The nighttime sky provided a picturesque evening, like diamonds shimmering a black velvet background. Marian and Stuart laid on a blanket looking up at the heavens. Marian thanked Stuart for making her feel young again. Stuart walked Marian over to a telescope that had been set up and asked her to peer at the stars. Marian looked through the eyepiece and saw Mayor Tutwiller flossing his teeth! After a little realignment, Marian was able to see a pink star "winking" at her. Stuart smiled warmly and told Marian that he'd purchased naming rights to the star---and named it after her.
Gillian raced to the door and let Ryan inside. She prattled on about how something terrible had happened, unaware that Ryan already knew full well what she was talking about. As he turned to face her, Gillian caught sight of his gashed lip. "Your beautiful face! What happened?" Gillian gasped. "Mateo happened," Ryan replied painfully. Ryan sat down on the sofa while Gillian headed to the kitchen to fetch some ice water and a towel. When she returned, she shamefully confessed that she'd been the one who'd tipped Mateo off to Ryan and Hayley's kiss. She explained that she'd been innocently engaged in conversation with Becca when Mateo walked in and heard her referring to a kiss between Ryan and her best friend. Ryan assumed that Mateo had put two and two together. Gillian shook her head and said that Mateo had actually thought that she was talking about Raquel. She told how she'd frantically placed calls around town trying to find him to warn him, but that those calls and her calls to Raquel went unanswered. "I appreciate you trying to warn me," Ryan smiled tenderly. He let Gillian off the hook slightly by telling her that it was his mouth that had caused the trouble---not hers. Gillian said that she wishes she could turn back the clock so that she could have stepped on a nail at the beach and gotten "jock law" before seeing the kiss. Ryan said that it's better that Mateo knows the truth. Speaking freely and not fearing any painful backlash, Gillian asked Ryan for the real reason behind the kiss. Ryan shrugged and stated that he wasn't "seeing clearly" that night. "I was hungry for comfort," he said. "We grabbed the moment." Gillian nodded slightly. "So you used each other." The tone of Gillian's voice showed that she had a deeper understanding of what Ryan was feeling. She said that she felt the same way when she slept with David Hayward. She said that when they were first married she felt as though she and Ryan spoke in different languages. Rya chuckled and mused that they do speak in different languages. "Every night I hoped you'd crawl under the covers with me," she said agonizingly. "The bed was too big and too empty without you." Ryan's face fell. He took Gillian's hands and apologized for having hurt her. He said that until now he had no idea how much she hurt. Ryan buried his head in Gillian's lap and Gillian wrapped her arms around him.
Vanessa waited in the bar area of The Valley Inn before her dinner date with Palmer. She looked curiously at a toothpick before savagely stabbing it into an olive. Donald Steele sauntered up from behind and asked Vanessa why she was so angry. Vanessa was startled to see the writer and asked him when he'd been released from Oak Haven. Donald sneered at Vanessa and told her that he was not amused by her fake concern. Donald told Vanessa that he was in need of some cash. Vanessa smiled politely and reached into her wallet for ten dollars. That was not going to be nearly enough as Donald was looking for money more in the neighborhood of ten thousand dollars. He said that the amount was equal to fifty percent of the advance they'd been given by the publisher planning to print their hatchet job on Erica. Vanessa winced slightly and claimed that she'd had to send back every last penny of the advance because the book was not going to go print. Donald wondered how Vanessa was getting by with no money. "The kindness of strangers," she replied. Almost on cue, Palmer walked up to the table and demanded to know "what possible business... a lowly worm [could have] with Miss Bennett." To Vanessa's surprise, Donald informed Palmer that he was trying to elicit scandalous information about Erica for a new book. He went on to say that Vanessa refused to be a part of a project that would tarnish her good friend's name. Instead, he said that he might use what little he knows to defame both Vanessa and Erica. The headline he suggested was "Society matron and glamour queen shacked up in love nest." Palmer took Vanessa by the hand and escorted her out of the room. After the pair was safely seated in the dining room, Vanessa warned her that people are often judged by the company they keep. Palmer referred to himself as a "surrogate father" to Erica and vowed to take down anyone who even thought of harming Erica. A waiter approached the table and informed Vanessa that an urgent call was waiting for her at the front desk. Vanessa cursed the technology that allowed her to be located. "I hate technology, but I love its pioneers," she gushed sweetly. In the lobby, Vanessa learned that there was no phone call to pick up. Donald strolled up behind Vanessa and crudely remarked that she'd found a "gravy train" pretty fast. Seeing that Vanessa might have her hand in Palmer's wallet, he ordered her to get his money. When asked what would happen if she refused, Donald snarled that he'd make public the pictures Vanessa had stolen from David's office, pictures that showed the scars that were present underneath Erica's bandages. Donald said that he was feeling generous and gave Vanessa twelve hours to come up with the cash. A panicked Vanessa returned to the table and finished her meal. Afterwards, Palmer asked Vanessa to join him for a nightcap. She replied that she'd already had her one drink limit and said that the bar was too crowded anyway. Palmer smiled slightly and asked Vanessa if she'd like to join him in his suite because he was certain that they would not be bothered there.
"I feel like I've lost my soul," Hayley replied softly. She was enraged that Mateo thought lightly of her battle to remain sober. Mateo pointedly asked Hayley if she would have ever told him about the kiss. "Probably not," she replied honestly. She said that she was sorry that Mateo found out about the kiss, but Mateo said that Hayley was only sorry that she got caught. "I made a mistake!" she yelled. "It was better than picking up a bottle." Mateo wasn't so sure. In her time of need, Hayley said that she felt as thought she had "no courage, no wisdom [and] no serenity." Things got very heated when Hayley asserted that Mateo's actions were driving her to drink. Hayley said that a part of her had been happy to see Raquel get squashed under the scaffolding. It wasn't so much a stunning revelation---Hayley's feelings for Raquel have been known for months---as it was a release of pent-up frustration. As for Max, Hayley said that she often wants to "dropkick him into the next county of put him over [her] knee and whack the daylights out of him." Mateo couldn't believe his ears. He had no idea that Hayley hated his son that much. Hayley shook her hear and, her voice cracking, said that she hated herself not Max. Hayley said that kissing Ryan was the only thing she could have done to keep from drowning her sorrows in a bottle of vodka. Listening to Hayley words carefully, Mateo came to the conclusion that while he makes Hayley want to drink, it's Ryan that keeps her sober. This was what Hayley had said, but apparently it wasn't what she meant. "I just kissed him," Hayley responded to the insinuation that she and Ryan had had sex. "It was a test and I passed. Why can't you be happy for me?" Mateo demanded to know why Hayley had turned to Ryan instead of him. He claimed that he always has time for her. Hayley shook her head and muttered that once again Mateo was looming over his son and former wife. That, of course, prompted Mateo to ask Hayley if she wanted him to abandon his son. In their angered states, both overreacted to the other's words. Mateo slowly walked towards Hayley and carefully stroked her hair. Suddenly he grabbed her head and pressed it into his. He forcefully kissed Hayley before pulling away and asking her if that was the way Ryan had kissed her. "You wanted it, didn't you?" Hayley's face turned green. "Go to hell," she snarled. "I wanted you. The only man I've ever wanted is you." She then blasted Mateo's need to be the perfect father as an attempt to live up to his father's saintly image. Hayley asked if there was some way that they could put the kiss behind them and "take what [they] have left and move on." Mateo shook his head. "You made your choice. You and Ryan can go down together," he replied coldly. Mateo turned and walked away. Hayley broke down in tears. Time passed before Hayley left the seclusion of the back room. When she entered the bar, Mateo was still cashing out the register. Again Hayley asked Mateo if they could work things out. Mateo responded by placing two shot glasses on the bar. He then filled one with vodka. He raised the glass into the air in a half-toast before chugging the alcohol. Next, he filled the other and nudged it in Hayley's direction. Hayley shook her head and turned her back to Mateo. Mateo told Hayley that he thinks it would be best if she didn't come around the club any more because it might be hard for her to keep from taking a drink. He then icily informed Hayley that he wanted to buy out her half ownership in the club. Hayley reminded Hayley that the club was their dream. That dream, said Mateo, was dead. "Now get out and don't come back," he growled. Hayley bowed her head and walked out of the club.
As the sun rose over Pine Valley, Palmer and Vanessa enjoyed the comforts of The Valley Inn's room service as well as each other's company. Palmer said that his hotel suite offered a certain level of discretion that was impossible to find elsewhere. Had they been at Cortlandt Manor, he said, surely the servants would have been "nattering about who the master spent the night with." Vanessa nodded and added "discretion is a plus." She sighed slightly and mentioned that she'd never imagined that their dinner date would turn into such a memorable and pleasurable night. Palmer wanted to stick around, but he had to run off to the office. While he was in the shower, the phone rang. Not knowing what else to do, Vanessa decided to take the call. She was shocked to hear Donald's voice on the other end. "How dare you call me here," she snapped. "Hello, Vanessa," sneered Donald. "Where's my money?" Donald didn't care about the perceived inappropriateness of calling Vanessa in her gentleman friend's room. "The clock is ticking," he said sinisterly. He again reminded Vanessa that unless she came up with ten thousand dollars, he'd go public with the snapshots of "Erica Kane as Scarface." Vanessa's lip quivered, her breath growing short. Donald noted that Vanessa could do time in jail if David found out that she'd stolen the pictures from his office. Vanessa begged for more time. Donald granted her an extension---but only forty-five minutes more. Vanessa slowly hung up the phone and began to panic. She scurried over to Palmer's suit jacket and began rummaging through his pockets. As her hand found the millionaire's wallet, Palmer emerged from the bathroom. "Are you looking for something?" he asked. Vanessa quickly turned around and without skipping a beat told Palmer that she was going to take his jacket to the cleaners. Apparently as some point during their evening together, some wine spilled onto the jacket. Palmer assured her that the hotel's cleaners could take care of the stain. Vanessa shook her head feverishly and said that a delicate garment like Palmer's jacket should not be entrusted to just anyone. She vowed to find the best cleaner in town. "You get so excited about the most peculiar things," Palmer chuckled. Palmer cleaned out his pockets and gave Vanessa permission to clean his jacket. As he made his way out, Palmer asked Vanessa to join him later for dinner. After Palmer left, Vanessa cursed herself for flubbing her chance to steal Palmer's wallet. She took a deep breath and asked herself how she was going to get ten thousand dollars.
Toiling away in his home office, Edmund placed a call to The Valley Inn to tell Brooke that he'd be a little late for their meeting. As he gathered all of his belongings, the phone rang. On the other end, a very chipper Dimitri informed Edmund that he was on his way back to Wildwind. Dimitri also took time out to tease his brother about his not-so-secret admirer, Leslie Coulson. When asked if he'd made progress with the attractive attorney, Edmund chuckled that Leslie hadn't called him in several days---and that was progress in his book! Dimitri said that he wasn't sure when he'd be touching down in Pine Valley. When he did, however, he instructed Edmund to have a party waiting for him. Edmund asked his brother why he was feeling so festive. "I am out of my head happy," Dimitri chirped. "And that's all you need to know for now."
In the dining room of The Valley Inn, Brooke told Jack all about her trip to England. Though Jack was hanging on every word she said, Brooke feared that she was dominating the conversation. Jack told Brooke that he didn't might one bit because he'd missed hearing her voice. He mused that Brooke's "zany, unbalanced quality" was something that he'd gotten used to. Edmund rushed up to the table and apologized for being late. Edmund told Brooke that her time away made him appreciate just how much work she does. He then told the pair that Dimitri was coming back to town with good news. He mentioned that he wasn't sure what the good news was, but said that Dimitri wanted to have a party to celebrate. Brooke smiled and said that she guessed his business trip to London went well. Edmund scrunched his face slightly and informed Brooke that Dimitri went to Budapest. Brooke shook her head and explained that she'd seen Dimitri in London hailing a cab. "Uh oh," Jack laughed. "Dimitri's got an evil twin!" Edmund again stated that Dimitri had flown directly to Hungary and could not have been in London. Brooke, however, was sure that she was right. Edmund was paged away. While he was gone, Brooke and Jack wondered aloud about Dimitri's good news. Jack figured that Dimitri's news had something to do with a business deal. Brooke thought otherwise, saying that she was sure it was more of a personal nature. Perhaps, she said, he'd managed to get Eugenia and Gillian's fortune back. No matter what the occasion, Jack asked Brooke if she'd be his date to the party. Brooke smiled sweetly and nodded her head.
Vanessa knocked on David's door and begged him for help. David knew that his mother wanted money, but he refused to help bail her out. Vanessa whimpered that "something dreadful" would happen if she did not get ten thousand dollars within the next few minutes. David shrugged his shoulders indifferently and told his mother that he did not care if she was in trouble. Vanessa knew the magic word to use to regain her son's attention----Erica. She said that the "something dreadful" could ruin Erica's life. Vanessa said that Donald Steele was demanding money from her to keep him going public with something that would rock Erica's world. Conveniently, Vanessa alleged that she had no idea what Donald was planning to do. David didn't trust his mother's words and was certain that she was "up to [her] eyeballs" in trouble. Quite possibly, he said, Vanessa was also the cause of the trouble. David kicked his mother out of his suite and headed off to find Donald.
Trevor walked downstairs to gather his belongings for a day at the office. As he was coming down, Hayley was just returning home. He smiled devilishly and told Hayley that he'd help her move her things back to the condo. He'd surmised that since Hayley hadn't come home the night before, she and Hayley must have been doing "the man and wife thing." Hayley broke down in tears and Trevor instantly knew that something wasn't right. "It's over," Hayley cried. "Mateo and me. I've never seen him so angry." Hayley told her uncle that a fight with Mateo had escalated into something much worse. Trevor was aghast when he learned that Mateo had poured her a glass of vodka. "He was so cold and scary... and final," Hayley said softly. In passing, she glossed over the reason for the argument: kissing Ryan. Trevor stopped her as she tried to continue onward without explaining the kiss. "You did what?" Trevor gasped. "No wonder he's pouring you shots." Hayley was peeved that Trevor had seemingly jumped on Mateo's bandwagon. "It was a meaningless kiss," Hayley said rolling her eyes. "A two second brush of the lips that meant nothing." Obviously, noted Trevor, the kiss meant something to Mateo or he would not have hit the roof. Trevor asked his niece to explain how the kiss happened. Hayley claimed that she'd been "in a funk" and that Ryan had followed her to the beach because he feared that she might do something foolish. Ryan was a friend, she continued, who wanted to keep her from "falling apart." Trevor shook his head and said that he didn't buy her story. Hayley again went on the defensively, swearing up and down that the kiss was a mistake and that she and Ryan both knew it was a mistake. From out of nowhere, Trevor related a tale from his days as a mercenary. He said that he and a nurse, named Ellie, had serious plans of getting married and starting a family together. One day, though, he caught her kissing one of his best friends. That ended their relationship. From the story, Hayley determined that Trevor was trying to tell her that her relationship with Mateo was kaput. It did seem that way. Trevor quickly shook his head and said that Mateo and Hayley were different because they were already married. Well, sort of. Hayley threw her arms in the air and called the story a waste of time. Trevor forced Hayley to confront her own feelings of jealous. She admitted that she would have thrown a fit if she'd seen Mateo and Raquel kissing. Trevor again told Hayley that he was sure that she and Mateo would get back together, but he urged her to right her wrong before it was too late.
Still frantic that her part in the "tell all" book would be revealed, Vanessa headed back to Palmer's room. She told Palmer that she was "absolutely desperate." Vanessa claimed that Donald had stolen pictures of Erica's injured face from David's office and was now threatening to make them public if she did not come up with ten thousand dollars. Palmer was shocked that Donald would do such a thing, but he wondered why Donald would be blackmailing her and not Erica. Vanessa said that Donald had come to her because he figured that she had enough money to pay him. The lie was pretty lame, but Palmer bought it. Palmer tried his best to comfort Vanessa and then promised that he'd give her the money to protect their mutual friend. Palmer put his arm around Vanessa and walked with her to find the scandalous author.
The Glamorama would be the site of the launch of Enchantment's new cosmetics line after all. Janet and Opal, who now donned a pink wig (see today's Snapcaps for a photo of the new do), were busily making sure that everything in the salon was in order for the big press conference. Janet tried to make Opal see that her anger at Erica was misplaced. Opal mumbled that it upset her that business dealings were more important than a friendship. Erica breezed into the Glamorama and immediately praised Opal's new---albeit fake---hairstyle. She thanked her friend for agreeing to host the launch party for the new line of makeup. Then, she looked at her friend with sad eyes and begged Opal to forgive her. Opal rolled her eyes and said that they'd already hashed out their differences. Erica nodded in agreement, but said that their previous talk failed to yield a reconciliation. Erica told Opal that she loves her, but Opal noted that people toss around the phrase very loosely. "I've lost my mother. I can't lose my best friend," Erica said just above tears. "I love you." Opal's heart melted and the two women shared an embraced. With the hardest task out of the way, Janet wanted to learn more about Erica's new product line. Erica called the line a "therapeutic blend of healing agents and foundation." Janet wondered if Dr. Hayward would be getting a slice of the profits. Erica shook her head quizzically and asked Janet where she'd gotten that idea. Janet mentioned that she'd heard that Erica and David had had dinner at The Valley Inn the other night---and that the dinner included some dancing. "Don't tell me you're getting sweet on this guy," Opal groaned. Before Erica could respond, the media swarmed the salon. Erica fielded questions about the new line of cosmetics and she and Opal posed for several pictures. In the foyer of the mansion, Jerry Reeves and approximately four other men organized their plan of attack. One of the cameramen groused that he didn't get a degree from college to film infomercials. Jerry muttered that what he had planned was much better than an infomercial. Jerry and his cronies barged to the front of the media pack. There, he reached into his bag and produced a manila envelope. He asked Erica if she'd care to comment on some photos that he'd just received. Erica flashed a smile and asked if the photos had been obtained from her new personal web site. Jerry shook his head and opened the folder. His media colleagues gasped and clamored around him as he exposed pictures of Erica's face pre-surgery. "Where did you get those?" Erica gasped as she covered her mouth. "It doesn't matter, lady," Jerry cackled. "I've got them now."
Vanessa and Palmer waited patiently at a table in the bar of The Valley Inn for Donald Steele to arrive. After several minutes, Palmer said that he would call in a few favors and have the police haul Donald downtown for questioning if he didn't show up soon. Just as Palmer's antsiness was growing, Donald strolled into the bar. The writer expressed surprise that Palmer was with Vanessa. Palmer cut short the niceties by asking Donald how much he wanted for the pictures. Before Donald could answer, Palmer also demanded that he be given the negatives. Donald shrugged slightly and said that he did not have the negatives. As they conversed, the bartender turned up the volume on the bar's television. A reported announced that Erica's press conference had been interrupted by a reporter claiming to have pictures of her face prior to her reconstructive surgery. Vanessa flashed a piercing glance at Donald and slammed him for selling the pictures. "You will live to regret this," Palmer growled. "You have just made yourself a very powerful enemy." Vanessa told Palmer that they'd better hurry to the Glamorama to check on Erica.
In honor of Scott's pending trip to the Queen of England's garden party, Marian "cooked" a special English-themed breakfast. She'd actually bought the meal at a local shop, but she did place the food on her own dishes. Scott wandered out of bed and unenthusiastically informed Marian that he'd decided not to go to the party. Marian nearly passed out. She talked up the garden party as a chance of a lifetime for Scott. Scott, however, didn't really seem to think too much of the shindig. As he headed upstairs to take a shower, he said that he wanted to stay in Pine Valley to finish his documentary. Scott left the room and Stuart, who had been listening quietly from behind, accused Marian of wanting to live vicariously through her stepson. Stuart knew that seeing the Queen of England was something that Marian really wanted to do. Marian tried to downplay her own interest, saying that she did not want Scott to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime. Scott finished his showed and returned to the room to cement in Marian's mind his decision to skip the trip across the pond. Scott announced that he was headed to WRCW to do some editing on his film project. Shortly after Scott left, Becca arrived at the house looking for him. Marian explained that Scott had headed to the television studio and again gave Becca the cold shoulder treatment. When Becca said that she was going to track him down, Marian suddenly warmed up. She told Becca that she'd agreed to film a segment for Scott's documentary---but she said that she was very nervous about going on camera. Perhaps, she suggested, Becca could work with her to make her less nervous. Becca smile and agreed to help. Stuart wanted to stick around and listen to Marian's story, but Marian snapped that Stuart's presence would only make her more nervous. Stuart headed off to finish a painting he was working on for Colby. Becca asked Marian about her broken romance and the questions completely caught Marian unprepared. Marian resorted to creating her story on the fly, flubbing several times on the who's and what's of her tale. It became apparent that Marian wasn't trying to work on her story but rather detain Becca. In the tale, Marian said that she had to pass on a chance to me "the Emperor of Japan and the little Emperor woman" because she was worried that she'd use the wrong utensil and embarrass her then boyfriend. Marian used her story to show Becca that Scott might not want to go to the Queen's party because he was embarrassed by her rural upbringing. Becca was hit hard by the insinuation and tried to laugh it off, but her eyes showed that she was hurting. The time came for Becca to leave and Marian hoped that Becca could somehow influence Scott to go to the party after all. After Becca left, Stuart returned and asked Marian if she was "disappointed in [him] as a husband." He explained that it often seemed as though Marian was interest in all of the things that he could not give her---all the things that Liza had gotten in Adam. Marian wrapped her arms around her husband and began sobbing. She assured him that she was happy with him. In fact, she said that Stuart was by far the best lover that she's ever had. Tears still flowing down her cheeks, Marian asked Stuart to join her in the bedroom so that she could show him just how happy he makes her.
"What was it like to wake up in the morning, look into a mirror, and see a face like this?" Jerry asked coldly. Before Erica could respond, David jumped in front of the reporter and accused him of stealing the pictures from his office. Jerry shook his head innocently and said that he'd "paid good money" for the pictures. Then to the surprise of everyone in attendance, Erica stepped forward to announce that she had something to say. David turned and tried to silence her, but Erica was determined to speak her mind. Erica confirmed that the pictures did correctly catalog her extensive injuries. She said that the injuries to her face helped inspire her to create her new line of cosmetics, a line that "conceals while it heals." A reporter asked Erica if she was currently wearing the makeup. He then followed up by asking Erica which side of her face was injured. "I'm thrilled you had to ask," Erica beamed. The reporter had unwittingly given the new line of cosmetics a stunning testimonial. Janet headed to lock the front door so that no one else could get inside. When she got to the foyer, Palmer and Vanessa were filing in. Janet shook her head and grumbled that she should have known that Vanessa would not be far behind Jerry Reeves. Opal slowly approached. "Well if it isn't Vanessa the Viper," she growled. Palmer pushed past the women and headed to Erica's side. Opal continued her icy stare at Vanessa as she asked Janet for a few moments alone. Vanessa tried to make her way past Opal, but Opal blocked the way. "Not so fast girlie girl," she snapped. Opal referred to Vanessa a middle-aged floozy who was out to get Palmer's money. She said that it might work for the time being, but it would only be a matter of time before a "younger floozy" came along to take her place. Vanessa argued that unlike Opal, she and Palmer had a great deal in common. Not wanting to miss a chance to fire back at Opal, Vanessa mused that Opal's idea of a gourmet meal is "fried grits and moonshine." And as for the comments that Palmer wasn't really interested in her, Vanessa hinted that she and Palmer were not just buddies at least "not after last night." Opal was devastated, but she knew that she could not let Vanessa see her sweat. Vanessa, however, detected jealousy in Opal's posturing and called her on it. She reminded Opal that previously she'd said that she and Palmer both deserved each other. If that was the case, then why was she so worked up now? Back inside, the press conference drew to a close. Palmer blasted David for allowing someone to steal the confidential photos of Erica's injured face. David denied that he'd allowed anyone to have access to the pictures. He looked over the crowd of media persons and saw his mother's face. Opal pulled Palmer aside and blasted him for his "roll in the hay" with Vanessa. She claimed that she did not care what Palmer did with his personal life. She did, however, have concerns about the types of people her son was exposed. She warned Palmer that she did not want Vanessa anywhere near her son. David quietly assured Erica that he would find out who'd stolen the pictures from his office. Amazingly, Erica accused David of somehow being involved. David pleaded his innocence, but Erica wouldn't listen to anything he had to say. The doctor asked Erica to join him for lunch, but Erica declined because she had to go to Wildwind for Dimitri's party. David said that he'd accompany her to the party, but Erica snapped that "that would not be appropriate."
At WRCW, Ryan straggled into Liza's office with his monthly rent check. The bruise on Ryan's face immediately elicited concern from his former boss. Ryan didn't really want to talk about how he's gotten hurt, but Liza was relentless. Ryan also dug himself a deeper hole by asking Liza if she'd mind if he took on a roommate to help cut his monthly expenses. Liza's eyes lit up as she hoped that Ryan and Gillian had gotten back together. Ryan shook his head and said that a reunion was not in the cards. The reason he needed a roommate, he said, was because he was no longer employed at SOS. Liza was surprised because she knew that Ryan, Mateo, and Hayley were all very close. Upon hearing that he and Hayley were still friends, Liza drew some natural conclusions and determined that Ryan's injuries must have been at the hands of Mateo. Ryan nodded his head, but he wouldn't say how or why he'd gotten pummeled. Liza gave him the green light to get a roommate. She mentioned that the woman they'd hired as his replacement didn't work out. She had not signed any new advertisers and had actually lost some of the existing customers. She extended an offer for Ryan to return to his old position. Ryan smiled bashfully and accepted the offer. Ryan headed off to sign some papers to get back on the payroll. While he was gone, Scott arrived and asked Liza if he could use her office to screen some tapes for his documentary while he waited for the editing room to become available. Liza nodded and headed home so that she could be with Colby. Adam had called and informed her that Colby had rolled over on her own for the first time. Not to worry, though, he captured the momentous occasion on tape. Scott sat down and first reviewed the interview he'd had with Brooke. Even though Brooke was the focus of the film footage, she wasn't the one capturing Scott's attention. He hit the pause button when Becca passed before the camera and stared longingly at the image of her face. As he daydreamed, Ryan entered the office and told Scott that Becca was a very pretty girl. Scott, like Liza, wondered how Ryan had gotten his bruises. Since he already knew about "the kiss," Scott asked Ryan frankly if the kiss had anything to do with his injuries. Ryan rolled his eyes and asked if he and his friends had nothing better to do than gossip about other people's lives. Ryan did ease up a bit and confessed that Mateo had punched him. Ryan also told Scott that he was back at WRCW and then asked him if he'd like to be his roommate. Scott liked the idea of moving out especially now that his dad was married. Ryan dashed off to make copies of the keys for Scott. On his way out, he bumped into Becca. They smiled at each other before Ryan continued on his way. Becca blurted out that she was hoping that Scott had done some editing and was disappointed that he was just now reviewing the clips. Scott looked at Becca in confusion and asked her why she was in such a hurry to finish the project.
Vanessa returned to the bar at The Valley Inn and reflected on the time she'd spent with Palmer earlier in the day---and the night before. She drifted back to reality when she heard a television report about the pictures that had surfaced and the allegations that someone had stolen them from David's office. A figure loomed over Vanessa casting a shadow over the table. "It was you mother," David snarled. "You're the one who stole those photos." Vanessa tried to silence her son by asking him to sit down and stop making a scene. David sat down, but he didn't stop lashing out at his mother. Vanessa denied having any involvement. She thought that she'd convinced David. David, however, wasn't taken in so easily. "Do you expect me to believe you're an innocent bystander?" David laughed.
Becca responded to Scott's question by saying that she thought that they could be wrapping things up rather than working on trivial matters like watching and re-watching the interviews. To Scott, it sounded like Becca wanted to find a way out of the film project. Becca shook her head and softly noted that she really enjoyed working with Scott. Still she'd yet to explain why she was so determined to get the project over and done with. "I don't want to slow you down," she finally blurted out. Since he'd never once complained, Scott wondered where Becca would get the idea that she was working too slowly. When Becca mentioned that she did not want him to miss the queen's garden party because of her, Scott knew that Becca must have been talking to Marian. Scott brushed off the importance of the party, commenting that missing the party would not "make or break" a dream. The documentary, he said determinedly, was far more important. Scott said that he'd learned a lot from the film. Unfortunately, a lot of what had been reaped from the project made the young man think very negatively about love. He and Becca both wondered aloud why anyone would fall in love when they know that most relationships fall apart. The exchanged nervous glances for several moments before Scott broke the silence with a new idea for the film's ending. He said that he wanted to find a couple that exemplified true love to show that in the end some relationships could work out. Becca suggested Tad and Dixie, noting that they were happier than ever now that Dixie was going to have a baby.
In his bed, Tad rolled back and forth in a restless sleep. His dreams turned into a nightmare. A swing swung back and forth, an evil voice singing a chorus of "Dixieland." Tad looked all over for Dixie and called out to her several times. Tad turned around and angrily confronted a familiar face from his past. "Show me some respect, boy," Ray Gardner bellowed. Tad demanded to know what Ray had done with Dixie. "She's gone," Ray cackled. "I've got her now." Tad woke up from his dream screaming for his wife. Dixie raced into the room and immediately sought to comfort Tad. Tad refused to discuss the specifics of his dream, saying only that he'd had a terrible nightmare. Tad looked at the alarm clock on the bedside table and realized that he'd overslept. Dixie said that she'd made "an executive decision" to let him sleep a little while longer than normal. Now that he was up, however, he needed to hurry and get dressed so that they could make their appointment with Dr. Hayward. Dixie left the room while Tad got dressed. When she returned, she found a very distracted Tad struggling to button his shirt. Still haunted by his horrific dream, Tad had incorrectly buttoned his shirt. Dixie told Tad that David was squeezing them into his schedule so they could not be even a minute late. Tad reached out and suddenly hugged his wife. "I'm so frightened of losing you," Tad said softly.
The fact that she'd tried to squash the sale of Erica's pre-surgery photos was all the proof Vanessa believed she needed to show that she was not in cahoots with Donald. David remained unconvinced. Vanessa then tried to turn the blame to David. She said that he was just as much at fault as anyone else because he'd left the pictures in an unsecured office. David noted that Vanessa was one of the few people who had access to his office. Couple that with her friendship with Jerry Reeves and the media ambush she'd orchestrated in the past and, well, Vanessa was a likely suspect. Vanessa tried to get up and leave, but David grabbed her arm and forcefully pulled her back into her chair. Vanessa said that she did not have time to talk to him because Palmer was on his way. David ordered Vanessa to sit down and remain quiet while he told her what he wanted her to do. David calmly, but firmly, told Vanessa that he expected her to right her wrongs. That included tracking down Donald Steele and offering him a sizeable hunk of cash for anything that he had on Erica. The doctor was certain that Vanessa had stolen things from Erica's house and then given them to the writer. Vanessa knew she had no other choice but to comply. David would put up the money needed to buy off Donald. David warned his mother that she'd pay dearly if she did not comply. He reminded his mother how angry Palmer had been when he'd thought that he'd sold the pictures to the media. If he learned the truth, David said that her affair with the multi-millionaire would come to a quick demise. Palmer arrived just as David was concluding the conversation. Vanessa was noticeably worked up. As David was leaving, he muttered, "One of you two has made a pact with the devil. I just can't tell which one." Palmer blasted David's treatment of his mother. He then apologized to Vanessa for the way Opal had spoken to her earlier in the day. Palmer said that he'd bet all his shares of Cortlandt Electronics stock that David was responsible for Erica's pictures getting out. He told Vanessa that with a few well-placed phone calls he could get David kicked out of the hospital. Vanessa began to quake in her chair and begged Palmer not to take any action against David. Palmer was paged away on business. Left behind, Vanessa hit a new level of panic. "Ooh," she chirped to herself. "What a mess." Vanessa lurked in the shadows of the lobby while Palmer had a brief discussion with the front desk clerk. Palmer mentioned that he was going to be away and that he wanted his mail handled very carefully. Palmer headed back to the bar and Vanessa moved in to seize the opportunity. She asked the man behind the desk if he Donald Steele had left a forwarding address---and followed it up by asking when Palmer would be returning. Both questions were not answered because of confidentiality reasons. Vanessa frowned and flashed menacing glance at the desk clerk. Vanessa then followed Palmer to the bar and came up with a very clever way to find out when he'd be back in town. She asked Palmer if he'd like to join her for a romantic dinner in a few days. Palmer shook his head and said that while he'd love to dine with Vanessa, he had been asked to take a Mediterranean cruise for a week or so. Vanessa shrugged rather nonchalantly and said that she'd have to move forward with Plan B. Vanessa said that she'd been invited to Argentina by one of her old beaus. Of course, the invitation she spoke of was purely bogus---and an attempt to make Palmer jealous.
Gillian scurried back in forth in the corridors of Pine Valley Hospital delivering files to doctors. In spite of her hectic workload, Gillian's face was frozen with a seemingly permanent grin. Jake pulled her aside and asked her why she was in such a good mood. Gillian told Jake that after he'd left Ryan had dropped by. "For the first time, we talked. We really talked," Gillian said euphorically. Jake tried his best to hide his disappointment as he mustered a weak smile. They briefly discussed how Mateo now knew about Ryan and Hayley's kiss. Now Gillian said that Mateo and Hayley's relationship seemed hopelessly strained. The kiss, she said, was "the final straw that broke that camel's back." Gillian thanked Jake for listening to her rambling. She said that her possible renewed relationship with Ryan was due largely in part to Jake. She said that Jake was the only man to encourage her to speak openly about her feelings. She thanked Jake with a hug and called him her best friend. As they embraced, David wandered by. He couldn't help but poke fun at them. "When will you stop throwing yourself at every doctor that comes along?" David sneered. Gillian fired back by telling David that she and Jake were friends---something that he knew nothing about. Tad and Dixie arrived for her appointment. David had already reviewed Dr. Clader's notes and walked the couple into a nearby office. David promised to give Dixie a fair evaluation and opinion on whether or not to continue her pregnancy. Dixie headed off to an examining room and Tad took the opportunity to warn David that he'd better not play fast and loose with his prognosis. David was offended that Tad thought that he'd take Dixie's condition lightly. David left the room and Jake joined his brother in waiting. Jake said that he still felt it was a bad idea for David to examine Dixie. Tad, however, knew that David was one of the few people Dixie would listen to. In the examining room, David asked Dixie to relax and let him examine her. Dixie said that she could not relax because a lot was riding on his verdict. Dixie snapped that a person like David could never understand what she was going through. David gave Dixie his solemn vow that he would tell her the truth about the viability of her pregnancy. He also said that he would be honored to help her child into the world. He called Dixie a fighter who'd come back from near-death. Some time later, Dixie joined Tad in the hall and said that David was still reviewing the test results. "That man is a sphinx," she said of his poker face. David wandered out and said that everything checked out normally. There was no longer any indication that Dixie had ever had heart problems. Tad was floored, but he was in for an even bigger surprise. David said that he saw "no reason" why Dixie could not carry her baby to term---with a little extra care. Dixie nearly did backflips down the corridor; she was that ecstatic. Tad, meanwhile, questioned David's diagnosis. David wandered away from the pair and bumped into Jake. Jake asked David how Dixie was handling the bad news. David smiled and said that Dixie had nothing to be upset about because she was perfectly healthy. Jake was furious and said that he'd demand that Dixie receive a second opinion. David snapped that Jake's anger was due to the fact that his relationship with Gillian had fallen through. Meanwhile, Dixie continued to celebrate, telling Tad how wonderful it would be to have a little one in the house. Tad was silent and did not address anything that Dixie said to him. Dixie cocked her head to one side and in shock asked Tad if he'd wanted David to tell her that she could not have the baby.
"We has a deal," Dixie grumbled wondering why she'd gone through the charade of getting a check-up if Tad had already decided that he was against the idea of having a baby. Tad flapped that he was not the only one who'd gone into the check-up with his mind made up. He noted that Dixie has been "speaking in plural" for weeks. Moreover, she'd told the news of her pregnancy to Becca after they'd both agreed not to tell anyone that she was pregnant. "She was happy for me," Dixie snapped. She reminded Tad that David, one of the top cardiologists in the world, had said that she was fully capable of carrying the baby to term. Still Tad felt that this was a "high risk" pregnancy---and nothing was going to change his mind. Right now, though, Dixie said that she was more concerned with what David had warned her about: stress. Dixie argued that she was "in perfect health." Tad, who had been silenced by Dixie's warning about her stress level, quickly retorted that her definition of perfect health and his definition were two totally different things. "Do you think this is easy for me?" he said defending his stand against continuing the pregnancy. He said that he's dreamed about having a baby with Dixie, but he's also dreamed about losing the woman he loves. "I'm not just fighting for your life," Tad said sternly. "I'm fighting for our life together." Dixie became defensive, blasting Tad because she believed that he'd secretly hoped that David would have bad news. Tad made no attempt to deny the accusation. "I have no intention of dying," Dixie said determinedly. Tad shook his head slightly from side to side. "You act like you have a choice," Tad replied in disbelief. He wanted Dixie to see that tragedy could strike her at any time without any type of advanced warning. Dixie looked down and the floor and sadly noted that Tad had yet to congratulate her on the good news. "I can't," he responded. Dixie turned and raced out of the office. As she flew through the door, she passed by Jake. Jake looked at his older brother and asked him what had happened. "David Hayward strikes again," Tad groaned. "How could he give her the go ahead?" Jake explained that David was fueled by his ego and the belief that he could beat the odds. "Let him risk someone else's life," Tad snapped. There was still another reason for David's interest. Or at least Jake believed that there was another possible reason. He noted that David had buddied up to women in the past when he had his sights set on causing trouble. He'd done it to Gillian and Ryan and to Liza and Adam. "Don't trust him," Jake warned.
At the hunting lodge at Wildwind, Brooke gently placed a bouquet of wildflowers that she'd picked on the coffee table. She wanted to place them in a vase, but first she needed to cut down the stems. She checked the desk for a pair of scissors, but she didn't find any. As she entered the kitchen to continue her search, Erica entered through the front door. She spied the assortment of flowers and flashed a perplexed look across her face. Before waltzing over to the flowers for a closer look, Erica made a slight grunt. She plucked the flowers from the table, looked at them with great disdain, and then tossed them into the garbage can. She then focused her attention on arranging a bouquet of flowers that she'd brought. Soon was unknowingly in the same dilemma as Brooke---without a pair of scissors. She rummaged through the desk drawer unaware that Brooke was approaching from behind with a pair of scissors. Brooke gritted her teeth and handed over the scissors to her sometimes rival. Brooke rescued her flowers from the trashcan and scolded Erica for having tossed them. "From where [did you pick them]?" Erica sassed. "The side of the road?" Brooke stated that she'd picked the flowers from the grounds at Wildwind. Erica shook her head disappointedly and remarked that Brooke should have opted for a bouquet of white roses. They, she said fluffing the bouquet she'd bought, were Dimitri's favorites. "I'm still the authority on Dimitri's likes and dislikes," she smiled proudly. Erica snatched the only vase in the lodge and carefully arranged the roses. Brooke was forced to find an alternate method to display her wildflowers. She foraged back into the kitchen and returned later with an old ceramic pitcher. Considering the rustic style of the lodge and the beauty of the wildflowers, the pitcher was a perfect fit. Of course, Erica didn't think so. Brooke started arranging her bouquet as Erica strolled around the lodge reflecting on all the memories she and Dimitri had created there. Brooke moved her lips flippantly as Erica spoke. Erica cast a look back at Brooke---luckily Brooke had stopped mocking her---and asked if she had any inkling as to why they were throwing a party for Dimitri. Brooke shook her head and said that it must have something to do with Dimitri's trip to Budapest. "Budapest," Erica sighed romantically. She again spoke of all the good times she and Dimitri had had in Hungary. Brooke became rather tired of Erica's tales. She walked over to the desk and picked up a letter opener. "If only this letter opener could talk," Brooke said with a wry smile. "But I guess this wouldn't be the one that you used on Dimitri. No, that one would be locked up in the police station, sealed, and marled Exhibit A." She slowly strolled to the door, stopping once to look back over her shoulder. "Oh, yes, what a magical place." Erica pursed her lips together and nearly threw a fit. After Brooke headed up to the main house, Erica grabbed Brooke's flowers and hurled them out the front door! She nodded approvingly and followed Brooke up the path.
Mateo visited the local bank and met with Alfred Vanderpoole, now a senior vice president thanks to the help of Adam Chandler. Alfred made small talk as Mateo filled out some paperwork for a loan. He announced that he was "buying out" his partner. Alfred nodded his head slightly and looked over Mateo's credit file. He smiled and in passing mentioned that the loan was a sure thing since Mateo had married into the Chandler family. Mateo inked his name on the bottom line and waited for the cash to be handed over. Alfred asked Matt when Hayley would be by to sign her name. Mateo paused for a moment before explaining that Hayley wouldn't be signing because she was the partner that he was trying to buy out. Alfred was a bit stunned, but nevertheless he tried to continue on with the business transaction. He looked at Mateo's credit file, the last two tax returns that he's filed, and the profit sheet from SOS. After reviewing all of the documentation, Alfred sadly informed Mateo that he was not qualified to take out another loan. He'd already had three loans in his name---both he and Raquel's condo and a partial loan on the club. Mateo snarled that he'd never been late on any payment and was furious that he was being declined. What made it even worse is that Alfred had only turned him down after he'd learned that he and Hayley were no longer together. Mateo promised that the club would become more profitable and practically begged Alfred to approve the loan. Alfred refused. Mateo angrily announced that he was going to take all of his money out of the bank and set up an account with a competitor.
Edmund restocked the bar with some of Dimitri's favorite brands. Gillian entered and told Edmund that she was glad that Dimitri was returning home because she was beginning to miss not having her family around. Edmund smiled and told Gillian that she should started coming by more because he'd love to spend more time with her. "I'm glad we're friends again," Gillian beamed. Edmund asked Gillian if she'd managed to sort out the problem that she'd had the other day. Gillian nodded, saying that "some things are better and some things are worse." Edmund chuckled and replied that her reply "was as vague as the last time" he'd spoken to her. Gillian proceeded to tell her cousin all about the trouble's she believed she'd caused for Mateo and Hayley. Edmund looked at her with compassion and assured her that this was not her fault. Edmund also assured her that Mateo and Hayley would work things out. He spoke from experience, briefly telling Gillian that he, Maria, and Dimitri had been in a similar spot. Jack was the first to arrive for the party, followed closely behind by Brooke. Brooke stomped into the parlor and shrieked that she wanted to be slapped if she ever showed compassion to "that woman" again. Everyone looked at her in confusion until Erica breezed into the house with a big smile. The men and Gillian fawned over Erica's recovery. Erica asked Edmund if he had any idea why they were celebrating. She shook his head, but said that he'd find out. He headed to the phone and placed a call to the airport to find out if Dimitri's plane had landed. "What do you mean?" he was heard asking. "What kind of problem?" The room fell quiet. Edmund demanded to be connected directly to the plane. Edmund learned that the plane was being forced to turn back to another airport. The pilot came on the phone, but he offered little in the way of help. Edmund demanded to speak to his brother, but the pilot said that that was not possible. Edmund hung up the phone and announced that he was headed to the airfield. The assembled group of partygoers followed him out the house, passing under a Welcome Home banner that still hung above the front door.
Strolling slowly down the courtyard to the condo she shares with Mateo, Hayley reflected on the sage words of advice given to her by her Uncle Trevor. Trevor had advised her to give Mateo some space to digest what had happened---and then to approach him and ask to talk things out. Before entering the condo, she took a deep breath. Once inside, Hayley found the condo a virtual pigsty. Empty styrofoam fast food containers littered the floor, dirty laundry covered the furniture, and stacks of unopened mail spiraled towards the ceiling. Instinctively, Hayley began tidying up. She heard a noise outside and quickly scampered towards the door. She opened the door with high hopes. Her face fell when she realized that Ryan was on the other side. She invited her friend into the condo so that they could talk. Ryan mistook Hayley's presence as a sign that she and Mateo had patched things up. Hayley shook her head and stated that she and Mateo were still on the outs. When asked why he dropped by, Ryan said that he wanted to return his keys to SOS. Hayley took the keys from her friend and an awkward period of silence ensued. Ryan and Hayley stood silently staring at one another. Finally, Ryan softly said that he should be getting on his way. Hayley stopped him before he could leave. She apologized to Ryan for causing him to lose his job. Ryan shrugged indifferently and muttered that he was back at WRCW. He seemed very unenthusiastic about his new---or old---job. Ryan did, though, smile slightly as he told Hayley that he and Gillian had had a heart-to-heart talk. "Listen," Hayley interjected. "What happened between us..." Ryan put his hands in the air as if to tell Hayley that she didn't have to say another word. "We were totally wrong, I know," Ryan nodded. "I don't think it was totally wrong," Hayley replied quietly. "I won't be ashamed because I'm not." Ryan was surprised by Hayley's remark, but he thanked her nevertheless for noting that the kiss would not ruin their friendship. "You have no idea how much I needed to heart that," he smiled. Both Hayley and Ryan sat down on the sofa and continued reflecting on the kiss. Hayley told Ryan that she'd kissed him because she needed to feel someone's arms around her."
Outside in the courtyard, Raquel arrived toting a big, beautifully wrapped box. Max, dressed up as a cowboy, followed behind with a huge bouquet of about a dozen balloons. Max asked if his mother had gotten the type of birthday cake that he wanted. Raquel smiled and told her son that he would have exactly the kind of cake that he's asked for. Raquel allowed Max to open the big box, which was a gift from her rarely mentioned parents. It was documented that Raquel's parents did not approve of her marriage to Mateo. From that time on, Raquel had said that her relationship with her family was strained. Max was overjoyed by the gift---a remote controlled car. Raquel asked her son not to tell his father where he'd gotten the toy. The reason, she said, was that she wanted to be the one to tell him that her parents wanted to be a part of Max's life. Mateo strolled up the courtyard much to his son's delight. Max turned and ran towards his daddy. The young boy's chirps were heard inside as Hayley and Ryan realized that Mateo was just a few feet away.
At the airport, Edmund paced nervously as he waited for information about his brother. Airports and flying in general had become an uneasy subject for Edmund since the death of his wife, Maria. A man informed Edmund that Dimitri's plane would be landing soon. The sound of sirens permeated the terminal. Erica and Jack exchanged worried glances. A stretched rolled a lifeless Dimitri into the terminal. Edmund rushed to his brother's side and asked him if he was okay. Dimitri struggled to speak, but Edmund ordered him to be quiet and conserve his strength. "Still telling me what to do?" Dimitri jested weakly. Edmund assured his brother that they'd get him to the hospital soon. "There's no time," Dimitri replied. His eyes fluttered before closing and his arms fell to his side. A new sense of urgency crept over Edmund as he demanded that the paramedics take Dimitri to the hospital. The pandemonium settled down as everyone raced off to the hospital. Unnoticed to anyone, someone else had disembarked from the plane. A woman dressed totally in black---except for a white pearl necklace---walked through the doors. A cold expression formed on her face as she watched Dimitri being pushed towards the ambulance. She slowly removed her sunglasses, but said and did nothing.