A note from Glad: My Grandson was down a few days with his girls and yesterday, I had the two-month-old baby all day. Even though I took notes from the show, I've decided to take advantage of a wonderful friend and use her recap. Thanks Sandy.
CHRIS tells SHARON that it's best for Cassie and Noah to live under the same roof with two parents. Sharon realizes this, but she doesn't know if she can get past what Nicholas did. Christine tells Sharon that the ranch offers her children protection, especially with Cassie special information. FRED CAFFEY'S call interrupts their talk. He delivers some horrible news. He's not learned too much about Alice Johnson, but her boyfriend Al Vinton is a convicted child molEsther, tried and convicted in Michigan. Chris doesn't share this with Sharon. However, she advises her that if it comes down to divorce, Sharon will have to show that she's made every conceivable effort, especially while Nicholas is trying to reconcile. Chris tells her that she will send the judge a much stronger message if she stays at the ranch. It will offer her children safety and stability in this uncertain time.
NINA comes in to see Chris. Chris shares with Nina that Sharon's marriage is in trouble and Cassie's adoptive mother is looking for Cassie. Nina looks despaired. Nina thinks that since Sharon is Cassie's birth mother then all is okay. Chris explains that Sharon forfeited her parental rights when she gave Cassie up for adoption. She hopes that in a courtroom, they'd be able to strip Alice of her parental rights because she abandoned Cassie, but if she doesn't work things out with Nick, her rights to Cassie could be jeopardized. She also tells Nina about the information she got from Fred Caffey. She wonders how she can drop a bomb like this on Sharon when she's so fragile. Chris tells Nina they can take away her law license, but she's not going to do anything to put Cassie in harms way.
COLE visits ASHLEY at the lab. Cole slept in this morning. Ashley tells him his body is trying to rest from the tragedy he just suffered. He praises her for giving him space. An insecure Ashley tells him she hopes that he doesn't need too much space. He assures her he'd have never made it without her. She promises to always be there. They kiss and embrace. Cole leaves.
Ashley is brooding at her desk when BRAD comes to see her. He comments on her daydreaming. They discuss his return to Newman Enterprises. He tells her they can pick up where they left off -- long, leisurely lunches and late night strategy meetings. She reminds him that she's married. Brad says that Cole's a good guy and he'll understand. Getting serious, Ashley shares with Brad the fact that since Eve's death, she and Cole don't seem to be on the same wavelength. She hopes it's temporary and that things will soon be back to normal.
Ashley doesn't trust Vicki because she doesn't think that Vicki ever got over Cole. Brad understands her dilemma. Brad tells her that Eve is still a part of him and the pain must be excruciating. He advises that this distance she feels from Cole is not about her -- its just something that Cole has to deal with himself. Ashley is crying and Brad wipes the tears from her cheek. He cups her face in his hand and tells her he'll always be there for her. He kisses her and embraces her. Brad leaves an uncertain Ashley.
Ashley answers the phone. She hears an unidentified man's voice and asks why he's calling her now. He answers that he wants to see her and he can't wait any longer. Ashley looks shaken by this information.
VICTORIA sits and stares out the big bay window. NIKKI approaches and asks if there's anything she can do. Victoria tells her that she just wants to be left alone. Nikki tells her that she knows Vicki thinks she wants to be alone, but she needs to let her family help her. Vicki tells Nikki that as she sits and looks out the window, she envisions Eve playing in the snow, taking her first pony ride with Victor, building a snowman with Nick, waving to Vicki and then Eve vanishes into thin air. Tears fall like constant rain down Vicki's cheeks. She regrets never getting to hold Eve or kiss her. Nikki tells Vicki that putting up a wall is not the way to deal with her loss. Vicki insists that she doesn't want to talk about this. What she's going through, no one can help her. She gets up and walks away from Nikki and sits on the couch by the fire.
Nikki tells her that she knows what Vicki is going through, but life does go on. Victoria hysterically asks how long before it takes before she stops hurting so badly. COLE comes in and asks if this is a bad time. Nikki tells him his timing is perfect. Nikki kisses Victoria and leaves them alone. Cole offers to go, but Vicki begs him to stay. He sits beside her on the couch. Vicki asks about him moving his office out of the tack room. He tells her not yet. They discuss their shared pain. Victoria weeps openly and freely. She tells Cole she feels like she is completely cut off from the world in her own private hell. Cole rubs her shoulder and Vicki tells Cole that no one can help except him.
Cole agrees with Victoria that it's a tragedy that they'll never get over it. He holds her hand and tells her that he will always be there for her. She reminds him that he's married. He tells her that he does have other obligations but he'll never turn his back on her. She tells him that she can't stop crying. Cole holds her and tells her just to let it go. Victoria sobs on his shoulder. Nikki has come downstairs to check on Victoria. She watches Cole and Victoria for a moment and then slips quietly back upstairs.
When Beatrice Tucker disappears, JUDGE JENNINGS demands that JOHN call another witness. He calls KATHERINE as a hostile witness. She says she is very anxious to answers their questions. John questions Katherine about her gift of one-half of her estate when she and Phillip were married. Katherine testified that she didn't realize what would happen and never dreamed he would want to give her house away to a "lover." She tells him that she was in love and nothing else crossed her mind when she did it. She claims that now John and Jill are trying to damn her for her action. JILL looks self-satisfied.
John questions Katherine about the divorce settlement agreement. He shows her the crossed out portion of the house and property. She tells him that she didn't realize that she didn't know what she was signing. She admits that she was drunk and explains that, drunk or sober, she'd never have given Phillip the right to hand over her house to his girlfriend. Katherine is very emotional, to the point of tears. MICHAEL stands and asks the judge how much longer they must tolerate this kind of testimony. The judge sustains the objection, but John has nothing further. Michael prefers not to cross-examine, stating that he'll handle it in his case. John, looking very guilty for putting Katherine through a bitter testimony, calls Jill as his next witness. Jill struts to the witness stand. While Jill is being sworn in, Michael asks Katherine where she came up with the information about being drunk, since Beatrice never mentioned that. Katherine tells him that it is probable, since she drank heavily back then.
On the stand, Jill tells how she came to work for Mrs. Chancellor. She met Phillip met and fell in love. She also tells about the conception of their son, Phillip's desire to divorce Katherine and marry her. She confirms that Katherine was indeed an alcoholic and was driving Phillip away. When Katherine wouldn't give him a divorce he went to the Dominican Republic. John shows her Phillip's letter. Jill accuses Katherine of hiding it from her. Katherine angrily stands and tells her that what she said is a lie because if she'd have known it was there, she'd have torn it up. Judge Jennings has to call for order in the courtroom.
CALLIE calls Trey on the payphone at Gina's. She demands to know if Trey told Malcolm anything about "them." He tells her that it's none of Malcolm's business and he's waiting for her to come to her senses and get back to Detroit. He tells her that she's chasing some married man she's got the hot for. Callie hangs up on him. She sees Malcolm come in alone. She speaks to him and tells him that he's been sneaking around behind her back. She knows he's seen Trey. Angry, she walks away from the table. Malcolm looks baffled.
Callie walks by Malcolm as he's having coffee and he tells her that she's avoiding him. He tells her he's trying to bail her out. She tells him that she never wants him to see Trey again. Malcolm tells him that Trey acts like Callie is his property and the only way he's going to get her back is if he threatens her with a bogus piece of paper. Malcolm wants to call his bluff, but to do that, they need to call Chris and get some legal muscle on their side. Callie tells Malcolm that Trey doesn't like to be pressured. Malcolm tells her that Christine should be able to make him give them a copy of the contract. If that doesn't work, then he'll go to Detroit again. Callie tells Malcolm that she doesn't want anything to happen to him. He looks at her and asks, "Okay, Callie. Be straight up. What exactly don't you want me to find out about?"
TREY calls in one of his goons and tells him to hold down the fort. He's going to Genoa City and pay Callie a visit. When he returns, Callie will be with him.
THE NURSE is encouraging MILLIE. She puts the letter out on the hospital tray table for Alice to look at. Millie's eyes widen in fear and she stares at the letter. Her pulse is wild and the nurse tells her she's got to calm down. All she can do is stare in horror at the letter.
ALICE comes in and comments on Millie's condition with a sick joke. She tells her about the information she gleaned from Stephanie about Grace Turner. She opens the yearbook and looks at the Arts and Crafts Club picture. She lays the book down on top of the hospital tray, covering the unseen letter. Millie just stares with a wild look in her eyes.
RYAN and TRICIA talk about the trip to Aspen. Tricia suggests they take it at a less busy time of the ski season. Ryan tells her that Christmas is perfect for him and he has vacation days. He thanks her again for coming up with this idea. He leaves her sitting at the table and she is not happy.
MEGAN comes by and tells Tricia to break out her plastic and come with her to Fenmore's Winter Sale. Tricia is not in the mood to shop and Meg asks if there's trouble with Ryan. Tricia tells her about her Aspen trip plan. Megan says that maybe Nina won't let Phillip go. Tricia tells Meg she won't be that lucky. "Talk about our dream vacation," Tricia whines. "I wish I hadn't even mentioned the damn trip!"
JILL is still testifying. Upon KATHERINE'S outburst, JUDGE JENNINGS fines her $400 and then tells Jill for deliberately inciting Katherine, she must pay half of the fine. Jill is miffed, but Michael calms Katherine and the testimony continues. Jill tells of the accident and how Phillip married her on his deathbed. JOHN rehashes earlier testimony about Katherine having the marriage invalidated. Jill testifies that she didn't know that Phillip was half owner of the Chancellor estate, stating that Phillip didn't discuss business with her. Jill just assumed Katherine owned everything. John turns Jill over to MICHAEL for cross-examination. Katherine pulls Michael to the side and tells him to expose Jill for the liar she is. Jill just shakes her head.
Michael asks Jill if she knew what Phillip owned when she was marrying him. Jill tells Michael that she was marrying Phillip because she loved him. Michael goes on to clarify that Jill did find out that Phillip was wealthy in his own right at the time Katherine has the marriage dissolved. Jill tells him that her son was well cared for, even though he was denied the Chancellor name and she had no recourse against Katherine for ownership of the estate. Michael gets out of the past and brings in Jill into the present, asking her why she went searching in the Chancellor attic. Jill tells him that she always thought that Phillip had left her some small momento of his love. Michael also brings out the fact that Jill was made aware of such documents through Beatrice Tucker. He asks why Mrs. Tucker would tell Jill about these papers after all these years. Jill tells Michael that he'll have to ask Beatrice that himself. Knowing Beatrice is not present, Michael throws out the barb, "I can't very well do that now, can I?" Just as quickly, he withdraws the question, knowing that John will surely object. He starts to allow Jill to step down. Then he asks the judge for permission to ask Jill one more question -- did she give Beatrice Tucker anything of value in exchange for her testimony? Jill answers no. Michael wants to know if Jill knows what "anything of value" means, but Judge Jennings intervenes and tells Jill to step down. John says he wishes to address the court on that issue.
John tells the judge that he has only one more witness -- Beatrice Tucker. John wishes to adjourn so he can locate her and bring her in. Michael wants an explanation as to why she's not here now. John says he doesn't know where Beatrice is. That's why he'd like a decent chance to try to find her. Michael asks Judge Jennings, "What if this is a delaying tactic?" Judge Jennings tells John that he has until tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. or the plaintiff will rest. He bangs his gavel and leaves the chambers.
CHRIS calls Fred Caffey again to make sure he's gone over everything. She asks if Alice is aware of Al Fenton's conviction. Fred's not sure. When she hangs up she says, "Damn you, Alice! First you abandon Cassie. Now you 're messed up with this creep." There's a knock at the door and it's MALCOLM. He tells Chris about going to Detroit. Chris tells him they can take legal steps to get a copy of her contract. Malcolm bets it will cost a bundle, but Chris says no. Maybe Callie could send a letter threatening legal action. Malcolm says that nothing will get to Trey. Chris tells him that perhaps a letter from her would catch his eye. She would tell him that Callie has retained her to settle the contract dispute. Malcolm doesn't want to rile Trey up. Chris says the only other recourse is to sue Trey, and that would make him even angrier. Malcolm finally tells Chris to get the ball rolling. He doesn't have the rest of his life to spend dealing with this crap. He tells Chris to do whatever she has to do.
The MYSTERTY MAN on the phone is demanding to see ASHLEY. He wants to come to Genoa City. Ashley begs him not to. She asks him to leave her alone -- not to call her anymore. He tells her he can't do that. She tells him she's married now, but he already knows this. Ashley finally knuckles under, telling him that she'll call him soon.
VICTORIA apologizes to COLE for following apart. He tells her it's good for her to get it out and that she'll never be alone. Ashley calls Cole on his cell phone, stating that it's urgent that he sees her. He doesn't tell Ashley where he is, but tells her it' not a good time. Ashley tells him she wouldn't have called if it weren't important. He agrees to come to the lab. Victoria tells him it helps a lot having him down at the tack house. He's glad. VICTOR comes in and greets Cole warmly. He asks if Cole is still working out here and Cole says it looks like Victor's stuck with him. Victor tells him it isn't that way at all. He thanks Cole for being a great comfort to Victoria. Victoria agrees. NIKKI has been eavesdropping on the stairway.
GINA asks CALLIE to sit down for a coffee break. Gina wants to know if Callie is going to Detroit to get her contract. Callie tells her that if Malcolm goes back it will hit the fan. Gina offers to go with her, but Callie declines. Callie tells Gina it's complicated. Gina guesses that Callie has a past with Trey, and although Callie dodges the issue, she doesn't deny it either. Speak of the devil and in walks TREY. He wants to speak to Callie alone. Gina warns Trey that she has some guys that can take care of him. Trey tells her not to worry. He's cool. Gina leaves, but sits at a table in close proximity and watches.
Trey tells her he's here with good news. Callie tells him that although she's not working in front of an audience much, she is doing her vocal exercises. Her music is the most important thing to her. Trey wants to hear a sample of her work, telling her that a good manager always wants to know how his talent is doing. Callie tells him that he, as her manager, is a joke -- and not the amusing kind. She tells him that he broke his promises to her. Trey hands her a copy of her contract and Callie is surprised to see that Trey has scheduled her for the best gig she's ever had. She's going on tour for 28 days, opening for Aretha Franklin, with an option to extend. Callie is excited. Gina watches from the distance warily. "It's the real thing baby," coos Trey. "Just like I promised you. I told you I'd make all your dreams come true." Trey takes Callie's hand and kisses it.
Alone in the courtroom, MICHAEL and KATHERINE discuss what's happened. Michael tells her that the courtroom is like live theater -- improvised, not scripted, and you never know what will happen. He tells Katherine not to read too much in to Beatrice's absence. Katherine remarks that Jill was about to blow a gasket, so it must have meant something to her. Michael reminds Katherine that Beatrice is old and could have forgotten. Katherine wants him to intimidate Beatrice on the stand and rip her testimony to shreds. Michael, however, calmly tells Katherine that he would never intimidate a senior citizen on the stand, although Beatrice's natural timidity will work in their favor.
Outside in the hallway, Jill phones Beatrice at home but there is no answer. John asks Jill what she said to Beatrice. Jill tells him she didn't say anything that would've frightened her off. She just gave her a little pep talk. She does admit that Beatrice tried to hit her up for money in a roundabout way. John wants to know how Jill answered her. Jill tells him that she assured Beatrice that she couldn't give her anything to testify, but that she would be more than generous after she gained control of the estate. John is exasperated and rants that Jill has done more to sabotage her own case than any client he's ever had has. She had better hope that they find Beatrice.
Michael and Katherine walk out of the courtroom and Katherine is smirking at Jill. She walks by Jill with her head held high. Jill gets angry and starts to go after her, fists balled and claws showing, as if to scratch Katherine's eyes out. John catches her by the arms and tells her to calm down. Jill is sufficiently ticked off.
NINA has hot chocolate for PHILLIP when he comes in because the weather is quite chilly out. Phillip is in a great mood and wonders if he should call his dad. Nina tells him it's only been a day. The phone rings and Ryan wants to come over to discuss holiday plans. Nina smiles and tells him it would be a perfect time. Phillip grins from ear to ear.
Ryan arrives and finds Nina has made a pineapple-upside down cake. He teasingly asks why she never baked like that when they were married. Nina teases him back, saying "How quickly they forget." He tells her about the idea to take Phillip on a ski trip to Aspen with him and Tricia. Nina has no problem with it, but it's not her he has to convince. She does remind Ryan that they tried this last year with disastrous results. Phillip is looking forward to quality time with just his dad and him -- not with Tricia. Ryan believes Phillip is more grown up and accepting of Tricia. Nina doesn't think so. Ryan thinks that that was a lousy thing for Nina to say. Ryan brings Phillip out of his room, where he's been cleaning, and tells Phillip that Nina says Phillip has some ideas for Christmas plans. Ryan says he has an idea too that he thinks will be good for all of them and he wants to go first. Phillip readily agrees, smiling with anticipation.
Cole comes to see ASHLEY in the lab. He startles her and she drops and breaks a beaker. Ashley tells him that she's going to have to go and solve a problem with some of their European branches. She's going to have to leave sometime next week. Cole hopes she'll be home for Christmas. He was looking forward to spending their first Christmas together. She tells him she won't know the situation until she gets over there and assesses it. She's not leaving today, but she'll have to leave soon. Ashley tells him she'll miss him, but she'll try to take care of business as soon as possible and hurry home. Cole certainly hopes so. They embrace and kiss.
Ashley calls the mystery man and tells him she's decided to come there. She tells him that she'll leave next week. He says they have some important issues to resolve. She wants to know how he knew she was married. "Ashley, my dear," says the deep voice on the other end of the line. "There is very little about you that I don't know." They decide that they will meet next week.
After Cole leaves the ranch, VICTOR asks how his favorite two ladies are. Vicki says that she's hanging in there. Victor brings her a gift that might cheer her up. She opens up a black velvet box to find an exquisite gold and diamond bracelet. Vicki goes to freshen up. Victor tells Nikki he was surprised to see Cole here. A self-satisfied Nikki tells him it's not the first time Cole's been there. She tells Victor that Vicki won't open up to her, but Cole can comfort her. Nikki tells Victor that she doesn't know what Victoria is going to do if Cole goes.
Nikki states she feels that it's natural for Victoria to reach out to Cole in her grief. Victor agrees because Cole was Eve's father. Nikki says if Cole leaves, he won't be as accessible to Vicki. Victor tells Nikki that perhaps Victoria will turn to them more. Nikki admits that she overheard Victoria expressing her appreciation for Cole's attentiveness and the fact that he's nearby. Nikki never heard Cole tell Victoria that he was moving his office. Victor asks if she's reading something into that -- perhaps Mother Newman is hoping for reconciliation between Victoria and Cole. "Are you trying to manipulate something between them?" accuses Victor. Nikki denies this, but she sees how Vicki responds to Cole. Cole is the only one who can reach her. Victor tells Nikki that the worst thing she could do is to encourage a reconciliation between Victoria and Cole, and he doesn't want to say it again. "Well, then don't say it again because I'm tired of hearing it," Nikki fires back angrily. She turns to stalk out of the room and excuses herself to Victoria who is coming back into the living room. Victoria asks what's wrong and Victor tells her that he said something her mother didn't like.
Victoria mentions that her mother seemed upset. Victor tells her not to worry. He will straighten things out with Nikki later. Victor begins to question how often Cole has been stopping by. Vicki tells her that she's well aware of the fact that Cole is married, so he needn't lecture her on that issue. She explains that today she was upset, Cole was here, and she had a good cry. Victor tells her that's fine, but she must not rely too heavily on Cole. "With all due respect," states Victoria with force. "It's really none of your business."
VICTORIA apologizes to her father for snapping at him and he tells her that he is only worried about her. He wants to know if she is expecting too much from her relationship with Cole. She shows him her left hand and reminds him that she is engaged to Neil; she is going to marry him. Cole has gone on with his life by marrying Ashley and the only thing they have in common is the death of their daughter. Victor says that he hopes for hers and everyone's sake that that he is wrong about this.
A little later when Vicki is alone, Neil calls and wants to come out to the ranch to see her. However, she tells him that she is tired and needs some rest. Maybe tomorrow, she promises. When Neil asks if Cole stopped by, she says she only saw him for a moment as he was working at the ranch. Neil hangs up the phone with a worried expression.
OLIVIA'S mind is a million miles away when Malcolm stops by the office. He sneaks up on her and kisses her unexpectantly. Although she responds, it doesn't last long. He wants to take her out for dinner (din-din, as he describes it) but she says she has too much work to do. She won't even go across the street to the Thai restaurant for a quick bite. He wonders what is wrong with her and she brings up Callie. He tells her that he has turned her case over to Christine but he is still keeping an eye on her because of Trey. As he begins to explain about Trey, she tells him that she doesn't want to hear about it. He leaves, saying that he will wait up for her.
Later, NEIL stops by her office because he is worried about Vicki. She tells him that Vicki made the right decision by going home but he tells her that it is only temporary. Olivia explains how the woman's body reacts after giving birth and how it differs when there is birth but no baby. Vicki is going through a tough time and he must be as supportive as possible, but patient; he has to let Vicki call the shots. Neil says that he can see that something is bothering her. She says that there is but she would prefer not to talk bout it right now. He tells her that he is there for her when she is ready and kisses her on the cheek.
RYAN is about to tell Phillip about the ski trip to Aspen when Nina interrupts and asks him to let Phillip go first. Phillip is eager to go first and begins to tell his dad the kind of holidays he wants to spend with him and his mother---without her. He wants it to be like it used to be even though he knows that Ryan will have to spend some time with Her. Ryan, boxed in at the moment, says that he will check his schedule and get back with him. Happily, Phillip runs to his room without hearing Ryan's good news. Ryan is frustrated but when Nina begins to commiserate with him, he wonders if this is good for Phillip. He is the child and should not be calling the shots; he needs to spend time with him and Tricia so that he can realize how much Tricia wants to make things work. She says that Phillip is able to see what Ryan can't see, that Tricia doesn't like him and never will. Ryan says that the problem is that Nina doesn't like Tricia and she can't help talking about her with Phillip. Nina shouts that she and Phillip aren't spending all their free time sticking pins into Barbie dolls!
Meanwhile, TRICIA tells Megan that she never meant for Ryan to ask Phillip to go with them to Aspen. Megan says that it could be a good thing; he needs to spend more time with her so that he can warm up to her. Tricia tells Megan that she is going to tell her something but if she ever repeats it, she will deny saying it. She confesses that she doesn't like Phillip. He is cold and rude and he is a spoiled brat! She doesn't like him any more than he likes her. She has tried her best but he has been mean and rude to her and she can't take it any more.
After Megan leaves, Tricia begins work on Christmas Cards. Ryan comes in and she asks him how it went with Phillip. He says, to her obvious delight, that Phillip won't be going to Aspen with them because he has plans of his own for Christmas; he has drawn up all these plans for his mother and his father. He is upset because he wants Phillip to see what a great step-mom Tricia is. When Tricia says that maybe this is for the best, he says that they can't give up; they have to keep trying.
CALLIE can't believe her good fortune! She will be opening for the great Aretha Franklin in twenty-eight cities across the country! Trey tells her that he is a man who keeps his promises. He is offering her a dream come true and he will make her a star. He says that Aretha heard her demo and loved it; that is how she got this job and it is legit. He takes out his pen and hands it to her but she hesitates about signing. She wants some time to read the contract and think about it. He says that he doesn't know what there is to think about but he will give her two days. He warns her not to tell anyone of the details as it could spoil the deal. He leaves and Gina comes over to the table to see if she is all right. She says that she is better than all right, but she has to think about it. Malcolm comes in and Gina says that she sure is glad that he is here. She tells him that Trey just left. He goes to Callie and asks what Trey wanted. She shows him the contract but says that she can't talk about it yet. Malcolm warns Callie not to get suckered back in by Trey. If she really wants to get her life back on track, she has to let Christine Williams help her.
NICK calls Sharon and says that he needs to talk to her. He wants to explain why Grace was in his office the other day. He says that she has the wrong idea; she isn't still down the hall from him but in another part of the building. She has a whole new job now and he doesn't ever see her. Sharon says that the last person on her mind is Grace Turner and she doesn't want to talk any more. She hangs up. Cassie is standing there and tells her mother that she doesn't have to hang up because she came into the room. Sharon tells her that it isn't her fault that she hung up. Cassie has made a get-well card for Victoria and wants to take it to her. Sharon says it isn't a good idea to go to the big house. As Cassie softly insists, she says that it is too late. Cassie gives in and says that she can mail it, she guesses. Sharon feels bad and changes her mind.
VICKI is alone when the door opens and Cassie and Sharon come in. She is delighted to see them, however, and she is touched when Cassie tells her that she made her a get-well card. She sits beside Vicki and Vicki asks for a hug, saying that she won't break. She holds Cassie especially tight then looks at the card. The beauty of it touches her even though Cassie apologizes for her "art work." Sharon and Vicki exchange hugs and Sharon gives her her best wishes but tells Cassie that they need to go. As Cassie leans in to hug Vicki goodbye, she asks her if Nicholas is there so she can talk to him. Vicki is stunned and asks why Nick would be there. Sharon admits that she and Nick are having problems and he is staying at the ranch. Vicki is sorry and says that she didn't know. Sharon says that they didn't want to burden her with their problems. She insists that they have to go. Cassie tells Vicki to talk to Nick; she knows that he still really loves her mommy.
NICK is brooding when Victor stops by. He says that Miguel told him that Nick wasn't coming home again tonight. Nick says that he isn't but he won't turn around and face his dad. As Victor keeps talking to Nick's back, he insists that he turn around and face him. He sees the bruise on Nick's cheek and demands to know how it got there. Nick doesn't want to tell him but finally he says that he exchanged a few punches with Tony Viscardi, Grace's former fiancÚ. So the marriage is off? Victor wonders. He wants to know if he should talk with Tony, but Nick tells him to stay out of his business. Victor tells him that the way his life is going, he needs someone to check up on him. He tells Nick that instead of hiding out at the office, he should be at his house talking to Sharon and straightening out the mess he has made of his marriage. Nick tries to explain that he is trying to do as Sharon wishes and give her some space. It is hard for him but he feels it is his only chance with Sharon. Victor says that that isn't the way he would handle it. Nick tells him that he isn't his father. What works for his father doesn't work for him, he says. He says that if he doesn't give Sharon the space she has asked for, she will take the kids and leave the ranch. He begs his father to let him do it his way. Victor doesn't like it but he wishes Nick good luck before he leaves the office.
PAUL and CHRIS are eating breakfast. He asks her about something she said concerning Sharon last night. Chris is surprised that he wasn't listening, but tells him that Alice Johnson is going to be more trouble than she thought. Paul is concerned about Al's conviction as a child molEsther. Chris tells him that she is worried that if Sharon doesn't patch things up with Nick her chances to win custody could be greatly diminished. Chris wants to keep Cassie away from Alice. Paul walks away from her and Chris follows. She asks him if they're going to avoid talking about what's on both their minds. Paul says that he can't understand why he's not thankful. His father's alive, but he doesn't want anything to do with him. He knows Chris went to a lot of trouble, but he's not sure there's anything to be thankful about. Chris tells him that she saw the man that looked like his father and she couldn't let go. Paul tells her that she found his father, but the man he knew no longer exists. Chris can't believe he could just put it out of his mind. He tells her that he won't because every time he looks at his mother he will remember that his father is out there alive, living another life. The doorbell rings and its Mary. Paul puts his hand over his face and shakes his head. Mary's timing couldn't be more imperfect.
Paul welcomes his mother in and tells her it's a surprise to see her. Mary wanted to see them both before they left for work. She wants to firm up plans for Christmas. They apologize for missing Thanksgiving. Mary is afraid that the reason they were away at Thanksgiving was because they weren't ready to celebrate with Charlie. Paul tells her that wasn't it at all. Mary is glad because it means a lot to have his approval now that she's moved on with her life. She almost says they'll have the best Christmas since Carl disappeared, but she stops and tells them that it will be the best Christmas in a long time. Paul and Chris both looks so hurt and confused when she leaves.
Paul tells Chris that his mother is happy and ready to move on with her life. Chris tells him that she didn't ask for this thing with his father to happen. Trying to be upbeat, she tells him that she believes it's a miracle. Paul tells her it's more like a nightmare. "The way I feel now, it would be better if he'd stayed dead," he says gravely. Chris' face falls and Paul looks away.
NICK finds MIGUEL in the living room when he comes home. Miguel tells Nick that he missed his parents because they both had early appointments. Nick mumbles that it's just as well, and goes upstairs. Miguel watches him go, his brow furrowed with concern.
Nick has bags packed and is heading out when VICTORIA yells, "Stop right there!" She demands to know where he's going and what happened to his face. She grills him about his whereabouts last night. He asks if Victor and Nikki told her what was going on. Victoria tells him that Sharon and Cassie came to give her a very sweet get well card. Sharon was the one who told her. Nick hopes she didn't give Sharon any advice. Victoria tells him she only said that she was sorry. Since she's not allowed to talk to Sharon, Victoria wants to hear the whole story from Nick. Nick tells her that Sharon feels surrounded by people who are automatically on Nick's side. Victoria tells him not to jump to conclusions with her because she hasn't heard the whole story. Nick tells Victoria that Sharon is his world -- the only woman he'll ever love and he can't lose her.
Nick tells Victoria that his marriage is in real trouble and it has to do with Grace. Victoria tells him that she was suspicious of Grace Turner from day one and he walked right into her trap. Nick tells Victoria he's not making excuses -- he was a jerk. He tells Victoria the whole Denver disaster. He asks what he can do to save his marriage. Victoria says he must do whatever he has to. He tells her he can't lose Sharon and the kids and then he thanks Victoria for not being too hard on him. She tells him she's the last person who should be making judgment on other people. Victoria tells him that it looks like he's had to learn his lesson the hard way. She embraces her brother and Nick looks so incredibly sad.
Gina's is thriving with breakfast customers. Among them, sit DIANE and MARISSA. They are waiting for BRAD, who is late. Brad has invited Diane to breakfast and she tells Marissa that he'll be there. After all, it was his idea. Marissa can tell Diane's excited. Diane finds Brad to be an intriguing man. Marissa mentions that he's also extremely handsome. Diane agrees. The thing Diane likes best is that she can completely be herself with Brad and she's never known a man quite like that. Brad waltzes up to the table and greets them both. Marissa tells Brad she was just keeping Diane company until he arrived and now she has errands to run. On her way out, she leans over to Diane and whispers, "Have fun!" Brad sits across from Diane and seductively says, "Hi Beautiful! Are you as hungry as I am?" Diane and Brad exchange naughty smiles.
Brad chows down heartily on pancakes and bacon. Diane says he was serious when he says he was hungry. He pointedly tells her that she knows he meant more than breakfast food. She asks him how he does it -- having a high-power job, and yet he's so much different from Jack and Victor. He tells her that he loves what he does and he's ambitious but unlike Jack and Victor, Newman Enterprises is not his entire life. Diane smiles. In the background, PHYLLIS is seated and she immediately spies Diane and Brad together. She smiles and opens her book, pretending to read, but spying on her sited prey.
Diane asks about his social life. He tells her that he's seen one very beautiful, sexy lady, but while he was away she got married to a "real nice guy." Diane jokingly says, "What was she thinking?" Brad tells her that life goes on and there are other beautiful, sexy women -- just like the one he's look at now. Diane fairly blushes at Brad's lavish compliment. Diane asks how Brad gets along with Victor. He tells her that he just stays out of his way. Diane wishes she'd had that advice a year ago. Brad tells her that things work out for the best because if she and Victor hadn't parted ways, he wouldn't be sitting with her now. Brad tells her that he has her number memorized and he'll see her soon. Phyllis continues to spy on them
After Brad leaves, Phyllis ambles over and asks if Diane minds if she joins her. Diane asks, "Would it matter if I did?" Phyllis takes that as a yes and seats herself. Phyllis quizzes Diane about Brad. Diane doesn't want to discuss anything with her. Phyllis points out that seeing her sitting there with "that very handsome man" makes her wonder if she's finally getting over Victor. Phyllis hopes that Diane and her "mystery man" are very happy. This doesn't wash with Diane and she tells Phyllis that the only reason she's concerned about Diane with another man is so Phyllis can have Michael all to herself. Diane tells her to save the snow-job because she can see right through her. Phyllis tells her that Diane doesn't know what she's talking about. Diane tells Phyllis she's as transparent as glass. Phyllis says she would be happy to learn that Diane no longer had romantic aspirations for Michael. Diane denies ever having any. Phyllis tells her that they are both on the same side then. They both want what's best for Michael. Diane questions if Phyllis really is best for him. Phyllis sidesteps Diane's personal jab, and asks her to put in a good word for her to Michael. She knows that Michael won't be happy if he's not with her. Diane tells her that she passes on being Phyllis' ally because she doesn't think Phyllis is what's best for Michael. Phyllis asks her if that means Diane is her competition. Diane says it's a rough world out there. "I can handle it," she taunts Phyllis. "Can you?" Phyllis glares at her.
Across the room in Gina's, Mary and CHARLIE have met for breakfast. He asks if Chris and Paul would like to help decorate for Christmas and have some eggnog. Mary says she's sure they would with enough notice. Charlie asks about Christmas Eve dinner and Mary assures him they'll be there as well. Charlie asks if everything is okay between Paul and Christine. Mary says that things seemed tense. Although she doesn't say it, Mary suspects that perhaps Chris might be pregnant. She tells Charlie she doesn't want to start being suspicious because things are going so well. Charlie promises a wonderful Christmas. Charlie takes Mary's hand and she smiles at first and then as she looks at their hands entwined, she saddens just a bit.
SHARON is holding a picture of her and Nick, looking at it longingly. There 's a knock at the door and it's Tony. He has brought a tiny Christmas tree, already decorated and ready to be plugged in. He also brought Cassie and Advent calendar with tiny present for each day until Christmas. Sharon thanks him for his thoughtfulness. She invites Tony to spend Christmas with them, telling him that it would mean a lot to Cassie. Tony tells her that he doesn't think Nick and he in the same room is a good idea. Sharon insists that Nick is to keep his distance. Tony doesn't want to chance it. Sharon guesses that he went to see Nick and he admits he did. He just couldn't stand seeing her torn up the way she was. Tony tells her that he and Nick fought. Sharon immediately asks if Nick is all right. He comments that no matter what, Sharon can't stop worrying about Nick even though he's hurt her. Sharon's averts her eyes, but doesn't deny Tony's assessment. Tony tells her that Cassie thinks of Nick as her father. Sharon admits that even with all the problems, it will be Cassie and her first Christmas together and that alone makes it special.
Crimson Lights is decorated to the hilt for the Christmas season. RYANcomes in for a cup of coffee and finds MEGAN studying for a test she has to take in an hour. He chides her for not studying somewhere quieter. Meg asks if he shouldn't be at work instead of hassling his sister-in-law. She starts to ask about the ski trip when GRACE comes in. Instead of ski trip information, she asks if the blonde in the corner isn't Grace. Meg is also curious as to why Tony and Grace broke up. Ryan avoids answering by asking her why she wants to know. Meg tells him she's curious. Ryan is concerned that Meg will get involved with Tony because he's in a bad way. Megan tells him that's what Tony says. Ryan pleads for her to listen. She asks what Grace is like and Ryan gives her the employer's version: she's a hard worker. Megan tells him he knows that's not what she means. Ryan leaves to avoid any further conversation, but warns her to be careful and think about what she's doing before she does it. Megan watches Grace intently.
Megan intrudes on Grace as she is working and Grace is really rude to Meg. Then Grace recognizes her as the young girl she saw with "her fiancÚ." Megan corrects her and says, "Yes, your ex-fiancÚ, right?" She's quite frank with Grace and tells her that she had this great guy who loved her and Grace blew it. "Talk about a dumb move," states Meg. Grace tells her it's none of her business. She asks if Meg isn't too young for Tony. Meg tells her that she's his friend and Grace tells her that she knows Meg would like to be more. Then she advises Meg that Tony is the kind of guy who likes to play the field, but Meg can find that out on her own. Meg doesn't take this lightly. "I don't know what you did," Meg declares. "But you hurt him badly and now you sit here tearing him down?" Grace tells her that she's trying to save her trouble. Meg tells Grace she'd never believe anything she had to say. The only mistake Meg can see that Tony made was getting involved with Grace. Grace is insulted and tells her that she came there to read a report and have a cup of coffee. Then she insults Megan by telling her to let adults deal with adult problems. "You'll get your chance one day when you grow up," Grace snarls. Grace tells her that from what she's seen of Megan, she'll get her chance soon. Tony comes into Crimson Lights. He sees the two of them together and his face hardens into a frown. Nick goes into his office to work. He picks up Cassie's picture of her family. He whispers that he misses Sharon so much. The phone rings and he answers. No one says anything. He says hello several times. The scene cuts to Sharon as she hangs wordlessly connected to Nick by the phone line. Annoyed, he takes the receiver from his ear and never hears Sharon as she begins to say, "Nick I just wanted to..." Instead she hears the click of the phone on his end. She hangs up, realizing she waited too long. Nick looks at the phone and his expression changes. Could it have been? "Sharon was that you?" he asks. The scene fades back to Sharon who looks saddened and disappointed.
AL asks ALICE where she's been. Alice is tired of knocking on doors and getting no information on Grace. She looks frustrated and Al adds no moral support. Alice says she can't give up. Al seems to have a change in attitude, telling Alice that because she's so determined to find her kid it must be more than some pipe dream. Alice tells him that Millie at least told her that Cassie was with people who were well off. Al asks if she plans to "sell" Cassie to them. Alice firmly tells him no way; she's bringing back "her little girl" so the three of them can be a family. However, Alice intends to make these people pay her to keep her from filing kidnapping charges. That way she gets Cassie and the money. She asks Al if he'll mind having Cassie around knowing that she's coming with some "moo-la."
Al asks why Alice left Cassie in the first place. She tells him that a lot of things were going on in her life then. The point is Cassie is coming back, and she'll be bringing money. Al comments that Alice doesn't seem like the maternal type. Alice tells him she was a basket case, but now that Cassie's older, she won't be underfoot. She wants them to be a family. Al looks skeptical. He tells her she's living in a dream world. He's says that he told her from the start he didn't like kids. They're trouble, in more ways that one, he says. Besides all she's finding is one dead-end after another. Alice says she's not giving up on finding Cassie. Still in the same tee shirt and bathrobe from the day before, Al tells Alice that she's looking for a needle in a haystack and then leaves the room. Taking his words to heart, Alice picks up the yearbook and tosses it across the room in frustration. There's a knock on the door. Alice goes to the door in a foul mood. The woman on the stoop says she hears that Alice has been poking around asking about Grace Turner. Alice asks if she knows her. "Yeah," admits the woman. "I know her. I'm her mother." Alice is completely floored.
COLE comes to whisk ASHLEY away for a long, romantic lunch, a nap, "a little dessert" and then another nap. She tells him she has loose ends she needs to tie up, but he finally breaks down her defenses and she reasons that she can work on the plane. Just as she's getting ready to go, the MYSTERY MAN, calls. She puts him on hold and tells Cole it's a business call. Cole is disappointed, but tells her he's holding her to dinner. When she's gone, she tells her caller that she's leaving tomorrow. The caller tells her that they have a lot to discuss.
VICTOR, who wants to know how things are going, summons Brad. He asks several questions about Brad's private life, especially concerning Diane. He tells Brad that should a relationship develop between Diane and him, Brad has Victor's blessing. Brad tells him that he's heard that Victor wasn't thrilled about Jack's involvement with Diane. Victor makes it plain that he doesn't trust Jack and never will. He believes Jack has given Diane information that will hurt him in his divorce settlement. Brad asks if Victor's shouldn't he be concerned that Brad might do the same. Victor asks, "I don't know. Should I?" Brad tells him that when he signed on, he gave 100% of his commitment to the company, but he is not going to let Victor or anyone else dictate his personal life. Victor tells him he no intention of running his personal life. Ashley comes in to tell Victor that she's going to their European branches to solve a problem. Victor offers to help, but Ashley says she doesn't want to get people in trouble that just made an honest mistake. Victor takes a phone call and Brad asks Ashley if Cole all right with this. Ashley says that Cole understands, but she is otherwise evasive. Brad is suspicious.
PHYLLIS and DIANE continue their little heart to heart at Gina's. Diane refuses to help Phyllis win Michael back. Phyllis asks her how well she knows Michael. Diane informs her that she knows him as well as any "client" knows her attorney. Phyllis explains that Michael has been through hell. Diane thinks Phyllis is being melodramatic when she says that without his occupation as a lawyer, Michael would rather be dead. She tells Diane it's his lifeblood and she was there with him every step of the way as he fought to get his license back. Diane scoffs at Phyllis' notion that Phyllis was Michael's savior.
Phyllis explains to a skeptical Diane that Michael was just a shell of a man when she first met him. She takes credit for making Michael the man he is today by pushing and encouraging Michael -- never letting him forget his goal. Diane tells her that she's not a dating service. If Phyllis is going to get Michael back, she's on her own. Diane gets up and leaves Phyllis alone at the table. "What a bitch!" Phyllis mutters.
CHRIS can't believe that PAUL would rather his father have remained dead. Paul explains that yes, there's a man walking around out there who looks like his father, but the man he knew is gone. Chris tells him it's not like Carl had a choice. Paul understands that his father is a victim, but he doesn't want to remember the family he left behind. "Maybe it's high time we stopped trying," states Paul. Chris believes that on the surface Carl only appears to be happy and that he didn't lash out in anger -- he's afraid. They told him a story that threatens the only reality he knows. He clung to Ruth because she was the first person who came along. Paul is sure that his father truly loves Ruth and that he thinks it would be a mistake to try to get his dad back.
Chris wants to know if Paul is sure that it's a mistake to try. Paul tells her that he never stopped loving his father. But now, Carl's living in another city, with another woman, with a completely different identity. That hurts like hell. He can't blame his father because he's a victim. He's content. He's happy. He has a woman who loves him. Meanwhile, his mother has accepted that he's gone and she and Charlie are even talking about marriage. Chris is crying and Paul breaks down. She wants to know if this is really the best way. He tells her this is the hardest thing he's ever had to do. He doesn't have any choices. He refuses to go back to Norfolk and destroy his father's only happiness and he can't tell his mother that the man she's assumed was dead all these years is alive and well and living with another woman. Carl doesn't even remember her. Paul starts to cry. He tells Chris that his father gave him so much and he always wondered how he'd ever pay him back. He feels like this is a way he can do it -- to let him live out his days in peace. Chris tells him that he should never forget that it's a miracle that his father's alive. It's been hard to see it in all this, but it is a miracle. Paul agrees. "The father I love so much is alive," he sobs.
TONY joins MEGAN and GRACE at their table. He asks if things are okay. Grace tells him yes. He informs Grace that he was asking Meg. Meg tells him she's fine. Grace tells Tony it's good to see him and he can't imagine why. He makes a point to tell Megan how good she looks and asks if Meg and Grace are getting to know each other. Meg's not sure that's possible. Grace says that Meg is a loyal friend of his -- just one more person jumping on the pile to give her a piece of their mind. Grace feels that as much as she deserves it, she's getting tired of being told what a foolish bitch she is. Tony can't understand why Grace is even in a "dive" like Crimson Lights. She's a big time executive now and he can't imagine that she'd want to hang out with a bunch of "kids." She stares Meg down and tells Tony that she makes exceptions -- just like he does. He asks Megan to dance. To Grace he says, "I see you're almost finished. I assume that means you'll be leaving." Grace sulks and finally leaves while Tony and Megan dances.
After they dance, Meg mentions how intense Tony and Grace were. She tells him she bets that when things were good between Tony and Grace, they were really good. She believes that Grace must have been something special to him. He almost married her. Tony tells Meg that was a joke. He and Grace had a history from back in Madison but it was nothing more than hormones. He followed her to Genoa City to try to get some of the fun back, but by the time he got here, she'd already changed. She had ambition. She was focused. Tony started jumping through hoops to be the kind of man Grace wanted. In the end, everyone got hurt.
Tony tells her that Grace has a heart of stone. He does too. Megan doesn't believe that because he's hurting and bleeding. He's trying to get over that, he says. Meg tells him that he's Tony Viscardi, "Mr. Dangerous-Tough Guy." Tony says that's him. Meg seductively tells him that dangerous men turn her on and asks if he's shocked. Tony warns her that she might just shock herself. Meg counters with, "Maybe it would be good for me." He tells her he remembers a sweet, bright-eyed girl. Meg tells him she's not a child, no matter what Grace thinks. He takes her hand and says, "No. You're definitely not." He stands and asks her to go with him. He asks if she wants to dance. She tells him no. He doesn't want to dance either. That's all it takes. They grab each other and lock tight in a long, passionate kiss.
GRACE'S MOM tells Alice that Grace is attracted to trouble like bees are to honey. She asks what Grace has done. Alice tells her that all she wants from Grace is some information on Grace's best friend from high school. Ms. Turner rolls her eyes and says, "Hope you're not talking about Sharon Collins." She's not a big fan of Sharon's, stressing that her morals were in the gutter. Grace and Sharon could have been sisters. Alice asks where Grace is. Ms. Turner tells her that Grace never heard a word from Sharon after she got knocked up and skipped town. Grace was devastated. But just like Sharon, Grace left too. Alice asks her where Grace moved. Ms. Turner said she was heading to some place called Genoa City, but that was years ago. Who knows where Grace is now? She asks why Alice wants to see Sharon. Alice tells her that Sharon has something of hers and she wants it back. "Good luck," states Ms. Turner, without much heart. Al comes out, finally dressed. Alice tells him that he may not believe this but she loves Cassie and she wants her back. "Sharon Collins," Alice seethes. "Your days with Cassie are numbered!"
COLE visits NICK after seeing Ashley. Nick asks about Cole and how he's doing. Good days and bad, replies Cole. He mentions that he's heard about Nick and Sharon's problems and offers to help if he can. Nick asks Cole if he will go and talk to Sharon for him. He figures that Cole is not a Newman, so Sharon might listen. Nick doesn't know what Cole's heard, so he tells him about the Denver disaster. Cole reminds him about the nursery incident and wonders if there's something Nick's not admitting. Nick tells Cole he's a red-blooded man and there is some sexual attraction to Grace, but he loves Sharon. Cole will not go to give Sharon advice, but he will go to listen if she needs an ear. He also tells Nick if they are going to fight for his marriage, he better make sure that it's something he wants because of what happened not just once, but twice with the same woman.
Nick says that if there was ever any doubt, there isn't now. Sharon and the children mean the world to him and he'll do anything to get them back. Cole tells him he's probably heard this from everyone else, but it's going to take time. He knows how much Sharon loved him and those feelings don't fade away fast. However, they've both got to want it badly enough. Nick pleads with Cole to intercede for him. He wants Cole's help in winning Sharon back. Cole tells him he'll think on it, but not to give up.
CARL is untangling Christmas lights when Ruth finds a cut-glass starburst ornament. Carl gave it to her the first Christmas they were together. She asks if he's sure that his history with her is all he needs. He walks over to Ruth and takes hold of her arms. "Not only are you the only thing I remember," states Carl. "The only thing I need is you. The only thing I'll ever need is you." Carl goes back to work on the lights but with his head hung a little lower. Ruth tells him that he can't help but wonder about his past now that Chris and Paul have been here.
He tells her that until now, they've never given a second thought to his past. Ruth tells him that things are different because Chris and Paul have told him about his past. He tells her that he's really tried to remember what they described; this happy family that he was supposed to be a part of, and he can't. That tells Carl that it's destiny that they should be together. The phone rings and it's the realtor. The couple that looked at the house the other day wants to move in right away. Ruth is taken aback. She mentions that they were going to get a Christmas tree. Carl assures her that wherever they go, they shall have a Christmas tree. He believes that the couple showing !-------------- Monday Recap ---> BRAD makes a phone call to inquire about any particular problems in any of the Jabot European offices. His contact promises to get back to him with the information. Phyllis sees Brad and starts toward him when Grace breezes in, apologizing for being late. She hands him the report she's been working on. Deciding to watch this exchange, Phyllis positions herself with Cole's book, HOPE IN A BOTTLE, and pretends to read while she eavesdrops. Brad asks Grace if she knows a guy named Tony because he walked in on him and Nick in a fight yesterday. "Who won?" Grace asks nonchalantly. Brad tells her that no one did because he broke it up before it got that far. Something tells him there's a story there. Grace tells him that she thought she was going to start with a clean slate.
Brad is looking over the report and tells her that she's right on target. He tells her that she's been at Newman Enterprises while he's been gone and she's more in tune with the morale of the place. Grace asks if she's being set up. She gets upset and tells him that she knows Brad is keeping an eye on her for Victor. She doesn't think it's fun to be under a microscope all day long. She knows that if anyone crosses the Newmans they will stomp them out. "They think they're untouchable," she states angrily. Brad tells her to calm down. He says they've covered enough for today. She leaves and tells him she'll see him at the office. Phyllis watches the scene intently, but Brad doesn't notice her. He calls his contact back and gets some information on Ashley's "business trip."
Brad catches Ashley in the lab. He tells her he thought that she had a meeting. She tells him that she's really busy. "Do you want something?" She asks anxiously. Brad tells her he's just curious about this trip she's taking. She never did tell him exactly whom it is she's going to see. Ashley has fear in her eyes.