At the family's Tuscany palazzo, the Newmans welcomed and provided accommodations for wedding guests. Jack delivered to Phyllis' suite a Marchetti cocktail dress she'd left aboard the Abbott jet. Phyllis boasted that she would wear the dress in support of her daughter's flourishing career. Jack said he didn't doubt that Phyllis would look stunning, and he asked about Nick. Phyllis, noting that she and Nick had traveled to Tuscany against Victoria's explicit orders to stay away, explained that Nick was out taking the "bull by the horns." Phyllis sighed and added, "Let's hope it's worth it." Jack assured Phyllis that Nick knew how to handle Victoria.
Jack advised Phyllis to not get involved and to allow Nick and his sister to work things out on their own. Jack mentioned Billy and become frustrated when he recalled how often he'd implored his brother to let Victoria live her life. Phyllis admitted that Nick's "nice" approach might not be as helpful in his efforts to get through to Victoria. Jack suggested Phyllis remain hopeful that everyone might get along. Jack and Phyllis received notifications on their phones. Both were elated to find wedding photos sent to them from Summer and Kyle. Phyllis cooed, "They look so happy."
Down a hallway, Billy walked ahead of Jesse Gaines, before the men entered a suite. Gaines remarked, "Wow! This place is something else. Maybe I'll use some of my payoff cash to buy myself a little palazzo like this one." Billy reminded Jesse that they had a job to do. Jesse said he'd waited a long time for the well-deserved and ultimate downfall of Ashland Locke. Jesse asked Billy how he envisioned their plan playing out. Billy replied, "Very carefully."
Jesse said he hoped to humiliate Ashland while he was standing at the altar, waiting for his precious bride. Billy explained that his aim was to protect Victoria by providing irrefutable proof that she was about to wed a liar and a criminal. Jesse learned that Billy planned to have him talk to Victoria in the suite, away from interruptions and distractions. Billy instructed Jesse to wait in the suite and not show his face while Billy went to find Victoria.
In Victoria and Ashland's suite, Victoria informed Ashland that some of their guests had already arrived. Ashland recalled the startling revelation Victoria had struggled to overcome and asked if her heart was truly ready for their wedding. Ashland said he didn't want Victoria's motivation to be based on precautions meant to save their company. Victoria assured Ashland that Newman/Locke would remain safe, though she was eager to focus on their love and the wedding. Ashland said it was a relief to know she'd decided to stand beside him despite everything that had been revealed.
Victoria recalled Ashland's life as a teen, when he'd run away from an abusive home, lost his close friend in a car accident, and then discovered that his mentor had betrayed him on her deathbed. Victoria, her sad eyes gazing into Ashland's, cried that the story haunted her and had led her to understand that even after Ashland had become a formidable figure, the story had followed him. Ashland agreed that his past hovered over him like a dark cloud. Victoria assured Ashland that she understood why he'd kept his dark secrets from her, noting that he'd been hesitant to taint the beautiful relationship they were building.
While Ashland stroked Victoria's shoulders, she said, "It's okay. We're okay. And you're going to have to trust me now. And by this time tomorrow, you and I are going to be husband and wife, and nothing is going to stop that now." Victoria and Ashland got ready to welcome their guests formally. Ashland began battling a persistent cough that appeared to sap his energy. Victoria expressed concern, but Ashland promised his bride he wouldn't allow anything to slow him down or get in the way of him reciting his vows, which, he said, he'd written on his heart a long time before. Victoria said she'd penned her vows on paper a while back. Victoria left Ashland so he could dress, while she joined her parents and others ahead of the prenuptial festivities.
Nick greeted Nikki and Victor in the palazzo's courtyard. Nikki asked Nick if Victoria had changed her mind about him attending the wedding. Nick replied, "Uh, afraid not, but I'm not going to give up. I wanted to talk to you two first to see if you could give me a reading on Vick before I approach her myself." Nick asked his parents if they thought he could make amends with his sister before the ceremony. Nikki glanced nervously at Victor before admitting she wasn't sure Victoria would be receptive to Nick's surprise appearance. Nick insisted he should make his case to her in person. Victor recalled that Nick was responsible for the rift because he'd dug into Ashland's past.
Nick reminded his dad that they'd both investigated Locke's past. Victor clarified that he wasn't the one who'd traveled to New Jersey to dig up old skeletons. Nick defended his actions, explaining that his intentions had been to learn the truth, though he'd made the trip to Italy to make things easier for his sister. Victor gently warned Nick not to cause problems on Victoria's happy day. Nikki added that "no problems" included Victor and Nick arguing. Nick, confused, replied, "Are you two telling me that you're both on board with this wedding?" Victor said he was. Nick expressed disgust that his mother would stand by while Victor allowed his daughter to wed a man who'd been lying his entire life and had amassed his fortune by exploiting the death of someone.
Nick recalled that he and Victor had at one time agreed about Ashland. Nick asked his father why he'd changed his mind. Victor said that Ashland had confessed and told the truth about his identity. Nick replied that Ashland had done so only because he'd been confronted, and even then, he'd never mentioned having left his best friend in the world to die in a burning car. Nikki calmly explained that Ashland had believed his friend had been beyond help. Victor pleaded with Nick to drop the matter and accept Victoria's decision.
Victoria entered the courtyard where her parents and brother had been talking. Victoria seemed taken aback to see her brother. Nikki explained that Nick wanted to make peace. Victor and Nikki left so Nick and Victoria could work things out. Victoria immediately informed her brother that he couldn't stop her wedding. Nick assured his sister he didn't intend to stop her wedding and that he'd never intended to betray her. Nick acknowledged that after thinking things over, he understood why Ashland had kept his painful memories a secret.
Nick told Victoria that he respected her decision, though he'd likely never be able to trust Ashland. Victoria, hurt, told Nick that she'd never confide in him again. Nick insisted he'd never set out to hurt his sister, and he hoped he could be present to support her. Victoria said she couldn't forgive Nick, though she wouldn't force him to leave, adding that their parents would prefer they get along. Nick replied, "Do you want me at this ceremony or not?" Victoria told Nick he'd hurt her and that it wasn't her job to absolve him or make him feel better. Victoria explained that her only focus was Ashland and their wedding.
After Nick left, Nikki rejoined Victoria and asked if she and Nick had resolved their issues. Victoria said she wasn't thrilled Nick had shown up, but she hadn't kicked him out. Jack approached and complimented the palazzo. Victoria said she wished she could have made it to Kyle's wedding, though she was eager to congratulate him and Summer in person when they arrived. Jack announced that they'd have Harrison with them. Victoria said Ashland was looking forward to seeing his son. Victoria left to phone Reed, who couldn't attend. Jack noted that Victoria seemed tense, likely due to the friction between Nick and Victoria. Nikki downplayed it as a little bit of family conflict.
Inside the palazzo, Victor told Nikki he feared Nick wouldn't drop the matter with Ashland, which could ruin Victoria's special day. Nikki said she believed Nick would put his sister's happiness first, though she was concerned because Nick didn't know about Ashland's latest surprise. Victor leaned closer to Nikki and replied that the fewer the people that knew about it, the better. Nikki admitted that Ashland's most recent confession involving forging a mentor's will was atrocious and would add fuel to the fire should Nick find out. Victor was adamant about keeping it secret and said the only thing that mattered was that Victoria was okay with it.
Elena found Nate with his tablet in his hand, wandering through a grand gathering room at the palatial estate. Nate, Ashland's best man, explained that he was experiencing difficulty writing a toast, explaining that he didn't want his sentiment to sound stilted, as his speech should be worthy of a power couple. Elena commiserated with Nate, acknowledging that Nate hadn't known Ashland very long, so there were no old, embarrassing stories or funny anecdotes from which to draw. Elena suggested Nate take a trip to a winery with her to glean romantic inspiration.
After Nate and Elena returned, Nate said he was still struggling about what to write, even though they'd chatted with an older married couple. Nate concluded that a little research might be helpful. Billy joined Nate and Elena. Elena said she hoped Billy had embraced Victoria's wedding plans. Billy replied, "Yeah, well, we'll see. I have a feeling everything's going to go exactly how it's supposed to." After Billy walked away, Elena told Nate that Billy was fighting a losing battle.
As Billy made his way back to his suite, he heard Ashland coughing. Billy let himself inside the room and saw Ashland struggling to catch his breath. Billy said, "Looks like you could use some help. What can I do?" Billy offered to summon Nate. Ashland said he could use a glass of water. Ashland said he was surprised Billy had had the nerve to show his face, especially after Nikki had personally asked him to bow out. Billy said he wouldn't want to miss the most spectacular event of the year.
Ashland was issuing a warning to Billy when Victor appeared at the door and asked Billy what he was doing there. Billy said he'd been invited and was having a private conversation. Victor said he wanted to speak to the man who was actually worthy of marrying his daughter. Victor warned Billy to either leave on his own or be thrown out. Ashland agreed with Victor that Billy should leave.
Before Billy left, he said he supposed that what Ashland had to say wasn't consequential in the grand scheme of things. Billy paused at the door and asked where he might find Victoria. Victor warned Billy to stay away from his daughter and not destroy her happiness. Billy replied, "I won't be the one to cause the bride any distress."
After Billy left, Ashland told Victor he'd been just about to tell Billy that Victoria knew all his secrets, including the one Gaines was holding over his head, hoping it might undercut Billy's plan. Victor said he'd discovered that Billy had traveled with Jesse Gaines, the only other person with knowledge of Ashland's crimes. Victoria entered the room just as Ashland asked Victor how Jesse could have made it to Italy without Victor's knowledge. Victoria asked what was going on.
Nick joined Phyllis in their suite. Nick cried that his sister hadn't been in a forgiving mood and that both his parents supported Ashland. Phyllis replied, "Really? I don't even get that." Nick said Victoria would allow him to attend the wedding, though he knew her heart wasn't in it. Nick expressed disappointment that Victoria had refused to forgive him. Phyllis accused Victoria of being petty and treating her brother like dirt. Nick asked Phyllis not to use it as an excuse to trash his sister because it was his battle. Nick expressed doubts about staying.
Billy returned to his suite. After Billy closed the door, he called out to Jesse. Billy said it was time to get ready. Billy noticed that no one was there. Billy called out to Jesse again, but there was no response. Billy clenched his jaw and said, "Damn it."
At the Tuscan palazzo, Victoria walked in on Victor and Ashland and asked what was wrong. Victor claimed that they'd been having the kind of discussion a father had with his future son-in-law, and Ashland added that they'd been making sure the wedding would go off without a hitch. She sensed that the men were dealing with something that they weren't telling her. Victor assured her that he had any potential threat to her wedding under control, and he headed out. Ashland weakly sat down, and Victoria observed that he looked pale. She questioned what his conversation with Victor had really been about.
Ashland informed Victoria that he'd had some trouble breathing earlier, but it had only lasted a short while. She offered to have Nate check on him, but Ashland insisted that there was no need. Ashland found it ironic that Billy had been the one to rescue him, and Victoria was surprised to hear her ex was there, since she'd expected Billy to bang on her door the moment he'd arrived. Ashland reiterated that there was nothing Billy could tell her that she didn't already know.
Victoria couldn't wait to see how crushed Billy was when he realized he'd flown all that way for nothing, and she wondered why she hadn't seen him yet. Ashland guessed that Billy was mapping out his grand entrance, and he encouraged her not to give it another thought. Ashland proposed that they head downstairs to welcome the family and friends who were there to cheer them on. They kissed.
Victoria asked if Ashland was sure he was ready for it, and she worried that they'd planned too many events with a cocktail party, a big family ceremony, and a reception. He proclaimed that he was more than ready, and he couldn't wait to welcome their guests to the happiest event of his life. They joined hands and headed out together.
In one of the palazzo bedrooms, Phyllis asked if Nick was serious about leaving, since they could have just gone home after Milan. Nick explained that he hadn't known how he'd feel until he'd gotten there. He regretted that nothing he'd said had been able to sway Victoria, and he didn't want to be a dark cloud hanging over her wedding. Phyllis agreed to do whatever he wanted, and Nick opted to leave. "What do you mean, leave? I just got here, Dad," Noah protested from the doorway.
Noah recalled that Nick had been preoccupied at Summer and Kyle's ceremony, and he guessed that something wasn't right. Phyllis stepped out to let them talk in private. Nick shared that Victoria felt betrayed that he'd checked into Ashland's past behind her back. Nick added that what he'd found out hadn't affected her decision to go through with the wedding, and she'd refused to accept his apologies.
Noah chided his father for running away just because his feelings were hurt, but Nick contended that he didn't want to be somewhere he wasn't wanted. Noah thought it sounded like an excuse, and he pressed Nick to stick around and fight for Victoria's forgiveness if it was important to him. Noah pointed out that his dad had taught him not to walk away from a challenge but to figure out a way to work things out. He continued that he'd be disappointed in his old man if Nick didn't follow through on his own advice.
Downstairs, the guests assembled for the pre-wedding party. Billy surveyed the room, and Jack asked when he'd gotten in. Nikki wondered where Lily and the kids were, and Billy distractedly replied that they should be getting in any second. He abruptly excused himself to take care of something. Nikki muttered that she didn't like the sound of it.
Nikki asked Victor how the bride and groom were doing, and Victor assured her they were just fine. Nikki mentioned that she'd seen a skittish Billy a few minutes earlier. Victor told her not to worry because he had his eye on Billy, and nothing and no one would ruin the celebration.
Jack scanned the room and remarked to Nate and Elena that there seemed to be intrigue afoot, and he hoped it had nothing to do with his brother. Elena chalked it up to the stress of planning a big event. Leslie Brooks arrived at the palazzo and asked where the happy couple was. Victor and Nikki warmly greeted Leslie, and Jack introduced Leslie to Nate and Elena. Elena enthused about meeting a famous concert pianist, and Nikki and Victor gushed about hearing Leslie play in Milan.
Jack spotted Billy darting around and asked him why he was sniffing around. Billy fibbed that Lily had arrived earlier, but he hadn't been able to find her. Jack doubted she'd be avoiding the one place where people were gathered, and Billy testily asked if there would ever be a day Jack wasn't suspicious of him. Jack cited Billy's doubts about Ashland and thought it wasn't a reach to think Billy might be up to something. Billy pretended to get a text message from Lily and rushed off.
The guests burst into applause when Victoria and Ashland entered the party. Victoria was elated to see Leslie, who remembered Victoria as a young girl at Nikki and Victor's first wedding. Victoria introduced Leslie to Ashland, who gallantly kissed Leslie's hand and bragged that he had all her Tchaikovsky recordings. He requested that she play one of his favorite pieces, and Leslie replied that it would be her pleasure to oblige as a gift to the happy couple. Leslie stepped to the piano and began to play.
Phyllis complimented the way Leslie was tickling the ivories, but Jack didn't respond. Phyllis mumbled to herself that she'd just shut up and enjoy the ambiance. Elena imagined that a private performance from a world-renowned pianist had to add pressure to Nate, whose speech had a lot to live up to. Nate noted that the bar kept getting higher, but he was starting to get inspired. He observed how happy Victoria and Ashland looked, and Elena noticed that a cuddling Victor and Nikki seemed happy, too.
Nick and Noah joined the party, but Nick doubted that staying was a good option. Noah handed Nick a drink and told him to get his head in the game. Noah crossed the room to say hello to Victoria, and they hugged. He introduced himself to Ashland and commended Ashland's choice for best man, since Nate had done a lot for the Newman family over the years. Victoria credited Nate with being a rock for Ashland during his treatments, and Noah hoped things were working out.
Ashland figured that his illness was part of his and Victoria's life together, and it was in their vows not to part until death. Noah hoped he and Ashland would have time to get to know one another, and Ashland remarked that Victoria had never mentioned how charming her nephew was. Victoria pondered where Noah got that from, and Noah told her that he'd tried to convince his dad to stick around. Nick and Victoria locked eyes.
The guests cheered upon Summer and Kyle's arrival. Summer hugged her family members, and Victoria congratulated Kyle and Summer on their wedding and wished she'd been there. Summer empathized with the craziness of planning a wedding. Kyle reported that Summer got recognized on the street all the time, and Nick marveled that he'd known his Supergirl would be a star. Ashland inquired about Harrison, and the boy ran in, excitedly calling out for his father. Ashland happily scooped Harrison into his arms.
As the guests chatted, Victoria eyed Nick across the room and smiled at him, and he smiled back. Jack noticed the exchange and sensed that the siblings had called a truce. Phyllis was surprised, but she surmised Noah had changed Nick's mind about leaving. Jack said he would have hated it if she'd had to go that soon.
Phyllis wanted to stay to spend time with her daughter, and she reflected back on how gorgeous Summer's wedding had been. Phyllis commended Summer for having a beautiful, intimate affair rather than a whirlwind event filled with fireworks. Jack thought Phyllis liked a little drama, but Phyllis groaned that she could never say the right thing to Nick about his sister because Phyllis was an outsider in his family. Jack assured her that she wasn't an outsider to him.
Phyllis appreciated Jack being supportive of her and Nick as a couple, but she preferred that he stop trying to overcompensate because he had nothing to prove. Jack insisted that he only wanted what was best for her, but she griped that it was annoying when he was always being careful. She wanted things to go back to normal.
Nate raved about Leslie's playing, and Elena asked if it ever got old for people to ask Leslie to perform. Leslie compared it to how people likely asked Nate and Elena for medical advice, and she believed that when one had a gift, it was one's duty to share it. Leslie imagined that Nate knew Ashland pretty well, and she asked what Nate thought about the groom. Nate shared that he didn't know much about Ashland's past, but he was impressed with the man he'd gotten to know. Leslie praised Victoria and Ashland's devotion to starting fresh, since there was no need to look back. Nate agreed that what really mattered was where they went from there.
Nikki told Nick that Noah had grown into a talented, confident young man who reminded her of Nick. Nick mentioned that after he'd failed to work things out with Victoria, Noah had offered him the same wisdom Nick had given Noah while Noah had been growing up. Nikki had assumed Nick was still there because he and Victoria had worked things out. Nick recounted that Victoria had relented and allowed him to stay, but he didn't think it was the best idea. Nikki urged him to be patient with Victoria.
Summer asked Noah about the mood their dad was in. Noah explained that Nick and Victoria weren't in the best place, and Summer wondered why they put so much energy into fighting when they knew they'd eventually make up. Noah confided that while he didn't love being away from family, he also didn't miss the constant drama. Summer related because she missed everyone back home, but Milan was amazing and chaos-free. She imagined that after two weddings in a row, everyone would expect him to be next.
Noah figured that settling down wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. He recognized both he and Summer knew what it was like to have parents who'd never been content with one relationship for too long, so they couldn't trust anything to last. Noah suspected it was why Summer wanted to be with Kyle for the rest of her life. Noah hoped he found that for himself one day, and Summer invited him to visit in Milan so she could introduce him to some female colleagues. He confided that he had been considering a change of scenery.
Jack stressed to Kyle that he couldn't be happier that Kyle and Summer had found their way back together. Kyle thanked Jack for making the move to Italy work for them, even though he knew Jack missed Harrison. Jack said he was proud of how Kyle had stepped up for the little boy, and he admired the way Kyle honored the bond between Harrison and Ashland. Kyle considered it a miracle that Harrison woke up joyful and serene every day. Jack said it made him smile to see the father Kyle had become, and it touched his heart that Kyle always put his son's happiness first. Kyle replied that he'd learned it from Jack.
Victor clinked his glass and called for everyone's attention. He thanked the guests for traveling from all over to attend the momentous occasion of Victoria's wedding to Ashland, a man Victor had grown to know and respect. Victor recalled that he and Ashland had known one another in the business world for a while, and he'd known Ashland to be tough and ruthless -- almost as ruthless as Victor was. Victor added that he wasn't worried about Victoria because she was a worthy adversary, and she'd discovered that Ashland was a good match for her while wheeling and dealing with him.
Victor commended the couple for combining their brilliance by merging two very powerful companies and creating an empire that would continue to honor both the Newman and Locke legacies. Victor further noted that he'd seen Victoria and Ashland be very loving with one another, and it meant a lot to him as a father. Victor added that a father never thought any man would be good enough for his daughter, but he considered Ashland to be a good man. Victor welcomed Ashland into the family and proposed a toast to the couple.
Elena guessed that Nate would have to rethink his speech, since Victor had just covered all the bases. Nate shared that when he'd been chatting with Leslie, she'd said something that had inspired him to find the perfect angle. Elena pushed him to practice his speech on her. Nate recognized that he wasn't the traditional best man, since he hadn't known Ashland in the business world, and they hadn't grown up in the same town or been fraternity brothers.
Nate considered Ashland a new friend who he'd gotten to know under extraordinary circumstances that spoke to the kind of man Ashland was, since Ashland had shown character and fortitude in the face of adversity. Nate added that Ashland was marrying Victoria, who Nate knew and wanted the best for. Elena praised the speech as being heartfelt and honest, just like the man delivering it. She chirped that his mission had been accomplished, and they could shift their focus to the romance of Italy. They kissed.
Meanwhile, Ashland thanked Victor, who swore he'd meant every word. Victor warned Ashland to make sure Billy didn't ruin things, and Ashland prepared to look for Billy to make sure he didn't do more damage. Ashland left the room and ran into Gaines, who ominously wished him many happy returns. Ashland angrily asked what Gaines and Billy were planning. Gaines taunted that he didn't want to spoil the surprise, but he could see Ashland sweating a bit.
Gaines remarked that it had been quite a tribute Victor had given, and he envisioned walking into the fancy party and revealing that Ashland had built his empire on deceit and criminal behavior. Gaines contemplated waiting and making the announcement before the ceremony, but he wondered if the prospect of that made Ashland nervous enough to call off the wedding. Victoria tracked Ashland down. "Enjoy the rest of your evening, lovebirds," Gaines sweetly said as he walked away. Victoria correctly guessed Gaines's identity, and Ashland prepared to call security. Victoria asserted that she knew exactly how to handle it.
Billy burst into his guestroom and barked, "Dammit, where are you?" Lily responded that she was right there, and he apologetically stammered that he hadn't known she'd arrived because she hadn't sent him a text message. She explained that she'd been juggling kids and the luggage, and she reported that the children had been cranky after the flight and were napping. She suggested that she meet him at the party after she changed clothes, but he barely reacted.
Lily was annoyed to see Billy less than excited to see her after all the traveling she'd done. He insisted that he was thrilled to see her, and they kissed. He thanked her for accompanying the kids there and swore that he'd missed her. He inquired about Mattie, and Lily lamented that her daughter was having a hard time finding people on her wavelength. Lily realized that Billy had been expecting to see someone else when he'd entered the room. "What have you done now?" she demanded to know.
Billy claimed that he was just out of sorts because he'd missed Lily and the kids. Lily mentioned the important information that he'd flown out to tell Victoria, and he revealed that he'd found evidence that Ashland had committed fraud by changing Camilla's will to make himself the beneficiary. Billy added that his evidence was a person -- Jesse Gaines. Lily pressed to know how Billy had gotten Gaines to talk, and Billy admitted that he'd paid Gaines a hefty sum to flip on Ashland.
Lily questioned how long Billy had planned to keep her in the dark, but he reasoned that he hadn't been able to sit on the information with the wedding fast approaching. Billy regretted that he hadn't been able to share it with Victoria yet because he'd lost the evidence. Billy explained that Gaines was his evidence, and he needed Gaines to tell Victoria everything because she wouldn't believe Billy. Lily flipped out that Billy had flown Gaines to Tuscany. Billy revealed that his plan had been to have Gaines discreetly tell Victoria everything he knew about Ashland and allow her to make whatever choice she wanted, but Gaines had gone missing.
Lily guessed that Billy had flown Gaines to Italy in the hope of covering a theatrical, newsworthy exposure at the wedding. Billy contended that he didn't even plan on publishing the information, but he wanted Victoria to know she was marrying a liar and a fraud. Lily chided Billy for losing control of the narrative along with the narrator. Billy confirmed that he didn't know where Gaines was, and he voiced concern that Gaines had his own plan.
Billy recounted that Gaines had been disappointed to hear that Billy wasn't planning to interrupt the wedding. Lily was adamant that they couldn't let Gaines wreck the ceremony, and Billy agreed because Victoria would never forgive him. Victoria and Ashland suddenly barged in. "What the hell do you think you're doing?" Victoria angrily asked.
In Billy's room in Tuscany, Victoria asked how Billy had dared to bring Jesse Gaines to their event. When Billy tried to explain, Victoria asked why he could hurt her that way. Billy claimed that Gaines obviously upset her with information about Ashland's past. Victoria informed Billy she knew the whole story. Ashland confirmed he'd told Victoria about Ashland Locke's death and the fraudulent inheritance.
Victoria claimed that Billy had been digging around, trying to find something that would blow up her entire relationship. Lily claimed Billy had only wanted Victoria to know what she was getting into. Victoria said if that had been true, Billy would have believed that Ashland would have confided in her; instead, Billy was a shattered mess because he hadn't been the one to drop that bomb.
Victoria reminded Billy that he'd known what the wedding meant to her. She pointed out that Ashland was in chemotherapy; he was fighting hard to make it a beautiful ceremony for her and to create cherished memories, while Billy was fighting to take that away from them. She asked why Billy couldn't accept that she'd moved on. She shouted at Billy to stop harassing them and to let her go. Victoria and Ashland left.
Billy told Lily he hoped the things Victoria had said hadn't upset her. He felt there was nothing wrong with them trying to uncover the truth. Lily said there was no them. It had only been Billy who'd wanted the truth, and he'd crossed the line when he'd brought Gaines to the event. Billy claimed Ashland had attacked his credibility, and he wanted Victoria to hear the truth from Gaines because she wouldn't believe it coming from him.
Lily asked Billy to admit he'd been wrong about Ashland, but Billy claimed Ashland wouldn't have come clean about the multiple crimes he'd committed. Lily said that when they had first fallen in in love, Billy had told her everything he'd done in the past and that he'd been ashamed of. Perhaps what Ashland had done hadn't been cold and calculating, and maybe what Ashland and Victoria had was real. Lily knew Billy didn't like hearing that.
Billy told Lily that Victoria was in denial about how serious Ashland's crimes had been. Lily stated it could be because they had happened 40 years in the past, and Victoria probably felt they weren't relevant to the person Ashland had become. Billy felt there had to be another reason why Victoria was protecting Ashland. Perhaps it was about the merger. It was the biggest accomplishment of her life, and she didn't want it to fall apart.
Lily told Billy it didn't matter why Victoria was standing by Ashland. She said that Billy's big plan to expose Ashland had backfired, but Billy maintained that he could see Ashland's lies had bothered Victoria. He claimed Ashland was a liar and a criminal. Lily told Billy that the wedding was going to happen the next day, whether Billy liked it or not. The choice was Victoria's to make. Billy asked if Lily wanted him to drop it and allow Victoria to make a huge mistake.
Lily told Billy that everyone had been doing their best to cheer on Ashland and Victoria. If she and Billy couldn't do that, then they should leave. She said the kids could fly home with Victor and Nikki. Billy said it wouldn't be necessary; however, he wasn't about to apologize for trying to uncover the truth. He also didn't feel Ashland deserved credit for coming clean after he'd felt the pressure of being investigated.
Lily told Billy to take all the credit for that; however, it wouldn't change anything because Victoria would marry Ashland the following day. Billy stated he would find Gaines and send him on his way, but it wouldn't be a simple task because Gaines had wanted revenge on Ashland for a very long time. He would throw more money at Gaines and get him a first-class ticket out of Tuscany.
Billy told Lily they should attend the wedding because it was important for the kids to see that their parents supported each other. He said Victoria would need help when Ashland's health began to deteriorate, and he wanted Victoria to know she could count on him. He admitted that Victoria had been hurt many times in her life, mostly by him. Lily understood it was Billy's way of making amends in his own antagonistic way.
Billy hoped Lily wasn't questioning his commitment to her. He told her he loved her, and he wanted them to attend the wedding to prove he wasn't hung up on his ex. Lily knew he was a passionate man, and he went to extremes to take care of the people he loved. She claimed it was exhausting but very endearing. They kissed.
In the great room of the palazzo, Summer and Kyle chatted with Phyllis and Nick about how much Jack loved being a grandfather to Harrison. Summer admitted she'd bonded with Harrison, and whatever fears she'd had about being a stepmom had disappeared. Harrison had made it easy because he was so sweet. She couldn't imagine their life without him. When Kyle, Summer, and Noah went to get a drink, Phyllis commented that Nick had been very quiet. Nick claimed there was nothing to worry about.
Beaming after having played with Harrison, Jack joined Kyle and Summer. He told them Harrison was ready for a bedtime story. Kyle and Summer said that was their cue, and they left.
In the room adjacent to the great room, Adam asked Sally what was next. Sally hoped to corner Victoria and convince her to try on Sally's dress. Adam said Victoria wouldn't react favorably when she saw Sally, and she wouldn't give Sally a chance to talk. Sally hoped she had a friend who could make the pitch for her. Adam claimed he had another idea. He asked Sally to follow him.
Tessa arrived. Elena and Nate greeted her. Elena gushed that Tessa would be singing at the ceremony. Tessa said she was very excited, and she commented on how beautiful the palazzo was. Nate asked about Mariah. Tessa simply stated that Mariah had decided not to join them.
Noah asked Nick if things were less tense between him and Victoria. Nick admitted he was giving Victoria the space she'd requested and time to cool off. Phyllis felt that whatever was going on with Victoria, it had very little to do with Nick.
Adam approached Elena and Nate. He hoped they were enjoying their evening. Elena confirmed they were. Nate stated it was one of the loveliest homes he'd ever seen, complete with a private concert by a world-renowned artist. Elena asked if Adam had connected with Billy after he'd missed Billy at Society. Adam stated he'd tracked Billy down prior to leaving Genoa City; however, the conversation hadn't gone as well as he'd hoped. Adam felt he needed to steer clear of Billy while they were in Tuscany. Nate didn't think it would be an issue, given the size of the palazzo.
In their bedroom, Victoria told Ashland that she'd supported Billy when he and Lily had decided to move in together, and she was stressed at how Billy reacted when she wanted to move on with her life. Ashland said Billy was still in love with her. Victoria said even if Billy was, she had no idea what he expected to accomplish with that stunt. She would never trust Billy again.
Ashland told Victoria that Billy wasn't their problem; Gaines was. He felt Gaines's endgame was to humiliate him publicly and for Gaines to feel like he'd had the last laugh. Victoria said they could have security throw Gaines out. Ashland asked Victoria to leave it up to him, and he left.
Nikki introduced Leslie to Tessa. Tessa was delighted to meet Leslie in person. She explained to Nikki and Victor that she and Leslie had been video chatting about the songs Tessa would be singing. Leslie and Tessa were both excited about performing together. Nikki suggested they go over to the piano and rehearse some of the songs.
Victor greeted Adam warmly. When Victor saw Noah and Nick in the doorway, he commented on how delighted he was to see three generations together. Adam praised Noah for the job he'd done on the Newman Media branding package. Nick stayed in the background.
In her room, Victoria cursed Billy. She claimed he wouldn't ruin her evening, and she left to join her guests. When Sally saw Victoria leave, Sally entered Victoria's room and exchanged her dress with Lauren's. When Victoria returned for her shawl, Sally quickly grabbed Lauren's dress and hid. Victoria saw that her cupboard door was open. She thought it was strange, but she closed it and left. Sally came out of hiding and breathed a sigh of relief.
Victoria joined Leslie, Tessa, and Nikki. She thanked Leslie and Tessa for being there. She said they sounded beautiful together.
Victoria sat down next to Victor on the sofa. When she saw Nick standing in the doorway, she glared at him.
On the terrace, Phyllis told Jack she couldn't believe that Adam had the audacity to show up. Jack claimed Victor was probably happy Adam had shown up. Phyllis claimed it bothered her, knowing what Adam had done to his family. She said that Victoria seemed fine with Adam, but she was treating Nick like he'd been the gate crasher. She said Nick's family drove her crazy. Jack told her to let it go because it would be over soon. Phyllis claimed it wouldn't be soon enough.
Phyllis asked Nick if he'd had another run-in with Victoria. Nick spat that it was fine if Victoria didn't want to deal with him. Phyllis claimed that when Victoria came around, she would owe him a huge apology. Nick claimed Phyllis wasn't helping by exploiting the situation. Phyllis claimed she wasn't exploiting anything; she was sympathizing with him. Nick claimed he didn't see it that way, and he walked away. Jack told Phyllis not to take it personally because Nick was upset. Phyllis claimed that didn't make it any better, and she walked away.
When Noah greeted Tessa, he said he hadn't realized how much he'd missed her. Tessa asked Noah how his photography was going. He said it was almost more than he could handle. Tessa was delighted for him. Noah claimed Tessa had chosen a better profession. He was happy being creative, but when people paid to hear Tessa sing, it was because they loved her music and could feel it in their souls. The art world was different. A lot of it came down to investment value. Some people bought his pieces because they intended to flip them. He claimed it was a little discouraging.
Noah told Tessa he'd had a client who had wanted to pay him to produce less because the client had wanted the value to go up on the pieces he already owned. Tessa claimed a music career would have been very different for Noah. They both laughed when Noah asked if people would pay him to not sing.
Adam was standing alone when Sally approached him. She told him she'd accomplished her mission. She said all they had to do was wait and see how the bride liked the dress. Sally claimed she'd designed the dress to Victoria's specifications and figure. She believed Victoria would love it, at which point Sally said she would move in and make her final sales pitch. Adam sincerely hoped it would work out for Sally.
Summer and Kyle returned. Adam congratulated them and asked about their wedding. Summer demanded to know what Sally was doing there. Adam claimed Sally was his date.
When they were alone, Adam claimed Sally enjoyed riling people up. Sally felt it was a good time to go back to her room, and hopefully when his family found out she was there, they wouldn't toss her out of bed. Adam claimed that Victor and Victoria had more important things to worry about. She said goodnight, and she left.
Summer and Kyle joined Phyllis and Jack. Jack asked if Adam had actually said that Sally was his date. Summer claimed he had. Phyllis told Summer and Kyle that Sally had shown up on Adam's arm for the Newman Media launch party, so it wasn't a shock she would do the same thing for Victoria's wedding. Kyle asked if Victoria had known Adam had planned to bring her. Jack didn't think so. Summer claimed that Victor wouldn't want Sally there after the way Sally had treated her.
Phyllis wanted to expose Sally, but Summer didn't want to give Sally any more attention than Sally had already had. Jack claimed Summer had the right idea. He told Phyllis to stay away from Sally and any ice buckets she happened to see. Phyllis claimed Sally needed to stay away from her.
Adam saw Ashland approached Victor and whisper something to him. Victor and Ashland left.
Victor told Ashland he was happy to hear that Victoria had put Billy in his place. However, he was concerned about Gaines. Ashland claimed it wouldn't be easy to get rid of him because it was no longer about the money for Gaines; he had a score to settle. Victor told Ashland not to worry about it. He would take care of the situation. Ashland claimed that even if they kept Gaines away from the wedding, he could still do a lot of damage through the media. Victor stated that it wouldn't happen.
Elena told Nate how heavenly it was on the terrace. However, the following day, it would be filled with people, and Nate would belong to Ashland. She said that before all that happened, Nate was all hers. Leslie began to play. Elena and Nate danced.
Phyllis saw Nick sitting alone, and she sat next to him. Nick apologized for snapping at her. He said none of it had been her fault. Phyllis told him she didn't like hanging out with his family because they didn't like or trust her, and she felt the same way about them. She was only there for Nick. Nick admitted he'd been out of line, and he vowed it wouldn't happen again.
Ashland returned to his and Victoria's bedroom. He said that he and Victor had briefed the security team, and they were on top of the situation. They would find Gaines and remove him. Victoria said she hoped everything would go smoothly for their wedding. Ashland promised there wouldn't be any more interruptions. He said the following day, they would be husband and wife. They kissed.
At Crimson Lights, Kevin asked how Mariah felt about being back at work. Mariah said everyone had been amazing, and it almost felt normal. Kevin said it was a shame she hadn't taken a few days off to go to Italy with Tessa. Mariah said she'd planned to, but the baby had caught a cold. Kevin wanted to know why she hadn't gone with Tessa.
Mariah told Kevin that Abby had talked about weaning Dominic while Mariah was out of the country; however, Mariah had felt it was too soon. Kevin said it made perfect sense that Mariah would feel protective of Dominic. He said there was nothing more important than making sure children had everything they needed. Mariah reminded him that Dominic wasn't her baby. Kevin stated that Mariah and the baby had been through a lot together.
Kevin told Mariah he knew what it was like to be locked in a small space for long periods of time. He said her situation was different, but it might help for her to talk about it. Mariah claimed she was doing okay from that trauma; however, she would get jumpy when she heard footsteps behind her. She didn't like too much quiet or being alone for too long; otherwise, she was doing okay.
Mariah asked Kevin to tell her how he was doing. He asked if she wanted him to brag about his kids. She gave him a resounding "Yes." Kevin was more than happy to oblige. He said life was hectic since Myles had begun walking. Mariah apologized for not visiting, but Kevin assured her that Myles didn't hold grudges.
Mariah received a call from Tessa. Tessa told Mariah that she was glad she hadn't canceled her trip. She said the palazzo was over-the-top gorgeous, like something out of a magazine. She'd finally met Leslie Brooks, who was cool and funny, and they'd gotten to rehearse together. Mariah interrupted Tessa and said she wished they could talk, but she'd had very little sleep and was in zombie mode. She said they would catch up later. Tessa said she loved Mariah. Mariah responded with a "Me, too." Tessa looked upset.
Kevin asked Mariah if he should pretend that he hadn't heard her blow off Tessa or if she wanted to talk about it. He also gave her the option of pretending that he hadn't asked the question. Mariah thanked him and said she might take him up on his offer at a later date, but for the moment, she only wanted to hear about Kevin's kids. Kevin obliged and told Mariah about the play Bella had been in.
Ashland watched as Victoria slept. When she woke up, he said he'd never dreamed he could love anyone as much as he loved her. Victoria said she'd never been more certain about anything in her life, and they knew how special their union was. It didn't matter what anyone thought or did. They kissed.
Victoria asked how he'd spent his last evening as a single man. He claimed he'd been a little restless, and he'd gone for a walk around the grounds. It had helped immensely. He loved the palazzo. Victoria told him the palazzo was theirs, thanks to her father's generous gift, and they could stay for as long as Ashland wanted. She suggested that with careful planning, they could run Newman-Locke from the palazzo when the kids were on break. Ashland claimed all he could think about was marrying her.
Victoria and Ashland were locked in each other's arms when Nikki knocked on the door and spoiled the moment. She announced she was there to help the bride get ready for the big day.
Ashland grabbed his tuxedo, and he told Victoria that the next time he saw her, they would be minutes away from their vows. Victoria stated that couldn't happen soon enough. He promised everything was going to be okay. He leaned in for a kiss, but Victoria avoided it. She said that the next time he kissed her, it would be as her husband. Ashland smiled. After Ashland left, Nikki asked how Victoria felt. Victoria claimed she was excited and couldn't wait to get married. It was going to be the most incredible day of her entire life.
Nikki told Victoria she'd been too busy to put together something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Victoria told her not to worry because Victor's spectacular gift had it all covered. She'd been through that tradition a number of times. Nikki stated that they both had. Nikki said they never knew what challenges lay ahead, and Ashland's were complicated.
Victoria told Nikki she was clear about what she was going into. She said she'd never felt such a connection and never felt so loved and appreciated. She admitted she'd been shocked finding out about Ashland's past the way she had, and she was aware that many people wanted to see their relationship fail, but she had to think about what she wanted. She said that despite everything, Ashland was still the man she'd fallen in love with, and she knew he loved her. Nikki hoped Victoria and Ashland would enjoy their happiness for a very long time.
It was time to put on the wedding gown. Victoria was shocked when she unzipped the garment bag. She told Nikki it wasn't her dress. She said she'd spoken to Lauren about making a few minor changes, but that was a completely new dress, and it was a completely different style. Nikki asked if it could be a surprise from Ashland, but Victoria claimed he wouldn't take a chance like that.
Victoria wondered if Summer had had Angelina Marchetti design the gown for her. Nikki wondered if there had been a mix-up and if Lauren had sent her the wrong dress. Victoria told Nikki the dress was breathtaking, but it wasn't her dress. She asked Nikki what she should do. Nikki suggested she try it on.
When Victor saw Billy walk by him, Victor stated he'd thought Lily had had the sense to convince Billy to leave, since Billy had no reason to be there. Billy said he was going to assume that Victor knew about the secret Ashland had been keeping about Gaines for so many years and how Ashland had stollen a dead woman's money to start his empire. Victor said nothing.
Billy told Victor he found it funny that Gaines had mysteriously disappeared. Billy said if Victor had had anything to do with that, then Victoria and Ashland could breathe easier. Billy claimed that Gaines was a wild card, and he'd been waiting a very long time for the right moment to cause the most damage. Victor accused Billy of being responsible for the Gaines situation. He promised that one day, Billy would pay. Billy smiled when he realized that Victor didn't know where Gaines was. Victor told Billy to get lost; he wasn't wanted there. Billy knew Victor was worried about what Gaines might do. Billy left.
In the great room, Sally told Adam she was a bundle of nerves because that day could make or break her career. Everything depended on the dress she'd designed for Victoria. Adam admitted the dress was beautiful, and he suggested that Sally let the day play out.
In their bedroom, Nick told Phyllis he was determined to win Victoria's trust again. He was going to take a walk to clear his head. He apologized for what he'd said to Phyllis the previous evening, and he left.
When Nick returned sometime later, he told Phyllis he wasn't going to attend the wedding. Phyllis wanted to know why. Nick claimed he'd weighed the pros and cons of the fallout. Phyllis claimed he had to go because he was the bride's brother. Nick claimed it was Victoria's big day, and he wanted her to be happy and stress-free. Phyllis didn't understand what had happened, but she relented and said it was his family and his call. Phyllis told Nick she shouldn't go, either, but Nick told her to go. She asked if he would be at the reception. Nick said he would think about it.
Billy returned to his room. He told Lily there hadn't been any sign of Gaines. He said that after talking to Victor, it was clear Victor had no idea where Gaines was, either. Lily suggested that Gaines hadn't wanted to incur the wrath of Victor and Ashland, and he'd decided to leave. Billy claimed guys like Gaines didn't disappear when there was money on the table and when they had a thirst for revenge. He was either hiding and biding his time, or something had happened to him.
In the great room, Victor reminded Adam that he'd promised to make it a perfect day for Victoria. Adam admitted he'd made the promise. Victor wanted to know why Adam had brought "that damned woman" as his date. Adam promised that Sally wouldn't do anything to sabotage Victoria's big day. She'd given him her word. Adam said that if he and Victor had been judged on their past actions, they wouldn't be at the wedding.
Adam told Victor he knew how hard Sally had worked to turn things around and to make amends for the things she'd done. Adam respected her for that, and he believed she deserved a chance. Adam said they needed to focus on Gaines. He said he'd overheard Victor talking to Ashland, and he gathered Gaines was still there.
Victor told Adam that Billy had brought Gaines as a surefire way to convince Victoria to call off the wedding, but Victoria had told him she'd already known about Ashland's past. Victor was sure Gaines was there to cause problems for Locke, and that was bad for Victoria and Ashland. Adam offered his help. Victor thanked him and said he wanted to make sure it was a wonderful day for Victoria. She deserved it.
Ashland joined Victor. He asked if there had been any word about Gaines. Victor confirmed that his security team hadn't seen him. He felt Gaines might have left town. Victor said that Billy had no further use for Gaines once he'd realized that Ashland had told Victoria everything. If Gaines was smart, he would have taken Victor's money and gotten out of Dodge.
Ashland wasn't confident that Gaines was gone. Even if Gaines had left the palazzo, it didn't mean that he wasn't a threat. Victor told Ashland to relax. They would deal with that when it was time. Victor told Ashland to take a deep breath and to relax. He reminded Ashland that he was marrying one of the most powerful and beautiful women in the world. Victor left.
Alone, Ashland became short of breath. Nate arrived, and he asked how bad it was. Ashland said he'd lost his breath, and stress had been the culprit. He explained that he'd spoken to Victor about Billy. Billy had arrived with the express purpose of stopping the wedding. He felt that Billy hoped Ashland would collapse and do the job for him; however, Billy would be disappointed because nothing was going to stop Ashland from marrying the woman of his dreams -- not a jealous ex, people trying to exploit his past, or that dreadful disease. Nate told Ashland to rest and to conserve his energy. It would be a very long day.
Ashland told Nate that when he saw his bride walking down the aisle, he would only see the woman who'd entered his life and changed him. She'd accepted him, and she loved him for who he was. He'd never dreamed he would be loved unconditionally. Nate said that was interesting because when Ashland had talked about Victoria, his breathing had steadied. Ashland said she was good for him. Ashland smiled and reminded Nate not to forget the rings, and he left.
Noah, Kyle, Summer, and Tessa were having coffee in the room adjacent to the great room. Kyle commented that Noah's exhibition in London had been great. Noah was surprised that Kyle and Summer read his emails. Summer claimed she made a point of keeping up with Noah's disasters. Noah described one of his disasters and how a little kid had saved it from becoming a complete disaster. Summer bragged that Noah had created an amazing life for himself in London, and his career was skyrocketing. She wanted to know why Noah was looking for a change. Noah claimed there was something more out there for him.
Noah told Summer there was no place like home. Summer asked if he was thinking of returning to Genoa City. She believed he was joking. Noah stated that Summer and Kyle loved their life in Milan, but it could also happen to them when they least expected it. Everyone became silent when Sally walked in.
Sally told Summer she knew she wasn't Summer's favorite person, and Sally admitted she'd been responsible for Summer's move to Milan. Summer stated that Sally and Tara had been involved from the beginning, and the job at Marchetti had been Sally's idea. Sally congratulated Summer because she'd heard that Summer was already making her mark. She also congratulated Summer and Kyle on their wedding. She wished them all the best. Kyle asked why Sally was there. Sally stated she was Adam's date.
Sally told Kyle that Adam wanted the day to be perfect for Victoria, and so did she. Sally introduced herself to Noah. Noah told her he was Summer's brother. Sally assumed he'd heard everything about her. She claimed some of it was true, and some wasn't. Summer reminded Sally that the day was about Victoria, not Sally. Sally agreed. She suggested they try to be civil to each other. Summer glared at Sally.
Billy was dressed in his tuxedo when he bumped into Nick in the hallway. Nick stated that Billy's big plan to get Victoria to call off the wedding had been an epic failure. Billy claimed he'd made a bet that hadn't paid off. Nick asked if Billy was planning last-minute fireworks. Billy said Victoria was going ahead with the wedding, even though she knew everything about the man she was marrying. Billy said it was a mistake, and he believed Nick felt the same; however, they were both ready to go along with Victoria's decision. Billy left.
In the great room, Jack met with Adam. Jack had thought Adam had evolved, but he'd obviously been mistaken. He claimed Adam was using his sister's wedding to stir things up and get under people's skin. Adam wasn't aware he'd done that. Jack said Adam had brought Sally to the wedding, knowing what she'd put Summer through. Adam told Jack to ask himself why he really objected to Sally being Adam's date. Sally entered. Jack gave her a curt hello, and he excused himself.
Adam asked if Sally was okay. Sally claimed that she'd been so focused on Victoria's dress that she'd failed to consider that she was the last person anyone wanted to see. Adam told her to take it from the guy who'd been there; she would get used to it. Adam told her to go change and to be ready to make her pitch. Sally left.
A short time later, Sally entered the room, dressed for the wedding. Adam said, "Wow." Sally hoped he meant that in a strictly professional sense.
Nikki entered. She went directly to Victor and told him the wrong dress had been delivered. Sally overheard. Victor asked if Victoria was refusing to wear it. Sally ran out, almost knocking Ashland over.
Summer and Kyle approached Adam. Summer stated that Sally had moved very fast. Kyle hope Sally wasn't up to something. Adam assured them that Sally wanted the wedding to be as happy and memorable as everyone else. Kyle asked why Sally was so invested in Victoria and Ashland's wedding, since she wasn't a friend or family. Summer had the feeling something else was going on.
Sally arrived at Victoria's room and knocked. Sally told Victoria that she'd switched out the wedding dress Victoria had with the one Sally had designed. Victoria was furious. Victoria said she was minutes from walking down the aisle and had discovered she had the wrong dress. Sally claimed Victoria had the right dress. It was the dress Victoria should be wearing.
Sally told Victoria she admired Lauren, but she'd been floored by what Lauren's designer had created. Victoria claimed that Lauren's dress was beautiful. Sally said it was, but not for Victoria. Victoria said that if Sally had flown to Tuscany, switched dresses, and hoped Victoria would fall in love with her dress, then Sally had made a big miscalculation. Sally had obviously not learned anything from the crap she'd pulled.
Sally told Victoria she knew how Victoria felt about her, but she wasn't wrong about the dress. Sally asked if Victoria had fallen in love with Lauren's dress when she'd tried it on. She asked if Victoria had pictured herself in it on her wedding day and if it has sparked joy in her. Sally knew it hadn't, because Lauren's designer hadn't considered the woman who would be wearing it. Sally claimed she'd designed Victoria's dress after she'd studied every detail of who Victoria was -- her body type, her style, the way she moved, her strength, and her elegance. She had tried to key into the core of who Victoria was. Sally had wanted to give Victoria a dress that captured her elegance.
Sally told Victoria she'd overseen every element of the dress. She believed she'd designed the most breathtaking dress for Victoria's important day in an incredible location. Victoria asked if Sally had destroyed the original dress. Sally said if Victoria wanted it, she would bring it to her -- after Victoria tried on Sally's dress. Sally knew her instincts were right, and Victoria would fall in love with it. Nikki arrived and asked why Sally was there.
Victoria told Sally to bring Victoria's original dress and hang it on the door. She was getting ready for her wedding. Deflated, Sally left.
Phyllis entered the great room and showed off her dress to Summer. Summer loved the dress, especially since it was a Marchetti. Summer asked about Nick. Noah realized that Nick was going to sit it out. Phyllis said it was complicated. Noah said he was going to straighten things out, but Phyllis stopped him. Kyle and Summer agreed that Nick should be there, since he was the bride's brother, and he would regret not being there. Phyllis said they had to respect Nick's decision, and she explained there was a lot of tension between Nick and Victoria. Nick didn't want to be a distraction. Phyllis left to be with Jack.
Victor told Ashland that Nikki had informed him that there was a problem with the wedding dress. Ashland stated that of all the things that could have gone wrong, that wasn't one that he'd considered.
As Billy entered the great room, he received a call from Lily, who claimed she had a hair emergency. Billy overheard Victor and Ashland's conversation about Victoria's dress. He told Lily she had company because Victoria was having difficulty getting ready, as well.
Sally found Adam; however, before she could tell Adam what had happened, Nikki announced that the wedding was about to begin. She asked everyone to take their seats.
Ashland, Nate, and Harrison arrived. Victoria walked out wearing Sally's dress. Sally was stunned and elated at the same time. Summer was shocked. She said the dress was stunning. She wondered who had designed it.
Phyllis told Jack she'd never seen Victoria look more beautiful.
Victor joined Victoria. He told her she looked stunning, and he adored her. Victoria thanked him for everything and said she loved him.
Elsewhere, Gaines opened the door to Nick's bedroom. Gaines was looking out the window when Nick arrived and asked who Gaines was and "what the hell" he was doing in Nick's room.
In Nick's room at the Newman palazzo, Nick demanded to know who Gaines was. Gaines claimed that he was a friend of Ashland's, but Nick questioned why Gaines was in Nick's room rather than at the wedding. Gaines replied that he had arrived late and hadn't wanted to interrupt the ceremony. Nick ordered Gaines to start talking fast, or they'd have a problem. Gaines barked that he didn't have to tell Nick a thing. Nick growled that Gaines wasn't going anywhere, and he shut the door.
Nick identified himself, and Gaines recalled that everything he'd read about Nick indicated that he was a righteous, no-nonsense guy. Gaines noted that Nick had been up there when the wedding had started, and he suspected that Nick also didn't approve of what was going on downstairs. Gaines questioned what Nick actually knew about the man his sister was about to marry, and Nick snapped that he wasn't the one who needed to answer some questions. Gaines introduced himself by name and clarified that he was an old acquaintance of Ashland's, not a friend. Gaines added that it was quite the opposite, since he knew Ashland's deepest, darkest secret.
Nick asserted that he knew all of Ashland's secrets, but Gaines promised that not many people knew about the one he was talking about. Gaines explained that his father had worked for Camilla Rhodes, and Nick recalled that she'd given Ashland his start in business. Gaines revealed that when Camilla had passed away, she hadn't left Ashland a dime, but Gaines's father and Ashland had forged a letter that had left her entire estate to Ashland. Nick was skeptical, but Gaines suggested that Nick ask his father. Nick was floored that Victor had known about it.
Gaines recounted that Victor had pressured him to stay silent, but Billy had flown Gaines there to expose Ashland before the ceremony. Gaines continued that he hadn't approached Victoria yet because he didn't trust Billy, and he'd decided to take matters into his own hands by hiding out and waiting for the most opportune moment to make a move. Gaines chided Nick for interrupting him, and he warned that nothing would stop the wedding unless Nick cooperated with him to keep Victoria from marrying a ruthless, dangerous man.
Gaines looked out the window at the ceremony on the terrace below. He cautioned that time was running out, since the minister was about to pronounce Nick's sister legally wed to "that slimeball." Nick paced for a moment before grabbing a key out of a drawer. Nick ordered Gaines to stay put, and he bolted for the door, locking it behind him. "Take me with you!" Gaines bellowed.
On the terrace, Victor prepared to walk Victoria down the aisle as Leslie played the piano. Adam asked Sally how she'd persuaded Victoria to wear Sally's dress, and Sally replied that she'd just told Victoria the truth. Adam clasped Sally's hand. Tessa began to sing as Victor led Victoria down the aisle, and Ashland gazed lovingly at Victoria as she headed toward him. Victor kissed Victoria's cheek and wished her all the happiness in the world. Billy looked crestfallen as Victoria beamed at Ashland. An Italian minister began the ceremony.
The minister declared that marriage was the ultimate union between two hearts and souls. He continued that the kind of love that lasted forever could be elusive, so it should be cherished, respected, and held onto when it was found. He cautioned that it wasn't a fairy tale, since there would be obstacles along the way, but if a couple made the decision to devote themselves to one another, they would grow stronger individually and as a couple, and the marriage would stand the test of time. He shared that Ashland and Victoria had chosen to write their own vows, and he prompted Ashland to begin.
Ashland credited the beautiful, brilliant woman standing before him with turning him into a different man than he'd once been. He referred to the unexpected and significant obstacles he'd faced over the past year, and he praised Victoria for helping him put them into perspective, giving him renewed strength, and inspiring him to cope. He proclaimed that she'd helped him fight and strive to be a better man, and she'd seen him at his best and his utter worst. He applauded her for standing by him, despite knowing all his flaws, and accepting him for who he was.
Ashland considered it a gift that Victoria had stood by him through difficult times. He wasn't sure he could ever repay her, but he pledged to "damn well try" with everything he had. He vowed to give her all the love and support that he had in his being, and he promised absolute honesty going forward. Lily observed the solemn look on Billy's face.
Ashland shared that he'd had decades of old walls that Victoria had helped knock down because he'd known his heart had been safe in her hands, and he'd known he'd found his partner and soul mate in her. He added that she'd opened him up to a whole new way of living and shown him the power of true forgiveness. Phyllis whispered to Jack that it was interesting that Victoria would forgive Ashland but not Nick. Ashland lauded Victoria for providing strength to his weaknesses, forgiveness to his past, and love to his heart, and in return, he intended to give her the world and all the joy they could squeeze out of it in the time they had left.
Victoria was sure everyone could see why Ashland was such a huge success, and she considered him a tough act to follow. She believed she'd become a stronger person because of him, and he'd helped her see that she had a capacity for love that she'd never expected. She gushed that the connection they had was unlike anything she'd ever known, and he'd helped her to grow as a person in many different ways and on many different levels.
Victoria referenced the merger of her and Ashland's companies, and she looked forward to merging their lives and their families. She declared that she couldn't feel more complete than she did right then, and she felt that the mistakes she'd made in her past had led her there to Ashland. Billy squirmed. Victoria said she'd learned a lot about herself and about life, and while nobody was perfect, it didn't mean they were incapable of change or unworthy of love. She proclaimed that love transcended all.
Victoria recognized that Ashland wanted to give her credit for inspiring him to fight his illness, but she was the one who was honored and grateful to be fighting alongside him, in sickness and in health. She thought those words couldn't have a greater meaning to anyone than they did to them. She regretted that she couldn't promise him forever, but she pledged that they would spend every precious second they had together.
The minister asked Ashland if he took Victoria to be his legally wedded wife. Ashland said "I do" as Nick appeared in the entryway. As the minister turned to Victoria, Adam spotted Nick and told Sally he'd be right back. Adam joined Nick and asked what was going on, and Nick inquired whether Adam knew a guy named Jesse Gaines. Adam confirmed that he'd been looking everywhere for Gaines, and Nick divulged that he'd found the guy. Ashland turned to Harrison to retrieve the rings.
Adam guessed that Gaines was there to sabotage the wedding. Nick thought it sounded like Gaines had good reason, and he wanted to help Gaines do it if Gaines's allegations were true. Billy noticed Adam and Nick conferring and muttered that it couldn't be good. The minister prompted the exchanging of rings. Adam urged Nick to think it through before he did something drastic, but Nick worried that his sister was about to marry a lying thief who'd stolen a dead woman's entire fortune.
Victoria slipped a wedding band on Ashland's finger as Adam counseled Nick not to torpedo her wedding, since she'd never get past it. Adam pointed out that Victoria was truly happy, and he questioned whether Nick really wanted to be the guy who wiped that look off her face and ruined what should be the best day of her life. Nick and Adam looked on as the minister pronounced Ashland and Victoria husband and wife.
Adam assured Nick that he'd done the right thing. Nick found it strange to be getting advice from Adam, and Adam agreed that it was odd for him to offer moral guidance about anything. Nick contemplated what to do, since he couldn't join the party while he had Gaines locked upstairs. Nick fretted that Gaines was a powder keg who might do anything. Adam offered to call security while Nick checked on Gaines.
The wedding guests mingled. Leslie remarked that it had been what she called a wedding, with a beautiful couple and moving vows. Victoria expressed relief that everything had gone smoothly, and Ashland said he appreciated Victor's support. Victor stressed that he'd do anything for his daughter's happiness, and that had meant her marrying Ashland.
Victor crossed the room and ordered Billy to behave himself. Billy joined Victoria and Ashland and congratulated them. Billy told them that, contrary to many people's assumptions, all he'd ever wanted was for her to be happy. Victoria responded that he'd gotten his wish, since she was happier than she'd ever been. Billy excused himself to get a drink, and Ashland invited him to enjoy the open bar.
Sally complimented the minister on a job nicely done, and she inquired whether he'd performed a lot of weddings. He confirmed that he'd presided over his fair share, and she asked how many of the couples he'd wed had actually stayed together. He seemed taken aback, and she quickly made up an excuse to step away.
Lily fawned over Victoria's dress as Sally eavesdropped nearby. Elena admired the craftmanship of the gown, and Lily was determined to find out who the designer was. Elena wondered if Lily might need a wedding dress soon. Lily denied it, but she stated that she'd offer any amount of money for someone to make her a dress that gorgeous.
Phyllis passed along Nick's best wishes to Victoria, noting that he hadn't felt welcome at the wedding. Victoria huffed that Phyllis had still felt welcome to show up and offer her opinion. Victoria walked away and joined Nikki. Victoria said she appreciated her mother's efforts to keep her calm earlier. Ashland thanked Nate for doing a stellar job as his best man.
Nikki pressed Victoria to share the mystery of the missing wedding dress. Nikki was appalled that Sally had had the audacity to steal Victoria's dress and substitute it with her own design at the last minute. Victoria recognized that it had taken nerve, but she'd ended up wearing Sally's dress because she preferred it to the other one. Nikki thought that Victoria had made the right choice because she looked stunning.
Summer overheard and agreed that the dress was amazing, and she asked which of Lauren's designers had been behind it. Summer was stunned when Victoria informed her that Sally had designed it. Victor requested a moment alone with Victoria, and Nikki led Summer away. Victor took Victoria's hands in his and said it had been a beautiful ceremony. She thanked him for one of the best days of her life, and they exchanged words of love.
Noah told Tessa that her voice was stronger and more beautiful than ever. He added that he'd heard her latest songs, but hearing her sing in person packed a much bigger punch. Tessa considered it a huge honor to perform with Leslie at the piano. Noah sensed that Tessa was distracted, and he implored her to open up to him. She confided that she missed her girlfriend.
Jack told Phyllis that he'd caught what she'd said to Victoria. Phyllis explained that she'd felt the need to do it for Nick, and Jack recognized that she was disappointed Nick hadn't attended the wedding. Phyllis suspected that it would be a long, bumpy road to reconciliation for the siblings, and she didn't understand why Nick didn't want her to help. Jack pointed out that things might have been blown out of proportion, given the stress of two back-to-back family destination weddings. Phyllis conceded that he had a point.
In private, Lily joined a wistful Billy and recalled the look on his face when Victoria had been saying her vows, and she sympathized that watching the ceremony hadn't been easy for him. He insisted that he was happy for Victoria, and Lily assured him that she was confident in what they had. Lily was also certain that if she hadn't been there, he would have already checked the text message Gaines had sent him. Billy lamented that nothing about the trip had gone how he'd expected or wanted, and he wondered if perhaps it was the universe trying to tell him something. "Don't give a sleazy guy a duffel bag full of cash?" Lily joked.
Billy admitted that he'd been thinking about why he'd been so determined to make sure Victoria knew about Ashland's past, and he'd realized that part of him had wanted to prove that Ashland wasn't a better man than he was. Billy shared that he'd been hoping Victoria would judge Ashland as harshly as she'd judged Billy, but he recognized that she had also forgiven Billy for many things. Billy swore that he loved Lily and what they had, and that moment of self-awareness hadn't been cheap, since there had been a lot of money in that duffel bag. Lily pointed out that Billy had spent just as much gambling, yet he'd learned nothing. Billy grumbled that if he ever saw Gaines again, the last thing he'd do was thank him.
Summer told Kyle she was in awe of the wedding they'd just attended, but he insisted that their nuptials had been just as special. He conceded that the Tuscan venue was fantastic, and he suggested that they renew their vows there. Summer loved the idea, but she thought it was a bit soon because they'd just gotten married. He exclaimed that with a wife like her, he'd do it every single day. They looked over at Sally sitting alone, and Summer remarked that she almost felt sorry for Sally.
Jack wished Ashland the best in his new marriage, and he hoped it was long and happy. Jack thought Ashland would be surprised by how many people in Genoa City were pulling for him. Kyle approached and asked how Ashland was holding up, and Ashland thanked him for taking such good care of Harrison. Ashland hoped they could keep the parental channels open and easy, and Kyle gave his word that they would.
Ashland excused himself to have a word with Victor. The men shook hands, and Ashland thanked Victor for making sure the ceremony went off without a hitch. Victor officially welcomed Ashland to the Newman family. Ashland admitted that he'd been sweating, thinking about how Gaines might show up and disrupt things. Victor reiterated that he'd taken care of things.
Victoria cornered Sally, who assumed that Victoria was still furious with her. Victoria conceded that the dress had been a huge success, and she was glad she'd worn Sally's design. Victoria clarified that she didn't agree with Sally's methods, but in the end, Victoria had worn the gown that was perfect for the incredibly special occasion. Sally acknowledged that she'd stepped over a line, but she'd believed that she'd created the perfect dress for Victoria. Victoria supposed there was just one thing left to say, and she thanked a stunned Sally with a hug.
Nick and Adam met in the hallway outside Nick's room. Adam reported that security was on the way, but he thought they should check on Gaines first. Nick opened the door and found Gaines lounging on the bed. Gaines dryly asked if they were going to let him out in time to catch the bouquet. Meanwhile, Phyllis sent Nick a text message to let him know the ceremony was over and to ask if he would be at the reception.
Nick wondered where security was, and Adam asked why Gaines was still smiling even though his plans had been ruined. Adam revealed that he'd made a judgment call not to call security, since they had to keep the situation as quiet and controlled as possible. Victor suddenly appeared at the door, and Adam nodded at him. Victor glowered at Gaines.
Victor closed the door, and Nick figured he should have known that his father had been pulling all the strings. "Not all of them," Gaines clucked, but Adam ordered him to be quiet. Victor growled that Gaines would talk to anyone who would listen, and Gaines obviously didn't know what was good for him. Victor was thankful that Gaines hadn't disturbed the ceremony, but he still considered Gaines to be a threat to Victoria and her company. Victor refused to allow that to happen.
Downstairs, Billy read Gaines's text message, which invited him to check out an attached video. Moments later, Billy informed Lily that Gaines had just offered them the scoop of the year by sending them a video detailing Ashland's crimes, including a display of the evidence. Billy played the video, in which Gaines presented the letter Camilla had written to Ashland to explain why she hadn't left him a penny of her estate.
Billy revealed that Gaines had threatened to send the video out globally if ChancComm didn't publish it within the hour. Lily realized that it was all anyone needed to take Ashland down, and she contemplated what they should do. Billy's brow furrowed as he gazed over at an obliviously blissful Victoria and Ashland.