At Ridge's house, he listens as Ashley continues trying to convince him of the benefits of forgiveness. The front door opens and the kids run inside - with Abby! Stephanie follows announcing that she thought they would all have a barbeque! Ridge begins to protest that it isn't a good time, but Steph brushes past him, clucking that "that is nonsense, it's the perfect time for a barbeque." The previously tense Ridge and Ashley allow themselves a smile as Ash asks "Does anyone ever say 'no' to that woman?"
At Brooke's, Donna watches as Brooke works distractedly, then as Brooke shows her a DVD that the kids made for her. Donna mentions that she saw the kids earlier that day at Bikini Beach. Brooke says she's glad that Ridge is getting out with them, but Donna tells her that, in fact, they were with Stephanie. Brooke sighs and vows to stay on the right track and be responsible so she can get them back. Donna makes a comment as she begins to leave; "you will, Stephanie won't...", but doesn't explain herself. Brooke asks where she's going and Donna simply says (with a knowing look) "I've got a date."
Around the pool, Eric, Stephanie, Ashley and Ridge sip drinks while they watch the kids swim. Stephanie quietly remarks to Ridge that Abby has the makings of a great 'big sister'. He asks her to "please stop, Mother." She tells him he just needs to get over his (still) hurt feelings to find his way back to Ash. She reminds him that Eric broke her heart many times, but she went back because she knows she wouldn't be better off without him. "I swallowed my pride," she says, "pride's a wonderful thing, but you can't go home to it at night." She tells him that he can swallow his pride too... As Stephanie goes to sit with Eric, the kids run over asking to go home to Brooke. Stephanie puts them off with the promise of dessert and a sleep-over. She encourages Abby to stay too. When Abby asks her mother if she can, Ashley glances sidelong at Ridge remarking, "Well our kids are fine, but you and I, I'm not so sure about..."
Meanwhile, Donna arrives at Thorne's door. He is surprised to see her as he had planned on picking her up. She questions why he is so 'dressed up'. He tells her he thought dinner a Cafe Russe would be nice. She immediately accuses him of trying to 'pay her off' for the other night. "I'm not a hooker, Thorne, regardless of what you're mother may say about me." she asserts. He is taken aback, and assures her that he would never think that. To assauge her seemingly hurt feelings he offers to just stay at his place for food and a couple beers. She agrees. When he leaves the room to change out of his dress clothes, Donna spots a framed photo of Darla on a tabletop. Thorne comes back and sees her looking at it and explains that Allie had wanted to put out some mementos on the one-year anniversary of her mother's death, and he had yet to put them away. He asks Donna if she's okay. "Perfect." she replies, slipping on Darla's ring, "it's perfect" (under her breath)
Back at Ridge's, Ashley tells Abby that she is not allowed to sleep-over, but can go watch the rest of the movie with the other children. Stephanie and Eric try to make their exit, but Ridge stops them and says they started this barbeque, so could they please stay and watch the children - so that he could talk to Ashley. Stehpanie agrees eagerly.
Donna tells Thorne she cares.
At Thorne's, Donna is trying to get a conversation going about Stephanie's mistreatment of her sister, Brooke. Thorne isn't biting though. Donna asks why he has no opinion and he replies that no one in his family listens to his opinions anyway, so why bother having one. They debate whether to have another beer or not, when Donna suddenly states,"you're not much of a drinker, are you Thorne?" He says no, he's not. "And yet, you don't remember going to bed with me?" As Thorne searches around the room for something, Donna pulls out a bottle of prescription pills,"Is this what you're looking for?" He accuses her of going in his pockets, but she deflects his concern by continuing to talk. "You aren't supposed to mix these with alcohol. They're some kind of anti-anxiety medicine, it also says they can be addictive!" Thorne begins to protest, but she cuts him off,"I know you didn't think anyone would notice, but I don't look the other way - you've got a problem, don't you?" A defeated looking Thorne holds his head in his hands.
Eric and Stephanie have noticed that Ridge's bedroom light is on - and that Ashley is missing. "Things are looking up." a smug Stephanie comments.
Ridge invites Ash "in".
Up in Ridge's bedroom, he sits comtemplatively as Ash sticks her head in to tell him that she and Abby are leaving. He asks her to come in and close the door - he doesn't want her to leave...
Back at Thorne's house, he is spilling his guts to Donna about the pills. He explains that it began with not being able to sleep, so he went to the doctor. "If time heals all wounds," he asks Donna, "then my is mine still there every morning?" He tells her that Darla was the only person who ever made him feel like the most important person in his own life. "Why are you alone?" he asks Donna. "I'm not - at the moment." she replies. He wonders why she's even there with him, when she hates his family. She suggests that he hates them too, but he says no, not all of them. He says he thinks Donna is there because, like him, she doesn't give a damn. They have gotten physically close by this point, and Donna tells him that he doesn't need the pills to take the pain away, she has another way. WIth that, she blindfolds him and begins to undo the buttons on his shirt..
In Ridge's bedroom, he is telling Ashley that he doesn't know how to "do this." He is bewildered that Phoebe is not holding a grudge against Ash, but that he still feels bad. He tells her that he can't forgive her, but then surprises her by adding,"but I have to - because I love you." He says he's scared to death of it, but it's what he's wanted, and he almost let her walk away. He reminds her that he hates what she did, and she softly says,"I didn't know you were going to be the man in my life..." They agree that in new relationships there are many things to tell and un-tell. Ash apologizes yet again and assures him that she'll put him first from now on. "We're both bruised." Ridge remarks. She tells him that if they make-up she is playing for keeps. He says that's alright with him, and they begin to kiss deeply, falling down onto Ridge's bed...
Stephanie's plan works.
As Brooke sits in her living room, crying and watching the DVD of her children, over at Ridge's, the lights have gone off in Ridge's bedroom and a very satisfied Stephanie sends Eric to tell Abby that "Mommy has changed her mind, she can sleep-over."
As Donna caresses and seduces a still-blindfolded Thorne, her mind is filled with the wrongs and indignities visited upon her mother, sister and family by Stephanie Forrester. Thorne is quite happy and not feeling like sleeping, so Donna keeps it up - smiling and imagining herself as the next Mrs. Thorne Forrester...