NEW YEAR’S EVE
DOUG’S PLACE BY THE LAKE
Party goers have already started arriving for the big New Year’s Eve party and Julie Williams is right in the thick of things with star maitre d’ Wally helping show everyone to tables. Her husband, Doug Williams, comes up behind her and kisses her lovingly on the neck. Julie is clearly overjoyed by the turnout for their first New Year’s Eve celebration since re-opening the club. She asks Doug where Hope is and he explains that she should be arriving shortly after getting her young daughter, Ciara, squared away with the babysitter. Julie cautiously asks her husband whether Hope’s new ward, J.T. Reiber, will be joining the festivities and Doug confesses that he isn’t sure. He knows that Hope was trying to talk him into it, but J.T. has been rather sullen and distant since he got out of St. Monica’s. Julie still isn’t sure inviting such a troubled teenager into her home was the smartest move Hope could’ve made.
DOUG’S PLACE BY THE LAKE
Doug and Julie are chatting with the recently arrived Victor and Maggie Kiriakis. Victor compliments them on a wonderful job with the party. A modest Doug insists that all the hard work was supplied by Julie and Hope. Julie takes the opportunity to pull Maggie aside and ask her if she’s given more thought to moving Chez Rouge to the Doug’s Place complex. Julie doesn’t want to pressure Maggie in any way, but if she’s decided against it, she’d like to know so that she and Doug could start to consider other leasing options (since it doesn’t make good business sense to let the space go unused). Maggie tells Julie that she’s given the decision a great deal of thought, but she’s afraid that she can’t give up the location the restaurant is in now because it holds so much sentimental value because of Mickey. Although Julie understands Maggie point of view, she still tries to persuade Maggie to change her mind. When Maggie’s daughter, Sarah Horton, walks in and overhears Maggie and Julie discussing Chez Rogue, she gets the impression that Maggie has decided to take Doug and Julie up on their offer and immediately lashes out at her mother for betraying her late father yet again. Julie is aghast by how severely Sarah berates her mother and repeated tries to come to Maggie’s defense to set Sarah straight. However, spurred on by Sarah’s tirade, a defiant Maggie very vocally announces that she has decided to accept the offer to move Chez Rouge to Doug’s Place and rather bluntly tells her daughter that she’ll have to deal with her decision or else!
Meanwhile, Dr. Daniel Jonas and Jennifer Devereaux (who’ve only recently arrived together) have witnessed part of the exchange between Maggie and Sarah from a distance. Daniel is concerned about his mother, Maggie, and how strained things seem to continue to be between her and Sarah. Jennifer assures him that things take time to sort out and points out that his and Sarah’s relationship was initially quite strained, but it seems like they’ve been working it out. Daniel agrees, but he still can’t help but be worried. Jennifer offers to go talk to her cousin, Sarah, for Daniel, but before she has a chance, Abe Carver arrives with his houseguest, Nicole Walker, on his arm. Jennifer is alarmed that they’re together, but quickly tries to dismiss the pairing as a friendly arrangement. Daniel agrees and points out that they’re surely there just as friends – just like he and Jennifer are. Although she refuses to let it show or admit it to herself, Daniel’s assertion of “just friends” disappoints her.
UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL – EMERGENCY ROOM
Dr. Mike Horton and Dr. Kayla Johnson are in the middle of a very busy evening in the ER. During a lull in activity, Nurse Maxine orders them to take a break and rest up for the rest of the evening. Mike and Kayla go to the ER lounge for coffee where Kayla takes the opportunity to quiz Mike about his canceled date with Gretchen Wyndham. Mike reiterates his earlier story about how Gretchen was forced to cancel because she came down with the flu that’s been running through the hospital staff. A smug Kayla interrupts Mike’s story to reveal that she actually ran into Gretchen earlier as she was on her way down to the ER and she looked to be the picture of perfect health. When Kayla asked Gretchen about her New Year’s Eve plans, Gretchen revealed that she’d had a date, but he’d canceled because he suddenly had to work. The look on Mike’s face immediately tells Kayla that he’s busted and he confesses that he canceled his plans just so he could work in the ER. “You didn’t actually think I’d let you get a leg up on me for that COS spot, did you?” he laughs.
GREEN MOUNTAIN LODGE
Will Horton and Sonny Kiriakis are enjoying a romantic, private New Year’s Eve dinner by candlelight in their hotel room. From the elegant table, to the candles, to the soft music, it’s quite evident that Sonny has gone to great lengths to make sure this evening is a special one for both him and Will. Unfortunately, Will seems to be a bit uncomfortable with the elaborate display. Sonny notices and asks him if everything’s okay and after some prodding Will confesses that he’s feels a bit awkward. Although Will appreciates everything Sonny’s done, he’s just not used to being wooed like this. He’s a guy and he’s supposed to be the one doing the wooing. Sonny assures Will that they have plenty of time to woo each other and asks Will if there’s something else he wants to do. Will brings up the big New Year’s Eve party going on downstairs again and Sonny asks him if he wants to go. Will confesses that he does. “Then let’s do it,” Sonny smiles as he grabs Will’s hand and pulls him towards the door. “All of this can wait.”
DOUG’S PLACE BY THE LAKE
Kate Roberts arrives on the arm of her son, Lucas Horton. Kate is proud to have Lucas as her date for the evening and reveals her earlier worry that Lucas would end up as Sami Brady’s date like he did during the hospital benefit. “But crisis averted,” she quips with a smug smile. Lucas confess that he’d actually intended to come with Sami (warranting an annoyed scowl from Kate), but when he tried to reach her earlier, he couldn’t get hold of her. John Black and Marlena Evans arrive and, upon seeing Lucas with Kate, also ask him about Sami while expressing surprise that she isn’t on his arm instead of Kate. When Lucas reveals that he doesn’t have a clue where Sami might be, Marlena openly wonders if she’s decided to spend the evening with her ex-husband, Rafe Hernandez. Lucas thinks that could be possible since he walked in on Sami on the phone with Rafe earlier, clearly trying to rope him into plans for the evening.
When EJ DiMera walks into the club with Sami on his arm, closely followed by Kristen DiMera and her escort, Mitch Taggart, all heads turns. “That doesn’t look like Rafe,” Kate quips. Lucas is livid and his first instinct it to snatch Sami away from EJ, but Kate stops him from making a scene. Even so, Lucas is certain that Sami is headed for trouble by even considering going out with EJ. Meanwhile, upon seeing Kristen, Marlena grabs John’s arm tightly and gently coaxes him in the opposite direction. The last thing Marlena wants is for Kristen to have even the slightest opportunity to work some of her machinations on John. When Kristen sees Marlena’s obvious efforts to keep John away from her, she smirks with satisfaction. Mitch questions her true plans for the evening, but Kristen remains tightlipped, only saying that there could be fireworks at midnight if she has her way.
DOUG’S PLACE BY THE LAKE
Justin and Adrienne Kiriakis are talking to their oldest son, Alex Kiriakis, and his girlfriend, Ariel Weston. Although Ariel is clearly fully engaged in the conversation (going out of her way to successfully ingratiate herself with Alex’s parents), Alex is barely paying attention as he scans the crowd of partygoers for a glimpse of Gabi Hernandez. He smiles when he catches sight of her, but the fact that she’s on Nick Fallon’s arm makes him scowl. When he grabs Ariel’s arm to forcibly drag her away from Justin and Adrienne (ending the conversation mid-sentence), Ariel winces from his tight grip, but covers it up with Adrienne. Alex drags Ariel across the room to where Nick and Gabi are standing and proceeds to strike up a conversation (much to Nick’s annoyance). Alex works to be his charming best with Gabi (who clearly buys the act hook, line, and sinker) while Ariel begins to lose focus and Nick refuses to take his eyes off of Alex. When Alex asks Gabi if she’s given any more thought to his offer (she’s still thinking about it), Nick is alarmed because Gabi hasn’t mentioned a word about it to him. He drags Gabi away to talk and questions her about what Alex is talking about. Gabi confesses that Alex offered her a job as his secretary/assistant with a substantial pay increase and he’s willing to work around her class schedule. Nick thinks the offer is suspicious and forbids Gabi from taking the job. Gabi is stunned by Nick’s attitude and very pointedly informs him that the job is attractive because she needs to extra money for an apartment and if she decides to take it, it’s because it’s her decision. Gabi storms off, leaving Nick anxious over Alex’s increased influence on her.
Hope arrives and Julie promptly asks her what took her so long to get there. Hope explains that it took quite a bit of convincing to talk J.T. into coming to the party. Julie is surprised that he actually came (“He’s here? Where?”). Hope tells her that he’s milling around the club because she doesn’t want to keep him chained to her side. “He isn’t a little boy anymore, after all,” she remarks. Julie asks Hope if she’s managed to reach Bo yet. Hope tells her that she’s been trying, but still hasn’t been able to get through. Hope vows to keep trying because she can’t imagine ringing in a new year without Bo.
Meanwhile, J.T. is wandering through the crowd feeling increasingly out of place. He knows no one and no one knows him. He comes upon Jennifer and Abby and recognizes them from Christmas Eve, but instead of saying anything to them, he turns and goes the other direction. Feeling the need for a smoke, J.T. slips out the front of the club and goes outside for a cigarette next to the valet stand. Tad is working and nods in J.T.’s direction when he sees him as does Tad’s co-valet, Milo, who makes an aside remark concerning the uppity people inside and the “snotty rich kid” sneaking outside to enjoy a smoke. T.J. overhears Milo and starts to get into his face about him being anything but a snotty rich kid. Before the confrontation can escalate, Tad gets between them and sends J.T. back inside. As J.T. storms off, he can’t get over the feeling that he’s seen Milo somewhere before.
As Chloe Lane sings a moving rendition of the jazz standard “Skylark,” the various couples crowd the dance floor and sway in time to the music before Doug joins her on the stage and the duo launch into the more upbeat “I Could Have Danced All Night” from “My Fair Lady.” Brady Black stands near the edge of the stage virtually beaming as he watches the performance. Once Doug and Chloe conclude their song, she exits the stage and goes right into Brady’s arms – an event that is witnessed and watched very closely by Daniel and can’t seem to keep his eyes off of them. Abby Devereaux brings Daniel a cocktail, explaining that her mother is busy talking to Hope and will be back in a few minutes. He seems to barely be able to pay attention to her, which Abby notices. She also notices that he seems overly interested in watching Brady and Chloe together. Although she doesn’t say anything, Abby quickly deduces that Daniel might not be completely over his ex-wife.
While Abe is off talking to John and Marlena, Nicole can’t help but feel a bit skittish by herself. It’s practically the first time she’s set foot out of the house since she brought “Danny” home from the hospital and definitely the first time she’s left him alone. Although she knows she’s just being overly protective and anxious, she has difficulty fighting the irrational inner fear that EJ might just try to run off with the baby the first moment her back is turned. Before Abe can return, EJ comes up behind Nicole and nearly makes her jump out of her skin. He asks her where baby Edmund is and demands to know why she left him alone. Nicole insists “Danny” (she still refuses to call him Edmund) is safe with the sitter. “I see,” EJ mutters. His tone alarms Nicole and she makes a quick and hasty exit, deciding that it’s not safe to leave her baby alone for a second. When Abe sees Nicole rush out of the club, he comes over to EJ and asks where she’s running off to (while implying that EJ’s said or done something to her). EJ calmly explains that Nicole was missing their son and wanted to be home with him before turning on his heel and walking away.
DOUG’S PLACE BY THE LAKE
Lucas corners Sami by the bar while EJ is away and demands to know what she thinks she’s doing spending New Year’s Eve with him. Sami tries to downplay the evening by merely saying that EJ asked her and she had no other plans, so she said “yes.” Sami assures Lucas that it means nothing and doesn’t violate the terms of their “bet.” Lucas insists that their “deal” is the least of his worries where EJ is concerned and tries to remind her of all of the heartache and heartbreak he’s caused her in the past. “Do you really think that taking up with EJ DiMera again is the best thing for you or our kids in the long run?” he asks. “How in the world is one date on New Year’s Eve ‘taking up with’ EJ again?” Sami counters before storming off.
Kristen walks over to EJ and asks him about his conversation with Nicole. He’s vague about what he actually said, but implies that he “got his point across” before leaving to go join Sami. Wally, the maitre d’, walks up and hands Kristen an envelope that he says was left for her at the front door. She asks who left it, but Wally tells her that he doesn’t know. He never actually saw the person, just the envelope with her name on it. Inside the envelope is a note that says “Meet me on the terrace at midnight, J.B.” Kristen holds the note to her chest and smiles broadly – this could be exactly what she’s been waiting for. Meanwhile, Marlena is weaving her way through the crowd looking for John. She runs into Brady who’s dancing with Chloe. Brady says that he swore he saw his father heading towards the terrace. Noting that it’s quickly approaching midnight, Marlena heads that direction.
GREEN MOUNTAIN LODGE
Will and Sonny come stumbling in through the door of their hotel room with silly hats on their heads, streamers wrapped around their shoulders, and noisemakers in their hands. Sonny is surprised that they’re back in their hotel room already because it’s almost midnight and wonders why he didn’t want to be at the party when the ball dropped. Will tells Sonny that he wanted to officially ring in the New Year with him alone and pulls him into a deep kiss as they fall onto the bed as the countdown to 2012 begins.
UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL – EMERGANCY ROOM
After a busy night, Mike, Kayla, and Maxine pause for a breather during a lull in admissions. Maxine notes that, according to the clock on the wall and the television in the waiting room, it’s fast approaching midnight and begins hurriedly handing out party hats and noisemakers to all of the staff and patients. As the countdown begins, everyone locks arms and joins in the count. As the clock strikes twelve, everyone screams “Happy New Year!” and begin cheering, hugging, and celebrating. Caught up in the moment, Mike gives Kayla an impetuous celebratory kiss on the lips that catches both of them off guard. Once they realize what’s happen, an air of awkwardness quickly descends over them and they hurried break apart and rush to attend to other duties.
DOUG’S PLACE BY THE LAKE
Kristen is waiting patiently on the terrace for John (who she’s certain sent the note). When he appears in the doorway, she immediately turns and sees him. He barely says more than her name when the fireworks begin to celebrate the clock hitting midnight and Kristen rushes into his arms, kissing him deeply and passionately. “I knew it was you,” she mutters softly. “I knew you still cared.” John attempts to extricate himself out of Kristen’s arms and push her away, but she clearly misreads his signals and pulls him closer. Of course, at just that moment, Marlena appears in the doorway and catches John and Kristen in one another’s arms. To say that she is less than thrilled would be an understatement.
TO BE CONTINUED