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 Recaps for The week of January 2, 2006
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Monday, January 2, 2006

J.T. returned home to the loft after his night working with Paul and was shocked to find Mac and Kevin asleep on the couch. Mac told J.T. that she tried to stay awake so that she and J.T. could spend time together on New Year's Eve. J.T. told a disappointed Mac how important this case was -- that Lauren's killer was still out there. When Mac asked why it couldn't wait until morning, an increasingly irritated J.T. told her that crime investigations don't work that way and that Paul had already chewed him out because Mac had unplugged the phone. When Mac explained that she did that because she wanted to spend time alone with her boyfriend, an exasperated J.T. went to take a shower. Kevin observed their interaction uncomfortably. When J.T. left to shower, Mac told Kevin that perhaps she had made a mistake moving in with J.T. -- that it wasn't what she expected, and perhaps they were on different wavelengths. Kevin told her that she shouldn't stay if she was uncomfortable. There was a knock at the door and a delivery boy was there with food -- but neither Mac nor Kevin knew anything about it. J.T. emerged from the shower and told Mac that he had felt bad about what happened last night and had ordered brunch to be delivered to make up for it. Mac told J.T. she couldn't stay mad at him after he had done such a sweet thing. Mac asked Kevin to join them but Kevin, obviously feeling uncomfortable, said he needed to leave. As they ate, J.T. told Mac how beautiful she looked. He then told her that he wanted to talk to her about their living arrangements -- that he wanted to make some changes.

At Genoa City Memorial Hospital, outside John's room, Jack informed Gloria that he spoke to Dr. Walker and that John was still unconscious but his condition was stable and that he would pull through this. Gloria said she knew that, but she wanted to be at John's side, rather than Ashley, who had insisted on being inside the room alone with John.

In John's room Ashley asked the nurse how long it would be before John woke up -- she said it could be 5 minutes or 5 hours. Ashley flashed back to the scene in the alley again -- Tom telling John that John didn't want to kill him -- their struggle for the gun and the gun going off, Tom falling to the ground, John screaming, "Oh my God" and then driving off in his car just as Ashley appeared on the scene. Ashley started to talk to the unconscious John -- telling him that she saw him shoot Tom and that she had been arrested when the police saw her with the gun in her hand. She told (an unconscious) John that she had told Christine that she shot Tom, but that she was concerned about what would happen to Abby, and that she was afraid to leave in case he regained consciousness while she was out of the room. Ashley then began thinking to herself that everything should be okay -- she could get a jury to acquit her if she claimed self-defense. She then started speaking aloud telling John that it would be all right and that Jack and Gloria simply couldn't understand. She said that she had to take the rap because jail would kill John and she wouldn't let that happen. As she turned, she saw Gloria and Jack standing in the doorway. Jack suggested that Ashley take a break and Gloria said she wanted to spend some time with her husband. A reluctant Ashley told the nurse that she was going to step out for a few minutes but wanted the nurse to tell her the moment John regained consciousness.

At Brad's house, he closed the door behind Abby leaving for school as Victoria came down the steps. Brad thanked her for making herself scarce until Abby left and they kissed. Victoria said she didn't want to end their perfect night on a bad note -- after all Abby had made a New Year's resolution to make an effort to get along with Victoria. Brad asked Victoria if she remembered that he had proposed to her last night. Vicki said she had -- but she also remembered that she hadn't given Brad an answer, and she didn't think it was unreasonable for her to take her time before giving him an answer. Brad told Vicki that they loved each other, but she said she thought they were taking it slow -- and now there would be the question of her being Abby's stepmother. Vicki told Brad that she had looked deep into her heart and decided to marry him -- but if down the road Brad decides he rushed into things, she would have his head on a platter! Brad presented Vicki with a beautiful ring. When Vicki said that Brad must have been sure of himself he said he had given it a 50/50 shot. He slipped the ring on her finger and they kissed. When Vicki suggested that they go back upstairs Brad reminded her that she had called a staff meeting for this morning. Vicki told Brad she had to go home to change and once again told Brad how beautiful the ring was -- he said it was a beautiful ring for a beautiful lady. Just as Victoria left, the phone rang and Ashley told Brad to get over to Genoa City Memorial ICU as soon as possible. Brad got his coat and left.

Back outside John's room at the hospital, Ashley told a just-arrived Brad that John was stable, and that she had been charged with a crime. Ashley told Brad that they needed to put on a united front to tell Abby the news as she would be frightened. Brad asked Ashley if the charge was assault, but was shocked to learn that Tom died and that she was charged with his murder. Brad started to ask her a lot of questions -- like how Ashley got a gun, whether Tom was armed, etc. Ashley simply told Brad that she had no choice. The nurse told Ashley that John was awakening. Ashley asked Brad to bring Abby to the Abbott house, and he promised he would as he left.

Ashley entered John's room and asked if he was waking up. John was stirring in and out of consciousness. Gloria and Jack both encouraged John and welcomed him back. John clearly had no idea where he was or that he had been in a car accident.

At the Newman Ranch, Nikki and Sharon were discussing the New Year's Eve dinner with Phyllis and Daniel. Sharon told Nikki that Daniel was helping Nick coach Noah's basketball team and that Noah liked Daniel so that the families' friendship was all right with her. Nikki asked Sharon if Phyllis had said anything about leaving town as Daniel had called her and told her that Phyllis was gone but that Nikki was supposed to have had a meeting with her that morning. Sharon told Nikki that things were going much better between her and Nick. Nikki was glad to hear that, and asked her if Victoria had stopped by. When Sharon said she hadn't heard from Victoria for days, Nikki surmised that she had been spending time with Brad. Nikki didn't sound too happy about that and left to get some sugar for their coffee. While Nikki was out of the room Sharon remembered Brad professing his love for her. When Nikki returned she said that she wasn't wild about Victoria and Brad but didn't wish to create conflict. Nikki pressed Sharon for information -- she asked if Brad had said anything to Sharon about Victoria in St. Louis. Sharon told Nikki they shouldn't be having this conversation, but Nikki told her that they were family and that if there was something that Victoria needed to know that Sharon should tell her. Sharon said that Brad would never mislead a woman and that Victoria and Brad were just in the "getting to know you" phase.

Victoria entered at that moment looking for a business suit to wear to her meeting. As Sharon commented on how happy Victoria looked, Nikki noticed the engagement ring on Victoria's hand. Sharon reacts uncomfortably. Victoria commented that neither Nikki nor Sharon were congratulating her on the news. Nikki said that it was so sudden and Victoria told them how surprised she was that Brad had proposed on New Year's Eve. While Victoria described how Brad proposed, an obviously upset Sharon left, which Victoria thought was rude. Nikki told her to forget that -- and to think about how Victor and Nick will react to the news. The doorbell rang and it was Brad. He kissed Victoria, who told him that the cat was out of the bag -- that Nikki had spotted the ring. Nikki told Brad she was having a hard time with the situation. When Victoria said it was a simple situation -- that they were just two people in love who wanted to spend their lives together, Brad told Victoria that things had just gotten a lot more complicated.

Michael had a dream sequence in which he imagined a tranquil morning married to Lauren -- Lauren had made waffles, they kissed, and Michael said he will call Chantal and tell her that he was going to be late. In the dream, they kissed and agreed they should do this more often.

The doorbell to Michael's condo rang and Paul was there with some coffee. Michael told Paul that he had been dreaming about Lauren and that it was almost too real -- that it was almost a message of hope from Lauren. The doorbell rang again and Scott came in. Paul informed Scott and Michael that they found Tom's rental van and among the many sets of prints in the van they have so far identified Tom's and Sheila's. Scott realized that proved Sheila was with Tom in Florida and Paul was sure that Sheila masterminded the whole thing. Scott apologized to Michael for blaming him and Kevin for bringing Tom into Lauren's life when all along it had been Scott's fault. Scott and Michael embraced and Michael said they needed to be strong -- that Lauren would have wanted it that way. Paul told Scott and Michael that the police are certain that Sheila returned to Genoa City with Tom since she had only gotten part of what she wanted -- and that Scott and Michael should remain extremely vigilant. Scott mentioned that the phone message that he had left on Brenda/Sheila's voice mail was not doing the trick and he suggested using himself as bait to lure Sheila out into the open. Paul and Michael were vehemently against Scott putting himself in danger. Scott insisted on it, and Michael asked how they could make it work. Paul said they would have to put Scott in a situation where Sheila could think she could get to him -- like a memorial service for Lauren where Sheila could blend in with a lot of people. Michael said there was no way there was going to be a memorial service.

At the farmhouse, Lauren whispered Michael's name as she awoke from a dream. Sheila yelled that he wasn't there. When Lauren told Sheila that someone would find them, Sheila told Lauren she was pathetic, and that if Tom had told anyone they were down there they would have been freed by now. She laughed demonically while saying that they were both going to die down there. Lauren said she wouldn't give up hope and found a loose cinderblock in the wall. Sheila volunteered to help Lauren remove the block, and Lauren untied her (except for her hands) and told her she would be sorry if she tried anything. They worked on pushing the block and with a final shove it came loose but broke a gas line on the other side of the wall. They heard the hissing and realized there was a gas leak. Lauren pulled a table up to an air vent and told Sheila that she needed to get up there with her or she would die. Sheila, laying on the floor, coughing and gagging, told Lauren that she couldn't get up -- that she needed Lauren's help.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2006

The gas continued to leak at the abandoned house where Lauren and Sheila are trapped. Lauren found a vent in the wall to outside fresh air. Sheila deliriously shouted for Lauren to leave her alone, but Lauren continued to help Sheila and got her up on a table so they could both get some fresh air. Lauren found a blanket and a mattress and plugged the hole in the wall where the gas was entering, although both Lauren and Sheila were unsure if the vent would clear the room of the gas. Sheila asked Lauren why she saved her and Lauren responded that that was the difference between the two of them -- that Lauren would never want to see another human being die, unlike Sheila, who didn't have an ounce of decency. Lauren pondered ways to get the air duct off as a possible means of escape. Lauren complained about being incredibly hungry and Sheila told her that it would be the lack of water, not the lack of food, that would do them in. Sheila suggested she look in the box where she found the food. Lauren found a shovel in the box and started to pry the air duct loose, but she needed help to get it off. She asked Sheila for help, but Sheila said the only way she could help would be if Lauren untied her hands. Lauren looked at Sheila suspiciously.

Scott was upset when Michael told him that he didn't want a memorial service for Lauren. Paul told Michael that this might be their only chance to catch Sheila. Michael was still resistant and told Paul to let the police do their job and catch her. Paul said that it would be weeks before the police in Florida even start thinking of Sheila as a serious suspect in Lauren's death. Michael disagreed, saying that they knew she wasn't locked up in an asylum and would go after her. Scott said that if anyone caught Sheila, it would have to be them. Paul explained that Sheila would probably show up in disguise, but he would have plenty of operatives planted in the crowd looking out for her. Michael became upset, saying he lost the love of his life and all Paul can think about is spy toys. Paul told Michael that wasn't true -- that he wanted to find Sheila and make her pay. Scott said that even if they didn't go after Sheila he still wanted to have the memorial for Lauren -- people had been calling him asking him about service arrangements. Michael finally agreed to have the service. Paul told Michael that they would plan it all -- but right now he wanted to touch base with J.T. to check to see if he had any more leads on Sheila's possible whereabouts. Michael interrupted Paul, saying he needed to be alone. Paul asked Scott to accompany him to J.T.'s, for Scott's protection. Scott and Paul left.

At the loft, Mac asked J.T. what was wrong with their living arrangements. J.T. said he wanted the place to themselves, and thought it would be best if Kevin and Scott left. Kevin was in the next room, listening to their entire conversation. Mac was resistant to J.T.'s idea and thought it sounded insensitive -- but J.T. said of course he would let things "cool down" before he asked them to move out. J.T. realized that Kevin and Mac are close friends and owned a business together, but felt that didn't mean they needed to live together. When Mac asked J.T. if he wasn't being a little selfish, Kevin, still in hiding, smirked. Mac asked if J.T. didn't want to share her with anyone and J.T. replied that living together meant living alone, and they certainly didn't need help with the rent. J.T. asked Mac to tell Kevin, but Mac wanted J.T. to. At that point Kevin emerged from hiding and made a quick exit, saying he had places to go and people to see. Outside the loft door, Kevin had an angry and hurt look on his face. J.T. asked Mac to please talk to Kevin, and told Mac that the reason she liked having him around was because he worshipped the ground she walked on. When Mac said it's not like Kevin is in the way, J.T. asked about those mornings when Mac walked around with nothing on but a T-shirt and he followed her -- just then Paul and Scott entered. Paul said that Sheila was on the loose but Scott had come up with an idea that might find her. Mac decided to leave to let them conduct their business. Paul asked J.T. if he still had the list of the people who lived in the country and told Scott to get on the phone to start calling people about the memorial service.

While Scott was on the phone, Paul and J.T. reviewed their lists and J.T. said that no one on his list had seen anything. Paul said he was down to just a few people he hadn't spoken to personally. J.T. said he would retrace the route that Tom and Sheila took the night he followed them, and Paul thought that if Sheila was in Genoa City she would be somewhere along that route. J.T. said that they had the memorial service as a backup plan. Paul vowed that they would find that Sheila before she had a chance to claim another victim.

Back at Michael's condo, Kevin came to visit, and Michael told him that Paul and Scott were planning Lauren's memorial service. When Kevin said that Michael needed to say goodbye, Michael kept saying that he couldn't accept in his heart and soul that Lauren was actually dead. Michael told Kevin that he was the only one he could talk to about this -- that others would think him insane, but that the connection between him and Lauren was so strong that he would really feel it if Lauren was dead. Kevin asked Michael if Michael wanted him to move back in -- then admitted that he overheard that he was going to be evicted from the apartment. Michael smiled and told Kevin that it was fine for him to stay there. Kevin then asked Michael if Scott could stay too and Michael was fine with that. Michael reiterated that although he didn't think Lauren was dead he still got lonely at the condo. Kevin thought then that it was a great idea for him and Scott to move in.

At the Chancellor Estate, Mac was commiserating with Katherine about what happened with J.T. asking her to have Kevin and Scott move out. Mac told Katherine that while she felt she could tell Kevin anything, she still had to be a little careful around J.T. Katherine asked Mac if she thought it was fair to keep J.T. around as a lover and Kevin around as a confidante. Mac asked Katherine if she thought that she was taking advantage of Kevin, and told Katherine that Kevin was smart and wasn't pining away for her. Katherine asked who was going to get their way? Katherine told Mac that in every relationship there was a balance of power and a need to compromise. Mac told Katherine she wasn't ready to ask Kevin to move out. Katherine asked Mac if it would be fair to say that she wasn't ready to live with J.T. as a married couple. Mac thought that perhaps she wasn't ready for that.

At the Newman Ranch, Brad told Victoria and Nikki about Ashley being arrested for the murder of Tom Fisher. Both women were shocked. Brad told Victoria that this might change things -- when he proposed to Victoria it was with the understanding that he would be a part-time dad with shared custody, but if God forbid Ashley went to prison that Abby would be living with him full time. Brad said he would understand if Victoria wanted to back out of the proposal. Victoria said she was touched with Brad's concern, but there was no way she was backing out. Victoria suggested that they go together to pick up Abby at school and tell her the news before she heard it elsewhere. Brad said that he had already done that, and they left to pick Abby up.

Victor arrived at the ranch and Nikki filled him in on Tom's murder and Ashley's arrest. When Victor asked if Ashley was out on bail, Nikki begged him to please not take this on as a problem -- that they had a problem of their own -- Brad and Victoria had just gotten engaged. A few minutes later, Nikki got off the phone with Scott, who had invited her to Lauren's memorial service. They discussed how tragic Lauren's death was and then returned to the topic of Brad and Victoria's engagement. Nikki asked Victor not to hold Ashley's hand through this -- and that Ashley's foolish acts always attracted Victor's attention. Victor said he had to do something to help Ashley and Abby. Nikki suggested that Victor talk to his other daughter (Victoria) about her engagement to Brad, and to see if they could keep her from getting more involved with Brad. Victor didn't understand why Brad was pursuing Victoria at this time, but that she was a grown woman and if she wanted to marry him there wasn't anything they could do about it. He said that on the other hand that Abby was a helpless little girl and would need his help. Nikki agreed as Victor left. When Victor was out the door, an upset Nikki said, "Damn you, Ashley -- what have you gotten us into now?"

At Genoa City Memorial, Jack, Gloria and Ashley were visiting John, who is awake but has no memory beyond the point of the phone ringing at home while he was in the kitchen and then the phone stopped ringing -- he assumed Gloria had answered it. He remembered nothing more, and wondered what he was doing in the hospital. They told him he had just been in a minor car accident and was going to be fine. A nurse came in and asked them to leave so that John could get his rest. Outside John's room, Ashley told Jack and Gloria that Brad was getting Abby out of school to tell her what happened so she was leaving, and strongly reiterated that she didn't want John told anything that had happened regarding Tom's death and Ashley's arrest. Ashley told them that if John started speaking any nonsense to keep him away from other people. When Jack stepped away to talk to a nurse, Gloria asked if she could help with Abby. Ashley said no and left.

At Brad's, Abby wanted to know what was going on. Victoria left for the kitchen to make some cocoa for Abby, but Abby was very worried about what is going on. Victoria returned with the cocoa and just as Brad was about to tell Abby what happened Ashley came in. She was not happy to see Victoria there, and told Victoria that Brad and she could handle telling Abby just fine. Victoria realized this was an invitation for her to go, and when Ashley left the room for a moment Victoria told Brad she would leave. Brad thanked her for being so understanding, and when Victoria asked Brad if he was going to tell them about the engagement, Brad said he thought this was definitely not the time to do that. Victoria left, and Ashley returned. Abby at first thought Ashley might be ill again, but they reassured her this wasn't the case. They told Abby that Tom was dead and Abby said she remembered him being a nice man. Brad told Abby that Tom was not a nice man, and that she might hear things about Ashley being involved in Tom's death, but not to believe them -- that the police would investigate and find out that Ashley "did it" to protect herself. Abby asked then if everything would be okay. When reassured that it was, she asked if it would be okay for her to go back to school to make decorations for the winter show. As Abby left to get her coat, Ashley thanked Brad for being so sweet and sensitive with Abby. Brad's mood changed and he said that he didn't know if he believed one word he just said to Abby. He asked Ashley if she was out of her mind, and what was she thinking?

At the nurse's station at Genoa City Memorial, Jack saw Victor. Victor asked Jack what happened to his father and Jack said that he was fine, and asleep right now. Victor repeated his question: what happened to your father?

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Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Brad told Ashley that he couldn't understand why she'd left the house with a gun to meet Tom on the night that he was killed. If she felt that her family, including Abby, was threatened by Tom, she should have left things to the police. Ashley said she was doing what she had to do. The most important thing to her was that Abby was okay.

At the hospital, Jack and Victor had as civil a talk as they could have. Victor was concerned about John, but he was also worried about Ashley. It was unthinkable that she should be charged for murder after defending herself and her daughter against Tom Fisher. Jack said that the weird part was there had been no indication that Tom was threatening Abby. Victor promised any kind of help he could provide, and Jack thanked him. For once, they were on the same side.

Victor went to the Carlton house to talk to Brad, but only Ashley was there. Just as he had with Jack, Victor promised to help her in any way he could. He would talk to Glenn Richards on her behalf, and he was also willing to testify for her. Ashley thanked him, saying she hadn't known until then how much she needed to hear kind words from someone. Victor was a good friend. Victor told her that he wasn't doing this just for her; he didn't want Abby to have to spend one day without her mother because Ashley was in jail.

Christine was concerned that Michael was keeping information from her. She didn't know how she could help Ashley if she didn't know the full details of what had happened with Tom, including Tom's accusations that Michael and Ashley had set him up to be busted for drugs. Michael said that was a dead case now that Tom was gone. Christine said that Ashley's case wasn't dead, and whatever involvement she'd had with Tom might be used against her. More than that, Christine was worried about Michael on a personal level. She'd seen him come so far from the man he used to be, but ever since Tom Fisher had shown up in Genoa City, it almost seemed like Michael was slipping into old habits. Michael embraced Christine and said that he could never be the man he once was, thanks to her and Lauren. Later, when he was alone, Michael remembered waking up with Lauren on their honeymoon. Lauren had promised that they could spend the rest of their lives together, and Michael broke down, wishing her promise could have come true.

After Ashley saw Victor, she went to the hospital to check on her father. Jack said that John was resting and still didn't remember anything about the night of his car accident. He told her that Victor had been there, and Ashley said that she'd seen him, too. He'd offered to help her. Jack reminded her that nothing from Victor came without a price. Jack noticed how distracted Ashley was, especially after she received a phone call. It was Michael, telling Ashley that he needed to talk to her immediately. Without explaining to Jack who was on the phone, Ashley left the hospital after telling her brother to call her if their father seemed to start remembering things.

Nick and Sharon ran into each other at the Newman house right after Sharon found out where she could find Brad. Both of them were annoyed about the news that Victoria and Brad were engaged, but Sharon warned Nick that if he confronted his sister, Victoria would become more determined to marry Brad. Nick agreed and said that it was Brad he should be confronting. Sharon asked Nick if he knew any reason why Phyllis had left town so abruptly. When Nick wondered why she was concerned, Sharon said that Phyllis had missed a meeting with Nikki, and Nikki was upset.

Sharon went to the athletic club, where she confronted Brad. She couldn't believe that he hadn't waited even a day after declaring his love for Sharon to propose to Victoria. Clearly, he was making a mistake that wasn't fair to either him or Victoria. Brad said that it was possible to love two people at the same time. After all, Sharon had said she loved him, but she was committed to making her marriage to Nick work. Since she'd made that choice, he'd chosen to spend his life with the other woman he loved. Or was Sharon regretting her decision? Sharon tearfully said the only thing that had changed was that she could now see him for the lying bastard he was.

Nick ran into Daniel at Crimson Lights and asked if he knew why Phyllis had suddenly left town. Daniel wondered if his mother was in some kind of trouble, and Nick said none that he knew of. Daniel was eager to talk to Devon, so he left Nick alone on the patio. Nick took out his cell phone and considered calling Phyllis, then he changed his mind. As he was putting his phone away, it rang. He answered it and said, "Phyllis?"

Neil and Devon had a talk at Crimson Lights. Neil and Dru had persuaded Lily to write a letter breaking things off with Daniel once and for all. But Neil thought it would be better if Devon gave Daniel the letter. Devon didn't really want to, but he finally agreed to take the letter. He told Neil that his mother was no longer working at the boutique. She'd gotten a full-time job somewhere else. Neil said that was good news because it meant she was becoming more independent.

Later, Neil went to Dru's office at Newman. She asked if he'd given Daniel the letter, and Neil explained that he was letting Devon do it. It might be easier for Daniel if the bad news came from someone other than Lily's father. Dru was indifferent to Daniel's feelings. When Neil told her that Yolanda had gotten a job, Dru already knew. Apparently Yolanda had talked Sharon into getting her an entry level job at Newman. She was working in mail room. Although Dru didn't seem thrilled about that, Neil reminded her that if Yolanda was making a good income, she'd be moving out of their home sooner.

Daniel approached Devon and asked for news about Lily. He wanted to know how she was doing and if she'd liked the gift Devon had taken to her from him. Devon said that Lily was fine, but when Daniel pressed him for more details, Devon tucked the letter in his coat pocket and stalled for time by going to get a cup of coffee.

Sheila finally persuaded Lauren to untie her hands so Sheila could help pry the grate off and give them a better chance of escaping. Later, Lauren even handed the shovel over. Sheila worked at the grate as Lauren took a break and watched her. Finally, Sheila needed a break, too, and she asked Lauren why she was staring at her. Lauren wondered if everything Sheila had done was worth it, considering where they'd ended up. Sheila tried to explain that she hadn't always been the way she was. Life had turned her that way. At first, Lauren taunted Sheila about her miserable childhood, but later, she began to feel sympathy for her. When she asked her for more details about who'd hurt her as a child, Sheila said it was pointless to talk about it now. In a fit of hopeless rage, she began beating at the grate with the shovel, and it finally came off.

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Thursday, January 5, 2006

Via phone, Kevin checks up on Mikey and inquires about speaking at Lauren's memorial service. Michael is still distraught and finding it hard to let go of the memory of his wife. He hasn't written his eulogy yet. After hanging up with Kevin, Michael takes a seat at his desk and tries to write but is unable to get past writing Lauren's name on the paper. He tells himself that it's "not the right time." He answers the door to find Ashley who has come to see him about her case. Michael tells her that unless she has any objections, he wants to take over her case. Ash has none and she is relieved.

Michael thought it would take more convincing, but Ashley explains it's better all around if Michael handles the case. There are too many things that Chris isn't aware of, namely Tom's drug arrest and the roles that Michael and Ash played in it. Ashley is relieved that there's one part of her life that she doesn't have to worry about slipping up somewhere. This piques Michael's curiosity as to what the other parts could be. When Ash tries to play it off, Michael asks if there's something more he needs to know about this case. He tells her that she needs to be completely honest with him. She knows that, but she's leaving for the hospital.

At the hospital Gloria and Jack discuss John (who is on the mend) and Glo inquires about Ashley. Jack informs her that Ashley went to see Michael. Gloria thinks it's sweet that Ash would want to support Michael in his time of need and Jack sets her straight that it's more likely about her case. Gloria and Jack reassure each other that if anyone can get these charges dropped, it's Michael. But Gloria has a pressing question, how can they be so sure it was even John's gun? Jack says there was only one gun in the Abbott family that he knew of.

Gloria is still incredulous to the fact that John owns a gun. Jack explains that it was to protect Glo and Ash. Jack wishes that John had been in the house when Tom called to talk Ashley out of it. Gloria says that he was there. She's almost certain he was still in the house. At least she thinks he was.

She recounts the night for Jack, noting that it was unlike John to take off without saying good-bye. Ash joins them and says that John probably had a meeting and rushed off. Jack wants to know how her meeting with Michael went. She tells them that Michael is taking over her defense. They're stunned. Ashley visits with John. Her dad tells her that she looks stressed out and he thinks he knows why.

Ash and John share a sweet conversation about supporting each other and surviving. He sends his daughter home to get some rest. He wants to know if everything is all right. Ash lies that it is. Outside Jack and Gloria discuss Michael's taking over of the case. Gloria wants to know where John kept the gun—the sideboard that locks. Gloria tries to piece together events and figure out when Ashley got the gun. Since Glo left the room for a moment after the phone call, that must've been when it happened. Both are unsure, though.

Glo confronts Ashley as she exits John's room. She wants to know what really happened the night of the shooting.

Paul and J.T. are still looking for Sheila from inside Paul's office. Paul finishes up a phone call with Scott where he learns that Sheila still hasn't returned any of Scott's calls even though he's left all the details of Lauren's memorial service for her. J.T. isn't sure it's the best way to draw Sheila out of hiding. They're planning security for the service. Paul's senses that they're just MISSING something.

Paul and J.T. start to go over the phone interviews from the farmers again, when Paul has a light bulb moment and wonders if he's been asking the wrong questions. Paul calls The Marsden Family (Yeah, I don't know) who are vacationing in Arizona. He grills them about suspicious lights or activity at the farmhouse across the road from them. Mr. Marsden, not thrilled with being interrupted on his vacation is only semi-helpful. J.T. wonders if it's worth a look. Paul says it's a long shot and he's due at the chapel. He tells J.T. to finish going over the file and exits stage right. J.T. is confused as to where his partner is going.

In the bomb shelter of Pink Sweatsuits and Less Mortal Enemies Than Before, Sheila and Lauren have managed to open the vent, only to be deterred by the giant column blocking them from squeezing through. The ceiling starts to slowly cave in when Lauren comes up with a plan to move the column a few feet away so they can fit through the opening. Their gym memberships pay off and they are successful in moving it. Lauren leaves Sheila holding the column in place while she goes back to the vent. Lauren discovers a metal grate covering the vent inside. Sheila, ever the optimist, proclaims they're going to die. Lauren is NOT giving up. She's going to see her husband and her son. The ceiling? Still caving in.

An exhausted Lauren takes a break from attacking the grate. Sheila is still not moving, she's resigned herself to death. Lauren didn't think that maniacs ever gave up. Sheila asks if Lauren wants to know why she is the way she is. Lauren is curious, but not letting her guard down. She doesn't care what her sob story is. There are a lot of people who were worse off and still ended up as decent people. Nothing excuses Sheila's behavior. Sheila calls Lauren on her past optimism.

At Newman Enterprises Yolanda overhears Neil and Drucilla discussing her newfound employment at NE. It seems that Dru has about reached the end of her rope with Yolanda popping up everywhere she already is.

It's not that Dru doesn't think Yolanda's progress is exemplary, but they did not adopt her. There need to be limits and Dru has hit hers. Dru wants to talk to Sharon and find out how Yo got the job. Switching gears, Neil wonders if Devon has given Daniel the letter from Lily yet. They agree that the sooner Lily and Daniel are over for good, the better.

Sierra and Devon meet up at Crimson Lights. Before Devon can tell Sierra about the New Hampshire trip, Daniel shows up and Devon makes haste for the patio. Daniel is on the hunt for Devon to hear about the trip, too.

At the coffeehouse, Sierra tells Devon the coast is clear. She wants to know why Devon is hiding from Daniel. After making her promise to keep it a secret, Devon reveals that Neil gave Devon a "Dear John" letter from Lily for Daniel breaking up with him. The catch is, Lily was made to write it under duress and gave Devon a second letter negating the first letter. Devon is caught in the middle and not sure what to do with either letter. Sierra urges him to give Daniel the right letter from Lily. Daniel comes back in and demands the haps from New Hampshire. He's not leaving until Devon shares.

Devon tells Daniel he has no news for him. There was no time to talk to Lily alone. When Daniel inquires about the gift, Devon says he wasn't there when she opened it. Daniel isn't buying it. When Neil shows up at the coffeehouse, Daniel makes for the patio. Neil gathers incorrectly that Devon gave him the letter. Devon tells him that he can't do it. He won't be the one to lie to Daniel. Lily wouldn't forgive him. Neil snits that he'll do it himself and that he's disappointed in Devon. On the patio, Neil asks to speak to Daniel. Inside, Sierra tells Devon that now he has to give Daniel the real letter from Lily. Devon still needs to think about it.

On the patio, Nick's mystery caller reveals herself to be Phyllis who is standing at the front door to the Ranch. Nick tries for casual chit chat but Phyllis says since his number popped on her Caller I.D., shouldn't he be answering that? She wants to know why he called her and hung up.

Nick tells her he was calling about her sudden trip out of town and is everything okay? Phyllis tells him that everything's fine, but is curious to know how he found out about her trip. As it happens, Nikki had shared her displeasure about being stood up for their meeting this morning. That's why Phyllis is at the Ranch, to apologize and explain. Nick flirts a little concern over Nikki giving her a hard time, but Phyllis hasn't had a chance to get inside yet. The phone call and Nick's voice distracted her. Their phone flirting is interrupted by Nikki opening the door. She's displeased at Phyllis for missing the meeting and now for using the porch as her own private phone booth. A smiling Nick tells Phyllis to hang up and they'll talk later. Off the hook, Phyllis makes up a story about a package delivery gone awry. Nikki wants to know one good reason why she should let Phyllis in the house.

Nikki rips into Phyllis and her unprofessionalism. That kind of erratic behavior doesn't fly with her. Phyllis deftly moves into the house past a still ranting Nikki and explains that she was out of down doing research FOR their project. She was at a Wellness Center in Chicago that she thought might be similar to their concept. She apologizes for her erratic behavior and leaving without notice. She says it's over. It's completely in the past.

Later, Phyllis explains to Nikki that the Chicago spa is nothing like what they're planning. "Yet." Nikki counters and Phyllis agrees that getting the centers up and running is a priority. Nikki is bored with Phyllis' apologies. Conversation shifts to John and Ashley. Phyllis says she called Jack to offer her support and Jack said that he'd get back to her. Nikki observes that things with Phyllis and Jack are not going well. She clichés that the course of true love never did run smoothly. Phyllis concurs that it's the truth where she's concerned...and maybe she looks for trouble—maybe she can't leave well enough alone. (Double meaning!) Nikki catches the bait and calls Phyllis on it. She wants to know why Phyllis looks like she just got caught with her hand in the cookie jar. When Phyllis protests, Nikki starts to connect the dots and asks who she was on the phone with when she opened the door. Phyllis protests too much and repeats her delivery story. Nikki wants to know if there's something happening in her life that she should know about.

A defensive Phyllis tells Nikki that her personal life is off limits. Nikki argues that if they're going to be partners, they can't keep secrets. Phyllis insists that she doesn't have any secrets and that she's growing tired of Nikki assuming the worst of her. Nikki didn't mean to offend. The women are interrupted by Nicholas who arrives unexpectedly. Nikki has to jet off to a meeting leaving the room full the chemical energy of Nick and Phyllis. Nick claims he didn't think Phyllis would still be there. Phyllis tells him they had a lot to get through and it took longer than expected. She goes to leave when Nick stops her. He wants to know, "Your leaving town—did that have anything to do with us?"

Nick meets up with Victor at the Athletic Club. Victor's giving a punching bag hell and invites his son to spar with him. Nick asks if the punching bag resembles Brad's face and if that's the case, no thanks. Both father and son are less than thrilled with "Brictoria's" shotgun engagement. Victor comments that Nick and Sharon seemed to have moved beyond their grief and that not many couples could survive that. Nick says that they're trying. Victor admires how they've dealt with Cassie's death and moved on. Nick is uncomfortable being held up as a paragon of virtue and wants to change the subject. Victor says that wasn't his intention and that he's proud of him. Nick repeats that he shouldn't have any unrealistic expectations. Picking up on something, Victor asks his son if there's anything he'd like to talk about. Nick says no, but asks his father if he believes in destiny. Victor believes in free will—that you make your own destiny. Nick obtusely inquires if the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. Victor is confused by the line of questioning. Nick says he has a lot to live up to where Victor is concerned and he still has a lot to learn. Victor says he doesn't have to live up to a damn thing. He's kept his marriage together under difficult circumstances. He then offers to beat him up again. Nick wants a rain check. There's something he needs to take care of.

Back at NE, Dru finds Yolanda in her office. She was stocking up the supplies as a thank you to Dru for all her support and help. Dru plays it off. Yolanda notices the coldness and thinks perhaps she shouldn't have taken the job. Yolanda wonders if she's invading Neil and Dru's personal space. She's grateful for Sharon's help. This job means a lot to her. She takes off back to work. Dru remains skeptical.

Michael and Kevin discuss the memorial. Michael is upset that the entire service is more about them smoking out Sheila than honoring Lauren. Kevin tells him to let Paul focus on Sheila. He also thinks it's a good idea he's going forward with the service. Michael still doesn't believe that Lauren is dead. Kevin is concerned for his brother and thinks he should move on. Seeing his brother's reaction, Kevin backtracks that maybe it isn't the right time to let go. If holding onto Lauren gets Mikey through the day, he should stick with it. He just doesn't want Michael to be upset with him. Michael explains that if Lauren were truly gone, he would feel it deep down inside. There's no proof. There's no body. Why should he accept her death? Why should he shave?! Kevin then realizes that Michael honestly believes that Lauren is still alive. "YES. Yes, it's possible!" The brothers quarrel again. Kevin offers that even if he lets go of Lauren, it doesn't mean that he loves her any less. Kevin leaves. Michael tries to begin on the eulogy again.

In the bomb shelter, Lauren manages to break through the metal grate as Sheila warns her that the column is in danger of collapsing the ceiling on them. Some quick adjusting leaves Sheila supporting the beam while Lauren heads back to the vent. The ceiling is still winning.

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Friday, January 6, 2006

At the Newman house, Phyllis told Nick that her trip to Chicago had been a business trip. Although both of them admitted to feeling an attraction for each other, Nick insisted that he wanted to work things out with Sharon. Phyllis said that he should do that; what he and Sharon had was very special. They agreed not to see each other for a while, hoping distance would help this connection between them subside.

Victoria came to see Sharon. She was a little curious about Sharon's reaction to the news of her engagement to Brad. Sharon assured Victoria that she was happy for them. If Brad was the man that Victoria wanted, then Sharon hoped everything worked out for them. She did caution Victoria to keep the engagement low key for Abby's sake during the ordeal of Ashley's arrest. Victoria agreed that it would be best, but she asked Sharon if she, Brad, Sharon, Nick, and the kids could do things together. It might help Abby warm up toward her. Sharon hesitantly agreed, and Victoria hugged her, saying it was nice to talk to someone in the family who was like a sister. After Victoria left, Sharon went upstairs. When Nick came home, she came back down dressed in sexy lingerie, and she and Nick made love.

Victor confronted Brad at Newman. He pointed out that Brad had a lot going on. He was busy at work, newly engaged to Victoria, and dealing with the problems that Ashley's arrest had caused. Brad assured Victor that he was up to the task. He and Victoria had agreed to keep the engagement quiet for now for Abby's sake. He was fully prepared to offer Ashley whatever support she needed. And he didn't want Victor to use the situation to spend more time with Abby. Victor said he was willing to keep his distance--unless he saw that Brad wasn't doing the right thing for Abby.

At Crimson Lights, Daniel didn't believe the letter Lily had written to break things off. He was sure that Neil had forced Lily to write it. Neil told him not to call Lily or try to get in touch with her. She was finished with him. When Daniel wouldn't make that promise, Neil pulled out the gift that Daniel had asked Devon to give to Lily from him. Neil said that she hadn't wanted his present. Daniel was crushed. After Neil left, Phyllis showed up. When she saw how upset Daniel was, he showed her Lily's note. She gently remind Daniel that he was strong. He would get through this, and sometimes people didn't get everything they wanted.

John kept questioning Jack about the things he couldn't remember. He felt like people were keeping things from him. He had no idea what he would have been doing driving his car in that part of town. When John was taken away for more tests, Jack stopped in the waiting room to let Gloria and Ashley know. After he left, Gloria continued to question Ashley about the details of that night. Ashley was able to guess where John had kept the gun, but she stumbled when Gloria asked where she'd found the key to the locked drawer. Gloria's eyes filled with tears and she asked Ashley to tell her that what she was thinking wasn't true. Was Ashley lying about how Tom had been shot?

Lauren fell back into the shelter after trying to crawl out. As she was buried in dirt and debris, she was only partly conscious. Sheila shook her awake and told her to get up. Neither of them was going to die there. She helped Lauren get back into the crawl space and said she'd come out behind her. As Lauren was crawling out, Paul arrived. Smelling gas, he began investigating, and Lauren heard him call her name. Paul began pulling boards away from an opening and told Lauren to take his hand. Lauren said that he needed to save both of them; Sheila was down there with her. But as Sheila crawled into the space, the beam shifted. Sheila fell back and was buried in dirt, and Lauren couldn't reach Paul's hand.

A couple of hours before the memorial service for Lauren, Michael sat alone in the chapel. He wondered aloud how things would have gone if he'd met Lauren many years ago, when no one had liked him. In fact, he hadn't even liked himself. He thought Lauren would have despised him, but she'd have walked right up to him and told him that he was sad; in fact, a man full of sadness. Michael thought he might have fallen in love with her on the spot. He'd been so lucky to be loved by someone like her. He knew that he should make peace with what had happened and let her go, but he couldn't. He simply didn't believe that he would never see her again. As he sat there crying, his face lifted with a sudden sense that he wasn't alone. He slowly turned around and saw Lauren staring at him from the door of the chapel.

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