: There is nothing to say. Anjelica, I am happily married, that's the end of it. Okay? Goodnight.
    ANJELICA: Alex...
     
    Alex walks away, as Anjelica watches him, frustrated.
     
    ---
     

    Marlena emerges from her darkened Penthouse bedroom, wearing her nightgown. She wears a worried expression as she calls out to the empty room.
     
    MARLENA: Roman?? Roman, are you there?
     
    Marlena walks over to the lamp on the side table in the living room, immediately looking around now that the lights are on. She's stunned by Roman's absence.
     
    MARLENA: Roman?
     
    Taking a moment to think, she walks over to the front closet door, opening it to see Roman's shoes not there. She realizes immediately that something's wrong, and rushes over to her sideboard, where her cell phone's been left to charge overnight.
     
    Picking it up, she calls Roman.
     
    It rings...
     
    And rings...
     
    and rings....
     
    After the fourth ring, the call goes to voice mail. Marlena waits through Roman's voice mail message to leave one for him.
     
    ROMAN: (via voice mail) It's Roman, leave a message.
     
    The beep afterward prompts Marlena to leave a somewhat uncertain message. Not wanting to alarm Roman, Marlena holds it together and restrains herself into a calm masquerade.
     
    MARLENA: (into phone) Ah Roman, it's Doc. I'm....I'm just a bit worried, it's....it's midnight and I was expecting you back at the penthouse by now. If you....if you are able to give me a call. If you're...if you're lost at all...just....just call me back, okay? Let me know where you are...or if you need me to come out to meet you. Alright.
     
    Marlena hangs up the phone, now more worried than ever. 
     
    After a moment's hesitation, Marlena checks her watch. It's past midnight.
     
    She calls Abe, who answers after two rings.
     
    MARLENA: (into phone) Abe? Abe, it's Marlena....I'm...I'm calling because Roman is missing again, and I could really use your help in tracking him down....yes, if you want to meet here at the penthouse. Please, as soon as you can. Thanks.
     
    Marlena hangs up, and after a moment's hesitation, makes one more call.
     
    ...
     

    Kim is just walking into her apartment after dinner with Andrew, when she hears her cell phone ring.
     
    KIM: Oh wow, who could be calling at this hour?
    ANDREW: Could be important.
     
    Kim pulls the phone out and looks at who it is. Her face drops as she looks up at her son.
     
    KIM: Honey, I gotta take this.
    ANDREW: Sure! No problem.
     
    Kim answers the phone with a definite harshness in her greeting.
     
    KIM: (into phone) Yes?
     
    ...
     
    MARLENA: (into phone) Ah, Kim, it's Marlena...I just...I'm sorry to call so late, but...it's Roman. He's missing again. I don't mean to alarm you, but...I could use your help tracking him down.
     
    ...
     
    Kim is shocked, and worried, her tone changes slightly in her response to Marlena's request.
     
    KIM: (into phone)  Oh Gosh, ahh...yeah. Yeah, I'll be right over.
     
    ....
     
    MARLENA: (into phone) Thank you, Kim...I'm sorry about this, I know it's late.
    KIM: (via phone) It's fine.
    MARLENA: (into phone) Listen, Kim, if you don't mind, I just wanted to take a moment to apo--
    KIM: (via phone) Listen, Marlena, I can't really talk right now, just...I'll be right over, okay?
     
    Kim hangs up the phone, with Marlena wincing after the call ends, hurt by the terseness in Kim's voice, and their strained relationship thanks to Roman's decline. She puts down her phone, as she leans against the edge of the sideboard.
     
    MARLENA: Please God, let him be alright.
     
    Marlena turns and walks toward her bedroom to get changed back into her street clothes.
     
    ---
     
    Roman, still stunned by the sight of Nurse Crystal Clarke's body in the backseat of the abandoned SUV he's spotted in the bush, panics as he looks around in the dark, trying to figure out what to do.
     
    He remembers after a moment to check his phone to call for help, but there's no signal. 
     
    ROMAN: Dammit! No signal out here.
     
    He races over to his car. Opening the door, he climbs inside to try to radio into dispatch for help, but his hands tremble, as he realizes he can't remember how to operate the radio. He drops the receiver, and puts his idling vehicle into gear, taking off back down the road in hopes of getting back to Salem to call for help.
     
    ---
     
    Nick returns to his room, now that Gabi's gone. He shuts the door behind him, looking around the room to see what's out of place. Realizing nothing's out of place, meaning if he hadn't caught her, he would've never noticed Gabi was in his room.
     
    He pulls open his desk drawer, and makes sure the manila envelope he'd hidden inside was missing, before slamming it shut in frustration.
     
    NICK: Dammit! Damn you, Gabi.
     
    He holds his head, trying to avoid another migraine, when his cell phone rings.
     
    It's Sheryl.
     
    He rolls his eyes as he answers the phone, pinching his nose to try to stop the throbbing in his head from worsening.
     
    NICK: (into phone) Sheryl, what do you want?
     
    ...
     

    Sheryl paces her living room at her new apartment, phone in her ear, her game face on, as she sarcastically replies to Nick.
     
    SHERYL: (into phone) You know, I just love your phone manner. It's so warm and genuine.
     
    ...
     
    Nick leans against the desk in his room, shutting his eyes and grimacing through the dull pain.
     
    NICK: (into phone) Sheryl, I don't have time for this right now, what do you want?
    SHERYL: (via phone) I want to give you some advice, Nick...
     
    ...
     
    SHERYL: (into phone) You remember what happened tonight at the studio? With the falling stage lights?
     
    ...
     
    NICK: (into phone) Obviously.
     
    ...
     
    SHERYL: (into phone) Well, you should know....that was my doing.
     
    ...
     
    Nick's eyes open as Sheryl lies to Nick about her responsibility for the "accident" at the TV station.
     
    SHERYL: (via phone) And I want you to know that it was not my intention to miss. So you'd better watch your step before you make your next move...
    NICK: (into phone) Or what?
     
    ...
     
    Sheryl gives an evil smile as she purrs her threat through the phone to Nick.
     
    SHERYL: (into phone) Or it'll be your very...last...move. Understood?
     
    ...
     
    Nick slowly begins to crack up, laughing through the phone at a surprised Sheryl.
     
    NICK: (into phone) You have got to be kidding me. 
    SHERYL: (via phone) I am deadly serious, Nick.
     
    Nick laughs over the phone yet again, shaking his head as he begins to walk toward his bedroom window.
     
    NICK: (into phone) Sheryl, you don't get it, do you? I know full well it wasn't you who dropped that light on me. There's no way, because up until two hours ago, you thought someone else botched the virus operation.
     
    ...
     
    At Sheryl's end, Sheryl's smile drops from her face, as she realizes Nick's got her dead to rights.
     
    NICK: (via phone) So, because I'm such a nice, forgiving guy, I'm gonna make you a little deal. Alright?
     
    Sheryl sighs before answering Nick, putting a hand on her hip in frustration.
     
    SHERYL: (into phone) And just what kinda deal would that be?
     
    ...
     
    Nick looks out his bedroom window, his steely eyes looking straight ahead into the night as he delivers his own threat to Sheryl.
     
    NICK: (into phone) You get Jordan and leave town forever tonight, or those photos of you and Jordan that I was going to show on Nicole's TV special? I'm gonna take them straight to the police station. Got that?
     
    ...
     
    Sheryl tenses up, sighing once again, but this time with a certain pent-up rage.
     
    SHERYL: (into phone) Loud and clear.
     
    ...
     
    NICK: (into phone) You got 12 hours, Sheryl. Don't test me.
     
    Nick presses "End Call", his eyes never moving from looking outside.
     
    ...
     
    The double beep of Nick ending the call signals to Sheryl to drop her show of strength, her body unclenching from the tense back-and-forth.
     
    She grunts in frustration, before slamming her phone into the side table next to her. She looks around frantically, trying to figure out exactly what to do next.
     
    ---
     
    In her own bedroom at the Kiriakis house, Gabi texts EJ on her cell phone, as she stands with the manila envelope she's just collected from Nick's desk drawer in her other hand.
     
    She texts EJ:
     
    got the pics
     
    The photo of EJ in a compromising position with Abigail is out of the envelope, as Gabi stares at it carefully while hitting "send".
     
    Gabi looks up from the photos after a moment, stunned by the photo she holds in her hands.
     
    ---
  12. beebs
    EPISODE 180
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Jordan opens the door to Rafe's loft, finding Roman standing on the other side. She is immediately tense, particularly after Nicole's TV special, and begins to trip over her words as she goes to greet Roman.
     
    JORDAN: Ah...uh...R--
     
    Roman looks confused by Jordan being at the door. He tries to look past her to ensure he has the right address.
    ROMAN: Ah...Hi...uh...is Rafe there?
    JORDAN: Ah, no. No, he...he just stepped out for a second. Umm...is there...anything I can...maybe help you with? Or...maybe pass on a message?
     
    Roman looks down, racking his brain trying to figure out what he even came for. After a moment, he looks up at Jordan, and shakes his head.
     
    ROMAN: You know what? Don't worry about it. I'll get ahold of him later.
     
    Jordan smiles, pleasantly, but with a distinct tension behind her eyes.
     
    JORDAN: Okay. Sure.
     
    Jordan closes the door, as Roman leaves. Inside, she leans against the door, relieved.
     
    JORDAN: Just...breathe, Jordan. He's not after you, or you'd be under arrest already. Just breathe.
     
    ...
     
    On the other side of the door, Roman  walks to the elevator, and presses the "down" button on the elevator.
     
    As he waits for it to reach his floor, he pounds on the frame of the elevator, trying in vain to recall why he came to Rafe's.
     
    ROMAN: What da Hell am I doing here? (sigh) Dammit.
     
    Roman is startled by the ding of the bell, announcing the elevator's arrival. He steps on and presses the Ground floor button.
     

    As the doors close, Rafe emerges from the stairwell, momentarily catching a glimpse of Roman, but is unable to call out to him in time. He frowns, wondering about the reason for Roman's visit, before stepping into his unit.
     
    ---
     
     
    The door of Will's car shuts, as Percy leaves the vehicle, having been dropped off from the TV studio. Will is now about to drive toward the Kiriakis mansion, with Alex in his front passenger's seat, Nick and Anjelica sitting in back. He turns the steering wheel, leaving the curbside by Percy's place.
     
    Everyone is stoic in the car, with most somewhat still shell shocked from Nick and Anjelica's near-miss on the studio floor with the falling lighting rig. 
     
    WILL: Okay, so I'm taking you all to the Kiriakis house, yeah?
    NICK: Yep.
    WILL: Right.
     
    The car ride becomes silent once again, as Nick looks over at Will, who is focused on the road ahead. Alex looks over to Anjelica, who is looking out the window, as if in a haze.
     
    ALEX: Anjelica...you alright?
     
    Anjelica turns and smiles at her son warmly, but distinctly half-heartedly.
     
    ANJELICA: Yeah. Yeah, I'm just...I'm just exhausted.
    ALEX: Can't say I blame you. That was...quite the scare.
     
    Anjelica nods silently, before shuffling slightly in her seat.
     
    ANJELICA: Yeah...and I can't say these fabric seats are helping matters much.
     
    Will pipes up from the front, exhausted himself, and exasperated by Anjelica's unending snobbery.
     
    WILL: Yeah, well, welcome to normal people's cars, Anjelica. I'm sorry I couldn't get Harold to lend me the Bentley for the night, but you'll have to make do with plain old unheated cloth.
     
    Anjelica rolls her eyes, shuffling slightly again as she glares at Will.
     
    ANJELICA: Wish I hadn't told my driver to have the night off.
    ALEX: You'll be fine, Anjelica.
     
    Anjelica turns back to looking out the window, now more glaring out the window, really.
     
    The hush falls over the car once again.
     
    After a tense moment, Nick turns to ask Will a question.
     
    NICK: So, you figure the special got a good rating?
     
    Will stares straight ahead, purposefully disengaged from Nick.
     
    WILL: I'm sure we'll hear about it tomorrow.
    NICK: Overnights should be good. You think I came off well on TV?
     
    Will snaps at Nick suddenly, catching him off-guard.
     
    WILL: I don't really give a damn about how you come off on TV, Nick.
    NICK: I'm sorry, Will, I--
    WILL: But I will tell you, you come off really badly sneaking Gabi out of our apartment without letting Sonny or I have a say about, or letting Gabi discuss it with us first like we asked.
     
    Nick looks surprised by Will's sudden display of backbone, Will looks back, heated.
     
    ---
     

    Kate slams her rocks glass down on the bar table in the DiMera living room, having just toasted to Nick's inevitable undoing. EJ and Sami look on, less than convinced.
     
    SAMI: Well, you're awfully sure of yourself tonight, Kate.
     
    Kate shrugs, before turning to face the bar, debating whether or not to grab another.
     
    KATE: I have good reason to be. Nick Fallon's overplayed his hand.
     
    Kate decides to go for it, and pours another half-glass of bourbon into the rocks glass, before picking it up gently spinning it around in her hand.
     
    KATE: And it's our time to seize upon that.
    EJ: Alright, I've got a question.
     
    Kate finishes taking a sip of her second drink and motions to EJ to go ahead.
     
    KATE: Shoot.
    EJ: What makes you so sure about this particular timeline for Nick's downfall?
     
    Kate saunters over toward the armchair as she explains herself to EJ and Sami. EJ and Sami turn, their eyes following Kate as she takes over their living room.
     
    KATE: Simple. Nick was so eager to seize control of Titan, that he got sloppy. He established, and used a working relationship with Jordan and Sheryl, or whatever their real names are, to get access to their servers, and then use them as the fall guys to help bribe the board into giving him control. Of course, those two have been working day and night to destroy Titan for the whole EnerNext fracking nonsense, so Nick pretended to be on their side to get access to their plans, and, I'm guessing, thwart them. Not to mention his blackmail tactics, which...frankly, if we stop him in time, we'll keep him from running his mouth everywhere about everyone and everything. 
    EJ: That's all well and good, but...how can you prove he was working with them?
    KATE: Well, that's the best part. This stays between us, of course, but Billie's been investigating them this entire time. That's why she was brought back to Salem in the first place. So the goal now is to lure Jordan and Sheryl to the Penthouse Grille gala tomorrow night, and let the fireworks begin.
     
    Kate smiles, as she takes a sip of her drink. EJ and Sami look at each other, less than certain of Kate's plan.
     
    ---
     
     
     
    ---
     
    Sami folds her arms, as she stands facing Kate in the DiMera living room.
     
    SAMI: Well, this needs to work, or we're all going to jail. Though, frankly, I don't see why we don't just kill that little twerp anyway, if we're heading to jail anyway.
     
    Kate raises her rocks glass again from her seat in the armchair.
     
    KATE: Amen to that!
     
    EJ widens his eyes at Kate, implying she keep her mouth shut.
     
    EJ: Samantha, remember our New Year's resolution, we were going to try to keep the murder to a minimum this year.
    KATE: How sweet! Impractical, but sweet.
     
    Sami glares at Kate, annoyed by how comfortable Kate is in her home. Sami grabs her paperwork, and tablet, and heads out of the room for bed, kissing EJ on her way.
     
    SAMI: Look. I gotta get to bed. But keep me posted, okay? And if anything goes even slightly left, you call me right away. 
    KATE: Got it.
     
    Sami turns to EJ to wish him good night.
     
    SAMI: EJ?
    EJ: I'll show Kate out, Samantha. Don't worry.
     
    Sami smiles, then walks out of the living room, walking up the stairs and out of sight. EJ checks carefully to make she she has gone up, before motioning to Kate to get up from her seat and come over closer to talk to him.
     
    KATE: What?
     
    EJ pulls the key he found in the safe out from his pocket.
     
    EJ: Does this look familiar to you at all?
    KATE: Ahh...maybe, I...
     
    EJ leans in closer, and speaks softly, but emphatically to Kate.
     
    EJ: You need to think really hard about this. Did father talk to you about a...safe deposit box, or anything of the sort that isn't part of the normal DiMera accounts.
     
    Kate mulls it over a moment, before answering EJ.
    KATE: There was something. He mentioned having a box at a small savings and loan in Chicago, but he never said anything more than that. Why?
    EJ: Because I have been through that safe about a hundred times and those pictures of the drowning attempt, among other...unpleasant reminders, are not in there, but I know for a FACT father has copies of them.
    KATE:Why would Stefano have those?
    EJ: To keep me in line. Why else? To remind me that my loyalty is to him, and not to Samantha.
     
    Kate nods, understanding Stefano's motivation clearly.
     
    KATE: Sounds like Stefano.
    EJ: Right, but then that begs another question.
     
    Kate puts her drink down, realizing EJ's question before it even comes out of his mouth.
     
    KATE: Is Stefano tied up with Nick.
    EJ: Exactly. And how deep.
     
    Kate sighs, as EJ clears his throat a moment.
     
    EJ: I need to get those pictures, Kate.
    KATE: What other pictures are in there. I mean, you can't just be this jumpy about Nick and the drowning--
    EJ: Nothing for you to worry about.
     
    EJ cuts Kate off, preferring not to elaborate. Kate takes the hint and backs down. She grabs her clutch, and prepares to leave, but hesitates.
     
    KATE: Can you keep me in the loop about whether you track the pictures down or not?
     
    EJ looks up, nodding to Kate.
     
    EJ: I will. 
     
    Kate turns to leave, but EJ calls out to stop her.
     
    EJ: Ah, Kate.
     
    Kate turns around, as EJ shares his last thought with her.
     
    EJ: Don't tell Samantha about the pictures. She's already...a wreck as it is, I don't think she needs this on top of everything else.
     
    Kate nods, smiling half-heartedly at EJ.
     
    KATE: No problem.
     
    Kate turns to leave, leaving EJ alone in the living room, looking pensively at the key.
     
    ---
     
    Rafe steps into the loft, finding Jordan finishing up cooking dinner for them. Jordan turns to look at Rafe, who points his thumb down the hall.
     
    RAFE: Am I seeing things or did Roman just leave?
     
    Jordan looks at Rafe, pretending to be confused.
     
    JORDAN: Wh...no. Roman wasn't here. It's just been me, finishing up the sauce.
     
    Rafe looks genuinely baffled, as he shuts the door to the loft.
     
    RAFE: Hm. I guess I need to get my eyes checked...you sure he wasn't just here?
     
    Jordan laughs, hoping her deflection works, and raises the mixing spoon from the saucepan for Rafe to taste.
     
    JORDAN: I'm positive. Here, try.
     
    Rafe leans in and tastes the piping hot sauce. He's immediately enticed by Jordan's home cooking.
     
    RAFE: Mmm, okay, that does it, you're movin' in.
     
    Rafe leans in to grab Jordan, but in the excitement, Jordan swings the spoon at Rafe and sprays sauce all over his shirt. Rafe backs up, stunned, while Jordan looks Rafe over, trying to hold in a giggle.
     
    RAFE: This is like...my favourite shirt!
     
    Jordan smiles sensuously, before running the spoon down his shirt, slowly reaching the top of his jeans.
     
    JORDAN: i guess you'll have to throw it in the wash....right away.
     
    Jordan steps in closer, wrapping her arm around the back of Rafe's neck, and pulls him into a kiss. Rafe grabs Jordan, but stops himself a moment, remembering the sauce.
     
    RAFE: Wait, what about dinner?
     
    Jordan turns around and turns the flame off the stovetop, before turning back to face Rafe.
     
    JORDAN: It can wait. Time for appetizers.
     
    Rafe smiles, as he picks Jordan up in his arms, her arms and legs wrapped tightly around him, as he whisks her way to the bedroom.
     
    After Rafe closes the door to the bedroom, Jordan cell phone begins to buzz on the kitchen counter, with Sheryl once again trying to reach her.
     
    ---
     
    Roman shuts the door to his car, and sits inside in the parking lot outside Rafe's building with his car off.
     
    In the dark of the night, he racks his brain, stumped as to why he's there.
     
    In frustration, Roman smashes his hand against the rim of the steering wheel.
     
    ROMAN: DAMMIT!
     
    He sighs, mulling over what to do now.
     
    ROMAN: Okay, Roman. Just...have a drive around, think over what you were doing. Just...cool your head.
     
    Fumbling with the keys, Roman struggles momentarily in the dark, before finally getting the key in the ignition. Once the car is started, Roman backs out of the parking spot, and heads off into the night.
     
    ---
     

    At WXIR, Abby and Nicole finalize things after the end of production of Nicole's TV special. Nicole bends down with another crew member to inspect where the lines broke on the rig.
     
    CREW MEMBER: Nicole, these...these wires...
    NICOLE: What about them?
     
    Nicole notices something is wrong. She turns around, and motions to Abby to come over and take a look at the rig wires.
     
    NICOLE: Abby, come here and check this out.
     
    Abby steps over, as Nicole points to the cut cable.
     
    ABBY: Someone cut that cable.
    NICOLE: Exactly. And that's not the only one.
    ABBY: Somebody meant to drop this lighting rig.
    NICOLE: Exactly. And I have a feeling I know who they meant to hit.
     
    Nicole stands up, a worried look on her face. She turns to face Abby, speaking with urgency.
     
    NICOLE: Call the police right away. Get someone down here, NOW!
     

    Abby nods quickly, before running off to get a signal on her cell phone closer to the doorway, when Eric walks into the studio. He races over to embrace Nicole, who is thrilled to have him here.
     
    NICOLE: Oh my God, Eric!
    ERIC: I saw what happened on TV. Are you okay?
    NICOLE: I'm fine. Just...shaken up a little. You have no idea how happy I am to see your face.
     
    Nicole reaches around and hugs Eric again, tightly.
     
    As they hug, Abby stands off to the side of the room, as she begins to dial the police. Her heart sinks a little, as she watches Eric and Nicole embrace. She longs for her own lost love, as she recalls her mother's words from earlier in the day.
     
    ***
     
    FLASHBACK TO EPISODE 174
     

    Outside the Brady Pub, Jenn looks confused, as she puts a hand on Abby's shoulder.
     
    JENN: Loving Chad wasn't a mistake, Abby. You just...you had a lot on your plate, I wouldn't call that a huge mistake.
     
    ***
     
    Abby sighs, catching her breath as she recalls her feelings for Chad. She wipes away a tear, as she finally dials the police.
     
    ---
     
    In Will's car, there is a silent tension from Will having snapped at Nick. All eyes are on the front seats, as Anjelica and Alex await Nick's response.
     
    After a moment, Nick begins to laugh at Will's anger.
     
    NICK: Dude, you've got this vein that like...pops out on your forehead when you're pissed, it's...hilarious.
    WILL: That's not an answer, Nick--
    NICK: Gabi made her choice on her own. In case you didn't notice, she's a grown adult, and I don't think she needs you to be making her decisions for her.
    WILL: She does when it affects my daughter.
     
    Anjelica listens intently to the conversation, before pulling her phone out, and slyly sending a text to Liam.
     
    change of plan, meet @ pier for 11, need 2 grab somethng
     
    As she puts her phone away, Nick shakes his head, still keeping a cool head to counter Will's temper.
     
    NICK: You act like I'm taking them away to Greece or something. They're right down the road! Hell, Ari will probably spend more time at our place, what with Alex living there and all.
    WILL: What the Hell does that mean, Nick?
     
    Nick smirks, knowing he touched a nerve.
     
    NICK: Just sayin', I noticed you two are getting pretty close lately, and not in a boss/employee sorta way.
     
    Will looks away, frustrated by Nick's insinuation that something untoward is going on between him and Alex.
     
    ALEX: Shut up, Nick.
    NICK: Hey, is that any way to talk to your boss, man? 
     
    Will mutters under his breath, turning his attentions back to the road ahead.
     
    WILL: Hopefully not for long.
    NICK: What was that?
     
    Will pulls into the driveway at the Kiriakis house, and puts the car into park, before turning to Nick with a big, fake smile.
     
    WILL: Nothing. Now get the Hell out of my car.
    NICK: There's that ol' Salem hospitality.
     
    Nick opens the door to leave, but turns back at the last moment to get one more jab in.
     
    NICK: Thanks for the ride, by the way. I know it's hard in this rickety old thing, but, maybe I'll give you a raise and you can get a new one.
     
    Will rolls his eyes as Nick laughs, shutting the door behind him. Anjelica opens the door, and motions to Alex, who stays behind a moment.
     
    ALEX: I'll be right in, Mom.
    ANJELICA: Okay.
     
    Alex puts a hand on Will's shoulder, as Will leans back in the driver's seat, drained and frustrated.
     
    ALEX: Hey. Don't let him get to you. We'll get him. I promise.
     
    Will nods his head, and puts his hand over Alex's. Alex, suddenly uncomfortable, pulls away, and awkwardly responds.
     
    ALEX: I should ah...I should go back in. You okay?
    WILL: I'll be fine.
    ALEX: K. Goodnight.
    WILL: Night.
     
    Alex exits the car, leaving Will alone. Will sighs, as he hits his head against the headrest. He sits for a minute with the car off, contemplating how things are going in his life.
     
    ---
     

    Inside the house, Gabi opens the door to Nick's room, turning on the light to be sure she's alone this time. She checks the hallway behind her before stepping in and leaving the door slightly ajar.
     
    Gabi sighs, as she contemplates where to start looking this time.
     
    GABI: Alright, chances are, it's gonna be...here.
     
    Gabi turns to face Nick's desk, and tries to pull open the bottom drawer where she was stopped before. It's locked. 
     
    SIghing, she takes a second, before pulling a pin from her hair, and using it to pick the lock.
     
    After a second, she manages to pop the drawer open.
     
    GABI: Yesss....
     
    Inside, she immediately spots a large manila envelope. Intrigued, she opens the envelope to find she's hit paydirt. The photos of her, Kate, and Sami attempting to drown Nick are inside. She breathes a sigh of relief as she flips through the photos. 
     
    GABI: Oh my God! I found it.
     
    But behind her, trouble lurks.
     
    Nick approaches the door, and goes to open it, but notices it's ajar. He hesitates, checking carefully to see who's inside. Seeing it's Gabi, his face drops. He hangs back silently, watching her betray him like a hawk.
     
    GABI: We got him. Oh my God, I'm finally free.
     
    She presses the pictures up to her chest, thrilled by her discovery, but then flips to the next picture, her own face drops, as she sees an image that stuns her.
     
    GABI: Wha....what the....?
     
    The image of Abby and EJ mid-liplock is before her eyes. Gabi's jaw drops, as Nick looks on from outside.
     
    ---
  13. beebs
    EPISODE 179
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Sheryl paces her apartment living room, livid after Nick's attempted betrayal. Jerome gets up from the sofa, trying to cool her off to no avail.
     
    SHERYL: I can't believe it. I can't believe we were barking up the wrong tree the entire time.
     
    Sheryl turns to face Jerome, pointing a finger up to Jerome's face as she curses Nick's name.
     
    SHERYL: I'm gonna kill him, Jerome. I swear to God...
    JEROME: You sure whoever dropped that stage light didn't do it for you already? Besides, it's not like he actually exposed you guys or anything...
     
    Sheryl turns to look at the TV, shaking her head.
     
    SHERYL: Nah. Nahhhh, I may not know Nick well, but I do know he doesn't do anything he doesn't intend to see through. One way or another. 
     
    Sheryl sighs, shaking her head, while never taking her eyes off the TV.
     
    SHERYL: So...it's time to finish what we started, and then get the Hell outta Dodge...
     
    Jerome balks at Sheryl's assertion, which catches Sheryl's attention away from the TV.
     
    JEROME: (laughs) You think you're actually gonna get Jordan away from Detective Loverboy? You need to be looking after your own ass.
     
    Sheryl turns her head back to face the TV, almost mesmerized by what she sees.
     
    SHERYL: Ohh, she'll come with me. Once I've finished what I need to do, she won't have a choice.
     
    Sheryl smirks, trying to stifle a laugh, as the glare of the TV reflects in her eyes.
     
    ---
     

    At the WXIR studio, there's chaos after a portion of the lighting rig directly above the soundstage has crashed onto the stage, narrowly avoiding crushing Nick, Nicole, and Anjelica during Nicole's TV special. 
     

    By the doorway of the studio, Abby runs over to the studio phone, calling the producer in the control room.
     
    ABBY: Yeah...end the broadcast?...Yeah, I'll let them know. Thanks.
     
    Abby hangs up and turns to walk briskly into the action on the soundstage. She walks toward Nicole, who's on the stage finishing wrapping the episode before they race to a commercial break, to tell her what the control room said.
     

    Nick sits back in his chair onstage, holding his head to try to soothe the intense pain and ringing in his ears after one of the lighting rigs fell from above the stage, narrowly avoiding crushing Nick. Alex and Will rush to the stage to check on Anjelica, who's okay, but shaken up in the chaos.
     
    ALEX: Anjelica! You okay?
     
    Anjelica puts a hand on Alex's shoulder, nodding emphatically.
     
    ANJELICA: Yeah. Yeah. I'm fine. Just...a little stunned is all.
     

    Percy and Nicole rush over to Nick's side to check on him, as Nick shakes with pain. 
     
    PERCY: Nicholas! Are you alright??
    NICK: P...Pills...
     
    Nick is barely audible in all the chaos, but Nicole gets down on her hands and knees to check on him, a moment of genuine concern for her.
     
    NICOLE: Nick...Nick, did you get hit?
     
    Nick shakes his head, barely able to function without intense pain, as Nicole leans in close to him.
     
    NICOLE: Okay, tell me what you need.
    NICK: My p...my pills...in my bag.
     
    Percy races over to Nicole and Nick with Nick's bag. They rummage through his     bag to find his pills. Nicole grabs them from the front flap, and Percy hands her his water bottle.
     
    NICOLE: Thanks. Okay, Nick. I got your pills, and your water, okay? 
     
    Nicole pops two pills from the pack, but notice they're chalkier than she's used to for the brand. Also noticing the brand isn't written on the pill, she's unsure for a moment, but hands them to Nick regardless.
     
    ---
     

    Gabi approaches the Kiriakis Mansion, talking to EJ on her cell phone as she quickly walks up to the front door, rummaging through her purse for her keys.
     
    GABI: (into phone) EJ, I will...no, he doesn't suspect anything, and besides, he isn't home right now, he's about to be on Nicole's TV special...I will be careful...I'll keep you posted, thanks.
     
    Gabi hangs up, getting increasingly frantic as she can't find her key. After a frustrating moment, she does find it, and opens the door to the house.
     

    Once inside, she sighs in relief at being left alone from Nick's suffocating presence. But as she turns to head upstairs, Adrienne comes around the corner from behind the stairs, and she isn't thrilled to see Gabi.
     
    ADRIENNE: Gabi! Just the person I wanted to speak to.
     
    Gabi rolls her eyes, as Adrienne gives her a stern glare, as she stops Gabi from going upstairs.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     

    At Rafe's loft, Jordan finishes sweeping up the broken glass on the floor of the kitchenette, as Rafe walks over to check on her.
     
    RAFE: Babe, you okay?
     
    Jordan picks up the filled dustpan, opens the garbage can, and dumps the broken glass inside. She looks surly.
     
    JORDAN: (sigh) Yeah, I guess.
     
    Rafe takes the dustpan out of Jordan's hands, and put them on the kitchen island. He then takes Jordan's hands in his and steps in close to her, speaking playfully to try to break Jordan's tense mood.
     
    RAFE: I don't believe you!  Come on! I saw your face when Nick started talking on the TV, you were white as a ghost.
    JORDAN: Yeah,well...I mean, anytime a person gets a lighting rig dropped on them, I get....faint of heart.
    RAFE: Well, thank God you're not an ER nurse then, hm?
     
    Jordan loosens up a bit, trying to stop from laughing at Rafe's attempts to make her smile.
     
    RAFE: Look, seems like everything's okay at the studio, just relax.
    JORDAN: Ugh, yeah. Sorry, just...it looked intense and I just...I guess I'm just a big bleeding heart.
     
    Jordan laughs nervously, while Rafe brushes her hair away from her face.
     
    RAFE: I know. It's what I love about you.
     
    Rafe turns and opens the garbage can, pulling the bag out.
     
    RAFE: Look, I'm gonna...take this out. It's getting pretty full, so...I'll be right back, okay?
    JORDAN: Okay.
     
    Jordan smiles, as Rafe kisses her gently on the lips. He smiles as he pulls away, grabbing the bag of garbage before stepping out of the loft.
     
    Jordan watches Rafe as the door closes behind him, breathing a sigh of relief as she thinks over her situation with Nick and Sheryl.
     
    JORDAN: Alright, Jordan. Nick didn't actually show your picture. You're still safe. (sigh) You're still safe.
     
    Jordan turns the heat off on the stove, going to lift the pot off the stove when she hears a knock on the door.
     
    Jordan puts the pot back down, walking quickly over to the door, as she calls out to the person on the other side.
     
    JORDAN: One second!
     
    Jordan opens the door, expecting Rafe on the other side, but is stunned when it isn't.
     
    JORDAN: Rafe, did you forget your key--
     

    It's Roman. Jordan's stomach drops, as her mouth hangs open, stunned and scared. Roman looks on, confused.
     
    ---
     
    In the Kiriakis foyer, Gabi rolls her eyes at Adrienne, then attempts to walk past Adrienne to get upstairs to her room. Adrienne moves to  stop her dead in her tracks.
     
    ADRIENNE: I would...like to talk.
    GABI: Adrienne, I don't have time right now, okay--
    ADRIENNE: You need to make time. Because I am worried about you right now, okay?
     
    Gabi rolls her eyes, trying very hard not to snap at Adrienne.
     
    GABI: You don't have to worry about me. Okay? I'm fine.
    ADRIENNE: Maybe for now. 
     
    Gabi folds her arms, very uncomfortable with Adrienne's line of questioning, but keeps tight lipped.
     
    ADRIENNE: But I know it's just a matter of time before Nick does something to harm you, or Sonny, or Will. And anything he does to any of you will hurt Ari. 
    GABI: Adrienne, Ari is my number one priority.
    ADRIENNE: Well, then prove it. Leave Nick, and move back in with Will and Sonny.
    GABI: I can't do that.
     
    Adrienne gets impatient with Gabi, beginning to speak more tersely, though remaining quiet so as not to raise alarm to anyone else in the house.
     
    ADRIENNE: Why not? Honey, I can see the fear in your eyes. Believe me, I've been there. Don't leave it until it's too late.
     
    Gabi doesn't respond to Adrienne, instead stands with her arms folded, looking away, as Adrienne stares intensely at her.
     
    ADRIENNE: Gabi...I'm serious. I'll be keeping an eye on you and Nick. I want you to be safe. For Ari's sake.
     
    Adrienne turns and walks toward the living room. Leaving Gabi behind feeling tense. She turns and quickly heads up the stairs.
     
    ---
     

    At the DiMera Mansion, EJ is stood at the safe in the living room, behind Stefano's portrait. Believing he's alone, he's opened the safe, and is rummaging through to find something.
     

    As he rummages, he finds an oddly-shaped key with a number on it. He studies it for a minute, never having seen said key before. He furrows his brow, before putting the key in his pocket. As he does, Sami enters the room, tablet in hand, prompting EJ to quickly shut the safe.
     
    SAMI: EJ!
    EJ: Samantha! You ah...you surprised me.
     
    EJ obscures the safe with Stefano's portrait, as Sami looks at him curiously.
     
    SAMI: You ah...you don't have to hide from me. I know there's a safe in there.
    EJ: No, I know, I just...ahmmm...you know. Needed something. So how are you feeling?
     
    Sami walks over to the desk across the room, setting the tablet down. She turns back to look at EJ, who is walking her way.
     
    SAMI: Better. I mean, I'm still mad at my mom for what she's putting my dad through, but...
     
    Sami shrugs, as EJ stands facing her, smiling warmly at her.
     
    EJ: I understand. 
    SAMI: Thank you, by the way. Thanks for listening. I know I haven't been...the easiest to get along with lately.
     
    Sami steps in closer to EJ, as EJ gives her a hug, Sami finally feeling comfortable again in his arms.
     
    EJ: It's alright. That's what Laura's been helping us with, right?
    SAMI: Yep.
     
    From outside the room, they hear the sound of stilettos clicking as the front door to the house shuts. Then Kate's voice rings through the foyer and into the living room, preceding her arrival.
     
    KATE: It's alright, Harold, it's just me.
     

    As Kate enters the room, Sami and EJ turn Kate's way, Sami folds her arms with a smirk.
     
    SAMI: You do realize you don't live here anymore, right?
    KATE: And for that I'm much better off, I assure you. (sigh) We need to talk. Something's come up. Something big.
     
    Sami and EJ look curiously at Kate.
     
    EJ: Why? What's happened?
     
    Kate's eyes light up as she tells Sami and EJ her news.
     
    KATE: Well...I just got back from the police station.
     
    Kate saunters over to the bar, pouring herself a drink as she continues.
     
    SAMI: Okay?
    KATE: Abe asked us all to meet there, because they're fairly certain that they not only have Sheryl and Jordan dead-to-rights, they also may have Nick.
    SAMI: Well, that's fantastic news! When will we know?
    KATE: Well, they'll likely have everything figured out by tomorrow night. So, I say...we toast.
     
    Kate holds up her glass in front of her, smiling as much as she's able to.
     
    KATE: Because in 24 hours, we will finally be well rid of Nicholas Fallon.
     
    Sami and EJ look on skeptically, as Kate takes a sip of her drink, looking happy as a pig in mud.
     
    ---
     
    Back at the WXIR studio, Abby finishes up another call up to the control room.
     
    ABBY: Okay. Thanks.
     
    Abby hangs up the phone and steps away from the wall the phone's against, revealing Nick standing behind her. Now cooled off thanks to his medication, he approaches Abby, who is taking notes with her tablet, not noticing Nick's presence.
     
    Nick softly calls out to her.
     
    NICK: Hey, Abigail.
     
    Abby looks up from her tablet, before sighing and then turning around.
     
    ABBY: Nick. 
    NICK: I ah...I'm sorry your first show didn't work out...quite how you...or I wanted.
    ABBY: Yeah, well...these things happen. Excuse me.
     
    Abby goes to step away from Nick, but Nick grabs her by the upper arm, stopping her.
     
    NICK: Abby. Wh...what's wrong?
    ABBY: Nothing's wrong, Nick.
     
    Abby forces Nick to let go of her arm, but hesitates to walk away from him.
     
    NICK: (sigh) Abigail, if something's bothering you, you can tell me, you know. I mean, we used to be really clos--
     
    Abigail turns around suddenly, snapping at Nick.
     
    ABBY: Yeah, Nick. Used to be. 
     
    Abby backs down, but continues to speak to Nick, looking down so as to be less confrontational.
     
    ABBY: A lot's changed since then. Especially with you. Look, I'll be fine, thanks for checking on me.
     
    At this moment, Will, Alex, and Anjelica approach, putting an end to Nick and Abby's tense conversation.
     
    WILL: Hey, Abs. Ahh, Alex and I are gonna take Anjelica back to the Kiriakis house, did you need a ride to your mom's?
    ABBY: No. No, I'll be fine. I got...I got a lot to do with Nicole to wrap the production up anyway, so...I'll be awhile. Thanks though.
     
    Abby gives them a faint smile, before walking away to get back to work. Alex and Will look at Abby as she walks away, their faces filled with worry. After a tense moment, Nick smirks at Will, who glares back at him.
     
    NICK: What? You're not gonna offer me a ride, Will?
    ALEX: Nick...
     
    Will stops Alex from continuing, putting his arm out in front of Alex to indicate it. Will replies to Nick with a stern, almost-catty tone.
     
    WILL: You know what, Nick. Sure! We'll give you a ride. You're all headed to the Kiriakis house anyway. Besides, you and I have a few things we need to discuss anyway.
     
    Will gives Nick an intense look, while Nick tries to hold in a laugh, amused by Will's apparent lack of self-control.
     
    ALEX: Come on, let's go.
     
    As they start to walk off, Nick feels his cell phone buzz in his pocket. 
     
    Pulling it out, he sees the call is from Sheryl. He immediately ignores the call, and follows the others out of the studio.
     
    Behind them, on the soundstage, Nicole kneels down by the broken lighting rig. She looks at the cables meant to keep the lighting rig in place. She notices a number of them have clear cuts across them. She sighs, realizing what this means.
     
    Nicole is snapped out of her investigation by Abby, who walks on stage to check on her.
     
    ABBY: What is it?
     
    Nicole looks momentarily at Abby, before looking way up above her. Abby's eyes follow suit.
     
    NICOLE: Someone cut those wires. They meant for this to happen. And I don't think this is the ending they wanted, either.
     
    ---

     
  14. beebs
    EPISODE 178
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     
     

    At Sheryl's apartment, she and Jerome sit on the sofa, watching Nicole's TV special intensely.
     
    JEROME: You know, I like Nicole's style.
     
    Sheryl struggles to shift her attention to Jerome, and half-responds, still focused on the show.
     
    SHERYL: Yeah...she's...she's getting a lot out of Nick, but...I just get this weird feeling. Like...
    JEROME: Like...she knows something?
     
    Sheryl turns to look at Jerome, nodding.
     
    SHERYL: Yeah. I dunno, my antennae are going up, you know?
    JEROME: I mean...Nick's a loose cannon on his good days...maybe he fed Nicole info.
    SHERYL: Doubt it. I...I never got the feeling I could totally trust Nick, but...he never gave me reason to doubt him...
     
    As they talk, Nicole asks Nick a question on the TV special, which perks up both Jerome and Sheryl's ears.
     
    NICOLE: (via TV) Nick, I'm sure everyone at home finds your story of climbing that corporate ladder very inspiring. I was hoping you could share with us, what transpired that led you to the top?
    NICK: (via TV) Well...it's actually sort of a funny story.
     
    Jerome looks back to the TV, as Nick pulls out a manila envelope. Jerome's and Sheryl's attention immediately diverts back to the TV screen.
     
    JEROME: You sure about that?
     
    ---
     

    At WXIR's studio, Tyler opens the door that leads to the lighting rig catwalk above the soundstage. He looks around the area to be sure no one sees him, before stepping out into the room. 
     
    Quickly, he darts out of the darkened studio, making a beeline for the elevator down the hall.  
     
    At the elevator, he jams his thumb repeatedly against the button, hoping for a speedy escape.  Tyler mutters to himself, as he winces in pain from the cut he received when slashing the wires on the lighting rig.
     
    TYLER: Come on, come on...ah...
     
    A drop of blood falls to the floor by the elevator door, before Tyler looks up quickly, interrupted by the ding of the bell. The door opens, and Tyler is thankfully alone in the elevator car.
     
    The door closes and he leaves the building unnoticed, but for a drop of blood left at the opening of the elevator.
     
    ...
     

    Back down the hall, in the actual studio, Nicole presses on, interviewing Nick, who sits kitty corner to her on the soundstage. Anjelica Deveraux sitting next to him, carefully monitoring his every word. Nick holds a large manila envelope in his hands, and slowly opens it as he tells his story to Nicole, and the home audience.
     
    NICK: See, I was made aware of an eco-terrorist group that had infiltrated the company thanks to some rather...poor hiring decisions....
     
    ...
     
    Back in Sheryl's apartment, Sheryl looks mortified, as she and Jerome listen to Nick's tale.
     
    NICK: (via TV) ...As such, I have a very extensive background in IT and indeed in online security, so I had been tracking their movements. 
     
    ...
     
    Nick continues, as he looks up from opening the envelope, and smiles at Nicole.
     
    NICK: Ultimately, I ended up stopping them from implanting a virus that would have devastated the Titan mainframe and completely destroyed the company's records.
    NICOLE: Fascinating. The executive board must have been grateful.
    NICK: You could say that. I...presented a case to them that they could not refuse.
     
    ...
     
    Nick smirks and chuckles quietly on the TV screen, as Sheryl gets angrier.
     
    SHERYL: That son of a....
     
    Jerome shushes her, as the segment continues.
     
    NICOLE: (via TV) And were the hackers apprehended?
    NICK: (via TV) No.
     
    ...
     
    NICK: Not as of yet. That's...actually...partly why I'm here tonight. 
     

    Alex, Abby, and Will, all standing back away from the soundstage, look on in confusion at what they're witnessing.
     
    WILL: What the...?
     
    Will snaps his head to look at an equally-confused Abby.
     
    WILL: Do you know what's in there?
     
    Abby shrugs, shaking her head quickly, as Will becomes increaisngly tense, muttering under his breath as he watches everything unfold in front of the cameras.
     
    WILL: Oh God oh God oh God oh God...
    NICK: With your permission, I would like to share with your audience, the identities of the hackers tonight, in hopes that the Salem PD, and FBI could locate, and catch these guys before they strike again.
     
    Nick looks directly at the camera, smiling as he holds up the envelope.
     
    Behind the cameras, Alex and Will look at each other, intrigued. Abigail looks on, puzzled.
     
    Above the stage, the lighting rig sways, another wire snapping, as the strain from where Tyler cut takes its toll.
     
    ...
     
    In Sheryl's apartment, Sheryl seethes, trying to suppress her rage, and her fear of being exposed by Nick, who she thought was on her side.
     
    SHERYL: Dammit, Nick...
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     

    At the Brady Pub, Andrew and Eric watch Nicole's TV special inside the Brady Pub, as Kim is behind the bar, pulling a pint each for Eric and Andrew. Andrew looks back toward the bar, calling out to his mother, who's busy readying their tray of food and beverages.
     
    ANDREW: Hey Ma, you need some help back there?
    KIM: Nah, I'm good, hun! Thanks!
    ANDREW: No problem!
     
    Andrew looks back at the TV screen, as he and Eric finish the beers they have been drinking. Andrew looks impressed as he watches Nicole's interview.
     
    ANDREW: I gotta say, I'm really impressed with her.
    ERIC: Who, Nicole?
    ANDREW: Yeah, man. Her interview style is a real breath of fresh air. She's firm, puts the pressure on, but she's personable, witty, easy to be drawn in by. She has...a lot of potential.
     
    Eric looks at Andrew, amused.
     
    ERIC: Nicole will love to hear you say that.
     
    Andrew looks Eric's way, and smiles warmly.
     
    ANDREW: You're a lucky guy, Eric.
    ERIC: Believe me, I know.
     
    Kim arrives at this moment, beers, and appetizers on a tray as she sets it all down on the table between Andrew and Eric. Excitedly, she sits down, positively beaming to have her son back in Salem.
     
    KIM: Alright guys, here it is. Hope you're still hungry, I got us a little appetizer platter so we each had a little bit of something. And Eric, I hope you like this one, it's a new IPA I just introduced last week, and I know you really like a craft beer.
    ERIC: Ooo, Aunt Kim, I'm impressed! 
    KIM: (laughs) I aim to please.
     
    Eric shifts his body inward, looking inquisitively at his cousin.
     
    ERIC: So...Andrew, you happy to be back?
    ANDREW: Yeah! I mean...I'm glad to be with my mom again. It's been way too long.
    KIM: It has! I was starting to get a little upset with you, you know.
     
    Eric and Andrew smile, as Kim elbows him playfully in the side.
     
    ANDREW: Sorry, Ma. I promise I won't do it again.
    KIM: (laughs) It's okay, sweetie. 
     
    Kim grabs Andrew's arm and rests her head on his shoulder, as she looks at him with a touch of sadness.
     
    KIM: I just wish your sister was out of her coma. I know she'd be excited to see you.
     
    Andrew sighs, as he looks up at the ceiling, the heaviness of the subject hitting him in that moment.
     
    ANDREW: (sigh) Yeah. I gotta say, I'm glad to be here for my mom, but...I do wish I was here under...slightly better circumstances.
    ERIC: Trust me. I can relate. But...on the bright side for you...it sounds like Theresa's starting to get better.
    KIM: Well, yeah. I mean...there has been some progress with her condition, but...I mean...I'll be honest, Eric? Her recovery has been going way slower than any of us expected. Daniel expected her to be out of her coma by now.
     
    Eric and Andrew look confused by Kim's news.
     
    ERIC: I wonder why she isn't.
     
    ---
     
    At University Hospital, we see the feet of a nurse stepping off the elevator in her scrubs.
     
    The floor is quiet this evening, with only a few nurses milling about the floor.
     
    Making her way toward one of the rooms, we see the guard stationed outside Theresa's hospital room. He checks her ID before nodding and stepping aside to allow the nurse into Theresa's room.
     

    The nurse closes the door to Theresa's room behind her, before slowly walking toward the still-comatose woman's bed. The nurse's face is obscured by the dim lighting of the room, but we see a syringe raised up before her.
     
    Taking Theresa's IV line in her other hand, the woman injects the contents of the syringe into Theresa's IV. She remains by Theresa's bedside momentarily, before turning back out of the room, shutting the door behind her.
     
    ---
     

    At Rafe's loft, Jordan is making dinner in the kitchenette for Rafe, as Rafe sits on the sofa nearby, flipping channels. Jordan stirs a sauce in the pan as she talks to Rafe, who stays staring at the TV screen.
     
    JORDAN: Anything good on tonight?
    RAFE: Pfft. Nah. It's not a good night.
    JORDAN: Oh? Why's that?
    RAFE: It's cop shows on everywhere. You know I hate how much they get it wrong.
     
    Jordan giggles, as she grinds up some fresh pepper into the sauce.
     
    JORDAN: I do.
     
    As Jordan sets the grinder aside, Rafe stumbles upon Nicole's TV special. Interested, he stops flipping channels to watch the program. 
     
    RAFE: Oh! Nicole's got a TV special tonight.
    JORDAN: Oh? What on?
     
    Jordan, grabbing a glass bowl from the counter beside her, looks up as she hears Nick's voice coming from the TV.
     
    NICK: (via TV) With your permission, I would like to share with your audience, the identities of the hackers tonight, in hopes that the Salem PD, and FBI could locate, and catch these guys before they strike again.
     
    Jordan's face turns ghost white, as the bowl drops from her hand, smashing on the floor by her feet.
     
    ---
     
    Inside the studio, Nicole glares at Nick, worried about what he's about to do.
     
    NICK: You are okay with me showing these pictures, aren't you?
     
    After an uncomfortable pause, Nicole responds.
     
    NICOLE: Anything to help bring the perps to justice.
     
    Nick pulls out the picture, and begins to turn it around to show the camera.
     
    NICK: Folks, be on the lookout, for two women, named Sh--
     
    Nick is startled by a popping sound above his head. Everyone in the studio looks up, as the lighting rig gives way, the last wire snapping as the blazing hot lights fall from the rig above.
     
    Anjelica, Percy, and Nicole lurch backward, covering their faces as a stunned Nick barely has time to react before the rig crashes to the ground mere inches in front of him. The sound of the crash shocks everyone, and the heat from the stage light causes a bright flash and sparks to erupt from the wreckage.
     
    Alex, Abby, and Will spring into action, Alex calling out to his mother.
     
    ALEX: Anjelica!
     

    The others in the room look stunned, as Nick drops the pictures and envelope to the ground, the now-all-too-familiar high pitched ringing in Nick's ears that accompanies his blinding headaches returns, causing him immeasurable pain as he tunes the sounds around him out. 
     
    Nick tenses up as he holds his head, praying for the pain to stop.
     
    ---
  15. beebs
    EPISODE 177
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    At Club TBD, Hope and Aiden's date has taken a sudden wrong turn, when Aiden snapped at Hope. Hope is tense after Aiden's sudden outburst. Aiden immediately realizes his reaction to Hope's question was extreme and looks around at the turned heads in his direction. He looks down sheepishly and relaxes, before apologizing.
     
    AIDEN: I'm sorry, Hope. I...I didn't mean to snap, I just...
    HOPE: No, no. I get it. I shouldn't have pushed you. I'm sorry.
     
    Aiden relaxes immediately, though Hope is still a bit on edge, she continues.
     
    HOPE: Talking about Bo isn't any easier for me. I think it's still fresh for me, so it probably stings more. Having no idea where he is, what he's doing. It's...it's on my mind pretty much all the time.
     
    Aiden looks down, and reaches across the table to take Hope's hand in his, squeezing it tightly, and smiling, as they both look up at each other.
     
    AIDEN: Why don't I take your mind off it, just for one night. Give you something to smile about again?
     
    Hope smiles warmly, and nods slowly.
     
    ---
     

    Gabi quietly opens the door to Will & Sonny's apartment, hoping to be quiet in case Sonny's home. The lights of the living room are off. 
     
    Gabi looks around, unsure how to proceed.
     
    GABI: Sonny? Will?
     
    Gabi sighs in relief, as she makes her way toward her old bedroom door, turning her cell phone light on to guide her way.
     

    Just as she reaches her old bedroom to grab the rest of her things, the door to the master bedroom swings opens, and a shirtless Sonny emerges, fresh from a shower. He's startled to see her and shouts out, startling Gabi in return.
     
    SONNY: Gabi!
     
    Gabi jumps back, the light from her phone blinding Sonny temporarily, before Sonny darts over to turn the lights on.
     
    SONNY: Gabi, what the Hell are you doing??
     
    Sonny looks annoyed at Gabi, as Gabi stands by her bedroom door, feeling guilty about being caught.
     
    ---
     

    At WXIR, Nicole's special is on the air. She sits on the soundstage, speaking with the firm, professional voice typical to a newsreader, as she begins her program.
     
    NICOLE: Good evening, Salem! And welcome to tonight's special from WXIR. The Walker Report, starring me, Nicole Walker.
     
    As the focus shifts to another camera, Nicole turns to look directly into that camera, as Nicole continues.
     
    NICOLE: Tonight we delve into the most talked-about, most controversial project to hit the city of Salem in a generation: The EnerNext energy project. What is it? Who are the winners, the losers, and how will you be affected by the proposal? Tonight, I'll be joined by three people, each will be affected differently by the plan. 

    Nicole turns to face Anjelica, who sits, angled to face Nicole, while still looking out toward the cameras. She smiles as the camera captures her.
     
    NICOLE: My first guest tonight is running for state governor, and is no stranger to political world, as part of the storied Deveraux political dynasty. Please welcome Anjelica Deveraux.
     
    Anjelica nods to the camera, smiling politely at the camera, then to Nicole.
     
    ANJELICA: Thank you for having me.
    NICOLE: My pleasure. 
     

    As Anjelica is being introduced, above the soundstage, Tyler studies the lighting rigs illuminating the soundstage. He carefully looks over the small rig right over where Nick sits on the stage below.
     
    After a moment of carefully looking the wires over the hold up the lighting rig, Tyler pulls out a blade from his jacket pocket, and begins to cut one of the wires holding the rig up.
     
    Below, Anjelica's interview with Nicole continues...
     
    NICOLE: You've stated that you're dedicated to seeing this project through, if you're elected. But there's a lot of talk about its environmental impact, how would you respond to that kind of critique?
    ANJELICA: Very simply, I think it's important to note that we are committed to the project, as it stands today, with a new vision and focus on using alternative fuels, while still providing the economic benefits that the previous administration at Titan were hoping to acheive.
    NICOLE: Right, but...no formal deviation from the original plan has so far been announced, to my knowledge. Unless you've made some kind of deal behind closed doors?
     

    Anjelica squirms momentarily, something Alex and Will notice as they stand behind the scenes on the set. Will looks over at Alex and points it out.
     
    WILL: Ohhh here we go.
     
    Alex shushes Will, but is simultaneously trying to hold in a laugh.
     
    ALEX: Shhhh....
     
    Back on the stage, Anjelica finds her footing, and responds to the question deftly.
     
    ANJELICA: Actually, this is the first anyone's hearing of it. I am proposing this in this moment, challening the executive team from Titan and EnerNext to lead the charge and build an energy project that will benefit both the economy, and the ecology. As opposed to utilizing fossil fuels, as originally planned, my administration would greenlight the continuation of the EnerNext Salem project only if Titan, as a company policy, commits to a new model that protects air quality in Salem and the surrounding region.
     
    From behind the camera, Will looks on with furrowed brow, as does Alex.
     
    WILL: So...tell me...is she telling the truth this time?
    ALEX: I honestly can't tell.
     
    Back onstage, Nicole continues to grill Anjelica.
     
    NICOLE: This all sounds well and good, but you have strong familial ties to the Kiriakis family, and to Titan industries. Your son is head of Public Relations for Titan, and his father is legal counsel for the corporation. Is that not some kind of conflict of interest?
     
    As Anjelica answers Nicole's question, Tyler makes headway above her head, cutting the wires that hold up the lighting rig for the soundstage. His hands are slipping, as the heat from the rig is making his incredibly sweaty.
     
    Tyler wipes his brow, before cutting midway through two more cables, before checking to be sure no one is near his escape route. His hand catches on one of the ends he's cut, cutting his finger slightly. 
     
    Tyler grimaces in pain, but stops short of making any noticeable sound, as he clenches his hand, and heads for the door to exit the lighting rig bridge. 
     
    Finding it's unlocked, he quietly walks through and shuts it behind him, as the rig begins to slowly give way, thread by thread.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     
    Gabi sets her suitcase by the doorway of Sonny & Will's apartment, as Sonny emerges from his room, pulling a t-shirt over his head. He calls out to Gabi.
     
    SONNY: Gabi, I don't want you to go through with this.
     
    Gabi turns around, annoyed by Sonny's persistence.
     
    GABI: Sonny, I have to do something. I can't just let Nick threaten us and blackmail us for the rest of our lives. I have to take back some control, not just for me, but for all of you, too. 
    SONNY: Why this? I mean...moving in with Nick is just...feeding you to the wolves.
    GABI: And I am the only one who can get close enough to Nick to stop him from throwing us ALL to the wolves. Don't you get it, Sonny? How else am I gonna get the pictures of Sami, Kate, and I trying to drown him unless I have access to Nick and his stuff? How am I gonna keep him drugged up so that we can convince a judge that he's a danger to society so we can lock him back up?
     
    Sonny gets in closer to Gabi, accentuating his point to her.
     
    SONNY: See, THAT'S exactly what I'm worried about, Gabi. I'm worried he will be a danger. To you, Will, Sami, Kate. And to Ari. 
     
    Gabi looks down at the ground, relenting from her position somewhat, as Sonny continues.
     
    SONNY: What if Nick is high on those pills and he catches you doing something you shouldn't, and you end up dead?
     
    Gabi remains silent, unable to look up at Sonny, who carries on with his empassioned plea.
     
    SONNY: And how far are you gonna take this, Gabi? He already wants to marry you again. You're going to have to sleep with this man, who tried to rape you, if you keep up with this. Are you seriously prepared to deal with that?
     
    Gabi finally looks up at Sonny, defiantly.
     
    GABI: If it means we're rid of that man forever, I'd do anything.
    SONNY: Anything, Gabi? Think hard about that for a minute.
     
    Gabi stares Sonny down, staring unwaveringly at him.
     
    GABI: I have. And yes. Anything.
     
    ---
     
    Hope and Aiden sit at their table at Club TBD, laughing as they finish their meal together. 
     

    T approaches with the bill, and he smiles as he lays it on the table.
     
    T: I hope you both had an excellent evening.
    HOPE: Thanks, T. Everything was lovely.
     
    Aiden looks Hope's way, and winks.
     
    AIDEN: Especially the company.
     
    Hope blushes and rolls her eyes, as T chuckles to himself, before walking away.
     
    As T walks away, Aiden having paid the bill,  Hope and Aiden share a tender moment. The two can't take their eyes off each other. 
     
    HOPE: I really have had an amazing evening. 
    AIDEN: Even though I snapped at you?
     
    Hope laughs, as Aiden reaches into his jacket pocket to pull his wallet out.
     
    HOPE: Even though you snapped at me. I kinda walked into that one.
    AIDEN: Well, well. Hope Brady, admitting she was wrong. There's a first.
     
    Hope rolls her eyes, as Aiden drops some bills on the table to cover the dinner.
     
    HOPE: Don't get used to it.
     
    Aiden leans back, holding his hands up in surrender.
     
    AIDEN: Wouldn't dream of it. But...seriously. I did overreact. I just...yeah, you hit a nerve, and...
     
    Hope interrupts, reaching across the table to reassure Aiden.
     
    HOPE: Aiden, you don't have to expla--
    AIDEN: No, no. You were...it was wrong of me to fly off the handle like that. It's just...it's been hard on me and Chase with Liv gone...especially hard on Chase. He misses her constantly, and I see that even now. Things weren't good between us at the end and...I just...I guess I just feel guilty about not being there for her at the end.
     
    Hope nods, putting her hand over his.
     
    HOPE: Believe me. I understand. It's been....so hard with Bo gone for so long.
    AIDEN: Have you heard from Bo at all lately?
     
    Hope shakes her head. Letting go on Aiden's hand, she looks away at nothing in particular as she responds to Aiden.
     
    HOPE: Nope. Just that the mission's taking longer than expected. He had to...have John Black relay the information to me because he can't communicate directly with me. Or his daughter.
     
    Hope sighs, laughing to keep from crying before continuing on.
     
    HOPE: I just...I think it's time I asked myself some hard questions. 
    AIDEN: Like what?
    HOPE: Whether or not it's time to move on with my life.
     
    Hope turns to look squarely at Aiden, who looks back, unsure how to respond.
     
    ---
     

    The sound from the TV plays in Sheryl's living room as Nicole's special goes to commercial, and Sheryl mutes the volume before turning to Jerome, who sits on the sofa behind her, intrigued by Anjelica's comments.
     
    SHERYL: Well, that's an interesting turn of events.
    JEROME: You could say that. You believe this Deveraux woman?
     
    Sheryl chuckles at Jerome's question.
     
    SHERYL: The day I believe a politician during an election campaign is the same day Hell freezes over.
    JEROME: But I just...I don't see how Nick is gonna support that. That dude's ego is massive, and he doesn't seem like the type to go along with something that isn't his idea.
     
    Sheryl looks a touch confused by Jerome's statement.
     
    SHERYL: You talk like you've got personal experience to back that up.
    JEROME: Never said I wanted to talk about it, though.
     
    Jerome picks up a beer from the coffee table in front of him, and takes a quick sip, punctuating his desire to end the discussion. Sheryl saunters over to the sofa, sitting down next to him.
     
    SHERYL: Fair enough. but as long as he's doing right by the cause, I'm willing to overlook it. From the sounds of it, him taking over Titan could actually be very beneficial to us.
     
    Jerome points to the screen, prompting Sheryl to unmute the TV as the theme music starts up, and the show returns.
     
    ---
     
    Back at WXIR's studio, The Walker Report continues, as Nicole puts on her professional newsreader voice and posture.
     
    NICOLE: Welcome back! With me now is the scientist-turned-CEO of Titan Industries, who has made a splash in the business world with his unexpected promotion to head of the conglomerate. Please welcome Nick Fallon, and a special guest of his, Percy Ruggles.
     
    Nick looks over at Nicole from his seat, sitting next to Percy, with Anjelica moved to the far left during the break so that Nick and Percy sitting closest to Nicole.  Nick smiles in his inimitably smarmy way, while Percy loudly greets the home audience.
     
    PERCY: Greetings!
    NICK: Thanks for having us.
    NICOLE: Pleasure's all mine. Now...for our viewers at home who may not be familiar with your friend here, tell us more about how Mr. Ruggles is tied to this whole affair.
     
    Nick looks over at Percy and smiles broadly.
     
    NICK: Percy here is my assistant, partner in crime...
     
    Nick turns quickly to look at an unimpressed Nicole.
     
    NICK: So to speak, of course. And he's also been the victim of the old guard at Titan and their insatiable appetite for fossil fuels. 
    NICOLE: Well that's an interesting thing to me. Percy's home was in the papers a lot not long ago.
    PERCY: That is correct, Ms. Walker. The EnerNext Corporation was attempting to force me from my land to construct a oil fracking operation on my land the surrounding properties. As an avid bird watcher, and lover of nature, this was unacceptable to me, and as such, and through great serendipity, Mr. Fallon and I forged a partnership.
     
    Nicole blinks, a spitefully blank expression on her face. After a moment's awkward pause, she continues.
     
    NICOLE: Fascinating, Mr. Ruggles. I see this partnership has been incredibly fruitful for the both of you, then.
    PERCY: Oh, it most certainly ha--
     
    Nick and Anjelica both look disapprovingly at Percy, who suddenly feel their glares upon him and retreats within himself.
     
    PERCY: ...Has.
     
    Nicole immediately turns her attentions back to Nick, beginning her probing interview in earnest.
     
    NICOLE: Nick, your ascent to the top at Titan has been shockingly quick. Do you feel truly prepared for the learning curve you'll have to face in your new job?
    NICK: I think so. I think, in order to move up so quickly in the business world requires a certain acumen and quick thinking that'll mean I'm the best candidate for the job.
     
    Will, still stood behind the camera next to Alex, rolls his eyes at Nick's comment.
     
    WILL: Humble...
     

    Alex chuckles at Will's snark, as Abby walks over to them, barely paying attention to them.
     
    ABBY: Hey, guys.
    WILL: Hey Abby, how's being Nicole's assitant?
     
    Abby shrugs, as she turns with clipboard in hand, ensuring all's going well on-stage.
     
    ABBY: Well...she's just started treating me like a human, so...that's progress.
     
    Abby looks down at her clipboard, only half paying attention to her cousin's question, as Will and Alex chuckle at her quip, before turning their attentions back to the show.
     
    Above the stage, the cables holding the small lighting rig begin to strain way above Nick's head.
     
    Nicole asks her next question.
     
    NICOLE: So then if you are the best candidate for the job, what are your plans? Specifically, are you taking Ms. Deveraux up on her offer of support provided the EnerNext project moves towards a more environmentally friendly outcome.
    NICK: Well, having only just heard her proposal, I'd have to go over it more closely, but suffice to say, we would be pleased if this proposal were to go through. As it just so happens, a number of years ago, I sold an alternative fuel proposal to Titan, and it has been sort off...buried ever since. I think...with the support of Ms. Deveraux's prospective government, we would be able to take full advantage of this technology, providing the Salem region with inexpensive, clean energy.
     
    Above Nick's head, the weight of the lights begin to snap more and more threads of the safety cable. But below, no one notices.
     
    NICOLE: You and Ms. Deveraux seem incredibly in-sync on this.
     
    Anjelica, still sitting next to Nick on the stage, chimes in.
     
    ANJELICA: Serendipity, shall we say.
    NICOLE: Indeed.
     
    Nicole responds sarcastically, but maintains her professionalism, she asks her next question, hoping to trip Nick up.
     
    NICOLE: Nick, I'm sure everyone at home finds your story of climbing that corporate ladder very inspiring. I was hoping you could share with us, what transpired that led you to the top?
    NICK: Well...it's actually sort of a funny story.
     
    ...
     
    From Sheryl's apartment, Jerome and Sheryl listen closely to what Nick's saying.
     
    NICK: (via TV) See, I was made aware of an eco-terrorist group that had infiltrated the company thanks to some rather...poor hiring decisions....
     
    Sheryl's face drops as Nick carries on. 
     
    ...
     
    At the studio, Nick relays his story to Nicole.
     
    NICK: ...As such, I have a very extensive background in IT and indeed in online security, so I had been tracking their movements. Ultimately, I ended up stopping them from implanting a virus that would have devastated the Titan mainframe and completely destroyed the company's records.
    NICOLE: Fascinating. The executive board must have been grateful.
    NICK: You could say that. I...presented a case to them that they could not refuse.
     
    ...
     
    Nick smirks and chuckles quietly on the screen, as Sheryl gets angrier.
     
    SHERYL: That son of a....
     
    Jerome shushes her, as the segment continues.
     
    NICOLE: (via TV) And were the hackers apprehended?
    NICK: (via TV) No.
     
    ...
     
    NICK: Not as of yet. That's...actually...partly why I'm here tonight. 
     
    Nick reaches behind him, and pulls out a manila envelope.
     
    NICK: With your permission, I would like to share with your audience, the identities of the hackers right now, in hopes that the Salem PD, and FBI could locate, and catch these guys before they strike again.
     
    Nick looks directly at the camera, smiling as he holds up the envelope.
     
    Behind the cameras, Alex and Will look at each other, intrigued. Abigail looks on, puzzled.
     
    Above the stage, the lighting rig holds in place...for now.
     
    ...
     
    In Sheryl's apartment, Sheryl seethes, trying to suppress her rage, and her fear of being exposed by Nick, who she thought was on her side.
     
    ---
  16. beebs
    EPISODE 176
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Hope walks into Club TBD in a nice gown. Dressed up for dinner, she steps inside, looking for Aiden. Aiden, sitting at the table he'd chosen for them both, notices Hope walk in and stands up, smiling.
     
    AIDEN: Hope!
     
    Hope smiles and walks over to the table. Aiden seems pleasantly surprised to see Hope in such formal attire.
     
    HOPE: Aiden.
    AIDEN: You look...amazing.
    HOPE: Thank you.
     
    Aiden stares a moment before snapping back to reality and jumping over to the opposite side of the table to pull out a seat for Hope, who is clearly waiting for him to do so.
     
    AIDEN: Sorry.
    HOPE: You were distracted, it's alright.
     
    Hope's self-confidence amuses Aiden, who gently pushes Hope's chair in as she sits down, before heading back to his own.
     
    AIDEN: Glad you understand. Guess I'm just surprised, you're not dressed like you normally do.
    HOPE: Well, being a cop's pretty demanding but...I'm not always on duty. And I have to admit, this was a nice excuse to dress a little more...glamourous.
    AIDEN: You know...you brush up real well. So well, in fact, I'm gonna guess you do this pretty often, actually.
     
    Hope chuckles for a moment before responding to Aiden, leaning in and placing her head against her hands as she rests her elbows on the table. She gives a cute smile Aiden's way.
     
    HOPE: Would you believe I used to?
    AIDEN: Let me guess, before the cop days?
    HOPE: Let's just say, I have a complicated backstory.
    AIDEN: I'd love to get to hear about it.
     
    Hope looks at Aiden, a touch surprised by his awkwardness.
     
    HOPE: I could tell you sometime...if you tell me why you're so nervous.
     
    Aiden draws himself up, his posture becoming poker straight, as he realizes Hope has caught him.
     
    AIDEN: Wh....what do you mean?
    HOPE: I mean you obviously aren't at all comfortable right now. You're giddy like a schoolboy, and that is the last thing I would associate with Aiden Jennings.
     
    Aiden looks away, sighing before explaining himself.
     
    AIDEN: This...this is my first date with anyone since Chase's mom.
     

    Hope looks sympathetically at Aiden, as he motions to T to come over.
     
    HOPE: I'm sorry, I had--
    AIDEN: A bottle of prosecco for us, please.
    T: Absolutely.
     
    T walks away, as Hope looks awkwardly, having no idea how to respond to Aiden now, realizing the root of his nervousness.
     
    ---
     

    Kim sits with Andrew in her apartment. As they sit quietly on her sofa, Kim sighs wearily. Andrew looks on with deep concern for his mother.
     
    KIM: You want me to be totally honest?
    ANDREW: Preferably, yeah.
     
    Kim chuckles, gently slapping Andrew's knee.
     
    KIM: I don't think I've ever needed my family around me as much as I do right now. You know, between Ma being so ill, Roman being so ill, Kay and Shane and Bo, they're all off...trapesing around the other side of the world.
     
    Kim stops herself, trying to contain her emotion.
     
    KIM: (sigh) Your sister.
     
    Andrew wraps hia arm around Kim's shoulder, pulling her close to him as she begins to tear up.
     
    ANDREW: You got me, you know?
    KIM: I know...and believe me, I am so grateful to you. You came just at the right time.
     
    Kim wipes her tears from her eyes gently, trying to avoid ruining her mascara, as Andrew and she separate from their embrace.
     
    KIM: I honestly don't know how much more loss I can take, Andrew. I (laughs) I even have Marlena trying to tell me that the man who is slowly losing all his memories...isn't even my brother.
     
    Andrew looks at Kim, incredulous.
     
    ANDREW: What??
    KIM: Yeah. She says it's another one of Stefano's tricks. She's even got Dr. Grant at this hospital on board with her, and trying to get Eric and Sami to get DNA tests to prove it.
    ANDREW: Well, mom, maybe there's a good reason for that--
    KIM: Andrew Donovan, don't you dare tell me you're on her side about this?
     
    Andrew's eyes bug out, as he shrugs, trying to diffuse his mother's evident anger, as Kim gets up, nervously pacing the room.
     
    ANDREW: Well? That could actually help them figure out what is actually causing Uncle Roman's memory loss. What if they aren't his memories? What if Stefano implanted them in someone else and it wasn't...permanent? I think it's worth looking into.
     
    Kim turns around suddenly, speaking empthatically to her son, who's now standing up.
     
    KIM: That's the problem, though, Andrew. There's no time for 'what if', Andrew. Roman needs treatment, and he needs it now.
     
    Kim sighs, as she turns and leans against her vanity in the corner of the room. After a moment of silence, and Kim trying to hold back her tears, Andrew walks over to her, and puts a hand on her shoulder.
     
    ANDREW: Mom, why don't we...why don't we grab a bite to eat, and...get some fresh air.
     
    Kim sighs, before turning, and smiling at her son.
     
    KIM: Yeah. Maybe I should.
    ANDREW: Brady Pub sound good?
     
    Kim wipes away her tears, nodding, before pulling her son for a hug.
     
    KIM: Ohhh Andrew! I'm so happy to have you home.
    ANDREW: Me too, Mom.
     
    Kim holds her son close to her, grateful to have a family member around her again.
     
    ---
     

    At the WXIR TV studio, Nick and Anjelica sit in chairs on the set of Nicole's TV special. They're being mic'd up in preparation for the broadcast, which is fast approaching. 
     

    Above them, and the hustle and bustle of the crew getting ready to start the show, Tyler stands up on a scaffold by the lighting rig, ignored by all others in the studio. 
     
    Tyler looks down intensely, studying the movements of those below as he plots his attack on Nick, who remains confident, and oblivious of his danger. Tyler hears Victor's words in his head as he studies Nick's position and movements on the set.
     
    VOICEOVER FROM EPISODE 167
    VICTOR: (voiceover) Get rid of Nick Fallon. By any means neccessary.
     
    Tyler sighs, knowing the severity of what he's about to do. He looks up at the ropes, holding the lights up. He slowly follows where the cables lead, and pulls out a switchblade from his pocket.
     

    Below, Nicole briefs her guests on the format, Abby taking notes beside her, as the crew do some final touches. 
     
    NICOLE: So I'll start with Anjelica, just going over her campaign as it relates to EnerNext and the shift in the project's goals, very basic stuff. And then in the second segment, I'll be turning my attentions to you, Nick.
    NICK: Sounds good. I do...have some stats, and a couple other quick items I'll be wanting to share, just...to be fully transparent.
     
    Nick pulls a sligthly folded manila envelope from his jacket pocket to show Nicole, who nods in approval.
     
    NICOLE: Appreciated.
    ANJELICA: You? Transparent? That's a rarity.
     
    Nick's eyes dart over to Anjelica, as Anjelica chuckles from her seat, as Nicole takes her seat. Anjelica mutters to Nick just loud enough that he can hear.
     
    ANJELICA: You better make me look good out there, Nick. You have a lot riding on this interview, I hear.
     
    Nick looks at Anjelica, sighing as he looks ahead. Anjelica and Nick's attention is suddenly diverted to the crew, as the countdown begins to the broadcast. Abby scoots back behind the camera to avoid being in the shot. 
     

    Will, standing well back of the action with Alex beside him, breathes in as the countdown begins.
     
    WILL: Here we go.
     
    Nicole, in her seat on the stage, sits straight up, as the camera preps to take its first shot of her as host.
     
    STAGE MANAGER: Okay, we're live to tape in 5...4...3...2...
     
    ---
     
     
    ---

    T walks over to Hope and Aiden's table, a bottle of prosecco in hand, and two glasses. He sets them down on the table, and after popping cork, pours both Hope and Aiden a glass.
     
    Aiden raises his in a toast.
     
    AIDEN: Brilliant.
     
    Hope looks up, smiling in agreement.
     
    HOPE: Thanks, T.
    T: My pleasure.
     
    T walks away, as Hope looks at Aiden sternly.
     
    HOPE: Couldn't spring for the champagne, hm?
    AIDEN: Ever heard anything about gift horses?
     
    Hope raises her glass, chuckling to herself before taking a sip of her champagne.
     
    HOPE: Seriously, though, Aiden. I'm sorry for dredging up old memories for you.
    AIDEN: Don't worry about it.
    HOPE: Well...I just...you know, I'm going through a lot of the same emotions right now. Bo's been gone a long time and...I don't know if he's ever coming back.
     
    Aiden looks frustrated, making limited eye contact with Hope.
     
    HOPE: I figured...he may be the father of my children but...honestly, it's time I moved on with my life. Let that all go. 
    AIDEN: I wish it were that easy.
    HOPE: It can be.
    AIDEN: Maybe for you.
    HOPE: Aiden, sometimes talking about it can--
    AIDEN: I don't want to talk about it, okay? Just drop it!
     
    Aiden snaps at Hope, taking her aback, and causing a small scene, with people at surrounding tables turning their heads. Aiden looks down, immediately embarrassed by his outburst. He grabs his glass and takes another gulp. Hope looks on, embarrassed and annoyed.
     
    ---
     

    Jerome knocks at the door to Sheryl's new apartment. Looking around to ensure no one sees him in the hall, he knocks again after a moment.
     

    Sheryl opens the door slightly, letting Jerome in. Once inside, she quickly shuts it behind him.
     
    JEROME: Nice new digs.
    SHERYL: Yeah, well, thank Crystal Clarke for that.
     
    Jerome looks at Sheryl, worried about what transpired during the day.
     
    JEROME: Do I wanna know?
    SHERYL: The less you do know, the better.
     
    Sheryl flops down on the sofa in front of the TV, which she grabs the remote to turn on.
     
    SHERYL: Just know that Crystal Clarke will no longer be a problem for us.
     
    Jerome looks down at an all-too-comfortable Sheryl, and sighs before sitting down next to her.
     
    JEROME: I was afraid you were gonna say that.
    SHERYL: Well, you know...you didn't have any solutions so I had to come up with my own.
    JEROME: Fair enough. Did you talk to Jordan?
     
    Sheryl rolls her eyes, as she channel surfs.
     
    SHERYL: I might as well have been talking to a brick wall.
    JEROME: She's not leaving.
    SHERYL: Not yet. She's still convinced her Man in Blue is gonna save her from big bad me. She even tried to convince me she'd told him the truth about her past.
     
    Jerome's eyes widen at Sheryl's news.
     
    JEROME: And did she?
    SHERYL: Do you see any cops at our door?
    JEROME: Not yet, but...
    SHERYL: ...But nothing. Jerome, she was bluffing. She told him about her childhood and about her and her brother running away. She knew I caught her.
     
    Jerome relaxes a bit, turning to face the TV, as Sheryl continues to flip stations.
     
    JEROME: Okay. That's a relief. So what now?
    SHERYL: Well...now we take care of Billie Reed before she can nab us for the virus, and then we get Jordan out of town. By any means neccessary.
     
    Jerome looks over at Sheryl with a worried expression, as Sheryl's attention is piqued by what's on her TV screen.
     
    VOICEOVER: (from TV) Coming up next, it's The Walker Report: The EnerNext Project, here on WXIR.
    SHERYL: Well, well. Speaking of which.
     
    Sheryl flashes an intrigued grin Jerome's way. Jerome, meanwhile, feels sick to his stomach, as their plans become more and more complicated.
     
    ---
     
    At the pub, Andrew and Kim are sat with Andrew finishing the last of his fries, while Kim pushes away her bowl of chowder. 
     
    KIM: How was it?
    ANDREW: It's been years since I've had any of the pub food, and I'm telling you, it's just as good as I remember it.
    KIM: Good. I'm glad Ma's talents passed down to me. I confess I was...pretty nervous when Ma asked me to take over the Pub, but...I've been keeping the cooks on their toes.
    ANDREW: Well, it's been working.
    KIM: I'm glad.
     
    Kim cracks a smile, as she reaches across the table and takes Andrew's hand in hers.
     
    ANDREW: It's good to see you smile, Mom.
    KIM: Well, it's good to have something to smile about. I really do hope you'll be here awhile.
     

    Andrew smiles awkwardly, unsure of how to respond, when the door to the pub opens, and Eric walks in. Andrew perks up, as he sees his cousin walk in. Eric stops himself just inside the doorway as he shuts it. Both men smile, as Andrew stands up and walks over to Eric.
     
    ERIC: Andrew!
    ANDREW: Eric! 
     
    Andrew and Eric hug, excited to see each other after so long. 
     
    ERIC: What are you doing in Salem?
    ANDREW: Well...I came to see my mom. Been awhile since I had, and...well, there's some work I'm doing for the election.
    ERIC: Oh yeah...the governor's race.
    ANDREW: Yeah. Anjelica's made a splash with her campaign.
    ERIC: You can say that again.
     
    Andrew realizes they're standing to one side, and motions to the table with Kim.
     
    ANDREW: Ah, Eric, Mom and I were just finishing dinner, but...if you wanted to join us for a bit.
    ERIC: Ah, sure.
     
    As Eric and Andrew sit down, Eric checks his watch.
     
    ANDREW: So what's new with you, Cuz?
    ERIC: Well, I...I just got married. 
    ANDREW: Wow! Congrats, man!
    ERIC: Yeah, it's...it's great. I ah...Nicole and I are pretty happy. Ah, Aunt Kim. I just realized what time it is, and...Nicole's special's about to start. I wanted to catch it, if I could.
     
    Kim leaps to her feet, heading for behind the bar.
     
    KIM: Oh, sure! I wanted to catch it myself. I can put it on the TV in the pub, if you want.
    ERIC: Sure, that'd be great.
    KIM: Alright. Gimme a sec, here. WXIR is Channel 5?
    ERIC: Yeah.
     
    Andrew looks over at Eric, giving a sly look.
     
    ANDREW: Married to a reporter. I'm impressed.
    ERIC: Heh. Yeah, she's...she's a real talented lady.
     
    Andrew and Eric turn their attention to the TV, as the beginnings of the intro music to Nicole's special begin.
     
    ---
     
    A graphic appears on the screen, introducing The Walker Report: The EnerNext Project, as the serious instrumental theme music plays.
     
    The lights go up in the studio, as the camera shoots Nicole sitting in her chair on the stage, smiling confidently.
     
    NICOLE: Good evening, Salem. And welcome to tonight's special report on the controversial energy project, spearheaded by Titan Industries. Tonight, we will investigate the origins of the project, the spin of the corporation, and the twists and turns that have led us to where we are now: A confusing labyrinth of changing motivations, corporate manipulations, and greed. 
     
    Alex and Will stand a distance from the action on the set, observing and listening closely to the goings-on in front of the camera, as Nicole continues.
     
    NICOLE: Tonight, we begin with a woman who is in strong support of the EnerNext project. So much so, that she is willing to bet her entire candidacy for governor on it. She is a controversial figure, but she currently is second in the state polls. I introduce to you, Ms. Anjelica Deveraux.
     
    Nicole turns to greet Anjelica, who sits beside her, ready for the interview. Anjelica flashes a million dollar smile to the camera.
     
    ---
     
  17. beebs
    EPISODE 175
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    We see a man's dress shoes walking down a quiet hallway. The noise of which echoes through the otherwise silent hall, as Tyler approaches the doors to the WXIR studio where Nicole will be shooting her TV special. Tyler stops by the sliding doors, as the stagehands rush in and out of the studio, preparing for the telecast. 
     
    Tyler sighs, his mind heavy with the memory of what Victor told him at the hospital. His mind flashes back to Victor's ominous words.
     
    ***
     
    FLASHBACK TO EPISODE 167
     

    Victor lies in his hospital bed, a simmering rage in his voice as he instructs Tyler, sat next to his hospital bed, what to do.
     
    VICTOR: ...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.
     
    ***

    Tyler shakes his head, worried about how he will go about making Victor's plans happen without getting caught, before stepping inside the studio.
     
    ...
     
    Inside the studio, there's action all over, as Tyler stands back, trying to be inconspicuous. 
     

    As the stagehands truck over a crane camera, Abby walks over to Nicole, handing her some papers and a glass of water. Nicole seems stressed, and disinterested, barely looking at Abby, who barely looks up at Nicole, both seemingly in opposite worlds.
     
    ABBY: Notes. And your water.
    NICOLE: Thank you.
     
    Nicole looks up, as Abby, studies some of her own papers, struggling to get her head around it all.
     
    NICOLE: You okay? You seem--
    ABBY: I'm fine. Just. Fine.
     
    Nicole looks unconvinced, as Abby rolls her eyes. Nicole responds to Abby sarcastically.
     
    NICOLE: Convincing.
     
    Abby looks back down at her notes.
     
    ABBY: Thanks, I try.
    NICOLE: Abigail, listen, we got a lot going on, but if you need to talk to someone, I don't mind stepping into an office after the show.
     
    Abby looks up, putting on a hardened, professional face.
     
    ABBY: Thanks, but...honestly, I am talked to death for one day, and besides, we have...
     
    Abby checks her watch before continuing.
     
    ABBY: ...twelve minutes to air, and only one guest is here.
    NICOLE: Okay, which guest?
    ABBY: Anjelica Deveraux. No one's heard back from Nick yet.
     
    Nicole looks around, frustrated, before calling out to the studio at large.
     
    NICOLE: Has anyone heard anything from Nick Fallon?
     
    Another assistant rushes in from outside the studio as Nicole finishes her question.
     
    ASSISTANT: He's just in the parking lot, he'll be up in a second!
     
    Nicole turns to a still-fretting Abby, a relaxed smile on her face.
     
    NICOLE: See? Nothing to worry about.
     
    Abby looks back, now the one unconvinced.
     
    ---
     

    In the parking lot at WXIR, Nick parks the car that he and Percy have rode in together. Both men look weary from the taxing day, but Nick notices Percy is more troubled than usual.
     
    NICK: Percy.
    PERCY: Yes, Nicholas?
    NICK: You look worried. 
     
    Percy doesn't respond immediately. Nick chuckles and answers before Percy can.
     
    NICK: There's nothing to worry about. We're gonna go in there, we're gonna make the alternative fuels project look like God's gift to the planet, and we're gonna save your land from being expropriated. Trust me, brother. We got this.
     
    Nick goes to open the driver's side door to exit, then Percy finally speaks up.
     
    PERCY: Nicholas, there's...there's something you should know.
     
    Percy's ominous words stop Nick dead in his tracks. He looks back at Percy, who looks at him with concern.
     
    PERCY: Earlier I came to see you, and...I found Miss Hernandez in your room. 
     
    Nick smiles at Percy, trying to play off Percy's observation.
     
    NICK: Well, Percy, she's living with me, I plan to marry her soon, I mean...I'm sure she'll be in my room a lot.
    PERCY: She was looking for something, Nicholas. And she was deeply troubled by being caught.
     
    Nick stares at Percy, the smiles disappearing from his face.
     
    ---
     

    At the DiMera offices, EJ works away his desk, when Sami storms inside, barely looking at EJ as she begins to rant and rave while placing her bag down and busily arranging her things on a table by his desk.
     
    As Sami rants, EJ looks up at her, and slowly gets up from behind his desk, making his way over to her.
     
    SAMI: I can't believe you can sit there looking so calm with everything going on right now. I mean, Nicole's TV special is on tonight, and now that Nick's taken over Titan, Will's worried Nick's gonna blow his career out of the water, I don't have a clue what that loose cannon might dig up on us, and frankly I wish Gabi would use that stupid gun you gave her to put him out of his misery because I swear to God...
     
    Sami turns abruptly, walking into EJ. Sami looks up after bumping into him. EJ smiles warmly at Sami.
     
    EJ: Samantha...
    SAMI: EJ, not now, I have no much going on, and I really don't have time to--
    EJ: Samantha. Talk to me. 
     
    Sami looks up at EJ and rests her head on his shoulder, as she begins to tear up. EJ is taken aback, hesitant to put his hands on her.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     

    Kim opens the door to her apartment, and gasps with delight.
     
    KIM: Oh my God! It's YOU!
     
    Reaching out to embrace him, Kim finds her son, Andrew, standing in the doorway. He laughs, as he reaches over to hug his mom, spinning her around as he steps inside her apartment.
     
    ANDREW: Mom! I missed you!
     
    Andrew sets Kim down just inside the doorway, and Kim beams with happiness. 
     
    KIM: Oh honey, I missed you too. Oh, this is such a wonderful surprise.
    ANDREW: I thought you needed something like this.
     
    Kim smiles, but with a touch of sadness in her eye.
     
    KIM: I did.
     
    Kim looks behind Andrew for his bags.
     
    KIM: Let's get your stuff inside and get you unpacked.
     
    Andrew doesn't move, turning to watch his mom step out into the hallway of the apartment block. He calls out to stop her.
     
    ANDREW: Ah, Mom! My bags aren't here.
     
    Kim stops in her tracks, before turning around, confused.
     
    KIM: Wh...well,  don't tell me you booked a hotel room. You could stay here with me. Or at least take a room above the pub. One of the guest rooms just opened up!
    ANDREW: No. No, you don't have to worry about that. I actually am here with work. 
    KIM: Work? Work sent you all the way to Salem? We're moving up in the world, aren't we?
     
    Andrew chuckles as he answers his mom.
     
    ANDREW: You could say that. They've got me doing a special report on the governor's race, and since I have production experience, they figure they can save money by having me self-package it.
    KIM: Right. I'm glad that's going well for you.
    ANDREW: It's keeping me busy, at least. What about you? How are you holding up?
     
    Kim shrugs, responding unconvincingly.
     
    KIM: I'm keeping busy, at least.
    ANDREW: Hey, you don't get to turn that one around on me, Mom. 
     
    Kim and Andrew laugh for a second at Kim's deflection, but Andrew's expression immediately gets more serious.
     
    ANDREW: I'm serious. I know Theresa's accident was hard on you, Mom. And...I know it's been rough with Uncle Roman so sick, and being without Kayla or Dad around to help you, plus taking care of Grandma...how are you holding up?
     
    Kim looks at Andrew, a sad seriousness in her eyes as they well up.
     
    ---
     
    EJ stands, unsure what to do as Sami begins to cry on his shoulder.
     
    EJ: Samantha...I ah...
     
    Sami wipes her eyes carefully, as she lifts her head from EJ's shoulder.
     
    SAMI: Sorry, I...I've just....I'm hitting my limit right now, there's so much going on.
    EJ: I can tell. Just....what's got you so upset? It's not this Nick rubbish again, is it?
    SAMI: No. No, I just...(sigh) My mom and I got into a fight today.
     
    EJ rests against the front of his desk, as he asks Sami about her fight with Marlena.
     
    EJ: What about?
    SAMI: My dad's condition. He um...he's not doing well, and I found out from my Aunt Kim that my mom wants to run a DNA test on him because suddenly, after twenty years, she's starting to doubt whether he's really Roman Brady.
     
    EJ looks stunned by the news. He stutters as he tries to make sense of what Sami's told him.
     
    EJ: Eh....I'm...I'm sorry, wh...your father is at death's door, and...
    SAMI: And this is what my mom's priority is. I know. I...honestly, EJ, with everything else going on right now, I don't know whether I can handle this too. I just...
     
    Sami begins to break down in tears, as EJ stands up from his desk, and steps over to Sami, but stops short of pulling her into an embrace.
     
    EJ: You....you don't mind if I...
     
    Sami shakes her head, as he wraps his arms around her tightly, the iciness between them from the past weeks starting to thaw, as Sami finally allows herself to be close to EJ again, feeling comforted by his arms.
     
    ---
     

    At the Salem City Hall, Abe leads Roman, Lucas, Kate, and Billie into an office to discuss the Jordan Ridgeway/Sheryl Connors case.  He stands by the door, ushering them all in with a serious expression.
     
    KATE: Alright, Abe, this better be good.
    ABE: I promise you, it is, Kate.
     
    Once they're all in, Abe shuts the door behind them, before speaking to all three of the others.
     
    LUCAS: Abe, please tell me we're finally reaching the end of this nightmare?
    ABE: Almost.
    LUCAS: Why does that sound like there's another few steps involved in this?
    BILLIE: Because there is. 
     
    Lucas looks at the others, displeased.
     
    ABE: Billie tells me that Sheryl Connors appears to have disappeared since the virus was implanted.
    BILLIE: Exactly. Her and her accomplices have seemed to have settled.
     
    Kate looks at Billie, uncertain.
     
    KATE: Accomplices? Wasn't it just Jordan?
    LUCAS: She obviously means Nick.
    ABE: Not...neccessarily.
    BILLIE: Right. We believe there may be a third person involved. We aren't sure who. Having said this, we know Jordan's settled into her life at University Hospital, and apparently...she's engaged to Rafe Hernandez.
     
    Kate rolls her eyes at the news.
     
    KATE: Don't remind me.
    LUCAS: Is...is Rafe aware of who she is? I mean...she could be dangerous to him.
    ABE: She won't be a threat if Rafe's kept in the dark about who she is. As long as Jordan isn't at risk of being exposed, Rafe remains safe. And besides. He'll have protection.
     
    Abe looks at Roman, who looks on awkwardly back at Abe. Abe appears concerned by Roman's spacey appearance.
     
    ABE: Roman?
    ROMAN: Yes, partner?
    ABE: You...you have anything to add to this? I mean, you will be providing Detective Hernandez with his protection while we finalize the operation, obviously.
    ROMAN: I ah...no, I'm good.
     
    Abe looks concerned, as Roman shuffled uncomfortably.
     
    LUCAS: I just hope this won't go on much longer. Do we know what their plan is? Who they're connected with?
    ROMAN: Well, potentially Nick Fallon but...we aren't certain.
    ABE: Well, they were. But any connection between Nick, and Jordan and Sheryl was severed after Nick stopped the virus from infecting Titan's mainframe.
     
    Billie pipes up, looking around the room seriously as she makes her suggestion.
     
    BILLIE: I think...we need to keep an eye on Nick, regardless, though. Especially if he, and Sheryl and Jordan are at odds with each other. Now that he's become so powerful, Nick could be at high risk, or worse, be a risk to others.
    KATE: You really think they'd risk getting caught to off the little weasel?
    ABE: Wouldn't surprise me. And the Penthouse Grille re-opening party looks to be a perfect opportunity for them to strike.
     
    Kate and Lucas look at each other, as Abe surveys the others for their reaction.
     
    ---
     
    Inside the WXIR studio, Tyler observes the goings-on in the busy room, as the doors to the studio open, and Nick and Percy walk in. Tucked away at the back of the room, Tyler spots Nick and Percy and scuttles away behind the soundstage.
     
    PERCY: Greetings!
     
    Nicole sees Nick and Percy and reacts immediately.
     
    NICOLE: Finally! Where the Hell have you two been?
     
    Nick smiles widely as he walks over to Nicole like a superstar.
     
    NICK: Unavoidably detained, let's say. Shall we get on with it?
    NICOLE: On one condition.
    NICK: Name your price.
    NICOLE: We interview Percy as well.
     
    Percy looks deeply uncomfortable with the idea, but Nick interjects on his behalf without hesitation.
     
    PERCY: I, ah--
    NICK: I think that's a fantastic idea, actually. What do you say, Perc?
    PERCY Nicholas, I...do you really think...
    NICK: I do. Let's do it.
     
    Before Percy can object, Nicole confirms Percy's interview, excitedly.
     
    NICOLE: Great. It's really gonna help drive this home. You're not gonna regret this.
     
    Percy smiles half-heartedly, as Nicole goes over the plan for the episode.
     

    Behind them, Alex and Will arrive in the studio, curious to see the busy setting for the TV special.
     
    WILL: You know, I always wanted to work in television.
    ALEX: Really? I always took you more for a print man, myself.
     
    Will looks over at Alex, amused, as they step over to the back of the studio, observing the action before them.
     
    WILL: You haven't known me long enough to get a feel for what kind of man I am.
    ALEX: I dunno about that. We've been working together pretty much non-stop since you've been hired. Plus what Sonny's told me about you...
    WILL: Sonny talked to you about me?
    ALEX: Yeah, here and there. He'd phone us every so often to catch up. You really made an impression on him. And on me.
     
    Will looks up at Alex, surprised and flattered.
     
    WILL: Well, let's hope that impression is good enough to keep me from being fed the wolves on live TV.
     
    Will looks out at the studio, deeply uncomfortable with the potential for Nick to throw him under the bus. Alex's eyes follow his a moment later, as they survey the busy space before them.
     

    Back at the soundstage, Nicole continues to prep Nick and Percy, as Anjelica emerges from the dressing room. Her team are busily briefing her on her segment as she walks out.
     
    PR MAN: So we need you to ensure that you hit that talking point before the first commercial--
     
    Anjelica stops her PR person, as she spots Nick and Percy, walking over toward them.
     
    ANJELICA: Sounds great. Hold that thought a moment, would you?
     
    Anjelica stops steps from Nick, speaking to him with a saccharine tone.
     
    ANJELICA: Nick? A word?
     
    Nick obliges, as Nicole purses her lips in annoyance at being interrupted.
     
    Nick and Anjelica huddle together, as Anjelica speaks in hushed but pointed tones.
     
    ANJELICA: I don't think I need to remind you of how important this interview is to the both of us, no?
    NICK: Whatever do you mean, Ms. Deveraux?
     
    Anjelica looks at Nick, unimpressed by his sarcasm.
     
    ANJELICA: I mean this may be the only opportunity we get to sell this project before the election, and Stefano is counting on us to deliver results. Need I remind you of your little gaffe at the hospital today with Victor.
     
    Nick sighs, displeased by the reminder.
     
    NICK: You don't need to remind me of that. Let's just hope Victor heard nothing, and keep pressing forward. He can't touch us once the energy project's in operation.
    ANJELICA: Well, you better just hope that everything does go to plan, or your neck will the first one snapped clean off. Understood?
     
    Anjelica flashes a million dollar smile Nick's way, before turning back toward the soundstage to get mic'd up for soundcheck. Nick hangs back, another headache ringing in his ears, as he reaches into his pocket to pull his pill bottle out.
     
    Popping another pill, we see Tyler standing above him on the lighting scaffold, glaring down at Nick from above. Tyler glares, unflinching at Nick, as Nick stands near the set, oblivious.
     
    ---
     
  18. beebs
    EPISODE 174
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     
     

    Jenn and Abby stand outside the Brady Pub, after having seen JJ drive off to college. Abby stands opposite Jennifer, arms folded, looking defensively at her mother.
     
    ABBY: Mom, I'm not trying to push Jerome away. I don't know why you'd even think that.
    JENN: Janie Miller.
     
    Abby turns to face her mother. She narrows her eyes at Jenn, thoroughly confused as to why she brought up that name.
     
    ABBY: I haven't thought about Janie Miller since fourth grade. What are you talking about?
    JENN: She used to always ask you to visit her at her grandmother's house, but you said her grandmother's house smelled like mothballs, and you always made up an excuse. And you used that exact same tone with Jerome just now.
     
    Abby seems unconvinced. Jenn responds, unfazed.
     
    JENN: A mother knows.
     
    Abby, fed up, throws up her arms, as she turns away from Jennifer.
     
    ABBY: Whatever, Mom. 
    JENN: No, not whatever, Abigail. You obviously care about this man.
    ABBY: I do.
    JENN: So why are you pushing him away?
     
    Abby raises her voice at her mother in frustration.
     
    ABBY: What makes you think I'm pushing him away.
    JENN: Because if you really wanted him to be there, you'dve asked me whether or not visitors could be on set with a production like this.
     
    Abby's hostility flushes from her face, realizing her mother's got her number.
     
    JENN: Remember? I used to host a talk show when you were a baby. I know how these things work, Abigail.
     
    Jenn steps in closer to her daughter, as Abby looks down, sheepishly.
     
    JENN: So I want you to be honest with yourself, Abigail. And with me. You're putting up a wall between yourself and Jerome. You need to ask yourself why.
     
    Abby shrugs, trying to pass it off.
     
    ABBY: I dunno, I didn't think I was.
    JENNIFER: Honey. 
     
    Jenn takes Abby's hands in hers, and guides Abby's eyes to look into her own.
     
    JENN: It's Chad isn't it? You're still thinking about him. Aren't you?
     
    Abby looks surprised by her mother's question, hesitating to respond to it.
     
    ---
     

    Inside the Brady Pub, Jerome is on the phone, calling Sheryl. The phone rings and rings, but there's no answer, and finally it goes to her voice mail.
     
    SHERYL: (via phone message) Hey, it's Sheryl. Leave a message after the beep.
     
    After the beep, Jerome, visibly frustrated by Sheryl's sudden silence, leaves an urgent sounding message, as he looks around to make sure no one's listening in.
     
    JEROME: (into phone) It's me. You gone tell me what happened at the hospital or not? Call me the second you get this.
     
    Jerome hangs up, hearing the front door close. His attention is immediately drawn to the person who's just walked in.
     

    It's Jordan. She spots Jerome and freezes in her tracks. Both Jerome and Jordan stare at each other from across the room. Jerome with surprise, Jordan with disdain and a touch of fear.
     
    ---
     

    At the Penthouse Grille, Alex, Will, and Julie are making a toast to the upcoming grand re-opening of the restaurant. Maggie steps into the room, and Will spots her, smiling broadly.
     
    WILL: Aunt Maggie! Hey!
     
    Maggie's expression is half-hearted, and Will spots it immediately.
     
    MAGGIE: Hi everyone.
    WILL: You...you okay?
     
    Maggie sighs, frustrated.
     
    MAGGIE: I don't know, honestly.
    JULIE: Well, it's nothing wrong with the restaurant, I hope! The grand opening's this week!
     
    Maggie shrugs her shoulders as she responds to Julie's concern.
     
    MAGGIE: Let's hope it is. I haven't spoken to Nick, but considering he now owns the Penthouse Grille along with the rest of Titan....I don't know if there'll even be a grand opening.
     
    Julie, Alex, and Will all look back at Maggie with surprise and disappointment.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     

    Kim opens the door to Theresa's apartment, showing "Crystal" inside. "Crystal" is really Sheryl in disguise, sporting the same long red hair that Crystal did before Sheryl did her in. 
     
    KIM: Alright, here it is.
     
    Sheryl walks through the doorway, pleased with what she sees. She looks around the room, curious about the space.
     
    SHERYL: It's great! I'm so excited to move in!
     
    Kim turns around, smiling half-heartedly.
     
    KIM: I'm glad you don't mind that it's furnished already. It's still, technically, a short-term rental, but I had to do something to help cover Theresa's rent while she's in the hospital.
     
    Sheryl smiles, nodding at Kim.
     
    SHERYL: I understand. And don't worry, this is just a springboard for me. I wanna get myself settled and into my job before I make any decisions about buying a home, so...this is perfect for me.
    KIM: I'm glad to hear it, Crystal.
    SHERYL: So ah...where do I sign?
     
    Kim gives "Crystal" a funny look.
     
    KIM: Oh, you don't have to sign anything. Remember? I already sent you the lease in an e-mail before you left for Salem, I had you fax me back a signed copy and all?
     
    Sheryl looks awkwardly at Kim, before quickly trying to cover her gaffe.
     
    SHERYL: Oh! Yeah! Sorry. I...I've been kinda foggy with all the travelling.
     
    This seems to allay Kim's concern, and Kim hands over the key to "Crystal".
     
    KIM: Trust me. I get it. I've been doing a lot of that myself these last few months. Look, here's the key to the door, and the fob for the front entrance.
    SHERYL: Got it.
    KIM: Excellent. I guess I'll leave you to settle in.
     
    Kim starts to walk toward the door, before turning back to ask one last question.
     
    SHERYL: Thank you so much, Kimberly.
    KIM: Anytime, Crystal. And ah...did you need a hand with your luggage at all?
    SHERYL: Oh! No no no, that's fine. I'll handle it.
     
    Kim smiles, as she opens the door to leave.
     
    KIM: Great. See ya around, neighbour!
    SHERYL:  Bye, Kim!
     
    Kim shuts the door behind her, leaving Sheryl behind to finally relax. She slowly paces the room, looking around at her new surroundings.
     
    SHERYL: Welcome home, Crystal.
     
    Sheryl chuckles to herself, as she flops down on her couch.
     
    ---
     
    Abby sighs, folding her arms indignantly while glaring at her mother.
     
    ABBY: No, I am not still pining after Chad, Mom. 
     
    Jenn gives Abby an amused look, prompting Abby to roll her eyes.
     
    JENN: Oh come on, Abigail. I'm your mother. I can tell when you're not being honest.
    ABBY: What makes you think I'm not being honest, Mom? I loved Chad, but what he's done? Exposing Gabi and Will like that? He...he ruined things with Cameron and I may never see him again, and...I know he loves me, but I can't trust him. I need to move on.
    JENN: Then why aren't you?
     
    Abby looks down, uncertain of her answer.
     
    ABBY: Maybe I just want to really get to know someone before I jump into something like that. I mean...maybe I just jump into things too quickly, and I...I fall too fast. I act impulsively and then I make these...huge mistakes.
     
    Jenn looks confused, as she puts a hand on Abby's shoulder.
     
    JENN: Loving Chad wasn't a mistake, Abby. You just...you had a lot on your plate, I wouldn't call that a huge mistake.
    ABBY: It's not...it's not just Chad, Mom. Okay?
    JENN: Then what is it, Abigail?
     
    Abby hesitates, holding herself closely, visibly tense, as she looks past her mother.
     
    ABBY: I...I can't, okay? I'm sorry. I gotta go to work, Mom. I'm sorry.


    Abby storms off, with Jenn trying to call her back, as Liam approaches Jenn from behind.
     
    JENN: Abigail! 
     
    Jenn sighs as Liam places his hand on Jenn's shoulder. Realizing who it is, she leans back against him.
     
    LIAM: What's wrong?
     
    Jenn shakes her head, trying to hold back tears.
     
    JENN: I'm so worried for her. She's not herself, and I don't know how to make it better.
     
    Liam says nothing, responding only by leaning over and kissing Jennifer on the cheek, as they both look out on the path Abigail took to leave.
     
    ---
     
    At the pub, Jerome walks over to Jordan, who tries to leave without being spotted by Jerome, but fails, stopping in her tracks as he calls out to her. 
     
    JEROME: You know, if you're gonna stay in Salem, we will run into each other?
    JORDAN: Don't remind me.
    JEROME: Look, Jordan, I know you don't want anything to do with us, now that you're all happy with your little cop boyfriend--
    JORDAN: Fiancé, Jerome. Not that you'd know anything about a commitment...
     
    Jerome rolls his eyes, and looks back to check on his to-go order, before continuing.
     
    JEROME: Look. If you don't wanna see us around town, you can do like Sheryl's doing and leave. But I know you're not gon' do that, so you need to remember, as long as you're here...Sheryl's here. And she'll be watching you.
     
    Jerome takes his food from the bar, drops his money on the bar in exchange, and leaves the pub. Jordan stands in the pub, frustrated, and afraid of what could happen if Sheryl does stay in town.
     
    ---
     
    Julie walks over to Maggie, placing a hand on her shoulder, clearly concerned by the news Maggie's just shared.
     
    JULIE: Darling, the restaurant will open on time. I won't let Nick delay the opening. I promise.
    MAGGIE: Well, I hope so. There's been a lot of changes since Nick took over Titan.
    JULIE: Well, believe me when I say, I will make sure Nick doesn't ruin this. Nick and I are very close, I'm sure I could figure something out, Maggie. Don't worry.
     
    Maggie sighs, turning to smile at Julie.
     
    MAGGIE: Thank you, Julie. (sigh) I guess I'm a bit nervous with everything going on at the house.
    WILL: What do you mean?
     
    Alex looks over at Will from across the dining table, looking rather displeased as he recounts the events of the day.
     
    ALEX: Well, after Nick took Titan over, my mom moved in, and that went over like a lead balloon with the family.
     
    Julie rolls her eyes in response.
     
    JULIE: I can just imagine.
    ALEX: ...And now Nick's decided he's moving in too, and bringing Gabi Hernandez with him.
     
    Will looks stunned, almost jumping out of his seat.
     
    WILL: I'm sorry, what?
    ALEX: Yeah, she ah...she moved in this afternoon.  You...you didn't know?
    WILL: No...I...what the...?
     
    Will looks over at Maggie, getting up from his seat.
     
    WILL: Maggie, is Nick at home?
    MAGGIE: I don't think so. Isn't tonight the big TV special Nicole's doing for EnerNext?
    ALEX: It is. Starting soon too.
     
    Will throws on his jacket, ready to leave to confront Nick.
     
    WILL: I'm heading down there.
    ALEX: Will, I'm going with you.
    WILL: Fine. Julie. Thank you for a great dinner. I can't wait for the gala.
     
    Will leans in to give Julie a warm hug. Julie reciprocates, but is visibly concerned by the confrontation to come.
     
    JULIE: Anytime, darling. But...don't fly off the handle. There may be a good reason for this.
    WILL: I bet there is. Alex.
     
    Will storms off toward the elevator, Alex following closely behind him. They leave behind a very worried Julie and Maggie.
     
    ---
     
    Kim sits in the dark of her apartment, the only light that of her table lamp, as she sits on the sofa, chatting to Kayla over the phone.
     
    KIM: (into phone) Oh, Kay. I'm so glad to hear your voice. You don't even know how lonely it's been here without you...yeah, I...it's been rough, you know...Theresa's still in the coma, and...Shane off God-knows-where. You and Steve, and Bo off on this mission...no, I know, you can't talk about it, I just...I know, Kayla. But it makes me feel so much better just to hear your voice.
     
    Kim laughs as she hears a knock on her apartment door. Startled, Kim turns sharply to face the door.
     
    KIM: Ah, Kay...I gotta go. There's someone at the door....yeah. I love you, sis. Talk soon.
     
    As Kim hangs up the phone, the knocking continues. Kim turns on the rest of the apartment lights as she opens the door of her apartment.
     
    Kim gasps as she opens the door, discovering who's been waiting for her.
     
    KIM: Oh my God! It's you!
     
    ---
  19. beebs
    EPISODE 173
    Written by A. Washington-Beeby
    Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco
     

    Laura, Jennifer & Abby stand outside the Brady Pub, having seen JJ off. Laura turns to them with a tearful smile.
     
    LAURA: Well, I'm gonna have to get myself together again. (laughs)
    JENNIFER: Just remember, Mom. JJ's gonna be back for Thanksgiving. I'll make sure of it.
    LAURA: And if you don't, I will.
     
    The three women laugh, as Laura digs her keys out of her purse.
     
    LAURA: Look, I've...I've got an appointment in a bit. Did either of you need a ride?
    JENNIFER: No, no. I'm waiting for Liam to come back. I'll be fine here.
     
    Laura looks at Jenn, concerned.
     
    LAURA: Are you sure?
    JENNIFER: Positive.
     
    Jenn and Laura hug quickly, before Laura asks the same of Abby.
     
    LAURA: Alright. Abigail?
    ABBY: I'll wait here with mom.
     
    Laura smiles, before hugging Abby as well. She turns to take off.
     
    LAURA: I'll be back late tonight, okay?
    JENNIFER: Alright. Love you!
    LAURA: Love you too!
    ABBY: Bye Grandma!
     
    Abby turns to Jenn, who's looking out as Laura walks away towards her car. 
     
    ABBY: I'm gonna miss him.
    JENNIFER: We all are, sweetie.
    ABBY: Yeah...but I feel bad. I've been a pretty neglectful sister lately.
     
    Jennifer looks at Abby and puts a hand on her shoulder.
     
    JENNIFER: Honey, no! JJ knows you've had a lot on your plate with work, and finding a new job and...don't worry about it.
     
    A voice calls out to Abby from behind, surprising both her and Jennifer.
     
    (Alicia Keys' "Unthinkable" begins to play over the end of the scene)
     
     
     
    JEROME: I think she's right. 
     

    Abby turns around to see Jerome, and smiles. Jennifer looks on, a bit startled and confused.
     
    JEROME: You do beat yourself up way too much.
     
    Jerome smiles affectionately at Abby, who blushes at Jerome's remark.
     
    ---
     

    Will and Alex sit at the nearly-finished Penthouse Grill. Julie sashays over to a special dining table in the middle of the room where they sit, eagerly waiting a surprise dessert.
     
    JULIE: Alllright,boys! The final course on our gala opening menu.
    ALEX: And the best one, of course.
     
    All three laugh, as Julie looks endearingly at Alex.
     
    JULIE: A man after my own heart. Yes, it's our dessert offering, which will be...
     
    Julie lifts the lids off the two respective plates before Will and Alex, revealing a luscious strawberry cheesecake tart. Alex and Will gasp in awe at the chef's creation.
     
    JULIE: Organic Strawberry cheesecake tart, freshly-picked strawberries with an ever-so-slightly tart drizzle over it. It's absolutely divine.
    WILL: It looks it.
     
    Will picks up his fork, and looks over at Julie, in awe.
     
    WILL: Julie, you're gonna have to ban me from this restaurant, you realize.
    JULIE: And why's that, Darling?
    WILL: Because I will be in here morning, noon, and night, and you'll have to roll me into the elevator. I swear, I will eat you out of business.
     
    Alex, and Julie laugh, as Will takes a bite of the tart, absolutely in heaven.
     
    JULIE: Well, listen. I'm going to go speak with the chef, and grab you something to drink? Champagne, perhaps?
    ALEX: (laughs) Julie, that'd be fantastic, but we're still on the clock.
    JULIE: Nonsense! You're doing research. How are you going to know how it all tastes together for your press release if you don't try a bit of everything? I'll be right back.
     
    Julie dramatically walks off, leaving Will and Alex cracking up. Alex starts to chat with Will while they dig into their desserts.
     
    ALEX: Your cousin's a riot.
    WILL: That she is. 
     
    Will looks back down at his plate. The awkward silence hangs in the air for a moment before Alex cuts into it again, noticing Will's silence.
     
    ALEX: You've been really quiet today.
    WILL: Just a lot on my mind.
    ALEX: Care to share?
     
    Will sighs, putting his fork down for a moment.
     
    WILL: You have to ask? It's this whole Nick thing, obviously.
    ALEX: Why? What's Nick gonna do to you?
    WILL: He's been slowly trying to worm his way back into Gabi's life. He's already tried to get my daughter away from me once, and I feel like he's doing it again. Now he's taken over the company, and...(sigh) Alex, if this whole EnerNext thing blows up any bigger, and my name is attached to the falsified press release tonight on Nicole's special? I'm afraid Nick to could take everything from me. He could use it to take my career, my family, my daughter...
     
    Alex puts his fork down, and reaches his hand out across the table. He takes Will's hand in his and squeezes it, comfortingly, as he looks intensely into Will's eyes.
     
    ALEX: Hey. Hey. Come on. Look at me.
     
    Will, uncomfortable with Alex's intensity, struggles to maintain eye contact, feeling a strange nervousness at his touch.
     
    ALEX: You are not going to lose everything. I won't let that happen.
    WILL: Oh come on, Alex, you don't have that much clout with Nick there--
    ALEX: ...Hey. I'm a Kiriakis. I know how to play the game, Will. And I'm gonna stand by you, and I'm gonna make sure you keep your job, and your daughter. I won't let Nick hurt you. I promise.
     
    Will smiles half-heartedly, as Alex squeezes Will's hand tighter.
     
    As he does this, Julie walks out of the kitchen, bottle of champagne and two flutes in hand, and stops just short of their table, dead in her tracks. Julie's taken aback by the rather intimate moment between Alex and Will, so much so that they don't even notice her being there.
     
    ---
     
     
    ---
     

    Sheryl shuts the tailgate on the SUV she bought from Brady, still hidden in the bushes off the country side road.
     
    She looks around, as she stands in the brush outside Salem, brushing the dirt off her hands as she steps out toward the side of the country road.
     
    Stepping out from behind the bushes, Sheryl carefully checks to ensure no one sees her as the daylight begins to turn to dusk. She looks around with a self-satisfied look on her face.
     
    SHERYL: Just call me a problem-solver. And now off to my new home.
     
    Sheryl chuckles to herself as she steps toward Crystal's SUV. She gets in and takes off, back toward Salem.
     
    ---
     
    Julie steps toward Alex and Will at their table at the Penthouse Grille. As soon as Julie's voice is heard, Alex immediately lets go of Will's hand, hiding it back off the table.
     
    JULIE: Ahhh....boys?
    ALEX: Julie! Thank you!
     
    Julie sets the flutes and unwraps the cap of the champagne bottle. She smiles at Alex and Will.
     
    JULIE: Oh it's nothing. Just a precursor to the main event!
     
    Julie pops the champagne bottle, and quickly pours the glasses to avoid the fizz spilling out onto the floor. Alex and Will look at each other while Julie's focus is elsewhere. They hold in a laugh, as they look warmly into each others' eyes.
     
    As Julie finishes pouring, Alex and Will grab their flutes and hold them up to toast.
     
    WILL: To Julie. And to a fantastic grand re-opening of one of the best venues in Salem.
    ALEX: Cheers to that!
     

    As Will and Alex clink glasses, Maggie's voice suddenly is heard, distracting them, and Julie.
     
    MAGGIE: Let's hope that happens. In fact, with Nick lurking about, let's hope we get a grand re-opening at ALL!
     
    Looking over at Maggie, who's just stepped into the room, the others look concerned, as Maggie stands, a heavy look on her face.
     
    ---
     

    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, Anj?
     
    ...
     
    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. He looks around him to ensure no one's listening in.
     
    LIAM: (into phone) What do you mean, "dealt with", Anjelica? I'm not your hit man.
     
    ...
     
    Anjelica answers in an almost sing-song voice, keeping a cool air to her, while remaining firm in tone. She sits herself down on the edge of her bed, filing her nails while giving Liam his orders.
     
    ANJELICA: (into phone) Yoooou said it. Not me! 
     
    ...
     
    Liam sighs, as Anjelica continues.
     
    ANJELICA: (via phone) I just had a run-in with him, and there's something up with him, which means we have to take action.
    LIAM: (into phone) Yeah, well, I think I know what the problem is. 
     
    ...
     
    ANJELICA: (into phone) Good. Tell me in person after the show.
     
    ...
     
    LIAM: (into phone) I'll meet you at the Kiriakis house.
    ANJELICA: (via phone) No. Not here. There's too many people here, they're bound to catch us. Meet at the DiMera house. Stefano's out of the country, and EJ's at work, so we'll be alone.
    LIAM: (into phone) Fine. When's the taping end?
     
    ...
     
    Anjelica stops her nail filing momentarily, checking her watch.
     
    ANJELICA: (into phone) 9? I should be back by 9:30, anyway.
     
    ...
     
    Liam checks his own watch. Sighing in exasperation.
     
    LIAM: (into phone) Yeah, that's fine. See you then, Anj.
     
    Liam hangs up, before looking around the pier to be sure he was alone the entire conversation. He quickly scuttles up the stairs, headed for the Brady Pub.
     
    ---
     
    Jerome stands opposite Abigail and Jennifer outside the Brady Pub. 
     
    ABBY: Hey! Jerome!
     
    Abby, who is surprised to see him, stares at him, blushing for a moment. Suddenly remembering who she's with, Abby turns to introduce Jerome to Jennifer, who looks at him curiously.
     
    ABBY: Ah...Mom. This is Jerome Grant. Jerome, this is my mom, Jennifer Horton.
     
    Jennifer smiles as she extends a hand to Jerome, who shakes it, smiling warmly at Jenn.
     
    JEROME: Pleasure to meet you, Ms. Horton.
    JENNIFER: The pleasure's all mine. I...I know your grandmother from...well, when I was really little.
    JEROME: Yeah, the Grants and Hortons...we go a long way back.
     
    Jerome's attention drifts back to Abigail, as he continues his thought.
     
    JEROME: And I hope we have a long future as well.
     
    Abby smiles awkwardly, knowing what Jerome is implying. Jerome smiles as Abby looks at him, momentarily averting her eyes. Jerome ends the moment, looking into the pub before looking back at Abby.
     
    JEROME:  Ah, listen. I have to get some lunch before I head back to Salem U, but...Abby, if you're free tonight, I'd....I'd really like to see you again.
    ABBY: Oh, ah...Jerome, I'd love to, but I've got to head to the TV station. It's Nicole's TV special on the EnerNext scandal, and...I've gotta be there for it.
    JEROME: Well, that's alright. I'd love to be there for it, if that's alright. I've always wanted to see a big TV news show being made. I promise I'll be quiet though.
     
    Abby shifts awkwardly, trying to let Jerome down easily, as Jennifer looks on, silently surveying the situation.
     
    ABBY: No. No. I...(sigh) I wish you could but...it's gonna be super busy and I don't think the producers would be happy if I invited visitors or anything. I'm sorry.
    JEROME: It's alright. I understand. Break a leg though, okay?
     
    Abby smiles at Jerome, who keeps his eyes locked on Abby's.
     
    ABBY: Thanks. I'll text you after, okay?
     
    Jerome walks toward the door of the pub, winking at Abby in response before shutting the door.
     
    Once Jerome steps away, Jennifer steps over toward Abby, a curious look on her face.
     
    JENNIFER: Well he seems like a nice young man.
     
    Abby turns to face Jenn, nodding in agreement.
     
    ABBY: He is. We've been out a couple times and he's...he's really cool.
     
    Jenn folds her arms, looking at Jerome through the front door of the pub.
     
    JENNIFER: You like him, don't you.
    ABBY: I do.
     
    Jenn turns her head back to look at her daughter.
     
    JENNIFER: Then why did you just push him away like that?
     
    Abby looks back at Jenn in disbelief.
     
    ...
     
    Inside the pub, Jerome sits down at the bar, as the bartender walks over. 
     
    JEROME: I'll grab a pint of Blonde. Thanks, Man.
     
    Jerome pulls out his cell phone from his black pea coat pocket, checking to see if there's any updates from Sheryl. When he sees there isn't, he calls her.
     
    The phone rings once. Twice. Three times, before the voice mail message chimes in.
     
    SHERYL: (via phone message) Hey, it's Sheryl. Leave a message after the beep.
     
    After the beep, Jerome, visibly frustrated by Sheryl's sudden silence, leaves an urgent sounding message, as he looks around to make sure no one's listening in.
     
    JEROME: (into phone) It's me. You gone tell me what happened at the hospital or not? Call me the second you get this.
     
    Jerome hangs up, hearing the front door close. His attention is immediately drawn to the person who's just walked in.
     

    It's Jordan. She spots Jerome and freezes in her tracks. Both Jerome and Jordan stare at each other from across the room. Jerome with surprise, Jordan with disdain and a touch of fear.
     
    ---
  20. 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.
     
    ---
  21. 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.
     
    ---
  22. 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.
     
    ---
     
  23. 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.
     
    ---
  24. 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.
     
    ---
  25. 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.
     
    ---
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