Marcus asked Steffy point-blank if there was another man in her life. Steffy said she was just not ready to make a commitment. Marcus said she didn't feel that way before Phoebe's death. Steffy said things had changed, but when pressed, would not answer Marcus' question about another man. Steffy said friendship was all she could handle for the moment. Marcus asked her if they could pursue a relationship again later after she had dealt with her grief from losing Phoebe. Steffy hedged the question and said she did not want to be unfair to Marcus. Marcus said he had better get going, and Steffy asked if he would be okay driving back to L.A.; he said he would. Marcus said he still loved her and kissed her on the forehead.
Rick and Stephanie demanded to know what Eric's choice was; they asked which one of them he wanted to leave the company. Eric assured Rick that he loved him, but Eric continued that he might have made a mistake when he named Rick president of Forrester. Eric said a company president has to inspire the other employees and forge a winning team, but instead, Rick and Stephanie were having a turf war in the office. Eric asked what the public would think if Rick fired one of the founders of the company.
Rick asked Eric if that meant Stephanie was in and he was out. Eric said he expected Rick to work with Ridge and Stephanie because he didn't want anyone's ego to be bigger than the bottom line. Stephanie said Eric obviously didn't give a damn about the bottom line or he would not take the company in the direction it was headed. Eric was furious that Stephanie gave an interview that demonized his son in front of the world to a magazine. Stephanie said Rick needed to pay the consequences for his actions. Brooke asked Stephanie if she thought Rick belonged in jail. Stephanie said no, but Rick didn't belong in the president's office either.
Eric made it clear that he wanted Stephanie and Rick to work together and peacefully coexist. Stephanie said she could not bear to stand around and watch the choices Eric was making with the company. Stephanie said Rick was a user, just like Brooke and Donna. Stephanie accused Eric of letting the Logan girls slip into their company and his pants and said Eric didn't even remember what the company stood for. She left the room in disgust.
Eric assured Rick that he would stand by him on the condition that Rick worked effectively with Ridge. Everyone left but Donna, and she applauded Eric for standing up to Stephanie and not allowing her to bully him. Donna said in the past, Stephanie would have gotten her way, but Eric had finally found the strength to stand his ground with Stephanie. Eric said he was busy and had a lot of work to do. Donna said he needed a break and began to undress and poured honey down her shoulder and asked Eric to lick it off.
Ridge gazed at a photo of Phoebe and got lost in thoughts of his late daughter; Phoebe's friend Madison stopped by his office and found him holding a piece of Phoebe's jewelry. She said she understood how he felt because she missed Phoebe, too. Madison wanted to inform Ridge that Rick and Stephanie had stormed into Eric's office. She told Ridge something was brewing and she thought he should be aware that there was trouble.
Before Ridge had a chance to respond, Stephanie made a beeline to Ridge's office and tried to drag him into the middle of her fight with Rick. Ridge said he didn't want to get involved. Stephanie tried to enlist Ridge in a scheme to get Rick removed from Forrester. Ridge said he didn't want to plot against Rick or deal with Rick in any way. Ridge said he did not even want to hear Rick's name. Ridge had been thinking about Phoebe for the last hour, he told his Mom. Stephanie asked what she could do to help. Ridge said she could help by not mentioning Rick's name to him again.
Brooke entered and said she hoped Stephanie had learned her lesson. Stephanie said she learned that Brooke's S.O.B. son had Eric wrapped around his finger. Ridge asked the two of them to take their squabble elsewhere, but they continued to yell accusations and insults at one another. After a few more rounds, Ridge blew up and said Phoebe was his daughter, not an issue in their battle. He opened the door and told them to take their bickering into the hallway.
Brooke apologized for getting sucked into another battle with his mom. Ridge said he had a hard time not hating Rick for all the things he had done that led to Phoebe's death as it was, and the constant reminders didn't help. Ridge said every time he thought about Rick, he wanted to lose it.
Steffy called Rick and said she needed to see him right away at Big Bear. She didn't get a return call, and packed up her things to leave. Just as she opened the door to leave, Rick arrived. Rick asked where Marcus was, and Steffy said he had left. She explained that Marcus had proposed to her. Steffy said he caught her off-guard. He had the ring and had been so sweet and respectful. She said he was a very classy guy. Rick said that was what Steffy deserved. Steffy asked if Rick wanted her to marry Marcus. Rick said Marcus was a good guy who loved her, but Rick hoped she would not marry Marcus. Rick said Steffy should not marry Marcus because Rick loved her. The two kissed and fell down in front of the fire in a passionate embrace.
At the cabin in Big Bear, Steffy and Rick made love. Steffy commented to Rick that she could not explain her feelings for him, but she was definitely in love with him. Rick responded that he felt the same way about Steffy. It was snowing heavily outside and they decided to stay at the resort together. Later that day, they went snowboarding together.
They had very long conversations about themselves and their new relationship. Steffy told Rick about the closeness she and Phoebe had shared. She told him of her and Phoebe's dreams of their wedding days. Rick disclosed that his dream had always been to emulate his father, Eric, and run a world-renowned fashion house. Rick commented that he doubted he would ever be allowed to run Forrester Creations because of the way his family felt about him.
Rick called Steffy his lifeline for having believed that he did not cause the auto accident which killed Phoebe. Rick and Steffy decided that they would continue their relationship regardless of their family's feelings about them being together. They decided they would keep their relationship a secret from both family and friends. Steffy also commented that she would rather keep their relationship a secret than risk a chance of losing it. Rick again agreed that they could never inform their families that they were in love and that they were together as a couple.
Nick and Katie began to plan their wedding. She told him that he was her prince charming and that she would never take their love for granted. Katie observed that Nick had become stressed about something. He told her she was right and something had happened, but he did not tell her what it was. When he left the room to make a phone call, she glanced at his computer and discovered why Nick was upset. Katie seemed surprised by what she had discovered. When Nick returned, she made no mention of what she had learned.
At Forrester Creations, Bridget noticed that Marcus did not appear to be himself. She questioned why he had arrived back from the Big Bear ski area so soon. Marcus explained that Steffy, whom he had proposed to, had turned him down and broken off their relationship. Bridget offered him the explanation that Steffy had been through a lot with the death of her sister, Phoebe, and perhaps that was the reason she did not want to get married. Marcus explained that he believed that Steffy was involved with another man. He believed it to be true because Steffy did not deny it when he asked her about it. Marcus told Bridget that Steffy had remained at the Big Bear ski area alone in order to clear her head.
Later, Bridget attempted to contact Rick on his cell phone. When she did not receive an answer, she became suspicious that Rick was at Big Bear with Steffy. Bridget drove to Big Bear. When she arrived at the cabin, she looked through the window and saw Rick and Steffy together. She opened the door and surprised Rick and Steffy. Bridget shouted at them that they could never be together.
Bridget was furious to find Rick and Steffy in a compromising situation in Big Bear. Bridget shouted at Rick and asked him why he had not listened to any of her warnings. Bridget asked them what would have happened if it had been Ridge or Stephanie who had walked in on them. Rick said that wouldn't happen. Bridget said the two of them had to stop meeting.
Rick and Steffy informed Bridget that it was more complicated than she imagined; they had fallen in love. Bridget said, "Then fall out of it." Bridget advised Rick that he could fall in love with anyone in the whole world except for Steffy. Steffy begged Bridget not to tell anyone. Bridget said she would not, but people would find out if they continued to see one another. Bridget said nothing good could ever come of Rick and Steffy's relationship. Bridget asked them if they heard what she was saying. They said they did. But as soon as she left the cabin, Rick said he refused to stay away from Steffy.
Jackie ran into Robin McGraw and the two interacted as though they were old friends. However, their encounter was just a shameless book plug for Robin McGraw's new book.
After Robin left, Jackie ran into Stephanie at the bar and the two "frenemies" sat down together for a martini. Jackie said her excuse for drinking was that her company was in the tank. Stephanie said her excuse was Eric Forrester. The two ladies discussed their ups and downs with Eric. Stephanie noted that after all their bickering, they had both lost him to a blonde Barbie doll. Jackie confided to Stephanie that she had actually been rooting for Stephanie to win the battle with Donna. Stephanie thanked her and looked surprised.
Stephanie said she didn't feel like she knew Eric anymore. In all the years they had been together, Stephanie said, she had never been more frustrated with Eric. Stephanie said Eric was using poor judgment by backing Rick and the Logans over Stephanie and her children. Jackie said it sounded like Eric needed to be taught a lesson. Stephanie's ears perked up at Jackie's words.
Katie mentioned to Nick that the huge wedding they planned was very extravagant. Katie said she thought perhaps they should scrap all of that and elope. Nick asked her where that was coming from. Katie said she had just been thinking. She also mentioned how large their house was and wondered if they should look at a smaller, cozier place. Nick asked Katie if she looked at his computer. She admitted that she did. Katie said she didn't realize that they were in such bad trouble financially. Nick said it was even worse than she knew. Their loan was in default and Nick didn't know how much longer he would be able to hold off the banks.
Katie comforted Nick and told him it was not his fault. She said no one could have predicted how badly the economy would turn. Nick said if he were any kind of businessman, he would have seen the signals and gotten out of the market before it was too late. Nick said he had bought a lot of little boutiques to humor his mother, and he feared they were going to lose everything.
A man came from the bank and said Nick was about to lose Jackie M. The banker said his loan had been extended more than once. He gave Nick 24 hours to come up with the money he owed. Nick asked Katie to take Jack to Brooke's house. She protested and wanted to stay with Nick. He shouted at her and said he wanted her to go.
Katie dropped Jack off and went back home. Nick was smoking and drinking when she arrived. She boldly said she would not leave. Nick said when he was drinking heavily he would rather be alone. Nick said if she wanted to stay, she had better put her life jacket on because their ship was sinking. She tried to console him and he told her to stop being so nice. Nick said he didn't like nice people.
Katie reminded Nick that she had spent most of her life without money and material goods. She assured him that she loved him because of who he was, not because of his money. Katie promised Nick she would stand by him even if they lost everything.
Eric gathered everyone in his office to show off a new design, but the warring Forresters and Logans weren't too friendly. Eric tried to rise above some sniping, but it continued until Rick tried to make peace. The topic of keeping the designs under wrap came up because the designs needed to be secret. Rick said everyone in the room but Katie should have access, because she was involved with the press. Eric didn't want any previews for the press. Katie was miffed because Felicia made a snide comment that Katie was too close to the competition, meaning Nick. Katie insisted that she and Nick kept their professional lives separate from their personal lives.
After everyone left, Felicia returned to whine to her daddy that he hadn't spent much time with her, but instead spent time with everyone else. She chastised her dad for siding with Rick against Stephanie, but Eric said that wasn't the case. Eric tried to convince Felicia that they all had to pull together. She didn't buy it.
Later, Thorne took a turn complaining to Eric. He laid into his dad for overlooking him his entire life and railed that Ridge and Rick got all Eric's favors and titles in the company. Thorne complained that he was the only real son of Stephanie and Eric, and he was still in the basement of Forrester while everyone else had an office near Eric. Eric told Thorne he was invaluable to the company, but Thorne said he felt unnoticed. He was furious with Eric and told him he put his faith in all the wrong people. Eric begged him to help hold the company and the family together, but Thorne said he felt like he didn't have a father at all.
Brooke found Stephanie at the rooftop lounge, and asked her to try to put her feelings aside so that the family could work together. Stephanie said her family didn't want to work side-by-side with the Logans because they hadn't built the company the way she and Eric had. Stephanie told Brooke that Ridge would eventually find it too difficult to work with Rick. Brooke argued that Ridge was fine working with Rick. Stephanie disagreed and told her that Ridge would hit a breaking point.
Steffy snuck into Rick's office and they made out until Felicia knocked on the door. Rick had asked Felicia to pick up some fabric from the ocean docks, but Felicia balked that it wasn't her job. Steffy piped up and said she would take care of it. Felicia huffed that Rick had called her to his office for no good reason. She left, and Rick and Steffy decided to drive to the docks together in order to pick up the fabric.
At Jackie M, Nick explained to Jackie that they were in danger of losing everything because the bank had called in the loan and he had used everything as collateral, including her boutiques. Jackie noted that someone had sent Nick an email attachment earlier with an Eric Forrester design. Jackie suggested they alter the design and pass it off as their own. Nick disagreed, but Jackie pressed on that someone at Forrester wanted him to have the design. Another design came in as they were talking. Nick worried it was Katie, and he told Jackie that Katie could be arrested if she sent the designs. Jackie wanted to use them, but Nick wanted to delete them.
At Forrester, Katie delivered a design to Eric's office - the same one that Nick had received. Eric walked in and Katie said she was returning her copy. Eric said it wasn't necessary, as he never doubted her loyalty. Katie praised Eric's work as the best in the industry. In another office, Thorne was studying the other design sent to Nick earlier.
Ridge talked to Felicia, who complained about Rick. Ridge wondered where Steffy went and Felicia told him that Rick and Steffy were driving to the docks to pick up fabric. Ridge had an awful flashback where Rick told him that Phoebe had been in a horrible accident. He freaked out and raced out of the building to the parking lot where Rick and Steffy were driving off in Rick's convertible. Ridge ran into the path of the car yelling for Steffy as Rick slammed on the brakes and Steffy screamed. On the rooftop, Stephanie and Brooke watched in fear.
Nick received more stolen designs in his email He assumed Katie was the one who had sent them to try to help his company through the financial woes they had experienced. But when he questioned Katie, Nick could tell Katie had no clue what he was talking about.
Nick informed Jackie that Katie was not the person sending the designs. Jackie was pleased, because that meant if they used the designs, her future daughter-in-law would not be implicated. Nick said he had no intentions of using the designs, because going broke was better than going to jail. Nick believed the anonymous emails were a trap.
Jackie decided to play Veronica Mars, girl detective, and gather evidence to discover who sent Forrester designs to their competitor, Jackie M. Her suspect list included Owen, Felicia, Donna, Stephanie, Thorne, Rick, Steffy, Ridge, and Brooke, and Jackie's soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Katie. Jackie did her homework and knew exactly what each player had to gain by leaking the secret designs to Jackie M before the upcoming Forrester fashion show. As she listed the reasons each suspect had to betray Eric, we saw a pair of gloved hands at a keyboard e-mailing more designs to Nick.
Eric met with Katie and mentioned that he had read about Jackie M's company and their financial woes. Eric didn't think the company could make it much longer. Katie said that Nick was a fighter and Eric shouldn't count him out. When Eric mentioned that Katie was Nick's fiancée, Katie asked him where he was going with that line of conversation. Eric said their upcoming fashion show was of great importance. He reminded Katie that confidentiality was paramount. Katie said she understood, and of course all the Forrester secrets would be safe with her. Eric said if that was the case, he didn't need to say anything more.
Ridge had a panic attack when he discovered Steffy was riding in Rick's car. He ran in front of the car and nearly got hit in an attempt to get Steffy out of Rick's vehicle. Ridge momentarily lost his bearing and started screaming for Steffy to get out of the car, but he called her Phoebe. Rick wasn't paying attention and nearly hit Ridge, but stopped in the nick of time.
Brooke and Stephanie ran downstairs and asked Ridge why he was so upset. He explained that when he heard Steffy intended to ride to Long Beach in Rick's car, he had a flashback about the accident. Ridge said he couldn't take the chance of allowing Steffy to ride with Rick. Ridge apologized for overreacting. Stephanie said it was understandable and asked Steffy to help her Dad upstairs. Rick appeared to be very upset about Ridge's outburst.
Rick told Brooke he was only trying to give Steffy a ride. Brooke said considering the circumstances, Rick should understand why Ridge would not want Steffy in anyone's car, especially Rick's. Brooke said it was going to take a long time for Ridge to heal from losing his daughter, Phoebe, in a car crash.
Steffy tried to reassure Ridge that she was fine and that he did not have to worry about her. Ridge said he could not bear to lose his sweet girl, Steffy. Stephanie chimed in that nothing would happen to Steffy if she kept her distance from Rick. Stephanie said Steffy knew Rick was trouble and she should keep her distance from him. Ridge said the thought of something happening to Steffy was too much for him to bear, and implored Steffy to stay away from Rick completely.
Stephanie went to Rick's office and said she was warning him one more time to stay away from Steffy. Rick pointed out that Stephanie warned him about things all the time, but nothing ever happened to him. Rick said he was still running the company and all Stephanie's previous threats had been empty. Stephanie said if Rick did not heed her warnings to stay away from Steffy, losing his office at Forrester would be the least of his worries.
Brooke said she had spoken to Rick and he was sorry he upset Ridge. Brooke explained that Rick was merely trying to help Steffy by giving her a ride. Ridge said he didn't want to hear any excuses; he just wanted Rick to stay away from his daughter. Brooke said Rick understood. Ridge said he did not ever want to see Rick with Steffy again. If he did, he said he would... he trailed off and never completed the threat.
Steffy went to Rick's office and told him they had to break it off. She said she had never seen Ridge like that before, and she did not want to be responsible for the fear she saw in Ridge's eyes. Steffy could not see Rick anymore. Rick said if the two of them breaking up would bring Phoebe back, he would end their relationship in a heartbeat, but it wouldn't bring her back. Rick said he was sorry for Ridge's pain. Rick explained that denying what he and Steffy felt for one another wouldn't take Ridge's pain away. The two kissed.
Thorne continued to complain about his position in the company. He explained that he had always taken a back seat to Ridge, but was finding himself in the back seat to Rick and the Logans as well. He returned the master copies of Eric's new designs and assured Eric he had scanned them and given copies to all the employees that needed them.
Eric said he needed everyone to be on the same team. Thorne asked if he was the water boy for their team. Eric said Thorne was being unreasonable.
Thorne said Donna was working with Eric, while Thorne, Stephanie, and Felicia were on the outside. Thorne pointed out the team that was running things was not the same team that had built Forrester's reputation. Eric said Forrester would be fine. Thorne said they'd see about that.
Thorne went back to his office and grumbled aloud to himself that he should have been born a Logan.