In the CEO's office, Taylor wondered how Ridge could feel so familiar after all those years. Ridge said he'd know her hugs blindfolded. She replied that they'd loved each other a great deal. He added that they had a beautiful family to prove it.
Taylor said she could see "us" every time she looked at the kids. She said she saw all the memories, and it had been one of the reasons she'd stayed away. She claimed the memories had gotten her through the saddest times of her life when she hadn't been able to help looking back on what could have been. Ridge hugged Taylor.
Thomas and Steffy peeked in from the doorway and cooed silently to themselves upon seeing their parents' embrace. They entered and offered to come back later. Ridge said they'd just been reminiscing. Steffy claimed she thought about the memories a lot, and Thomas said he liked hanging out with his parents. Ridge agreed that it was nice. Steffy bet it beat going home, where Brooke had rolled out the red carpet for Deacon.
Ridge admitted that Brooke's inviting Deacon back into their lives had caused tension because that guy was an idiot. Thomas said one would think Brooke wouldn't be dismissive of Ridge's desire to protect the family. Taylor began to say that Ridge might not feel that way, but cutting in, Ridge asked, "You know what 'Ridge' feels right now?" He said he felt that he could work it out with Brooke and that marriage was about doing just that.
Steffy asked if Ridge was tired of one obstacle after the next, and Taylor intervened, believing that Steffy had said enough. Steffy claimed to be reminding Ridge that he had a family who loved him and wouldn't let him down the way Brooke had.
Later, Ridge had gone home to Brooke, and Taylor admonished her kids for putting Ridge on the spot. Steffy remained intent upon reminding her father of his options, saying he had another family who respected his wishes when he felt strongly about something. Taylor reasoned that Brooke had mitigating circumstances and didn't want to push her daughter away. Steffy didn't know how Taylor could be so fair and reasonable all the time.
Taylor called it an occupational hazard. She understood that kids tended to want their parents together; however, in their case, Brooke was married to Ridge. Steffy replied that it was that way at that moment, but it could change. Taylor deemed it bad karma to wish for the end of that marriage, and she discouraged Steffy from doing it. Steffy claimed that she wasn't wishing bad luck on Brooke, but when Brooke did do something, Taylor would be there for Ridge.
At Brooke's house with Hope, Brooke explained that the lying was eating her up inside. Hope said one kiss wasn't the end of the world. Hope added that, according to Brooke, nothing had happened. "Of course, nothing happened! There's not enough alcohol in the world!" Brooke exclaimed. Brooke said that the problem was Ridge's hatred of Deacon, and if Ridge found out about that night, then Brooke's marriage would be over.
Brooke didn't want to lose what she and Ridge had over an alcohol-fueled mistake. It never would have happened if she'd been sober. She'd kissed Deacon, but it had meant nothing. She knew Ridge wouldn't believe it, not after learning that she'd let Deacon stay that night. Hope corrected that Brooke hadn't done that; she'd awakened to see Deacon on top of the covers.
"There's no way I come out looking good. You do understand that, don't you?" Brooke asked. She insisted that Hope had to keep the secret, so that it wouldn't get back to Ridge. Hope conveyed that she had to tell Liam because he'd been the first person Douglas had told.
Suddenly, Brooke realized that Douglas was probably running around, telling everyone that he'd seen Grandma kissing Santa. Hope didn't think so, but Brooke said he was a sweet, gregarious kid who didn't know the information was explosive. Because Douglas hung out with Ridge and Taylor all the time, Brooke thought they'd figure out what the child was really saying.
Brooke stated that Douglas was innocent and didn't know he was sitting on a secret that could explode his grandmother's marriage. Hope said Brooke didn't know that for sure, and Ridge would have to understand that Brooke had been drinking. Hope added that Brooke and Ridge had forgiven each other for far worse. Brooke knew her husband and said that if he knew she'd kissed Deacon, he'd be gone.
Ridge arrived and asked what was going on.
Later, Ridge and Brooke were alone. He assumed she and Hope had had an argument, but Brooke reverted to talking about her disillusionment about her drinking. She didn't want to lose the life they had together. Ridge said there wasn't a single thing that would make him walk out that door. "Okay," Brooke replied, and they kissed. She looked uncertain as they hugged.
In the cabin, the anxious Douglas was still worried that Hope was upset about what he'd seen up at the house. Liam assured Douglas that he wasn't in trouble. Even though Liam and Hope weren't happy that the boy had sneaked out, they were happy that he'd told the truth. Douglas repeated that he'd seen Grandma kissing Santa. Liam said he believed it, and the two hugged.
Later, Hope arrived home, and Liam noticed Hope looked drained. He asked what her mom had had to say, and Hope said Brooke had been shocked. He assumed that meant there had been no Santa and wondered why Douglas would make it up. "He didn't," Hope murmured. Hope replied that it had been true. Douglas had seen Brooke kissing a man in a red and white hat. "My mother was kissing my father," Hope revealed to Liam's utter shock.
At Carter's place, Carter and Paris kissed. He said they should stop, but they began kissing again. He tore himself away, but Paris didn't know why they should stop when Zende was on a date as they spoke. Carter replied that Zende was still in love with her. Carter didn't know how Zende couldn't be in love with someone so beautiful, amazing, and sexy.
Paris moved in and kissed Carter more. They tossed his shirt aside and told each other how much they wanted each other. Carter pulled away and asserted that he couldn't do it. After what had gone on with Eric and Quinn, Carter couldn't go down that road again.
Paris was confused and said she and Carter were both free. Carter said Zende was still in love with Paris, and Carter didn't want to create tension between them after what he'd done to Eric. Paris replied that Quinn had been married, but Paris was single.
It still felt like a betrayal to Carter, and he said he didn't want to sully his standing with the Forresters after he'd somehow emerged from the affair with some respect intact. He claimed it wasn't wise for him to get involved with another woman a Forrester man had dated. Carter didn't want to lose the Forresters, but at the same time, he didn't know how he could stay away from Paris.
As Carter said he didn't want to be the kind of guy who betrayed his friends, Paris grinned. He said she was doing that thing and making it impossible. She cut his words off with kisses.
At Brooke's house, Brooke wanted to believe the things that Ridge was saying. He insisted that she could believe in them and their destiny. "I'm here no matter what," he stated.
To Brooke and Ridge's surprise, from the threshold of the front door, Steffy asked what was going on. Ridge claimed that everything was fine, but to Steffy, it was becoming obvious that the couple was going through something. "How much longer are you going to keep this from me?" Steffy asked.
Ridge said to trust that everything was under control. Steffy began to question Brooke about it, but Ridge stepped between them and insisted that it was fine. He asked why Steffy was there. Steffy wanted to see if he'd go to the cliff house dinner that night. She offered to give him a ride.
Ridge turned the invitation down, and Steffy said it was because he didn't want to leave Brooke. Steffy murmured that Brooke could join, but added, "but it's just going to be our family, so...." Brooke encouraged Ridge to go, since it seemed important to Steffy. After Ridge had ascertained that Brooke was sure and fine with him going, he kissed her and left with Steffy.
In the cabin, Liam couldn't believe that Hope was serious, but she affirmed that Douglas had seen Brooke kissing Deacon in a Santa hat. Douglas hadn't seen Deacon's face, according to Hope, who conveyed Brooke's fear that Ridge would find out about it.
Later, Hope had filled Liam in on what had happened the night Brooke had gotten drunk. Hope said nothing had happened because Deacon had slept on top of the covers, but Liam contended that a lot had happened, even if that one thing hadn't. Hope said Brooke hadn't been herself, and she'd blacked out; Deacon had tucked Brooke into bed, and they'd both slept it off. Liam asked what would have happened if Ridge had returned sooner or if he ever got wind of it.
Brooke arrived, and she guessed Liam knew what had gone on. She still hadn't figured out her behavior, why she'd broken her sobriety, or why she'd kissed Deacon. Brooke stated that they had to talk to Douglas and make sure that he didn't tell anyone.
Liam conveyed that Douglas was playing outside, and he offered to get the child. Liam went outside, and Hope told Brooke to calm down, so Douglas wouldn't see her that way. Hope didn't think Douglas would tell Ridge. Brooke didn't even know how to explain the kiss to Douglas. Hope said they'd deal with it if and when they had to.
Liam returned inside alone and said he couldn't find Douglas, who was supposed to be in the treehouse. Hope said it was Thomas' day, and he might have stopped by and picked the boy up. Liam responded that Thomas should have called if he'd done that. Hope found a text and voicemail on her phone from Thomas, who'd said he'd be taking Douglas to the cliff house for dinner. Brooke was sure Douglas was telling everyone at that very moment and that Ridge would figure out that she had kissed Deacon.
At Steffy's house, Steffy was telling Ridge that Finn had to cover for someone at the hospital, and Taylor was tied up with a patient, so it might just be Thomas and the kids for dinner. Ridge seemed distracted, so Steffy said Brooke was fine. "I know you love her, but..." Steffy said. Ridge didn't want any buts, and he asked Steffy not to pile more things on Brooke.
Thomas arrived with Douglas, who excitedly greeted Ridge. Thomas stated that he hadn't expected to have Douglas, but he'd cleared it with Hope a couple of days back.
Douglas hoped that his mom wasn't still mad at him. Thomas asked why that would be. Douglas revealed that he'd seen something, and Hope and Liam had asked a lot of questions about it. Douglas explained that he'd sneaked out to find his rabbit, and Steffy and Thomas interjected that they could see why that would upset Hope and Liam. Douglas was sorry he'd disobeyed, but he was excited that he'd gotten to see Grandma kissing Santa Claus.
In the design office, Grace arrived as Zende was working. She was looking for Paris, but he didn't know where Paris was. Grace, who didn't hold back when it came to her daughters' love lives, expressed her approval of Paris' involvement with a fine, upstanding man like Zende.
Just then, Sequoyah arrived in a sexy dress. She was eager to get her date with Zende started. Zende asked her to wait for him downstairs while he finished up some things.
After Sequoyah had gone, Zende noted that Grace looked confused. He had assumed Grace had known that he and her daughter weren't exclusive. He expressed that he cared deeply for Paris. "But the flirtatious model downstairs awaits," Grace coldly concluded.
At Carter's house, Carter asked himself what he and Paris were doing. Paris didn't see the problem. In fact, she reasoned that they might be getting in their own way. Carter decided that, as much as he wanted to, he couldn't. Paris replied that she wouldn't tell if Carter wouldn't.
In Paris' view, it was no one else's business. Carter said he'd been down that road before, sneaking around on the "DL." She reasoned that Quinn had been married, but Paris wasn't. He stated that he'd almost lost everything the last time. Paris understood, but she didn't like it. She repeated that Zende was going out with a gorgeous model, and she was okay with it. She asked if Carter wanted to be with her as much as she wanted to be with him.
Carter and Paris continued to make out, but a call from Grace interrupted them. Grace was at the office, looking for Paris, and wanted to see her right away. Paris agreed to meet her mother, and after the call ended, Carter decided that it was a good thing that Grace had interrupted them before things had gone too far. He didn't want Paris to get hurt.
Paris didn't think that would happen, but Carter wondered how Grace would feel about him being involved with another one of her daughters. Paris offered to ask, but he said they didn't even know what to call their relationship or where it would go. Paris coquettishly replied that they were getting closer to finding out.
Back at the design office later, Paris arrived, concerned about what her mother needed. Grace asked Paris what was really going on with her and Zende.
At Forrester Creations, Grace shared her concerns about Paris and Zende's relationship. Grace explained that she had caught Zende headed out on a date with a Forrester model. She was stunned that Paris had known about the date. Paris explained she and Zende had a "modern relationship" and were keeping their relationship loose.
Grace wondered if Zende was trying to make Paris jealous by dating a model. Paris explained that she had encouraged Zende to date because she was not ready to commit to a serious relationship. Grace remained confused. Paris closed her eyes and took a deep breath before revealing that Zende had planned to propose to her.
Grace was stunned when Paris explained that she had stopped Zende from proposing so that she would not have had to turn down the proposal. "I don't understand this at all," Grace responded. She wondered how Paris had gone from nonstop gushing about Zende to not wanting to be engaged to him. Paris repeated that she wanted her freedom because she did not feel she was ready for a "lifelong commitment."
In his apartment, a fully clothed Carter thought about kissing Paris. He was mid-daydream when a knock sounded on his door. He opened the door and was surprised to see Katie standing in the hallway. Holding a large yellow envelope in her right hand, Katie said that she was hoping to go over the latest marketing numbers with Carter.
When Carter commented that Katie didn't have to travel all the way to his apartment to drop off the paperwork, Katie stated that Carter had been "a bit elusive" in recent days. Carter assured Katie that he was not trying to be hard to locate. Katie observed a "guarded look" on Carter's face and asked if there was anything that he wanted to share with her.
Carter assured Katie he was fine and turned the tables by asking her about Bill. Katie said that only time would tell if Bill's attempts to win her back would work. Katie circled back and asked Carter if he had been spending his time with anyone. Carter laughed nervously, and Katie asked if there was something or someone that he was trying to avoid.
Carter admitted that it was a "who" but added that he was certain that things were not going to go anywhere. Katie asked if Carter was interested in a married woman. Carter swore that women wearing weddings bands were strictly off-limits. He shared that the woman technically wasn't single, but he followed that up by saying that things were "complicated."
In the cabin, a panicked Brooked told Hope and Liam that she could not allow Ridge to find out about her New Year's Eve kiss with Deacon. "I betrayed everything that I care about, that I believe in," Brooke said frantically. Liam tried to calm Brooke by reminding her that Douglas had only seen Brooke kissing someone wearing a Santa hat -- not an actual person or face. Brooke believed that was more than enough information for anyone to figure out "Santa's" identity.
Hope countered that she did not feel that anyone would believe or even understand Douglas' story. Brooke begged Hope to call Thomas and ask that Douglas be brought home immediately.
At the cliff house, Ridge crouched down next to Douglas and asked Douglas to repeat who he had seen Grandma kissing. "Santa," Douglas replied. Thomas squinted his eyes, cocked his head to the side, and asked if Grandma had also gotten run over by one of the reindeer. Amused, Steffy told Thomas that he was confusing two different songs.
Douglas insisted that he was not referring to a song. Ridge jokingly said that he might need to take a trip to the North Pole to tell Santa that he was not allowed to kiss Brooke. Douglas wondered if Brooke had been thanking Santa for all of their Christmas presents. When Thomas made another reference to the Christmas carol, Douglas became increasingly frustrated. The young boy insisted that he'd seen Grandma and Santa kissing with his own eyes.
Thomas received a call from Hope asking Thomas to take Douglas back to the cabin. Thomas detected a strange tone in Hope's voice and asked if everything was okay. Hope insisted that everything was okay and promised that she would reschedule Douglas' visit in the near future. When Thomas hung up the phone, he announced that he had to take Douglas home.
After Thomas and Douglas left, Steffy and Ridge tried to make sense of Douglas' story and Hope's sudden desire for Douglas to be returned home.
Back at the cabin, Hope pleaded with Brooke to calm down before Douglas got home. Hope stated that Douglas was perceptive and sensitive and could pick up on Brooke's angst. Moments later, the door swung open, and Douglas raced in and hugged his grandmother. Thomas hugged Douglas goodbye and said that he would see him soon.
When Thomas returned to Steffy's house, Ridge and Steffy asked if Hope had explained why it had been so urgent to take Douglas home. Thomas became irritated with the questions and insisted that Hope would not have asked him to drive all the way to Beverly Hills if it had not been urgent.
Douglas asked if his having to return home had anything to do with what he had seen on New Year's Eve. Hope and Liam sat Douglas down at the table and gave him some apple slices. They took turns telling Douglas that they were not mad at him and believed he was telling the truth. Douglas giggled slightly as he confessed that he found it kind of funny that Brooke had been kissing Santa.
Douglas shared that he had told Thomas, Steffy, and Ridge about his grandma's New Year's Eve smooch with Santa. He also revealed that they had all thought he had been mixing up the lyrics of a Christmas song. Brooke, who was seated on the sofa, began to panic. She asked if she could speak to Douglas alone.
Liam and Hope agreed and left the room. Brooke and Douglas talked about Christmas for a while. Brooke then suggested that since the holidays had passed, it was time for Douglas to stop thinking and talking about the kiss. Douglas agreed and gave Brooke another hug. As he hugged her, he once again thought back to New Year's Eve.
In Brooke's cabin, Hope was impressed by Liam's breakfast skills. The kids were sleeping in, and Liam confessed that he was trying to distract her from the previous day's events. Hope was still floored by what had gone on between Deacon and Brooke, and Liam asked how Hope felt about her parents kissing each other. It was a lot for Hope to process, but Hope didn't want anything to jeopardize Brooke's relationship with Ridge.
Liam replied that Hope was allowed to have an opinion about her biological parents. Hope acknowledged that if she was younger and the circumstances were different, she might feel different. She'd been too concerned about her mother to think more about it.
Liam wondered if it might be Deacon's endgame and asked if it was possible that Brooke was the reason Deacon had been so eager to get close to Hope. Hope hoped that wasn't the case. Liam conveyed that he wasn't saying Deacon didn't care about Hope or was playing her; however, Deacon could blow it all up by telling Ridge.
Hope didn't understand why things had happened at the point they had. Liam felt that Deacon was more of a trigger for Brooke than previously thought, especially since he'd done nothing to stop the events of the night. Hope said her mother had told her that Deacon had tried to stop it. Liam replied that Deacon hadn't tried that hard. Hope replied that her mom was married, so neither of them should have allowed it. She got why Brooke didn't want Deacon around.
Liam felt that Deacon obviously brought something out in Brooke and wasn't the best influence. "And maybe he's trying to break up her marriage?" Liam wondered. Hope decided to pay her father a visit and find out what he thought about that night with her mother.
At Brooke's house, Ridge arrived with coffee, wondering if something was wrong. Brooke said that night still haunted her. He advised her that it wouldn't dictate the rest of her life. She hoped he was right. He stated that she'd wind up stronger than ever. Brooke indicated that she'd been going to meetings and maintaining her sobriety. She'd taken responsibility for her drinking but still couldn't stop thinking about why she'd done it or been so weak.
Ridge wanted Brooke to give herself a break, but Brooke said she'd let go of her good judgment and had given in to her desires. Ridge replied that she'd fallen off the road to recovery, but she'd gotten back on it. She couldn't figure out why she'd made such a bad decision.
Ridge felt he knew every detail of that night, and none of it was unforgivable in his view. Brooke was sorry she'd done it to him. He replied that she hadn't done anything to him, hadn't lied to him or betrayed him. He wanted to get beyond it and focus on the positive. Ridge said that Brooke was his loyal, sexy wife. She was a good mother and sister. She was an inventor and an executive. He wanted her to move on from that one ugly night.
At Il Giardino, Deacon set tables and flashed back to revealing his feelings to Brooke. Sheila arrived, and even though the place had just opened, he told her that they were closed. She commended him on holding down a job for a few weeks. She'd been trying to reach him, but he'd changed his number. She figured he was distancing himself from her due to Brooke.
Sheila spotted some champagne bottles and flashed back on her thoughts of ruining Brooke's life. To Deacon, Sheila pretended she was there to catch up and hear about his family time.
Deacon figured that Sheila was just there to drill him. Sheila concluded that he was grumpy because of the storage room and offered to let him stay at the hotel.
Deacon revealed that he hadn't spent much time at Brooke's and claimed it was because of work. He didn't want to discuss it any further. Persistent, Sheila said it wasn't like him to just give up. She thought he should be camped outside Brooke's house, playing her favorite love song. Deacon quipped that Brooke was married, and his boombox was in the shop.
Sheila admitted that she was a little jealous of the progress Deacon had made with Hope, and it didn't help that Brooke was hellbent on standing in Sheila's way. Sheila believed that Brooke was the most vocal, vowing to make sure Sheila never had a part in Finn and Hayes's lives. Deacon warned Sheila not to lash out at Brooke, who was dealing with enough.
Sheila asked what Brooke was dealing with. Deacon heard Hope's voice from the host's stand, and he ordered Sheila to go before Hope saw them together. Sheila ducked away, and as Deacon greeted his daughter, Sheila sat at a nearby table and hid behind a menu.
After greeting Hope, Deacon offered to get the kids mac and cheese at the restaurant sometime, but Hope said she was there to talk about something else. Hope uttered that she knew what had happened between Deacon and Brooke on New Year's Eve.
Sheila tried to tune in to the conversation but seemed unable to hear it. Hope hoped Deacon would say that he hadn't encouraged Brooke's drinking. He swore he hadn't and had tried to get Brooke to stop. He said he'd helped Brooke get sober. He recalled that Brooke had goaded him into joining her. Hope stated that it had been a mistake for him to do it. She said she wasn't there to point fingers, but she wanted to find out what had triggered it after all that time.
Hope didn't buy that Ridge being delayed had derailed years of sobriety. Deacon didn't know more about it. Hope brought up the kiss and asked "what the hell" Deacon had been thinking. He stated that he and Brooke had been drunk and not thinking. They'd been caught up in the moment, and it had just happened.
Sheila seemed frustrated by other conversations around her as she tried to listen in on Deacon and Hope. Hope asked Deacon to be transparent because she also knew that he'd spent the night. He claimed he'd been in no condition to drive, and he hadn't been able to leave Brooke alone that way. He added that he'd slept on top of the sheets.
Hope assumed that a lot of emotions had to have flooded back. Deacon affirmed that he hadn't stopped caring for Brooke. Hope conveyed that Brooke was terrified of losing her marriage and Ridge. Hope stated that Brooke was in a fragile state, and Hope had arrived to make sure that Deacon wouldn't undermine the marriage. She felt that the future was in his hands, and she asked what Deacon would do.
At Il Giardino, Sheila attempted to listen to Hope and Deacon talking at the bar. Deacon revealed that the guy he'd once been would have loved to tell Ridge and gain a foothold with Brooke; however, Deacon didn't want things to happen that way. He said he'd never betray Brooke's trust, so he'd never say anything to anyone. He promised, and Hope grinned.
Hope realized that Deacon really loved her mother. Deacon asked if she'd learned it from the kiss or his willingness to be quiet about it. "Both, I suppose," she replied. Even though she didn't condone it, it was comforting to her because it meant that Brooke and Deacon might have cared for each other when they'd conceived Hope instead of it being merely a scandal.
"Maybe it if had turned out differently..." Hope said. Deacon claimed that he tried not to let himself go back, but if he ever got a shot with Brooke, he'd do everything to fill her life with happiness. Hope thanked Deacon for what he was doing for Brooke, and Hope left.
Deacon picked up a champagne bottle from behind the bar. "You and Brooke on New Year's Eve," Sheila said from behind him. Turning toward her, he assumed she'd been eavesdropping on him and Hope. Sheila claimed not to be able to help but to overhear people who were talking so loudly. Sheila was hurt he hadn't told her that he and Brooke were drinking buddies.
Deacon said Sheila should understand why he hadn't told her that. He remarked that Brooke didn't know why she'd started drinking. Silently, Sheila reveled in her success at turning Brooke back into a lush. Sheila stated, "Karma's a bitch."
Deacon asked Sheila not to talk about Brooke that way. Sheila replied that it was a shame that Brooke had stumbled, and Sheila assumed that Brooke was a mean drunk and had ruined the evening. He believed that the setback wouldn't define Brooke. He figured that Sheila wanted Brooke's world to tumble down, but he asserted that it wouldn't happen.
In Brooke's cabin, Brooke asked Liam if she was making a mistake by not telling Ridge. Liam figured she'd feel better if she was honest, but he understood her silence and need to forget it, since Ridge detested Deacon. She said it was hard to do after knowing Douglas had seen the kiss. Liam was sure it was the kind of thing kids forgot about. Brooke wondered if Douglas would think about it in the future and begin wondering who she'd been with.
Later, Hope arrived, and Brooke was surprised to hear that Hope had gone to see Deacon. Hope explained that she'd gone to get some reassurances, and she'd gotten them. Deacon had promised not to tell anyone about that kiss, and Hope added that she and Liam wouldn't, either.
Brooke was hopeful that she and Deacon could leave that night behind them, but she was still worried that her sweet grandson had seen the kiss. Hope replied that it had been a magical kiss with Santa, and that was all Douglas would remember about that night.
At the cliff house, Douglas used a pair of binoculars to spot a bald eagle outside. It turned out that it was really a seagull. Steffy noted that Douglas had thought he'd seen Grandma kissing Santa, too. Thomas joked that Douglas needed his eyes checked. Douglas' face grew long, and Thomas asked what was wrong.
Douglas seemed hesitant to talk. Kelly woke up, and he went to play with her. Steffy said Thomas could have pretended about the bird. Thomas didn't like lying to the boy and decided to talk to Taylor about how strangely Douglas was behaving.
Douglas returned and said Kelly wanted her mother to help with her hair. Steffy went into the bedroom, and Thomas asked Douglas again what was bothering him. Douglas said he wasn't supposed to talk about it, but Thomas already knew about it, anyway. Thomas asked what that was, and Douglas said Grandma had kissed Santa.
Thomas wondered why Douglas kept saying it, and Douglas insisted that it was because it was true. Douglas added that Grandma had said it was in the past, and he didn't need to talk about it anymore. Thomas assumed it had been Ridge on Christmas Eve, but Douglas said it had been New Year's Eve. Thomas asked why Douglas thought it had been Santa, and the boy replied that only Santa wore that kind of hat. Thomas asked if Douglas had seen Santa's face.
Douglas didn't think he had. Thomas guessed that it could have been one of Santa's helpers, and it could be someone Douglas even knew. Thomas asked Douglas to think hard about it. Douglas flashed back to what he'd seen, and he decided that it had been his mom's dad. Thomas asked if Brooke had been kissing Deacon. Upset, Douglas hugged Thomas.
In the design office, Grace asked if Paris had talked to Zende about his date. Paris was sure she'd hear about it when she saw him. Paris wasn't worried about it. She said that she and Zende still had a connection and saw each other, but they just had more freedom. Grace asked if Paris needed time to date other men and be disappointed. From what Grace could see, Paris wouldn't find a better man than Zende.
Carter entered, and immediately noticing tension, he asked if he was interrupting something. Grace remarked that she and Paris had been talking about the proposal from Zende that Paris had turned down. Paris told her mother that it wasn't public information, and she'd stopped Zende before he'd made any proposal at all. Grace thought it was strange that Paris would avoid the marriage proposal and asked if Carter had known about it.
Paris said it wasn't strange that she hadn't wanted to hurt Zende. Grace thought it was strange that Paris would reject Zende. Grace recalled that she and Paris had had plenty of calls on which Paris had gushed about Zende. Paris replied that she just wasn't ready.
Grace apologized to Carter for interrogating Paris in front of him. Grace was having a hard time understanding Paris' choice because Zende was an upstanding man with a good family and good values. Carter stated that Grace wasn't wrong, and Zende was a great guy. Grace told Paris to listen to Carter. Grace insisted that Zende was a good catch.
Grace claimed not to be trying to marry Paris off, and she respected that Paris wasn't ready for marriage, but it was still puzzling to her after all she'd heard from Paris about Zende. Paris said that Zende was special to her, but they were still seeing where things went.
Grace assumed Paris thought she was too young to believe she'd already found the one and wanted to see what else was out there. Grace said she'd gone for the guy who'd been more exciting. "And look what happened," Grace concluded.
Paris asked if they could talk about it later. Before she left, Grace advised Paris to listen to Carter, who knew what he was talking about.
Alone with Carter, Paris touched his lapels and asked for his advice. Carter replied that Grace was lobbying hard. Paris thought Zende looked good on paper, but there was someone else she couldn't stop thinking about. Carter couldn't stop thinking about her, either.
Paris asked if Carter didn't think it was worth pursuing. He knew it would be complicated, "but the way I'm feeling..." The two began kissing. Grace opened the office door and saw them.