At Chelsea's penthouse, Nick and Chelsea showed Nikki a protest flyer. The flyer stated that Genoa City intended to award developer Newman Enterprises the right to replace Chancellor Park with "a massive condo project." After Nikki read the flyer, she said, "Damn! Victor strikes again." Nick replied, "Dad is not going to like it when he finds out we're the ones trying to stop him. He is not going to want to lose to the two outcasts in the family." Nikki agreed with Nick and said he'd just given her more reason to fight.
At Chancellor Park, visitors paused to pick up a protest flyer. Victor happened by, picked up a flyer, and read it. After Victor arrived at his office at Newman Enterprises, he showed the flyer to Victoria and said, "I see things have happened while I was gone." Victoria told Victor that Nick was leading the protest after discovering that Newman Enterprises was behind Alco. Victor asked who'd informed Nick about the connection between Alco and Newman Enterprises. Victoria said she didn't know yet.
Victoria told Victor that she'd tried to make Nick understand that even Katherine would've approved of the project. Victor pointed out that though the park was named after Katherine, Genoa City owned the land. Victoria expressed concern that citizens would view Newman Enterprises as a greedy corporation attempting to desecrate a landmark dedicated to a former resident. Victor said he had no intention of destroying Katherine's legacy. Victor defiantly destroyed the flyer and said, "No one is going to stop me from developing this project!"
After meeting with Victor, Victoria gathered department heads, including Abby and Scott, together. Victoria explained that someone had leaked information regarding a Newman Enterprises' project to a person outside the company. Abby glanced nervously at Scott. Victoria noted that though subterfuge was galling, it was especially problematic while the company remained under investigation. Victoria added that the leak of confidential information could jeopardize a project, thus placing jobs at risk. Abby insisted that the responsible party should be sought out and dealt with accordingly. Victoria said she was hesitant to share additional details, but she asked that all employees report suspicious activity. After the meeting ended, Scott pulled Abby aside and said they should have a talk outside the office.
Victor met with Michael at Newman Enterprises. Michael informed Victor that the audit of Newman Enterprises had proven that the company's record was clean. Victor said it was the news he'd expected. Michael added, "Once they finish going over your personal accounts, assuming no red flag pops up, you and the company should be cleared of any alleged criminal involvement with Design Date." Nikki entered the office and asked to speak to Victor privately.
After Michael stepped out, Nikki told Victor that she and Nick were fighting against Victor's proposed development at Chancellor Park. Nikki reminded Victor that he'd be hard-pressed to locate someone in Genoa City that didn't adore Katherine. Victor assured Nikki that he, too, had loved Katherine and promised that Katherine's name would be commemorated at the center of the new plaza. Nikki insisted that the best way to honor Katherine would be to leave the park as it was. Nikki cried that green grass, fresh air, and trees would better serve the citizens of Genoa City.
Nikki reminded Victor that Katherine had been a champion for the homeless. Nikki insisted that Katherine wouldn't want her name associated with overpriced condos. Victor defended his project. He promised that housing would be available to low-income renters and that shops and other associated projects would create jobs and stimulate the economy. Nikki warned that Victor would soon face a battle he would lose.
At the Abbott mansion, Hilary delivered a stack of story ideas to Jack. Hilary was taken aback when Jack explained that he'd add notes about suggested changes. When Hilary expressed reservations about Jack's expertise in television production, he reminded her that he signed the checks. Jack admitted that both Hilary and Ashley had recently pointed out his habit of micromanaging. Jack noted that his conversation with Ashley hadn't been as pleasant.
Hilary told Jack she was concerned about him taking on too much. Jack insisted he could handle Hilary's show, manage Jabot, and take care of Dina because he was adept at multitasking. Hilary encouraged Jack to reconsider because balancing it all without letting something slide might not be attainable. Jack said he loved his mother and his role in running Jabot, but he admitted he hadn't yet found a way to do both. Hilary seemed concerned about Jack's insistence on handling everything without assistance.
At Crimson Lights, Scott purchased a box of sweet treats from Sharon. Knowing Scott intended to give the pastries to Victor, Sharon quipped that Victor preferred tequila. Scott replied, "After putting Hashtag back online without [Victor's] say-so, I wanted to demonstrate what a team player I can be." Sharon reminded Scott not to disclose that he'd passed on confidential information that Newman Enterprises was behind the Chancellor Park development. Scott told Sharon to forget that they'd ever spoken about it. Sharon offered to send a box of goodies to Scott's source, but she didn't know who'd shared the information about Newman Enterprises' intentions. An understood agreement to keep their lips sealed prompted Sharon and Scott to kiss before he left.
On the patio at the coffeehouse, Faith chatted with Nick and Devon. Faith noted that she'd sent a letter to Santa. Devon smiled when Faith said she expected to find everything she'd asked for under the tree because she'd been extra good. Faith asked Nick if he could drop her off at Chancellor Park so she could ice-skate with her friends. Nick sent Faith to ask her mom because he had a meeting with Devon. Faith reluctantly headed into the main dining room.
After Faith walked away, Nick explained to Devon that he was heading up a campaign to stop Victor's developers. Devon replied, "So it's Victor who wants to bulldoze my grandmother's memory like that?" Devon said he'd thought Katherine and Victor had been close friends. Nick suggested that Devon purchase the park and arrange for it to remain "as-is." Devon explained that Victor was a client of the public relations firm the Hamilton-Winters Group had recently purchased, so fighting Victor would be a conflict of interest.
Faith approached Sharon in the main dining room at the coffeehouse. Sharon, busily serving customers, explained that she wasn't free to drive Faith to Chancellor Park to skate with friends. Faith pleaded with her mom. Faith cried that her friends were expecting her. Again, Sharon explained that she was too busy. Faith suggested she could walk to the park, but Sharon said she wouldn't be comfortable allowing her child to walk alone or play unsupervised at the park.
Faith, disappointed, said she'd summon her nanny to drive her home. After Sharon walked away to serve a customer, Faith discovered a business card listing the name of a taxi service. Unknown to Sharon, Faith called a taxi. Faith told the dispatcher she should be picked up at a nearby corner and driven to Chancellor Park. Faith waited anxiously for the taxi to arrive.
Devon approached Sharon at the coffee counter. Sharon showed Devon a protest flyer and noted that Victor was destroying Genoa City's landmarks in the name of progress. Devon noted that no one could be certain about Victor's motives. Sharon assured Devon that it was wrong for Victor to carry out his plans for Chancellor Park. Sharon suggested that Devon use the money Katherine had left him to purchase the park. Devon noted that Nick had made the same proposal. Before Devon walked away, he added, "I have a lot to consider."
Before Devon left Crimson Lights, Hilary joined him on the patio and offered to buy him another cup of coffee. Hilary noticed that Devon seemed troubled, and she invited him to talk about it. Devon said he hadn't yet had an opportunity to discuss a pressing issue with Neil. Devon explained that Neil had traveled to New York to help look after Moses after Sofia had been injured in a car wreck. Hilary expressed sorrow that Devon and his family were dealing with hardships.
Devon agreed to share his problem with Hilary as long as she didn't blurt it out on her show. Hilary vowed not to and explained that she could no longer air anything without first clearing it with her sponsor. After Devon explained his dilemma, Hilary noted that Devon could either do right by Victor or choose to honor Katherine. Hilary said she knew Devon well enough to realize he'd already made a choice. Devon replied, "Act like you know me. All right. Well, if I'm going to beat Victor, how high should I bid?"
After Faith arrived at Chancellor Park, she sent a text message to her friends. When Scott and Abby approached, Faith quickly ducked out of sight. Abby told Scott she realized he was the one who'd leaked information about New Enterprises' plans to develop Chancellor Park. Scott replied, "Technically, it's you." Abby complained that Scott had put her in a terrible position at work. Scott noted that he'd gotten involved because Sharon was trying to help Nick save Chancellor Park. Abby berated Scott for using her to extract the information before running to Sharon. Scott said he'd already had suspicions about a Newman connection.
Abby told Scott that Victoria would find out and fire her. Scott said if Victoria ever found out, he'd step up to accept blame and keep Abby's name out of it. Abby said she felt disappointed, thinking that Scott had set her up. Scott assured Abby he wouldn't do such a thing to her. Abby seemed relieved knowing that Scott had her best interests at heart.
When Scott and Abby started to head back to the office, he noticed that she didn't have a pair of gloves. Abby said she hadn't had time to grab a pair. Scott offered his gloves to Abby, but she said she'd just slip her hands into her pockets. Scott held Abby's hands between his and gently blew warm air in between her clasped palms. After a moment, Abby and Scott kissed on the lips. Faith stepped out of her hiding place and saw the kiss. Faith quickly ducked away, but she seemed shocked by what she'd witnessed.
After Nick returned home, he told Chelsea that Devon might consider purchasing Chancellor Park. Chelsea said she'd keep her fingers crossed. Nick explained that Nikki had met with Victor. Nick added that he didn't want his broken relationship with Victor to overshadow concerns about Chancellor Park. Nick admitted he'd been tempted to confront Victor, but he didn't want the issue to become a father-son problem. Chelsea praised Nick for approaching the issue maturely. Nikki joined Nick and Chelsea. Nikki reported that she'd failed to change Victor's mind. Nikki vowed to find another way to stop Victor.
At Jabot, Ashley and Ravi entered her office together. Ashley noticed a bouquet of orchids sitting on her desk and noted that Jack had sent them as an apology. Ashley told Ravi she had other pressing concerns and didn't share details of her earlier clash with Jack. Ashley was taken aback when Ravi suddenly gave notice that he would leave Jabot. Ashley mentioned Ravi's contract, but he explained that his contract had an opt-out clause. Ravi noted that he'd received a lucrative job offer with more money and benefits from Victoria Newman.
Ashley confronted Victoria outside Victor's office at Newman Enterprises. Victoria, wishing to avoid Victor's office, explained that her office wasn't quite ready for meetings. Ashley said they could talk in the hallway, though Victoria might wish to summon her legal team. Michael showed up and began poring over Ravi's contract with Jabot. Victoria smugly noted that Ravi would begin work for her, adding that she'd covered her bases legally.
Ashley insisted she wouldn't allow Victoria to steal Jabot's top IT employee. Victoria offered to write a check to Ashley to cover her losses. Victoria noted that Ravi's contract allowed him to leave employment at Jabot if he was offered a better deal at another firm. Ashley, threatening a lawsuit, explained that Ravi's contract contained a non-compete clause, which prevented him from leaving her company and immediately joining Newman Enterprises. Victoria explained that Newman wasn't a competitor with Jabot, so the clause didn't apply. Michael noted that after the acquisition of Brash & Sassy, Newman Enterprises had become a competitor with Jabot.
After Ashley left, Victoria told Victor she'd had to rescind the job offer to Ravi after Ashley had forced her hand. Victor said it was best to avoid conflicts and bad press. Victor, distracted, added, "I want this park project to go through." Victoria agreed that the last thing they needed was a war with Jabot. Michael entered and told Victor and Victoria that the authorities hadn't yet closed their audit. Michael explained that auditors had discovered an anomaly in one of Victor's bank accounts. Victor angrily replied, "They're grasping at anything to charge me! It's pathetic!"
After Ashley returned to Jabot, she met with Ravi. Ashley told Ravi she'd fought to keep him at Jabot, though she wasn't certain about the depth of his loyalty. Ravi replied, "I am loyal to this company and, more importantly, to you. When I accepted Victoria's offer, I was trying to do right by us." Ravi explained that he'd decided to leave Jabot so he and Ashley could be freer to deepen their relationship. Ashley told Ravi that she'd been willing to go to the mat for him.
Ashley returned home to talk to Jack. After Ashley thanked Jack for the flowers, he admitted how much he hated fighting with her. Ashley expressed regret for some of the things she'd said to Jack. Jack noted that Traci had suggested a compromise, and he showed Ashley a work order he'd signed to revamp the lab at Jabot. Jack explained that with Brash & Sassy gone, he thought Ashley deserved a state-of-the art lab so she could develop new products to keep Jabot on top.
Ashley, frustrated, noted that Jack hoped she might devote her full attention to work in the lab. Ashley said that apparently there was nothing she could do to prevent Jack from assuming control of Jabot again. Ashley asked about Dina's care. Jack said he'd run the company from home. Ashley warned that Jack would be short-changing both Jabot and Dina. Jack told Ashley he enough confidence for both of them put together.
J.T. returns to investigate Victor
At the cottage, Sharon panicked when she realized that her final exam would prevent her from taking Faith to school. Scott volunteered to drop Faith off, but the girl complained that he drove too fast. Scott promised to go below the speed limit, but Mariah stepped up to take Faith, who gratefully accepted. Mariah and Faith headed to the door, and Scott told Faith to have a good one. Faith scowled before wordlessly exiting.
Scott quizzed Sharon to help her prepare for her final, and he inquired about the possible ways to tick off a teenage girl without realizing it. Sharon speculated that Faith hadn't wanted to answer her friends' questions if they saw him drop her off, but Scott suspected that something else had changed Faith's behavior. Sharon considered that Faith might be jealous of having to share her mom's attention, since Faith had had the same issue when Nick had moved in with Chelsea. Scott wondered what he could do to get Faith to like him, and Sharon advised him to be himself. Sharon was sure that Faith would be as crazy about him as her mom was in no time.
Later, Scott entered Crimson Lights and ran into Mariah. He asked how Faith's ride to school had gone, and Mariah reported that Faith hadn't complained about him. Mariah assured him that he shouldn't be too offended because Faith took a while to warm up to people, but Scott recounted that he and Faith had been getting along great until that day. Mariah cautioned that he'd have to get used to the mood swings of a teenager, and Scott requested Mariah's advice about what he should get Sharon for Christmas. "Besides a diamond ring?" Mariah asked.
Scott wondered if Sharon had hinted about a ring or was expecting one. Mariah replied that Sharon hadn't said anything about one, but she didn't think Sharon would turn him down if he proposed. Scott admitted that he'd been thinking of something more like earrings or a bracelet, since he thought it was too soon for an engagement. Mariah agreed, but she thought Sharon's timetable was different. Mariah recognized that she was the last person who should give advice on marriage or relationships.
Scott asked for Mariah's take on happily ever afters, and she said she didn't believe in them. Scott confided that he also hadn't when he'd been toting his life around in a carry-on, but there had been only so many times he had been able to stare down the barrel of a gun without rethinking his life. He added that he'd never expected to get involved with Sharon, but he'd been inspired by her bravery, and he rambled on about her amazing, generous heart. Mariah remarked that she hadn't heard anyone talk like that outside of novels or movies, and she inquired whether he was ready to go diamond shopping. He replied that he wasn't yet, but he might ask her to help him pick out the perfect rock one day.
Later, Mariah and Faith returned home, and Faith asked if "he" was there. Mariah pushed her to spill about her issue with Scott. Faith argued that Mariah was mad at people all the time, but Mariah pointed out that she had a reason when she was. Mariah figured that it was sometimes easier to write someone off after they'd done even just one bad thing instead of working things out. Faith started to explain, but Scott entered with flowers and bags of groceries and announced his plan to surprise Sharon by cooking for her that night. Mariah offered to pitch in and firmly stated that Faith could help after her homework.
Scott admired the vase of flowers and called it the perfect centerpiece, but Faith demanded to know why he was suddenly doing something like that. Scott explained that finishing finals was a big deal, and Mariah contended that he was being considerate. They heard someone at the door, and Sharon entered to their yell of, "Surprise!" Scott said completing her finals warranted a celebration, and Sharon noted that something smelled delicious. Scott praised Mariah and Faith for their assistance, but Mariah credited Scott for having the idea. Sharon hugged Scott and whispered in his ear that she would thank him thoroughly later. Faith despondently looked away.
After dinner, Scott insisted that Sharon relax while he cleaned up the kitchen, but she told him the dishes could wait. He suggested moving upstairs if she intended to have her way with him, but she insisted on telling him something first. She recounted calling Scott after he'd sped off from Top of the Tower on the night he and Abby had gone missing, and he remembered that they'd been cut off. Sharon confessed that she'd said something more than just to be safe, and she professed her love to Scott. He said he loved her, too, and they kissed as Faith glowered at them from the top of the stairs.
At the Abbott mansion, Dina wandered downstairs and asked Ashley where Jack was. He assured his mother that he was there, and Dina waited for the sniping over Jabot to begin. Jack and Ashley revealed that they'd agreed to a compromise, with Ashley doing what she loved by working in the lab and Jack resuming his duties as full-time CEO. Dina was offended that they hadn't consulted her, and she headed off to pack her bags and take the next flight to Paris before they could put her in a nursing home.
Ashley explained that Jack would provide care for Dina there, but Dina had doubts about how he'd run the company from home. Ashley offered to take care of Jack's meetings that day, but Jack insisted on taking them himself. Jack anticipated that Mrs. Martinez would run interference, so he was ready to handle all the challenges. He noticed that Dina had started taking ornaments off the Christmas tree, and she remarked that it was odd that the decorations were still up in February. Ashley questioned what Jack would do if something happened in the middle of a business meeting, but he swore that he could keep Dina occupied while he worked. Ashley wished him luck.
On a video conference chat, Jack negotiated with a supplier to get a discount on organic products. Dina appeared behind him and believed that he was speaking with Traci, and the supplier looked confused as Dina babbled about a great idea for a new book. Jack put the chat on hold and informed Dina that he'd been in the middle of an important negotiation, but Dina complained that she hadn't finished chatting with Traci. Jack suggested that Dina help him by watching the business news report and updating him about it, and he stressed that she needed to watch it until the end to get the best tips. Dina agreed to chat with Traci later, and she stepped away. Jack turned back to his computer, but his colleague had left the chat.
At Newman Enterprises, Victoria walked in on Victor and Michael's meeting and assumed it was about the audit. Michael reported that he'd been encouraging her father to take preemptive action, but Victor had been resisting. Victor contended that the authorities wouldn't have sent their top auditors there to sniff out evidence if they had anything of substance, and he intended to find out what the authorities knew so he could fight them. After Michael stepped out, Victoria recognized that the last year had been a rough one for them, but she'd thought she'd made it clear that she was fully on Victor's side. She encouraged him to be honest with her about how much trouble they were in.
Victor emailed his files to Victoria and invited her to peruse them if she was concerned that he was holding something back. She insisted that she believed him, and she mused that it had taken a long time for her to regain his trust. She imagined that not knowing what the investigators had uncovered was making him crazy, but he swore that his financials were on the up and up. He mentioned that their numbers for the quarter looked very good, and he suggested that they have an elaborate lunch on the town to be seen and envied.
At Top of the Tower, Gloria griped to Kevin about Ashley being appointed temporary CEO. Kevin wondered what was keeping Michael, and Gloria grumbled that when Victor snapped his fingers, people went running. Michael arrived, and Gloria groused that she had to get to the office. Michael promised to make it up to her, and she deadpanned that lots of cash always worked. After she left, Kevin chided Michael for not making it on time, but Michael pointed out that he had to deal with their mother on a daily basis, and Kevin granted a one-time pass.
Michael commented that he would have preferred to be there instead of dealing with Victor, but he cited attorney-client privilege when Kevin pressed for details. Kevin reasoned that everyone knew the authorities were looking into Victor's finances, and Michael confided that the issue had to do with an anomaly in one of Victor's personal bank accounts. Michael asked if Kevin had his computer with him to look for an error in Victor's electronic bank records. Kevin surmised that a wealthy person like Victor wouldn't have his accounts set up like theirs, and he'd learned the difference in security levels during his PassKey days. Michael realized that Kevin might be the solution he was looking for.
Kevin was stunned when Michael asked him to help out by looking into why the authorities were going after his client. Kevin protested that it was too dangerous, since he'd risk going to prison if he was caught snooping through records that were considered government property, and Michael could face losing his license again. Michael conceded that Kevin's points were valid, and he admitted that he'd gotten carried away. Michael told Kevin to forget he'd asked, and Kevin mumbled to himself that he wished he could. Later, a nervous Kevin told someone on the phone that things were starting to unravel, and he couldn't stop it. He cautioned that it wouldn't be long before Victor discovered what they'd done.
At Jabot, Gloria handed Ashley a storage box and chirped that she wouldn't want to slow down Ashley's departure. Ashley reminded her that Ashley outranked her and always would, but Gloria anticipated that things would go smoother with Jack there. Ashley informed Gloria that Jack would be working from the house while he cared for Dina, so Gloria would be working there, too. Gloria protested that Dina would be criticizing her all the time, and Ashley welcomed Gloria to find another job someplace else. Gloria imagined that she could adapt if she was properly compensated, and Ashley instructed her to take it up with the CEO.
At the Athletic Club, Ashley spied Victor and Victoria enjoying drinks and asked if they were celebrating something. He crowed that they'd had an extremely profitable quarter, and Ashley dryly hoped it had eased the sting from Victoria's unsuccessful attempt to poach Ravi. Victoria intended to get someone with more experience who wasn't in love with Ashley, and Victor imagined that Jabot's success might equal Newman's one day. Ashley declared her intent to have the best cosmetics division in the new year, and Victor offered to give her tips for her new role as CEO. Ashley indicated that things had shifted for the better.
Ashley informed Victor and Victoria that Jack was running Jabot again, and Victor asked how things were with Dina. Ashley indicated that some days were better than others, and they were pulling together as a family to keep her safe and happy. Ashley pointedly added that they still had plenty of energy to battle Brash & Sassy, and Victor clucked that Ashley was carrying her own load as well as Jack's. Victor surmised that Jack wanted to prove to the world that he could do it all, since Jack thought foremost about himself. Ashley countered that Victor was the same way, but Victor asserted that it was different because he hadn't inherited his company. Victor believed that Jack's insecurities wouldn't allow him to keep his ego in check, and he warned Ashley that Jack always took on too much.
Gloria stopped by the mansion and helped set Jack up to work at home. She gushed that Jabot would thrive under his leadership, but she sensed that something was bothering him. He revealed that his confused mother had interrupted an important video conference. Dina became incensed when she returned to the room and spied Gloria. Dina ranted about being subjected to a tacky gold digger in her home on a daily basis, and Gloria forced a smile and asked how Dina was doing.
Dina was appalled when she realized that Jack had told Gloria about Dina's health, and she refused to be pitied. Dina warned Gloria not to think that Dina couldn't defend herself in a verbal catfight, and she dared Gloria to try to best her. Gloria bit her tongue and told herself that she needed the job, and Dina begged Jack to give Gloria permission to "call a bitch a bitch." Gloria told Dina to suck it up and back off, since she wasn't going anywhere. "You self-righteous, stuck-up old bitch!" Gloria bellowed. Dina cackled and gleefully exclaimed, "Now we're talking!"
Later, Gloria proclaimed that she and Jack had accomplished a lot, but Dina taunted that her secretary had done more while filing her nails. Jack led Gloria to the door and apologized, and she wished him luck for the rest of the day. After Gloria departed, Dina offered to update Jack on the business news, and she mentioned that Victor had looked dashing in the segment on Newman's success. Dina imagined that Katherine was over the moon with the coup Chancellor had pulled, but Jack remarked that Chancellor had been stagnant for months. Dina announced that they'd acquired a new skincare manufacturer, and Jack was stunned when he searched online and found an article about it.
Jack realized that Chancellor would make a fortune from the acquisition, and Dina wished that Jabot was in such good shape. Jack defended that it was holding its own, despite Ashley's unfortunate choices, but Dina ordered him to stop making excuses. Dina recalled that Jabot had risen to the top under John, but John had always said Jack was a disappointment. Taken aback, Jack stammered that he was sure his father hadn't said that, but Dina haughtily stated that Jack had let the man down his entire life. Jack looked crushed.
Ashley returned home, and Jack inquired whether she'd seen the business headlines that day, since Jabot was lagging behind Newman and Chancellor. She pointed out that she'd barely had time to warm the CEO chair, but they were gaining profits. Jack griped that the competition was gaining ground, and Jabot hadn't been featured in the business news. Ashley jokingly asked whether getting his picture in the paper mattered all that much, and he huffed that it was clear why they were stuck in neutral. Ashley questioned whether his ego was really that fragile, and Jack vowed not to let his father's legacy wither away and die.
Ashley refused to let Jack accuse her of destroying the company, and Jack swore that he wasn't placing any blame, but they couldn't let things slide. He insisted on preserving the same legacy for their kids that their dad had passed to them, and she urged him to take a breath. Ashley reasoned that success wouldn't happen in one day or one conversation, but they'd continue working together for many years. Jack imagined that Dina had thought that, too, but they didn't know how much time they had. He was determined to leave his mark, and he insisted that he had to do it then.
At Newman, Victor and Victoria prepared to leave for the day, but Michael entered and informed them that the authorities were sending an official to meet with them personally about the audit anomalies. Victor suggested that they make an appointment, but Michael reported that the authorities were treating it like an emergency. Victoria figured that it was just a power play, and Michael could just tell them that Victor had left for the day. Michael stressed that attendance was mandatory that night for both Victor and Victoria, and she wondered what they wanted from her.
Victoria complained that it was all a game to the authorities, and she blasted them for using scare tactics like alluding to anomalies and scheduling pop-in meetings. Victor refused to be intimidated, and Victoria suggested that they present a united front. Victor barked that the authorities would be talking to an empty room if they didn't get there soon, and the door opened. J.T. sauntered in and coolly greeted the Newmans.
Cane's success becomes the talk of the town>
Victoria was shocked when ex-husband J.T. Hellstrom made an appearance on official business in Victor's office. Later, in flashbacks, Victoria recalled various arguments that had slowly destroyed their marriage. When J.T. had left town years before, he'd taken Reed, having gained custody of the boy. At the time, Victoria had vowed never to forgive J.T. After the surprise reunion at Newman Enterprises, Victoria became edgy and took a break at the Genoa City Athletic Club. Victoria, lost in thought, gasped in surprise when Nick approached and startled her.
Victoria told Nick she'd become engrossed while catching up on reading via her tablet. Nick directed Victoria to a particular news article titled "Chancellor Industries: The One to Watch in 2018." Cane's photo appeared alongside the article touting the acting CEO's plans to move the company ahead. Victoria noted that Newman Enterprises had previously garnered such headlines. Nick said similar headlines had touted Newman Enterprises' successes before the company had become entangled in a sex trafficking debacle. Nick also denounced his father's company for its plan to turn a park with a playground into luxury condos for the elite.
Nick joined Victoria for coffee and noted the Cane had managed to garner prime press coverage for someone who, in recent months, hadn't been able to land any job. Victoria explained that Cane had approached Jill for a job. Jill, Victoria added, considered Cane to be like a son. Victoria, citing Cane's character flaws, said she didn't envision him being a threatening competitor. Victoria insisted that Newman Enterprises would be fine. Nick informed Victoria that Devon intended to bid against Newman Enterprises for the purchase of Chancellor Park. Nick admitted he'd convinced Devon to get involved. Nick confidently felt his side would win, and he suggested that Victoria be the first to congratulate him.
After Nick left, J.T. greeted Victoria and said she was probably wondering why he was involved with the audit at Newman Enterprises. Victoria learned that J.T. investigated online fraud. J.T. explained that Paul had summoned him to investigate Newman Enterprises' alleged connection to Zack Stinnett. Victoria expressed anger that Paul and Christine expected to uncover criminal conduct connected with Newman Enterprises. Victoria suggested that J.T.'s involvement was a conflict of interest.
J.T. noted someone in high command had approved the assignment. Victoria asked if J.T. had jumped at the chance to make trouble for Victor. J.T. insisted he'd accepted the temporary job assignment in part because it offered free travel to the United States to visit Reed before Christmas. J.T. explained that he'd be flying back to Warsaw to be with Mac and their children by Christmas Eve.
Victoria turned her conversation with J.T. back to the investigation. Victoria asked J.T. to share what he knew so far. J.T. explained that there had been a number of sizable transactions made from one of Victor's personal accounts to an anonymous offshore account. J.T. noted that someone was trying to hide something. Victoria appeared concerned when J.T. said he intended to find out who was involved and why. J.T. strongly advised Victoria to prepare herself.
At the Chancellor estate, a deliveryman left a basket filled with gourmet treats. Cane read the accompanying card, which simply offered "Congrats." Cane phoned his father to thank him and Jill for sending the basket. Hilary stopped by and begged to interview Cane about his plans for Chancellor Enterprises. Cane accepted Hilary's offer and announced that things were looking up for him. Hilary seemed to be sincerely happy for Cane.
On the patio at Crimson Lights, Abby met with Lily. Abby asked Lily about the status of her relationship with Cane. Lily explained that though she still cared for Cane, she'd been unable to deal with the lies he'd told. Abby asked if Lily would press for a divorce after Cane's newborn son was sent home from the hospital. Lily replied, "I think I have to." Abby noted that it was a big decision, so Lily should be absolutely certain.
Lily changed the subject and recalled that Abby had recently mentioned a new man in her life. Abby appeared reluctant to talk, but Lily swore she wouldn't tell anyone. Abby noted that she'd never envisioned being attracted to the man, and she insisted they weren't involved in a romance. Abby added that nonetheless, she couldn't stop thinking about him. Lily was shocked to learn that it was Scott Grainger. Lily nearly choked on her coffee when Abby, describing her relationship with Scott, said, "We had sex."
Lily listened as Abby explained that she and Scott had had sex while the two had been locked in the storage unit. Abby also noted that she and Scott had later shared a passionate kiss. Lily mentioned Scott's relationship with Sharon. Abby said she felt Scott was trying to deny his attraction to her and had even taken it so far as to move in with Sharon. Lily advised Abby not to let Scott string her along. Abby said she would force Scott to choose between her and Sharon.
In the main dining room at the coffeehouse, Billy urged Phyllis to quit work so they could spend more time together making love, traveling, and enjoying life. Phyllis explained that she enjoyed working for Lauren and couldn't forget that her friend had given her a job when she'd desperately needed employment. Phyllis added that Lauren needed her. Before Phyllis headed to work, she challenged Billy to plan a creative endeavor she could look forward to after work. Billy promised he would and kissed Phyllis goodbye.
After Cane taped an interview with Hilary on her show, they stopped by Crimson Lights for coffee. Hilary applauded Cane's handling of the interview. Cane praised Hilary's amazing interview techniques. Cane expressed his appreciation to Hilary for giving him an outlet to express his positive attributes. Cane insisted on buying the coffee, but Hilary said she assumed Cane would be in a rush to get to his office. Cane said he had something more important to take care of, and he left.
After Cane left, Hilary ran into Lily. Hilary said Lily had just missed Cane. Hilary said she'd interviewed Cane on her show. Lily quipped that Hilary had likely ambushed Cane. Hilary explained that she'd changed her show's format to present upbeat messages because Jabot was a corporate sponsor. Hilary told Lily that a respected publication had proclaimed Chancellor Industries to be a resurgent force thanks to Cane's leadership. Lily became frustrated when Hilary said Cane probably hadn't shared his news because he thought Lily wouldn't care.
Cane and Victoria ran into each other at Chancellor Park. Victoria asked about Sam. Cane said his baby was getting better by the day. Victoria congratulated Cane on his success at Chancellor Industries. Cane told Victoria she didn't have to pretend to care about his baby or his career. Victoria suggested they end the animosity because the last thing Newman Enterprises needed was a feud. Cane said he couldn't easily forget how Victoria had kicked him when he'd been down. Cane warned Victoria and others that had wronged him to watch out because he was back in power.
Lily stopped by the Chancellor mansion to visit Cane. Lily said she wished to congratulate Cane personally on his success. Cane excused himself and continued a conversation with a beautiful woman sitting on the sofa in the living room. Lily was surprised to see Cane with the woman. After the woman left, Cane told Lily the woman was a nanny he'd interviewed. Cane added that Sam was doing well and should be released soon. Lily told Cane she was proud of him and happy that things were looking up. Cane's phone interrupted the conversation, and Lily offered to let him get back to business. Cane told Lily he'd enjoyed her visit.
After Lily's visit with Cane, she went to the Genoa City Athletic Club for dinner. Feeling alone, Lily phoned Cane. He answered, "Hey, it's Cane Ashby." Lily replied, "This is Lily Ashby." Cane asked to place Lily on speakerphone, so he could reply to an urgent email. Lily said he could, and she invited him to dine with her so they could catch up. Cane explained that he had to attend a business dinner before heading to the hospital. Lily accepted Cane's invitation to have dinner together another time. After Lily hung up, she seemed disappointed.
At Chancellor Park, Billy and Nick passed each other while out taking a run. Billy mentioned Nick's crusade to save the park. Billy noted that the park was named after one of the greatest women he'd ever known and was loved by children and adults alike. Billy mentioned the tree planted in Katherine's honor and denounced Victor for threatening to destroy the park to build another vanity project. Nick agreed and pointed out that he and Billy actually shared something in common. Nick later stopped by the coffeehouse. Hilary told Nick that an anonymous person had outbid Newman Enterprises and Devon. Nick cried that whatever the anonymous winning bidder intended couldn't be good.
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Billy sat at the bar while Phyllis met with a buyer at a nearby table to discuss sales at Fenmore's. Billy, grinning, sent a provocative text message to Phyllis. Phyllis read the message and glared at Billy. After a brief pause, Phyllis continued her conversation with her business associate. Billy typed another message and sent it to Phyllis. Billy wrote, "May have to come over there and ravish you." Phyllis glanced at her phone and at Billy again, barely pausing her discussion with the buyer.
After Billy sent a third text message, Phyllis mouthed to Billy that he was a bad boy. Phyllis concluded her business meeting, despite numerous interruptions. After the buyer left, Phyllis confronted Billy about his antics. Billy suggested they book a room upstairs so they could carry out the suggestions he'd mentioned in his messages. Phyllis explained that she had a meeting with Lauren, but she promised to spend time with Billy after work. Later, however, Phyllis returned home from enjoying dinner with Billy and fell fast asleep.
J.T. stopped by Victoria's house after she invited him over to spend time with Reed. J.T. explained that Mac was able to work remotely. J.T. added that his and Mac's son D.J. attended an international elementary school and that their baby, Becca, had become mobile and enjoyed crawling and exploring. J.T. said that his family missed Reed, though J.T. admitted he'd hated forcing his older son to live abroad. Victoria noted that Reed was doing well. J.T. asked why Reed hadn't shown up, knowing they were waiting. While J.T. was in the kitchen, pouring another glass of wine, Billy arrived to deliver Christmas gifts. When J.T. entered the room, Billy said, "J.T., what the hell?" J.T. replied, "Well, it's great to see you, too, Billy."
Nikki confesses that she stole from Victor
At Crimson Lights, Nick offered to pay for Devon's coffee if Devon admitted to winning the bid on Chancellor Park. Devon insisted that he hadn't, but the good news was that Victor wouldn't be putting up condos there.
Nick joined Chelsea, who called Nick a champ for fighting for the park. He declared that it wasn't over yet, since the company with the winning bid might still try to build on the land. He refused to give up the war, and he announced that he'd scheduled a rally later that day to protest. Nick intended to get signs and banners and make some noise to get press, and he hoped Chelsea could help design them. She said she'd love to help, but she was busy finishing some holiday custom gowns. Nick invited her to stop by the rally, and she promised that if she couldn't be there, she'd be cheering him on in spirit.
At the cottage, Sharon called out that breakfast was ready. Scott rushed downstairs and fretted that he'd overslept because his alarm hadn't gone off. Sharon confessed that she'd turned it off because he'd been avoiding her by waking up early to sneak out of the house, and she refused to let him do it again. Scott joked that he wouldn't argue if Sharon wanted to tie him up in the bedroom so he couldn't leave, but Sharon stressed that he couldn't keep dodging her after she'd said she loved him. He reminded her that he'd said it back.
Mariah and Faith descended the stairs and excitedly prepared to eat pancakes, and Mariah carefully watched Faith's dismayed reaction when Scott sat down to eat with them. After breakfast, Mariah admired Scott's commitment to cleaning up the dishes, and she offered to let him do it every day if he wanted. He replied that he was good with sharing the job, and he asked if Faith had any plans for her winter break. Faith shrugged and walked away, and Sharon suggested that Mariah take Faith ice-skating, but Mariah opted to stay inside where it was warm.
Nick stopped by and proclaimed that he needed all hands on deck to help with the rally. Faith ran into Nick's arms, and he offered to hook her and Mariah up with hand-warmers if they helped to make a huge banner. Mariah and Faith headed out to get started, and Sharon reiterated that she and Scott needed to talk. Scott contended that the fight was important to the community, so they could catch alone time later, but Nick insisted that the couple spend some private time together.
Mariah made arrangements with a camera operator over the phone to meet them in the park. Nick inquired about how things had been going since Scott had moved in, and she groaned about the compromising moments she'd walked in on. Nick specified that he wanted to know how Faith was handling the change, and Mariah reported that Faith had seemed fine but that the girl hadn't been very chatty with Scott over the previous few days. Nick thought he should talk to Sharon about it, but Mariah urged him to let her keep an eye on the situation, since it was probably nothing.
Later, Nick cornered Faith to have a talk, and he asked how things had been going with Scott. Faith hesitated to answer, but Nick figured that her mom wouldn't have moved in with someone Faith didn't like. Faith replied that she had liked Scott, and Nick wondered what had changed. Faith swore that she was fine because her mom was happy, and Nick compared it to when she had needed time to adjust when he'd moved in with Chelsea. Nick implored Faith to give Scott a chance.
Protesters carried signs around the park café, and Mariah indicated that the cameraman was ready to roll. Nick went to hang up the banner, and Mariah urged Faith to talk to her about what was really going on between Faith and Scott. Mariah pledged a cone of silence or a sister swear, but Faith quietly stated that she wasn't a little kid anymore, and she requested that Mariah not treat her like one.
After the rally, Nick rolled up the banner as Chelsea arrived. She wondered if no one had shown up, but he informed her that it had been him, the girls, and a couple hundred loyalists. He suggested that Chelsea check out the footage on The Hilary Hour later, and he guessed that she'd never thought he could pull it off. Chelsea admitted that she'd been worried when she'd believed Victor had been involved, and she regretted that she hadn't blown off work to be there. She praised him for giving people something to care about, and he vowed to keep at it until the park was safe from developers. They kissed.
At Crimson Lights, Scott finished a call, and Sharon grumbled that his last five calls hadn't been able to wait. He insisted that he had work to do, but she requested some of his time for something important. She assumed that she'd scared him when she'd told him that she loved him, and he conceded that he'd needed a second to catch up, but he had. She acknowledged that he'd recited the words back, but he hadn't sounded convincing. She wondered if he'd felt obligated to tell her what he thought she wanted to hear.
Sharon figured that she'd obviously made a mistake if Scott wouldn't make time to talk, but he tucked his phone into his pocket. She suspected that talking was like torture for him, which worried her even more. She suggested that they forget what she'd said and how he'd reacted, but she didn't know where that left them. Scott agreed that they both needed to be honest about everything, but he thought there were too many distractions at the coffeehouse, and he led her out.
Scott and Sharon returned to the cottage, and he explained that it had stopped him in his tracks when Sharon had told him that she loved him. She thought he couldn't have been surprised by it after she'd asked him to move in with her and her kids, but he pointed out that she'd invited him without mentioning anything about love, so he'd thought it had been off the table until things developed into something more serious. She incredulously inquired whether he meant more than living under the same roof, and she turned away. He admitted that he hadn't had a lot of experience with long-term relationships, and he'd avoided relationships in general. Sharon didn't understand why he'd moved in if the words "I love you" would send him into a tailspin, and she accused him of setting her up to be hurt.
Scott hated that he wasn't saying things right, but Sharon's declaration had made him realize that he had to make a decision about what he really wanted out of life. Scott swore that he wanted her, since she was different than anyone he'd ever known, perhaps because she didn't waste time or play games after everything she'd been through. Scott recognized that she'd opened up her heart to him in a way no one ever had or ever would, and he wanted to do the same thing. He cupped her face in his hands and proclaimed that he loved her, "fully, truly, forever." They kissed.
At the Athletic Club, Mariah noticed that Faith was preoccupied with her phone. Mariah instructed her not to act like a kid if she didn't want to be treated like one, and she pushed Faith to explain why she was upset. Faith reiterated that it was nothing, but Mariah didn't buy it. Mariah warned that Sharon would pick up on Faith's silence around Scott, and Faith whimpered that she didn't want to get in trouble. Faith spilled that she'd gone to the park to go skating with her friends after her mom had said she couldn't go.
Mariah advised Faith that she couldn't sweat the small stuff, and she promised that Sharon wouldn't find out from her. Mariah was confused about how it was connected to Scott, and Faith revealed that he'd been at the café in the park. Faith explained that she'd hidden, but he hadn't been alone -- he'd been with Abby. Mariah assumed that Scott and Abby had been fighting again, but Faith said she hadn't been able to hear what they'd been saying. Faith recalled that Scott had started to leave, but he'd stopped and kissed Abby.
Across the room, Nikki hugged Victoria tightly, and Victoria suspected that the greeting had to do with more than just having coffee together. Nikki explained that they'd been on opposite sides of the Chancellor Park issue, and she hadn't been sure that Victoria wanted to see her. Victoria swore that it wasn't an issue because Newman had been outbid, although whoever had done it was keeping it a secret from everyone.
Over coffee, Nikki sensed that Victoria was distracted by something other than losing the land. Victoria lamented that it would have been a big win for the company, but Nikki expected that Victoria would be talking a mile a minute if she was worried about Newman, so whatever was on Victoria's mind was likely hitting closer to home. Victoria mentioned that the company's books had checked out fine during the audit, but there was a problem with one of Victor's personal accounts. Victoria added that Nikki would never believe who was investigating the situation -- J.T.
Nikki assumed that it had been Christine's idea to hire J.T. instead of a complete stranger, and Victoria revealed that Paul had made the suggestion because J.T. knew where Newman's bodies were buried. Nikki argued that J.T. had worked there a lifetime earlier, and she figured that he was bluffing if he'd claimed to have anything to add to the investigation. Victoria recounted that J.T. had been head of Newman security, so he'd had access to both personal and professional information. Nikki considered it obvious that Victor hadn't had anything to do with the sex trafficking ring, but Victoria bemoaned that the authorities were determined to make someone at the company pay.
Nikki sympathized that it was unnerving for Victoria to have her ex-husband investigating her family company, but she pointed out that it would be nice for Reed to see his father so close to Christmas. Victoria reported that Reed had been avoiding J.T., and Billy interrupted. Billy recounted that his reunion with J.T. had been far from warm and fuzzy, since they had too much history after J.T. had done everything he could to get full custody of Reed. Victoria asserted that all that mattered was that Reed was living with her by choice, but Nikki hated the idea of J.T. causing more pain. Billy hoped it was a quick trip, and he intended to follow Reed's lead and stay away from J.T. as much as possible.
After Nikki left, Victoria thanked Billy for hanging out with the kids later, and he guessed that it drove her nuts that the only reason J.T. was there was to investigate his former boss. Victoria relayed that J.T. had assured her that it wouldn't get personal, and she hoped to help J.T. and Reed try to fix things. Billy urged her to have fun with the kids over the holidays, and he was surprised when she invited him to include Phyllis in his plans with the children. Victoria expected that things would be better because she and Billy were no longer working together, and he enthused that not working had been fantastic. Victoria admitted that she felt relieved not to have the pressure of running her own company, and she anticipated that it would be a great holiday. They agreed that they liked being friends again.
At the Abbott mansion, Hilary pitched her big story ideas for the following week to Jack. He reiterated the importance of the show being on brand for Jabot, with the segments having meaning and not just being mindless entertainment. Hilary pointed out that she'd presented positive, inspiring stories, and Jack thought that it had been a giant improvement for her show. He added that she'd convinced him that she was different from the Hilary who'd gone to great lengths to get snark and gossip, and she insisted that it was just a different side of her. He called it a lovely side, and he thought she should be as proud as he was of what she was doing.
Hilary bragged that she'd made no mention of Lily and the Ashby family drama during her interview with Cane, and Jack instructed her to run interviews like that by him first. He explained that he was the primary sponsor and producer with veto power, and her interview with Cane had featured the competition. Hilary defended that Chancellor was a major player that had just gotten a splashy business story, but she understood that Jack hated not being number one. She recognized that both Victor and Cane were ahead of Jack at that point, but Jack was determined to change that very soon.
Hilary inquired about Dina, and Jack mentioned that he had to go to Crimson Lights because his mother had developed a sweet tooth. Hilary was sure that she was still on Dina's hit list, and she imagined that she was at risk of also being on Jack's because she'd run the interview with Cane. She explained that it had been a redemption story after she'd plastered Cane's screwups all over her show more than once. Hilary mentioned that she'd gone to the hospital to see Sam, and she showed Jack a photo on her phone and called Sam the cutest baby ever. Jack noted that she looked comfortable holding a baby in her arms, but Hilary was adamant that the last thing she needed was a child in her life.
Hilary told Jack about Nick's rally in Chancellor Park to oppose development on the land, and Jack said he'd be there in spirit if not in person. Hilary figured that Jack had enough on his plate with his mother, Jabot, and micromanaging Hilary's show. Jack thanked her for meeting with him there, and she called him a really good friend who'd been the first person to give her a break when she'd blown up her life. She offered to do anything she could to make his life easier, and he questioned whether she was getting soft on him.
Hilary considered Jack a good man for taking care of his mother, and she was sure it wasn't easy on a strong, independent woman like Dina to feel like a burden. Jack suddenly realized that Hilary and Dina had lot in common, but Hilary figured that she'd never feel like a burden to anyone because she had no family. Jack asked what she was doing for Christmas, and she planned to work straight through the holidays. He invited her to spend Christmas there, and she gratefully accepted.
Later, Devon greeted Hilary at the Athletic Club bar, and he invited her to stop by for drinks or a bite over Christmas. Hilary informed him that she would be spending the day with the Abbotts, and he told her to enjoy herself and to let him know if anything changed.
Jack entered Crimson Lights and approached Nikki on the patio. She cheerfully greeted him and asked where Dina was, and Jack replied that his mother was with Mrs. Martinez while he was tending to Dina's pastry craving. Nikki called him a good son and brave man, but Jack remarked that his mother was the one "going through hell" and that he was just watching her do it. Nikki admired him for taking on the world like only he could. He turned the topic to her, since she'd seem lost in thought when he'd walked in. Nikki deadpanned that she had a difficult decision to make about which tea to have, but he told her not to lie to him.
Jack hated to think he'd ruined his friendship with Nikki because he couldn't be with her romantically, but she assured him that they would always be friends. She confided that she'd done something impulsively that she thought had been a mistake, and it might ruin everything for her. She revealed that she'd been trying to beat Victor at his own game, but it appeared to be backfiring on her. Jack quipped that it had been how some of his favorite mistakes had started, and he offered to help. Nikki refused to tell him, for his own good, and he advised her to get ahead of the thing before she let it unravel.
Victoria returned to Newman, where Nikki asked if they could talk in private. Victoria led her mother into Victor's office, noting that Victor was gone for the day. Nikki inquired whether Victoria had heard anything new from J.T. about the audit, but Victoria hadn't since she and Nikki had talked earlier. Nikki nervously stated that she had a confession to make -- she'd stolen funds from Victor's personal account and moved them to an offshore bank. Nikki panicked about what would happen if J.T. discovered what she'd done, and Victoria realized that her mother could go to prison.
Mariah confronts Scott about kissing Abby
J.T. descended the stairs at the Athletic Club and spotted Cane at the bar. J.T. joked that "they let anyone in these days," and he explained that he was in town for a work assignment and to catch up with Reed. J.T. was surprised when Cane mentioned that Reed had been dating Mattie, and he revealed that Reed had been blowing him off since he'd returned to town. J.T. wondered if Victoria had something to do with it, and Cane remarked that he wouldn't put anything past her. Cane encouraged J.T. to take Reed with him on the next plane to Europe.
Cane reported that Lily had made it clear that their marriage was over, but they wanted to stay friends for the kids' sake. Cane guessed that it hadn't been the case with J.T. and Victoria, and J.T. indicated that things had been fine when they'd tried to have a family dinner the other day, but Reed hadn't shown up. J.T. admitted that he missed Reed, but his son wanted to live there, and Reed would just resent him if he tried to press the matter. Cane groused that Victoria liked to hold a grudge, and he couldn't imagine what she'd been telling Reed. J.T. wanted to talk it out with Reed, but Reed wouldn't return his text messages. Cane offered to help.
At Crimson Lights, Mattie presented Reed with a refill, and she saw that he was deleting his dad's emails before reading them. He declared that it felt therapeutic, and she pointed out that at least J.T. was far away in another country. Reed informed her that his father was in Genoa City, and Mattie wondered why that was a bad thing, since she'd thought they had a good relationship. He replied that they had -- when they'd been on separate continents.
Mattie recounted that it had taken her a long time to talk to her dad again, but she'd realized that Cane always had her back. She answered a call from Cane, who asked her to meet him at the club so he could tell her some good news. Mattie told him that she was busy, and Cane invited Reed, too. Cane joked that he was trying to win a father-of-the-year award. Mattie gave him points for trying, but she thought it would be weird. Cane insisted that he wanted to try with Reed, and Mattie agreed to be there. J.T. thanked Cane.
Mattie and Reed entered the Athletic Club, and he wanted to leave when they saw J.T. with Cane. Mattie reasoned that Reed couldn't avoid his dad forever, and she begged him to stay. They approached their fathers at the bar, and J.T. hugged Reed and said he was glad to see his son. Reed imagined that J.T. had been desperate to trick him into a meeting, and J.T. argued that Reed had left him no choice. Cane stressed that he'd set the meeting up because J.T. missed Reed, and Mattie suggested that they sit down and order food. Cane revealed that they'd booked two tables, since J.T. and Reed needed to spend time alone.
Mattie was happy when Cane gave her good news about Sam. She asked Cane what J.T. was like, and Cane called him a stand-up guy. Cane added that they owed a lot of thanks to Mac, and Mattie acknowledged that she and Charlie wouldn't be there without Mac. Mattie suggested that Cane think of Reed as J.T. and Mac's son rather than Victoria's so he wouldn't dislike Reed as much. Cane agreed to give it a try, and they laughed.
Meanwhile, J.T. remarked to Reed that Mattie seemed like a nice young lady, but he'd been caught off guard when Cane had told him that Reed and Mattie were dating. Reed grumbled that there was a lot J.T. didn't know about, and J.T. countered that it was hard to know things when Reed had been ignoring him. J.T. wondered if Victoria had said something, but Reed denied it. J.T. noted that Reed had seemed fine on the phone and on video chat, but Reed asserted that nothing had changed since the day he'd taken off. Reed worried that J.T. was going to drag him off to Poland and make him suffer again, since J.T. had never had time for him because of Mac and the other kids.
J.T. admitted that he could have handled the move differently, but he swore that Reed had never been an afterthought to him and that he'd taken the job to spend more time with Reed. Reed spat that J.T. had just suddenly shown up to investigate Reed's mom and grandfather without telling Reed, and he expected J.T. to take him back to Europe. J.T. said it wouldn't be necessary, and Reed dared his father to admit that he didn't want Reed around. J.T. asserted that he wanted it to be Reed's decision to live with him, and he knew Reed would make the right decision. J.T. asked Reed to trust that J.T. was telling the truth.
J.T. recounted that he'd dated Lily's best friend, Colleen, but Reed had no interest in taking a trip down memory lane. J.T. said Reed reminded him of himself at that age, since J.T. had played the guitar and Colleen's dad had hated him, so they'd had to sneak around to see one another. J.T. suspected that Reed tried to pretend that he didn't "give a damn" when he really did, and he explained that he was hard on Reed to keep his son from making the same mistakes he had.
Reed gazed over at Mattie, and J.T. offered to help smooth things out with Cane. Mattie approached to say goodbye, and J.T. volunteered to give her a ride so that Cane could get to the hospital sooner. The teens stepped away, and J.T thanked Cane for helping out with Reed. J.T. requested that Cane take it easy on Reed, since he understood what it was like for overprotective parents to hate him, but the big difference between J.T. and Reed was that Reed was actually a good kid.
At Newman Enterprises, Victoria confirmed that attorney-client privilege applied to her conversation with Michael, since no one could find out what she was about to tell him. He promised that it wouldn't leave the room, and she confided that her mom had caused the anomalies in Victor's account by stealing the money and transferring it to an offshore account. Abby burst into Victor's office, and Victoria coolly said they were discussing a contract that didn't concern Abby. Abby cattily guessed by the look of Victoria's worry lines that it was a doozy, and she demanded an update on the investigation into the corporate leak. Victoria curtly replied that it was being handled, and she ordered Abby to show herself out.
Abby protested that she was an executive and a family member, so Victoria couldn't keep her in the dark. Victoria huffed that they'd discussed Abby's paranoia already, and she instructed Abby to review Brash & Sassy's latest numbers for a future meeting. Abby complained that it was busy work, and Victoria snapped to have it done by the end of the day and to knock the next time. Abby barked that Victoria should lock the door if it was so top secret, and she slammed the door on her way out.
Michael asked if Victor was aware of Nikki's involvement in the money transfer, and Victoria replied that her father wasn't and that it had to stay that way. Michael warned that the investigation would point directly to Nikki, and given that Nikki's gun had been involved in Zack's murder, it couldn't look worse. Michael advised that short of Nikki relocating to another country without an extradition treaty, he was at a loss. Victoria asked if there was any way to have the audit called off, and Michael suggested that she might have sway with J.T.
Victoria expected J.T. to play by the book, so they had to figure out a defense for her mom. Michael considered posttraumatic stress disorder because of Nikki's recent stabbing, but Victoria was sure that her mom wouldn't drag Dina's condition into the mess. Michael warned that the prosecutors might argue that Victoria's parents had worked together to hide assets, and he pointed out that Victor and Nikki were still legally married, so they couldn't be forced to testify against one another. Victoria said she wouldn't be surprised if they jumped at the chance to put one another behind bars.
At Crimson Lights, Scott covered Sharon in kisses, but she insisted on getting back to work before they scared the customers. He kept kissing her, and she accidentally knocked over his mug of coffee. Sharon offered to get him coffee to go for his ride to the office, but Scott intended to work remotely for the rest of day, and he kissed her again. Mariah walked in and wondered if they could keep their hands and lips free long enough to get her a cup of coffee. Sharon suggested a holiday blend, but Mariah glared at Scott and pointedly stated that she liked to stay loyal and faithful to one kind of coffee.
Abby entered the coffeehouse, and Mariah pointedly greeted, "Ho, ho, ho!" Abby seemed confused, and Mariah suggested that they catch up. Abby hesitantly joined Mariah at a table, and Mariah imagined that it had been intense for Abby to find out that her boyfriend was a pimp and to get trapped in a storage locker. Abby assumed that Mariah was trying to get her to appear on The Hilary Hour, but Mariah suggested that they have a girls' night out that night, since they were both single. Abby passed, and Mariah questioned whether she was seeing someone. Abby refused to comment.
Abby joined Scott on the patio and said they needed to talk, but he insisted on waiting until they were at the office. She sourly suggested that they talk in the park where he'd kissed her, and he shushed her because Sharon was there. Scott agreed to talk elsewhere, and Mariah watched as he led Abby out. Sharon offered Mariah more coffee and wondered where Scott had gone. "Me, too," Mariah muttered.
Mariah inquired whether living with Scott had been everything Sharon had hoped for, and Sharon giddily replied, "And more." Sharon admitted that she'd had doubts, but Scott had swept them all away. Mariah wondered if Sharon had ever gotten the impression that he was trying too hard, but she quickly backed off. Sharon surmised that Mariah was questioning Sharon and Scott's relationship because Mariah had been knocked around by Cupid, but Sharon urged Mariah not to let it make her cynical. Sharon insisted that she was in a good place, and she was sure that Mariah would find the perfect partner.
At the park café, Abby demanded to know whether Scott was in or out, since she wouldn't be his dirty little secret. Scott reminded her that they'd agreed it had been a mistake, but Abby pointed out that he hadn't been able to keep his lips off her. She admitted that she'd kissed him back because there was an inexplicable attraction between them, but being the other woman never ended well. Scott firmly stated that he'd moved in with Sharon and that he loved her, so that was the end of the story.
Scott chased after Abby and pleaded with her to hear him out. He explained that it was the most committed relationship he'd ever been in, so he wanted to make it work. Abby shuddered to think what his other relationships had been like, and Scott recognized that he and Abby would be toxic together. He noted that there had been major extenuating circumstances in the storage locker, and he regretted what had happened, but he couldn't deny their physical attraction. He insisted that any residual spark from that night be extinguished, and he swore that he hadn't meant to lead her on. Abby declared that the only way to avoid further combustion was for him to "stay the hell away" from her.
Scott returned to Crimson Lights and asked Mariah if Sharon was in the back. Mariah reported that Sharon had left, and she questioned where he and Abby had gone. He claimed that they'd been dealing with work stuff, and Mariah queried whether that was code for "sucking face." She accused Scott of sneaking off with Abby to make out, just like they'd done at least once before in the park, although she didn't know how far things had gone. Scott swore that it would never happen again, and Mariah said she knew it wouldn't.
Scott begged Mariah not to tell Sharon what had happened. Mariah promised that Sharon wouldn't hear it from her, but she warned that she'd be watching him, and she had eyes and ears all over town. Mariah refused to let him hurt her mom, and Scott insisted that he was committed to Sharon and that Abby was out of the picture. Mariah threatened that he'd answer to her if he stepped out of line. She reminded him that she'd helped kidnap a woman to help a girl she'd barely known, so he could imagine what she'd do to help her own mom.
At Jabot, Phyllis was surprised to find Billy on the elevator. She groaned that she was swamped, but he questioned whether she didn't have ten minutes for something important, and he showed her the article about Cane being the one to watch in 2018. Billy griped that Jill had only given Cane the job because she'd felt bad for him, and Billy hadn't forgotten that Cane had sabotaged him and Brash & Sassy. Phyllis advised Billy to let it go, but Billy groused that a lying shark was running his mother's company, and it would take just one shady move to grind Chancellor into the ground.
Victoria returned home and found Billy playing video games in her living room, and he reported that Johnny was napping upstairs. Billy invited her to join him to save the planet from aliens, and he recommended it as a way to relieve stress. Victoria concluded that he was stressed out because of Cane, and Billy asked if she'd read the article. She replied that she had more important issues on her plate, like the audit.
Victoria confided that there had been a serious financial impropriety, and Billy flatly stated that her dad was a criminal. Victoria insisted that Victor was innocent, and she wondered how Billy would protect his family if he was in the same situation. He suggested that she get J.T. to drop the audit any way that she could, but she balked at the thought of seducing her ex-husband. Billy insisted that he wasn't promoting infidelity, but he thought Victoria and J.T. still had a connection, and he urged her to do what she needed to do.
Billy arrived at the Athletic Club, where Phyllis seductively asked if it had to be the Jabot elevator or if any elevator would do. He spotted a family boarding the elevator, and he suggested that they have a drink first. Billy changed his mind when he saw J.T. at the bar, but Phyllis sauntered over and welcomed J.T. back. J.T. complimented her hair and remarked that blondes really did have more fun, and Billy contended that they did -- with him. Cane encouraged Billy to check out the article about Chancellor, and Billy countered that it was lining the stable floor for his racehorse.
Cane departed, and J.T. offered to buy Phyllis and Billy a drink. Billy hesitated, but Phyllis readily ordered a martini. Billy mentioned that he'd heard J.T. was prosecuting Victoria, and J.T. insisted that he was a professional who didn't let personal relationships get in the way. J.T. was surprised that Billy was defending Victoria after she'd fired him, and Phyllis reminded J.T. that Billy had run into a burning building for Reed.
After J.T. left, Phyllis remarked that the display of testosterone between the men had been overwhelming, and Billy suspected that she'd enjoyed J.T. flirting with her. Phyllis wondered if Billy was jealous of another man finding her attractive, and Billy quipped that he'd be the angriest guy on the planet if he had an issue with every man who did. He groused that J.T. was married to Mac but hadn't been acting like it.
J.T. gave Reed a ride home, and Victoria was glad to see that they'd connected. She thanked Reed for contacting his dad, but Reed clarified that Cane had pulled a quick one. Reed headed upstairs, and J.T. explained that Cane had done him a favor. J.T. moved to leave, but Victoria invited him to stay for a drink.
Victoria and J.T. discussed their younger children's antics, and she asked if there was any way to stop him from cutting her family off at the knees. She expected him to get to the bottom of the anomaly sooner rather than later, and she hypothetically asked what would happen if the guilty party was regretful and determined to make amends. J.T. wouldn't give her an answer without knowing the whole story, and Victoria requested assurance that he'd show the guilty party leniency if she told him. He wondered if she was asking him to help keep her out of prison.
J.T. realized that Victoria wasn't guilty, but she knew who was. Victoria divulged that her mother had transferred money out of Victor's account. Victoria reiterated that her father was innocent, and the withdrawal had resulted from a fight between her parents that had escalated in typical Newman style. She relayed that Nikki's guilt was off the charts, and she asked J.T. to make sure Nikki wasn't punished. J.T. apologetically replied that he had no choice, since Nikki had to face the consequences of her crime.