At Jabot, Ashley showed Phyllis' former office to Ravi, and he thought it was awesome. Ashley thought his reaction was refreshing, since the last person who'd had it hadn't liked it.
In his office, Jack was on the phone with Gloria and asked why he would ever trust her about Fenmore's -- or anything else. Gloria reminded Jack that when she set her mind to do something, she made it happen. Gloria wanted to meet with Jack to discuss her proposal in person. If Jack wanted Fenmore's, she would make it happen.
Moments later, Ashley stopped in to see Jack, and he said he might have found an "in" at Fenmore's -- Gloria. He said there was a certain logic to Gloria helping. Ashley was mortified and said that Gloria was toxic, vicious, and selfish. Jack said it wasn't about trusting Gloria -- he'd never do that. Jack said that Gloria had called him and offered to help. Jack felt they needed to hear what Gloria had to say and to see if she could deliver.
Nikki entered the patio at Crimson Lights and spotted Reed. Reed didn't hear her when Nikki called out to him, so she pulled out his earbuds. Reed was delighted to see his grandmother. Nikki wanted to know what had possessed Reed to leave home without telling anyone. She said if he had called and said he wanted to visit Genoa City, they would have sent him a ticket. She also mentioned that running away had worried J.T. Reed didn't see it as running away if he'd only gone from one parent's home to the other's.
Nikki told Reed not to be smart. Reed admitted it had been a bad call on his part and apologized. Nikki admitted the family would have felt horrible if Reed had been so far from them. Reed said that Genoa City would always be his home, and he just wanted to be with family -- not halfway across the world. Nikki assured him that she and Victoria were very happy he was there.
At Brash & Sassy, Billy noticed that Victoria was a little off. Victoria told him that she couldn't carry on a five-minute conversation with Reed, but Reed could play his guitar for six hours. She believed Reed thought if he gave her his sad face, she'd let him do whatever he wanted. Billy admitted that Reed had no idea how strong Victoria was. Billy agreed with her -- teens needed limits, rules, and structure, but Reed also had to respect her.
Billy reminded Victoria about the things they'd done when they had been fifteen. They'd done things they hadn't necessarily been proud of, but they had grown up, matured, and become normal human beings. Billy clarified that at least Victoria had grown up. Victoria reminded him that they'd had parental structure, guidelines, and rules. Billy admitted they'd had support, tolerance, and a slew of other things they probably hadn't deserved, but it was because their parents had cut them a break. Victoria thought Billy meant she should let Reed do what he wanted, and she refused to do that because it was irresponsible parenting.
Billy said Reed had a mother that loved and supported him, and he suggested that Victoria not push Reed into anything because he'd become resentful. Billy reminded her that Reed wasn't out getting alcohol poisoning at a party. Victoria didn't think she could handle that. Billy said she could handle it because that was what she'd always done, and Victoria could also steer Reed away from the bad. Billy assured her that Reed knew she was on his side. Victoria agreed. Billy offered to help in any way he could, but Victoria said she'd have to learn how to handle it on her own.
Later Nikki arrived at the lab and mentioned she'd run into Reed and wondered why she'd had to learn from Victor that Reed was in town. Victoria admitted that things had been crazy busy, and she hadn't had the time. Besides, telling Victor had been the same as telling Nikki. Victoria lamented that Reed was almost a man and living in her house. She told Nikki that Reed had arrived on her doorstep on New Year's Eve, escorted by a cop because Reed hadn't paid his full bus fare. It hadn't been the first time Reed had bolted. Reed had put J.T. through a lot. Victoria admitted she hardly knew her son and wondered how she'd let that happen.
At Jabot, Phyllis was in her former office, searching for her files, when Ravi arrived and scared her. Phyllis asked if it was his office. Ravi shook his head yes and said, "Awesome, isn't it?" He introduced himself, and Phyllis realized he was the genius behind Jabot Go. Ravi downplayed his part and asked if Phyllis intended to move back into her old office. Phyllis advised that she was there to gather her personal data for a presentation she had to complete.
Ashley arrived and demanded to know why Phyllis was there. Phyllis told Ashley to relax --- she was only there to retrieve her personal files. Ravi left. Ashley asked for Phyllis' real reason for being there. Phyllis reiterated that she only wanted her personal files. Ashley hoped Phyllis wasn't hoping to run into Jack or try to get her job back. Phyllis reminded Ashley that she worked at Fenmore's, where her work was valued, her opinion was respected, and her boss didn't throw her past mistakes in her face.
Ashley said there were rumors that Lauren had been looking for a cash infusion. Phyllis admitted it was true and advised Ashley that Lauren had turned down Jack's offer. Phyllis also mentioned that it hadn't been easy being rejected, but she and Jack had moved on. After Phyllis left, Ashley ripped Phyllis' nameplate off the door and threw it into the trash.
Gloria met Jack at the Underground and warned him that their conversation was to remain between them only. Jack advised Gloria that Lauren had made it very clear that she didn't want Jabot to acquire Fenmore's, even though Jack thought it was good business for both companies. Jack had made Lauren an offer and asked if Gloria knew why Lauren had turned him down. Gloria thought it was pride. She said Lauren needed an investor. Gloria had seen the figures, and it wasn't a pretty picture. Jack asked if Gloria had seen the figures with Lauren's blessing.
Gloria ignored the barb and said she'd been worried about Lauren. She was afraid Lauren would crack under the pressure. Jack accused Gloria of invading Lauren's privacy and secretly meeting with him. Gloria said she didn't want some stranger with sticky fingers touching Lauren's company. Jack asked what was in it for Gloria. She reminded him she had solid fashion experience, not to mention cosmetics.
Jack grimaced and asked Gloria not to mention cosmetics. Jack asked again what was in it for her. Gloria said if she could help Jack acquire Fenmore's, she wanted a small role in the company. When Jack asked how small, she said they would talk about her compensation package when the time was right, and she swore she could make it happen. She said Jack needed her.
Jack couldn't believe that Gloria had gone behind Lauren's back because she wanted a small role in Jabot. Gloria said that Lauren was the single best thing that had ever happened to Michael, so she had gone to Jack without Lauren's blessing for Lauren's good. Pulling Jack into the fold was Lauren's very best choice.
When Jack asked Gloria how she planned to pull it off, she told him not to worry about the gory details. Jack said that was where he stepped out. Gloria told Jack to take care of the big picture, and she'd take care of the small stuff. Gloria got up to leave. Jack reminded her that he hadn't agreed to anything. Gloria said she trusted him and knew that when she delivered, Jack would do the right thing and hire her because he was John Abbott's son. Jack advised her not to start picking out her corner office yet. Gloria said, "Whatever you say, boss," and left.
Later, at Jabot, Ashley said that if Gloria's plans had been done behind Lauren's back, Jack couldn't accept Gloria's help. Jack advised that he hadn't committed to anything. Ashley told him that Phyllis had stopped in to pick up her personal files, and she'd implied that Lauren would never let Jack near Fenmore's.
Jack admitted that Lauren had told him the same thing. Jack told Ashley that Gloria was devious, ruthless, and completely self-centered, and when she wanted something enough, Gloria would pull out all the stops. Ashley asked if that was the person he was going to put his trust in -- the person whose personal belongings Jack had delivered to Michael's in garbage bags. Jack said that if Gloria pulled through, he'd deliver her a matching set of luggage. Ashley told him to laugh all he wanted to, but he shouldn't forget who he'd be dealing with.
Lauren arrived at home, and Michael suggested a date night. Lauren declined and said that she hadn't been honest with him. She clarified that everything was wonderful between them -- but not with Fenmore's. Lauren admitted she'd downplayed Fenmore's problems to Michael. She said she'd always been able to spot a trend and had always been ahead of the curve, but with technology, Internet sales, and social media, the industry had shifted and everything had evolved, but Fenmore's hadn't.
Michael wanted to know why Lauren hadn't told him. Lauren said that she'd failed her company, and if she admitted that to him, she'd have to admit it to herself, and she hadn't been prepared to do that. She couldn't accept that she'd gotten that far and could lose everything. Lauren told Michael she had been working on a solution, and she had to admit that the company needed an influx of cash. She'd put together a list of possible investors. She said she had a meeting with one of them later. She knew she and Phyllis could turn it around.
Michael said they had been in that situation before, and he clarified that it was about trust and keeping secrets. He said that Fenmore's was in jeopardy, and Lauren hadn't told him. Michael reminded her that they were a team, and she shouldn't have shut him out. Lauren agreed it had been a mistake and apologized. She hadn't taken into consideration how Michael felt about it. Michael said he loved her, and he asked if the investor was the right one. Lauren felt he was.
Later Gloria returned after her meeting with Jack and offered to take Michael and Lauren out for dinner to thank them for their hospitality. Michael suggested that Gloria get room service at the Athletic Club and said he'd book her a suite for the night. He and Lauren needed to discuss business after her meeting. Gloria looked concerned and asked if the meeting was about Fenmore's. Michael confirmed it was and that there had been some difficulties with Fenmore's, but Lauren was dealing with them.
Gloria admitted that she and Lauren had talked about it. Michael was shocked that Lauren had confided in Gloria before him. Gloria said she'd assumed that Michael had known. Michael admitted that he'd just found out that the worst was over. Gloria asked if Lauren had found a solution. Michael advised her that Lauren had found an investor. Gloria told him to be happy for Lauren. Gloria wanted to know why Michael looked so miserable. Michael said he wasn't pleased that Lauren had spoken to Gloria before him becasue marriage was about confiding in and leaning on one another. Gloria said that Lauren needed her whole family.
At Crimson Lights Phyllis struggled with her box of documents. Billy offered to get her coffee and donuts. Phyllis told him she needed to finish up a proposal. Billy complimented Phyllis on her hair. Phyllis admitted the time had been right to get rid of things that no longer worked for her. They engaged in small talk, and when Phyllis asked about Victoria, Billy wished her good luck and went onto the patio, where he saw Reed.
Billy pulled Reed's earbuds out. Annoyed, Reed asked why everyone kept doing that. Billy asked if Reed had cut classes. Reed said he'd thought about it. He said his classes were okay, and he'd known most of the kids from before. He said his teachers were normal-ish, as far as teachers went. Billy asked if all the kids had been avoiding their parents as well.
Reed said he loved Victoria, but it seemed she was stuck in time. She still treated him like he hadn't grown up at all since moving to Washington, DC. He said he brushed his teeth without being reminded, he didn't go to bed at 7:30, and a perfect day didn't include a snowball fight then board games and hot chocolate. Billy teased that that sounded like a perfect day.
Billy understood and reminded Reed that Victoria wasn't the same person she had been before Reed had left. Victoria had been through a lot, most of it because of Billy. Billy suggested that Reed cut Victoria a little slack and asked Reed to give it a chance.
Inside the coffeehouse, Lauren and Phyllis went over the presentation. Lauren felt it was exactly what they needed to impress a potential investor. Lauren told Phyllis that she'd confided in Michael about Fenmore's financial problems. Phyllis was happy, since Lauren needed the emotional support. Lauren had hated keeping it from Michael. Lauren said she'd make it up to him.
Phyllis assured Lauren she had everything she needed for the meeting. Lauren asked Phyllis about her encounter with Billy. Phyllis assured her that she and Billy no longer had to feel awkward or avoid each other. They had both moved on. Phyllis said Billy was where he was supposed to be, and she was where she wanted to be.
At home, Victoria checked her phone and told Nikki that Reed was with Billy at Crimson Lights. Nikki was happy that Reed was with an adult. Victoria asked if Nikki was sure about that. Nikki jumped to Billy's defense and advised Victoria to be fair. Nikki said that Billy could be good for Reed as a strong male presence. Nikki said Billy's life was messy, but he was a good father, and Reed really liked Billy.
Victoria reminded Nikki that Reed really like J.T., but Reed had pushed him to his limit. Victoria said no one was easy as a teenager. She reminded Nikki that when she'd returned home from boarding school, all she'd done had been to torture Victor and Ashley, so it had to be the universe paying her back. Nikki assured Victoria that she'd get through it. She encouraged Victoria to let Billy help, unless Victoria was afraid of falling into old habits. Victoria assured Nikki that she and Billy wouldn't ever happen again.
Billy and Reed arrived. Victoria advised Reed that Nikki had been invited for dinner to allow Reed and Nikki to catch up. Reed asked if Billy could stay as well. Billy said he thought they could play board games later because four was the perfect number of players. He gave Reed a sideways glance and grin. Nikki thought it was a wonderful idea.
At the Newman ranch, Victor and Faith played chess, and he chuckled when she put him in checkmate. She knowingly asked if he'd let her win, and he admitted that he had because he'd wanted her to get a taste for winning. He looked forward to the day when she beat him fair and square, and she replied that she'd fairly beaten her grandma a couple of times. Victor applauded Faith for having the Newman instinct to win, and he promised to teach her the game, even though it would take a while to learn it. Faith questioned what would happen if she wasn't there long enough, and she mentioned that Noah had said she couldn't stay there forever. Faith recognized that she couldn't stay at the ranch indefinitely, but she didn't want her parents to start fighting again if she went back to one of them.
Nikki entered and asked if Victor was giving Faith a chess lesson, and she asked who'd won. Victor reported that Faith had, but Faith clarified that Victor had let her win. Victor relayed that Faith was worried about going back to one of her parents because she was concerned that her mom and dad wouldn't stop fighting. Faith fretted that if she went home with one parent, the other wouldn't like it, and she wanted everyone to be happy. Victor acknowledged that a lot of things had happened that had upset a lot of people, but he assured Faith that they all loved her and wanted her to be happy. Faith said she was just trying to figure out how she fit in, and Victor hugged her.
Victor recalled that he'd once asked himself the same question when he'd been growing up in the orphanage, and Faith imagined that he'd felt alone. Victor declared that it had made him who he was because he'd had to fight, and he'd learned that the most important thing was family. He firmly stated that they had to always love and protect one another, and Nikki stressed that everyone loved Faith, especially her parents. Faith wailed that it was why she didn't want to mess things up, and she didn't want to get in the way when her dad was trying hard to learn everything about Christian. Faith sadly wished things were different, and she went upstairs. Nikki remarked that she knew exactly who should handle the situation.
At the Underground, Noah greeted Nick and Christian, and he jokingly asked if the tot would have his usual drink. Nick assumed that Noah was questioning what kind of father kept dragging his son to a bar, and Noah pointed out that the boy should be at home in his crib. Nick reasoned that he should have taken his son home from the hospital and that Sage should still be alive, so there were a lot of "shoulds" involved. Noah apologized.
Nick explained that his regular nanny was taking classes and that the replacement sitter had suffered car trouble, but he hadn't wanted Noah to have to deal with the bar alone. Noah noted that he'd been dealing with it on his own, and things had been going well. Nick swore that he was doing his best, but he recognized that a better father wouldn't have dragged his son to a bar and would have known his kid had an allergy to strawberries. Noah insisted that Christian's allergic reaction hadn't been Nick's fault, but Nick lamented that Faith was living with her grandparents because she couldn't stand to be around him or Sharon. Nick steeled himself for a lecture about how to be a better parent, and Noah replied that Nick could start by forgiving Sharon.
Nick argued that Sharon had been the one who'd blown their family apart, and Noah suggested that Nick be the one to heal it. Nick said he was trying to create a stable life for his son, and Noah asked how Faith fit in, since it was obvious that she was struggling. Nick regretted that Faith felt caught in the middle, and Noah reported that she felt responsible for everyone's happiness. Noah implied that it would all be resolved if Nick and Sharon found middle ground, but Nick maintained that what Sharon had done had been unforgivable, and he didn't know if he'd ever get past it. "Not even for Faith?" Noah asked.
Nick pledged to be the best dad he could be to all his kids, and he wanted Christian and Faith to feel safe. Noah opined that Faith would never feel safe until there was peace between Nick and Sharon, and Nick realized that Noah wouldn't let it go. Nick maintained that his priority was being with his children, and he had to make sure he checked every box to make sure they were getting what they needed. Nikki called Nick and informed him that Faith needed him, and Nick said he was on his way. Nick commented that he'd forgotten to check some of his boxes, and he left.
Nick arrived at the ranch, and Faith squealed in excitement when she saw him and Christian. Nick said he'd had a hankering to spend time with his best girl, and he suggested they go ice-skating. Nikki and Victor readily agreed to babysit Christian, and Nick told Faith it would be just the two of them.
Later, Nikki observed that Victor appeared to be deep in thought. He said it had made him happy to teach his granddaughter the intricacies of chess, and he marveled that Faith had understood the strategy behind her moves. Nikki teased that letting Faith win was a sign that he was mellowing, since he'd never done that with their kids. He agreed that maybe he'd mellowed a little, and they kissed.
Victor and Nikki played chess, and he commented that she'd made a bold move. She remarked that it was the only way to keep up with him, and she expressed relief that he was stepping back from work to spend more time with his family. Victor admitted that he'd always known what his next step would be, but he didn't know what it was that time, since the company was profitable and their kids were happy and healthy. He wondered what else there was for him, and Nikki suggested that it was time to enjoy himself. She called him the most passionate man she knew, and she was sure that his next great passion was waiting for him. She added that she knew him that well, and she put him in checkmate.
Faith and Nick returned to the tack house, where she good-naturedly threatened him with a snowball in the living room. He reminded her that they were even, and he asked if she was ready for s'mores. She suggested that they play a game, and Nick warned that he'd beat her because he'd show no mercy. He turned away to make their snacks, and she threw the snowball at him and declared that they were finally even. He playfully chased her around the room.
Nick and Faith squared off over a game of checkers, and she stood and cheered when she won. He told her to take it easy on the guy who'd made the best s'mores, and she announced that she'd beaten Victor at chess that day, too. She corrected that Victor had let her beat him but that he'd said he'd done it so she'd understand what it was like to win. Faith repeated Victor's words that it would be valuable to know when she grew up, since if she could master chess, she could master anyone. Nick inquired whether Victor had really said "anything," but Faith was sure her grandfather had said "anyone."
At the police station, Kevin typed a text message on a burner phone, indicating that contact was expected the next day. In a breathy voice, a woman asked to fill out a missing persons report, and without looking up, Kevin told her an officer could help. The woman complained that everyone else was busy, and Kevin glanced up and saw Chloe in a trench coat. Chloe seductively stated that her boyfriend had gone missing, and she hadn't seen him in days. Chloe described her beau as having bed-head, cute dimples, and sexy green eyes, but Kevin regretfully referred to all the work on his plate. Chloe opened her coat and flashed him, and she asked a stunned Kevin if he could help a girl out.
A police officer approached Kevin, and Kevin became flustered when Chloe flashed him again from behind the cop's back. After the officer stepped away, Kevin lectured that it was a place of employment that had rules. She suggested that they get out of there so they didn't have to worry about following the rules, and he hurriedly finished sending the text message and threw the burner phone into a drawer. She was impressed that she hadn't needed to resort to emotional blackmail to get his attention, and he replied that she'd had him "at trench coat."
At the Baldwins' home, Michael suspected that Gloria expected some sort of personal gain out of Fenmore's financial troubles, and Gloria contended that she had a brilliant business mind and could give Lauren invaluable support. Michael realized that his mother was angling for a job, and he wondered if she'd run the idea by Lauren. Gloria evaded the question, and Michael queried what would happen if he asked Lauren if Gloria had been sniffing around. Gloria huffed that she didn't like his attitude, and Michael retorted that he didn't like her trying to use him to get something that Lauren didn't want to offer.
Gloria confirmed that Lauren had turned her down, but she saw no reason for Lauren to do it alone. Gloria claimed that she was worried about Michael, since all the luxuries he had could be gone without Lauren's income from Fenmore's. Michael skeptically asked if Gloria wanted him to convince his wife to give her a job in order for him to keep his lifestyle, and Gloria pointed out that she'd lost her fortune, so it could also happen to him. Gloria claimed that she believed Lauren had found a solution, and she inquired whether Lauren's meeting was with a potential investor. Gloria pressed for details, but Michael remained tight-lipped.
Gloria testily recognized that Michael and Lauren didn't want her help, but she at least wanted to take him to dinner. Michael suggested that he help her pack instead, adding that the Athletic Club was very comfortable. She asked if he was throwing her out, but he called it a civilized solution to their problem. Michael asserted that his wife needed space and peace, and he enticed Gloria by listing the club's amenities. Gloria asked if he'd pick up the tab, and he agreed to do it for one night. She scolded that it wasn't the time to squander money, but she begrudgingly headed off to pack.
In an Athletic Club suite, Kevin and Chloe kissed on the bed. His phone rang, but she ordered him not to answer. She protested when he reached for his phone, and she grabbed it away from him. She picked up the call and curtly informed Michael that Kevin was very busy, and she hung up. The couple resumed kissing, but Kevin's phone rang again, and he imagined it had to be important. Kevin answered and demanded to know what was wrong, and Michael declared that he'd done his duty where Gloria was concerned, so it was Kevin's turn.
Kevin incredulously asked if Michael wanted Gloria to live with him and Chloe, despite the way Gloria had been treating Chloe. Michael griped that he and Lauren hadn't had any peace with "Mommie Dearest" living there, and Kevin insisted that he had no room for Gloria at his house. Michael sternly stated that he wasn't asking, and he'd taken care of Gloria for that night, but she was all Kevin's as of the next day. Chloe wished they could stuff Gloria back into the box she'd arrived in, and Kevin worried that there was no way they'd all be able to survive under the same roof.
Kevin vowed to handle the situation, and he suggested that he and Chloe get back to what they'd been doing. Chloe complained that she'd told him not to pick up the phone, and she chugged a glass of Champagne. They kissed, and he wondered if he got to see what was under the trench coat again. She whipped the coat off, but there was a knock at the door. Kevin yelled go away, but Chloe informed him that she'd arranged for massages. Kevin looked disappointed.
Later, Chloe gushed that they'd had the best massages ever, and Kevin wished Gloria was as easy to get rid of as the knots in his back. Chloe purred that she didn't want to talk about Gloria, and Kevin amorously said he'd been looking forward to something else. He tried to pull her to the bed, but she beckoned him to the door instead.
In the Athletic Club dining room, Lauren thanked a potential investor for making the trip from Chicago, and he indicated that he was excited to hear her pitch. She explained that she didn't just want to preserve Fenmore's legacy but to evolve the company's past success into a new era. He guessed that she needed his capital to make it work, and he was impressed by her strategy. Lauren insisted that it wasn't just about money, since Fenmore's was in her blood. She said she'd given a great deal of thought to who her investor should be, and even though she needed a cash influx, she would turn down easy money if it meant compromising her values.
The investor surmised that Lauren wanted a silent partner who would allow her to continue to run the business she loved in her own way. She said she'd welcome a healthy interest in her company, but she asserted that she was good at what she did. She offered to introduce him to her new point person to go over market strategy, but he said Lauren's reputation preceded her, and doing his due diligence was just a formality. He declared that he was looking forward to seeing her work the magic she was famous for, and she toasted to a beautiful and profitable partnership.
Gloria arrived at the club and witnessed Lauren wrapping up her meeting with the investor. The man called it an exciting proposition, and Lauren inquired whether he was heading back to Chicago. He revealed that he'd booked a room, but he'd give her a call once he got back to the office. Lauren departed, and the investor asked the concierge where he could find the spa. An eavesdropping Gloria smirked.
In the sauna, Gloria entered and asked if she was interrupting, and Lauren's prospective investor replied that she wasn't. Gloria moaned that she needed to relax after the day she'd had, and he asked if she was all right. Gloria claimed that she wasn't the type of person who let things get to her, but she'd had the worst customer service that day at Fenmore's. She apologized for boring him, but he perked up and asked her to tell him more.
Gloria spun a story about needing a dress for a charity ball and having Fenmore's bungle both the order and the alterations. She lamented that she was sweating out her frustrations instead of giving away thousands of dollars to charity because of Fenmore's, and the investor asked if it had possibly been a one-time screw-up. Gloria claimed that she'd heard a lot of similar stories from her friends, and she pledged never to go back to the store again. She remarked that her friends felt the same way, and she wondered how Fenmore's would stay in business when it was losing long-time clients.
Later, Kevin and Chloe entered the sauna and kissed passionately. He called it the best night ever, but the sound of a woman clearing her throat interrupted them. Gloria mentioned that she'd been about to throw water on the rocks for steam, and she thanked them for saving her the trouble.
Lauren returned home and found Michael popping open a bottle of Champagne. He announced that he'd packed Gloria off for at least that night and maybe longer, so they had something to celebrate, no matter what had happened at Lauren's meeting. Michael apologized for making it all about him when Lauren had told him that Fenmore's was in trouble, and he praised her for navigating things the best she could. She enjoyed the silence, and he toasted to it being permanent. Lauren shared that Fenmore's problems might be a thing of the past.
Lauren relayed that the man she'd met was everything she wanted in an investor, since he would be hands-off but was excited to be on board. She questioned how Michael had gotten rid of Gloria, and he reported that it had taken a little charm and a lot of begging, but there was nothing he wouldn't do for Lauren. He declared that the one absolute truth was that being with her was the best thing that had ever happened to him, and she awed and amazed him every single day. Lauren thought the Champagne had gotten to his head, but he mused that she had. They kissed.
The investor called Lauren, who assumed he'd been too excited to sleep. Her face fell as she said she understood, and she hung up. Michael asked if it was a done deal, but she reported that the investor wanted to see all of her financial records and projections. Michael figured the guy was being conscientious, but Lauren sensed that something had changed. She had the feeling that the investor suddenly doubted her ability to run her own company, but she had no idea why.
At the police station, Christine assured Paul that he'd be the first to know if anything happened to Dylan. Christine and Paul were worried because Dylan hadn't been in touch. Kevin advised Paul that Dylan's meeting with Luther Fisk's number two man, Alex, would happen later that evening. Paul wanted to know what information Kevin had on Alex. Kevin admitted he didn't have much. Paul told Kevin to gather as much information on Alex as possible.
At that moment, Sharon burst into Paul's office and demanded to talk to Dylan immediately, claiming she needed to hear Dylan's voice. Sharon said not knowing where Dylan was and not hearing from him had been killing her. Christine advised Sharon that they couldn't compromise the case. Sharon didn't care about the case. Sharon demanded that Paul set up a date and time when she could talk to Dylan.
Christine said that Sharon had had already slipped information to Nikki that Dylan was on a case. They couldn't take the chance that further information would be leaked. Christine said that they couldn't take the chance that someone would find out about Dylan's assignment. Christine warned that Sharon could be a threat to Dylan and that one call from her could jeopardize Dylan's assignment. Kevin said that Dylan could only be contacted through burner phones.
Paul asked to speak with Sharon alone. Sharon told Paul she was worried and really needed to speak to Dylan to make sure he was okay. Paul understood, but he couldn't help her. Sharon demanded one phone call with Dylan. She also wanted to know where Dylan was. Paul refused both requests and said that the less she knew, the better off she was. Sharon reminded Paul that he had wanted Dylan to follow in Paul's footsteps, and Dylan was in danger because of Paul. Sharon said that if anything happened to Dylan, it would be on Paul. Sharon was very angry and left.
Christine returned to Paul's office and asked if Paul had been able to calm Sharon. Paul said he'd tried but hadn't been successful. He was worried and said they had to get things under control. Paul called Kevin into his office and asked Kevin to report anything that he heard from Dylan. Paul was sure that if Alex worked for Fisk, he was just as ruthless as Fisk.
In Miami, Dylan took on the Derek Young persona. He sported a goatee and donned leather wrist supports and sunglasses. When his phone rang, he answered it "Derek Young." He was advised his meeting would take place in the bar. Dylan became upset and shouted that he didn't like last-minute changes. He agreed to the change, and he demanded that his scotch on the rocks be waiting for him at the bar. Dylan left for his meeting.
In the bar, Dylan sat alone with a drink when a woman sat down next to him. Without looking up, Dylan said he was waiting for someone. The woman asked if he was waiting for Alex. Dylan looked up and asked if she knew where Alex was. She said she was Alex and understood that he'd thought he'd be meeting a man. She wanted to know more about Derek Young and asked why he'd gotten into the profession. He said he'd become tired of a steady job. He advised that he wasn't married or engaged, and he liked to travel the world. He enjoyed life, parties, and women. Alex asked if the women sought him out or if he found them. He admitted it was a little bit of both.
Alex admitted Derek was good. He wanted to know if he was good enough to meet Fisk, but Alex said it was too early. She suggested another round of drinks. Alex received a text, read it, and suggested they go to another bar where they'd have the VIP treatment all the way -- unless he preferred to go upstairs instead. Alex said she had something to spice things up and showed him a bag of cocaine. Dylan suggested they take their party upstairs, and they left the bar.
Victor arrived at home and asked Nikki to help him off with his coat because he'd hurt his shoulder in the boxing ring. Nikki was happy it hadn't been a fistfight. Victor advised that he was still searching for something to invest himself in and felt that boxing would help him see things more clearly. Nikki advised him that she had a search of her own to perform, and she left. Victor was left perplexed.
At the tack house, Faith greeted Nick good morning and advised him that she had been happy to be back in her own bed. Nick asked what she wanted for breakfast, and Faith told him that she wanted chocolate chip pancakes. Faith admitted she'd had fun playing and beating Nick at checkers the previous evening. Nick said that after being defeated, he'd been planning his revenge. He asked her if she was ready for more father/daughter time.
Faith admitted she was happy as long as Nick and Sharon didn't fight. Nick informed her that they'd heard what Faith had said and that he and Sharon were on the same page. He assured her that they wouldn't allow themselves to behave in a way that upset her again. Nick told Faith that he thought she was the coolest kid he'd ever met. When Christian began to cry, Nick went to take care of him, leaving Faith looking thoughtful.
When Nick returned with Christian, he saw that Faith was eating cereal. Nick asked why she was eating cereal when he'd said he'd make pancakes for her. Faith said it had been easier because she'd known how busy Nick was. Nick still offered to make pancakes for her, but Faith said it was okay because she had to get to school. Nick assured her that "easier" was not the goal, and he intended to make time for both his children. He promised to build that fort with her later. He told her that he loved her and took Christian upstairs to change his diaper as Faith left for school.
Later, Nick was on the phone, speaking to an agency and looking to hire a nanny. He advised the agency that the candidates had to be nurturing and love children, and they would have to be flexible because his hours were all over the place. Suddenly, Christian flicked his yogurt at Nick, and Nick ended his call. While Nick cleaned off the yogurt, Nikki arrived and offered a helping hand. She had a couple of ladies with her for Nick to interview for the nanny position. Nick felt that Nikki should have checked with him first.
Nikki said she just wanted to move things along because she knew Nick needed help. Nick appreciated her efforts. Nikki confirmed that Nick was a good father, and there was no shame in admitting that he needed help. Nikki suggested that Nick watch how the ladies interacted with Christian then make a decision.
Nick interviewed Monica first, and after some pointed questions about following social media or watching programs such as GC Buzz, Monica admitted she didn't follow any of it and offered to sign a non-disclosure agreement. When Monica heard Christian cry out, she went to his toy box and pulled out a truck for him. She told Nick that she'd played with trucks as a child as well. Nick completed his interview with Monica and called Anne over. The first question Nick asked Anne was what had been her favorite toy as a child. Anne seemed to be confused by the question and couldn't recall her favorite toy.
A little later, Nikki returned and asked if Nick had hired one of the candidates. To Nikki's delight, Nick said he'd hired Monica. Nick thanked Nikki for saving his butt. Nikki asked if Nick had heard anything from Dylan lately. She said Dylan was on a case. Sharon had assured Nikki that she'd let Nikki know as soon as she heard from Dylan, but Nikki didn't trust Sharon.
A short time later, Monica was back, and Nick thanked her for being available on such short notice. He gave Monica detailed instructions about Christian, advised her about Christian's allergy, and gave her a list of contacts. Monica assured him that she could handle everything and accused Nick of being a helicopter parent. Nick said he wasn't -- then admitted maybe he was at first, but he was "golden now." Monica was happy to hear it. Nick said he just wanted his son to be happy and safe. Monica assured him Christian would be. They heard Christian cry, and Monica went to him. Nick listened to the interaction between Monica and Christian on the monitor, smiled, and left.
Sharon returned home, and Mariah saw that Sharon was freaked out. Sharon said Dylan was on a case, and she had no idea how long he'd be gone. She didn't have any details. She knew that Dylan had flown out, but she had no idea where he'd flown to or how long he'd be gone, and he couldn't have contact with anyone. She said she was terrified every time the phone rang or she heard a knock on the door. Mariah assured her that Paul wouldn't send Dylan out if it were dangerous. Sharon said that Paul hadn't sent him; Dylan had volunteered. Mariah assured her that Paul would let her know as soon as he knew anything.
Sharon was worried because Dylan hadn't been in a good place before he'd left. She'd felt that Dylan had needed to get away from the reminders of Sully, and in particular, he'd needed to get away from her after what she'd done. Sharon said Dylan was risking his life because of her. Wherever Dylan had gone, he couldn't wear his wedding ring and be reminded of his family waiting at home. Dylan was out there, and Sharon had to do something about it.
Mariah told Sharon that if Dylan was on a case, then Sharon would have to wait. Sharon told Mariah that when Dylan had left, he hadn't been able to tell her that he'd return home. Dylan could be in real trouble, and she couldn't ignore the alarm bells going off in her head. Sharon said she couldn't lose Dylan because she loved him so much.
Victor arrived at Newman Enterprises, and Abby was astounded that Victor was so late. She commented that he had always been the first one in. Victor admitted that since Adam's death, he'd been looking for a balance between work and personal time. Victor had concluded that he didn't want to spend all his time at work. It was a new year and a clean slate.
Victor asked Abby what her passion was. Abby admitted that Newman Enterprises was her passion. She'd been pouring her heart and soul into the company and loved it. She wanted to prove herself to Victor and do much more. Victor said he was looking forward to watching her follow in his footsteps. Abby was shocked that Victor saw her in that light. She'd always thought he saw Nick, Victoria, or Adam taking over for him. Abby asked if Victor was serious about pulling back. Victor assured her he was.
Abby said that since her divorce, she needed something to ground her and give her purpose. She asked if Victor had any regrets for all the time he'd put into Newman Enterprises. Victor assured her that he had none. Abby wanted to take on more responsibility and asked if she could take the Pittsfield meeting. Victor hesitated because he didn't think she knew enough about it. Abby gave him her notes on her game plan and assured Victor she'd done her due diligence. Victor was impressed and agreed to let her take the meeting.
Abby was thrilled and said she'd call the front desk to have the called directed to her office. Victor refused to let her make the call and said that if she was going to take on a CEO meeting, then she'd have to do it from the CEO office. Victor told her to sit in his chair. Abby sat down gingerly and promised not to disappoint him. Victor chuckled and reminded her that the position wasn't permanent yet, and she wasn't to get too comfortable. He told her he adored her and left. Abby was ecstatic sitting in Victor's chair.
After the meeting, Abby called Victor and told him that she'd had them eating out of her hand and that she'd gotten a better deal than what had been on the table. Abby thanked Victor for giving her the opportunity to prove herself. Sitting in Victor's chair had given her a lot of confidence.
When Nikki returned home and asked about Victor's meeting with Pittsfield, Victor said that Abby had taken his meeting. Nikki asked if that had been wise, but Victor assured her that he'd had a safety net in place, just in case, but Abby hadn't needed it because she'd done a splendid job without his help. Victor was very proud of Abby.
Nikki told Victor that she'd helped Nick find a nanny and that she'd gone to him with some candidates for Nick to interview.
Nikki's face fell, and she told Victor she was very concerned about Dylan. Victor knew the situation had been bothering Nikki. He reminded her that she just needed to give him the word, and he'd start searching for Dylan. Nikki said that as much as she would love to say yes, she'd wait for Dylan to return home when his job was done. When Dylan returned, she planned to make him understand that she loved him as much as she loved her other children and that he was part of the family.
Victor and Nikki returned to the subject of Abby. They thought it would really be something if Abby took over the throne at Newman Enterprises. Victor said he'd built Newman Enterprises as a legacy for his children. Nikki said she thought that Victor had been staying away from the office because he'd been grieving Adam and that he'd eventually go back to business as usual. Nikki admitted she'd been wrong, and she really liked the new Victor -- a lot.
At the Underground, Phyllis and Lauren waited for Mr. Hochman, and Lauren fretted because he was late. Lauren recalled that he had been on board to be a silent partner, but he'd suddenly questioned her management abilities and needed more say in how she ran the company. Phyllis griped that they didn't need a "micromanager from hell," but Lauren recognized that they needed the deal. Phyllis pointed out that it wasn't unreasonable for him to ask questions, but Lauren found his sudden shift disconcerting, and she wished she understood what had caused him to change his mind.
Phyllis found out that Hochman was still registered at the Athletic Club, and she reminded Lauren that he was only in Genoa City to discuss investing in Fenmore's. Lauren theorized that he was visiting the person who'd made him question the deal, and she felt like she was being sabotaged. Phyllis reasoned that maybe Hochman wasn't the best choice if Lauren wanted a quiet investor who respected her experience, and Lauren recalled that she'd rejected Jack because she refused to let someone else decide the fate of the company she loved. Phyllis encouraged Lauren to make it clear to Hochman that she had a choice about whether or not she wanted to do business with him, and Lauren swore she would -- if he ever got there.
Hochman finally arrived, and he explained that reviewing the financial data had taken a while. Lauren introduced Phyllis as the creative genius behind the website design and marketing plan, and Hochman praised the new features on the site. Phyllis said they'd revamped to market to people who didn't want to go into the stores, and Hochman mentioned that he'd just been talking to someone who'd sworn off traditional retail after getting subpar service. Lauren assumed that it hadn't been from Fenmore's, and she gushed that her best customers of all ages loved being in her stores. Hochman contended that the women he'd talked to were done with the brick-and-mortar approach and disgruntled with the customer service.
Hochman announced that he was willing to make an investment, but he wanted 51 percent of the company in return. Lauren asked what had changed, and Hochman said after performing his due diligence, it was the only way to make it work for him. Lauren asserted that Fenmore's was a family-run business, and a Fenmore would always have controlling interest. He suspected that she wouldn't get a better offer, and she curtly thanked him for meeting with her. After he left, Phyllis called Hochman a "pompous ass," but Lauren questioned whether he had been right.
Lauren pledged not to let Hochman make her second-guess herself, and she declared that money didn't buy taste or success. She proclaimed that she and Phyllis knew fashion and what women wanted, and they high-fived. Phyllis applauded Lauren's courage, and Lauren vowed to do it without Hochman. Phyllis reasoned that they needed major cash, or they would be forced to close some doors, and she suggested that Lauren reconsider Jack's offer. Lauren expected Jack to want to take over, and she wouldn't allow it to happen. Phyllis had another idea.
Over dinner at the Athletic Club, Michael talked up having tasty gourmet meals and hotel amenities as perks of Gloria making the club her home base. She replied that she loved living with him and Lauren, but he proposed that Gloria extend her stay at the club to be pampered and have her privacy. Gloria insisted that one night had been enough, and she was ready to go home to be with her family. She inquired how Lauren's meeting with the potential investor had gone, and Michael reported that it hadn't gone as well as Lauren had hoped. Gloria commented that the perfect silent partner never stayed silent for long. Jack approached and asked if he could join them.
Jack thanked Michael for the Baldwins' generosity at the foundation's fundraiser, and Gloria wished that Michael had bid on the trip to France so that she could have gone with him, since Lauren would have been too busy. Jack imagined that Lauren was busy with investors, but he was sure the right offer would pop up. Michael proclaimed that his brilliant wife was a fighter, and she wouldn't stop until she found the right fit for Fenmore's. Michael excused himself to take a call, and Jack suspected that Gloria was worried that Michael might find out that she'd been sneaking around behind his wife's back.
Gloria bragged that she'd already made inroads by having an interesting conversation with Ben Hochman. Jack commented that Hochman was known for being the perfect silent partner, and Gloria crowed that Hochman would have been. Michael returned and said he had to bail out a client, and Jack volunteered to pick up the tab to thank Michael for his donation. Michael urged Gloria to think about extending her stay at the club, and he departed. Jack taunted that Lauren didn't want Gloria at work, and Michael didn't want Gloria at home. Gloria huffed that she expected Jack to deliver once she helped him get Fenmore's.
At Jabot, Ashley heard a crash inside Ravi's office, and she opened the door and found him holding a drill. Ravi asked if she knew Swedish, since he was trying to install a standing desk, but he was having issues figuring out the assembly instructions. She informed him that maintenance could put the thing together for him, but he didn't want to bother other employees. Ashley instructed him to focus on Jabot Go while she got someone to put the desk together.
Jack found Ashley in his office, and he reported that Gloria had proven to be useful, since she'd told him that Lauren had met with Ben Hochman. Jack added that Gloria was confident that the deal wouldn't go through, leaving the door open for them to acquire Fenmore's. Ashley hesitated to trust Gloria, but Jack said it could pay off well for Gloria if she helped acquire the company. Ashley surmised that Gloria wanted an executive title and salary, and Jack thought it would be worth it. Ashley questioned why he wasn't investing more in the things that were already a proven success, like Jabot Go. She guessed it was because it had been her idea and not his.
Jack showed Ashley the ad campaign for Jabot Go, and she was happy that he was targeting the teenage market. Jack insisted that her success was their success, but she thought he'd been so consumed with getting his hands on Fenmore's that he'd paid no attention to the hard work she and Ravi had been doing. She suggested that Jack give Ravi his due with gratitude or a raise, since they couldn't afford to lose the programmer. She added that Victor had joked at the benefit about hiring Ravi from them, and they'd lose their best asset if Victor followed through.
Jack summoned Ravi to his office, and Ravi nervously rambled that he was sorry if he'd violated company policy by making improvements to his office. Ashley assured Ravi that he wasn't in trouble, and Jack explained that even a diligent CEO sometimes overlooked the efforts of the people who'd sweated over the details to make the company great. Jack offered to provide anything Ravi needed, and Ravi replied that there was one thing. After Ravi stepped out, Ashley hugged Jack and expressed relief that they didn't have to worry about losing a vital member of their team. Jack was confident that Ravi wasn't going anywhere.
Later, Ravi contentedly worked in his office at his stand-up desk with a new set of headphones. He received a call, but he didn't notice it, and it went to voicemail. Phyllis left a message about an idea she was interested in running by him.
At Crimson Lights, Nick and Faith prepared to have hot chocolate and doughnuts, and she inquired about the new nanny. Nick replied that Monica was cool, and Faith wondered if having a nanny meant that Nick would have time to make chocolate-chip pancakes in the morning. He also looked forward to snowball fights and horseback rides, and he apologized for being preoccupied. Faith mentioned that her mom had been preoccupied, too. Sharon walked in, and Faith ran over and asked if she'd heard anything from Dylan yet.
Faith invited Sharon to sit with her and Nick, and Nick fetched Sharon a mug of hot chocolate. Faith suggested that Sharon tell them about Dylan while they waited for the doughnuts, and Sharon claimed that Dylan was just doing his job. Sharon prepared to take her drink to go in order to give Faith time with her dad, but Faith worried that Sharon looked sad, and Nick noted that Faith would never let it go unless Sharon sat down. Sharon agreed to stay, and Nick pressed her to fill them in about Dylan. Sharon vaguely stated that Dylan was away on assignment, and Faith declared that it was top secret enough to leave his wedding ring behind. Sharon maintained that it was nothing to worry about.
Faith announced that she'd just started a chess club at school, and Nick thought Victor would be proud. Faith asked if her parents were proud of her, too, and Sharon insisted that they always were. Nick added that it was his and Sharon's fault if Faith hadn't felt it, since they'd wasted too much time arguing. Faith pulled out her tablet to play chess, and Sharon recounted that Nick had taught her how to play. Faith chirped that she liked having fun together, and Nick asked Sharon if she wanted to defend or attack. Sharon replied that she preferred to defend, and Faith repeated Victor's advice that the best defense was a good offense. Sharon mused that Dylan thought so, too.
Nick and Sharon went to her cottage after dropping Faith off at the ranch. Sharon thanked Nick for sharing his time with their daughter, and she asked how he felt about Faith learning chess strategy at Victor's knee. Nick admitted that it scared him, but it was obvious that Victor was crazy about his granddaughter. Sharon became forlorn when she looked at a photo of Dylan, and Nick told her that she didn't have to pretend that she wasn't worried. She reiterated that it was just a routine case, but Nick sensed otherwise. Sharon confessed that she was afraid Dylan could be in terrible danger.
After Sharon filled Nick in, he swore that he wouldn't press for details, and he promised that what Sharon had told him wouldn't leave the room. He added that he'd known Dylan had guts, but he respected Dylan even more for what he was doing. Sharon wailed that she didn't care if Dylan got a commendation or made an arrest -- she just wanted him home. Nick held her close and assured her that Dylan would walk through the door sooner than she thought.
At the police station, Paul worried that it had been too long since Dylan had checked in, and Kevin agreed. Christine suggested that Dylan was under surveillance and didn't want to risk getting caught, but Kevin was concerned that Dylan might be in serious trouble. Christine pointed out that Dylan also might have won the trust of Fisk's second in command, and Kevin wondered what kind of line Dylan had needed to cross to do it. Christine figured that Dylan was still in play if he'd passed the test with Fisk's top guy.
Later, Christine pushed Paul to talk to her. He reflected back on how proud he'd been when Dylan had decided to follow in Paul and Carl's footsteps by joining the force, but he hadn't anticipated anything like that. Paul thought Sharon was right in that it was all on him, and he hoped he'd made the right decision. Christine assured Paul that they'd given Dylan the backup and support to get the job done and to return home safely, even if the bad guys got away. Paul hoped Dylan knew the case wasn't worth risking his life over, and he and Christine hugged.
Michael arrived at the station, and Kevin tried to avoid him. Michael insisted that it was Kevin's turn to give their mother a place to live, but Kevin complained that he was still traumatized by the image of Gloria interrupting him and Chloe in the sauna. Kevin suggested that he and Michael split the cost to keep Gloria at the club, but Michael revealed that Gloria had already rejected the idea, since she was convinced that she'd only be happy living with family. Michael firmly added that he'd served his time, and he told Kevin to make sure Gloria believed him when he invited her to stay with him.
Kevin demanded free babysitting from Michael and Lauren if he took Gloria in, and Michael agreed to the deal. Kevin called Gloria and invited her to stay with him for a night, but Michael smacked Kevin, who begrudgingly extended his hospitality for multiple nights. Gloria wondered what Chloe would say about it, and Kevin claimed that Bella had been talking about Gloria ever since Christmas, so Chloe would do anything to make her daughter happy. Gloria haughtily stated that it was nice to know one of her sons cared. After they hung up, Kevin acknowledged that Michael might have gotten rid of Gloria, but he'd be stuck with Kevin as soon as Chloe found out.
Kevin asked a female coworker to listen to something he was working on to say to his girlfriend, and she excitedly asked if it was a proposal. Kevin replied that he'd invited his mom to live with them, and the woman looked stricken. Kevin expected the same reaction from Chloe, and he imagined that he was a dead man. Later, Kevin reported to Paul and Christine that there had been no activity from Dylan's burner phone.
In Miami, Dylan, who was posing as Derek, retreated to his hotel room with Alex. She asked where the mini-bar was, but he pointed out that they could have stayed downstairs if she wanted to drink. She suggestively said it was a private party, and she pulled out two miniature liquor bottles from the bar and threw them to him. He caught them, and she observed that he wasn't as drunk as he'd looked downstairs. He replied that she wasn't, either, but they could fix that.
Alex retrieved some glasses, and she noticed an odd look cross Dylan's face. Dylan claimed that he'd just been envisioning the man he'd expected to meet, and she inquired whether he was disappointed. He asked what she thought, and she said he talked too much as she pulled him into a passionate kiss. Dylan tossed Alex onto the bed, but she pulled back and suggested that they have rocket fuel before liftoff. She pulled out her cocaine, and she asked "Derek" if he was ready to take the party to heaven.
Alex questioned whether Dylan was there to play, and he roughly grabbed her and accused her of being the one who was stalling. She told him to consider the drugs to be a warm-up, but he preferred to think of them as dessert. He zipped up her dress and picked up the phone to order room service. Over the phone, he implied that he was heading into an intense physical workout, and he needed serious fuel. He ordered two filets, and she snatched the phone and cooed that they had their own dessert, but she ordered a side of whipped cream.
After Alex hung up, Dylan asked who she'd thought he'd been talking to, and she replied that it paid to be careful. He said if she'd done her homework, she'd know that he'd never wear a wire. Alex indicated that other men had tried to take down Fisk through her, and she had to protect her boss. "As do I," Dylan responded, and she demanded that he tell her who he really was and who he was working for. She searched around and discovered a bug.
Alex squished the bug into the carpet with her heel, and Dylan congratulated her for saving him a lot of trouble. He pulled another bug from a picture frame and dumped it into his drink, and he told her that she wasn't the only one with a suspicious boss. He claimed that he'd been told to record their conversation, but he sensed that neither of them was happy about being kept on a leash. He pointed out that there was nobody watching or listening, and they could just be themselves. Alex said she liked him, but he was hard to get a beat on.
Dylan offered to show Alex more as soon as she arranged a meeting with her boss and a deal went down. He pulled out a briefcase full of cash and proclaimed that he didn't have time to wait, and he thought Fisk would agree. Alex made a phone call and announced that the meeting was on. Dylan pulled her onto his lap and seductively said they'd make a great team. He assumed that the meeting was in a public place, and she kissed him and said Fisk was no fool, so the meeting would be at a place of Fisk's choosing. Dylan asked how he'd know he wasn't walking into a trap, and Alex cooed that he had to trust her, just like she trusted him.
Dylan grabbed the briefcase of money and prepared to head out. Alex patted him down first to check for bugs, and she found it hard to believe that there wasn't a woman in his life. He replied that he couldn't believe that Alex didn't have a beard or a prison tattoo, but it didn't mean the party had to end once the deal was done. She held him to it, and he followed her out.
Jack entered the Athletic Club, and a reporter peppered him with questions about Devon's accident. Jack declined to comment, but the journalist inquired whether Devon had been drinking at the benefit on the night he'd wrecked his car. The reporter questioned why alcohol had been served at a fundraiser for an organization that helped people with addiction. Jack maintained that he had no comment, and he headed to the bar.
Hilary awakened in Devon's hospital room, and Devon informed her that she'd slept through breakfast, but he'd gotten her some coffee. He reported that he'd had a bunch of crazy dreams, but he didn't remember them, and he still didn't remember anything after leaving to go to the benefit. Hilary asserted that all that mattered was that he was there with her and getting stronger every day, and he said he felt much better than he had before. He thought she shouldn't have stayed all night, but she swore that there was no way she was leaving his side. She cuddled up next to him, and they kissed.
Neil and Lily stepped off the hospital elevator. She remarked that she was glad Devon was out of the ICU, but she wondered how long they had to go on pretending. Neil reminded her that the doctors had warned that they couldn't push Devon, and Lily insisted that she would never intentionally hurt her brother. Neil cautioned that they couldn't afford to slip up, but Lily thought Devon deserved to know Hilary had been the reason he'd crashed his car. Neil resolved to grin and bear it until Devon could handle it.
Lily noted that Devon seemed to have more energy, and Devon wanted to go home right away. Neil and Lily protested that it might be too soon, but Hilary asserted that her husband had made up his mind. Devon agreed to listen to what the doctors had to say, but he saw no reason why he couldn't recover in his own home. Lily pointedly stated that she wanted him to get back to how he'd been before the accident, and Hilary clutched Devon's held and promised to hire the medical staff he needed. Devon gushed that Hilary was all he needed, since she was the best medicine he could have.
Abby arrived at the hospital with flowers, and Stitch jokingly pretended that he thought they were for him. She explained that they were to brighten up Devon's room, and they made polite small talk about the holidays. Stitch mentioned that he'd been on duty when Devon had been airlifted to the hospital, and Abby commented that Devon was lucky to have a good doctor looking after him. Stitch informed her that Devon had family with him, so she'd have to wait. After an awkward silence, Stitch said it was good to see her, and he walked away.
Later, Stitch reported that Devon's blood work was good and his vitals were strong, and he agreed to let Devon go home if he hired a nurse and a physical therapist. Hilary guaranteed that Devon would get the best care possible, but Lily asked if it would be better if Devon stayed put for a few more days. Stitch said he trusted Hilary to follow through, and there shouldn't be a problem if professionals were looking in. Neil received a text message from Jack with a request to meet in person, and he headed out. Stitch advised Devon to get rest and avoid stress, and Devon promised to take it easy. Hilary stared at Lily and stated that if Devon got upset, it wouldn't be because of Hilary.
Stitch summarized Devon's discharge instructions as Abby peered in from the corridor. Stitch announced that Devon had another visitor, and he invited Abby in on his way out. Abby was happily surprised that Devon wasn't in worse shape, and Lily called it a miracle how quickly he was recovering. Devon shared that he was going home that day, and Abby sympathized that he'd been through a lot. Hilary brusquely thanked Abby for visiting and promised to find the perfect spot for the flowers when she got Devon home. Abby was shocked that Hilary would be taking him home, and Devon inquired why Hilary wouldn't be.
Hilary covered by saying that Abby had probably assumed that Lily would be helping, but she could handle lining up the home-care nurses on her own. Abby suspiciously asked if Devon was okay with it, and Lily stressed that Hilary had it under control. Hilary ushered Abby out with the excuse of getting Devon dressed to head home, and Abby called out to holler if he needed anything. Devon gazed lovingly at Hilary and said he had all he needed right there.
In the waiting area, Lily updated Abby about Devon's memory problems. Lily bemoaned that it was frustrating not to be able to fill in the blanks, but Stitch had been adamant about not upsetting Devon. Abby guessed that Hilary was ingratiating herself until Devon found out what Hilary had done to Mariah, and it was only a matter of time, since the reveal had been very public. Lily hoped Devon was strong enough to handle it and to finally divorce Hilary. Abby warned Lily to brace herself, since Devon might forgive Hilary the way he had a million times before.
Neil met Jack at the Athletic Club and relayed that Devon was about to be released. Neil thanked Jack for his support, and Jack pledged to always be there. Jack mentioned that he'd been fielding requests for a comment about Devon's accident, and Neil surmised that the press was looking for gossip. Jack stated that it was more serious, since there were questions about whether it had been appropriate to serve alcohol at a benefit for a foundation whose central focus was to help struggling addicts. Jack added that the press wanted to know how much Devon had had to drink, and he needed to know, too.
Neil revealed that the hospital had run a blood alcohol test, and Devon had been under the legal limit. Neil stated that Devon had been driving recklessly because he had gotten into a fight with his wife, and Devon had put all that rage behind the wheel of a powerful sports car before he'd lost control and totaled the vehicle. Neil insisted that Devon hadn't been over-served at the benefit, so the foundation wasn't culpable. Jack wanted to issue a press release to indicate that alcohol hadn't been a factor in the accident, but Neil objected to releasing anything about what had gone down that night.
Neil explained that Devon might regress if he read about Hilary's lies in the press, and the doctors had advised them not to force anything and to let Devon remember in his own time. Jack anticipated that the press would track Devon down and not give up until they got a story, and he suspected that it couldn't be kept quiet for much longer. Jack advised Neil to be ready to tell Devon everything, but Neil contended that Hilary should be the one to tell her husband, since she needed to own what she'd done.
Jack conceded that Hilary wasn't blameless, but he argued that she hadn't been the one who'd pressed her foot to the gas pedal. Neil countered that her lies had been the main reason Devon had sped off in the sports car, and he warned Jack not to get taken in by Hilary, since she'd turn on him in a heartbeat. Jack figured that Devon was the only one who could make decisions about his marriage, and no one else's opinion mattered. Neil asserted that he was Devon's father and that he loved his son very much, and he couldn't wait for the day Devon got rid of Hilary once and for all.
At Brash & Sassy, Jill commented to Cane that Devon was lucky to be alive. She called Hilary poison, and she thought if there was ever a couple that didn't belong together, it was Devon and Hilary. Jill contended that Devon would have been better off if he'd taken her advice, as would Billy and Victoria. Cane pointed out that Hilary had a way of manipulating men, and Jill recounted that Devon had been ill-equipped to inherit Katherine's billions, but Hilary had exploited it. Jill supposed that it was difficult for people to distinguish between those playing them and those who really loved them, and Devon hadn't learned that lesson yet.
In the lab, Billy asked Victoria if she'd ever take a break, but she was preoccupied with the huge P.R. campaign they were about to launch. His phone rang, and he requested that she pass it to him, but she saw that it was an incoming call from Reed. She picked up the call herself, and Reed said he'd been trying to reach Billy. Victoria reluctantly handed the phone to Billy, and Reed claimed that he needed Billy's help with an essay that was due the next day. Billy suggested that Reed stop by the office, and he relayed to Victoria that Reed had called about a school assignment.
Victoria recognized that Billy and Reed shared a connection and that her son needed a man to talk to at his age. Billy declared that it was a role he was happy to fill without J.T. around, but Victoria firmly stated that it was a role Billy would never be able to fill. Billy requested that Victoria clarify the way she wanted him to fit into Reed's life, and Victoria confirmed that she wanted Billy to be there for her son, but there was a limit. She worried that Reed was getting too involved with Billy because things weren't great with J.T.
Victoria imagined that Reed would eventually go back to living with his father, and she didn't want there to be any unhealthy competition. Billy swore that he wasn't trying to take J.T.'s place, and he just wanted to be a friend to Reed. Victoria huffed that Billy acted like teenager, but she needed him to be an adult around Reed and to tell her when Reed was doing something he shouldn't be. Billy scoffed at the thought of spying on the teen, and Victoria stressed that she had to know things in order to be present and responsible. Billy resented her telling him how to parent, since he'd done a good job with Johnny and Katie, and he questioned whether she had a problem with how he parented them, too.
Victoria acknowledged that Billy had been a spectacular father to their kids, but he was the "fun parent" who played games and made them laugh. Billy couldn't deny that he left a lot of the discipline to her, but Victoria corrected that she handled all of it. She stressed that she needed him to set limits with Reed, since she couldn't always look like the heavy with her son. Jill walked in, and Victoria announced that they'd have product samples by the following week. Cane said he had better news -- Devon was heading home from the hospital.
After Cane departed, Jill inquired about the store displays for Valentine's Day, and Victoria and Billy took turns describing the preparations while finishing one another's sentences. Billy added that a model and photographer would be there that day to shoot photos for the men's body spray, and Victoria planned to start airing ads before they launched the product. Reed walked in, and Jill hugged him and marveled at what a handsome young man he'd become.
Victoria said Billy had mentioned something about school, and Reed claimed to be having trouble with an essay. Billy remarked that Victoria was an excellent writer, and he suggested that Reed run his issues by her. Reed argued that he'd already run some ideas by Billy, and he hoped Billy could help him again. Billy balked, but Jill insisted that it was fine, and she shuttled Billy and Reed into the conference room. Victoria chided Jill for butting in where Reed was concerned, and she ordered Jill never to do it again.
Victoria accused Jill of trying to push her together with Billy, but she refused to let Jill use Reed to do it. Jill insisted that one thing had nothing to do with the other, and she guessed that Victoria had become incensed because she wasn't over Billy. Victoria found it insulting that Jill was insinuating that Victoria was in denial about her feelings, and she snapped that she had to focus on work and her kids. Victoria added that she wasn't in a place to get involved with her lying ex, and she testily asked if Jill had listened to her for a change. Jill walked out.
Meanwhile, Billy explained some rules of punctuation, and Reed griped that they didn't make sense. Billy told Reed that he could mess with the rules once he became a copy editor, but Reed envisioned designing apps or games until he was good enough to be in a band. Reed confided that there was something else he'd wanted to talk about, but he asked Billy to promise not to tell Victoria. Billy suggested that Reed call his dad, but Reed contended that it wasn't something he could discuss with his father. Reed decided to figure it out on his own, but Billy said he'd rather Reed talk to him than not talk to anyone. Reed pulled out some condoms from his backpack and said he had some questions.
Billy questioned whether Reed should be having sex at 15 years of age. Reed insisted that he wasn't, but there was someone he really liked, so he wanted to be prepared just in case. Billy again pressed Reed to talk to J.T., and Reed explained that he and his dad had had a talk about sex years earlier, but the basics weren't the same as reality. Reed stammered that he didn't want to look like an idiot when he was with a girl, and he asked when Billy had learned about stuff like that. Billy referred to health class, and Reed replied that such classes were lame. Reed wondered how he'd learn to be responsible if Billy wouldn't teach him how.
Later, Billy and Reed exited the conference room, and Reed announced that he'd finished his paper with Billy's help. Reed thanked Billy and headed out, and Victoria begrudgingly said she owed Billy an apology for overreacting. She admitted that she shouldn't have gotten upset just because Reed had requested help with his homework. A guilty Billy remained mum.
Cane met Lily at the hospital, and she reported that Devon had gone home with Hilary, still clueless about Hilary lying to him. Lily tracked down Stitch and inquired how long it would take for Devon to get his memory back. Stitch replied that there was no way of telling how the brain would recover, and Devon might never recover his memories. Stitch advised that the best thing to do was to continue supporting Devon and to be prepared, since he didn't know how Devon would react if his memories returned and he was forced to relive the trauma.
Hilary and Devon returned to their penthouse, and she slowly led him to the couch. She remarked that the doorman had been busy delivering all the bouquets from well-wishers, but Devon remained silent. Hilary asked if everything was okay, and Devon mused that he couldn't believe how close he'd been to dying in the wreck, but he didn't remember how any of it had happened. Hilary gently explained that the trauma was affecting his memory, but Stitch had indicated that everything would be better in time.
Devon recalled when he'd had meningitis, and he hadn't been able to hear when he'd woken up. Hilary urged him not to dwell on it, since he was safe at home. Devon thought about how crazy it was that things could change in a split second, and he recounted that the paramedics had said he'd been lucky to be breathing when they'd pulled him from the car. He realized that he might never have walked through the door or seen her face again, but she didn't want to talk about the bad stuff. She contended that they had a second chance and couldn't look back, and they had to celebrate their future together.
Hilary read online comments that wished Devon well, but he didn't respond, and she asked if he wanted her to stop. She wondered what he was thinking, and he said how beautiful she was. She frowned upon her rumpled clothes and lack of makeup, but he insisted that he always thought she was beautiful. She went to get them some tea.
Hilary returned with two mugs and found Devon asleep on the couch. She covered him with a blanket, and he dreamed of racing his car down the road. He had jumbled images in his mind of arguing with Hilary and going off the road and crashing. Devon awakened with a start, and Hilary asked if everything was okay.