INT. JACK'S OFFICE AT THE SPECTATOR - MORNING (TWO DAYS AFTER EPISODE 48)
JACK is sitting at his desk, working on the computer and talking on the phone at the same time. JENNIFER is at the door, watching him, and sees that he is losing his patience about something. She knocks, and JACK looks up and waves her in.
JACK: (into the phone) No, I... Yes, I understand completely, but--no, no, don't put me on hold, don't put me on hold- (groans, looks up at JENNIFER) They put me on hold.
JENNIFER: (gives him a sympathetic smile) Listen, I just wanted to tell you that-
JACK: (someone is back on the other line) Yes, yes, I'm here... What do you mean you can't? (utterly frustrated) Fine. Thanks a lot. (slams the phone)
JENNIFER: Well, I can tell that went well. (sits on his desk) No trace of Anjelica yet, huh?
JACK: (dully) None. She certainly dropped off the face of this earth. (looks at JENNIFER) Unless of course you count making some withdrawals from Bank of Deveraux.
He gets up to pour a cup of coffee.
JENNIFER: And the banks... I don't suppose they'll divulge any information on who's siphoning out these funds?
JACK: Oh no, that would be much too simple, wouldn't it? (sighs) As if I don't have my hands full with this Kiriakis story. Count on Anjelica to make her presence felt at the most inopportune time.
He walks back to the desk and squeezes her hand before sitting down.
JACK: I'm sorry... No need to dump this all on you. Please just ignore my less-than-chipper disposition today.
JENNIFER: (trying to get him to smile) You forget I'm used to this sort of thing by now.
JACK: (smiles) I guess I deserved that. So... what were you saying just now?
JENNIFER: Oh, just that, um... I have to miss the editorial meeting today. I'm sorry... I've got... an appointment. With a source.
JACK: Well, I'll take notes for you then. (assuming he knows what this is about) This coronation story is far more important anyway.
JENNIFER smiles weakly, feeling horrible for lying.
JENNIFER: Yes, well... I should get going. (leans over to kiss him) See you later.
She looks at him one last time, watching him work, before she leaves. She feels incredibly guilty, but she can't tell him what this is really about. As she walks out, she bumps into VERN in the hallway.
VERN: Oof!! (sees who it is) Oh, goodness, I'm sorry, Jenny-girl... Did I spill any coffee on you?
JENNIFER: No, no, it's okay, you didn't... (laughs) It's my fault, anyway. I'm sorry, I was in a rush--I didn't see where I was going...
VERN: No worries, listen, do you know anything about why Jack wanted to see me-
JENNIFER: Sorry, Vern, I'm late... I'll have to talk to you later!
VERN: (as she rushes off) But... uh...
He goes into JACK'S office.
VERN: (sarcastically) You summoned, my master?
JACK: (looks up) Ah, just the man I was looking for... (smiles) Have I got a job for you...
OUT on VERN'S look of utter panic.
INT. FRANKIE'S ART GALLERY - LATER
JENNIFER has gone to see FRANKIE and knocks on the door. FRANKIE sees her through the door and waves her in.
JENNIFER: Hey... I'm sorry I'm late, I got a little tied up at the office...
FRANKIE: (walking over to give her a hug) No problem, come on in.
JENNIFER is nervous about asking him about CARLY, and wonders how she will do so without making him suspicious.
JENNIFER: (pointing to some paintings she hasn't seen yet) Are these new?
FRANKIE: Yeah... I just finished this one last week, what do you think?
JENNIFER: It's beautiful. But then, they all are.
FRANKIE: (smiles, knows she is making small talk for a reason) So...
JENNIFER: Mmm hmm?
FRANKIE: What brings you by here today?
OUT on JENNIFER.
CUT TO: JACK AND VERN
JACK has just told VERN he has a job for him, which is making VERN extremely nervous.
JACK: Thirty seconds.
VERN: (confused) Excuse me?
JACK: I said thirty seconds. That's how long you've been standing there in your stupor. (grins) I do believe that's a new record for you, Vern.
VERN: (smirking) Is there some special reason why I have the pleasure of being belittled by you this morning? You know, other than the usual?
JACK: I told you, I have a job for you today!
VERN mutters something JACK can't understand.
JACK: What was that?
VERN: Oh, I was just saying, yippee skippy.
JACK: (narrows his eyes) Yes. Well, I am counting on you for this, Vern, I really am. My plate is quite full lately--no, make that overflowing. I need you to do this for me, and you would be a lifesaver.
VERN: My life is about tending to your every need, after all.
JACK: Good, so we're all on board then.
He shoves a folder towards VERN. VERN looks at it and looks at him questioningly.
VERN: I'm sorry, was I supposed to do something with this?
JACK: Yes, Vern, this would be a good time to practice that thing you learned way back in kindergarten, called reading?
VERN: (rolls his eyes) And were you planning on giving me a de-briefing on this, or am I all on my own again in trying to figure out that complex mind of yours?
JACK: All right, I suppose I can help you out. (sarcastically) But just this once, y'hear?
VERN mumbles something again, which JACK ignores.
JACK: I need you to help me locate Anjelica.
VERN: (surprised) Anjelica? As in... your stepmother?
JACK: (clenches his jaw) Yes. That would be the correct guess.
VERN: But... why? What's going on?
JACK: Something I certainly don't need at the moment, on top of everything else.
VERN: What are you talking about?
JACK: Look, I'm up to my eyeballs in this Kiriakis story. The last thing I need is to deal with what's going on with some secret bank accounts that my father--that Harper--had apparently stashed away years and years ago that now are being drained by... someone... Three guesses on who it is.
VERN is stunned.
JACK: That money... (sighs) It's not that I think I'm entitled to that money or anything--and hell, I don't even want a single cent of it. But I'll be damned if I'm going to let Anjelica get away with Harper's money either, not after everything she's done. (pauses; it still hurts him to remember how she lied to him and made everyone believe she was dead).
VERN does not know what to say. He sees that JACK is upset but knows that JACK probably wouldn't want to acknowledge it, especially in front of him.
JACK: (quietly) All the information I have on her and her last whereabouts are there. I haven't had much luck with finding her or any information about where those funds are being leaked to... (pauses) Will you help me out?
VERN: Of course, Jack. You know you can count on me. I'll do everything I can to find what I can about Anjelica-
JACK looks up and is stunned to see ALEXANDER standing at his door.
ALEXANDER: Jack, what's going on? Why are you trying to find... her?
OUT on JACK, who feels horrible that ALEXANDER had overheard.
CUT TO: JENNIFER AND FRANKIE
FRANKIE has just asked JENNIFER why she came to see him.
FRANKIE: Out with it.
JENNIFER: (laughs nervously) What?
FRANKIE: Come on, Jen... How long have we known each other? You think I can't tell when you've got something on your mind?
JENNIFER avoids his eyes.
FRANKIE: What is it? I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm happy you're visiting, but I've been trying to get you to visit ever since you and Jack got back, and you hadn't come by before now...
JENNIFER: (trying to cover up) You're being paranoid, Frankie.
FRANKIE: (smiles) Am I?
She looks at him and tries to think of what to say. Finally, she sighs.
JENNIFER: All right, you're right, I did come here for a reason... But I swear, I really did want to stop by the gallery and see what you've done with this place-
FRANKIE: (chuckles) Okay, okay, I believe you... So what's up?
JENNIFER: (doesn't want to come right out and ask him) It's, um... about the coronation.
FRANKIE: The coronation? What about it?
JENNIFER: (thinking fast) Well, you were right by Greta that night, weren't you?
FRANKIE: (soberly) Yeah...
JENNIFER: I know this probably isn't something you want to relive again, but...
FRANKIE: But you need details for your story.
JENNIFER: (feels guilty for lying, but nods) Whatever information you can give me... it would really help...
FRANKIE:(sighs) All right, I'll... do the best I can to remember as much as possible.
OUT on JENNIFER, wishing she didn't have to be this sneaky about finding out about CARLY.
CUT TO: JACK, VERN, AND ALEXANDER
ALEXANDER is upset after having just walked in on JACK and VERN talking about ANJELICA.
VERN: (clears throat) Um... I'll, uh... I'll get right to this, Jack. (takes folder from JACK)
JACK: Yes, thank you.
ALEXANDER watches VERN leave, then looks at JACK.
JACK: Alexander. This is quite a surprise. (leads him in) Look, it's not that I'm not happy to see you, but how the hell did you get here?
ALEXANDER: (giving him a look) I took the bus.
JACK: (horrified) The bus? The bus? Are you crazy?! What is an eleven year old doing taking the bus all by himself--do your parents know you're here? Oh, what am I saying, they probably don't! (walks over to the phone) I'm calling Adrienne...
ALEXANDER: No, don't! Please!
JACK: What do you mean, don't? Your mother is going to have my head if she finds out I knew where you were and didn't tell her.
ALEXANDER: Look, she knows I'm out, okay?
JACK raises his eyebrows.
ALEXANDER: She just doesn't know I'm here.
JACK: And where did you tell her you were going to be?
ALEXANDER: (quietly) The mall.
JACK: What's the matter, you got lost on the way to Ballistix?
ALEXANDER: You're changing the subject.
JACK: What subject?! You're here under false pretenses, Alexander-
ALEXANDER: Why were you talking about Anjelica?
JACK is taken aback. He doesn't know if he should say anything about her to ALEXANDER.
ALEXANDER: She's... not coming back, is she, Jack? She's not coming to take me away from Mom and Dad, is she?
OUT on JACK.
CUT TO: JENNIFER AND FRANKIE
FRANKIE has just been telling JENNIFER what he saw at the coronation, while JENNIFER has been trying to think of the best way to steer the conversation towards CARLY.
FRANKIE: I'm sorry, Jen, that's all I can remember... I don't know that I was of much help to you...
JENNIFER: No, no, you were, really. Thank you, Frankie, this really helped. (puts away her tape recorder, starts to walk around the gallery)
FRANKIE: I still can't believe what happened.
JENNIFER nods without saying anything. She is thinking of CARLY and how she could possibly be involved in the assassination attempt on GRETA.
FRANKIE: Who would want to hurt the princess?
JENNIFER: (quietly) I don't know...
FRANKIE: (noticing she is distracted) Jen, what is it?
JENNIFER: Hmm? Oh, I was just... (points to a painting with flowers) I was just looking at this... It's really amazing, Frankie.
FRANKIE: Thanks. (beat) Water lilies... They were-
JENNIFER: (finishing his sentence) Carly's favorite flowers.
FRANKIE smiles and nods.
JENNIFER: Have you... have you heard from her recently?
FRANKIE: No, not really... I mean, I got a Christmas card from her, but we haven't really talked. (quietly) We don't really talk much anymore, after she and Lawrence... (feels guilty bringing up LAWRENCE'S name, clears his throat) We don't get to talk much.
JENNIFER: I'm sorry.
FRANKIE: (softly) Yeah, me too. (beat) So what made you think about her?
JENNIFER: Oh, well... you know, we were in Paris not too long ago, and it just reminded me of all those spring breaks we'd spend there when we were in school... I was actually hoping I might run into her there, since I knew that she and... I knew they had gone there a few years ago.
FRANKIE: Well, the Christmas card I got from her was from Switzerland. I think they settled in a villa there a while back.
FRANKIE: Maybe John has more information... (laughs) Not that he and his brother are particularly close, I guess.
JENNIFER: (smiles) No, I guess not. (beat) Well, I should get going... Thanks... Thanks, Frankie, this really helped a lot.
FRANKIE: (suspecting she didn't really come here about the coronation) Of course. Anytime, Jen. You know you can ask me for anything.
JENNIFER nods, but doesn't say anything.
OUT on FRANKIE as JENNIFER leaves.
CUT TO: JACK AND ALEXANDER
ALEXANDER is afraid that ANJELICA is going to take him away.
ALEXANDER: Jack, you can tell me. I'm... I'm not a kid anymore... you can tell me the truth-
JACK: (smiles in spite of himself, tousles ALEXANDER'S hair) No, that's not going to happen, kiddo.
ALEXANDER: (annoyed) Jack... I wish you'd stop calling me that.
JACK: Oh, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Yes, I forgot. You're a young man now.
ALEXANDER: I am almost twelve.
JACK: (grinning) Almost.
ALEXANDER: So... she's really not coming to take me back? Honest?
JACK: (holds up his hand) Honest. Look, it's... it's nothing you have to be concerned about, I promise.
ALEXANDER gives him a suspicious look, but does not say anything.
JACK: So, are you going to tell me why you've honored me with your presence today, or do I have to play the Amazing Kreskin?
JACK: Or, um... gee, what pop culture reference would be more meaningful to you... Ah yes. Do I have to pull a Dumbledore?
ALEXANDER: (laughs) You've read Harry Potter?
JACK: Abigail's addicted. (beat) So, what is it, what's brought you all the way over here--and why don't you want your mother to know you came to see me?
ALEXANDER: (gives him a mischievous grin) Because she says you're a bad influence on me.
ALEXANDER: Okay, I guess you want the truth.
JACK: Yes, that might be nice.
ALEXANDER: All right... (hesitating) Do you remember you told me a long time ago that if I ever needed anything, that you'd be here for me?
JACK: Of course.
ALEXANDER: Well, I'm counting on that.
JACK: What are stepbrothers-slash-uncles for?
JACK: What is it, what's wrong?
ALEXANDER: I need your help.
JACK: (concerned) What do you need? Whatever it is, you can count on me.
ALEXANDER: (hesitating) It's... Mom and Dad. (beat) I need your help with Mom and Dad.
OUT on JACK'S concern.
END EPISODE 49
To be continued...