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Monday, December 26, 2005

Phyllis entered the Crimson Lights terrace and found Nick staring at the memorial to Cassie. Nick again told Phyllis how great it was for Daniel to have coordinated it and that it meant a lot to Noah. Phyllis said it meant a lot to Daniel too. They discussed their Christmases and Nick told her that things were going well with him and Sharon, which pleased Phyllis. Nikki entered and admired the tribute to Cassie. Nick left and Phyllis and Nikki prepared for their meeting with Jill about their project. Nikki told Phyllis that Victor offered to fund the project if Jabot wouldn't. Phyllis said she didn't have a problem with that, particularly since Jack had rejected the project. Jill joined them and they discussed how horrible Lauren's death was. Nikki and Phyllis then pitched their idea to Jill -- that it was a focus on the total woman including cosmetics, treatments, and minor surgeries -- the totality of a woman's well-being. Jill was excited about the idea and said she would immediately pitch it to Katherine. Jill was upset when she learned that Nikki and Phyllis had pitched the idea to Jack before they came to her -- Jill felt it showed a lack of respect, but she still loved the idea. She said the next step was for Mark in Research and Development to start looking at the idea. Jill said she would deal with Jack, and that Nikki and Phyllis' idea would blow everyone out of the water.

Victoria welcomed Brad at the Newman house. Sharon was there as well, and they were wondering why Victoria wanted to see them. She showed them the fantastic Beauty of Nature sales figures and pointed out the huge spike in sales in St. Louis after Sharon's appearance there. Victoria decided that Brad and Sharon worked really well together and that she wanted them to start a West Coast tour. Brad and Sharon didn't think that was a great idea -- they thought that Drucilla should primarily travel with Sharon and that Brad should join them occasionally. As Victoria asked if something had happened in St. Louis, Nick came in. Victoria asked Nick to help her to force Sharon and Nick to work on the West Coast tour. Nick became upset and said it wasn't an issue that he felt Victoria would want to force. Sharon then showed Victoria the ring that Nick had given her a little early for their 10 year anniversary. An upset Nick left. As Victoria asked what that was about, Brad followed Nick out. Victoria wondered why there was so much tension between Nick and Brad, and why Nick thought Brad was manipulating her. Sharon said she didn't think Brad would do that, and that she thought Victoria and Brad were really good together. Victoria told Sharon that her relationship with Brad was getting serious and that she wished Nick would back off. Sharon said that whatever was going on with Nick that it would work itself out. Victoria asked Sharon to help her out and Sharon said she would as she didn't think Nick had any business interfering in Victoria's love life. Victoria was pleasantly surprised at Sharon's offer to help, and hoped that she and Brad would become as great together as Sharon and Nick used to be. Sharon said that she and Nick would be that way again.

At Nick and Sharon's house, Brad knocked and came in to find Nick. Nick told Brad he wasn't welcome there, and Brad told Nick he was sick of Nick glaring at him -- that he was dating Victoria and that they all work together and would be spending a lot of time around each other. Nick told Brad that he knew about what had happened in St. Louis, and Brad accused Nick of making something out of nothing -- that he was a good friend of Sharon's and that she was confiding in him. Nick said that Brad was taking advantage of Sharon and Brad said that Nick was looking for trouble. When Nick said that Brad was using both his wife and his sister, Brad said Nick felt that way because he hadn't been there for Sharon for months. Nick told Brad he wasn't going to talk to him about his marriage, and that he didn't want to see his sister hurt. Brad told Nick to take care of his marriage, and that he would take care of Victoria.

At Michael's condo, Paul informed Michael that traces of the explosive found in Florida matched chemicals found in Tom's garage. Paul said that there was no doubt that the bomb that killed Lauren was made in Tom's garage. An irate Michael shouted that Tom Fisher killed his wife. Michael's cell phone rang, but he ignored it. Paul told Michael that the FBI had issued a warrant for Tom's arrest. When Michael said that that wouldn't bring Lauren back, Paul said that at least the responsible man would be punished. Michael told Paul that the police had better get to Tom before he did. Paul and Michael argued about Tom's ability to make a bomb. Paul continued to espouse his theory that Jennifer/Brenda was primarily involved in making the bomb but Michael said she may have played only a minor role -- that Tom was capable of murder -- he was a child abuser, he hated Michael and killing Lauren was his way of getting back at Michael. J.T. thought that perhaps Tom had some kind of hold on Jennifer. Paul felt that Jennifer may have had a reason of her own to plant the bomb. J.T. reminded them that they knew a lot about Tom, but next to nothing about Jennifer/Brenda. Paul hoped that the second set of fingerprints found on the glass in Tom's motel room would help in the investigation. Paul spoke to his old partner and asked him for help with the prints, then sent J.T. to the office to wait for a fax from the FBI with information about the prints. After J.T. left, Paul asked Michael how he was doing and Michael was running the gamut of emotions from angry to sad to numb. When Paul told Michael that Tom would be caught Michael cynically thought that Tom might have escaped to Cuba or somewhere else south. Michael reminisced that just a few days ago he had been walking down the aisle with Lauren, and said that he should have killed Tom the first time he saw him in Genoa City. Michael's phone rang again and he didn't answer it.

Upstairs at the abandoned farmhouse Tom thought about how Michael had set him up on the phony drug charges and that now the Feds would think he was mixed up in the explosion. He remembered how Jennifer first revealed herself as "Brenda," how Jennifer/Sheila told him that they would make millions from ransoming Lauren, and then remembered Lauren telling him that Sheila was a cold blooded killer. He heard Lauren pounding on the door from downstairs and screamed at her to shut up. Tom told himself that he needed to make a deal with Michael to get the charges against him dropped so that Michael could get his wife back, and that Sheila had tried to kill Lauren -- not him. He told himself he would turn Sheila in and collect a reward and that maybe Eric Forrester would sweeten the pot a little. Tom turned up the volume on the television and heard a newscaster saying that the Miami police had ruled Lauren's death a homicide and that Thomas Fisher was wanted for questioning. The newscaster went on to say that traces of the chemical used in the bomb had been found in Tom's garage. Tom reacted badly to this news, picked up a tire iron, and headed downstairs.

Downstairs at the farmhouse, Sheila told Lauren to shut up -- that she was giving her a headache. Lauren reminded Sheila that she was in no position to order her around. Lauren wondered where Tom was and Sheila said that if were smart he would be halfway to Brazil now, and sarcastically added that that was giving him a lot of credit. Lauren hoped that he hadn't left town for if he had if was just Lauren and Sheila and all the years of misery between them. Sheila told Lauren that she didn't have the guts to hurt her. Lauren told Sheila she never wanted to see anyone suffer the way she wanted to see her suffer. Sheila said that even if Lauren hurt her, that Tom would never come back for Lauren. An infuriated Tom came downstairs with the tire iron and tried to strangle Sheila, but Lauren stopped him, telling him that he didn't want to go to prison for murder. Lauren pleaded with Tom to let her go, assuring him that she would see that he wouldn't get into any trouble and that he would probably even get a medal for releasing her and turning Sheila in. Sheila kept putting doubts in Tom's mind saying that Lauren wouldn't help him if he released her. Tom realized that Lauren couldn't make any guarantees and Sheila and Lauren got into another shouting match. Tom yelled at them and left, saying he couldn't even hear himself think. Lauren screamed after Tom not to leave her there. Sheila smugly said that the one good thing that may happen is that if she died, Lauren would die with her. Lauren said that would not happen -- that Sheila's life was over and that Lauren would be back with Michael and Scott -- and that Scott would hate her forever after he learned what she did.

At the Abbott house, Gloria and John happily arrived home from their second honeymoon. Ashley welcomed them home, and Gloria was surprised to see all the Christmas decorations gone. Ashley then told them about what happened to Lauren. Gloria became hysterical and frantic. When John questioned why the yacht hadn't been checked out mechanically, Ashley told them that a bomb had deliberately been placed on board. When Gloria asked who would do such a horrible thing, John deduced that it was Tom Fisher. Gloria tried to call Michael, but just got the machine with Michael and Lauren's happy voices on it. John asked Ashley if all the evidence pointed to Tom. Ashley told them that they hadn't found Tom and they thought he might be headed to South America. Ashley told John that Paul thinks that Jennifer Mitchell may have had a hand in it. Gloria reacted with shock when she heard that. Ashley said she thought Paul was right -- she knew that Tom hated Michael but didn't think he hated him enough to kill Lauren. John thought it was possible as Tom had tortured his kids. A disgusted John thought his family may be next and headed upstairs as Gloria asked him what he was going to do.

Gloria tried to call Michael but got the machine again. She grabbed her coat to go talk to him and the phone rang. It was Tom on the phone, calling from outside a restaurant, and an irate Gloria told Tom that he was going to rot in hell for what he had done. Tom kept insisting he didn't do it, and what they were saying about him on TV wasn't true. At this point both Ashley and John heard the rest of Gloria's side of the conversation. Tom told Gloria to meet him in the alley behind Roman's Steak House on Euclid and Morrison -- not to call the police -- and that he would tell her everything. Gloria repeated the location and both Ash and John heard it. Gloria said she felt like she was going to explode and ran into the other room. Ashley picked up the phone but then heard a car start and leave. She realized it was John and ran out after him. Gloria re-entered the living room and finally got Michael on the phone at the condo. She told Michael that Tom had just called her and wants to meet her in the alley outside the restaurant. Michael reacted calmly as Paul looked on. Gloria told Michael she was going to call the police. Michael calmly told Paul he had to leave for a while, and did so.

J.T. returned to the condo with the FBI fingerprint fax. Paul reacted with shock when he saw that the prints belonged to Sheila Carter.

In the alley outside the restaurant, Tom thought that Gloria pulled up but it was clearly someone else as Tom said, "What the hell are you doing here?"

A little while later, Ashley was in the alley, looking down at Tom's apparently lifeless body.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ashley is standing over Tom in the alley just as the police arrive. The police call for an ambulance, then arrest Ashley. At the police station, Ashley calls Christine to come down and arrange bail. A shocked Christine asks Ashley why she would shoot Tom. Paul shows Scott a photo of Brenda/Sheila, and Scott is shocked when Paul says that this woman may be responsible for his mother's death. He tells Scott about the evil history between Sheila and Lauren, and Scott realizes that Brenda told him her life story, but twisted it to make his mother look like the villainess. Scott can't believe that he ultimately helped Sheila get revenge on his mother. Paul receives a call from the warden at the institution in California, saying that the person they are holding isn't Sheila. Scott calls Brenda/Sheila, saying that he needs to talk to her. Paul hopes this will lure Sheila to come out of hiding. Jack is furious with Phyllis for going above his head and pitching the spa idea to Jill. Phyllis calls Nikki and tells her that Jack has denied their idea again, and Nikki agrees to bring Victor along when they meet up tonight. Michael gets to Tom just as the EMTs are loading him onto a gurney. He demands that Tom admit that he blew up the yacht, but Tom is barely conscious. Michael calls Kevin and tells him to meet him at the hospital. At the bomb shelter, Sheila tells Lauren that Michael is the person who set Tom up on the drug charges. Gloria receives a call from the hospital, saying John's been in a car accident.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Sharon was at the boutique exchanging a gift when Yolanda introduced herself. Sharon said that Dru had told her about Yolanda and suggested that when Yolanda's job at the boutique ended, Sharon might be able to ask around and find another job for her. Yolanda was touched by Sharon's kindness. When Brad came in, obviously upset by the news of Lauren's death, Yolanda gave him some time alone with Sharon. Sharon offered him consoling words, and Brad knew that she understood what he was going through. But Lauren's death had made him reevaluate his life and whether he was doing what he truly wanted to do. He knew that he and Sharon loved each other as friends, but he felt more than that. He told Sharon that he was in love with her; she was everything he'd ever wanted.

Victor met with Nikki and Phyllis at Crimson Lights to discuss his funding for their wellness center project. He was excited to be working with the two of them and had full faith in their ability to make the idea a success. He asked Phyllis to inform Jack of his involvement as soon as possible. When Jack came in, Nikki and Victor made their exit. Jack correctly deduced that Phyllis and Nikki had approached Victor for funding. He said that as Jabot employees, they couldn't ethically develop a project outside of the company. When Phyllis reminded him that Victor was a Jabot shareholder, Jack said that nothing would make him enter a joint business venture with Victor, and she should make the same decision. When Phyllis realized that Jack was giving her an ultimatum--either Victor or her--she questioned whether Jack was really willing to put everything second to his hatred for Victor. When he didn't deny it, Phyllis wished him happiness and walked out.

Nick and Victoria had a heart-to-heart talk at their parents' house. Nick said that he was really going to back off of Brad for good, but he didn't understand why of all the men in the world, Victoria had to be involved with Brad. Victoria said the two of them had fun together. They weren't looking for anything permanent or heavy right now. And although evidence seemed to indicate that Nick and Sharon were getting along better, Victoria couldn't remember the last time her brother had done something just for fun. Nick tried not to think of his night of passion with Phyllis.

Victor and Nikki were happy to find their children together when they came home. Nikki told them that maybe this was the first of many such happy meetings. Not only were Nick and Victoria working together, but now Nikki and Victor would be, as well, because he was going to provide the financial backing for the project she wanted to develop with Phyllis. Victoria wondered if, considering the memorial Daniel had made for Cassie and Phyllis's connection to Nikki, that family could be any closer to the Newmans.

Ashley wouldn't provide any details to Christine about Tom's shooting, but when Gloria called to tell Ashley that John was in the hospital after a car wreck, Christine was able to get Ashley emergency bail. Ashley went right to the hospital, where she and Gloria found out that John's injuries weren't life-threatening. The doctors were worried about his irregular heartbeat and warned the two women that John could not suffer any stress when he regained consciousness. Ashley told Gloria that she needed to see her father as soon as he woke up. She tried not to react when Gloria told her that Tom was also in the hospital after having been shot. In fact, Michael was with him, and Gloria thought Kevin might be, too.

While Michael and Kevin had been waiting at the hospital for news on Tom's condition, Paul had to tell Michael what he'd found out. The woman they knew as Brenda and Jennifer was actually Sheila Carter. Michael felt hopeless, knowing that if Sheila had been involved, then Lauren was probably dead. Paul had to leave to follow up some leads, saying that Scott's call to "Brenda" was their only hope of finding Sheila and getting the truth about what had happened to Lauren. After he left, the police, who'd been trying to question Tom about his shooting and Lauren's disappearance, came to Michael. Tom had refused to talk unless his attorney was present, and he'd named Michael as his attorney.

Michael went in alone to see Tom. He picked up the I.V. line that was giving Tom lifesaving medicine and asked why he shouldn't flip the switch and end Tom's life. After what Tom had done to Lauren, Michael wanted to know any reason why Tom should live. Tom struggled to tell him that the plot against Lauren had all been Sheila's, not his. As Michael started to cut off the I.V. drip, Kevin stepped up and stopped him. Kevin then told Tom that he didn't want him to die. He was glad they didn't even have the death penalty. Because Kevin wanted Tom to suffer for what he'd done to Lauren. Tom told them that it hadn't been Sheila who shot him, and he tried to say Lauren's name so they'd know she was alive. But he died before he could give them that information. Michael and Kevin walked into the waiting room and told Gloria and Ashley that Tom was dead. He hadn't told them anything except that it hadn't been Sheila who shot him. The police detective said that this changed everything, and he placed Ashley under arrest for Tom's murder while the others looked on in shock.

At the farmhouse, Sheila kept taunting Lauren for her faith that Tom had gone to find someone to rescue them from the farmhouse. She said that Tom was probably on his way to Brazil. The two of them were going to die there together, and the last thing Lauren would hear was Sheila's voice. Lauren tried to ignore Sheila, spending her energy on loosening a handrail on the stairs. When she finally broke it loose, she began banging on the door with it. Sheila laughed at her, telling her to give up. When Sheila went after Lauren, the two women struggled, and Sheila finally landed on the floor. In a rage, Lauren stomped on Sheila's leg and seemed to break it. Sheila began to scream in agony.

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Thursday, December 29, 2005
by KEL

At Genoa City Memorial, Gloria, Michael and Kevin, still reeling from Tom's death wait in the I.C.U. waiting room for word about John. Michael is curious as to why the police would be interested in Ashley as a suspect for Tom's murder. Gloria relays that she told Ashley where Tom was. It doesn't make sense to either brother. Kevin wants to know where the justice.

Kevin says that he's fantasized about Tom's death thousands of times, but now that he's actually gone, instead of feeling like a weight has been lifted, all he feels is numb. Gloria concurs that it's weird. And that she also felt that if Tom were just out of her life, all her problems would be solved. Guess we know that's not true. (Be careful what you wish for.) She says it's her fault that things are still screwed up. Kevin protests. Michael interjects that there's plenty of blame to go around for everyone involved. And he still doesn't understand why Tom was so determined to spend his last minutes with him, and what the heck was that attempted deathbed confession all about? Kevin suggests perhaps it was an apology. Michael doesn't think so. Gloria wonders if he was trying to tell him that it was Ash who shot him. Unfortunately, they'll never know. But it's better if he doesn't know it was Ashley, so he won't have to testify. It's a good thing he died before he had the chance to tell them anything. Irony sits in the corner and giggles madly.

At the GCPD, Detective Hawkins escorts Ashley back into custody surprising Christine with her reappearance. Hawk explains that Ashley's being re-arrested. When Christine argues that she has already posted bail, Hawkins drops the bomb that the charges have been upped to murder in the first degree of Tom Fisher. Christine promises to have Ash out within the hour, but the Detective isn't so certain. He's already spoken to the D.A. and recommended that bail be denied.

Later, a panicked Ashley asks Christine if bail can really be denied. Chris confirms that it's a possibility but she's going to use her mad legal skills to make sure that doesn't happen. Ash is still freaked out and Chris doesn't help matters by explaining that it depends on whether the judge decides to make an example of the heiress or not.

Hawkins attempts to question Ashley and explains that she's being charged with first-degree murder but that can all be changed. He wants to know if she planned to kill Tom Fisher or if this was self-defense. If it was a crime of passion, charges could be reduced to second-degree murder or manslaughter. Which could be the difference between life in prison or a couple of years at Camp Cupcake. Ash isn't taking the bait. Hawkins wants to know if Tom and Ash were "involved." And that if she was afraid of him, she probably had good reason to be considering his history.

Hawkins continues to question Ashley. Ashley continues to stonewall him. Hawk plays the Abby card. Ash is not amused. Hawk doesn't think she's a killer, but there must've been a reason she shot Tom. Ashley remains firm in not answering.

In the Bomb Shelter of Pink Sweatsuits and Mortal Enemies, former nurse Sheila complains that Lauren broke her ankle. Lauren admits to enjoying watching Sheila's suffering. She catches sight of Sheila's swelling ankle and Sheila tells her that it needs to be elevated. Lauren summons enough compassion to help Sheila elevate the ankle. There is screaming. Sheila pleads to Lauren to untie her so she can treat herself. She's obviously in no shape to attack her.

Lauren is not willing to risk untying Sheila even as she continues to complain about her swelling ankle. She musters up enough compassion to remove Sheila's sneaker. Sheila whimpers, then screams in pain. Sheila is able to move her toes. Lauren says she'll be fine and to quit the whining. Sheila asks for some water, offering to beg. Lauren gives her a sip of the water, but only a sip, as it's all they have. Sheila thanks her and comments that they're finally working together. If they keep this up, they could get out of there alive. "What's with the ‘we'? You're not going anywhere."

Sheila insists that they need to face facts and work together if they don't want to rot in the bomb shelter. Lauren still isn't buying it. She thinks Michael's going to find her. Sheila tells her that Michael thinks she's dead. Lauren thinks that Tom will tell him. Sheila just knows that Tom is long gone by now and that no one is coming to look for them. They have to save themselves. Lauren says they are not in this together and that she's now officially out of compassion. She resumes banging on the door and screaming for help.

J.T. returns to the loft finding Mac waiting for him. She asks him what's wrong. J.T. dodges the question and inquires about dinner. Turns out, Mac's been waiting on him for awhile. J.T. tells her there's no place he'd rather be. Mac's making a triple bypass for dinner of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans (okay, and a salad) for her man. J.T. offers to "help." She tells him he can make the salad dressing. But the burning question is "what's in salad dressing?" Before that question can be answered, Mac freaks out over forgetting something.

Turns out Mac was going for the quadruple bypass and forgot to pick up the chocolate cream pie for dessert. J.T. wants to save his arteries, but Mac insists on running out to the bakery. J.T. tells her this evening is already special—that every time they're together is special. Mac takes off. An irate Paul shows up demanding to know why J.T. isn't answering his phone. His cell's dead and Mac unplugged the main line. Paul says that he needs him to be accessible at all times. Paul needs J.T. to go with him. J.T. protests that Mac is cooking this big dinner and Paul says this isn't a request. If he wants to continue working for him, he needs to go hungry.

Paul explains that Tom is dead, gunned down. They're looking for Sheila. He gives J.T. the Cliffs Notes version of Sheila, namely that she's psychotic and mean. And he's still pissy that they've lost all this time because of J.T.'s phone issues. Mac returns.

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch (I get one freebie, okay?) Victor opens the door to find Jack claiming he's there to share his New Year's Resolutions. Victor begrudgingly lets him enter. He tells him this is no place to ponder his past mistakes. Jack tells him that his biggest regret of 2005 is letting Victor get his hands on a piece of Jabot...again. (Thanks, Bradley.) Victor claims that was a highlight for him. But Jack's resolution is to keep him the hell out of Jabot and that if he continues with his plans to finance Nikki and Phyllis' plan to open their Wellness Spas, he'll take him to court.

Victor calls Jack on holding the Spa Project up only because he showed an interest. Jack tells him that he couldn't be more wrong. He's not rethinking anything, but Nikki and Phyllis are Jabot employees and therefore the company owns any project they come up with. Victor tells Jack to bring it on. Jack says this could get really ugly. Victor wants to know why Jack is so opposed to Nikki and Phyllis developing their own idea.

Jack's not afraid of their proposal, but he stands by what he told them in the first place—the Wellness Spas are just too risky for Jabot at this time. Victor fires back that he shouldn't worry because he's planning on investing his own money. It has nothing to do with Jabot or Newman. Jack timelines out the scenario that Victor will help them launch their own spas, but shortly after that Newman Enterprises will buy up their independent company. Victor hadn't considered that. (So he says.) Jack is unamused. Before they can get into it any further, Jack gets a phone call from Gloria informing him of John's accident. He goes to leave but not before telling Victor that he wouldn't want Nikki involved in a long legal battle. Now Victor is unamused.

Phyllis pays a visit to Nicholas looking for Daniel whom she was picking up after basketball practice. Nick, who has been preparing steaks for a New Year's Eve dinner with Noah and Sharon informs her that the boys are down at the stables with Cassie's horse. A slightly uncomfortable Phyllis is ready to go pick him up there when Nick stops her and tells her she doesn't have to leave. He invites her to help him out in the kitchen. (Sadly, not a euphemism) Phyllis tells him that with the mood she's in now, he wouldn't want her around any sharp objects.

Nick wants to know what's got Phyllis in a bad mood. She explains that after Jack passed on the spa idea, Victor decided to fund it. Nick doesn't follow. Phyllis tells him that Jack is ready to fire Phyllis if she gets involved in this project with Victor. So now she has to make a choice. Nick asks to hear the spa concept. Phyllis flirtily asks how does she know he won't steal it? Nick flirts back that if she doesn't know she can trust him by now... Phyllis pitches him the spa idea about bridging the gap between medicine and cosmetics. Nick is intrigued by the idea. Jack thinks that Phyllis is stabbing him in the back by going to Victor, but Nick is in agreement that if Jack passed, why shouldn't they look elsewhere? He agrees that it might be an expensive project, but not that it's particularly risky. A surprised Phyllis asks why. Nick says that he knows Phyllis and that if she puts her heart and soul into something, it's going to succeed. "And if Abbott doesn't realize that, he's an idiot." (And I take a break for a cold shower.)

Phyllis wants to know if Nick really means that her project could be a success. Nick tells her yes. And Phyllis questions if it's worth giving up her job at Jabot. Nick wants to know since when does she play it safe? She tells him that living on the edge has gotten her into nothing but trouble. (There's a double meaning in that, I think.) He tells her that she likes the rush and they way she's talking about these spas, it's obvious she's dying to do it. She says that doesn't mean she should. He tells her that if she passes on this, she could regret it for the rest of her life. (Again with the double meanings. I think I need another shower.) She agrees that it's a window of opportunity and wouldn't want anyone else to steal the idea. Their smoldering is interrupted when Sharon fresh from rejecting Brad arrives home and is surprised to see Phyllis there. Phyllis explains that she's there waiting for Daniel. Nick lets Sharon know the steaks are marinating and they can eat whenever. An unsuspecting Sharon invites Phyllis and Daniel to stay for dinner.

Phyllis tries to graciously decline the dinner invitation, claiming to not want to intrude on their family time. Sharon says they'd love to have them. Nick agrees that they have plenty of steaks. Sharon explains that Noah is completely in awe of Daniel and it would be nice for them to spend more time together. Phyllis again declines and Sharon asks if she has plans with Jack. Before she can answer, Noah and Daniel arrive back from the stables. Sharon invites Daniel to come over and ride anytime. An increasingly uncomfortable Phyllis again tries to make her exit, but Noah asks if they can stay. He wanted to show Daniel some new video games. Phyllis realizes she's lost this battle and agrees to stay for dinner.

Noah and Daniel thank Phyllis and head upstairs to play video games. Sharon apologizes for Phyllis being put on the spot. Phyllis plays it off and says she didn't want to horn in on their family evening, but since it means so much to Noah... Sharon says that Noah's been really lonely since losing Cassie and that he worships Daniel. She thanks her for staying. Phyllis insists that she doesn't need to thank her. Sharon asks Nick to keep Phyllis occupied while she goes upstairs to change. (Sadly, that is not a euphemism either.) Once Sharon's upstairs, Phyllis apologizes and says that she feels really uncomfortable spending the evening with Nick and his wife. Nick says that she shouldn't feel uncomfortable and he's glad she's here. (Cold shower count: 3)

At Fenmore's boutique, Brad repeats his declaration of love to a stunned Sharon. Sharon tells Brad the conversation is making her uncomfortable, but Bradley presses on with his declaration. He explains that the news of Lauren's alleged death caused him to have a "When Harry Met Sally" moment of clarity realizing that he's meant to be with Sharon and he'd like that to start as soon as possible. He explains that it's over for Michael and Lauren (nice, Brad) but it could just be starting for them. He thinks it was fate that brought him to the Boutique and that Sharon is the woman of his dreams. Sharon cannot believe that he's doing this NOW...right after she got the new ring on Christmas and thinks that she and Nick are on the road to recovery. Brad invades her dance space and asks her in she's sure.

Sharon fires back that this can't happen for them now...for all the reasons they said in St. Louis. Brad thinks he was wrong in St. Louis. Sharon admits that she feels something for Brad, but she's made her decision. And that it's not like he'll be alone. He has Victoria. Brad says that he likes Victoria well enough, but she's not Sharon. A misty Sharon says she can't do it. She goes to leave, but not before telling Brad that she loves him, too. She says good-bye, leaving Bradley alone in the Boutique of Broken Dreams.

Jack arrives at the hospital and Glo fills him in on John's accident. Jack wants to know if he suffered a head injury. Glo says there was no concussion and that he'll be waking up soon. She drops the bomb that they found an irregular heartbeat upon examining him and with his past cardiac history, they're concerned. Michael and Kevin return with coffee and Jack makes his condolences to Michael about Lauren. Michael tells him about Tom's death and Ashley's supposed involvement in it. Jack wants to know if he was shot. A curious Michael picks up on the oddity of the question and wants to know how he knows that. Jack says that he never should've told Ashley where John was keeping the gun. Gloria reacts that she didn't even know that John owned a gun. Jack explains that he felt he needed one to protect his family from Terrible Tom. Jack says he warned John about it and now look where they are.

Dr. Walker fills Jack and Gloria in on John's condition. He's stable and they're monitoring his heart closely. Gloria and Jack want to see him. Dr. Walker says only one person at a time and Jack sends Gloria into her husband. Kevin takes off, overcome with emotion. Jack wants the 411 on Ashley's arrest. Michael tells him that she's being charged with first-degree murder. Jack can't understand this when they know that Tom is the man who probably killed Lauren. Michael explains that she overheard Gloria talking to Tom and went to confront him. Jack suspects she brought the gun to protect herself. Michael isn't so sure. Jack says that Ash isn't the type of person to take the law into her own hands. Michael tells him that Tom was unarmed. Jack receives a call from Chris asking him to come to the station because bail has been set at ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Jack's on his way. Michael joins him. A devastated Gloria appeals to an unconscious John that he needs to wake up and his family needs him. She begs him to wake up.

Fresh from his rejection, a rebounding Bradley visits Victor at the Ranch with one topic on his mind—Victoria. He tells Victor that Vicki is very important to him and willing to do whatever it takes to make her happy. Victor asks if he's there to seek his approval.

Brad says that he's doesn't need Victor's approval, but Victoria does. Victor says Vicki does whatever she wants, but Brad shoots back that the family's criticism has caused her a lot of pain. Victor says it's because he doesn't want her heart to be broken. Brad wants to make Vicki happy. Victor says that if Brad hurts Victoria, he won't find a place in hell to hide. Brad appeals that he's totally committed to Victoria (Now that Sharon's turned him down.) Victor says actions speak louder than words. Brad says he'll show him, but in the meantime could everyone get off their backs? They need breathing room. Victor wants to know why he came all the way out to the Ranch. Brad says it's almost a new year and it's time for fresh starts. He leaves.

Chris informs Ashley that her bail has been set at ONE MILLION DOLLARS and that she called Jack. Ash wishes that Jack didn't have to get involved and that he should be dealing with John's crisis and not her. Chris says they need to have a serious talk about what happened. She needs to know everything that happened tonight if there's any chance of getting her out of this.

Jack arrives at the police station and gets in Hawkins face about Ashley being charged with murder. Michael tries to calm him down, but Jack plows on through arguing claiming that Ashley is the victim here. Hawkins wants to know what he means by that. Just then Ashley and Chris turn the corner and Ash overhears her brother proclaiming her innocence.

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Friday, December 30, 2005

Mac came in to find Paul at the loft to pick up J.T. for a night of work, even though it was New Year's Eve. J.T. told her that Tom Fisher was dead. After Paul and J.T. left, Kevin came home. He couldn't understand why he was so upset by Tom's death. Tom had never loved him or been a father to him. He'd abused him and killed Lauren. But Kevin broke down as he talked about how he'd hoped to be able to eventually forgive Tom for everything he'd done; now it was too late. Mac held Kevin, assuring him that one day he would find peace about all of this. He was nothing like his father; he could always find a reason to believe that life was good. When Kevin kissed her, Mac told him not to apologize. She was glad he could share his feelings with her.

Paul and J.T. rode into the countryside outside Genoa City where J.T. had once tailed Sheila and Tom. Paul was convinced that Sheila was still in the area hiding out. He'd found out there were three vacant farmhouses in the general vicinity, and he and J.T. needed to search every one of them. But they came up empty-handed after searching the first property.

Locked inside the shelter under a farmhouse, Sheila couldn't believe that she and Lauren would be ushering in the new year together. In fact, Lauren should feel lucky. She wasn't supposed to see 2006. Lauren began to explore their shelter and found cans of old food and a radio with some batteries. She wouldn't touch the food, although Sheila ate some. Later, Lauren splinted and bandaged Sheila's injured ankle. But Sheila began to lose what was left of her sanity, and even Lauren seemed to give up hope, when they heard on the radio that Tom Fisher had been killed and Ashley Abbott arrested for his murder. Sheila said that she didn't know Ashley had it in her and began to laugh hysterically.

At the police station, Jack exploded at the detective handling Ashley's arrest. Although Christine and Michael tried to get him to shut up, Jack insisted that if Ashley had done anything, it was because she was terrified of Tom and had killed him in self-defense. Moreover, anyone who knew Tom wouldn't blame her for it. Ashley begged Jack to stop talking so they could go to the hospital and check on their father's condition after his car wreck.

At the hospital, Ashley insisted that she needed to see her father as soon as he regained consciousness. Gloria, Michael, and Jack couldn't understand the way Ashley was behaving, and Christine met privately with Ashley to find out what had happened. Ashley explained that she found out where Tom was when he'd called Gloria. After telling Gloria to call the police, she'd left, desperate to keep Tom from coming to the house. But Ashley didn't tell Christine what she remembered. She'd seen her father and Tom struggle with the gun, then it went off, and Tom was shot. Her father was upset and drove away without seeing Ashley. She'd picked up the gun, which was when the police pulled up. Unaware of the truth, Christine asked Ashley if she shot Tom in self defense. Ashley said that Tom was definitely shot in self-defense.

Phyllis was uncomfortable sharing her New Year's Eve at Nick and Sharon's house, but Noah wanted to spend more time with Daniel. Sharon told them how glad she was that their families had gotten closer after what they'd gone through because of Cassie. She and Nick considered them friends. Later, Daniel and Noah went back to the stable because Daniel had mislaid his cell phone. When Nick walked Phyllis to her car, she told him how guilty she felt about what had happened between them. Sharon was such a wonderful person, and Nick was a lucky man. Nick said that Sharon had been tempted by Brad in St. Louis, although nothing had happened. But Sharon was only human, as were Nick and Phyllis. He suggested that they chalk up what had happened between them as bad judgment and move on. Phyllis started to give him a kiss for the new year, but she left and Nick turned to go back inside.

Brad and Victoria were having a special New Year's Eve dinner with Abby at Brad's house. When Abby found out that people made resolutions for a new year, she said she had one. She knew how much her father liked Victoria, so she was going to try to like her, too. After Abby went to bed, Victoria said that she remembered how much she'd resented Ashley when she was a little girl. She'd gotten over it, so she had hope that Abby would, too. Later, as they danced, Brad told Victoria that he loved her. Victoria said that she loved him, too. When they broke open their party crackers, Victoria found a little scroll with Brad's resolution for the coming year: to get Victoria to marry him.

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