At Sharon's house, Nick and Victoria talked about how Nikki might react when the judge issued a ruling in Ian's lawsuit. Mariah arrived, and Nick introduced the young woman to Victoria. Mariah asked if she should recreate her impression of Cassie. Victoria angrily replied, "Don't insult my niece by comparing yourself to her." Mariah reminded Victoria that Victor had masterminded the twisted scam. Victoria replied, "It wasn't my father's idea for you to ally yourself with Ian Ward or to harass Abby and Tyler."
At Crimson Lights, Dylan was busy running his restaurant when Ian stopped by. Ian extended his sympathy to Dylan for having been present in the courtroom during Nikki's testimony. Ian added, "Those words of rejection that came from your own mother and the passages from her journal must have cut you right down to the bone." Ian received an alert on his phone. Dylan's jaw tightened as he awaited the next blow from Ian.
After Ian read the message, he said, "Now we'll see who the liar is. The judge's ruling is in." Ian gave his assurance that he would win the case, and he offered to share his monetary award with Dylan. Dylan said, "It'll be a cold day in hell before I ever take a dime from you." Dylan said he expected to watch Ian go down in flames when the judge announced his ruling.
From the Genoa City Athletic Club, Nikki spoke to Michael on the phone and shared her concern about the judge having so quickly reached a decision. Nikki asked what would happen if the judge ruled against her. Michael replied, "We'll fight it!" A bottle of liquor behind the bar caught Nikki's attention. Nikki said, "And go through all of this again? I don't know how much fight I've got left."
Victor met up with Nikki, and the couple was heading out the door when a commotion on the other side of the dining room drew their attention. It was Billy. He was holding a file folder and had interrupted a meeting between Ben Rayburn and Dr. Barton Shelby. Barton informed Billy that he was interrupting the announcement of Ben's promotion. Ben rose from his chair when Nikki and Victor gathered near the table. Billy said, "I think Victor would like to hear the truth about the person he has been pushing on his daughter."
Ben glared at Billy and said, "What do you have to gain from this? You've got Victoria. She doesn't want to have anything to do with me." Barton demanded to know what was going on. Ben snatched the file folder from Billy and gave it to Barton. Ben said, "Sir, this is what I was going to tell you about." Barton, addressing Billy, said, "I want to know how you gained access to hospital personnel files?"
Victor joined the fray and claimed that Billy aimed to tarnish Ben's reputation. Ben interrupted and admitted that he'd assumed someone else's identity. Billy added, "Skip to the good part where you tell everybody that you killed your own father." Nikki looked shocked. Ben cried, "I served time for killing my father." Nikki placed her hand gently on Ben's shoulder and noted that Ben had either acted in self-defense or reacted to an extenuating circumstance.
Before Victor escorted Nikki away, he pointed his finger at Ben and Billy and said, "We'll talk about this." Ben said that he'd tender his resignation, but he noted that his record at the hospital was spotless. Ben insisted that being an excellent doctor was all that mattered to him. Barton shook his head and said, "There'll be ramifications -- not just at the hospital but legal ones, too." Barton threw down the file and walked quickly away.
Billy went to the bar and ordered a drink. Ben followed Billy. Ben explained that his ancient history no longer had bearing on his life. Ben added that Billy had lost Victoria due to his own actions. Billy glared at Ben when Ben pointed out that he had saved many patients, including Summer.
Billy acted as if he'd been punched in the gut when Ben mentioned Delia. Ben explained that the night Delia had been injured, he'd volunteered to cover all cases in the emergency room for hours in order to free up the best medical staff for Delia's care. Billy held his head in his hand and broke down crying when Ben described his own emotional pain when Delia had passed away. Ben added, "That's the kind of doctor I am, Billy. That's the kind of doctor I was."
At the police station, Kevin became agitated when Michael explained that he was on his way to meet with Nikki at the courthouse. Kevin said, "What about me and my case? You said you were going to help me. I cannot spend another minute in that cell." Michael reassured his anxiety-ridden brother and promised to send reinforcements. Kevin asked what Michael meant. Michael patted his brother's shoulder and told him to think twice before attempting to break into another hospital's computer system in order to steal data files.
After Michael left, Detective Harding ordered two uniformed officers to lock Kevin in a cell. Gloria, sporting dark sunglasses, walked in and said, "Not to worry, Kevin. Mommy's here to help her baby boy through this harrowing ordeal." Kevin hid his face in shame when Gloria, having already touched up her make-up, approached Detective Harding, batted her eyes, and said, "I'm in need of undercover work." Detective Harding mentioned the stolen ID badge that had been found in the drawer of Kevin's desk. Gloria noted that Kevin had solved many criminal cases with his keen detective work.
In the courtroom, Nikki was uptight when she arrived through a back entrance with Victor. Dylan arrived with Michael and noted that members of the press had set up just outside the courthouse. Nikki voiced her fear that Ian might win and never leave her or her family members in peace. Victor replied, "No matter what the judge decides, Ian Ward will not beat us!" Nikki cried that if Ian won, it would validate every horrible thing he'd ever said about her.
Nikki asked about Paul. Michael explained that Christine had taken Paul away to rest. Nikki eagerly greeted Nick and Victoria with an embrace when they entered the courtroom. Nikki expressed her concern about Ben's predicament. Victoria told her mother to focus on defeating Ian. As if on cue, Ian walked through the door and flashed a big smile. Ian noted that Paul was absent. Victoria said, "My mother has more people behind her than you ever will." Dylan said that the only person who counted was the judge.
Judge Ramsey entered the room and said that Ian's lawsuit had been a series of malicious attacks and painful revelations. Ian smiled when Judge Ramsey added, "What I find most disturbing is that a mother robbed a son of his father." Nikki slumped in her chair. Judge Ramsey said that despite Nikki's youth and naiveté, she should have taken proper steps to determine her baby's paternity. The judge's harsh words appeared to have stung Nikki.
Judge Ramsey addressed Ian, too. The judge said that Ian couldn't claim naiveté as an excuse when Ian had had an affair with a young girl behind his wife's back. The judge also noted that Ian had even used medical proof of his sterility during a previous paternity suit. The judge added that Ian had attempted to have that information dismissed in order to win his case against Nikki. Victor gave Nikki an encouraging nod.
Judge Ramsey, still addressing Ian, said, "I find that the plaintiff acted unethically, and I dismiss this case with prejudice, meaning that this case cannot be brought back to court." The judge told Nikki that he would congratulate her, but he didn't think that anyone had emerged as a winner in the case. Michael embraced Nikki and congratulated her. Nikki hugged Dylan and apologized for the hurtful things she'd been forced to read from her diary. Dylan assured his mother that he was all right.
Nikki announced that she had an appointment at the hospital. Victoria asked to accompany her mother. Victoria noted that she had a prenatal checkup. After the women left, Dylan told Nick and Victor that Ian probably wouldn't leave town. Victor said, "Who the hell knows what Ian's up to now?" After Dylan and Nick left, Victor turned to Ian and winked at him.
Ian exited the courtroom with his attorney. Victor was waiting and asked to speak to Ian alone. After Victor finished typing a message into his phone, he walked toward Ian. Victor removed his glasses and looked into Ian's eyes. Ian didn't wince. Victor said, "Don't you ever make the mistake of coming after my family again." After Victor walked away, Ian shook his head.
Ian's attorney, David, approached Ian after Victor left. David said, "I thought we had a good shot going into this. Sorry we lost the case." Ian replied, "All is not lost." Ian's voice trailed off, and his eyes seemed unfocused, as if he were planning his next strategy. Ian, sounding certain of himself, said that he had another weapon in his arsenal that would completely surprise his foes.
Billy approached Dylan when he entered the Genoa City Athletic Club. Billy claimed that he'd been wise to continue his investigation into Ben's past and noted that Ben was a murderer. Billy said that Ben's sister, Kelly, could verify that her brother was a murder. Dylan shrugged. Billy said, "Still defending your old buddy? Still on his side?" Dylan replied, "I'm standing on the only side that counts. That's where you and Stitch should be, too -- on Victoria's side."
Gloria was still flirting with Detective Harding as an appalled Kevin watched in amazement from across the room. When Gloria squeezed the detective's biceps, he escaped to his office and quickly closed the door. When Michael returned to the police station, Kevin cried that Michael might soon have two clients instead of one because of Gloria's actions. Gloria and Michael laughed. Kevin shook his head in disgust.
Michael pointed out to Kevin that Gloria had managed to keep Kevin out of a cell for a while longer. Kevin realized that Gloria's aim was to stall for time. Gloria praised her diversionary tactics. Detective Harding emerged from his office and announced that Kevin was free to leave. Gloria congratulated herself, but Detective Harding explained that the assistant district attorney had decided not to pursue a case against Kevin.
At Sharon's house, Mariah played a board game with Faith after Nick and Victoria left. During casual conversation, Mariah asked Faith what Nick liked to do and which foods were his favorites. Faith said that her dad loved watching sports and playing "wedding" with her and that his favorite food was peach pie. Mariah asked about Nick and Sharon's marriage plans. Faith replied, "My dad said that people don't have to be married. I think he's scared to get married to Mommy." Mariah said, "Well, maybe there's a way I can help your dad out."
When Nick returned home, Mariah greeted him and announced that she'd cooked dinner. Nick was surprised by Mariah's gesture. Mariah explained that she'd wanted to do something to help because Nick had done so much for her. Mariah asked about the lawsuit. Nick replied, "Ian lost. His case was thrown out completely." Mariah threw her arms around Nick's neck and said, "Well, congrats!"
Nick, surprised by Mariah's reaction, had to quickly steady himself when she lunged toward him. Nick pointed out that Mariah's friend, Ian, had lost against Nikki. Mariah quickly noted that Ian would bounce back. Mariah said she knew how important the victory was for Nick and his family. Nick smelled a peach pie baking and said that it was his favorite. Mariah laughed and said, "What a coincidence! It's mine, too."
At the hospital, Victoria told her mother that she had decided against undergoing a paternity test. Nikki said, "Honey, I was just chastised in court for not having identified the father of my baby early on." Victoria noted that Ben was a convicted murderer. Nikki strongly suggested that Victoria reconsider and determine who had fathered the baby she was carrying. Nikki headed to her charity meeting, but Victoria pointed out that Nikki was walking in the wrong direction. Nikki turned and walked the other way until Victoria was out of sight.
As Victoria walked toward the elevator, she encountered Ben exiting with his belongings packed in a box. Ben announced that he was leaving the hospital. Ben added that the truth was out about his prison record, so he could no longer practice medicine. Victoria replied, "Ever?" Ben explained that he'd been asked to take a leave of absence until his case could be heard before the hospital board. Before Ben walked away, he said, "I made my choices. Now I have to live with them."
Nikki entered a room filled with people sitting in rows of chairs. The audience's attention was drawn to Nikki, who stood before a lectern and drew a deep breath. Her voice quavering, Nikki introduced herself and proclaimed that she was an alcoholic. Nikki admitted that she'd recently lingered at a bar and had contemplated ordering a drink. Others in the audience nodded when Nikki admitted that her resolve had wavered and that she'd been too ashamed to tell her family. Nikki relaxed somewhat and noted that she would no longer be tempted because her issues had been resolved.
Summer descended the stairs at her apartment, and she asked where Austin had been, since he'd already been gone when she'd woken up. He mentioned that he'd left a note about getting some food for breakfast, but she reasoned that he couldn't have been shopping the whole time. Austin presented Summer with the various tropical-themed items he'd purchased, and he explained that since he couldn't leave the state, he was creating their honeymoon at home. He recalled that they'd talked about how he wanted to backpack through Costa Rica, while she preferred spas and fancy hotels, and he proclaimed that the compromise was Hawaii.
Summer and Austin put leis around one another's necks, and he pulled her across the room and asked if she could hear something. She imagined that the ocean was right outside the window, and he offered her some pineapple juice in a coconut shell. She asked if he had a coral necklace for his bride, and he said that the jewelry stores hadn't opened yet, but he could give her a massage on the beach under the palm trees. She threw her arms around him and gushed that he'd thought of everything.
Austin said that they needed Hawaiian music, but Summer stopped him from getting up and declared that she was perfectly happy relaxing on a beach with taro chips and tropical juice. He wished he'd rented a machine to simulate the ocean waves, and she noted that it felt like he was trying to cram every honeymoon activity into one day. Austin claimed that he didn't want to miss out on anything, but Summer asked why he'd chosen that day. He babbled some excuses, but she sensed that he was hiding something, and he confessed that he'd headed out early because Leslie had wanted to meet about his trial. He divulged that a date had been set for the following week.
Summer protested that it was too soon, and she wailed that she'd thought they had at least a month. She pressed Austin to have Leslie push back the court date to give them more time together, but he explained that it was a high-profile case and that the prosecution was out for blood, so Leslie had warned that any motions would be ignored. Austin said that he hadn't wanted to tell Summer until after they'd had one perfect day together, and she whined that he'd be taken away from her and locked up. They embraced.
Summer removed her lei and suggested that she and Austin go someplace where no one could find them. He pointed out that they'd tried to run to Canada, and she countered that they'd been dumb kids with no plan, but they'd gotten married and could devise a scheme to get away. Austin balked at living life on the run, but she imagined settling down on a real beach, and she thought they could be in Mexico by that night. He asked if she spoke Spanish, and she contended that they could learn. She envisioned living on an island off the Caribbean and running a beachside café that served seafood, but he asked if she would cook, and they both laughed.
Summer insisted that they could work out the details, but Austin refused to rush off without a plan, and he knew that the most adult thing he could do was stay, go to trial, and take responsibility for what he'd done. Summer agreed that they couldn't run away, but she admitted that she was really scared. Austin said he was, too, and he hated hurting her. He wanted to live in the moment until his trial started by having their honeymoon and doing as many fun things as they could to create the happiest memories anyone had ever had. She said that she wanted that, too, and they kissed passionately.
After Summer and Austin made love, she declared that they would always have one another, and they'd go to Hawaii for real. He urged her to face the fact that they couldn't run, but she clarified that she meant they'd go after the trial and whatever else happened. She imagined it being just the two of them without any worries about trials or jail, and whenever it happened would be okay as long as they had each other. She said that she needed something to look forward to, and Hawaii was it.
Mariah, clad in skimpy shorts and a tank top, picked up around the living room. Nick entered, and she claimed that she hadn't known anyone was home. Sharon appeared at the front door, and Nick declared that she was home a day early. Mariah explained that she'd thought she'd been home alone, so she'd been doing some laundry, since everything she had was dirty. Sharon suggested that Mariah grab a robe out of Sharon's closet, and she insisted upon treating Mariah to a new outfit. Sharon explained that she'd been strapped for cash when she'd been growing up, and she'd hated having to wear the same clothes over and over again.
Sharon wanted to go over her memories with Mariah, but Mariah balked and said that she had to get to work. Mariah added that she didn't think there was anything she hadn't already told Sharon, so she wouldn't be much help. Mariah went to change clothes, and she shot Nick a glance on her way upstairs. Sharon told Nick that getting away had given her a new perspective, and she was determined not to put too much pressure on herself to force the memories. She vowed to find another way to figure things out, but she didn't want either of them to stress, since everything was perfect, and they had a lot to be thankful for. They kissed as Mariah peered around the corner.
Nick fretted that Sharon was getting too attached by giving Mariah cash when Mariah should be paying Sharon back, but Sharon argued that Mariah was paying what she could afford, and everyone deserved a treat once in a while. Sharon pointed out that Nick had recognized that Mariah had been working hard, and she asked how the peach pie had turned out. He mentioned that it was Mariah's favorite, too, and Sharon thought it was great that Mariah was trying to make up for what had happened. Nick couldn't forget that Mariah was connected to Ian, and he suspected that Ian would still try to find a way to get back at the Newman family. Sharon believed that Mariah wouldn't be any part of Ian's plan after all Nick and Sharon had done for her.
Nick informed Sharon that Faith had asked again when they were getting married, and Sharon remarked that their daughter had seemed obsessed with it lately. Nick said that he'd told Faith that two people could be together and love one another without being married. Nick added that although he wasn't pushing, he could be persuaded to say "I do" if Sharon ever decided that she wanted to walk down the aisle again, and they kissed. She reluctantly pulled back and said that she had a meeting, and he replied that he had to go to work. They agreed to continue where they'd left off later.
In the park, Neil ran into Cane, and they made small talk about the twins. Cane abruptly said that he had to go, but Neil mentioned that he had bought the property on the lake and that he'd already met with an architect to fix it up. Cane half-heartedly said that he was happy for Neil, but he repeated that he had to leave. Neil stopped him and pointed out that Cane had been opinionated about Neil's decision to buy the house, and he wondered why Cane suddenly had nothing to say.
Cane asserted that Neil hadn't listened when he'd warned that Neil and Hilary had been moving too fast, so there was no reason to think Neil would hear him out. Neil assumed that Cane still thought it had been a mistake to buy the house, and Cane reiterated that he wasn't sure Hilary was ready for the next step, but he conceded that he had no business discussing Neil and Hilary's marriage. Cane insisted that he just wanted Neil to be happy, and if Neil knew what Hilary needed, it might just work. Neil asked again what Cane was trying to say.
Cane complained that he was tired of getting stuck in the middle, and it shouldn't matter if he had concerns. Neil admitted that he didn't know Hilary very well, but he understood her, and he knew that she withdrew sometimes because of her unstable childhood. Neil continued that Hilary didn't know how to draw happiness in, and she had put up walls, but he was helping her to take them down by giving her the house to make her feel safe and secure. Neil pledged to show Hilary true happiness as they built their future together, and Cane shook Neil's hand and hoped that the marriage turned out to be everything Neil wanted.
At the Athletic Club, Lily asked Devon what was going on, since the guests were upset because the rooftop deck was closed. As Hilary overheard, he informed Lily that there was a private party, and he announced that he'd closed the deck for his date with Abby. Lily asked for details, and Devon revealed that he wanted his brunch with Abby to be low-key but special. Abby arrived, and she and Devon complimented one another's looks. He said that there was a surprise upstairs, and he led her away, but he shared a lingering glance with Hilary as he passed by.
Lily asked what Hilary was doing there, and Hilary replied that she was waiting for Neil and Sharon, but she didn't want to risk being pushed into the pool again. Lily cattily reported that Devon had closed the rooftop for a date, and she resolved to find a new woman for her dad, too. Hilary ordered her to shut up and threw her drink on Lily. Lily called Hilary a "bitch," but Hilary defended that she'd held back for a long time, and she claimed that no one would blame her for spilling her drink. Lily hissed that Hilary would regret it, and Hilary told her to towel off, since the manager shouldn't look like she'd drooled on herself.
Lily ran into Mariah in the foyer, and Mariah cheerfully commented that it looked like Lily needed a new dress, too. Lily snapped that it freaked her out that Mariah looked exactly like Cassie, and it was "so wrong." Mariah barked that she didn't need attitude from a stranger, and Lily introduced herself and said that Abby was a good friend. Mariah admonished Lily for staring at her like Lily had seen a ghost, and Lily added that she and Cassie had been good friends, too.
Mariah ranted that she'd heard over and over that she was nothing like Cassie, and Lily lectured that Mariah had no idea what losing Cassie had been like. Lily mentioned that she'd been one of the last people to see Cassie before the car accident, and Cassie's death had sent everyone's lives in completely different directions. Lily remarked that she didn't know how Nick and Sharon could handle being near someone who looked just like their dead daughter, and Mariah retorted that they had the sense to understand that Mariah wasn't Cassie. Mariah stalked off.
Sharon sat down with a flustered Hilary and asked if everything was okay, and Hilary stammered that things were terrific. Hilary asked about Sharon's trip to Chicago, and Sharon replied that she couldn't wait to tell Hilary and Neil all about it. Sharon inquired about married life, and Hilary called Neil a dream husband. Hilary mused that she couldn't believe how lucky she was, and her life was pretty perfect. Sharon called her a liar, and Hilary was stunned.
Sharon sympathized that Hilary had taken a lot of flak from Neil's kids, and she thought that could cause stress even to the strongest couple. Sharon assured Hilary that she'd seen how great Neil and Hilary were together, and she added that marriage took a lot of work, but it was worth it. Hilary wondered why Sharon and Nick hadn't remarried, but Neil arrived and apologized for being late. He said that he'd had things to take care of, and Hilary asked if he'd changed his mind about planning a honeymoon trip. He teased that it would be no fun to tell her what her surprise was, but she told him not to go overboard because she didn't deserve it.
Neil said that he loved to spoil Hilary and that she deserved it, especially if what he gave her made her happy. She wished that he would tell her what he was planning, and she warned that she wasn't up for an elaborate surprise. He promised she would like it, but he refused to tell her about it until the time was right, since some secrets were worth holding on to. Sharon looked thoughtful, while Hilary struggled with her guilt.
Lily approached Cane at the bar and griped that Hilary had thrown a drink on her, ruining her new dress. Lily complained that Hilary hadn't had any right to be self-righteous, and she vowed to find something that would make Neil leave Hilary forever. Cane snapped that he didn't want to hear it, but Lily argued that she knew that he also didn't want Neil and Hilary together. She noticed an odd look on Cane's face, and she asked if he knew something, since she was sure Hilary would hurt Neil in ways he'd never bounce back from. Cane ranted that they had their own marriage, kids, and business, and while Lily might like the drama, he didn't.
On the rooftop, Devon poured some champagne, and Abby noted that he'd gone all out. He replied that she was more than worth it, and she commented that it was lovely to have the place to themselves. He toasted to peaceful beginnings, and they sipped their drinks. Devon and Abby laughed as he told a story, and he asked the server to fetch cherries flambé for dessert. Abby marveled that the extravagant brunch had been amazing, but she would have been fine with scrambled eggs and bacon. Devon remarked that she was accustomed to the good stuff, and he questioned the point of having money if they couldn't enjoy it.
Devon proposed that he and Abby do something really fun the next time, like try out a new restaurant in Miami and then go to the beach. She complained that Florida was really hot in August, and Devon suggested that they head to New York for some theater and shopping. He added that they could get tickets to the U.S. Open, and her expression suddenly darkened. Devon apologetically asked what he'd said wrong, and Abby imagined that it was the worst first date he'd been on, but he assured her he'd had worse. He said that they knew one another well enough to shed a few tears in front of each other, and he gently pushed her to open up about what was going on.
Abby explained that Tyler had bought tickets to the U.S. Open the prior year, and she'd been trying hard to forget him, but she wasn't doing a good job. Devon promised not to mention tennis again, and Abby assumed that Devon was still trying to get over Esmerelda. Devon barely reacted, and Abby realized there was someone else. Abby wondered why he'd arranged their date if he was interested in someone else, and she swore that she wouldn't be offended, especially since she'd turned into an idiot at the thought of Tyler.
Devon confided that he'd fallen for someone hard but that they couldn't be together. Abby said that things might not be as impossible as they seemed, but he admitted that the woman was married to a great guy, so nothing could happen. Abby lamented that they couldn't help who they fell for, and Devon asked her to keep the information between them. She promised to keep her lips zipped, and she applauded him for doing the right thing, since getting in the middle of a marriage would be a guaranteed disaster.
Nick entered the Underground, where Mariah greeted him in a sexy dress. She told him they were low on rum, and he thanked her for backing away from helping Sharon fill in her memory gaps before Sharon was ready. Mariah chirped that she was happy to help, and she asked if she could do anything else. Nick handed her a shirt with the club's logo, but Mariah explained that she was wearing the dress she'd bought with the money Sharon had given her, and she thought she'd get more tips wearing it. Nick lectured that Mariah didn't need to use her body to get tips, since there was much more to her than that, and he instructed her to put the shirt on. She smiled as he walked away.
Mariah answered a call and seemed surprised. She demanded to know what the caller wanted, and she told the person to talk to Ian about getting money, since Mariah had a debt to pay off. Mariah angrily asked why "Mom" had had her, since she'd never wanted Mariah, and Nick overheard. He confronted Mariah about telling Sharon that her mother was dead.
Nick surmised that Mariah had lied about her mother to get more sympathy, but Mariah swore that everything she'd said about her mom abandoning her was true. Mariah rambled that her mother had wandered in and out of her life for weeks or months at a time, and her mom had never returned her calls when she'd needed help. Mariah bellowed that the only person Helen Copeland cared about was herself, so Nick could believe what he wanted, but her mom was dead to her. Mariah tearfully ran out.
At Crimson Lights, Mariah and Kevin literally ran into each other. Kevin turned around and got his first look at Mariah. Before he could even say a word, Mariah warned him not to comment on her resemblance to Cassie -- she was sick and tired of hearing about that subject. Kevin said that he obviously wasn't the only person having a bad day. Mariah mentioned that she might be losing her job and her place to live. He told her that he was also on the verge of losing his job.
Mariah complained that every time she had a good thing going, things managed to get screwed up. Kevin said, "And if a man is born on a night when no stars light the heavens..." Mariah beamed and finished the quote, "... he will forever live under a dark cloud." They realized that they both were fans of the novel The Kingdom Beyond and that they loved the book because it allowed them to escape from their "crappy" lives. Kevin was saddened that one couldn't escape reality forever. Mariah began smiling and started to leave. Kevin wondered if something he said had chased her away. She replied, "Actually, it was."
Michael and Lauren went to the Genoa City Police Station, hoping to coax Kevin into joining them for a nice dinner, but were unpleasantly surprised to learn that he hadn't shown up for work. Lauren thought that Kevin would have been on his best behavior since his arrest, but Michael said that Kevin thought of himself as the "Robin Hood of the internet," seeming to have no qualms about committing felonious acts to benefit others.
Lauren left Kevin a voicemail to inform him that she and Michael were at the station, hoping to take him out to dinner -- they were hoping that Kevin was on his way in, and they would wait a little while longer. After she finished, Detective Harding approached the Baldwins and antagonistically asked why they were at the station. Michael told Harding that they were waiting for Kevin. Harding told Michael that he was going to sit around and enjoy watching Kevin self-destruct.
Kevin finally arrived and sarcastically told Michael and Lauren that he was surprised to see them. Michael warned his brother to stay out of trouble. Lauren told Kevin that she and Michael realized how lousy he had been feeling since Chloe had left -- she told Kevin that he could always turn to them. Michael told Kevin that he could always call Gloria, and Kevin joked that he would rather spend time in a jail cell. He chased the Baldwins out, telling them that he had work to do.
Detective Harding approached Kevin, who said, "Bite me." Harding threatened to write Kevin up. Kevin dared him to. Harding, growing angry, told Kevin that he knew that Kevin had hacked into the hospital's computer. Kevin smiled and said that Harding couldn't prove it -- so it was like it had never happened.
Later, Kevin, still at his desk, stared at Harding from across the room. Kevin typed, "Though my enemy is filled with self-righteousness, he will not prevail on that fateful day when I pick up arms against injustice. The badge he wears will not protect him from the forces of goodness that come to vanquish him and all others who stand in the way of truth and honor. Good will triumph over evil."
The Baldwins returned home and began what they thought would be a romantic evening. They fantasized about taking a trip to Venice. Lauren told Michael that a new lingerie collection had arrived at Fenmore's, and she wanted to model it for him. He eagerly told her that he would love that. Lauren told him to meet her in the bedroom. She changed into a skimpy outfit and walked into the bedroom to show it off to Michael, but he was in bed, fast asleep.
Sharon arrived at the Underground to meet up with Nick. She saw the concerned expression on his face and asked him why he had asked her to stop by. Nick informed her that Mariah had lied to them -- Mariah's mother, Helen Copeland, was very much alive -- Mariah had told Nick and Sharon that Helen was dead. Sharon defended Mariah, saying that Mariah probably pretended that Helen was dead because she realized that Helen would never be a part of her life.
Nick said he didn't buy that -- that there was so much about Mariah that they didn't know. On the other hand, he said, they knew that the girl had a mysterious connection to Ian Ward and had tormented Sharon at Victor's behest. Sharon continued to defend Mariah, but Nick said that he couldn't trust their houseguest anymore. Sharon wondered if he was going to fire Mariah for telling "one little lie." Nick said that he should fire Mariah and kick her out, but he acquiesced when Sharon begged him to give the girl one more chance.
Mariah showed up and said that she wanted to apologize for having "bolted" on Nick -- that hearing from her mother always upset her. Sharon sympathetically said that she understood why Mariah had pretended that Helen was dead. Mariah said that Nick and Sharon had every right to fire her and ask her to leave their home. Nick said that they did have that right -- but they were going to give her another chance.
After Sharon left for a meeting with Lily, Nick said that Sharon accepted why Mariah had lied about her mother -- but that he still had questions. He repeated Mariah's assertion that Helen was a nurse in Kentucky and wondered what she had wanted from Mariah. Mariah told him that Helen needed money. Nick wondered why Helen needed money if she was working. Mariah said that she didn't even know if Helen was still in Kentucky and frankly didn't care. She asked Nick not to mention Helen's name again. Nick told Mariah that he was sorry that she'd had a lousy childhood.
Nick said that he and Sharon really wanted to help Mariah but that she needed to be honest with them. He pointedly asked her if there was anything else that he and Sharon needed to know. Mariah swore that she had nothing more to tell. Nick seemed to believe her and told her to take the day off. She thanked him for everything and left. After she was gone, Nick opened his laptop and searched the Internet for information on "Helen Copeland RN Kentucky".
Victor entered the Athletic Club and encountered Stitch for the first time since Stitch's past had been revealed. Victor seemed more disappointed than angry. He said that he had believed in Stitch -- but that Stitch's lies had hurt Victoria. He warned Stitch to stay away from his daughter. Stitch defiantly said that if he turned out to be the father of Victoria's baby, he very much intended to be a part of the baby's life.
Stitch said that he respected that Victor wanted to protect Victoria but professed his love for Victoria, adding that he would never abandon his child. Stitch opened up to Victor, saying that he had some "dark stuff" in his past, but there was more to the story. Stitch said that his father had made his life a "living hell" and was a mean "son of a bitch." Stitch said that he had sworn that if he ever had children, he would do everything in his power to be the best father he could be. Victor menacingly said that he planned to be the best father that he could be.
Victoria and Johnny were relaxing on a bench at the park. Victoria found one of Johnny's old teddy bears at the bottom of the boy's diaper bag. She smiled and told him that Billy had named the toy "Bear With Me" and that when Johnny had been an infant, the bear had never left his side. Victoria talked to her son as if he could understand her, telling him that he was going to have a baby brother or sister -- perhaps Johnny wanted to pass "Bear With Me" to his new sibling. She asked Johnny if he thought that was a good idea.
Behind them, Billy responded, "I think that's a great idea." He was there to pick up Johnny for a father-son sleepover. Victoria was upset -- she told Billy that he had destroyed Stitch's career by telling Dr. Shelby about Stitch's sordid past. Billy corrected Victoria, informing her that Stitch had confessed to Shelby. He asked Victoria if she thought that a murderer like Stitch should be working in a hospital. Victoria said that it wasn't Billy's place to judge Stitch. She wondered if ruining Stitch's life made him happy.
Billy told Victoria to stop blaming him for Stitch's lies. Victoria defended Stitch, saying that no matter what he had done in the past, he had served his country and was a wonderful physician. Billy said that he had exposed Stitch's past not to punish him but rather to protect Victoria. Billy told Victoria that he loved her and that he wasn't going to apologize for uncovering the truth about "that lying murderer."
Billy said that he wanted Victoria, Johnny, and himself, along with the child Victoria was carrying, to be a family again and that he was going to fight for that. Victoria's mood lightened, and she said that she thought Johnny wanted to get started on the sleepover. Billy wondered if Victoria would hang out with father and son for a while -- imploring her by asking how often Johnny got to see his parents together. He suggested that the three of them get ice cream. Victoria and Billy looked into each other's eyes and kissed.
Billy told Victoria how good it felt for the three of them to be together. As the seemingly happily family was about to get ice cream, Stitch, taking an evening run, happened upon them. Billy and Stitch began to argue. Billy said that no one wanted him in Genoa City. Stitch that he wasn't going anywhere. As the fighting intensified, Victoria admonished them to stop. They both apologized to her, but she wondered how they could claim to love her yet cause her so much stress during her pregnancy. Walking off with Johnny, she told both of them not to follow her.
After Victoria was gone, Billy sarcastically thanked Stitch for screwing up his night with his family. Stitch told Billy that he might end up being a part of Victoria's family, too, although Victoria might end up not wanting either Billy or Stitch.
Later, Victoria stopped by the Athletic Club for a massage and saw her father. Victor began talking about Stitch but Victoria said that she didn't want to discuss either Stitch or Billy. Victor told her that she deserved much better than either of them. Victoria agreed with him. Victor asked her what she was going to do about it. She said that she had an idea that would make Victor happy -- but that she didn't want to tell him what the idea was quite yet. She ran off for her massage.
Victor ran into Dr. Mead at the Club and offered to buy her a drink. The doctor said that if Victor was fishing around for information about Sharon, he was wasting his time. Sharon walked in and saw the two of them talking. She angrily walked up to Dr. Mead and said, "Are you talking to Victor about me?"
Dr. Mead asked Sharon to speak to her, but Sharon said that she wanted to speak with Victor first. After the doctor walked away, Sharon told Victor that it was obvious that he would do anything to learn her "secret." Victor said that he was just trying to protect his family. A livid Sharon said, "By paying my therapist to tell you what I revealed to her?" Victor assured Sharon that Mead hadn't divulged any information to him.
Sharon didn't believe Victor and warned him to stay out of her life -- that she would recover her memory in her own time. Victor nonchalantly replied he was sure that sooner or later she would. He received a text message from Dr. Burnett, "We need to move on Phyllis' treatment. Must have authorization from family ASAP."
Sharon then turned her attention and her anger to Dr. Mead. The doctor assured Sharon that she hadn't betrayed Sharon's confidence. Sharon said that Mead should have immediately told her that Victor had approached her for information. She told Dr. Mead that she could no longer trust her and fired her.
In the Athletic Club's foyer, Victor phoned Dr. Burnett to inform him that he hadn't yet secured authorization for Phyllis to participate in Dr. Cutler's study, but he was working on it and would keep Burnett apprised. Sharon walked through the foyer as Victor ended the call. He asked her if she had worked out things with Dr. Mead. Sharon told Victor that she had fired the doctor -- and that her private thoughts and memories were off-limits to him. As she exited, Victor said to himself, "Oh yeah?"
Devon ran into Hilary as he jogged through the park, and she coolly asked if his new girlfriend knew that he was stalking his father's wife. Hilary cautioned that his girlfriend might lash out at him for having a conversation with Hilary, but Devon clarified that he and Abby had only been on one date. Hilary implied that Abby and Devon had put the private rooftop to good use, and Devon taunted that the time they'd spent in the cabana, pool, and Jacuzzi had been worth it. She said that she wanted him to be happy, and he replied that he was. Devon wondered which one of them was the worse liar.
Devon admitted that he and Abby were just friends, and he pressed Hilary to admit that was what she had wanted to hear. Hilary conceded that she should want him to be happy with a beautiful woman who made him laugh, so she and Neil could invite them to dinner, but Devon was certain that it wouldn't ever happen. Hilary said that she had to get to work, and as Devon tried to stop her, she dropped her files. Their hands touched as they crouched down to pick up the paperwork.
Hilary greeted a Jabot employee who passed by, and she became nervous that the man would say something about seeing her and Devon together. Devon contended that they hadn't been doing anything, but she countered that her thoughts and feelings about Devon were something. She revealed that Neil had planned a huge romantic surprise, but she'd told Neil she didn't deserve it. Devon said that she deserved the world, but she considered herself a horrible person for kissing her husband and thinking of Devon. Devon recognized that he should leave her alone, but he couldn't, and he thought it was just a matter of time before Neil figured out how Devon felt.
Hilary said that it felt like an avalanche was about to fall, and Devon insisted that something needed to happen right away. He handed her a matchbook from a bar that was outside of town, where no one knew him. He said that he wanted her, and if she wanted him, too, she should meet him there that afternoon. She wondered what would happen if she didn't, and he resolved to leave town, since he couldn't keep seeing her and knowing that she wasn't with him. He pressed the matchbook into her hand and said he would see her later, and he walked off.
At Crimson Lights, Avery entered and hugged Dylan hello. She mentioned that he'd left before she'd woken up, and he explained that he hadn't been able to sleep, so he'd decided to be productive. She said that she needed to tell him about something, and she asked him to give his word that he wouldn't freak out. Avery showed Dylan a tabloid article about Nikki's "sex cult diary" and warned that it was pretty awful, but Dylan swore that he was okay. Avery found the tabloid's invasiveness unacceptable, and she thought that everyone involved had a right to be mad at Ian.
Dylan said that he was more concerned about Avery's blood pressure than his own, and she admitted that she was upset because she'd been worried about how he'd react. Dylan acknowledged that he'd had plenty of bad reactions, but he implored her not to worry, and he placed her hand over his heart. She smiled and said that she felt his heartbeat, and he pointed out that it was nice and steady, so he would be calm when he went to talk to Ian. Avery refused to let him go without her, and they left together.
Nikki and Faith had breakfast at the Athletic Club, and Ian called Faith "mademoiselle" and wished her a good morning. Nikki sternly informed him that it was a ladies' breakfast, and she was sure that Ian had a plane to catch, since there was no reason for him to stay. He replied that life was a blessing and a gift that was full of surprises, and he couldn't imagine ever leaving such a wonderful town. Nikki warned him not to overstay his welcome, and Ian said that he wanted to leave her with something. He handed her a newspaper, and Nikki was horrified to read the tabloid headline about her journal.
Faith asked to see the newspaper, but Nikki snarled that they didn't read trash like that, and she pulled Ian aside for a private word. Nikki admonished him for revealing evidence that hadn't been meant for public consumption, but Ian denied he'd leaked it. He argued that the journal painted him as a predator, and he was just as much a victim as she was. Nikki threatened to beat him in court again, and he questioned whether she intended to do so by revealing more of her horrible thoughts. He read from the tabloid article that she had been scared that her baby would inherit Ian's evil, so she'd had to find someone to love her child, since she never could have. "You bastard," Nikki hissed.
Ian taunted that it would be devastating for a child to hear such words about his birth, and he imagined what Nikki's other children would think about the journal's contents. Nikki defended that she'd left her baby at the church out of love and hope, and she spat that Ian had exploited the evidence from the trial that he'd orchestrated. He referred to the lusty passages she'd written about how she'd looked at the chief of police, and he stalked out as she burst into tears.
Nikki left a message for Victor and asked him to call her, and she returned to the table and apologized to Faith for having to cut their special date short. Faith asked if Summer's friend had left, and Nikki explained that Ian seemed like a nice man, but he wasn't, so Faith should run to a trusted adult if he tried to talk to her again. Camera bulbs popped, and a reporter asked Nikki for a comment about why she'd given away Dylan, her love child. Dylan and Avery entered as Faith inquired whether Nikki had given away Uncle Dylan.
Nikki moved to take Faith home, and she explained that the situation was complicated. The reporter asked if Nikki had given up Dylan before or after she'd been a dancer, and Avery announced that Devon had banned the press from the club. Dylan threw the journalists out, and Nikki told Faith that the reporter had twisted things, but Faith turned away when Nikki tried to hug her. Avery left to make some calls, and Dylan privately assured Nikki that Faith would know that things were fine when the girl saw Dylan and Nikki together, but Nikki had no idea how she'd explain the circumstances to a child.
Nikki wailed that she'd failed to protect Dylan, but he insisted that he was okay. Avery offered to get a cease and desist order, and Nikki realized that she needed to see Michael to discuss their next move, but she couldn't take Faith to a meeting with a lawyer. Dylan volunteered to take care of Faith, and Nikki told Faith that she would have a lot of fun with Dylan, but Faith winced when Nikki kissed her goodbye. Avery told Dylan that he didn't have to put up a brave front for her sake, and he barked that what Ian had done made him sick, but he contemplated how to make the situation okay for a little girl.
At the club bar, Ian said that the next round was on David, who advised that leaking a court document had been a bad idea. Ian insisted that his hands were spotless, and the tabloid couldn't say otherwise. Ian contended that he could sue the culprit for tarnishing his good name, and David incredulously asked if Ian considered himself to be a victim. Ian said that he wouldn't be broken, and they just had to watch what happened to Nikki, her lover, and their "bastard child."
In the park, Avery declared that ice cream was the best medicine, but Faith corrected that the treat wasn't medicine. Faith asked what a love child was, and Avery awkwardly tried to explain, but she faltered. Dylan intervened and said that Faith had been one of his first friends in Genoa City, and he'd felt really lucky when he'd found out he was her uncle, since he'd never had a niece. Faith assumed that he'd also never had a mom, but he credited Nikki with making it possible for his wonderful adoptive parents to raise him. Dylan proclaimed that Nikki hadn't given him away, but rather, she had given him a great life, and he had a whole new family. He swore that he was the luckiest guy in the world, so Faith didn't have to be sad for him. Faith promised that she would never give him away, and she hugged him.
Nick burst into Victor's office to confront his father, but he was surprised when he found Victoria sitting in Victor's chair. She explained that she had Billy's mistakes, Stitch's crimes, and her unborn child on her mind, but Victor had reminded her that there was more to her than being pregnant with a complicated personal life. She added that someone had to be in charge with Victor out of town, and she'd managed not to obsess over what would happen once the baby was born. Nick asked if her employment there was permanent, and she replied that she was where she needed to be. He warned that she might feel otherwise once she heard about the latest stunt Victor had pulled.
Nick griped that it had been bad enough that Victor had pushed Mariah on Sharon, but Victor had also gone after Dr. Mead, so Sharon had to find a new doctor who she could trust. Victoria couldn't argue that Victor's actions had been despicable, and she recounted that Victor had had her arrested on her wedding day, but it didn't change the fact that she needed to be at work. She clarified that she didn't condone Victor's bad behavior, but she also wasn't okay with the fact that the two men who could be the father of her child were both liars. She continued that she couldn't be at home in the house she'd bought with Billy, and Nick agreed to stop giving her a hard time.
Victoria noted that her work had once been her lifeblood, and Nick agreed that he had once felt that way, too, but he felt stressed just walking through the office door. He vowed to never be under Victor's thumb again, and Victoria understood that Nick couldn't forgive Victor, but she couldn't fathom why Nick had given Mariah a job and a place to stay. Nick said that he'd done it to keep an eye on Mariah, and he wished he knew what Mariah was after. He said that Sharon was invested in helping Mariah, but he'd caught Mariah in another lie, and he knew that Mariah and Ian were tight. Victoria thought that was enough reason to never trust Mariah, and Nick pledged to keep his enemies close.
Victoria wondered if Mariah gave Nick an "Adam vibe" because of the secrets and head games, but Nick believed that Mariah was just a kid who'd made mistakes. Victoria advised him to sleep with one eye open, and he said that he'd let Victoria get back to world domination. She answered a call, and she suddenly reached for her laptop and pulled up the article about Nikki's secret sex diary. Victoria fretted that Ian would break Nikki once and for all.
Victoria made some calls, and she reported that that Victor hadn't answered his phone and that Nikki had gone to talk to Michael. She added that a reporter had cornered Nikki and Faith at the club, and Dylan had talked Faith through it. Nick couldn't believe Victor hadn't gotten rid of Ian, and Victoria pointed out that Nick didn't always disapprove of their father's tactics. Nick argued that Sharon had been an innocent victim, but Ian was a piece of garbage who needed to go away.
Michael awakened, and Lauren wished him a good morning. He cursed when he realized he'd missed Lauren's lingerie display and the other activities that had been likely to follow. She noted that he'd clearly needed sleep, and she informed him that she'd fallen asleep right after he had. He grumbled that their conduct had been unbecoming of a sexy couple who was wildly in love, but she said they had just been two sleepy people. He suggested that they rectify the situation, and they kissed.
Michael presented Lauren with breakfast in bed, and she imagined that it could become a regular thing once their son was in college. Michael vowed never to neglect Lauren again like he had the night before, and she understood that life got in the way sometimes, but he promised that he wouldn't let it. He recalled that they'd lost sight of things at one time, and it had been hard to rebuild their trust, but they had to remember that they were meant to stay together forever. He set the breakfast tray on the floor, and she scampered to the bathroom and said that there was something she'd promised him.
A lingerie-clad Lauren returned and found Michael under the covers, and she playfully scolded him for pretending to be asleep. He swore that he was wide awake, and they began to kiss passionately on the bed. The doorbell rang, and they pretended not to hear anything, but Michael reluctantly got up to answer it when it continued to chime. He found a sobbing Nikki at the door, and she handed him the tabloid and cried that the press was shouting her diary to the world. She added that Ian was trying to destroy her, and since he hadn't been able to do it in court, he was making sure everyone she loved got hurt.
Lauren consoled Nikki, while Michael made a call to request a court order to halt the distribution of evidence. Avery arrived, and she informed Nikki that Dylan had taken Faith home and that the girl was fine. Nikki asked about Dylan, and Avery replied that he was worried about Nikki, but he had otherwise been calm. Nikki bemoaned that she'd made Dylan's life miserable ever since she'd told him he was her son, but Avery insisted that Dylan was grateful to have Nikki in his life. Nikki questioned the cost, and Michael requested Avery's assistance with the call.
Lauren empathized with Nikki, since she knew what it was like to have a private moment broadcast to the world. Lauren added that it had been unbearable after the video of her and Carmine had been displayed in public, but neither she nor Nikki were novices to scandal, and that was why they were survivors. Nikki nodded and vowed not to fall apart, since that would only put the burden back on the people she loved.
Avery announced that the tabloid had agreed to pull the story from its website and not to print any more excerpts, but Nikki fretted that the damage had been done, and Ian should be punished. Michael said that the tabloid had claimed that the journal had been delivered anonymously, but Nikki pointed out that Ian had been trying to destroy her family for months. Lauren encouraged Nikki not to let Ian shake her, but Nikki whimpered that her words would be online and in Dylan's mind forever, all because of Ian.
Later, Victoria and Nick arrived at the Baldwin home, and Michael informed them that Nikki had taken off. Nick thanked Avery for helping with Faith, and Avery acknowledged that Faith still disliked her, but Dylan had been wonderful with her. Nick was glad Dylan had been able to keep his cool, considering what both Dylan and Nick wanted to do to Ian.
Victoria put Nikki on speaker-phone, and she said they'd been worried. Nikki calmly stated that she'd been upset, but she would be fine soon enough. Nick offered to pick Nikki up, but she replied that she needed time to think, and she implored Nick to be with Faith. Victoria told Nikki to let them know if she didn't want to be alone, and Nikki thanked them and said she was grateful for all of them. After they hung up, Nikki ordered a vodka martini from a bartender.
Dylan found Ian at Crimson Lights, and he commented that Ian was either brave or stupid to be there. Ian said he'd been worried that Dylan would be upset about the invasion of privacy, and Dylan growled that Ian was only sorry that he hadn't gotten a byline. Ian defended that the journal portrayed him as evil, and Dylan pointedly remarked that he'd been lucky to have two good men as fathers. Ian noted that both of Dylan's mothers had changed Dylan's life with their lies, and Dylan seethed.
Ian theorized that Paul had leaked the diary to let the world know he'd been denied a child, and he remarked that he couldn't blame Paul for wanting revenge. Dylan ordered Ian to leave, and he bellowed for Ian not to say another word. Ian lectured that children began to see themselves when they saw who their parents really were, and Dylan yelled at Ian to leave. Ian wished Dylan luck, and after he left, Dylan threw a tray of dishes across the room and began to trash the coffeehouse.
Avery walked in as Dylan trashed the coffeehouse, and they locked eyes. He mentioned that Ian had been there, and she surmised that Ian had goaded Dylan into a fight, but Dylan confessed that he was solely responsible for the damage. He recalled that Ian had smugly claimed not to know how Nikki's journal had made it into the tabloid, when they all knew Ian had planted it. Dylan added that Ian had accused Paul of doing it, and Ian had gone off about the horrible things Nikki had written about never wanting Dylan.
Avery said that Dylan needed to prepare himself, and she noted that he wouldn't go into battle without his armor and weapons. She reasoned that Dylan had to go back to therapy, and she recalled that he'd been doing well in his sessions after he'd taken Connor, but she questioned why he'd stopped going. He asserted that he'd dealt with the problem, but Avery pointed out that he was dealing with more, and she thought a psychiatrist could help him handle it. Dylan said that he had handled it by not killing Ian.
Avery found some cleaning supplies, and she noticed a gash on Dylan's arm. She wanted to go to the hospital or at least call Stitch, but Dylan grumbled that he would rather bleed to death. Avery ordered him not to say that to her, and he swore he'd be all right, since nothing had been damaged that couldn't be fixed.
Avery tended to Dylan's wounds at home, and she recognized that he'd been through a lot. He admitted that he just got angry sometimes, but it had nothing to do with posttraumatic stress. He thought that it was only human to be mad at Ian, and she urged him to rest. Dylan snoozed and had flashbacks of calling to Sully during the war. He woke up with a start, but he assured Avery that he was fine.
At Jabot, Billy complained about having to wear a suit for a family meeting, and Jack informed him that Ashley planned to make a big announcement. Abby and Traci entered, and everyone wondered why Ashley hadn't arrived yet. Jack answered his phone, and Abby inquired why Ashley had wanted the major shareholders there. Jack reported that Ashley hadn't gotten on the plane, since she needed to work more on her project before she unveiled it.
Billy started to leave, but Traci stopped him, since it seemed like their family never had a chance to spend time together. Abby proposed that they turn the meeting into a support session, and Traci commented that they'd always been there for one another. Abby credited the members of their family for all bouncing back stronger, and she applauded Billy for kicking his competition to the curb. Billy praised Jack for moving on with Kelly, since Jack couldn't be with the woman he loved, and Jack admitted he was in love with Kelly. Abby asked about Phyllis, and Jack explained that he'd struggled with it, but he'd eventually realized that it was time he let go.
Jack said that he couldn't keep kidding himself that Phyllis would be back, and he'd found a woman he wanted to spend his life with. Traci asked if Summer knew, and Jack replied that Summer had seen it happening before he had. Traci recognized that Jack had fought to hold on to Phyllis, but it was time for him to be happy, and he deserved it. They hugged, and Abby wished Jack wasn't moving on with the woman who'd tanked Billy's marriage, but Jack was confident that Kelly would win Abby over. Abby left to stop by the marketing department, and Traci went to get some coffee.
Jack warned Billy not to start in on Kelly, but Billy said that he had no room to criticize when his own life was a mess. Jack counseled that things would get better if Billy stopped making stupid mistakes like sleeping with Chelsea the one time, and Billy divulged that it had been more than once, but it had just been sex. Jack asked whether Billy had used her, and Billy explained that they'd been helping one another cope, but he would never take advantage of her because he cared about her as a friend. Billy acknowledged that Chelsea was vulnerable, and he swore to be careful with her, but he couldn't blame Jack for doubting him after Billy's one-night stand with Kelly.
Jack recognized that losing a child had broken stronger people than them, but he was proud of Billy for putting one foot in front of the other. Jack pointed out that Billy could have turned to gambling or drinking, but Billy hadn't. Billy teased that he never would have heard the end of it from Jack and the rest of the family, and Traci returned and vowed to keep Billy on the straight and narrow because they loved him. Abby joined them and suggested a group hug, and Billy hoped that Ashley could join them the next time.
After Billy left, Abby asked if she should prepare to buy a black dress for Jack and Kelly's wedding, and Jack said that he would tell her when to go shopping. He asked about Abby and Traci's romantic prospects, and Abby mentioned her date with Devon, but she insisted that they were just friends. Abby divulged that Devon had feelings for a married woman, and Traci anticipated that it wouldn't end well. Abby declared that she wasn't ready for a relationship, but Traci gushed that Abby had a lot to offer, and she lectured Abby not to close herself off. Jack added that any guy would be lucky to have either of the ladies, and he advised them not to shut the door on love, since they could find it in the strangest places.
Abby prepared to go back to work, and she suggested that she and Traci go out on the town and show that they were available. Abby thanked Jack for the pep talk, and after Abby left, Jack said that he was glad Traci was willing to take a chance again. She said that he'd shown her it was worth it by finding love again.
In the park, Stitch tended to a skateboarder's injured leg, and Chelsea overheard the boy ask if Stitch was a doctor. Stitch joked that he just played one on television, and he complimented the boy's skateboarding moves and advised him to be safe. Stitch noticed Chelsea watching him, and he asked if she intended to report him for practicing medicine after he'd been suspended. She said she was sorry, but he didn't believe her.
Stitch accused Chelsea of destroying him in Victoria's eyes to pave the way for a reunion between Billy and Victoria, but Chelsea pointed out that the couple wasn't back together. Stitch argued that they'd gotten closer, and he hoped Chelsea had gotten what she'd wanted. She asserted that she didn't regret what she'd done, but seeing him with the injured kid had made her realize that he was good at what he did, and she imagined what it would be like if someone told her she could no longer design. He sarcastically stated that she'd be depriving the world of a dress that would be out of fashion in a year, and she spat that he'd deserved what had happened.
Chelsea snapped that she'd tried to show compassion for Stitch despite the way he felt about her, and Stitch conceded that he shouldn't have judged her, but she was acting like it had just occurred to her that she'd torn his life apart. She retorted that he hadn't been the only one who had lost something, and he bragged that he'd been right. Chelsea swore that there was nothing between her and Billy, but Stitch suspected that she wanted there to be. Billy passed by and asked if Stitch was bothering her, and Stitch took off.
Chelsea claimed that Stitch had been trying to push her buttons, but she'd set him straight. Billy started to leave, but Chelsea told him to wait. Chelsea invited Billy to a party, and he hesitated to respond, but she clarified that it was for Connor's birthday. He didn't want her to feel obligated to invite him, but she said that she'd like him to be there, and he replied that he would be.
At the Athletic Club, Cane suggested to Devon that they extend the rooftop deck hours, but he noticed that Devon wasn't paying attention, and he offered to go over business matters later. Devon flashed back to giving Hilary the matchbook from an out-of-town bar and asking her to meet him there that afternoon.
In the dining room, Neil told a distracted Hilary that Jabot was about to launch a new line in Tahiti that winter, and he wanted her to go there with him. She reached inside her purse and touched the matchbook, and Neil realized that she hadn't heard a word he'd said. He went to check on the food, and Hilary and Devon gazed at one another from across the room.
Devon asked if Cane had purchase orders to go over, but Cane said that Devon was free to go wherever he'd rather be. Devon glanced again at Hilary, and he departed. Neil returned and said that their meal would be there in a minute, and he asked if there was a chance Jack would let Hilary have some time off in January, so they could combine his business in Tahiti with a honeymoon. She said that she'd ask but that January was a busy month for Jabot, and Neil said that he had a few things to take care of before then, but he couldn't tell her everything. He questioned what life would be without a few surprises.
Hilary balked at the idea of a surprise, and Neil said that he knew people had disappointed her in her past, but she had to learn to accept his generosity. He promised that he'd never take away the things he'd given her, and he pledged that he would always be there. She called him a good man, and he declared that it made him happy to give her the things she'd never had. Neil told Hilary to go to work so he could plan her surprise, and she asked if he was trying to get rid of her. He said that he loved her way too much, and she tenderly kissed him and said she loved him, too.
After Hilary left, Neil invited Cane to join him on a trip to the new house, and Cane replied that he could make some time, but he was surprised that Neil would ask him, knowing that Cane wasn't in favor of the move. Neil explained that he needed advice about renovations, and he liked what Cane had done with the club. Cane remarked that even though he didn't think the home purchase was the best idea, Neil should do it right if he was determined to go through with it. Neil crowed that the house would be perfect for him and Hilary, and it was what they both wanted.
A bartender presented Nikki with a vodka martini, and she caressed the glass and stared at the drink. She slowly picked it up and raised it to her lips as Devon entered, but she spotted him and quickly set the drink back down on the bar. The bartender remarked to Nikki that his customers seemed to be boycotting his drinks, and she said that she was sure it tasted wonderful. He observed that she looked familiar, and she attributed it to having "one of those faces."
Nikki spotted a copy of the tabloid with the article about her journal, and she tossed it aside. She left another message for Victor, and she stared at the newspaper. She left a voicemail for Paul to let him know that he had to hear something that couldn't wait. She suddenly said to never mind, since she had a better idea, and she hurried out. Devon spied her as she slipped out the door.
Later, Devon paid the bar tab and headed for the door, but Hilary walked in, and a hopeful smile crossed his face. He held her close, and he said that he'd almost walked out when he'd thought she wouldn't show up. She admitted that she almost hadn't, but she'd known he'd been serious about leaving town, and she couldn't let him. Devon promised that he wasn't going anywhere, since she'd given him every reason in the world to stay. They gave in to a passionate kiss, and after they stepped apart, she explained that she'd tried to stay away, but Devon was always in her mind and her dreams. She continued that she'd done everything she could have to stop herself from running to find him and tell him that she loved him, and he grinned and said that he loved her, too.
Devon led Hilary to a table, and she asked how they'd proceed, since she didn't want to go behind Neil's back. Devon thought that they should tell Neil the truth right away, and she envisioned a clean break to let Neil get on with his life. She admitted that she'd been a coward to choose someone safe rather than to put her heart on the line, and Devon assured her that what mattered was that she was about to make things right. They agreed that Neil had been wonderful to both of them, and Hilary said that Neil deserved someone who loved him the way she loved Devon. She resolved to tell Neil alone, since she didn't want Neil to blame Devon for her mistake. Hilary dreaded the thought of the expression on Neil's face when she told him, but she picked up her phone and prepared to tell him that they needed to talk.
At the new house, Neil asked Cane what he thought, and Cane remarked that the house had good bones, but it needed some work. Cane questioned whether it was worth the trouble, but Neil saw it as the perfect home for him and Hilary. Neil said that Hilary was always talking about having a beautiful house, and it didn't seem like a lot to ask for, but she didn't feel like she deserved it. Cane suggested that she felt that way for a reason, and Neil chalked it up to old voices in her head that he intended to silence. Neil swore that he'd see to it that she found happiness, and the lights flickered out.
Cane examined the fuse box, and he noted that a frayed wire was loose. Cane fiddled with the wiring, and the lights turned back on. Cane warned that it was a temporary fix, but he suggested that Neil hire an electrician, since the bad wiring could start a fire. Neil wanted Hilary's dream house to be perfect, and he planned to lay the foundation so they could build the rest of the dream together. Cane looked doubtful.
After Cane departed, the lights went out again, and Neil opened the fuse box and tried to remember which wire Cane had jostled. There was suddenly a huge spark that knocked Neil unconscious.
At a vacation cabin, Paul teased Christine for being scared of the forest animals, and she said that it was great to see him laugh again. She remarked that the rest of the world could carry on without him for a while, and they hugged, but he looked concerned. Christine and Paul put together a jigsaw puzzle, and he commented that he was good at solving puzzles. He started to talk about a case, but she forbade any work talk. He argued that he'd be more relaxed if he knew what was going on back home, and he suggested that she help by telling him where she'd hidden his cell phone.
Christine feigned ignorance and amorously invited Paul to search her, but he worried that something might have happened that required his presence as police chief. Christine assured him that she'd been checking in and that she would tell him about any emergency, but she wouldn't let him risk his health. She contended that it had been enough that she'd relayed that Ian's lawsuit had been dismissed, and Paul wondered how Dylan was doing after the fallout of the trial. Christine testily said that he didn't have to worry about Dylan, and Paul's good intentions wouldn't matter if he weren't around to carry them out. Christine suggested that they go to the lake and catch their own dinner, and she bet that she could catch a fish before Paul could. He grabbed the poles and bait, and they headed out.
Later, Christine boasted that she'd caught a fish, and Paul pointed out that she'd thrown it back. She said that she would do anything to get him to clear his head, and he replied that fishing and having fun had been exactly what he'd needed. They kissed, but she suggested that they get to the store before they got too distracted. She told him to stay at the cabin and do nothing, and she left to pick up some groceries. Paul searched for his phone, but there was a knock at the door, and Nikki burst in and said she was glad she'd found him.
Nikki revealed that Ian had leaked her journal to the press, and she had reporters chasing and harassing her. She warned that they would do the same thing to Paul, and she apologized that their lives were splattered all over the news. Paul remarked that he'd thought the mess had been over when he'd heard the case had been thrown out, but she lamented that it wasn't even close to over, and they had to do something about Ian.
Nikki said that she'd hoped to talk to Christine, since maybe there was something Christine could do to neutralize Ian. Paul noted that Christine had no cause to charge Ian with anything, but Nikki begged Paul to help her find a way to get Ian out of their lives, and she blurted out that she'd already been close to doing something. He asked what, and she broke down and sobbed that it was too much. He pulled her into his arms and assured her that things would get better. Christine returned, and her jaw dropped when she saw Paul comforting Nikki.