#6571, Directed by Kathryn Foster
SHARON is surprised to see NICK because she thought he was leaving for his new job assignment tonight. Nick wonders if something happened to bring Chris all the way to the ranch. Sharon tells him that Millie is out of the hospital and tucked away with relatives, according to Alice, but Paul thinks Alice has Millie hidden so that she won't talk to anyone about Cassie. Trying to comfort her, Nick assures Sharon that no judge would ever let someone like Alice have custody of Cassie because she abandoned her when she was just a baby. Sharon would like to believe that but she worries day and night about what may happen so she's decided to take Chris' advice and file for legal custody. That's the only hope she has of keeping Cassie. Nick believes that the court will see that Cassie belongs with Sharon and he is willing to move back in if it will help, as Chris suggested. Sharon agrees that it's the best thing and Nick tells her that he'll pack up his things tonight and move back in tomorrow morning. CASSIE comes downstairs just in time to hear Nick's last statement and is thrilled with the news. She runs to him and he lifts her in his arms. Just to be sure she heard correctly, Cassie asks if Nick is really moving back in with them and he holds her tightly, telling her that he certainly is. Cassie says, "I'm so happy you're moving back with us, Nick!" Nick tells her that he's happy and so is her mom.
GRACE and MICHAEL meet at Gina's. Grace reveals that she's recently had horrendous dreams of Alice running away with Cassie while Cassie and Sharon scream at Grace for what she's done. She wonders if she should get out of the situation and forget about seeking revenge on the Newmans if there is any real threat that Alice might get custody of Cassie. Michael tells her that the best revenge for Grace would be showing the Newmans that she's not the person they think she is. Besides, Michael assures Grace, Alice and Al have never done an honest day's work in their lives. They're both looking for a free ride in this deal. Tenderly kissing Grace's hand, Michael tells her that she's trying to protect Cassie and Grace apologizes for how she treated him earlier at the coffeehouse. PHYLISS is staring at them from across the room and Michael sees her. Noticing the time, Grace says she must leave and Michael wonders if he should be jealous. Grace tells him that she's meeting a girlfriend at the gym for a workout. Seeing Phyllis, Grace makes sure that they are in full view when she kisses Michael good-bye.
Michael sits down after Grace leaves, but not for long. After a minute or so of staring at each other, he joins Phyllis and wonders why she didn't interrupt him and Grace when she came in. Sipping her martini, Phyllis tells him that she wonders why she stays in Genoa City because it's only brought her bad luck. She's decided she's leaving "as fast as her black-heeled pumps can take her." She's tired of being the town pariah. When Michael asks her where she's going she tells him to guess. "Poughkeepsie," he offers with a grin. Phyllis tells him she's going back to NYC and kick up her heels because it's not like anyone is begging her to stay in GC. Michael wonders if she's sure and Phyllis tells him that she's 100% certain, inviting him to look her up if he should ever come to the Big Apple. As she gets up to leave, Michael comments that they had their bumps along the way, but it was one hell of a ride. Phyllis agrees and seductively asks him if he'd like to have "one last one for the road." After mentioning that he's seen "La Senora," COLE notices ASHLEY'S paleness and asks if everything all right. It takes a moment but Ashley finally gets hold of her emotions and is able to returns to the conversation. Cole rambles on about the painting, telling Ashley that since Rafael wouldn't tell him who the artist was, he's going to look it up when they return to GC and educate himself with that period of art. He wondered if he should offer to buy the painting from Rafael so he could pay his rent but Cole figures that he can't afford it. At any rate, if Rafael hasn't sold the painting by now, he is never going to sell it. Cole reminds Ashley that the painting is Rafael's inspiration to paint and feels it goes even deeper than that, but Cole doesn't want to explore that subject.
RAFAEL joins them in the restaurant. Cole gets up to go to the bar and asks if he can get either of them something but they decline. After he leaves, Ashley rants that Cole told her about "La Senora." Why did Rafael show it to him? Ashley accuses him of not even trying to hide the painting. Rafael explains that he covered it but while he was taking a phone call, Cole found it anyway. He and Cole share much in common, Rafael informs Ashley. Ashley bitterly asks what Cole would think if he knew that Rafael was a forger. She has just reminded Rafael that this could all blow up in their faces when her cell phone rings. BRAD calls to say that he's sent the stock certificates to Mr. Nicole, Ashley's broker, and begs Ashley to tell him what's wrong. Ashley explains that she'll be fine now that Brad has helped her and asks him not to worry. Brad agrees to back off for the present but he expects an explanation when she gets home. Rafael asks just who Brad is and how close Ashley is to him, implying that Ashley and Brad are lovers. Just what is Ashley's plan, Rafael inquires? Now that she has the funds, Ashley proffers, she intends to go to England and buy the painting from Lady Huddleston for $10 million. Then she's going to burn the forgery and she'll never have to see Rafael again. Although Rafael doesn't think it's worth it, Ashley is willing to pay a fortune to keep them out of trouble. When Cole returns, Rafael leaves. Cole wonders if Rafael is embarrassed because of the situation with his landlord. Ashley tells Cole that she must take a short trip in order to finish business and Cole offers to accompany her. Ashley declines his offer without reason, not even telling him where she plans to go. A bit annoyed, Cole replies that this whole operation has been a mystery so he's not surprised that Ashley's going off to the unknown alone.
When she brings in fresh flowers from the nursery, ESTHER finds the broken mirror in the living room and immediately blames Shirley. She then sees the broken glass and the open liquor decanter and assumes that Katherine is drinking again. Blaming Jill and her recent antics, Esther rushes to clean up so that Jill won't find out. JILL and SHIRLEY see the mirror before Esther can remove it. When confronted, Esther takes full responsibility for the mirror, stating that it happened accidentally. Furious, Jill tells her that she's going to dock Esther's pay because she owns half of the mirror. Esther tells her that will be fine and hurries out of the room. Jill immediately tells Shirley that breaking the mirror is Katherine's way of launching an open attack on her. Shirley suggests that they buy a squawking parrot or cook cabbage all day to further needle Katherine, but Jill nixes both ideas. Every time that Jill has done something to annoy her, it's just caused Katherine to dig in her heels. She's so much stronger than Jill imagined. Is Jill throwing in the towel, Shirley wonders? Jill says she's not a quitter but with Katherine on the offensive, it's going to take much longer than she thought. Shirley suggests that Jill and Katherine cut cards for the house but Jill tells her there's too much riding to leave it all to chance. Getting a deck of cards, Shirley shows Jill that with the right dealer, the odds are always in your favor. Jill loses twice to her when Shirley deals. Jill thought that Shirley was an actress but Shirley tells her that she's much more than that.
JACK impatiently wonders where BRAD is. When he comes to Jack's office, Jack jumps on Brad who asks "Grumpy" if they had an appointment. Jack is focused on the NE take-over. Brad tells Jack he has good news -- Victor and Nikki are on a short vacation, a week to ten days. Jack sees a window of opportunity and wants to call a Board of Directors meeting. Brad expresses his doubts, telling Jack he doesn't think they have a majority. He wonders if Victor might have given someone his vote by proxy but Jack tells Brad that Victor is too much of a megalomaniac to do that; Victor doesn't think they can have a Board meeting without him. Brad knows that Victor's strongest supporter is going to be Victoria. Jack says he's talked to Jill and doesn't think she'll vote against Victor. Neil is a toss up and could possibly vote against them because Victor is his future father-in-law. Jack adds that if Ashley were here, she's vote with them, but Brad has his doubts because Ashley is an independent thinker and still has some strange loyalty to Victor. Jack wants to know if Brad has heard from Ashley and Brad's silence causes Jack to infer that he has. What's going on, asks Jack? Brad denies knowledge of anything to do with Ashley and directs the conversation back to the Board votes. Jack will immediately pay Neil a visit to find out where he stands about Victor and leaves to talk to him.
VICTORIA enters Jack's office and informs Brad that she overheard more of his conversation than she let on. She knows he was talking to Ashley and demands information about what's happening in Madrid. Brad chides her for eavesdropping. Victoria knows that Brad is Ashley confidante and wonders if there's trouble between Cole and Ashley. Brad warns Victoria not to go to Spain and interfere. Victoria is concerned about Cole, but Brad asks her to heed his advice for everyone's sake. Victoria leaves and in her wake, Brad crosses his arms and smiles. It doesn't take long for Victoria to return to her office and book a first class round-trip flight to Madrid.
Jack returns because Neil has left for the day. Brad informs Jack that he now thinks they can carry the vote and Jack accuses him of smoking something funny because it's impaired his ability to add. "It's three to three," Jack reminds Brad. "We can't throw Victor out with a deadlock!" Brad tells Jack that he planted a seed that just may send Victoria out of town. Of course, if Victoria doesn't take the bait, then Jack needs to talk to Neil. Jack is determined not to blow this in the eleventh hour!