When they arrive at the ranch, Nikki thanks Brad for giving her a lift from Gina's. Brad tells Nikki he's surprised to find himself in Victor's home. Brad and Nikki talk about their past. Nikki admits to once loving Brad -- she'd never have said yes to his marriage proposal if she hadn't have loved him but considering how things turned out, she now feels that she didn't know Brad as well as she thought. Brad is visibly wounded and says there are a lot of things he regrets. Nikki's face is wet with tears and she tries to hide it when Rafael unwittingly interrupts them. Nikki tells Brad she thinks it's time to for him to go. Reluctantly, Brad leaves. When Nikki is alone once again, she wipes her tear-stained face and smiles, knowing she has played Brad like a fine violin.
Victoria grills Helena about the voice on the tape but she won't give Victoria any information. Victoria knows Helena recognizes the voice but Helena tells Victoria she must think about it. Victoria promises Helena that she will return. When Victoria calls home, she finds Nick is home from court. They talk about Helena and Victoria's suspicions and Nick encourages her not to let up on the woman. Nikki anxiously asks what's is going on in New Mexico.
The doctor tells Victor about the extensive search for him, and Victor explains that there is no need to worry -- the workers will all get paid. It's clear that Victor is not as anxious to return home now that he has his freedom. He comments that his family has waited this long and a couple more days won't matter. He has some scores to settle and he is going to settle them in his own way. The doctor asks Ramona about Chet and Victor informs him that Chet fell from the top of the mesa at his canyon and is dead. The doctor says that perhaps Chet is still alive but Victor is certain that it was a 200-foot or more drop. No one could have survived a fall like that. After the doctor leaves, Ramona asks Victor what he's thinking about and he says he's thinking of Jack. He tells her how her how he built his company from the ground and that the likes of Jack Abbott will not take it from him. Ramona is disturbed when she sees such hatred in Victor's eyes. He says that Ramona's world is relatively simple, but the world he lives in is quite different.
Helena calls the clinic to leave a message for Ramona and is surprised to find that she is a patient there. She asks if Chet is with her and the doctor says no but doesn't reveal that Chet is dead. Is anyone with Ramona, Helena wonders? The doctor's obvious silence tells Helena that Ramona is not alone. He promises to have Ramona call Helena in the morning when Ramona is better.
Judge Brainard thinks there is more going on between Christine and Michael than just the adversarial legal system. She senses some very personal animosity. Chris says she's just trying to protect the rights and future of a child. Michael starts to comment on what he's trying to establish with Grace's testimony but the judge stops him, saying she's quite aware of his plans. In continued cross-examination, Michael asks Grace how long she kept Cassie before telling Sharon who Cassie was and Grace admits it was almost a year before Cassie began living with Sharon. "Why so long?" Michael inquires. Grace explains that Noah required a lot of special care and Sharon had her hands full. Michael suggests that Grace's testimony doesn't say much for Sharon's ability to cope because other parents have multiple children and still parent. Michael then brings up Grace's previous testimony of Cassie's quiet and withdrawn nature when Grace first brought her to GC. He contends that everyone who met her found Cassie to be cheerful, bright, and a thorough pleasure to be around. Grace has to admit that this is true. It is Michael's contention that "someone" (meaning Alice) must have done something right in Cassie's first years. Chris and Michael break out in an argument about Michael's questions. Michael asks Grace if she saw any abuse or neglect first hand and she stumbles for words because, in truth, Grace saw neither. On redirect, Chris tries to salvage Grace's testimony by asking what Grace told Sharon at first about Cassie's identity. Grace tells the court that she told Sharon that Cassie was a distant relative of hers. Even after Noah was fine Grace continued to keep Cassie because she fell in love with Cassie herself. It causes Nick and Sharon obvious discomfort, but Grace says that even though she knew it was wrong, she could not give Cassie up. On re-cross, Michael asks if Grace received a promotion today before she appeared in court and Grace answers that she did, a bit confused. He comments that Grace is in a rather impressive position for someone who only has a high school diploma. Grace tells him that she has earned her position at NE but Michael implies that the only reason Grace is testifying is either in gratitude for the Newmans' generosity or because she wants to keep her job. Grace denies this and Michael informs the court he's finished with the witness as Grace throws daggers at him with her eyes. Chris tells the judge she may want to recall Grace at a later time and Judge Brainard says she'll allow that. Court is then recessed for a couple of days so that Mr. Morgenstern's report may be filed with the court.
Grace is on a payphone in the hallway when Michael and Alice leave court. Alice is complimenting Michael on his brilliant performance in court on her behalf. She tells him that now he and Grace can kiss and make up. After Alice leaves, Michael approaches Grace. She turns around and encounters him and wonders what he could possibly want with her. Michael acknowledges that he was rough on Grace but tells her that's the way the legal system works. He says that the judge would have known he wasn't doing his job if he hadn't tried to show some support for Alice. Grace plants a resounding slap on his cheek, telling him to shut up. She doesn't want to hear anymore and stalks away from a stunned Michael.
Sharon enters the courtroom and asks Chris how she thinks it went. Chris reminds Sharon that Grace could have undercut her in dozens of ways, but didn't. Sharon feels it is not going very well and is upset and scared about what the social worker's report will say.
Cassie and her friends enter the living room at the ranch with their portraits by Rafael just as Nick and Sharon return from the courthouse. Miguel takes the other girls home and Rafael leaves. Cassie, nearly hysterical, asks if she gets to stay with Sharon and Nick and Sharon bends down to hug her. Back at Sharon and Nick's, Cassie is still subdued. Cassie doesn't want to let go of her portrait. Nick jokingly tells her that he'll be sleeping on the couch and will keep all art thieves at bay. At the mention of Nick's sleeping on the couch, Cassie withdraws further but won't tell either of them what's wrong. After Cassie has gone to bed, Nick tells Sharon about Helena, the waitress at diner in New Mexico, and Sharon suggests he return to the search while the court is in recess because she knows Nick would rather be there. Nick testily tells her not to question his sincerity. He doesn't regret a single moment he's spent fighting for Cassie. To avoid an argument, Sharon apologizes and goes to bed leaving Nick alone with the sofa.
At the main house, Nikki looks longingly at a picture of Victor and wonders what role the attractive woman now plays in his life.
Paul is already at home when Chris arrives. She's tired and says she would rather fill him in on the case tomorrow. Paul asks her what's planned for dinner. Chris is flabbergasted at his question since he knows she's been in court all day. Just before she takes his head off and serves it up to him on a silver platter, the doorbell rings and two waiters are at the door delivering a fully catered meal. Chris comments that Paul's surprise meal was just what she needed and mentions that she noticed that he ordered sparkling cider instead of champagne. She tells him it was a wise choice and Paul wonders if she could be pregnant already. Chris says she hasn't taken a pregnancy test yet and Paul suggests that they retire to the bedroom just in case Chris isn't pregnant.
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Jack and Ashley are in his office, they are discussing Diane. Ashley tells Jack she can't believe he is with her, doesn't he know he can't trust her? Jack tells her that he has no choice. She takes this as an admission that Jack is only staying with Diane for her vote. Jack denies this, saying he loves Diane. "The only thing you love about Diane is her vote!" Jack says that he will "go as far as necessary with Diane to get Jabot back." "Even if it means marrying her?" Ashley asks.
Grace is getting ready for work, Tony is wandering around the apartment. Grace tells him she knows that it was painful breaking up with Megan. Tony claims it was for the best. What he needs most now is a job! As Grace goes into the bedroom to get her briefcase there is a knock at the door. Tony opens it and Michael Baldwin is there. Awkward moment here between Tony and Michael. Just then Grace comes back into the room. Michael tells her "we have to talk." She tells him in no uncertain terms that she has nothing to say to him after the way he treated her in court yesterday! He apologizes for "blind siding" her in court, but claims it was necessary to do this to convince Christine. Grace doesn't buy it. Michael reminds her that they "had a good thing...don't throw it away!" She agrees...HAD...but she can never trust him again! He tells her that before they met he only thought he was happy and now he knows there is more to life than just his work. She says she has learned to be careful who she trusts. Then she tells Michael to "get over himself", she won't even consider being with him again! Tony shows Michael to the door. Outside the door, Michael is still thinking about what Grace just said. Inside the apartment, Grace is doing the same.
Brad and Nikki talking on the phone. She tells him that her life is complicated these days. He tells her to call him if she needs someone to listen.
At the diner in New Mexico, Vicki turns around just in time to see Victor walk through the door. She rushes over and throws her arms around his neck, "It's you!" After a few moments of hugs and tears, they sit down. Vicki asks if he's alright. He asks her to tell him how Nikki, Nick, and the rest of the family are doing. Vicki asks him to tell her where he's been. He promises to tell her the whole story...later. Right now he wants to know "if the rumor is true that Jack has been trying to take over Newman Enterprises?" Vicki tells him that Jack not only tried, but succeeded! "Why didn't Brad stop him?" She informs him that Brad is also in on this, that the two of them were plotting this for months and that Victor's disappearance was the perfect opportunity. Victor says he should have seen this coming! He vows that Jack and Brad will pay dearly for this! He promises to reverse the takeover. "Jack and Brad will regret the day they took me on! They are toying with the wrong man!"
Jill walks into Brad's office, they exchange insults. After talking about business for a minute, Jill says that "the one silver lining in all this mess is returning Jabot." Brad looks shocked by this revelation. Jill asks if he didn't know? He covers up and pretends that he did know of Jack's plan. Jill doesn't believe him and tells Brad that he will never be able to trust Jack anymore that Jack will be able to trust Brad. Nikki is in the doorway as Jill says this, then backs away before Jill sees her. Jill reminds Brad that Jack "stuck a knife in Victor's back, and he could do the same to you!" Jill leaves without seeing Nikki.
Megan and Trish are talking about Trish's possible pregnancy. Trish never told Ryan that she stopped taking the Pill. Ryan walks in, Megan tells him that she has decided it is time for her to move back home. As she is leaving she reminds Trish that she has a "wonderful marriage." Ryan and Trish discuss his job prospects. She tells him this may be a good time to make changes. She suggests it may be time to start a family. Ryan says "no way!" "That's the last thing we need, thank God you are still on the Pill!" He walks out of the room leaving Tricia with tears in her eyes.
Jack goes home to Diane bringing some wallpaper samples with him. He is trying to make up for not spending much time with her or sharing her enthusiasm about the new house plans. She is still pouting that he is too busy to plan their future together. He apologizes over again and begs her not to question his feelings for her. He says he can't wait to marry her! He promises to mark a date on his calendar to go with her to look at building sites. She is happy again and they kiss. Ashley comes home and sees this.
Nikki asks Brad what he and Jill were talking about. "Business" he says. He is surprised that she stopped by. He offers to help her get her mind off Victor for awhile. Brad asks her if she isn't upset by this "beautiful strange woman" that Victor is supposed to be with? Nikki can't think about this. She begins to cry and Brad draws her into his arms. She suddenly pulls away from him and apologizes. He thinks she needs to get away from the Ranch for awhile and invites her to dinner tonight. She accepts. After she leaves, Brad looks pleased with himself. He says Jack should be ashamed of himself for trying to pull one over on his partner!
Jack and Diane continue discussing the new house and their future life together as Ashley walks into the room. Jack has to leave for the office. Diane reminds him to "check his calendar!" Diane stands there looking smugly at Ashley. She wonders if Ashley knows how "good it is to be back on track with the man that I love." She says Ashley must be frustrated knowing how happy that she and Jack are. Ashley asks if Jack is checking his calendar for a wedding date? No, not that yet, says Diane. As she is leaving the room, Diane says "but soon we will have a dream house and a dream marriage!" "Dream on Diane!" Ashley whispers.
Tony and Grace compare how they are both unlucky in romance. Grace says "isn't it interesting that we are both free at the same time?" Tony walks off at this remark. Grace picks up the phone and calls Megan. She tells her not to hang up, she has "something you need to hear."
Jack walks into the office where Brad is standing. "What are you doing, Brad?" "Keeping an eye on my "so called" partner", Brad says.
Victor is standing at the window still at the diner. Vicki suggests that they get in the jet and get out of here. Good idea, soon. He isn't even going to call Nikki, just walk through the door. He says it will be "so good to hold her in my arms again!"
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Ashley blasts Jill for spilling the beans about the divestiture of Jabot from Newman Enterprises and accuses her of using it as a way to get back at the family. Jill tells Ashley that it's not her fault that Jack tried to put one over on Brad and predicts "corporate Armageddon." Ashley walks out on Jill as Jill worries if she's blown her chances for having Billy during the summer. She gets a strange phone call. Unbeknownst to her, it's Katherine who is please to find that she's still at the office.
Jack and Brad argue explosively. Brad assures Jack that he is not in the boat on this idea because it doesn't look good. Jack maintains that Jabot is not an integral part of the Newman Enterprises array of companies. However, Brad sees Jabot as diversification. There's no way that Jack is going to ram the selling of Jabot by Brad's veto. In fact, he wonders if this was Jack's plan from the beginning and if it was, then Jack chose the wrong partner.
Callie comes to see Malcolm at the studio and finds that he still has Nate. Olivia is still at the convention and Malcolm could care less if it continues into the next millennium. Julia picks up Nate and Callie begs Malcolm to tell her why he's so angry. Neil interrupts them.
Grace asks Megan to come over to the apartment but Meg doesn't trust Grace. Tony overhears Grace and tells her that it's best that he and Meg not be together. Grace acknowledges that after Michael burned her, it would be easy to try to get close to Tony but that's how the old Grace would operate. Now she knows that Tony belongs to Meg and Tony would do well to realize it as well. She leaves for a meeting.
After hanging up with Grace, Megan gets a visit from Tricia, who tells her how Ryan reacted. Tricia bursts into tears and wonders if Ryan even loves her anymore. She fears the worst for their marriage. Meg tells her that she cautioned Tricia months ago not to go off the pill without telling Ryan but that Tricia shouldn't freak out until she finds out if she really is pregnant. Besides, reasons Meg, Ryan loves Tricia and when he finds out (and cools down) he'll accept that and get used to the idea. Tricia dries her eyes and leaves.
Tony stands before the morning sun in the window at the window in Grace's apartment. He tells himself that if Megan were going to come, she'd have already been there. He gets his keys and leaves the apartment, missing Megan's call. Megan looks sad when no one answers.
Dressed in shocking red, Nikki encounters both Miguel and Rafael as she's getting ready to go out to dinner. Nikki wonders if Rafael is there for an update on Victoria and questions his association with Ashley. She tells Rafael that she hopes that whatever his alliance is with Ashley, she hopes that he won't aid Victoria in a misguided attempt to resurrect a reconciliation with Cole, a married man. Rafael tells Nikki politely to mind her own business. As he's leaving the mainhouse, he finds it amusing that Nikki, a married woman for all intents and purposes, has received a phone call from Brad Carlton, one of her husband's sworn enemies. Nikki tells Brad that she is eager to see him.
Katherine is moody and Birdie offers to help her fold clothes. Birdies shares that she's been sober for two weeks but it's been tough. Katherine tells her that she can only take her sobriety one day at a time. Birdie figures out that Katherine is upset because Mac left and wonders why Katherine didn't say something to make Mac stay. Katherine admits that she was scared. Birdie finds it ironic that Katherine can dole out advice by the yard but she can't take her own. Katherine realizes she must do something and suddenly knows what that "something" is.
Neil stops by Ryan's apartment to give him some job leads and Ryan shares his outrage at Tricia's suggestion that they start a family. Neil tries to add some dimension to Tricia's suggestion by saying that work is everything to Ryan and perhaps Tricia was only trying to help. Ryan rages that sometimes he and Tricia are so far apart it scares him. He attributes it to the difference in their ages. Neil tries to play devil's advocate to get Ryan out of his funk but says that he's really not one to offer relationship advice. Before he leaves, he suggests that Ryan get out and immediately look for another job. Ryan is not looking forward to it because wherever he finds a job, it just won't be NE. He's not sure that Victor could do anything now anyway -- even if he came back tomorrow.
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