Tuesday, December 6, 2016

DAYS #103: Nick's bad day worsens, Billie rallies the troops

days_zpshcduktyy.jpg
EPISODE 103
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson


MarlenaEvans_zpse1672a6b.pngRomanBrady1_zpsd27ec5e1.png
Marlena steps into her penthouse, with Roman not far behind, bags in tow. She laughs as Roman struggles to bring everything inside.

MARLENA: (laughs) You had to do this all in one trip, didn’t you?

Roman shuffles past Marlena dropping four bags from his arms with a flourish. They tumble onto the ground, and nearly take Roman with them. He leans on the edge of the sofa, trying to catch his breath, as Marlena continues to laugh.

ROMAN: There’s no sense making two trips when I don’t have that much stuff!
MARLENA: Oh sure! I’ll remind you of that next time we go on vac---

Marlena stops herself, getting caught up in the moment as she realizes what’s happening.

MARLENA: Well…next time I go on vacation.

Roman looks at Marlena, a strange look in his eye. Unsure what caused Marlena’s sudden change in tone, he draws the only conclusion he can think of.

ROMAN: Doc…

Marlena tries to stop him from finishing his thought. But it’s in vain. She looks away as he finishes.

MARLENA: Roman, don’t---
ROMAN: …your mind just went back, didn’t it?

Marlena inhales deeply, as Roman looks at her intently.

ROMAN: …To how it used to be, when we were married.

Marlena hesitates to answer, as Roman’s gaze remains locked. Marlena squirms.

ROMAN: I’m right, aren’t I?

Marlena continues to squirm, unsure of how to answer Roman.

---

NickFallon_zps5ckac7xi.png AbigailDeveraux_zpsf4740a23.png JeromeGrant_zps3db0050c.png
Nick approaches Abigail and Jerome in the main lobby of Salem U. Both turn, stunned by his angered presence, having overheard their conversation.

ABBY: Nick!

Nick holds his cell phone in one hand, ending the call he’s attempting to make to Nicole, who is on the other line. He looks at Abby incredulously.

NICK: Abby, what are you doing here? Why is Nicole not here covering this protest?

Abby looks at Nick, and folds her arms, partly in discomfort at her cousin’s tense, almost threatening demeanour.

ABBY: Nicole had an appointment. She…she asked me to cover for her.
NICK: Whe…wha…you don’t work for the TV station, though…
ABBY: I do now. Sami’s made me Nicole’s assistant now. I have a feeling it’s so I can spy on her enemy at work, but…well…I’m just happy to be doing work that matters to me. Besides, helping to take down EnerNext would be a fantastic start to a career in journalism, don’t you think?

Nick looks at Abby, then Jerome, who is stood behind Abby, looking suspiciously at Nick. He looks less than impressed by Abby’s explanation.

NICK: Yeah. Fantastic. Look, I’ll meet you guys up at Percy’s. I gotta go make a phone call. K?
ABBY: Sure.

Abby and Jerome both look at Nick, very uncertain what the issue is. Jerome finally pipes up once Nick steps away. Nick having put his phone to his ear as he steps out the door of the campus.

JEROME: What’s that guy’s deal?
ABBY: That’s my cousin Nick. And honestly, I have no idea what his deal is…

Abby turns quickly to face Jerome, a concerned look in her eye.

ABBY: But I think I need to find out.

Abby begins to slowly walk away from Jerome, following Nick as he heads for the door.



Nick steps outside and finally is able to get ahold of Nicole, who is now driving to Club TBD to meet Eric.



NicoleWalker_zps8a6ptd9z.png
Nicole fumbles to put Nick on speakerphone so as not to distract herself while driving.

NICOLE: (into phone) Dammit, Nick! I can’t talk right now.



NICK: (into phone) Where the Hell are you?



NICOLE: (into phone) I’m in my car, I’ve sent Abby to cover the protest, Nick. You don’t need me to be there.



Nick responds, increasingly agitated in his tone.

NICK: (into phone) I asked YOU to be there, not your assistant. And I don’t appreciate you trying to pull one over on me. Or ignoring my phone calls.



Nicole rolls her eyes, as she drives, already exasperated by Nick’s constant demands, she fights hard not to snap at him.

NICOLE: (into phone) Oh, get over it. You’ll get your story, Nick. Abby’s not exactly an amateur, you know. Look, I gotta go. I have an appointment and I have to meet Eri—I gotta go.

Nicole hangs up quickly, kicking herself for slipping up as she presses “end call” on her phone, and carries on driving.



Nick tries in vain to carry on talking, quickly increasing his raging tone to a full-on holler.

NICK: (into phone) Nicole! NICOLE! You…BITCH!

Nick snaps, slamming his phone as hard as he can into the pavement, smashing it into a hundred pieces, as Abigail steps out the door to check on him. She stands back, horrified, as Nick holds his head, suddenly throbbing in terrible pain.

---

BillieReed_zpscb154cd4.pngLucasHorton_zpsfcd9c82d.png
Billie gets up from her seat in her office, as Lucas looks on, still confused as to what’s happening.

LUCAS: Wait, wha…what’s happening? What are Sheryl and Jordan up to?

Billies quickly reaches into her bag and pulls her phone out, quickly calling Kate.

BILLIE: I gotta call mom.

LUCAS: Why? Tell me what’s going on!

Billie looks at Lucas, a panicked look on her face as she holds her phone up to her ear.

BILLIE: I have a feeling that Sheryl and Jordan are planning to hack into Titan’s servers, and if they do, this entire company is gonna be destroyed.

---



---

Roman waits on an answer from Marlena. She looks up at Roman, fighting her urge to embrace him, but smiles warmly, regardless, as she regains her composure.

MARLENA: Maybe for a moment.

Roman looks back, warmly at Marlena. The tension between them lingers, as Roman responds.

ROMAN: Maybe…maybe we’ll get that second chance to get things right this time.

Marlena, laughs at Roman’s comment, responding dryly.

MARLENA: Heh, second. Try third. Fourth, maybe?

Marlena and Roman share a laugh before the awkward silence returns. Roman looks down at the ground for a moment, while Marlena’s smile slowly fades, her mind wandering to their previous times together, before Roman’s phone rings.

The stop a moment as Roman pulls his phone out. The tension broken, Marlena turns away to lock up the door to the penthouse.

ROMAN: (into phone) Brady here! Yeah, I’m on my way.

Marlena turns to look at Roman, concerned by the call as Roman hangs up. He immediately starts to head for the door.

MARLENA: You’re not going to work, are you?
ROMAN: Of course I am! They’re having a protest down at Percy Ruggles’ cabin, I gotta be there for crowd control.

Marlena backs up, hoping to stop him from taking off.

MARLENARoman, you just spent the night sleeping in a bush in 40-degree weather! You, you could’ve died, or or been mugged!

Roman shakes his head, trying to get Marlena to move out of the way of the door.

ROMAN: Doc! I’m fine! Nothing that a little tea and a warm blanket couldn’t fix, now, please. Let me have a little bit of my normal life here. Let me go do my job while I…while I still can.

The words linger in Roman’s mind, as he tenses up thinking about them. Marlena looks on, hesitant to let Roman go.

---

Billie hangs up her phone, as she gets up from behind her desk, and rifles through her bag. Lucas looks on, still stunned by Billie’s sudden burst of energy.

LUCAS: Are you serious right now? How are they gonna hack the servers? Victor spent…millions on the firewalls to protect the server.

Billie responds, not once looking up from her bag as she pulls out the relevant files.

BILLIE: He may have, but if my theory is right…

Billie pulls out the last of the files, as a knock is heard on Billie’s office door. Billie turns around, looking back up at Lucas, a stern look on her face as she finishes her thought.

BILLIE: They’ve already hacked city hall’s servers to try to delete Titan’s land development proposal. If they can get past government firewalls, imagine what they can do to us.

KateRoberts_zpsac4681d4.png
Billie walks over to the door and opens it, allowing Kate to walk in, a bit of a smirk on her face, and a bottle of champagne in one hand, sparkling cider in the other.

KATE: Well! This must be the moment we’ve all be waiting for!

Billie and Lucas look on, bemused, as Kate holds up both bottles with a smile.

KATE: I figured, since we’re about to see Sheryl and Jordan’s downfall, I’d come prepared.

---

Abigail hesitates to approach Nick, as he holds his head, gasping for air in front of the doorway of Salem U. She looks at him, panicked with concern for her cousin.

ABBY: Ni…Nick? Are you okay?

Nick doesn’t even look up at Abby, he stands, holding his head, trying to catch his breath, but struggles with the pain he’s feeling, as he begins to sweat profusely.

NICK: Ye…yeah, just…stay back.

Abby, still panicked, disobeys Nick’s orders and begins to approach him. Nick lurches away from Abby, hissing angrily back at her.

NICK: I said don’t touch me! I’ll be fine. I just need some water.

Abigail stares at Nick, shocked by his wild behaviour, as he rushes past her, back inside the building.

ABBY: Nick? NICK!



Nick darts around the corner, and hastily pulls his bottle of pills out from his jacket pocket, popping four into his hand, and stepping over to the water fountain to down them all. Jerome, having heard some of the commotion outside, spies Nick as he takes the pills. He looks on, unsure what to make of what he’s just seen, but worries for Abigail. He looks out the doorway to see if she’s okay, then back at Nick, who ignores Jerome’s stare, and leans against the edge of the water fountain, breathing in deep breaths to try to halt the throbbing, but slowly fading head pains.

---

EricBrady_zpsqwjyh1ag.png
Eric steps out the door of Club TBD, as Nicole walks up to the door. He smiles sheepishly at his fiancée as she wraps her arms around him. They kiss quickly, before separating.

ERIC: Hey! You seem…tense.

Nicole looks down, hesitating to look Eric in the eye.

NICOLE: Yyyeah. Well. I have reason to be. I uh…I might have accidentally let it slip to someone close to your family that we were gonna get married today.

Eric’s face drops, as Nicole looks down, a mix of shame and fear in her eyes.

NICOLE: …And I’m worried that tomorrow might be too late for us.

Nicole looks up to Eric’s worried stare, an even greater intensity, and concern in her eyes.

---

Thursday, November 24, 2016

DAYS #102: Billie puts the pieces together, Abby meets a handsome stranger


EPISODE 102
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson


NicoleWalker_zps8a6ptd9z.png
Nicole looks down as she stands in her office, ready to head out. Her cell phone in her hand as she sees an incoming call from Nick. She rolls her eyes, contemplating whether or not to answer the unwanted call.

NICOLE: (sigh) Nick, I’ll get back to you. Some things are more important to me than this damn story.

Nicole swipes left on her phone to ignore the call. Putting the phone hastily in her bag, she walks out into the hallway and shut the door to her office.

---

EricBrady_zpsqwjyh1ag.png NoelleCurtis_zpsxg2rtzxf.png AlexKiriakis2_zpsquwb7nky.png
Eric sits in Club TBD, with Alex and Noelle sitting across from him. They share a laugh.

ALEX: So yeah, needless to say, I’m really enjoying being back in Salem.
ERIC: That’s good. (sigh) I wish I could say being back has been as easy on me.

Noelle looks concerned at Eric after his statement.

NOELLE: Well, I thought you’d be thrilled to be back here, I mean…you’ve got your entire family here with you, old friends…
ERIC: --Yeah, well…the last year’s been a bit of a disaster, if I’m being honest. I’m surprised you don’t already know about it.

Alex looks at Eric, seriously concerned.

ALEX: Why? What happened, man? Like…I dunno, I didn’t read anything about it anywhere…

Alex looks at Noelle who shakes her head, totally clueless to the goings-on.

ERIC: Ohhh boy. This could take awhile.

Noelle looks at Eric, seeing the pain in his eyes. She takes a moment before responding.

NOELLE: Look, Eric, if you don’t wanna tell us what happened, you don’t have to—
ERIC: …No. No, I need to. I need everyone to know the truth, for better or worse.

Eric looks up at Noelle and Alex, sighing heavily before he begins to tell his story.

---

BillieReed_zpscb154cd4.png LucasHorton_zpsfcd9c82d.png
Billie walks into her office at Titan, a bit exasperated. She sits down at her desk as she dials a number on her cell phone. As she does, Lucas walks into her office, a troubled look on his face.

Billie notices, but holds up one finger to Lucas, indicating she’s about to speak into her phone.

BILLIE: (into phone) Uh, hey! I just wanted to check in about the plan for tonight. (pause) Well, we have to do something, I know something’s going down, and we need to be ready for it. (pause) That’s not good enough, Shane.

As Billie says Shane’s name, Lucas’s expression changes, knowing what the conversation’s about. He tries to motion to Billie, but she continues on, wrapped up in her conversation.

BILLIE: (into phone) No, I…(sigh) Yeah. Yeah, I’ll let you know. Thanks, bye.

Hanging up, she looks up at Lucas, who’s stood across from Billie on the other side of her desk, a curious look on his face.

LUCAS: More bad news?

Billie sets down her phone, shrugging in response to Lucas, as she leans back in her seat.

BILLIE: Well, not if your name is Sheryl Connors or Jordan Ridgeway. Shane says we don’t have enough to touch them yet, but I KNOW something major is about to go down, I can feel it. And it’s gonna happen tonight.

Lucas looks on, more worried than ever about what’s to come.


---




---

Eric sits across from Alex and Noelle at Club TBD, reluctantly telling the story of the events of the previous year. Alex and Noelle look on, stunned by the unbelievable story.

ERIC: And so…Nicole came back with Daniel and…they didn’t get the file, and they didn’t get anything from Chyka, and…here I am.

Noelle looks pensively at a visibly distraught Eric. She holds her hand out across the table to meet his, and gently squeezes it.

NOELLE: I’m sorry, Eric. I…we really shouldn’t have even asked and…
ERIC: No! No, I…it’s really hard to talk about but…well, how else am I gonna clear my name if I don’t tell people my story…no matter how…impossible it feels each time.
ALEX: Well, you’re a brave guy. Don’t ever forget that man. It took some real courage to tell us something like that.

Noelle looks at Alex, nodding in agreement as she looks back at Eric.

NOELLE: Alex is right. Look, Eric, you’ve got a great woman in Nicole. I know…her and I didn’t exactly hit it off very well, but…honestly, if the roles were reversed and someone was gunning for this guy?

Noelle leans into Alex, as Noelle manages to get a small laugh out of Eric. But Alex’s laugh seems slightly strained, as Noelle carries on.

NOELLE: Well, let’s just say I’d probably be just as protective.

Alex clears his throat, trying to hide his discomfort, as he wraps his arm around his wife.

ALEX: Well…little does my wife realize…she’s the only woman I have my eyes on.

Eric looks up, and smiles, watching the happy couple embrace in their booth, as he checks his watch, realizing the time. Eric jumps a bit, as his phone rings.

It’s Nicole.

He answers quickly, almost immediately apologizing to her.

ERIC: (into phone) I am so sorry.



Nicole stands in the office at City Hall where Eric had just been. She looks exasperated, but is trying to hold back her tension before she lets it out on Eric.

NICOLE: (into phone) (inhales) Oh, what for, Darling?



Eric, sensing the tension in Nicole’s voice, hesitates momentarily, before telling Nicole what’s happened.

ERIC: (into phone) Ahhh…so…there was a backlog at City Hall, because their servers went down this morning, and…we can’t get married until tomorrow.



NICOLE: (Into phone) WHAT??


ERIC: (into phone) Heh, yeah…look, I’m at Club TBD, if you wanna…



NICOLE: (into phone) I’m on my way.

Nicole hangs up brusquely, leaving Eric at the other end, a bit confused.



ERIC: (into phone) Nicole? Hello?

Alex and Noelle look Eric’s way, a bit amused by the exchange, though trying to stay out of it. Eric smiles sheepishly, knowing of Nicole’s impending wrath.

---

SherylConnors_zpscef7pfhn.png
Sheryl stands in her office. Visibly nervous, and speaking with a terse tone, she speaks to Jerome on the phone while slowly pacing the length of her office.

SHERYL:  (into phone) K, remember. If Nick Fallon does show up at the protest, just play it cool. As far as he knows, everything is going according to his plan.


JeromeGrant_zps3db0050c.png

JEROME: (into phone) Right. Look, I gotta get back. I’ma keep you in the loop. Kay, bye.

Jerome hangs up, walking back into the main hall where the other protesters are gathered. He gathers everyone near to him and calls out to them.

JEROME: Okay, everybody, can I ask for quiet a minute. (pause) Thank you. Right, so today is the first of many protests against Titan, and EnerNext’s plan to destroy the local ecosystem so they can extract the oil from the tar sands near Salem, and they’ll tell everyone that it’s all about bringing jobs the local economy. But it’s not about that. We need to stop them, and we need to act fast. How we gonna do this? Well, you see, a man named Percy Ruggles, y’all probably heard of him thanks to Nicole Walker’s piece on him on the news recently. Well, that is where we will be today. You see, just outside his property, EnerNext have got tractors, and demolition equipment ready and waiting for the go-ahead. And the only thing stopping them is Salem City Hall’s notice of expropriation.

AbigailDeveraux_zpsf4740a23.png
The crowd boos and calls out angrily at the news. Jerome tries to calm down the crowd as he continues. As he starts to speak again, the door to the campus building opens, and Abigail steps into the room. She hangs back by the doorway, looking around to scope out the mood in the room, before starting to listen closely to Jerome.

JEROME:Now, we have some good news on the City Hall front. I have heard that City Hall’s servers are down today. They’re dealing with that. That gives us time to get our message out before they try to tear Percy’s place down. That we do not want our air to be thick like pea soup with smog, for our waterways to be turned into toxic dumping grounds yet again. And for our city’s natural beauty to be taken away.

The crowd applauds loudly yet again, as Abigail looks at Jerome, impressed by his passion, and his intensity, she smiles at him as she listens to him. As Jerome begins his next sentence, he looks over and his eye catches Abigail, as the song begins to play over the scene. Jerome stumbles a moment before regaining his focus and carrying on with his speech.




JEROME: Bu…but not only that…for a kind and generous man who cares for and is passionate about the local environment, the birdlife in our countryside, and our rivers and lakes in the region…we do not want him to lose his sanctuary. Now y’all ready?

The crowd raises their fists in the air as they shout back to Jerome.

CROWD: YEAH!
JEROME: WHAT?
CROWD: YEAH!

Jerome leans toward the crowd, cupping his ear at them.

JEROME: Huh?

The time, Abigail, moved by the spirit of the moment, joins in.

CROWD: YEAH!
JEROME: ALRIGHT! We meet at Lakeview & Route 203 for 2pm. Peace!

Jerome cuts through the crowd as it breaks up, heading for Abigail. Rubbing his hands together as he approaches her, he smiles at her. Abigail smiles back as she walks his way, a bit of shyness in her eyes.

ABIGAIL: That was a great speech.
JEROME: Thanks…but I don’t think I remember seeing you through most of it.

Abigail shrugs, looking away sheepishly.

ABIGAIL: Okay, I…confess, I showed up in the middle of it. But I still love hearing how impassioned you are.
JEROME: Well, I appreciate it. Uh...

Abigail clues into what Jerome’s saying and introduces herself. Extending her hand to him.

ABIGAIL: Oh! It’s Abigail Deveraux.
JEROME: Jerome Grant…

Jerome points at Abigail, shaking his finger as he recalls something about her.

JEROME: You…you know that name sounds really familiar.
ABIGAIL: Yeah, my, my mom used to have a talk show and my dad and grandfather were in politics, but…that was…ages ago.
JEROME: Well, if that’s any indication of things to come for you, I’d say you got a bright future. Especially if I’m lucky enough to be in it.

Abigail nearly laughs in Jerome’s face at his line. Holding back, she responds.

ABIGAIL: Oh, someone’s a smooth talker.
JEROME: Hey, they don’t let just anyone speak at these rallies, you know. You gotta have finesse with the spoken word.

NickFallon_zps5ckac7xi.png
As Abigail answers, Nick walks through the doorway behind them, overhearing Abigail as he continues in vain to reach Nicole via cell phone. His face drops in disbelief as he hears Abby speak.

ABIGAIL: Oh, I can tell. As a matter of fact, you will definitely be a part of my immediate future. I’m here representing Nicole Walker. She…had an appointment she couldn’t miss, so she’s sent me to cover the protest for the evening news.
NICK: WHAT?

Jerome and Abby jump at hearing Nick’s angry response, as Nick approaches them, his hand holding his phone dropping to his side.

---

Lucas looks to Billie, a look of grave concern on his face as he stands in her office.

LUCAS: I don’t like the sound of that.
BILLIE: Well, that makes two of us, brother dear. Frankly, I’m pretty certain that Sheryl and Jordan are about a couple hours away from making a major move.

Lucas thinks a moment before responding.

LUCAS: This wouldn’t have anything to do with that guy I saw in Sheryl’s office yesterday, would it?

Billie looks up at Lucas, unsure what he’s referring to.

BILLIE: Who?
LUCAS: I dunno, some…Jerome guy? Tall, black guy. Said he was helping them with a project for Titan or something.

Billie looks around, suddenly piecing everything together.

***
FLASHBACK TO EPISODE 30
The door to the adjacent elevator opens at that moment, and Billie steps out, into the deserted office floor. She looks around for any signs of Sheryl or Jordan. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees a light in the office Jordan and Sheryl had just exited.
As she looks in, the computer monitor shuts off, as the desktop they were running turns itself off. Billie is concerned, and looking around her, steps into the office, using her key card.

***

FLASHBACK TO EPISODE 31

Billie steps into the office where the computer had just turned off. Turning on the light in the room, she begins to inspect the computer. Not finding anything, she pulls out the tower, and inspects the back, stopping when she reaches the USB drive. A small drive that barely looks like more than the size of a thumbtack has been inserted into the drive. Finding this odd, she pulls the key out and looks it over closely.
Billie gets up, putting the USB drive in her pocket. She hastily exits, turning off the light in the room before leaving.
***

Back in the current moment, Billie stops a second, as a news ticker flashes across her computer screen:

City Hall servers back online after morning outage

Billie’s face lights up in realization, and panic.

BILLIE: Oh my God. I think I know exactly what Sheryl and Jordan have planned. And we have to stop them.

Lucas looks at her, stunned by her sudden realization, and more worried than ever.

---

Friday, October 14, 2016

DAYS #101: Eric & Nicole's wedding hits a snag, Jennifer confronts Daniel about Billie

DAYS50-e1415825666426_zps2kbl6yv3.png
EPISODE 101
Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson


Eric walks into the office at Salem Town Hall. Speaking to the desk clerk, a middle-aged woman with glasses on her face, clearly on a neck strap. Eric smiles excitedly.

ERIC: Hey! Uh, I had called before about obtaining a marriage licence for a civil ceremony later in the day?
CLERK: Oh…uh…let me have a look, we had some…server issues all day and it’s been a real mess…hey, aren’t you that priest I saw on the news?

Eric looks away, embarrassed and annoyed at being recognized yet again.

ERIC: Yeah…yeah, that’s me.

The clerk gives him a cheeky smile back, before turning to her computer, clicking and typing away to try to find the relevant info for Eric and Nicole’s nuptuals.
After a moment, the woman’s face scrunches up in frustration.

CLERK: (sigh) Ooookay. Brady was it?
ERIC: Yeah. Is…is everything alright?

Eric looks on, trying to get a glimpse of the woman’s computer screen, but without success. The clerk looks Eric’s way apologetically.

CLERK: So…I have some bad news.

Eric looks at the woman, stunned, and with increasing disappointment.

ERIC: What? What is it?
CLERK: Well, as I said, the server’s been acting up all day, and your request…well…it didn’t send until about a half hour ago, so…(sigh) I’m sorry, Mr. Brady, we won’t be able to get you and your fiancée married until tomorrow.

Eric looks on, stunned by the news, a disappointed look on his face.

---

  
Nicole looks at Sami, who’s sat by her desk in Nicole’s new office. She smiles and looks toward Abby.

NICOLE: I think I’m either dreaming, or I’m being set up. Sami Brady actually paid little ole me a compliment?
SAMI:  Oh come on, Nicole. I was being sincere.

Nicole smirks, rolling her eyes as she responds.

NICOLE:  For once.
SAMI:  Look, if you don’t want the job, I know a lot of folks who—
NICOLE: …Oh, come on, I never said that. And…yes…I…appreciate the kind words, strange as it is to hear them coming from you.

Nicole chokes on her words, looking away as she processes how surreal the situation is.

SAMI: There, that wasn’t so hard, was it?
NICOLE: You have no idea.

Sami gets up from her seat, as Abby hesitates, looking up at Sami expectantly.

SAMI: Well, look. I’m gonna leave you two to it. You have a lot to catch Abby up on with this story, and I know you’re gonna knock it out of the park. See you guys!
NICOLE: See ya!

Sami steps toward the door and heads out, leaving Nicole and Abby alone in the office together. Nicole looks at Abby, an awkward smile appearing on her face.

NICOLE: Heh, so...shall we get started?

---

  
Jennifer shuts the door to Daniel’s office brusquely, never taking her eyes off her mother and Daniel standing together, discussing her love life.

LAURA: Jennifer! Honey!
JENNIFER: Mother, can you let Daniel and I talk in private, please?

Laura looks over at Daniel, who looks back at Jennifer, just as fixated. Sensing the tension emanating from both of them, Laura backs away, nodding slowly as she capitulates to her daughter’s request.

LAURA: Sure, Honey. I’ll be in my office. Daniel, we can continue this later on?

Daniel looks at Laura after a moment, and nods.

DANIEL: Yeah, that’s fine.

Laura steps out of Daniel’s office, more worried than ever. She heads off down the hall, a sorrowful look on her face.

Inside, Jennifer continues to fixate on Daniel, a deep-rooted anger in her eyes.

DANIEL: Jennifer, I—
JENNIFER: No, no, no, let…let me speak. Okay? I don’t know what you and my mother are up to, and I don’t care. But it needs to stop. Because it’s hurting Billie. And if you care about her like I think you do, you’ll be honest with her, and with me.

Daniel looks on, confused as to what Jennifer’s talking about.

---



---

Nicole sits at her desk, opposite Abigail. She looks down at her tablet, highlighting something, before handing it over to Abigail. She smiles confidently at Abigail as Abby takes the tablet from Nicole’s hands and looks it over.

NICOLE: And that’s the clincher. EnerNext has been using exaggerated and possibly even completely falsified information to justify their oil sands project.
ABBY: Okay, so you want me to go to this protest today, and speak to the organizer, am I right?
NICOLE: Yes…should be some…students organizing it. I also need you to speak to Percy Ruggles. It’s his land that EnerNext wants to buy out. But look, if Nick’s there, and he probably shouldn’t, just tell him you’re my assistant. If he tries to start something, tell him to deal with me.

Abby looks at Nicole, a bit confused by her concerns about Nick.

ABBY: I don’t get it. Why is Nick going to cause trouble?

Nicole looks with uncertainty at Abby, unsure what to tell her, and certainly not feeling trusting of her as of yet.

NICOLE: Just…not important, he just can be…demanding at times when he’s passionate about something.
ABBY: Well, he should be the one who’s careful about this, really. I mean, doesn’t he work in the Titan labs?

Nicole becomes agitated as Abby presses about Nick. She tries to play it down, but isn’t overly successful, snapping at Abby.

NICOLE: Look, just don’t…(sigh)

Nicole stops herself, and starts to laugh a bit as she changes her demeanour, in hopes of calming herself down, and getting Abby off the subject of Nick.

NICOLE: You need to save that journalistic spirit for when you’re at the protest. Okay? I think you’ll be just fine without me. So…you think you’re ready?

Abby gets up from her seat, a bit nervous, but she nods in agreement.

ABBY: Sure, let’s do this!
NICOLE: Great! So…I won’t be able to take any calls until about 4, so when you’re done, just leave a voice mail and I’ll call you back as soon as I’m done my appointment, okay?

Abby nods, as Nicole walks her to the door of her office. Nicole opens the door, and guides her out into the hall. Abby turns before leaving, grabbing her phone so as to make a last-minute note as to where she’s headed.

ABBY: Got it. And this place is off…
NICOLE: …Lakeview Road at Route 203. Make a left and drive about five minutes.

Abby types the address into her phone, concentrating as she does. Then, looking up, she smiles at Nicole.

ABBY: Alright.

As Nicole goes to shut the door, Abby stops herself from leaving.

ABBY: Um….hey! Nicole.
NICOLE: Yeah.
ABBY: You know…I know this whole situation is…really awkward. Especially since I mean…your history with my mom and…all that…but…I really am looking forward to working with you. I mean…I’m sure you know…both my parents were journalists for a very long time, and…well…it’s really cool to be involved in the family business, I guess you could say.

Nicole smiles warmly, feeling sheepish for having been against Abby being hired as her assistant before.

NICOLE: Well…what can I say? I’m happy to have you on board.

Nicole extends her hand out to Abigail. Abigail shakes Nicole’s hand before setting off. Closing the door behind her, Nicole’s expression changes almost immediately to one of relief and self-satisfaction.

NICOLE: Bet you weren’t expecting THAT, were ya, Sami? Well, time to do the deed!

Nicole grabs her wedding dress from the hook behind her office door, when her cell phone rings. In a rush to get out of the office, she doesn’t immediately answer, but scrambles to find her things first.

NICOLE: Hold on! God.

Nicole grabs her purse after grabbing everything else. Inside her purse, she finds her phone. Pulling it out, she sees who’s calling on the screen.

It’s Nick, again.

Nicole rolls her eyes, as a knot develops immediately in her stomach.

---

Eric sits at Club TBD, trying in vain to reach Nicole, whose phone has sent him straight to voice mail.

ERIC: (into phone) Hey, Nicole! It’s me. Uh…I have to talk to you as soon as possible. Please call me before you head down to city hall. We’ve got a problem.


A voice calls out to him from behind, surprising him into turning around suddenly.

NOELLE: A problem? Well this sounds serious.


Eric looks up to find Noelle, followed by Alex walking his way.

ERIC: Hey! Fancy meeting you guys here!

Noelle leans over to hug Eric, as Alex walks up behind her. After Noelle and Eric hug, Noelle continues, as Eric looks on at both she and Alex’s closeness.

NOELLE: Well, you know…when in Rome…Alex and I figured we’d better get to know where all the best places to eat out are right away, refamiliarize ourselves with our surroundings.
ERIC: Makes sense. I’m guessing this is the lucky guy?

Alex smiles, reaching a hand out to Eric’s for a handshake. Eric reciprocates.

ALEX: The one and only. Alex Kiriakis.
ERIC: Oh yeah…you’re Justin’s son. I haven’t seen you in…GOSH, YEARS!
ALEX: Likewise, Man! How’s it been?

Eric looks on, trying to fake a smile, but utterly failing. He shrugs it off as he responds.

ERIC: It’s a long story.
NOELLE: So I hear. What…was that phone call about, anyway?

Eric goes to tell them, then remembers to err on the side of discretion, lest word get back to his family.

ERIC: I umm…just had an appointment fall through. It’s nothing serious.

Noelle and Alex look on…somewhat disbelieving Eric’s sudden air of nonchalance.

---

Laura closes the door to her office. Sighing heavily. She walks over to the phone on her desk, and calls out to JJ.

LAURA: (into phone) JJ…it’s your grandmother. (sigh) I think we need to really think about stepping back from this Liam stuff. I don’t want to put you in any danger….no, don’t…don’t worry about me. I’m going to make sure you and your mother are safe. At any cost.

---

Daniel looks at Jennifer, confused by her demands he stop hurting Billie.

DANIEL: Jenn, wh…what are you talking about?
JENNIFER: Come on, Daniel. Don’t play stupid. Billie came to my house last night, and she told me point blank that you still had feelings for me. She could tell, Daniel. You didn’t even have to say a word to her, and she can tell your feelings are split between her and me.

Daniel sighs, realizing what Billie’s getting involved in. His frustration with her disobedience is visible to Jenn.

DANIEL: (sigh) And? What did you tell her?

Jennifer looks at him, unmoved.

JENNIFER: I told her the truth. I told her that I would always love you, but that what we had is over, and that I’m happy with Liam.

Daniel shakes his head, trying to hold in his anger at Billie’s interference.

DANIEL: (sigh) I wish she hadn’t done that.

Jennifer snaps at Daniel, thinking he’s upset for other reasons, she chastises his selfishness.

JENNIFER: Well, too bad, Daniel! Do you honestly think that what you’re doing to her is fair? You’re using her as a means to escape your feelings for me, but it’s not working. And all you’re doing is hurting her, and me. And I won’t let you do that. 

Daniel tries to stop Jenn from continuing, but Jenn won’t have it.

DANIEL: Look, Jenn, don’t—
JENNIFER: No, stop! You don’t get to tell me what to do and what not to do anymore, okay? Not that you ever really had any right.
DANIEL: Jenn, it’s not what it seems—
JENNIFER: Oh come on! What does that even mean, Daniel? 

Daniel stops himself, realizing he’s digging himself into an even bigger hole the more he tries to explain, and lets Jenn finish, while he rubs the back of his neck with her hand in discomfort.

JENNIFER: Look, Billie has had enough to deal with lately with Theresa in hospital. She thinks of Theresa as a daughter, and she’s vulnerable right now. So don’t you dare tell me that things aren’t what they seem, or that…that she’s just insecure and imagining things. I see you here, with my mom, as though we’re all this one big, happy family. You, and JJ, and my mom have to get it through your heads. It’s over between us. I love Liam. And all your attempts to make him look bad are just going to blow up in your faces, because I know when I look at him that he loves me too. 

Jennifer sighs, coming down of the adrenaline of her rant at Daniel, she looks down and swallows hard. She barely looks Daniel in the eye as she turns toward the door.

JENNIFER: I just…I just wish you’d all be happy for me…now, If you’ll excuse me. I have paperwork to finish.

Jennifer rushes out of Daniel’s office, hoping to escape before she begins to cry. Daniel looks on helplessly from inside, wanting to call out to Jenn, but deciding against it. He looks defeated as he stands alone in his office.

---


Jerome walks into a room at Salem U. The room’s full of students milling about, chatting, and readying signs for the protest that afternoon. Jerome chats with them, before his phone begins to ring. He excuses himself and steps to the corner of the room.

JEROME: (into phone) Hey!



Sheryl stands in her office at Titan, pacing nervously as she speaks to Jerome.

SHERYL: (into phone) How’s it coming?


JEROME: (into phone) Okay so far…no sign of anyone from the press yet, but I figure they’ll come out when we out in the field.


SHERYL: (into phone) Right, well, you keep me in the loop. The protest should create enough of a distraction that we can figure out the weak spots in Titan’s security for tonight.


Jerome nods, despite Sheryl not being able to see him.

JEROME: (into phone) Copy. Is Fallon coming down for this?


SHERYL: (into phone) No idea. If he does, just play it cool. As far as he knows, everything is going exactly according to his plans. His surprise is waiting for him tonight.

Sheryl finishes her sentence with a devious smirk on her face.

---