At the hospital, Abby chatted with Victoria after the two had attended a childbirth class. Abby complained at length about Mariah. Victoria said she sympathized with Sharon and understood why Sharon yearned to bond with her child that had been taken away at birth. Changing the subject, Abby suggested that Victoria might later regret not having chosen Billy as her birthing coach. Victoria noted that she and Billy were officially divorced. Victoria added that she planned to co-parent with the baby's biological father. Abby cried, "So my niece or nephew could be raised by a daddy who served time for killing his daddy?"
At Crimson Lights, Nick presented Sharon with the original engagement ring he'd given her before the couple had wed the first time. Nick noted that he'd upgraded the diamond setting. Sharon wiped away tears of joy as she accepted Nick's ring and agreed to marry him. Sharon hoped to share the news with their children immediately, but Nick said he'd prefer to wait, so the couple could enjoy one special evening together. Sharon agreed.
At the Underground, Noah told Mariah that Austin had mentioned having seen her clean out her locker. Mariah explained that Nick had made her feel guilty about leaving before earning the money to pay back Sharon. Noah replied, "Dad will get to you on the guilt. Most parents will." Mariah replied, "Luckily, I'm not his kid, and I never will be."
Noah told Mariah that she should give Sharon a chance. Mariah said she wasn't the least bit interested in playing the role of Cassie. Mariah added, "I will never measure up!" Mariah cried that, unlike Sharon's other children, a cult leader and a cold-hearted woman who'd never wanted anything to do with a daughter had raised her. Noah explained that Sharon only wanted to love and care for Mariah. Noah added, "After everything you've done to Sharon, the least you could do is give her a chance."
Abby entered the bar, approached Mariah, and said, "Look who's here -- the winner of the DNA lottery! You here to collect?" Abby, badgering Mariah, dredged up Mariah's pitiful past with Ian. Mariah retaliated by drenching Abby with a pitcher of cold water. Noah told Abby that she'd been out of line. Abby threatened to rip out Mariah's hair if she ever got near her again. After Abby left, Noah berated Mariah for ruining her opportunity to be part of a real family.
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Nikki, standing beside Victor, reacted with shock when Maureen approached. Maureen quickly backtracked and pretended she'd mistakenly identified Nikki as a woman named Sherry. After Victor left the dining area to accept a phone call, Maureen sat beside Nikki at the bar and noted that Nikki had evidently mended her rift with her husband. Nikki thanked Maureen for pretending that they hadn't previously met. Maureen explained that she understood complicated marriages.
Nikki was shocked when Maureen announced that her son might be the father of Victoria's baby. Nikki gasped and said, "You're Stitch's mother?" Maureen nodded and noted that it was a small world. Maureen offered to share a toast to celebrate a new grandchild. Nikki nodded toward Victor and said, "No! I don't drink." Maureen said she understood.
In another area of the dining room, Paul approached Dylan. Paul hammered Dylan with questions about Ian's sudden disappearance. Dylan, his right hand still bandaged, insisted that he'd already told Paul everything. Paul said that Dylan would need to answer questions at the police station. Dylan seemed apprehensive. Christine interrupted the conversation when she prompted guests to prepare for a toast to Paul.
Friends gathered around Paul. Christine announced that Paul was loyal beyond belief and too brave for his own good. Avery, Dylan, Lauren, Michael, Nikki, and Victor raised their glasses to honor Paul. Christine was miffed when Paul said he had to follow up on the Ian Ward investigation and needed Dylan to accompany him. Avery and Nikki were nervous about Paul's insistence that Dylan tag along to the police station. Avery later heard Christine mention to Michael that traces of blood had been found at the Newman ranch. Avery quickly ran out the front door.
Nick and Sharon entered the lobby of the Genoa City Athletic Club, talking about their engagement. Victor, standing nearby, said, "You two getting married or what?" Nikki approached and congratulated Nick and Sharon after Victor announced that the couple planned to marry. Victor noted that Nikki didn't seem surprised. Nikki explained that marriage didn't seem out of the question after Nick had moved in with Sharon. Admiring her ring, Sharon noted that she hadn't initially planned to remarry. Victor said, "Yet you ended up with a ring on your finger." Nick reminded Victor that he often boasted that life was all about family.
In a private suite, Nick and Sharon sipped champagne. Nick said, "Tonight is about us, and I don't want to focus on anything but us. I want to spend the whole night showing you how much you mean to me." Nick unzipped Sharon's skirt and slipped off her blouse. Sharon pulled off Nick's shirt. The couple reclined on the bed together, and Nick tenderly kissed the nape of Sharon's neck. Nick told Sharon that nothing would break them up again.
Victoria joined her parents at the Genoa City Athletic Club and learned that Nick and Sharon had become engaged. Victor mentioned Sharon's stints in the "loony bin." Nikki quickly noted Victor had played a role in triggering Sharon's mental breakdown by hiring Mariah to masquerade as Cassie. Victor complained that Sharon had allowed Mariah to move in with Nick and Faith. Nikki replied, "Sharon suffered tremendous guilt when she gave Cassie up as a baby, and Sharon didn't have a lifetime to make up for it. Maybe this opportunity with Mariah will give her a chance to make up for all the demons of the past, just like it did for Dylan and me."
Victor quickly stepped away from his wife and daughter when his phone rang. Victor rushed to a private spot near the stairwell. Dr. Cutler was on the line. Victor listened for a moment before smiling. In an upbeat reply, Victor said, "Oh, really? Phyllis talked? What did she say? Well, that's wonderful news!"
In Paul's office at the police station, Dylan said that Ian had disappeared into the woods after running out of Nikki's house. Paul explained that Ian's car had been found abandoned on Royden Drive near the racetrack. Paul added that Ian's wallet had been recovered from a nearby dumpster. Dylan shrugged and said that Ian had likely ditched his car and identification before leaving town. Paul explained that a witness had spotted Dylan near the racetrack, which was located in the opposite direction from the coffeehouse.
Paul, recalling Dylan's previous account of the night in question, asked, "Which is it? Did you go to the coffeehouse, or did you go to the track?" Dylan replied, "Both." Dylan explained that after he'd returned to Crimson Lights, he'd also taken a walk to clear his head. Dylan insisted that he'd seen no one during his walk. Paul said, "Not much of an alibi, Dylan, walking alone." Dylan cried, "I didn't know that I needed an alibi. You going to arrest me?"
Paul mentioned that blood found on the Newmans' driveway belonged to Ian. When Paul questioned Dylan about the injury to his hand, Dylan claimed that out of frustration, he'd punched a window in a warehouse near the track. Dylan added that he'd lied because he hadn't wanted Avery to know that he'd lost control. Dylan insisted that he could deal with his anger issues and posttraumatic stress on his own. Dylan left a gift and congratulated Paul on his award. After Dylan left, Paul opened the gift and found two fishing lures.
Christine intercepted Avery at the police station and insisted that Paul be allowed to do his job. Avery replied, "I have a job, too, Christine -- to protect Dylan." Christine explained Dylan hadn't been arrested because no evidence of a crime existed. In a flashback, Avery remembered having found Dylan stuffing something into a trash bag. When she'd spotted blood on Dylan, he'd claimed that he'd merely cut his hand.
Christine entered Paul's office after Dylan left. Paul showed her the fishing lures. Christine admired them. She said that Dylan had put much thought into the handmade lures. Paul carefully placed the lures back in the box. Paul told Christine that Dylan denied having done anything to Ian. Christine said, "Do you believe him?" Paul, his brow furrowed, replied, "I want to."
At the Baldwins' condo, Lauren told Michael that it was a shame Paul had been called away from his party. She lifted the lid of a takeout box containing slices of cake from the party and began eating chocolate frosting. Michael said he understood why Paul was preoccupied with capturing Ian Ward. Lauren said she felt bad for Christine for having to postpone plans to have a child. Lauren said Paul should at least set aside time to spend with Christine.
Lauren and Michael decided they'd spend a cozy evening on the sofa together. Michael dimmed the lights. The couple sat close together on the sofa and began kissing. Their attempt to make love failed again, but Michael claimed he was under stress due to his new partnership with Avery. Lauren noted that the partnership was intended to relieve pressure on Michael. Lauren cried, "Michael, we can't go on like this. You haven't been able to, and it's not just when you're tired. We have a problem here." Michael replied, "You mean I have a problem."
At the police station, Paul gazed at his fishing lures, and Victor entered and asked what Paul had. Paul explained that his son had made them for him, and Victor inquired whether Paul intended to go fishing. Paul replied that he wouldn't while Ian was still missing, and Victor wondered whether Paul was holding out on him regarding Ian's whereabouts. Paul said that he and Victor had been friends for a long time, but he refused to share police business.
Victor noted that Paul had left his own party with Dylan, and he imagined that they hadn't talked about fishing. Victor surmised that Dylan had information about Ian's whereabouts, but Paul said nothing. Detective Harding entered to talk to Paul, who said that Victor was just leaving. Victor stated that Nikki's well-being was a priority to him, and Paul agreed that it was important to him, too. Victor told Paul to prove it. After Victor stepped out, Paul examined an evidence bag that contained an expensive jacket, and Harding revealed that it had been found behind the old quarry, along with a business card holder that contained cards from The Path.
Paul said that if they could establish that Ian had been wearing the jacket, it appeared that Ian had left his car at the racetrack and had walked to the quarry -- unless someone had moved him there. Harding asked about the red mud on the jacket, and Paul said that there were red granite deposits in the quarry. Paul added that there was no other place in Genoa City likely to have mud like that, and he asked Harding to let him know when the lab finished analyzing the evidence. Paul grabbed the fishing lures and said that he had to take care of something.
Mariah approached Kevin at his desk, and he quickly shut his laptop. She teased that she didn't want a sneak peek at his lame screenplay, and she informed him that she was there to see if the police had found Ian. Kevin reported that they were still looking, but he suspected that a smart man like Ian was long gone. Mariah complained that she was stuck in limbo, wondering if she was still married, and Kevin assured her that the union had been invalid, since she'd been incapacitated. She said that was what Nick had told her, but he was just a bar owner, and she wanted to be sure.
Kevin mentioned that his brother was a lawyer, and Mariah grumbled that she couldn't afford an attorney, but he pointed out that she was a Newman. "The hell I am," she huffed, and she griped that she was stuck in town until she repaid the money she owed Sharon. Kevin complimented Mariah's hair and asked if she'd gone home after work, and she revealed that she'd spent the night on the couch at the Underground, but she thanked him for noticing.
Mariah suggested that Kevin take her for a ride on his Harley, but he had to get back to work. He commented that he thought Nick was right to want her living at the ranch for security reasons, and Mariah confessed that she was afraid, but she wouldn't allow her fear to make her do things she didn't want to do. Kevin said that she might feel better armed, and she questioned whether he meant getting a gun. He referred to "the touch of doom from the kingdom beyond," and he dramatically placed his hand on her head. She laughed and jokingly called him a weirdo, while Victor lurked nearby.
Mariah sat in the park, and she became alarmed when she heard approaching footsteps. She grabbed her phone out of her purse and yelled to stay away or she'd call the cops, and Victor appeared and asked if the charge against him was helping her to find her long-lost family. Mariah said that Victor had a sick sense of humor if he expected her to thank him for getting her mixed up with Sharon, and she accused him of knowing that she was Cassie's twin the whole time. Victor swore that it had been a coincidence, and he thought it was destiny that she'd turned out to be Sharon's daughter. Mariah imagined that Victor hadn't foreseen that Nick would want her to play house with him and his family.
Victor asserted that Sharon had been the one who had asked Mariah to stay, but Mariah relayed that Nick was always tracking her down and asking her to stay in town to pay Sharon back. Victor called Mariah a smart girl who could do what she wanted, and Mariah sarcastically replied that he always had her best interests at heart. Victor suspected that Mariah would no longer be welcome in the house since Nick and Sharon had gotten engaged, and Mariah was shocked by the news. Victor theorized that Mariah was staying in town for another reason, and Mariah realized that he thought she knew where Ian was. Mariah adamantly asserted that she wasn't waiting for Ian, but even if she knew Ian's whereabouts, she wouldn't tell Victor.
Victor noted that Ian had abused Mariah's trust many times, and she said that she would hold out for a major payoff, since Victor could afford it. Victor urged Mariah to tell him immediately if she received any strange calls or if she felt that someone was stalking her, and she asked what was in it for him. He declared that he protected his family, and she had become part of it, so he would protect her, too. A skeptical Mariah imagined that he'd sacrifice her to get to the man he hated.
Victor told Mariah to think about what he'd said, and he got up to leave. She clarified that she hadn't been criticizing him when she'd implied he'd throw her under a bus to get his hands on Ian, and she admired his determination to protect his family. He told her not to forget it, and he said that he was beginning to respect how tough she was. She noted they had that in common, and he cautioned her to keep her eyes open and to listen to everything she heard until Ian was found.
Lauren and Michael silently got ready for work, and she asked if every morning would be like that. He said that he was simply packing his briefcase for a meeting, but she commanded him to stop and look at her, since they needed to talk about what had happened. He asked why she was speaking to him like he'd failed her, and she swore that she wasn't accusing him of anything, but they'd never had problems in bed before. She recognized that they were both very frustrated and upset, but he'd shot her down when she'd tried to talk the night before, and he snapped that she should take the hint and stop pressuring him. She insisted that they not put off talking about their sexual problems.
Michael chalked it up to being overwhelmed, but he swore that it was a temporary condition that would get better. Lauren countered that nothing would change on its own, and she pointed out that both of them thrived on working too hard, but they'd never had a problem before. She explained that it wasn't about the sex itself, but the fact that it just wasn't happening told them something. She suggested that they see a counselor, but he barked that he wouldn't pay a stranger to hear about their private sex life. Michael reiterated that they would talk that night, and Lauren questioned why they couldn't band together and fix the problem, just like they would with anything else. He said that he'd see her that night, and he kissed her cheek and left.
Kevin arrived at the Baldwins' apartment to see Michael, and Lauren informed him that Michael had just left. Kevin said that he'd hoped to get legal advice for Mariah, who was freaked out about the marriage she'd been coerced into, but he noticed Lauren was distracted, and he asked if she was okay. Lauren replied that she had a lot on her mind, like Fen being away at college, and Kevin surmised that had been what Michael had been upset about the other day. Lauren asked if Michael had confided in him, and Kevin wondered what was going on. She cried that marriages went through ups and downs, and she inquired whether Kevin would tell her if Michael had told him something.
Kevin swore that he would tell Lauren if Michael had said something Kevin thought she should know, but Michael hadn't. Kevin noted that Lauren wasn't the only one who was adjusting to Fen being gone, but Kevin was sure that Michael wouldn't talk about it with him because Michael was too worried about how Kevin was dealing with his breakup with Chloe. Kevin said that he was doing his best to move on so Michael could relax, and Lauren asked if his plans included his new friend. Kevin sympathized that Mariah had had a hard life, and he wanted to help. Lauren asked if it was because he hadn't been able to help Chloe.
Kevin insisted that he was over Chloe, but Lauren suspected that he hadn't completely accepted their divorce yet. She wondered if that was why he was reaching out to Mariah, but Kevin said that he wasn't interested in rescuing any more wounded birds. He reminded Lauren that they'd been talking about her and Michael, and Lauren asked if he was sure Michael hadn't said anything. Kevin maintained that Michael wasn't hiding anything, and he was sure that Michael and Lauren would work it out.
At Avery's apartment, Dylan prepared a breakfast tray, but he accidentally dropped a pan. Avery emerged from the bedroom and asked if everything was all right, and he revealed that he was making her breakfast in bed. She told him not to pick up anything heavy because of his cut, but he insisted he was fine. She called it a woman's prerogative to worry, and she suggested that he see a doctor to ensure that his injury was healing. She noted that he'd tossed and turned all night long, and she wondered what was bothering him.
Avery guessed that Dylan was upset because Ian was still out there, but Dylan contended that Ian wouldn't hurt anyone. Avery recalled that Dylan had said he'd last seen Ian while chasing him through the trees, and she questioned how Dylan knew Ian wouldn't be back. Dylan replied that he'd answered the same questions with Paul, and Avery wished she'd been there during the interrogation. She asked Dylan again why he was sure Ian wouldn't return, and she assured him that whatever was keeping him up at night would stay between them. There was a knock at the door, and Michael was surprised to see that Avery was still in her bathrobe. Dylan hurriedly left for work.
After Avery got dressed, Michael explained that Devon had the funds and ambition to acquire other companies, and he envisioned Devon becoming a big client for their firm. Avery thought the point of teaming up had been to reduce their workloads, but Michael contended that they had to grow their business or watch it slowly die. She mentioned that he'd wanted to spend more time with Lauren, but she agreed to arrange a meeting with Devon. Michael rambled on about getting new office space with room for expansion, and Avery confronted him about telling Lauren that he had gotten home late because of work. Avery asked what had happened to creating the perfect balance in their lives.
Michael remarked that finding time could always be a problem, but Avery pointed out that their partnership was supposed to alleviate the issue. He said that he had no worries as long as he and Lauren didn't take their love for granted, but he added that every couple had its challenges. He inquired about what had happened when Paul had taken Dylan in for questioning, and Avery replied that it had just been routine. Michael concluded that Jeffrey's statement about seeing Dylan at the racetrack had been a dead end, and Avery was shocked. Michael explained that Dylan had been spotted where Ian's car had been abandoned, and he realized that Dylan hadn't told her.
Michael assured Avery that it had just slipped Dylan's mind, and she turned the topic back to their new office space. She looked at the online real estate listing and declared that it was exactly what she would have picked, and Michael left her a folder on a company Devon was interested in acquiring. She marveled that she'd never noticed Michael's briefcase before, and she pulled out an identical one of her own. She mentioned that she'd had it since the first day she'd passed the bar, and she used it whenever she needed some serious good luck. He mused that they had the same taste in office space and briefcases, and she spotted Dylan's dirty boots by the door and said that she needed a new doormat. Michael left, and Avery inspected the red mud on the boots.
Paul stopped by Avery's place to thank Dylan for the lures, and Avery proudly disclosed that Dylan had made them himself. Paul remarked that he'd had no idea Dylan was a devoted fisherman, but Avery explained that Dylan had done it because Paul enjoyed fishing. Avery conceded that Dylan was struggling with having a father-son relationship, and it took Dylan a while to warm up to people, but he wanted to get to know his father. Avery asked if Paul was there to thank Dylan for the gift or if he was there as a cop to follow up with more questions.
Paul commented that he never stopped being a cop, just like Avery never stopped being a lawyer, and he swore that the only reason he was there was to thank Dylan for the thoughtful gift. Paul suggested that he and Dylan set up a time to try out the new lures, and Avery said that Dylan would love that. Paul spotted the dirty boots as he turned to leave, and he picked one up and asked if they were Dylan's. Avery questioned whether Paul was asking as a father or a cop, and she wondered why Dylan's muddy boots had him captivated.
At the hospital, Michael made small talk about Fen with a doctor, and he nonchalantly asked for a sample of a medication he'd heard about. The doctor concluded that Michael meant something for men who needed encouragement in the bedroom.
At Crimson Lights, Dylan yelled at a repairman about the cost of a new boiler, and the man told him not to shoot the messenger. Stitch entered as Dylan continued to rant, and he intervened and told the repairman that Dylan would be in touch soon. Stitch asked if Dylan had wanted to see him to keep Dylan from punching out someone, and Dylan conceded that he'd overreacted a bit. Dylan added that there was something he needed to get off his chest, and Stitch was the only one who could understand.
Stitch was surprised that Dylan wanted to confide in him, since Dylan had kept his distance after he'd learned the truth about Stitch's past. Dylan admitted that it had been confusing to find out that a guy he'd trusted with his life was a convicted murderer, and he'd been judgmental, but he understood what it was like to want to kill someone. Dylan flashed back to screaming at Ian to get back there, and he looked down at his bandaged hand. Stitch called Dylan's name, but Dylan was lost in thought, and he recalled having a bleeding gash on his hand as he followed Ian.
Dylan snapped back to the present, and Stitch volunteered to take a look at Dylan's hand. Dylan insisted that he was fine, and Stitch asked if Dylan had been dealing with posttraumatic stress. Dylan confessed that he'd had some moments, but he'd handled them. Stitch advised that there was no timetable for dealing with PTSD, and he pressed Dylan to stick with the coping techniques. Stitch guessed that Dylan had injured his hand during an episode when Dylan hadn't been able to control his anger, and he pointed out that he knew when Dylan was lying. Stitch inquired whether Dylan even remembered hurting his hand.
Dylan revealed that he'd been enraged when he'd hurt himself, and anything could set off his anger. Stitch referred to the new boiler, and Dylan said that he'd thought he'd had his anger in check, but the bad things that they'd gone through in combat had never really gone away. Stitch counseled that therapy helped, but Dylan didn't believe that it would solve the problem. Stitch said that since he'd lost his residency, he wasn't qualified to refer Dylan to someone, but Dylan contended that Stitch was more than qualified because Stitch knew what it was like to be driven to kill somebody.
Stitch said that he'd done time related to his own personal experience, and he warned that actions had consequences. Dylan said that he was sorry for dragging Stitch into it, and Stitch hoped that they were still friends, despite everything that had happened. Stitch said that Dylan knew where to find him if he needed help, and he advised Dylan to stop being stubborn. Dylan replied that he'd survived, but Stitch cautioned that Dylan's pent-up rage wouldn't magically go away, and Dylan needed to deal with it before it messed up his life. Dylan clenched his injured hand into a fist.
At Avery's, Paul inspected the reddish mud on Dylan's boots. Avery was upset that Paul was acting like Dylan was guilty of something. Dylan arrived and, sensing the tension between Paul and Avery, wondered what was going on. Paul said that he was curious about the mud. Avery, growing angrier, snapped that Paul was being more than curious -- he was holding the boot as if it were a piece of evidence.
Avery wondered if Paul's curiosity about the mud had something to do with Ian's disappearance. Dylan started to speak, but Avery insisted that he not answer any of Paul's questions. Paul insisted that he wasn't there in any official capacity. Dylan said that Paul could ask him anything. Avery, at that point livid, once again insisted that Dylan remain silent. She told Dylan that she had learned that he had been seen in the vicinity of Ian's abandoned car.
Paul said that Dylan was creating problems for himself by doling out information in a piecemeal fashion. Dylan told Paul that there was nothing more to tell about the night Ian had disappeared. When Paul asked Dylan if he could account for every minute of his time after he'd chased Ian off the Newman ranch, Dylan replied that he could. Avery quickly interjected, "There, Paul. You heard him." Paul said that the police had found an item of Ian's caked in mud -- the kind of mud that could only be found in the quarry outside of town.
Avery asked Paul if he had just searched her home without a warrant. Paul said that he had stopped by for a friendly visit and had noticed Dylan's mud-covered boots. Avery wondered if the police department was investigating Ian's disappearance as anything other than a missing person case. Paul said that perhaps Ian hadn't left town of his own volition -- particularly since the police had discovered Ian's blood outside the Newman house. Dylan wondered if Paul thought that Dylan had murdered Ian and dumped the body.
Paul said there were certain inconsistencies in Dylan's story, and he wanted Dylan to clear them up. Dylan admitted that he had lied about how he'd hurt his hand but said that he hadn't killed Ian. He explained to Avery that he hadn't cut his hand at Crimson Lights as he had told her, but rather, he had put his fist through a window. Dylan said that he hadn't even remembered breaking the window until he had seen his bleeding hand. Paul asked Dylan if he had blacked out, but Dylan said that it had just been a "momentary lapse." Dylan said that he would not have had time to murder Ian during the "lapse."
Paul asked Dylan how the mud had ended up on Dylan's boots. Dylan said he didn't remember -- he hadn't worn the boots for weeks, and the last time he had, it had probably been muddy outside. Paul told Dylan that the type of mud on the boots could only be found at one place in the area -- the quarry. Avery told Paul that he needed to leave -- and he needed to concentrate on catching Ian. Paul said that he would go -- then told Dylan that they would eventually have to continue the conversation.
After Paul left, Avery asked Dylan where the window he had broken was located. He told her that it was near the racetrack. Avery wondered why Dylan had lied to her about where he had hurt his hand. He said that he hadn't wanted her to worry that he was losing touch with reality due to his posttraumatic stress disorder and insisted that he wasn't going to be arrested because he hadn't done anything illegal. Avery reminded him that she had become a defense attorney -- and innocent people were arrested and convicted all the time.
Dylan reiterated that he hadn't hurt Ian and that no matter how much Paul questioned him, Dylan's story wasn't going to change. Avery told Dylan that Paul obviously cared about Dylan, but she didn't think that Paul was going to stop suspecting that Dylan was responsible for Ian's disappearance.
Paul arrived at the police station. An officer told him that Ian's life insurance company had called the station to inform them that Dylan had called the company after Ian's disappearance -- to learn whether he was still Ian's sole beneficiary. Paul was taken aback by the news.
Neil arrived home, accompanied by Lily. He was using a white cane to deftly navigate around the apartment. Lily was very proud of her father. She said that Neil was doing great and that he should be pleased with himself. Lily said that Hilary would be thrilled to see Neil using the cane, but Neil told Lily that he didn't want Hilary to see him using it.
Lily said that Hilary had a right to know that Neil was using the cane. Neil chuckled and told Lily how happy he was that Lily was finally beginning to accept Hilary. Lily said that she and Hilary weren't exactly friends but added that Hilary had "redeemed herself" by taking care of Neil while he recovered after his injury.
Neil apologized to Lily for his surly behavior after learning that he had lost his vision. He said that he had ripped a hole in the Winters family, but he was finally realizing that the family was "all in this together." Neil told Lily that he was finally ready to accept their help.
Devon and Hilary ran into each other outside a suite at the Athletic Club. Devon gently touched her hand. She held his hand, but then suddenly pulled away and reminded Devon of their agreement to steer clear of each other. Devon said that he was looking forward to Neil regaining his eyesight so that Devon and Hilary could finally be together. Hilary sternly said that Neil might never regain his sight, and if he didn't, then she and Devon would have to stay apart -- permanently.
Hilary said that Neil was her husband -- and he needed her. Devon began stroking her hair then kissed her. Hilary pushed Devon away and slapped him. Undeterred, Devon kissed her again -- this time, Hilary returned Devon's passion. Using his master key, Devon opened the door to a suite. They ripped off their clothes and fell on the bed.
After making love, Hilary told Devon that she thought that if she "gave in" just once, it would make her love him less -- instead, it made her love him more. They began kissing again, but Hilary's phone beeped, reminding her that she had a voicemail message. Worried that the message might be important, Hilary sat up, grabbed her phone, and listened to the message. It was Neil -- telling her to return home immediately. An upset Hilary wondered if her husband had learned that she had slept with her stepson. She began putting on her clothes, sadly telling Devon that she had to go home -- to her husband.
Lily went to the Athletic Club and spoke with Devon. She told him that Neil was using a white cane and that it was a big deal because it showed that their father realized that he needed help, Devon didn't appear interested in what Lily was saying. She asked him if he had heard a word she said. He replied that he'd heard everything she'd said -- and he knew exactly what he had to do.
Hilary opened the door to the apartment and found Neil sitting on the couch with his white cane. She told him that she had become worried when she'd listened to his message. He said that he had made a decision -- he wanted a divorce. Hilary was shocked.
Nick stopped by Victoria's to tell her about his engagement, but Victor had beaten him to the punch. Victoria told Nick that their father was not pleased about the prospect of Nick and Sharon remarrying. Nick rolled his eyes and said that the only person Victor hated as much as he hated Billy was Sharon.
Victoria told Nick that it was hard to be a fan of his fiancée after the grief she had caused the Newman family. Nick defended Sharon, reminding Victoria that Sharon had been ill. He said that being with Sharon felt like "being home." Victoria was happy that things had worked out for Nick.
Nick wondered if Victoria was scared of giving birth. Victoria said that it wasn't the actual delivery that frightened her -- it was the paternity test and its aftermath. Nick wondered if Victoria was still attracted to Stitch or Billy. Victoria admitted that she still had feelings for both men. Nick told her that she deserved much better than either Billy or Stitch.
At the cemetery, Sharon placed flowers at Cassie's gravesite. When she looked up, she thought she saw Mariah and called out to her. "Cassie" appeared and said, "No, mom, it's me. Cassie." Sharon was confused -- she didn't understand why she was hallucinating, since she was still taking her medication. Cassie said she was there because Sharon needed her.
Sharon said that she liked having Cassie close enough to touch, but it also made her nervous because Sharon knew that Cassie shouldn't be there. Cassie told Sharon again that she had to need Cassie. Sharon wondered why. Cassie answered that perhaps Sharon had a secret to share with her. Sharon said, "You know my secret."
Sharon realized that she had shared her "secret" with Cassie and asked her what she should do. Cassie snidely replied, "Remember, I suppose." Sharon begged Cassie to tell her the "secret," but Cassie told Sharon that the "secret" was going to be revealed, and there wasn't anything Sharon could do about it. Her tone sweetening, Cassie told Sharon what she had to do. Sharon begged Cassie to stay, but when she raised her head, Cassie was gone.
Screaming, "No... don't go..." Sharon woke up from her bad dream. Nick arrived home and comforted Sharon. Sharon said that her dream had seemed real. Nick assured her that it had been a dream and not a hallucination. Sharon said that, in her dream, she hadn't gotten a chance to tell Cassie that Sharon and Nick were getting married. Nick smiled, looked to the heavens, and said that Cassie had probably had a hand in reuniting him with Sharon. Sharon's tone became serious, and she told Nick that she wanted to get married as soon as possible.
Billy ran into Chelsea on the Athletic Club's rooftop patio and asked her how she was. Chelsea snapped that she was feeling grouchy, jetlagged, and "unfit for company," and a dejected Billy walked away. Chelsea called Billy back and said that they had something they needed to discuss.
At a table, Billy said that he wondered if his relationship with Chelsea was going anywhere. He told Chelsea that he wasn't a delicate flower -- that she could be brutally honest with him. Before Chelsea had a chance to speak, a very good-looking young man approached her and asked her if she was "ready to do this." Chelsea smiled and told the young man, as he left the patio, that she would meet him back in his suite. Billy was stunned, thinking that the man was romantically involved with Chelsea. Chelsea laughed and told Billy that the man was her assistant, Graham.
Chelsea told Billy that she'd had a lot of time to ponder their relationship while on her trip. Graham returned and told Chelsea there was a problem she needed to deal with. She told Billy to stay put as she and Graham left the patio, his arm draped on her shoulder. To himself, Billy said that he would wait.
Chelsea returned and told Billy that she wanted to further explore her relationship with Billy. He was thrilled to hear that and moved next to her. They began kissing, unaware that Victoria had just walked onto the deck and was watching them.
Sharon suggested that she and Nick get married as soon as they could organize a wedding, and he volunteered to drive them to city hall. She preferred to get married in front of the people who mattered to them, and he wondered if she could tear herself away from the wedding plans to have dinner with the kids that evening. They amorously discussed what to have for dessert, but there was a knock at the door, and Sharon invited Nikki in on her way out. Nikki told Nick that they hadn't spoken privately since she'd heard about Nick and Sharon's engagement, and he asked what was left to say other than congratulations.
Nikki admitted that she would always have reservations about Sharon, but she recognized that Sharon made Nick happy, and she knew from personal experience how difficult it was when things felt like they were slipping away. She stared at a bottle of wine across the room, and she distractedly mused that she hoped Nick and Sharon stayed as happy as they were that day. Nick asked about Nikki's happiness, and she insisted she was fine, but he thought she seemed jittery. She snapped that nothing was going on, and she wished everyone would just back off.
Nikki apologized for being on edge because of Ian and the press, and she complained that Victor had been constantly checking on her. Noah and Faith entered and hugged Nikki, who said that she had to go. After Nikki departed, Nick asked Faith about school, and she said that a friend had invited her to dinner. Nick revealed that they were going to have an important family dinner, and Noah asked if anything was wrong. Faith and Noah peppered Nick with questions, but Nick insisted that he didn't want to ruin the surprise. Noah guessed that Nick and Sharon were getting married, and Faith squealed with excitement.
Nick tried to change the subject, but Faith asked if it was true, and Noah noted that Nick wasn't denying it. Nick refused to comment, and Noah warned that Nick had the choice to either spill the beans or spend hours being badgered. Faith begged for an answer, and Nick said that Sharon would be mad, since they had intended to tell the kids together. Nick worried that he would be in trouble before they even got married, and he announced that he and Sharon were engaged. Faith chirped that it was the best news ever, especially since it meant that she wouldn't be a love child anymore.
Nick asked if Noah was okay with the news, and Noah replied that he was happy, since he knew that Sharon was stable. Noah conceded that Sharon had worried him by obsessing over Nick's engagement to Avery and running red lights, and Nick mentioned that Sharon had thought that perhaps the traffic ticket had been what she'd been afraid to tell him about. Nick continued that he didn't care, since he wasn't worried about her secret anymore, and nothing would break him and Sharon apart. Faith called to Noah from upstairs, and Nick walked over to the desk and pulled out Sharon's traffic violation notice.
At the Athletic Club, Kelly complimented the single red rose Jack had given her, and they kissed. He was surprised that she wasn't with her mother, and Kelly blamed it on being busy at work. Jack asked if Kelly had even called Maureen, and Kelly admitted that she hadn't. Jack recognized that things were difficult between Kelly and Maureen, but he said that Kelly would have to deal with it eventually, and Kelly hoped she could do it from a distance. Jack offered to go with Kelly to have an honest conversation with Maureen, but Kelly warned that wherever her mother went, trouble followed.
Jack noticed that Kelly was staring at the rose, and she suspected that it was a ploy to get her to open up about her mother. Jack hoped that Kelly would do it on her own, and Kelly reiterated that she and her mom had never been close. Jack pointed out that Maureen had been trying, but Kelly thought it was an act, since she'd never be able to trust her mother. Jack thought it was amazing that Kelly had bounced back after all that she'd lost, but he also noted that she had a tendency to walk away, like she had from her brother and her ex-husband. Jack wondered if it would be easy for her to walk away from him if they ran into a bump, and he urged her to let him in.
Jack took Kelly's hand, and she recounted that Maureen had always been distant with her but not with Stitch. Kelly added that she'd been disappointed by Maureen's behavior after Kelly's father had died, and Jack reasoned that everyone grieved differently, but Kelly said that Maureen had acted like she hadn't missed Kelly's father at all. Kelly refused to be disappointed again, and Sharon interrupted them and announced that she wanted to book an event at the club. Sharon proudly displayed her engagement ring and declared that she was tying knot with Nick again, and Jack hugged her and gushed that Nick and Sharon's love had lasted, despite all they'd been through.
After Jack left, Sharon and Kelly went over details for a small reception, and Kelly offered to email Sharon some information about menus and florists. Sharon spotted the flower on the table and remarked that there wasn't anything better than a single rose from a loved one, and she was thrilled that Kelly had helped Jack to find happiness again. Kelly replied that Jack had added more to her life than she'd ever thought possible.
Sharon mentioned that she'd once been married to Jack, and they'd managed to remain friends. Kelly commended Jack's loyalty to the women in his life, and Sharon assumed that she meant Phyllis. Sharon referred to her own history with Phyllis, and Kelly asked how things had been between the women after Phyllis had moved on from Nick. Sharon revealed that she and Phyllis had never been friendly, but she couldn't remember exactly where they'd left things. Kelly realized that the topic made Sharon uncomfortable, and she resumed talking about wedding plans, but Sharon was clearly unnerved.
Stitch arrived to see Maureen in her hotel room, and he mentioned that she'd said that she planned to stay for a while. She replied that she wanted to stay for the birth of the baby and to spend time with Stitch and Kelly, and she hoped to mend fences with her daughter. Stitch cautioned that it might take some work, and Maureen wished she could go back and change "that day," but Stitch said that they could only move forward. On his way out, he found Jack waiting at the door. After Stitch departed, Jack informed Maureen that he had a few things to say to her.
Jack commented that Maureen's visit was a great opportunity to heal old wounds, and Maureen said that she hadn't meant for her presence to upset Kelly. Jack asked about the timing of Maureen's visit, and she explained that her part-time job had ended, so she'd taken the chance to make up for lost time with her kids. He asked if the lost time had been triggered by her husband's death, and Maureen inquired whether Jack had kids. She explained that she'd done the best she could for her children, but she'd also tried to create a life for herself, and sometimes the two worlds didn't align. Jack hoped that Maureen could give Kelly the answers she needed.
Maureen wished that she could help Kelly make sense of what had happened to Kelly's dad and their family, and she considered it a terrible tragedy for a child to kill his father. Maureen added that she and Stitch had worked hard to put it behind them, and Jack noted that Kelly had, too. Jack said that Kelly seemed like an afterthought to Maureen, who defended that she'd thought about how to protect her daughter from the moment Kelly had been born. Maureen called Kelly a strong girl who had pulled herself through the loss of a son and had made a life for herself, and she suggested that Kelly focus on the good things in front of her. Jack promised to do everything he could to help.
In the hallway, Nikki quickly ducked aside as Jack exited Maureen's room, and after he took off, Nikki knocked on the door. Maureen exclaimed that it was a nice surprise to see her, and Nikki said that she wanted to make sure Maureen understood why she'd used another name when they'd first met. Maureen swore that she'd call her Nikki whenever they crossed paths, and Nikki asked how long Maureen planned to stay, but Maureen wasn't sure. Maureen acknowledged that they didn't know one another that well, but she wondered why Nikki seemed incredibly nervous.
Maureen recognized that she was just a woman Nikki had met in a bar, but she repeated that everything they'd said would stay between them. A relieved Nikki thanked her, and she said that she'd just needed a break from being Mrs. Victor Newman. Maureen sympathized and imagined it could get lonely, and she said that she'd felt alone after her kids had moved away. Maureen suggested that they focus on positive things, and she wondered if Nikki had anything terrific going on in her life.
Nikki reported that her son was engaged, and Maureen pulled out some wine glasses and proposed that they toast to their kids' good fortune. Nikki balked, and Maureen recalled that Nikki had said that she usually didn't drink. Maureen offered Nikki a soft drink instead, but Nikki decided that one drink wouldn't hurt. Maureen handed her a glass of wine, and they toasted.
Hilary couldn't believe that Neil wanted a divorce, and she wondered if Lily had said something to put the idea in his head. He swore that it had nothing to do with his daughter, but there were facts he couldn't ignore, and he knew things wouldn't work out and why. Hilary declared her love to Neil, and she asked if he didn't love her anymore. He said that he was willing to let her go because he loved her, and she concluded that it was really about his eyes. He argued that she hadn't signed up for a life like that, and she countered that she'd entered into a life with him, but he said that she deserved better.
Hilary insisted that the life she wanted was to be married to and living with Neil, but he grumbled that she'd be looking after him, when she should have an exciting life with someone who could see the beautiful lady she was. She questioned whether he thought all she wanted was to be seen, but he assured her that he wouldn't think less of her if she left him. She replied that she would think less of herself, and he asked what she wanted most. Hilary said that she wanted to make Neil happy, and he insisted that his happiness was contingent upon setting her free.
Neil reiterated that it was the best decision for Hilary, and she questioned whether or not she had a say. He offered to give her time alone to get her things together, and she looked at their wedding photo and flashed back to his proposal. She refused to go and vowed that she would never leave Neil, and she clung to him. Neil told Hilary not to fight him on it, but she countered that they'd exchanged vows to stand by one another for better or for worse, and she wouldn't let him push her away. She asserted that she didn't want to hear another word about ending their marriage, and she opened the door to Jack, who said he was there to check on Neil.
Hilary said that she'd be back in a few hours, and after she left, Neil disclosed to a stunned Jack that he had been trying to let Hilary go. Jack understood that Neil was attempting to be noble, but he thought Neil and Hilary were good together, unless Hilary had given him a reason to think she didn't want to be there. Neil said that she had been devoted and loving, and she'd refused to leave. Jack realized that Neil's decision had been about his fears and frustrations, and Neil questioned why Hilary would want to be with a blind man. Jack pointed out that she was crazy about Neil, and he queried whether it was worse to think she was staying out of pity or to force away a woman who loved Neil.
Jack remembered the pain and anger he'd felt when he'd thought he might never walk again, but he'd fought to get through it with the help and courage of his loved ones. Jack encouraged Neil to embrace his wife's support and not push it away, and Neil realized he'd gone about it all wrong.
Sharon ran into Hilary in the park and gushed that she had good news, but she noticed Hilary's downtrodden expression. Hilary stated that it had been a rough day, and Sharon said that she was a friend who was ready to listen. Hilary thanked Sharon, but she swore that she and Neil would get through it. Hilary asked about Sharon's good news, and Sharon proclaimed that she was getting remarried. Hilary congratulated and hugged her, and Sharon marveled that she'd spend the rest of her life with the man she loved.
Victoria spotted Billy and Chelsea making out at the Dive Bar, and she coolly remarked, "Look who's back in town." Billy defended that there was no need to explain anything, since he and Victoria had signed divorce papers. Victoria agreed that they were free to do whatever they wanted with their personal lives, and Billy mentioned that Johnny had been excited about his gym class at the club that day. Victoria realized that she'd forgotten about it, so she had to find something to keep herself occupied until it was over. Stitch approached.
Abby arrived and noted that Stitch was early, but he griped that she was late. She remarked that everyone seemed to be there, and Billy asked what Abby and Stitch were meeting about. Billy was surprised to learn that Ashley had hired Stitch as the new chemist, and Chelsea congratulated Stitch. Victoria asked if Abby had heard that Nick and Sharon were getting remarried, and she pointedly added that he had never stopped loving Sharon or wanting a real family together.
Victoria glanced across the rooftop at Abby and Stitch, and he suggested that they meet at Jabot instead, but Abby didn't want to miss the sunshine. Stitch reported that the contractor had taken longer than expected to upgrade the lab, but it could be ready at any time. Abby planned to call the contractor to give him a managerial push, and Stitch mumbled that he felt for the guy. Stitch mentioned that Ashley thought the scent wasn't quite right, and he and Abby bickered about Abby's level of participation in the development of the new fragrance. She huffed that she wasn't thrilled to be hanging out with him and his chemicals, and he told her to keep her nose in the product and out of his problems.
Chelsea and Billy commiserated about the bad timing of running into people, and she asked if it had changed anything. He replied that it hadn't changed his desire to figure out what they had, and they reflected back upon how they'd evolved from having zero trust to jumping into a "friends with benefits" situation. Billy declared that they didn't have to pretend to be something they weren't, and there was no pressure to see where things might go. Victoria scowled as she watched them talking.
Billy prepared to check on Johnny, and Chelsea said that she'd meet him downstairs. After Billy left, Victoria confronted Chelsea about barely waiting for the ink to dry on the divorce papers. Chelsea replied that she didn't want to fight, but Victoria snarled that she called it like she saw it, and she saw a woman who moved fast. Chelsea lectured that Victoria couldn't have it both ways, and Victoria had made her single bed, so she'd have to sleep in it.
Victoria accused Chelsea of pretending for months to help save Billy and Victoria's marriage, but Chelsea had instead helped herself to Victoria's husband while he had still been married. Chelsea countered that Victoria had been sleeping with Stitch at the time, and Abby warned them to cool it, or they'd end up in the tabloids. Chelsea sauntered off, and Abby pledged that she would always be there for Victoria. Victoria huffed that it appeared that Abby was there to flirt with Stitch.
Abby insisted that nothing was going on between her and Stitch, and Victoria blamed her hormones for her paranoia. Abby surmised that Victoria had been freaked out by seeing Billy and Chelsea, and she assured Victoria that she had nothing to worry about. Victoria resolved to get over Billy, and Abby hoped that Victoria didn't go back to Stitch just because he was available. Victoria vowed that it would never happen.
At the club bar, Billy contemplated whether he should get Chelsea a traditional corsage for their first date or ask her mom for permission, but she put the kibosh on any lame ideas. He said that he couldn't guarantee there wouldn't be any, and she took his hand and said she was looking forward to it. He placed his other hand over hers and imagined where their rotten beginning could lead.
Across the room, Stitch informed Kelly that Jack had shown up to see Maureen, and Kelly wished that Jack hadn't, but she knew that Jack had meant well. Stitch was sure that Jack was just trying to look out for Kelly, but he hoped that Jack wouldn't stir things up.
Sharon informed Nick that she'd talked to Kelly about booking a dining room at the Athletic Club for their wedding reception, and she anticipated something intimate and elegant. Sharon admitted that she'd panicked when she'd realized it was really happening, and Nick revealed that he'd told Faith, so there was no backing out. Sharon gently scolded that they had agreed to tell their kids the news together, but she noticed her traffic ticket on the desk, and she asked what it was doing there. Nick explained that he and Noah had been discussing the progress Sharon had made, but Sharon declared that she didn't want to talk about the past, and she only wanted to look forward.
Nick said that he had to get to work, and as he and Sharon hugged, she stared at the traffic ticket. She flashed back to lurking outside the hospital lab and later seeing the contents of her purse fall down a flight of stairs. She suddenly pulled away from Nick's embrace, and he asked what was wrong. She started to say something, but Mariah descended the stairs, and Sharon expressed relief that Mariah was back home. Mariah dryly stated that she was back, but she couldn't pretend it was home.
Sharon asked how Mariah had gotten in, and Mariah recalled that she'd thrown her key in Sharon's face when Sharon had tossed her out. Mariah explained that she'd used the spare key that had been hidden outside, and Sharon inquired when Mariah had returned. Mariah replied that it had been sometime after 3:00 a.m., and Sharon asked why she'd gotten in at that late. Mariah rolled her eyes, and Sharon asserted that she had a right to be concerned as Mariah's mother. Mariah testily asked if Sharon was kidding her, and Nick suggested that they take things one step at a time.
Mariah refused to be part of the little family Nick and Sharon were putting together, and she coldly offered her congratulations on their engagement. Sharon said that she wanted them all to be happy, but Mariah retorted that she simply wanted to pay Sharon back and get out. Nick said that he had to get to the club and that he'd see Mariah there, and Sharon asked if Mariah was still working at the bar. Mariah hissed that if she had a trust fund like the kids Sharon had kept, she would repay her debt out of that. Sharon said that Mariah didn't have to pay her back, but Nick preferred to keep things the way they had been, and he left.
Sharon said she'd been too worried about Mariah to sleep, and Mariah spat that she'd taken care of herself her whole life. Sharon hoped that they could build a new relationship, but Mariah couldn't forget Sharon's harsh parting words. Sharon defended that she hadn't known Mariah was her daughter, and Mariah ranted that ignorance was Sharon's excuse for everything. Mariah wished she'd learned Sharon's secret so that Nick could see her for who really was, and she called Sharon a "cold, crazy whack job." Sharon sternly stated that she was Mariah's mother, and she told Mariah not to dare speak to her that way.
Sharon understood why Mariah was lashing out after the terrible ordeal with Ian, but Mariah asserted that she was angry at Sharon with good reason. Sharon agreed that she never should have said such awful things, and she wished Mariah would give her a chance to make up for it. Mariah huffed that Sharon hadn't even been bothered to find out that Mariah had existed, and Sharon recounted the circumstances surrounding Mariah's birth. Mariah noted that Sharon had started a wonderful life afterward with Nick, Cassie, and the kids Sharon hadn't given away, while Mariah had been kidnapped by a woman who hadn't wanted her and a sociopathic father figure.
Sharon conceded that her mistakes had hurt Mariah, but she contended that they'd both lost a lot because of Ian, and she advised Mariah not to let him win by giving in to the pain and anger that had built up inside of her. Sharon acknowledged that Mariah wanted to hurt her, but she swore that Mariah couldn't make her feel any worse. "I can try," Mariah declared, and she stormed upstairs. Later, Mariah found Sharon stirring in her sleep on the couch, and Sharon murmured that she couldn't hide her secret from Nick any longer.
In her sleep, Sharon pleaded for Nick not to hate her, and she said that she should have told the truth about "who her father really was." Sharon awakened with a start, and Mariah asked if she was okay. Sharon said she had been dreaming, but she didn't remember what it had been about. Mariah divulged that Sharon had been thrashing around and talking in her sleep, but she claimed it hadn't made any sense. Mariah advised Sharon to get some rest in order to prepare for the big wedding, and she pointedly stated that Sharon wanted to be ready for everything that was headed her way. Mariah cheerfully said that she'd see Sharon later, and she left.
Dr. Cutler inspected Phyllis' monitors, and Victor called for an update. Victor said that things had transpired that needed to be stopped, and Phyllis was the only one who could do it. Dr. Cutler reported that Phyllis had reached a plateau with signs of increasing brain activity and involuntary movements. He continued that she'd attempted to communicate, but he hadn't been able to determine her cognitive state or whether it would improve. Victor ordered him to increase the dosage, but Dr. Cutler cautioned against irreversible side effects.
Victor reiterated that Phyllis was a fighter who would want out of her coma, and the doctor advised that her odds of recovery would increase with human interaction. Dr. Cutler suggested that he call her family, but Victor said that wasn't an option. The doctor said that he couldn't administer such powerful drugs indefinitely, and he would have to stop if she didn't show signs of improvement. Victor reminded Dr. Cutler that he'd paid a lot of money for the doctor's research, and he commanded Dr. Cutler to do whatever it took to ensure Phyllis emerged from her coma without her family's involvement.
At the Athletic Club, Abby told Jack that the lab renovation was still underway, and Jack grumbled about the projected cost. Abby explained that Ashley had wanted new equipment and a security system, and Jack mentioned Ashley's desire to keep the project under wraps. Jack warned that he needed everything to run smoothly, and Abby insisted that she was a professional who wouldn't let her disdain toward Stitch affect her work. Jack marveled that the product could revolutionize the industry, and he anticipated it would be bigger than Scarlet Mist. He mused that he didn't know if he could ever be that inspired again, and he looked up and saw that Kelly had overheard.
Kelly apologized for interrupting, and Abby said it was routine business. Jack disclosed that they'd been going over Ashley's ideas for a new fragrance, and Kelly rushed off to return to work. Abby sympathized that it couldn't be easy for Kelly to fill the shoes of a larger-than-life figure like Phyllis, but Jack argued that Kelly wasn't trying to replace anyone, and he'd done everything possible to make Kelly feel welcome in their house. Abby quipped that if she were in Kelly's position, she'd feel like "part of a weird comatose love triangle."
Jack got up to leave, and Abby said that she hadn't meant to speak out of turn. She added that she was sure Kelly didn't feel that way, and Jack reiterated that Kelly wasn't in competition with Phyllis. Victor approached, and Abby remarked that he was there just in time to keep her from putting her foot in her mouth again. Victor mentioned that he'd seen Jack's lovely lady on his way in, and Abby noted that Kelly was lucky to have Jack. Victor questioned how Jack managed to go back and forth to see Phyllis while maintaining a relationship with Kelly, and Jack said that his focus was right there.
Kelly asked Jack about his secret project, and he apologized for what she'd overheard. Kelly insisted that he didn't have to be sorry for mentioning Phyllis or his feelings, and she assured him that his past made him who he was. She inquired about the project again, but he said that waiters and walls had ears, and he couldn't risk saying anything. He promised to name a fragrance after Kelly one day, but he quickly apologized for offering to do the same thing he'd done for Phyllis.
Kelly said that Jack made her feel loved, but she didn't want him to feel like he had to prove his love to her. Jack said he had asked Kelly to move in and had packed up Phyllis' things to show he loved Kelly, and Kelly assured him she knew that. Jack swore that Kelly was part of his life, and he couldn't imagine a future without her. They agreed to continue the conversation after work, and he kissed her goodbye.
Over breakfast, Abby confided to Victor that she was still recovering from her breakup with Tyler. Victor asked if there was any chance of a reconciliation, but she thought the odds were better that she'd shave her head and join a commune. Victor empathized that going through a breakup was tough, but he was confident she'd get over it eventually. He mentioned that Ashley had hired Stitch at Jabot, and he wondered if it made Abby uncomfortable to work with Victoria's ex. Abby surmised that Victoria had gone straight to Victor with the information, and she said that she loved her father very much, but she wouldn't let him use her as a pawn in a power struggle with Jack.
Abby asked if Victor believed in miracles, and she thought God had chuckled when He'd given her Victor for a father and Jack for an uncle. Victor suspected that God had thought Abby could handle it, and he asked why Ashley had hired Stitch to be the lead chemist to develop the new fragrance. Abby coyly asked how Victor had known the product was a fragrance, and he reasoned it was Ashley's primary line of work, but Abby pointed out that no one had said that Ashley was even involved. Victor noted that Abby hadn't denied it, and he surmised that the product was an even bigger deal than she was letting on.
Victor praised Abby's professionalism, and she asserted that she'd do whatever it took to stay on top in business. She warned that he'd regret it if he didn't take her seriously, and he recognized that she was a force to be reckoned with because she was his daughter. They hugged goodbye, and Abby approached Kelly. Abby admitted she hadn't liked Kelly much when they'd first met, but she realized that Billy and Victoria's marital problems had been complicated. Kelly hoped that Abby never knew the pain that had driven Kelly to Billy, and Abby said that Kelly was good for Jack.
Kelly replied that Jack was good for her, too, and Abby thought that many women couldn't handle the situation with Phyllis, but she commended Kelly for hanging in there. Abby admitted she'd never been a fan of Phyllis, and Kelly said that she'd only heard Jack's perspective. Abby said that Jack had forgiven Phyllis' less attractive qualities, like being jealous and manipulative, and she pitied any woman who had gone up against Phyllis. Abby mentioned that Phyllis had once tried to kill a woman over a man.
A shirtless Austin sat on the couch, peering at his computer, and Summer asked what had him interested. He said that she did, and he pulled her onto his lap. She noticed that he'd been scanning the classifieds, and she understood that it was hard for him to work at the Underground when he preferred to be behind the camera. Summer said that Austin should be doing what he loved instead of working at a job he hated, and he clarified that he was looking for a second job, since her family had provided their apartment and the trust fund that had kept Austin out of prison. He said that he couldn't live like that, and Summer replied that she'd had no idea he was that unhappy.
Austin assured Summer that he wasn't unhappy with their marriage, and he explained that he was frustrated because he'd applied for tons of jobs, but no one had responded, since everyone knew he'd shot the chief of police. She told him he was lucky to know what he wanted to do, and she bemoaned that she had no idea what to do with her life. Austin suggested that Jack find her something at Jabot, but she hated the thought of having a job handed to her. She thought about getting a job at the Underground to work next to Austin, and he pointed out that she was underage and that she had just said she didn't want a handout. She suspected that he didn't want her working at the bar, but Nick's arrival interrupted them.
Austin started to leave the room, but Nick said that he wanted Austin to hear the news, too. Nick hoped that Summer considered it good news, and he announced that he and Sharon were engaged. Summer declared that she was happy for both of them, and she hugged Nick. Austin offered his congratulations with a handshake, and Nick noted that it had taken him and Sharon a long time to find their way back, but they finally had. Summer said that she admired the way Sharon had dealt with everything, and Sharon had become even more than a friend to her since Phyllis' accident. Summer added that she was happy Nick had stood by Sharon, and she'd learned what a kind and generous person Sharon was.
Nick talked about Mariah's decision to stay in town, and Summer imagined Nick was happy to have a new daughter. Nick said it didn't change the way he felt about Summer, who would always be his "supergirl." Summer replied that part of her would always think of him as her dad, and Nick commented that he was very proud of her and that Phyllis would have been, too. Summer told him it was time for him to go before she ended up in tears, and after Nick departed, Summer remarked that everyone was moving on with their lives except Phyllis. Austin said that Phyllis wouldn't want Summer to feel guilty about being happy, and Summer wished for a miracle to get Phyllis back.
Later, Jack dropped by to see Summer to give her some news, and she informed him that Nick had already been there about his and Sharon's engagement. She recalled the day Nick and Phyllis had told her they were splitting up, and she'd never thought anything could change their happy family, but her parents had gotten divorced. Summer added that she felt really lucky to have two amazing men who loved her like their daughter and wanted what was best for her, and Jack said that he always had, even before she'd been born.
Jack said that he'd felt connected to Summer ever since he'd delivered her in the elevator, and she meant the world to him. She found it strange that Cassie's death had sent everyone on a crazy path, but Nick and Sharon had reunited, and Jack and Phyllis had learned that they shared a daughter. Jack wished that Phyllis could share in their joy, but he said that he hadn't stopped by to make Summer sad. She assured him she was fine, and she just wanted both Nick and Jack to be happy, since they deserved it. Jack replied that she did, too, and they hugged.
Jack told Summer to call him if she needed anything, and she thanked him for the talk. Austin entered and greeted Jack, who asked Austin to take care of Summer as he left. Austin marveled that she'd seen two dads in one day, and he noted that both men cared a lot about her. She said that it didn't change the fact that they were moving on without Phyllis, and Austin pointed out that Summer didn't have to. Summer contemplated whether she should visit Phyllis.
Nick returned home, and he assumed that Mariah had gone out. Sharon relayed that Mariah was still very angry, and Nick assured her that things would get better in time. She was skeptical, and he wondered if something else had happened. She revealed that she'd had a nightmare, and although she didn't remember what it had been about, something about it had left her chilled.
Nick said that he understood Sharon's anxiety, since they'd both wanted to be together very badly, and it was hard to trust that it was finally happening. She worried that it could slip right through their fingers, but he promised that wouldn't happen. He swore they would get married and have the family they always should have had, and no one would stop it from happening. They kissed and held one another close.
Mariah arrived at Victor's office, and Victor coldly asked what she wanted. Mariah announced that she was there about what he'd been desperate to find out for months -- Sharon's secret.
Phyllis suddenly bolted upright in bed. With some effort, she reached over to the nightstand and gripped a framed photo of Jack in her hand. Later, Dr. Cutler entered Phyllis' room, and he found the picture of Jack on her bed, which was otherwise empty. Meanwhile, Phyllis struggled to make her way down a tree-lined road.