At the cliff house, Thomas and Steffy joked about Douglas being like his grandfather by falling asleep while reading books to the girls. Steffy said Douglas would also be like his father, who'd had two little girls following him around everywhere. Growing up, Steffy had been that way with Thomas until she'd realized that he had been just an annoying older brother.
Thomas called himself annoying but wise, and he noted that Steffy had always done well by taking his advice. Pointing to the wall portrait, Steffy assumed they were back to that again. "My advice? Reunite with Liam," Thomas stated. She asked what it was with him and Hope pushing Liam in her direction. Steffy insisted upon making her own decisions about her love life.
Thomas replied that the future was there, and Steffy should reach out and grab it. He saw it as a huge opportunity for Steffy to get the life she'd always wanted, and he advised her to call Liam to see how the last night with Hope had gone. Steffy considered doing that -- if she didn't see him in person. She revealed that Hope had asked if Liam could stay there that night.
Thomas became anxious to grab Douglas and go before Liam got there. Steffy told her brother not to get his hopes up. She didn't know if Liam would actually show up, and she'd never said she wanted to reunite with him. Steffy had accepted Hope and Liam's marriage and didn't take pleasure in their breakup. Even if Liam showed up, Steffy didn't know what that would mean for them.
Thomas believed that it was all but guaranteed. Beth being gone made things less complicated for Liam. Instead of having babies with two women, it was just with Steffy. In Thomas' view, it was just a matter of time before Liam knocked on the door, and Steffy needed to welcome him back to where he belonged.
Later, Steffy was alone. As she went over some office work, she glanced at the portrait on the wall and flashed back over times with Liam.
In Brooke's cabin, Hope and Liam continued with dinner. It meant a lot to Hope that Liam wanted to spend one last night together. "I don't really. I don't want any of it," he sadly replied. She claimed not to want it, either, but it wasn't possible for them to have what they'd lost. Liam was the only man for her, but his place wasn't there with her anymore. He was needed elsewhere.
Liam admitted that he kept waiting for Hope to change her mind. He knew that she wouldn't, and there was nothing he could say to change her mind. He was in awe of her for the decision she'd made, and as painful as it was to let her go, he admired her selflessness.
Hope didn't think it was selfless to give up on the marriage. It was a sacrifice for her, the hardest one she'd ever made. It gave her peace to know that Liam would be with the girls, and she'd help Douglas deal with his grief. Hope had realized what Liam had been trying to tell her all along-- Beth had made her a mother, and she'd always be a mother.
Pouring more wine, Liam thought that he and Hope might as well finish the bottle, since neither of them would drive that night. "Unless you have plans after," Liam stated. Hope didn't, but from the awkward expression on her face, he gleaned that she wanted him to have plans. Hope reasoned that the dinner was a goodbye, so they should actually say "goodbye."
Hope didn't think Liam should stay there that night. Claiming to understand, Liam relayed that Wyatt had offered to let Liam stay at the beach house. "Or...I was speaking with Steffy..." Hope replied. Liam sighed. Hope explained that she'd asked Steffy if he could stay there, and there was room for him. He asked if the night was supposed to be about him and Hope, and not Hope playing matchmaker for him.
Hope insisted that Liam was their family and belonged there. It was hard for Liam to hear her say that because of the plans that he and Hope had made. She replied that she'd always think about what could have been; however, they had to accept the reality that Beth was gone, and their family dream had died with Beth.
Liam believed that they'd always be a family and were connected for life. Hope assumed it was because of Beth; however, Liam viewed it as more than that. They had a connection that had lasted for years, and they'd figured out how to be adults together.
Liam felt that he and Hope were more than expectant parents and their marriage. He thought they were more than the sum of those parts. He didn't know if they'd ever experience something like that again. He hoped that she'd see that there was something special about them and carry it with her the way he would.
Hope said she'd carry Liam with her forever. She'd carry every moment, look, and touch. A flashback played of their time together. She said she'd even cherish their babymoon. "Catalina...That's where it all changed," she uttered.
Liam responded that a lot had changed, but not everything -- not their love for each other. He'd always believe that they'd been meant to be. Liam hugged Hope, who hoped that he could forgive her in time. Liam didn't like what was happening, nor did he want it, but he knew that she needed it; therefore, there was no need for her to ask for forgiveness.
Hope didn't want things to be the way they were. She'd wanted their family. She'd wanted to raise Beth, maybe give Beth a sibling; however, fate had stepped in. Liam hugged Hope again, and she said that it was time. "No..." Liam uttered. She stated that it was getting late.
Liam became emotional. Hope told him that it was time to be with the girls, love them, and make them happy. She didn't want him to worry about her. He didn't know how he wouldn't. Hope said it was because he'd know how happy it was making her. Liam said he'd always be thinking of Hope. She felt the same way and said it would always be Liam for her.
Hope conveyed that Liam had loved her and had made her the best person she could be. Hope took off her rings and placed them in Liam's hand. They kissed and hugged. Hope stepped back from him, and they gazed sadly at each other.
At Forrester, Xander didn't know how Zoe could have let any of it happen. He was outraged that Hope and Liam's baby had been stolen, and the couple had no idea about it. Zoe tried to explain that her father had been in serious trouble when he'd done it. Xander asked if Reese used gambling problems to justify stealing a baby.
"To protect me? I think he would justify pretty much anything," Zoe quipped. Xander asked how long Zoe had known, how she could have kept it from Hope, and how she could have let Hope think that her baby was dead. Zoe stated that she and Flo had struggled with it.
Xander guessed that Flo had been in on it, too. Defending Flo, Zoe clarified that Flo hadn't realized what she'd gotten herself into. Xander didn't even know how Reese could have pulled it off. Assuming that Hope had held her baby, Xander asked how she hadn't seen that it had been alive. Zoe explained that there had been another mother that night who'd had a stillborn.
"And he just switched the babies?" Xander asked in disbelief. Attesting to the horribleness of it, Zoe said they were all sickened by it, even her father. Xander asked if anyone else knew about it. She stated that Flo's mother knew, and Xander was the fifth person to learn about it. "And that's where it stops. No one else, Xander...especially not Hope and Liam," Zoe decided.
Xander told Zoe that a crime had been committed. In Zoe's view, it had been out of desperation. She said that her father had been terrified of the thugs. He contended that they could explain that to the police. Zoe feared that she'd go to jail -- along with Flo and her father.
Although Zoe knew the predicament seemed cruel, she proffered that Beth had become Phoebe, and being adopted by Steffy had made Beth a lucky child. Zoe said that the girl couldn't ask for a more devoted mother than Steffy.
"How about the mother who gave birth to her?" Xander challenged. Zoe tried to spin it as a positive thing that Hope and Liam were breaking up by saying that Liam, who had a family with Steffy, might reunite with her. "For Hope, too. She'll move on," Zoe reasoned. She cited that Hope had become devoted to Douglas and could move on with Thomas.
Xander yelled that it was a devotion that should be directed at Hope's own child. He warned that a secret like that could eat away at a person. In his view, it was time to come clean for Zoe's sake, for the sakes of Hope and Liam, and most importantly, for Beth. "The truth has to come out now!" Xander persisted.
Ridge plays devil's advocate with Brooke about Hope, Liam, and Steffy
At the cliff house, Ridge was playing with Kelly and trying to get her to say "grandpa." Steffy informed him that the child was more into saying "da-da." Remarking that Liam and Hope had had a dinner the previous night, Ridge wondered where Liam was that day and if Steffy had talked to him about commemorating his marriage to Hope before their divorce.
"He didn't come over last night, if that's what you're getting at," Steffy replied. Ridge asked if Steffy was okay with that. Affirming that she was, she said she didn't take pleasure in the end of Hope and Liam's marriage.
Liam arrived in a chipper mood. He excitedly greeted Kelly, and as he talked to the child, Ridge and Steffy looked on. Liam asked what they were looking at, and they grinned in response.
Alone with Liam later, Ridge asked if Liam intended to be there more, since his marriage to Hope was behind him. Noting that his daughter lived there, Liam said he'd love to spend as much time with Kelly as possible and with Phoebe, too. Ridge apologized in case he was being insensitive. Liam didn't mind it. He said Hope had ended the marriage, and that was that.
Ridge wondered if it had been the best thing for everyone, and he reminded Liam that Steffy was a good woman and mother. Liam called Steffy the perfect mother, and Liam deduced that Ridge probably wanted to know where Liam's head was. Ridge replied that everyone was wondering what Liam's plan was.
Steffy rounded the corner by the fireplace but backed out of sight to listen to the conversation between Liam and her father. Liam said he didn't have a plan. He was going day to day. Ridge asserted that Steffy needed Liam. "Steffy needs me? For what?" Liam asked.
Liam stated that Steffy was knocking motherhood out of the park, and she could run the company with her hands tied behind her back. He stated that she was the most patient and devoted mother anyone could ask for. He said that he loved being a part of it, "but does she need me? I'm not so sure about that."
Later, Ridge had gone, and Steffy had just gotten news that Amelia's car was still broken down. Steffy had intended for Amelia to watch Phoebe while Steffy took Kelly to a doctor's appointment. Liam offered to watch Phoebe. Steffy assumed that he had other things to do, and she contemplated rescheduling the appointment.
Liam stated that his life was in limbo, but he wanted to be there as much as Steffy was comfortable with. He knew that Steffy was doing a fantastic job and didn't need his help; however, he wanted to spend more time with the girls. She replied that she was vouching for the girls by saying "we'd like that." Steffy admitted that she'd overheard Liam talking to her father, and she'd liked what she'd heard. Liam and Steffy shared a smile.
After Liam had helped Steffy in the bedroom with the girls, they returned to the living room and talked about the girls' tag-team sleep pattern. Steffy felt that the toughness of motherhood was worth it, and she wouldn't trade in being a mother for anything. Liam said it was because she was flawless at it. Reaffirming everything he'd said to Ridge about her, Liam stated that he hadn't forgotten what a remarkable person Steffy was.
In Brooke's cabin, Brooke and Hope discussed the end of Hope's marriage. Brooke continued to try to get her daughter to see that it wasn't a choice between the marriage and the children. Hope explained that she, Liam, and their future daughter had gone into the marriage together; however, their dream of a family had died, and she and Liam had ended their marriage with just the two of them -- without their little girl.
Brooke wanted Hope to hear her when she said it wasn't the solution. Brooke was sure Hope and Liam would regret their decision.
Hope told her mother that the previous night Hope had spent with Liam had reminded her of how wonderful he was. Brooke thought it was proof that he didn't want the marriage to end. Hope said it wasn't about what she and Liam wanted anymore; it was about the children, and Hope insisted that Liam's place was with the girls.
Hope recalled the romantic scene Liam had made for them the previous night. Brooke thought it was further evidence of how much he loved Hope, and in Brooke's view, it made it all the more tragic. Hope expressed that she and Liam had had their favorite foods and music and had talked about their shared memories.
Brooke was convinced that Liam didn't want to let go of Hope. Hope knew it and would never doubt how he felt about her; however, in her mind, it was time for him to move on. She believed that he and Steffy were a family.
In the CEO's office at Forrester later, Brooke expressed to Ridge her disillusionment about Hope's divorce. She insisted that Hope didn't really want it, and neither did Liam. Ridge said that he had to believe Hope had thought it out. He revealed that he'd just seen Liam at Steffy's house, and Brooke asked if that meant Liam hadn't stayed the night.
Ridge didn't know and assumed that Liam hadn't. Brooke thought that was good. She wanted Hope to reconsider because it was only a matter of time before Liam and Steffy found their way back to each other. Ridge asked if Brooke believed that Steffy took any joy in the ending of the marriage, and he asserted that it wasn't the case.
Shaking her head, Brooke said she really didn't know. She didn't understand why it was happening and why her daughter wasn't raising her baby with Liam. It all seemed unfair to Brooke, who tearfully said she didn't understand why Hope had lost Beth.
Ridge wrapped a comforting arm around his wife. He said that it was a hard situation, but it was what Hope wanted. Disagreeing, Brooke stated that Hope was doing it for the girls, Liam, Steffy, Thomas, and Douglas. "She's doing this for everybody but herself!" Brooke exclaimed. Ridge said it might be best for everyone, including Hope.
Brooke refused to believe that. Ridge thought that Hope was tough enough to survive it and have a family of her own one day. Brooke asserted that Hope had a family -- with Liam. Noting that the children were counting on Liam, Ridge asked if it was really so bad if it also meant Liam and Steffy could have another shot.
Back at the cabin, Flo arrived. Happy to see her cousin, Hope remarked that they'd hardly had a chance to catch up. She asked how things were at the mansion. Flo responded that everything was great at the house and at work. Hope was glad that Flo had decided to stay in town because Hope felt she could really use having family around her.
Noting that she'd heard it from Wyatt, Flo asked Hope to say that she really wasn't ending her marriage. Hope relayed that she and Liam had parted ways the previous night, and he wasn't living there anymore. Flo said it wasn't fair and that Hope couldn't lose her marriage, too.
Hope told Flo that it was okay; however, Flo stated that it wasn't. Though Hope appreciated how supportive Flo was being, Hope said her dream with Liam had ended when Beth had died. Flo told Hope that she couldn't just give up. "It's over. That's it. And I can't talk about it anymore because it's painful for me," Hope tearfully said.
Flo apologized for having a hard time letting it go. She refused to believe that it was too late for Hope and Liam to be parents and said she'd feel terrible for the rest of her life if Hope ended her marriage over losing her child. Hope replied that Flo was acting as if it had been her doing. Flo affirmed that it had been, and Hope assumed Flo felt guilty for letting Steffy adopt Phoebe.
Flo stated that it had everything to do with that. Flo implored Hope not to give up on her marriage, Liam, or having a child. Flo was adamant that Liam and Hope were meant to have a healthy baby and said that, somewhere out there, a child was just waiting for Hope to be its mother.
Xander levels a hefty threat towards Flo and Zoe
At Steffy's house, while Liam watched Phoebe, who was napping, Liam and Wyatt discussed what was next for Liam. Steffy was out with Kelly. Wyatt asked Liam if Hope had changed her mind or if Liam had tried to change it about ending their marriage.
Liam said that he and Hope had had dinner together, and he had tried to change her mind. However, she was adamant that they had to separate. Wyatt wondered how Liam could give Hope what she wanted when it was killing Liam.
Liam said he realized it was what Hope needed. "But what about what you need?" Wyatt asked. Liam said he couldn't keep fighting for his marriage when Hope was convinced it was over. Liam didn't want to watch his wife suffer any longer. Liam said everything had changed when they'd lost Beth, and it was too painful for Hope to keep trying when she felt that he would be better off with Kelly and Phoebe.
"I want Hope's heart to heal, and if sacrificing our marriage is the only way to do it..." Liam said. He felt it might give Hope the peace she needed. Liam flashed back to times with Hope. He took a deep breath, and Wyatt said he couldn't believe Hope wanted to end their marriage. "First Beth, and now our marriage," Liam said. He wondered how much he and Hope had to lose.
At Forrester, Hope met with Carter about an annulment from Liam. Hope looked over the documents, and Carter said he couldn't believe she was choosing an annulment. Carter recalled that he had married Hope and Liam. and he had known they were a special couple -- two of his favorite people. Hope insisted it was the easiest way, and "I just want it to be done."
Carter said it was a last resort. Hope lamented that she and Liam had had many dreams, but it had all fallen apart when Beth had died on Catalina. Carter tried to persuade Hope to wait a little longer. Thomas entered and interrupted. "Why should Hope postpone?" Thomas asked. Thomas announced that Hope had made her decision, and Carter should not have been second-guessing her.
Carter told Thomas that he hated to see a marriage end. Hope said that Carter had been a good friend and a good attorney. Thomas tried to persuade everyone that it was best to end it quickly. Hope said that she had known it would be hard, but seeing it all in "black and white" made it real. Hope got up and walked around the room. She told Thomas and Carter that she couldn't give Liam a family. She loved Liam. He was the love of her life. Carter said he would deliver the papers to Liam.
At Steffy's, Carter showed up with the annulment papers, and Liam was sick when he realized what was happening. Carter apologized that he had to deliver them. Carter, Liam, and Wyatt discussed that Hope still loved Liam. Carter left, and Wyatt and Liam discussed that there was still time for Hope to change her mind.
Later, back in Hope's office, Thomas praised Hope for her unselfishness for the children. Hope said she wanted to be selfish and not push away the love of her life. Carter returned and told Hope that he had delivered the papers to Liam. Hope asked about how Liam had reacted, and Carter said Liam had been saddened by her request. Carter encouraged her to rethink her decision. They had time to sign the papers. Carter left.
In another office, at Forrester, Zoe and Flo discussed that Xander had found out about Beth being alive. Zoe explained that Xander had overheard them talking and was "horrified and sickened" by it. Flo wondered what he was going to do. Zoe didn't know. Flo worried that Xander had already told Hope and Liam, but Flo said they would have heard. Zoe admitted that she had text messaged and called Xander, but he had not responded.
Xander entered, and Zoe said she had been worried about him. Xander was cold to her and told her and Flo that they had allowed Hope to believe that her little girl had died in childbirth because of Reese. Xander added that Flo and Zoe had been part of a scheme that had made Hope believe that her baby had been stillborn. "And then he just gives the baby away for a price," Xander said.
Xander was disgusted and said he would no longer keep the secret, and Flo and Zoe had to tell Hope and Liam because he couldn't watch them in agony. Zoe and Flo were shaken, and Xander said Hope and Liam deserved the truth. Zoe worried. Xander told her he was also worried because he loved her, but they couldn't continue to lie to Hope. They had destroyed Hope's marriage.
Xander said he was disillusioned. Zoe understood, but she said that she, her father, and Flo could all end up in jail if they told the truth. Zoe insisted that Phoebe was "in a loving home with a wonderful mother." Xander interrupted. "Hope is her mom," he said.
Zoe realized that Xander was not going to keep the secret. "Liam and Hope should know," he said. Zoe begged him not to tell them. "Please don't do this," she pleaded. Pam interrupted and said the new photographer had been waiting for Zoe. Xander, Flo, and Zoe stared at one another, and Pam ordered Zoe to hurry up.
Zoe left with Pam, and Flo tried to justify her role, but Xander ordered her to stop talking. He understood that the secret was sickening to her, but he insisted that Hope and Liam had to know the truth "before any more damage is done." Flo sighed.
Xander said he cared about Zoe and hated what the situation had done to her, but Flo had to tell Hope the truth. Flo insisted that she had tried to tell Hope, and Xander wondered what had stopped her. He realized that Zoe and Reese had stopped her. Flo added that she would lose her new family that had welcomed her.
Xander said the family might find a way to forgive Flo. He promised to speak to them on her behalf. He believed Flo was a good person. Xander begged Flo to tell Hope and give her a miracle. "Give her daughter back," he demanded. Flo nodded and then cried and shook her head.
Xander decides to tell Hope and Liam the truth
In the design office at Forrester, Xander said he knew that Flo was a good person and that the baby secret was eating her alive. He believed that she could fix it. The tearful Flo said it wasn't that simple, but he asserted that the truth was always simpler than a lie. He didn't think she could keep something so life-altering from Hope and insisted that Hope had to know that her daughter was living across town at Steffy's house.
Xander saw the guilt written on Flo's face. He assumed that Flo loved her cousin Hope. Flo affirmed it, and he asked how she could let the lie stand. He urged her to speak up and let Hope and Liam get their daughter and live the life that had been stolen from them. In Xander's mind, it was not only the right thing to do, but it was the only thing to do.
Flo strode to the door, but it opened before she could touch the knob. Zoe entered. She assumed that Flo was going to Hope. Zoe stated that it wasn't happening. She wouldn't let Flo. Xander insisted that Liam and Hope had to know. Zoe told Flo that Flo knew why she couldn't do it. Flo figured that prison might be where they belonged.
Xander didn't believe that prison had to be the outcome. Zoe asked if he thought Hope would thank them for the information and bless them to go on with their lives. Zoe was sure that her father would be arrested. Xander was sorry he had to say it, but in his view, Reese deserved to be arrested for the atrocity.
Zoe told Xander that Flo had signed fake adoption papers, and Zoe was an accessory after the fact. Xander reasoned that it was only if someone pressed charges, but Hope wouldn't do that. Flo replied that she'd do it if she was in Hope's place. Zoe was sure Hope would throw her to the wolves. Xander doubted Hope would turn in her cousin, and he vowed to do whatever it took to make Hope and Liam understand that Zoe and Flo were Reese's victims, too.
Zoe cautioned Flo not to listen to Xander, who meant well but didn't understand what was at stake. Flo asked if carrying the secret wasn't exhausting for Zoe. Flo asked if Zoe just wanted to finally tell the truth and let Hope have her baby back.
Just then, Carter strode in to pick up copies of Liam and Hope's annulment papers that Carter had left in the office. He was on his way to meet with the couple at Brooke's about ending their marriage. Carter apologized for interrupting Xander, Zoe, and Flo, then he left the office.
Xander said that Flo and Zoe had heard Carter, who'd said that Hope and Liam were signing annulment papers that day. Declaring that enough was enough, Xander insisted that Zoe had to tell the truth. Zoe noted that they'd kept the secret that long, and they had to see it through. Flo said that it made them no better than Reese.
Xander argued that Reese was a disaster, and he urged Zoe to stop protecting Reese at a little girl's expense. Xander reasoned that Hope and Liam wouldn't be ending their marriage had it not been for the crime, and Xander didn't think Zoe was doing Steffy any favors by letting her continue to bond with a child that wasn't hers to keep. "I mean, come on!" he yelled.
Zoe asked for time alone with Flo to get on the same page about things and recommended that Xander take the time to clear his head. "Okay," Xander sardonically agreed. He strode out of the office. In the corridor, he became silently resolute.
Later, Zoe and Flo took their talk into the CEO's office, which Zoe claimed was more private. Zoe tried to persuade Flo not to listen to Xander, who wasn't thinking of the consequences that everyone would have to face. Flo stated that another person knew, and she was worried that it was only a matter of time before the secret got out.
Zoe believed that it would be okay once Xander calmed down, and she wanted Flo to stick with the pact that she and Flo had made with Shauna. Flo didn't know how much more she could live with. Zoe asked if Flo wanted to trade being a Logan for being in prison. Flo looked conflicted. Zoe declared that Liam and Hope could never know the truth.
At the cliff house, Liam received a call from Carter during which Carter reminded Liam to meet him and Hope at Brooke's house to finalize the annulment. Liam asked what would happen if he refused to go. Carter said he'd cheer Liam on. Liam thanked Carter and agreed to be there.
After the call, Thomas arrived, glad to find Liam where he belonged. Liam grimaced and explained that he was watching Phoebe while Steffy was at a routine appointment with Kelly. Thomas stated that it was exactly why Liam needed to be around for Steffy.
Thomas had arrived to talk to Liam about the annulment papers. He hoped that Liam wouldn't make it any harder on Hope than it had to be by taking his time to sign them. Thomas stated that Hope needed to move on, so Liam needed to sign the papers without delay.
Later, Liam was ending a call with Amelia, who'd apparently gotten her car fixed and would relieve him from babysitting Phoebe. After clicking off the line, Liam returned to his discussion with Thomas. Liam didn't trust Thomas and saw Thomas as an opportunist and a spoiled socialite blinded by his privilege.
In Liam's view, Thomas was hiding his true motives behind Douglas and said no one would call Thomas out on it because Douglas had just lost his mother. Liam believed that Thomas was manipulating Douglas' needs to get Thomas what Thomas wanted, but Liam warned Thomas that Liam would still be in Hope's life, looking out for her and protecting her. Liam refused to let Thomas use the children to take advantage of Hope.
At Brooke's house, Brooke continued in her endeavor to talk Hope out of giving up on her husband and marriage. Brooke advised Hope to sit down with Liam, Thomas, and Steffy and work out good times for Liam and Hope to spend with the children that needed them. Brooke figured that way, Hope could feel good about the kids and be home with her husband.
Hope believed that letting Liam go was the only way to handle it. It was the hardest thing she'd ever had to do, but Carter would be there soon with the final version of the annulment papers for her and Liam to sign together. It was heartbreaking for Brooke to watch Hope and Liam end their marriage. Hope shared the feeling. She loved Liam; however, nothing had ever been the same since they'd lost Beth, and it never would be.
Brooke persisted, saying Hope hadn't done anything she couldn't take back yet. Brooke stated that Liam didn't want it, and he believed that he and Hope could work through it. In Brooke's view, it was what marriage was about, and couples had to stick together through thick and thin. Leaving Liam was killing Hope, but she insisted that the girls needed him. Douglas needed Hope, and that was just the way it was in Hope's mind.
Later, Brooke had gone. Carter and Hope were alone, reviewing the final annulment papers, when Thomas arrived. Thomas apologized for interrupting, and Hope suggested that she and Carter go to the cabin. Thomas said they should stay because he was going upstairs -- unless Hope needed him. It was okay with Hope that Thomas went upstairs. Thomas asked her to let him know if she needed anything after the signing was complete.
Liam knocked on the door, and Thomas hurried upstairs as Hope answered it. Liam solemnly entered and greeted Carter. As a friend, Carter felt that he had to speak. He said Hope and Liam's love was inspirational, and they'd overcome many obstacles. He asked if they were sure that they couldn't do it again and if they were prepared to end their marriage.
Later, Thomas listened in from behind the wall at the top of the staircase as Carter concluded that Liam and Hope were sure about their separation. Carter explained that there were no real estate or custody issues for the couple. He apologized, saying he hadn't meant to go there.
Hope and Liam forgave Carter, and she asked if it was time to sign. Carter asked if they needed time together, but Hope and Liam explained that they'd made peace with things the other night. Carter handed Hope a pen, but as she posed to sign, Liam decided that he needed to speak.
The annulment was the last thing Liam wanted, but over the course of one night, the future he and Hope had wanted with Beth had disappeared. No matter what he'd tried, he couldn't seem to get them back to where they'd been before that night. Liam stated that he and Hope were about to annul their marriage and pretend that it had never happened. It broke Liam's heart, but he didn't want to put her through it any longer.
Liam felt he had to accept that it was what Hope needed, and he had to give it to her. He wished they could get beyond it and try for a child, but he knew that the thought of it haunted her. He wanted Hope to have peace. "I love you...so I'm letting you go," Liam concluded.
Hope stated that she loved Liam, too. She always would. He was the love of her life. Walking away from the man she'd thought she'd spend her life with was the hardest thing she'd ever done -- with the exception of losing her children. She said it was time to move on because Kelly and Phoebe needed him.
Hope lifted the pen again. Just then, Xander burst into the room, yelling for Hope and Liam to stop. Liam asked what Xander was doing there. Hope told Xander that they were in the middle of signing annulment papers. Xander said that he couldn't let them do that and that Hope and Liam would not sign those papers.
Flo reveals her secret to the wrong person
At Brooke's house, Xander urged Hope and Liam to drop their pens and listen to him. He was certain they wouldn't want to have an annulment after hearing what he had to say. Thomas, who'd been listening upstairs, grimaced and strode away from where he'd been perched.
As Carter, Liam, and Hope tried to get Xander to understand that he'd arrived at a bad time, a car alarm sounded. Xander tried to talk over it, but Liam claimed not to be able to hear himself think because of the blaring. Xander decided to attend to his car and return to the conversation afterward.
Outside, Xander used his key fob to silence his alarm. Thomas shoved Xander, saying, "You're not going back in there. You're done." Xander tried to dodge Thomas, to no avail.
"Where did you come from?" Xander asked. Thomas said he lived there, and Xander, who didn't live there, had to go. Xander gleaned that Thomas had set off Xander's car alarm and asked why. Thomas replied that Xander was interfering in something he knew nothing about and hurting someone Thomas cared about. Thomas didn't think Hope needed to keep explaining herself, especially to someone who was nothing to her.
Xander asserted that Hope would never say that about him as her friend and employee. He said Hope wouldn't be ending her marriage if she knew what he knew. Thomas offered to pass along whatever information Xander had. Xander started to say that "Flo wasn't -- " something, but he stopped himself short, unsure that he should trust Thomas, who'd been bullying Xander into not even talking to Hope. Xander decided it was none of Thomas' business.
Thomas claimed that he was "technically" Xander's boss. Xander asked if Thomas was threatening his job. Thomas asked what it was that Xander needed to tell Hope and repeated that Xander wouldn't step foot back in the house. Acquiescing, Xander stated that Hope wouldn't be happy that Thomas was the reason that she didn't find out that day. "And she will find out," Xander declared.
Back in the house, Hope and Liam wondered what Xander wanted. Carter assumed that, like himself, Xander had wanted to talk Hope and Liam out of it. Hope said that Zoe and Xander worked with her on HFTF, and she thought it would be courteous to hear Xander out instead of telling him that there was nothing he could say to change things.
After a while, Hope, Liam, and Carter wondered what had happened to Xander. Carter checked outside and said that Xander had left. Hope thought that was weird, but Carter assumed Xander might have become embarrassed by his actions.
Upstairs, Thomas returned to his eavesdropping post as Carter resumed explaining the annulment. He said that there had to be a valid reason for the annulment, and he believed he had the documentation to support Hope's claim that she could not have children. Liam stared painfully at Hope as she signed page by page, and he reluctantly signed each one after her. Carter watched them and just shook his head in pity.
After the papers had been signed, Carter said he had to take the documents before a judge, but he didn't foresee any issues. Carter left, and Hope said she was sorry. Liam told her not to be sorry about losing Beth. "Okay, then for everything else -- except loving you," she replied.
After a while, Liam figured that Xander wouldn't be back. "Ah, I guess it doesn't matter now," Liam added. Hope asked if Liam wanted to stay for dinner. He joked, asking if they were back to dating. Hope didn't know what they were. Liam lifted his shaky hand, removed his wedding band, and put it into his pocket.
Looking around, Liam said their marriage had begun and ended in that room. He told Hope that it might be awhile before he could be in that room again. Hope told him that he was free to be with Kelly and Phoebe. She wanted that for him because she'd known that he loved her too much to want it for himself.
Disconcerted, Liam stated, "I can't say goodbye." He kissed Hope's forehead and left the house. Hope sank down into a pool of sobs.
At Forrester, Zoe said that Flo was exhausting. At one moment, Flo would agree to keep the secret, and in the next moment, Flo was ready to tell the world about Hope's child. Flo quipped that she hadn't told Xander. Zoe replied that he'd overheard Zoe and Flo talking about it.
Flo asked if Zoe got that they didn't have to stand by and let Hope and Liam dissolve their chance at happiness. Zoe figured it was too late, and the annulment was signed. Flo reasoned that if marriages could be easily undone, so could annulments. Zoe didn't want to go to her grave with the secret, but she didn't feel she had another choice.
Flo and Zoe sat down to stuff invitations, a task Zoe had volunteered them for. They discussed the pros and cons of telling Hope about the baby. Flo had her reasons for telling, and Zoe had her reasons for not telling. However, since Xander knew, he wouldn't think about the repercussions if Hope learned that Beth was alive. Flo told Zoe to tell her father to disappear, and once he disappeared, she and Zoe would go to the police and portray themselves as Reese's victims.
Zoe looked unconfident, but Flo insisted that they hadn't known what Reese had done until it had already been set in motion. In Flo's mind, she and Zoe were only guilty of keeping the secret for as long as they had. Zoe doubted that it was a workable defense. Flo replied that they needed to stop being afraid and just see what would happen.
Later, Zoe was alone when Xander arrived. From the look on her face, he gleaned what decision she and Flo had reached, and he said he wasn't surprised. Zoe asked if he expected her to be cavalier about sending her father to prison. Xander said he expected her to care about right and wrong. "So much for unconditional love," she quipped.
For Xander, it wasn't a question of love. He'd never known anyone who'd done anything as vile as Zoe's father. He understood that she was conflicted; however, he was not, and that was the reason he'd gone to stop Liam and Hope from annulling their marriage.
Zoe became enraged that Xander had gone to Liam and Hope, and Zoe assumed that Xander had told them everything.
At the Forrester mansion, Thomas entered while Flo was in the living room. He'd arrived to ask her what Xander had wanted. Flo didn't know what Thomas was talking about, and Thomas explained that Xander had rushed into Liam and Hope's annulment session with information that he claimed would change their minds. Thomas asked Flo what the information was.
Flo didn't know and asked what Xander had said. Thomas explained that he'd gotten rid of Xander, but Xander had mentioned Flo's name. From the look on her face, Thomas figured that Flo knew what it was. Flo asked why, if she even knew, she would tell Thomas.
Thomas replied that he loved and cared about Hope, and if things had been different, he'd be married to Hope instead of Liam. Thomas corrected that Hope wasn't married to anyone anymore, and Flo guessed that Hope had annulled her marriage.
Thomas returned to pressing Flo to say what Xander had wanted to tell Hope and Liam, and Flo revealed that it was about Beth. Thomas asked why Flo had brought up Hope's dead daughter and what it was about her. In Flo's silence, Thomas bellowed, "What? Tell me!"
"She's alive," Flo blurted out. "Beth is alive!"