At Crimson Lights, Scott noticed Sharon's obsessive interest in the GPS tracking app, which displayed the location of Alice's car. Scott warned Sharon not to place herself in danger by showing up at Alice's house. Sharon suggested that Scott employ his investigative skills to determine what Alice was up to. Scott said both he and Sharon should keep a safe distance and wait to see how events unfolded. Sharon nodded, picked up her cell phone, and continued monitoring the app.
After Sharon stepped away, Abby entered and lamented to Scott that her date had failed to show up and hadn't phoned or texted to let her know what had happened. Abby admitted that Scott had been right about avoiding office romances. Scott noted that because Abby had forged ahead anyway, she should've at least listened to Zack's excuse. Abby said, "You don't like Zack, and now you're standing up for him?" Scott said Abby evidently did care for Zack, or she wouldn't be upset. Scott recalled that Zack had even had Victor's seal of approval. Sharon returned before Abby grabbed a bag of cookies and left in a rush.
At the Athletic Club, Zack joined Abby and apologized for having stood her up. Abby asked Zack if his unacceptable behavior was typical of the way he treated women. Zack said it wasn't. Abby asked Zack where he'd been. Zack was contrite and noted that he intended to prove his respect for her by his actions.
Zack told Abby she was unlike any woman he'd ever known, and he yearned to impress her and make her proud. Zack insisted that he was fortunate to be with Abby because he'd felt so unworthy of her. Zack expressed gratefulness for the time he'd invested in creating DesignDate because the project had drawn them together. Abby told Zack that though she hadn't deserved to be stood up by him, they had a deep connection. Abby allowed Zack to kiss her on the lips before they left.
Outside Alice's house, Mariah pleaded with Tessa to be careful before she ventured to the front door. Inside the house, Tessa's sister, Crystal, nervously peered out a window before Alice approached. Crystal pleaded with Alice not to force her to leave. Alice assured Crystal that she'd be taken care of and explained that "the boss" believed the young woman deserved special treatment. Crystal remained uncertain that she'd be safe. Alice said, "You know I always take care of my girls, don't you? Well, you're one of my favorites. Everything will be fine." Alice herself seemed wary when she heard the sound of the doorbell. Before Alice answered the door, she sent Crystal to her room.
Alice opened the front door and was met by Tessa claiming she had arrived for Kaley's music lesson. Alice explained that no one named Kaley lived at the home. Tessa persisted, but Alice suggested that Tessa had the wrong address. From her room, Crystal listened to the muffled voices and seemed to recognize Tessa's. Crystal placed her hand over her mouth, but she stayed put. Tessa, still standing on the front porch, told Alice she needed to use the telephone. Alice adamantly refused. Tessa, frustrated, walked away.
Tessa returned to her car and told Mariah that Alice was the same woman Sharon had photographed. Tessa noted that Alice seemed nervous, as if she might be hiding something. Tessa recalled that Alice had remained collected. Mariah suggested that Alice knew that making a scene might draw attention. Tessa vowed not to give up, and she and Mariah drove away. Tessa continued to beat herself up for not doing more. Mariah said that at least Tessa was certain Alice was the woman Sharon had photographed. Tessa suddenly realized that Alice knew what she looked like, too. Tessa said she feared it might be too late to help Crystal.
After Tessa left, Crystal left her room and asked Alice why she was being sent away. Leon, a burly man with a menacing demeanor had shown up. Leon angrily asked Crystal if she was going to cause trouble. Alice nervously replied, "No, she isn't. Right, Crystal?"
After Leon took Crystal away, Alice gave Natalia a manicure. Natalia asked what had happened to Crystal. Alice sighed and said, "She couldn't stay." Natalia expressed her concern and said she liked Crystal very much. Alice said Natalia and Crystal were her favorite girls. Alice recalled that she'd once had her own little girl. Tears welled in Alice's eyes, and she added, "It's really very tragic. She died much too young."
At Sharon's house, Sharon told Scott that Tessa had asked her if Alice might be capable of "something like this." Scott replied, "You mean as a house mother for sex slaves?" Sharon said she wondered if Alice had adopted Cassie as an act of goodness, hoping that taking in a child might help fix problems in her own life. Sharon noted that Alice, not a deep thinker, might believe she was actually helping the girls and not exploiting them.
Sharon heard an alert on her phone. She checked the tracking app and noted that Alice's car was on the move. Scott noticed that Alice's car was headed toward the airport. Sharon said, "I don't care what Nick thinks. I want to go after her." Scott followed Sharon as she headed out the door.
In Jack's office at Jabot, Ashley entered as Jack was poring over a market report for Parker Beauty Products that Dina had prepared. Jack told Ashley that their mother had made sound suggestions about the best way to position the products. Ashley informed Jack that Dina had allowed Graham access to her company-issued laptop and her password. Ashley added that when confronted, Dina had had said that Graham had been a brilliant asset to Mergeron.
Jack angrily replied, "Mergeron is her company. Jabot is not. We have to handle this, right now!" Jack asked if perhaps Graham was using Dina for a grand plan that included corporate espionage. Ashley explained that Graham couldn't have known they would hire Dina and surely wouldn't risk losing his huge inheritance for a few company secrets. Jack noted that Graham wouldn't see his inheritance until after Dina died and might need some fast cash. Jack lamented that his plan to separate Dina from Graham had backfired.
Ashley told Jack that Dina had confided to Abby about the affair with Brent Davis. Jack was taken aback that Dina would reveal the affair with Brent Davis to her granddaughter. Ashley replied, "Not the part that he's my father, but she did tell Abby why she left us and what went on with Brent." Jack suggested that Dina believed telling her story would help Abby understand the relationship between Ashley and Dina.
Ashley became upset and recalled that she was the result of their mother's affair with a country club gigolo. Jack said it made no difference to him because Ashley wouldn't have been born otherwise. Ashley cried that she'd been consumed with thoughts of their mother's affair and Brent Davis. Ashley added, "I think I'm having an identity crisis." Ashley said she was grateful that both Abby and Ravi had helped her see Dina differently. Jack asked if Ashley had plans with Ravi. Ashley told Jack she'd leave him to speculate by himself, and she left.
In Dina's suite at the Genoa City Athletic Club, Ravi delivered Dina her updated laptop computer. Dina thanked Ravi and said that, unlike Ashley, he was thoughtful and considerate. Dina complained that Ashley believed her mother was too old and too stupid to know when she was being used. Ravi said he was certain Ashley's intentions were for the best. Dina replied, "Ashley said that? What else did she say?"
Ravi explained that Ashley didn't know Graham very well. Dina said she trusted Graham as much as Ashley trusted Ravi. Ravi replied, "I hope I never give her a reason not to trust me, just as I hope Graham never gives you one." Dina explained that Graham had returned to Paris to handle a situation with his apartment.
After Dina fell asleep, she had a disturbing dream about a heated conversation with Ashley that had occurred many years before. Dina had insisted that Brent Davis meant nothing to her. Ashley, a young woman at the time, had replied, "Well, obviously, he did at one time, mother. I mean, after all, he is my father. You know what that does to me when I think that drunken slob was your lover?" Ashley had cried that she wanted to know more about Brent because she shared his genes.
Dina tossed and turned fitfully as she continued to relive the hurtful encounter with Ashley in a dream. Ashley asked Dina if her alcoholic father had once wanted to claim her. Ashley cried that Brent Davis had ruined her life and taken away "her" father. Dina became increasingly anguished after she recalled Ashley crying, "Not one thing about me is real or honest. Do you know what that does to me?"
Dina awoke and called out to Graham. Dina phoned the front desk and asked to be connected to Graham's room. Suddenly, Dina realized that Graham was away. Dina seemed distraught.
Ravi stepped off the elevator at Jabot and greeted Ashley. Ravi told Ashley that he'd delivered Dina's Jabot-issued laptop. Ravi said he and Dina had chatted about bonds of trust, including the one he shared with Ashley. Ravi added that Dina had mentioned her trust in Graham. Ashley was surprised to learn that Graham had flown to Paris. Ravi said Dina appeared to be more concerned about the argument she'd had with Ashley. Ashley seemed taken aback when Ravi noted that Dina feared Ashley might not be willing to forgive her mother for past mistakes.
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Lauren and Phyllis discussed business while they enjoyed dinner. Lauren gave a copy of her store's sales figures to Phyllis. Phyllis opened the report and said, "Health and beauty sales figures. No doubt prompted by the upcoming battle between Jabot's new Parker Beauty line and Brash & Sassy." Lauren said she believed it would be a win-win situation for Fenmore's to devote equal shelf space to both companies' products. Lauren added that she couldn't wait to see which company's line emerged on top. Phyllis noted that Brash & Sassy's sales figures seemed inflated. Lauren said perhaps Brash & Sassy's booming sales might inspire Parker Beauty to increase its ad budget.
Phyllis reminded Lauren that as owner of Fenmore's, she was also a business partner to Parker Beauty. Lauren suggested that Phyllis' true aim was retaliation against Victoria's company because of Billy's association with it. Lauren added, "As your boss, I'm going to tell you flat out that I'm not stacking the deck for your personal agenda." Phyllis, appealing to Lauren as her friend, insisted that Victoria wasn't playing fairly and had manipulated her reported sales figures. Lauren assured Phyllis she was loyal to her as a friend, but in business, Lauren added, she was loyal to Fenmore's. Phyllis became angry, grabbed her handbag, and left abruptly.
Lauren met with Jack in his office at Jabot to review sales figures. Jack called Lauren's attention to Brash & Sassy's spiked increase in sales and noted that the company had no new products. Jack added, "How did they manage that?" Lauren, frustrated, replied, "They are an established brand with good products, and our customers like them." Lauren insisted that as long as Brash & Sassy continued to show strong sales, they would stay on the shelves at Fenmore's, even if Jabot's new cosmetic line outsold its competition. Jack said, "Do I have to remind you [that] Jabot and Fenmore's are now partners?" Lauren reminded Jack that Phyllis worked for her and was also her confidante. Lauren cautioned Jack about playing on Phyllis' insecurities regarding Victoria in order to bully Phyllis into colluding with Jack in his spiteful vendetta against Billy.
In Victoria's office at Brash & Sassy, Billy and Victoria checked projected sales figures for their products. Billy was encouraged and said, "We are on a roll, Vick!" Victoria noted that they wouldn't have known about Jack's underhanded tactics had Billy not secretly accessed Jabot's computer server via Phyllis' laptop. Billy assured Victoria that Phyllis wouldn't find out about his covert operation.
Victoria, viewing sales figures at other stores, noted that sales at stores other than Fenmore's remained flat. Billy agreed that they needed to improve sales figures across the board and suggested they increase advertising for their men's cologne, Dare. Billy picked up a bottle of Dare and sprayed it into the air. Billy lauded the cologne as a "babe magnet." Victoria suggestively said, "Yeah. Depends on who you spray it on."
Billy told Victoria that she should hire Lily to also become spokeswoman for their newest product, a sheet-mask. Victoria proclaimed Billy's idea to be a brilliant one. Phyllis interrupted and explained that she'd hoped to accompany Billy to their house, though she didn't want to stall Billy and Victoria's momentum. Billy was taken aback and said he'd contact Phyllis when he was ready to head home. After Phyllis walked away, Billy and Victoria exchanged glances suggesting that they felt uneasy. Victoria said they'd have to be more careful about closing the office door, so plans about the launch of their sheet-mask would remain a secret.
Phyllis entered Jack's office. Jack asked Phyllis if she'd been sent by her boss to apologize. Phyllis surmised that Lauren had stopped by and told him she wouldn't play favorites between Parker Beauty and Brash & Sassy. Jack replied, "Bingo!" Phyllis told Jack that she'd interrupted Victoria and Billy's after-hours strategy session, which they'd quickly shut down. Phyllis said she'd overheard Billy and Victoria planning something big. Jack urged Phyllis to find out more. Phyllis replied, "Oh, it's my new priority."
Billy stopped by Victoria's house, and Victoria reported that she'd packed Johnny's lunch, and Hannah had taken Katie to preschool. Victoria held up the sugar cookie that she'd gotten her son as a special treat, and she decided to wait to give it to him until after lunch. Billy imagined that she wanted to make a good first impression with Johnny's teacher, and he couldn't believe the boy's first day of kindergarten had arrived. He added that he was glad that the three of them were able to do it together, and she replied that she wouldn't have it any other way.
Victoria envisioned Johnny eventually going to high school and college, and Billy imagined that professional sports would follow after that. Victoria mentioned that she'd pulled out Johnny's baby book to record the occasion, and she reflected back on other milestones that weren't in the book. Billy referred to Chelsea giving up her parental rights so they could adopt the boy, and Victoria mused that it had been the day they'd become a family. Billy had thought they'd never be apart, since he'd wanted to give them the picture-perfect life. Victoria pointed out that all that mattered was that Johnny had two parents who adored him and that they were still a family.
Johnny entered, and Billy asked if he was ready for school. Johnny declared that he didn't want to go, and Billy and Victoria wondered why. Reed entered and recalled that it had been hard to go to a new school when he'd returned to Genoa City, but he was glad he'd done it because he woke up every morning, excited to go. Victoria asserted that big boys went to school, but Johnny continued to insist that he didn't want to go.
Billy recalled that Johnny had loved meeting his new teacher at an open house. Billy, Victoria, and Reed took turns rattling off all the fun things Johnny would get to do, and Victoria said it made her want to go back to kindergarten. Billy suggested that he join Johnny's class while Johnny took his dad's place at the office, and Johnny decided that he wanted to go to school. Reed snapped family photos of Billy, Victoria, and Johnny together.
Cane was surprised to see Mattie at Crimson Lights instead of primping in front of the mirror for school, and she explained that she'd wanted a smoothie while she finished some homework. He referred to her hectic schedule, and he asked if Erin was picking her up. Cane raved about how he liked Erin because she was a good friend who was focused and responsible, and he wished Mattie had more friends like her. Mattie recognized that it was an important year to prepare for college, and she promised that she wouldn't mess it up. Cane urged her not to let anything distract her, and he acknowledged that it might take a while before things got back to normal at home, but he assured her that he was her biggest fan.
Mattie received a text message from Reed, who asked if she could talk. She fibbed to Cane that Erin was on the way to pick her up. Cane reminded Mattie that she'd agreed to have dinner with him, and he headed out. A short time later, Mattie answered a call from Reed, who informed her that he was hanging out alone at home, and he invited her over to take advantage of the opportunity. She protested that she had French, but he figured that the teacher would just be reviewing stuff from the prior year. He pleaded that they'd barely gotten time to spend together the day before, so he would love to see her.
Mattie arrived at Reed's house and nervously revealed that she'd never skipped class before. Reed teased that her GPA wouldn't take a hit from missing one class, and Mattie explained that she was there in part because Hilary had spied them kissing. Reed fretted that Hilary loved to cause trouble with his family, but Mattie trusted Hilary to keep their secret safe. The teens worried about what would happen if Victoria and Cane found out they'd been sneaking around, but Reed objected to talking about their parents when they had time to themselves. Mattie asked him to play his new song for her, but he pulled her into a kiss instead.
After dropping Johnny off at school, Victoria and Billy arrived at Brash & Sassy, fawning over the photos they'd just taken. Victoria anxiously asked if Billy thought Johnny would be all right, and Billy assured her that they had the co-parenting thing down. They agreed that they made a pretty good team. Victoria gushed that it felt good to be excited about work, and she pledged never to let plummeting sales affect her mood ever again. Billy commented that the latest sales figures showed that Jabot had nothing on them, and she vowed to do whatever it took to keep Brash & Sassy on top.
Phyllis picked at her food at the Athletic Club bar, and Hilary approached and observed that Phyllis wasn't a fan of eggs. Phyllis replied that she didn't have much of an appetite, but the screwdrivers were on her. Hilary said, "Why not," and Phyllis ordered two more drinks. Hilary questioned why Phyllis was having breakfast alone, and she guessed that Victoria had scheduled an early meeting at which attendance wasn't optional. Phyllis grumbled that Victoria had played a much better card that day.
Phyllis reasoned that both parents should take Johnny to his first day of kindergarten because he deserved to feel special, but Hilary was sure that Victoria was taking advantage of the situation. Phyllis testily recounted that Victoria had roped Billy into going back-to-school shopping and that she'd rubbed it in Phyllis' face. Phyllis felt like an outsider who would never have what Billy and Victoria had, but she vowed to fix it. Hilary asked if Phyllis was thinking about getting pregnant, but Phyllis insisted that she had better ways to fight for her man.
Hilary warned that Phyllis was at a disadvantage, since exes got back together because of their kids all the time -- especially when there were lingering feelings involved. Phyllis argued that the kids shouldn't be used as a weapon against her, and she intended to spend more time with them to get to know them better. Phyllis explained that she hadn't been given a chance because Victoria wouldn't let the children visit Phyllis' apartment, and she wasn't welcome at Victoria's home. Phyllis was determined not to let Victoria stop her from proving that she was committed to making a happy, normal family. Hilary thought there was nothing Victoria could do if Billy saw Phyllis was sincere.
Later, Lauren arrived at the club and asked if Phyllis wanted to order something, but Phyllis replied that she'd drunk her breakfast. Lauren presented a more detailed version of the sales figures that she'd shown Phyllis the prior evening, showing individual purchases at various locations. Before letting Phyllis take a look, Lauren made Phyllis promise that it wouldn't morph into a "bitch session" about Victoria. Lauren indicated that Brash & Sassy had exceeded expectations, but Phyllis squinted at the screen and said it didn't make sense.
Phyllis referred to multiple Brash & Sassy transactions at different Fenmore's locations for identical amounts within the same window of time. Lauren reasoned that they were running a chain-wide promotion to give away a free tote with a $100 purchase, but Phyllis argued that the promotion ran across all cosmetics, yet Brash & Sassy was the only brand showing the pattern. Lauren questioned whether Phyllis thought Victoria had manipulated sales, and Phyllis volunteered to dig deeper and prove it.
Phyllis considered it to be a red flag that Fenmore's online activity matched the sales patterns in the stores, but Lauren figured that people used gift cards for $100 all the time and that Brash & Sassy had a loyal fan base. Lauren was pleased with the profits and the traffic in the stores, and she chalked it up to coincidence, not a conspiracy. Phyllis growled that it was the biggest coincidence in the history of retail, or someone who was desperate to win was willing to break the rules to get what they wanted.
At Jabot, Ashley informed Jack that their mother's sidekick had left the country because of a problem with his apartment. Jack commented that any time Graham spent away from Dina was a bonus for them, but he wondered why Graham had suddenly taken off after he'd been reluctant to leave Dina's side. Ashley found the timing interesting, since they'd just found out that Graham had had access to their mother's business analysis. She was bothered because she still had a lot of unanswered questions about the guy, and Jack planned to get some answers while Graham wasn't there to interfere.
Jack expected Dina to cry mutiny the moment he and Ashley went after Graham. Ashley pointed out that they'd backed off to work on their relationship with their mother, but Dina had broken the treaty. Ashley lectured that she'd told Jack not to hire Dina because their mother had no respect for John's legacy, and Jack wondered if Graham had pushed Dina to share company information to cause a rift. Jack didn't understand why Graham was indispensable to Dina, and he thought they had to talk to her that day. Ashley thought he'd be better off speaking to Dina alone, and she intended to do something that she should have done long before.
Jack stopped by Dina's hotel suite, and Dina groused that she hadn't slept well and was exhausted. He offered to get her some tea, but she suspected that he wasn't there for friendly conversation. He confirmed that Ashley had told him about the women's argument about Graham, and Dina huffed that she wasn't ready for round two. Jack insisted that they didn't need a referee, but they had to get a few things straight.
Dina barked that she didn't appreciate her children insulting her judgment, but Jack said he was concerned about Graham having access to Jabot's data. Dina contended that she'd welcomed Graham's input, but Jack countered that she'd run a multinational conglomerate and didn't need anyone lending a hand. He stressed that no one on the payroll was to share private files with outsiders, but Dina scoffed at the idea that Graham would steal the formula for a new lipstick. Jack asserted that he didn't trust Graham, and he demanded that Graham have no part in Dina working for Jabot. He asked if they understood one another.
Dina contended that the problem had been solved because Graham was in Paris, and Jack queried how long Graham would be gone. Jack assumed that the trip had arisen unexpectedly, but Dina defended that Graham had neglected personal matters to be by her side. She urged Jack to accept that Graham was her friend, and Jack recognized that Graham had filled a void in her life, but he sensed that she'd been holding something back. Jack pressed Dina to help him understand what Graham had done to deserve her undying loyalty, and she agreed to tell him.
Dina informed Jack that she'd nearly lost Mergeron at one point because a senior executive had sold corporate secrets, but Graham had saved the company by tipping her off. Jack acknowledged that Graham had been a loyal employee, but Dina hadn't needed to make Graham her most trusted confidant or give him her estate. Dina insisted that she owed Graham for everything he'd done for her, and she revealed that Graham had had a rough life. Dina explained that Graham's father had left and that he and his mother had been homeless for a while, and Graham's parents had both since passed away. Jack realized that Dina was all Graham had left, and Dina proclaimed that she was Graham's family, so it was about time Jack and Ashley showed him respect and compassion.
Meanwhile, Ashley thanked Neil for meeting her, and she asked if he'd been able to find something. He presented her with a flash drive containing Graham's personnel file from Mergeron, and Ashley said she owed him for breaking the rules by making a copy for her. He recognized that Jack wasn't fond of Graham, so he couldn't imagine that Graham would be working there. Ashley quipped that they'd filled their quota for questionable employees when Jack had hired Dina, since Dina had shown Graham a confidential report.
Neil considered it one of the perils of working with family members, but Ashley noted that he and Devon had mastered it, since their company had become a power player. She was sure that Brash & Sassy was grateful for the bridge loan, but Neil imagined that Jack wasn't. Ashley hated that Jack and Victoria were determined to destroy one another, but Neil remarked that friendly competition could lead to greater success. Ashley wished that Jack and Victoria would fight fair, since everyone would lose if they dragged one another down into the muck.
Later, Cane spotted Neil at the park café, and he swore that he'd been working hard to regain his family's trust. Cane revealed that he'd been giving Lily space and that he'd supported her return to Brash & Sassy because her happiness was imperative. Neil asked how things were with the kids, and Cane reported his progress. Neil thought it was clear that Cane wanted to put his family back together again, but the fact remained that another woman was having Cane's baby, and it was a constant reminder that he'd cheated on all of them. Neil wasn't sure how Cane's family would accept that, and he doubted that they could pretend all was forgiven and go back to the way things had been.
Cane pointed out that Neil should be the last person to tell him that the people he loved wouldn't forgive him, since Neil's family hadn't disowned him after the twisted stuff he'd pulled. Neil recalled that he'd had to make amends and ask for forgiveness on his knees, and he was thankful that his mistake hadn't had a permanent impact. Neil imagined that things would have been different if Hilary had died, since his family would have been fractured beyond repair -- just like Cane's might be because of the baby. Cane argued that having a baby with Juliet didn't mean that he had to give up his family with Lily, and Neil remarked that they'd see soon enough.
Neil left for work, and Hilary applauded as she stepped out from hiding. She commended Cane for standing up to his father-in-law, and he dryly replied that her support was touching. She noted that she was the only one in Cane's corner, and she asked about his agenda for scoring points with his family. Cane huffed that he was taking the day off, but Hilary warned that he couldn't afford to. She pressed him to step up his job-hunting efforts, since Lily's goodwill was sure to dry up, just like his bank account.
Hilary inquired whether Mattie was still mad at Cane, and she was surprised when Cane reported that things had improved. Cane said they'd had a good talk about Mattie focusing on her priorities. Cane's phone rang with a call from Walnut Grove, and Cane learned that Mattie had missed class, even though Erin had arrived on time. Cane said he didn't know why his daughter wasn't in school, but he promised he would find out.
Ashley flashed back to telling Jack that she couldn't shake the feeling that something was going on with Dina, and Jack had supported her efforts to find out. Ashley plugged the flash drive into her laptop as Ravi appeared in the doorway, and she asked how long he'd been there. He deadpanned that he'd been there an hour, and he observed that she'd seemed captivated. She invited him to pull up a chair to review Graham's personnel file from Mergeron. Ashley noted that before Graham had worked at Mergeron, he'd applied multiple times over the four years prior to his hire, but he'd been turned down.
Ashley realized that Graham had quickly been promoted from a low-level post in finance to vice president of corporate strategy, where he'd stayed until Hamilton-Winters had bought the company. Ashley mused that Graham had gone from actor to executive to heir, and Ravi imagined that Mergeron had been Graham's dream job if he'd kept applying after he'd been rejected repeatedly. Ashley imagined that Graham had finally been hired after sucking up to Dina, and Ravi suggested that Ashley talk to Dina about it. Ashley anticipated that her mother would get defensive and shut down, but she knew someone else who might shed light on it.
Ashley made a call to a colleague in France, and she informed Ravi that Dina had hired Graham after meeting him at a social event and learning that he was between jobs. Ashley continued that Dina hadn't known that Graham had been turned down previously, and her mother hadn't cared by the time she'd found out. Ravi considered it unsettling, and Ashley thought it sounded like Graham had been stalking her mother. She wondered why Graham had been that determined to work for Mergeron and why he'd wanted to be in Dina's life that badly.
At Brash & Sassy, Victoria and Billy oversaw a few ladies test their new product -- Sassy Mask. The ladies loved the product and admitted that they would buy it in a heartbeat. One of the ladies mentioned that Jabot didn't have a mask product.
After the ladies left, Victoria crowed about how well the test had gone. She believed it was a good product. Victoria said it was a risk putting their product out there, but they needed to get their sales figures up. Billy said that not only was it a good product, but it changed the narrative about the whole company. They needed to roll the mask out and give it a massive PR push, and the negative press would go away.
Victoria couldn't believe they were still doing damage control over what Cane had done and her own actions. Billy cut her off and told her to stop because it was in the past. Victoria agreed and said the way to stop stressing was to launch their mask and catch Jabot off guard. Victoria wanted to launch immediately. Billy crowed that that wasn't the only thing that would catch Jabot off guard. Victoria asked when Billy planned to fill her in on the behind-the-scenes deal. Billy said that she was better off not knowing.
Victoria thanked Billy for stepping up for her and the company. She wished that there had been a way other than breaking into Jabot's server. Billy assured her it was all good. Victoria knew that Phyllis wouldn't be okay if she found out. Billy assured Victoria that no one would find out. Jack would wake up one morning and find he was in last place.
At Crimson Lights, Zack was on the phone. He asked Alice if she'd taken Crystal to the airport. Alice confirmed she had. Zack said that Design Date would be kicking into high gear, and she should expect a real uptick in business for the girls. Alice was ready. Zack said that the trick with their setup was to lure what customers they wanted and discourage those who didn't know what they were about. Abby arrived and overheard Zack's comments.
Abby asked why Zack would lure some people and discourage others. Zack said that in a business like theirs, there was a fine line to walk. They were in the business of hooking people up. Abby added that they wanted as many people as possible. Zack said that if the dominant choices were less than grade A material, they would want them out. They needed to target the demographic they wanted to hit -- the best, the brightest, and the most desirable.
Abby agreed that Zack had a valid point. They wanted as many eyes to see their app as possible. Abby wanted to make Design Date a billion-dollar enterprise. She said that they needed to step up their advertising. Abby stated that some of their advertisers were pretty low rent -- the ones that played on late night cable. She wanted to enforce their first-class elite message -- companies that people knew and trusted. Abby said she had set up two pitch meetings for them, and the first one was with Jabot.
At Jabot, Phyllis told Jack about the curious Brash & Sassy sales figures. She confirmed that there had been an increase in purchases of the Brash & Sassy products, and they were all roughly in the same price range with no variance. Jack felt that someone was manipulating the Brash & Sassy sales figures at Jabot's expense. He said that it had Billy written all over it.
Jack said that whoever had initiated the increase in sales, it had been triggered by Billy and Victoria's visit with Ashley. They had advised Ashley of their suspicions about Jabot messing with their sales at Fenmore's. Phyllis reminded Jack that he had. Jack reminded Phyllis that she had climbed on board with that initiative, even if it hadn't panned out as they'd hoped.
Jack wanted to know how Billy and Victoria had figured out their plan. Jack suspected that Brash & Sassy had someone working inside Jabot. Jack wanted to find out where Victoria and Billy were getting their information, and Jabot would have to be as sneaky as Brash & Sassy. He asked Phyllis what resources they could exploit to get the Brash & Sassy strategy. He looked directly at Phyllis. Phyllis stated that she'd done enough. Jack asked how much Phyllis wanted Billy detached from Victoria.
Abby and Zack arrived, and Phyllis left. Abby and Zack gave Jack their pitch about advertising on Design Date. Abby said that their audience of daters would be men and women who would be receptive to whatever Jabot was marketing. Jack complimented Abby on an excellent pitch. Jack asked to speak with Abby privately. Zack left.
Jack reminded Abby that he'd stepped up and partnered with her when no one else had believed in her starter incubator. When they'd dissolved their partnership at Abby's insistence, they'd gone their separate ways. Jack could have taken a very hard line at that time, but he'd graciously stepped aside and wished her well. Jack was astounded that Abby had asked him for money. Abby assured him that it wasn't a handout, but a business opportunity that would benefit him.
Jack interjected and said it would benefit Victor. He was not about to write a huge check to Newman Enterprises. Jack was certain that Abby would find other companies to invest in her app, but Jabot wouldn't be one of them. Abby apologized if Jack had misunderstood her intentions. She had approached him because she'd felt bad because of the way things had shaken out between them. She stated that Jack would miss a big opportunity that would benefit Jabot in a big way. Jack said he'd take his chances. Abby left.
At Sharon's, Tessa was anxious because Alice's car had gone to the airport, and Tessa had no way of getting to Crystal. Mariah assured Tessa they would figure something out. Mariah received a call from Devon asking her to meet him because they needed to talk. Mariah didn't want to leave Tessa alone, but Tessa assured her that Noah was on his way. When Noah arrived, Mariah left, but she appeared upset after she'd seen Noah and Tessa kiss.
Noah told Tessa about the legal issues that had to be worked out for the Underground expansion. He also told her that he'd received a call from Irv West, a well-known music promoter, and that she'd meet Irv when he arrived in Genoa City to check her out. Noah wanted Tessa to be the opening act when they went live in Anne Arbor -- and possibly the rest of the clubs. Tessa couldn't believe that Noah would do that for her.
Noah showed Tessa all the links for Irv West and said that he was a powerhouse promoter. Noah was certain that Irv would be blown away when he heard Tessa sing live. Tessa was impressed with the famous clubs and places that Irv West had been associated with -- Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City. Noah told Tessa that she'd be touring all those cities as well as the outlying areas. Noah and Tessa kissed.
At the park café, Cane told Hilary that he'd seen Mattie at Crimson Lights before she'd left for school. Cane received a call from Walnut Grove asking if Mattie was ill. Cane said she wasn't and that Erin had picked her up. Cane was advised that Erin was in school. Cane called and left Mattie a message asking her to call him as soon as she picked up. Cane waited awhile and decided to contact the school again. While Cane made his call, Hilary sent Mattie a text advising Mattie that Cane knew she wasn't in school.
At Victoria's, Reed and Mattie were making out on the sofa. Mattie missed a call from Cane. Mattie suddenly broke away and told Reed that they needed to slow down. Reed agreed. Mattie said it was unfair that their parents wouldn't let them see each other. Reed was concerned that Cane would find out that they were seeing each other because Hilary knew. Mattie received a text from Hilary stating that Cane knew she wasn't in school. Mattie also listened to the voicemail from Cane. Mattie packed up her things and left Reed's.
A short time later, Cane received a call from Mattie advising him that Erin had a flat tire, and they were waiting for the auto club to arrive. After Cane disconnected the call, he told Hilary that Mattie had lied to him. He grabbed his phone and stormed off.
Mariah met Devon at the Athletic Club. They both admitted that the previous evening hadn't been their best moment. Devon wanted a do-over, but Mariah reminded him that he'd blown her off. Devon apologized. He assured her he wouldn't do that again. Mariah said it was about a lot more than that. Mariah said that it was embarrassing that Hilary had known that she and Devon had fought, and Hilary hadn't been able to wait to tell Mariah that Devon would never feel for Mariah what he'd felt for Hilary. It had been humiliating.
Devon assured Mariah that Hilary was full of it. He told Mariah not to believe everything Hilary said. She said things on purpose. Hilary constantly played that game with Lily and stated that that was the way Hilary operated. Mariah felt that Hilary might have been on point, since one of them couldn't spit out the L word. Devon asked Mariah not to listen to Hilary because Hilary loved to bait people. Mariah suggested that perhaps there was someone else who'd be perfect for Devon and someone perfect for her.
Devon said that he only wanted to be with Mariah and apologized that it was taking him longer to use the L word. It didn't mean that he was less committed to their relationship than Mariah. He explained that he'd been married and divorced, and those three little words carried a lot more weight and were a lot harder to say -- but not impossible if Mariah gave him the time he needed.
Devon asked Mariah to forget everything Hilary had said to her. He said there wasn't any doubt in his mind that there was no one else for him but Mariah. If she could say the same thing, then he was certain they could fix things between them. Mariah said there was no one else. They kissed and hugged, but Mariah didn't look happy.
Abby and Zack were in the conference room at Brash & Sassy with Billy when Victoria arrived. Billy told Victoria that Abby and Zack felt that Brash & Sassy would be a natural fit to advertise on their app. Abby showed Victoria the numbers. Billy felt the numbers were impressive. Victoria asked how effective online ads were -- in reality. Zack explained that they were often more effective than desktop ads for driving key brands to targeted consumers.
Abby said that she was happy that Victor had seen the potential in her incubator when others hadn't. Abby admitted that there were no hard feelings, and Victoria still had time to jump on board. Zack said they would have a direct pipeline to younger consumers. To Abby's horror, Zack added that Jabot hadn't thought that that was important. Victoria asked if they'd given the pitch to her after Jack had turned them down.
Abby stated that she'd owed Jack the first pitch because he'd encouraged her from the beginning. It was clear to her and Zack that Design Date was a much better fit at Brash & Sassy, especially in light of the competition heating up between Brash & Sassy and Jabot. Abby said that it was Victoria's shot at leaving Jabot in the dust. Victoria agreed and asked Abby to draw up the papers.
After Abby and Zack left, Victoria asked Billy if it had been a smart move to advertise on Design Date. She said that she'd met Zack at a benefit and found him smooth and harmless, but seeing him in a business situation, he seemed a little slick. Phyllis arrived, and Victoria left. Phyllis wanted her and Billy to grab a romantic lunch together, but Billy declined. He said the harder he worked then, the more time he'd be able to spend with her later.
Phyllis confessed that the way things were going at Jabot, she'd soon be busier than Billy. She said that Jack constantly ranted about their competition with Brash & Sassy. Phyllis asked Billy where he and Victoria had gotten their information that Jabot had tried to push Brash & Sassy off Fenmore's shelves. Billy said it had been a reasonable assumption, judging by their numbers.
Phyllis said that Jack didn't believe that it was a reasonable assumption and wondered if Brash & Sassy had a spy at Jabot. Billy laughed. Judging by the look on Billy's face, Phyllis felt that she hadn't been far off the mark. Billy asked her whose side she was on, and he refused to discuss it further.
Phyllis said she didn't want to pry, and she knew that the business affairs between Billy and Victoria had to stay private. Billy stated that if Phyllis hadn't wanted to pry, then she shouldn't have accused Victoria of hiring someone to spy on Jabot. Phyllis claimed that Victoria had been competitive since preschool, and she asked if Victoria was above getting her hands dirty. Billy warned Phyllis to be careful and reminded her that everything she said about Victoria, she was also saying about him. He left.
At Crimson Lights, Zack said that Abby had been fantastic handling Victoria, and Abby had known which buttons to push. Abby countered that she wouldn't have needed to if Zack hadn't almost blown it by mentioning Jack. Abby stated that she'd scrambled to find a reason why they'd seen Jack first without insulting Victoria. She added that Zack was too smart to slip up that way, and if he didn't want Brash & Sassy to advertise on the app, mentioning Jack was the right way to go about it.
Zack said he was Abby's loyal partner in more ways than one. He knew he'd almost blown it, but he hoped that Abby knew it hadn't been intentional. Abby said she was frustrated because she hadn't realized she needed to do so much tap-dancing to make a deal with her own family. Abby was happy that they had one family, and things would only get better for their app. She and Zack kissed.
Hilary arrived at Jabot to see Jack. Jack took out the Champagne to celebrate Hilary promoting Jabot's new product line on GC Buzz. Hilary wanted Jack to hire her to do his commercials because it would give her more money and prestige. Jack stated that it would give her an opportunity to outdo Lily's success with Dare. Hilary said that Lily had her career, and Hilary had her own.
Jack asked if it was business success and had nothing to do with a personal victory. Hilary pointed out that Jack was desperate to crush Brash & Sassy and asked him if that was just business. Hilary said that it was "such fun," and she drank her Champagne.
Reed was about to leave for school. When he opened the door, Cane barged in, calling for Mattie. Cane found Mattie's hair band and yelled at Reed that Mattie had never cut classes, and she'd never lied to him. Cane claimed that Mattie was making bad choices. Cane said that Mattie had been a good girl, but not anymore -- all thanks to Reed.
Victoria walked in and asked "what the hell" Cane was doing in her house. Cane said that Mattie had cut class to be with Reed. When Reed tried to explain, Victoria ordered him to get to school. After Reed left, Victoria told Cane that she didn't care how upset Cane was. He didn't get to walk into her house and speak to her son that way. Cane accused Reed of luring Mattie there and reminded Victoria that Mattie was a minor. At that moment, Victoria got one of her spells. She threw Cane out of her house.
Nick and Faith played chess at the Underground, and she declared checkmate. Faith complained that she wouldn't get better if he let her win, but he insisted that she'd beaten him. She chirped that her grandpa was the only person who could beat her anymore, since Victor had taught her everything she knew. Nick sent her to fetch her stuff, and Nikki questioned whether he had really let Faith win. Nick confirmed that his daughter had been several moves ahead, thanks to the skills she'd learned at his father's knee. Nick worried that Victor had too much influence over the girl.
Nick asked if Nikki minded taking Faith to her riding lesson, and Nikki assured him that she was happy to spend extra time with Faith, even if it meant going to the ranch. Nikki asked if Faith was settling into the new living arrangements, and Nick reported that they were getting there, even though the girl had been quieter than he liked. Nikki praised that he had a gift for being a wonderful father, but Nick considered Chelsea to be the true champion. Nick planned to shut down the bar to have a romantic interlude there, and Nikki imagined that he'd soon be able to shut down clubs all over the country to prove his point.
Nick admitted that it had been hard to do the renovations and to get in touch with the liquor licensing board long-distance. He added that Noah was even more frustrated, and he didn't want to let his son down. Nick mentioned that he'd found a contact to put in a good word with the board, but licenses were hard to get. Nikki proclaimed that she had complete faith in his abilities, and Nick mumbled that at least one parent did. Nick swore to do everything he could to make the project happen, since his goal was to be to his son what Victor had never been to Nick.
Noah arrived at the ranch and was curious about why Victor had summoned him there. Victor noted that he hadn't seen Noah since the concert, and Noah referred to the tension ever since Nick and Victor's fight. Victor remarked that all families had tension, but the strong moved beyond it. Victor announced that what mattered to Noah mattered to him, and he was aware that Noah had run into an obstacle with getting a liquor license for his new venture. Victor offered to help remove the obstacle.
Victor noted that Noah stood to lose a lot of money if he didn't obtain the license, and Noah skeptically inquired whether Victor would lend Nick a hand. Victor insisted that he was concerned about Noah, and he would give his help if Noah needed it. Noah guessed that Victor didn't want Nick to know, but Victor replied that he didn't care. Noah said he'd never lie to a business partner or his father, so Nick would know if Noah accepted Victor's help. Victor respected Noah's decision, and Noah asked what Victor had meant when he'd offered to make the obstacle disappear. Noah demanded to know if it was legitimate and how much it would cost him.
Victor applauded Noah's instincts, and he reminded Noah that it opened doors to mention that Noah was Victor's grandson. Victor recognized that Nick didn't want to take advantage of it, but he thought that wasn't Noah's problem. Victor warned that it would cost Noah if he didn't take advantage, and he advised that sometimes it took a push for things to happen in business. Victor swore that there would be no strings attached, and he told Noah to just say the word if he wanted Victor to do it. Noah agreed, and they shook hands and hugged. Victor commented that nothing would make him happier than to see Noah succeed.
Later, Victor coolly asked what Nikki was doing at the ranch. She reported that Faith was having a riding lesson, and Victor prepared to go to the stables. Nikki told him not to, but he snapped that she couldn't tell him when he could and couldn't see his granddaughter. Nikki contended that Faith's parents made the decisions, but Victor huffed that he didn't "give a damn" what Nick thought. Victor intended to see Faith after he took care of some business, and he told Nikki to show herself out.
Nikki found Faith in the stables and offered to get the girl a snack from the house, but Faith remained quiet. Nikki prompted Faith to talk about her new home, and Faith replied that it wasn't like the ranch at all, but she was getting used to it. Faith thought it was weird living with someone who wasn't even her stepmom, and Nikki acknowledged that it was hard to adjust to a big change. Faith recalled that she'd wanted to stay at camp when she'd first found out about the move, and Nikki masked her surprise that Faith had found out about it before she'd returned home. Faith insisted that Nikki didn't have to worry about her.
Nikki sent Faith to get an apple to feed the pony, and she called Faith's camp to confirm that they had received her donation. Nikki gushed that Faith had had the best time that summer, and she hoped to clarify something. Nikki mentioned that Faith had given her the impression that someone had visited her at camp shortly before the end of the session. She wasn't surprised when the camp employee confirmed that Victor had visited Faith.
Noah entered the Underground as Nick finished a phone call, discouraged that he'd been unable to get a liquor license. Noah announced that he might have another way to get it, since his grandpa would help. Nick became incensed that Noah had gone to Victor behind Nick's back, but Noah reported that Victor had found out that they'd been having trouble with the license and wanted to help. Nick incredulously asked if Noah had accepted without discussing it with him first, since he'd been clear that he didn't want Victor near the business.
Noah figured that Victor would only make a few calls, but Nick worried that there was always something shady with Victor's dealings. Noah argued that playing by the book hadn't worked for them, and they'd been losing money every week they didn't open. Nick wanted to continue to work his contacts, but Noah reported that Victor was ready to help once he gave the go-ahead. Victor walked in, and Nick griped that his father acted like he owned the place. Victor presented Noah with a copy of a liquor license.
Victor said he'd called in a favor, and he expected the original license to be sent shortly -- unless Nick and Noah preferred to apply for it their own way. Nick declared that he supported Noah's decisions, and Noah thanked Victor for allowing them to be able to open on time. Nick coldly added that he appreciated it, but he swore that it was a one-time thing. Victor imagined that it would be -- until the next time Nick needed help. Victor remarked that at least Nick hadn't let his pride stand in the way of what was best for his son.
Mattie found Reed on the patio at Crimson Lights, and she informed him that she'd only been a few minutes late to second period. She was confident that she'd taken care of things with her dad, but Reed revealed that Cane hadn't bought the flat tire story and that her dad had shown up at Reed's house after she'd left. Mattie fretted that her dad knew she'd lied, and Reed surmised that Cane hated him even more for dragging her down. Mattie swore that she made her own decisions and that Reed hadn't forced her into anything, and she thought her dad had no right to judge Reed.
Mattie groaned that both she and Reed would be grounded for years, and they hugged. Reed pledged to figure something out, since their parents couldn't watch them every second. Mattie expected her dad to make it his mission to keep them apart, and she bemoaned that they didn't get enough time together as it was. Mattie prepared to go talk to her mom before her dad did, and she sadly realized that she and Reed had no idea when they'd see one another again. They kissed.
Cane stopped by to see Lily at home, and he was adamant that they get on the same page because things had escalated. Lily assumed he was referring to Reed, and Cane growled that Reed had corrupted their daughter, who'd cut school and lied about it. Cane recounted the day's events, and Lily wondered how Mattie had reacted when he'd called her out on her lie. Cane said he'd wanted to talk to Lily first, but he'd gone to Victoria's home to see if Mattie had been with Reed, and he'd seen Mattie's headband. Lily hoped Cane had walked away, since Reed was her employer's son. Cane snapped that he only cared that Reed was trying to pressure their daughter, and he thought Lily should care, too.
Lily wished Cane had called her instead of going over to Victoria's, but Cane pointed out that Lily had been in the middle of a photo shoot. Lily questioned whether he had a problem with her job, but Cane countered that he had a problem with their daughter lying to them. He thought it was proof that Reed was a bad influence, but Lily argued that Reed hadn't been the only possible trigger for Mattie's behavior. Cane incredulously asked if Lily thought it was his fault, and she reasoned that their family was in turmoil, so they couldn't be surprised if their kids acted out. Cane reiterated that he was trying to fix it, but he refused to let Mattie do whatever she wanted because he'd messed up.
Lily reminded Cane of what had happened when her father had tried to keep them apart, and she suspected that Cane might have pushed Mattie right into Reed's arms. Cane flashed back to flirting with Lily at the gym and making plans to work out together. Mattie arrived home but stopped short when she saw Cane. Mattie rambled that she knew it was awful and that it had been unlike her to cut class, and she promised it would never happen again. Mattie protested that they couldn't blame Reed, and she complained that nothing that had happened to their family had to do with her and Reed, but they were paying for it anyway.
Mattie begged to see Reed once she was done being punished, and Lily grounded her for two weeks with no cell phone. Mattie handed over her phone and asked what would happen after the two weeks. Cane replied that she'd get her phone back, but she still wasn't allowed to see Reed. Mattie defended that Reed was a creative, smart musician, and she thought her parents would realize that if they gave him a chance. Cane thought Mattie saw Reed's smile and guitar, but he believed Reed was spoiled and selfish, just like his mom and the rest of the Newmans. Mattie groused that it was all about Cane being mad that Victoria had fired him, and he was taking it out on Reed.
Mattie pointed out that no one blamed Cane for what Colin had done, and she demanded to know why her parents were blaming Reed. Lily asserted that Reed had also cut class and that he'd invited Mattie over with no adult present, and Cane refused to let Reed disrespect them. Mattie spat that Cane had slept with a stranger, gotten her pregnant, and been fired because he'd lied about it. Mattie continued that no one would care if she was with Reed if Cane had stayed away from Juliet, and she stormed off. Lily insisted on talking to Mattie alone, and Cane reluctantly departed.
Mattie returned to the room, and Lily said she hated to see her daughter hurting, but she scolded Mattie for talking to her dad that way. Mattie grumbled that Cane thought she was too stupid to pick a decent guy, but Lily cautioned that Mattie had important years ahead of her that she shouldn't throw away for a boy. Mattie argued that it had only been one class, and Lily implored her to admit whose idea it had been to cut school. Mattie confirmed that it had been Reed's idea but that it hadn't been a deep, dark plan. Lily lectured that one bad decision could lead to another, and they could soon be in over their heads. Mattie insisted that school was a priority to her, but Lily knew from experience that it was easy to be distracted by hormones.
Mattie asked if Lily had gotten in trouble when she'd been younger because Neil hadn't liked someone, and Lily confessed that she'd made bad decisions that had hurt people. Lily continued that her future could have been ruined because she'd experimented with sex before she'd been ready, and she regretted it. Lily understood that feelings could be overwhelming, but she didn't want Mattie to fall into the same trap of thinking that bending the rules or breaking the laws was okay. Lily cautioned that bad things could happen even with good intentions, but Mattie whined that it wasn't fair that she had to stay locked in her room and be perfect because Lily hadn't been.
Michael made a house call to Victoria and asked what the problem was, and she wanted to know her legal options to stop Cane. Victoria explained that she'd found Cane berating Reed in her home because Reed was dating Cane's daughter. Victoria didn't want Cane going after her or Reed ever again, but Michael scoffed at the idea of taking legal action because Cane didn't approve of his daughter's boyfriend. Victoria ranted that Cane had offered inside information to Jack and had tried to team with Ben Hochman to hurt her business, but she'd put a stop to it. Michael noted that she didn't have much leverage, but Victoria was determined to take out a restraining order.
Michael recommended against it because it would only escalate the conflict. He urged Victoria to consider what it would mean to put the kids in the middle of their parents' dispute, but she replied that they were already there. Michael pointed out that Cane hadn't done anything illegal or threatened violence, but Victoria argued that Cane had intimidated Reed. Michael doubted that it would alleviate the tension to press charges, and he reminded her that she knew what it was like to have an overprotective father. He questioned whether she'd ever just nodded her head and taken advice or if she'd fought even harder for what she'd wanted to prove Victor had been wrong.
Michael recalled that he'd heard Mattie was a sweet, responsible girl, but Victoria thought there were plenty of other lovely young women for Reed to go out with. Michael reasoned that even if Reed dated Mattie, the relationship likely wouldn't last more than the semester. Michael sympathized that everything was more dramatic at that age, since he'd been there with Fen. Victoria contended that she was more concerned that Cane's aggressive behavior would happen again, but Michael advised her to take a deep breath and let it go. She worried about what would happen if Cane didn't do the same thing.
Later, Reed returned home, and he admitted that he'd been stupid, especially after he'd just earned Victoria's trust back. Victoria grounded him for a week in addition to whatever punishment his school dished out. Surprised, Reed said he didn't mind, but he recalled that he'd had no phone, guitar, or life when he'd been grounded the last time. Victoria explained that she'd let him off easy because Cane had overstepped, and she was sorry that Mattie had to deal with a father like that. Reed lamented that Mattie was being punished for just wanting to hang out and be normal.
Victoria was afraid that Cane would make it impossible for Reed and Mattie to see one another again. Reed thought there had to be a way for him to see Mattie, but Victoria cautioned that sneaking around wouldn't earn any points. She said it had made her head explode to find Cane harassing Reed, and Reed realized that she didn't have a problem with Mattie, but he couldn't see Mattie because her dad was a jerk. Victoria insisted that it was the way things had to be for everyone's sake, including his and Mattie's.
At the Athletic Club, Michael approached Cane and mentioned Cane's visit to Reed. Cane wondered if Victoria had hired an attorney, but Michael indicated that he'd simply provided friendly advice to keep it a family matter rather than a legal one. Cane grumbled that the Newmans thought they controlled the world, but Michael noted that Cane had confronted a minor in the home of a former employer who'd fired him for cause. Cane asserted that he could tell whoever he wanted to stay away from his daughter, but Michael warned that Cane would regret it if he went after Victoria, her family, or her company.
Michael referred to a clause in Cane's termination paperwork that mandated that Cane stay away from the company offices, but he noted that Cane had still shown up there. Cane defended that Victoria had summoned him, but Michael told him to consider Victoria's business and residence off-limits. Cane retorted that he wouldn't have had to track Mattie down there if Reed had stayed away from her. Michael advised Cane not to push Victoria's buttons.
Sharon was surprised when Nikki stopped by the cottage. Nikki explained that she'd taken Faith to her riding lesson, but something had popped up, and she hoped Sharon could pick the girl up at the stables. Sharon was happy to do it as long as it was okay with Nick, and Nikki was sure that he'd be fine with it. Nikki hurriedly said she had to go, and Sharon asked if something was wrong. "It never ends, Sharon," Nikki bemoaned. Sharon surmised that it had to do with Victor, and Nikki swore that he wouldn't get away with it "this time."
In the stables, Sharon told someone over the phone that it killed her that she'd lost track of Alice, but she refused to give up. She quickly hung up when she heard Faith approaching, and Faith crowed that she'd taken Patches through the whole obstacle course twice. Sharon indicated that Faith would stay with her until Nick got there to take her home, but Faith corrected that Sharon meant Chelsea's place. Sharon hoped that Faith could start to see it as her own home, too, but Faith whined that she missed living at the ranch. Faith asked to see her grandpa, but Sharon thought he might be at work, and she suggested that they have some overdue girl time. They hugged.
At the Underground, Nick became incensed when Victor implied that Nick would let pride get in the way of what was best for Noah. Nick testily suggested that Victor look in the mirror to see that kind of guy, but Victor reiterated that he was there to help his grandson. Noah pointed out that they would have been screwed without a liquor license, but they could move forward with their plans. Victor taunted that the investment would have been for naught without a license, and he pointedly stated that Nick still had a lot to learn.
Victor instructed Noah to let him handle the license for the next club, but Nick indicated that it wouldn't be necessary. Victor lectured that dealing with clubs wasn't the same as coffeehouses, since liquor license boards preferred applicants to have a track record in the state. Nick retorted that he had a solid track record that spoke for itself, and Victor told him to believe what he wanted, but it was essential to cultivate connections to be successful in business. Nick referred to it as greasing palms, and he refused to follow Victor's version of the rules to get ahead. Noah promised to keep Victor posted on their progress, and Nick seethed as Victor departed.
Nick remarked that it was cool to know that they'd be able to serve more than water, and Noah praised him for keeping his cool with Victor. Nick figured that he'd dealt with it his whole life, and he wanted to focus on the positive, like getting their second location up and running then moving on to number three. Nikki entered the bar and sensed that the men had just gotten good news, and she asked to speak with Nick alone. After Noah stepped out to the back room, Nick explained that Victor had pulled some strings to get them a liquor license, and Nick had accepted it because it had meant a lot to Noah. Nick was determined not to let his feelings get in the way of his kids' relationships with their grandfather, but Nikki revealed that Victor hadn't been playing by the same rules where Faith was concerned.
Nikki divulged that the camp director had confirmed that Victor had gone to see Faith at camp the night before she'd returned home. Nick surmised that Victor had wanted to get to Faith first to paint himself as the good guy who hadn't wanted Faith to be caught off guard by her father's thoughtless decision to move off the ranch. Nick said he'd never told Faith the truth about the move because he hadn't wanted to damage her feelings toward her grandfather, but it was clear that Victor had twisted the truth to draw her closer. Nick realized that he had to tell Faith why they'd really moved, or Faith would always resent him and Chelsea for taking her away from the ranch.
Nick arrived at the cottage, and Faith showed off the French braid that Sharon had styled in the girl's hair. Nick inquired about Faith's lesson, and she announced that her riding instructor had said she was ready to compete. Faith begged to join a competition the following month, and Nick promised that he and Sharon would discuss it further with the trainer to be sure they were comfortable with the events. Faith couldn't wait to tell her grandfather, but Nick said he needed to talk to her about her grandpa first. Nick mentioned that he'd heard that Victor had gone to see her before she'd gotten home from camp, and Faith asked when Victor had told him.
Nick clarified that Nikki had found out and had thought he should know, but he assured Faith that he wasn't mad that she hadn't told him. Faith hoped that he wasn't mad at her grandpa for wanting to see her, and Nick explained that the problem was that Victor hadn't been honest with her about why they'd really left the ranch. Nick revealed that he and Victor had gotten into an argument while Faith had been away, and Victor had decided that they shouldn't live on the ranch anymore. Faith was shocked that Victor had wanted them to leave, and Nick specified that Victor had wanted him gone. Nick admitted that he hadn't expected it, but all of the reasons he'd given for moving in with Chelsea had been true.
Faith realized that Nick hadn't told her about the move before she'd gotten home because he hadn't had a choice, but she wondered why he hadn't told her earlier about the real reason they'd moved. Sharon piped up that Nick hadn't wanted to upset Faith, who'd already had a big change to deal with. Faith recalled that Victor had seemed sad that he wouldn't get to see her as often, and Nick assured her that her grandfather cared. Nick said he'd wanted to explain things because Faith had still been confused about why they'd moved, but he didn't want her to resent her grandfather in any way. Faith thanked Nick for telling her, and she asked if she could go put away some riding gear that she'd left in the stables.
After Faith headed out, Nick griped that just when he'd thought Victor had no more ways to screw him over, his father had found another one, and Victor would do anything to keep from losing his grandkids. Sharon noted that Faith had kept Victor's secret the whole time, and Nick was sure that Victor had counted on the fact that Faith worshiped him. Nick was glad that Faith knew that things weren't the way her grandfather had made them appear, and Sharon inquired about Nick's policy for letting Faith spend time with Victor. Nick planned to still let Faith see her grandfather, but he insisted that they keep an eye on things to make sure Victor didn't start pulling Faith's strings again.
Victor encountered Faith in the stables, and he was surprised by her curt replies to his questions. He asked what was wrong, and she ranted that he'd lied to her about why she and her family had left the ranch. She recounted that Victor had told her that Nick had wanted to move out of their house, but she'd learned that Victor had kicked him out. Faith questioned how Victor could be that mean, and she spat that he'd said he'd never lie to her, but he had. Nick called out for Faith.
At Brash & Sassy, Victoria informed Billy that Michael had advised her not to take any legal action against Cane. She lamented that she'd had no idea what a minefield she'd been walking into when she'd gone home, and Billy mentioned that he'd just danced around a minefield of his own that day with Phyllis. He relayed his conversation with Phyllis about how Jack thought they'd planted a spy at Jabot, and Victoria asked if Phyllis suspected that Billy had used her computer to access Jabot's server. Billy assured Victoria that the secret was safe, since Phyllis would have let him have it if she had suspected anything. Victoria warned Billy to be careful, since she didn't want things to backfire if he risked signing on again.
Victor entered the office and hoped he wasn't interrupting, but Billy dryly replied that Victor wouldn't have interrupted if that were true. After Billy departed, Victor recalled that Victoria had asked for advice the last time they'd had dinner, so he'd stopped by to see how she was doing. She informed him that she'd taken his advice to be more proactive about changing people's perception of Brash & Sassy, and she was feeling hopeful and confident about her plan of attack. Victor requested to see his grandkids, and he mentioned that he still had the opportunity to spend time with Faith, despite his falling-out with Nick. He hoped Victoria would do him the same favor, and they agreed to make plans.
In Ravi's office at Jabot, Phyllis told Ravi that only a handful of people had known about Jack's plans, but Billy and Victoria had figured out that Jack was pushing to replace Brash & Sassy with Parker Beauty. Phyllis figured that either Jabot had a mole or someone had said something they shouldn't have. She was determined to find out how Billy and Victoria had gotten their hands on private information, and she believed Ravi was the man to do it. Ravi thought corporate espionage seemed far-fetched, but Phyllis argued that it wasn't when a Newman was involved.
Ravi theorized that it had simply been a careless mistake, and he inquired whether it was possible that Phyllis had inadvertently slipped. She swore that there had been no chance, since she was on Jabot's side of the battle. Ravi didn't understand why Phyllis didn't support Billy doing a job he loved, but she contended that it was why she wanted Brash & Sassy to lose. She explained that Billy was committed to the company and its CEO, but she had a feeling that Victoria was trying to pull something shady. Phyllis needed Ravi's help to stop the leak. She wondered if someone who had found out about Jack's plans had decided to sell the information for a price, and Ravi wondered if someone had gained access electronically.
Phyllis requested that Ravi do some digging to find out if anyone had accessed the files on the server, since perhaps the system wasn't as secure as they'd thought. Billy tracked Phyllis down in Ravi's office, and she considered Billy brave to risk Jack finding him there. Billy insisted that it was important, and Ravi offered to work on Phyllis' project from home and get her results within a few days. After Ravi left, Billy told Phyllis that he thought they needed to talk about what was happening between them.
Billy recognized that he was responsible for a lot of the tension, and he apologized for overreacting about Jack's suspicions. Phyllis accepted his apology, and she conceded that she should have kept her mouth shut. He wanted to make it up to her by taking her out to a romantic dinner, and she mused that it sounded perfect. They kissed.
In Jack's office, Jack was impressed that Ashley had obtained Graham's personnel file from Mergeron. He considered it to be as intriguing as it was disturbing, given how many times Graham had applied and failed. Ashley informed him that Graham had finally gotten an executive position after he'd met Dina at a social event, and their mother had hired him despite his lack of qualifications. Jack thought it sounded like stalking and emotional manipulation, and Ashley suspected that Graham had targeted Dina. She was adamant that they find out why.
Jack recounted that Dina had told him that Graham had lived a tough life, being penniless on the streets with his mother after their father had left them, but Graham had found a new family with Dina. Dina entered the office, and Jack said he'd been starting to worry that she wouldn't be back. Dina replied that she hadn't been sure she'd be welcome, since they'd been incensed when she'd shown her report to Graham. Jack hoped she understood his concerns about being careful with confidential information, since he had to look at anyone outside Jabot as a potential enemy. Jack reminded Dina that to continue working there, she'd have to do so without Graham's involvement, and he asked if she could live with his terms.
Dina promised that Graham would never read another word of Jabot material, and Jack and Ashley thanked her. Jack excused himself to go to a meeting, and Dina complained to Ashley that she couldn't understand why they still judged Graham that harshly. Ashley suspected that Graham hadn't been honest with Dina and asked how they'd met. Dina replied that they'd met in Monte Carlo on a sheik's yacht, but Ashley was skeptical that Graham had been an invited guest. Ashley considered the possibility that Graham had found a way onto the boat to meet Dina, and Dina found the idea flattering. Ashley noted that Graham had tried for many years to get a job at Mergeron, to no avail -- until the night he'd charmed Dina into hiring him.
Dina chided Ashley for digging around in Graham's past, but Ashley thought Dina couldn't see the truth because her mother was blinded by infatuation. Dina asserted that she could prove that Ashley was wrong, since she and Graham had keycards to one another's rooms, and she pulled out Graham's keycard. Ashley didn't think Graham would approve, but Dina doubted Ashley cared, and she expected an apology once Ashley searched his room and realized that he had nothing to hide. Dina plunked the keycard down on the desk and stormed out.
Jack returned from his meeting and was glad to find Dina in the corridor. He invited her to his office to finish their discussion, but she told him to zip it, since the enemy was approaching. Nikki greeted them and said she needed to see Jack, and Dina sarcastically declared that they'd put everything else aside. Jack told Dina that they'd talk later, and he led Nikki into his office. He assumed from her demeanor that Victor had done something, but she replied that she was there to escape the drama, since she'd had no peace since they'd left the cabin.
Jack suggested that he and Nikki go back to the cabin that day, since he had been working hard and could use a break. She hoped he hadn't been busy sabotaging Brash & Sassy, and he assured her that he and Victoria had declared a ceasefire. Nikki hoped it lasted, since she knew he still wanted to get back at Billy for his betrayal. Nikki thought they were both clever businessmen who didn't have to tear one another down to build themselves up, since they'd only end up hurting each another. Jack swore that he didn't want to hurt himself, Jabot, or what he and Nikki had together.
Nikki found Dina waiting in the corridor and informed her that Jack would be out shortly. Nikki anticipated that Dina wanted to tell her how much she disapproved of Nikki and Jack's relationship, but she chose to ignore Dina's opinion. Dina snapped that she couldn't ignore Nikki using Jack as a port in the storm while she was still married to Victor, but Nikki clarified that she was separated. Dina figured that Jack was the perfect person to warm Nikki's bed to make Victor jealous, but Nikki retorted that she didn't care what Victor thought. Jack exited his office and informed Dina that he and Nikki were going to the cabin, so he'd see his mother the next day -- or maybe not. Dina glowered.
Victoria caught Jack and Nikki kissing on the elevator. Victoria teased that she hadn't expected to see Nikki or "that," and Nikki informed her that they were on their way to the cabin. Nikki mentioned that Jack had told her about his truce with Victoria, and Victoria said she was really glad Jack had been willing to go along with the idea. Victoria told Jack to enjoy his time off from work.
Dina cheerfully greeted Billy, and she informed him that the coast was clear, since Jack had just left with Nikki. Phyllis joined them and tried to lead Billy out, but Dina announced that she had a question for Billy. Dina inquired why he and his brother chose women who were so clearly bad for them, especially since Billy knew everything he needed to know about Phyllis. Dina warned that Phyllis would betray Billy just like she'd betrayed his brother, and she advised him to get out while he still could.
Ashley used the keycard to access Graham's room. She searched through his closet and drawers, and she noticed an envelope. She pulled out the contents and was stunned to find a receipt for an $8,000-a-month private suite at an assisted living residence. She jotted down the information and put the envelope back where she'd found it. She opened the door to leave and gasped when she saw Graham standing there.