GRACE is looking through a hatbox full of memories of Cassie when Tony comes home from work. She gives him a shoulder to cry on. He wishes he could make it hurt less, but she knows that it will take time. It is just that everywhere she looks there are reminders of Cassie. He offers to take her out on the town tonight, but she isn't in the mood. Besides, she has a pile of work at the office to do.
At the office, Grace gets a phone call from Cassie. She is at the library with Mrs. Collins and Noah. She had to tell Mrs. Collins that she was going to the bathroom so that she could make this call. She tells Grace that Sharon is going to take them out of town somewhere and she doesn't want to go. You won't let her do that, will you Grace? She asks. Grace tells her not to worry; she will handle this. "I love you, Mommy," Cassie tells her. "I love you, too, sweetie," Grace responds. After she hangs up, Grace starts to make another call, but changes her mind. This has to be handled in person, she says as she leaves the office.
PHYLLIS is visiting Daniel. She is showing him how to find the moon using his new telescope. He is very excited when he finds it. Phyllis tells him that they could go to the library and find all kinds of books on the moon, the stars and the planets. This would make sky-watching so much more interesting. But, they couldn't go alone; Daddy would have to go with them. "And Chris, too!" Daniel shouts, excitedly. "Chris might come to stay with us." Danny looks like he has been caught!
"Chris is going to be staying here?" Phyllis asks, looking directly at Danny. Danny tries to make like Daniel is confused; he sends Daniel into the kitchen so he can talk with Mommy.
"I don't know why that surprises me," Phyllis says. "She did abandon her husband so it is only a matter of time until you are back together. And haven't I been saying this would happen all along? So, now you are doing whatever it takes to break up her marriage."
"And how is that ex-con boyfriend of yours?" Danny retorts.
Unperturbed, Phyllis tells him that that isn't the same thing and he knows it. She just wants to tell him that he can go his way and she will go her way. However, whatever happens between Danny and Christine, she will always be Daniel's mother—make no mistake about that, she says. Without breaking eye contact, Danny shouts to Daniel that his mother is leaving; come and say goodbye.
As he hugs his mother, Daniel begs her to come back again soon. Phyllis tells him that she will; she is planning on coming more often from now on. She is sure his Daddy won't mind.
MEGAN AND TRICIA are talking about college and Tricia's plans to attend graduate school. The conversation gets to Daddy and Jill. Jill has been holding off giving their Dad an answer to his proposal for over a month now. They think it is because of their reaction when hearing the news. They came down too hard on Jill, but they can do something about that tonight.
PAUL brings dinner by the office for Christine. After putting a feast on the table, Paul invites her to ask when he wants her to come back home. However, Chris evades the question. Paul tells her that he stopped by to see his mother and she is pretty depressed; she is feeling guilty about Chris moving out. Chris says that she doesn't know why Mary is depressed; she is just a heartbeat away from getting her dearest wish. Chris tells Paul that she needs more time to think about the marriage, and that is what she told Danny when he dropped by the apartment last night. Paul is surprised that she saw Danny last night after Danny came by his office and proposed that they leave her alone to make the decision. Chris says so much for men keeping their word! Just then, someone interrupts them.
GRACE is at the door. She needs to talk to Christine about Cassie. She tells Chris about the call she got from Cassie. She wants Chris to stop Sharon from taking Cassie and leaving. Chris reminds her that she is Sharon's lawyer and should not be talking to her, but Grace reminds her that she stopped her from leaving town for Cassie's sake so now she wants the same thing. Chris tells her to get a restraining order, but Grace again reminds Chris that this is not in Cassie's best interest due to the foster care problem. Chris tells her that she will talk to Sharon and see what can be done. In the meantime, since she is here anyway, Chris wants to know about how she and Tony found Cassie. Eventually, Grace tells her that the adoptive mother had abandoned Cassie years before, leaving the child in the care of the grandmother who was old and sick. The reason Millie let them take Cassie was because they promised they were taking her to her birth mother who could give her a good life.
PHYLLIS arrives home and begins to whine to Michael about Danny. He tells her that Danny is expecting Chris to move in with him and her son. If that woman—her worse enemy—tries to raise her son, she will not be held responsible for what she does.
MICHAEL tries his best to talk sense to Phyllis, but he is without luck. He accuses her of keeping the waters muddied up and ruining his chance of getting his law license back. She tells him that he has never tried anything else. Why does he keep kissing butt with Chris? It is time to move on—to conquer new worlds. There is so much he could do. But Michael says that there is only one problem; the law is his life, his passion and he will never be a whole person until he gets that back.
KEITH opens the door and is surprised to find "The GC Meddler" standing there. He welcomes her like an old friend and, like an old friend, she wants to "stick her nose" into his business. She says that she is aware that he has proposed to the lady—if I may call her that, she amends—and so far Jill hasn't had the common decency to respond. Shall I tell you why? She asks. She goes on to tell Keith that if she were going to accept the proposal, she would be running around town bragging and flashing her engagement ring. Since she isn't even wearing the ring, she isn't going to accept. Keith tells her that this is all highly personal between him and Jill, but she says it is her duty as a friend to tell him these things. Keith asks her to leave, but before she does, he tells her that he is confident that Jill will accept his proposal.
MEGAN AND TRICIA visit Jill at the office. They want to talk to her about their Dad's proposal. They apologize for the things they said when they first heard about the engagement. They were being selfish. They should have been thinking about their Dad's feelings. It is obvious that he loves her, so they would be proud to have her as their stepmother. But it is time, they tell her, to give their Dad an answer.
When she is alone, PHYLLIS picks up the phone and calls Chris' office. When she learns that she is in the office, Phyllis hangs up and leaves the apartment with a self-satisfied look on her face.
JILL returns home surprised to find Keith at home so early. As she goes on about her day, Keith interrupts her to tell her that he wants to talk about his marriage proposal. It is time that she give him an answer.
NICK says, "If you have something to say then say it now, or I am out of here. Why are you so hung up on Cassie? How is it you can give her so much of your time, but you can't give me enough? Why are you so obsessed with someone else's kid?"
Sharon tells him that Cassie is her child. "She is mine, Nick, not Grace's cousin. My child, the one I told you about; the one I had to give up when I was sixteen."
Nick is astounded. "She is your child? Why didn't you tell me this? Why did you keep this from me?" Sharon explains that she didn't know herself until a couple of months ago. She was so overwhelmed, at first, but this incredible news. Then she didn't know how to handle the situation when things got so tense between them. Nick tells her that she should have told him. Why did she keep this from him?
"To be honest, I didn't know how you would react to the news," Sharon admits. "You made it clear that you didn't want another child. Look, Nick, it isn't the end of the world. I'm not being casual about this. It is the most incredible thing!"
"More incredible than our marriage? More incredible than giving birth to our son? How could you shut me out of your life and make Noah a second priority? And for what? For a teenage sleaze who dumped you five minutes after he was through with you."
"It wasn't like that, Nick. We can work it out. You never gave Cassie a chance. She is a wonderful little girl. Cassie is part of our family now."
"Now you hold on! I made it clear: no more children. I don't intend to make time for a child that isn't even mine!"
"Please give it a chance," Sharon begs, as she tries to put her arms around him. He throws her off. "I gotta get out of here! I'm going back to the office to see if I can absorb this." As Sharon tries to hold him, he pushes her away and tells her to get off of him. He rushes out the door leaving a sobbing Sharon alone.
GRACE comes into Nick's office with a report. "What happened to you?" she asks. "You look like you've been run over by a steamroller." Nick tells her that he has-a steamroller named Sharon. "How could she do this? What kind of marriage do we have? In just a few weeks, my whole world has gone to Hell." He tells her that his marriage was already in trouble, then this terrible thing with my mother. Now I find out my life is changing and I have nothing to say about it."
Grace asks how his life is changing and Nick tells her that it is Cassie. He has found out that she is Sharon's kid. This just totally shoots all his plans. He had enough trouble making time for his son; now he finds out that he has a ready-made daughter. Grace tells him that Cassie is a wonderful little girl; besides, he knew years ago that Sharon had a child. Yes, Nick agrees, but I didn't think she would pop up and slap me in the face.
They decide to make a pact: no personal stuff at the office. They will concentrate on business. Grace tells him that anytime he needs to talk, she is always there for him. She understands how he wanted to take a couple of years to get his feet firmly planted at Newman Enterprises. Nick thinks it is interesting how she can understand that, but Sharon can't. Grace tells him that while she is interested in work, Sharon's life is wrapped up with the home and the kids.
PHYLLIS goes to Christine's office and asks for just five minutes of her time. Chris thinks she is there to harass her about Danny, but Phyllis tells her that although she knows that Chris is living with Nina, that isn't why she is here. "It wasn't easy to come here," Phyllis tells her. "It is about a man who desperately wants a second chance at life and he can not do it without your help. True, I didn't know him before, but I know him now and he is sincere about his love of the law and his passion to pursue his career. He has a great gift, and you have the power to change things for him. Can't you just look into your heart and forgive him? You are killing him; he is dying inside."
Chris tells her that when and if he proves to her that he has changed, she will consider speaking on his behalf. What does he have to do? Walk on water? Phyllis asks. Phyllis tells her that she is a hypocrite. She works at Legal Aid making people believe that she is devoting her life to helping the unfortunate, but let someone get a little personal in their requests for help and she can't even step up to the plate. Chris doesn't like her questioning her compassion. Phyllis thinks that she made a mistake coming here. She thought that maybe Chris would listen, but once again she has shown how uncaring and heartless she truly is. Phyllis slams out the door leaving Christine with an incredulous look on her face.
VICTOR arrives home. Looking tired, he slowly walks over to the couch and sits. Diane comes down the stairs, delighted to see him home. She sits down with him and they kiss. She tells him that the apartment is so lonely without him. He tells her that he is sorry that he has neglected her recently, but she says that she understands that he had to be away a lot. She then mentions that Jack has told her that Nikki is expected to make a full recovery. Victor says that no one has said anything like that; she is still critical and could have a relapse. He admits that he believes that his remarrying Nikki and pulling the family together was what gave Nikki the strength to get through this extraordinary crisis. Now, he tells Diane, the doctors are more worried about Nikki's emotional recovery. He needs more time with Nikki; he just can't walk away now.
"And just how long am I supposed to put my life on hold?" Demands Diane. Victor tells her that as soon as he is assured of Nikki's full recovery, they will be together. You aren't trying to tell me something more, are you? Diane asks. Victor says NO! We will be together, he says as he kisses her.
MICHAEL is talking with an attractive businesswoman who says that she is impressed with his resume. She reminds him that the job as Ombudsman for the hospital is only part time. Michael tells her that he did this kind of work while he was incarcerated; the woman is shocked, but Michael goes on to explain that he was in prison and has paid dearly for his mistakes. But while he was in prison, he had time to reassess his life and his values. He had been a successful lawyer with a brilliant career and lots of money, yet he had no idea about such traits as common decency. He gives her the name and phone number of his parole officer, as well as references from people who know him. The woman is impressed by his honesty and also by his references. She is especially impressed that some of the references are from the State Correction Facility.
KEITH wants to talk about his proposal. He was happy to give her time to think about it, but he only expected her to take a few days. It has been weeks now and he feels that an answer is in order. She tells him that he is a wonderful man, but she has no desire to be married. Can't they continue as they are? Keith says that he is an old-fashioned man who believes in marriage. He knows she isn't going to accept his marriage proposal, because his friend, Katherine, stopped by and told him so. Jill is angry that Katherine, that old crone, would stick her nose in this. How could he let that outrageous wretch come between them? Keith says he just wants an answer. When Jill admits that she isn't going to accept his proposal, he tells her to pack her things and leave tonight.
PHYLLIS comes home and finds Michael waiting with champagne. He tells her about taking her advice and now he is the new Ombudsman for Memorial Hospital. Phyllis is thrilled, but unable to leave well enough alone, she tells him that she spoke to Cricket about him. Michael is furious. What have you done? You have only made things worse for me, he shouts. You have probably done more harm that good. He wants her to keep out of this part of his life. Phyllis tells him that she will stay out of it; she was only trying to help. Anyway, Cricket is never going to do anything for him; he is just banging his head against a brick wall. But Michael tells her that regardless of what she has done, he is going to prove himself to Christine; he has to!
JACK stops by to see how Diane is coping, but he notices right away that she is feeling down. She tells him that Victor says that he needs more time with Nikki; she is not out of the woods yet and he doesn't want to undermine her progress. Jack tells her that she can take that two ways. He knows she wants to believe in the Black Knight, but more and more he has the feeling that things are not going to turn out like Victor has promised. Jack warns that where Nikki is concerned, Victor can not always help himself. Diane tells him that she intends to be patient and wait for her husband to come back to her. Victor would not lie to her just to make her feel better. In her heart she feels that they will be back together. She has to believe that; he promised her.
ESTHER opens the door to an irate Jill. "Where is she? KATHERINE, get the hell down here!" She starts up the stairs but Esther gets in her way. "Get out of my way or I will squash you like. . ." Katherine comes down the stairs and sends Esther to the kitchen. Jill demands to know how she could go to Keith and tell him that she had no intention of marrying him. Katherine says that he deserved to know the truth and it was obvious that Jill didn't have the heart to tell him. Jill tells the "loathsome busybody" that it was not her place, but Katherine comes back with the accusation that Jill didn't have the guts to do it herself. "Frankly, you should be thanking me," Katherine says. "The marriage would have caused you nothing but distress. See! I saved you a lot of time." When Jill says that now she is stuck without a place to go, Katherine suggests that John might take in the mother of his child. Jill doesn't want to impose any more than she already has; she left Billy in John's care already. Katherine suggests that she could stay here with her. This is a big house so they wouldn't have to be bumping into each other in the hallways. At first Jill refuses, but finally decides that Katherine owes her that much since she is the reason she is homeless at the moment. Maybe this is the perfect way to get back at her. "Esther, stop eavesdropping and tell Robert to bring in my bags. Well, Katherine, looks like you have a new roomie."
VICTOR tells Nikki that she is looking so much better. The nurse tells them that she will be just outside. Nikki tells him that they are alone at last and he says that it has been a long time. Nikki thanks him for reuniting the family; it saved her life. By his remarrying her, he gave her the will to live. She tells him that he is her knight in shining armor so she must be his damsel in distress. He says that she isn't a damsel in distress any longer; she is on her way to recovery. She thinks that she must look a mess. She wants a mirror and, low and behold, there is one on the nightstand. She says that she looks pale and washed out; what she really needs is some make-up. Victor tells her that he has connections. He leaves for a time. When he returns, he has a bag of makeup that the nurse helped him to buy. Since she is too weak, he has to apply the makeup himself. When she looks into the mirror again, she tells him that she is a totally different person. Thank you so much, she says. Victor leans over and kisses her forehead.
JACK goes into Victor's office and asks about Nikki. After Victor tells him that she is holding her own, Jack asks what he is going to do bout Diane. Victor tells him that it is none of his business; the meeting is over, he says. Jack asks him if he knows how many women would do what Diane did for him; he holds up a finger and says, "One. And that one is Diane." When are you taking her back on that honeymoon? I am your right hand man and need to know when I will be stepping in. Victor tells him that when he leaves for his honeymoon, Jack will have plenty of notice. But I call the shots, he tells Jack. Close the door on your way out, he says. Jack refuses to leave. He wants to know when he is going to divorce Nikki and remarry Diane. Victor tells him that someone is waiting for him and this meeting is adjourned. He walks out leaving Jack dismayed at his nerve.
GRACE brings Nick a cop of coffee after finding him asleep at this desk. She encourages him to go home for a nap saying that he can't be productive if he is zonked out at his desk. The phone rings and it is Vicki. He tells her he will meet her in the parking garage in half an hour.
Before going to shave, he begins moaning about how his life is in a mess. Grace feels bad because it is all her fault. Nick says, "Oh, yes. You were like a mother to the kid." He feels bad for her. As she begins telling him how she and Tony went searching for Sharon's first baby because they thought Noah wouldn't make it. She says that it is ironic how he would do anything to get rid of Cassie and she would do anything to get her back. As Grace breaks down and cries, Nick brings her some Kleenex and eventually puts his arms around her. He tells her that he wishes that she had never found Cassie and brought her back here. As he leaves to get himself cleaned up, he tells her that Sharon can leave town and take Cassie with her for all he cares, but no way in hell will she take his son away.
After Nick leaves the office, Grace picks up the family picture that Nick keeps on his desk of him, Sharon and Noah. She looks at it for a moment then hugs it to her breast. Tony comes in and tells her that he has planned a wonderful surprise for her; he has reservations for the Colonnade Room. However, she tells him that she and Nick will be working all night; also, Nick needs a lot of handholding because of all the troubles in his life right now. Before he leaves, Tony cautions her about holding Newman's hand too tightly; remember who is your number one guy, he tells her. They kiss, but as he hugs her, she has a far away look in her eyes.
Chris is busy at her office when Sharon stops by at her request. Chris tells her that she expected to hear from her before now. Sharon tells her that so much has happened. She admits that she wasn't visiting her mother's when she called; she is staying with her mother for a while. Nick didn't take the news very well that Cassie is her daughter. She doesn't know what is going to happen, but Nick has to know that if he wants her in his life, and if he wants Noah in his life, then he has to accept Cassie. She tells Chris that she will be staying in GC. She has to consider what is best for both children and uprooting Cassie again will not be best for her.
PAUL is coming in the office just as Sharon is leaving. She is distracted and Paul notices. Chris fills him in on the situation with Sharon, but tells him that she didn't have the heart to tell her that Cassie could have as much claim to Cassie as Sharon.
RYAN shows up at Nina's door unannounced---again. Nina is in a good mood so she welcomes him inside. He hems and haws until she finally makes him tell her why he is there. There is a great new guy at the office and he wants to fix her up with him. As he goes on and on, she stops him and tells him that she is happy as she is. She has her work and she has Phillip. She is the happiest that she has ever been. As she is shooing him out the door she tells him that the longer they are divorced, the more she likes him.
After Ryan has left, Nina walks to her computer. Just as she gets there, she stops and thinks for a minute, then says, "I wonder. Noooo."
ASHLEY visits Cole in the tack room, bringing him a large lily. They discuss the shooting. Cole still wants to write about the shooting, but he has so many questions left to answer. Ashley hopes he doesn't put himself in danger looking for the answers.
VERONICA is sitting in the café again reading the paper. She is disgusted that the BITCH is still alive. She begins to think about her situation, thinking about all the trouble she is already in. She has to get out of GC, but where can she go? No, she says, they are looking for Sara with the glasses and ugly hair, not Veronica, so how are they going to recognize her? Miguel comes in and joins her. He wonders if she is in any trouble; he would like to help her if he could. She says that it is nice of him to be concerned and when she gets to know him better, maybe he can help her. She leaves.
DIANE opens the door to find Nick and Vicki there. She invites them in and offers freshly brewed coffee. She asks about their mother and is happy to hear that she is so much better. They tell her that they are there to thank her for her graciousness in divorcing their Dad so that he could remarry their mother. It was an incredible thing to do; she reunited their family and saved their mother's life. As they continue to gush her praise, Diane realizes that they have the wrong idea about the marriage. She stops them, telling them that they have it all wrong. She then explains that this was something he wanted to do for a dying woman; he didn't want the marriage for itself. The marriage was only temporary since they are going to remarry. But our mother is going to live, Nick says. Vicki wonders what is going to happen now; our Dad isn't going to stay with our mother? Diane says that she is happy for them and for Nikki, but she doesn't know how to tell them except just to say it. She asks them not to blame their Dad; he was doing what he thought he had to do. Nick and Vicki stare at her, speechless.
VICTOR walks into Nikki's room and watches her sleep. She wakes up and is happy to see him standing there. She tells him that she was just dreaming of him, but can't remember the dream. She tells him that she can't wait to get out of this place. She then remembers her dream; she was reliving memories of when he married her. "Do you believe in destiny?" She asks. "I do. You are my destiny; it was meant for us to be together."
The Black Knight bends down and kisses her hand as she drifts off to sleep again.
MALCOLM drops by the hospital to see his wife. He has a favor to ask of her. He wants her to stop by and see how Neil is doing. He feels that he and Neil are alienated right now and so Neil won't tell him anything. Will you be there for my brother? Malcolm asks her.
DIANE is packing for her trip with Victor when Jack stops by. He tells her about the words he and Victor exchanged; he was only looking out for her best interests, he tells her. Diane tells him that although she appreciates it, it isn't necessary; everything is working out for them. Nikki should be out of the woods soon, so she and Victor can pick up where they left off---a wonderful honeymoon with her husband. Jack reminds her that Victor isn't her husband. Jack indicates that he doesn't believe her when she says that things are moving along at a fast clip, so she goes to the phone and calls the hospital.
CASEY is discussing Nikki's condition with her medical team. They tell her that they have upgraded Nikki's condition from critical to serious. Nikki's doctor also gives Victor the good news. He enters the room and tells Casey that everything is going to be all right. He goes to the bedside and sits watching over a sleeping Nikki.
As Victor watches Nikki sleep, she suddenly wakes up and turns toward Victor. She sees tears in his eyes and he explains that their prayers have been answered; she is going to live! She thinks that he didn't always believe that she would live. Victor says he never gave up on her even though the doctors told him that she wouldn't make it.
DIANE gets through to Nikki's room and asks for Victor. When he gets on the phone he tells her that Nikki is much better. He says he will be home soon; he has a couple of stops to make firs then he will see her. She tells him that she is packing for their trip. It won't be long now, she says.
She hangs up and Jack seems more convinced, but still skeptical. She tells him about the visit that Nick and Vicki paid her earlier in the day. She also admits that she had to set them straight as far as her marriage was concerned. It wasn't fair for them to go on thinking that the marriage between their mother and father was real. Jack asks if it hasn't occurred to her that they could be right. Diane responds that it hasn't occurred to her for even one moment.
NICK AND VICKI enter Nick's office wondering if what Diane told them was true. Nick gets on the phone and calls his dad's office. He tells Connie that as soon as his dad comes in, send him to Nick's office. It is important that he speak to his dad.
Nicholas is furious with his father, but Vicki wants to hear the facts from her father. Is it possible that Diane was mistaken? Nick believes what Diane said and is angry that they are now finding out that his dad has provided only a temporary fix for the family. His mother believed that the vows they exchanged were for real and now she is the one who will have to pay the price.
MIGUEL stops by the tack room to deliver Cole's tuxedo. Cole tells him that he is planning a fantastic evening. After Miguel leaves, he gets a call from Ashley. She doesn't have any idea where they are going tonight or what she should wear. He tells her that they are going to the private dining room and she is impressed. She tells him that she will meet him there.
VICKI goes by Neil's office to drop off a report. She tells him that her mother is doing better, but she is still worried about her. She is more concerned about after she goes home than now while she is in the hospital. He tells her that he misses his little girl and she tells him that she is almost a free woman.
JILL is in the Dennison home when the girls arrive. They are outraged that she is there after what she did to their father. Jill tells them that she loved Keith; she just didn't love him enough to marry him. She wished that she did. Their father was a wonderful gift to her and he also gave her a wonderful gift---his two lovely daughters. She has been blessed in knowing them even though she realizes how they feel about her. As she starts to leave, Tricia tells her to wait. She then goes to Jill and gives her long hug. Megan also gives Jill a hug and tells her she is sorry things didn't work out. As the three of them share a group hug, Jill tells them that if they ever need anything, to remember that she is always there for them, the daughters she never had.
OLIVIA drops by Neil's office and is surprised to see him doing so well. He tells her that he is doing fine except for spending time in his lonely apartment. But now he can get back to his work and his life without distractions. Olivia tells him that she is there for him whenever he needs her.
NIKKI wakes up again. Victor is still at her bedside. She wonders what she would ever do without him. Is she ever going to have to worry about that again? Victor answers by kissing her hand. She tells him that she has always loved him. Until he put that ring on her finger, she just didn't know how he felt about her. Now she knows; he still loves her. He kisses her forehead as she drifts back off to sleep.
COLE is standing and surveying the private dining room, which is ablaze in candlelight and decorated with exotic flowers everywhere. The table is set with beautiful china and crystal. Ashley appears wearing a gorgeous black evening dress and they embrace. After they dance, they go to the table where the waiter is pouring champagne. Cole toasts to a moment they will never forget. He nods to the waiter who brings Ash a large package. Excitedly, Ashley opens the package to find Cole's finished novel, Hope in a Bottle and a small envelope. He encourages her to look inside where she finds that the book is dedicated to her in glowing terms. He tells her that she is his inspiration now and always. After they kiss, she opens the envelope. It is a card with one small sentence written there. “To the future Mrs. Cole Howard,” it reads. “Will you marry me?” Cole asks. She answers with a kiss. Is that a yes, Cole wants to know. She tells him that it is.
VICTORIA arrives back at Nick's office followed shortly by Victor. He tells them that he has been at the hospital and their mother is doing very well. It appears that she is out of the woods. They are happy, but Victor thinks that they should be ecstatic. What is the matter with the two of you? They tell him that they went to see Diane and she set them straight about the “fake” marriage. Now they know the truth. Now that their mother is going to live, he is going to drop the biggest bomb of her life on her. That marriage was just a stupid lie; it was a grand act to give their mother peace. Victoria tells him that she understands why he did it, but this is going to devastate Nikki; all you did was lead her on, Vicki accuses. Victor tells them that it is not that simple. It is more complicated than they can understand. They just look at him. As he sinks slowly into a chair, the two children march out of Nick's office.
DIANE is in Jack's office. Jack apologizes to her for being so negative about her relationship with Victor. He knows that she thinks Victor loves her and wants to be with her, but he can't help but wonder if there isn't something going on that she doesn't know about. He admits that he wishes that it could have been him that she chose, but since she didn't, he will be the one staying at home and making all the money while the two of them fly off to see the world.
NIKKI dials the penthouse but only gets the answering machine.
COLE AND ASHLEY are dancing and kissing. They sit back down and have another glass of champagne. Cole tells her that she is radiant. She tells him that it is because she is so happy. This wasn't a dream, was it? He assures her that it is real. "Ashley Howard," he says. "It has a lovely ring to it, don't you think?" They talk about his life with Victoria. He admits that he loved her for a long time, but the last couple of years, they were drifting apart. He stayed with her to try to recapture what they had, but finally realized that it was gone. Then he fell in love with Ashley. Ash says that Victoria is a tough act to follow, but she thinks she is up to the challenge. Cole wonders why they are talking about the past when they have so much in the present. He beckons and she follows him to the dance floor where they do a fancy number to the song "Isn't it Romantic."
Nick is in his office staring off into space. Grace comes in and gives him a report. He tells her it is fine, but she tells him that he isn't even reading it. He tells her that he is so upset; she guesses that it is about his inability to deal with a new stepdaughter. Nick says that he was presented with an unexpected baby and now he has a seven-year-old kid. How am I supposed to act? I'm just expected to go home and play DADDY DEAREST? This isn't the life that I wanted. Grace begins to massage all the knots out of Nick's shoulders. She thinks that something else is bothering him and he says that it is a family thing. More his father, he adds. He tells her that his mother is doing better and Grace tells him that this is incredible news. Look on the bright side, she advises. He looks at her and smiles. "You are right," he tells her. "Thanks, Grace. You are the first person in a long time to put a smile on my face." Sharon begins rubbing his shoulder again and tells him that he needs to call his wife. They need to talk. Then, if they can't work it out, he will know that he did the best that he could. He tells her that he will think about it, but his wife is so obsessed with this kid that she doesn't give a damn about anyone else. For the time being, he says, you are fired if you stop doing what you are doing. She laughs as she continues to massage his shoulders.
OLIVIA AND NEIL continue discussing the marriage breakup. Neil says that these things are so ironic. He knows people who look so incompatible but they manage to work things out. Then there are those that seem to have everything, but deep down, they are unsuited for each other. Like him and Dru. He loved her so much, but he just couldn't give her what she wanted. Olivia says that they were happy in the beginning before Dru began modeling. (Side note: wasn't Dru modeling BEFORE the marriage?) You are not the villain here, Olivia tells him, so don't allow your anger against my sister to destroy you. Neil wonders if he was wrong to want a traditional marriage, but Olivia tells him that he was not wrong. "Why couldn't Dru have been more like you?" Neil asks, looking deeply into Olivia's eyes. "If she were, we would still be together and I would be the happiest man alive."
CASSIE is depressed and Doris can see this. Cassie asks to go to visit Grace. Doris explains that she can't take her because of the wheelchair. She reminds her that Sharon loves her; Cassie says that she knows that. She goes into her room.
Sharon comes home and Doris whispers to her the conversation that she had with Cassie. Sharon says that she knows that Cassie misses Grace. She was hoping that Cassie would come to love her. Doris tells her to give it time. Also, she needs to provide her with a stable home just as Grace did. Sharon is afraid to talk to Nick; there is just so much unpleasantness a person can tolerate.
Cassie comes back into the room. Seeing her daughter so unhappy, Sharon asks her if she would like to visit Grace. Cassie brightens up considerably and gives Sharon a hug. Sharon sends her to get dressed.
The phone rings and it is Nick. He asks her if she can stop by the office; they need to talk. She says she will be there soon. When she hangs up, she is hopeful. Is it possible that he is going to give Cassie a chance? Doris is also encouraged; she tells Sharon that Nick loves her and Cassie is an easy child to love. Sharon calls Grace's office. At first, Grace acts like she is too busy to see Sharon, but when Sharon says she wants to bring Cassie to visit, she quickly changes her mind and says she will go home now. Sharon hangs up and says, "I hope I am not making a huge mistake!"
NIKKI calls the Newman penthouse again, but once again she only gets the answering machine.
JILL is working when Malcolm comes to her office. He tells her that he has been going through the executive's promotional photos and came up with hers. You can do better than this, he tells her. He says she is a lady full of pizzazz and sparks, but this photo has not of that. He wants to do another headshot and he guarantees that it will be better. Looking him up and down, Jill tells him that he would be perfect! She explains that she is searching for some fresh new faces for the Men's Line and she is looking at one right now. Me? Asks Malcolm. Let me spell it for you. NO, NO, NO. I take the pictures, I don't pose for them. She tells him that it is a shame to waste his face behind the camera, but he tells her that that is not his trip. Laughing, he leaves the office, telling her that he will call her about the headshot. Outside the office, he sees his reflection and begins to imagine himself posing in front of the camera. There are several poses in different outfits and with less and less on with each subsequent picture. When he comes back to himself, he sees Jill standing in her doorway smiling at him.
GRACE is waiting in her apartment when Sharon knocks on the door. She opens it and, shouting Mommy, Cassie throws herself into Grace's arms. She does correct herself and calls Grace by her name. Inside the apartment Cassie goes to "her" room to look for a book. Sharon tells Grace that they used to be such good friends. She would like to get that back again. Grace doesn't believe that would be possible. How could they ever go back to the way they were? Sharon says it depends on whether they want to or not. Think about it she says. He tells Grace that she will be back soon to pick up Cassie.
After Sharon is gone, Grace calls Cassie out of her room. She runs into Graces arms crying, "Mommy, mommy, mommy."
JACK asks when
Victor will get his divorce, but Diane doesn't care. They are going on their fantastic trip with or without the divorce. Jack flippantly remarks that outside of Hollywood, Nikki and Victor's marriage is going to be the shortest on record. Diane tells him that she is glad that Nikki didn't die, but now that she is getting better and she and Victor will be together again, she will never have to hear that woman's voice again and that is fine by her. Jack says that the marriage seems to have done the trick, but if he were standing at Death's Door and saw Victor's face looking down at him, he would knock the door down to get to the other side.
Diane is about to leave when there is a call. Jack answers to find a nurse on the other end asking for Diane Newman. Jack gives Diane the phone, asking if she has forgotten a doctor's appointment. Puzzled, Diane answers and is surprised that it is Nikki on the other end. Diane asks how she is doing and Nikki answers that she is getting better. Diane says that they have all been concerned for her. Nikki asks her to come by the hospital; she wants to talk to her. Diane says that she will be there in 15 minutes. Fascinating, Jack says when she hangs up the phone. Fascinating is the word, Diane agrees. What could she want with me? Jack says that she will have her answer very soon.
NICK is still staring off in space when Sharon knocks at the door. She asks how he is doing and he says he is fine. He asks about Noah. Sharon said she would have brought him but since they were going to be talking . . . Nick interrupts and says that it was best that she didn't bring him. She asks if he has been thinking about accepting Cassie; having her in the family is not the end of the world. Nick says that he doesn't like having a seven-year-old kid sprung on him from out of nowhere! What was I supposed to do when Grace brought my daughter to me? Turn my back on her? Nick doesn't know, but he doesn't see them living happily ever after. Sorry, Sharon, but the kid has changed everything for me. Then we don't have much to talk about, Sharon says. "I want to make one thing clear," Nick says, coldly. "My family is not to know about Cassie. I don't want any conflict. My mother will be coming home from the hospital soon and I don't want any conflict by you telling them about your child." Sharon says that his mom coming home is a reason to celebrate. Why can't we share this happiness? Look at yourself, Nicholas, she continues. You can't even take joy from that and you call me obsessed. Nick swings around on her and tells her not to turn this around on him. Sharon shakes her head sadly and asks, "What happened to the Nicholas I used to know?" When he doesn't answer, she turns and walks out the door with her head held high. But on the outside, she leans against the wall in tears.