At Sharon's house, Sharon slipped off her engagement ring and set it on a table. After Sharon wiped tears from her cheek, she sat on her sofa and sorted wedding gifts to return. Mariah arrived downstairs and offered to handle the gift returns for her mother. Sharon explained that she'd prefer to finish the task herself, so the boxes could be cleared out before Faith returned home from school. Mariah was surprised that Faith had insisted on attending school. Sharon sadly noted that Faith had said she'd half-expected that the wedding would never take place. Sharon added that Faith had walked out to meet the bus like it was any other day.
Mariah offered to reschedule her location shoot, but Sharon insisted that Mariah stick to her commitment. Sharon said she didn't want Nick's stupid, selfish decisions to affect anyone else's life plans. Mariah expressed misgivings about having told her mother about Nick and Phyllis' one-night stand. Sharon replied, "I don't want you to feel guilty about that -- not ever. Imagine how betrayed I would feel if I'd found out after the wedding that you'd known and you didn't say anything." Sharon assured Mariah that knowing the truth had made her stronger.
At Jabot, Ashley rushed to find a substitute for an ill Gloria, as Phyllis, dressed head to toe in black, entered the office, hoping her presence wouldn't draw attention. Ashley entered Traci's office and told Traci and Lauren that she'd spotted Phyllis hightailing it down the hall. Traci noted that Phyllis could create a big issue. Ashley replied, "Right. Do we involve her in this, or not?" Ashley admitted that she didn't trust Phyllis because she often couldn't separate her personal and business lives, as evidenced in the past when she'd lock the door to the office and seduce Billy.
Lauren vouched for Phyllis, explaining that though Phyllis had been hurt, she'd shown up on time to attend to her responsibilities. Lauren insisted that Phyllis be given a chance to redeem herself. Traci, saddled with the burden of being the vote tie-breaker, explained that she was concerned about Billy, who'd failed to return home and hadn't been heard from. Traci added, "Did he actually show up at rehab, or is he out on some bender, gambling for even higher stakes?"
Phyllis, having discarded her wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, emerged from the shadows and set a file on the secretary's desk. Her mind elsewhere, Phyllis sent a text message to Billy. Phyllis wrote that she was aware that Billy was furious with her, but she repeated her vow to love him and stick by him through rehab. On the other side of the door where Phyllis attempted to connect with Billy, Ashley phoned the rehab facility and learned that Billy had checked in at 6:00 a.m. Traci breathed a sigh and relief and said, "Oh, thank heaven."
Ashley told Traci and Lauren that it was up to them to move the company forward. Lauren asked about Phyllis. Ashley noted that they had enough votes without Phyllis. Lauren replied, "Then there's no harm in including her, is there?" Ashley forged ahead, immediately relieved Traci of her temporary duties as CEO, and set things in motion to undo the blood Abbott clause. Ashley added that she'd called an emergency board meeting in hopes that Traci would put forth a motion to remove the clause. Traci seemed overwhelmed and cried, "Ashley, slow down just a little bit. I mean, I understand what it is you're trying to do, but technically, I'm still in charge."
At Summer's apartment, Summer awoke alone and called out to Billy. Summer sent a text message to Billy, asking where he was and requesting he spend the night with her again. Summer sat on her bed, staring at the screen of her phone, seemingly willing Billy to respond. Summer phoned Phyllis and said she wasn't sure her call would be answered. Phyllis admitted she'd considered letting the call go to voicemail. Summer asked her mother how she was holding up. Phyllis said she'd gotten up and headed to work instead of staying in bed and sulking all day.
Summer asked her mother if Billy was at Jabot. Phyllis replied, "Why would you even think he was here? He wants nothing to do with me, thanks to you and your big mouth." Summer swore she wasn't the one who'd told Sharon. Phyllis said Kyle was the only other person she could think of because he'd been nothing but trouble since he'd returned from New York.
Summer told her mother that the truth had been bound to emerge eventually and had at the worst time possible. Phyllis berated herself for blowing up everything due to one night of weakness. Phyllis cried that she didn't blame Billy for hating her. Phyllis told Summer that she'd phoned Billy's, spoken to Mrs. Martinez, and discovered that Billy hadn't spent the night at home. Summer assured her mother that Billy could take of himself and just needed time. Phyllis cried, "I hope you're right. I really don't want to believe it's over."
Phyllis ended her phone call with Summer when Ted, Gloria's temporary replacement, rushed in to answer the phone. Ted introduced himself. Ted asked Phyllis if she knew where he could find Phyllis Summers. After Ted learned he'd been speaking to Phyllis, he told her she was wanted in Traci's office. Phyllis put on a brave face and entered the office. Ashley invited Phyllis to have a seat. Phyllis assumed the worst and admitted she'd hurt Billy.
At the police station, Rey greeted Sharon by stating that the station was a sad honeymoon destination. Sharon plopped down in a seat across from Rey's desk and said she'd canceled her time off. Rey was surprised to learn that the wedding hadn't taken place. As Sharon poured coffee, she noted that Nick had hurt her and cheated on her repeatedly. Rey listened sympathetically. Sharon cried that repeated mistakes proved who someone really was.
At Dark Horse, Abby greeted Jack and asked if anyone had been left standing after the fiasco at the church. Jack explained that Billy had kicked Phyllis out of the house. Abby said she hadn't heard from Nick, who hadn't returned her calls. Tessa arrived and said Nick had a document she needed. Nick arrived just as Abby proclaimed that Nick likely wouldn't show up.
Nick marched in at Dark Horse and said, "What did I miss?" Jack said, "We weren't sure you were coming in today." Nick explained that he didn't want anyone feeling sorry for him because his despicable behavior had imploded his wedding. Nick vowed to start again because he had every intention of marrying Sharon. Nick addressed Tessa's request and searched through stacks of files to find the file she needed.
After Tessa left, Jack and Abby commiserated with Nick. Jack noted that Nick's self-punishment couldn't excuse what he'd done to Sharon and to Billy. Jack advised Nick to get his life together. After Jack left, Abby asked about the kids. Nick said Faith was shaken up. Nick added that Christian was too young to understand and was staying with a sitter at their new house. Nick's voice trailed off as the realization set in that the new house was his and not his and Sharon's together. Nick cried that he'd spent his wedding night, rattling around in a shiny, new home alone.
Victoria entered Nick's office, carrying a tray of coffee. Having overheard her brother's comment about being all alone, Victoria said, "How many times have you taunted Dad about ending up that way? It's ironic, no?" Victoria pointedly asked Nick why he'd cheated on Sharon with Phyllis. Nick explained that after he and Sharon had had a major disagreement about Dark Horse, his decision to impersonate J.T., and the rift he'd created between himself and Victor, he'd returned home and found her engagement ring sitting on a desk. Nick said he'd taken the discarded ring as a sign that Sharon had called off their engagement.
Abby and Victoria berated Nick's decision to assume that the ring left on the desk had meant he was free to sleep with Phyllis. Victoria added that it was even worse that Nick had slept with Phyllis because she was involved with Billy. Nick recalled that at the time, Phyllis and Billy had just called things off. Victoria noted that at least Billy's absence indicated he'd gone to rehab as he'd promised. Nick said he didn't know why he'd shown up to work because he needed to fix things immediately. After Nick left, Jack entered and told Abby they'd been summoned to Jabot right away.
Nick showed up at the police station to face Sharon. Nick told Sharon that he would fight for her and never give up because he was certain they still loved each other. Sharon walked into the police chief's office and closed the door. Rey stepped between the door and Nick. Rey asked Nick if he'd simmered down after having behaved like a jerk to Sharon. Rey doubted Sharon was ready to talk, so Nick left. After Rey told Sharon that Nick had left, Sharon said she couldn't believe Nick had thought she would have welcomed him with open arms. Rey said Nick didn't want to lose her. Sharon insisted she would move on without Nick.
At the meeting in Traci's office, Phyllis said she was aware that Ashley was anxious to get rid of the blood Abbott clause. Traci said she was in agreement about the clause, but she proposed waiting until Billy returned from the treatment center. Ashley explained that delaying might unleash bad press if the public discovered the truth about Billy's gambling and embezzlement. Traci requested they at least wait until Jack, Abby, and Kyle were present. Ashley noted that even without them and Billy, they had a quorum and even a majority, if Foster's and Morgan's proxies were unanimous. Traci cleared her throat and called the meeting to order. Traci then made a motion to strike the blood Abbott clause from the company bylaws in its entirety. Ashley seconded. When Traci called for a vote, Phyllis clenched her jaw.
As Abby, Jack, and Kyle headed to Traci's office, Kyle asked if Billy would be joining them. Jack said that Billy had checked in at the rehab facility and wouldn't be allowed to take or make phone calls. Abby added that no one could step up as Billy's proxy. Traci, Lauren, Ashley, and Phyllis were waiting when Abby, Jack, and Kyle arrived. Traci explained that she sought someone with more appropriate credentials to take her place. Abby noted that only Traci and Billy were related by blood to John Abbott, the founder of Jabot.
Lauren announced that they'd already voted unanimously to remove the clause. Jack looked at Phyllis and said, "Even you?" Phyllis replied, "Even me." Abby expressed relief that the clause was history. Ashley stepped up and offered to elevate herself from COO to CEO. Abby seconded and said no one was more qualified than Ashley. Jack and Kyle spoke privately. Kyle urged Jack to step up and claim the top spot. Kyle noted that because Traci and Phyllis might not support Ashley, and he would definitely support his dad, Jack could take the helm. Kyle added that with him by Jack's side as COO, they could run Jabot together.
Before Traci called for a vote, Kyle addressed the assembled board members and nominated Jack. Jack accepted and said Jabot was where his heart was. Jack explained that he was an executive consultant for Dark Horse, thus free to submit his name for a vote. Kyle vouched for his dad. Ashley glared at Jack. After Lauren tallied the votes, Ashley gained the most votes, with Traci abstaining. Traci explained that she wouldn't choose between her siblings. Jack replied, "Yet that, in effect, is precisely what you did. You handed the crown to our sister."
After Kyle abruptly left the meeting, Phyllis followed him. Phyllis said, "Hey, you're not going anywhere until I get some answers." Phyllis wanted to know if Kyle was the one who'd told Sharon. Phyllis added, "Are you the one responsible for all the hell that rained down at that wedding?" Kyle accused Phyllis of screwing up the votes because she thought he cared enough to sabotage her and Billy. Kyle said Summer was the loudmouth that had allowed Mariah to overhear Phyllis' dirty secret.
Traci, Abby, and Lauren stayed behind after the meeting to congratulate Ashley. Lauren noted that it was a good move for Jabot and for Fenmore's because there would be stable leadership. Lauren thanked Traci for stepping up and overseeing the momentous change. Traci asked to speak to Ashley alone. After Abby and Lauren left, Ashley gave Traci credit for leading a smooth transition. Traci admitted that the circumstances she'd been forced to manage had made her uneasy, especially in regard to Billy. Ashley insisted that Billy hadn't been suited to run a large company. Traci made Ashley vow not to squander her opportunity.
After Traci left, Jack returned. Ashley told Jack she hoped he didn't resent her, though she thought he'd moved on to Dark Horse. Jack said a part of his heart would always be with Jabot. Jack added that it wasn't meant to be, as much as he would have liked to take charge at Jabot again. Jack praised Ashley for proving she had the mettle to be CEO. Jack apologized for the blood Abbott clause and the pain it had caused Ashley and their family. Jack kissed Ashley's cheek and said their dad would approve of her taking the helm. After Jack left, Ashley sat in the CEO's chair and breathed a sigh of relief and joy.
At the Genoa City Athletic Club, Tessa told Mariah she wished she could afford more than drinks and dessert. Mariah said it was a fine and fancy going-away treat. Mariah reminded Tessa that the people shaking her down wanted their money. Tessa said that though she'd been working all she could and saving every dime, she still wanted to show Mariah how much Mariah meant to her. The couple held hands and shared a tender moment.
Mariah brought up her mother's disastrous wedding and lamented that if Sharon and Nick couldn't make their relationship work, there was likely no hope for the rest of humanity. Tessa assured Mariah that their relationship was different. Mariah agreed that their relationship was solid and happy. Mariah cried that while she was away, she'd miss Tessa like crazy.
While Mariah and Tessa were sharing a kiss, Phyllis showed up and said, "Oh, look at you, so happy. You completely destroyed my life, along with a lot of other people's." Mariah admitted that she'd told Sharon about Phyllis and Nick. Mariah added, "If you think that I enjoyed ripping my mother's world apart, you've got more problems than your lack of impulse control and common decency." Phyllis, seething, replied, "You had no right." Mariah bolted upright and boldly insisted that she'd had every right, just like Sharon had had a right to know the truth before she married Nick. Mariah berated Phyllis for blaming others because she'd gotten caught.
Phyllis walked away and took a seat at the bar after her encounter with Mariah. Nick entered and asked Phyllis if they should be seen in public together. Nick took a seat at the bar after Phyllis said they couldn't avoid each other forever. Nick agreed that he might as well face things. Nick told Phyllis that Sharon wouldn't talk to him. Phyllis cried that Billy had packed her bags and thrown them out the front door. Phyllis said she hoped Billy had gone to the treatment facility to seek help for his gambling addiction.
Sharon entered the Athletic Club and was shocked to see Nick and Phyllis seated together at the bar. Sharon approached, leaned toward Nick, and said, "Real classy. Any amount of rejection from me, and you go racing to Phyllis, who's more than eager to give you some of that sleazy comfort that you crave so much." Nick insisted that he and Phyllis had just run into each other. Sharon suggested Nick and Phyllis not hold back and "do it" on the bar. Sharon went a step further and said, "I know. Why don't you take her on my honeymoon? It's a shame to see that go to waste."
Phyllis spoke up for Nick and told Sharon that Nick still wanted to marry her and become a family. Sharon replied, "You conniving tramp. Do you think I'd really believe anything out of your mouth? Do you remember that night -- the special one? Ever since then, you've been trying to convince me that we share a special bond and that we need to stick together. That was nothing more than lies upon lies."
Phyllis reminded Sharon that Nick had forgiven her for far worse things. Phyllis added, "I mean, really, it is no wonder that he spent time with me while you were dithering over whether or not to go through with this wedding." Sharon insisted she wasn't the same woman she'd been in the past and wouldn't turn into a quivering puddle. Sharon told Nick she'd loved him more than anyone in her life. Sharon cried that she and Nick were done. Sharon warned Phyllis that she'd be the one to become a puddle if she even considered messing with her again.
At Crimson Lights, Summer left a message for Billy. Summer said she was aware that Billy had checked in at rehab. Summer said their night together had meant a lot to her, so she couldn't wait to see him again. Summer ran into Victoria on the patio. Summer noticed that Victoria was opening mail. Victoria said she'd wanted to get away from folks asking questions about the wedding and enjoy peace and quiet. After Summer left, Victoria opened an envelope that contained an unsigned, typed note. The note read, "I know what you did, and I'm going to make you pay."
Summer sees Kyle and Lola kiss
At Jabot, Ashley instructed Ted to assemble the department heads, including Lauren and Phyllis. Neil interrupted, and Ted introduced himself and gushed about how Hamilton-Winters was an exciting company. After Ted exited, Neil presented Ashley with a gift to set the tone of the office -- a pillow with a stitched message about her being the boss. She set it prominently on a chair so everyone at the meeting would see it, and he advised her to manage expectations. She expected opposition, and she intended to confront the haters head-on. Neil suggested that she tell him about it at dinner that night.
At Crimson Lights, Tessa handed over Rey's power tools to Lola, who readily identified what they were and ordered a coffee for the road. Kyle appeared and said it was on him, but Lola reminded him that their date wasn't until that night. He spied the tools and voiced surprise that she'd be sawing and drilling, and she explained that she had to take care of some repairs on her truck. Lola retreated to a table while Kyle paid for the coffee, and Tessa inquired whether Lola had been the date he'd been excited about at Sharon's party. Kyle nodded and joined Lola.
Kyle mentioned that he'd been up since four o'clock that morning to write a report for work, and Lola guessed that he'd gotten the promotion he'd been expecting. He revealed that he hadn't yet, but there had been three different relatives who'd served as CEO of his family's company in the past week. Lola figured that it was bound to be his turn sooner or later, and she suggested that giving a basket of her food to his boss would help. Kyle bemoaned that beauty could be an ugly business, and Lola shared that her relatives in Miami were always expecting her to pick sides in their fights.
Kyle received a text message and indicated that Ashley had just called a staff meeting in an hour. Lola admired Kyle's determined, proactive mindset, and she imagined that he crushed his setbacks or dodged them completely. He proposed that they dodge one more by deciding what to do on their date that night. She suggested a movie so that they could catch a later showtime if he got stuck at work. He firmly stated that he'd be there at 5:30 with high expectations, and he headed out.
Tessa offered to top off Lola's coffee, and she pressed to find out how Kyle and Lola had met. Lola recalled that Kyle had picked up lunch at her food truck, and he'd annoyed her more than any guy she'd ever met. Tessa assumed that Lola's opinion of him had improved if they were dating, but Lola explained that it would be their first date that night, so Tessa had to ask her after that. Tessa thought Lola would be an upgrade from Kyle's ex in every way, and she squealed in delight at the idea of watching Summer Newman lose her mind over him dating someone else. "Newman?" Lola asked with interest.
Later, Lola returned the tools to Tessa to give back to Rey, and Tessa called him the coffeehouse's unofficial handyman. Lola recalled that she'd learned how to fix her truck from Rey, and Tessa marveled that Lola really was "the anti-Summer." Lola took it as a compliment, and she asked what Summer did for a living. Tessa explained that Phyllis had handed Summer a cushy office job and that being Victor Newman's granddaughter entitled Summer to a trust fund, so it wasn't like Summer was trying to support herself. Lola agreed that she and Summer were nothing alike, and Tessa congratulated Lola.
At the Athletic Club, Summer thanked Nikki for inviting her to breakfast, and Nikki said she'd been thinking about Summer ever since the train wreck at the church. Nikki sympathized that Summer had witnessed both of her parents' relationships explode at the same time, and Summer remarked that she'd never thought Nick and Sharon's reunion had been for eternal bliss. Nikki wondered how Summer felt about Billy leaving Phyllis, and Summer replied that she liked Billy's energy and enthusiasm. Nikki imagined that Summer and Billy had gotten closer while working together, and Summer questioned whether she had to give up her friendship with Billy just because he'd ended things with her mom. Nikki pointed out that Phyllis had cheated on him, and she thought Summer should give herself a break.
Nikki figured that Phyllis and Billy could get back together before the weekend, but Summer mused that she'd gotten the feeling that he had already moved on. Nikki imagined that Phyllis was probably better off, since Billy had been gambling again. Nikki lamented that it was terrible to watch his gambling ruin his life again, but at least that time, Victoria wouldn't have to pick up the pieces. Summer anticipated that Billy would address his problems and go back to being the guy they knew and liked, and she envisioned him moving on with someone better suited for him than her mom. Nikki inquired whether there was someone Summer intended to fix him up with, but Summer firmly promised that was something she'd never do.
Summer received notification of Ashley's first staff meeting and thought she had to be there. Summer grumbled that it wouldn't be much fun watching Ashley try to scrub any trace of Billy off Jabot, and Nikki wondered what Billy had done to turn everyone against him. Summer admitted that he'd made questionable choices, but she claimed that she didn't know the details. Nikki was sure that he was ashamed, but she hoped he could grow from the experience and leave his poor decisions behind him.
Victoria slammed the door to her office and nervously rifled through files, clearly disconcerted. She opened a drawer and removed the ominous note she'd received. Nikki entered and informed Victoria that she was heading over to pick up Johnny and Katie for a grandparents' night. Victoria reported that the kids had been disappointed to learn that they wouldn't be spending any nights with their daddy, and Nikki offered to help whenever Victoria needed. Nikki invited Victoria to join them, but Victoria groaned that she hadn't gotten through half of what she needed to do. Nikki sensed that something was bothering Victoria, and Victoria hesitantly showed her the note that had shown up in the mail the day before. Nikki gasped.
Victoria confirmed that it had been the only note she'd received, and she was afraid to answer her phone every time it rang. Nikki saw that her daughter's nerves were on edge again, and Victoria pointed out that she couldn't go to the police. Nikki suggested that they hire a private investigator, but Victoria doubted anyone they hired would be discreet enough for a murder confession. Victoria insisted that they couldn't tell anyone, and Nikki promised that she wouldn't. Victoria fretted that someone else knew about that night.
Nikki reasoned that someone could just be pulling a prank, since there was nothing in the letter about J.T. or what they'd done. Nikki theorized that a disgruntled employee had sent it, and she argued that there was no reason for someone to target Victoria when Nikki had been the one who'd killed J.T. Nikki proposed that they ignore the letter because it didn't say or prove anything, and Victoria inquired whether Nikki had gone through her mail. Nikki assured Victoria that she'd gone through all of it, and there had been no strange letters. Nikki urged her not to obsess about it, and she left.
A short time later, Nikki returned to Victoria's office, and Victoria asked what had happened to grandparents' night. Nikki informed her that the kids were watching cartoons with Victor, but she'd found that the office had sent her a package at the ranch that included a letter identical to Victoria's. Victoria thought there was no denying that it had to be about J.T.
Nikki contemplated whether Sharon was behind the notes, but Victoria was confident that they'd convinced Sharon not to say anything. Nikki doubted that it had been Phyllis, and Victoria agreed that Phyllis was the least likely to confess out of all of them. Victoria thought it didn't make sense that the person had sat on the information, and Nikki guessed that someone had heard Paul and Rey talking about the case. Victoria was worried about what that person hoped to gain.
Nikki suggested that Victoria take the kids and leave town, and she could make an excuse to join them. Victoria objected because work was piling up, and she'd be looking over her shoulder no matter where she was. Nikki reasoned that the sender of the note couldn't possibly know their every move, but Victoria pointed out that they didn't know what the person was capable of. Victoria decided to walk out with Nikki, and she figured that not getting any sleep was better than fighting off the nightmares. She muttered that they were already living in one.
Ashley's key employees assembled in her office, and she thanked them for squeezing in the meeting. Ashley asked Summer if Phyllis was on the way, but Summer doubted that her mother would be there, given recent events. Ashley huffed that it was more reason that Phyllis should do whatever she could to be there, since Ashley had to know her team was behind her. Ashley proclaimed that she wanted to put the confusion and turmoil to rest, and she referred to John using his wisdom as a guiding light to move the company forward with innovation.
Ashley continued that her father had never assumed that their customers would continue to be satisfied the next season, so she was returning funding to research and development by reallocating it from the Jaboutiques. She anticipated that it would be tricky but worth the hard work, and she vowed to make herself available to her staff every day to continue John's legacy. Most of the employees filed out, but Kyle lingered behind. Kyle announced that he'd conducted an in-depth review of the Jaboutique leases and the budget for the launch, and he suspected that Ashley wouldn't like his conclusions.
Ashley was impressed with Kyle's report, and she couldn't believe that he'd compiled it all in one night. She thanked him for the tamales and mentioned that a woman had told her that they'd been from him. Kyle discovered a receipt from La Vida Lola and explained that he'd thought Ashley would be working through lunch, so he'd ordered her something from his favorite gourmet food truck. Ashley contemplated whether Nick would be open to lowering the penalties for renegotiating the Jaboutique leases, and Kyle instructed her to turn to an appendix with an analysis of canceling their contracts with the boutiques. Kyle indicated that it would cost more to cancel the project than to go through with the launch.
Ashley declared that the boutiques were happening, whether they wanted them or not, since it would be reckless to eradicate them. Kyle insisted that his board vote hadn't been a comment on her vision for Jabot, since he backed it. She understood that he'd been supporting his dad, and she didn't hold it against him. Kyle gushed that he was excited about the future for the company, since they were out of damage control and could propel Jabot to new heights. He envisioned being there by her side, providing the same strategy and analysis she'd seen in his report, but he thought it would maximize their effectiveness if he did so as her COO.
Ashley opted to leave the position vacant, and Kyle was appalled that she'd rather have no COO than give him the job. She explained that it was a crucial position, and she had to trust the person in it implicitly. Kyle argued that he'd constantly proven that she could trust him, but she cited the tactics he'd used against Billy. Kyle defended that he'd gotten Billy out of there like she'd wanted, but Ashley countered that she'd never wanted Kyle to push a recovering gambling addict back to his addiction, and Kyle's manipulations had led to Billy's downward spiral to rock bottom.
Kyle spat that Ashley had promised to reward his loyalty, but she contended that anyone else would have fired him. Kyle ranted that she'd waited to cross him off her promotion list until she'd taken over Billy's job, even though she'd had Kyle do all the work while she'd kept her hands clean with her phony ethics. Ashley bellowed that Kyle was being insubordinate, but he snarled that she'd taken a lot of care to craft a heroic image full of integrity, but the world would eventually stop buying it. She ordered him out, and he paused in the doorway and growled that he couldn't wait until her true colors started trending.
Later, Kyle and Lola returned to Crimson Lights after going to a movie, and Lola supported any movie with a female superhero whose secret identity was a chef. Kyle commended Lola for using her superpowers to pull off that day's operation, since Ashley had inhaled the tamales. Lola hoped Ashley had richly rewarded him, and he groused that it had been with a knife in the back. Kyle turned the topic to Lola's adventures, and she crowed that her first few months operating her food truck had exceeded her projections. She envisioned getting more trucks and staff and eventually opening a restaurant.
Kyle wondered about the guy who was lucky enough to share in Lola's future plans, but she suspected that her love life wasn't as colorful as his. She revealed that she knew he had a past with Summer, and he abruptly got up to grab dessert. Kyle fetched a cupcake, and Lola immediately resumed the conversation about Summer. Kyle realized that Tessa had told Lola about it, and he recounted that he and Summer had dated briefly a few years earlier and had moved back to town separately around the same time. He added that he and Summer sometimes worked together, but that was the end of the story.
Lola surmised that it was awkward, but Kyle insisted that he and Summer had both moved on. Lola realized that if Abby and Arturo got married, she'd technically be Summer's aunt, so she'd be on a collision course with Summer even if Lola had never met Kyle. Kyle questioned why she made it sound explosive, and Lola relayed that Tessa had said Summer would lose her mind if she saw them together. Lola pledged not to play into Summer's games, and she and Kyle playfully pinkie-swore to be more mature.
Lola polished off the cupcake, and Kyle offered to get her another one. She noted that she had to be up by sunrise, so she couldn't eat any more sugar that late. He prepared to walk her to her car, but she said she was parked right out front. He guessed that he would just see her another time, and Summer ducked out of sight when she spotted them. Lola started to head out, but she suddenly turned back. He asked if she'd forgotten something. "Yeah, this," she said, and she planted a kiss on him as Summer reeled from the sight. "High expectations, right?" Lola purred as Summer scurried away.
Over dinner at the Athletic Club, Neil toasted to Ashley wearing her power well because it looked smoking hot on her. She replied that it had been overdue, and Andrew spotted them from across the room. Ashley said she'd been channeling everything her father had ever taught her, and it had been an inspiration. Neil hoped his kids talked about him way the way she talked about John. Ashley didn't think her employees understood all the steps she'd had to take to reach that milestone.
Andrew approached Ashley's table and politely reintroduced himself to Neil. Neil remembered that Andrew had been consulting for Jabot, and Andrew replied that he still was. Andrew congratulated Ashley on her promotion, and she coolly informed him that they were there to celebrate. Andrew apologized for interrupting, but he had one small but urgent work matter to discuss. He asked if he could steal Ashley away for a second to save them all a lot of trouble later.
Privately, Ashley told Andrew to make it quick. He expected to be rewarded for making everything go her way at Jabot, but she asserted that he'd been rewarded with the generous terms of their deal. He thought it was time to renegotiate their deal by doubling his fee. She barked that the request was incredibly inappropriate and obnoxious and that his services were no longer required. Andrew questioned whether his secrecy wasn't, and he proposed that they include Neil in their conversation. Ashley grabbed his arm to stop him, and Andrew pointedly surmised that his secrecy was still valued. He ordered her to let go of his arm and said he'd be in touch.
Ashley is threatened with blackmail
At the Abbott home, Kyle was on the phone and told someone he'd be working from home, but he was advised that Ashley needed a specific report that day. Frustrated, Kyle assured them that he'd provide Ashley with the report by the end of the day.
Jack entered the room and commented that Kyle was lucky he still had his job. Kyle told Jack that Ashley was trying to rebrand Jabot as a family business, and he assured Jack that he wouldn't be fired. Jack advised Kyle not to underestimate Ashley, but Kyle was certain that he could handle Ashley. Jack warned that Kyle was swimming in dangerous waters, and things could catch up to him and bite him "on the ass." Kyle said he was only trying to get what he deserved.
Jack said it was the way Kyle went about achieving what he wanted. Kyle said he was driven, hard-working, and ambitious. Those were traits to be admired. Jack said he admired those qualities, as well as loyalty -- something Kyle hadn't shown since returning to Genoa City. Kyle reminded Jack that he'd supported Jack as CEO forty-eight hours earlier. Jack reminded Kyle that he'd refused to partner with Jack in business when Jack had been forced out of Jabot. Kyle said that he'd told Jack he didn't have enough experience to get involved in a start-up.
Jack said that Kyle had aligned himself with Billy, hoping he'd have a faster climb up the corporate ladder. When that had failed, Kyle had aligned himself with Ashley to force Billy out. When the blood Abbott clause had been eliminated, Jack had been the best contender, and Kyle had teamed up with him.
Jack said that people would see that Kyle had an agenda. Kyle said that Ashley had an agenda. Jack argued that Ashley had worked a lifetime to build her résumé, and she'd earned the right to be the CEO. Kyle complained that Ashley had used him to get what she'd wanted, and when it had been time to give him what he'd wanted, Ashley had acted like she'd owed him nothing. Kyle swore Ashley wouldn't get away with it, and eventually, all her plotting and scheming would catch up to her.
At Jabot, Ashley reprimanded Phyllis for being late for work. Phyllis was reminded that Ashley's name was on the CEO door, and Ashley expected Phyllis to be prompt and to do her job. Ashley entered her office, and she was surprised to see Andrew Linford sitting at her desk with his feet up. Ashley demanded to know how he'd gotten in. Andrew explained that Gloria had stepped away from her desk, and he had walked in. Andrew wanted to discuss their payment plan behind closed doors. He said he'd done a good job for her. Ashley said he'd been very well compensated, and it was time for him to move on.
Andrew said that the cost of living had gone up, and he'd done the math. The money she'd given him wouldn't last the rest of his life, and it had almost run out. He suggested a monthly stipend, and he'd keep his mouth shut. Ashley asked if Andrew was blackmailing her, but Andrew preferred to call it a mutually beneficial business decision. Ashley warned him that when he was broke and on the street again, no one would hire him. She'd weather the storm better than he would, and she advised him to quit while he was ahead. Ashley opened the office door to show Andrew out as Neil arrived. Andrew left.
Neil asked Ashley about Andrew because he felt that Andrew seemed to be hanging around her. Ashley brushed off Neil's concerns and said there had been professional boundaries. She said that Andrew had wanted to continue his consulting job with her after it had ended, and she'd refused. She said that she would handle Andrew.
In the elevator, Phyllis opened an envelope, and it contained the same cryptic note that Victoria and Nikki had received. Phyllis looked worried.
Summer paid Nick a visit at Dark Horse. She asked how things were and said that Sharon had struck again. She said she was sorry for what had happened, and to prove it, she said Nick didn't need to pay her anymore to stay quiet about him and Phyllis sleeping together. Sarcastically, Nick said she was "so generous," considering the whole world knew. Summer asked not to be blamed because she'd kept her end of the deal.
Nick questioned Summer about how Sharon could have found out, since she and Kyle had been the only people who'd known, and Kyle had had no reason to say anything. Summer asked why she'd say anything, considering the sweet deal she'd had with Nick. Summer said she hated seeing Nick hurt, but perhaps it was for the best that Sharon knew. Nick spat that having his whole world blown apart had been exactly what he'd needed. Summer said that part was painful, but it was obvious that Nick and Phyllis still had unfinished business. Summer asked if he was going to try again with Phyllis, since it was over between him and Sharon.
Nick told Summer he was disappointed because she was more concerned about the extra money rather than how hurt he was. Summer asked if Nick planned to reunite with Phyllis again, but Nick said that Summer's plan to reunite him and Phyllis had backfired. Noah walked in and asked what was going on. Annoyed, Summer told Noah that Nick thought that she'd told Sharon about him and Phyllis. Noah asked Nick to drop it, but Nick said that once Summer admitted the truth, then he'd let it go.
Summer said she was sick of being blamed and told Nick that Mariah had told Sharon. Summer told Noah that in spite of everything that had happened, Nick was still determined to marry Sharon. She asked Noah to convince Nick he'd be better off without Sharon. Summer sarcastically thanked Nick for trusting her and left in a huff.
Noah asked Nick if he still planned to marry Sharon. Nick confirmed that he did. Noah suggested that perhaps Nick and Sharon should remain friends, but Nick countered that he had enough friends. He admitted he'd screwed up because he'd slept with Phyllis, but he was determined that one mistake wouldn't tear him and Sharon apart.
At the police station, Sharon worked on her computer. She glanced at her phone and wistfully looked at a picture of Nick and Christian. Rey approached her and asked how she was doing. Sharon said she was putting one foot ahead of the other. Rey invited Sharon to join him for dinner at his place. Sharon was shocked by the invitation and replied that she wasn't ready to date yet -- if ever. Rey clarified that it wasn't a date. He said that his sister, Lola, would be cooking a Cuban dinner, and when she was in the kitchen, magic happened. Sharon accepted.
A short time later, Phyllis walked into the police station and marched over to Sharon. She told Sharon that "this time," Sharon had gone too far. She slapped the cryptic note on Sharon's desk. Sharon was stunned after she read the message. Sharon led Phyllis to a more private area and asked why Phyllis had taken the note to the police station. Phyllis claimed she wanted to return the note to its source. Sharon said she hadn't sent it, and if she'd wanted to take Phyllis down, she'd have found a more direct way. Phyllis said, "Oh, like pushing me down a flight of stairs?" Sharon accused Phyllis of trying to scare her about J.T.
Rey approached Sharon and Phyllis and asked what the problem was. Phyllis said that Rey might not have heard about Sharon and Nick's wedding and how Sharon had hurled unwarranted accusations at her. Phyllis said it had been a lousy night. While Phyllis talked to Rey, Sharon slipped the note into Phyllis' purse. She gave Phyllis her purse, escorted her out, and apologized to Rey.
At Crimson Lights, Summer sent a text message to Billy that read, "What's going on? Why haven't I heard from you? Starting to worry." Her message didn't go through. Upset, she decided to get a coffee. She saw Lola at the coffee counter. Summer approached the counter and introduced herself to Lola. Lola said she'd heard a lot about Summer. Summer claimed she was well known in that area. Lola said she'd heard that.
Summer asked why Lola had been passing out business cards. Lola explained that it was for her food truck. Summer asked if it was true that food trucks were a means for a quick getaway in order to stay a step ahead of the health inspector and the people with food poisoning. Lola said she'd never dealt with that, but her truck was useful for running down annoying customers.
Undaunted, Summer said that she admired what Lola did -- working in a hot, sweaty truck with no air conditioning and no makeup. She said that obviously Lola had no problem going after what she wanted. Tessa stepped in and barked at Summer to back off. Lola told Summer to say what was on her mind. Summer said she'd seen Lola with Kyle the previous day. She warned Lola that Kyle was very smart, and he could spot a gold digger a mile away: Summer walked off. Lola grabbed a coffee urn, but Tessa stopped her from throwing it at Summer. Tessa told Lola to stand in line because there was quite a line-up of people who wanted to do that.
A short time later, Tessa joined Summer on the patio and mocked Summer's attempt at making friends. At that moment, Kyle arrived and asked what was going on. Tessa said not much other than a crash between his past and his future. Summer told Kyle she'd met his adorable girlfriend. Kyle asked if she was jealous, but Summer denied it and said she'd also found someone new. She explained that her guy had been going through a rough patch and that she'd been the only one who'd stood by him and remained loyal.
Kyle asked Summer if he knew the guy. Summer said he should, since Kyle had screwed him over and shut him out of his job. Kyle realized she was talking about Billy, and he didn't believe she'd been seeing him. Summer said she'd seen a whole lot of Billy. She said that Billy had spent the night with her, and she'd had the best sex ever. She said that she'd see him after he left rehab. Kyle asked if Phyllis knew. Summer said everyone would know once Billy was out of rehab. Kyle told Summer to keep telling herself that, and he walked out.
Sharon arrived at Rey's, and Rey introduced her to his sister, Lola. After the meal, Sharon complimented Lola and offered to help clean up. Rey claimed that was his job. He carried ice cream and whipped cream to the sofa. Sharon asked about Rey's family. He told Sharon that their father had bailed on them before Lola had been born. Sharon said that her father had left when she'd been quite young. Rey teased Lola about setting the kitchen on fire the first time she'd made dinner for the family. Lola said it had only been a pan that had been on fire. Sharon was shocked when Lola sprayed whipped cream over Rey's shirt. Suddenly, all three were in a whipped cream fight.
Nick and Noah arrived at Crimson Lights. Nick asked Noah to stay longer in Genoa City, but Noah said he had business to attend to in London. When Nick saw Tessa, he wanted to give Noah a moment alone with her. He told Noah that he needed to call Faith, and he left.
Noah approached Tessa and said that he hadn't realized that "barista" was on her list of skills, and he was aware that she worked at Dark Horse, as well. Tessa told Noah that she'd never meant to hurt him. She wanted to know if there was anything she could do to fix things between them. Noah asked her to be good to Mariah. Nick returned and said that he'd wanted to see Sharon. Tessa reluctantly advised him that Sharon was at Rey's. Noah tried to stop Nick from going to her, but Nick said he only wanted to talk to her.
Nick arrived at Rey's, and Sharon wanted to know what he was doing there. Nick said he'd left messages for her. Sharon said she'd received them. Nick asked if what she was doing was more important than them. Sharon countered by asking if Phyllis had been. Nick acknowledged that Sharon needed space, but he said that Sharon owed him a couple of minutes to talk. Sharon advised him that she didn't owe him anything. Nick asked if that was the way she wanted things. Sharon said it was. Nick walked away.
Sharon shut the door and apologized to Rey and Lola. Rey said that an apology wasn't necessary. He smiled and said that they'd had a great time. Sharon agreed, and it had been exactly what she'd needed. Sharon thanked him and Lola and left. Lola told Rey that Sharon was nice. She reminded Rey that although Sharon was single, he was still married.
At the Athletic Club, Andrew saw Kyle at the bar. He approached the bar, ordered a drink, and introduced himself to Kyle. He told Kyle that he'd done consulting work for Jabot. However, his contract had ended, and Ashley hadn't agreed to continue doing business with him. Kyle wished him luck, and he was about to leave when Andrew told him that Ashley had made a bad decision. He said that he had some confidential information that could be damaging to Ashley and Jabot. Andrew said that he knew Kyle cared about the company, and he asked Kyle to speak to Ashley on his behalf. Andrew's phone chimed at that moment, and he stepped away to take the call. Kyle looked troubled and left.
After Andrew had ended his call, Phyllis arrived. Phyllis recognized Andrew, and they were delighted to meet up again. It had been approximately twenty years since they'd originally met in New York City. Andrew told Phyllis that he'd moved to Genoa City the previous year and that he ran the DNA lab in town, but he had other irons in the fire. Phyllis said she admired a go-getter. She told Andrew that she was in the fashion business and loved it. She wanted to give him a business card so they could stay in touch, but she didn't have any with her. Andrew gave her one of his. He said they should meet and catch up, and he left.
Alone at the bar, Phyllis reread the cryptic note. She was about to leave when Nick arrived. Nick asked if Phyllis had heard from Billy. Phyllis said that Billy was probably still really angry with her. Phyllis asked if Nick had seen Sharon, and he said he'd just left from seeing her having dinner at Rey's. Phyllis said that it had only been two days, but Nick said that that probably wasn't a good argument for him. Phyllis asked if Sharon had sent Nick a message. Nick said that Sharon couldn't have been any clearer if she'd been skywriting.
Sharon returned to Crimson Lights and hugged Noah farewell because he was returning to London. Noah said that he'd tried to stop Nick from going to Rey's, but Sharon said it was all right. They hugged again, and Noah left. Sharon picked up her mail and opened an envelope that contained the same cryptic note that Phyllis had received. She dropped the envelope and the note. She was visibly shaken.
At the Abbott house, Kyle told Jack about his encounter with Andrew. Jack said that he sounded like a disgruntled employee. Kyle said that Andrew had confidential information about Ashley that could hurt her. Jack asked what Kyle planned to do. Kyle said he'd find out what information Andrew had about Ashley.
Kyle closes in on Ashley's secret
At Crimson Lights, Tessa asked if Sharon had watched GC Buzz, and she praised Mariah's performance. Sharon was grateful to Tessa for trying to take her mind off her disaster of a wedding, and Tessa wished she could find a way to help Sharon after Sharon had been so generous with her. Sharon insisted that Tessa already had, since she'd never seen Mariah happier. Sharon commended Tessa's efforts at the coffeehouse, and she requested that Tessa cover for her when Phyllis got there.
Tessa offered to make sure Phyllis never returned to the coffeehouse again. Sharon appreciated the protection, but she explained that she and Phyllis had commitments that required them to put up with one another a little while longer. Phyllis arrived, and Sharon led her to the patio. Phyllis recognized that she was a she-devil in Sharon's eyes, even though she hadn't stolen and didn't want Nick. Sharon ordered her to stop talking and showed her a copy of the threatening letter.
Phyllis ordered Sharon to put the letter away, and Sharon pushed Phyllis to accept that she hadn't sent the letter to Phyllis. Phyllis urged Sharon to forgive her and focus, since someone was enjoying sending the notes to them, but there had been no word from Victoria and Nikki. Sharon figured that someone wanted them to be terrified, but Phyllis asserted that it wasn't working on her. Sharon stressed that someone knew. "Now what?" Sharon asked.
At the Athletic Club, Victoria complained that she was sick of having her guard up. She guessed that the person who had sent the letters was upset with Nick, and Nikki imagined that it could be someone who was trying to find out what they knew and who had no information themselves. "Who are we kidding?" Victoria groaned.
Nikki and Victoria joined Sharon and Phyllis, and Nikki loudly declared that she was glad everyone had time to talk about their charity event. Tessa scurried away to get drinks, and the women bickered over who got to speak first. Nikki pulled out the ominous note, and they compared the dates that they'd each received the same message. Nikki noted that only one thing connected the four of them, so there was one reason they'd all gotten the same letter -- someone was onto them.
Victoria wondered if Rey had had anything to do with it, and Phyllis assumed that Sharon had let something slip when she'd let her new "pal" move in. Victoria theorized that Rey was trying to rattle them to see if one of them panicked. Tessa returned with some drinks, but the foursome brusquely declined her offer to deliver snacks. After Tessa flitted off, Phyllis griped that their likely suspect was a trained detective who wanted to put them all in jail. Victoria contemplated who else would want them on edge like that, and Sharon named Victor.
Nikki doubted that Victor had sent letters to torment them, but Victoria acknowledged that he'd done bizarre things to gain control in the past. Phyllis wondered if Nikki had trusted him with their secret, but Nikki swore that she hadn't told him and that she wouldn't because they'd made an agreement. Phyllis theorized that Victor wanted to protect Victoria and Nikki, but their notes had been smokescreens until he hung Phyllis and Sharon out to dry. Victoria asserted that Phyllis had spent months partying and gambling with Billy, and she implied that Phyllis had said something to him during their nights of revelry.
Phyllis doubted that Billy had sent the letters from rehab, and she suspected that it had been someone with a grudge. Sharon recounted Rey's words that criminals always made mistakes and that the smallest clue could give the whole thing away. Phyllis groused that Rey had worked all of them by doing them favors and worming his way into their conversations, and Nikki imagined that Sharon and Rey had become too close and would probably get closer. Sharon admonished Nikki for hurling insults at her when Nick had been the one who'd cheated.
Victoria ordered them to stop sniping because there was too much at stake. She pointed out that the threat was real, and she guessed that the sender had arranged for the letters to arrive at different times to make them careless and paranoid. She suggested that they proceed with caution and be ready for the next move. "Something is coming," she mused.
Cane visited Lily at the prison, and they embraced. He informed her that the kids sent their love, and she asked him to give them hugs for her. Cane said the twins would have been there if they could, but they knew Lily preferred that they not miss school. Cane rambled about waiting for Lily to binge-watch their shows and looking for restaurants to take her to when she got out. Lily remained silent, and Cane observed that she didn't seem very happy to see him. Lily snapped that the kids weren't there, so she hadn't thought she'd have to act upbeat and cheerful, like it was an extreme adventure.
Cane empathized that it wasn't an adventure for Lily, but she ranted that he didn't know what it was like for her. She recalled that she'd cried herself to sleep at night at first, but she hadn't been quiet enough, and it had drawn attention. He worriedly asked if she was okay, and she scoffed at the idea that he'd be able to do anything about it when there was nothing he could do or say. She resolved to deal with it, but she couldn't put on a fake smile.
Cane swore that he wasn't asking Lily to pretend for him, and he changed the topic to how Sam was walking and pulling himself up on furniture. He mentioned that Mattie was still fighting for her, but Lily thought Mattie should stop, since Lily had pleaded guilty and turned herself in. Lily suggested that Mattie focus on other people who didn't have the money to afford a lawyer, and Cane pledged to focus on getting Lily home. Lily surmised that it was too hard for him to think about her life in prison, but she urged him to accept it the way she had.
Lily told Cane about a single mother with no support who'd been convicted of check fraud because she'd been trying to feed her kids. Lily lamented that the woman's kids had ended up in the system and hadn't even been kept together. Cane offered to have Mattie research some charities, and Lily replied that giving money was great, but it was too easy to forget about the real people with real problems who needed help. Lily believed she could do more, since being there had given her a new perspective, and she could make a real difference to women who hadn't been as lucky as she had.
Cane worried that people sometimes had ulterior motives, and he asked how well Lily knew the woman. Lily quipped that she wasn't having the woman move into Mattie's room, but she just wanted to help the inmate figure out the system and keep her kids together. Cane protested that they already had enough going on with their own family, and Lily quietly replied, "Because of me." Cane swore that he hadn't meant for it to sound like that, but he just missed her. He expected to be booted out soon, and he presented her with a photo. Lily stood up and started to walk away, but Cane crossed the room and said he didn't want to leave her like that.
Cane apologized, and he explained that thinking about Lily in her cell drove him crazy because he felt helpless. Lily said she missed him, and every night, she thought about being in their bed together and imagined the sounds of their house. Lily whimpered that she loved her family, and Cane replied that they loved her. Lily added that it was what got her through each day, but she wasn't the same person anymore. Cane promised that he would always love her, no matter what.
At the Athletic Club bar, Esther greeted Cane with a hug and asked how things had been. She apologized for the loaded question, and he replied that he didn't know where to start or if she had the time. She mentioned that she was meeting friends for lunch, but she was there early to grab a drink beforehand. She assured him that he didn't have to go into detail, but she guaranteed that she was a better listener than his glass of scotch. Cane confided that he was worried about Lily, who had been putting on a brave face for the kids, but she'd dropped the façade that day.
Cane bemoaned that it broke his heart to see Lily in prison. Esther insisted that both Lily and Cane were strong and could get through anything, just like they'd been there to raise one another up when life had thrown roadblocks in front of them before. Esther said it had been a long time since she'd seen the kids, and Cane showed her photos of the twins and Sam on his phone. He offered to swing by the house with the baby. Esther received a text message and prepared to meet her friends. Cane thanked her.
At the Abbott mansion, Kyle dreaded facing another humiliating day at Jabot. Jack appealed to him to dial down the frustration and refrain from making it tough for Ashley because the company needed consistency. Kyle argued that he couldn't ignore what Andrew had told him, but Jack chalked it up to the gripes of a disgruntled employee. Kyle called Ashley a schemer who was more than capable of playing dirty or paying someone to do it for her. Ashley entered and wondered what they were talking about.
Kyle fibbed that his dad had wanted to chat about Dina before work, and Jack pointed out that Dina was sensitive to disruption and that the mood of the house affected her. Kyle planned to spend extra time with his grandmother, noting that John would have wanted them to look out for one another at work and at home. Ashley agreed, and she headed out. Jack reiterated that there was no proof that Ashley had crossed any lines, and Kyle huffed that he already would have called a board meeting if she had. Jack pleaded with Kyle to help Ashley succeed for all their sakes.
At Jabot, Kyle informed Ashley that their Black Friday gift bags were ready and that their ads had been approved for the major magazines. Ashley found it interesting that he was acting like a model employee after his ranting and raving the day before. He conceded that he wasn't a fan of being on the losing side, but he had sucked it up and was there to do his job as well as he could, since they all had a responsibility to Jabot. Ashley didn't trust him entirely, but she gave him the benefit of the doubt. She proposed that they use the boutiques to promote subscription deliveries of sample products, but he suggested that they start with a subscription service to incentivize customers to go to the boutiques for full-size products. Ashley instructed him to look into it further, but she warned that she was watching him.
Later, Kyle knocked on Ashley's office door and crept inside after he didn't get a response. He rifled through some paperwork on her desk, and Ashley returned. Kyle claimed that he'd been leaving a note with a file on his research on the subscription tie-ins, but he had to run some other figures before they'd know more. She admired that he'd taken the lead and run with it. He figured that it was time to make up for the ground he'd lost, especially if he impressed her in the process. He exited.
Jack was surprised to see Kyle at the Athletic Club during business hours, and he asked if his son had been playing nice at work. Kyle reported that Ashley had been pleased with his efforts, but he'd also managed to do some digging into the monthly payments made to Type A Consulting for the services of Andrew Lenford. Kyle divulged that the payment address was just a post office box, and he believed Type A was a shell company. He continued that the checks had been going out regularly for six months until they'd suddenly stopped.
Jack reasoned that the payments could have been for actual consulting work, but Kyle questioned why Ashley would contract with an unknown company with no known place of business for unspecified services. Kyle wanted to confront Ashley with the evidence and see what happened, but Jack expected Ashley to fire Kyle if he started making accusations. Kyle was certain that Ashley was hiding something, and Jack insisted on handling it his own way.
Jack stopped by Jabot under the pretense of wanting to meet Ashley's new assistant. Ashley guessed that he was really there to check that the building was still standing, and Jack swore that he supported her. Jack nonchalantly inquired about the checks that had been regularly sent to Type A Consulting, and Ashley maintained that they were an outside research and development company. Jack asked what they'd been working on as Kyle listened outside the door.
Ashley thought Jack should be more concerned with matters at Dark Horse, but Jack cautioned against any appearance of impropriety. Ashley asserted that she had it covered, but Kyle entered and declared that Type A was a shell company that hadn't done anything for Jabot. Ashley lectured that it was against policy to gain access to confidential files, so Kyle was in breach of his contract. Kyle taunted that she'd been more than willing to access Billy's files, and he demanded to know who Andrew Lenford was and why she'd paid him off with company funds.
Ashley claimed that Type A had been cleaning up one of Billy's messes, but Kyle countered that Andrew had never mentioned Billy's name. Kyle relayed that Andrew had told him that Ashley and Andrew had had a deal, but she had shut down the project, and Andrew had insinuated that he had damaging information that could destroy Jabot if the deal wasn't kept in place. Jack recalled that Billy had mentioned Type A weeks earlier, and he didn't want rumor and speculation to cloud Ashley's first week in charge. Jack wondered if she was being blackmailed, and he offered to help.
Ashley refused to answer to either Jack or Kyle. Kyle suggested that he have a conversation with the board, but Ashley anticipated that he'd only make himself look petty and disloyal, since he'd voted against her becoming CEO. She reiterated that she'd simply hired Andrew to work on confidential projects, but Kyle questioned how crucial the work had been if Ashley had cut Andrew loose. Ashley contended that it was her prerogative not to share the details, but Kyle chided her for not giving them a straight answer. Ashley bellowed that Kyle had stabbed his own father in the back by colluding with Victor to inflict damage on their family, and she speculated that perhaps Kyle was still working with Victor.
Ashley suggested that Kyle had taken the video of Dina confessing that John hadn't fathered Jack and passed it on to Victor. Kyle ordered her not to turn it around on him, but Ashley accused him of playing games to ruin her reputation. She demanded to know if Jack had put him up to it, but Jack swore that they weren't trying to harm her. He repeated his offer to help if she was compromised. She told him that she didn't need saving, and she dared Kyle to resign from his job and Jack to step down from the board if they couldn't support her. She tossed both men out of her office, and she headed out shortly thereafter.
In the corridor, Kyle observed that Ashley had been more on edge than he'd ever seen her. Jack sensed that it was all about the blood Abbott clause, since it had made her an outsider, and she still felt that way. Jack regretted that he'd contributed to the situation, but Kyle remained convinced that Ashley was being just as shady as Billy. Kyle believed that she was throwing her power around to make sure they didn't check into whatever was going on with Andrew, and he wondered how much harm it could cause Jabot. Jack didn't know how to stop her.
Ashley covertly met Andrew in a car. He assumed that she knew all about his chat with Kyle, and he reminded her that they would sink or float together. Ashley hissed that it would be the last time he'd ever threaten her. Andrew argued that Ashley had made the unilateral decision for him to no longer work for her, and there was no loyalty where there was no money. Ashley warned that the worst case was that he would go to prison, and the best was that he'd never work in his field again.
Andrew threatened to take Ashley down with him, but she said she hadn't broken the law. He reminded her that she'd broken her family's trust, and he imagined what would happen if the Abbott clan found out what she'd been up to. Ashley barked that they wouldn't believe a word out of his mouth, since they thought they were protecting her from an extortionist. Ashley revealed that she'd recorded all her meetings with Andrew, so she could control the narrative. She offered to give him one last payment before they went their separate ways. She asked whether he wanted to take his chances or part as friendly colleagues who wished one another well.
Ashley reveals the identity of Jack's father
At the Abbott mansion, Jack informed Traci about the six months of payments to Andrew at Type A Consulting. Jack explained that Ashley had claimed it was for secret stuff to undo Billy's damage, but he thought it seemed suspicious. Traci argued that Ashley had been in charge of research and development, but Jack countered that the firm had no lab and no location, and Ashley had only dug her heels in more when he'd pressed to find out where their lab was.
Traci thought it sounded like accusations based on speculation, and she asserted that their sister would never do anything unethical. Jack worried that Ashley might be in trouble and wouldn't turn to him for help. Traci urged Jack to accept that Ashley was CEO, and she warned that she would fight him every step of the way if he tried to stir up trouble.
At Jabot, Phyllis received another letter in the mail and abruptly headed out.
At Crimson Lights, a blindfolded Kyle taste-tested some of Lola's dishes. He asked if he could have his eyes back, and Lola promised that the last one was really good. He said he was ready, and she planted a passionate kiss on him. He declared that they had a winner, and she removed the blindfold. He expected her to wow the festival organizer, and she exclaimed that the exposure would be huge if she got into the event. Kyle envisioned her food being bigger than Wisconsin cheese, and he was sure that she wouldn't miss.
Abby spotted Kyle and Lola flirting, and Lola headed out. Abby demanded to know what Kyle was doing with her boyfriend's little sister, since Arturo was very proud but very protective of Lola. Kyle marveled that Lola had wanted a food truck, so she'd made it happen because it was how her brain worked. Abby argued that Lola wasn't his type, since Lola wasn't flighty, fluffy, or pretentious. Abby contended that Lola got up early and worked hard every day and that she wasn't the kind of girl who got bottle service at every club in town.
Abby bet that Kyle had never dated a girl who knew how to drive a truck, and she considered Lola to be honest and direct with no B.S. Kyle figured that Abby meant Lola was unlike him, and Abby reminded him of the things that he'd pulled over the past year to get ahead. Kyle reasoned that it had only been business, but Abby refused to let him mess with Lola's head. He asserted that maybe he liked that Lola wasn't flighty and fluffy, and he thought it was awesome that she drove a truck.
Kyle realized that he'd never dated anyone like Lola before, and he didn't think he loved anything the way she loved cooking and feeding people. Kyle added that Lola knew that she was good at what she did, but she was confident rather than cocky, and she called him on his "crap" in a way that didn't make him feel stupid. Abby guessed that it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if Lola gave him a shot. Jack greeted Abby and Kyle, and Abby headed out.
Kyle inquired whether Traci had known anything about the mess with Type A, and Jack reported that she was convinced that there was an explanation. Kyle reasoned that Ashley had to have done something wrong if someone was blackmailing her. Jack theorized that maybe it had nothing to do with Jabot at all, but Kyle reminded him that Ashley had taken company funds, just like Billy. Kyle wanted to go to the board, but Jack argued that the CEO was at liberty to keep things from them. Kyle agreed, but he pointed out that the payments had started before Ashley had been in charge, and they deserved answers. Jack cautioned that they couldn't make it look like they were going after Ashley.
At the counter, Phyllis joined Victoria, who groaned that she cringed every time she saw Phyllis' name on her phone. Phyllis inquired whether Victoria had received another note, and Victoria replied that she hadn't, but she assumed that Phyllis had. They retreated to a table, and Phyllis showed her the letter, which said it would cost her if she didn't want anyone to find out. It further mentioned that the first digit was two. They contemplated whether it meant money or something else. Rey approached and asked what was so fascinating.
Phyllis testily asked if Rey sneaked up on people a lot to get involved in their business, and he replied that it was the definition of a detective. He swore that he'd just been saying hello, and Victoria snapped that she could tell him what they hadn't been doing -- reading an article about how he'd solved J.T.'s case. Victoria observed that Rey seemed to have a lot of time on his hands, and she questioned whether he was actually conducting an investigation. He couldn't discuss the case, and Victoria translated that to mean he hadn't made any progress.
Rey found it interesting that Phyllis would show up there, given that Sharon owned the place. Phyllis scoffed at the idea that he knew them well enough to comment, and he asserted that he and Sharon were coworkers who looked out for one another. Victoria barked that he seemed more interested in their personal lives than in doing his job, and Rey walked away. Phyllis was impressed by Victoria's assertiveness, and Victoria advised her to pull it together around Rey because Victoria had a history with J.T., whereas Phyllis had no excuse to flip out on a cop. Phyllis pointed out that it had been the second time Rey had popped up when they'd been reading the mysterious notes. Victoria chalked it up to coincidence, but Phyllis suspected that the sender wanted to see their reaction.
Phyllis imagined Rey arranging a drop-off with the cops in the bushes, waiting to tackle them. Victoria was pretty sure that blackmailers no longer used cash in suitcases, and Phyllis guessed that Rey was hoping to keep them rattled so that they'd turn on one another. Kyle approached them and notified Phyllis of a last-minute board meeting at Jabot. He hoped that she'd be there, especially since she wasn't a fan of the new CEO. Phyllis groused that she had other priorities, but Kyle urged her to trust him. She agreed to try to be there.
After Kyle left, Phyllis speculated that Rey might want money, since he was a detective living above a coffeehouse. Victoria doubted that he would jeopardize his career, but Phyllis thought he stood to gain more by squeezing money out of them than by solving the case. Phyllis pointed out that they knew little about him, and the fact that his brother was Abby's boyfriend and Nikki's former boy toy was hardly a ringing endorsement. Victoria argued that none of it meant he'd sent the letters, but Phyllis cautioned that they had to be on guard 24/7.
In her office, Victoria performed an online search for Rey Rosales but found nothing. A staff member delivered her mail, and she discovered another letter. It was identical to Phyllis', except that it disclosed that the third digit was zero.
Arturo playfully sneaked up on Abby at Dark Horse, and they kissed. He wanted to start planning their next date, and she suggested a double date with Lola and her new guy. Arturo was surprised to hear that his sister was dating someone, and Abby announced that it was her cousin Kyle. Arturo remembered Kyle as the guy who'd dropped his pants on television, and Abby recalled that she'd once ridden naked on a horse for the press.
Arturo worried that Kyle seemed like a player, and Abby conceded that she hadn't met any of Kyle's recent dates. Arturo surmised that Kyle hadn't taken them seriously, but Abby insisted that her cousin was a good guy. Arturo sensed that there was something she wasn't saying, and Abby admitted that some of Kyle's ethics were questionable, but not in his romantic life. Jack burst in and told Abby that a Jabot board meeting had been called, and their votes could be critical.
Later, Lola returned to Crimson Lights and could barely contain her excitement as she ended a phone call. Arturo entered the coffeehouse, and she enthused that she'd gotten into the harvest festival. She envisioned everyone falling in love with her food, and she would be swamped with catering gigs and might need to open a second truck. Arturo congratulated her, and he sourly imagined that she'd celebrate with Kyle. He asked why she'd never mentioned her new beau, and she countered that Arturo hadn't told her about the older woman he'd been seeing and that she hadn't met Abby for months.
Lola recounted that she'd told Arturo about a Jabot customer who was a fan, but Arturo said he'd thought she'd meant of her cooking, not her. He swore that he was just looking out for her, since he'd heard nothing but terrible things about Kyle, but Lola described Kyle as respectful and polite. Rey joined them, and Lola refused to let her brothers lecture her about her dating life. Arturo prompted Rey to run a background check on Kyle, and Rey looked Kyle up in the police database and learned that he'd been arrested for interfering with a burial ground.
Lola defended that the charges had been dropped, and Arturo dryly imagined that Kyle had simply found a coffin when he'd been planting a garden. Rey surmised that Kyle's parents had paid to cover it up, and Lola argued that it meant Rey's police buddies could be paid off. Lola was appalled that condemning Kyle was the one thing her brothers could agree on when they didn't even know him, and she chided Arturo for calling Kyle out on being an Abbott when Arturo was dating one. She admonished them for considering themselves to be strong, manly men who could make their own decisions, while she was just a girl who had to check in with them first. She flatly told them that they could kiss that dream goodbye.
Lola bemoaned that the day was a huge win for her and her truck, but her brothers had to grind her mood into the dirt. Arturo invited the gravedigger home for dinner, and Rey volunteered the use of his place. Lola assumed that she'd be doing the cooking while Rey and Arturo put Kyle on trial. She proclaimed that if and when she wanted them to meet Kyle, she would make it happen.
At the Athletic Club, Ashley informed Lauren that it would cost Jabot financially to kill the boutiques, and she grumbled that it was another thing to thank Billy for. Ashley insisted that Fenmore's had always been vital to Jabot's brick-and-mortar strategy, and Lauren was confident that she'd cast the right vote for CEO. Ashley anticipated that Jack and Kyle wouldn't let her run the company in peace, since they'd already been undermining her and questioning her judgment. Ashley declared her intent to take Fenmore's to new heights by boosting the budgets of all the stores, and Lauren voiced surprise because money was tight. Lauren felt that Ashley was trying to bribe her in some way.
Ashley insisted that her relationship with Lauren was important to her, since they were two women leading family-owned business that they'd inherited from their beloved fathers. Ashley frowned upon the way Jack had treated Fenmore's, and she pledged to stand behind the department store chain. Lauren still sensed that Ashley was pitching her something, but Ashley wrote it off as Lauren not being accustomed to getting the respect she deserved. Traci approached and requested a moment with Ashley, and Lauren hugged Ashley goodbye before departing. Traci proclaimed that she was very worried about their father's company.
Ashley complained that Jack and Kyle were trying to throw her off her game, but she vowed that it wouldn't happen because she had gotten rid of the blood Abbott clause and would take Jabot where it needed to be. Traci was concerned that things had happened so quickly, and she pleaded with Ashley to talk about it if she was in trouble. Ashley thought Jack was just resentful of her because he'd never wanted her to be CEO, and she griped that there was an issue of entitlement for both him and Kyle. Ashley compared it to how Victoria had undermined her at Newman, and she lamented that it angered and hurt her that Jack begrudged her.
Ashley reasoned that she had the education, the work ethic, and the last name, but nothing was ever good enough for Jack. Ashley added that she'd thought Traci had her back, but Jack interrupted. Ashley testily questioned how it was possible for him to get any work done at Dark Horse, but he informed the women that there was a board meeting scheduled that morning. They protested that they hadn't known about it, and he dared them to decline, since there would be a quorum of members without them. Ashley hoped he was prepared to walk away when she shot down his rumors and accusations, since she was done humoring him. "This company is mine," Ashley hissed, and she stormed off with Traci close behind.
At Jabot, Kyle noted that Phyllis was absent but that she was aware of the meeting. Jack was glad to see family and friends there, and Ashley taunted that it would limit his embarrassment when it blew up in his face. Jack demanded that Jabot stay financially transparent in the wake of Billy's embezzlement, and Kyle revealed that the books showed that the company had paid a lot of money for research work that Ashley had authorized. Kyle continued that the consulting firm was just a post office box and a guy who had implied that he had sensitive information that would be damaging to Ashley and Jabot.
Ashley headed to the door, and Kyle reminded her that she answered to the board. She opened the door and invited Dr. Andrew Lenford inside, and she announced that it was time that everyone found out the truth. Ashley asked what Kyle knew about the scientific process that went into cosmetic development, and she imagined that he was more experienced with disrobing to promote products. Kyle snapped that he'd read Jabot's lab reports for years, but she huffed that he was basing his experience on reports that had been simplified to layman's terms for non-chemists. She asked Andrew to tell everyone what he'd been working on.
Andrew launched into a highly technical description of how he'd been studying anti-cancer properties to develop the ultimate anti-aging product. Ashley added that it would take time, money, and secrecy to ensure that no one beat them to the finish line. Traci and Lauren were impressed, but Jack said it didn't explain the shell company. Kyle asked where the lab was, and Ashley chuckled at the idea of jumping on a bus to take a field trip to see where Andrew worked. Kyle questioned why Andrew had threatened him, and Ashley explained that Andrew had been upset because Billy had cut their funding.
Ashley stressed that they were finding drama where there was none, and she offered to explain the research in more detail as long as everyone kept it quiet. Ashley crowed that she didn't expect an apology, and she started to adjourn the meeting. Phyllis walked in and asked what Andrew was doing at Jabot, and she divulged that they'd worked together years earlier at a DNA lab. Ashley tried to wrap up the meeting, but Phyllis inquired whether Andrew was still running the DNA department at Memorial. Ashley claimed that he also worked on other projects, but Abby wondered why Ashley had hired a DNA expert to help with cosmetics.
Ashley described Andrew as a trained scientist whose expertise spanned different fields. Kyle asked what other cosmetics companies Andrew had worked for. As a member of the board at Memorial, Jack was thrown by the thought of Andrew moonlighting when he should be focused on hospital work. Ashley opined that it wasn't a crime to work on the side when one had a day job, but Jack objected to the secrecy. Ashley ranted that Jack kept asking questions and raising the bar when he got the answers, and she believed it was really about who was sitting behind the CEO desk.
Jack accused Ashley of making up a new truth every time the old one didn't work. He demanded a straight answer from Andrew other than chemistry technobabble, and he insisted on seeing the formulation and analysis of the project to support why Ashley had authorized payments to a DNA expert on the sly. Ashley ordered Jack to move on, and she declared the meeting adjourned. Jack protested, and Ashley threatened to call security. Jack demanded to know how much Ashley had paid Andrew, and he offered to pay ten times as much if Andrew spilled why she'd hired him.
Jack pulled out his checkbook and told Andrew to name a figure, and he'd put a zero on it for any information about the research. Ashley scolded that Jack was embarrassing himself, but Jack maintained that it had nothing to do with face cream. "Enough!" Ashley bellowed, and she told Jack that she'd tell him what he wanted to know for free. She confessed that she'd hired Andrew to handle Jack's paternity results, and the great news was that Jack could stop looking for his biological father. "You've been John Abbott's son all along," Ashley proclaimed.