In Victor's office at Newman Enterprises, Victor dumped the stolen cash onto his desk and waited for Chelsea to explain. Victor said, "I know what you've been up to, Alexandra." Chelsea played ignorant, but Victor asked why a successful designer needed $250,000 of embezzled funds. Chelsea claimed that she'd panicked after Nick had donated the bulk of his trust fund. Chelsea noted that she'd also invested most of her inheritance from Adam into her business and had set out to build a safety net.
Victor called Chelsea a liar. Chelsea defended herself and said the fire at Nick's club had struck fear, knowing that disaster could strike at any moment. Victor insisted that Chelsea remain an upstanding citizen and take seriously her role in helping raise Connor, Christian, and Faith. Victor warned Chelsea not to slide back into her illicit ways. Chelsea's eyes widened when Victor said that her roles as Nick's wife and the mother of Adam's two sons would suddenly be exchanged for a life in prison if she slipped up again.
Outside the chapel, Nick and Phyllis noticed that the stone cover on Adam's memorial monument was crooked. Phyllis suggested they remove the stone to check inside. Nick used a pocket-sized screwdriver to loosen the fasteners and remove the cover. Both were disappointed to find the crypt empty. Phyllis said, "Nothing to tie Chelsea to Fenmore's crimes." Nick added, "And no reason why she wouldn't want me to know she was here." Phyllis pressured Nick to question Chelsea until she gave him honest answers.
Nick questioned Chelsea after he returned home. Chelsea told Nick that Adam had been on her mind, so she'd visited the memorial to thank him for the money, feel his presence, and seek clarity about Adam's reasons for leaving the cash. Nick asked why Chelsea had lied. Chelsea said she didn't want Nick to think she was still pining after Adam instead of being grateful for having Nick. Nick asked Chelsea if she'd gained the insight she'd sought. Chelsea said she realized it was sometimes best to accept an unalterable outcome and move forward, which is what she planned to do. Nick encouraged Chelsea to share her feelings honestly, and Chelsea promised never to hold back again.
From her office at Newman Enterprises, Victoria was stunned after she read an article published about Ashley's new position at the company. Victoria summoned J.T. to her office and complained that the article had led readers to believe that she no longer figured prominently in running Brash & Sassy. Victoria cried that the publication also misled readers by claiming that Ashley, supposedly Victoria's equal, had been sought out because Victoria could no longer manage on her own. J.T., distracted, didn't react when Victoria cried that the article could damage her reputation as a businesswoman. J.T. calmly replied that he was sorry the writer had spun the article. Victoria was taken aback when J.T. failed to share her outrage. J.T. held up his laptop and noted that he was too busy dealing with his own issues.
Victoria stopped by Victor's office. Victor expressed glowing approval of the impressive article published about Ashley. Victoria noted that it was a standard puff piece, fraught with misleading, over-the-top praise. Victor recalled that he'd held a full-blown press conference when Victoria had returned to Newman. Victor commended Victoria's feisty, competitive spirit. Victoria remained sullen. Victor suggested that Victoria do something to steal the spotlight away from Ashley.
In Jack's office at Jabot, Gloria complained to Jack that the press had been hounding her. Gloria explained that reporters were asking how Ashley's departure might affect research and development at Jabot. Jack replied, "It will change nothing!" Jack explained that he'd put a plan in motion that he expected would make Jabot stronger than ever. Gloria, basking in Jack's confidence, uttered a relieved sigh of delight. Jack waited until Phyllis and Lauren arrived to announce his replacement for Ashley.
Gloria hovered over Jack's shoulder when he named Helen Wallace, a chemist from one of Jabot's rival cosmetic companies based in San Francisco, as Ashley's replacement. Jack proclaimed that Helen would propel Jabot to new heights. Jack skirted questions from Lauren and Phyllis about the deal he'd offered the sought-after chemist. Phyllis explained that Jack should at least clarify the basic terms of Helen's contract. Lauren added, "Because it sort of seems like you're hiding something." Phyllis and Lauren were shocked to learn that Helen would be compensated more than Ashley had been. Jack noted that, unlike Ashley, Helen wouldn't also own a piece of Jabot.
Lauren and Phyllis mentioned their project proposal and said they expected Jack to approve funding of their Wi-Fi lounges. Lauren explained that the lounges would cost much less than Helen's yearly salary. Gloria defended Jack and noted that Ashley had chosen to resign, knowing she'd be putting Jabot at risk. Gloria added that Jack's aim was to preserve John's legacy, so hiring Helen would be money well spent. Jack said he eagerly anticipated that Jabot's profits would benefit. Lauren and Phyllis didn't seem as convinced as Jack was.
At the Abbott mansion, Traci was delighted when J.T. stopped by. Traci had heard that J.T. had returned to Genoa City and had hoped their paths would cross. J.T. replied, "Yeah. I figured today would be appropriate." Traci was touched because J.T. had remembered Colleen's birthday. J.T. said he would never forget Colleen's birthday. Traci said she felt blessed to have had Colleen as a daughter, though her child's life on earth had been cut short.
Traci noted J.T.'s mood and said she knew it wasn't an easy day for him. J.T. explained that Colleen had been on his mind. J.T. added that Reed's troublesome teen years had reminded him of those days when he'd been a troubled teen courting Colleen. J.T. said he realized why Traci hadn't wanted Colleen to associate with him. Traci fondly remembered what a wonderful couple J.T. and Colleen had turned out to be. Traci went to get coffee after J.T.'s phone rang.
Victoria was on the phone. She expressed surprise to learn that J.T. had stopped by to visit Traci. Victoria suggested that J.T. quiz Traci about Ashley's plans to dominate at Newman. J.T., angered, noted that he wouldn't mention anything about Ashley because it was Colleen's birthday. Victoria attempted to apologize, but J.T. abruptly ended the call, leaving Victoria hanging on the line. Traci later returned with coffee and recalled that J.T. and Colleen had always remained friends.
Traci credited J.T. for having saved Colleen from a fire. Colleen, Traci noted, had proclaimed J.T. to be her hero. J.T. sadly remembered that when he'd tried to save Colleen a second time, he'd been unsuccessful. Traci said she knew J.T. had tried, so he was her hero, too. Traci mused about what Colleen's life might have been like if she'd survived. Traci proclaimed that Colleen would've likely excelled as a graphic artist at Jabot. Traci sobbed when she imagined Colleen's children having big, gorgeous eyes like Colleen's. J.T. said he'd struggled with guilt, though he agreed that Colleen should've had all the things Traci had mentioned.
J.T. commended Traci for remaining positive and generous after having suffered a profound loss. Traci said she made a concerted effort daily to fight darkness and embrace the good things in her life. J.T. encouraged Traci to call on him for support. J.T. ended his visit with a hug. Jack breezed in just as J.T. was heading out the door. Jack, addressing Traci, said, "Why would J.T. Hellstrom be paying you a visit?" Before Traci could respond, Jack realized what day it was and apologized, noting that the day should be all about Traci and Colleen. Traci graciously accepted a supportive hug from Jack.
Traci recalled that after a troubled time living in New York, John had insisted that Colleen move back to Genoa City to be spoiled by her beloved family. Traci fondly remembered that Colleen had later blossomed into a beautiful wildflower. Traci explained that she'd drawn on her family's experiences with Colleen after Dina had moved in, hoping to give their mother the same support and love. Traci acknowledged that dealing with an Alzheimer's patient had made enduring the wrath of a teenager seem like a breeze. Jack noted that Dina was thriving in Paris with Abby, so perhaps Traci's ideas might be helpful when dealing with Dina upon her return.
Traci cried that Dina's peaceful homecoming wouldn't be likely unless Jack quelled tensions and reunited with Ashley. Jack reacted angrily, placed half the blame on Ashley, and insisted that he wouldn't play the part of a scapegoat. Jack explained that even after he'd sincerely apologized to Ashley and had agreed to rescind the blood-only clause, Ashley had still turned her back and walked away. Jack commiserated with Traci and said he, too, would like things to return to the way they had been. Jack lamented that his efforts had failed to bring about a reconciliation. Traci encouraged Jack not to give up because she believed Ashley would return to Jabot if the door was left open. Jack said he'd already hired a new chemist because Ashley had moved on and accepted a position with a rival. Jack said he'd embraced a new era for himself and for Jabot.
At Chelsea and Nick's penthouse, Nick questioned Chelsea after she claimed she'd had to cut their date short to deal with customs issues related to a shipment of silk. Nick said Phyllis had told him about the threatening text messages that Chelsea had blamed Phyllis for sending. Chelsea said she owed Phyllis an apology after discovering that a disgruntled retailer had sent the text messages from a blocked number. Nick replied, "I wish you would've told me." Chelsea admitted she'd overreacted to Phyllis' accusations and hadn't wanted to worry Nick. Chelsea became uneasy when Nick insisted she explain why she'd lied about visiting the cemetery.
Victor summoned Lauren to his office at Newman Enterprises. Victor recalled that someone had created a fake Chelsea 2.0 website to siphon a great deal of money from Fenmore's. Victor said he'd looked into the matter. Lauren said, "Did you find anything?" Victor opened a metal case containing the entire amount of stolen money. Lauren thanked Victor and asked who was behind the scam. Victor told Lauren she could take the briefcase and all the money inside it as long as she didn't ask any questions. Lauren asked if the scammer had specifically targeted Fenmore's. Victor refused to answer, but he assured Lauren that the guilty person would never pull another scam. Lauren agreed to close the matter, and she thanked Victor for recovering the money.
Lauren and Phyllis had lunch together at the Genoa City Athletic Club after Lauren met with Victor. Phyllis questioned Lauren's decision to agree to Victor's terms. Lauren defended her decision and said Fenmore's needed the money more than ever, especially after Jack had allocated a large sum to hire Helen Wallace. Lauren added that she couldn't cross Victor after he'd rescued her yet again. Phyllis said she wasn't obligated to let it go and wouldn't because she was hot on the trail of the person who'd masterminded the theft. Phyllis added, "Victor's involvement confirms my theory."
Lauren was taken aback when she learned that Chelsea had stolen the money. Lauren asked Phyllis why she'd taken so long to say something. Phyllis said it was more than a business scandal because Chelsea was also deceiving Nick. Phyllis insisted she wouldn't allow Chelsea to harm Nick. Lauren noted that she couldn't pursue the matter because of her vow to Victor. Phyllis said she could pursue it and would keep digging. Phyllis added, "And once I'm done with little Miss Chelsea, Nick will be, too."
Nick joined Victoria for lunch at the Genoa City Athletic Club. Victoria asked about Phyllis' attack on Chelsea at the dinner party. Nick said Chelsea had gotten over it. Nick said he was curious as to why Victoria had booked an emergency lunch date with him. Victoria explained how J.T. had reacted after she'd forgotten Colleen's birthday. Victoria noted that some of her most painful memories with J.T. involved Colleen. Nick, anticipating confirmation, replied, "But you don't resent her." Victoria explained that she was disappointed that J.T. hadn't included her and had said it was none of her business. Victoria added, "That's not really how a healthy relationship works, is it?" Nick said he'd been wondering the same thing himself.
Victoria remembered having had a special connection with Ryan. Nick recalled that Ryan had also died young. Victoria said she believed J.T. had never gotten over what had happened to Colleen. Nick noted that Chelsea had endured a similar experience after suddenly losing Adam. Nick explained that Chelsea had paid a visit to Adam's crypt the previous night without having said a word to him.
Nick told Victoria that Chelsea had claimed she was trying to work through her feelings from her past relationship. Nick said J.T. might be experiencing the same feelings and hadn't mentioned his visit with Traci because Victoria might feel threatened. Victoria didn't agree and said J.T.'s honesty would've been a welcome sign of mutual trust. Victoria asked Nick if he ever struggled with gut feelings that there was more going on with someone than they were willing to admit. Nick replied, "Yeah." Victoria said she'd insist on uncovering the truth, even if it wasn't what she wanted to hear.
After Nick returned home, a bubbly Chelsea offered to make up for cutting short their previous date night. Nick wasn't interested and said he was upset because Chelsea hadn't been honest. Chelsea acknowledged that she'd lied, but she blamed Phyllis' accusations for putting up a wall. Chelsea vowed to knock down the wall before it was too late. Chelsea insisted she harbored no secrets and had nothing but love and admiration for Nick. Chelsea offered to answer any questions Nick had. Nick took Chelsea's hand and said he knew everything he needed to know.
After J.T. returned to Newman Enterprises, he stopped by Victoria's office and apologized for abruptly ending their call, blaming bad timing on Victoria's part. Victoria asked J.T. if he was referring to the way he'd snapped at her or his failure to mention his visit with Traci. Victoria admitted she understood why J.T. had done both, but she asked why J.T. had kept the visit a secret. J.T. said he'd felt no obligation to explain his every move, even if Victoria was his boss. Victoria said she was speaking as the woman J.T. lived with.
Victoria cried, "You could've told me where you were going, but you chose not to." J.T. asked Victoria if she felt insecure. Victoria admitted she felt insecure because she recalled how the final months of Colleen's life had affected their marriage. Victoria remembered that after Victor had attempted to remove Colleen from the board of directors, J.T. had hoped Victoria would cut herself off from Victor. J.T. blamed Victor for luring Patti Williams back to town. J.T. cried, "Colleen died trying to escape that crazy bitch. So, no, I couldn't accept it."
Victoria told J.T. she feared their past mistakes might again break them up if they weren't honest. J.T. replied, "Well, I've been honest. I never said I didn't have any issues with Victor." J.T. said he believed it was worth dealing with Victor in order to have a relationship with Victoria. J.T. assured Victoria that he was committed and had no intentions of running back to Mac.
Victoria told J.T. they should address obvious issues instead of avoiding them. J.T. said it seemed more like Victoria was picking a fight. J.T. asked Victoria if he was merely her plan B after losing Billy to Phyllis. Victoria insisted that her relationship with Billy had ended a long time before. Victoria told J.T. she wanted their relationship to work out. J.T. replied, "Me, too. More than anything. It'd kill me if you left me." Victoria embraced J.T. and promised she wouldn't leave him.
Victoria suggests that she and Jack team up
At Hamilton-Winters, Hilary cautioned Mariah over the phone to stay home from work if she was sick, and she proceeded to ramble on about her new vision for The Hilary Hour. Devon walked in as Hilary announced that she'd brainstormed new segments for the show that were designed to showcase her talents, and she wanted to make herself more prominent on the show. Devon interrupted and said her new vision sounded nothing like his. Devon envisioned a magazine show, with each day having a new, topical theme and featuring performances by artists on Hamilton-Winters' label.
Devon divulged that he'd already scheduled Simone to perform that day, but Hilary protested that Simone wasn't a big enough name. Devon pointed out that the exposure on Hilary's show had increased Tessa's popularity, but Hilary griped that it wouldn't happen with Simone if the audience wasn't into her. Devon recognized that Hilary would be handling Simone's interview that day because Mariah was sick, but he wanted Mariah to handle all future musical segments. Hilary argued that Mariah wasn't ready to fly solo, but Devon thought otherwise, and he remarked that it was great to be working together again. Hilary scowled.
Hilary demanded to know if Devon had bought her show to get revenge, since all he'd done had been to reduce her responsibilities. She testily questioned whether it was even her show anymore, and she asked if he intended to rename it and make her a production assistant. Devon calmly stated that she was overreacting, and she concluded that it was his way of asking if she was pregnant and hormonal. Devon swore that he hadn't been thinking that at all, but he pointed out that it was a possibility.
Hilary ranted that once she got pregnant, she'd refuse to have her opinions dismissed as her being hormonal. Devon argued that they'd been her words and that she hadn't let him get in a word edgewise. She asserted that she was protecting something that she'd spent a lot of time cultivating, and she'd chosen him over her other offers because he'd convinced her that they could make her show an even bigger success. She wondered why he was trying to change everything. He insisted that he respected her and her opinions, but he'd done research on some changes to make The Hilary Hour even better. He invited her to look over the material, since he thought she'd like his vision for the future.
After Hilary reviewed the file, she conceded that not all of Devon's ideas were bad. He urged her to admit that she liked what was in there, and she confided that it scared her to think about losing everything that she'd built, especially when she wanted to start her own family. Hilary added that she'd gone too far and worked too hard to see it all disappear, and Devon assured her that he'd protect what she'd built and make it better.
Over the phone at the Abbott mansion, Jack welcomed Helen Wallace to Jabot and bragged that she'd have the best staff in the business and a state-of-the-art lab. Ashley entered the room as Jack said he looked forward to seeing Helen. After he hung up, Jack announced that he'd been speaking with Ashley's replacement. Jack called Helen talented and innovative, and Ashley queried about how many awards Helen had won.
Jack countered that Helen hadn't worked for Jabot before, and he imagined that being on a winning team would inspire her to also win. Jack mentioned that Helen would be stopping by to sign a contract and see the new lab, but Ashley argued that it wasn't a guarantee of a profitable and original product line. Jack expressed confidence that Jabot would get through the transition fine, and Ashley quipped that he had to be relieved that Helen wasn't a blood Abbott, so she couldn't go after his job.
At Newman Enterprises, Victoria read a press release about Jack's new hire, and she figured that he'd had a replacement lined up before Ashley had even walked out the door. Victoria thought Jack seemed excited in his quotes, but Victor imagined that Jack was only pretending to be excited because his ego was still bruised from his sister bailing at Jabot to work for Victor. Victoria pointed out that Ashley had wanted to be Jabot's CEO, and she found it suspicious that Ashley had abandoned her family company to work for its biggest rival. Victoria speculated that Ashley could still be working for Jack to spy on Newman.
Victoria noted that Helen's contract with her old company hadn't been up for renewal yet, and she thought Jack could have chosen from a number of qualified candidates who had worked with Ashley. Victoria guessed that it had been very costly to land a chemist of Helen's stature mid-contract, and Victor surmised that Jack had been highly motivated after being publicly embarrassed. Victor doubted that Jack would have incurred that kind of expense if he'd had Ashley infiltrate Newman, and he was confident that Ashley's issues with her brother were real. Victoria insisted that they guard their company secrets from Ashley until they were confident that her loyalties were with them and not Jack.
Later, Ashley pitched the idea of vanishing sun block, but Victoria curtly stated that another company had already patented the product. Victor recalled that Newman had unsuccessfully tried to purchase the company in question, and Victoria added that she'd cultivated a nice relationship with them. Ashley revealed that Eric Forrester had introduced her to the owners of the company in L.A., and they were ready to sign as long as she was part of the deal. Victor offered to have the contracts prepared, but Ashley reported that they were already waiting for his approval. "And mine," a clearly incensed Victoria asserted. Victor applauded Ashley's initiative and compared her self-starting nature to Victoria's, and he thought the competition between them would be very good for the company. Ashley victoriously sauntered out.
After reviewing the paperwork, Victor thought it was a strong deal, but Victoria huffed that she could have negotiated a better one. She wondered if Ashley had mentioned Victoria's name during the talks with the acquisition target, but Victor thought it made no difference, since the deal had been signed and delivered. Victoria intended for the lawyers to perform a second examination, and she reminded Victor that her instincts had been right about Abby's incubator project being a bad idea. Victor assured Victoria that she didn't need to prove how intelligent and capable she was, but he encouraged her to learn from Ashley's years of experience.
At the penthouse, Nick stared at a Valentine's Day card that was blank other than Chelsea's name, and he struggled with what to write. Chelsea entered and wanted to make plans for Valentine's Day, since she was determined to enjoy the holiday after dealing with all of Phyllis' nonsense. Nick halfheartedly reacted to Chelsea's suggestions of what they could do. She purred that they could start the celebration a bit early, but he said he had to meet Arturo. Chelsea pleaded with Nick to push back the meeting for an hour, since it was their first Valentine's Day as a couple, and she wanted him to hold her. Nick succumbed to her kisses, and they began to disrobe.
After having sex, Chelsea chirped that it had been a nice sneak preview for Valentine's Day, and she pushed Nick to tell Arturo that he needed another hour. Nick opted to jump in the shower and hit the road, and Chelsea cheerfully remarked that the sooner he left, the sooner he'd get back.
At Crimson Lights, Billy was stunned when Phyllis told him that Lauren had agreed to accept the stolen cash from Victor and drop the investigation. Phyllis reasoned that Fenmore's had lost a lot of money, and it was the only way to recoup it, but she refused to give up. Billy worried that Victor would make threats to be sure Lauren cooperated, and he urged Phyllis to follow Lauren's lead. Phyllis was sure that Victor wouldn't go after her, but Billy begged her not to poke the bear. Phyllis remained determined to prove that Chelsea had been behind the scam and to stop Nick from being guilty by association if Chelsea perpetrated another big con.
Later, Nick met Phyllis at the coffeehouse, and she wondered why he'd been delayed. He confided that he'd been trying to fill a Valentine's Day card with romantic things, but he hadn't been able to do it, since all he had were questions. He demanded that Phyllis drop her investigation, but she argued that she couldn't after everything she'd found out. Nick countered that it was all guesswork and speculation, and he asked if she had anything concrete that tied Chelsea to the scam.
Phyllis pleaded with Nick to give her time, but he groaned that it was killing him, so he needed Phyllis to stop accusing the woman he loved. Phyllis talked him into giving her 48 more hours, but he wondered what would happen when she found no proof. She promised that she would let it go. Sharon greeted them, but Nick abruptly rushed off. Sharon asked what was up with him, and Phyllis replied that sometimes a man was too trusting for his own good.
Phyllis filled Sharon in about having 48 hours to get evidence that implicated Chelsea in the scam. Sharon mused that Nick liked to see the best in people, but it could also be his downfall. Phyllis theorized that Chelsea was using Nick's nice-guy reputation to do something in plain sight. Sharon recalled that she'd warned Nick to be cautious after Hilary had exposed Chelsea's past, and she believed some of her advice had gotten through to him. Sharon was relieved that Nick had taken the money he'd found in the bathroom wall to the police to trace the serial numbers. Phyllis realized that she might have a way to make her deadline.
Later, Chelsea arrived at the coffeehouse, and Sharon remarked that it was too bad Chelsea hadn't been there sooner, since Nick had stopped by. Chelsea guessed that he'd been stocking up on goods to take to Arturo and the crew, but Sharon reported that Nick had been there with Phyllis. Chelsea hurried out.
Later, Nick returned home, and Chelsea asked how his meeting had gone. He said he was starting to like Arturo and his crew, and Chelsea remarked that she hadn't realized that Phyllis had joined the crew. Chelsea relayed that Sharon had told her that Nick had met with Phyllis. Chelsea added that she'd taken their earlier lovemaking as a sign that he believed and trusted her, but he'd lied about meeting with his ex-wife after he'd blasted Chelsea for lying about visiting Adam's memorial. Chelsea didn't know what to say except that she was massively disappointed in him.
Nick explained that he'd told Phyllis that he was frustrated that she had been meddling in his love life. He pulled out the Valentine's Day card and showed Chelsea that all he'd been able to write was her name because he didn't want to be played. Chelsea recalled that he'd said he wouldn't judge her because of her past, but he'd run to Phyllis because he doubted Chelsea. Nick recounted that he'd told Phyllis that he loved Chelsea and wanted to believe in her, and Chelsea told him to just do it. He implored her to look him in the eye and tell him that she'd had nothing to do with the website scam. Chelsea pointed out that if he needed her to say the words, they probably shouldn't be together.
Jack arrived at Jabot and observed that Gloria wasn't answering the phone because she was staring at an online photo of Helen. Gloria asserted that anyone would be an improvement over Ashley, and she anticipated that the new hire would help him and Jabot soar to new levels of success. Gloria revealed that a brief web search had confirmed that Helen's credentials were flawless, but she lectured that she knew how Jack was around gorgeous women, and the last thing he needed was to be distracted by an employee. Helen arrived, and Jack introduced her to Gloria. Helen requested an elaborate coffee drink.
In Jack's office, Helen presented Jack with a few examples of how she'd mix things up. Jack explained that he hadn't hired her to change things just for the sake of changing them, but Helen assumed that he wanted to remove all traces of Ashley after she'd left Jabot to work for his arch rival. Jack admitted that Ashley's defection had stung, but there were reasons why she'd won the Innovator of the Year award. He stressed that he was thrilled to have Helen there; however, the job wasn't to erase Ashley's work but to build on what she'd achieved.
Lauren passed by Jack's office and inquired about Gloria's long face. Gloria indicated that the new chemist was with Jack to sign a contract, and Lauren hoped that Helen was worth what they were paying. Gloria confessed that she'd almost prefer to have Ashley back, and she displayed Helen's photo and remarked that Helen was too pretty. Gloria worried that Jack was vulnerable, and she thought it was inevitable that something romantic would happen between him and the beautiful, intelligent woman he was working with. Jack exited his office and introduced Lauren to Helen. Gloria offered to place a lunch order, but Jack announced that he and Helen would be celebrating at Top of the Tower. Gloria glowered as they headed out.
Phyllis tracked down Lauren at Jabot and hoped that she hadn't deposited the cash from Victor. Lauren confirmed that she hadn't gone to the bank yet, and Phyllis wanted to take it to the police first to prove that Chelsea had been behind the website scam. Phyllis begged Lauren to let her borrow it for a little while, but Lauren recounted her promise to Victor. Phyllis insisted that it was for Nick's sake, and she swore that she'd drop the whole thing if she didn't find an answer.
Lauren realized that Phyllis thought Victor had returned the money after figuring out where Chelsea had stashed the cash. Phyllis explained that they could bust Chelsea if the serial numbers matched, but Lauren fretted that Victor would be furious if it led to a police investigation. Phyllis called J.T. and asked him if he still had contacts in the police department.
Billy dropped by Victoria's office, and he explained that he was early for lunch with Ashley. Victoria figured that Ashley was probably with legal to close a deal, and he detected the resentment in her voice. Victoria whined that she'd thought that she'd have her dad's full attention to show how valuable she was to the company, but Ashley was always there. Billy expected that Ashley would back off once she'd established herself, but Victoria groused that Ashley had insinuated that she wanted the top job when Victor stepped down. Victoria pushed him to tell her everything he knew that she didn't.
Billy changed the topic to Johnny wanting to be a giraffe when he grew up, but Victoria ordered him to quit stalling and tell her why Ashley had left Jabot. Billy stated that it didn't concern anyone outside his family, and he wasn't going to gossip to give Victoria something to use against Ashley when his family was being torn apart. Victoria swore that she hadn't meant to make light of the situation, and she noted that Ashley hadn't seemed hurt. Billy mentioned that Jack was feeling guilty, and Victoria hoped everything worked out with their family. Victoria mentioned that she'd been surprised when she'd read Jabot's latest press release, since she'd been sure Jack wanted Ashley back at Jabot. Billy confirmed that Jack was determined to make it happen.
Billy and Ashley arrived at Top of the Tower, and he quickly suggested that they go elsewhere. Ashley spotted Jack and Helen celebrating, and she insisted on delivering a message. Ashley approached the table, tapped Jack on the shoulder, and asked if he was going to introduce her. Jack introduced Helen to his siblings, and Ashley congratulated Helen and wished her luck working with her new boss. Ashley and Billy stepped away, and Helen considered it nice of Ashley to be encouraging.
Billy escorted Ashley back to her office after lunch, and he asked if she was okay. She crowed that she'd just closed a sweet deal, so she was better than okay. She acknowledged that Jack had needed to replace her sooner or later, and she was much more focused on proving that she had what it took to make Newman's cosmetics division the envy of the industry. She vowed to make Jack very sorry that he'd ever screwed with her.
At the Top of the Tower bar, Victoria observed that Jack seemed melancholy. Jack declared that he was actually celebrating, and Victoria invited herself to join him. Jack noted that they were on opposing teams, but she pointed out that they'd always be connected because they'd been family. She suspected that he knew in his heart that he wanted Ashley back at Jabot, and Jack guessed that Victoria wanted Ashley out of Newman. Victoria recognized that they were players on opposing teams who wanted the same goal, and she suggested that they team up.
J.T. has a total meltdown
At Phyllis' condo, she kissed the envelope that contained the Valentine's card she'd bought for Billy. When Billy entered the living room, he and Phyllis exchanged their love for each other, kissed, and fell onto the sofa. Phyllis teased Billy that she had a surprise for him. He wanted to know what it was, but she refused to tell him. She said he'd get it at the Valentine's Day party. Billy asked Phyllis how big her surprise was and teased that he had a bigger and better surprise for her.
At the penthouse, Chelsea had finished applying nail polish when Lily arrived and requested Chelsea's help. She told Chelsea that she had two wedding dresses; one was her mother's that Lily had worn at her first wedding, and the other was her own wedding dress she'd worn the second time she'd married Cane. She didn't know which one she should wear. She informed Chelsea that both dresses required minor alterations. Chelsea said that she was very happy for Lily and Cane and that it was amazing they'd overcome all their obstacles.
Chelsea asked Lily what she'd felt when she'd worn each dress. Lily explained that in her first wedding, she had been young and idealistic, had thought that everything about their relationship had been perfect, and had been into all the romance of it. By the second wedding, things had been different. She'd had the bout with cancer, the twins had arrived, they'd survived some rough patches she still couldn't believe, and they'd both realized how fragile marriage could be. Chelsea said that Lily needed to wear both dresses. She said she'd combine both dresses for Lily. Lily was delighted and thanked Chelsea.
Chelsea said that she found Cane and Lily's situation very inspiring -- proof that love could find the way.
While Chelsea fashioned the dress, Lily said that the judge had been about to grant the divorce when he'd been interrupted. Lily was thankful. Chelsea said it was fate, and Lily and Cane were meant to be together. Lily said she was with Cane because she chose to be. Chelsea added that life was bigger, better, and full of possibilities every minute. Lily agreed and added that it was when they weren't hurting each other. Chelsea said that that kind of love, the deeper connection, came with uncertainties.
Lily agreed and said sometimes it came with a child. Chelsea asked if Lily had come to terms with it. Lily admitted that she struggled with raising another woman's child. Chelsea said she understood. Lily suddenly realized that Chelsea was in the same situation because Chelsea was raising Christian -- Nick and Sage's little boy. Chelsea said that every time she looked at Christian, all she wanted to do was to protect him and keep him safe. She wanted him to have the best possible life. She admitted she wanted nothing but the best for Christian.
Chelsea wished Lily luck but added that Lily wouldn't need it. She told Lily to stay true to herself and remain the strong, amazing woman that she was.
At home, Cane had put the finishing touches on the decorations for their vow renewal ceremony. He was ironing his shirt and looking for something on his phone when Mattie arrived and ask him what he was doing. He told her he was looking for the appropriate music for that evening -- something that would capture the love that he and Lily had for each other. Mattie took over the ironing before he scorched it.
Mattie asked Cane why he was so nervous, since he and Lily had gone down that road before. Cane explained that they weren't just going through the motions -- it was one of the most important moments in their lives because they'd almost lost everything that had mattered. It had taught them to appreciate what they had every day. He said he was excited and incredibly happy.
Victoria and J.T. arrived at the Top of the Tower for the Valentine's party that Victor was hosting. They both felt it was a special night because they were telling the whole world that they were a couple again.
Phyllis and Billy arrived. Phyllis saw Victoria and J.T. and told Billy she wanted to say hello to them. Phyllis complimented Victoria on her dress. Victoria proudly told Phyllis that J.T. had picked it out. Hilary arrived, and Victoria and J.T. walked away. Phyllis told Billy she'd get them a table. Hilary asked Billy if she could join them, but Billy said he had a big surprise for Phyllis and left.
Devon arrived. Hilary remarked that she was surprised to see him. Devon asked Hilary to save him a dance, and he walked away.
At the bar, Phyllis asked if J.T. had been able to get a match for the serial numbers on the ten thousand dollars she'd given him. She wanted to know if they could prove that Chelsea had been behind the scam.
Elsewhere, Billy teased Victoria about moving so fast with J.T. Victoria said that before she and J.T. had broken up, they'd had a good life together. She said that after the breakup and the years apart, they'd grown up. Since she and J.T. had reconnected, they were good together. She claimed that they might even get married again. Billy asked if she and J.T. would prefer to marry or just cohabitate. Victoria stated that she still believed in the institution of marriage.
Hilary watched Billy and Victoria talk. She saw Billy pull a ring box out of his pocket, and she gasped. Hilary joined Phyllis and shared that Devon had asked her to save a dance for him. Phyllis suggested that Hilary and Devon get a room and work on making a baby rather than using a sperm donor. Hilary reminded Phyllis of her nasty divorce from Devon and asked Phyllis how many of her exes she'd remarried. Phyllis said she'd remarried all of them. Hilary changed the subject and stated that she knew Billy had a surprise for Phyllis. Hilary told Phyllis that she thought Billy was going to propose.
At that moment, Nikki and Victor arrived, and the guests applauded them. Victor wanted a word with Victoria about some business he wanted to discuss, and they walked away. Nikki welcomed J.T. to the family and added that business never stopped.
Devon stopped to say hello to Victor and Victoria. He asked Victoria to save a dance for him. Victor left Victoria so he could dance with Nikki.
Victoria joined J.T. at their table, and she was delighted that he'd ordered Champagne. They toasted to new beginnings. Victoria got J.T.'s ire up when he saw her responding to a work-related message. Victoria explained it was a quick text. She apologized and put her phone away.
While Devon and Hilary were dancing, Hilary said she was surprised that Devon had attended the function alone. Devon advised that he'd taken Simone, who was entertaining everyone with a song. Devon told Hilary that he was dating Simone, and they had plans after the party. Hilary was visibly upset. She thanked Devon for the dance and walked away very disappointed.
At Billy and Phyllis' table, Billy claimed that Champagne wasn't for everyone. He told Phyllis that J.T. was a beer kind of guy -- and Victor was a tequila guy. Billy said that he was still trying to figure out how Nikki and Victor had remained married "all these years." Billy was a bit stunned when Phyllis commented that he seemed to have marriage on the brain.
Nick and Chelsea arrived. Nick saw Phyllis and suggested that he and Chelsea leave. Chelsea stated that they were staying because she had nothing to hide. Nick saw Nikki and Victor together and commented that he didn't know how Nikki stayed married to Victor. Chelsea suggested that they forget everyone else and concentrate on themselves.
Billy and Phyllis saw Nick and Chelsea arrive. Billy advised Phyllis to play nice and not to make a scene. Phyllis told him that she wouldn't do anything until she had confirmation that Chelsea was behind the scam. Billy changed the subject and asked about his surprise. Phyllis claimed she had to powder her nose and left.
Billy asked Victoria to dance while J.T. was out of the room. He warned Victoria against marrying J.T. He told Victoria that he thought that Phyllis was about to propose to him. He claimed that he hadn't had the best of luck with relationships. Victoria stated that he controlled his own destiny.
J.T. returned and became extremely agitated when he saw Victoria dancing with Billy, and he walked away. When Victoria returned to their table, she asked where the Champagne was. Still angry, J.T. said he'd had the waiter take it away. He was still agitated and snapped that he wanted to go home because he had an early start at work the following day. Victoria was puzzled by his attitude and told him she wanted to say goodnight to her parents, and she'd meet him at the elevator.
Nikki told Victor that she had another function to attend. Victor offered to have his driver take Nikki to her destination. Nikki politely thanked him and said that she had her own transportation. She wished him a happy Valentine's Day, and she left.
Phyllis returned to the table. At that moment, Simone said she had a special announcement and that someone wanted to propose. She said it was a couple who was very much in love. The spotlight stopped on many couples including Phyllis and Billy. The spotlight stopped on a couple in the middle of the floor. Tom proposed to Linda, and Phyllis and Billy breathed sighs of relief.
Phyllis chose that moment to present Billy with the watch he'd wanted. Billy was thrilled, and he brought out the ring box. Phyllis' heart almost stopped until she saw that it was a key, not a ring. She breathed a sigh of relief and became very excited when Billy told her it was the key to the classic sports car she'd wanted. Billy fetched another bottle of Champagne, and they made a toast.
Elsewhere, Chelsea admitted to Nick that she hadn't been completely honest with him and that she wanted to tell him the truth. Nick asked if she'd lied to him. Chelsea said she hadn't exactly lied, but she had omitted some information. She told Nick that Jordan had been behind the scam. She confessed that Jordan had tried to convince her to join him and had said she'd get a cut of the proceeds. She'd refused because she wasn't the same person that she'd been back then. She'd put her past behind her. She also hadn't wanted Nick to think less of her.
Nick said he wanted to believe her. Chelsea asked what would happen if he didn't believe her. Nick led her to the dance floor and told her that he loved her. He told her he believed her, and he knew they'd be okay.
Lily arrived at home and told Cane he'd done a great job -- the decorations looked lovely. They all sat down as a family, and Lily told them that the ceremony would be about all of them. It wasn't just for her and Cane. Lily noted that it had been a very complicated time for all of them. Mattie asked if Cane and Lily were renewing their vows just for her and Charlie. Lily said it was for them, but also for her and Cane.
Lily felt that the reason she and Cane made good partners was because of the love they shared and the love they had for Mattie and Charlie. It was all still there, even after all the mistakes they'd all made. Mattie and Charlie thanked their parents for including them. Lily added that no matter what happened in their lives, their love for Mattie and Charlie was a constant and would never change. Charlie excitedly suggested they get on with it.
Mattie carried Sam out to be part of the ceremony then gave Charlie the rings to hold. Lily entered the room in the wedding gown that Chelsea had created for her out of the two wedding dresses that Lily had provided.
Lily began the vow renewal by stating that when she'd thought about what she'd say, she'd thought about their first two weddings and the vows they'd made. She said that every time he looked at her, he gave her butterflies -- and always would. She knew she could trust him to always be honest and do the right thing. Cane said he wanted to be that man. Lily said she knew, and that was why she believed in second chances. She said that at their first wedding, she'd been naïve and their path hadn't been easy, but they hadn't been really tested.
Lily went on to say that they hadn't had a chance to live through some of the bad choices that they'd made. She said they'd had plenty of growth experiences. Mattie interrupted and said that if they were being honest, they'd never get through another ordeal like the last one. Cane encouraged Mattie and Charlie to say what was on their minds. The ceremony was about all of them, and everyone had a say.
Mattie claimed that when things had been bad, they'd been really bad. Charlie said that Lily had thrown Cane out, and the next thing they'd known, Jordan had sat in Dad's chair. Mattie said that Dad had moved back in, and they didn't know if they could trust it. It had been overwhelming -- and not in a good way. Cane said that they wanted to learn from those feelings and grow stronger. Mattie went to Cane and hugged him. She asked him to forgive her for all the hateful things she'd said to him. Cane embraced his whole family, including Sam.
Lily and Cane continued with their vows. Cane promised he'd never leave things unsaid. He'd love, honor, and cherish their lives. Cane and Lily exchanged rings, and they kissed. Mattie and Charlie threw rose petals over Cane and Lily.
At home, Victoria noted that J.T. had been very quiet on the drive home, and she wondered why. J.T. claimed he was tired and wanted to go to bed. Victoria apologized about talking to Victor about business and assured him that she'd put off the discussion until the following day. J.T. advised her that it wasn't only Victor getting in the way. He spat that Victoria had spent half the night with Billy. Victoria said that Billy had wanted to talk. J.T. asked if it had to have been on the dance floor with Billy's arms all over her.
Victoria told J.T. that Billy had talked about Phyllis and the possibility of marrying her. J.T. stated sarcastically he was certain that Victoria had tried to talk Billy out of it. Victoria asked where all J.T.'s unease was coming from. J.T. claimed that he felt like he was Victoria's plan B. Victoria apologized but insisted it hadn't been her fault that J.T. hadn't had a good time at the party.
J.T. claimed that sorry didn't mean anything when she'd kept treating him like crap with her self-absorbed behavior. He claimed that Victoria kept Billy on a string and that she was always at her father's beck and call. Victoria reminded him that she and Billy shared kids together and that they were friends. She asked if she wasn't allowed to talk with Billy.
Victoria asked why J.T. was so insecure. J.T. yelled that it was called respect and advised her to try it sometime. Victoria asked him to lower his voice because he'd wake the kids. J.T. yelled that they were Billy's kids, and perhaps she wanted Billy there instead of him. Victoria denied it. J.T. claimed that she treated him like an outsider, and it was clear she didn't trust him. He walked out and slammed the door.
Chelsea has an important question for Nick
In the hallway at Newman Enterprises, Phyllis left a voicemail message for J.T., telling him to call her back because blowing her off wasn't an option. Victor stepped off the elevator and asked what she was doing there, but he quickly added to never mind because he didn't care. Phyllis followed him into his office and closed the door. She inquired about the money he'd given to Lauren, and Victor flatly told her to ask Lauren. Phyllis recognized that Victor had said nothing, to keep Lauren's hands clean, but Phyllis didn't mind getting dirt on her hands. She implored Victor to tell her what he was covering up, since it was clear that he knew who'd stolen the money.
Phyllis found it interesting that Victor had given Lauren such a large amount in cash instead of via check or wire transfer. Victor reasoned that no one could trace the funds back to Fenmore's or Newman, so Lauren could use the funds any way she wanted. Phyllis noted that it didn't explain where he'd gotten the money or why he was protecting a criminal, and she thought he seemed pretty invested for someone who'd said he didn't care. Phyllis guessed that Chelsea had stolen the money, and she demanded to know why Victor was covering for Chelsea. Victor told her to kindly let herself out.
Victoria ran into J.T. at Crimson Lights, and she observed that it looked like he'd slept in his car. He informed her that he'd stayed at the Athletic Club, and she sternly stated that he had time to change before going to the office. J.T. urged her to forget clocking in because they needed to talk, but she insisted that she had a meeting that couldn't wait. He pleaded that they had things to deal with, but she maintained that she had to go to the office, and she sourly suggested that he try it sometime.
At the park café, Jack stopped jogging to answer a call from Ashley. He surmised that it was about Dina, but Ashley apologized for being less than gracious when she'd met the new chemist. Jack recalled that Ashley had been perfectly polite, but Ashley admitted that it had only been on the surface and that there had been a little shade underneath. She claimed that it had kept her up all night, and she conceded that Helen was a good hire. Ashley recognized that she and Jack had parted ways, but she thought it was time they stopped letting outsiders get caught in the crossfire.
Victoria joined Jack, and he remarked that there was an upside to running in the cold. Victoria inquired whether he was in or out, and he replied that he was more determined than ever after speaking with Ashley that morning. He wondered how Victoria intended to get Ashley out of Newman, and Victoria confidently stated that she was one step ahead of him. After Victoria told Jack about her plan, he called it very bold and risky. She believed that they could mitigate all the risk factors, but he questioned whether it was believable that Ashley had left Jabot to join Newman in order to spy.
Victoria reported that she'd already spoken with her father about the possibility of Ashley being a spy, and she thought there was a ring of truth to it, since Jack might have considered doing it for real. Victoria continued that Victor had dismissed her concerns because he was excited about Ashley being on the team, but the idea of Ashley being a spy was in his head, and she intended to make it look like a reality. Jack explained that he was doing it because he wanted Ashley away from Newman and Victor. Jack swore that it was about protecting his sister, since Victor had wounded her over and over again.
Jack recounted that Ashley had vowed never to have anything to do with Victor again, but she'd opened her life to him. Victoria was certain that her father wasn't about to launch into another affair with Ashley, but Jack lamented that Ashley had been loyal to Victor in a way she hadn't been to anyone else. Jack recognized that Ashley thought Newman was a safer place than Jabot because Jack had treated her badly, but he was concerned that it was only a matter of time before Victor hurt her. He hoped to put things back together so the Abbotts could be a family again, but he thought there would be no hope if he made another mistake.
In the Newman break room, J.T. wished Ashley a good morning and said he'd heard she wanted to meet. He inquired whether she had a security issue, but she closed the door and clarified that she had an issue with Victoria. J.T. acknowledged that it was no secret that the women had butted heads, but he asserted that he was there as head of security, not Victoria's significant other. Ashley declared that she wanted to put an end to butting heads, and she implored J.T. to help her make peace with Victoria.
Ashley recalled that she and Victoria had had their share of battles, but they were both older and working at Newman together. Ashley mentioned that Victor liked to pit his executives against one another to get them to perform better. However, she and Victoria weren't enemies but colleagues with a competitive edge. J.T. recounted that Ashley had made it clear that she had higher ambitions, like wanting Victor's job. Ashley was sure she'd said a lot of things that she wasn't proud of, but she contended that it served no purpose for her to be at war with Victoria. J.T. snapped that he had a job, and it wasn't carrying notes between her and Victoria. He told Ashley to leave him out of her attempts to make nice, since he had actual work to do, and he sauntered off.
Phyllis tracked down J.T., who was checking his phone. She dryly noted that he had a phone that worked, and she asked why he hadn't returned her calls. J.T. replied that he already had a job, but he revealed that he'd called in a favor to get the ball rolling on solving her problem. He grumbled that he had other problems to solve in the meantime, and he walked away.
J.T. stopped by Victoria's office and informed her that he'd be working late that night. She brusquely suggested that he get to work rather than talk to her, and he pointed out that she hadn't wanted to chat earlier. He mentioned that he hadn't slept night before, and he doubted that she had, either. She countered that he would know the answer if he'd gone home. He admitted that he'd almost left the club several times, but he hadn't known what to say to her. Victoria reflected back on how he'd yelled at her, and she thought he'd never looked at her that way before.
J.T. called himself an idiot for being jealous for no reason, and Victoria stressed that Billy was her ex. J.T. argued that he'd also been her ex, but he conceded that it made sense for Billy and Victoria to be friends because they had kids together. Victoria insisted that what J.T. had said about being her second choice wasn't true, and he swore that he hadn't meant it. He wished that he could take back what he'd said, but all he could do was tell her that he was sorry.
J.T. added that the thought of losing Victoria made him crazy, and he promised that he'd do better. He started to head out to get back to work, but she asked him to wait. She agreed that she shouldn't have danced with Billy right after J.T. had told her that he felt like her second choice, and she figured that she wouldn't have been thrilled if J.T. had been dancing with Mac. J.T. declared that he and Victoria belonged together, and he asked if she could forgive him. She inquired whether he could forgive her back, and they kissed.
J.T. thought he and Victoria were finding their way, but she cautioned that he couldn't storm out and not return home just to teach her a lesson. J.T. swore that he hadn't meant it that way, but he hadn't been able to think straight. He claimed that he'd done it to protect her by avoiding saying something he'd regret, but she lectured that she'd been really worried when he hadn't called. Victoria confided that she'd been relieved to see J.T. at Crimson Lights, but she hadn't known which J.T. she'd run into -- the one from the night before or the real one who was there with her then.
J.T. recognized that he had to find a way to keep it together and not let his head get mixed up. He promised that it wouldn't happen again. He answered a call from Paul and said he'd be right there. J.T. claimed that Paul had hookups for some box seats, but he had to go because it was time-sensitive. Victoria suggested that J.T. take Reed to do some male bonding, and J.T. remarked that it wasn't easy to become a family again, but it was worth it.
Later, Ashley and Victoria went over business matters, and both of them feigned politeness while getting in digs about the other's performance. Victoria inquired about the status of the acquisition, and Ashley reported that they were ready for due diligence. Ashley hoped that there were no hard feelings because she'd closed the deal when Victoria had hit a roadblock, but Victoria sweetly stated that they were all on the same team. Ashley handed over watermarked copies of the acquisition documents. After Ashley left, Victoria stuffed the documents into an envelope and made a call to meet someone.
Victoria met Jack at the park café and handed him the envelope. She commented that it should be exactly what they needed, since Ashley had watermarked private, confidential copies of her acquisition proposal. Victoria figured that Newman was invested in the project because Victor had given Ashley the green light, and the watermark signified that Jack could have only obtained the information from one person -- his sister, who had clearly been planted at Newman as a spy. Victoria anticipated that Victor would have no choice but to fire Ashley. "I'm sorry, Ashley. I'm doing this for your own good," Jack told himself.
At the penthouse, Nick teased Chelsea for bundling Connor and Christian up to the point that the boys couldn't move. He told the kids that she thought they wouldn't be warm enough unless they moved like zombies, but she argued that Nick was the overly cautious one, whereas she was a free spirit. He questioned whether Connor's boots were too small, and she immediately became concerned. He ribbed her about who the free spirit really was, and they sent the boys to the kitchen for a snack. Chelsea marveled that everything was back to the way that it should be, and she gushed that she was the happiest she'd been in a long time. He called them the perfect zombie family, and she liked the sound of it being their family. They kissed.
Later, Chelsea and Nick led the kids to the coffeehouse patio, and she exclaimed that the day had been really fun. He took the boys inside, and Chelsea spotted Victor lurking behind her. Victor mentioned that he'd had a meeting nearby and seen them walk in. He asked if she'd been a good girl, and she seemed puzzled. Chelsea worried that Nick would see them talking and ask questions, but Victor ominously stated that the difference between them was that he had no secrets, whereas she did.
Victor warned that Phyllis was still trying to dig up dirt on Chelsea, but Chelsea chalked it up to Phyllis hating anyone Nick was with. Chelsea asserted that all that mattered was that Nick believed her, but Victor cautioned that if she pulled another stunt like the fake website, he would choose Nick and his grandson over her. Victor imagined that she would end up alone and lose everything. Chelsea reminded Victor that he'd hired her to ruin Billy's life, but she was still around, being a mother to Victor's grandson and creating a life with the man she loved.
Chelsea pledged to find a way to protect what was important to her, but Victor warned that getting sloppy when she got cocky would be her downfall. Victor crossed over to say hello to his grandsons, and he pointedly remarked that family was everything, so they had to cherish what they had. Victor departed, and Nick suggested that he and Chelsea take the boys home, put on movies, and do absolutely nothing. She asked him to save her a spot on the sofa while she ran to the office.
Noah stopped by Victor's office, and Victor wondered why he wasn't at Top of the Tower after the talk they'd had. Noah explained that someone was covering for him, and he had needed to see Victor because of their earlier talk. Noah admitted that he'd been thinking a lot about what Victor had said, and it had stung because it had hit home. Noah acknowledged that Victor hadn't always been where he was then, and his grandfather seemed like the sun that everything else revolved around, but Victor had made that happen. Noah realized that he had waited for things to happen to him, but it was time for him to take control of his own life.
Noah regretted that he'd been too busy feeling sorry for himself after what had happened with Tessa to make any decisions, but Victor had set him straight by making him see that he had to start living his life for himself, like Victor and Victoria did. Noah added that he loved his father, but he couldn't live his life like Nick did. Victor pulled an envelope out of a drawer and handed it to Noah. Victor explained that it was something he'd set aside in case Noah regained his senses, but he had to be convinced that Noah was ready. Victor proclaimed that the sky was the limit if Noah passed the test.
Nick returned to the penthouse and left a voicemail for Chelsea. Noah stopped by and apologized for not calling first, but he said it couldn't wait. Nick wondered if Noah was still upset about Tessa renting a unit in Nick's building, but Noah insisted that Nikki and Nick were doing a good thing. Noah announced that things had changed, and there was no going back. Later, Chelsea returned home as Noah prepared to leave. Noah explained that he was there to extend an invitation to Top of the Tower to make an announcement that he wanted the whole family to hear at the same time.
After Noah left, Nick asked if Chelsea had finished everything at the office, but she confessed that she'd lied about where she'd gone. She applauded Nick for listening to her and believing in her when Phyllis had tried to make something out of nothing, so she'd gotten him something to thank him. She pulled out a t-shirt that read "Hands off, he's mine," and he asked if he was supposed to wear it out in public. She reminded him about the terrible beer mug that he'd given her, but it had had been a disguise for the necklace he'd put in the bottom. She revealed that the shirt was a preface to something emotional, since she didn't want to lose him. She proclaimed that she had a very important question to ask him.
Later, Chelsea and Nick cuddled on the couch, and she noted that he was speechless. He admitted that he hadn't expected it after the last couple of weeks, and she claimed that it was why she'd made the decision. She continued that after all the tension and accusations, he'd been there for her and believed in her, and he figured that he knew her. He wanted to believe in her and their family the way she did, and she asked if he was saying yes to her marriage proposal.
Phyllis met J.T. at Crimson Lights and peppered him with questions about whether she'd been right about Chelsea. He told her to let him talk, since he'd just seen Paul. J.T. pulled out a flash drive with the serial numbers from the money that Nick had taken to the police station, and he divulged that he'd crossed-checked the serial numbers with the cash Lauren had received from Victor. He announced that they were a match.
J.T. pointed out that Nick and Chelsea had spent some of the money, so those bills could have ended up in the money Victor had handed Lauren. Phyllis squealed that the payoff was so good that she couldn't hate him for the buildup, and she thought it proved a direct line to Chelsea. Phyllis concluded that Victor had the goods on Chelsea, and she was glad not to be in Chelsea's position.
Chelsea spills a huge secret to Phyllis
Nikki summoned Lily to the Athletic Club to follow up on their prior conversation. Nikki revealed that she'd spoken with Victor about Lily's concerns regarding Ashley and Victoria, but he seemed more than happy that the women were locking horns. Lily thanked Nikki for trying, and Nikki urged her to try to stay out of the crossfire. Lily announced that she'd gotten a break from the tension when she and Cane had renewed their vows on Valentine's Day, and she credited Nikki and Victor for giving them the idea. Nikki advised that pomp and circumstance couldn't hold a candle to romance and intimacy.
At Hamilton-Winters, Devon was surprised to find that Hilary and Charlie were still there. She invited Devon to grab a bite, but he replied that he wasn't off the clock but was just picking up paperwork. She suggested that they go over it together over dinner, but he indicated that he was meeting Simone at the studio. Charlie asked if he could tag along, but Hilary reminded him of a project she'd assigned him. Devon wondered if it needed to be done that night, since he could use Charlie in the studio. Hilary begrudgingly agreed to let Charlie finish the project later.
Devon and Charlie returned to Hamilton-Winters after the recording session, and Charlie raved about Simone's song. Lily rushed in and demanded to know where Charlie had been, since she'd been calling him. Charlie explained that he'd turned off his phone while he'd been at the studio, and Lily scolded him for being late to hockey practice. Charlie preferred to stay and listen to the final mix of the song, but Lily lectured that he'd made a commitment. Devon pointed out that music producers had to build a strong work ethic to show that they were dependable, and Charlie agreed to go to practice.
At the Athletic Club bar, Hilary noticed a man staring at her from the opposite end of the bar. He made a remark about her smile, but he claimed that she was so stunning that he'd forgotten his pickup line. She invited him to move closer, and she thought he looked familiar. He introduced himself as Byron, and she informed him that she was Hilary Curtis of The Hilary Hour. He mentioned that he was a Stanford graduate who worked at a consulting firm, and he wondered if they'd met in college.
Hilary said no, and she told Byron that she'd grown up in Evanston. Byron divulged that his family owned a comedy club there and that he did standup as a hobby. A look of recognition crossed her face, and she cautiously broached the topic of sperm donations. Byron confirmed that he'd made those types of donations a lot, since he had genes that deserved to be passed down, and he wanted there to be as many little Byrons in the world as possible. He imagined that his and Hilary's babies would be off the hook, and he inquired whether she'd been window-shopping at reproductive labs. Hilary admitted that she'd done more than just that.
Devon spotted Hilary and Byron talking. Hilary recalled that Byron had mentioned in his profile that he'd been a track star in college, and he bragged that his record had never been broken. She inquired about his family medical history, but he assured her that his profile was legitimate and that she'd hit the genetic jackpot. He asked when she was due, and she confided that she wasn't sure if she was pregnant. He took her hand and thought their meeting hadn't been a coincidence, since the universe wanted them to procreate, and he couldn't imagine a more worthy vessel to carry his offspring.
Byron suggested that he and Hilary go upstairs to increase her chances, but she declared that they were done there, and she told him to hit the road. "Your loss," Byron huffed. After he walked off, Devon approached and asked if Hilary was all right. She informed him that she might be pregnant and that the guy who'd just left could have been the father. She groaned that the man had been ideal on paper but was a complete jerk, and she contemplated what would happen if her kid turned out to be like him. Devon pointed out that he hadn't grown up to be anything like his biological parents, and he was sure that "Mama Hilary" wouldn't allow her child to grow up to be a jerk.
Devon invited Hilary to listen to the song he'd just mixed, but she declined. She thanked him for everything he'd said, and he headed upstairs as Lily arrived for spin class. Lily noticed Hilary at the bar and approached her to talk about Charlie's internship. Hilary swore that she'd been treating him like any other intern, and Lily explained that she wasn't throwing any shade but just wanted an opinion.
Lily worried that Charlie was taking on too much between school, sports, and the internship, but Hilary praised that Charlie was one of the only interns she could count on. Hilary thought Lily should be proud of her son, and Lily prepared to go to the gym. Lily stopped for a moment and admitted that she'd seen a few episodes of Hilary's show recently, and it hadn't been completely unwatchable. Hilary noted that it was almost a compliment.
At the office, Devon began to play a recording. He overheard the taped conversation of Juliet admitting to Hilary that she and Cane had had sex one time, but she had no interest in Cane. Hilary had insinuated that Juliet had gotten the job at Brash & Sassy by sleeping with Cane, but Juliet had insisted that he hadn't taken advantage of her. Devon was stunned.
At the penthouse, Nick slid an engagement ring onto Chelsea's finger. She insisted on sealing the deal with a kiss, and he obliged. She marveled at how gorgeous the ring was, and she remarked that it put his T-shirt to shame. He modeled the shirt and deadpanned that he'd wear it that night to the family dinner, and she figured that she had to put the ring back in its box for a few hours. Nick was surprised that she didn't want to make the announcement that night. "Do you?" Chelsea asked.
Chelsea changed into a dress and inquired whether the outfit made her look engaged. She admired her ring and noted that they hadn't reached a consensus about whether or not to tell people. Chelsea didn't want to steal Noah's thunder, and Nick worried about what Victor's reaction would be. She declared that she didn't care what Victor had to say, but she didn't want anyone to cause a scene at Noah's event. She suggested that she leave the ring on but not wave it around, and they'd see if anyone noticed. They kissed.
At home, Phyllis showed Billy proof that the serial numbers of the money that Nick had taken to the police matched the cash Victor had given Lauren. Phyllis hissed that Chelsea had been lying for weeks about the fake website, and she was determined not to let Chelsea con her way out of that one. She contemplated how to expose Chelsea for the thief she was, and she left a message for Hilary to call her back right away. Phyllis told Billy that she was playing with the idea of exposing Chelsea's crime on The Hilary Hour, and she bet that Hilary would go back to her tabloid roots for something that juicy.
Billy warned that Phyllis didn't have all the facts, since she didn't know how Victor had gotten his hands on the stolen money. Billy speculated that perhaps Victor was framing Chelsea, and Phyllis wondered why Billy was defending Chelsea. Billy contended that Chelsea had worked hard to get her life back on track, and he suspected that she had a really good reason if she had been willing to throw her life away over a scam. Phyllis snapped that Chelsea could tell it to a judge, but Billy wanted to try to get Chelsea's side of the story, since he hated when people didn't give him the benefit of the doubt. Phyllis agreed to give Chelsea one last chance, but she insisted on going with him.
Phyllis and Billy arrived at the penthouse, and she asked Monique if Chelsea was there. Phyllis claimed that she had fabulous news about Chelsea's clothing line, but Monique informed them that Nick and Chelsea were at a family get-together at Top of the Tower. Christian cried over the baby monitor, and Phyllis said they'd show themselves out. Phyllis proclaimed that she intended to crash the party.
At Top of the Tower, Victor asked if Noah was having second thoughts about telling the family about his decision. Noah firmly stated that he wasn't, and Victor said he was proud of Noah. Noah hoped the rest of the family felt the same way, and he anticipated that it wouldn't be easy. Victor assured him that they'd make it happen together.
Later, Nikki joined Victor and expressed relief that there were no cameras, reporters, or public relations staff telling them to paste on a smile. Victor asserted that the gathering wasn't a publicity stunt, and she pressed to know what he and Noah were up to. Victor stated that Noah was "coming into his own as a Newman," and Nikki became more concerned than ever. Victor referred to his devotion to his grandchildren, and he vowed to do anything to protect them.
Sharon arrived and reported that Mariah was sick, but Noah wondered if it was just an excuse. Sharon swore that Mariah had been ill for a few days, and she assured him that things between him and his sister would get better. She added that Mariah had asked her to send a text message as soon as Noah made his big announcement; she hoped to get the news out of him sooner, but Noah refused. Nick and Chelsea arrived, and he asked if they'd beaten Victoria and J.T. there. Nikki revealed that Victoria was stuck in a meeting and that J.T. was babysitting. Victor prompted Noah to tell everyone why they were there.
Noah explained that he hadn't been sure what to do after the plans for the Underground had been scrapped, and he'd struggled with whether or not his job at Top of the Tower was the right fit. Noah admitted that he'd felt sorry for himself when his personal life had taken a hit, but Victor had given him the kick in the butt he'd needed to make a serious life change. Noah wanted to make things happen instead of waiting for them to happen, and the first step had been to find a new job that excited and challenged him. Noah announced that he'd accepted a position at Newman in the Mumbai office.
Sharon was aghast that Noah was going to India, and he revealed that he was leaving the next day. Nick thought they should take time to discuss such an important decision, and Sharon encouraged Noah to work in Genoa City with his family. Nick recalled that Noah had hated the suit-and-tie thing before, but Noah countered that he'd hated having to one-up someone to get ahead. Noah looked forward to getting hands-on experience in the field, working with the greatest innovators in India. Nick sourly hoped that Victor had made the offer for Noah's sake and not to prove a point. Victor huffed that Nick hadn't wanted anything to do with the Newman name, but Noah did -- and Victor was proud of Noah.
Victor urged Nikki to make a toast to their grandson, and she sternly whispered that she'd appreciate a heads-up the next time a family member left for another country. Nikki proposed a toast, and Chelsea fiddled with her ring before she reached for her glass. Sharon gasped audibly when she spotted Chelsea's ring, and Nick confirmed that Chelsea had popped the question and that he'd said yes. Chelsea declared that they had other news -- Nick would be adopting Connor, and she'd be adopting Christian. Chelsea eyed Victor as she stated that the boys would officially be brothers in the eyes of the law.
Sharon privately conveyed her shock to Chelsea, since Chelsea had just been talking about how she wished Nick was more like Adam. Chelsea called it a momentary lapse, but Sharon pointed out that Chelsea had also just been at Adam's memorial. Chelsea claimed that she'd gone there to say goodbye and to ask Adam for his blessing to move on with her life. Chelsea asserted that Nick was the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with, and she ordered Sharon to keep her opinions to herself if she couldn't say she was happy for them. Nick called Sharon away, and Victor sat down across from Chelsea.
Victor imagined that Chelsea thought she was quite a clever girl, and he accused her of using marriage as a way to keep his grandchildren away from him. She insisted that she and Nick loved one another, but Victor wasn't convinced. She chirped that she was about to get her happily ever after, and there was nothing Victor could do about it. Victor stepped away, and Nick offered to get Chelsea a drink refill. She blurted out that she wanted to get married right away to have a story to tell their kids. Chelsea suddenly spotted Billy and Phyllis and wondered what they were doing there.
Phyllis noted that Chelsea looked like she didn't have a care in the world. Chelsea excused herself from the table, and Billy reminded Phyllis that she'd agreed to let him talk to Chelsea first. Billy stopped Chelsea on her way to the ladies' room, and she warned that Phyllis had better not try to cause a scene by filling Nick's head with crazy accusations. Billy admitted that he was having a hard time believing that Chelsea would pull a scam on Fenmore's, but if she had, he thought she'd had a "hell of a reason."
Chelsea reiterated that she hadn't done it, and Billy noticed her ring and realized that she and Nick were engaged. She asserted that Nick didn't have any doubts about her, so neither should Billy, and she walked off. Billy returned to Phyllis and informed her about the engagement. Billy reasoned that Nick had put aside his trust issues, so it was time for Phyllis to let her vendetta go. "Like hell I will," Phyllis muttered.
Sharon felt silly for making a spectacle out of what was supposed to be a joyous moment, and she questioned whether Nick was positive about the engagement, since he'd had big trust issues. He figured that trust was a two-way street, and Chelsea hadn't been happy that he'd lied about meeting Phyllis at the coffeehouse. Nick added that Chelsea had answered his questions about Phyllis' accusations, and it had made sense to make things official. He contended that Chelsea had just beaten him to the punch by proposing, and it was the next natural step for them.
Noah assured his parents that he absolutely wanted to take the job. Nick blamed himself for not rebuilding the club, but Noah teased that he'd needed a break from his dad's jokes. Noah recognized that Nick's heart hadn't been in running the Underground, and he didn't want Nick to be miserable. Noah swore that no one was to blame for him taking his life in a different direction, and Sharon expected daily updates from him. Noah anticipated that he'd be back for Nick and Chelsea's wedding, and Nick mentioned that she wanted to get married right away.
Billy suggested that he take Phyllis home and give her a massage to take her mind off Chelsea, but Phyllis ranted that Chelsea was desperate to get her claws into Nick because she was guilty. Billy begged Phyllis not to ruin the couple's engagement, but she thought it would be better than waiting until after Nick and Chelsea tied the knot. Phyllis confronted Chelsea and divulged that she had irrefutable proof that Chelsea had stolen from Fenmore's, since the serial numbers of Lauren's cash matched the bills that Chelsea had hidden in her wall. Phyllis taunted that people all around the country had used the fake website, so Chelsea had committed a federal offense and would be locked up for a long time.
Chelsea wondered why Phyllis wasn't tattling to Nick or the police, and Phyllis explained that she didn't want to make Nick collateral damage. Phyllis demanded that Chelsea end her relationship with Nick, and Phyllis would let her get off scot-free. Chelsea pleaded that there had to be another way, but Phyllis growled that she was offering Chelsea a way out of handcuffs and having her son torn from her arms. Chelsea swore that breaking Nick's heart wasn't the answer, since he would be destroyed if Phyllis said one word to him. Phyllis anticipated that Nick would get over Chelsea just fine, but Chelsea insinuated that Phyllis couldn't fathom what Nick stood to lose.
Victor started to head over to interrupt the women's conversation, but Billy stopped him to discuss Ashley's defection to Newman. Billy theorized that Victor had really hired Ashley to stick it to Jack, and Nikki intervened and defended that Ashley was working at Newman of her own free will. Victor pointed out that Billy knew "damn well" that Ashley could take care of herself, and he wondered why Billy and Phyllis had hijacked the party.
Phyllis forced Chelsea onto the elevator, and Chelsea stressed that she knew a secret that would decimate Nick. Phyllis stopped the elevator and encouraged Chelsea to enjoy her last few minutes of freedom. Chelsea blurted out that Nick wasn't Christian's father -- Adam was. Chelsea warned that if Phyllis continued her crusade against Chelsea, Nick would find out the truth, and it would be on Phyllis.