Concerned about Victoria, Nick braved a fierce windstorm and drove to his sister's house. Nick called out to Victoria as he repeatedly knocked, pleading for her to open the door. Inside, Ashland was confronting a frightened Victoria. Seeking clarification after Ashland began uttering veiled threats, Victoria replied, "What do you mean, there's only one way to end this? Sounds like you're crazy, Ashland."
Ashland became enraged and yelled, "It's how I honestly feel. Do you understand that? There's only one way for this to end!" Nick stepped away from the door and attempted to phone Victoria as the wind howled, preventing Nick from overhearing the commotion ensuing inside.
Victoria calmly explained to Ashland that she heard her phone ringing in the kitchen and needed to answer the call. Ashland peered out the window briefly before telling Victoria that the caller would have to leave her a message. Victoria explained that if she didn't respond to calls from her security detail, members of the team would hurriedly show up at her door. Hovering over Victoria, Ashland creeped closer and replied, "Well, then. We're going to have to make this quick." Victoria was horrified.
Outside, Nick left a message for Victoria, telling her he was outside her house and stating that he could see lights on inside and thought maybe she was asleep. Before hanging up, Nick requested that Victoria call him back and let him know she was safe. Nick walked away from the door, while inside, Victoria warned Ashland that her security detail would arrive soon. Ashland refused to believe Victoria, telling her she had been lying to him for weeks. Victoria appeared terrified.
Wildly waving his arms and becoming increasingly unhinged, Ashland yelled that both he and Victoria were alike in that they were both powerhouses driven by ambition to be on top. Victoria recoiled when Ashland said, "Maybe it was a mistake for us to think we could actually work this out because both of us can't be on top." Victoria reacted with horror when Ashland told her that one of them had to fall. Victoria implored Ashland to leave immediately. Ashland refused.
Ashland pulled from his shirt pocket the Locke family ring Victoria had given him and recalled that the ring was supposed to have represented their bright, shiny future. Pointing his finger close to Victoria's face, Ashland cried that the ring represented nothing but her lies and deception. Though Ashland vowed never to wear the ring again, he said he would keep it as a reminder of how cruel people could be. Victoria asked Ashland how she could be considered cruel after everything he had done. Ashland, his face reddened, yelled that he had loved Victoria and that she had used him for her own personal gain.
Ashland recalled the night he had rescued Victoria from a burning car and insisted he should have let her die, so he could have believed she had loved him to the bitter end. Victoria informed Ashland that she had never loved him because her feelings had been based on a lie. Ashland claimed that Victoria had yearned to love a younger version of her father. Victoria referred to Ashland by his given name, Bobby DeFranco, and described him as being sad, pathetic, ugly, and disgusting.
Victoria, fending off Ashland after he lunged at her, pushed him backward and quickly grabbed a fireplace poker. Ashland regained his footing, put his hands in the air, and said, "No! You bitch!" Nick entered, ordered Ashland to stay where he was, and asked Victoria what was going on. Ashland said he and Victoria were saying their final goodbyes. Victoria set down the poker and told Nick she had asked Ashland to leave.
Nick told Victoria to call the police. Ashland replied that there was no need because Victoria had already informed him that her security detail was on the way. Ashland accused Nick of interfering between a husband and his wife. Ashland lunged toward Victoria when she told him he was not her husband. Nick pressed his palm against Ashland's chest to prevent him from charging toward Victoria.
Victoria recalled that Ashland had broken in and issued threats before grabbing her. Nick, angry and defensive, replied, "You put your hands on her?" Victoria rushed out of the room to summon help. Nick, holding onto Ashland's shirt with his left hand, drew back his right arm and then landed a stout punch to Ashland's left jaw. Ashland fell backward, his head making forceful contact with the sharp edge of the brick hearth. Nick yelled, "Ashland! Ashland!" Ashland did not move or make a sound. Nick forcefully kicked the sole of Ashland's shoe and ordered him to get up, claiming he had been a fake since the first day they'd met.
Blustery winds howled outside as Nick crouched down to check Ashland's pulse. Victoria returned and cried, "Oh, my God. What happened?" Nick said he could not feel Ashland's pulse. After Victoria inserted her hand between the hearth and Ashland's neck, she indicated that she could not detect a pulse. Victoria was shocked to find Ashland's blood on her hand. Nick pulled the flapping patio doors closed to block the wind whipping inside. After rolling Ashland onto his back and attempting CPR, Victoria threw up her hands and cried, "It's no use. He's dead."
Victoria told Nick she had not called the police because she'd hoped Nick could have persuaded Ashland to leave. Nick insisted Victoria summon the police. Victoria, panicky, was hesitant. Nick assured Victoria that his actions had been a clear-cut case of self-defense. After a brief discussion about what was the right thing to do, Victoria, sobbing, agreed to call Chance. Nick, his face ashen, stepped outside to get some air.
At Crimson Lights, Chance ordered a large black coffee with extra espresso from Sharon. Chance noted that he would likely be working late due to the weird weather. Chance apologized, recalling that Rey's accident had taken place during a storm. Sharon set Chance at ease, acknowledging that the weather had not been the main reason for Rey's accident. Sharon admitted she had been thinking about Rey even before Chance had arrived.
Chance said perhaps he was being paranoid about the weather for no reason. Chance stepped aside to take a call from Victoria. Victoria said, "Something happened tonight at my house. It was an accident." After Chance asked if anyone had been hurt, Victoria replied, "Ashland." Victoria, distraught and unwilling to elaborate, pleaded with Chance to get to her house.
Victoria stepped outside with Nick to let him know she had called Chance. Victoria urged Nick to come back inside out of the wind. Nick, recalling his every move, explained that after banging on the door, he'd felt that something had not been right, so he had entered through the back door. Stammering, Nick cried, "It happened so fast, you know? What did I do?"
Victoria tried to calm Nick, but he was determined to get his story straight before Chance arrived. Nick insisted he had not meant for Ashland to die. Victoria assured Nick that Ashland had simply fallen and hit his head. Victoria offered to help Nick calm down, but he insisted he needed to walk it off. Victoria called out to Nick and followed him.
Victoria caught up to Nick at the edge of her property and praised him for saving her life. Victoria was adamant, judging by the look in Ashland's eyes, that he had intended to kill her. Victoria assured Nick he had done what he'd had to do to stop Ashland. Nick replied, "I'm glad I could be there for you, but I took a man's life tonight. There's no changing that." Victoria promised to do whatever she could to help Nick, and they embraced to comfort each other.
Nick led Victoria back to the house to wait for Chance. As they neared the front door, Nick observed that Chance had not yet arrived. When Nick and Victoria entered her house, they were startled by the rattling patio doors as the wind blew them open and closed. Nick rushed toward the doors and said, "I didn't close them good enough." When Nick turned toward the fireplace, he exclaimed, "What the hell?" Victoria rushed forward and saw that Ashland was gone, though a pool of blood remained where he had fallen.
Nikki entered the Grand Phoenix while talking on the phone to Victor. Nikki, repeating Victor's words, said, "So Adam thinks Ashland is out for blood? And you believe him?" Nikki told Victor she would keep her eyes open, and she expressed concern about Victoria. After Nikki hung up, Phyllis approached and began complaining about Diane, telling Nikki that Diane "sticks her talons in even deeper" by the day.
Nikki told Phyllis that investigators had not yet discovered any skeletons in Diane's closet. Phyllis said she hoped Ashley might find something on Diane. Nikki received a message from Ashley explaining that she could not meet with them. Ashley's message also stated that Nikki and Phyllis should no longer be concerned about Allie because "Allie can hold her own."
Phyllis still had doubts concerning Allie, noting that Diane had quickly managed to worm her way into everyone's lives. Observing that Phyllis was riled up, Nikki asked her what had happened. Phyllis related how Diane had intervened in the park when Ashland had approached Harrison, stressing that Summer had gone on and on about Diane's bravery. Nikki, explaining that she had witnessed the event, reported that all Diane had done had been to send Michael a text message. Phyllis insisted that Diane had participated in trapping Ashland just so people would fawn over her. Nikki shook her head in disgust and cried, "Ashland Locke. The gift that keeps on giving."
Nikki told Phyllis that Michael had also gushed over Diane as if she had saved Harrison from a burning building. Nikki suggested that Diane had perhaps double-crossed Ashland after they had made a prior agreement. Nikki lamented that Ashland had been released after spending only a few hours in jail, likely emerging even more furious after his run-in. Diane and Nikki commiserated about the way Diane had somehow managed to walk away unscathed while seemingly living a charmed life. Phyllis lowered her voice and told Nikki it was up to them to get rid of Diane. Nikki replied that they needed a foolproof plan.
Phyllis suggested that Diane might leave town if she failed spectacularly at her new job. Phyllis enlisted Nikki's help to make it appear that Diane was intentionally trying to sabotage Marchetti, which in turn would cause Kyle and Summer to lose faith. Nikki approved the plan, though she acknowledged that there was no one associated with the company that could help them pull it off. Phyllis lamented that she had turned down a job at Marchetti because she had not wanted to leave Jack behind.
Blaming Diane for putting a wedge between herself and Jack, Phyllis vowed to do whatever it took to get the "bitch" out of their lives for good. Phyllis said it was too bad Chelsea had turned down the job to design for Marchetti because she could have helped them discredit Diane. Nikki suggested that Phyllis tell Summer she'd had a change of heart about working at Marchetti. Nikki assured Phyllis that the hotel could run itself. Phyllis replied, "Well, that's not completely accurate. Maybe something can be done."
Shielding herself against the blustery wind, Diane covered her face with her hand while waiting for Jack to answer the door. Jack opened the door and remarked to Diane that when he'd been a kid, he'd referred to sudden gusts as wicked wind. Diane arranged her mussed, windblown hair and laughed, saying that she had never before heard the phrase. Jack replied, "Well, it's an old wives' tale about summer winds that come in and manage to make things hot rather than cool. It's a bad omen." Diane scoffed when Jack added, "Trouble's right around the corner, and here you are."
Diane told Jack she had stopped by to talk to Kyle. Jack informed Diane that Kyle and Summer had gone out. Jack thanked Diane for protecting Harrison from Ashland Locke during the encounter at the park. Diane, ingratiating herself, recalled that because Jack had warned her about Ashland, she had heeded and contacted Michael. Jack insisted Diane accept his appreciation for having kept their grandson safe.
Diane bought herself more time with Jack by picking his brain about Marchetti. Jack told Diane she should wait and consult with Kyle. Diane was not dissuaded and claimed she was concerned about the company's protocol. Jack told Diane that surely her rudimentary business expertise could not have been lost during the time she had pretended to be dead. Jack pointed out that Diane could bluff her way through hundreds of scenarios.
Jack, sipping a drink, offered to pour one for Diane. Diane requested the same drink Jack was having, correctly remembering his preference for fine, aged whiskey. Diane claimed that her goal was to excel at Marchetti, so she could impress Summer and not let Kyle down. Jack assured Diane that Kyle would give his mom the benefit of the doubt, though Summer might be a little tougher. Jack asked Diane if she had actually wanted to seek his counsel in the first place, instead of Kyle's. Diane replied, "I'll never tell." Jack grinned, and Diane beamed at his reaction.
Diane confided to Jack that she had a good thing going with her son and did not want to mess it up. Jack advised Diane to approach her job with commitment and honesty. Diane, feeling somewhat chastised, said she had grown tired of people rubbing her past in her face. Diane acknowledged that landing a job working closely with Kyle and Summer was more than she ever could have hoped for. Diane thanked Jack for not stepping in to dissuade Kyle from hiring her. Jack explained that he allowed Kyle to make his own decisions.
Jack admitted to Diane that her presence had filled a void in Kyle's life. Diane thanked Jack for having shown remarkable restraint. Jack replied, "As long as you know it wasn't for your benefit." Diane said she hoped that someday, she and Jack could be friends, having made a bet with herself that she could. Diane asked Jack what he thought her odds were. Jack replied, "You don't want to know."
Jack accompanied Diane upstairs, so she could peek in and briefly watch Harrison sleeping. Before Diane left, she told Jack that their grandson had brought her much joy. Jack agreed that their grandson could put a smile on their faces even when the boy was half asleep. Diane pointed out that Jack had twice said, "Our grandson." Jack reminded Diane that Kyle would decide when Harrison would learn that she was his grandmother. Diane nodded. Jack escorted Diane outside and mentioned that the wind had begun to let up. Jack said, "Maybe there's no trouble tonight, after all." Diane flashed a wide grin as she walked away.
After searching the grounds outside Victoria's house, Nick reported that Ashland hadn't left any clue about where he'd gone. Nick recalled that he'd seen Ashland fall and hit his head, and Victoria recounted that they'd both checked Ashland's pulse and that she'd even tried to revive him. Nick surmised that Ashland had been alive and had somehow made it outside to get away. Victoria stared at the bloodstain on the fireplace.
Victoria grabbed a tissue to wipe blood from her hand. After checking outside again, Nick informed her that there was still no sign of Ashland. She reasoned that perhaps Ashland's pulse had been too faint to detect, and the only explanation was that he'd gotten up and left. Victoria considered it good news because it meant Nick hadn't killed Ashland. The front door suddenly slammed shut, and Victor appeared and asked if they were all right. Victoria wondered what their father was doing there. Victor announced that he was there to protect her.
Victor explained that he'd had his security detail follow Victoria once he'd found out Ashland was back in town, and they'd been stationed in a car outside her house. Nick wondered if they'd seen if Ashland was alive. Chance burst in and said he'd gotten there as quickly as he could. Victoria recounted that she'd told Ashland that there was no future for them, and he'd grown increasingly agitated. She remembered that he'd grabbed her at one point, and he'd been about to hurt her, but she'd been able to get away when Nick had shown up. A shaken Victoria was certain that Ashland would have killed her otherwise.
Nick chimed in that Ashland had been in a total rage, screaming at Nick to stay out of it. Nick continued that Ashland had refused to leave Victoria alone, so Nick had instructed her to call the police. Victoria said she'd run into the kitchen, and Nick indicated that things had gotten physical when he'd stopped Ashland from following her. Nick admitted that he'd socked Ashland in the jaw, and Ashland had fallen and hit his head on the fireplace. Nick added that Ashland had been unresponsive, and Nick hadn't been able to find a pulse. Victoria confirmed that she'd found Ashland lying on the ground, unconscious and bleeding, and she'd tried to resuscitate him.
Nick bemoaned that it had happened fast, and Ashland had been completely out of control. Nick defended that he'd been trying to protect his sister, and he'd stepped outside to get some air while he'd been grappling with the idea that he'd taken someone's life. Victoria shared that she'd followed Nick to make sure he was okay. Victor asserted that his son had acted in self-defense to protect Victoria from a monster, and Chance concurred, based on what he'd heard. Chance wondered where Ashland was then. Nick explained that he and Victoria had returned to the house, and Ashland had been gone.
Chance inspected the fireplace and observed that it had a sharp edge. He imagined that Ashland had suffered a concussion if he'd hit it hard enough to draw that much blood. Chance figured that a pulse was sometimes hard to find, and he concluded that a weak and disoriented Ashland had stumbled out of there. Chance started to piece together the timeline of everything that had happened since Victoria had called him. Victor asked what Chance was suggesting.
Chance assured Victor that he was trying to make sense of everything in order to help. Victor contended that Ashland had seemingly walked out of there on his own, and Nick imagined Ashland couldn't have gone far in his condition. Chance inquired whether Nick had seen Ashland's car when he'd arrived, and Nick replied that he hadn't. Victoria reported that she'd found Ashland at the back door, and Chance prepared to alert fellow officers to keep an eye out for Ashland on foot or in his vehicle.
Nick contemplated whether to alert Summer and Kyle in case Ashland went after Harrison, but Victor advised him not to alarm anyone unnecessarily. Victor suggested that Chance send a squad car over to the Abbotts' neighborhood, but Chance doubted Ashland had made it that far. Chance vowed to find Ashland, and he asked if Victoria wanted to press charges. Victoria proclaimed that she wanted Ashland arrested and put away so nothing like that would ever happen again.
Chance arranged to get as many eyes as possible on the road to look for Ashland. Chance asked if there was anything else Victoria or Nick had left out, since no detail was too small. The siblings confirmed they hadn't, and Victor stated that they'd covered all the salient facts of the evening. Chance promised that he'd contact them once he located Ashland. After Chance left, Nick demanded that Victor tell them what had really happened there that night.
At Dive Bar, Summer thanked Kyle for suggesting they go out after the bullet they'd dodged with Ashland. Kyle crowed that Harrison was safe and sound, thanks in part to Diane. Summer admitted that Diane had shown up for them, and Kyle thanked Summer for being a great stepmom and wife. Summer added that she was also his business partner, and he thought they should toast to that. They spotted Allie and Noah canoodling across the rooftop, and Summer asked if Kyle minded if they went over to say hello.
Kyle teased Summer for wanting to spy on her brother's new romance, but he also confided that he was embarrassed that he'd barely talked to Allie when they lived in the same house. Kyle and Summer joined Noah and Allie, and Summer remarked that it seemed like Allie was adapting to her new city. Allie gazed at Noah and cooed that she'd had a great tour guide. Kyle volunteered to grab some drinks and invited Allie to join him. Once alone with Noah, Summer questioned what was up with Noah's smirk. Noah imagined she wasn't blind to Allie's charms, and Summer replied that she wasn't blind to his, either.
Noah informed Summer that he was leaving New Hope, quickly clarifying that he wasn't planning to leave town. She said she wasn't surprised because New Hope had always felt like a stopgap for him. Summer was sure their dad would be disappointed, but Noah relayed that Nick had been surprisingly accepting. Summer credited Nick for putting his kids' happiness first, and she remembered how he'd flown with her to Milan to help her get settled, even though he hadn't wanted her to leave Genoa City. Noah guessed that Nick had been hands-off because Victor had had such a heavy hand in his children's lives.
At the bar, Kyle was glad to grab a moment alone with Allie to get to know her better. She respected that he'd been busy with moving, work, and his family -- especially Diane. Kyle appreciated Allie's directness, and he wondered if she was one of the people who was angry with his mother. Allie declared that she was "on team undecided," noting that while Diane had used her to get to Jack, Diane had also been nice to her ever since.
Allie recognized that Diane had a lot of enemies in town, and she shared that there had been a lot of curiosity about which side she was on. Kyle was sorry Allie had gotten caught up in it, but she chirped that she was good at steering herself away from trouble. She added that she was motivated to do so those days, since her future was looking bright for the first time in a long time. Kyle surmised that Noah had something to do with it. Allie inquired whether being an Abbott was as perfect as it appeared to be.
Kyle explained that being part of the Abbott family had its upsides, but it could also be a roller coaster. He hoped Allie stuck around to figure it out, and she shared that it seemed likely she would. He regretted that he'd never met her dad, and he imagined it had been bizarre for her to learn she had a whole family she'd never known existed. Allie gushed that Jack had been nothing but wonderful from the moment they'd met, and the rest of the family had been warm and welcoming, even though Ashley had been skeptical of her at first. Kyle enthused about Allie joining Jabot, and he was glad she'd found her place. Allie glanced over at Noah and agreed.
Later, Summer applauded Allie for putting a smile back on her brother's face and giving Noah a reason to stay in town. Allie implied that she wasn't the only reason Noah was sticking around, and Noah announced his plan to open a new nightclub. He mentioned that he was putting together a pitch to Victor to transform Top of the Tower. Summer cautioned that Victor liked having a restaurant in the Newman building to use as a second office, and she doubted he would go for turning it into a nightclub.
Allie said she'd heard Victor was a great businessman, and she was sure he'd be able to see it was a great idea. Summer anticipated that Noah would have a hard time convincing their grandfather, and she recommended that Noah check out a space on the top floor of her mom's hotel instead. Noah had his heart set on Top of the Tower, but he promised to keep the Grand Phoenix in mind. Summer toasted to new possibilities.
Adam entered Crimson Lights as Sharon emerged from the back room. She observed that he looked like he was mulling something over, and she offered to get him something to drink. He asked how she was doing, and she replied that some days were better than others. Adam reported that he'd moved off the ranch and taken a room at the Grand Phoenix. Sharon suspected that the personnel changes at Newman had been the reason for the move. Adam clarified that she meant Victoria's return, Nick's rise, and Adam's fall.
Sharon voiced surprise that Nick had decided to return to the company, and she mentioned that he'd told her Adam had turned down the CEO position at Newman Media. Adam called his decision a calculated yet defiant declaration of independence from his father. Sharon anticipated that Adam would change his mind once he cooled down, but he scolded her for not hearing the words he was saying. She chalked his decision up to a kneejerk reaction, since she knew how much building Newman Media into a successful company had meant to him.
Adam grumbled that his family had rewarded him by using him and kicking him to the curb once Victoria had reappeared. He asserted that he'd tried for the last time to be part of an inner circle because his family wouldn't allow it. He added that he didn't want it, so he'd finally cut ties with Victor. From the patio, Sally listened closely to the entire conversation.
Sally eavesdropped as Sharon clucked that she'd seen Adam go down that road a few times before, and he never got very far. Adam assured her that time was different, and she applauded him if he truly was making a clean break from Victor. Adam pointed out that she'd supported Nick joining the family fold, and she argued that the brothers were very different. Sharon lectured that the dynamic between Adam and Victor was responsible for Adam's worst tendencies and actions. Adam contended that the only way for him to be truly free was to make a clean break from trying to prove himself under the Newman umbrella.
Sharon mused that she'd seen glimpses of the good man Adam could be while he'd been at Newman Media, and she begrudgingly conceded that Sally had been a good influence on him. Adam revealed that he and Sally had ended their relationship, and Sharon halfheartedly expressed disappointment. Sharon recognized that she and Sally weren't friends, but she believed Adam and Sally seemed to get one another. Sharon divulged that Sally had approached her to talk about Adam, and he snapped that Sally shouldn't have done that.
Sharon recalled that she'd been suspicious at first, but she was convinced Sally had done it because she cared about Adam. Adam groused that he and Sally had been holding one another back, since she wasn't a popular choice with certain people. Sharon argued that he could be an acquired taste himself, and she pointed out that he didn't care what Victor, Nick, or Victoria thought. Adam claimed there were other factors behind the breakup, but he didn't want to get into details. Sharon reminded him that he could be honest with her.
Sharon cited how Adam had been the first person she'd been able to open up to about her grief after Rey had died, and she hoped to return the favor. Adam confided that he'd wanted to let Sally fly without him holding her back, so he'd set her free so she could soar. He considered himself an albatross around the neck of anyone who cared about him, but Sharon swore she didn't believe it. Sally stormed in and confronted Adam about lying to her. Sally cried that he was doing her a favor she didn't want because all she wanted was to be with him.
Sharon stepped away to give Adam and Sally time alone. Sally informed Adam that she'd heard everything he'd said to Sharon, and she didn't know whether to be furious or to wrap her arms around him and tell him she still loved him because she knew he loved her, too. Adam pointed out that he hadn't said anything to that effect, but Sally repeated his words about setting her free. He claimed that she'd misunderstood.
Adam insisted that he'd been lying to Sharon because he cared about Sharon's opinion and hadn't wanted her to think he still had issues with his father. Adam reasoned that it had been easier to let Sharon think his actions had been noble, and a preemptive lie had been more effective to avoid her judgment. Sally accused him of scrambling to find explanations, but Adam chided her for following him around and listening to his conversations. He taunted that it made her seem pathetic and desperate. Sally slapped him across the face and then pulled him into a passionate kiss. Adam responded.
Sally questioned whether Adam could say he didn't miss that. She declared that he didn't care what his family thought about her, and he could lie to his family or himself, but their kiss had told the truth. She was certain that he loved her as much as she loved him, and she implored him to get it through his thick skull that Newman Media was just a job, whereas what they had was much more. She kissed him again, but he pulled away and ordered her to stop it because she was making a fool of herself. Adam reiterated that they were done, so she had no choice but to move on. He walked out.
Sharon delivered a drink to Sally and asked if she was okay. Sally admitted she wasn't, and she gratefully accepted Sharon's offer to talk about it. Sally explained that she'd always prided herself on her ability to read people, but Adam's latest moves had her head spinning. Sally shared that Adam had claimed he'd lost everything because of Sally because being with her had tainted his image in his father's eyes, but then she'd just heard him telling Sharon the opposite. Sally continued that she'd assumed all along that he'd broken up with her as a favor to her and her career, but he'd lied to her.
Sharon empathized that Adam could sometimes be hard to understand. Sally wondered if she was fooling herself because she'd honestly thought she knew Adam, but she wasn't sure anymore. Sharon acknowledged that the different stories were confusing, and she guessed the truth was somewhere in the middle. Sharon found it hard to believe that Adam was done with his father forever, but she accepted that he might feel the need to step away. Sharon pointed out that it gave Sally a chance to prove herself at Newman Media without her relationship with Adam affecting people's perceptions of her.
Sally argued that it should be her battle to fight, and she questioned why Adam was suddenly doubting her ability to prove things in her own way. Sharon clucked that it was a Newman trait to think one was doing right by people by protecting them, even when they hadn't asked for it. Sharon compared it to everyone moving in to save Victoria from Ashland. Sally indicated that she could forgive Adam's misguided attempt to help her, but she didn't know how to get him to stop being noble and just go back to loving her again.
Sharon warned that there often wasn't an easy answer where Adam was concerned, but she assumed that Sally's success at Newman Media would have been precarious at best if Sally and Adam's relationship had continued. Sharon referred to Adam's complicated history with Victoria and Nick, but Sally was confused about why Newman family dynamics factored so heavily into their relationship. Sharon chalked it up to the Newmans being a package deal, and she thought the important question was how much Sally valued her job. Sally stressed that she'd told Adam over and over that her job wasn't as important as he was. Sharon urged Sally to find a way to prove it to him.
Adam entered his hotel room and began to unpack an overnight bag. He sadly flashed back to Sally kissing him at Crimson Lights.
At Victoria's, Nick and Victoria asked Victor what he'd done with Ashland. Victor claimed he didn't know anything, but he was certain the police would find Ashland. Victoria asked what would happen if Ashland returned. Victor and Nick suggested that Victoria stay at the ranch until she was out of danger.
Victoria told Victor she didn't want to stay in her house after what had happened; Nick suggested the living room needed to be cleaned by professionals after the police had completed their investigation. Nick said Ashland hadn't been breathing, and he'd had no pulse, yet somehow, he'd left the house. Victoria said Ashland had been very angry with her, and he'd been unstoppable.
Victor told Victoria that if Ashland had died, everyone would think it had been a revenge killing, considering the bad relationship Locke had with their family. Victoria said she'd only wanted Ashland to leave. Nick said he'd tried to protect Victoria because he'd believed Locke had intended to kill her. Victor said he would have done the same thing, but he was concerned that Nick might have put himself in a tough legal situation.
Nick told Victor the legal situation paled compared to him believing he'd killed Locke. Nick said it had been the right thing to do to call Chance. Nick said he was prepared to face the consequences. Victoria and Victor left for the ranch.
Alone, Nick had a flashback to punching Locke, Locke falling and hitting his head on the fireplace hearth, and Nick telling Victoria he couldn't find a pulse.
Nick walked to the French doors, and something caught his eye -- Locke's signet ring was on the floor, just under the drape.
In his suite, Adam woke up and saw Sally; he asked what she was doing there. Sally said she was giving Adam a second chance, so that he could make the right choice and reclaim their future. Adam told Sally she shouldn't be there, but Sally claimed it was exactly where she belonged. Adam accused her of ignoring everything he'd said earlier. Sally said she'd known Adam would be in their suite because it was the place where they had felt safe. Sally said she understood him.
Adam told Sally she didn't have the slightest idea of who he really was and that she'd read far too much into where he'd decided to sleep that night. Sally said Adam had left the ranch angry because Victor hadn't given him the CEO position. Sally claimed Adam had opened up to her because of their connection, but Adam claimed it had been a calculated act of vulnerability on his part to get her to fall in love with him, as he'd known she would. Sally told him to stop playing his game and treating her like she'd been another one of his conquests; she knew that wasn't true because she'd been the one who'd pursued him.
Adam said Sally needed to stop. Sally asked if Adam thought she would give up. Adam said he thought she had too much self-respect to keep throwing herself at someone who'd rejected her. Sally claimed she had a ton of self-confidence, and she would endure whatever Adam wanted to dish out until he dropped the pretext.
Adam told Sally that that part of their lives was over, and they were moving on in opposite directions. Adam said Sally had to let him go. He said that whatever she thought he was feeling or wished he felt for her, he didn't, and whatever she thought should happened between them, wouldn't. He said there was no future for them, and he didn't want one with her. Sally claimed she didn't want to lose what they'd had together.
Adam told Sally he hadn't meant to hurt her, but she was disillusioned and confused. He said their working and personal relationship weren't intertwined, and she didn't need love to succeed. Sally stated she wanted love in her life, and she knew exactly why she wanted to be with Adam above anything else.
Sally told Adam that her parents had vanished from her life when she'd been very young; she and her sister had had to fend for themselves. Sally said her parents had left a big black hole where her heart had been. Sally said she had been thankful she'd had her sister and a grandmother who'd taken care of them. Sally said every time she'd reached high and fallen hard trying to build her career or searching for someone to spend her life with, her sister and grandmother were always there for her when her life imploded. Adam suggested she contact them, but Sally told Adam not to give her advice because she knew what was best for her.
Sally told Adam that many times she'd believed she'd found the perfect job or the man of her dreams, only to have her heart broken, but it had never broken her spirit because she'd known there was the right person out there for her. Sally said that when she'd met Adam, for the first time in her life, that black hole had vanished, and it had been like she'd known Adam her entire life. Sally claimed they'd been in the right place, and it had been their time. Sally stated she'd never stood between Adam and his family or anything he'd wanted because she'd wanted the same things. Sally claimed they could have those things together.
Sally asked Adam to admit he loved her and that she was good for him. Sally asked him to work with her so they could find their way back to each other. Adam told Sally nothing had changed, and he didn't feel the same way Sally did. Sally reminded him that when they'd started working together and been within five feet of each other, they'd been in dangerous territory and that Adam hadn't ever met a woman like her. Sally claimed that Adam had been looking for her his entire life. Adam said life moved on, and so had he.
Sally told Adam he could pretend that he didn't love her for whatever misguided reasons. She said perhaps he'd convinced himself it was true; however, she knew what was real, and she knew Adam. Sally said she knew Adam would eventually come around when he realized the breakup had been a massive mistake. Sally said Adam probably wouldn't realize what a catastrophic mistake it had been until it was too late and she'd moved on. Sally told Adam to think about what he would lose if he let her slip away just to prove a point he was trying to make.
Adam told Sally he'd thought everything through; what was done was done, and he had nothing more to say. Sally picked up her purse and was about to leave when Adam asked if they were done. Sally told Adam she would be resigning from Newman Media the next day. Adam said Sally couldn't do that because she loved that job. Sally said that becoming CEO might have cost her her happiness. Sally left.
Alone, Adam called the airport and booked a flight for the next day from Genoa City to Las Vegas.
At Crimson Lights, Chance gave an officer instructions on how he wanted Ashland tracked down. Michael arrived and asked Chance to update him on his investigation. Chance reminded Michael that he was no longer the D.A., and he asked if Victor had sent Michael on a fishing expedition.
Michael reminded Chance that he was Victor's attorney, and he cared about all the Newmans. Michael said he had a vested interest in what had happened to Locke. Michael said Victor was anxious for news because Victoria had been attacked by Locke, who was still on the loose. Michael said Victor was entitled to be kept abreast of whatever was transpiring with the search for the man who'd tried to kill Victoria. Michael said Victoria was Chance's sister-in-law, and family always came first.
Chance told Michael that he had to play it by the book, and he wouldn't let anything interfere with his investigation, not even Victor. Chance said he'd told the Newmans he would contact them once he'd located Locke.
At Newman, Victoria told Victor she needed to grab some files for her meeting the following day. Nikki arrived and asked why Victor and Victoria were there. Victor said Victoria was going to stay at the ranch for a while. Victoria explained that Ashland had stopped by her place earlier and that he'd been out of control and threatened her. Victoria assured Nikki she was fine, thanks to her hero, Nick. Victor said the cops were looking for Locke.
Victoria received a call from Nick, who asked if the signet ring was Ashland's. Victoria said she'd given it to Ashland on Valentine's Day because it bore the Locke family crest. Victoria said Ashland had waved it around and ranted how it had once symbolized their future, but how it had come instead to represent her deceit. Victoria said he'd put it into his pocket because he'd wanted it to remind him how cruel the world was. Nick asked how it had wound up on the floor. Victoria didn't know, but she never wanted to see that ring again.
When Nick arrived at the coffeehouse, Michael said that Victor had told him what had happened. Nick asked for an update, but Michael said Chance hadn't been in a sharing mood. Michael stated that Nick was probably experiencing a lot of conflicting emotions after the events of that evening. Nick admitted he was walking a fine line; he absolutely wished Ashland would disappear off the face of the earth, but he'd been horrified about the possibility of having a hand in taking a man's life.
Michael assured Nick that he was a good man and Nick couldn't blame himself for anything he'd done in that moment; Nick had had every right to protect Victoria and himself. Nick said he wanted Ashland found. Michael claimed Ashland couldn't hide for long with the number of people looking for him.
On the patio, Nick gave Ashland's signet ring to Chance. Nick told Chance it had been a Valentine's gift from Victoria. Nick said Locke had told Victoria it was a symbol of her betrayal, and after flashing the ring in her face, Locke had put it in his shirt pocket. Nick said he'd found it on the floor, and he asked if Locke had been found. Chance claimed it was odd they hadn't found Locke yet, since Locke had been injured. Chance assured Nick they would find him. Chance received a call.
Nick pressed Chance for some information. Chance said they'd found a car at the bottom of a ravine. Nick wanted to go with Chance, but Chance told him not to get involved. Chance said he would let Nick know the details when the time was right.
At the Newman office, Victoria told Nikki that when she'd told Ashland that he was a twisted, unlovable monster, Ashland had grabbed her. She said she'd found something to defend herself with, and she had run, with Ashland in pursuit. She said Nick had arrived and had gotten between them; Nick had tried to get Ashland to leave, but Ashland had refused. Victoria said she'd run to the kitchen to get her phone to call the police, and she'd heard Ashland say he was going to finish what he'd wanted to do to Victoria. Victoria said when she'd returned, Ashland had been on the floor, and Nick had been checking for a pulse.
Victoria told Nikki that she and Nick had believed Ashland had been dead after he'd hit his head on the hearth. She said they'd tried to resuscitate him, but there hadn't been a pulse. Victoria said she and Nick had gone outside to try to understand what had happened, and when they'd reentered the house, Ashland had been gone. Victoria said when Ashland had attacked her, she might have killed him if Nick hadn't arrived. Nikki said Victoria had nothing to apologize for and nothing to regret.
Victor received a call from Michael and walked out of the office to take the call. Victor asked if Michael had kept his eye on Chance. Michael said he had nothing to report, and the call ended.
Nikki said she could only imagine what Victoria had felt being attacked in her own home. Victoria admitted that when Ashland had lunged at her, it had triggered a memory of J.T. Victoria said J.T.'s behavior had been caused by a brain tumor and had had nothing to do with her, but she'd brought Ashland into their lives with all his chaos and poison. Nikki said Victoria had fallen in love with the wrong man. Victoria claimed she repeatedly fell for flawed, damaged men and kept deluding herself that she could fix them.
Nikki said Victoria wanted to see the best in the people she loved, and that wasn't a bad thing. Victoria said they both knew she had a blind spot when it came to relationships. Victoria said that when she'd gotten involved with Ashland, everyone had tried to warn her, but she'd failed to listen. Nikki said it didn't mean Victoria had been responsible for what had transpired with Ashland that evening. Victoria stated that she'd forced everyone to accept Ashland, She said she'd made excuses for his lies, and Ashland had done what everyone had said he would. Victoria admitted she didn't know how to forgive herself.
Nikki asked Victoria to explain why she felt any guilt over what had happened. Victoria said she was disgusted by what Ashland had done. She said he'd lied and used her and the rest of the family to get what he'd wanted, and that was completely unforgivable. Victoria said it had been an amazing feeling when she'd turned the tables on Ashland and had taken everything he'd had. She said that had been the plan, but perhaps she'd taken too much.
Victoria asked if Nikki recalled how she'd described Ashland looking defeated when she'd left him in New York. She speculated that something had shattered in him. Victoria said Ashland's behavior seemed like it had been the final destruction of his psyche. Victoria said she'd wanted to punish and hurt Ashland the way he'd hurt her and to exact some modicum of revenge on him.
Nikki referred to Ashland by his real name, Bobby DeFranco. She told Victoria that if Bobby hadn't realized that every predator was someone's prey, then Bobby had learned a valuable lesson: nobody messed with the Newmans. Nikki said Bobby had lost, his feelings had gotten hurt, and that was on him. Nikki said Victoria felt vulnerable because she'd fallen in love with Ashland, the man she'd wanted to spend the rest of her life with, but he wasn't the man he'd wanted Victoria to believe he was. Nikki said she didn't want Victoria to waste any grief over Ashland because he'd never deserved her or her sympathy. Victor returned.
Nikki and Victoria were about to leave when Michael arrived. Victor told Nikki that he needed to deal with something and would be home soon. Nikki and Victoria left. Michael told Victor that Ashland's car had been found with Ashland inside. Victor was pleased.
At Crimson Lights, Nick told Sally he couldn't talk to her about work at that moment. Sally said she was looking for Sharon because she and Sharon had had a good talk about Adam earlier. Nick said he recalled Sally saying she was sorry she'd ever gotten involved with Adam and that Sharon could relate.
Sally told Nick that she and Sharon were baffled by Adam's recent decisions. Nick apologized, and he told Sally that her drama with Adam was the least of his concerns. Sally asked what had happened. Nick said he didn't want to talk about anything, and he told Sally not to take it personally.
Sally suggested that Nick go home and get some sleep. Nick said he would love to, but he had to wait for other shoes to drop. Sally told Nick she intended to call Victoria in the morning and respectfully decline the CEO position. Nick said, "The hell you are."
Nick asked Sally what had happened after she'd pitched herself as the perfect person for the job. Sally said she'd overheard Adam tell Sharon he'd broken up with her because it was the best thing for her. Nick told Sally that he and Victoria had already known that, and it shouldn't change anything. Sally said she wasn't okay with Adam making that sacrifice.
Nick told Sally that Adam didn't care what she thought because he'd made that decision without consulting her; he'd lied to her, and he would continue lying to her. Sally said Adam believed he was doing the right thing. Nick said Sally was making excuses for Adam just like Sharon and Chelsea had -- just like Victoria had for Ashland. Nick told Sally not to throw an incredible opportunity away for a guy who'd stomped on her heart with both feet.
Nick asked if that was all the self-respect Sally had. Sally asked why Nick was being so harsh. Nick apologized and asked Sally not to confuse Adam treating her like dirt as a sign of that incredible love Sally had because a lot of women had made that mistake with Adam.
Nick received a text from Victor to meet him at the office. Nick told Sally he had to leave, but he hoped Sally would reconsider the rash decision she'd made.
In Victoria's office, Michael told Victor the security team had been briefed. Victor thanked him and said he wouldn't forget that Michael had always helped the Newmans through difficult times. Michael said Chance would contact them very soon about what the police discovered at the scene of the crash.
Victor told Michael to go home because it was late, but Michael said he wouldn't allow Victor to talk to Chance without Victor's attorney present. Michael said Chance was a good cop, and he would have a lot of questions. At that moment, Victor received a call from Chance.
Nick arrived, and Victor told him that Chance was on his way. Nick noted that Victor and Michael appeared extremely calm, considering what had happened. Michael said there was no reason to be otherwise. Michael said Chance had organized a thorough search, and Ashland would be found soon. Victor said that as soon as Locke was caught, Victoria could press charges.
Michael said Nick had witnessed the struggle between Locke and Victoria, and Locke had defied Kyle's restraining order. He said that would be enough to keep him in jail until his trial. Chance arrived and confirmed that Ashland's car had been found in the ravine; Ashland had been behind the wheel, and he was dead.
Nick said he'd hoped Ashland would have survived the accident, and he asked if Ashland had died from injuries sustained in the crash. Michael said those were questions for the medical examiner. Chance said they had to wait for the autopsy report for the cause of death, and he would share what was necessary.
Chance asked why Victor hadn't mentioned he'd been at Victoria's and whether Victoria or Nick had told him what had happened. Victor said neither, but his security team had informed him that something had been amiss. Chance asked why he was only hearing about the security team at that moment. Victor said it was the first time Chance had asked about it.
Victor told Chance he'd had his security team watching Victoria's house from a discreet distance once he'd learned that Locke was in town. Chance asked what they'd seen. Victor said they'd seen Nick knock on the front door, and when there had been no response, they had become suspicious because they'd known Victoria was at home. Nick said he'd assumed Victoria had been asleep, but something hadn't felt right, and he'd gone to the back of the house. Chance asked if Victor's security had followed Nick to the back of the house.
Victor told Chance his security team had been watching the house, and they'd seen Victoria and Nick leave the house in an agitated state. He said that was when security had become alarmed, and they'd called him. Chance asked if Nick had seen the security team. Nick admitted he hadn't. Victor said he'd told them to take the night off. Chance wanted Victor to confirm that his guys hadn't approached the house and that they hadn't seen Ashland arrive or leave.
Victor told Chance that it had begun to feel like an interrogation. Chance said he was trying to gather as much information as he could. Victor said Michael would give Chance the phone numbers of his security team so that Chance could question them.
After Chance left, Nick said he wanted to know what Victor and Michael were keeping from him. Victor claimed they weren't hiding anything. Victor said that Nick probably felt responsible for Locke's death, but he shouldn't because he'd saved Victoria's life. Victor asked where Victoria would be if Nick hadn't interfered.
Michael said that Nick hadn't intended to kill Locke, and he hadn't wanted the man dead. Victor said it wasn't clear whether Nick's punch had been the cause of Locke's death. Michael said Nick had had nothing to do with Locke getting behind the wheel of his car. Victor said that Ashland might have left the house, gotten into his car, and driven himself into the ravine.
Michael told Nick to think about Rey, who'd had a heart attack that had caused him to lose control of his car, and he said something like that might have happened to Locke. Victor said Locke was out of their lives, and he wouldn't endanger Victoria's life any longer. Agitated, Nick left and went for a drive to clear his head.
Victor thanked Michael for handling things so well. Michael warned Victor that Chance would return with more questions. Victor said he would tell Chance he'd assumed Locke had woken up after being knocked down by Nick, found himself alone in the house, left by the back door where no one would see him, gotten into his car that he'd parked behind Victoria's house, realized he'd had nothing left to live for, and driven into the ravine, where he'd met his end. Michael said that scenario was completely plausible and impossible to disprove.
At Society, Summer said she hoped Phyllis hadn't wanted to meet to trash Diane. Phyllis claimed she had no intention of trashing Diane. Summer was relieved because she hated being constantly caught in the middle.
Phyllis told Summer the Grand Phoenix was running like a well-oiled machine, and she wondered if the marketing position Summer had offered her was still available. Summer said the position had been filled, and she asked if Phyllis was asking to work at Marchetti. Phyllis asked why Summer was so surprised. Phyllis said she'd been very close to moving to Italy and kissing everything in Genoa City goodbye to work with Summer. Phyllis said if Summer had moved Marchetti headquarters to Genoa City sooner, she would have taken the job.
Summer said she thought Phyllis really loved running the hotel. Phyllis admitted she did, but it wasn't the same as it had been in the beginning, stages trying to create a business and have everything running smoothly. Summer asked how much of Phyllis' sudden interest in working at Marchetti had to do with the fact that Kyle had hired Diane. Phyllis asked why Summer thought everything had to do with Diane.
Summer claimed it was something Phyllis would do -- be on the Marchetti premises to keep a close eye on Diane. Phyllis vehemently denied it and claimed she was doing everything to stay out of Diane's way. Phyllis said that Kyle hiring Diane had been a mistake and would turn into a disaster. However, it had been Kyle's decision, and he would suffer the consequences. Summer stated that Phyllis hoped that hiring Diane would turn into a catastrophe that would blow up in their faces and that Phyllis would be proven right.
Phyllis asked why Summer kept talking about Diane. Phyllis said it was about her and Summer working together, and she reminded Summer how much fun they'd had working together previously. Phyllis said they needed to do that again. Summer admitted she'd been a little jealous that Kyle got to work with his mother when she'd missed her opportunity to work with hers. Phyllis said she missed it, as well, and suggested they make it happen. Summer said she had to run it by Kyle, but she felt Kyle wouldn't be happy about Phyllis and Diane getting in each other's faces on a daily basis.
Phyllis told Summer that wouldn't happen, and she admitted she'd had a terrible time letting go of all the horrible things Diane had done to her. Phyllis said she'd thrown her relationship with Jack in Diane's face, which had blown up, but she wouldn't let anything jeopardize her relationship with Summer. Phyllis promised it wouldn't be an issue, and if she saw Diane, she would steer clear.
Phyllis asked if Summer wanted her in marketing, but Summer said she wanted Phyllis in a more glamorous position, like a chauffeur. They laughed.
Nick arrived, and Phyllis noticed he seemed upset. Nick told Phyllis and Summer that Ashland had been in a car accident and had died. Nick said it was going to be very hard on Harrison. Summer said she had to get home and talk to Kyle about how to handle the news with Harrison. Summer left. Phyllis told Nick to look on the bright side -- he wouldn't have to deal with Ashland again. Nick grimaced.
At Newman Media, Sally told Chloe she was torn over the job. Chloe realized it was about Adam. Chloe asked if Adam had been angry that Sally had chosen to stay on at Newman Media when he'd quit. Chloe asked why Adam had broken up with Sally. Sally explained that Adam had broken up with her so that she could remain at Newman Media. She said Adam had known Victoria wouldn't keep her on if she were with Adam. Sally said Adam had given her some bogus story about not wanting to be with her because Victor wouldn't approve.
Sally told Chloe she'd overhead Adam admitting to Sharon that he'd cut her loose so that their relationship wouldn't get in the way of her job at Newman Media. Sally said she'd confronted Adam. She said she'd told him it had been a huge mistake and that he would regret it for the rest of his life. Sally confessed that she'd told Adam she would provide Victoria with her resignation the next day.
Chloe said that Sally had made that comment in the heat of the moment, and Sally had had time to calm down and realize that quitting would be crazy. Sally admitted she felt a little shaky about the resignation because she realized it was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Sally said Nick had told her she'd been one more in a long line of women who'd made bad decisions to impress Adam. Sally said she didn't think that was what she'd done, and she admitted she was confused.
Chloe asked Sally how she would have reacted had Adam told Sally to take the job to prove how much she loved him. Sally said Adam had said the exact opposite. Chloe said Adam had known how blatantly selfish and manipulative that would have been and that Sally wouldn't have fallen for it. She said Adam had used a touch of reverse psychology. Chloe said Adam had Sally begging him to accept his sacrifice in honor of her love for him. Sally said she would never beg him for anything.
Sally suddenly realized Chloe was right. She said that had been exactly what she'd done, and Adam had called her pathetic. Chloe said Sally had been feeding Adam's massive ego, and she'd made Adam believe he was more important to her than anything else. Chloe said all the while, he'd been putting Sally down. Chloe asked if that was what Sally wanted the rest of her life to look like. Chloe pointed out that Adam would constantly put their love to the test because Adam didn't know any other way of being in a relationship.
Chloe asked if Sally was going to throw away the biggest opportunity of her life for Adam. Sally said she didn't want to believe that Adam had been playing mind games with her. Sally said she believed Adam had wanted her to have an opportunity to prove herself. Chloe said if Adam had been a noble creature who felt Sally would be better off in that job than in their relationship, he would have been right. Sally asked if love wasn't more important than a great job. Chloe said it was, but only in a healthy and stable relationship with the right person.
Chloe said Sally was trying to convince herself that Adam's love had been real. Sally admitted she didn't want to believe that Adam had suddenly stopped loving her or that he'd never loved her. Chloe said it was time to stop fixating on what Adam was really feeling or what he'd said because by doing that, Sally would forget what really mattered to her.
Chloe told Sally that Chelsea had fallen into the same trap, and that was the reason she hadn't been able to move forward with the fashion line. She said Chelsea had lost years of her life because of her obsession with Adam. Sally said she'd told Adam that hadn't been the way she wanted to get a job. Chloe said Adam hadn't gotten Sally the job. Chloe reminded Sally that Nick and Victoria had asked her to stay after they'd heard Sally's pitch, and they'd loved Sally's ideas.
Chloe said Sally had proven she deserved to be the boss with her brilliance and hard work. Chloe asked if she had to remind Sally how determined she'd been to make people sit up and take notice of her when she and Sally had worked together previously.
Sally admitted Chloe was right. Chloe said Sally wasn't a quitter, and she didn't want to lose that job. Sally agreed, and she thanked Chloe for helping her to remember that. Sally assured Chloe she wasn't going anywhere, and with Chloe's help, she would show the world what she was capable of and make the most of the opportunity she'd earned.
At the coffeehouse, Chance examined the signet ring.
In Victoria's office, Chance told Nick that he wanted to speak to Victoria and to Nick. Nick said Victoria had left earlier. Chance said it was strange that Victoria had bolted. Nick said Victoria had gone to pick up her kids from camp, and then they would stop at their favorite water park on their way home.
Nick told Chance he didn't know how Victoria would enjoy her day because she had to tell her kids their stepfather had died in a car crash. Chance said he had hoped to speak to Victoria about Ashland's frame of mind. Nick said Ashland had been in a rage when he'd gone after Victoria. Chance said he was looking for additional nuances, such as if Ashland's mindset had been that of someone who'd wanted to take his own life after his altercation with Nick.
Nick told Chance he couldn't say if Ashland had been suicidal because he hadn't been there when Ashland had left Victoria's; however, Ashland had been homicidal when he'd attacked Victoria then turned on Nick when Nick had stepped in to protect Victoria. Nick said Ashland hadn't been breathing, let alone able to drive a car. Chance said that was the confusing part.
Nick said he wished he could tell Chance what had happened to Ashland after he and Victoria had left Ashland for dead. Nikki stood in the doorway and eavesdropped for a moment, then entered the office and told Chance how grateful she'd been that he'd arrived to help Victoria and that he'd been able to track Ashland down. Nikki said if Chance was done, she wanted to spend some time with Nick. Chance asked them to have Victoria call him, and Chance left.
Nikki said she was grateful Nick had been there for Victoria, and she realized that Nick was blaming himself. Nikki suggested they go somewhere where they could talk without interruptions.
At home, Kyle told Jack that he and Summer had been up all night, discussing how to tell Harrison about Ashland. Jack said that as much as they hadn't liked Ashland, Harrison was crazy about him. Kyle said he knew how excruciating it was not to be able to say goodbye, and it killed him knowing how much loss Harrison had had in his young life -- first Tara and then Ashland. Jack reminded Kyle that Harrison had gained a wonderful father and mother, two people who would always look out for him and put his interests first.
Kyle asked Jack if Harrison would understand. Jack said he remembered his trip to Switzerland to tell Kyle his mother had died. Kyle remembered it and said it still haunted him. Kyle said he knew Harrison would never forget that day. Summer entered the room and asked if Kyle was ready. Jack offered to help in any way he could. Kyle said he would be grateful if Jack helped to pick up the pieces later.
Jack told Kyle and Summer that he would give them a few moments to prepare, and he would get Harrison. Kyle said he wondered how it would affect Harrison long-term. He said losing a parent as a kid, one suddenly realized there was no such thing as forever, and it had turned his world upside down. Summer knew how painful it was for Kyle and that it had triggered painful memories for him.
Kyle told Summer that the memories had brought up overwhelming grief, and he wondered if Diane had ever considered the pain her actions had caused him, the way he was considering Harrison's pain at that moment. Kyle asked if Diane had ever imagined how difficult it had been for Jack to tell him that his mother would never return. Jack entered the room with Harrison.
Kyle told Harrison that sometimes accidents happened, and people got hurt. Summer asked if Harrison understood what an accident was. Harrison said he did. Kyle told Harrison that Father wouldn't be able to come and see them anymore because Father had died.
Someone knocked. Jack answered the door to Diane. Jack told her they were dealing with something, and it wasn't a good time. Diane heard Harrison call out to DeeDee. Diane entered the house. Summer asked to speak to Diane outside.
Summer told Diane that Ashland had died in a car accident. She said Ashland's car had been found in a ravine with Ashland behind the wheel. Summer said Diane needed to leave because Harrison had a lot to process, if he could, and it had brought up a lot of bad memories for Kyle. Diane said she needed to stay and begged Summer to let her try to help.
Inside, Diane greeted Harrison and said that Kyle and Summer had shared some bad news with him about how Father had been hurt and wouldn't return. Diane said they'd seen Father at the park, and she'd heard Father tell Harrison how much he'd loved him, that he had to go on a trip, and that he would return soon. Diane said sometimes plans changed, and suddenly, things weren't the way they thought they would be. Diane said that didn't mean that Father didn't love him more than anything else in the world. Diane said that if Father could have been there with him, he would have been. She said it was one of those times that something had happened, and Father couldn't return.
Diane asked Harrison to show her where his heart was. Harrison complied. Kyle said Father would always be in Harrison's heart, together with all the people Harrison loved. Harrison hugged Diane, and when she said she had to go, Harrison asked her not to leave. Diane asked if she and Harrison could go outside. Kyle and Summer thought it was a good idea. Kyle told Harrison that DeeDee was Harrison's grandmother, just like Jack was Harrison's grandfather. Kyle said DeeDee loved them very much, and they were happy she'd been there to help. Jack didn't look happy.
In the park, Mariah told Tessa the surgery would probably only take an hour, and she assured Tessa that the doctor was the best and had done thousands of those procedures. Tessa said surgery was still surgery, and those were her vocal cords. Mariah asked Tessa to tell her what she was really worried about. Tessa said she didn't want to jinx it, but Mariah suggested if Tessa said it out loud, it would lose all its power.
Tessa said that one of the nodes was much worse than they'd originally thought. Tessa asked what would happen if she lost her one true talent, singing. She wondered what she would do if her music career was over. Mariah said Tessa was a brilliant singer, but it wasn't her only talent. Mariah assured her that her music career wasn't over, because she was an amazing songwriter, and her skill set would always be in high demand.
Mariah told Tessa she was really good at loving Mariah. Tessa said Mariah had been the reason she'd gone from the hot mess she'd been to the person she'd become. Mariah promised Tessa that the procedure would go brilliantly, and Tessa would emerge with a stronger and healthier voice. She told Tessa to focus on the positive and the healing.
At the park, Nikki said she knew Nick was churning inside. Nikki wanted him to tell her he wasn't responsible for Ashland's death. Nick asked how he could do that when he didn't know. Nikki said Nick had saved Victoria's life. Nick said he didn't know how much Victoria had told her.
Nick informed Nikki that he'd thrown a punch, Ashland had fallen, and he'd hit his head on the fireplace hearth. Ashland had been bleeding, and he'd been unconscious. Nikki said she knew the rest. Nick asked how much she knew about the previous evening. Nikki said she knew that he and Victoria had both thought Ashland had been dead when they'd left the house. Nikki understood the horror Nick had felt, and she referred to the time that she'd thought she'd killed J.T. She said that even though she'd known she'd been justified, she had blamed herself and had been haunted by it. She said she'd been defending Victoria, just like Nick had been.
Nikki told Nick she would do it all again in a heartbeat if she had to. Nick said he would, as well. Nikki was grateful that Nick had been there to intervene, otherwise, they would be planning Victoria's funeral, and Ashland would be walking the streets. Nick said he got what Nikki was saying, but he couldn't erase the visual of Ashland lying on the hearth, unconscious. Nikki asked him to stop, and she reiterated that Nick wasn't responsible for what had happened to Ashland the previous evening; his death had been his own doing. Nikki reminded him that Ashland had gotten up and driven off in his own car. Nikki said it hadn't been Nick's fault that Ashland had died in the car accident, and she wanted Nick to understand that completely.
At Crimson Lights, Adam received a call confirming his flight to Las Vegas. Sharon said she assumed that Adam and Sally hadn't worked things out. Adam asked why Sharon had assumed there was any possibility that he and Sally would reunite. Sharon said she'd spoken with Adam's girlfriend, Sally. Adam corrected her and said Sally was his ex-girlfriend.
Sharon told Adam that Sally had confided in her and had been very confused and upset about why Adam would have given her one reason for the breakup and given Sharon another reason. Sharon said it had been apparent that Sally really loved Adam and had accepted him, flaws and all. Adam said Sally would be better off hating him. He said Sharon had seen the spectacle Sally had created earlier, and if anyone from Newman had seen that, Sally's days would have been numbered. He said Sally's priorities were out of whack. Sharon said that wasn't for Adam to decide.
Adam told Sharon it was his decision because Sally was the most driven person he'd ever met; she'd spent her whole life seeking professional success and respectability, and since Sally had them, he wasn't going to let her lose them, especially since his relationships were destined to crash and burn. Sharon said that maybe Sally was the person Adam was destined to spend the rest of his life with. Adam claimed he didn't need to be with anyone at that moment.
Sharon told Adam that everyone needed people in their lives who cared about them, and that was why she'd convinced Sally not to give up on Adam and to prove to him that he was more important to her than any job. Sharon said Sally had been very impassioned, and she assumed that was what Sally had done. Adam said Sally had told him she was going to resign from Newman. Sharon hoped Adam realized what Sally would be giving up if he kept rejecting Sally.
Adam said Sharon wasn't wrong; he'd had feelings for Sally. Sharon asked why Adam was cutting off someone who cared about him, saw the good in him, and possibly brought out the best in him. Adam claimed it was complicated. Sharon said when he found someone who he matched up with, it shouldn't be complicated, and he shouldn't take it for granted. Adam claimed it was best for everyone, and he needed a break.
Adam told Sharon that he'd booked a trip to Vegas. Sharon wondered why he'd want to go there, given his history in Vegas. Sharon reminded him that she'd brought him home from Vegas, and she didn't want to see him slide into his old bad habits. Sharon asked Adam how long he planned on staying in Vegas. Adam said he would leave immediately. Mariah and Tessa arrived, and Adam left.
Sharon asked if Mariah and Tessa were leaving for the procedure soon, and she gave Tessa a gift basket for when Tessa was released from hospital. After Tessa left to pack, Mariah told Sharon she was keeping a brave face for Tessa's sake, but she was scared to death. Mariah said she hadn't been scared until Tessa had admitted she was scared. She said that Tessa was terrified of losing her singing voice, and seeing how afraid Tessa was had made her afraid. Mariah dreaded the thought of Tessa being in pain.
Sharon said Mariah and Tessa had a solid marriage, Tessa had a great doctor, and they would be okay. Tessa returned, and she and Mariah left.
At the park, Adam told Chance he was going to Vegas. Chance realized that Adam didn't know about Ashland, and he was surprised Adam's family hadn't told him. Adam claimed he was permanently out of the loop when it came to family news. Adam asked what Ashland had done. Chance said Ashland had died in a car accident -- at least that was the official version for the moment. Adam asked what Chance meant by the official version.
Chance told Adam that Ashland was dead. Adam asked if there was another theory floating around. At that moment, Chance received a text message and told Adam he had to leave. Chance hoped Adam would return soon because his family might need his support, and Chance left. Adam called to cancel his flight to Vegas and said there had been a change in plans.
At the coffeehouse, Nick told Sharon he'd returned from a conversation with Nikki that hadn't been as comforting as Nikki had intended it to be. He told Sharon that Ashland had died the previous evening, and the police had found Ashland in his car at the bottom of a ravine. Sharon said her heart went out to Nick and Victoria. Nick said he couldn't get over the fact that he'd killed Ashland before Ashland had vanished, and Nick had no idea how that had happened.
Sharon referred to J.T., and she told Nick it was possible to be certain that someone had died when they hadn't. She said Nikki had believed she'd killed J.T., and Nick believed he'd killed Ashland. She said that was where the comparison ended because Nick didn't have to wait months before finding out that it wasn't true. Sharon said Nick was lucky that Ashland had gotten up and walked away.
Nick told Sharon he was trying to wrap his head around how Ashland had vanished and later ended up dead in his car. Nick was adamant that Ashland hadn't had a pulse and that Victoria had tried CPR. Sharon said it had been the same with J.T. She said if Ashland had been there before Nick and Victoria had left the house, and he hadn't been there when they'd returned, it was because Ashland hadn't been dead, and Nick hadn't killed him. Nick wanted to believe that. Sharon asked why he would doubt it.
Sharon asked if Nick thought the head injury had been the cause of the crash, and if so, it was only speculation. Nick said at first, he'd believed that Ashland's head injury had played a part in his accident, but there was a whole part of the sequence that didn't sit right with him. Nick said that it hadn't made sense that Victor had shown up right after he and Victoria had discovered that Ashland had been gone. Nick said that with Victor there, the simple explanation was probably too simple. Nick said when Victor was involved, things tended to get very complicated.
Nick told Sharon he'd asked Victor point-blank, and he still didn't know what had happened because he couldn't trust Victor to tell the truth.