The situation between Hayley, Mateo, and Raquel became more and more entangled. Raquel found her way to Dimitri's office area where she fell to the ground sobbing. As she sniffled, she heard the sounds of approaching footsteps. When a hand touched her shoulder, she gently rested her head on the man's arm. Slowly, she nuzzled up to the man and said, "You changed your mind." She still had not looked at the man who, presumably, she believed was Mateo. "No, I haven't," replied Ryan. Not hearing Mateo's voice through Raquel for a loop. Ryan lectured Raquel about her sudden appearance and bombshell. He was upset that Raquel had ruined Mateo and Hayley's happiness. Since he was married, Ryan tried to play up his expertise as a married man. Even though Raquel knew nothing about Ryan, she could see through his transparent marriage. She told Ryan that he had never really experienced true love. Ryan was reluctant to admit that his marriage was little more than a marriage of convenience, but ultimately he confessed. Ryan listened intently as Raquel touted her love for Mateo. In the end, Ryan was actually impressed with the woman's unwillingness to let go of the one man she truly loved.
Downstairs, Hayley and Mateo were finally making some progress. Mateo claimed that he had a good reason for believing that he'd done the right thing by keeping his marriage to Raquel a secret. Matt claimed that his marriage to Raquel during an "unhappy time" in his life. That explanation didn't wash with Hayley. She asked Mateo why it never occurred to him that she might want to know if she was his only wife or, as she said, "one of a pack of women" who he's married. Mateo compared his union to Raquel to Hayley's bomb of a marriage to Alec MacIntyre. The comparison really never clicked, but Mateo believed that the two situations were very much alike. He claimed that he wanted to tell Hayley about Raquel, but that the time was never right. He listed an endless series of events that have engulfed their lives---Hector and Maria's deaths, Julia's need to enroll in the witness protection program, Tanner Jordan's diabolical presence, exploding buildings, comas, and poisonous tattoos. He asked Hayley when he had time to mention his previous marriage. Hayley was quick to note that they had had plenty of happy times too: the first year at Holidays and their time in Jamaica, to name just two. Mateo stated that he felt Hayley was "too fragile" to take the news, a reference that didn't sit well with Hayley. With tears beading in her eyes, Hayley asked Mateo if his marriage to Raquel was real. "Did you love her?" she asked softly. If there was love in the marriage, which both Mateo and Raquel admit, it must have been fleeting. Mateo and Raquel's marriage lasted all of one week before the annulment papers were drawn up---discounting the fact that the annulment have never been finalized. True love, Mateo said, had never presented itself to him until he met Hayley on the beach the night she'd skipped out on her wedding to Alec. After listening to the sincerity in Mateo's voice, Hayley realized that her husband had not been trying to intentionally keep his marriage from her. Hayley accepted Mateo's apology and the two sealed their deal with a kiss. As they kissed, Raquel entered the room. Her face paled as she watched the two lovebirds. The kiss eventually ended and Hayley noticed that Raquel had entered. Hayley asked Mateo to leave the room so that she could have a few words with the other Mrs. Santos.
Opal's talk of wanting to "torture" Palmer weighed heavily on Dixie's mind. Dixie phoned Opal and asked her to drop by Tad's house so that they could have a little talk. Dixie was surprised by Opal's decision to take Palmer back, but troubled by her claim that she was going to make Palmer suffer. "He deserves it," Opal said nonchalantly. Opal argued that "Palmer has had it his way far too long" and that a little payback was needed to even the score. Dixie wondered how Opal could love Palmer and still want to see him squirm. Opal was taken aback by the statement. "You're a smart girl," Opal quipped, noting that Dixie must know the meaning of the word hypocrite. She called Dixie a "world-class, Grade A hypocrite" because she was touting full forgiveness for Palmer while still being unable to forgive Tad for his affair with Liza. The first thing Dixie did was to argue that her situation with Tad was totally different from the one Opal and Palmer were going through. When that failed, she said that even if she were to forgive Tad, it would do her no good because Tad no longer wanted her in his life. Opal believed---and probably knew---otherwise. She told her former daughter-in-law that there was still hope for a reunion with Tad because Tad still loved her.
Meanwhile in New York, Tad wasn't dwelling on his feelings for Dixie. Tad did his best to play "a thug scorned," but the two legitimate---if there is such a thing---thugs weren't forthcoming with any information. The gunman said that they weren't going to talk because they had no proof that Tad was one of them. Tad used the age difference between the two thugs and Palmer as a weapon of humiliation. He asked them how it felt to be outmaneuvered by a man twice their age. Neither man wanted to talk about Palmer's great escape, so Tad had to turn up the heat. He again reminded them that other art thieves might hunt them down because their arrests could lead to a domino effect in the organization. Their only hope, Tad implied, was to cooperate and pray for a lenient sentence. In Leo's case, he already had a bad track record, so cooperation might be his only hope. The men finally revealed that Palmer had an "accomplice" in his escape. Tad was perplexed by the tale. No one else had been present when Palmer's car went over the bridge, so he wondered where the second man came from. The said that an unknown man had come out of nowhere and caught them both by surprise. Tad had finally gotten somewhere, but when he left the room he told Mike and Jack that the two thugs refused to speak to him. Tad listened as Jack and the government agents bantered back and forth about the latest findings. He was able to learned that Palmer's new sidekick was named "Braden." Armed with the new information, Tad stepped aside and phone Dixie to tell him what he'd found out. Dixie told Tad that she wanted to join him in New York and pick up the hunt.
At Pine Valley Hospital, Liza caught up with Jake and told him about her run-in with Allie the night before. Jake was furious that Allie was acting so erratically. The thing that most upset him was the way that Allie had informed Liza that she might be pregnant. The usually calm Dr. Martin erupted in a fit of rage and started throwing things across the room. Liza was sorry that she'd upset Jake, but she wanted him to know what type of woman he was dealing with. As Liza was leaving, Allie showed up armed with an apology. Her apology followed her usual format: a statement that she has been overcome by the stress of the past few months and that she wants things to smooth out so that she and Jake can have a future together. An apology wasn't the only thing that Allie was toting. In her hand she carried a "morning after pill," a pill that would effectively stop her pregnancy---if, in fact, she was pregnant. Allie had hoped that her implication that she would terminate the pregnancy would bring forth a wave of sentiment from Jake. While she was right, she didn't exactly get the type of sentiment that she'd anticipated. With icy eyes, Jake told Allie that he wanted her to take the pill
Still hard at work at WRCW, Liza had apparently forgotten the lecture she'd received from David the night before. Like clockwork, David entered the office and asked Liza what she was doing. Liza took David on a stroll around her office. She had her vitamins laid out on a table alongside of a healthy chicken dinner and fruit salad. In case she got tired, Liza also had a little pillow on her sofa. David was pleased that Liza was at least giving the impression that she was thinking about her baby, but he was still concerned that she might be working a little too much. David hadn't dropped by on a whim, he was responded to a "cryptic message" Liza had left on his answering machine. Liza said that she needed to talk to David about Allie. David knew that Allie must have done something to upset Liza and asked for all the details. First, Liza asked David if she was correct to assume that he had not come on to Allie at the hospital. David nodded his head and was somewhat miffed that Liza had suspected otherwise. Now that everything was out in the open, Liza reluctantly told David about Allie's attempt to get pregnant. David was shocked because Allie had always said that she never wanted to have children. Liza quoted Allie's remark that she'd rather "suckle pigs" then have a child. After the quote, Liza sneered that Allie would probably "nurse a gaggle of geese" if it meant she could hold on to Jake. The pregnancy trick wasn't what upset Liza, although it certainly didn't help. Liza was upset that she's "lost a friend" now that Allie was spinning out of control. Liza admitted that she and Allie might not have gotten along at all times, but they did share a friendship---and now that was gone. An interesting piece of history was rewritten during the conversation. Previously, it had been implied that David had been the one to hit on Allie. Now that David was telling the truth, he said that Allie had been the one to come on to him. During her days in college, David was dating Allie's dormitory roommate. The following day, Allie sent him flowers. By their fourth date, Allie had moved out of the dorm and gotten her own apartment---and David was spending the night with her. Liza didn't believe David at first, but considering all the wacky things that Allie had been doing lately, she realized that David must be telling the truth. David claimed that Allie lived for competition---she needed to win. David had a suggestion to help keep Allie at bay. He told Liza that if she started dating an "attractive doctor," Allie might be convinced that Liza really had no designs on Jake. Liza laughed and wondered if the doctor in question might be a cardiologist. "Who best for an affair of the heart," David mused. David left with a smile on his face. Soon after David left, a messenger arrived with a package for Liza. The card on the box read, "Thinking of You" and was from Adam.
Janet, Tim, and Amanda took Harold to the vet for a follow-up visit. The vet was really quite grim and did little do assure the family that Harold would be okay. While he never said that Harold's condition was serious---and he did try to remain optimistic---the vet sorely lacked a good bedside manner. Janet had Tim and Amanda step into the waiting room or buy ice cream while the vet was giving her the latest results from Harold's tests. Harold's lymph nodes were swollen and his white blood cell count was elevated, which meant that there was some type of infection present in Harold's body. After a series of x-rays were done, the diagnosis became clearer---and it wasn't good. The x-rays showed that Harold's liver was swollen and his lungs were not clear. Coupling these findings with other test results the diagnosis was fairly simple: Harold had cancer. There were options available to the Dillons, but all were very costly. The vet set up an appointment with a veterinary oncologist. Janet dropped to her knees and looked her four-legged friend in the eyes. She marveled at how they'd overcome their differences and become a bunch of "old softies." Tears filled Janet's eyes as she hugged Harold closely and wondered if her family would have to say goodbye to him.
At Pine Valley Hospital, Allie was surprised that Jake wanted her to take the "morning after" pills. She'd expected him to welcome her child or at least encourage her to have the baby. Jake explained that he wasn't against the idea of having a child with Allie, he just wanted to make sure that the time was right before making that kind of commitment. Things, Jake said, had not been going so smoothly lately. Allie agreed that it might be best for her to take the pills. Jake got Allie a glass of water and stood by her side while she popped the pills into her mouth. Jake gently rubbed Allie's cheek to help comfort her. Allie commented that she'd given countless numbers of "morning after" pills to young girls who'd been the victims of sexual assaults. She said that she never expected to be taking the pills herself---especially after "making love to the man [she adores]." Jake tried to soften the moment by asking Allie if she'd join him for a homemade dinner back at Myrtle's. She smiled and said that she'd be happy to join him. Jake had to make a few more rounds before he could leave, so he asked Allie to hang tight until he was done. Allie, her hands behind her back, smiled and told Jake that she'd be waiting. After Jake left, Allie looked down at one of her hands. As her fingers unfurled, two white pills were revealed in the palm of her hand. She hadn't taken the pills at all. A devious smile crept across her face. She had little time to revel in her own glory because a few seconds later David entered and began berating Allie's tirade at Liza's condo. Allie reminded David that he'd once told her to do whatever she had to do to keep Jake. David nodded, but clarified that "whatever" did not include messing up Liza's life. Allie listened to David's ranting for only a few seconds before drifting off into her own world. Her face suddenly lit up and she reached out to David. As she hugged the man who had once tormented her, Allie stated that David could be the answer to all of her problems.
Isabella said that she had to sneak into Wildwind to see her son. Why the secret agent routine? From the phone conversation she'd had with Mateo, Isabella believed that whatever she was going to be discussing with her son was top secret. "You remember Raquel," Mateo said with a sigh. Isabella's face dropped. She said that her heart nearly broke when Mateo ran off with Raquel and said that she thanked God that Mateo had gotten the marriage annulled. "Not according to Raquel," Mateo said, a line he would say several more times during the course of the conversation. Isabella did not like Raquel because she believed that she was disrespectful. Mateo asked his mother for lenience in her judgment, saying that Raquel had very strict parents. In what may have been one of her most witty remarks, Isabella replied, "So did you!" Her point was to show that having strict parents doesn't necessarily mean that a child will become a "wild child." Mateo rooted through his father's strongbox looking for a copy of the annulment papers. Under a mound of savings bonds and other legal documents, Mateo found the papers that he'd signed---and realized that Raquel hadn't lied. She had never signed the papers.
Downstairs, Hayley and Raquel's conversation grew more and more heated by the moment. Hayley tried to impress upon Raquel that she was not her enemy. She explained that it was a shock for her to see one Mateo's new wife pop up on her doorstep. Raquel snapped that she was technically not a "new" wife because she'd been married to Mateo long before Hayley entered the picture. Hayley wanted Raquel to accept that Mateo had moved on. Raquel, on the other hand, wanted Hayley to accept that she was back in Mateo's life. Raquel felt that the time might allow Mateo to realize that he still cared for her. Time, Hayley insisted, would help Raquel get over the pain of losing Mateo. Hayley insisted that she and Mateo were no longer "two people," they'd become one. Raquel, of course, had to cite the legality of the situation. She seized every opportunity to note that she was Mateo's wife, not Hayley. Raquel stated that she and Mateo would be celebrating another wedding anniversary if they had not been forced apart by their parents. Raquel related a story about a romantic episode she and Mateo had shared in a cove just off a a beach in Mexico. The beach, called "Beautiful sands," struck a note of familiarity. Hayley realized that the cove Raquel was referring to was the same cove that Mateo had take her to during their brief escape from Pine Valley this past summer. Hayley made a roundabout bribe to Raquel. The implication was there---Hayley said that she would give Raquel anything that she needed to help her set up her life outside of Pine Valley---but Hayley never came right out and said that she would pay Raquel to leave town. Mateo entered the room and Raquel immediately informed him of Hayley's offer. Mateo seemed upset and told Raquel that he would gladly give her some money so that she could spend the night at a nearby hotel. Raquel said that she had enough money and headed upstairs to pack her bags. With Raquel gone, it was time for Mateo to break the news to Hayley that his marriage to Raquel was never legally nullified. Hayley hit the roof. She flapped her arms and her face turned red as she read Mateo the riot act. Not only was she furious over the way Mateo had kept his first marriage a secret, but she was also mad because Mateo had taken her to the cove where he'd first made love to Raquel. Mateo was dazed and confused as Hayley stormed out of the room.
Still in her office at WRCW, Liza was greeted an extremely overjoyed Marian. Toting a large, rectangular box wrapped with a bow, Marian said that she'd just received a special present from Stuart. Stuart, incidentally, remained on vacation in Canada with Adam, Adam Junior, and Scott. Marian plopped her box down on Liza's desk and asked her to look inside. Liza eyed the box and, from its shape, determined that the box contained a dozen roses. The mystery solved, Liza announced that she was going to go home to bed. Marian bobbed up and down giddily and asked Liza to humor her by opening the box. Liza rolled her eyes, but still honored her mother's request. Inside the box, packed in ice, was an enormous fish which Marian had named Lucy. Liza was turned off by the huge fish and asked her mother to hurry up and eat the fish. Marian became protective of the fish and stated that she was not going to eat the fish---she was going to "have it stuffed" and mounted above her bed. Somehow, Stuart had given word to Marian that Adam had sent Liza a present. Seeing nothing new in the office area, Marian asked her mother what she'd done with her present. Liza informed her mother that she had not received anything from Adam. Marian noticed a box across the room and scurried over to check it out. Marian saw the card with Adam's name on it and asked Liza why she hadn't opened the box. Perhaps curiosity got the best of Liza---or maybe she was just trying to get her mother to be quiet---but Liza opened her box and found that she'd been sent a sculpture of a mother and child. Liza became frustrated with her gift. She said that when she thinks she has Adam figured out, he goes and does something nice. Marian asked her daughter if her "feelings for Adam are changing yet again." Liza sat down at a table in her office and told Marian about Allie's accusation that she's only having a baby because she cannot keep a man in her life. Marian assured her daughter that she did not think that and urged her to disregard anything that Allie said to her. "It takes fifty years to find Mr. Right," Marian said almost philosophically, but noted that a woman has only so many years in which to have a child. Liza took a look at Lucy, Marian's fish, and noticed that the ice it had been packed in was now melting. Marian told Liza that she had to rush Lucy off to a taxidermist before she spoiled.
The sudden embrace was enough to sufficiently startle David. He suddenly pushed Allie away and told her that he would not be a participant in a repeat performance of her scam to nuzzle up to Jake. Allie insisted that she and David were "both on the same side." By that, she meant that she wanted Jake and David wanted Liza. David laughed slightly and insisted that he'd never once said that he wanted to be with Liza. Allie pouted her lips slightly and cocked her head to the side. She told David that she did not believe his denials. She wondered what men, men being Jake and David, saw in Liza. "She's about as loveable as an ice pick," Allie groused. More than that, Liza was pregnant, a condition which Allie claimed would make her unable to satisfy David's raging libido. Citing their past relationship as an example, David assured Allie that he would never have to worry about not having sex. He mentioned the names of a few of the women he'd slept with while they were seeing each other. Allie stared nervously at the floor; One of her pills had fallen out of her hands while she was talking to David. Allie carried on with the conversation hoping that David would leave without seeing the pill. She told David that even if he did have his sights set on Liza, Adam would never let him anywhere near her. David reminded Allie that Liza and Adam were divorced. That might be so, Allie grinned, but Adam and Liza have a "special bond." When pressed for what bond she was referring to, Allie looked more and more like she was going to spill the beans about Adam's stunt at the fertility clinic. She never did let the cat out of the bag, instead saying that Adam and Liza are joined by a mutual "true love." David argued that Adam doesn't care about Liza---"He only cares about his balance sheet." Allie snapped that David didn't know what he was talking about because he'd never opened himself up in order to experience true love. Something caused David to look down at the floor. Perhaps it was Allie's darted glances at the stray pill. He bent over and picked up the pill. He tried to read the engraving on the pill to get some idea about why type of pill he'd found, but he said that he couldn't make it out. He walked over to Allie and asked her to have a look at the pill. Allie knew that she couldn't take the pill because then David would see that she was hiding a pill bottle in her hands. Allie reached out to look at the pill and when she did, David reached down and snatched the pill bottle from her. David read the label and learned that the pill he'd found was one of Allie's "morning after" pills. When he counted three in the bottle and added those to the one he'd found on the floor, David knew that Allie hadn't taken any of the pills. Allie struggled with David to get the bottle back, but she wasn't strong enough to take it back. Jake entered the room as David grabbed on to Allie's wrist and pushed her away. Jake immediately ordered David to let go of Allie's arm. He obliged, but insisted that he was not coming on to Allie this time. David tucked the pill bottle into his pocket and looked to Allie for some backup. He knew that she'd have to help him out or risk having Jake told the truth about the pills. Allie admitted that David had not been harassing her, but that didn't explain why David had been holding on to her wrist. Allie stumbled for an explanation, saying that she'd tried to smack David because he's still a creep. David then lectured Jake on the dangers of rushing to judgment. While Jake might be the Chief of Staff's son, that doesn't mean that he can get away with anything he pleases.
Jack and Brooke walked into The Valley Inn for a dinner out. Jack wanted Brooke to know that he'd only been doing his job while she was on trial and that he wasn't out to get her. As they walked to their table, Brooke couldn't help but notice Jack giving an evil glare in the direction of a young woman who was dining with Dimitri and Edmund. Jack said that the woman was a con artist. Brooke chuckled and said that she thought the woman might be a woman Edmund had mentioned was the subject of a Tempo feature. Jack was furious and told Brooke that the woman, Kit Fisher, was claiming to be his sister. Jack jumped from the table and marched over to Dimitri and Edmund's table. He asked Edmund, "Is your life so empty without Maria" that he needs to look for ways to stir up excitement. Dimitri rose from his chair and told Jack that he was way out of line. Dimitri asked to speak to Jack in private so that everyone could have a chance to cool off. Kit apologized to Edmund for ruining his night out. Edmund assured her that she'd done nothing wrong and told her that he'd come up with a way to solve her problems with Jack. If Jack wouldn't take the DNA test on his own, they'd have to "take it for him." Over at Brooke and Jack's table, Dimitri stunned Jack by telling him that he was on his side. Dimitri reminded Jack that he'd been in his situation not that long ago. Jack disagreed. He said that while Dimitri found out that he had a brother, he didn't know that he had a brother ahead of time. In Jack's situation, he had a sister that he loved and now faces the prospect that his supposedly dead sister never died. Jack didn't really want to get into things with Dimitri and told Brooke that they could have their quiet dinner some other time. After Jack left, Brooke put her hand on top of Dimitri's and thanked him for trying to reach out to Jack. Dimitri wondered if anything he'd said had gotten through to Jack. Brooke said that sometimes knowing that someone can relate to what you're going through helps immensely. Dimitri must have become uncomfortable and told Brooke that he had to be leaving.
Upstairs in Jack's hotel room, Edmund and Kit poked around for anything that could have had a piece of Jack's hair on it. They searched the room top to bottom and couldn't find a single strand of hair. The combs were clean, the sheets were freshly washed, and there wasn't a trace of dust anywhere. As they searched, Kit wanted to know who Maria was. Edmund grumbled that Maria was his wife, that she was dead, and told Kit to drop the rest. Edmund found a comb in one of Jack's pockets and, sure enough, it had a single hair attached to it. The pair made their way towards the door... just as Jack returned.
Erica returned to Linden House after a modeling trip to Paris. The first thing she did was scramble over to the phone so that she could call Bianca. Bianca was pleased to hear from her mother, but said that she and a few other girls had some things planned. As Erica sat at her desk and looked at two pictures she'd placed there: One of her and Mike and another of her and Jack. In the shadows of the hallway, Mike stood and watched his love carefully. Mike knew that Erica had made a decision and prepared to learn what decision she'd reached. Erica likened her decision to having to choose which hand to lose. "I love them both," Erica said of her hands. "Yes, but you only need one," Mike replied. Mike urged Erica to let go of the fear of telling him what she'd decided. "Most people are afraid of being hurt," Mike said, adding that neither he nor Erica fall into that category. Erica began to sob and again told Mike that she just couldn't do it. She said that she still loves both Jack and Mike---and that choosing one would mean losing the other. Erica told Mike that she needed him to help her. Mike nodded and said that he'd do anything for her because he loves her. "Make love to me," Erica said softly. Mike first asked Erica if she was sure that's what she wanted. When she nodded, Mike hoisted her up and carried her upstairs. The two headed upstairs and made love. After they'd finished, Mike said that it was time, "time to say it out loud." Mike knew that Erica had chosen Jack.
With two uninvited guests in his room, Jack could very well have blown his top. He didn't show signs of losing his cool until Edmund asked for a chance to explain what he and Kit were doing. Jack growled that Edmund should "save it for the judge." Kit stopped Jack from picking up the phone and begged Jack not to take his anger at her out on Edmund. Edmund chimed in that it was his idea to break into Jack's room. Jack noticed that Kit was holding something behind her back and accused her of trying to steal from him. Kit slowly handed over what she'd taken---a comb. It took Jack but a second to realized that Kit and Edmund were after a strand of his hair. Kit was furious with Jack and called him a "horse's ass." A stern look on his face, Jack stepped up to Kit and warned her that if she wasn't a woman, he'd have decked her. Edmund stepped between the pair and prevented them from coming to blows. Kit was peeved that Jack felt a need to call the police. She remarked that if he really wanted to punish her, he could send her to "Aunt Deana's." Jack's face dropped. He could barely find the words to ask Kit to repeat what she'd said. Kit said that she had memories of being told that if (as a child) she acted up, she'd be sent to Aunt Deana's house. Jack shook off his initial shock and found a wave of anger. He accused Kit of having nosed around into his past so that she would know all the right things to say. "It's my life," Kit said defensively. "It's coming back to me." Jack's blood pressure spiked. It finally looked as those he might become violent. "Get her out of here!" he shouted. Edmund told Kit that she should meet him in the lobby. After Kit left, Edmund surmised that Kit's memory of Aunt Deana was a "home run" as far as proving that she might really be Christine Montgomery. Edmund tried to convince Jack that Kit might be telling the truth. If she wasn't, Edmund said, he'd help Jack run her out of town. Jack still refused to take a DNA test, saying that his sister was dead. If she wasn't, Jack felt that she certainly would not have turned out that Kit Fisher. Jack sadly noted that his relationship with his mother deteriorated after Christine's death. Nevertheless, Jack had "made peace" with the tragic event, one that he likened to a trip to hell. "Tell your little friend to go to hell. I've already been there," Jack snarled.
Federal agents had been dispatched the Cortlandt Manor to search for clues that might lead them to Palmer. Opal met with Belinda and told her that she didn't know how to tell Petey about his father's disappearance. She hated how Palmer had abandoned her and her young son and asked Belinda to start divorce proceedings. Belinda did her best to talk Opal out of filing for divorce, but it didn't seem to be working. The only thing that got Opal's mind off of separation talks was a surprise knock on the door. Adrian entered the room and announced that he'd been assigned to oversee the search. He assured Opal that he'd have his men out of her house as soon as possible. Opal had another idea. She asked Adrian to order his men to search the house from top to bottom. Their mission, she said, was to find anything Palmer had "squirreled away" that could be converted into cash. Her list of items ranged from priceless works of art to cereal box tops. Opal also got a chance to apologize to Adrian for having accused him of killing Palmer. Belinda urged Opal to calm down and go for a short stroll. Opal did just that, allowing Belinda and Adrian to have a little time alone. Before she left, however, Opal chattered off another of her quirky lines. "Keep your hands out of my skivvies drawer or there'll be hell to pay!" Adrian waited for Opal to get out of hearing range before he badmouthed Palmer for the way he'd run out on his son. According to Adrian, his father would never have even thought about running out on him. Adrian's father seemed like a gentle and loving man from Adrian's descriptions, but not the type of man who openly displayed his emotions. Adrian said that he'd only heard his father tell him that he loved him on one occasion---but that his father showed him that he loved him "millions of times." In addition, it was learned that Adrian's parents had just celebrated their thirty-third wedding anniversary. Belinda smiled and said that he'd like to meet the man Adrian had described. Adrian beamed and said that he was certain that his father would like her a lot. Adrian returned to his search and began reading off the titles of the self help books Opal had by her side of the bed. In on of the books, called Men are Oceans, Women are Valleys, Adrian found a letter addressed to Petey. Opal returned to the room just in time to hear mention of the letter. She ordered Adrian to keep his paws off of the letter. Adrian said that he had no intention of opening the letter and asked Opal to open it. Inside the envelope was a letter from Palmer. In the letter, Palmer apologized for having to leave and assured Petey that it wasn't his fault that he had to leave. Palmer told his son that he'd always love him---and Opal---and that they'd be together again one day. Opal broke down in tears. Fortunately, Belinda was there to provided a literate shoulder to cry on. Adrian continued his search, looking at a book of poetry. Adrian was paging through the book when a sheet of paper dropped out of the book and slowly leafed to the ground. Adrian and Belinda leaned over to picture up the paper simultaneously. Their hands brushed and briefly joined as they touched the paper. Adrian looked carefully at the paper before announcing that the item that had fallen out of the book was a picture of his father. He and Belinda both exchanged puzzled glances as Opal's flashed a hint of concern.
At Wildwind, Kit told Edmund that she is sorry that she's causing Jack so much pain. She said that she had a fantasy of how her return to Jack's life would play out. In the fantasy, she entered Jack's office and chickened out of telling Jack who she was. Something in her eyes, however, sent out a signal to Jack and he instantly recognized her as his long, lost sister. He gently brushed her cheek and welcomed her back into his life. Then the two of them were joined by brother Travis and the siblings traveled to South Carolina to visit their parents' gravesite. Shortly thereafter, Kit returned to Pine Valley with Jack and reclaimed her name. Strangely, Kit called herself "Christine McGomery." It's uncertain if the actress misspoke or if this is some type of hint that Kit might, in fact, be a con artist. I just felt that this warranted attention just in case it was not a slip of the tongue. Edmund walked across the room and retrieved the picture of him and Dimitri standing near Vadzel. He gave a very brief account of his rocky relationship with his brother and said that if he and Dimitri could become good friends, it was possible for Kit and Jack to patch up their differences. He hoped that one day Kit would have a similar picture to put on her mantel. Kit and Edmund faced each other and stared deep into each other's eyes. Before either one knew what was happening, the leaned forward and gently kissed each other on the lips. Edmund quickly pulled away as a look of shock and confusion spread across his face.
"You've chosen Jack and this is goodbye," Mike noted sadly. Erica was surprised that Mike knew what she'd decided. Mike explained that he knew of Erica's decision when he noticed that she was crying while they were making love. Erica felt that she should have told Mike of her decision before making love to him. Mike didn't want Erica to beat herself up over her decision. He said that it was selfish on both of their parts to have shared in one final intimate moment. "Shaking hands would not do," Mike said with a slight smile. Erica wondered if Mike would really be able to walk away from their love for one another. Mike reminded Erica that he'd been forced to leave her once before. Now, he reckoned, he was accustomed to dealing with an empty feeling in his heart. Mike said that he would fall to his knees and beg Erica to choose him, but he knew that it would not change the end result. Mike started getting dressed and Erica put on her silk robe. Erica asked Mike if he planned in leaving Pine Valley. Mike wasn't exactly sure where he was going. He said that he was going to go somewhere to lick his wounds. "I give a good impression of a guy whose got like knocked---if you don't look too close," he said sadly. While Mike was usually rugged and showed little sign of emotion, the impending farewell was beginning to take its toll on him. He said that he might return in another thirteen years to check in on Erica. By then, he mused that Jack would be bald and have a "beer belly," but Erica would still be "the most beautiful dame" on the planet. Then came the moment that nearly broken both Erica and Mike's hearts. Mike carefully removed the wedding ring that Erica had placed on his finger over thirteen years ago. He placed it in Erica's hand and Erica broke into tears. "If I don't leave now, I never will," Mike whispered. Jack stood in the doorway and watched as Erica and Mike embraced. He didn't say a word. Instead, he stepped back out into the hallway, leaned against the wall, and sighed. Jack hadn't heard even a sliver of the conversation---he'd only seen Mike and Erica hugging. By the time the conversation picked up, Jack had already left. Mike told Erica that he'd pegged Jack wrong when he said that he was a "Dudley Doright." Working on the search for Palmer made Mike see Jack in a whole new light and he told Erica that Jack wasn't such a bad guy after all. Mike's gallantry was impressive, to say the least. Not only was he stepping out of the picture gracefully, but he was, in a way, helping Erica move on. Still, Mike wondered "how do you kiss a dream goodbye?" Downstairs, Jack poured himself a glass of brandy as Erica and Mike walked down the stairs. Erica was surprised to see Jack. Jack's face flashed a somber expression, for he thought that Erica had chosen Mike over him. "You've got it all wrong," Erica explained, adding that she and Mike were saying goodbye.
In their search to find Palmer, Dixie and Tad headed across New York to Braden's apartment. After climbing four flights of steps, both Dixie and Tad were huffing and puffing---and the extremely hot weather wasn't helping to ease their discomfort. Tad knocked on Braden's door claiming to be the maintenance man. He peered through the keyhole to see if there was any movement inside the apartment. Sufficiently sure that no one was inside, Tad announced that they were going to enter the apartment. Dixie asked Tad if he was going to break down the door. Tad sniffed sarcastically and announced that he was not Mel Gibson. "No, but you're close," Dixie smiled. Tad rolled his eyes and again told Dixie that he wasn't going to risk injury by breaking down the door. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a lockpick kit. Once the door was open, all that was left was to go inside the apartment. "Ladies first," Tad grinned. Dixie, however, was not stepping one foot inside the apartment until she was sure it was safe. Tad scooted inside and looked around. When she was sure the coast was clear, Dixie entered the apartment, taking a few seconds out to notice that the apartment wasn't up to her uncle's usual standards. Tad noted that Palmer couldn't be choosy about his hideout spots considering that he was a wanted man. Tad found Palmer's strongbox under the sofa, so he knew that they were close to finding him. Dixie was burning up and headed to the kitchen to find something cold to drink. While she didn't find any liquid refreshment, she did find something to keep herself cool---an ice cube. She sucked on the ice cube for a few seconds before rubbing it on her neck and chest. As she did this, she ooh'ed and aah'ed endlessly. Tad smiled and told Dixie that if she didn't stop, he'd "ravish" her. Dixie thought Tad was joking, but he was one hundred percent serious! He took the ice cube away from her and began rubbing it on his neck, cooing in a high tone to poke fun at Dixie. The doorknob began to jiggle, signaling that someone was coming inside. As it turns out, the pose on the other side turned out to be the building "super" checking on a pair on unregistered visitors that had been reported lurking the halls. Dixie and Tad knew that they had to think fast. Tad said that they were there to visit Braden. The super looked around and noted that Braden wasn't home. "We're sisters," Dixie blurted out. Tad closed his eyes as Dixie muttered that she meant that she was Braden's sister. The tale spun on into a bigger and bigger lie. Dixie claimed that she was there to ask her brother for his blessing. Dixie said that she and Rex, the name she'd chosen for Tad's alias, were expecting a child. Rex and Braden were said not to get along. Tad mused that he doesn't expect much from a man named Braden. This, coming from a man supposedly named Rex! Anyway, Dixie wanted Rex and her brother to bury the hatchet before the wedding day. The super bought their tale and agreed to let them hang around the apartment. After the man left, Dixie giggled about the way they'd managed to fool him. Tad promised Dixie that they'd find Palmer. Dixie wondered if Opal would ever be able to forgive Palmer. Tad nodded and said that he was certain that his mother would forgive Palmer. That reminded Dixie of the conversation she'd had with Opal, the one in which Opal blasted her for not being able to forgive Tad for cheating on her. Dixie said that she'd like to believe that she's capable of forgiveness and seemed genuinely upset by Opal's accusation. Dixie looked over to Tad and noticed that he was staring at her. She asked him what he was looking at. "You," Tad smiled. "You're a lot of fun to look at." Without warning, Tad scurried across the room and gave Dixie a passionate kiss. Dixie reached around Tad and pulled him closer as they continued kissing.
Still flashing a confused expression on his face, Edmund told Kit that her kiss was "unnecessary." Kit felt differently saying that, "I needed to kiss you and you looked like you needed to be kissed." This kiss became an awkward part of the conversation as Edmund implied that Kit felt a need to kiss him as a thank you for the help his was giving her. The suggestion upset Kit and she assured Edmund that she wasn't trying to use a kiss as payback. Edmund was still acting peculiarly and told Kit that due to the late hour, she should probably be going. "It was a kiss---nothing else," Kit snapped defensively. Edmund told Kit that he wanted to remain objective while working on her story for Tempo. A kiss, Edmund felt, would "blur the lines" in their business-only relationship. Kit offered that she'd been confused by the signals Edmund had been sending her. Edmund wrinkled his forehead as he insisted that he'd not been sending Kit any kind of signal. Kit could see that Edmund was battling something that she couldn't understand. She apologized for touching a nerve and assured Edmund that it would never happen again. Edmund nodded and suggested that they limit their future conversations to things that directly relate to her situation with Jack. Kit smiled weakly and told Edmund that she would be on her way. After Kit left, Edmund laid down on the sofa and stared off into space. He recalled a champagne toast that he and Maria had shared shortly after their wedding. "You and me," Edmund beamed. "Together----always." As he reflected on this happy time, Edmund played nervously with his wedding ring.
In an oddly intriguing scene, Opal seemed stunned by the discovery of the picture of Adrian's father. She told Adrian that the picture couldn't possibly be of his father because the picture was over thirty years old. At one point she tried to imply that Adrian could not possibly know what his father looked like three decades ago. That might have been the case, but Adrian recognized the clothing his father was wearing in the picture---because he still has the outfit in his closet, much to his wife's chagrin. Opal didn't see the resemblance between Adrian and his father. Belinda mused that the reason Opal couldn't see the resemblance is because Adrian's father has hair. Opal noted that man in the photo's last name was not Sword. Adrian grinned while Belinda explained that Adrian's surname was probably not real. Adrian nodded and said that he chose the name Sword so that his family would not be endangered by his secret work. Adrian mentioned that his family was from West Eleanor, Alabama---a location that caused Opal's ears to perk up. When questioned about the small Southern town, Opal admitted that she'd been to West Eleanor. More than that, Opal had met Adrian's father. The trip came at a time just after Tad was born. Opal was still married to the abusive Ray Gardner. After a particularly nasty assault by her husband, Opal pooled all her money and hopped a bus. She had no idea where she was going; She wanted to go as far away as her money could take her. That ended up being the small town of West Eleanor. Opal said that the townspeople avoided her when they saw that she was sporting a cut lip and toting an infant. Only one man, Franklin Dawson, offered to help her. Now that some things had been explained, Belinda wondered how Opal had gotten her hands on a picture of Adrian's dad. Opal plainly stated that she'd asked for the picture. Adrian and Opal exchanged small talk about Franklin. Opal knew that Adrian's father worked for an electronics company and that he sang as a tenor in the church choir. Adrian remembered that he had a search to oversee and told Opal that he would make sure that the agents were out of her way soon. As he left, Adrian told Opal that he'd tell his father that she'd asked about him. Opal shyly bowed her head and said that there was no way that Adrian's dad could remember her. She seemed to forget the fact that she had still remember him. Belinda hung around after Adrian left to see if Opal needed anything else. Belinda could sense that there was something that Opal wasn't telling her. Opal shook her head and said that if it looked like she was holding something back, it was simply because she was upset over Palmer's disappearance---and the painful memories of being a battered wife. After Belinda left, Opal sat down on her bed and fidgeted nervously. "It couldn't be," she chattered. "Oh, sweet Jesus, it couldn't be."
Tad and Dixie's kiss went on for several long minutes. They might have continued had they not been interrupted by the sound of jangling keys at the front door. Tad told Dixie to hide in another room and wait for a secret signal before coming out of hiding. Tad hid in the kitchen while Braden entered his apartment. When Braden turned his back to lock the three locks on his door, Tad emerged from hiding and waited for Braden to turn around yet again. Braden did turn around eventually and hen he saw Tad, he crouched down into a karate stance. Tad held up his hands and told Braden that he was not one of the bad guys. Of course, Braden wasn't going to take Tad's word at face value. He announced that he was going to call the police and when that failed to scare Tad off, Braden darted across the room and grabbed an aluminum baseball bat. Braden held the bat above his head and warned Tad that he'd slug him if he didn't leave immediately. Tad pointed behind Braden, telling him that someone was behind. Braden wasn't going to fall for one of the oldest tricks in the book. This time, however, it was not a trick. Dixie chirped a soft greeting to Braden, one that momentarily distracted Braden. As Braden jumped from the shock of the second intruder, Tad snatched the baseball bat away from him. Dixie and Tad took turns explaining why they were in Braden's apartment and what they hoped to accomplish. Braden still didn't believe that Dixie and Tad were related to Palmer. When a knock sounded on the door, Braden reluctantly agreed to help Tad and Dixie talk Palmer into returning the stolen artwork. Tad hid while Braden let Palmer into the apartment. The first thing Palmer saw when he entered the apartment was his niece. He coldly asked Dixie what she was doing in New York. "Making a citizen's arrest," Tad grumbled as he stepped out from his hiding spot. Braden agreed to go hunt down some coffee at a nearby coffee shop while Tad, Dixie, and Palmer went head-to-head-to-head. Tad and Palmer bickered back and forth. Tad, at one point, called Palmer a "gas bag." Palmer no longer felt that he was the one who should be criticized for running away. He uttered the word "betrayal" in various forms as he referred to the way that Opal had turned her back on him. He said that he could not stand by while his own wife turned him over to the authorities. Surprisingly, Tad agreed that Opal was out of line for threatening to call the police on him. Palmer admitted that he still loved Opal. Tad asked Palmer why he would desert Opal and Petey if he supposedly loved her. Dixie suggested that perhaps his pride got in the way. Palmer was no longer a part of the conversation. Tad and Dixie went back and forth with hypothetical explanations for the reason Palmer and Opal were having problems patching up their differences. In addition to cutting Palmer out of the conversation, they no longer were talking about Opal and Palmer. Tad wanted to end the situation once and for all. He told Palmer about the Nazi list on the back of one of the paintings, but Palmer figured that the list was just one of Mike Roy's scams to get him to turn over the paintings. Tad snatched the cardboard cylinder away from Palmer just as Braden was returning from the coffee shop. Every face in the room froze as Tad pulled the paintings from the tube.
If Erica had really chosen him over Mike, Jack wondered why Mike was still hanging around Linden House. Jack sassed that Mike must be waiting for "a letter of recommendation." Mike stated that he'd taken the rejection "remarkably well." He went on to say that "losing [Erica] to a lesser man would have been unacceptable." This was the closest thing to a compliment that Mike had ever said to Jack. The two shook hands and put their past feud behind them. Mike turned his attention to Erica. He knew that this would be the last time he saw her. "There are defeats that are more triumphant than victories," Mike said quoting an unknown Frenchman. "This ain't one of them." Mike bowed his head and slowly walked towards the door. Erica scurried to the foyer and watched as Mike walked out of her house... and out of her life. She was overcome with emotion and had to take a few minutes to compose herself before returning to Jack. Jack knew that it must have been hard for Erica to say goodbye to Mike. Erica nodded. While she claimed to have thought of no one but Jack while in Paris, Jack had his doubts. He coldly asked Erica if it was a "last minute inspiration to make love to Mike" before kissing him goodbye. Erica was stunned. She didn't realize that she'd been caught in the act. Erica's reaction, though, was equally stunning. She said that she'd done nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, Erica said that she was proud of the way she'd handled herself. She noted that Jack had broken off their engagement. So technically, at least in Erica's mind, she was permitted to sleep with anything she wanted. Making love to Mike was the only way that Erica could end a thirteen year long chapter of her life. Jack wondered how Erica would start a new chapter with him. He suggested that they could "roll around" in the bed where she'd made love to another man. The cold remark prompted Erica to flash her fangs. She was adamant in that she would not apologize for what she'd done. Jack said that he's so in love with Erica that he would not even think of sleeping with another woman. "I am a very moral person in my own way," Erica said in defense of her decision. Jack sniffed and rolled his eyes. "And that's how we'd spend out lives," Jack snapped. "Your way." Erica found herself on the receiving end of insult after insult. She demanded to know why Jack was so upset. Erica claimed that she would "never need a man" for the rest of her life. Jack told her that he wasn't so sure. "You may have chosen me, but I don't choose you," he snarled. If Erica believed that she'd win no matter what man she chose, she was now in for a rude awakening. She'd cast off one man and now the other had cut her loose. Erica understood that Jack was upset and told him that he should go home. In the morning, she said, they could pick up the conversation. Jack wasn't going to return to pick up any conversation with Erica. He told her that he was on his way home and implied that they only time they'd see one another was when they bumped into each other at a social event. Pine Valley is, he noted, a small town. Jack opened the door. He'd gotten only one foot out the door when he told Erica, "you'll forgive me if I forgo the obligatory horizontal goodbye." Now, Erica lost her cool. She reached for a nearby vase and hurled it at the front door. By the time the vase hit, Jack was already long gone. Erica stewed for a few minutes before dashing for her coat. Under her breath, she told Jack that there was no way that she'd allow him to walk out on her.