At Crimson Lights, Victor and Ashley met with Ben and Abby to help the couple finalize wedding plans. Ben and Abby realized they'd been doing all the talking without benefit of feedback. Abby asked her parents why they'd been giving each other "death stares." Victor requested that the discussion be restricted to wedding plans, but Ashley said, "Your father has decided to sue Jabot -- more specifically, me." Victor defended his actions and said he was trying to recoup money the Abbotts had stolen from him.
Abby begged her families to put their differences aside to celebrate the most important event of her life. Victor suggested that the wedding date be postponed. Ben agreed, but Ashley objected and said the wedding should not be postponed. Henry, Abby's assistant wedding planner, arrived and noted that the venue, the Lausanne, was booked up for two years. Victor agreed to host Abby's wedding at the Top of the Tower on New Year's Eve. Abby was pleased with Victor's idea. Victor asked Ashley to accompany him to the bar for a discussion. Abby winced when Ashley threw her napkin down on the table before she walked away.
At the bar, Victor asked Ashley if she'd received her summons. Ashley replied, "Didn't we agree you were going to give me some time to convince my brother to pay you the $500 million you demanded?" Victor said he'd spoken to Jack, and Jack had refused to pay back the stolen funds. Victor warned Ashley that she'd lose Jabot. Abby approached and berated her parents for not putting their differences aside to help with her wedding. After Victor left, Abby and Ben told Ashley that perhaps the wedding should be postponed, but Ashley refused to let the lawsuit alter the wedding plans.
At Chancellor Park, Abby told Ben that the meeting with her parents and the wedding planner had been intense. Ben agreed that it had been stressful. Abby asked Ben if he'd thought that Ashley had been too insistent that they get married on New Year's Eve. Abby said, "It wasn't just me, right? She was really pushing for it." Stuttering, Ben said, "It's because of me." Abby looked confused as she waited for Ben to explain.
In Jack's office at Jabot, Michael repeated the story Jack had told him about Victor having hired drug lord Marco Annicelli to take Jack's place after Victor had arranged for Jack to be kidnapped. Michael added, "And Marco Annicelli hooks up with Detective Harding, and he's involved in Austin and Courtney's murders?" Jack affirmed his statement and noted that Marco had admitted to his participation in both crimes before Victor had had the drug lord transported back to a Peruvian prison. Michael asked Jack why he'd let Victor off the hook for his crimes. Jack explained that Victor had threatened to tell the authorities about the people who had died in a boat explosion when he'd escaped his kidnappers. Jack said he wasn't sure what had happened to Kelly.
Michael seemed to sympathize when Jack insisted that he'd never set out to hurt anyone while he'd fought to survive. Jack said he planned to admit to everything he'd done and also expose Victor's crimes at a press conference. Phyllis didn't approve of Jack's plan and pleaded with Michael to stop him from exposing the details of the ordeal. Michael said that both Jack and Marisa might be held accountable for the people that had died when they'd escaped. Phyllis, fearing ridicule after the public discovered how Marco had duped her, pleaded with Michael to convince Jack not to reveal the sordid details. Michael, however, agreed with Jack and said Victor shouldn't be allowed to get away with what he'd done.
After Michael left, Phyllis continued to protest Jack's decision to confront Victor. Jack said, "You and Billy went ahead with your plans without even talking to me. You two were so hellbent on revenge that you made a bad situation a thousand times worse. You riled up Victor so much, he wouldn't listen to reason." Phyllis cried that everyone would know what Marco had done to her. She said every time she thought about being in bed with Marco, it made her feel sick. Jack said he knew Phyllis was furious at him, but Phyllis said she was consumed with hatred for Victor.
Phyllis warned Jack that he might end up in prison. Jack replied, "They'd have to extradite me first, but once all of the facts are out, that probably won't happen. It will be worth it if I get what I want -- justice. Victor has more to lose than I do." Phyllis asked Jack to consider how deeply humiliating it would be if her family and colleagues knew she'd unknowingly slept with a stranger. Phyllis added that instead of them acting as a team, Jack had made his decision without her input. Jack refused to change his mind and walked out. Phyllis seemed to be at her wit's end.
Michael approached Ashley at the Genoa City Athletic Club. Michael said Jack had told him everything about Marco Annicelli and Victor. Ashley replied, "It's disgusting, isn't it? Honestly, Michael, if the truth ever came out." Michael informed Ashley that Jack would be holding a press conference. Michael added that Jack would reveal everything because it was the only way to take Victor down and save Jabot.
Before the press conference began, Ashley told Jack that he wouldn't have to sacrifice his future if he'd just pay off Victor. Jack said it was his job to protect his family and their legacy. Jack admitted that Phyllis had opposed his decision. Jack and Ashley saw Phyllis across the room. She was having an animated conversation with Michael. Ashley said, "I know you think you're doing the right thing, but if the people you love most don't agree, then maybe you should listen."
While Jack and Ashley talked, Victor approached Phyllis. He asked her what was happening. Phyllis told Victor that Jack was about to tell all at a press conference. Across the room, Michael adjusted the microphone and asked Jack if he was ready. Jack nodded. Before Jack spoke, he noticed Victor and Phyllis glaring at him.
At the Underground, Marisa told Noah and Mariah that she'd found Ava. Luca announced that Ava had remained behind in Spain. Luca said he'd been detained by Immigration officials because someone had contacted the FBI. Luca said the informant had reported that he had been involved in a criminal enterprise and would be reentering the United States. Marisa suggested that Victor had contacted the authorities in hopes of keeping her out of Genoa City.
Noah seemed perplexed when Marisa explained that Ava had a loving and attentive adopted family. Marisa noted that it would've been cruel to disrupt Ava's life. Noah said Luca had acted cruelly when he'd lied and told Marisa that Ava was being mistreated. Marisa explained that Luca had been paying Ava's adoptive parents to take care of their daughter. Noah shook his head in disbelief.
After Luca left, Noah asked Marisa why she'd defended Luca and why she had changed her mind about getting Ava back. Marisa explained that Luca had been overseeing Ava's care and only wanted what was best for her their daughter. Marisa said that Ava's adoptive mother had agreed to send photos and updates. Noah warned Marisa not to get taken in by Luca. Marisa said she wasn't a na´ve fool. Noah refused to change his mind about Luca's sinister intentions. Frustrated because Noah refused to acknowledge her feelings, Marisa walked out.
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Luca met with Victor. Luca told Victor he'd never had a problem entering the United States in the past. Victor insisted that he wouldn't have risked his relationship with the Santori family because they were helping him rebuild Newman Enterprises. Luca implicated Noah. Luca said Noah's love for Marisa had clouded his judgment, so he should be taught a lesson. Victor said, "I'll take care of it."
After Victor left, Marisa entered Luca's suite. Luca was on the phone with his father, assuring him that he was overseeing their investment. Luca told Marisa that Noah had turned him in to the FBI. Marisa cried that had they entered the country with Ava, she would've witnessed seeing her father being handcuffed and detained by federal agents. Luca said Noah didn't care who he might hurt.
Luca told Marisa that they'd always be bonded by the child they shared. Marisa admitted that she and Noah had argued. Luca looked pleased and asked Marisa about her future living arrangements. Marisa said she'd decided not to move in with Noah. Luca smiled when Marisa said she'd move into her own hotel suite. Luca invited Marisa to call on him if she needed anything.
At the Underground, Noah was still reeling after his encounter with Marisa. He told Mariah he hadn't anticipated Marisa's reaction. Mariah replied, "So, you thought Marisa was going to be happy you sicced the feds on her husband?" Noah said he didn't know what Mariah was talking about, but she said she'd known at once that Noah had been involved. Mariah recalled that Noah had enlisted Kevin's help to dig up information about the Santori family. Noah said, "I really had no choice."
Victor stopped by the Underground and confronted Noah. Mariah stepped away. Victor asked Noah why he'd contacted the FBI. Noah warned Victor that the Santori family was corrupt. Victor noted that Noah's main concern was Marisa, a woman with a checkered past who was interested in another man. Victor told Noah that the Santoris had agreed to help him rebuild Newman Enterprises, and Noah might have jeopardized that plan, which could also impact the lives of the people who worked for Newman Enterprises.
After Victor left, Mariah told Noah that his grandfather was right about Marisa. Mariah warned that Marisa wasn't over Luca. Noah said Mariah didn't know Marisa like he did. Mariah reminded Noah that Marisa had lied to him about her relationship with a drug lord and her marriage to Luca, and she'd failed to disclose that she had a child. Mariah added that Marisa was using Noah because he was just another rich guy to her.
In a suite at the Genoa City Athletic Club, Billy was asleep in his clothes. The room was littered with glasses of booze and playing cards. Victoria phoned Billy after she read a report published in the newspaper about his arrest for driving while intoxicated. Billy was passed out and didn't answer his phone. Billy later awoke and headed to Victoria's house.
Billy arrived at Victor's house. Victoria told Billy she knew he was hungover after a night of heavy drinking. Victoria said the only reason she'd allowed the visit was because Billy's lawyer had threatened to make her appear in court if she didn't. Billy mentioned Victor's lawsuit against Jabot. Victoria told Billy that he was responsible for creating the rift between the Newmans and the Abbotts. She said Jack and Ashley probably weren't thrilled with Billy's actions, either.
Victoria showed Billy the front page of the newspaper and told him to consider what he'd done to their family. Billy promised he'd be the husband Victoria deserved and the father their children deserved. Victoria noted that Billy had broken his promises too many times. Billy begged Victoria for one more chance.
Victor Celebrates a Victory
At Chancellor Park, Ben made a confession to Abby about an intimate moment he shared with Ashley. Abby asked if Ben and her mother had had sex. Ben said, "It isn't about sex, but I told your mother that I love her." Ben explained that he'd believed he and Ashley were about to perish in the fire. He added, "I didn't mean it. It was a moment." Abby asked if Ashley's desire to be his bride might account for her desire to rush the wedding.
Tears streamed down Abby's cheeks. She asked, "Is my mom in love with you?" Ben admitted that he and Ashley had slept together once. Ben said that Ashley knew how much he loved Abby. Abby noted that she wasn't the one who'd messed up their relationship "this time." Ben told Abby that he'd told her what had happened because he wanted to build their marriage on honesty. Abby scoffed, "Marriage? What marriage? You think there's going to be a wedding after this?" Abby grabbed her purse and walked away.
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Jack stood at a podium before members of the media. Jack had earlier told Michael, Ashley, and Phyllis that he intended to tell the truth about Victor's misdeeds and deception. Phyllis, one of Victor's unwitting victims, had pleaded with Jack not to publicly disclose the horrific details. Ashley had also pleaded with Jack to consider the fallout, but Jack remained defiant and determined. Before Jack spoke, Victor and Phyllis, standing together across the room, glared at Jack. Victor quietly warned Phyllis that if Jack revealed the story about Marco, it would prove disastrous for them all.
After the cameras and microphones began recording, Jack said, "As you may know, Jabot and Newman Enterprises have been under siege by a computer virus. The full story of destruction cannot be told in balance sheets, quarterly reports, or facts and figures. I've called this press conference to tell you the whole story." Jack said he'd done his best to emulate the integrity of his late father, John Abbott. Victor nervously rocked back and forth and scowled while he listened.
While Jack delivered his speech, Michael stood beside Phyllis to lend support. Phyllis cried, "I can't believe he's doing this to me, Michael." As Jack continued, he stated that courage was simply not being afraid to shine light on the truth, even though it might be detrimental to personal and business relationships. Jack fixed his gaze on Phyllis. Tears had filled Phyllis' eyes, and her jaw quivered. Jack paused momentarily before stating that his wife had taught him how to face adversity with dignity and grace. Ashley looked relieved and Phyllis' jaw dropped when Jack apologized and told the media that he had nothing more to say.
Victor approached the podium. Jack cupped his hand over the microphone and asked Victor what he'd planned to say. Victor replied, "The press came to hear a story today. I have a hell of a scoop for them." Victor gloated that Jack Abbott had given up. Jack explained that he'd carefully considered the feelings of the people he loved. Jack told Victor he wouldn't understand what that meant. Victor said he understood that Jack had capitulated on all fronts. Victor thanked Jack for the $500 million the Abbotts had contributed to Newman Enterprises.
Jack stepped back and let Victor have the podium. Victor proudly announced that despite a fire at Newman Towers and a ruthless attack to his computer system, Newman Enterprises had accrued enough money to restart business. Victor promised listeners that Newman Enterprises was set to soar to the top. Jack clenched his jaw. Phyllis rolled her eyes. Victor plastered a smile across his face as the cameras rolled and reporters scribbled notes.
After members of the media left, Phyllis and Ashley thanked Jack for having changed his mind. Jack said he'd wanted to protect his loved ones. Jack instructed Michael to accept Ashley's deal so Victor would drop his lawsuit. Ashley told Victor that just because he had money in his pocket, it didn't mean that he'd won. Jack, instructing Michael regarding the contract's details, said, "In return for cash, Victor agrees not to pursue criminal or civil charges against Jabot or any of its officers regarding Paragon."
Jack told Victor that there'd be no more wars or blood because he and his family were done with Victor. Victor insisted that he'd always protect his family. Jack said everyone knew that Victor only protected his ego. Jack added, "You have no idea what you lost." After Victor left, Jack told Michael, Phyllis, and Ashley that he'd have paid any amount of money to have "that smug bastard" out of their lives.
At Sharon's house, Faith sat by her mother's side as Sharon cradled baby Sully. Sharon cooed at the newborn and asked him what he wanted from Santa. Faith noted that her mom often asked the baby questions even though Sully couldn't respond. Sharon explained that speaking to infants helped with their brain development. Faith said, "You think that if I'd talked to baby Christian, he wouldn't have died?" Sharon assured Faith that no one was responsible for Christian's death.
Sharon told Faith that Sully loved his big sister. Dylan and Nick had just arrived when Faith replied, "I wish Christian were here. I'm so glad we have Sully." Sharon placed the baby in his crib. Faith said she couldn't wait to decorate cookies at Victoria's house. Sharon thanked Nick for offering to accompany Faith to Victoria's. Dylan left to open the coffeehouse. Faith stepped out to find her apron.
Sharon asked Nick if having overheard Faith talk about Christian had been awkward. Nick replied, "There's nothing awkward about missing people you love." Nick told Sharon that Sage had moved out. Nick sadly recalled that he'd left Sharon and their marriage after Cassie had died. Sharon noted that no parent should face the pain of losing two children. Faith called out to Sharon and asked for help in finding the apron.
Sully began fussing after Sharon left the room. Nick picked up the baby and talked softly to him. Sharon returned and smiled as she watched Nick comfort Sully. Sharon told Nick that Sully seemed to be enjoying quality time with his uncle. Faith returned wearing her festive apron. Sharon and Nick were admiring Sully as he snoozed in his crib. Faith asked Nick if Sully looked more like his mother or his dad. Nick replied, "I'm not sure, but I think he's going to get the very best of both his parents."
At Crimson Lights, Dylan poured a cup of coffee for Ben. Dylan held up his hand to display his wedding band and announced that he and Sharon had married. Dylan noticed that Ben seemed depressed. Ben explained that he'd been forthcoming to Abby about his profession of love for Ashley. Dylan asked Ben about his feelings for Ashley. Ben said whatever he'd felt was over. Dylan said he doubted that such strong feelings of love could suddenly end. Ben said he loved Abby and hoped she loved him.
Ashley was relaxing at the Genoa City Athletic Club's bar when Abby rushed in and asked her mother about the incident with Ben during the fire. Ashley said she couldn't remember what she'd said. Abby said she knew that Ben had professed his love to Ashley. Abby asked her mother if she still loved Ben. Ashley explained that she and Ben had believed they'd been about to die when they'd pledged their love to each other.
Ashley told Abby not to destroy her chance to marry a man she could love for a lifetime. Ashley said, "Ben loves you, and I know he can make you happy." Ben walked up and said, "You're damn right I will! I want to live every day of my life with you." After Ashley left, Ben asked Abby if she still wanted to marry him. Abby replied, "Yes. Let's do it!"
At Victoria's house, Billy pleaded for Victoria to give him another chance to reconcile their relationship. Victoria shook her head and noted that she'd already given Billy too many chances. A knock at the door interrupted them. While Victoria greeted Nikki, Billy admired the gingerbread cookies he, Victoria, Johnny, and Kate had decorated to resemble each of the four members of their family. Billy's cookie sported yellow icing for hair and a smearing of blue to match his shirt.
Nikki immediately sensed discord, and Billy admitted that his future with Victoria was uncertain. Billy remained hopeful and recalled that he and Victoria had once wed on Christmas Eve. Nikki busily tidied the room while Billy and Victoria continued to argue. Victoria reminded Billy that he'd lied to her repeatedly by denying he'd planned an attack on her father. Billy swore to Victoria that he loved her and their family.
Victoria mentioned Billy's problems with alcohol and gambling. Billy sarcastically noted that while his sins had been unforgiveable, Victor had repeatedly lied and deceived without ever having faced repercussions. Victoria said, "You hate my father more than you love me and the children, and that's why we're done!" After Victoria went upstairs to comfort a crying child, Nikki encouraged Billy to seek help for his addictions. Billy insisted that the only help he needed was a reconciliation with Victoria.
Billy pleaded with Nikki to encourage Victoria to take him back. Nikki explained that, in addition to Billy's problems with addictions, he'd attacked Victoria's father on a grand scale and had lied about it. Billy said he'd find a way to make amends to Victoria and everyone else he'd hurt. Victor had quietly slipped inside and replied, "Good luck with that, Billy boy. You just single-handedly brought your family down to its knees."
Victor told Billy about the settlement Jack had agreed to pay. Billy replied, "You must have backed Jack into a corner. That's the only way he would've caved." Victor told Billy that Billy alone was responsible for the downfall of the Abbotts. After Billy left, Victor picked up the gingerbread cookie representing Billy, snapped off the head of the cookie, and ate it. As he chewed, Victor quipped, "I love it! It's good!"
Nick and Faith arrived at Victoria's. Faith greeted her grandparents. Victoria sent Faith to the kitchen to prepare cookie decorations. Nick asked his father what had been going on. Victor replied, "Impressive business coup." Nikki remarked that Victor had almost bankrupted Jabot. Michael arrived and said he needed Victor's signature to ensure "he wouldn't attempt an even more questionable move than his usual." Victor picked up the plate containing the uneaten portions of Billy's cookie and offered it to Michael.
As Victor signed the contracts, he said, "Just remember that Billy Abbott is responsible for all this." Michael told Victor to expect a payment transfer soon. After Michael hurriedly left without exchanging pleasantries, Nikki asked Victor what had happened between him and Michael. Victor said he and Michael had taken different sides. Victor added, "One day he'll remember that we basically respect each other." Nick said he wasn't too sure that would happen.
Victor checked his phone and said, "Oh, yeah. Five-hundred million is being transferred to my account right now. I think it's time to celebrate." Nick and Victoria both furrowed their brows and seemed at a loss for words. Victor seemed elated.
In Jack's office at Jabot, Jack told Phyllis that he couldn't have cleared his conscience at her expense. Phyllis apologized for the role she'd played in helping Billy attack Victor. Jack told Phyllis he understood why she'd wanted justice for Victor's unspeakable crimes against her. Phyllis worried that Jabot would be decimated by Jack's decision to pay the settlement. Jack embraced Phyllis and said, "As long as you're not decimated, I'm going to be just fine."
Jack and Phyllis were kissing when Billy arrived. Billy apologized for his part in what had happened. Jack replied, "Your part? As if you're fractionally responsible for what happened? This was your big idea. You act first and then apologize later. Do you have any idea the damage you did to this company and to this family? Our father is rolling in his grave, all thanks to you."
Billy offered another apology. Phyllis seemed sympathetic to Billy's plight. Jack kicked Billy out and told him that he'd never work at Jabot again. After Billy walked out, Phyllis told Jack that Billy had just wanted someone to talk to. Jack, livid, replied, "It doesn't always have to be you!"
At Chancellor Park, Ashley walked down the steps near the benches. Ashley stopped walking and answered her phone. She said, "So the money went through without a problem? Right. Thank you." After the called ended, Ashley placed her palm against her forehead and groaned in pain. After the pain eased, she continued walking, watching for ice as she slowly moved forward. Ashley slumped forward and tried to catch herself by reaching out to hold onto a row of snow-topped hedges. Ashley suddenly lost consciousness and fell to the ground.
Ashley makes a big decision
At the Athletic Club, Devon, Cane, and Lily discussed the plea bargain Joe had made with Christine, which would ensure that he would be behind bars -- in an out-of-state prison -- for at least six years, beginning immediately. Lily was relieved that the whole ordeal was finally over, but Cane argued that they couldn't be sure of that yet because they still didn't know who had kidnapped Hilary.
Cane was determined to figure out who was really responsible, but Devon insisted on respecting Hilary's decision to drop the matter. Realizing that he wouldn't be able to change Devon's mind, Cane abruptly excused himself, and Lily sighed as she watched him walk away. Devon assured Lily that Cane just needed time, but she doubted that would make a difference. Devon maintained that, because Lily and Cane still loved each other, there was still hope that they could eventually work things out -- unlike in his situation, where there was no hope left because, while he still loved Hilary, she no longer loved him.
Upstairs, Neil made it clear to Hilary that he wasn't going to get between her and Devon. Hilary insisted that it would be impossible for Neil to do that because her relationship with Devon was already over for good. Not wanting to continue the conversation, Neil started to leave, but Hilary stopped him, wondering why he had visited her room in the first place if he had just wanted to tell her he wasn't interested in getting involved with her -- something he could have said over the phone instead. Neil reminded Hilary that she had asked to see him. "Actually, I sent you that text. Hello, partner -- long time no see," Neville said as he entered the room.
Neville began running a few simple tests on Hilary while Neil fretted about what could happen if the cops saw them together. Unconcerned, Neville thanked Hilary for the kind things she had told the press about him. "I am touched. I mean, it's all true, but I'm touched," Neville said. Neville excitedly added that if he was recognized as a visionary once his notes on Hilary's treatment were published, he would soon start receiving offers for grants and patents -- and he would need a grateful and motivated investor to help subsidize his plans to change the world.
Refusing to be blackmailed, Neil told Neville to leave town and be grateful for the money he had already been paid. "I thought you, of all people, would understand -- appreciate -- [but], obviously, you don't. That...is a crying shame," Neville mused before saying goodbye to Hilary and exiting the room.
Hilary worriedly pointed out that Neville could expose Neil at any time, but Neil argued that Neville would have to incriminate himself in order to do so -- and that was something he would never be willing to do. Hilary suggested that Neville could just be trying to help people, and she took a few steps toward Neil as she suggestively reminded him that Neville was the reason she had been given a second chance to make things right. Neil insisted that Hilary didn't have to be grateful to Neville -- or to him -- and he left the room before she could respond.
Later, Hilary went downstairs and approached Devon's table, asking if she could join him. Devon eagerly offered to order some food for Hilary, but she explained that she simply wanted to ask for his help with something. Devon was shocked to learn that Hilary wanted him to invest in Neville's research, but when she explained that the unpredictable Neville had hinted that he might blackmail Neil into funding the research, Devon reluctantly agreed to help out. Hilary thanked Devon and left after observing that he was a good man.
Back in her room, Hilary contacted Neville and told him to get in touch with Devon. After Hilary ended the call, Neil arrived and apologized for what he had implied earlier about her scheming to get him alone with her. Hilary wondered if Neil could at least admit that it felt right to be alone with her.
Dodging the question, Neil pointed out that he and Hilary were going in circles. Hilary guessed that Neil felt guilty, and when he confirmed the suspicion, she insisted that he had nothing to feel guilty about because he was the one who had hired Neville to save her life. Neil argued that Hilary's life wouldn't have been in jeopardy in the first place if he hadn't interrupted her honeymoon to show her the incriminating video of Devon. Hilary countered that she had set everything in motion when she had moved to Genoa City to make Neil pay for his part in her mother's death. "But you forgave me, okay? And your forgiveness turned to love," Hilary added.
Neil reminded Hilary that, while she might have genuinely cared about him at one point, she had ultimately fallen in love with Devon -- who was still in love with her. "It should have always been you," Hilary regretfully replied. Insisting that he and Hilary couldn't keep having private meetings with each other, Neil started to leave, but Hilary stopped him -- and again pointed out that he could have said that over the phone instead.
Hilary gave Neil a passionate kiss, and when he responded to it instead of pushing her away, she said he had just told her everything she needed to know. "You still want me. And soon, you will admit it to yourself -- and everyone else," Hilary confidently predicted. Neil started to kiss Hilary again but stopped himself and left instead.
Cane went to Lily's office to talk to her about the kids' schedule for the next few weeks. Cane wondered if he could spend Christmas morning with Lily and the kids so he could watch the kids open their gifts. Lily wanted Cane to spend the whole day with her and the kids so they could have one last magical Christmas together before revealing to the kids that their family wasn't going to be the same anymore. Cane was reluctant to agree to that, believing that it would be better to tell the kids the truth right away, but Lily convinced him to reconsider.
Nikki visited Sage to see how she was settling into her penthouse. Nikki was quick to let Sage know that everyone missed her at the Newman ranch, but Sage insisted that she couldn't go back there because that place held too many painful reminders of what she had lost. Nikki revealed that she knew how Sage felt because, years earlier, she and Jack had lost a child who had been born prematurely.
"It leaves such a hole in your heart. You need love to heal that -- maybe even the kind of love that created the child to begin with," Nikki suggested. Sage argued that, like Nikki and Jack's relationship, her and Nick's relationship might not really be meant to last. "Not every story has a happy ending," Sage pointed out.
Victor visited Adam and Chelsea to tell them about the Abbotts' settlement. Victor praised Adam for knowing that threatening to sue Jabot would be the best way to get to Jack. Chelsea congratulated Victor and optimistically guessed that his victory meant that Adam no longer had to work at Newman Enterprises, since they had accomplished what they had set out to accomplish. Victor said it was up to Adam to decide what he wanted to do next. Victor predicted, however, that Adam would want to take on something challenging -- something bold and risky -- because he was a chip off the old block, and neither of them did things halfway.
Adam mused that, with Newman Enterprises no longer in need of revenue, the next order of business would be finding ways to use that revenue to rebuild the company and ensure that the whole world knew that the Newmans couldn't be defeated. "That's a hell of a task," Adam added. Chelsea wondered when such an endeavor would end. "Well, that's the point, Chelsea -- it doesn't end. There's always a challenge -- always something to be overcome -- and that's what we like. That's what makes us tick. That is what unites us," Victor replied.
Victor soon excused himself so he could go see Nikki and Sage, but before leaving, he shook Adam's hand and said he was proud of Adam. "You hear that? Proud of me -- that's really something, huh?" Adam bragged to Chelsea once they were alone. Chelsea suggested that Victor had just said what Adam had wanted to hear in order to manipulate him into staying at Newman Enterprises, but Adam argued that Victor had simply been in a good mood. Chelsea found it hard to believe that Adam was ready to mend fences with Victor, even after Adam pointed out that it was hard to hold a grudge against the man who had gotten him out of prison.
"It's more than that, Adam. Victor has some hold on you. It's a thin line between love and hate, so...which one is it?" Chelsea wondered. Adam tried to deflect, but when Chelsea pressed for an answer, he assured her that not every one of his interactions with his father had to involve blackmail. "Okay. Does this one?" Chelsea asked.
Dodging the question, Adam admitted that he liked having his father's respect and approval -- and he believed that he had earned those things. Chelsea argued that Adam could find another way to gain them -- one that didn't involve being Victor's right-hand man. Chelsea fretted about what could happen to Adam if Victor ended up disappointing him again, but Adam assured her that he didn't need Victor's respect and approval in order to survive. "I know what's important, okay? I'm not gonna let anyone ruin that -- and that includes me," Adam promised.
Across the hall, Victor assured Sage that it was okay if she didn't want to move back to the ranch at that time. Victor added, however, that if Sage wanted to leave her penthouse and move somewhere else entirely, he would support that decision. "Are you trying to get rid of me?" Sage asked incredulously. Nikki told Sage that wasn't what Victor was trying to do, and he confirmed that Nikki was right. Victor explained that he was simply suggesting that the penthouse wasn't the ideal place for Sage, since she had once lived a lie there. Sage insisted that Victor had nothing to worry about because her fake relationship with Adam was a thing of the past.
After Victor and Nikki left, Sage went to tell Adam and Chelsea about the conversation she'd just had with Victor. Adam complained that Victor was a maniac who had a strong desire to control every tiny little thing in the world, and he advised Sage to refuse to answer the door the next time Victor paid her a visit. "Thank you for showing up, my real husband. The Adam who adores Victor was starting to freak me out. So, why did you lie before?" Chelsea asked.
Adam stressed that his willingness to work with Victor wasn't an indication that he had gone delusional and forgotten what Victor stood for and did to people. After reiterating that Sage needed to stop dealing with Victor, Adam stormed upstairs to check on Connor -- the one Newman man no one had to be warned away from. Chelsea watched in confusion as Adam left the room.
While unconscious, Ashley imagined having a conversation with John. Ashley suspected that John was disappointed with her because she had allowed Victor to decimate Jabot, but John assured her that she and her siblings were his priority. John observed that Ashley looked pale, and he urged her to admit what was wrong. Ashley insisted that she wanted Abby to marry Ben and be happy with him. "I see. So, you fainted because of your daughter's love life," John skeptically replied.
John pointed out that, as a woman of science, Ashley already knew what was really wrong. Ashley tried to blame low blood sugar, but John wasn't fooled. John reminded Ashley that she was a fighter, not a quitter. Ashley wondered why John was more concerned about her than Jabot. "Because you are -- and with good reason," John replied. John told Ashley he loved her, and she returned the sentiment -- then regained consciousness and pressed a hand to her forehead, wincing in pain as she looked around the otherwise empty park.
At Jabot, Phyllis wondered if Jack was going to kick her out of the company, too, since she had helped Billy go after Victor. Jack asserted that Billy was a danger to himself as well as the company and had simply exploited Phyllis' pain and anger in order to suck her into his plan. "Nobody exploits me -- not anymore," Phyllis stressed.
Phyllis wondered why Jack was willing to continue putting up with her but was no longer willing to extend Billy the same courtesy. "Phyllis, we are married; you're my wife," Jack pointed out. "And that's what this is all about -- I am your wife, [and] we took vows that we were gonna stand by each other all the way, but you didn't even make it to our wedding night!" Phyllis countered.
Phyllis quickly apologized, but Jack assured her that an apology wasn't necessary -- and that he would erase what had happened if he could. Phyllis complained that Victor's actions had affected her and Jack, who didn't deserve to be burdened with guilt for the things he had been forced to do to get his life back. Jack argued that he had blood on his hands and did indeed deserve his guilt.
Phyllis felt guilty because, while Jack had been fighting to get back to her, she had been buying into all of Marco's lies. Phyllis suspected that Jack had to resent her for that, but he assured her that, while they both had pain, rage, guilt, and shame to deal with, they could get through it all as long as they still had each other. "We've been so far. We can go farther. But I need to know you're with me," Jack stressed.
Ashley entered the room and agreed that the Abbotts couldn't let what had happened tear them apart, because if they did, then Victor really would win. Phyllis argued that, between the money Victor had won and the fact that Billy had just been fired, Victor was already dancing on John's grave. "I think my father would have other priorities right now," Ashley replied. Jack wondered what that meant -- and why Ashley looked pale. Ashley joked that losing half a billion dollars wasn't exactly the best way to put color in a person's cheeks. Ashley added that Jabot wasn't really about capital; it was about passion, focus, and the collective will of everyone involved.
Phyllis pointed out that, as CEO, Ashley could reverse Jack's decision to fire Billy, but Ashley declined, stating that she trusted Jack. "As a matter of fact, I trust the two of you together. I think you can do what Dad did, you know? I think you can rebuild Jabot again," Ashley added. Jack agreed that he, Phyllis, and Ashley could all rebuild Jabot together. "You're gonna have to do it without me, Jackie. I'm stepping down as CEO," Ashley announced. Jack and Phyllis tried to talk Ashley out of her decision, but she insisted that, while she planned to stay on the board, she simply wasn't interested in being involved in the day-to-day operations anymore.
"What are you gonna do with your time -- wedding planning?" Jack asked incredulously. Chuckling, Ashley assured Jack that she would find something to do. "Dad would want this, okay?" Ashley added. Jack insisted that it wasn't okay, and he guessed that something was wrong. Jack urged Ashley to tell him what was really going on -- and to refrain from making decisions she might later regret. Ignoring the advice, Ashley hugged Jack and told him she loved him. "This is the best thing, okay?" Ashley stressed before abruptly exiting the room.
Later, at the Athletic Club, Jack and Phyllis continued trying to wrap their heads around what Ashley had just done. Jack noted that Ashley's sudden move had seemed out of character, and Phyllis suggested that Abby's impending wedding could have prompted a change in Ashley due to the harsh realization that her little girl was all grown up. Jack allowed for that possibility and hoped that Ashley would have a change of heart after the wedding. Jack admitted that it had been nice to hear that Ashley believed that he and Phyllis were capable of rebuilding Jabot on their own, and he declared that there was no one he would rather do that with than Phyllis.
Victor entered the club with Nikki and observed that it was nice to see that Jack and Phyllis still had a lot of love between them, despite knowing that they were poorer than a church mouse. Jack mused that he had suddenly gotten the urge to dine elsewhere, and Phyllis wondered if Jabot's money was filling the little black hole where Victor's heart was supposed to be. Nikki stressed that she regretted the way that things had been handled, and Jack thanked her and added that Jabot would be fine.
Victor promised to offer Jabot's former employees a new home at Newman Enterprises. Phyllis countered that Billy and Ashley had already left the company -- and no one was going to thank Victor for trying to destroy it. "So, if you choke on a piece of steak, good luck on finding someone to give you the Heimlich," Phyllis added, and Jack followed her out of the club while amusing himself with that visual. After Jack and Phyllis left, Victor told Nikki that he had been planning to order fish but had just decided that he was going to order a nice, juicy steak instead. "Yeah, I'll bet you are," Nikki muttered, shaking her head as she followed Victor to their table.
Elsewhere, Neville met with Devon, who agreed to write him a check without even bothering to listen to his sales pitch first. "To earthshaking medical breakthroughs," Neville said as he shook Devon's hand. Ashley passed Devon and Neville's table in time to hear Neville's remark, and she stopped to introduce herself and find out what kind of earthshaking medical breakthroughs they were talking about. "The kind that people spend their whole life looking for," Neville replied as he stood to shake Ashley's hand.
Noah Accepts a Dangerous Mission
At Crimson Lights, Billy interrupted Kevin while he was typing on his laptop. Billy said he'd overheard Kevin and Mariah discussing "the next big thing in tech." Billy insisted that together, he and Kevin could become "masters of the cyber universe." Kevin claimed that the idea was only a pipe dream, and his enthusiastic remarks about the woman behind the software development had been a ploy to make Mariah jealous. Billy recalled that he'd overheard mention of a data security system that was completely hack-proof.
Billy insisted that he be allowed to form a partnership with Kevin. Kevin said he and Billy would never again be business partners. Billy replied, "You're my own tech genius. You helped me resurrect Paragon, which is something Victor still doesn't know about." Billy warned that Victor never reacted well to betrayal. Kevin acknowledged Billy's threat.
Billy, sounding desperate, cried that Victoria had kicked him out and arranged for court-appointed visitations with his children. Kevin explained that the development could "keep bad guys and data brokers from accessing all of our personal information online. I want good people in on this." Billy's eyes lit up when Kevin said the program would attract to lucrative bids. Feeling sympathy for Billy, Kevin said he'd worked hard "to clean up his act, so he'd be in a position to handle an opportunity like this." Kevin urged Billy to do the same.
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Luca and Marisa enjoyed breakfast together. Luca told Marisa that he intended to secure two office spaces at Newman Towers so he could look after the Santori family's latest investment. Luca offered Marisa a job, working alongside him as an assistant. Marisa said she knew nothing about business and would be more of a liability than a help because Victor hated her. Luca assured Marisa that they could be an efficient team.
At the Underground, Mariah discovered Noah sleeping off a hangover on a booth bench. Mariah took Noah a pot of coffee and invited him to talk about what had happened. Noah explained that his phone call to the FBI to report Luca Santori's travel plans was no longer a secret. Victor, Luca, and Marisa all knew what he'd done, Noah added, and Marisa would no longer communicate with him. Mariah said Noah would be better off without Marisa.
When an FBI agent arrived, Mariah stepped away to clean glasses at the bar. The agent asked Noah about Luca Santori. Noah pointed out that while bartending, he'd overheard conversations, which Noah said had turned out to be a rumor. The agent explained that the FBI had been investigating the Santori family for years. Agent Gibbs handed his business card to Noah and instructed him to call if he gathered additional information. Marisa arrived and stood hidden in the doorway while Noah spoke with the agent.
After the agent left, Marisa was livid. She lashed out at Noah, but Mariah defended him. Mariah said, "He didn't tell the agent any information about your arms-dealing husband." Mariah stepped out. Noah warned Marisa that her lying husband couldn't be trusted. Marisa said she no longer trusted Noah and had decided to work for Luca. After Marisa left, Noah told Mariah that he couldn't turn off his feelings like a light switch.
In Victor's office at Newman Enterprises, Victor met with Adam. Victor praised Adam's decision to stick to their arrangement. Adam thanked his father for keeping him out of prison so he could enjoy family life with Chelsea and Connor. Adam referred to the $500 million settlement Jabot had paid to Newman Enterprises and noted that it was "a good start." Victor added that he was also celebrating Billy's exit from Victoria's life.
Adam warned Victor about the danger of being partners with the notorious Santori family. Adam noted that law-enforcement officials in both Spain and the United States had been investigating the Santoris for arms violations. Victor said that all previous investigations and charges had been dropped. Victor acknowledged that the FBI had recently reopened its investigation after Noah had alerted the FBI about Luca's return to the United States.
Luca arrived to meet with Victor and Adam. Luca insisted that Victor provide offices for him and his new assistant, Marisa. Victoria smirked, reached into his desk drawer to retrieve a check, and gave it to Luca. Victor explained that the check represented a full payment, with interest, of the funds the Santori family had invested. Luca said, "It doesn't work like that." Victor replied, "I decide whether it works like that, okay?"
Referring to the contract, Victor informed Luca that both parties had three days to declare the right of rescission. Luca said his father had plans to help Victor run the business. Victor said only Newmans had rights to run his company. Adam agreed. Luca, sounding threatening, explained that the Santori family owned a piece of "Victor," and no wording in a contract or lawyer could change such an agreement. Adam opened the door so Luca could exit. Luca paused at the door and instructed Adam to let him know when the office space was ready.
After Luca left, Adam noted that Luca had acquired his arrogant attitude from his father. Victor phoned Luca's father. After the call ended, Victor told Adam that they'd have to find another way to prove to the Santori family that the Newmans no longer desired to be united in a partnership. Noah arrived and told Victor about the visit from the FBI. Noah said he'd told the agent nothing about Luca. Noah warned that Agent Gibbs had told him the FBI had been investigating the Santoris for years.
Noah seemed alarmed when Adam admitted that he and Victor had tried but failed to sever business ties with the Santoris. Adam explained that Noah could help with a plan to oust the Santoris. Noah agreed to be a liaison between Luca and Marisa and Adam and Victor. The information Noah gleaned, Adam noted, would help them break free of the Santoris. Victor warned Noah that his mission would be a dangerous one. Noah said he owed it to his family. Victor said, "Welcome back, my boy."
In her suite at the Genoa City Athletic Club, Marisa curled up in bed. In a series of flashbacks, Marisa recalled the day Noah had introduced her to Wisconsin beef sliders, the romantic evening when she and Noah had imagined being in Nick's and Sage's places just before their wedding, and the day at work when Noah had told her that he'd fallen in love. Marisa also fondly remembered the first time she and Noah had made love on the bed in her suite. Marisa buried her face in the bedding and cried softly.
Luca arrived and asked Marisa if she was all right. Luca smiled when Marisa said she'd broken off her relationship with Noah after she'd learned that he'd contacted the FBI. Luca said he'd pretended not to care when she'd left him. Marisa said she'd been young and foolish at the time. Luca pulled Marisa close and told her not to dwell on the past because their future would be grand.
At Sharon's house, Sage stopped by to pick up Faith. Sharon was feeding Sully a bottle. Sharon apologized and said Faith had accompanied a friend from ballet class to see The Nutcracker. Sharon asked if Nick had forgotten to tell her about the altered plans. Sage admitted that she and Nick had been living apart. Sharon advised Sage not to make decisions she might later regret.
Sully cried out from his crib. Sharon was taken aback when Sage reacted to the cries and suddenly rose to a standing position at the same time Sharon had. Sharon placed Sully in Sage's arms. Sage seemed mesmerized as she gazed at the baby's face. Sage said, "His eyes are so beautiful. They take my breath away." Sage told Sully she was his aunt. Sharon remarked that the baby seemed to like Sage. Sharon felt sympathy for Sage and encouraged her to let people know that her son was in heaven. Sage again admired Sully's face and said, "I think he has his father's eyes."
At the door of Sage's penthouse, Nick rapped loudly and called out to Sage. Chelsea overheard and told Nick that she'd seen Sage leave the building. Chelsea invited Nick over for coffee. Chelsea showed Nick the paper angels on the tree and said Sage had enjoyed a nice evening with her, Connor, and Adam. Chelsea noted that Sage had even seemed like her old self. Nick said Sage and Nikki had enjoyed a heart-to-heart talk about the loss of an infant, as Nikki and Jack had also lost a baby years before.
Nick cried that he'd attempted to reconcile, but Sage had moved out after staying with him only one night. Chelsea said Adam had encouraged and supported Sage's decision to move across the hall. Nick said he couldn't understand why Adam had suddenly become so concerned about Sage's well-being. Chelsea shrugged and said she trusted that Adam knew what he was doing. Nick said he feared the situation wouldn't end well for him.
At Chancellor Park, Nick was waiting near a park bench when Sage, humming and singing happily to herself, approached. Nick said he'd chatted with Chelsea and had heard about Sage's visit with Adam's family. Nick said he was also aware of Sage's heart-to-heart conversation with Nikki. Nick told Sage that he'd done his best to grant her request for space. Sage replied that space could be very lonely. Nick vowed never to make Sage feel alone. Sage tightly embraced Nick.
At the Genoa City Athletic Club's bar, Billy ordered a drink. Betting slips littered the counter in front of him. On the phone with Gil, a bookie, Billy said, "Give me Pharaoh's Curse in the eighth for fifty grand. Can you cover it?" When a waiter walked by, Billy shifted on his stool. Continuing his conversation, Billy said, "I know it's a long shot, but I can cover it. Look, this would pay three million, and that would be huge for me right now."
Later, Billy grew despondent when he learned that his bets hadn't earned a payoff. Chelsea approached Billy and said, "Billy, you're gambling again?" Billy angrily informed Chelsea that she no longer had a say about what he did since the day she'd slept with "Gabe." Billy swigged his drink before walking away.
Phyllis Gives Jack Hope
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Victoria arrived after Chelsea called and expressed her concern about Billy. After Chelsea explained that she'd seen Billy drinking and gambling again, Victoria said, "You should have called someone else." Chelsea replied, "He needs you, Victoria!" Victoria said Billy didn't deserve anyone's sympathy after what he'd done. Victoria added, "His own brother had to fire Billy." Chelsea said Billy had no one to lean on, so Victoria should at least reach out to keep him from falling apart.
Victoria seemed reluctant and claimed she couldn't help Billy. Chelsea said, "But you do want to help him, don't you?" Victoria was hesitant to help because Billy had been unpredictable. Chelsea encouraged Victoria to reach out to Billy because the kind of love he and Victoria shared was "a rare thing, and Billy was worth fighting for." Victoria seemed moved by Chelsea's message.
At Genoa City Memorial Hospital, Phyllis ran into Ashley. Phyllis said she'd just had a checkup. Ashley said she'd stopped by to see Ben. Phyllis asked Ashley the real reason she'd stepped down at Jabot. Phyllis said there had to be more to the story than Ashley's desire to pursue other interests or her involvement with Abby's wedding. Ashley didn't elaborate. Phyllis pleaded with Ashley to reconsider because her family's company desperately needed her. Ashley replied, "Sorry, Phyllis. It's not going to happen."
Ashley followed Ben into a hospital break room. Ben apologized for not having warned Ashley about his plans to tell Abby the truth about what had happened during the fire. Ashley said she understood and respected Ben for being honest. Ashley said she wanted to know more about Dr. Simon Neville. Ben said he was impressed with Dr. Neville's successful results after he'd treated Hilary.
Ashley told Ben that after reading about Dr. Neville's work, she'd considered him to be akin to a miracle worker. Ben warned that though Dr. Neville was brilliant, his approaches to medical treatments were unorthodox. Ashley defended Dr. Neville and suggested that cutting-edge science often entailed taking risks. After Ben learned that Ashley had hoped to become Dr. Neville's business partner, he advised her to consider returning to Jabot instead of getting tangled in Dr. Neville's chaos.
In Victor's office at Newman Enterprises, Noah discussed his covert operation with Adam. Adam said, "Your job is to bring down Luca and get the Santori family out of our business." Luca sent a text message to Adam, letting him know that he and Marisa were on their way to view the new office spaces. Adam instructed Noah to act normally and establish trusting relationships with both Luca and Marisa. Noah said that using Marisa in such a way felt wrong. Adam said, "The sooner we get rid of Luca, the sooner Marisa is going to wind up back in your arms, okay? All's fair in love, war, and business." Noah seemed apprehensive.
When Luca and Marisa arrived at Newman Enterprises, they were surprised to see Noah. Noah explained that he owed it to his grandfather to put aside his differences with Luca and Marisa and assist them in any way possible. Luca was initially resistant, but he relented and said, "We all have to start somewhere." After Luca approved his office space, Noah said he had a party to attend. Luca said, "You're dismissed, Noah." Marisa seemed troubled by Noah's polite but dismissive treatment of her.
In Jack's office at Jabot, Kyle stopped by and said he'd been shocked when he'd read Jack's startling message about what had taken place at Jabot. Jack said, "I'll be relying on you now more than ever, son." While Kyle was sending a message to Summer to let her know he'd be unable to join her, Adam waltzed in. Adam said, "I'm here to help. Considering that you just gave my father a half billion dollars, I'm assuming you can use all the help you can get." Jack berated Adam for the part he'd played in nearly devastating Jabot. Adam insisted that the civil suit he'd suggested had been much less damaging than the punishments Victor had suggested. Jack said, "The Abbotts will take care of their business. Your business is with Victor." Jack ordered Adam to leave at once.
Jack was about to order dinner when Phyllis arrived and insisted that Kyle join Summer at the party. Jack agreed. After Kyle left, Jack told Phyllis he wasn't sure how to set Jabot on a firm foundation. Jack explained that not only did he need Ashley and Billy for their expertise, but he was concerned about how investors, suppliers, and competitors might view the loss of two Abbotts from the company. Jack said Adam had been right about Jabot needing much help. Phyllis wasn't pleased to hear that Jack had listened to Adam.
Jack told Phyllis he could use an executive with Adam's skills and a head chemist. Phyllis said, "Which we've got. McNamara. Ashley trained her. She was Ashley's right-hand woman for many, many years." Phyllis said she'd assume Billy's role in research and development. Jack seemed relieved. Phyllis insisted that they take a break and resume work after the holidays. Jack hesitantly agreed.
At the Underground, Abby and Summer noticed Billy drinking at the bar. Summer refused to approach Billy, but Abby said she'd greet him. Abby sat down beside Billy and noted that he already reeked of booze. Billy quipped that he'd been celebrating after Jack fired him. Abby said that Ashley had left her position at Jabot. Billy raised his glass and said, "Here is to my brilliant sister, Ashley." Abby wasn't amused.
Summer asked Mariah about Nick. Mariah said she doubted Nick would show up. Summer was disappointed when she received a text message from Kyle letting her know he was busy working and couldn't attend her "almost-birthday party." Billy overhead Summer's comment about Kyle and said, "So, Jack's relying on Kyle now instead of me and Ashley? That will be the salvation of Jabot."
Abby worried about Billy driving home, but he assured Abby that he'd summon a taxi. Ben arrived, and Abby told him she feared that Victoria might show up, see Billy, and break down completely. Ben shared his shocking news of his own. Ben told Abby that Ashley was considering forging a business partnership with Dr. Neville. Abby said she hoped that after everyone calmed down, both Ashley and Billy might resume their roles at Jabot.
Noah arrived and greeted Summer and Kyle. Noah spotted Luca and Marisa across the bar. Marisa told Luca she felt uncomfortable. Luca told Marisa that she shouldn't have to hide from her friends just because she and Noah had broken up. Mariah approached Luca and Marisa, but Noah rushed over to avoid an unpleasant encounter. Noah took Mariah aside. Along with Summer and Kyle, Noah explained to Mariah that he'd taken a position at Newman Enterprises and would appreciate assistance to maintain peace with the Santoris.
Victoria approached Billy. Billy asked Victoria if she'd like to kick him while he was down. Victoria calmly said she needed to talk. Billy, drunk and belligerent, said, "Don't give me a hard time for having a drink. Why don't you just turn around and leave me alone." Victoria reminded Billy that he'd recently begged her to give him another chance.
Victoria asked Billy if he'd been serious about wanting to prove himself. Victoria said she'd learned from Chelsea that Billy had been gambling. Billy became unruly. Ben intervened. Billy asked Ben if he'd been keeping Victoria's bed warm. Billy tried to punch Ben, but Billy missed and fell under a table. Ben offered a hand to help Billy get up. Billy apologized to Victoria before Ben led him out the door.
In the dining room at the Genoa City Athletic Club, Neil wasn't pleased when Devon announced that he'd become an investor in Dr. Neville's research. Neil said, "Why would you publicly get involved with that man?" Devon explained that Dr. Neville had threatened to expose Neil as Hilary's kidnapper. Devon explained that both he and Neil had made mistakes and would have to deal with them the best they could. Dr. Neville interrupted and said he could sense the intensity of Devon and Neil's conversation from across the room. Neil threatened Dr. Neville and said he planned to "blow [him] out of the water."
Dr. Neville explained that Neil's silence would benefit the Winters family and possibly untold millions of patients who could benefit from medical breakthroughs. Paul approached Dr. Neville and reminded him that they'd met at the hospital when the doctor had pretended he was delivering flowers. Paul said, "I know exactly who you are and exactly what you did." Dr. Neville swore that he didn't know the name of the person who'd hired him to treat Hilary. Dr. Neville also told Paul that Devon had agreed to fund his medical research.
After Dr. Neville left, Paul asked Devon why he'd become the doctor's business partner. Devon claimed that by joining forces with Dr. Neville, he'd hoped to earn the doctor's trust and perhaps discover the identity of the person who'd hired the doctor to treat Hilary. Neil agreed that Devon's plan was the best option. Paul nodded, but he gave up trying to unearth the truth. Paul urged Devon to alert the police if he uncovered helpful information.
After Paul left, Neil issued a warning to Devon. Neil said, "You have a suspicious cop on one side and a loose cannon on the other." Devon said he could handle it. Neil noticed Ashley sitting beside Dr. Neville at the bar. Devon explained that Ashley, being a scientist, was interested in the doctor's claims that he could save lives. Neil offered to join forces with Devon. Together, Neil said, he and Devon would keep a close eye on Dr. Neville.
Dr. Neville greeted Ashley at the bar and said, "To what do I owe this pleasure?" Ashley offered to work with Dr. Neville. Dr. Neville said, "If you're serious and agree to work with me, you'll achieve a level of satisfaction you've never known before." Ashley nodded in agreement when the doctor said that working together, he and Ashley might develop treatments that could give patients hope. Ashley replied, "I like the sound of that. You've got yourself a partner."
At Chelsea and Adam's penthouse, Adam told Chelsea that Jack had rebuffed his offer to help Jabot. Chelsea sighed and said she'd asked Victoria to save Billy. Chelsea said she feared Victoria might have given up on Billy. Chelsea, troubled about Billy's plight, told Adam that they shouldn't take their loving relationship for granted. Adam assured Chelsea that he'd never stop showing her how much he loved her. The couple kissed and made love.