Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson
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.
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.
Nick approaches Abigail and Jerome in the main lobby of Salem U. Both turn, stunned by his angered presence, having overheard their conversation.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.