Monday, January 22, 2018

DAYS #136: Anjelica goads Adrienne at the Town Square, Nick delivers a hard blow to the Titan board (08/25/14)

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EPISODE 136
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco


for details of ongoing storylines, click here.

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Eric and Nicole lay in bed together, truly happy. They smile, breathing heavily as their heart rates descend from a long session of lovemaking. Nicole rolls over, resting against Eric's naked chest, before leaning in for a kiss.


NICOLE: You know...I could handle this whole...being married thing if this is how it's gonna be every day from now on.

Eric laughs, as Nicole smiles back at him.

ERIC: Yeah, if this was all being married was about, I could get used to it too.
NICOLE: Well, it could be. You know...I think we're both...very secure in our love for each other...and I know that whatever comes our way...I think we can get through it, as long as we work together.


Eric smiles, taking his hand and putting it up to Nicole's face.

ERIC: I will always be here for you, no matter what.

Eric pulls Nicole in for another kiss, as Nicole's phone goes off. They both stop and sigh. Nicole's head falls face-first into Eric's chest, as Eric laughs quietly to himself.

ERIC: You'd better get that.

Nicole lifts her head, and begins to whine jokingly.

NICOLE: But I don't wannaaaa...

Eric continues to laugh, as Nicole leans over and grabs her phone from the bedside table.

It's Abigail.

Nicole's expression immediately changes, as she answers the call.

NICOLE: (into phone) Abby?

...

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Abigail stands in Nicole's office, her back to Jerome, who sits at Nicole's desk, looking at her computer. He looks on, stunned by what he's seeing on the screen.


ABBY: (into phone) Hey Boss! Uh...I...I'm sorry to bother you. I know you had an appointment and all, but...

...

Nicole furrows her brow, a bit annoyed and a bit confused as to why Abby's calling.

NICOLE:  (into phone) Uh...it's fine. Now's not really a...great time...

...

ABBY: (into phone) No! I, I'll make it quick. Promise. It's...really important.

Abby looks over her shoulder to see a stunned Jerome reading the article headline from the flash drive Nick sent them.

EnerNext & Titan: Fraudulent Arguments in Environmental Impact Study & Associated Payoffs

ABBY: (into phone) You're gonna wanna come down to the office...right away.

---
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Nick paces the Titan board room, holding a pack of sealed envelopes in his hand, as the rest of the Titan board sits in stone silence, stunned by what Nick's held over their heads, and what he wants. Tyler, ready to stop Nick before he goes too far, gets up from his seat.


TYLER: I...uh...I think we've heard enough to make our decision on your proposition, Mr. Fallon.

Nick smiles, and turns to face Tyler, responding with a condescending tone.

NICK: Oh, I don't think so. Not quite yet. 

Nick holds the envelopes in his hand up to prominently display them to the rest of the room. He paces up and down the room still, as the others, most notably Kate, look on in discomfort. Tyler sits down, knowing he won't be able to stop Nick.

NICK: You see, as I mentioned before, I've been keeping a veeeery close eye on all of you here at Titan. And I've gotta say, you guys know how to cover your tracks. But not quite well enough.
JOHN: And what exactly does that mean?

Nick looks over to John, placing the first envelope down in front of him. Without breaking his gaze for a second, even to blink, he looks John dead in the eyes.

NICK: Why don't you open the envelope and find out?

Nick suddenly breaks gaze, and turns to walk around the table. As he does, Nick flips through the envelopes, placing down one before each board member as he finds the ones for the person before him.

Once completed, he leans on Kate's shoulders slightly, causing Kate to stiffen instantly.

NICK: I think we're ready to begin. 

Nick looks at everyone, a sickening, smug smile on his face, as the board members glare at him murderously.

---




---

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Anjelica stands in the Horton Town Square, smiling at a less-than-impressed Adrienne, who stands opposite Anjelica, with her arms folded.


ADRIENNE: Anjelica. What are you doing back in town?
ANJELICA: Well, I see you don't pay much attention to the news. Not that that surprises me. You always were a bit of an intellectual lightweight.

Adrienne rolls her eyes at Anjelica's jab, biting her tongue before she says something she'd regret.

ANJELICA: Among other more...personal matters, I am here as part of my campaign for the state governor's office.

Adrienne can't help but crack up at Anjelica's announcement. Incredulous, she responds, very amused.

ADRIENNE: As if you have a snowball's chance in Hell of winning.
ANJELICA: Oh, come now, Adrienne. A person's past indiscretions are hardly a reason to keep a person out of government these days, we all know that.
ADRIENNE: Yes, well, I don't think I've ever seen anyone run for office after having tried to blow someone up.


Anjelica looks at Adrienne, a more serious, lethal expression in her eyes, as the smile disappears from her face.

ANJELICA: Ah! those old lies, and innuendoes. Frankly, Adrienne, I think being in that explosion knocked something loose that should've stayed in place. You're long overdue for a doctor's visit. May I suggest ah...Dr. Marlena Evans?

Adrienne, fed up, grabs her shopping bags, and brushes past Anjelica to leave.

ADRIENNE: I don't have to listen to this. Enjoy your visit, Anjelica. I hope it's very short.

Anjelica turns to call out to Adrienne, goading her once more, and stopping Adrienne in her tracks momentarily.

ANJELICA: Oh, I expect it won't be. Seeing as my son's living with you and Justin. I hope I'll see you at dinner tonight at the Kiriakis mansion?

Adrienne sighs, before turning back around to face Anjelica.

ADRIENNE: Well, I would but we tend to not let stray cats in the house, much less eat off the dinner table.
ANJELICA: What are you saying? You're not even going to let me share a meal with my son?
ADRIENNE: Anjelica, quite frankly, I'm sure no one would have an appetite with you there. And I hate wasting food.


Anjelica chuckles to herself.

ANJELICA: Ahh yes, that old blue collar spirit. Waste not, want not!
ADRIENNE: Which reminds me that I don't have the time to waste on you. So...


Adrienne grabs her shopping bags from the bench and gives Anjelica a fake smile.

ADRIENNE: Have a great day, Anjelica.

Adrienne walks off, leaving Anjelica behind, a raised eyebrow and shaking her head.

---

Kate holds open the card Nick's enclosed in her envelope, sighing as she's reminded of her part in his attempted drowning. Lucas looks over, panicked as he holds his card in Kate's direction, tensing in frustration. He whispers forcefully.

LUCAS: How the HELL does Nick know about the entire plan?

Billie sighs, resting her fingertips on her forehead, as she reads her card.

Billie, the spy came to town to hide in plain sight at Titan. Trying to get the goods on her mama's boytoy's new girlfriend. What a wonderful waste of our secret service's resources.

Billie sighs, knowing her reason for being in Salem has been found out.

BILLIE: Maybe mom was right.

Kate looks over momentarily at Billie, shrugging as she looks back toward Nick.

KATE: Trust me. This is the best thing we can do.

Across the table, Justin looks at his card, reading:

Justin, actively trying to falsify environmental assessments so you can rush through a forcible eviction from a citizen's hard-earned property? You should be ashamed.

Justin looks over at Billie, a similarly concerned expression on her face as his. He closes his card and lays it down on the table, as he looks over at a smug Nick.

JUSTIN: And just how do you think you can prove any of this.
NICK: You really wanna test this theory, huh? That I didn't come to this meeting prepared? 

John jumps in, closing his own note. He holds his arms out, looking at Nick incredulously.

JOHN: Oh, come on, Nick! You're bluffing! There's no way you have something on every single one of us with enough proof to back it up that you could take each of us down.

Nick saunters over to John, staring him down with his trademark grin.

He leans in close to John, never breaking gaze.

NICK: I wouldn't push your luck, Mr. Black.

Nick leans in and whispers in John's ear.

NICK: (whispering) I know about your little plan to save Roman Brady. And it's not gonna work.

John tenses immediately. He recognizes Nick is serious, and looks over at a concerned Justin. Sitting back down, he puts his hand over his mouth, sighing heavily.

Nick, meanwhile, turns back toward the head of the table, leaning over it to speak to the rest of the room.

NICK: Now, as I said, I'm not bluffing. In fact, as I speak, I am about to have a small...wedding present sent to one of my greatest allies in the fight to stop this little project of yours: Nicole Walker. 

...

Nicole readies herself to leave Eric's hotel room, frantically trying to adjust her dress, as Eric stands nearby, shirtless, trying to help zip her back in. Meanwhile, we hear Nick's voice over the hurried scene.

NICK: (voiceover) You see, I've sent a little document to her new husband, detailing some of the things I've uncovered about HER indiscretions, using the same methods I used to dig up all kinds of dirt on all of you. I'm sure you'll be hearing all about it shortly.

As Nick speaks: Outside the hotel room, a man walks toward the door. After a moment, he makes his over and knocks on the door.

Inside, Nicole and Eric stop in their tracks, before Eric heads quickly over to open it.

ERIC: I'll get it. Might be room service. I didn't get them in time.

Nicole laughs quietly, as she adjusts herself, before putting her shoes on.

Eric opens the door, to find the messenger Aiden sent to his room, with a large manila envelope in hand.

MESSENGER: Eric Brady?

Eric looks on, confused, as he clutches the envelope.

ERIC: Yeah. That's me.

After taking the envelope, the messenger holds out a tablet and a stylus for Eric.

MESSENGER: Sign here.

Eric signs for the document, still unsure of what to expect to find inside. As he finishes, he hands both the tablet and stylus back to the messenger, before shutting the door behind him.

Inside, Nicole looks puzzled as well, as Eric begins to open the document.

NICOLE: What is it?
ERIC: Dunno. Wasn't expecting anything. Were you?

Nicole shakes her head, as Eric opens the envelope and pulls out what's inside. As he does, one of the pages of the document falls out of
Eric's grasp and falls to the floor, just out of sight underneath Eric's nightstand.

NICOLE: What is it?

Eric's jaw drops, as he struggles to catch his breath. He realizes the information the documents contain.

ERIC: Oh my God. This is it.
NICOLE: What?
ERIC: It's the Chyka file. I finally have proof that Kristen drugged me.


Nicole gasps in horror, as she realizes Nick's taken action against her. She braces herself for Eric's reaction. For now, Eric looks up at Nicole, stunned, but with a bit of a smile on his face.

---

Sunday, January 14, 2018

DAYS #135: Nick's board meeting meltdown, Adrienne runs into Anjelica (08/22/14)

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EPISODE 135
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco

to see more about current and past storylines, click here.

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Abigail sits next to Jerome, as they drive down the road toward the DiMera Tower. Abigail seems on edge, anticipating what could be on Nick's flash drive. Jerome senses Abby's tension and looks over at her, flashing a smile that helps comfort her.


JEROME: I will say this is nothing like any first date I've ever been on.

Abby laughs, looking over and smiling at Jerome as he oscillates his gaze between Abby and the road ahead.

ABBY: Yeah, it's...pretty unusual, I'll admit.
JEROME: Well, look, I'll help you however you need. Sounds like this is pretty important so...
ABBY: I think it is. 


Abby looks down at the flash drive in her hand, she looks at it, curiously.

ABBY: I think whatever's on this drive...could change a lot of lives.

---

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Nick sits confidently at the conference table in the Titan board room, sitting next to Percy. A small stack of letter-sized envelopes lay on the table in front of them, as he watches the other board members mill about, conversing solemnly in their seats.


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Billie Reed, for one, is especially discomforted by Nick Fallon's relaxed air, knowing what the meeting has in store. She looks over at Kate, who looks unusually at ease, given the circumstance. Kate has her game face on, something her son, Lucas, does not share. He looks back at Billie, trying to hide his worry.


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John Black walks in, a similarly solemn expression on his face, as he silently catches Billie's eye. She gives him a worried look, which John mirrors, as he sits down across from her and her family members at the table. He nods over to an equally-worried Justin, who sits next to him.


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Eventually, realizing the entire board is present, Tyler finally calls the meeting to order.


TYLER: I, umm...I think we have everyone. So...let's call the meeting to order.

The board members settle in their seats, as Tyler looks around the room a moment, waiting to begin.

TYLER: We...ummm...we're calling the meeting today due to a series of rather...unfortunate events that have occurred in the preceding few days which are hitting our business rather hard.

Tyler takes a moment, looking over at Justin, then Nick, before turning back to the rest of the board, a certain sadness in his voice.

TYLER: Ah...(clears throat) first off, our CEO, Victor Kiriakis has unfortunately suffered a heart attack, and is currently in an induced coma at University Hospital while he recovers from surgery. In the meantime, Justin Kiriakis and myself are acting as interim co-CEOs, as per Victor's request, outlined on Page 4 of the presentations before all of you. 

As Tyler speaks, Kate looks over, glaring at Nick, who winks back at her from across the conference table. Kate rolls her eyes at Nick's smug demeanour and cockiness. She leans over toward Lucas as he whispers snidely to her.

LUCAS: Imagine how good it would feel to smack that irritating smirk off Nick's face?
KATE: I know the feeling. But just remember how good it'll feel to watch him do it all by himself.


Lucas sighs, having doubts about Kate's strategy.

LUCAS: I hope to God you're right, Mom.
KATE: I always am.


Tyler carries on with his address to the board, ignoring Kate and Lucas' asides.

TYLER: Additionally, we've fended off an attack to our internal servers. As some of you may have heard. Last night, Nick Fallon prevented a complete and total destruction of our company's mainframe server, and cloud server, preventing the loss of millions of important documents and files, not to mention saving this company. I think we owe him a debt of gratitude.

Justin looks over at Nick, unsure if he shares Tyler's sentiment. Kate, Billie, and Lucas all look at each other, equally unimpressed. John stares ahead, giving his best poker face the entire time.

TYLER: I hear that Nick has a few words for us, and I would like to give him the opportunity to speak to you all. Without further ado, Nick Fallon.

Nick gets up immediately, confidently smiling at the board, who look on with a mix of indifference and, in some cases, dread.

NICK: Thank you. I have to say that...I appreciate all of your efforts. I thank each and every one of you for inviting me here today, and giving me the floor, even if it's just for a few moments. If you'd indulge me, I would like to use this moment to do something very unusual for someone in my position.

Kate looks over at Billie, resting her head on her hand as she leans on the armrest of her chair.

KATE: Here we go.

Nick looks around the room, and grabs the stack of envelopes from the conference table. He holds them tightly in his hands, as he smiles broadly, and speaks earnestly and professionally, looking each board member squarely in the eyes as he looks around the room from his place at the table.

NICK: I would like to put forth a motion. And before you respond to that motion...I would like to make my case for it. I think, once you hear everything I have to say...you'll find it all...extremely compelling.

Nick holds the envelopes in one hand, gently tapping them against his other hand as he carefully studies the faces of everyone in the room.

He smiles again before finally speaking.

NICK: I am proposing making a change. To appoint myself, with the close, guiding assistance of longtime professional, and trusted colleague, Tyler Houston, as new permanent CEO of Titan Industries.

The room stirs, incredulous at Nick's outrageous manoevre. Kate tries in vain to hold in her amusement at the spectacle Nick is making of himself, while Lucas and Billie look her way, more concerned. 

Billie looks over at a frustrated Justin, looking his way with a defeated look.

Nick relishes the reaction he's getting. Looking around the room with his trademark smirk while watching everyone react.

---




---

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Adrienne walks through Horton Town Square, shopping bags in hand as she races through to get back to her car.


ADRIENNE: Gotta get this home before the boys get back.

Stopping a moment before she leaves the square, Adrienne heads to the bench by Tom & Alice's tree, and lays her bags down, digging through her bag to find her car keys.

ADRIENNE: You can't get into your car with only mind power, Adrienne. They haven't invented that yet.

Finally digging her keys out, she grabs her bags and quickly turns to dart out of the square.

ADRIENNE: Got 'em.

As Adrienne turns, she runs immediately into a woman who's to her left. Not realizing who it is, Adrienne begins to apologize profusely before she stops dead in her tracks.

ADRIENNE: Oh my God, I'm so sorry, I...

Adrienne looks up, realizing the person standing before her is very familiar.

ADRIENNE: Anjelica.

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Anjelica flashes a quick smile, looking ever the professional as her insincerity drips out of every word she speaks.

ANJELICA: Well! Adrienne! Isn't it lovely bumping into each other like this?

Adrienne looks on at Anjelica, stunned and visibly displeased.

---

Abby unlocks the door to Nicole's office at WXIR, letting herself and Jerome in. Jerome turns on the light as Abby fumbles with her keys, trying to put them in her purse.

Closing the door behind them, Abby steps over to the computer and moves the mouse, waking the computer from its sleep. She plugs the flash drive in and waits impatiently, as she sits down in Nicole's office chair, Jerome standing over her.

ABBY: And now we wait.

---

Tyler stands up at the conference table, as the rest of the room still reacts to Nick's motion. Holding up his arms, Tyler attempts to calm the room down, calling out over the din.

TYLER: Excuse me, everybody! I need order, please. 

After a moment the room quiets down again, prompting Tyler to continue.

TYLER: Look, I know what Mr. Fallon has suggested is...highly unorthodox...to say the least, but...well, let's hear him out.

Tyler finishes his sentence, a grave feeling in him that expresses itself plainly in his voice. Tyler sits down, clearly dreading what's to come, as Nick smiles and nods graciously at Tyler.

NICK: Thank you, Mr. Houston. So...I expected that...eruption. To put it mildly. However, I'm sure a lot of you don't know quite why this company is so important to me....and why this job is so important to me.

Nick steps out from behind the table, and begins to pace the room, starting by pacing behind the head of the table, where Tyler and Justin are seated beside him. Tyler refuses to turn to watch Nick, needing to stare straight ahead as Nick carries on. Justin looks around the room, while leaning his chair to ensure he can see Nick as well.

NICK: You see, a lot of why we're all here today is down to a very important project started by me many years ago. Titan's alternative fuels project, was patented by myself. Unfortunately, since being acquired by Titan, the project has laid dormant while all of you pour billions of dollars you do not have down the drain pursuing a fossil fuels project that will never see the light of day.

Nick stops behind Percy's seat at the table. He turns to look out at the room.

NICK: And why is that?

Nick puts his hands squarely on Percy's shoulders, causing Percy to startle slightly.

NICK: This man. Percy Ruggles. Surely you all remember Percy. The lone holdout of your plan to devastate the local agriculture and air quality in your attempts to filter tar from the ground by the Salem River? 

Nick lets go of Percy's shoulders, holding his arms out to pose a question to the group.

NICK: Why do that when you have a completely workable project right here that is 100% sustainable? Why waste millions manipulating politicians to force people from their homes...when you have everything you need to supply every person in Salem with all the power and energy they need with my patent?

Nick laughs as the group remains dead silent. He nods, knowing they remain unmoved.

NICK: That's what I figured. Your egos don't want to believe you could be wrong about this. That you squandered all this potential because you wanted to own the rights to this and never use it. Just so you wouldn't have to deal with the threat. Well that ends today.

Justin, fed up of Nick's grandstanding, gets up from his seat and holds a hand up to Nick, trying to convince him to stop.

JUSTIN: Nick, that's enough! Now--
NICK: No! No, Justin. It's not. 

Nick steps back away from Justin, laughing as headache begins anew. Nick's vision blurs as a piercing pain shoots through him once again, Nick stops a moment before continuing his response.

JUSTIN: Nick, are you okay?
NICK: I'm fine....woah, I am SO fine. Better than any of you will be in a few minutes. Believe me.
TYLER: Nick, I think we may have...had enough now.


Nick laughs as Tyler awkwardly tries to get Nick to stop his raving.

NICK: (laughs) You....(laughs) you are the last person who should be trying to get me to stop right now, Tyler. And you know it.

Nick breathes in, leaning over, and looking straight into Tyler's eyes with a crazed, laser-focused intensity.

NICK: Besides, the fun is just about to start.

Billie squirms as Nick gathers himself together and walks over to his seat at the conference table. He still holds the stack of envelopes, but also opens his laptop bag, pulling out a single manila envelope, which he drops in the middle of the table. The entire group remains stone silent as they watch Nick drop the envelope down.

NICK: You see, I have been keeping tight surveillance over eeeeevery one of you here at the Titan HQ these last few months....and you know what? You people are some pieces of work. Not a single honest thought or word between any of you. You know that?

Nick cackles as he points at the envelope in the middle of the table.

NICK: THIS....this is the fact sheet detailing every falsehood contained in your sham of a proposal for the EnerNext oil sands. Every half-truth, every outright lie, where it came from, and the money trail that led to it being printed, and propagated throughout the state, and beyond. 

Nick looks around the room, feeling oh-so-satisfied as he surveys the ghost-white expressionless faces of the Titan board members.

NICK: And guess who has all this info? WXIR! The same station you geniuses were so damn ready to rid yourselves of so you could free up capital to invest in this big SCAM!

Nick smiles, seriously amused by the situation, as Justin looks over, trying not to panic, at an unsurprised Kate. John looks over at Billie, then back at Kate, still maintaining a poker face, but a tinge of concern is there if you look closer. Tyler looks down, unable to hide his worry.

***

As Nick's last words are spoken, we see Abby and Jerome at Nicole's computer, as the document from Nick's flash drive appears on the screen. 

NICK: (voiceover) And very soon everyone in Salem, and beyond is going to know the truth about what you've all done.

The title appears in bold on the screen:

EnerNext & Titan: Fraudulent Arguments in Environmental Impact Study & Associated Payoffs

Abby draws herself up, stunned by the headline alone, as Jerome looks at the screen, knowing the impact this has on his and Sheryl's own aims.

ABBY: I think I need to call Nicole.

Abby grabs her phone from her purse and frantically makes a call to Jerome, as Jerome looks intensely at the screen, certain that he needs to read more, and now.

---

Friday, January 5, 2018

DAYS #134: EJ has a reminder for Sami, Nick and Percy arrive for the board meeting (08/21/14)

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EPISODE 134
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: C. Nathaniel Richardson & Nick Monarco


for more information on ongoing storylines, click here.

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Nick and Percy walk onto the elevator together at the Titan building. Both men appear to be in a chipper demeanour, standing silently as the doors to the elevator close.


Nick presses the button to the floor they intend to travel to, and the lift begins to move. Percy turns to Nick with a nervous smile.

PERCY: Nicholas, I...I hate to ask--

Nick immediately interrupts, looking straight ahead, unflinchingly.

NICK: --Then don't.

Nick turns to look at Percy. He smiles, as Percy's smile fades, suddenly far more nervous.

NICK: We've got this.
PERCY: Are you absolutely certain?
NICK: Totally. I even have insurance now. 


Percy looks back at Nick, wondering what he means. Nick recognizes Percy's look of curiosity immediately.

NICK: When I was meeting with Tyler last night, I found the press release Will was working on for the EnerNext project.
PERCY: Alright. What exactly is the significance of this press release?
NICK: Well, I took a moment to read through it...and then I did some fact-checking...and they made every bit of their research up. Anything they didn't pull out of thin air, they paid off scientists to back them up on. So I did a bit more digging. Found out who paid what, how much, as to whom. If that press release goes out, there's a lot of people whose careers will be in shambles.


Percy looks on, contemplative, before the elevator announces its arrival at their floor. The ding of the opening door snaps Percy's head back forward.

PERCY: I see. Then I do believe we're in good stead. Onward!

Nick and Percy step off the elevator in lock step.

---

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In the Titan board room, Billie walks in to find Justin alone in the room, unpacking his tablet at the table. Billie smiles warmly at him.


BILLIE: Well, long time, no see.

Justin looks up with the same smile as he logs into his tablet.

JUSTIN: Likewise. How did it go with the family?

Billie rests her bag on the table across from Justin, giving him a grimace.

BILLIE: It...it was an interesting talk.
JUSTIN: You're making me nervous now.
BILLIE: That's because I'm nervous enough for the both of us. My mother's preparing to cave to Nick's proposal, and she expects me to follow suit.


Justin looks at Billie, stunned.

---

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Abby and Jerome sit together on their lunch date at the Brady Pub, sitting across from each other at a booth. They look relaxed together, enjoying each other's company thoroughly.


ABBY: Sorry about...Nick interrupting.
JEROME: No no! Don't worry about it. The guy gives me a bad vibe but...you two are cousins. I can tell you care a lot about him.


Abby smiles, as she looks down at her coffee cup, stirring it casually as she stares into the cup. Jerome's expression changes to one of concern.

JEROME: I...I...Earth to Abby.

Abby snaps out of her thoughts, blinking momentarily as she looks up again at Jerome.

ABBY: Sorry. Yeah, I...I guess I've just been worried about him.
JEROME: Why's that?


Abby sighs, unsure whether she wants to delve into the whole story, but, after a moment, she looks up at Jerome.

ABBY: He hasn't been himself in a very long time. He was this...sweet tech nerd kid growing up. You know...always willing to help someone out and he'd....he'd make stupid mistakes sometimes but you always knew he was trying to do the right thing.

Jerome looks on, interested in Abby's story.

JEROME: So what changed?

Abby sighs, looking down sadly.

ABBY: He was shot...and the pain meds they gave him while he was in recovery...they...they totally messed him up. He became addicted.
JEROME: I'm sorry.
ABBY: It's...not your fault. I thought he'd kicked it while he was in jail, but...when I saw him the other day at Salem U, the way he was acting...it was like...
JEROME: Like he was still on the pills?
ABBY: Honestly, I wonder if he ever stopped. And it's almost like he was going through withdrawals or something. 


Jerome looks at Abby, thoughtfully and contemplating her view on Nick's behaviour.

---




---

Abby looks down, still slowly stirring her coffee, as Jerome looks on, taking a sip. Suddenly, she appears to snap out of it, looking back up at Jerome.

ABBY: Sorry, I know you didn't come here to hear me talk about my weird cousin.
JEROME: Nah, it's cool. Like...I know you love the guy. I just worry after what I saw at Salem U. Abby, I just get this feeling this guy's up to something, and it's not good. I feel like I need to protect you from him.


Abby smiles at Jerome, reaching a hand out to touch his across the table.

ABBY: You don't have to. But I love that you want to. It's sweet.

Jerome looks down at Abby's hand, resting on his, and cups his other hand over hers. He looks into her eyes seriously.

JEROME: I think you're a very special lady, Miss Deveraux.

Abby giggles, as Jerome squeezes her hand gently, a smile on his face knowing he made Abby laugh.

JEROME: You got this...this look in your eye. There's a lot more to you than what I see on the outside, I can tell.

Abby blushes, smiling a goofy, embarrassed smile as Jerome charms her.

JEROME: I'd like to get to see what's under that calm surface...if you'd let me.

Abby smiles, and nods softly.

ABBY: We'll see.
JEROME: That's all I can ask for.

Abby pulls her hand away, and grabs her bag from beside her on the seat.

ABBY: I hate to cut this short but, I gotta see what's on this flash drive and report back to my boss.
JEROME: You sure you wanna bug your boss when she told you specifically not to?


Abby gets up from the booth and pulls the flash drive out, holding it in her hand and casually waving it as she makes her point to Jerome, who's also gotten up from the booth.

ABBY: If what's on here is important enough that Nick would take the time to track me down in the middle of a work day? It may warrant it, yeah.

Jerome looks on, casually nodding in agreement, before heading for the door.

JEROME: Well, come on. Let me drive you to the office.
ABBY: Thanks.


Jerome and Abby head for the exit, as Jerome drops enough money to cover the cheque on the table before heading out.

---

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EJ looks up from his desk at DiMera Enterprises, surprised by the news Sami's just given him.


EJ: Nicole married Eric? As in your brother, Eric.

Sami leans against the edge of EJ's desk, fuming.

SAMI: YEP! Mom and I tried to stop them but we were too late, and now Eric isn't speaking to either of us.
EJ: No surprise there.


Sami glares at EJ, shouting him down for his quip.

SAMI: I'm sorry, WHAT?! My brother just married a lying BITCH and you're making jokes--
EJ: No, no, I'm not saying I don't blame him, Samantha, but I know how people are when they're...that in love with someone.


Sami sighs, rolling her eyes, balking at the idea that Eric's feelings for Nicole are that strong.

SAMI: Love. Yeah, right. He was manipulated into marrying her. He was vulnerable because your sister raped him, and he was kicked out of the priesthood because YOUR FAMILY made sure the proof disappeared.

EJ gets up from his desk, suddenly feeling defensive of his family.

EJ: Okay, Samantha, that's not fair.
SAMI: The hell it isn't! 


EJ sighs, holding his tongue before he says anything he regrets. Sami, meanwhile, continues her tirade.

SAMI: Your father is always bailing that harpee of a sister of yours out like she's an eight year old child instead of making her take responsibility for her actions, and you're so afraid of getting on his bad side that you just let him. 

EJ stands behind his desk, folding his arms as he quietly, but sternly responds to Sami.

EJ: Need I remind you of everything I am doing to protect you and your loved ones, including your son from being implicated in an attempted murder. Without my help, Nick Fallon would have had you all in jail months ago, and taken off with your grandchild and that insipid idiot Gabriella Hernandez.

Sami looks down, sheepishly. The reminder snaps her back to reality, and she answers EJ, a guilty calm suddenly in her voice.

SAMI: Yeah, I remember.
EJ: So don't you ever think for a second that I am not thinking of what is best for you. You are everything to me. I know we have our problems, Samantha, but I am dedicated, 100% to making sure you know every day that you are the most important thing to me. You got that?


Sami looks up at EJ, a faint smile on her face as she nods, acknowledging EJ's vow.

---

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Brady steps back into Anita's cabin, calling out to her to let her know he's returned.


BRADY: Anita! I'm back!

Anita steps out from the kitchen, a casserole dish in her hands, as she walks over to the dining table in the main room. She smiles as she greets Brady.

ANITA: So, is she sold?

Brady pulls a wad of bills from his pocket and holds it out to her.

BRADY: $800 cash. All for you.

Anita sets the casserole down on the table, and turns back to take the wad of bills from Brady, before taking two bills from the wad to give back to Brady, a huge smile on her face. She presses the bills into Brady's hand.

ANITA: Your commission, kind sir.

Brady looks down and laughs as Anita laughs playfully with him. He hesitates a moment before handing the money back to her.

BRADY: You know, I don't know, Anita. You really don't need to give me this.
ANITA: Absolutely, I do. You need money. And you did a great thing for me.
BRADY: Well, yeah. But you've done so much for me already. I feel like I owe you. I...I can't accept this.


Anita holds up her hand, shaking her head.

ANITA: You can, and you will. Besides, I hear southerners drive a hard bargain!
BRADY: Well, that's the thing. See...she talked like she was from the south, and all...but...there was something about her, Anita. I swear, I recognize her. Like...I've seen her somewhere before.


Brady looks over at Anita, racking his brain to place "Crystal's" face.

---

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Sheryl backs the big blue SUV she'd just purchased from Brady into a secluded spot off the side of the road. Turning off the engine, she steps out of the car, to look over at the road, and see how well-hidden the truck is to traffic.


SHERYL: At least I'm not too far from that general store. Gotta get this thing hidden away well enough that no one will find it when I make a getaway.

She grabs her phone from her pocket and makes a voice note:

SHERYL: (into voice memo on her phone) 2.4 miles up State Road 45, past Six Mile Road. Look for the old beige fence ending with a group of large pine trees. 

Putting her voice memo away, Sheryl looks over the position of the truck, making sure it's hidden from all angles. Once she's satisfied, She locks up the truck, and calls a cab. 

SHERYL: (into phone) Yes, I'd like a cab to the corner of County Road 8 and Smith Island Road, please? ...yes, and please hurry, my car broke down, and I'm running late...thank you.

Sheryl hangs up the phone, satisfied with herself, as she walks off toward the country intersection.

---

Justin stands across the board room table from Billie, stunned by the bomb she's just dropped.

JUSTIN: I'm sorry, what? Your mother's voting IN FAVOUR of Nick's proposal?
BILLIE: Look, there's more to it than that, it's just--


As Billie tries to tell Justin Kate's reason for her vote, the doors to the board room open, and Nick and Percy walk in with a confident stride.

NICK: Ahh, I see we're nice and early for the festivities.

Justin and Billie turn to look at them, a somewhat disdainful look on their faces. Justin comes back with a quick retort.

JUSTIN: Not that you should be privvy to them in the first place. But yes, we aren't due to start for another twenty minutes.
NICK: Well, I think I've got enough going for me that I won't be missing any more of these going forward. 


Nick sits his bag down on the conference table and unzips it, pulling his laptop from his bag as he talks.

NICK: I think, personally, this is going to be a very productive meeting. Don't you?

Billie and Justin look uncomfortably at each other, then looking back Nick's way with the same uneasiness. Nick, meanwhile, pulls out his stack of envelopes, one for each of the Titan board members. He lays them neatly on the conference table in front of him, as he sits down, looking very self-satisfied.

---