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EPISODE 88 Written by A. Washington-Beeby Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson Hope stands in her office at the Salem PD, staring thoughtfully out the window. Rafe slowly opens the door. Observing Hope, he sighs to himself, as he stands in the doorway, holding a cup of coffee in his hand. Never once looking away, barely even blinking, Hope doesn't notice as Rafe walks over to her, and hands her the cup. She jumps a bit, startled by Rafe. She looks down at the coffee cup and smiles as she takes it from Rafe. RAFE: Figured you could use this. HOPE: Thanks. RAFE: You alright? Mrs...what was it, Grant? She really got to you. Hope looks down, then back out the window, not looking Rafe's way as she takes a sip of her coffee. She takes a second before replying to him. HOPE: Was it that obvious? Hope turns around to face Rafe, a slight smile on both their faces, as they attempt to relieve a bit of the tension from dealing with Valerie and Jerome. Rafe shrugs as he makes a bit of a joke. RAFE: Enh, not really. Heh. But seriously, that Valerie woman really shook you up. You...obviously have met before? Hope looks down, nodding slowly as she answers Rafe, though almost zoning out. HOPE: Ohh yeah. My...nephew David was supposed to marry Valerie a looong long time ago. RAFE: And...obviously that didn't work out so well. HOPE: You could say that. Rafe looks on with concern, as Hope stays brooding in her own head, as though Rafe wasn't even in the room. RAFE: Look, I don't wanna pry here, but...you look really upset by this. HOPE: Yeah, well...(sigh) besides all the personal history...there's something about this whole situation that...it's just not right. Hope looks up, looking intensely at Rafe, who looks back in stunned confusion. --- Nicole and Eric unlock the door to Nicole's unlit apartment, laughing in between kisses. Eric holds a bottle of champagne in his hand, and places it down on the kitchen counter, as Nicole quickly turns on the light. NICOLE: Ahhh! I...I cannot believe this. Nicole runs back over to Eric, wrapping her arms around him from behind, much to his surprise. Eric laughs as he loses his balance while trying to grab champagne glasses from the cabinet above. ERIC: Woah! Hey, Miss soon-to-be-Mrs. Brady. NICOLE: Mmm, I like the sound of that. Eric turns around, champagne glasses now in hand as he puts one arm around Nicole. Guiding her around to his side, he grabs the bottle and squeezes Nicole gently. ERIC: Well, you better get used to hearing it, because I can't wait to make you my wife. Eric twists off the cork with a loud pop. The cork flies out of the bottle and smashes the lightbulb above them, rendering the apartment once again pitch black. Nicole and Eric duck momentarily to protect themselves from the shattering glass, before looking up in stunned silence. NICOLE: Oh God. ERIC: Well...at least the darkness is romantic. NICOLE: Yyyyyeah, I was never a fan of making love on broken glass, though. Nicole turns toward the cupboard, pulling out a big flashlight. NICOLE: Fortunately... Nicole turns on the flashlight, startling Eric, who jumps back to protect his eyes from the bright light. ERIC: ...AH! Hey! NICOLE: I'm prepared for anything! Nicole strides quickly back around, heading for the closet to find another bulb. NICOLE: Don't move, I don't want you to step in the glass or anything. ERIC: Yeah. Sure. Eric looks on, sighing at the romantic, celebratory mood being gradually killed before his eyes. --- Adrienne and Justin stand outside the Kiriakis Mansion, in the garden. Adrienne holds herself tightly, cold from the chilled winter air, as her husband drapes his jacket across her shoulders. JUSTIN: You're shivering. Adreinne waves dismissively at him. ADRIENNE: I'm fine. I can handle it. Thank you. I just...I needed to breathe. You could cut the tension in that room with a knife. JUSTIN: Don't I know it. You never explained yourself, why are you suddenly so against this wedding. Adrienne steps in close to Justin, her voice gets softer as she explains herself. From inside, Will stands by the slightly-ajar door, straining to hear her. ADRIENNE: I saw what was happening with Will and Sonny in there, Justin. JUSTIN: And what was happening, exactly? Remember, I just got here. Adrienne responds incredulously. ADRIENNE: You didn't see it?? Justin, Will might as well have been on another planet, he was so completely...fixated on Alex. JUSTIN: Well...Alex is an extremely attractive guy, I mean, it doesn't mean anything. Alex is with Noelle. Adrienne rolls her eyes at what she views as her husband's naivete. ADRIENNE: Oh please, Justin, I've told you a thousand times, Alex isn't with that girl for love. It's so obvious. JUSTIN: You know, I don't exactly appreciate you making assumptions about my son's sexuality-- ADRIENNE: Why? Are you ashamed of Sonny now? Justin looks down, stopping and sighing before answering as thoughtfully as he can. Careful not to say something he'll regret. JUSTIN: You know that's not what I meant, Adrienne. I just-- ADRIENNE: ...You just still wish he were straight? I don't get it. Justin explodes in anger, raising his voice, pointing back into the house emphatically, as though Sonny stood behind him. JUSTIN: NO! I am so proud of our son, Adrienne. He has more strength and self-respect than most men twice his age. I would go to my death for that kid. ADRIENNE: Then you need to stop him from making a huge mistake. JUSTIN: He can decide that on his own, Adrienne. Adrienne leans in close to Justin again, her one finger raised to make her point to Justin. She speaks softly but firmly. ADRIENNE: If it isn't Alex, it'll be some other guy. He's Sami Brady's son in every. Single. Way. Will leans back, the back of his head hits the wall behind him. He rests himself there, standing in stunned disbelief at what he's overheard. He breathes heavily before looking around for Sonny, then darting off. --- --- Nicole kneels on the kitchen counter of her apartment, as she finishes screwing in the lightbulb that had previously burnt out. Eric looks on from behind the counter, silently spotting Nicole, trying to protect her if she loses her balance. NICOLE: Aaaaalllmost got it. Aaaaaand THERE! The light flickers on, causing Nicole to throw up her arms in victory. NICOLE: HaHA! So? How many Nicoles DOES it take to change a lightbulb? ERIC: I'd say one. Nicole looks down, glaring at Eric for his dry 'wit'. NICOLE: Smart-ass. Nicole leans over to playfully swat Eric, but misses and loses her balance. She shrieks as she falls into Eric's arms. After a moment of panic, Nicole and Eric stop for a second, looking into each other's eyes. After a long moment, they slowly lean in and kiss each other passionately. Their kiss leads to Nicole reaching around to wrap her arms around Eric's neck, as she draws him in closer. Aroused by the intensity, Eric lifts Nicole onto the counter, as Nicole draws Eric close to her. She wraps her legs around his waist as he pulls open her blouse, kissing down her neck as Nicole closes her eyes, enjoying the sensation of every kiss. Nicole takes a breath as Eric lifts his head, looking into Nicole's eyes. She smiles wryly, as she pulls his shirt off quickly, exposing his rippled body. NICOLE: The bedroom? Eric nods, a playful glint in his eye. ERIC: Bedroom. Eric effortlessly scoops Nicole up into his arms, her arms and legs still wrapped around his body. The kiss passionately as he carries her into her bedroom, the lights, newly changed, left on. --- Noelle casually walks toward Victor, both of them standing in the Kiriakis living room alone. She looks at him smugly, as Victor tries to ignore her completely, looking the other way. NOELLE: You know, this really is such a beautiful home. I could get used to it here. Victor squints his eyes, trying to stop from spitting his drink out, as he chokes out an answer. He turns around, glaring at her. VICTOR: You expect to live here? I was hoping you'd at least settle for a neighbouring zip code. Noelle crosses her arms, a wry smile on her face. She begins to pace the room as she talks, contemplating as she speaks. Victor gets tense as she speaks. NOELLE: Victor, you're a card. You know as well I do, though, that as long as Alex is staying here with you and Maggie... Noelle turns around suddenly, staring down Victor. NOELLE: ...I...will be right here with him. I mean, I am his wife, after all. Victor grimaces, never once looking away from Noelle as they each try to intimidate the other. VICTOR: Mm. Don't remind me. Noelle laughs quietly as Victor turns back around, finishing his drink. She saunters around to the other side of Victor, grabbing a glass for her own drink as she picks up the caraffe and begins to pour herself a drink. NOELLE: Oh come now, don't you want your nephew to be happy? VICTOR: Yes. Which is exactly why I want him far away from you, and preferably the rest of your dysfunctional family to boot! Noelle takes a sip from her drink, savouring the flavour, as she responds to Victor's repeated snipes, again with a smile and cool exterior. NOELLE: Well, don't worry about my family. You've already done your part in tearing ours apart. And juding by how tonight's going...it looks like you're doing wonders on your own. Victor looks menacingly at Noelle, who takes the opportunity to turn toward the hallway heading for the kitchen. NOELLE: I best check on Maggie and the boys. Enjoy your wallowing! Victor watches from his peripheral vision as Noelle casually walks out of the room. Once gone, he quickly finishes his drink, before slamming the glass down on the desk before him. VICTOR: Damn that little... --- Maggie turns around in the Kiriakis kitchen, holding some serving bowls she's pulled out from the pantry, and walks slowly toward the centre island, where Sonny leans against the counter, and Alex sits casually on a bench. They're relaxed, catching up, and helping bring a smile back to Maggie's face. MAGGIE: It's so nice to be back in a kitchen again. Alex, who's stealing some mini-profiterols from a bowl on the counter, looks over to Maggie, a wide smile on his face. ALEX: You know how funny that sounds, knowing you own a restaurant? Maggie and Sonny laugh, as Maggie smacks Alex's hand away as he reaches over to grab another profiterol. MAGGIE: Restaurants! And you're gonna spoil your supper if you keep that up. SONNY: And those abs, I might add. Alex gives Sonny a smug, mocking look. ALEX: Ahh you're just jealous because I got the good genes. SONNY: Yeah, well, apparently modesty's a Johnson thing anyway. ALEX: Ohhh! I know you didn't go there just now. SONNY: I SO did! As the boys laugh, Maggie leans over the table and grabs their hands, squeezing them tightly as she smiles, looking back and forth between the two of them. MAGGIE: You know...can I just say...this was exactly what I needed? SONNY: I'm glad to hear it, Maggie. I'm sorry about what's been happening between you and Uncle Vic. Maggie smiles warmly at Sonny. MAGGIE: Thanks, Sonny. I mean...I know it's not his fault. With everything that's happened. Titan being in so much trouble, and...Brady dying...I know it's been hard on him. ALEX: But it's not your fault, either. SONNY: Exactly. Don't be afraid to have some sort of...release. Maggie nods, sighing in a sense of relief of having been able to talk this out with Alex and Sonny. MAGGIE: I know. I was never very good at that. At least tonight, I've got the kitchen free for a bit. SONNY: Yeah! I was amazed you got Chef to go home early. Maggie gives a cute smile to Sonny. MAGGIE: I have my ways. As Maggie winks at the boys, everyone laughs, and Alex smiles, nodding in approval of his great aunt. MAGGIE: But you know...honestly, it's nice having a kitchen again. I thought I'd love being waited on hand and foot but...I miss everyone coming down to my house and hanging out in my kitchen. SONNY: Yeah! That used to be like...every lunch break. Me, Chad, Will, Gabi, Melanie... MAGGIE: I really miss that. But...I wouldn't trade it for life with Victor for anything. Alex pats Maggie's back gently, smiling approvingly, as Sonny takes a sip of his drink. ALEX: Well...we wouldn't trade you for anything either. You make a great addition to this family. Sonny holds up his drink, as Alex reaches over to grab his. Maggie, not having hers, laughs awkwardly, slightly embarrassed by the praised being given to her. SONNY: Hear hear! As Sonny and Alex toast, Will bursts into the room. He sees Sonny and Alex toast and senses the same tension as before. ALEX: Hey, Will! Will stops a moment before calling out to Sonny. WILL: Hey! ...Uh...Sonny, can I...talk to you a second? Sonny, sensing something's troubling Will, immediately walks over. SONNY: Uh, sure. Everything alright? WILL: Yeah, I just...I need to ask you something...in private. SONNY: Ssssure. Sonny and Will both look back into the room, with Sonny giving both Maggie and Alex a smile, while Will looks on, fixated on Alex, before catching himself and looking away. WILL: I won't keep him long, I promise. Maggie and Alex laugh quietly, as Sonny is dragged into the hall. Once in the hall, Sonny looks around, a bit annoyed by Will's awkward behaviour, he whispers intensely at Will. SONNY: What's wrong? You alright? Will begins to panic as he grabs Sonny, holding him tightly for a moment. WILL: I...I don't know. Sonny reciprocates, holding Will tightly in his arms for the first time in days. He savours the moment, as much as he worries for Will. SONNY: What is it? Tell me. Will holds back tears as he pulls back from his embrace with Sonny. Looking intensely at his fiance, tears in his eyes, he answers. WILL: It's your mom, Sonny. Sonny looks on, worry and aggravation painted on his face. --- Adrienne stands in the Kiriakis garden, facing away from a confused Justin. Justin stands, hands on hips, trying to sort out Adrienne's thought process. JUSTIN: Do you seriously think that Will is going to marry our son, his first boyfriend, I might add, only to throw everything they've worked so hard for away just as things are starting to smooth out for them? Adrienne laughs softly, as she turns around, shaking her head at her husband. ADRIENNE: Justin, you cannot be that naive. JUSTIN: And you can't possibly be that cynical. Do you hear yourself right now? Will is Sami's son, therefore he's inevitably going to turn to be a Samantha Gene Brady mini-me? Adrienne sighs, holding in her feelings as Justin ravishes her for her remark. ADRIENNE: That's not what I'm sayin-- JUSTIN: Then what ARE you saying, Adrienne? Because whatever it is, I don't think it's fair to Will, or to our son if you start trying to separate them again. All you're going to do is alienate them both. Is that what you really want? ADRIENNE: No! Of course not! Justin, I just...there is something going on between Alex and Will, and so help me, if your son comes between Sonny and Will-- Justin, taken aback by Adrienne's slip, cuts her off, stunning her into silence with his interjection. JUSTIN: My son? Adrienne, you helped raise Alex like he was your own...what are you saying? Adrienne struggles to find an answer, hoping not to make matters worse. Justin looks on, an increasingly hurt and angered look in his eye. --- Rafe looks confused at Hope. He looks on, attempting to figure out what she's referring to. RAFE: I...I don't know what you mean...I mean...we went on the info we had on this guy...it turned out to be wrong. End of story. Hope turns around, shaking her head in disagreement. She takes a second, sighing before responding to Rafe. HOPE: Not...exactly. Rafe squints in confusion, now shaking his head. RAFE: I don't get it. HOPE: Oh, Rafe, dammit! I just...I have...concerns. RAFE: About-- Hope turns around quickly, interrupting Rafe, a sudden intensity and anger in her voice. HOPE: ...About Jerome! About why we arrested him when he was...so diametrically opposite to what the real thief looked like. Rafe shrugs, trying to rationalize with Hope, but still uncomfortable. RAFE: Well...these things happen all the time, you know that-- HOPE: No! This...it's more than that. I mean... Hope looks down, turned back away from a confused Rafe. She looks at the ground, as if not even focused on anything in the room. She's intensely inside her own thoughts, and Rafe, her audience for her self-reflection. HOPE: ...I mean...Rafe, that profile. How many profiles have we seen...black male...early 20s... Hope turns back around, prepared to look at Rafe again. HOPE: What...what if Jerome's right? What if he was only made a suspect in the first place...because he was black? Rafe looks on, a conflicted look on his face, as he contemplates what Hope says to him. ---
EPISODE 87 Written by A. Washington-Beeby Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson Will, stood in the living room of the Kiriakis mansion alongside his fiance Sonny, looks on at Noelle and Alex's cosy togetherness. Stunned, he can barely choke out a response to Alex's introduction of Noelle, his wife. WILL: I...your wife! I...wow! You...I didn't realize. Alex laughs at Will's surprise, as Sonny reaches out to Noelle. SONNY: It's so good to finally meet you. NOELLE: And you, Sonny. Noelle breaks free from Alex's arm to give her brother-in-law a hug, as Adrienne steps forward into the scene from across the room, as Victor, still stood in front of the living room bar, looks her way. ADRIENNE: Well, now that we've all had a chance for introductions, shall I uh...set the table? VICTOR: Nonsense, Adrienne. Have a seat. Would you like a drink? Adrienne looks behind her to the chair behind her. She sits herself down as the others follow suit, seated across the sofa, with Maggie taking the easychair opposite Adrienne. ADRIENNE: Uh, no thank you, Victor. I'll just...wait until dinner. Maggie senses tension in the air, and tries to break it after a moment of awkward silence. MAGGIE: Ah, so...Noelle! It's...really nice to see you again. Ah, I was just saying to Adrienne and Noelle in the kitchen that I hadn't seen her since she were a little girl. And now here you are...all grown up-- Noelle looks Maggie's way, smiling, as Victor interrupts Maggie with a snarky remark. VICTOR: Marrying for money and status, just like her louse of a father. Maggie immediately turns to Victor, disgust plain on her face, as Victor takes a sip of his drink. MAGGIE: Victor, we have guests. They may be family, but it is no time to be airing your greivences. Adrienne chimes in, hoping to reclaim some good humour in the room. ADRIENNE: I agree. This is supposed to be a pleasant evening, and... MAGGIE: ...And it's a time for celebration. Alex is back in Salem, with a beautiful new bride, no comment from the peanut gallery, thank you. Victor scowls as Maggie looks pointedly his way. MAGGIE: And we have one more marriage soon to come in the family. As Will will soon be part of our family as well. Will smiles awkwardly as Maggie gets up from her seat to pour herself a soda. Sonny puts a hand on Will's knee, causing Will to look down quickly, before looking up at Sonny. Sonny's eyes are glued to Will's, almost pleading with him to be civil. Will looks at Sonny, lovingly, but with a degree of coldness. MAGGIE: Adrienne, would you at least like a soda to toast with? Adrienne looks away from Sonny and Will, as if snapping out of a daze. She responds to Maggie, awkwardly, but pleasantly. ADRIENNE: Ahh....oh, yes! Yes, thank you! Maggie turns back to pour the drink, as Victor paces behind the sofa, observing all the tension bubbling under the proceedings. His face tells the story, as his scowl persists. MAGGIE: There you are. So, to our guests of honour. Will, Sonny, Alex, and Noelle. May they live and love for many years to come. As everyone raises their glasses, Maggie fixes her gaze on an unmoved Victor, who raises his glass only at the behest of his wife. --- Billie picks up a cup of tea from the coffee table in the Horton living room, as Jennifer sits down in the chair near her. JENNIFER: Billie, I don't see why you're so curious about my feelings for Daniel. Billie stirs uncomfortably, as she tries to answer Jennifer as gently as possible. BILLIE: Look...Jenn, I don't mean to pry, that certainly isn't my intention. But...I think you should know...Daniel and I have been...well, we've been seeing each other, and it's been getting pretty serious. Jennifer keeps a cool exterior, setting down her tea on the coffee table. She nods at Billie and feigns a smile. JENNIFER: That's great. That's good to hear, Billie. But Daniel and I are through. What he does is really none of my business. BILLIE: Well...that's where you're wrong. Jennifer looks at Billie, confused, and a touch resentful at Billie's insistence. JENNIFER: What do you mean by that, Billie? Billie looks down at the ground, trying very hard not be tactless in how she answers the question. BILLIE: Because, based on what I've seen today, it's obvious to me that he's still very much in love with you. Jennifer looks at Billie, contemplative and a bit frustrated, by Billie's revelation. --- Laura knocks gently on JJ's bedroom door. JJ sits at his desk, typing away on an assignment, with her earbuds in, and doesn't hear Laura. Laura, seeing this, lets herself in, walking over to JJ and tapping him on the shoulder. JJ jumps, and upon seeing Laura behind him, takes his earbuds out. JJ: Grandma! LAURA: Sorry if I scared you, but...I wanted to give you some news. JJ turns around, as Laura sits down at the edge of JJ's bed. JJ: Okay, what's up? Laura smiles, trying to sum up everything she's learned today. Still a bit tense and uneasy with some of it, she decides to start with the good news first. LAURA: Well, there's some good news, and some...troubling news. JJ: Alright, lay the bad on me first. LAURA: Well, maybe I should give you the good news first. I...I don't want to cause you alarm. JJ: Grandma-- LAURA: Look, the good news is...I spoke to Daniel today, and...well, he agreed to look into Liam a bit more deeply for us. JJ smiles, a look of relief on his face. JJ: That's fantastic! Do you...do you think this will mean that...maybe there's a chance they'll find their way back to each other? Laura looks down, a bit worried. She shakes her head. LAURA: JJ, I know you just want your mother to be happy, but...it's too late for your mother and Daniel. JJ: But, I mean, he still loves her, right? I mean, he's agreed to help us-- LAURA: ...That doesn't mean that they're getting back together. Look, I know you blame yourself for your mother and Daniel splitting up, but...what's important right now is that we keep your mother safe. JJ nods, a bit disappointed, but understanding his grandmother's thinking. JJ: No, you're right. So...what was the bad news, then? Laura breathes in deeply, hoping the right words will come out. LAURA: Look, I don't want to...(sigh)...I don't mean to worry you, but...I overheard Liam having a conversation on the phone at the hospital today. JJ: A conversation? Okay, with who? Laura takes a second to answer, her eyes staring intensely at JJ as she speaks, worry causing her voice to shake. LAURA: EJ DiMera. JJ looks on, more worried for his mom than ever. --- --- Valerie and Jerome step into their new house. Valerie tosses her car keys casually on the table by the door, as she and Jerome step in from the winter cold. VALERIE: Well...it's not exactly how I planned your welcome. (sigh) But here it is. Jerome looks around, a smile on his face as he takes in his surroundings. JEROME: Well, well. Not bad, Grandma. Valerie turns around, cracking a smile. She puts her hand up to Jerome's face, looking affectionately at him. VALERIE: I'm glad you're alright. You know, I know it sounds like I'm paranoid but...I mean, you know this, every time you...turn on a TV or look at a newspaper, it's another black person dying in custody, and-- JEROME: Grandma, I told you. You don't need to worry about me. VALERIE: That's where you're wrong, Jerome. You're dead wrong. Jerome looks at his grandmother, confused by her persistance. JEROME: What do you mean, Grandma? I mean, you talk like you're speaking from experience or something. Valerie sighs, hesitating to answer. She looks unflinchingly at Jerome, a simmering rage inside her that she tries desperately to hold back. VALERIE: Maybe I am. Jerome looks on, dumfounded, shaking his head, as his phone rings. The disruption cuts the tension, as Jerome turns to find his jacket, where the phone is. JEROME: I gotta get that. Valerie sighs, as Jerome walks over to pick up the phone. Seeing that it's Sheryl, he immediately answers, but quietly. JEROME: (into phone) Hey. ... Sheryl steps off the elevator at the lobby of the Titan building. Her cell phone in hand, as she responds. SHERYL: (into phone) Hey, where are you? ... JEROME: (into phone) Ohhh I'm at my new house. Just settling in after my stint as a hardened criminal. ... Sheryl, surprised by the news, scrunches her face in displeased surprise. SHERYL: (into phone) WHAT? You're joking. ... Jerome continues, looking at Valerie, trying to keep the conversation light. JEROME: (into phone) No joke. Look, I uh...I don't really wanna get into it right now, but...you alright? ... SHERYL: (into phone) Not really. ... Jerome rolls his eyes, knowing Sheryl's problems will be something petty. JEROME: (into phone) Alright, spill. What is it? ... SHERYL: (into phone) I think Lucas might be onto us. I don't know how but...something's wrong. ... Jerome looks ahead, responding without hesitation. JEROME: (into phone) Meet me at Jordan's in 20 minutes? ... Sheryl again furrows her brow, confused by Jerome's request. SHERYL: (into phone) I can't until morning. Uh...besides, you don't even know where she lives... ... JEROME: (into phone) Text me directions now. She and I need to clear the air. You be there at 8:30 tomorrow morning. Bye. Jerome hangs up abruptly, putting his jacket back on, much to Valerie's chagrin. Valerie starts to head toward Jerome. VALERIE: Jerome Grant, where are you going? Jerome opens the front door of the house, barely stopping to explain himself. JEROME: There's an emergency at the University I have to deal with, Grandma. I'll see you in a bit. VALERIE: Jerome, wait! The door slams shut behind Jerome, causing Valerie to flinch, before looking off resigned and angry. --- Nick walks up to Stefano's grand leather chair. Resting against the back of it, he watches the fire along with Stefano. NICK: You know...you remember those...photos I sold you? Those ones Percy took of Abigail and EJ doing the do? Whatever happened to those? Stefano laughs heartily, never taking his eyes off the fire as he answers Nick. STEFANO: Ohh I have them in a very safe place. And if Elvis plays his cards right, they won't move from that place. --- Jennifer gets up from her seat, arms crossed, pacing the room uncomfortably as Billie looks her way, hoping to find a way to calm her nerves. BILLIE: Jenn, I'm sorry if I upset you, but... Jenn shrugs, shaking her head, deep in her own thoughts, almost not answering Billie, but just verbalizing her inner thoughts. JENNIFER: No, it's...it's okay, Billie. it's not your fault, and I'm sorry it's gone this way. But Daniel and I can't be together...I can't trust him. Besides, I've moved on. Billie looks Jenn's way, uncertainty in her eye. BILLIE: Jenn, I mean...maybe it's my insecurity talking but...it doesn't sound like you have. Jenn stops pacing, clicking back and turning to face Billie. She puts her hand over to meet Billie's, which rests on the top of the sofa near where Jenn was pacing. She smiles warmly at her longtime friend. JENNIFER: I have. And I've met a wonderful man who loves me and...it feels like we've known each other forever. Billie cracks a smile, as Jenn walks around to the other side of the sofa, never letting go of Billie's hand as she goes to sit on the sofa next to Billie, where she begins to gush about Liam. BILLIE: That's...GREAT. Tell me more! JENNIFER: Oh, Billie, I mean, you know, I know, I've..moved on kinda fast but...this guy, we talk about he just...he understands where I'm coming from, and he...I mean he even remembered Abigail's birthday a couple months ago, I like...I barely remember mentioning it to him. (laughs) Billie doesn't join in Jennifer's gushing, schoolgirl laughter, though she tries momentarily. The realization hits her, that this was what Laura was talking about to Daniel. She tries to hide her concern. BILLIE: What a...sweetheart. JENNIFER: He really is. Billie, I can't wait for you to meet him. BILLIE: I'm sure I will soon. He uh...he works at the hospital as well? JENNIFER: Yeah! He's a uh...pharmaceutical rep. BILLIE: I see. Billie nods in feigned approval, before starting to get up from the couch. BILLIE: Look, I need to get going, but I'm glad I stopped by. It's good to see you again. Jennifer gets up from the couch as well, smiling widely. She reaches quickly over to hug Billie. JENNIFER: It's SO good to see you. Ohhh my gosh, you, Daniel, Liam, and I...we should get together sometime soon. Billie smiles, nodding in strained agreement. BILLIE: Yes, we...definitely should. And...again, I'm sorry if I upset you. JENNIFER: No! Sweetie, never. I know what you're feeling right now. You're going through a lot of emotions. You're feeling...vulnerable. Insecure. It's okay. I understand that. And if you need me, I'll be there for you. Okay? Billie smiles earnestly, almost blushing at her friend's warmth and caring. BILLIE: Thank you. Billie turns and heads for the door, as Jennifer stays behind in the living room, an intense, thoughtful look on her face, as Billie heads out the door. Outside, Billie stands in the doorway, more concerned than ever. BILLIE: Alright, Billie. Time to find out who this Liam Frasier guy is...and what he wants. --- JJ gets up from his seat, his worry about his mom's safety palpible, he starts to panic as he speaks, building himself up into a bit of a frenzy, which Laura can't bear to watch, worried she'll be worked up herself. JJ: Grandma, what are we gonna do? I mean...if this Liam guy is really working for the DiMeras...I mean...mom could be in serious danger...and Abigail. I mean...she's working for them already. What if they're spying on her. What if this trip to Italy was...what are they gonna do to her? Laura looks at JJ, welling up with concern for her family, she can no longer hold back. She stands up from the edge of JJ's bed LAURA: I don't know, JJ. But I do know one thing for sure, is that you need to be kept safe from all of this. And I promise you, I will keep you safe, no matter what it costs me. Laura leans over and takes JJ in her arms, holding her grandson tightly. --- Maggie continues to try to cool the frayed nerves in the Kiriakis living room, trying to keep the mood light with banter, which falls on deaf ears to the rest of the party. MAGGIE: So it looks like The Penthouse Grille reopening will be ready to go by the spring. Isn't that great? ALEX: That's fabulous news, Maggie. I can't wait to see the place. Just then, Justin walks in the doors of the living room. Upon seeing his son looking back at him, Justin's face lights up, as does Alex's. ALEX: DAD! JUSTIN: You gotta be kidding me! Come here, big guy! Justin and Alex laugh and share a warm hug, as Adrienne gets up from her seat to greet her husband. JUSTIN: And I'm assuming you brought Noelle with you? NOELLE: Hi! JUSTIN: Noelle! It's been awhile. NOELLE: (laughs) Yes, it has. Justin steps over to Noelle, giving her a kiss on the cheek as a greeting. Adrienne, awkwardly stands near Justin, finally piping up. ADRIENNE: Ahh, Justin. Sweetie. Justing and Adrienne quickly kiss on the lips, Justin smiling warmly at his wife, though sensing her tension. JUSTIN: Yes, my dear. ADRIENNE: Could I, uh, speak to you in the kitchen a moment. Justin shrugs casually, pouring himself a quick drink before taking off. JUSTIN: Sure! Adrienne leads Justin out of the room into the side room. Inside the living room, Will's eyes follow Adrienne and Justin out, an air of suspicion as he watches them leave. Victor walks back around toward his previous seat. VICTOR: God, I hope dinner's soon. All this fretting and suspicious behaviour is working up my appetite. Maggie, starting to lose her cool, begins to crack, her voice raising in irritation not just as Victor, but everyone. MAGGIE: Victor, I swear to God. One more snide remark out of you-- VICTOR: ...And what, Maggie? You'll divorce me? Maggie gets up from her seat, finally blown her cool. MAGGIE: Don't press your luck, Kiriakis! Noelle sits, revelling in Victor's misery, but Sonny thinks better of the situation and gets up as well to try to calm things down. SONNY: Okay, maybe we should go set the table. I think Chef is nearly ready for the starters, so... Will follows suit, still more fixated on Adrienne and Justin's whereabouts, but using this as an opportunity to spy. WILL: Yeah. Yeah, I think that's a great idea, Sonny. NOELLE: Ohh, and miss all this great together time? Victor will be so disappointed. Won't he? Victor stands stoically by the bar set. Taking a sip of his drink, he casually retorts. VICTOR: Blow it out your nose, Hussy. MAGGIE: That does it! I've had enough. Victor, I hope you enjoy the poolhouse, because that's where you're staying tonight. Victor looks at Maggie, incredulously. VICTOR: What on Earth are you talking about, woman? This is MY house! MAGGIE: And I own half of it. Remember? I'll be in the kitchen. Victor scowls in defeat, as Maggie steps around Victor, heading to the kitchen to join the others in preparing dinner. Victor lingers in the living room, alone, save for Noelle, who has stayed behind, a smug smile on her face. Once the last of the group leave the room, Noelle begins to clap at Victor's misfortune. NOELLE: Great work, Victor. I have to say...that's one for the books. You've managed to alienate your entire family before the first course is even served. That's got to be a new record. Even for you! Victor looks away from Noelle, shaking his head slowly, before quickly downing the rest of his drink. --- Will and Sonny head for the kitchen, but Will stops just short of the kitchen. Sonny looks back in Will's direction, and Will motions to him, holding one finger up to tell him to hold on a moment. WILL: Just need to have a pit stop for a moment. SONNY: Okay. Sonny disappears through the saloon doors into the kitchen, while Will hangs back, spotting Adrienne and Justin chatting in the garden. Being sure not to be seen, he hides around the corner, just close enough to overhear their conversation outside. Adrienne stands stone still. Arms folded, staring straight ahead, as Justin tries desperately to discover what's wrong. He walks up behind Adrienne, putting his hands tenderly on her shoulders. JUSTIN: Hey, you alright? ADRIENNE: (sigh) I hope so. Justin, unsatisfied with his wife's answer, resists his urge to roll his eyes, as Adrienne continues. ADRIENNE: I uh...I think I must be losing my mind. JUSTIN: Oh? Adrienne momentarily laughs at herself a bit, before carrying on. ADRIENNE: Yeah! Well...see...you know how I've always....had some misgivings about Will and Sonny being together. Justin nods, worried that he knows the direction this conversation's headed. JUSTIN: Yyyes. And we've reminded you to stay out of it. Let the boys handle it. Adrienne spins around quickly, almost cutting Justin off. ADRIENNE: Yes! Exactly! And I told you over and over again that Will is just...he is too much like Sami, and Lucas has not been a much better example for him. JUSTIN: Okay. I mean, Lucas has had his fair share of drama, but...you know...so did we. Adrienne looks seriously into her husband's eyes. She inhales deeply while she works out her next thought. ADRIENNE: Well, I didn't realize how right I was...not until tonight. Justin, this wedding CANNOT happen. I won't let it happen. Justin looks on, stunned by his wife's sudden emboldened, and passionate plea. Will, meanwhile, hides around the corner, enraged by Adrienne's pointed disapproval. ---
EPISODE 86 Written by A. Washington-Beeby Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson Sonny walks up to the door of the Kiriakis Mansion, and rings the doorbell, while Will stands behind him, trying to hide his annoyance at having to be at this family dinner to begin with. Henderson opens the door. SONNY: Hey, Henderson, we're here... Sonny is taken aback, when he looks behind Henderson, to see a face he hasn't seen in years. SONNY: Oh my God....Alex??? ALEX: Hey, my man, how are you?? SONNY: Oh WOW, this is...WOW, look at you, man! It's so good to see you! Sonny races inside to give Alex a hug, as Will steps inside, a wave of horror washes over him. Sonny turns to face Will, a huge smile on his face as he speaks. SONNY: Alex, I want you to meet my fiancé, Will Horton. Will, this is my brother, Alex Kiriakis. Will turns ghost white, stunned into silence. Realizing what's happening, he snaps out of his daze and chokes out a reply. Feigning a smile. WILL: I...yeah, we...we've met. ALEX: Yeah! Turns out Will's my new employee. WILL: Yeah! Keeping it in the family. You know. Will sneaks a look at Sonny, whose eyes beg Will not to keep antagonizing him on this night. Will smiles, as Alex motions them into the living room. ALEX: You, uh...you guys wanna come into the living room. We're having drinks before dinner. SONNY: That...sounds like exactly what I need. Will? WILL: Absolutely. Lead the way. Sonny and Alex head into the living room, Will following closely behind, his face dropping as his sudden tension at being at dinner with both Alex and Sonny shows. --- Jennifer walks into her living room, a file folder in hand, as Laura sits on the sofa, reading a book on her tablet. As Jennifer walks in, Laura looks up at her daughter and smiles. LAURA: Jennifer! How was your day? Jennifer sets the file folder on the desk in the corner of the room, before turning toward her mother, smiling, but with an visible tension about her body language. JENNIFER: Oh, it was good. You know...quiet day. I had...a press release to finish up about our brand new chief of staff. LAURA: Ohh Valerie Grant. It's...so exciting to have her back. I mean, I wish it were under different circumstances, but... JENNIFER: I know...it's such a shock...Kayla taking off like that so suddenly. No word on why or...what's happening with Steve and Joey. LAURA: I just hope they're okay. JENNIFER: Yeah...so do I. Jennifer looks to one side in the momentary silence between mother and daughter. She smiles quickly before heading for the kitchen. JENNIFER: I, uh...I should go get myself together. Liam and I are going out tonight. This causes Laura's eyes to bug out, suddenly worry showing across her face as she watches her daughter head out of the room. LAURA: Going out, again? You...Jennifer, you and Liam have become...really close really quickly. Jennifer stops in her tracks in the doorway. Turning around, a strange look on her face. JENNIFER: Yes, we have. Uh...Mom...you know, you've been rather...uneasy with Liam lately. I mean...I know JJ has also had some...rather vocal misgivings about him as well. LAURA: Yes, he has. And...I confess...so have I. But-- JENNIFER: ...Has JJ been putting these ideas in your head, Mom? Laura turns to Jennifer, trying to put her at ease and reaching out, as Jenn walks back into the room, arms folded. LAURA: Darling, no! Look, we just...we love you, and with Abigail away, and it being so little time since you and Daniel split...I just...I don't want you to rush into anything, I mean...are you going to be coming home tonight? Jennifer turns to face Laura, arms still folded in discomfort at her mother's invasive line of questioning. JENNIFER: Mother! Look, this is none of your business, I am a grown woman with adult children of my own. I don't have to tell you where and when I'm spending the night with a man I'm dating. Laura puts up her hands to try to calm Jennifer down a moment. LAURA: That's....that's not how I meant it. I'm just....I'm just saying, I want you to take it slow. I know how Daniel hurt you by lying about JJ and Theresa and I just... JENNIFER: You're just looking out for me, I know... Jennifer walks away again, her arms unfolding as she tries to calm down, realizing her mother's only looking out for her. After a moment, she turns again, cooled off enough to speak again. JENNIFER: I know. It's just...JJ's different. I know he wants me and Daniel together, and...I don't know... LAURA: Do you think JJ's making up trouble for nothing? Jennifer ponders Laura's question a moment before answering. JENNIFER: I don't know. I mean, maybe. Maybe he's just looking out for me. Jennifer shrugs as she continues, pacing the room as she talks to Laura, almost thinking aloud as she does. JENNIFER: Sometimes I wonder about Liam. I mean...today he came to visit me at work, and...he had some phone call. He hurried off. It was...it was bizarre, he seemed so...tense. LAURA: A phone call? JENNIFER: Yeah...some deal he had to close with another hospital. It really seemed to upset him and he ran off. Laura feigns cluelessness, as she tries to coax more information out of her daughter. LAURA: Well, hopefully it clears up before tonight. Laura gets up from the couch, putting a hand on her worried daughter's shoulder. LAURA: Look, JJ will come around, and soon Abigail will be home, and...things will get back to normal again. Jennifer smiles, the tension starting to ease off as she turns to face her mother, a warm smile on her face again. JENNIFER: Thanks, Mom. And for the record, I have not been to Liam's home yet...I actually...honestly don't even know where he lives, if I'm honest. It's...strange, isn't it? Suddenly, the doorbell rings, prompting a chuckling Jennifer to head for the door again, leaving Laura behind, her worry intensifying. Laura responds quietly, as Jenn leaves the room. LAURA: Yes...very strange. Jennifer steps into the foyer. Opening the door, she's surprised to see Billie waiting at her door. JENNIFER: Billie! Oh my God, it's so good to see you! Billie smiles widely, looking almost too happy to see her old friend as she waits at the door. --- --- Jennifer hesitates for a moment, before stepping back from the door to invite Billie inside. JENNIFER: Uh, sorry, oh gosh, Billie, come in. Billie steps in, all smiles, with a tension in her smile, as she looks around to see if anyone else is at home. Jennifer turns to face Billie, holding her arms out for a hug. BILLIE: Ohhh, thank you, it's so good to see you! Jennifer and Billie hug tightly. Billie steps away from Jennifer, still holding her hands. JENNIFER: You too. I'm surprised to see you just...drop by. BILLIE: Yeah, sorry, I should have called first. I've been in town...well...a month or two now and...I just never called. I'm sorry, there's just been....a lot happening. Jennifer looks with concern at Billie. JENNIFER: I heard what happened with Theresa. I can't see her and I...ever saw eye to eye but...she didn't deserve this. Billie looks down, trying to hold in her emotions. Her voice cracks a bit as she talks to Jennifer. BILLIE: Yeah, well...ahem...she'll pull through this. She's pulled through a lot already. Jennifer simply smiles in response. After a moment, Laura walks over, a bright smile on her face as she sees Billie. LAURA: Billie! It's good to see you again. BILLIE: Hi! Yes, it's been...years. Wow! LAURA: Look, uh...Jenn, I'm just going upstairs a minute. I have a call to make. JENNIFER: Alright, Mom. Laura heads upstairs, as Jennifer guides Billie into the living room. Jennifer motions to the couch for Billie to sit. Billie obliges, as Jenn steps to the side table. JENNIFER: Did you, uh...did you want some tea? BILLIE: I'd love some, thanks. Jennifer flips over two teacups from the tray on the table, pouring out tea from the pot next to it. Billie reluctantly speaks up, breaking the increasingly awkward silence. BILLIE: So, uh...Jenn. I uh...I hear you've been...seeing someone. Does this mean you are...you know...over Daniel? Jennifer looks up, setting the tea down before she overpours the tea. Turning to face Billie, she looks on with confusion at Billie's strange line of questioning. --- Lucas sits at his desk at Titan, typing away at his computer, as Sheryl knocks on the door of his office. Lucas barely flinches at the distraction, choosing to continue his work. Sheryl, refusing to be ignored, speaks up. SHERYL: Oh Mr. Horton. You have a visitor. Lucas looks away finally, seeing Sheryl looking at him sensually. Lucas smiles back. LUCAS: Sheryl! Hey! Um...hey, come in, I'll just be one second, okay? SHERYL: Alright. Sheryl steps into Lucas' office, walking up behind him, putting her hands on his shoulders, sensing tension in them. Lucas flinches as Sheryl rubs his shoulders gently. SHERYL: Ooh, someone's feeling a bit tense. Sheryl leans in, speaking softly into Lucas' ear as she rubs Lucas' shoulders more deeply. Lucas can't hide the discomfort he increasingly feels. As she does, Kate is about to enter Lucas' office, but stops, hearing Sheryl inside. She leans against the door and listens in silently. SHERYL: I guess I should...(whispers) take care of that. Sheryl bites Lucas' earlobe, finally causing Lucas to jump back. Sheryl jumps back as well, stunned by Lucas' strong negative reaction. LUCAS: Sorry, I just...you caught me at a bad time. Sheryl looks Lucas up and down, annoyed at the reaction to her sensual play from her partner. SHERYL: I should say so. God, far be it from me to disturb you. Lucas gets up from his seat, putting a hand to his forehead, as he tries to apologize. LUCAS: Look, it's...it's not you, I just...there's a lot of stuff going down right now with work. You know, the TV station selling, the oil sands fiasco, and Brady dying. It's just...I got a lot on my mind. Sheryl takes a moment, before stepping towards Lucas again, trying to put a comforting hand on his shoulder. Kate spying even closer by the door, just out of eyeshot of the two inside. SHERYL: Honey, I know that. That's why I wanted to...surprise you with a little...you know...affection. LUCAS: I know, babe, but...look, just...just give me ten minutes and, I promise...I'll make this up to you, we'll go for some drinks and maybe a late dinner at Club TBD? How's that sound? Sheryl cracks a smile again, noticing Lucas relaxing again. SHERYL: Alright, you're on. LUCAS: Great, uh...why don't you go ahead of me and, I'll meet you there in 20. SHERYL: Sure. As Sheryl responds, Kate opens the door to let herself in. Sheryl looks on, surprised to see her. SHERYL: Kate! KATE: Sheryl! What a surprise to see you in so late...putting in those overtime hours is paying off? SHERYL: You could say that. Kate smiles, but with an underlying coldness in her tone that Sheryl can sense. KATE: Well, I wouldn't want you to overwork yourself. Go enjoy your evening. SHERYL: Ohh, I intend to. I'll see you later? KATE: Indeed. Sheryl walks toward the door as Kate steps inside. Sheryl turns back to speak to Lucas as she rests her hand on the doorknob. SHERYL: See you in a half hour? LUCAS: Sounds good. SHERYL: Alright, bye, honey. As Sheryl closes the door, Kate turns to face Lucas, looking unimpressed. KATE: A piece of advice? Lucas looks at his mother, dreading what's about to come. LUCAS: No, but I'm sure you'll give it to me anyway. Kate leans over Lucas' desk, never taking her eyes off Lucas for a second. KATE: If you intend on seeing this plan through, you're going to have to be an awful lot more convincing than what just went down. Lucas looks on, looking simultaneously annoyed at his mother, and confounded that she was able to listen in. --- At the DiMera Mansion, Stefano sits quietly in his executive chair, facing a raging fire, as the sun dims into dusk. He stares directly into the fire, contemplating the many matters on his mind at the moment. As he does, the doors of the living room open, Nick Fallon making something of a grand entrance. NICK: Mr. DiMera, Sir! You will be pleased to know that everything is moving ever-so-quickly into place. Stefano smiles, his eyes never moving from the fire as he responds to Nick. STEFANO: I should hope so. You've done very well in bringing us Titan TV, now to bring us the rest of the empire...and Victor Kiriakis' head on a platter. --- Victor stands in the living room, pouring himself a drink, as Sonny, Will, and Alex step inside. Victor looks over, and smiles. VICTOR: Ah! Sonny! Will! Glad to see you've made it. A drink? Will immediately pipes up, cheerily chiming in his response. WILL: I'll have a double. Sonny looks back, annoyance still lingering on his face, as Victor responds, holding a glass up. VICTOR: Sonny? Sonny hesistates, trying to communicate to Will to cool it, before turning to respond to Victor. SONNY: Uh, yeah, Uncle Vic. Just a single for me, though. VICTOR: Fine. You, Alex? ALEX: I'll pass, Uncle Vic. Victor prepares the drinks, as Victor continues, casually starting conversation. VICTOR: So, Will! How are you finding working for EnerNext? Will looks at Sonny, then Alex, smiling wryly as he responds to Victor. WILL: So far, I love it. Everyone's been lovely, and your uh...nephew here has been incredibly welcoming. Victor turns, heading over to hand Will his drink. VICTOR: That's good to hear. And how are things between you and Sonny? Sonny and Will look awkwardly at each other, before Sonny tries to end this line of questioning. SONNY: Uh...Uncle Vic, I'd rather not-- WILL: ...Oh it's fine, Sonny. After all, you were more than open with Victor about how you feel about me having this job, I'm sure Victor won't mind me sharing how I feel. Sonny looks at Will, shocked by his petulence. SONNY: WILL! ALEX: I...think I should go...check on...dinner... WILL: No, no! Alex, don't be ridiculous. Stay, it's nothing major. Victor looks at the situation, taking a sip from his drink while he frets about the mess created. VICTOR: So you heard about our conversation then, Will? Will looks at Victor, smiling, a smugness in his eyes. WILL: Oh yes. We had a really...intense talk about it. Oh, don't worry. He and I came to a very good resolution about it. I mean, you know...it's not perfect but...well, I'm definitely not going to be giving up my job anytime soon. VICTOR: That's good to hear. We're lucky to have you with us, Will. WIll smiles warmly, the layer of artifice melting away at Victor's compliment. WILL: Thank you, Mr. Kiriakis. Victor smiles back, as he hands Alex his drink. Alex obliges, nodding slightly in thanks. Alex turns to Will in the same moment. ALEX: Victor's right, you know. I'm really glad Sonny has gone along with this job. Personally, I didn't think he would be down with it. He's really....proud that way. Sonny laughs uncomfortably at Alex's dig at him. Alex continues before Sonny can respond. ALEX: Ahhh, I'm just playing. Look, bro. Your fiancé's a great writer. He's gonna be an awesome addition to the team. Sonny smiles graciously, if sheepishly. He nods in agreement, though looking to the ground, deep in thought. SONNY: Yeah, that's...no surprise to me. He's a very talented guy. WILL: You're all so kind. I mean, honestly, thank you. All of you. As Will finishes, Maggie, Adrienne, and Noelle walk into the living room from the side room leading to the kitchen. Maggie's face lights up upon seeing Will and Sonny. MAGGIE: Will! Sonny! You're here! Maggie walks over quickly, giving a hug to both Will and Sonny, while Noelle hangs back, curling her arm around Alex's. Adrienne, meanwhile, hangs back, watching Victor's quickly-souring face as he watches Noelle slinking herself around Alex, never talking her eyes off Victor as she does. A moment later, Adrienne's eyes are taken with Will's sudden fascination with Noelle and Alex's closeness. Will looks stunned, almost despondent, by the gesture of affection between Noelle and Alex. WILL: Um...Alex...who is this? Alex looks over at Noelle, who rests her head affectionately on Alex's shoulder. ALEX: Oh! Yeah, where are my manners? I'd like to introduce you and Sonny to my wife. Noelle Curtis. Noelle smiles proudly as Will's face drops, another bombshell hitting him. Victor, meanwhile, grips his drink tightly, immediately taking a sip while he looks away bitterly, and Sonny looks on, cheerily oblivious to everyone else's displeasure. Adrienne, meanwhile, looks on from the corner, fixated on Will's miserable expression. She can't hide the displeasure and concern in his face. ---