At Chancellor Communications, Billy and Lily panicked when they discovered that the scandalous story about Ashland, based on Jesse Gaines's accusations, had been published to a ChancComm website without their authorization. Lily summoned Marty, a writer who'd been working on the Ashland story, and asked why she'd published the piece despite Lily and Billy not authorizing its release. Marty showed Lily and Billy an email displayed on her phone that appeared to be from Billy authorizing the story's release. Billy read the email and explained that he hadn't sent it. Billy explained that he and Lily hadn't yet seen the story and would never have signed off on anything without first reading it. Marty said she'd believed she'd done what her bosses had directed her to do. Marty left after she forwarded the email to Lily. Billy told Lily that he'd been hacked.
Sally approached Adam in his office at Newman Communications and said she'd read a fascinating yet unsettling article about Ashland Locke, published by ChancComm. Sally asked Adam if he was aware of the story. Adam, pulling on his jacket, replied, "I, uh, just finished reading it myself." Sally replied, "And?" Before Adam rushed out the door, he told Sally not to work too late. Sally seemed intrigued to know why Adam wasn't rattled.
Rey entered Crimson Lights as Sharon was reading the ChancComm story about Ashland. Sharon told Rey that although the story was primarily about Ashland, Billy and Lily had also aimed at the Newmans by association. Rey noted that Billy hadn't seemed inclined to rush the release of his hush-hush story about Locke and Gaines, instead having planned to use the story as a bargaining chip. Rey explained that he'd interpreted Billy's intentions as a plan to blackmail Newman Media to keep the company in check.
Rey told Sharon that the article had exposed facts about Ashland having committed fraud to steal Camilla Rhodes's estate. Rey acknowledged that though the statute of limitations for criminal charges had passed, the rightful beneficiaries could file civil suits. Sharon wondered aloud if Victoria had known about Ashland's past, and she expressed concern about Johnny and Katie being caught in the crossfire. Rey agreed that the situation could become ugly, especially if Victor and Adam supported Ashland. Rey suggested dropping the subject and forgetting about Adam in favor of enjoying a dinner date.
Billy and Lily entered Jesse's motel room. Jesse wasn't there. Lily said she'd thought Billy had instructed Jesse to stay put until they cleared him to leave town. Billy agreed that had been his plan. Billy checked dresser drawers and discovered that everything belonging to Jesse was gone. Lily pointed her finger at Billy and said, "I knew this was going to happen. I knew he would go rogue." Lily reminded Billy that Jesse had had no allegiance to him and had decided to take matters into his own hands by exposing Ashland's past. Billy explained that Jesse had agreed to keep the information private, so they'd have more leverage. Billy added that Jesse was aware that if he leaked the story, both Victor and Ashland would seek revenge.
Billy told Lily that the leaked story had been a personal attack on him because the perpetrator had hacked his email secured with a strong password. Billy blamed Victor and Adam. Lily accused Billy of jumping to conclusions. Billy recalled that Victor had declared war to his face and that Adam had warned that they'd be coming after him. Lily asked Billy why Adam and Victor would shoot themselves in the foot by releasing information damaging to Newman Media and Newman/Locke.
Victor was at home when he read the online article about Ashland. Adam arrived. Victor said, "Well done, my boy." Adam noted that everything had gone off without a hitch because it had been a perfectly executed plan. When Jesse Gaines entered the room, Adam praised him for having perfectly played his role. Jesse complained that he hadn't had much choice in the matter. Victor admonished Jesse not to complain and left Adam to deal with him. Before Victor left, Adam assured Victor he'd handle Jesse. Adam noted that Jesse's story about Ashland was spreading fast, which was what he'd wanted. Jesse replied that it wasn't how he'd wanted it to happen. Adam noted that the only other option was releasing the dirt about Jesse. Adam informed Jesse that they weren't yet finished.
Adam entered Society and found Sally sitting by herself, working on her laptop. Sally noted Adam's demeanor and said he seemed to be having a good evening. Adam agreed that he was. Sally recalled that Adam's jovial mood seemed to contradict his concerns about the article Billy had "fired off like a weapon to inflict serious damage." Sally noted that the article seemed damaging to both Newman Media and Newman/Locke. Adam explained that sometimes things weren't exactly as they appeared. Sally said she was aware Adam and Victor had wanted to ruin ChancComm and assumed the article had been a preemptive strike on Billy's part. Sally inquired about the damage done to Newman Media. Adam remained mum about details, though he said Sally should trust him.
Sally expressed relief that Adam felt comfortable enjoying a cocktail with her, especially after a tabloid had implied in a story that they were an item. Adam said he never allowed gossip to dictate his life and thought Sally felt the same. Sally said she was concerned about fallout. Adam replied that Sally was referring to Chelsea. Adam said he'd be careful not to give Chelsea the impression that something was going on between him and Sally. Sally nodded and smiled.
After a few drinks, Adam loosened up and was surprised when Sally told him that her parents had been carnival workers who'd taught her to juggle knives and walk a tightrope. Sally said she'd ended up living with her grandmother. Adam recalled having grown up on a rural farm and said he had enjoyed traveling carnivals as the height of excitement. Sharon and Rey entered and spotted Sally and Adam engaged in deep conversation. Rey suggested he and Sharon dine elsewhere. Sharon said she had no reason to leave.
Billy and Lily returned to their office and felt overwhelmed by calls and text messages. Billy, reading aloud a text message from Victoria, said, "You bastard! Why did you do this?" No sooner had Billy received Victoria's message than Ashland sent a text message warning Billy to line up his team of lawyers. Lily suggested Billy let Victoria know he hadn't approved publication of the article. Billy said he wouldn't talk to anyone until he discovered who had and could devise a game plan. Lily insisted they print a retraction. Billy declined and pondered why Ashland had told him to consult lawyers because they all knew the story was true. Jesse entered and said, "Because the story is not true. I made the whole thing up in order to hurt you."
Abby arrived at Devon's penthouse with Dominic. A sobbing Abby, wiping tears from her cheeks, apologized for having barged in and said she needed Devon and Amanda's help. Abby cried that she couldn't handle things by herself or focus on her baby because she was "a train wreck over Chance." Abby asked Devon to care for Dominic until she could get her head together. Amanda looked worried as she watched Devon collect his thoughts before responding.
Devon calmly praised Abby's courage for reaching out to seek help. Abby said she'd wanted to do the right thing for Dominic. Devon asked Abby if she felt certain about choosing him instead of her mother or father. Abby explained that Devon had been part of Dominic's life from the beginning and had spent more time with her son than anyone in her family had, so it felt right. Devon agreed and said it would be best for Dominic to stay with him a while.
Abby admitted she was in deep despair and wasn't certain how long she'd be away from Genoa City. Devon expressed concern about Abby's decision to leave town and asked her if she planned to fly to Valencia, Spain. Abby said she might not leave town and just needed time away. Amanda assured Abby she would help, too. Devon assured Abby that Moses would also be supportive. Devon encouraged Abby to take care of herself. Abby promised Dominic that she'd think of him every second and would return for him soon.
After Abby left, Devon hovered over Dominic and had a flashback. Devon relived a conversation he'd had with Neil. Neil had told Devon that caring for a child was different than attending to business because rearing a child consumed every second of every day. Devon had patiently listened as Neil had described the elation of cheering on a child's firsts, from the first steps to the first college acceptance. Amanda entered and proclaimed that Devon was a natural with Dominic. Devon acknowledged that Amanda hadn't signed up to help care for a baby, and he expressed appreciation for her support. Amada said she was relieved to know Abby had sought healing for herself and protection for Dominic. Amanda noted that Devon was the only father Dominic had ever known. Devon sang softly as he fed Dominic a bottle of milk.
Ashley returned to the Chancellor mansion and phoned Abby when she realized her daughter and the baby weren't there. Nina had already gone to bed. Ashley left a message for Abby, letting her know she'd wait up for Abby. Ashley sipped coffee as she waited nervously for Abby's return. When Abby arrived, Ashley asked about Dominic. Abby explained that she'd left Dominic with Devon for a while. Ashley gently suggested that Abby had taken a drastic step.
Abby cried that leaving Dominic in Devon's care had felt like the right thing to do. Ashley said she, Nina, and Victor could take on more responsibility. Abby became frustrated and cried that her mother should accept that Abby had made the right call, so she shouldn't have to defend herself. Victor entered and said, "What's there to defend? What's going on?" Victor assured Abby that she had no reason to feel defensive because Devon would "be a good father."
Victor asked Abby why she hadn't first sought her parents' opinions. Abby explained that she shared an indescribable bond with Devon and Mariah, recalling that Devon had been present in Dominic's life from birth. Ashley suggested that Devon could help care for the baby at the Chancellor home, an environment familiar to Dominic. Abby cried that every inch of her home was filled with sorrow and sadness, in addition to her own sadness and Nina's grief. Abby said she wanted Dominic to thrive in a peaceful and happy environment.
Victor assured Abby that she'd made good points, though he expressed concern that not having Dominic present might take an enormous toll on her. Abby said she had to put her child first and had no second thoughts about her decision. Victor insisted Abby tell her parents how they could help. Abby said she'd discuss her needs later, after she rested. After Abby went upstairs, Victor told Ashley he hadn't anticipated Abby's decision. Ashley agreed and said she'd been thrown for a loop and feared Abby hadn't thought things through. Ashley said they should wait a while and could change course if Abby needed her baby by her side. Victor hugged Ashley and left, so she could get some rest. After Ashley fell asleep, Abby slipped downstairs with a travel bag and quietly walked out the front door.
At Society, Rey and Sharon looked forward to their night out. They overheard Adam and Sally laughing at a nearby table, and Rey questioned whether Sharon wanted to stay. Sharon swore that she had no desire to go someplace else, and she considered it nice to see Adam having a good time -- even if it was with Sally. Sharon resolved not to worry about Sally's motives anymore because it wasn't her problem. Sharon judged from Rey's expression that he was the one who was bothered.
Rey refused to leave a restaurant where his sister's empanadas were still on the menu, and he shared that Lola liked her work and had been making new friends in Miami. Sharon teased that it had to be easier for Lola to date without her big brother hovering. Adam and Sally's peals of laughter distracted them, and Rey considered it strange that Adam was in such a good mood after the article about Ashland had been published. Rey pondered what was wrong with the picture, but Sharon doubted that Rey wanted to spend their time psychoanalyzing Adam. Rey took her hand and agreed that the less time they spent thinking about Adam, the better.
Sally peered over at Rey and Sharon and wondered whether Adam still harbored feelings for his ex, but Adam refused to go there. Sally considered it another forbidden topic, and she called him a man of mystery. Adam insisted that he was an open book, and he invited her to ask him anything. Sally asked what he was looking for, but he hesitated to answer that -- or her next question. She groaned that he was an open book, but all the pages were blank. Adam received a text message and smiled, and Sally begged for a hint. Adam indicated that someone was on the way to meet him there, but he wouldn't say who.
At Chancellor Communications, Billy and Lily were aghast after Gaines's confession that he'd made up the entire story about Camilla Rhodes leaving nothing to Ashland in her will and Ashland forging a letter to steal her fortune. Lily pointed out that Gaines had gone all the way to Italy to drop the bomb on the story, and she didn't buy that it had been a complete fabrication. Gaines reasoned that it hadn't needed to be true to bust up the wedding, and he'd just wanted Ashland to be publicly humiliated. Billy argued that he had proof in the original letter from Camilla, but Gaines claimed that he'd hired a guy in Atlantic City to create it. Lily panicked that if Gaines wouldn't back up his claims, it looked like everything ChancComm had published about Ashland had been a lie, and they couldn't defend themselves in a lawsuit.
Billy told Lily not to worry, since Gaines was lying through his teeth. Billy guessed that Gaines had struck a deal with Adam and Victor to save his own skin after the article had been released, and the Newmans were paying Gaines to say it was a lie even though it wasn't. Billy recalled that Ashland had admitted his crime to Victoria and that Ashland had paid Gaines blackmail money for years to keep quiet. Gaines taunted that Billy would have a hard time proving it was true, but there was one thing that was easy to prove -- Camilla's letter was a fake.
Gaines surmised that Billy hadn't had the letter authenticated, and he welcomed Billy and Lily to test the ink and paper, which were nowhere near 30 years old. Lily argued that Gaines had gone to extremes to get the upper hand on Ashland, so something wasn't right. Billy guessed that Gaines hadn't escaped from a Tuscan wine cellar by himself, and Gaines had instead agreed to go along with Victor and Adam's scheme. Billy concluded that Victor and Adam had put the whole thing in motion.
Billy left a voicemail for Ashland, asking him to call back to discuss an important matter. Gaines scoffed at the idea that Ashland would return the call when he had lawyers to deal with it. Billy said he'd known the hack had reeked of Victor and Adam, but he hadn't been able to put his finger on why they'd seemed to be shooting themselves in the foot. Billy realized that the Newmans intended to sue ChancComm into oblivion. Lily added that Adam had been smug because he'd known he'd never been in jeopardy.
Billy demanded to know what Victor and Adam's next move was. Gaines replied that he had no idea, but he was done and leaving for good that time. Lily surmised that Gaines had shown up there to rub it in their faces, and she called him twisted. Gaines reasoned that a win was no good unless one got to gloat a bit. Billy warned that it wasn't over, since Victor, Adam, and Ashland still had the upper hand on Gaines. Gaines anticipated that the Newman cash would ease his pain. He wished them luck and left.
Billy admitted that the Newmans had one-upped them, and Lily muttered, "With some help." Billy acknowledged that Ashland and Gaines had given Victor and Adam what they'd wanted, but Lily clarified that she'd been talking about Billy. Lily ranted that Billy had basically been Victor and Adam's accomplice because he hadn't been able to stop himself from taking their bait, and the Newmans had known he wouldn't be able to resist going after Newman Media and Ashland.
Billy reminded Lily that Victor had declared war on their company, and Billy had been trying to protect them. Lily recounted that she'd urged Billy to ask Victoria to intervene, but he'd had too much pride to ask for help. Billy countered that Lily's attempt to turn to Victoria had been futile. Lily contended that at least she'd tried something other than blackmail. Billy conceded that he was partly responsible, but he believed she also had to bear responsibility for telling him to do whatever it took.
Lily argued that her statement had been an angry kneejerk reaction after she'd told Billy a million times that blackmail wasn't the answer. She barked that they never should have let Gaines back into their lives. Billy thought it didn't matter, since Victor and Adam had planned all along to hack into his email to authorize release of the story, and the Newmans had been two steps ahead the entire time. Lily apologized for jumping all over Billy when their focus needed to be on protecting ChancComm and saving their employees' jobs. They contemplated their next move.
Meanwhile, Sally complained about all the topics she and Adam couldn't discuss, and she supposed they had to talk about the weather. She proposed they move on to sports teams or their favorite Thanksgiving foods. Adam mentioned that he could make a mean pumpkin pie from his mother's recipe, since he'd written it down for her on a notecard when he'd been a kid and still had it as one of the few mementos he'd kept of his childhood. Sally found the story sweet, but she inquired why his mom hadn't written it down herself. Adam revealed that Hope had been blind and had cooked and baked from memory, but he'd always liked helping.
Adam fondly recalled that Thanksgiving on the farm had been a big deal, and his mother had always wanted to make it special, even in the years when it had just been the two of them. Adam abruptly cut Sally off when he spotted Gaines at the bar, and he crossed the room to find out exactly what had happened. Gaines reported that there had been no big surprises, since Billy and Lily had reacted as expected by stomping and yelling, although they'd known they'd been beaten. Adam cautioned that Gaines wasn't done, and Gaines grumbled not to remind him. Adam ordered him to execute the next step of the plan, and then he'd be free.
Gaines committed to doing one last thing and nothing more, and he believed he deserved every penny the Newmans had put in his pocket. Adam told him the camera crews were ready at the office, and he encouraged Gaines to put on the performance of his life. Gaines chugged his drink.
Across the restaurant, Sharon gushed about her salad, and Rey informed her that Lola had borrowed the dressing recipe from their mom. Sharon figured that a great chef took ideas from different places and made it into their own. He was clearly distracted when he spied Adam and Gaines together, and Sharon pushed for his full attention. Rey apologized and explained that he recognized Gaines from a photo in ChancComm's article. Rey suspected that whatever was going down wasn't good.
Rey flashed back to Billy telling him that there was a world of difference between blackmail and a business deal. Rey had prompted Billy to spill what he had as leverage against Ashland, but Billy had stood by protecting his source and sworn that he'd done nothing illegal.
Rey theorized to Sharon that Billy had been using Gaines as a bargaining chip to blackmail Adam, but perhaps Adam had made his own bargain with Gaines. Rey found it odd that the man who'd destroyed the reputation of Victoria's new husband was hanging out with her brother. Sharon pleaded with him to put his detective badge away for the evening, but Rey couldn't help but wonder what was going on. Sharon cited the history of animosity between Victoria and Adam, and she figured they were on opposite sides again. Rey pointed out that Ashland was a board member of Newman Media, and he questioned why Adam seemed so calm when the article would affect his company.
Sharon protested that it wasn't Rey's case, and the only mystery they'd solve that night was what they were having for dessert. She suggested that they enjoy their evening and block out the rest of the world. Rey regretted getting caught up in whatever Adam and Gaines were up to, and he thanked her for reminding him of what really mattered. He vowed to spend the rest of the night being completely devoted to her, but he watched suspiciously as Gaines left.
Adam returned to his table, and Sally asked if he really expected her not to ask any questions. She reiterated that she loved her job and didn't want anything to hurt Newman Media -- or him. She advised him to be careful, and he promised to do his best. Adam commented that he wasn't accustomed to loyalty like that from his employees. Sally replied that she'd hate to have to find another job, and he appreciated her candor. She suggested he do more than appreciate her, since she could be a valuable asset.
Adam was grateful that Sally was in his corner, and he looked forward to seeing her in action again after her coup with Victoria's dress. Sally said she had a lot more to contribute, but Adam preferred that her focus be on the fashion platform. He stated that there was nothing more to be done with the move against ChancComm, since the wheels were turning and spinning very fast. Adam assured Sally that everything was going according to his well-conceived plan, and they soon wouldn't have to worry about Billy or ChancComm ever again.
At the Newman ranch, Victor informed Nikki that he was very concerned about Abby after what she'd done that evening. Victor shared that Abby had taken Dominic to stay at Devon's house, but he and Ashley had decided not to interfere with the decision because, as the baby's mother, Abby had a right to do what she wanted. Nikki hoped the arrangement didn't last very long, and she imagined that Abby would start missing Dominic and want him back by her side. Nikki clucked that there had been other options, and Victor recognized that he could have jumped in and taken custody because he and Ashley were designated as Dominic's legal guardians if anything happened to Abby and Chance.
Nikki sympathized that Abby probably felt that she wasn't up to looking after Dominic right then. Victor thought it would have been best if Dominic had stayed with them at the ranch, and Nikki agreed. Victor stressed that he liked and respected Devon, but Dominic was Victor's grandson. Nikki accepted that Devon had a special bond with the baby, and she thought Abby's peace of mind was the most important thing. Victor asked if Nikki approved of Abby's decision. Nikki preferred to have Dominic with them, but she understood why Abby had made her choice. Victor planned to do everything he could for his daughter.
At ChancComm, Billy reasoned that a lawsuit from Ashland wouldn't be their first and wouldn't be their last, since it was the nature of the business. Billy continued that it didn't matter if Camilla's letter was fake, since Ashland wouldn't have confessed to Victoria if he hadn't committed a crime, and every accusation in ChancComm's article was true. Billy thought they needed to stand by it, but Lily worried that there was too much at stake to simply take a stand based on principle. Billy intended to keep fighting because they were in the right, but Lily thought the smartest move would be to print a retraction and let people know they'd been hacked. Billy checked his phone and bemoaned that her plan might be too late.
Victor received a text message from Adam, informing him that things were on the move. Victor told Nikki he had some Newman Media business to take care of, but he'd be upstairs soon. He tuned in to Newman Media's streaming website, where Gaines publicly recanted everything attributed to him in ChancComm's article about Ashland. Gaines contended that the letter quoted in the article was also a fake, and the words in it had been his own because he held a long-standing grudge against Ashland.
Gaines claimed that he'd made up the accusations he'd presented to Billy and Lily at ChancComm, and while he still hated Ashland, the lies never should have been published. Gaines said he regretted his part in the deception, but he believed ChancComm should have executed due diligence and fact-checked what he'd told them. He admonished ChancComm for not digging into his claims and insinuated that they had ulterior motives for publishing the story. Gaines contended that he'd felt a moral obligation to step forward with the truth, since society deserved more from its institutions.
Nikki walked in and found Victor watching the press conference. She realized he'd known all about it, and he contended that it had been his business to know. Victor shared that Ashland had been in on it from the beginning, and he reminded her that he'd sworn neither Ashland nor Victoria would be hurt. Victor explained that it would have been very bad for Ashland, Victoria, and the company if Billy had exposed Ashland on his terms, so Victor and Adam had stepped in to get rid of the problem. Nikki warned that Victor often underestimated Billy, even though the men were a lot alike. She pointed out that they both went on the attack when backed into a corner, and she sensed that the situation was far from over.
Lily almost admired the thoroughness of the Newmans' plan, and Billy bemoaned that it had made Ashland bulletproof. Lily lamented that it had also painted her and Billy as reckless villains. Billy maintained that they had the truth on their side, so they weren't the bad guys. Lily reiterated that Billy had tried to blackmail Victor and Adam, so she and Billy were no longer the good guys. She recalled that she'd had a bad feeling about Gaines's escape story, and Billy wished he'd listened to her. He thought the good news was that Victor and Adam had nothing else to throw at them, but she predicted that a bigger shoe was about to drop.
At Society, Adam offered to take care of the check and told Sally that he'd see her in the morning. She inquired whether he expected to linger there a little longer, and he shared that he wanted to have a word with Rey. After Sally left, Adam stopped by to wish Sharon and Rey a good evening. Adam promised that he wouldn't join them, and Rey assumed that Adam had to meet with his buddy Gaines. Adam called his conversation with Gaines a chance encounter.
Adam claimed that he'd raked Gaines over the coals for what he'd tried to do to Ashland. Rey considered it a gentle raking, and he doubted it had been a chance encounter after seeing Gaines's press conference at Adam's office. Adam proclaimed that there was something Rey needed to know. Sharon protested that she and Rey just wanted to have a quiet dinner. Adam apologized for intruding, but he insisted that it would only take a minute.
Adam told Rey that Billy had contacted him before ChancComm had published the article, threatening to release it. Adam acknowledged that Newman Media had been looking for ways to edge out ChancComm, and Billy had tried to use the article as leverage to blackmail them. "Now that can't be legal, can it?" Adam knowingly asked.
At the Chancellor mansion, Jack was shocked when Ashley told him about Chance, that Abby was in a lot of pain, and that there was nothing Ashley could do to help her. Ashley told Jack they hadn't been able to tell him any sooner because the Spanish authorities hadn't recovered Chance's body. He was presumed dead after they'd found his watch and wedding ring.
Mariah arrived and offered to check on Abby. Ashley informed her that Abby wasn't there, and they had no idea where she'd gone. Mariah asked about the baby. Ashley informed her the baby was with Devon for a while. Mariah asked why Abby had left the baby with Devon. Ashley said Abby had made the decision without consulting anyone. Ashley and Victor had discovered it after Abby had already taken Dominic to Devon. Shocked, Mariah asked if Abby had given a reason why she had asked Devon to care for the baby. Ashley said Abby was drowning in grief. Ashley named all the people who would have gladly taken care of Dominic.
Mariah told Ashley that after she'd admitted that she had been too attached to the baby, she hadn't even been considered. Mariah said she'd been trying to keep things in perspective. Mariah assumed Abby didn't trust her. Ashley assured Mariah that Abby had never said anything about not trusting her. It had made sense for Abby to reach out to Devon because Abby and Devon had been close friends for many years, and they had always relied on each other. Ashley told Mariah not to take it personally.
Mariah told Ashley she'd been through her own trauma recently, and sometimes one had to take a break. Mariah said she would check on the baby and Devon before she went to work. Jack said he had somewhere to be, but he would inform Billy about Chance.
After Mariah and Jack left, Ashley left a voicemail message for Abby. Ashley said she understood Abby wanted to be alone, but she wanted to know where Abby was and that she was all right. She added that she would always be there for Abby. She asked Abby to return her call.
At the penthouse, while Devon was burping the baby, Amanda said that Abby was lucky to have a friend like Devon. Devon said that Abby leaving the baby with him showed how much pain she was in.
Moses entered the room. Devon wanted to introduce him to Dominic. He told Moses that Abby had needed help with the baby, and she had asked Devon to take the baby while she grieved over the loss of her husband. Moses sat down next to the baby. After a moment, Moses said the baby had Devon's eyes.
Michael and Lauren were on the patio at Crimson Lights. Lauren gushed how happy she was that she'd been able to see Michael in action in the courtroom. She complimented him on the brilliant job he'd done grilling a witness. Michael claimed it had given him a boost to have someone watching him with adoration. Lauren and Michael agreed that they were lucky to still be so much in love with each other.
Michael claimed not everyone was as fortunate as he and Lauren were. Their best friends were hurting, and there wasn't anything they could do about it. Lauren wondered what had happened between Nick and Phyllis. Michael said it wasn't their usual spectacular blow-up. No one had cheated, and there hadn't been a big scandal. Lauren said it had just fizzled without any bitterness, and they were better as friends than lovers.
At Society, there was an awkward greeting between Nick and Phyllis. Nick said they needed to get past their awkwardness, since they would inevitably run into each other. He felt the best way to deal with something uncomfortable was to face it head-on. He invited Phyllis to have breakfast with him.
Phyllis and Nick perused the menu. Phyllis couldn't decide what she wanted, and it was a toss-up between two items. Nick said he was going to have... Phyllis interrupted and recounted exactly what Nick would order. Phyllis claimed Nick was a creature of habit, and she knew all his habits; however, being buddies wasn't going to work because they couldn't get past the tension. She suggested they forget the whole thing. Nick wanted them to try to be friends. Phyllis said perhaps with time.
Nick wanted Phyllis to talk about what was on her mind. Phyllis immediately asked about Nick's family. Nick asked if she was sure she wanted to get into that, since her least favorite topic was his family. Phyllis claimed his family was always on Nick's mind, and he loved talking about them. She claimed she loved living dangerously.
Phyllis told Nick she'd been shocked when she'd read the article Billy had published about Ashland and the fraudulent will, and that Gaines had stated it was all bogus and that he'd made up the story to get revenge on Ashland. Nick said he didn't know who'd told the truth anymore, and he hadn't spoken to Victoria since the story had been published. Phyllis asked if Victoria was giving him the silent treatment. Nick claimed things were better between them; however, he wanted to stay out of the mess, something Billy hadn't been able to do. He said that Billy would be burned in a big way.
Phyllis reminded Nick that she'd been warning him for months to stay out of his family's lunacy. Phyllis said she felt fantastic that she wasn't walking on eggshells with Nick anymore.
Nick told Phyllis he'd spoken to Summer and informed her about their breakup. Phyllis said Summer had called her after she'd heard the news to check up on her. Summer hadn't been smug, and Summer had admitted that from the beginning, she hadn't believed that Nick and Phyllis would last. Nick and Phyllis admitted they'd had a good time at Summer and Kyle's wedding. They were happy they had been able to share that.
Nick said he was extremely proud of Summer. Phyllis said she hadn't mentioned anything to Summer about Chance. The Abbotts had wanted to keep it quiet, and Phyllis hadn't wanted Jack to hear the news through the grapevine. Nick had assumed Ashley would tell Jack.
Nick thanked Phyllis for having breakfast with him and said perhaps they could do it again soon. Phyllis agreed it had been fun. Nick left for a meeting. Jack was on his way into Society when he saw Phyllis through the window.
Jack approached Phyllis and said he'd seen Nick walk out. Phyllis stated they'd had a friendly and civil breakfast. Phyllis invited Jack to join her. Jack told Phyllis he was there to have breakfast with Michael and Lauren, but he wasn't in the mood to socialize because he'd received news about a family member that had shaken him up. Phyllis said she was sorry to hear about Chance.
Phyllis told Jack she'd been there from the beginning of Abby and Chance's romance, and she'd believed that if anyone would have a happy ending, it would have been those two. Jack said he knew Phyllis perceived Abby as a spoiled heiress, but Abby had had more than her share of heartbreak, terrible losses, and betrayal. Jack had been overjoyed when Abby had fallen in love with Chance. He'd felt Chance had been the man who would help Abby gain trust and sustain happiness again, but Abby had lost him.
Phyllis told Jack she understood how deeply he felt things. She'd seen how broken up he'd been when Kyle and Summer had broken up. Phyllis said that Jack had always been there for her, but Jack also needed someone to lean on. Phyllis said she would always be there for Jack. Amanda arrived and asked if she'd interrupted anything. Phyllis said they had been talking about Chance.
Jack told Amanda that Ashley had told him the news about Chance. Jack said he was devastated. Amanda was sorry for his family's loss. She said Chance had been an exceptional person. Jack thanked her and Devon for taking Dominic into their home. Lauren and Michael arrived. When Michael and Amanda stepped away to talk, Lauren invited Phyllis to join them for breakfast. Phyllis declined; she told Jack to take care, and she left.
At the bar, Michael told Amanda the defense would probably rest after Sutton's testimony. The closing arguments would follow, and then jury deliberation, which he hoped wouldn't go on for too long. Amanda noted that Michael seemed confident. Michael confirmed everything had gone well thus far. He said he'd received some vibes from the jury that they didn't like Sutton, and they didn't want to see him get away with anything.
Amanda reminded Michael that Sutton was a career politician, and he was extremely good at playing to an audience. She'd almost fallen for it herself. She knew how effective Sutton could be. Michael reminded Amanda that she hadn't had Sutton at her side to counter all his lies and evasive maneuvers. Michael smiled and said the jury would be able to tell.
At the table, Lauren said that Jack had appeared worried when Phyllis been there earlier. Lauren assumed it had been about the breakup between Nick and Phyllis. Jack admitted they had all been rooting for Nick and Phyllis to work things out, but they had been building toward the breakup for some time. Jack admitted he'd provided Phyllis an ear since he'd been familiar with some of Phyllis' worst instincts, and he could warn her not to give in to them. Jack claimed Phyllis had handled herself with grace and poise.
Lauren asked if Jack felt he could be objective where Phyllis was concerned. Jack said he'd been a friend to Phyllis when she'd needed one. He felt Lauren disapproved of anything more. Lauren stated she loved Jack and Phyllis, but she remembered the mistakes of the past, the tough times, and the anguish Phyllis had caused Jack. She claimed it was a miracle that Jack and Phyllis were even friends. Jack said they'd all grown older and wiser.
Mariah arrived at Devon's. She went directly to the baby. She told Devon that Ashley had informed her the baby was with him. Mariah said Ashley had seemed a little put out that Abby hadn't asked her or Victor to take care of the baby. Devon said he'd been surprised when Abby had shown up at his door. Devon claimed it had been tough for Abby to admit that she couldn't take care of the baby, but she'd seemed relieved knowing the baby was going to be looked after while she received the help she needed.
Mariah asked how Devon was handling the situation. He was fine, and Dominic was doing extremely well and was much calmer than he'd been at Abby's. Mariah sat next to Dominic and stated she was happy that Dominic had been removed from that stressful environment. She told Devon she wished Abby had asked her to look after the baby. Devon knew how disappointed Mariah was that Abby hadn't asked for her help. Mariah asked if Devon knew why Abby hadn't asked her.
Devon told Mariah that Abby hadn't mentioned anything; however, Mariah was welcome to visit with the baby anytime she wanted to. He told her the situation with Dominic was temporary, and he had no idea how long the baby would be with him. Mariah asked if Devon had heard from Abby. He hadn't. Mariah informed Devon that Abby had left the house before anyone had woken up. No one knew where Abby had gone. Devon confirmed he didn't know, either, but Abby had mentioned that she'd wanted to get out of town.
Mariah was stunned. She asked if Abby had told anyone where she'd intended to go. Devon said it had appeared to be a fleeting thought. Abby hadn't had any definite plans.
Later, Ashley stopped by Devon's to check on the baby. Devon said the baby was great, and he was asleep upstairs. Ashley told Devon she was worried because she hadn't heard from Abby. Ashley said that Abby had packed a bag because some of Abby's toiletries and clothes were missing from her room. Ashley said she'd called the Grand Phoenix and the Athletic Club to see if Abby had checked in there for the night. Abby wasn't registered at either place, at least not under her own name.
Devon told Ashley that the previous evening, Abby had mentioned she'd wanted to leave town, but she hadn't mentioned where she had wanted to go. It had appeared to be a fleeting thought at the time. Ashley said it was obvious Abby wasn't herself.
Noah and Tessa were happy to see each other when they arrived at the coffeehouse. Tessa told Noah she'd re-signed with Devon's label, and she was about to release her first full-length album. Noah was impressed. Tessa was very excited, and she wanted Noah to design the cover for her album. Devon loved Noah's work, and he'd agreed to have Noah design the cover.
Noah told Tessa he was involved in working on new designs for Newman Media. Tessa said that working with Devon would be a completely different experience. Tessa asked Noah to listen to the album, and perhaps something would spark for him. She was very proud of what she and Devon had put together. She felt that Noah would want to be part of it. Noah said he would love to hear her songs. Tessa sent Noah the files.
Mariah arrived looking glum. Tessa asked what was wrong. Mariah said she'd been to see Dominic, who was at Devon's. Mariah explained that Abby obviously hadn't felt that she could take care of the baby, and she'd left him with Devon. Mariah stated that she hadn't even been considered as an option to take care of the baby. Mariah claimed that no one trusted her anymore.
Tessa told Mariah that Abby had probably been sensitive to Mariah's feelings after everything Mariah had been through. Mariah said Abby had left town earlier without telling anyone where she was going or how long she would be gone. No one knew where Abby was, and she wasn't answering her phone. She said one didn't do that when one had a child. Mariah asked what would happen if there was an emergency. Tessa said Abby had only been gone a few hours, and there hadn't been an emergency yet.
Noah told Mariah it was difficult for anyone to put themselves in Abby's shoes, but Tessa claimed she could. She said that Mariah had been missing, and she couldn't have imagined what life would be like if Mariah had never returned. Mariah stated she had to remember that everyone handled grief differently. Nevertheless, she felt it had been irresponsible of Abby to leave town.
When Nick arrived at Devon's, Devon realized he'd forgotten that he and Nick had a meeting scheduled. Devon told Nick that Abby had asked him to take care for Dominic until she got her head together. Nick appreciated that Devon was there for Abby. Nick suggested they reschedule their meeting because Nick wanted to go and see Abby.
Devon informed Nick that no one knew where Abby was. Ashley had stopped by earlier, and she had told Devon that Abby had packed a bag and disappeared. Abby wasn't answering her phone or text messages. Devon was worried because of the state Abby had been in the previous evening, insisting she shouldn't be alone. Nick stated they had to find Abby.
Phyllis arrived at the Grand Phoenix. While waiting for the elevator, she recalled that Amanda had said that looking at Phyllis' situation objectively, Amanda saw that Phyllis had a deep connection with Jack and that Jack had been a huge part of Phyllis' life for many years. Jack and Phyllis had told each other how much they'd cared for each other, despite their rocky past. Amanda had asked if Phyllis had considered that Jack was more than a friend to her, and perhaps Phyllis had never fully gotten over him.
Phyllis had another flashback to the day she'd told Jack that she really loved him, and that would never change. He would be in her heart, permanently.
Ashley returned to the Chancellor mansion and called out to Abby, but there was no response. Ashley left Abby another voicemail message stating she'd been gone for hours, and everyone was worried because no one had heard from her. She asked Abby to call her.
At the ranch, Victor told Devon that Abby was gone. Devon confirmed that when Abby had dropped the baby off with him, she had mentioned that she'd considered leaving town. Victor was very concerned about Abby's state of mind.
Devon told Victor he was worried he might have played a part in Abby's disappearance. Devon said he'd shared his past experiences of grief. He'd tried to make Abby understand she needed to rely on her support system, but she also needed to take time for herself. Devon felt that might have been the reason Abby had left town without informing anyone. Victor was upset that Abby hadn't turned to him and Nikki to care for Dominic. They would have taken very good care of him. Devon said he'd been as surprised as anyone when Abby had dropped the baby off with him.
Victor told Devon he understood why Abby had left the baby with him. Devon was very good with Dominic, and he'd been there when Dominic had been born. Devon said he'd promised Abby he would always be there for her. He was more than happy to take care of Dominic while Abby took care of herself. Devon was concerned that Abby had left without telling anyone. Victor didn't believe Abby had been thinking clearly.
Victor asked Devon if Abby had given Devon a clue where she intended to go. Devon said Abby had wanted to get out of town to clear her head. He reminded Victor that Abby had previously wanted to fly to Spain to search for Chance. Victor thought she'd been talked out of doing that and that she'd begun to accept that Chance was gone. Devon wondered if Abby had flown to Spain.
When Nikki entered the room, Victor told her that Abby had left town without informing anyone where she'd gone. They were worried that Abby hadn't accepted Chance's death. Nikki asked if there was any way to find her. Victor said she hadn't taken the Newman jet. He was going to have his investigator check to see if she'd taken a commercial flight anywhere. Devon said he would do some digging, as well. Victor left.
Nikki acknowledged that Devon had taken on the responsibility of caring for Dominic. Nikki told Devon to ask if he needed help. Devon said Amanda and Moses were very helpful and supportive, and Abby had also arranged for the nanny to help him with the baby. Nikki offered herself as an alternate resource if Devon ever needed one. Nikki wanted him to know he had a lot of support.
In her hotel room, Abby unpacked a wooden box. She began talking to Chance. She told him she'd needed to get out of that house because she'd felt she'd been suffocating with everyone hovering over her. She'd needed to go somewhere where she could understand her thoughts and focus on Chance. The box contained things that had meant a lot to Chance, and she hoped it would help her feel his presence.
Abby took out one item at a time, and she recalled the memory attached to each item. She picked up the photos and wondered who all the people were. She assumed they were from Chance's time in Iraq, but he hadn't shared much with her about his time there.
Abby had admitted to everyone that she'd accepted Chance's death, but she couldn't stop the feeling in her heart that he was out there somewhere, alive. She asked Chance to talk to her -- to tell her how all those items could bring her to him. Abby recalled Chance saying, "I didn't deserve this medal. Someday I want to give it to the people who really deserved it." Abby remembered he'd received that medal after a rescue mission when he'd transported troops back to the base after a bombing. Chance had said he hadn't been the real hero that day. Abby looked at the photos again.
Abby remembered Chance telling her the real heroes had been the medics who'd saved so many lives in the field hospital. Abby picked up a photo of a couple and turned it over. It was labeled Errol and Kim Dunaway. She recalled Chance telling her that Errol and Kim had treated him like their son. Abby remembered there had been a couple in Chance's unit who'd been medics in Iraq, and they had treated him like family. Chance had said that they deserved that medal.
Chance had wanted to give that medal to them in person someday. He'd kept in touch with them even after they had retired. Abby wondered where they were. She remembered the letters. She pulled them out of a large envelope and found an address for Errol and Kim Dunaway. It was in Solar, Majorca, Spain. Abby asked the operator for their number. The operator connected Abby. A woman answered. Abby identified herself, and she said that Chance had mentioned how much she and Errol had meant to him. Abby asked if they'd been in touch with Chance in the past six months.
The person at the other end stated that Abby had the wrong number. Abby tried to tell the woman that she had something Chance had wanted the woman to have, but the person repeated that Abby had the wrong number. The call ended. Abby called the operator again and asked to be reconnected to the Dunaways, but there was no response. Abby was certain it was a clue.
A short time later, Kim Dunaway called Abby. She said she had needed to step out to return Abby's call, and she didn't have much time. Kim told Abby that Chance was with her. He was alive, but he was in a bad way. Chance needed her. Abby was so overjoyed, she could hardly breathe.
At ChancComm, Lily told Billy they were ready to publish their retraction. Lily assured Billy the lawyers agreed that it was their best option. Lily offered to read the article to Billy in case he wanted to add anything. The retraction explained that the article had been published without their knowledge or approval and that they had been hacked. Lily told Billy it looked like they were trying to save themselves; however, they needed to put it on record they'd been hacked, and that would cover them from any possible lawsuits.
Billy told Lily he didn't want to let the story go because everything in the article about Ashland's past was true. Billy felt they could stick it to Victor and Adam by telling the truth and standing by the story. Lily reminded Billy they had no way of proving it, and it would make ChancComm appear even more irresponsible. Lily said they couldn't wait any longer. She had to publish it. Billy agreed.
Once Lily published their statement, she told Billy they were the CEOs, and the responsibility was theirs. Rey stood in the doorway and said he agreed. Rey said he was there about an accusation Adam had made that Billy had tried to blackmail him and Victor by threatening to release an article about Ashland Locke unless they backed off ChancComm.
Rey said Billy had made good on his threat because he'd published the article. Billy explained that his email had been hacked. A message had been sent to one of his reporters authorizing them to release a story he and Lily had never intended to publish. He told Rey they had released a retraction just before Rey had arrived. It had been vetted by their lawyers. Lily wanted to know why Rey was taking Adam seriously.
Rey told Lily that Adam had a recording of Billy threatening him about releasing that article unless Newman Media backed off ChancComm. Adam had sent him that recording. Rey played it back. Billy claimed it had been taken out of context because it had been a business negotiation. Billy said the tape wasn't admissible in court because he hadn't given them permission to record him. Rey said there had also been a recording from Jesse Gaines. Lily asked if Rey was conducting an official interrogation.
Billy asked if Rey was there to arrest him. Rey said he wasn't. He was there to investigate the accusations. Rey wanted to be completely thorough before he presented anything to the D.A. Rey asked to see any proof of the Newmans infiltrating the email system, since that was a federal crime, and he would be happy to pursue any claims Lily and Billy wanted to file against the Newmans. Billy said his IT people were still working on how their system had been breached.
Lily told Rey the Newmans had covered all their bases, and it had been a very calculated move against ChancComm. She said Adam and Victor had it in for Billy, and they had attacked him and ChancComm. Rey knew Adam and Victor were far from saints, and the layers of deception and double-cross were very clear; however, he had to follow the evidence, and until they could prove their claim, his hands were tied. When Rey left, Lily asked Billy what they were going to do. Billy claimed they only had one option.
At Newman Media, Adam smiled as he read the retraction. Ashland arrived. Adam told Ashland that ChancComm had released their retraction, and they looked as ineffectual as predicted. Adam hoped that Ashland's trip to the clinic had brought good news. Ashland said he'd been put on an experimental protocol, and he'd received the full treatment regimen. Ashland said he'd kept track of Adam's progress, and it appeared everything had gone according to plan. Adam said the next move was Ashland's. Ashland claimed he'd already set it in motion.Adam received a call from Billy, who asked Adam what he wanted. Adam and Ashland smiled smugly.
Billy said Adam had made his point. Adam, Victor, and Ashland had done everything they could to sabotage ChancComm, and it appeared to be working. Adam claimed it had been a bad blunder on Billy's part to publish that article. ChancComm looked really bad. Billy asked Adam to admit he'd hacked into ChancComm's system and that he'd been responsible for the article being published.
Refusing to admit anything, Adam told Billy that Rey had been interested in the recordings Adam had given him. Adam said Billy shouldn't have trusted Gaines. One of the hard and fast rules Adam lived by was never to trust a blackmailer. Lily wanted to know what Adam wanted. Adam told them to fold and to get out of the business they were clearly unqualified to handle. Adam claimed the retraction they'd published had been even more embarrassing than the libelous article they'd released.
Lily told Adam they weren't about to hand over the keys that easily. Adam said Newman Media would pay a decent price to take the company off their hands. Billy told Adam ChancComm wasn't for sale, especially not to someone like Adam.
Adam suggested that Billy talk to Jill. Because of the recent events, ChancComm would lose subscribers, and their ad sales wouldn't be worth the cost of their company's letterhead. Lily told Adam they weren't going down without a fight. Adam told them to bring it on and warned them that they needed to be prepared to be buried in lawsuits and legal fees. Adam claimed that even if they wanted to do some honest journalism, they wouldn't have the time or resources.
While Billy and Lily were on the phone with Adam, a process server arrived and served them with documents indicating that Locke was suing them for libel. Billy told Adam the gloves were off, and he disconnected the call. Billy said it was insanity. They were being sued for an article they hadn't published, yet every word in that article was true. Lily wasn't surprised by Victor and Adam's very well calculated attack to bury them in legal fees and meaningless lawsuits. Billy said they weren't meaningless because they would destroy their company.
Lily said Rey wouldn't back off his investigation. Billy felt that Rey had trusted their story. He suggested they get any information on Adam they could so they could nail him to the wall. He hoped it would work out for them "this time."
Lily told Billy that relying on Rey wasn't a viable strategy. They had to do everything they could to defend themselves. Billy suggested they try to get a Newman on board. He said Victoria had been furious with him when he'd spoken to her. Billy claimed Victoria had had no idea what Victor and Adam had been up to. Lily suggested that perhaps Victoria was in on it. Billy left Victoria a voicemail message asking her to tell him what Ashland's motivations were because Ashland was doing everything he could to destroy ChancComm. Billy needed to know if Victoria was on board with Victor's attack.
Lily was on the phone with their legal department. She asked what options they had. She said Ashland had confessed to the Newman family, but they had no proof. Billy left.
At Crimson Lights, Moses told Faith he'd met Dominic. He explained that Dominic was staying with Devon for a while, because Abby couldn't handle taking care of him because of her grief. Faith said Abby wouldn't have handed the baby over unless she was a total wreck. Moses said Dominic was doing okay, Devon was in full dad mode, and Devon was the best. He said Devon had tried to fill in as father figure for him, since Devon knew what it was like to grow up without a father. Faith said Dominic would never meet Chance, and he would never know or remember the father he'd lost.
In a booth, Rey told Sharon he'd been sucked into a case that had been gnawing at him. It had low ethics and high stakes, but it wasn't clear which side to believe. There might be enough evidence to arrest one party for blackmail, but doing so would walk right into the other party's hands. He wasn't about to be used as a pawn. It was clear there was some underhanded business in the works. Sharon told Rey she knew he was talking about Billy and Adam.
Sharon reminded Rey that Adam had approached them when they'd been at dinner, and he'd made a point of telling Rey that Billy had blackmailed Newman Media. Rey said Billy and Adam had been lobbying accusations at each other and attempting to engage him in their battle; however, Billy had pushed his tactics into illegal territory.
Rey told Sharon that neither party looked innocent. There was evidence that both sides had committed crimes; there was evidence against Billy, but Billy had also brought up some valid counter charges against Adam that he hadn't been able to prove yet. Rey said he needed to get to the bottom of whatever was going on. Sharon knew that Victor and Adam would go to extremes to damage Billy's reputation. She asked if Rey's reputation would be damaged if he didn't arrest Billy.
Rey told Sharon he hadn't said that he wouldn't arrest Billy, but he wanted to talk things through with the D.A. before he made any moves. Rey wanted to end that war, not facilitate it. Sharon reminded Rey it wasn't his job to find a peaceful solution.
At the penthouse, the nanny told Devon she would grab a few things for Dominic from the Chancellor house while the baby was asleep. Devon thanked her for helping him.
After the nanny left, Devon saw an envelope on the floor. It was a note from Abby. Abby thanked Devon for helping her, but she needed to do something for herself and Dominic. She asked Devon to tell Dominic she loved him more than anything in the world. She said her absence would be longer than she had expected. After reading the note, Devon wondered "what the hell" Abby had done. Devon called Denise and told her that he needed her to find Abby.
At the ranch, Victor told his P.I. that Abby was missing, and she needed to be found quickly. Billy arrived. He stated that Victor's attack on ChancComm was about Victor's hatred for him and that Adam was only the runt who had gone along for the ride. Victor said Adam had his own vitriol for Billy, as did Ashland.
Billy told Victor that if Ashland withdrew his lawsuit, Billy would step down as CEO of ChancComm. Victor asked why Billy would fold so quickly, since Billy was a gambler. Victor guessed Billy had to have been dealt a really bad hand. Billy said he would leave ChancComm, but he wanted Lily to run ChancComm. She didn't deserve to be punished. Billy admitted he'd failed to hack it with the "big boys," and Victor had won.
Lily arrived at Society and asked the bartender if he'd seen Billy. Ashland asked Lily if Billy had skipped town because he couldn't take the heat. Lily asked why Ashland was trying to ruin them. Lily asked if it was a sport for him. She wanted to know what Ashland would gain from the attack. Lily wished she'd never defended Ashland to Billy.
At the Chancellor mansion, Devon gave Ashley the note from Abby. Ashley wanted to know where Abby had gone. Devon had an idea where Abby had gone. He said if someone had told him his wife had died overseas, he would have been on a plane, looking for her. Devon said Abby obviously felt it was what she had to do to heal. He told Ashley they needed someone in Valencia to act on their behalf. Ashley thought they had convinced Abby it was too dangerous. Devon guessed that Abby felt it was worth the risk. Ashley said they had to find Abby before it was too late.
In her motel room, Abby chartered a jet. She stated it was imperative that she had their absolute discretion and that they wouldn't tell anyone, especially Victor Newman, that she'd chartered a flight. She was willing to pay whatever their silence would cost. She booked a round trip to Majorca, Spain, for one passenger, and for two passengers returning to Genoa City.
Phyllis sat in the lobby of the Grand Phoenix. She had a flashback to a conversation she'd had with Jack.
Phyllis had been at the Abbotts' home, and she'd told Jack there had been a reason their marriage hadn't worked. Jack had agreed that they'd been through a lot -- more than their share of heartache -- but they'd also had some great times. Jack had stated they had been some of the best times of his life, and he'd called Phyllis the most captivating and fascinating woman he'd ever known. He'd called her gorgeous, complicated, frustrating, hotheaded, and careless, but a pretty spectacular package. Jack had claimed that perhaps the reason he'd never moved on with his romantic life had been because he'd already been with the most amazing woman he'd ever known.
Jack arrived at the hotel and startled Phyllis. Jack explained he was there for a quick business meeting. Phyllis asked if Jack had seen the article about Ashland. Jack said he'd read it;he felt Billy had gotten caught up in Locke's shady past, and he'd probably hoped to bring Adam and Victor down a notch or two. Jack said it would cost Billy and Lily.
Jack received a call. After the call ended, he told Phyllis his meeting had been rescheduled. Jack told Phyllis that things between them had been strange recently. He was certain Phyllis had felt it, as well, because he'd confessed his feelings for her. Since Phyllis and Nick had split, it had made things even more awkward. He felt things between them would return to normal in the not-too-distant future, and there wouldn't be any awkwardness. They would go on with their lives the way they had before he'd opened his big mouth. Jack told her to have a good day, and he left.
A short time later, Lauren arrived. She wanted to arrange an escape spa for one of her buyers, but she had no idea what the buyer liked. Phyllis claimed it was hard to know what anyone liked, what they thought they liked, what others thought they should have, or what was bad for them. Lauren sensed they weren't talking about the Escape Club anymore. She asked if Phyllis was having second thoughts about reuniting with Nick. Phyllis said it was definitely over for them.
Lauren knew that Phyllis would never stop caring about Nick or Jack. Suddenly, Phyllis had an idea, and she left to retrieve something for Lauren. Phyllis returned with a list for Lauren's buyer that would blow her mind. Lauren wanted to know why Phyllis had had such a strange reaction when Lauren had mentioned Jack's name.
Phyllis told Lauren she couldn't stop thinking about a conversation she'd had with Amanda. She'd told Amanda about her history with Jack and Nick. Phyllis said that Amanda thought that Phyllis' relationship with Jack wasn't entirely platonic. Lauren claimed it had never been platonic because Phyllis and Jack could never be just pals. Phyllis asked, "Why not?" Lauren told Phyllis that Jack was handsome, generous, and charismatic; he thought the world of Phyllis; and Phyllis admired and appreciated him.
Lauren told Phyllis it had always been special between Phyllis and Jack -- undeniable and unbreakable. Phyllis claimed she didn't know what to do with those thoughts. Lauren said she'd spoken with Jack recently, and Jack had admitted he missed having someone special in his life. Lauren said Jack saw Phyllis as the gold standard. Phyllis said it was ludicrous if Lauren was implying that she and Jack should reunite, especially given their history. Lauren said they had loved each other enough to get married twice, and they had never been able to be completely out of each other's lives. Phyllis claimed she and Jack had a special friendship.
Lauren reminded Phyllis how obsessed Phyllis had been about getting Sally away from Jack. Phyllis claimed she'd been protecting Summer, Jack, and Lauren's company. Phyllis admitted that she and Jack had a special connection, and she wondered if she wanted more than friendship with Jack. Lauren suggested Phyllis take the time to explore the root of those feelings. Phyllis had recently ended things with Nick, and she'd been spending a lot of time with Jack, crying on his shoulder. Lauren said that Phyllis and Jack were in a really good place, and she told Phyllis to proceed with caution.
At Society, Ashland told Lily that she'd worked herself into a lather about how Ashland had tried to ruin her and Billy. He claimed he'd been the victim of ChancComm's underhanded tactics. Lily smiled and said they both knew that was as big a lie as Gaines stating that the story about Ashland's past wasn't true. Ashland said that no company would have staked their reputation on the word of a vindictive blackmailer, which was what Billy had done.
Lily claimed Locke had weaponized Gaines and had aimed him directly at ChancComm. Ashland said that she and Billy had pulled the trigger. Lily stated that someone had hacked into their server. Locke said that if the hacking had even happened and expedited the release of the story, he was certain that Lily had tried to dissuade Billy, but Billy was impossible to control. He said if one tethered oneself to the wrong person, in the end, they both went down together.
Lily told Locke that a lawsuit wouldn't stop them, and she began to walk away. Ashland said that her company had published libelous statements about him. They had tarnished his name and his achievements. She said his name had always been associated with heartless behavior. Ashland claimed the other stories that had been published about him had been true. Lily claimed their story was true, as well, even if he wanted to claim otherwise.
Ashland told Lily she'd failed the first lesson in journalism. She'd relied on one source for her information -- a man who had admitted his motivation had been purely hatred and jealousy, and then he'd recanted. That meant Ashland's lawsuit was anything but frivolous. Lily stated that Ashland had told Victoria the exact same story Gaines had told her and Billy. She said she and Billy had been there at the time. Ashland asked if any of those conversations were on record. Lily said no. Ashland wondered who could say they'd actually happened.
Lily told Ashland she'd expected more from him than playing his little games. She was surprised that he'd gone along with Adam and Victor's plan. They had used Ashland's past as their weapon. Ashland claimed no one used him. Lily hoped Ashland knew it was about Victor's longstanding battle with Billy and not about business. She asked why Ashland had gone along with it. Ashland said he was trying to quash an accusation that had painted him in a terrible light in the eyes of the world.
Ashland offered Lily some advice. He said it wasn't about Victor's hatred of Billy; it was about Billy's inability to let go of Victoria. Lily claimed Billy had, but Ashland told her to open her eyes. Ashland said that Billy had been doing the world a favor by publishing a story about his so-called checkered past, but he'd done it for an audience of one. Billy had gone to extremes to portray Ashland as a villain in Victoria's eyes, even publishing a ridiculous story without doing his due diligence. He said if Lily wanted to protect herself and ChancComm, she needed to cut Billy loose and move forward on her own. Ashland left.
At the ranch, Billy said that Victor had won. Billy said he would walk away from the company he'd poured his heart and soul into, but Victor, Ashland, and Adam had to promise to let Lily run ChancComm on her own, free of any litigation, retaliation, or sabotage. Billy stated he was offering his head on a platter. Victor claimed Billy's proposal was intriguing. It showed qualities he hadn't seen in Billy. He said Billy was actually willing to sacrifice himself for someone.
Billy told Victor that he'd dragged Lily into his plan to threaten Victor and Adam. It had been his choice and his plan, and it was his responsibility. He asked Victor to allow Lily to run ChancComm on her own. Billy didn't want Lily punished for the choices he'd made. Victor received a text message from Ashley: "Need you at Abby's place now. Devon has an update." Victor said he would consider Billy's proposal. Billy told Victor that everything he'd done had been to protect Victoria. Victor said he had other business to tend to, and he asked Billy to show himself out.
At ChancComm, Jack told Billy about the explosion at Chance's safe house and shared that Chance had been presumed dead. They had found Chance's watch and wedding ring. Shocked, Billy said he had believed that Chance had been invincible. Billy asked about Abby. Jack said Abby was struggling so much that she'd left Dominic with Devon while she tried to put her life together. Jack said that both Nina and Jill were shattered.
Billy told Jack that Jill had left him a couple of messages. He knew the first would have been about Chance, and the others were probably because she was CEO of ChancComm and wondered "what the hell" had happened. Jack asked what had happened. Jack asked if Billy had put his faith in Gaines, who seemed to be a very shady character. Billy said he'd thought he'd had it under control, but he hadn't; however, everything in that story was the absolute truth. The denial was all part of Victor's plan to bring Billy to his knees.
Billy told Jack he'd taken Gaines to Tuscany with him for the sole purpose of revealing the truth to Victoria about the man she'd been about to marry. Billy hadn't wanted anyone to see Gaines until Billy had been able to talk to Victoria; however, Victor and Adam had found Gaines and flipped him to their side by threatening him and giving him money. Billy said Gaines cared more about his bank account than anything else. Billy admitted it had been an error in judgment to align himself with Gaines.
Jack told Billy he'd seen the retraction, and it was meaningless. Millions of sites had covered it, and Billy couldn't undo the damage to ChancComm. Billy knew that. He had never intended to release that article. It had been held as a threat to stop Victor and Adam from going after ChancComm. Billy admitted he'd gambled; he'd rolled the dice and lost. Jack was concerned about Billy's gambling analogy because gambling had been a major problem in Billy's life. Billy had been CEO of Jabot, and he'd taken risks he'd sworn would pay off, only they hadn't. Jack said Billy had put everything he and Lily had built in jeopardy because he still took those crazy chances. Jack said Lily, Jill, and even Billy's kids deserved more than that.
Jack said Billy was on the verge of losing everything he had and that Billy had run out of second chances. Billy had to find a way to turn things around. Billy said he'd gone to Victor and told him he'd won. He'd told Victor he would step down, as long as Victor left Lily and ChancComm alone. Lily arrived. She asked what Billy had done. Jack left.
Lily asked Billy if she'd misheard what he'd said. Billy admitted he'd gone to see Victor. Billy said they had both known that he was Victor's target. He'd told Victor he would step down as long as Victor left Lily in charge of ChancComm and called off his dogs. Lily exploded. She shouted that Billy couldn't make unilateral decisions. She said Billy should have talked to her first before making such a decision about something that would have a profound effect on ChancComm.
Lily told Billy they were partners, but Billy had gone behind her back. Billy thought she would be relieved, and he'd tried to do the right thing. He said it would take the pressure off her and the company. Lily asked if Victor had agreed to it. Billy told her Victor had said he would consider it. It appeared he would take the offer seriously. Lily said even if Victor agreed and Billy resigned, it changed nothing. Victor might not go after her, but he would use the situation to his advantage.
Lily told Billy that Adam and Victor wanted to dismantle the company and pick up the pieces for themselves. Billy had left her to fend off the vultures alone. Lily left.
At the Chancellor home, Devon told Victor that Abby had to have slipped the note under his door when he'd been upstairs with Dominic. No one had seen Abby enter or leave the building. Devon felt that Abby had either used the back door, or she'd sent someone. Ashley said Abby had planned everything beforehand. Victor said Abby had known that if she'd said anything, they would have stopped her.
Devon told Victor that after he'd read the note, he'd given his friend Denise Tolliver a call and put her on the case to find Abby. Victor said he'd put his people on the case, as well. Victor said Abby might have chartered a plane to cover her tracks. Devon felt they needed to put someone in Valencia. Ashley said she would go to Valencia with someone from Victor's security team, preferably someone who spoke Spanish and knew the lay of the land. Ashley felt she had the best chance of convincing Abby to return home. Victor agreed. He would have the jet ready to go.
Victor received a call from his P.I. He told Devon and Ashley that someone had seen a person fitting Abby's description at a restaurant next to the motel just outside of town. Ashley offered to stay with the baby while Victor and Devon went to investigate.
Later, Ashley received a text message from Victor: "Abby's already left the motel. Proceed as planned."
Jack arrived and told Ashley he'd informed Billy about Chance. Ashley told Jack that Abby was gone; she'd left a note stating she had something she needed to do, and it would take longer than she'd anticipated. Ashley said Abby was looking for Chance because she didn't believe Chance had died in that attack on the safe house. Ashley said she was going to Spain to find Abby and bring her home. Jack said he would go with her. It was a good time for him to get out of town because he needed a change of pace.
Ashley asked Jack what he was running from. Jack admitted it was personal and private. She asked if he was back with Sally. He said he wasn't. Ashley felt it was someone who was problematic. Jack said Nick and Phyllis had broken up. Ashley moaned, "no," and asked Jack not to tell her he was rekindling that romance. Jack admitted he was sorting out how he felt. Ashley asked him to remember the hell Phyllis had put him through. Jack said he needed to pack, and he left.
Devon and Victor arrived at Abby's motel room, but they were too late. Abby was gone. They searched the room. Devon found the military pin. Victor believed it had belonged to Chance, and it also confirmed his worst fear: Abby believed that Chance was still alive.
Victor told Devon that grief could tear a person apart. Devon said a person believed they'd found the person they would spend the rest of their life with, and then they were snatched away from the person without any warning. He said it felt impossible to go on. Victor remembered how difficult it had been for Devon when Hillary had passed. Devon said it didn't compare with being left with a baby to take care of. Devon knew Abby was doing what she felt she needed to do by trying to bring her husband home, but she had a child that needed her more. Devon was worried for Dominic.