EXT. GRETA'S APARTMENT - DAY (A FEW DAYS AFTER EPISODE 39)
JACK and JENNIFER have come to interview GRETA about her upcoming coronation. They are walking down the hallway towards her apartment.
JENNIFER: I still keep getting daily phone calls from Vern, asking for updates at the office. The poor guy's going stir-crazy at home!
JACK: (with great annoyance) I don't see why, what with my mother to keep him company.
JENNIFER: Jack, she's at the day care center all day--it's not like she gets to spend all her time with him either.
JACK: Not during working hours, anyway. But after work... (shudders) That is a thought I'd just rather not entertain.
JENNIFER smiles and squeezes his hand. They come up to GRETA'S door and ring the doorbell.
GRETA (VO): Just a minute!
JACK: (looking around as they wait for GRETA) You know, one would think a princess could afford to live in something more upscale.
JENNIFER: Oh come on, it's not as if she's slumming it. This is a pretty ritzy apartment building. It's even got a doorman downstairs.
JACK gives her a look.
JENNIFER: All right, you have to admit, this isn't exactly the apartment we once had, remember?
JACK: (dryly) This isn't exactly the Palace of Versailles either. At the very least I expected her to be living in some sort of mansion-
GRETA opens the door.
GRETA: Mr. and Mrs. Deveraux?
JACK gives JENNIFER a nervous smile, hoping GRETA didn't here what he was just saying, then he looks at GRETA.
OUT on JACK'S smile.
GRETA has answered the door and is meeting JACK and JENNIFER for the first time.
JACK: (clears throat) Your highness.
GRETA: (giggles) Oh, please call me Greta. I'm afraid I'm still not quite used to all this formality that goes along with being a princess...
JACK: (smiles) With the coronation next week, you'll need to get used to it in a hurry. (holds out his hand, which GRETA shakes) Jack Deveraux, owner and publisher of The Spectator. (gestures towards JENNIFER) Jennifer Deveraux, my fiancée and co-publisher.
GRETA: (confused) Your fiancée? Oh, I thought... I mean, your names were the same, so I just thought... (embarrassed laugh) I'm sorry, I shouldn't have assumed-
JENNIFER: (exchanges smiles with JACK) No, it's okay, really. I can imagine it must be a bit confusing. If it makes you feel any better, even our families have trouble keeping up with us at times.
JACK: There are times when we can barely keep up with us.
GRETA: (smiles) I see.
JENNIFER: It's a long story, so I'll just give you the Readers Digest version. We were married once, but then we got divorced. I never changed my name back, though. Now we're going to get married again, and... well, you can see how it gets complicated...
GRETA: (laughs) Yes, I can... Wow, it all just sounds so romantic, though...
JENNIFER: (looks at JACK, who is now embarrassed) Yeah, I guess it is, isn't it?
GRETA: Oh gosh, where are my manners? Come in, please...
JACK and JENNIFER follow her in.
GRETA: Please have a seat-
The phone rings.
GRETA: Will you excuse me? I've been expecting this call from my mother's trustees--I'll only be a minute, I promise. I know you're both busy, and I don't want to take up too much of your time.
JACK: Not at all.
He watches her disappear into her bedroom to take the call, then he looks at JENNIFER.
JACK: That... is one unusual princess.
JENNIFER: (teasing him) Why, Jack? Because she doesn't live in a castle and have a wicked stepmother with a magic mirror?
JACK: (giving her a look) She may not have an evil stepmother, but from all accounts her mother was not exactly kind and benevolent. And then there's her tie to our good friend Ernesto Toscano, not to mention Stefano DiMera, which, oddly enough, involved us for a time being without our knowledge--something I still haven't quite absorbed. (beat) To think she was on that island with us...
JENNIFER: (smiling) Well, she wasn't there at the more... private spots.
JACK: (grins) Something for which to be grateful, no doubt.
JENNIFER: So, I see your imagination has already concocted a scenario full of intrigue.
JACK: As if you hadn't already thought of it yourself. (beat) I couldn't call you my protégée otherwise, Jennifer.
JACK: I tell you something. Before this interview is over, you and I are going to know the entire story behind the mysterious Princess Greta von Amburg. With or without the fairy tale ending.
INT. GRETA'S APARTMENT - LATER
JACK and JENNIFER are waiting for GRETA to finish her phone call. JENNIFER is sitting down at the couch, getting her notes ready, while JACK continues to stand and look at GRETA'S things, picking up random items and admiring them.
JENNIFER: (seeing what JACK is doing) Jack, could you please stop doing that?
JACK: Doing what?
JENNIFER: Going through her things like that... You're making me nervous.
JACK: What, afraid I'll break some royal heirloom?
JENNIFER: Well... I mean, what if these things are really valuable? They're probably irreplaceable. I just don't want us to take any chances, okay? Could you just... (JACK continues to look at a vase he's picked up) Come on, could you just sit down here with me until she comes back?
JACK: Lonely over there, are you?
JENNIFER: I'm serious.
JACK sighs and goes to place the vase back on the bookshelf when GRETA enters, startling him, causing him to almost drop the vase.
GRETA: Beautiful, isn't it?
JACK: (managing to save it before it falls) Uh, yes... Yes, it is... (laughs nervously) Even more beautiful in one piece, of course.
He hands it to her.
GRETA: (softly) It was my mother's. The people from her estate sent it to me after she died...
JACK and JENNIFER do not say anything.
GRETA: (snapping out of her reverie) I'm sorry, I didn't mean to space out like that. Sometimes it's just so hard to think that my mother's really gone. I was just getting to know her again, and then... (tries to compose herself) So... you, uh... you mentioned on the phone that you wanted to interview me. What do you want to know?
JACK sits down next to JENNIFER and pulls out his tape recorder, then sets in on the coffee table.
JACK: Everything you can possibly tell us. (beat) And please--don't leave out a single detail.
INT. GRETA'S APARTMENT - LATER
GRETA is in the middle of telling JACK and JENNIFER her life story.
JENNIFER: And so Ernesto Toscano just handed you over to Stefano DiMera? Without even trying to help you first?
GRETA: (nods somberly) I had suited his purposes. He had already lost Isabella at that point, and his revenge on Mr. Kiriakis had been foiled. But he had succeeded in making Bo believe his wife was dead, so he no longer needed me. (beat) I was expendable.
JACK: And DiMera--you said he treated you well at this point?
GRETA: I know it's hard to believe, but Stefano never tried to hurt me. At least he tried to help me, which is more than Ernesto ever did. I had no idea what kind of a monster Stefano was until Bo and Hope told me.
JACK: Being evil twenty-four hours a day is exhausting, believe me. Even the most dastardly among us is capable of acts of compassion once in a full moon.
GRETA gives him a strange look.
JACK: (realizes how that must have sounded) Uh... elaborating on that would fall into the category of, 'another story for another time.'
JENNIFER: Greta, so far you've told us all about your mother, but you haven't said much about your father, Prince von Amburg.
GRETA becomes uncomfortable and looks away.
JENNIFER: I'm... sorry, did I say something wrong?
GRETA: No, no...
JACK: Then what is it, your highness? Is this topic something you'd rather not discuss today?
GRETA: (after a long pause) Well, it's just a delicate subject, that's all.
JACK: (intrigued) A delicate subject... One you don't wish us to pursue?
GRETA: It's... complicated... You see, Prince von Amburg... wasn't my real father.
OUT on JACK and JENNIFER'S surprise.
GRETA has just told JACK and JENNIFER that PRINCE VON AMBURG was not her real father.
JACK: Well... That is quite a revelation...
GRETA: You can understand why it's not an easy thing for me to talk about.
JACK: Of course, of course. If you'd rather we keep this part of the conversation off the record, we will certainly respect that.
GRETA: Thank you, Mr. Deveraux. It's, um... It's not that I mind talking about it, but it's just not something I wish to publicize. (beat) At least not at this time.
JACK: Does that mean you may... in the future?
GRETA becomes uncomfortable again.
JENNIFER: Uh, Greta, I assure you, Jack and I aren't here to probe into something you don't want to go into. We just want our readers to get to know you--the woman behind the princess.
GRETA: (smiles) I know you don't mean any harm. And I do appreciate you respecting my privacy. I really don't mind talking about my life, but this is... well, it's complicated.
JENNIFER: Yes, I see.
JACK: It must have been difficult for you. Finding out the truth about Prince von Amburg.
JENNIFER looks over at him and gives him a small smile.
GRETA: Yeah, it was. Everything I had grown up believing was a lie, and... I wasn't quite prepared to handle the truth when my mother told me.
JACK: (quietly) How could anyone be.
JENNIFER: So your mother did tell you the truth? About who your biological father was?
OUT on GRETA'S discomfort.
JENNIFER has asked if GRETA'S mother told her who her father was.
JENNIFER: I'm sorry, if you don't want to answer that, that's fine. This is all off the record anyway-
GRETA: No, it's all right, really. I don't mind you asking.
JENNIFER: I assure you, we won't print anything you're not comfortable with... (to JACK) Right, Jack?
JACK: Absolutely. I mean, inquiring minds want to know, of course, but we won't proceed without your full cooperation.
GRETA: (smiles) Thank you, that's very kind of you both. I, um... I guess I'm just not used to talking about this yet. It's still a lot to deal with.
JACK: I understand.
GRETA: (starts to get up) Uh... I hate to cut this short, but I'm supposed to meet with one of my mother's trustees in about an hour. I'm leaving for Paris this afternoon, so there's a lot of last minute things to take care of before I go.
JACK and JENNIFER get up as well.
JACK: Oh, of course...
JENNIFER: We should be getting back to the office, anyway. (holds out her hand) Thank you for meeting with us, Greta. It was a pleasure.
GRETA: (shaking JENNIFER'S hand, then JACK'S hand) I was happy to do it. I read The Spectator every day, so it was a treat to meet the people who run it.
JACK: I hope you've noticed the improvements since Jennifer and I took over.
GRETA: (laughing) Like night and day.
JACK: That's what I like to hear.
JENNIFER: (to GRETA, as she gives JACK a teasing smile) A little flattery goes a long way.
JACK and JENNIFER leave GRETA'S apartment and get in the elevator.
JENNIFER: What's going on in that brilliant mind of yours?
OUT on JACK'S smile.
JENNIFER has just asked JACK what he thinks about the interview with GRETA.
JACK: You do know how to stroke my ego, don't you?
JENNIFER: (grins) Among other things.
JACK: (half-smiles) Indeed.
JENNIFER: Well, you'd woven quite a story in your head before the interview. What do you think now? Are you convinced yet that she's a perfectly normal princess?
JACK starts to say something when his cell phone rings.
JACK: Jack Deveraux.
CUT TO: ABBY ON THE OTHER LINE
ABBY: Hi, Daddy!
JACK: Abigail! Wait... what's wrong? Is something wrong? Is your grandmother all right?
ABBY: (giggles) Daddy, you worry too much.
JACK: (looks at JENNIFER) Did Mommy tell you that?
ABBY: Grandma's fine. She's watching the kids. She said I could sit at her desk so I could do my homework.
JACK: I see, and does your homework involve calling your parents? Not that I don't enjoy talking to my beloved little girl.
ABBY: I'm taking a break.
JACK: Oh, a break. Yes, of course.
ABBY: Grandma said you and Mommy went to interview a real princess today!
JACK: Yes, we did.
ABBY: What was she like?
JACK: Well, she was... I tell you what, kiddo, she's got nothing over you.
JACK: Really. This is my completely unbiased opinion of course, but Mommy and I happen to think we have the world's most perfect princess.
JACK: All right, sweetheart, better get back to that homework. We'll see you in a bit when we get back to the office.
ABBY: Okay, Daddy! (hangs up)
JACK: She wanted to know how the interview went.
JENNIFER: (smiling) Ah. Very involved, our little girl is.
JACK: Never too early to indoctrinate them.
JENNIFER: You still haven't answered my question, Jack.
JACK: (feigning ignorance) Didn't I?
JENNIFER shakes her head.
JACK: Could you repeat the question please?
JENNIFER: What do you think about Greta now? Still think she's a woman of mystery?
JACK: (arches an eyebrow) Well, I have to admit, the girl herself seems perfectly normal. Taste in abode notwithstanding. But there is something about all this that's not quite kosher. Something I can't put my finger on.
JENNIFER: That's the Jack I love. Always spinning a mystery.
JACK: (smiling) Mark my words, Jennifer. There is a big story waiting to happen with Princess von Amburg. And when it hits, you and I will be the first to pounce on it.
OUT on the two.
END EPISODE 40
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