Avery and Phyllis Summers grew up together in Darien, Connecticut. Avery became resentful when Phyllis, the big sister she idolized, left home in her late teens, and never looked back.
After their father, George, had been accused of bilking people out of their life savings through a living facility, Avery went to law school to dedicate her life to becoming a lawyer who specialized in helping others who were unjustly accused of crimes. While in law school Avery married and was divorced from Joe Clark, giving her the authoritative name of Avery Bailey Clark to go with her new career which she began in New York City.
Several years later, in Genoa City, Wisconsin, Sharon Newman was arrested for the murder of Skye Lockhart, and her trial began with the famous Vance Abrams as her attorney. Sharon was found guilty, but her former husband, Adam, arranged an elaborate escape for her from the courthouse. Adam, still trying to clear Sharon's name even after everyone thought that she was dead, found the correct erased memory card that once contained the video of Sharon attempting to save Skye. That same day in New Mexico, Sharon was recognized, arrested, and extradited back to Genoa City, where everyone was shocked to see that she was still alive. Adam visited her in jail, and he caught her and Sam, whom she had met in New Mexico, in an embrace and realized that Sharon had not been faithful to him. Feeling betrayed, Adam threw the memory card that would have vindicated her into the creek. Sharon was convicted to serve thirty years in prison without parole. Sharon's attorney and Phyllis Newman figured out that Adam was withholding the evidence that would clear Sharon, and Phyllis wrote an article exposing him.
Victor hired famous New York lawyer, Avery Bailey Clark, to handle Sharon's appeal for the murder of Skye. Phyllis met Avery, and intrigued by the name and familiar face, looked her up on the Internet, discovering that Avery was her younger sister. Phyllis told Avery and that she wanted her past to remain in the past. Later Phyllis admitted to her friend Michael that Avery was her sister. Michael tried to convince Phyllis that he had gone through the same with his brother, Kevin, and of how close they were now, then helped her get through preliminary questioning by Avery for Sharon's retrial. As her attorney, Avery had to disclose to Sharon her relationship to Phyllis, but Sharon still kept Avery as her attorney.
Eventually Phyllis tried to make amends with Avery, but she rebuffed Phyllis. Then Phyllis's ex-husband and still-lover, Nick, walked in on Phyllis telling Avery that Nick was never to find out that they are sisters. Phyllis explained to Nick that she had lied to everyone about her family so that she could forget them. Nick attempted to convince Phyllis to get to know Avery again, but Phyllis refused. As Nick got to know Avery himself, she admitted that while growing up Avery and Phyllis tuned out the drama of their parents by playing video games together –- just as Nick and Phyllis had done when they had been together.
Daisy Carter turned up in the same prison wing as Sharon Newman, and met Avery Bailey Clark. Avery took Daisy's case once she realized that Daisy was the mother of a baby with Phyllis' son Daniel. When Phyllis was served with papers that Daisy wanted visitation with her baby daughter, Lucy, whom Phyllis had legal custody of, Phyllis was livid that her own sister would turn on her. Daisy demanded that she get to see Lucy once a week, that Phyllis give her money, and that Avery get her out of prison, or Daisy would sue and Lucy would be given to someone else.
Avery and Sharon finally got through to Adam that he was being unreasonable by not helping Sharon when he knew that she was innocent. Since Adam no longer had the memory card, he thought it would help to set up his former lover, Assistant D.A., Heather Stevens. Adam got Heather drunk and had Ricky Williams take compromising photos of them kissing in Adam's room for Avery to use to get a mistrial. Ricky showed the photos to Phyllis in hopes of landing a story and a job where she worked at Restless Style. But once Ricky got to know his half-sister Heather better, Ricky declined to sell them, and only gave the photos to Avery as a last resort to save Sharon.
Meanwhile, Phyllis spotted a memory card in the evidence dredged from the creek for the Diane Jenkins case on Detective Ronan Malloy's desk, and they played it. Just as Avery was about to expose Heather to get the mistrial, Ronan and Phyllis burst into the courtroom, and they were allowed to present their evidence. After hearing the audio of Sharon trying to save Skye, the judge left the case to the D.A.'s office for dissolution. Heather dropped the charges against Sharon, Sharon was given time served for the escape, and she was set free. Sharon thanked Ronan, but Phyllis made sure that Sharon knew it was Phyllis who had found the card, and had saved her. Phyllis stole the photos of Heather and Adam from the courtroom and put them online with a sensational story about the A.D.A. fraternizing with a witness. Heather was fired as a result. With Avery representing him, Ricky filed a lawsuit against Phyllis and Restless Style for using his work without payment, and Avery filed a criminal complaint for theft of evidence from an attorney in court. Nick was livid with Phyllis for once again doing a sensational story without thinking of the collateral damage to other people's lives. Phyllis reacted by having sex with Ronan at the police station. Phyllis went to warn Nick about some evidence that Ronan had against him, and walked in on Nick and Avery, realizing they had just had sex together. Phyllis had it out with Nick, whom she told to go to hell, and that she would never try to help him again.
Afterward, Phyllis sought out Avery who informed her that she was staying in town permanently. They argued, and Avery brought up their father's run-in with the law, and that Phyllis had taken sides against him. Later Phyllis was arrested by Ronan for stealing the photos. Daisy called Daniel from prison to let him know that Avery was his aunt and that she was helping Daisy get out of prison and to get their daughter, Lucy, back. Daniel confronted his mother about never knowing that she had a sister, but Phyllis refused to discuss it, so he went to Avery for more information but got none.
Nick confronted Avery about using him to get back at Phyllis. She later apologized to Nick for taking the opportunity to get back at Phyllis without considering the consequences to Nick. Nick forgave Avery, and they went to her room to make love.
On Thanksgiving, Phyllis gave Daisy her allotted time with Lucy. Avery arrived as she was leaving, but the prison went into lockdown, and they were trapped there together. Reminded that it had been Thanksgiving Day when Phyllis had left their home all those years ago, Avery tried to lay a guilt trip on Phyllis about it. Phyllis protested that their dad was a liar, thief, criminal, and master manipulator; and that their mother had brain washed Avery into believing that he was innocent. Phyllis declared that she had been pushed out by their mother because Phyllis knew the truth and was made to feel like she was the liar and her dad the victim. Phyllis called Avery sanctimonious, and asked why Avery the hot-shot lawyer, had never tried to get her own father out of prison. Avery, in tears, was forced for the first time to admit that she knew their father had been guilty. Phyllis tearfully offered an "olive branch", but Avery just walked out.
It wasn't long before Nick discovered Phyllis writing a story that practically accused Nikki of murdering Diane Jenkins, but this time he fired her. Before Phyllis left town with Lucy to clear her head, she told Avery that Nick may be Avery's now, but not to try to take over the rest of Phyllis' life. Nick and Avery resumed their relationship, which was mostly spent in bed.
On New Year's Eve 2011, Nick danced with his date Avery, but couldn't take his eyes off Phyllis who was dancing and necking with Ronan while watching Nick. Avery accused Nick of not being over Phyllis, saying that she had promised herself she would never be second best to Phyllis again, and she called off their relationship. Meanwhile Ronan was accusing Phyllis of using him to taunt Nick, and left her alone at her penthouse. Nick arrived awhile later, their eyes locked, and he and Phyllis made love.
Avery was called in by Victor to assist Michael Baldwin in defending Nikki Newman for killing Diane Jenkins in self-defense, but Nikki ended up not being charged.
Avery was with Phyllis when Avery received a call from their mother that their father had a heart attack and was in critical condition. Avery left for Ohio, but Phyllis refused to go with her. After Avery returned, telling Phyllis that their father was dying, Avery retaliated by trying to get Daisy out of prison and to get Daisy custody of Lucy. Phyllis confided in Nick that she was torn, as she had been the one to turn her father in and send him to prison. Nick recalled how he and Victor had painfully gone to see Victor's estranged father before Albert died, and convinced Phyllis to go to Darien and see her father one last time. And just as Albert had greeted Victor, George greeted Phyllis with, "What the hell are you doing here?"
George told Phyllis to go home, that she had ruined him, and if she hadn't blown the whistle on him, he could have repaid his investors. Phyllis countered that she came to him first but he had lied to her, and even knowing that her family would turn against her, she turned him in because she didn’t want a conman for a father. Phyllis begged George to tell the truth before he died to give her peace of mind. With Avery listening outside the door, George admitted that he had bilked his clients out of their life savings. George tried to cover but Avery finally realized that Phyllis had been right about him all along, and Avery told him how disappointed in him she was. Avery and Phyllis left his room to talk, and Avery realized that even their mother knew the truth, as George was left to die alone. Avery begged Phyllis to forgive her, saying the past was over, and they didn’t have to hurt each other anymore. Phyllis softened toward her, but said it was too late now that Avery had gotten Daisy released from prison, and declared war if Daisy got custody of Lucy. Daniel arrived after George had died and his mother and aunt had left, but he went through a box of George's things, finding photos of Phyllis and Avery as children. No one attended George's funeral. As executor, Avery paid claims from her father's estate to the people whom he had bilked, which left nothing left but an envelope bearing the name 'Phyllis'. Phyllis reluctantly opened it to find Black Beauty, the book that George used to read to her when she was a child, but Phyllis refused to be swayed by the gesture.
Avery refused to represent Daisy anymore, but Daisy went to a judge to return her parental rights, brought a police officer along to seize Lucy from Phyllis, and later got a restraining order against Phyllis. Daniel was finally convinced to claim his parental rights to Lucy to keep her from growing up with Daisy, and both Avery and Michael represented him in court. Daisy was encouraged, and assumed that she and Daniel would end up together and become a family, so she gave her consent. After the hearing Daniel told Daisy that she was delusional, that she had just helped him to be able to sue for custody.
The SEC began an investigation of the Beauty of Nature sale, and Victor gave Michael instructions to handle it. But when Lauren was arrested, Michael went to Lauren's rescue, forgetting the note with the SEC contact that he was supposed to see to help Victor. By the time Michael remembered Victor, it was too late and Victor fired him for causing the loss of millions of dollars. Avery went to work for Victor instead. After Michael took the job of interim D.A., Avery agreed to also take over Michael's law practice for him.
Phyllis and Avery began getting to be more like sisters. When Phyllis and Nick decided to remarry, she asked Avery to be her maid of honor, and was delighted to share with Avery the fact that she was pregnant. But when Phyllis had a miscarriage on her wedding day, Katherine performed the ceremony the next day at Phyllis' penthouse, with only Phyllis and Nick's children in attendance.
When Paul Williams shot and killed his son, Ricky to save Eden from being murdered with a knife by him, the police were skeptical of Paul's story since no knife was found. Eden had suffered a head injury so had been unconscious at the time, and later could not even remember why she had been in Ricky's apartment. Paul turned himself in, Avery became his attorney, and Paul told his story. Ronan let them know that due to the lack of corroborating evidence, it appeared to be premeditated murder. Christine Blair arrived and offered to take a sabbatical from the FBI to defend Paul, and he accepted her offer. Paul was released to attend Ricky's funeral. Afterward, Paul was arrested by Ronan for first degree murder and jailed without bail.
Among Ricky's belongings Christine found Phyllis' psychiatric file from Dr. Tim including the rental car receipt, and realized that Phyllis had been the driver of the car who run them down in 1994. She showed it to Paul, and Paul told Nina and Heather who were shocked. Roman and Michael found a copy of the receipt in Daisy's wallet, and verified that the VIN number matched the rental car used in the hit and run. Both Chris and Michael confronted Phyllis, who denied trying to kill them. Although the statute of limitations had run out, Christine remembered that she had been working on a federal case at the time, therefore Phyllis was arrested for attempted murder of a federal agent.
Avery offered to help Phyllis, who lied and told her that she was innocent. But Avery saw that Phyllis was using same evasions that their father had. Phyllis finally confessed to Nick, saying that it had been a mistake which she regretted. Although Nick moved out at first, he moved back when their daughter Summer told him how they needed to stand by Phyllis.
Phyllis was arrested at Crimson Lights in front of her family. Avery offered a deal for aggravated battery with two years probation, but Christine refused to consider anything without prison time, and offered five years. Avery got Phyllis released on bail. Nick, Daniel, Summer, and Noah welcomed Phyllis home, ready to stand behind her, with Nick convinced that she had changed since then. When Avery found out that Phyllis had been paying off her former shrink Tim Reid, who had a tape of her confession, Avery refused to represent her. So Phyllis hired Leslie Michaelson, now a partner in Vance Abrams law firm, to take her case. Avery was then free to represent Paul Williams again, and got him released on bail.
Meanwhile, Victor Newman disappeared, and his new wife of 24 hours, Sharon, took over the business. As the Newman council, Avery gave Sharon legal advice, but knowing what was best for Newman, Avery secretly helped Nick and Victoria to oust Sharon. Unfortunately Sharon had sold enough of Victor's shares in the company, that when Victor did return, the company was lost to a hostile takeover by Jack Abbott and Tucker McCall.
Nick left Phyllis when he found out that she was again having an affair with Ronan, and later shared a kiss with Avery. Summer discovered Phyllis and Ronan, and refused to have anything to do with her again. After Phyllis' case was dismissed on a technicality and she was freed, Nick filed for divorce and began spending more time with Avery. Known to be quite a klutz, Avery proved to be as proficient in the kitchen as she was in the courtroom, as she cooked for Nick and they enjoyed each other at her apartment rather than appear in public together before Nick's divorce was final.
Phyllis tried to get close to Summer again, but failed, so she enlisted her sister Avery's help. Avery made cupcakes with Summer, and she seemed to bond with her, helping Summer to realize that emancipation was not a good idea. Summer encouraged Avery to get serious with her father, Nick. Nick and Avery began spending more and more time together and became lovers again. Knowing that Nick was at loose ends about his future, Avery found a basement bar that was for sale, and encouraged Nick to think about turning into an upscale place and running it. Getting closer with Nick, Avery admitted that she had caused her divorce by cheating on her husband, and that just before she had moved to Genoa City, she had received word that her lover, Dylan, had been killed in Afghanistan, where he had been deployed.
Nick surprised her by buying the bar, starting renovations, and naming it The Underground, intending to run it with his son, Noah. For Christmas, Nick fulfilled a childhood wish that Avery had been denied, by giving her an Easy-Bake Oven. Nick took Avery out for New Year's Eve to his finished club where they celebrated in Avery's personal booth. Opening night for Nick's club bombed when they lost power and had to send the underwhelming number of customers home. Avery hired Tyler Michaelson to do some better marketing for the club and another opening was planned.
Avery was called to Milwaukee to work for the Innocence Foundation, to attempt to prove the innocence of a man convicted of murder who had served 12 years in prison. Arriving home for opening night, Avery went to the back room of the bar, recognized the new bartender, Mac, as Dylan and cried, "You died, is this real?" Interrupted by Nick, she told Dylan that she needed to be there for Nick, and they would talk later. The next morning Avery showed up at Dylan's motel and slapped him, asking how dare he come back like that, with no warning. Dylan said he had been injured, returned to Chicago to find her, then found her through the Innocence Foundation, and saw a photo of her and Nick. Dylan claimed he didn't want to mess things up, but just wanted to see her, asked if he should go, and if she loved Nick. Avery left, and told Nick the truth about Dylan.
During their conversations, viewers learned the story of Avery and Dylan: Dylan lived in Chicago and ran his father's construction company for years. He met lawyer, Avery Bailey Clark when he was doing construction work at her house. Avery's husband, Joe, had been a workaholic and neglected her. Dylan found Avery crying, and told her not to let her happiness depend on someone else, and they began an ongoing affair. When Dylan's reserve unit got called up, he bought her a ring and asked her to leave her husband for him. Instead, Avery broke it off, determined to work on her marriage. But then Avery's husband, Joe, found out about the affair, and he divorced her.
2013 Valentine's Day evening, Avery was stuck at home during a major winter snowstorm, and Nick at the bar. Dylan showed up at her apartment, they reminisced, the power went out, and they kissed in the dark. Nick showed up. Avery tearfully told Dylan goodbye, that she had moved on, and was in love with Nick. Dylan packed and left in his truck on the icy roads, intending to return to Chicago. But Nick's former wife Sharon's car slid on the ice, running Dylan's truck off the road, and he hit a tree, leaving him unconscious. Sharon called for help, and Dylan was diagnosed with a concussion and bruised ribs. Dylan went to thank Sharon the next day and found her place with storm damage, and her unable to find anyone available to make repairs. Dylan offered his services, and Sharon accepted. Both Avery and Nick were disappointed to hear that Dylan would be staying in town.
About to drive to Milwaukee, Avery's brakes went out, and Dylan and Nick rescued her. Dylan discovered the brake line had been cut. Avery discovered from Gus that Leslie and Tyler were his missing children. She confronted Leslie about it, and tried to get her to understand that her father was innocent. Avery returned home to find her apartment had been trashed, Gus's trial transcripts were missing, and she found an American flag pin on the floor. Nick accused Congressman Wheeler, who denied it, so Nick went to Victor for information about Wheeler.
Avery attended the remarriage of Victor and Nikki at the ranch and managed to catch the bridal bouquet.
Dylan finally told Avery that he could not settle for just friends or be the other man in her life again. On his way out of town, he ran into Chelsea at Crimson Lights and said goodbye. Dylan stopped at a bar, got into a fight with a sheriff's son who had been harassing a woman. Dylan went to jail, and Avery bailed him out. Required to stay in town for his trial, Nick offered Dylan his bartender job again to make money to repay Avery for his bail.
Gus Rogan's hearing was held, Leslie testified for Gus, and Tyler testified against him. Rogan was denied release, but Leslie was sure that Wheeler had pulled some strings. But after Victor was convinced that Wheeler was behind his attempted murder by a hitman, he and Jack teamed up to trick Wheeler into leaving a DNA sample on his coffee cup which new chief of police, Paul Williams, witnessed. After Wheeler's DNA matched the sample which had been found on Belinda Rogan's body, Wheeler was arrested for her murder, and Gus was released from prison, his conviction overturned. Marcus made bail but was later arrested for hiring the hitman.
Nick closed down the club and set it up for a candlelit proposal to Avery. She declined, being afraid of screwing up a marriage again. But after talking with Dylan, Avery said yes to Nick. Avery broke the news to Dylan that she had accepted Nick's proposal. Dylan tried to talk her into marrying him instead, saying that they deserved another chance after all they had gone through. Then Avery asked Dylan if he ever thought about "their baby". Avery said she felt that her miscarriage had been punishment for cheating on her husband. She said that she had lost their baby, then Dylan had disappeared, then she spent two years of misery thinking he was dead, and how she had lost everything. She admitted she had not told Nick about the miscarriage, saying that she could not survive another one, or another failure at love. That Nick was love without pain, and it was too late for her and Dylan. Dylan finally gave up on Avery and sold the engagement ring to repay her for the bail money.
After Avery failed at babysitting with Faith, and Nick tried to convince her that she would be an amazing mother to Faith and to their own kids, she left upset. Avery met Dylan at Crimson Lights, he repaid her the bail money, and said goodbye. Avery begged Dylan not to leave town, but he said that he could not stay and watch her marry Nick. Nick walked in and caught them in an embrace.
Finding Dylan days later filling out an employment application, Avery asked Dylan when he had not left. Dylan joyfully told her that he and Chelsea were having a baby together, so he was staying in Genoa City. Avery, unable to convince Nick that she was over Dylan, returned her engagement ring. But after Dylan convinced Nick that he was crazy to let Avery get away, Nick made up with Avery. Then following a heart to heart with Phyllis about both of their commitment issues, Nick announced at a family gathering that he and Avery were going to be married, and Phyllis returned to Jack. Nick and Avery later set a wedding date for August.
Avery decided it was time to leave Newman and go into private practice and began training her legal assistant Melanie Daniels to take over for her. Avery asked Leslie Michaelson if she was interested in partnering with her, she accepted, and they became Clark and Michaelson LLP.
Avery pressured Nick to tell her what was troubling him, and when he refused, she broke it off, accusing him of not trusting her enough to marry her. So Nick told Avery the secret, that he was not Summer's father. Phyllis walked in, and Avery turned on her, sure that Phyllis had mislead Nick all these years. But Nick explained that he had withheld the results of a paternity test from Phyllis.
Chelsea went to Avery to find out what was haunting Dylan in his past. Avery told her that Dylan's entire unit had been wiped out, and she had been notified by Dylan's dad that Dylan was presumed dead. That Avery had crumpled to the floor and cried for weeks. Eventually Avery read articles about it online, mostly obits of the men in his unit. The more Avery thought about Dylan, how he had done the best he could under the worst of circumstances, just as Nick had when he claimed Summer as his own to sooth his aching soul after the loss of Cassie. Avery went to Nick, told him she still loved him, and forgave him.
A few days later, Nick and Avery found Phyllis unconscious at the bottom of a stairwell during the MS gala. Later at the hospital, Phyllis was still unconscious when Dr. Costner informed Jack, Nick, and Avery that Phyllis had a blood clot pressing on her brain requiring surgery. The surgery was performed, and was successful. Daniel was notified in Europe and said he was on his way home. Nick finally found Summer hiding out at the penthouse, and had to tell her that her mother needed her at her side to help her fight for her life. While Summer, Avery, and Jack were content to sit by her side and wait months or years for her to wake up, Daniel did some research and found a facility on an island off the coast of Georgia where the best neurologists were having some success reviving coma patients. All were adamantly against it until Daniel convinced Michael, Lauren, and Summer who convinced Jack and Nick, then Nick convinced Avery to allow Daniel to take her there to give her the best shot at recovery. Daniel convinced Summer who convinced Jack and Nick, and Nick convinced Avery to allow Daniel to take Phyllis there to give her the best shot at recovery. Avery returned home dejected.
After witnessing Sharon pulling tricks on Nick trying to get back with him, Avery convinced Nick to go ahead with the wedding after all. Noah and Summer agreed to stand up for them. When Faith was asked to be their flower girl, she reacted badly saying that she would not, nor was Nick going to marry anyone but her mother, then tore up all of Avery's wedding planning photos. Sharon was crushed when Nick requested that Sharon help him get Faith to understand that her father and mother would never get back together again. Sharon became all the more determined to stop their wedding when Avery dropped by and told Sharon to back off and stay the hell away from her fiancé. Nick and Avery made plans to be married in the newly renamed Chancellor park. In an attempt to guilt Nick into postponing his marriage, Sharon made sure that Nick found a drawing by Faith where Avery was scribbled out. Avery found the drawing which upset her even further after hearing that Dylan had just discovered that he was not the father of Chelsea's baby, and that she had lied to him throughout her pregnancy. She left Nick's and began to try to contact Dylan with no success.
Avery and Nick's wedding day arrived, but just as she was about to leave for the ceremony, Avery found Dylan sitting on the floor in the hallway outside her apartment. She helped him inside and got him to talk through his distress. Dylan admitted that he had wanted a family so much that he had ignored all the signs, and now he had lost it all. Avery and Dylan then relived the tragic loss of their own unborn child. By the time Avery made it to Chancellor Park, the guests had gone, leaving Nick there alone. After Avery explained, Nick decided that it had become increasingly clear Avery was still too emotionally involved with Dylan. Nick broke up with her, and left her standing there in her wedding gown as it began to rain.
Avery visited Phyllis and confided that her relationship with Nick had crashed and burned. Avery urged Phyllis to wake up and gloat, telling her that Summer needed her, and that she was afraid Sharon would win and get Nick back. As Avery left, Phyllis' fingers moved.
Nikki Newman hired Avery to add Dylan to her will, explaining that he was her son she had given up for adoption as a teenager. Avery became resentful, accusing Nikki of expecting her to keep secrets or to tell Dylan for her, of being selfish to rob Dylan of his wonderful childhood. But Avery realized that Dylan desperately needed family after he had lost everything.
Nikki Newman held a Veteran's Day fundraiser at The Underground to honor the vets. Dylan and Stitch were invited, but Dylan was reluctant to attend. Avery was able to convince Dylan to show up as they reconnected after remembering how much she loved him while he was in the service, and they kissed. Everyone was rather mystified by Nikki's overly friendly gesture of hugging Dylan for having the courage to attend.
Dylan convinced Avery that since they were both finally free, it was their time for second chances, and he set up a romantic date at the Genoa City Athletic Club. But when they arrived, they spotted the Newman family at the table next to theirs. Rather than arouse Nick's ire again, Dylan called around in an attempt to get reservations at another restaurant. But when Nick spotted them together, he unreasonably accused Dylan of following him around and throwing his relationship with Avery in his face. They got in a fist fight, and the other Newmans crowded around in an attempt to break them up. Nikki finally was able to do so by shocking them all by shouting that Dylan was her son. Dylan told her that could not be, that Terry and Penny McAvoy were his parents. Nikki explained that Penny had adopted him as a baby in an attempt to hang onto his father who had never found out. Dylan refused to believe it, and left with Avery. Dylan was further upset when Avery admitted that she had known about it for awhile, and that the facts proved that it was true. But Avery was able to convince Dylan to talk with Nikki. Dylan requested a DNA test, and it proved that he was Nikki's son. Dylan forgave Avery for just following the rules, they kissed, and Avery admitted that she loved him. Later Avery presented Dylan with the background info she had found on Ian Ward. Both Avery and Nikki objected to Dylan wanting to find his father, but he took off for northern Idaho after Nikki recalled his family had a farm there.
After Dylan returned to Genoa City he did some Internet searches, and he and Avery decided to go to Indiana to find Ian. Dylan and Avery visited a similar organization called The Path, led by a John Darwin. Darwin's associate, Clarence, saw through their story of a married couple hoping to become followers, and they admitted they were looking for Ian Ward and that Dylan was his son. Clarence asked them leave and phoned Ian with their names and that they lived in Genoa City. Dylan then decided he really did not want to find Ian, that Avery was all the family he needed, and they made love before returning to Genoa City.
It was not long before Ian showed up at Nikki's, then to Crimson Lights to meet Dylan. Avery and Dylan told him they no longer wanted anything to do with him, but Ian said he was sticking around awhile.
Avery and Dylan began to get back the closeness they once shared, and after teaming up to rescue their mother Nikki from Ian, Nick and Dylan began to become friendly.
Avery was pleased that Nikki and Dylan had bonded over a leaking espresso machine when Nikki suggested a bubble gum fix. They began to discuss her past and her state of mind when she gave him up, and both agreed that she had done the right thing. Dylan and Avery were visited by Ian's ex-wife, Willa Ward, who had come from Idaho to give them some important information for a price, but they sent her away empty-handed.
Avery entered her key lime pie recipe in a cooking contest, took first place, and was asked to come to New York and bake it on the TV show. The producers liked her so much they offered her a web series cooking show of her own. After giving it some thought, she told Dylan that she had turned it down to go back to working with Innocence Foundation. Dylan talked her into doing both, and after a prototype was filmed, the web series was picked up, and named "You are being served". Dylan was unnerved by some odd posts by "4MJ" taunting the "real" Avery Bailey Clark. Ian, back in town after a mistrial, taunted her that he had been watching her show. Thanks to them, Avery wanted to quit the show until they got her an appearance on the television show "The Talk".
After 4MJ's latest post "Justice is about to be served", and Ian told Avery it sounded like 4MJ felt wronged by Avery and intended to make things right, Avery got scared and went to the police. Kevin Fisher began researching the username.
Avery's cameraman, Austin Travers, got her to go to his apartment with him. Austin insisted that she confess on camera to being responsible for his mother's death. It seemed that Avery had defended a man named Boz Foreman and gotten him off for a convenience store hold up and killing. Afterward, Boz had repeated the crime, killing Austin's mother, Mary Jameson, and was in prison for it. Austin admitted that he was 4MJ "for Mary Jameson". When Avery tried to leave, Austin pulled a gun on her. Dylan arrived by way of the fire escape and jumped Austin. As they wrestled for his gun, Paul and the police arrived, the gun went off, and Paul was shot. Austin escaped. Paul was taken to the hospital where Dylan and Avery waited for word on his condition. Detective Harding viciously accused Dylan of being responsible by not waiting for the police. And Avery felt responsible as well.
After Austin turned himself in, Summer claimed that there was something special about Austin, that she knew he was "the one", admitting to Avery that they had made love but used protection. Summer begged Avery to defend Austin, and Avery explained that she could not because she was the victim, but she agreed to give Austin legal advice until they found him an attorney. Summer turned down both Jack and Nick's offers and went home with Avery.
After discovering that Dylan and Paul had the same blood type, Dylan was tested to be Paul's partial liver donor, but was rejected as it was too dangerous due to his war injuries. But when Dylan found out that Paul was actually his biological father, Dylan insisted on being the donor. Both Nikki and Avery tried to dissuade him. But attorney Michael Baldwin confirmed that Dylan had the right, in a matter of life or death, to override the doctor's objections at his own risk. So Dylan and Paul were taken in for surgery. Many hours later, they both awoke in ICU about the same time – Dylan to Nikki and Avery at his bedside. But when they left to tell the doctor he was awake, Dylan managed to make his way to Paul's bedside. Dylan told Paul that he should have listened, took the blame for Paul getting shot, and talked about being his being Paul's son. Paul got confused, became upset and began to hyperventilate, saying how sorry he was for shooting his son, Ricky. (It was actually the second anniversary of the date that Paul had shot and killed his son Ricky in self-defense.)
After Dylan was returned to his room, and Avery scolded him, Dylan appeared to fall asleep. As Avery was about to leave, Dylan's monitor went off. Dylan had fallen into unconsciousness with an infection causing gram-negative sepsis and shock. Dylan's organs began shutting down, Dr. Ben felt that antibiotics were Dylan's only hope for survival, but feared that Dylan may not make it thought the night. While unconscious, Dylan saw Sully who was there to take him to the great beyond. Dylan's blood pressure spiked and alarms went off as he began talking out loud to Sully. Ben yelled at Dylan to tell Sully to go away, that he was NOT going with him. Avery begged Dylan not to leave her. Meanwhile Paul, after being told about Dylan's condition, began trying to commune with Dylan to live. Dylan saw Paul who told him how much life they missed together, asking why Dylan would risk his life to save Paul only to leave, telling him don’t go now, it is not your time, to fight to give Avery a future, and he and Paul a future. Dylan suddenly awoke and smiled at Avery. Paul awoke to Nikki crying, and said, "Dylan is going to be all right." Dylan was released, and later so was Paul. Dylan began having nightmares due to his guilt about the shooting, and Avery and Nikki became concerned as he showed rage toward Austin and Ian.
With Austin's trial a day away, Leslie knew that a letter from Avery to the court would be needed, saying that Austin needed to be held accountable but that she knows that he regrets his actions and has forgiven him. Leslie pointed out that justice could either be met in prison living with killers or atonement on the outside. Avery was torn, needing to make it right, and feeling responsible, yet recalled Dylan's near death and his, Paul, and Christine's feelings toward Austin. But thanks to Avery's letter to the judge and Paul's refusal to testify at the trial, Austin was given deferred adjudication with a fine and community service. But Dylan became enraged by the verdict and his father and lover's part played in it.
Leslie approached Avery telling her that she wanted to accept an ADA position, and would be leaving their partnership. When Michael confided in Avery how overwhelmed his law office was, she and Michael decided that a partnership was the perfect answer for them both. Avery was surprised to receive a voicemail from her ex-husband Joe whom she had not heard from since their divorce. Joe was upset to discover that Dylan had named him as a possible suspect for Avery's stalker, then he congratulated her on partnership with Michael.
Paul was investigating the disappearance of Ian Ward after Ian had kidnapped and married a drugged Mariah Copeland, then threatened Nikki and was chased from Nikki's home by Dylan. Avery became concerned for Dylan after witnessing him washing blood from his hands and throwing away his bloody shirt that same night. Then more so when blood found on the Newman driveway turned out to be Ian's, his wallet turned up in a dumpster near the racetrack where his car was found, and Ian's muddy jacket was later found in the quarry. After Jeffrey Bardwell reported seeing Dylan at the racetrack that night, Paul knew he had to question Dylan, with Avery as his lawyer. Christine threw Paul a party to celebrate his receiving the Distinguished Citizen Award, but Paul and Dylan left early to go back to the police station together. Dylan claimed that Ian had given him the slip outside the Newman's, so he returned to Crimson Lights, then went for a walk near the racetrack to calm down, and that he had punched out a window in frustration at a warehouse near the tracks. Later while talking to Avery at her apartment, Paul noticed some muddy boots of Dylan's.
Just before Sharon and Nick were pronounced man and wife again, everyone was shocked when Phyllis interrupted the wedding, walked down the aisle, was embraced by Summer, and collapsed. It turned out that Phyllis had woken up from her coma, stolen a nurse's scrubs, and hitchhiked home from the Georgia hospital. Phyllis woke up in Genoa City Memorial with Summer at her bedside. Phyllis admitted to Avery that she wasn't sure if she remembered what had happened to cause her coma, unsure if the flashes were memories or dreams.
Avery's ex-husband Joe Clark showed up in town, his job in commercial real estate bringing him to buy some businesses there. Viewers saw Dylan's Crimson Lights at the top of the buy out list on Joe's laptop. Joe admitted that his being a workaholic had caused her to have the affair, that he was still single, and he wanted to meet Dylan. Avery put him off, not wanting him to find out that Dylan was in jail.
A week later, Avery ran into Joe in Michael's office getting legal documents drawn up. Dylan was there and free, the sting operation on Ian Ward over, and was introduced to Joe. Joe apologized for the awkward circumstances, saying that his old friend Cane Ashby had recommended Michael. He shook hands with Dylan, saying that the past was water under the bridge. Later, Dylan was miffed that Avery had not even mentioned Joe being in town. But Avery was able to convince him that she and Dylan were all that mattered, no matter where Joe was.
Dylan was shocked when given 2 months notice to evacuate Crimson Lights due to the building being sold. When he found out that Joe was the agent who was buying up the block for redevelopment, Dylan confronted him and socked him in the jaw. Avery began looking into how to fight the demolition with the possibility of it becoming a city landmark. Joe visited Avery, claiming it was a coincidence and strictly business, offering to help relocate the coffee house for Avery. Then he grabbed and kissed her, but Avery slapped him and kicked him out.
Just prior to Christmas 2014, Dylan proposed. Avery told him that he was the only man who had ever loved her completely, just the way she was, and she accepted.
Meanwhile, Landmark status was denied for Crimson Lights, Joe planned a cocktail party at GCAC for potential investors in the warehouse district project, and Avery and Dylan were involved in a save the neighborhood rally. On Christmas evening, a snow storm caused a power outage everywhere in town but Crimson Lights, people converged there, and word went out that it was the place where miracles happen. Afterward, the Genoa City Chronical editorialized, urging the saving of the warehouse district. Avery and Dylan pleaded with Joe to allow them to meet with the buyer, and he gave them hope. After Dylan left for an interview with the Chronical, Avery was notified by Joe to meet the owner in his suite. On her way up, she ran into Michael who tried to caution her about Joe and accompany her, but she refused. After Avery entered his suite, Joe locked the door, and told her the meeting was just between the two of them. Joe apologized and begged Avery for a second chance. Avery refused and left, and told Dylan that she wanted to marry him right away. Dylan said he would not do it to stop Joe, but he would for her.
After the City put the sale on hold awaiting a community impact study, Victor offered Dylan big bucks to relocate. When Dylan turned it down, Victor threatened that he would not want to see Dylan or Avery get hurt over this. That same day, two masked men entered Crimson Lights and robbed Dylan who fought back, and he ended up in the hospital with a concussion. Dylan bought a gun, and threatened Joe with it, but luckily Avery was there to stop him from doing anything but threaten Joe to stay away from Avery or he would kill him.
Joe propositioned Avery to spend one night with him, then to choose him or Dylan, and if Avery chose Dylan, Joe would walk away. Avery met Joe in his hotel room wearing a wire she had gotten from Kevin hoping to get him to confess to the attack on Dylan. But when Joe touched Avery to give her the necklace she had admired but could not afford on their honeymoon, she could not go through with it and left. Dylan was livid after Joe told him that he had once again enticed Avery to his room, and he inferred that she was there to make love to him. Avery explained that it was a setup, but Dylan left mad and did not come home that night. They later reconciled.
Dylan and Avery attended the Valentines party at The Underground. Joe was there too, and told Avery that he had decided to leave town. Then he provoked Dylan. Dylan slugged Joe, but he ducked and the blow hit Avery instead, causing her nose to bleed. Dylan was so ashamed, he left, driving in a snowstorm during a power outage. Suddenly the power went out at The Underground, and the ceiling collapsed, trapping Avery and Joe, and injuring Joe's leg. Joe told Avery that their being trapped together and having to depend on each other for survival was a sign. Joe asked if she still wanted him to walk away forever, but they were interrupted by Dylan digging them out. After Avery assured him that she was all right, he and Nick went back to rescue Phyllis, Jack, Victor, and Nikki.
Joe told Avery he was moving into a loft, that he had another project, an endowment to Better Days Foundation reminding her that he had been an abused child. He had drafted a restructuring program to keep them afloat, and would be staying in town. Joe presented Avery with a box containing her wedding gown which had been her grandmother Harriett's. Avery told him he should stop trying to please her, and gave the dress to Phyllis for her upcoming nuptials with Jack. But Phyllis burned the dress, calling it bad luck for both Avery and their grandmother who had married three times.
Avery went to Better Days Administrator Gabriel Bingham to sign the transfer contracts for Joe. She became suspicious of Gabe when he did not bother to read the contracts before he signed, and his signature did not match other documents for the foundation. Joe was planning a charity event to raise money for the Better Days, and surprised Avery when he suggested it be in Avery's honor for her work at the Innocence Foundation. When approached, Phyllis and Jack decided to help by asking their wedding guests to donate in lieu of gifts.
Dylan and Avery began arguing a lot, mostly about the amount of time that Avery spent with Joe, and Dylan spent with Sharon.
The fundraiser was held, but Dylan was busy rescuing Sharon so did not show up. Joe took the opportunity to make another move on Avery, congratulating her, and telling her how she had made him a better man. Joe kissed her, she pushed him away, and Joe fell over the athletic club balcony, landing on a dumpster, suffering spinal injuries. Avery admitted to Paul that she had pushed him, but Joe let Paul know that it had been an accident. After Avery realized that Joe was paralyzed she would not leave his side at the hospital. Joe went to a Chicago clinic for spinal injury patients, and Avery offered to go along for a few weeks. Using tough love she became his physical therapy partner. Dylan still did not trust Joe and warned Avery that he was manipulating her. She replied, "Yes the same as Sharon is manipulating you." Later, Avery texted saying that she was sorry they had quarreled, and was coming home. But the texted reply said, "Finish what you started, and so will I." Joe could see that Avery was upset and asked her to stay. Instead, Avery returned and accused Dylan of sleeping with Sharon. But even after Sharon admitted that she had sent the text, Avery reluctantly returned her engagement ring to Dylan and went back to Chicago. Joe heard her out and kissed her. Avery was affronted to think that Joe thought he could just step into Dylan's place in her life.
Avery returned to Genoa City to work on a case, and Dylan admitted that he was now sleeping with Sharon. Back in Chicago, Joe was released from the clinic and having no luck finding a wheelchair accessible place to live in Genoa City. Although her apartment was a small one bedroom, Dylan had moved out, so she offered Joe to come live with her. Joe agreed, and they argued over who would sleep on the couch.
They were getting along fine until Summer caught Joe walking and told Avery. Avery confronted Joe, demanding to know how long he had been able to walk. When he admitted that he could, Avery told him to get out. Joe threatened Avery that he could ruin her by telling the police she had tried to kill him. Avery asked Joe what he wanted, and he asked her to make love to him. Avery freaked out and baited him, ripping off her clothes, crying "Is this what you want?" She kicked Joe out, and he moved into the athletic club. Then Avery disappeared. Meanwhile Joe taunted Sharon that Dylan would go back to Avery now. Phyllis and Summer found Avery's door open, a piece of broken pottery with bloodstains on the floor, her car missing, and her cell which showed Dylan as the last number dialed. The police were called in, and Dylan confronted Joe, suspecting that he had done something to Avery after her car was found at Concord Lake. But Avery showed up at Crimson Lights, claimed she had car trouble trying to leave town, and hugged Dylan, as Sharon looked on jealously. Avery told Dylan that Joe had hit her once when they were married. Refusing Dylan's help, Avery decided to leave town. Dylan and Phyllis tried to talk her into staying. Joe tried to talk Sharon into teaching them a lesson. Joe claimed she seduced him, and he stopped it. Paul refused to arrest her or Dylan because Joe's stories kept changing and he appeared to be delusional thinking Avery leads him on. After witnessing Joe confront Avery the next day, Michael reminded her that she didn't earn this kind of abuse. Michael told her she shouldn't just leave town, that they would need to deal with him, and filed a restraining order against Joe. So Joe got one against Dylan.