After Nate gave Audra Charles, the newly minted COO of Newman Media, a tour of the offices, she excitedly announced that she was ready to hit the ground running. Nate encouraged Audra to share her creative concepts, and he vowed to maintain open collaboration and never treat his employees the way Devon had treated him. Nate was impressed with Audra's ideas concerning audio-only expansions of popular podcast content. Audra said she was determined to make the most of the opportunity she had been given, especially after her unfavorable back-door dealings with Tucker. Nate replied, "Clearly, we're going to make a great team."
Elena overheard Nate's comment to Audra and exclaimed, "A team? I thought you gave up on trying to take over your family's company, so why are you and Chancellor-Winters' IPO consultant now a team?" Nate explained that he was not attempting to stake a claim on Chancellor-Winters, adding that Audra no longer worked for them. Audra said that she had just begun working with Nate. Audra told Elena she understood how the situation could have been misconstrued. Elena invited Nate to join her for lunch, and he agreed after canceling a planned work lunch with Audra, at Audra's insistence.
Nate and Elena continued their conversation privately at Society. Elena apologized for showing up at his office and assuming the worst. Nate told Elena that after Audra had parted ways with Chancellor-Winters, both he and Victoria had thought it made sense to hire her. Nate proclaimed that Audra was already shining like a star. Elena noted that Audra was not the only one who was shining. Elena proudly announced that after she'd performed surgery on a deathly ill man, her patient had made it through the procedure with flying colors.
Nate congratulated Elena for having saved the man's life. Elena acknowledged that she had received praise from her colleagues, though it had meant more to behold the looks on the faces of the man's family when she told them their loved one was going to make it. Nate replied, "I remember that feeling. It's like being on top of the world." Nate promised Elena he would plan a special dinner, complete with Champagne, to celebrate her success. Elena told Nate she was looking forward to it.
At Crimson Lights, Audra acknowledged to Sharon that she was the last person Noah's mother's likely wanted to see. Sharon replied that Noah had made peace with his past with Audra. Sharon noted that she treated all of her customers cordially. Audra announced that she planned to live in Genoa City permanently, having been hired by Noah's dad's company. Recalling having met Noah in London, Audra quipped that it was a small world. Sharon inquired about the details of Audra's employment.
Audra, stirring her coffee, explained that Nate had hired her as COO of Newman Media. Audra boasted that she had "impressed the hell out of Victoria" at her interview and that everything had been going well so far. Audra assured Sharon that she planned to move forward with her life, so Noah should not have concerns. Sharon replied that Noah would appreciate Audra giving him a lot of space. Audra said she should return to work and help make the Newmans richer, if, she added, it was possible to increase the family's wealth.
After lunch, Audra rejoined Nate at the office. Excitedly, Audra announced that she had already set up a meeting with a contact in Milwaukee, noting that she had made it clear that planning was exploratory. Nate said he was eager to hear how the collaboration might play out. Audra told Nate that her expert contact had only one night to meet with them because she would be flying to Asia the next day. Audra asked Nate if he was free. Without hesitation, Nate replied, "Sure. I'm in." Audra left to finalize the details. Nate phoned Elena and explained that they would have to postpone their celebratory dinner plans due to a sudden development at work, and he promised to make it up to her. Disappointed, Elena replied, "Yeah, I understand."
After Jack and Diane made love in his bedroom, Diane told Jack she was happy. Jack replied that everything felt right. Diane agreed, adding that everything that had happened had led them to that moment. Diane became emotional and admitted that she regretted lying about her past, claiming she had done so out of shame. Diane thanked Jack for sticking with her and assured him that she had revealed all her secrets. Diane promised Jack she would never again betray him.
After Jack and Diane dressed and went downstairs, Traci jovially greeted them and offered coffee. Traci said she had been up for a while and noticed that Jack and Diane were getting a late start. Diane, startled by Traci's unexpected presence, claimed that she and Jack had been checking on Harrison and discovered that the nanny had already taken him on an outing to the park to enjoy the lovely, brisk day. Traci replied, "How would you know? You haven't been outside yet." Diane quickly mumbled that she had checked a weather app.
Jack told Traci that he and Diane had nothing to hide and that she would be spending a lot more time at the Abbott home. Jack proudly proclaimed that he and Diane had become romantically involved. Traci congratulated the couple and noted that the security detail was no longer present. Jack happily announced that the family was no longer threatened by Jeremy Stark. Jack boasted that his and Diane's troubles were few.
Traci acknowledged that she had noticed the sparkle in Jack's eyes. Traci suggested that Ashley be informed about her brother's romance while she was away, so she could "blow up in the streets of Paris" before returning home. Jack chuckled and said he would definitely take Traci's suggestion under advisement. Traci excused herself to take a call and said she was certain she would see Jack and Diane later. Jack assured Diane that Traci's teasing meant she felt at ease with Diane.
Diane became tense and reminded Jack that they had not discussed telling others about their romantic involvement, adding that she thought it was not a good idea. Jack replied, "Why are you saying that?" Diane explained that Kyle had warned her not to flirt with Jack, acknowledging that much more than flirting had already occurred. Jack assured Diane that when people realized how happy they were as a couple, people would be happy for them. Jack assured Diane that the rest did not count.
Diane reminded Jack that many already hated her, so he had the most at stake. Jack clasped Diane's hands and replied, "You're right. I have a lot at stake. I'm happy for the first time in I can't tell you how long. I have a positive view of the future." Jack promised to do whatever was necessary to ensure he stayed happy, despite how others regarded his reputation. Jack assured Diane that Kyle would work through everything in time. Jack made it clear to Diane that he intended to move forward with the relationship. Diane replied, "Well, that's a much stronger stance than I expected."
Jack, perplexed by Diane's unexpected response, told her he believed they were on the same page, especially after what had taken place upstairs. Diane replied, "Yes, yes, we definitely are." Diane suggested she and Jack take things slow, both for their sakes and for Kyle's. Diane assured Jack that she wanted their relationship to last as long as possible. Jack kissed Diane's hand and replied, "I agree with that."
Kyle talked privately with Summer in Jack's office at Jabot and informed her that Victor was turning up the heat on his plan to oust Adam from Jabot. Summer told Kyle she hoped he had declined to help, and she complained about having to lie both to Adam to cover for Victor and to her grandmother regarding the stolen necklace. Summer said it was time to put aside all the lies, schemes, and criminal activity. Kyle replied that Summer should hear him out and not attempt to make decisions for him. Summer reminded Kyle how difficult things could get when Victor and Adam were at war.
Kyle assured Summer that Victor's intentions were good, as his ultimate plan was to bring Adam back into the family fold. Summer did not support her grandfather's crusade to humiliate Adam again. Kyle agreed and defended his involvement by reminding Summer that Adam was troublesome and had likely accepted the position at Jabot to get back at Victor. Summer protested, though she agreed that there was no true place for Adam at Jabot. Kyle, firm in his convictions, insisted that Adam had to leave before he caused damage to Jabot.
Summer expressed apprehension about Kyle assuming all the risks. Kyle assured Summer that he had taken care of all the risks. Summer asked Kyle how he could have anticipated risks if he had not yet agreed to participate in Victor's plan. Kyle claimed he had set some ground rules and conditions that would have to be met. Kyle explained to Summer that his involvement would be minimal, that whatever move Victor made could only affect Adam, and that Jack could never know he had been involved. Summer warned that if Adam suspected he had been set up, Jack would be the first person he would tell. Summer cried that Jack would be quite upset if he discovered that Kyle had conspired with Victor behind his back. Kyle insisted he was protecting both Jack and Jabot from any harm Adam might cause down the line.
Summer asked Kyle if he was trying to prove something to his dad after Jack had left him out of the scheme to take down Jeremy Stark. Kyle insisted it was all about Jabot. Summer suggested Kyle allow Adam to fail all on his own, as he would inevitably. Kyle pleaded with Summer to understand, explaining that there was a payoff beyond just removing Adam from the equation. Summer asked Kyle what additional payoff there might be for booting Adam out of Jabot. Kyle said he had asked Victor to give Jabot the textile factories Newman had taken over after acquiring Chelsea by Jabot. Kyle bragged that the resources from the factories would make Marchetti unstoppable. Summer seemed taken aback by Kyle's eager anticipation of triggering Adam's downfall in exchange for factories to strengthen his own business interests.
Nick, sitting alone at the bar at Society, recalled the moment Sally had informed him that she was pregnant. Sally had admitted she was in denial about the startling news and had asked Nick to deny reality, as well, explaining that she was not ready to deal with what would come next. Nick had assured Sally that they would figure things out. Victor took a seat near Nick and told his son he seemed deep in thought. Victor asked Nick if his moodiness was related to Sally Spectra.
Victor informed Nick that something was about to happen to Adam that could complicate issues for Nick if he continued his relationship with Sally. Victor shared only that after Adam's position at Jabot ended, he would turn to his family. Victor ordered Nick to find common ground with Adam, explaining that involvement with Sally would make things difficult. Nick expressed concern for Sally, explaining that she was going through a lot while starting a new business, thanks to her unceremonious firing from Newman Media.
Nick informed Victor that Sally and Chloe had an important meeting scheduled with Jill in hopes of forming a partnership with Chancellor-Winters. Frustrated, Nick insisted that Victor get off Sally's case because she was not hurting anyone. Victor replied, "Not just yet." Nick said he hoped his father was not planning a scenario designed to force Adam's hand. Nick warned that Victor's plan to bring the family close together would surely accomplish the opposite effect. Frustrated, Nick left abruptly, paying his tab by flinging cash on the bar.
In Victoria's office at Newman Enterprises, Nikki informed Victoria that the only thing stolen from her burglarized apartment in Chicago had been a diamond necklace Victor had given her. Victoria was thankful her parents had not been staying at the residence when the burglar had broken in. Nikki explained that though police had made an arrest, she believed the real thief was Diane Jenkins. Victoria was intrigued by Nikki's suspicions, contrary to the police investigator's conclusions. Nikki said it made no sense that the arrested suspect, Jeremy Stark, would target her, travel to Chicago, and only steal one necklace and nothing else. Nikki insisted that it was clear to her that Diane could not have carried out the burglary without Jack's help.
Nikki told Victoria she believed the staged burglary was part of a plan to get rid of Stark, though Jack, acting weird, had claimed that Stark was the one who had wanted to frame Diane. Victoria, suggesting that Diane had Jack wrapped around her little finger, said Nikki should accept that Diane might not leave town and just be happy that Stark was behind bars. Nikki cried that she would only be happy when Diane was in a cell of her own. Nikki sighed and said she was tired of talking about Diane.
Nikki changed the subject and asked Victoria about Katie and Johnny. Victoria told her mom about Katie's ballet recital and said she hoped Nikki could attend. Nikki replied, "Of course. I wouldn't miss it." Victoria mentioned Johnny and said that thanks to her son and Billy, she had had to endure "pizza night" at Chelsea's. Victoria said she felt that the new family dynamic would not end well. Nick entered and greeted his mother and sister. Nikki had to leave to join a meeting and rushed out.
Victoria, noticing that her brother seemed distracted and troubled, asked him what was going on. Nick told Victoria that Victor apparently had a plan to "bring Adam home to the company and the family." Nick acknowledged that he and Victoria were well aware that their father's plans would end in disaster. Victoria told Nick she could not imagine why Victor would want Adam to return to Newman Enterprises, explaining that Adam would disrupt everything she had set in place. Nick reminded Victoria that no matter how many times their dad claimed she was in charge, he could not step back from the company. Nick recalled that Victor had said he sensed trouble coming for Adam at Jabot. Victoria asked Nick if he had any idea what their father had in mind. Nick told Victoria that by the look in their father's eyes, he knew Victor was up to no good and was enjoying every second of it.
Victor contacted Jill on a video call. Jill said, "Well, as I live and breathe, Victor Newman. Please don't tell me someone died." Victor replied, "Nice to see you. No one has died. Everyone's alive and well." Jill asked Victor what she had done to deserve his call. Victor told Jill he wished to discuss her upcoming business meeting. Jill quipped that she was not surprised to know that Victor was somehow aware of her private schedule. Victor mentioned to Jill that her meeting was with Sally Spectra. Victor informed Jill that there was something she needed to know.
Abby dropped off Dominic's vitamins at Devon's penthouse. Devon groaned that the tot hated them, and Abby offered to teach Devon a special song to sing while administering them -- after he told her what was on his mind. Devon referred to Chancellor-Winters stuff that was nothing for her to worry about, but Abby reminded him that he didn't have to go through any of it alone. She wondered if he had decided whether to stick with Lily and Jill to take the company public. Devon revealed that he had reached a decision and that Lily was on her way over.
A short time later, Devon invited Lily in, and she was surprised to see Abby there. Abby prepared to leave, but Devon welcomed her to stay. Abby told Lily that the situation had taken a toll on Devon, and Lily was glad her brother had had someone to talk to, since it had been hard on all of them. Lily was determined to find a solution they could all live with, but Devon believed it should be a solution they could all feel good about. He flatly stated that Jill and Lily's offer to buy him out hadn't made him feel good, but Lily protested that he hadn't heard the specifics. Devon announced that it didn't matter, since he'd made up his mind, and his answer was no.
Devon insisted that his decision was personal, not business. Lily argued that she and Jill had found a solution that satisfied both their personal and business issues, but Devon questioned what he'd get out of it. Lily cited money and the company name. Devon spat that he had money and could find a new name, but what mattered to him was what the name represented -- the company he and Neil had built. Devon continued that he had no interest in starting from scratch, and he wanted his company back in its entirety, without any strings.
Devon griped that the problem was that Lily didn't see anything but her own perspective, and Lily recalled that it had been exactly what Nate had said about Devon. Devon pointed out that Nate had left Chancellor-Winters, which was what Devon was trying to do, but Jill and Lily wouldn't let him leave without walking away from the company he'd poured his heart and soul into. Devon cried that it was hurtful, and Lily swore that she was trying to be fair. Devon suggested that Lily and Jill name a reasonable price for whatever they thought they would lose by giving up Hamilton-Winters. Lily reminded him that Jill had made it very clear that she wouldn't break up the companies before Chancellor-Winters went public. Devon threatened to go to court.
Lily was taken aback that Devon wanted to let their lawyers sort it out. Devon admonished Lily and Jill for trying to force the IPO after he'd expressed how he felt about it. Lily pointed out that he'd signed a contract, and she accused him of wanting to back out because he was making it all about him. She demanded to know where he'd learned that he didn't have to keep his word, since it hadn't been from Neil.
Devon insisted that he was simply honoring Katherine and Neil's legacies, but Lily cautioned that his backing out would cause damage to both companies. Devon reiterated that he was keeping the company out of hands they didn't know or trust. Lily declared that there was nothing more to be said, and she sauntered out.
Devon apologized for putting Abby in the middle of things. Abby questioned whether he was prepared to enter a legal battle with his sister and Jill, and she recalled him saying he was worried that things could get ugly. Devon swore that it was the last thing he wanted to happen, but he didn't feel he had a choice. Abby compared the situation to when Devon had decided he wanted to share custody of Dominic and had threatened to take her and Chance to court.
Abby recounted that she, Chance, and Devon had gotten through the tense time because she and Chance had eventually decided it was best for all of them to raise Dominic together, but she hoped Devon didn't think every disagreement would result in his opponent suddenly realizing he was right. Devon reflected on one of the valuable lessons Neil had taught him -- to defend the things he believed in and not back down. Abby advised him to brace himself for what it would probably do to his relationship with Lily. Devon hoped that Lily would eventually realize that it was about honoring their father and preserving the work Devon and Neil had put into the company.
Abby figured that if things didn't work out, Devon could spend family holidays with her and Dominic. Devon inquired whether she really thought Lily wouldn't get past it. Abby pointed out that Adam hadn't been able to get over any of his grievances with his siblings, but Devon countered that Lily was a kind, reasonable person. Abby urged Devon to consider how things would be if Lily never forgave him for dismantling the merger or if he didn't win in court. Devon refused to lose everything he'd worked for his entire life.
At Society, Daniel lectured that Phyllis' unhealthy obsession with Diane was keeping her from focusing on his project. He added that he loved the idea of working with his mother, but he needed to know she could let go of her vendetta. Daniel recognized that no one worked harder or was more creative than Phyllis, but he didn't want her job to be an afterthought. She promised he'd get 97 percent of her, but he insisted that it be all or nothing. Daniel explained that he wanted to work with her not just because of her gaming skills but also because of the way they made her feel, noting that she lit up like a little kid when she played.
Phyllis said she understood it was more than just a business to Daniel. He recalled that he'd created Princess Louisa to take control of his life and figure out a way to move in a positive direction after everything had gone sideways. Daniel reiterated that he wanted to go on that journey together, but he worried that their ship might be dead in the water if the wind didn't start blowing in their direction. Phyllis asked if there was a problem with Chancellor-Winters, since he had previously insinuated that Omega Sphere was in jeopardy.
Daniel assured Phyllis that Lily was still interested in launching the platform and that he had a contract in place. Daniel opted to have faith, but Phyllis thought cold, hard cash and job security would be better. She worried that Chancellor-Winters considered it too much of a risk, and she refused to let that happen to him. Daniel pointed out that it wasn't in her hands, but Phyllis contended that he underestimated her. She added that she fought for her children and listened to them, and she swore she'd taken what he'd said about Diane to heart.
Phyllis agreed that she needed to move on, forget about the past, and focus on what Daniel wanted Omega Sphere to be. Phyllis added that she also didn't want his project to be in corporate limbo, and she suggested that they have a backup plan if Chancellor-Winters didn't get on it. Phyllis proclaimed that they needed a company that saw Omega Sphere for the money-making endeavor it was and would make his vision a reality. Phyllis suggested that they take his project to Newman Media.
Daniel preferred to move ahead under the assumption he and Phyllis would be working under the Chancellor-Winters umbrella. Phyllis argued that they also had to be prepared for the worst, and it was common sense to look into other companies. Daniel stood by his contract with Chancellor-Winters and had faith Lily would do everything she could to keep the project on track. Lily passed by, and Daniel invited her to join them. Daniel sensed something was wrong, and Lily confided that she'd just had a meeting that hadn't gone well.
Daniel guessed the meeting had been with Devon, and Phyllis assumed Lily's issues with her brother had to do with the company. Phyllis flatly asked if Omega Sphere was dead in the water at Chancellor-Winters. Lily regretted that everything was up in the air, and she hoped she could rely on Daniel and Phyllis' patience while Lily worked everything out. Phyllis scowled at the thought of Daniel waiting and wondering, but Lily noted that Daniel had a contract. Daniel figured he could use the time to refine his design.
Lily promised that she wanted to see the project reach fruition. Phyllis pointed out that Daniel had worked hard on it, and he snapped that she wasn't helping. Phyllis implored Lily to understand the effort Daniel had put into the world he'd built, and Lily wished she could tell them more. Phyllis complained about corporate secrets and abruptly left. Daniel anticipated what Lily was about to say, but she told him not to apologize for his mom worrying about him. Lily lamented that it made her miss her own parents.
Daniel offered to fetch Lily something to drink that was stronger than coffee, and she replied that she could use some bourbon after her meeting with Devon. Daniel assumed the negotiations had gone south, but Lily informed him that there had been no negotiation because Devon had firmly rejected the offer to buy him out. Lily expected things to get nasty because she knew Jill wouldn't let Devon take Hamilton-Winters without a fight.
Daniel sympathized that it wasn't easy for Lily to go to war with her own brother. She recounted that Devon had talked about preserving Neil's legacy, but she thought their dad would be horrified by what Devon was doing. Daniel stressed that a lot of people were counting on her to make the right decision, and Lily apologized for keeping him in limbo while she figured things out. She thanked him for being positive when he had every right to be disappointed. Her phone rang, and she stepped away to take a call from Jill. Daniel gazed worriedly out the window.
In his hotel room, Tucker flashed back to canoodling in bed with Ashley after making love, only to have her storm out later after she'd discovered that he'd betrayed both her and Devon. Tucker chugged a drink and smashed the glass against the wall.
Later, at Crimson Lights, Tucker remarked to Victoria that it was a beautiful day. She realized it was dinnertime in Paris, and she envisioned Ashley glancing out at the Eiffel Tower, basking in the fact that she'd escaped him. Victoria imagined Tucker was crushed his plan had failed, and he replied that he was flattered that she'd been thinking of him that much. Victoria quipped that she thought about him as much as anyone thought about an invasive species that was difficult to eradicate, leaving everyone blissfully satisfied when it was gone. Tucker queried whether she was trying to tell him he should leave town.
Victoria reasoned that Ashley was out of reach, and Tucker was out of reasons to stay. Tucker contemplated why he'd leave and deprive himself of the pleasure of one-upping his enemies. Victoria doubted that he'd one-upped anyone that time around, and he told her to give it time. Victoria commented that time was the last thing Tucker needed, since he'd had other people do his dirty work for him. She revealed that she knew he'd had Audra working behind the scenes to worm her way into Chancellor-Winters and report back to him.
Victoria wondered if it had been Tucker's attempt at a coup, but Tucker joked that he was just a lowly species. Billy overheard and demanded to know what Tucker was doing. Tucker assumed Billy was swooping in to protect a damsel. Billy asserted that Victoria could protect herself, but he warned Tucker not to do anything else to mess with Billy's family. Tucker claimed he was just there for the coffee, and he stepped away. Billy pressed to know what the exchange had been about. Victoria replied that it always paid to know what was going on with Tucker McCall, who was a man searching for a battle.
Victoria pondered what Tucker was still doing in Genoa City after he'd struck out both personally and professionally. Victoria suspected that Tucker wanted something, and she couldn't afford to let him fall off her radar. Billy inquired whether she was spreading herself thin by spending energy on Johnny and Chelsea, and he crowed that their pizza night had been a big hit that wouldn't have happened without her. Billy shared that Johnny was planning something else fun for everyone to do together, but Victoria balked at spending more time as a family.
Victoria implored Billy to show her the same compassion he'd given to Chelsea, since the new dynamic was hard on Victoria, too. Billy praised Victoria's parenting as the reason Johnny was adjusting to the new landscape so well, but she acknowledged that she hadn't done it alone. Billy recognized that while they'd tried to teach their kids to share, it wasn't an easy thing to do. Billy sympathized that Victoria was being asked to share part of Johnny's heart with someone else, and he considered it a gift she was giving Chelsea, Connor, and Johnny.
Victoria hoped Johnny hadn't seen how the situation had been affecting her, and Billy applauded her for doing an amazing job keeping it from their son. He pledged to always be there to help with the kids, and he headed out. Tucker rejoined Victoria, and she called him a glutton for punishment. Tucker admitted that he hadn't yet decided who his next victim would be, but he assured her that she'd be the last to know if it was a Newman.
Later, Phyllis entered the coffeehouse as she left a voicemail for Nate, gushing about the glowing things she'd heard since he'd taken over Newman Media. She mentioned that her son had an idea that she thought Nate would find fascinating, and she hoped to pitch it to Nate. After she hung up, she jumped when she saw Tucker sitting at a table, staring at her. She told him not to sneak up on people like that, and he noted that her son's venture at Chancellor-Winters didn't seem to be going very well. Phyllis barked that it was none of Tucker's business, but he replied that it could be -- and definitely should be.
Tucker called Phyllis an astute businesswoman, and he recalled that she'd originally partnered with Abby to run the Grand Phoenix, even though the women hadn't been friends. Tucker was certain that Phyllis was able to separate her personal feelings from business, and he requested that she set aside her personal feelings for him and see the big picture. She invited him to paint it for her. Tucker proclaimed that he wanted Daniel's project to reach fruition, and he advised her not to shop it around when she was right where the universe wanted her. "Right here with me. Let's talk," he said.
In her apartment, Chelsea listened intently to something streaming over her earbuds. She took out her earbuds and smiled. She sent a text message to Billy, asking if he could stop by because she had an idea.
Billy arrived at Chelsea's door, and she enthusiastically invited him in. She rambled that she'd been inspired after listening to a podcast by a person who'd had experience with depression and suicide attempts, and she thought she and Billy could use their own experience with podcasts and mental health crises to create a support system for people. Billy understood the impulse, but he wondered if she was ready to open herself up that way. Chelsea conceded that she had to make sure her therapist approved the idea, but the thought of it excited her. Chelsea couldn't imagine doing anything more important and life-affirming.
Billy agreed to support Chelsea if her therapist thought developing a new podcast was a good idea, but he cautioned that there were some things to consider. Chelsea said she intended to hire a mental health consultant, and she contemplated using pseudonyms. Billy thought staying anonymous might help avoid questions from the parents at Walnut Grove. Chelsea wanted to ensure Johnny and Connor didn't suffer any unwanted attention or bullying, but she fretted that using aliases would reinforce the stigmas around mental illness.
Chelsea thought those stigmas stopped people from getting help and made them feel like they had to hide things. Billy suggested that she talk to Dr. Malone about it. Chelsea urged him to be honest about whether he really thought it was okay to pursue the idea. Billy related to Chelsea's desire to make lemonade out of lemons by helping people who had gone through experiences similar to hers.
Chelsea explained that it felt like suicide and depression were cloaked in shame, keeping people from talking about it and leaving them in a lonely, desolate place. Chelsea was confident that sharing their own stories would help, and she was determined to make sure she did it right. Billy trusted her to figure out what it would entail, and he thought it would be fun to work on something together again. Chelsea chirped that she believed that, too.
At the Grand Phoenix, Michael congratulated Lauren on winning the Lifetime Achievement award for leadership in fashion. Gloria and Kevin arrived and congratulated Lauren, as well. Chloe arrived a few minutes later. Fen arrived with a friend and introduced Trey as his boyfriend.
Fen told Lauren that Trey was a buyer for Fenmore's in Nashville. Trey was delighted to meet Lauren, and he wanted to know all about the woman who'd raised the man he loved. Lauren agreed to tell him and suggested they have a seat because they were in for a ride.
Lauren began by saying she'd been a daddy's girl. She said when her parents had divorced, her father, Neil, had raised her on his own. She said she'd adored her father, but her mother, Joanna, not so much.
Lauren recalled a moment with her mother. Lauren said she'd wanted Joanna to be proud of her, but Joanna hadn't been. Lauren said she understood it was because Joanna had felt trapped in a marriage and in a family she hadn't wanted any part of. Joanna claimed the family hadn't wanted her. Joanna said she'd wished she'd known Lauren had carried those feeling for all those years. Lauren asked if it would have made a difference.
Lauren told Trey that being raised by a selfish, ice queen mother and an indulgent father could have contributed to her being a handful as a teenager. She said back then, her passion had been music, and she'd been very excited to sing with Danny Romalotti. Lauren said it hadn't hurt that Danny had been the cutest guy she'd ever seen. She remembered when Danny had told her he wanted her to sing with him at his next concert, provided she wore more on stage than just her engagement ring.
Lauren told Trey that Danny had been a nicer person than she'd been. When she'd discovered there'd been a rival for his affection, the mean girl in her had surfaced with a vengeance.
Lauren recalled a difficult memory. Lauren told Traci the photo of Lauren and Danny had turned out really well, and she'd given Danny a copy. Lauren smiled and said she'd been getting to know Danny really well, and she would see Traci around. Traci told Lauren not to count on that.
Lauren told Trey that back then, she hadn't been her best self. Lauren said she'd had everything she'd wanted, but she'd been a wild child. She said getting into trouble had been how she'd met her first husband. She recalled that when in a department store, Paul Williams had watched as Lauren had stuffed a sweater into her bag. He'd approached her, pulled the item out of her bag, and told her to go with him. Lauren explained that Paul was their chief of police, but back then, he'd been a private detective.
Lauren recalled another moment from her past. When Lauren saw Paul, she said she thought Paul was working on a case. Paul said he'd changed his plans so he could be with her. Paul claimed even 007 had to take a break occasionally. Lauren purred that Paul was a perfect ten.
Lauren told Trey that Paul was a terrific guy, and his parents had been the salt of the earth. She said Paul's father, Carl, had been a retired police detective, and Paul's mother, Mary, had been very protective of her family. Lauren assumed Trey could imagine how she'd impressed Paul's parents. She told him all about it.
Mary told Lauren there was nothing wrong with not wanting to have children or wanting to stay single, but Lauren had to be up-front about it. Mary said it wasn't about Lauren's values, goals, or what made her happy, but the way Lauren had misrepresented herself. Mary said Paul had picked Lauren to marry him and give him children. Lauren said she and Paul had a great relationship, and she knew what was best for him.
Gloria announced to everyone that she'd always approved of Lauren. She said she doubted if she and Mary would have gotten along. Lauren agreed. Gloria asked why Lauren and Paul's marriage had ended. Lauren said the reason had been Shawn Garrett. Lauren said when she'd met Shawn, he'd been very kind, and he'd said he'd been to all her concerts. Shawn had said he'd wanted to start an official fan club for her, but then he'd become obsessed with her.
Lauren told Trey that Shawn had tried to ruin Danny's career, and if she hadn't divorced Paul, Shawn had said he would kill him. She said she'd divorced Paul to protect him. She claimed she'd tried to have feelings for Shawn, but when Shawn had discovered how she'd really felt, he'd lost it.
Lauren recalled a scary moment with Shawn. Lauren lay unconscious in a graveyard while Shawn dug a hole. Shawn told Lauren that by the time she woke up, it would be too late. He said no one would ever find her or hear from her.
Lauren told Trey that Paul had rescued her when he'd found the coffin Shawn had buried her in. She said after that incident, she'd decided it was time to grow up. Lauren said she'd been in her twenties when her dad had died. It had been a shock because she hadn't been prepared to lose him so soon or take over his life's work.
Lauren remembered a formative moment from after her father's death. Paul read that Neil Fenmore had said that his one and only regret was that his daughter, Lauren, had never joined him in the business. He'd said Lauren was a bright and talented young woman, and she would be a terrific asset to Fenmore's. Paul suggested that Lauren should honor her father's last request. He asked why she didn't take over the business.
Lauren told Trey that she'd been determined to make her dad proud. Michael gloated that Lauren had made the business more successful than it had been. Lauren said that once she'd taken the reins and begun running things, she'd grown into the role very quickly. She said that had been when she'd met her second husband, Scott Grainger, an amazing doctor. She remembered that on their wedding day, Scott had told Lauren he'd never dreamed he could be that happy. Lauren had said he'd brought her peace and security.
Fen told Trey that Dr. Grainger had been Scott's dad, but he'd died when Scott had been very little. Lauren admitted they'd married too soon, and they'd had a lot of problems. Their biggest problem had been a nurse, Sheila, that Scott had been working with. Lauren said Scott had claimed that Sheila was the only woman for him. Lauren claimed she'd believed she could handle anyone or anything, no matter how crazy, but when she'd met Sheila, she'd looked into the face of pure evil.
Lauren recalled a scary episode with Sheila. Lauren warned Sheila that if she kept it up, Sheila would lose big. Sheila asked if Lauren had just threatened her. Lauren admitted she had, and she warned Sheila to stay away from Scott. Lauren said she was a very powerful woman, and Sheila shouldn't forget that. Lauren said she'd warned Sheila to keep her claws away from Scott, or Sheila would have to answer to her.
Later, Scott informed Lauren that Sheila was pregnant with his baby and that she hadn't been involved with anyone else. Lauren lamented that she'd asked Scott several times if he'd been involved with Sheila, and he'd denied it. Scott said the reason he'd told Lauren about the pregnancy was because he wanted to save their marriage, and they couldn't do that unless they were completely honest with each other. Lauren reminded Scott that he'd claimed Sheila was just a good friend. She asked if that had been before or after Scott had slept with Sheila.
Lauren told Trey that she'd been pregnant at that time, as well, but she'd hidden it from Scott. She said her baby boy hadn't survived, and she'd struggled to put the pieces of her life back together. She said Sheila had been vicious and cruel. Sheila stated that Lauren's baby wasn't foremost in her mind. Lauren asked how Sheila could be such a vicious, vile, and hateful person. Lauren attacked Sheila, and they wound up in a catfight.
Lauren told Trey she hadn't grasped how profoundly Sheila had hated her and how far Sheila would go to hold on to Scott. Lauren had been duct taped to a chair. Sheila's mother told Lauren that after Lauren's son had been born, Sheila had switched babies at the hospital. Sheila claimed her mother was delusional, and whatever her mother had to say hadn't made any sense. Sheila's mother screeched that Sheila was a liar.
Sheila claimed her mother had told Lauren an incredible story, and Lauren had believed it. Lauren stated that if what Sheila's mother had said had been true, then her son was still alive. Lauren asked Sheila if it was true. With an evil smile, Sheila admitted it was. Lauren pushed Sheila away with her feet. Sheila fell backwards onto a coffee table, knocked over a lit hurricane lamp, and set the sofa on fire.
Lauren told Trey she'd believe Sheila had perished in that fire, but, in fact, it had become the beginning of decades of torment. Sheila had returned on several occasions, and each time, Sheila had tried to destroy her. Lauren said even though she'd been assured Sheila was dead, she'd never really believe it. Lauren stated that if "that bitch" was ever resurrected and came near her or anyone Lauren loved, Sheila would wish she'd stayed dead.
Lauren told Trey she'd met a lot of incredible people in Los Angeles and learned a lot, but she'd ultimately returned home and met a remarkable man, Michael. Michael claimed some things were meant to be. Kevin agreed. Kevin said he was the reason Michael and Lauren had gotten to know each other.
Kevin told Trey that when he'd met Lauren, he'd been completely smitten with her. He said he'd believed that Lauren had fallen for him as hard as he'd fallen for her. When he'd realized he'd been mistaken, he hadn't handled it well.
Kevin recalled an uncomfortable interaction. He told Lauren that the day they'd met, Lauren had told him how rare it was to find someone who was kind. Lauren had also said that older people were less likely to judge someone before they got to know them. Kevin had asked if any of that had been true or if they had been empty words. Lauren assured him they'd been sincere. Kevin said Lauren hadn't known who he was when she'd said that. He said after he'd told her his name, Lauren had probably remembered the stories she'd heard about him, and she'd assumed the stories had been true. He said Lauren had never given him a chance.
Lauren claimed she wanted to give him a chance, but Kevin shouted not after she'd made a fool out of him. He said no more games, and it would end there.
Kevin told Trey it was fortunate that Lauren was one of the most forgiving people he'd ever known. He said she'd cared about him even though he'd been a total train wreck. Michael said he and Lauren had talked a lot about Kevin, but then they'd realize they couldn't get enough of each other. Lauren admitted she'd fallen madly in love with Michael. Michael admitted he would have been a fool not to ask that amazing woman to marry him. He said he'd offered his heart on a silver platter.
Lauren and Michael recalled their engagement. Lauren told Michael he was the best thing that had ever happened to her. Michael said he knew she was the best thing that had happened to him, and he asked Lauren to marry him. When she said yes, he slipped an engagement ring onto her finger.
Lauren told Trey she'd been on her way to becoming part of the Baldwin/Fisher clan. Kevin said, "And everything that went with it." Gloria said she'd offered to plan the wedding, knowing how skeptical Lauren and Michael were. She said it couldn't have been a more elegant ceremony. Lauren agreed. Michael said his life had grown better that day. He said he hadn't thought his body had had more room for love until Fenmore had been born. He stated Fen had been a miracle. Lauren added that Fen was one of her greatest joys. Michael said their family was growing, especially the Fenmore side. Lauren said she hadn't seen that one coming.
Fen asked if Trey knew that Jill Abbott was Fen's aunt. Fen explained that Lauren hadn't always known that she and Jill were sisters. Lauren admitted that it had been a total shock. She explained that Jill's adoptive mother, Liz, had divulged on her deathbed that Neil Fenmore had been Jill's biological father, and Snapper had told Jill. Lauren said she hadn't believed it when Jill had told her.
Lauren remembered a conversation. Lauren asked Jill how it was possible they were half-sisters. Jill admitted she'd been as shocked as Lauren. Jill said Liz had told Snapper when Liz had been dying because she hadn't wanted the secret to die with her. Jill said Liz had always known that a very poor teenager had dropped Jill off at the hospital. Liz had never known the teenager's name. She said Liz had known the girl's boyfriend had wanted to marry her, but the boy's father and family had objected strenuously. They'd been a well-to-do and influential family, and they'd wanted their son to become successful rather than disgrace the family with an illegitimate child. She said the father had pressured his son until the son had been willing to walk away from the mother and baby. Jill said the boy had been Neil Fenmore.
Michael told Trey the DNA test had proven it was true. Lauren admitted she hadn't been very gracious because she hadn't wanted to welcome Jill into her family. Lauren said eventually, they'd managed to work things out, and they got along well, most of the time.
Lauren recalled one memorable conflict with Jill. Lauren chastised Jill for having had sex with a stranger in Lauren's office. Jill had emphatically stated he hadn't been a stranger, and she failed to see why Lauren was making such a big deal out of it. Michael began to laugh hysterically, and after Lauren and Jill joined him, they all had a good laugh.
Lauren told Trey there was never a dull moment in their family, and they wouldn't have it any other way.
Phyllis arrived. Fen introduced her to Trey. Lauren said if anyone ever decided to write a book about her and Michael, Phyllis deserved a chapter. Phyllis disagreed. She said she liked to think of them as the dynamic trio, and they had a very special bond.
Phyllis shared a memorable moment from her time with Lauren. Phyllis said if Lauren had asked her how she would feel about being pregnant, she would have said it would be the worst thing, but after she'd seen Dr. Thompson, she'd realized how excited she was about that baby. Lauren asked why Phyllis had been to see Dr. Thompson. Phyllis informed Lauren the doctor wanted to do an amnio because she'd been spotting.
Lauren told Phyllis it was easy to have friends during the good times, but when one showed up when things weren't so good, that was when it really counted. Phyllis advised Fen and Trey to learn from Michael and Lauren because they were "relationship gold," and they had an incredible bond. Phyllis said they hadn't been without conflict, but they'd navigated through all their conflicts. She admitted they had a great relationship because they relied on each other, and when one fell, the other one picked them up.
Michael and Lauren recalled a troubling moment from their time together. Michael, with pen in hand, asked Lauren to sign the divorce papers to end things, but Lauren refused. Michael asked her not to make him say things that would hurt her. Lauren asked if the divorce papers didn't hurt enough. Michael said he knew they did, and he wanted the pain to end for both of them. He said the only way that would happen was if Lauren accepted the fact that he didn't want to be with her, and he didn't love her anymore. Lauren said she wouldn't accept that because what they had was real, and she wouldn't give up on it.
Michael told Trey that Lauren was the bravest and fiercest human being he'd ever met, and they were all stronger for it.
Phyllis, Kevin, Gloria, and Chloe left. Fen and Trey said they wanted to check out Noah's club, and they left.
Michael told Lauren that Phyllis had been right about them setting a good example for others. He admitted they'd faced obstacles that would have pulverized other couples.
Michael remembered an early moment in his marriage to Lauren. While on their honeymoon, Michael stood on the beach and watched as the yacht Lauren had been on exploded.
Lauren remembered when Michael had been diagnosed with cancer. Lauren said "in sickness and in health" had been the vows she taken, and she'd meant every word. Michael claimed neither of them had expected that. Lauren shouted it didn't mean she would walk out on him. She said she loved him, and cancer didn't change that. Michael insisted cancer had changed everything.
Lauren had another painful memory. Lauren claimed Michael had shut her down and driven her away to find peace, comfort, and support elsewhere. Michael yelled, "In another man's arms."
Lauren remembered a good memory. Lauren said they'd made it that far because when they'd pledged to love each other forever, they'd meant it. Michael asked if Lauren remembered what she'd been doing a year ago that day. Lauren tried to change the subject, but Michael threatened to withhold her anniversary gift. She searched his pockets and found a jewelry box containing emerald earrings.
Michael vowed to love, honor, and cherish Lauren until the day he died. They kissed and then embraced.
At Crimson Lights, Tucker told Daniel he'd heard great things from Phyllis about Daniel's gaming project. Tucker said he understood that Daniel was looking for a new backer. He offered to hear Daniel's pitch about why he should be Daniel's backer.
Daniel asked if Tucker was serious. Tucker assured Daniel he wouldn't be wasting anyone's time if he wasn't serious. He asked what Daniel was looking for. Daniel said deep pockets and creative freedom. He said Tucker had obviously heard enough from Phyllis to be interested, and he asked Tucker to dazzle him.
Tucker said he was aware Daniel had set things up at Chancellor-Winters, and he wondered why Phyllis had pitched Daniel's project to Newman. Tucker claimed that if Daniel was after control, neither company would be a good investment because he would never have complete autonomy at either company.
Tucker told Daniel he knew what it was like to build something from nothing and the sense of ownership. Daniel said his platform wasn't just a game because its mission was to transform people's lives. Tucker stated he could get behind any platform that was life-affirming, entertaining, and lucrative.
Tucker admitted he knew Daniel's partner and daughter were living in Portugal. Daniel stated he was looking for a corporate partner who didn't pry into something that wasn't his business. Tucker said it was important to understand the whole person, their state of mind, and the people he might be doing business with.
Tucker told Daniel it was nearly impossible to separate the personal from the professional. He said Daniel's circumstances might affect his decision-making. Tucker said his own actions had alienated him from family. He said Daniel's pain from the past was a good motivator to set things right.
Phyllis arrived at Newman Media. Nate asked if they should wait for Daniel. Phyllis said she was there as the advance team to gauge the interest. She said if they showed interest, she would set up a meeting with Daniel. Phyllis told Nate that Daniel had created a gaming platform that was innovative and creative and had the potential to be incredibly lucrative. She said it appealed to the young and old, and it was emotionally and psychologically productive. Phyllis reminded Nate that she was a gamer, and she knew when something worked.
Nate said he loved what he'd heard. Audra guessed that other corporations were interested if it was as good as Phyllis claimed. She asked if they'd been the first company Phyllis had approached or if she was trying to start a bidding war. Phyllis said when there was a lot of interest about a project, people talked, and it became a hot commodity. She said she'd approached them to see if they wanted in on the ground floor.
Nate informed Phyllis that before he made a move on an investment of that magnitude, he had to meet with Daniel. Audra agreed. Phyllis said she would set up a meeting with Daniel if there was a real interest in his project. Phyllis left.
Nate told Audra he'd liked what he'd heard. Audra said Daniel already had his project set up at Chancellor-Winters, but she didn't have any details. She said Lily and Devon had made plans to build an entire gaming division around Daniel's idea. Nate asked why Phyllis had approached them. Audra said it didn't make sense unless Phyllis and Daniel were about to double-cross Lily and Devon or they were trying to inflate their offer with a counteroffer. Nate wondered if things at Chancellor-Winters might be in flux. He said he'd heard enough to be interested, but he wouldn't be used as a pawn in a chess match. Audra said Phyllis struck her as a loose cannon.
At Society, Billy asked Lily how things had gone with Devon. Lily said she missed talking shop with Billy, but she'd already shared more with Billy than she should have. Lily asked if Billy had figured out his next life move. Billy admitted he had a few ideas, but he missed running them by Lily. He invited Lily for coffee, but Lily said she had a very busy day ahead.
Lily said she hoped Billy understood that nothing she did at Chancellor-Winters was because of him. Billy thanked her and added he was sorry about everything Lily was going through, but he knew she would figure it out. Lily left.
In Los Angeles, Sally told Chloe she couldn't believe Jill had canceled on her. Sally said she wanted to stay in L.A. in case Jill changed her mind. After Sally ended her call, she recalled the conversation she'd had with Nick about her pregnancy when Nick had asked if there was a chance Sally had morning sickness. Sally had said she hadn't wanted to tell Nick until she'd been certain, and she'd told Nick she was pregnant.
Sally received a call from Nick. He said he'd wanted to hear her voice and let her know he'd been thinking about her. Nick asked how Sally felt. Sally assured him she was better but a little shaky. Nick suggested she might be nervous because of her meeting with Jill. Sally claimed she was a little distracted. Nick admitted he was, as well.
Sally apologized to Nick for dropping such huge news on him and immediately boarding a flight to California. He said Sally shouldn't be concerned about it because she had a lot on her plate. He suggested that Sally take care of herself, the baby, and her meeting with Jill.
Sally told Nick that if she and Chloe made a deal with Chancellor-Winters, she might have to move to L.A. She asked how Nick felt about that. Nick asked if Sally could live there again. Sally said it might be the best thing for her professionally. Nick said if that was the best thing for Sally, they would make it work. Nick said no matter what happened, he would support Sally's decision.
Sally told Nick she wouldn't move back to L.A. because she felt Genoa City was her home, and she belonged there with Nick. Nick assured Sally that she and Chloe would dazzle Jill. He said Sally had a great idea, and Jill wanted to work with her. She said she was lucky to have him in her life, and so was the baby.
After Sally ended the call, she had a momentary flashback to the last time she and Adam had had sex.
At the Abbott home, Diane smiled as she recalled the previous night, making love with Jack, and Jack saying everything felt "so right."
Jack entered the room and asked Diane about her smile. He guessed it was probably the same reason he had a smile on his face. Jack was about to kiss Diane, but she stopped him. Kyle and Summer were on the stairway, staring at them. Summer commented that Diane was there awfully early. Jack said Diane had spent the night. Kyle asked if Jack was still worried about Diane's safety and if Harrison was in any danger.
Jack assured Kyle that Stark was being held without bail, and they were safe. Jack told Kyle and Summer that his relationship with Diane had taken a romantic turn. Diane asked how they felt about it. Kyle said they'd wondered if that might happen because they'd seen the signs of Jack and Diane getting closer, but they'd never believed it would happen.
Diane told Kyle that when she'd returned to town, it had been solely for the purpose of connecting with Kyle. She said she'd never expected Jack to forgive her for the past. She said she was beyond grateful that he'd been able to appreciate the changes she'd made in her life. Summer and Kyle didn't look happy. Jack said it might be premature to analyze everything at that moment, but he felt it was important for Kyle and Summer to know Diane was family and welcome in the Abbott home.
Kyle told Jack and Diane he didn't know how he felt about everything and was not fully embracing the idea of Jack and Diane reuniting. He said they seemed happy. Jack said he wanted Kyle and Summer to be pleased for him and Diane. Summer reminded Kyle they had to get to their breakfast meeting. They left.
Diane told Jack she didn't think Kyle was happy. She said she'd lost a lot of ground with Kyle, and he was wary of her motives after the Stark mess. She said she felt Kyle was afraid she would hurt Jack again. Jack wished Kyle would believe there wasn't any chance of that happening. Diane told Jack she would never do anything to drive him away again. She said after being alone all those years, she knew what it was like losing Jack and Kyle, and she'd never put herself through that again. They kissed.
After a little afternoon delight, Jack assured Diane that once Kyle had time to process things, he would come around. Jack told Diane he would be by her side to make sure Kyle knew how happy they were.
At Society, Kyle told Summer he'd been more thrown about his parents than he'd let on. Summer said Phyllis had been right; Diane had had her sights on Jack all along. Kyle asked if Summer thought Diane had returned for Jack. Summer stated that Diane had returned for Kyle. She said Diane's love for Kyle and Harrison wasn't in question, but Kyle had to admit that reuniting with Jack was a perk. Kyle said given their history, he could root for that.
Kyle told Summer he was worried that if things fell apart between Jack and Diane, Jack would be devastated. He wished they'd kept things platonic. Summer agreed that would have been a lot simpler for everyone. Kyle said perhaps it had been inevitable because they'd bonded over being parents and grandparents, and they'd worked together to get rid of Stark. He said he'd seen the signs, but he felt it had been too fast. Summer said the adrenaline from the Stark caper had escalated things, and there was nothing more intoxicating than a little danger.
Billy arrived and greeted Summer and Kyle. He asked Kyle how Stark's arrest had happened. Kyle said Stark had stolen a necklace from Nikki and Victor's apartment in Chicago; the police had found his prints there, and since he'd already been in the database, it had been easy to locate him and incarcerate him. Billy said it seemed odd that a high-stakes money launderer had gotten busted for stealing jewelry. Kyle suggested that Stark's time in prison had made him a more diversified criminal. Billy left.
Kyle told Summer that Billy hadn't bought the story nor had Nikki and Chance. Summer reminded him that she'd said it was a bad plan from the start. Kyle said he'd known how Summer had felt, but if she hadn't insisted that he stay out of it, he might have helped his parents come up with a better solution.
Summer told Kyle she wanted to return to a normal life, lead Marchetti, and enjoy married life with their wonderful son. Summer asked if Kyle had made a decision about helping Victor force Adam to fail at Jabot. Kyle said Victor only wanted Adam to receive a little push out of Jabot. Summer warned him about allowing Victor to manipulate him.
Kyle told Summer he'd agreed to help only if no one would find out about it and for those textile mills for Marchetti. Summer suggested there were other ways to gain control of them. She asked if Kyle's motivation was his hatred of Adam, and she would hate it if Kyle damaged his relationship with Jack over it. Kyle said he would only do it if he was sure Jack wouldn't find out. Summer said no one, including Victor, could guarantee that. Kyle agreed. At that moment, he received a text message from Victor: "Let's meet to discuss next steps."
At the coffeehouse, Lily stopped in the doorway to eavesdrop on Tucker and Daniel's conversation.
Tucker said he knew that Daniel's adventure wasn't about money or subscriptions because Daniel wanted to do something meaningful and important, and he wanted to show his family he could learn from his mistakes. Tucker said he would like to help Daniel achieve that goal.
When Lily had heard enough, she approached and told Tucker that Daniel was under contract with her. Tucker admitted he was aware, but apparently, Chancellor-Winters had hit a snag, and the IPO was holding up any up-and-coming projects. He said they would sit around in limbo while Lily fixed her company's problem. Lily reminded Tucker that he'd been responsible for those snags and problems.
Lily accused Tucker of planting Audra in their office. She said Devon had figured out that Tucker had planned to take over Chancellor-Winters. Lily told Daniel he couldn't trust Tucker. She said Tucker had been willing to betray his own son, and he wouldn't have a problem betraying Daniel. Tucker asked Daniel to think about what he'd said. Tucker left.
Lily asked if Daniel was thinking about breaking their contract. She said she wanted to make Omega Sphere feel real. Daniel assured Lily he didn't want to back out of their deal, but the hold because of the IPO had made him nervous. Daniel told Lily that Tucker had approached him because Phyllis had put a bug in his ear.
Lily wanted Daniel's assurance that he hadn't bought anything Tucker had said. She said she understood that Daniel wanted to get things moving, but she couldn't move forward with any projects until she'd figured out the IPO. Daniel said he wanted nothing more than to move forward with Lily. She asked Daniel to give her a week to make it happen, and if she didn't, she would let him out of his contract.
Nate and Audra walked in, and Lily sarcastically acknowledged how amazing it was that they'd both landed on their feet. She said it was obvious the company they worked for had questionable business ethics. Nate ignored Lily and told Daniel he liked what he'd heard from Phyllis about Daniel's gaming venture. Nate said he was eager to hear from Daniel directly. Lily interrupted. She asked if Daniel had had Phyllis talk to Nate while he'd talked to Tucker. Angry, Daniel said he'd had nothing to do with any meeting at Newman Media and that Phyllis had acted prematurely and on her own. He said he would make sure Phyllis was better informed about his goals. Daniel stormed out.
Later, Billy arrived at the coffeehouse. Billy approached Nate and said he'd believed Nate had really cared about his family, but he'd been wrong. He said Nate had fully embraced the cruelest cliché of the sleezy executive. He said Nate had stabbed his family in the back, jumped into Newman Enterprises, and hired Audra. Billy said he'd given Nate far too much credit, and he left.
At the Grand Phoenix, Tucker told Phyllis he'd seen the wisdom of bringing Daniel on board after he'd had an interesting conversation with him. Phyllis accused Tucker of going behind her back after being warned to stay away from Daniel. Tucker asked if Phyllis hadn't gone behind Daniel's back to pitch the business to Newman Media. Phyllis told Tucker she and Daniel wanted nothing to do with him. Tucker said it was Daniel's project, and Phyllis was along for the ride.
In Phyllis' suite, Daniel said he knew what Phyllis had done, and he needed to set her straight. He said he appreciated that she'd tried to help him, but he wouldn't risk what he potentially had with Lily and Chancellor-Winters. He said they weren't partners. He said Phyllis worked for him, and he was once again questioning why he'd hired Phyllis.
At the Abbotts', Diane told Summer and Kyle how she'd proven her loyalty and her desire to resume her criminal life with Stark. Summer suggested that Stark might have been setting Diane up. Diane said Jeremy had believed they were going to reconnect physically. She said that while Jeremy had been in the shower, she'd planted the evidence Jack had given her, and she'd left.
Jack told Summer and Kyle that Chance had obtained a warrant to search Stark's suite, and he'd found the necklace and the other evidence connecting Stark to the theft. He said Stark had been arrested and turned over to the Chicago Police Department. Gloating, Diane said they were finally rid of that "horrible man." She claimed they could return to their normal lives. Kyle growled that he wasn't happy with how everything had gone down.
Diane told Kyle that Jeremy had violated his parole and committed a crime, and he would go back to prison. Summer asked what would happen if Jeremy had a solid alibi for the night of the burglary. Jack maintained it had been worth the risk. Jack claimed if their plan was going to work, they'd had to move quickly. Summer asked if they should be happy about Jack breaking the law and lying to the police. Jack countered that Stark had been a genuine threat to all of them, and they had to eradicate him from the lives. Kyle said that would only happen if the charges stuck. He said Stark could post bail and retaliate.
At Crimson Lights, Chance informed Sharon that Victor's apartment in Chicago had been broken into. Sharon asked why Chance was involved, since it had happened out of state. Chance explained that it had involved Jeremy Stark, a paroled ex-con who was connected to Diane Jenkins. Sharon whispered that there had been a lot of speculation about what Diane had done all those years in California.
Chance told Sharon that because Stark had been staying in town, the Chicago Police Department had requested assistance. Chance said Stark was considered a flight risk, and they'd wanted him picked up immediately. Chance said he'd searched Stark's room, and he'd found the necklace and other evidence connecting him to the crime. He said he'd arrested Stark and taken him to Chicago. Sharon said it sounded very cut and dried. Chance agreed but admitted it wasn't sitting right with him.
Chance told Sharon that Stark had been paroled after serving six years of a ten-year prison sentence for money laundering. Chance asked why Stark would be charged with theft. Sharon asked if Stark's M.O. had given Chance pause. Chance admitted all the pieces had fit, and on paper, it had been a solid arrest. He said everyone in Chicago seemed satisfied. Chance said he didn't like how easily things had fallen into place or that Stark had only taken one piece of jewelry. Sharon agreed that Stark should have walked away with everything he could carry. Chance said he wondered why Nikki Newman had been the target. He also wondered what the connection was.
Sharon told Chance it might have been that Nikki was wealthy with a high profile, and there would have been a lot there worth stealing. Chance questioned why Chicago. He said Stark had ranted that Diane and Jack had framed him because they wanted him out of town. Chance said he wouldn't normally have paid attention, but there had been a certain bitterness in Stark's voice that kept eating at him. He said it felt like the whole thing had been contrived. Sharon agreed.
Chance asked Sharon if he was supposed to walk away, ignore his doubts, and trust that the legal system would do its job. He asked if Stark was going to get a fair trial or an adequate defense in front of an impartial judge. Chance admitted he'd put the job above everything else at huge personal cost. He said he'd believed in what he was doing. Sharon said she'd seen a lot of rules bent and laws broken by people she loved and respected. She said sometimes it had been done for her benefit. Sharon reminded him that things weren't always black and white, and compromises had to be made. She said Chance had to internalize in order to continue doing his job and doing what was right. She said that was the only thing he could control.
Sharon suggested that Chance was in a situation he no longer wanted to be in. She asked Chance what he would want to do if he were to change his career. Chance said he had no idea because his whole life had been in public service -- soldier, federal agent, and detective. Sharon was sure there were all kinds of fields he could explore. She offered some silly suggestions, which had Chance laughing. He thanked Sharon for that and remarked that she was good at getting him out of his head. Sharon was happy he felt comfortable enough to be silly with her.
Chance told Sharon he'd received a text message from the Chicago Police Department, and he had to follow up on Stark's arrest. Chance admitted he was reluctant to leave. Sharon told him to take care of business while she thought about all the career paths he could consider. Chance smiled, and he left.
Nikki arrived at the Abbotts' home. Jack asked if Nikki had been informed about the theft in Chicago. Nikki said she had. Jack said the thief had been Jeremy Stark. Stunned, Nikki asked why Stark would do that. Jack said he assumed Stark had stolen the necklace to set Diane up. Diane said Stark believed she'd turned him in to the Feds. Nikki knew the police were following up about some reading glasses.
Nikki asked how Jack knew so much about the theft. Jack explained that he and Diane had gone to speak with Stark just as Chance had been about arrest Stark. Nikki said she found the timing interesting. Nikki looked pointedly at Diane when she asked why a convicted felon would go to Chicago to steal from her. Jack said the good news was that Stark had been arrested with Nikki's necklace on him. Nikki snarked that it had been very lucky for Diane.
Diane said it was ironic that Nikki's misfortune had saved Diane. Nikki said she was curious how Stark had gotten into her apartment so easily. She said there hadn't been any signs of a break-in, and Stark seemed to have known the codes to the alarm. Nikki realized the codes hadn't changed from when she and Jack had spent time there. Chance arrived.
Nikki thanked Chance for his work on her behalf. Nikki said she was curious how Stark had been able to figure out the code. She asked if Chance had any theories on how Stark had accessed the apartment. She asked if Stark had used an electronic gadget to bypass the alarm. Chance said no. He couldn't explain it.
Chance told Jack that Stark had been very loud in proclaiming his innocence. Chance said Stark had played by the rules while he'd been in Genoa City. Nikki said she had to leave. Chance promised to keep Nikki updated about her necklace.
Chance told Jack and Diane that Stark had been arraigned earlier, and the judge had denied bail. Jack and Diane breathed a sigh of relief. Chance said Stark was no amateur. He said it made no sense, and it seemed odd that Stark would have been so careless about breaking into an apartment and stealing one necklace. He said Stark had also left his reading glasses behind while committing grand larceny. He asked if there was anything else that Jack or Diane could tell him about the incident.
Jack said they couldn't shed any additional light on the situation. Jack said Stark had been threatening Diane since his arrival in Genoa City. Jack opined that Stark had to have been infuriated that Diane wouldn't play his game. Chance said it was his job to handle men like Stark and not people who believed their wealth and position gave them carte blanche to maneuver any situation to their benefit. Jack said the Chicago police and the reigning judge had found everything aboveboard, and they were proceeding accordingly. Chance agreed that was how it looked. Chance left.
Jack gleefully told Diane that Jeremy was gone for good. Diane said she was overwhelmed in a good way, and she felt free. She said it wouldn't have happened without Jack. He said he'd known that at times Diane had been afraid, but she hadn't needed anyone to save her from the situation. He said he'd been happy to provide his support. They kissed and wound up in bed together.
At Jabot, Adam demanded to know why Victor was looking for Kyle. Victor said he wanted to finish his discussion with Kyle about Summer and Harrison. Adam reminded Victor that at Society, Victor had admitted that Adam had been the topic of the day. Victor claimed Adam had been mentioned in passing. Adam said he wanted to know what was really going on. Victor reiterated that he was there to talk about Harrison, since he was part of the next generation of Newmans.
Victor asked Adam why there always had to be an argument between them. Adam said he knew Victor hated that Adam was working with Jack at Jabot. He said Kyle believed Jack had only given him the job to stick it to Victor. He said Kyle would love it if he wasn't there. Victor admitted Adam was right.
Victor boasted that Adam was a very talented businessman, something he'd said on a number of occasions. Adam asked if Victor had hoped to hear that Adam had crashed and burned. Victor asked "why the hell" Adam was at Jabot, selling lipstick and makeup. Adam asked if Victor wanted Victoria to give him some rinky-dink position so he could be under Victor's thumb at Newman. Adam declared that that wouldn't happen.
Victor greeted Summer and Kyle when they arrived. He asked Kyle to give him a minute before starting his day. Adam told Kyle it was sad how Kyle allowed Victor to pull his strings. Kyle said he had no idea what Adam was talking about. Victor entered Jack's office. Adam said Summer had to be proud that her husband did whatever Victor wanted. Summer said she hated to disappoint Adam's massive ego, but Kyle was making Valentine's Day plans and had asked Victor for a favor. Kyle joined Victor in Jack's office.
Adam claimed he felt for Summer because she'd been dragged into the family machinations yet again. Summer commented that Adam's paranoia was working overtime. Adam claimed he knew what was going on behind the closed door, and it had nothing to do with Valentine's Day. Adam claimed Victor wanted to humiliate him, and Victor was capitalizing on Kyle's animosity toward him. Summer asked how exactly Victor would do that. Adam said Victor would manipulate Kyle by making it seem they both wanted the same thing, and they'd work together to give Adam the heave-ho. Adam said Victor had a way of corrupting the most upstanding people.
Summer told Adam that Kyle didn't need to work with Victor to push Adam out the door. She said history had proven that Adam could ruin things without anyone's help. Summer walked away.
In Jack's office, Kyle apologized to Victor for not returning his calls. He explained that Diane had been going through some serious issues recently, and he'd been focused on that. Victor assumed it had something to do with Stark. Victor sad that when Kyle had realized there was a connection between Diane and Stark, it should have triggered alarm bells, and Kyle should have severed all ties with Diane.
Kyle asked how Victor could ask him to cut ties with his mother. Victor asked if Kyle had ever given any thought to what his life would be like if Diane hadn't returned. Kyle said he'd thought Victor was there about Adam. Victor claimed Adam didn't belong at Jabot because his place was with his family. Victor said Kyle had to hate that Adam was running Jabot with Jack. Kyle said he and Summer didn't report to Adam, and Adam had no authority over Marchetti. Kyle said they rarely crossed paths. Kyle admitted Adam hadn't been his first choice when Jack had been hiring to replace him as co-CEO.
Kyle said Adam might be competent at his job, but he would never trust Adam. Kyle said they didn't get along, and Kyle saw Adam as arrogant and disrespectful. Kyle added that he didn't appreciate the constant drama that swirled around Adam -- it was negative energy no one needed. Kyle asked how Victor proposed they get Adam out of Jabot and back to Newman.
Victor told Kyle he only wanted Adam to realize he had made a mistake and didn't belong at Jabot. Victor said he wanted Kyle to make sure Adam took a big fall. Victor said Adam would fall, then Victor would present Adam with an opportunity to pick himself up and make things right. Victor said he needed Kyle's assistance to facilitate his plan. Kyle said he wanted something in return.
In Sally's suite, Chloe commented on how the pregnancy was affecting Sally. Chloe said Sally would get through it. She said she'd brought Sally something that would help her feel better before her meeting with Jill. Nick startled Sally and Chloe when he knocked on the door.
Nick told Chloe he knew they had a big presentation coming up, and he wanted to wish them luck. Nick commented that Sally wasn't looking her best. He asked if it was the stomach bug again. Chloe jumped in and claimed that the virus going around was a real killer, and her kids had had it a couple of times. Sally claimed it was probably all the junk food and late nights.
Nick asked what Sally's symptoms were, but Sally asked for Nick and Chloe to leave because she had to get ready. Chloe assured Sally she had everything dialed in for their pitch. She said Sally needed very little time to get through her pitch. Chloe told Nick they needed to leave, but Nick said he needed to talk to Sally. After Chloe left, he asked Sally if there was more to the bug than Sally was letting on. Sally said there was a lot riding on her presentation, and she'd been working really hard to get everything ready.
Nick reminded Sally he'd seen her deal with pressure before, and things appeared to be more than just nerves. He mentioned that Sally hadn't wanted to have a drink with him the previous evening. Nick asked if there was a chance it was morning sickness. Sally admitted she was pregnant but hadn't wanted to say anything yet. Nick asked how Sally felt about the pregnancy. She said she was trying to wrap her head around it.
Nick asked why Sally hadn't said anything earlier. Sally confessed she'd been overwhelmed. She said she knew what people thought of her, and the pregnancy was confirmation. Nick said it was just between him and Sally, no one else. Sally reminded Nick that she'd tried to manipulate a guy in Los Angeles. She asked why Nick wouldn't think she was trying to manipulate him. Nick said he didn't think that. Sally said they were supposed to take things slow, and it wasn't the way things were supposed to go. She said she liked Nick a lot, and she'd wanted things to be easy, sweet, and sexy a little longer. She said the pregnancy had changed everything.
Nick told Sally not to assume the worst. Sally admitted she'd been in denial, and she'd been on overload since she'd found out. She said on top of that, she felt crummy. She asked Nick to be in denial with her for the moment because she wasn't ready to deal with everything that came next. Nick told her not to stress, and they would figure it.
Chance returned to the coffeehouse and appeared very frustrated. Chance told Sharon he'd had a conversation that had reenforced every nagging doubt he'd had about his job in law enforcement. He said it had made him realize he couldn't do it anymore.