At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Billy was taken aback when Chelsea told him that she'd changed her mind and wouldn't be accompanying him to Katie's christening. Billy tried to convince Chelsea to change her mind, but she explained that the ceremony should be a private, family function. Chelsea added that she'd rather not relive Connor's christening when Victor showed up and Adam placed the infant in Victor's arms. Billy nodded and said, "Victor was blackmailing Adam because he knew about Dee Dee." Chelsea added that looking back, Victor's actions had tainted what had been a happy relationship between her and Adam.
Chelsea told Billy that their relationship would fail if he couldn't reconcile her past with Adam. Chelsea finally agreed to attend the christening. When the waitress delivered coffee, Billy asked for the check. The waitress replied, "Nothing else for you and your wife?" Chelsea and Billy uneasily noted that they weren't married but said they were a couple. After the waitress left, Billy pointed to Chelsea's sparkly wedding ring and said that the waitress probably thought they were cheating on their respective spouses. Billy asked Chelsea why she was still wearing Adam's ring if she was over him.
At the home of the late Constance Bingham, Adam was shocked when Sage announced that she and Gabriel had been married. Because Adam had assumed Gabriel's identity, Sage added that she and Adam would have to be married in order to inherit Constance's estate. Sage produced a marriage license from a drawer, displayed it to Adam, and said, "It's real. We're married." Sage warned Adam not to call her a liar again. Sage admitted that Constance had never known about the marriage. Sage explained that Constance had added the stipulation to her will so Gabriel wouldn't remain a playboy.
Adam asked Sage how Gabriel had convinced her to go along with the con game. In a flashback, Sage recalled that she'd made the suggestion after Gabriel had listed unrealistic ways to find a bride. After recalling the memory, Sage told Adam that Gabriel had persuaded her to marry him. Adam didn't believe Sage's story and asked her to tell him the truth. Sage explained that a justice of the peace had performed the ceremony.
Sage told Adam that when she and Gabriel had been driving back to share news of their nuptials with Constance, they'd happened upon a burnt figure in the river. With tears in her eyes, Sage added, "Gabriel went in to save you. Not even four hours a wife before I became a widow." When Sage said she'd married Gabriel for the money, Adam insisted she be honest. Sage announced that she and Adam couldn't just divorce and split the inheritance. Sage instructed Adam to continue reading the directives recorded in the will.
Adam read Constance's will line by line. Adam found the airtight stipulation to which Sage had alluded. Adam reacted with disbelief. He cried, "I can't be married to you for three years! I already have a wife." Sage picked up the phone receiver and held it out to Adam. Sage challenged Adam to call his wife and announce that he'd like to return home. Adam shook his head in dismay.
At Jabot, Abby and Ben exchanged glances when Joe Clark stopped by and presented a bouquet of roses to Ashley. Joe said the roses were a thank-you for a memorable New Year's Eve. Ashley introduced Joe to Abby. Joe explained that he'd first met Ashley years before in New York. Ben said, "You're the guy leading the charge to flatten Crimson Lights, right?" Joe defended the project and said it would create jobs. Ben, fuming, warned that Dylan would be defending the business owners.
After Joe left, Abby noted that her mother wouldn't need the new fragrance they were developing in order to attract men. Abby set out four vials containing perfumes. She, Ashley, and Ben discussed the reason a woman or man might select a particular fragrance. Abby mentioned that a man might be attracted to the scent of the shampoo a woman used in her shower. Ben and Ashley both reacted with uneasiness, reached out to grab the vials, and sent them tumbling across a glass table. Abby seemed to sense the awkwardness between her mother and Ben.
Ashley sniffed one of the perfumes and passed it to Ben and Abby. The trio settled on one of the four scents, and Abby left to consult with the marketing team. Ben mentioned the roses Joe had given to Ashley and warned that Joe was the snake who was trying to ruin Dylan. Ashley defended Joe and said he seemed like a nice man. After Ashley mentioned Ben's drunken escapades on New Year's Eve, they both vowed to keep their business and personal lives separate. Abby returned and again noticed the sexual tension between Ashley and Ben.
After Ben left, Abby said, "Now we talk." Abby admitted that her date for New Year's Eve barely spoke English. Abby swooned and added that a cop she barely knew had kissed her at midnight. Ashley refused to elaborate about her evening and asked Abby to return the perfume samples to the lab. Ashley collected her roses and left. Abby opened her clutch, pulled out an empty vial, and used a pipette to steal a few drops of the top-secret perfume before returning the rest of the perfume samples to the bag destined for the lab.
At Avery's office, Dylan said he hoped to find the owner of the building housing Crimson Lights. Dylan added that the local newspaper had published an editorial urging residents to become activists and fight to save Genoa City's warehouse district. Dylan said the first person they should approach was Joe Clark, Avery's ex-husband. Avery explained that Joe wasn't the sentimental type and wouldn't reveal the name of the structures' seller. Dylan persisted and urged Avery to work with him and approach Joe.
Joe happened to stop by Avery's office, but he quickly turned to leave when Dylan asked him to reveal confidential information. Joe noted that he'd lose money if the deal fell through. Dylan urged Joe and his client to pursue other structures in the area. Avery pleaded with Joe to reveal the name of the seller so she and Dylan could talk to him. Joe promised to do his best to have Avery and Dylan admitted to a meeting with the seller.
Just after Joe stepped out, he heard Avery's phone ring. After the call ended, Joe overheard Avery when she told Dylan that the newspaper wanted to conduct a second interview and write a follow-up piece. After Dylan left, Joe called Avery and claimed the seller wanted to meet in a suite at the Genoa City Athletic Club. Avery explained that Dylan couldn't meet right away. When Joe warned that the seller wouldn't wait, she agreed to represent Dylan and meet with the seller herself.
At Newman-Chancellor, Victor phoned his public relations firm and insisted they respond to the newspaper editor's column urging residents to lend support to the businesses in Genoa City's warehouse district. When Victoria arrived with Katie, Victor suddenly changed his mood from outright anger to bubbly admiration of his infant granddaughter. Victor told Victoria that he'd hired a nurse to care for Katie. Victoria thanked her father and said she felt more comfortable returning to work as long as Katie was nearby. Victoria asked her father about the phone call she'd interrupted.
Victoria told her father that she at once knew by the fire in his eyes that the issue he'd been discussing was a personal one. Victor claimed that he'd been caught after having sent an operative to spy on Ashley and determine what type of secret project Jabot was developing. Victoria laughed when Victor noted that his operative had returned with a formula to make tequila. When Victor suggested that Victoria attempt to get the information from Ben, Victoria flatly refused. Victor grinned and nodded.
Victoria surmised that her father approved of her renewed relationship with Ben. Victor said, "Ben is a hell of a step up from that loser Billy Abbott." Victoria insisted that Victor be on his best behavior during Katie's christening because Billy would be present. Victoria noted that she and Billy had moved on. She added that they would always maintain a connection because of their children. Victor said he could tolerate Billy as long as he was out of Victoria's love life.
When Avery arrived at the Genoa City Athletic Club for her meeting, she ran into Michael, who asked why Avery had left the office. Avery said she hoped to learn the identity of the person selling the warehouse district property. Michael asked Avery how she planned to learn the person's identity. Avery quietly explained that a meeting with the seller would take place in Joe's suite. Michael offered to accompany Avery, but she refused.
Michael, speaking to Avery about Joe, said, "I don't like him. I don't trust him. You alone with no witnesses? I don't like it." Avery said she could handle the man she had once been married to. Michael again said that he didn't like Joe. Avery made Michael promise not to mention her meeting with Joe to Dylan.
Avery climbed the stairs and arrived at Joe's room. Joe welcomed Avery into his suite. Avery looked around and was surprised to find no one else present. Avery asked how long it might be before the seller arrived. Joe locked the door and said, "Actually, it's just going to be you and me."
At Crimson Lights, Dylan told Ben about the follow-up interview. Ben offered to tell the reporter that Joe Clark should take his business elsewhere. Ben warned that Joe was too slick and shouldn't be trusted. Dylan explained that Joe had agreed to set up a meeting with the seller. Dylan said he hoped to convince the seller to change his mind. Ben said that Joe's aim for arranging the meeting was to look good in front of Avery. Dylan replied, "Once this deal's off the table, there's nothing for Joe here."
In a suite at the Athletic Club, Avery was livid when she realized Joe hadn't arranged for the seller to be there, and Joe confessed that he'd plotted to get her alone. He wanted to talk about everything he should have said when she had left Dylan and had tried to make her marriage to Joe work, but he hadn't given it a second chance. Avery reasoned that Joe had seen it had been over, but Joe countered that it hadn't been for him. She testily asked if that was why he'd shown up in town, and he swore his business in Genoa City was a coincidence, but the floodgates of emotion had opened when he'd seen her.
Joe declared that he'd been devastated when he'd learned about Avery's affair, and he'd realized he'd lost the most precious thing he'd had. She asserted that he couldn't blame Dylan, and Joe conceded that he'd been caught up in his career and making money, but he'd done it to make her happy. Avery recalled that she'd never felt more alone, and Joe admitted he'd ruined their marriage by going about showing he loved her the wrong way. Avery stated that it no longer mattered, but Joe wanted a second chance to make it right.
Joe said he wasn't the same man he'd been when he and Avery had been married, and he'd treat her the way she deserved if she gave him a chance. Avery professed her love for Dylan, and Joe theorized that she had agreed to marry Dylan to prove that she'd done the right thing by bailing on her marriage. Joe begged her not to give up her life to prove a point, but she reiterated that she wanted to marry Dylan, and she told Joe that he had to accept it and move on. Avery ordered Joe to call the owner and stop the warehouse sale, and she stormed out, obviously flummoxed.
In the dining room, Chelsea was taken aback when Billy asked why she hadn't taken off her wedding ring, and she pointed out that he hadn't had his wedding ring tattoo removed. Neil heard Chelsea's voice, and he mentioned that he was there to meet with a representative from a small business association to weigh in on the economic impact of the proposed warehouse district redevelopment. Billy inquired whether Neil needed a hand to get upstairs, but Neil insisted he was fine.
After Neil left, Chelsea shifted focus back to why Billy's tattoo was still there, and Billy countered that he could ask her the same thing about her wedding ring. Chelsea pushed Billy to admit he wasn't ready to let go of Victoria, and he conceded that it had thrown him when the waitress had thought he and Chelsea were married. He contemplated whether it was time to get rid of the tattoo, and Chelsea told him not to do it for her. He told her not to take off her ring for him, either, and Chelsea claimed she had to get home to relieve the babysitter as she hurried out.
Devon arrived at a suite upstairs, and from the corridor, he sent Hilary a text message, saying he was thinking of her and only her. He knocked on the door, and a woman called out that it was fine to enter. Devon started to explain that he'd received a call about a problem, but he was shocked to find Gwen inside. She purred that she'd insisted on seeing the manager, since there was something only he could handle, and she let her dress fall to the floor, revealing sexy lingerie underneath. Devon quickly shut the door, and Gwen said she'd wanted to surprise him. She realized that she had but not in the way she'd hoped, and she started to get dressed.
Devon stammered that Gwen had simply caught him at a bad time, but she assumed he wasn't interested. He said he liked her a lot, but she surmised that she'd gotten the wrong impression when they'd kissed on New Year's Eve. She rushed to the door, and he raced after her. In the hallway, she asked him just to tell her if he was back with the married woman he'd been seeing, and Neil approached and recognized their voices. Gwen said she was just leaving, and Neil told Devon that it sounded like they had a lot to talk about.
Nick arrived at Newman-Chancellor in response to a message from Victor, and Victor surmised that the mediation hadn't gone well. Nick preferred that Victor didn't get involved, but Victor revealed that he'd been asked to give a deposition. Nick was surprised that Avery hadn't mentioned it, but Victor clarified that Sharon's attorney had contacted him. Victor imagined that David wanted to use Victor hiring Mariah to pose as Cassie as an excuse for Sharon's actions, but he promised that he would say nothing that would hurt Nick's chances of gaining full custody. Nick worried that Victor might not be able to avoid it.
Victor was sure he could handle David's tactics, but he cautioned that there was a chance David would go after other members of the Newman family, including Nikki. Nick asked if Victor thought he should drop the lawsuit, but Victor encouraged Nick not to give up the fight, since Sharon was an unfit mother. Victor reminded him of how easily Sharon had handed Summer over to Jack, and Sharon had forced Nick to suffer the loss of a child. Victor pledged to do everything in his power to make sure Nick won the case, but Nick just wanted Victor to tell the truth. Victor advised Nick to get in the trenches and fight dirty, or Nick would lose his daughter.
Later, Joe dropped by the ranch and told Victor that he was expecting a great turnout at the event at the club, but he cautioned that Dylan and Avery were determined to discover who was selling the building that housed Crimson Lights. Victor was confident that the deal would go through and that no one would know of his involvement.
At the Bingham estate, Sage dared Adam to call Chelsea and tell her he was alive, but he slammed down the phone. He refused to be held hostage in a marriage to Sage, and he vowed not to let her keep him from the woman he loved. He contended that no one knew Sage had married Gabriel, and he knew that she didn't have any family or friends, so nobody would care if she went missing. Sage wondered if he would harm her because of his desire to get back with Chelsea, and he assured Sage that they'd had a few laughs, but she flinched when he touched her shoulder. Adam warned Sage not to ever forget who she was dealing with, but she snarled that she had nothing to lose, so he was the one who should be careful.
Sage spat that Adam didn't deserve Gabriel's face or life, but Adam snickered and taunted that Gabriel had conned her into marrying him to get his grandmother's money. Adam accused Sage of defending Gabriel like she'd been in love with him, and she turned away. Adam speculated that Gabriel had convinced Sage to go along with the con because she'd had feelings for him, and it had been her opportunity to be Gabriel's wife. Sage retorted that Adam's connection with Chelsea couldn't have been that deep, since a new guy had already moved into Adam's penthouse and bed.
Adam griped that it would be a long three years, but Sage noted that she and Gabriel had gotten the marriage license just over a year before. Adam complained that they had to wait almost two more years to split up the fortune, and Sage agreed that it couldn't happen fast enough. Adam warned her to stay out of his way, since nothing would keep him from winning Chelsea back, and he stormed out.
At Crimson Lights, Dylan finished an interview with a reporter, and Sharon excitedly recognized the journalist from the Chronicle. She hoped it helped Dylan's cause, and he worried that he was running out of options. She lamented that people were willing to destroy something that had meant a lot, and she proclaimed that Crimson Lights was part of the history of the town. She looked around and recalled memories from high school and running the coffeehouse with Nick. She forlornly looked over at the area that had once been Cassie's Corner, and she choked back tears as she said she couldn't bear the thought of losing one more thing in her life.
Sharon informed Dylan that she and Nick had been about to reach an agreement, but everything had gone sideways. Dylan recalled that Nick and Sharon had put aside their differences at Christmas, but Sharon said it had been easy for her because she still cared about Nick, and part of her still couldn't believe his love for her had completely died. She recalled that Nick had repeatedly sworn that nothing could change the way he'd felt about her, but things had changed, and she had to do everything she could to keep from losing her daughter. She hoped Dylan was able to keep his business, and Dylan prepared to check to see if Avery had heard from Joe about setting up a meeting with the building owner.
Hilary walked in as Dylan left, and she read Devon's message and smiled. Sharon teased that she bet she could guess who the message was from, and Hilary vaguely remarked that the simplest things could make her day. Hilary said she was sorry Sharon had been let go from Jabot, and Sharon replied that she was determined to stay strong and focus on her family. Hilary recounted that Sharon had been the only person who'd been nice to her at one time, and she offered to be there if Sharon needed anything. Sharon called Hilary an inspiration, since Hilary was proof that things could work out even when they seemed bad, and Neil and Hilary had a wonderful life after he'd forgiven her. Hilary nervously looked away, and Sharon urged her to talk, but Hilary said she had to get going.
After Hilary departed, Nick approached Sharon and barked that he hadn't wanted things to get ugly, but she'd left him no choice. Sharon asked if Nick had expected her to hand Faith over, and Nick retorted that he'd expected Sharon to fight fair and not go after his family. He indicated that she had only herself to blame for the situation, and Sharon admitted she'd made a mistake, but Nick refused to let her screw up Faith's life, too. Sharon ranted that she was sick and tired of him judging her like he was a saint, and she reminded him that he'd abandoned her and their children numerous times, including when he'd gotten Phyllis pregnant while Sharon had been grieving for Cassie.
Nick defended that he'd never claimed to be perfect, and Sharon referred to the fact that he'd known Summer's first DNA test had been corrupt, but he'd told no one. She contemplated whether he'd consider himself to be unfit if Summer had turned out to be Jack's daughter, since he would have kept a father from his daughter the whole time. Sharon argued that they'd both made mistakes, but she implored Nick to look inside his heart and ask if he truly thought she was unfit to raise her daughter. Nick spotted an upset Sage walk in, and he dismissed Sharon to talk to Sage.
Nick offered his condolences about Constance's death, and Sage said Constance had been like a grandmother to her. She added that she needed to go to a lawyer to sign some papers right away, and Nick told her she knew where to find him. Sage left, and Sharon stormed over and condemned Nick for finding time to talk to a stranger when he couldn't be bothered to talk to Sharon about their daughter. Sharon implied that the judge would find that interesting.
Nick explained that Sage was a friend who'd just lost someone close to her, and he warned Sharon not to try to use it against him in court. Sharon recalled a time when he'd cared about her pain, but she wondered how far he was willing to go. Nick huffed that he'd go as far as he needed to protect his daughter, and he walked away.
Neil and Devon retreated to the dining room, and Neil acknowledged that relationships could be difficult. Devon swore he was fine, and Neil encouraged Devon to talk to Hilary if he needed a woman's perspective. Devon inquired how Neil was doing, and Neil assumed Lily had talked to Devon about her concerns, but he insisted he was doing better than he had been in a long time. Neil confided that Hilary had thrown away her birth control pills, and Devon incredulously asked if they were officially trying to have a baby. Devon half-heartedly stated that he was happy for them, but Neil thought Devon didn't sound happy, and he believed he knew why.
Neil suspected that Devon thought he couldn't handle another baby because of his blindness, but he contended that he'd adjusted, and he could take care of Moses and a new baby. Devon was glad Neil had confidence, but he questioned whether the timing was right. Neil crowed that it was perfect for him and Hilary, since she really wanted a baby, too, and Devon asked if she'd said that. Neil insisted they had a solid relationship and didn't hide anything from one another, and Devon said he wanted what was best for both of them. Neil declared his love for Hilary and wondered why they shouldn't start a family, and Devon muttered that he couldn't think of one reason.
Hilary arrived and asked if she was interrupting, and Devon curtly said he'd see them later. Devon approached Gwen at the bar and apologized, and he suggested that he make it up to her in his suite, since it would be a shame to waste what she had on under her dress. He pulled her into a kiss as Hilary jealously looked on, and Hilary told Neil that Devon looked upset. Neil explained that Devon was worried about him, since he'd told Devon that Hilary was trying to get pregnant. Hilary watched Devon and Gwen go upstairs together.
At Baldwin/Clark, Michael demanded over the phone that the D.A.'s office set a court date, and Kevin inquired whether he was tying up loose ends. Michael snapped that he was busy, and Kevin questioned whether he was too busy to discuss cancer treatments, since Michael couldn't keep putting it off. Dylan entered and asked whether there had been any update about Avery getting in touch with the seller of the building, and he mentioned that they hadn't been able to find out any information about the holding company or its owner. Kevin insinuated that the right tech would be able to access the information.
Michael ordered Kevin not to hack anything, but Kevin argued that he merely navigated cyberspace with precision. Michael told Kevin not to call him when he got arrested, and Kevin asked what Dylan knew about the holding company. Dylan explained that the company owned the land under Crimson Lights, and Avery had been attempting to set up a meeting with the owner. Michael guessed that Avery was out meeting with a client, and he apologized for helping Joe to make the redevelopment happen. Dylan stated that there were things more important than the bottom line, and he hoped Joe concluded the same thing.
After Dylan left, Michael barked that he couldn't work with Kevin hovering, and Kevin said that was the idea. Kevin asked how Michael planned on treating his cancer, and Michael reported that he was seeing a new doctor the next day. Kevin accused him of stalling, and Michael countered that if Kevin were the one with cancer, Kevin could deal with it in his own way. Kevin stressed that the cancer was spreading through Michael's body, and he demanded to know how many doctors Michael intended to see before he faced the truth.
Avery went to the coffeehouse, and Dylan said he'd stopped by her office. She informed him she'd been with Joe, who had called after Dylan had left for his interview to tell her that the seller had insisted on meeting right away. She continued that it had turned out to be a trick, since Joe had wanted to get her alone, and an incensed Dylan prepared to go after Joe. Avery assured Dylan that Joe hadn't tried to get her into bed, but Joe had been desperate to derail their efforts. She suspected that Joe wanted Dylan to overreact to make Dylan look bad, and Dylan was sure he already knew what Joe had wanted to talk about.
Avery said it didn't matter what Joe wanted, since she'd made it clear she wanted Dylan. She added that Joe would have to accept that she loved Dylan and was going to marry him, but Dylan imagined it wouldn't be easy for Joe to forget Avery. Dylan said he hadn't been able to get her out of his mind when he'd been halfway around the world, and she declared that they were finally together, so she didn't want to let Joe ruin it for them. They hugged.
Chelsea returned home, and Adam called to her in the hallway. She asked what "Gabriel" was doing there, and he fibbed that he'd wanted to check out a unit in the building, but his Realtor had been a no-show. She called it a great place to live, and he mentioned that he'd heard all the penthouses had the same layout. He asked if she would mind letting him take a look around her place, and she fretted that her boyfriend would soon be home in a bad mood. Adam said he understood, but she relented and invited him in to show him around.
Chelsea gave Adam a tour of the penthouse, and he remarked that it was beautiful. She marveled that she'd never imagined herself living in a place like that, but it was home. He said he loved what she'd done with her son's nursery, and she inquired whether he had children. As Adam grappled with how to respond, Billy entered and demanded to know what "Gabriel" was doing there.
Chelsea relayed that "Gabriel" was looking to rent a unit in the building, but the agent hadn't shown up. Billy was skeptical that the two of them had just happened to run into one another, and he snapped that he needed to talk to Chelsea, who testily said she'd thought she and Billy had finished their discussion. Adam thanked Chelsea for showing him around, and he mentioned that they were bound to see more of him, since he'd just taken a job at Jabot. Adam departed, and he looked down at a toy car he'd swiped.
Chelsea asked what problem Billy had with Gabriel, but Billy declared that he wanted to talk about something else, and he held up his left hand, indicating a bandaged ring finger. Chelsea's eyes widened as she realized Billy had gotten his ring tattoo removed, and he added that the one on his back of Victoria's name would take a few sessions. Chelsea marveled that he'd done it, and they simultaneously apologized to one another. Billy said he loved her, and he moved in close to embrace her, but Chelsea stepped back, took off her ring, and put it away in a drawer. Chelsea returned his declaration of love, and they kissed.
At the Bingham estate, Adam played with the toy car, and Sage returned home and realized he'd seen Chelsea. He asked if "Mrs. Bingham" was jealous, and Sage reminded him that his reunion with Chelsea wouldn't happen on his timetable. Adam bragged that the roadblocks were disappearing, and he didn't have to do anything, since Billy was bound to screw up on his own.
At the Abbott mansion, Jack was leaving a voicemail for Phyllis. He wondered why she wasn't home for dinner. After he hung up, he was pleasantly surprised when Summer walked through the front door. Summer was disappointed that Phyllis wasn't home because she wanted to talk to her mother. She asked Jack if he had a minute -- she needed some advice. Jack smiled and said that he would be happy to help.
Summer told Jack that she had been thinking about a career. Summer knew that both Jack and Victor could give her a job at their respective companies, but she wanted to earn a job, not have a job handed to her. Jack told her about his impressive educational résumé, and she admitted that she had enjoying taking classes at Genoa City University, but if she enrolled again, she wouldn't know what courses to take.
Jack suggested that Summer take classes in many different disciplines -- as talented and creative as she was, she would surely find things that piqued her interest. Summer smiled and told Jack that she had nearly forgotten what a great guy he was. Jack said he was glad that he could help. Summer was excited to tell her mother about her plans. Jack felt that Phyllis could definitely use some positive news.
At the Underground, Mariah griped to Austin about how much she disliked her job at the nightclub. She was sick and tired of pouring drinks and calling cabs for the "platinum card" crowd. Austin said that he was happy to be employed. Mariah couldn't believe that Austin enjoyed his job tending bar, reminding him that he had to wait on Summer's "rich, entitled friends." Austin grew weary of her complaining.
Later, Austin confessed that he could empathize with Mariah's bitter feelings. He thought Mariah was trying to sort through her emotions about spending the holidays with people who really cared about her. He told Mariah that they'd both had a good Christmas -- a weird, yet pleasant, feeling.
Mariah finally admitted that she had really had enjoyed spending Christmas with Noah, Faith, and Sharon, but her happiness was tempered when she remembered how tough she'd had it growing up. Austin said that his life had been happy -- until his mother died. His life had "sucked" after that, but Summer had turned things around for him. He thought that maybe the right person could do the same for Mariah.
When Austin insinuated that Kevin might be a good match for Mariah, Mariah cut him off and said that she and Kevin were just friends. Summer showed up, and she and Mariah exchanged snarky remarks before Mariah went to wait on customers. Austin wondered why Summer was there. Summer excitedly told him that she had arrived at a decision, but she was nervous about how Austin would feel about it.
Austin was happy to hear that Summer was planning on returning to school but wondered why she thought he would not approve. Summer said that it would mean less time to spend with him. Austin said that Summer had put her life on hold for him, and she deserved to do something for herself. He wondered how Phyllis had reacted to Summer's news. Summer told Austin that she had gone to see her mother, but Phyllis hadn't been home. Austin wondered if Phyllis was all right. Summer said that as long as Phyllis had Jack, everything would be okay.
Kelly strutted into Jack's office at Jabot and, to the back of Jack's chair, said that she had received his text message asking her to stop by. Kelly was shocked when Phyllis swiveled around, saying that Jack didn't want to see Kelly -- Phyllis did.
Phyllis had sent the message from Jack's phone. It had been a test to see how quickly Kelly would show up. According to Phyllis, Kelly's rapid response proved that she was still desperate to be with Jack. Kelly countered by calling Phyllis "pathetic." Phyllis said that she had summoned Kelly to put her on notice: Kelly would no longer get away with the "kinds of stunts" she had pulled on New Year's Eve. Kelly told Phyllis that it had been mere coincidence that she and Phyllis had worn identical dresses -- and it certainly wasn't Kelly's fault that Phyllis had run out of gas and had needed to walk to the Athletic Club.
Phyllis stood up and sinisterly said that Kelly didn't know who she was messing with. She warned Kelly to "back off" Jack -- or Kelly would be sorry. Kelly calmly acknowledged that she cared about Jack, but she wasn't trying to undermine Phyllis' relationship with him. Phyllis declared that she could prove, by calling her best friend Lauren, that Phyllis had purchased her New Year's Eve dress before Kelly had. Kelly invited Phyllis to do that, sarcastically adding that Jack wouldn't find it "too crazy" that Phyllis was spending an inordinate amount of time trying to solve the "mystery of the matching dresses."
Kelly and Phyllis continued to bicker. When Phyllis said she was confident of Jack's love, Kelly smirked and asked, "Then why are you worried about li'l old me?" Kelly accused Phyllis of being cruel and vindictive then loudly asked if Phyllis thought that Jack wanted to spend his life with "a spiteful monster."
As Jack approached his office from the corridor, he could hear Phyllis telling Kelly to "shut up," followed by a slapping sound and Kelly yelping in pain. When Jack walked into his office, Kelly told him that Phyllis had hit her. Phyllis stared at Kelly in disbelief. Jack asked the women what was going on. Phyllis said that Kelly was lying -- she had never laid a hand on Kelly. When Kelly cried that Phyllis had to be "pathological," Phyllis lunged at her -- Jack had to hold Phyllis back.
After telling Jack that Phyllis had lured Kelly to Jabot by sending a text message from Jack's phone, Kelly ran out of the office. Jack asked Phyllis if she had texted Kelly, using his phone. When Phyllis admitted that she had, Jack grew angry and reminded Phyllis that he had asked her to leave the pettiness behind. He wondered how he could trust her. Phyllis insisted that she had not hit Kelly -- and wondered if Jack believed her.
Jack said that the "Kelly I know" wouldn't lie about being slapped. Phyllis adamantly maintained that Kelly had lied to Jack. Jack told Phyllis that Kelly had suffered a lot of loss and needed time. Phyllis viciously hissed, "She needs time in therapy. And if she doesn't stay away from you...." Jack cut Phyllis off, telling her that he loved Phyllis; they were getting married. Phyllis calmed down and whispered that she knew that, but their love always seemed to slip away. Jack begged Phyllis not to destroy their love. Phyllis hugged Jack and told him that she loved him -- but she had to fight for what was hers.
In his Athletic Club suite, Joe spoke to his Realtor on the phone. Joe told her that it looked like he would be staying in Genoa City permanently. He needed to find a place to live.
In the Athletic Club dining room, Lily and Cane were setting up for the cocktail party where Joe would be promoting the warehouse district redevelopment project. Lily was concerned about the growing number of anti-redevelopment protestors demonstrating outside. Cane told her not to worry. The club's security team had everything under control. Jill and Colin strolled in. Jill told Lily and Cane that a "small army" of demonstrators had gathered. Cane volunteered to speak to the protestors, as well as his security team, to ensure that the rally didn't become contentious.
Jill told Colin that the only reason she was attending the cocktail party was to see how many people she needed to "cross off her Christmas card list." As if on cue, Victor entered the club. Jill hurried over and told him that she was surprised to have heard that Victor was supporting the redevelopment project. Victor lied and told her that he was attending the party merely to gather information. Jill thought it would be foolhardy for Victor to support the plan, since Nikki's son, Dylan, was leading the opposition to the redevelopment.
Victor wondered why Jill, who rarely sided with his wife, opposed the redevelopment plan. Jill reminded Victor that both she and Nikki loved Katherine. Jill felt that Katherine, who had great respect for Genoa City's history, would have been against the project. She told Victor that his attendance at the cocktail party at Joe's personal invitation was disrespectful to Katherine's memory.
Jill said she couldn't understand why Katherine had entrusted her life's work to Victor -- after all, he was running Chancellor Industries into the ground. Victor said that Chancellor would be restored to its former glory and told Jill to take care of that "little company" Fenmore's -- he would take care of Chancellor Industries.
Jill joined Colin at the bar. Colin commented that Jill and Victor seemed to have had a "spirited conversation." Jill told her husband that there was one person she would always fight for: Katherine.
The party was in full swing. Joe ran into Jill and Lily. He said he was happy to see Jill, particularly since she had sworn not to attend. Jill said that she wanted to see the look on Joe's face when Genoa City's elite rejected the project. Joe told Jill he was so confident that the high rollers would embrace the redevelopment plan that he was already looking for a permanent residence in town. After Joe walked off, Jill told Lily how arrogant Joe was. Jill wished she had the weight of Chancellor Industries behind her to stop Joe and whoever else was involved in the deal.
Lily realized that Jill was still upset that Katherine had left Chancellor to Victor. While Jill admired Victor's business acumen, she said that Katherine had never viewed Chancellor as a corporate entity. Katherine had truly loved the company she had built, and Jill wondered why Katherine hadn't picked someone with a similar emotional attachment to run Chancellor. Lily retorted, "You mean like you, Jill?"
Jill said that she meant "someone not Victor." Lily said that Cane missed running Chancellor just as much as Jill did, and Lily had suggested that Cane try to get the company back from Victor. Jill wondered if Cane would try. Lily suggested that Jill and Cane talk.
Colin congratulated Joe on the large turnout at the party then advised him that there were a lot of protestors outside. Joe confidently claimed that, by the end of the evening, the protestors would be supporting the project. Colin wondered if Joe had gotten a chance to ask the project's investors if Colin could be included in the consortium. Joe smiled, shook Colin's hand, and said, "Welcome aboard, Mr. Investor." Victor joined Colin and Joe and congratulated Joe on signing Colin up.
Paul and Kevin were working on a project at the police station when Nikki stopped by. She was on her way to join Victor at the cocktail party. Kevin perked up and listened as Nikki said that the only reason she was planning to attend was so that she could report to Dylan about Joe's presentation. Nikki wondered if Paul could do anything to help out their son.
Kevin chimed in that they couldn't allow "sketchy" Joe Clark to close down Crimson Lights. He thought it was strange that the person who owned Gerolamo hadn't identified him -- or her -- self. Kevin told Paul and Nikki he needed to get back to work and, laptop in hand, left Paul's office.
After Kevin was gone, Nikki thanked Paul for not telling Victor that she had been drinking. Paul wasn't sure that he had done the right thing by concealing Nikki's relapse from Victor. Nikki explained that the only reason she had started drinking was because the previous year had been very stressful. Paul wondered what Nikki would do when she faced another difficult situation.
Nikki insisted that she had everything under control. She was going to meetings and was looking for a new sponsor. Paul agreed that was good but reminded her that she could still turn to him or her family if she ever felt the urge to drink.
Cane, worried about the number of protestors outside the club, called Paul and asked him to check things out. Paul assured Cane that he would. After he hung up, Paul told Nikki that, although there were police officers at the club, he wanted to scope out the demonstration himself. As Paul and Nikki walked out, they passed by Kevin, toiling away on his laptop. To himself, Kevin said, "Damn it, Gerolamo, who the hell are you -- and why are you so determined to hide your identity?"
Nikki arrived at the club and greeted Victor. Paul and Cane joined them. Cane explained to Victor that he had asked Paul there because there were many more protestors than had been anticipated. Paul expected that the crowd would remain under control.
At the coffeehouse, Dylan distributed "Save Crimson Lights" placards to the final group of his supporters and sent them off to demonstrate outside the Athletic Club. Avery stopped by to find out how Dylan was doing. He said that he was fed up with her ex-husband Joe's shenanigans. Dylan was speechless when Avery suddenly announced that she wanted to get married that evening.
Dylan thought Avery was trying to rush into marriage to send a "not interested" message to Joe, who had tried to talk Avery into a reconciliation the previous evening. Avery denied that. She said she wanted to show the world how much she loved Dylan. Avery was taken aback when Dylan turned down her proposal.
Disappointed, Avery told Dylan that she thought he was just as anxious to wed as she was. Dylan told Avery how much he loved her -- but he wasn't about to allow Joe to dictate when they would marry. Avery admitted that Joe had "gotten" to her the previous evening, but Joe wasn't the reason she wanted to marry Dylan. She loved Dylan and would wait until he was ready to tie the knot. Dylan smiled and said that, "Joe be damned," he loved Avery and wanted to marry her as soon as possible. Avery cried out in joy and kissed Dylan.
As Avery and Dylan were about to leave, Kevin rushed in and told them he had used his computer prowess to unmask the identity of Gerolamo's owner -- Victor Newman. Dylan and Avery realized that both Victor and Joe had been lying to everyone. Avery thanked Kevin for the information. When Kevin left, Dylan grew angry, slammed a table and shouted, "Victor -- you son of a bitch!"
Kevin went to the Underground. He told Mariah he hoped that she could make a lousy day a little bit less lousy. He'd had to give people he liked some bad news. Mariah grew agitated and babbled that once one told someone something, they couldn't "un-know" it. Kevin had no idea what she was talking about.
Later, Kevin asked Austin where Mariah was. Kevin had seen her head toward the back room. Austin insisted that Mariah wasn't there. Kevin said that something wasn't right, and she had been acting weird earlier.
At the cemetery, Mariah knelt at Cassie's grave and said, "Happy birthday to us, sis."
At the club, the guests were seated, and Joe began his sales pitch. He talked about all the luxurious amenities that the developers were planning for the redevelopment project. Avery and Dylan approached Victor from the back of the room. Dylan walked right up to Victor and spat out, "It's you -- you're the one selling us out."
Victor warned Dylan to keep his voice down. Dylan announced that Victor owned the entire warehouse district and was planning on selling it to Joe's investors. Paul intervened and asked Dylan what was going on. Dylan, quite loudly, once again asserted that Victor owned the holding company selling the land to the investors. He accused Victor of lying to everyone -- including Nikki. Nikki asked Victor if what Dylan said was the truth. Victor stared at Dylan and said, "This is a business transaction -- and no one will stand in the way of it."
Nick found Mariah at Cassie's grave, and he said he was there for Cassie's birthday, too. He placed some flowers on the ground, and he wished Mariah a happy birthday and asked if she had any big plans. She imagined that Cassie had celebrated with parties and presents, but it had been just any other day for Mariah, since the only birthday she'd celebrated in her youth had been Ian's. Nick sympathized, but Mariah told him she didn't need his pity. He suggested that she learn the difference between pity and compassion, and he wished things had been different for her. Mariah noted that it would have been worse if she'd had a happy, loving family that she'd seen fall apart.
Nick confided that he wasn't happy about going to trial, and Mariah asked what Cassie would have thought. Nick recalled that Cassie had considered it her job to resolve conflict, and he flashed back to explaining to Cassie that he and Sharon had been having problems. Nick had said that he and Sharon were both right and wrong, and Cassie had suggested that they each be half-wrong and call it even. Nick called Cassie a peacemaker who had been wise beyond her years, and Mariah said she was very different from her twin. Nick recognized that Mariah had never had a chance to be a kid, and she mused that she'd had dreams like other kids, but there hadn't been anything better out there for her.
At the Underground, Kevin asked Austin if Mariah had made it a habit to take off in the middle of a shift, and he noted that Mariah had seemed upset. Summer huffed that Mariah only cared about herself, but Kevin contended that Mariah wasn't cold-hearted, and Summer asked how well Kevin and Mariah knew one another. Kevin said he and Mariah were friends, and they understood one another because they'd both had tough childhoods. He believed that Mariah's attitude was just a wall she put up to protect herself, and the new life she'd found was foreign to her.
Summer remembered that it was Cassie's birthday, and Austin realized that meant it was Mariah's birthday, too. Kevin rushed off to find Mariah, and Austin remarked that Kevin had made a point. Summer argued that Austin hadn't grown up with a father, but he'd turned out to be a decent person, and Austin pointed out he was on probation. Summer swore he was a good person in every way it counted, and Austin contended that Mariah was, too. Summer testily inquired why Austin was always defending Mariah, and Austin hastily got back to work.
At the cottage, Sharon expressed her appreciation to Noah for going to the cemetery with her, and she admitted that it was still hard to think of Cassie missing out on the life she'd had ahead of her. Sharon added that she was glad to have the chance to make up for lost time with Mariah, and she wanted to celebrate Mariah's birthday when Mariah got home from work. As Faith listened from the stairs, Sharon mentioned that she had a job interview that day, since she needed to prove to the judge that she could be a good mom to her kids. Sharon imagined the moments she wouldn't have with Faith if Nick got his way, and Faith whispered to her doll that her parents fought a lot, but they still loved one another and would get married one day. Faith recalled Summer's words that sometimes people just needed a little push.
Sharon explained that she wanted to share custody with Nick, but her lawyer thought she needed to take a strong stand to have a fallback position. She reasoned that if both she and Nick sought full custody, the judge might be more willing to make a compromise, and Noah lamented that he knew what it was like to be in Faith's position. Sharon wailed that she was terrified of losing Faith, and the little girl ran in with a birthday card she'd made. Faith asked if they could make Cassie's favorite cookies to share with Mariah, and Sharon went to see if she had the ingredients.
Faith wanted to ask Nick to stop by, but Noah gently told her that only Mariah would be joining them. Faith whined that it didn't have to be that way, and Sharon returned and reminded Faith that they'd already talked about it. Faith said her parents had promised they'd both still be there for important things, and she questioned whether Cassie and Mariah's birthday was important. As they mixed the cookie batter, Mariah and Nick walked in, and Nick mentioned they'd run into one another at the cemetery.
Faith eagerly asked Nick to help, but he said he couldn't stay. Faith informed him that they were making birthday cookies, and Mariah said they hadn't needed to go to the trouble, but Faith innocently revealed that they made Cassie's favorite treat every year. Mariah apologized for interrupting and told them to have fun, but Sharon clarified that the cookies were for Mariah, too. Noah declared that they all should celebrate, and Faith begged Nick to stay. Nick reluctantly agreed to stick around, and he playfully grabbed a giggling Faith.
Noah and Sharon recounted memories of Cassie, and Nick referred to a year Cassie had redecorated Victor's birthday cake with a horse made of purple frosting. There was a knock at the door, and a clearly uncomfortable Mariah volunteered to answer it. Kevin wished Mariah a happy birthday, and Faith chirped that they were making birthday cookies. Nick was sure they'd be better than the ones at Crimson Lights, and Kevin revealed that he had news that would blow their minds, since Victor owned the land in the warehouse district that the redevelopers wanted to buy. Sharon wasn't surprised Victor would hurt people for profit, and she thought he'd consider it an extra bonus to destroy something meaningful to her.
Mariah and Kevin stepped outside, and he observed that Nick and Sharon had seemed to be getting along. Mariah was sure Nick was trying to make up for the fact that she'd never celebrated her birthday, but she felt like an outsider looking into someone else's life. Mariah said Cassie had been the perfect child, but one bad judgment call had ended up killing her, whereas Mariah had made a million mistakes and was still there. Kevin commented that he was glad she was there, or he'd still be hiding his fan fiction addiction, and he handed her a gift. Mariah couldn't hide her delight when she discovered a framed drawing of her favorite fantasy character inside, and he was pleased she liked it.
Sharon instructed Faith to let the cookies cool, but Faith squealed that they smelled good. Kevin offered to help Noah clean up, and Nick and Faith followed them into the kitchen to guard the cookies. Sharon mentioned that she'd wanted to wish Mariah a happy birthday that morning, but Mariah had been asleep when she'd left for the cemetery. Mariah understood it was a tradition, and Sharon presented her with a necklace. Sharon explained that garnets were Mariah and Cassie's birthstone, and Mariah questioned whether the gift had been meant for Cassie. Sharon swore that she'd bought the necklace for Mariah, but Mariah griped that she wasn't interested in Cassie's leftovers, and she hurried out.
Everyone in the kitchen hustled back into the living room with the cookies, and Faith yelled for Mariah to make a wish. Sharon explained that Mariah had thought her gift had been intended for Cassie, even though Sharon had just bought it. Kevin suggested they give Mariah some time, and he offered to make sure Mariah was okay. Nick said he should go, and Sharon thanked him for making it a special day for the kids. After Nick and Kevin left, Sharon went upstairs to get ready for her interview, and Faith told Noah she was happy Nick had stayed. Noah cautioned that it didn't mean Nick and Sharon were getting back together, and he stepped aside to answer a call from Courtney. Faith told Miss Patsy that the day had been a start, but she had to do something really big so her parents wouldn't be able to stay apart again.
Austin returned to an empty bar and asked what had happened to the customers, and Summer reported that she'd settled their tabs and told them to leave, since the club was closed for a private party. A confused Austin said Nick hadn't told him about any special event, and she amorously suggested that they go skiing. Summer showed Austin a virtual fireplace on her phone, and she said she'd spent most of her time at the lodge in front of the fire. He was touched that she'd created a ski trip for him, and she said it would give them some alone time. They professed their love and cuddled in a booth.
Austin asked what else Summer had done on ski trips, and she said the bar didn't have a hot tub, so he suggested a massage. She insisted on giving him one, and she kissed his neck and helped him pull off his shirt. After Summer and Austin had sex, she thought she looked like a mess, but he called her beautiful. She teased him for being biased, and she ran off to freshen up. He got dressed, and he heard someone enter, but he yelled out that the bar was closed for a private event. Mariah replied that there were plenty of parties, but none of them were for her. He wished her a happy birthday, and she suddenly planted a kiss on him.
As Michael and Lauren waited in the doctor's office, he mentioned that that he'd read Dr. Jain's articles about less aggressive approaches to treatment that seemed to be in sync with what Michael had in mind. Lauren urged Michael to start treatment instead of collecting opinions, and Michael grumbled that she sounded like Kevin. Dr. Jain entered and introduced himself, and he recognized that Michael was looking for a second opinion. Michael wanted to know the best way to beat his cancer without losing who he was along the way.
Dr. Jain said he'd gone over Michael's file, and he recommended a combination of radiation and hormone therapy. Michael was shocked that he concurred with the other doctors, and Dr. Jain explained that it was the standard protocol to treat Michael's illness. Michael said he'd hoped for a less aggressive treatment option based on Dr. Jain's articles, and the doctor divulged that it would be appropriate for slow-growing tumors in earlier stages, but Michael's cancer was spreading, so it was best to start treatment as soon as possible. Michael reiterated that his goal was to get through treatment as the same man, and that wouldn't be possible with the side effects. Dr. Jain invited Michael to get another opinion, but he believed any reputable oncologist would tell him the same thing. Enraged, Michael stormed out of the office.
At Crimson Lights, Lauren said three specialists and an urologist were in agreement about Michael's best treatment options, but he wanted to continue to do more research. Lauren warned that he wouldn't find a doctor who would tell him he wasn't sick, and she flatly stated that he had cancer. Michael assured her he knew that, but she said knowing it and accepting it were two different things. Michael swore that he'd accepted he had cancer, and he was discussing treatment.
Lauren said the problem was that Michael was discussing and not doing, and she asked if he expected the disease to stand still while he gathered facts and hoped it wasn't real. Lauren acknowledged that he was scared, and she admitted she was, too, but he wasn't alone. He thanked God for that, and he reached for the phone and called to make his first radiation appointment. Lauren cried tears a relief.
At the Athletic Club, Nikki was stunned when Dylan revealed that Victor owned the building that housed Crimson Lights. Nikki confronted Victor about keeping it from her, but Victor pointed out that he'd never denied it. Nikki ranted that he'd never once mentioned it during the numerous times they'd discussed Dylan's fight to keep his business, and Victor haughtily stated that it wasn't personal. Lily asked Cane if he'd known Victor was involved in the deal, but Cane replied that he hadn't. Colin remarked that it sounded like Joe had thought the information couldn't hurt Cane.
Nikki recalled that Victor had assured her that he'd wanted to attend the party to gather information, but she accused him of having a vested interest in the project. Victor barked that they'd discuss it later, and Nikki told Dylan and Avery that there was no point in apologizing for Victor, since his underhanded behavior wouldn't end anytime soon. Victor asserted that there were larger considerations than a coffeehouse, and Jill clucked that Victor had a mess on his hands. Victor snarled that Jill's ignorance was only surpassed by her lousy timing, and he stalked off. Jill followed Victor into the foyer and suggested that it was time for Victor to spin off the tanking Chancellor division before he drove Katherine's legacy into the ground, but he growled that it would be "a cold day in hell" before he handed anything over to her.
Paul asked how Dylan had found out about Victor's involvement, and Dylan revealed that Kevin had told him. Paul fretted that Kevin had used illegal tactics, but Dylan disclosed that the name of the holding company, Gerolamo Unlimited, referred to the patron saint of orphans, so the answer had been there all along. Dylan recognized that Victor had enough power to make sure Dylan lost Crimson Lights, and Paul understood why the mayor and the landmark commission had refused to help. Dylan groused that it would also give Joe the chance to stick around to be near Avery.
Avery chided Joe for working with Victor to stick it to her fiancé, and she spat that Joe and Victor made perfect partners, since they both thought they could have whatever they wanted for the right price. She reiterated that Joe would never get her back, but he maintained that it was a good business deal, since the project would benefit Genoa City. She hissed that it would be good for him and his rich cronies, but it would force small business owners to close up shop. Joe pointed out that Dylan wouldn't be left empty-handed, since Dylan still had her.
Cane thought Victor should have known how Nikki would react, and Colin suspected that had been why Victor had kept it under wraps. Lily took off to make sure the protesters stayed away from the property, and Colin commended Jill for sticking it to Victor. She said she'd enjoyed it immensely, since Victor was obviously in dire financial straits if he was willing to risk his marriage to get his hands on some cash, and she thought it was the perfect opportunity to make a play for Chancellor. Colin cautioned that Victor wouldn't give up without a fight, and Jill confidently replied, "Bring it on."
Lily complained that the protesting crowd was making it hard for guests to get in and out, and Paul offered to take care of it. Dylan contended that at least the protesters were up-front about their agenda, unlike a middleman who'd set up a fake meeting. Joe retorted that Dylan had been the one who'd slept with Joe's wife, and Dylan countered that it hadn't been his fault Joe hadn't been able to keep his wife satisfied. The men lunged at one another, but Paul broke up the scuffle and told them to go their separate ways.
Lily approached Joe and sniped that he wasn't making any friends in town, and he replied that it was just business. She blasted him for almost turning the place into a boxing ring, and he excused himself to pack up his presentation. Cane asked if Lily was okay, and she sarcastically said she couldn't wait to see what other surprises Joe had in store. Cane said he'd done a quick search of the name of the holding company, and Gerolamo was the patron saint of orphans. Jill growled that Victor had better pray if he wanted to hold onto Chancellor, since Katherine would be spinning in her grave if she'd known what he'd done. Colin suggested that Jill and Cane team up to take over Chancellor.
Colin said he knew Cane was keen to get back into the corporate world, and he noted that Jill had talked about nothing but Chancellor. Colin implied that there was strength in numbers, and they needed to muster all the power they could if they wanted to get rid of Victor. Lily repeated that they had her blessing, and Cane extended his hand to Jill and asked if they were partners. She readily shook it, and she pondered whether Katherine had wanted them to realize they needed one another as much as they needed Chancellor.
At the coffeehouse, Paul lectured that assault wasn't the answer, and Dylan confessed that he was more worried about Nikki than about Joe. Paul said Nikki had known who Victor was when she'd married him, and Dylan couldn't fathom how she dealt with it. Paul flashed back to Nikki thanking him for not mentioning her drinking to Victor, and Paul had questioned what would happen the next time she faced a stressful situation. Paul worried that Nikki's coping skills hadn't always been the best. Dylan and Avery went outside to thank the protesters, and Paul left Nikki a voicemail to make sure she was okay. He told her to call him if she wanted to talk or if she felt like she needed a drink.
Victor found Nikki at home, and she angrily remarked that he'd put his company ahead of his family. Victor asserted that he'd built Newman for all of them, and she asked about what they'd built together. Victor reiterated that he'd done everything for his family, and Nikki questioned whether he'd tormented Sharon and tricked Summer for noble reasons. Victor told her to look at the results, but Nikki argued that destroying the neighborhood wouldn't be good for anyone. Victor countered that creating jobs and businesses would be good for his kids and grandkids. "And to hell with my son, right?" Nikki snapped.
Victor said Nikki was blowing things out of proportion, but she thought she'd had a normal reaction to finding out he'd betrayed her. She admonished him for thinking he could get away with it because Dylan wasn't his son, and she wondered if it was too much to ask for Victor to welcome Dylan like she'd welcomed Abby into the family. Victor offered to give Dylan startup money to relocate, but Nikki spat that he couldn't throw money at the situation to make it better. Victor said they'd discuss it once she calmed down, and he was sure she'd realize he was simply trying to help. After Victor left, Nikki stared at his half-full glass of liquor across the room.
Nikki started to cross the room, and she told herself aloud that she didn't need alcohol to cope with her problems. She pledged not to think about touching the glass, and she turned toward the stairs, but she looked back and tried to convince herself that booze wouldn't help. She told herself to walk away, but her resolve crumbled. She cursed and chugged the drink.
Victor returned to the club, and Joe asked if the deal was still on. Victor said it had never been in question, but Joe wondered if Victor had gotten cold feet. Victor proclaimed that he never got them, and across the room, Jill and Cane smirked at one another.
At the Underground, Austin pulled away from Mariah's kiss, but Kevin spotted the buss from the doorway and asked if it was a new birthday tradition. Mariah declared that she'd wanted to kiss Austin and that she'd liked it, and Summer returned and guessed from the looks on everyone's faces that she'd missed something pretty big. Kevin claimed that Mariah had walked out on the party Sharon had thrown her and had said she'd enjoyed doing it.
Mariah complained that it had been a party for Cassie, and Mariah had felt like a clone. Austin said he was sorry to hear it, but he wished Mariah a happy birthday, and Summer unenthusiastically added, "Woo-hoo." The young women exchanged barbs, and Summer told Mariah to go cry about her lousy birthday someplace else. Mariah was offended when Austin suggested she leave, but Kevin thought Austin was being reasonable. Mariah stormed off, and Kevin chased after her to stop her before she did something else crazy. Summer wondered what he meant.
Summer suggested she and Austin go someplace where they wouldn't be interrupted, like their bed, but he said there was something she needed to know first. She assumed he had to stick around to do inventory, but Austin revealed that Kevin's earlier statement had only been half the story. Summer asked if Mariah had burned down someone's house like Sharon had, and Austin relayed that Mariah had kissed him. Summer flew into a rage and started to head out, but Austin insisted that she hear the whole story first.
Summer asked why Austin hadn't spoken up earlier when Kevin had covered for Mariah, and Austin said he'd known Kevin had been upset, so he hadn't wanted to add insult to injury. Summer argued that Austin had hurt her by protecting Mariah, but Austin countered that he'd been looking out for everyone, since another fight wouldn't have done any good. Summer noted that Austin was acting like it had been no big deal, and she wondered how he would have reacted if another guy had kissed her. He conceded that what Mariah had done had been wrong, and he promised he would tell her it could never happen again. He added that the kiss had meant nothing to him, and he asked if Summer believed him.
Summer was sure that Austin wasn't interested in Mariah, and Austin was convinced that Mariah had just wanted to act out with the first guy she'd seen. There was a crash in the entryway, and Abby entered and reported that there had been a tray of dirty glasses there, but the good news was that Austin no longer had to wash them. Austin left to clean up the mess, and Abby said she was meeting some friends there, but she wondered where everyone was. Summer explained that she'd sent the customers home in order to spend some quality time with her husband, and Abby realized she'd interrupted. Summer groused that Mariah had already interrupted by kissing Austin.
Abby screeched that it was unacceptable to go around kissing other people's husbands, and Summer said she wasn't worried, but Abby warned that Summer didn't know Mariah's history. Abby confronted Austin about letting the kiss happen, and she advised Summer to be on guard as she sauntered out. Summer recognized that Mariah had been acting out and that Austin wouldn't cheat on Summer, but Summer refused to just sit back and take it. Austin cautioned that going off on Mariah would only rile her up more, and he urged Summer not to let Mariah ruin the amazing night they'd had. Summer agreed it wasn't worth it, but as Austin turned to grab his coat, she looked worried.
Kevin caught up with Mariah at Crimson Lights and told her to slow down. He joked that he cared about the town too much to let her loose on it, and they bickered about whether he should get a medal for putting up with her. She ordered him to go, but he refused to leave her alone after what she'd just pulled. Mariah barked that she didn't need Kevin to lecture her or to cover with Summer, and she believed that he was mad because she'd kissed Austin. She ordered Kevin to quit playing the friend card, and Kevin asked her to tell him the real reason she'd kissed Austin.
Mariah groused that she'd been picked on and analyzed all her life, but Kevin wasn't her path leader, therapist, or boyfriend. She asserted that Kevin didn't know who or what she was, and he swore he wasn't criticizing her or trying to run her life. Kevin maintained that he cared about Mariah, and he hated to see her going to extremes to protect herself. He pointed out that he'd told her about what his dad had done to him, and it had been scary to be locked in a closet, but it had been safer than being outside. Kevin understood that Mariah couldn't flip a switch and trust that people cared about her, but he assured her they did.
Mariah complained that the birthday party and necklace had been too much, and she asked Kevin to go. He followed her to a table and recognized that it was hard to love someone or let herself be loved because she could get hurt, and it was easier to put up walls or go after a married man. He implored her to go after something that was real, and she countered that it hadn't worked out very well for him. Kevin told Mariah to give it a chance, since she deserved to be loved, but it wouldn't work unless she admitted it was what she wanted.
Kevin dared Mariah to tell him he was wrong about everything, and she conceded that maybe not everything he'd said had been incorrect. Mariah confessed that she might possibly be scared of something real, and Kevin replied that he was scared, too. He recognized that love was risky, but sometimes, it was worth the risk for the right person. She asked if he thought he would ever meet someone like that, and he imagined that he might -- and she might, too.
Sharon was dismayed when her calls to Mariah continued to go straight to voicemail, and she wished Mariah would give her a chance to explain. Noah assured her that Mariah would, and Sharon lamented that it had been too much too soon to try to make Mariah's birthday special. Noah recognized that Sharon's efforts had been heartfelt, but he reminded her that she had an interview to prepare for. He asked what job she'd applied for, and she reluctantly revealed that it was a modeling position that would be a big step down, but her future with Faith was riding on it.
Noah encouraged Sharon just to be herself, and he was sure the interviewer would love her. He acknowledged that it seemed like a lot of people were against her, but he swore that would change, since she was too good a person to be on the outs for long. Sharon thanked him, and he told her that he and Faith would love her no matter what happened. They hugged, and Sharon stared at a family photo on the mantel.
At the penthouse, Billy prepared to leave for work, but he found Chelsea on the floor, peering under the couch. She explained that she was looking for Connor's toy car, since it had been right there the day before. Billy aided Chelsea with her search, but she told him not to keep Jack waiting. As Billy lingered near the door, she answered a call and told someone to feel better. Chelsea informed Billy that the assistant who was scheduled to handle some interviews had called in sick. Billy offered to ask Jack to meet there so Chelsea could handle the meetings herself.
At the design studio, Chelsea showed an applicant to the door, and Sharon entered and was surprised to see Chelsea there. Sharon announced that she was there to interview for a dress-fitting model position, and she asked if the job was still available. Chelsea indicated that the job required working directly with her, and she wondered why that hadn't deterred Sharon. Sharon asserted that she was qualified, and she admitted she'd hoped to win over Chelsea's assistant during the interview. Chelsea realized Sharon really needed a job, but she didn't think it was a good idea to work together.
Sharon argued that other people had gotten past their differences, and she swore that she was a different person than she had been when she'd schemed to keep Adam away from Chelsea. Sharon confided that she'd lost her job at Jabot, and although Jack had given her a recommendation, no one would take her on. Chelsea assured Sharon that she'd find work once the gossip died down, but Sharon fretted that Nick would win custody of Faith. Chelsea said the job was just a few hours a week, and Sharon reasoned that she'd have enough time to do a great job and be there for Faith. Sharon pleaded with Chelsea to show that some people were willing to forgive her even if Nick wouldn't, and she sobbed that she'd lost him, but she couldn't lose her little girl, too.
Chelsea handed Sharon a tissue, and Sharon apologized for her outburst. Chelsea reflected back on how she'd felt when Adam had threatened to take Connor from her, but things had worked out when they'd reunited. Sharon remarked that Adam and Chelsea had been really great together, and Chelsea got teary. Sharon asked if she was okay, and Chelsea credited Billy with helping her to find happiness again, although she didn't think Adam would have approved of their relationship. Sharon was sure Adam would have wanted Chelsea and Connor to move on and have a happy life, and that was what she wanted for herself and Faith. Sharon asked if Chelsea could help her do that.
Chelsea said there had been times she would have been thrilled to see Sharon down on her luck, and Sharon hoped it was no longer one of those times. Chelsea believed that Adam would have wanted her to give Sharon the job, and she hired Sharon. Sharon excitedly thanked her and promised to be the most loyal employee Chelsea had ever had. Chelsea told her just to be professional and to take care of her daughter.
Billy called Jack to request a change in plans, and he found Jeffrey at the door. Jeffrey insisted on waiting for Chelsea, and Billy asked why Jeffrey needed to see her. Jeffrey mentioned that he'd dropped the lawsuit against the hospital, and Billy surmised that Jeffrey had finagled a hefty payment out of Chelsea in return. Jeffrey clarified that he'd received half, but Chelsea still owed him the other half. Jeffrey imagined that the court would have given him a fortune, but he hadn't been able to turn down his baby's generous offer.
Billy offered to pay the other half if Jeffrey left Chelsea out of it, and Jeffrey agreed. Billy scolded that Jeffrey should be ashamed for not simply doing what Chelsea had asked, but Jeffrey divulged that she'd thrown money at him because she'd wanted Stitch free to date Victoria in order to keep Victoria away from Billy. Billy incredulously asked if Chelsea had said that, and Jeffrey replied that she hadn't needed to, since he knew his daughter. Jeffrey added that Chelsea had sounded like a woman who didn't feel secure in her relationship.
Billy scoffed at the idea that Jeffrey could read Chelsea, and he confidently stated that both he and Chelsea were satisfied in their relationship. Jeffrey contemplated what would happen if Victoria dumped Stitch and became available, and Billy swore that he would stay where he was. Jeffrey guessed Billy would do so because it was easy, with no ties or responsibilities of marriage. Billy defended that he would never use Chelsea, and Jeffrey surmised that Billy had no plan to make an honest woman out of her.
Billy asked why it was important that he and Chelsea make things legal, and he wondered if Jeffrey thought about anything other than money. Billy grumbled that the dollar signs in Jeffrey's eyes spoke louder than words, and he queried whether Jeffrey thought Chelsea needed another inheritance. Jeffrey inquired again whether Billy intended to marry his daughter, and Billy huffed that it was for him and Chelsea to decide. Jeffrey was glad to hear it was a possibility, but he warned Billy not to break Chelsea's heart.
Chelsea arrived home, and Jeffrey said he and Gloria were going out to celebrate. After Jeffrey left, Billy informed Chelsea that he'd given Jeffrey the other half of the money she'd promised him, since she'd made the deal as a favor to Billy. Billy disclosed that her dad had made it sound like it had been an act of desperation to keep Stitch in Victoria's life, but Billy had made it clear that he was where he wanted to be. He hoped that Chelsea knew that, and she replied that he reminded her every day.
Billy asked about Chelsea's interviews, and she revealed that she'd unexpectedly hired Sharon. Connor cried over the monitor, and Chelsea explained that Connor had been the reason she'd given Sharon a chance. Chelsea continued that Adam had been able to forgive her for hiding the fact that he was Connor's father, so she'd decided to be forgiving, too.
Later, Chelsea returned from checking on Connor, and she relayed that Connor had mentioned that Billy had read him a book. She clarified that the boy's exact words had been, "Daddy read book." Billy was stunned, and he asked how she felt about that.
Sharon returned home, and Noah crowed that he'd known she'd get the job. Sharon thanked God that she still had a chance of winning custody, and she wanted to call her lawyer to tell him the good news. Noah inquired if it was good that she and Nick were fighting over Faith, and Sharon regretted that she had to, but she vowed not to back down.
Nick read Constance's obituary online, and he recognized her photograph. He made a call to have some flowers delivered, but he changed his mind and said he had a better idea.
At the Bingham mansion, Adam played with the toy car, and Sage walked in and coldly asked if he intended to stare at the toy all night long. Adam flatly replied that he would if it bothered her, and she offered to build him a racetrack once they got through the estate paperwork. Adam contended that she'd understand if she had a kid she didn't get to see, and Sage taunted that Chelsea hadn't seen who Adam really was because Chelsea had another man in her bed. Adam was confident Chelsea and Billy's relationship wouldn't last, but Sage reminded Adam that he was dead in Chelsea's eyes.
Adam commented that the penthouse had looked identical to how he'd left it, and Sage urged him to stop obsessing about the past and focus on the present, since the minister would be there that night to plan Constance's funeral. Adam sarcastically protested that it wouldn't give him enough time to play with his car, but Sage explained that the minister had known Gabriel, so Adam had to start acting like Gabriel, or the whole plan would fall apart.
Nick arrived at the mansion with a bouquet of flowers, and he and Sage were equally surprised to see one another when she opened the door. She remarked that it was how things seemed to go with them, and he said he'd wanted to stop by to offer "Gabe" his condolences. Sage awkwardly stated that they hadn't expected any visitors, but Nick mentioned that Gabriel had always been a night owl. Sage said Gabriel wasn't around, but Adam called out and asked if the minister was at the door. Adam was startled to see Nick.
Sage covered by asking how long "Gabriel" had been home, and she claimed that she'd been looking for pictures of Constance in the attic and hadn't heard him return. Nick said he knew how important Gabriel's grandmother had been to him, and Adam, posing as Gabriel, replied that he wished he'd had more time with her. Sage commented that there was never enough time to spend with a loved one, and Adam wondered how Nick had known he was there. Nick explained that he'd stopped by the mansion after his accident, and he had seen Constance but hadn't known who she'd been until he'd seen her picture with her obituary.
Sage offered to put the flowers in some water, and Adam expressed appreciation to Nick for the gesture of support. Nick wanted to make a donation to Constance's favorite charity, and he asked if he could step inside to write a check. Adam hesitantly invited him in, and Nick said it was the least he could do, since he and Gabriel had known one another a long time, and he still owed Sage. Adam called her a real hero, and Nick mentioned his fuzzy memory of Gabriel being with Sage in the woods. Adam confessed that he had been there, and Nick wondered why "Gabriel" hadn't just said so.
Adam left to answer the doorbell, and Nick noted that "Gabriel" hadn't been able to get out of there fast enough. Sage explained that "Gabriel" had hurried back to Constance on that day in the woods, since he had received a call and had been frantic it had been the end. Nick remained baffled about why "Gabriel" hadn't just told him that, and Sage speculated that "Gabriel" had felt guilty for abandoning Nick. Nick was confused about why Constance had turned him away when he'd stopped by looking for Sage, and he wondered why Sage had hidden the fact that the old woman had been her guardian.
Sage turned away, and Nick apologized for upsetting her, but he wanted to know why she hadn't been straight with him. She replied that they didn't know one another very well, and the Binghams were very private people. Nick asked if she felt like it wasn't her place to talk about her relationship with the family or her living arrangements, and he mentioned that he'd seen mail jointly addressed to her and Gabriel in the foyer. She joked that Nick was Sherlock Holmes, and Nick said if he were, he would have solved the mystery already. Nick questioned why she'd referred to Gabriel as a friend when they lived together, and Adam entered and said he could answer that.
Adam said he and Sage didn't live together in the way Nick was thinking, and Sage explained that she'd been raised there and that "Gabriel" had moved back to keep an eye on his grandmother. Nick said it was none of his business, and he extended his sympathies and offered to be there for "Gabriel" if he needed to talk. Nick recalled that Gabriel had told amazing stories about his grandmother and all the times she'd rescued him, and he asked if Constance had been the one to bail him out of the "Juliet incident."
Adam said Juliet had been a "hell of a girl," and Nick seemed bewildered. Nick mentioned that Juliet had been a sailboat, and he couldn't believe "Gabriel" didn't remember, since the Gabriel Bingham he'd known would never have forgotten that.