In Katie's bedroom, Donna didn't know what to think about Caroline's crush on Ridge and Ridge's sudden decision to partner with a designer when he'd been solo for most of his career. Katie swore Donna to secrecy and confided in her about Ridge's design disability after the Middle East incident. Katie also explained Ridge's ability to draw through Caroline.
In Katie's view, Ridge had used Caroline to draw out of necessity, but Caroline had gotten caught up in working with a man she'd idolized her entire life. Donna assumed that Ridge had nipped it in the bud. "He ended it, though not right away," Katie flatly replied.
Donna hoped that the crush was harmless and that Ridge and Katie were okay. Katie affirmed Donna's hopes, but Katie missed how things had been before the incident. At times, things were easy between Katie and Ridge. At other times, though, Katie was unable to reach Ridge. It was as if they couldn't connect and as if something was missing.
Katie figured that it sounded selfish to say that she and Ridge had put their life together on hold while dealing with his issues. Donna asked if the couple had discussed it. Katie relayed that they talked, but it was as if they were talking around the problem instead of about it. There always seemed to be unsaid things in the air, but she and Ridge wouldn't say them.
Donna asked if Katie was worried about Caroline. "Not in the way you mean," Katie responded. Katie wasn't jealous in the conventional sense or worried that Ridge would cross the line. Fighting back tears, she admitted that she was very jealous of Caroline's time with him and Caroline's ability to help him when Katie couldn't.
Donna urged her sister not to be jealous. She was sure that Ridge loved Katie, and Ridge would never act upon Caroline's crush. "Yeah, well..." Katie cynically replied, and Donna gleaned that Ridge had acted upon it. Katie said he hadn't acted upon it, but he hadn't discouraged it, either, because it had been to his advantage in getting the CEO position.
Donna said it was unlike Ridge, and Caroline wouldn't betray Rick. Katie didn't think Ridge had meant any real harm, but he'd been desperate due to his inability to design. "So he let Caroline fall for him," Donna said. Katie affirmed it but said he hadn't let it go too far.
Donna saw it as positive that Ridge had been open about what was going on. Katie agreed and said she had to keep reminding herself that Ridge wasn't Bill. Katie was sure that she and Ridge would be okay. Donna asked if Katie was okay with him working with Caroline. Katie didn't seem to mind it, but she stated that she hadn't been okay with Ridge using Caroline, which thankfully was over.
Katie relayed that Ridge's skills had returned at the best time, and she was thankful because he really wanted to head the company. "So does Rick," Donna replied. Katie felt for Rick, but Ridge had been on the path to the CEO spot his whole life. Donna figured that it was tough for Eric, and Katie asked how Donna felt about missing Eric once the transition happened.
Donna was sad about it. She'd been hoping to rekindle things with Eric. She wanted him to be happy and enjoy life, but she tearfully asked why he'd keep her at arm's length. Katie wondered if he were trying to honor Stephanie in some way because Donna and Stephanie had had issues. Donna thought that was an understatement, but at the end, Stephanie had kind of given her blessing.
Something about Ridge's plan with Caroline didn't sit well with Donna, and she wondered if Ridge had gotten caught up in Caroline, too. Katie insisted that it had been just a ploy, but it was over and behind them.
Donna and Katie recalled that Stephanie and Eric had run the business together, which made Caroline's relationship with Rick so important for him. They imagined that choosing between two sons who didn't get along wouldn't be easy for Eric, and Donna wondered what would happen if Rick learned about Caroline's crush on Ridge. Katie said she and Donna needed to hope it didn't happen.
At Forrester, Eric wished he could please both of his sons, but there could only be one CEO. He acknowledged that Rick's business acumen and knowledge of the global market had pulled Forrester through dark times. On the other hand, Ridge had immense talent. Eric was sad to say that Ridge's incident had caused him to doubt Ridge, but Ridge teaming with Caroline had turned things around.
Forrester had always been about design. Eric wanted it to continue in that vein, so he'd chosen Ridge as the new CEO of Forrester Creations. Eric wanted Rick to continue on as president. Ridge and Eric hugged, and Rick looked devastated by the decision.
Maya looked just as disappointed as Rick. Carter asked her to leave with him, but she stayed put. Hope was sorry for Rick, who'd made many contributions. Eric said that Rick would continue to do that as president. "Make him president. Make him head designer. Anything but CEO," Rick bitterly said, standing up. Rick asserted that he had more executive experience than anyone.
"Yeah, he's a designer -- when he's able to do so," Rick bit out about Ridge. Rick said that Ridge had practically zero executive experience, but Rick had become president because he'd run International successfully. Forrester had seen tremendous sales and growth under Rick's leadership. Eric expressed pride in Rick's accomplishments, but Rick asked when he'd be good enough for Eric.
Eric insisted that neither son was better than the other, just differently talented. Rick said it was because he wasn't a designer; however, Caroline was an incredible designer, and he asked why Eric wouldn't give Rick and Caroline the chance to lead the way Stephanie and Eric had done for decades.
Eric assured Rick that he'd have his chance at CEO. Rick wondered if he had to wait until Ridge, who'd just been vice-president, had his fill. Ridge said he'd held the CEO position before, and Eric knew what Ridge was capable of. Caroline said that Rick was the best president there was, and she was still his partner, which meant there was more they'd do together. She believed Rick would have his time.
Rick reminded everyone that during Ridge's last term as CEO, he'd tried to throw Eric out. Rick asked what kind of egomaniac or son would do that to his father. Ridge claimed that everyone made mistakes. "Isn't that the truth," Maya murmured.
Maya laughed as Eric commended Ridge on his recovery from the helicopter incident. Rick said Ridge's career had been done until he'd begged Rick's wife to help him. "Um-humn," Maya murmured her agreement, and Carter glared at her.
Eric didn't think it mattered how the collaboration had formed. To him, Caroline and Ridge were two classy, principled designers who'd shown decency and restraint. "Oh, you think so?" Maya asked. Hope asked what Maya meant. Carter tried to cover for Maya and asked her to leave with him.
"Oh, I'm just getting started!" Maya declared, slamming her hand on the table as she hopped to her feet. Rick told Maya that it was a family matter. She agreed but said they'd all want to hear what she had to say. Carter advised Maya not to embarrass herself.
Maya told Rick that she'd tried to inform him, but he wouldn't listen. Rick tried deterring Maya, but Eric wanted to hear what she had to say. Maya said that the principled, decent, and retrained Caroline and Ridge weren't such behind closed doors. "They're having an affair," Maya revealed.
"Oh, come on. Out. Out!" Eric said, and Carter tried to pull Maya away. Maya wouldn't go, saying that Rick needed to know what Caroline had done behind Rick's back, and "on hers!" No one thought Maya was credible, but she noted that the guilt was written all over Caroline's face. Maya challenged Caroline to tell Rick that nothing was happening between her and Ridge.
Caroline looked down, and Maya turned to Ridge, the "fearless leader," and challenged him to say that nothing was going on. Caroline turned to Rick and regretfully admitted that something had happened. She said that the designing had been so intimate, and it had been just a few kisses. She exclaimed that she was very sorry, and he had to forgive her.
"You and him?" the disillusioned Rick responded. "You and him?"