Ridge and Taylor were back home with Thomas, and Ridge was worried about Brooke and the kids. Taylor said they would recover because Eric was with them. She said that, over time, Rick and Bridget would learn to trust Ridge again. Taylor was also concerned for Brooke and realized it as not easy on her. Ridge said that when Taylor had reached out to Brooke the other day, that was what had made him realize the family would be there to support each other. Taylor knew it was not easy for Ridge to give up Brooke and the kids, but she was sorry she had ever doubted his love.
Eric consoled Bridget, reminding her that Ridge would still be a part of her life. Bridget said it wouldn't be the same. Eric advised Bridget and Rick that they would have to learn to live with Ridge's decision, and someday, they would understand what Ridge had done and why. In the meantime, Eric promised to spend more time with the kids and Brooke, who had the family's support, including Stephanie's.
Stephanie sympathized with a weeping Brooke and offered to put the bitterness behind them for the sake of the children. Brooke wanted no part of Stephanie and ordered her out of the house. Brooke blasted Stephanie, claiming Stephanie had poisoned Ridge's mind, trying to convince him to stay with Taylor. "You hate everything about me," Brooke continued. Stephanie only wanted to help but realized it was best for the two of them to keep their distance. Brooke couldn't agree more and informed Stephanie that she would not allow Stephanie to see Rick or Bridget ever again.
Ridge couldn't stop thinking about Brooke. Taylor acknowledged it was a terrible time for Brooke, but she could either accept the situation or fight it. Either way, Ridge could not accept responsibility for Brooke's actions. Taylor wanted Ridge to focus on the future. "You are the one thing that keeps me going," Ridge said.
Stephanie was stunned that Brooke would deliberately keep the children away from her. She said a good mother did not deprive a child from someone who loved them. Brooke countered that Rick and Bridget had already turned against Stephanie because they understood her part in keeping Ridge away from Brooke. Stephanie didn't take Brooke's threat seriously, since she would soon marry Eric and be a part of Eric's family with Rick and Bridget.
Brooke accused Stephanie of using Eric to get close to her kids, and she didn't want her children exposed to Stephanie's lies. "You lied about being pregnant. Your whole marriage was a lie, you bitch, you slut!" Stephanie yelled. Eric was furious when he heard Stephanie scolding Brooke. Stephanie apologized. Eric couldn't handle Stephanie's hatred of Brooke. It was no use for him to try to spend the rest of his life defending Brooke to her.
Stephanie tried to explain, but Eric just wanted Stephanie to leave. Stunned that Eric would not even hear her side, Stephanie left as Eric embraced Brooke.
After spending the night with Bridget, Eric made breakfast and allowed her to skip school so they could spend the day together. Eric said his days of being a distant father were over. He promised Bridget he would be spending more time with her and Rick. Bridget said she would love to spend the day with her father, but she had a test, so she headed off to school.
At Insomnia, Amber filled C.J. in about the latest goings-on at the Forrester camp. Amber wished there was something she could do to cheer Rick up. Pop singing sensation Raymond made an entrance, which caught Amber off guard. Amber and Raymond had been high school buddies but hadn't seen each other since. Raymond explained that he was touring with his band along the Pacific Coast and was opening for Janet Jackson. Amber and Raymond each noticed how well the other had filled out since high school. C.J. advised Amber to stop drooling over Raymond, who claimed he was just an old buddy. Amber was clearly smitten and knew Raymond was headed for the big time.
Eric surprised Lauren and explained that his great mood was due to having his kids back. Eric felt blessed to have those two children in his life and promised the kids would get to know him better. Lauren liked the change she saw in Eric, who kissed her passionately.
James was packing his personal belongings at his office when Stephanie stopped by to bend his ear. Stephanie admitted she'd blown it with Eric when she'd berated Brooke. However, Stephanie wasn't giving up on Eric yet. Sheila left Mary with a babysitter while she headed to James's office to surprise him. Dr. Nunez interrupted James and Stephanie with the news that he'd had a run-in with Sheila. Dr. Nunez said Sheila was quite forceful, and he recommended she get counseling. James ordered Dr. Nunez out.
Sheila overheard James explaining to Stephanie that his involvement with Sheila had brought on his firing. Stephanie recommended James seek legal help. James thought he shouldn't have to get an attorney, since his record spoke for itself. He said Sheila had been a sociopath before he'd cured her. Stephanie promised to help James get through it and gave him a hug as Sheila coldly looked on.
Eric admitted that he had always had feelings for Lauren; he had just been burying them. He'd reached the realization that, as much as he cared for Stephanie, their personalities were too different. Eric couldn't overcome Stephanie's hatred of Brooke. Eric declared his relationship with Stephanie over. Lauren was shocked at what she was hearing but couldn't help but think that if Eric hadn't seen Stephanie lose her temper with Brooke, he would not have kissed Lauren.
Eric told Lauren he hadn't stopped over because he'd given up on Stephanie. Eric was there because he'd realized he had been ignoring one of the sources of joy in his life: Lauren. Eric wanted to show Lauren how important she was to him. Lauren was leery about pouring out her heart because she had been rejected so many times. Eric thanked Lauren for being a wonderful friend, but he was excited about a relationship with her if she still wanted it.
Lauren was shocked. She had wanted Eric since she'd moved from Genoa City to L.A. Lauren had tried to move on when Eric had been with Stephanie, but Eric had always been her dream. Eric was the man she had always wanted.
Amber tried talking to Rick, who was bummed out over Ridge leaving and the emotional state his mother was in. Amber suggested they take Brooke out to lunch to cheer her up, but Rick nixed the idea. Rick accused Amber of not being able to understand what Brooke was going through, since she had never loved anyone like Brooke loved Ridge. Amber asked Rick not to shut her out, but Rick wanted to be alone.
Amber headed over to Insomnia, where she ran into Raymond, who saw she was upset. Amber and Raymond reminisced a little about their high school days. Amber marveled at how big of a star Raymond had become. Even though he was a famous rock star, Raymond said there was still something missing -- someone special, like Amber.
Sheila overheard Stephanie tell James at his office that Sheila couldn't go around intimidating his colleagues, particularly Dr. Nunez. Stephanie kissed James, offered her support, and offered to be his character witness at the hearing. Sheila was furious that Stephanie had kissed James and that he had listened to her advice. Stephanie was trying Sheila's patience. Later, James went home, and Sheila asked him if anyone had stopped by the office that day to see him.
Dr. Nunez stopped by to see James, who wished Sheila had not confronted him, since she'd only made matters worse by threatening him. Sheila said she had just wanted to help. She offered to be his confidante, but James said he already had his friends, like Eric, Brooke, and Stephanie. James also nixed the idea of Sheila going to his hearing when she suggested she could be his character witness. He already had a character witness, James explained.
Stephanie called and told Sheila to give James the message that she had cleared her schedule and was able to be his character witness. Sheila was furious and thought Stephanie was out to get her. She thought Stephanie was just going to have to be stopped!
Raymond wows the crowd at Insomnia
Insomnia Coffee House was bustling with excited patrons. Macy told the approaching Grant it was pretty exciting, but Grant wanted to know who the guy on stage was. Macy revealed that he was Raymond, a friend of Amber's who was the hottest thing in town; Raymond needed a place to rehearse in front of an audience, so Macy had jumped on it. Grant looked worried, but Macy assured him Raymond was great.
C.J. noticed the glances between Amber and Raymond and asked just how well she knew him. Amber hedged, saying she and Raymond had gone to ninth grade together in Atlanta before her parents had moved out west. Raymond was just a friend, Amber reminded C.J., asking what the big deal was. Christie, an Insomnia waitress, thought Raymond was hot and wanted Amber to introduce her. But when Amber wasn't sure about it, Christie joked that Amber wanted to keep Raymond for herself. The comment was not lost on C.J.
The lights went down, and Raymond thanked everyone for coming. He dedicated his first song to someone near to his heart -- Ms. Amber Moore. C.J. was unhappy, but the gesture thrilled Amber.
Raymond fired up his audience with his performance of "My Way." Only C.J. and Grant didn't get into it. Raymond stepped into the crowd and danced with an appreciative Amber. The attendees clapped wildly when Raymond was done; C.J. put his hands together grudgingly. Raymond thanked everyone and winked at Amber.
As the applause for Raymond died down, Amber asked C.J. what he thought of the singer. C.J. said the song was cool but suggested Amber call Rick and see what he was up to. When Amber divulged that Rick had bitten her head off earlier, C.J. thought they should go to see him. Amber sighed and told C.J. she had tried to reach out to Rick to make him feel better, but he had been cold and angry, and she didn't want to deal with any more of that for the day.
Waitress Christie handed Amber a note Raymond had given her to deliver. It contained an address for the Hollywood Gardens and the message "See you tonight." The intrigued Amber caught Raymond's eye, and he smiled knowingly.
At Taylor's beach house, Ridge unsuccessfully tried to get baby Thomas to smile. When Taylor walked in, Ridge joked that he'd had his son cracking up a moment before. Taylor commented that though Thomas wasn't smiling, he loved his daddy. "Almost as much as his daddy loves him," Ridge said with a smile, which also put a smile on Taylor's face.
Later, Taylor marveled at how quickly Thomas had gone to sleep; Ridge really knew how to wear him out. Ridge agreed with Taylor that their baby was amazing. Ridge said he could look into Thomas' tiny eyes and see himself. Taylor acknowledged it was an awesome responsibility but agreed with Ridge's contention that they were up for it.
Taylor knew Ridge had been through a lot, especially with Brooke and her children, and that Ridge wanted to be there for Bridget during this difficult time. Ridge felt Bridget needed to be with her parents, Brooke and Eric, because they could help her through it. Ridge didn't think Bridget could handle him for the time being. Taylor assured Ridge that Bridget would come around.
Taylor realized it had been a painful time for Ridge -- no matter what decision he'd ultimately made, someone would get hurt. But the hard part was over, and they could look forward to their future as a family. Taylor was aware that it might take some time for her and Ridge to rediscover things, but she was certain they could have it all back again.
Ridge sat on the front porch of the beach house with Taylor, looking pensive. Taylor felt she had been pretty patient through everything. She understood what Ridge had been through, but it was all part of the past; they had an amazing life ahead of them. Taylor wanted them to start living it, now. She wanted for her and Ridge to get married as soon as they could.
Taylor felt that parents who were raising their child together should be married, and she wanted to be Ridge's wife again. She'd thought about when she and Ridge had been married before, and Taylor was sure that this time was going to be even better. They'd been blessed with a beautiful baby boy; everything they'd wanted, they already had. They were supposed to be together. Taylor knew Ridge felt like he was being pulled in a hundred different directions, but he needed to look in the direction of her and Thomas. Taylor loved Ridge more than humanly possible.
Ridge admitted that he looked at Taylor and her smile, and he remembered why he'd fallen in love with her in the first place. The past few weeks had been hell, with telling the kids he was leaving Brooke, and Bridget running away. It had been as if every ounce of energy had been drained from him. But it hadn't been that way with Taylor. She'd made him a better man, and a father. Taylor had changed Ridge's life in incredible ways; she was unusual and unique, and that was why he loved her and always would. If Taylor wanted to get married right away, the next week, they should just go for it! Taylor excitedly realized she needed to call the minister -- her dad! Ridge knew what Taylor needed to do first, and he kissed her passionately with the beach behind them.
In Sally's office at Spectra Fashions, Sally wondered what Lauren had meant when she'd said things were over between Eric and Stephanie. Lauren reported that, the night after Bridget had been found, Ridge had told Brooke he was moving in with Taylor and their baby. Never one to leave well enough alone, Lauren scoffed, Stephanie had decided to give Brooke "one for the road" -- which Eric had overheard. Lauren declared that Eric had had it with Stephanie. He and Stephanie were history.
Sally luxuriated in the idea that "the evil queen," Stephanie, had shown her true colors in front of Eric. Lauren knew Stephanie couldn't have controlled her anger much longer, and since Eric had seen it, Stephanie had lost him for good. Sally figured Stephanie's rant had cleared a path for Lauren with Eric. Lauren lamented that she had waited so long to be with Eric; Sally declared all of Lauren's love and patience had paid off. Except, Sally warned Lauren to think of how Stephanie would react when Stephanie realized it was truly over with Eric. Sally predicted that Lauren would be in for an enormously tough fight, right to the finish.
Over at Forrester, Stephanie stated she was not one to kick someone when they were down. She'd seen Brooke alone, and it broke her heart that Brooke's children were devastated about Ridge leaving. Stephanie had stayed behind to tell Brooke that the ugliness between them over the years was finished; it was something they had to put behind them. And then, Stephanie didn't know how, things with Brooke had gone haywire, which was the moment Eric had walked in.
Stephanie confirmed that Eric had simply walked in at the wrong time and that she had honestly been trying to give Brooke her support. As Stephanie kept trying to explain that she had gone into her talk with good intentions, Eric barked that Stephanie had snapped and attacked Brooke at the lowest point of her life -- and it didn't surprise Eric one bit.
Stephanie admitted she'd lost her temper, and she apologized, wondering how many mea culpas she'd have to do. Eric reiterated that Brooke was the mother of his younger children -- with Ridge gone, Brooke needed to be there for Rick and Bridget, but she couldn't be if she was engaged in open warfare with Stephanie. Because of Stephanie, Brooke wasn't available for the kids at a time they needed her most.
Stephanie wished Eric had been there from the beginning, and seen how Brooke had reacted. That wasn't the point, Eric insisted. He had told Stephanie not to be at Brooke's in the first place. Stephanie thought if they went out and had dinner, she and Eric could talk things out, and he'd see things differently. Eric said he already did.
Eric deemed Stephanie's bitterness and anger out of control; it was a cancer that was eating away at their family. There was no compromise with Stephanie if it had anything to do with Brooke, and Eric wasn't going to tolerate that in the lives of his children any longer. Stephanie's attack on Brooke had been the final straw. Eric declared things between him and Stephanie over.
Eric told Stephanie that it was over between them; he would not live the rest of his life defending his family from her. He said, "You can't change, and I cannot live with that."
Brooke was at work when Rick stopped by. He didn't want her to bury herself in her work, but she told him that work helped her focus on the things in her life that she had some control over. Rick exploded and asked, "How could Ridge do this? It must be eating him up inside, living with Taylor and still in love with you. We all know it is true -- even Taylor."
Taylor told Ridge that there was still a lot to work out before they could get on with their future. He had to get the annulment if they were going to get married. He said that he was a married man only in the eyes of the law, but she said that he was also married in Brooke's eyes. As long as he left that door open, it gave Brooke and the children hope that he would go back to them.
Stephanie said that she was sorry about what had happened with Brooke; she had just overreacted, but she could change. She was changing; she was seeing James. She pleaded, "Please don't give up on all that we have." Eric said he didn't want to hurt her, but he had to protect himself. They could still be friends.
Rick suggested setting Brooke up with a friend's dad. He was just her type, but Brooke said that there was only one man who was her type. The time that she and Ridge had spent together had been perfect; he had brought her so much joy. She was thankful that she had Rick, his sister, and all her memories. That was all she needed.
Ridge wanted to wait to talk to Brooke. She and those kids had been "through hell." Taylor said that there was never going to be a good time. The only way to get Brooke and the kids to move on was to show them that he was moving on, and that meant getting the annulment papers signed. Ridge went to the phone and called Brooke.
Brooke told Ridge that he could head over to see her. When she hung up, she wondered what to make of it. She wondered if he realized that he couldn't leave the family, after all. Rick said that he hoped she was right; just in case, he was going to leave her alone for the meeting. As Rick left, Brooke had a hopeful look on her face.
Stephanie said that Eric couldn't just throw everything away; they could work through it. Again, she told him that she hadn't gone over there to argue with Brooke; she had honestly wanted to help. She wanted him to think about their family for a change. Things were finally going well. Ridge and Taylor were planning a wedding, and she and Eric were planning a wedding.
Eric vehemently told Stephanie, "No. There is no wedding. I told you the wedding is off. I don't have it in me anymore to forgive. I don't want to hurt you, but our relationship has run its course. We may be friends, but we will not be husband and wife." Stephanie began to cry. "Please don't do this," she begged through the tears. "You killed it!" Eric said and walked out of the room, leaving Stephanie crying bitterly.
Taylor held Thomas as she told him that Daddy was out making everything all better for them. Then, he would be free, and they could get married. It would be painful, but he had to go through it.
Ridge arrived at the office, and after a little small talk, Brooke asked what he wanted to see her about. He showed her the envelope, and she knew that it contained the annulment papers. Ridge said, "I need you to sign these, Brooke. I need you to help me end our marriage right now. This cannot wait." As she took the papers and looked at them, a tear slowly slid its way down her cheek.