Ashley met Traci for breakfast at a hotel restaurant in New York, and Traci wanted to know everything about Jabot's big conference. Ashley explained that it was where cosmetics companies revealed their new products for the year, and she bragged that it had gone off without a hitch because of Ravi. Ashley praised his programming skills, and she imagined that it was just the beginning for him. Traci noted that her sister seemed to be a serious fan of Ravi's, and Ashley gushed that he'd been a great addition to the team. Traci asked if that was all he was as Ravi approached their table.
After breakfast, Ravi thanked Ashley for inviting him, since he was glad he'd had the chance to meet Traci. Traci said she'd heard wonderful things about his work at Jabot, and he downplayed his role as just being tech support. Ashley revealed that Traci was a very successful novelist, but Ravi wasn't familiar with Traci's work. Traci explained that she mostly wrote romance novels and hadn't published in a while, but she was working on a historical fiction project that he might enjoy. Ravi marveled that it was his favorite genre other than sci-fi, and Traci offered to send him a galley copy.
Ravi excused himself to prepare for a presentation, and he shook Traci's hand and hoped to see her again one day. After Ravi departed, Traci remarked that he was pretty adorable and that she saw why Ashley liked him. Ashley took a business call, and after she hung up, Traci suspected that Ashley had taken the call to avoid questions about her relationship with Ravi. Ashley conceded that Ravi had a bit of a crush on her, and Traci thought it was flattering.
Ashley recalled that she'd blown off Ravi to have dinner with Benjamin Hochman, but it had been a disaster because the billionaire's phone had been glued to his ear all night long. Ashley imagined that Ravi had had more fun hanging out with his college friends. Traci teased that Ashley was out of practice in that department, and Ashley conceded that her social life was nonexistent. Traci thought Ashley had trouble finding true happiness because their father had been an amazing role model, and no one lived up to John in Ashley's eyes.
Ashley wished she could hear her dad's advice, and Traci thought John would have told Ashley not to be afraid to live a little by taking chances and breaking rules. Traci recognized that Ashley had played by the rules her whole life, but it was time to change things up. Traci suggested that Ashley go on a proper date with Ravi, since she sensed that Ashley liked him. Ashley questioned what wasn't to like, and she rattled off a list of his wonderful qualities. Traci joked that Ashley was making her want to go out with him.
Ashley revealed that she and Ravi were going to the Met that night. Traci was surprised that Ashley wanted to go to the opera, and Ashley credited Ravi with inspiring her to appreciate the beauty in it. Traci lectured that Ashley had spent her whole life worrying about what others thought, and she encouraged Ashley to shrug it off and live a little, since Ashley didn't need anyone's permission to be happy. Traci urged Ashley to rejoice in the world and have a wonderful time with Ravi that night.
Billy arrived at Victoria's house, and Reed asked what Billy had seen in the driveway. Billy replied that it had been empty, and Reed groused that his mom had already sent his car away. Reed questioned what right she'd had to take away his grandfather's gift, and he couldn't figure out why Victoria had gone ballistic after she'd thrown him a cool party and given him a guitar. Billy argued that Victor should have consulted with Victoria before giving Reed the car, so Victoria wasn't the bad guy. Reed whined that he and his mom had been getting along, but she'd reverted back to being a mean, uptight person.
Reed contemplated asking Victor for the car back and keeping it at the ranch. Billy warned that Victoria would ground Reed for life when she found out, and he advised Reed not to wreck his relationship with his mom over it. Reed pleaded with Billy to try to change Victoria's mind, but Billy protested that he no longer had clout with Victoria. Reed wailed that his friends had seen him get the car, and Zoey expected him to give her a ride that morning. Reed begged Billy to try to get Victoria to give the car back, and Billy reluctantly agreed.
Later, Zoey showed up for Reed to drive her to school, and she was surprised that his hot wheels weren't out front. Reed reported that his mom had taken the car away, and he griped that he'd have to walk or bike like a kid who didn't have his license. Zoey huffed that Victoria truly was a witch, and Reed hoped Zoey didn't hold it against him. Zoey cooed that all that mattered was that he wanted to do nice things for her, and she suggested that they cut school that day. She purred that they'd have fun, and he mused that she and his music were the only good things in his life.
Zoey said she'd read about a 16-year-old actress who'd been emancipated after taking her parents to court because they'd stolen the money she'd made. Reed contended that just because Victoria had returned the car didn't mean he wanted to stop seeing her, and Zoey commented that it was too bad that his folks weren't like hers, since she could do whatever she wanted as long as she got decent grades. Zoey mentioned that sometimes her parents went away for the weekend, and she had the house to herself. Reed fantasized about Kendall's uncle giving him a record deal and sending him on tour. Zoey thought they could have fun right there, and they kissed.
Scott stopped by Phyllis' apartment to apologize, and she asked whether he meant for the drinking or for almost having sex. He replied for both, and she indicated that she'd been about to call him to say the same thing. Phyllis established that they'd both been at fault, and she proposed that they just stay friends. Phyllis and Scott agreed that they considered one another hot but that it would be weird for him to date his mom's best friend. Phyllis said she wasn't planning on telling Lauren what had almost happened. Scott mentioned that there was someone else he was hoping to get to know better, and Phyllis encouraged him to go for it.
At Crimson Lights, Nick hesitated to interrupt Sharon while she was studying, but she pointed out that she was running a business. She was stunned when he informed her that he'd taken Faith home from the ranch. Sharon reluctantly admitted that she'd thought it had been good for Faith to spend time with Victor, but Nick insisted that it had been time to move on. Nick suggested that they go back to their old schedule, but Sharon questioned whether the timing was right to move Faith out just after Victor had learned that Adam had been murdered. Nick asserted that it had already been done.
Nick wondered if Sharon would be okay resuming their routine with Dylan gone, and she swore that she'd moved on and was in a great place. Nick thought he and Sharon had proven that they were past their bitterness when they'd teamed up to find proof that Chloe had killed Adam. He marveled that Sharon was running the coffeehouse and getting her degree, and he was really happy that she was getting her life back on track. Sharon took his hand in hers and hoped he was just as happy.
Later, Scott arrived at the coffeehouse, and Sharon requested his help with another paper if he wasn't too busy. He said he was glad to assist, and he observed that she was in a good mood. Sharon announced that Faith was returning home from the ranch, and Scott asked what Sharon intended to do to celebrate. Sharon envisioned taking Faith out for ice cream, but Scott clarified that he'd meant what Sharon was going to do for herself. He noted that she had a habit of putting her own happiness last, and he advised her to make sure to soak up every drop of enjoyment by living her life for herself. He asked if she was free that night, and she wondered why. Scott implored her to say yes to find out.
Victoria angrily burst into Victor's office, prepared to confront her father, but Abby was the only one there. Abby mentioned that Victor was out of town, and she taunted that Victoria would never guess what he'd done before he'd left. Victoria ordered Abby to stop playing games, and she asked where Victor had gone. Abby chirped that he hadn't left her his itinerary, but he'd made her acting CEO until he returned. Victoria warned her not to read much into it, since he'd had to leave someone in charge, and it would be years before Abby had the experience to run the company.
Abby huffed that she was the only person in their family who cared about their father's legacy, but Victoria clucked that caring wasn't the same as competence. Abby retorted that Victor was thrilled with her work and that he'd left her in charge in record time compared to Victoria. Victoria cautioned against putting Victor on a pedestal, since he had a tendency to fall off. Victoria noted that Victor turned on a dime with people, so even those who were golden would eventually be out, including Abby. Victoria threw a keychain on the desk and instructed Abby to make sure to tell Victor it was from her, and she stormed out.
At the Newman ranch, Nikki found a note from Victor, informing her that he was going away for a while because she'd made it clear that he wasn't welcome in his own home. Tessa arrived, and Nikki invited her in. Tessa said she'd had a great time at Reed's party, and she expected to have him shredding on his new guitar in no time. Nikki pointedly stated that the guitar had been an appropriate gift, and she announced that she'd summoned Tessa over because Nikki had a proposition for her.
Nikki explained that she was in charge of an annual charity event, and she needed someone to help her keep organized. Tessa incredulously asked if Nikki wanted her as an assistant, and Nikki recognized that it wasn't music. Tessa was surprised that Nikki wouldn't use someone on Victor's payroll, but Nikki said she preferred to choose her own staff. Tessa was thrilled for the chance to earn some extra cash, and Nikki remarked that she knew what it was like to struggle, since she hadn't always had money. Tessa was surprised that someone as classy as Nikki hadn't grown up rich, and Nikki confirmed that she knew what it was like to work for tips.
Tessa asked where Nikki had waitressed, and Nikki revealed that she'd been a dancer at the Bayou, but it didn't exist anymore. Tessa whipped out her phone and researched it online, and she was flabbergasted to learn it had been a strip club. Nikki stated that she'd been an exotic dancer, and Tessa admired Nikki for performing live and handling herself with a rough crowd. Tessa figured that Nikki had a wild streak, but Nikki insisted that it had long been over.
Nick arrived, and Nikki introduced him to Tessa. Nick mentioned that Noah had told him that Tessa was quite the singer, and Nikki disclosed that she'd hired Tessa as her assistant for the gala. Nikki directed Tessa to get some coffee in the kitchen so she could speak with Nick privately. Nikki admitted that she'd miss seeing Faith every day, but it was better than pretending that everything was fine between Nikki and Victor. Nick said he was there to get the rest of Faith's stuff to avoid her spending time with Victor. Nikki relayed that Victor was out of town, and she didn't know when he'd be back.
Nikki groaned that Victor had sent a new car to Reed's birthday party, and Nick imagined that Victor was trying to buy his grandchildren's love. Nick recounted that Victor had given Noah a new SUV as a birthday gift over Nick and Sharon's protests. Nick thought it would be difficult to keep what Victor had done from the rest of the family, and he wondered if Nikki was okay living with Victor. Nikki planned to avoid Victor at all costs and to keep busy with her own projects. Nick referred to Nikki hiring Tessa, and he questioned how well Nikki knew her. He headed upstairs to Faith's room.
Nikki told Tessa that she'd set up a time to go over some notes, but she noticed that Tessa seemed distracted. Tessa pointed out that Nikki had given her two jobs and welcomed her into the family, but she wasn't accustomed to people being that trusting. Tessa asked if Victor was cool with her taking the assistant job, since he'd seemed very intimidating when she'd met him. Nikki assured Tessa that she didn't have to worry because he was out of town, and she looked forward to working together. Nikki walked Tessa to the door, and Tessa inquired whether Nikki was okay. Nikki confided that she wasn't, but she would be.
Nick startled Nikki when he returned downstairs, and she told him that Faith was welcome to stop by anytime. He wondered if Nikki was having second thoughts, but she maintained that Victor was out of her life. After Nick left, Nikki sat down at the piano and stared at a photo of her and Victor. She flashed back to telling him how much she liked "the new Victor." She began to cry as she picked up the photo, and she threw it across the room, shattering the glass.
Victoria arrived at Brash & Sassy, and Billy updated her about Lily and Jordan's schedule. Billy mentioned that Reed had told him that Victoria had returned the car, and Victoria was sure that her son hated her with a passion. Billy commented that Reed wasn't the only one who was confused, but Victoria simply asserted that she didn't want her 16-year-old to have a new car. Billy suspected that it had more to do with Victor, but Victoria snapped that she didn't want to talk about it. Billy refused to let her walk away until she told him what was going on between her and her father.
Victoria threatened to have security remove Billy from the premises. Billy wondered if he'd just imagined that they'd been breaking down the wall between them, and Victoria apologized if she'd sent the wrong signals. Billy thought everything had changed when she'd found out that Adam had been murdered, and he urged her to tell him what was happening. Victoria spat that she didn't want to be involved romantically with Billy, since she'd be insane to go there again after all the times he'd betrayed her. She stormed into the conference room, and he sauntered out of the office.
Victoria searched through some paperwork, and Nick entered and surmised that she'd had a rough morning. She admitted that she'd screwed up with Billy, and she lamented that she was ruining everything because of their father's lies. Nick informed her that he'd moved Faith home the night before, since Victor had had way too much influence over her. Victoria vowed to do whatever it took to make it up to Billy.
A clearly irritated Billy entered the Crimson Lights patio, and Phyllis jokingly asked if she should hide. She reminded him that he'd been a friend to her the last time they'd been there, and she offered to return the favor. He complained that Victoria had been constantly jerking him around, and Phyllis wondered what had changed. Billy thought Victoria had seemed like a different person ever since she'd found out Adam had been murdered, and Phyllis advised him not to waste his precious time on people who weren't sure if they wanted what he had to offer. He thanked her, and she departed. He noticed that she had left her cell phone behind.
Billy stopped by Phyllis' home to return her phone. He immediately moved to leave, but she invited him in for coffee. He noticed that she was working from home, and she imagined that he couldn't do it because he couldn't handle the quiet. Billy figured that she thought he needed to be part of the action, and he remarked that it would be nice to have something more consistent. Phyllis replied that her life also hadn't been a straight line lately, and she walked him to the door. He hesitated in the doorway before pulling her into a kiss, and he kicked the door closed. They began to tear off one another's clothes.
• Jack tells Ashley that he got some intriguing information while she was away.
• Chloe sends letters to Kevin and Billy about Bella’s possible paternity.