At Katie's house, Katie found it hard to believe Taylor's revelation about Brooke and Bill. Taylor, however, was adamant that she'd overheard the two agreeing to keep the kiss a secret from Katie. Taylor asserted that Brooke could become dangerous once she took an interest in a man, and it wouldn't end with just one kiss.
Recalling Taylor's volatile relationship with Brooke, Katie figured that it was actually about their rivalry and not Katie's marriage. Katie thought it was beneath Taylor to broach the matter with Katie. Taylor contended that her history with Brooke made it possible for her to see Brooke more clearly than Katie. Taylor claimed she was just giving Katie a heads-up about potential danger down the road.
Katie wasn't convinced, but Taylor contended that she'd seen the connection building for a while. She reminded Katie that Bill and Brooke had been suffering losses at the time, and Katie had tried to push them together. Taylor stated that Bill had been there for Brooke at the party and when Stephanie had died. Taylor wondered if Katie had seen it when she'd confessed about the balloon ride. Katie asked what she had been supposed to see. "Something!" Taylor stammered with a scoff.
Katie thought Taylor was being too ambiguous. Taylor replied that she'd confronted Brooke about the connection, and Brooke had slapped her. "Well, I don't blame her. What you're suggesting is disgusting," Katie responded. Taylor implored Katie to remember Brooke's history and asked why Katie thought she'd be any different than Bridget.
Katie declared that she'd heard enough. Taylor apologized but said she hated the idea of Katie's family being destroyed like Taylor's had been. Katie seemed turned off by the whole matter, so Taylor suggested that Katie confront Brooke and get the truth herself.
In Bill's office, Brooke arrived because she'd been troubled by her and Bill's earlier conversation about Taylor. Bill explained that Taylor's attitude had seemed to indicate that she was questioning his feelings for his wife. Brooke was certain that Taylor was acting that way because she still hadn't gotten over losing Ridge, but Brooke refused to allow Taylor to use her influence to upset Katie.
Brooke said she couldn't stand it if something got between her and her sister. Bill reasoned that Taylor could stick her nose in all she wanted, but she didn't have any proof of anything. Brooke replied that Taylor knew that Brooke and Bill had gotten closer. Bill relayed that he might not have made it through that dark time without Brooke and her "baby skills."
Brooke recalled that Bill and Will had been there for her when she'd returned from the "honeymoon from hell," and Bill asserted that anyone who'd give Brooke up over a few text messages didn't deserve her in the first place. Brooke was impressed with Bill's protectiveness of her. He declared that anyone who tried to hurt her had to go through him, and it wouldn't be pretty. She recalled the peace she'd found with him in Aspen. Bill smiled and took Brooke's hand. She smiled, too.
Brooke asked if Bill had told anyone about the kiss, and Bill said it had been an intense moment between only them. The kiss had been profound for her, and it had taught her that there could be life after Ridge. She knew that it wouldn't be with Bill, but she had hope for a new chapter in her life. Bill and Brooke agreed not to forget the kiss, but they'd put it behind him. "Subject closed," Bill concluded.
Brooke received a call from Katie, who asked to see Brooke right away. As Brooke left, she told Bill that it sounded serious. Bill said to let him know if anything significant were happening. Once she'd gone, Bill looked troubled. He stared at his wedding day photo and flashed back to marrying Katie.
Back at Katie's house, Katie told Taylor that Brooke was on the way there, and everything would be straightened out. Katie was sure that Taylor meant well, but Katie was equally sure that Taylor had misinterpreted things. Taylor left, and Katie anxiously glanced at her wedding picture. She paced over to the baby monitor, and the doorbell rang.
Katie opened the door for Brooke, who was anxious about why she'd been summoned. Katie recalled how Brooke had been there for Katie and Donna while growing up, and Brooke had been there for Will and Bill. Brooke didn't think they needed to revisit how she'd stepped in to help Bill and Will. All that mattered to Brooke was that Katie was back with her family and recovering.
Katie insisted that she needed to talk about it. She recalled sending Bill and Brooke on a romantic excursion in a hot air balloon. Katie said she hadn't been thinking clearly, but she'd felt that if she couldn't be there, she'd wanted her "guys" to have Brooke. Katie acknowledged that Brooke had given the guys what Katie hadn't been able to, and Bill had been there for Brooke during her loses, too.
Brooke wondered where Katie was headed with the talk, and Katie said she'd spoken with Taylor. Brooke mirthlessly chuckled, assuming that Taylor might have said something to upset Katie. Katie replied that Taylor had become concerned after watching Bill and Brooke, and Katie wondered if there was a valid reason to be concerned.
Brooke dismissed the idea, but Katie recalled that Brooke had admitted that Brooke and Bill had gotten closer in Katie's absence. Brooke said she had a new admiration and respect for Bill, but she'd already told Katie that. After more awkward questioning, Katie decided to get to the point, which was that Taylor had said something disturbing to Katie. "Did you and Bill kiss?" Katie asked.
With one look at her sister's reaction, Katie figured out that it was true. Brooke started to explain, but Katie interrupted to ask another question. Katie told Brooke not to lie about the answer. Tears streamed down Katie's face as she asked if Brooke had feelings for Katie's husband.
Back in Bill's office, Taylor arrived to talk to Bill about Katie. Bill stated that he was grateful for the help Taylor had given his wife. Sure that he didn't want to derail that progress, Taylor told him that it wouldn't be that difficult for him to stop seeing Brooke. Bill was uninterested in cat and mouse games, and he told Taylor to spell out what she thought. "What I know," she responded. He said to spill it, and she stated that he'd betrayed Katie by kissing her sister.
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In Bill's office at Spencer, Taylor admitted that she knew all about the kiss he had shared with Brooke, and she had already told Katie. Taylor admitted that she had overheard Bill and Brooke. Bill angrily stated that he and Brooke had shared a meaningless kiss. Bill said that Brooke and Bill had been there for each other when they both had needed someone -- especially for Will. Bill reminded Taylor that Katie had abandoned them for weeks.
Bill was furious that Taylor had allowed her personal history with Brooke to interfere with her professional duties. Bill angrily reminded Taylor that he loved his wife. He had thought Katie had left him, and he had been in shock. He said Taylor had been unprofessional when she had shared with Katie a conversation Taylor had overheard.
Bill worried that Taylor's poor decision could return Katie to a depressed state. Bill said Taylor should have confronted him, not Katie. They could have discussed it and determined what to do next. He left.
At Forrester, Caroline sat in the CEO's office, and Steffy entered. Steffy snarked that it was not Rick's office, and Steffy warned that Caroline shouldn't treat it like Rick's office. Steffy told Caroline to defect from the losing team and join Steffy's team. Rick entered and suggested that Steffy should jump ship. Steffy reminded Caroline that Caroline had had been dating Thomas recently and then jumped to Rick.
Caroline countered that Steffy had been living with Steffy's cousin. Caroline warned that Steffy shouldn't alienate a Spencer. Steffy said her relationship with Liam was stronger than ever. Steffy took a call from Liam, but she lost his call. Caroline teased that Steffy's connection wasn't that strong after all.
Steffy snarked that Rick and Caroline's visit to Spencer on Hope's behalf had failed. Caroline said it was temporary. Steffy insisted that she would take good care of Liam. Steffy took a call from Liam and told Liam that Caroline had been threatening her.
Rick and Caroline left and discussed that Hope and Steffy had a history of a rivalry. Rick said that Caroline's spunk and fire turned him on. Caroline and Rick discussed that everyone had a connection to the Spencers, including Brooke. Caroline and Rick were happy that Taylor had helped Katie out of her depression.
Taylor entered Steffy's office and appeared concerned about a patient. Steffy guessed it was all about Bill and Brooke. Taylor tried to hide it but then admitted it. Steffy said that Katie hadn't been thinking when she left Bill alone with a newborn baby. Steffy said that everyone had been grateful that Brooke had been available to take care of Will. Steffy recalled that Brooke and Bill had bonded in Aspen when they had taken care of Will and searched for Katie.
Steffy added that Brooke had taken excellent care of Will and supported Bill when they needed it. Taylor was shocked that Steffy had defended Brooke. Steffy said that Katie had tried to manipulate Bill and Brooke and had no one to blame but herself. Steffy said no one could blame Brooke. Taylor was in disbelief.
At Katie's, Katie tearfully asked Brooke if Brooke had feelings for Bill. Brooke said they had never meant to hurt or betray Katie. Brooke suggested that Katie could be angry with Brooke. However, Brooke insisted that Katie shouldn't let anything interfere with Katie's marriage. Bill arrived and begged Katie to understand that Brooke and Bill's closeness had resulted from Katie's abandonment of Bill and Will for weeks.
Bill said that he had spoken to Taylor. He said that Taylor had been wrong to share with Katie that Bill and Brooke had become close. Bill said that he would not allow Katie to believe that anyone had crossed the line. Bill reminded Katie that she had told Bill she wanted a divorce. Bill said that he had been crushed. At the same time, Stephanie had died, and Brooke had been in an emotional state without Ridge.
Brooke said that what mattered was Katie's family and how far Katie had progressed in healing. Katie agreed. She admitted that she had pushed Bill and Brooke together when she was depressed and planning for her own death. She had wanted them to be there for each other to help each other through an emotional time. They had done what she had wanted.
Katie regretted it, but she wondered if Bill and Brooke wanted to pursue a relationship. Katie insisted on honesty. Bill and Brooke reminded Katie how thrilled they had been after she had returned. Katie said she understood. Katie tearfully embraced Brooke and then Bill. Katie suggested they never discuss it again. Bill had a pained look on his face.
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At Forrester, Taylor and Steffy argued about Brooke's kiss with Bill. Steffy said that Katie had lured them to Aspen and left her wedding ring. Steffy remembered that Bill had been devastated. Steffy said that they were fortunate that Brooke had been there to take care of Will and defend Katie to Bill. Steffy surprised herself by defending Brooke. Brooke entered and interrupted.
Brooke accused Taylor of tattling to Katie -- not to help Katie but to hurt Brooke. Taylor tried to defend herself. Taylor argued that Katie needed to know about the kiss. Brooke said that Taylor could have sent Katie back into a depression with that news. Taylor said that it was written all over Brooke's face that she cared for Bill. Brooke reminded Taylor that Katie, not Brooke, had orchestrated everything.
Brooke insisted that she would never have crossed the line with Bill, and Taylor's suspicions and accusations were off-base. Brooke shared that she, Katie, and Bill had discussed everything. Katie understood that Brooke had no designs on her sister's husband.
Taylor admitted that Katie had pushed Bill and Brooke together when she had been depressed. Brooke told Taylor the entire story of how Brooke had felt lost after Stephanie's death, and Bill had comforted her. Brooke reiterated that she and Bill were not romantically involved, and she left. Taylor looked pensive.
At home, Katie and Bill discussed that Taylor had had no right to tell Katie what had happened between Bill and Brooke. Bill said that Taylor's poor decision could have returned Katie to a depressed state. Bill said Taylor should have confronted him, not Katie.
Katie defended Taylor and said that it was no big deal because it had only been a kiss. Bill and Katie cuddled on the couch, and Katie asked about Liam. She wondered why Bill had sent him on a trip so close to the holidays. Bill said that it was important.
Katie wondered why Steffy hadn't accompanied Liam. Bill said that it was because Liam was in meetings all day, and Steffy had her own business problems at Forrester. Katie said it sounded like a dogfight at Forrester. Katie went upstairs to check on Will.
Steffy showed up. Bill told Steffy that Taylor was a quack. He said that Taylor had been wrong to share with Katie that Bill and Brooke had become close. Steffy teased that Bill and Brooke had become more than close. Bill grew angry, but Steffy said that she knew how devastated Bill had been.
Steffy turned the conversation to how much she missed Liam. Bill asked how things were going at Forrester. Steffy said a lot was on the line. She knew that whoever won the contest would become Eric's protégé. Steffy added that it was difficult that she and Hope were working in the same building.
Steffy said she felt sorry for Hope, but Steffy added that Liam would never belong to Hope. Steffy shared that it was the first time Steffy had felt confident that nothing would ever get between her and Liam. Steffy left. Bill flashed back to his discussion with Rick and Caroline that Hope needed to know the truth about what everyone had done to keep Liam and Hope apart.
At Brooke's house, Caroline and Rick worked on designs, and Hope sat silently on the couch. Caroline and Rick asked what Hope thought of the designs. Hope said some looked like they were designs for going to a club, and she dismally said she would never be going to clubs again. She needed a break, and she went upstairs.
Rick guiltily said that Liam hadn't broken Hope's heart, but Rick had. Rick said that they needed to pull Hope out of her depression. Caroline agreed that she would tell Liam everything when he returned to town. Brooke entered, and Rick hugged her. Brooke asked about Hope, and Caroline said that Hope was depressed about Liam. Rick said that Hope needed help.
Brooke warned that if they told Hope about Rick's lies and Bill's interference in Hope and Liam's relationship, it might not make any difference because Liam and Steffy were very happy together. Brooke worried that Hope could despise Rick for what he had done.
Caroline insisted that Rick had to tell Hope the truth. Brooke understood that Caroline meant well, but Brooke worried that it was all too late and would only make Hope feel worse. Rick realized that Liam would always be a part of Hope. Rick added that Steffy and Liam were crazy about each other, but Rick planned to tell Hope the truth immediately. Brooked looked distant.
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At Bill's house, Bill clicked off his phone after a failed attempt to reach Caroline. Katie entered, surprised to see that Bill wasn't at work. He joked that he was giving his people a break from "Mr. Scrooge." He threw back a drink and promptly poured himself another. Katie seemed alarmed by how much he was drinking, so he left his second glass untouched.
Katie thought about taking Caroline up on her offer to babysit while Katie and Bill went out to dinner. Bill tried to deter Katie by saying Caroline was busy with the Forrester competition. Katie, however, thought it would mean a lot to Caroline to spend time with Will. Bill stated that he'd begun to question Caroline's priorities and family connection. "Oh, no. What did you do?" Katie wondered.
Katie assumed Bill had somehow hurt Caroline's feelings. Bill asserted that Logans hurt each other's feelings, but Spencers butted heads. He decided to book a nurse to babysit Will, but Katie insisted that Caroline deserved a chance. Bill snapped that Caroline had to earn her chance with him, and she had to show him what being a Spencer meant to her.
Katie went to check on Will, and Bill tried to call Caroline again, to no avail. He gazed at a picture of himself and Liam, and then he flashed back to his argument with Caroline about telling Liam the truth.
Katie returned and gingerly pressed Bill to reveal what his issue was with Caroline. Bill didn't want to talk about it, but he finally admitted that he was ticked off because Caroline didn't know how to let up on the idea that Hope and Liam still had a chance. Katie reasoned that Caroline felt bad for Hope, as many people did. Bill stated that Caroline needed to stop giving Hope ideas.
Bill suggested that Katie talk to his niece about her priorities. Katie agreed to do it, but in return, she asked that Bill relax. She stated that Caroline didn't need to take a blood oath to the family, and the world wouldn't fall apart if Bill weren't holding it up. Katie advised him to stop trying to control everything, because Caroline would make her own choices. Katie was sure that Caroline wouldn't say or do anything that could harm the family.
In her room, Hope looked at pictures of herself and Liam on her tablet. She tossed the tablet aside but wound up flashing back to the wedding in Italy.
In Brooke's living room, Rick was adamant about telling Hope the truth. Brooke stated that Liam and Steffy had gotten together, and the truth might not change that. Rick still thought Hope had a right to know that he'd lied. Brooke offered to help him break it to Hope; however, Rick decided that he'd been the one to tell the lie, so he'd talk to Hope himself.
Brooke said telling the truth didn't always work out as one intended. She felt she had some explaining to do, too, because she'd also kept things from Hope. Rick insisted upon going it alone. He added that he wouldn't reveal Bill's hand in things because Rick didn't want to cause trouble for Caroline. Brooke was relieved because it didn't need to affect Bill and Liam's relationship.
Rick asked Caroline to be there for Hope if Hope needed support after learning what he'd done. Brooke reminded him that he'd been trying to protect his sister, but Rick didn't want to make excuses for himself. Caroline figured that the forgiving Hope would eventually understand.
As Rick was about to head up to Hope's room, Hope arrived downstairs. She guessed they'd been talking about her, and she apologized for not being excited about the collection. She promised to do better because they all needed to be at the top of their game to win the competition. Hope was about to retrieve notes with some ideas she'd been working on, but Rick asked for some time alone with Hope. Caroline and Brooke headed upstairs.
In Hope's room, Caroline got a call. When she saw that it was Bill calling, she decided not to answer. Brooke asked if they should warn Bill. Caroline replied that he'd flip out if he even knew that she was speaking to Hope, because he thought it was better that Hope didn't know the truth.
Caroline and Brooke discussed how the truth would affect Hope. While Caroline was sure that Hope would be upset for a time, Brooke held out little hope that her daughter could overcome another betrayal. Brooke recalled that Hope had really been close to Rick, but the truth might cause her to be unable to rely on him.
Brooke and Caroline wondered if the revelation would give Liam and Hope another chance. Caroline stated that Liam hadn't stopped loving Hope. Caroline felt that he was only with Steffy because Hope had let him go. They wondered if Hope changing her mind would cause Liam to change his.
Downstairs, Hope told Rick that she didn't want people to feel sorry for her. She thought that the competition would help her to focus on something besides Liam. Rick figured that if it were that easy, then Hope would already be over Liam.
Hope stated that she knew it was over, and Liam was with Steffy. Letting go had been harder than Hope had expected. She still had a lot of questions about how it had ended, and she couldn't understand how she'd been so wrong about Liam.
Hope admitted that she'd beaten herself up for the breakup, but she figured that there had to be a moral standard in a relationship. "Liam just can't live up to that," Hope stated. She promised that she'd get herself together, but Rick said she was struggling because she missed Liam.
Rick asked if Hope remembered what he'd said about Liam and Steffy's night at the club. Hope replied that she knew all she needed to about that night. Rick disagreed and asked if she remembered asking Othello if Steffy and Liam had done something that night. Hope replied that Othello had said that they had. "No, I said they did," Rick corrected.
Hope recalled Rick and Othello's revelation to her. She wondered how Liam could have done it and how she could have been so wrong about him. She declared that she didn't want to be with a man who'd make out with his ex-wife the night before the wedding.
Hope insisted that incident had been the breaking point, but Rick blurted out that it hadn't happened. He tearfully stated that he'd lied, and Liam had never made out with Steffy. Rick revealed that he'd made it up, and Liam had never betrayed Hope.
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At Bill's house, Steffy entered, looking for Bill and Katie. They weren't there, so she called Bill to ask why he'd invited her there if he wasn't home. Bill asked her to go into the living room and look behind her. When she did, Liam appeared. She squealed, clicked off the line, and ran into Liam's arms.
After wrapping up his business trip ahead of schedule, Liam had decided to surprise Steffy by returning home a day early. The two made out on the couch and discussed their holiday plans. Feeling that things were different with Stephanie and Ridge gone, Steffy said she wanted to spend most of Christmas day at home alone with Liam. "While I unwrap my presents," Liam added, and they kissed.
Steffy received a text message from Thomas and grumbled about having to go back to work. She and Liam made plans to eat dinner out that night, and he said she could poke him if he fell asleep during the meal. Steffy decided she'd rather do the poking at the house. She poked Liam and shoved him onto the couch, where she tickled and kissed him.
In Hope's room with Caroline, Brooke was worried that Hope would be upset with Rick. Brooke claimed that she liked Liam, but he and Hope had a lot to work through before getting back together. Caroline and Brooke speculated about how things could go, and Brooke stated that it could be the end for Steffy and Liam. Brooke didn't want Steffy to get hurt, and Caroline said that if it were to happen, then it was better for it to be before Liam and Steffy got more serious.
Brooke thanked Caroline for her good influence on Rick. Caroline joked that it was why Brooke had invited her to Los Angeles, and Brooke admitted that she'd had hopes for the pairing. Brooke asked Caroline to help smooth things out with Rick and Hope, but Caroline expressed confidence that Hope would understand that Rick had lied to protect her.
Downstairs, Hope was shocked and devastated to hear that Liam and Steffy hadn't crossed any lines the night before the last wedding had been scheduled to occur. Hope exclaimed that Liam hadn't betrayed her; Rick had. Rick said he'd been protecting her by stopping her from walking down that path of forgiveness again with Liam after what he'd done before the wedding. Hope figured that, instead, Rick had chosen to make up something that she wouldn't forgive Liam for.
Hope realized then that Liam didn't even know anything about it. She figured he probably thought she was a freak for not accepting that he'd been telling the truth the whole time. Hope asserted that she was an adult who could make her own choices, and while Rick could disagree with her, he shouldn't lie to her.
Hope exclaimed that the idea that Liam had disrespected her on the dance floor had been the main thing that had kept her from going back to Liam. She said she'd be married to Liam if it hadn't been for Rick. Hope wanted to know if Steffy had been in on the lie, but Rick replied that Steffy didn't know anything. Hope stated that Steffy had been lied to, as well, because Steffy thought she and Liam were together for good. "Like hell they are," Hope declared.
Hope flashed back to her conversation with Liam when he'd been clueless about what Hope had been trying to get him to admit had happened the night before the wedding. She snapped out of it when Brooke and Caroline arrived downstairs to see if she was okay. Hope guessed that the two knew about the lie, and Rick said Caroline had convinced him to tell the truth.
Brooke said she hadn't known what to do when she'd found out about the lie because things had been so complicated, and she'd been worried that Hope and Liam had been too young. Hope wished her mother had told her and let her make her own choices. Hope wondered how she and Liam could make choices without knowing the whole truth.
Hope decided that even if Liam chose to stay with Steffy, he still needed to know that Hope's decision to leave him had been based upon a lie. Hope grabbed her phone and called Liam, who was still at Bill's house. She asked him to wait for her there because she had to talk to him urgently.
Hope left, and Caroline wondered if it had felt good for Rick to tell the truth. Rick replied that it hadn't felt good, but it had felt right. He was glad that she'd convinced him to be honest. Brooke figured that Hope was with Liam at that moment, and Rick said it was important that everyone knew the truth no matter the results. Though Brooke didn't know how Liam would react to the news, Brooke hoped he and Hope would have the reunion they deserved.
Outside by Bill's pool, Liam awaited Hope. He flashed back to their time together in Italy, and a montage of memories flickered across the screen, accompanied by the song "Perfect" by Laura Jansen.
Liam roamed around the grounds, and when Hope arrived, she didn't readily find him. She trotted around the estate and finally spotted him on a terrace. She rushed to him, and he wondered what was going on. Hope exclaimed that she never should have doubted him. Liam gasped quizzically, and Hope kissed him.
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