At the Newman ranch, Victor met with his personal private detective to launch a search for information about Ashland Locke and clues to the whereabouts of Mariah Copeland. Regarding Ashland, Victor requested that his investigator comb through Ashland's past and find out everything. The investigator asked Victor what he hoped to find. Nikki entered the room and replied, "My question exactly." Nikki expressed concern that Victor would be putting his relationship in jeopardy by searching for something nefarious about his daughter's fiancé. Victor reminded Nikki that Ashland, who squashed a lot of people, considered his ruthlessness to be a badge of honor.
Nikki insisted to Victor that Ashland had changed, and she pointed out the difficult choice he'd made for the benefit of his son. Nikki warned that Victoria would think her father didn't trust her judgment, and it would damage their relationship. Victor replied that, hopefully, the investigation wouldn't turn up anything shady. Nikki said she doubted anything would turn up because Ashland had faced scrutiny in the public eye for many years. Victor said he didn't want Victoria to enter into a marriage before knowing everything about "that man." Nikki sighed and rolled her eyes.
Nick cornered Billy at Crimson Lights and asked him why, aside from jealousy, he was worried about Victoria marrying Ashland. Billy replied that besides Victoria facing heartbreak when Ashland passed away, it was concerning that no one really knew much about the man. Nick replied, "Other than this man's ruthless business reputation and the tabloid gossip about his messy divorce, what do we know about him?" Billy said they knew nothing except that the dude had moved fast with plans to marry Victoria. Nick observed that something seemed wrong with that picture, so he hadn't even been able to pretend to be happy when Victoria had shared her news.
Nick questioned why Victoria and Ashland should marry just to spend time together, since they already lived in the same house. Noting Nick's inability to pin down his suspicions, Billy said perhaps he knew Victoria even better than her brother did. Nick refused to acknowledge Billy as an authority on Victoria, but he demanded to know if there was an issue with Victoria marrying Ashland. Billy said he would accept Nick's unspoken request to utilize resources at ChancComm to go after Ashland Locke. Nick replied, "Sounds to me like it's something you've been gearing up to do, and you're going to do it whether you get any encouragement from me or not."
At Victoria's, Ashland reported to Victoria that Harrison had joined Kyle and Summer. Ashland seemed pleased that Kyle and Summer were searching for a home in Basiglio with a big yard. Ashland expressed relief, knowing that Harrison's transition was going well. Victoria told Ashland that spending time with Harrison before and during their week would be special for his son. Ashland told Victoria he wanted their wedding to be the most perfect day she could ever imagine.
Victoria, explaining that she'd heard Ashland get out of bed during the night, asked him how he was feeling. Ashland said he hadn't been able to sleep and had instead worked on a project that had meaning for them both, which had made him feel better. With great pleasure, Ashland announced that the official launch of Newman/Locke would take place in one month. Victoria replied, "That soon?" Ashland showed Victoria a rendering of twin skyscrapers and said that a bold, new corporation deserved new headquarters. Ashland pointed to the proposed structure and said, "We have Newman Tower alongside its brand-new twin, Locke Tower."
Ashland told Victoria he hoped he might live to see completion of the new tower, which he said should be built in three years. Victoria replied, "I can't believe you did all this. I never imagined two buildings." Ashland explained that it would be a sign to the world that it was twice the company and twice as formidable. Ashland gazed at the drawing and said he loved the idea of identical towers dominating the skyline for a century to come. Victoria shoved files into her briefcase and explained that she was about to meet with her mom. Ashland seemed let down by Victoria's unenthusiastic reaction to his grand proposal.
Over breakfast at Society, Nikki asked Victoria how Ashland's treatment was going. Victoria said that despite a rocky start, Ashland was handling things just fine. Victoria told her mom that Nick was reserving judgment about her marriage plans because he wanted to get to know Ashland first. Nikki explained that they were concerned about Victoria marrying a man who might leave her all too soon. Victoria complained that Nick should support her marriage plans the same way their dad had.
Victoria changed the subject, telling her mother that the planned destination wedding would include A-listers, so she'd need an impressive dress. Sally overhead Victoria's comment and hid out of sight to learn more. Victoria said she might contact Summer and ask about Angelina Marchetti possibly designing either a sheath or trumpet-style dress with a plunging back. While Victoria envisioned her dream gown, Sally busily typed a text message on her phone while keeping one ear focused on Victoria's discussion with Nikki about wedding details.
After Victoria and Nikki coalesced their plans for music, Nikki asked Victoria if Ashland planned to take an active role in running Newman/Locke, which would entail selecting office space on the executive floor. Victoria grew quiet, prompting Nikki to ask if she'd upset her daughter by saying the wrong thing. Victoria acknowledged it was difficult to plan ahead, given the uncertainty of Ashland's cancer responding to treatments. Nikki suggested that work might help prepare Ashland for the best outcome. Nikki was surprised to hear that the merger would be complete in a month. Victoria became uncomfortable and suggested that she and Nikki play work issues by ear and focus on spending time together finalizing wedding plans instead.
Ashland greeted Phyllis at the Grand Phoenix. Ashland requested a spa package, which he said would become a regular part of his treatment regimen. Ashland said he'd never properly thanked Phyllis for exposing his ex-wife's illegal activities, which had made particular decisions a lot simpler. Phyllis said she found it odd that Tara had been able to fool Ashland because he'd made a career out of keeping himself ten steps ahead of others. Ashland insisted that he'd once loved Tara, so he'd seen her in a different way.
Ashland admitted he'd gotten off on the wrong foot with Phyllis initially and wished to rectify the situation. Phyllis suggested Ashland's motives involved her relationship with Victoria's brother. Ashland said that, in addition, Summer was helping raise his little boy. Phyllis quipped, "Wow, we're one big happy family, aren't we?" Ashland admitted he was impressed that Summer had wonderfully embraced her role as Harrison's new stepmother, so he wished to be on better terms with Summer's mother. Phyllis told Ashland that being a fan of her daughter's would get him a long way.
Ashland admitted to Phyllis that he also wanted to be on better terms with Nick, who'd compared him to Billy Abbott. Ashland complained that the men in Victoria's life tended to treat her as if she didn't know her own mind, though she happed to be one of the smartest, strongest, most capable women he'd ever met. Phyllis replied, "Did you tell Nick that?" Ashland said he'd made it clear to Nick that Victoria didn't need to justify her actions to anyone, though his statement to Nick hadn't scored any points.
Phyllis pointed out to Ashland that Nick was protective of Victoria. Phyllis couldn't help but note that the circumstances concerning Victoria and Ashland's impending marriage were odd. Without elaborating in detail, Phyllis noted that true love was hard to find. Phyllis added that if found, true love should be embraced tightly. Ashland said he hoped that Phyllis might help Nick see that he and Victoria were two people who'd found true love, the rarest of commodities.
Later, Nick stopped by and asked Phyllis if Ashland had visited with her at the hotel. Phyllis said that Ashland had thanked her for exposing Tara and told her that Nick had expressed concerns about him, even comparing him to Billy. Phyllis explained that Ashland wanted Nick to support his relationship with Victoria and acknowledge their true love. Nick said he couldn't envision things going well at all for Victoria. Phyllis lowered her voice and said, "It's probably not going to end well for Ashland." Phyllis suggested Nick refrain from talking Victoria out of marrying Ashland because she'd do what she wanted to do, anyway. Nick explained that Billy was on a mission to stop Victoria from going through with the wedding.
Billy returned to his office and began researching Ashland. When Lily approached, Billy raised Lily's suspicions by claiming he was researching marital breakups involving Genoa City's longtime residents. Billy admitted he was looking into Ashland Locke's past and how it tied into the bigger story, as in another potentially dangerous and doomed relationship in the making. Lily noted that the story writer usually conducted their own research. Lily said she knew Billy was turning over every rock associated with Ashland, trying to find a heinous, unforgivable sin Victoria couldn't forgive so Victoria wouldn't marry Ashland.
Sally entered Society and snapped at Adam when he greeted her. Sally complained that mean, nasty Phyllis had sent her a huge bill for extras such as towels and surcharges for additional housekeeping requests. Adam laughed, but Sally threatened that no one would be laughing after she paid Phyllis back for ruining her life. Adam replied, "From where I'm standing, you're much better off exactly where you are." Adam told Sally she'd finally found her niche at Newman Media, where her talents would be appreciated. Adam noted that it wouldn't have happened had Phyllis not played a part.
Adam told Sally that he'd spent years trying to exact revenge and ended up with a criminal record, bad press, and a slew of mortal enemies. Adam entreated Sally to learn from his experience and accept that plotting revenge against Phyllis would be a waste of time and energy. Sally asked Adam if he was suggesting she should become a new and improved version of herself like he had.
Adam praised Sally for her strength and determination for refusing to leave town. Adam advised Sally to turn her resentment into something positive, like promoting Newman Media to make it relevant on the fashion world's radar. Adam assured Sally it would be satisfying to force her haters to watch her meteoric rise. Sally replied, "How's that working out for you?" Adam admitted it was a lot better than doing things the old way, plus it kept people guessing.
Adam was in his office when Victor stepped in, slammed the door, and questioned him about setting up meetings with Locke Communications' employees relocating from New York. Victor insisted that Newman/Locke employees were out of bounds. Adam explained that he'd reached out to a select few employees for potential opportunities at Newman Media, though he had not twisted anyone's arm to sit for an interview. Victor warned Adam not to do anything to undermine his sister or endanger the merger between Newman Enterprises and Locke Communications. Adam replied, "You have absolutely made that clear, just as you made it clear that I am in charge of this company, and I am the person that ultimately makes the decisions." Victor smiled and shook his head affirmatively.
Adam reminded Victor that Victor was an advisor, so Adam could take his father's advice or not. Adam explained that he shouldn't miss out on a potential gold mine of talent because Victor didn't want Victoria's feelings hurt. Adam asked Victor if he was concerned that Victoria might not be up to the task of taking on a behemoth company while battling competition for scarce resources. Adam requested that his father keep his personal feelings out of it. Victor advised Adam to also keep his personal feelings out of it.
Sally was sitting on bench in the park when Chloe walked by and said she was wondering when Sally might make it to the office. Sally asked if Chloe had received her text message. Chloe explained that Adam had mentioned that Sally was on her way to the office, and then she'd received Sally's message about heading to the park instead. Sally explained that Adam had encouraged her to focus on making herself a success instead of exacting revenge. Chloe shared her own struggles, admitting she'd also battled urges to hurt someone a thousand times more than they'd hurt her.
Sally assured Chloe she'd make the most of the opportunity given to her. Sally explained that she'd gotten some of her best ideas while working outside and claimed she'd been working on plans to promote designers creating international trends featuring unisex clothing lines. Chloe seemed suspicious and quizzed Sally about a project she hadn't mentioned. Sally hemmed and hawed before admitting she planned to approach Victoria about designing her wedding dress. Sally admitted she'd been inspired to sketch dresses based on a conversation she'd overheard between Victoria and Nikki. Sally assured Chloe it would put the new fashion platform on the map. Chloe was doubtful Victoria would even consider Sally's designs. Sally said many had doubted her, but it had made her even more determined.
After Victoria returned home, she called out to Ashland. He didn't answer. Victoria noticed Ashland's architectural sketch on the sofa. Victoria picked up the sketch and gazed at the rendering of a second identical tower adjacent to Newman Enterprises. Victoria seemed uncertain about the plans Ashland had drawn up so quickly.
Stitch arrived at the Chancellor mansion while Abby was on a call, promising someone she'd stay by her phone. Abby informed Stitch that Victor's head of security hadn't had any new leads about Mariah and that Rey had checked in earlier with the same news. Abby lamented that she had no idea whether Mariah's kidnapper was taking care of her and getting her nutritious food. Abby added that if something went wrong, she couldn't be sure that Mariah and the baby would get the help they needed.
Abby bemoaned that it had been tough waking up feeling just as helpless as she had when she'd gone to bed. Stitch encouraged her to stay positive, but she wailed that everyone had kept hitting dead ends. She worried that Mariah felt like Abby had abandoned her, but Stitch chalked it up to Abby's guilt talking. He noticed a protein bar sitting on the table and picked it up. Abby noted that it was one of Mariah's favorite snacks, so Abby had kept extras in her purse. Stitch recalled that he'd seen the product before, and Abby explained that Mariah's doctor had recommended it. Stitch thought he might have a lead.
At Crimson Lights, Faith chirped that school would be starting in a couple of weeks, and Sharon was surprised to detect excitement in her daughter's voice. Faith thought the upcoming school year already seemed much better than the last because she had Moses in her corner. Sharon contemplated what would happen if the bullies began taunting Faith again, but Faith was confident that she could deal with them because she felt safer and more mature. Sharon looked distracted, and Faith asked if her mother was okay. Sharon covered by saying she was just happy Faith was in a good place.
Faith inquired whether Sharon had heard from Mariah lately, since Mariah had barely been in touch. Sharon vaguely replied that she was sure Mariah would be home soon, and Faith left to meet Moses. Rey entered from the patio, and Sharon bemoaned that she didn't know how much longer she could keep it up. Sharon wondered if she should have leveled with Faith, but Rey recalled that Sharon hadn't wanted to worry Faith without giving her reason to believe Mariah would be home soon. Abby called Sharon and urgently summoned her and Rey to the Chancellor house.
Sharon and Rey joined Abby, Stitch, and Tessa at the mansion, where Stitch shared that the protein bar that Abby had pulled out of her purse had jogged his memory. He recounted that he'd stopped in a convenience store the last time he'd been on his way out of town, and he'd seen a guy buying a bunch of the same bars, which happened to be Mariah's favorite snack. Abby explained that the bars were marketed to expectant mothers, and Stitch added that he only remembered the encounter because the guy had been a much older man who hadn't given off an expectant dad vibe. Stitch described the man as having grey hair and being of average height. Abby squealed that it was possible the guy had been buying the bars for Mariah.
Rey thought the theory was thin, since an older man could still be a father- or grandfather-to-be. Stitch commented that he hadn't been looking for a criminal, but the guy had stuck out to him. Abby begged Stitch to try to remember something else, and he recalled that the man had dropped a shopping list, which Stitch had picked up and handed back to him. Stitch couldn't remember what had been on the list, but the paper itself had had a pattern with storks carrying babies in pouches. He figured it didn't mean anything, but Tessa asked if the paper had been yellow. Stitch thought it had been, and Tessa divulged that she'd given a notepad just like it to Mariah, who had taken it everywhere with her.
Tessa felt that the notepad and the protein bars were significant clues. Rey pressed to know the location of the store and the time and date of the encounter to see if there might be security footage. Sharon was relieved that it appeared Mariah was being fed and taken care of if her captor was buying the bars she liked. Abby called Stitch a hero for giving them their first good lead, but he cautioned them not to get ahead of themselves. Devon stopped by, and Abby informed him that she finally had hope.
Over the phone, Rey checked to see if the store in question had a surveillance system. Sharon marveled that Stitch never would have made the connection if Abby hadn't taken the protein bar out of her purse, and Abby felt that they were finally getting somewhere. Devon reported that Christine hadn't been able to get a message to Chance yet, but she was still trying. Abby envisioned Mariah getting home before Chance returned and their precious baby being safe. Stitch watched Abby closely as she called it a "dream come true."
Mariah tried to exercise in the room where she was being held against her will. She apologized to "Bowie" for bouncing around, explaining that she had to keep in shape to be ready to bolt if the door opened even a crack. Later, Mariah wolfed down the same brand of protein bar that Abby had identified as Mariah's favorite.
Later, Mariah asked Bowie if he was ready for more aerobics to break up the boredom. She started to exercise again, but she suddenly gasped and grabbed her belly. Mariah pledged to keep calm and not overreact. She declared an end to her aerobics and reasoned that no one was there to make fun of her if she was out of shape. She doubled over and whimpered that it couldn't be contractions because it was too soon.
Nate stopped by Devon's penthouse and asked Devon if Moses was around. Nate explained that he wanted to touch base after his last conversation with the teen, since part of him was disappointed that Moses wouldn't be going into medicine. Devon reasoned that Moses had to do what made him happy, and Nate figured that the lad would have another great mentor in Devon. Nate thought Devon was helping Moses to become a young man right before their eyes, but Devon credited Sofia with doing her part. Devon considered inviting her to visit, but Moses overheard and begged him not to because she'd want Moses to go back to New York with her.
Moses confessed that he'd dodged calls from his mom the past few days to avoid explaining why he was no longer interested in a career in medicine. He recognized that the point of his move to Genoa City had been to learn from Nate, and Nate inquired whether Moses was afraid Sofia would pull the plug on him living there. Devon argued that there was still a reason for Moses to stay, since Devon could share everything he knew about the music industry. Moses doubted his mom would be sold, since there was a big difference between becoming a doctor and getting a job in the entertainment industry.
Devon offered to have a conversation with Sofia about it, and he recalled that Neil had hated the fact that Devon had wanted to go into music instead of business. Devon added that he'd worked hard and shown that he'd been serious to get Neil to accept it. Nate teased that they all knew how much Moses wanted to stay there for all sorts of reasons, and Devon mentioned Faith. Nate prepared to leave, and Devon joked that his cousin was too famous to hang out with the little people in his life. Nate remarked that it wasn't about a new job but was about filling a gap that that had just opened, and he headed out.
Faith found Moses listening to Tigirlily's music in Chancellor Park, and he inquired about the bag she was holding. She informed him that it was a pop quiz, and she pulled out a slip of paper and asked him what had happened on May 4. He recalled that it had been around the time when she'd been in the hospital, during his first few days of volunteering. He guessed that they'd played chess that day, and she confirmed he was correct. Moses pressed to know what the quiz was about.
Faith wasn't sure if Moses remembered that they'd shared a kiss recently, and he blurted out that there was no way he'd forgotten about it. She informed him that she didn't just kiss anyone because it had to be someone she really cared about, and the person had to care enough to remember the important times they'd shared together. Faith promised that it would be a fun walk down memory lane, but Moses worried about whether they'd be over before they began if he failed the test.
A short time later, Faith warned that if Moses got the last question wrong, all the other right answers would be thrown out. She mentioned August 6, and all he could remember was that it had been a few days after the concert. She revealed that it had been the day he'd given her the pressed vinyl copy of the concert, and he protested that he'd lost on a technicality. Moses contended that all she needed to know was that he liked her a lot; he'd tried not to pressure her, but it was impossible for him to pretend that he was okay with just being friends.
Moses stated that he wanted to hang out, go places together, and just be with Faith, and he couldn't let go of the feeling he'd had since May 4, when they'd played chess together. Faith explained that the vinyl record had been special because members of the band had written a note about how she should hang onto him because he was a keeper, and she lauded him for sticking by her through all the tough times she'd had the past year. She confirmed that she also wanted to do the same things Moses wanted to do. He asked if that meant he'd passed the quiz.
Moses interpreted Faith's smile to mean that he'd gotten an A-plus on the quiz, but she teased that he'd missed one question. He proposed that he throw out a date, and if they both got it right, they both got A's. He mentioned August 13, and she questioned how she could ever forget their first kiss. Moses bet her dad wouldn't forget it, either. Moses suggested that they go on a real date, and he offered to plan something special to surprise her. She couldn't wait.
Elena sipped a drink at the coffeehouse, and Amanda approached and observed that Elena was still in scrubs. Amanda hoped Elena wasn't gearing up for another shift because she looked exhausted. Elena revealed that she was drinking chamomile to try to decompress, since she had to be back at the hospital in less than eight hours. Elena continued that she'd been picking up extra shifts, since her name kept ending up at the top of the assignment list. Amanda relayed that Nate had told her the other surgeons loved it when Elena scrubbed in to assist, since she had the best bedside manner on staff. Elena groaned that she couldn't seem to get a break.
Amanda joked that Elena needed to commit herself to being horrible at her job to make sure no one wanted her around. Elena accepted that she might have to resign herself to a permanent state of near exhaustion. She resolved to force herself to go upstairs and get some sleep, and Amanda inquired whether there was anyone at the hospital who could lighten Elena's workload. Elena insisted that she was fine, and she planned to just suck it up and hope her schedule got better. Amanda warned that Elena might pass out from exhaustion first, but Elena maintained that she was fine.
At the Abbott mansion, Traci prompted Jack to tell her how things had gone in Milan, and Jack replied that he could barely describe how happy Kyle had been to see his son. Jack continued that Summer had seemed excited to start a new life as Harrison's stepmom, and he thought he'd witnessed the beginning of something special. Jack praised Ashland for not putting up a fight, and Traci sensed that Ashland wasn't the only one struggling with Harrison being that far away. Jack acknowledged that it might be even more difficult for Tara, but Traci clarified that she was talking about Jack, who clearly was missing his grandson already.
Jack called Traci very perceptive, adding that it was why she was such a good writer. Traci suggested that he distract himself by looking over her latest work, a fictional account of Dina's days in high-society Paris. Jack agreed to read a few pages before he had to get back to work. Later, Traci peered in on Jack and found him completely engrossed in the book. She interrupted to ask if he could put it down long enough to take her out to lunch, and he realized that he'd gotten carried away with the fun, exciting story. He wondered how she'd known it had been what he'd needed. "I know you, and I thank my lucky stars for that every single day," Traci lovingly replied. They hugged.
At Chancellor Communications, Billy questioned why he'd try to keep anything from Lily when she saw through him better than anyone. He admitted that he was hoping to find something on Ashland to make Victoria second-guess her decision to marry him because it would be a mistake for her and the kids. Lily reminded him that he'd reassured Victoria that he was fine with her marrying Ashland. Billy reasoned that Victoria didn't have to know he was looking if he found nothing; however, if he found something, she might be relieved that she and the kids had dodged a bullet, and she'd be in his debt forever. Lily told him to dream on.
At Society, Jack gushed that he'd been sucked in from page one. Jack commended Traci for capturing Dina's spirit, and he expected the book to be another best seller. Billy approached, and Jack bragged that he'd gotten a sneak peek at Traci's latest novel. Traci stepped away to say hello to an old friend, and Jack inquired whether Billy and Lily were still pursuing the story about Tara's arrest. Billy reiterated that they couldn't ignore a story of that magnitude, but he shared that they were also working on a deep dive into Ashland's life to find out if there was anything they hadn't uncovered yet. Jack doubted it would end well.
Billy saw nothing wrong with a little investigation to find out how a self-made man like Ashland had made himself, and he guessed it wasn't a pretty story. Traci returned and asked what she'd missed. Jack revealed that their brother was digging up dirt on Ashland, who was famous for destroying anyone who crossed him. Jack voiced concern about how it might affect Victoria, but Billy thought Victoria would thank him if he uncovered something that made her rethink the mistake she was about to make. Traci asked how Billy would feel if someone was slinging mud at Lily, but Billy argued that Lily had nothing to hide. Jack inquired whether Billy considered it a mistake for Victoria to marry someone with a terminal illness or someone like Ashland. Billy replied that it was both, and he walked away to pick up his takeout.
Nate arrived at ChancComm, and Lily enthused that she'd been just about to call him with good news about Ask MD Now's performance metrics. Nate anticipated that going over the numbers would be bittersweet, but she assured him that the show was a hit. He admitted that he loved being the resident expert, but he'd also been promoted as the hospital's chief of surgery. Lily congratulated him, but he suspected that he'd be on overload with the additional responsibilities. He announced that he was there to help her find his replacement.
Lily said she understood that Nate's job was his priority, and she was proud of him for finding that kind of success, even if she had to swallow her own disappointment. Nate knew she was committed to keeping the website going to help people, and she steeled herself for the difficult task of finding a replacement with brilliance and good looks in one package. Nate proclaimed that he knew of someone who had all of that and more -- Elena.
Jack and Traci returned home. She realized that her attempt to get him out of his mood had worked for a little while, but it hadn't lasted. She inquired whether it had been because of their exchange with Billy or if Jack was simply missing Harrison. Jack said it was a little of both. Traci lectured that she'd tell anyone else to take a break, but Jack was his father's son, and John had always thrown himself into work. Jack expected to have his hands full with his co-CEO in Italy, and he urged her to worry about Billy instead.
Billy returned to ChancComm and handed lunch off to Lily while he got back to work. She suspected that the gleam in his eye had to do with Ashland. Billy shared that he'd gotten some interesting information from a reporter about Ashland having been involved with an older woman before Tara. Billy shared that there hadn't been many details about the nature of their relationship -- just that Ashland had been in his 20s, and the woman had been older and wealthy. Lily was skeptical about it being worth reporting, but Billy believed there was more to it, and he vowed to find out what it was.
In her locked room, Mariah hoped she was only experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions; however, if they weren't, she claimed it was too soon for Bowie to make his grand entrance. The contractions continued. Mariah removed the cloth covering the camera and shouted that if those were real contractions, she needed to be in the hospital. She wanted to know why anyone would keep a pregnant woman locked up.
At the Chancellor home, Abby told Devon that Rey was attempting to get the video footage from the convenience store. It would confirm who had bought a truckload of the protein bars Mariah liked, and it would prove the guy had his shopping list on the notepad Tessa had given Mariah. Impatient, Abby asked Sharon to call Rey. Sharon assured Abby that Rey was doing everything he could. She said it took time to get a warrant for video footage.
Abby stated they'd been lucky that Stitch had seen the protein bar she'd taken out of her purse. Devon asked Stitch where the store was located. Stitch said Ford Street and Willow Lane. Devon wondered why Stitch had been in that area if he'd been staying at the Athletic Club.
Stitch asked Abby if she remembered them going to Chancellor Park before he'd left for Iowa. Abby recalled they'd gone to look at an apartment for him. Stitch said after they'd parted, he'd felt nostalgic and gone for a walk. He had ended up by the pond on the other side of the park. When it had been time to hit the road, he'd stopped at that convenience store to pick up some snacks on his way out of town.
Devon commented that it was lucky Stitch had been there at the same time with the alleged abductor. Stitch claimed the abductor had arrived after him. Stitch wished he'd been able to put things together at that time. They could have had a lead to Mariah a lot sooner. Abby said that thanks to Stitch, they finally had a lead. Devon appeared suspicious.
After Sharon and Tessa left the room, Devon said he had some business calls to return, and he left the room. Stitch said he hoped he hadn't made Abby uncomfortable by mentioning his detour to the pond they had gone to in the past. Abby said he hadn't. She said she had loved going to that pond and feeding the ducks. Stitch hoped Abby would take her son there one day and make a lot of incredible memories with him. She thanked Stitch for being supportive.
Devon stood behind the wall and eavesdropped.
Stitch told Abby that reconnecting with her meant a lot to him. He said he had to leave to check in with Max's care team, and he would check on her later. When Abby left the room, Devon returned. Stitch asked Devon to call him if Abby needed him. Devon agreed, and Stitch left.
Rey arrived at the Chancellor home. He told everyone the store had surveillance video; however, he was waiting for the warrant to obtain the video. He got the okay from Chief Williams for ongoing surveillance at that store. He had someone staking out the store in case the guy Stitch had described returned. Rey said once they saw the video, they could track the direction the guy had traveled after he'd left the store, or they could see the car he'd been driving and run the plates. Rey promised he wouldn't give up until Mariah had been found. Sharon said they might be getting close to finding Mariah, but she wanted to go to Mariah's room to feel closer to her.
After Sharon and Tessa left, Devon asked what Abby thought of Stitch's story about the abductor. Abby asked if Devon thought Stitch was lying. Abby didn't understand why Devon had doubts about Stitch or why Stitch would make up that story. Devon stated it was a gut feeling, and the story didn't feel right. Devon felt Stitch's story was very coincidental. He thought Stitch showing up in town without having a job was odd, and he wondered why Stitch had done that.
Abby told Devon that Stitch had wanted to check up on her because of what had been going on with Mariah. Devon stated that Stitch had gone out of his way to be the shoulder for Abby to lean on while Chance was gone. Devon couldn't help wondering if Stitch was trying to rekindle what he'd had with Abby in the past by taking advantage of Abby's pain and fear. Abby looked very thoughtful.
At Society, Gloria told Lauren she'd realized she might have been a little too aggressive at their last meeting. Kevin and Chloe arrived. Gloria told them to move along because she and Lauren were having a business meeting. After Chloe and Kevin left, Gloria asked Lauren to listen with an open mind to what Gloria had to offer. At their table, Kevin informed Chloe that Gloria wanted Lauren to promote her to head of JCV. Chloe told Kevin that Gloria had been pumping Sally for information about the younger demographic.
Lauren asked Gloria to convince her, since Gloria thought she was the best candidate to head up JCV. Gloria claimed she'd been studying the market, and she understood the direction the industry was going. If Lauren gave her the job, she would anticipate the trend, and she would beat the other companies to the punch. Gloria wanted to carry on the work Summer had started.
Lauren asked if Gloria understood the targeted demographic. Gloria stated she absolutely did. What they were going after were the young and the ambitious. They demanded a work and life balance. They cared about the world around them. JCV's clothes would be socially conscious and environmentally friendly. Gloria said she would use inclusive marketing strategies, and she would make Lauren's vision happen -- if Lauren gave her the opportunity to do so. Chloe had been eavesdropping. She told Kevin that Gloria hadn't held back. Gloria wasn't making it easy for Lauren.
Lauren asked Gloria if she saw any area of JCV that could be improved upon. Gloria said she did because not every division was perfect. Gloria said the first thing she would focus on would be accessories. She wanted to find a fashion designer who could create statement necklaces -- bold and bright pieces to draw the eye. She said someone who was just starting out wouldn't be able to afford the whole JCV ensemble, but they could afford a piece of jewelry that would make their outfit pop. Lauren agreed. Lauren agreed to let Gloria try it on a temporary basis and see what happened. Gloria said she needed to make sure her assistant duties were covered, and then she would dive in as interim president of JCV. Gloria left.
After Gloria left, Lauren approach Chloe and Kevin to share her news, but Kevin stated they already knew. Lauren asked if they thought she was crazy for hiring Gloria. Chloe thought it was a great idea. She said Gloria had some great ideas, and the interim gig might become permanent. Lauren said she was going to take her time before committing to making Gloria permanent as head of JCV. She'd learned that the hard way with Sally. Lauren wished Chloe had considered that before she'd hired Sally.
Lauren told Chloe she was very concerned. She had really wanted Sally to work out, but then Sally had shown her true colors. Lauren was afraid Chloe had made the same mistake Lauren had. Chloe assured Lauren she'd gone into it with her eyes wide open. Chloe claimed she understood Sally's ambitions and that Sally had admitted her error in judgment. Lauren stated that what Sally had done had gone beyond an error in judgment.
Chloe told Lauren she felt that she and Sally were kindred spirits and that Sally was trying to move her life forward. Chloe stated that Sally deserved that chance. Lauren agreed in principle; however, she didn't believe Sally would change.
Later, Kevin commented that Chloe appeared to be off since her chat with Lauren. He asked if Chloe had doubts about Sally. Chloe said she had a lot of doubts about everyone, including herself. Chloe thought she could stop Sally from going to the dark side as if Chloe was a paragon of virtue. She asked Kevin how she could believe that she, Chelsea, and Adam could be the guiding forces in Sally's life, especially with their combined rap sheets. Chloe said they were like the legions of doom.
Kevin told Chloe that Adam was a super villain, but Chloe hadn't given herself enough credit. Despite what had happened in her past and his own colorful history, they'd become upstanding citizens with driving careers. He said people were capable of change, and if Chloe thought Sally could change, then Chloe needed to go with that. He said if Sally had been good at her job at Fenmore's, she would do a good job at Newman Media. Chloe agreed. She said personal and professional lives were separate entities, and Sally had said she wouldn't seek revenge against Phyllis.
Kevin received a text message from Rey that he had a lead on Mariah. Kevin rushed out.
Phyllis arrived at the Abbotts', and Jack told her that Summer had loved Phyllis' gift. Phyllis wanted to know about Kyle and Summer and how they were doing with Harrison. Jack said their kids were doing splendidly. They had made Harrison feel at home, he and Kyle had worked out the logistics of Kyle running Jabot from Milan, and Summer was shining at Marchetti. Phyllis wasn't pleased. She told Jack she was pleased for Summer, Kyle, and Harrison; however, she wanted to know why they couldn't be happily in love in Genoa City.
Jack told Phyllis that Summer had a fabulous job that she loved. Phyllis admitted she was being selfish. Phyllis claimed she'd seen the melancholy in Jack's eyes when he'd taken Harrison to Italy. Phyllis asked why Jack couldn't admit it was a loss for him. Jack denied that it was a loss because he could fly to Italy anytime to see Kyle and Harrison. Phyllis claimed it wasn't the same as having Kyle and Harrison at home every day. She wanted to know why Jack couldn't admit it was hard for him. Jack said it was a lot harder than he'd wanted to admit. Jack invited Phyllis to go with him.
When Nick arrived at the ranch, Victor informed Nick and Nikki that he'd had an investigator searching for Mariah and that he would pass on any information as soon as he knew anything. Nikki said they were doing everything they could to make sure Mariah returned home safely.
Victor told Nick and Nikki they might have found some potentially interesting information about Ashland's past. Nikki asked Victor to confirm that Ashland had been mentored by a woman, and after she'd died, Ashland had bought the two stations from her. Victor stated it had been Ashland's first big move in the business world. Those two stations had become the foundation of Ashland's company. Nick claimed there didn't appear to be anything suspicious about that. Victor said that the people who had been approached had been very reluctant to talk about the relationship between Ashland and that woman.
Nick told Victor it appeared to be a non-issue and public knowledge because Ashland hadn't worked very hard to hide anything, or Victor's P.I. wouldn't have found the information so easily. Nikki felt they needed to accept that Ashland didn't have skeletons in his closet worth mentioning. Victor said if they didn't find anything, then he would agree with her. Nikki said it seemed Victor was hoping to find something. She asked if he wanted to destroy Victoria's marriage.
Victor told Nikki they needed to put the issue to rest, and he wasn't interested in ruining Victoria and Ashland's relationship. He was happy for Victoria, and he wanted her to be happy. Ashland was a good man and good for Victoria; however, he also didn't want Victoria going into the marriage blindly, not knowing what Ashland was all about. If the investigation turned up nothing, they could enjoy a wedding in Tuscany.
Nick told Victor he wondered if they should continue investigating Ashland. Nick said his first instinct had been to dig into Ashland's past; however, he'd asked himself what right any of them had to question Victoria's choices. He asked if they were begging for trouble. Nikki felt they were. She said the worst-case scenario would be that Ashland died too soon. Victor didn't want Victoria to find out there was something very dark in Ashland's past after she married him. Nikki said it was in the past, and what was important was the man Ashland was at that moment, because that was who Victoria was marrying.
At home, Ashland told someone on the phone he'd been prepared for something like that to happen, and he would deal with it. Victoria asked what Ashland needed to deal with. Ashland said the call had been from someone who had worked for him at one of his first media stations. Ashland said the guy was retired and hadn't been in the business for years. Recently, he'd been questioned by a reporter about Ashland. Victoria thought it would have been at Billy's request for another ChancComm article, but Ashland wondered if it had been Newman Media doing some digging.
Victoria told Ashland that Adam was hungry for headlines. Victoria said Adam had told her Newman Media would be launching in a few days. Ashland felt Victor was trying to protect his daughter; even though he'd given his word that he supported them, but he could still be doing his due diligence. Ashland claimed he'd gotten used to people being overly interested in his life; however, it would bother him if Victoria heard anything about him from someone other than him. He said he wanted to be the one to tell her everything about his life.
Ashland told Victoria that in his younger years, when he'd been starting out, he'd worked for an older woman who'd taken him under her wing and mentored him. After her husband had died, she'd taken charge of the business. When she'd died years later, Ashland said he'd bought the two stations from her, and that was what had begun his media empire. Victoria asked if Ashland had had a more personal relationship with that woman. Ashland denied it. He said she'd been a lovely and bright woman who'd mentored him -- and nothing more.
Victoria told Ashland she wasn't threatened by something that had taken place decades in the past. She was only interested in the path he'd taken to become the man he was. Ashland said he was happy Victoria would be by his side for the next chapter in his life.
Victoria arrived at the ranch, and she asked if Victor had started an investigation into Ashland's past. She said Ashland had nothing to hide. She claimed that she and Victor had gotten to a very good place, and she hoped that wouldn't change. She asked Victor to leave things alone.
Jack took Phyllis to the park. Over iced coffee, Jack told Phyllis not to focus on the fact that they were without their kids. They could plan a trip to visit them and make a regular thing of it. Jokingly, Phyllis suggested that Jabot buy Marchetti and move their offices to Genoa City. They laughed.
Sally rounded the corner and stopped dead in her tracks when she saw Jack and Phyllis. Phyllis spotted Sally and told Jack they had company. Sally commented how nice it was that Phyllis and Jack seemed to be joined at the hip lately. Phyllis said she was spending time with a friend whom she trusted. She was sure that was a foreign concept to Sally. Sally was about to comment when Jack stood up and suggested that Sally move along. Sally left.
Phyllis apologized to Jack. She claimed that Sally brought out the worst in her. Jack wished they could rise above their baser instincts and move on. Phyllis said she would try to not let Sally get to her.
At Crimson Lights, Nick left a message for Phyllis, saying he hoped they could have lunch together. He asked her to call him back. Sally arrived, and she'd overheard Nick's call. Sally told Nick that Phyllis wasn't available because she was with Jack, a place she always seemed to be lately.
Kevin met with Rey, who showed Kevin the surveillance footage. Kevin hoped it was the break they needed because they needed to find the "son of a bitch" who had taken Mariah. Kevin said they had to wait to see Stitch on the video. That would lead them to the guy buying the protein bars.
In her locked room, Mariah looked at the camera and begged her captor to save the baby. As she worked through her contractions, she told her captor she needed help. Mariah told Bowie she was about to give birth without a doctor or medical care. She knew Bowie wanted out but asked him to relax. She had another contraction.
Mariah told Bowie she'd known she would go into labor; however, she'd had no idea how things would turn out. All she'd wanted to do had been to help Abby and Chance. She giggled when she told Bowie that after she'd gotten pregnant, the smell of her shampoo or peaches had made her life miserable for a while. After she'd become trapped in that room, she'd begun thinking about everything in a very different light. She told Bowie he'd kept her sane, and she hoped she'd done the same for him. She told Bowie he was loved. She vowed that she didn't throw that term around lightly.
Mariah told Bowie that growing up, she hadn't had a lot of love. She said she'd been really bad at giving love, and there was only a handful of people she truly loved. Through tears, she told Bowie they would be fine because she protected the people she loved with her life. Mariah breathed through another contraction. She wished Bowie would take her advice and stay inside a little longer. Mariah said they needed to be prepared, but she had no idea how to do that.
Mariah began gathering things like bottled water. She tried to relax. She began singing the lullaby Tessa had written for Bowie, and she asked if Bowie remembered Tessa's song. She reached into a drawer and pulled out clean towels. She sobbed and said she missed Tessa.
Mariah told Bowie that Tessa had probably finished writing his lullaby. She wished Tessa was there to sing it to him. She asked if Bowie could imagine the parties they would attend once they got out of their prison. There would be lots of music and a huge celebration. With another contraction, Mariah sat on the bed. Her contractions had intensified.
Mariah had changed into a housecoat. She told Bowie she'd done everything she could to be prepared for his arrival. The next contraction was so intense that Mariah slid to the floor.
At the Chancellor home, Victor assured Abby that his security team was working with the police department in an attempt to locate Mariah. Abby told Victor she'd been shaken up by Devon's suspicions about Stitch. Victor asked if Devon believed Stitch might have had something to do with Mariah's disappearance. Abby said Devon thought it could be possible. Abby didn't know what to believe because Stitch had been so helpful. He'd been a shoulder for her to lean on and a great listener. Victor thought it was all very strange; however, he understood that Stitch had been a comfort to Abby.
Abby told Victor there had been a couple of times she'd felt Stitch had been trying to rekindle what they'd once had, and perhaps he'd exaggerated the prospect of becoming the chief of surgery at Memorial as an excuse to move back to Genoa City. She said that, separately, it had all seemed innocuous, but looking at the situation as a whole, she wondered if Devon was right. Victor suddenly recalled Stitch saying that with Chance gone, he was concerned about Abby being alone. Victor said it had puzzled him, and at that time, he'd felt compelled to remind Stitch that Abby was married.
Abby told Victor that Stitch's timing was strange. Stitch had returned to Genoa City right before Mariah had gone missing. Abby asked Victor if Stitch could have had something to do with Mariah's disappearance. She hated thinking about Stitch that way. Victor said Abby needed to consider all the possibilities. She had to ignore everyone's feelings when it concerned the security of her child.
Victor asked Abby what Stitch had told her about his life in Iowa. Abby said that he'd been working in a hospital in Iowa City and that Max's condition had deteriorated. Victor asked what Stitch's motive would have been and why he would have done such a thing. Abby claimed the fewer reasons they could find about Stitch's motivation, the less likely Stitch had been behind Mariah's disappearance. Abby didn't think it was about money, unless Max's condition had caused Stitch to go into debt, but there hadn't been a ransom demand. Abby said Stitch could have simply asked her for the money, and she would have gladly given it to him, regardless of what Max had done to her.
Victor asked Abby if it could it have been revenge over Abby divorcing Stitch, if it hadn't been about the money. Abby claimed she would have picked up on that because she'd recently spent a lot of time with Stitch. Victor asked how much time Abby had spent with Stitch. Abby claimed it had been a few hours. Abby suddenly realized that if Stitch had been behind Mariah's abduction, it meant that Mariah had been locked up since Stitch's arrival. Abby wondered if there was someone with Mariah to make sure she and the baby had everything they needed. She hoped Mariah hadn't been alone and terrified.
Denise Tolliver arrived at Devon's. She told Devon she hadn't been able to uncover anything new about Mariah's disappearance. Devon told Denise that Stitch had seen an old man stocking up on Mariah's favorite protein bars. The guy had been average height with grey hair, and his shopping list had been written on a note pad with storks on it -- the same as Mariah had. Denise sensed some skepticism from Devon. Devon felt the information wasn't going to lead to some old man. He was concerned about Abby's ex.
Devon told Denise that Stitch had suddenly shown up in town, he'd found reasons to spend time with Abby, and he casually brought up stories from their romantic past. Denise felt that was a little creepy; however, she felt that the part about a job at Memorial was a red flag. Devon said Stitch had wanted to move back to town because he'd gotten the chief of surgery position, but Nate, Devon's cousin, had actually been hired for that position, not Stitch. He said some things weren't adding up. Abby seemed to trust Stitch, and she'd found comfort in having him around during such a stressful time. Denise said Stitch was there to offer Abby his shoulder to cry on. Devon hoped he was wrong and that Stitch was only being the supportive ex.
Denise told Devon she wanted to learn more about Ben "Stitch" Rayburn. The one thing she'd learned as a PI was to never ignore gut feelings.
At Crimson Lights, Kevin and Rey watched the surveillance video. They were able to see Stitch and another customer, a woman. Kevin switched to a camera at the entrance. Suddenly, the footage disappeared. Rey noted the footage cut out right before their suspect might have walked through the door. Kevin said the app and the camera were working, but the footage was gone. Kevin noticed a time gap of 37 seconds. Rey asked if it was a glitch or a problem with the camera -- or if someone had altered the video in an attempt to hide something.
Kevin told Rey he'd spotted an old man in the footage, but the clarity wasn't great. They noticed that the old man's cart had been empty when Stitch had paid for his purchases and left. Rey stated there was no way Stitch would have known what the old man had bought. Kevin suggested they look at footage from the day before and the day after; perhaps they had missed something. Rey stated that Stitch had made up the whole story.
Kevin told Rey that Stitch was a stand-up guy and a doctor. Rey said doctors sometimes committed crimes. Kevin wondered why, if Stitch was behind it, he would suggest they look at the footage when Stitch's information could easily be disproven. Kevin asked why Stitch would mess with the video and what he would gain from that. Rey claimed Stitch had sent them on a wild goose chase to keep them distracted from what was really going on. Kevin received a text message indicating the encryption on Mariah's phone had been broken, and they had pinpointed Mariah's location.
In the park, Sharon told Tessa that being in Mariah's room had been a little overwhelming. In tears, Sharon said she'd been trying to stay optimistic and praying that Rey would find Mariah and bring her home, but waiting wasn't easy. Tessa suggested that they visualize Mariah returning home -- healthy, safe, and strong. Tessa stated that Mariah had to get through her ordeal.
Tearing up, Tessa told Sharon that when she'd been alone, she'd spoken to Mariah and told her how much she'd missed her and that she would do anything to find her. She said it was like she and Mariah had been communicating, and Tessa had felt Mariah's presence because Mariah had needed spiritual backup. Tessa said she didn't have the money to hire a private investigator or the power of two prominent families like Abby. Tessa felt like she was sitting on the sidelines, and all she could do was send Mariah her strength and comfort to let Mariah know that everyone cared about her and that they were doing everything they could to bring her home. Tessa suggested that she and Sharon remember the good times with Mariah to let her know they loved and missed her.
Sharon told Tessa that when she'd discovered that Mariah was her daughter, Mariah hadn't wanted anything to do with Sharon until their first Christmas. Mariah had been obsessing about what gift to give Sharon. In the end, Mariah had given Sharon the perfect gift. Mariah had addressed her as "mom."
Tessa told Sharon she remembered when things between her and Mariah had been really bad. Mariah had shown up at Tessa's concert and had given her an extremely public apology. She said it had taken guts for Mariah to do that, and the same guts were going to bring Mariah home. Sharon said Mariah had always been a fighter. Tessa said Mariah had never given up on her, even when Tessa had pushed her away.
Sharon told Tessa that she and Mariah had missed out on a lot of each other's lives before they'd been reunited. Finding Mariah after all those years had been a great gift. Sharon said she'd really had to convince Mariah that she was loved, and it had taken a lot before Mariah had finally believed it. Tessa said Mariah knew Sharon loved her. Sharon hoped Mariah could feel that love.
Tessa told Sharon it was a miracle that she and Mariah were still together because they had both made so many mistakes. Sharon wanted them to focus on the present, not the past, and she said that Tessa was very much a part of Mariah's life. Sharon was very happy about that. Tessa admitted that she was aware she'd given Sharon a million reasons to keep Tessa away from Mariah. Tessa was still ashamed of some of the things she'd done. Sharon said that Tessa had moved far beyond them. Tessa said Mariah had helped her understand and accept her past. Sharon claimed that Tessa and Mariah had evolved together.
Tessa told Sharon that Mariah had taught her "so much" about love, trust, and forgiveness. However, she would never forgive whoever was holding Mariah captive. She hoped they would get what was coming to them. Tessa felt they needed to get back to the house, but Sharon suggested they say a prayer first. Tessa thought that was a beautiful idea. Sharon prayed for Mariah and the baby to be protected and to get through the ordeal safely. She also asked for the ability for Mariah and the baby to be found, because they were loved by so many. Tessa swore she'd spend the rest of her life making sure Mariah was safe, loved, and happy, when she was finally found.
Devon arrived at Abby's. Victor asked if Devon was concerned about Stitch's behavior. Abby told Devon she'd told Victor about his suspicions, and she couldn't ignore the possibility that Devon might be right. Devon said he hoped he was wrong about Stitch because Stitch was a decent guy, and he'd been supportive of Abby. Devon said he'd spoken to his investigator, Denise, and she felt that Stitch should definitely be investigated. He said she was going to focus on Stitch.
Victor told Abby and Devon that they should confront Stitch, but Abby didn't think that was a good idea. Devon agreed with Victor because they needed answers immediately. Devon was certain that even if Stitch wasn't involved, he would understand why they had questioned him. They were desperate. Victor said if Devon's suspicions were correct, time was of the essence.
Victor and Devon suggested that Abby remain at home while they went to see Stitch at the Grand Phoenix. Victor and Devon felt they would get an honest response from him if Abby wasn't there. Victor promised he would tell Abby everything. Victor and Devon left. Abby sent a text message to Stitch.
Stitch was having a drink at Society when he received a text message from Abby: "Can you please come by the house." He smiled and left.
Stitch arrived at Abby's and asked if there was any news. She said no, but she was thankful he'd seen that man in the store. Stitch said there might still be a chance that his lead would pay off. Abby claimed she wasn't sure about anything anymore. She said she felt better when Stitch was around. She hugged him. In tears, Abby told Stitch that Devon and Victor had been there earlier, but there was nothing they could do. She said the longer Mariah was missing, the more frightened Abby became.
Abby told Stitch that Tessa could sense something was wrong with Mariah. Abby said she could sense something, as well. She felt her baby crying for her, and his crying broke her heart. She said she had no idea where Mariah was, if Mariah could take care of the baby, or if Mariah had enough food. Abby cried that she'd never been so scared. Crying, Abby said she would give up everything and pay whatever ransom to get her baby back. She wanted to stop feeling so helpless and going through the ordeal all alone. Stitch said he was there for anything she needed, and he hugged her. He asked her to tell him what to do.
Abby told Stitch she shouldn't lean on him because it wasn't fair to him. Stitch claimed he wanted to help Abby through the crises. Abby said that even after all the years apart, there was still something between them. Stitch said he'd always felt very connected to Abby. Abby asked if he'd returned to town to be with her and if there had ever been a job for him at the Memorial. She said it had been such a blessing having him back in town. She wanted to help Stitch by being his sounding board. She said he could tell her anything. She wouldn't get angry. Stitch couldn't believe how understanding Abby was.
Abby told Stitch she could see the guilt in his eyes. She said he felt bad because of what had happened when they'd been married. She said what had happened with Max hadn't been Stitch's fault. Stitch cried that he was a doctor, and he should have seen that Max had had a problem and what he'd been capable of. Abby said it hadn't been Stitch's fault they'd lost the baby. It had been a painful time for both of them. She knew how deeply Stitch had felt the loss of their baby, so he understood how she felt at that moment because she was about to lose another baby. Stitch said he wouldn't let that happen.
Stitch admitted to Abby that he'd returned to Genoa City for her. He said his life had been very difficult since he'd left town. He had wanted to make things right, and he wanted some kind of redemption. He honestly believed Abby was the only one who could put him back on course. Abby said they could make things right for each other and that everything had been forgiven. She asked Stitch to tell her where Mariah and the baby were.
Victor and Devon arrived at the Grand Phoenix. Devon ended a call with Denise. He told Victor that Stitch had been fired from his job in Iowa months earlier. Rey arrived and said they had been able to track Mariah's phone to the hotel but not to a suite or wing. Devon suggested they check Stitch's room.
Rey, Victor, and Devon entered Stitch's room. Devon dialed Mariah's number. They heard Mariah's phone ring in Stitch's bag. Victor stated that it had been Stitch the whole time.
In Stitch's room at the Grand Phoenix, Rey asked Devon to call Mariah's cell phone again. Rey pulled the phone out of a duffel bag, and Devon recognized the case as Mariah's. Victor concluded that Stitch was Mariah's kidnapper. Devon became incensed that Stitch had been there for weeks, sending Mariah's friends and family messages from her phone. Victor expected that Stitch would be arrested when he returned to the hotel, but Rey's primary goal was to find Mariah. Devon thought they should call Abby, since she could be in danger.
At Crimson Lights, Sharon thanked Tessa for going on a walk with her, since it was nice to have someone who understood what she was going through. Tessa admitted that Sharon had helped her, too. Sharon imagined that if Mariah were there, she'd crack a joke about the bonding they'd been doing. Sharon received a text message from Rey, who informed her that the police had been able to break through the block on Mariah's phone and that they'd tracked its location to the Grand Phoenix. Sharon informed Tessa that the police had found Mariah's phone in Stitch's room.
Rey put out an APB on Stitch, and Devon was discouraged when he continued to get Stitch's voicemail. Devon left a message, claiming that he wanted to talk to Stitch about ways they could help Abby. Rey contemplated why Stitch would kidnap Mariah, and Victor suspected that Stitch was jealous because he would have had a life with Abby if it hadn't been for his son. Victor recounted that Max had deliberately set a trip wire on the stairs of the Athletic Club during Abby's baby shower, causing her to fall and suffer a miscarriage. Victor added that as a result, Abby was no longer able to carry a baby to term because of the scar tissue.
Rey imagined that the incident had been devastating for both Abby and Stitch, and it had eventually led to their divorce. Devon groused that Stitch had shown up out of nowhere and started spending time with Abby, trying to be supportive. Rey recognized that Stitch's tip about seeing the kidnapper in the convenience store could have been the turning point of the case, and Victor guessed that Stitch had provided it to earn Abby's undying gratitude. Rey mentioned that he'd seen the same dynamic in other criminal cases, particularly in arson investigations. Devon guessed that someone would start a fire and then step in as the one to save the day.
Rey suspected that if Stitch had Mariah, his intention was to be the good guy whose heroics led to a happy ending. Victor struggled with wrapping his head around Stitch being involved, since Victor had respected the guy. Victor imagined that Stitch had become totally unhinged to do something like that, and there was no way of knowing what Stitch was up to then.
Meanwhile, Tessa pushed Sharon to call Rey to see if there had been any progress, but Sharon stressed that Rey had told them that he'd call when he knew more. Tessa groaned that the waiting was killing her, since Mariah could be right around the corner. Sharon grappled with the fact that Stitch might have been involved, and she didn't want to jump to any conclusions. Sharon pointed out that Mariah's phone could have been planted in Stitch's room.
Tessa couldn't stop thinking about how Stitch had been there when they'd opened up about how worried they were about Mariah. Tessa recalled that Stitch had listened to their deepest fears and their plan to trick the kidnapper into thinking they believed Mariah was just taking a break. Sharon reasoned that it didn't prove anything, but Tessa realized that Stitch had always been one step ahead of them because they'd told him exactly what they were going to do.
In the Grand Phoenix lobby, Victor ended a call with his security team. Rey warned Victor not to try to be a hero by taking the law into his own hands if his team found Stitch first. Victor expected the GCPD to find out where the "bloody bastard" was, and he headed out. Devon informed Rey that Denise had found out that Stitch hadn't been living in Iowa City as he'd claimed, and Rey assumed that Stitch had never left town. Rey planned to run a check on Stitch's credit cards to see if he could find a pattern.
Kevin called Rey to report that he'd been able to retrieve a glitch-free version of the footage from the convenience store, and it didn't line up with Stitch's story. Devon correctly surmised that there had been no older man buying protein bars, but he was baffled about why Stitch had gone to the trouble of making something up, knowing the police would investigate. Rey figured that most stores would have recorded over the footage by then; however, they'd gotten lucky, and all the evidence was pointing directly at Stitch. Devon bemoaned that it wasn't pointing to where Stitch was or where he was keeping Mariah.
At the Chancellor mansion, Abby begged Stitch to tell her where Mariah and the baby were, and she promised she wouldn't hold it against him. He looked at her in confusion and questioned why he'd know where Mariah was. Abby ignored an incoming call from her dad. Stitch became incensed that Abby would even think he'd been behind Mariah's disappearance, and he got up to leave. Abby pleaded with him to stay, even if it was only to tell her how wrong she was.
Stitch pointed out that Abby had just told him what a good friend he'd been, and she insisted that he had been. He argued that he'd done his best to be there for her, and she said she appreciated everything he'd done. He demanded to know why she'd accused him of doing something so horrible, and she claimed that she was just worried about her baby and her friend. Stitch wanted to help her find them, and Abby asked if it was for the sake of the baby they'd lost. She swore that she wanted to help him, too, since he'd been "through hell" and had lost "so much."
Stitch regretted that he'd said anything about it, but Abby assured him that there was nothing to be ashamed of because everyone went through hard times. He griped that he hadn't expected her to react by jumping to the wrong conclusions, and Abby apologized if she'd done that. "If?" he testily asked, and he questioned whether she still thought he'd had something to do with Mariah's disappearance. Abby pointed out that Mariah had gone missing right after he'd returned to town, and he'd also claimed that he had a position at Memorial when he hadn't.
Abby referred to Stitch's story about the notebook with the storks, and Stitch maintained that the older guy in the store had had the paper, not him. Abby whimpered that she wasn't sure she believed his story anymore, and she theorized that he'd only told her those things because he'd seen her falling apart. Stitch received a text message from Devon, and he realized that Devon thought Stitch was behind the kidnapping, too. Abby reiterated that Mariah's friends were just worried about her, and she cited Mariah carrying Abby's baby as just one example of how kind and caring Mariah was.
Stitch contended that people wanted to do nice things for Abby because she was a light in a very dark world. Abby guessed that his world had been dark lately, and she implored him to talk to her. Stitch explained that Genoa City represented a time in his life when he'd still had hope, and he'd wanted to remember that feeling because he'd lived a long time without it. He shared that it had felt like nothing good would ever happen for him, and he'd wanted to feel hopeful again, like anything was possible.
Stitch continued that he'd needed to find a way back to his past, and Abby pressed to know if he meant his past with her. He conceded that he didn't have any right to expect that from her, since he'd been lucky to share a life with her once, but he'd been unable to protect her. Abby reminded him that what had happened between them hadn't been his fault, and she was sorry if she'd ever said that. She chalked it up to her pain and grief talking, and he compared it to what he was going through right then, since he was out of his head with pain.
Abby sympathized that Stitch had been so unhappy, and she imagined it could drive anyone to do desperate things. He called them unforgivable things, but she insisted it wasn't true because she would never judge him. She swore that she didn't want anything bad to happen to him because she knew he would never hurt anyone, and he murmured that she knew the real him. Abby likened it to how he knew her, since Stitch had known when she'd been upset about Mariah and had comforted her. Abby pointed out that he'd known everything would be all right because he'd known Mariah had been fine and was going to return home.
Stitch confessed that it had been his plan. He lamented that he hadn't meant for things to go that far, and he'd intended to let Mariah go. Abby counseled that it would be better for that to happen sooner rather than later, but he berated himself for screwing things up when he'd just been trying to get closer to Abby. Abby promised to be a lifeline for him, but she was adamant that they clean up the whole mess first by making sure Mariah and the baby were okay. Abby asked Stitch to take her to them.
Rey called Sharon and inquired whether she'd been in touch with Abby. Sharon replied that she hadn't heard anything in hours, and she asked if he knew anything more about Stitch. Rey recapped Stitch's lies and said he was convinced Stitch had been involved. He added that he didn't know where Stitch was, but he'd issued an APB. Rey cautioned Sharon not to confront Stitch if she saw him.
Devon revealed that Denise had found something, and Rey told Sharon he'd be in touch soon and hung up. Devon shared that there was a house in town that had been rented two months earlier to a Ben Russell -- Stitch's birth name -- and that the address was on the same street as the convenience store. The men rushed out.
Sharon was stunned that Stitch had done something that vicious, and she wondered what had happened to make him change that drastically. Tessa snarled that it was nothing compared to what she'd do if she got ahold of him, and she ranted that Mariah had spent days terrified and alone while he'd tried to convince them nothing was wrong by sending phony text messages. Sharon hoped Stitch revealed where Mariah was when the police found him. Tessa wished they could aid in the search, and she asked if Rey had reached Abby. Sharon tried to contact Abby again.
Victor pounded on the Chancellor mansion door and rang the doorbell incessantly, but there was no response. He found the door unlocked, entered the house, and discovered Abby's cell phone in the living room. He answered a call from Rey and informed the detective what he'd found at the mansion. Victor was shocked to hear about the rental property.
In the room where she was being held, Mariah suffered another contraction and anticipated that she'd be meeting the baby face to face soon. She checked the clock and considered it good that they still had some time to kill, since it would give the maniac who'd kidnapped them time to do the right thing and take her to a hospital. She yelled out that her captor didn't want to be responsible if something went wrong, and she questioned what the purpose of the vitamins and protein bars had been if the kidnapper was going to abandon them then. She hoped that her captor had gone to call someone and that help would be there any minute. She grappled with the possibility that she'd been left there to give birth all alone.
Mariah regretted that Bowie wouldn't have much of a welcome wagon waiting for him, but she reasoned that women had been giving birth for thousands of years, even before doctors. She groaned in pain and pledged not to think about how scary it was. She pointed out that she had towels and hot water, even though she didn't know why movies always said to boil water when having a baby. She steeled herself for another contraction. "If anybody's listening, please help," she cried.
Stitch led Abby to the room where he'd been holding Mariah. Abby burst in and discovered Mariah in labor. Abby swore that everything would be okay, but Mariah questioned whether her friend was real. Mariah referred to the dreams she'd had of people rescuing her, and she worried that she might be making Abby up. Abby confirmed that she was very real and that she wasn't going anywhere without Mariah. Mariah sobbed that she'd been scared, and Abby replied that everyone else had been, too. Mariah cried that she'd thought they'd never find her, but there was still time to get to the hospital. Abby offered to take her.
Mariah was relieved when Devon showed up. Abby explained that they were preparing to go to the hospital because Mariah was in labor. She added that Stitch had taken her there, but she had no idea where he'd gone because Mariah was her priority. Rey joined them and reported that the house was clear, and Devon suggested that Rey search for Stitch while Devon stayed with the ladies. Abby helped Mariah to her feet, but Mariah yelled out in pain and collapsed back on the bed. Abby noted that the contractions had gotten very close together, and Mariah announced that they weren't going to make it to the hospital because the baby was on its way then.
Sharon picked up a call from Rey and learned that Mariah had been found. Sharon told Tessa that Mariah was safe and that Abby was with her. Tessa jumped to her feet to get to Mariah, but Sharon told her to hold on, as Rey told her more. Sharon relayed that Mariah was in labor and that Abby was taking her to Memorial. Sharon called Victor and informed him that Mariah and Abby were safe. He inquired about the baby, and she hoped he was ready to be a grandfather again. He smiled.
Mariah fretted that the EMTs wouldn't get there in time, but Abby soothingly stated that she'd watched videos and read books about childbirth, so she was very prepared. Abby urged Mariah to try to relax, and Devon told Mariah to try not to push. Devon pulled Nate up on a video chat, and Nate assured Mariah that he'd be there to help until the EMTs got her to the hospital. Abby was sure that Mariah's body knew what to do, but Mariah groaned that it really hurt.
Nate coached Mariah how to breathe, and Devon gushed that he was in awe of how Mariah had taken care of herself and the baby through the whole ordeal. Abby thanked God for Mariah being her best friend and her baby's fierce protector. Mariah suspected the baby would be a "cool little dude," and Devon couldn't wait to meet him. Mariah warned that it would be sooner than they thought, and Devon held Mariah as she pushed. With words of encouragement from Abby, Devon, and Nate, Mariah gave birth to a baby boy.
Abby declared the baby perfect, and she fawned over his fingernails. Devon remarked that the rest of the baby was just as adorable, but Mariah worried that the baby hadn't cried because his lungs weren't mature enough. Nate walked Abby through how to clear the newborn's airway with her finger, and the baby began to cry. Devon admired the tot's pipes, and Abby called it the sweetest sound she'd ever heard.
Devon wrapped the baby in a blanket, and the boy stopped crying. Mariah observed that Devon had the magic touch, and she was grateful when she heard the ambulance siren. "Happy birthday, baby Chancellor," Abby declared. Abby and Devon sat next to Mariah on the bed, and they all looked down at their bundle of joy together.