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  1. 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. ---
  2. 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. ---
  3. 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. ---
  4. 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. ---
  5. 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. ---
  6. 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. ---
  7. 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. ---
  8. 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. ---
  9. According to SoapHub (and, from the looks of it, Tom Casiello's twitter) Hogan Sheffer's died. https://soaphub.com/young-restless/hogan-sheffer-veteran-soap-head-writer-passes-away-at-61/
  10. 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! ---
  11. 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. ---
  12. 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. ---
  13. 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. ---
  14. 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. ---
  15. 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. ---
  16. EPISODE 166 Written by A. Washington-Beeby Story Consultant: C. Nathaniel Richardson Tyler steps off the elevator at University Hospital, making a beeline for Victor's room. As Tyler opens the door, he's followed in by Daniel, who tries to stop Tyler from advancing. DANIEL: Ahh...Mr. Houston... TYLER: Yes? DANIEL: I'm sorry, I'm...just about to do a quick check-up on Victor, and... Victor, hearing Tyler and Daniel's voices, opens his eyes, and interjects. VICTOR: It's alright, Daniel. Can you give us five minutes? Daniel sighs, knowing Victor won't budge. DANIEL: Victor, I gotta finish my rounds before noon. I have a lunch date with Billie. VICTOR: Tell her to postpone. This is important. Daniel takes a moment, before giving in. DANIEL: Yeah. Okay. But just five. I'll be at the nurses' station. Tyler turns, nodding in appreciation to Daniel, as Daniel reaches for the door on his way out. TYLER: Thank you. As Daniel shuts the door, Tyler turns his attentions back to Victor, speaking dryly to his longtime business associate. TYLER: You called? VICTOR: Yes. I was just paid a visit from our good friend Nick Fallon. How long were you all gonna keep me in the dark about what he's up to, anyway? Tyler sighs, frustrated and disappointed that Nick's broken the news to Victor of his takeover of Titan. --- Sheryl emerges from the service elevator at University Hospital, checking around to ensure no one has spied her with the wheelchair, before placing it back by the locker room door, as before. Sneaking back into the locker room, she walks over to her locker, realizing that Crystal's phone is inside, ringing. She checks to see who's calling. It's Kim. Ignoring the call, Sheryl puts the phone back in the locker, and locks it up. SHERYL: Okay, Crystal. Time to deal with your next problem. Jordan Ridgeway. Sheryl walks off in search of Jordan. --- Kim puts her phone down from her ear, as she stands behind the bar at the Brady Pub, somewhat confused by "Crystal" hanging up on her, as Nick walks into the pub, a bright smile on his face. Kim turns to greet him. KIM: Nick! NICK: Hey Kim! Ah...have you seen Gabi anywhere? Kim shakes her head, as she scans the restaurant to be sure she hasn't missed Gabi somehow. KIM: Ahh no. Can't say that I have. You're supposed to meet her here to get the rest of your things? Nick leans casually against the bar, smirking with his usual self-satisfaction. NICK: Mmmm...you could say that. Just then, Gabi steps in, causing Nick to turn his head around excitedly. NICK: There's the woman I've been waiting to see! Gabi walks in, suitcase in tow. Nick looks down, and realizes what this means. He looks back up at Gabi, with a growing smile on his face. NICK: You....is this what I think it is? Gabi smiles ,nervously, breathing in deep before answering. She flashes back to what EJ told her when they met earlier: *** FLASHBACK TO EPISODE 156 Gabi stands with EJ on the pier, her face lined with worry, as she speaks to EJ softly, trying not to be heard lest someone overhear. GABI: Alright. So how am I going to go about finding these pictures? EJ looks at Gabi, deadly serious. EJ: He'll have them. You're going to have to put yourself in very close proximity to him to get them. Make certain you bring your weapon to keep yourself protected, but don't let him think for a second that you're nervous around him. GABI: Even if that means I have to go to bed with him? EJ: Absolutely, if you have to. GABI: EJ, I...I can't do that. The thought of sleeping with that man again makes my skin crawl. EJ: I realize. But your family's lives are at stake here. You need to be prepared to do whatever it takes to take Nick down. *** Gabi smiles at Nick, feigning a warm look as she tells him her decision. GABI: Yeah. I'll do it, Nick. I'll move in with you. --- --- Hope walks out of the café in Horton Town Square, a coffee cup in hand to go, as she see Aiden approach the café at the same time. Catching each other's eyes, Hope moves to go around Aiden without greeting, but Aiden calls out to her, stopping her in her tracks. AIDEN: Hope. Hope responds coldly, not even turning to face Aiden. HOPE: What do you want, Aiden? AIDEN: I wanted to...apologize for how I behaved the last time we...heh, ran into each other. Hope turns around, speaking politely, but not warmly. HOPE: Aiden, there's nothing to say. Just....forget about it. You live your life, and try to stay out of mine. AIDEN: Well, wait. Look, I...I kinda wanted to make it up to you. If you don't mind, that is. Hope furrows her brow, unsure what Aiden means. HOPE: Don't mind what? AIDEN: Well...I was hoping to maybe...heh, maybe I could buy you dinner or something? Maybe meet up at Club TBD tonight? Hope looks on, stunned by Aiden's turn in attitude. --- Nick beams with delight as he hugs a tense Gabi, who looks on as Nick embraces her, positively stunned by what she's doing. Nick laughs obliviously with excitement as he pulls Gabi out of their hug. NICK: Oh wow! This is...this is the best news I've had today. Seriously. GABI: Well, you...you've had a lot of good news lately, I...I'm just the icing on the cake, I'm sure. NICK: That you are. Nick puts a hand on Gabi's arm, as Gabi looks on, trying not to let his discomfort with Nick's touch show. She looks over at Kim, who takes the cue and speaks up. KIM: Ah, Gabi! Did you...did you want a coffee or something? Gabi looks over at Kim, as she steps over toward a table for two. GABI: Ah...double vodka, straight. Nick looks curiously at Gabi as they sit down. NICK: You ah...you drinking so early? GABI: Nick, I need all the courage I can to live under Victor Kiriakis' roof. Especially if I'm going to be living there as your guest. NICK: That's just it, Gabi. It's not Victor's....it's my house. I own it. GABI: Doesn't make it any less awkward. I mean, I'm moving out of Sonny and Will's and...I mean, I haven't even told them I'm leaving, and... Nick grabs Gabi's hands and holds them across the table. He looks seriously into her eyes. NICK: No. No, it doesn't need to be. Gabi, I'm serious. The Kiriakises are guests in our home. If anyone gives you trouble, you leave them to me. Okay? Gabi nods slowly, feeling very uncomfortable with the situation. Nick lowers his voice as he leans in closer. NICK: And as for Will & Sonny? We'll figure it out, we'll...we'll make a schedule for Ari, whatever you need. But you need to remember, you're entitled to live your own life. Now, I know Will won't mind as much, he usually doesn't...but If Sonny has that much of a problem with you living with me, I will make sure he stays out of our way, okay? Gabi interjects, cutting the end off of Nick's last statement. GABI: No, Nick, you don't have to-- NICK: No, I...I think this is important. Let me handle Will and Sonny. You just need to make yourself comfortable, and we'll choose some great furniture for Ari's new bedroom, and... GABI: Nick, no, I can't-- NICK: I...insist. I'll ask Maggie to help you out. It'll be no problem. I just want this place to feel like home for you, okay? Gabi looks down, nodding as she feigns a smile. GABI: Anywhere I go with you feels like home. Gabi looks up at Nick, hoping to see for sure if her lie was convincing to Nick. --- Tyler steps towards Victor's hospital bed, trying to explain himself to an impatient Victor. TYLER: Victor, we wanted to make sure you were alright before we bombarded you with business. VICTOR: Oh, save it. It's not like I'm at death's door. Tyler looks at Victor, vaguely amused by his resolve. TYLER: Maggie just wanted to be sure you made a speedy recovery. Any undue stress would've risked a relapse. VICTOR: I'd rather know now and get ahead of it than be blindsided by that arrogant weasel. He came in here giggling and bragging like he'd lost his virginity on prom night. TYLER: Well, there's an unpleasant thought. Victor relaxes slightly as he responds to Tyler's wry comment. VICTOR: It was equally unpleasant to hear. But it wasn't the worst of it. Tyler looks at Victor with a hint of confusion. TYLER: What do you mean? VICTOR: I mean that little worm's not working alone. TYLER: Well, we suspected that for awhile. I mean, no one gets their hands on enough money to singlehandedly buy out a major corporation like that without major financial backing. VICTOR: Mmm, that's no lie. You'll be as surprised as I was to hear the source of that financial backing. Tyler rests against the edge of Victor's bed, now extremely curious to know who Victor's talking about. TYLER: And just who is that? VICTOR: Stefano DiMera. Tyler shakes his head, confirming his suspicions about Nick's sudden victory. --- Jordan sits at her office chair at University Hospital, as she hears a knock at the door. Looking up, she calls out to the person. JORDAN: Come in. Checking her watch, Jordan assumes it's another patient. But it's Maxine, with some paperwork for her. JORDAN: Maxine! Hi! MAXINE: So...how'd it go with Rafe? Jordan gets up from behind her desk, taking the paperwork from Maxine's outstretched hand. JORDAN: Very well...I think we're gonna be okay. Maxine beams at the news. MAXINE: I'm so glad to hear it. Jordan quickly steps over to the other side of her desk and gives Maxine a warm hug. JORDAN: Ooo thank you so much, Maxine. You don't know how much your advice helped. Pulling away from their hug, Maxine gives Jordan a stern look, wagging her finger as she speaks. MAXINE: Listen, Jordan. If you ever need anything at all, any advice, I will be here. Even if it's just to listen. Sometimes that's all you need. JORDAN: I'll remember that. Thank you. MAXINE: Anytime, honey. Maxine steps out the door, closing it behind her, and Jordan turns her back to the door to check out the documents Maxine left behind. A moment later, there's another knock on the door. Jordan calls out again without turning to look. JORDAN: Maxine (laughs) what did you forget? The door opens, revealing Sheryl disguised as Crystal Clarke. Putting on her best fake southern accent, Sheryl steps just inside Jordan's office. SHERYL: Oh, nothin' big. Just came to get you. Jordan looks up from her papers, confused by the voice she hears. She turns suddenly, as Sheryl looks back at her, grinning widely. Jordan's face drops, terrified by Sheryl's arrival. ---
  17. EPISODE 165 Written by A. Washington-Beeby Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco Kate stands in her penthouse condo, finishing pouring a smoothie in her kitchenette, as she hears the front door unlock. She turns to see who it is, and smiles upon seeing Billie's face. KATE: Ah! You finally made it. Billie walks in, clutching her jacket, trying to hide the fatigue in her eyes. Kate turns around and smiles wider, trying to hide her laughter at her daughter's disheveled appearance. KATE: Long night, I see. BILLIE: Shut up, Mom. Kate sours her expression momentarily, scolding her daughter for her response. KATE: Hey, now! Watch it! I could just as soon use that room I've given you as a home office. BILLIE: Sorry. What's that you're drinking? Billie plants her purse down on the kitchen island, as Kate takes a sip of her green smoothie. She winces as she tastes it. Setting it down, she passes it over to Billie. KATE: Green smoothie. My nurtitionist said it'll help my immune system and help keep my weight in check, but I think the only reason I won't gain weight is from being too nauseated to eat anything the rest of the day. Try it. Billie looks down. She gives an unimpressed look back to Kate and turns away. BILLIE: I'll pass. KATE: Ungrateful child. Billie laughs, as Kate picks the smoothie back up, and tries another sip of it. Billie sets herself down on the sofa in the living room area. KATE: So how was last night? Billie looks back over at Kate, a wide smile on her face. BILLIE: Absolutely beautiful. We were gonna have a moonlight picnic, but it was raining so, Daniel set his place up to be just like the park, and the place was lit up with all these lights...oh, I'm telling you, Mom. It was amazing. KATE: That's good to hear. I just hope he isn't using you like he used me and Chelsea. Billie sighs, immediately exasperated by Kate's overbearing nature. BILLIE: Mom... KATE: I'm sorry, but he's screwed over me, your brother, and your daughter, and I'll be damned if he makes a fool out of three entire generations of this family. BILLIE: And just how is he gonna do that, Mom? He loves me. Kate scoffs at Billie. She steps over toward her, sitting next to her on the sofa. KATE: Honey, I know this man. He's with you on the rebound from Jennifer. As much as he's going to deny it, he's still in love with her. And I know you know that. Billie grimaces, furrowing her brow as she looks back disapprovingly at her mother. --- Anita stands facing Tyler in her cabin. She sets her cup of tea down on the dining table, as she nods to Tyler, feigning a solemn expression. ANITA: Well, it's disappointing to hear, but...I don't see why you should put Victor through any more pain. If Brady's gone, then....he's gone. TYLER: I'm sorry, Anita. Anita shrugs. She paces past Tyler, leaning out the window by the doorway. ANITA: (sigh) Not much you can do. I understand. TYLER: You seem...somewhat resigned about all this. Anita turns back to face Tyler, snapping at him for his line of questioning. ANITA: Well, what am I supposed to say, Tyler? What do you want me to feel? Happy? I know there's nothing we can do. Just like there's nothing I can do about my situation. Tyler walks towards Anita, appearing sympathetic. TYLER: I know. I'm sorry. I...I wish there was another way, but...it's been too long. To change things now would just...it would cause more problems than it would solve. You know this. I know this. Tyler puts a hand on Anita's shoulder, as she sighs, shaking her head. ANITA: I guess so. (sigh) But I do wish I could be closer to Salem...my loved ones. TYLER: We both know that's not possible. ANITA: The threat is gone, Tyler. It has been for years. I know it's going to be complicated, but... Tyler grabs Anita by the shoulders, trying to shake a bit of sense into her. TYLER: But nothing, Anita. You are going to stay living as Anita Hernandez, and you are going to stay away from Salem. And that's final. Anita looks at Tyler, wide-eyed, infuriated by his forceful manner. --- Nick stands inside Victor's hospital room at Univeristy Hospital. As Nick watches Victor's comatose body, he continues to speak to Victor. NICK: You know, I didn't set out to do any of this, yeah? All I was trying to do was get enough evidence against you to stop EnerNext from taking over Percy's land. Nick sits back down on the stool facing Victor's bed. He rests his arms on the edge of the bed. NICK: You know Percy, right? My right hand at the lab. Says "Greetings" when he walks into a room? Yeah, him. Well...he saved my life a little while ago when your friends Kate and Sami tried to drown me in the river. (laughs) I know, right? Unbelievable. Two known killers trying to kill again. Nick giggles as he rests his arm on the side of Victor's bed. He sighs, pausing a moment before continuing. NICK: How did I get so lucky? I should be honoured. They were willing to throw their lives away for little ol' me. Nick's expressions changes, as he remains laser-focused on Victor's eyes, he becomes more stern. NICK: Well, this time...they weren't so lucky. Percy found me, and this....this is my thank you to him. Watching you suffer. And believe me, it feels good. Nick sneers the last part of his sentence, never once moving or looking away from Victor's face. --- --- Billie closes the door to the fridge in Kate's kitchenette, frustrated with her mother's intrusiveness. Kate, meanwhile, sits on the sofa in the adjacent living room, looking Billie's way. KATE: You know, I'm only telling you this for your own good, right? BILLIE: (sigh) Mom. Remember why I left Salem the last time? KATE: Because I was interfering in your life, and being deceptive. Billie holds her arms out, as though denoting Kate's 'a-ha' moment. BILLIE: She gets it! She finally gets it! KATE: Yes, well, a leopard can't change its spots, and I guess, maybe I'm protective of you and Austin because I lost so many years with you. BILLIE: Yes, but you don't get it. The more you try to control everyone's lives, the more years you go without us in your life. You have to let us live ours, make our own mistakes. Kate gets up from the couch as Billie speaks and reaches over to take Billie's hand across the kitchen island. KATE: I just don't want you repeating the same ones I made. Daniel can be a very charismatic man, and I'm sure he really is enjoying his time with you, but you're going to have to realize that he does this whenever he loses somebody he loves. Billie bites her tongue, looking away as Kate squeezes Billie's hand gently. KATE: And he loves Jennifer. Very much. Billie pulls away from Kate, and looks at Kate defiantly. BILLIE: Well, maybe he loves me just as much. Did you ever think of that? Or is it just impossible for you to believe that I could be the woman to help him get over Jennifer Horton? KATE: Maybe you're right. But I'd rather spare you from finding out you're wrong. Billie looks at a concerned Kate, trying to maintain her stern expression, but a hint of uncertainty is in Billie's eyes. --- Anita shakes Tyler off her suddenly, her enraged look never leaving Tyler's eyes as she raises a finger in stern scolding. ANITA: Don't you EVER lay a hand on me like that again, Tyler Houston. Tyler backs away slightly, looking sheepishly. TYLER: I'm sorry, I-- ANITA: You have absolutely no grounds to keep me here. Not anymore. I am not beholden to Victor Kiriakis, and certainly not to you. TYLER: Anita, now, hold-- ANITA: I will not hold on. Anita looks increasingly emotional, as she stands a good two feet away from Tyler, scolding him like a child. ANITA: You and Victor have spent the last 30 years controlling where I go, what I do. You threatened to pull my stake in Titan when my grandchildren moved to Salem, and I had to beg you to leave them alone. What good has that done me? What good has any of this done me? TYLER: We were keeping you safe. That's all we wanted to do. ANITA: That's great. Well, I'm safe. I'm alone, I'm facing destitution. But I'm safe. I bet you don't even know what you're protecting me from anymore. Tyler looks sternly at Anita. TYLER: If you come back to Salem, there will be too many questions that need to be answered. Anita steps toward Tyler, she looks him dead in the eyes, with the same sternness he showed her. She speaks softly, but firmly. ANITA: You go back to Victor, and you tell him to bring 'em on. I'm ready for every single question they can throw at me. Tyler shakes his head, frustrated by Anita's determination. Anita, meanwhile, walks over to the door. She opens it wide, showing Tyler the way out. ANITA: Now get out. Tyler walks toward the door, stopping momentarily before he leaves. TYLER: I will come back. And you'd better still be here when I do. Tyler walks off, as Anita slams the door behind him. Brady walks back into the living room moments later, confused. BRADY: Anita? Was someone at the door? Anita brushes off her frustration, and puts on her best smile for Brady. ANITA: Nah, just someone lost on the road, needed directions. BRADY: Oh, okay. Brady accepts the answer as they make their way back to the dining table. Outside, Tyler lingers outside in the bushes near the front door of Anita's cabin, struggling to see who is inside with Anita through the dirty window. --- Nick steps away from Victor, holding his head, wincing slightly in pain as he reaches for his meds in his bag. He pulls them out as he continues. NICK: You know, It's really funny, Vic. Nick opens his bag up, and pulls out a metal water bottle. He pops two pills in his mouth and washes them down with the water from his bottle before continuing. NICK: You almost had me there. Nick turns back to face Victor, smirking again. NICK: But I got the drop on ya. And the best part of all this is...well, I got everything I wanted. Nick slowly walks over to Victor's bedside again, and plants himself back on the stool next to the bed. NICK: ...And then some. See, the part you don't know, and that you're neeeeever gonna figure out, is who's helping me out. I mean, obviously I got the oil sands project stopped, but...with a little persuasion from two of your favourite people, I was able to pull off the coup of the century! Nick laughs, holding his water bottle up, as if to give a toast. NICK: Wanna guess who I'm talking about? Nick waits a moment, mockingly waiting to hear an answer from an unresponsive Victor. NICK: That's right. Anjelica Deveraux....and Stefano DiMera. Nick laughs heartily at the "genius" of his own plan. NICK: Crazy, huh? Yeah, see, our future governor's in cahoots with Stefano DiMera. Betcha didn't know that lil' tidbit. Oh, I had some other help along the way. See, Jordan and Sheryl, they're really these internationally known eco-warriors, and they were gonna plant this virus in the Titan mainframe. You remember that, right, Vic? Nick waits a beat before continuing. NICK: But, see...I stopped them, and the board were SO grateful to me for saving their asses, that...with a little bit of extra incentive, they gave me to top slot. Go figure, eh? (laughs) I swear, you would be so proud of what I've managed to pull off. I'm just playing by your rulebook, you know? Nick's smile fades, he looks a little more intensely at Victor, shaking his head before he carries on. NICK: But, you know what? The best part of all of this...is knowing that I can finally be the man that Gabi needs. I fought my way up to the top of the food chain. I got mine, I am a success thanks to MY hard work. Nick becomes more intense, more cutting with his words, as he leans in close to Victor. NICK: All the people, all the people in this town who get away with everything because of their power, and their money... Nick suddenly pounds his fist against his chest, hissing his words out at Victor. NICK: I own them now. I will ruin them. And tonight, on Nicole's special, I'm going to make sure that everyone knows....they're on notice. Nick smirks, as he gets up from his stool. NICK: Godspeed, Victor. Hope you live to see what Titan can be now that it's part of DiMera Enterprises. Nick grabs his bag, and steps out of Victor's hospital room. Moments after the door shuts, Victor's eyes open, intense with fury. He musters the strength to reach for the telephone on the table by the bed. He immediately calls Tyler. ... Tyler is surprised by the sudden vibration of his cell phone in his pocket. He turns back, away from Anita's door, and answers quietly. TYLER: (into phone) Hello? ... VICTOR: (into phone) Tyler, it's me. Get your ass into my hospital room, RIGHT NOW! Victor slams down the receiver, before laying back in his bed, shaking with fury at what he's just experienced. ... Tyler looks down at his phone, checking to see that the call's ended. He looks baffled by Victor's harsh tone, but looks back one last time to see inside Anita's cabin, before giving up. TYLER: I know someone's in there, Anita. But who the hell could it be? Tyler shakes his head before turning back away and walking to his car. ---
  18. EPISODE 164 Written by A. Washington-Beeby Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco Sami storms down the hallway at University Hospital, making a beeline for Marlena's office. Visibly enraged by the news Kim has just passed onto her, she knocks loudly on her mother's office door. Inside, Marlena looks up from her desk, concerned by the urgency of the knocking sound. MARLENA: Come in! Sami throws the door open, taking everything within her not to shout at Marlena. SAMI: How could you, Mom? Marlena takes her reading glasses off, and sighs, already knowing the answer to the question she's about to ask. MARLENA: How could I what? Sami slams the door behind her, looking intensely at her mother. SAMI: How could you ask us to get DNA tests to prove dad isn't really who he says he is? Marlena sighs, looking frustrated. --- Brady sits down at the dining room table at Anita's cabin, as Anita lays down an omelette on a plate before him. Brady looks up at Anita and beams with delight. ANITA: Western omelette, and your coffee coming right up. BRADY: Oh yeah! Anita, I gotta ask... Anita stands at the kitchenette counter, pouring Brady's coffee as she answers him. ANITA: Yes, Brady, dear? BRADY: How is it that you can make this just as good as my dad used to when I was kid? Anita turns with his cup of coffee and sets it down before him. She shrugs casually. ANITA: Maybe we're both gifted chefs? Who knows? Anita and Brady share a laugh as Anita sits down with her own plate of eggs and toast. BRADY: Well, I thank you. ANITA: You're welcome, Brady. Anita smiles, as she picks up her fork. She suddenly remembers something she needs to tell Brady. ANITA: By the way, I've been meaning to ask you if you were able to get that part for the backup generator or not. Brady finishes a bite of his food before responding. BRADY: Mm! I did. But I haven't put it in yet, it's in the shed. Brady gets up from his seat, and sets down his napkin by his plate, while Anita tries to stop him from going. BRADY: I'll bring it in now while I'm thinking about it-- ANITA: Oh Brady, no. You don't have to now, finish your breakfast. BRADY: No! No, it's okay. It'll only a take a minute. I'll be right back, I promise. Brady begins to take off, out the front door, as Anita calls out to him. ANITA: Okay, but don't let your food get cold. BRADY: I won't! As the back door closes to the cabin, Anita shakes her head in amusement. As she's about to sit back down at the table, she hears a loud knock at the front door. Surprised, Anita turns around, and walks over. The knocking continues, an almost frantic tone to it. This prompts Anita to call out to whomever is there. ANITA: One second! Upon opening the door, Anita is stunned to see a very familiar face before her. ANITA: Tyler?! Tyler looks at Anita, a frustrated look in his eyes. TYLER: How could you do it, Anita? ANITA: Do what? TYLER: Sell your shares. Do you know what you've just done? Anita looks on, puzzled by both Tyler's visit, and his tone, as he invites himself inside. --- Victor lays silently in his bed, resting in his hospital room at University Hospital. The darkened room lay silent save for the gentle hum of his respirator and the gentle rhythmic beep of the heart monitor. A moment later, the door to Victor's room opens, and Nick steps inside. Closing the door softly, he steps over to Victor's bedside. Slowly, a smile grows on his face, as he tries to hold in the laugh that's building inside him, as he sees the powerful man he appears to have defeated lying motionless before him. NICK: Hello, Victor. Good seeing you like this. --- --- Anita slams the door to her cabin behind her as Tyler walks in, with an indignant expression on his face. ANITA: I beg your pardon? Tyler turns to face Anita, his voice raised as he responds to her. TYLER: You sold your shares in Titan. 4% of the company stock, and now we've been bought out. ANITA: What do you mean? TYLER: I mean that that was the amount we needed to hold onto Titan, and you just sold it. Now we have a novice running the show, bankrolled by God-knows-who, because if there's one thing I do NOT believe, it's that a lab technician can afford to buy 51% of a company's stock. Even a company in dire financial straits like ours. Anita stands, arms folded. Her expression one of defiance, as she paces the living room area. ANITA: And there it is. The reason I sold the shares in the first place. You know, Victor told me that if I took those shares, I would never want for anything in my life ever again. I would have my home, I would have enough to live on, comfortably. I would have enough to retire on. That was our deal, Tyler. I stay out here in this cabin in the middle of nowhere, build a new life, and he would take care of the rest. TYLER: He's done his best, and so have I. ANITA: And you failed. You, and Victor failed me. And you failed Brady. You failed Isabella. You're damn lucky I was able to get Gabi, Rafe, and Dario out the door and into good careers before you failed them too with your incompetence, though I guess the jury's still out on Dario, since you have him on your payroll. Tyler sighs, realizing the precarious position Anita's in, as he looks around the room. It's run down, in bad need of repairs. Water damage apparent on the upper walls. As he does, the kettle begins to whistle on the stovetop. Anita walks over to take it off the element. TYLER: Speaking of which, you'll be pleased to know Dario's job is secure, for now. Anita responds with an acidic sarcasm, as she pours herself some tea. ANITA: OH! Well, that's a relief. You haven't failed another member of my family. YET. Would you like a medal? TYLER: Anita... Tyler turns to rebutt but is struck by two placesettings at Anita's dining table. Realizing she's probably not in the house alone, Tyler's expression changes. He looks quickly around the room and spots nobody. Anita barely notices, as she's putting a lump of sugar in her tea before turning around. ANITA: No, I'm not done, Tyler. You have an awful lot of nerve coming into this house and chastizing me for protecting myself from being out on the street, penniless. TYLER: We wouldn't have let that happen, and you know it. Anita turns around, placing her tea on the table, and looking up at Tyler, speaking gently, but firmly. ANITA: I don't know anything. But I certainly was not going to trust you with controlling interest in Titanic Industries. Tyler shakes his head, sighing again, as he holds his hands up, hoping to stop the argument. TYLER: Look, I get it. I wish you had consulted with me or Victor before you had sold the shares, but...I get it. ANITA: I wasn't about to do that. The payout was more than enough to ensure I could reinvest the money in a company that wasn't about to bottom out. Simple as that. Now, if that's the only reason you came out here-- TYLER: It's not. Anita looks at Tyler, confused by his answer. ANITA: Alright. Tell me, then. What did you want to tell me? Tyler sighs heavily before answering Anita, almost ashamed to say what he's about to say. TYLER: Victor's in the hospital from a heart attack. ANITA: I heard. TYLER: Well...what you probably haven't heard is that he ah...he was sinking a lot of company resources into finding Brady, even though we all know Brady's dead. Anita remains tight-lipped, knowing better, but not saying anything. After a moment, she nods slowly. TYLER: Justin...and I, we made the call to...call off the search. Anita feigns showing sadness at the news. Her muted reaction to the news is curious to Tyler. --- Liam stands midway down the Horton house stairs, as JJ and Laura look up at him from the foyer, surprised by his appearing there. LIAM: JJ! You ah...you all packed up? JJ: Yeah, just...couple more boxes. Ahh...Grandma, did you wanna help me out? LAURA: Sure. Liam walks down the rest of the way, sensing something is off. Meanwhile, Laura bends down to pick up a box of JJ's things, and turns to head out the door. LIAM: Oh, don't trouble yourself, Laura. I'll take it. LAURA: Oh, you don't have to. Liam stops Laura, putting his hands on the box Laura is attempting to carry out. LIAM: Look, I must've interrupted something very important, so...I'll just help in any way I can and let you both finish. JJ looks uncomfortably at Laura, who smiles awkwardly at Liam, before letting go of the box. LAURA: Alright. Thank you, Liam. LIAM: Anytime. As Liam walks out the door with the box, Laura looks on, turning back to face JJ the second the door shuts behind Liam, her voice speaking with a newfound urgency. LAURA: I don't trust that man. JJ: Neither do I. But there isn't a lot we can do right now. Laura sighs, frustrated by the situation. LAURA: Look, I know it's going to be hard trying to research this from afar, but...honestly, JJ, maybe it's safer for you this way. JJ: I hope so. At this point, Jennifer descends from upstairs, all smiles. JENNIFER: Hey, guys! Have you seen Liam at all? JJ turns to face his mother, feigning a smile, himself to put his mother's mind at ease. JJ: He just stepped out to help me finish packing. Jennifer beams, thrilled by Liam's supposed cooperation. JENNIFER: Great. Ahh...so Abigail left early, she had to finish some kind of assignment for Nicole, but she says she'll meet us at the pub and we'll all grab lunch there before you head off, okay? JJ: Sounds good, Mom. Jennifer looks at her son, beaming with pride. She gently carresses his cheek. JENNIFER: You know how proud I am of you right now, JJ? LAURA: We all are. JJ blushes a bit, laughing awkwardly at his family's fawning over him. JJ: You guys are too much. (laughs) JJ pulls himself together, looking a bit misty-eyed as he smiles at his mom and grandma. JJ: Thank you. Thanks for supporting me. I really appreciate it. JENNIFER: Anytime, JJ. JJ: I'm gonna miss you guys. Laura, and Jennifer get emotional as JJ pulls them both in for a group hug. As they do, Liam returns from the car, and witnesses the tender moment. He flashes back to his mysterious phone conversation earlier, while he was in Jenn's bedroom. *** FLASHBACK TO EPISODE 163 Liam paces the room, looking intensely at the chest of drawers, where a photo of Jenn, JJ, Abby, and Jack rests. Liam glares at it, menacingly. LIAM: (into phone) Trust me. They'll never know what's really going on. Promise. *** Liam sighs as he observes the family bonding moment, holding in his unsteady emotions. --- In the Salem University Hospital parking garage, Sheryl suddenly gets up from being crouched over Crystal Clarke's lifeless body in the wheelchair. Having heard the voice of Dr. Daniel Jonas behind her, she turns around suddenly, putting on her best southern accent for him. SHERYL: Ah...no. Nah, I'm good. But thank you! DANIEL: Well, I know it's not easy helping someone into their car. She....she not waking up? Sheryl shuffles nervously, trying to hide Crystal's face from Daniel, though she's covered by a blanket. SHERYL: Oh she's pretty sleepy. We ah....she's a very quiet old lady. Just gettin' over the flu, ya know? She's being discharged, but her daughter just had to go validate the parking ticket, so I agreed to help get her mama up and at 'em so they could get home. Daniel looks on, a curious look on his face, as Sheryl smiles at him. DANIEL: Yeah. Yeah, I'm sure. You, ah, you're now around here? Sheryl smiles warmly, extending a hand to Daniel. SHERYL: Why, yes, I am! I'm Nurse Crystal Clarke. Daniel smiles in turn, slowly extending his own hand to "Crystal's". DANIEL: Ah, Crystal. Yeah. Valerie mentioned she was looking to hire a few new nurses. Welcome aboard. SHERYL: Well, thank you, Dr. Jonas! It's a pleasure to meet you. Daniel once again tries to get a look at the patient in the wheelchair, but Sheryl once again distracts his attention. DANIEL: You sure you don't want a hand there? I don't have to be upstairs for another few minutes-- SHERYL: Oh, oh no, I appreciate the offer, but...I gotta take care of this one myself, ya know? DANIEL: You sure? SHERYL: Oh I am. Thank you, though! Daniel starts to walk away, though unsure if he's making the right decision. As he walks toward the elevator, Sheryl crouches down by Crystal, pretending to gently wake her up. All the while, her eyes are on Daniel. After the doors to the elevator finally close, with Daniel inside, Sheryl sighs in relief. SHERYL: Thank God he's gone. Now to deal with you. Grumbling to herself as she moves the front seat back, then hoists Crystal into the backseat of the small SUV. As Sheryl struggles, she dumps Crystal onto the backseat. SHERYL: Alright. Do I take care of this orientation meeting now, or do I make sure you don't escape? Sheryl thinks a moment before opening the glove box, and pulling out some yellow rope, and duct tape. SHERYL: Always gotta be prepared. Glad girl scouts was useful for something. Sheryl pushes the front passenger seat gets herself back into the truck, where she ties Crystal's arms behind her back, as well as her feet together. She covers her mouth with the duct tape, then covers Crystal once again with the blanket. Once Sheryl's finally done, she pushes the front passenger's seat back into place, and shuts the door to her SUV. Locking the vehicle manually before she does. SHERYL: Well, that's one problem down. Time to take care of the rest of this agenda. Sheryl walks away back toward the elevator, leaving a comatose, bound and gagged Crystal Clarke in her SUV. --- Sami stands in the doorway of Marlena's office, visibly upset with her mother. SAMI: How could you do this to Daddy? Marlena stands up from her desk, trying to keep Sami calm, to no avail. MARLENA: Sami, I have my reasons for this. SAMI: There is no good reason to be doing this right now, Mom. Dad is dying, his memory is slipping away day by day. MARLENA: And that is exactly why we need to do it now. Sami looks at Marlena, incredulous, as Marlena steps away from her desk. SAMI: What are you talking about, Mom? We don't even know what's causing his symptoms. MARLENA: No, but I have a pretty good idea. But without Roman's medical records, we have nothing. SAMI: I know, Kim told me. Marlena folds her arms, frustrated by the news, though unsurprised. MARLENA: Well, that figures. Look, I don't know what your Aunt Kim told you, but she misconstrued my intentions-- SAMI: Oh, of course she did. Because nothing you do is ever wrong. Right? MARLENA: Sami... SAMI: No. Mom, enough. Look, we all know you don't care what happens to Daddy, otherwise you wouldn't have left him for John all those years ago in the first place. Marlena snaps at her daughter's petulance. MARLENA: Samantha Gene Brady, that's enough! Sami stops interjecting immediately, holding her sniveling rage in while Marlena continues. MARLENA: your father means the world to me. He is staying in my home. I have to watch him...deteriorate little by little every single day, right before my very eyes. Marlena begins to tear up, as she becomes more emotional telling Sami her reasons. MARLENA: So maybe this feels for you like I'm giving up on your father. But for me, this feels like the only way I can keep your father with us. And I'm not going to let go of that hope, that...that dream that maybe we can keep him with us. Not until I know for sure that there is no hope. Sami takes a moment, holding her own emotions in, as she responds, softly, but wavering with emotion. SAMI: Well, I'm sorry, Mom. But forgive me if I don't go along with your dream this time. Excuse me. Sami turns and heads out the door, leaving a sorrowful Marlena behind in her office. Marlena bites her lip, trying to suppress the tears building inside her. --- Nick stands over Victor, lying motionless in his hospital bed, smirking gleefully at his rival's frail appearance. NICK: You know, never in a million years would I think I would be looking down at you like this. But...here we are. Nick laughs to himself, holding his arms out, almost in triumph. NICK: I get to run the company you started with all your mob money. I get all your toys. Your cars, your office...your desk. Nick saunters over to Victor's bedside, and pulls a stool over to sit on. As he sits down, he finishes, gloating ever-so-close to Victor's face. NICK: Your house. Nick begins to crack up, starting softly and building into an echoing horror that fills the room. NICK: I am going to have everything I ever wanted Victor. And you and your pathetic family aren't gonna be able to stop me. ---
  19. EPISODE 163 Written by A. Washington-Beeby Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco Jennifer and Liam step into Jennifer's bedroom, Jennifer smiling as she walks toward her chest of drawers, looking for a towel. LIAM: Well, I think that went pretty well. JENNIFER: I do too. Jenn turns around after grabbing a fresh towel, and looks lovingly at Liam. JENNIFER: I want to say, I am so proud of you. Jenn wraps her arms around Liam, pulling her body in close to his. JENNIFER: For being so honest with me, with my mom and JJ. I know you have a lot of anger at how things went with your ex-, but...this is a huge step. I really am proud of you. LIAM: Thank you. JENNIFER: No problem. Jenn leans in and gives Liam a quick kiss on the lips, before turning away and heading for the ensuite bathroom. JENNIFER: Now, if we're gonna see JJ off, I need to shower. LIAM: Alright, I'll be here. Jenn smiles as she shuts the bathroom door, leaving Liam alone. His expression changes almost instantly as he pulls his cell phone out, quickly making a phone call. LIAM: (into phone) Yeah, it's me.... Liam walks over toward the door to the bedroom and shuts it, ensuring no one overhears him. LIAM: (into phone) Oh, just wanted to give you a heads up. I had to put out a fire with Jenn and the family...no! I didn't name names, I just...twisted some truths around. Liam paces the room, looking intensely at the chest of drawers, where a photo of Jenn, JJ, Abby, and Jack rests. Liam glares at it, menacingly. LIAM: (into phone) Trust me. They'll never know what's really going on. Promise. --- Sami walks down the pathway to the Brady Pub, on her cell phone to Lucas. SAMI: (into phone) Hey Lucas. We need to get together soon...yeah, I need to go over some plans for Will and Sonny's wedding...oh yeah, it's no rush...okay, talk soon. Bye. Stopping outside the pub's front door, as she ends her call. Stepping inside, she's immediately greeted warmly by Kim. SAMI: Hey, Aunt Kim! How are you? Kim beams from behind the bar, thrilled to see her neice. She nods slowly, as she motions to Sami to come over to the bar. KIM: I'm alright. Come sit down. SAMI: Sure! Sami obliges, sitting down across from Kim at the bar. Sami senses something slightly off with Kim, but chooses not to address it right away. KIM: So how's things? How's the wedding planning coming along? Kim deflects, smiling broadly as she asks Sami about WIll & Sonny's upcoming nuptials. SAMI: Oh my God, Kim, it's going so well. I know Will has a lot on his plate right now with work, so I've been taking some initiative myself. KIM: Ooh! Show me, show me, show me! Sami pulls out her tablet from her bag to show Kim pictures of the matching tuxedoes Sami's proposing to Will & Sonny. SAMI: So...I wanted to do something slightly different with the tuxes, but still keeping it traditional. Sami turns the tablet toward Kim, whose eyes light up at the pictures. KIM: Oh wow, that's amazing. You know, I can't wait for the big day. SAMI: Neither can I. I dunno if Will and Sonny can, though. They seem pretty...stressed out. KIM: It'll pass. I'm sure of it. Sami nods with a hopeful smile. SAMI: I know it will. So, how's things with you? Kim rests her elbow on the bar, looking less than enthused. KIM: (sigh) Alright, I guess. Sami furrows her brow, knowing for sure Kim's not telling the whole truth. SAMI: Why don't I believe that? KIM: Ahh, it's just a few things have come up, that's all. SAMI: Like? KIM: Like...(sigh) I've had to find a sublet for Theresa's apartment. Sami sighs, realizing the situation she finds herself in with Theresa in a coma. SAMI: Oh wow. I'm sorry, Kim. KIM: It's okay. I know this woman's going to be dependable while Theresa's in the hospital, so that sets my mind at ease. Sami looks intrigued. SAMI: Oh? How do you know? KIM: Well, she's a new hire at University Hospital. Valerie Grant hand picked her herself, and...from the conversations I've had with her, and her background check and all, I think she'll work out fine. SAMI: Oh that's fantastic. She's a doctor or something? Kim smiles confidently, feeling an increasingly unusual sense of relief. KIM: Nurse, actually. Her name is Crystal Clarke. --- Sheryl emerges from inside the locker room, checking both ways to make sure the coast is clear. She looks down the hall, noticing at a nearby patient room sits an empty wheelchair, with a neatly folded blanket on the seat. Thinking quickly, Sheryl darts over and swipes the wheelchair, and wheels it hastily inside the locker room. Inside, Nurse Crystal Clarke's lifeless body lays on the ground, a towel draped over her wet body just near the showers. Sheryl reaches down and covers Crystal's head with the towel, then struggles to lift her upper body upright, wrapping the blanket around her to hide her naked body. After struggling with this, Sheryl manages to steady the wheelchair enough to drag Crystal into the wheelchair. Strapping her in the best she can. Sheryl quickly runs over and moves the contents of Crystal's locker to her own, before shutting Crystal's locker, and locking her own. Outside the room, Maxine emerges from the patient's room where Sheryl stole the wheelchair, and looks confused by the disappearing wheelchair. MAXINE: What the...? Looking around, baffled, Maxine turns herself around, before tutting in frustration. MAXINE: These new hires, I tell you. As Maxine walks off back to the nurses' station, Sheryl pokes her head back out the door, ensuring the coast is clear. She momentarily backs into the room when she notices Maxine passing, but once Maxine is around the corner, Sheryl opens the door wide, and pushes Crystal's comatose body out the door on the wheelchair, rushing as fast as she can while still walking for the service elevator. --- --- Laura and JJ stand in the foyer of the Horton house, resting for a moment after loading some more boxes into JJ's SUV. They pant in exhaustion from their labour. LAURA: Something tells me you're taking the entire house with you. JJ laughs through his breaths. JJ: Hah, well, I don't think I'm....gonna have enough room in dorm for that. LAURA: You know I'm so proud of you, JJ. JJ: Thanks, Grandma. Laura sighs, as JJ questions her. JJ: So...once I'm gone, what's gonna be your next move? LAURA: Well, I'm gonna get out of the line of fire as soon as I can. JJ: What do you mean? Laura looks upstairs to be sure Liam nor Jennifer hears her. LAURA: Well...I've been looking at getting a place of my own. I mean...the house is lovely and all, but...I have a feeling that if I'm not around, that might lull Liam into a false sense of security. Maybe...just maybe we can investigate him better from a slight distance. JJ takes a drink from a water bottle he left on the side table. His brow furrowed, uncertain about Laura's plan. JJ: You sure that's a good idea? I mean...Abs is still living here and all. LAURA: Well, hopefully not for long. Now that she's working at WXIR, she's been saving some money. She may be moving into her own place soon, too. At least, that's what I'll be encouraging her to do. JJ: Alright. But what about Mom? Are you sure Liam isn't gonna hurt her? LAURA: Trust me, JJ. The last thing he will want to do is hurt your mother. If he feels threatened, then I worry, but I don't think that's the case. She'll be safe here. JJ nods slowly, as Liam emerges from the top of the stairs. Both JJ and Laura immediately look up at him with surprised expressions, which catch Liam off-guard. --- Justin slams his coffee cup down on the bar table in the Kiriakis living room, fed up with Alex once again siding with his mother. JUSTIN: Anjelica, do you pay our son to do this? Or is he just hardwired to see things your way. Alex snaps back at his father from behind the sofa, walking around to confront his father. ALEX: You know, I resent that. Dad, you know full well if my mother is doing something I don't approve of, I'm gonna call her out on it. But the same goes for you. And right now, I think Nick Fallon is too dangerous for us to be riling him up. MAGGIE: Alex has a point, Justin. Justin looks away, shaking his head, but listening to his son's point of view. ALEX: He holds all the cards. He has our company, he has our property, he has everything. If we want it back, we have to play smart, not with brute force. Not by lashing out. Not by throwing tantrums around the living room. Now, I don't like him being here any more than you do, but I can't stop him. Justin looks up at his son, as Noelle walks in through the front door, the lattes she went out to get in hand. She listens in on the conversation her husband is having with his father very closely, never stepping into the room so as not to be seen. JUSTIN: Who says I can't? ALEX: The law, Dad. You know, that thing you practice? Justin rolls his eyes at his son's barb, as Alex continues. ALEX: Besides, Anjelica is right. As much as you don't want to admit it. If you want to get the drop on Nick Fallon, you have to let him live here, get comfortable here, let him get sloppy, let him make mistakes. THAT is how we're gonna win our company back. And you know I'm right. Justin sighs, nodding in agreement with Alex, as Noelle stands just outside the cracked-open double doors to the living room, beaming with delight at her husband's convincing argument that unwittingly helps her plans. --- Sami sips on a cup of coffee while sitting on the barstool at the Brady Pub. Kim finishes settling up with a nearby customer, before turning back to Sami. KIM: So, how are the kids doing at school? SAMI: Oh, they're good. They miss home, of course, but...I needed to give them space with everything going on here. With all this drama with Kristen, and Nick, EJ and I and our problems...and Dad doing so badly. KIM: Trust me, I get it. Sami sighs, a bit saddened by the family's situation. SAMI: You know, I'm really worried about him. KIM: So am I. (sigh) I just wish your mom felt the same kind of urgency. Sami looks at Kim, baffled. SAMI: What's that supposed to mean? Kim leans in closer, trying to speak in hushed tones to Sami. KIM: Your mom met up with Eric here last night. SAMI: Last night? It's Eric's wedding night, what's he doing alone at the pub? Kim shrugs, before continuing. KIM: I have no idea. Presumably, Nicole was busy? I...honestly, I couldn't tell you. SAMI: Okay...? KIM: Anyway, when I came in, she was asking Eric to do a DNA test with Roman. SAMI: What? Why? KIM: That's what I wanted to know. Apparently, Marlena thinks there's a chance that the man that Kristen brought back to Salem in 1997 wasn't actually your father. They have no medical records before then. So of course, Marlena thinks there's some kind of DiMera conspiracy at play, and now instead of getting Roman the help he needs and figuring out what's causing his decline, she's spending all her time trying to figure out whether this really is your father or not. Sami looks on, increasingly frustrated. She chokes out a response. SAMI: And every day that goes by, he loses more and more of his memories. KIM: That's what I said. But she and Valerie are convinced. This is the only way. Eric didn't want give a sample either, and I told Marlena... Before Kim can even finish, Sami interrupts, getting up from her stool, and reaches into her bag for her cash. SAMI: Sorry, Aunt Kim. I gotta take care of something. Sami lays down a $20 bill on the bar and runs out of the bar, Kim calling out after her. KIM: Sami? Wait, Sami! Not once looking back, Sami leaves the pub as if she hadn't even heard Kim. Kim stands behind the bar, more worried than ever. --- Sheryl waits impatiently inside the service elevator, as it descends to the parking garage below University Hospital. SHERYL: Come oooon, come on come on come on come on... As the elevator dings, indicating it's arrival on the underground level, and the doors open. Sheryl, wheelchair in tow, jettisons out of the elevator, and into the parking garage, checking carefully to ensure she's alone. Arriving at her vehicle, Sheryl struggles to open the door to the SUV, and keep the wheelchair containing Crystal's lifeless body. As Sheryl locks the wheels, she attempts to lift Crystal out of the wheelchair when a familiar voice calls out to her. DANIEL: You need a hand there? Sheryl drops Crystal back into the wheelchair, as she stands back up. Her mouth agape, as she hears Daniel's footsteps, as he stops, standing behind her.
  20. EPISODE 162 Written by A. Washington-Beeby Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco Nick sits in the Horton Town Square, sipping on a coffee while he flips through his phone. Moments later, Nicole makes her way into the square. NICOLE: Nick! I've been looking for you. Nick looks up, nonplussed. He responds cooly. NICK: Oh, so now you're looking for me? But when I try to reach you, you're too busy. So... Nicole rolls her eyes, sighing as she sits down at the table opposite Nick. NICOLE: Look, I'm sorry about yesterday, but...it was a very important day for me, and I couldn't meet up with you. I'm sorry if that's a problem. NICK: Nicole, cut the crap. I know you were getting married to Eric yesterday. Nicole looks back at Nick, sternly, but with begrudging respect. NICOLE: (sigh) Right. And I know it was wrong to ignore your calls. NICK: I had a lot of very important things we had to discuss. NICOLE: I know, I KNOW. Nicole calms down, knowing Nick has power over her. Keeping her temper in check, she continues. NICOLE: Look, I...I just wanted to thank you. Nick looks up at Nicole, slightly confused. NICK: Thank me? For what? Nicole sighs, trying to hold her emotions in. NICOLE: I know you could've sold me out with Eric yesterday. I get that. But you didn't. You gave him the Chyka files, and you never said a word about how I kept them from him. And I really...I really appreciate it. Nick's face changes, starting to smile as he realizes what has happened. --- Sheryl steps into the supply closet by the locker room at University Hosptial. She hastily pilfers through the cleaning supplies, desperately searching for something. After a moment, she turns from the shelf, hands on hips. Her frustration clear on her face, as she shakes her head. SHERYL: The hell am I gonna do? Sheryl looks back over at the shelf, and slowly realizes what to do. Stepping slowly over to the shelf, she pulls out a bottle of rubbing alcohol. She looks at it momentarily, before reaching down for the jug of bleach. Sheryl opens the bleach and notices it's half-empty. She smiles knowingly. SHERYL: Perfect. Sheryl, without hesitation, covers her mouth with her hand, and pours the bottle of rubbing alcohol into the bleach container, making chloroform. She quickly seals the bottle up to avoid contact with the fumes. Standing up, Sheryl looks for a cloth. Digging around through the shelves, the finds a package full of clean cloths. She steals one, and places it in the nearby mop sink. Sheryl then quickly turns back to the shelf and looks for some kind of safety mask, and rubber gloves. The gloves are easy to find, but the mask, not so much. Desperately rummaging through the shelf, she's unable to find one. She stands back, cursing her misfortune. SHERYL: Dammit! What kind of hospital doesn't even have face masks in every room?! After a moment, Sheryl rummages through the cloths and pulls another one out. Sheryl pulls on the rubber gloves, then grabs the cloth. Hastily covering her mouth and nose to avoid being knocked out herself, she picks up the container of chloroform mix, and brings it over to the mop sink. She drops to her knees, and opens the bleach bottle again. Holding the cloth back up to her mouth and nose, she then tips the bottle gently over, and soaks the cloth in the chloroform mixture. --- Jordan paces her office at the hospital, as Rafe stands up from his seat at her desk, stunned by the news she's just told him. RAFE: What do you mean, you're not Jordan Ridgeway? So Kate was right? Jordan lashes out, stopping Rafe from continuing as she shouts her response. JORDAN: YES! Yes, Kate was right! Kate...(sigh) Kate wins again. I'm not Jordan Ridgeway. Rafe stands, stunned. He stammers out an answer. RAFE: Well, then...I...what the...well, who are you then? JORDAN: Rafe, I-- Rafe explodes, demanding an answer from his fiancée. RAFE: Dammit, J...just tell me who you are. I think I have a right to know who I'm engaged to. Rafe's tone drops after nearly calling her Jordan, as she begins to tell Rafe her story. JORDAN: (sigh) Fine. You want my whole life story? Here it is. My name is Tammy Sue Weston. I'm from the Ozarks, my father is an abusive sociopath who made my life and my brother's life such a living hell that we had to run away from home the first chance we got, and I have been lying about pretty much everything I have told every person I have met since then about myself. Rafe stands back, staring back at Jordan in stunned heartbreak, before Jordan steps toward Rafe. She puts her hand up to his chest. She looks deeply into his eyes. JORDAN: But I haven't lied about how I feel about you. And if you want to know anything more about me...about what I've done in the past? The good? The bad? All of it. I will tell you, Rafe. I'll tell you all of it. Rafe takes Jordan's hand in his, he holds it, and looks down at her hand, wearing his engagement ring. He studies it intensely, as he thinks over the bombshell Jordan just dropped. --- --- Justin stands in the Kiriakis living room, pouring another cup of coffee from the caraffe on the bar, while Anjelica sits behind him in an armchair, calmly sipping her coffee. Alex stands behind the sofa, fixing his tie, while Maggie sits on the sofa. Alex and Maggie share Justin's uneasy expression. JUSTIN: I would love to know how this family manages to get itself into such fine messes. Anjelica smiles and responds with her usual dry sarcasm. ANJELICA: You're all just especially fortunate that way. JUSTIN: No one asked for your input, Anjelica. Anjelica looks around the room as she replies, looking ever-so-smug as she reaches for her own coffee cup. ANJELICA: Oh come on, Justin! This could be extremely advantageous for you. I mean, Nick isn't throwing us all out on the street. Quite frankly, I see this as an opportunity. Justin turns around, a confused, and frankly irritated look on his face. JUSTIN: An opportunity for what? My blood pressure to go up? We've already got one family member in the hospital from a heart attack, you wanna try for two? Maybe that way, we WILL have room if Gabi Hernandez decides to stay at the Kiriakis Inn! ALEX: You know, Justin...Anjelica may be right. Maybe there's something to be said for keeping your enemies closer. Anjelica turns to look at an unimpressed Justin, who glowers at his son for once again siding with his mother. --- Nick leans forward to engage with Nicole, as Nicole pats her eyes dry, hoping to keep her mascara from running. NICK: I'm glad the wedding went alright. NICOLE: Well, kinda. Sami and Marlena found out, and...I know that was likely your doing too, so...don't think I don't know that was a warning. NICK: I was angry. NICOLE: I know. Nicole nods sheepishly, but then looks up, a steely look in her eyes, indicating she means business. NICOLE: But if you intend to keep this working relationship going, you need to cool that temper. I am not working against you, Nick. NICK: I wanted to be sure. NICOLE: Well, be sure about this. I've been given my own TV special at WXIR. Nick raises an eyebrow, though is still slightly distracted by his phone. NICK: Oh? What about? Nicole looks on, a sly expression on her face, knowing the subject matter will intrigue Nick. NICOLE: The EnerNext project. Nick looks up immediately, as Nicole anticipated. NICOLE: Sami gave me the green light. It airs tonight, and...I know it's last minute, but...I want you to be a guest. Our featured guest, in fact. Nick smiles broadly at the invitation. He leans in with interest. NICK: I am IN. Nick and Nicole reach across the table to firmly shake hands. Nick keeping his smug grin, and Nicole with a cheeky smile. --- Rafe holds Jordan's hand tightly. He nods before looking up at his fiancée. RAFE: Tammy Sue Weston, hm? JORDAN: Yeah. Even if I wasn't hiding, I think I would've probably changed my name by now. Rafe looks down at Jordan's hand again, amused. He responds softly, before looking lovingly in Jordan's eyes. RAFE: You know...I'm still upset about you lying to me. Jordan cuts Rafe off, intent on getting through to him. JORDAN: Rafe, if I could have told you, I would have. But I just...I need to be safe from my family. They're dangerous people. Rafe holds up his finger to Jordan's lips, silencing her gently. He looks into her eyes as he leans in closer to her. RAFE: Look, it's gonna take some time, but...I promise, no matter what your name is, I love you. All I want is for you to feel safe confiding in me. Okay? JORDAN: I know. I will. But I need you to realize that I'm not perfect. There's a lot you don't know about me still, and...yeah, it is gonna take time. But I know that you're worth telling it to. Rafe pulls Jordan into a kiss, then a tight embrace. Jordan closes her eyes tightly as she holds onto Rafe, as if afraid to let go. JORDAN: I love you, Rafe. RAFE: Me too. Me too. --- Sheryl steps quietly back into the locker room, holding the chloroform-soaked cloth in one hand. She can hear Crystal humming to herself inside, but doesn't see her. Sheryl steps softly into the room, and notices Crystal's locker is open, but Crystal isn't there. Looking behind her to make sure Crystal isn't lurking, Sheryl grabs Crystal's keys and cell phone from her locker, and quickly unlocks her own locker, hiding them inside, as well as Crystal's purse. As Sheryl does this, the sound of the shower turning on comes from the next room. Sheryl turns her head suddenly, the sound making her jump. Realizing what is is, Sheryl relaxes, and finishes closing her locker. At this point, Sheryl steps almost silently into the next room. There, Crystal showers, humming a song to herself as she shampoos her hair, blissfully unaware of the sinister woman approaching her from behind. Sheryl takes a step closer. Crystal moves her head under the shower head. Sheryl steps closer again. Crystal closes her eyes as she lathers her hair in shampoo. Crystal's humming drowns out any noise from Sheryl's movements toward Crystal. As Crystal rinses the shampoo from her hair, Sheryl pounces, grabbing Crystal and covering her mouth and nose with one hand with the chloroformed cloth. After a few moments of struggle, Crystal succumbs to the fumes, and loses consciousness. Sheryl beams, almost busting out laughing at her latest victory. ---
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