Victoria is thrilled to see Neil and asks him how he's doing. Neil realizes he washed his career away by the booze, and asks for his job back. Victoria would love to have him back, and will run his employment by Victor. Neil senses that something is bothering her, and offers to help whenever she needs him. Raul suggests Diego make things right with Victoria before he loses her forever. Cassie questions why Sharon ordered a sleeper sofa. Sharon explains to Cassie that they are redecorating the bedroom. Christine comes by to apologize for the way she treated Sharon. Sharon acknowledges things between her and Nick are tense, especially with the kids. Grace startles Nick in his office. She asks what Sharon has done to him because she can see he's in pain. Nick grabs her and kisses her. Diane seeks Paul's professional help in protecting her and Kyle from Phyllis. At first, Paul is reluctant, but then agrees to assign one of his men to look out for them. Paul shocks Diane when he informs her that Phyllis is in custody. Jack is upset that Phyllis was arrested with no evidence. D.A. Richards files a complaint again Phyllis. Silva disputes Phyllis' arrest. Richards tries to reason that Phyllis transported paint thinner to the house that night. The judge determines that there is not enough evidence to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Phyllis started the fire, but there is sufficient evidence to arrest her. The bailiff takes Phyllis away.
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As Victor and Nikki near Genoa City via the Newman jet, they recalled what a wonderful honeymoon they'd had, and how at peace they were. Soon afterward, the phone rang; a business matter Victor needed to handle immediately upon arrival. Nikki playfully pouted a little bit, and told Victor he is on a much shorter leash this time around. They talked about how happy they were to be on their way back to their family, but both mention the negative vibes they felt before they left with their children.
In an effort to reach out to Nick, Sharon decided to prepare a nice dinner for the family. She went to the main house to get something from the kitchen, and was surprised to find Diego in the living room. He told her Miguel had let him in and told him he could wait inside for Victoria. He asked how things were going with her and Nick, and she stressed to him that they were going to get through this because they love each other. She also told him she was still upset that he wouldn't shoulder the blame for the whole situation, and wished he would just leave town.
Once they arrived home, Victor jets off, and Nikki went straight over to Nick and Sharon's. Nikki, bubbling over with excitement, went on and on to Sharon about what a great trip they had, while Sharon put on a great game face. Nikki noticed the smell of the dinner Sharon has prepared for the family, and commented that she hoped Nick appreciated her. She went on to say how bright the Newman's future was, with Vicki and Diego and a possible new baby for Sharon and Nick, when Sharon finally broke down into tears.
Vicki walked into Nick's office, surprised to find him and Grace involved in a passionate kiss. Appalled and very unpleasantly surprised, Vicki loudly ordered Grace to get out immediately. Grace refused, and told her she had no plans to leave until Nick told her to. Nick suggested that perhaps Victoria needed to leave, to which she not only strongly and flatly refused, but told him he was about to get a lecture whether he wanted to or not because he was obviously not thinking clearly. Grace told Vicki that Nick called her, not the other way around, and with that, Nick again asked Vicki to leave. She turned to go, but not without telling him that he was throwing everything away, and don't come crying to her when he's more miserable than he already is.
Vicki left Newman Enterprises and went back to the ranch, and was not very happy to find Diego in the living room. He asked again for her forgiveness and brought her a lovely bouquet of flowers, but she was not in the mood to talk. She tried to explain to him that the situation was so much more complicated than he was making it out to be-the entire family was about to be affected by his actions. She told him she couldn't possibly cozy up to him when he has destroyed part of her family. He told her he didn't care what her family felt, he still wanted to be with her. She gave him his flowers back, and screamed at him to leave. He stayed outside the door, begging and screaming her name over and over and over, as she knelt by the window and cried.
Back in Nick's office, he told Grace the entire story. Afterward, he told her Vicki was right. It was a mistake to call her, he was a mess, and didn't know what he even wanted. He urged her to leave, and intimated if they were together, it wouldn't mean anything and she'd only get hurt. Grace turned around and walked out the door, but didn't let Nick see the smirk on her face.
Esther walked into the living room, bringing down Mackenzie's luggage and crying. Not seeing the bags, Jill asked her what her problem was, and when Esther pointed at the bags, Jill told her she understood. Mackenzie walked into the room and asked Jill what mean thing she said to Esther to make her cry, and surprisingly, Jill was polite. She told Mackenzie Esther was taking her impending departure hard, to which Mackenzie replied, "Unlike you."Jill told her she had been wrong about Mackenzie and reached out her hand, asking for no hard feelings between them. Jill wished her well, and encouraged her to enjoy her college experience, and then left.
Katherine came downstairs and she and Mackenzie spoke lovingly to one another and said their goodbyes. After Mackenzie left, Jill came back into the room. When Katherine asked Jill why she was back, she told her she thought that perhaps Katherine didn't really want to be alone. Jill reached out and held Katherine's hand, for a while, before they both got a little uncomfortable. Jill got up to leave, but assured Katherine she would be back before long.
At Crimson Lights, Colleen and Caitlin talked about Colleen's progress with J.T. Colleen asked if her John had been asking more questions, and implored her friend not to disclose any information to him. She also asked Caitlin to tell her if she happened to see J.T. and report to her what he was doing. Caitlin agreed, but pointed out if they were as close as Colleen said they were, he would tell her what he was up to. After a bit more good-natured teasing, she told Colleen she was worried she was expecting too much from J.T.
Up at the counter, J.T. and Cody were talking about partying and college girls. J.T. made it a point to tell Cody about a party that evening and a specific girl he was going to be looking for. Colleen saw J.T. and approached him, and much to her chagrin he responded by calling her "kid." He told her he'd been busy studying, and said it was good to see her, which made her anger fade away. One of J.T.'s classmates approached, and asked to be introduced to Colleen. She asked if Colleen went to GCU, and J.T. jumped in and told her that Colleen "goes to another school." He mentioned he was going to a party later that evening, and Colleen immediately said she wanted to go and that she promised not to embarrass him. He told her no, and to stop pushing. When she got upset, he kissed her on the cheek and told her he would see her later. At that moment, Mackenzie walked in and saw the kiss. After Colleen was out of earshot, she asked J.T. exactly what he was thinking.
Colleen went back to her table and told Caitlin about the party. When she accepted J.T. wouldn't take her, she decided to try to talk him into doing something more interesting-something with her. She remembered a concert going on that evening, and rushed Caitlin out the door to try to get tickets the sold-out show.
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Nikki stopped by to see Sharon when she got home from Australia. The two of them talked, and Sharon was able to keep it together for a while. When Nikki talked about her excitement about a possible new grandchild, Sharon's eyes filled with tears. Nikki attributed her emotions to feeling lucky about her husband and children. Later, Nick came in and helped Sharon pretend everything was okay while the kids ecstatically opened their gifts from Australia. Nick enjoyed his quality time with the kids, but once Nikki was gone and Noah and Cassie were in bed, he accused Sharon of setting up a nice family dinner and talking about the kids in an effort to manipulate him. Sharon said she just wanted him to remember what they had. She made a gesture of intimacy toward him, and Nick walked out on her. He went to a hotel room and knocked on the door. Grace opened the door wearing only a red silk robe.
Victoria cried as Diego yelled her name outside the ranch house. She finally went downstairs and begged him to leave, telling him she couldn't take anymore. Diego agreed to leave, but told her he wasn't giving up. Later, Victoria reconsidered and opened the door, but Diego was gone. Her reverie was interrupted by Nikki's surprise homecoming. Victoria was happy to hear that her mother had seen Nick at home, remembering that she'd left her brother at the office with Grace. When Nikki told her that she and Victor had picked up vibes that something was wrong before leaving on their honeymoon, Victoria evaded her mother's questions. She also managed to avoid talking about Diego when Nikki asked if things were headed in the right direction or if they were already there.
J.T. was annoyed when Mac spent their good-bye at Crimson Lights warning him about his involvement with Colleen after she'd seen him kiss Colleen on the cheek. She told him that the Abbotts would not stand by if J.T. began seeing Colleen, and Billy would probably come right home from Louisiana to deal with it. J.T. assured her that the only place he ever saw Colleen was at the coffee house and that he was much too busy with his new life at college to pursue a relationship with her. He then begged Mac to let their parting be friendlier. Mac agreed, and they traded nice comments about their friendship, then she told him that she loved him. They hugged good-bye.
Colleen managed to score tickets to see one of J.T.'s favorite bands, Thrash House. Caitlin warned her that she might have problems managing to see the concert with her grandfather watching her. Colleen told her that John was out of town, and she asked Caitlin to help her cover if there were any questions about it later. Jill came in to drop off a letter from Billy for John to read, and asked why the girls were so excited. Caitlin backed up Colleen's lie that they were going to a concert together. Colleen promised that she would get John's permission and also be home in time to make her curfew. Later, she said to Caitlin, "oh darn, my grandfather's cell phone was busy," so she guessed she'd just have to leave a message on his office phone.
Jill went home in a thoughtful mood. When Katherine asked her what was on her mind, Jill admitted that seeing Colleen reminded her how short a time it had been since Billy was that age. She wished she'd been closer to him, and a better mother. Katherine told her that Billy had benefited from having two parents and was a fine young man. Jill agreed, and the two once again seemed to have reached a happier way to coexist together. Katherine was happy to get a phone call from Mac assuring her that she'd made it to college safely.
J.T. was at Crimson Lights when Colleen came back, all ready for the concert. She teased him about the party he was going to, saying since he didn't even know the guy having it, it might turn out to be a total bust. Meanwhile she and Caitlin would be enjoying the Thrash House concert from their fourth row center seats. J.T. was amazed that she had tickets and expressed his jealousy that she was getting to see his favorite band. Finally Colleen admitted that she would rather have him as her date than Caitlin. J.T. agreed to go with her, saying he would love to be her date.
Lauren and Isabella met for dinner at Gina's to make more plans about Ricky's after-christening party. Isabella admitted that Mary wasn't having much to do with her or the plans. Lauren said Mary could hold a grudge like no one else, and they could arrange the party without her help. She suggested that Isabella have it at a neutral place like Gina's, which Isabella thought was a good idea. While they were talking, they saw Christine come in with Michael. Lauren was astounded by Isabella's new, calm attitude where Christine was concerned. Isabella confessed that she'd found out Christine and Michael were sexually involved. Lauren was fascinated, but warned Isabella that Paul might get re-involved with Christine if he found out. Isabella said she doubted it; Paul idolized Christine and would get an ice-cold bucket of reality thrown in his face when he found out Miss Perfect was sleeping with Michael.
Christine was distracted by the sight of Lauren and Isabella. She admitted to Michael that every time she saw Paul's wife, she wanted to scratch out her scheming eyes. Michael told her to look at him, not at Isabella. He hesitantly asked if she wanted to watch the Paul Newman video "The Verdict" with him, insisting that she could say no if she wasn't in the mood. Christine said she wanted to see it with him. When he was surprised to see that she was eating veal, she said she was feeling a lot more carnivorous lately. He asked if that was a euphemism for being a carnivorous, man-eating, lusty wench. Christine laughed at him and said she needed chocolate. While they were eating dessert, Michael got a business call and excused himself. Gina came over and suggested that Christine might want to call Katherine, as she was probably feeling a little lonely since Mac had left for college. Christine agreed. When Gina walked away, Isabella caught her near Christine's table so that Christine could overhear the two of them making plans to use the place for Ricky's after-christening party. Then Isabella came to Christine's table and asked if the two of them could talk.
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Isabella needled Christine by inviting her to their son's baptism at Gina's. She insisted that she had Christine to thank for the way things had turned out so well for her, Paul, and their new family. Chris blew her off and she went running back to Paul's office.
Lynne brought Paul some information that he needed in his office, and wanted to tell him something that had been bothering her. He encouraged her to go ahead -- it was the news about Michael Baldwin and Christine dating that she wanted to share. Lynne asked Paul how that made him feel, then Isabella stood in the doorway eavesdropping. Lynne exited quickly and Isabella entered. She wanted to know how Paul felt about Chris and Michael as well. At first he said it couldn't be true, and even if it was, Chris was making her own decisions now and they didn't affect him. Isabella then told Paul about inviting Chris to the baptism -- he was appalled at first, then decided that she wouldn't show up anyway.
Michael drove Christine back to her apartment after dinner. She had been very quiet, thinking about Isabella's invitation. Michael brought along a small bag -- it contained a change of clothes and toiletries. He asked her permission to leave it there in case it was needed. She agreed and he took it upstairs. When he came back down, she was deep in thought on the couch. When he asked what was on her mind she told him about the invitation. She had been thinking about the possibility of the two of them attending the event. . .
Jill found Caitlyn at the coffeehouse and wondered why she wasn't at the concert with Colleen. Caitlyn eventually caved under pressure and admitted that Colleen was with J.T. Jill later found the couple at the park. She put an end to their date and vowed to tell John about what Colleen had done. Colleen tried to beg Jill not to tell -- she insisted that they were just friends and things were different with teenagers than they used to be. Jill didn't say one way or another whether she was really going to tell, she just drove Colleen promptly home.
Victoria asked Nikki about her trip and what surprises Victor had presented her with. The biggest surprise was her wedding gift -- a gilded photo album with pictures from all the way back to her stripper days at the Bayou. It was so beautiful that it reminded her of Diego and tears came to her eyes. She had to admit to her mother that there was trouble in their relationship and Nikki encouraged her not to give up. After she was left alone, she cried more and more, thinking of her times with Diego and longing for his touch. . .
Nicholas took Grace into his arms and they made love in her hotel room. She woke him later wanting to order room service. He wasn't hungry and she rubbed it in that Sharon must have fixed him supper. He didn't want to talk about Sharon and he wasn't sure why he was even there. He ate a few bites of food, then almost left. She didn't profess to be there to solve his problems, she knew what he really wanted and why he had come. She kissed his neck and took him to bed again. Later, he awoke and sat up deep in thought, wondering what he was doing there.
Sharon found Diego with a stiff drink at Gina's. She ragged on him about not leaving town like she told him to and about him waiting for Victoria at the ranch house. He proposed that they somehow help each other get back to the people that they were meant to be with. She bit his head off with her spiteful words and ran off, exasperated. Later, in bed, she touched the empty pillow beside her and thought about Nicholas. Diego drowned his sorrows thinking of Victoria and what could have been. . .
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Olivia remembered the kiss that she and Brad had shared. When Dru came in, she could tell something was bothering Olivia, but when she tried to question her, Olivia got defensive. Olivia then admitted that she was worried about Ashley and the way her cancer and treatment were affecting her. Dru understood that it must be hard to be both a doctor and Ashley's friend. But the more Olivia talked, the more aware Dru became that Olivia was just as worried, if not more worried, about Brad. When Olivia told her about the tapes Ashley was making for Abby, and how Ash had given one to her, Dru was very curious about what was on it, but pointed out that, even with all the family she had, Ashley had entrusted Olivia, not them, with the tape. She said she was worried about Olivia's involvement in all of this, and it was obvious she meant her sister's feelings for Brad.
Brad told a wan, listless Ashley that he wished things could be the way they used to be. Ashley told him to forget that. She told him that she had no energy and she felt like her body was being poisoned by the chemo--and even worse, she didn't know if it was working. Brad continued to try to get her to open up, and Ashley wanted him to back off. Finally Brad confessed his worry that he was the last thing Ashley needed. Ashley told him that he had been her rock, and she could not have endured all that she had without him. Just as they seemed about to really communicate, Brad took a call from John and found out that Phyllis had been arrested on suspicion of arson. When Brad told Ashley, she began to worry about her brother. Brad, on the other hand, seemed more concerned about the ordeal that Diane had been through. When Ash accused him of taking Diane's side against the family, Brad commented that he couldn't tell her who to be friends with, but she thought she could dictate who his friends were. Ashley became enraged and said it was typical of him to bring up Victor. Brad said the situations were different, as he'd never had a relationship with Diane or been married to her, nor was Diane interfering in his life all the time. Ashley defended Victor, saying that in some ways, he'd been more supportive than Brad had. At least Victor didn't try to tell her how to feel about what she was going through. Hurt, Brad said he was going to get some fresh air. He ended up at Olivia's door, telling her that he wasn't sure why he was there. Olivia urged him to come inside and tell her what was going on.
Isabella met Diane for breakfast at Gina's so that Diane could fill her in on the latest details in the arson investigation. Isabella asked if Diane had felt more secure knowing Phyllis was behind bars. She also wanted to know if Diane had accused Phyllis of running over her in the car on purpose. Diane said that since Jack felt Phyllis was innocent, if she'd accused Phyllis of running over her deliberately, Jack would never forgive her. But she did feel that she could hold that over Phyllis's head if she perceived again that Phyllis was a threat to her.
Out of jail on bail, Phyllis went with Jack to Gina's, hoping to regain her composure after her ordeal of the previous twenty-four hours. It was clear that she had Jack's full support and belief in her innocence. She told him that Diane was setting her up and would not hesitate to do all she could to make Phyllis look guilty of assault and arson. Jack tried to encourage Phyllis to consider that someone else might have been out to get Diane and wouldn't have known that Phyllis was going to be at the Abbott house that night. Phyllis spotted Diane across the restaurant and went to confront her over Jack's protests. Diane was alarmed to see her, and they all stood up and exchanged angry words. Phyllis accused Isabella of being Diane's minion. Isabella left in a huff. Then Phyllis told Diane that her little scheme had not worked. Not only was the evidence Diane had contrived flimsy, but Jack was more than ever on her side. Diane told Jack to keep Phyllis away from her, saying she'd get a restraining order if she had to. She then fled from the restaurant. Phyllis asked Jack if she was high maintenance, and Jack admitted she was. Phyllis then said there was someone she needed to go see, and she left Jack alone in Gina's.
Nick told Grace that what had happened between them the night before would not become a habit. He said he didn't know how his life had gotten so screwed up. Grace insisted that she would be there to provide whatever he needed from her, as it was obvious he was in pain.
Sharon was once again forced to cover when Nikki showed up at her house in the early morning. She said that the kids had already left for school, and Nick had already gone to the office. When Nikki questioned Sharon, saying she could sense something was wrong, Sharon assured her that everything was fine. Nikki then left, while Sharon wondered where Nick had been all night. When he came home, he dodged her questions, saying he'd had to get out of there because he'd known she was trying to use their kids to get to him. Sharon denied this and said she just wanted to keep things as normal for them all as possible. She then said it wasn't only the kids they were keeping up an act for. His mother had been there and was getting suspicious. Nick said he wanted his parents to have a few more days of happiness before they found out anything. After he left, Nikki returned, asking Sharon if she'd heard from Nick. When Sharon said he'd just called from the office, Nikki informed her that she'd just seen him leave in his car. Sharon finally admitted that things were a little off between them, but they would work it out, and Nikki shouldn't worry about it. After Nikki left, Sharon broke down in tears.
Nick was not happy to find Victoria waiting for him in his office. She demanded answers about Grace, but he told her only that he'd told Grace to go back to New York. Vicki told him that if he succumbed to temptation with Grace, he would be giving up his last chance to save his marriage. Nick said he was confused and wasn't sure what to do. Victoria hugged him and told him they would get through it.
Concerned and confused about her kids, Nikki went to Crimson Lights. Cody thanked her for inviting him to her beautiful wedding, but told her Nick wasn't there. Nikki turned around to walk out, then spotted Grace sitting in the coffee shop. She crossed the room and asked Grace what she was doing there.
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