JACK plays the tape against Diane's protests. Several times Diane takes all that she can and has Jack stop the tape. However, Jack will not let her get away with stopping it completely. With each restart of the "play" button, Diane's hopes are dashed further and further. She rants at Jack, but he tells her to rant all she wants to; she will listen to what Victor has to say. Finally, the most damaging words ring through the house. "Not now, not tomorrow and now ever will I resume my relationship with Diane." You goaded him into saying that, she says to Jack.
"Diane! Do I have to play this tape again?" Jack asks. "He is NEVER coming back to you, Diane. When will you get that through your head! Believe me, I get no pleasure from doing this. Listen to the tape! It isn't what he said; it is what he didn't say." When Diane tells him to get out, he tells her that he will go, but she knows where he is if she needs him. "I am not going to need you," Diane tells him, coldly. Jack is almost to the door when he turns back around. "I have tried to help you," he shouts angrily. "But I can not do this any more!" He slams out of the apartment.
NIKKI arrives at Victor's office wearing a very sexy low-cut dress. She begins to flirt with Victor, but he wants to know what she is doing out of the house. She tells him she is going shopping before their romantic night out. He is sure that she is there for some other reason. Nikki finally admits that she wonders how his visit with Diane went.
When Victor tells her that he believes that Diane is healing, she cattily asks if he took her pulse. Why do you have this attitude? Victor asks. Diane made an enormous sacrifice so that we could be together. Why can't you show some empathy for her? Diane says that she doesn't like Diane and she is sure that Diane had nothing good to say about her. Victor tells her that Diane didn't even mention her; Nikki should lose this uncharitable attitude.
SHARON unlocks her front door and brings her children into their home. They look around but Nick is nowhere to be seen. Cassie says that Sharon promised that Nick would be waiting for them. Nick comes out of the nursery; he was just changing the sheets and picking up. He says hello to everyone then takes his son in his arms. Cassie notices that a chair has been moved, but Nick didn't notice. He makes such a production of it that Cassie thinks she has said something wrong. It is awkward for a while. When Sharon takes Noah to the nursery, Nick and Cassie give each other a long look.
Cassie tells Nick that she knows that he doesn't like her, but Nick corrects her. Why would she say that? You weren't expecting to have a stepdaughter, Cassie reminds him. Nick kneels down in front of her at eye level and says that she wasn't expecting a stepfather, either. But here we are, he says. Sometimes life hands you little unexpected things. It is up to you whether they are good or bad surprises. He goes on to tell her that they will get through this. Cassie thanks him for being so nice. She then kisses him on the cheek and tells him good night. Sharon is standing watching this little exchange with a loving smile on her face.
Later, Nick says, "How can I not make room in my heart for such a sweet and amazing little girl? What does that say about me?" Sharon reminds him that they will be able to do this. We WILL be a family!
CHRIS is wearing a short, sexy turquoise gown when she enters the bedroom. After they kiss, Paul thinks that they should drink a toast. He pours each of them a glass of champagne. "To you, my soul mate, the most beautiful woman my heart could know," he toasts. After they drink, Chris tells him that the toast was lovely. They make passionate love. Later, as they lay curled up in the bed, she promises him that she will be there forever; they will never part again.
MALCOLM comes out of the bathroom in only a towel just as Olivia comes home. He tells her that if she had arrived just five minutes sooner, she could have joined him in a rub-a-dub-dub. He tells her that Neil has told him off. He is going over to Vicki's office and try to make things right. He leaves to get dressed. When he comes out of the bedroom, Olivia tells him not to go. She says that Neil is in Vicki's office right now. Good, Malcolm says. Maybe they will make up and Neil will get off his back!
DIANE paces the floor, alone. She keeps looking in the direction of the tape recorder. Finally, she picks it up and listens to it again. Once she has heard it through, she puts it into her purse and leaves the apartment.
PHYLLIS rushes to answer the door and is surprised to find Danny there. He says he came to pick up Daniel. Phyllis protests; you said he could spend the night. What happened to your plans? She asks. Danny tells her that his plans changed. Phyllis says that Daniel is already asleep. She guesses that he and Chris had a fight, but he tells her that it wasn't a fight; Chris went back to Paul. He asks her not to make a wise crack or give him any of her garbage, and Phyllis says she would never do that. She can't believe that Chris would give up a wonderful man like Danny! She is really sorry that he is hurt; she has been there and it isn't fun. She offers him a drink and he says he will take ten. Instead she fixes him a cup of cinnamon tea. Before he leaves, Danny looks at her and says, "If only you had been like this when we were married, I might never have left." After he is gone, Phyllis murmurs, "Maybe there is hope, yet."
COLE and ASHLEY are out dining and dancing. They are flirting and teasing each other in between the times that they aren't kissing. Cole hints that there is something that he needs to tell Ashley. Finally, after much persuasion from Ash, he tells her that his lawyer called today. The divorce will be heard tomorrow. One more day and he will officially be hers. Ashley is ecstatic!
DIANE slowly approaches Victor's door and knocks. He is surprised to see her there, but tells her that she is always welcome. They exchange some small talk, then Diane says that when he stopped by her apartment, he said that he missed her. I do, Victor responds. You said you cared about me, Diane goes on. Victor is becoming uncomfortable, but he says, "Of course. Your well being is very important to me."
"Then explain what you meant about what you said," Diane pleads. "Jack has told me some things. I have to know where I stand in your life. If I don't, I will lose my mind. Where do I fit in?" Victor is just staring at her.
VICTORIA tells Neil that she is pregnant. He is shocked, but he tells her that nothing has changed. She tells him that the pregnancy was the last thing she expected and she doesn't know how to handle it. She says that everything has changed, but Neil says he is not going anywhere. He is going to be right there by her side. "Vicki, sweetheart," he says. "This child that you are carrying, let it be my child." Now it is Victoria who has a completely uncomprehending look on her face.
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DIANE wants to know if Victor meant it when he told her that he loved her, that she was important in his life. Yes, I care for you, Victor admits. And, I miss your company. Would you prefer that I lie about that and say it isn't true? For some reason, this encourages Diane. She gets a happy look on her face and with a sigh of relief, she says, "Thank God! I knew it was a mistake! You only married Nikki for sympathetic reasons. I understand your sympathy for her; you wanted to reunite the family. It was great compassion, but it wasn't love---not the kind of love that will sustain a marriage. Not the kind you have for me." Victor looks uncomfortable as he listens to Diane. You seem very certain of your facts, he says. He tells her that he wants to stay married to Nikki. "Not two months ago you told me that you loved me. That doesn't disappear suddenly! I know you still love me. You have no idea how difficult things have been for me, but I know that you will come to your senses and come back to me."
"Let me make something perfectly clear," Victor says. "I care for you; I miss you a lot, but my intention is to stay with Nikki. I have no intention of leaving her. I am sorry if I gave you the impression that I was going to leave her. You obviously put your own interpretation on my words." He goes on to say that while Nikki was hovering between life and death, he fell in love with her all over again. "So you can just throw me on the garbage heap?" Diane demands. "You told me you never wanted to see Nikki again, that she was no longer part of your life. You lead me on and all the time you knew you were dumping me?" Victor says that he hoped that they could always be friends; his intention was to help her to heal. So all this time, you have just been mollifying me, Diane says. I've just lost the man I love, a man who told me nothing and no one would come between us. And all the time you didn't mean any of it. They were just words that were as meaningless as the promise you made on our wedding day. Victor says he is sorry he hurt her, but he didn't think he was misleading her. How was he to know she would sit in that apartment all day waiting for him to come back? If he had known that, he would have done something. She takes out the recorder and asks if he would say these words. She begins to play the tape. Victor is incensed. "Where did you get that?" Diane says she got it from the only person who would tell her the truth. "Jack Abbot," Victor guesses. "When I get my hands on Jack Abbott . . ." That's right, blame Jack, Diane rages. Well, I say thank God for Jack. Here. Give it back to him. If I have to listen to it one more time, I'm going to be sick!"
MICHAEL stops by a retiring partner in the firm to say good bye and to thank him for all his help when he got out of the penitentiary. Looking around at the magnificent office, Michael mentions that he now has a really big client, one that will bring prestige and importance to the firm. He is going to need another office in order to impress her. Mr. Bryant tells him that he will talk to the managing partner who owes him a favor. The office is his. When he is alone in the office, he calls Phyllis to come and see him!
MEGAN and TRICIA are about to leave for a girl's night out when Ryan calls. Since Tricia is in the other room, Megan answers the phone. He tells her that he has a special night planned for Tricia if she will make her excuses and leave. Megan guesses the kind of night he has planned and promises to leave as soon as she can. However, Tricia doesn't take Megan's change of plans very well and puts up quite a fight to keep her from leaving.
NICK and SHARON are feeling a little awkward with one another. They are walking around on eggshells to be polite. Eventually, they decide that they have to forget the past few weeks and go on from there. Sharon tells him that she knows how to make him more comfortable. He picks her up and carries her up to the bedroom. While making love, Nick suddenly stops and asks her if she took precautions. Realizing that she has gotten caught up in the moment, she excuses herself and goes to the bathroom to prepare. Coming back, he reminds her that he doesn't want another child.
PHYLLIS arrives at the law offices and asks the receptionist where Michael is; he isn't in his office. The receptionist points to where a man is putting up a new sign by the new office. Michael comes out and tells her that it is being cast in bronze while they speak. She is duly impressed with his change in accommodations at the firm.
JACK walks into Victor's office. "You rang?" he asks, innocently. Slowly and deliberately, Victor rises. He reaches into his coat pocket and removes the tape recorder. "I believe this is yours," he says quietly. He then walks over to the door and closes it. "You have pulled a lot of stunts," Victor begins, his voice rising with every word. "But where do you get the guts to tape a private conversation? WHERE THE HELL DO YOU GET OFF PLAYING IT FOR DIANE?" Jack says that Diane was obsessed with the belief that Victor was coming back to her. He couldn't let her sit around deluding herself when all Victor had to do was tell her he wasn't coming back. I told you this any number of times, Jack reminds Victor. Victor says that he was taking care of it himself, but Jack says he was only keeping Diane on hand and ready just in case things didn't work out with Nikki. She was just someone he could go running back to. You are wrong, Victor strongly denies. You are patently wrong! Jack doesn't believe him and tells him so. He can't understand how Victor could do this to a woman he married and supposedly loved. "Stop interfering!" Victor demands. "I will handle this. You stay away from Diane. Now, Jack Abbot, I warn you, get out of here now!"
In as firm a voice as possible, Jack warns Victor that he should stay away from Diane; not to do so would only do her harm.
MICHAEL is alone in his office surveying his new domain. The phone rings and it is Mrs. Newman. She tells him that she wants to see him first thing in the morning. We are going to war, she tells him. We are going after my ex-husband in every way possible. I want him hung out to dry! She then hangs up.
"Wonderful, Mrs. Newman," Michael smiles as he hangs up the phone. "And I may have a wonderful surprise for you as well."
TRICIA argues with Megan, trying to make her stay, but Megan insists that she has a date with Alec. She reminds her that there were plenty of times when she wanted to be alone with Ryan and she accommodated her. Now it is time to pay her back. Once she is in the hall, she runs into Ryan and tells him that Tricia is not in a good mood. Ryan goes in to hear Tricia complain without end about how rude Megan has been. He reminds her that if she had gone out with Megan, she wouldn't have the rest of the evening with him. She begins to brighten. They share a wine. He dims the lights and puts on a romantic CD. As they are dancing, he suddenly falls to his knees and proposes to her. He takes out the ring and slips it on his finger. She is so excited! He begs her to give an answer soon, as he is about to get a cramp from kneeling so long. She shouts yes, yes, yes; Ryan rises and they kiss.
NEIL promises that Vicki will get past this moment of disappointment. She will make her decision and they will pick up where they left off. She thinks he is looking at this problem with too much simplicity. He tells her that he wants this child she is carrying to be his. Vicki can't believe what she is hearing, but he goes on to tell her that he really means it. He wants to marry her. Vicki is dumbstruck! She tells him that she is overwhelmed by his proposal, but she doesn't know what to do. "Let me make the decision for you," he offers. "I want to be here for you. I love you. Sooner or later I was going to find a way to prove that to you. Now this comes along." You are incredible, Vicki says, as she hugs him. So are you, he tells her. Neil assumes that Cole is the baby's father. Vicki says that it happened before they separated and while their relationship was strained. It wasn't planned; it was the last thing she expected to happen. Cole is not to know, Vicki stresses to Neil. However, Neil thinks that she should tell Cole; he has a right to know. This baby was made within a marriage. He makes her promise that she will think about it.
Later, all alone in the office, Vicki answers the telephone. It is Mitchell Sherman. He tells her that she needs to be in court first thing tomorrow; her divorce will be heard then. She tells him that she will be there. After hanging up, she whispers, "I'll see Cole tomorrow." She covers her face with her hands. "Oh, God, what am I going to do?"
VICKI is sitting in divorce court listening to the judge say that she decrees that this marriage is over. Suddenly, she jumps up and announces to the court that she is pregnant. Cole is sitting there with his mouth hanging open. Suddenly, Vicki sits up in bed and realizes that it was only a nightmare. "What am I going to do?" she asks herself. There is a knock on the door and Victor asks if he can come in; he wants to speak to her before she goes to court.
Vicki tells Victor that it is hard to believe that her marriage will end today. He tells her that it isn't too late; he has a feeling that she isn't ready to let this man go. Vicki tells him that her marriage is over; she is only feeling the usual sadness at the end of a marriage. Victor wants to go to court with her, but she tells him that she can handle it alone. He tells her to call him if she needs him to be there.
TRICIA is the first to wake up. She lies beside Ryan and looks at her new engagement ring. Ryan wakes up and asks if she is thinking of exchanging it. She says she loves it and will never take it off. She almost loves the ring as much as she loves him. She tells Ryan that he has made all of her dreams come true and he says that he will spend the rest of his days making her happy. Just then, there is a pounding at the door.
DIANE admits Jack to the apartment and tells him that they are still friends; he has always been her friend. She admits that until last night she was living in a fantasy world, but not any longer. She now sees Victor Newman for the man he is and she is determined to make that man pay for what he has done to her! After telling Jack all that happened when she confronted Victor, Jack asks if she is now ready to take legal action. Diane says that her attorney is already on the way over, however, she wants to know why he is pushing her so hard for legal action. "In a word, justice," Jack answers. "People like Victor go through life pushing people out of their way and they rarely get what they deserve. Just once, I'd like to see Mr. Moneybags held accountable----I want to see him pay!" The doorman calls up to announce that Michael Baldwin is downstairs.
JILL is up and dressed for work when Esther comes in with the coffee service. She starts to back out, but Jill catches her and wonders why she is leaving. She answers that she hoped Jill would leave before she ruined Mrs. Chancellor's day. Katherine comes in just then and sends Esther out, saying that she doesn't deserve to be treated like this. Once again, Jill and Katherine get into an argument. Jill complains about what her life---what she---would be like if Phillip hadn't died. Katherine wonders just how long she was in this house before she decided to seduce her husband. After rehashing the difference between stealing a husband and pushing him away, Jill accuses Katherine of preferring to see Phillip dead than married to her. She accuses Katherine of having been drinking for hours before she went to the airport to pick up Phillip. "Phillip was coming to me; he wanted to tell me that we could be married. When he told you that, you drove off that cliff on purpose. You would rather see him dead than to spend a lifetime with me." Most of what Jill says, hits home with Katherine, but she turns back to Jill and tells her that a lifetime with her would have killed him. "So you took care of that yourself!" Jill says. Katherine slaps her face and leaves. "You will pay for that!" Jill promises the air around her.
RYAN rushes to the door in only his pajama bottoms. Alec and Megan have dropped by with bakery items for a celebratory breakfast, but they see that they have dropped in at an inconvenient time. Both Tricia and Ryan say that it is all right. They leave Alec and Megan to make the coffee while they get dressed. However, Tricia warns them that if they aren't back in five minutes, they just got sidetracked.
VICKI arrives at the courthouse and is surprised to find Cole there; since she is the one suing for the divorce, it isn't necessary for him to be there. Cole thinks that something is wrong with Vicki, but she only says that she has been dreading this. Cole agrees; he hates to fail at anything and divorce is definitely a failure. Vicki starts to tell Cole about the baby, but the bailiff tells them that the judge is ready for court.
Inside, Vicki is called to the stand for questioning by Mitchell Sherman. She testifies that she is Cole's wife, that she is the petitioner in this case, and that she and Cole have been separated for over a year. "Since you have been separated, have you had marital relations with your husband?" Mitchell Sherman asks.
Vicki hesitates and looks to Cole. After waiting for a few seconds, the judge repeats the question. Vicki dodges the truth with semantics. "Since we have been separated, Cole and I have not had any kind of marital relationship," she replies. "There is nothing to salvage. He isn't my husband and hasn't been for a long time." The judge asks Cole if he agrees. Standing, Cole says that Victoria will always have a special place in his heart, but she is not the person that he wants to spend the rest of his life with and raise a family with. He says that they are no longer emotionally married. There is nothing outside the law to hold them together. Sherman offers Vicki a paper and asks if this is the mutually agreed upon settlement and she answers yes. There will be no support required on either side and they are equally dividing their assets.
"Were there any children either adopted or born of this marriage?" asks the judge. Once again, Vicki is left wanting for words. The judge has to once again remind her to answer the question. "No," Vicki proclaims. "No children have been adopted or born during this marriage." In that case, the judge says, I can see that the marital relationship has been broken. He will sign the decree. If the two lawyers will meet him in his chambers, he will sign the papers ending this marriage.
Left alone, Vicki and Cole look at each other. Cole says that now they can move forward with their lives. There is nothing to tie either of them to the past. They say goodbye and Cole leaves the courtroom. At the doorway, Ashley is waiting for him. Vicki is left alone in tears.
JACK wants to stay for the interview between Michael and Diane, but Michael discourages it. Diane says that she will fill him in later. Jack leaves after telling Michael to do right by his client; Victor Newman put her through hell and he should pay---big time! After they are alone, Michael asks Diane why she made this turn-around. She tells him about confronting Victor the night before. Victor accused her of being delusional. He swore that she was the love of his life, she trusted him when he said he would come back to her, and he accuses her of being delusional? Well, no more. She wants him to pay. Michael makes her go over everything again in minute detail. Then he tells her that he sees two distinct possibilities and they are both fascinating. One, the circumstances leading up to the divorce is highly questionable. The fact that Victor divorced her to marry a dying woman while promising to remarry her is highly suspect. The second point, he tells her, is even more intriguing. Since she never signed any papers and was never served with any papers---what would you say if I told you that there is the possibility that you and Victor Newman are not legally divorced?
VICTOR visits Sharon at the Caretaker's Cottage. He is glad things are going well for her and Nick. Sharon tells him that she brought someone else with them, Cassie. Why? Victor asks. As Sharon tries to tell him, he interrupts and tells her that having Cassie there will make problems for the marriage. Sharon tells him that Cassie is her little girl; she is the child she gave up when she was a teenager. She always regretted that decision; now she has her daughter back. Victor asks how this came about, but Sharon doesn't want to get into that at this time. When Victor restates his position that Cassie in the house will be problems, Sharon tells him that he doesn't know her daughter well enough to say that. The only thing that is important is that Nick accepts Cassie into the family.
Just then, Cassie rushes into the house, all excited about finding a family of bunnies in the yard under the hedge. They are so cute! She wants Sharon to come see them. She tells Sharon that they are brownish gray with white tails. You didn't touch them, did you? Sharon asks. Cassie knows that you aren't supposed to touch them because then the mother will reject them. If a baby bird falls out of the nest, you should leave it alone or the mother will leave it. She learned that in school, she tells them. Are you coming to see the bunnies? She asks again. Sharon points out that they have a guest. Do you remember Mr. Newman? She asks. "Hi, Mr. Newman," Cassie says. "You are Nicholas' father, aren't you?" Victor is intrigued by the conversation, first by the conversation between mother and daughter and now by her conversation with him. Cassie says that she has a feeling that she should go back outside and Victor asks her why. Cassie says that he and Sharon were having a private conversation. Victor doesn't want her to leave on his account, but she smiles at him and says, "I like you, Mr. Newman. I hope we can be friends." With that said, she goes back to the bunnies. "Humph!" says Victor after she has gone. He has a look of fascination on his face and Sharon looks as thought she could say, "I told you so!"
GRACE enters Nick's office to find him in a really happy mood. He tells her that he feels good; he feels better than he has felt in a long time. He tells her that Sharon is back and they are a family again. As he goes on and on about how well things are going and how much he loves Sharon, Grace becomes more and more depressed. She tries to leave, but Nick tells her that they have a lot of work to do. He notices that she is crying so he asks what is wrong. He wonders if Tony has done something to her. She tells him that Tony is fine; she is just tired from all the overtime plus she is having a bad day. She tells him that all she needs to do is focus on work. He reminds her that he is always there for her just as she is always there for him.
ASHLEY asks Cole how it feels to be a free man, but adds that he better not get used to it because in just six month, he won't be free any longer. He says he is counting the days and nights---all one hundred eighty of them. Ashley gets a thoughtful look on her face and tells him that she is concerned about Victoria; she looks like she is in rough shape. She thinks she should go and talk to her. Cole doesn't think it is necessary, but he wishes her luck. DIANE wants Michael to repeat what he has just said. "It is possible you and Victor may not be legally divorced," Michael repeats. He explains that in Victor's great rush to marry Nikki before she died, and because he never expected the divorce to come under close scrutiny, he neglected a few things. He expected to remarry her, so what would be the harm? Then the joke was on me! Diane exclaims. "No," answers Michael with a smile. "This is where we turn the tables on him. You will have the last laugh after all!"
Diane assures him that she never would have agreed to divorce Victor had she felt there was any chance that Victor wouldn't come back to her. She would never have done anything to lose Victor. "If I am correct," Michael says, "just think of the implications! If you are still Mrs. Victor Newman, you would be entitled . . ." He stops and tells her that he has just a little more research to do before they can act in any way; Diane tells him to do it quickly.
KATHERINE comes downstairs to find Jill working; she tells Katherine that she often works from home---which reminds her that this could have been her home. Katherine says that they are both acting like children. All of that is in the past, she says. They should learn to live in the present. I'm not the same woman that I was, Katherine says. "And you aren't the same girl. We are different people; we made mistakes, not let's put them in the past where they belong. Wallowing in self pity will not bring him back for either of us."
Jill says that if she would just once admit that what she did had a developmental impact on her life, maybe she could forget, but all she wants is to find a way to make her pay. She walks over to the window and parts the curtains. She looks out at Phillips grave and says that she can never forget everything that Phillip wanted her to have. He loved me; you know he did. I had the one thing you truly wanted; I was the woman he desired. That is the fact that you have had to live with for the past 20 years and what you will have to live with until the day you die. That is my revenge. Think bout that the next time you take flowers out there. Jill leaves the room. Katherine walks over and looks out at the tombstone. She picks up Phillip's picture and holds it to her body. "NOOOOOOOO," she cries out. "Nonononononono."
MICHAEL stops by the apartment to pick up some papers and books he needs for his research. Phyllis tries to seduce him, but he is able to resist her. He says that she deserves his undivided attention and right now he is a little distracted by his newest case. She wants to know who this mysterious client is, but he refuses to tell her. All he will say is that this case is very newsworthy. After he manages to escape her "clutches," and leaves, Phyllis says that the old Michael was more fun!
JACK returns to Diane's apartment. He has something he wants to talk about before she tells him what happened with Baldwin. He thinks she should get rid of her attorney; he has learned a lot as a businessman, and he doesn't like Baldwin. He has a bad feeling about him; he is snotty, abrasive, arrogant, and has a bad attitude. He is afraid Baldwin will leave her worse off than he found her. Diane tells him that she values his advice, even though she may disagree with him. She has complete confidence in Michael; he already has a unique approach to the case. "Listen to this," she says. "Victor-and-I-may-not-be-legally-divorced!" Jack makes her repeat it to be sure that he heard correctly. He is amazed! This opens up all kinds of possibilities. Okay, Jack says, I may not like him, but I am now impressed with Baldwin. Happily, Jack observes that Diane has the Mustache by the short hairs. He thinks that Michael finally has Diane moving in a direct that he thinks she should be moving. "Boy, I'd love to see Victor's face when he gets the good news!"
NEIL is waiting for Victoria in her office just in case she needs to talk. Or, they can go for a drive; he is open to any suggestions. Just hold me, Vicki says as she falls into his arms in tears. She can't believe that the divorce is over. Neil says that part of him wondered if she would go through with the divorce. Is this what you really want? Vicki says that Cole is in love with another woman and she is in love with him; the divorce is the best thing. But your pregnancy changes everything, Neil tells her. "It changes everything for ME," Victoria corrects him. Ashley is the love of Cole's life. The last thing he needs is something to chain him to me.
Outside, Ashley has reached Vicki's door. As she starts to go in, she hears the conversation inside and hesitates. She hears Neil insist that now is the time she should tell Cole. She can't keep her head in the sand; Cole has a right to know. As their voices rise in argument, Ashley stands outside the door wondering if she should leave or stay. Vicki cannot go to Cole now. "How can you keep this from him?" Neil asks. "He is the father of your baby. He has a right to know as soon as possible!"
In the hallway, Ashley gasps in horror. She covers her mouth, stunned at what she has heard.
VICTOR is working at home when Nikki comes down the stairs dressed in a beautiful light pink sundress. She tells him that she is happy having him work at home. He tells her that he just came from Sharon's and she told him about Cassie. Nikki is glad that he finally knows; it was Nick that didn't want him to know. Victor wants to know more about Cassie's background and Nikki tells him the whole story. Victor wonder how many psychological scars Cassie could have from the abandonment and Nikki knows that he is talking about his own abandonment. Victor wonders what it would do to Cassie if her adoptive mother suddenly learned that Cassie has become a Newman. Nikki thinks that will not happen; they should just focus on Cassie. They should reach out to her; she is the newest member of the family. Victor says that he will do everything to support anything that Nick wants, but he knows it can't be easy for Nick to accept another man's son. Just then, the door opens and Sharon comes in with Cassie. "I've got something for you, Mrs. Newman," Cassie calls out.
Sharon has helped Cassie pick some flowers to take to Nikki. If she had known that Mr. Newman was here, she would have brought him some too. Nikki takes her and Sharon to the kitchen where she will pour Cassie some milk and then put the flowers into water.
ALICE is wandering around the house complaining that life is the pits. She is about to explode; there is nothing to do here! Millie suggests a new movie that is showing in town, but Alice says it is no fun going to the movie alone. If something doesn't come along soon . . . You mean if some man doesn't come along, don't you? Millie asks. Alice says that she likes men; nothing wrong with that. She walks over to the mantel and looks at Victor's picture. "I need someone like Victor Newman; he could jump start my battery. Not to mention that he is loaded; he could buy anything he wanted. What it must be like to be able to do that!" Millie tells her that the Victor Newmans of this world have no time for the likes of her. A girl can dream, can't she? Alice says.
CHRIS visits Mary with a large bouquet of flowers. She has heard that Mary isn't feeling well, but Mary says it is the price of growing old. She is happy to see Chris and they have a pleasant conversation. Chris notices Carl's picture on the mantel and asks about him. It seems that Paul never talks about his father. Mary tells her what a wonderful man Carl was; he was not the kind of man who would walk out on his family. They had a wonderful marriage; she hopes that Chris and Paul will have one just as wonderful. She says that Carl saw so many ugly things at work but he never brought them home with him. She wonders if that is what happened to him, because being a policeman is hard---divorce, suicide, and alcoholism. She says that she has often tried to take Carl's picture up to the attic with the rest of his things, but somehow he just hasn't been able to do it.
NEIL is telling Vicki to do the responsible thing and tell Cole that he is the father of her baby. Outside the office, Ashley is stunned. She hears Vicki tell Neil that there is no reason to tell him; a baby would be just be a complication to his life. As Neil continues to badger her, Vicki completely loses it and tells Neil that she can't handle this right now. What is wrong with you? She cries. Leave it alone! Neil assures her that he only wants to be there for her, to support her.
CARL/JIM stands at the window staring out at the wildflowers when Ruth comes in. She says that spring is a time of rebirth. It reminds him of the day they met; the day that she found him beside the road beaten almost to death. If she had not arrived when she did, he probably would have died. He said that he thanks God every day that she came into his life. She wonders if he ever wonders about his life before he came into her life. He has no recollection of who he was, what he did, whether he had a family, nothing. "You are my life now, Ruthie," he tells her. "But you shouldn't be taking in anymore strays." When she tells him that he was a keeper, he asks that she never send him away. I still can't forget that out there somewhere, there is a family that misses you, she tells him.
PAUL visits Chris at Legal Aid. Chris tells him that she went to visit his mother. She asks Paul what he thinks happened to his father. Paul would rather not talk about it, but Chris asks if he thinks that his dad disappeared on purpose. Paul tells her that his dad would not do that; he was devoted to Mary and the rest of the family. He says that he searched and searched but never found a clue. It was like he disappeared without a trace. Chris wonders if it would help Mary to put it to rest and find some peace if they had Carl declared legally dead.
When VICKI is alone in her office, Ashley comes in. Vicki is definitely not happy to see her. Ashley explains that she came with the best of intentions; she wanted to see if there was something she could do to help her. She says that she overheard her tell Neil that she was pregnant with Cole's baby. Vicki tells her that it is none of her business, but Ashley tells her that Cole has a right to know. She warns Ashley to stay out of this, but Ashley tells her to tell Cole or she would do it herself. Vicki tells her that if she does, she will be sorry. "I am already sorry," Ashley says. "I am sorry for all of us."
MICHAEL visits Chris. As he stands by the door, hesitant to enter, she tells him that contrary to popular belief, she doesn't bite. He only wanted to thank her for giving him back his life. Chris thinks that it was poetic justice; he breathed life back into Danny and she brought his career back to life. She is realizing more and more that one can't live in the past. He hopes that she can one day forget all the ugly things he did to her as the old Michael. While talking about his new case, he says it is ironic that he, an abuser of women, will be representing a woman who has been terribly abused by her husband. All he wants is to see that her husband doesn't cheat her out of what is coming to her. JOHN SILVA arrives at the ranch at Victor's request. He wants him to draw up an equitable settlement for Diane, keeping in mind that he has already given her the penthouse at Newman Towers. After the sacrifice she made, I assume you want the settlement to be generous? John asks. That depends on how you define generous, Victor says. Victor repeats that the settlement should be equitable but fair. After all, they weren't married for long and John should take that into consideration. John wonders if Diane will have a problem accepting a settlement, but Victor says that Diane is not a vengeful person. She will adjust, given enough time, he says. He hopes that their friendship will survive. As John leaves, Victor tells him to keep in mind that he wants Diane to be comfortable, but don't go overboard.
COLE is on his way to Vicki's office when Neil sees him. He wants to talk to him in private and since the boardroom is empty, they go in there. He tells Cole that he and Vicki have become friends and Cole is happy that she will have someone there to look after her. However, Neil doesn't know if Vicki will consider him a friend after what he is about to do. He then tells Cole that Vicki is pregnant and he (Cole) is the father. Cole thinks that he is kidding but Neil assures him that he is serious. "There is no way Vicki can be pregnant---at least not by me," Cole laughs. "This is one of Vicki's sick jokes, isn't it? She is just trying to make trouble for Ashley and me." When Neil objects, Cole tells him that he was married to the woman; he knows how she operates. While they were married, it was one drama after the other. He tells Neil to go back and tell Vicki that it was a nice try, but it didn't work. Neil says that this isn't a con; it isn't a game or a mistake. Cole tells Neil that he doesn't believe this, but if it is true, he has the wrong guy, because he is not the father. He leaves Neil who is shaking his head in disbelief.
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