Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson
Daniel walks into his office at University Hospital, his face heavy with the stress of having to care for an ailing Victor. Looking over his chart on his tablet, he sits down in his chair, sighing and shaking his head.
Putting the tablet down, he looks up as the door to his office opens. Laura steps in, holding a tray of coffee.
LAURA: Good morning!
DANIEL: Hey! How're you?
Laura steps in, smiling as she steps in, carefully waving the coffee cups before her as she approaches Daniel's desk.
LAURA: I'm good. I figured you might uhh...need one of these.
DANIEL: Ohhh ho ho ho, after the night I've had, you know it.
LAURA: Well then, help yourself.
Laura sets the tray of coffee cups on Daniel's desk as they both grab one. Laura sits down opposite Daniel at his desk. Their mirth quickly wears off as Laura's face drops, awkwardly contemplating how to broach the obvious subject.
LAURA: So uh...were you able to find anything out about Liam after I spoke to you yesterday?
Daniel sets his coffee cup down, barely having had a sip. A bit of frustration on his face as he sighs. Laura looks at him, guiltily.
Stefano sits alone in the DiMera living room. The lights out, the cloudy day shows the darkened room, lit only by the fire. He sits at his chess set, as he did when Nick was there.
Moments later, the door opens to the living room. Stefano looks up and sees a familiar face.
STEFANO: Ah! You're here. The time has come for the next part of our plan.
From the shadows, Liam steps slowly forward into the glow of the fireplace.
LIAM: Well, I'm listening. What do I have to do?
Sami sits down in front of EJ's desk at DiMera Enterprises. She scowls as he stands behind his desk, having just exploded after her rant.
EJ: Now, I had been concerned for awhile now that Nick Fallon was about to do something drastic. He had been sitting quiet for too long, and you know what they say when the tiger cage gets really quiet.
EJ: So when Gabi called me, saying that she was concerned that Nick was making moves in her direction again, she begged me to take action.
SAMI: So you decided the best thing to do would be to take a stick and poke at the tiger.
SAMI: EJ, have you lost your mind?!
EJ rolls his eyes, raising his voice again to stop Sami's hysterics.
EJ: No, I have not!
EJ breathes audibly for a moment, before continuing back at a normal tone. Sami looks on, exapserated.
EJ: We have a plan to make sure Nick pays for his actions. I have men watching over him as we speak to make sure he's dealt with before things go too far. My main priority is keeping you, Gabi, and the kids safe. Alright?
Sami gets up from her seat, accepting EJ's argument, but unimpressed, nonetheless. Before heading out the door, Sami stops and gives her last thoughts to EJ.
SAMI: And I wish I could trust you right now, EJ, but I don't see how this could go anywhere but downhill. And if it does. I am blaming you.
Sami opens the door, but stops and turns around for a second before heading out.
SAMI: I'll see you at home.
Sami shuts the door forcefully, causing EJ to wince momentarily. EJ looks on, frustrated by Sami's reaction, and knowing that the tension in their relationship is once again mounting.
Julie sits with Nick at Club TBD, Julie excitedly getting Nick up to date with all the family news, while Nick looks on, but appears distant. This isn't lost on Julie, but she carries on.
JULIE: ...And so David's asked Marie if they can spend Christmas here in Salem this year, and your parents are thinking of coming up as well. Oh, it's going to be fantastic. And once Maggie opens up the new Penthouse Grille, I just...I can't wait.
NICK: Yeah, that's....that's great, Julie. Uh...
Nick grits his teeth as the pain of his recurring headaches hit him once again. Julie looks on with concern.
JULIE: Nick...Nick are you okay? You look like you swallowed a fly.
NICK: Yeah! No, no, I'm doing good. I just...ugh, I got a lot on my mind.
JULIE: Well, what's been happening.
NICK: Oh just...work stuff. Trying to sort out a new deal with Gabi.
Julie smiles slightly at the mention of Gabi.
JULIE: Does that...uh...does this mean that you and Gabi are getting close again?
Nick breathes out as the pain momentarily subsides. He smiles and nods.
NICK: Yeah. I mean...slowly. But I'm working my magic, and I have a feeling that...things between us are going to work out just fine.
Julie smiles at Nick, as they sit at their table at Club TBD. She leans in, putting her hand on his.
JULIE: I'm happy to hear that.
Julie looks at a still-distant Nick. She continues.
JULIE: You know, I was really worried about you for awhile, Nick. You seemed so....lost. So unhappy.
NICK: I have been. You know....I keep trying to do the right thing. It's like...for everyone else in this family, it....it comes so easily. And yet, for me...heh...for me it's like an uphill battle.
JULIE: Nick. Look at me.
Nick closes his eyes a moment, stopping himself from staring out the window as he speaks to Julie. His eyes slowly travel to meet hers. Julie looks on intensely, with a smile.
JULIE: I know what that feels like better than anyone else. I was never the 'good' child. Do you know how much work it took to create the perfect angel you see before you now?
Nick smiles, giving a small laugh as Julie cracks a wide smile, still never taking her eyes from Nick's.
JULIE: But I know what's in your heart.
NICK: You know...when I came back from th...when I came back from New York...all I wanted to do was fix everything that I'd broken here in Salem. I saw....so many people doing so many....awful things. Telling all kinds of lies and...they all think the ends justify the means. They think they can get away with being cruel to each other in the name of doing what they think is right. I couldn't let that continue. I wanted to beat them at their own game.
JULIE: ...And...how did that go?
NICK: Heh...you know...I tried it....and the game's eating me alive.
Nick begins to tear up as he speaks to Julie, once again breaking her gaze as he looks out the window again.
NICK: And I don't know if I'll survive it. But I'm gonna try.
Julie takes Nick's hands into her own, and holds them tightly from across the table. She smiles warmly at Nick.
JULIE: You'll survive. You're a Horton. And we're tougher than steel. You're gonna be just fine, Nicholas Fallon.
Nick, trying to hold himself back emotionally, can't resist smiling through eyes starting to tear up. He and Julie share a laugh between them, hands still tightly held together.
Alex stands with a visibly annoyed Will in the hallway outside Will's office in the Titan building. Alex is surprised by Will's frustration over the surprise of finding out Alex is married, and Sonny's brother.
ALEX: I...heh...I didn't honestly put two and two together myself.
WILL: Well, that makes two of us.
Alex tries to placate Will, trying to smooth things over with a calm rationalization.
ALEX: Look, I...I know you probably feel like this is all just....Kiriakis meddling and that you weren't offered this job because of your talents, but...honestly, Tyler had no idea you were Sonny's fiance when he hired you, and I made a point of not telling you who I was because I wanted you to feel like your work was being judged only on its own merits.
Will sighs, seemingly unmoved, but still listening, as Alex puts his hand on Will's shoulder.
ALEX: Will. I've seen what you can do with the written word. You're a gifted writer, and...whatever your last name, or...whomever you marry, I'd still have pushed to have you on this team. Don't ever doubt that, okay?
Will finally relents, rolling his eyes a moment before giving Alex a smile. Alex smiles back, relieved that Will's anger's subsided.
WILL: Okay. But just promise me one thing.
ALEX: Ooo, making demands on your supervisor, tut tut.
WILL: Yeah, well, this one's important. Don't keep anything from me like that again. I think we'll work better together if we can totally trust one another. No secrets.
Will holds out his hand for Alex to shake. Alex looks down for a second, and with a suave smile, shakes Will's hand back. Will tenses himself as he looks deeply into Alex's eyes. The two can't help but smile back at each other as they share a firm handshake.
As they shake hands, Noelle walks around the corner, spotting Alex and Will's moment. She stands off to one side, observing the two of them closely.
Daniel looks up at Laura from his office desk, a worried look on his face as he asks her a question.
DANIEL: I'll be honest, Laura...I didn't get much of a chance to dig into it, but...ugh...Billie didn't come to see you last night, did she?
Laura looks confused as she answers.
LAURA: Uh...as a matter of fact, she did. I mean, she wasn't there long but...
Daniel slams his hand down on his desk, frustrated.
DANIEL: She was trying to dig to find out information for us about Liam, trying to figure out what I was up to.
LAURA: Oh God. So...well...what did she find out?
DANIEL: No idea, I haven't seen her since she was in my office last night.
LAURA: Well, do you think Liam's onto her?
Daniel sighs, concern now painted on his face.
DANIEL: (sigh) I hope not.
Laura looks even more worried as she continues.
LAURA: Well...same here. Because, it turns out, Liam is probably more dangerous than either you or I thought.
Daniel looks up at Laura, curious about what she means.
LAURA: It turns out that Liam is supplying EJ DiMera with drugs. He's on the DiMera payroll. I'm certain of it now.
Daniel looks on, now deeply concerned for Billie, and the Hortons.
Stefano sits in his chair, looking up at Liam, who stands before him in the DiMera living room.
STEFANO: The time has come to give something back to me for everything that I have done for you.
LIAM: Anything you say, Stefano.
STEFANO: Good. I have something for you on the table over there.
Stefano points toward the living room table. Liam turns around to spot a small black box. Leaning down to pick it up, he looks back Stefano's way. Stefano nods, prompting Liam to slowly open the box.
Inside are a pair of keys, and a business card with only an address on it.
2547 Copenhagen Drive
Liam pulls the keys out of the box, holding them up as Stefano looks on.
STEFANO: Everything will be waiting for you there.
Liam looks on, he puts the keys back in the box and nods.
LIAM: I'm on my way.
Liam heads for the door, as he closes it, Stefano looks on, smiling widely.