At Summer's apartment in Italy, Victor, Nikki, and Summer relaxed after dinner. Summer was glad that her grandparents had been able to tour Marchetti's offices that day, and she gushed that the company was first-rate from top to bottom. Summer shared that Leslie Brooks had popped in for a fitting, since she'd be wearing a Marchetti gown at the performance Victor and Nikki were going to see. Victor remarked that it all sounded wonderful, but he wondered if Summer had any second thoughts about her decision to move away from Genoa City.
Nikki pointed out that the job offer at Marchetti had happened out of the blue, so Summer had barely had time to think. Summer conceded that she missed her family and Kyle, but she maintained that she'd made the right choice because she hadn't been ready to be a stepmom or deal with Kyle's ex being a constant presence. Summer confirmed that she felt at peace with everything. Victor stepped away to take a call, and Nikki implored Summer to be honest about whether she was really living the life she wanted.
Nikki pushed to know whether Summer was truly happy in Milan or if she was simply resigned to staying there. Summer stood by what she'd said about having a great job in an amazing city, and she figured there was a reason she and Kyle had kept going back and forth. She raved about the fabulous experience the opportunity would give her, and she felt she was in the right place. Summer sadly added that she had to hold onto that, since being away from Kyle didn't feel right.
Summer bemoaned that at least ten times a day, something happened where her first thought was that she couldn't wait to tell Kyle about it. Nikki sympathized that leaving him had created a hole in Summer's life, and Summer lamented that it felt unnatural to be that disconnected from him. Summer recalled wanting to be with Kyle for so long that it hurt to imagine a future without him, but she resolved to let go of that feeling because her life was in Italy. Summer confessed that she wasn't happy yet, but she hoped to get there.
At Society, Sally greeted Jack, who asked how her day had been going. She recounted the great time she'd had at their dinner the other night, since she'd missed spending time like that with him. Sally noted that Kyle had made it clear that he wasn't happy about it, and Jack chalked it up to Kyle just being protective and wanting him to be happy. She swore that she wanted the same thing. Sally cited her sense of feeling connected to Jack again, and she couldn't help but wonder where they'd go from there.
Jack thought it was obvious that he also felt a connection with Sally, but she pointed out that she wasn't a mind reader, so she'd assumed nothing. He shared that he felt a certain ease with her, and he admired that she was an intelligent, witty fighter, even if it was sometimes to her detriment. He added that he was willing to give them another shot to see where it went, but she warned that there were people who wouldn't be excited about it. Jack asserted that others could have their opinions, but he made his own decisions. He was giving her another shot because she was worth it.
Jack hoped Sally believed that, since she had the smarts and talent to take her anywhere she wanted to go in life. Sally replied that when he said it, she believed it. She continued that being on the defensive all the time was exhausting, and she didn't want to do it anymore; however, she also knew she had to win back his trust. Jack didn't want her to feel like she was on trial, and she imagined that she could relax if they went on another date. He offered to make the arrangements and give her a call.
At the Grand Phoenix, Kyle chided Phyllis for playing head games with Tara by pretending to be her friend when Phyllis was anything but. He recognized that Phyllis needed a scapegoat because she was upset that Summer had left town, but he reminded her that she'd already placed blame on him and the child he'd refused to walk away from. Kyle resented that Phyllis had hinted that he might be interested in starting things up with Harrison's mom when it wasn't remotely true, and he ordered her to stop taking her anger out on Tara. Phyllis clarified that it was Tara she didn't trust.
Phyllis contended that Tara's wealthy husband had kicked her out, and Tara was obviously looking for another powerful family to latch onto. Kyle argued that he'd invited Tara to stay, but Phyllis accused Tara of orchestrating it that way because she was taking advantage of his love for his son. Phyllis theorized that Tara had been the one to drive Summer out of town, and Kyle dared Phyllis to show him proof. Phyllis admitted that she had none, but she promised he would be the first person she went to when she found it.
Phyllis was convinced that Tara had been the reason Summer had felt the need to break off her engagement and fly off to the other side of the ocean, but Kyle questioned whether Summer had said that or if Phyllis was twisting things. Phyllis became choked up as she reasoned that she knew her daughter better than anyone, and she knew Summer had been forced into it. Phyllis added that Summer didn't want her to uncover the truth, but she was determined to do it, anyway.
Kyle refused to believe that Tara had manipulated Summer into leaving. Phyllis implored him to look back at the conversations he'd had with Summer when he'd decided to move Tara and Harrison into the Abbott house while he and Summer had been planning their wedding. Kyle retorted that he'd spent weeks going over the things he could have missed or done wrong to explain what had happened, and he'd even blamed Sally. Phyllis exclaimed that he was spot-on about Sally, and she argued that it wasn't a coincidence that both Tara and Sally had benefited from Summer's departure.
Kyle countered that Tara and Sally barely knew one another, but Phyllis cautioned that it was just what Tara wanted him to think. Kyle recognized that Phyllis would prefer that Tara pack up and go back to New York, but he intended to be a reliable presence in Harrison's life. He begged Phyllis to stop taking her emotions out on Tara and spreading nonsense about how Tara was plotting with Sally, since Tara was going through enough. Phyllis guessed that Kyle couldn't see what Tara was doing because he was blinded by his love for his son, and she advised him not to accept what Tara said as the truth. Kyle flatly stated that the bottom line was that it had been Summer's choice to leave him, and he stalked out.
At the Abbott mansion, Tara swore that she'd never keep Ashland and Harrison from seeing one another, since it wouldn't be fair to her son. Ashland scoffed at the idea that her pursuing sole custody was fair, but Tara asserted that she'd summoned him there to talk about how to break the news about his illness to Harrison. She shared that she'd spoken to a therapist, who'd urged them to be honest and not to treat Ashland's diagnosis like it was something scary to be hidden away. Tara continued that death was part of life, and Harrison was old enough to grasp the concept, but they had to use language he'd understand and remind him that he had a family who loved and supported him.
Ashland conceded that everything Tara was saying made sense, and he agreed to talk with Harrison together after he'd had a chance to speak with the boy alone. Ashland anticipated that the news would be devastating for Harrison, and he didn't want to give the lad false hope about where things stood between Ashland and Tara. Tara doubted Harrison would even think about that, and she was adamant about following Sharon's recommendation to talk to Harrison together. Ashland argued that it was their decision and his illness, and he questioned why Tara was fighting him. She insisted that she was trying to do what was best for Harrison, but Ashland snapped that she was only thinking about herself.
Ashland huffed that he wouldn't have been forced to explain his illness to Harrison if his private business hadn't been leaked to the press, and he had no doubt Tara had done it. Tara expected Ashland to tell Harrison terrible things about her, but Ashland bristled at the idea of wasting one second of the time he had left being vengeful by turning a son against his mother. He pointed out that he only had months with Harrison left, whereas she had decades. Tara suspected that he resented her for it.
Ashland called Tara a master at turning things around and making everything about her. He accused her of not considering what was best for their son when she'd filed for sole custody, and he ordered her not to use Harrison to gain control of the situation. Tara barked that Ashland was the most controlling man she knew and that he'd raised vindictiveness to an art form. He countered that his prognosis had changed him, but she hadn't changed a bit, since she'd just traded one comfortable life for another. He hoped that one day, someone saw all the way through her and exposed her for the fraud she was.
Tara turned the topic back to the matter at hand. Ashland groaned that he didn't have the desire or strength to continue, and he didn't want Harrison to pick up on the animosity between them. Jack walked in as Tara scoffed at the idea that she was always the problem. She informed Jack that they'd been discussing how to address Ashland's illness with Harrison, and Ashland pledged to figure out a way to talk about what was going on in a way that wouldn't frighten or confuse the boy.
Ashland requested that Jack help convince Tara that Ashland needed to talk with his son alone, and he stormed out. Tara told Jack that Sharon had recommended that Tara and Ashland talk to Harrison together, but Ashland had other ideas. Tara wailed that she just wanted to do what was best for Harrison. Jack commended her priorities and reiterated that the Abbott family was there to help her.
At the Grand Phoenix, Phyllis stared across the lobby at Sally, who was preoccupied with something on her phone. Phyllis picked up her own phone and called Sally, claiming that they needed to talk about something. Sally spotted Phyllis at the bar and doubted that her "new best friend" hadn't seen her sitting there. Phyllis joined Sally and claimed that a new employee might have erroneously charged Sally's room.
Phyllis handed Sally an itemized statement and requested that she flag any charges that weren't hers. Sally questioned how many stars the hotel had, since it might be a few too many. Phyllis promised to make the situation right, and she set down her folder on top of Sally's phone on the table. Sally contemplated writing a scathing review about how she'd been cheated, and she began to cross charges off the list. Phyllis picked up her folder, covertly grabbing Sally's phone with it.
Phyllis returned to the bar and sent a text message to Tara from Sally's phone, saying they had a problem because Phyllis had figured things out. Meanwhile, Tara received the message and cursed as Kyle returned home. He guessed that her talk with Ashland hadn't gone well, and she reported that her ex had been in rare form. She griped that Ashland wanted to break the news to Harrison alone, despite what Sharon had advised. Tara told Kyle not to worry, since she and Ashland would work it out somehow.
Victoria was surprised when Billy stopped by to see her at home. He explained that he wanted to talk about how the kids were handling the situation with Ashland living there, and he reported that Johnny was feeling better and back at camp that day. Billy mentioned that he'd seen Victoria and Nate talking, and he assumed they'd been discussing Ashland's condition. Victoria revealed that she knew Billy had spoken to Nate about the same thing, and she demanded to know if he was planning another tasteless invasion of Ashland's privacy or if Billy was truly concerned about Ashland's condition. Billy indicated that the person he was concerned about was her.
Billy explained that when he'd talked to Nate, he'd had no idea how close Victoria and Ashland had become. Billy defended that he'd decided not to publish what he'd learned, and he'd meant it when he'd said he was happy for her. Victoria shared that she had no idea how long Ashland had left, and Billy encouraged them to give one another as much joy as they possibly could. He confided that it had taken his breath away when he'd realized that she wasn't just taking care of a friend or business partner but that she loved Ashland.
Billy felt terrible that Victoria and Ashland wouldn't have a lot of time together, and he knew it had to be devastating for her, despite her brave front. He insisted that he was talking to her as her ex, the father of her children, and a friend, and he swore that she could talk to him about anything and that it would stay between them. Victoria admitted that he was right -- she was in love with Ashland.
Victoria thought Ashland was a proud man with good reason, since he was fierce, determined, and intelligent, and it was why it was hard to watch him struggle. She voiced her doubts about the merger of their companies, but Billy imagined that Ashland felt good about her carrying on his vision. Victoria recognized that a big part of Ashland was tied up in his company, so it felt like he was handing over a vital part of himself that gave him purpose. Billy noted that Ashland had a lot to live for and the money to get medical help.
Victoria divulged that the side effects of treatment would be brutal, and it might add time to Ashland's life but wouldn't be a cure. Victoria conveyed Ashland's adamant refusal to live his final days being pumped full of drugs that would leave him feeling weak, even though she'd tried to convince him to seek treatment. Billy supposed Ashland wanted to spend as much time as he could with her and Harrison, and Victoria blasted Tara for suing for sole custody after Ashland had cut her off financially. Billy considered Ashland lucky to have found Victoria, and she acknowledged that she wasn't acting like her usual cautious self because things were moving quickly.
Victoria opened up about feeling overwhelmed when she thought about Ashland dying while not letting him know how much it hurt. Billy clucked that it had been his concern all along that she'd fall in too deep, and she became incensed that his idea of support was saying he'd told her so. Victoria regretted confiding in Billy, but he clarified that when she was in pain, he was in pain, and he was watching her open her heart to a guy who was in a tough place. Billy knew that she'd have to watch Ashland succumb to the disease, and he felt terrible that she'd go through that. Victoria expected him to tell her to get out while she could, but Billy responded that he was thinking the opposite, since she and Ashland needed one another.
Ashland overheard Billy's comment as he entered the house and considered it quite the endorsement. Billy recounted that Victoria had made it clear how committed she and Ashland were to one another, and he was sorry the couple was dealing with such an awful situation. Ashland wondered if Billy felt bad enough to keep reports about Ashland out of the media for Harrison's sake, and Billy gave his word that he wouldn't publish any stories about Ashland. Victoria thanked Billy for being a good listener, and Billy headed out. Ashland questioned what Victoria had said to her ex that had made Billy such a good listener.
Victoria explained that she'd told Billy that she felt overwhelmed from time to time but that she wouldn't have it any other way. She continued that she'd admitted to Billy that she was in love with Ashland, and things were moving very quickly because they didn't have time to waste. Victoria insisted that she needed what Ashland added to her life, and she would take what she could get. "I love you, Ashland, and don't tell me not to feel that way. Don't even try," she firmly stated.
Ashland realized that he needed to find a way to stay alive, and Victoria incredulously asked if he meant it. He agreed to start treatment and take the chance it would actually work. "I sure as hell hope so," he mused.
• Get a sneak peek with The Scoop's previews and spoilers.
• Phyllis visits Eric to dig for information about Sally.
• Abby concludes that Mariah's not returning home.
• Ashland proposes that he and Victoria make their next trip their honeymoon.