Juliet and Victoria exited the powder room at the Top of the Tower and entered the dining area together. Victoria continued a conversation about the challenges strong women faced to maintain relationships. Juliet said she was flattered that Victoria considered her to be a strong woman. Referring to another private conversation, Juliet offered assurance that she wouldn't disclose to anyone that Victoria had mentioned her desire to reunite with Billy. Victoria and Juliet rejoined others gathered for a work-related dinner.
In the coat room at the Top of the Tower, Billy and Phyllis discussed plans to reveal their secret romance. Billy explained that he'd decided to wait until Nikki's health improved before breaking the news to Victoria. Phyllis complained that Billy's request seemed too open-ended. Billy replied, "I want the same thing as you, to be out in the open with no secrets, just you and me, with nothing to hide." Cane was standing outside the coat room and overheard Phyllis and Billy's conversation.
After Billy and Phyllis kissed passionately, Billy exited and walked out without noticing Cane's presence. After a couple of minutes, Phyllis exited the coat room and ran into Cane. Phyllis told Cane she'd accompanied Ashley and Ravi to discuss business and had noticed that the employees at Brash & Sassy seemed to be having more fun. Cane glanced at Billy leaning in close to Victoria and said, "Yeah. Looks like everyone's getting something out of the evening, huh?" Phyllis watched as Billy whispered into Victoria's ear, and the couple laughed. Phyllis turned and walked away.
In another area of the dining room at the Top of the Tower, Hilary watched from a distance as Lily and Jordan teasingly discussed an incident on the ice during a photo shoot in New York. Jordan joked that Lily had pummeled him. Lily said she recalled that Jordan had fallen and dragged her down with him. Jordan gasped in feigned disbelief. Lily laughed and suggested reviewing the videotape to confirm her side of the story. After Jordan walked away to summon a waiter, Hilary approached Lily and said, "Careful, Lily. Hands off!" Lily was stunned.
Hilary and Jordan later enjoyed drinks together at the Top of the Tower's bar. Hilary noted that Jordan had seemed to enjoy reminiscing with Lily about their encounter when they'd collapsed into a "tangled-up, four-legged hot mess." Jordan asked if he detected a tinge of jealousy. Hilary said she just wondered how Cane might react. Jordan dismissed Hilary's concern and said he and Lily were merely old friends working together again.
Jordan said he had his own priorities and remarked, "Cane has the score." Jordan told Hilary that Cane could get "wild and freaky" after indulging in too much alcohol. Hilary seemed intrigued. Jordan quietly explained that Juliet had shared the information about Cane getting wild when he was drunk.
Jordan nodded in agreement when Hilary recalled that Cane had spent time with Juliet in Tokyo. Hilary called out to Mariah, and Jordan went to set up a schedule with Lily. Hilary suggested that she and Mariah engage in a team-building exercise. Mariah noted that she didn't play much of a part in The Hilary Hour, with Hilary Curtis. Hilary admitted that she couldn't handle her show without Mariah. Mariah, taken aback, jokingly said, "We aren't bonding, are we?"
Cane rejoined his fellow associates from Brash & Sassy. Cane gave Victoria credit for arranging the evening get-together, which, he said, had helped them all bond on a personal level. Cane invited Billy to propose a toast to Victoria, and Billy did so graciously. Victoria said raising two young children and an "attitude-impaired" teenager had helped prepare her for running a company. Juliet joked that Billy's attitude had surely improved over time. Cane interrupted Victoria when she attempted to respond to Juliet's joke. Cane insisted that Billy could be quite a handful. Billy glared at Cane.
Billy thanked the guests and excused himself. Cane insisted that it was too early to leave. Victoria leaped from her chair and insisted on driving Billy back to the office to pick up his car. After Billy and Victoria left, Lily gave Billy credit for making Victoria happy. Cane agreed. After Jordan told Lily that he intended to photograph her early the next morning, Lily, Cane, and Juliet left.
Devon joined Jordan and warned him that Hilary could be manipulative whenever she felt insecure. Jordan didn't seem at all fazed and said he enjoyed high-maintenance women. Hilary and Mariah joined Devon and Jordan. Jordan praised Hilary's "shout-out" to Devon during her show. Devon said he appreciated the gesture. Hilary said she and Mariah could move forward with their show. Jordan excused himself and said he should escort Hilary home.
Alone together, Devon told Mariah that he trusted her. Devon said Mariah was special to him. Mariah seemed flattered. Devon kissed Mariah. Hilary, standing at the elevator with Jordan, turned her head and watched Devon kissing Mariah. Later, Hilary rubbed her bare finger and seemed to long for her wedding band.
At Cane and Lily's house, Lily told Cane that he'd been quiet during the drive home. Lily asked if he was troubled about Billy. Cane replied, "He lies and manipulates and doesn't care about the consequences, does he?" Cane told Lily that he'd overheard Billy and Phyllis in the coat room. Lily wasn't certain that Billy and Phyllis had rekindled their relationship, but Cane said he'd overheard Billy telling Phyllis why he hadn't told Victoria.
Cane noted that it was obvious that Victoria still loved Billy. Cane said he didn't want Victoria to suffer a broken heart. Lily cautioned Cane about using what he'd learned to get back at Billy. Lily added, "Another reason to keep quiet is you, me, and Juliet." Cane agreed not to get involved.
At the Newman Ranch, Nikki and Jack were seated together on the sofa, browsing through a photo album, when Victor arrived. Nikki said, "Darling, I'm so glad you're home. How was your trip?" Victor replied, "Enlightening, and I can see I didn't come back a moment too soon." Victor conveyed his disgust with Nikki's guest by stating that he'd asked Nikki to protect his family while he was away. Nikki calmly noted that she'd invited Jack over to listen to her perform a piano piece. Jack said Nikki's lovely performance had reminded him of old times.
Victor sorted through his mail and pretended to ignore Jack's conversation about Nikki being his favorite ex-wife. Jack added, "We had some wonderful years, and the time I spent with her, raising Nicholas and Victoria, were among the happiest in my life. And then, of course, you came back and ruined it all." Jack acknowledged that Victor had been dealing with the painful knowledge of Chloe Mitchell's role in causing Adam's death. Nikki became uneasy when Jack noted how a terrified Adam had likely reacted when he'd realized the future he'd been dreaming of with Chelsea and Connor wouldn't be realized. Before leaving, Jack told Victor and Nikki he was sorry for the hell they were going through.
After Jack left, Victor berated Nikki for entertaining Jack at their home. Victor claimed Nikki had done so to make it obvious that she was shutting him off from their family. Nikki assured Victor that she'd kept his secret because she'd given him her word. Victor seemed saddened when he told Nikki he thought she, of all people, would've understood him. Nikki asked Victor if he thought she'd turned her back on him. Victor appeared to fight back tears.
Nikki displayed the poster with the rendering of the research facility Victor had purchased in her name. Nikki told Victor that he'd arranged the grand gesture in hopes that she wouldn't stay mad at him. Victor claimed that he'd wanted to make amends for his son's death. Victor noted that Nick and Victoria had stabbed him in the back before, but he couldn't understand why Nikki was doing it, too.
Victor cried that he hadn't intended for Adam to be killed. Nikki said it didn't mean that Victor wasn't responsible. Nikki told Victor to stay in the guesthouse and claim he needed a separate space while he worked on his "whitewash biography." Nikki said Victor always expected his family to forgive him, but she didn't intend to. Victor yelled, "You're all a bunch of hypocrites!" Victor left.
At Jabot, Ravi approached Phyllis and expressed his frustration about her ruining his date with Ashley. Phyllis apologized and told Ravi he deserved the best. Ravi asked Phyllis why she'd tagged along because she'd barely conversed with him and Ashley. Phyllis claimed that she hadn't wanted to be alone, but she admitted that she'd "screwed up." Phyllis apologized. Phyllis encouraged Ravi to show up at Ashley's. Ravi left.
At the Abbott mansion, Jack found Ashley sitting at the desk, writing a note. Ashley said she'd stopped by to leave a swag bag for Mrs. Martinez. Jack asked about Ashley's dinner with Ravi. Ashley explained that Phyllis had barged in. Ashley said she enjoyed Ravi's company. Ashley mentioned Gloria. Jack and Ashley began arguing after she insisted that Gloria couldn't be trusted.
Jack defended Gloria after Ashley insisted on ousting her. Jack replied, "Because I like having her around. Because Gloria and I have…" Jack didn't finish his sentence, but Ashley knew what he'd meant. Ashley replied, "No! Oh, my God! No!" Jack became even more defensive.
Jack admitted that he and Gloria had developed a complicated relationship. Ashley asked Jack if he was sleeping with Gloria. Jack replied, "We are friends with benefits." Ashley noted that Gloria had once been their stepmother. Jack brought up Ashley's friendship with Ravi. Ashley replied, "Oh, don't you dare do that. Ravi and Gloria are not in the same category." Ashley mentioned Jack's heartbreak over Phyllis and his abandonment issue with their mother as the reasons he was seeking comfort from Gloria.
Jack and Ashley were interrupted when the doorbell rang. Jack opened the door and greeted Ravi. After Ravi entered, Jack left. Ravi handed Ashley a red rose. Ashley mentioned Phyllis' interference during their date. Ashley explained that she didn't want Jack to know it had been a date. Ravi said he'd enjoy another date with Ashley. Ashley said she would, too. Ravi left feeling confident.
Jack entered his office at Jabot and found Phyllis busy working. Jack said he'd left Ashley at home with Ravi. Jack said he hoped Ravi, like Ashley, had no expectations. Jack brought up Nikki and added that she was saddled with "a crashing bore of a husband." Jack said he'd seen Nikki at the Top of the Tower, and she'd invited him to the ranch. Jack explained that his visit had ended abruptly when Victor had returned. Phyllis said, "So, she's feeling well enough to go out? I thought her MS was flaring up again." Jack said Nikki seemed better than fine. Jack added that Nikki was playing piano again and had been in good spirits until Victor had returned.
At Brash & Sassy, Billy struggled to walk ahead of Victoria. Victoria said Billy had been quiet during the drive from the restaurant to the office. Billy quickly packed up his briefcase and said he had work to finish. Victoria told Billy that he shouldn't shy away from the compliments she'd paid him at the dinner meeting. Billy said his issue wasn't with Victoria. Billy noted that his issue was with Cane.
Victoria said she and Billy were in a good place, and she apologized for the way she'd treated him when she'd suddenly shut him out. Victoria insisted that Billy follow her home and visit their children. Billy reluctantly agreed. Billy told Victoria she should've opened up to him about Nikki's MS, and Victoria agreed not to keep secrets. Victoria embraced Billy. Phyllis watched through the window and saw Billy and Victoria together.
Victoria catches Phyllis and Billy kissing
At Devon's penthouse, Neil was pleased that the construction of the Hamilton-Winters Group's offices was ahead of schedule. Devon announced that he'd already found a company to acquire -- Mergeron Enterprises. Neil recounted that the company had been incredibly successful and that its owner shared a history with the Abbotts. Neil explained that Dina, Mergeron's CEO, had once been married to John Abbott. Devon said he hadn't read anything about it in his research, but he realized that Jack, Ashley, and Traci were Dina's children.
Neil recognized that Mergeron was a powerhouse in military tech, but Devon indicated that the company had diverse interests, and its streaming service had caught his eye. Neil recalled that Dina had walked out on John and her young children, and Jack and his sisters had never forgiven their mother. Devon wondered if acquiring the company would be a problem for the Abbotts. Neil pointed out that Dina hadn't been in the Abbotts' lives for years, but he added that families were complicated. Devon asserted that it was business, and he didn't think they should back away from a deal just because the Abbotts might have an issue with it.
Neil proclaimed that Devon was absolutely right, and he imagined that Victor would be all over a deal like the Mergeron one. Neil expected other, more established companies to bid on Mergeron, and Devon thought it was why they had to be first in line. Devon suggested that they fly to Paris to meet Dina, and Neil wholeheartedly agreed.
Scott greeted Phyllis at Crimson Lights. She sourly stated that he was too cheery, and she imagined that something was happening in his love life. Scott recalled that she'd said she'd been happy for him the last time they'd seen one another, and Phyllis apologized and confided that love had been busting her chops. She thought he might be able to help her out.
Phyllis surmised that Scott had been talking to the Newman family in the course of writing Victor's biography, and she inquired whether anyone had mentioned anything about Nikki's health. Scott couldn't fathom how that connected to Phyllis' love life unless she was getting back together with Nick, but she swore that wasn't the case. She pleaded that she needed a friend more than a journalist, and Scott indicated that Nikki had seemed fine to him. Michael approached and asked if they'd seen Kevin, and Scott headed out. Michael sensed Phyllis' agitated state and told her that holding it in wouldn't help, and he ordered her to start talking.
Phyllis confided to Michael that Billy had claimed that he couldn't tell Victoria about his reunion with Phyllis because Nikki was ill, but Jack and Scott had reported that Nikki had been looking perfectly healthy. Michael wondered if she thought Billy was lying, and Phyllis revealed that she'd seen Billy hugging Victoria. Phyllis worried that she was being played, but she felt that she and Billy had a connection. Michael pointed out that she might not have all the facts, and it was possible that Nikki really was ill and that Billy had simply been comforting Victoria. Michael encouraged Phyllis to talk to Billy before she went crazy.
Later, Kevin requested Michael's advice about how to talk to Bella about what had happened to her mom. Michael asked if Kevin had told her anything, and Kevin said he and Esther had been distracting the girl, but Bella hadn't been sleeping through the night and had started asking questions. Kevin bemoaned that the rational part of him had been ripped apart when Chloe had left, but another part of him loved her and forgave her. Kevin wondered which part should explain it to his daughter.
Michael thought that forgiving Chloe was the best thing Kevin could do to allow his little girl to grow up knowing that she'd had a loving mother. Michael recommended that Kevin wait to tell the rest until Bella was older, and Kevin looked forward to giving his kid everything she needed, especially unconditional love. Michael mused that Kevin would give Bella all the things they hadn't gotten from their mother, and he realized that Kevin hadn't told Gloria about Bella yet. Michael urged Kevin to tell Gloria before she found out from someone else.
Victoria sauntered into Victor's office and heard her father ordering a dozen roses over the phone. She warned that the flowers wouldn't buy forgiveness, and Victor informed her that they were for an employee in the hospital. Victoria coolly declared that she was only there to make sure he'd gotten the car keys she'd dropped off, and Victor planned to return both the keys and the car to Reed. Victoria refused to let Victor control Reed the way her father had controlled her.
Victoria referred to Victor making Abby temporary CEO and investing in Chelsea's company, and she pointed out that she could have bought Reed a car if she'd wanted him to have one. Victor contended that he'd simply been a loving, generous grandfather, but Victoria accused him of attempting to bribe every family member who didn't know the truth about him. Victoria ranted that he used any excuse to do what he wanted, including making a pact with the woman who'd killed his son. Victor argued that Adam's death had affected him greatly, but Victoria questioned whether he'd be able to forgive any of them if they'd cost him his son.
Later, Scott arrived to see Victor, who asked to read a few chapters of the book. Scott said he was bit confused, since Nikki had told him to stop working on it while Victor had been away. Scott sensed that she had been trying to protect Victor and their family, but he didn't think Victor was worried. Victor confirmed that he wasn't, but Scott cautioned that online harassment could affect Victor's wife and kids. Victor stated that his family had been in the limelight for a long time, and Scott anticipated that they would be again once Chloe was found.
Scott mentioned that Chloe had reached out to Kevin and Billy through letters to tell them that one of them was Bella's father, and Kevin had turned out to be the dad. Scott added that the cops had been all over the letters, and it might take time to find Chloe because they'd been sent from two different places, but he was sure they'd find her eventually. Victor stated that he'd be very happy to see the woman who'd killed his son get what she deserved. Scott admitted that he'd been sure that Victor had gone away to search for Chloe because Victor Newman would never let anyone get away with murdering his son.
Victor swore that as much as he'd like to make his son's killer pay, he wouldn't go after Chloe because he couldn't go to prison again. Scott asked if he could quote Victor in the book, and he promised to email some chapters right away. Victor told Scott to remember that Victor and no one else called the shots. Scott departed, and Victor flashed back to confronting Chloe in an undisclosed location.
Victor flashed back to Chloe asking him why he'd found her when he'd never wanted to see her again. Victor had recounted that he'd told her that she'd lose everything if they ever crossed paths again, and she had reminded him that he'd wanted her gone to protect himself. Victor had growled that she would have been released on her own if she'd been sane, but Chloe had insisted that she wasn't crazy. Victor had argued that if she wasn't crazy, then she'd killed his son when she'd been sane. She had panicked that Victor was there to kill her.
Victor had forced Chloe to recount what had happened to Adam, and she had sworn that Adam had never suffered. Victor had pulled out an envelope and handed it to her, and he had barked that, unlike her, he wasn't a murderer. He had instructed her to take the money and disappear, or he'd drag her back to Genoa City. She had argued that he'd be arrested when the authorities found out that he'd used her to frame Adam, but Victor had countered that he'd survive, whereas she'd never survive maximum-security prison.
Chloe had agreed to leave, but she had wanted to contact the two men who might have fathered Bella so that her daughter wouldn't grow up an orphan. Victor had agreed to do it for Bella's sake, and he had told Chloe to write letters to the men that he would arrange to have delivered. Chloe had asked why she should trust him, and Victor had replied that she had no other choice.
At the Abbott mansion, Jack remarked that he'd have to give Mrs. Martinez a raise to keep her from leaving to start her own bakery. Ashley dryly replied that she was sure Gloria would be happy to fill in, but Jack urged her not to ruin a lovely breakfast. Ashley refused to drop it, but Jack firmly stated that they'd exhausted the subject. Ashley wondered if he had something more pressing, and he informed her that Nikki had invited him to the ranch while Victor had been out of town. Ashley scolded that Jack never learned.
Jack explained that Nikki had asked him for suggestions about how to improve her life, and Ashley guessed that Jack had told Nikki to divorce her husband. Jack recalled that there had been a chill in the air when Victor had walked in on them, and he suspected that there was trouble in paradise. Ashley chalked it up to a lovers' quarrel, but Jack thought Nikki was done with Victor's domineering ways. Jack noted that Ashley had seemed happy when Ravi had stopped by the night before, but Ashley warned that Jack couldn't avoid talking about Gloria.
Jack insisted that he always had Jabot's best interests at heart, and he recalled John's advice to never let one's personal life get in the way of business. Ashley lectured that Jack was horrible at separating the two, whereas their dad had been great at balancing things, even after Dina had broken his heart and abandoned them without a glance. Jack commended John for always managing to keep his family and business together, and Ashley mused that they'd been lucky to have him as a father. Ashley couldn't imagine walking out on her children like Dina had, although she admitted that she'd made her own mistakes as a parent.
Ashley wondered how she and Jack could be great parents when they'd had an absent role model, but Jack stressed that they'd had their father. Ashley lamented that they still had Dina's DNA, and Jack revealed that he only had one childhood picture of him and his mother. He added that he'd kept it to remind himself never to let another human being do to them what Dina had, and he and Ashley commiserated over their abandonment issues.
Later at Jabot, Ashley thanked Ravi for dropping off the rose the night before, and he realized that he would never have had the nerve to do it a month earlier. He figured that sometimes it was good to take risks, and she mentioned taking some of her own lately. She recounted that she'd realized when talking to Jack that she'd lived her life in a certain way out of fear that she'd end up like her mother. Ravi implored Ashley to open up about her mother, and he wondered why Ashley had never talked about her mom before. "Because I hate her," Ashley replied.
Ravi thought hate was a strong word, especially about one's mother. Ashley explained that her mother had deserted her, Traci, and Jack when they'd been very young and that Dina hadn't acknowledged their birthdays or any other occasions. Ravi thought Dina sounded thoughtless and unkind, and Ashley wondered what that said about her. Ravi insisted that Ashley was brilliant, considerate, and loving -- nothing like her mother.
Meanwhile, Gloria stormed into Jack's office, threw some files on his desk, and asked if he was unhappy with her work. Jack replied that she'd been doing great work, and he was grateful she was there. She wondered why they hadn't met at the club, and he responded that he'd been busy. He apologized if he'd made her feel abandoned, and she conceded that he didn't owe her anything, but she thought their late-night trysts made life more interesting. Jack agreed, and she marveled that no one ever would have believed that they'd gotten to that place. Jack declared that he hadn't and that John certainly wouldn't have.
Later, Jack told someone over the phone that he hadn't checked the news. He pulled up an online article, and he stared at a headline about Mergeron Enterprises being up for sale.
Gloria met Kevin at the coffeehouse and griped that he'd pulled her away from her job. She asked if Chloe had been found, but Kevin informed Gloria that he'd summoned her there about Bella. Gloria assumed that the girl was sick, and she rambled about keeping Bella away so Gloria didn't catch whatever it was. Kevin reported that Bella was fine except for missing her mother, and Gloria conceded that Chloe had been a loving mom. Gloria added that it would be awful for the child to grow up without either parent. Kevin announced that Bella wouldn't, since he'd turned out to be her biological father.
Gloria calmly accepted the news, and Kevin was freaked out that she hadn't said a word about how it permanently connected him to Chloe. Gloria proclaimed that if he was happy, then she was happy for him, and he stammered that she would be an interesting grandma to her first granddaughter. Gloria took his hand and sincerely pledged to do her best, and she promised that they would give the little girl the best family they could. Kevin wished he could talk to Chloe one more time to let her know Bella was his and how happy he was about it.
Cane entered the Brash & Sassy office and stared at Billy. Cane flashed back to eavesdropping on Billy assuring Phyllis that she was the only woman in his life. Cane remarked that Billy was there early, and Billy reported that he was wrapping up work from the night before. Cane commented that it had been a good night to get to know one another better, but Billy grumbled that he knew enough about Cane. Cane implied that he had new insights about Billy.
Cane said he'd observed that Billy and Victoria had been getting closer, and it was a shame Jill hadn't been there to see it. Billy didn't buy that Cane suddenly cared, but Cane pushed to know whether something was going on between Billy and Victoria. Billy cryptically stated that they might be getting back together or that they might just be playing nice for the kids. Cane suggested that Billy go against his natural instinct and tell the truth.
Later, Cane and Billy argued over what information to include in a press release. Victoria asked to speak to Billy alone, and Cane stepped out of the conference room. Victoria happily relayed that Johnny's teacher had informed her that Johnny had made a birthday card for a new student who'd been having a hard time making friends. Cane watched them through the window, and he heard Billy's phone chime with a text message. Cane covertly looked at it and discovered an urgent message from Phyllis, summoning Billy to the elevator.
Billy asked if Cane had seen his phone, and Cane fibbed that he hadn't. Billy found it and read Phyllis' message, and he stepped out. Cane waited a moment then followed. Billy stepped onto the elevator with Phyllis, and she stopped the car and demanded to know why he'd lied to her about not being able to tell Victoria the truth because Nikki was sick.
Phyllis spat that she had proof that Nikki wasn't ill, and she angrily inquired whether Billy was trying to play her and Victoria against one another. Billy swore that it had been what Victoria had told him, and he didn't know who was lying, but he hadn't concocted anything. Phyllis reiterated that she wouldn't be the other woman. Billy tried to pull her into a kiss, but she backed away and hissed at him to stop it.
Phyllis chided Billy for kissing her every time she got angry, and she demanded the truth. Billy stood very close and swore that he couldn't stand that they had to lie about being together, since he couldn't stop thinking about her, and he never wanted to let go. They kissed passionately.
Meanwhile, Cane returned to the office and suggested that Victoria get going to make her meeting with the lawyers, claiming that there had been a big accident that had caused a traffic delay. She hurried out, and he followed her to the elevator. She fretted when the call button wouldn't light up, and he offered to call maintenance.
As Victoria prepared to take the stairs, Cane reported that someone had locked the elevator, but maintenance was overriding it. The elevator doors suddenly opened, and Victoria was stunned when she saw Billy and Phyllis kissing inside.
Abandonment issues arise with Dina’s return>
At Jabot, the elevator doors opened, and Victoria was shocked when she saw Billy and Phyllis kissing. Billy explained that that wasn't the way he'd wanted Victoria to find out. Lily arrived and asked if everything was all right, but Cane suggested they leave.
Victoria exclaimed that Billy continued to hurt her. Phyllis asked how many times Victoria had hurt Billy. Phyllis admitted that she'd always cared for Billy. She said that Billy deserved much more than Victoria was capable of giving him. Phyllis wasn't thrilled about an audience, but she wasn't ashamed of what she had with Billy. Phyllis wanted Billy as much as Billy wanted her. Victoria asked Billy if that was what he wanted. Billy hesitated to respond, so Phyllis stated that Billy and Victoria needed to talk. She said she'd be at Jabot if Billy wanted to talk to her, and she left.
Billy told Victoria that he'd tried to be the man she'd wanted him to be for her and their children, but it had never been enough. He reminded her that she'd told him that she didn't want anything to do with him romantically. Victoria countered that because she'd turned Billy away, he'd immediately jumped into Phyllis' bed.
Billy and Victoria stormed into the Brash & Sassy office, still arguing. Victoria asked how long Billy and Phyllis had been sneaking around and hiding it from her and Jack. Billy admitted he'd tried to tell her, but she'd told him about Nikki's MS, and he'd wanted to spare her any additional drama. Victoria called him noble for protecting her from the truth. Victoria admitted that Billy had told her to leave things alone, but she hadn't listened -- she'd had to push it. She realized how stupid she'd been.
Billy admitted that he and Phyllis hadn't been a couple very long. He asked Victoria if she had hoped he'd wait around until she'd changed her mind. Victoria admitted she'd said some things she hadn't meant and had regretted them. She claimed she'd apologized as soon as she could, but obviously, it hadn't been soon enough, or Billy just didn't care because he was back in Phyllis' bed. Victoria said she didn't know which one of them was more pathetic.
Billy admitted he'd wanted to be with her. Victoria lamented that they'd been in a good place. Billy pointed out that she'd kept him at arm's length. Victoria admitted she'd been cautious because of everything they'd been through. She'd admitted she'd slowed things down. Billy argued that Victoria had slammed on the brakes. He felt she didn't want him. Victoria said she did. Billy asked why she'd said the opposite -- twice. He'd had no idea that she'd needed more time to be sure.
Billy said that rather than explaining, Victoria had pushed him away and said she didn't want him. He understood that she didn't want to get hurt again. He admitted they couldn't keep doing what they'd been doing. Frustrated, Victoria said that Billy had made it very clear that he was done with her and that he wanted Phyllis. Victoria hoped Billy didn't expect her to beg for him. She said she needed to reschedule a meeting, so if Billy had someplace to be, he should go there.
In the lab at Brash & Sassy, Lily and Cane saw Billy and Victoria arguing. Cane felt Victoria wouldn't put up with Billy's garbage anymore, which meant that Billy couldn't throw his weight around anymore. Lily asked if Cane thought that was a good thing for him. Cane felt he wouldn't have to jockey for position because Victoria knew that Cane could deliver. Lily noted that Cane wasn't upset that Billy was in a bad place. Cane stated that Billy was a chronic screw-up, and the truth had finally been revealed. Lily told him that Victoria would suffer because of it. Cane felt Victoria was better off without Billy -- personally and professionally.
Billy stormed out of Victoria's office. Lily said she was sorry and walked away. Billy warned Cane not to say anything. Cane said he just wanted to talk to Victoria. Billy said Victoria needed time and didn't need to hear Cane gloating because Billy was a jackass. Cane said he wasn't gloating, but he cared about Victoria and the company. Billy called Cane "a smug, self-righteous..." Cane dared Billy to finish that sentence. Billy said he felt sorry for Lily. Cane exploded and accused Billy of talking about Cane's life after Billy had blown up his own -- like he always did.
Later, Cane suggested that Victoria take a few days off, but she refused. Cane said he'd really thought that Victoria and Billy would reconcile. Cane again suggested that Victoria take a few days off. She said she wouldn't let Billy run her out of her own business. Victoria said she knew where she stood and advised Cane that she'd be relying on him more. Cane assured her he would be there for her for whatever she needed.
Abby walked into Victor's office and welcomed him back from his trip. She was curious where he'd been. Victor sidestepped the question and advised her that he'd reviewed Abby's work while he'd been away. He was very pleased, and she'd done great work. Victor asked if Abby knew that her grandmother, Dina Mergeron, had put her company up for sale. Abby was unaware. Victor was surprised that neither Ashley nor Jack had told Abby about the sale. Abby asked if Victor was planning on making a move on Mergeron. Victor felt it was a good time to make a large acquisition.
Abby admitted she'd never met Dina, and no one ever spoke about her. Abby had forgotten she'd had a grandmother. Victor asked if Abby had heard stories. Abby admitted that she'd known Dina had abandoned Ashley, Jack, and Traci when they'd been very young. Abby said that Ashley never spoke of Dina. Victor said he'd resented his own mother for putting him into an orphanage, but they had reconciled when his mother had been on her deathbed. Abby noted that Victor's mother had wanted him to have a roof over his head and food in his belly, things his mother hadn't been able to provide. Dina had abandoned her family for selfish reasons and had never given a second thought to the family she'd left behind.
Victor described Dina as a complicated, tough woman, who needed to be the center of attention and always had a good-looking guy on her arm. Abby asked what kind of woman left her husband and family for another man and a new life. Victor admitted that John and his family had deserved better. Victor noted that Dina's name would show up in business news, and it would remind Jack, Ashley, and Traci of the unpleasant times. Abby said those were times she knew nothing about. Victor suggested it was probably better that way.
On the jet and almost in Paris, Devon and Neil discussed the business plan they wanted to present to Dina. Neil said it wasn't just about the price -- they had to convince Dina that they were the right stewards to carry on her business. Devon would leave the pitching to Neil. Neil warned that there were no guarantees that they would close the deal. He also warned Devon not to get his hopes up. Devon knew there would be other offers, but he felt their money would be as good as, if not better than, anyone else's, since they had so much that was liquid.
Neil said it wasn't just about a bank account. When a company was privately owned, it was personal -- like Victor with Newman Enterprises, Jack with Jabot, and Devon's grandmother with Chancellor Industries. The same applied to Dina. She'd had the company for decades, and it was her blood, sweat, and tears. Devon felt that Dina would want to make sure that her hard work was respected and her legacy protected. Neil didn't know what Dina wanted from a buyer or how she expected Mergeron to evolve. He warned that no matter how strong their offer was, there was no surefire way of getting inside Dina Mergeron.
In Paris, Neil and Devon met with Dina, who was accompanied by Graham. Dina noted that the Hamilton-Winters Group was a new endeavor. Neil informed her that he and Dina had crossed paths many years before but had never had the chance to get acquainted. Neil said he knew Dina's family quite well, and they had a lot of mutual friends. Neil told Dina that he'd held the top executive positions with Newman Enterprises and Jabot. Dina said she was very familiar with both companies, but they were there to talk about her company.
Dina advised that she had other attractive offers from other companies and asked why Hamilton-Winters should take the prize. Neil stated that with their power and drive, they planned to be the next powerhouse company -- modern and streamlined. Their focus was on creativity and innovation. Dina asked if they thought her "old school" company would be a good fit for them. Neil felt her company was established, and it was anything but old. Under her leadership, her company had stayed cutting edge -- it always adjusted and maneuvered, from trade policies to her approach to new technologies.
Dina was impressed that they'd done their homework. She stated that their company was barely in the conceptual stage, and it gave her pause that Mergeron would be their first acquisition. She thanked them for their time, but Neil stopped her. He said he didn't know who else Dina was meeting, but he assured her that the others wouldn't do for her what the Hamilton-Winters' Group would -- build on her legacy. Dina said she'd take that into consideration and was about to leave again.
Devon stopped Dina. He knew the Hamilton-Winters Group wasn't another Newman Enterprises or Mergeron yet, and Devon understood Dina's reservations about handing her company to them. Devon said that Neil had earned all his titles, degrees, and experience. Devon admitted he hadn't earned his money -- it had been handed to him in an inheritance that he'd never foreseen. That was exactly why he was determined to do right by it. Devon said he had believed that was what she would have wanted.
Dina asked "She?" Devon explained he'd been speaking of his grandmother. He stated that he had been an adult by the time he'd learned that they were related. After she'd passed, she'd left the bulk of her estate to him. Devon said he had always wanted to do something with the money that would make Katherine Chancellor proud. Dina was stunned to learn that Devon was Katherine Chancellor's grandson. She asked Devon to tell her more.
Ashley walked into Jack's office. He showed her the Mergeron sale announcement. Ashley acted indifferent. Jack asked why Ashley wasn't curious about the sale. Ashley said that as long as that woman stayed away from her, she didn't "give a damn" what happened to Dina or her company. She walked out.
Later, Gloria paid Jack a visit and announced that she was Bella's grandmother. She explained that Billy and Kevin had taken a DNA test after receiving letters from Chloe stating one of them was Bella's father, and Kevin was Bella's match. Gloria was concerned about Kevin. She said that Kevin was happy because he'd planned on adopting Bella after the wedding.
Gloria wanted to help Kevin, but she was worried what would happen when Bella discovered that her mother had abandoned her. She was afraid Bella would grow up feeling she wasn't good enough, and then she'd find out that her mother was a murderer as well. Gloria said she needed to be brave and strong for Kevin -- all the qualities she'd lacked when she had failed to protect her boys when they'd needed her most. Gloria was afraid that trait would emerge in Kevin. Jack credited Gloria for making her family whole again.
Jack showed Gloria the Mergeron announcement. Gloria had never met Dina, but John had spoken of her. She'd heard that Dina had been a selfish and cold woman. Gloria was sorry for what Dina had done to Jack and his sisters. She said that Jack was entitled to hurt and shouldn't have had to read about the sale of his mother's company online.
Jack said he didn't care. He and his sisters had had a father who had been both parents, and they'd had a mother who hadn't cared. Gloria realized that Jack had never let go of the hurt of being abandoned and realized that that had been the reason Jack had gone through so many women. Jack said that he'd done most of the leaving. Gloria knew that Dina would be in the news in the upcoming days and that Jack would read every word. Jack stated that the wounds had healed, but the scars would always remain.
Phyllis rushed into Ravi's office and found Lauren there. Lauren admitted that Michael had informed her that Phyllis and Billy were together. Phyllis admitted that she'd gotten what she'd wanted -- in the worst possible way. Phyllis said that Victoria deserved to know where Phyllis and Billy stood. Lauren asked if Jack knew. Phyllis admitted that Jack was in a different place and was over their breakup.
Phyllis told Lauren that she wanted a normal life with Billy, but normal might be too much for Billy. Phyllis was concerned that Billy was with her only because Victoria had turned him down. Lauren suggested that Phyllis take a step back, but Phyllis feared that if she did, she'd lose Billy. Lauren told Phyllis to fight for Billy and not to settle for anything less than Phyllis deserved.
Billy found Phyllis in Ravi's office and advised her it was done. Phyllis admitted she'd been hiding, but she felt Billy had done the right thing. Phyllis blamed herself for insisting they meet in the elevator. Billy said it had been his fault. There was something between him and Phyllis, and they could finally be together for real. Phyllis agreed, and they embraced.
At the bar at the Athletic Club, Ashley recalled a conversation with Dina from years before. In the memory, Dina told Ashley that she'd never wanted to reveal that Brent Davis had been Ashley's father. Dina said she'd have given her life to protect that secret. Ashley wondered if Dina had had any idea what Ashley had gone through, knowing her father had been a drunken slob. Dina said that no matter what, Ashley had been brought into the world with love, but Ashley corrected her and said it had been a betrayal to John, his children, and Ashley. She asked if Dina had any idea what she'd taken away from Ashley. Ashley added that everything that had left Dina's mouth had been a lie.
Victor's arrival snapped Ashley out of her memory. Victor gushed about the terrific job Abby had done in his absence. Ashley advised Victor to treat Abby right, or Ashley would steal Abby away from him. Victor said Abby was like Ashley -- hardworking, determined, and unwilling to let anything get in her way. Ashley loved Abby, who was the most important person in the world to her. Abby would always be her little girl, no matter how successful she became. Victor pointed out that Dina had felt that way about Ashley. Ashley asked how long Victor had been waiting to say that to her. Victor said only since he'd read the business news.
Victor said he had noticed a faraway look in Ashley's eyes when he'd arrived. He knew Ashley had been thinking about Dina. Victor asked if Ashley and Jack had had any idea that Dina had planned sell her company. Ashley admitted they hadn't. She said that Dina hadn't contacted them about anything and asked why she would start. Victor said that Dina had run that company for thirty years, and he wondered why she was about to sell it. Ashley suggested that Victor give Dina a call and chat -- one mogul to another.
Phyllis and Billy tell Jack the truth
On Devon's private jet in Paris, Dina confirmed that she and Katherine had been very dear friends who had lost touch. Dina mentioned that she'd read that Katherine had found a grandson late in life, but she hadn't anticipated finding Devon there with Neil, trying to buy her company. Dina expected Devon to tell her that Katherine had taken him under her wing and taught him all he needed to know about business, and she questioned why she should trust him. Devon revealed that in the beginning, he'd wanted nothing to do with Katherine.
Devon figured that there was no point in trying to hide anything, since Dina would do her own research on him. Devon explained that he and Katherine hadn't gotten along at first, but she'd eventually worn him down and taught him some things. Dina asked Neil what Devon had been like as a child, and Neil revealed that Devon had been a foster child who'd had some hard knocks. Dina thought the fact that Katherine had left an immense inheritance to a very young man who she'd only known a short time said a lot about Devon, and Devon confided that he'd struggled with what to do with the money.
Devon thought Katherine had left him the money to make a phenomenal contribution to the world, but Dina thought the statement sounded rehearsed. Devon recounted that he'd been saying it to himself a lot, especially after he'd been in a car crash that had almost claimed his life. Neil explained that they were buying successful companies to take them to the next level, and Devon added that he wanted to use his grandmother's bequest to make a positive difference. Dina admired Devon's connection with Katherine, but she stood firm about considering other offers. Devon inquired why Dina was selling the company, and she cryptically replied that it was the right time. Dina's attendant escorted her out.
Devon figured that he and Neil had given it their best shot, but he didn't think Dina would accept their offer. Neil pointed out that they'd known going in that she'd entertain other offers, and he refused to give up until they got a definitive no.
At GC Buzz, Mariah complained that Hilary had cut all of Mariah's segments from the show, and she chided Hilary for not denying herself a second of her own airtime. Hilary curtly stated that the show was called The Hilary Hour, but Mariah suspected that it was payback because Mariah was dating Devon. The women bickered, and Hilary snapped that Devon was only into Mariah because he was on the rebound, but he would tire of Mariah soon enough. Mariah taunted that Hilary was familiar with the experience. Hilary retorted that she knew what Devon liked, adding, "And honey, it ain't you."
Mariah figured that Hilary felt the need to put down Mariah and Devon's relationship because it killed Hilary that they were good together. Mariah theorized that Hilary had a dreamy image of Devon pining after her when he was really too busy hanging out with Mariah and working on his company. Mariah declared that the divorce had given Devon confidence and focus, and she announced that he was making his first big acquisition. Hilary crowed that she knew all about his new company, but Mariah wondered if Hilary knew that he'd flown to Paris on his private jet. Mariah determined from Hilary's stunned reaction that Hilary didn't know everything about her ex anymore.
Mariah relayed that Devon was psyched about his acquisition target because it owned the largest music streaming service in Europe, and he'd flown to Paris to make an offer. "Enough!" Hilary bellowed, and Mariah teased that it bugged Hilary that Mariah knew much more about Devon's life than Hilary did. Hilary scowled.
On The Hilary Hour, Hilary suggested talking about something light, like a shopping spree or her personal style. Mariah countered that if Hilary was keeping it real, she needed to be honest about why her style was evolving -- there was a new man in Hilary's life. Mariah remarked that Hilary might be really interested in the guy or just rebounding after her divorce. Hilary proclaimed that she was completely over her ex-husband and pressing forward with an exciting new man, since there was life after divorce. Hilary gazed into the camera and told her audience to keep it between them that Mariah was stuck squarely in the "friend zone."
At the Abbott mansion, Ashley hugged Abby hello, and she mentioned that she'd run into Victor, who'd indicated that he'd been impressed by Abby's hard work. Ashley sensed that something was wrong, and Abby hesitantly asked why she didn't know her only living grandparent. Abby relayed that Victor had told her that Dina was selling her company, and it was all over the business news. Abby recognized that Ashley had never talked about Dina, and she imagined that Ashley had bad feelings toward her mother. Ashley spat that Dina had walked out on their entire family.
Ashley explained that she hadn't talked about Dina with Abby because any normal child would want to meet their grandmother, and Abby would have been disappointed. Ashley pointed out that Dina had never reached out to Abby, and Ashley hadn't wanted to take the chance that Dina would turn her back on Abby the way Dina had done to Ashley. Ashley added that Dina had never acknowledged Abby or any of them, since Dina had no room in her life for anyone but herself.
Abby apologized for upsetting Ashley, who invited her to stay for dinner. Abby declined because she wanted to be available at the office, since Victor had returned from his trip. Abby revealed that she'd learned a lot about herself during her stint as acting CEO, including that she wasn't afraid to make decisions. Ashley pressed for details, but Abby simply thanked Ashley for always loving and supporting her. The doorbell rang, and Ashley invited Ravi in.
Ravi offered to put off working on Jabot Go if the women needed to spend time together, but Abby received a text message from Victor and had to leave. After Abby departed, Ravi noted that Ashley seemed stressed, and he thought he could help. Ravi instructed Ashley on how to meditate, but she complained that forced relaxation didn't work for her. He encouraged her not to give up, and he began to rub her shoulders. He recalled his former employer having lunchtime mindfulness training to help employees be less tense and more focused.
Ashley doubted she could calm her mind, since she thought of a thousand things when it was quiet. Ravi advised that it took patience and practice, just like everything in life. He asked if she felt less stressed, and she replied that it had helped a little, but she suspected it wouldn't last. He told her the goal was to escape out of the body and mind, but she lamented that there were some things she couldn't escape from, no matter how hard she tried.
Dina concluded a call with a potential buyer, and she agreed to take the generous offer under consideration. She stared at a photo of Ashley and Ravi, and she flashed back to telling Ashley that she understood how much Ashley hated her. Dina had conceded that her mistakes had been unspeakable, but Ashley wouldn't have ever been conceived if Dina hadn't been involved with Brent, and she had refused to apologize to anyone for Ashley's existence.
Billy and Phyllis kissed in Ravi's office, and she asked if he was really ready for a relationship with her. Billy replied that he wouldn't be in the middle of the lion's den at Jabot if he wasn't sure. Phyllis admitted that she was anxious after she'd seen Victoria looking horrified and humiliated. Billy joked that the timing might have been worse if the elevator doors had opened a minute later, but Phyllis thought it had been more than bad timing.
Billy regretted that he hadn't anticipated Victoria leaving for her meeting outside the office, but Phyllis thought it was good that the truth had surfaced. Billy admitted that he felt relieved, but he wished he'd told Victoria sooner to avoid her finding out the way she had. Phyllis understood that Billy hadn't wanted to dump it on Victoria with Nikki being ill, and she declared that the elevator had set them free. Billy contemplated what would happen when they left the room, since they still had to face Jack, Ashley, and the rest of Genoa City. Billy asked if he and Phyllis were ready for it.
In Jack's office, Gloria handed Jack a file with her ideas for the women's line. He pointed out that it was Ashley's area, and Gloria hoped that he would serve as a go-between so that Ashley would give her a shot. Jack closed the door and revealed that Ashley knew about their relationship, and Gloria assumed that she was fired. Gloria questioned why Jack had told Ashley about their fling after they'd been careful to keep it private, but Jack reasoned that Michael and Phyllis had already known and that secrets didn't stay secrets for long.
Gloria huffed that she wouldn't stay employed because Ashley hated her, and she moved to pack up her desk. Jack incredulously asked if Gloria thought he'd let Ashley get rid of her when it was his decision to make, and he believed that Ashley had seen Gloria's good work, regardless of how she felt about Gloria. Gloria thanked him and said she'd remember that when she was being escorted out of the building. Gloria suspected that Ashley would use Gloria and Jack's mutually beneficial friendship to force him out as CEO and take over herself.
Billy and Phyllis entered Jack's office, and Jack groaned that it couldn't be good. Gloria offered to show them out, but Billy proclaimed that it wouldn't take long. Phyllis added that they wanted Jack to hear it from them, and Jack told them to spare him the platitudes and just tell him whether it had been going on all along. Phyllis swore that she and Billy hadn't been hiding anything, but she and Billy were unexpectedly back together. Jack sourly realized that it explained why she'd recently pushed him to forgive Billy, and he asked if he was supposed to be surprised by the truth.
Phyllis argued that she and Billy were unattached adults who were free to be with whomever they wanted, just like Jack and Gloria were. Gloria barked that she and Jack hadn't hurt anyone, and Billy acknowledged that he and Phyllis had hurt people, but he was done sacrificing his happiness for people who didn't want him to be happy. Billy continued that he and Phyllis were done hiding it, and what they had was real. Jack growled that Billy hadn't cared about Jack's feelings when Jack had been married to Phyllis, and he doubted that Billy cared about Jack's reaction then. Jack declared that they were done, and he returned to work at his desk. Phyllis and Billy silently exited.
Later, Phyllis returned to Jack's office to talk to him alone. He snapped that she hadn't needed to bother softening the blow, since she was single and free do whatever she wanted. Jack banned Billy from stepping onto the floor again, and Phyllis recognized that Jack was angry. Jack asserted that he'd moved on with his life, just like she had with his brother, and he said Phyllis and Billy deserved one another. Phyllis pushed to talk about her relationship with Jack, but he flatly stated that it was defunct. She noted that she'd been starting to think they were friends, and she hoped they still could be.
Jack warned that Billy wasn't good with relationships, but Phyllis countered that she and Jack hadn't had much success, either. Jack wondered what would be different that time, since Billy was still the same screw-up. Phyllis figured that she and Billy had both tried to reunite with their respective spouses, but it hadn't worked, and they'd continued to have strong feelings for one another. Jack inquired whether Victoria knew, and Phyllis acknowledged that it was painful because Billy still had to work with Victoria. Phyllis hoped Jack would be okay, and he sarcastically suggested that they be friends and shake on it. She swore that she wanted him to be happy, but she thought he wouldn't be until he forgave his brother.
At Brash & Sassy, Cane offered his assistance to Victoria, and he suggested that she take some time off after being blindsided by Billy and Phyllis. Victoria noted that it hadn't been the first time Billy had let her down, and she was sure it wouldn't be the last. Cane asked why she kept Billy around, and Victoria replied that her kids were her motivation. Cane implied that being a good dad wasn't enough reason for Billy to keep working there.
Cane expressed concern that there would be a change in the atmosphere because Billy had been exposed. Victoria contended that Billy was a single man who could date whoever he wanted, but Cane countered that they worked in close quarters. Cane conceded that Billy had helped the company, but he thought Billy had also hurt Brash & Sassy and Victoria. Victoria asserted that she was adept at separating her personal and professional lives, and Cane promised to be there for her if she needed him to pick up the slack. Juliet walked in as Cane tenderly touched Victoria's arm, and she asked if she'd missed something.
Victoria discussed the content of a press release with Cane, Billy, and Juliet. Billy wanted to tweak the wording because it sounded too flowery, and Cane objected. Cane was irritated when Victoria sided with Billy. Once alone, Billy thanked Victoria for agreeing with him. She scoffed at the idea that she'd ignore his good ideas to punish him because he was with Phyllis, and she grumbled that she wasn't the wicked witch that people seemed to think she was. Victoria conceded that she would have preferred to find out in a less embarrassing way, and Billy swore that they'd still raise their kids as a team.
Victoria queried how Phyllis felt about it, and Billy replied that Phyllis knew how much he loved his kids. Victoria invited Billy to spend as much time with the children as he wanted, but she requested that he not include Phyllis at first, since Victoria had learned the hard way with Travis that it could be a mistake. Billy understood that it could be confusing, and he insisted that it wouldn't be a problem. Victoria noted that Johnny and Katie had been getting accustomed to spending time as a family, and she hoped they weren't too disappointed to see Billy alone. Billy was confident that they'd handle it, and Victoria got back to work.
Phyllis stopped by to see Billy at the office and suggested that they celebrate their relationship officially being public knowledge. He agreed that it was worth celebrating, and they prepared to go to the Athletic Club. She asked if he was happy, and he replied that he was. They started to head out, but they noticed Victoria watching them. Phyllis and Billy paused for a moment then exited.
Cane sipped a drink at the Athletic Club bar. Jack approached and ordered a scotch, and Cane surmised that it had been a rough day. Jack announced that his brother and his ex-wife were reuniting, but at least they'd been kind enough to tell him to his face. Jack added that he and Phyllis were divorced, so she could do whatever she wanted, but he and Billy had barely been talking, and nothing had changed there. Cane recalled that Jill had bought Brash & Sassy to help Billy and Victoria get back together, and Jack thought the couple had been getting closer until Billy had screwed up like he always did.
Cane grumbled that he'd love to wipe the smug look off Billy's face, and he informed Jack about Billy rubbing his successful hockey deal in Cane's face. Jack confided that Billy had played dirty to close the deal, and Cane wished Billy had the decency to quit so Victoria wouldn't be forced to work with him. Cane questioned how Brash & Sassy was supposed to thrive in that kind of situation, and Jack anticipated that it wouldn't as long as Billy was on board.
Jack thought no one would blame Victoria if she fired Billy, but Cane thought she didn't want to look vindictive, and Billy had actually been doing a good job. Jack coyly noted that if something went wrong that Billy was responsible for, Victoria would fire him for cause, and he expected that Billy would screw things up sooner or later. Jack insinuated that Cane should make sure it happened sooner rather than later, since Cane would be doing Victoria and the company a big favor. Cane clinked his glass against Jack's and looked thoughtful.
Hilary gets a rude awakening
Scott arrived at the Athletic Club bar in response to Victor's summons, prepared to discuss the biography. Victor ordered a double shot of tequila for Scott, and Billy and Phyllis walked in and spotted them. Phyllis suggested that she and Billy go someplace else. However, Billy contended that the night was about them, and he refused to let Victor ruin their celebration. Scott praised that it might be the best tequila he'd ever tasted, and he declared that he was primed to discuss whatever Victor wanted to talk about.
Phyllis told Billy about Fenmore's home furnishings app, but she realized that he wasn't listening. She said customers could add a naked picture of her in any room of their choosing, and he snapped to attention. Phyllis volunteered to switch seats so that Victor wouldn't distract him, but Billy insisted on taking one for the team. Billy added that staring at her was the only view he wanted, and everything else would go away. She teased that he was smooth when he lied through his teeth, but he looked good doing it.
Scott spied Phyllis, and Victor was surprised that they were acquainted. Scott downplayed it by mentioning that she ran online marketing for Fenmore's, and Victor called her an acquired taste that was more easily acquired by some than others. Victor approached Billy and Phyllis and observed that they seemed cozy. Victor sensed a certain intimacy between them, and Billy confirmed that he and Phyllis were together and that Jack already knew. Billy surmised that Victor wanted to know what it meant for Victoria, and Victor declared that it was good news for his daughter.
Victor inquired whether the news coincided with Billy's departure from Brash & Sassy, but Billy reported that he had a solid working relationship with Victoria. Victor was skeptical that she had approved of the partnership with the hockey league, but Billy swore that she was ecstatic about it. Billy pointed out that he'd always be in Victoria's life because they had kids and a history together, and there was nothing Victor could do about it. Victor returned to the bar.
Phyllis was impressed that Billy hadn't taken the bait, but he preferred to get out of there. She thought the worst was over, but he grumbled that she underestimated his ability to be in the same room with Victor. Victor watched them leave. Scott mentioned that he had some book-related questions, but Victor announced that the reason he'd asked Scott there was to tell him that there wasn't going to be a book.
Scott referred to Nikki's concerns about the book, and he asked whether it had really been Victor's choice to shelve the project. Victor recognized that he should have made the call earlier, and he intended to compensate Scott in full. Scott hesitated to accept payment for services he hadn't rendered, especially since the book had been his attempt to repay his debt to Victor. Victor was sure that Scott could use his excellent skills somewhere else, and he thanked Scott for meeting him. After Victor left, Scott chugged his drink and looked disconcerted.
At Victoria's home, Victoria informed Nick that she'd found out about Billy and Phyllis' reunion when the elevator doors had opened. Nick sympathized because Victoria had been hoping for another shot with Billy, and Victoria thought even the kids had noticed that things had been improving between her and Billy. She ranted that she'd been making excuses to push Billy away because she'd been living a lie, and she blamed Victor. Nick reiterated that they had no choice but to protect Victor to save their family, but Victoria griped that Victor remained untouched and in control while the rest of them were paying the price.
Nick said he'd never thought Phyllis and Billy would be a thing again, and Victoria asked what it was about Phyllis that lured men in. Nick imagined that he'd gotten together with Phyllis because of the timing of his breakup with Sharon after Cassie's death. Victoria groaned that his answer was incredibly unhelpful, and he suggested that she talk to Billy to tell him how she felt. Victoria thought Billy considered her to be judgmental and uptight, and Nick implied that perhaps she and Billy shouldn't be together. He warned that looking for tips on how to be more like Phyllis wasn't the way to get Billy back.
Nick contended that Phyllis was Phyllis but that Victoria was unique, and he encouraged Victoria to do what she did best -- fight for what she wanted. He reminded her that she'd done it with Brash & Sassy, and he thought she could do it with Billy -- but not by trying to "out-Phyllis Phyllis." Nick pointed out that Victoria was the woman who Billy had fallen in love with over and over again and who Billy was raising his kids with. Victoria thanked Nick, and he left to meet Chelsea.
Katie called for her mommy, and Victoria wondered what she was doing awake. Victoria asked if the girl didn't feel well, and Katie presented her with a hand-drawn picture of their family. Katie pointed to her daddy in the drawing, and Victoria asked if Katie couldn't sleep because she missed him. Victoria suggested that they call him to say goodnight.
Billy and Phyllis returned to her place. She lamented that the night hadn't gone as they'd imagined, but she figured that they would have run into Victor sooner or later, and it was over. Phyllis handed Billy a glass of wine and noted that they'd dealt with the big three -- Jack, Victoria, and Victor -- so it had to get easier from that point on. Billy stared at the television, and Phyllis turned it off and asked if he was thinking that they'd made a mistake.
Billy and Phyllis canoodled on the couch, and he was adamant that he was there because it was where he wanted to be. They kissed, and she protested when his phone rang. He saw that the call was from Victoria, and he promised to be quick. Victoria hoped she wasn't interrupting, and she explained that Katie was missing him and wouldn't go to sleep until she talked to her daddy. Billy blew kisses to Katie over the phone, and Katie pretended to catch them. Phyllis left the room as Billy told Katie that he'd try to be there the next night.
Billy couldn't wait to see Katie's picture, and Katie said she loved him. He asked if she thought she'd be able to sleep, and she said yes. Victoria took the phone and apologized for bugging him, but he swore that it was never a bother to say goodnight to his little girl. He acknowledged that the day hadn't been easy, but Johnny and Katie were what always mattered most. Victoria was glad they both felt the same way, and she wished him a good night.
Phyllis returned to the room, clad in a sexy black negligee, and she asked if everything was okay. Ogling Phyllis, Billy replied that everything was fine. She promised that they'd get everything back on track, starting with christening the place that night as the new normal for them. She proclaimed that they were together and that no one would change that. She whipped off his shirt, and they fell onto the couch in a passionate embrace.
At the Newman ranch, Nikki reviewed some plans for the upcoming gala, and she noticed some discrepancies between the seating chart and the number of tickets purchased. Tessa admitted that she'd made the mistake, and Nikki assured her that it was no big deal because they'd caught it early. Tessa confided that she might have made a few more errors, since she wasn't as familiar with the computer programs as she'd hoped she'd be. Nikki guessed that Tessa didn't really have any office experience, and Tessa surmised that she was fired.
Nikki declared that Tessa was stuck with her, and Tessa was stunned that Nikki wasn't mad. Tessa promised that she'd figure things out, and Nikki was glad because she needed and liked Tessa. Tessa marveled that Nikki barely knew her, yet Nikki let her work in the Newman house. Nikki recognized that the job was just to survive while Tessa was getting her career together, and she admired that Tessa was willing to take the steps to make success happen.
Nikki assumed that Tessa wanted to wrap things up to get to open mic night at the Underground, and she offered to drive Tessa there if Tessa let her stay and watch the show. Tessa doubted that Nikki had nothing better to do, but Nikki insisted that she loved watching Tessa perform. Nikki recalled what it had been like to be on stage, and Tessa wondered if Nikki missed dancing at the Bayou with men falling all over her. Nikki confessed that sometimes she missed the cheering and the applause.
Chelsea greeted Noah at the Underground, and he reported that Nick wasn't there yet. She prepared to find a good seat, since recent open mic nights had been standing room only. Noah credited Nick with letting him try out new stuff, and she called Nick a cool guy. Noah said she should see Nick's goofy side, and he showed her photos on his phone of Nick with Christian in the park. Noah remarked that it was awesome that his father had the little boy in his life, and Chelsea pointedly stated that she couldn't agree more.
Nikki arrived at the bar, and Noah deadpanned that he had to see her identification. Tessa joined them, and Noah was happy to see that she was becoming a regular. Tessa wanted to discuss her spot in the lineup, since she had a cool idea that she wanted to run by him first. Chelsea greeted Nikki, who said it was good to see her out. Chelsea admitted that things had been rough, but she was trying not to dwell on them.
Chelsea spotted Noah talking to Tessa, and she commented that it looked like he'd met a new friend. Nikki considered her grandson to be an excellent catch, but she said she was also fond of Tessa because she knew how to get what she wanted on her own terms. Meanwhile, Noah thought Tessa's idea was fantastic, and she stepped aside to tune up before her performance.
Chelsea sipped a drink, and she recognized Jordan when he entered the bar. They stared at one another for a moment, and he crossed over and stammered that it really was her. He asked if she was working a new gig in Genoa City, and she informed him that it was entirely new and not like the bad old days. Jordan fondly recalled that they'd had some good times being bad in their other life, but he was about as far away as he could be from that, since he was doing photography for Brash & Sassy. Chelsea revealed that she had created Chelsea 2.0, and he was stunned that she was that Chelsea.
Chelsea explained that she'd worked hard to become a completely different person, and she and Jordan agreed not to tell anyone about their former friendship and to pretend that they'd just met. Jordan stressed that he was done with the shady nonsense from his past, and he mused that she was still as beautiful as the day they'd met. He handed her one of his business cards, and she spotted Nick and hurried over to meet him. Chelsea greeted Nick with kisses, and he remarked that he needed to be late more often. He asked who she'd been talking to, and she replied that Brash & Sassy's new photographer seemed to be a nice guy.
Nikki noted that Noah had had quite a chat with Tessa earlier, but he reported that it had only been about open mic. He protested that it was hard to maintain an image with his grandmother playing Cupid, but he gazed at Tessa and conceded that Nikki knew how to pick them. Tessa gestured for Noah to take the stage, and he greeted the crowd and introduced Tessa. Tessa stepped to the stage and began to strum her guitar.
Tessa suddenly stopped and commented that the song would be better with someone on keyboard. She inquired whether there a keyboardist in the house, and she looked straight at Nikki and thought she saw one. Nikki balked, but people began clapping and cheering, and Nikki approached the stage. Nikki whispered that Tessa was in trouble, but she sat at the keyboard and happily joined in as Tessa began singing. Victor entered the bar and spotted Nikki playing on stage.
At GC Buzz, Hilary and Mariah finished taping a segment, and Hilary thanked her crew. Mariah chased after Hilary and warned that the audience would pick up on when Hilary trashed Mariah on the air the way Hilary just had. Hilary thought their banter about Mariah not knowing the difference between romantic interest and the "friend zone" was gold because everyone knew someone as "adorably clueless" as Mariah was. Mariah argued that Devon was legitimately interested in her. Hilary huffed that she'd been married to him and knew when he was into someone, but he was just hanging out with Mariah.
Mariah answered a call, and her face lit up with a smile as she told Devon that she hoped he was nearby, since she was free for the night. Devon said he had a special idea, and Mariah seemed thrilled when she heard what it was. Mariah agreed to look out for the private car he was sending for her, and she gushed that the night sounded amazing. Mariah giddily hung up, and she asked Hilary if they could table their conversation about Mariah being clueless about men, since she didn't want to be late for a ride with Devon on his private jet. Mariah added that she'd be sure to ask him if it was a date while they were flying by Hilary's hotel, and she headed out.
Hilary buried herself in work, and Jordan asked if it was a busy night. He invited her to get something to eat to make up for their last date turning out to be a Brash & Sassy team builder. He insisted that she deserved better, and he flirtatiously promised that it would be just the two of them that night. Hilary snapped that it wasn't a good night for her, since she was exhausted, and the show didn't produce itself. Taken aback, he suggested that they do it another time, and he headed out. She angrily threw her paperwork off the table.
Mariah boarded Devon's jet and imagined that it was how the one percent lived. She joked that she should have gone crazy with taking liquids on board, and Devon pointed out that they had plenty of Champagne. She guessed from the French label that it had been flown in directly from Paris, and he quipped that he'd picked some up when he'd been in the neighborhood. Mariah playfully asked if he was trying to seduce her, but Devon wanted to take her on a tour of the city first. He called the pilot and instructed him to zoom up really fast. They started to kiss, but they scrambled to their seats when the plane took off.
Later, Mariah marveled that the detour over Chicago had been amazing, and she wasn't ready to get out of her seat yet. Devon thought it was because she wanted to try out the massage capability on the chair, and she insisted on testing every luxury feature the plane had to offer in case she never got another chance to do so. Devon anticipated that they'd do it again soon, and Mariah envisioned taking the jet to the grocery store. Devon proposed a toast to her maiden voyage on a private jet, and she replied that he was the sweetest, most magical guy a maiden could hope for. They sipped their Champagne and kissed, and he toasted to a night full of firsts.
Hilary let herself into Devon's penthouse, and she spotted their wedding photo. She wistfully picked it up and flashed back to Devon dedicating the rest of his life to making her happiness his first priority. He'd asked her to marry him, and she'd said yes. She heard a key in the door, and she hurried to hide out of sight. A laughing Devon and Mariah entered, and he offered her a nightcap. Mariah purred that there was only one thing she was thirsty for, and she pulled him into a passionate kiss.
Mariah broke away from the kiss and insisted on saying something quick. She referred to leaving early the last time she'd been there because she hadn't wanted it to be about Hilary. Devon hoped that Mariah realized that what was going on with them had nothing to do with his ex-wife, and Mariah said she believed him. Mariah said she was there that night because she trusted him, and she knew that it wasn't about anyone but them.
Hilary squirmed as Devon and Mariah resumed kissing. The couple began to tear off one another's clothes, and they laughed as they headed upstairs. Hilary crumpled into tears as Mariah and Devon began to make love on the stairs.