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 Recaps for The week of December 29, 1997
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Monday, December 29, 1997

Missing You:
Sharon visits Grace; she is certain something is going on. Grace doesn't want Sharon to be upset. Tony says that it was Grace who didn't want to go. She is always thinking about Cassie; she loves her and is getting a little possessive. It suddenly hit them that they wanted a family holiday at home. Sharon doesn't seem convinced.

Sleeping Beauty:
In Diane's hospital room, Victor reads her chart while she sleeps. She is amused when she wakes up and tells him that he looks like her doctor. "It means so much to me, having you here," she tells him. He tells her that she is his number one priority. He even told the doctors to bring in a specialist if one is needed. He won't go home and rest; he doesn't want to leave her side.

The Witch's Castle?
"Diane views this illness, emergency or not, as a blessing in disguise," Nikki tells her daughter. She can't see how Victor can be so fooled.

"Are you sure it is Dad who has his perspective out of whack?" asks Victoria.

The Bachelor Pad:
Ryan is packing for his ski trip. Neil appears to be in a good mood as he joins him. Ryan is excited about seeing his son on Christmas, but is hurt because Phillip thinks of him as a stranger now. He remembers hearing someone talking about how children shut themselves down when their parents separate because they are afraid they are going to lose the parent that left. So instead of bearing the pain of loss, they shut down. Neil wonders why Ryan is telling him this. Ryan says he is beginning to wonder if the approach he has been taking is all wrong. Neil looks thoughtful at Ryan's suggestions.

The Dennison Household:
Tricia is waiting for Ryan to pick her up. She tells Jill that she is really excited; this is her first romantic trip alone with Ryan.

Jill assumes that Tricia and Ryan are going to sleep in the same bed in Aspen. She isn't going to try to change her mind---that would be futile, she acknowledges, but she wants to give her something. Tricia is embarrassed when Jill gives her a box of condoms. Jill insists she take them; there is nothing romantic about an unwanted pregnancy.

Peanut's Place:
Sharon insists that something must be wrong that they didn't go to the ranch. She accuses Grace and Tony of having problems in their relationship and those problems have to do with Cassie.

Sharon knows how children can change a relationship. Children are wonderful, but being a parent can be stressful. Putting Cassie's interest first and making sacrifices---even putting their personal lives on hold at times---can take it's toll. They need to make time for themselves. She would be happy to babysit so they can go out and be alone. Tony thinks that is terrific. Cassie comes home and is happily surprised to find Sharon there. She runs into her arms. Sharon tells her that they missed her Christmas Eve.

"We had a really nice time. Just the three of us," Cassie tells Sharon. "Santa was pretty good to me, but there was one thing I wanted more than anything and I didn't get it." Tony tells her not to give up hope; Santa sometimes delivers some presents later than others.

After Sharon leaves, Grace tells Cassie that she will never leave her. She will never be alone again, she promises.

The Sick Room:
Diane is afraid that Nikki was disappointed that they didn't open presents Christmas Eve at the ranch. She wouldn't doubt if Nikki accused her of faking her illness. Victor admits that she did and that he was livid about it. When Victor wants to call Nikki right now, Diane tries to stop her. But he calls anyway.

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch:
Nikki thinks Victor is calling to apologize. He corrects that misconception at once and tells her that she is the one that needs to apologize. Her behavior was reprehensible, he yells and hangs up.

"Dad hung up on you?" Vicki asks, astonished. "Where was he calling from?"

"Oh, yes. He's at the hospital keeping vigilance over his sick wife. Even in a coma, that woman would find some way to use it to her advantage." Nikki says. "He is being trashed by that woman and doesn't want to admit it."

The Hospital:
"The impertinence of that woman," Victor says. Diane tells him to go to the ranch and talk to her, but he refuses. Instead, he calls Nikki back.

Nikki is insulted at Victor's words and tone of voice, especially when Victor tells her that she needs to come to the hospital and apologize to Diane in person. Nikki is sure that she is the last person Diane would want to see. She is so sure, in fact, that she insists that Victor ask her. When Victor turns to Diane and asks if she would like for Nikki to visit, Diane tells him that that would be very nice.

"Did you hear that?" Victor asks.

Nikki says that may be what she says, but she is sure she doesn't mean it. Victor hangs up on her.

Mother and Daughter tete-a-tete:
"Dad hung up on you again?"

Victoria tries to reason with her mother, but Nikki isn't listening. "Stay out of it," Vicki advises to no avail.

Nikki says that she will never be friends with Diane. The only way she will visit that woman in the hospital is if she is getting last rites.

Vicki tells her mother that she is too possessive when it comes to her Dad. You know that you will always love Dad. But they are both married now. She has to try to stay out of it where Diane is concerned. You are letting this come between the relationship you have with Dad.

"I will not sit back and watch Diane Jenkins dupe him," Nikki declares.

"It is Diane Newman, Mother," Vicki patiently corrects her.

Father of the 'Bride?':
Keith arrives home just in time to miss telling his daughter good-bye. He is upset that he didn't get home in time to talk some sense into her. His daughter is going to lose her virginity to "that punk" on this trip!

Tricia is not your little girl; she is a grown woman, Jill tells Keith, but he is not convinced. "You have two beautiful, smart daughters," Jill continues. "Be proud that she has waited this long. Tricia loves Ryan and wants to be with him. And even though you think it is a big mistake, it is her mistake. As frustrating and painful as it is, you have to let go of her; let her make her own decisions."

Even Megan, coming in in the middle of all this, agrees with Jill. As he leaves, she gives her dad a big hug and even permits Jill to lay her hand on her shoulder.

We'll Fly Away:
Ryan and Tricia are excitedly waiting the boarding call for their flight to Aspen. Tricia wonders if Nina knows she is going away with her, but Ryan says he didn't tell her. He sees a close family at the airport and decides he needs to make an urgent call.

Ryan calls Nina's house and thanks her for letting him come by, but he really wants to speak to Phillip. He invites Phillip to go along with "us" on a ski trip to Colorado. Phillip wonders who "we" are. When he finds out it is Tricia, he says no to the trip.

The Sick Room:

Diane tries to get Victor to go to Nikki and talk to her. Nothing is worth all this hostility. Victor can't understand why Nikki cannot just have a civil relationship, but Diane says that maybe she can't. She doesn't need an apology, she tells Victor.

"Yes you do," Victor insists. Diane tells Victor that she and Nikki will probably never be friends. Some people are just not compatible.

A Frozen Shangri-La:
The love birds arrive in Aspen and enter their lovely, warm chalet. It has a great view of the slopes with air so crisp and clean that one gets lightheaded. "Is it the air that is causing me to be so lightheaded?" asks Tricia. Ryan wonders if she is ready to hit the slopes, but she says they will do it later. Right now she has something else in mind.

As things begin to get hot and heavy, Tricia tells Ryan that this is the moment she has waited for since they met. "Don't make me wait any longer," she begs. Ryan picks her up and takes her to the bed.

Trouble in Paradise:
"How can you promise that little girl that you will never leave her?" Tony asks. "Stop being so selfish and do what is best for that little girl.

Grace slaps Tony in the face and grabs her coat. Where are you going? Tony wants to know.

"None of your damn business!" Grace answers as she slams the door.

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Tuesday, December 30, 1997

OFFICE ROMANCE:
Nick and Sharon are making out in his office after a surprise visit. She reports on her visit to Grace. Nick advises her to wait until Grace asks for her help. Sharon invites Nick to lunch but he can't leave the office. Instead, he suggests she bring lunch in.

In her office, Grace wonders how she is going to get through the day.

MISSING YOU:
Ashley phones Cole. Cole tells her it has been a long time since he heard from her. She has missed him but wasn't sure how things were for him at the ranch. Lot of work, he says. That is how I have been getting through the days, Ashley confides. She called because she needs a break. Join me in the gym? she invites. I'm on my way, Cole says.

LET'S MAKE LOVE:
Ryan and Tricia are in bed completing what the started on yesterday's show. Are you sure about this? Ryan asks, coming up for air. "I feel the time is right," she answers. "Let me show you how much I love you."

Just when things are getting really hot, Ryan jumps up. "How stupid of me," he says. "I'll be right back. I think I saw a pharmacy . . ."

"That's okay," Tricia reassures him. "I have some. Jill took care of that little detail for us."

WORKING OUT:
At the gym, Cole and Ashley begin their workout. She wonders about his writing and he tells her that he wrote up the situation in New York. He already had a love story going; he just didn't know how to wind it up. The incident in New York was the perfect plot development for his novel.

"Do you mean you took our chance encounter as basis for your plot" Ashley asks. "My cheeks are turning red. Tell me how you used it."

The wife walked in on the guy and gal making out," Cole explains. "She isn't a bad person, she was actually there trying to fix the marriage."

You gave the wife some sympathy?"

"Well, in writing you have to show both sides," Cole tells her. "After the wife left, I fulfilled the characters fantasies."

"Are you sorry it didn't happen?" Ashley wonders. "Will it ever happen? Will we wait for fate, or take matters into our own hands?" Cole answers by kissing her.

CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR:
Victoria, knowing that Cole has left the ranch, goes to the tack room for some of her things. After retrieving them, she is tempted by Cole's work by the computer. She looks and finds the latest chapter.

"Oh my God," she gasps as she reads the chapter. "These people are us, Cole. Is this what you really feel? Is this what you want? Is this what really happened in New York?"

EVERY ONE'S FRIEND:
As Sara admits Jack to the house, he wonders where her beautiful boss is hiding. Nikki appears and welcomes him with a hug.

"Have you been to see Diane in the hospital?" Nikki asks. "I can tell you her sudden illness ruined my Christmas Eve."

"Well, what's a husband to do when his wife is admitted to the hospital? jokes Jack.

"I just didn't realize she would go to such ridiculous lengths to avoid coming to the ranch," Nikki says. Jack assures her that it was not fake. Given a choice, she would have preferred the ranch to the pain she was in.

"And Victor is livid with me. Can you imagine, he demands I apologize to her. Of course, I refused." Nikki continues.

TELL ME YOUR SECRETS:
Grace can't concentrate on business. Nick notices and asks her what's eating her. Grace denies that anything is bothering her. "I just want to help," Nick tells her.

"Don't you understand, you are the last person who could help," Grace shouts.

"What does that mean? Nick asks, puzzled. Grace brushes off her outburst as just nerves; she didn't mean anything by it.

"I am not leaving until you tell me what is wrong," Nick warns. "So start talking. You can't keep whatever is eating at you all bottled up inside."

"No more questions!" Grace shouts as she walks out on Nick.

YA-DA, YA-DA, YA-DA:
"Victor is furious with me," Nikki continues to rant. "I may have really blown it this time."

"Who cares what Victor thinks?" Jack asks, as he embraces his ex-wife. "Join the multitude who have felt Victor's wrath. Or, you can go to Diane's room and beg and grovel. As for myself, I am getting tired of comforting people Victor has been kicking around."

Josh comes home and is concerned abut Nikki; she looks like she is upset. Is it Victor? "Who else," Jack asks as he leaves.

Listening just outside the room, Sara whispers that Nikki is a vile, horrible tramp. "What you have done to my Joshua! But your time is running out!"

"I am afraid it will be a long time before Victor has anything to do with me," Nikki moans to her husband.

"I can live with that," Josh tells her. She is shocked at his attitude.

"Look at it this way," Josh tells her. "As long as he stays away, we have peace and quiet---and I like that. Leave him to his wife. But if he decides to come here again, he needs to apologize to you."

"Why is she arguing with you?" Sara asks herself. "You are such a sweet, wonderful man. She doesn't appreciate you. Nikki doesn't deserve you."

HELP ME MAKE IT THROUGH THE NIGHT:
Tony sits alone at Crimson Lights. Victoria arrives and sits with him. "Just the guy I need to cheer me up," she tells him. When Tony tells her he can't even cheer himself up, she offers to cheer him up. "Tell me your problems," she encourages.

"You are one special chick," Tony tells her. "but even you can't help me. However, to tell anything is to tell you everything, so I can't do that. So tell me what is bringing you down?"

Victoria tells Tony about reading Cole's novel. "I wish I hadn't read it," she says. "One of the characters was me, but I wasn't the love interest; it was another woman. And what they were doing would make you blush. I guess I can see the handwriting on the wall."

"A woman as special as you won't be alone for long," Tony tells her. He also tells her that she would be easier to live with than Grace. "That stuff in the book---two can play at that game. Let's dance. They say that dancing is the safe alternative to the real thing."

Victoria happily joins him on the dance floor.

MY GIRL:
Keith phones the ski lodge and confirms the arrival of Mr.. McNeil and Miss Dennison. Oh, yes, he adds, did they get the unit with one or two bedrooms?

"You can't be surprised," Jill tells him when he learns that it is a one bedroom unit.

"She is my little girl and I didn't get to talk to her," Keith wails.

"I talked to her," Jill assures him.

"I don't know whether I should be grateful or feel betrayed." Keith tells her. But, Jill tells him that she didn't encourage her, just tried to prepare her.

IS THAT ALL THERE IS?
Ryan and Tricia lay on the bed entangled in the sheets. Ryan is enraptured, but Tricia looks disappointed. I thought I would feel different, she tells him. Of course, she has nothing to compare to.

Ryan tells her he isn't looking for a review; he is concerned about her. Tell me how you are feeling.

"My emotions are overflowing" she tells him. "I feel so much, yet don't know what I am feeling."

"No firework? No rockets blasting?" Ryan asks. "Sometimes it takes a while for that. Right now, it isn't about what we are felling; it is about intimacy and closeness. The fireworks will come later."

Trish just wants to make love over and over until she gets it right. "Be patient with me. I keep thinking something is supposed to happen, but you are right. It is about being together and sharing. Anyway, you can't leave me now. Giving myself to you is a big commitment."

OFFICE PICNIC:
Nick admits that Sharon is right about Grace; something is definitely bothering her. He still thinks it is best to let her come to them when she is ready, but Sharon can't wait for that.

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Wednesday, December 31, 1997

To the readers: Recently, I have been grouping all the scenes of each plot together, whenever possible, rather than write the update scene by scene. I need some feedback. If you like it this way---or if you don't---I would appreciate hearing from you. Thanks, Gladys

MAY I HELP YOU: Besides being worried about her friend, Sharon is also concerned about Cassie's well being. Despite Nick's advice to "let her fight her own demons," she has to go to Grace's one more time to see if there isn't something she can do.

Before leaving for Mrs. Cramer's, Cassie has given Grace a picture she has colored of the two of them. Grace is looking at the picture when Sharon knocks at the door. At first, Grace ignores the knock, but Sharon is persistent. Sharon tries to assure her friend that she wants to help. She even suggests that she take Cassie to the ranch for a few days while Grace sorts things out. "NO! No Way!" Grace answers.

Why? asks Sharon. She is puzzled at Grace's reaction. Why do you think it is a terrible idea? She wonders if this environment is good for a child.

"No way are you taking my little girl!" Grace yells as she jumps up.

When Cassie comes home, Sharon tells her that they were just talking about her. She came over to invite Cassie to spend a few days at the ranch with her and Nick. She could ride the horses and play with Noah. Cassie appears to be torn by the idea and staying with Grace, however, in the end, she tells Sharon that she can't leave Grace right now.

IMPROMPTU PARTY: Ashley finds Jack planning a New Year's Eve party. He invites Ashley, but she says she is waiting for a call from Cole; if he finishes his work by midnight, he will call. Jack wonders if she isn't making herself too available for Cole. Maybe she should start making some demands.

Ashley tells him that she can't exactly twist his arm for a commitment, but she isn't going to wait forever.

HUMBLE PIE, ANYONE: "The cafeteria was all out of olive branches, so I brought you a cappuccino instead," Nikki announces in a joyful voice, as she waltzes into Victor's office. When he acts cold and angry to her, she makes an apology for upsetting him. He tells her that he doesn't want an apology. He wants her to apologize to his wife. Can she do that?

Nikki can't believe that he is that upset. She was only voicing her opinion---one which she still has, by the way.

"The first thing out of your mouth when you heard my wife was ill was that she was faking her illness," Victor shouts as he points his finger at her. "It would behoove you to show a bit more class. Even when I tell you her illness was real, you still continue to insult my wife. NOW LEAVE! I don't want to see you again until you make amends to my wife."

When Nikki tries to answer him, he interrupts her: OUT! NOW! he screams at her.

As Nikki walks to the door, Victor repeats: Don't you dare come here and insult my wife!

SEE WHAT YOU ARE MISSING: Vicki drops by the tack room dressed to kill on the pretense of picking up more clothes. Cole is busy at the computer, but he stops to ask her how she is spending her New Year's Eve. She tells him that she has a date. She didn't have any other plans, so when she was asked, she accepted. Cole tells her that he has set a deadline for himself; he is going to finish this part of his book by midnight. Vicki hopes that Ashley can wait.

As she prepares to leave, Vicki walks over to Cole and gives him a long deep kiss (which Cole appeared to return), and tells him that the one thing about computers is that they don't kiss back. Maybe this will hold you until Ashley arrives.

WE NEED ANSWERS: When Nick walks into Grace's office, he finds Tony writing a note to Grace. He begins to question Tony about Grace, telling him that Grace walked out on him earlier. He and Sharon are worried; Sharon is even worried about what this is doing to Cassie. Tony tries to explain that Grace is a complicated lady with a lot going on. Nick asks if the marriage is off. This really surprises Tony who answers that when he last saw Grace, they were engaged. Tony admits to Nick that he is also worried about Cassie and he is trying to do the best for her.

MIDNIGHT AT THE OASIS: Cole leaves his computer and covers the table with a table cloth. Just then, Ashley arrives with a bottle of champagne. She is happy that he called. She would rather be here alone with him than at the big party Jack is throwing at Gina's. She asks about Vicki; will she be interrupting them? Cole tells her that his wife is on a date. "You should have seen how she was dressed," he adds. He then reminisces about his and Vicki's time together. He talks about how they were going to travel---well, he says, that was Vicki's plans. And travel she did. Every time something went wrong, she would take off. Mostly, she just wanted someone to chase her.

Ashley is more interested in the fantasy he has had about her. She wants to know more about it---details. But Cole says that it is too personal.

"You know what I think?" Ashley asks. "I think you are in love with BOTH of us."

Cole appears intrigued with this idea, but Ashley tells him that it is time for a decision. Will it be Victoria and resuming his marriage? Or, will it be a new start with her? Cole says that he has been thinking about just that, but for the moment, his first priority is finishing his book. "Can you wait that long?" He asks.

"Ninety days. Hummm," Ashley says, smiling. "If someone else doesn't come along before you are ready to decide. So, better hurry. Wouldn't want you to miss your honeymoon."

WAR OF THE WORLDS: After leaving Victor, Nikki heads straight to the hospital to see Diane. Diane is surprised to see her, but tells her to come in. In a most syrupy sweet voice (which anyone can tell is fake), Nikki asks how she is feeling. "Everybody was so worried about you. At least Victor was. He rushed right to your side. So, is the pain all gone?"

Diane tells her that she is feeling some better now. (Of course you are, Nikki coos). She doesn't believe this sudden show of compassion and asks her if she is really interested.

"Was the operation a success?" asks Nikki, with insincerity. (What operation? Diane asks). "When you were first admitted, Victor said you were going to have to have an operation. What were they going to cut into?"

A surprised and confused Diane tries to tell Nikki that they only do surgery as a last resort, but Nikki continues without listening.

"Your taut little tummy, perhaps? What a shame that would be."

"That is enough! I think it is time for you to leave." Diane angrily tells her visitor. "I don't need you coming here and treating me like this."

"Like an outsider?" Nikki continues. "I don't blame you for not wanting to feel like an outsider."

"I only feel like an outsider because you make me feel that way," Diane tells her. "So, don't stand there pretending to be friendly and concerned about my health when nothing could be further from the truth."

"No pretense with me," Nikki smiles. "What you see is what you get. The only difference between you and I is that I am honest."

"Alright, you want honesty?" Diane begins. "I'll give you honesty. I hate your ever loving guts. You can't stomach the fact that I am married to Victor, so, you zeroed in on my most precious dream and destroyed it. Because of you, I will never have a child with the man I love."

"I did that?"

"Yes, you did that. God how I hate you for what you have done."

"I am glad that Victor was smart enough to avoid having children at his age and with a woman he won't be married to for very long. Your marriage is doomed to fail." Nikki pronounces.

Clap, clap, clap. Diane sits and gives applaud to Nikki's performance.

"Congratulations. Thanks to you, I will live out the rest of my days without children with the one man I really love. But despite what you have done, I still have Victor. Victor really loves me and that drives you crazy. Even though you protest that you love your husband, we know that you have never gotten over him. Now, live with it. You will never have him again."

"You are wrong; I love Josh." Nikki says.

"Victor adores me and, unlike you, we don't need a child to make us happy. But then again, it didn't work for you, did it?" Diane tells her. "Now I want you to leave---NOW!"

Nikki picks up her coat and leaves with a shocked look on her face. Diane sits on the bed with her hand over her abdomen.

PARTY DOWN: Guests begin arriving at Gina's for the party. Once everyone is there, Gina announces that Jack is their host. Eat, drink and be merry, he tells everyone.

At the end of the night, Jack tells them that the time has come to bare their souls and tell everyone their hopes and dreams for the new year. Katherine is the first to make her toast. She begins by wishing everyone a Happy New Year. Then her special wish is that after all the money she has put into her new face, she hopes it will pay big rewards.

Jill wishes everyone peace, joy, prosperity and love. Her special wish is that her Billy will grow up into a fine man despite the fact that neither of his parents are living together.

Lynn is happy to have a great job, a great boss and great friends. Now all she needs is a man to go with it.

Malcolm has everything his heart could desire. All he wants is more of the same. Olivia echoes her husbands wish, except that she also wishes that the rest of her family can find the same peace and joy.

Nina wishes for better times for her son and herself, a chance to heal, and the sense to know when to reach out to friends. Vicki wants a brash and sassy year---both personally and professionally.

Neil hopes that everything will be alright with his little girl once again.

Last, Jack hopes he can unscramble his personal life. But most of all, he just wants "ol' Smiling Jack to be smiling indefinitely into the future."

Gina signals that it is time. Everyone grabs their hats and whistles. As the band plays, they all sing "Auld Lang Syne."


Thursday, January 1, 1998

Due to the New Year's holiday, The Young and the Restless did not air today.

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Friday, January 2, 1998

SPARKS FLY
: Danny shows up at Phyllis' wanting to see Daniel. However, he is out with Joanie. Danny can't wait until Phyllis loses her case and he has Daniel all the time. He is confident that the judge will give him to his father. Phyllis happily reminds him that he is not Daniel's father. "Legally I am," Danny tells her. "My name is on the birth certificate." Angrily, Danny grabs Phyllis and shakes her. "If I were a man I would . . ."

"Go ahead," Phyllis taunts. "Hit me; I know you want to." As Danny releases her, he is still angry. "I think I will tell Michael about your threats and volatile temper." Just then, Daniel and Joanie arrive home. He runs and throws himself into his Dad's arms.

Even though Daniel is just now getting home, Daniel suggests he take him for hot chocolate. Phyllis objects; he just got home and it isn't good for him to go out while he is so tired. However, Danny doesn't listen to Phyllis and starts walking out with Daniel. Daniel asks his mother for permission and she tells him okay. She tells Danny not to keep him out for long.

After they are gone, Phyllis damns him and promises that it won't be long and he won't be bothering them.

THE LOVE NEST
: Paul and Christine are making out on their last day of vacation. It was a great vacation, Christine says. Paul admits that he likes playing hooky. When Paul tells Christine he is feeling frisky, she wonders when he is going to run out of steam. Never, he says. He even thinks they should call the office and tell them they have a really serious bug and can't come in. They will have one extra day of vacation, but Christine tells him that there is no way they can do that. It is back to the salt minds for them.

MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY
: Tony and Grace continue to argue about telling Grace about Cassie. She is sick of his nagging and he is sick of her stalling. She tells him to stay out of it. He says that he can't; he has been in it from the beginning and he sees a totally different woman since she began this.

Tony reminds Grace that her best friend, Sharon, has never stopped feeling guilty about giving up her baby. "You did the impossible," he tells her. "You found Cassie for her against all odds. Now it is time to give her back. A really good life is waiting for her. How could you forget all the reasons why you did this for her?"

Grace insists that giving Cassie back will ruin Sharon's marriage. "Do you want to see that little girl rejected again?"

Tony doesn't believe she will be rejected. He tells her that she has one more day to tell Sharon the truth or he will. "I have waited and waited for you to do the right thing," he says. "So do it now or I will."

"If you do that, I will take Cassie and leave. I promise you, Tony. You will never see us again."

"Can't you see how obsessed you are?" Tony says as he walks out of the apartment.

FLY AWAY HOME
: Dru, Lily and Sid are flying back to Genoa City. Sid tells her that it was a heck of a shoot. "You are in demand, Dru. You are a rising star. And it was a great holiday for Lily---all that glitz, glamour and watching her mother work."

"It was our first holiday apart," Dru says.

"No one would ever have known it," Sid tells her. "You are a real pro. You smiled for the camera and never let anyone see the sadness you were feeling."

"Lily didn't understand why Neil didn't come over on Christmas Eve," Dru says in a resigned tone. "Now what are we doing? Going home to more rejection and pain."

"Maybe Neil will surprise you," Sid says. "Maybe he missed you and has come to his senses. Maybe he will be there waiting for you with open arms."

A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS
: Malcolm and Olivia are remembering their Christmas. It was a great holiday; only one thing would have made it more perfect. They both agree that they are hoping that Dru and Neil will be able to work out their problems.

Lily calls from the plane. Dru tells Olivia that they will be landing in less than an hour. Olivia tells her to stop by before going to her apartment. They need to talk.

KNOCK, KNOCK, WHO'S THERE
: After stopping by the office and learning that Paul and Christine are still "on vacation," Mary goes by the apartment.

Inside, Paul has just served Christine a fresh cup of coffee. She thinks she could get used to being waited on. Paul can't believe they lasted this long. Chris can't believe his mom hasn't called. Paul thinks they have to do something to make up with her and Chris suggests taking her out to dinner.

Suddenly there is a knock at the door. "Sounds familiar," Chris comments. They argue for a few seconds about who will let her in, but Paul finally loses. Chris says that it could be she is bringing them some sauerkraut and ribs.

Everyone is cordial to each other considering the last time they were together. Mary asks how the vacation went and they tell her that it was wonderful---just what they needed. They would recommend it to anyone, especially if they forgot to make plane and hotel reservations. They wonder how she resisted the impulse to call.

Mary says it was sheer will power. There wasn't a day she wasn't tempted since she knew they were only across town. She assumed that there must have been a good reason for their doing this---by the way, could there be any little grandchild on the way? "Not that we know of," laughs Christine.

TALKING IN CIRCLES
: Tony arrives at Crimson Lights and orders a coffee and ice cubes. Once he is sitting alone at a table, he takes out a flask and pours a liquid over the ice cubes. Victoria arrives and joins him. She sniffs his drink and asks when they started serving Scotch here. "Trouble at home, Tony? It must be serious for you to be drinking this early in the day."

Tony tells Grace that he needs the Scotch for medicinal purposes. He thinks that he and Grace are breaking up. Why? Vicki asks.

"Believe me, I'd love to get the whole thing off my chest, but if I told you, it would be like dropping a nuclear bomb."

"What could be so explosive?" Vicki wonders. "Can't you talk to her? Maybe you just need to see her point of view."

Tony assures her that he does see Grace's point of view. They have talked and talked, but Grace just goes ballistic. Tony says that he is right; she is wrong. "Grace is facing a tough decision. Something has to give. If she wimps out on making the decision, then it is up to me to do what is right."

Victoria warns Tony not to do anything rash. He should give it more time; don't act on impulse. But Tony is adamant. If Grace won't handle it, he will and then the sky will fall in.

GOOD NEWS
: Dru and Lily arrive at Malcolm and Olivia's apartment. They tell her that Neil showed up right after she left for the airport. Dru thinks he must have listened to what Lily said, but Malcolm thinks he changed his mind because she laid such a guilt trip on him. How did he take it that she had gone out of town? Dru asks.

Malcolm says that he was disappointed and a little ashamed. "Don't feel bad, Dru, you did what you had to do. In the long run, maybe you did what was best for you and Lily." Dru appears hopeful for the first time.

LONGING FOR YOU
: Danny has Daniel at his place. He calls Lynn and finds out that she expects the vacationing couple back at work on the morrow. After hanging up, Danny decides that if they are going back to work tomorrow, they must be home now.

Paul walks Mary downstairs and will check the mail. While he is out, the phone rings. Christine ignores it until she hears Danny talking to the machine. She rushes over and picks up the phone.

Danny tells Christine that Phyllis let him have Daniel for the day. He can't wait until he has him all the time. How long before the case is all wrapped up? When will I finally have custody of my son?

Christine thinks it will not be long; she is sure Danny will win custody. He can't thank her enough for all her help. He just wishes . . .

"What?" Christine encourages him. He tells her that he wishes he had never met Phyllis. They would still be married. Christine tells him that they shouldn't be talking like this. Danny guesses it is because Paul is there. They say goodbye.

Paul returns but Christine doesn't tell him that Danny called.

CONFIDENT
: Phyllis and Joanie are talking. Joanie wonders if Phyllis should get her hopes up so high; maybe she should prepare herself in case she loses. Phyllis doesn't think Danny has a chance. She is the mother; she carried that little boy and gave birth to him. He is hers and unless the mother is an ax murderer, the judge will favor the mother. Danny and St. Christine haven't a prayer of winning.

WELCOME HOME
: Neil is in the apartment with a gift for Lily when Dru and Lily arrive home. Lily is happy to see him and runs into his arms. He asks if Santa found her in Hawaii and Lily tells him that he sure did. She reminds him that he forgot to say hi to mommy. Neil turns to Dru and with a definite lack of a, tells her hi.

Lily goes into the bedroom to get the gift she bought for her daddy. Dru tells him that Lily picked it out herself. She tells him that Lily missed him. It would mean so much to both of them if he would stay. We can get through this, she tells him. "How can you say that?" Neil asks. "Obviously, it is easier for you than for me."

Lily comes back with her gift. It is a silk antique Hawaiian shirt. Neil tells her how much he likes it and can't wait to wear it. He picks her up in his arms and asks her to go home with him and spend the night. Lily tells him that she can't; they just got home and she wants to stay with mommy. "But you can stay here, Daddy."

"No, I can't," Neil tells his daughter. "Why? Just because I can't. I am sorry."

CHURCH
: Grace slowly walks into a church and approaches the kneeling bench.

"God, this is Grace. If you can hear me, I need your help desperately. Tell me what to do about Cassie. I don't know what is the right thing." She prays.

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