Nick ran into Billy at Society. Billy asked Nick about his trip to New Jersey, noting that Nick seemed just as interested in Ashland's past as Billy was. Nick was reluctant to discuss the matter with Billy, accusing him of being obsessed with undermining Victoria's relationship. Billy wasn't dissuaded by Nick's reluctance and explained that he wished to investigate a theory he'd based on the source of Ashland's finances. After Nick admonished Billy to let it go, Billy guessed that whatever Nick had discovered wasn't good. Nick said Billy's true desire was to prove he wasn't the only person who'd ever let Victoria down. Billy agreed to back away, though he discerned from a comment Nick made that Nick wasn't welcome to attend his sister's wedding.
Victoria stopped by Ashland's hotel suite, which he'd rented to give Victoria some physical distance until they could work things out. Ashland told Victoria he was ready to hear whatever she had to say, though he defended Nick's role in uncovering the truth behind her back. Ashland told Victoria that Nick was protecting his sister. Ashland claimed that he admired familial love, a concept he'd never personally experienced. Victoria replied, "I didn't come here to discuss Nicholas with you. This is about us. It's about who we are, at least who I thought we were."
Victoria assured Ashland she wouldn't judge him for a decision he'd made in desperation as a kid, though she couldn't understand the choices he'd made after they'd met. Victoria cried that being lied to had been unsettlingly familiar, recalling having lived with a habitual gambler she'd feared might relapse at any time. Victoria explained that Billy had been a master at lying to her face.
Victoria berated Ashland for having looked her dead in the eye and swearing she knew all while concealing a monumental revelation. Victoria mentioned Jesse Gaines and asked Ashland if he was hiding anything else that would affect their marriage or their company partnership. Ashland suggested he and Victoria board his jet and discuss their issues on the way to Tuscany. Victoria set Ashland at ease by assuring him that she still loved him, and she agreed that it might be best for them to get away from her family and others who'd been interfering.
After Victoria left Ashland's room, she encountered Nick in the lobby. Victoria berated Nick for having betrayed her trust by investigating the man she loved. Nick insisted he hadn't betrayed Victoria because his concerns about Ashland had proven to be legitimate. Victoria accused Nick of digging up information to cast doubt. Ashland stepped out of the nearby elevator just as Nick asked Victoria if the truth he'd uncovered had caused her to have doubts about Ashland.
Ashland joined Nick and Victoria and announced that he and Victoria planned to fly to Tuscany later in the evening. Victoria made it clear that Nick wasn't welcome at their wedding. After Victoria left to finish up a few things at the office and pack her bags, Nick turned to Ashland and said, "How the hell did you pull this off? I mean, how did you get my sister to just overlook everything you told her and move forward with this wedding?" Ashland claimed that Victoria, more like her father, was aware that the world wasn't just black and white. Nick said he wanted his sister to know exactly who Ashland was. Ashland replied, "I have no control over any of this, but if you have any decency or compassion in you, you will keep what you know to yourself."
At the Chancellor mansion, Abby employed every tactic she could think of to soothe her crying infant. As Abby walked about the room, cradling and bouncing Dominic, she said, "If only Grandma Nina was here." Abby, talking aloud as if Dominic could comprehend, whined that Chance was also unavailable. Abby picked up her cell phone and considered contacting Mariah. Sighing in frustration as Dominic continued to cry pitifully, Abby made a call for help.
Devon and Amanda relaxed at his penthouse. Amanda thanked Devon for setting up a poker game. Amanda stacked her chips and said playing cards was helping her wind down after having spent the night with Naya in the emergency room. Amanda announced that Naya was better. Amanda told Devon that her mother's heart issue might require additional attention in the future.
After Amanda won a round of poker, she reminded Devon that he was still lucky in love. Devon leaned toward Amanda and said, "I'm feeling pretty lucky right now." Devon's phone rang. It was Abby. She asked about Amanda's mother. Devon said Naya was fine and that Amanda was with him. After Devon overheard Dominic wailing, Abby explained that she'd tried everything and thought that, as he'd done previously, Devon might be able to settle the infant. Amanda overheard and insisted that Devon help Abby by working his magic with the baby.
Amanda greeted Phyllis in the lobby at the Grand Phoenix. Phyllis celebrated Amanda's decision to make her relationship with Devon official and move in with him. Amanda said she felt lucky to be with a great guy who'd made her feel loved and supported. Amanda explained that Abby had called Devon away to help with her baby, so Amanda had decided to spend time with Phyllis before she headed to Italy to attend two amazing weddings.
After Amanda and Phyllis took a seat at the bar, Phyllis asked Amanda how Devon was handling his relationship with Abby's baby. Amanda explained that Dominic had had a profound impact on Devon since the day he'd helped deliver the baby and instantly formed a deep connection. Devon phoned and informed Amanda that he'd remain with Dominic a while longer. After Amanda hung up, she told Phyllis that sometimes Devon was the only person who could calm the fussy baby. Phyllis picked up on Amanda's mention of a special bond and recalled that Jack had delivered Summer. Phyllis explained that though there wasn't a biological tie between Summer and Jack, they'd also maintained a very special connection.
Amanda asked Phyllis if Jack's close ties with Summer had caused conflicts between Phyllis and Nick. Amanda said she felt as if Phyllis was warning her that Devon's relationship with Dominic might cause problems between her and Devon. Amanda assured Phyllis she supported Devon's decision to remain a big part of Dominic's life. Amanda asked about Phyllis' past with Jack. Phyllis said it was too complicated to discuss in the hotel lobby. Amanda suggested she and Phyllis meet to talk because she had a feeling "complicated" was a massive understatement.
After Phyllis and Amanda seated themselves in the lounge area at Society, Billy made a beeline toward them and told Phyllis she'd just missed Nick, who'd been fired up about "some wedding issues." Amanda asked Billy if he was referring to Summer and Kyle's wedding. Billy replied, "No. The other wedding." Phyllis tried and failed to get rid of Billy, but he said he had free time. Amanda invited Billy to join them as long as he behaved and didn't push anyone's buttons. Billy offered to buy the drinks and made himself cozy. Phyllis stepped aside to take a call. Amanda told Billy she'd been preparing for her grandfather's trial, which she knew Billy had been following. Amanda announced that she would soon open a legal practice with her sister.
Billy announced to Amanda that he was investigating a story involving a 20-year-old who'd come into a huge influx of money, possibly from an inheritance left by someone the person had barely known. Acknowledging that Amanda was no longer a ChancComm lawyer, Billy said he'd like to get her take on a probable scenario that would allow a person to change the will of someone after the person had passed away. Amanda admitted she'd been involved with a similar scenario she described as an unfortunate situation.
Amanda told Billy that the attorney who'd drawn up the will would be in the best position to break the law, though it was risky. Amanda informed Billy that the most likely way someone might change a will would be to present a document claiming that the deceased person had changed his or her mind after the will had been drawn up. After Phyllis returned, Billy left. Phyllis admitted that she and Billy had done some crazy things together, though the worst had been nearly destroying Jack. Phyllis was vague about how she'd hurt Jack, though she insisted she still held him close to her heart.
After Devon arrived at Abby's, he cradled Dominic and walked about the room, gently bouncing the infant. After Dominic continued to cry, Devon suggested he might have lost his touch. Abby seemed exasperated, explaining that she'd dismissed colic, later determining that the baby had the sniffles. Dr. Bradley suggested trying saline drops administered into the baby's nose. Dominic had fallen asleep in Devon's arms, so Abby left to get the saline drops.
Devon settled in a chair, stroked Dominic's back, and explained that Dominic's mommy would soon return. Devon assured Dominic that Devon and Abby would take care of Dominic because they loved him, as did many other people. Devon kissed the baby and promised he'd always be around to help. After Abby returned and administered the nasal drops, Devon praised Abby for being a good mama. Abby thanked Devon for his support and said she hadn't heard a word from Chance. Abby told Devon she'd restarted her video journal because Chance was missing the first weeks of Dominic's life. The baby awoke crying, and Devon quickly responded to soothe him.
At Crimson Lights, Sally relayed her directives to a tailor who was sewing the wedding gown Sally had designed. Sally offered to pay more to rush the job and get the dress completed before the bride left town. Adam entered unseen and overheard Sally's conversation. After Sally hung up, Adam said he assumed Sally believed she could convince Victoria to wear the wedding dress she'd design. Sally explained that, if successful, Newman Media's fashion platform would benefit because many would see Victoria's gown and be eager to purchase a lower-priced version.
Adam told Sally that she was taking quite a gamble and was paying for it all with his money. Sally replied, "This is an investment, not a gamble." Adam pointed out that Sally was designing a wedding dress for a bride who likely already had a dress and had no idea another was being designed for her. Sally pompously insisted that her design was better and that Victoria would choose it instead. Adam informed Sally that whether Victoria loved or hated the dress, she wouldn't wear it because Sally was involved. Sally told Adam that Victoria might respect her chutzpah and appreciate the gown's design and craftsmanship.
Sally claimed that Victoria might even see a little bit of herself in Sally and admire the effort it had taken to create a perfect dress. Adam replied, "Or you might just piss her off." Sally remained hopeful and said, "The enemy of your enemy can be your friend." Adam recalled what Sally had done to Summer and warned that Victoria wouldn't appreciate what Sally had done to her niece. Sally disagreed, noting that Summer had landed a dream job and was marrying her dream guy. Sally proudly proclaimed that her work spoke for itself.
Adam admired the dress design displayed on Sally's tablet and proclaimed her work to be spectacular. Sally explained that the design was all her own and that the finished dress should arrive the next afternoon. Adam asked Sally if she planned to fly to Tuscany and crash the wedding if the dress wasn't ready on time. Sally vowed to do whatever she had to do, despite Adam having pointed out the possible flaws with her plan. Sally insisted she would give Victoria the dress of her dreams and create a huge buzz for Newman Media's fashion platform. Adam praised Sally for being committed.
After Victoria left Ashland and Nick at the Grand Phoenix, she went to her office. Victoria glanced at her portrait hanging on the wall, sighed, and seemed unsettled. Billy returned to his office, phoned a colleague, and instructed the person to find out everything about Camilla Rhodes's will. Billy asked his investigator to determine whether Ashland Locke had done anything shady after the woman's death, which had allowed him to get his hands on Rhodes's money.
At Crimson Lights, Rey smelled Sharon's perfume and mused that he was having a flashback to their honeymoon in Miami. She confirmed that she was wearing the perfume he'd given her the night before, and she called it the scent of love. Mariah entered the coffeehouse, and Rey remarked that it was good to see her smiling. Mariah chirped that it was a beautiful day and that she was feeling a lot better. Sharon wondered what had changed. Mariah told her not to worry because she and Tessa weren't pregnant, but having a baby wasn't off the table yet. Sharon looked concerned.
Rey said he hadn't known Mariah and Tessa were considering having a baby. Sharon explained that she hadn't wanted to share her conversation with Mariah without permission, and Mariah told Rey that Sharon and Tessa thought her desire to have a baby was a knee-jerk reaction. Mariah shared that she and Tessa had had a great conversation, and they'd agreed to not discuss it further until after they got back from Victoria's wedding. Sharon reasoned that it would give Tessa more time to think about it, and she also thought Mariah could use the time away.
Mariah mentioned that she was about to visit Abby and the baby to apologize for how she'd abruptly moved out. Sharon questioned whether Mariah was ready for that, and Mariah insisted that she could handle it. After Mariah headed out, Rey noted that she seemed to be back on track. "But is she really?" a skeptical Sharon asked.
Rey couldn't begin to guess what Mariah was feeling inside, but he observed that she'd seemed to be in good spirits. Sharon's maternal instincts told her that there were warning signs, since Mariah specialized in pretending everything was okay when it wasn't. Tessa entered the coffeehouse, and Sharon informed her that Mariah had just stopped by before heading over to Abby's. Sharon added that Mariah had claimed to be in a better emotional space, and she asked if it was true.
Tessa wanted to believe Mariah was doing better, and she relayed that they'd hashed things out. Tessa thought Mariah had seemed to hear her, and they'd agreed to put the discussion about having a baby on the back burner until after they returned from Tuscany. Sharon was glad Mariah and Tessa were going to the wedding, since both women needed a vacation.
At the Chancellor mansion, Abby snoozed on the couch but woke up to the sound of Dominic crying. Devon awakened in a chair nearby, and Abby indicated that the baby's breathing and temperature seemed good. Abby thanked God that her son would be okay. Devon sent a text message to Amanda to tell her not to worry. Abby apologized for keeping him there all night, but he told her there was nothing to be sorry about, since they'd both fallen asleep watching Dominic.
Abby realized that the baby had also slept through the night. She stepped into the kitchen to fetch a bottle, and Devon cooed to Dominic. The doorbell rang, and Devon found Mariah there. He explained that he'd fallen asleep in a chair after Abby had asked him to stop by because Dominic had been congested. Devon worriedly eyed Mariah as she made a beeline to check on Dominic.
Mariah asked how Dominic was doing, and Devon informed her that the pediatrician hadn't been too concerned when Abby had called. Mariah was surprised that Abby had needed to call a doctor, and Devon explained that Abby had called when she'd had trouble getting the baby to sleep. Mariah seemed taken aback that Abby had turned to Devon for help. Abby returned to the room and cheerfully greeted Mariah, who apologized for her sudden decision to move out.
Mariah shared that she'd been struggling and that Tessa had been trying to help her through it, and she felt like she was in a better headspace. Abby called it great news and assured Mariah that they were there for her. Mariah noted that it seemed too soon for Dominic to be getting sick, but Abby insisted that she had it covered. Dominic began to cry, and Abby picked him up and fed him from a bottle. Abby asked when Mariah and Tessa would be heading to Tuscany, and Mariah rambled on about how she'd been stockpiling and freezing breast milk. Abby announced that she wouldn't be going to the wedding, since Dominic was too young to fly, and she didn't want to leave him with the nanny.
Abby added that it would be a good time to switch Dominic to formula. Mariah realized that Abby intended to wean the baby off breast milk. Abby recognized that they hadn't followed their contract to the letter, and she thought it was a good time to make the transition. Mariah agreed that Abby and Dominic should avoid the long, grueling trip. Abby encouraged Mariah to share her feelings, and Devon added that they were all friends. Mariah thanked them for being understanding and stammered that she would see them soon. Mariah headed out as Abby and Devon shared a worried glance.
Abby fretted that Dominic didn't seem to be doing any better, and she contemplated calling the pediatrician again. Devon handed her the phone, and she called the doctor and shared that Dominic had slept through the night but wasn't taking much of his bottle. Abby reported that the doctor hadn't seemed to be too concerned, since the baby was active and alert, and she figured that she was just being an overreactive mom. Devon thought she had to be when she had a life to look after. Abby mused that it was a constant learning curve.
Mariah returned to her hotel suite and clutched Dominic's bib. She flashed back to telling Tessa that she wanted a child because she'd realized how much love she had to give, but Tessa had whimpered that it was wrong to saddle a child with healing a wound. Tessa returned to the suite and mentioned that she'd seen Sharon and Rey, who had told her Mariah had gone to see Abby. Tessa swore that it had just been an innocent run-in, but she was surprised Mariah hadn't told her about the visit.
Mariah called it a spur-of-the-moment decision, and she revealed that nothing had gone how she'd planned. Mariah shared that Bowie had been sick, and she couldn't help but worry. Tessa was sure Abby was doing everything possible to take care of him. Mariah protested that she couldn't leave the country because she'd go crazy wondering if he was okay or not. Tessa urged Mariah to take a step back and let Abby deal with it, since they knew Abby would handle the situation with love and care. Mariah barked that she couldn't stop caring about the baby just because she didn't live with him anymore.
Mariah wailed that she couldn't turn off her feelings, and she loved Dominic. She contended that it was why having a baby of their own would help, but Tessa had shut down the idea. Tessa pointed out that she'd just said they should talk about it more, and they'd agreed to table the topic until they got back from their trip. Mariah proclaimed that she wasn't going to Italy, since she had to be there in case Bowie needed anything. Tessa reeled.
Sally entered a hotel suite with a garment bag and informed Chloe that she'd hired a seamstress to put a rush on making Victoria's wedding dress. Sally unzipped the bag and showed the gown to Chloe, who gasped in amazement at how gorgeous it was. Chloe recalled that she'd only seen photos of Victoria's current dress, but she believed Sally's design beat it on every level. Chloe gushed that Sally's dress was to die for. Sally pointed out that there was just one problem -- how to get it on the blushing bride.
Chloe warned that Victoria's assistant wouldn't let anyone through without an appointment. Sally intended to get more creative, but Chloe cautioned that the last thing Newman Media needed was Sally pulling an over-the-top stunt. Chloe offered to call Victoria and claim that Lauren wanted to meet at the hotel for a dress fitting. Sally anticipated that Victoria would know the dress was "the one" the minute she saw it. Chloe envisioned Victoria wearing the gown on her wedding day and putting their fashion platform on the map, getting them one step closer to becoming a full-fledged fashion house.
Chloe called Victoria's office and learned that Victoria and Ashland had already left for Tuscany the night before. Sally thanked Chloe for believing in her dress enough to go out on a limb for her, and Chloe lamented that she'd gone to the trouble for nothing. Sally refused to give up just because of a minor setback, and she declared that she needed to work remotely for the next few days. Chloe seemed confused. "If I cannot bring Victoria to the dress, then I will bring the dress to Victoria. Arrivederci, Genoa City! I am off to Tuscany," Sally proclaimed.
At Society, Adam ribbed Billy for eating alone. Billy shot back that Lily was meeting him in Tuscany for the wedding, whereas Adam hadn't even been invited. Adam announced that he had been invited, and he looked forward to toasting to Victoria's good fortune. Billy scoffed at the thought of Victoria marrying Ashland to be good fortune. Adam taunted that she'd finally found a man worthy of her.
Billy assumed Adam had been added to the guest list as Victor's plus-one, but Adam clarified that Victoria had personally invited him to her big day. Billy figured it didn't matter because there might not be a wedding. Billy confirmed that he knew Victoria had already left for Tuscany, but he pointed out that it didn't guarantee she'd walk down the aisle. Adam argued that Victoria wouldn't have gone all the way there not to get married, and he chalked up any prewedding jitters to wishful thinking on Billy's part. Billy suspected that Victoria would wake up and realize the insanity of committing to an enigma of a man. Adam countered that Victoria was deeply in love for the first time in a long time and that she knew exactly what she was doing.
Billy doubted that Adam had any insight into Victoria's heart, but Adam wasn't sure Billy knew her much better. Adam imagined Victoria had to be happy if even his presence wouldn't spoil her wedding day, and he believed that Ashland and Victoria had true love compared to the idealistic sitcom setup she'd shared with Billy. Billy snapped that Adam had no idea what their relationship had been like, but Adam contended that Victoria had gone past the point of no return. Billy huffed that they'd see about that, since maybe something or someone would help her see the light. Billy walked out.
Adam sat at the bar and called Victor, who was in a hurry because he was about to attend Summer's wedding. Adam warned that Billy might be planning to interfere with Victoria's nuptials, and Victor grumbled that he'd had a feeling Billy wouldn't let it go because he hated to see Victoria happy with another man. Adam sensed that Billy was up to something, and Victor asked if Adam was willing to help stop Billy. Adam thought he wasn't the right man for the job, since Victoria was barely tolerating him as a wedding guest. Victor insisted that Adam reciprocate Victoria's efforts by stopping Billy.
Chloe and Sally entered Society. Chloe thought Sally would be taking things too far by flying to Italy on the chance Victoria would even look at the dress, much less wear it at the last minute. Sally referred to Chloe's reaction when she'd seen the gown, and she had no doubt Victoria would feel the same way. Chloe cautioned that Sally already had one strike against her because of her machinations against Summer, but Sally remained convinced that getting Victoria to wear the dress would be a gamechanger for the fashion division. Sally was determined to make it to Tuscany if that was what it took to realize their dream. Chloe wished her luck and stepped aside to take a call.
Sally approached Adam and asked when he planned on leaving for the wedding. He cautiously asked why, and she admitted that she needed to bum a ride to Italy. Sally informed Adam that the wedding dress she'd designed was ready and spectacular, but the bride had taken off too early to see it. Adam balked at the idea of her flying halfway around the world to present an alternative dress to his picky and opinionated sister. Sally maintained that she was really good at what she did.
Adam stressed that even if he went along with the stunt, he wanted to keep things strictly professional between him and Sally. Sally agreed, and she anticipated that if Victoria walked down the aisle in Sally's dress, the fashion division would get more clicks than all the other platforms combined. She questioned whether it would be that terrible to fly to Italy together, and she pointed out that he knew she could be entertaining. Adam guessed that there was no real reason to fight her, but she'd owe him one.
Later, Adam ordered a private investigator to find out everything he could about the search Chancellor Communications was conducting for Jesse Gaines. Adam stressed that he and Victor were counting on the P.I. to make sure they stayed one step ahead of Billy Abbott.
At ChancComm, Billy told someone over the phone that he needed something on Camilla Rhodes's will, since he was positive Ashland was mentioned in it. He became incensed by what he heard. "Ashland Locke, you son of a bitch," Billy growled.
Later, Billy met with an investigative reporter and found it hard to believe there were no records of Camilla's will or banking records. The reporter confirmed that she hadn't turned anything up, and he questioned whether Ashland had made them disappear permanently. She replied that she couldn't be sure, but her people might have hit paydirt on another angle -- they'd finally gotten a beat on Jesse Gaines. Billy bet Gaines had all the answers he was looking for about Ashland Locke.
In Tuscany, a housekeeper welcomed Victoria and Ashland to the Newman palazzo. Victoria complimented the job the woman and her team had done preparing for the wedding, but the housekeeper credited Nikki for making most of the arrangements. Ashland marveled that the palazzo was as breathtaking as the woman he wanted to marry.
The housekeeper stepped out to give Victoria and Ashland privacy. Ashland said he was glad Victoria had been able to sleep for most of the flight, but she remained silent. He enthused that the beauty and character of the place exceeded his expectations, and Victoria divulged that Victor had deeded them the palazzo as a wedding gift. Ashland thought it sounded like there was still going to be a wedding.
Victoria asserted that she wouldn't have flown thousands of miles on Ashland's private jet if she'd already decided not to go through with the wedding. He took that as a hopeful sign the wedding was still on, and she reiterated that she'd left things open because he'd said he wanted to talk away from Genoa City and her family. She pointed out that they had the place to themselves without any interruptions, and she wanted to hear what else he'd been keeping from her. She surmised it was much worse than the confessions she'd already heard.
Ashland fought the temptation to convince Victoria to marry him right then because he didn't want to push her into something that didn't feel right in her heart. She recognized that he was a man who got anything and everything he wanted, and she thought part of the reason she'd fallen in love with him was because she was exactly the same way. She assured him that she still loved him even after learning about his past, and he wished that he had been more forthcoming from the start. Victoria firmly stated that she hated lies, having grown up with a father who'd kept things from his family whenever it had suited him. She continued that she'd lived with Billy and his gambling and lies for many years.
Ashland deeply regretted that he'd created another cloud of dishonesty in Victoria's world. He stressed that aside from her and Nick, he'd never told another living soul about the decision he'd made on the night of the crash, and only two people knew about another thing he was about to reveal to her. Ashland explained that there had been a wall around him ever since his damaged childhood, and he'd tried to lower the wall for her, but it wasn't natural or easy. He conceded that he'd made huge mistakes and wanted to set them right. He vowed to prove to her that there would be no more lies, and he divulged that there was one more thing he needed to tell her.
Victoria assumed that Ashland's confession had something to do with Jesse Gaines. Ashland recalled that he'd told her how he'd taken over his friend's identity after the fatal crash, and he thought it was time he told her how he'd made his fortune. He promised that he was going to tell her everything, but he imagined she was hungry after a long day, and he suggested that they shelve the conversation and grab a bite to eat. He added that she'd probably want a glass of wine or two.
At Society, Nate told Billy that he and Elena would fly to Italy in Ashland's jet. Billy was disappointed he couldn't go with them because Lily hadn't returned from visiting Mattie, and they needed to figure out Katie and Johnny's schedules. Billy stated he'd told Victoria and Ashland that they were rushing into marriage. He understood the urgency and that they were on borrowed time, but he also felt there were other considerations that needed to take precedence.
Nate suggested that Billy accept the situation, since he would be attending the wedding. Billy hoped Victoria would change her mind. Elena said Ashland adored Victoria. Billy wanted to make sure they understood he wasn't pining for his ex and that he and Lily were deliriously happy. If Ashland lived up to the hype, Billy would be happy for the couple. However, certain things had come to light, and Billy didn't believe Ashland was the man he'd claimed he was.
Nate told Billy there was more to their friendship than Ashland being a charismatic and fun guy. Nate had a great admiration for the Ashland who was battling a potentially fatal illness, undergoing intensive treatment, and handling the ordeal with grace. Elena suggested that Billy support Ashland and Victoria's union instead of holding Ashland accountable for something he might have done in his youth.
Nate reminded Billy that Lily had accepted him for the man he was and not for his past misdeeds. Billy stated he'd been open and honest with Lily about everything, but he couldn't say the same about Ashland. He wasn't about to turn a blind eye and ignore the red flags. Elena asked if Billy intended to interfere with the wedding. Billy said Victoria was capable of making her own decisions; however, he wanted to make sure she had all the facts. Billy received a text message. He told Nate and Elena he had to leave to deal with something important.
Elena told Nate she had packing to do, and the trip was very important to her. She was happy Nate had given them another chance to get things right. Nate claimed he was happy, and he couldn't wait for them to spend time together.
At the park, Sally told Adam they needed a large vehicle to pick them up in Italy because she was bringing a lot of luggage, like the wedding dress, a sewing machine, all the paraphernalia that went with the dress, and accessories, plus her clothes. Adam asked how Sally intended to get Victoria to wear the dress. Sally claimed she had 5,000 miles to work out a plan. Sally assumed the palazzo would be gorgeous, old, and elegant. Adam said he'd never been there. Sally suggested they explore it together.
Adam told Sally that just because they would be on the same jet, it didn't mean they were together. He wanted her to understand they weren't a couple, and she wasn't his date. She promised not to read anything else into them. She was a travel companion and colleague, nothing more. She would make sure that no one got the wrong impression, as that seemed to be Adam's biggest concern. Adam claimed his first concern was to make sure Sally didn't get the wrong idea.
Sally asked Adam if he would be picking her up or if they should meet at the airport, just as Chloe arrived and questioned Sally's comment. Sally informed Chloe that Adam had offered her a lift to Tuscany. After Adam left, Chloe told Sally to rethink her trip. Sally said it didn't matter how she arrived in Italy, as long as she had the opportunity to present her wedding dress to Victoria. Chloe felt it was a long shot. Sally claimed she had to try. Sally said she and Adam had clarified they weren't going as a couple, and it wasn't about romance. Sarcastically, Chloe claimed Sally would be at a lavish wedding at a magnificent Italian palazzo. She sarcastically asked who could even think about romance in such a setting.
Outside Society, Adam received a text message from someone: "Billy just arrived at Society." Adam wrote back, "I missed him. Did he meet with anyone?" The person responded, "Hastings, Dawson."
Adam entered Society. He apologized to Nate and Elena for interrupting and asked if they'd seen Billy. Nate said Adam had just missed him. Adam claimed he and Billy were supposed to meet, but he'd been delayed. Adam thought that Billy had to have been angry. Elena claimed Billy seemed okay. She said Billy had rushed out after he'd received a text message. They assumed there had been some breaking news somewhere.
Adam told Elena he hadn't seen any recent blockbusters on the ChancComm site. Whatever Billy had been working on had to still be in progress. Nate asked why Adam and Billy were meeting, since they weren't on the best of terms. Adam claimed he wanted to negotiate a temporary truce for Victoria's wedding and for the sake of family unity. Elena was surprised Adam would be attending.
Adam told Elena that he and Nick were in a better place since Faith's transplant, and he wanted to improve his relationship with Victoria. Adam stated that he and Billy would never see eye to eye, but he'd hoped they could make a pact not to disrupt the wedding. Nate said he wasn't sure that Adam and Billy were on the same page. Elena told Adam that Billy had been very open about his feelings regarding the wedding. Elena told Adam that Nate was Ashland's best man. Adam was very pleased. Nate stated he'd been delighted to have been asked. Adam looked forward to seeing them at the wedding, and he left.
At the palazzo, Ashland felt compelled to warn Victoria that once he'd shared what he'd done, she would become complicit in the public's eye. She asked if it had to do with an actual crime; Ashland admitted it did. She wanted him to tell her everything.
Ashland told Victoria she needed to understand his relationship with Camilla Rhodes to understand what he'd done. They'd met when Bobby had gone for the interview as his friend Ashland Locke. He'd hoped to bluff his way through the interview. His friend Ashland had talked about it constantly, and some of it had stuck. Ashland said that Bobby had been a mess after he'd been in an accident and watched his friend Ashland die. Bobby had wanted to live Ashland's life for him and somehow make it up to him.
Ashland told Victoria that Camilla had had other candidates who'd applied for the job. They had been better prepared, better dressed, and more articulate. However, Camilla had sensed that Ashland had wanted the job more than anyone else, and she'd given him a shot. Camilla had basically taken him under her wing, and it had meant everything to him. Camilla had been alone, since she hadn't had any family, and her husband had died. He'd earned Camilla's trust by working hard, and Camilla had treated him like the son she'd never had.
Ashland continued, disclosing that Camilla had helped him map out a future for himself in the media realm, something he could never have done on his own. Then, things had gone to hell. Camilla had protected and taken care of him in ways his mother wouldn't or couldn't. When Camilla had died, it had hit him as hard as when his friend Ashland had died. He'd assumed there would be a provision for him in her will.
Ashland informed Victoria that Camilla's lawyer, Jesse Gaines Sr., had told him that Camilla's entire estate would go to charity. Ashland felt Camilla had made a mockery of the trust and faith he'd had in her, as if it had been a big joke. He admitted it sounded like he'd been an entitled, spoiled brat and that he should have inherited her entire estate. Jesse had told him Camilla had written a letter stating that Ashland hadn't needed an inheritance to be successful because she'd had faith that he could make it on his own. Ashland said Camilla had been right.
Ashland told Victoria that Jesse had been angry on Ashland's behalf, because he'd taken a liking to Ashland. Camilla had encouraged Jesse to take on a paternal role in Ashland's life. Jesse had tried to talk Camilla out of her plan to leave her estate to charity, but she had refused to budge.
Ashland continued. He told Victoria that he and Jesse had realized they could fix the situation. Jesse Sr. had forged a letter, supposedly written by Camilla the night before her death, with instructions to revise the will. It had effectively become a codicil to the original will. It had overwritten her will, and it had left Ashland her entire estate. Ashland had used Camilla's money to buy the television stations that had become the foundation of his media empire. Victoria claimed his empire had been built on a lie and stolen funds.
Ashland told Victoria that when he'd matured, he'd realized it had been too late to change what had been done or Jesse Sr.'s complicity. Victoria asked why Jesse would have taken such an enormous risk; she wanted to know what had been in it for him. Ashland claimed there hadn't been a risk, since there hadn't been anyone to challenge it. Camilla hadn't had any heirs. Making Ashland the beneficiary of her estate had seemed to be a logical choice. Jesse had wanted Ashland's commitment to Camilla and her company and for Ashland to be financially rewarded.
Victoria asked Ashland about Jesse Gaines Jr. Ashland stated that Jesse Jr. didn't work for him. Jesse Jr. was a worthless human being. Jesse Sr. had known that, and he wouldn't have taken Jesse Jr. into his confidence. Victoria asked Ashland why Jesse Jr. had suddenly shown up in Genoa City and harassed him.
Ashland told Victoria that Jesse Sr. had made a serious mistake because he hadn't destroyed Camilla's note stipulating that Ashland wasn't to receive an inheritance. Jesse Jr. had discovered it, and he'd kept it for future leverage. After Jesse Sr. had died, there hadn't been a legal or ethical threat, and Jesse Jr. had decided to blackmail him. He'd been blackmailing Ashland for years. When Jesse had discovered that Ashland was dying, he'd realized the gravy train was ending. Jesse wasn't bright enough to create any other source of income, and he had demanded that Ashland make one last lump-sum payment.
Victoria asked about when Ashland had gone to his banker, and she asked if it had been to pay off Jesse. Ashland admitted it had been. He said that the scared little boy had grown into a ruthless cutthroat, and after living that way for a lifetime, it had become second nature. He'd wanted to shield Victoria from all the ugliness of what he'd done. Victoria asked if Ashland had paid Jesse off and if Jesse was gone. Ashland claimed Jesse was gone, but Victor had beaten Ashland in paying Jesse off.
Victoria asked if Ashland had requested Victor's help in dealing with Jesse. Ashland denied it. He had no idea how Victor had figured it out. When he'd arrived at the Grand Phoenix to pay Jesse off, Jesse had been gone. Victor had been there, and he'd told Ashland not to think about it any further. Victoria didn't understand why Victor would have intervened. Ashland said Victor had made it very clear that it hadn't been for Ashland's sake. Victor loved Victoria very much, and he'd seen how happy she was. He'd wanted Victoria to remain that way and for Ashland to consider it a wedding gift.
Victoria told Ashland there had to be something more. Ashland figured that Victor had been worried about the Newman-Locke merger and its public image. Ashland said that Victor understood what Ashland had gone through because Victor had regretted some of the difficult choices he'd needed to make when he'd been young. Victor didn't want the foolish things Ashland had done in his youth to get in the way of his and Victoria's future together.
Ashland claimed that with as much as Victor had done, the threat hadn't been eliminated. Victoria asked if Jesse was still a threat and a loose end Victor hadn't been aware of. Ashland said Victor hadn't consulted with him before he'd taken matters into his own hands. Victor wasn't aware of the first letter or that he needed to retrieve it to neutralize Jesse. Jesse would hold that over Ashland's head regardless of how much money they threw at him. Jesse had always despised Ashland.
Ashland informed Victoria that Jesse Sr. hadn't had any respect for his son. Jesse Sr. had always compared Jesse Jr. unfavorably with Ashland. Ashland suspected that Jesse Jr. had been fantasizing about taking Ashland down for a long time, but he hadn't, and because of Ashland's financial largesse, Jesse had hesitated to go through with it. However, since Jesse believed that Ashland's days were numbered, he needed to make his move. Victoria stated that if Jesse went after Ashland, the blowback on her company would be fraud, conspiracy, and grand theft. It would become a huge scandal.
Ashland assured Victoria they were protected from any legal repercussions, since the statute of limitations had long since expired, but if the information was revealed, his reputation and Locke Communications Group would be tarnished. With the merger, Newman would also face the fallout. Victoria was gobsmacked. She had no idea how to address the situation. Ashland asked her to put it aside for the time being because he wanted to know what was in Victoria's heart and if she would go through with marrying him, knowing what he'd done.
Victoria told Ashland that as CEO of the merged company, it was her responsibility to focus on the business aspect first. If the story was revealed, it would undermine everything they had accomplished. She'd spent years trying to make Newman strong and resilient; however, because of his past deeds, she had to worry about a ticking time bomb. Ashland felt there was a chance they could keep everything under wraps. He was more concerned about what was going on between them. He didn't want her to make any rash decisions about their wedding.
Victoria lashed out at Ashland. She told him she should never have been put into that position. Ashland claimed he'd kept his past under wraps for 40 years, and he'd intended to take it to his grave. He wanted her to understand why he'd done what he'd done. He asked if there was any chance that they could work through it.
When Billy arrived at home, he told the reporter he was delighted that she and her team had been able to locate Jesse Gaines so quickly and had returned him to Genoa City. Jesse entered from the balcony.
Billy reminded Jesse that he'd been about to tell Billy how Ashland Locke had started in business, but he'd vanished before he'd revealed any information. Jesse claimed he'd received a better offer. Billy asked how much Victor had paid him. Jesse claimed it had been more than Billy had offered -- and less than he expected Billy to counter with for the information. Billy asked if Jesse wanted to reopen negotiations.
Jesse told Billy that Victor wouldn't be happy that he'd given Victor's people the slip. Jesse needed a guarantee that Billy would protect him from Victor, or their conversation would end immediately. Billy was confident he could protect Jesse from Victor. After all, he'd managed to get Jesse to his home safely. Jesse had no intention of settling for Billy's word. He wanted to sign off on every detail that Billy's security team had for his safety. Billy was certain he could put Jesse's mind at ease.
Billy questioned why, if Jesse was concerned about Victor's reaction, Jesse had agreed to talk to Billy. Billy claimed there was more than money involved because Jesse could have gone back to Victor -- or Ashland -- and asked for more. Their pockets were deeper than Billy's, and they would keep the story quiet. Billy claimed that didn't sit well with him, and he knew Jesse wanted the truth to be revealed about how Ashland had started his career. Billy wanted to know why and what Jesse's beef was with Ashland. Jesse admitted it was personal, and Billy would find out why after they'd made their deal.
Billy told Jesse he understood they hadn't ironed out the details of protecting Jesse, but it was clear that Jesse wanted the facts revealed. Billy had deduced that Ashland and Jesse Sr. had cooked up a scheme that had launched Ashland's career, and Jesse Sr. had given Ashland the money to buy the two television stations. Billy guessed the deal had been shady, possibly illegal. Jesse confirmed Billy was on the right track. Jesse told Billy that as long as he could be guaranteed protection from Victor and they settled on the money, he would tell Billy everything Billy wanted to know.
At Crimson Lights, Adam called Victor. He reported that Billy had received a tip of some sort, and Billy's focus was still on stopping the wedding. Adam believed it had something to do with Ashland. Victor told Adam that Jesse Gaines has slipped through Victor's security team's fingers, and he suspected Billy had had a hand in it. Victor asked Adam to keep an eye on Billy to make sure Billy didn't cause any further damage. Adam agreed.
In the morning at the palazzo, Ashland told Victoria he knew she needed space after his revelation. He asked if there was going to be a wedding. Victoria and Ashland were surprised when Nikki and Victor arrived. She asked why they weren't in Milan. Nikki said they'd left right after Kyle and Summer's ceremony. They wanted to be at the palazzo to make sure everything was ready for Victoria and Ashland's arrival. Nikki was delighted they had all arrived early to go over the details, but Victoria wanted to hear about Summer and Kyle's wedding.
Nikki told Victoria the wedding had been simple and elegant, and she had many photos to show Victoria. Nikki said Summer's Marchetti gown had been exquisite. Harrison had been the ring bearer, and he couldn't wait to do the same thing at Victoria and Ashland's wedding. Nikki asked if everything was okay with them. Victoria claimed all was well. She and Ashland had arrived early to make sure all the arrangements were on schedule. Victoria wanted to show Nikki the terrace in case Nikki had additional ideas for the decorations.
After Nikki and Victoria left, Victor told Ashland that he'd received news from home that had concerned him. Billy was trying to stir up more trouble by digging into Ashland's past. Victor said Billy might seem like an idiot at times, but he was extremely tenacious; however, Adam was watching him. Ashland claimed he wasn't worried anymore. He'd told Victoria everything. No one had any leverage to hold over his head, but he didn't want the story to go public.
Victor told Ashland that Gaines had fallen off Victor's radar. He assured Ashland that Gaines would be found. Victor wouldn't let anything ruin Victoria's big day. He was concerned about Ashland's health in light of Ashland's past having been revealed. Ashland assured Victor he was fine, but he was concerned about the distress he'd caused Victoria. Victoria had brought him much joy and a reason to live. Victor stated they had to stop Billy and Gaines from causing further trouble. Ashland claimed it was his fault because of the choices he'd made in the past.
Ashland told Victor he no longer saw himself as the man who'd made those choices. Victor respected Ashland for taking responsibility and revealing his past to Victoria. Ashland hoped he wouldn't lose Victoria.
On the terrace, Victoria told Nikki that Ashland had told her everything about the part of his past that he'd found so shameful. Ashland had told her about his former mentor, Camilla Rhodes, and how he'd acquired her television stations. Billy and Nick had been right about their suspicions. After Camilla had passed away, Ashland and Camilla's lawyer, Jesse Gaines Sr., had forged a letter that had added Ashland to her will. Nikki was shocked and outraged.
Nikki told Victoria that Ashland should have revealed that his entire empire had been based on a crime before they'd flown to Italy. Victoria said Ashland had sworn it was his last secret, and she believed him. Victoria had warned Ashland she wouldn't tolerate any more lies. Victoria wished Ashland had been honest from the beginning. Nikki said she would contact the planner and cancel the wedding if that was what Victoria wanted.
Victoria told Nikki all that mattered was protecting Newman-Locke. She couldn't allow all their hard work be decimated by a scandal. The merger was extremely important to their future. Victoria said she'd looked at the situation from every angle, and she couldn't do anything that would raise suspicion or cause an investigation into Ashland or Locke Communications Group. Nikki said Victoria was talking like a CEO. Nikki wanted to know about Victoria's emotions. Victoria claimed she couldn't think about her emotions. The wedding had to happen.
Victoria told Nikki there couldn't be any red flags on the situation. They had to keep it contained. Nikki asked if the marriage was only for show and if Victoria was forcing herself into a marriage that shouldn't happen. Victoria denied it. Nikki asked if Victoria believed that they could have a happy marriage after Ashland's revelation. Victoria claimed she would handle it; however, her main concern was Billy. He was determined to derail the wedding. Billy had sent her text messages stating that she was making a mistake and that he had information she needed to know.
Victoria told Nikki that nothing Billy had to say would be news to her. He couldn't sway her decision about the wedding. However, Billy could ruin everything if he exposed his news to the world. Nikki hoped Victoria had changed her mind about rescinding Nick's invitation. Victoria claimed that Nick shouldn't have dug up dirt on Ashland. Nikki felt Victoria had lashed out at the wrong people. She should be upset with Ashland because he'd kept secrets from her.
Victoria asked Nikki how many secrets Victor had kept from her over the years, and she said he'd only admitted them when he'd been cornered. Nikki claimed she wanted to spare Victoria from that kind of pain. Victoria said Ashland hadn't committed a crime against her family, and there was no need to relive what he'd done in the past. She should have been able to trust Nick. He should have stood by her, the way she would have stood by Nick had the situation been reversed. Nick had hurt her when he'd betrayed her. Nikki asked Victoria what she felt in her heart about Ashland. Victoria didn't know.
Nikki and Victoria joined the men. Victoria said the terrace was the perfect backdrop for their vow exchange. Nikki asked Victoria to show them to their room.
In their room, Victor asked Nikki for some time alone with Victoria. After Nikki left, Victor wanted to know how Victoria felt after Ashland's revelation about his past. She claimed it had been a lot to take in. Victoria assumed Nick had told Victor how Ashland had taken the name Ashland Locke. Victoria claimed Nick had had no right to dig up that information. Victor wanted her to forgive Nick because Nick had only done it to protect her. Victor was taken aback when Victoria said Nick needed to earn her forgiveness.
Victoria thanked Victor for keeping the Camilla Rhodes story quiet and for keeping Newman-Locke from the backlash. Victor claimed it hadn't been the reason he'd paid off Gaines. He'd done it because he'd never seen Victoria as happy as she was with Ashland, and he commented on how good Ashland was for her. Victoria assured Victor she had every intention of marrying Ashland.
Elsewhere, Nikki confronted Ashland, and she told him that after everything she'd learned, she had very serious doubts about whether the wedding should proceed. She said Victoria believed it was the right thing to do for practical reasons, and she didn't want to admit how much she'd been hurt. Nikki claimed she'd been proven right when she'd warned Victoria that getting involved with Ashland would be nothing but heartache. Victoria might believe the wedding should happen, but Nikki appealed to Ashland. Shocked, Ashland asked if Nikki was asking him to call things off. Nikki said if Ashland truly cared about Victoria, he needed to relieve Victoria of that burden.
On the phone at home, Billy told Hannah that Lily would pick up Johnny and Katie, and the three of them would fly to Italy. Billy said he would be flying out early because there was a fire he needed to extinguish. He asked Hannah to inform Victoria there had been a change in plans. He explained that Victoria hadn't been taking Billy's calls.
After Billy ended the call, Jesse Gaines commented that Billy appeared to be more interested in burning everything down rather than putting out a fire. Billy thanked Jesse for filling him in on Ashland's humble beginnings. Billy couldn't believe the audacity of Ashland to have forged a letter from Camilla Rhodes, changing the contents of her will. Jesse claimed it would be interesting to all of Billy's readers. Jesse hoped all that money Billy had given him had been worth the information he'd provided. Billy claimed the money was to protect Victoria from making a huge mistake, and the money had come from Billy personally; however, he wasn't allowing Jesse to walk out until Billy could prove that Jesse's story was true.
Jesse pulled out an envelope from his bag. He told Billy it was a copy of the letter Camilla had written to Ashland. It was what anyone needed to destroy Ashland Locke. Billy reached for the envelope, but Jesse grabbed it. He said it was a copy of the letter, and he wasn't giving it to Billy until he had a guarantee he would be protected from Victor. Billy said Jesse had the money, and Billy would show Jesse the exit plan to ensure that Victor remained off Jesse's back.
Billy asked Jesse to read the letter to him. Jesse complied, and he read the letter to Billy. Billy asked about the location of the original of the forged letter that had changed Camilla's will. Jesse claimed the letter he'd read was all the evidence Billy needed. Jesse claimed Ashland had been paying him for years to keep that letter a secret. Billy asked how Jesse had gotten the letter. Jesse claimed he'd gotten it from his father's dossier before the evidence of the forgery had been destroyed. Billy asked who else had been aware of the letter. Jesse said no one because his father had done the work on his own.
Jesse told Billy that Camilla hadn't had a family. No one had been interested in the will or in contesting the will when the codicil had been filed. Billy asked who the estate had been left to. Jesse claimed it would have gone to various charities, like homes for wayward cats, exotic plants, and such. Jesse stated that Locke was a bastard and a master manipulator. Jesse claimed that Locke had convinced Jesse's father that he'd been wronged by Camilla, and they had concocted a plan to create a false document so that Locke could set things right in his mind.
Billy noted that Jesse appeared to have a lot of animosity toward Ashland. Jesse admitted he did, and it was personal. Billy asked why. Jesse claimed he'd spent his whole life jumping through hoops to impress his father, and it hadn't been easy to get his attention. When Locke had shown up, his father had taken an immediate liking to Ashland, and he'd sung Ashland's praises. When Ashland had inherited all that money, Jesse claimed he'd known something had been wrong. He'd decided to do some digging. He had found the original will and the letter that had explained why Ashland wouldn't receive an inheritance. He'd taken the letter before all the documents had been destroyed.
Jesse told Billy his father had been angry when Jesse had told him he'd had the letter. His father had been adamant that Jesse had to keep it to himself, because if the story got out, it would destroy his father. Jesse claimed he'd kept it a secret until his father's death. Jesse admitted his anger had escalated every time he'd read about Ashland. Jesse claimed that Locke had built his business on lies, and he'd pulled Jesse's father into that deceit. Billy said it appeared Jesse's father had been a willing participant.
Jesse told Billy that his father had been a good man, and he'd played by the rules until Locke had appeared and manipulated him, and Ashland had offered his father a lucrative position. Jesse claimed that that crime had weighed on his father, and it had driven him to an early grave. Billy said Ashland could be headed for a premature demise himself. Jesse was aware, and he almost felt bad for Ashland. Jesse claimed that when he'd arrived in Genoa City to get his final payoff, Locke had been dismissive and condescending. Jesse claimed Camilla had been right; Locke would ruin people to save himself.
Jesse told Billy he wanted to blow up Locke's life while Locke was still alive to suffer. Billy wanted to know why Victor had paid Jesse and what benefit Victor had gained by quashing the story. Billy was certain Victor wouldn't let Victoria marry Ashland after he'd heard about Ashland's past. Jesse felt that Victor wouldn't see what Locke had done as a crime. Victor had probably done similar things on his way to the top. Jesse wanted to know why Billy was after Ashland.
Billy told Jesse that Victoria was the mother of his children, and she was a good person. Billy admitted he'd caused Victoria enough pain, and he didn't want to see her suffer any more. Jesse didn't buy Billy's noble act. Billy claimed the only person who needed to know the truth was Victoria, but she wasn't taking his calls. Billy stated that he and Jesse were going to Tuscany early, and Jesse was going to give Victoria the proof.
At Society, Sally told Chloe she would reach out to a bunch of fashion people in Los Angeles and casually mention that she would be attending the Newman-Locke wedding in Italy, and there would be fashion news to follow. Those contacts would contact the people they knew and ask them to guess what Sally Spectra was up to. Chloe wasn't happy because Sally's plan relied on gossipmongers. Sally claimed they needed to rely on those gossipmongers.
Chloe told Sally the risk was too great. They should be the ones to publish anything from that wedding. Sally claimed that if their fashion platform put out a story about her designing Victoria's wedding gown, it would look self-serving. However, if another outlet did it, it became a hot scoop, and it gave them credibility. Chloe stated that they needed to pretend they got scooped, but they really were the ones who had planted the story. Sally claimed it would be a huge boost for them. Chloe claimed that in order for their plan to work, Sally needed to convince Victoria to wear the dress before she walked down the aisle. Chloe wondered what could possibly go wrong.
Chloe told Sally she would contact some of the people she knew, and if they hadn't heard anything about Victoria's wedding, she would throw Sally's name around and start a story of her own. Chloe hoped it wouldn't backfire. Sally reminded Chloe that her goal was for the fashion platform to become a fashion powerhouse, complete with their own designs.
At Crimson Lights, Adam was on the phone and asking one of the security team if they'd found Gaines. Adam told them he needed Gaines found before he got on a plane to Italy.
Sally arrived at the coffeehouse in time to hear Adam tell Connor he loved him. Sally smiled, and she sat down with Adam. One of Victor's security men arrived. He informed Adam they had security footage of Gaines entering Billy's apartment. Billy and Gaines were still in Billy's apartment. Adam said he would take it from there. Adam told Sally he had some business to attend to, and he would meet Sally at the airport.
Adam reminded Sally he was doing her a favor, and it wasn't a date. Sally understood what their trip was about. Adam received a text message. He frowned, turned to Sally, and said she just couldn't help herself.
Chloe arrived and asked what was going on. Adam said he'd received a text message from the editor of a fashion magazine. She'd found out that Sally was going to Tuscany for the Newman-Locke wedding, and Newman Media had promised to give a scoop. She wanted confirmation. Adam told Sally he was going to the wedding to be part of the family. That news made it look like a self-serving business trip. Chloe admitted she'd told a friend, and Adam knew how fast news traveled. Chloe apologized.
Adam asked Sally what would happen if Victoria didn't wear the gown. Sally was adamant that Victoria would love the dress. Frustrated, Adam said he would give Sally a ride to Tuscany, but he wouldn't get Sally an audience with Victoria. Sally admitted she was flirting with disaster, but she was putting herself in the right place at the right time. She thanked Adam and Chloe for having faith in her. Before Adam left, he warned Sally and Chloe not to provide any more leaks that would take any attention away from Victoria's big day.
Sally thanked Chloe for stepping in and taking the blame for the leak. She asked why Chloe had covered for her. Chloe claimed she would rather Adam be angry with her because she was used to it. Chloe told Sally to guard the dress with her life. Chloe said it was possible that Victoria wouldn't give Sally the time of day and that it would turn out to be a wasted trip. She warned Sally not to cross Adam. Chloe wished Sally luck in convincing Victoria to wear the dress.
There was a knock on Billy's door. Adam identified himself. Billy signaled for Jesse to go upstairs. Adam told Billy he was looking for Gaines. Billy asked "Who?" Adam asked if Billy really intended to pretend that he had no idea who Gaines was. Billy claimed he would do whatever to get Adam out of there so that he could pack for Tuscany. Adam barged into Billy's apartment and stated that Billy wouldn't be anywhere near Victoria's wedding.
At Billy and Lily's apartment, Billy feigned ignorance when Adam announced that he was looking for Gaines. Adam chided Billy for pretending he didn't know who Gaines was, and he vowed that Billy wouldn't get anywhere near Victoria's wedding. Billy scoffed at the idea of Adam stopping him. Adam warned that if Billy was smart, he'd stop himself from making a move that he would live to regret.
Adam told Billy it was time to wake up, since Victoria had made her choice, and she was marrying Ashland. Billy clucked that it wasn't over until she said, "I do," and Adam chided him for being "hellbent" on sabotaging her life. Billy contended that he was trying to ensure her happiness, and he was entirely at peace trying to stop her from marrying a deceitful, duplicitous man like Ashland. Adam lectured that it had been petty for Billy to track down a guy from Ashland's past, but Billy claimed that he had no idea what Adam was talking about.
Adam revealed that he knew Billy had met with Gaines. Billy wondered why Adam was there at that hour when he should be on a plane. Adam recalled that Billy had given away his hand when he'd practically bragged that someone would help Victoria see the light, and he guessed that person was Gaines. Billy suspected that Adam knew nothing and that Adam was only there because Victor had sent him there. Billy taunted that Adam's own father hadn't trusted Adam with the details.
Adam asserted that he and Victor had agreed that Victoria deserved to have her wedding go off without a hitch. Billy ordered him to skip trying to portray himself as a decent human being or good brother. Adam refused to pretend he was close with Victoria; however, he shared that things between them were better than they'd ever been, and he respected her as a businesswoman. Billy crowed that Victor had put her in charge, even though he'd micromanaged everyone before, including Adam. Adam argued that Victor was focused on their new venture together.
Billy imagined that it killed Adam that he'd gotten the consolation prize. Adam declared that he was proud to be working with his father and doing everything he could to restore his relationships with his siblings. Adam added that he wasn't out to destroy anyone's life, unlike Billy. Billy maintained that he was protecting Victoria and their kids, but Adam countered that Victoria didn't need Billy to save her. Adam was sure it was all about Billy's jealousy, insecurity, and delusional belief that he knew what was best.
Adam sensed that Billy couldn't stand that Victoria had moved on and was about to marry a man superior to him, and he was sure Ashland would treat her better than Billy ever could. Adam anticipated that Ashland would be a good influence on Billy's kids, and Billy snarled to not ever talk about his children. Billy figured that they both had planes to catch -- unless Adam intended to drug him and lock him away before the wedding. Adam predicted that he wouldn't have to stop Billy because Billy would fail when everything blew up in his face, and Adam couldn't wait to have a front-row seat to Billy's humiliation. Adam stalked out.
Gaines descended the stairs and panicked when he learned Billy's visitor had been Victor Newman's son, but Billy assured him that Adam hadn't known Gaines had been upstairs. Billy insisted that they get to the airport, but Gaines protested that he'd never agreed to a trip to Tuscany. Billy promised to make it worth his while. Gaines thought there were things to consider besides money, since Billy would be delivering him into the hands of the two men Gaines had betrayed. Gaines questioned why he should trust Billy not to screw him over, and Billy reasoned that they both wanted the same thing.
Billy figured that neither Victor nor Ashland would do anything with people in attendance, and the only thing Gaines needed to do was tell Victoria everything and show her the letter that proved Ashland had broken the law and built a career on a pack of lies. Gaines fretted that things had a way of quickly becoming complicated and dangerous, but Billy swore that he'd get Gaines out safely without an ounce of risk. Billy proposed another financial arrangement that would squash Gaines's concerns about being in the same location as "Lurch and Locke," but Gaines remained hesitant. Billy insinuated that there was something in it for Gaines that would be far sweeter than any amount of money.
Billy cited revenge, and he recalled Gaines's words about Ashland getting all the praise and accolades while Gaines had been shoved to the sidelines. Gaines suspected that Billy knew something about it, and Billy admitted that he'd been the black sheep of his family. Billy figured that Ashland had paid off Gaines but had never shown Gaines any respect. Billy encouraged Gaines to think about how satisfying it would be to be part of taking down Ashland Locke and making Ashland realize Gaines had been the one with the power all along.
Gaines conceded that Billy had made a persuasive argument. "When do we leave?" Gaines asked. Billy planned to take the last flight out that night. Gaines anticipated it would be a trip for the ages. Billy envisioned that Gaines would get his long-deserved revenge, and Billy would stop someone he cared about from making one of the biggest mistakes of her life.
Billy called Lily, and they updated one another about their kids. He informed her that she might not have to get on the flight if everything went the way he thought it would, since there might not be a wedding to attend.
At the Tuscan palazzo, Victor was surprised when Nikki returned to their room when he'd expected her to be checking on the wedding preparations. She mentioned that she'd spoken with Ashland after hearing about his confession to Victoria, and she revealed that she'd urged him to back out of the wedding. A shocked Victor worried that they'd sent mixed messages, since he'd just told Victoria that he was happy she was marrying Ashland.
Nikki realized that Victor was nowhere near as shocked as she was about everything Ashland had kept from Victoria, and she demanded to know how long Victor had known the details about Ashland's past. Victor confirmed that he'd known for a little while, but he'd kept quiet because he hadn't wanted the press to get the information. Victor guessed that Billy was continuing his investigation as they spoke, but Nikki was more concerned about Victoria. Nikki questioned how Victor could believe it was a good idea for Victoria to get married when her heart was obviously broken.
Victor swore that he would have asked Victoria to walk away if he thought marrying Ashland would be to her detriment. Nikki doubted Victor was seeing Victoria's true feelings underneath her armor, since Victoria wanted to appear to be tough and in control in front of him. Victor believed that Victoria and Ashland loved one another, and he considered that the most important thing for his daughter. Victor added that he knew Ashland desperately wanted to spend whatever time he had left with Victoria. Nikki intended to support the marriage if it made Victoria happy.
Nikki and Victor went for a stroll, and she called the place magical. He thought being there would help Victoria and Ashland along, since no one could resist falling in love there. They embraced, but he received a text message and stepped away to take care of something.
Adam informed Victor that Gaines had been spotted entering Billy's apartment building. Adam shared that he'd confronted Billy about it, and he'd concluded from Billy's smug demeanor that Billy and Gaines were colluding. Adam added that he'd tried to dissuade Billy from going to Italy, but Billy had seemed fired up about stopping the wedding. Victor applauded Adam for doing everything he could, but Adam groused that he'd been at a disadvantage without specifics about why Gaines was a threat to Victoria and Ashland. Victor swore that he hadn't withheld the details out of lack of trust, but he hadn't wanted to disseminate the information for Victoria's sake. Adam argued that he could help more if he knew more, and he pledged to do whatever he could to help Victor and Victoria.
Adam was stunned to learn that Ashland had been paying Gaines to keep quiet for years. Adam asked how Victoria was handling it, and Victor thought her relationship with Ashland had transcended what had happened years earlier. Victor added that the two belonged together, and Adam muttered that they would be -- unless Billy showed up and shot his mouth off. Adam wasn't sure they could count on Billy to fail properly. Victor recounted that he'd paid Gaines a lot of money to go away, but Gaines had broken his word. Adam asked how far he should go to stop them.
Meanwhile, Ashland stared out the palazzo window. Victoria asked if he was heading out, and he hoped she'd join him because they hadn't had a chance to talk since her parents had arrived. She questioned what there was to talk about, since everything was happening as planned. He pressed to know about her decision process, but she noted that he'd seemed happy when he'd heard the news. He swore that he wanted nothing more in life than to be her husband, and he'd been thrilled to hear she still intended to walk down the aisle; however, he wasn't sure she should. Ashland contemplated calling off the wedding.
Ashland explained that he hadn't seen beyond his own wants until he'd spoken with Nikki, who was worried Victoria was moving forward with the wedding for all the wrong reasons. Victoria insisted that Nikki was wrong, since Victoria was doing exactly what she needed to do. Ashland recognized that marrying him would avoid questions and protect the company, and Victoria stated that it was in both of their best interests. He imagined that a year earlier, his priority would have been to guard the company at all costs, but that wasn't the case anymore.
Ashland took Victoria's hands in his and declared that her love had profoundly changed him, and he knew he'd betrayed that love by keeping secrets from her. He continued that it had destroyed him when she'd barely been able to look at him when talking about wedding preparations, and he didn't want her to go through with the ceremony if her heart was no longer in it. Victoria mused that Ashland thought he had her all figured out, but she'd never said her heart wasn't in it. He was sorry if the person he'd been years earlier threatened what they'd built together, and he recognized the irony because he'd spent decades doing everything in his power to preserve his success. He wondered what she thought when she looked at him after knowing the entire story.
Victoria admitted that she hadn't been able to sleep because she'd kept thinking about what she would have done in Ashland's position. Ashland was confident that she would have done the morally right thing in each instance because she was a good person, and there were lines she'd never cross. Victoria questioned what that made him, and he replied that he was a ruthless, self-serving man who wanted to be better because of her. He added that he wanted to live and have the chance to make amends because of her. Victoria proclaimed that she wanted to give him that chance because she still loved him and always would, and she still wanted to be his wife. They kissed.
Nate and Elena walked in on Victoria and Ashland kissing. Ashland inquired about their flight, and Elena enthused about the benefits of traveling on a private jet. Ashland said it had been the least he could do for his best man and Nate's lovely lady, and Nate reiterated that he was there for anything Ashland or Victoria needed. Victoria's only request was that they enjoy every moment. Ashland led the couple out to show them to their room, and a forlorn Victoria sank to the couch.
In private, Nate noticed Ashland seemed unsteady. Ashland confided that he wasn't feeling great, but he'd be "damned" if he let anything get in way of his wedding to Victoria. Elena returned from checking out the breathtaking view, and Ashland couldn't imagine a more perfect setting for the ceremony. Ashland thanked Nate for his sage advice and support, since he'd taken the advice to follow his heart, and it seemed like things had worked out pretty well. Nate reluctantly shared that Billy had alluded to information he'd learned about Ashland, and Elena added that Billy had made it clear that he hoped the wedding didn't happen.
Ashland appreciated the warning, but he was confident that there was nothing Billy could do to stop the wedding. Ashland invited Nate and Elena to get settled in, and he stepped away. Elena was glad that Ashland hadn't seemed worried, and Nate observed that she seemed calmer and looser than she had in weeks. Elena thought she was, but she was also anxious about how much sightseeing they could fit into just a few days. He suggested that they plan a trip to return to see all the touristy things, but there were certain spots he wanted to show her. She teased that his plan of getting her to relax was failing, since the thought of being with him in such an idyllic place made her heart race.
Later, Nikki greeted Nate and Elena, and Elena gushed about how gorgeous the palazzo was. Nikki revealed that she and Victor had given it to Victoria and Ashland as a wedding gift, and Elena was sure it would be filled with lots of special memories. Victoria suggested that she loan the palazzo to Nate and Elena if they ever decided to get married. Elena laughed nervously and stammered that they'd keep it in mind.
As Ashland and Victoria canoodled, Nate commented that they were making tying the knot look appealing. Victoria replied that it was never easy, but communication was key. Victor joined them, and Victoria told him that she and Ashland had just been saying how lucky they were to have made it that far. "And the best is yet to come," she proclaimed, and she and Ashland kissed. Victor whispered to Nikki that everything was going well -- and it would continue to go well.
Tessa packed a suitcase and wished Mariah was going to Italy like they'd originally planned. Tessa hated the idea of being away without Mariah and didn't like the thought of Mariah being by herself. Mariah snapped that Tessa didn't have to be scared that Mariah would fall apart or freak out over Dominic. Mariah insisted that she was fine but that she just wanted to be nearby if there were any problems with the baby. Mariah explained that she still wanted to be someone who protected Dominic, just like she'd done before he'd been born.
Mariah added that her mind knew it wasn't her job, but her heart hadn't caught up. Mariah recognized that it didn't make sense to want to stay close, but it was what she needed. Tessa wanted Mariah to get back to her old self again, even though she understood Mariah's experiences had changed her. Tessa swore that she loved every version of Mariah, and all she cared about was helping Mariah find a way back to being happy again. Mariah stressed that having a baby of their own would make her happy and give her a new sense of purpose, but Tessa had taken that off the table.
Tessa reiterated that she wanted to take time and plan for the future as parents. She suggested that she and Mariah go to Tuscany and spend a few days in Italy after the wedding. Mariah maintained that she wasn't comfortable with going, but Tessa implored her to think about having a fun mini-vacation and talking more about having a family once they were relaxed and rejuvenated. Mariah thought it sounded suspiciously like a bribe to lure her to Tuscany, and Tessa wondered if it was working.
Mariah considered the offer tempting, but she wasn't ready to pull away from Dominic. She thought moving out of the mansion had been the right step, but she still had a lot of issues to work through before she would be able to comfortably disconnect in a healthy way. Mariah recognized that Abby was Dominic's mom and that Abby knew how to take care of him, but she pointed out the possibility that the baby would need breast milk. Tessa argued that there were other options, and Mariah mentioned that Abby had talked about switching to formula.
Mariah was adamant that she be there to provide for Dominic if needed, and she hoped Tessa understood. Tessa responded that she understood Mariah was making a lot of excuses. Mariah stood by her reasons for staying in Genoa City. Tessa swore that she hadn't meant to pressure Mariah, and she'd meant it when she'd pledged not to let Mariah go through it alone. Mariah begged Tessa to stay there with her.
Mariah figured that Leslie Brooks would be at the wedding, and one fabulous musician would be enough. Mariah suggested that Tessa say she was sick, but Tessa flatly replied that it wouldn't be right or professional. Mariah halfheartedly told Tessa to go and have a great time, and she started to head out. Tessa insisted that they keep talking, but Mariah shot back that they could talk when Tessa got back. Mariah walked out, and an exasperated Tessa plopped down on the bed.