JACK and BRAD are talking about their problems; Jack suggests that Brad needs an assistant and he has the very person in mind. She is smart and cold bloodied but she is in the doghouse with Victor at the moment. Just then, Victor calls and wants to see Jack and Brad. Jack says that Brad is right here and they will both be there momentarily. Jack worries that Victor is having second thoughts about stepping back; maybe he is on to them and their plans, but Brad tells him to stay cool. Jack hints that maybe Brad let something slip; but Brad says that if anything slipped out, it came from Jack. Slapping Jack on the back, Brad suggests to "Twinkle Toes" that they waltz on in to Victor's office and she which one has mud on their shoes.
When the "boys" arrive in Victor's office, he wants to know if they are getting things straightened out between them. Reluctantly, each man tells Victor that they can work with the other for the business. Victor thinks that they are speaking too quickly, but he lets it go. They suggest that he should let the press know the plans and Victor tells them in no uncertain terms that he will know when the right time comes. He and he alone will make that decision, however, he tells Jack that he will be watching over his company carefully from the sidelines. Also, he makes no bones about watching Jack every step of the way. He excuses them. As they leave, Jack allows Brad to precede him through the door, then, without leaving, he closes the door in Brad's face. Turning back to Victor, he says that he wants to discuss something else with him. He suggests that Grace Turner be appointed as Bradley's assistant. Victor points out that if Grace is in that position, she will be privy to all kinds of sensitive information. Jack assures him that he will keep his eye on her and what she sees. Besides, it would be a great way to keep her away from Nicholas. Victor agrees that with Grace in that position, both Jack and Brad could keep an eye on her. "But who will be keeping an eye on you, Jack?" Victor asks.
NIKKI arrives at Sharon's house with a gift for Cassie and a book for Sharon. She remarks that she missed her and the children on Thanksgiving but she realizes that Sharon felt uncomfortable about showing up. She just wants her to know that she is welcome at the Ranch at any time. Sharon looks at the book, When the Honeymoon is Over; can you Save Your Marriage?" Nikki tells her that the author of the book is a therapist who practices right here in Genoa City; she is highly respected, so she has made an appointment for Nick and Sharon to see her. When Sharon looks like she will object, Nikki quickly tells her that with the death of Vicki's baby, she realizes just how fragile life is. It can all be gone in the blink of an eye so we should make the most of every day that we have. She reminds Sharon that the same thing happened in her early marriage to Victor, but they worked through it and now their marriage is stronger than ever. She says that Sharon should learn from mistakes and use them as an opportunity to learn and grow. Sharon agrees that mistakes can be built upon and they can be turned into something positive. She is happy that Nikki was able to work out her problems with Victor but she has to be honest and tell her that she could never have stayed married to Victor Newman. If she had known that Nick would be just like his father, she wouldn't have married him. Nikki looks insulted. She tells Sharon that Nick is just a young man, too young to be burdened with all the responsibilities of a family and all the pressures of work and not be expected to make a mistake now and then. As she leaves, she tells Sharon that if she doesn't keep that appointment and try to work things out, she will be sorry! She tosses the book on the table as she storms out of the house. Looking at the book, Sharon sees that Nicholas has left his gloves. "You've been here!" she says as she picks the gloves up. She grabs her coat and purse and quickly leaves the house.
CARL announces that he is now ready to listen to Paul; he wants to know what the connection is between them. "What is our connection?" Paul shouts. "YOU ARE MY FATHER! I AM YOUR SON!" Carl has a dazed look on his face as he says that he doesn't know Paul. The two are shouting at each other, Carl saying that he isn't Paul's father and Paul shouting that he is. Don't you remember anything? Paul wants to know. He tells him of the maple trees in the front yard, the birdhouses that he made. "What about YOUR WIFE, my mother? She is the woman you were married to for forty years, don't you remember her?" Carl is shaking his head in disbelief. He doesn't know anything about any of what Paul is talking about. He says that he has to get out of the house. Paul tries to stop him but Chris and Ruth pull him away. She tells Paul that the pressure is too much for Jim. Paul is unsympathetic; he begins to question Ruth about her relationship with Jim. Ruth tells Paul and Chris that she and Jim have been together for ten years, ever since she found him almost dead at the side of the road. Suddenly both Chris and Paul are firing questions at her as if this were a real cross-examination. Paul wants to know if she reported finding Carl to the police and when she says that she didn't, he wants to know why not. Why wouldn't she be curious in all these ten years about Carl's past? Finally Ruth admits that she was curious but she didn't question anything about his past for the same reason that she didn't report it to the police. She was afraid that if she reported it, the perpetrators would come back to finish the job and, secondly, she didn't want to know about the life that was so horrible that her Jim could be left along the side of the road near death. Chris suggests that it is time for them to leave. Before they leave, Ruth looks at Chris and tells her that they have been truly happy together. "I warned you, Christine, I begged you to let this go. Now all of our lives are torn apart!"
PHYLLIS is undressing herself for Michael but he reminds her that this is an office. What if some of he partners came in? She walks over to the door and locks it. That is taken care of, she tells him. The ringing of the phone saves Michael. When he answers, he finds Grace calling to whine about her situation. She is still in her empty office just waiting around for someone to finally tell her what is going to happen to her. She says that she can't take this much longer. Michael commiserates with her but reminds her that she can handle anything. He tells her to hang tight and they will talk about it at dinner tonight. When he hangs up, Phyllis isn't happy about what she heard but she tries to pretend that it didn't bother her. She tells him to go ahead and have his little fling; she will be there waiting when he gets over it. She tells him that she loves him so much and that is why she gets a little crazy at times. She is sorry about the kidnapping; she really went overboard there, but she will spend the rest of her life making it up to him. She reminds him that Christine forgave him and what he did to her has to be much worse than anything she could do. He tells her that there is a big difference. Yes, Christine forgave him but no trust was involved. With her, he can't trust her. He can't sleep in the same bed with someone he can't trust. She tells him that one day he will trust her. She gently kisses him and tells him that no one will ever live him the way that she can. She leaves. Out side the door, she begins to button her blouse. "You'll come around, Michael," she says. "And when you do, you will regret the way you have treated me!"
NEIL joins Olivia in Gina's. He is happy that Victoria will be coming home today but his happiness is short lived when Olivia tells him that she doesn't think that it is a good idea for Victoria to move in with him. She thinks that the decision to live together should be postponed until Vicki is more emotionally stable. Neil tells her that whatever Vicki wants to do will be fine with him. He gets up to leave and Olivia can feel his displeasure with her.
Tired of waiting in her empty office to see what is going to happen to her, GRACE goes to see jack and tells him that she is tired of being jerked around. He tells her that he has been busy with her problem. He thinks that he has a solution but since she has already "screwed" up her future here at Newman Enterprises, he has to have her word that she will not mess up again. He isn't ready to take a fall if she is unable to learn from her mistakes. She assures him that she has learned, but she thinks he is more worried about a lawsuit than he is finding her a position. He says that he knows that she is a hard worker and he thinks that she is ideally suited to work with one of their key people. "But, first things first," he says. "Can I count on you to stay away from Nicholas Newman?" Just as Grace tells him that she can stay away from Nick, Brad walks in. Jack tells him that he has been thinking about an assistant for him and he thinks he has the perfect solution. He introduces Grace; Brad says that he does have several people in mind. Grace is disappointed and tells Brad that it is too bad; she would have loved working for him. Jack leaves to let them work it out. Grace says she when she is getting the brush off and starts to leave. Brad calls her back and says that they can start with a clean slate. He has made his share of mistakes and as long as she is smart and dedicated, he doesn't care about her past record. Grace says that she is a dedicated worker. Brad says that he will see her at 8:00 AM in the morning ready for work. He leaves and Grace smiles. "Well, what do you know?" she asks herself.
NEIL shows up at the hospital and tries to be cheerful for Vicki's sake. She wants to go home but she doesn't have anything to wear. He suggests the dress she wore to the service but she doesn't want to wear that and she is surprised that he could be so insensitive. He offers to go out to the ranch to get her some clothes; he even offers to go to the store and buy her something, but she says that she is expecting her mother with some clothes. Just then, Nikki arrives with an overnight bag. Neil goes to check on the paperwork while Vicki changes. As Nikki begins to take the clothes out of the bag, she begins to talk about how wonderful it will be to have her daughter back at the ranch. She says that she and Miguel will enjoy waiting on her hand and foot.
NICK is in his office looking at the picture Cassie drew of her family. He hopes that he hasn't ruined things for his family. Just then, Sharon knocks and comes into the office. He is happy to see her but she tells him that she only stopped by to give him his gloves and to ask him not to "just drop by" from now on. It would be better if he called before coming. She sees the picture on his desk and exclaims that she has been searching all over for this. He says that he is sorry; he saw it there and it reminds him of his family and what he may have lost. Sharon says that she would gladly have given it to him if he had only asked. She tells him that it might be better for her if she took the kids and left the ranch. He begs her not to but she says that she can't take all the pressure that he and his family is subjecting her to. He promises that he will back off and give her some space and he will see that his mother backs off also. He says that he hopes and prays that she will one day forgive him; it would kill him if he lost his family because he screwed up. Sharon is ready to leave when the phone rings. Nick is reminded that he is late for a meeting. She tells him to go ahead; she will make a phone call from his desk and leave.
Sharon calls her mother and tells her that she has one more stop to make and then she will be home. As she hangs up the phone, there is a knock at the door. The door opens and Grace walks in. When she sees Sharon, her mouth hangs open. Sharon is in shock. "I don't believe this!" Sharon says. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?"
"I just stopped by to tell Nick about my new job," Grace tells her.
RYAN is finishing up the meeting with Nick and as he puts his papers back into his briefcase, he mentions that that time of year is almost here. Nick is confused so Ryan tells him that he is talking about Christmas bonus time. He mentions that since Grace has been doing a fantastic job for him, he should take extra special care of her this year. Coolly, Nick tells Ryan that Grace no longer works for him. Ryan looks shocked. "You were such a great team. Who broke you guys up?"
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" Sharon demands her voice full of quiet venom. Grace answers that she is there to tell Nick about her new job. Sharon says that if Nick is expecting her, she will leave. Going toward the door, she stops and turns around. "What is it like, Grace, to be you?" Sharon asks. "You have no sense of right and wrong; you couldn't have to do what you did to your best friend. We used to be so close; I thought I could trust you, but I was wrong. Are you finally happy now that you have devastated my life?" Grace meekly says that she did not set out to ruin Sharon's life but Sharon wonders if she ever stopped to think about the consequences of her action. "Did you think about me, your best friend? Did you think about what you would be doing to my children? And what about Cassie? You claimed that you loved that little girl and wanted her to be happy?" Grace tries to say that she does love Cassie but Sharon won't let her speak. "If you loved her, how could you have torn her world apart? She finally had a stable life with a mother and a father. Were you thinking about her when you took my husband to bed?" Grace cries out, "Please let me explain!" Sharon says that there is nothing she could say about her twisted desires that would change anything for her now. "We are finished, Grace!" Sharon speaks through gritted teeth and squinted eyes. "I don't want to see you or speak to you ever again."
"WHAT IN HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE, GRACE?" Nick asks from the doorway.
ASHLEY joins Cole in Gina's for an afternoon coffee break. Cole is distracted but happy to see her. He mentions that he has a bad case of writer's block. Ashley doesn't wonder; he has been going through a lot recently; the last thing he needs is deadlines. She tells him that she called Traci in New York and Steve is letting up on the deadlines. Everyone understands and only wishes him the best. Cole is thankful to her for doing this for him; he is having so much trouble getting his mind on other things right now. He tells Ashley that he knows that they have been talking about starting a family but he hopes she understands that now isn't the right time. Ashley tells him that she understands and one day, it will feel right and they can talk about it then. She mentions the new office over the garage and Cole tells her to set something up with the architect.
VICKI tells her mother that she is going to Neil's when she leaves the hospital later today. Nikki thinks that would be a mistake; she should go home where there would always be someone there to watch over her. She reminds Vicki that Neil will be spending many hours at the office. She also tells Vicki that Cole is still working at the tack house. Vicki accuses her mother of having an agenda; she says that Nikki doesn't approve of her and Neil being together. Nikki denies having a problem with Neil but leaves it up to Vicki whether she goes back to the ranch or to Neil's place. All she asks is that she think about it.
Outside, NEIL is concerned about Nikki's visit to Vicki when Malcolm comes to visit Victoria. Neil tells him that if he has come to persuade him that Vicki would be better off at the ranch, to save his words. He didn't buy it from Olivia and he doesn't want to hear it from Malcolm. Malcolm says that all he wants if for the two of them to get started with their lives together. However, he asks if it would be all that bad if Vicki did go home for a while.
When Neil finally goes into the room, Vicki is dressed and combing her hair. He tells her how beautiful she is. She is ready to leave but he says that there is a hold up with her paper work. When he says that it will be so good to have her at his---no, our place, she asks him if there would be a problem with him if she decided to go back to the ranch.
NIKKI goes to the tack room to see Cole. She thanks him for all that he did for Vicki during this past couple of weeks. "Where else would I have been?" Cole wants to know. Nikki says that they have been on the outs for a while but she hopes that is all behind them now. She tells him that she is glad that he hasn't moved out of the tack room yet since Vicki will be coming home later today and she hopes his nearness will be a help for her daughter. After Nikki leaves, Ashley calls. She says that the architect that she mentioned earlier just had a cancellation and can look at the room above the garage now if he wants to come home. Cole tells her that he can't do that right now; he isn't up for a change. Ashley tells him that when he is ready, just let her know.
RYAN rushes into Crimson Lights looking for Tricia but only finds Megan. She tells him that Tricia had to go to class and couldn't wait any longer. He notices that she is in a sour mood and wonders if it is something going around. He mentions that Tony's finance's boss just froze him out. Megan asks doesn't he know that Tony and Grace aren't engaged any longer and he is surprised at the news. He asks what happened but Megan doesn't have the facts; she only knows that Tony has left town. About that time, Tony enters and her face lights up. I guess he hasn't left yet, she says with a smile. She asks Ryan for a favor and he agrees. She asks him to leave. He says he will leave but first he wants to know if she is ready to get back on that merry go round again. She tells him not to worry about her. As he is leaving, Ryan stops by and speaks to Tony. He gives a friendly warning about his sister in law and Tony answers that he has already warned her off. But did she listen? Ryan wants to know. Tony joins Megan who wants to know why he is still in town. Tony says that he is still thinking about leaving. Megan encourages him to go on with his life instead of hiding out because he has been hurt. She says that she would like to have some fun and he should also.
ESTHER is scarfing down her meal as if she were afraid it might be her last one while telling Katherine how it feels to have a maid come in and replace the towel after every time you use it when she notices that Kay is distracted. She asks what is wrong and Katherine says that she wants to go home. Esther reminds her that all the locks have been changed and they wouldn't be able to go inside. Katherine says that Esther will just have to find a window that she can climb in because they are going. Esther looks sick as she gets up and tells Katherine that suddenly she isn't feeling too well.
MICHAEL comes into the dining room a little later and joins Katherine at her table. He acts as if he just happened by but Katherine realizes that Esther has called him. He says that Esther was only worried about her welfare; she shouldn't be angry with Esther for this. Katherine angrily tells him that she wants to visit her house. This is the time of year when she was happiest preparing for the holidays. She wants to open her safe and see her jewelry, especially the pieces that Phillip gave to her; it is a yearly tradition. Michael tells her to calm down; he will take her to the house but not as a felon. He tells her that he has to make a call and he will be right back.
As Michael leaves the table, Esther returns and tries to pretend that she didn't call Michael. Katherine won't let her get away with it. Esther says that she didn't want her to get into trouble. If Jill were to catch them breaking into her house---. One look from Katherine and Esther knows that she has made a faux pas. Michael returns at that time and tells them to come along; he is taking them to their house where a deputy will show them in.
JILL is upset with John because the trial is coming up soon and she wants to be assured that everything is coming along fine. She gets the feeling that John isn't telling her everything and that he is worried about something. John says that he is only being cautious. You can never tell how these cases will turn out. Jill reminds him that they have right on their side but John says that Katherine also has right on her side. Living in the house as long as she has gives her certain property rights. Jill won't hear of this! It is her house! John is interrupted when his cell phone rings. He becomes angry on the phone and is very abrupt with the other party. He doesn't tell Jill who was on the phone but she demands to know who he was talking to. John is forced to admit that the judge's clerk was notifying him that Katherine was just given permission to go into the house. "NO!" cries Jill. "How are we going to stop her?"
THE DEPUTY opens the doors and tells Kay to finish up with what she needs to do so he can lock up. Kay becomes outraged that she is being rushed. Michael quickly jumps in and tells her that she can take all the time that she needs. Going in, Kay turns on the lights and chases away some of the gloomy darkness. Ghostly covers cover all the furniture. She walks around the room touching this and that. As she wipes her had over the mantel, she looks at her dust-covered fingers. "Dust," she announces. "This house hasn't seen dust in years." Quickly and with a determined step, she walks to the wall safe and spins the combination. Opening the safe, she takes out a large jewel case and brings it to her desk. She spills the jewelry out on the table and picks up a triple strand of pearls and a pearl bracelet. She holds them to her face and kisses them. "Phillip gave these to me," she says. "I loved you so much Phillip! I love you, Phillip; I love you Phillip!" She continues to echo those words as tears run down her face.
GRACE tells Nick that she came to talk business with him and didn't know that Sharon would be in his office. Nick tells her that they don't do business together any more. Sharon asks if he fired her but Nick answers that she has been transferred to a different department; she is as far away from me as possible, he explains. Sharon says that she is leaving so that they can get their business done. Nick tries to stop her, but she goes. Nick turns back to Grace and tells her that he doesn't want anything to do with her any longer. "Say what you have to say and then get out!" He tells her. Grace stammers that she thought that he needed to know where she was working now so that if he needed her, he would know where to reach her. She says that she works for Brad Carlton now. "I don't need you," Nick tells her. "I have never needed you; I will never need you. I need Sharon! I only need Sharon but I have probably lost her. How do I make you understand? STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!"
"I love you Nick," Grace says. "I would have loved you so much better than Sharon could. But now, I am dirt---a nasty little mistake you want to sweep under the carpet. Well, sorry Nicholas, but I will not disappear so easily!" She turns and leaves the office. Nick has a file in his hand, which he throws angrily at the desk, sweeping several things off onto the floor. "DAMN IT!" he says, angrily.
VICTORIA tells Neil that if she were at the ranch, she would never be alone as she would be in his apartment. Neil reminds her that her doctor would be just upstairs but Vicki says that she is at the hospital most of the time. Neil says that all anyone wants is for her to get well. He wants her to be where she is the most comfortable. However, he does express some concern that recently Victoria is trying to distance herself from him. She hurriedly tells him that that isn't the case at all. Her mother lost a child and she knows how it feels. Vicki feels that she will know what she is going through at this time and maybe she is the best person that can help her right now. Vicki admits to him that she is a little afraid of the next few months herself.
PHILLIP is working on his Christmas cards and something goes wrong. He says DAMN! Nina speaks his name and he says he is sorry; he meant to say darn. He then says that he wishes he hadn't decided to make his own Christmas cards because his tree keeps turning out crooked or leaning. Nina shows him how to make a perfect tree and he wonders how she got so smart. Phillip wonders if he will be seeing a lot of his dad this Christmas, but he guesses that he will have to share his daddy with HER. He thinks that maybe his dad could come to their place. Would that work out? Maybe I should call him. Nina says that he can call and set up a meeting and talk to Ryan about it. She looks troubled by the suggestion.
KATHERINE tells Michael that Phillip gave her the pearl necklace as an engagement gift on Christmas Eve. The next Christmas Eve, he gave her the bracelet and every Christmas Eve thereafter, he gave her a different piece of jewelry. Michael looks touched as he listens to Katherine recall her memories and as he sees the pain that she is going through. "It would have gone on forever, but Jill Foster walked in and nothing was ever the same again," Katherine says bitterly. Walking about the room, Katherine says that this house reflects her life; it is full of remembrances of Phillip and his love for her. "Of course we had our problems," Kay goes on. "And they were serious problems. Phillip became a workaholic and . . . I became an alcoholic." Michael approaches her and tries to stop her for talking. She pulls back and tells him that he has to hear this! "Michael, you have to know what this house means to me if you are going to help me! You must know that, despite my failings, my love for this man never stopped---NEVER. Oh, if these walls could talk they would tell you of the joy and pleasure we shared in this house. And to think that this lovely estate could fall into Jill Abbott's hands. I WOULD DIE FIRST!"
Michael goes to her and takes her by the shoulders. He promises her that he will do everything in his power to fight Jill Abbott and see that she never sets foot in this house again. Have a little faith, he tells her. She goes into his arms and says, "Thank God for you Michael. Finally someone who understands!"
JILL wants to know what Katherine is doing in HER house. John tells her that it isn't her house---at least not yet. Jill tells him that they have to hurry and get over there. "NO!" John says as he grabs her arm to stop her from flying out of the office. "You are NOT going over there!" John tells her. When she wants to know why, he tells her that Katherine followed procedures in asking permission to go to the house to pick up something that she left behind. Jill says that Katherine could have a bomb in her purse. John scoffs at this and tells her that if she keeps saying things like this, people will start wondering if something isn't wrong with her. Besides, he adds, the judge is getting fed up with the both of them and if she goes over there, she will be jeopardizing her case. "I'M WARNING YOU, JILL, STAY AWAY FROM THAT HOUSE!" John has to leave for another appointment. After he is gone, Jill calls him a wimp and says that if you want something done, you have to do it yourself. She grabs her coat and leaves the office.
TRICIA serves Ryan a glass of wine and sits beside him as he tells her that it has been a really sad day. Tricia asks if Vicki is okay and Ryan tells her that she is fine but she will need a lot of support in the weeks to come. He tells her that he is sorry he didn't get to Crimson Lights in time to see her. He didn't get the message until late. Tricia asks when he got back from the hospital and he tells her that it was late; he stopped by Nina 's for a while. "You felt you needed comfort and you went to Nina?" Tricia asks. He tells her that he and Nina went through something similar when she miscarried his baby. When Tricia turns away abruptly, Ryan asks if she is upset and she lies and tells him that she isn't. She then tells him that she has been remembering their last Christmas holidays in Aspen and she would like to go again. Ryan thinks that is a super idea and he will call tomorrow and try to get reservations. She hopes that they can get the same condo that they had last year but Ryan thinks that this year they will need a little more room. The phone rings and it is Phillip calling. He suggests that they get together soon and talk about what they will be doing for the holidays. Ryan says he will check his schedule tomorrow and get back with him. He tells Phillip that he wants to do something really special this year. After he hangs up, he tells Tricia that she is a genius for suggesting Aspen; the three of them will have a really good time.
When Phillip hangs up, he seems pleased with his talk with his dad. "This Christmas it will only be the three of us and no Tricia."
COLE stops by the ranch house to see if Vicki was home yet and Victor tells him that so far they don't know where she is. He and Nikki believe that she should be home but he doesn't know how Neil will feel about it. Cole says that Vicki needs her family at a time like this, but if she chooses to go to Neil's place, then she will be fine; Neil only wants the best for Vicki. Victor says that if Neil truly loved his daughter, he would see that being at the ranch was the best thing for her.
TONY asks Megan if she is asking for trouble and she says that she must be since he keeps reminding her that trouble is his middle name. He corrects her and says that it is his first name but she can call him Tony for short. The two of them, especially Megan, are flirting big time! Megan asks Tony if he is staying in GC and he tells her that he is going to hang around until he is sure his head is screwed on straight. She wants to know if he is staying because of Grace but he tells her that his decision has nothing to do with Grace and everything to do with a friend. Megan thinks he is talking about her. She asks him to join her at Crimson Lights in the morning for breakfast---unless he is afraid of her. He says that the Big Bad Wolf isn't afraid of Little Red Riding Hood.
COLE returns to the tack house and finds Ashley waiting for him. She says that she has been worried about him lately so she drove out to check on him. She knows that he is grieving but it isn't good for him to isolate himself. She wants him to come home for a while and even offers to make it worth his while. Catching on, he thinks that it is a good idea but they don't have to go all the way back to town.
NIKKI asks Victor who was there and he tells her that it was Cole. Nikki says that she has gained a new respect for Cole the last few days. Victor agrees and says that Cole agrees that it would be best if Vicki came back to the ranch. Vicki calls the hospital to see if she has made up her mind yet but finds that Vicki has already checked out of the hospital and left with Neil some time ago. Thinking that she went to Neil's apartment, the two are left feeling down. Victor says that Neil has made a big mistake and he is going to have a talk with him tomorrow. Just then, the door opens and Vicki enters with Neil right behind her. She wants to thank them for supporting her in this. They welcome her home and do all that they can to make her comfortable but they are very cool to Neil. When Neil goes to the car to bring in her suitcase, they realize that she is back to stay. As they fuss over her she tells them that she and Neil discussed it and they both felt that the ranch would be the best place for her at the present time. Neil kisses Vicki good bye and Victor says that he will show him to the door. Meanwhile, Nikki slips away to make a phone call to someone.
ASHLEY AND COLE share a passionate kiss but Ashley tells him that she isn't comfortable doing it here. He grabs his coat to leave, but the phone rings. It is Nikki telling him that Vicki came home to recuperate. He thanks her for telling him and hangs up, telling Ashley that it wasn't anything she would be interested in.
As the DEPUTY opens the door to show the party out of the house, Jill practically falls in. She demands to know what they are doing in her house. Katherine almost attacks her for this but Michael holds her back. The deputy says that she has no right to be there and she informs him that she has more right than Katherine. She refuses to leave so Michael escorts Katherine and Esther out after telling the deputy that if anything turns up missing, he will be held responsible.
Jill walks around the room, caressing different pieces of furniture while telling the deputy all about how she loved Phillip and this house. She picks up a wooden music box and opens it. As she listens to the music, she recalls a special dance she shared with Phillip. The deputy interrupts her daydream and tells her that it is time to leave. She follows him to the door but can't resist turning back to tell the house that she WILL be back.
VICTOR sits with his daughter and tells her that he is happy that she is home. She tells him to be careful what he wishes for; she thinks that the days ahead might be pretty rocky. "It is nothing we can't cope with," Victor tells her.
SHARON and CASSIE bring down a box of Christmas ornaments. Cassie is dying to look at them, but Sharon is hesitant. Cassie insists they must check to see if any of the ornaments are broken. Sharon finally relents. Cassie finds the ornament from Noah's first Christmas, a present from Nick. Sharon gets lost in the memory of Christmas Eve just one year ago. Cassie also finds one of last year's Christmas cards with a photo of Sharon, Nick and Noah on the front. She asks, nearly pleading, if they will send out cards and include her in the picture this year. Sharon tells her she doesn't think they'll be sending out cards this year. Cassie is disappointed, but she poignantly tells her mother that her Christmas wish is happiness for Sharon.
JOHN is furious with JILL for going out to the estate when Katherine was there. She's jeopardized everything he's done. John feels like he's bailing out a boat and Jill is just pouring the water back in. He gets Jill's attention with this and she's worried. John tells her that he's sure that Michael has made Judge Jennings aware of Jill's actions and the judge will not be happy. He insists that as they go into court today, Jill must control herself. She promises to, but her promises don't bring John much reassurance. Jill asks if she's hurt the case. John looks at her in disbelief and tells her that she really doesn't want him to answer her question.
NINA welcomes a dejected Chris into her home. Chris tells Nina that she opened up a can of worms. Carl's not recognizing Paul was like a knife to Paul's heart. It was worse than she ever could imagine. Chris tells Nina the entire story of how Paul burst into Ruth's expecting to find her with Danny and how crushed he was when his own father not only didn't recognize him, but pushed him away. Ruth and Carl are nice people and now she's turned their lives upside down because she just kept pushing. Paul is so confused and trying to process the whole incident. When Carl pushed Paul away, it ripped Paul's heart out. Nina tries to get her to look at the bright side -- now they know that Paul's father is alive. A tearful Chris tells her that for many reasons, she should have let Carl remain dead.
ALICE talks to herself and wonders aloud if she should hire a private detective, but knows that it could cost money. Al, donning a bathrobe in the middle of the day, overhears her and tells her that he's not forking out the dough for a "private dick." He tells her she gets weird when she starts talking about this kid. Alice informs him that sometimes you have to put out a little cash to make a lot. Al dismisses the idea that Alice's kid is with people who have money. Alice tells him that she just has this feeling. She looks at the picture of Victor taped to the mirror. She tells Al that a powerful man like Victor Newman could pull a few strings and find her little girl like that, and she demonstrates by snapping her fingers. Al finds this amusing and tells her if Victor can't come through for her, she could always call on Donald Trump. Alice informs him that she'll prove him wrong. Sharon was a pretty girl and some of her classmates have got to know what happened to her. Alice starts flipping through the phone book, trying to find some of her friends from the Arts and Crafts Club picture.
MEGAN waits for TONY at Crimson Lights, who finally shows up a little late for their breakfast date. Meg figures he was caught in traffic, but Tony tells her that no one gets in his way. Megan wants to ride with him next time. Frustrated, Tony tells her that he's trying to scare her off and it's not working. Megan just wants to have a little fun. Tony warns her that a little fun can lead to a lot of something else. Meg trusts Tony, but Tony doesn't know if he trusts himself.
A panicked SHARON finds Tony and asks to speak to him. She apologizes to Meg and feeling very out of place, Meg offers to leave. Meg watches as Sharon and Tony sit down. She sees the concern in Tony's face for Sharon and a flash of concern crosses her own, but for very different reasons.
Sharon tells Tony about Cassie's reaction to bringing down the ornaments. She doesn't know what she's going to do about Christmas. She talks about what a family time it is and Tony gets the impression that she feels that her conflict with Nick is going to ruin Christmas for her children. He tells her that if she wants Christmas with her husband then she can only do one thing. Sharon finishes his thought -- forgive, forget, and move past what happened. She tells him that just when she thinks she's making progress in that direction, something happens. She recounts her run-in with Grace, telling him she let Grace have it with both barrels. She doesn't understand why Nick didn't just fire her and sees Grace's presence at Newman Enterprises as just "business as usual." Tony tells her that there must be some explanation for not firing Grace. Sharon tearfully tells him that she felt betrayed all over again. Why does Grace get to move about freely? Why must Sharon have to tell Cassie that the man she sees as her father may not be around at Christmas? Tony tells her if it makes her feel any better, he's decided that he's not going anywhere just yet, which brightens Sharon's mood. Tony apologizes but tells her that he's got to be somewhere. After Tony leaves, Sharon wipes the tears from her eyes.
PAUL comes into the office and immediately Lynne can tell that something is wrong. He tells her that if his mother calls, he's not in. Before Lynne can stop him, he finds his mother in his office. Mary wonders if she's upset him in some way and Paul realizes that this is about Chris and him missing Thanksgiving. He tells her that they both had important business to take care of, but that family is more important than ever to him. Mary doesn't stay long and as she's leaving, she mentions that Paul looks tired. He should get some rest. She also tells him that it was nice having Charlie around for Thanksgiving. Paul looks torn.
Looking out the window, Paul hears the door shut and assumes its Lynne. He tells her that he doesn't want to be disturbed. Chris surprises him. He asks why she's there. Chris tells Paul she was worried about him, then she realizes that he's angry with her. He tells her he's just confused. Maybe he should pretend it never happened. Chris disagrees and tells him they have to deal with it. Paul asks her how they're supposed to do that. "Just how the hell do we do that?" Paul demands.
Before Jill and John get in the courtroom, MICHAEL informs KATHERINE that he's spoken with Judge Jennings about Jill's activities as a matter of information for him. He alerted the judge that his wishes were being flouted without making an official complaint. Michael warns Katherine that she must be orderly in court no matter how she feels about Jill.
JUDGE JENNINGS comes out and addresses both women. He tells them that it is no secret that there's no love lost between them, but that this is not a school and he is not a kindergarten teacher. He expects them to behave or he'll deal with them severely. He asks if they understand and when neither answers, he asks again. Katherine stands up and although she starts out with the best intentions, she ends up calling Jill a trollop. Judge Jennings tells her that her language is inappropriate, finding her in contempt of court and fines her $100. Jill cackles in delight. The judge turns to Jill and finds her outburst also in contempt and fines Jill $200. He tells them he hopes he has their attention and instructs John to call his first witness.
NIKKI brings NICK a fresh shirt because he spent the night at the office. She tries to lecture him on avoiding Sharon and tells him that she talked with Sharon about the same thing. Nick understands why Sharon was so angry now. Nikki tells Nick that she sees a lot of her and Victor in Sharon and him. She just doesn't want to see them have to learn things the hard way. Nick tells her that Sharon wants space and he's going to do this her way. He instructs her and his father to back off and leave Sharon alone. Nikki starts to argue, but Nick tells her that's enough. His mind is made up. He got himself into this and he'll get himself out of it. He's not going to let Nikki pressure Sharon and screw up his chances of reconciling with his wife.
TONY unexpectedly visits Nick at his office. Nick apologizes to Tony for what happened, but says he's only taking so much crap from him about Grace. Tony tells him that he's not there for Grace. He could care less. He's there for Sharon. "You know," Tony says sarcastically. "The women whose heart you ripped out." He proceeds to tell Nick that he's got some things that he needs to get off his chest and Nick is going to listen whether he wants to or not.
BRAD and GRACE are having a business lunch at Gina's. Grace is quite sullen and asks Brad if he got stuck with her. Brad strokes her ego and tells her that he knows about her checked background but he believes that she'll be invaluable to him if she pulls her weight and continues to do the kind of work she's done in the past. If not, he'll lead her to Victor like a lamb to the slaughter. However, he believes they'll make a good team. He confides that he was with Victor when he found out that Victor couldn't fire her. He has great respect for Victor, but it was enjoyable to see him in a situation that he couldn't control. Grace smiles, but it's short-lived. She catches a glimpse of Doris and Sharon across the restaurant. Finally, she tells Brad that she can't live the rest of her life running from people. Brad believes that's a good attitude. Grace has Victor where she wants him and she's working with one of Newman Enterprises brightest new stars. Brad looks out for number one. If she helps him do that along the way, then Grace will have nothing to worry about.
Unbeknownst that Grace is present, DORIS and SHARON are having lunch. Sharon complains that she feels pressured and suffocated at the ranch. She's thinking that she should get a house in the city with a small yard for the kids and she'd like Doris to stay with them. Doris asks if she thinks that Nick is going to foot the bill for the house. Sharon doesn't know. She just knows she needs space. Doris begs her to take her time before she uproots her children. Sharon knows that her mother would like for her to forget what happened, but the thought of Nick and Grace in bed is something she can't shake. Wisely, Doris tells her that Nick is truly sorry. Maybe Sharon would benefit from talking to someone. Sharon asks her if she means a psychiatrist. Doris just wants her to talk to someone with an objective opinion. "Who knows?" offers Doris. "They could put this thing in a whole new light."
In his office, PAUL continues to take CHRIS to task about the fact that she still didn't share any information with him, even when she was ninety percent sure she'd found Paul's father. Chris keeps using words like, "we," "our," and "together." Paul tells her there was no collaboration on this whatsoever. In fact, Chris was trying to orchestra this big reunion so she could stand back and bask in the glory of all her hard work. Chris admits that she should have told him sooner. Paul tells her that, what's worse, she went from not telling and not talking to out and out lying. She tells him that she's offended that he thought she was having an affair, but Paul asks what he was supposed to think, especially after he found out she was lying about the depositions and all the overnight trips to Norfolk. He doesn't care how she feels. Chris justifies her actions by telling Paul that at least they know that his father is alive. A bit tearful, she leaves. Standing in the outer office, LYNNE tells her that Fred Caffey, the private investigator friend who has the post office box they are using to communicate with Millie, called and has some information on Cassie's adoptive mother. Chris tells Lynne she'll take care of it since Paul has more than he can handle right now.
After Chris leaves, Lynne goes in and offers to lend Paul an ear. She tells him that sometimes it helps to talk about it. Paul turns on Lynne, barking that there are some things in his life that are none of her business. A meek and embarrassed Lynne leaves quickly. Paul turns from the window realizing what he just did, and regret his harsh words to Lynne.
Fred Caffey isn't in when Chris calls him from Legal Aid. She has his secretary leave a message for him to call her when he comes in. Sharon surprises Chris with a visit. She wants to talk to Chris about options for herself, Cassie, and Noah.
ALICE and AL argue. Al tells Alice that Cassie is not her little girl anymore and she's just living on pipe dreams. This child isn't with anyone who has money. He thinks her idea to call Sharon's classmates is stupid. Alice tells him to back off and he says that he will, going upstairs and leaving Alice alone to begin her research. Several people are not helpful and Alice is rude to them. She finally makes contact with the mother of Stephanie Joel, who was in the Arts and Crafts Club. The woman doesn't remember Sharon but tells Alice how to contact her daughter at Bartlett's Cleaners on Dawson Street. Alice pays Stephanie a visit, giving her a bogus story about some newsletter article. Stephanie shares that Sharon left Central High School after sophomore year. She's not sure, but she thought Sharon was pregnant. A weary Alice suddenly gets a break when Stephanie remembers that Sharon and Grace Turner were as close as sisters. She's sure that Grace would know where to find Sharon. On the sidewalk outside, Alice turns to the page that she has marked in the yearbook. There beside Sharon sits Grace. "Grace Turner, I'm going to be seeing you soon," says Alice. "We're going to meet, you and me -- real soon."
In the kitchen, CARL catches RUTH in deep thought. Seductively, he tells her that he knows this new club downtown that plays his favorite -- swing music. Ruth acts like this surprises her. Carl asks her not to analyze everything he says. He just wants everything to go back to normal. Ruth asks exactly what that is. Ruth can't believe he didn't feel anything for Paul. Carl tells her that he felt sympathy for him, but nothing beyond that. All that matters to Carl is the life he has now. He wants nothing to do with any life he had before. Ruth questions him about "Mary," she reminds him about the day he called her by that name. Carl doesn't care. He doesn't remember any "Mary." He asks Ruth if she was trying to jog his memory that day she called him Carl. She admits that she was. He informs her that he knows no more about "Carl" now than he did then. He doesn't know this "Mary" but he knows his Ruthie and he loves only her.
In the courtroom, JOHN calls a handwriting expert and a questionable documents expert, MEREDITH Dolan, as his first witness. Ms. Dolan testifies that the deeds and the letter were indeed written by Phillip Chancellor and that the defendant signed the power of attorney. On cross-examination, MICHAEL asks if she knows for sure that Phillip Chancellor signed those documents. Ms. Dolan can only testify to what she's been told, but does add that the age of the paper suggests that the letter was written years ago. Michael tells her that if they don't have proof that Phillip Chancellor signed the papers and wrote the letter, then they could be rank forgeries. Ms. Dolan has to admit that this is a possibility.
At the recess, KATHERINE and MICHAEL talk. He assures her that he's sure he can bring Beatrice Tucker's memory into question due to her age and the number of years since her employment. He also tells Katherine that something's not right. Katherine doesn't believe that Beatrice came to see Jill only to deliver the photograph. Michael, on the other hand, does. After that, though, he has some deep reservations. He explains that if you conduct depositions long enough, your brain functions as a kind of lie detector and for a great deal of Beatrice's deposition, he felt the needle wavering.
JILL leaves the courtroom and finds BEATRICE on a bench in the hallway. She's worried about what will happen when she's on the stand and hints that her memory might fail her. Jill asks her not to let Katherine's attorney frighten her. She promises that when this is all over, she will take care of Beatrice. Beatrice is hesitant and wonders if she can trust Jill. Jill tells her that she is a renowned businesswoman and that doesn't happen if you break promises. She begs Beatrice to have faith. "I can't pay my rent with faith," Beatrice says in a warbling tone. Jill tries to explain that if she gives her anything before she testifies, the opposition could hang her out to dry. She would be a lot more generous after she wins the estate if Beatrice wouldn't pressure her. She tells Beatrice that "the reward should be commiserate with the services rendered." Beatrice announces that those are just big, fancy words, but she understands. The better she does the more she gets. Jill frowns and tells her she wouldn't put it like that, but yes, that's how it works. Beatrice walks away just as John comes out of the courtroom. He is disgusted with Jill, telling her the last thing they need is to be caught tampering with a witness and that she's just making it harder for him. They go into the courtroom. Beatrice takes a copy of the check Jill initially gave her from her purse and murmurs that it never hurts to have a little insurance.
Inside the courtroom, the session is reconvened and JUDGE JENNINGS instructs the bailiff to retrieve Beatrice from the hall. When he opens the courtroom door, the hallway is empty. Jill looks panicked. John asks for a few minutes, but the judge tells him if he has other witnesses to call, he should continue. If Ms. Tucker isn't there, it's her problem. He wants to continue hearing testimony. Michael and Katherine exchange looks of surprise. Jill sits with her mouth open in disbelief.
NICK and TONY continue their conversation with open animosity. When Nick tells Tony he's said enough, Tony tells him that it doesn't work that way. You don't get to screw up people's lives and then decide how you get hassled about it. Tony tells him the big joke is that he wanted to be like Nick. He understands why Grace would be attracted to Nick. When Grace agreed to marry him, he actually believed that she had seen in Tony what she was attracted to in Nick. He even hoped that they could all be friends, going out socially with Nick and Sharon. Nick apologizes again, but Tony says he actually thanks Nick for giving Tony back himself. Tony clearly understands that he'll always have to work hard for a living. Nick takes offense and tells Tony that he, too, works hard. Tony doesn't doubt it, but points out that he and Nick were born at different stations in life and that will never change.
What he really doesn't understand is why Nick couldn't put the brakes on in Denver. What kind of man does this to his family? Nick tells him that's enough. Tony should leave his family out of this. Tony tells him he doesn't think so because when he slept with Grace, he really screwed up and betrayed one of his good friends -- Sharon. The two stand rigidly toe to toe. Nick tells him that Sharon can confide in him all she wants but he's not taking anymore of Tony's crap. Nick puts his hand on Tony's shoulder to see him to the door and Tony pushes Nick.
Both of them angry, a fight ensues. Tony pushes Nick and Nick punches Tony. Tony reciprocates with a fist to the right side of Nick's head. Nick head-butts Tony in the stomach and the two of them end up sprawled on Nick's desktop, papers and office supplies scattering everywhere. Tony manages to get Nick down to the ground and the punches continue. Brad, on his way to see Nick, rushes in and pulls Tony off Nick, pushing him to one side of the room. He turns to Nick, who tries to fight his way through Brad to get to Tony. Brad sends Tony packing and tells Nick that the two of the have real office decorum. Nick explains that the guy Brad threw out of the office is Grace's ex-fiancÚ. Brad understands and asks if he should call security. Nick tells him no. Nick touches his right cheek and winces. Brad comments that Tony got him good. Nick states that he's all right. Brad tells him that he's been around the block a few times, so if Nick ever wants to talk, he'll be there for him. He hands Nick a file and leaves.