The confrontation between Ashley and Brad finally began. She told him she couldn't imagine what he had been going through, and that she had never felt worse in her entire life. She also said she needed to tell him something else that might make the situation a bit easier to swallow. He wasn't in the mood to listen; he yelled that nothing would make the fact that his daughter was being taken away from him any easier. He went on a tirade, telling her he didn't know her at all. He trusted her, believed in her and all she did was fill his life with lies and deceit. She told him she was afraid he wouldn't marry her if he knew who Abby's father was, and Brad quickly asked why it was O.K. for Victor to know and not him. When she told him Victor didn't know, he asked why he should believe her.
After telling him the entire story, Brad, of course, was incredulous. He started yelling again, telling Ashley that she was simply in love with Victor, had always been, and apparently always would be. He said the only reason they weren't together is because Victor tried to steal Jabot from her family, and she knew they would never accept him. She denied having feelings for Victor, reiterated how sorry she was, and asked if they could find a way to survive the situation—if for nothing else, for Abby's sake. She went on to say she had no intention of telling Victor the truth, and was completely bowled over when Brad said he had already told Nikki. PaNikking, she asked why he would do such a thing, and Brad told her he felt no obligation to keep Victor's secret. He yelled that she had been living in a dream world, thinking she could keep all of this a secret, but she only had one question: where is Nikki?
Phyllis was raging about Diane, when Michael told her he was no longer her attorney, because it looked like the matter was going to be dropped. For the record, he said, he believed she started the fire, but the police didn't have much of a case to prove that. This really angered Phyllis, because she really wanted revenge. Getting fed up with her, he told her to knock it off—after all, she was off the hook, home free! He advised her to just be quiet, let it go, and to quit basing her life on revenge. Nothing doing, she told him, she wanted justice and had even hired Paul to help her out. When she noticed how upset he was, she asked what was wrong, and he told her about Christine's disappearance. Not interested, and obviously affected by her intense dislike for Christine, Phyllis only feigned sympathy, which made Michael angry. Her phone started ringing—it was Paul—and she left abruptly.
Paul, ever the PI, was talking on the phone, still trying to find Christine when Andy walked in with a box of documents. They were the arson documents, and Paul asked if Andy wanted to help him, or if he'd rather stay out of it on account of Diane. After all, he said, Andy was still cordial with Diane, and he wasn't sure Andy would believe anything negative about her. Andy told him he was open minded and admitted that he was interested in finding out what made her tick. After looking through the documents, Paul discovered a possible loose end and called Phyllis to come back over.
Once she arrived, he began asking her questions about the phone call she received that called her away the night of the fire. She told him everything she could remember, and that the police had determined the call came from a pay phone in a seedy side of town. She described the man's voice, and said she would remember it if she heard it again. After asking if he had a photo of Diane, she grabbed him, telling him they should go and try to find the guy.
Lauren paid a visit to John Abbott to talk about possibly buying the boutique. Intrigued with the idea, John told her he would run it by Jack and Ashley and see that they thought. At the mention of their names, Lauren gently asked how they were doing; she knew they had been through some rough times. He told her they were better, but that Colleen had gotten involved with an older boy who they didn't approve of and she was forbidden to see. She also laughingly asked if they were all on music therapy, since the music was so loud upstairs. John told her Colleen and her friend were up there, and since he knew Colleen would love to say hello to her, could she wait a minute while he goes to get her? Looking very uncomfortable, she begged off, saying she had to run.
She went back over to the coffee house, and immediately ran into Colleen and J.T. She gave them a friendly warning: to be a little bit smarter about the way they went about their relationship. Colleen asked if Lauren had told on her, and Lauren told her not this time. She thanked her profusely and ran off to go back home. Lauren sat J.T. down and asked what was really going on.
Nikki went home to the ranch and was sadly looking through her wedding photo album from Victor. As she cried and reminisced about their lives together, Victor walked in, calling her name.
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
Brad and Ashley sped in their car to the Newman Ranch, hoping to stop Nikki before she could talk to Victor about Abby's paternity. Brad seemed fully convinced that Victor was in the dark; although he was still angry at Ash, he didn't see why Nikki and Victor's marriage should suffer as well.
When Victor came home, he was surprised by Nikki's flat mood. He told her that he'd decided not to stay overnight in Chicago because he wanted to spend time with her. He'd also made a resolution that they should try to recapture the happiness they'd felt right after their wedding. As Nikki asked him probing questions, trying to force him to tell her about Ashley, Victor admitted that he hadn't been entirely honest with her. He had seen Ashley a few times while she was ill, trying to offer his support. But they were not romantically involved. Just as Nikki lost her composure, asking him how stupid he thought she was, Ashley and Brad rang the bell. Nikki furiously opened the door and was stunned to see them. Victor joined her at the door and invited them in. Ashley apologized for any problems she and Brad might have caused them. There had been tension between them, but there was no reason for it to affect the Newmans' marriage. As Nikki stared at her in disbelief, Ashley suggested that Brad be allowed to speak to Nikki alone. When Ashley and Victor were alone, she again apologized, assuring him that she believed Brad could allay Nikki's suspicions. She had always been a thorn in Nikki's side, so she didn't blame Nikki, but Ashley's problems with Brad didn't involve them.
At first Nikki was reluctant to believe Brad when he told her that Victor wasn't aware of being Abby's biological father. Brad told her it was a long story, but he was sure it was the truth. Nikki then demanded how he could expect her to keep such a secret from Victor when she'd been so hurt to think that Victor was keeping it from her. Brad cautioned her to at least think things through before she decided what to do. Nikki wondered how she was expected to live with that truth; could Brad? Brad said they needed to think about Abby, and there was no reason for this to damage the happiness Nikki had finally found with Victor.
After the Carltons left, Nikki agreed with Victor that she wanted to be happy again. She began to cry as Victor held her. Things were much colder at the Carlton house between Ashley and Brad. After a short dizzy spell, Ashley expressed her hope that things would be okay for Nikki and Victor, but Brad wasn't interested in discussing it and said he had to leave. Ashley asked him if he wanted her to get Abby from Mrs. Crawford next door, but Brad said he wasn't ready to see her. Before he could leave, Mrs. Crawford arrived with Abby, saying she'd seen their car pull up. Brad briefly held her, then handed her back to Ashley and tried to leave. Ash asked where he would be staying, in case there was an emergency. Brad told her that she could call him on his cell phone. Ashley then asked if he would be alone, and Brad didn't answer her. As he tried to leave, Ashley begged him to keep in touch.
Phyllis and Paul showed a homeless man near the phone booth a picture of Diane, hoping he could identify her as being in the vicinity or having someone call Phyllis to Newman Enterprises on the night of the fire. When they struck out, Phyllis suggested they go into the Olive Tree and show the picture there. The bartender refused to cooperate with them, so Phyllis tried to show the photo to some men who were ogling her. When the men started coming on to her, Paul dragged her out of the bar. They went to the Abbott house, and Paul forced Phyllis to tell Jack what they'd been doing. After Paul left, Jack forcefully told Phyllis she needed to put an end to her obsession with getting Diane arrested. Phyllis was furious, reminding him of all Diane had put her through. Jack said they had to learn to tolerate Diane for Kyle's sake. When he wouldn't back down, Phyllis agreed to drop it, but she was obviously just telling him what he wanted to hear.
After she sneaked back in her bedroom window, Colleen was startled to see Lily. Lily said she'd had to come back to get her laptop. She asked how things had gone with J.T. Colleen told her that Lauren not only knew the Abbott family, but had even come to the house and talked to her grandfather after seeing Colleen at Crimson Lights. Lily thought it was cool that an adult was on Colleen's side and hadn't told on her, but Colleen didn't trust Lauren. She had no idea when she'd be able to see J.T. again.
After making sure that Colleen left Crimson Lights to get home before her grandfather could discover she'd sneaked out, Lauren tried to get J.T. to open up to her about his relationship. J.T. was defensive, telling Lauren that he wasn't trying to take advantage of Colleen's age and innocence. Although he was more experienced, he thought Colleen was different from every girl he'd ever been around. He liked the way he looked when he saw himself through her eyes. He felt like a better person. Lauren said that it was a good definition of love. Although J.T. wouldn't use the "L" word himself, he shared how much it upset him that no one understood his relationship with Colleen. After he left Crimson Lights, he began to reminisce about singing to Colleen on her birthday, which was what she was doing at home. He then tightened his jacket and started to walk away, saying goodnight to "Blue Eyes" with tears in his own eyes.
Thursday, January 23, 2003
Diane called Jack to tell him that she was planning to petition the court asking for permission to take Kyle to Florida for a couple of months. He had a cold and needed to get some sunshine in order to stay healthy. Jack wasn't happy about that at all. Diane ended up cutting the conversation off before he could finish his sentence and hanging up on him. Phyllis found him angry after the call and he told her what had happened. Then he realized that he was fueling her fire about Diane and politely tried to change the subject. Before he could, though, she promised that she and Paul would not go back to that rough bar they visited the night before – the lead had been nothing. Jack headed off for work and Phyllis told herself that, even though she and Paul weren't going back, that didn't mean that SHE couldn't go back. . .
Diane received a visit from Andy at her apartment. She let him hold Kyle and cried while she recounted the pain that Jack had put her through. When Andy learned about her plans to take Kyle to Florida, he warned her about using her son to punish Jack. She planned to call her lawyer anyway. . .
Diego and Larry met up with the thugs who stole Victor's money at the bar. They went over a map of Newman's property and the plans for stealing $1 million from the safe. The thugs wanted to stay in the background until Diego was in and the safe was open. Then, and only then, would they come in and help. There was no backing out – that kind of money was worth any risk and they would all be smart to leave town once the job was done.
Paul Williams gave Lynne the keys to the apartment at Crimson Lights. She had some painting being done at her place, and wondered if she could crash there for a couple of days. She left and then Paul ran into Michael Baldwin. He sat down beside him and proceeded to read him the riot act about how he was defending Diane Jenkins while, at the same time pretending to be Phyllis' friend. Michael replied that the case was over, there was no new evidence. Paul made a comment about how no one could trust Michael and he came back with the question, "You mean the way that Christine does?" That was a low blow to Paul's ego. Neither had heard from her yet.
Isabella answered her door to find a strange woman. The woman told her that she was working with an agency that was trying to confirm whether or not James was ready to be released from prison. She had some questions and wanted to come in to ask them. Reluctantly, Isabella let her in and answered her questions the best that she could. The woman had short dark hair and sunglasses. Her accent was slightly southern. She seemed to be fishing to find out how Isabella felt about James. They talked for a few minutes and Isabella became more nervous as time went on. The woman left and Isabella called Michael Baldwin. She told him what happened and he went to work checking into it. He called her back to tell her that James was not up for parole at all. She shouldn't talk to that woman again – he would get back to her. . .
Victor poured himself some orange juice for breakfast and Victoria came downstairs ready for work. She had wanted to avoid him, but wondered why her mother had slept on the couch and looked like she had been crying the night before. They sparred as usual about her plans with Diego. He told her that he would have bodyguards watch her if she went back to him. He was dangerous and couldn't be trusted. She stormed off on her way to find him.
Diego arrived at the hotel room to find Victoria there. She had missed him too much and wanted to be together. He didn't hide the fact that he still had revenge on his mind, but he told her that it would be over soon. It would be for the best because he would win her father's approval. She became angry and told him that her father probably would go along with his plan because it was being done for all the reasons that she despised. She stormed off, saying that maybe they shouldn't have anything to do with each other ever again.
Phyllis walked into the bar and headed straight for a barstool. The bartender tried to kick her out again and the patrons who were turned on the night before by her came gathering around. She showed them Diane's picture again and they joked about it. The leader wanted to have his way with Phyllis instead. He started grabbing her and she punched him in the nose. The next guy got a kick in the groin. They backed off and a little old man walked by and picked up Diane's picture off the floor. He talked about how he did some telephone work for her and caught Phyllis' interest. She asked if he was making the whole thing up, and he admitted that the lady did look familiar and a drink might help clear things up for him. . .
Diego arrived at Victor's door wanting to talk to him about the men who stole his money. It seemed that Victor was not interested, but when Diego told him that he had a plan that would allow Victor to get those guys and that they were coming to his house that night, Victor looked like he might just listen.
The woman with the dark hair and glasses walked into an apartment. It was Paul's old apartment. Lynne greeted her, asking how her interview went. Christine Williams took off her wig and glasses and remarked, "It was very interesting, VERY interesting!"
Friday, January 24, 2003
Diane showed up at the Abbott house without Kyle, explaining that she didn't want to take him out in the cold until after he'd seen his pediatrician. Jack wasn't buying it for a minute and accused her of playing games to keep him away from his son. When he found out that Diane had gotten a court date to get the judge's permission to go to Miami until Wisconsin was warmer, he raged at her. Diane said that if he thought she was getting payback for the way he'd lied to and humiliated her, it was gratifying, but that wasn't her motive. She was simply trying to take care of her child. When Phyllis came in, it confused Diane that Phyllis was so calm, even after hearing about Diane's plans. She told Phyllis to work her magic on Jack and calm him down for Kyle's sake. After Diane left, Phyllis tried to tease Jack into a better mood, but he was still too enraged at Diane. He couldn't believe Phyllis wasn't taking things more seriously. At that point, Phyllis forced his hand down her blouse, and he pulled out a piece of paper. As he read what was written on it, he stared at Phyllis with a dazed and hopeful expression.
Nikki came to see Victoria but refused to discuss what was going on with Victor. Instead, she wanted to know how her daughter was doing. Victoria admitted that she'd had words earlier with Victor at the ranch. When Nikki found out that Diego had actually talked to his muggers, she said she had to side with Victor on that one. Until Diego had followed through and finished whatever plan he was hatching up, Victoria needed to stay with them at the ranch for her own safety. Victoria promised she had no intention of putting herself in harm's way while Diego was playing his macho game. Both women wondered why they were married to two such stubborn men, and Victoria said her father's need for control was not the way to show his family love.
Victor was furious to find out that Diego and Larry had set in motion a plan to catch the muggers that involved the ranch. He accused Diego of thoughtlessly placing the entire Newman family in danger. When Diego reminded him that it had been his money the men stole, Victor said he didn't care about the money. He wondered if he should kill Diego and throw his carcass out the back gate as a warning to the thugs he was dealing with. Finally he calmed down and said he'd be a part of the plan, but it would have to be done his way. For one thing, he fully intended to involve the police.
Isabella and Michael tried to figure out who the mysterious "Kelly Simmons" was, since her story about Isabella's ex-husband James hadn't panned out. James was not up for work release or parole. When Michael berated Isabella for talking to the woman, Isabella reminded him that she had much more to lose than he did. She had a husband and child. All he had was a vague promise from Christine that she might marry him. When she wondered if it might have been James who sent this woman to question her, Michael rolled his eyes and told her to stop believing her own lies. James had never been a danger to her; he was just some poor schmoe doing his time in prison. Recalling that Isabella's cover story had been her way of ensnaring Paul, Michael panicked. If Isabella had told this woman that she didn't fear James and hadn't had contact with him, she'd just blown that cover story. Isabella was agitated and asked him if he thought Paul was investigating her. Michael said if Paul suspected her of anything, she'd know it. Nor did he think Mary could carry off such a feat. But he did wonder if perhaps Lynne had something to do with it, since she'd never trusted Isabella...
At Christine's apartment, Lynne watched as Christine pulled off her "Kelly Simmons" disguise. The two of them then talked over what they hoped to accomplish--exposing Isabella. Christine worried about her motives. After all, Paul was married with a child now. Even if she found out anything, she might look like nothing more than a bitter ex-wife. But Lynne said that Paul was not happy. In fact, since the baby christening, she often caught him talking out loud, and she thought he was expressing things he wanted to say to Christine. Chris admitted that things had gotten very strange between them, but she didn't want to get into that. They went over what Lynne knew about Isabella, including the stalking and assault her ex-husband James was supposedly responsible for. Christine thought it was amazing that after those incidents, Isabella had told "Kelly" that she'd had no contact with James and was indifferent to whether or not he was released from prison. Something definitely didn't add up.
Paul and Andy talked at Crimson Lights. Paul was torturing himself with memories of the sexual episode with Christine on the night of the christening. When he said that he couldn't endure knowing he'd forced himself on his ex-wife, Andy reminded him that rape was not about sex. It was about power and humiliation. He didn't believe that passion that got out of hand was the same thing. Paul wasn't so sure, but Andy said it wasn't uncommon. He wondered what Paul hoped to gain by talking to Christine. Did he want to apologize? Ask for forgiveness? Did he want to find out if Christine was a willing participant? And if he found out Chris hated him, what purpose would that serve? Or if she loved him, he couldn't walk out on Isabella and Ricky. Paul said he didn't know what to think or feel, and wouldn't until he talked to Christine. He was worried about her long absence and needed to know that she was okay. While the two men were talking, Christine came into the coffee house, once again disguised as "Kelly Simmons."