In a dimly lit corner table at an upscale, romantic restaurant, Paul mentioned a surprise he had planned for Christine. Christine replied, "I love surprises." She appeared quite surprised when Paul slipped a diamond ring on her finger and said, "Would you marry me?" After a long pause, Christine cried, "I'm speechless." Paul acknowledged that he'd caught Christine off guard. She admitted that she couldn't recall ever having been so stunned. Paul pressed Christine for an answer. She admitted she didn't know what to say. He replied, "Well, at least you're not saying no." Christine told Paul he couldn't imagine all the things she was feeling.
Paul acknowledged that he and Christine hadn't discussed marriage, adding that there were also a lot of things they hadn't yet done together. Christine replied, "True." Paul said, "Well, for the record, it's not for a lack of desire." Paul told her he thought she was the most incredible woman in the world. Christine admitted she felt overwhelmed.
Paul told Christine to take all the time she needed. Paul invited Christine to dance. He held her close as they danced. After the dance ended, Christine admired her ring and reminded Paul she hadn't given him an answer. Paul told Christine to take time to think things over. He promised her that he'd love her no matter what decision she made. Christine drew close to Paul and kissed him on the lips.
At the tack house on the Newman ranch, Victoria thanked her husband, Cole Howard, for defending her. Cole, frustrated, replied, "Yeah, as many of those magazines as your father had bought up and gotten rid of, they're still out there to haunt us." Victoria, acknowledging her role in having posed nude, which had led to the publication of her photos in a magazine, replied, "This isn't going to last forever. Look, next month, there will be a new centerfold. I'll be old news." Cole told Victoria not to count on it. Victoria defended herself and explained that she'd done nothing to encourage the publication. Cole continued to blame Victoria for having posed nude in the first place. He remained sullen and went to take a shower.
After Cole emerged from his shower, Victoria asked him if he felt better. Cole replied, "I'm okay." Victoria encouraged Cole to eat, noting that she'd set out chicken, sandwiches, and coffee. Cole grabbed a fried chicken leg, turned his back to Victoria, and took a bite. Victoria cried, "I did this stupid thing, and now my husband can't even talk to me." Victoria told Cole she was doing her best to make amends, though there wasn't much she could do to change things. Cole apologized and admitted he was having trouble dealing with it.
Victoria recalled an instance earlier in the evening when a man had leered at her as if she were a piece of meat. Victoria cried that she'd hated it. Cole agreed and said he'd hated what the man had said to her. Victoria told Cole she'd thought their relationship had been making progress until they'd encountered more of the same issues as before. Victoria expressed regret that their perfect evening out on the town had turned into a nightmare.
Victoria said she'd understand if Cole was no longer comfortable living with her anymore. He said he'd hoped she was right about the whole thing soon blowing over. Victoria asked Cole if he'd eventually be fine with it. Cole replied, "I hope so. I really hope so, Vicki." Victoria sadly noted that it appeared as though Cole wouldn't be fine with it ever.
At Nina and Ryan's house, Nina's mother, Florence Webster, was shocked when Nina showed her Victoria's nude photo in the centerfold of a magazine. Florence said, "Didn't she and Ryan have some kind of sexual problems when they were married?" Nina recalled that Victoria had either been frigid or close to it. Nina said she couldn't imagine that Cole had encouraged Victoria to have nude photos published. Florence tossed aside the magazine and asked Nina why it mattered to her. Nina explained that she'd found the magazine in Ryan's office when she'd gone there to drop something off.
Florence defended Ryan by claiming that he'd simply been curious. Nina seemed doubtful and cried, "Yeah, I wonder what would happen if I weren't pregnant?" Florence implored Nina not to worry. Nina remained concerned and reminded Florence that Ryan had once been in love with Victoria. Before Florence left, she told Nina to not think about the magazine and to instead focus on welcoming Ryan home from his trip. Nina held up the magazine, frowned, and said, "Unbelievable."
When Ryan entered, Nina stashed the magazine behind a pillow on the sofa. Ryan set down his suitcase and greeted Nina with a kiss. Ryan asked Nina about their unborn baby. Nina replied, "He's doing fine." Ryan was in a good mood and told Nina how Neil had approved of decisions he'd made on his own when he'd been unable to consult with Neil.
Ryan pulled Nina close, stroked her hair, and kissed her neck. Nina pulled away and expressed concern that their lovemaking might awaken Phillip. Ryan replied, "He's slept through it before." Nina claimed she felt queasy and didn't feel like making love. Ryan teased that he'd take a cold shower instead and assured Nina that the best things were worth waiting for.
Nina offered to make coffee, but Ryan said he'd rather have iced tea. After Nina went to the kitchen, Ryan made himself comfortable on the sofa. Ryan found the magazine behind the pillow. Ryan, looking puzzled, was still holding the magazine when Nina returned with two glasses of iced tea. Ryan asked Nina why she had the magazine. Nina replied, "Well, that's funny. I was about to ask you the same question."
In the lab at Jabot, Mari Jo Mason, who was Jack's fiancée, and Jack met with Ashley to discuss new ideas for the men's line. Jack checked his watch and noted that his day had been too long already. Mari Jo said she'd taken along a few designs she'd done for a former client to use as inspiration. Ashley changed the subject and asked the couple if they'd made wedding plans. Jack teased that his bride-to-be was stalling. Mari Jo insisted she was "ready yesterday." Ashley said she and Blade would be glad to help. Mari Jo replied that she was glad and would be calling on Ashley and her husband. Jack agreed that they'd take all the help they could get.
Mari Jo was called away, and she kissed Jack before she exited the lab. Jack told Ashley he was crazy about Mari Jo. Ashley replied, "I can tell." Jack spotted a painting of a yellow building bearing a sign onto which was painted "tavern." Jack made a face and told Ashley the framed painting didn't belong in the lab. Ashley reminded Jack that she'd received the painting as a wedding gift. Jack said the painting had always bothered him, and he asked Ashley if she'd determined who'd sent the gift. Ashley said she hadn't, though she acknowledged that she liked having the painting in the lab.
After Jack left, Ashley opened a portfolio. She removed two watercolor paintings, each depicting men posing casually. Ashley studied the paintings. Glancing across the room, Ashley compared the two paintings to the one hanging on the wall. Focusing on the signatures appearing on the lower corners of the paintings, Ashley noted that someone had signed the name "Marilyn" on each of the paintings.
At Sharon and Doris Collins' modest efficiency apartment, Doris smoothed frosting on her daughter's birthday cake. Sharon admired the cake adorned with sugar flowers and told her mother she'd outdone herself. Doris said she wished she could do more. Sharon told her mom that her love and support were the best gifts a girl could have. Doris replied, "Still, I wish we had a nicer place, so you could bring your friends back here for your party."
Sharon assured her mom that the coffeehouse would be fine. Sharon counted the candles on the cake and reminded her mom there should only be 18 because her friends believed she would be turning 18 not 19. Doris sighed and replied, "If you say so."
Sharon mentioned that she was considering getting a second job. Doris wouldn't hear of it and told Sharon that her senior year in high school was an important time in a young person's life. Sharon insisted they needed the money. Doris reminded Sharon that she was already a year behind in graduating and didn't need to carry two jobs.
After Doris mentioned college, Sharon told her mom that college tuition wasn't affordable. Sharon reminded her mother that her upcoming surgery would be costly, especially without insurance coverage, which was soon to end. Doris moved her wheelchair closer to Sharon and replied, "We'll worry about that when the time comes. This is your birthday. We're not going to let my problems spoil your day."
Nick phoned Sharon and wished her a happy birthday. Nick asked Sharon who all she expected to be at her birthday party. Sharon replied, "You and Amy, Jay and Cindy, and Matt and me." Nick, sounding frustrated, replied, "Matt's with you?" Nick invited Sharon to move her party to the ranch to enjoy the pool. Sharon was excited about having her party at Nick's, but she expressed concern about Matt and Nick, recalling that they'd fought in the past. Nick promised that there wouldn't be trouble as long as Sharon's boyfriend kept his distance.
Nick cordially extended his invitation to Doris, but Sharon explained that her mother was worn out. After Sharon hung up, she told Doris about her party plans. Sharon told her mom that Nick had invited her. Sharon said she'd explained that her mother didn't enjoy going out at night. Doris said, "Sharon, I see that look in your eye. Are you planning something? You know what I mean." Sharon, looking determined, claimed she was only planning to have a great time on her birthday.
On the patio at the Newman ranch, Miguel had set up festive tables filled with finger foods and baskets of flowers. Amy asked, "What's all this?" Nick said he'd offered to let Sharon hold her birthday party at his house, noting that the get-together could also be his farewell party. Amy seemed disappointed and said she'd already planned something for them as a couple. Nick assured Amy that they'd have a great time. Nick thanked Miguel for putting together the party on short notice.
Nick and Amy were kissing when Sharon and Matt arrived. Matt asked Nick where he should set Sharon's cake. After Nick and Matt walked away, Sharon told Amy it was cool that Nick had invited her to have her birthday party at the ranch. Amy explained that Nick just wanted to see his friends before he departed for Switzerland. Matt asked Nick what he was trying to pull by hosting Sharon's party. Nick told Matt that if he had a problem with it, he could leave.
Nick turned his attention to arriving guests and welcomed Jay and Cindy. After the party guests changed into swimsuits, Nick asked Sharon if she wanted anything. Sharon glared at Amy and said, "How about some of those sausage dealies?" Nick replied, "Sausage dealies. All right." Sharon sashayed behind Amy and walked toward Nick as he placed sausages in blankets on a plate. Matt scowled at Nick. Nick said the main thing he'd miss while in Switzerland would be Miguel's cooking. Amy replied, "The main thing, Nick?" Nick added that he'd also miss American women.
When Nick mentioned dancing, Amy whisked Nick away. Sharon glared at Amy as she danced with Nick. Sharon's friends lit the candles on her cake and told her to blow them out. Nick reminded Sharon to make a wish first. After Sharon blew out her candles, she thanked Nick for making her birthday special.
Amy piped up and announced that she and her friends would miss Nick after he returned to Switzerland. Amy added, "We've had a dynamite summer, and I hope you won't forget us." Amy instructed Nick to keep away from "Swiss babes" before she began kissing him on the lips. Matt wished Sharon a happy birthday and began kissing her on the lips.
After Sharon began cutting and serving slices of cake, Nick stepped up to get a piece. Sharon thanked Nick again and said, "So, you go to Switzerland tomorrow?" Nick admitted he wasn't excited about it. Sharon said, "Well, if you're not that excited, how come you're going?" Before Nick could respond, Sharon walked away and asked Matt to dance. Nick couldn't take his eyes off Sharon, clad in a bikini, dancing and swaying in Matt's arms.
Later, Nick phoned Sharon at home. Nick said, "Listen, what you said before about going to Switzerland -- if I'm not excited, why go -- what did you mean?" Sharon replied, "Just what I said. Why spend all the money and travel halfway around the world if you don't want to?" Nick explained that it wasn't solely his decision. Sharon said if it wasn't, then there was no point in even thinking about staying.
Nick replied, "What if it is my decision?" Sharon told Nick it sounded as if he had a lot of thinking to do, and she wished him luck. Nick asked Sharon what she'd do if she were in his place. Sharon told Nick he'd have to make up his own mind. After Nick hung up, he phoned the airline and canceled his flight reservation.
In Victor's office at Newman Enterprises, Brad Carlton entered and told Victor he was ready to pick up where he'd left off. Victor told Brad that he looked well. Brad replied, "I feel well, Victor. As a matter of fact, I feel great, 100 percent, ready to hit the ground running." Victor reminded Brad that they'd made an agreement for Brad to ease back slowly to minimize stress in accordance with his doctor's orders. Brad showed Victor a letter from Dr. Bradford stating that he was healthy and could returned to work.
Victor reminded Brad that Jack Abbott had stepped in to help out. Brad insisted that Victor didn't need Jack any longer. Victor said he understood the frustration Brad had likely felt while convalescing, wondering what Jack was up to. Victor explained that Newman Enterprises was growing and could benefit from Jack and Brad working together. Victor admitted he didn't like Jack personally, but he wouldn't let his feelings get in the way of sound business judgment. Victor assured Brad he was a valued employee and shouldn't feel threatened by Jack.