In the design office in the morning, Paris remembered kissing Carter. Entering the room, Carter desired to talk about what had happened the previous night. "Right. About that..." Paris responded. She claimed that it was what people did on New Year's Eve. She asked him not to say he'd never had a New Year's Eve kiss. "Paris..." Carter replied knowingly.
Paris expressed that Carter was right to question it. She had been questioning it, too. The previous night had been overwhelming, and she hadn't expected a marriage proposal. Carter understood that, and she said it was part of what made him one of the most caring men she'd ever met. It blew her away that he hadn't made her life miserable after she'd exposed his affair with Quinn. Instead, he'd been even nicer to her.
Carter conveyed his belief that Paris had just been being honest. He admired that about her. Paris admired the same thing about him. Carter got that it had been quite a night, and she'd avoided a marriage proposal from Zende. Paris hadn't expected to kiss Carter. He replied that he wouldn't have told her if he'd known that would happen. Zende and Paris were Carter's friends, and Carter said he did not want to complicate things.
Still in flight, Ridge text-messaged Brooke that he'd be home soon. The plane landed on the tarmac. Ridge smiled at Brooke's picture on his phone, and he disembarked the jet.
At Brooke's house, Brooke slowly rolled over in bed. She awakened, and to her horror, Deacon lay beside her, grinning. "Morning, Sunshine," he said. Panicked, she hopped out of bed, exclaiming that he was in her bed. The fully dressed Deacon sprang up, correcting that he'd been "on" the bed, not "in" it. He insisted that nothing had happened between them. And then a thought occurred to Brooke, who gasped, "Oh, my God. I was drinking last night."
Deacon followed Brooke downstairs, where she found her phone and discovered that Ridge was on his way home. She told Deacon to stop standing there and to help her clean up. Deacon moved into action, and she didn't get why she'd been so buzzed by non-alcoholic champagne. He asked if she remembered the vodka shots. She asked why he hadn't stopped her.
Deacon stated that he'd tried, but Brooke hadn't wanted to drink alone. Brooke was beside herself because they'd been drinking and because he'd been in her bed. He reminded her that he'd been on the bed, and nothing had happened between them. Those facts didn't make her feel any better because she'd hung out with the man most despised by her husband, and she'd relapsed. "And we kissed. Oh, my God, we kissed," she realized, and he affirmed it.
"You said nothing happened!" Brooke exclaimed. Brooke became adamant that Deacon couldn't be there, and she couldn't see him anymore. In Deacon's mind, Brooke was overreacting. He believed he'd been a complete gentleman the previous night, even tucking her in. "We were still in bed together," she complained. He assumed he'd fallen asleep beside her.
Deacon understood that Brooke felt bad about drinking, but he was adamant that they'd done nothing wrong. Brooke believed that she had, and she said he'd be a constant reminder of it. They heard Ridge's car pull up. Brooke instructed Deacon to go and never come back there ever. Reluctantly, Deacon ducked out of the house through the open terrace.
Brooke composed herself as Ridge entered through the front door, set his luggage aside, and hurried over to hug his wife.
Later, Brooke and Ridge cuddled on the sofa. He explained how great his trip had gone, even though he'd had to deal with a wardrobe malfunction of his client's wife. He'd wished Brooke had been there for that part. Brooke was barely listening as she recalled the talk she'd just had with Deacon and how mortified she'd been about drinking with Deacon and kissing him.
Ridge noticed Brooke's tearful face and apologized. He said he wouldn't have left if he'd known he wouldn't be back in time. She claimed it was okay, but he sensed something wrong. She said she loved him and didn't like it when he was away. He said he loved her, and they kissed.
Brooke wanted Ridge to never go away during the holidays again. Ridge believed they'd have a great new year and that they could face anything together. He wished her a happy New Year and asked what was going on beneath her robe. Brooke indicated that it had been a surprise for him just in case he'd gotten home in time. Ridge figured he should get a shower and then investigate what was beneath her robe. Brooke said she'd like that.
Ridge hurried upstairs, and the devastated Brooke flashed back on her New Year's Eve antics with Deacon. Crying, Brooke asked herself what she'd done and why she'd drunk again.
At Il Giardino, Deacon had coffee at the bar and pondered what had happened the previous night. He asked the bartender for one of the bottles Brooke had ordered for New Year's Eve.
By the entrance, Sheila watched as Deacon opened the bottle and sampled its contents. She strode up to Deacon, who promptly said they weren't supposed to be seen together. Sheila said it was a public place, and unlike what Brooke did with Deacon, Brooke couldn't tell Sheila whom to see. Sheila suspected that she was there in time to intervene with Deacon's morning drinking.
Deacon replied that it was non-alcoholic, and he'd just wanted to try it. She asked what he thought of it. He likened it to a veggie burger --similar but not the same. Sheila asked Deacon about his New Year's Eve with Brooke. He clarified that he'd also been with Hope, Liam, and the kids. Sheila asked about Ridge, and upon hearing that Ridge had been out of town, she figured that the lucky Deacon had gotten to be with his family and Brooke. She was sure all Brooke had needed had been to loosen up and let her hair down.
Deacon asked about Sheila's holiday, and she explained that she'd gone to thank Taylor for her Christmas Eve gesture. Sheila had never imagined that Taylor would stick up for her. "After you shot her. I'd say Taylor's pretty terrific," he quipped. Sheila turned the topic back to his night, and he ordered her to stop the interrogation. She asked what was wrong with him.
Sheila stated that Deacon could have opted to spend the time with her if things hadn't gone well with Brooke. Recalling that Brooke wouldn't allow that, Sheila asked if he would really let Brooke boss him around. Deacon was fine with it if it helped him see his daughter. Sheila asked what had really happened the previous night. "Nothing," he declared and strode away from the bar.
Once Deacon had gone, Sheila gripped the bottle he'd left behind. She hadn't wanted to push him and make him suspicious, but she knew why he'd wanted to "test" it. Sheila gleaned that Deacon and Brooke had indulged and that he was puzzled by why it had happened. Sheila predicted that Brooke's life would turn into a shambles, and she said it couldn't happen to a more deserving person.
In Sheila's hotel room, Sheila recalled Brooke's threat and flashed back to gluing a non-alcoholic label on a sparkling wine bottle containing the real thing. Sheila suspected that Deacon's behavior earlier meant that Brooke's world was already starting to fall apart.
In Brooke's cabin, as Liam prepared bags for Donna to pick up the kids, Douglas zoned out. Liam snapped the child back into reality and asked what was going on. "I saw Grandma kissing Santa Claus," Douglas replied. Correcting the boy, Liam said the song was about mommy, not grandma. Douglas insisted it had been Grandma, and Liam gave in, saying it could be grandma.
Douglas went to get his bag, and Deacon arrived. Liam didn't seem keen on talking to Deacon. Deacon explained that it was about Hope. Deacon had just seen her go up to the main house.
Later, Liam closed the door after the kids, who'd left with Donna. Deacon remarked that the kids seemed even bigger than when he'd last seen them. He realized that he and Liam didn't have very much in common, except one essential thing -- their love for Hope.
Deacon stated that he and Liam hadn't talked much since Deacon had gotten out of prison. "And the thing is, man, we used to talk," Deacon claimed. Liam didn't see it doing any good. Deacon didn't blame Liam and liked knowing that Hope's husband was looking out for her.
Deacon claimed that he was a changed man because of Hope and her letters. He got that some would never accept him, but he was hoping Liam would change his mind and give him a chance. Liam remarked that Brooke had done it, and Liam had been surprised to see Deacon at the New Year's Eve party. Deacon replied that the night had been filled with surprises.
At Brooke's house, Brooke was tormented by thoughts of New Year's Eve night. She touched a nearly full vodka bottle and asked herself why she'd drunk again.
Ridge bounded down the stairs, fully dressed. He'd waited as long as he could for her in the shower, but the water had gotten cold. He realized he hadn't asked her about how her New Year's Eve had gone. Hope entered via the terrace, asking if Ridge really wanted to know. Hope described it as Brooke's craziest New Year's Eve ever.
Later, Hope studied the slumped Brooke, who peered sullenly into her coffee. Hope described the night as "real wild," explaining that alcoholic and non-alcoholic champagne had been flowing. The kids had had a ball. She revealed that Deacon had been there, but everyone had left well before midnight to give Ridge and Brooke time alone.
Ridge had been hoping he'd make it, but he hadn't arrived until the morning. Hope said he'd been missed. Guessing Deacon had certainly missed him, Ridge asked if Deacon had been on his best behavior. All Brooke would say was that the night hadn't been the same without Ridge. She'd missed him very much. Ridge hugged Brooke.
Later, Hope had gone. Ridge tended to a blaze in the fireplace. Brooke said she'd been about to tell him about Deacon before Hope had arrived. Ridge imagined that Deacon had just shown up. Brooke sighed, and Ridge asked what was going on with her and if Deacon had upset her.
Still morose, Brooke apologized, claiming she hadn't slept well and never did without Ridge. She just wasn't herself when he was gone. He apologized, and they hugged. He promised that, "next New Year's," he'd find her wherever she was and be with his hot, beautiful wife. Ridge had his issues with Deacon, but he'd let it go because Deacon couldn't affect their relationship.
Ridge received a call and realized he hadn't let his friend and client know that he'd landed back in town. Ridge went to take the call in the kitchen. Brooke picked up her phone.
Alone at Il Giardino, Deacon couldn't help but smile, thinking of the fun he'd had with Brooke on New Year's Eve. He was surprised when he noticed Brooke calling him. He hadn't expected to hear from her and asked if everything was okay. Brooke said she was anything but okay.
Deacon said nothing had happened the previous night. In her view, she'd relapsed, and she didn't know why. He said she'd go to her meetings and fix it, but she had to stop torturing herself. She tearfully explained that she'd been about to tell Ridge when Hope had arrived.
Deacon thanked God for Hope's arrival. The guilt-ridden Brooke wanted to be honest with Ridge, but their marriage had been shaky. She didn't want to push Ridge over the edge and lose her husband. Deacon said it wouldn't happen, but Brooke had to get it together.
Brooke decided she'd go to her meetings and get back on track, but as far as the kiss and being in bed with Deacon -- "On your bed. Above the sheets," Deacon insisted. He said nothing else had happened, but Brooke believed it would haunt her forever. She didn't know if it was a good idea to tell Ridge and decided that they'd keep it a secret forever. "Forever," Deacon agreed.
After the call, Brooke sobbed and picked up a half-full bottle of vodka. She poured it into the fake plant by the door and sobbed more.
Back in the cabin, Hope and Liam were canoodling. He thanked her for helping him keep his resolution to kiss more and talk less. They discussed how happy Brooke had to be to have Ridge back, and Hope said the couple had their challenges due to Deacon being back. Liam revealed that Deacon had been at the cabin to see Liam, and the men had actually had a good talk. Hope was grateful that the two most important men in her life were trying to get along.
Liam remarked that a lot of that was going around, and Steffy was really grateful to have Taylor back. Hope found Taylor's timing strange. Liam remarked that Deacon was one thing, and Taylor was another; however, Ridge and Brooke did not need the stress from either. Hope asked what Liam was implying. Liam just wanted Hope to be aware of the dynamics at play.
Liam elaborated that even if he'd had a nice talk with Deacon, Ridge's feeling about the man still strained Brooke and Ridge's relationship. Hope was aware of it and didn't want friction between Brooke and Ridge, despite the way Ridge had treated Hope. Liam said Ridge shouldn't have tried to pressure Hope to move, but Liam thought it might backfire to push Deacon on Ridge.
In the design office, Paris affirmed that she hadn't planned on kissing Carter. Carter didn't want her to get him wrong, because she was beautiful, smart, and sweet. After he'd put it that way, she asked if he was sure he hadn't intended to kiss her and start his new year off with a bang. Chuckling, Carter elaborated that he thought highly of her and hadn't meant to make a play for her. He'd just wanted to be there as a friend. "That's what we are, right?" he asked.
Later, Paris still couldn't believe Zende had wanted to propose marriage. She felt lucky, but she wasn't ready. In Carter's view, Paris had saved Zende from proposal embarrassment. Carter thought she was a good person who shouldn't beat herself up, and he stated that there was a reason Zende loved her so much. Carter urged her not to forget it.
In the executive office at Forrester Creations, Ridge and Steffy discussed Sheila having been allowed to spend Christmas Eve with Finn and the kids. Thomas noted that Sheila had followed all the rules that had been put in place, but Ridge argued that it was never a good idea to "give that woman an inch." Steffy explained that Taylor believed that they could no longer use their old tactics to keep Sheila at bay. Ridge worried that nothing would keep Sheila in line because Sheila was "psychotic."
Ridge changed the topic and grumbled about not having been able to spend New Year's Eve with Brooke. He claimed that Brooke seemed different since he'd returned home.
When Ridge left the office, Steffy told Thomas that she could not stop herself from hoping that Ridge would one day wake up and realize that a "scandal-free, drama-free life" with Taylor was a better option than the life he had with Brooke.
With no patients scheduled for the day, Taylor was caught off guard when Audrey knocked on the door and announced that someone wanted to speak to Taylor. Audrey stepped aside, and Sheila entered the office. Taylor pursed her lips and said that she could make some time to talk to Miss Carter.
Asked what she wanted, Sheila said that she knew what Taylor was doing. "I never could have imagined that your legendary kindness and caring would extend to someone like me," Sheila said softly. Sheila added that Taylor had given her another chance, something that Taylor's "nemesis" Brooke would never have done.
Taylor insisted that Brooke was not her nemesis. Sheila offered a veritable thesaurus of other word choices, including "adversary, rival, [and] thorn in your side." Taylor said that she sensed resentment from Sheila. Sheila explained that she had taken strides to improve herself and to make amends with those she had wronged, but Brooke had refused to accept an apology.
The two women discussed their New Year's Eve celebrations -- or lack thereof. Sheila chuckled devilishly as she mentioned that Brooke had not been able to spend the night with Ridge. She suggested that Brooke had to have been miserable because Brooke always needed a man by her side. Sheila's tone became increasingly sinister as she mentioned how hard it could be for someone to be alone on New Year's Eve -- especially someone with a substance abuse history.
Taylor jumped when her phone rang. As she took the call, Sheila thought back to how she had switched the label from Brooke's bottle of non-alcoholic champagne.
Alone at home, Brooke put down a cup of coffee and stared at a bottle of vodka on her bar. As she thought about the events of New Year's Eve, she did not hear Hope enter the house. Hope wondered if Brooke had heard from Deacon.
Brooke instantaneously became agitated, snapping that she had no idea where Deacon might be. Hope smiled broadly as she began to tell her mother about a great conversation that Deacon and Liam had had. Brooke said that she understood Hope wanting Deacon in her life before adding that she no longer felt comfortable having Deacon in her home.
A shocked Hope asked Brooke why her opinion of Deacon had suddenly changed. Brooke poured herself a glass of water and said that she had always had "reservations" about Hope's reunion with Deacon. Hope wondered if Ridge had somehow found a way to turn Brooke against Deacon. Brooke insisted that Ridge had done no such thing.
Brooke stated that she did not want Deacon's presence to impact her life with Ridge. Still, Hope said that Brooke's sudden change of opinion didn't seem right.
Later, Brooke continued to eye the bottles of alcohol on her bar. She picked up a bottle of vodka and gently caressed it before setting it back down and stepping away from the bar cart. She was surprised when Ridge returned home. Ridge told Brooke that he wanted to apologize for not having been able to make it home on New Year's Eve. Brooke assured him that he did not need to apologize.
Ridge suggested that they head to Paris or Milan for their own New Year's celebration. He sensed that something was bothering Brooke. Brooke told Ridge that she wanted to be able to share what was bothering her, but she needed to come to terms with it herself.
"I don't know how it happened, [and] I don't even know how to explain it," she said as tears formed in her eyes. She told Ridge that she had been looking forward to starting a new year with Ridge, but she'd "messed up" -- and Ridge needed to know about it.
In Taylor's office, Taylor ended a call and snapped Sheila out of her musings about what she'd done to Brooke. "Where were you just now?" Taylor asked. Sheila claimed to be thinking about her hopes for the new year. Taylor attempted to end their visit, but Sheila emphasized that she was working on herself in order to be more involved in Finn's life.
Taylor sensed that Sheila was determined to turn her life around. Sheila felt that, with Taylor's help, Sheila could show people that she wasn't the same person. Taylor regrettably said she couldn't take Sheila on as a patient due to the history between them. Sheila accepted the response. From her bag, Sheila retrieved a blanket she'd made for Hayes. She asked Taylor to give it to him. Sheila was determined to be a loving grandmother to Hayes.
Taylor desired to see Sheila make improvements, but Taylor felt it was up to Sheila. Sheila wanted to transform herself, earn Taylor's trust, and heal old wounds. Sheila purported to be dedicated to it. Taylor hoped Sheila meant it, for everyone's sake. Taylor figured that it was possible that Sheila would see Finn and Hayes again in the future, but it wouldn't happen soon.
Sheila looked upset. Taylor conveyed that she'd opened the door for just a little bit on Christmas Eve, but Steffy and Finn had set clear boundaries. Taylor expected Sheila to respect them. Sheila knew that there were rules. Taylor said it meant Sheila couldn't show up unless she was invited. Sheila understood why there were restrictions.
Taylor said that if Sheila could see her life, Sheila would see a pattern of obsessions that had led to instability. Taylor claimed she'd witnessed it firsthand when Sheila had shot her. Taylor stated that she believed in recovery, but Sheila had to put in a tremendous amount of work to be trusted and to be a person who didn't hurt people.
Sheila thanked Taylor for believing in her. It spoke to Taylor's compassion and kindness, something Brooke would never have. Taylor detected a lot of anger from Sheila toward Brooke and didn't want Sheila causing trouble for anyone. "Even Brooke?" Sheila snickered. Taylor asked if Sheila had done anything. Sheila flashed back to switching the label on Brooke's bottle. Taylor asked Sheila to promise not to lash out at Brooke. Sheila lightly chuckled and promised.
Later, Sheila returned to her hotel room, determined to prove that she was a changed woman. "As long as no one finds out what I did to Brooke on New Year's Eve," she added, smirking.
At Forrester, Finn arrived because Steffy had forgotten her morning kiss at home. Hope arrived, and as everyone greeted each other, they discussed how well their New Year's Eve plans had gone. Steffy mentioned that Ridge hadn't made it to celebrate with Brooke. Hope indicated that Brooke had been okay with it; however, Finn and Steffy sensed that things weren't okay and asked if something had happened on New Year's Eve.
Later, Finn was sorry things hadn't worked out the way Hope had wanted for the holiday. Hope was okay with the kids falling asleep early, but she felt bad for her mom. "So, he missed one," Steffy said. She didn't get why Brooke was harping on it. Hope replied that Brooke just wasn't herself, and Steffy rolled her eyes. As Hope left the office, Steffy scowled.
Steffy and Finn expressed surprise that Deacon had been invited to Brooke's New Year's Eve celebration. Finn said Deacon hadn't caused any problems, and Steffy claimed it was a first. She was relieved that she and Finn hadn't had unexpected visitors at theirs -- like Sheila.
Later, Steffy was alone when Taylor dropped by for a visit. Taylor had seen Eric in the hall, and she was very happy that Steffy worked there with her family. Taylor had fond memories of Forrester. Taylor said she should stop by more often, and they could do lunch. Steffy remarked that Finn and Hope had been there earlier. Taylor asked how Hope was. Steffy conveyed that she'd gotten a weird sense that Hope was worried about Brooke.
At Brooke's house, Ridge urged Brooke to talk to him. Brooke was overwhelmed with guilt and upset with herself. She believed he would be, too, but he had to know the truth. Ridge assured Brooke that they were in it together. Brooke recalled that she'd been doing well for many years, but she needed to face it. She'd slipped up. She'd relapsed and drunk on New Year's Eve.
Ridge asked what had happened. Brooke recalled wanting to be with him on New Year's Eve. She wasn't blaming him, and she'd thought she'd accepted his absence; however, something had switched inside of her. She didn't know how or why. She'd been drinking non-alcoholic champagne and not thinking about alcohol at all. She'd had fun with the family, and it had been nothing out of the ordinary -- until everyone had left. That was when she'd felt it.
Brooke described being overcome with an urge to drink real alcohol. She didn't know where it had come from, but it had been overpowering. She'd pulled out the vodka and poured herself a "glass." She'd wanted more and more. Brooke dissolved into sobs, and Ridge hugged her.
Ridge tried to reassure Brooke, but she said it wasn't okay. He told her that she was only human, and they'd deal with it. Brooke struggled to understand, but Ridge didn't want her to beat herself up about it. He asked her not to get upset by what he was about to ask, because he also wanted to get to the bottom of it. He stated that the worst decisions of her life were because of Deacon. Ridge asked if Deacon had been a part of it or had done something.
Just then, Hope entered from the terrace. Sensing the mood in the room, Hope asked what was going on. Brooke reluctantly divulged that she'd just been telling Ridge that she'd had a relapse on New Year's Eve. Brooke told each of them that she was sorry. Ridge wondered if the drinking would have happened if Deacon hadn't been there.
"Seriously?" Hope asked. Ridge noted that Deacon had a habit of being around when bad things happened, and Ridge asked if Deacon had been there. Brooke replied that she was the only one to blame, and she was sorry for letting everyone down.
Ridge and Hope promised Brooke that they were there, and she had all the support in the world. Brooke didn't want to lose Ridge. He asked why she'd lose him. She looked away, and he assured her that she had nothing to feel guilty about. Hope wished she'd stayed and hadn't left Brooke alone on New Year's Eve.
Brooke flashed back over the events of New Year's Eve, including waking up with Deacon beside her. She heard herself saying they had to keep it a secret forever.
At Forrester, Taylor grew interested in Steffy's gossip about Hope, saying Brooke had reacted to Ridge being out of town for New Year's Eve. Steffy said Brooke hadn't been the same since that night, and Hope had no idea why. Taylor hoped Brooke got it that Ridge was running a company. Steffy replied that Hope had indicated that the trip hadn't been Brooke's issue.
Steffy relayed that Ridge was also noticing something off about Brooke. Taylor assumed that Ridge's absence had clearly triggered something within Brooke. Steffy suggested it could have been Deacon, who'd been at Brooke's party. "The plot thickens," Taylor reveled. Steffy claimed that the Deacon situation had caused Liam and Ridge grief, and they deserved better.
Steffy also claimed that she'd hate it if something major was wrong with Brooke, and Taylor replied that keeping it in couldn't be good for Brooke. Taylor hoped Brooke got support soon. Steffy believed that whatever it was, it would affect Ridge. Steffy was glad Taylor was in town because it wouldn't take long until he needed someone to lean on.
At Brooke's house, Ridge and Hope consoled Brooke, who was ashamed that she'd let everyone down, including herself. Ridge didn't think one drink meant that, but Brooke explained that she'd fallen back into old habits. She'd kept pouring and pouring. She didn't even know how she'd made it to bed that night. She didn't know what had driven her to drink.
Ridge didn't think it mattered why it had happened. What mattered was Brooke's confession and desire to get help. Brooke revealed that she'd called her sponsor, too, but it gnawed at her that she hadn't been able to fight the urge and that she didn't know why. "And we're also sure that Deacon had nothing to do with this?" Ridge asked.
Brooke repeated what she'd said earlier -- that she was the only one to blame. Hope decided that it was her fault. Hope surmised that wanting her father in her life had stressed Brooke and made Brooke want to drink. Brooke and Ridge said it wasn't Hope. Ridge stated that Deacon was the only new ingredient. Ridge asked if Deacon had done anything that night.
Hope vouched for Deacon. She said she'd been there the entire time, and Deacon hadn't done anything. Brooke stated that Deacon had been fine. Ridge dropped the Deacon topic for the time being and asked Brooke what was next. Brooke assumed she needed to go to an A.A. meeting. Ridge volunteered to go with her. He wanted to be by her side.
Hope did, too. Hope felt bad for leaving Brooke alone on New Year's Eve. Ridge asked how they'd find a meeting, and Brooke sent him to get her purse to retrieve her phone. Tearfully, Hope said Brooke had been alone that night, but she wasn't anymore.
At the cabin, Bill visited Liam and hoped Beth liked her Christmas gift. Liam said it was the best stuffed animal -- or currency -- she'd ever gotten. Bill said his assistant had done his shopping, and Bill said she was better at it than Alison had been. "You don't know her name, do you?" Liam asked.
Douglas entered and greeted "Dollar Bill." Liam sent the boy to play in the yard. Liam started to talk about something he and Wyatt had worked on, but Bill wasn't there for business. Bill had made the special trip over to let Liam know that he was there if Liam needed him. Bill asked how Liam really was and how things were going with "that convict" back in Hope's life. Bill thought Hope had made a terrible decision and would learn the hard way that wherever Deacon went, trouble followed. Liam claimed that he'd be happy to be wrong, but Bill said Liam wasn't.
As Hope entered the house, Bill was saying that Deacon would show his true colors. Bill was about to explain himself to Hope, but she said she knew how he felt. "Now, can I have some alone time with my husband?" she asked. Bill stated that he was there for both of them when the inevitable happened, and he exited. "Well, he means well," Liam said.
Hope disagreed and didn't care what Bill thought. Liam asked what was wrong, and Hope said it was her mother. Brooke had been on edge since New Year's Eve, and Hope felt as if Brooke resented Hope. Liam didn't think Brooke would ever feel that way. Hope said she'd been pushing for Deacon to be around, and it might have been asking too much of Brooke.
Liam advised Hope to talk to Brooke. Hope revealed that she'd walked in on Brooke and Ridge talking. Getting upset, Hope said she should have stayed up there that night. Liam asked what had been going on. Hope stated that after they'd left the party, her mother had had a drink.
Hope explained that Brooke had caved and opened up the vodka on New Year's Eve. Hope was mad at herself for not realizing how vulnerable Brooke had been. Liam said Hope couldn't blame herself, and it wasn't like Brooke couldn't be left alone. He stated that Brooke had gone years without drinking, and her sobriety wasn't Hope's responsibility.
Hope couldn't help but think of Brooke all alone, staring at the bottle, trying to resist it. Hope said Brooke hadn't reached out to them or called them. Liam stated that they were all there for Brooke. Hope conveyed that Ridge had taken Brooke to a meeting, and Liam said that was good. Hope couldn't help but worry about all of Brooke's years of sobriety disappearing. Hope needed to know what she'd missed and why it had happened at that time.
Douglas entered and asked Hope if everything was okay. Hope replied that she was just sad about his grandma. Douglas revealed that he'd seen Grandma kissing Santa. Hope asked what he meant. Liam told the boy that it wasn't the time for that. "Okay," Douglas murmured.
At an A.A. meeting, Ridge and Brooke arrived, and the group leader, Brian, offered to let people tell their stories. He pointed to the new person in the room. "Hi, I'm Brooke. I'm an alcoholic," Brooke said, standing. She introduced her husband, Ridge, and said he'd see her through it.
Brooke explained to the group that she'd had a relapse after being in recovery for a long time and attending meetings here and there. It had come out of nowhere. Brian said New Year's Eve was a problematic holiday. Brooke conveyed that it usually wasn't for her. It had been like a normal holiday with family, and she'd had non-alcoholic champagne. Eventually, everyone had left, and she'd been alone, waiting for Ridge.
Brooke said that Ridge had called to say he'd been delayed. That had been when it had all switched, and she'd gotten the urge to drink real alcohol. She hadn't known why, but she'd slugged back vodka as if she'd always been drinking. "You said you were alone?" Brian asked.
Brooke flashed back to knocking drinks back with Deacon and to their vow to keep it a secret. "Alone?" Brooke uttered.