At Il Giardino, Hope arrived at Deacon's request and was curious about what he wanted. He said he'd missed her for the holiday. Hope replied that he knew why she'd kept her distance. Hope asserted that she didn't want to be around Sheila, and it meant that Hope didn't get to be around him.
Not wanting to dwell on Sheila, Deacon said he'd asked Hope there to talk about Thomas. As a concerned father, Deacon didn't think Thomas was right for her. Hope couldn't believe she was getting dating advice from a man dating Sheila. Deacon asked if Hope had forgotten the crazy things Thomas had done. Hope asserted that Thomas was a saint compared to Sheila. Hope claimed to know Thomas' misdeeds better than anyone, but Deacon begged to differ if she was buying what Thomas was selling.
Hope claimed that Thomas had changed for the better and didn't have conflicted feelings like Liam. Hope told Deacon that she was disappointed in him for risking everything to be involved with Sheila. Hope claimed to be hurt that Deacon was choosing Sheila over Hope.
Deacon asserted that it wasn't so; however, Hope said that he'd made Sheila a bigger part of his life than Hope was, so there had to be a "little more care." Deacon insisted that it wasn't true. He said that Hope wanted him to believe that Thomas had changed, but Deacon didn't know why she wouldn't trust his intuition about Sheila. Hope argued that their situations were not the same; Sheila, in Hope's view, was actually dangerous.
Deacon stated that his daughter and her kids meant everything to him, but he hadn't seen the kids in ages. Shrugging, Hope replied that it was because of Sheila. Deacon asked if Hope was saying that he couldn't see the children.
Hope replied that actions had consequences, and she no longer knew if she could trust him. Claiming it killed her to say it, Hope informed Deacon that as long as Sheila was in his life, he couldn't have access to Hope's life. Hope stated that she didn't know how Sheila had managed to manipulate Deacon, but he needed to wake up because Hope wouldn't allow Sheila or anyone close to Sheila near the kids.
Deacon uttered that Sheila was different, but Hope replied that people missing the empathy part of their brains couldn't change. "But Thomas can?" Deacon asked. Deacon added that he'd changed and wasn't the same person. Hope replied that Sheila was in a league of her own, and Deacon had worked for his change. Hope noted that he'd shown up for the kids, and they adored him. Deacon replied that he adored them.
Hope said Deacon should understand why the decision was so hurtful. To her, it was as if he was choosing himself all over again. She claimed that she didn't want to lose him, but he wasn't considering his family or the impact it might have on his daughter or grandkids. She said that she didn't want it to happen, but it would if he didn't kick Sheila out of his life.
In Eric's office, Katie and Donna smiled, loving to see Eric in his chair and at the top of the fashion industry after winning the challenge. Grinning, Eric said some might not think he had much to be thankful for; however, he got to create beauty each day, and he was celebrated and given credit for it. He asked what could be better. He decided that he wanted to go all out on his line's campaign, and he intended to up Katie's PR budget.
Eric began coughing, and Donna asked if he was okay. He replied that he wasn't dead yet. He added that everyone thought he was at the top of his game, and he didn't want that to change.
Eric's cough continued, and Donna and Katie insisted that he see his doctor. To Eric, seeing the doctor was like visiting the Grim Reaper. He wanted to instead spend his days creating beauty. Donna decided that she didn't want to nag him. He said she didn't nag, and he thanked them for being concerned. Eric didn't want his dying to consume his life, and he said designing gave him peace. He needed to do it, especially if it was his last collection.
Donna asked Eric not to think about the end, but Eric wanted to face the end of his life the same way he'd faced every challenge, with courage and determination. Eric asked her to look at his designs. The creativity was pouring out of him, and he insisted that it was what he had to do.
In the design office, Brooke, R.J., and Ridge discussed how well the holiday had gone, even though it had been hard to enjoy it because of what they knew about Eric. Ridge said he'd thought Eric would always be there, but they had to pretend that they didn't know Eric was slipping away more and more each day.
Brooke, R.J., and Ridge talked about how R.J. had been there for Eric and had created a line that had ensured that the fashion world would remember Eric. Ridge said it meant a lot to Eric, and R.J. was keeping Eric alive in that way.
Brooke admitted that she and Ridge were worried about R.J.; however, R.J. didn't want anyone worrying about him. He said designing brought Eric to life, and R.J. wanted to make sure he'd done all he could for his grandfather. R.J. added that people couldn't know that Eric was dying or that he'd lost the challenge. Ridge replied that Eric would never know that because it would take away his pride and dignity, but Eric hadn't been handed anything; Eric had earned his seat years back.
Katie arrived. She beamed about how proud Eric was and said letting Eric win the fashion challenge had been the most loving thing Ridge would do. Ridge wanted to do more. He couldn't handle thinking of the office or the family without Eric.
Later, R.J. and Ridge had gone to see Eric. Katie revealed to Brooke that Eric had been coughing up blood earlier. Brooke said he needed to be in a hospital, but Katie replied that it was Eric's choice. Katie said she knew what it was like to face her mortality, and she explained that Eric was choosing to do what he loved. It was inspiring and heartbreaking. Brooke replied that it was hard because they couldn't let on that they knew. She wanted to support him the way he needed until the end.
Back in Eric's office, Eric was showing Ridge and R.J. a design and attributed its greatness to the help R.J. had given him. Ridge stated that he knew that Eric wanted to do it on his own, but even Michelangelo had had help painting the Sistine Chapel. Ridge fondly recalled learning from Eric and wondered if, along with R.J., Ridge could help Eric, too. Ridge offered to stay in the background and expressed his desire to work with Eric one last time.