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 Recaps for The week of December 15, 1997
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Monday, December 15, 1997

Phyllis doesn't think she needs to read the stuffy ole transcripts. She was there; she won't contradict herself. But Michael insists that she read them over so she will know what she testified to the first time.

Chris calls Paul; she wants him to pick up dinner. She doesn't feel like going out or cooking. The trial is getting to her. "I hope the trial isn't all that is getting to you," Paul says as he hangs up.

Danny stops by Legal Aid for some reassurance that the trial is going okay. He has been thinking of what the child psychologist said; she made some valid points. He doesn't want to changes his life, but he doesn't think it is fair to be dragging Daniel all over the world.

Sara is surprised when Nikki arrives home early. Since Josh is at the hospital, a disappointed Nikki will hide some presents then get ready for a special reunion.

Malcolm and Dru are still talking. She feels that the advice he is giving her is the same old advice: choose between her marriage and her career.

Malcolm tells her that he knows how she comes alive in front of the camera, but she also comes alive when playing with Lily. He thinks that both Dru and Neil need to step back and look at the situation again. They are both alike. It has to be all or nothing for them both. But one thing for sure, she can't patch up her marriage from the other side of the globe. Now is the time to roll up her sleeves and get to work.

"Josh?" Sara thinks he is home early when she hears the key in the door. But it is Victor letting himself in. "So, the ex-husband has his own key," she tells herself. "And he has the run of the house."

Nikki greets Victor and he tells her that she is beautiful. He has a favor to ask: he wants her to give Diane a call and include her in the Christmas festivities. "Why?" Nikki demurs. "Is your wife getting cold feet?"

Jack arrives at Diane's office with a suggestion: use the old light bulb on the thermometer trick to run up a high fever so she can go to the hospital. Where have you been living? Diane wants to know. They don't use those kinds of thermometers any more.

But she is still upset about spending Christmas at the ranch. Her only wish is that Nikki will move to Siberia. Jack assures her that if that happened, she would only have a further distance to go and would have to wear more clothing because Nikki would still have the party and Victor would still want to be there.

"I hate being interrogated and I hate that bitch," Phyllis tells Michael. "I hope she crashes and burns. " Later, when Phyllis has finished studying the transcripts, Michael brings her a glass of wine. He doesn't want to talk any longer about the trial, but Phyllis inadvertently mentions something she read in the manuscript. Michael is surprised that she would admit that there was a manuscript, but she assures him that she has taken care of all the manuscripts. "This could be dynamite?" Michael says. But if you are sure that all the manuscripts are gone, then I don't want to hear any more about it.

"For once in your life, put yourself in the other person's place!" Victor tells Nikki. "Just think about how it feels to Diane to be newly married but spending the holidays with her husbands ex-wife. So call her; ask her to bring a special dish so that she can incorporate her traditions with ours. This would be the best gift you could give me."

Malcolm is given the cold shoulder when he visits his brother. Malcolm insists on talking with him. He tells Neil that Dru has told him what happened. He understands her reasons for doing what she did. She was between a rock and a hard place. The only choice Neil gave her was his way or the highway. Neil denies this; he wouldn't have like it, but he would have accepted it. She didn't have to lie. Malcolm reminds him that he wasn't willing to bend on the time table for having another baby. Dru wanted to wait until her career began slowing down.

Christine and Paul have a quiet, romantic evening together. As they dance, Paul wonders what happened to her fatigue. She tells him that she is trying to compensate for all the hours she is spending on Danny's trial. She doesn't want them to forget all that they have together.

Danny finds Gina out when he arrives home. He goes to the piano and begins to play. He sings "Our Love is here to Stay" while remembering his wedding and honeymoon with Cricket. When he finishes, he looks dreamily into the distant and whispers, "If only it were true. I will never give up, Chris, never."

Sara writes in her journal about Victor's visit tonight. She then reads over what she has been observing. Victor visits Nikki too often, usually when Josh is away---Diane upsets Nikki, probably jealousy----Nikki was angry when Victor cancelled Thanksgiving, then very happy when he reconsidered---every detail is in the journal. I can't believe Josh would allow this, she says. Are you blind? She doesn't treat you right, but I won't allow it to go on!

"Get the hell out!" Neil shouts at his brother. "You are trying to make this all my fault. You are making me out to be selfish and unforgiving."

After Malcolm leaves, Neil picks up a picture of Dru. We did have everything, Dru, but you threw it all away! He then throws the picture into the trash and slumps forward with his head in his hands.

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Tuesday, December 16, 1997

Ashley is preparing for a trip to New York with her father and looking forward to visiting with Traci and Steve.  However, John has made some plans with Katherine for the holidays and backs out of the trip.  After John leaves, both Ash and Jack feel that something is happening with their father and Katherine.   Jack is glad Ash will be out of town and away from the temptation of Cole, but still, he wonders if she isn't afraid to leave him here alone with Victoria.  It probably bugs the hell out of you, doesn't it?  he asks.

Cole is packing.  Victoria tries to talk him into staying at home, but when his publisher calls, he is quick to jump.  She congratulations him on being such a "monk" in bed the night before; she is amazed at his resistance.  She knows it can't have been easy for him.  Cole tells her that it didn't interfere with his sleep at all.

Sharon and Nick's home is beginning to look like a Winter Wonderland.  Nick is bubbling over and walking all around something he wants to tell her, but she is having trouble getting him to talk.

Phyllis is upset at having to testify today especially after Michael warns her that Christine will go after her with everything she has.  Michael has his hands full getting her under control.  "Just stick to your story and you'll be okay," he tells her.  "Never mind what the other side said.  They can't prove it.  It is your word against theirs.  Remember who you are fighting for."

"My son,"  Phyllis says.  "Danny and Christine will never get their hands on my son.  They will never take my son.  I'll do whatever I have to to keep my son!"

Chris is also worried about court.  This is an important day;  Phyllis is going to testify and she has to be alert.  This may be their last chance to crack Phyllis' story.

Tony can't believe that he and Grace will be getting married!  He wants to buy her an engagement ring, but she tells him that it isn't important.  Of course, it is important, he tells her.  "I AM going to get you a ring," he tells her.  "but it will just be a little one for the time being.  I hope you won't be embarrassed when you are around Sharon with that big rock she wears."  

Grace tells him that she definitely will not be embarrassed.  She is just as happy as he is.

Nick finally tells Sharon that Grace and Tony are engaged.  Sharon is wild with excitement!  She wants all the details, but Nick doesn't know too much.  That is okay, she will get it from the horse's mouth.  She suddenly gets an exciting idea.  "Do you think it is possible that they will adopt Cassie once they are married?"

Katherine is waiting at the courthouse when Christine and Danny arrive.  She heard that Phyllis was testifying and wanted to be there for moral support.  As they go into the courtroom, Katherine wishes Christine luck.

Court is called to order and the judge wants to know who the next witness is.  Patrick reminds him that he promised to have his ruling on the Houzerman testimony about the manuscript.  The judge tells them that he is waiting until after Phyllis testifies to rule on the admissibility of the testimony. 

While Phyllis is being sworn in, Danny asks if that is good news or bad.  Chris explains that it means that the judge is keeping an open mind.  It will depend on what he thinks of Phyllis' testimony.

Nikki arrives at the tackroom after Cole has left.  She brings Vicki a gift that can't wait until Christmas.  It is a beautiful gown which Nikki thinks Vicki can use for some of the holiday parties she and Cole will be attending.  When Vicki tells her mother that Cole is in New York, Nikki thinks it would be the perfect time for her to go to New York for a shopping trip.

Tony is so excited.  He is going to get on the phone and start telling people the good news.  But Grace doesn't want anyone else to know just yet.  She is afraid of how Cassie will take the news.  Maybe it would be better to wait.  Tony can see her point.  If they tell Cassie now, she might get the wrong idea.  They will wait until after Christmas to tell Cassie---after she has her Christmas wish and is with her real mother, Sharon.  

Before Grace can say anything, there is a knock at the door.  It is Sharon and she is walking on air.  She hugs Tony, then Grace.  She is so excited, but wonders why they didn't tell her sooner.  She would be calling everyone.  Before anyone can say anything, Cassie comes in.  Sharon tells her that she must be so excited.  "About what?"  Cassie asks.  Sharon begins to tell her but before she can say the word "engaged," Grace interrupts with the word "Christmas."  

After Tony and Cassie leaves, Sharon asks her friend what that was all about.  We just want to keep it a secret for a while, Grace says.  Besides, with Christmas and all, she would be too excited.

Phyllis describes her perception of the night she and Danny made love for the first time.  She then tells the court about their marriage and first divorce.  During all this time, she never kept Danny away from her son, she even encouraged frequent visits.  

She then recounts the time that Daniel was ill.  Danny got to know her better and came to see her from a different light.  He asked her to remarry him and they were very happy.  Danny told her on numerous occasions that she made him happy and he loved her.  It was only when Ms. Williams kept putting doubts in his mind that he turned against her.  

"Are you saying that the marriage is not irretrievably broken?"  The judge asks.

"That is exactly what I am saying, Your Honor,"  Phyllis says with emphasis.  "I still believe we can be a family.  Except for my son, Danny is the most important thing in my life.  If Danny would only look at the positive aspects of our marriage, he would see it too."

Ashley approaches the receptionist at Steve's office.  She is early for her meeting with Traci, so she thought she would drop by to see her brother-in-law first.  

Steve is in a meeting right now, she tells Ash.  But if you care to wait, he will be free in a moment.  Ashley sits and starts thumbing through a magazine.

"Thanks, Steve,"  Ashley hears someone say.  "I'll see you later."  Cole comes out into the reception area and is surprised to see Ashley. 

Ashley is also pleasantly surprised to see Cole.

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Wednesday, December 17, 1997

It is a wonderful serendipitous meeting in New York between Cole and Ashley. They explain to each other what they are doing in New York. Cole asks Ash to lunch and she agrees, even though it will mean postponing her reunion with Traci. After all, if fate is kind enough to bring us together, who are we to object, they agree.

Vicki is afraid she will get a lukewarm reception from Cole if she goes to New York; after all, he hasn't been too keen on her lately. But Nikki sees it as a chance to put a little romance back in their lives. "New York is SO romantic, especially during the holidays. You can fall in love all over again." Nikki tells her.

"Besides," Victoria says, "there will be no blond chemist hanging around to complicate matters. It is a great idea, Mom."

Jill approaches Ryan in his office about some reports and gets a snappy answer. He is in a bad mood, he tells her. He is trying to look on the positive side concerning his son, but it isn't easy. But he isn't going to give up. He tells Jill about asking to be part of their Christmas celebration; at first Jill thinks it is a bad idea, but comes around after some convincing by Ryan. He then tells her: Instead of dispensing advice, help me out! Jill finally agrees to talk to Nina about them sharing Christmas for Phillip's sake.

In court, Katherine whispers to Danny that she isn't feeling so well. She is leaving early.

Phyllis repeats her testimony that she asked Brian to come to GC and he did so willingly. He was awake when she took his blood. She doesn't understand why he denied it in court. Where he got all of his story she can only guess, but she can guarantee that every word was a lie.

Phyllis also denies ever getting pills from Dr. Reid. Tim was a rejected suitor; maybe that was why he lied.

Michael is giving Patrick a "time out" signal. Patrick decides to end his examination but requests---and gets---a short recess.

Victor is on the phone with the Rescue Mission. He is doubling his contribution this year. He wants to make certain that everyone has a turkey dinner. Nikki arrives in his office. She has been buying a few additional ornaments; she wanted to get a special one with Noah's name engraved on it for his first Christmas. She asks if Victor is coming to the ranch to do his traditional "cutting down the tree" act. However, if he is busy with other things, she will just buy one. <sigh>

"Don't you dare!" Victor tells her. He will be there. He then begins to remember all the other times when they would bundle up all the children and go into the forest to find the perfect tree. Now it is time for Nicholas to start his own tradition with his son. Maybe, before long, there will be other children to share the tradition. "Oh, I don't think it will be long before those two have another baby," purrs Nikki.

Tricia arrives at Ryan's office with a "cat ate the canary" smile. "Woman, you have something up your sleeve!" Ryan says. "If you are going to keep me in suspense, I'm going to have to kiss you."

"I wouldn't object to that," Tricia tells him. He goes to the door and closes it; then he returns and takes her in his arms and gives her a deep and lingering kiss.

When the kiss is over, Tricia tell him that she does have a surprise. She goes into the hallway and comes back with a pair of skis. It is an early merry Christmas present. Not only that, she has tickets to Aspen, a condo waiting and, the best part, they leave this coming Monday!

Michael tells Phyllis that she needed time to get herself under control. She can't lose it on the stand, even if she is being cross examined by the woman she hates most in the world. The judge needs to see that she can control her emotions. The outcome of this case depends on her cross examination.

On the plane headed east, Vicki debates calling Cole. No, she thinks, that would spoil the fun!

Ashley and Cole are enjoying a romantic lunch in a romantic setting which includes dancing. She wonders how he would write this into a novel---truth or fiction?

Nikki tells Victor that she has sent Victoria to New York to try to rekindle her romance with Cole. She hopes they come home for the holidays on their second honeymoon.

Cole doesn't believe they can improve on truth in this instance. They have a strong attraction for one another, but both hesitate to take the final plunge. So fate got tired of waiting and decided to give them a push. He invites her up to his room. What about lunch? We'll eat later, now there is something else to feed. Without taking their eyes off each other, they slowly rise and leave the restaurant.

Phyllis can't seem to remember the answer to any question Christine asks her. You have a very convenient memory, don't you? Chris asks. I think you could "fail" to remember anything you choose. At this point the judge admonishes Christine to refrain from such conduct.

Ryan is excited about the ski trip, but he is afraid he cannot go. He has to stay nearby in case he can spend some of the time with his son. Oh, well, she tells him. There will be other slopes and king size beds. They then share a deep, deep kiss (with the door open this time).

Christine then questions Phyllis about threatening Brian's marriage which she denies. Why does everyone lie about you? What reason do they have for perjuring themselves? Is there this huge conspiracy against you?

"Don't you accuse me of being psychotic!" Phyllis explodes. "You are the one that is behind all this. You and your lies. This isn't a fair hearing; it is a witchhunt! You still love my husband; you haven't stopped loving him and wanting him back. You stand there like some kind of pillar of virtue, but you are behind this by pushing Danny and whispering in his ear."

The judge reprimands Phyllis. She has to stop this ranting. It isn't helping her case at all.

But Phyllis feels she needs to tell him what is going on. As she continues to talk to the judge, he tells her that if she isn't quiet, she will find herself in a jail cell. He then decides to recess court until after the holidays. When court reconvenes, he expects---no, demands decorum.

As the judge leaves the court room, there is a satisfied smile on Danny's face. Christine has a very "cat-ate-the-canary" look. Patrick and Michael have an "I don't believe this" look on his face, while Phyllis has an "I'm dead" look.

Megan enters Tricia's room and finds her sister in a down mood. Tricia explains that the ski trip is off. Ryan is a wonderful father for wanting to help his son. He liked the idea and that is what matters. Oh, wait, she brightens. I know a way to make this happen. And it is very simple.

Cole opens his hotel door and he and Ashley stumble into the room. They are in each other's arms, pulling at their clothing. They fall into bed and continue to be passionate. They spring apart when they hear the bathroom door open. There, with her mouth hanging open, is Vicki in her tiny teddy.

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Thursday, December 18, 1997

Cassie and Grace invite Tony to join them in decorating cookies. "I am so excited! I wish it could be Christmas all year. If I get my wish, it will be. And no matter how much you torture me, I'm not going to tell you what I wished for."

"Does the 'little lady' need more Merry Christmas money?" Nick asks when Sharon bounces into his office. She tells him that she has gone beyond Christmas; now she is working on New Year's Eve. You know, Grace and Tony's wedding? She is planning on giving them a wedding they won't forget. She is on her way there now to spring the news on them.

"What news?" Victor asks from the door way. "Are you two having another child?

Jill puts another gift for Phillip under the tree. She asks Nina if she plans to invite Ryan for all or, at least part of the day. Nina says she has been thinking about it, but she doesn't know how Phillip will react to the suggestion. When Jill tries to convince her to invite Ryan, Nina tells her thanks but no thanks. Jill wishes her a merry Christmas and leaves.

Malcolm struggles into the apartment with a giant Christmas tree. "Wow," Nate exclaims. "It is perfect!"

"It should be considering all the time it took you two to pick it out," Olivia tells her son. The smell of cookies pulls Nate into the kitchen. Malcolm is excited about the holidays, but sad that Neil, Dru and Lily won't have a happy Christmas.

"Well, I thought I was going to give you a surprise, but I guess I am the one to get surprised!" exclaims Vicki. Cole tries to tell her that he and Ashley just ran into each other; this wasn't a planned rendezvous. However, Vicki is not listening to this; she doesn't believe a word from either of them. "Don't insult my intelligence!" she shouts. "I wouldn't believe a word from you; I saw you clawing at each other like two dogs in heat, so SAVE IT!" She grabs a coat and, pulling it on over the teddy, she leaves the room.

"That was worse than a cold shower," Cole says when Vicki is out of the room.

Nick and Sharon convince Victor that there aren't any more little Newmans on the way; Sharon is just excited about throwing a wedding for her friend. Sharon tells Victor that it is especially exciting because of Cassie. She has been praying for this wedding. This will make it a Christmas that Cassie will never forget. She starts to say that it is a compensation for her, but changes what she was going to say to 'present for Cassie.'

After Sharon leaves, Victor wonders if something else is going on with Sharon. Nick tells him how much she is thinking about the baby she had to give up for adoption. Victor sympathizes, but warns Nick not to let her go searching for her lost child.

Jill calls Ryan to let him know that she didn't have any success with Nina. As long as I don't get a definite 'NO,' I won't give up, Ryan tells her. As he hangs up, he sees that Tricia is standing in the doorway. She heard enough to know that he must be very disappointed. She understands him wanting to stay for Phillip, but there is nothing holding him back from going on the ski trip the day after Christmas. They can ski all the way into the New Year. What about your father? Ryan wants to know. He suggests that they both tell him together, but she says she can handle her father better alone.

"This is one of those times when the truth sounds a little lame," Ashley says. "Maybe this was a wake-up call. We didn't plan this, but we were ready to hop into bed together. I can't believe I was on the verge of having an affair with a married man. I cannot do this; this does not feel right. How could something that began so wonderfully end up so sour?"

"Go find your wife," Ashley says as she puts her coat on.

"The way she is dressed, I hope she didn't go far," Cole remarks.

Ashley leaves the room. Cole watches her leave with a sad look on his face, then begins to remember the night that he found Vicki naked in his bed. He remembers her telling him that she was there to work on the marriage. He grabs his coat and leaves the hotel room.

After Julia takes Olivia's "little man" to do his own Christmas shopping, Malcolm suggests that they invite Neil, Dru and Lily to share Christmas with them. Olivia begins to rant about how devious her sister is. She only thinks about herself. She has to have her own way and the rest of us be damned. Then when she makes a mistake, which she invariably does, she expects everyone to just pick up the pieces.

Malcolm is shocked. He didn't know she felt this way, he tells her. He points out that they have so much; they can afford to share with the rest of their family. Olivia finally agrees to allow Malcolm to invite the other Winters over.

Victoria goes into a bar and orders a red wine. She then changes it to a martini. A couple of guys at the bar start making the moves on her, but she wants to be alone.

Tony and Grace comment that Cassie made another trip to Santa---what is this, the fourth time? Cassie just wants to be sure that she gets he wish. Anyway, she has noticed that it isn't always the same man. She thinks they must be Santa's messengers; the more of his messengers she gives her wish to, the better her chance that the real Santa will hear about her. But this last one seemed a little deaf, she says. I hope he heard me.

"Don't worry, the whole store could hear you," Grace says.

"YOU HEARD?" Cassie asks. She gets up and walks over to the sofa. Grace and Tony look at each other in alarm. Grace goes to Cassie. "What's wrong? You are so upset. And you are crying. What is the matter?"

"Now I will never get my wish because it isn't a secret any more." Cassie cries.

Tony and Grace convince her that Santa is listening to her. All she has to do is be patient and she will get her wish. After Cassie goes to her room, Grace turns to Tony and tells him that it isn't just the marriage. Cassie is expecting them to adopt her. It is all part of one package.

Vicki is a little tipsy and she is now sitting at a table with the two men. She is flirting with them. They order another round. Cole walks in and sees her from the doorway. One of the men hints to the other that it is time for him to get lost. He asks Vicki about her husband; he knows she is married because she is wearing a wedding ring. Cole walks up to the table and tells the guy to get lost. He tells Vicki to come upstairs and they will pack and go home. Nothing happened with Ashley.

But we both know what would have happened if I hadn't interrupted, she tells him. "I am not going with you, and that is final!" Cole turns and leaves the bar. The man rejoins Vicki and tells her how well she did brushing her husband off. "Now I am brushing you off," she tells him. "Go away."

Sid calls Dru and tells her that he has a wonderful job all lined up in Honolulu. He has her and Lily booked into a resort. It will be fabulous. Dru wants to think about it, but he warns he not to take too long.

Neil bursts into Ryan's office in a real snit. When Ryan calls him on it, he admits that he has been thinking about his daughter. He wants to call her but is afraid Dru will answer the phone. When Ryan offer to call and get Lily on the phone, he admits that he is also hesitant because Lily has too many questions that he can't answer. Ryan calls Dru's number but it is busy. "I forgot," Neil says bitterly. "She still has her precious career. I hope that woman is happy she busted up our marriage for her modeling career."

Jill and Keith are discussing the holidays when Tricia comes home. She tells them she will be there all day on Christmas. She then announces that the next day, she and Ryan will leave for Aspen.

Grace and Tony's talk in interrupted by the door. Who could that be? They stare at the door. Sharon calls out. Did you invite her here, Grace accuses Tony. No, he says as he goes to the door.

Sharon enters. She tells them she has lots of plans for their wedding. She is so thrilled about the news. The only person who will be more thrilled will be Cassie.

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Friday, December 19, 1997

Sharon proposes to have Grace and Tony's wedding at the ranch on New Years Eve. Tony is delighted; less than 2 weeks until they are married. But, Grace isn't saying much.

Cassie finds Sharon visiting and is happy to see her. She tells Sharon that she is having a perfect Christmas; Sharon tells her that she thinks that this Christmas will be the best ever.

Cassie wants to speak to Sharon in private. She pulls her across the room and whispers to her that she doesn't have a present for Tony and Grace. Well, Sharon tells her, we can do something about that right now. Grabbing her coat, she tells Grace and Tony that she and Cassie will be going out for a while, if that is okay with them. Grace makes a half-hearted objection, but Tony gets Cassie's coat for her.

"Don't be long," Grace tells Cassie. "You still have to finish your homework."

After, the two leave, Tony looks at Grace. "You see, Grace. That girl is going to have so much love!"

***

Neil is having a business meeting with Victor. He brings up the Hong Kong trip. Victor thinks it will be good for Neil. Sometimes a little distance will put a different perspective on a problem. However, Neil isn't sure that he can leave while his life is in such chaos. Well, there are plenty of people waiting in the wings for this chance, Victor tells him.

Neil tells Victor that he isn't planning anything for Christmas, so Victor invites him to the ranch. But, let me know in enough time to warn Nikki that there will be another guest, he cautions.

***

Keith is sure Ryan wasted no time inviting Tricia to Aspen, but Tricia assures her dad that she was the one doing the inviting. She also gave him a pair of skis as an early Christmas present.

When the doorbell rings, Jill asks Tricia to answer it. She then cautions Keith not to overreact. I won't, Keith responds. I don't want to push her out the door again---maybe permanently, this time.

Tricia returns with some papers for Jill from Jabot. Keith asks her to give him and his daughter some privacy. Reluctantly, Jill goes upstairs.

"Okay," Tricia says. "Say what you are going to say."

***

Jack comes to Ryan's office and comments on his dedication to work. Ryan tells him that he has to work to keep his mind off his problems. Jack volunteers to be a sounding board. After a few minutes hesitation, Ryan tells him about wanting to spend some of Christmas with Phillip.

"I am ready to move on with my life," Ryan explains. "But I am not ready to close the door on my past completely."

"It isn't easy letting go of a boy you think of as your own," agrees Jack. "I remember how I felt about Nicholas when his mother and I broke up. But, you can't force anything. You are doing the right thing waiting for him to come to you."

***

Diane comes to Jack's office. She isn't having a pleasant holiday and he guesses that the reason is Nikki. Better start getting sick! Diane says she isn't comfortable with the idea of pretending to be sick. She is also uncomfortable with lying to Victor. She admits that part of her is angry at Victor for getting the vasectomy without talking to her first, but she doesn't believe he would have gotten it if Nikki hadn't made the suggestion in the first place. She totally hates the idea of going to the ranch and playing smiley face with Nikki. Nikki thinks she has the upper hand and, of course, Diane admits, she does.

Jack tells her that if she goes to the ranch and causes a scene, there will be a price to pay. Victor will not like that at all. She has to do something to keep from going.

If only it could be any other reason other than pretending to be sick, Diane laments.

***

Olivia visits Neil in his office. She wants to know how he is doing and he tells her that his life is hell. Olivia extends an invitation to Neil to come to her home for Christmas Eve. Neil guesses that she has other motives; Dru and Lily will be there, won't they? he asks.

"We want---your brother wants to get you two back together. He wants to hold the family together instead of it splitting apart. Yes, Dru and Lily will be there."

"I don't think we will ever be together again," Neil says. "I cannot stand to be in the same room with that woman. It is unforgivable of you to ask me."

Olivia reminds him of his daughter. Neil responds that he thinks of his daughter every moment of every day. But he doesn't want his daughter to see his anger at her mother.

"Won't you even think about it?" Olivia asks. "It is the holidays. What better time to heal and try to come together again.

Neil tells her that he will see how he feels on Christmas Eve, but don't count on him being there.

***

Tony thinks it was good of Sharon to give them a wedding. Why isn't Grace happy about it? Grace thinks it is too soon. She doesn't want to get married that soon. She hasn't enough time to get ready.

Tony thinks there is no need for time. What is there to do to get ready? It isn't like it is going to be a large, fancy wedding. It will just be a few close friends sharing the moment with them.

He then wonders if it is because of Cassie. If they give Cassie to Sharon at Christmas, she will only have one week to get used to her new family. Are you thinking that she won't have enough time?

That isn't exactly it, Grace tells him. She wants to go away and get married.

Go away? You mean like on a honeymoon?

No, she tells him. She wants to go away to live. Would you do that for me Tony?

***

Dru is talking with Sid. She promises that she will make up her mind soon. Malcolm wants to know what that is all about, but she doesn't want to tell him. She does finally tell him that Sid has a shoot lined up to begin the day after Christmas in Hawaii. She passed on the world tour, but she can't sit here doing nothing. Neil doesn't want to get back with her; he hasn't even called Lily.

Malcolm asks her to his place for Christmas Eve. Dru knows that he is also inviting Neil, and Neil doesn't want to see her. Malcolm tells her to consider Lily. He hates that she is missing her Daddy at Christmas. He knows that his brother won't let his daughter down. "Don't give up on my brother, Dru" Malcolm begs.

"It isn't me," Dru tells him, sadly. "Your brother has given up on me."

***

Keith tells his daughter that if she goes off on this trip with Ryan, he knows it will be a romantic trip. "I know I can't stop you," he explains to his daughter. "But, this is difficult for me. I didn't raise you---your mother didn't either---to do this. She wouldn't condone this behavior any more than I do."

"You can't speak for my mother," Tricia objects. "You don't know how she would react."

"I know what her values were, her hopes and dreams for you and Megan," Keith says. "I know that you think I am behind the times, but values stay the same. I don't want your first sexual experience to be like this."

Tricia explains that he and her mother did a wonderful job raising her with values and principles. Now it is time for him to trust her. She knows what she is doing. She loves Ryan; he is the man she has fallen in love with. Now she wants to share everything with him. "Trust me," she pleads. "You have to let me go."

***

Diane goes to Victor's office and finds him deep in thought. He shows her the Christmas card he has just received from Victor, Jr. It has touched him deeply, he tells his wife. He remembers when Hope and Victor, Jr. lived in his house. He was always drawing farm animals for him. He has them all in his desk drawer still.

"You miss him a lot, don't you?" Diane asks.

Victor tells her that he does miss the boy; he is his own flesh and blood. He does miss him, especially at this time of year. Christmas is for children. But, Victor says, changing the subject, have you gotten my Christmas present yet?

Diane tells him that she has had his present for a long time, but she will give him no hints. He will just have to wait until Christmas to see what it is.

"Will we open it on Christmas Eve?" Victor asks. "Or do you want to open our gifts out at the ranch?"

Diane tells him that she refuses to open gifts at the ranch. They will have their own personal Christmas at the penthouse Christmas Eve; in fact, she insists on it. Victor tells her that she is right; they will open their gifts at home on Christmas Eve.

***

Back in her office, Diane calls Jack. She has changed her mind. She cannot go to the ranch, but they need a better plan. Jack tells her not to worry; Smiling Jack is on the case.

***

"Move away?" Tony asks, confused. "Why? This is weird. With everything you have going for you, you want to move away? This is about Cassie, isn't it? You are afraid to live in the same town with Cassie so near, aren't you?"

But Grace thinks they should all three leave GC. She wants them all to move away somewhere and start over as a family.

"I am beginning to see," Tony says. "You never intended to give Cassie back to Sharon, did you? This is a cop-out, Grace; you are hiding from the truth. Is this why you asked me to marry you?"

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