At the hospital, Abby chatted with Victoria after the two had attended a childbirth class. Abby complained at length about Mariah. Victoria said she sympathized with Sharon and understood why Sharon yearned to bond with her child that had been taken away at birth. Changing the subject, Abby suggested that Victoria might later regret not having chosen Billy as her birthing coach. Victoria noted that she and Billy were officially divorced. Victoria added that she planned to co-parent with the baby's biological father. Abby cried, "So my niece or nephew could be raised by a daddy who served time for killing his daddy?"
At Crimson Lights, Nick presented Sharon with the original engagement ring he'd given her before the couple had wed the first time. Nick noted that he'd upgraded the diamond setting. Sharon wiped away tears of joy as she accepted Nick's ring and agreed to marry him. Sharon hoped to share the news with their children immediately, but Nick said he'd prefer to wait, so the couple could enjoy one special evening together. Sharon agreed.
At the Underground, Noah told Mariah that Austin had mentioned having seen her clean out her locker. Mariah explained that Nick had made her feel guilty about leaving before earning the money to pay back Sharon. Noah replied, "Dad will get to you on the guilt. Most parents will." Mariah replied, "Luckily, I'm not his kid, and I never will be."
Noah told Mariah that she should give Sharon a chance. Mariah said she wasn't the least bit interested in playing the role of Cassie. Mariah added, "I will never measure up!" Mariah cried that, unlike Sharon's other children, a cult leader and a cold-hearted woman who'd never wanted anything to do with a daughter had raised her. Noah explained that Sharon only wanted to love and care for Mariah. Noah added, "After everything you've done to Sharon, the least you could do is give her a chance."
Abby entered the bar, approached Mariah, and said, "Look who's here -- the winner of the DNA lottery! You here to collect?" Abby, badgering Mariah, dredged up Mariah's pitiful past with Ian. Mariah retaliated by drenching Abby with a pitcher of cold water. Noah told Abby that she'd been out of line. Abby threatened to rip out Mariah's hair if she ever got near her again. After Abby left, Noah berated Mariah for ruining her opportunity to be part of a real family.
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Nikki, standing beside Victor, reacted with shock when Maureen approached. Maureen quickly backtracked and pretended she'd mistakenly identified Nikki as a woman named Sherry. After Victor left the dining area to accept a phone call, Maureen sat beside Nikki at the bar and noted that Nikki had evidently mended her rift with her husband. Nikki thanked Maureen for pretending that they hadn't previously met. Maureen explained that she understood complicated marriages.
Nikki was shocked when Maureen announced that her son might be the father of Victoria's baby. Nikki gasped and said, "You're Stitch's mother?" Maureen nodded and noted that it was a small world. Maureen offered to share a toast to celebrate a new grandchild. Nikki nodded toward Victor and said, "No! I don't drink." Maureen said she understood.
In another area of the dining room, Paul approached Dylan. Paul hammered Dylan with questions about Ian's sudden disappearance. Dylan, his right hand still bandaged, insisted that he'd already told Paul everything. Paul said that Dylan would need to answer questions at the police station. Dylan seemed apprehensive. Christine interrupted the conversation when she prompted guests to prepare for a toast to Paul.
Friends gathered around Paul. Christine announced that Paul was loyal beyond belief and too brave for his own good. Avery, Dylan, Lauren, Michael, Nikki, and Victor raised their glasses to honor Paul. Christine was miffed when Paul said he had to follow up on the Ian Ward investigation and needed Dylan to accompany him. Avery and Nikki were nervous about Paul's insistence that Dylan tag along to the police station. Avery later heard Christine mention to Michael that traces of blood had been found at the Newman ranch. Avery quickly ran out the front door.
Nick and Sharon entered the lobby of the Genoa City Athletic Club, talking about their engagement. Victor, standing nearby, said, "You two getting married or what?" Nikki approached and congratulated Nick and Sharon after Victor announced that the couple planned to marry. Victor noted that Nikki didn't seem surprised. Nikki explained that marriage didn't seem out of the question after Nick had moved in with Sharon. Admiring her ring, Sharon noted that she hadn't initially planned to remarry. Victor said, "Yet you ended up with a ring on your finger." Nick reminded Victor that he often boasted that life was all about family.
In a private suite, Nick and Sharon sipped champagne. Nick said, "Tonight is about us, and I don't want to focus on anything but us. I want to spend the whole night showing you how much you mean to me." Nick unzipped Sharon's skirt and slipped off her blouse. Sharon pulled off Nick's shirt. The couple reclined on the bed together, and Nick tenderly kissed the nape of Sharon's neck. Nick told Sharon that nothing would break them up again.
Victoria joined her parents at the Genoa City Athletic Club and learned that Nick and Sharon had become engaged. Victor mentioned Sharon's stints in the "loony bin." Nikki quickly noted Victor had played a role in triggering Sharon's mental breakdown by hiring Mariah to masquerade as Cassie. Victor complained that Sharon had allowed Mariah to move in with Nick and Faith. Nikki replied, "Sharon suffered tremendous guilt when she gave Cassie up as a baby, and Sharon didn't have a lifetime to make up for it. Maybe this opportunity with Mariah will give her a chance to make up for all the demons of the past, just like it did for Dylan and me."
Victor quickly stepped away from his wife and daughter when his phone rang. Victor rushed to a private spot near the stairwell. Dr. Cutler was on the line. Victor listened for a moment before smiling. In an upbeat reply, Victor said, "Oh, really? Phyllis talked? What did she say? Well, that's wonderful news!"
In Paul's office at the police station, Dylan said that Ian had disappeared into the woods after running out of Nikki's house. Paul explained that Ian's car had been found abandoned on Royden Drive near the racetrack. Paul added that Ian's wallet had been recovered from a nearby dumpster. Dylan shrugged and said that Ian had likely ditched his car and identification before leaving town. Paul explained that a witness had spotted Dylan near the racetrack, which was located in the opposite direction from the coffeehouse.
Paul, recalling Dylan's previous account of the night in question, asked, "Which is it? Did you go to the coffeehouse, or did you go to the track?" Dylan replied, "Both." Dylan explained that after he'd returned to Crimson Lights, he'd also taken a walk to clear his head. Dylan insisted that he'd seen no one during his walk. Paul said, "Not much of an alibi, Dylan, walking alone." Dylan cried, "I didn't know that I needed an alibi. You going to arrest me?"
Paul mentioned that blood found on the Newmans' driveway belonged to Ian. When Paul questioned Dylan about the injury to his hand, Dylan claimed that out of frustration, he'd punched a window in a warehouse near the track. Dylan added that he'd lied because he hadn't wanted Avery to know that he'd lost control. Dylan insisted that he could deal with his anger issues and posttraumatic stress on his own. Dylan left a gift and congratulated Paul on his award. After Dylan left, Paul opened the gift and found two fishing lures.
Christine intercepted Avery at the police station and insisted that Paul be allowed to do his job. Avery replied, "I have a job, too, Christine -- to protect Dylan." Christine explained Dylan hadn't been arrested because no evidence of a crime existed. In a flashback, Avery remembered having found Dylan stuffing something into a trash bag. When she'd spotted blood on Dylan, he'd claimed that he'd merely cut his hand.
Christine entered Paul's office after Dylan left. Paul showed her the fishing lures. Christine admired them. She said that Dylan had put much thought into the handmade lures. Paul carefully placed the lures back in the box. Paul told Christine that Dylan denied having done anything to Ian. Christine said, "Do you believe him?" Paul, his brow furrowed, replied, "I want to."
At the Baldwins' condo, Lauren told Michael that it was a shame Paul had been called away from his party. She lifted the lid of a takeout box containing slices of cake from the party and began eating chocolate frosting. Michael said he understood why Paul was preoccupied with capturing Ian Ward. Lauren said she felt bad for Christine for having to postpone plans to have a child. Lauren said Paul should at least set aside time to spend with Christine.
Lauren and Michael decided they'd spend a cozy evening on the sofa together. Michael dimmed the lights. The couple sat close together on the sofa and began kissing. Their attempt to make love failed again, but Michael claimed he was under stress due to his new partnership with Avery. Lauren noted that the partnership was intended to relieve pressure on Michael. Lauren cried, "Michael, we can't go on like this. You haven't been able to, and it's not just when you're tired. We have a problem here." Michael replied, "You mean I have a problem."