At Sharon's house, Nick and Sharon told Faith they were a couple. The announcement surprised Faith, and she recalled the number of times Sharon and Nick had reunited after breaking up. Nick said he and Sharon had never meant to hurt their children. Faith noted that her parents should remain friends only because their relationship as a couple never worked. Faith added that she was sick of pretending they could be a family the way Nick and Sharon wanted.
Nick admitted that family relationships could be complicated. Sharon asked Faith to give her parents a chance to prove they could make things work. Nick explained that Victor's ordeal had made him realize that nothing was more important than family. Nick and Sharon promised to do their best to keep their family together.
At the Abbott mansion, Kyle hurried toward the front door. Jack intercepted his son, dressed casually to attend a barbecue. Jack questioned Kyle about his decision not to quit Jabot and help him start a new cosmetics company. Kyle replied, "We didn't agree to anything. You assumed I'd go along with your plan." Kyle ended his conversation and left the house. Jack seemed frustrated.
At the Newman ranch, Nikki expressed concern that Victor might not be sufficiently recovered to attend Neil and Devon's barbecue. Victor insisted that he felt fine. Nikki said she was aware that Victor was anxious to make a public appearance after suffering his fall. Victor said his aim was to support Neil and also to spend time with Nikki. Nikki jokingly accused Victor of distracting her. Victor and Nikki kissed. Victor said, "Is it working?" Nikki replied, "Doesn't it always?"
At the Hamilton-Winters Memorial Day Barbecue, the caterers failed to show up due to illness. Though Neil and Devon tried to line up substitutes, no other service was available. Hilary showed up and noted that Neil and Devon didn't appear to be excited about reaping the benefits of a huge public relations event. Devon told Hilary about the caterers. Devon also noted that he'd given a number of food-service employees at the Genoa City Athletic Club the day off, so he couldn't reassign anyone to pitch in. Hilary said she had a solution.
Hilary summoned Tessa and Mariah to step in and cook burgers on the grill. Mariah agreed, but she insisted that Hilary help her and Tessa. As Devon observed Hilary taking charge, he seemed to find humor in the predicament until Hilary bossily drafted him to cook, too. They donned aprons and began grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. Guests began crowding the rooftop deck, awaiting lunch and entertainment as they chatted.
Kyle and Victoria chatted at the Hamilton-Winters barbecue. Victoria told Kyle he was fortunate to have a day off from Jabot because it was likely hectic with Billy in charge. Kyle replied that it didn't seem hectic. Victoria noted that Billy replacing Jack as CEO had occurred quite suddenly. Victoria asked what had happened, but Kyle said Billy would fill in the details. Victoria said she was shocked that Jack had given up his job so easily.
Kyle refused to elaborate and stripped down to his swim trunks. Victor asked, "What are you doing?" Kyle replied, "Showing you the same respect you showed me. Treating me like a minor leaguer at an all-star game. If you want to keep digging for dirt, you'll have to join me in the pool."
Kyle approached Tessa and invited her to eat a burger together. Tessa explained that she was too busy cooking to join Kyle. Kyle asked Tessa if she was involved with someone, but she told him she was single. Tessa told Kyle she shouldn't date someone that was a friend of Mariah's. After Tessa rushed off, Kyle glanced at Mariah, who was busily flipping hot dogs at the grill.
As the Ashby family entered the rooftop deck, Mattie paused to look at Kyle, who was oblivious to her presence. Charlie grabbed Mattie by the arm and pulled her away. Lily was surprised to see the substitute cooks. Hilary asked Charlie about the prom. Mattie noted that Charlie had invited Shauna to the barbecue.
Charlie showed Hilary photos he'd taken at the prom. Charlie noted that Hilary had "pulled all the right strings" to set him up with Shauna. Lily snidely replied, "Well, that's her specialty." Hilary purposely flipped a burger toward Lily. The meat patty landed between Lily's breasts and clung to her top. Mattie gasped and later praised Lily for not retaliating.
Kyle struck up a conversation with Charlie about the altered footage of Dina. Charlie said he'd already told Abby how bad he felt that someone had ruined Mrs. Mergeron's movie. Kyle accused Charlie of lying about not knowing how Dina's confession had made it into the film's final cut. Charlie insisted that the first time he'd seen the additional footage had been at the premiere. Charlie assured Kyle he wasn't lying.
After Charlie walked away, Jack approached Kyle and asked why he'd never planned on joining him to start a new business. Kyle claimed he lacked the experience to assist with a startup. Jack suggested that Victor was behind Kyle's decision. Kyle denied Jack's claim, but Jack warned that Victor would love nothing more than to get between father and son.
Victor overheard Jack's remark and told Jack he'd done that to himself. Jack told Victor he'd sunk to a new low by attacking the entire Abbott family and an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer's. Victor told Jack he had no one to blame but himself, no matter who his father was. Jack lunged toward Victor, but Kyle and Neil pressed their hands against Jack's chest. Victor reminded Jack that it was a day to remember those who had died.
Nikki and Victoria greeted Sharon, Nick, Faith, and Christian at the barbecue. Nick said he had an announcement, but Neil interrupted when he formally welcomed everyone to the event and acknowledged the men and women who'd died in service to their country. From afar, Sharon noticed Tessa and Mariah chatting while they prepared and served food. Tessa complained to Mariah that she'd be sweaty by the time she was scheduled to sing at the event. Mariah advised Tessa to "do your thing." Tessa requested that Mariah cheer her on. Mariah said she would. Kyle approached Hilary, and she asked about Jack.
Nick, surrounded by his sister, Sharon, his kids, and his parents announced that he would return to Newman Enterprises. Nick admitted to Victor that he'd realized what he and his father might have missed had Victor not recovered from his injuries. Nick added that both he and Victor had been given a second chance. Victor extended his hand to shake Nick's and said, "You won't regret your decision, son. Welcome back." Victor motioned to Neil and asked him to prepare a press statement about Nick's return.
Victor requested a microphone and announced to those gathered that drinks were on him. Victor announced that nothing made a man prouder than to know that his own flesh and blood would follow in his footsteps and carry on the family tradition. Kyle stood nearby and watched as Victor spoke. Kyle glanced at Jack, who was sitting at the bar, sulking. Kyle later told Hilary that Jack wasn't faring well.
After Devon and Hilary made certain all the guests had eaten, Devon told Hilary she'd been a good sport. Devon tenderly brushed Hilary's hair off her forehead. Hilary flirted with Devon, and he smiled at her. Lily noticed Hilary and Devon's interactions and seemed displeased. Lily later approached Hilary and warned that she'd better treat Devon right.
Mariah noticed Faith sitting alone, joined her, and encouraged her not to worry about Sharon and Nick's renewed relationship. After Faith stepped way, Sharon mentioned Mariah's conversation with Tessa. Mariah denied a romantic interest on Tessa's part. Sharon noted that mothers worried. Mariah replied, "I'm just trying to get past the past." Shauna arrived, joined Charlie and Lily, and thanked Hilary for the prom. Charlie and Shauna walked away to spend time alone.
Victoria was sitting with Nikki and Sharon when Mattie approached. Mattie asked Victoria if she'd heard from J.T. Victoria said she hadn't. Mattie explained that she and Reed had video-chatted, and she was certain Reed missed his dad. Mattie asked Victoria if she thought J.T. might sometime reach out to Reed.
Mattie's question made Victoria visibly unnerved, but she admitted she couldn't answer the question. Mattie said she felt sorry for Reed. After Mattie walked away, Nikki said, "Definitely not the reminder I wanted to hear today." Nikki said she hoped that everyone would assume that J.T. had left town, so they could resume their normal lives. Sharon expressed relief that Nick had ended his search for J.T.
Charlie escorted Shauna to Devon's office to visit. The couple chatted about prom, school, and friends. Charlie said he'd never had an opportunity to kiss his date. Charlie kissed Shauna on the lips. After the kiss, the couple exited the office, holding hands. They later rejoined the festivities taking place on the rooftop deck.
Victor met up with Kyle at the bar in the Athletic Club's main dining room downstairs. Kyle said, "Jack left Jabot. Isn't that what you wanted?" Victor replied, "Don't presume to know what I want." Kyle explained that he'd turned down his father's request to help start a new company. Kyle asked if he'd be impacted by Nick's return to Newman Enterprises. Victor replied, "I'll continue to mentor you." Kyle asked if there was a future for him at Newman Enterprises. Victor simply replied that Kyle had made a wise decision to stay at Jabot. Before leaving, Victor added, "Good luck with Billy."
Back upstairs on the rooftop deck, guests enjoyed Tessa's performance of "America the Beautiful." Kyle joined Mariah and noted that Tessa had turned down his invitation for a date because of Mariah. Mariah was reluctant to discuss details. Kyle persisted, so Mariah explained that she'd had a crush on Tessa. Kyle rudely remarked, "Oh, I bet that was hot."
Mariah replied, "Not to throw cold water on your very dated fantasy, but for your information, the affair was one-sided. Tessa wasn't interested, so now we can go back to enjoying the music." At the conclusion of Tessa's performance, Mariah mouthed a private message to Tessa. Tessa reacted, and Kyle noticed. Kyle told Mariah that, judging by the way Tessa had looked at Mariah, Tessa was definitely interested.
Victoria and Nikki visited with Jack. Nikki expressed sympathy to Jack and said it had been a shock to learn he wasn't John Abbott's son. Nikki insisted that Victor had admired the love and respect Jack had shown John. Victoria assured Jack that he'd soon find his way back to his family and to Jabot. Jack expressed doubt, but Victoria said it would only be a matter of time before he and Ashley would be working together again.
Nick joined Victor. Victor showed Nick a draft of a press release concerning his return to Newman Enterprises. Nick read the document on Victor's phone. Nick was surprised to discover that he would be COO. Nick said he thought Victor had left the position of COO open for Victoria. Victor said, "It's not going to happen." Nick asked what Victoria thought. Victor replied, "Victoria went in a different direction. The job is yours." Nick glanced at Victoria and appeared to realize that his sister was about to be blindsided.
At GC Buzz, Mariah told Devon that she'd had a great time at the barbecue, but he pointed out that he'd made her work. She replied that she'd been happy to help, and seeing Hilary slinging burgers had been the entertainment highlight. Devon mused that Hilary had a way of surprising people, since there was a side of her that people rarely got to see or give her credit for. Mariah noted that she hadn't heard him talk like that in a while. He reported that things were evolving, but he wasn't sure into what.
Hilary arrived at Crimson Lights and spied Phyllis giggling at something on her phone. Phyllis displayed photos of Hilary that someone had posted from the barbecue, and Hilary groaned that it had been hot in front of the grill, so her hair had been a mess. Phyllis insisted that Hilary had looked fabulous, and Hilary admitted that it had been pretty fun. Hilary added that Devon had seemed to appreciate it, and she thought they were back together. Phyllis had known from the way Devon looked at Hilary that it would only be a matter of time before they became a couple again.
Hilary informed Phyllis about the romantic prom night that Devon had set up for the two of them, and she thought they'd been about to kiss, but they hadn't. Hilary lamented that she didn't know where his head was, but her heart was in it. Hilary begrudgingly answered a call from Mariah, who indicated that Devon wanted them to tape the show from the Athletic Club rooftop with a kickoff to summer theme. Hilary griped that the day's show had already been prepped, but Mariah reported that she'd called the guests to push the segment back to the next day. Mariah revealed that Devon wanted to meet shortly to go over the new script, and Hilary agreed to be there. Mariah hung up, and Devon thanked her and grinned broadly.
Hilary arrived on the rooftop and found only a shirtless Devon there. She asked where Mariah and the rest of the crew were, and he informed her that they weren't taping there that day. She became irritated that he'd changed the venue again, but he explained that he'd just wanted to get her up there to surprise her. He announced that she deserved a day of pampering for helping at the barbecue, so he'd closed down the rooftop for a private party for just the two of them. He handed her a bikini.
Hilary felt guilty for ignoring work, but Devon argued that she'd worked hard to promote Hamilton-Winters at the party, and he wanted to keep the good feelings going. He added that rest and relaxation were good for her if she was pregnant, and he didn't want her to have any worries whatsoever. He acknowledged that it was difficult for her to get out of work mode, and he mentioned that he'd arranged for something that might help with that after their swim. Later, Devon and Hilary smiled at one another as they enjoyed massages. He reached out his hand, and she clasped it in hers.
Hilary and Devon lounged by the pool, and she raved about the nonalcoholic drink the bartender had made. He sipped it and agreed that it was delicious, and she thanked him for going to all the trouble. She gushed that she'd enjoyed every minute, from the swim to the drinks to the couples massage. She hesitantly asked if they were a couple, since it sometimes felt like they were, but her voice trailed off as she thought about the other times.
Devon admitted that he'd been fighting his feelings for Hilary, since he'd been afraid to revisit something that had been painful when it had ended. He continued that ever since he'd fully committed to having a baby with her, he felt like the pain was further and further away, like they were starting a brand-new relationship together. Hilary extended her hand and introduced herself, and he shook it and said it was nice to meet her. He added that he was looking forward to getting to know her better, and they shared a tender kiss.
Devon dropped Hilary off at GC Buzz, and she thanked him for a wonderful day. She marveled that it really felt brand new, and they kissed as Phyllis walked in. Phyllis ducked out of sight, and Devon departed. Phyllis approached a smiling Hilary and explained that she was there about the wardrobe that she'd sent over, but she thought it looked like Hilary had gotten an answer to her question. Hilary happily confirmed that she definitely had, since she and Devon had shared a blissful afternoon. Hilary prayed that she was pregnant.
At the Abbott mansion, Ashley returned home after a weekend getaway, and she asked Kyle how things had been around there. Jack entered and announced that they'd been eventful, since he'd quit Jabot. Jack refused to stand back while Billy dismantled the company John had built, but Ashley thought Jack was exaggerating. Kyle wanted to give Billy a chance, but Jack groused that Billy had pulled a classic fragrance from the line in order to remodel the office and buy popcorn. Kyle argued that they could build a display case in the lobby for Jabot's legacy products, but they shouldn't make decisions based on sentimentality.
Kyle asserted that the renovations would attract and retain the employees the company wanted, and he thought they should all be in support of Billy's changes. Jack testily asked if Kyle was finished defending Billy at Jack's expense, but Kyle contended that there weren't a lot of options because of the blood Abbott clause. Ashley suggested that they focus on getting Billy to change the bylaws, but Jack huffed that it wasn't his problem anymore. Ashley offered to find something for Jack at Newman, but Kyle divulged that Jack was starting a new company. Jack muttered that his goal had been to start a business with his son, but Kyle had gone behind his back and made other plans.
Kyle reiterated that he'd never agreed to walk away from Jabot, since it was too risky. Jack contended that he had decades of experience and thousands of contacts in the industry. Ashley thought it was a great idea, but she thought the point was to keep all their options open. Jack was grateful that at least someone thought he had a brain in his head, but she insisted that she wasn't taking sides, since he was talking about leaving Jabot and taking his toys with him. Jack felt like he was living in a house with strangers.
Kyle arrived at the Athletic Club and found Mariah dining alone. She invited him to sit, and she revealed that she'd earned a free lunch by helping her boss pull off a surprise. Kyle recalled the way she and Tessa had been looking at one another the day before, but Mariah maintained that they were just friends. He encouraged her not to give up, and she mentioned that she'd heard about his epic negotiation with Neil. Kyle appeared glum, and she regretted giving him a hard time.
Kyle revealed that he had a lot of family stuff going on, since Jack had decided to walk away from Jabot and had assumed that Kyle would go with him to start a new company. Kyle confided that he might have done it under other circumstances, but his dad was in a bad place, and the move had felt impulsive. Kyle bemoaned that he'd tried to tell his father that he hadn't thought it through, but Jack had only heard that Kyle was turning his back on him. Kyle felt like he'd let his dad down again.
Mariah shared that she hadn't grown up in a normal home, so her perspective was pretty messed up. She saw the Abbotts as a perfect, airbrushed family, and she found it bizarre that she'd ended up as part of Sharon and Nick's clan. Kyle conceded that he'd complained a lot about not feeling like a real Abbott, but watching his family fall apart "hurt like hell." Mariah joked that he could always be part of her family, since Sharon loved to take in strays. "Arf," Kyle replied, and she laughed.
Meanwhile, Jack looked at family photos on the mantel and poured himself a drink. Dina appeared and haughtily asked what he thought he was doing, and she ordered him to put it down because the hired help had no business stealing her husband's liquor. She demanded that he tell her his name, but he insisted that she knew who he was. She inquired whether he was the gardener or the handyman, and she asserted that he didn't belong in there.
Jack firmly stated Dina's name, but she declared that she was Mrs. John Abbott and told him not to forget it. Jack appealed to her to recognize him, since he was John. "John who?" she asked, adding that he definitely wasn't John Abbott. "I'm Jack," Jack said, but Dina stared blankly at him. "It's me. It's Jackie, Mom," a heartbroken Jack pleaded, but she accused him of pretending to be someone he wasn't. She ordered him out of the house immediately, and she threatened to call the police.
Later, Jack carried some suitcases downstairs and looked around the living room. He struggled with emotion before heading out.
At the Athletic Club, Victor and Victoria discussed business, and he commended her excellent work. He was glad that she was finding her stride again by working for the good of the company instead of fighting imaginary foes, and she eagerly anticipated proving that she was a team player. Victoria exclaimed that she was thrilled to have Nick in the mix again, and Victor also had high hopes for Nick's return.
Victor cited the many years of distance between him and his son, when Nick had asserted his independence and flitted from one project to another. Victor recounted that he'd seen Nick in a different light when Victor had been hospitalized, and Nick had spoken about his deep feelings about family. Victor had heard a lot of respect in Nick's voice when Nick had declared his belief that Victor would fight back and survive, and Victoria pointed out that Nick had been right. Victor thought Nick had shown strength of character that he hadn't been sure Nick possessed, and he wanted to reward his son for that.
At the cottage, Sharon returned home from school and informed Nick that she'd aced her quiz. She kissed him and expressed relief that they no longer had to sneak around, but she wondered why he'd been quiet since the pool party. He revealed that Victor had told him what his role would be at Newman Enterprises -- COO, the second in command. Sharon expressed surprise because it had been Victoria's job, and she was stunned that he would do that to his own sister.
Nick argued that he wasn't taking anything away from Victoria, since she had accepted the fact that she would never be COO again. Sharon asked if Victoria had actually said that, and Nick confirmed that they hadn't talked. Sharon argued that Victoria had worked hard for the position, putting up with Victor's "crap" and proving her loyalty to him for many years. Nick countered that Victor no longer trusted Victoria after she'd tried to get rid of Ashley, but Sharon couldn't believe that one mistake had wiped out everything else Victoria had accomplished.
Nick recognized that Victoria's relationship with their father hadn't been the same since Victor had demoted her. Sharon worried that Victor was putting Nick in the middle, but Nick hoped to ease the tension and help Victoria repair the damage to her relationship with Victor. Sharon doubted that Victoria would be fine with Nick leapfrogging over her into the job that she'd earned, but Nick insisted that they would band together and not compete with one another. Sharon loved that he was excited about the future and wanted to help his sister, but she warned him not to underestimate Victor.
Later, Victoria ordered some coffee from Sharon at Crimson Lights, and she recognized that Sharon had reservations about Nick's new job as part of Newman's executive team. Sharon recalled that Newman hadn't always been the best environment for him, but Victoria chirped that there had been a lot of water under the bridge since then. Victoria reported that she'd just had a meeting with her dad, and she was more stoked than ever about Nick being back on the team. She believed that Victor's brush with death had been a turning point for the men, and her dad wanted the family back together again.
Victoria assured Sharon that she didn't have to worry about Nick getting caught up in any drama, but Sharon ranted that nothing had changed, since Victor was still up to the same old garbage. Sharon expressed her disgust that Victor had met with Victoria but obviously hadn't told her that he was making Nick COO. A flabbergasted Victoria questioned whether Sharon was sure, and Sharon revealed that it had happened at the barbecue the day before. Sharon added that Victor had made it seem like Victoria had been okay with it, and Victoria rushed out.
At the cottage, the doorbell rang incessantly. Nick opened the door, and Victoria angrily asked if she was supposed to find out that he'd taken her job in a press release. He told her to calm down, but she raged that while he'd been off running his bar and being his own man, she'd shown up every day to deal with their dad. Nick defended that he'd worked at every level in the building, including COO, but she clarified that it had been alongside her. He pointed out that the job wouldn't have been available if she hadn't tried to get rid of Ashley, and she accused him of rubbing it in her face.
Nick relayed that Victor had told him that Victoria was cool with it because she'd chosen a different path. Victoria explained that she'd chosen to accept that she had to earn her way back after being demoted, but she'd been smiling through what she'd thought had been a temporary punishment when she'd really wanted to scream. She complained that she'd had to hear the news from Sharon, despite having just had a meeting with Victor, during which he'd let her go on and on about how thrilled she was that Nick would be back. Nick was livid when he realized that it was another stupid test to see how they'd handle it, and he headed out to confront Victor.
Nick stormed into the ranch and spat that Victor had lied to him about Victoria being resigned to the fact that she'd never be COO. Victor scoffed at the idea that she still had hope after she'd colluded with Jack against him, and Nick recounted that he'd also done things that should make Victor question whether he could be trusted. Victor stated that it was all in the past, and Nick had hoped it was after Victor had almost died. Nick coldly explained that he'd decided to work side by side and reunite their family, not to be a pawn in a chess game where Victor controlled their lives. Nick barked that their conversations about family had meant nothing to Victor, but Victor countered that Nick couldn't be more wrong.
Victor swore that he wasn't playing games and that he'd made his decisions because they were good for business and their family. Nick snapped that Victor had misrepresented Victoria's understanding of the situation and kept her in the dark after everything she'd done for him. Victor refused to ignore her lack of judgment in both her professional and her personal life, and Nick incredulously asked if he was talking about J.T. Victor asserted that Victoria should have walked away, and Nick realized that Victor saw it as a weakness. Nick recalled that he'd created distance between him and Victor to salvage whatever relationship they'd had left, but it still mattered that Victor was his father. Nick reiterated that he loved Victor; he wished it could have worked out, but he was done.
Victor cautioned that the COO position was a one-time offer, and it wouldn't be available again if Nick turned it down. Nick spat that he'd never wanted it, but Victor imagined that Nick would have loved to take it if Victoria hadn't run to him to tell him that Victor had treated her badly. Nick protested that it hadn't been what had happened, and Victor urged him to think before he made another mistake -- like throwing away half a billion dollars. Nick stressed that he'd done something good for humanity, and it had been the right decision, just like turning down the job.
Victor insinuated that whoever took the job would eventually run Newman Enterprises, and it wouldn't be Abby or Victoria. Nick growled that Victor was lucky that they still wanted it, and Victor envisioned that perhaps Noah or Christian would grow into it. Nick conceded that Noah was his own man, but he didn't want Christian to have anything to do with it. Victor interpreted the statement as Nick wanting Christian to have nothing to do with Victor, and he announced that Nick had no choice in the matter because Nick wasn't Christian's biological father. Nick declared that he already knew -- and it changed nothing.
At the ranch, Victor asked Nick how long he'd known that Christian was Adam's son. Nick said he'd found out after Chelsea had left town because she'd been careless. Victor accused Nick of keeping the information from him. Nick said that there was no way he'd give Victor that kind of ammunition. Nick accused Victor of using Christian's paternity as a pawn. He realized that was why Chelsea had been okay with Victor having a relationship with the boys -- because Victor had been holding that secret over her head. Victor asked if Nick was protecting Chelsea, the woman who'd taken Connor away from his family.
Nick asked Victor how long he'd known the truth and if he'd confronted Adam with it. Victor said he'd known for a while. Nick accused Victor of sitting on that information and waiting for the perfect time to inflict massive pain on him. Victor said he'd kept it from Nick to protect him and Christian. Nick accused Victor of using his favorite word -- "protect" -- and he said that when Victor used it, it was meant to control. Victor claimed he'd had many opportunities to use it on Nick, but he hadn't wanted to inflict any more pain on Nick. Nick retorted, "Until now."
Victor told Nick that if Nick chose not to work at Newman, "so be it," but he would not allow Nick to cut him off from his grandson. Christian was Adam's only son, and he was the future of Newman Enterprises. Nick retorted that when Christian was old enough, he'd chose his own path, and neither Nick nor Victor would make that decision for him. Victor said he hoped Christian would grow up to be as strong and ruthless as Adam had been. Victor said Nick couldn't cut Christian off from what would be his legacy.
Victor stated that Noah didn't have the hunger or desire to run an empire of Newman proportion, nor did Summer. He said that Faith was smart as a whip. Nick said that the last thing he wanted was for his kids to be molded into Victor's image. He wanted his kids to be nice, compassionate, and decent human beings who made people a priority, not making money and destroying their enemies.
Nick said that Victor had shown his hand, and he'd tried to use one of his kids to force Nick into line. That showed Nick that Victor hadn't changed and never would. Nick said he was out, and he stormed out. After Nick left, Victor cried.
At GC Buzz, Mariah thought she'd been talking to Hilary and stated that they needed to go because they had a show to do, and the crew was at the club roof deck. She and Hilary needed to be there. Hilary was nowhere to be seen. When Mariah finally found Hilary, Mariah told her that they needed to be on location at the club. She asked where Hilary had been. Hilary claimed she was a busy woman and didn't have time to hold Mariah's hand through pre-show preparation.
Mariah bristled and said she didn't need her hand held, but it would've been nice to discuss what they were going to do when they were on location and that little red light turned on. Hilary said that before they discussed anything, she had an important call to make. Hilary walked away.
Hilary called her doctor's office and asked for an appointment that day. They were able to fit Hilary in because they'd received a cancellation. Mariah asked if Hilary had time to discuss the show. Hilary gave Mariah a generic response. Mariah pressed Hilary for answers and noticed that Hilary was distracted. She asked if Hilary had heard her. Hilary said she was in work mode. Mariah said that Hilary's work mode involved shouting and dictating, not moments of deep reflection. Hilary suggested that Mariah focus while Hilary got her notes so she could answer Mariah's dumb questions.
A short time later, Devon arrived, and Mariah told him that Hilary had been acting weird. Devon approached Hilary and told her that Mariah had noticed that Hilary had been acting weird. Hilary claimed it was Mariah's imagination. She told Devon that she had an errand to run, and she left, leaving Devon bewildered.
Hilary returned to GC Buzz a short time later. Mariah was shocked when a sobbing Hilary fell into her arms. When Hilary had calmed down, she told Mariah that she'd been to the OB/GYN's office, and she was pregnant. Mariah was not surprised and said that Hilary had been annoyingly pregnant for weeks. Hilary explained that when she'd announced her pregnancy earlier, it had been a false positive, but her OB/GYN had confirmed that she was really pregnant and carrying Devon's child.
Kyle greeted Traci when she arrived at the Abbott home. He told Traci that he had to get to Jabot and suggested they make plans to have dinner later in the week. Traci told him to hold on because she'd heard a few things that she'd found disturbing, and she wanted answers straight from the source. Traci asked where Kyle stood with the family. Kyle said that when he'd returned from New York, he'd wanted to prove himself and show everyone that he shouldn't have been shipped off and forgotten. Traci asked if Victor had offered to mentor him. When Kyle didn't answer, Traci said she didn't blame him because she knew Victor had his ways.
Kyle claimed that he hadn't wanted anyone to get hurt. He felt like an outsider within his own family. Traci said that his return shouldn't have been about proving himself. Kyle said he realized that and had tried to mend fences, but things kept spinning out of control. Traci told him not to give up on Jack, and maybe Kyle could be the rock that anchored Jack. Traci wanted both of them to try to anchor Jack.
Traci asked Kyle if Jack was home. Walking toward the stairs, Kyle called out to Jack, but Traci told Kyle to hold up because she'd found a note from Jack. The note simply stated that Jack's mail should be forwarded to the Athletic Club. Traci and Kyle couldn't believe that Jack had moved out.
At the Athletic Club, Jack ordered a drink at the bar and told the bartender that the way his mother had gotten around -- he and the bartender might actually be family.
A short time later, Traci and Kyle confronted Jack about moving out of the family home. Jack reminded them that he wasn't family and never had been. He sarcastically stated that Kyle seemed to have forgotten that he wasn't part of the family, either. Traci said that Jack was still family. Jack accused Kyle of betraying him. Kyle said that everything he'd done had been to prove to Jack that he'd been paying attention and that he'd wanted to use the lessons Jack had taught him and follow in Jack's footsteps.
Kyle told Jack that he'd needed someone to believe in him, and that had been the reason he'd turned to Victor. Jack said if Victor had done that, then he'd done it to get to Jack. Kyle said that perhaps that had been the case, but it hadn't been what he'd wanted. Kyle apologized and said that he didn't want to be the reason why Jack turned his back on everything he'd cared about. Traci returned and asked to speak to Jack alone.
Traci said that Jack had been harsh with Kyle. Jack had blamed Kyle for what had happened. Jack said it had been a feeble excuse for Kyle's actions, and it had been the sorriest example of an apology he'd ever heard. Traci couldn't believe that Jack couldn't see the parallel. Jack's son had been trying to do everything he could think of to make his dad proud -- even if Kyle had been a little reckless.
Traci said, "Like father, like son." Jack said he wanted to believe Kyle, but even at Jack's worst, he would never have colluded with John Abbott's sworn enemy. Traci said that John had never had a sworn enemy, but he'd found other ways to push their buttons. Jack reiterated that he and Kyle shouldn't be living under the same roof.
Traci said that she rarely asked Jack for favors, but she was asking Jack to move back home for Dina's sake because she needed him. Jack promised to visit her, but he had many issues, and a lot of them were issues with Dina and her reckless promiscuity. Traci said that the house he'd grown up in had always been his home, and Jack had known every nook and cranny there. She said that paternity didn't matter; they'd been a family. She reminded him of the memories and the things they'd done as kids. She said that Jack had entertained them. Jack said he'd loved his sisters and loved seeing their smiles.
Jack told Traci he loved her, but it was in his best interest to be away from the family home. Traci countered that Jack was the heart of the home, and they were no less family because of paternity. Traci said they needed him, especially Kyle. Jack said that he felt like a stranger in his own home. He insisted that he had to find out who he was aside from John Abbott's son, and he couldn't do that at the family home. They hugged, and Traci reminded him that the door would always remain open.
At Crimson Lights, Mattie was doing her homework while Charlie kept checking his phone for a message from Shauna. Devon arrived, and Mattie explained Charlie's behavior. Mattie and Devon advised Charlie to send a text message to Shauna, but Charlie agonized over what he should write. He didn't want it to sound lame, but in the end, he sent her a text message. Devon left.
Charlie kept checking his phone and continued to stress because Shauna hadn't responded. Mattie told Charlie to chill, and she told him that she was leaving. She asked if Charlie wanted a ride home, but he opted to take the bus. After Mattie left, Shauna arrived. She was upset and informed Charlie that she'd run away and needed Charlie to hide her.
At home, Nick looked at a picture of Christian, and he said that Victor was out of their lives. He wanted Christian to grow up to be the man he was supposed to be.
Victor arrived. Nick told him that Victor might own the land, but it was Sharon's house -- and Victor wasn't welcome there. Victor said that if Nick tried to keep Christian away from him, Victor would take Nick to court. Nick reminded Victor that his name was on the birth certificate. Victor accused Nick of hiding who Christian's real father was. Nick shouted that he was Christian's real father. Victor shouted back that Adam was.
Nick told Victor that when Adam had thought he'd been going to prison, he'd asked Nick to look after Connor. He knew he was Christian's biological father, and it hadn't mattered to him. Adam had entrusted both his sons to Nick. Nick said that Adam had been afraid of Victor and had asked Nick to prevent the boys from ever falling under Victor's influence. Nick said he would continue to honor his brother's memory and his wishes. Nick said he'd fight any move Victor made toward Christian.
Nick dared Victor to take him to court and to watch what would happen. He said that he would dig up every scandal Victor had been involved in, and he'd hand it to a judge on a platter. He said the list was endless, and Victor was a convicted felon multiple times over. Victor was lucky that he wasn't in jail at that moment. Nick added that if Victor wasn't careful, the judge might deem Victor unfit to be around any of his grandchildren. Victor asked if he was supposed to feel threatened. Victor told Nick to think again because Nick was no match for him.
Victor said that Nick lacked self-insight, and that was Nick's downfall. Nick wasn't strong -- he was arrogant. Victor claimed that he'd beat Nick no matter what Nick threw at him. Nick said that they had one thing in common, and that was the lengths they'd go to in order to protect their families. Nick stated that when he said he'd protect his family, he meant it. Victor warned that Nick would regret the day that he took on his father. Victor said he had the money, the clout, and the power, and Nick was no match for that. Victor asked if Nick thought he could beat Victor. Nick snorted and said he thought it was hilarious that Victor called him arrogant.
Victor told Nick there wasn't anything funny about it, including what his lawyer would do to Nick's hapless girlfriend if Nick took the case to court. Victor stated that if Nick took Victor to court, Nick wouldn't be the only one who'd be scrutinized and put under a microscope. He reminded Nick that Sharon had a checkered past and that Nick had taken Sharon to court to prove her an unfit mother. Nick was living with the woman who'd led him to believe that Christian had died and who'd tried to raise Christian as her own. It showed bad judgment on Nick's part. Nick warned Victor to leave Sharon out of it, but Victor claimed that Nick had left him no choice.
Nick asked if Victor would really do that to Faith's mother. He wanted to know if Victor would drag Sharon through the dirt after she'd worked hard to turn her life around. Victor claimed that Nick had forced the issue by threatening to cut Christian out of his life. Nick said that Victor couldn't intimidate him, and he wouldn't put Christian's fate in Victor's hands. Victor said that he'd let a judge and jury decide whether Nick had more right to Christian than his biological grandfather, and he left.
Traci returned to the family home, and Kyle asked if she'd been able to talk Jack out of moving. Traci apologized and told Kyle that Jack was determined to go through with his plan of carving out some space for himself. Traci said that as much as it was a blow to them, Jack had made a convincing argument for requiring solitude. Traci said she believed it was a good thing. Kyle was disappointed, but he was concerned about Jack not having a family, home, or job to fall back on.
Jack was having lunch at one of the tables at the Athletic Club when Devon approached him. Jack told Devon that he'd quit Jabot. Jack asked how Devon, Hilary, and baby were doing. Devon admitted that things had gone smoothly. Jack hoped the rest of Hilary's pregnancy went the same way. Jack told Devon to enjoy the first few years because things went quickly after that.
Devon told Jack that he'd figured out that things would become more difficult after that. Jack claimed he wasn't the best person to ask about how to be a great father. Devon told Jack to not sell himself short because Jack had given him some sound advice about fatherhood. Jack had told Devon to put in the work from the first day, and that had stuck with Devon.
Jack told Devon that he'd made it his life's mission to forge a new path, and Devon might be the person to help him do it.
At Crimson Lights, Phyllis rambled to Hilary about how she found Billy even sexier since he'd taken over as Jabot's CEO. Phyllis expected to have some good stories for their next girls' night, and she suggested that they have drinks that weekend. Hilary begged off, and Phyllis became irritated that Hilary was ghosting her -- until she realized what the reason could be. Hilary confirmed that she really was pregnant, and Phyllis inquired how Devon had reacted. Hilary said she hadn't told him yet, since she needed things to be perfect.
Hilary recalled that she and Devon had been in a bad place when she'd thought she'd been pregnant before, and Phyllis warned that a television announcement clearly wasn't the answer. Hilary wanted to tell Devon in a cute, fun way that wasn't too romantic. She implied that Phyllis could dress up in a stork costume, but Phyllis reserved her dress-up games for Billy. Hilary considered skywriting, but Phyllis doubted that Devon would like a public display. Hilary thought the revelation needed to be special and unique -- just like their baby.
Across the coffeehouse, Shauna was embarrassed because she couldn't even buy Charlie coffee to thank him for giving her a place to sleep. He asked if she'd actually slept, and she pointed out that he'd been the one who'd crashed on the floor. He figured that he'd been by the door in case his parents had popped in, but he knew he couldn't fool them forever. Shauna dreaded going back to her aunt's house, which she found more dysfunctional than her regular home. She felt terrible for kicking Charlie out of his own bed.
Charlie inquired about Shauna's brother's rehab, and she indicated that she'd received only a couple of text messages from her parents, who had moved to Colorado to support her brother during his recovery. Charlie insisted that her family loved her, but Shauna griped that they'd dumped her at her aunt's and taken off. Charlie reasoned that it had been to finish the school year, but Shauna didn't want to leave as soon as school was over. Charlie assured her that she would stay right there, and bunking with him was just a short-term solution. Lily overheard and asked, "For what?"
Charlie fibbed that they'd been figuring out the logistics for post-prom events, and Lily was impressed that he'd been up and out of bed before she'd even had the coffee on. She teased that he didn't get up that early for just anyone, and she told them to have a good day at school. Lily headed out, and Shauna fretted that she couldn't go to school because her family might have called the principal. She planned to hang out elsewhere, but Charlie thought he knew someone who could help.
At the Athletic Club, Nikki approached Jack and asked how he was holding up. He exclaimed that it was a gorgeous day, and he mentioned that he'd watched the sun rise in his suite upstairs. She was stunned that he'd moved out of his home, and he explained that he'd moved on. He added that everyone deserved a chance for a fresh start, and he was ready for his. He intended to blow onto the health and beauty market like a hurricane by starting something new with no history or baggage.
Nikki found the idea of starting a company to compete with both Newman and Jabot intimidating, but Jack asserted that there was plenty of room on the playing field. She cautioned that he was going up against his family, and he mentioned that he'd offered Kyle a position, but his son had decided to stick with "Uncle Brutus" at Jabot. Jack didn't want to waste time thinking about it, and he prepared to head to a meeting. She asked if it was about his new venture, and he confidently told her that she could read about it in the business column.
At Hamilton-Winters, Devon reported that the barbecue had been a success, and having no caterers had kept the event under budget. Neil acknowledged that Hilary had stepped up for the team, and he noted that Hilary and Devon seemed to be getting along well. Neil stressed that their kid would always remember that his or her parents respected one another. Devon admitted that there might be more than respect going on, since his relationship with Hilary wasn't exactly platonic anymore, but their status was complicated.
Later, Hilary arrived at the office, and Devon observed that she looked a little dazed. She asked if Devon had a minute, but Jack entered at that moment. Devon replied that he had a meeting with Jack, but he and Hilary could talk about the show later. Jack bragged that he was about to add the crown jewel to the Hamilton-Winters dynasty, and Hilary muttered that she'd thought she'd been about to do the same thing.
Jack presented his idea for a health and beauty startup to Neil and Devon. Devon noted that Jack had no funding, production, or distribution, but Jack countered that he had a solid track record and relationships in the industry. Jack insisted that he and Hamilton-Winters could make significant accomplishments as partners, and he had projections that showed that it was an easy win for all of them. Neil recognized Jack's experience, but he didn't think Hamilton-Winters had the capital or infrastructure for a venture that size.
Jack proposed that they start as a boutique brand and move up. Neil promised that he and Devon would talk it over, but Devon advised Jack not to let them stand in his way if he found the right fit. Jack replied that he had other meetings, but he was hoping to do business with people he trusted. After Jack departed, Devon flatly stated that it wasn't a good fit, and Neil couldn't argue. Hilary flitted in and asked if she and Devon could talk, but he rushed off to another meeting.
Later, Hilary anxiously asked Lily if Devon was on his way back to the office, but Lily huffed that she wasn't his assistant. Devon returned, and Hilary requested that they go somewhere. Charlie and Shauna arrived to talk to Hilary, who asked if they could get together later that night or the next day instead. The teens left, and Hilary was exasperated to find out that Devon had left for more meetings and wouldn't be back for the rest of the day.
Phyllis stopped by to find out about Devon's reaction, but Hilary complained that he hadn't been able to spare two minutes to listen. Hilary griped that maybe he wouldn't find out until her water broke, but Phyllis encouraged her not to give up. Hilary suddenly had an idea, and she requested a favor from "Auntie Lily."
Hilary rapped on Devon's penthouse door as he stepped off the elevator. He invited her in and apologized for being busy, but he was only there to get a change of clothes. She refused to let him take another step until he heard her out. Hilary pulled out an enlarged baby photo and asked if it looked familiar. Devon laughed and said a baby Hilary looked like she'd been about to cause trouble even back then. She pulled out a similar photo of him and revealed that it had been the only one Lily had had of him as a baby.
Devon wondered if Hilary planned to use the pictures on her show, but she replied that it was just for them. She requested that he turn around, and when she allowed him to look, she'd set up an equation with a plus sign between their baby photos and an equal sign leading to her belly. He realized that she'd been trying all day to tell him that she was actually pregnant, but he'd been too busy. They squealed that it was amazing, and he mused that there was a baby. "Our baby," she stressed, and they joyfully embraced.
Charlie and Shauna returned to the coffeehouse, and she lamented that she couldn't keep hiding in his room. He instructed her to climb in quietly through the window, and he swore that he liked sleeping on the floor. He promised that it would all work out, and they hugged.
Neil spotted Jack drinking at the Athletic Club bar, and Jack assumed that Neil wasn't going to welcome him into the fold. Neil swore that he and Devon had the utmost respect for Jack, but it wasn't the right fit for them right then. Jack recognized that sometimes it was cleaner to deal with acquaintances rather than friends, and it was definitely better than dealing with family. Neil advised Jack to take a sabbatical instead of making a permanent move, since he might regret leaving the company he'd poured his heart and soul into.
At the cottage, Sharon sensed that Nick was still thinking about whatever had been bothering him since the night before. He reported that he had good news, since he'd just gotten off the phone with the Goldberg Foundation. Sharon surmised that they'd made a large donation to the housing project, but Nick divulged that Mrs. Goldberg was stepping down and had offered him her job. Sharon wondered if the California-based foundation was opening an office in Genoa City, but Nick indicated that the Goldbergs were committed to San Diego. Sharon thought it was too bad, since it would have been a great opportunity for him. He insinuated that maybe it still was.
Nick imagined taking over a huge foundation, and Sharon incredulously asked if he wanted to move to San Diego. He recognized that it had never been part of his plan before the job offer, but he'd been envisioning Sharon, Faith, and Christian living with him in California. Sharon asserted that Genoa City was their home and that he'd never mentioned wanting to leave before. He thought the job was a rare opportunity to make a difference in people's lives, but she clucked that he'd just been ready to go back to Newman to take Victoria's job. Sharon suspected that something had happened to make Nick want to leave. "What has Victor done now?" she questioned.
Nick revealed that his father had pulled "a classic Victor Newman move" to test him to see if he was ruthless enough to walk all over his sister's hopes and dreams. He conceded that Sharon had been right to warn him against going back to Newman, and she guessed that he'd turned Victor down. She thought it explained why Nick was looking for a new career path, but she thought it was hasty to consider leaving town. Nick argued that the foundation job had fallen into his lap at the perfect moment, but Sharon demanded to know why he really wanted to leave. He admitted that Victor had threatened to take Christian away from him.
Sharon was flabbergasted to learn that Victor had known about Christian's paternity all that time and hadn't said anything. Nick assumed that his father had been stockpiling the information as a weapon, waiting until it could do the most damage. Sharon thought it was extreme for Victor to expose his whole family just because Nick had turned down a job, and Nick revealed that he'd told Victor that he didn't want Christian around Victor. Nick was sure that Victor had intended to cut his heart out with the news, but the punch hadn't landed because Nick had already known. Sharon was appalled that Victor had only done it to cause pain, and she wondered if Victor could win if he took the matter to court.
Sharon invited Nick to go with her to yoga class to clear his head. She assured him that Victor didn't have legal standing to take Christian away from him, but Nick worried that his father had money, influence, and dirty tricks. Sharon argued that Victor also had a sense of reality, and she thought the threat had been a random bluff in the heat of the moment. Nick remarked that when Victor wanted something, he thought he could have it. Nick thought his options were either to "fight like hell" or to just start over with a new life and new career in a new city. Nick thought it could be a good life if they moved away, since he'd be out from under Victor's shadow. Sharon agreed to think about it.
Sharon joined Jack at the Athletic Club bar, and he asked if it had been a rough day. She commented that nothing was ever easy, and he declared that it was time for a fresh start. She didn't know whether she had it in her to go for one, but he was confident that she could have it if she wanted it. She weighed habits and comfort zones against the fear of the unknown, but he contended that change was power, and he believed that she could do anything she set her mind to. He toasted to being strong enough for whatever lay ahead.
At the park café, Abby giggled as she recalled meeting Arturo's hilarious aunt, and he asked which one. They reflected back on his family asking when they were going to get married, and Abby recounted that she'd kept saying they were only friends. Arturo was sure that her family had a few questions for her, and she swore that she was ready for them. Abby leaned in close and murmured that he would be the first person she called the next time she had a deluxe guest room available. He hoped that they'd be in touch even sooner.
At Newman Enterprises, Abby burst into Victoria's office with ideas for their new lipstick campaign. Victoria sourly hoped that Abby had enjoyed her getaway, and she suggested that Abby let someone know the next time so they could pick up the slack. Victoria ordered Abby not to make any more moves at Newman without running them past her first. Abby defended that she'd put her trip on the calendar and that she'd checked messages while she'd been away, and she thought Victoria was just proving how petty and controlling she could be.
Abby headed for the door to discuss it with their father instead, but Victoria claimed that Victor agreed with her. Victoria reprimanded Abby for pulling a stunt like that when she supposedly wanted to be taken seriously, but responsible executives didn't blow off work for a tan. Abby countered that she'd had drinks with a key client in Miami. Victoria huffed that it was irrelevant, and Abby questioned how much of Victoria's tirade was about the rules and how much had to do with her own ego after getting slapped on the wrist for trying to make Ashley look like a traitor.
Abby imagined that her getaway wasn't even in the same category as Victoria's guilty conscience, and Victoria countered that she'd learned better than anyone that actions had consequences. Victoria snapped that Abby needed a thicker skin if she wanted a career at that level, and she encouraged Abby to think about what kind of life and job she really wanted. Later, Abby walked through the park and sent Arturo a text message, asking if he wanted to go back to Miami. He smiled when he read it.
Abby met Arturo on the club rooftop and groused about her conversation with Victoria. She pledged to forget about her sister and anything Newman-related, and he handed her a drink in an effort to help. He apologized for not being able to run back to Miami with her, and she pretended that they were still there. Abby thanked Arturo for meeting her there, and she leaned in and planted a kiss on his lips. Their kiss grew more passionate as Nikki spotted them.
Victoria met Nick at the park café, and she insisted that he could have accepted the COO spot. Nick refused to be a jerk by walking all over her, since it would be an insult to both of them. He vowed to stay away from their dad, and he thought the only way not to be sucked back in again was to put some distance between them. He mentioned the amazing job offer that he'd gotten in San Diego, but Victoria protested that it was far away. He insisted that she wouldn't be losing him and that she never would.
Nick bemoaned that Victor had made it impossible for him to stay, and it wasn't just the job. He considered it a huge opportunity to do something that their dad couldn't touch, and Victoria understood, even though she'd miss him. He stated that it wasn't a done deal, since there were details to iron out, like getting Sharon to agree. Nick thought it would be easier if he knew Victoria was happy for him, and she swore that she always would be.
Nick returned home and found Sharon deep in thought. She shared that she'd been contemplating where they were going to live, where Faith would go to school, and if she should sell the coffeehouse. Nick wondered if her answer was yes, and Sharon explained that she was giving the matter proper thought. She wondered where a move would leave Mariah, and Nick conceded that there were a lot of moving parts and decisions, but it would be them together in the end.
Nick could see their family going to the beach and taking road trips to the mountains. Sharon questioned whether it was something he needed to do, either with or without her. He was adamant that he'd only consider doing it together, and he wouldn't make any decisions until she told him what she wanted to do. He murmured that he couldn't lose her, but leaving felt like the right move in his heart.
At Crimson Lights, Jack treated Phyllis to coffee, and she asked how things had been with him since he'd left Jabot and moved out of the Abbott home. He declared that he was sorry he'd waited, since it was time for a new challenge, and he was starting a new company from scratch. He claimed that investors were biting, and he gushed about how much he loved the startup process. Phyllis urged him to be honest, and Jack admitted that he'd heard nothing but no so far. He understood that rejection was part of it, but there was one in particular that had really stung.
Jack recalled that he'd gone into his meeting with Neil and Devon with no expectations of any favors, but he'd thought he'd get credit for all the time he'd put into the cosmetics industry. Phyllis argued that Hamilton-Winters simply didn't have the reserves after sinking money into other projects, and starting a new cosmetics company was a gigantic investment and risk, even with Jack at the helm. Phyllis assured Jack that John had taught him to have drive and determination, and it was only a matter of time before he cooked up something incredible. Jack turned the topic to how things were for her at work, and she exclaimed that they were fabulous, since Billy was spearheading a new product launch that day.
At Jabot, Ashley noted that the CEO transition was going smoother than anyone had anticipated, but she wondered why Billy had sidelined her business plan in favor of his own. Billy appreciated her wanting to help, but he insisted that he had his own ideas. She referred to his Jabot sunscreen promotion, and she warned that there would be penalties for pulling the national ad campaign that had already been in place. Billy announced that he was changing the marketing plan.
Ashley suggested that Billy give her a sneak peek, since she'd developed the product. He declined because she worked for the competition, and he couldn't risk their big summer launch. Kyle called Billy and demanded to see him right away, since he had a problem with the new marketing strategy. Billy dismissed him, but moments later, a shirtless Kyle burst in with Jabot hashtags tattooed all over his upper body. Ashley asked why Kyle was painted up like a Mardi Gras float, and Billy urged her to watch it play out in real time on GC Buzz that afternoon.
Ashley dryly stated that she'd be riveted to the TV, and she wished them luck. After she left, Billy enthused that Kyle looked good, but Kyle griped that he just needed a "kick me" hashtag. Kyle suggested that Billy be the one to strip down, but Billy argued that using Kyle would be marketing directly to their young female demographic, and Kyle would be interacting directly with customers. Kyle incredulously asked if Billy expected him to go out in public like that, and Billy told him not to be silly before ordering him to take his jeans off.
Scantily clad models in swimsuits and Jabot hashtag tattoos presented samples of sunscreen to the patrons at Crimson Lights. Jack refused to take the free product, and a half-naked Kyle appeared and explained that it was part of a social media campaign. Jack questioned Kyle's role in it, and Kyle claimed that he was the supervising coordinator. Jack expected that Kyle would be popping out of Gloria's birthday cake next.
Meanwhile, Billy called Hilary, who gushed that GC Buzz felt like a new show with its summer-in-the-city theme. She was over the moon that he'd be her guest to launch the new format, and he said he would see her soon. Phyllis entered his office, and Billy reported that Hilary was happy about the new live show and seemingly about life in general. Phyllis imagined that it had to do with Hilary's pregnancy, and she turned the topic to the launch of Birthday Suit. Billy asked Phyllis to give him a ride to the Athletic Club, but she said she had to change, and she showed him a revealing sundress. He amorously remarked that they'd be in the way if they got there too early, and he locked the door and closed the shades.
At the cottage, Mariah fretted that she couldn't find her car keys, and she needed to be at the Athletic Club for a live taping. Sharon located the keys on the table, and Mariah questioned what she would do without her mother. Sharon considered it an appropriate question because she might be leaving town, and Mariah remarked that Sharon deserved a vacation. Mariah started to head out, but Sharon blurted out that Nick had received a job offer in San Diego and wanted to move there with her and the kids.
Sharon explained that the job was with a nonprofit that fought homelessness and helped to stabilize disadvantaged families. Mariah wondered why Nick would move to do something that he was already doing there, and Sharon admitted that Nick wanted to get away from Victor. Mariah was surprised because Nick had just taken a new job at Newman, but Sharon divulged that Nick had found out that Victor's generous offer was more of a way to stick it to Victoria, and Nick wanted a life without those games. Mariah thought it was cool that Nick wanted Sharon to go with him, but Sharon clarified that he wanted her to want to go with him.
Mariah recalled that Nick and Sharon had been determined to take the time to make sure they did things right when they'd gotten back together, but it seemed like the idea had been tossed out. Sharon conceded that moving was the opposite of careful and slow, since moving to California together would be a huge commitment. Mariah pointed out that it could be a big win if that was the ultimate goal, since there was no reason to wait in a long line when they could board the main attraction. Sharon revealed that she hadn't said yes yet because she didn't want to rush in without weighing the positive and the negative.
Sharon thought it would be a positive thing for her and Nick to set out on an adventure that they'd be in equally, and it would be comforting and thrilling to know they had the same vision of a future together. Mariah sadly noted that she and Sharon wouldn't be spending their days together, and Sharon solemnly recognized that it would be the negative part. Sharon understood if Mariah wasn't ready to walk away from the life and name that she'd made for herself there, even though she was welcome to join them if they decided to do it, since Mariah would always have a home with her mom. Mariah tearfully reflected back on how much she'd wished to hear that as a kid, and she didn't know what else to say except thank you.
Mariah swore that she would never stand in the way of Sharon's happiness, but she sensed that Sharon wasn't telling her the whole story. Sharon maintained that it was solely about her and Nick getting a fresh start, but Mariah argued that they'd already spent the last two years busting their butts to achieve that. Mariah commended Sharon for pursuing her degree, volunteering to help people, and running her own business, and she couldn't believe that Sharon could just abandon all of that and uproot her family because Victor was the man he'd always been. Mariah thought it didn't make any sense, and she expected to hear whatever Sharon was leaving out later. Mariah left for work.
Nikki approached Abby at the Athletic Club bar and mentioned that she'd seen Abby on the roof deck with Arturo. Abby scoffed at the thought that kissing a single guy who she liked cheapened the Newman name. Nikki revealed that she and Arturo had been sleeping together until recently, and Abby's jaw dropped. Nikki explained that she wasn't trying to be spiteful, but she felt it was wrong to withhold the facts if Arturo hadn't mentioned their affair. Abby confirmed that he hadn't said anything, and Nikki groaned that she'd known that she'd waited too long when she'd seen them kissing.
Abby asked if Nikki and Arturo's relationship was over, and Nikki was adamant that it had been finished for several weeks. Nikki offered to look up the exact date, but Abby grimaced at the thought of hearing any details. Abby wondered if Nikki was as uncomfortable as she was, given that Nikki was married to Abby's father. Nikki revealed that Victor had known all along because they'd had an arrangement, and he'd been seeing someone, too. Abby protested that no one wanted to hear that their dad and his wife were swingers, but Nikki disclosed that they'd had an open marriage until he'd been released from the hospital.
Nikki added that she and Arturo had been two consenting adults having fun, but she'd ended it after Victor had been seriously injured. Nikki admitted that she'd objected when Arturo had developed an interest in Abby, and she'd asked him not to pursue it because it was too close to home. Abby felt like her mind was going to explode, and Nikki figured that maybe Arturo just had a thing for rebellious blondes. Nikki noted that the other things she and Abby had in common were their last name and their bank accounts, and she warned Abby to be careful.
Nikki headed out, but Mariah asked to speak with her for a second. Mariah inquired whether Nikki knew anything about Sharon's possible relocation plans, but Nikki had no idea what she was talking about. Mariah blabbed that Nick had gotten a job offer in California, but she didn't believe Sharon's claim that it was all there was to it. Mariah told Nikki to forget she'd said anything, and she rushed off to tape the show.
Ashley arrived at the club in response to Abby's "S.O.S. text" about Arturo. Abby divulged that Nikki had spotted them kissing on the rooftop, and her stepmom had informed her that Nikki and Arturo had just ended a fling a few weeks earlier. Ashley was taken aback, and Abby whined about why she couldn't have one simple, uncomplicated relationship. Abby groaned that it got worse -- the Newmans had agreed to an open marriage, even though the arrangement was over. Abby expected to need therapy for the rest of her life, and Ashley realized why Nikki had tried to persuade her to rekindle her relationship with Victor.
Abby wondered what she should do about Arturo, and Ashley advised her against getting into a relationship with known complications. Kyle and his team of models walked in to hand out samples, and Ashley asked if it was Billy's idea for marketing. Kyle bragged that the effort was paying off, since they'd gone viral online. Ashley huffed that Billy had canceled a national magazine ad to roll the dice on people liking posts, but Abby found the promotion young and exciting. Kyle invited the former Naked Heiress to join them, but Abby passed because she'd been exposed enough for one day. Later, Abby ignored a call from Arturo.
On the Athletic Club roof, Hilary welcomed Phyllis with a hug, and Phyllis asked if she'd spoken to Devon. Hilary happily reported that he'd responded better than she'd hoped. Later, Phyllis indicated that the likes and reposts were going crazy, and Billy commended Kyle for doing it despite his apprehensions. Phyllis called Kyle the latest social media star, and Kyle suggested that Hilary interview him instead of Billy, but Billy protested that he was looking forward to it. Hilary announced that the show was about to start, and Billy remarked that they could count him in to make history.
Ashley returned home, and her phone pinged with social media notifications with photos of Kyle and the models. Jack emerged with a box and explained that he was just picking up a few more things, and he asked if she'd seen the latest stunt Billy had pulled. "In the flesh," Ashley replied, adding that Billy would be on live television that day. She suggested that they watch GC Buzz together to see how much embarrassment Billy caused the company, and she invited Jack to share her popcorn. "Why the hell not?" he responded.
On the live broadcast, Billy thanked Hilary for inviting him to the launch of her summer series. Hilary announced Jabot's latest triumph, and Billy revealed that their new sunscreen would be in stores that day. Mariah mentioned that she was wearing a coat of Birthday Suit, and the scent was light and inviting. Hilary added that it had full SPF coverage but went on silky smooth with no greasy feeling like cheaper brands, and models swarmed around them. Billy explained that Jabot had street teams offering free samples across the country, and Hilary examined the hashtags more closely.
Kyle complained that the show was boring, like a sleazy infomercial, and he pictured the viewers reaching for their remotes. He felt that he had to do something before it bombed, so he whipped off his shirt, joined the group on-camera, and highlighted the waterproof aspect of the sunscreen. Kyle insisted on demonstrating, and he jumped into the pool as Billy talked up the waterproof formulation. There were audible gasps as Kyle returned from the pool.
Kyle bragged that his hashtags hadn't smudged a bit, but Mariah pointed out that he'd forgotten something. Kyle realized that his swim trunks had slipped off in the pool, and the show quickly displayed a technical difficulties message. When the show resumed, a horrified Hilary turned to Mariah to cover, and Mariah stammered that the company had given the product the perfect name, adding that Birthday Suit by Jabot was available in stores. Mariah apologized for the freak wardrobe malfunction, and Hilary vowed to make sure it was the last.
Kyle swore that he was as freaked out as everyone else was, and he hoped that the cameras had cut away. Phyllis reported that they hadn't soon enough, since Kyle's revealing display was trending. Kyle was humiliated, and Billy regretted canceling the paper ads. Billy apologized to Hilary, who spat that nothing like that would have happened if Jack had been there. Billy insisted that no harm had been done, but Hilary bellowed that they'd transmitted a full-frontal naked man live in high definition, so he had no idea how much trouble she and Devon were in.
Ashley felt bad for Billy, but Jack ranted that decades of building a reputation had been shot down in seconds. Jack suggested that they show Billy how to really do it, and he invited Ashley to join him in starting a new venture by building it from the ground up as equal partners. He thought they couldn't miss with his business savvy and her know-how, but she realized that he was only making the offer because he had nothing without her or someone like her to make products for him. He stressed that she'd have 50 percent of the company, but she clarified that he was talking about using her, and she couldn't go into business with someone she didn't trust.
Jack had hoped to be welcomed or missed when he'd stopped by to get his things. Ashley admitted that she missed him a lot, but she was nowhere near ready to partner with him. He handed over his keys to the house and asked if there were no hard feelings, and she shook her head. He grabbed his box and left.
Nikki stopped by the cottage, worked up over Mariah's announcement that Nikki's son and grandchildren were planning on leaving Genoa City. Sharon explained that she and Nick were still figuring things out, and if they decided to move, they would take time for proper goodbyes. Nikki demanded that Sharon tell her what J.T. had to do with the sudden life change, but Sharon insisted that it was unrelated. Nikki indicated that Mariah had sensed that Sharon was holding back, and she suspected that being there constantly reminded Sharon of her obligation to keep the secret about J.T. Sharon asked if Nikki was saying she didn't trust her, and Nikki dryly replied that the college classes were really paying off.
Later, Sharon descended the stairs and was dismayed to find Nikki still in the living room. Sharon was relieved that Christian had slept through Nikki's outburst and that Faith wasn't there, and she swore that she was motivated to keep the secret because of her kids. Sharon groused that Nikki's harassment was making California look "pretty damn sweet," but Nikki continued to believe that Sharon was hiding something. Sharon barked that she had nothing more to say to Nikki, but Nikki demanded to know why Sharon was trying to manipulate Nick into moving thousands of miles away. Sharon retorted that Nikki was proving how out of touch she was with her own family, since moving had been entirely Nick's idea.
Sharon sarcastically said it was always a pleasure, and she opened the front door and asked Nikki to leave. Nikki argued that Nick would have told her if it had been his idea to move, since it wasn't like him to leave impulsively when he had the housing projects and was going back to Newman. Sharon clucked that Nikki really had no idea, and she revealed that Nick wasn't going back to Newman -- then or ever. Nikki accused Sharon of lying, and Sharon dared her to go straight to the source by asking Victor why Nick wanted to get out of there. Sharon pushed Nikki out the door, slammed it in her face, and locked it.