Directed by Kathryn Foster
VICTOR sits at his computer ready to work when NIKKI enters his office because she's edgy about the divorce proceedings today. She apologizes for interrupting Victor and also asks if Miguel gave him Phyllis' message. Victor rises to comfort Nikki, promising her that nothing is going to go wrong. He's even called his travel agent and the two of them are going away to someplace warm and sunny so they can be alone. Holding Nikki, Victor does not see his computer screen, which reads, "File is already accessed. Would you like to sign in under another name?" His attention is fully focused on Nikki, who tells him she'll leave him to his work, and he declares, "Sweetheart, it will be over with. I promise you. All right?" The cursor on the screen continues to blink, unnoticed.
BRAD enters JACK'S office and finds him asleep at his desk. Brad's explosion wavers between anger and worry. Why didn't Jack lock his door? What if Victor had walked in and seen that Jack had accessed his personal files? Jack rouses and tells Brad to calm down. Brad wants to know if Jack found anything and Jack shows Brad that there is yet another password to enter. Both wonder if Victor would use "Nicole" again and just how many tries Jack gets to enter the password before the program shuts down. Fortunately for them, Victor did not follow the instructions to use multiple passwords and "Nicole" works a second time. They find the entire spreadsheet for the Newman-Forrester negotiations labeled by Victor as "My Deal." Nikki, who tells them that she needed a diversion from thinking about the divorce proceedings, surprises them. She asks for coffee and Brad offers to take her down to the commissary for a cup and then perhaps a walk. Nikki notices that Jack has looked at his watch three times since she came in and wonders if he's is trying to get rid of her.
PAUL and CHRISdiscuss the fact that Mary doesn't know that Carl fell in love with the woman who nursed him back to health, even though Mary has met, and likes, Ruth. MICHAEL interrupts them with a call to request moving the divorce proceedings back. Chris tells him no and Michael doggedly says he understands if Chris can't or won't give him the extra time, but she doesn't feel sorry for him. Before leaving to meet with John and nail down some final details, Chris asks Paul if he's talked to his contact in Madison about Millie. She's worried about the situation with Cassie. Paul tells Chris that Sharon will be all right because she has the best attorney.
After Chris leaves, Paul calls FRED and finds out that Millie was released from Liberty Hospital and was scheduled to go to Angel of Mercy Nursing Home. The problem is she never made it. Fred offers to dig deeper, but Paul tells him that he'll handle it. When Paul calls Alpha Medical Transport and talks to the attendant who picked up Millie from the hospital. He informs Paul that Alice insisted that he take Millie home, which he found unusual for a woman in Millie's condition. According to the driver Millie is going to need full time care and Alice doesn't seem to be the type of daughter who can handle the situation. Paul tells LYNNE that he's worried and must go to Madison and check things out. Lynne offers to call Chris and give her the message.
TONY confronts NICK at Crimson Lights, telling him that Cassie may be in trouble. Nick accuses Tony of trying to move in on Sharon as revenge for what happened with Grace. Tony tells him that Sharon is a friend and he would never use Sharon that way, but Nick is wary. When Tony relates the entire story about Alice's search for Cassie to Nick, he tells Tony that he spoke with Sharon yesterday and she never said a word to him. Tony says that Nick made it hard for Sharon to ask him for anything. In fact, declares Tony, he should have steered clear of the whole situation, but he's worried about Cassie and Sharon. Disgusted with Nick's attitude, Tony assures him that Sharon will get through this with no thanks to Nick.
DIANE paces back and forth while telling MARISSA that she's sure Victor will hit the roof when he finds out she wants a seat on the NE Board of Directors, but it will be worth facing his wrath because Diane knows that the seat means so much to Jack. There is a knock on the door and Marissa wonders who it could be. Diane smiles, runs to the door, and calls, "Darling, is that you?" Expecting to find Jack on the other side, she is completely thrown when she finds Victor. He's come to ask her a favor. He knows the lawyers are together and asks Diane if she wants the divorce proceedings to go as smoothly as he does. He proposes that since he and Diane have a vested interest in this meeting, they should both attend and be there to settle any loose ends.
OLIVIA looks at MALCOLM through his hospital door and remembers her last conversation with him. Malcolm sees her and motions for Olivia to enter. He's glad to see her and asks when they are going to "spring him from this joint." An unenthusiastic Olivia tells him his test results are good and the doctor will release him tomorrow. Malcolm promises to be good and tells her that this situation has been a misunderstanding. Olivia is angered and tells Malcolm refuses to see how much his priorities are mixed up. Malcolm wonders why Olivia can't see his point of view. Malcolm admits that he was wrong, but Olivia is just as wrong to imply that he's put Callie's needs in front of hers and Nate's. Why won't she just let it be over? Olivia hisses that she won't even dignify that question with an answer and leaves.
NEIL finds Malcolm trying to get out of bed and makes him crawl back in. Neil is surprised that Malcolm is going home tomorrow and saddened that the situation between Malcolm and Olivia has not improved. Just between them, Malcolm tells Neil he's worried. Neil listens as Malcolm rationalizes his going to Detroit and meeting with Trey. Neil advises Malcolm to take Callie out of the picture so much. He agrees with Olivia and sees the situation from her point of view. The only solution is to get Callie out of Malcolm's life as much as possible. Later, while an undisturbed Malcolm sleeps, TREY enters his room and stands by Malcolm's bed.
MILLIE sleeps in her chair while AL lounges on the couch. When ALICE comes in, she is angry because the people at Rolling Pines Nursing Home wanted a huge bribe to keep Millie away from a telephone. Now she doesn't know what to do because she can't handle taking caring of Millie anymore. Al suggests calling a woman who "used to be" a nurse, a long story according to Al, because he's sure that she'd take Millie for a small fee. Alice doesn't care where she goes because she's worried that Millie is going to talk to someone. Alice paces around the living room and hears a knock at the door. Paul is on the other side.
JOHN and Chris wait while Michael pulls several stalling tactics, including several calls from a temporary secretary who tells him that another of his clients is threatening to dismiss him as a lawyer if he doesn't get in touch with him right now. Michael theaTricially tells her not to disturb him again. Chris and John are not buying his antics. In fact, Chris calls two separate memos into question because one has a date and the other does not. Michael doesn't have a chance to answer her because Victor and Diane enter the meeting. Michael refers to them as "Mr. and Mrs. Newman" and asks how he can help them. Victor informs him that the two of them are there to see that matters are settled to his and Diane's satisfaction once and for all. Chris and John exchange glances and Michael stares Victor down. "Do I make myself clear?" Victor demands.
Directed by Mike Denney
BRAD tells NIKKI that he and JACK are on a deadline for a report. Nikki tells them that she'll leave just as soon as she finishes her coffee and she sits down on Jack's couch. When she asks what they're working on, they are both evasive and Brad tells Nikki that Jack is thinking about filing a joint tax return. Nikki immediately warns Jack to be careful of Diane because she's already hurt him so much. When Nikki leaves, they hurry to the computer to finish their project.
MICHAEL tells VICTOR that he and DIANE must leave because this is a matter for the lawyers to settle. Victor pushes past him and sits at the table. Michael asks Diane what she's doing here and Diane tells him that Victor insisted that she come with him. Victor tells the lawyers that there will be loose ends on some issues and if the two of them are there, they can settle it on the spot. CHRIS brings up the two memos again and insists that Michael deal with them. The dated memo mentions nothing about a seat on the Board of Directors, yet the undated memo does. Michael waltzes around the issue and is interrupted by another phone call. Jack has called to tell him that it's "time to go to war."
At NE, Jack hangs up the phone and looks at the spreadsheet on the computer monitor before him. Brad tells him that he hopes that they weren't premature in telling Michael to go for the throat. Jack assures him they aren't and points out an item on the spreadsheet. Victor has given the Forresters a $20 million dollar credit line, and that in itself would be enough to raise eyebrows on the Board. Jack adds a zero and the credit line read "$200,000,000.00." Brad agrees with Jack that this will be the beginning of the end for Victor. As Jack closes the file he says that it's payback time for Victor. "This one's for you, Dad," he declares.
Michael proceeds with renewed vigor after his talk with Jack. He states that his client wants the seat on the NE Board of Directors as part of the d eal or there will be no deal. Victor explodes, telling Diane he can't believe that she would be led by such a devious human being as Michael. After several other insults, Michael rises and tells Victor that he and Diane don't have to stand for this kind of treatment and the meeting is over. As the muscles work in Victor's jaw, he thinks of Nikki, afraid that something would stop today's proceedings. He calls Michael back to the table and Chris asks if he wants to talk to her and JOHN for a moment. Victor informs Chris that won't be necessary. Turning to Diane, he looks at her angrily and tells her that she can have the Board seat as long as she signs he agreement right here and now. Michael smiles wickedly.
SHARON calls NICK'S office but he's not in. Just then, there's a knock on the door and Sharon finds Nick on the doorstep. He comes in and asks Sharon why he had to learn about Cassie's situation from Tony. Sharon tells Nick that when she tried to talk to him, he was so abrasive she couldn't bring it up. When Sharon tells him the whole story, Nick wants to know how much of a threat to Cassie Alice is. Sharon tells him that Alice doesn't know where Cassie is yet, but she is actively looking and if Alice comes to her door, Sharon will have to let Cassie go with her because the law states that Alice is Cassie's legal mother. Chris wants Sharon to file for custody of Cassie, but that would alert Alice to Cassie's whereabouts and Sharon doesn't know if she can do that. Nick asks what he can do to help. Sharon reluctantly tells him that the appearance of a loving, two-parent home would go a long way with the court, but she has to be sure that Nick can control his temper because she can't allow him to wake the children up in the middle of the night. When Nick asks what this means for their marriage, Sharon can't give him answer. "Would you consider doing it?" she asks.
When ALICE opens the door, PAUL tells her that he is "Rick" from patient services at Angels of Mercy Nursing Home. Alice tells Paul that Millie is no longer there and their services are no longer needed. Paul pushes his way into the house and Alice angrily objects. He tells her that Angels of Mercy contracted for Millie's care and he must know where she is before he can close the case file. Alice tells him that she will report him to his supervisor and even threatens to call the police. She picks up the phone and Paul stands his ground, telling her to call the police but Alice doesn't follow through. AL comes in and Alice brings him up to speed on who Paul is and why he's there, adding that Paul even searched the entire house looking for Millie. Al asks for identification. Paul won't show him any and Al orders him out. Seeing that Al is going to cause problems, Paul tells Alice that he likes his job and if they tell him that Millie is safe and cared for, then he'll take their word. Outside the house, Paul looks worried but realizes that he has no choice but to leave.
TREY rouses a sleeping MALCOLM who orders Trey to get out of his room. Trey tells Malcolm that he's not being very hospitable since Trey came all the way from Detroit to wish Malcolm well. He adds that Callie let him know she thinks he's responsible for Malcolm's beating but assures Malcolm that he had nothing to do with it. Malcolm doesn't buy Trey's story and asks why he's really there. Trey asks why Malcolm is so concerned with Callie and asks what Malcolm's wife has to say about his involvement. Malcolm wants to know the whole story between Trey and Callie but Trey tells him that he's only a manager. Malcolm tells him to find another singer to groom and again tells Trey to leave. When Trey agrees to be straight with him about CALLIE, she interrupts them, enraged that Trey is there. She picks up the phone to call security, but Malcolm stops her. Trey takes an envelope from his coat and from the envelope he takes a piece of paper and asks Callie if she recognizes it. When Callie identifies it as her contract, Trey rips it to shreds and leaves. Callie runs after him and thanks him. Trey tells her that there is another contract that he will never let her out of -- their marriage. Callie is his wife, Trey declares, and she took a vow that he intends to hold her to. Callie tells him it's been over for a long time but it makes no difference to Trey, who turns and leaves Callie alone in the hospital corridor. When Callie enters Malcolm's room, he ironically congratulates her on being a free woman.
VICTORIA calls Neil's office and leaves a message for him. She stares out the window and reminisces about a conversation that she and Neil had at one of their late night dinners at Yves. They were discussing how much they had grown to cherish one another's company; that their timing was perfect for each other. RYAN interrupts her thoughts and she tells Ryan that she's decided to ask Neil to give their relationship another chance. Ryan asks if that's really what she wants or is it just the fact that Cole is with Ashley again. He implores her to take stock of her life and ask herself if she truly wants Neil or if she just can't bear not being in a relationship. Ryan's advice to Victoria is to be alone for awhile and get herself together.
NEIL comes to OLIVIA'S office on Malcolm's behalf but Olivia wants nothing to do with Malcolm's explanations. Neil says that Malcolm has this "Lone Ranger" attitude and would have put himself on the line for any friend. Olivia firmly tells Neil that Malcolm's attitude bothers her greatly. Neil suggests that she and Malcolm work it out while he recuperates at home but Olivia asks Neil if Malcolm can stay with him for awhile when he's released. She needs to sort through some feelings and she doesn't want Nate to witness any friction between the two of them. Neil is reluctant but they don't get to finish their conversation because Victoria comes in asking to speak with Neil privately.
Nikki waits by the windows in Victor's office. Victor enters and slams the door behind him, leading Nikki to believe that something went awry with the divorce. Victor tells her that his anger stems from those circumstances but that the papers are settled, signed, and will be filed in court next week. Nikki is ecstatic and Victor tells her that they can now leave on their trip for the islands. As she leaves he tells her to buy a bikini and Nikki seductively tells him that perhaps they'll find a beach where she won't have to wear one. Victor sends her to prepare for their trip and picks up the phone.
Jack and Bradare talking about their latest strategic move when Michael enters Jack's office. He tells them that Victor moaned and complained, but in the end he signed the papers. The phone rings and it's Victor demanding to see Jack immediately.
Directed by Heather H. Hill
JACK slams his phone down and announces to MICHAEL and BRAD that VICTOR has summoned him in his usual totalitarian way. Brad tells Jack to be cautious and Jack tells him he always is with the "Black Knight." After Jack leaves, Michael says that he's glad he's not in Jack's shoes because he saw Victor's initial explosion about the Board seat.
With no secretary to stop her, PHYLLIS wanders into Victor's office. Victor finds her there and instructs her never to enter his office like this again. Phyllis wants to know why he never called her back and he curtly tells her that her services are no longer needed. Neither of them knows that Jack has arrived and is listening outside Victor's office door. When Victor summarily dismisses her, Jack ducks into the room behind Connie's desk and waits for Phyllis to clear the hallway. Jack is furious with Phyllis, but must take care of the matter at hand. He knocks on Victor's door and enters. Victor tells him that a settlement has been reached which included a seat on the Board of Directors at NE. Jack feigns disbelief when Victor tells him he agreed to it just to get the whole matter resolved. "Did you know about this?" Victor inquires. Jack lies and tells Victor he knew it had been on the table at one time or another, but he swears that he knew nothing about it before now and he had nothing to do with it. He strokes Victor's ego by telling him he admires what Victor did for Nikki's sake. He should be making Nikki happy just as soon as he possibly can. Victor tells Jack that he imagines that Nikki isn't the only happy woman and tells Jack that he and Diane can move on with their plans. Victor informs Jack that now that the divorce is behind him, he will be more involved at the company. Jack tells him that he and Brad are on top of everything, so Victor needn't hurry. Victor says he knows that they are and as Jack leaves, Victor sits at his desk, contemplating the conversation he just had with his most hated enemy.
DIANE comes to see Jack but finds Brad conducting business in Jack's office. When Brad tells her that Jack is with Victor, she gets worried because she knows how mad Victor was about the seat on the Board. She still doesn't understand why Jack felt it necessary for her to fight for that Board seat, but it doesn't matter because she has it now. In fact, she's going to The Lodge to have a drink to celebrate and asks Brad to pass along the message to Jack.
When Jack returns, Brad asks if he's there to clean out his desk and Jack tells him that for now, he's still on the payroll. He tells Brad about his meeting with Victor and they decide that they must now move quickly, since Victor has made it clear he's coming back to the helm. Jack decides that they need to meet with all the key people again and use the "smoking gun" in Victor's computer to bring him down. One little digit, Jack gloats, and suddenly $20 million worth of credit become $200 million -- and misallocation of funds will not be taken lightly. They know Victoria will not be in their corner, but they don't know about Neil or Jill. It's imperative that Jack and Brad find out where those two stand without tipping their hands. Jack assures Brad that Ashley will vote with them, although Brad tells Jack that she has a mind of her own. They expect Victor to go to Los Angeles and meet with Forrester again, so they must plan their meeting within that time frame. Brad tells Jack to go and keep Diane happy while he works on a timetable for the upcoming events.
NICK is astounded that Chris thinks he should move back in despite his and Sharon's marital problems. Sharon assures him that it's because they need to keep up appearances for the court's sake. Nick feels that Sharon's hesitating to heed Chris' advice because she doesn't want Nick to move back in. Sharon tells him that she just wants to keep Alice away from Cassie. Nick agrees with Chris and tells Sharon that she should fight for Cassie legally, but Sharon is so afraid of losing her daughter. If it would help, Nick offers, he'll bring in his father's lawyers but Sharon feels more comfortable with Chris. Sharon mentions that there is another option and Nick tries to get her to promise that she won't just take the children and run away. She asks Nick when he'll be leaving town and if he'll call her to say good-bye before he goes. Hopeful, Nick says that he doesn't know when he's leaving yet, but he'll call if Sharon wants him to. Sharon tells him that he's got to say good-bye to the kids and Nick realizes that the call is not for Sharon's sake personally.
NEIL tells VICTORIA that he and OLIVIA need to talk but Olivia's beeper sends her off to attend to a patient. Victoria cuts to the chase and tells Neil that she wants to move in with him. Like Ryan, Neil asks if she's seen Cole recently. Victoria tells him that Cole is with Ashley in Europe having a wonderful time and they should be having a wonderful time as well. Neil needs a woman, Victoria says. Neil disappoints her when he tells her that Malcolm will be moving in with him because of his and Olivia's problems. Victoria sees that even if Olivia and Malcolm's marriage were perfect, Neil would still find an excuse for her not to move in. She tells him that they were so happy before Eve's death but that everything changed for her after that. She removes her engagement ring and Neil accepts it when she hands it back to him. He kisses her on the forehead and they embrace. "I'll always care for you," Neil says softly as Victoria cries in his arms.
While ASHLEY is waiting for COLE in the restaurant of the hotel, RAFAEL arrives and tells her about the tour that he took Cole on. He suggests that he keep Cole busy so that when that "American work ethic" kicks in and Cole will realize that he needs to go home. Then he can get to know his half-sister better, Rafael suggests. Ashley tells him that they must replace the reproduction Lady Huddleston has with the original painting that Rafael has suddenly attached great sentiment to. He finds it amusing when Ashley tells Rafael he's thrown a "monkey wrench" into their plans. Cole joins them, attired in the fashion of Madrid, and tells Ashley that he's going to call Miguel and have his research disk for his book sent to him. He left it in the tack room and he doesn't want to leave her so soon. He's decided to work in Madrid. Ashley says that she just doesn't want to see him in trouble with Steve. Cole isn't worried about that. When Cole leaves to call Miguel, Ashley tells Rafael there's more to this than saving her good name and her friendship with Lady Huddleston; she doesn't want any sort of scandal because it would kill her father to have this all over the tabloids and newspapers. Rafael reminds her that John is the man she "calls" her father. Ashley threatens Rafael -- if he values his life, he'll make sure there is no scandal.
Running a bit late, MEG meets TONY at Crimson Lights for breakfast. She tells him that she wouldn't have been late if she'd stayed the night with him and Tony tells her she's living dangerously. She says that he never knows what tonight may hold but is disappointed when Tony tells her he has plans. Explaining that he has to work all night on an important customer's car, Tony realizes that Meg thought he might have had a date with someone else. Meg wondered if he was seeing Sharon and he tells Meg that Sharon is a friend in trouble. He did do as she suggested and talked to Nick to get him involved. Tony's entire demeanor changes and Meg turns to see GRACE as she gets coffee and sits in a booth. When Meg asks if Tony is all right, he tells her he was testing the waters to see if he felt anything for Grace, but all he feels is pity.
Michael comes into Crimson Lights to meet Grace. He compliments her and tells her that the coffeehouse makes him feel like a kid again, but Grace is in no mood for chitchat. She is worried about Alice getting custody of Cassie and Michael tells Grace he's working very hard to see that it doesn't happen. First they have to meet with her and find out if all she really wants is money. If there is even the slightest hint that Alice wants Cassie back, then they will tell her that the deal is off and she can just find Cassie on her own. Grace just wants the Newmans to sweat blood for how they've treated her since the Denver incident. Michael gently takes Grace by the hand and promises to take care of everything. Grace and Michael happen to see Tony and Michael releases Grace's hand. He tells her the meeting is over and he'll talk to her later. Grace sits and ponders what lies ahead.
Meg insists that Tony is just dying to go over and talk to Grace but he assures her that he has no need to talk to Grace when he's got her. Meg tells him that's the nicest thing he's ever said to her and they share an intimate little kiss, which Grace just happens to see. Grace shakes her head, feeling more alone now than ever.
Phyllis is drinking alone at the bar when Diane runs into her. She offers to buy Phyllis a glass of the finest champagne to celebrate her settlement with Victor. Phyllis says she'll stick with "the hard stuff" and continues to drown her woes with alcohol. She mentions that in a short while Diane will be a very rich woman and Diane tells her that's part of the settlement. Phyllis gives her a hollow congratulation. Diane tells Phyllis she's waiting for Jack to join her but while she's waiting, she's going to "powder her nose." When Jack shows up, Diane is not back from the ladies' room. Jack asks if Phyllis has seen her and Phyllis tells him that Diane just left. She takes his hand and assures him that she is available for him. Phyllis has missed Jack and she knows he's missed her as well. Jack looks at her with disdain.
Brad is still working out of Jack's office when Victor arrives. He tells Victor that Jack is out of the office in a meeting, but Victor hasn't come to see Jack -- he's come to see Brad.
Directed by Kathryn Foster
JILL discusses her failed efforts to ruffle KATHERINE'S feathers with SHIRLEY just before Katherine joins them in the living room. Jill mentions to Katherine that they should fix the cracks around the pool before they fill it for the season. Katherine informs Jill there are only two cracks and feels that the moss growing out of them looks distinguished. Not to be deterred, Jill says that she'll have them fixed herself and bill Katherine for half. Before going to breakfast, Katherine tells her she hopes Jill has a good collection agency. Again, Jill is amazed at Katherine's fortitude. Shortly, ESTHER comes in and admonishes Jill and Shirley for leaving a dirty breakfast room. When asked if she can load a dishwasher, Shirley infuriates Esther by answering, "No." Almost issuing an invitation to disaster, Esther picks up the duster and tells Shirley to dust everything in the living room except Katherine's desk because there are many valuable items there. Jill instructs Shirley to do as Esther suggested and Shirley deliberately knocks off a Greek vase that was given to Katherine by Phillip. Upon surveying the damage, Katherine holds her temper and tells Esther not to worry because she still has the sweet words and the memory of Phillip giving the vase to her. When Katherine leaves to run errands, Esther furiously tells the cohorts that she hopes they're pleased with themselves and stalks off in a huff. Shirley can't understand why Katherine and Jill are fighting over a house so many years after the man they both loved died. Jill tells her that all the love she had for Phillip has now been transformed into hate. It's much too late to forgive and Jill refuses to surrender what she fought so hard to win after all these years.
PHYLLIS seductively greets JACK when he walks into the bar at The Lodge but he tells her that he's meeting DIANE. Saying that Diane just left, Phyllis goes on to embellish on how much she's missed him and she wants to hear him say that he's missed her as well. As Diane is returning from the ladies' room, she hears Jack viciously explaining to Phyllis how very little she means to him. A Diane smile as Jack rips out Phyllis' heart and steals her dignity by telling her that she means nothing to him. Pouring salt in Phyllis' open wound, Diane suggests that Phyllis join them in toasting Diane's divorce settlement with Victor. Telling them they both can go to hell, Phyllis rushes out of the bar. When Diane and Jack sit together, she bluntly asks when the two of them are getting married. Jack reminds her that they live in a state with a six-month waiting period and so Diane proposes to set their wedding six months from the very date of the court hearing and Jack agrees.
NIKKI bursts into the main house and delivers the good news of the signing of the divorce settlement to VICTORIA. Showing Victoria her conquests from an afternoon of shopping, she also tells her daughter that Victor has planned a romantic getaway for the two of them. Victoria is so inspired that she tells her mother that she may go someplace warm as well.
Later, a befuddled Katherine arrives at the ranch and MIGUEL wonders if something is wrong. Katherine tells him that she needs to see Nikki and is relieved to find that she's home. Nikki is bubbling with the excitement of the divorce settlement and her romantic holiday so Katherine masks her worry and disorientation from Nikki. She tells Nikki she only stopped by to tell her that she was following Nikki's advice and has taken stock of her priorities. Katherine only wanted to show her good friend that she's doing just fine now. Nikki's not so sure, but Katherine won't be the one to rain on Nikki's parade. Telling Nikki that she'll go and allow Nikki to get ready for the trip, Katherine leaves the ranch with a false smile. However, as soon as the door shuts behind her, she looks like a lost little girl.
VICTOR surprises BRAD while he's still in Jack's office. It seems ominous as Victor closes the door behind him but all he wants is a report on Jack. Brad informs Victor that he and Jack are working closely together so he'd know if Jack were up to something. Victor says that he's signed a settlement with Diane and now intends to take Nikki on a holiday for about a week to ten days. Brad is surprised that it's not going to be a longer trip, given the turmoil Victor has been through with the divorce. Victor tells him that there will be time for an extended vacation later because he wants to come back to NE and implement some changes -- changes that will make Brad, but not Jack, a happy man.
Later, Victor is basking in the happiness of the moment when Nikki asks if he thinks now is a good time to be leaving. After all, Nikki says, she's worried about the children. Victor tells her that Nicholas has practically pushed them out of his life, asking for no interference, and Victoria seems to be doing much better. Nikki shares her concern about Katherine and Victor is touched that Nikki would think of others in their greatest moment of joy. Whatever concerns Nikki has are pushed to the back of her mind as she and Victor are caught up in the excitement of their impending excursion.
COLE calls the ranch and speaks to Victoria, telling her the trip is going well. He wants to write while he waits for Ashley to finish her business and needs a disk from the tack room. Victoria tells him that instead of bothering Miguel, she'll be glad to courier the disk to him. She takes down the pertinent information and after hanging up the phone, tells herself that her idea to join Cole in Spain now seems to be a bust.
While visiting NE later with intentions to see Jack, Victoria overhears Brad talking to ASHLEY, who has called from Europe to ask Brad to retrieve some stock certificates from her private safe in the lab and send them to her broker. Brad immediately wants to know what's going on, as does a very interested Victoria.
Ashley has decided to buy the painting back from Lady Huddleston for $10 million dollars and expects RAFAEL to give her the original. Rafael asks her if she really expects him to give her the original "La Senora" when he was willing to risk his own freedom to keep it. Ashley tells him she will not allow him to play Russian Roulette with John Abbott's life. It would kill him if the tabloids got wind of what had happened and made the connection between Ashley and Rafael. She tells him that in every way, John is her father and she will not hurt him. Cole joins them, his phone call completed, and asks Rafael to keep him entertained until the disk arrives if he doesn't mind. Cole wants to see Rafael's studio and leaves to call them a cab. Ashley warns Rafael not to allow Cole to see the painting and he promises he will not.
At Rafael's studio, Rafael enters first, takes down "La Senora" from the wall, and covers it with a cloth. Bringing Cole in, Rafael shows Cole his unfinished landscape and tells him it exists only in his mind. Cole is surprised because he pictured Rafael as an abstract artist and is quite impressed with Rafael's technique. The phone rings and ties up Rafael for several minutes in which Cole uncovers "La Senora." Rafael sees Cole looking at the painting when he finishes his phone call but says nothing.
Alone at the estate, Katherine looks at the broken vase and remembers Phillip's words when he gave it to her. Driven to the point of distraction, she begins hearing Phillip's voice every time she picks up an object that he gave her. She looks at herself in the mirror above the liquor decanters and pours herself a glass, making herself believe that alcohol is the only loyal friend she's ever had. The light catches the glistening, dangerous liquid in the glass and Katherine laughs through her tears, amused with it. "Hello, friend," she fairly giggles as she contemplates a drink.
Directed by Mike Denney
NICK comes into the bar at The Lodge and surprises JACK, who expected that Nick would have already left Genoa City for his new work assignment. Nick tells Jack he doesn't know when he's leaving because he has to do something first. Jack says that if Nick doesn't show up at this client's office, Nick will make them both look bad. Nick abruptly tells Jack that he doesn't know when he's leaving, but when he knows, Jack will be the next to know. "Well I'll be damned," mutters Jack.
Jack is still at the bar when JILL enters some time later and he asks her if she's trolling tonight. Jill ignores the dig and sends one of her own, telling him that it looks like pickings are slim. The couple between them leaves and Jill tells Jack he sure knows how to clear a room. Jack moves next to Jill and asks her how she feels about the Newman-Forrester deal. Jill has no problem with it and when she finds out that Jack's opposition is Victor's superseding him and Brad, she accuses Jack of having a bruised ego. Jack is surprised because Jill is President of Jabot, but Jill tells him that she doesn't worry about things she can't change. Besides, other things have Jill's attention at the present and Jack knows she's speaking of Katherine. Jill swears that she couldn't adjust to life with Katherine if they were both dead and buried in the same grave. She's done everything to run Katherine off and Jack says that when Jill sets her mind on being unpleasant, she is the unrivaled queen -- which Jill ignores. "I have never in my life seen anyone as stubborn as that woman is!" exclaims Jill. Katherine just keeps hanging on like a bad cold, she complains. Jack suggests that they sell the house, split the profits, and build two houses on the property -- or better yet, cut cards for ownership. Jill scoffs at his joke, telling him that at least she owns 50% of the house now. Another suggestion includes murder and Jill tells Jack he's absurd. Jack smiles and adds that he bets Katherine has.
When PAUL finds CHRIS lounging with a glass of wine after work, he inquires about the lawyers' meeting and she informs him that both Victor and Diane showed up. Paul is intrigued at Michael's ability to pull a NE Board of Directors' seat out of the hat for Diane but Chris feels that Victor was just tired of fighting and conceded the seat so he and Nikki could get on with their lives. A bit worried about his own mother, Paul tells Chris that Mary will see Carl by herself for the first time tomorrow. He knows that she's on her own and there's nothing Paul can do to protect her. Paul fills Chris in on the information he gleaned in Madison. Since Millie is talking, they believe that Alice has stashed her mother someplace where she won't be able to talk to anyone significant. Feeling that this bit of information may push Sharon to make a decision to file custody for Cassie, Chris leaves to visit her.
VICTORIA still eavesdrops as BRAD virtually begs ASHLEY to tell him what the problem is. Ashley tells him she must take care of this on her own, but she wants him to call when he's sent the stock certificates to her broker. As the conversation comes to a close, Victoria slips out of ---the doorway unseen but reappears moments later, asking Brad if he was on the phone with a client. Correctly assuming that Victoria overheard his conversation, Brad mentions this to Victoria who denies it, saying she was hoping to see Jack. With no time for Victoria or her questions, Brad suggests she leave a note for Jack and exits himself. Victoria muses that Cole's trip is not going as well as he led her to believe.
Later in her office, Victoria receives a visit from her brother, who tells her about the situation with Sharon and Cassie. She is stunned that Sharon might lose Cassie but she's even more surprised at Nick's reluctance to jump at a chance to move back home. Victoria tells Nick that he's being childish. Whether he wants to admit it or not, he and Sharon both want the same thing -- to be reunited. She advises him not to make Sharon spell it out for him and warns that Nick's pride may be his worst enemy. "Tell me the truth. Don't you want to move back in with your family?" asks Victoria.
In RAFAEL'S studio, COLE and he discuss "La Senora." Rafael shares that the painting has been in his family for generations and is his greatest treasure. It is what inspired him to be a painter. Cole wonders why Rafael would want to cover it and he tells Cole that some things are private. Senor Rivera, Rafael's landlord, knocks on his door and Cole sees Rafael cover the painting. The landlord is demanding the two months back rent that Rafael owes him immediately. Cole leaves so the two men can discuss business. After Cole is gone, Rafael offers Senor Rivera a fine silver bowl in exchange for his debt. Senor Rivera accepts it but wonders how Rafael will pay his future rent. Rafael assures him that he's going to receive a large commission and future rent will not be a problem. When the landlord is gone, Rafael unlocks a desk drawer and takes out a portfolio that contains Ashley and Cole's wedding announcement. After looking at it briefly, he returns the portfolio to its place and re-locks the drawer.
Ashley is impatiently waiting for Brad to call her when Cole returns, bearing news that Rafael seems to having trouble making his rent payments. Rafael's studio is definitely a real life artist's place, according to Cole. He tells Ashley that he didn't get to see much of Rafael's work, but describes "La Senora" and Ashley's eyes widen with fear. Noticing her pale complexion and stiffened posture, Cole asks her what's wrong.
TONY wonders if SHARON is mad at him because he went to Nicholas about Cassie's situation. She assures him she's not and he asks if Nick going to move back in with them. Sharon sadly tells him that she's not sure because she's rejected Nick for long that she doesn't know if he wants her back. Tony tells Sharon that maybe he needs to have another talk with Nick but she dissuades him. He's sorry that Nick and Sharon couldn't come to an understanding. Sharon admits that she's scared Nick will let her down and she'll lose her daughter.
When CASSIE returns from a birthday party, Sharon sees how sad she is and asks if Cassie's all right. At first, Cassie denies any problem but she soon turns to Sharon will tear-filled eyes and asks if Nick will ever live with them again. She thinks about Nick a lot. Sharon tells Cassie that Nick's job has a lot of responsibilities but Cassie questions if they aren't Nick's responsibility as well. Before Cassie answers a knock at the door, she tells Sharon that it seems that they aren't a family anymore. Chris enters when Cassie opens the door and compliments Cassie's new dress. After Cassie goes upstairs, Chris shares the news Paul discovered about Millie. She is afraid that Sharon is headed for serious trouble. Sharon asks if Chris really thinks Alice will be able to find them and Chris tells her that Alice seems to be going all-out in her search. When Sharon says that she'd thought of taking the children and simply running, Chris tells her that authorities would eventually find them because Sharon can't run forever. All she needs, Chris assures Sharon, is one phone call to get things moving. Nick enters the house unexpectedly and Chris leaves. Sharon and Nick stare at each other awkwardly.
Almost out of control, KATHERINE stares at the glass of liquor, debating whether to take her first drink in many years. Picking up the entire decanter, she tells herself that she's fought years to stay away from it, but she's endured too much pain and constant violation as of late. Jill has chiseled at her sense of well being for so long that she's beginning to doubt herself. She's become a prisoner in her own home. She starts to hear Phillip's words again but this time, the words aren't as loving as before. She remembers when Jill came to be her paid companion and cannot come to peace with the betrayal she suffered when Phillip fell in love with Jill. What good did it do to turn her life around if all she has to look forward to is more of what she's currently enduring? Katherine picks up the glass of liquid fire and brings it to her lips, but the image of herself in the mirror unbridles all the anger she's bottled up. "No!" she groans and throws the glass at her image, shattering the mirror.