The Bold and the Beautiful Recaps: The week of January 25, 2021 on B&B
Paris confronted Zoe about Zende. Ridge caught Zoe coming on to Zende, and Zoe rushed to set a wedding date with Carter. Steffy discovered she had to wait to get a paternity test. Katie and Bill deliberated giving their relationship another chance.
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Bill begged Katie to give him another chance, Ridge caught Zoe making a pass at Zende
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February 1, 2021
Zoe confronts Zende about the delayed text message Zoe confronts Zende about the delayed text message
Monday, January 25, 2021

In Dr. Campbell's office, the doctor offered to set up an appointment for Steffy's paternity test, but Steffy insisted that she needed it done that very day. Steffy confided in the doctor that it could be one of two men, but she hoped that it was Finn's baby. She needed to know either way, so she could make plans.

Dr. Campbell inquired whether the men knew about the situation. Steffy affirmed it. She said it was why she needed to proceed quickly, so she could figure out how to move forward. Dr. Campbell said they couldn't test that day. They had to wait at least eight weeks.

The doctor began to calculate how many weeks Steffy was pregnant, based upon her last cycle, but Steffy interrupted, asking if they could at least try. Dr. Campbell said that the lab wouldn't be able to get conclusive results. Steffy looked frustrated. The doctor empathized with Steffy but told her that she couldn't stress out about it and needed to stay calm for everyone's health.

The doctor assured Steffy that she'd have the answer after a little while. She advised Steffy to schedule the next appointment and said she'd see Steffy soon.

In Brooke's cabin, Hope was alone when a solemn Liam slipped in through the front door. He began to express how sorry he was and attempted to wish for something. Hope interrupted, saying that she loved him, which was at least a start.

Hope informed Liam that Thomas had overheard them at the house earlier, talking about the situation and Steffy's pregnancy. Liam figured that Thomas had to have enjoyed saying he'd been right all along. Hope replied that it had been the exact opposite, and Thomas had urged her not to break up her family. Thomas had advised her to forgive Liam.

Surprised to hear it, Liam asked if Hope had believed Thomas. Hope sensed that Thomas had been sincere. Liam wondered if it had had an effect on Hope or changed her outlook on things. Hope replied that it wouldn't just change instantly, and it would take time -- if she ever could get past it. Liam hadn't meant to rush Hope. He just missed how things had been.

Hope did, too. She wanted her life with Liam back, and she wanted none of it to have ever happened. She stated that she couldn't have that, especially not if he were the child's father.

Liam's phone chimed. Steffy had sent him a message. She wanted to see him and Hope as soon as possible.

At the cliff house, Steffy thanked Finn for meeting her. Finn said it had sounded urgent. She replied that there was a lot they needed to discuss -- all four of them. Finn began to say that he wasn't ready for some big "Kumbaya" session, but he was interrupted as Liam and Hope entered the house. Hope asked what it was about and why they were all there.

Steffy wanted everyone there to talk. Hope wasn't interested in rehashing things. Steffy, who wasn't, either, said she and Liam had already expressed how sorry they were and how much they regretted hurting Hope and Finn. Steffy wanted to talk about what happened next. She'd just had a doctor's appointment, and the doctor had confirmed her pregnancy. It was too early for a pregnancy test. She let them know that the doctor had advised her that she needed to stay calm for the baby's sake.

Steffy told them that she'd apologized. She'd meant every word, but she needed to stop stressing. She had a baby she had to protect. She hoped they understood. Steffy was ashamed that she'd betrayed Finn, but there was nothing ugly about the baby. She'd love it no matter who the father was or how it had come to be. Finn replied that it should be that way.

Steffy wanted Finn to be a father and to see him hold his child for the first time. She wanted to watch him raise the child with tenderness. It was the future she wanted with Finn. Steffy was praying that the baby wasn't Liam's; however, if it was, Steffy wanted Hope to know that Steffy hadn't meant to hurt Hope or undermine her marriage. She didn't want to tear Hope's family apart.

Assuring them all that she'd get a paternity test, Steffy stated that they just had to wait a little bit longer. She'd get the test, and they'd find out if the baby was Finn's or Liam's.

In the photo studio in the backstage area, Zoe looked at Zende's message, wondering what he'd meant and why she was just then receiving it. Carter entered, stating that he'd found the woman he'd been looking for. "All of my life," he jokingly added. He noticed the intense look on her face and wondered if something was wrong.

Zoe claimed it was an unexpected work thing. Carter hoped it didn't take up too much of her time because they had a wedding to plan. First on his agenda was picking a wedding date, and the sooner the date, the better for Carter.

Carter hoped that Zoe had thought about it as much as he had. He suggested that they peruse a calendar over wine that evening. Zoe liked the way he approached wedding planning. Looking forward to seeing her later, he decided to take off and let her work.

As Carter exited, Donna greeted him on her way in. Donna hung a garment bag on a clothes rack and joked that she was pretending not to be jealous of Zoe. Donna remarked that Carter was getting more attractive by the day. Zoe laughed and agreed. She asked if Donna had seen Zende, and Donna informed Zoe that he was upstairs. Zoe asked Donna to relay to him that Zoe wanted to see him. It sounded important to Donna. Gazing at her phone, Zoe said it was.

In the CEO's office, Zende exclaimed with joy that he was back in business. Paris asked what he was doing, and he told her that he'd had to reset his phone. He asked her to send him a test text message. She complied, and he immediately received it. Reading it, he asked what Paris was thanking him for.

Paris stated that Zende had been awesome that day, making introductions for her around the office. She'd been nervous, but everyone had been warm and welcoming. He assumed that she meant everyone but Zoe. Paris remarked that Zoe was protective of the life she'd created there, and having Paris around was jarring for Zoe.

Zende didn't think the sisters would see much of each other because they worked in different departments, but Paris added that it also pertained to Zoe's personal life, relationships, and friendships with Zende's family. "And with you," Paris pointedly added.

Zende asked how Paris was enjoying her job. Paris thought the job was great, but the people were even greater. Taking note of her Buckingham flirtatious spirit, Zende said Paris already had the job and didn't have to butter him up.

Paris wanted to set things straight with Zende. She said she'd enjoyed their kiss and wouldn't complain about it happening again after hours, but she was there to do a job. That meant no flirting or playing games. Zende replied that one had to respect that.

Just then, Donna arrived. She informed Zende that he needed to hightail it backstage because it sounded like Zoe really needed him down there.

Later, Donna and Paris were alone. Donna subtly remarked about Zende showing Paris around the building that day. Paris became bashful about it. Donna said the Buckingham sisters were lucky. Donna added that Zende was quite the catch, and Zoe had hit the jackpot with Carter.

"Imagine going home to that hunk of a man every night," Donna said as Carter stood behind her. Paris reminded Donna of the time Paris had embarrassed herself by talking about Zende as he stood behind her. Donna's face blanched. She turned to see Carter behind her, grinning. Donna wanted to go hide under her desk, but the humble Carter appreciated the complement. He stated that he was the one who'd hit the jackpot with Zoe.

Back in the photo studio, Zende entered and told Zoe that he'd heard she'd wanted to see him urgently. Zoe was glad he'd arrived and said it could affect the rest of their lives. Zende asked what she was talking about.

Zoe wondered if Zende had ever made a decision without all the information. He asked if the issue at hand had something to do with her wedding date. Zoe didn't doubt she'd have a good life with Carter, but she couldn't stop wondering about what she and Zende could be.

"Don't go there," Zende responded. Zoe didn't want to hurt Carter but felt she and Zende should figure out what was between them before she committed to Carter. Zende noted that she was engaged to and living with Carter. Zoe replied that it was due to one night that hadn't gone the way either of them had expected. "But if I'd known how you felt..." she said.

Zende didn't know what Zoe thought she knew, but he said it didn't change what had happened that night or any night after. He repeated that Zoe was engaged. Zoe replied that she wouldn't be if things had gone the way they should have. She stated that Zende had been trying to get through to her and trying to see if they could have a chance.

Zende didn't know how Zoe could know that. Zoe revealed that she'd gotten the text message that had asked her to take it slow with Carter and meet up with Zende instead. She let him know that she hadn't known he'd been waiting for her because the message had only just arrived to her that day.

Paris warns that Zoe could lose everything Paris warns that Zoe could lose everything
Tuesday, January 26, 2021

In Ridge's office, Carter suggested that he and Ridge take their mates to Il Giardino sometime. Ridge told Carter to name the date. Carter hoped Zoe would soon pick a date for the wedding. In Carter's view, Zoe was it for him. Wondering if the feeling was mutual, Ridge conveyed his feeling that Carter and Zoe's relationship seemed a bit rushed.

Carter could see how it would appear that way, but he revealed that he'd been into Zoe ever since she'd gotten to town. He hadn't thought they'd be more than friends, but things had changed. Their connection had grown, and Carter had made his move. He added that she'd accepted his marriage proposal, and in his mind, that was enough to make it mutual.

Ridge pointed out that there still wasn't a wedding date. Carter stated that he wasn't the problem. He was ready to do it except for one thing. Looking to Ridge, Carter indicated that he needed a best man. Ridge readily agreed to do it and said he'd be upset if Carter had asked anyone else. Carter felt he was all set -- if only Zoe would pick a date.

Paris arrived, and Carter greeted her. "Zoe won't pick a date?" Paris asked. Carter indicated that it wasn't that Zoe wouldn't do it; she just hadn't yet. Preparing to leave, Carter promised to let Paris and Ridge know when the wedding would be, just as soon as Zoe decided upon it.

Alone with Paris, Ridge hailed Carter as an exceptional guy. He felt that Zoe was lucky to have a generous and committed man like that. Paris agreed and said Ridge obviously liked Carter. Ridge replied that Carter was his best friend, and there was nothing he wouldn't do for him.

Ridge asked Paris to be honest about something. Paris agreed to be. Ridge asked if the relationship between Carter and Zoe was something Ridge should worry about. Paris was curious about what Ridge meant by the question.

Ridge explained that Zoe's focus should be on Carter in the same way that Carter's was on Zoe. Claiming that some people burned hotter than others, Paris stated that Zoe attracted attention, and that was how Zoe liked it. Ridge didn't get what Paris meant.

Paris said that Zoe was a free spirit. It might make Zoe seem frivolous, but she wasn't. Paris added that if Zoe had chosen Carter as the man she wanted to marry, people could believe it. Ridge didn't see Zoe as a happily committed woman. Paris asked where Ridge's concerns stemmed from, and Ridge revealed that he'd seen the way Zoe looked at Zende.

Paris stated that Zende and Zoe were good friends. Paris knew for a fact that Zoe loved Carter and was excited to marry him. Paris didn't think Ridge should be concerned. Paris left for a meeting, but Ridge continued to look concerned.

Backstage, Zoe showed Zende her phone. She refused to let him deny his feelings any longer. She claimed to have the proof of them right there. She said she hadn't gotten married yet, so it wasn't too late. She prodded Zende to admit that he hadn't wanted her to be with Carter.

Zoe recalled asking Zende if she should be with Carter. Because Zende hadn't said anything, she'd left. She deduced that, at some point after that, Zende had sent her the message. She figured he'd wanted to see if there was a chance for them.

"All right, yes!" Zende exclaimed. He admitted that he'd wanted there to be a chance; however, the text hadn't gone through. "And now it's too late," he concluded. Zoe replied that it wasn't too late for them, and she refused to accept that it could be. He didn't know what she was even saying and reminded her that she was engaged to his good friend.

"And we still have feelings for each other," Zoe responded. To Zende, that didn't matter. He reasoned that it might have been fate, and he said she might be meant to be with Carter. She contended that it might be the other way around. "No!" Zende asserted. He declared that he and Zoe would not happen.

Nearby, Paris traversed the back area but stopped by a curtain when she heard a heated argument between Zende and Zoe. Zende yelled that Zoe was engaged and had made her choice. Zoe replied that it had been before she'd known that Zende had feelings for her, too. She couldn't believe she hadn't gotten the text, which could have changed everything.

Zende told Zoe to consider that it was supposed to work out the way it had. He insisted that he could not betray his friend. Zoe said that Carter was wonderful, and she could have a home and family with him. Her future was there for the taking if she'd just walk into it. She asked how she could do that when there was Zende. Paris' brows rose as she listened.

Zende insisted that Zoe drop it. Zoe asked if Zende was really willing to let a future go if they were the ones who were meant to be. He said she was beautiful and inspiring. He would have loved a different outcome, but she was engaged. He urged her to focus on Carter and the life she wanted. Zende stated that timing was everything, and theirs was just off. He was sorry to say it, but that was the way it was.

Zende strode off. Paris revealed herself. She guessed that Carter wasn't enough, and Zoe had to have Zende, too. Zoe claimed to not know what Paris was talking about. Paris repeated some of what Zoe had said to Zende and asked if Zoe was being for real. Zoe told Paris to mind her own business and to stay out of Zende's business.

"Wow, your engaged-to-Carter self is seriously ordering me to stay away from Zende?" Paris asked. Zoe asserted that she was, and she expected Paris to listen that time. Paris was amazed that Carter wasn't good enough for Zoe. Paris didn't know what was wrong with Zoe and asked if Zoe understood what a dangerous game she was playing.

Zoe repeated that it wasn't Paris' business, but Paris guessed she had to protect Zoe from Zoe's own worst impulses. Paris was livid that Zoe was stringing Carter along as he waited for her to pick a wedding date. Zoe told Paris not to judge her.

Paris had thought Zoe's flirtations had been playful and was appalled to learn that they were serious. Paris reminded Zoe that Carter was Ridge's best friend. "You keep going down this road, and it's going to end in disaster," Paris warned. Zoe contended that it might end with her being with the man she was actually meant to be with.

Upstairs in Ridge's office, Zende arrived, and Ridge said he needed to talk to Zende. Zende guessed it was about a design, but Ridge wanted to talk about Zoe.

At Spencer, Bill was in one of his bristly moods. He went off on Wyatt about the manner in which Wyatt should conduct a deal. Next, he griped about Liam not being at work. Wyatt figured that he knew the cause of Bill's mood. Bill snickered about a man dressed like a grape being able to tell him about himself. In his wine-colored suit, Wyatt stated that Bill missed Katie.

Just then, Katie arrived. Wyatt said she was just in time, and Bill stated that he couldn't tell her how wonderful it was to see her lovely face. Katie looked suspiciously at Bill. She had a bag in her hand. While out shopping, she had found a game about economy and entrepreneurship. She thought Will and Bill would have a fun time picking apart the things the game got wrong.

Bill thanked Katie for the gift. She turned to leave, but Wyatt begged her not to. He said that she made Bill nicer, and for the sake of everyone at the company, she should stay forever. Bill invited her to take a seat, and she did. He noted that she looked stunning. "Okay. Um, I'm trying to figure out what's going on here," Katie replied, looking at the men.

Bill claimed that nothing was going on and surmised that Katie underestimated his commitment. Wyatt grunted, and Bill asked if his son had work to do. Bill added that if Wyatt didn't, Bill could create some janitorial work for Wyatt to do. Wyatt readily headed toward the door, but Bill additionally suggested Wyatt get a new suit. Wyatt quipped that it was called fashion.

Once alone with Katie, Bill stated that he didn't want to pressure her or put her on the spot. He just wanted her to know that he meant it when he said it was wonderful to just be in the same room with her. He missed her presence, warmth, and humor. There were other things he missed, too. Katie looked away.

Bill admitted that he'd been hard to be around at the office, but it was because he missed that calming effect she had on him. He knew that he had no one but himself to blame. Katie thought awareness was good. "Well, I'll take that. It's a point in my column!" Bill exclaimed.

Katie thought she and Bill were getting into dangerous territory. She tried to say why she'd stopped by, but he assumed it was to tell him that she missed him. He stated that he missed her. She replied that he'd done that twice. Bill was prepared to do it a third, fourth, and fifth time. He'd say it as many times as it took.

Bill missed everything about Katie. He missed her daily surprises. He missed putting Will to bed and cuddling on the sofa together. He missed all the things that added up to being a family. Bill missed being a family and having a home with her and Will.

Bill expressed sorrow for what he'd done. Katie believed him. He was always sorry, she always forgave him, and then it would happen again. She asked what the definition of insanity was. Bill said it was hurting her in the first place and compromising their relationship. He claimed it was the longest they'd been apart. He hated every moment of it. Bill had thought he'd never needed anyone, but he was wrong. He needed Katie.

Bill stated that he couldn't erase the past, but he could make up for it if Katie would let him. Katie didn't know if she was ready for it. Bill conveyed that he'd given her the space she'd asked for. He didn't want to pressure her, but he couldn't let the life they'd created fall away.

Katie explained that she'd never meant for things to fall apart. She thought it had been good between Bill and her, but he'd kissed her sister. It had devastated Katie, who was supposed to be the woman with whom Bill had been in love. Bill said she had been the woman, and she was still the woman. "But you hurt me. You break my heart...I deserve better than that!" she replied.

Katie felt that she deserved a man who loved only her and who kept his commitments. She deserved a man who set an example for their son about how to treat a woman. Bill asserted that he could be that man for her and for Will. Bill said it was about more than restoring their family. It was about Katie, whom he loved with all of his heart. He missed her and needed her. "Let me come home," Bill stated to a tearful Katie.

Katie tells Bill that she doesn't know if she can ever trust him again Katie tells Bill that she doesn't know if she can ever trust him again
Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Paris demanded to know what Zoe was thinking. "You're playing Carter and Zende," Paris snapped. She blasted Zoe's "inexcusable" and "disrespectful" behavior. Zoe explained that she would not try to claim that there was nothing going on between her and Zende, but she claimed that she wanted to know where she stood with Zende before she went through with her marriage to Carter.

Paris questioned why her sister didn't just come clean with Carter. Zoe explained that she didn't want to "freak" Carter out over nothing. Zoe shared that her relationship with Carter had seemed to move at warp speed. Paris didn't buy Zoe's explanation. Zoe didn't care what Paris believed, but she ordered Paris to keep her mouth shut and not say a word to anyone.

Elsewhere at Forrester Creations, Zende was summoned to Ridge's office, but Zende was unaware of what Ridge wanted to discuss. Zende's face fell when Ridge explained that he wanted to discuss Zoe's engagement to Carter. Ridge instructed Zende to close the office door. Ridge told Zende that Carter had just been in his office and that the "big mountain of a man was giddy." Ridge then chuckled slightly and said that if it weren't against the law, he believed that Carter would try to officiate his own wedding.

Zende remarked that Ridge and Carter were like brothers. "But without the competition part," Ridge added. "Carter deserves happiness," Ridge stated firmly, adding, "And happiness for him includes a wife that is not looking at other men." Zende said that he agreed with Ridge's statement. Ridge apologize if he appeared to be coming on strong, but he insisted that he was looking out for Carter. Ridge again repeated that he did not want Carter to be involved with a woman whose heart was not fully committed to him. Zende's phone rang, and Ridge gave him permission to take the call.

On the other end of the phone, Zoe asked Zende what he was up to. Without indicating who was on the call, Zende said that he was going to go home, order takeout, and crash early. "Sounds lonesome," Zoe cooed as Paris looked on with a scowl. Zoe told Zende that she'd see him later and ended the call.

"What are you up to?" Paris asked. Paris insisted that she cared about Zoe and wanted to make sure that Zoe was not going down the wrong path. There were "complexities" that Paris could not possibly understand, Zoe responded. Zoe explained that that very situation was why she didn't want Paris working at Forrester. "I've seen you do this before," Paris replied. Zoe warned Paris to back off or risk being fired. "I am engaged to the COO," Zoe sassed. "I wasn't sure you remembered," Paris snapped back. Zoe shook her head and walked away.

Ridge finished up a call in his office and called out to Paris when he saw her walk by in the hallway. Ridge told her that he wanted to finish their discussion about Zoe. Ridge told Paris that he'd just been made Carter's best man, and he wanted to make sure that Zoe was as committed to Carter as Carter was to Zoe.

At the Forrester mansion, Zende fondly reflected on some of his time with Zoe. As he did, Zoe arrived unexpectedly. "When you told me that you were going to be in the big house all by yourself, I kinda figured it was more of an invitation," she said seductively, explaining, "So, I'm here to keep you company." Zende told Zoe that he was just about to go for a swim. Zoe shared that she'd like to take a dip, too, before pointing out that she didn't have a swimsuit. "Though we shouldn't let that stop us," she purred.

Zende insisted that when he'd said he would be alone, it had not been an invitation for Zoe to drop by. When Zende pointed out that Zoe was engaged, Zoe countered by saying that she'd take her ring off if it made Zende feel more comfortable. Repeating what she'd said earlier to Paris, Zoe told Zende that her relationship with Carter had moved very fast and that Zende showing up unexpectedly during all of that had made her want to explore what she could have with Zende.

In his office at Spencer, Bill vowed to be a better man to Katie. "Please believe me when I tell you, I want our life back. Let me come home," Bill said. Katie told Bill that she had trusted Bill too many times. Bill agreed and admitted that he'd screwed up and hurt Katie too many times. The time apart from her, however, had made him realize how much he loved her. He then added that "even through those very thick walls that you have deservedly put up, [I know] that you still love me, too."

Katie became uncomfortable and decided that she should leave. Before she could get to the door, Bill asked her to stay. He told her that he'd been wanting to say what he'd said for weeks. Bill claimed that all he'd been talking about for weeks was getting Katie to take him back. He urged her to ask Justin and even the janitorial staff if she didn't believe him. "You know me, Pleading is not in my nature," Bill said gruffly, stating, "If this was business, I'd have moved on [to the] next venture. But for some reason with you, I just can't do that."

Bill apologized that it had taken him so many "screwups" to realize the error of his ways. Katie admitted that she wanted more than anything for things to go back to normal. "I just hope and pray that we're not messing him up with all of this," Katie replied. Bill ceded that he'd hoped that the time apart had made Katie miss him. "We're really good together when I am not screwing things up," Bill continued.

Bill recalled his and Katie's wedding in the park by Katie's childhood home and how beautiful she had looked. He then moved on to reminiscing about how, against all odds, Katie had given birth to their son, Will. Tears streamed down Katie's cheeks as she listened to Bill. "I've almost lost you -- twice," Bill said, his voice cracking slightly. He insisted, "I am not going to lose you now. I'm going to do whatever it takes to keep us together. Because that's what I want."

Katie said that Bill always seemed to know what to say with his apologies. "I just wish they weren't always directed at me," she said softly. Katie admitted that she missed Bill, but she also remembered why she and Bill were apart. Katie argued that Bill would always love Brooke -- and that they'd been in the same situation more than once. Katie told Bill that she wasn't sure that she could trust him again with her heart.

Bill urged Katie not to give up on him. "Just one more chance," Bill begged, adding, "I am lost without our family." Bill confessed that there had been a time that he'd never admit all of the things that he'd been telling Katie. "You ground me, and I push you -- and together it's perfect. There's balance," Bill continued. Katie again asked how she could ever trust Bill again. "I do believe that you are sincere -- at least I think you are," Katie stated. If -- and Katie stressed it was a big if -- there were to be a chance for them to get back together, Bill would have to prove that he was "worthy" of her love and trust.

"It's gonna take a lot more than pretty words -- and a lot more than fancy jewelry," Katie said in a somewhat agitated manner. "More than a tiara," Bill quipped. Fighting a smile, Katie replied, "Much more than a tiara." Bill then countered, "Even with all those diamonds?" The smile disappeared as Katie countered, "Even with all those diamonds." Katie explained that she needed to be "loved and respected and wanted and cherished." Bill promised that he could do all of those things.

Ridge walks in on a moment between Zende and Zoe Ridge walks in on a moment between Zende and Zoe
Thursday, January 28, 2021

In Ridge's office, Ridge wanted Paris to understand his viewpoint about Carter. Paris comprehended that Ridge didn't want Carter to be hurt. She didn't want that and was sure Zoe didn't, either. Ridge noted that Zoe and Zende seemed to be an awkward subject for Paris.

Paris inquired whether Ridge had sisters. He named them, Felicia and Kristen, and said they were complete opposites. Paris said it was that way with her and Zoe, and they saw certain things differently as adults. Ridge asked if Paris was referring to Zende.

Carter entered, looking for Zoe. He was disappointed when Paris didn't know where Zoe was. Ridge asked what was going on, and Carter conveyed that he and Zoe were setting a date for the wedding that night. Paris asked if he'd sent her a text message.

"I have," Carter said with heavy emphasis in his voice. Glad to have at least one important wedding detail lined up, Carter thanked Ridge for being the best man. Ridge was honored to do it and merely wanted Carter to have a woman who loved him as much as he loved her.

Carter left for his office. Ridge liked seeing Carter happy and in love. Ridge asked if Paris thought Zoe felt the same way. He couldn't help but notice the vibe he got from Zende and Zoe. Ridge sensed something, and he didn't want it to hurt Carter. "You can go," Ridge decided.

Rethinking it, Ridge decided to say more to Paris and asked her to remain. He asked if she knew why he'd hired her. He said she'd had a great résumé, but she was also a good, honest person. He could see that in her at that moment, because whatever was bothering him appeared to be bothering her, too. He asked Paris what was going on with Zoe.

In Paris' silence, Ridge said he understood Paris not wanting to betray her sister, but he didn't want to see Carter hurt again. Ridge asked if Carter was being played. Ridge stated that Zende was at home alone, but Zoe was nowhere to be found. He asked where Zoe was. Paris shrugged and said she wasn't sure where Zoe was. "See yourself out," Ridge said, and he left.

Later, Paris stared at her phone, willing Zoe to respond. Carter arrived with contracts for Ridge to sign. Paris said Ridge had gone already. For a moment, Carter wondered where Ridge had gone. Leaving the contracts on the desk, Carter said he was in a hurry to leave. He was sure the night would be huge for him and Zoe.

At Eric's house in the candlelit living room, Zoe stated that she and Zende had the place to themselves, and if they were really going to "do this," the time was then. Zende wasn't sure what she meant.

Zoe insisted that Zende knew what she was talking about and said it could be the night that they saw where things went. In her view, they'd been doing the dance for too long, and it was time for them to be honest with each other. He replied that he'd been honest with her. Zoe decided that it was then or never, and she'd find out if her future was to be with Carter or with Zende.

"This can't happen!" Zende exclaimed. Zoe said it certainly wouldn't if they kept overthinking it and being so cautious. He replied that it was how they protected the people they loved. Zoe felt that they protected the people by ensuring she wasn't making the wrong choice.

Zoe wanted them to focus on "us." Zende replied that there was no "us." He cared about her and was attracted to her, but he also had to live with himself and the choices he made. "There's no way I can do that if I -- " he began to say. Cutting himself off, Zende apologized and declared that there could be no future for them. The reality was that she was engaged to Carter.

Zoe insisted that there was a spark between her and Zende. She said he'd been fighting it, but she knew from the text message that Zende had wanted them to have a chance. She believed that "this" could be their only chance, and things could start between them that night.

Frustrated, Zende began pacing. Zoe got that he was uncomfortable with it. "Carter is my -- " Zende rasped. Zoe cut him off, saying she was Zende's friend, too, and they'd been circling their attraction for months. She said they both felt it. She wanted just one night with him before she committed to Carter. She wanted to know what it would be like, and she wanted Zende to know, too. She said it could change everything for them and asked for the chance to prove it.

As Zoe tried to convince Zende, Zende urged her to listen to him. It wasn't that he wasn't flattered. He thought she was amazing. He figured that she was just as amazing to Carter, who wanted to marry her. Zoe didn't want to talk about Carter, but Zende insisted that they had to. In Zende's view, Carter was a huge factor. "I know, but -- " Zoe said.

Zende replied that there were no exceptions. He readily admitted that there was an attraction between them, but he said they couldn't go forward with what she proposed. He wouldn't disrespect Carter or betray his friend. Zoe didn't want to, either, but asked how she could be true and honorable when she had unexplored feelings for Zende.

Ridge stepped silently into the foyer with a snarl on his face as he listened to Zoe and Zende, who were by the door to Eric's home office den. Zoe was saying she'd tried to fight it. She knew that Zende felt it, too. Zende said Zoe's name, but insisting that she wasn't imagining it, she believed that if they gave in to it, it could be much more. She asked if they owed it to each other.

Zende asked about Carter and what they owed him. He asked her to think of the incredible life she could have with Carter. Zoe knew it, but she couldn't help but wonder about the life she could have with Zende, especially if he was the man she was supposed to be with. She asked if they could just find out while they still had the chance.

Zoe walked toward Zende, but he backed up, almost hitting the door behind him. "That's enough!" Ridge roared. He asked what was going on there and what he'd just walked in on.

In Bill's office, Bill recalled his earlier conversation with Katie about what she needed from a man. Wyatt and Flo arrived to invite Bill to their place for dinner, but sensing Bill's mood, Wyatt changed his mind. Flo said they weren't changing their minds, but Bill agreed with her "wise-ass" grape-suit-wearing boyfriend. Wyatt quipped that when Katie wasn't around, Bill was like a mean rhino that they couldn't invite to dinner.

Flo had spoken earlier with Wyatt about Katie's visit. Flo acknowledged Bill's feelings for Katie and imagined that Katie knew them, too. Bill knew that all the apologies in the world couldn't make up for what he'd done, but he'd keep fighting. Wyatt replied that Bill was one of the most persuasive people that Wyatt knew. Bill recalled that before Katie, "Love them and leave them" had been his mantra.

Wyatt considered it positive that Katie hadn't closed the door on Bill. Although Bill agreed, he knew that it was hard to rebuild trust. He realized that his words didn't mean much when he'd promised not to hurt Katie, only to have it happen again. Bill couldn't blame Katie for being hesitant after he'd failed their family.

Flo asked if Bill had told Katie that. Bill had, and he asked Flo why she'd asked. Flo said that if someone she loved who'd hurt her had been as honest and remorseful as Bill, Flo would take that person back. Bill thanked Flo and hoped that Katie would feel the way Flo did.

At Brooke's house, Katie asked Donna where Brooke was. Brooke wasn't around. Katie wanted to talk to Donna, anyway. Katie wasn't sure if she needed good advice or for someone to listen without judging. Donna claimed that she never judged -- almost never. Katie thought Donna might change her mind once she heard what it was about. Donna sensed she already knew.

Katie said she'd dropped off a gift at Bill's office for Bill to give to Will. Donna asked how Will was. Katie said that he was fine and wanted his parents back together. Donna assumed that wasn't going to happen. "Or is it?" Donna pressed.

Later, Donna was surprised that Bill had opened up the way he had. Katie wanted to believe Bill, who didn't show his feelings often. Katie did love Bill. "Still," Katie said with a sad chuckle. She didn't know if she could open her heart and trust him. Katie stated that she'd been honest with Bill. She'd told him that she needed a man who cherished her more than anyone else -- especially Brooke.

Later, Katie was alone in Brooke's living room when Bill called her. He thanked her for stopping by. He hoped there had been more to the visit than dropping off the game. Katie said Bill's name. He conveyed that he didn't want to pressure her, but he wanted her to know that he'd heard her. She'd made herself clear about what she expected from him or any man.

Bill recited the things Katie had said she wanted -- to be loved, wanted, cherished, and respected. He vowed to give her those things and more. He said he'd never do anything to compromise them again. He understood that if he did, it would be the end of them. He couldn't fathom that happening. He asked her to give him and their family one more chance.

After a lecture from Ridge, Zoe and Zende make big decisions After a lecture from Ridge, Zoe and Zende make big decisions
Friday, January 29, 2021

In the CEO's office, Carter was beaming about setting a wedding date so that he and Zoe could commit to each other forever. "Forever is a long time," Paris murmured. Carter was nervous about it. He was excited, which was why he knew he had the right person. He felt that he and Zoe had built a solid foundation and had never been in a better place.

Paris said there was something Carter needed to know about her sister. Paris felt that she couldn't be quiet any longer. Carter thought it was about the baby-switching scandal, but he was proud of Zoe for putting it behind her. Paris replied that it was about what Zoe was doing right then as they spoke.

Donna entered. Eye on Fashion needed a quick interview with Zoe, and Donna wondered if Zoe was around or if they knew where she was. Donna apologized for interrupting, but Carter stated that Paris had been about to tell him something about Zoe. He assured Paris that nothing would shock him about his fiancée, not even embarrassing or silly stories. Carter was all-in with Zoe.

Donna thought that was the kind of devotion women swooned over. She congratulated Zoe on landing a handsome man. Chuckling, Carter replied that they just had to find one for Donna, too. Donna hoped his words reached God's ears. She decided to reschedule Zoe's interview and wished Carter luck with Zoe that evening.

After Donna had gone, Carter stated that Paris was eager to tell him something about Zoe, but he'd rather not hear it. He wanted to discover things about Zoe on his own. Learning, for him, was the exciting part. Carter hated to rush Paris out of there, but he had a conference call to make. Paris said she had somewhere to be, and as she exited, Carter made a phone call.

At Eric's house, Zoe looked sick to her stomach. By the fireplace, Zende tried to convey that he and Zoe had just been talking. Ridge had had a sinking feeling that Zoe would end up there that evening. He'd heard what Zoe had been saying to Zende about the undeniable heat between them and what to do about it. It wasn't something Ridge wanted to hear from his best friend's fiancée.

Ridge asked if Zoe remembered Carter, the guy who'd proposed to her. Ridge said that if Zoe felt the ways she was saying, she needed to talk to Carter about it. "Don't come here and talk to Zende about a possible future," Ridge stated.

Zoe claimed that it wasn't what Ridge was thinking. Ridge indicated that he'd been standing right there. He'd seen her lean in to kiss Zende. Ridge had heard her say that night was their chance. "What about you?" Ridge asked Zende. Ridge questioned if that was how Zende repaid Carter for his friendship when Carter's back was turned.

Zoe started to say it wasn't Zende's fault. Zende was also speaking, saying nothing had really happened. At the top of his voice, Ridge asked if they really thought he cared who was to blame for it. Ridge had felt bad for Zoe after what Thomas had done to her, but Ridge felt that what she was doing to Carter was just as bad.

Ridge asked how long it had been going on. In Zoe's silence, Ridge deemed Carter to be a good man. It was unbelievable to Ridge that Zoe would thank Carter by cheating on him. "Shame on you," Ridge uttered. Zoe claimed she wasn't cheating, and Zende agreed that it wasn't like that. She called it a conversation. "About who you guys are to each other," Ridge added.

Ridge said that Carter was planning a life with her, and if she didn't want it, she needed to tell Carter. "Don't just humor him because you're waiting for a good opportunity to make a move on this guy," Ridge added, gesturing to Zende. Zoe understood that Ridge was concerned.

Ridge replied that he was concerned about taxes and global warming, but he was disappointed in Zende and Zoe for their lack of respect for another human being. Ridge told Zoe that she should tell Carter if she didn't want him, but she didn't get to play with Zende to find out what he was to her. To Ridge, that was something she should have done before becoming engaged.

Zoe knew that it looked terrible but swore that nothing had been happening between them. Zende backed the statement up, saying that they hadn't crossed a line or anything like that. "In whose book, Zende?" Ridge contended.

Zoe relented, saying she shouldn't have put herself and Zende in that position, but she'd gotten scared. Whenever things got too good in her life, she feared she'd ruin them. She claimed to love Carter and didn't want to lose him.

"You don't want to lose him because Zende just turned you down," Ridge reasoned. Ridge had just heard Zoe pouring her heart out to Zende prior to that, and Ridge deduced that the thing Zoe feared was that Ridge would go to Carter with what had gone on that day.

Zoe asked Ridge not to do that, but Ridge yelled that Carter was his family. Zende sensed that Ridge felt loyal to Carter. Zende had somewhat of a loyalty to Carter, too, but he thought it was best to let Zoe handle the situation.

Zoe tried to persuade Ridge to believe that she and Zende were just friends. She'd thought she'd felt a connection, and she'd thought she'd just needed a moment to figure out what she was feeling. She decided that it didn't matter because it didn't change how she felt about Carter. Carter was everything to Zoe, "now more than ever." She stated that Ridge knew what she meant to Carter. She implored him not to tell Carter because it would break Carter's heart.

Later, Zende was alone when Paris arrived. Zende hadn't been expecting her. She said she hadn't planned to be there. She wished she was there to swim or use the tennis courts, but instead, she was there to run interference. She asked if her sister was there.

"Zoe?" Zende replied. Paris told him not to pretend that Zoe hadn't been there. He revealed that Zoe had been there, and Paris said they both knew that Zoe hadn't visited to use the pool or tennis courts. Defensive, he replied that Zoe was engaged to Carter. Paris thought that was what made it so messed up.

Zende considered Carter a friend and colleague and claimed that he'd never move in on Carter's fiancée. Zende asked if Zoe had implied that something had happened. Paris believed that Zoe hoped that something might happen. He replied that hoping and reality were two different things. Paris conveyed that Zoe was crushing on Zende, Carter was getting played, and it didn't seem to Paris as if Zende was doing much to stop it.

Paris assumed Zende was flattered by Zoe's interest, but Paris reminded him that Zoe was wearing Carter's ring. Agreeing, Zende guessed he should have shut it down sooner. He promised that nothing had happened, but Paris was sure it wasn't that Zoe hadn't tried.

Zende flashed a knowing look. Paris didn't doubt that Zoe was into him, but Paris reasoned that Zoe was also freaking out about getting married. Paris also figured that her sister was afraid of getting hurt after what had happened with Thomas. Zende had gotten that feeling, too. Paris added that Zoe was a "self-sabotager," and Paris was trying to stop it from happening again.

Zende said, for what it was worth, that he'd tried to get Zoe to focus on her future with Carter. Zende had made sure the door was shut and that Zoe knew that wasn't an option. He hoped Paris believed him. He'd hate for her to think poorly of him.

Paris asked how she could be mad at a face like that. She said Zende had to know that she liked him, but she wasn't expecting anything from him. "But letting Zoe vamp you up like that?" Paris said. Agreeing, Zende stated that he'd put an end to the games and flirtations. Paris loved her sister but thought Carter deserved better. Zende replied that Paris deserved better, too.

Paris asked Zende to be honest. "Do you want my sister?" she asked. Zende asked if Paris knew what he wanted. "You," he said. Zende wanted to get to know Paris better.

At Forrester later, Ridge arrived back in his office. Donna showed him some promos of Zoe, but he grumbled about them, wondering who'd even approved them. Donna stammered, and he claimed it was fine. Ridge was looking for Carter. Donna believed that Carter had left. Ridge asked where Carter had gone.

Donna assumed Carter had gone home. She cooed about Carter's plan to pick a wedding date with Zoe that evening. She exclaimed that the couple might be married very soon.

In the backstage area, Carter met Zoe, who'd said it was important to meet there right away. Zoe said it couldn't be more important, and he couldn't be more important. He asked why she was so worked up. Zoe mentioned that he wanted to set a wedding date.

Guessing that was what Zoe's anxiety was about, Carter said a wedding shouldn't be stressful. He was okay with waiting if that was what she needed. Zoe replied that it was what she wanted to see him about. She'd changed her mind and wanted to pick a wedding date that very night.

"I want to get married right here, right now," Zoe stated. Carter was happy to hear it but perplexed because she'd seemed reluctant to set a date before. She put it off to having conflicting feelings. Marriage was a big step for her, especially when a lot of the men in her life had let her down.

Carter replied that he wasn't like that. He promised that he was completely committed to her, just like she was to him.

Behind a clothes rack, Ridge stood. He heard Zoe say that she was ready to do it. She asked Carter to say that he still wanted them to get married right away. Zoe didn't want to wait another minute. Carter couldn't say how happy he was to hear that. Zoe claimed that Carter was the man for her and the man she was supposed to spend the rest of her life with.

Before, Zoe hadn't known if she could really be what Carter needed. She'd been selfish and afraid of getting hurt again. To her, love and being loved were scary. She didn't want to be afraid anymore. She just wanted to be with Carter and never let him go.

Carter stated that he loved Zoe, and she said she loved him, too. She felt that he'd given her so much of himself, and she promised to do the same. She vowed to be a loving wife and the woman whom he deserved. Ridge scowled from his hiding place.

Recaps for the week of February 1, 2021 (Following Week)
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