Ashley met Abby at Top of the Tower, and Abby confided that she thought her marriage was over. Abby regretted that she'd lied about knowing that she'd fallen in love with Stitch at the same moment he'd known she was the one for him. Ashley pointed out that the couple had at least spoken about it, but Abby whined that she'd barely seen him, since he'd been taking extra shifts to avoid talking about it. Ashley reasoned that not everyone experienced love the same way, and it didn't mean that Abby hadn't fallen in love -- unless she really hadn't.
Abby recalled that she'd said "I love you" a thousand times, but she'd realized that she didn't know what those words meant. Abby thought she'd been pretending every time she'd said them, and she considered herself an awful person. Ashley insisted that Abby wasn't awful, but the situation was. Abby bemoaned that she'd felt sick when she'd hurt Stitch's feelings, and she didn't know how to handle breaking his heart.
At the hospital, Stitch reported that Nick showed no side effects, and he stepped out to process the release paperwork. Mariah pushed Nick to admit that he'd been hoping for another night or two without any screaming kids keeping him awake, but he couldn't wait to get back to Sharon's place. Mariah jokingly suggested that Nick ditch his street clothes because the hospital gown was working for him. Nick didn't think Faith would let him pick her up from school, dressed like that, and Sully would object to being seen with him in the park.
Mariah observed that Nick had really bonded with Sully, and he remarked that Christian and Sully had been born close together. He added that the day that would have been Christian's first birthday had just passed, so he'd been thinking a lot about what his son would have looked like or whether the boy would have been walking by then. He admitted that being near Sully had been more comforting than he'd imagined. Stitch returned with the paperwork, and Nick looked forward to going back to the cottage.
Over video chat, Dylan informed Sharon that his testimony kept being rescheduled, but he wished he was at home because of the stalker issue. Sharon reported that she hadn't received a call for days, and she assured him that Nick was around, so things were fine. Dylan revealed that he'd spoken with his father that morning, and Paul had told him everything. Dylan wondered why Sharon hadn't told him that she and Mariah had suspected that Patty had been behind the calls.
Sharon claimed that the theory had seemed silly, since Patty didn't even have access to a phone. Sharon wished that Paul hadn't embarrassed her, but Dylan thought it had been a reasonable guess, given that Patty had tried to get to him the last time she'd escaped. Dylan ruled his aunt out as a suspect, and he said he had to get back to court, but he was glad Nick was there to keep Sharon and the kids safe.
Nick and Mariah returned to the cottage, and Sharon asked if he'd gotten any sleep at the hospital. He said he hadn't slept as well as he did at home, but he quickly clarified that he hadn't meant Sharon's house. Sharon offered him food and water, but Mariah suggested a shower and a change of clothes, and she ribbed him about his "hospital stink." Nick headed upstairs, and Sharon called Mariah out on trying to get him out of the room. Mariah reported that they had a problem, since everything Sharon had been worried about was happening.
Sharon was stunned when Mariah repeated Nick's words about bonding with Sully, and she thought it was a cruel joke that Dylan had asked Nick to move in. Sharon understood that Nick was still dealing with his grief, but she was horrified by the thought of him connecting with Sully. Mariah remarked that Nick was close to his son and didn't even know it, but Sharon maintained that she needed to protect Dylan and their family. Mariah swore that she was on Sharon's side, but she hated what it was doing to Nick. Sharon thought she had to get Nick away from Sully before things got more complicated.
Nick returned downstairs, and Mariah headed out to Crimson Lights. Nick suggested that he grill steaks for dinner, but she said there was something she wanted to talk to him about, and she gently informed him that she thought it would be better if he went back to his place. He asked if he'd done something to upset her, and she assured him that it was the opposite. Sharon claimed that she felt like they were sliding back into old patterns, but they weren't together anymore. Nick thought she was overreacting, and he swore that he was simply doing her family a favor. Sharon referred to his other favors, like the promise he'd made to Adam.
Nick packed his bags, and Sharon said he didn't have to leave immediately. Nick acknowledged that he'd been quick to settle in, and he'd forgotten about his commitment to Connor. She assured him that there was nothing to worry about, and she thanked him for everything. Nick remarked that it had been fun to be in a busy house with kids running around, and he'd thought that it might make him sad, but it had had the opposite effect. Nick said he was happy that Sharon had all the great things in life, and she struggled with guilt as he hugged her.
Abby phoned Stitch and asked if they could meet in the park to talk in person. He said he was supposed to assist with a procedure, and she inquired whether he could have someone fill in. He promised to do his best, and they hung up. He called a fellow doctor and asked when he should report to the operating room, and he was disappointed to hear that the surgery wasn't as complicated as they'd originally thought. Stitch insisted that he was a man of his word, and he still wanted to scrub in.
Later, Stitch found Abby in the park, and he admitted that he almost hadn't shown up because he thought he knew what she was about to say, but he didn't want to hear it. Abby stammered that she didn't know how to do it, and Stitch assumed that she meant breaking up. He asked if she wanted a divorce, and she quietly replied that she didn't know. Abby admitted that she was scared, and Stitch asked if she thought he wasn't. She thought they needed to do something, but he pointed out that they'd kept ending up in same place.
Abby accepted the blame for running away after she'd pushed to work harder, but she'd done it because she hadn't wanted to hurt Stitch. Stitch recalled that she'd said she might not know what love was supposed to feel like, but it had sounded like a hedge, and he thought she was hedging again. She recounted when he'd told her two years earlier that she didn't know what love was, but he contended that it had been before they'd gotten together. He asserted that he was a "pull-the-Band-Aid-off" kind of guy, and he loved her with everything in him, but she just needed to end it if that was what she intended to do.
Abby said she'd stayed up the night before, trying to figure out why telling the truth was that hard. She'd realized that she hadn't only been lying to Stitch but to herself, too, and she'd thought if she kept telling him that she loved him, it would magically be true. Stitch surmised that it had never been true, and he urged Abby not to blame herself, but she told him not to be nice to her because she didn't deserve it. He wondered if she expected him to throw a fit or call her names, but he couldn't do it. Stitch recognized that she wasn't going to give their marriage another chance, and Abby tearfully shook her head and confirmed that she wasn't.
Stitch planned to pack up his stuff when Abby was at work, but she offered to help him. He thought things had been hard enough, and he suggested that they take the easy way for once. Abby wailed that she'd wanted them to be forever, and she begged him to believe that she'd meant her wedding vows. Stitch didn't believe it, since she'd never loved him, but she cried that she wouldn't have said the words if she hadn't meant them. She continued that she didn't know why she felt that way, but he replied that all that mattered was that she did, and despite everything they'd been through, they hadn't been meant to be. She tenderly kissed his cheek and walked away.
Natalie entered Victor's office and found him watching Hilary's exposé of Newman on GC Buzz. Natalie wondered if her first day would involve fielding questions from the IRS and the FBI, and she questioned what they'd do next. Victor remarked that he was in a pickle, and he noted that getting rid of incriminating documents would be illegal. He contemplated where he could find a tech employee to wipe the system clean of evidence, and Natalie knowingly replied that if anyone asked, she could say no one had given her an order like that. Victor said he had to be somewhere, and he told her to keep herself busy.
At GC Buzz, Hilary instructed the staff to get all the reactions to their breaking story. Devon inquired whether she'd thought she could sneak it on the air without him knowing or if she just hadn't cared, since he'd thought the story had been shelved when they had left Victor's office. Hilary swore that she'd simply been reporting the story, and Victor had had every opportunity to deny the allegations, but he'd just gotten angry. She thought Devon should be congratulating her instead of accusing her, since she had knocked it out of the park.
Devon apologized, but he reminded Hilary that he'd bought the place to turn something cheap and shallow into something they could be proud of, even if it meant a decline in ratings. She assured him that she hadn't forgotten, but she was sure that ratings would skyrocket if they kept the story going. Her voice trailed off when Victor sauntered into the studio and ordered them to get a camera, since he had something to say.
On camera, Hilary announced that she was there with the one and only Victor Newman, and he smiled and asked if she was telling the audience more lies. Victor asserted that the show had peddled documents that had anonymously been dropped on their doorstep as the truth, but they hadn't checked the legitimacy of the claims. Victor openly invited the public to examine his hard drives and servers, and Hilary asked who he thought had set him up. Victor threatened to sue the person for slander, and he declared that he would soon own the show because he'd also sue GC Buzz. He intended to drop the show into the garbage once he won the lawsuit, and he removed his microphone and threw it on the floor. He told Hilary to have a nice day, and he stalked out.
Hilary told her staff not to cut anything that Victor had said, even the part about suing the show. Devon imagined that he was about to be tied up in conference calls with their attorneys, but Hilary chirped that it would give them another day in the news cycle. An employee handed Hilary a summary of comments about the latest segment, and she gushed that viewers were thrilled to have the old GC Buzz back. Devon noted that the audience had loved her, too, but Hilary purred that she was taken, and they kissed. He hoped that they weren't getting played, since both Hilary and the show would be humiliated if the documents had been faked. Devon questioned whether Hilary had any idea who had caused the leak, and she replied that there was only one person with the resources to pull it off.
At Jabot, Jack smiled victoriously as he watched Hilary's report. Phyllis knocked on his office door, and he invited her to grab a seat and enjoy the show, since she'd helped get it on the air. Phyllis noted that people were eating it up, whether the information was right or wrong. Phyllis was glad that the coverage included the expenditures she'd highlighted, like expensive dinners and trips. Jack figured that anything could be argued to be a business expense, but Phyllis mentioned that there had been a charge of $3,000 for shoes in Chicago. Jack scoffed at the idea that people would care about shoes.
Phyllis anticipated that Victor would have his hands full, and Jack prepared to relish every minute of it. She expected that Jack was ready to focus on Jabot rather than being distracted by Newman, but Jack proclaimed that he was just getting started with Victor, and the information leak had merely been round one. Jack crowed that the online comments were exploding, including one about Nikki thinking she was the queen of England for spending $3,000 on shoes. Phyllis had known the details would resonate, and she pressed to know what he'd meant about it only being round one.
Jack explained that the latest strike hadn't been to even the score -- it had only been a stunt to whet the appetite. She realized that the main course was to follow, and he commented that there would also be an appetizer, dessert, and a nightcap. Phyllis wondered if Jack would take it as far as sending Victor back to prison or killing him. Ashley entered and referred to the broadcast, and she concluded that it had been what Jack and Phyllis had been hiding. Ashley assumed that Jack was going to war with Victor, and Jack requested some time alone with his sister.
After Phyllis stepped out, Ashley expected Jack to deny his involvement, but she was shocked when he proudly announced that he'd been the one who'd given it to Victor with both barrels. Ashley warned that Victor would figure out that Jack had been behind it, but Jack didn't care. Ashley worried that Jack would implode their family and company, and she speculated that he had collaborated with Phyllis. Jack insisted that Ashley was wrong, since he'd never trust Phyllis again after the way she'd betrayed him. He added that it was a moot point, since he'd had his fun getting in a good jab at Victor, but it would be insane to instigate an all-out war.
Jack was pleased that no one was posting in Victor's defense, and he told Ashley that he'd gotten all the revenge he'd needed. Jack figured that Victor had known there would be retaliation after everything Victor had put Jack through, and he could finally move on. Ashley hoped so, since she didn't want anyone at Jabot to be collateral damage. Ashley walked out, and Jack happily continued to read the online comments as Victor stepped off the elevator. Phyllis hovered in the hallway as Victor appeared in Jack's doorway, and Jack cheerfully asked what had made Victor stop by.
Jack invited Phyllis to join him and Victor, but Victor huffed that he was there to talk to Jack alone. Jack thought Phyllis could help Victor, and she reluctantly entered the office. Jack exclaimed that it was a party, and Victor questioned whether Jack intended to play it like a game. Jack imagined that the GC Buzz story was a nightmare for Victor, and he handed over a business card for one of the best public relations firms in the Midwest. Victor challenged Jack to be a man and own up to what he'd done.
Jack feigned surprise that Victor thought Jack had leaked the documents, and he questioned how he would have obtained them. Jack pointed out that corporate espionage was more Victor's style, and he was sure Victor had a lot of work to do back at the office, like deleting files and shredding memos. Jack added that it wouldn't make a difference, since the damage had already been done, and people were always willing to think the worst of others. Victor huffed that if anyone knew the worst of human nature, it was Jack, and he stalked out.
Phyllis closed the door behind Victor and commented that she'd thought Jack had been about to spill the whole thing. Jack admitted that he'd been tempted, but he had to keep his eye on the prize, since he had much bigger misery in store for Victor. Phyllis received a text message, and she claimed that Summer needed to talk. She returned to her office, where she found Victor waiting for her. Phyllis chided him for sending the message to her when she'd been in Jack's office, and Victor taunted that she had "a hell of a setup" in her closet. Phyllis demanded to know what Victor wanted. "Same as you -- imagine that," Victor replied.
Hilary greeted Ashley at the Athletic Club bar and asked if she'd had a chance to see the show. Ashley coolly replied that she'd heard about it, and she moved away, but Hilary followed her. Hilary gave Ashley a chance to go on record if she had anything to say.