In the first sign that she might truly be ready to let go of Mateo, Raquel didn't snap at Hayley for questioning her willingness to grant Mateo a divorce. "You want me to convince you," Raquel said, her voice almost asking a question. "I don't even know if I can convince myself." This did not, however, mean that Raquel was going to renege on her promise. Hayley listened sadly as Raquel explained that she had to grant Mateo a divorce---for Max's sake. Hayley looked towards Raquel and told her that she was sorry for what she was going through. "I believe you," Raquel replied. She asked Hayley to try to imagine her pain by envisioning what it would feel like to lose Mateo. Hayley headed to the kitchen and made two cups of tea. Raquel knew that Hayley must believe her story or she never would have continued talking to her---let along make a cup of tea. Raquel worried that Max would react negatively when he learned of the divorce. Hayley announced that she would help do whatever she could to help Max get used to the new arrangement. Raquel's eyes started to well with tears. She blinked several times and told Hayley that she still had some unpacking to do. Raquel headed across the courtyard to her apartment. Hayley looked out her window and saw Raquel leaning against a column with tears in her eyes. Raquel eventually composed herself and went inside her new home. "She'll be okay," Hayley told herself unconvincingly.
Tad left messages for Jake and Joe to meet him on the sun porch at the hospital. The two doctors took time out from their rounds and went to the scheduled meeting place. Tad and Dixie arrived a short time later and finally explained the nature of the Martin family meeting. Dixie was about to get the results of her latest tests from David and she and Tad wanted everyone to be present for the news. Ruth, however, was conspicuous by her absence. A nurse filed into the room and informed Joe that David had left a message for him. The cardiologist said that other business had popped up and he was unable to meet with Dixie. Instead, he left a file for Joe to review so that he could give Dixie her prognosis. Joe and Jake sat down at a nearby table and scanned every paper and x-ray in the file folder. Tad and Dixie watched nervously as the two doctors spouted a bunch of medical jargon. Finally, the waiting game was too much for Dixie to handle and she demanded to know what was going on. Joe rose from his chair and told Dixie that it appeared that her pericarditis had disappeared. In essence, she was cured. The good news was just what the doctor ordered. Dixie thanked Joe and Jake for giving her the results of her test. Nothing against David, but somehow the news seemed even better coming from a loved one. The four had a big Martin family group hug. Tad pulled away and asked his father if it was safe for Dixie to travel. Joe thought for a few moments and said that he saw no reason why Dixie couldn't head off on a vacation. Tad took Dixie in his arms and told her that he wanted to take her to a "love spa." Joe and Jake looked at each other and smiled as Tad leaned forward and gave his fiancťe a passionate kiss.
Ryan claimed that he was "just walking," and Gillian immediately apologized for interrupting his stroll. Before Ryan could leave, Gillian told him that she had something to give him to mark "the occasion." Ryan looked down at Gillian, who was still sitting on the edge of the sandbox, and asked her what occasion she was referring to. "Our anniversary," Gillian said softly. She told Ryan that she would understand if he forgot. Ryan shook his head and tenderly told Gillian that he'd just been thinking about it. Gillian reached into her purse and pulled out a framed photo of her and Ryan---together. Since the first wedding anniversary is the "paper anniversary," Gillian thought that the picture was the perfect gift. Ryan said that he had something for Gillian, too. He carefully removed a chain from around his neck. Gillian's eyes widened. This was Ryan's "lucky medallion" and Gillian felt that she could not accept the present. Ryan, though, insisted that Gillian take the medal because it was all he had to give. Like a schoolgirl getting a varsity jacket from her boyfriend, Gillian shifted nervously. She asked Ryan if he could put the chain on her. Ryan agreed. As he placed the chain around her neck, he fought the urge to kiss the back of Gillian's neck. Gillian didn't want Ryan to feel obligated to stay and talk to her. She told him that she'd let him get on his way and slowly started walking away. Ryan took a deep breath and called out to Gillian. "Don't go," he said sheepishly. Gillian slowly walked back towards Ryan and the pair sat down on a park bench. Ryan told Gillian that he does still love her. Gillian's face flushed with optimism. She was relieved to hear that there was still hope for patching up their relationship. Surprisingly, Ryan claimed that Gillian's affair with David was not the reason he was unable to get back together with her. The true reason, according to Ryan, was that his heart had been torn to pieces by what Braden had done. Now, Ryan was not sure that he had "enough heart left" to love anyone ever again. Gillian stated that her love could help piece Ryan's heart back together---but Ryan wasn't holding on to any hope. Gillian had gotten good as her non-pressuring approach to dealing with Ryan. She told him that she respected his feelings, but asked that he remember the happy times they shared together when he looks at the photograph she'd given him.
"I told you to stay away!" Erica growled. David countered by stating that had also asked Vanessa to stay away from Erica. Vanessa spoke timidly, explaining that she was just "visiting a friend." David insisted that Erica needed rest, not social calls. The doctor turned to Erica and ordered her to "get rid of this woman." Erica was appalled by the way David spoke to and about his mother. She blasted David for putting Vanessa on the streets and asked if he would enjoy seeing her living in a cardboard box. "One preferably without a view," Vanessa interjected. Erica announced that she planned on asking Vanessa to move in with her. "You really do manage to land on your feet," David scowled at his mother. David told Erica that she should not feel forced to take in Vanessa because he had already purchased his mother a one-way ticket to Florida where she could stay with "Bunny," one of her best friends. David asked if he could speak to Erica in private. Vanessa dipped her head and said that she'd go into the kitchen and make some tea. David was growing tired of being thought of as a hateful and unappreciative son. "Let me tell you how I got that way," David said sternly. Erica wasn't sure that she could believe anything David told her. After all, he'd been telling her for weeks that the accident was partially her fault because she wanted to get back to Pine Valley for a television shoot. David started off with a vague comparison between his mother and Mona. David surmised that Mona gave Erica unconditional love. Erica nodded and said that all mothers give that kind of love. David disagreed. He told Erica he needed her to understand "the jaundice way Vanessa sees motherhood." David claimed that he'd been brought into the room to "serve and adore" his mother. The same, he added, was true of his father. But when David caught on to his mother's "money hungry" ways, things changed. Erica remarked that David made his mother sound like a monster. In David's mind, there was no exaggeration---it was all true. Vanessa, he said, "enjoys destroying people." He asserted that Vanessa seeks out people who she envies---and then turns their life upside-down. Vanessa pressed her ear against the wall and listened in on the conversation. Before leaving, David gave Erica an important warning. He told Erica that she needs to find out why Vanessa envies her before it's too late. Seconds after David left, Vanessa entered the room wearing a broad smile and toting a tray with three tea cups. She feigned surprised that David had left, claiming that she'd looked forward to the three of them sharing tea time. Erica told her new friend that David had made some serious allegations about her. Vanessa nervously asked Erica if she believed what David had said. "Where there's smoke there's fire," Erica replied vaguely. Vanessa told Erica that she needed to tell her something. Vanessa struggled over and over to find the words to relate her story to Erica. "David's father committed suicide," she finally blurted out. She explained that David blames her for his father's death. Vanessa, however, claimed that a "chemical imbalance" and lengthy battle with depression sent her husband over the edge. Erica felt very sorry for Vanessa and agreed to let her stay with her while she attempted to get her life back on track.
At the new club, Max celebrated that he, his father, and mother would all be spending the night together. Mateo quickly moved to explain that only Max would be joining Raquel; He would be staying with Hayley. Max didn't take the news well, but Mateo managed to distract his son with some games around the construction site. Max used a whisk broom, which he adorably mistook for a "witch broom," to brush some sawdust into a pile. Max watched his father saw a piece of plywood. From across the room, he mimicked every move that he father made. It was obvious that Max adored his dad and wanted to be just like him. Hayley arrived a short time later and told Mateo that her chat with Raquel had been a success. She said that for the first time in quite some time, she believed that things were finally looking up for them. The pair decided that it would be a good time to call Trevor and give him the good news. Trevor, of course, was on his way to the airport with Tim. Mateo and Hayley took turns on the phone telling Trevor the good news. While they had their backs turned to Max, he continued sweeping the floors. Raquel entered the club in what seemed like a pretty good mood. As she did, Max's broom knocked out one of the support beams of nearby scaffolding. Raquel shrieked in horror and quickly pulled her son out of the way of the tumbling structure. Hayley put down the phone and quickly wrapped her arms around Max. Raquel, however, wasn't as lucky. She was unable to get out of the way of the falling scaffolding. Buckets of paint and pieces of wood crashed atop her before the entire structure fell on her.
Max screamed out to his mother and struggled to free himself from Hayley's protective grip. Mateo raced to Raquel's side and started removing debris from her limp body. Meanwhile, Hayley called the paramedics. After clearing Raquel's body, Mateo wanted to move her from the accident site. Hayley quickly warned him that moving her could only complicate the situation. When the paramedics arrived, they placed Raquel's head and neck in a protective brace. Her pulse was strong and her pupils responded when they were exposed to light. Both signs were promising, but only a doctor would be able to determine the full extent of the woman's injuries. Mateo asked Hayley to take Max back to the condo, but Max insisted that he be allowed to see his mother. Mateo then asked Hayley if she would mind going to the hospital to be with Raquel while he took Max back home. Hayley nodded in agreement.
Kit met with Brooke in her office at Tempo to discuss an idea for an article in a future edition of the magazine. Seeing the potential reader interest, Edmund suggested that Kit tell how she'd managed to track down her long-lost family. From the conversation between the two women, the article would not address her sexual assault. Kit was still worried about Jack's life now that he'd resigned as District Attorney. She mentioned that her brother seemed distracted when they'd gone house hunting. Kit said that she wanted a home, not just a house---a place to "set down roots." Brooke momentarily flashed back to the days of her investigative journalism, asking Kit where Edmund fit into her plans. "He doesn't," Kit replied bluntly causing Brooke to become a bit uncomfortable. Kit quickly assured Brooke that she hadn't rustled up any unpleasant topics. "We're great friends," said Kit of herself and Edmund. "But as for anything else... It's not gonna happen." Kit looked up and realized that Edmund was standing in the doorway. Not wanting to make the situation any more uncomfortable, Brooke decided that she'd head down the hall to give some notes to one of her staff writers. As soon as Brooke left, Kit positioned herself to explain what Edmund had overheard. Edmund didn't see the need for explanations. "I walked in on a private conversation," he noted. Kit shook her head and said that it was time for them to get things out in the open. "We both know I am not the woman for you," Kit stated matter-of-factly. Edmund wondered if they could start over from the beginning of their relationship. That had not met under the most normal circumstances, after all. Kit didn't feel that going back in time would help them. She remarked that there was a perfect woman for him somewhere and, likewise, a man for her. Kit said that she wants someone to love her like Edmund loved Maria---someone who will "not have to talk himself into it." The conversation was cut abruptly short by a phone call from one of Edmund's sources. Edmund informed Kit that he'd have to leave town for a few days to cover a story of a runaway teenager. Kit promised that she'd still be around when he got back to town.
Back at the condo, Mateo took every opportunity to assure Max that his mother would be fine. "I want to see her," Max said repeatedly. His fears seemed to subside slightly when Isabella arrived an informed him that she was there to watch him. Mateo headed to the hospital and Isabella set out to comfort her grandson. She sat on the floor and allowed Max to rest his head in her lap. As she gently stroked his hair, she sang a beautiful Spanish lullaby to him.
For many people, the term "love spa" conjures images of a sultry, tropical paradise. Tad and Dixie's trip to the love spa took them to The Sleep Hollow Inn. With Junior and Jamie by their sides, the couple checked into their room. The two young boys immediately hit their parents with a request for a favor. While they were signing in, the boys noticed that there were horseback riding lessons for kids. They pleaded with Tad and Dixie to let them sign up for the classes. Tad was opposed to the idea, fearing that one of the boys would get thrown from a horse---or worse. "Don't those things bite?" he asked in jest. The adults yielded to their sons' demands. The boys grabbed their things and scurried down the hall. Tad and Dixie looked at each other and smiled devilishly. Tad did a funny little dance as he announced that their plan---one designed to garner them a little free time---had worked marvelously. Dixie walked over to Tad and planted a big kiss smack dab on his lips. Tad pushed her away slightly and told her not to rush things because they had two hours to enjoy each other's company. Tad slipped into the bathroom for a few moments and started a hot bubble bath. He told Dixie to enjoy the sauna-like conditions while he got things ready for their after-bath time. Dixie headed into the bathroom and closed the door behind her. When Tad was unclothed and ready to join his future bride, he encountered a bit of a problem: Dixie had locked the door behind her. Dixie was so enjoying her soak that she didn't want to get out of the water, but she also wanted to be with Tad. She got out of the tub and walked over to the door. The door was unlocked. Both Tad and Dixie's high hopes sunk when they realized that the wooden door was stuck. Tad took a few steps back and readied to break the door down. Dixie stepped back from the door and waited for her knight (no pun intended, really!) to come to her aid. There was a loud thud and a muffled groan from the other side of the door. Tad shelved his machismo and called the front desk for help. The hotel's new manager arrived in the room and told Tad that she was used to occupants complaining about the door getting stuck. She promised to have the maintenance man fix the door as soon as he got back from trout fishing. Tad asked the woman to page the man, prompting fits of hysterical laughter from the manager. "You city folks," she giggled as she walked towards the hallway. Again she promised to have the maintenance man check out the problem as soon as he got back. Tad and Dixie sat on the floor, separated by just three inches of wood. It silly as it may have sounded, Dixie told Tad that she missed him. Slowly the two hours passed by and Junior and Jamie returned to the room. The boys were puzzled when the heard that Dixie was stuck in the bathroom. The gently leaned against the door, turned the knob, and voila! The door opened instantly.
Gillian moped around the emergency room waiting area hoping that she could speak to Jake. Jake finished up an orientation class with some new nurses and made his way over to the waiting princess. Gillian asked Jake if he could join her for a game of basketball. Jake chuckled slightly and reminded Gillian that he was on duty. Gillian felt like a bit of a fool for thinking that Jake could so easily disregard his duties. Jake did have time to get Gillian some coffee and to listen to what was bothering her. Gillian told her friend everything about the fallout between Ryan and Braden and how Ryan feels responsible for Braden's downward spiral. Gillian explained that she feels an urge to run to Ryan and pressuring him to get back together with her, but she knew that that wasn't going to help matters any. She stated that she'd love to show up at his door "wearing nothing but a smile." Jake smiled and said that he was sure that Gillian was getting ahead of herself. Gillian bowed her head and mumbled that she's always putting her "hand in [her] mouth." Again, Jake chuckled, this time giving her the correct wording for the phrase. Jake came up with a diagnosis to help Gillian fight the craving to run to Ryan---his phone number. No, this was not a tacky pick-up routine. The doctor told Gillian that she should call him whenever she wants to call Ryan so that he can give her all the reason why she shouldn't call Ryan. Seconds later, Hayley burst into the emergency room and shouted out that she needed a doctor. Raquel was wheeled into the emergency room on a stretcher. Jake motioned the paramedics to and empty examining room and immediately checked Raquel to determine the extent of her injuries. Outside, Hayley reflected on the conversation she'd had with Raquel just hours before the accident. She remembered how Raquel described the pain that she felt in losing Mateo. Several times, Raquel called out in pain, calling Mateo's name. Jake exited the examining room and told Hayley that Raquel had really gotten "clobbered." He explained that there was some swelling around her spine, but followed that up by noting that Raquel did appear to have movement and feeling in all of her extremities. A battery of tests had been ordered and hopefully everything would check out fine. Mateo arrived at the hospital a little while later. Hayley briefed him on Raquel's status and Mateo slipped into the examining room to check on her. Inside, Mateo told Raquel that Max was fine and that he was staying with his mother. He thanked Raquel for saving their son's life. Raquel reached out her hand and Mateo gently took it in his. From outside, Hayley looked through a window on the door with tears in her eyes.
Keeping her promise to remain active in Enchantment during her recovery, Erica finished up some paperwork and prepared to call a messenger service to take the papers to her office. Vanessa offered to take the papers to Enchantment as a way of repaying Erica for her kindness. Erica reluctantly accepted Vanessa's offer, but quickly explained that there was no reason for Vanessa to feel obligated to her. Vanessa took the large yellow envelope from Erica and headed towards the door. Erica even allowed Vanessa to use her car. Outside, Vanessa bumped into Jerry Reeves, the reporter that had interviewed Erica at the high school. Vanessa apparently answered one of Jerry's many calls to Erica's house and gave him the impression that Erica agreed to complete their abbreviated interview. Erica knew nothing of Vanessa's meddling-and Vanessa wanted it to stay that way. She made Jerry promise that he would never bring up her name during the interview. Jerry agreed and slipped into the house. Erica was outraged to see the reporter and threatened to call the police. Jerry put his hands in the air and assured Erica that he'd come alone and without a camera. He explained that he hoped to get a brief quote or some other statement from her to finish up their interview. Initially opposed to the idea, Erica thought a few additional remarks might help steady investors' fears about Enchantment. Erica invited the reporter to sit down across the room from her. Jerry smiled hungrily and started his tape recorder. He became irritated when Erica rambled on and on about her confidence in Enchantment's stock's ability to recover from its recent drop. He moaned that he didn't want to hear about Erica's business; He wanted to learn more about Erica's injuries. Erica ordered Jerry to stop recording the conversation and subsequently ordered him out of her house. Erica muttered that she wishes she had died during her heart surgery because she was unable to endure the media's constant probing into her life. Jerry coldly remarked that Erica's death would be a brief blip on the media's radar. He implied that the story would have been in the news for one or two days. But the story about a top model being "horribly scarred" was a very juicy story. Jerry turned Erica's words on her, lambasting her for using the media to tout her many triumphs, but turning against them when they wanted to cover something less pleasant. Erica said that she did not want to be a "poster girl for disappointment and pain." Erica again ordered Jerry out of her office. As he was leaving, Jerry labeled Erica "another washed up celebrity."
The handyman at The Sleepy Hollow Inn wasn't the only person partaking in the first day of trout season. Stuart took Marian to the boathouse with the hopes of turning his wife into a master fisherwoman. Fashion came first in Marian's mind no matter where she happened to be. She begged Stuart one of his "feathers" on her cap. Stuart took of his hat and explained that his feathers were actually fishing lures. Stuart went on to explain all the tricks that fishermen use to catch the big one. Marian laughed devilishly when Stuart talked about "wiggling the worm." To pass the time while they waited for a fish to bite, Marian and Stuart briefly discussed their plans for Adam and Liza's wedding. Suddenly, the tip of Marian's rod bent and she screamed in horror. Stuart stepped behind his wife and helped her hold on to the rod. He urged her to slowly reel in the fish. The weight on the end of the line was enormous, leading Stuart to believe that Marian had caught the biggest fish in the lake. Slowly but surely, Marian reeled in her catch---a rubber boot. Marian was disappointed by prize and urged Stuart to toss the boot back into the lake. Stuart felt something inside the boot and looked inside for a better look. He reached into the boot and found a bright yellow pouch. Marian rolled her eyes and instructed Stuart to toss the pouch back into the water. Stuart, however, thought that they should try to find the owner of the pouch. He opened the velcro fastener and took a peek inside. His eyes nearly popped out of his socket as he removed a plastic bag filled with a huge stack of hundred dollar bills.
The doctors ordered a round of x-rays to determine the extent of the damage done to Raquel's spinal cord. Raquel pleaded with Mateo to accompany her. Mateo looked to Jake, who nodded his head slightly. Outside, Hayley was becoming more and more uncomfortable with the way things were going. She asked Gillian how things could have "gone south" so quickly. She explained that she and Mateo had been riding high after Raquel announced that she'd grant Mateo a divorce. Gillian assured Hayley that everything would work out in the end. Hayley, however, was fearful that Max had been traumatized by watching his mother get crushed by the scaffolding. Mateo returned to the waiting area and took a seat next to Hayley. He told her that he felt responsible for the accident because he had not been watching Max. Hayley also felt badly because she knew that it didn't take both of them to call Trevor. Mateo urged Hayley to return home and get some rest, but Hayley announced that she was going to stay by Mateo's side. It was unclear if Hayley wanted to be there to support her husband or to make sure that he and Raquel didn't grow closer---or perhaps it was a little of both. Jake appeared before the group and informed them that Raquel's injuries were not as severe as they'd thought. She'd suffered several "displaced vertebrae" and would have to remain in traction for some time. There was no nerve damage and no paralysis. Mateo and Hayley both breathed a sigh of relief. Jake mentioned that Raquel would need home care after she was released from the hospital, but he gave no timeline for her release. Mateo decided that it was time to call Max and let him know that his mother would be okay. When he did, Isabella informed him that Max was very depressed and was blaming himself for the accident. Mateo told his mother that he would get permission from Jake to allow Max to see Raquel. Elsewhere in the waiting area, Gillian was about to call it a day when Jake pulled her aside and asked her to stay. He explained that Hayley and Mateo could really use the support of a friend, much the way that he'd been there for her earlier in the day. Isabella and Max arrived at the hospital and, as Mateo had promised, Max was given special permission to see his mother. Max remembered playing basketball with Jake in the park and that seemed to lessen his fears a little. The group started walking towards Raquel's room, but Jake pulled Hayley aside and explained that she would not be allowed into the room since she was not a member of Raquel's immediate family. Inside the examining room, Raquel took her son's hand and gently kissed it. Max apologized to his mother for hurting her. Raquel did the best she could to assure her son that he was in no way responsible for what had happened. Jake stepped in and said that Raquel needed to get some rest. Max, however, didn't want to leave his mother's side. Mateo talked Jake into putting a second a bed in Raquel's room so that he and Max could spend the night at the hospital. Hayley overheard Mateo's request and bowed her head. She turned and slowly walked out of the hospital.
At Enchantment, Vanessa introduced herself to Val, Erica's secretary. Val seemed reluctant to buy into Vanessa's 's claims that she was a friend of Erica's. Eventually, though, Val accepted Vanessa's statement. Val pointed to a mountain of fan mail and told Vanessa that she was free to take the letter to Erica. Vanessa thought that it might be better to sort through the mail just in case anyone had written anything that might cause Erica more pain. Val offered to assist Vanessa, but she told him to go on his way because he had many more important things to do than sort mail. Instead of diving into the stack of mail as she'd promised, Vanessa took a bit of a detour---via Erica's desk. Vanessa sat down at Erica's desk and rifled through her drawers. Sometime later, she read over one of the letters Erica had received and dictated a response on Erica's behalf to a miniature tape recorder. Vanessa looked up momentarily and realized that Erica had been watching her.
Liza was summoned to The Valley Inn to meet with a "newsworthy mysterioso." Arriving at the hotel, Liza found the bar and dining areas immersed in darkness. She slowly walked through the dining room, but there was no sign of her interviewee---or anyone for that matter. A noise sounded from across the room, prompting Liza to grab a waiter's tray. The lights flicked on and Adam begged Liza to hold off her assault. Liza was furious with Adam for scaring her, but she was glad to see that he was back from his business trip. Adam revealed that he's rented out the dining area and the bar so that they could share a romantic dinner. Liza grumbled when she learned that Adam was "Mr. Mysterioso" because she'd cut out on her final Lamaze class. The pair danced as a private three-piece band struck up a song. Liza felt a bit embarrassed by her appearance and she grew tired of having Adam tell her that she was the most beautiful woman in the world. Still, as she danced in Adam's arms Liza couldn't imagine a more perfect moment. The tranquility came to an abrupt end when an intruder asked if he could cut in on the dance. Adam and Liza turned around and grimaced in the interloper's direction. David smiled arrogantly and refused the couple's request that he leave immediately. David presumptuously invited himself to join Adam and Liza for dinner. Needless to say, there was no way that Liza or Adam was going to accept David's self-given invitation. David claimed that his presence would provide "stimulating dialogue," but he ultimately did agree to leave. After dinner and another dance, Adam gave Liza a foot massage. Liza remembered that she was supposed to drop by the editing room at WRCW. After Liza excused herself, Adam muttered that he had some business to take care of too. Adam headed upstairs and knocked on David' door. David, who was enjoying a glass of brandy, let David into his room. Adam warned David that someone was going to knock the arrogant smile off of his face. He warned David that while he was "having fun with this," his fun was going to end.
"I didn't expect you back so soon," Belinda said softly upon seeing Adrian standing outside her apartment. Not to be misunderstood, Belinda quickly clarified that she was happy to see him, but she knew that Adrian's early return signaled that Braden had been located. In a normal situation Adrian would probably be relieved that his missions was completed. This case, though, didn't exactly have a happy ending. Braden fled to Singapore, a country with which the United States hasn't established a firm extradition treaty. This meant that Braden would likely not be brought back to the United States. Belinda noticed that Adrian was very sad and wondered if he was starting to miss how work for the government. Actually, it was just the opposite. For the first time, Adrian realized that his life-and-death missions came at a price. When he was flying solo, Adrian was willing to take chances and go all out to complete a mission. Now that Belinda was in his life, however, he realized that he no longer wanted to play fast and loose. If something were to happen to him, he said that he would never forgive himself for not being able to see Belinda's face again.
"I see you've made yourself at home," Erica snapped upon entering her office. She scolded Vanessa for not following her instructions; She was supposed to have dropped off a package and returned home. "Forgive me," Vanessa replied nervously. She explained that Val had asked her to help sort through some of Erica's fan mail. One of the letters, she stated, was from Debbie Reynolds. Vanessa mentioned that she and the actress were good friends from the "golden days of MGM." Vanessa also mentioned that another of the letters included an invitation to a party. Since Erica was obviously not able to attend, Vanessa hoped that she could go as Erica's "understudy." Erica was taken aback by Vanessa's remark. She was in no way her understudy. Erica announced that she was still in charge and assured Vanessa that she would attend all events---just as soon as she had recuperated. Erica then complained about the mess Vanessa had made of her desk. Vanessa apologized and took a few moments to tidy things up. She snatched an oversized manila envelope from the desk and put it behind her back. Erica demanded to know what Vanessa was hiding from her. Vanessa asserted that the envelope's contents were none of Erica's business, but that only increased Erica's curiosity. Against her better judgment, Vanessa handed over the envelope. Erica hurriedly opened the package and removed its contents. Her hand covered her mouth and muffled a slight whimper. Someone had taken a pair of scissors to a photograph of Erica. The right side of the photograph had several slivers taken out of it, representing the scars on Erica's face. A letter had also been enclosed from the sender stating that Erica had gotten what she deserved. Another line in the letter said that Erica's face was now as ugly as her soul. Vanessa stepped in to damage control, but Erica was surprisingly calm. At first she refused to believe that any of her fans would root for her demise. Then she determined that the letter was from a crazed lunatic. She announced that she would turn the envelope over to the authorities. Vanessa wanted to continue sorting through the mail, but Erica told her that it was time to return home.
Opal and Janet showed up at Erica's house and were alarmed when they could find no sign of their friend. They briefly discussed Erica's state of minding. Janet told a concerned Opal that Erica needed to vent her anger any someone or something---and it venting to her friends was the only thing Erica knew to do. Vanessa and Erica returned home and immediately wanted to know why they had uninvited guests. Opal tried to make small talk, asking Erica if she and Vanessa had gone out for a drive. Vanessa could see that Erica was angered and suggested that she run upstairs to bed. Erica refused. Opal couldn't help but look at the bandages on Erica's face. "If I wanted to be stared at, I'd donate myself to a museum," Erica snapped. Opal tried to apologize, but Erica wasn't interested in hearing any more excuses. She claimed that she was "appalled" that she and Janet had shown up at her home. For the first time, though, Erica showed signs of realizing that her anger was misplaced. She asked the two women to leave because she was unable to see them "for the time being." Opal was ready to cede to Erica's demands, but Janet didn't budge. She blasted Erica for playing "the ice princess." She informed Erica that none of her friends had betrayed her, as she repeatedly accused them of doing. What they wanted to do, Janet continued, was to hold Erica in their arms and give her a big hug. She then cast a quick glance in Vanessa's direction and told Erica that she should "hold [her] real friends close." Opal announced that she had plenty of free time now that her divorce from Palmer was final. She asked Erica if she and Petey could spend some time with her. Erica, however, announced that she already had a houseguest. Janet was stunned by the news that Vanessa was staying with Erica. She worried that Erica didn't really know Vanessa all that well. Erica ordered Janet and Opal to leave and stormed upstairs. Janet pulled Vanessa aside and demanded to know how she'd ended up as Erica's houseguest. Vanessa claimed that when she'd shown up on Erica's doorstep with a gift, Erica begged her to stay with her for a few days. Janet headed into the kitchen and made some tea. When she returned to the parlor, she made a special note that the tea was the same tea that Mona used to make for Erica. Vanessa suggested that the two women leave before Erica lashed out at them again. Before they could leave, Vanessa asked them how they'd gotten into the house in the first place. Opal smiled slightly and explained that she had a key to the front door. Shortly after the two women left, Vanessa headed to the phone and called a twenty-four hour locksmith. She told the person on the other end that she wanted all of the locks in the house changed. Erica returned downstairs just as Vanessa was finishing up her call. Vanessa told Erica that she'd made her some tea. Erica smiled when she learned that the tea was the same tea that her mother used to make for her. Vanessa made up a bogus story about her mother having served the same tea when she was a girl. Erica asked Vanessa if she really had worked with Debbie Reynolds. Vanessa nodded and said that she'd been present when the actress learned that her husband had been having an affair with Elizabeth Taylor. "Who told her?" Erica asked curiously. The corners of Vanessa's mouth turned up slightly and a laugh escaped her lips.
Ryan arrived at WRCW to speak to Liza about a letter she'd sent him. Liza expounded upon the contents of her letter, informing Ryan that she wanted him to return to work for WRCW. Ryan was stunned by Liza's loyalty to him. Most other companies, he noted, would have found someone to take over his position a long time ago. The conversation turned into a pep talk with Liza telling Ryan that no one can sell advertising like him. Sure, they had a temporary hire in the position, but the job was and would always be Ryan's. Ryan worried that her personal life would get in the way of his job. What if a client remembered his name or face from the newspaper headlines? Liza assured him that the station had not received any negative feedback from any of its advertisers during Ryan's ordeal. Still, Ryan wasn't sure that he could so easily return to work and pretend that nothing had happened. Liza urged Ryan to take a temporary leave of absence from his duties. No one had every shown Ryan this kind level of concern before and it was obvious that he was having a hard time getting used to it. Jack knocked on the door and told Ryan that he had some news for him. Ryan instantly knew that Jack must have located his brother. Jack filled him in on the details of Braden's whereabouts and their inability to have him extradited to Pine Valley. Ryan was noticeably distraught. "So there's no end to this thing," he said glumly. Ryan turned and started walking towards the door. Liza called out to him and asked him to stick around for a while, but Ryan said that he needed some time alone. After Ryan left, Liza asked Jack about his decision to resign his post. Liza wondered if anyone would ever be the same after what had happened. Liza remained in her office to do some work. As time passed, Liza developed a craving for some ice cream. She rose from her chair and started walking across her office. She got halfway to the door when she felt a sharp pain in her abdomen. "Not yet, Colby," she said through gritted teeth. "It's too soon."
Adam told David that he would have "swatted" him sooner had he not been so concerned for Liza and the baby. He cited a list of things that David had done in recently weeks to draw his ire, including his offer to get Jake out of Liza's life, the stolen amniotic fluid, and his threat that their wedding would never take place. David told Adam that he'd stumbled across a piece of information that he was sure would shake up Adam's life. David smiled haughtily and asked Adam why beads of sweat were forming on his brow. Adam never answered. Instead, he chose to shift the pressure back onto David. After hearing David state that he needed to wait until the right time before dropping his bombshell, Adam concluded that David was just bluffing. Believe it or not, Adam was somewhat amused by David's antics. He recalled numerous times when, during business dealings, he'd tried to pull off the same trick. Everyone, Adam said, has some degree of guilt---and playing to a person's guilt is a great way to keep them in line. While on the subject of guilt, Adam reminded David that he had had him investigated when he returned to Pine Valley. There was nothing of much interest in the profile and the one "little nugget" that he'd hoped held promise turned out flat. That nugget, as Adam called it, was David's father's death. No death certificate had ever been filed. David's blood boiled as Adam referred to his father's suicide as a non-event. Adam smiled evilly and announced that just perhaps he did have "some cards to play." He threatened to call Jerry Reeves, the reporter who'd interviewed Erica at the Pine Valley High School library, and report David's involvement in Erica's accident. David took a deep breath through his nose and told Adam that he would tell him what he knew. "Let's talk about Colby Marian," he sneered. "What a lucky girl." Adam became angry when the doctor mentioned the baby's name. He told David that some things were off limit---and he ordered David never to utter the baby's name again. David reminded Adam that about the fertility clinic exposť that he'd been working on for WRCW. While the report had never been completed, David said that he learned a great deal from the experience. Adam shrugged off what David was saying, but David ordered him to listen to what he had to say. "You'd better listen, Adam," David snapped. "Or should I say daddy?" Adam's face froze. He looked towards David and asked him to explain what he was talking about. David grinned wryly as he announced that he knew that Jake was not Colby's biological father---but Adam was.
Before leaving the hospital, Hayley wrote a note to Mateo. The message told Mateo that Hayley was heading out so that he, Raquel, and Max could have some time alone. She wrote that she was thankful that things were not worse than they were. Though she wasn't going to be at the hospital with Mateo, she reminded him that she was just a phone call away. After saying his prayers, in which he asked God to help his mother feel better, Max was tucked into bed by Mateo and quickly drifted off to sleep. Raquel had been offered pain killers to numb her agony, but she refused all medication until she was sure that Max was sound asleep. Gillian burst into the room with a big smile and an overload of energy. She asked Mateo and Raquel if there was anything that she could do for them. Mateo put his finger over his mouth to silence Gillian. Mateo asked Gillian if she could track down Jake and asked him to give Raquel some pain medication. Jake complied and afterwards received a surprising announcement from Gillian. To combat her desire to run to Ryan, Jake had suggested that Gillian find something to do with her free time. After some careful thought, Gillian decided that she wanted to be a nurse. Her motivation diminished greatly when she learned that she'd have to undergo years of schooling. The idea of having to "dissect things" also wasn't high on the princess' list of passions. Jake suggested that Gillian try some volunteer work at the hospital. Money was not an issue at this point because Dimitri was giving Gillian a weekly allowance until she could "find herself."
Back in Raquel's room, Mateo and Raquel reminisced about their childhood. When Mateo was just fourteen of fifteen, Raquel sneaked into his hospital room to visit him after his tonsillectomy. In addition to visiting him, she also gobbled up all of his ice cream! Mateo took Raquel's hand and held it gently as they walked down memory lane. The pain killers finally set in and Raquel managed to get some rest. Mateo smiled slightly as he looked at the sleeping woman before heading to a chair to get some sleep.
Hayley returned to the club and was confronted by flashbacks of the accident. Ryan knocked on the door and asked Hayley if he could talk to her. While buying some food at a nearby eatery, Ryan saw Hayley's car pull up outside the club. Since he'd been out of the loop, so to speak, for quite some time, Ryan knew nothing of Hayley and Mateo's plans to open another club. He'd hoped that Hayley and Mateo were "back on track," but Hayley wasn't sure that anything had changed. Hayley filled Ryan in on Raquel's decision to grant Mateo a divorce as well as the accident. Hayley was sure that Raquel would renege on her promise after the way she and Mateo had failed to care for Max. Ryan urged Hayley to remain optimistic, something she would soon be telling him. Hayley asked Ryan what he was doing with himself now that he'd been released from jail. Ryan shrugged and wiggled back and forth as he tried to come up with an appropriate answer. Hayley asked Ryan what he was doing with himself now that he'd been released from jail. Ryan shrugged and wiggled back and forth as he tried to come up with an appropriate answer. He managed to buy himself time by nibbling on his dinner. Hayley gently asked Ryan if he and Gillian had a chance at getting back together. "She's still your wife," Hayley noted. "I don't know," Ryan replied honestly. "If love was all we needed... she needs so much." Ryan remembered a time when all Gillian wanted from him was to hear him say that he loved her. Now, he worried that he would be unable to do anything but disappoint his wife. One of the reasons for Ryan's feelings of failure was his brother, Braden. "I hate what he's become," Ryan sighed. "I should never have trusted him." Hayley tried to convince Ryan that believing in his brother was not a crime. "It was an honest mistake," she said softly. Ryan wanted nothing more than to "shut down and make the world go away." But running away, Hayley stated, would not make any of Ryan's problems go away. Ryan didn't want to talk about himself any more, but he also didn't want to leave. Hayley put on some music and she and Ryan stepped up to tackle some of the construction work.
At WRCW, Liza remained calm and timed her contractions. When the pain subsided, she placed a call to Chandler Mansion to alert Adam to her condition. Unfortunately, Winifred informed her that Adam wasn't home. Marian and Stuart stumbled into the office to tell Liza about their "big catch" at the boathouse. Before they could spout off their incredible news, Marian realized that Liza had some incredible news of her own. Liza clutched her belly and took several deep breaths to regain her strength. Marian asked Liza to describe her pain. Liza looked crossly at her mother and asked her if she'd forgotten the labor process. Marian giggled slightly and explained that shortly after she went into labor she was given a drug that knocked her out. When she awoke, she had a beautiful bundle of joy in her arms---so she never had to deal with the pain of child birth. Stuart called Dr. Clader and alerted the doctor to Liza's condition. He asked the trio to meet him at the hospital. Marian and Stuart scurried around the office trying to prepare Liza for her trip to the hospital. While doing so, Marian and Stuart bumped into each other and, in the process, clunked their heads together. After rubbing their noggins for a few minutes, they were presented with another problems: Where were the keys to Stuart's car? Marian started fiddling through all of the pockets in Stuart's fishing vest. She reached into one of the pockets and cut her finger on a fishing hook. Stuart finally found his keys and he and Marian ran out of the office. Left behind in her office, Liza shook her head in wonderment.
"I have no interest in discussing Liza's child," Adam growled. David was certain that the news of Adam's shenanigans would interest many people in Pine Valley. He accused Adam of "violating" Liza and warned him that Liza was going to leave him when she'd learned that Adam was really the father of her child. Adam called David's theory "provocative" but "convoluted." David smiled proudly as he announced that he had proof to back up his allegations. Citing a paper trail that he'd found, David forced Adam to admit that his company had owned the fertility clinic where Liza underwent artificial insemination. Ownership, Adam argued, failed to prove that anything shady had gone down at the clinic. David roped another familiar name into his theory, Allie Doyle. David said that he had questioned Adam and Allie's strange relationship for some time. Now, however, he understood how the two were linked. David knew that Adam was not capable of knowing how to switch sperm specimens at the clinic. In order to make the switch, Adam would had to have enlisted the help of someone in the medical field. That's where Allie came in. The evidence didn't end there. David told Adam that he used Liza's amniotic fluid sample as part of a DNA test to prove that he was the father of the baby. David recalled that Adam had cut his hand on broken glass at the Crystal Ball. He smiled and explained that he'd used the blood sample to compare Adam's DNA to that of Liza's baby. Just to make sure that Adam knew that he was not bluffing, David handed Adam a folder containing the test results. "You black-hearted, unethical bastard," snarled Adam. David bragged that he had beaten Adam at his own game. "I warned you not to mess with me," Adam continued angrily. David still wore the same arrogant smiled. "What are you going to do? Kill me?" David chuckled. Adam turned towards the doctor and flashed a piercing glare. "Yes," he replied. David remained on high. He remarked that he didn't think that Adam was a hands-on kind of guy. Surely, he thought, Adam would pay someone to do his dirty work for him. Adam grew incensed by David's arrogance. He grabbed the cardiologist by his lapels and thrust him into a chair. There was a reason that David didn't fear death. After discovering Adam's involvement in the fertility clinic swap, David wrote several incriminating letters and stored them in a safe deposit box. The letters, of which he also gave a copy to his attorney, implied that if anything happened to him Adam was more than likely responsible. Normally, Adam is the one who blankets his enemies in fear. This time, though, Adam was powerless to stop David. Adam hoped that Liza would be spared the bad news because of David's feelings for her. A laugh erupted from the doctor's mouth. "I could care less about Liza," David cackled. "I will never forget what she did to me. She beat me and no woman gets away with that!" The feelings that David supposedly harbored for Liza were bogus. He'd been using the feigned sentiment as a way to wheedle his way into Liza's life. David practically drooled at the idea of sticking it to Adam, Jake, and Liza all in one fell swoop. The only question remaining was the issue of timing; When would David drop his bombshell? Adam held out his cellular phone and ordered David to call Liza and break the news. David refused, saying that the time wasn't quite right. Adam's cell phone rang and Adam took the call. Stuart called from the hospital to inform Adam that Liza was going into labor. Adam became quite concerned and told Stuart that he was on his way. After he left David's hotel room, Adam got on the phone with Barry and ordered him to clear his schedule immediately.
At the hospital, a nurse put Liza in a wheelchair and transported her to an examining room. Liza became irritated because Adam wasn't by her side. Jake burst into the room and told Liza that he'd just learned that she was in the hospital. Dr. Clader was tied up with a "problem birth" and unable to tend to Liza. By now, though, Liza's contractions had stopped. Jake summoned another doctor to give Liza a pelvic examination. The examination showed that Liza's contractions were Braxton-Hicks contractions, or false labor. Marian mused that she knew it wasn't time for her daughter to give birth because all Colby women are always fashionably late. Adam finally arrived at the hospital just as Liza was getting ready to leave for home. She scolded him for being late. As they walked out of the emergency room, David arrived at the hospital. He walked over to Liza and told her that he was glad that she and her baby were okay. With a wry little smile, David continued about his business.