Josie found a depressed Paul sitting in Fairwinds. In the trash, she spied the divorce papers Meg had given him and suggested that Paul cooperate with Meg and sign them as a gesture of good faith. She felt that might leave the door open for the two of them to have a future relationship because of their daughter. Paul was unsure how Meg would respond to that, so Josie suggested he show that he cared more about her and the baby than he did about himself. Paul reluctantly agreed to follow Josie's directions of going to see Meg and signing the papers. He went to clean up, as Josie offered to accompany him for moral support.
Dusty visited Meg at the farm, and she was sad that she would be raising Eliza alone. Dusty said he needed a favor from her, and he was discouraged in his attempts to make peace with Craig as he had promised Lucy. He was sure that Craig wanted full and sole custody of Johnny, and Dusty could not allow that. He asked Meg to set up a meeting with Craig to try to coax him to confess that he had attempted to kill Paul with the car bomb. Meg refused at first, and suggested that perhaps Craig was committed to a new way of life, but Dusty implored her to help him keep Johnny safe. After Meg thought about it more, she agreed and asked how to start.
Craig showed up at Carly's and asked to see Parker, who he assumed was still recovering from his close call with a speeding car. Carly facetiously asked Craig when he was going to get down on one knee and begin the proposal scenario again. Carly said the boy had gone to breakfast with Jack before going back to school, so Craig left to find him, only telling Carly he had unnamed business with the boy.
At the diner, Jack asked Parker if Craig was spending much time with Carly at the house, but Parker wasn't talking. Jack reinforced that he wanted the boy to keep his distance from Craig, and Parker split for school. Janet offered some unsolicited advice to her new husband: Jack should stop trying to turn Parker into a spy. She also found one of the boy's school notebooks on a chair, so Jack said he would take it to his son,
Walking to the high school, Parker ran into Craig, who said he just wanted to see how Parker was. He also asked Parker if he was interested in attending a Black Hawks game, and Parker said he would like that. Jack came along and gave Parker his book and then turned to Craig and asked why he was stalking his son. Craig joked that since he had saved Parker's life, he was responsible for the boy, but Jack begged to differ. Craig continued to play the hero card until Jack warned Craig to keep away from Jack's family. Craig went back to his car and took a call from Meg, who asked about Johnny. Under coaching instructions from Dusty, she also offered to drop off a gift for the boy at the Lakeview, and Craig agreed to meet her.
Meg watched Dusty plant a tiny recording device in her purse, and she went to rendezvous with Craig. She handed over the present, and Craig asked her point-blank why she wanted to see him. Dusty heard Meg tell Craig she wanted to make peace with him and apologize for marrying him while she was still in love with Paul. Craig asked if she had changed her mind about what kind of man he was, and Meg replied that she had made many mistakes. Craig said perhaps he could have done more by "putting Paul away" when he had the chance. Meg asked him to elaborate, but Craig backed off the subject. She then inquired if Craig had hated the man who came between them enough to kill him, but Craig did not take the bait.
He finally said that, as much as he would like to, he could not take the credit for that. He also threw in his opinion that it was Dusty who had planted the car bomb, something that irritated Dusty, who was listening. Craig said he had to go but accepted Meg's offer of peace. Meg returned to Dusty and gave him a hug, as Josie watched. After Meg left, Dusty told Josie he did not trust Josie because she had worked for Paul, and she was jealous of Meg. Dusty defended Meg because she had been willing to help him. He also told Josie she had to choose between him and Paul. He started to walk out but then turned around and kissed Josie on the lips.
Jack went to Carly's, steaming mad. He complained that Craig had been waiting for Parker on his way to school and asked her what Craig wanted with their son. Carly explained that Craig wanted to turn his life around so that he could be a better person for Johnny. Jack said Carly had 200,000 reasons to trust Craig and accused her of being in his hip pocket. They began shouting at one another until Jack reminded her that Craig was a repeat criminal. Carly cut to the crux of the matter by telling Jack that he could not stand the thought of another man taking his place in that house, even though he, himself, didn't want to be there. Carly then threw Jack out of the house.
Jack went back to the diner and griped to Janet about Craig and Carly. She said Carly was just pushing his buttons again. Back at Carly's, Parker came home early and found his mother upset. She said Jack thought Craig was being too friendly. Craig rang the doorbell, and Parker let him in. He gave Carly some coffee beans from Java but refused to go when she suggested he leave. Carly complained that if Craig spent any more time with her, Jack would take her to court and attempt to get custody of the kids. Craig said he just might surprise her, and he walked out.
Meg took Eliza home and found Paul waiting for her. He said he was ready to sign the divorce papers. Meg could not believe Paul was being so cooperative. He then asked for some visitation rights with Eliza and promised to behave like a father. Meg replied that if he stayed rational, they would talk about visitation rights. Paul signed the legal papers. The baby awoke, and Meg offered Eliza's father the chance to give her a bottle.
Craig went to the diner looking for Jack and spouted off at Janet that her new husband had no business telling Carly whom she could see. Janet said Craig was preaching to the choir, and she totally agreed with him. In fact, she said, Jack was on his way to Carly's to tell her he was backing off. Craig admitted he admired Janet's hidden talents of persuasion.
A humbled Jack told Carly he had been wrong and that it was not his concern whom she invited to her house. He was willing to let Parker handle his own situation with Craig, as well. As soon as Jack left, Craig returned and took all the credit for Jack's change of heart. He crowed that protecting those he loved was what he did best. He brought up his marriage proposal again, but Carly reminded him that he had put her sister, Rosanna, in a coma. Craig appeared contrite and then mentioned how much alike he and Carly were. He asked her if she was not sick of being alone and single. Carly was tempted by all he offered, and suddenly agreed to marry him. Craig couldn't believe his ears and asked if they could "seal the deal" with a kiss. She told him not to push his luck, so he left to buy the "biggest engagement ring" he could find.
Back at the diner, Jack told Janet how well his talk with Carly had gone and that all the tension between them seemed to have dissipated.
Due to the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, today's episode of As The World Turns was preempted.
There will be no "lost" episodes as a result of this programming change and broadcasting will return to a regular schedule on Wednesday, January 21, picking up where Monday, January 19's episode concluded.
At Metro, Vienna griped to Katie about the spur-of-the-moment cocktail party that Carly ordered her to set up. Katie was hardly listening, however, because she was despondent, thinking her marriage to Brad was over. He had accused her of choosing her brother over him, but Katie was afraid if she recanted her alibi, Craig would go to jail. She had seen how joyous he was at Johnny's return, and she could not put him through another separation from the boy. Vienna added that she thought Brad was noble to be defending Katie's honor.
Dusty thanked Brad at the Lakeview bar for helping in the attempt to get Craig to do the right thing. Brad echoed Katie's sentiments that he wasn't sure he had a marriage any longer. Dusty cautioned him not to let Craig come between Brad and Katie, and Dusty felt bad for enlisting Brad's aid against their common enemy. Dusty promised he would handle Craig and advised Brad to stay out of it. Brad took a call from Katie and agreed to meet her at Metro.
Craig dropped in on Margo at work and invited her to cocktails to celebrate his wonderful news: he was getting married! Margo did not take him seriously until he told her his intended was Carly Tenney. A speechless Margo walked away in shock and then returned to ask if his actions were geared toward getting custody of Johnny. Craig defended life with Carly, telling Margo it would never be dull, but he did not convince his sister. He then accused Margo of being on Jack's side-but asked for her blessing. He also told her he needed a best man, and Margo somewhat relented, but swore she would not wear a tuxedo. Craig invited her to Metro for the engagement announcement, and when she tried to wiggle out of it, he told her she was family and he expected her to be there.
At home, Carly went through bills and reminisced over a wedding picture of her and Jack. She experienced a black-and-white fantasy of life with Craig. Craig was a big-time thug, and Carly was his moll wearing a feather boa. She told Craig off and informed him he did not control her because she called her own shots. Craig said for her to shut up and then smashed half of a grapefruit in her face. Back to reality, Carly asked out loud what she had gotten herself into, and she dashed off to Lily's.
Lily told her she was insane to even consider marrying Craig Montgomery, so Carly said she wouldn't go through with the wedding, but she didn't know how to back out. She confessed it was nice to have someone on her side for a change, and cited how Craig had stood up to Jack on her behalf and caused Jack to back off. Lily immediately suggested that was Carly's real motivation: she was getting back at Jack for dumping her and marrying Janet. Marrying the man Jack hated most in the world would be glorious payback!
Carly said she had since made peace with Jack, and, besides, she liked Craig because he was fun, had a wicked sense of humor, and he was rich. She also missed having a man around, and she reminded Lily that Lily's own sister, Sierra, had stayed married to him for years. Carly felt she had an advantage in that she did not love Craig. She claimed she hadn't made a final decision yet, but Lily was sure she had. Carly's phone rang, and it was Craig inviting her to Metro for a drink, so she said goodbye to Lily. She promised she would tell Craig there was no way she would marry him, and then asked Lily to go with her for courage.
Jack and Janet read a hand-delivered invitation to cocktails from Carly, but they could not figure out why she wanted to socialize with them. They decided to go, if for no other reason than to find out what she was up to. They changed clothes and left for Metro.
Dusty and Johnny were passing through the Lakeview lobby when a desk clerk handed Dusty a similar invitation to Metro. This one was signed, "C," so Dusty told Johnny the milkshake he had promised the boy would have to wait a few minutes because they had to see Parker's mom.
At Metro, Brad walked in and found Katie. Vienna left them alone and went to work in the back. Both Katie and Brad declared how miserable they had been apart, and Katie promised to forget about Craig and focus on them as a couple. As they were kissing, Dusty and Johnny came in looking for Carly. Vienna, who had returned, told him Carly would be there shortly. Jack and Janet arrived, so Vienna declared the party officially started. Carly came in, and learned all the guests had assumed the invitations were from her, but she was in the dark, too.
Suddenly Craig arrived and announced he had invited them all. Carly was upset and asked Craig what he was doing, so Craig made the big announcement that he and Carly were engaged to be married. Everyone was stunned, and Jack spoke up and said he thought Carly's leaving her kids to run off was the worst thing she could ever do, but she had just topped herself. Craig tried to get Jack to back down, but Dusty threw in the conversation stopper by announcing that what Craig was really after was custody of Johnny. Craig responded hotly, so Katie took Johnny into the kitchen.
Craig grabbed Carly and planted a big kiss on her lips to show the world just how happy they were. Jack went after Craig, but Janet held him back. Craig then accused Jack of not letting go of his feelings for Carly. Katie brought Johnny back, and Dusty took the boy's hand and announced they were leaving. Craig detained him and made a move towards Johnny, so Dusty decked him with one punch. A horrified Johnny screamed, "No!"
Dusty ended up in Margo's office in the Oakdale police station on the other side of the desk from a lecture. Lily came and asked to see him, and she told Dusty how atrocious his behavior had been. Dusty said he was afraid Craig would show up in court looking like the perfect family man if he was married. Lily said she did not think Carly would actually marry Craig, and she suggested Dusty apologize to his son and to Craig.
Craig and Carly took Johnny home to her house where the boy asked about his "other daddy." Craig asked the lad what was bothering him, so Johnny questioned why Dusty had hit Craig. Carly brought him a brownie with ice cream and told him what had happened between his two daddies would never happen again. Craig promised that, also, and Carly produced crayons and paper to keep the boy occupied. Craig went into the kitchen after her, and she chewed him out for using her to stick it to Jack. She said if that was the way it was going to be, then he could take his lame proposal and get out of her life. Craig asked her why she had agreed to marry him in the first place, and got her to admit some part of it was to get back at Jack.
Margo released Dusty, so Lily offered him a ride home. He wanted to stop by Metro and pick up Johnny until she explained that Craig and Carly had taken the boy to Carly's house. Margo warned Dusty to keep his temper in check, and he and Lily left.
Katie and Brad danced at Metro, and Katie worried that they had let Johnny go home with Craig and Carly. Brad told her to let all that go, and Vienna poured them some more champagne.
Dusty rang Carly's doorbell, and she let him in. She told Dusty that Johnny was sleeping on the couch and was welcome to spend the night, but Dusty walked in without saying a word, picked up the sleeping boy, and went out.
Jade bumped into Casey, literally, in Old Town as she was rushing to Memorial Hospital to learn the results of her DNA paternity test. She was very anxious to find out whether Derek Coburn was her biological father. Casey went on to the park with his skateboard and saw Derek sitting on a bench. Casey asked if Derek was not supposed to be at the hospital finding out the results with Jade, but Derek said he already knew he was Jade's father. Casey urged him to be there for his newfound daughter.
At the hospital, Bonnie left a message for the missing Derek, telling him the same thing: he needed to exhibit enough interest to show up and find out the verdict. Jade arrived and was not surprised that Derek was a no-show. Alison came with the paperwork, but Jade wanted to wait a bit for Derek. Alison told her and Bonnie that Derek had already been there, and she had told him the results. The women were surprised, but ready to hear the news. Alison said the test proved that Derek was, indeed, Alison's birth father. Jade assumed that Derek was absent because he was unhappy with the results, but Bonnie was concerned for him and left to find him.
Dusty sat at Emily's desk in the Intruder office and talked with Tom Hughes about his dustup with Craig at Metro. Emily came in and remarked that Dusty had not been happy since he had returned to Oakdale. She also mentioned his trouble with Craig, and Dusty said his nemesis had come up with some interesting strategies in the custody battle for Johnny. Emily said she knew how much Dusty cared for the boy and asked if she could be of help. Dusty confided that Craig was marrying Carly, and Emily suggested that Dusty could play that game, as well. Dusty could not figure out who would be his best candidate to marry, so Emily suggested herself. Dusty thought she was kidding, but when he realized she was not, he said the idea was crazy.
Emily blamed herself for not stopping Paul from keeping Johnny from Jennifer and was eager to help Johnny. Dusty reminded her how angry she had been with him lately, but Emily assured him she was past that. She knew the marriage would be strictly one of convenience with no expectations on her part. Dusty said it was just not possible, but he hesitated to say why. Emily soon realized that it was because of her past history as a prostitute, and that angered her. She threw it up to Dusty that someone who had faked his own death was not exactly good daddy material. Dusty said he appreciated her offer and walked out. Emily hurled her glass against the closed door.
Meg played with Eliza as Emma enjoyed looking at her new granddaughter. Paul knocked on the door, but Emma refused to let him in until Meg intervened. Paul brought two large bags of baby clothes and toys and asked to take the baby on a sleigh ride as soon as they had enough snow. Emma was nasty to Paul, and when Meg took the bags upstairs, Emma demanded that Paul hand over the baby to her. Paul refused and they argued until Meg returned and asked her mother to back off. Paul thanked Meg and reassured her he would never hurt baby Eliza. He finally got tired of Emma's constant scrutiny and proposed that he and Meg go back to Fairwinds, but Emma declared the baby would leave the house over her dead body. Meg talked with Emma until Emma walked into her parlor in a huff. Meg and Paul packed up Eliza and her equipment, and Paul went to sort out the car seat. Emma came back and apologized to Meg, but when she realized Meg was taking the baby out, she was fearful.
At Memorial, Bonnie dropped her purse and Casey helped her pick up her things. She was looking for Jade, and Casey told her he had seen the girl earlier. Bonnie then realized that Casey already knew the DNA test results and questioned him about that. He said he had seen Derek in the park, and he had said he was the last thing Jade needed. Bonnie went to the park and found Derek. She told him she had never taken him for a coward, but he asked to deal with the news in his own way. Bonnie recognized that Derek was feeling inadequate and was afraid Jade would realize she was better off having no father. He and Jade had nothing in common, voiced Derek, and he said he barely remembered Rose D'Angelo, her mother. Bonnie tried to reassure him he was still worth knowing.
Alison found Jade crying in a stairwell in the hospital. She sympathized with her and told her the two of them shared something: their fathers' rejection. Jade exclaimed she didn't need a pep talk, but Alison said Jade must not take Derek's disinterest personally. Jade took a call from Bonnie, who asked her to come to Metro, so she took off. Alison next saw Casey and talked with him about parental rejections. Alison got emotional, and Casey took her to Java for coffee. There, she told him how inconvenient she was to her father and his new family, and described how the business with Jade and Derek had brought it all back to her. She said she felt she could tell Casey anything, and they shared a close moment until Emily interrupted. She said she needed to speak with Alison privately, so Casey excused himself and went back to work. Emily said she was having a rough day and didn't think she could stomach watching her little sister take another man from her. Alison denied there was anything between Casey and her, but then Emily brought up how Alison had slept with Dusty. She demanded Alison stay away from Casey.
At Fairwinds, Paul and Meg changed their baby, and Paul produced a beautiful bassinet for Eliza's nap. He put the baby down, and she instantly fell asleep, much to Meg's amazement. Paul urged Meg to stay longer and let the baby sleep, so the two of them watched their daughter. Paul moved in closer and finally kissed Meg, something Meg found out of bounds. She said going to Fairwinds had been a mistake, although Paul begged for another chance, and Meg took the baby and walked out.
At Metro, Jade discovered Bonnie was not alone; Derek was also there. He apologized for not being at the hospital when she heard the paternity news, but their attempts at finding a common ground to talk about did not go well. Bonnie suggested the two take some time to get to know each other, but Derek's first question to his daughter was about her relationship with Robby Sanchez, the holdup man. Jade immediately accused Derek of judging her and called him an ex-con. Bonnie played referee and asked them both to take a step back. Derek took out a wad of money and attempted to give it to Jade, who refused it and stormed out.
Paul went back to the farm, searching for Meg. Emma accused him of doing harm to her girls and yelled at him to let Meg go on with her life. Paul said Meg still wanted him, no matter what her mother thought, and that was what was bothering her so much. He vowed to get his little family back.
At the Lakeview, Dusty saw Meg and the baby at the front desk asking for Barbara Ryan. Barbara was not home, and Meg told Dusty that Paul had not hurt her or the baby, but, as usual, had gone too far by kissing her. Dusty said her getting back together with Paul would be the worst thing that could happen to her. Meg said she realized she could never let Paul get too close again, and Dusty offered a solution. Suddenly he asked Meg to marry him.
Jack went to Carly's to pick up Sage to help her with a school project. Craig showed up and unexpectedly asked Sage if she was excited about being the maid of honor in his wedding to Carly. Sage was stunned to hear that her mom planned to marry Craig, and she complained loudly about it. Jack left with Sage, after telling Carly he would try to calm Sage down. Carly was angry with Craig for telling everyone about their engagement without consulting her first. Craig tried to take Carly's mind off of that by showing her the large engagement ring he had bought for her, but Carly refused to put it on.
Carly told Craig the ring was too big, but Craig managed to convince her to try it on. As Carly admired the ring, Craig told her that the custody hearing had been scheduled, so their wedding needed to take place in the next couple of days. Carly reminded Craig that he had said she had at least two weeks before the wedding, but Craig said that the stepped-up schedule couldn't be helped. Carly reluctantly said they could go to the courthouse to get married as soon as they had their wedding license. Craig nixed that idea, saying Dusty would use a rushed courthouse wedding as a sign that Carly and Craig's marriage was a sham. Craig felt they needed to get married "with conviction." When Carly protested that she was not going to have a church wedding to Craig, he agreed, saying, "If I'm not struck down by lightning, then you probably would be." He suggested they get married at Carly's house.
Carly didn't like the idea, but Craig said it might help the children get used to the idea that he would be living there. Carly hadn't thought that far ahead; she told Craig her house was small, and she asked where he would be sleeping. He said he intended to sleep with her, of course, but Carly protested that although she'd agreed to marry him, she had never said she would sleep with him.
Jack took Sage to Al's Diner, where Sage tried to convince him to stop her mother's wedding. Sage wanted Jack to agree with her that Craig was a bad man, but Jack said he wasn't going to "talk trash" about Craig. Sage said it wasn't trash if it was true, and she pointed out that everyone said Craig had caused her Aunt Rosanna's car accident and had lied to her Aunt Gwen about her baby. Jack agreed, but said his hands were tied. Sage asserted that she would do something herself if her dad couldn't stop the wedding.
Jack dropped Sage off at Carly's, where Sage ignored her mother and Craig, and went straight to her room. Craig offered to talk to her Sage or buy her a ring or whatever else it might take to bring Sage around, but Carly told him to leave. Craig went to the diner, where he found Jack. Craig told Jack that he and Carly were moving ahead with their wedding, and he promised to be a good husband to Carly and a good step-father to Jack's children. When Craig said he knew Jack objected to the marriage, Jack said he didn't object. Jack said he had no right to tell Carly what to do anymore, and that Carly always did what she wanted to do anyway.
At home, Sage came downstairs with a suitcase and informed her mother that she was going to go live with her dad and Janet, because Craig Montgomery was a bad man. Carly reminded Sage that she Sage had had felt that way about Janet at first, but Sage said that was different, because her father loved Janet. She asked if her mother loved Craig, and Carly responded that her upcoming marriage wasn't about love. Carly tried to explain that sometimes, there were special circumstances.
Before Carly could explain further, a car honked its horn, and Sage announced that it was her cab. Sage said she had called a cab because she had assumed Carly wouldn't want her to leave, and Sage didn't want Jack to have to come and get her and potentially fight with Carly about it. Carly told Sage she was too young to ride in a cab by herself, that it wasn't safe; Sage asked if her mom thought it was safe for her to live there with Craig, and Carly said absolutely, or she wouldn't have agreed to marry Craig. Carly went to pay the cab driver and called Jack to discuss the situation more thoroughly with Sage.
Jack arrived, but he was prepared to take Sage home with him. Jack said he wasn't going to force Sage to stay at Carly's if Sage was uncomfortable with Craig. Carly asked if Jack had prompted Sage to mention Rosanna's accident, but Jack said he had not; he reminded Carly of how upset she had been when Rosanna had been hurt, and how Carly had blamed Craig. Carly told Jack that people could change, but Jack said they didn't change that much. Carly pointed out that Jack used to love her, and obviously, he had changed. Jack said he was done making concessions, and he went upstairs to help Sage finish packing.
Craig returned to Carly's with the marriage license. Carly told him it was a bad time. Craig assumed Carly was worried about Sage, so he told her he had spoken to Jack to try to smooth the waters. He was surprised when Jack came downstairs with Sage. Carly asked Sage if she was sure she wanted to leave, and Sage nodded. Sage told her mom she loved her, and then she left.
Carly told Craig that Sage had left home because she couldn't stand him. Carly said that she would not lose her daughter while trying to help Craig keep his son. Craig tried to convince Carly that Sage's rebellion had been directed by Jack, in an effort to control Carly. Carly insisted Jack would never manipulate his children that way, but Craig pointed out that all Jack would have to do was to sit there looking upset and wait for his loving child to ask what was wrong and what she could do to help. Carly said even if that were true, Jack had won, because if Carly had to make a choice between Sage and Craig, then Craig would lose. Craig told Carly that if she gave in, then Jack would win yet again.
When Carly asked what Craig's plan was, Craig said Carly should do nothing, and when she didn't overreact, Jack's plan would fall apart. He assured Carly that Sage would change her mind once she saw that her plan hadn't worked, and everything would be okay.
Jack took Sage to the diner and let her have ice cream for dinner. Sage asked her dad, "Do you think it worked?" Jack said only time would tell, but he thought they had Carly right where they wanted her.
At the Lakeview restaurant, Dusty tried to convince Meg that marrying him would solve both of their problems, by giving him a family unit to help him in his custody battle and by showing Paul that Meg and Eliza were part of someone else's family. Meg said she couldn't take part in such a scheme, but Dusty said it was no more of a scheme than when Meg and Paul conspired to keep Johnny away from him and Jennifer. Meg told Dusty how ashamed she was of that, but she didn't appreciate Dusty trying to guilt her into marrying him. Dusty said that wasn't what he was doing, and he begged her to help him and Johnny.
Dusty assured Meg he could support and protect her and Eliza if she would agree to marry him. Meg asked why Dusty didn't ask Josie to marry him, since she could tell they had feelings for one another. Dusty said he didn't trust Josie, and that Josie didn't understand how dangerous Paul and Craig could be. Dusty reminded Meg of what she'd lost because of Paul and Craig. He assured her that after the custody situation with Johnny was settled, they could have the marriage annulled. Meg agreed to at least think about Dusty's proposition.
Josie walked in and saw Meg hugging Dusty. After Meg left, Josie showed Dusty some toys she had bought for Johnny. Dusty warned Josie not to get too invested in her relationship with Johnny, and then he sat her down and explained to her about his proposal to Meg. Josie was hurt and wondered why Dusty had turned to Meg, when Josie and Dusty were trying to build a relationship together. Dusty said he had to put his son first.
Barbara went to Fairwinds to visit Paul, who told her about his visit with Meg and Eliza. After he told Barbara about Meg's reaction to his kiss, Paul asked her to go talk to Meg and apologize for him. Barbara told Paul he would have to be patient with Meg, and he replied that it would be easier to be patient if he had something to hope for.
Barbara went to the farm to talk to Meg. Barbara said Paul had told her about Meg's visit to Fairwinds with Eliza, and that Paul felt he and Meg had bonded over the baby. Meg said that although she still loved Paul, she couldn't be with him. She asked Barbara to try to get Paul to understand that their marriage was truly over. Barbara felt that instead, Meg should talk to Paul herself. When Meg was reluctant, Barbara asked if she was afraid that Paul would convince her to give their marriage another try. Meg said she was afraid, because she didn't believe Paul had recovered completely yet. She thought Paul had that look of wanting to do anything to keep Meg with him. Barbara explained to Meg that Paul had told her that he had pushed things with Meg earlier, and he was sorry. Barbara knew Meg was frightened, but when she asked what else Meg felt, Meg said she felt love for Paul. Barbara told her perhaps it was just a matter of time before Paul would earn Meg's trust back, and she asked Meg to think about that.
Josie went to Fairwinds and informed Paul of Dusty's proposal to Meg. Paul was taken aback, but he insisted Meg would never accept such a proposal, because he believed he and Meg were going to reconcile. Josie said Dusty seemed convinced that Meg would agree to marry him. Paul became irate and told Josie he was going to go tell Dusty to stay away from his wife. Josie reminded Paul that Meg was no longer his wife, and she said that if Paul got into a fight with Dusty, Meg might run into Dusty's arms. Paul said Meg loved him, and Josie told Paul to work with that and get it right, or he would lose Meg.
Barbara returned to Fairwinds and found Josie instead of Paul. Josie told Barbara that Paul had gone to see Meg, and she told Barbara about Dusty's proposal. When Paul arrived at the farm, Meg was surprised to see him, because Barbara had only just left. Paul said he had wanted to apologize in person for having misread things with Meg earlier. Meg said maybe Paul hadn't misread her signals, and Paul asked if Meg still had feelings for him. She admitted she did.
Paul wondered where they went from there, and he suggested that Meg move into Fairwinds but stay in her own wing of the house, with her own staff, so that they could share their love for Eliza. Meg said that sounded wonderful, but it would never work, because they were bound to have a weak moment, and then the complications would begin again. Paul appeared to accept that, but then he asked why Meg felt she could have that type of arrangement with Dusty. Meg was surprised that Paul knew about Dusty's suggestion. When she saw how upset Paul was becoming, she told him to leave. Paul wanted to see Eliza first, but Meg said no. Meg said she thought Paul had meant it when he talked about trying to be a family and being patient with her, but apparently, all he wanted was for her to not be with Dusty. Paul shouted that Meg didn't belong with Dusty, ; she belonged with him. Paul insisted that Meg loved him, and Meg agreed, but she said Paul was proving yet again why she couldn't be with him. Obviously rattled, Meg again told Paul to leave.
Paul returned to Fairwinds, where Barbara was waiting for him. He told his mother how badly things had gone at the farm, but he also said how close he'd come to getting things right. Paul was convinced more than ever that he would reconcile with Meg. Meanwhile, Meg went to the Lakeview and went up to Dusty's room. She walked in and told Dusty, "If you still want to do this, I'll marry you."