"The idea is tempting," smiled Erica. As the pair rose from their chairs, an approaching couple greeted them: Palmer and Vanessa. Palmer walked towards Erica, his arms extended. He once again thanked her for casting the deciding vote to retain him as CEO. Erica tried to downplay her role, saying that it was difficult call to make. Vanessa smiled broadly and told Erica that she looked "wonderful." Before either Erica or David knew what was happening, Palmer invited himself and Vanessa to join them at their table for dinner. With neither Erica nor David on speaking terms with Vanessa, it proved to be a very burdensome meal. David didn't touch anything on his plate and Erica only nibbled. Again from out of nowhere, Vanessa asked her son if he was still in touch with "Buffy," a young woman he used to date in Vancouver. The intent of the mention seemed designed to make Erica and David uncomfortable. In return, David fired back with a question about a tennis instructor that Vanessa used to date. He crudely remarked that the only lessons they'd shared were in the bedroom! Palmer reprimanded David for speaking inappropriately to his mother. David ignored the lecture, instead turning to Erica and asking her if she'd like to dance. Erica nodded her head as David helped her to her feet. Adrian and Belinda entered the dining room just as the pair was headed to the dance floor. Belinda offered to eat somewhere else, but Adrian refused to budge on the ground that he did not want it to look like Palmer had run him off. While dancing, David told Erica that he "had a different idea" about how their night would go. David's pager went off and he excused himself to call the hospital. Erica returned to the table and Palmer told Erica that he'd settle the bill so that he could drive her home. After Palmer left, Vanessa shook her head and said that it was just like her son to walk out on someone. Erica, however, said that she admired the way that David put his patients first. "Integrity," Erica labeled it. "He must get it from his father." Vanessa was silenced and said nothing more for the rest of the evening.
Becca accredited the beautiful melody to a Towhee, a small, mostly black and white bird with reddish highlights on its wings and tail. The bird flew away before Scott could hear the tune. Becca gently scolded Scott for his tardiness, but that didn't stop her from offering him some dessert. Becca reached behind her back and grabbed two small containers of chocolate ice cream. As they gobbled down the frozen treat, Becca commented that they could write off the ice cream as a business expense. In her knapsack, Becca had a small notebook where she logged every expense related to the documentary project. "Bird, herbs, and business expenses. Is there anything you don't know about?" Scott asked with a smile. Becca explained that she knew someone who worked for the IRS when she lived back in Pigeon Hollow. Scott looked at the ledger and commented that he should have been handling his own expenses all along. He briefly mentioned the dinner meeting he'd had with his Uncle Adam. He credited Marian for coming up with the idea to talk to Adam about his trust fund. Becca realized that Scott really likes Marian. Scott nodded, but said that he really likes the way Marian makes his father feel. "He's been alone for too long," Scott said softly. Becca told Scott that her meeting with Myrtle went well and that she'd heard portions of a great story involving a "Cuban knife-thrower and a rubber man." There was, however, a story that made Myrtle's tale look pale by comparison. The story, she said, involved a young man and a Hungarian Princess. Scott bowed his head bashfully and listened as Becca recounted the story as she knew it. Becca seemed impressed and perplexed all at the same time; She admired the way Scott was willing to help a friend, but wondered why Scott would commit himself to a loveless marriage. Scott was able to dodge the question when he detected another songbird. Becca informed Scott that the chirps belonged to a mockingbird, her favorite bird. Then seemingly out of nowhere, the two leaned forward and their lips met briefly. Both giggled nervously before Becca broke the silence by saying that she should be getting home. Scott didn't protest. Instead, he took Becca's hand and walked with her.
At Wildwind, Edmund sat alone in his office talking to a picture of his late wife, Maria. He told Maria that Sam had just read his first bedtime story to Maddie. He knew that it would only be a matter of time before Sammy was in school. He sat down at his desk to do some work. He closed his eyes, sighed deeply, and walked away from his work.
Ryan forcibly led Gillian to the alley behind the club. Gillian groused about having her dance interrupted. Ryan objected to the way the man was "all over" Gillian. Gillian rolled her eyes and claimed that they were "just dancing." Ryan said that he didn't want to see anything bad happen to Gillian. He offered to call a cab for the princess, but Gillian refused his offer. She was touched that Ryan wanted to see her get home safely, but upset that he didn't want to take her home himself. Gillian reflected on the last time she was unable to get home under her own power: Ryan had taken her home, helped her off with her clothes, and then tucked her into bed. That wasn't going to happen this time. Gillian assured Ryan that she would not drown her sorrows in liquor, saying that she would not "become an alcoholic like Hayley." Ryan asked Gillian to refrain from the snide remarks, prompting Gillian to lash out at Ryan for defending his "new girlfriend." As hard as he tried to impress upon Gillian that he and Hayley were not lovers, Ryan had little luck in getting Gillian to stop bringing up "the kiss." He said that the kiss "meant nothing" and that it was "practically a mistake." Gillian coldly countered with a possible explanation for the lip-lock. "You were walking on the beach and tripped on a piece of driftwood and your lips met," she sassed. "We were caught in the moment," said Ryan defensively. "The moment went on for a long time," Gillian responded. She told Ryan not to feel badly about what happened because it was partly Hayley's fault, too. Gillian said that the kiss must have been the accumulation of months and months of feelings for Hayley. Ryan could see that he wasn't going to get anywhere with Gillian so he opted to end the discussion. He begged Gillian not to tell Mateo about what she'd seen at the beach. "Fine," Gillian snapped. "I won't tell him. Mateo is a decent guy and doesn't deserve to go through what I am [going through.]"
Palmer walked Erica to her door and fully intended to return to his car. Erica, however, asked him to join in inside for some frank conversation. "Vanessa is a devious, potentially lethal woman," Erica said bluntly. Palmer was surprised to hear Erica talk about a woman with whom she'd been a close friend. "I was taken in too," she replied. "Deviousness is part of her charm," Palmer chuckled. He explained that he and Vanessa have a lot in common. For his part, Palmer offered Erica some advice about David. After Erica told him that her dinner date with David was in no way romantic, Palmer breathed a sigh of relief. He told Erica that he'd hate to see her get wrapped up with a "cold, calculating, manipulator." Erica smiled wryly, "He's a man after your own heart. Good things he's a cardiologist." Erica urged Palmer to be on his way before Vanessa started to worry about him.
David returned to his room and was mildly disappointed to not have received any message while he was out. He placed a call to the hospital to check on his patient before turning in. When a knock sounded on his door, the obviously tired doctor perked up slightly. "Erica?" he called out as he opened the door. On the other side, however, was Leslie Coulson. "What do you want?" he grumbled upon seeing her. "What do you think?" Leslie purred. David shook his head and urged Leslie to be on her way. Leslie, however, had other ideas. She opened her trench coat and revealed a burgundy negligee.
Later, David rolled over in bed and thanked his partner for "the most extraordinary evening" of his life. The woman lifted her head slightly and revealed her face---it was Erica! Suddenly, David's alarm sounded and he jumped from his peaceful sleep. David shot an icy glare at the alarm clock. What nerve it had to interrupt his dream! David walked to the phone and placed a call to a local flower shop. He asked that a bouquet of Brazilian orchids be delivered to Erica's house with a card reading: A rare flower for an even rarer woman
Edmund sat in his office on the phone. Gillian suddenly burst in and asked to speak to Dimitri. Edmund informed her that Dimitri was in Budapest on business. Gillian was disappointed and remarked that she had no one to talk to. Edmund cleared his throat and reminded Gillian that she could always talk to him. Gillian was reluctant to talk to Edmund because he was not a "mess of confusion" like her and Dimitri. Nevertheless, Gillian told Edmund that she had a secret that was eating her alive. She wanted desperately to tell someone the secret, but she knew if she opened her mouth she'd be crushing at least one of her friends. Gillian proceeded to tell Edmund her dilemma, but Edmund couldn't follow a word of what Gillian was saying. To protect everyone's anonymity, Gillian used oodles of he's and she's and him's and her's. As Edmund shook his head in bewilderment, Gillian announced that she'd decided what to do.
Ryan stretched his limbs in the park unaware that Hayley was jogging in his direction. When their eyes met, a wave uneasiness swept over them. They exchanged awkward greeting, before Ryan realized that they could not continue on this way. He asked Hayley how she was doing. She replied that she was doing pretty well. Ryan, though, said that there was trouble brewing. "When we were at the beach," he said, "Somebody saw us."
The sweet smell of baby Colby still perfumed the white dress that Dixie's mother had made. As Dixie inhaled the aroma, Becca entered the room and commented that the dress was adorable. Without thinking, Dixie talked of how she'd love to see her daughter wear the dress one day. It didn't take much thought for Becca to realize that Dixie was pregnant. Becca jumped into the air and squealed in happiness. She and Dixie exchanged hugs and giddy chirps. Tad wandered into the room and was immediately congratulated on the good news. Becca didn't stick around long because she had to run off to Wildwind to search for "cuckoo wood" and other rare herbs. After Becca left, Tad lashed out at Dixie for telling her about her pregnancy. "She's practically family," Dixie snapped. Dixie said that she was so happy that she felt like telling the whole world about her condition. Tad, however, didn't think that it was such a good idea because they were not yet sure if the pregnancy would be able to continue to term. He became even more frustrated when he noticed a stack of baby catalogs and magazines stacked by the ironing board. Dixie claimed that she must have gotten placed on a mailing list when she placed and order for Colby. Dixie remained irritated that Tad only focused on the negative aspects of the pregnancy. She sat Tad down on the sofa and pleaded with him to talk about how nice it could be having a baby. For the first time, Tad agreed to temporary forget about everything that could go wrong. He said that he wanted nothing more than to have a daughter than looked just like Dixie. "I'd probably spoil her rotten," he grinned. "I'd be totally defenseless." Dixie gave Tad a huge hug and thanked him for seeing things her way. Tad, however, quickly noted that there was still the possibility that Dixie would never see the child. He handed Dixie a stack of papers and asked her to review the medical information he'd dug up. Dixie hesitated slightly, but agreed to read the papers. She found one that mentioned a scenario very similar to hers---the woman and the child both survived. Tad, however, found a case where the woman and the child both died in the weeks just prior to the due date. Dixie didn't want to think about the bad things. She looked at Tad and told him that she loves him now more than ever. She then promised him that whatever decision was reach, they'd both make it together.
"Someone saw us?" Hayley panicked. Ryan nodded and muttered Gillian's name. Hayley wondered if Gillian had followed them to the beach. Ryan quickly explained that Gillian's presence at the beach was just an odd coincidence. Coincidence aside, Ryan told Hayley that Gillian is convince that he is "hung up" on her. He said that he'd tried to impress upon Gillian that he and Hayley are just friends and that the kiss was an unfortunate mistake. Hayley nodded as Ryan told his story, but her face signaled the sheer panic she was feeling. Things got even worse when Ryan said that nothing he said to Gillian had changed her mind about what she'd seen. Hayley determined that she had to strike before Gillian told Mateo. Just as she'd come to the decision to tell Mateo about the kiss she and Ryan had shared, Max and Mateo strolled into the park. Little Max was in an unusually good mood and agreed to go on an ice cream hunt with Ryan. That gave Mateo and Hayley some time alone. Almost immediately, the couple embraced. Mateo confessed that every night he imagines that he and Hayley are together in bed. He also said that he never expected that his wish for a child would come at the expense of their relationship. Hayley assured Mateo that he'd done wrong---even when Mateo blamed himself for having kept his marriage to Raquel a secret. Hayley reminded Mateo that she hadn't moved out because of him. "It's the situation," she clarified. Mateo said that he understood why she left, but noted that it doesn't make him miss her any less. Mateo asked Hayley to stop by the club from time to time, but Hayley said that she wasn't sure when and if she'd eve be able to return. Mateo thought that the abundance of alcohol might be too much for Hayley to handle, but that was only part of the reason according to Hayley. Mateo asked her to open up to him, but Hayley retreated and said that she wasn't ready to tell him everything just yet. "There's lots of things I'm not telling you," Hayley said cryptically. Mateo promised that he would not pressure Hayley. Then he asked Hayley if there was anything that he could say or do to convince her to go home with him. Hayley shook her head and said that it would come in time. Max and Ryan returned; Mateo and Hayley's moments together seemed all too fleeting. Max grumbled that he was ready to go head off to his play date with Sam and Maddie and Mateo reluctantly agreed to leave. Before leaving, Mateo pulled Ryan aside and asked him to keep an eye on Hayley. Ryan nodded. After Max and Mateo left, Ryan asked Hayley why she hadn't told Mateo about the kiss. Hayley said that she couldn't because seeing Mateo made her realize how much she really loved him. Now the only thing to so, Hayley said with tears in her eyes, was to go to Gillian and plead with her to remain silent about what she'd seen.
There wasn't much Edmund could do to help Gillian. He said that unless she gave him specifics, he had nothing to give advice on. Gillian ran her hands through her hair and said that she could definitely not mention any names. She thought for a second before saying that she might just "let the fries fall where they may." Edmund smiled and corrected Gillian by saying, "Chips." Gillian shook her head and told Edmund that she was too upset to eat. From the way Gillian was acting, Edmund determined that only one person could get under her skin so easily---Ryan. Gillian was horrified that Edmund had figured out one of the people she was talking about. Gillian refused to say anything further. Edmund, however, warned her that she needed to talk to someone because "secrets have a way of slipping out" at the worst times. Becca breezed into the office to thank Edmund for giving her permission to search the grounds for herbs. Edmund told the two young women to make themselves at home and headed off to a business meeting.
Jack sat at a table in The Valley Inn reading the latest edition of The Bulletin. Edmund strolled in a little while later and apologized for his lateness. Jack assured Edmund that it was okay because the delay had given him time to read the cover story: Having It All Again, a story about the return of Erica Kane. Jack and Edmund were both awed by the miracle work of Erica's plastic surgeon. Edmund asked Jack if he was still carrying a torch for his former lover. Jack shook his head and said that he'd moved on. That led to the mention of another lady's name---Brooke. Jack casually asked Edmund of he'd heard from Brooke since she'd left Pine Valley. Edmund nodded and asked Jack why he wanted to know. "Because I miss her," Jack said almost bashfully. "I like having someone to miss." For Edmund, that hit a little too close to home. "It's great if you know they're coming back," Edmund said softly. Jack didn't realize that his remark might have sounded cold. Edmund confessed that he still thinks about Maria often. But, he said, the grief is now "more manageable." From there, Edmund got to the reason he'd asked to meet Jack. He said that the foundation established in Maria's name was growing faster than he'd anticipated. The growth also meant that more legal issues were arising on a regular basis. He smiled and asked Jack if he'd come aboard and help out. Jack sadly noted that he'd just taken a job with a philanthropic organization based in Europe. He would be helping oversee their American operations. Both Edmund and Jack were disappointed that things wouldn't allow them to work together. Then Jack took a deep breath and announced that he would "make time" to help out because this was a worthwhile cause.
Back at Wildwind, Becca apologized profusely for unknowingly causing Gillian more grief when she asked her to film a spot for Scott's documentary. Gillian assured Becca that it was okay because she didn't know that her relationship with Ryan was such a sore spot. Becca instinctively knew that that Gillian still loved Ryan. Gillian nodded her head and softly said that a part of her will always love Ryan. Gillian broke down in tears and sobbed that Ryan had treated their marriage like it was a joke. She buried her head on Becca's shoulder and cried uncontrollably. Becca gently rubbed Gillian's back and asked her what Ryan had done to upset her. Gillian said that she wishes life was life a movie so that she could go back and edit out the things that she didn't want to see. Gillian told Becca that her story sounded much like a very sad movie. "I saw my best friend kissing my ex-husband," she sniffled. What Gillian did not know was that Mateo was standing in the doorway.
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Reclined in a patio lounge chair, Adam found himself questioning the motives behind Marian's interest in Scott's financial affairs. He had little time to think about the matter because Scott arrived for their scheduled business meeting---with Marian on his arm. Adam greeted them with a broad smile, but asked Marian if she needed something from him. Marian explained that she wanted to be on hand to witness the "historic moment." Adam crinkled his brow and reminded Marian that all discussions about Scott's trust fund were private. Marian commented that she would run along to check on Liza and Colby. Before leaving, though, she asked Scott to take notes so that she could get the full run-down later. Adam and Scott sat down to a late breakfast. Adam asked Scott if his decision to get involved in handling his own money was in any way influenced by his stepmother. Scott shook his head and replied that he's wanted to be in charge for quite some time. He then told Adam that he was being too suspicious of Marian. Scott then left his defensive posturing for something a little more productive. He told his uncle that, like him, he wanted to be a "financial legend." He said that he's come to realize that he really wants to find a career in film. A good producer, he explained, needs to know how to work within a budget. Adam was touched by Scott's sincerity and wide-eyed optimism. He agreed to take him under his wing. As the two shook hands, Liza strolled onto the patio and asked what the two men were talking about. She mistakenly assumed that Scott had signed on to work at Chandler Enterprises. Scott shook his head and beamed proudly as he told Liza that he'd just reached an agreement to personally handle his trust fund. A look of concern formed on Liza's face as she asked him if Marian had anything to do with his sudden financial aspirations. Adam invited Scott to join him and Liza at a party for the Queen of England. He was sure that there'd be some bigwigs from the film industry with whom his nephew could hobnob. Scott gleefully accepted the invitation and said that he couldn't wait to tell Becca. Adam said that it was okay for Becca to know about the party, but he asked that Scott not mention anything about it to Marian. Adam asked Liza if Marian had seen her on her way out. Liza shook her head and said that she had no idea that her mother had even stopped by. Liza headed off to the Glamorama to see her mother. Adam had to run off to tend to other business, but he urged Scott to stick around and make use of the swimming pool.
"I can't believe it," Gillian said softly. "I trusted her. I trusted Ryan." Mateo finally broke his silence. "What are you talking about?" he asked in shock. Suddenly, Becca and Gillian twirled around. Both had stunned expressions on their face. Gillian scolded Mateo for walking in on a private conversation. Of course that did little to make Mateo forget about what he'd heard. Becca knew that she wasn't needed and quickly dashed away. Gillian tried to do damage control, telling Mateo that he hadn't heard the first part of her discussion. Gillian claimed that she'd been reciting lyrics to a song that she thought would fit well into Scott's documentary. Mateo didn't buy it. "She was just starting to get her life together," Mateo said coldly. He demanded to know what Gillian saw. Gillian was reluctant to speak up, but she changed her mind when Mateo said that he didn't "have those feelings for her anymore." Gillian softly forced herself to tell Mateo that she'd seen the kiss on the beach on the Fourth of July. "After all Raquel's been through?" Mateo gasped. Gillian's face suddenly fell. She asked Mateo how he'd come to the conclusion that she was talking about Raquel. "[She]'s your best friend, right?" he replied. Mateo was amazed that Gillian didn't say or do anything when she saw Ryan and kissing another woman. "If I ever saw Hayley kissing someone else," he said. "Forget about it!" Max straggled into the room and grumbled that he was ready to go home. Mateo agreed that it was time to go. Gillian begged Mateo not to say anything about what she'd told him. Mateo, however, said that there was "no way" he could just let it slide. After Mateo left, Gillian raced to the phone and tried to reach Ryan. She couldn't locate him anywhere. Then she called Raquel, but again received no answer. She grabbed her purse and sprinted out of the room.
At the Glamorama, Opal catered to a pair of older women promising them free facials if they returned for the salon's official grand opening in a week. As she talked, the women's mouths gaped. Opal knew that the offer of a free facial was special, but she hardly felt it was awe-inspiring. She looked over her shoulder and realized why the women were gawking---Erica had arrived. Opal blinked several times and icily told "Miss Kane" that she'd have to leave because she didn't have an appointment. Erica told Opal that she hadn't dropped by for an appointment, but rather to see the salon with her own eyes. "Please don't freeze me out," Erica pleaded. Opal was still fuming over what she viewed as Erica's betrayal at the CEO election---at one point referring to her as "Benedictine Arnold." Erica told Opal that she was "not going to let go of [her] best friend without a fight." Opal said that she was not Erica's best friend because if she was, Erica would never have voted against her. Opal said that by siding against her, Erica had helped give Palmer the power to take away "Petey's birthright." Erica defended her decision as a business decision. It was not, she argued, a reflection of her personal feelings. She also swore that she would do everything in her power to keep Palmer in line. Opal doubted that Erica could do anything to keep Palmer in check. In the foyer, Marian engaged in a very frigid conversation with another salon-goer. The woman smiled warmly when she mistakenly tagged Marian as "Mrs. Adam Chandler." Becca, who was working the reception area, clarified that Marian was married to Stuart. "Oh, the quiet one," the woman snapped. "That's your problem." Marian stomped into the beautifying area and told Erica that she looked beautiful. Marian then grumbled that she hoped Opal would get rid of Becca soon so that she could "go back to the sticks where she belongs." Erica surprised Opal by telling her that Adrian had only agreed to seek the CEO spot at Cortlandt Electronics out of a loyalty for her. In actuality, Adrian didn't want a corporate job. Erica praised Opal's hard work at the Glamorama and told her that it would soon be the destination for anyone wanting a day at the salon. She envisioned Glamorama branches around the world. Opal looked into the distance, fantasizing about the possibilities. Erica had another idea. She proposed a joint publicity venture for the Glamorama and Enchantment. Erica informed Opal that Enchantment was launching a new line of cosmetics. She said that she'd love for the Glamorama to be the first place to use the new line. Opal wasn't sure about the idea and told Erica that she wasn't sure that it would be a good move for the Glamorama. "You'd be crazy to turn this down," Erica snapped. Nevertheless, she wished Opal well on her venture and headed on way. Liza, meanwhile, snuck up on her mother who was sprawled out on a sofa with curlers in her hair and some sort of clear goo all over her face. Liza wasted no time in asking her mother if she'd been the driving force behind Scott and Adam's meeting. Marian pretended to think hard for several moments before stating that she believed the meeting was Adam's idea. When she learned that the meeting had gone well, Marian chirped that she was sure that Stuart would be pleased to hear that everything had worked out. "Not as pleased as Stuart's wife," Liza replied wryly. Marian tried to duck out on her daughter by saying that the manicurist was ready for her. Liza grabbed her mother's arm and pulled her back down to the sofa. She mused that she'd like the manicurist to place bamboo under Marian's fingernails to make her confess her role in nudging Scott towards his decision to handle his own finances. Again Marian denied having any involvement. Liza had to run along so Marian was spared any further inquisition. Again the older woman shot Marian icy glances. Opal asked Marian if she knew why "old lady Greenlee" had a problem. Opal wasn't much of a fan of the woman who she said was "a snob."
Scott finished his dip in the pool. As he was toweling off, her reflected on the kiss he'd shared with Becca. Suddenly, Becca burst onto the patio and gave Scott a big hug.
Raquel returned to her condo from a brief shopping trip. As she was unlocking the front door, she heard her phone ringing. Before she could answer it, Max and Mateo showed up---and by then the phone had stopped ringing. Max headed off to his room to do a puzzle. Raquel told Mateo that their son was behaving better. Mateo couldn't help but notice that Raquel seemed different as well. Raquel smiled bashfully and admitted that her life was finally looking up. She said that now that their custody battle was off and her back was feeling better, things were really looking up. She reached into a bag and pulled out a blue dress that she'd bought on sale at Lacey's. Raquel proudly grinned that she had a job interview at the department store; she hoped to land a job working at the cosmetics counter. Mateo didn't hear a word Raquel said. His mind wandered off into space. When he came back to reality, Raquel figured that her ex-husband had been thinking about Hayley. She promised Mateo that everything with Hayley would work out. She said that she now realized that she did not need Mateo as her lover in order to have a complete life. Maybe one day, she said, she'd find someone as special as Mateo had found in Hayley. Mateo asked Raquel if her possible new job was the only reason she was happy. Raquel cocked her head to one side and asked Mateo was he was talking about. It was hard for Mateo to find the words to say what he was thinking. He asked her if there was something else in her life making her happy----"maybe a guy?"
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Just as quickly as she embraced Scott, Becca pulled away. "You're all wet," she groaned. "Were you swimming?" Seeing that Scott was dripping wet and wearing a pair of swim trunks, it was a pretty safe guess. Becca then became quite nervous, perhaps as she realized that she'd just hugged Scott. She paced nervously back and forth and repeated over and over that she needed to get back to work. Scott put his arm around his new friend and told her to sit down and relax. Becca agreed, but she remained noticeably distracted. She told Scott that she still felt horribly for asking Gillian to tape a segment for their film project. She did, however, note that she'd bumped into Gillian and Wildwind and had a chance to apologize. Scott said that he had no idea that the divorce was so hard on Gillian. Becca replied that Gillian's problems went beyond the divorce. She looked around nervously before asking Scott if he could keep a secret. Scott nodded and promised Becca that she could count in him. Becca recounted an abbreviated tale of how Gillian had told her that she'd caught her best friend and Ryan kissing. "Hayley?" Scott squawked. Becca shrugged and explained that Gillian never named names. "I hope not!" Scott gasped. He asked Becca if anyone else knew about Ryan and this other woman's secret kiss. Becca informed him that Mateo had walked in while she and Gillian were talking. Scott's mind skipped over to the documentary. He came up with the idea of using the tune "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" as the theme for the film. Becca looked at him with sad eyes and asked if he really believes that it takes a fool to fall in love. Scott raised his eyebrows and muttered that he really doesn't know what it takes to fall in love. Becca's face again grew concerned. She realized that she had to return to work at the Glamorama and dashed off.
Adrian bested Jake in a game of racquetball at the gym. Afterwards, Adrian headed to the sauna to unwind before he headed out on a date with Belinda. Gillian burst into the gym and asked him if he'd seen Ryan in the men's locker room. Adrian said that he really hadn't noticed and continued on his way. Without any thought, Gillian burst into the locker room. Needless to say, the men were quite surprised. There were several shouts, among them, "Hey! I don't have any pants on!" Gillian turned right around with her eyes covered and assured the men that she hadn't seen anything. While she might not have seen anything in the locker room, she got an eye full when she returned to the gym. Across the room, Jake benchpressed a barbell loaded with weights. She readied to approach the doctor, but she froze in her tracks when one of the female personal assistants approached and asked Jake if he needed a spotter. Jake shook his head and said that while he didn't need a spotter, he could use a dinner date. Crushed, Gillian bowed her head and walked away.
With her work for the Governor's Committee on the Status of Women complete, Aunt Grace Keefer returned to Pine Valley for the first time in almost a year. Her return just happened to coincide with a very special day: Belinda's birthday. The two women had established a ritual when Belinda was just a little girl; every year on her birthday, Belinda had her hair styled. Opal greeted the women at the front door of the Glamorama and immediately teased Belinda about her date with Adrian later in the evening. It was unclear if Grace knew anything about Adrian. Upon hearing about the date, Grace simply remarked that things had changed a lot since she'd last been in town. Grace looked at Opal and asked her if she'd like to go to the Valley Inn for dinner. Belinda shot her aunt a horrified look. "You wouldn't," she said with wide eyes. "How else am I to meet this burning hunk of man?" Grace grinned. Belinda jested that she feared Grace would scare Adrian away. Opal went on for several minutes about all of Adrian's good qualities. She said that he was "strong and brave and intelligent and generous" and not to mention handsome. Grace was pleased as punch that her niece had finally found someone special with whom to share her life. Opal leaned over the back of the chair and gently massaged Belinda's shoulders. She whispered that Adrian had something very special planned for her. While she waited for her appointment, Belinda sat in a chair and daydreamed about what Adrian's special surprise might be. She envisioned meeting Adrian in a private dining room at The Valley Inn. When she sat down at the table, Belinda unfolded her napkin and found a small black box on her dinner plate. Adrian slowly knelt beside her and carefully removed a gold ring with a huge diamond from the box. Slowly, he slid the ring onto Belinda's finger. Belinda slipped out of her daydream. Grace told Belinda that her sister, Ella, had sent her regards. "I don't have a sister," Belinda growled. Opal blinked a few times and mentioned that she thought that Belinda and Noah were the only two Keefer children. Grace explained that Ella was Belinda and Noah's half-sister, the result of an affair their father had had. Grace urged Belinda to be nice to her sister, but Belinda didn't even want to hear Ella's name. Grace reminded Belinda that Ella hadn't been as lucky as Belinda hadn't. Belinda was able to avoid the unpleasant conversation by heading off to have her hair done. While Belinda was away, Opal and Grace sat down to catch up on things. Opal gently nudged Grace with her elbow and whispered that Adrian had asked her for the name of the best jeweler in town. Grace's eyes opened wider and a huge smile formed on her face. "We could end up being related," she chirped.
Raquel was shocked by Mateo's implication that she might be seeing someone. "You're a pretty woman," Mateo smiled. "It's only natural [that a] guy would be attracted to you." Raquel mused that it was a little late if Mateo wanted to talk to her about "the birds and the bees." Just because she'd bought a new dress, Raquel hardly felt ready to run out and become "a party girl." Besides, she noted, she was a mother and had certain obligations to her son. Mateo continued on hinting that he knew something. Finally, Raquel asked him to tell her what it was that he thought he knew. Mateo smiled bashfully and said that he knew that she and Ryan were somewhat attracted to one another. Again, Raquel was absolutely stunned. Mateo said that since Ryan was hanging out at her place more than usual, it seemed to signal that something was going on. Raquel chuckled slightly and explained that Ryan drops by to play with Max. "I don't want you to start something that you're not ready for yet," Mateo said authoritatively. Raquel asked Mateo if he'd been listening to anything that she'd said; she was not involved with Ryan. "Tell me," Mateo grinned not wanting to relent. "Where were you the night of the fireworks display." The game of cat and mouse was beginning to tire Raquel. She reminded Mateo that she was with him at SOS on the Fourth of July. And afterwards, she said, she returned home immediately to put Max to bed. Finally, Mateo realized that Raquel was telling him the truth. Even though he knew the answer, he asked Raquel if she'd somehow found time to slip away to the beach. Raquel shook her head and said that she hadn't been to the beach since before her accident. Going to the beach, though, sounded like a great idea. She suggested that they all head to the beach for a true family outing. Hayley, she noted, knows all of the great spots. Then it hit Mateo. Gillian hadn't been referring to Raquel. "Hayley," he said to himself. Raquel continued talking to Mateo, but he didn't hear a word she said. He rose from his seat and headed for the door. Raquel asked Mateo what was wrong, but he offered her no reply. Mateo paced back and forth in the courtyard. Several moments played in his mind: the awkward encounter he'd had with Ryan and Hayley in the park earlier in the day, the time Hayley spent in jail to protect Ryan from being apprehended during his flight from rape charges, and the night that Ryan comforted Hayley on the beach after Hayley had learned that Mateo had a son.
At The Valley Inn, Belinda met up with Adrian. Everything, except for the fact that the dining room was not empty, went according to her dream. She sat down in her chair and under her napkin, just as she'd daydreamed, was a small black box.
Ryan met Hayley in the back office of SOS. Ryan praised Hayley for having attended her daily AA meeting. Hayley saw no reason to rejoice. She said that immediately after the meeting she headed to a candy store to buy rum balls. Somehow she'd stopped herself before making the purchase. Again, Ryan saw the positive side, saying that it showed that Hayley still had willpower. Hayley nodded slightly, but questioned whether or not she'd be as strong the next time. After fleeing from the candy shop, Hayley said that she'd found herself driving past many of the bars that she'd used to frequent. On top of that, she'd received a call from one of the club's suppliers; She'd placed the liquor order, but failed to order any soft drinks. Hayley muttered that it showed once again where her mind was. Ryan knew that something was really troubling his friend. He begged her to confide in him. Hayley took a deep breath and told Ryan how she'd learned that her "controlling, interfering father" had arranged for her and Mateo to win full custody of Max. Ryan asked if it was possible that Adam thought he was doing the right thing. Hayley nodded and said that she was sure that Adam thought he was doing the right thing. He always does. But his "right thing" started a chain reaction that led to the break up of her relationship with Mateo and put Max in therapy. Hayley wanted to tell Mateo what Adam had done, but she wasn't sure that he'd understand it. In fact, she didn't even understand it herself. Ryan told Hayley that she'd probably feel better if she came clean to Mateo. He also told Hayley that he would do whatever he could to help her out. Hayley sobbed slightly and thanked Ryan with a hug. As they embraced, Mateo entered the room.
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"You are the bravest person I know," Ryan said of Hayley. Hayley didn't feel that she was terribly brave at all. "What are we going to do?" Hayley asked referring to her decision about whether to tell Mateo about Adam's interference in their lives. "It looks like you're already doing it," Mateo growled from the doorway. He looked coldly at Ryan and demanded that he get away from Hayley. Mateo snarled that he'd been happy that Hayley had a "goof friend like Ryan." Now, however, he realized just how foolish he'd been. Hayley tried to convince Mateo that he was misinterpreting what he'd seen. Ryan stepped forward to offer an explanation, but Mateo didn't want to hear anything that he had to say. Without any kind of warning, Mateo hauled off and slugged Ryan. Ryan flew backwards and crashed into the wall. Hayley stepped between the two men and pleaded with Mateo to break off his attack. A small stream of blood trickled down Ryan's face from a gash on his lip. "I'm your friend no matter what you think," Ryan said softly. "What's gotten into you?" Hayley asked of her lover. Mateo referred to Ryan as a "user" who was taking advantage of his generous nature. He instructed Ryan to go the cash register and get what wages he was owed. Effectively immediately, he was no longer needed---or wanted---at Sounds of Salsa. Ryan bowed his head and walked away.
A sense of deja vu swept of Belinda. Except for a few minor differences, the dinner date was going exactly the way that Belinda had envisioned it in a daydream earlier in the day. Adrian smiled confidently and asked Belinda how she could be so sure that she knew what was in the black box. Hopes high, Belinda hinged open the box top. Instead of the exuberant smile displayed in her daydream, Belinda's face expressed a level of shock. Her sober response signaled that she'd incorrectly guessed what was in the box. Adrian waited patiently for a response to his gift. Belinda forced a smile and told Adrian that the jewelry---a gold chain with a small key on it---was beautiful. It wasn't as though Belinda was unhappy with the gift, but she had been expecting an engagement ring. With a half smile, Belinda asked Adrian if the key was the key to his heart. Adrian grinned and told Belinda that she already held the key to his heart. This key, he explained, was for something else---something that he promised would help her relax. That conjured up images of a small, rustic, romantic getaway in the mountains. Again, Belinda's expectations were dashed. After dinner, Adrian led Belinda to a nearby park and showed her what he'd gotten her for her birthday. A tall fence surrounded an empty batting cage. Adrian escorted Belinda inside and offered her pointers on how to hit a baseball. He stood behind her, his hands on hers. He gave her helpful tips on posture and proper swinging techniques. When it came time to fire off a few balls, Belinda stunned Adrian by hitting every ball pitched her way. As she continued to bop ball after ball, Belinda couldn't help but chuckle. She told Adrian that his plan to help her unwind and relieve stress was working wonderfully. What Adrian didn't know was that Belinda "the star of [her] high school softball team."
Gillian once again took to the phone in a frantic attempt to locate Ryan. After leaving another message for her former husband, Gillian plopped down on the sofa to dwell upon her problems. Jake observed Gillian hanging up the phone and correctly determined that she'd been trying to reach Ryan. Jake knew that something was wrong because Gillian looked "a little shook up." Gillian defended her decision to call Ryan, saying that she had something very important to tell him. Jake rolled his eyes and asked if Gillian's foul mood had anything to do with seeing him kissing another woman at the beach. Gillian was shocked that Jake knew about the kiss. She wondered if Jake had seen Ryan in the act, too. Jake explained that he'd found Ryan's wallet on the beach and learned about the kiss when he returned it to Ryan at SOS. Jake also told Gillian that he now knew why she'd acted so peculiarly when she'd returned from her trip to the truck. He advised Gillian to let Ryan move on with his life even if it hurt her to see him with another woman. "It's not just anyone," said Gillian of the woman Ryan had been kissing. "It's Hayley." Jake was floored by the news. Gillian apologized for continually drawing Jake into her problems. Jake told her not to feel badly because he liked being a part of her life. "I care about you no matter who you're in love with," Jake said softly. As much as he cared about the princess, Jake had a life of his own. The doorbell sounded and Karen, the fitness instructor from the gym, arrived for her date with Jake. Gillian didn't voice her pain at seeing that Jake was going out with someone else, but her eyes flashed her pain. Later, Gillian once again hit the phone to try to locate Ryan. For some reason, her eyes were drawn to the window. Just outside, Ryan leaned against the wall.
In the foyer of her house, Erica looked at her reflection in a full-size mirror. She gently brushed her once mangled cheek, smiling partially in disbelief. When the doorbell sounded, Erica took a deep breath before responding. Outside, David waited to whisk Erica off to dinner in Philadelphia---or at least that was what Erica had planned. David informed Erica that he'd canceled their reservations at a posh eatery in the city. Erica was miffed, but David explained that he wasn't sure that they'd be able to get the privacy they sought at the restaurant. Erica yielded to David's rationale and admitted that David was probably right. But that left the couple with a bit of a dilemma; what would they be having for dinner? David ducked out of sight for a moment and returned with a picnic basket. David told Erica that he'd taken the liberty of planning a truly private dinner for the two of them. After musing about how their last supposedly private dinner flopped, David said that he had another doctor on staff handling all of his pages. Erica told David that she felt sorry for his patients because they'd have to settle for second best. "But you don't have to," David smiled. As they sat down at the table to eat, David joked that this was his "first meal upstairs." He, of course, was referring to the meals he'd eaten previously in the basement while being held captive. Erica bowed her head in humiliation and asked David if they'd ever be able to put their rocky past behind them. David was sure that they could and hinted that he still wanted to get to know her better. "My life is an open book," Erica replied. "Three books, actually." David told Erica that he'd recently finished reading all three of her autobiographies. David noticed that Erica kept a picture of her mother by the dining room table. Erica explained that the pictures comforted her. She realized that the idea of getting comfort from one's mother was probably "a foreign idea" to David. Erica reflected briefly on the turmoil she'd caused her mother over the years. Briefly---just briefly---Erica seemed to wonder how her mother could ever have put up with her ways. David asked Erica if her father was still living. Erica nodded, but said that she didn't know much about his whereabouts. She told David that her father had left her mother when she was about nine years of age. He returned briefly, but her famous director father was never really a part of her life. David admitted that "King of the Desert," one of Erica's dad's biggest hits, was his favorite film of all time. David then continued on by confessing that as a child he used to wrap a towel around his head and pretend that he was the film's star. A minor argument ensued as Erica and David referred to one of the film's characters by different names. David saw only one way to solve the argument: they had to watch the film. The pair adjourned to the study to watch Eric Kane's masterpiece. They both later emerged wiping tears from their eyes. As it turned out, Erica had won the argument and David was left to jest that he'd have to get used to not being right at the time. David walked slowly to the door and thanked Erica for a lovely evening. They looked longingly at one another hinting that they wanted to kiss, but neither made a move. As David walked down the walkway, Erica asked him to stop. David did and returned to the porch. Erica told David that she had a wonderful time and asked if he'd call her again. David reached down for Erica's hand and gently kissed it. He looked tenderly at Erica and told her that she could count on it.
Back at SOS, Hayley told Mateo that Ryan had only been trying to comfort her when he'd walked in on them. "Is that what he was doing at the beach?" Mateo asked coldly. Obviously Hayley had no idea that Mateo was wise to the kiss. "It's not what you think," Hayley replied. "You're guilty! You're caught!" Mateo yelled. Hayley swore that she and Ryan were not lovers, but like Gillian, Mateo didn't believe it. Mateo reminded Hayley that she'd gone to jail for Ryan. He didn't understand why she'd do that then, but now he had a pretty good idea. "I should have left you then," he snarled. From there, he lashed out at Hayley for moving out of the condo. He blasted her decision as a sign that she really didn't care about him. "I had to leave.... for our sake," Hayley sobbed. Mateo angrily said that Hayley had moved out for her own sake because she doesn't know how to handle problems. "Have you slept with him yet?" he growled. "Shut up, Mateo," Hayley snapped. "The only person I've ever wanted is you. I love you." Mateo told Hayley that he doesn't believe anything that she says. As his anger swelled, Mateo touted his own self-control. He told Hayley that he had never once had any desire to kiss Raquel, the woman that he'd fallen in love with. "I would never do anything to humiliate you," he said. Mateo started to walk away. Hayley begged him not to leave until they could finish their discussion. She asked him to go home with her and talk. "Home? We don't have a home any more," Mateo replied. Hayley told Mateo that she left because she had to deal with her sobriety. Mateo, however, felt that Max and Raquel had nothing to do with the reason Hayley left. "You left me to be with Ryan," he said.
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