Monday, May 22, 2017

DAYS #117: Theresa has a visitor, Eric and Nicole prepare for their wedding

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EPISODE 117
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson

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Billie steps off the elevator at University Hospital. Standing at the nurses' station is Daniel. Billie and Daniel smile at each other as they give each other a peck on the lips as a greeting.

DANIEL: Well, you're out and about awfully early.

Billie chuckles to herself, checking her watch as she responds.

BILLIE: More like up really late...we had a hell of a night at work and...(sigh) I just needed to see some friendly faces.

Daniel looks up from his tablet, where he's finalizing some work, and gives Billie a stern look.

DANIEL: Well, I hope one of those faces isn't Theresa Donovan.

Billie furrows her brow at Daniel, frustrated.

BILLIE: Of course she is.

Daniel sighs, glowering at Billie's bullheadedness.

DANIEL: Billie--
BILLIE: ...Well, what do you expect me to do, Daniel? That girl was like a daughter to me before I had Chelsea in my life. I'm closer to her than her own mother. I have a right to see her, regardless of what her mother says.
DANIEL: You and I know that but I still don't think it's a risk you should be taking. Remember? If I let you in that hospital room, I'm putting my career on the line, and yours as well.

Billie looks to the side, biting her lip, trying to hold in her frustration at Daniel.

BILLIE: Five minutes.
DANIEL: Billie--

Billie gets agitated, leaning in close to Daniel so as not to project her voice and potentially have others hear their conversation.

BILLIE: Daniel, come on. Just...five minutes, you stay closeby, check in and I'll head home. Okay?

Daniel hesitates another moment, Billie persists.

BILLIE: The guard's on his break, no one will know I'm there. Come on.

Daniel sighs, before taking a moment and motioning silently toward the door.

Billie turns and makes a beeline for Theresa's hospital room door, she looks back at Daniel and smiles warmly at her boyfriend before winking at him, then stepping into the room, closing the door behind her. Daniel looks on, gravely concerned for the consequences if she's caught.

---

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Sami stands in the DiMera living, still in her robe. It's early in the morning with the sun just peaking out. She paces the living room, studying work documents on her tablet, as she sips her morning coffee.

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Down the steps comes EJ, groggy, but noticing the lights on in the living room. He steps into the room, surprised to see Sami up so early.

EJ: Samantha...what are you doing up at this hour?

Sami turns to look at EJ, she sets her coffee and tablet down on the desk in front of her.

SAMI: Oh, I...I couldn't sleep so I...I figured I could at least get some work done.

EJ steps into the room and walks over toward Sami, he hesitates before putting a hand on Sami's shoulder, unsure of her reaction. Sami doesn't pull away, though the uncertainty is still on her face.

EJ: I...umm...if there's anything I can do to help.

Sami looks up at EJ, and smiles.

SAMI: Nah it's...it's okay. I gotta present this contract to Gabi at some point today and then...help Will with some wedding plans, and...
EJ: Contract?

Sami turns back to the desk to pick up her tablet, she taps it a couple times before presenting it to EJ.

SAMI: Oh yeah...it seems Nick Fallon's trying to pit Kate and I against each other for his golden girl. So Kate, Gabi, and I are gonna play along and get the drop on Nick. And hopefully he'll keep his mouth shut on what happened by the river that night.

EJ looks down at the tablet, before looking up at Sami, a grave concern on his face.

---

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Nicole stands in front of the mirror, beaming from ear to ear as she looks at herself in her wedding dress.

NICOLE: Well...take two, Nicole. Hopefully this time, it goes off without a hitch and you'll become Mrs. Eric Brady.

Nicole looks herself over, before her face drops, the worry hitting her like a ton of bricks.

NICOLE: Just so long as Nick Fallon doesn't pull anything first. (sigh) Nothing can go wrong today. I won't let it.

---

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Aiden sits in his office, taking a sip of his first coffee of the morning. He sets it down on his desk, then getting to signing a document on his desk, when a knock is heard at the door. He looks up, calling out to the person at the other side.

AIDEN: Come in!

A delivery man steps into the room.

AIDEN: Oh! Great. Yes. Ahhh....here it is.

Aiden picks up a large manila envelope and hands it to the delivery man.

AIDEN: And that's going to Mr. Eric Brady at the Salem Inn. That's Room 226.
DELIVERY MAN: Need a signature on that?
AIDEN: I will, yes. And uh...please make sure, no earlier than 6pm this evening.

Aiden and the Delivery man nod to each other, acknowledging their arrangement, as the man steps out of Aiden's office. As the door closes, Aiden looks on, sighing.

AIDEN: Alright, Nick. I hope you know what you're getting yourself into.

---

OPEN

---

EJ's concerned face confuses Sami, she furrows her brow as she steps over to the desk in the DiMera living room, grabbing her cup of coffee to take a sip.

SAMI: Why do you look like something terrible's just happened.

EJ looks away, suddenly deep in thought.

EJ: Because something terrible may be just about to happen.

Sami suddenly looks concerned.

SAMI: What do you mean, EJ?

EJ turns to face Sami, a sense of urgency in his voice.

EJ: I can't get into it, but you need to be VERY careful how you proceed around Nick Fallon from now on. You, Gabi, and Kate.

EJ turns to head out of the room, leaving Sami stunned and confused.

SAMI: EJ? What...where are you going?
EJ: I have to take care of something.

Sami stands dumfounded as EJ runs off up the stairs.

---

Nicole continues to insepct herself in the mirror, when she hears a knock on the door. She turns around quickly, confused as to who would be there.

NICOLE: Now who would that be at this hour?

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Nicole opens the door to find Eric standing on the other side, dressed in his tuxedo and ready to go, taking Nicole by surprise.

ERIC: Morning!

Nicole jumps back behind the door to hide her wedding dress.

NICOLE: Aah! Eric! What are you doing here?? It's bad luck to see me in my wedding dress before the ceremony!

Eric chuckles to himself as he leans against the doorframe.

ERIC: You're really gonna play traditional right now? This is probably the least conventional wedding I've ever seen.
NICOLE: Yeah, well...I have my reasons for being a little bit superstitious. This doesn't exactly have the highest marital success rate, if you hadn't noticed.
ERIC: Yeah, well...I figure we can be an exception.

Eric smiles widely and melts Nicole's defenses. She cracks a smile and chuckles to herself before looking into her fiancé's eyes.

NICOLE: (sigh) Okay. Let me grab my coat, and let's go!

Nicole steps away from the door, and grabs her coat, putting it on and grabbing her purse before opening the door to her suite. She steps out to find Eric stood with his elbow stuck out to one side, inviting Nicole to wrap her arm around his.

ERIC: M'lady.

Nicole takes Eric's arm and looks warmly in his eyes as they head for the elevator.

---

Aiden continues to work at his desk, when he receives a call. Without looking up from his papers, he picks up the phone on his desk.

AIDEN: (into phone) Aiden Jennings.

...

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Nick stands in the Brady pub, a to-go cup of coffee before him as he shakes the sugar packets in his other hand.

NICK: (into phone) Aiden, it's Nick Fallon. Is it sent?

...

AIDEN: (into phone) It is, as requested.

...

NICK: (into phone) Excellent. I'll be contacting you probably tonight with what I need next from you, alright?

...

AIDEN: (into phone) Hey, as long as you keep paying my fee, I'm all yours, Fallon.

...

Nick stirs his coffee casually as he looks up, smirking once again.

NICK: (into phone) Oh, trust me, that won't be a problem.

Nick hangs up the phone, chuckling smugly to himself.

---

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Billie sits next to Theresa's comatose body in her hospital room. She holds Theresa's hand as she speaks gently to her.

BILLIE: Hey, Sweetie. I've been meaning to come see you more but...well...you know your mom.

Billie laughs half-heartedly to herself as she looks down at her friend. She sighs, trying to hold her emotions in.

BILLIE: I guess I should let you know what's up. I...uh...well, Daniel and I are getting pretty serious now. I know he's...not exactly your favourite person, but...he's been good to me. Hell, he's the one making sure I can still come to see you, so that's gotta count for something, right?

Billie stops a moment, never taking her eyes off Theresa's face, as she holds Theresa's hand in hers.

BILLIE: We miss you, Theresa. I know you've got a long way to go and...you may...no, I'm not gonna think like that...I'm not giving up. You're gonna make it all the way back to us, you hear me?

As Billie squeezes Theresa's hand, she feels Theresa squeeze gently back, her thumb moving, causing Billie to jump after a moment, as the heart monitor makes note of Theresa's slight increase in heart rate.

BILLIE: Theresa??

Billie jumps up, and heads for the door of the room to find Daniel to let him know that Theresa's starting to wake up. She stops for a second at the door, a big smile appearing on her face, as she carefully steps back out into the hallway to look for Daniel.

After a moment, the door to Theresa's room, creaks open. A woman in a pair of black pumps steps into the room. She carefully closes the door behind her.
In her hand is a filled syringe.

---

Thursday, May 18, 2017

DAYS #116: Alex & Noelle take the long way home, Nick reveals the truth to Percy

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EPISODE 116
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson

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Percy finishes apply bandages from the First Aid kit in the Titan lab to Nick, as Nick sits on the island counter of the lab, he winces slightly as his tender wounds are touched.

PERCY: There you are, that should cover it.
NICK: Ugh, thanks, Percy.

Nick looks over his wounds before jumping down off the counter, walking over toward his laptop, as Percy puts the contents of the First-Aid kit back together.

PERCY: You know, you gave me quite a scare, Nicholas.
NICK: Yeah, I...I dunno, Percy. These headaches I've been getting--

Percy turns around, surprised to hear about headaches.

PERCY: Headaches? Nicholas, you've been...rather hazy for weeks...are these headaches connected?

Nick looks down at the table, closing his laptop and putting it into his case, he speaks nonchalantly to Percy.

NICK: (sigh) Yeah. Just didn't want to alarm you...or anyone else. People seeing me in pain is seen as a showing of weakness in the business world. Always best to struggle through your pain.
PERCY: You're far beyond struggling through, Nicholas. You're in great pain, Nicholas. I mean, you've been moody and irritable for weeks. And now I find you...sprawled out on the floor of the lab. Is someone trying to harm you, Nicholas or...is something else going on?

Nick keeps looking down, a serious look on his face as he packs the last of his things away.

---

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JJ sits in the Horton living room, alone, contemplating the cheque that Liam's given him, when Laura opens the front door and steps in.

JJ turns around, and, upon seeing his grandmother, gets up from the sofa. Laura beams as she walks toward her grandson, giving him a warm hug.

LAURA: JJ, darling. How are you?
JJ: I'm good. I'm good. Uh...how are you?

Pulling out of their hug, Laura smiles warmly at her grandson.

LAURA: I'm alright, sweetheart. A bit tired, though, I'm going to head up to bed if you--

As Laura turns to head up the stairs to her room, JJ stops her, a serious tone in his voice that catches Laura's attention.

JJ: Ah, Grandma! Please. I need to talk to you about something, it's really important.

Laura looks at JJ, concerned by JJ's tone and troubled expression. She nods slowly before redirecting toward the Horton living room.

LAURA: Okay...so...what seems to be the trouble, JJ?

JJ stops before Laura. He sighs as he looks down at Liam's cheque, before unfolding it, and presenting it to her. Laura hesitates before taking the cheque, studying it intensely before breathing in deeply. A look of grave concern on her face as she slowly begins to look up toward JJ.

---

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Noelle sits with Nicole at Club TBD, now rather sloshed, as they continue to laugh and drink. As they continue to laugh at a joke, the door to the bar opens, and Alex steps in. Noelle takes notice of her husband's presence and straightens herself up, donning a serious expression that makes Nicole take notice.

Nicole turns around to face Alex, unsure who it is approaching.

NICOLE: Well, who is this handsome devil?

Alex, smelling the martini on Nicole's breath, makes sure not to get to close, instead rests casually on the bar next to her, trying to maintain a sense of humour despite being rather unimpressed by his wife's public drunkedness.

ALEX: Ohh nobody, just the tired husband here to collect his wife.

Noelle leans against the bar, sloppily pointing a finger Alex's way.

NOELLE: You got my text. But I am not some meat piece you pick up. I am a woman.
NICOLE: That she is. A woman who's clearly been drank under the table by an experienced professional.

Nicole takes on a mocking haughty tone as she sips the last of her martini. Noelle shakes her head at Nicole, her eyes squinted partly in irritation, partly in exhaustion.

NOELLE: I don't have to take this. But I do have to take this ride because taxis are eps...expensive.

As Noelle stumbles to get out of her seat, she nearly tumbles, but Alex manages to break her fall.

ALEX: I think you're right.

Noelle, still not paying enough attention to try to regain her balance, objects loudly.

NOELLE: Hey! Don't take her side on this!
ALEX: I'm not, honey. I promise. Look, we need to go. I hope you two had a good evening.

Alex pulls Noelle back upright, and she struggles to keep balance as she holds onto Alex's arm for dear life, attempting to no avail to maintain a sense of dignity on her way out. Nicole waves goodnight to them, quite amused.

NICOLE: Oh, absolutely, had a blast, get home safe, you two!
NOELLE: Goodnight, Nikki!

Noelle turns back to talk to Alex as they head out of the bar.

NOELLE: You know, that Nicole is so much nicer when you're not near a man, it's like day and night...

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As Noelle and Alex head out the door, Nicole sighs, shaking her head with amusement. T walks over and points toward Nicole.

T: You wanna settle up?
NICOLE: Are you kidding? The other fake blonde's the lightweight here. Hit me up!

T laughs as he steps away to make Nicole another martini. In curiosity, Nicole checks her phone. Seeing Nick's name in her contacts, she looks down and sighs.

After a moment, she shakes her head, and says something to herself.


NICOLE: You know what, Nick? You're not controlling me anymore.

Nicole hits a button on her phone, blocking calls from him Nick's number. She looks up with a sense of satisfaction.

NICOLE: Because tomorrow morning, I will be Mrs. Eric Brady, and even if Eric sees those files, I'm gonna know he chose me. You can't hurt us anymore, kiddo.

As she turns back to the bar, putting her phone down on it, T presents her new martini, which Nicole takes a congratulatory sip of.

---



---

Alex drives through the night with a stern expression on his face. Next to him, a decidedly uncomfortable Noelle sits, uneasy with the tense silence between them. She finally breaks the silence, trying to maintain her composure despite her obvious intoxication.

NOELLE: How was your eveni--
ALEX: It was good.

Noelle senses the terse tone in her husband's voice, and immediately knows something is indeed very wrong between them.

NOELLE: Look, Alex, I don't wanna fight abo--
ALEX: Then don't, okay, Noelle? I'm really not in the mood right now.

Noelle sighs, before folding her arms and slouching down in her seat. As the pair hit a red light, Noelle looks back over at her husband and tries talking again.

NOELLE: I had a really good talk with Nicole tonight. That was...Eric's...fiancé...back at TBD...

Alex's stone silence as he presses down heavily on the gas from the stoplight makes Noelle lean back slightly in her seat, only adding to her discomfort as she looks out at the road ahead.

NOELLE: She helped me relax a bit...and I'm sorry about earlier at the hospital...

Alex still doesn't react. Noelle persists, trying to provoke some kind of response from Alex.

NOELLE: Alex? Did you hear me? I said I was sorry about earli--

Alex finally reacts, still keeping his eyes on the road as he snaps back at Noelle.

ALEX: I heard you.

Alex finally looks over momentarily at Noelle. Catching her eyes, his eyes snap back to hers, causing him to relent a little.

ALEX: Look, I just....Noelle, I heard you but...

Noelle leans back in her seat, trying to retain her composure, gurgling out a response.

NOELLE: But what?
ALEX: But I don't know if I believe you or not. You....you had such anger toward Victor, it just...I don't kn...I...Noelle?

Noelle puts her hand over Alex's, as she begins to sweat.

NOELLE: Alex pull over.

Alex looks over, confused.

ALEX: Huh?

Noelle begins to look panicked, as she raises her voice to Alex.

NOELLE: Pull over.
ALEX: Noelle, I'm not gonna let you walk home from here, it's still about three miles from the ho--
NOELLE: Now! Please!

Noelle puts her hand over her mouth, sweating more and more profusely as Alex realizes what's wrong. His expression changes and he immediately checks behind him before pulling over by a park. Noelle immediately gets out and runs from the car, sick from the excess martini.

Alex sits in the car, rolling his eyes momentarily before stepping out of the car to check on his wife and hold her hair back like a dutiful husband.

---

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Jennifer and Liam sit at a table at Chez Rouge, as the waiter pours them glasses of white wine. As the waiter, walks away, Jennifer looks up and smiles.

JENNIFER: Thank you.

Jennifer looks over to Liam, raising her glass to toast him.

JENNIFER: Well, I would like to make a toast to you, tonight.
LIAM: To me?
JENNIFER: Yes! To you!

Liam and Jennifer laugh as Liam also raises his glass.

LIAM: What for?
JENNIFER: For reaching out to my son. For trying to build bridges even though you've had problems in the past. It means a lot to me, and I know that, despite his reservations, JJ appreciates it too.

Liam smiles as he moves his glass toward Jenn's and they toast.

After taking a sip from their glasses, Liam sets his glass down and smiles at Jenn.

LIAM:  I just hope that I can keep making you happy, and you know what? I'm gonna make sure JJ comes around, even if it kills me.

Jennifer laughs as she leans across the table to peck Liam on the lips.

---

Laura stands in the living room of the Horton house with JJ. She turns suddenly to face JJ, horrified by Liam's latest 'gesture'.

LAURA: JJ, you cannot accept this money.
JJ: I know. I don't want to but--
LAURA: No buts. JJ, this is dirty money.

JJ looks at Laura, puzzled.

JJ: Grandma, Liam offered me this to go to Stanford. He said this would cover my tuition and my living expenses for awhile, and--

Laura holds up her hands, stopping JJ midsentence.

LAURA: JJ, Liam works for Stefano, he's been supplying people with pharmaceuticals on the sly, this is dangerous to get involved with him. Besides that, isn't it obvious he's trying to buy you off and get you out of town so he can manipulate your mother further?

JJ looks down, sighing. He nods solemnly.

JJ: Yeah, it looked that way to me too.

Laura walks closer to JJ and cups his hands in hers. She stares deeply into her grandson's eyes as she instructs him.

LAURA: That's why you cannot accept this money. Your mother needs you. Your sister needs you. I need you. We've got to stay together to protect this family.

JJ looks down, soaking in what his grandmother's telling him.

LAURA: Please, JJ.
JJ: Look, Grandma, I understand what you're saying. And I agree, my family needs me...but what if there's another way? What if this money is our ticket to stopping this guy from destroying this family?

Laura looks at JJ, unsure what he has in his mind.

---

Nick zips up his bag and nods, turning toward Percy to respond to him.

NICK: Listen, Percy. I don't know what's going to happen from here on out. All I know is, I have a target on my back. And so will you.

Percy looks at Nick, confused.

PERCY: Nicholas, I don't understand--
NICK: Listen, Percy. Tonight I stopped Sheryl and Jordan from planting that virus in the Titan server.

Percy looks stunned at Nick, shocked that he would back away from their plan.

PERCY: Wha--why? I mean, that was our plan all along was to allow them access to Titan's computer system to stop this blasted deal--
NICK: I know...I know, that was what we planned, but...
PERCY: But Nich--
NICK: Percy, just...just hear me out.

Nick looks at Percy, emphatically explaining his change of plan, as Percy looks back, incredulous.

NICK: See...Sheryl was setting me up to take the fall for the virus...and if we were going to see this thing through...I can't let that happen. I can't go back to prison. Ever. So, I decided the best way to stop the oil sands project, is to control it from the inside.

Percy's eyes grow wide, as he realizes the change in Nick emerging.

PERCY: Good lord, Nicholas. You're not saying...

Nick smiles, as he interrupts Percy. A devilish smile on his face.

NICK: Yes, Percy. We're not gonna take down Titan. We're gonna take OVER Titan.

---

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

DAYS #115: Percy finds Nick, and Jerome and Sheryl discuss their next move

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EPISODE 115
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson

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Sheryl runs frantically around her room at the Salem Inn, packing up the last of her toiletries, as her cell phone goes off.

Picking it up, she checks and sees that a message has appeared from Jerome.

Lakeview Motel, 1937 Highway 50. Booked under Sally Francis, meet u there

Sheryl takes a moment to read the text before putting the phone in her jacket pocket, and zipping up her suitcase, being sure she hasn't left anything behind.

SHERYL: Thank you, Jerome. Saving lives yet again.

Sheryl grabs her suitcase and runs out of the room, struggling with her bag. As she drops the bag to pull the handle out so she can roll the suitcase out, her ID falls out onto the floor. Sheryl, not noticing, carries on, closing the hotel room door behind her as she makes her escape.

---

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Jerome, quickly walking down the stairs to his family home, is encountered by his grandmother, Valerie, who is just arriving home from the hospital. She looks surprised as she greets him.

VALERIE: Hey, Jerome!...Baby, where you going?
JEROME: Have to take care of something at Salem U.

Jerome quickly kisses his grandmother on the cheek as he grabs his jacket and heads for the door. Valerie turns around, befuddled.

VALERIE: I...he...hey! Weren't we supposed to go for dinner at the Brady Pub tonight?
JEROME: Uh....I don't know how late I'll be, Grandma. Look...why don't I text you when I'm done and we can meet up there, kay?
VALERIE: Okay...sure...Jerome?

Jerome stops, having started to open the door, and very clearly in a hurry.

JEROME: Yeah, Grandma?
VALERIE: Don't be too long. I'd love to spend some time with you, we've both been really busy lately.

Jerome stops, and turns to look at his disappointed grandmother. He smiles sheepishly.

JEROME: You're right. I'm sorry. I'll be there as soon as I can.

Valerie looks on, smiling warmly at Jerome.

VALERIE: I love you.
JEROME: Love you too.

Jerome takes off out the door, leaving a frustrated Valerie behind.

---

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Jordan lies in bed next to Rafe. As they lay together in Rafe's bedroom, Jordan wrapped in Rafe's arms, she looks, at last, content, her new engagement ring shining on her finger.

Jordan begins to dream, recalling Sheryl's ominous threat from earlier:

***

FLASHBACK TO EPISODE 105
 
Jordan stands in Sheryl's office, and looks down, arms still folded in discomfort as she tries to hold herself back. Sheryl looks on, standing behind her desk. Jordan sighs heavily, as she wordlessly listens to Sheryl’s emphatic words.
 
SHERYL: You can pretend like you have this great future with Rafe, Jordan, but we both know that once we launch that virus tonight, the ISA and the Salem PD are going to be onto us, and you and I will have to leave town and take on a new identity. There’s no way out Jordan. Even if you back out now.

***

Jordan's snapped out of her memory by the sound of her phone buzzing.

Trying to pick it up from the bedside table without waking Rafe, she reaches over to the table, and reads the name on the call:

It's Sheryl.

Sighing heavily, she ponders answering the call.

---

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Percy steps into the Titan Lab, excited for the news Nick was to have for him by evening.

PERCY: Greetings! ...Nicholas?

Percy, unsure whether Nick is even in the room, steps delicately into the lab, looking around, confused.

PERCY: Nicholas, I just received your text messages inviting me to come on down here...

Seeing a single desk lamp illuminated by Nick's still-open laptop, Percy slowly makes his way over towards it. Midway there, Percy's shoe crushes some glass from where Nick dropped the test tubes as he fell. The crunching sound startles Percy, as he looks down at the ground.

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Looking down with a furrowed brow, Percy pivots the desk lamp slightly to catch a better light at the ground. Seeing more test tubes broken, Percy hastily walks over to one side of the room and flips on the lights, at which point, he sees Nick collapsed on the ground surrounded by the shattered test tubes.

He looks on stunned.

---



---

Jordan decides the cancel the call to Sheryl, then fumbles to turn her phone off, before laying it down.

Laying the phone back down before snuggling back into a sleeping Rafe, she sighs, thinking to herself.

JORDAN: (in her head) Sorry, Sheryl. You're on your own from now on.

Jordan shuts her eyes, and nods off, comfortable in the arms of her fiancé.

---

Sheryl stands in her new room at the Lakeview Motel, irritated as she pulls the cell phone from her ear after Jordan hung up on her.

SHERYL: Dammit. You stupid...(sigh)

Shortly thereafter, Jerome's car pulls up out front of her room. Not wanting to draw attention to herself, Sheryl walks over to the door, and quickly waves Jerome inside.
Once inside, Sheryl quickly closes and locks the door.

JEROME: Glad you made it.
SHERYL: Yeah, well, I had a hell of a time finding the place. The maps app needs to do a bit of updating with all the construction around that stupid oil field.

Sheryl paces the room, keeping an eye out the window for any unwelcome visitors.

JEROME: Well, if things go according to plan--

Sheryl snaps at Jerome, turning abruptly around to respond to Jerome.

SHERYL: Oh things are definitely not going to plan now.
JEROME: What do you mean?
SHERYL: I mean we're caught. They bugged my laptop, and they blew up my laptop before I could plant the virus.

Jerome looks on, very worried. He sighs, looking down away from Sheryl as he tries to help her figure out what to do next.

JEROME: Damn...okay, so...you got a good idea who planted it there?
SHERYL: Fairly certain it was Billie Reed. She's uh...Lucas' sister.
JEROME: Okay...and you can't think of anyone else who might be a suspect? Like that Nick dude who you were planning to set up as the fall guy for this?

Sheryl looks down, eventually shaking her head.

SHERYL: Nah...I mean (sigh) honestly, I don't know. She could be in cahoots with him but...Nick's a bit of a lone wolf. I checked him out pretty thoroughly and he only ever was working alone. From what I've gathered, he's alienated too many people in town to really have any allies at this rate.

JEROME: But you haven't spoken to him at all since before the virus was supposed to be planted.
SHERYL: No, I haven't. I wouldn't bother keeping him too closeby anyway. The little twerp wouldn't know if he was on foot or horseback.

Sheryl flashes a smirk at Jerome momentarily, before looking down more pensively. She continues her thought.

SHERYL: Besides, I honestly thought he was genuinely on our side with this. That's what made this whole set up so easy. Nick was gonna be working late at the lab, playing innocent, while Jordan, you and I planted the virus, and--

Jerome interrupts Sheryl, raising a point of his own.

JEROME: Speaking of Jordan...what's gonna happen there? I mean...if you're caught, I mean...you and Jordan are so tightly connected...it's only a matter of time before the cops come looking for both of you.

Sheryl laughs dismissively, shaking her head as she paces the room some more.

SHERYL: Try telling Jordan that. No, she's completely fixated on this fairytale life she's constructed in her mind with Rafe Hernandez. She's completely beyond seeing any sense about it.
JEROME: Well, what are you gonna do? She can't stay here, she's a liability.
SHERYL: Oh I know. That's the thing, though. She can't stay and we can't go anywhere without her or we're sunk too.
JEROME: So?

Sheryl stops, and stares out the window, resigned to a fate she didn't anticipate.

SHERYL: We've got to stay here, under the radar until we're able to get Jordan out of here...whether she likes it or not.

Jerome looks on, gravely concerned for Sheryl and Jordan's safety.

---

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Julie, Maggie, Alex, and Will walk out of the archway leading into the new Penthouse Grille. They all are talking amongst themselves, still congratulatory over Julie being named manager by Maggie.

JULIE: Oh, thank you again, Maggie. You know, I know that it's gonna mean long hours and it'll probably put a bit of a crimp in my travel time with Doug, but...you know, honestly, I think it's about time we spent a bit more time here in Salem with the family.
MAGGIE: I agree.
WILL: Completely.

The group laughs, as Julie turns to press the button for the elevator.

MAGGIE: Well, listen, we're going to finalize details this week, and then everything should be ready for the grand opening in a couple weeks. How's that sound?
JULIE: Wonderful. Thanks again, Maggie. For everything.

Julie takes Maggie's hands and holds them in hers. They look warmly at each other, before Maggie pulls Julie into a hug.

MAGGIE: Anything for family.
JULIE: Absolutely. And speaking of family, you keep me posted about how Victor's doing. I want him to make a speedy recovery.
MAGGIE: I will.

The elevator doors open, and Julie steps on, the rest of the group looking on.

JULIE: Good night.
ALEX: Night, Julie.

As the doors shut, Maggie turns to Alex and Will and smiles.

MAGGIE: Now...if you'll excuse me, boys. I still have menu items I'm going to have to finalize ingredient sources for. I'll be in my office.
ALEX: Alright, we'll see you later.
WILL: Thanks, Aunt Maggie.

Maggie hugs both Will and then Alex, before walking back into the still-under-construction restaurant, headed for her office, leaving Will and Alex alone.

Will turns away awkwardly, trying to avoid a private moment with Alex. Alex, meanwhile, turns toward Will, and, noticing Will's avoidance, calls out to him.

ALEX: Hey! Where you going?

Will plays it cool, and checks his watch as he talks.

WILL: Well, I gotta get home. I have a fiancé waiting, and I was supposed to be home about oh....two hours ago?
ALEX: Ahh...yeah. Sonny. Listen, I...I hope you two are in a better place than you were the night of the party at Uncle Vic's, I--

Will holds his hand up to stop Alex midsentence.

WILL: Sonny and I are fine. We worked things out, just like always.

Alex smiles, somewhat half-heartedly, as Will pushes the down button on the elevator himself.

ALEX: I'm glad to hear it.
WILL: And how's...Noelle, is it?

Alex tries to look at Will but the tension in the air between them makes it awkward. Alex shuffles a bit, looking away a lot as he tries to avoid answering Will's question.

ALEX: Yeah! She's...uh...well...she's fine. We had a...bit of an argument but...
WILL: Oh...I'm sorry to hear.

As the elevator door opens, Will smiles at Alex before stepping on. Will turns to face Alex, and smiles at him.

WILL: You coming?

Alex doesn't react for a moment, still deep in his own thoughts, before responding to Will by motioning his refusal.

ALEX: No! No, no. I uh...I gotta take care of some stuff at the office. You go ahead. I'll see you tomorrow.
WILL: Kay. Have a good night.
ALEX: Night, Will.

Will smiles as the elevator door closes. Once the door shuts, Will's face immediately drops in relief. He rests himself against the back wall of the elevator, and lets out a heavy sigh.

WILL: Well, Will? You did it. You made it through another day without cracking. (sigh) How much longer can you keep doing it, though?

On the other side of the elevator door, Alex turns back around, unsure of how he feels. He pulls out his cell phone, to text Noelle, initially, before seeing Will's name at the top of his "recent texts" list.

Nearly clicking Will's name instead, he finally taps on Noelle's name, and texts her:

omw home. u awake?

Alex sighs as looks down at his phone, trying to process the evening's events.

---

Percy kneels over a still-passed out Nick, shaking him to try to revive him.

PERCY: Nicholas! Wake up! Are you okay???

Nick struggles to revive himself, grunting as he starts to come to. Percy seems relieved when he does.

NICK: Ugh...uhhhh Percy...
PERCY: Yes, Nicholas, what can I do?
NICK: Per...Percy grab my pills, they're in my bag. I need two. My head.

Nick's world spins around him, the pain still pulsating in his head. The pressure unbearable.

Percy leaps into action, grabbing Nick's bag and rummaging through it. Pulling out the pills, Nick begins to lift himself up. Percy struggles to find an in-tact glass to give Nick water, but eventually does, as Nick rests on the ground, head still woozy.

NICK: The...pills...
PERCY: They're on their way, Nicholas.

Nick nods slowly, trying to catch his breath, as he lifts one hand up and studies it. Realizing his hands are bloodied, he looks at them, an exaggerated surprise in his eyes.

NICK: What happ--agh!

A sharp pain hits Nick, as Percy tries to feed Nick his pills. Nick hastily swallows the pills and grabs the water, spilling much of it on himself as he drinks up.

PERCY: Excellent, excellent. There we go, Nicholas. Now...how do you feel?
NICK: (gasping) like Hell. But....(pant) I'll be okay. Percy!

Percy, getting up from Nick's side, looks back and kneels back down.

PERCY: Nicholas...who did this to you?

Nick looks at Percy, confused for a moment, before smiling through his pain.

NICK: This? What? Heh heh heh oh this???

Nick holds his hands up to show the bloodied mess to Percy, as well as realizing he has a rather sizeable cut above his eyebrow.

NICK: Oh, that was...nothing.
PERCY: Well, it seems to me like someone's out to hurt you, and it wouldn't surprise me, under the circumstances.
NICK: No, no, Percy....you need to listen to me carefully...(gasp) You can't tell ANYONE, no cops, nobody here at Titan...no one at the TV station...nobody...can know about this...or anything we've been doing here, okay? If anyone asks, you say nothing, and you can't tell anyone anything if something happens to me, okay? You can't....you can't trust ANYONE, got it?

Percy looks at Nick, even more terrified. He nods quickly back at Nick.

PERCY: Absolutely, Nicholas.
NICK: I know...I know I look bad right now, but....you don't understand, now that things have gone down? You have to stay absolutely silent, no matter what. Or there'll be a target on all of our backs. Got it?

Percy draws himself up, petrified, and believing Nick's current state is the result of someone attacking him. He begins to shake a bit in terror at the situation at hand, his eyes never off Nick's intense gaze.

---

Monday, April 24, 2017

DAYS #114: Maggie makes Julie a gracious offer, Nick's blackmail spree continues (07/24/14)

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EPISODE 114
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson


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Maggie, Julie, Alex, and Will step into the main hall of what will soon be the re-opened Penthouse Grille. The building is still very much a work-in-progress, with scaffoldings all around the room, and half-completed painting on the walls. Still, the group is impressed by what will soon come.

MAGGIE: So I just want to thank everyone for coming down here. I know it was last minute and I apologize for changing the venue so suddenly, but I'm glad you could all make it down here.
WILL: It's no trouble at all.
MAGGIE: I'm pleased. Because I couldn't wait to show you all.

Maggie holds out her arms, beaming with excitement as she turns around like a game show model to show off the new restaurant.

MAGGIE: This is the new space.

Julie looks around the room, smiling excitedly alongside Maggie.

JULIE: Maggie, this is going to be incredible! Oh, you must be so excited.
ALEX: She's not the only one. We have an elaborate marketing campaign planned for this space to go along with a modern, upscale decor, and plush furnishings. This place is going to be THE hotspot of Salem.

Will looks to Alex, giving a playful grin to him.

WILL: You'd better be careful, your brother might get jealous and fight back.

The group share a laugh, before Alex responds in kind.

ALEX: Well, it's all in the family. I think there's enough of a market in Salem for both spaces to operate successfully.
MAGGIE: Well, I agree. And I think Sonny's plan, from what he told me earlier, was that he planned to use the TBD space going forward more as a lounge and less as a dinner space, so I'm absolutely sure we can find the right balance.
JULIE: Absolutely. Besides, with how unbelievably grand this place is, this could be a premier spot for events.

Maggie smiles and turns to face Julie, almost bursting with excitement.

MAGGIE: Well, I'm glad you're so enthusiastic about it, Julie, because I had something I wanted to ask you.

Julie stands dumbstruck. Unsure what to expect, she turns to face Maggie.

JULIE: Me? What is it, Maggie?
MAGGIE: Well...I know you have a whole lot of enthusiasm and decades of experience in running clubs like this...would you do me the honour of running the Penthouse Grille?
Julie looks at Maggie, suprised and beginning to smile.

---

TylerHouston_zps56211b85.png NickFallon_zps5ckac7xi.png
Tyler stands in the Titan Lab with Nick. Tyler is incensed by Nick's demands of him, and responds angrily.

TYLER: You have absolutely no grounds to make demands of me, young man.

Nick turns to face him, nonchalantly. He looks directly into Tyler's eyes as he smriks, cooly responding to Tyler's rage.

NICK: I would watch that tone you take with me. You remember the fact I had access to the security system and was able to not only track down but also prevent this virus from going through? What makes you think I don't have access to anything else around here?

Tyler draws himself up, uncomfortable with the direction Nick's going with this.

NICK: You see, I know an awful lot about a lot of people in this building. Including you...your brother...and where your connections in "business" really are. Don't test me, Tyler.

Tyler's face goes ghost white as Nick slowly hints at his familial connections, sighing heavily as he realizes what's at stake.

---

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Noelle and Nicole sit at the bar at Club TBD. The soft, intimate lighting creates a relaxed mood for the two, as the tensions between them lower with each drink. As Nicole sets her martini down, Noelle lifting hers to her lips to take a sip.

NICOLE: So for the record: Victor Kiriakis is a safe topic with me. There is no love lost between him and I.

Noelle turns, intrigued.

NOELLE: Oh really? Why, what did Old Man Vic do to you?
NICOLE: Ohhh...I could tell you but...we'd need a few weeks before I finish. Let's just say it took me a few years, a murder attempt, some blackmail, and a court case...yeah...he's...taken me to the cleaners a few times.

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Nicole quickly finishes her martini, trying to wash down the memories of Victor, before holding up her finger to catch T's attention.

NICOLE: T! Another martini?
T: Sure thing, Miss Walker.
NICOLE: Thanks, darlin'.

Nicole turns again to face Noelle, with a raised eyebrow and a cheeky grin.

NICOLE: What did that sour old malaka do to you?

Noelle chortles at Nicole's crack, before turning back in Nicole's direction, putting her martini down on the bar.

NOELLE: Well..for one, he killed my father.

Nicole looks on, stunned by the grave news.

---



---

Julie stands, amazed as Maggie smiles back at her.

JULIE: Me? You...You want me to run this...this beautiful place?
MAGGIE: I couldn't think of anyone better suited to it. You and Doug have been masters in this field for a very, very long time. Heck, you even teach ME a thing or two now and then.

Everyone laughs as Maggie reaches into her bag and pulls out the keys to the restaurant. She holds them out for Julie to take.

JULIE: Maggie, I don't know what to say!
MAGGIE: Say yes! (laughs) It would be my honour to have you be my right hand.

Julie takes a moment, before taking the keys from Maggie. They immediately reach for each other and give each other a warm hug, laughing and beaming as Alex and Will applaud their new family venture.

---

JJDeveraux_zps146e2e09.png LiamFrasier_zpsdi8khqec.png JenniferHorton_zps8547fd2c.png
JJ holds the cheque Liam's given him in his hands as he sits on the sofa in the Horton living room. He looks over at a smiling Liam, who sits nearby in an easy chair, with Jenn sitting along the back of the chair, beaming at her son.

JJ: I...I honestly don't know what to say, Liam.
LIAM: Don't say anything right now. Think about it. I know we...we really haven't seen eye-to-eye so far but...I just figured this could be a step in the right direction.

JJ looks up at Liam, seriously. He then looks up at his smiling mom, and nods.

JJ: Alright. Give me some time. But...I just want you to know...I really appreciate this.

JJ gets up from the sofa, as Liam does as well, and Jennifer walks toward the two of them, resting her arms on Liam's broad shoulder.

LIAM: It's my pleasure, JJ.

The two men shake hands as Liam turns toward Jennifer.

LIAM: I think....it's time we took ourselves out for the evening. JJ, let me know what you decide.
JJ: Will do. Have a good time, you guys.

Jennifer pulls JJ into a tight hug.

JENNIFER: Thank you, Sweetie. I'll see you later.
JJ: Bye, Mom.

As Jenn follows Liam out of the room, JJ turns back away from the two of them, his face dropping with worry as he holds the cheque in his hands. He shakes his head, increasingly unsure of Liam and his motives.

---

Nicole looks at Noelle, shocked by what she's just heard, as she uncomfortably stirs her martini, trying to find a response.

NICOLE: So...uh...wait, your...your dad...
NOELLE: Neil Curtis.
NICOLE: Neil Curtis...how did he get involved with Victor?

Noelle casually takes a sip of her martini before responding to Nicole.

NOELLE: Oh, I don't think we have time for all that--
NICOLE: Oh come on, you can't drop a bomb like that and just tell me you don't wanna talk about it--

Noelle interrupts Nicole's complaining, leaning back and sighing, rolling her eyes in defeat.

NOELLE: OKAY, okay, fine. If you really wanna know, my dad had a gambling problem, and...ugh...it's complicated, my mother-in-law...Anjelica...she was with my dad at the time, and...

Nicole's eyes dart back and forth as Noelle explains, trying to keep track of the complicated connections in her head.

NOELLE: I dunno, Victor wanted Anjelica for himself, so he manipulated dad into going back into gambling and then...started loan sharking him and...well...that's when things started going downhill. Dad had to close Blondie's, I dunno if you remember driving past that place when you were young.
NICOLE: Must've been before my time.

Noelle shrugs, and stirs her martini, still a bit wistful as she recalls her early childhood.

NOELLE: Well...by then I was living with my mom in LA anyway, so...I wasn't around for any of that, really. I just know that when my dad finally moved to LA to be near us...he was...he wasn't well. He was...weary. Worn down. He never told us anything about what happened with Victor after he lost Blondie's but...you could tell it hurt him a lot. Mom and I really helped him feel....normal again, I guess, but...he put himself head first into his work. Mom and I never knew why he was obsessed with working and money and...he just...never seemed to have enough on the go, never let a penny slip.

Noelle looked up at Nicole, deadly serious. Nicole looks back, engrossed in Noelle's confessional story.

NICOLE: Victor still had Neil by the balls?
NOELLE: Oh yeah. You could definitely say that. Victor may have mellowed with the mafia stuff...
NICOLE: ...But he can still hold a grudge better than anyone.

Noelle nods before looking down, holding her martini glass between her hands.

NOELLE: Exactly. And my dad had a heart attack...about two years ago. And only when he died did we find out...he barely had any estate left. He had bled every account, every...trust...down to nothing...just so Mom and I didn't feel deprived or like...he was a burden on us. It was all a show, Nicole. Victor had never stopped feeding his addiction...but it was always there, and to the day he died, he was on the hook to that man. It was sick.

Nicole reaches a hand out to Noelle, squeezing it gently.

NICOLE: I'm so sorry.

Noelle, fighting back tears, smiles half-heartedly, never looking up from the table.

NOELLE: Thanks...so...yeah...
NICOLE: You know....I know this is rich coming from me but...do you think, maybe it's healthier to just....let go of that anger? I mean...you've got a good life, a wonderful husband who loves you--

Noelle guffaws at Nicole's mention of Alex, interrupting her.

NOELLE: Yeah. He loves me so much he just chastised me like a three year-old for saying mean things to his almighty Uncle Vic's lifeless body.

Noelle rolls her eyes as she takes a sip from her drink. She then stops...shakes her head slowly in response, still looking down at her hand, clasped in Nicole's.

NOELLE: Nah...Victor Kiriakis...he's got some reparations to repay me...heh...and my mom. I'll never forgive him for what he did to my dad. And I'm gonna make sure he pays.

Noelle looks intensely into Nicole's eyes, while Nicole looks back, taken a bit aback by Noelle's simmering rage.

---

Tyler, incensed by Nick's posturing, steps towards him, pointing angrily at him.

TYLER: You don't know what you're getting yourself involved in, little boy. This goes way deeper than you want to get into.

Nick scoffs, laughing at Tyler's attempts to scare him.

NICK: Oh, hah, I know. Trust me, I looked into it. I mean, I know Houston is a relatively common name and all, but...like...seriously, Tyler, it doesn't take all that much digging to make the connection.
TYLER: I don't know what you're talking about.
NICK: The fact that you've been involved with Victor Kiriakis up to your neck for decades. This whole...EnerNext thing is just the first time we're hearing about it. Victor hired you to run his mob businesses under a separate corporation from Titan to distance himself, and he knew you'd be able to do the job thanks to you and your brother's biker gang ties.

Tyler looks exasperated, not knowing exactly how to shut Nick down, he lets him carry on.

NICK: So you ran it all, keeping Victor at arm's length until it became expedient for Victor to reign you in because he started to run out of money from his legitimate business. Only by then, you'd gone big time. Got all involved in shady middle eastern oil cartels. Shall I bring up Jack Deveraux's kidnapping in Afghanistan while he was doing a story on your shady dealings? I think that'd go over real well at the Titan meeting--

Tyler finally snaps, cutting a smug Nick off.

TYLER: Alright, ENOUGH!

Nick looks at Tyler dead in the eye, a deep intensity between the two men as Tyler moves in extremely close to Nick, a threatening look in his eye. He threatens him in a quiet but firm voice.

TYLER: You get what you want this time from me, Fallon...but you better watch your back from here on in. Those connections you spoke of aren't child's play. You're in with the big boys now.

Tyler steps away from Nick, heading for the door of the lab, Nick stays still, but donning his trademark smirk as he watches Tyler leave.

NICK: See you at the board meeting tomorrow, Tyler.

Tyler looks back momentarily, before stepping out of the room. As Tyler leaves, Nick exhales, as though he'd held in the world's pressure on his shoulders and is suddenly releasing it. The pain in his head becomes immediately visible on his face, as he struggles to maintain his balance.

Nick hears a shrill, high-pitched sound get louder and louder, as he struggles to maintain his balance and clarity.

Nick rests against the counter of the lab, fighting to keep his balance as dizziness overwhelms him. He screams out in pain as he falls over, taking a collection of test tubes down with him. They shatter on the ground as he collapses.

---

Saturday, April 15, 2017

DAYS #113: Sheryl's on the run, Liam has a surprise for JJ (07/23/14)

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EPISODE 113
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson


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Jennifer and Liam laugh and chatter as they walk into the Horton living room, as JJ sits on the couch, snacking and watching TV.

JENNIFER: JJ! Hey, honey.

JJ turns toward Liam and Jennifer, greeting his mom and her boyfriend unenthusiastically.

JJ: Oh. Hey, guys.
JENNIFER: Listen, JJ, honey? Liam and I are just getting ready for a later dinner, so I'm gonna pop quickly in the shower.
JJ: Sure, Mom.

Jennifer turns to Liam for a moment.

JENNIFER: You don't mind if you wait for me a few minutes?
LIAM: Yeah! That's great. I uh...I had something I wanted to talk about with JJ, anyway, so...

Jennifer smiles warmly at Liam as she leans in to give him a quick peck on the lips before heading upstairs.

JENNIFER: Alright. See you in a few minutes.
LIAM: You bet, Jen.

Jennifer runs upstairs, as Liam walks toward the archway between the Horton living room and foyer. JJ tries to avoid engaging with Liam, instead focusing closely on his TV show. He can sense Liam's presence and is made increasingly uncomfortable, before Liam speaks.

LIAM: Hey, JJ.
JJ: Yeah. Hey Liam.

Liam saunters into the Horton living room casually, hands in his pockets as he moves toward the sofa, where JJ is.

LIAM: Look, I...I kinda feel like you and I we...we started off on the wrong foot.
JJ: You could say that.

Liam pauses a moment, looking over JJ's unchanging expression, before carrying on with his attempts to converse with him.

LIAM: I ah...I talked to your mom about you.

JJ continues to avoid Liam's gaze, staring instead straight ahead at the TV set.

JJ: Oh yeah.
LIAM: Yeah...I uh...(sigh) Look...JJ....

Liam steps over to sit beside JJ on the sofa, JJ still trying to avoid engaging, but upon Liam sitting down, JJ looks over, and locks eyes with his mom's mysterious beau.

LIAM: I know I've sorta...given off a very negative impression to you in the last few months and I...I didn't know really what I could do to change your mind.

JJ shrugs dispassionately, trying to turn his attentions back to the TV.

JJ: I dunno. You kinda freaked me out there a couple times but...I don't really have a bad impression of you.

Liam smiles warmly at JJ.

LIAM: That's good.

Liam reaches into his blazer pocket, and pulls out an envelope, handing it to JJ.

LIAM: Because I was hoping that I could change that impression into something really good.

JJ looks down at the envelope, then, confused, up at Liam. Liam meets JJ's eyes and nods, trying to prompt JJ to take the envelope.

---

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Nick sits at his computer in the Countess W lab, he suddenly leans back in his chair, lurching back looking victorious. It shocks a focused Tyler, who looks over at Nick.

NICK: Got it!
TYLER: What? Did you get 'em?
NICK: And dropped them right in your lap.

Tyler walks over towards Nick, staring at his laptop seriously, trying to figure out what's happened.

TYLER: Alright, but what, or should I say, who...did you drop in my lap?

Nick turns to look up at Tyler, smugly satisfied.

NICK: One employee in marketing by the name of Sheryl Connors...except that's not exactly her real name. She's been trying to take down your systems...and your company for months. And tonight, she and her cronies attempted to launch a virus to take your systems out, just like they did this morning with the Salem City Hall servers.

Tyler looks at Nick, stoic and taking in all the information he's being given.

TYLER: But you...stopped them in time?
NICK: There's some damage but nothing that's unrecoverable. So...yes.
TYLER: Did you get enough info on them to make charges stick.

Nick gives his now-trademark smirk, savouring the moment.

NICK: Ohh yeah. And then some.

---

SherylConnors_zpscef7pfhn.png
Sheryl looks down at her smoking laptop, stunned and amazed by the collosal meltdown of her computer. Her shock quickly fades into anger as she realizes what's happened.

SHERYL: I'll kill h...

Sheryl picks up her laptop suddenly, ready to toss it across the room, when she notices a bump just on the lip of the bottom side. Turning the unit around suddenly, as the heat is too much for her hands, she drops the computer back onto her desk, and sees the bug Billie planted on her unit.

She flashes back to the door of the elevator opening and seeing Billie standing there.

Jolted back to reality, she comes to the obvious conclusion.

SHERYL: Billie.

---

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Billie sits at her computer desk at Titan, flanked by her brother Lucas, and her mother, Kate. They all look on in awe as Billie exclaims suddenly.

BILLIE: They beat me.
LUCAS: Who did?
BILLIE: I have no idea...but someone got to them before we did...and now we...well...now we basically have nothing.

Kate's face sours instantly, standing up in frustration and begins pacing the room at her daughter's news.

KATE: DAMMIT. I can't believe that little tramp wins again.
BILLIE: Well...on the bright side, we did stop them from taking the entire company's secrets and flushing them down the drain on their way out.
KATE: That's cold comfort when the whole reason we did all this was to put Jordan Ridgeway and Sheryl Connors behind bars where they belong.

Billie looks up at her mother, a strange look in her eye.

BILLIE: Well...what if there's still a chance they do?

Kate stops, looking skeptically at Billie, as Lucas looks over at Billie, confused.

---



---

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Noelle walks into Club TBD, where she looks around to see the crowd. She spies a seat at the bar, and walks casually over, before speaking to the woman sitting the next seat over.

NOELLE: Excuse me...I seem to have caught this place on a busy night...is this seat taken?

The woman turns around to face Noelle.

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It's Nicole.

She looks at Noelle, sighing as she looks her up and down. She shakes her head.

NICOLE: No. It's free. Have a seat.

As Noelle lifts herself onto the stool, Nicole turns herself slightly toward Noelle.

NICOLE: Look, I'm...I'm sorry I snapped at you the last time we met...

Noelle pauses a moment before realizing Nicole's prompting her for her name.

NOELLE: Noelle--
NICOLE: Noelle! Yes! Sorry. I...look, I feel bad, I...I've had a really bad few weeks at work and...Eric and I...I don't have the best luck with men, and...Eric...he's the love of my life, and we were supposed to get married today.

Noelle looks at Nicole, nodding in understanding.

NOELLE: But the server at City Hall was down. Eric told us earlier.
NICOLE: Yeah...

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Nicole laughs half-heartedly to herself before taking a drink of her martini. During that moment, Noelle quickly prompts to T to give her a martini of her own, as Nicole continues.

NICOLE: I just really want this stress to be over with.
NOELLE: Oh, I get it. More than you'll ever know.

Nicole looks back at Noelle, intrigued.

NICOLE: Oh yeah? You sound like you had a rough evening, yourself.
NOELLE: I did indeed. And I have one Victor Kiriakis to thank for it.

Nicole looks on, suddenly fascinated by their common adversary.

---

JJ stares at the envelope Liam's handed to him, as he sits on the sofa in the Horton living room. After a moment, he reaches for the envelope, as Jennifer emerges from upstairs.

JENNIFER: Liam, what's that?

JJ and Liam turn quickly around to see Jenn walking down the last of the stairs and heading toward the living room, wearing a simple dress and her hair still in a towel. Jennifer has a smile on her face as she approaches her boyfriend and her son.

LIAM: Oh this?

Liam points to the envelope he's just given JJ. He then turns to face JJ and smiles earnestly.

LIAM: This...well...see...when I said your mom and I we...talked about you...see...we talked about your dreams, JJ. How you wanted to go to Stanford, pursue a law degree. Well...that's expensive.

Jennifer looks at Liam, and back at JJ, trying to gauge the other's reaction. A smirk on her face as she wonders what Liam has up his sleeve. Meanwhile, JJ looks stunned by Liam's sudden shift in demeanour and tone towards him.

JJ: Yeah...it is...
LIAM: Your mom, she ah, she told me you'd have to take out student loans for this if you're accepted and that that's...put you off applying...I think...I hope this will make you reconsider.

JJ hesitates a moment before slowly opening the envelope. Inside, a cheque for $50,000. JJ's taken aback.

JJ: Wh...what?? What is this?

Liam points to the cheque and smiles at a confused JJ.

LIAM: Think of it as an investment in a great young mind.

JJ looks stunned, turning to a beaming Jennifer, who begins to tear up looking back at JJ, then back to a beaming Liam.

---

Tyler stands in the Countess W lab, staring seriously at a very self-satisfied Nick.

TYLER: So you're saying that you've got this Connors woman...but what about her cronies?
NICK: The cronies are a bit harder to crack, but...I think if I...work on a bit...I should be able to get them too.

Tyler finally cracks a smile at the end of it all.

TYLER: That's fantastic, then.

Tyler shakes Nick's hand firmly, a proud look on his face, as he turns to head for the door of the lab.

TYLER: Listen, I'll make sure you receive a commendation with the board for this, and I'll have security escort Ms. Connors out right now--

Nick interrupts him, stopping him in his tracks as he emphatically interjects.

NICK: Wait wait wait wait. No, stop. We can't just go in there and throw her out. We're gonna do this my way...and she'll never see it coming.
TYLER: What do you mean?
NICK: If you want what I've got here, you're going to have to agree to my terms, Mr. Houston.

Tyler looks disgusted at Nick, shouting back in protest.

TYLER: I beg your par--
NICK: ...This is NOT a negotiation, Mr. Houston. Let Sheryl go for tonight. She won't be going anywhere just yet. She's got too many loose ends to tie up in Salem first.

---

Sheryl hastily packs up her things from her office, including her computer and hard drive. She gets on her bluetooth and frantically calls Jerome as she grabs her jacket to leave.

...

JeromeGrant_zps3db0050c.png
Jerome stands in the Grant living room, holding the phone up to his ear, concerned.

JEROME:  (into phone) Hey, Sheryl, what happened?

...

Struggling to put her jacket on as she races out, Sheryl speaks to Jerome.

SHERYL: (into phone) Someone caught us, and I'm pretty sure I know who. We need to meet NOW.

...

Jerome's eyes bug out, suddenly in crisis mode.

JEROME: (into phone) Woah woah woah, wait. No no. We are not meeting now, not if they know about you.
 
...
 
SHERYL: (into phone) Well, what else are we gonna do, Jerome?
 
...
 
JEROME: (into phone) Just chill, ok? Get your stuff out your hotel room, check out. I'll get you a room at a motel at the edge of town. We'll meet there. I'ma text you the address, ok?
 
...
 
SHERYL: (into phone) Fine, but make it quick. All hell's about to break loose.
 
Sheryl ends the call, and closes the door to her office, she sighs heavily, checking the hallways to make sure they're empty before heading out. 
 
SHERYL: If it hasn't already.
 
Sheryl makes a beeline for the service stairwell, hoping the trip down eight floors will be faster and make her less liable of being caught.
 
---
 
Kate stands by Billie and Lucas in Billie's office, looking unsure.
 
KATE: What do you mean? Is there a chance we can still nab them?
 
Billie looks down at her computer, thoughtfully. She taps her desk as she thinks, before turning toward Kate.
 
BILLIE: Well...the bug still caught a lot. Enough that we can probably still get charges to stick...and whoever it was that DID stop her from taking the server out...they're probably going to play their hand very soon.
LUCAS: So what are you saying? We just have to wait and see what happens?
 
Billie turns toward Lucas, nodding slowly.
 
BILLIE: Pretty much.
 
Kate and Lucas look at each other, incredulous.
 
---