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In This Life

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EPISODE 32

SCENE 1

INT. JO'S HOTEL ROOM AT THE SALEM INN - AFTERNOON (A FEW DAYS AFTER EPISODE 31)

JO and ABBY have spent the day together so JACK and JENNIFER can get the last minute wedding preparations taken care of. They have come back from the bookstore and are spread out on the bed, looking at all the books JO has just bought for ABBY.

ABBY: (pointing to something in her new atlas) That's where Venice is, right Grandma? In Italy?

JO: (takes a look) Why, that's absolutely right, sweetheart! Good for you...

ABBY: That's where Mommy and Daddy are going to go on their honeymoon.

JO: It sure is.

ABBY: I wish I could go too. Daddy says it's really pretty there. (matter-of-factly) But Mommy and Daddy need their alone time.

JO: (amused) Yes, they do. But you know what? I bet they'll miss you like crazy while they're gone, and they'll call you every single day. And hey, we're going to have lots of fun, right? Just you and me?

ABBY: Yeah!

JO: And maybe Uncle Vern will even come to visit. (beat) You like Uncle Vern, don't you?

ABBY: Oh yes, he's really nice! Are you and Uncle Vern friends, Grandma?

JO: Uh... (wondering if JACK will get wind of this conversation) Well, yes, honey, we are.

ABBY: I'm glad. I think he likes you.

JO blushes and giggles.

ABBY: Grandma, is it okay if I ask you something?

JO: Well of course it is, sweetheart!

ABBY: Good. 'Cause I've asked Mommy and Daddy before, but they get all sad. I don't want to make them sad.

JO: What is it?

ABBY: Why did Mommy and Daddy get divorced in the first place? Is it because of me?

OUT on JO'S pained expression.


SCENE 2

INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S LIVING ROOM - SAME

JENNIFER is on the phone with the caterers, and she is very stressed. On the dining table are the half finished rice bags for the wedding, which she, HOPE, and ALICE did not get done last night.

JENNIFER: I understand, but I didn't get the final head count until a few days ago. Yes, I know it's short notice, but... Look, my cousin's husband said it would be fine to give you the head count this week-

The doorbell rings.

JENNIFER: Uh, there's someone at my door, could you please--hello? Hello? Yes, I'm still here. Fine, I will talk to Mr. Williams. I'm sure everything will be straightened out. Yes, goodbye.

She goes to answer the door, and as she does, she screams out in frustration, startling ADRIENNE.

JENNIFER: Adrienne!

ADRIENNE: Jennifer... (laughs) I guess I don't have to ask you if everything's all right?

JENNIFER gives her a weak smile.


SCENE 3

INT. TITAN PUBLISHING HOUSE - SAME

JACK has come to see VICTOR to tell him he has decided to buy THE SPECTATOR back from TITAN. He is standing outside of VICTOR'S office, absently looking at a sculpture while he waits for the secretary to send him in.

JACK: (muttering to himself) With all his money, you'd think he could afford the originals, not some knockoffs...

VICTOR: As a matter of fact, that is an original.

JACK turns around, embarrassed.

JACK: Victor.

VICTOR: (smug smile) Jack. I must say I'm surprised to see you here.

JACK: (clears throat) Yes, well... so am I, if you want to know the truth.

VICTOR: Shall we?

He opens the door to his office and extends his hand. JACK walks in, feeling much like a lamb to the slaughterhouse, second guessing his decision to come here.

VICTOR: I'm surprised you're not taking care of last minute wedding details. Justin tells me you're getting married on Sunday, are you not?

JACK: Don't you worry your pretty little head about it, Victor. It'll be taken care of. (beat) I'm here about business.

VICTOR: I see. You'll pardon my shock when I ask, what could this possibly be about?

JACK: (gives him a sarcastic smile) Oh, come on, we've known each other too long to hide behind pretenses. You know exactly why I'm here.

OUT on VICTOR'S self-satisfied grin.


SCENE 4

CUT TO: JO AND ABBY

ABBY has just asked JO about JACK and JENNIFER'S divorce, and JO does not quite know what to say.

JO: Honey... what makes you ask a question like that?

ABBY: You're doing what they do.

JO: I... I am? What am I doing?

ABBY: You're answering my question with a question. That's what they do when I ask them. (beat) Am I bad for asking?

JO: No!! Oh no, Abby, you are not bad for asking, don't you ever think that, sweetheart... It's just that, well, it's a very sad thing to think about, your parents' divorce. And I'm sure they don't want you to be sad about it either.

ABBY: I just wonder sometimes... Was it my fault? They got along before I was born, right? So why did they get a divorce when I was a baby?

JO'S heart breaks to hear her granddaughter saying this.

JO: (cups ABBY'S face) Sweetheart, it was not your fault in any way--I promise! And I know your mommy and daddy would not want you thinking it is.

ABBY: So why? Why did they get divorced?

JO: Well... (takes a deep breath) Your mommy and daddy were going through a very tough time then. You were very sick and both of them were really worried about you-

ABBY: So it was my fault!

JO: No, Abby. Listen to me, it was not your fault. Your mommy and daddy--they just lost their way for a little while, that's all. Sometimes that happens to grownups. And at the time, they decided it would be best to get a divorce.

ABBY: Didn't they love each other anymore?

JO: (smiles) Oh, honey, the one thing I know for sure is that they never stopped loving each other. But they had problems, and they had to work on them first before they could get back together.

ABBY listens intently.

JO: Do you understand now, Abby?

ABBY: I guess so.

JO: (teasing) You guess so? Now what does that mean?

ABBY: Grandma, do you think... that this time they'll stay married forever?

OUT on JO.


SCENE 5

CUT TO: JENNIFER AND ADRIENNE

ADRIENNE has come over to visit JENNIFER, who is stressed from planning the wedding.

JENNIFER: Come in, come in... I'm so sorry about screaming like that--I didn't mean to scare you!

ADRIENNE: (laughing) Oh please, I have four boys under twelve, remember? My threshold for noise is quite high, I assure you.

JENNIFER laughs too.

JENNIFER: Uh... I'm going to have to apologize for the mess... Grandma and Hope and I were working on rice bags last night, but didn't get to finish--they're supposed to come tonight and help me get them done. And then Jack and I were working on our book earlier today, and I haven't had a chance to clean up yet-

ADRIENNE: (puts her hands on JENNIFER'S shoulders) Whoa, whoa... Breathe for a second, all right? Take in the air. Believe me, you'll be surprised at the wonders that does.

JENNIFER does what ADRIENNE suggest and takes in a deep breath, then exhales.

ADRIENNE: Good, that's it... You feel any better?

JENNIFER: (smiles) Yeah, a little.

ADRIENNE: See, I know what I'm doing. (beat) I know what it's got to be like right now.

JENNIFER: You do, don't you?

ADRIENNE: (nodding) I remember what a wreck I was before my second wedding. I kept thinking how silly it was to be this frazzled when I had been through it before, but if anything it was more nerve-wracking!

JENNIFER: Oh, good, I'm not the only one who feels this way?

ADRIENNE: Are you kidding? (takes her arm) Here, come on, let's sit down. I bet you haven't sat in hours.

JENNIFER: How'd you guess?

ADRIENNE: (laughs) Stab in the dark.

JENNIFER: I'm sorry, you came here for something and I've got you taking care of me here!

ADRIENNE: No, no, no, don't worry. I did come over here for a reason. I knew you must be stressed out of your mind, and I thought I could help.

JENNIFER: (touched) That's really sweet, Adrienne... I don't know what to say... Thank you...

ADRIENNE: Don't thank me. That's what sisters are for.

JENNIFER: I've always wanted a sister.

ADRIENNE: Me too. And I feel bad that you and I didn't get to really be close like Kayla and I were. If Justin and I hadn't been so far away when you and Jack were having problems-

JENNIFER: Oh, hey, don't do that. Don't say things like that. You had your own family to take care of, and they needed to be your number one priority.

ADRIENNE: You're my family too. I know Jack and I didn't find each other until we were all grown up, but that doesn't change the fact that I love him like any sister would love her big brother. And I promise, I will be here for you. (beat) Starting now.

OUT on JENNIFER'S smile.


SCENE 6

CUT TO: JACK AND VICTOR

JACK is about to tell VICTOR that he will take him up on his offer.

JACK: Victor Kiriakis, speechless? I never thought I'd live to see the day.

VICTOR: What can I say, Jack, you've caught me by surprise.

JACK: (tries not to roll his eyes) Yes, I'm sure.

VICTOR: So I take it, you have changed your mind. You are here about the newspaper, aren't you?

JACK nods.

VICTOR: You've decided to take my offer after all.

JACK: (sarcastically) Thank you ever so much for making it so easy by not gloating.

VICTOR laughs.

JACK: (clears throat) Look, given my... adamant position before, I'm sure you're wondering why I changed my mind.

VICTOR: Yes, as a matter of fact I did wonder that. (beat) What convinced you?

JACK: Jennifer did.

VICTOR: (surprised at the answer) I see. How nice, your wife influenced you.

JACK: Something that's never happened to you, I take it?

VICTOR: (cool smile) Kate and I... have a mutual understanding in our marriage.

JACK: Marriage, yes... As I recall, it was more of a business arrangement. With my newspaper as the dowry.

VICTOR: You may find this hard to believe, Jack, but I do have a heart underneath this exterior. And I did love my wife once. Very much.

JACK: How touching.

VICTOR: But... things have changed. Much time has passed and... well, it is time to move on, and time to shake things up. So that is why I am doing this.

JACK: I see, so you're going through a mid-life crisis and unloading this newspaper will somehow be the elixir you need to spice up your life once again?

VICTOR: (laughs) You certainly have a way with words, Jack.

JACK: Yes, and I suppose my Ferarro Award proves that.

VICTOR: This is the most unusual business transaction I have ever had.

JACK: Why, thank you. The feeling is mutual.

VICTOR: You remind me a lot of your stepmother, Jack. In your face and always to the point.

JACK: Anjelica did manage to instill some useful skills in me.

VICTOR: Well, let's cut to the chase, then. (sticks out his hand) Do we have a deal?

JACK: (looks at VICTOR'S hand for a moment before shaking it) So tell me, Victor. Have I just made a bargain with the devil?

KATE bursts into VICTOR'S office.

KATE: Yes, Jack, I'm afraid you have. (looks at both of them) Do you two want to tell me what the hell just went down in this office?

OUT on JACK observing the happy couple.


SCENE 7

CUT TO: JO AND ABBY

ABBY wants to know if JACK and JENNIFER will stay married this time.

ABBY: If they got divorced last time even though they still loved each other, how do we know they won't get divorced again, Grandma?

JO: Oh, Abby... I know all of this seems really confusing to you right now. And I'll let you in on a little secret: it's still pretty confusing for me too, sometimes. But I want you to remember one thing, always. Your mommy and daddy love each other very, very much. And no matter what happens, they will be in each other's lives forever.

ABBY: So they won't get divorced again?

JO: (laughs) Not if I can help it.

ABBY: Not if I can help it either!

JO: That's it, then--we're a team, is that a deal? You and I, and your Great-Grandma Alice will make sure they stay together forever, right?

ABBY: Forever.

JO hugs her.

ABBY: Grandma?

JO: Yes, sweetheart...

ABBY: I'm really glad we got to spend the day together.

JO: (smiles) Me too, honey... Me too. Oh, I miss you so much when I'm not around...

ABBY: I miss you too! I wish you didn't have to live so far away.

JO: Well... You want to know a secret?

ABBY: Sure!

JO: Now, you can't tell your mommy and daddy just yet because I want to surprise them, all right?

ABBY: I won't tell, cross my heart! I keep good secrets!

JO: (laughs) Okay, good... Well, I am going to be moving back here soon, honey. Very soon.

ABBY: (excitedly) You are??

JO: I sure am! Oh, I have missed it here, Abby. Salem's my home. And your cousins are all getting older, so your Aunt Adrienne doesn't need me so much anymore. And now that your mommy and daddy are getting married again, who knows, there might be more babies soon-

ABBY: I can get a baby brother!

JO: Or a baby sister, yes, honey. I want to be here for that, and for you too.

ABBY: Oh, Grandma, they're going to be so happy when they find out!!

JO: I hope so, Abby... (hugs her) I really hope so...

OUT on the two.


SCENE 8

CUT TO: JACK, VICTOR, AND KATE

KATE has just walked in on JACK and VICTOR sealing the deal that will allow JACK to reacquire THE SPECTATOR.

JACK: My, that was a quick vacation, Kate. I guess you jet-setters are used to just zooming back and forth between continents, aren't you?

KATE: Not that it's any of your business, Jack, but I flew back to ring in the New Year with my little boy. (looks at VICTOR) But I come back to this! Just what the hell is going on here?

VICTOR: You're too late, Kate. I've just sold The Spectator back to Jack.

JACK gives her a smug smile.

KATE: (stunned) You... what??

JACK: You heard him. You are now looking at the new owner of The "once-great-now-mediocre-will-be-great-again-in-the-near-future" Spectator.

KATE: (to VICTOR) You can't do that. I own part of that newspaper--you can't just sell it without my knowledge or permission-

VICTOR: On the contrary, my love. I can and I have.

JACK: Oh come on, Kate, it's not like you ever cared about it, really-

KATE: Stay out of this, Jack!

VICTOR: I sure as hell wasn't going to let you steal it away from me as some sort of alimony!

JACK suddenly realizes why VICTOR did this. Though part of him resents being a pawn in their games, he is also happy to finally have his paper back.

JACK: Well, I can tell this is a private conversation now... I'd best be going...

VICTOR: The papers should be ready this afternoon, Jack. I'll have them Fed-exed to you as soon as they're ready.

JACK: (nodding) Of course. Good-bye, Victor. Kate.

He slips out of the office, and still hears their voices through the door as they continue to scream at each other. Then he smiles to himself.

JACK: I'm back.

OUT on JACK'S triumph.


SCENE 9

INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S BEDROOM - LATER

JACK and JENNIFER have just finished tucking ABBY in and are in bed.

JENNIFER: I've never seen her so excited about something. I wonder what this surprise is that she keeps saying we're going to have?

JACK: If you ask me, she's been hanging around her grandmother a little bit too long and has picked up some of her bad habits--like keeping us in the dark about things.

JENNIFER: (laughing) I can't think of a better influence on her than Jo, so stop complaining.

JACK: (smiles) Well, you're certainly in a more relaxed state than what I had left you in earlier.

JENNIFER: That's because I am more relaxed, Jack. And it was all because of Adrienne.

JACK: Adrienne?

JENNIFER: Mm hmm. She came over and helped me finish the rice packets. And we talked.

JACK: (arching an eyebrow) About?

JENNIFER: About the stress of getting married again and how it'll all be forgotten fairly quickly after the minister tells you to kiss me.

JACK: I see.

JENNIFER smiles and kisses him.

JENNIFER: Speaking of relaxed, you're pretty relaxed now yourself.

JACK: (grins) Well that's what happens when someone finds his Holy Grail.

JENNIFER: Oh, Jack, I can't believe it's finally happened... I am so happy for you! I know how much you've wanted this...

She touches his face, and he puts his hand over hers and gently strokes it.

JACK: (softly) Sometimes I wondered if I would ever get it back.

JENNIFER: I never doubted it.

JACK: No?

JENNIFER: Nope.

JACK: That's what I lo-

JENNIFER: (grinning) What was that, Jack?

JACK: That's what I... lo...

JENNIFER: Lo...

JACK: That's what I... love about you.

JENNIFER: (laughs) See, that wasn't so hard, was it?

JACK smiles and kisses her, gently at first, then their kiss turns more passionate.

JENNIFER: Oh yes, I definitely remember this...

JACK pulls away slightly and grins at her.

JENNIFER: What?

JACK: I can't believe I'm about to say this.

JENNIFER: (worried) About to say what?

JACK: Uh... well, our wedding is in two days...

JENNIFER: Uh huh...

JACK: Well, don't you think it might be... romantic... if we...

JENNIFER: (smiles) Jack, are you saying we should wait until our wedding night?

JACK: (clears throat) I know it's not what you were expecting me to say-

JENNIFER: (interrupts him with a kiss) Do you have any idea how much I love you, Jack Deveraux?

JACK: Wait a minute, I won't make love to you, and you love me because of that?

JENNIFER: (laughs) No, I love you because you're the most wonderful man in the world.

JACK: Oh. (beat) I rather like the sound of that.

JENNIFER: I thought you would. (caresses his cheek) All right. Two days. I think I can wait.

JACK: (half-smiles) Yeah?

JENNIFER: Yeah. (suddenly grabs a pillow and tosses it at him) As long as we don't sleep in the same bedroom.

JACK: Wait... What, you're kicking me out?

JENNIFER: (playfully pushing him off the bed) I will not be tempted!

JACK reluctantly gets out of bed and turns around to look at her when he gets to the door.

JACK: Two days.

JENNIFER: Two days.

OUT on JACK and JENNIFER.

END EPISODE 32

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