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Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

Mariah and Tessa walk into Crimson Lights and Sharon instantly guesses they are anxious. They explain Christine asked them to meet about the adoption. They’ve already set up a posting in a database. They’re reluctant to get their hopes up after the last lawyer warned that their colorful pasts could bar them from adopting. The lawyer walks in and announces she has good news. Once they all sit down, Christine explains a young mother has responded to their profile and wants to get to know more about them. They are amazed that this has happened so fast. Mariah and Tessa try to stay calm and start thanking Christine for all she’s done already. The woman’s name is Joss and the lawyer says she’s very sincere. This sounds great to Sharon.

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When left alone, Sharon reminds Christine of when they went through something similar with Cassie. Now she’s helping her daughter realize her dreams. This is the best part of Christine’s job. She’s optimistic that this could work. Mariah and Tessa return after looking over the information on the birth mother and announce they are happy to move ahead. Sharon tells the wives it will take some time. Mariah is so ready to start a family.

At Jabot, Jack and Allie discuss the moisturizer she’s been working on. He thinks she could be a great business woman like Ashley. He senses that she doesn’t like the idea. There’s something else on her mind. Allie brings up Noah’s ex, Audra. Noah claims he wants nothing to do with her but she is very assertive, glamorous, and has history with him. Jack is sure that she and Noah broke up for a reason and she has no reason to be insecure. If Audra gives her grief, she should give it right back. “I just might do that,” she says, walking off.

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Audra stops by Noah’s club. He reminds her they agreed to keep their distance. She claims she’s not there for a fight. She didn’t want to sit in her hotel room when she could sit somewhere vibrant and figure some things out. Sitting in the empty room, he brings her some ginger ale. Noah tells her there are a lot of other places she could go. He doesn’t want trouble. Even though he doesn’t hate her, he knows she brings chaos wherever she goes. She was hoping they could get past how things ended and be civil. Her ex brings up what she pulled with Allie. Audra is sure that he’s missed her. Annoyed, Noah demands to know what she wants from him. It’s annoying to him that he’s even responding to her. She’s sure there must still be something between them if her presence is making him this crazy. Allie arrives in time to eavesdrop on this for a moment before interrupting. Audra takes off. Allie watches Noah watching his ex leave.

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More: View Rory Gibson’s (Noah) engagement photos

At the ranch, Phyllis, Ashley, and Nikki discuss whether or not Jack has started to doubt Diane and believe she was collaborating with Tucker. They need hard evidence to get him on their side. Phyllis still wants Ashley to get close to him and get him to drop his guard. The Abbott admits she agreed to dinner with him but he stood her up. He still thinks he has a chance with her. “We’ve got him right where we want him,” Nikki says. She’s sure that he will love chasing after her. Phyllis adds that once he’s jumped through some hoops, she can agree to dinner and pretend to reconnect. Ashley can hardly stand being in the same room with him but Nikki is sure she can hold her nose long enough to get this done.

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After Ashley exits, Talia shows up and they tell her they have a plan in action to get the dirt on what Diane was doing in LA. Talia has some new tidbits of her own. Sitting down, she explains that someone with a lot of clout pressured the editor of her magazine to stop more articles on Diane. They assume Tucker was behind that, but why?

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More: Brytni Sarpy’s new killer flick

After Phyllis leaves, Nikki recaps the situation to Talia who recaps it back to her. They think that having a billionaire in the mix now will be great for her book. Ashley is working on them getting some evidence but Nikki has another plan for how they can get the truth. “Are you game?” she asks. “Absolutely,” says Talia.

More: Adrienne Frantz’s family medical crises

Tucker is eating alone at Society when he spots Victoria. He recalls Audra telling him about the IPO being delayed and that she is looking to take over Chancellor-Winters. He greets her and asks her to join him. Sitting, she asks if Ashley is the unfortunate recipient of his attentions right now. He admits he may have overcompensated by landing at the vow renewal in a helicopter. She suggests he was lucky that Ashley wasn’t there to publicly reject him.

Tucker tries to be nonchalant and then changes the subject to the Locke fiasco. The Newman heiress doesn’t even want to think about that. He relays his compliments on how she’s handled the company, and she asks about what he got from his spiritual retreat. As they verbally spar, he says she’s the perfect blend of her parents. When he mentions her recent aggressive business moves, he says he used to be like that. She wonders if he still is. He claims he is simplifying his life and business. He really admires Jill going into semi-retirement and is considering doing the same. It seems far-fetched to her that he would pack it all in for pickleball. Victoria asks him for his take on the merger. Tucker claims he’s happy for his son and assures her he’s not stockpiling money to go after Newman. Her food is ready so she takes off as Ashley arrives.

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Ashley finds it hard to believe that he’s intent on retirement. Right now, he’s just interested in proving to her that they can have a beautiful connection again. He suggests they have lunch right now. She hates for him to think his charm is working but agrees to sit down and eat. When he talks about the depth of their connection, she gets snarky and keeps cutting him down. He thinks they were a great team and he took time in watching her thrive. “Everything I am, I owe to you,” he says, reminding her that it’s because of her that he is alive. Now he has the chance to get to know their grandson. He suggests they take him to the park to play. She tells him not to overdo it. She’s far from convinced he’s changed in any meaningful way. After she walks out, he gets a call from Nikki, who asks him to stop by the ranch.

More: Heading for a Victoria-Tucker romance?

Nikki gets off the phone at the ranch and she and Talia smile at each other and nod.

Diane strolls into Jabot and looks at honeymoon photos with Jack. She brings up his suspicions about her relationship with Tucker and complains that Phyllis is turning him against her. Chasing him into his office, she rants about Phyllis but he claims this is not all about her. Diane just wants to convince him there is nothing to this. Jack admits he still has trouble trusting her and he’s not sure that will ever change. This is beyond disappointing for her. He admits that he’s been holding his doubts about her in check but his instincts have been telling him they are not wrong.

When Diane exits the office, she finds Phyllis lounging in the hallway. Phyllis immediately starts gloating about how everyone thinks another secret of Diane’s is about to come out. She lets her know Talia is back in town and digging. Pretty soon, Kyle and Jack will know what her secret is. All she can get from Jack is strained acceptance and nothing else. Once Phyllis flounces away, Diane returns to Jack’s office in tears and tells him there is something about her time in LA he needs to know that she is ashamed to admit.

Next on The Young and the Restless: Nikki puts Tucker in the hot seat.

Take a look at stars headed to Genoa City in the photo gallery below.

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