At Sharon's house, Nick and Christian arrived with their belongings after Sharon had invited them to move in. Faith excitedly greeted her father and Christian, even displaying a banner she'd made to welcome them. After Faith hugged her dad, she said, "I get to see you and Christian for breakfast and dinner and before I go to bed. You're home!" Mariah entered the room, greeted Nick and Christian, and asked Nick where he might move after a temporary stay with Sharon. Annoyed by Mariah's question, Sharon interrupted and said, "They just got here." Nick said he had no plans other than easing the transition for his children.
Sharon turned her attention to Faith. Sharon explained that she and Nick were only friends. Faith replied, "I got it, Mom. You guys are not going to be sharing the same room." After Nick was called away to handle a business matter and Faith had stepped away to another room, Mariah told Sharon that having Nick living under her roof was sending weird messages to Faith. Mariah quizzed Sharon about her expectations from Nick. Sharon, busily tidying the room, said Nick was just a friend in need of support. Mariah warned that Sharon would find reasons for Nick and Christian to stay. Mariah expressed concern that Sharon would reprise her role as Christian's "mother" and become emotionally attached to Nick.
After Nick returned, he went upstairs to get Christian settled. Faith and Sharon were setting the table for dinner. Nick's phone, which he'd left downstairs, began ringing. Faith picked up the phone. Faith noted that Phyllis was calling. Faith dutifully offered to take the phone upstairs to Nick. Sharon persuaded Faith to let the phone ring so Phyllis could leave a message and not interrupt Nick. Faith complied.
At Crimson Lights, where Mariah had gone to pick up Nick's favorite peach pie for dessert, Phyllis approached and asked about Nick's whereabouts. Mariah asked why Phyllis wanted to see Nick. Phyllis explained that she'd checked at Chelsea's and had also attempted to phone Nick, but she hadn't been able to connect with him. Mariah told Phyllis that Nick and Christian had moved out of Chelsea's penthouse. Phyllis was surprised to learn that Nick had chosen to move in with Sharon. Mariah admitted that she'd desperately tried to talk Sharon out of inviting Nick and Christian to move in. Phyllis, exasperated, replied, "And of course she did not listen. Well, she will when she hears what I have to say."
Nick, Christian, and Faith were seated on the sofa with Sharon when Mariah returned with the pie. Phyllis accompanied Mariah. Phyllis told Nick she'd been trying to reach him. Nick said, "Sorry, we were just getting settled in here. Did you call?" Faith interrupted and replied, "Yeah, she did, but Mom told me to send it to voicemail." Sharon claimed that she'd forgotten about the call.
After Faith escorted Christian upstairs, Sharon assured Phyllis that everything was great. Phyllis asked to speak privately with Nick. Sharon interrupted and announced that dinner was ready, though she hadn't prepared enough food for a guest. Nick said he'd be ready to eat soon. Sharon reluctantly stepped aside. While Nick and Phyllis talked, Sharon pretended to be busy arranging food on the table.
Conversing in whispers, Phyllis expressed concern about Nick moving in with Sharon. Nick said he'd made the best choice for his kids. Phyllis winced when Nick said he was grateful for the opportunity to provide a happy home for Faith and Christian, courtesy of Sharon. Phyllis' mouth was still agape in disbelief when Sharon interrupted. Sharon persuaded Nick to join his children at the dinner table. Sharon urged Phyllis to leave. Phyllis reluctantly headed out the door, and Nick headed toward the dinner table to join his children.
At the Abbott mansion, Jack listened as Ashley talked on the phone to Abby about Dina's disappearance. After the call ended, Ashley told Jack that a nurse had accompanied Dina on a train ride to Bordeaux from Paris. After the train had reached its destination, Ashley explained, Dina had disappeared when the nurse had left her alone to summon a porter. Jack was furious and insisted that he wouldn't have left their mother alone. Ashley reminded Jack that Dina still had periods of lucidity. Jack dealt with his frustration by intensely studying a map of France.
Jack, plagued with guilt, blamed Abby, but Ashley defended her daughter. Abby sent a text message to Ashley, stating that authorities feared Dina might have boarded another train leaving from Bordeaux. Jack worried that Dina's condition had markedly worsened. Jack was nearly in tears as he recalled his mother's pitiful pleas for help. Ashley comforted her brother with a warm embrace. Jack cried that with Alzheimer's, they could never be certain of how quickly their mother's mind might deteriorate, especially when Dina became confused.
Frustrated and anxious, Jack told Ashley he intended to take a flight on the company jet to search for their mother. Later changing his mind, Jack instead enlisted private investigators to search for Dina. Jack cried that he and Ashley had failed to keep Dina safe. Ashley and Jack were relieved when they received a video call from Dina. A social worker joined Dina and stood behind her as Jack and Ashley looked on together. The social worker explained to Jack and Ashley that authorities had found Dina sitting on a bench in London. After being assured that Dina would be kept safe, Jack headed out the door for a flight to London to pick up Dina. Jack told Ashley he would later return with Dina.
In Victoria's office at Newman Enterprises, Victor read a news article Victoria had shown him about Jack's insistence on staying true to Jabot's unique values. Victoria nervously stepped outside the open door to ensure that Ashley wasn't "lurking around." Victor explained that Ashley was away dealing with a family emergency. Victoria replied, "Spilling more of our secrets to her brother, no doubt." The conversation was interrupted when Victor received a text message from his investigator regarding the search for Chelsea and Connor. Victor told Victoria that though Nick had given up on the search, he hadn't.
Victoria seemed unconcerned about her missing nephew and Chelsea. Instead, Victoria complained that the news article about Jabot was proof of Ashley's spying for Jack. Victoria supported her statement by reminding Victor that even though Ashley had had a huge blowup with Jack and had quit Jabot, she was still living with Jack at the family home. Victor noted that Ashley and Jack lived under the same roof so they could care for Dina. Victoria scoffed that Dina was in Europe and that Ashley could afford to move to her own place.
Changing the subject back to the Jabot article, Victoria implicated Ashley as being the one who'd shared information with Jack about Brash & Sassy's acquisition of Blunden's. Victor noted that Jabot had products similar to those produced by their new acquisition. Victor added that a few others he could name could've leaked the information. Victoria was insistent that only she, Victor, and Ashley had been privy to the acquisition. Victor summoned J.T. After J.T. arrived, Victoria explained why she suspected Ashley of sharing company information with Jack. Victor advised J.T. not to share the results of his investigation with anyone but him and Victoria.
After Victor left, J.T. returned to Victoria's office. J.T. told Victoria he'd remotely accessed Ashley's computer, but he'd found nothing that indicated she'd shared confidential information. J.T. said he'd been unable to access Jabot's computers. Victoria suggested J.T. spy the old-fashioned way. J.T. assured Victoria she'd be impressed by his ability to uncover evidence. After J.T. left, Victoria phoned Jack. Victoria said she wanted to be certain that Jack wasn't at his office. Jack said he wasn't at his office, but Gloria was. Jack agreed to contact Gloria and send her home, so no one would be in or near his office.
At Victoria's house, J.T. appeared dressed in a dark suit, white shirt, and tie. J.T. explained to Victoria that if a security camera at Jabot happened to record his presence, he'd look like he belonged there. Victoria suddenly seemed apprehensive. Victoria told J.T. he could back out if he was concerned about Jabot's security guards. J.T. insisted he could carry off his mission. J.T., certain he'd succeed, instructed Victoria to have champagne and kisses ready upon his return. The couple kissed before J.T. headed out the door.
After J.T. left, Victoria paced nervously. Victoria received a call from Phyllis. Victoria said she was busy, but Phyllis told her about Nick moving in with Sharon. Phyllis said it seemed as if Nick had forgotten about Sharon having kept Christian away from him for months. Phyllis asked Victoria to have a talk with Nick. Victoria seemed unconcerned and said she'd phone Nick later. Phyllis warned that as time passed, Sharon would "sink her claws in." Phyllis urged Victoria to contact Nick right away. Phyllis added that whatever Victoria was doing, it couldn't be more important than looking out for Nick.
At Jabot, J.T. entered near Jack's office, through a side doorway leading from the stairwell. Outside Jack's office, Gloria was donning her coat to leave. J.T. stepped back out of sight. After Gloria entered an elevator, J.T. entered Jack's office. Wearing gloves, J.T. set about rifling through Jack's desk. J.T. paused when he noticed a locked drawer.
Gloria returned for her reading glasses. J.T., unaware of Gloria's presence, used powder to lift Jack's thumbprint off a phone receiver. After Gloria's cellphone rang, J.T. hid behind a doorway to avoid detection. After Gloria found her glasses and left, J.T. used the lifted thumbprint to access the security device on the locked drawer. J.T. discovered the file folder Victoria had given to Jack. The documents inside bore a watermark indicating they'd been in Ashley's possession.
After Phyllis enlisted Victoria's assistance, Victoria showed up at Sharon's. Sharon stepped out so Victoria and Nick could chat. Nick explained that he'd had to move out of Chelsea's home. Nick said at Sharon's, Christian had Mariah and Faith to lend comfort and stability. Christian entered the room, and Victoria noted that the boy looked more like Nick by the day. Nick reacted to Victoria's statement, but he didn't say anything. Mariah, Sharon, and Faith entered the room and invited Victoria to stay and enjoy a piece of pie.
Victoria had just begun enjoying her pie when she received a text message from J.T. Victoria excused herself before finishing her pie. Nick noted that Nikki had Victoria's kids, so there was no need for his sister to rush home. Victoria quickly tied the belt on her coat and insisted she had to leave. After Faith and Mariah went upstairs, Nick said Christian might not be sleepy for a while. Sharon took Christian in her arms, rocked him, and sang a soothing song to relax the child. Mariah, standing on the stairs, overheard Nick thanking Sharon for all she'd done.
After Victoria returned home, J.T. expressed frustration because Victoria hadn't been present to immediately welcome him. J.T. added that he'd taken a risk and could've been arrested while carrying out a mission he'd thought Victoria had considered to be important. Victoria assured J.T. that she'd monitored her phone while she'd been out. Victoria insisted she could've handled any issue that might have occurred. J.T.'s mood changed after Victoria apologized and explained that she'd been called away to check on Nick.
Victoria declared that J.T. was amazing when he handed over the file he'd taken from Jack's locked drawer. J.T. said he was surprised Jack hadn't ensured that the file hadn't been so easy to find. Victor soon arrived after Victoria summoned him. Victor opened the file and asked about the documents inside.
Victoria announced that it was information J.T. had discovered that belonged to Newman Enterprises. J.T. added, "Watermarked with Ashley's designation." Victor asked J.T. where he'd found the files. J.T. replied that he taken the file from Jack's locked desk drawer. Victoria noted that it was proof that Ashley had funneled information to Jack. As Victor examined the documents, Victoria insisted that he fire Ashley.
Hilary asks Devon to father her child
At GC Buzz, Devon agreed to bump up Hilary's budget for some of her ideas if she guaranteed new eyes on the show. He prepared to head to Hamilton-Winters, but she insisted that she had issues to discuss. He asked if they were about business, and she replied, "You could call it that."
Devon apologized for stepping away to take a call from a strategic partner, and Hilary suggested that he put such calls on speaker so she could contribute. Devon commented that streamrollers were more subtle than she was, and she reasoned that she wouldn't get what she wanted if she didn't ask. She added that boundaries were important but should be flexible, and he stated that her best skill was hearing no and pushing until she got a yes. She referred to how well he knew her, which made what she needed to discuss such a logical idea.
Hilary insisted that personal connections were the key to finding a deal that both sides could accept, and any arrangement or expectation had to be clear, even if the upsides weren't equal. A confused Devon wondered if she was talking about her maternity leave, and he assured her that she had nothing to worry about. He started to head out, but Hilary blurted out that she wanted him to be the father of her child. Devon reminded Hilary that they were divorced, but she swore that making a baby wouldn't be about love or romance.
Hilary explained that she'd thought about the qualities she wanted in a donor, and Devon had the brains, common sense, and good looks she was looking for. He protested that she hadn't even asked if he wanted to be a father, but she clarified that he'd just be a donor, and then they'd go their separate ways with no obligation. She called it a business arrangement, and she offered to pay the going rate to make it official.
Devon thought there was a reason people used anonymous donors, but Hilary countered that there was a reason other people used those they knew and respected. He questioned whether she thought he could father a child and walk away, since he'd only do it if he could be a father all the way. He barked that she didn't know him at all if she believed he could forget that he had a kid in the world, and he declared that it wasn't happening. Hilary maintained that she was going to have a baby, and Devon wished her luck.
In the Newman breakroom, Ashley left a message for Jack to call as soon as he landed. Victor entered and wished her a good morning, and she jokingly questioned whether he had to fetch his own coffee because he'd fired his assistant. Victor pointedly replied that he hadn't fired anyone since he'd let go of his PR team, and he hoped he hadn't lost his touch. He insinuated that the office was full of rumors and innuendos, and information was valuable currency. She inquired whether he'd heard anything about her, but he stated that she would know if she'd done or said something worth whispering about. He told her to have a nice day, and he walked out.
In Victoria's office, J.T. amorously noted the look in Victoria's eyes and asked if he should lock the door. Between kisses, she requested that he describe again how he'd lifted Jack's thumbprint and found Ashley's paperwork in Jack's desk. Victoria purred that she was going to redecorate Ashley's office for Newman's new head of security, since J.T. was a terrific investigator who'd caught Ashley. Victoria added that Ashley had betrayed Newman, and Victor knew how to handle traitors.
Later, J.T. dropped off some food that had been delivered for Victoria. He questioned how she could eat a meal that was nothing but empty calories and carbs, and he argued that the boss could leave the office for a decent meal. Victoria replied that she had a ton to do, and she offered to share. He maintained that she could afford proper nutrition, and she recalled that Billy had also given her a hard time about her eating habits. J.T. threatened to take the food away, and Victoria promised do better right after she ate her lunch. He called employee assistance on Victoria's behalf and requested an appointment for her to meet with a nutritionist.
Nikki called Nick from the Athletic Club, and he asked if he could call her back when he had time. She complained that he kept putting her off, and he promised to call her when he got to Rainbow Gardens. She asked where he was, and he replied that he was at home. She mentioned that she'd just been there, but no one had answered the door. Nick revealed that he'd moved out of the penthouse and was living at Sharon's place for the sake of the kids. Nikki erupted, but Nick quickly hung up.
At Crimson Lights, Nick left a voicemail message for Sharon to let her know that he needed to give her a heads-up about something. He ran into Billy, who said he was sorry to hear about Chelsea. Nick grumbled that a con never changed, and Billy asked if Nick had tracked her down. Nick replied that it was his dad's thing, but he didn't care if Chelsea ever returned -- he was just glad that she hadn't taken Christian with her. Billy confessed that Phyllis had told him about Christian's paternity, and Nick demanded to know who else Phyllis had told. Billy swore that Sharon was the only other person who knew.
Billy wished that he didn't know the truth, but he did. Nick griped that Phyllis hadn't been able to keep her mouth shut, and Billy explained that it had been driving her nuts, trying to figure out the right thing to do. Billy reiterated that neither he nor Phyllis would breathe a word to anyone else. Nick was wary about relying on Billy's word when Billy had broken all the promises he'd made to Victoria, but he realized that he had no choice.
Billy recounted that when everyone had found out that Christian was alive, he'd fantasized about Delia being back. Billy recognized that it had been completely irrational, but Nick was living that miracle. Billy added that the news about Christian and Adam felt like a sick joke, but it could be worse. Nick was grateful that Christian was alive and safe, and Billy credited Chelsea with doing one decent thing by leaving Christian with his father. Nick glumly stated that he wasn't the boy's dad, but Billy insisted that Nick was.
Billy pointed out that Nick hadn't needed a DNA test to consider Cassie his kid, and Nick was all that Christian had because the tot's biological parents were both gone. Billy thought it was obvious that Nick loved the little boy and always would. Billy believed that Nick and Christian had won, since Nick got to raise the boy, and Christian was loved by the best father he could ever have. Nick conceded that Billy's words were "strangely heartfelt," but he joked that the space-time continuum might bust open if they got any chummier. Billy stressed that he was pulling for Nick, and Nick thanked him.
Ashley tracked down Victor at the Athletic Club and insisted on talking to him outside the office. Ashley suspected that he had wanted her to read into something during their conversation that morning, since he'd seemed to deliver either a warning or an accusation. Ashley questioned what Victoria had said about her, and Victor replied that it was between him and his daughter. Ashley demanded to know what he thought he knew, and he asked how sensitive Newman documents with Ashley's watermark had ended up safely locked away in Jack's office. Ashley's mouth dropped open.
Ashley argued that it made no sense for her to blindly hand over to the competition a deal that she'd negotiated, and she swore that she'd been set up. She noted that Victoria had wanted her out of Newman from the moment Victor had hired Ashley, and she recalled that she'd seen Victoria and Jack with their heads together at the club. Ashley informed Victor that she'd given the documents to Victoria, and she surmised that Victoria had run straight to Jack. Victor planned to talk with Jack, but Ashley anticipated that her brother would lie. She invited Victor to ask all the questions he wanted, since she wasn't worried about what he would uncover -- but she thought he should be. She warned that she'd learned from bitter experience that it wasn't fun to find out that family had been lying.
J.T. found Victoria in the breakroom, and she revealed that she'd checked the anonymous feedback site that she'd set up for employees. She reported that people had been more responsive than she'd expected, and most of it had been personal feedback about her. She divulged that people found her to be cold and abrasive, and he chalked it up to her being the boss. Victoria worried that employees weren't saying the same thing about other executives, and she groaned that they were all negative comments. Victoria was stunned to realize that a lot of people at Newman hated her.
J.T. wondered when Victoria had started letting what other people thought get to her, but she was taken aback that her staff members had smiled to her face while thinking "that crap." She referred to a post in which an employee had prayed that Victoria had dinner plans to keep her from making her staff work late, and Victoria assumed that Lily had written it because she was upset that her job description had changed. Victoria wailed that Ashley had made her look like an ogre by feeding Lily's ego, and she surmised that Lily would rather see Ashley in charge. Victor interrupted and said he needed to speak with Victoria alone.
J.T. was sure that Victoria would just relay whatever it was to him, so he planned to stick around, but Victor firmly stated that it was way above J.T.'s pay grade. J.T. lingered, and Victor asked if he wasn't making himself clear. J.T. begrudgingly stepped out, and Victoria chided Victor for belittling her beau. Victor announced that he'd spoken with Ashley, and Victoria asked how Ashley had handled being fired. Victor indicated that Ashley was still an employee, since he didn't have the facts to establish that she'd been trading corporate secrets, but he intended to proceed with the investigation. Meanwhile, J.T. stormed into the breakroom and struggled with his rage.
Victoria found J.T. waiting for her at home, and she mentioned that she'd checked his office and learned that he'd left. He testily asked if he had to run his schedule by her, and he bitterly figured that it made sense that he had to abide by whatever the big executive in charge said. She acknowledged that her father's tone had been off-putting, and he called Victor a condescending jerk. Victoria insisted that it hadn't been personal and that Victor respected him, but J.T. barked that Victor didn't respect anyone -- especially the man in his daughter's bed. J.T. added that Victor didn't respect her, either, or he wouldn't have hired Ashley.
J.T. speculated that with Abby in France, Victor had needed someone to pit Victoria against to make her second-guess herself and to control her. J.T. taunted that it was why Victoria would always be Daddy's little girl and never a real CEO. The doorbell rang, and Victoria answered it. Ashley ranted that Victoria should use a sharper knife the next time she stabbed someone in the back, since Ashley had told Victor that she'd given the documents to Victoria, and the chain of evidence linked Victoria to Jack. Ashley intended to stand up and cheer when Victoria's plot blew up in her face, and she sauntered out.
J.T. asked why Ashley thought Victoria had set her up, and Victoria claimed that Ashley had simply panicked because she'd been caught. Victoria figured that Ashley had blamed her because she was the one person not under Ashley's spell, and J.T. wondered if Victor was letting Ashley stay on. Victoria revealed that her father wanted more proof, and J.T. scoffed at the idea that Victor wasn't willing to take Victoria's word.
J.T. reiterated that Victor didn't respect or trust Victoria and that Victor was treating her and everyone else like pawns on a chessboard. Victoria couldn't blame her father for being cautious, but J.T. couldn't believe she was defending Victor when her father never did the same for her. J.T. stated that it wasn't how family acted, but he was her family, and she could count on him. He asserted that as soon as she stood up to her father, their new life together would begin.
Sharon returned home with shopping bags and left the front door ajar. She checked her phone and saw that she had a message from Nick, and Nikki appeared in the doorway. Nikki demanded to know where Nick was, and she huffed that he hadn't wanted to tell her where he was living because he was obviously not proud -- with good reason. Sharon insisted that Nick needed support, and Nikki haughtily surmised that Sharon was willing to give him all the support he could handle. Nikki accused Sharon of smelling an opportunity and wanting to take advantage, but she refused to sit back and watch it happen.
Sharon contended that Nick was an adult who made his own decisions. Nikki countered that her son was suffering, but she imagined it was a "dream come true" for Sharon to have Nick and Christian living there. Nikki wondered how long it would be before Sharon called the child Sully, and Sharon suspected that Nikki was jealous because Nick hadn't wanted to live with Nikki and Victor. Sharon swore that she didn't want to fight, and she proposed that they both tone it down and behave with decency over tea.
Nikki hesitated to drink the tea Sharon had made, and Sharon made a point of sipping it to prove that it wasn't laced with arsenic. Nikki contemplated whipping out an umbrella in case Sharon dumped milk on her head, but Sharon questioned where fighting had ever gotten them. Nikki asserted that she saw Sharon for who and what she was, since Sharon had always had an agenda and always would. Nikki recalled that Sharon had claimed to love Adam, Dylan, and Scott, but Sharon had always circled back to Nick. Sharon complained that Nikki was living in the past, since it had been a lifetime since Sharon and Nick had been a couple.
Sharon explained that she'd learned at the crisis hotline that she felt useful when she made someone else's life better and easier, and all she could do was admit her mistakes and do better. Sharon understood that Nikki was always going to see her the same way, but she asked that Nikki not make Nick feel guilty for taking time and space to get over his heartache. Nikki admitted that Sharon sounded sincere, but she ordered Sharon to stop acting like she was the only one Nick could count on. Nikki figured that she couldn't help if she didn't know what Nick was going through, and she sensed that there was more to Chelsea taking off. Sharon insisted that there was nothing more to the story than Chelsea being a liar and a thief who'd gotten caught.
Nick stopped short when he walked in on Nikki and Sharon having tea. Sharon mentioned that she'd missed his call, but she knew what it had been about. Nikki scolded him for staying there instead of at the tack house, but Sharon argued that Victor wasn't Nick's landlord at the cottage. Nikki requested to speak to her son alone, and Sharon went upstairs to check on Christian. Nikki understood why Nick had avoided her calls, and Nick defended that he hadn't wanted to feel the need to explain himself. He recounted that he'd already gotten speeches from Phyllis and Victoria about how he was making a big mistake, but he was still there. Nikki expected Victor to chime in, but Nick refused to listen to his father.
Nikki met Victor at the Athletic Club and asked for news about Chelsea. Victor reported that the trail had gone cold, but he'd continue the search because his grandson needed his protection. Nikki was irked that Victor had no problem with Christian staying at Sharon's, but Victor reasoned that their grandson was at the ranch, where they could keep an eye on him. Nikki anticipated that Sharon wanted the boy to call her mommy, but Victor was sure that wouldn't happen. Victor suspected that Nick might also need their protection more than ever, but he didn't respond when Nikki asked what he meant.
Sharon feigned being upset that she hadn't gotten to say goodbye to Nikki, and Nick was surprised that the women had had tea. Sharon explained that she'd grown tired of the fighting, and he asked if they'd formed a truce. Sharon considered it to be more of an impasse, but at least they hadn't broken any china, so it was progress. Nick expected to hear from his dad soon, and he wondered if he should move out before Victor bulldozed the place.
Sharon swore that it was Nick's choice, and Nick recalled feeling a sense of relief when he'd seen Faith and Christian laughing together that morning. Nick marveled that he and Sharon had gone through a lot, and his mom didn't understand that he and Sharon could still be good friends after everything. Sharon thoughtfully looked on as Nick headed upstairs.
Victoria's staff meeting blows up in her face Victoria's staff meeting blows up in her face
In the break room, Victoria provided doughnuts for the staff for "Employee Appreciation Day." Ashley arrived and commented on Victoria's amateurish attempt to discredit her. Ashley knew she'd been set up. Victoria countered that Ashley had been caught red-handed and had tried to blame someone else. She said that Victor hadn't fired Ashley yet because he didn't want to admit he'd made a mistake hiring her, but to protect the company, Victor would fire Ashley. When that happened, he'd never trust Ashley again.
A short time later, Ashley returned to the breakroom and asked J.T. if he'd gone to Jabot to plant the documents, or if Victoria had given him the documents so he could take them to Jack. J.T. said that Victor had the proof that Ashley had betrayed him.
At the Athletic Club, Ashley informed Lily that Victoria had set her up. She explained the circumstances. Lily doubted that Victoria had conspired with Jack. Ashley asked if Lily had seen Victoria acting oddly. Lily admitted that Victoria had acted strangely when she'd seen her and J.T. talking at the Athletic Club. Ashley claimed that Victoria had crossed the line. Lily felt uncomfortable when Ashley said that Lily needed to pick a side.
Devon paid Cane a visit. Cane admitted that since they'd seen the video of Hilary coercing Juliet, he and Lily had become closer. He thanked Devon for giving them a heads-up and commented that Hilary hadn't changed. She was still self-centered and manipulative.
Cane said that Hilary had made the recording a long time before. He said that Hilary could try justifying the reason she'd stayed quiet as much as she wanted, but if she'd really changed and become a better person, she would've stepped forward. She'd instigated a terrible lie. She'd never believed she'd get caught. Devon claimed he knew Hilary better than most people, and he believed she'd changed.
Devon advised Cane not to lecture him. Cane should've considered himself lucky to be back in his house with his family after what he'd put them through. He pointed out that Lily had given Cane a second chance. Devon objected to Cane judging him for giving Hilary the benefit of the doubt.
Devon told Cane that he believed Hilary had turned over a new leaf. She'd been mentoring an underprivileged girl and hadn't said anything to anyone about it. Devon advised Cane to stop being so cynical. Cane said that Hilary was a user, and he warned Devon to open his eyes before she screwed him over again. After Devon left, Cane received a text message from Lily advising that she couldn't leave work because Victoria had called a meeting.
A short time later, Mattie and Charlie arrived. Cane advised them that their outing had been canceled because Lily had to stay at work. Mattie decided to study for the SAT but Charlie announced that he wouldn't study for the test because he wasn't going to college. He claimed he didn't need a degree to be a music producer like Uncle Devon. Cane became very angry and told Charlie that he was going to college, and that was the end of the discussion.
On the patio at Crimson Lights, Hilary told Phyllis that she was determined to make Devon the father of her child, but she wouldn't do it without his permission. She needed to convince him to help her. Phyllis advised her that it would be a big mistake. Devon had clearly stated that he had no intention of reconciling and starting a family with Hilary.
Hilary claimed that Devon didn't have to reconcile with her. All she wanted was his DNA donation so she could conceive a child, and that would be it. Hilary knew that she and Devon were only friends and business partners. Phyllis reminded her that Devon was Hilary's ex, and a child would bind them for the rest of their lives.
Hilary confessed that she didn't have any romantic expectations with Devon. Phyllis knew that Hilary believed it would happen because she was so desperate to have a baby, but it was much harder than Hilary thought. Hilary noted that Phyllis and Nick had had a daughter together, and they got along great. Phyllis reminded her that that hadn't always been the case.
Phyllis pointed out the bizarre cycles Nick and Sharon had gone through and how the situation he was in with Sharon would wind up hurting him, but Nick couldn't see it. Phyllis admitted that she'd do anything to yank Nick away from that situation and knock some sense into him. Billy walked in at that moment and asked "Anything?"
Phyllis accused Billy of being jealous of Nick. Billy said he wasn't. Billy stated that Phyllis and Nick had been divorced for years, and he wanted to know why Phyllis was so invested in Nick's personal life. Phyllis reminded him that she and Nick shared a daughter, which meant she'd always be concerned about him. She felt that Nick was in a very unhealthy situation with Sharon, and she didn't understand what the issue was.
Billy felt that if Phyllis hadn't pushed Chelsea so hard that it had forced Chelsea to skip town, then Phyllis wouldn't have had to worry about Nick's living arrangements. Billy claimed that Phyllis had created the very situation she'd been trying to save Nick from.
At Crimson Lights, Hilary asked if Shauna was ready to take the SAT, but Shauna confessed that she couldn't afford to go to college. Hilary assured her there were alternative ways of getting into college, and she'd guide Shauna through the process.
Devon had been listening from a distance and decided to join Hilary and Shauna. He advised Shauna to lean on Hilary because Hilary knew what she was talking about. Devon provided Shauna with his background and told her about an incredible family that had taken him under their wing. He encouraged Shauna to fight. Shauna thanked them and commented that Hilary and Devon made a good team. She asked how long they'd been together. Devon advised that they weren't together -- they had been, but they were only coworkers.
On the patio, Charlie opened the door for Shauna and made a flirtatious comment. He joined Devon and Hilary and told Devon about his argument with Cane. Devon explained that Hilary had worked to put herself through college because she'd known it was important. Devon said that Charlie's education was paid for, and it was a valuable opportunity.
After Charlie left, Devon offered to write a check for Shauna. Hilary disclosed that Shauna's family situation was very complex, and offering a check wouldn't fix their issues. Shauna needed encouragement and someone to show her how to get from point A to point B. Hilary invited Devon to join her at her next meeting with Shauna. She felt that Devon presented a good role model; he could teach Shauna many things, and it would be gratifying. Devon agreed.
In Victoria's office, Lily gave Victoria a report and said she was off to spend the day with her family. Lily confirmed that she'd received approval from HR and had advised Victoria as a courtesy. Victoria said it had to have fallen through the cracks; she told Lily she couldn't go because Victoria had scheduled a meeting. Lily was angry as she walked out of Victoria's office. She sent a text message to Cane, advising him that Victoria had canceled her time off, and she'd explain later.
The meeting convened in Victoria's office. Victoria claimed it was Employee Appreciation Day. She stated that she'd introduced a number of changes that might have ruffled a few feathers. She explained that she wanted to implement the changes, and she'd take the staff's useful comments to heart. She claimed she wanted to open communications with staff and that her door would remain mostly open for them. They were all valued employees, and her office was to be considered a "safe place."
Ashley spoke up and said she wanted everyone to know exactly how she felt about Victoria's leadership. There were certain qualities required of a good leader -- transparency and accountability -- and some of Victoria's decisions had been lacking. Victoria tried to stop Ashley, but Ashley wouldn't be silenced. She stated that Victoria had hired her boyfriend as head of security while others more qualified hadn't been given a chance to apply.
J.T. claimed that Newman was a privately held family business, not unlike Jabot, that had plenty of nepotism. Victoria defended J.T. by stating that J.T. had had years of experience in the field at Newman and abroad. He was the most qualified for that position. Ashley commented that J.T. would always have Victoria's back. She said it was too bad Victoria didn't have the same trust in her sister.
Ashley said that everyone knew how poorly Victoria had treated Abby. Victoria had taken every opportunity to marginalize Abby to the point that Abby had felt she'd had to move to Europe and work there in order to have peace and autonomy. Ashley said if that was the way Victoria treated family, the employees couldn't expect to be treated any better. Ashley walked away.
Victoria apologized for Ashley's tirade and for Ashley using the productive and positive gathering as her platform to launch her own personal grievances. Victoria said she was looking for helpful suggestions. Ashley suggested that Victoria stop firing the people she was threatened by.
Lily wanted to know why Victoria had sprung the meeting on them without prior notice and said it had been very disrespectful. Victoria explained that the meeting had been called during business hours when everyone would be at work. Lily interjected that it was true unless they'd requested time off in advance and been denied it at the last minute. Victoria claimed it had only been postponed. All requests had to be weighed against the needs of the business, and that was standard practice in the industry.
Lily asked if their time was Victoria's unless she had dinner plans. Victoria accused Lily of writing the same thing in Lily's online critique of her. Lily thought Victoria's office was a safe space and not a witch hunt. Lily pointed out that she'd been loyal to Victoria and had defended her even when Victoria hadn't deserved it. She added that perhaps some of Ashley's concerns had merit.
Victoria claimed she'd had concerns about Lily's performance. Lily was a fine model, but her work was a little lacking. Victoria felt that Lily could improve her abilities with Victoria's new performance improvement initiative. It helped employees who had fallen behind get caught up to company standards. Victoria pointed out that she'd asked Lily to dig deep into a project, but Lily had only provided her with something superficial. Lily stated she was over Victoria's constant criticism, and she walked out.
The meeting was over, and everyone began to leave except Taylor. He told Victoria that he had submitted the comment Victoria had accused Lily of writing, and he left. Ashley congratulated Victoria for her feeble attempt to curry favor with the staff. It had blown up in Victoria's face. Ashley added that it almost appeared as if Victoria had tried to prove how unfit she was to run the company. She also complimented Victoria for alienating their grand spokesperson.
J.T. advised Ashley that it was time for her to leave, but Ashley asked if it hadn't made him a little angry watching Victoria belittle his friend Lily in front of her colleagues. Ashley said that Victoria should be ashamed of herself, but Victoria claimed that it was Ashley who should be ashamed of herself. Victoria said she wouldn't get herself all worked up over it because they all knew that Ashley's days at Newman were numbered. Confidently, Ashley stated that she wouldn't count on that, and she left.
J.T. said that he couldn't get over how Ashley had spoken to Victoria, since Ashley was the traitor. Agitated, Victoria told J.T. that she'd needed more anger from him. She accused him of barely speaking two words. She'd hoped that he would've stuck up for her more. She had needed his support and had wanted him to generate some enthusiasm to help people problem solve constructively, but he'd done nothing.
In his defense, J.T. stated it would have looked like he'd been siding with Victoria because they lived together. He claimed it had been her meeting, and had she handled it the right way, it could've been a positive experience, but she'd lost her cool and had allowed Lily and Ashley to get to her. Instead of listening, Victoria had become defensive -- she'd overreacted and gone on the attack. Victoria had forgotten their conversation about how she came across to people. She had to take responsibility for her own actions and needed to stop blaming others. She'd made mistakes in the meeting, and she had to own them.
Phyllis and Billy arrived at the condo. Billy apologized for ambushing her in front of Hilary, but they needed to have a serious talk. He told Phyllis about his talk with Nick. He said that Nick had been doing well despite what he'd gone through. Billy knew that Sharon wouldn't have kept the secret about Christian from Nick.
Phyllis said that Chelsea had stolen the money. She'd lied, broken Nick's heart, and betrayed him. Phyllis wanted to know how she'd been responsible for all of that. She reminded Billy that when she'd wanted to dig deeper for proof about Chelsea's con, he'd told her to go for it. Billy admitted he had until he'd seen what was at stake. He'd asked her to pull back because people's lives could be wrecked, including hers, but she'd become obsessed and refused to back off.
Billy claimed that he shared some of the blame because part of him had felt that he should've stopped her from going down that path, but the other part of him had known she wouldn't listen. He'd known she'd fully commit and wouldn't realize the consequences until it had been too late. Billy admitted that he could be impulsive and reckless, but Phyllis had gone after Chelsea even after Lauren had asked her to back off. Phyllis hadn't backed off and had left Connor and Christian wondering where their family had gone.
Phyllis asked if Billy had been referring to Sharon and Nick. Billy said he had, but in general terms. He was worried that one day, she'd go too far, but he also knew that Phyllis felt things passionately.
At home, Lily told Cane that Victoria had called a staff meeting out of the blue for a command performance. It had turned into a "complete bitch session," and it had accomplished nothing. She told Cane that she wanted to quit, but she was fearful that if she did, they'd be a one-income family, and things would be very tight. Cane agreed that Victoria had been disrespecting Lily for months, and he knew how fed-up Lily had become. Cane said he wasn't worried about the money, and he'd stand by Lily whatever she decided.
A short time later, Lily walked into Victoria's office and gave her a sheet of paper. Victoria apologized and said she wanted to talk things through with Lily. Lily stated that when Victoria had felt compelled to belittle and embarrass her in front of the staff, they'd had nothing further to discuss. She told Victoria she'd submitted her formal letter of resignation, and she left. Victoria looked defeated.
Dina's condition continues to worsen
Nikki met Victoria for breakfast at the Athletic Club, and she thanked Victoria for having Johnny and Katie spend time at the ranch. Victoria inquired whether there had been word on Chelsea and Connor, and Nikki reported that Victor was taking their disappearance harder than he'd been letting on. Victoria sensed that things were good between Victor and Nikki, and Nikki declared that she was happier than she'd ever been. Victoria said she was happy for her mother after all the fighting the couple had done, and Nikki compared it to Victoria's reunion with J.T. Victoria indicated that things had been great for the most part, and Nikki asked what J.T. had done. Victoria clarified that the issue was what she had done.
Nikki thought she hadn't said often enough that she was incredibly proud of Victoria, who had worked hard to become a successful businesswoman. Nikki acknowledged that it was important for Victoria to put on a confident face for the public, and Victoria asked if her image needed an overhaul. Nikki explained that it was good to give that public face a rest, and she stressed that Victoria could tell her anything. Victoria confided that she'd been keeping something from J.T., and she hated feeling like a hypocrite because she'd demanded full disclosure ever since they'd gotten back together. Nikki questioned whether Victoria thought the relationship wasn't strong enough to handle what she was keeping from him, and she implored Victoria to tell her what the secret was. Victoria thought it would be better if Nikki and J.T. knew nothing about it for their own protection.
Victoria thanked Nikki for not pushing or making her feel like it was a mistake to keep something from her partner. Nikki figured that it wasn't important to share everything, but she believed that J.T. should be Victoria's ally if Victoria needed one. Victoria insisted that J.T. was on her side and that he was always open and honest, even if it wasn't easy to hear. Nikki asked what he'd complained about, and Victoria indicated that he was helping her to overcome certain issues, like being abrasive to the people who worked under her. Victoria revealed that the anonymous forum that she'd set up for her employees had opened her eyes, but not in time to keep Lily from quitting.
Nikki remarked that it was good if J.T. was helping, and Victoria imagined that he wanted every aspect of her life to be the best it could be. Victoria recalled that he'd called her out on her terrible diet, and Nikki realized it had been why Victoria had only ordered a tiny bowl of fruit for breakfast. Victoria loved how much J.T. cared, since it was more than anyone else had in a long time. Nikki understood the appeal of being with a man who challenged her, but she advised Victoria not to be too hard on herself just to please J.T. Nikki added that the reason she and Victor were strong again was that she'd let him know exactly what she wanted.
At the Ashby home, Cane asked if Lily had seen his tablet, and she handed it to him along with a mug of coffee. He informed her that the twins were at school and that Sam was with the nanny, so Lily could enjoy having the house to herself. She wondered if he expected her to lie in bed all day, eating truffles and watching movies, and she wished that she had a challenging job that she enjoyed. Cane figured that there was no rush, since she'd earned some time off, but Lily didn't think she needed a break. She believed that finding something to do would be better than sitting around there, and he wondered if she felt that way because of Sam.
Cane recognized that Lily had gone out of her way to be loving toward his son. She insisted that Sam was part of their family, but she wasn't ready to go back to being a full-time mom. She considered it important to have a career and accomplish her own goals, but Cane cautioned her not to work where she wasn't valued. She realized that while Newman hadn't been a good fit, she'd learned that being fulfilled made her a better mom and a better partner. She didn't want to get hung up on how things had gone "to hell" with Victoria, but she wanted to find something better and move on.
Cane suggested that Lily join him at Chancellor, but she declined because of all the ways it could go wrong. She recounted seeing the constant pressure Victoria and J.T. had faced because they worked together, and she pointed out that things hadn't turned out well for her and Cane at Brash & Sassy. Lily purred that not working in the same place would make it easy for Cane to cook up surprises for her, and she imagined how much sweeter quitting time would be when they could do what they'd been daydreaming about all day. She leaned in and kissed him, and he groaned that he had to leave. She promised that she would be there when he got home, and they exchanged declarations of love before he left.
J.T. approached Victor in the hallway at Newman Enterprises. J.T. pointed out that he was head of the security team and the guy who'd gotten hard evidence that company secrets had been leaked to Jabot, and he questioned why he was being taken off the investigation. Victor contended that he needed someone objective in charge, but J.T. was living with Victor's daughter. J.T. swore that he was a professional who separated his personal feelings from work, but Victor argued that it was a sensitive matter that might affect Victoria directly. J.T. was appalled that Victor was insinuating that Victoria had been behind it, but Victor maintained that all he was saying was he needed a neutral party.
J.T. insisted that Victoria was devoted to Victor and the company, and she was also devoted to J.T., so she would have told him if she'd shared corporate secrets with Jack. Victor argued that it could compromise the investigation if Victoria and J.T. shared everything, and he wanted J.T. to back off until Victor found out who had been conspiring with Jack. J.T. reiterated that Victoria had proven herself over and over, but Victor insisted on doing what was best for the company. J.T. mentioned that Ashley had made it clear that she wanted Victoria's job, but he figured that it didn't bother or surprise Victor.
J.T. admonished Victor for thinking the worst of his own daughter, and Victor pointed out that he knew Victoria better than anyone. J.T. griped that Victoria had fallen over herself to please Victor, even after all the crap Victor had put her through. Victor warned him to be careful, and J.T. asserted that he loved and believed in Victoria and wanted what was best for her. Victor stated that they wanted the same thing, and he suggested that they leave it at that. J.T. sauntered out, and Victor made a call to report that J.T. had just left.
At the Abbott mansion, Ashley hugged Dina and said she'd been worried. Dina asked why, and Jack remarked that all that mattered was that they were home. Jack announced that they'd picked up an unexpected traveler along the way, and Abby waltzed in. Ashley excitedly embraced her daughter and asked how long Abby planned to stay, and Abby proclaimed that she was there indefinitely. Ashley declared it the best day she'd had in a long time, but a bewildered Dina suddenly asked why they were there. Abby reminded Dina that they'd flown there together on a private jet and that everyone there loved her.
Dina panicked when she couldn't find her purse, and Ashley and Abby searched for it. Dina pointed to Ashley and accused her of taking the purse, but Jack swore that Ashley was their friend. Abby suggested that Dina deserved a nap, and Dina grumbled that she didn't trust Ashley. Dina announced that she wanted ice cream, and Abby led her to the kitchen. Jack regretted that their mother sometimes said hateful things, but he assured Ashley that Dina was saying them to someone else in another decade. He reached out to comfort Ashley, but she snapped not to touch her.
Jack lamented that Dina's grip on reality was deteriorating, and Ashley reiterated that their mother needed around-the-clock care. He mentioned that he'd enlisted several specialists to provide 24-hour care because Dina's confusion had been leading to anger issues, and she'd been lashing out. Jack recalled that he'd seen Dina go off on a waitress, airport security, and a flight attendant, and he thought Ashley should be happy that she hadn't gone on the trip. Ashley sarcastically replied that she'd been having the best time of her life, defending herself against allegations at Newman.
Jack feigned surprise when Ashley divulged that she'd been accused of spying for him. Ashley confronted Jack about working with Victoria to frame Ashley, and Abby overheard and asked what her mother meant. Jack claimed not to know, and Ashley spat that she hadn't thought he could go any lower, but he'd set up his own sister. Dina interrupted and fretted that she'd misplaced her sweater, and Jack rushed out to fetch it. Ashley noted how fast he'd run out, and she called after him that it was because he knew it was the truth.
Abby was stunned to learn that Ashley believed that Victoria had given a secret Newman document to Jack, and Ashley noted that only three people had had access. Abby wondered why Jack would go along with it, and Ashley suspected it was out of either revenge or motivation to get her back at Jabot. Ashley mentioned that Jack had offered to reinstate her and to get rid of the obnoxious blood-only clause, but she couldn't believe that Jack had thought she'd just forget how much he'd hurt her. Ashley insisted that Jack had to learn the hard way that she was nobody's puppet, and Abby bemoaned that it was all happening while Dina was getting worse.
Abby remembered that she had some work things to deal with, and she asked if Ashley would be okay to stay with Dina alone. Ashley figured that her mother was sleeping, and Abby handed over some medication that Dina's doctor in France had prescribed. Ashley insisted that she could handle it, and Abby left. Ashley contemplated contacting Victor, but Dina cheerfully greeted her from the top of the stairs. Ashley asked if Dina was hungry, and Dina replied that she'd just eaten. Ashley inquired whether her mother had eaten breakfast on the plane, but Dina became agitated and asked what Ashley was talking about.
In the kitchen, Dina gushed that it smelled delicious, and Ashley presented her with Mrs. Martinez's vegetable soup. Dina asked where the housekeeper was, and Ashley reported that Mrs. Martinez was out shopping. Ashley encouraged Dina to take a few bites before it got cold, but Dina threw her spoon on the floor and refused because she didn't trust Ashley. Ashley swore that she wouldn't make Dina eat any of it, and she tried to entice Dina with some freshly baked rolls.
Dina demanded to know what Ashley had done with Mrs. Martinez, and Ashley defended that she'd done nothing. Dina began to tear up one of the rolls, and Ashley offered to prove the food was fine by tasting it. Dina ordered her to stay away, and Ashley pleaded that she would never hurt Dina. Dina whimpered not to hurt her, and she angrily threw a glass across the room and bellowed that she knew that Ashley was trying to poison her. Ashley reiterated that she loved Dina and would never hurt her.
At the Athletic Club, Lily left a message for Barry to tell him that she was available. She approached Jack and expressed her sympathy about Dina, and he inquired how things were at "the dark tower." Lily reported that they were toxic and that she'd quit the day before. Jack invited her to return to Jabot, but she opted to take some time to think about what she wanted to do next. He said his offer had no expiration date, and he applauded her for freeing herself from Newman. He wished Ashley would do the same thing, but Lily couldn't imagine Ashley walking away. Jack mused that he could always hope.
Later, Jack finished a call as Victor approached, and Victor inquired whether Jack had been engaging in corporate espionage. Jack barked that he was busy, and Victor imagined that Jack was busy with the Newman documents that had been stashed at Jabot, since Victor had seen it for himself. Jack warned that Victor was confessing to something he'd just accused Jack of, but Victor pointed out that the only question was whether Ashley or Victoria had helped Jack, since they'd each accused the other of collusion. Jack taunted that Victor's reaction proved what a farce his "family first" spiel was, and he anticipated that it wouldn't be corporate espionage or anything else that damaged Newman, since Victor would destroy his company all by himself.
In Victoria's office, J.T. told Victoria that he'd known Victor would eventually freeze him out, and she offered to convince her father that he could trust J.T. J.T. griped that Victor would never trust him, and the feeling was mutual. Cane entered with a box to clear Lily's things out of her office, and Victoria wished that Lily had joined him. Cane bitterly questioned whether Victoria had wanted to get another dig in, and he barked that his wife had deserved to be treated better.
J.T. tried to intervene, but Victoria admitted that she'd been very unfair to Lily because she'd mistakenly believed that Lily had attempted to undermine her. Victoria wanted to apologize to Lily, but Cane coldly stated that Lily didn't work there anymore and that she didn't want to speak with Victoria. Victoria requested that Cane pass along a message to ask Lily to reconsider, but Cane flatly replied that it wasn't going to happen.
Lily finished a call as Cane returned home with her things. She wondered why he was back early, and he replied that he hadn't been able to stop replaying what she'd said about having reunions at night. He claimed that he'd pretended to have food poisoning to get home to her, and they kissed and began to disrobe. After they made love, Cane recounted his conversation with Victoria, and Lily was impressed that he'd gotten Victoria to apologize. Lily was glad that Cane had responded the way he had, since she wanted to focus and move on to a new job.
Lily revealed that Barry had made her a modeling offer for a week-long gig in New York, but she recognized that she should have talked to Cane before accepting it. Cane insisted that he was happy for her, and she promised that they'd talk and send messages constantly. She imagined the homecoming they'd celebrate, but Sam's cry interrupted their kiss.
Victoria stared out her office window and wrung her hands. She heard footsteps, and she looked up and coolly asked what Abby was doing back there. Abby waited for a welcome home or an inquiry about how her grandmother was doing, but Victoria huffed that she expected to be kept in the loop when the head of Brash & Sassy's Paris office went on vacation. Abby revealed that she wasn't on vacation -- she was transferring back. Victoria scoffed at the thought that Abby had decided that by herself, but Abby announced that their dad had approved the move.
Abby realized that Victoria hadn't known, and she contemplated whether Victor had forgotten to tell Victoria or if he hadn't wanted to hear her griping. Abby bragged about what she'd accomplished in Europe, and Victoria asked why she'd returned. Abby expected to hone her skills at the company's world headquarters, alongside her mother. Victoria suspected that Ashley might not be there much longer, and Abby questioned whether Victoria really thought she'd get away with her desperate scheme to push Ashley out.
Abby returned to the mansion and learned about Ashley's nightmare experience with Dina. Ashley could only imagine how much worse things would get, and Abby suggested that they take it one day at a time together. Jack entered and announced that he had to head out of the country on business. Ashley dryly suggested that he send her replacement instead, but Jack conceded that Helen didn't have much experience with human beings. Jack insisted that his first concern was their mother, and Ashley flatly replied that they'd be fine. Abby cautioned that by the time Jack got back, Ashley's name would be cleared, and Victoria would pay the price for trying to wreck it.
Meanwhile, Victoria enjoyed a massage from J.T., who swore that nothing like Cane's visit would happen again on his watch. She said she liked the sound of that, and he pulled her to her feet and declared that he knew what else she liked. They kissed passionately, but they pulled apart upon hearing a sharp knock at the door. Victor entered and proclaimed that he wanted them both to know that he'd reached a conclusion about who had colluded with Jack Abbott.
Abby finds proof that Ashley was framed
At Crimson Lights, Phyllis griped that she didn't get a swirly design on her latte, and Billy pointed out that she'd changed her usual fancy order to another elaborate one. Phyllis referred to their earlier conversation about her pushing too hard, but she insisted that it was a joke to show that they were perfectly fine. She glanced over at the counter, and he assumed that she was looking for Sharon. Phyllis imagined that Sharon was at home, baking cookies and darning Nick's socks, but she swore that she didn't care. Billy spotted Cane walk in, and he made a quick getaway to avoid talking about work.
At the counter, Lily provided Cane with information about the twins' schedule and things to be done in her absence. He promised that everything wouldn't fall apart while she was gone, but she worried that they'd had no notice. Cane assured her that her job would never be a problem, but Lily fretted that she couldn't predict how often she'd have to leave with no warning. Abby overheard and couldn't believe that Lily was leaving when Abby had just gotten back, and the women hugged. Cane announced that Lily had gotten a new modeling job, and Abby understood why Lily had left Newman.
After Cane left, Abby observed that Lily looked like she'd rather be underneath a bus than have her picture on the side of one. Lily explained that she was grateful for the work and that she loved the industry, but she felt like she'd jumped to her next gig too soon. She envisioned all the trips away from her kids and the unpredictable schedule, and Abby noted that Lily had a lot of reasons not to do something she was about to do. Abby compared it to her own return to the office after being in Paris, away from Victoria's list of demands and complaints. Lily figured that Abby was still going back to the office, and Abby asserted that she had every right to be at Newman, so she intended to suck it up until she was running the show. Lily realized that Abby was right, and she thought of an amazing idea.
Cane returned home and ran into Charlie, who was leaving for his internship. Cane insisted on addressing some family business first, and Charlie expected a lecture about his future. Cane mentioned that Lily was nervous about leaving them alone, and Charlie promised that he would step up. Cane planned to order in dinner, but Charlie indicated that he had to go to a concert for Hamilton-Winters.
At Newman Enterprises, Victor summoned Ashley to his office, and she assumed that he wanted to go over her plans for revamping Brash & Sassy. He told her to have a seat, but she opted to stand, and she asked what Victoria had said and done that time. Ashley complained that it was a waste of time for both of them, and she was tired of dealing with it. Victor replied that she wouldn't have to anymore, since he'd completed his investigation and found no evidence of her being framed.
Victor added that he had found evidence of Ashley colluding with her brother, but she maintained that she'd given the documents that had been found in Jack's office to Victoria. Victor lectured that he'd had high hopes for Ashley, but she was an Abbott, so her loyalty was to Jabot and Jack, not to Victor and his company. "You're fired," Victor declared.
Victor presented Ashley with documents that his legal team had drawn up, indicating that she'd resigned due to creative differences. She was appalled that he wanted her to lie. He explained that he wanted to protect his company's reputation, but he had sympathy that Jack had used her to get to him. Ashley argued that Jack had used Victor to get to her. Devon arrived, and Victor announced the sad news that Ashley was amicably leaving Newman, so he needed a press release to show all parties in the best light. Ashley clarified that she hadn't resigned but had been terminated without cause because Victoria was a spoiled princess who was so insecure that she couldn't handle real competition. Ashley added that Victoria had driven Brash & Sassy into the ground, and she anticipated that Victoria would do the same thing to Newman.
Ashley ranted that Victoria didn't want to be COO -- she wanted to be queen. Ashley suggested that Victor have a coronation before Victoria destroyed Newman with her insecurities, and she told Devon to add some actual facts to the press release by stating that everyone had to pay because Daddy's girl had thrown a tantrum. Ashley warned that she wasn't afraid of bad publicity, and she wouldn't go away quietly, since she'd sue for wrongful termination if Victor couldn't hold his daughter accountable. Ashley walked out, and Victor remarked that she was too upset to think straight. Devon noted that she'd seemed lucid and furious, which was a dangerous combination.
Abby greeted Ashley at the elevator and asked what was wrong. Ashley growled that Victor had bought into Victoria's garbage and fired Ashley. Abby stormed into Victor's office and asked if he had any idea what he'd just done. Victor calmly welcomed her back and said he was in a meeting, but Abby screeched that he'd just fired her mom, so she was sure Devon would excuse them. Devon stepped out, and Abby demanded to know how Victor could think that Ashley had betrayed him.
Victor ordered Abby to never barge in on him again, and he contended that Jack had convinced Ashley to give up company secrets. Abby acknowledged that Jack would stoop that low, but she was certain that her mom never would. Victor huffed that it wasn't Abby's problem, and she countered that it was Victoria's. Abby sauntered out and left a voicemail for Victoria, saying Victoria thought she'd won, but it would "sting like hell" when the truth got out.
Hilary and Mariah gave Shauna a tour of GC Buzz, and Hilary quipped that Shauna might be sitting in Mariah's chair in a few more years. Shauna marveled that Hilary had everything, and Hilary muttered, "Well, not everything." Devon arrived as Hilary continued to show Shauna around, and Mariah told him that Shauna was young but fierce. Devon applauded Hilary for doing a good job with the teen, and Mariah was impressed that Hilary could think about someone other than herself. Mariah recalled that she would have loved to have a role model at that age, and she acknowledged that Hilary was doing an amazing thing.
Hilary greeted Devon, and Shauna hoped she wasn't getting Hilary in trouble by being there. Devon figured that it was Hilary's show, and he offered to show Shauna around Hamilton-Winters, too. Shauna respected that Devon had women executives in charge of departments at his company, and she inquired about the music streaming service. Devon invited Shauna to jump on one of the computers and take a look through their catalog, and she crossed the room to do so.
Devon remarked that Shauna was sharp, but Hilary lamented that the girl had no family support and deserved much better. Devon commented that kids just needed someone to talk sense into them, and he recalled that he had never imagined being in college and had wanted to drop out when he'd gotten there. Hilary imagined that Neil hadn't let Devon do it, and she pointed out that Devon had since become the man in charge. Devon realized that helping just one kid felt better than putting out business fires.
Charlie arrived at the studio and immediately noticed Shauna. She removed her headphones and jokingly asked if he was following her, and he stammered that his uncle owned the company. Devon reminded Charlie that he had pickups to make, and he pointedly stated that he meant packages. Devon offered to take Shauna on a tour of Hamilton-Winters that day, but she replied that she was going to school to prep for the SAT. Devon invited her to dinner at the Athletic Club, followed by a tour later.
Shauna said she should get to school, and she nonchalantly added that Hilary and Devon should get back together. After Shauna departed, Lily arrived, looking for Devon, and she soured when she spotted him with Hilary. Mariah reluctantly advised Lily to give Hilary a break, since, although Hilary was usually out for herself, there was a human in there somewhere. Lily approached Devon and pulled him away. Meanwhile, Phyllis burst in and told Hilary that she needed an objective person to help her before her life was sabotaged.
Phyllis admitted that she'd been focused on Nick lately because he needed protection, but she believed that Billy couldn't understand. Hilary opined that it showed maturity to care about an ex, and Phyllis griped that it had taken Hilary two minutes to make it about her and Devon. Hilary contended that Phyllis had been heroic by revealing Chelsea's crimes just in time, but Phyllis worried that she'd driven Nick to move in with Sharon. Hilary questioned whether Phyllis wanted Nick back, since she was pushing Billy away by obsessing over Nick. Phyllis swore that she wanted to keep Billy and stop worrying about Nick, and Hilary advised that she'd learned in her own life that sometimes a little obsession was absolutely necessary.
At Hamilton-Winters, Lily trusted Devon to tell her if she was out of her mind or her league. Devon assured her that she'd been right to leave Newman when she had, based on recent developments that he couldn't talk about, but he thought her idea of running her own modeling agency could be a moneymaker. He reasoned that she knew the business and had a name in the industry, and she imagined having a diverse roster and no jobs that were compromising. Lily requested Devon's help with a business plan to get a bank loan, but he had a different idea.
After Devon pitched his idea, Lily wasn't sure that it was the way she wanted to start a business. Devon explained that most startups were all about capital and red tape and nothing creative, but she could be up and running while he carried the risks. She was concerned about blurred lines, but he insisted that she deserved to be allowed to work independently and be her own boss. He implored her to focus on the good stuff while helping him grow their family firm.
At home, Cane showed Lily a flowchart he'd made of the kids' schedules, but Lily deleted the file. She revealed that she'd canceled her flight and the job, since she wasn't ready to leave home. Cane swore that he was supportive of her going to New York because he wanted her to be happy. Lily declared that deleting the flowchart had made her happy, but he warned that canceling might hurt her chances of getting other jobs. She replied that it wouldn't if she was running her own agency, and she informed him that he was looking at the head of a glamorous new branch of Hamilton-Winters.
Hilary stopped by Hamilton-Winters and praised Devon for being a good example for Shauna. Devon pointed out that Hilary was the one the teen looked up to, and he asked Hilary to ensure that Shauna knew that they weren't getting back together. Hilary asked if Shauna was taking a look around, but Devon reported that the girl hadn't shown up yet. Hilary tried to call Shauna, but the call wouldn't go through. Hilary worried that no one had paid the bill. Hilary called Shauna's school and learned that Shauna hadn't been in class all week and that she'd even canceled her registration for the SAT.
Hilary left a message for Shauna to call her back, and Devon suspected that they'd been played. He figured that he probably shouldn't have gotten involved, but Hilary admonished him for cutting Shauna off because of one mistake. She reminded Devon of the kind of household Shauna lived in and what the girl was up against every day, but he wondered why Shauna had acted like she was into it if she'd planned to blow them off. Hilary bet that Devon had tried to blow Neil off when he'd been Shauna's age but that Neil hadn't given up. Hilary vowed not to walk away, and she stormed out.
At the Abbott mansion, Billy was shocked to learn that Ashley had been fired. Ashley was convinced that Victoria had orchestrated it. Billy was torn because he hadn't wanted Ashley near Newman, but he knew that she'd wanted to make it work. Abby entered and barked that Victoria was a vindictive witch, and she relayed that Victor had told her that he'd fired Ashley. Ashley reported that she'd threatened to sue Victor, but Billy expected the lawyers to draw out the case, and he thought they needed to hit Newman where it hurt most. Abby hissed that Victoria needed to pay, and she vowed to fight back just as hard and dirty.
Billy groused that Jack had pulled a Victor move, and Abby was determined to get Jack to admit what he'd done, even though Victoria was just as much to blame. Billy contemplated how to burn Victor to the ground by proving that Ashley had been set up, but Ashley protested that she didn't want them involved. Billy promised to exercise caution and consider the fallout. However, he pointed out that someone had played dirty, and he was the guy to play dirty in return. Billy left, and Ashley regretted that Abby was stuck between her parents once again.
Abby insisted that Ashley was all that mattered, and she began to rifle through the papers on Jack's desk. Ashley objected, but Abby argued that Jack wasn't there to stop her. Abby added that it was nothing compared to what she'd already done, and she invited Ashley to look in her bag and see for herself. Ashley was stunned that Abby had obtained Jabot's security logs, and she hoped it hadn't involved breaking and entering. Abby crowed that business was all about relationships, and she'd happened to maintain them with key people at Jabot.
Ashley mentioned that she'd seen Jack and Victoria meeting at the Athletic Club, but Victor had disregarded it. Abby thought evidence was better in black and white, and she urged Ashley to take a look at the logs and line them up with the timeline. Abby pulled out Jack's cell phone records and recognized multiple calls from Victoria's number. Ashley found a security log request from Jack to leave his office unlocked because he'd planned to return to work, but she realized that it had been on the day that Dina had disappeared, so going back to the office had been the last thing on his mind.
Ashley realized that the day after the request had been when Victor had revealed that her watermarked documents had been discovered in Jack's office. Abby concluded that Jack had deliberately left his office open for Victoria to send someone in to find the planted evidence, and she believed they had enough to nail both of them. Abby squealed that they had dates, times, and phone calls, but Ashley ordered her to take a step back.
Abby asserted that her dad deserved to know that he'd been set up by his right hand and his mortal enemy. Ashley preferred to use the information in her lawsuit against Newman, but Abby argued that the company hadn't wronged Ashley -- Victoria had. Abby continued that waiting for the court to fix things would never work, since Ashley's name would be dragged through the mud. Abby rushed out over Ashley's protests.
Ashley wasn't surprised when Jack didn't answer her call, and she left a message to tell him that he couldn't avoid her forever. She spat that she might have lost her job, but she would never, ever crawl back to Jabot after what he'd done to her.
Phyllis joined Billy at the Athletic Club bar in response to his text message about some bad news. He informed her that Ashley had been fired after Jack had allegedly framed her for corporate espionage by making it appear that she'd slipped confidential Newman documents to Jabot. Phyllis wondered if there was any way to use what was in the paperwork against Victor, but she recognized that it was about Ashley and not about her. Billy didn't mind her going ballistic, and he admitted that he'd almost broken the law that day, but he'd stopped himself. She called them masters of their emotions, and she swore that she didn't want to lose him just because she had a deep need for revenge. They agreed that they were in it together.
Abby returned to Victor's office with an armful of files, and she scoffed at the idea that what Victor had done that day wasn't driving him nuts. He warned that he was only putting up with her behavior because he adored her, but she bellowed that he'd fired the most brilliant woman in the business because Victoria had thrown a fit. Victor said he'd wanted to trust Ashley, but he refused to tolerate betrayal. Abby snapped that it had taken her all of two hours to prove that Jack and Victoria had set Ashley up, and she dared Victor to see for himself that he'd fired the wrong person.