At Crimson Lights, Dylan was working behind the counter when Mariah arrived with Faith after the pair had watched a movie. Faith noted that she planned to be as good a sister to Sully as Mariah had been to her. Mariah asked about Sully. Dylan explained that Sully was with a sitter while Sharon talked with Dr. Anderson on the patio. Mariah looked concerned when she turned and saw her mother talking with the doctor.
On the patio at the coffeehouse, Sharon's eyes twinkled when she described her joyful Christmas spent with her new husband, their infant, and Faith. Dr. Anderson said she could imagine how wonderful it had been for Sharon to share a perfect day with her family. Dr. Anderson was shocked when Sharon mentioned that Nick and Sage had spent Christmas with the McAvoy family. Dr. Anderson said she'd thought that Nick and Sage had separated. Sharon explained that after a brief getaway, Nick and Sage had traveled home through a snowstorm to spend Christmas at the ranch. Sharon said she believed that Sage and Nick, despite their grief, could make their relationship work. After Sharon walked away, Dr. Anderson sighed.
When Sharon entered the coffeehouse's dining area, Mariah asked her mother why she hadn't arranged her follow-up therapy with a different doctor. Sharon credited Dr. Anderson with her recovery, so she felt she owed the doctor her loyalty. Mariah noted that after the doctor had shown up with a gift for Sully and crashed Sharon and Dylan's wedding, she'd overstepped her boundaries. Sharon said, "She's concerned." Mariah replied, "There's concerned and then there's that crazy cuckoo look she has in her eyes." Sharon claimed that Mariah mistrusted people because Ian Ward had mistreated her. Mariah warned Sharon to be wary of Dr. Anderson lest she "shrink-wrap Sharon's head and hang it in her rearview mirror."
In the corridor at Adam and Chelsea's penthouse, Adam evaded answering Chelsea's question about having another child. Chelsea said she'd sensed Adam's strong connection to Sharon's baby when he'd held Sully. Adam received a text message and said he'd have to continue their conversation later. Chelsea agreed and said she was on her way to help Abby select a design for a gown. Adam quipped that Chelsea should be wary because "Abby bites."
After Chelsea left, Adam heard the door to Sage's penthouse open. Adam was surprised to see Sage and Nick kissing as Nick backed out of the doorway. Adam said he hadn't been aware that Nick and Sage had returned to town. Adam said he was heading to Newman Enterprises to help rebuild the company. Nick admitted he'd been unaware that Victor had hired Noah when Adam had said he'd suggested hiring the young, motivated family member. Nick, his jaw clenched, nodded.
After Nick left, Adam asked Sage to tell him just how awful her Christmas had been. Sage said she'd enjoyed being with Faith, Nick, and the other family members. Adam insisted that Nick had been cruel to force Sage to be around Sully because the baby was a reminder that Christian wasn't there. Adam continued his barrage and said that being with Sully reminded Sage of all the Christmases and birthdays she'd never celebrate with Christian. Sage cried, "Stop it! Why are you doing this?"
Nick entered the patio at Crimson Lights and greeted Dr. Anderson. She replied, "Call me Sandy, please. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas." Nick admitted that he hadn't heeded Sandy's advice and had asked Sage to spend time with him so they could reconnect. Nick added that when he and Sage had returned from their retreat, they'd spent Christmas with Dylan, Sharon, and Faith. Nick said that Sage had enjoyed holding Sully.
Sandy warned that women who'd lost their babies might suffer a breakdown if forced to be around new mothers experiencing the joy they'd never have. Sandy said it would be detrimental to expect Sage to suppress her true feelings just to please Nick. Sandy advised Nick to step back and allow Sage time to grieve.
Outside Victor's office at Newman Enterprises, Marisa arrived and found Noah waiting to enter. Noah said his grandfather was holding a private meeting with Luca. Noah apologized for destroying Luca's phone and said he hoped Marisa had recovered the photo of her daughter from it. Marisa said she had. Marisa said she wasn't sure she could work alongside Noah. Noah insisted that his sole role would be overseeing the partnership between Newman Enterprises and the Santori family.
In Victor's office, Victor told Luca that Newman Enterprises wouldn't expand mining operations in South America because it was bad business. Luca replied, "In your opinion." Victor noted that his opinion was the only one that mattered because the Santoris had no expertise in mining. Luca said his family's company had already invested heavily in the mining operations. Victor laughed when Luca suggested that he'd "forgotten" who he was talking to. Luca glared at Victor.
After Luca left, Noah met with his grandfather and promised he'd do whatever was necessary to oust Luca and the Santori family. Victor warned Noah that the Santori family was known for their ruthless battles. Noah said he understood he couldn't allow his feelings for Marisa to cloud his judgment because she was Luca's weak spot. Noah said he was aware that Luca's father wasn't fond of Marisa. Victor said that Marisa was the kind of woman that inspired passion, either for better or for worse. Noah asked if he'd be called upon to sacrifice Marisa. Victor told Noah to remember his promise to do whatever was necessary to protect his family.
Marisa later approached Noah and asked how he could work near her and remained focused. Noah said he was doing what he had to do. Marisa said she was worried because Luca's family was dangerous. She urged Noah to leave the company and returned to his job at the Underground. Noah said he understood the risk.
Luca walked in and glared at Noah. Luca said he was anxious to leave the office and return with his wife to their hotel room, where they shared a happy life. Noah maintained control of his emotions.
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Ben and Abby entered and spotted Billy talking to Victoria. Ben interrupted and offered to protect Victoria, but she explained that she and Billy had been amiably talking. Billy apologized to Ben for his awful behavior at the Underground. Ben said everyone deserved a fresh start in the New Year. Abby added that she and Ben would soon be newlyweds. Before Billy walked away, he said, "Gives me all kinds of hope." Victoria told Abby and Ben that she owed Billy another chance because he'd been trying so hard to prove himself.
After Ben left, Victoria and Abby met with Chelsea to choose a design for Abby's wedding gown. Abby mentioned that Ben's ex-wife, Jenna, had been a bad influence on their son. Abby said that Max wouldn't talk to Ben on the phone, so Ben feared his son wouldn't be attending the wedding. Chelsea recalled having met Jenna in Australia and noted that Ben's ex-wife hated him. Abby said Jenna owed Ben kindness after everything he'd suffered through and sacrificed. After Abby chose a gown design, she said she couldn't wait to marry Ben and start their life together.
Adam invited Sage into his condo after he made her cry. Adam apologized for talking about Christian. Sage admitted that whenever someone mentioned her son's name, she ended up "a freaking mess." Adam said that no one would expect her to be okay. Sage cried that she needed and wanted to be okay. Adam advised Sage to take her time.
Victor stopped by the penthouse and asked Adam why he wasn't at the office. Sage greeted Victor and said she and Nick had hurried home from their trip to the mountains so they could spend Christmas with Faith. Victor replied, "Well, someone like Nick would probably take that as a sign that you're serious about reconciliation. Adam, on the other hand, wouldn't take it at face value and would question your motives and your endgame." Sage became flustered and said, "Are you warning me away from Adam and Nick? I'm confused. This is the second time. Why?" Victor said he just wanted Sage to be happy.
After Sage left, Victor told Adam there was a problem with Noah and the Santoris. Victor advised Adam to "close the door on Sage" and focus on ridding the Newmans of the Santoris. Adam told Victor that Noah might not be able to carry through with the plan because of his feelings for Marisa. Adam told Victor he had no right to control others' love interests. Victor said, "Don't forget that you're Christian's father, and don't forget what it would mean if people found out. The Newman family will rise again to the top. No one intimidates me, and no one scares me. Got that?"
At Crimson Lights, Ben told Dylan he was ready to get married. Ben received a call from Jenna. She told Ben that Max wouldn't be traveling to Genoa City to attend his father's wedding. Ben, irate, said, "Come on, Jenna. I have respected your wishes and never fought you or asked for anything. I'm asking you now. I'm getting married. I want my son there."
Ben cried that he'd been unable to build a relationship with his son because the boy lived in Australia. Jenna hung up on Ben. Dylan comforted Ben. Dylan said he couldn't imagine what he'd do if someone tried to keep his son away from him. Dylan said that if he and Sharon ended their relationship, he wouldn't allow her to keep him away from Sully.
Ben returned to the Genoa City Athletic Club just as Chelsea and Victoria were leaving. Ben told Abby that Jenna had refused to allow Max to attend the wedding. Ben said, "I'm letting it go." Abby replied, "Just like that?" Ben said there was nothing he could do about Jenna, but he promised Abby that their marriage and their family would always be his first priority. Abby nodded. Ben said he wouldn't allow Jenna's anger to take anything away from the wedding day. Abby embraced Ben and said, "No, we won't."
Nick entered the dining area of the coffeehouse and talked briefly with Sharon about Noah working with Victor. Sharon said that Marisa was the reason Noah had accepted the position. Nick and Sharon sat at the table with Faith. Nick asked Faith if she'd enjoy moving to the penthouse across from the one Victor had once occupied. Faith was excited about the idea of feeding the ducks in a nearby pond, but she wasn't in favor of moving away from Sully. Sharon and Nick promised that Faith would still enjoy frequent visits with Sully.
At the police station, Billy approached Kevin again about joining him as a business partner. Kevin replied, "You and I are not playing 'masters of the cyber universe' together." Billy mentioned Kevin's involvement with the Paragon Project. Kevin reminded Billy that his threat was meaningless. Billy said he needed to rise from the ashes and prove his worth to Jack and Victoria.
Kevin asked why he should trust Billy with his future if Jack and Victoria didn't trust Billy. Kevin sadly noted that his hacker friend had stopped returning his calls and texts, so it appeared that "the cyber fortune train [had] left the station without" them. After Kevin walked away, Mariah arrived with a fruitcake. Billy said Kevin had told him about his Swiss hacker friend. Billy asked Mariah if she believed the "girl is for real."
Out With the Old, In With the New
At the police station, Mariah confronted Kevin about what was going on between him and Billy. Kevin claimed to have no idea what she was talking about, and she mentioned that Billy had cornered her about the supposedly secret hacker. Kevin begged Mariah not to say anything to anyone, since making computers secure for the rest of eternity could change his life as well as everyone else's. Mariah warned Kevin that the hacker might be a con, and she clucked that the hacker had done a number on him.
Kevin revealed that the hacker's name was Natalie, and she had a revolutionary idea that would make millions. He received a text message and became excited when he learned that Natalie was back online, but he needed an investor to get things up and running. Mariah pointed out that Billy already knew about the project and wanted in, but Kevin balked at entering into a business venture with someone who'd been spiraling out of control for weeks. Mariah argued that Billy was desperate to turn his life around, so he'd put in even more money than what Kevin needed.
Kevin estimated that he'd need a million dollars, and Mariah suggested that he ask for two million, since Billy didn't even understand what the project was or how much it would cost. She argued that everyone would turn a sweet profit and that Billy took even bigger risks when gambling, but Kevin leaned toward approaching a more stable investor. Mariah pointed out that anyone else wouldn't give Kevin a penny more than he needed, but Billy was desperate enough to provide whatever Kevin wanted.
Billy cheerfully sat down next to Phyllis at the Athletic Club bar, and she inquired whether he'd had a nice, sober Christmas. He confirmed that he'd been alcohol-free, and he happily reported that he'd spent the holiday with Victoria and their kids. Phyllis encouraged him to make the situation permanent, and he mentioned that he had a plan in mind already. He announced that there was a wedding in his and Victoria's immediate future. A stunned Victoria overheard.
Victoria acknowledged that she and Billy had spent a nice Christmas together, but she firmly stated that they were nowhere close to heading down the aisle. Billy clarified that he'd been talking about Abby's wedding, and he'd hoped he and Victoria could attend it together. Victoria politely declined the invitation, citing her matron of honor duties. Victoria crossed over to a table, and Billy crowed to Phyllis that he'd made headway. Phyllis cautioned that Victoria would freeze Billy out again if he didn't keep his promise to get his act together. Billy said he had something in the works to prove to everyone that he could make something out of his life.
Billy thought giving up his vices wasn't enough to prove to Victoria and everyone else that screwing up wasn't his only talent, and he disclosed his plan to raise capital for a business venture. Phyllis thought Jack would be willing to discuss it, but Billy insisted on doing it without his family's name or money. She wished him luck, but he read a text message and confidently declared that he might not need it, since his luck was changing already. Phyllis hoped everything worked out for him. After Billy left, Phyllis approached Victoria and asked for a moment to talk about Billy.
Phyllis conceded that she and Victoria had had their gripes with one another, but the one thing they had in common was pulling for Billy. Victoria hoped that Billy got his life together, but she thought that hoping and wanting something didn't make it true. Phyllis urged Victoria to give Billy a chance to prove himself, but Victoria lamented that he'd let her down every time she'd done that in the past. Phyllis understood Victoria's need to protect her heart, and she mused that she'd been betrayed in the worst way possible over the past year.
Victoria incredulously asked if Jack had betrayed Phyllis, and she referred to the time during the merger when Jack hadn't been acting like himself. Phyllis stated that she'd lived with a stranger, and the man she'd married hadn't been the man she'd thought he'd been, so she'd had to learn to open her heart and trust again. Victoria assumed that Phyllis expected her to do the same thing with Billy, and Phyllis implored her to cut Billy a break. Victoria remarked that Billy could be his own worst enemy, and Phyllis replied that Victoria was the only one who could save him from himself.
At Adam's penthouse, Victor pointed out that the Santoris had never been convicted of any illegal activities, but Adam countered that the family had simply been good at covering their involvement in drugs and arms dealing. Victor pondered what would happen if the authorities found out that the Santoris had been affiliated with Marco, and Adam suspected that Victor intended to leave a trail that led from Marco to the Santoris to get the Santoris out of the company. Victor noted that the Santori family wouldn't risk losing their own empire to hold on to Victor's, and Adam questioned what would happen to Marisa. Victor swore that no harm would be done to her, but Adam was concerned that the Santoris would try to get rid of her if they considered her responsible for their downfall.
Adam recalled Victor's desire to get Marisa out of town and out of Noah's life, but Victor asserted that all he wanted was control of his company. Adam cautioned that Victor could land in prison, as well, since Luca might retaliate against Victor by going public with Victor's link to Marco. Victor huffed that it would be Luca's word against his, but Adam thought it was risky. Victor asked if Adam was bailing on him, and Adam chuckled at the idea that he had a choice, since he knew Victor would blow up his life if he didn't do what Victor wanted.
Victor lectured that he hadn't been the one who'd deceived Chelsea, but Adam admonished Victor for exploiting Adam's mistakes. Victor demanded to know whether Adam was on board or not, and Adam agreed to do exactly what Victor wanted, but he wanted to know the variables. Victor insisted that he would take care of everything, but Adam worried that Noah would throw a wrench in the plan if something happened to Marisa. Victor barked that he wanted the Santoris out of his company and that no one would stop him, and he stalked out.
At Newman Enterprises, Luca smugly asked Noah to hand over some paperwork so Luca and Marisa could get back to their hotel, and he made a point of declaring himself a very happy husband. Noah presented Marisa with an envelope, and she awkwardly attempted to explain, but Noah cut her off and said she'd made her choice, so he had one of his own to make. Noah departed, and Marisa chided Luca for throwing their relationship in Noah's face, but Luca thought it shouldn't make any difference unless Marisa was still in love with Noah. Luca answered a call from Adam, who invited Luca to the penthouse and asked that Luca not tell anyone that they were meeting.
On the coffeehouse patio, Billy excitedly hoped that Kevin had changed his mind about Billy making an investment. Kevin said he needed two million dollars for research and testing, and Billy asked why Kevin had decided to do business with him. Kevin complained that he couldn't win, since Billy had begged to be let in but was giving Kevin a hard time once Kevin had agreed. Billy reasoned that Kevin hadn't trusted him before, and he wondered why Kevin was suddenly interested in having him on board.
Kevin claimed that Billy was already in the loop, and he didn't have time to waste with business proposals, since he had to tell Natalie that he had backing before she took the technology someplace else. Billy hesitated to fork over that much money, but Kevin assured him that the investment would be worth a billion in a year. Billy said he was in, and the men shook hands. Billy promised to have the money the next day, and he looked forward to turning the opportunity into a gold mine to prove to his family that he deserved their respect.
Mariah approached Marisa at the counter and asked if she was staying in town to torture Noah. Marisa admitted that she'd been asking herself why she was still in Genoa City, and Mariah recommended that Marisa catch a flight out and end Noah's suffering. Marisa swore that she hadn't wanted to hurt Noah, but things were complicated, since she had deep feelings for both Noah and Luca. Mariah accused her of stringing both men along, and Marisa fretted that she didn't know what to do, since it was hard for the heart to let go. Mariah spat that Marisa couldn't have both men, and Marisa agreed that it was time to set things straight with Noah.
Over the phone, Kevin informed Natalie that he'd raised the capital from a reliable backer, and he told her to book a flight. Mariah scowled when she overheard Kevin say that he'd take care of Natalie while she was in town, and after Kevin hung up, Mariah guessed that Billy had given Kevin the cash. Kevin confessed that he'd felt guilty, but Billy had never even questioned the amount, and he thought it had been a genius idea on Mariah's part to ask for more. Mariah quipped that Kevin's geekiness and her street smarts made it look like they knew what they were doing, and he gazed affectionately at her and said they made a good team.
Kevin suggested that he officially make Mariah part of the project, but she wanted a tutorial about the technology before they made history together. He explained that they'd be able to protect online transactions beyond anything that had been available before, so identity theft would be eliminated, and anyone with a device that was hooked up to the Internet would be willing to pay for it. Mariah pointed out that Natalie had created it, and she warned that it took a thief to catch a thief. Kevin resolved not to be the one who lost out.
Kevin marveled that it hadn't yet sunk in what it would mean if the project was as big as he thought it would be, and Mariah asked what he hoped to get out of it. He said the money would be awesome, but he was mostly looking forward to finally being seen as a pioneer in the technology field and not just a computer geek. Mariah joked that he would always be a computer geek to her, but she could see him winning Nobel Prizes one day. He inquired about what she'd do with her huge paycheck, and she replied that she'd never really wanted money -- she'd rather be loved. "You already have that," he tenderly said.
Billy returned to the Athletic Club, where a bookie sat next to him at the bar. Billy proclaimed that he was going to make his last bet ever to make some fast cash. Billy continued that he'd done his homework, and he was certain that his wager was a sure thing. The bookie called it a long shot, and he asked how much Billy needed. Billy replied that he needed two million dollars.
Later, Billy rooted for his horse to win as he watched the race on his phone. His expression fell, and he cursed and slammed the phone down on the bar. He ordered a double scotch, but Phyllis canceled the drink and demanded to know "what the hell" was going on with him.
In Victor's office, Victor found Noah waiting for him, and Noah declared that he was ready to do whatever was needed to take down the Santoris. Victor referred to Noah's concerns about using Marisa, but Noah admitted that his loyalty had been misplaced, since Marisa had decided to go back to being Luca's wife in every way. Victor sympathized that Noah had been hurt, and he asked what Noah intended to do with the pain. Noah coldly said that Marisa hadn't given "a damn," so he had no reason to care what happened to her.
Victor said the timing couldn't be better to have Noah on board when Adam was having second thoughts, and he instructed Noah to focus on finding out what Marisa knew about the Santoris' illegal activities and to relay the information to him. Noah asked what would happen to Marisa if they used the information to take down the Santoris, and Victor vaguely replied that Marisa was already tied to the crime family by being married to Luca. Noah contemplated what would happen to her if the Santoris found out she'd betrayed them, but Marisa entered and asked to speak to Noah.
Victoria paused when she stepped off the Newman elevator, and she flashed back to Billy begging for one more chance to make things up to her. She greeted Noah and Marisa in the corridor, and she entered Victor's office. Victor informed Victoria that he'd devised a plan to regain complete control of the company, and she guessed that he intended to cut ties with the Santoris. She asked what he needed her to do, but he told her that he and Adam would take care of it. Victoria groused that Victor trusted his backstabbing son and his inexperienced grandson more than he trusted her.
Victor hugged Victoria and assured her that he trusted her, but he needed her to trust him. He explained that he never wanted her to be involved in that part of the business, since the Santoris fought dirty, and he'd have to fight dirty back. She asked him to promise to also protect Noah, and he swore that no harm would befall his grandson.
Outside Victor's office, Marisa said she at least owed Noah an explanation after everything that had happened, and she insisted that she hadn't expected to go back to or to sleep with Luca. She added that she loved Noah, but she shared a history and a child with Luca, and that had been hard for Noah to deal with. Noah recognized that by acting out of jealousy, he'd pushed her back into Luca's arms.
Marisa urged Noah not to blame himself, but he regretted accusing her of terrible things, and he admitted that he'd never considered how difficult it had been for her to say goodbye to her daughter again. Noah said no one could blame Marisa for turning to Luca, and all he'd ever wanted was for her to be happy. He added that he couldn't keep pretending that losing her wasn't killing him because it was, and his love for her hadn't changed.
Luca arrived at the penthouse and asked why Adam was being secretive. Adam revealed that Victor was plotting to use Marisa to get the Santoris out of Newman Enterprises, but Luca wondered why Adam was telling him about Victor's plans when he and Adam barely knew one another. Adam explained that he wasn't a fan of Victor's, and the only reason he was working for his father was because Victor was blackmailing him. Adam continued that both he and Luca knew what it was like to be under the thumb of an overbearing father, and Luca grumbled that his own father had never given him respect, especially when Luca should be running the Santori empire on his own. Adam compared it to how Victor kept Adam at the bottom of the pecking order, and he suggested that he and Luca work together to put themselves at the top of the food chain.
Adam imagined that Luca wanted power and control just like Adam did, and he suggested they take it. Adam added that they were younger, stronger, and smarter, so they could force their fathers out and take control of their respective companies. Luca thought Adam was dreaming, but Adam proposed that both he and Luca make anonymous tips to the FBI about the Santoris' illegal activities and the dealings between Victor and Marco. Adam anticipated that an investigation would lead to the arrests of their fathers, and he and Luca could swoop in and take over the companies. Luca hesitated to trust Adam, and Adam reasoned that they both wanted the same thing, but their fathers were keeping them from getting it.
Luca noted that the plan had its risks, and Adam remarked that Luca didn't strike him as a person who backed down from taking chances. Adam wondered if Luca was sick of having his ideas shot down just because they were his, and he noted that Luca's father had caused Luca to lose the woman he loved. Adam added that Victor held Adam's future in his hands, and Victor could blow up Adam's life with his wife and son at any time. Luca acknowledged that their fathers were very much alike, and Adam asked if Luca wanted to work together to get their dads out of their lives once and for all.
Adam inquired whether Luca was ready to take control of the Santori empire, and Luca conceded that it was tempting. Adam countered that it was time, and Luca reflected back on his childhood dream to stop the illegal dealings his father had been involved in and to make the company legitimate. Luca imagined his own children growing up with a better reputation than the one he'd been born into, and he decided that he'd rather deal with Adam than with Victor. "To the next generation of Santoris and Newmans," Luca declared as he extended his hand. Adam firmly grasped Luca's hand and added, "And out with the old."
Abby and Stitch's wedding day arrives
At Jabot, Neil was surprised to learn that Neville had scored an invitation to Abby's wedding -- as Ashley's date. After Neville left the lab, Hilary offered Neil a chance to back out of taking her to the event, believing that he had avoided her during the holidays because being around her made him uncomfortable. Neil maintained that he had spent the holidays with Lily because she had needed him.
At Newman Enterprises, Victor decided that it was time for him, Adam, and Noah to stop working and head up to Top of the Tower to join the rest of Abby's wedding guests. Noah's suspicions were aroused when Adam left after vaguely stating that he had something else to take care of first, but Victor told Noah to concentrate on the task at hand -- removing the Santori family from Newman Enterprises -- and stop worrying about Adam.
Upstairs, Dylan confirmed that he had the wedding rings in his pocket, and he pointed out that Stitch had already asked him that two other times. Stitch admitted that he had some pre-wedding jitters, but Dylan felt the need to ask if Stitch was also having second thoughts about the wedding because of his feelings for Ashley. Before Stitch could respond, Ashley arrived to make sure that everything was ready for the event.
Stitch tried to thank Ashley for all the time and energy she had put into making the wedding a reality, but she insisted that wasn't necessary. "It means a lot to me to be able to do this for my daughter...and for you," Ashley added before heading off to check on the caterers. Once the coast was clear, Stitch assured Dylan that Abby was the right -- and only -- woman for him. Stitch added that his son's absence was the only thing that was keeping his wedding day from being absolutely perfect.
Nick, Sage, and Faith arrived and greeted Sharon, who observed that Faith looked gorgeous. "There seems to be a lot of that going around tonight," Kevin mused, eyeing Mariah. Faith agreed that Sharon and Mariah both looked pretty. Mariah wondered if Faith was enjoying living in a skyscraper. Faith confirmed that she was but admitted that she missed getting to see Sully regularly. Sage offered to drive Faith over to the Newman ranch the following day so she could spend some time with Sully, and Faith excitedly accepted the offer.
Lily thanked Devon for agreeing to be her date to the wedding. Devon was sure that Lily would have preferred having Cane -- who was ill -- as her date, but she reasoned that some things just couldn't be helped. Devon wondered how Lily and Cane's Christmas had been. Lily admitted that she had seen it as a step forward, and she desperately wanted to believe that Cane felt the same way. "Then believe it. Make it true," Devon advised.
Lily teasingly referred to Devon as a self-help guru, and he conceded that handing out advice to others was easier than dealing with his own problems. Nodding, Lily said she had heard that Devon and Hilary had spent Christmas together. "As friends," Devon confirmed, and he admitted that the day had gone surprisingly well. "Who knows, maybe things will be better in the new year for both of us," Devon mused, and Lily agreed.
Kevin greeted Michael and Lauren when they arrived but soon found himself regretting that decision because they were being sickeningly affectionate with each other. "Remind me not to be here at midnight so I don't have to see that again," Kevin muttered after Michael and Lauren kissed a few times. Laughing, Lauren clarified that she would actually be at Fenmore's at midnight, hosting an event. "I'm just here to say hello," Lauren explained. "And look fabulous doing it," Michael added. Kevin grimaced as Michael and Lauren kissed again. Michael predicted that the new year would be a good one, and Kevin coyly admitted that he also had high hopes for it.
When Neville arrived, Stitch admitted that he had been surprised to learn that Ashley had asked Neville to be her date. Stitch made it clear that he was going to be keeping an eye on Neville. "Consider yourself warned," Stitch added. "I have so many things to consider. But I'll definitely add that to the list," Neville coolly replied, curiously observing that Stitch seemed quite protective of his former colleague and future mother-in-law.
Dylan pulled Nick aside and said he was glad that Nick and Sage had managed to work things out. "For a while, everybody was worried about both of you," Dylan admitted. Nodding, Nick confirmed that he and Sage seemed to be learning how to be there for each other during the dark moments. Hearing Sage, Sharon, Mariah, and Faith laughing together at a nearby table, Nick added that it looked like everyone was finally in a good place again.
At the Athletic Club, Phyllis found Billy sitting at the bar, drinking something that he assured her was iced tea -- and not the Long Island variety. As Phyllis began admonishing Billy for his recent return to gambling, he received a phone call from his bookie, who was getting sick of waiting to be paid. Phyllis couldn't believe that Billy had bet money he hadn't actually possessed. "I have it. I just...you know, don't...have it with me," Billy claimed. Phyllis wondered what Billy was going to do.
"About what?" Jack asked as he joined Phyllis and Billy at the bar. Billy claimed that he had a potential business prospect lined up, but he declined to share the details with a curious Jack, explaining that it was still in the early stages. Phyllis tried to change Billy's mind, pointing out that early-stage business prospects were Jack's specialty, but Billy maintained that he wanted to wait until things were more concrete, and he left after adding that Abby's wedding day wasn't the appropriate time to be discussing business, anyway.
Jack wondered if Phyllis wanted to tell him what was really going on with Billy. Phyllis claimed that she didn't know much more than what Billy had already told Jack. "You know what, after all these years of him being so reckless, I suppose I should be glad that he's being cautious for once," Jack reasoned. "Yes. That's the way you should look at it," Phyllis agreed.
Jack excused himself so he could say hello to Ashley, who had just entered the club. Jack wondered how Ashley was holding up, given the stress of the wedding -- and the fact that she had made several big changes in her life recently. Jack observed that Ashley had been acting uncharacteristically spontaneous lately, and she countered that her recent brush with death during the fire at Newman Enterprises had made her realize that she needed to make some changes in her life -- quickly. Ashley rushed off after stressing that she had everything under control, but her assurances didn't seem to ease Jack's concerns.
Nikki, Traci, Victoria, Summer, and Chelsea helped Abby get ready for her wedding. Abby was disappointed that her efforts to talk Jenna into letting Max attend the event had apparently failed, but she was determined not to let that ruin her big day. Summer explained that Kyle was also going to miss the wedding because he had caught some sort of bug that had really flattened him out.
Shortly after Ashley arrived, Adam showed up to ask Abby for a favor -- permission to invite Luca and Marisa to the wedding. Abby feared that Victor's head would literally explode if she did that, and Summer suspected that Noah's would, too. Confused, Traci wondered who Luca and Marisa were. "No one you'd want to meet, trust me," Victoria replied. Undeterred, Adam reasoned that Victor might be upset at first but would ultimately set aside his concerns in the interest of making sure that nothing ruined Abby's big day. Adam added that Noah was starting to learn how to get along with Luca and Marisa, but Summer countered that Noah still had a long way to go.
Ashley and Summer agreed that Adam's idea was a bad one. Chelsea objected that Adam needed to be given a chance to explain why he wanted Luca and Marisa at the wedding. Adam assured everyone that he wasn't trying to cause trouble -- in fact, he was actually hoping to pacify Luca, who seemed ready to start a war with Victor. Admitting that Adam's idea had merit, Nikki promised to do her best to make sure that Victor kept things civil with Luca, if Abby decided to go along with Adam's plan. Adam said he would keep Luca on an equally short leash, so Abby agreed to add Luca and Marisa to the guest list.
After Adam left, Ashley pointed out that Abby couldn't finish getting ready until they took care of an important wedding tradition. Ashley presented Abby with a handkerchief, explaining that it was Abby's "something old" item. Ashley added that the handkerchief -- which had an "A" embroidered on it -- had originally belonged to John, and he had passed it on to her during her childhood.
"And, uh, you know, he said it had an 'A' on it for 'Abbott,' but for me, also, as 'Ashley,' and now, for you, as 'Abby.' And I just wanted you to have this little reminder, on this very, very special day -- a reminder of the family that you come from, and who loves you, now and forever," Ashley explained. Abby hugged Ashley and promised that she would never forget that.
Chelsea said that the wedding dress she had designed for Abby would count as Abby's "something new" item. Victoria gave Abby a pair of diamond earrings to wear during the wedding as her "something borrowed" item, stressing that, while she was glad that Abby liked them, Abby needed to remember that they were borrowed earrings. Traci gave Abby a sapphire bracelet to satisfy the "something blue" requirement, and Abby was particularly touched when she recognized it as a piece of jewelry that had once belonged to Colleen. As Abby hugged Traci, Ashley stepped aside, and Nikki joined her.
"Before you know it, Abby's gonna be giving that handkerchief to her daughter," Nikki mused. "Yeah, I would love to see that," Ashley replied. Ashley recalled that when Nikki had learned that Abby was Victor's daughter, she hadn't handled the news very well. Nikki started to protest that Ashley wouldn't have handled the situation any better if their roles had been reversed, but Ashley clarified that she hadn't been trying to criticize Nikki. "I guess I'm just saying it's pretty wonderful that you and I can be here together to celebrate her wedding," Ashley explained. Smiling, Nikki said that was proof that anything was possible, and Ashley agreed.
Ashley excused herself, and Nikki and Traci both decided to join her, leaving Victoria, Summer, and Chelsea to finish helping Abby get ready. Abby showed Ashley out, and as they embraced, Ashley stressed that she was very proud of Abby. "Watching you grow up from a sweet little girl into this extraordinary young woman that you've become... And now you're starting a new chapter in your life. Ben loves you so much; he's gonna be there for you, to love you, support you, and take care of you, no matter what life brings," Ashley added, holding back her tears.
When Billy arrived at Top of the Tower, Kevin pulled him aside and wondered when he would have the two million dollars ready to send to Natalie. Billy reluctantly admitted that he was going to need some more time. Kevin warned that Natalie would start pitching her idea to other investors if she didn't receive the promised funding from him and Billy within the next twenty-four hours. Billy swore that he would have the money ready before the deadline. "You'd better, or I'm gonna find someone else to step in, and you can kiss this opportunity goodbye," Kevin warned before walking away.
Billy approached Jack and asked for some money to fund the business venture he had mentioned earlier, explaining that the clock was ticking -- and he didn't have access to his funds at that time because Jack had cut him off after the Paragon fiasco. Jack wondered how much money Billy needed. "Uh...two-point-two million," Billy replied. Jack said he wasn't in a position to unfreeze Billy's bank account at that time, and he also wasn't in a position to loan Billy money at that time, since Jabot was still in a pretty perilous position.
Billy said his business venture could solve Jabot's financial woes -- if he managed to get his hands on the money he needed within the next twenty-four hours. Jack couldn't believe that Billy had already promised someone something he didn't even have yet. Billy explained that he'd had a plan to finance the business venture, but that plan hadn't worked out. "Let me guess -- it was a bet," Jack said with a sigh. Billy admitted that Jack was right, prompting Jack to wonder how much of the money was actually going to be used to pay off Billy's gambling debt.
Jack wanted to know more about Billy's business venture, but Billy said he couldn't divulge that information. Billy begged Jack to have a little faith in him, stressing that his business venture would eventually fix everything -- not just with Jabot but also with Victoria. Jack refused to help without more to go on, so Billy stormed off in anger, ignoring Jack and Phyllis' attempts to stop him. Jack didn't want to miss Abby's wedding, so he chose not to go after Billy.
Elsewhere, Neil greeted Lily and told her she looked beautiful. "She's not the only one," Devon observed, eyeing Hilary. Lily was surprised that Neil and Hilary had decided to attend the wedding together. Hilary clarified that she was flying solo and that Neil had simply given her a ride to the event. "Nice of you to help out," Devon stiffly said to Neil.
Victor wondered if Stitch was feeling nervous. Stitch shook his head and said he was ready to get the wedding started right away, adding that he loved Abby with all his heart and would give her the life she deserved to have. "That's what a father likes to hear," Victor replied.
Nick wondered if Noah thought it was a good idea to be working at Newman Enterprises alongside the woman he was in love with -- and the man she was married to. Noah assured Nick that he would be fine, adding that he wouldn't have accepted the job if he hadn't been confident that he could handle working with Luca and Marisa. Meanwhile, Luca and Marisa arrived, and as Nick expressed his disbelief that they had shown up at Abby's wedding, Noah excused himself so he could say hello to them.
Victor soon interrupted and told Luca and Marisa to leave. Adam explained that he had invited Luca and Marisa to the wedding as a show of good faith -- with Abby's blessing -- and Nikki arrived in time to assure a skeptical Victor that Adam was telling the truth. Nikki suggested that it would be best to honor Abby's wishes, and Noah agreed. Adam quickly dragged Luca and Marisa over to the bar to grab some drinks and give Nikki a chance to calm Victor down. Nikki suggested that it would be a shame to let anything ruin Abby's wedding, and Victor assured her that nothing would.
At the bar, Luca admitted that he was shocked that Victor had publicly chastised Adam, since his own father regularly undermined and humiliated him but never did so in public. "Well, lucky you," Adam replied. Adam stressed that he and Luca needed to take their fathers down and assume their proper places at the head of their respective families -- before their fathers knew what had hit them. "Can't come soon enough for me," Luca agreed.
Elsewhere, Marisa told Noah that she had done her best to talk Luca out of attending the wedding because she hadn't felt that it would be right for them to do so. Noah assured Marisa that he believed her. "Look, I'm not trying to cause problems here -- especially at work -- but I'm not gonna stop telling you that I love you. And I think that someday, you're gonna see exactly who Luca Santori really is. And when that happens, I'm gonna be here waiting," Noah added.
Stitch soon announced that the wedding ceremony was about to begin, and the guests went to find their seats. Neil offered Lily the only empty seat near him, leaving Hilary without one. Devon beckoned to Hilary and offered her a seat next to him on the other side of the aisle, and she smiled as she joined him. Nearby, Kevin received a text message from Natalie, who wanted to know if he had acquired the money yet. Dylan walked Ashley down the aisle then joined Stitch and the minister. Victoria soon took her place at the front, and Faith scattered flower petals on her way down the aisle. Finally, Victor walked Abby down the aisle.
On his way out of Newman Enterprises, Billy ran into his bookie in the parking garage. "Can't duck my calls forever, Abbott. You owe me, and it's time to pay," the bookie said as he approached Billy. Meanwhile, as the minister began the wedding, Ashley's eyes glazed over, and she fell out of her chair then remained motionless on the floor.
Abby and Ben Wed
In the parking deck at Newman Enterprises, Gil, Billy's bettor bookmaker, approached Billy and demanded immediate payment. Billy explained that he was late for a wedding and would settle his debts later. Gil pushed Billy against the cinderblock wall and said, "We're doing this now!" Billy seemed shocked when Gil said Billy owed $200,000. Billy agreed to pay interest if Gil would back off. Gil replied, "I don't think you're going to like my interest rates!"
Gil seemed unsympathetic when Billy, wearing a tuxedo, explained that his family had gathered upstairs for a wedding. Gil pulled back his arm and balled his fist to punch Billy, but Billy ran away. Gil's menacing acquaintance caught Billy and began violently beating him while Gil read text messages on his phone. Billy grunted and wheezed as the burly man continued to punch and kick him. Gil walked to the back of a parked vehicle, where Billy lay gravely injured. Gil addressed his cohort and said, "What the hell? I told you not the face!" Gil knelt beside Billy, apologized, and ordered Billy to pay the funds he owed.
At the Top of the Tower above Newman Enterprises, Abby, radiant in a white tulle wedding gown, walked down the aisle with Victor at her side. Victor shook hands with Ben before kissing Abby. As the ceremony began, the officiant welcomed guests and family members. Ashley suddenly blacked out and fell to the floor. Ben immediately rushed to Ashley and said, "It's Ben! Can you hear me?" Ashley awakened, but she seemed confused and disoriented.
Along with Ben, Jack and Abby knelt beside Ashley to check on her. Victor asked Nick to summon an ambulance, but Ashley insisted that she would be fine. Dr. Neville intervened and claimed that Ashley's blood sugar had plummeted. Ashley refused to budge until after Ben and Abby's ceremony had concluded, and the couple was happily married. After Ashley regained her composure, Ben and Abby recited their vows.
Guests laughed when Dylan, the best man, pretended he'd lost the rings. Victoria, however, appeared distraught because Billy was absent. Guests rose from their seats and applauded when Abby and Ben kissed. Ashley beamed. Family and friends later feted the newlyweds with toasts. Victor began the tributes. He said, "Today, my beautiful daughter's beginning her marriage to a man I respect a great deal. Let us toast to the happy couple."
Dylan spoke highly of his best friend, Ben, and Victoria reminded Ben and Abby to nurture their love. Victoria became emotional and was unable to finish her toast. Chelsea stepped in to finish for Victoria. Chelsea, addressing the cheerful newlyweds, said, "You will have the life that you two deserve." Michael formally introduced Mr. and Mrs. Ben Rayburn and invited them to dance. As they danced, Ben told Abby he was ready to retreat to the privacy of their suite.
Dr. Neville sat beside Ashley. Dr. Neville said, "Did you find something to eat? Got to keep up your cover story. We're both liars about all of that blood sugar nonsense. What is ailing you really?" Ashley refused to answer and walked away. After the first dance concluded, Summer insisted that Ben dance with the mother of the bride. While Ashley and Ben danced, Ben urged Ashley to seek treatment at the hospital. Ashley refused and announced that it was time to enjoy cake.
Ben rejoined Abby and pleaded with her to escape from the crowd so they could begin the New Year alone together. Traci, Dylan, and Jack, along with others, gathered around the cake. Jack called out to Abby and Ben. Dylan and Traci searched for the newlyweds. Ashley noted that she'd missed her chance to say goodbye. Guests realized that the newlyweds had quietly slipped out together.
Dr. Neville approached Ashley again and noted that she looked "like hell." Ashley was taken aback, but Dr. Neville pleaded with her to tell him what was wrong so he could help her. Ashley again refused and walked out the door. Jack called out to Ashley, but she ignored him. Jack looked worried, and Dr. Neville seemed at a loss about what to do.
Adam and Luca watched from across the room as Victor talked to Nick and Sage. Luca noted that he'd seen a look similar to Victor's on his own father's face. Luca added, "Convinced he owns the world and everyone in it." Adam replied, "The bigger they are, the harder they fall." Adam assured Luca that their plans were "still on." Luca smiled and nodded.
Nikki and Neil watched Hilary and Devon chatting. Neil told Nikki that seeing Devon and Hilary together no longer caused him anguish or made him crave a drink. Neil said he wished everything could be as it should, with Hilary devoted to Devon. Neil explained that though Hilary could recall moments she'd spent with him, it was Devon that she truly loved. Nikki replied, "The heart isn't that easy to control." Neil said, "But it can be swayed, and you, my dear, can make that happen."
Victoria complained to Jack and Phyllis about Billy's failure to show up for the wedding. Jack explained that he and Billy had argued when Billy had asked to borrow money. Jack said that Billy would have to decide on his own to change his bad habits. After Victoria walked away, Phyllis berated Jack for speaking ill of Billy. Phyllis noted that Victoria had planned to forgive Billy. Jack explained that he'd no longer lie about or cover up Billy's bad behavior. Jack added that he was more worried about Ashley.
Guests counted down the seconds to midnight. Victor kissed Nikki. Nick kissed Sage, and Mariah kissed Kevin. Phyllis stood with her back to Jack as he wished her a happy New Year. Phyllis said, "I love you, but you make me crazy." Jack replied, "Ditto." Before Phyllis kissed Jack, she said their relationship was built on love and insanity.
Michael, attending without Lauren, spritzed breath spray into his mouth and kissed Traci, Summer, Victoria, and Lily on their cheeks. Noah winced when he watched Luca kiss Marisa. Hilary wished Devon happiness, but she turned and walked toward Neil without offering so much as a peck on the cheek to Devon. Neil approached Nikki and whispered, "Thank you." Hilary stopped in her tracks and looked shocked when Neil took Nikki in his arms and kissed her passionately on the lips.
Hilary later confronted Neil about kissing Nikki. Neil said that Nikki had supported him after he had learned about Hilary and Devon's affair. Nikki, Neil added, still remained his dear friend and had been the one who'd urged him to move on with his life. Neil kissed Hilary on the cheek before he walked away. Devon approached Neil and said he knew why his father had kissed Nikki. Neil said, "You want me to stop?" Devon replied, "No."
In the laboratory at Jabot, Ashley flew into a rage and began knocking items to the floor. Dr. Neville entered the lab and reminded Ashley that his research had helped Hilary and others. Dr. Neville pleaded with Ashley to confide in him. Ashley changed the subject and began picking up the files and notebooks she'd slammed to the floor. Dr. Neville said, "You're nothing if not thorough. I'm guessing you left the world of lip gloss and skin creams for very personal reasons. You said you wanted to do something that matters. Well, this matters."
Ashley explained that during surgery to treat a brain aneurysm, her surgeon had found a tumor. Ashley insisted that Dr. Neville remain silent about her condition because her main concern was Abby's happiness. Dr. Neville told Ashley that her life was also worth fighting for.
Dr. Neville told Ashley that he intended to help her live the life she deserved, whether she liked it or not. Dr. Neville explained that Ashley had nothing to lose by allowing him to treat her. Ashley cried that she didn't want to get her hopes up. Dr. Neville admitted that it would take hard work, commitment, risks, and money to find a cure. Ashley agreed to accept Dr. Neville's help if he promised not to tell anyone. Ashley shook Dr. Neville's hand to seal their mutual agreement.
When Ben and Abby reached the parking garage, Abby seemed to regret having abruptly left her guests. Ben offered to return to the Top of the Tower, but Abby said she'd rather spend New Year's Eve alone with her new husband. As they walked to their waiting limousine, they unknowingly passed by Billy. Slumped behind a car, Billy was unconscious and bleeding.
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Ben carried Abby over the threshold of the doorway leading into their suite. Ben and Abby happily anticipated their future honeymoon trip. The couple danced in their room to romantic music. Ben slowly undressed Abby. Ben held Abby's nude body close to his while he tenderly kissed her. The couple fell onto their bed and made love.
Billy regained consciousness and began crawling, inching himself slightly forward and blocking view of his body from the front of Noah's vehicle. Noah entered the garage and cursed under his breath about the way the car beside his had parked, partially blocking his exit. Noah, unaware that an injured Billy was behind his vehicle, started the engine. So Noah could avoid striking the car parked at an angle next to his, he put his vehicle into reverse and inched toward Billy before driving forward. The garage area was dimly lit, so Noah was unaware that Billy was behind him.
After Noah drove forward, Marisa rushed into the garage and called out to Noah. Noah didn't hear or see Marisa and drove away. Marisa panicked when she spotted Billy. Marisa summoned an ambulance and told the dispatcher that there had been a terrible accident. Marisa attended to Billy and noticed blood oozing from his nose. Billy remained unconscious.
New Year's Day Pre-Emption
Due to the New Year's Day holiday, The Young and the Restless did not air. The pre-emption was planned, and there were no "lost" episodes as a result of the change.
Regular programming resumed on Monday, January 4, and picked up where the Thursday, December 31, episode concluded.
Our soapcentral.com family wishes you and yours a very Happy New Year.