Devon and Nick enjoyed coffee on the patio at Crimson Lights and discussed the launch of Newman Media. Nick proclaimed the launch to have been a huge success, and he credited Adam with mentioning the tie-in with New Hope in his speech. Devon apologized for having missed the party. Nick chuckled and recalled that Devon couldn't have envisioned taking part in delivering Abby and Chance's baby, which he'd helped create. Devon said the hardest part was trying to wrap his mind around what Stitch had done. Nick agreed and told Devon he was a real hero.
Billy ran into Victoria at Crimson Lights. Billy reported that he'd behaved himself at the Newman Media launch party. Victoria assessed Billy's condition and noted that he had no black eye and no bruises, and he didn't appear to be hungover. Billy explained that there was a new troublemaker in town named Sally Spectra who wasn't at all hesitant to take on the big dogs. Victoria said Sally and Adam deserved each other. Billy explained that after Sally and Phyllis had begun throwing drinks at each other, Phyllis had dumped a full ice bucket over Sally's head. Victoria said she sided with Phyllis, knowing what Sally had pulled on Summer.
Billy asked Victoria about Ashland. Victoria became defensive and asked Billy why he was still pursuing his Locke story in an effort to make Ashland look bad. Billy didn't mince words and said that he, as well as Victoria, sensed that Ashland was hiding something big. Victoria became irate and told Billy that anyone digging into another person's past would likely find someone willing to trash them. Billy asked Victoria how Ashland had managed to purchase two news stations, noting that there was no record of bank loans or co-investors. Billy suggested Victoria consider the nature of Ashland's relationship with a much older, very wealthy mentor. Victoria gathered her things and ordered Billy to stay out of her life and Ashland's life. As Victoria rushed out the door, Billy asked her what Ashland was hiding.
Nick overheard Billy and Victoria, entered the main dining area from the patio, and said, "What the hell was that about?" Billy said he might have hit a nerve when he'd questioned Victoria about Ashland. Nick reminded Billy that Victoria didn't like to be challenged. After Billy mentioned the mystery behind Ashland's purchase of two media companies, Nick suggested that Ashland's mentor had merely wished to breathe new life into her dead husband's holdings.
Billy challenged Nick to tell him his suspicions were wrong. Victor entered and replied, "You're always wrong, Billy Boy. Besides, this is none of your business." Billy said that despite Victor's attempt to discredit him, he believed they were on the same page. Victor said one of his private investigators had alerted him about Billy sneaking around his private suite at the Grand Phoenix during the party. Before Billy left, he told Nick to think about what he'd said.
After Billy left, Nick said, "You didn't want Billy to know I was the one who told you about the break-in." Victor explained that he needed information from Billy's sources and didn't want to cut off his connections. Nick explained to Victor that he trusted Billy to do everything possible to prevent Ashland from hurting Victoria, just as they all would. Victor admitted he wanted to blow Billy's company out of the water, though he couldn't risk losing access to the information Billy would uncover about Ashland Locke. Nick said that, so far, Billy's investigators hadn't turned up anything more than Victor's had.
Nick agreed with Victor that they all wanted to know how Ashland had come into his sudden windfall, but so far, no one knew the answer to the mystery. Victor vowed to hold off on destroying Billy's company until information about Ashland was revealed. Victor asked Nick if he was in agreement. Nick replied, "Playing the double agent, finding out everything Billy knows, and reporting back to you? I'm in." Victor said there was something about Ashland Locke he didn't trust, and it was important to uncover pertinent information before Victoria's wedding, should there even be a wedding.
In Lily's office at Chancellor Communications, Elena looked over her contract and said she could only imagine what kind of glamourous perks Newman Media might offer to lure her away. Lily expressed surprise when she learned that Newman Media had attempted to steal Elena. Elena explained that Victor had asked her directly if she'd already signed her contract with ChancComm. Lily, taken aback, said she couldn't believe Victor would attempt to poach Elena and declared that the competition had officially begun. After Elena signed her contract, Lily said they were due to take off time to enjoy girl talk.
At the Chancellor mansion, a banner welcoming baby Dominic awaited the newborn's homecoming. Sharon told Victor that Dominic and his entourage should arrive soon. Victor asked about Mariah and learned that Dominic's surrogate had endured a rough time. Victor noted that what Mariah had done for Abby would never be forgotten. Abby answered the doorbell and found Ashley and Nina waiting to shower their new grandson with gifts.
At the hospital, an anxious Mariah asked Abby and Tessa if there had been any word about Stitch. Abby explained that because Stitch had taken Max from his care facility, she doubted Stitch would risk returning to Genoa City. Abby assured Mariah that she'd be safe because Devon had hired extra security to monitor their home. Abby nodded when Mariah said that Dominic would be safe, too. Tessa seemed uneasy about Mariah's fragile state of mind.
After Abby stepped out, Mariah admitted to Tessa that she was anxious and on edge. Tessa noted that most people were thrilled to leave the hospital. Mariah replied, "Yeah, but I just felt so safe here. And Bowie was right down the hall. And when we go back to Abby's, the entire dynamic is going to shift, and I have to remember to start calling him Dominic." Mariah tensed up when Abby returned and excitedly announced that it was time to take the baby boy home.
While Ashley and Nina helped Sharon set out refreshments, Nina said they were lucky their miracle grandchildren had made it safely into the world, despite what Stitch had done. Ashley said she couldn't believe how Stitch had put both the baby and Mariah in such jeopardy. Ashley suggested they focus on the positive. Nina said she wished she could talk to Chance. Victor entered and said he, too, wished Chance could be present to welcome home his son. Nina said she was certain Chance would want them to enjoy a memorable homecoming for Abby, the baby, and Mariah.
Victor welcomed Ashley to the grandparent club. Devon arrived carrying several gifts in both hands. Sharon peered out the window and announced the arrival of the guests of honor. Abby, cradling Dominic, was flanked by Mariah and Tessa when she introduced the newborn to his new home and his family. Mariah seemed hesitant and stood back as the baby drew everyone's attention. Devon watched as Victor told Dominic that his Newman, Abbott, and Chancellor family members all loved him and intended to spoil him.
Mariah appeared to feign a smile when Victor gushed that Abby was a perfect mother. Devon said Mariah deserved credit for keeping herself and the baby safe. Ashley agreed and said she still couldn't comprehend that the Ben Rayburn she'd known had been capable of doing what he'd done. Mariah struggled to respond when Ashley asked about Stitch's motive. Tessa interrupted and said Mariah needed fresh air after having been locked away for so long. After Tessa escorted Mariah out of the room, Sharon urged the others not to disregard the severity of Mariah's ordeal. Abby rocked the baby in her arms, promised to protect him, and vowed never let anyone take him again.
Tessa and Mariah took a walk in the park. Mariah admitted she felt conflicted about everything and couldn't handle the fear she felt in the pit of her stomach. Tessa assured Mariah that she and Dominic were safe. Mariah cried that she was only supposed to have been an incubator and carrier and then simply walk away. Tessa said she understood the difficulty after everything that had happened. Mariah replied, "You know, maybe if I hadn't been locked in that room with Bowie -- sorry, Dominic -- growing inside me, fighting to survive, I wouldn't have this connection." Mariah cried that she'd been the baby's only lifeline, and he'd been hers. Mariah said she thought Dominic felt the same way.
Adam ran into Sally at Chancellor Park. Sally was wearing a body-skimming athletic ensemble that exposed her midriff. Sally admitted it felt awkward facing Adam, who'd rebuffed her after they'd kissed, insisting that romantic overtures were forbidden. Adam replied, "Oh, you mean this awkwardness -- it had nothing to do with your little Champagne and ice battle with Phyllis?" Adam said the event was a success despite the dramatic sideshow. Sally asked Adam if their relationship was in good standing. Adam said they were good.
Chloe happened upon the scene and covertly overheard Sally invite Adam to dinner. Chloe joined Adam and Sally. Sally immediately admitted that she and Phyllis had gotten into it again. Chloe reprimanded Adam for not maintaining control of the party. Adam suggested that Chloe utilize the positive buzz, plus Sally's great idea, on the company's fashion platform.
After Adam left, Sally insisted that nothing had happened between her and Adam after the party. Sally acknowledged she and Adam had only shared an impulsive kiss before Adam had hit the brakes, explaining that he'd done so because he was toxic. Chloe warned that Adam was uniquely diabolical and would find a way to wreck Sally. Sally admitted she was drawn to dangerous relationships. Chloe warned that Adam's son, Connor, still believed that his parents were in a relationship, which meant that an entanglement with Adam would be messy.
As Sally was later walking through the lobby at the Grand Phoenix, she saw Adam standing at the bar. Adam said he'd just met with an advertiser and wasn't stalking Sally. Sally said she'd stopped by to change clothes in the gym because it was closer than going all the way home. Sally asked Adam if she could hit the reset button and go back to the way things had been before the kiss. Adam said he knew Chloe was behind Sally's sudden change of heart.
Sally said she'd previously taken Chloe's warnings with a grain of salt. Adam replied, "What did she say to change your mind?" Sally explained that she wouldn't want to hurt Adam's little boy. Adam admitted Connor was the reason he'd put the brakes on what was happening between them. Sally suggested they could still have a working dinner. Adam's phone rang. He said it was Chelsea, so he had to take the call. Sally muttered that of course he had to.
Ashland entered Society and approached Nate at the bar. Ashland told Nate he was feeling much better, thanks to the supplements Nate had prescribed. Ashland handed Nate a generous check, explaining that it was a donation for the proposed new wing to the hospital. Nate took Ashland up on his offer to have dinner together with Victoria and Elena to discuss the hospital expansion. Victoria entered, and Nate greeted her, explaining that he'd see her again soon.
After Nate left, Ashland told Victoria she seemed distracted. Victoria said she'd run into Billy, who was determined to find something damning in Ashland's past. After Ashland mentioned his donation to the hospital wing, Victoria gazed lovingly at Ashland and said she wished everyone could see him as she did. Victoria said even Billy might have a change of heart and call off his reporters. Victoria told Ashland that Billy had questioned her about how he'd bought the two news stations that had begun his career.
Victoria begged Ashland to be honest and tell her if there was anything Billy might dig up to use against him. Victoria said there couldn't be secrets between them. Ashland assured Victoria there was nothing to worry about; though he admitted he'd been ruthless, he'd never broken the law. Ashland insisted that neither Billy nor anyone else could prove otherwise.
Lily and Elena retreated to the patio at the coffeehouse to talk. Lily explained why it meant so much to her to give jobs to some of the women that had been imprisoned with her. Lily said the hardest part of her ordeal had been being away from her family. Lily added that she hoped Mattie and Charlie might soon return to Genoa City. Elena mentioned her role in temporarily driving Nate and Devon apart. Lily assured Elena she was happy to welcome Elena as part of the family.
Lily and Elena mentioned Abby's newborn baby. Elena, acknowledging the awkward situation, asked if it was wrong to congratulate Devon. Lily recalled that she'd gone through the surrogacy process and felt that everything would work out just fine.
In Chancellor Park, Moses approached Faith, who excitedly shared that Tessa had just sent a text message to let her know Mariah would be at Crimson Lights. Faith couldn't wait to see her sister, and she invited Moses to join her. Moses suspected that Mariah preferred to be around people she was close with after what she'd been through, and he offered to catch up with Faith afterward. Moses planned to start brainstorming about cool ideas for their first date, and Faith said she would see him soon.
Mariah and Tessa entered Crimson Lights, and Sharon remarked that it was a nice surprise. Mariah contended that it wouldn't feel like home until she had her coffeehouse special, and Sharon welcomed her home. Sharon inquired whether Mariah had had a nice time at Abby's. Mariah halfheartedly responded that she had, but she became distracted when she spotted a woman with a baby in a stroller. Mariah didn't notice when Sharon asked questions about the kind of drink Mariah wanted. Sharon wondered what was wrong.
Moments later, Mariah found it reassuring that her drink tasted the same as she remembered. Sharon pressed to know what had been going on with her earlier, and Mariah claimed that she'd just spaced out because everything had been a whirlwind since she'd been rescued. Sharon lectured that she could tell when Mariah had something on her mind, and there was no reason to hold back. Mariah admitted that she'd been struggling to get on top of her emotions after being trapped alone with "Bowie" for such a long time.
Sharon gently pressed to find out how Mariah had spent her time in the room, and Mariah recounted that she'd mostly talked to the baby, making promises to keep him safe and get them out alive. Tessa sympathized that it had been a lot of pressure for Mariah to put on herself, especially when she hadn't known what had been happening. Mariah explained that the baby had been her reason for living before she'd given birth under crazy circumstances, and then he'd gone home with his mother. Sharon realized that Mariah had bonded with the baby and that she felt like something had been taken from her.
Mariah confirmed that her bond with Bowie was real, but she thought she wasn't supposed to feel it because he wasn't her baby. Tessa asserted that it wasn't bad to feel a bond, but Mariah questioned what she was supposed to do with her feelings. Sharon recognized that Mariah would have a lifelong connection with the baby that would never go away, since he wouldn't be there if it hadn't been for Mariah. Mariah pledged to keep reminding herself that his name wasn't Bowie, but Sharon and Tessa argued that it would be a cool nickname that would be a special thing between the two of them one day.
Sharon implored Mariah to be honest with Abby about how she was feeling, but Mariah didn't know if she could. Sharon expected that Abby would be a supportive friend, and Mariah praised Sharon for always having the best advice. Faith burst in and declared that she'd missed Mariah. Sharon and Tessa stepped aside to give Mariah and Faith some time together. Mariah enjoyed hearing Faith's pledge to torture and destroy Stitch, but she thought it would get them both locked away forever. Faith asked where he was, and Mariah reported that he was gone.
Faith shared that her parents hadn't told her much because they hadn't wanted her to freak out, but she was adamant that people didn't have to keep things from her. Mariah referred to the tough year Faith had suffered, but Faith contended that she was stronger because of it, and she wanted to help Mariah. Mariah suggested that they have a girls' night soon, and she promised she would tell Faith everything. Faith assured Mariah that there was no pressure to move on, since the memories wouldn't just go away. Faith advised Mariah to focus on the people who cared about her, and Mariah was impressed with how Faith had become more solid and positive. Mariah contemplated whether it had something to do with Moses. "It has so much to do with him, it's crazy," Faith gushed.
At the Chancellor mansion, Devon stood among the opened gifts from Dominic's homecoming and absentmindedly picked up a baby bootie. Abby entered the room and reported that the man of the hour was napping, and she prepared to break in her new baby monitor. Devon enthused that everyone had had a good time at the party. "Even Mariah?" Abby questioned. Abby worried that Mariah had been going through a hard time -- and not just because of the kidnapping. Abby sensed that Devon was having a hard time, too.
Devon claimed that he was just trying to figure out the best way to support Abby, since being a new mom was uncharted territory for her. She insisted that she was still the same person, but he recognized that while her son was finally there, Chance wasn't. Devon hesitated to be a burden by being there, but he also didn't want to leave Abby hanging. She assured him that he'd never be a burden, and she was grateful that she could talk to him about things that she couldn't address with anyone else. Abby hoped Devon didn't start hiding things from her because he was afraid she'd be overwhelmed. They made a deal to be open and honest with one another.
Devon wondered what Abby had seen that had caused her concern for Mariah. Abby recalled that Mariah had been inconsolable when she'd awakened from her nightmare, and she suspected that Mariah was pretending to be okay when she really wasn't. Devon thought it was understandable, given what Mariah had been through. Abby envisioned Marah being locked in a tiny room, trying to protect Dominic and having no one to talk to. Abby imagined that it had been overwhelming for Mariah to give birth and hand the baby over.
Devon pointed out that Stitch had kept Mariah from spending time with her friends and family in the final weeks of her pregnancy, and he surmised that she still had things to work through. Devon assured Abby that it had nothing to do with her or the baby and everything to do with what Stitch had put Mariah through. Devon urged Abby to sit down with Mariah and encourage her to open up, since he believed Mariah would appreciate knowing how concerned Abby was about her.
Later, Devon wrapped up a call and wished he'd gotten better news. Abby guessed he'd heard from Christine. Devon revealed that Chance had been forced to go deeper undercover, so Christine hadn't been able to get any messages to him. A disappointed Abby wailed that Chance deserved to know his son had been born and that the baby sleeping upstairs deserved to meet his father. Devon reminded Abby that Chance wanted nothing more than to get home to her, but she whined that it was "so damn hard."
Devon rationalized that it was a good thing that Chance didn't know about Dominic being born, since the news might have distracted Chance and made the situation even more dangerous. Devon continued that it was probably best not to make Chance feel even more guilty than he already did about not being there for Abby. Abby mused that Devon always knew the right thing to say.
At Newman Media, Rey appeared in Adam's doorway, and Adam demanded to know what Rey was trying to arrest him for that time. Rey dropped off Connor's baseball cap and explained that he'd run into the boy at the park earlier. Rey mentioned that Connor had said he'd had fun at lacrosse camp, and Rey had noticed the forgotten cap after Connor had left with the nanny. Adam remembered when he'd first bought it for Connor, and his son hadn't taken it off for a week. Adam imagined that Connor would have been crushed if he'd lost it, and he was sure Connor would want to thank Rey.
Adam added that it sounded like Rey deserved props for tracking Mariah down, but Rey considered Devon to be the real hero for not letting go of his bad feeling about Stitch. Adam remarked that he'd had no idea things had gotten that far off course, and Rey noted that Adam seemed like he'd been expecting updates, like he was part of the inner circle. Adam pointed out that he cared, and Rey questioned whether Adam cared about Mariah or Sharon. Adam taunted that it had been the longest conversation he and Rey had had without a mention of Sharon, but it was clear Rey's jealousy was constant.
Adam huffed that not everything in the world revolved around Sharon, and he pointed out that the baby was his nephew. Rey sarcastically stated that he'd forgotten how close Adam and Abby were, and Adam insisted that he also cared about what happened to Mariah. Rey doubted Mariah would be on Adam's radar if she wasn't connected to Sharon, since Adam hardly had a reputation for caring about other people. Adam reiterated that Rey couldn't erase the history between Adam and Sharon, and he cared about what was best for her and the people who mattered to her. Adam added that it was Rey's call whether to accept it or to fly into a fit of rage every time he heard Adam's name.
Rey thought Adam had enough to worry about in his own family without needing to insert himself into anyone else's. Rey suggested that Adam stop worrying about Sharon's daughter and start worrying about his own son, since Connor was obviously confused about Chelsea still being out of state. Adam barked that his family situation was under control, and he ordered Rey out. Rey reported that Connor was wondering when he, Chelsea, and Adam were going to be a family again, and he warned that Connor was a smart kid who sensed that things were different. Rey hesitated to tell Adam how to handle his business, but he firmly stated that things needed handling. Rey demanded that Adam make that his focus instead of what was going on in Sharon's life, and he walked out.
Meanwhile, Sharon told Mariah that she was proud of both her girls, and she was glad Mariah and Faith had gotten together. Tessa blew Mariah a kiss from the patio while on a call, and Mariah explained that Tessa was canceling a gig to spend time with her. Mariah was grateful that Tessa wanted to take care of her, but she hated the thought of Tessa canceling performances to do it. Sharon anticipated that Mariah would have to be patient with all of them for being clingy, since they were still kicking themselves for not realizing Stitch had been manipulating them. Mariah didn't want them to feel guilty, and Sharon pledged to do her best not to blame herself.
Mariah pointed out that Sharon and Nick hadn't let Faith know how bad things had gotten, but she advised that Faith was stronger than they thought. Adam entered the coffeehouse and declared that he was happy Mariah was safe, and Mariah brusquely thanked him. Adam wondered if he'd said something wrong, and Mariah testily apologized for being tense around someone like him after she'd just escaped from a man who'd kidnapped her and her unborn baby because he'd wanted to win back a certain woman. Adam and Sharon squirmed.
Adam said he was sorry for what Mariah had gone through, but he understood that he wasn't one of her favorite people. Sharon acknowledged that Adam wouldn't do anything to make Mariah feel uncomfortable, and Adam promised not to interrupt them further. After he stepped to the counter, Mariah growled that Sharon didn't always have to take his side. Tessa intervened as Sharon explained that she'd just been trying to defuse the tension.
Mariah inquired about Tessa's call, and Tessa relayed that she hadn't been able to get out of the gig. Mariah was glad, and she prepared to go home and pump for the baby. Mariah and Tessa headed out, and Sharon confronted Adam about showing up there after he'd promised to keep his distance. He shared that he felt the need to tell Connor what was going on with him and Chelsea, so he'd wanted to solicit Sharon's advice as his son's former therapist. He thought it had clearly been a mistake.
Later, Rey joined Sharon at the coffeehouse, and she again thanked him for getting Mariah back safely. He regretted that he hadn't paid more attention to Sharon's intuition, but she recognized that he hadn't had much to go on. She insisted that all that mattered was that Mariah was home and that she hopefully wouldn't be scarred for life. Rey called Mariah a warrior, and he believed what she needed most was people around who loved her. He sensed from Sharon's reaction that something else had happened, and Sharon informed him that things had gotten tense when Adam had stopped by.
Sharon recounted that Mariah had suddenly become hostile and aggressive and had accused Sharon of taking Adam's side when she'd tried to keep the peace. Rey was sure Sharon would steer Mariah in the right direction to get the help she needed. Rey recounted his own run-in with Adam when he'd dropped off Connor's cap at Newman Media. Rey groused that Adam had shown up at the coffeehouse after the men had gotten into it about Adam's refusal to stay out of Sharon's life. Sharon revealed that Adam had been there to get advice about how to talk to Connor. Rey wasn't surprised that Adam had used Rey's concern about Connor as an excuse to rope Sharon into it. Sharon believed that Adam was trying to become a better person, but she wasn't sure he had the skill set yet.
Faith returned to the park and found Moses with Devon. Devon divulged that he'd called Sofia to tell her that Moses had decided to take a step back from a career in medicine, but he felt that the teen would benefit from learning the ropes at Hamilton-Winters. Devon reported that Sofia hadn't committed to anything yet, so it was up to Moses to sell her on letting him stay in Genoa City if that was what he really wanted to do. Moses grinned at Faith and confirmed that it was. Devon was glad his brother would be sticking around.
After Devon left, Faith imagined that Moses' call with his mother would be the most important call of his entire life. She recommended that they rehearse it, with her pretending to be his mom. Moses chuckled, noting that Faith didn't look a thing like his mom. Faith promised it would help, and Moses called Faith on his phone. In an assertive tone, Faith mentioned that Moses' brother had told her Moses no longer wanted to be a doctor, and she demanded to know the real reason Moses wanted to stay in Genoa City.
Moses cited the internship Devon had offered him at Hamilton-Winters, but Faith asked if he just wanted to waste his time on girls. Moses conceded that there was one girl but that she definitely wasn't a waste of time. Faith prompted him to tell her all about the girl who thought she was good enough for him. Moses explained that she was from a great family and was smart and beautiful. Moses thought maybe he was the one who didn't deserve her, and he rattled off a list of her positive attributes.
Moses continued that Faith was one of the reasons he couldn't go back home, and he also didn't want to miss out on an incredible opportunity. He added that the places and families there had been part of his dad, so they were part of him, too. Moses promised that his mother would never lose him, and he begged her to say yes. Moses hung up, and Faith expressed confidence that he would do great.
Elsewhere in the park, Devon ran into Mariah and Tessa. Mariah asked about the rest of the party, and Devon reported that it had died down after the women had left. Devon offered to be there for Mariah if she needed a shoulder to lean on, but Mariah swore that he'd done enough by finding her and supporting her through her labor. Mariah insisted that everything was fine, since she had the best support team in the world, including him. Mariah added that Devon would always be a hero in her book, but he chalked it up to simply being in the right place at the right time. Devon admitted that he also had stuff he struggled with, just like everyone else.
Abby set Dominic in a bassinet in the Chanc/?ellor living room and asked if he was ready for a nap. She cooed that his mommy would be right back, and she stepped out of the room. Mariah arrived home and called out for Abby. Mariah heard the baby gurgling and glanced around before approaching the bassinet. Mariah fawned over him and asked if he'd missed her, adding that she'd missed him "so much." She hummed softly to him as Abby reentered the room. Abby's expression darkened when she saw Mariah hovering over Dominic.
At home, Devon looked at photos of him and Neil on the piano. He flashed back to cradling Dominic in his arms and welcoming the baby into the world.
At Devon's, Lily was looking at the photos of Dominic. She told Devon she couldn't believe the crazy way things had happened. They had just found Mariah, and the baby had arrived moments later. Devon claimed he wouldn't have known what to do if Nate hadn't been on the phone to coach them. Bringing a new life into the world had been incredible. He said Abby had stayed calm and reassuring, and Mariah had been heroic, especially after the trauma of being held captive for weeks. Lily was happy Devon and Abby had made it there in time to help Mariah deliver the baby. She guessed Mariah had been terrified.
Devon told Lily he would never forget the feeling of holding Dominic in his arms in the first moments of Dominic's life. He'd known there would be a connection because of the DNA, but it had really been something else.
Devon told Lily that Amanda and Naya had taken a trip. It was a huge step for them and a good way for them to heal. He said Sutton's involvement in Richard's death had really taken a toll on Amanda and Naya.
Devon asked Lily about Billy. She explained Billy was home alone with the kids. Devon said it was amazing how much family stuff he and Lily had going on and how Devon and Chance were connected through Katherine. Devon said that was the reason he'd wanted to be the donor for Dominic. Lily said that Devon and Chance could work together to make sure that Dominic was surrounded with love.
Lily told Devon she'd noticed a shift in him since the baby's arrival. She asked if he had any regrets about being the donor. Devon claimed he didn't. He'd known how important it was for Abby and Chance to start a family, and he was happy he'd helped them. Lily knew what it was like needing a surrogate. She knew about the thoughts that went through one's head. She wanted to be there for Devon whenever he wanted to talk about it.
Devon told Lily he'd known what it felt like to be a father when he'd held Dominic and heard him take his first few breaths. It had played with his emotions. Lily said especially since he should have been a father awhile before. She asked how he could not think about Hilary and the baby he'd lost. Devon was sure Hilary was smiling down and proud of him. Lily said Devon could talk to her about Hilary and the baby anytime. She promised not to make it about her feelings of guilt.
Lily asked Devon how Abby was dealing with the baby's arrival and Chance being gone. She presumed it was difficult for Abby not to be able to share that happiness with him. Devon said Abby was staying strong and hoping Chance would be home soon. Devon felt sorry for Chance because it was one of those big moments that he would never get back, and once Chance returned home, it would really hit him hard. Devon explained that Chance had gone deeper undercover, and there was no way to inform him he had a son. Devon felt that perhaps it was safer that Chance didn't know. Lily stated that when Chance returned, he would be very grateful to Devon for looking after Abby and his son.
At home, Abby was on the phone, trying to get someone to fill in one of the positions at Society, when Mariah entered the room and asked if there was a problem. Abby explained they were short-staffed at Society. Mariah offered to watch the baby if Abby needed to leave. Abby claimed she didn't want to impose. Mariah said she would be happy to do it.
Later, Mariah tried to stop Dominic from crying. She was pacing the floor with him in her arms.
Abby returned home a short time later. Smiling, she ran to peek at Dominic, but he wasn't in his bassinet. Abby called to Mariah, but there was no response. Abby ran upstairs, calling to Mariah.
Abby called Devon and asked if he'd heard from Mariah. Abby explained that Mariah had offered to watch the baby while Abby dealt with a problem at Society. When she'd returned home, Mariah and the baby had been gone. There was no note or indication where they were, and Mariah had left her phone at home. Abby said she was trying not to freak out. Devon said he would be there shortly.
Adam was reading the comments about the Newman Media launch to Victor. He said the comments were positive, and he hadn't seen any mention of Phyllis dumping the contents of the ice bucket over Sally's head. Victor was surprised that ChancComm hadn't mentioned it.
Adam told Victor he had a dinner engagement. Victor asked if Adam was meeting with Nolan Brands because Nolan had an interesting idea. Adam said he had a video chat scheduled with him later that week. Adam tried to leave, but Victor asked if he was meeting with "that woman." Adam admitted he was. Victor said that woman had thrown a drink into Phyllis' face. He suggested that Adam tell Sally to seek employment elsewhere.
Adam told Victor that perhaps Phyllis had had it coming. Adam said Sally had thrown the drink in Phyllis' face after Phyllis had provoked her. Adam claimed it had been both their faults. Victor asked if Adam could blame Phyllis after what Sally had done to Summer. Adam claimed he was focused on business, not Phyllis and Sally's personal details. Victor stated it was the second night Adam had spent with Sally. Adam stated he wasn't spending the night; he was having a working dinner with her.
Victor suggested that Adam strategize with him on how to defeat ChancComm. Adam said they would talk about it later, and he left.
At the Abbotts', Jack happily greeted Lauren, who invited him to join her for dinner. Jack didn't want to go back out, but he would love the company and Chinese takeout. Lauren agreed.
Jack told Lauren that Harrison loved the pizza in Italy better than the pizza in Genoa City, and he helped make it, as well. Harrison had adapted quickly to living in Europe. Lauren asked if Harrison missed his mother. Jack admitted that Tara had been fiercely committed to him. Lauren stated that Tara had had no idea what she'd been getting herself into when she'd taken on Phyllis.
Jack regretted pressuring Phyllis to lay off Sally and Tara. However, Phyllis' instincts had been exactly on target, as usual. Lauren claimed Phyllis had a real gift for reading people. Jack told Lauren that Summer and Kyle owed their happiness to Phyllis. Lauren claimed Phyllis would never let them forget it. Jack agreed.
Jack read his fortune cookie to Lauren. "Your love life will soon be happy and harmonious." Jack said he could only pray that would happen. Jack was happy that Summer and Kyle had found their way back to each other and were planning their wedding, a small civil ceremony in Italy.
Jack told Lauren he was happy Kyle and Summer had cut back on their wedding plans because they had everything they needed to be happy. Lauren asked if Jack had everything he needed to be happy. Jack said Lauren had promised to stop pestering him about his romantic life, or lack thereof. Lauren said the house had to feel quiet. Jack agreed he'd gotten accustomed to all the noise. He'd been looking forward to the holidays and having a happy kid like Harrison around. He'd been looking forward to taking Harrison out on Halloween, but he had to get used to all the quiet and the extra time he had on his hands.
Jack told Lauren that at work, he could focus on Jabot and the Hamilton-Winters Foundation. Lauren stated that was for his mind. He needed something to fill his heart -- a passion, and it didn't necessarily need to be romantic. Jack claimed he'd had his share of grand passions. Being a grandpa with Harrison and teaching Harrison things John had taught him was what had fed Jack's heart. Jack said the day would come when Lauren would become a grandparent, and she would love it.
Nate and Elena met Victoria and Ashland at Society for dinner. Victoria gave Ashland a little nudge to look up. He saw that Sally had arrived.
Sally was looking for Adam. She sat at the bar to wait for Adam and kept a close eye on Nate, Elena, Victoria, and Ashland.
Nate told everyone about the latest generation of robots that gave doctors mind-blowing mapping capabilities. Victoria asked if all that happened through a tiny incision in the patient. Nate said it was cutting edge, and it was the kind of technology they would be able to purchase, thanks to Ashland's generous donation.
Elena asked Victoria about their wedding plans. Victoria smiled and said it was a challenge organizing a destination wedding from another continent. Thankfully, Nikki had someone in Italy to coordinate with. Elena asked about the dress.
Sally's ears perked up. Victoria told Elena she was waiting to speak with Angelina Marchetti, but she was aware Angelina was in high demand and might not have time to make Victoria a dress. Victoria said she might have to move on as the wedding date approached. Elena asked about the style. Victoria didn't want anything over the top but certainly not minimalistic. Elena claimed the wedding would infuse a lot of joie du vivre (joy of life). Ashland agreed and claimed it was exactly the spirit of the event.
Sally was working on her tablet when Adam arrived. Adam stopped to greet Victoria and her guests. Victoria noticed he was with Sally; she said perhaps Adam had found his perfect match. Adam said it seemed that Victoria and Ashland certainly had, and he couldn't be happier for them. Ashland thanked Adam, and he hoped Adam would enjoy his evening. Adam joined Sally.
At their table, Sally commented that Adam really got a kick out of tweaking people, and not letting the slings and arrows get to him. Adam claimed it was a game that built a thick skin. Sally believed there was a lot she could learn from Adam.
Sally told Adam she was happy it was a working dinner and not a date. They could ignore all those things they shouldn't do on their first date. Sally was also aware there had been pressure on Adam to cancel their meeting. Sally claimed it wasn't her first time heading out with an S.O.B. She said there were a lot more like Adam out there. Adam said they needed to get down to business, but Sally said he had to wait on that because she was starving.
Sally asked Adam if she'd been wrong to allow the Forresters to include her designs in their couture collection out of sympathy because they had believed she'd been at death's door. Sally admitted it had been wrong, but her designs were good. Ridge and Eric wouldn't have included them if they hadn't been. She claimed that if her designs had made it to the runway, they would have been big sellers.
Sally told Adam that where her career was involved, she refused to be humble. She claimed she was a "hell of a good designer" with the unfortunate tendency of getting in her own way, which she was working on. Adam looked at Sally's creations on her tablet. He liked the simplicity of the line. He said it was a good thing that Sally had a specific bride in mind; however, Victoria might not choose a design from the woman who worked for a company run by her black sheep brother.
Sally asked Adam why he'd agreed to meet with her, when they could have had a five-minute conversation in the office. Adam claimed he was there for the scintillating conversation. Sally suggested that perhaps they would make it a date and make someone jealous. Adam retorted that maybe Sally hoped Jack would hear about it. Sally claimed she hadn't thought about Jack since they'd sat down because she'd been busy enjoying herself. She thought Adam had, as well.
Nate told everyone about a wedding he'd attended and how the bride had fallen and twisted her ankle while the groom had waited at the altar, believing he'd been stood up. Nate had taped up her ankle, and the ceremony had gone on as planned. He said it always paid to have a doctor in the house. Elena stopped Nate when he was about to start another wedding story.
Victoria and Elena discovered they both loved cooking podcasts. Victoria said she hated cooking. Elena claimed she was an okay cook; however, Lola would be appalled if she saw the way Elena was eating. When Victoria and Elena left to freshen up, Nate watched Elena walk away. Ashland commented that Nate's face expressed exactly how lucky he knew he was. Nate agreed he was lucky. Ashland asked if Nate had ever been married. Nate explained he'd been engaged once, but she had died.
Ashland told Nate it made sense why Nate didn't react to him the way others did. Nate didn't have the same squeamishness or distance that Ashland sensed in others. Ashland had assumed it was because Nate was a doctor, but he realized that Nate had gone through his own personal loss and grief.
Victoria and Elena returned and saw Ashland and Nate together. Elena commented that the men seemed to be getting along really well. Victoria explained how Nate had brought Ashland home after his chemotherapy session and given him some vitamins and some good advice. Victoria said Nate was a good man. Elena agreed.
At Victoria's home, Victoria and Elena went to the kitchen to get wine. Nate asked Ashland if Victoria's kids were going to attend the wedding. Ashland said Tuscany was gorgeous in the fall, and he would love for the kids to see it. Nate said he'd gone to Italy with his mother when he'd been young. He'd also seen a lot of Europe while he'd been in boarding school. Ashland said he and Victoria would love to have Nate and Elena at their wedding. He asked Nate to be his best man. Nate was stunned and said he was certain Ashland had friends in New York he could ask, since they were only getting to know each other.
Ashland said Nate was a brilliant and kind man with a deep understanding of what Ashland was going through. Ashland admitted that his New York connections were more professional than personal, he wasn't in that world at the moment, and most people had a difficult time around him because of his medical situation. Ashland said he would love to have Nate and Elena join them for the ceremony.
Elena and Nate thanked Victoria and Ashland for a wonderful evening. Ashland said they would have to do it again soon, and he hoped Nate would get back to him soon. Nate promised he would.
After Nate and Elena left, Ashland sat down, exhausted. He told Victoria he would have to take things easy the next day, but it had been worth it to have an evening like they'd had.
Abby was anxiously waiting for Devon. Suddenly, Mariah arrived with Dominic. Abby asked where she'd been. Mariah explained that Bowie had been crying. She'd called the pediatrician, who had suggested she take him for a walk, and it had worked. Abby said Mariah hadn't left a note, and Abby had had no way of reaching her because she'd left her phone at home. Mariah said the baby had been crying, her brain had short-circuited, but everything was fine. She apologized if she'd worried Abby.
Abby told Mariah that the last time Mariah had disappeared with the baby, she'd been gone for three weeks. Abby said she'd almost called the police. Mariah apologized again and said they'd been for a walk on the grounds. Devon arrived, and Abby apologized. She said Mariah had taken the baby out for a walk, and Mariah had thought she'd return before anyone had noticed. Mariah apologized to Devon. Devon said he would let Lily know everything was okay. Abby chirped that she would put her little guy to bed.
After Abby left, Mariah told Devon she hadn't wanted to call Abby at work and had thought she could handle things on her own, but when the baby had started crying his head off, she'd had no idea what to do. She'd been worried he might be sick. She'd called the pediatrician. Devon said Mariah had done exactly what she was supposed to. The pediatrician had said a walk could sometimes lull a baby to sleep, so she'd tried it, and it had worked. Mariah said she'd gotten so flustered that she'd left without her phone. Devon assured her that she'd done exactly what the baby had needed. It had all worked out fine. He was happy Mariah had followed her natural instincts.
Abby was on her way back to the living room but stopped when she heard Mariah tell Devon that being a mom was a lot harder than it appeared.
At home, Jack was turning out lights. He was getting ready for bed when he found one of Harrison's soldiers. He sent Kyle a text message.
At the Grand Phoenix, Phyllis asked Adam where his she-devil was. Adam asked if Phyllis wanted to douse Sally with the champagne bucket again. Phyllis said she'd known the new and improved Adam wouldn't last long. She claimed Sally would have left town if Adam hadn't allowed Chloe to hire her. Adam said Chloe was willing to give Sally a second chance. He thought Phyllis should be in favor of that, since she'd had quite a few second chances herself.
Phyllis reminded Adam that Sally had run Summer out of town. Adam claimed Summer was doing quite well in Milan. Phyllis said that wasn't the point. Adam told Phyllis that he wanted to have a drink without the drama. Ignoring his wish, Phyllis claimed Adam knew what her issue was with Sally. Adam stated that Phyllis saw a bit of herself in Sally. Phyllis refused to dignify that with a response and began walking away, but Adam said he always knew he'd hit a nerve when Phyllis walked away without having had the last word. Phyllis smiled and left.
At Crimson Lights, Sharon greeted Nick warmly. Nick showed her some photos Summer had sent him, and he had photos of Dominic, as well. Sharon said she'd met Dominic in person, and he was adorable. Nick was happy the baby was healthy, considering how he'd entered the world. Nick inquired about Mariah.
Sharon told Nick the kidnapping had affected Mariah in more ways than Mariah realized, but she had a strong support system. Sharon mentioned that she'd read about the Newman Media launch party and that New Hope had been featured prominently. Nick admitted the partnership was looking very good. Sharon was surprised and said how incredible it was that Nick was giving Adam a chance to prove he'd changed. It was a testament to the man Nick was.
Sharon asked Nick about the launch party. Nick claimed it had been great until Sally had decided to mix it up with Phyllis. Sharon eagerly wanted to hear the juicy details. Nick explained that Phyllis had dumped a champagne ice bucket over Sally's head in the middle of a giant party at Phyllis' hotel.
Sharon told Nick she didn't have to guess who had started the Sally-Phyllis showdown. Nick had no idea what had sparked the incident because Jack had pulled Phyllis to one side, and he had downplayed Phyllis' role in the incident. Adam had taken Sally to one of the suites. Sharon realized that Sally worked at Newman Media. Nick was certain that Sally had been at the party as Adam's date. Sharon said that was interesting, but Nick's questioning look prompted her to tell Nick not to read anything into it.
Nick told Sharon there had been a time when he hadn't believed Sharon could detach herself from the mess that was Adam's life. He believed Rey would be the one to do that. When it came to Sharon's history with Adam, it had never been simple. Sharon said she'd told Adam that the past was the past, and she didn't want to go back there. She was committed to her marriage. Nick said he knew how important it was to set boundaries. He also understood how tempting it was for Sharon to allow Adam's toxicity back into her life; however, Adam had shown a different side of himself.
Nick told Sharon that Adam had saved Faith's life; he'd given Faith a kidney, and he'd returned to help Nick when Nick had been trapped in Montalvo's basement in Kansas. Nick allowed Adam to be in his life, and he understood why it wasn't so simple for Sharon. Nick knew that Adam was a source of tension in her marriage. He and Adam were far from best friends, but Nick saw the good in him. Sharon said everyone needed someone in their lives who supported them, and she'd made herself that for Adam. She admitted she'd paid the price, but it had also proven her right. It was difficult for Sharon to turn her back on Adam completely.
Nick asked Sharon if Rey understood that she couldn't completely cut Adam out of her life. Sharon said her relationship with Adam had changed significantly. Nick stated that Adam would always be a part of her life. Nick asked again if Rey understood that. Sharon said she and Rey were committed to their marriage, and they were as open with each other as possible. They moved through each day as any other couple did.
Sharon said things couldn't be all smooth sailing between Nick and Phyllis. Nick claimed that lately, they had been. He said he'd stopped putting the brakes on Phyllis' meddling and her ultimatums. He knew Phyllis meant well, and he rolled with it. Sharon said he made it sound "so easy."
Nick told Sharon he chose to accept Phyllis for who she was. Sharon said that when a couple broke up and reunited, things could be better for them. It sounded like that was what he and Phyllis had. Sharon said Nick had chosen the way he wanted his life to be with Phyllis. Nick confessed that he'd hurt a lot of people he'd cared about, particularly Sharon, but he and Phyllis were older and wiser. He thought perhaps they'd discovered a way to be in a serene and uncomplicated relationship.
Sharon agreed with Nick; it didn't have to be complicated, but she understood why he chose something easy and comfortable. Nick asked if Sharon was implying that he'd taken the path of least resistance and not a path to real love and commitment. Sharon said she hadn't meant to imply that Nick was settling with Phyllis. She'd only made an observation. Sharon said that she and Rey got each other the same way Nick and Phyllis did. They shared trust in their relationship.
Sharon was glad that Nick and Phyllis were happy with each other because that was all that mattered. Sharon asked Nick to help her close up. He agreed. While closing up, they periodically took candid glances at each other, and each glance appeared a little melancholy.
Phyllis arrived at Jack's. She told Jack she'd seen the text message he'd sent to Kyle. She knew he was lonely and alone in an empty house. Jack thanked Phyllis for dropping by to check on him. Phyllis claimed she owed Jack for stopping her from making a real mess at the launch party. Jack claimed she'd shown admirable restraint. He admitted he had a soft spot where Phyllis was concerned.
Phyllis asked Jack if she'd detected a certain melancholy in his text message to Kyle. Jack claimed he'd found one of Harrison's toys, and he'd become nostalgic. Phyllis asked if he was okay. Jack said he was fine, just tired and winding down with a glass of wine. Phyllis was about to leave, but Jack asked her to stay because he could use a friend. Phyllis asked if he wanted mindless chatter or deep insight. Jack smiled and claimed she was never mindless. She was sharp, funny, outrageous -- sometimes just for the sake of being outrageous -- but never mindless. Serious, Phyllis asked Jack what was really going on.
Jack told Phyllis he'd had countless conversations with people about Kyle and Summer's move to Milan. In all those conversations, he'd told everyone he was fine, but it was a little jarring because everything had happened so fast. Phyllis understood. Jack said he constantly argued with himself about moving on and told himself to get on with his life, but then he would become angry because he couldn't. He said the house had been filled with noise and love. It no longer was. He didn't want to adjust to the silence or the emptiness.
Jack told Phyllis that Traci stopped in intermittently from New York and Ashley from Paris, but Kyle and Harrison were gone. Phyllis said Jack was lonely. Jack claimed she had no idea. He told Phyllis she didn't need to fix his situation or advise him to look on the bright side. Phyllis claimed she wouldn't tell him that. She only wanted to talk to him and listen to what he had to say.
Jack told Phyllis that being lonely was embarrassing. It felt like he'd failed at life. He didn't know where it had gone off the rails, but after having lived a full life, he found himself completely alone. Phyllis said he wasn't alone because he had so many people who loved him, including her. She understood it didn't preclude him from feeling lonely. She said he could feel very alone within a family or a relationship, but that was life. Jack and Phyllis laughed when Jack asked if that was supposed to be a pep talk.
Phyllis told Jack it was the reason they tried so hard to make connections with people and the reason they worked so hard at romance. Jack asked if that included starting a romance with the wrong person, hoping they would magically turn into the right person. Phyllis knew Jack was referring to Sally, who was definitely the wrong person. Jack said he'd hoped Sally would turn into Phyllis. Phyllis claimed Sally could never be her on Sally's best day, and Jack didn't want another Phyllis. She claimed there had been a reason their marriage hadn't worked.
Jack admitted to Phyllis that they'd gone through a lot and had their share of heartache, but they'd also had some great times that had included some of the best times of his life. Jack said Phyllis was still the most captivating and fascinating woman he'd ever known. She was complicated, frustrating, hotheaded, and careless, but a pretty spectacular package.
Jack told Phyllis that it was possible that because they'd recently spent so much time together, it had been the reason he hadn't moved on with his life. He'd been with the most amazing woman he'd ever known. He hadn't said that because he'd had too much to drink but because it was true. He'd never stopped loving her, and he never would. Jack said he hadn't acted on any of his feelings because he knew their time was over and that Phyllis had moved on. She was happy with Nick, but Jack said he couldn't stop loving her.
Later, Phyllis brought Jack a glass of water, but she found him asleep on the sofa. She covered him up. She was thoughtful for a moment, and then she left. Jack woke up sometime later, alone.
Sally arrived at the ranch. She told Victor his text message had caught her by surprise. Sally assumed Victor wanted to discuss the scene between her and Phyllis at the launch party. She claimed she wasn't proud of it; however, she hadn't read about it in the press, and she assumed it hadn't had an effect on the positive reaction that Newman Media had received. Sally claimed Adam wasn't angry about it, and personally, she thought it had livened up the party.
Victor told Sally his focus had been on the launch party for Newman Media. However, with the party behind him, he wanted to get to know Sally better. He offered her a drink. Sally asked for scotch. She informed Victor she'd recently had a single malt scotch with Adam. While Victor poured the scotch, he said he was aware that she'd been Lauren's executive assistant, and then she'd been promoted to head of JCV, the job Summer had held.
Sally told Victor that Nikki had conveyed, in no uncertain terms, how she viewed Sally's involvement with Summer. Sally assumed Victor felt the same way. Victor said Sally had caused Summer a lot of distress. He claimed that had he intervened earlier, things would have turned out differently. Sally said that sounded like a threat. Victor stated it wasn't a threat.
Victor told Sally that Adam was handling a delicate situation with his son, Connor, who was aware of the tension between Adam and Chelsea. What Sally considered a harmless flirtation and socializing could result in unwanted consequences. Sally understood. She said Chloe had mentioned it earlier, and Sally said she was sensitive to the situation. She was certain that Adam loved his son, and he would do what was best for the boy. Sally asked if that decision should be up to Adam and if Victor should be dictating his son's personal life -- or hers, for that matter.
Victor warned Sally not to use Adam as a way to salvage her lackluster career, and arguing with him would be her worst mistake. Adam arrived. He claimed he'd missed the memo about the meeting with Sally. Victor informed Adam that he'd invited Sally because there were certain things she needed to know, since she was a member of Newman Media. Adam asked what kind of things. Sally stated it was about Adam's son and what was going on between him and Chelsea.
Adam asked Victor why Sally needed to know about Connor. Victor felt Sally needed to know the whole situation. Sally stated that Victor didn't trust Adam to relay the information to her on his own. Victor hoped Sally would make good use of the information he'd provided. Sally asked if she was being dismissed, since Victor had put her in her place. Adam suggested that Sally leave.
After Sally left, Adam asked why Victor had felt compelled to dump all that on Sally. Victor claimed he knew Sally's type: a social climber. He claimed Sally was cozying up to Adam in the hope of reaching the top. Victor claimed that for months, Adam had talked about turning over a new leaf and becoming a good father to Connor. Victor wanted to know what had happened.
Adam said Victor was overreacting to the situation with Sally. Adam assumed Victor resented Sally because of everything she'd done to Summer. Victor claimed it wasn't about Summer but about a grasping social climber who had been fired by Lauren and had latched onto Adam to use him. Adam said he wouldn't allow Sally to do that. Victor claimed the situation between Adam and Chelsea wasn't the best, and Connor was emotionally fragile and confused. Adam stated he was in tune with what was going on with Connor, and it had nothing to do with Sally.
Victor told Adam he'd been impressed with Adam's demeanor, professionally and privately, but Adam was slipping back to his old ways. Victor accused Adam of galivanting around town with that dame and rubbing it in everyone's faces to elicit a reaction, without considering the consequences. Adam stated that Connor was first and foremost in his mind. He would always protect him. He didn't want Victor going behind his back and micromanaging his life. Adam accused Victor of slipping into his own old behaviors and trying to control Adam, the same way that had driven them apart in the past. Adam walked out.
Sally arrived at Society and ordered a scotch. She told the bartender she was moving up in the world because she'd officially become the Newmans' target. She said Nikki had ripped into her at the launch party, and Victor had summoned her to his home, to suggest she stop seeing Adam. Sally took a sip of her drink and decided to leave. As she turned, Adam stood there. He said Victor had made his point, and Adam was going to make his. He kissed Sally passionately. Moments later, they were in a suite at the Grand Phoenix, kissing passionately.
Sally heard someone calling her. She snapped out of her daydream because Adam had been calling her name. He told Sally he was sorry about the things Victor had said. Victor had been out of line. Adam didn't think they should see each other outside the office.
Sally said she'd eliminated "should" from her vocabulary. One either chose to do something, or one didn't. There was no should or shouldn't. There was no acting a certain way because that was what was expected of a person. One decided what one wanted, no matter how people would react and no matter how far outside it was from what was considered socially acceptable. If people didn't like it, it was their problem. Sally said, "To hell with them." Sally left.
Nick arrived in his suite. Phyllis was asleep. He sat on the edge of the bed, deep in thought.
At Newman Media, there was a knock at Adam's office door, and Adam asked his assistant to send him some projections. "Sure, Mr. Newman," Sharon replied, disguising her voice and trying not to laugh. She explained that she was there to apologize for handling things badly when he'd turned to her for advice about Connor. Adam insisted that she never had to apologize to him, and he thought he was the one who should be sorry for breaking his word about giving her and Rey space. Sharon regretted that she hadn't been there for Adam when he'd needed help, and she assured him that she was there then.
Adam was glad Sharon had changed her mind, since he felt she was the only one he could talk to about the matter. He reasoned that she knew his history with Chelsea and had worked with Connor as a therapist in the past. Sharon pressed to know if Adam and Chelsea were on the same page about what the future would look like or if one of them was holding out hope for a reconciliation. Adam stammered that they hadn't exactly talked about it. Sharon urged him to work out the specifics before talking to Connor, since the boy would want to know if his family might be together again one day. Sharon queried whether it was truly over between Adam and Chelsea.
Adam insisted that whatever he and Chelsea had once shared was over, and he'd been very clear with her about it; however, he hadn't gotten a definitive answer from her. He admitted that there had been times when he'd gotten the impression that she'd let go of her anger toward him and would be willing to give things another chance, and Sharon pointed out that he and Chelsea had overcome huge obstacles to forgive one another before. Adam maintained that things were different that time, but the one thing that hadn't changed was their commitment to do right by Connor.
Sharon recommended that Adam and Chelsea talk to Connor sooner rather than later to let the boy know his parents were separating. Adam doubted that they would be able to do it anytime soon, since Chelsea might be gone for months. Sharon cautioned that the longer they put it off, the more questions Connor would have. Adam recognized that it was too important to do over a video call, and he resolved to do it on his own. Sharon urged Adam to speak with Chelsea first to avoid blindsiding her after the fact.
Adam anticipated that it would be a difficult conversation, and he worried about how Chelsea would react if she'd been hoping for a reconciliation. Sharon advised him to speak to Chelsea with respect and empathy for what she was going through, and she thought it was good that Chelsea would be with Anita if the news hit her hard. Adam voiced concern that Anita wasn't the best influence on Chelsea, and Sharon wondered if he thought Anita might encourage Chelsea to heal her wounds by running away with Connor. Adam considered the possibility that Chelsea still despised him and had only been civil for Connor's sake.
Adam suspected that his talk with Chelsea might provoke a negative response that would set back her treatment. Sharon suggested that he contact Chelsea's therapist, but Adam thought it would be a violation of Chelsea's privacy. Sally hovered at the door and listened as Sharon counseled Adam to set up the foundation for how he and Chelsea would move forward as parents. Adam agreed to do everything Sharon had suggested, and he commended her for being the one person who always steered him in the right direction.
Adam imagined that Connor had already sensed that something was wrong between his parents, so it wouldn't be a total shock, but it would still be heartbreaking. Sharon advised Adam to use clear and simple words to let Connor know that his parents still loved him and that they always would. Adam thanked her for telling him exactly what he'd needed to hear, and Sharon assured him that he could do it. Adam replied that it was nice to know she still believed in him. Sally burst in, rambling about a budget, and pretended to be surprised that Adam was with someone.
Sally apologized for interrupting. Adam firmly stated that he and Sharon had been discussing something important, and he ordered Sally to stop back later. Sally alluded to a private matter she'd wanted to talk about, and an uncomfortable Sharon prepared to leave. Adam thanked Sharon for being a lifesaver, and she departed. Sally remarked that it had become chilly in there, and she reiterated how sorry she was. Adam revealed that he'd seen Sally listening outside the door before she'd barged in. He scolded that he hadn't found it the least bit amusing, since he and Sharon had been talking about his son, and he didn't appreciate people playing games when his kid was involved.
Sally insisted that she was truly sorry, and she claimed that she'd stopped at the door when she'd seen Adam with Sharon but that she hadn't heard anything. Sally admitted that it had been immature of her, but she'd gotten jealous. She acknowledged that it was none of her business, and she promised that she wouldn't allow the green-eyed monster to tempt her into making bad decisions again. Adam wondered if she actually had budget news, and she offered to email it to him because she'd taken up enough of his time. He asked her to shut the door on her way out, and she obliged. Adam called Chelsea and said they needed to discuss the future and their son.
At home, Ashland presented Victoria with coffee and inquired about her schedule that morning. She informed him that she had a breakfast meeting with her mom to go over business and wedding details, and he mentioned that he had some Newman Media paperwork to tend to before an important call with Harrison. Victoria encouraged him to find time to rest, but Ashland swore that he felt great. She worried that he wouldn't admit that the chemo was still taking its toll, and he credited Nate's supplements for making him feel better. Ashland added that because of his "chemo brain," he'd forgotten to tell her that he'd made a decision on their behalf.
Victoria was pleased to hear that Ashland had invited Nate and Elena to the wedding. Ashland indicated that there was more, since he'd surprised even himself when he'd asked Nate to be his best man. Ashland explained that he'd wanted someone who mattered to both of them, and not someone from his past, to fill the role. Ashland reported that Nate hadn't given him an answer, but he was glad Nate was taking time to think about it. Ashland added that it would be good to have someone like Nate by his side, and Victoria said she understood exactly why Ashland had done it.
Victoria thought both Ashland and Nate were focused on work and family, which didn't leave time for much else, like lasting friendships. Ashland shared that he didn't miss anyone he'd socialized with in New York, since all his so-called relationships had been developed around networking. He recalled that Tara had introduced him to some of her friends. He hadn't had much in common with them, and he'd always preferred to be more of a loner. Ashland pointed out that Victoria knew what it was like to be in a powerful position, and she recognized that most new acquaintances either deferred to her or asked her for something.
Ashland respected that Nate had done neither and had instead reminded Ashland that he had some power over his disease. Ashland thought it spoke to Nate's integrity, and he hoped to call Nate a friend who would stand by him when he got married. The doorbell rang, and Ashland announced that it was something for Victoria. Ashland presented Victoria with a package and told her to consider it a combination of a congratulatory merger gift and an early wedding present. She was stunned when she pulled out a painting of herself.
Ashland noted that Victor's portrait had hovered over the CEO's office for many years, and Victoria stated that it had been moved to the boardroom. Ashland thought it was time the portrait was replaced, and he felt hers should take its rightful spot in her office to mark the changing of the guard. Victoria gushed that she loved it, and she recognized the name of the artist. Ashland swore that there was nothing he wouldn't do to prove his love for her, and she insisted that he already had -- again and again.
At Society, Nikki wrapped up a call as Victoria arrived. Nikki reported that the staff at the palazzo were busy getting ready for their arrival, since she wanted everything to be perfect for Victoria and Ashland. Nikki said she'd been worried when the couple hadn't made it to the launch party. Victoria indicated that Ashland had been having a tough day, but he was doing much better then. Nikki asked how Victoria was coping, and Victoria chose to believe the chemo was doing what it was supposed to do by fighting the cancer and giving them more time together. Victoria added that they were making every minute count in the meantime.
Victoria told Nikki about Ashland's thoughtful gift, and she thought it demonstrated how well he knew her after just a short amount of time. Victoria was touched that he'd recognized how much being CEO meant to her, but she swore that replacing Victor's portrait wasn't a slight against her father. Victoria explained that she wanted to step out of Victor's shadow and shine on her own, and Nikki assured her that she always had. Victoria believed Ashland saw her for who she was, and she was painfully aware of how quickly time was slipping away. She admitted that the closer they got to the wedding, the more she wondered what she'd do if she lost the man she loved when they'd barely started their lives together.
Nikki reiterated that she'd been concerned from the start that Victoria and Ashland's time together could be cut short, leaving Victoria heartbroken. Nikki admired Victoria's strength through all of it, but she stressed that it was okay to have some fears. Nikki implied that it wasn't too late to admit the engagement had been very abrupt. Victoria was appalled that her mother would think she'd back out of the wedding.
At home, Lily reminded Billy that it was time to go to the office, but he was preoccupied with something on his phone. She groaned that he'd been staring at it all morning, and he revealed that he was waiting for an investigative journalist to get back to him. She surmised that it was about the Ashland story, and Billy continued to contemplate how Ashland had been able to buy the news stations that had launched his career. Billy considered it to be very suspicious that he hadn't found out anything new about that, and he divulged that he'd learned something even more disturbing.
Billy relayed that he'd asked his team to dive deeper into Ashland's past, starting from the beginning, but they hadn't been able to find anything. Billy believed Ashland's history had been scrubbed, and he was sure that Ashland was hiding something. Billy continued that there was no information about where Ashland had been born or the truth about what had happened to his parents. Lily recalled that Ashland's parents had died when he'd been young, but Billy revealed that he hadn't been able to find death certificates to prove it, nor had his reporters found Ashland's birth certificate. Billy commented that it was like Ashland and his family had never existed.
Billy cited how a mogul like Victor had talked about his backstory as an orphan for decades because it had helped him build a legend, and he questioned why Ashland hadn't talked about that part of his life. Lily pointed out that the death of Ashland's parents might have been painful for him, but Billy asked how she could explain there being no death or birth certificates or information about Ashland's school days. Lily noted that Ashland had wrecked lives, so it was no surprise that no one wanted to talk about him on record. Billy demanded to know why she was fighting him. Lily implored him to get the facts before jumping to conclusions.
At Crimson Lights, Nate and Elena relaxed over coffee after sleeping in late. She suggested that they go back upstairs and cuddle under the covers, but he pointed out that they both had things to do. She declared an official end to their date, and she chirped that she'd enjoyed having dinner with Victoria and Ashland. Elena wondered how Nate felt about Ashland asking Nate to be his best man. Nate thought it didn't make sense, since he and Ashland had only had a handful of encounters. Nate questioned why Ashland wouldn't want an actual friend to be his best man, rather than someone he'd just met.
Elena guessed that Ashland might not be comfortable asking a friend who knew his ex-wife, given their recent divorce. Nate recalled that Ashland had mentioned that most of his friends were business associates, and Elena theorized that Ashland had chosen someone who had a connection to Victoria and her family as a symbolic gesture of a new beginning. Nate remarked that it was a new beginning for a man who might not have much time left, and Elena was sure that Ashland had appreciated how Nate had gone above and beyond to help him. Nate figured that having cancer helped people cut through the noise.
Nate said he liked Ashland because he was smart and witty with no pretense, but he thought it was a big deal to be someone's best man, and he wasn't ready to say yes. Elena wondered if they'd skip going to Tuscany for the wedding if Nate turned Ashland down, but Nate promised that he wouldn't pass up a reason to go to Italy. He joked that the country had run out of pasta the last time he'd been there because he'd eaten it all, and she reasoned that they had to go back to see if they'd made more. Nate observed that Victoria and Ashland seemed to be very much in love, and he was happy to support them and celebrate -- and he'd also get to spend time with Elena in the most romantic place on earth.
Billy and Lily entered the coffeehouse and greeted Nate and Elena. They discussed Elena taking over Nate's position at Ask MD Now, and Lily suggested that they all get together for dinner soon. Elena remarked that she and Nate had been popular lately, since they'd just had dinner with Victoria and Ashland. Nate explained that Ashland wanted to help with the hospital's new surgical wing. Elena mentioned that they'd ended up talking about the wedding, which she expected to be amazing. Billy pressed for details.
Nate didn't think it was appropriate to share information with Victoria's ex, who had a vested interest in publishing stories about her fiancÚ. Billy swore that it would be off the record, but Elena said they didn't have any details. Lily prompted Billy to ask Victoria if he was curious. Elena marveled that she'd never attended an event where they might have to dodge the paparazzi, and Lily voiced surprise that Nate and Elena had been invited to the wedding. Billy asked who'd invited them, and Lily surmised that Victoria had because she and Nate went way back. Elena reported that Ashland had extended the invitation after he and Nate had hit it off.
Elena supported the men building a friendship, since Nate spent all his time either at the hospital or with her. Nate enthused that he could never spend too much time with her. Billy stepped away to pick up his and Lily's order, and Lily joined him. Billy grumbled that something wasn't right about what Nate and Elena had said. After Nate and Elena departed, Billy said he considered it a red flag that Ashland and Nate were suddenly becoming best friends.
Lily chalked it up to Nate being a great guy who'd offered support while Ashland was getting treatment. Billy found it odd that Nate would take time out of his busy schedule to fly halfway around the world to hang out with Ashland and the Newmans, but Lily contended that it was a dream vacation, not an obligation. Billy found it weird that a man who'd built a career being intimidating was charming people he barely knew. Lily referred to everyone noticing a change in Ashland since his diagnosis, but Billy muttered that it was what Ashland wanted people to believe. Billy asserted that men like Ashland didn't seek friendships unless there was something they wanted to get out of it.
Lily and Billy arrived at Chancellor Communications, and he heard from a journalist who reported another dead end. He contended that it was almost like Ashland hadn't existed until he'd met the woman who'd become his mentor. Billy didn't see how it was possible for anyone to have no record of the first 20 years of their life unless they were deliberately hiding it. Lily clucked that he had nothing to back up his hypothesis, and she wondered why it mattered to him. Billy ranted that Ashland's entire life had been a lie, and he believed Victoria deserved to know. He added that he didn't need more motivation than that.
Meanwhile, Ashland gazed at Victoria's portrait. He checked his phone and saw a text message from an unknown sender. "You're a hard man to keep track of," it read. He looked deeply concerned.