In Crimson Lights, Chelsea thanks Billy for his kindness the other day at the park. She lets him know that she listened to her podcast. He asks, “Did you enjoy it?” She stuns him by replying, “No. I didn’t at all.” Stunned speechless for a second, then wonders if maybe she doesn’t like podcasts in general. Chelsea assures her that it was hers in particular. Billy informs her that most listeners responded positively. Chelsea muses that she must be in the minority then, Billy invites her to tell him what it is about her inner thoughts and dreams that bothers her so much.
At the Grand Phoenix, Lauren arrives as Michael is finishing a call to set up a mystery meeting for Victor Newman. She assumes that he was doing something weird for Mustache. Michael texts Victor: “All systems ready.” They argue when she disagrees with the nature of her job. Michael thinks it’s time for another quick trip and suggests a romantic weekend somewhere tropical. Lauren has so many things to do at work, but she hopes to get it done soon. Michael muses that maybe now they can find time for romance. “Do you have time to have lunch…at our place…in the dorm?” Lauren laughs. She doesn’t have time to go home… but they could get a room upstairs.
At Forrester Creations, Sally reads a positive review of the press conference to Adam, who is not as excited as she expects. Adam worries that things have gone too well. He’s confident, but he can’t help but feel like there’s another shoe ready to drop. Sally gives him a pep talk: he can handle any crisis that comes up. Adam has to be on his toes when it comes to the founder of the company. If Victoria calls and wants to come back, her father will kick him out. Sally can’t see it happening. She made a bold statement by leaving, and if she loves Ashland, she doesn’t make any emotional sense. Adam realizes that his sister is much more complicated than Sally thinks.
In Society, Nick finds his father and asks him what he couldn’t wait for. Victor just wanted him to know that he is thinking about the future. Whatever adventure Ashland and Victoria are about to embark on, it will hit a brick wall.
In New York, Ashland walks into the hotel and tells Victoria that she has some bad news. She has bad news of her own. Locke tells him that he couldn’t steal the media genius they had at Newman: Dan likes the job security there. Victoria sighs: They’re a new company, so it makes sense. She then relays that the bad news for her is that investors have turned them down. Ashland’s jaw drops: “All of them!? Something is not right here!” Victoria nods.
In Society, Nick learns that Victor ordered the investors Ashland and Victoria approached not to invest a dime. He had Michael spread the word to other potential future investors as well. Nick finds this one quite fierce. Victor doesn’t play and he had no choice. Nick replies, “What if this was a test of Victoria?” If he was trying to see if they believed in her or if they undermined her. He points out that Victor shut down his project before he could start and Nick will have failed his loyalty test by letting him know. Victor shrugs, “Well, there’s that.”
In New York, Victoria and Ashland baffle investors who give vague reasons for turning them down. Ashland wonders if someone came up to them to interfere. “This is just the kind of move your father would make.”
In Society, Victor tells Nick that he told the investors that Ashland is dying. “Who is going to invest in a company run by a man who is dying?” Nick complains that he is walking a fine line. Victor thought that he wanted to be kept informed. Nick appreciates it, he only feels guilty because Victoria will know that he betrayed her. Victor reminds him that they have to do whatever it takes to save his sister from him.
In a hotel suite, Michael and Lauren slow dance and he muses, “We still have him.” She purrs, “We never lost him.” They begin to undress and feel naughty. Michael won’t ruin your day, but he says, “Don’t rush it. We have time. They were here.” Michael kisses his wife and nuzzles her neck.
In Crimson Lights, Chelsea informs Billy that the first few episodes of her podcast are steeped in self-recrimination and pain from the past. Billy tried to make him cathartic. It was hard for Chelsea to continually listen to all that darkness. Billy thinks her podcast made her miserable. Chelsea believes that people want to be lifted. She had a rough year and she needs to be brought out of that darkness. She wants lightness and humor. Billy insists that she is not walking under a dark cloud 24/7. She thinks this defensiveness is a sign that he knows she’s right. Billy had forgotten how well she used to know him. He decides that maybe she is right. Lily joins them and Billy updates her. Lily thinks she said the podcast needed less misery. He is a bit sour. Billy winces, but he feels he had better listen to them.
At the hotel, Lauren and Michael part ways in the lobby after their date.
At Newman Enterprises, Adam explains to Sally that his sister’s desire for Victor’s approval may overpower his feelings for Ashland. Sally bets on love and advises him to enjoy her time in the big chair. He will prove that he is the best person for the job and she can’t wait to see him do it.
In New York, Victoria jokes that Ashland is probably right about her father scaring off investors. Her ability to discover what she is up to and her power are far reaching than she could imagine. Ashland marvels that she would use those powers to stop her own daughter from starting a new company. He rants about Newmans interference in his life. Victoria tells him that it took him to come into her life for her to finally see him and want to back off. Ashland asks if he has said anything to anyone about his stay in New York. She denies talking to anyone. Ashland knows this hurts her, but she has to ask if she’s sure she really wants to start a new life with him and leave her family behind.
At Society, Nick is concerned that this will make Victoria angrier and tells her that she doesn’t answer his calls. Victor urges him to be patient. Nick says that Victoria didn’t bat an eye when Victor put Adam in charge, but his father doubts it. Victor questions why Victoria would tell Nick about her new company. Nick asks if he thinks she knew she would tell her father about it. “Are you already seven steps ahead?” Victor smiles, “You’ll find out.” Nick doesn’t like tricks, moves, and counterattacks. “Do you think he is going to reunite the family?” Just then, Adam and Sally walk in.
In New York, Victoria reminds Ashland why she had to cut ties: she needs her family to see her as someone who can’t be manipulated. Ashland agrees that it’s time for her to fight back. Victoria reflects that her family will soon realize that she knows exactly what she is doing. Ashland hopes to be there to witness that moment. They decide to eat. Victoria stands behind Ashland and gives her a cryptic look as she unpacks the takeout. As they eat, Ashland complains some more about Victor trying to ruin Victoria’s life. He won’t let it frustrate her dream; They’ll have to find out more. Victoria takes up the idea of financing the start-up themselves. “I know we will succeed.” She tells him about the idea, and he decides it might be more satisfying to do it on her own. “Maybe you’re right. Maybe this is the best move. Let’s do it. My money and I are all in.” Victoria smiles.
Lauren walks into Crimson Lights and catches up on Billy’s conversation with Chelsea and Lily. Chelsea and Lauren go out to the patio to meet and Billy asks Lily why she didn’t tell him earlier that he was cranky. She urges him to relax and reminds him how many people are listening.
On the patio, Lauren tells Chelsea that she’s sorry she’s late, that she can blame her husband. Chelsea teases a little afternoon love. The conversation turns to business and Lauren tells her that Gloria told her there was tension between her and Chloe. Chelsea tries to pretend that Gloria is Gloria, but Lauren could tell that she was really worried. Chelsea assures her that she and Chloe are best friends and that they will get over it. Lauren is relieved. She asks if Chelsea has heard from Summer. Chelsea has a meeting with her later today and wants a hint from Lauren on what it’s all about. Lauren won’t please her and turns the conversation to designs. Chelsea hands her the last of hers and then looks over at Billy as Lauren looks at the sketches.
In Society, Nick congratulates Adam and Sally on their promotions, and they comment that they came through after Victoria ran off with Ashland. Adam points out that Nick isn’t particularly interested in who runs the company and what’s going on with it. Nick then surprises him by replying, “Things may be changing on that front.” Adam says that he hopes to hear all about it and leaves with Sally. Victor, who has been looking at his phone all this time, takes off his glasses and asks Nick, “What did you mean by your last comment?” Nick insists it was just a knee jerk reaction, but Victor noticed his interest. Nick reiterates that they both know that Adam only cares about directing Newman; he just wanted to give her something to worry about, that’s all.
In New York, Victoria tells Ashland that she is going to open a corporate bank account for her new company and that he needs to contact a real estate broker to find them an office building. Ashland loves the way they both see the world the same way. He feels that they are very close to regaining the magic that they had when they met. She sings: “Closer than you can imagine.” Later, while Ashland is on the phone with a real estate agent, Victoria texts someone to say, “It’s all going well.”
Following The Young and the Restless: Diane plays the condolence card with JackChelsea considers another opportunity, and Nate asks Imani for a favor.
To remember The romantic fusion of Ashland and Victoria in the gallery below.
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