Eric notices Stephanie is worried about what the judge's ruling will be in Ridge's sentencing. No matter what happens, they will find joy in their lives, reasons to live, Eric advises. They have their wedding to look forward to. Jonathan stops by to let them know the judge has reached a decision.
After reading Ridge's letter to Taylor, Thorne wonders if he should give the letter to her. How can he? It has taken so long to bring her up, and if he shows her the letter, it will only bring her down again, Thorne debates. Taylor will suffer more if she reads the letter. Thorne wonders how Ridge can ask Taylor to wait for him while he is in jail for at least ten years.
Ridge is elated after Eric and Stephanie inform him they faxed his letter to Taylor and she is headed back to LA in the morning. Stephanie assumes Taylor got the letter, so she made a reservation for Taylor on the next flight to LA. It is only a matter of time before he and Taylor are together, Ridge says.
Tension mounts as the judge enters the courtroom ready to give her sentencing. It has not been an easy decision, the judge says, especially with Grant's testimony that Ridge did not shot him with premeditation. Even so, Ridge has pleaded guilty to shooting Grant. Grant's testimony leads the judge to believe something else is going on, which gives her an uneasy feeling...
As they prepare for their last night in Hawaii, Taylor wonders what is going on in LA. It is strange that now she questions what is going with Ridge when a week ago, it was all she could think about, Taylor notes. Thorne notices how Taylor's eyes sparkle in the candlelight. Taylor says it is unbelievable what Thorne has done for her the past week. She doesn't feel a sense of doom anymore. Taylor thanks Thorne for helping her get through her misery with Ridge and notes how special Thorne is to her.
The judge renders her decision: Ridge is given a conditional discharge. He is on probation for three years, but is free to go! Everyone is stunned and relieved at the ruling. Ridge can not wait to see Taylor.
Taylor admits to just now realizing how dedicated Thorne has been. She has not been able to think about anyone but Ridge. You are a part of me, Thorne says. He is not going to live his life without her. Taylor is overwhelmed by his caring. How can she possibly respond to that? By saying yes, Thorne says. Say that you will marry me!
Maggie tells Lauren she's as happy as she's ever been, but admits she is still worried about Sheila. There is still five months left in which Sheila can change her mind about the adoption. Lauren advises not to borrow trouble where Sheila is concerned. Maggie says she would like to think that Sheila will not cause any trouble but doesn't think Sheila is capable of putting the past behind her. Maggie is determined to find Sheila. She has to know where she is and what she is up to. The best way to find Sheila is to call a lawyer, Lauren suggests. Maggie vows never to give up her baby.
Eric and the Queen throw a celebration at the Forrester house in Ridge's honor. Claudia and Michael attend the celebration. Before joining the other, Ridge marvels at how he is the luckiest guy on earth because it will not be long now before he is reunited with Taylor.
On the plane back to LA, Taylor wonders if anyone knew she and Thorne were even in Hawaii. They must have known because Thorne received a fax. Taylor assumed the fax was from the office. Thorne declines reading newspaper in which one of the headlines shows Ridge being set free.
Mike stops by James' office questioning Sheila's whereabouts. Neither know where Sheila might be. Mike is sure Sheila left town, which is a shame because he cares for her deeply. Sheila's not in control, she's depressed, Mike says. James better hope that Mike finds Sheila before he does, Mike warns.
Maggie phones Conner and questions him about Sheila's right to change her mind during the next five months. The law states Sheila has that right, Conner informs. It is not right for a baby to bond with the parents only to have her taken away, Maggie argues. It hasn't happened yet, Conner says. Still, Maggie wants to know Sheila's whereabouts. Conner agrees to find Sheila.
Ridge joins the celebration and is overwhelmed with everyone's outpouring of emotion. He asks Stephanie if there is any word from Taylor. Stephanie informs Ridge that she did call the airline and was told Taylor is on her way back.
Thorne and Taylor wonder what life will be like when they return to LA. Taylor has accepted Ridge is going to be in jail for at least ten years. A flight attendant delivers a message from Stephanie saying go directly to the house when they land.
Eric and Stephanie think Taylor will be ecstatic when Taylor finds out Ridge is out of jail. Eric says Ridge can finally look to the future and hopes their is a marriage for Ridge and Taylor soon. Just then, Thorne and Taylor walk into the party and are stunned to find Ridge there!
Maggie realizes Sheila became attached to the baby while she was in the hospital and hopes she is not still attached. James comes home early to spend time with Maggie, but she is on her way to see Conner. Maggie informs James she hired Conner to locate Sheila. Maggie wants to believe that Sheila has moved on with her life, but has to know for sure. Sheila always does the unpredictable, Maggie notes. She needs proof that Sheila is out of their lives.
Thorne and Taylor are stunned to see Ridge. Stephanie wonders if the ring on Taylor's finger is an engagement ring. Ridge whisks Taylor upstairs so he can explain everything. Thorne tries to go after Taylor but Stephanie stops him. She intends to have a few words with Thorne.
James informs Maggie that even Mike doesn't know where Sheila is. That is a good sign because he was such a bad influence on her, James says. If Sheila has cut Mike out of her life, she must be serious about getting better. Maggie doesn't buy that theory. Sheila's plotting something, Maggie says.
When Ridge and Taylor are finally alone, he explains everything. Ridge tells her he wished he didn't lie to her and now he realizes it was wrong, but he only did it to protect Rick. When he thought he was going to spend at least ten years in prison, he couldn't let her throw her life away waiting for him, Ridge explains. That is why he led her to believe he is the one who shot Grant. Ridge says he hated to lie to Taylor but he thought he was doing the right thing. By the time he was convinced to tell her the truth, she had left for Hawaii.
Stephanie feels Thorne took advantage of Ridge being in jail. Took advantage? He was the one who pulled her out of despair, Thorne explains. Just because Ridge is out of prison doesn't mean Taylor will go back to him, Thorne says. Stephanie informs Thorne that Ridge is not the one who shot Grant. All is not forgiven, Thorne counters. Thorne points out that Stephanie is terrified that her precious Ridge might not wind up with Taylor. Eric and Stephanie ask Thorne how far things went in Hawaii. Thorne informs them he proposed to Taylor.
Maggie tells Conner things are going well for she and James but one word from Sheila could ruin everything. The man Conner hired to locate Sheila has discovered where she is, Conner informs.
Taylor realizes Ridge sacrificed their dreams and happiness for Rick. Now their dreams can come true, Ridge points out. Taylor can't believe this is real. It is real, Ridge says. Everything they fought for is real.
Stephanie won't let Thorne go. He is trying to get to Taylor and Ridge, but Eric and Stephanie want answers from him. You are so afraid that your precious Ridge might lose Taylor, he accuses. You don't care that Ridge may be in there using the same old worn out lines on Taylor once again. That's enough Eric cautions him as Stephanie tells him that is not what this is all about.
Ridge kneels before Taylor and tells her how sorry he is. I should have trusted you enough to tell you everything. But now, he tells her, I am free and we can be together. Now we can have it all, he says as Thorne listens at the open door.
I have found Sheila already, Conner tells Maggie. Where? she wants to know, and are you sure it is her? Conner says that his detective found Sheila in Death Valley working as a waitress. Maggie can't believe it; Conner says he is sending his detective there at once to make sure it is Sheila and not someone else using her Social Security number. After all, they don't know that Sheila didn't lose her purse or have it stolen. No, Maggie says, I will check this out myself. She tells Conner that she won't believe it until she sees Sheila with her own eyes.
Thorne enters the room So, he says, here you are making the same promises to her yet again. After all she has been through because of you---how many times now?---she doesn't need to be spit on again by you. You don't understand, Ridge tells Thorne. I did what I did because I thought it was best for Taylor. I was trying to protect her. Oh sure you did, Thorne tells his brother. That is why you shot Grant. That is why you denied it, stringing Taylor along. That is why you stood up in court and admitted what you did. You don't know how much you hurt Taylor---you never do. Taylor tries to stop Thorne. She tells him that there were reasons. She looks to Ridge but he shakes his head.
Stephanie is headed for the room where Thorne and Ridge are arguing, but Eric stops her. They argue. Stephanie feels she needs to stop Thorne or at least find out what happened in Hawaii. But Eric tells her that they are grown up men and they have to handle it themselves. Whatever happened in Hawaii has already happened and can't be undone. When Stephanie disagrees with him, Eric angrily walks out.
Maggie calls James and tells him that she is going to Death Valley to check up on Sheila. James tries to dissuade her, but she is insistent. She has to see that Sheila is moving on with her life. She can't take a chance on her coming back into their lives. She is very fragile, James warns her. Seeing you just may have the opposite effect than what you want, he cautions. Maggie insists she won't let Sheila see her.
Once again Taylor tells Ridge and Thorne to stop fighting. I am the one who is confused here, she cries. I explained all that in my letter, he said. At least I thought I had. How can this come as a complete surprise to you? What letter, Taylor wants to know. I sent you a letter last night, Ridge tells her. She didn't get the letter, Thorne admits. I kept it from her. I didn't think she needed to see it. Taylor is astounded. You kept a letter from me? she asks. Taylor, he say, you were just coming out of your depression. You were smiling for a change. I didn't want Ridge to hurt you again.
Eric is by the pool. Lauren arrives with champagne. I thought we could celebrate, she tells him. When he looks confused she offers to leave, but he tells her to stay. He then opens the champagne and pours them both a glass. He tells her about the argument with Stephanie.
Once again Thorne accuses Ridge of hurting Taylor over and over again. That is why he kept the letter hidden. But Ridge says that it only proves that Thorne's intentions are based on lies. Things have changed, big brother, Thorne says. They changed in Hawaii. Taylor tries to interrupt them, but Thorne goes on to tell Ridge that Taylor isn't his anymore. He tells Ridge that he proposed to Taylor in Hawaii. Ridge is stunned. That's right, Thorne goes on. I asked Taylor to marry me. Ridge slams Thorne up against the wall. for your sake, she better have said NO! Ridge says.
James is talking with Margaret. He asks her to promise never to change---to stay sweet and innocent, never to go out with boys, or any grown up things. When the doorbell rings, he hesitates to answer, but it is only Lauren. He tells Lauren that Maggie has found where Sheila is--Death Valley, how appropriate, Lauren says---and Maggie is now on her way there to make sure it is really Sheila and she has gone on with her life. Lauren is upset that Maggie went alone; after all, one phone call and she would gladly have gone with her. There is no telling what Sheila will do if she sees her, Lauren comments. We just have to pray that Sheila won't do something rash.
Stephanie joins Eric by the pool and tells him that she didn't go into the room with Thorne and Ridge. It was difficult to resist, she tells him. She sees the champagne glasses---one of which has lipstick around the rim. Eric tells her that Lauren came by. That woman won't stop at anything, she says.
Did you hear me, Thorne taunts his brother? I asked Taylor to marry me. Ridge assumes that she said no or Thorne would be gloating over it. He turns to Taylor and says: don't tell me you fell for his act. I told him no, Taylor says. She isn't ready to marry just yet. Ridge then wants to know which brother she will choose which leads Thorne to once again accuse Ridge of pressuring Taylor into a decision. Let's go home, he says to Taylor. You don't think you are going to stay at Taylor's house, do you? Ridge questions. Taylor tells Thorne to leave; she has things that she and Ridge need to talk about privately.
Maggie finds the Badwater Inn and parks off to the side away from the lights. As she emerges from the car, she is a different person. She has her hair pulled up under a baseball cap. She enters and is shown to a booth. Using the menu to block her face, she looks around. She sees a couple of waitresses but not Sheila. She is looking disappointed when suddenly from the kitchen, Sheila walks behind the counter. Sheila and another waitress are conversing. The other waitress is complaining about a tip; Sheila offers to wait on him the next time, but the girl just says he is too cheap to leave a tip. She mentions that she would like to get away from this "Backwater" Inn. She also admonishes Sheila that she has to be more assertive or people will walk all over her.
Sheila approaches a table where a man is sitting. He says he is waiting for someone. Just then his wife enters carrying a baby. Sheila stares at the baby. Finally she rushes away and tells the other waitress to take the table for her. She goes into the kitchen and breaks down. The cook is concerned for her but she says she is okay. She goes back to the door and looks at the couple with the baby. Her attention is drawn to the cash register where Maggie is paying her bill. As Maggie turns, Sheila recognizes her.
Maggie walks out the door into the parking lot and removes her baseball cap. As she is shaking out her hair, a hand reaches over and grabs her shoulder and spins her around. Maggie is staring into the cold, hard eyes of Sheila.
Ridge embraces Taylor. We can start a new life together, he asks Taylor, " Will you stay with me tonight?"