Written by A. Washington-Beeby
Story Consultants: ML Cooks, Nick Monarco & C. Nathaniel Richardson
Nicole walks into her apartment, Eric following behind. They both appear frustrated by the day’s events. Eric shuts the door behind them, as Nicole sets her purse down on the couch. She then turns to face Eric, putting her arms around his waist.
ERIC: So…explain to me who you told about the wedding?
NICOLE: I didn’t…exactly tell anyone but…I definitely slipped in front of…someone at work, and…ugh. It’s….I don’t wanna talk about it.
ERIC: Well, it’s obviously bugging you, and whatever bothers you…bothers me, too.
Nicole smiles half-heartedly at Eric’s sweet remark. She looks deeply into his eyes and leans in to quickly kiss him on the lips.
NICOLE: It’s alright. As hokey as it sounds, just being with you right now makes me feel better.
ERIC: Good. Cos whatever happens, we’ll get through it together. Always.
Nicole wraps her arms around Eric, and hugs him tightly. After a moment, she looks past him, the fear still not gone from her eyes, as she holds her fiancé for dear life.
Hope and Rafe pull up in the squad car outside Percy’s. Rafe, driving the car, turns the car off, as Hope stares out the window intensely. Rafe picks up on this as he looks out as well, following her eyes.
Outside the car, a group of students are setting their signs up, chatting and laughing as they do. Front and centre among them is Jerome.
RAFE: Well! What a coincidence! If it isn’t our old friend Mr. Grant.
Rafe’s face changes in reaction to Hope’s half-present answer, knowing something’s up.
RAFE: You’re still thinking about his arrest, aren’t you?
Hope turns to look Rafe’s way, a concerned look on her face.
HOPE: How can I not? Rafe, we arrested a man based on not just faulty information, but information that’s highly prejudicial, and could open us up to a whole mess of legal trouble if it continues.
Hope turns back to look out at the crowd gathered. Her solemn face remaining as she finishes her thought.
HOPE: Or worse…could end up ruining innocent lives.
Rafe looks on thoughtfully as he watches the crowd as well, studying them.
Outside the car, Percy steps out from his house to greet the protesters. Jerome beams as he approaches Percy. He extends a hand to him to shake.
PERCY: Greetings, everyone! I take it you’re here to help spread the word about our campaign to spare my home.
JEROME: We are indeed, my man! I am Jerome Grant, I’m heading up the protest, and you must be the infamous Percy Ruggles.
PERCY: It is an absolute pleasure, good sir!
Percy and Jerome shake hands tightly, as, among the group gathered, Abby and her cameraman set up. Abby nervously talks to the cameraman as she readies herself. Jerome looks out, and spots Abby from afar. His eyes fixate on her momentarily, before he centres himself back on Percy.
JEROME: The pleasure’s all mine. Uh…look, before we begin, I was hoping before everything starts if we could get some press stuff ready. We got a young woman here from the local news and she’ll probably wanna interview you, so…
PERCY: I’d be more than happy to. Just let me know.
Jerome smiles broadly at Percy, as he steps away to go talk to Abigail.
JEROME: Alright, my man. I’ma be with you in a sec.
Jerome heads down, just as Abigail and her cameraman adjust her microphone for the shot. Jerome puts his hands on Abigail’s shoulders from behind, startling her for a second as she turns around.
ABBY: Jerome! Hey!
JEROME: Hey! How you doin’?
Abigail casually brushes her hair to one side as she smiles at Jerome, her eyes locking onto his for a second as she stutters in her attempts to respond.
ABBY: I..I…heh, I was just looking for you, actually. Since you’re the face of this protest, I figure I should maybe get a quick interview with you.
Jerome flashes a sly grin as he shrugs in response.
JEROME: Well…you could say that…I mean I organized it, but…really it’s all about that man Percy back there.
Abby turns to see Percy on his porch, she smiles, as she nods in understanding.
ABBY: Right, so…I guess, I should maybe talk a bit more to you and this Percy, and maybe you can fill in any gaps I have…
Abby looks down at her tablet, not really paying attention to the heinous double entendre she just uttered. Upon catching herself, her eyes widen, and she looks up at a smiling Jerome. She blushes in embarrassment.
ABBY: In my story! WOW! Phrasing!
Jerome tries unsuccessfully to hold back a laugh, as Abigail playfully smacks him.
ABBY: That’s not funny! You’re gross.
JEROME: Hey! You’re the one who thought it, not me.
Abby rolls her eyes, mocking indignation as Jerome laughs a little longer, before they both catch each other’s eyes again, smiling back at each other.
Inside the cruiser, Hope and Rafe look on, spotting Abby and Jerome’s playfulness together. Hope looks concerned by their interaction.
Billie rushes into Salem City Hall, as the woman who helped Eric earlier is just about to get up from her station. Billie, panicked about the time, calls out to her as she races over to the desk.
BILLIE: EXCUSE ME! Hi! Sorry! I hate to bug you at this hour, I know you’re probably about to close up for the day, but…this is kind of an emergency.
CLERK: I uh…I hate to be rude, miss but…I’m done my shift and the info desk closed about five minutes ago—
BILLIE: Yes! Yes, I know! And I’m sorry, but…this is a life and death situation, and I desperately need your help. It’ll only a take a minute, I swear!
The clerk sighs, shaking her head as she goes to step away from her desk.
CLERK: I’m sorry, Miss, I really, I don’t mean to be rude, but our hours and clearly stated on the website and on our door, and—
BILLIE: That’s exactly what I need to ask you about.
CLERK: I’m not a tech person, ma’am, I can barely use my smart phone.
The clerk turns away from Billie, reaching for the lightswitch to close up for the day, when Billie approaches slightly closer to her, her expression changing in an instant as she pulls out her ISA ID to discreetly show the clerk.
BILLIE: Look, Ma’am. I don’t think you understand.
The clerk stops dead in her tracks, as she sees the ISA ID card in front of her. She looks up at Billie, eyes widened with worry.
Gabi steps into the living room in her apartment, emerging from Ari’s room, having just put her down for a nap. Sighing with relief after a busy lunch hour, she looks down at the coffee table, and sees the envelope Sami’s gifted her.
She takes a moment, deep in thought before she walks over to it and opens it. Taking a moment to read it over, Gabi looks on, shocked by what she finds.
GABI: Now SAMI wants me to model for her at Countess W?
Gabi sets the contract down on the coffee table, putting her hands up to her head and pulling them through her hair in frustration.
GABI: UGGGH! Now I KNOW they’re up to something. Either Nick’s forcing them to do this…
Gabi takes a moment, getting up off the couch, pacing to herself as she thinks out loud. She stops, and looks back at the contract, as she finishes her thought.
GABI: Or Sami’s trying to pull some kind of twisted test of loyalty on me. And either way, I’m not gonna fall for it this time.
Sheryl stands in her office, arms crossed, as she waits for Jordan to answer her question about what's caused her to be so seemingly neurotic recently. Jordan breathes in deeply, before reluctantly saying the truth.
JORDAN: Okay. I’m late.
Sheryl throws up her hands in exasperation, knowing what Jordan’s implying.
SHERYL: Of course you are!
JORDAN: I haven’t taken the test yet though, but…I’m never late. Like…EVER.
Sheryl rolls her eyes as she turns away from Jordan, shaking her head.
SHERYL: So you’re gonna tell me that now you’re gonna get all baby crazy again?
Jordan glares at Sheryl, folding her arms in discomfort.
JORDAN: Sheryl, you know how much I wanted another baby. I gave up my chance the last time, but I am NOT going to pass up the chance to be a mother this time. Not when I could be happy with a man I love. With a baby. A career where I can actually help people. You know that’s important to me.
Sheryl snaps back at Jordan, irritated by her sudden attack of domesticity.
SHERYL: And impossible! You are a wanted woman.
JORDAN: Kaylie Matthews is a wanted woman.
SHERYL: YOU are still Kaylie Matthews, and the ISA and the Salem PD are going to figure that out VERY shortly.
Jordan looks down, arms still folded in discomfort as she tries to hold herself back. She sighs heavily, as she wordlessly listens to Sheryl’s emphatic words.
SHERYL: We are THIS close to taking down the EnerNext oil sands, Jordan. We are SO DAMN close to saving this town from a lifetime of cancer, of disease, of pollution. You wanna help people? Help us bring Titan and EnerNext down. Because you aren’t going to be able to help them from a jail cell.
JORDAN: I’m not going to jai—
SHERYL: …Like hell you’re not!
Sheryl’s raised voice cuts Jordan off, Jordan looks down again, doubling down on her denial of the situation.
SHERYL: You can pretend like you have this great future with Rafe, Jordan, but we both know that once we launch that virus tonight, the ISA and the Salem PD are going to be onto us, and you and I will have to leave town and take on a new identity. There’s no way out Jordan. Even if you back out now.
Jordan tenses, as she looks up at Sheryl with a steely resolve. She spits out a reply to Sheryl before turning and storming out of Sheryl’s office.
JORDAN: Oh, you wanna bet? Just watch me. I’m out.
Sheryl looks on in stunned disbelief as Jordan storms out of her office. Sheryl calls out to her.
SHERYL: Jordan?....JORDAN! Don’t be…
Jordan slams the door to Sheryl’s office shut as she makes her way out to the elevator. Sheryl winces as the door slams, staying put in her office, arms folded.
SHERYL: …stupid. (sigh)
Nicole and Eric sit together on the sofa at Nicole’s apartment. Eric and Nicole lay in each other’s arms, quietly watching TV on their unexpected afternoon off. Eric sits, blissfully unaware that Nicole is still deep in thought about Nick’s threats against her.
Nicole thinks to herself as she sits wordlessly next to Eric:
NICOLE: (voiceover) All I need is one more day…if I can keep Nick from blowing his stack…and keep the proof I hid Dr. Chyka’s files from Eric…maybe we can make it
Nicole snaps out of her mind as Eric prods her slightly.
ERIC: Hey! You look like you’re miles away.
NICOLE: (sigh) Yeah…I guess I am. You…uh…heh, sorry.
ERIC: It’s alright. Look, I know it’s gonna be hard keeping this marriage a secret for awhile but…well…we can do this.
Eric shuffles over, as he and Nicole both sit more upright on the sofa.
ERIC: Here’s an idea. Why don’t we plan a little weekend away in Chicago, sort of a…mini-honeymoon for the two of us.
NICOLE: I don’t know if I can get the time away, I mean…there’s so much happening with the EnerNext story and…
Eric looks at Nicole, giving her puppy dog eyes that make Nicole start to crack up. Her defences down, she starts to chuckle as she changes the end of her thought.
NICOLE: …and I think Abigail can handle it.
ERIC: I’m so glad to hear you say that.
Nicole giggles as Eric throws his arms around Nicole, pulling her in for another passionate kiss as Nicole pulls herself on top of Eric. They begin to kiss passionately in the dim glow of the TV in front of them.
Across the room, Nicole’s phone buzzes while on top of the kitchen counter. Nicole doesn’t hear it as she keeps busy with Eric.
The Titan lab phone number appears on the screen.
On the other end of the line, Nick paces in front of the lab phone at Titan. When Nicole's phone goes to voice mail, Nick's anger kicks off yet again, this time leaving a threatening voice mail message for Nicole.
NICK: (into phone) This is your last warning, Nicole. I have a really strange feeling I know what you were up to today instead of doing what I asked you to. Don't screw with me, lady. You have too much on the line.
Nick slams the phone down on the receiver, as he goes to grab his bag, muttering to himself.
NICK: Now I guess I gotta get a new cell phone at Salem Place...
As Nick lifts his bag up, something falls out of his bag.
Nick spots it and looks down at the ground before bending down slowly to pick it up.
He looks it over thoughtfully, and suddenly realizes what it is: Dr. Marlena Evans' prescription pad. A mix of rage and amusement cross Nick's face as he flips the prescription pad back and forth between his fingers.
NICK: Now who would've given me a gift like this? Hmmm...
Billie types away at the Salem City Hall office computer, while the desk clerk waits impatiently in the corner, looking suspiciously around the corner, unsure whether she’s doing the right thing or not.
CLERK: How much longer is this gonna take?
Billie cuts the clerk off, never taking her eyes off the computer screen as she continues typing.
BILLIE: Not much longer, but it’s gonna take even longer if you keep asking.
The city clerk rolls her eyes as she leans against the doorframe, sighing heavily. Finally, Billie bolts upright, a smile suddenly on her face.
BILLIE: Got it! I just hope it’s not too late.
CLERK: What do you mean?
Billie turns around to face the clerk, smiling from ear to ear now.
BILLIE: You’re gonna wanna call the Salem PD. I found your hacker, and they’re going down tonight.