Vicki wants to know what Nick just pocketed, so he shows her a flier for "open mike" night at CL. Vicki then wants to know what he really put in his pocket. Nick tells her it's no big deal when he shows her the fan letter; he just didn't want her getting a big head. Vicki reads the letter and says so what. Then Vicki asks if Nick is OK with her decision on the ad campaign. Nick wonders what Brad had to say. Vicki hopes he will just slither away, but Nick tells her he doesn't think Brad will be leaving anytime soon. I agree, says Victor as he walks in Vicki's office. Victor came by to tell Vicki about the new board member. Vicki congratulates Nick. Nick leaves to prepare a statement for the press. Vicki tells her dad she is glad to hear things are back on track with him and Nikki. Victor wonders what caused Nikki's sudden change of heart. Vicki suggests maybe someone gave Nikki bad advice and Victor wonders who that could be. Victor tells Vicki he is glad she reacted so well to Nick's board seat. Vicki wonders about the timing and if it was meant to send her a message about her resistance to working with Brad. Of course, Victor does not want to talk about her concerns over Brad. He has a plan. Victor goes on he wants Nick to devote all his energies towards NE continued success.
The doors are locked while they set up for the evening entertainment. Tony pounds on the door and wants to know if Sharon has seen Meg. She lets him in to talk and Tony rambles on about Grace is the cause of their problems. She tried to play on Meg's insecurities. Tony doesn't stay long; he has to find Meg. They open the doors and Nick stops by, but he has to go home and get ready to meet the press tomorrow. Nick adds he thinks it is time to tell Victor about CL and Sharon gets a worried look on her face. Sharon tells Nick they have no potential performers and Nick gets up on stage and tries to get a volunteer.
Ashley is waiting for Cole's answer, but he has big concerns. Ash tells him they need to talk about his concerns. Cole says they still have problems; things are not right between them. Ash wonders if that means he is going to just walk away from the marriage. What Cole is saying is that they need to resolve their problems before they start a family. Ash thinks that the ultimate bond of a baby is the best way to resolve their problems. Ash is ready to make that commitment to their marriage. Cole asks if she really thinks this is the right time. Cole thinks they need to be on more solid footing first. What it comes down to is she wants a baby in order to hold the marriage together and Cole thinks that is just not right. Cole says they should go home and Ash tells him to go ahead, she'll be there in a little while.
Leanna drops by to see Jack. She has a draft of the first updated chapter of Ruthless and lets Jack read it. Jack thinks Leanna may have missed some dirt and gives her the names of a couple of companies to check out. Leanna and Jack are going at it on the sofa, luckily still fully clothed, when John comes home. Leanna leaves shortly afterwards, but promises Jack they can pick up where they left off the next time. Jack tells John the coast is clear when Leanna leaves. John hopes she isn't going to drag Jack into something he should stay clear of. Focus your energy on Jabot; don't get caught up in revenge. They both wonder about Ash and Cole, John goes upstairs, and Cole comes home. Jack asks what it means that he came home alone.
Mal and Olivia's battle
At the photo studio, Mal is stunned by Neil's offer to testify for him. Mal wonders if he can trust Neil, and even so he knows Michael will twist his words. The phone rings. Mal slams down the phone after talking to John Silva, who let him know Baldwin filed the papers. Mal has a bad feeling and needs to get out of there, without Callie tagging along. Mal goes to see Olivia. They argue about the divorce. Olivia brings up his living with Callie and how much he has changed. They argue more. Mal finally tells her she wins. Mal says he will go along with whatever she wants for Nate's sake. Nate comes out of his room and overhears Mal telling Olivia that when the time comes that she doesn't want him in Nate's life, she will have to explain it to Nate. She will have total control; that's what she wanted and she got it. Mal leaves. Nate tells Liv he heard and he wants to know why Mal won't be his daddy anymore. Liv tells him not to doubt that Mal loves him; it is complicated. She hugs him and tells him he didn't do anything wrong.
Ashley confides to Cole that she feels closer to him than she has in a long time. Nikki presses her daughter to realize that Cole is in her past. Victoria then goes to see Cole in hopes of stopping him from "making the biggest mistake of his life" by starting a family with Ashley. Nina confides in Mac that she knows what she is going through because she also never knew her father, "the man with the scar." Nina then stops by the coffee house for breakfast and runs into the boys who tell her that Mac's father isn't dead. Billy and Raul accompany Nina back to her place but find Mac has left. Paul calls Mac's mother but gets no answer. Ryan tells Tricia he picked up vibes from Megan that she thinks Tony's cheating on her. When Tricia tells Grace, Grace urges Tricia to call a truce with Tony. Tony assures Megan that he never wants to cause problems between her and her sister. As they kiss, he confesses he loves her. Diane runs into Brad at Gina's and suggests that he can use the letter to ruin Nikki and Victor's relationship but warns him about the consequences of doing so.
Ashley is sitting in the restaurant sipping a glass of wine after Brad left. Victoria comes waltzing up saying, well well, what do we have here? Ashley says, do us both a favor and leave. Victoria tells her it must not be easy being out of the Newman fold and on her own. Ashley tells Victoria she's been in fragrances for longer than she's been out of diapers. Victoria tells her she's aging herself, and says "my, we're in a mood aren't we?" She says, as long as it's business and not personal. Ashley says you'd like that wouldn't you? You feed on peoples' unhappiness like a vulture. Victoria says just because Cole is keeping you from this ridiculous idea of having a baby to save your marriage you don't need to take it out on me! Ashley steps back, stunned.
Nick and Sharon's:
Sharon gets home from Crimson Lights and thanks Nikki for babysitting. They chat about how Cassie was giving Nikki some great ideas for the upcoming wedding. Then Nikki mentions Nick's position on the Board of Directors and the time that Nick is going to have to spend now at work. Sharon says, what about Victoria, won't she be able to help? Nikki says yes that she will pitch in and do her share, but she says that things have been tense between Victoria and Victor lately. She says that Victoria is too independent for Victor's taste and fortunately that's not a problem with Nick. Sharon decides to tell Nikki about Crimson Lights. She tells her that when the place was going under, they decided to buy it because it was where they met, fell in love and got engaged. She tells Nikki that she really feels that the coffee shop has had a stabilizing effect on Nick. He has finally put things in perspective and is doing and even better job at Newman Enterprises. Nikki says she can see that, but she's concerned that Nick didn't tell his father about it.
Victor is there and Cody says, "goodnight boss" to Nick. Victor asks if Nick bought the place and Nick wants to explain. Victor says he doesn't know what's more disturbing ... that Nick went against his advice or that he lied to him. Nick says it should be his choice whether to listen to advice or not. Victor asks why he didn't inform him of his decision to buy the place. Nick says because he knew that this would happen and he wanted to prove to himself that he could do a good job at both places. Victor says, "but you lied to me." He asks Nick when he was going to tell him about it. Nick says when he finished his experiment at working both places. He tells Victor, "you assumed I couldn't do both jobs and I believed I could." Victor says, "so you set out to prove your father wrong." Nick says he knew they would talk about this sooner or later, he was just giving himself some time. He can't understand why Victor doesn't see how important this is to him. Victor tells him that it's a distraction. Nick tells Victor that he must be impressed at the job he's doing at Newman Enterprises or he wouldn't have appointed him to the Board. Victor says that the situation is about to change. Nick says how, and Victor says if you have to ask, you have no idea what you're in for. Victor says that Nick has to make a complete commitment to his work at Newman ... total commitment. He just won't listen to Nick at all and tells him that he expects him to put the place on the market and sell it. Then he walks out.
Billy comes home and sees the broken table and glass on the floor. Jack walks in and asks him what's going on. Billy says he was just about to ask him that, looking at the floor. Jack says he slipped in the shower and Billy says, "into what, a fist?" Jack says it was his sisters devoted husband. Billy asks Jack if he's worried about Ashley's marriage and Jack says he's a lot more worried about it than "Hemmingway", and goes out to the kitchen.
Paul lets himself into the office and Lynn is sitting at her desk. He asks her what she's doing there. He thought she and Marissa had dates. Then Marissa and his mother come out of his office. His mom says they have to plan Chris's homecoming ... she'll be home in less than 24 hours. Paul calls Nina to come over and help plan. She does and they go over the band and the food and the flowers. They get all the planning done and then Lynn and Marissa leave to catch up with their dates.
Back at Abbott's:
Jack comes out of the kitchen and says to Billy that it's getting late. Billy says that he was looking for a friend. He tells Jack the story about Mac and her thinking her father was dead. Jack says he heard that Brock died. Billy tells him that Brock is alive and Mac finally got to meet him. Jack says that must be great for Katherine. Then Jack decides it's time to go up to bed and leaves.
At the Restaurant:
Ashley, looking horrified, says, "what did you say", to Victoria. Victoria says, you heard me ... your ludicrous idea to save your marriage ... Cole pulled the plug, right? Ashley says, my husband has been confiding in you again. Victoria tells her that they ran into each other and he told her a little about it. Ashley says (rather loudly) she thinks it was much more specific. Victoria says she sees no point in continuing this conversation, and she gets up to leave. Ashley says, "why not? You never pass up an opportunity to gloat ... to stick the knife in and twist it a little." Victoria tells her that's typical to blame her. She tells Ashley that she brought this whole thing on herself ... "you backed Cole in a corner thinking you could save this fiasco of a marriage by having a baby!" SLAP Ashley lands a good one on Victoria. Victoria is about to lunge back at Ashley when Ryan steps in and pulls them apart. He tells them to stop and think of what they are doing! Ashley yells at Victoria that she's so desperate that she can't stop interfering in her marriage. Victoria spits back, "Don't you EVER come near me again, do you hear me!" Ashley turns on her heals and stomps out. Ryan begins to ask Victoria what she thought she was doing and Victoria tells him, "Don't start, Ryan!" and leaves in a huff.
Later, Ryan is dining alone and Nina comes in. He tells her about the fight she just missed. Nina says she's happy she doesn't have to deal with Victoria any more. She tells him about helping Paul plan the homecoming for Chris. She says she's glad she ran into him because she needs some moral support. She got a letter from a publisher in today's mail and has been walking around all day with it in her purse, afraid to open it. He tells her to open it and she does. She reads it and passes it to him. They rejected her. He tells her it's only one publisher out of three that she sent the book to and one of the others is sure to publish it.
Paul comes home after the party planning at the office. He tosses his jacket on a chair. You can tell he's been baching it for quite a while ... the place is pretty messy with dishes around and papers all over the place. Needs the Cricket's touch! The phone rings and it's Chris. She tells him that the guy who was supposed to give the last seminar came down sick with the flu and that it has put her arrival back a couple of days. Paul gets a little upset that she's not coming home when planned ... she says she's upset too, but it can't be helped. They hang up and he picks up one of their wedding pictures and hugs it while he thinks about the times they have spent together. A lot of back-flashes here. Then he gets up and looks up a phone number in his book and calls a travel agent to get him on the next flight to Hawaii. Then we see Chris in her hotel room on the phone talking to the guy that's supposed to be sick. She's saying that she needs to ask him a favor.
Ashley comes home and Billy can see that she's upset. He asks if he can help. She pours a drink and slams it back, practically choking on it. She says, that's not the answer. She says you can want something so bad, but it doesn't mean you'll get it. Billy says there are no guarantees. He tells her if she doesn't want to talk to him about it, that's ok, but she's his sister and that's what he's there for. She smiles sadly at him.
Nick & Sharon's
Nick comes home from his set-to with his father. He tells Sharon what happened and she asks what he's going to do. He doesn't know yet. Sharon tells him that she told Nikki about the shop and that she seemed to be on his side and that she would talk to Victor about it.
Victor comes in ... Nikki comes to give him a kiss hello and ask why he was so late. He tells her he was at Crimson Lights. Guardedly, she asks why. He says to see Nick and tells her what happened. He tells her he is upset that Nick lied to him and she says he must have had his reasons. Victor says that's no excuse. He says he will handle the matter ... Nick is going to sell the shop ... if Nick doesn't, he will! .... and the credits roll.
Nikki and Victor talk about wedding plans as Victoria listens around the corner. After congratulations are made and Victor leaves for the office, Victoria and Nikki talk about Nick and the coffee house. Victoria decides to go down and talk to Nick and Sharon before going to work.
Christine is at the apartment wondering where Paul is. Nina comes by with some flowers and the two women catch up on what's been going on while Chris has been away. Nina tells her about sending her manuscript off and being rejected twice already. Chris encourages her and then tells her to hurry up and leave so she can get ready to see Paul. Nina leaves and Chris rushes around to take a shower.
Meanwhile, Paul is in Hawaii at Chris's hotel trying to find out what room she is in. He finds out that she checked out the day before and calls the apartment. Chris, in a negligee, answers the phone. She wants to know when he will be there and wishes she could have surprised him in person rather than on the phone. He tells her where he is and she can't believe it! He tells her not to move, he will be there in ten hours!
Diana and Brad are at a table at Gina's. Diane wants to know when Brad plans to use the letter. Brad won't tell anything, but hints that he is waiting for the right moment. Diane says that supposedly Victor and Nikki are on "solid ground" again, so Brad shouldn't waste any time. Brad says that it doesn't matter how solid they are, this will be a major blow to their relationship. As they are leaving, they overhear Gina talking with the wedding consultant about the "wedding of the millennium." They look at each other in disbelief.
Nick and Sharon are discussing Victor's opinion about the coffee house. Sharon offers to take on more responsibility and Nick says no way. He can't believe that Victor actually expects him to sell the coffee house. Victoria comes in and tells Nick that basically he will have to choose between the coffee house and his board seat. Nick says that he will not give up. Victoria says that he shouldn't get into it with their dad because he will only lose. Nick says he won't be Victor's little boy forever and storms out of the house.
Cole tells Ashley that he has been invited to England as a result of his writing success. He has his book tour and then they could go to Oxford together and spend some time with each other and get back on track. Ashley is happy that he got this offer, but doesn't think she should go with him. He doesn't understand why she wouldn't. Ashley says that based on her conversation with Victoria the night before, she thinks they should spend this time apart. She is hurt that Victoria knew that she wanted to start a family. The fact that Victoria knows personal things like that shows that the bond Cole shares with Victoria is much deeper than she realized. And it is much deeper than she can live with. They decide that he will go and she will stay and they will both try to figure out what and whom it is that they want.
At Crimson Lights, Nina runs into Thomas. She invites him to sit down. She is looking at catalogues for gift ideas for Christmas. He is rather cynical about the whole process and she tells him about Phillip and how she wants his childhood to be a special time for him. Thomas insinuates that his memories aren't so great and that he doesn't write about them. They change the subject and she tells him she is worn out from finishing the novel and hasn't felt like writing yet. He suggests that she read. Reading other great writers work is often a source of inspiration. She smiles and says he just gave her excellent advice and starts picking up her catalogues to put away. A letter falls out from between some and it is from a publishing company. She isn't too excited. He asks her if she would like to read it privately, and she says no, maybe he will bring her some good luck this time. She opens it and starts to read as he watches her.
Victoria stops back by the main house on her way to work. She tells Nikki that she is afraid that Brad will try to use Ramona to drive a wedge between her and Victor again.
Nick goes to Victor's office and tells him they need to talk about the coffee house. Victor says he thought they finished that conversation last night. "You may have, but I didn't." says Nick. "I have something to say and I am not leaving until I am finished!"
Nikki tells Victoria that Brad Carlton can't use Ramona to put a wedge between her and Victor; that Ramona is no longer an issue for her. Victoria tells her that there is a possibility that Ramona will be coming to Genoa City. She tells him about the conversation between her father and George Cayman. She believes that Victor will be calling her personally to invite her to come work in Genoa City.
Gina says goodbye to Laird Worthington just as Brad walks up to her. He asks who the man was and Gina tells him that he is the best wedding consultant in the city. She says that he wanted to put her down on his catering list. Brad mentions overhearing him say Victor Newman's name but Gina plays dumb, saying she is sworn to secrecy. Brad insists on knowing if the Newmans are renewing their vows but all Gina will say is, "Wouldn't that be lovely if it were true?"
Brock and Mackenzie share a father-daughter moment before she leaves for school. He says that he is sorry he couldn't stay up later the night before but she understands that he was tired, especially since he came all the way from India. She says she will see him when she gets home from school; she is looking forward to getting to know him a whole lot better. Jill comes in just as Mac is leaving. She "welcomes" Mac back home and tells Brock that she understands how much it means that he has learned that he has a daughter. Once Mac has left, Brock invites Jill for breakfast. She is glad to have him back in civilization but wonders if he can adapt. She admires the way he has lived his life and the choices he has made. It makes her wonder about her own choices and the kind of life she has lived. He replies that the wonderful thing about choices is that you can always make new ones; there is always another chance if you want it. Jill thinks about the opportunities she has squandered, the way she has focused on material things. He reminds her of the many battles she has fought saying that whatever she has now, she has earned. But if she wants things to be different, it is hers for the taking. She says that he has always been able to make her feel better; he was always her one source of peace and stability. She says that he is such a gentle soul that he is always willing to see the good in everyone even if good isn't there. That makes it dangerous for him; he is ripe for people taking advantage of him. Even though it upsets her, she needs to talk to him about something that is happening right here and right now.
Nicholas says he wants to talk about the coffee house. Victor says that they have already gone through this and the logic is irrefutable. Only because it is your logic, Nick tells his dad. Victor reminds him that he bought the place against his advice and Nick wonders if it was advice or orders since there is a difference. Victor says that the only reason Nick bought the place was to prove to him that he could do it. Now that he has, he should move on by selling the place. He is now on the board of directors of an international conglomerate and that is serious business and serious responsibility. Apparently he fails to see the parameters. This isn't about sitting on the board once a week; it is about traveling in the name of the company, giving speeches in the name of the company. That means he has to be concerned about his name and reputation. Owning a little place like the Crimson Lights will make him look like a dilettante. He says that Nick is frustrating the hell our of him. "Well, now you know how I feel," Nick answers. He adds that he didn't buy the coffeehouse to prove a point but because he wanted a place to call his own just like Newman Enterprises is victor's place alone. He says that because this is Victor's place, he is the one who calls the shots---every last one of them. Victor immediately wants to know if Nick would like to call the shots. Nick says that he doesn't; he knows that he can't. But how does one learn? They learn by having their own place and getting the experience that they need; they fall or stand on what they decide without a safety net. He appreciates everything that his father has done for him and being on the board of directors is important to him, but he isn't giving up the Crimson Lights. That belongs to him and Sharon alone and he is holding firm with the decision. Victor stares at him for a long time and then tells him that this is one of those times in a father-son relationship where each has given the other a lot to think about.
Tomas guesses that Nina has another rejection and she says that it is her third, so she must have struck out already. She is angry that she got only a form letter instead of a personal reply. As she whines about writing a novel only to get rejected by some guy just out of college who tells her it is nothing but garbage, he tries to tell her that that isn't what the letter said. He suggests that she show her novel to her friends so that they can give her some feedback as to how good it is. "You want my friends to critique my work?" she asks horrified. She says that allowing someone to read her work would be like exposing herself. He agrees saying that it is like taking your clothes off and standing naked for everyone to see. She says that maybe she will just take another class instead. He wonders what she thinks she can learn in another class that she hasn't already learned by working on her own. He offers to if she would like him to read her novel. She can't understand why he would want to; they have only just met. "You are a famous writer and you're gonna read my book? You can't mean it!" "Alright," he says. "I don't mean it. I was just baiting you, giving you false hope." Nina takes his words seriously and really lets him have it. "You think a lot of yourself, don't you? She asks. "I guess it makes you better than me because you have been published and I haven't. Must be fun for you, kicking around with the newbies. Well let me tell you something. I take this very seriously and it is cruel for you to be so patronizing." Just then, the phone rings and it is Chris asking her to come over. She excuses herself and leaves, leaving Tomas alone and speechless.
Brad confirms to Diane that the Newmans are getting back together. He can't understand it because the last time he talked to Nikki, she was feeling so alienated from Victor. Diane thinks he should get off his duff and show her the letter. When she learns that Victor has been lying to her about being able to give her a child, it should blow things up for them. Brad wonders why she is so intent on this. She tells him that when she was married to Victor, Nikki was manipulating behind the scenes, persuading her husband to have a vasectomy. If that hadn't happened, maybe she would have had a child; she might even still be married to him. Nikki deprived her of all that. Diane says that it is possible that Nikki won't see it that way at all but as a way to have Victor's baby after all. It will b a gamble either way so she suggests that Brad be very careful how he plays his hand.
Cody shows Sharon the financial report of the night before. It is so good that she thinks that they may have an open mike every week. She is very concerned about Nick and says that she has to go and find him.
Chris tells Nina about Paul going to Hawaii to be with her while she took off early to come home and be with him. Now he is on his way back. Nina tells her about the infuriating conversation she just had with Tomas del Cerro, the big-time novelist. Chris interprets the conversation not as Tomas being arrogant and insufferable but as trying to be helpful. Nina just can't imagine a well known writer offering to read the novel of a new author; she was sure that he couldn't mean it. Now she feels like the biggest jerk in the world. "Can you imagine turning down the help of one of my favorite authors? Not to mention insulting him to his face."
J.T. is impressed by Billy and Raul's gig at Crimson lights as is most of the kids in school. Billy finds himself in demand for about everyone's parties. When Raul joins them, Billy suggests that they get a group together and maybe make a little money. He is serious but Raul thinks he is deluded. Mac joins them and agrees that they are good enough. Maybe she could even be in their music video. Later, as they are having lunch and she talks to Billy about her father. She says that he has such a good effect on everyone even Jill. Maybe he will turn her around and she will finally get off her back. Billy thinks she is in a really good mood today and she agrees until she suddenly gets the feeling that things are going too good. All her life, whenever things were going to easily, you could expect that something was going to happen to spoil things. Billy says she is imagining things but she says that this isn't a fairy tale where everyone is guaranteed a happy ending. She knows just how quickly everything can go wrong.
Connie knocks on the door. When she enters, Victor is standing and staring out the window. She tells him that a number of reporters are waiting downstairs for a statement from him and Nicholas regarding the appointment to the board. "There will be no statement today, Connie," Victor says without turning around. She asks if she should reschedule them and he tells her no. She quietly withdraws from the room.
Nick returns to his office and finds Sharon waiting for him. He tells her that he and his father had a conversation but he doesn't know what the outcome will be. He told his father that he would not give up the coffeehouse. She assures him that all Victor needs to do is think about it and he will see it their way. He hopes so because sitting on the board was very important to him.
Brad arrives at the ranch and Nikki is not very welcoming. She says that she and Vicki have just been talking about him. He asks if it is true that she and Victor are renewing their vows. She is happy to tell him that it is true. He can't believe it and reminds her of all the problems she has been having in the marriage. She tells him that she has finally come to her senses and realized that the issues pulling her and Victor apart were not as powerful as their love. The sooner Brad accepts that and leaves her alone, the better off they both will be. She says that certain people who claimed to be her friend was only feeding her doubts and insecurities and trying to hurt her. He says that he would never hurt her. He reminds her that one of those issues was Victor's refusal to give her a child or to even consider the idea. Has that changed? She says that she came to realize that it was unfair of her to blame her husband. If he could have given her a child, he would have. She only regrets that she judged him so harshly. So you see Victor as a victim of circumstances? Brad asks, sarcastically. She acknowledges his sarcasm but says that that is exactly how she sees him. "You are confident of that?" he asks her. "You are sure that Victor would have given you another child?" He reminds her that the vasectomy could have been reversed, yet he wouldn't even consider it. She says that he didn't ignore it; it was just a slim chance that it would work. Also, she was asking too much from him. She now knows for sure that her husband loves her and she no longer has any doubts about it. She knows her husband and she believes in him. "Totally?" Brad asks. "Totally!" Nikki answers. Brad withdraws the letter from his jacket and tells her, "Then I think you need to take a look at this."