At the sky lounge, Nicole was worried because she'd told Rick where to find Maya. "If she's still there," Carter replied and handed Nicole an envelope with cash in it. Maya had given it to him to make sure that Nicole would be okay after Maya left Los Angeles. Nicole didn't want money; she wanted her sister. Carter stated that Maya was gone or with Rick, and if Rick couldn't get her to stay, no one could.
In Rick's old office, Eric assumed that Ridge, Liam, and Steffy had been plotting against him since Steffy's last visit. Liam tried to explain that he'd instigated the takeover because of Rick, not Eric. Eric rasped that it was about Ridge, who was brooding over Rick's success. Eric asked how Stephanie would react to Ridge's actions, and Ridge said she'd jump for joy.
Eric called it a revenge fantasy and stated that they couldn't remove him. Ridge relayed that it was about ownership, and they were revoking Eric's power to name the next CEO. "The hell you are," Eric retorted. Claiming to have the loyalty of all the employees, Eric stated that everyone thought of Ridge as an egomaniac. Eric blustered that with one word from him, everyone would walk. He hoped Liam, Ridge, and Steffy could sew.
Ridge acknowledged that the employees loved Eric and that eight of ten would leave at his behest; however, Ridge asked if Eric would reward his employees by asking them to be jobless. Steffy said no one needed to leave but Rick.
Eric asserted that Rick had an iron-clad contract, but Ridge brought up the morality clause in it. Eric questioned the morality of the three he spoke to, and Steffy said she knew he'd be angry with them for a while. Eric sadly said he wished Steffy was more like her mother. Steffy thought they should have the conversation later, but Eric said any conversation with them was over.
Liam told "Mr. Forrester" that everyone had tried to get Eric to see how bad things were under Rick, but Eric hadn't believed it. Eric expressed disappointment in Liam but said it was no surprise about Steffy and Ridge. Ridge said to stop it because Eric's decisions about Rick had led Eric to that moment. Steffy was fed up with the battle of male egos and asserted that no one had died there. "I suppose you want me to clear out my office," Eric said.
"You don't have an office! You gave it to Rick!" Ridge exclaimed. Eric declared that as long as he had breath in his body, Rick would keep it. Ridge said the experiment was over, and Eric silently left.
Alone with Ridge, Steffy felt bad for Eric. Ridge said the hurt went back to Stephanie and the question that had always lingered in the family home. It had been the question of who Stephanie had loved most. Ridge said Stephanie had known something Ridge and Eric hadn't -- that Ridge wasn't Eric's son.
The secret had colored everything, and Ridge felt that he and Eric had never had a chance. Steffy asserted that if Ridge wasn't Eric's son, then she wasn't Eric's granddaughter. "I suppose we're disowned after today," she uttered, and the two hugged.
Ridge grinned and told Steffy she'd be the next CEO. Steffy said it was assuming that Ridge would pass it to her. Ridge claimed he wouldn't do what his father had done by throwing a retirement party and showing up to work the next day. Ridge said it was their legacy, his that day and hers in the future. "Finally," they each said.
At Dayzee's, Maya assumed that her baby sister had struck again. Rick said not to blame Nicole because he'd been persuasive. He noticed Maya's bag and sat down to talk to her about leaving. Maya didn't want them to be seen together. He said there wasn't much more for people to be curious about, and he asked her not to go.
Rick asked Maya to recall her reaction when she'd learned who he really was, and he asked if he could be allowed to have a reaction, too. Maya claimed it wasn't the same. She said he'd assumed that she was a woman, and she was a woman. He asked her to be patient with him and the "hand-me-down" ideas of how things were supposed to be that were buried in his head. He said he might not say or do the right things, but he felt the right things. "You did -- until the whole world knew," she replied.
Rick claimed that what he'd say might sound bad, but he felt the same thing that "happens" to Maya, had happened to him. Maya relayed that once people learned she was transgender, they "get this look." Rick said it had happened to him after he'd learned what Spencer had done, "and that everybody knew, and they were thinking it, and they were talking about it. And they were talking about us and our bodies and all our most intimate moments."
The thought of it had scared Rick. He asked if she hadn't told him sooner because she hadn't wanted him to see her that way. Maya replied that it hadn't mattered, and she'd owed it to him anyway. Rick agreed that she had. Maya said that when she'd moved to Los Angeles, everyone had known the basic facts about her, and when Dayzee had left, almost no one had known. People no longer asked questions, and Maya had thought it had been a good thing.
The tearful Maya stated that there wasn't a rule book to tell her when to reveal things and how much to reveal. She hadn't been able to see how much she'd cut herself off from Rick by being unable to tell him about her childhood and the time she'd climbed over the railing of a bridge and talked herself down. Crying, too, Rick said he wanted to know those things and didn't like feeling cheated.
Maya offered to keep in touch -- if Rick would like to. Rick asked why she thought he was there. He said he'd never heard her ask him a question on the phone because his car had gone off the road. Maya gasped, "What? I thought -- " Rick interrupted to ask if she wanted to ask him again.
Rick's phone rang, and Maya said it could be work. He decided that work could wait. Maya replied that they'd just call back. Rick answered the phone for Eric, who roared that Ridge had done it. "Or at least he thinks he has," Eric seethed. Eric, who'd locked himself in the CEO's office, claimed that Ridge had found a way to get rid of Rick -- and Eric, too.
Rick said that Ridge was bluffing, but Rick would be right there. After the call, Maya said that Rick couldn't let Ridge oust him, but Rick said he and Maya weren't done talking. She told him to go because it was more than a job to him. She decided to go upstairs and wait while he took care of business first. Before leaving, Rick decided to answer the question he hadn't heard on the phone call in the car. The answer was that he loved her. Maya smiled through her tears as he walked out.
Later, Rick, donning a suit, met with Eric and said whatever Ridge planned, it called for a formal meeting and a formal vote. Eric asked what difference it would make if they had the votes. Rick called Thomas irrelevant because his holdings weren't enough to take controlling interest. Rick wondered why Liam had been with Steffy and Ridge instead of Bill.
Concluding that Bill and Ridge hated each other too much to work together, Rick wondered if Liam had bought Bill's stock. Eric said he hadn't asked. Rick checked sales records and saw that Bill had not sold his stock. Rick figured that Bill was biding his time because he knew Ridge wouldn't play if he was involved. Rick said they had no choice but to suck it up and negotiate with Bill to stop him from voting with Ridge.
At Spencer, Katie fielded calls from people concerned about Spencer writing the story about Maya. Ivy arrived and said that Liam might have a new office at Forrester. Bitterly, she asked Katie to guess who was back from Paris.
Later, Bill, who'd arrived, said that Liam had to get something in writing because Ridge's decisions usually had a short shelf life. Bill also guessed Steffy had dropped her condition about Liam, and Bill was satisfied that Rick had learned that he couldn't treat Caroline like garbage. Katie told Bill to stop using Caroline to justify what he'd done to Maya. Bill called "that head case" a fraud but said that with him, what one saw was what one got.
Later, Bill popped Champagne. He was alone with Liam, who he called a genius. Liam said Eric hadn't taken it well, and Liam asked how they'd handle Liam being Forrester's vice president. Bill said Katie would cover for Liam, and she liked being overworked. Bill made a toast to Liam accomplishing what the rest of them hadn't been able to.
Liam realized he needed to talk to Ivy about Steffy, but he was glad he'd done what he'd said he would do about protecting Caroline and Ivy from Rick. Bill said winning and winning big felt good. Though Liam didn't like the Maya story, he admitted that winning did feel good.
Who will get Bill's shares?
At Ridge's place, Caroline slept in bed, and Ridge awakened her. Caroline said she had fallen asleep after physical therapy the previous night. Ridge said he hadn't wanted to wake her because she had been sleeping peacefully.
Caroline asked about Forrester, and he said things were wonderful, but he wanted to know about her therapy. Caroline had her ortho boots on, and she said at the rate she was going, she'd be able to "put pressure on these bad boys soon." Ridge was thrilled. Caroline thanked Ridge for taking care of her. She thanked him for pampering her and being supportive. Ridge carried her over to the couch, and they snuggled and cuddled.
Caroline said she couldn't wait to get back to the office. Ridge explained everything that had happened at Forrester. Ridge said that he would be CEO, Steffy would be president, and Liam would be vice president.
Caroline pointed out that Ridge would be CEO and head designer -- he would be twice as busy as he had been. Ridge said Caroline would be right by his side. Ridge added that it had been an ugly takeover, and his dad had been angry.
Caroline pointed out that Ridge had been thinking of the company and his children's legacy. Ridge agreed, but he knew his father didn't see it that way. He added that it was ironic he was working with a man he hated -- meaning Bill-- to get control of shares to take over the company from the man he loved -- Eric.
At Forrester, Rick told Eric that they could make a bid for Bill's shares. Eric doubted that Bill would side with them, but Rick pointed out that Bill and Ridge hated each other. Rick added that it was their only hope. Eric didn't want to let Bill into the business.
Rick argued that they would find a way to get Bill out and get revenge when the time was right. Rick explained that he'd had a long talk with Maya. He planned to get back together with her. Eric was happy for Rick. Rick left to visit Bill Spencer.
At Spencer, Bernie the tailor measured Liam for a new suit in Bill's office, and Katie entered. Bill explained that he had ordered a new suit for Liam, since he had earned it. Bill credited Liam with taking over Forrester. Liam noted that Ridge deserved the credit.
Bill said that Forrester would soon be in much better hands, and Liam added that Caroline and Ivy would no longer report to a tyrant. Katie dished that Liam would be working with Steffy, and it bothered Ivy.
Katie wondered how Liam was going to work so closely with Steffy without anything happening between them. Liam said it would be fine, but Katie added that Steffy hadn't given up on Liam. "Uh-oh," Bill said. Liam told Bill to stop, but Katie and Bill were skeptical that Liam could work with Steffy without sparks flying.
Bill pointed out that he felt he'd been able to do the same thing with Katie, "but look at me now," Bill said. Bill didn't believe Liam's feelings for Steffy would not resurface. "Good luck with that," Bill said.
Liam said he was committed to Ivy. Bill said that Liam better be committed to earning benefit for Spencer, since Bill had given Liam control of his shares. Bill wanted Liam to keep his eye on Ridge.
Later, Rick barged into Bill's office and said that Bill had had no right to tell Maya's story. "It was her story to tell," Rick said. Bill offered Rick a binky. "Look around. I am the king of a publishing empire," Bill said.
Rick was angry. "That was private. You exposed it. It was cruel and ruthless," Rick said. Bill mocked Rick. Bill directed Rick to return to "Milton or Myron." Rick interrupted and said he had a proposal for Bill that Bill wouldn't want to turn down. Bill laughed and said he'd been offered a lot of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Bill surmised that Rick wanted his shares.
Rick sweetened the deal and said that Bill could put anyone he wanted in charge. "Even me?" Bill asked. Rick agreed and said that if Bill took over, he could force Ridge to report to him. Bill smiled. "Who would you rather team up with, us or Ridge?" Rick asked.
At Forrester, Steffy and Ivy discussed that Eric had backed Rick. Steffy noted he had backed the wrong son. Ivy turned the conversation to family at Forrester. Ivy wanted the business to succeed, and she wanted to get along with Steffy.
Ivy added that she'd overheard Steffy tell Liam that she would always love him. Steffy agreed she would always love Liam, and he would always love her. Ivy made it a point to tell Steffy she had been Rick's past, and Ivy was his future. Ivy said Rick had clearly moved on. "Has he?" Steffy said.
Liam entered. Ivy said it was perfect timing. "How much in love are you with her?" Ivy asked.
Bill has to choose sides
At Spencer Publications, Bill noted that Rick had to be desperate if he was approaching Bill with an offer to have more involvement at Forrester if Bill merged his stock with Eric. Rick reminded Bill that Ridge was sleeping with Bill's niece. Bill observed that Rick had to hate Ridge even more than he hated Bill to make such an offer.
Rick admitted that it was a chance for both of them to stick it to Ridge. Bill understood the deal would be that Rick remained CEO, and Bill could choose anyone he wanted as president of Forrester.
Rick agreed and noted that he was all about making money. "Whatever is necessary in that pursuit?" Bill asked. Rick nodded, but Bill reminded him that it meant decisions like publishing information that sells a ton of magazines.
Rick asked Bill not to get nasty. Bill said that one day, they would have a good chuckle over Rick's situation with Maya, since she was out of his life. Bill said that Rick had done a pretty good job until Maya had been a part of his life. He added that Rick had had no idea what he'd been up against, and he should be glad that Bill had put the news out in the public. "It's a good thing you hadn't gotten married and then this all came out," Bill said.
"She's still in my life. I'm still in love with her, Bill," Rick said. He added that Maya was not the issue. Rick changed the subject back to the deal with Rick and Eric. "In or out?" Rick asked. "I'm in either way," Bill reminded Rick, "with your idiot brother or his idiot brother." Bill smirked.
At Ridge's, Caroline and Ridge snuggled, but Ridge admitted he was distracted. Caroline encouraged him to return to work, but he said he was where he wanted to be. Ridge later agreed he would return to work. He collected fruit and other items for Caroline so she didn't have to get up from her wheelchair too often. She playfully used her reacher/grabber tool to pinch his butt. "I'm getting pretty good with this thing," she said with a laugh.
Ridge sat down and said he had missed her. He wondered why she hadn't told him about the accident. Caroline sighed and said there was nothing he could have done. "Tell me about it now," he encouraged.
Caroline shook slightly as she told Ridge she had been walking down the street one minute, and the next there had been a car on top of her. She admitted she had felt victimized at first. "Why me?" she had wondered, but she added that everything happened for a reason -- something she had not previously believed. She added that after it had happened, she'd discovered a lot of love around her. "Especially yours," she said.
At Forrester, Ivy, Liam, and Steffy had an awkward discussion about Steffy's statement that she and Liam would always love each other. "Do you want to set her straight"? Ivy asked. Steffy begged Ivy to stop acting like they were all in high school.
Steffy insisted it was an office, and they all had jobs to do. Eric interrupted, and Ivy, Steffy, and Liam were even more uncomfortable. Eric assumed that they had been discussing the proposed hostile takeover that Ridge had planned, but he warned them not to think it was a done deal.
Steffy understood it was hard on Eric, and Eric said it was wrong. Steffy disagreed, and she said that everything Rick had done was wrong. Steffy reminded Eric that Rick had endangered people's lives inside Forrester, and he had removed Stephanie's painting in the mansion.
Eric understood Rick had made mistakes, but he added that Rick had also learned from them. Steffy was unconvinced. Liam, Eric, and Steffy received messages from Ridge that he was on his way to the office and wanted to meet regarding the takeover.
At Maya's former apartment above Dayzee's, Nicole and Maya discussed that Maya had changed her mind about leaving Los Angeles. Maya explained to Nicole that Rick had been in an accident. Nicole noted that things had improved between Rick and Maya, and Maya agreed. Nicole apologized that she had told Wyatt and Wyatt had told his dad -- then it had turned into a media circus.
Maya lamented that she should have told Rick a long time before. She worried that he was a laughingstock. Nicole said that Rick could handle it, but Maya regretted that Rick had to pay a price for her silence. She added that Rick hadn't freaked out because Maya was transgender but rather because everyone had known before Rick had.
Maya announced that Rick was fighting for his company because Ridge had planned a hostile takeover.
Nicole insisted it wouldn't matter because Rick loved her. Maya said they had a long way to go to trust one another again. She admitted that she desperately wanted to be with Rick again, but she wished she could relive the past and tell him earlier. Maya wanted Rick to fight Ridge for the company.
In Rick's office at Forrester, Rick met with Eric and admitted he didn't know who Bill would choose to work with. "That bastard likes to watch me squirm," Rick said. Ridge, Steffy, and Liam entered. Ridge said he wanted to get an agreement in writing with as little drama as possible.
Ridge explained that Liam had been working on the plan for months. Rick scoffed in disgust. Liam explained that with stock from Ridge, Bill, Thomas, and Steffy, they would have majority interest. Ridge would be CEO, Steffy would be president, and Liam would be vice president. Ridge announced that they would still have a position for Rick.
Bill entered and announced that Rick had made an interesting proposal. Liam wondered what his father was doing there. Bill said that Rick had offered that if Bill sided with Rick and Eric, Bill would be permitted to choose the next president of Forrester Creations.
Ridge angrily turned on Rick. "You son of ...," Ridge started, but Bill finished the sentence. "Son of a Brooke," Bill said with a laugh. He claimed they all needed to have a better sense of humor, "more levity and less rudeness and nastiness." Bill noted he had a very attractive proposal for his "boys, Eric and Rick."
Bill claimed that Rick was nice to him, where Ridge "doesn't talk me to me and quite frankly hurts my feelings." Bill held up his hands and said that he held "in his little jeweled hands the very future of Forrester Creations."
Taking one on the chin
In Rick's old office, Wyatt's eyes glazed over as Ivy and Aly anticipated the new regime at Forrester. Aly wanted to be there to see Rick booted and to see the ridiculous portrait removed. Wyatt complained that he'd earned his place and made successes at Forrester with the HFTF diamond. He grumbled about having to answer to Liam, who knew nothing about fashion.
Ivy noted that Wyatt had known about the plan in the works. Wyatt complained that he'd done the dirty work, Nicole had become collateral damage, but only Liam got to share in the spoils. "Yeah, that's fair," Wyatt snapped sardonically. Aly asked what Wyatt wanted, and he readily said he should be the vice president. He felt he deserved it far more than Liam did.
Ivy asked why Wyatt didn't think Liam should have a reward for developing the plan. Wyatt griped that it always happened that way. Wyatt blamed it on Bill, who always rewarded Liam whether Liam deserved it or not.
Wyatt apologized and said that what had happened with the news story and Nicole didn't sit well with him nor did the fact that Liam had a Forrester board seat. Aly said Wyatt helping to knock Maya off her pedestal was the best thing that had happened in a long time. Aly guessed Maya wasn't feeling "so superior now." Ivy and Wyatt were dismayed at Aly's words.
Aly asked if she was supposed to feel sorry for Maya after the way Maya had treated her and laughed when Rick had ordered her around. Aly said Maya had cosigned Aly's every humiliation, and Aly was thrilled that Ridge was retaking the company. Aly wanted Rick and Maya out of their lives.
As Aly, Ivy, and Wyatt waited, talk turned to Ivy's feelings about Steffy being in town. Ivy claimed to be confident in Liam's feelings for her, but she had one eye on Steffy. Wyatt put his money on Ivy.
In the CEO's office, Bill said that if he voted with Rick, Bill could pick the president and have more influence at Forrester. Ridge refused to allow Bill a say in the company. Bill advised Ridge to pucker up and sell Bill on why he should side with Ridge. Liam was enraged that Bill was undermining a deal that Liam had brokered for a month. Bill said deals changed, but Liam asked whether it mattered if he liked the way he'd structured it.
Bill asked Ridge to introduce what was behind "door number two." Noting that Rick had already been a little flirty with Bill, Bill said it was Ridge's chance to woo Bill. "It's gonna be a cold day in hell, Spencer," Ridge responded. He asked Rick what Rick was thinking about when deciding to go to Spencer.
Rick interjected that Ridge had forced Rick's hand, but Ridge asked if Eric was really okay with it. Eric replied that he wasn't going to support Ridge, and he'd made all of his wishes for his company clear to Ridge, but Ridge had staged a coup. Bill corrected that Liam had staged the coup.
"Oh, you remember now?" Liam quipped, adding that it was hard to tell beneath the betrayal. Liam was livid that Bill had flipped to Rick's side. "Premature conclusion," Bill murmured, but the enraged Liam didn't seem to hear it as he asked if Bill had forgotten what Rick had done to Bill's niece.
Steffy sarcastically applauded Bill for making people squirm but told him to move on with business. Eric demanded that Bill get on with his decision. Bill told Liam that it had been Bill's joy and pleasure to watch Liam grow through the process, and Bill was proud of how bold and smart his son had been. He said Liam had everything he needed to make it happen.
Bill stated that he'd supported Liam in ousting Rick to protect Ivy and Caroline, and while Bill had given Liam control of the stocks, he hadn't given ownership because of the very situation they'd found themselves in. Bill said no one could have predicted that Rick would make a sweet deal, and Liam knew that Bill cared about the bottom line and wouldn't let emotion or personal loyalties stand in the way of an opportunity.
Bill relayed that Rick's offer benefited Bill's bottom line, and they had a deal. Ridge's allies gasped in exasperation as Rick thanked Bill. Bill stated that his acceptance had conditions, and Rick said he was sure they could work it out. "Maya's got to go," Bill declared.
Bill declared that Rick, in his infinite wisdom, had splashed Maya's face all over the entire brand. Rick said Maya wasn't the first transgender model, and the majority of their clientele would embrace it. "Which suggests there is a significant minority that does not, and that costs us money," Bill responded.
Bill said that the bottom line was the bottom line, and Rick would be concerned about it if Maya was not Rick's girlfriend. Bill added that, personally, he had no issues. "Professionally, you need to wake up and recognize that same minority of our customer base we are talking about thinks that Maya is a disgrace!" Bill yelled. Rick punched Bill. Rick seethed that Bill was the disgrace and walked out.
Later, Ridge was alone with Steffy and Liam. Ridge said he would have paid admission to see Rick punch Bill. Liam felt that he had to apologize for his father's behavior. Steffy told the men that they'd done it, and she hugged her father. "See what we can accomplish?" Steffy told Liam.
Ridge walked behind the CEO's chair. He said that even with the anger, fighting, and blind loyalty, Rick had chosen Maya. Steffy said Ridge could finally take his rightful place at the company.
At Maya's old apartment, Nick arrived, figuring that Maya could use a friendly face. Maya relayed that Rick hadn't hung up on her. Instead, he'd gotten in an accident, and he still loved her. Nick wasn't surprised that Rick still loved Maya. She said she questioned why she'd taken so long to disclose her past when she'd had confidence in her relationship with Rick.
Nick claimed that he'd wondered about Maya's hesitance, but there was no right way to do it. Maya felt there had been many situations that had been the appropriate time to reveal it. Nick claimed it was okay, and she had the right to determine when and how to tell her story. Maya wished she'd told Rick sooner, and she said she needed to own that not telling sooner had been a big mistake.
Nick said it was fine to reflect and see where mistakes had happened, but Maya's timetable had been fine until Bill Spencer had outed her publicly. Maya said it was horrible, and she'd felt like Bill had controlled her. She decided that she was responsible for not trusting Rick to tell him sooner. She reasoned that if it had still gotten out Bill's way, Rick wouldn't have been blindsided if she'd told him already.
Nick asked how Maya was coping. Maya replied that she was laying low and respecting that Forrester had to do damage control. He urged her to share her feelings with Rick and return to being a great couple with Rick. Maya wanted to but said it was complicated.
"You are making drama!" Nick responded. Maya said it might be true, but she didn't want to lose the lesson in what was happening. She figured that the lesson might be that she had a man who loved her no matter what and wouldn't leave her.
Maya received a call from Rick, asking her not to leave because he'd be right there. Nick decided that the call was his cue to leave. Maya thanked him for knowing she needed him, and he left.
Later, Rick arrived. He was grinning, and he spun Maya around. Maya guessed that Rick had won. Rick explained that he'd had to appeal to Bill to stop Ridge. Maya said that the CEO position was worth taking it on the chin for. "Somebody did. Spencer," Rick replied excitedly. Rick was itching to celebrate, and she thought it was because he'd kept his job.
Rick explained that he'd walked away. He said Bill had sided with him, but it had been with the unacceptable position that Maya leave the company or not be allowed in the building. Rick said he'd punched Bill for disrespecting Maya and calling her a disgrace. Rick declared that no one would do that as long as Rick was around. Rick called her a kind human being and said that the Spencers of the world should never question her grace or beauty.
Rick vowed to defend Maya, the woman he loved, to his dying day.
A whole-new set of problems
At Dayzee's, Rick declared that he'd defend Maya to anyone. He said he could have had his job, but he didn't want it without her. He refused to let anyone shame Maya and felt that no job was more important than she was. Maya was worried about what the job meant to Rick. He exclaimed that love made people do crazy things, like quit jobs and punch out magazine moguls.
Maya wished she'd seen Rick punch Bill. Rick was sure she'd get her chance to because Bill couldn't help but say horrible things. She said they couldn't punch Bill every time he did it. "Well...." Rick considered, and she decided, "Well, just until he learns."
Maya said she was just beginning to understand what she meant to Rick. He replied that it was about time. She felt that she'd spent her entire life doing it alone, and it was a new experience having a man to defend her. Rick knew she'd done fine on her own but said she wasn't on her own anymore.
Rick noted that he'd seen Nick ordering coffee downstairs. Maya asked if they'd spoken to each other, and when Rick said they hadn't, she assumed it was awkward for Rick. Rick relayed that it wasn't. He just hadn't wanted to interrupt Nick. Rick said he knew people had known about Maya and her transition before he'd ever met her, and he couldn't change that.
Maya remarked that she'd been soul-searching, wondering what it would have been like if she'd told Rick at the beginning. Rick felt that they'd both made mistakes, but they were together and moving forward. Maya said she wouldn't blame him if his job and reputation were too much to give up.
Rick said Maya had improved his reputation. He didn't care about the tabloids, which had always hounded his family. He figured that his choice proved he was accepting and loving. He asked how it could hurt him in the public eye. She asked if that meant he really accepted her and if she wouldn't lose him. He replied that he accepted her and she wouldn't lose him. They kissed.
At Ridge's place, Ridge arrived, and Caroline asked if everything had gone according to plan. Ridge conveyed that her uncle had tried to pull a fast one, but it hadn't worked. He said she was looking at Forrester's new CEO. Caroline squealed and hugged him. She told him to imagine her dancing with joy for him, but he said he could imagine something else.
Caroline replied that it would happen once she was fully healed. She couldn't wait to recover and be by his side. Ridge was planning on it and said they were a team.
Caroline realized it was time for her doctor's appointment. Ridge offered to take her, but she said she'd get a car because he had way too many important things to do. Ridge showed her the first sketch they'd made together. He said she'd helped him draw it when he hadn't been able to. He felt that it was his turn. He told her that nothing was more important than she was.
At Forrester Ivy, Wyatt, and Aly learned that Ridge was the new CEO. Aly rushed to the sky lounge to tell Oliver the good news. Aly was elated about it -- as long as everyone knew their place. Oliver guessed she meant Rick, but she was referring to Steffy. Aly decided to track down her cousin to thank her for making Forrester a better place for them all -- including Ivy.
In the CEO's office, Wyatt and Ivy had Champagne with Liam and Steffy. Wyatt frowned as Steffy referred to herself and Liam as the new leaders of Forrester. Ivy noted that Ridge was the new leader, but Steffy said he couldn't have done it without the supporting shares. Steffy told Liam that they had paperwork to do, and Ivy and Wyatt left the "bigwigs" to do their thing.
Alone with Liam, Steffy savored the Champagne and their victory. They signed papers, and Liam exclaimed that the whole building should be grateful that Steffy had rescued them. As they laughed and chuckled with glee about what they'd accomplished, Steffy cupped Liam's face and kissed him.
Liam and Steffy pulled back in shock, but Aly had seen the kiss from the door that had remained ajar.
Later, Steffy was alone, daydreaming about past kisses with Liam, when Aly charged in and announced that she'd seen Steffy kissing Liam. Aly warned Steffy that Liam was loyal and committed to Ivy. Steffy didn't feel the need to explain herself to Aly. Aly declared that Steffy was not Liam's wife or girlfriend, and all Steffy did was work with Liam.
Aly concluded that Liam was committed to someone more suitable. "Excuse me?" Steffy said. Aly told Steffy that Ivy, not Steffy, was the kind of woman Liam should be with. Steffy claimed that she and Liam had been celebrating, but Aly responded that she knew the signs from observing Steffy's behavior when Liam had been dating Hope.
Steffy put her finger in Aly's face and shushed Aly. Steffy said that being in Hope's fan club didn't mean Aly had to hate on Steffy, and what Steffy did or didn't do with Liam wasn't Aly's business. Aly disagreed, saying that Ivy was her friend. Aly claimed the company as her legacy, too, and she wanted to restore the company to what it had been when their grandmother had been alive.
Aly indicated that Forrester had once had values and morals. "Oh, I get it. And I have none," Steffy concluded. She figured Aly had really embraced the HFTF propaganda but asserted that one celebratory kiss with Liam didn't make Steffy morally corrupt and wouldn't interfere with Forrester's image. "Just like you won't interfere with Liam and Ivy," Aly asserted.
Aly told Steffy to have some respect because the couple was what Forrester should be reflecting to the world. Aly called Ivy understated and classy. Aly was sure Liam had had a lot of fun with Steffy, but Steffy had to accept that all she'd ever be for Liam was a memory.
At the sky lounge, Wyatt and Ivy discussed winning control of Forrester. Wyatt mirthlessly cheered for his brother, and Ivy scowled. Wyatt conveyed to Ivy that having Steffy in the mix presented a whole new set of problems. Ivy was confused because, earlier, Wyatt had put his money on her. He claimed that he'd been trying to make her feel better about the situation.
Ivy stated that Liam had proven his commitment to her. Wyatt reasoned that it was an easy thing to do without Steffy being around all day, every day, but Steffy was a force who knew how insanely intelligent and beautiful she was. "Guys just don't say 'no' to that," Wyatt concluded.
Ivy asked if Wyatt could say it. "Of course not. That's my point," Wyatt responded. Ivy said it sounded like Steffy was luring in Wyatt, not Liam, and she asked why Wyatt didn't ask Steffy out.
Liam arrived, and awkwardness filled the air when Ivy revealed to him that she and Wyatt had just been talking about Steffy. Liam promised Ivy that she had nothing to worry about with Steffy. Ivy disagreed because Steffy had made herself extremely available and had expressed no respect for Ivy. Liam figured that it didn't matter because he was committed to Ivy.
Ivy doubted it would stop Steffy. Liam believed that Steffy needed time. Ivy asserted that Steffy needed to open her eyes and spot all the other available men around her. Liam was sure the right guy would happen along for Steffy. Ivy relayed that he might already be around.
Wyatt chuckled shyly, and Ivy said she'd encouraged him to ask Steffy out. Wyatt asked if Liam had a problem with it. "No, why would I?" Liam said, straining to keep a smile on his face.