At Sharon's house, Sharon awoke and found that Dylan wasn't asleep beside her. She pulled on her robe and rushed downstairs, where Dylan greeted her with a cup of coffee. After Sharon told Dylan that she'd thought he might have left, he said he would never have left without saying goodbye. Sharon kissed Dylan, but he backed away and said he needed to proceed carefully. Dylan explained that as he'd done with Chelsea and Avery, he tended to rush in and become a rescuer. Dylan told Sharon that he'd learned via his therapist that combat veterans sometimes exhibited what was known as white knight syndrome.
Sharon, hoping to clarify what Dylan had said, asked, "Are you saying that your feelings for me aren't real?" Dylan said he feared repeating the same mistakes he'd made in the past and didn't want Sharon to end up being hurt. Sharon suggested that she and Dylan could just remain friends for the meantime. Sharon said she admired Dylan for remaining supportive even when her friends and family had questioned her judgment. Dylan acknowledged that he'd also experienced the same type of strong urges, which had made him feel as if he might explode had he not acted on them. Sharon replied, "It just makes perfect sense in that moment. Like last night, I can't imagine that our making love was bad or unhealthy."
Nick stopped by to visit Sage at her Genoa City Athletic Club suite. Sage said she'd been feeling fine when Nick inquired about her health. Sage seemed taken aback when Nick recalled his past experiences with pregnant partners. Nick insisted that Sage couldn't remain at the hotel after her child was born. Sage replied, "If you think I'm going to move in with you, forget it." Sage explained that she'd have her own money after Constance's will was settled. Nick said, "I thought you told me about the pregnancy because you wanted me to be involved."
Sage told Nick that she wasn't sure how Faith might react to becoming a big sister. Nick said she'd have to get used to the idea. Sage mentioned that even Sharon had switched Summer's DNA because she hadn't been able to handle Nick having someone else's baby. Sage asked Nick to keep quiet about the pregnancy because Sharon tended to become a threat to others whenever she stopped taking her medication. Nick nodded and seemed sympathetic to Sage's concerns.
Nick and Sage continued their conversation downstairs in the dining room. Nick said his Realtor would meet with Sage and line up some homes to view. Sharon approached. Sage nervously fixed her gaze on the table. Sharon told Nick that Dylan believed police might have a lead on Courtney and Austin's killer. The Realtor arrived, and Nick introduced Marylou to Sage. Sharon said, "You guys are moving in together?" Sage quickly explained that she was in search of a home because she'd tired of living at the hotel. Sage quickly exited with Marylou.
Sharon accused Nick of planning to move in with a woman that Faith hated. Though Sharon attempted to draw additional details from Nick, he told her that it was none of her business. Sharon replied, "I feel you're holding something back, and I'm not going anywhere until you tell me what it is." Sharon reminded Nick that Faith was uncomfortable around Sage. Nick assured Sharon that he intended to keep Faith in mind as he moved forward with Sage. Sharon continued to press Nick for information regarding his plans with Sage. Nick pointed out that Sharon was acting irrational. Sharon became irate and yelled, "I am protecting my daughter!"
In the dining room at the Genoa City Athletic Club, Fen met with his mother. Fen said he felt as though his dad had purposely kept him in the dark after Lauren admitted that Michael, recently arrested for misdemeanor solicitation, had moved into a suite. Fen and Lauren went to Michael's suite. Michael said he'd hoped to wait until after the semester ended before breaking the news of his arrest. Fen replied, "It was online. You didn't think I'd see it?" Fen said he wasn't pleased to be left out of the loop again, just as he had been with his father's cancer diagnosis.
Fen suggested that Michael was trying to protect his son and wife by moving out and trying to cope with the unknown aspects of his future alone. Fen begged his dad to move back home because his family yearned to support him. Michael accused Lauren of having used Fen in hopes that their son would change his mind about the separation. Lauren cried, "He showed up by himself!" Michael charged at Lauren and yelled that she was suffocating him. Fen pointed out that Summer and Noah would never enjoy relationships with their murdered partners, yet his own father was willing to throw away his relationship. Disgusted, Fen abruptly left.
Michael asked Lauren why she was fighting to save their marriage. Lauren cried, "Because I love you!" Michael claimed that if Lauren had been truly happy, she wouldn't have cheated on him with a bartender nearly young enough to be her son. Lauren challenged Michael to look her in the eye and swear that he didn't want her. Michael, with divorce papers in hand, looked directly into Lauren's eyes and said, "I don't want you." Lauren refused to sign the papers and vowed never to give up on their marriage. After Lauren left, Michael broke down and sobbed uncontrollably. Lauren, slumped near the elevator, sobbed pitifully.
In Paul's office, Kevin, Kyle, and Summer asked if Paul had received new information. Paul explained that forensic evidence on the envelope Fen had provided had helped identify the blackmailer. Known to the FBI, the man had once been the head of a South American drug cartel. Summer cried, "Fen drugged us and left us at the mercy of some murdering drug lord?" Summer and Kyle denounced Fen's actions, but Kevin explained that the drug lord had nearly frightened poor Fen to death.
Paul explained to Kyle, Kevin, and Summer that the former drug lord, Marco Anicelli, had managed to outsmart the authorities for years. Paul added that no law enforcement agency even had a photo of the man. Kevin recognized the man's name and said that bad things had happened to anyone who'd ever claimed to have seen Anicelli. Paul explained that he wasn't certain why the elusive criminal would've risked being seen just to kill a kid filming a documentary about the dirty secrets of Genoa City's elite. Paul added that he intended to find out why Annicelli had targeted citizens of Genoa City.
Dylan stopped by Paul's office and asked about the new evidence lifted from an envelope. Paul said that the evidence had led them to a criminal named Marco Annicelli. Paul added that Annicelli had run a South American drug cartel until he'd dropped out of sight a couple of years before. Dylan asked to see a photo. Paul explained that no photos of the man existed. Dylan expressed concern that the man could be walking around Genoa City without anyone knowing who he was.
After Dylan left, an agent from the FBI arrived at Paul's office. The agent insisted that the bureau would take over the investigation. Paul explained that two people, one a police officer, had been murdered in his city. Paul demanded to know everything there was to know about the man responsible for the murders. The FBI agent seemed reluctant to share additional information, but Paul remained persistent.
The FBI agent studied the file and told Paul he wasn't certain that partial DNA evidence was trustworthy, especially because Marco Annicelli was adept at covering his tracks. The agent added that he doubted Annicelli was even alive because he'd eluded authorities for years. The belligerent agent refused to believe that a "bunch of kids from Wisconsin" had managed to draw such an elusive and clever criminal out of hiding. Paul reminded the agent that "two kids had already died" and others were in danger. The agent suggested that the young people quit meddling.
Kyle, Summer, and Kevin stopped by Crimson Lights. The worried trio talked about the startling news they'd learned about the killer. Kyle wondered if perhaps Austin had unearthed a secret the drug lord considered a threat. Summer said that had Fen should've informed them early on. Kevin defended his nephew and said Fen should also be warned about Annicelli.
After Kevin left, Summer said, "What if Kevin's right? What if Annicelli does go after Fen?" Summer placed the blame on Austin for having tried to embarrass her family with his exposé. Summer said she'd tried to downplay her family's money in order to pacify Austin. Kyle said that Summer's efforts to fit in with Austin "had messed her up to the point that no one was ever allowed to spoil her." Kyle admitted that he'd tried too hard to impress Summer with over-the-top dinners and expensive jewelry. Summer, apologetic, replied, "I was pissed off at Austin, and I took it out on you."
Summer confided to Kyle that she couldn't understand how Austin could've been so loving yet betray her by making the film and sleeping with Abby. She rhetorically asked, "Was the whole thing a lie? Did Austin really ever love me?" Across the room, someone hiding behind a menu watched Summer and Kyle. When the stranger suddenly headed toward the patio, Kyle intercepted him and demanded to know who he was.
Fen arrived and joined Summer as they both caught up with Kyle and the stranger. The spying man, Tobias Gray, introduced himself. Summer and Kyle remembered that Tobias had once worked in the lab for Ashley and had spied for Victor. Tobias said it was unfortunate that Ashley had fired him, but he insisted that no proof existed that he'd been Victor's spy. Kyle apologized. Tobias said, "Whatever has freaked you out has nothing to do with me." After Tobias left, Fen acknowledged that they were in danger.
Kevin located Fen at the Genoa City Athletic Club and told him about Marco Annicelli. Fen cried that had he not changed his grade and given in to the blackmailer, Courtney and Austin wouldn't have been murdered, and his friends wouldn't be in danger. Tears welled in Fen's eyes when he explained that he'd worried about getting kicked out of school and the effect it might have on his parents' marriage.
Kevin assured Fen that Michael and Lauren would work things out. Fen said he'd just seen his parents argue and knew for certain that their marriage was over. Kevin assured his nephew that his parents' problems had nothing to do with him. Kevin urged Fen, who'd helped authorities identify Annicelli, to be vigilant because the former drug lord was an imminent threat.
Dylan approached Sharon, who was sitting with Nick, at the Genoa City Athletic Club. Noticing that Nick and Sharon had argued, Dylan asked him what Nick had done to Sharon. Nick replied, "I didn't do anything. Sharon jumped to the wrong conclusion." Sharon insisted that Faith was her only concern.
Nick said he understood Sharon's concern for Faith and had considered allowing their daughter to spend more time with her mother. Sharon backed down and apologized. Dylan announced that Paul had discovered the identity of the murderer. Dylan offered to keep Nick updated. After Nick left, Sharon said she wasn't sure she could trust Nick or anyone else. Dylan vowed that he'd never lie to Sharon.
Later, Nick learned from Sage that she'd become ill. Sage said she'd had to cancel the appointment with Marylou. Sage said that her run-in with Sharon hadn't help her deal with morning sickness. Nick lightened the mood by telling Sage not to expect Sharon to throw her a baby shower. Nick sat down beside Sage in her suite and put his arms around her.
Nick insisted that sharing the news of Sage's pregnancy with Sharon might be the best plan. Sage was reluctant and worried that Sharon might become emotionally unbalanced. Nick explained that Sharon could lean on Dylan for support. Nick calmly assured Sage that everything would work out. The couple tenderly kissed, and Sage seemed somewhat relieved.
At the Athletic Club, Nikki remarked to Neil that the program worked if they worked it, and she wished there were support groups for accessories to forgers. Neil reasoned that Jack had wanted the merger, but Nikki was sickened at the thought that she and Neil had served as Victor's minions. She recalled when Neil had been brave enough to leave Victor and Newman Enterprises years before, getting his soul back in the process. She added that she worried about her soul every day, and Neil cleared his throat as Victor approached. Victor asked if there was something he should know about, and Nikki snarled that she wanted a drink every time she saw him.
Victor wondered if that had been why Nikki had been avoiding him, and Neil prepared to leave, but Victor remarked that Nikki and Neil had a habit of getting into trouble when they were together. Nikki admitted that her conscience had been tearing her up, but Neil had kept her sane and sober. Neil shared her concern that the merger agreement hadn't been legal, and he commented that guilt and shame could be crippling. Nikki chided Victor for not understanding human emotions, but Victor said he supported her sobriety, and he wanted to take her home. Nikki revealed that she'd booked a room at the club that night.
Victor noted that Nikki had been angry with him before, and he was sure she would be again, but the ranch was her home. Nikki spat that he'd coerced her into forgery, but he couldn't order her to go home. Victor argued that Jack had confirmed he'd signed the papers, but Neil defended that Nikki was entitled to her feelings. Victor insinuated that Neil might soon be looking for another job, and Nikki condemned Victor for threatening a decent man. She wondered if Victor intended to threaten her, too.
Victor claimed that he'd executed the documents as a favor to Jack, but Nikki maintained that she wanted a decent night of sleep, away from stress and aggravation. Victor urged her to go back home where she belonged, and he left. Nikki thanked Neil for standing up for her, and she thought Victor considered alcoholism to be a weakness. Neil said strength was not taking a drink when she wanted one, and he thought she was much stronger than Victor would ever be. Neil told her to call him if she needed him, and he departed for work. She started to leave, but she stopped and stared at the bottles of liquor behind the bar.
Later, Neil knocked on the door to Nikki's suite, and Nikki boisterously invited him in. He spied empty bottles of liquor and regretted leaving her alone, but she swore she was fine. Neil started to put the bottles in the trash, and Nikki protested that they were hers. She backed down when she realized they were empty, and she prepared to get more, but he reached for the phone. She begged him not to call Victor, but Neil phoned room service and ordered coffee.
Nikki griped that it would be a boring visit, and she preferred to stick with vodka. She lectured that caffeine was bad for Neil, and she ordered him to go to work to make more money for Victor. She slurred that they were all on Victor's payroll in one way or another. Neil forced Nikki to drink the coffee, and he insisted that he was trying to help her. She warned him that he'd just have a wide-awake drunk on his hands, and he suggested that she take a shower to sober up.
Neil implored Nikki to take one more sip to help avoid a hangover the next morning, but she ranted that she didn't even want to think about that day, much less the next. She wailed that she hadn't wanted her name on the contract as a witness, but she'd broken the law because Victor had ordered her to, and she and her husband weren't equals in any way. Neil assured her that Victor loved her and that she was the best part of Victor, so only she could save Victor from himself.
At the Newman-Abbott offices, Kyle was surprised to see the Jack impostor wearing a suit instead of golf attire, and Jack announced that he was rededicating himself to the business, so he'd called a family meeting. Jack wondered where Abby was, and Kyle mentioned that she was doing research with Stitch. Ashley suggested they table the meeting, but Jack declared that he remembered who he was and what he wanted -- to make Newman-Abbott a real force in the next century. Billy overheard and asked who Jack was and what he had done with Billy's brother.
Jack said he was glad "Billy Boy" had been able to make it, and he appreciated Billy having his back, but he maintained that it had been his signature on the merger agreement. Jack conceded that his family had had good reason to be concerned, since he'd cut them out of the decision, and he was sorry he'd stepped over the line by firing Billy. Jack claimed it had taken the Underground collapse make him see working with Victor was a good thing, and the car accident had made him realize he'd shut his family out, but he vowed to do whatever it took to ensure the Abbotts had a real voice in the company. Ashley proclaimed that Jack Abbott was back, but Billy grumbled that Jack Abbott would never have wanted the merger.
Jack said he wanted the Abbotts to work as a family to build something lasting and strong, and he asked what it would take to get Billy to be part of it. Jack recognized that he'd have to earn Billy's trust back, and Ashley said she believed Jack. Jack encouraged Billy to voice his doubts while he worked with the rest of the family, and Ashley asserted that John would have wanted them all to work together. Jack pointed out that Billy would have a front-row seat if everything blew up in Jack's face, and Billy said he'd consider it a signing bonus. Billy and Jack shook hands and hugged.
Later, Jack ordered Kyle to make sure a certain man got an envelope, and he assured Kyle that despite Billy's reinstatement, Kyle was the future of the company. Jack sensed that something else was on Kyle's mind, and Kyle explained that the killer was still out there, so he was worried about Summer. Jack inquired whether the police had any new leads, and Kyle worried that he shouldn't have said anything. Jack promised to keep the information in strict confidence, and Kyle revealed that the police might have confirmed the killer's DNA. Victor eavesdropped from the hallway.
Kyle explained that the killer had sent a package to Fen, and the police had matched the DNA on the package with an international drug dealer. Jack incredulously asked what a drug lord had to do with Fen or Genoa City, and he was adamant that the police were going in the wrong direction again. Victor entered and said he was glad to see Jack looking well, and Kyle left to take care of Jack's errand. Victor inquired about the DNA.
Jack said he was surprised to see Victor after the words they'd exchanged, but he was glad to put the past behind them. Victor pushed to know more about the DNA that had been linked to the killer, and Jack argued that it was reasonable for him to be concerned about Kyle and Summer's safety. Victor refused to drop the subject, and Jack contemplated how a drug kingpin would have ended up in Genoa City. Victor speculated that the impostor had been behind the murders.
In the lab, Adam, continuing to masquerade as Gabriel, asked if Victoria had scared everyone else off. She mentioned that Stitch and Abby were doing fieldwork, and he inquired about Ashley. Victoria griped that Ashley waltzed in whenever she felt like pretending she didn't take orders from Victoria, and Adam reminded Victoria that he was her equal as co-COO. Adam mentioned that he had a few tweaks to the budget proposal, but Victoria huffed that the numbers were final. Adam announced his intention to double the fashion budget, but Victoria growled that she wasn't planning on giving handouts to his "bed buddy." Chelsea appeared in the doorway.
Victoria sarcastically called Chelsea the company's most valuable asset, and Adam explained that an expanded line would lead to expanded profits, but Chelsea protested that she didn't want to double her budget. Victoria suspected that it was Gabriel's way of trying to woo Chelsea, but Adam reiterated that it would be good for business. Victoria blasted him for shoveling cash at Chelsea after the couple had slept together while Chelsea had been engaged to Billy, and Chelsea demanded to know whether Victoria was protecting the bottom line or Billy's feelings.
Chelsea said her fashion line was personal to her, and it wasn't a chew toy for Victoria and Gabriel to fight over. Chelsea presented the men's line sketches Victoria had requested, and she added that her assistant had done a cost analysis, so doubling the budget wasn't necessary. Chelsea exited, and Adam followed her and apologized that she'd been caught in the middle. He swore that he'd just been trying to make things right after what he'd cost her with Billy, but Chelsea snapped that she didn't need his guilt money, and it wouldn't make her fall back into bed with him.
Adam pulled Chelsea close and told her not to sleep with him because of the budget but because it was what she wanted. Chelsea countered that he had no idea what she wanted, and Billy and Ashley arrived. Adam reminded Ashley that the area was restricted, and Billy revealed that Jack had asked him to return to the company. Chelsea enthused that it would be great for the brothers, and Victoria joined the group and commented that it would be fun to all work together.
Victoria told Billy and Ashley about Gabriel's idea to double the fashion budget, and Billy wasn't surprised. Ashley suggested they allocate the funds to relaunching Hex, and Victoria admitted it had been a bad call to pull the product from the market. Adam recommended that they dedicate funds to both Hex and Chelsea's line, but Victoria, Billy, and Ashley turned their focus to Hex. Adam blasted the group for making poor business decisions, and he and Chelsea walked out.
Ashley surmised that Victoria had decided to give the funding to Hex as a power play to make sure everyone knew Victoria was calling the shots, but she warned that Victoria had overreacted to Gabriel. Ashley advised Victoria to start acting on her instincts, and perhaps the merger wouldn't be a complete disaster. Ashley left to start working on the relaunch, and Billy noted that Victoria didn't care about Hex, but Victoria was determined not to reward Chelsea for hurting Billy. Billy insisted he was okay, but he loved that Victoria had his back. Victoria replied that they were family, and no one messed with her family.
Billy suggested he dump a bottle of Hex on Gabriel to make him tolerable, or he offered to try it on Victor. Victoria remarked that her father couldn't be stopped or changed, but Billy recalled that Victor's children had once stopped him with a lawsuit. Billy speculated that she was bothered by the possibility Victor had forged Jack's signature on the merger agreement, but she refused to discuss it. She said she liked having a friendly face around, and Billy replied that it felt good to be back.
In Sage's hotel room, Nick wished he could cure her morning sickness, and Sage wondered if her nausea had more to do with her nerves. She thought they should wait to tell Sharon about the baby, but Nick contended that Sharon needed to know for Faith's sake, and he promised he wouldn't let Sage take the heat. He asked if she was up for driving by the houses on her list, and Sage warned that he'd better pull over if she asked him to. He replied that she was in charge while she was pregnant, but he really thought they should tell Sharon, since secrets and lies had done a lot of damage before. Nick and Sage hugged.
At Crimson Lights, Sharon wondered if it was a bad thing she and Dylan had to hide what they had, but Dylan insisted that they had nothing to hide. She contemplated what would happen if Avery walked in, and Dylan said he and Avery had tried to hold on to their history, but it hadn't worked, just like things hadn't worked out between Sharon and Nick. Sharon understood that the breakup still hurt, and Dylan commented that he and Sharon already had something to build on, so he was optimistic about the future. They agreed that they had to stop letting the past hold them back.
Sharon offered to teach Dylan a few tricks behind the counter, since she had once run the coffeehouse, but he informed her that she had someplace to be. He presented her with a gift card to a spa, and he told her to go be spoiled. She hugged him, and Sage and Nick entered, but their conversation halted when they spotted Sharon and Dylan together. Nick mumbled that there was no time like the present.
Sage objected to being there when Nick told Sharon the pregnancy news, and she insisted on taking a cab home. After Sage left, Sharon hoped Sage hadn't taken off because of her, and Nick mentioned that Sage hadn't been feeling well. Nick hesitantly informed Sharon and Dylan that Sage was pregnant, and Dylan congratulated Nick. Dylan added that a baby was always good news, and a stunned Sharon asked if Faith knew. Nick explained that he'd tell their daughter at the right time, but he'd wanted Sharon to hear it from him. She said she appreciated it, and she hugged Nick and said she was happy for him, but he looked skeptical.
Sharon headed out to go to her spa treatment, and Nick fretted to Dylan that Sharon definitely wasn't okay with the bombshell, but Dylan thought Sharon would be fine. Dylan imagined Sharon was worried about how it would affect Faith, but Nick was concerned that the way Sharon handled the news would affect a lot of people. Nick added that Sage had been worried sick about Sharon's reaction, and Dylan guessed that Nick had painted Sharon as damaged and dangerous. Dylan insisted that Sharon wasn't a broken thing Nick couldn't fix, and she'd been brave to fight for her freedom and her family, even though Nick had taken Faith away on a regular basis.
Dylan continued that Sharon just wanted to be herself without someone constantly telling her she was wrong, and Nick guessed Dylan was sleeping with Sharon. Dylan pushed Nick to give Sharon the benefit of the doubt, but Nick replied that the breaks he'd given her had cost him plenty. Nick pointed out that Sharon could be irrational and unpredictable, and Dylan acknowledged that she wasn't perfect, but she owned her actions. Nick asked for Dylan's reassurance as Sharon's ally that Sharon would stay away from Sage and the baby.
Sage rushed to answer a knock at the door, and she called out to ask if it was over. Sharon announced that it was all done, and she swore she wasn't there to upset Sage. Sharon claimed that she was glad Nick was happy, and she hoped he and Sage found a house to raise the baby in. Sage clarified that she was looking for her own house, and Sharon realized that Sage was trying to assure her they weren't moving in together. Sharon said she and Nick were in a more cooperative place than they had been during the custody battle, and she had moved on with Dylan, so it would be a clean slate for all of them. Sharon swore she was happy about Faith's growing family, but her expression darkened as she hugged Sage.
Sharon returned to the coffeehouse, and she told Dylan that she'd gone to talk to Sage. Sharon said she didn't want the faith Dylan had in her to change, so she'd told Sage she wanted Nick to be happy. Sharon added that the baby would be part of Faith's family, and she hoped she'd have more time with Faith if she handled Sage's pregnancy in a healthy way. Sharon asked if Nick had changed Dylan's mind about her, and Dylan declared that it couldn't be done. Dylan explained that while he'd known Nick longer, he felt like he knew Sharon better, and he'd never fault her for thinking with her heart. They embraced.
In the Athletic Club dining room, Sage informed Nick that Sharon had shown up to see her, but Sharon had been calm and friendly. Sage relayed that Sharon had said she was moving on with Dylan, so she wanted them to be happy. Nick recounted that Dylan had given him a speech about how tough Sharon was, but he worried that Sharon could still spin out and cause destruction. Nick promised that he wouldn't let Sharon anywhere near Sage or the baby, and Chelsea and Adam overheard as they passed by. Chelsea excitedly asked if Sage was pregnant, and Adam blurted out that it was impossible.
Chelsea congratulated Sage, but she mentioned that she'd thought Sage couldn't have kids. Sage gushed that she felt blessed with a miracle, and Nick mentioned that it was early in the pregnancy, but they were happy. Nick said they'd been checking out new houses for Sage, since they'd be living apart but raising the baby together, and their child would have both parents. Adam and Sage exchanged a knowing glance.
In his office, Paul was reading an article accusing the police department of incompetence, since they hadn't solved Austin and Courtney's murders, but Christine urged him not to take it personally -- the case had been fraught with all sorts of obstacles.
When Paul saw Kyle, Summer, Mariah, and Kevin enter the station, Paul told Christine "those kids" had been interfering with the department from the start, and he was going to put a stop to it. When the foursome barged into his office, Paul angrily demanded they back off from interfering with the murder investigation. If any of them refused, Paul threatened to lock them up. He then informed them that further FBI testing had indicated no match found between the DNA found on the package sent to Fen and drug kingpin Marco Anicelli.
Paul said the department had no new clues but was working closely with the FBI to develop leads. When Mariah made a snide comment about the police department fumbling the case, Paul grew even angrier and reminded them that they had covered up a murder and done everything possible to hinder the investigation.
Later, alone with Christine, a disconsolate Paul wondered about the FBI's about-face regarding the DNA match. Christine asked Paul to put his thoughts on hold -- it was Paul's birthday. Paul smiled at his wife and told her how different things had been the previous year, when they had both wished that Christine would become pregnant. Paul held his teary-eyed wife.
Christine had a surprise for Paul -- she had been searching online for a romantic vacation destination. Paul was in favor but said he really needed to go to Washington, DC, to verify the FBI's story that the DNA match had been reported in error. Christine was thrilled when Paul asked her to clear her calendar and accompany him to the capital.
On the Crimson Lights patio, Summer said Courtney might still be alive if they had reported Austin's murder to the police. Summer blamed herself for Courtney's death -- it was because of Summer that the group had decided to cover up Austin's murder. Mariah was annoyed with Summer's play for sympathy. Mariah felt that "real danger" was still out there. Kevin, who had been deep in thought, said something didn't feel right about the FBI backtracking on the DNA match.
Kevin said that DNA matches were always conclusive -- there was no such thing as a false positive. Kyle thought the results might have been tampered with after the fact. When Kyle suggested that Paul might have changed the outcome of the test, Mariah and Kevin were both angered and said that the chief would never have done such a thing. Kevin admitted, though, that it was possible that Paul had deliberately misled them so they wouldn't run around Genoa City, talking about the "big bad drug lord." Kyle wondered how they could find out what had actually happened.
Kevin said he could try to hack into the FBI's DNA database. Mariah was adamantly opposed to the idea, telling Kevin that if he were caught, he could be prosecuted as a terrorist threat. Kevin smiled, stood up, and said, "I do have to get back to work. This conversation never even happened."
At the police station, Kevin typed away at his computer keyboard. Paul and Christine left. Mariah showed up and told Kevin that hacking into the FBI's computer system wasn't worth the risk. She accused him of putting all of their lives in danger.
In Jack's office at Newman-Abbott, Victor accused the impostor of murdering Courtney and Austin. Jack couldn't believe that Victor was serious. Victor repeated what he had just overheard -- the DNA of an infamous drug lord had been linked to the crimes. Jack claimed to have absolutely no motive to commit the murders. Victor told Jack that Austin, who had been filming a documentary about the Newman and Abbott families, had probably stumbled upon something so explosive that the killer had wanted to get ahold of the computer. Jack said if anyone had a motive for murder, it was Victor.
Victor said he would never murder anyone because of a "petty exposé," besides, Austin had been married to his granddaughter, and Courtney had been engaged to his grandson. Jack said if what had happened to the real Jack became public knowledge, it would be Victor rotting behind bars. Jack reminded Victor that the whole scheme had been Victor's idea. Victor said that since the FBI had the killer's DNA, the impostor would jump up to the top spot on the FBI's Most Wanted list.
Jack claimed that he had been too busy doing Victor's bidding to kill anyone. Victor said that, on the contrary, Jack had been conspicuously absent from his job. The impostor admitted that perhaps he had done too much improvising, but he had merely been trying to cover some inconsistencies, since he couldn't be a perfect imitation of the real Jack. Victor wondered how the impostor's DNA had simply shown up. Jack thought Victor had probably given the DNA to the FBI to ensure that Jack behaved himself.
Jack told Victor he had convinced the Abbott family that he had recommitted himself to the family business -- no more mid-day golf games. Jack explained that he had told his family that his recent inconsistent behavior had been a result of his near-death experience during the Underground building collapse. Jack said he was still in a great position to learn Gabriel Bingham's secret. Victor firmly told the impostor that there were to be more games -- he was to do exactly what Victor ordered. Jack understood and said he knew what was at stake -- for both of them. As soon as Victor left, Jack opened his tablet and glanced at the article about the Genoa City killer -- the same article Paul had been reading.
In Nikki's Athletic Club suite, Neil was trying to get the inebriated Nikki to drink more coffee, but she refused. Nikki tried to blame Victor for her drinking. Neil admitted that Victor had virtually forced Nikki into "witnessing" Jack's signing the merger contract -- a contract that Jack had never signed. However, Neil thought that Nikki wanted to drink, and the business with the contract was just an excuse. Neil said that Nikki was spinning out of control, and she needed to go to rehab.
Nikki was adamantly opposed to entering a rehab facility, saying she couldn't do that to her family -- they would be accosted by those "tabloid vultures." Neil accused her of worrying about her family's feelings but not her own. Nikki again scoffed at the idea of rehab. She told Neil she'd merely had "a little slip," and she didn't want to throw her family into chaos. Neil suggested they make up some other reason for her to go away for thirty days. He said he would help Nikki cover if she decided to lie about where she was going. Nikki screeched, "Damn it, Neil. I'm not going to rehab. So shut the hell up about it."
Neil wondered how Nikki would feel the morning after an alcohol-induced blackout, when her family -- the very family she claimed she wanted to protect -- had to tell her what she had done the previous night. Nikki said that no one could force her to go to meetings, and she cruelly reminded Neil that when she had tried to force him to attend a meeting, he had grabbed the steering wheel and plowed her car into Christine, killing Christine's baby.
Later, Nikki apologized for speaking harshly to Neil about the accident. Neil wasn't angry. He said the accident had been his fault -- and it had been caused by his drinking.
Victor showed up at the suite to try to make things right with Nikki. His conciliatory mood changed quickly when he saw Neil. Victor warned Neil to focus on his job, not on Victor and Nikki's personal life. Neil told Victor that he had been friends with Nikki for a long while, and that friendship didn't stop because Neil was working with Victor.
Neil said that he owed Nikki -- she had been his advocate during his court case. Victor looked at the bottles of liquor and said, "And this is how you repay her? By having all this booze around?" Victor assumed that Neil had encouraged Nikki's falling off the wagon. Nikki rolled her eyes, disgusted with her husband.
Victor asked Neil to leave, and Neil complied. Victor wondered why Nikki had allowed Neil to drag her down. Nikki snapped, telling him her return to drinking hadn't been Neil's fault -- it had been Victor's. She grew hysterical and began smashing empty liquor bottles against the wall, screeching that her drinking was a result of Victor's forcing her to "witness" Jack's forged signature. She started ranting about how Victor had manipulated their children and reminded him that he had tried to ruin her son Dylan.
Sobbing, Nikki said that Neil hadn't had a drop to drink -- he had been there to help her, unlike Victor. Victor wondered if Nikki was planning on returning to the ranch with him. Nikki responded with an emphatic "no." When Victor demanded she pack her bags, she defiantly stated that she wasn't going anywhere with him.
Compassionately, Victor told Nikki that she needed help. He looked at the liquor bottles and asked her, "Is this the way you want to live?" Nikki said she didn't want to give her soul away piece by piece, so, "No. I don't want to live this way." Victor wondered what had happened to their relationship. He stood and was about to leave then turned back to Nikki and asked her if he really was killing her soul piece by piece. When he began listing all the things he had given her, she said that wasn't the point and asked him to go. Victor left. Nikki started throwing her belongings into a bag then fell on the bed and began crying uncontrollably.
Victor joined Neil at the Athletic Club bar. Neil assumed Victor was there to fire him. Victor said Nikki had told him why Neil had been in her suite, and Victor appreciated it. Victor knew that Nikki needed help -- he had half a mind to drag her from her room, kicking and screaming. Neil told Victor that one couldn't be forced to become clean and sober. Victor realized that even with all his money and resources, there was nothing he could do to help the woman he loved.
In the Athletic Club, as Nick and Adam looked on, Chelsea congratulated Sage on her pregnancy. Nick mentioned that they were looking for a house for Sage. Chelsea wondered if Nick was planning to live with Sage. Nick said he wasn't, but he planned to raise their child with her. When Nick said that a child needed both parents, Adam stared at Sage. Appearing uncomfortable, Sage said that she and Nick needed to leave. Adam asked them to stay -- he wanted to know whether Sage and Nick were planning to go public about Sage's pregnancy.
Nick mentioned that he had told Sharon, but it was only a matter of time before the news leaked out. Adam admitted that there had been tension between him, Nick, and Sage, but it was a time for congratulations. Nick and Sage thanked Adam and left. Chelsea wondered if Sage's pregnancy bothered Adam. Adam reminded Chelsea that he and Sage had never been in love, and a child deserved two parents and a stable home. Chelsea said that had been what she had wanted for Connor, but not every kid got a dream life. Adam replied that for Connor, the "dream" was alive and well.
Adam complimented Chelsea on the fine job she was doing raising Connor. Chelsea thanked him then joked about so-called "tiger moms." Adam said that Connor would be the victim of expectations soon enough -- the so-called "Newman curse." Chelsea replied, "The Newman curse. That's what Adam called it." Adam felt Chelsea was too strong to be manipulated by Victor, and that was why Connor was lucky to have her as a mother. Chelsea wondered if Sage knew what she was in for -- after all, Victor was going to be the grandfather of Sage's child.
Chelsea told Adam she was unsure about her future as a fashion designer, since Victoria seemed to dislike all of her ideas. Adam assured her that Victoria's nixing the children's clothing line was merely Victoria lashing out in anger because of Adam's promotion. He suggested that Chelsea go over Victoria's head and take her ideas directly to Jack. Chelsea thought that was a great suggestion. She smiled and thanked Adam for bolstering her confidence before she left.
Chelsea showed up at Jack's office and wondered if he could spare a few minutes for her. She told him that she had spent months designing a children's clothing line and handed Jack her portfolio. Chelsea then explained that Victoria had barely glanced at the designs before cancelling the line. Chelsea told him that Victoria had decided to have her design a men's clothing line, but she wondered if her men's designs would fare any better with Victoria.
Chelsea accused Victoria of acting vengefully because Chelsea had cheated on Billy. Jack said that was a pretty serious accusation. Chelsea felt that many decisions at Newman-Abbott were being made because of vendettas and personal animosities. Jack smiled and proposed that they double Chelsea's budget and gave a green light to both the children's and the men's clothing lines.
Chelsea was overjoyed but worried about how Victoria would feel about Jack's proposal. Jack told her not to worry about Victoria. He would take care of Victoria -- and Victor, too. Chelsea thanked Jack for the amazing opportunity, adding it was good to see him more like his old self. Jack told her it had taken a little while, but he was back -- and reconsidering the direction of the Newman-Abbott merger. Stepping in close to Chelsea, he seductively said he wouldn't say that to someone he couldn't trust or count on. He took Chelsea's hand in his and stared at her.
At the Underground, Nick wondered if Sage was upset that Adam had learned about her pregnancy. Sage said she didn't care what Adam thought -- their marriage had been one of convenience. She told Nick that her pregnancy wasn't supposed to have ever happened, and it felt a little fragile. Nick held Sage and tried to reassure her, He said that their baby was a miracle.
Sage wondered how Faith and the other Newmans would react to the news that Nick had "knocked up a girl" he barely knew. Nick chuckled and said that, in the annals of Newman family scandals, Sage's pregnancy didn't even deserve a mention. He told her that it didn't matter what anyone in his family thought about the pregnancy. As Nick and Sage embraced and kissed, Adam walked in and observed them, unseen.
After Nick left for the back room, Adam walked up to the bar and said, "That was quite a bomb you dropped earlier, Sage." Sage claimed that she and Nick were just as surprised -- and were both really happy about the baby. Adam wondered how happy Nick would be when he learned that Nick wasn't the father.
Sage claimed that the baby was Nick's. Adam asked how Sage could be sure. Sage said she and Adam only had sex one time. Adam said, "I'm pretty sure once is all it takes." He demanded a paternity test -- he had a right to know if it was his child. Nick returned from the back and wondered why "Bingo" was there. Adam said he'd had a question for Sage that he hadn't been able to ask her earlier with all the "baby stuff." He congratulated Nick and Sage then left.
Nick asked Sage what Adam's visit had been about. Nervously, Sage lied and said a question had arisen about Constance's estate. Nick noticed that Adam had upset her. Sage said there were many things she had to deal with aside from Gabriel. Nick said he would do anything he could to help. He embraced Sage and told her they were in it together. Sage noticed that Adam was staring at them from the club's entrance.
Billy entered the penthouse with Connor in his arms, and he called out for Chelsea. Billy told Connor that his mom would be home soon, and he offered to read a book, using funny voices. Billy left Chelsea a voicemail to inform her that Connor had an earache, but the doctor had said it wasn't bad, and they were at home. He corrected that they were at her place, and he looked around for Connor's toy car. Billy went to see if he'd dropped it in the elevator, but when he opened the door, Adam was there with takeout and a bottle of wine.
Billy announced that Gabriel's evening was about to tank, since Connor was sick, and Adam worriedly asked what was wrong. Billy explained that the daycare facility had called him when they hadn't been able to reach Chelsea, and Adam noted the late hour and questioned why it had taken Billy so long to get Connor home. An irritated Billy revealed that he'd spent the afternoon taking Connor to a pediatrician and picking up a prescription, and Adam was surprised Billy had gone to such lengths. Adam thanked Billy, but he quickly clarified that Chelsea would appreciate it. Billy reported that Chelsea hadn't been answering his calls, and Adam replied that he knew where Chelsea was.
At Newman-Abbott, the Jack impostor told Chelsea that it was a relief to have someone to share his ideas with, and she pulled her hand out of his and said she was glad to listen. He requested that she plan a party to celebrate the merger, and she pointed out that she wasn't a party planner, but he explained that he'd tapped her because of her style and taste. Jack recognized that Chelsea's line had been a point of conflict, and he wanted to force all the Abbotts and Newmans to lay down their swords at the party. Chelsea wondered why he was being nice to her after she'd cheated on his brother, and Ashley appeared in the doorway and noted that it was a "damn good question."
Ashley asked if Jack was doing further damage to their family, and he informed her that he and Chelsea had been discussing a party. Ashley was surprised to see Chelsea there, since they wouldn't be funding her children's line or doubling her budget, but Chelsea announced that she'd taken a different approach after Ashley, Billy, and Victoria had made the decision out of spite. Jack scolded Ashley for letting personal grievances influence her decisions. Billy called Jack, who handed the phone to Chelsea, and Billy told her that Connor was sick. After Chelsea left, Ashley remarked that Jack usually thought out his decisions, and she wondered if he wasn't really back to being his old self.
Ashley asked why Jack hadn't consulted with her or Billy, and Jack said they were all leaders in the company, but Billy, Ashley, and Victoria had made a decision based on personal issues. Ashley stressed that it was a family business, and she demanded to know when Jack had stopped caring about family. Jack countered that he cared about the never-ending fight with Victor that had consumed their family for generations, and he thought they were better united than divided. Jack added that the party was to promote peace, and Ashley replied that there would be peace if he talked to her and Billy about his decisions, since his latest one about Chelsea hadn't been worthy of his old self. Jack asked what the "old Jack" would have done.
Ashley said she'd expected Jack to hire an independent analyst to determine which project to fund, or he could have consulted a focus group or interviewed other designers. Jack called them nice suggestions, and Ashley chided him for not considering the consequences before making decisions on his own. Jack swore he hadn't been trying to hurt her, and he just wanted to make the merger work for all of them. She thought it sounded like him to want her to overlook his flaws, and they hugged.
Ashley admitted that she felt guilty for second-guessing Jack, but she couldn't stand the thought of losing their father's legacy. Jack contended that the only way to preserve it was to stand together and make the company everything it could be, but they needed peace to do it. Ashley agreed it had been difficult to be on opposite sides, and she requested that there be no more surprises or weird maneuvers. She added that she never wanted to see "pod Jack" again, and Jack promised to continue being the man standing before her at that moment. He assured her that he would do anything to make sure the merger worked.
Billy returned from putting Connor to bed, and he reported that the boy wouldn't sleep because he wanted his mom. Adam pressured Billy to take off, but Billy refused to leave a scared and sick child with a virtual stranger. Adam argued that it wouldn't be good for Connor to pick up on the vibe that Billy hated Chelsea, but Billy insisted he didn't hate her. Adam asked if Billy had forgiven her, and Billy replied that he loved Connor, so he'd do whatever it took not to upset the tot. Billy pledged to always put Connor's interests first, since Billy was the only dad the boy had ever known, and Adam retorted that Connor's real dad wouldn't have allowed Billy anywhere near Connor.
Billy said Gabriel had no idea what Connor's father would have done, and he contended that Adam shouldn't even be called a father, since no father would leave a child on the road like a sack of garbage. Adam argued that it had been a mistake, and he pointed out that Billy had been the one who'd left his daughter alone in the car. Billy mentioned that Adam had confessed to what he'd done, and he demanded to know why Gabriel was defending a psycho. Adam countered that Billy was the one out of control, since Billy had gathered his family in a public forum to humiliate Chelsea at her own wedding. Chelsea arrived home and yelled at the men to stop.
Chelsea asked what Gabriel was doing there, and Adam replied that he'd hoped to celebrate after her meeting with Jack. Chelsea announced that Jack had approved two new lines, and Billy protested that the decision had already been made. Chelsea intervened when the men began to argue again, and Billy revealed that the "bastard" had thrown Delia's death in his face. Chelsea blasted them both for fighting when her son was sick, and she urged them to take Jack's lead and stop battling. She walked Billy to the door and thanked him for taking care of Connor, and Billy said he would do anything for the little boy. Billy departed, and Chelsea snapped that she didn't need Gabriel to defend her, especially to Billy.
Chelsea thought Billy had had every right to be upset, and she said it had been low for Gabriel to mention Delia. She begged Gabriel to stop fighting with Billy, and Adam questioned whether it had been right for Billy to cut her off at the knees professionally. Chelsea maintained that she couldn't blame Billy for being angry, and she asked Gabriel to drop it. Adam expected that Billy would never forgive him for taking away someone Billy loved, and Chelsea remarked that Billy didn't love her anymore. Adam replied that he hadn't been talking about her, and Chelsea asked who else Gabriel had taken away from Billy.
Adam changed the subject by saying it hadn't been right of him to flaunt his connection with Chelsea in front of Billy. Chelsea reiterated that they had no connection, and she wasn't interested in pursuing anything further. Adam said he knew how it felt to be around her, and he swore he'd wait as long as it took, since they were meant to be together. Chelsea disagreed, but he thought she believed Adam had been her one great love, and he was determined to prove her wrong.
Billy returned to the office, and Ashley imagined it had been difficult for Billy to walk away from Connor. Billy said it had been good to spend time with the boy, but it had reminded him of the things he was missing out on because Chelsea had cheated. Ashley noted that Billy had never been a fan of Gabriel's, and Billy compared Gabriel to an avenging angel Adam had sent down to get in Billy's face.
Billy relayed that Gabriel had continued talking about Connor's real father and defending Adam as a great father who'd never hurt a child. Ashley wondered why Gabriel had that perception of Adam, and Billy imagined it was because Gabriel was obsessed with Chelsea. Billy mentioned that Gabriel had known things about Delia's death, and Gabriel had had the nerve to say Billy had left her in the car. Ashley assured Billy that he hadn't been to blame, and Billy noted that even Chelsea hadn't supported Adam in the end, so he couldn't imagine why a stranger would work that hard to defend Adam.
At the rehab facility in Chicago, Avery peered through the window as a physical therapist put Joe through a series of exercises, and Phyllis surprised Avery with a visit. Phyllis was concerned about Avery's breakup with Dylan, but Avery insisted it would work out for the best. Phyllis worried that Avery had let go too easily, but Avery snapped that she knew what she was doing, and she didn't need Phyllis to straighten her out. Phyllis said she was trying to be a better sister, and she thought it seemed odd that Avery would suddenly let go of a good man who'd meant everything to her. Avery divulged that she and Dylan had been struggling for a long time, and Phyllis suspected their problems had coincided with Joe's arrival in town.
Avery swore she and Dylan hadn't broken up because of Joe, and Phyllis guessed that Sharon had infected the couple with her traumas and dramas. Avery maintained that breaking up had been the right thing to do, and she intended to stay in Chicago for a while, since Joe needed her. Phyllis pointed out that Avery was an attorney and not a nursemaid, and she thought Avery shouldn't let Joe lean on her indefinitely. Avery vowed to stay as long as she was making a difference in Joe's recovery, and Phyllis inquired whether Joe was making progress.
Avery said Joe had been making headway at first, but his recovery hadn't been as fast as everyone had hoped. Phyllis knowingly mused that it was interesting, and she stepped into the therapy room and greeted Joe. Joe acknowledged that it was a hardship for Avery to be away from home and work, but he was glad she was there. Phyllis mumbled that she bet he was.
Avery looked up information online about reaching plateaus in rehab, and she vowed to never give up. Phyllis asked what the therapists had said, and Joe reported that they hadn't been able to figure it out, but they'd advised him just keep up with his therapy. Avery added that he needed to stay positive, and Phyllis surmised there was no way of knowing how long it would take. Avery pledged to be there as long as he needed her, and she went to get Joe a protein shake. Phyllis told Joe that her sister had a big heart, but Avery's guilt wasn't allowing her to see clearly. Joe asked what Phyllis thought Avery would see when the guilt wore off, and Phyllis accused him of playing Avery.
Joe swore he'd been honest about his feelings for Avery, so he wasn't hiding anything. Phyllis stressed that Dylan was the love of Avery's life, and Joe grumbled that she didn't need to remind him. He conceded that he hadn't been the best husband, and he'd tried to get Avery to go back to Genoa City, but Avery had discovered that Dylan had gotten cozy with Sharon. Joe suggested that Phyllis talk to Dylan if she wanted someone to blame, but Phyllis spat that she wasn't buying Joe's act, and Avery eventually wouldn't, either. Phyllis ordered Joe to quit using Avery, and Avery overheard and said it had been a mistake for Phyllis to visit.
Phyllis claimed she'd just been getting to know Joe, and Avery said it was time for Phyllis to go, but Phyllis asserted that she wasn't the only one who should. Phyllis followed Avery into the hallway, and she contended that she'd just been looking out for Avery. Phyllis invited Avery to the party to celebrate the merger, and Avery realized that Phyllis was trying to get her away from Joe and back to Dylan. Phyllis implored Avery to get away to gain some perspective, but Avery insisted on staying, and she said Phyllis could be a better sister by having faith that Avery knew what she was doing. Avery hugged Phyllis goodbye and returned to Joe.
Avery told Joe that Phyllis had wanted to take her home, since Phyllis disapproved of Avery being there, but Joe realized that Phyllis disapproved of him. Joe added that Phyllis thought he was manipulating Avery, but Avery said Phyllis had been the manipulative one, and she wouldn't put up with it. Joe said he couldn't ask Avery to stay, but he was grateful for every moment she did.
Phyllis found Jack working late at the office, and she asked if he had an early golf game the next morning, but he swore those days were over. He anticipated pulling an all-nighter, and Phyllis reminded him that his doctor didn't want him to push it. She sat on his lap and kissed him, and he said he wanted to make love to her the way they had before they were married. He asked her to show him how they had done it, and she asked if he couldn't remember. Jack replied that he wanted her to remind him, and they began to kiss passionately.
At the island cabin, Kelly hand-fed a drugged Jack and told him that she had to leave for a little while to run errands. She mentioned that she'd lengthened his chain so he could move around more freely, and he thanked her. She asked if she could trust him enough to remove his handcuffs while she was gone, and Jack slurred that he was Kelly's husband and that he loved her, so she could trust him. She happily kissed him, but she referred to the nasty incident with the pen, and Jack said he felt awful about it.
Jack rambled that he hadn't been himself when he'd stabbed Kelly, and he babbled about never doing anything to hurt his wife again. She agreed to unshackle his hands, but she'd leave one ankle cuffed, and he agreed to everything she said. She promised to pick up a good book for him, and she stepped out. Jack looked across the room at a knife Kelly had left with an apple, and he crossed over and picked up the knife. Kelly watched a video feed on her computer as he cut a piece of the fruit, set the knife down, and returned to bed. She smiled.
Later, Kelly returned with various books, and Jack thanked her. He perused the titles, and he seemed fixated for a moment on a Sherlock Holmes mystery titled "The Red-Headed League," but he set the book down. Kelly checked on his ankle, which was sore from the restraints, and he said he liked the way she touched him. She teased him for being naughty, and she went to get some ointment out of the car, leaving the door open on her way out.
Jack stared at the open door, and he staggered over to it as Kelly stood outside, ready to hit him with a baseball bat. He closed the door, returned to bed, and picked up a book. She watched him on her video feed and mused, "You really are mine now." Kelly excitedly reentered the room and declared that Jack had passed all of her tests, and he'd proven she could trust him, so their life together could begin. She marveled that they could go wherever they wanted and be whoever they wanted, and Jack said it sounded wonderful.
Kelly said they could put the past behind them, unless Jack wanted no part of it. She suggested that he get up and walk out if he couldn't love her the way she loved him, since she wanted to give and receive love freely. Jack questioned why he wouldn't want to be with her, and she started to ask if he still had feelings for someone else, but he flatly stated that Kelly was his wife. He said he loved her, and he pulled her into a kiss.
Later, Jack stirred in bed after having sex with Kelly, and he noticed blood on his hands. He turned over and discovered a lifeless Kelly next to him.
At Newman-Abbott, the Jack impostor acknowledged that no one was thrilled about the party, but the shindig meant a lot to him, and Ashley said he could count on her. Abby supported the idea of the Abbotts and the Newmans getting along, and Stitch offered his support. Billy said Jack knew where he stood, and he didn't see the need to throw confetti over the merger being official, since it wouldn't make the bad blood between the families disappear. Victoria sided with Billy.
Victoria complained that the party felt forced, and she questioned what Jack expected to gain. Ashley pointed out that it was Victor's event, too, and she doubted Victoria would talk the same way to her father. Jack explained that their reluctance was the very reason they were having the celebration, since they had to take the first step to put aside years of grievances, and it was a perfect opportunity to prove they could work together as a united front. Billy and Victoria begrudgingly agreed to make an appearance.
Jack headed out to take care of details at the Athletic Club, but Victoria followed him into the hallway and asked to meet with him before it was too late to reverse his decision about approving Chelsea's children's line. Jack said he understood Victoria's need to put Chelsea in her place for hurting Billy, but he'd set his feelings aside to make the best decision for the business. He hoped Victoria would follow his lead, and he walked away.
Victoria returned to her office and griped that she didn't want to go to the party, and Billy asked why she'd agreed to attend. She said she'd set her objections aside to see how the soiree played out, and he imagined it would be like watching a car crash. Victoria still had a hard time believing Jack had signed off on the merger of his own free will, and Billy vowed to keep Jabot from disappearing, since he refused to believe Victor had become pals with the Abbotts. Victoria warned that looking for a fight wouldn't sit well with Jack, and Billy promised not to cross the line if Victor didn't.
Abby tried to get into a party mood by putting the killer out of her mind, and Stitch promised to keep her safe. Ashley coolly said she'd see them both at the party, and she abruptly left. Abby thought her mother had seemed remote ever since Stitch and Abby had gotten together, and Stitch said he wasn't surprised. Abby wondered whether things would always be weird because Stitch and Ashley had shared one night together, but Stitch reasoned that Ashley had a lot on her mind because of the merger. Abby said she'd feel better if she knew that was all it was.
An island cop arrived at Kelly's cabin, and he saw streaks of blood across the sheets. He pulled back the covers and discovered Kelly's dead body.
At the Newman ranch, Neil mentioned to Victor that he'd seen Nikki's name on the guest list for the party, and he recommended that Victor tell her not to attend. Nikki appeared and asked what was going on, and Victor claimed he and Neil had been discussing a business matter. Victor asked how Nikki was feeling, and she replied that she'd woken up sober, thinking about Cassie. Neil realized it was the anniversary of Cassie's death, and Victor contended that it was important for their family to be together, so he was glad Nikki had decided to return home. She clarified that she was only there to pick out an outfit for the party.
Victor excused himself to take a call, and Nikki asked Neil if he was really there on business or if he and Victor had been talking about her drinking. Neil recognized that Victor's intentions had been good by inviting her to the party, but he thought it would be a mistake for her to attend. Neil admitted he thought she was too fragile to be around an open bar, especially on an emotional day. He worried that having to put on a fake smile would only magnify her stress level, and he didn't want her to be caught in the crosshairs if things turned ugly between Jack and Victor.
Victor learned from the island authorities that Kelly was dead and that Jack was gone. The cop revealed that there had been no cash in Kelly's wallet and that Kelly had been dead for a while. The officer assured Victor that Jack wouldn't get far on a small island, and he promised his men would find Jack. He asked what Victor wanted him to do with the body, and Victor noted that the police had thought Kelly had been dead for months, but she deserved a proper burial. Victor instructed his minion to make finding Jack his priority. Meanwhile, someone lurked outside the Newman home.
Victor apologized that his call had taken longer than expected, and Nikki informed him that Neil wanted her to skip the party. Victor suggested she decline the invitation if she was only going for his sake, but Nikki refused to change her mind because Neil thought she couldn't handle being around people. She asserted that it was a family event, and she wanted to go to support her children and show them that she was fine. She added that Jack wanted them to act like a big, happy family, and that was what she intended to do.
Sharon frantically searched the cottage for something, and Dylan descended the stairs and asked what was going on. She panicked that she couldn't find her keys, but he picked them up from a table, and she thanked him. He grabbed her hand as she took the keys from him, and he guessed that she was anxious about Sage and Nick. Sharon admitted that it had felt awkward to learn the couple was having a baby together, but she had accepted it. She said she had to go out, and she hurriedly departed.
Nick placed flowers on Cassie's grave, and he said he couldn't believe it had been another year. He mused that a lot had happened since the last time he'd been there, and Sharon watched as Nick revealed that he and Sage were having a baby. He spied Sharon, who said she hadn't meant to interrupt his special time with Cassie, and she offered to wait until he was done. Nick remarked that Cassie would have liked it if they were there together, and Sharon agreed. An unseen Dylan peered at them from a distance, but he quickly darted away.
Sharon commented that Cassie's death "felt like yesterday," and Nick said he woke up some mornings and still thought he had to get Cassie to school. Sharon marveled at how vivid the memories still were, and Nick replied that Cassie had never really left them. Nick recalled getting a new daughter when Noah had still been a baby, and Sharon remembered that he'd been overwhelmed at first to become a father of two. Nick said that Cassie had helped him get through it, and Sharon gushed that he had been amazing with their daughter.
Sharon called Cassie a special little girl, and Nick murmured that even though he had a new baby on way, no one would ever be able to replace Cassie. Sharon added that she had Mariah in her life, but Mariah could never take her sister's place. She continued that they had moved on, but nothing could ever take away the memories they'd shared. Nick proclaimed that they'd always hold Cassie in their hearts, and what they'd shared with their daughter had been theirs and theirs alone.
At Crimson Lights, Sharon was shocked when Dylan informed her that he'd followed her to the cemetery because he'd been worried about her. She conceded that she should have told him it was the anniversary of Cassie's death, and she didn't blame him for wondering why she'd been on edge. He thought something else was bothering her, and she revealed that Jack had invited her to his party. She suspected it might be an ambush, since Jack had teamed up with Victor, but she didn't want to miss it if Jack's invitation had been sincere. Dylan offered to go with her if she wanted to attend.
At the Athletic Club, Lily thanked Phyllis for filling in for Chelsea to tend to last-minute party details, and she mentioned that she knew the event was important to Jack. Phyllis explained that he wanted the key players to celebrate the merger without strangling one another, and the sky was the limit if that happened. Lily spotted Devon and Hilary entering the foyer, and she raced over to confront them. Lily spat that she'd thought Devon had cared about putting their family back together.
Devon assumed Lily had talked to Neil, and Lily sarcastically informed him that she'd heard he'd done the honorable thing by telling their father that Devon was seeing the "lying piece of trash" again. Hilary and Lily exchanged barbs, and Phyllis reminded them that it was supposed to be a classy event. Lily asked if Rose would have been proud of Hilary for ruining lives, and Hilary yelled that Lily wasn't fit to mention her mother's name. Hilary lunged at Lily, but Devon intervened.
Hilary barked that she'd been minding her own business when Lily had run over like she'd been possessed, and Lily accused Hilary of twisting the knife after she'd already hurt Neil enough. Devon conceded that he and Hilary had been wrong to hide their relationship before, but they were being forthcoming, and he hoped Lily could accept that they were together. Lily snapped that she had a party to put on, and she stalked off.
An unseen person watched as Victor thanked Abby and Stitch for attending, and Stitch remarked that it felt great to have Abby in his life, especially since his sister had passed. Victor commented that he'd heard Stitch had been doing a great job, and the men shook hands. Jack approached Victor and wondered why Victor had praised a lowly lab assistant, and Victor claimed that he'd merely been polite to his daughter's boyfriend.
Victor said he was happy to see Victoria, and she coldly stated that she was attending a mandatory work function, but she hadn't forgiven him for making Gabriel her equal at the company. He said he stuck by his decisions, and he advised her to find a way to get along with Gabriel. Victoria huffed that she would always do what was best for the company, whether Victor liked it or not. Meanwhile, Jack noticed that Billy had managed to ignore Victor, and Billy swore he wasn't looking for trouble. Jack reminded Billy that the event was about unity, and Billy grumbled that it would be until Victor stabbed the Abbott family in the back.
Lily stared at the door as Neil entered with Gwen. Hilary and Devon awkwardly greeted Neil and Gwen, and Lily rushed over to defuse the situation. Gwen offered to get Neil some iced tea, and Neil surmised that Lily was surprised, but she replied that she was glad he wasn't alone. Lily understood why Neil wanted to mess with Devon, but Neil declared that he wasn't playing games, since he liked Gwen, and he thought she felt the same way about him.
Hilary approached Gwen at the bar, and she recognized that things were uncomfortable, but she was concerned that Neil was acting out. Gwen barked that Hilary had repeatedly trashed his life, and Hilary insisted she was being sincere, but Gwen was skeptical. Devon told Gwen to knock it off, and Gwen snarled that they both repulsed her, since she never would have gone out with Devon if she'd known they had been covering their affair. Gwen added that Devon had gone to bed with her and had made her think they'd had a chance, and Hilary and Devon deserved whatever they got.
Hilary admitted she'd made mistakes, but she voiced concern about Gwen playing games with Neil, and Gwen asked if Hilary meant something like cheating on Neil with his son. Devon defended Hilary, and Gwen spat that it was disrespectful of Devon and Hilary to be there together, since if Neil was a powder keg, they were the match. Neil asked what was going on, and Gwen said she didn't want to ruin an important day for the company, so she should go. Gwen sauntered to the door, and Hilary suggested that she and Devon leave, too.
Stitch cornered Ashley and mentioned that Abby had been upset because Ashley had been distant, and he encouraged Ashley to say what she needed to say. Ashley confided that she'd considered their encounter in the shower to be a casual thing, but she'd since developed feelings for him, and she didn't want to see Abby get hurt. Ashley understood why Stitch had gone back to Victoria after he and Ashley had slept together, but she found it strange that Stitch had hooked up with Abby as if what had happened in the shower hadn't mattered. A flabbergasted Stitch said he'd had no idea she'd felt that way, and Ashley told him not to say anything to Abby, since Ashley had accepted what was going on.
Later, Abby mentioned that she'd seen Stitch talking to her mom, and she asked if Ashley had opened up about what was bugging her. Stitch fibbed that Ashley was simply concerned about his relationship with Abby, given how badly he'd handled his personal life, and Ashley was just being a protective mother. Abby resolved to be patient and wait for the awkwardness to pass, and Stitch made up an excuse about forgetting to do something at work. He rushed out before Abby could object.
Nikki commented to Phyllis that Jack had jumped back into business quickly after being in the hospital, and Phyllis replied that he'd seemed more like himself lately. Nikki wondered if the Jack they knew was really behind the merger, and Phyllis believed that Jack thought he was doing the right thing for his family and the company. Nikki said it sounded like things were going well for Phyllis and Jack, and Nick overheard and wished he could say the same for Nikki and Victor. Nikki wrote off their troubles as nothing serious, and Victoria remarked that Victor wasn't her favorite person, either. Nick asked them to put their differences aside, and Nikki acknowledged that it was a tough day for Nick. Nick proclaimed that he had news to tell all of them, including Victor.
Nick announced that he and Sage were having a baby, and Victoria asked if he was sure the child was his. Nick explained that Sage's marriage to Gabriel had been an arrangement and nothing more, and Nikki incredulously asked whether Nick had committed to Sage. Nick said he cared about Sage and was committed to his child, and he considered it a blessing, especially that day. He added that Sage might be there later, but she hadn't been feeling well.
Phyllis thought Summer would adjust to the news in time, and she wished Nick and Sage happiness. Nikki noted that Phyllis was taking it in stride, and Phyllis pointed out that she hadn't been the one to change a paternity test because she hadn't been able handle the thought of Nick reproducing with another woman. Nick reported that Sharon had reacted shockingly well to the news, but Victor wondered what she'd done behind Nick's back. Sharon and Dylan arrived, and she informed the Newman clan that Jack had asked her to be there.
Jack hoped everyone would make Sharon and Dylan feel welcome, and Nikki pointedly stated that Dylan was always welcome. Victor stepped away to take a call, and the island officer said there had been no sign of Jack. Victor warned that he couldn't afford for Jack to ruin everything, and he ordered the cop to find him. The Jack impostor asked if there were problems, and he promised Victor had no reason to worry about why Sharon was there.
Nikki approached Dylan privately and recognized that he was a good man who'd defended Sharon when no one else had believed her, but there was no longer a reason for him to escort Sharon around town. Dylan revealed that his relationship with Avery was over, and he and Sharon had become close, but Nikki lectured that Sharon was the last person he should get involved with. Dylan remarked that people said the same thing about him, since he and Sharon had similar issues, and they understood one another. Dylan went to check on Sharon, while Nikki struggled to maintain her composure. Nikki looked at a tray of drinks, glanced around, and chugged a glass of Champagne.
Jack asked for everyone's attention, and someone lurked and watched from out of sight. Jack thanked the guests for being there to celebrate a new beginning, but it was anything but another work event. He said he looked at Newman-Abbott as a family, and he was committed to the merger as a building block for the future of both families. He recognized that there was a real divide between many people in the room, but he thought they could begin to bridge it that day -- on the anniversary of Cassie Newman's death.
Jack declared that they'd all held Cassie in their hearts, so he'd wanted to do something special to honor the occasion. Jack announced that he was funding a new pediatric wing at the hospital and dedicating it in memory of Cassie. As the crowd applauded, Nick shook Jack's hand, and Sharon tearfully hugged Jack. Ashley remarked to Victor that the gesture had been lovely and unexpected, but they stopped and stared as the mysterious person made a beeline toward them. "You should not be here," Victor sternly stated.