The air is heavy between Rick and Phoebe, still in the lab. She has just told him that she knows that the other woman in his life was Ashley. She tells him that she knows this by the way Ashley said “au revoir” as she left the room – it sounded just like the mystery woman’s au revoir on his PDA. Phoebe tries to suck it up, saying she knows it was just a harmless flirtation that pretty much ended before it began. But Rick says he wishes that were true and tells about being with Ashley in Paris. He says he didn’t want to make things uncomfortable for Phoebe, didn’t want to give Ridge any ammunition to use against them. Again, Phoebe tries to be brave and says that she understands – Ashley was there for him when Phoebe was pushing him away. But then she makes the mistake of asking Rick if he kissed Ashley. When he admits that he did, she figures out that he slept with Ashley and is clearly upset about it. Rick tries to defend his actions by saying Phoebe broke up with him and he thought things were truly over between them and they were done. He starts to go into details of what happened between him and Ashley – about never making it to the meeting in New York – but Phoebe flips out, yelling at him to stop. Crying, she says that she knows it’s all because Ashley could make love to him when she wouldn’t do it, and even though Rick tries to deny that’s what it was about, Phoebe storms out before he can say much of anything.
Donna Hatches Nasty Revenge Plot
Phoebe is shattered by Rick's affair with Ashley; Taylor warns Stephanie that Thorne's falling apart; Ridge discovers that Ashley is Rick's "mystery woman"; Donna gets down and dirty in a revenge plot against Stephanie
Meanwhile, in Ridge’s office, things are smoochy between Ridge and Ashley, and it’s getting serious. The phone rings, interrupting them, and Ashley tells him to take the call. She leaves, heading back to the lab, not knowing that a tearful Phoebe has just left the lab, heading for Ridge’s office.
Taylor is at Stephanie’s house for a visit. Immediately Stephanie starts fishing for information about Nick hiring Brooke. She tries to goad Taylor into being upset about the two of them working together, but Taylor quickly changes the subject. “What I know is that my husband is committed to me and my baby,” she says, and then adds that Stephanie should be spending her time right now worrying about her own child – Thorne. She tells Stephanie about what happened when she saw him and says that she doesn’t think he’s doing too well. Taylor rehashes the past a little bit, accepting responsibility for her part in what happened with Darla, but comes back to the bottom line, which is that Thorne has a problem. Stephanie seems genuinely shocked by this information, but Taylor presses on, telling Stephanie that she needs to keep an eye on him because he’s going to need help.
Thorne and Donna are still at the bar. Thorne has just ordered another drink and the bartender makes noise about cutting him off. Donna tells Thorne, “If I had a mother like Stephanie, I’d drink, too.” Thorne orders Donna a drink, too, and they move over to a table for two, where he continues to drink heavily. Thorne tells Donna to ignore Stephanie, but Donna says she can’t because of what Stephanie did to Brooke and her kids. Without realizing who she’s talking to, Donna says, “How would you feel losing someone you love the most in this world?” Realizing her mistake, she apologizes, but it’s too late. Thorne is back to feeling horrible again and talking about Darla. He says that when you lose someone you love, you pretend that you’re okay so your family and friends will think you’ve healed. Holding up his glass, he says, “All you have left is an empty glass of booze and a ruptured heart,” and then follows this by taking some more pills. Donna asks Thorne what those pills are. When he won’t tell her she gets huffy and gets up to leave. He jumps up to follow her and drunkenly falls over, landing in her arms. The bartender wants him out, so Donna volunteers to take him home.
Rick is alone in the lab when Ashley enters. She’s still glowing from her alone time with Ridge in Ridge’s office, but that glow quickly vanishes as Rick tells her that Phoebe knows about the two of them. Ashley gets worried, wanting to know where Phoebe is right now. She’s afraid that Phoebe is going to tell Ridge before Ashley gets a chance to do it. “What if she’s telling him right now?” she wonders, and she rushes out.
Just as Ashley suspects, Phoebe is in Ridge’s office. She’s crying, upset, telling Ridge that he was right about Rick all along, telling Ridge that Rick and the mystery woman were having an affair, and saying she wishes she would have listened to Ridge from the beginning. Ridge hugs Phoebe, and as she’s crying on his shoulder she lets it slip that the mystery woman was Ashley. Ridge is shocked. He sits Phoebe on the couch and she gives him details. Ridge suspects aloud that Rick is the reason that Ashley came back to L.A. “Why did they do this to us?” Phoebe cries, echoing the upset and anger that’s plain on Ridge’s face. It’s the same anger that Ashley sees as she rushes into his office a few minutes later.
Donna takes Thorne home and dumps him fully clothed into bed. Thorne complains about being thirsty and asks for water. Donna tells him she’ll bring him a glass of water and then she’s leaving. He’s restless on his pillow, repeating Darla’s name over and over again. Out in the living room, Donna is pouring the water when she notices a photograph of Stephanie on an end table. “Damn you Stephanie Forrester,” she says, “Everywhere I turn you’re there. I swear to God if it’s the last thing I do…” She trails off as she picks up the picture and starts to throw it across the room. But before she can throw it, she spots a photo of Thorne and Allie. “That’s it,” she says, a devious smile crossing her face. “That’s how I’ll get even with the witch.” She brings Thorne the water and takes the bottle of pills out of his hand. She sets the picture of Stephanie on the nightstand. In her head she hears Stephanie saying there’s nothing Donna can do to hurt her. Donna undresses and climbs into bed beside Thorne. He mumbles Darla’s name and Donna tells him everything is going to be alright. Then she begins to undress him, staring over his shoulder at the picture of Stephanie the whole time. She tells the picture, “Nothing I can do Stephanie? Just watch.” Then Donna begins kissing Thorne.