Michael Mealor kyle gallery "The Young and the Restless" Set Shoot with Michael MealorCBS television CityLos Angeles05/29/18© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com310-657-9661
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

From the sounds of it, what went down behind the scenes was as complicated as any soap plot. Michael Mealor, a relative newbie to daytime compared to many of his veteran castmates, was in contract negotiations with The Young and the Restless, and as he told Soap Opera Digest, “I was kinda going through the process of it all.”

But “it all” was a lot. So, although the talks are generally ultra-private, “a couple of weeks into it,” the fan fave was about to tape a scene with leading lady Hunter King when he blurted out, “‘I have to talk to you about some business stuff’… It kinda turned out to where I spilled my guts to her.”

At the time, Kyle’s portrayer had no idea that she, too, was in the middle of contract negotiations. But of course, she could understand what he was going through. “It’s difficult,” he said, “because you love the show, and you’re so dedicated to it. It becomes such a piece of your life, and everyone there is… they’re family.”

More: How Michael Mealor’s spending the ‘dog days’ of summer [PHOTO]

In the end, Mealor discovered what many an actor before him has. In making the final decision, “you just weigh all the options… We were just trying to come to a middle ground, and… we ended up just not seeing eye to eye on certain aspects of it.”

Hence, the actor and the soap “decided that this chapter for Kyle, at least seeing him every single day on TV, is coming to a close.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean that his story is over, though. “We may see Kyle again in the future,” he said. (King suggested the same about Summer, even getting more specific on the subject.)

Mealor could even wind up becoming a Young & Restless regular again. “Who knows what happens?” he mused. “With the fan support, maybe Kyle will be back sooner than we think.”

While you ponder the possibilities, check out our updated scorecard of all of The Young and the Restless’ latest comings and goings.