IT IS THE NEXT MORNING. JACK AND JENNIFER ARE LEAVING FOR IRELAND WITH HOPE IN A FEW HOURS AND ARE TRYING TO GET EVERYTHING TOGETHER AND TO TELL ABBY.
Scene 1: Jennifer is setting up the table for breakfast. She is already dressed and is wearing jeans and a light blue sweater set. Jack is walking down the stairs with Abby in his arms. She is still in her nightgown but he is dressed in jeans and a dark blue button-up shirt.
JACK: (NOTICING JENNIFER SMILING AT THEM. TO ABBY) Say "hello Mommy."
ABBY: (LOOKING AT JENNIFER) Hello Mommy.
JENNIFER: (WALKING OVER TO THEM AND KISSING HER FOREHEAD) Hello, Baby. Did you sleep well?
ABBY: Yes. (JACK SETS HER DOWN) What's for breakfast?
JENNIFER: (WALKING OVER TO THE TABLE) Eggs, bacon, pancakes, sausage..
JACK: (TO HIMSELF) In other words, a coronary on a plate.
JENNIFER: What was that, Jack?
JACK: Nothing...nothing...(HE SWOOPS ABBY UP AND PUTS HER IN A CHAIR IN THE DINING ROOM) All aboard.
ABBY: (SETTLING INTO THE CHAIR) You're so silly.
JENNIFER: (SITTING DOWN AND REACHING OVER TO CUT ABBY'S PANCAKES) Baby, (GLANCING AT JACK WHO IS NOW SITTING DOWN READING THE PAPER) Daddy and I have something to tell you.
ABBY: (SIPPING HER ORANGE JUICE) I know already. Daddy told me.
JENNIFER: (RAISING HER EYEBROWS AT JACK) He did?
ABBY: Yes. He told me that you two are going away for a little bit to help cousin Hope and that Grandma Jo and Vern are going to stay here with me.
JENNIFER: (LOOKING AT JACK SMUGLY) Well, that was very nice of Daddy. Baby, are you okay with this?
ABBY: I'm fine. You are coming back, aren't you?
JENNIFER: (CONFUSED AT THE QUESTION) What kind of question is that, Baby? Of course we're coming back?
ABBY: Both of you?
JENNIFER: (LOOKING AT JACK FOR HELP) Both of us.
ABBY: (EATING) Good. I didn't want Daddy to go off on another one of his business trips and I didn't want you to run away from Daddy.
(JENNIFER AND JACK LOOK SADLY AT EACH OTHER, KNOWING HOW THEIR IMMATURITY AFFECTED ABBY)
JACK: (PUTTING DOWN THE PAPER AND LEANING FORWARD TO BRUSH HER CHEEK) Princess, Daddy will not be going on one of his business trips. The only business he cares about now is you.
ABBY: (TURNING TO JENNIFER) And what about you, Mommy? You're not going to get mad at Daddy and leave again, are you?
(JENNIFER LOOKS VERY HURT BY THIS QUESTION)
Scene 2: Abby has just asked Jennifer if she was going to run away from Jack again.
(SEEING HOW HURT JENNIFER IS BY THIS QUESTION, JACK JUMPS TO HER DEFENSE)
JACK: Abigail, Mommy loves you very much. (LOOKING AT JENNIFER) She never meant to hurt you and neither did I. Do you understand that?
(JENNIFER SMILES AT JACK)
ABBY: I know, Daddy.
JACK: Good. Just know that Mommy and Daddy will be coming back here together. Better than ever. And while we're gone, we want you to be on your best behavior.
ABBY: I will.
JACK: That means no talking to strangers.
(ABBY LOOKS BACK AND FORTH AT THEM AS THEY SPEAK)
JENNIFER: And no opening the door without Grandma Jo or Vern.
JACK: And no answering the phone.
JENNIFER: And never ever going anywhere without them.
ABBY: I know. I know.
JENNIFER: Baby, we know you know. We just want to make sure you're safe.
JACK: And just to make sure you're safe, we're going to have Grandma Jo and Vern drive and pick you up from school.
ABBY: But I want to take the bus with Sam.
JENNIFER: Honey, there's only a few more weeks of school left. It won't be that bad.
ABBY: But I like riding the bus.
JACK: (LOOKING AT JENNIFER FOR HELP) Abigail, what do you say if we ask Sam's parents if Jo-Grandma Jo could drive and pick her up too? Would that be okay?
ABBY: That would be great. Thanks, Daddy. (SHE HUGS JACK) I'm going to get dressed (SHE RUNS UP THE STAIRS).
JENNIFER: (CALLING AFTER HER) Baby, you didn't finish your break-(QUIETLY) fast.
(JACK HAS TURNED TO WATCH ABBY RUN UP THE STAIRS AND IS SMILING. HE TURNS AROUND SMILING AND THEN STOPS ABRUPTLY WHEN HE SEES JENNIFER'S FACE)
JACK: (CUTTING HIS PANCAKES) She's adorable. Isn't she?
JENNIFER: I wish you hadn't done that.
JACK: What, tell her that she could bring a friend along to school? I think that she liked the idea bett...
JENNIFER: (GETTING UP AND CLEARING THE TABLE) No. You know what you did, Jack. You made me look like the bad guy.
JACK: I did no such thing.
JENNIFER: You most certainly did. I try to be firm and explain something and you go back and make it all better.
JACK: I thought I was helping.
JENNIFER: Like you helped when you told her that we were going away? Did you ever think that I wanted to be there when you told her, Jack? (SHE GRABS HIS PLATE)
JACK: I just thought it would be too hard for you. Jennifer, I didn't mean to (HE NOTICES SHE IS TAKING HIS PLATE AND LEAVING WITH IT). Hey, I wasn't finished!
JENNIFER: You are now. (SHE TAKES THE PLATES AND GOES INTO THE KITCHEN)
(JACK SINKS BACK INTO HIS SEAT AND SIGHS. HE DOESN'T KNOW WHY SHE IS SO MAD AT HIM. JUST THEN THE DOORBELL RINGS)
JACK: I just can't get a break, can I? (HE GETS UP TO OPEN THE DOOR)
Scene 3: Jack opens the door to his past.
(THE DOORBELL RINGS AGAIN)
JACK: Coming! Coming! (OPENS THE DOOR TO JO, WHO IS BEAMING AT HIM)
JO: Son! I cannot tell you just how great it is to see you (SHE PINCHES HIS CHEEKS AND PULLS HIM CLOSE) Let me look at you. (SHE MAKES HIM STAND BACK AND TAKES A GOOD LOOK) Um, um. You look a little skinny here. Has Jennifer been feeding you?
JACK: (LOOKING VERY UNCOMFORTABLE) Hehehehehe. It's, um, nice to see you too, Jo. (HE LOOKS BEHIND THEM NERVOUSLY INTO THE HOUSE AND STEPS OUTSIDE AND SHUTS THE DOOR) Let's just have a moment to talk about Jennifer.
JO: Oh, I know all about it.
JACK: (SMILING NERVOUSLY) You do?
JO: Yes. Vern was kind enough to tell me all about it on the way from the airport (SHE LOOKS BACK AND WAVES AT VERN) He looks mighty fine, doesn't he? And I tell you what, I don't believe a word of it.
JACK: (CONFUSED) You don't?
JO: You heard me-I don't. This mess about Jennifer loving another man and running off to Ireland. I have one word for it and that's bull. The Jennifer I know and the Jack I know would never let another man come between them. Before long, you two will be closer than ever, mark my words.
JACK: I'm glad you think so.
JO: And you don't?
JACK: No, no, I don-I don't know what I think. It's...Jennifer's a different person now. Nothing, nothing seems to work.
JO: Son, have you told her how you feel?
JACK: How I feel about what? About her running off to Ireland with some Lucky Charms Boy? How she left me in Africa alone without our daughter? Yes, yes, I have.
JO: No. Jack, have you told her about what you feel in here (SHE TOUCHES HIS CHEST WHERE HIS HEART IS). How you still feel in here?
(JACK LOOKS PAINED AT THIS SUGGESTION THAT HE STILL LOVES JENNIFER)
Scene 4: Mr. Devereaux tells the truth, sort of.
JACK: What I feel in here? (HE TAPS HIS CHEST) Tell me, how do you know what I feel in here? (HE TURNS AWAY)
JO: Please, Jack. It's written all over your face. You still love Jennifer.
JACK: (TURNING BACK TO FACE JO) I do not.
JO: Jack, don't lie to yourself. You're not fooling me or anyone else. Even Vern said-
JACK: (LOOKING AT VERN AND PULLING A FACE) What does Vern know?
JO: He knows enough to know that you still love Jennifer, Jack.
JACK: Loved Jennifer. There is a big difference between love and loved. A big difference.
JO: Honestly, Jack.
(VERN COMES UP THE WALK WITH JO'S BAGS)
VERN: I think that's the last of them. (SMILING AT JO) You sure packed a lot, Josephine.
JO: (SMITTEN WITH VERN) Well, you never know how long I'll be here.
VERN: I hope I'm not being selfish, but I'm hoping a really long time.
JO: (GIGGLING. TOUCHING VERN'S ARM) Well..
(JACK LOOKS SICKENED BY THIS EXCHANGE)
JACK: Shall we go inside? Please.
(HE OPENS THE DOOR AND THEY WALK IN. JENNIFER AND ABBY ARE SITTING ON THE COUCH PACKING ABBY'S BOOKBAG. JENNIFER STANDS UP WHEN THEY ENTER)
JENNIFER: (SMILING) Jo! (SHE HUGS HER) You look great! I've missed you so much.
JO: So do you. Gosh, Jennifer, it's been so long. (SEEING ABBY) Now, I know who that is. Come here and give your grandma a hug.
(ABBY JUMPS UP AND HUGS JO, WHO SCOOPS HER UP)
You look so much like your daddy.
JENNIFER: (SMOOTHING ABBY'S HAIR WITH HER HAND AND LOOKING AT JACK) She certainly does.
JO: (SETTING ABBY DOWN AND THEY BOTH SIT ON THE COUCH) Oh, Abby, we're going to have so much fun. We're going to color and tell stories and I'll make you my famous green noodle casserole. It's your daddy's favorite.
(JENNIFER AND JACK SMILE GOOFILY AT EACH OTHER AT THE MENTION OF THE CASSEROLE)
VERN: Jenny-girl. Where should I put these?
JENNIFER: Oh, Vern. Upstairs in Jack's room should be fine. Jo will take my room.
JACK: (TO JO) Be sure to lock your doors at night. You can never be too safe. (TO VERN) Same for you, Vernon. Shall we? (THEY GO UPSTAIRS WITH THE BAGS)
JO: (SEEING THAT JACK AND VERN HAVE LEFT, SHE GETS UP AND WALKS OVER TO JENNIFER) Good, they're gone. Now that we're alone, I'd like to ask you one thing, Jennifer. What on earth is going on with you and my son?
(JENNIFER LOOKS WORRIED AND SURPRISED AT JO'S QUESTION)
JENNIFER: (SURPRISED BY JO'S QUESTION) What's going on with me and Jack? Jo, I really...
JO: You can't blame me for asking, Jennifer. It's not like I'm used to getting calls in the middle of the night asking me to fly in and watch Abby for awhile.
JENNIFER: (RELIEVED THAT JO WASN'T ASKING ABOUT THEIR RELATIONSHIP) I...Jo, (GLANCING OVER AT ABBY WHO IS CAUGHT UP WITH PLAYING WITH HER DOLLS ON THE COUCH) you heard about what happened to my cousin Hope, right?
JO: Yes. Vern mentioned it on the way over. But what does that have to do with you?
JENNIFER: Well, Jack and I found out that Lexie and Hope's baby are not dead. That they are living over in Ireland and that Stefano was behind this whole thing.
JO: So, you're going back to Ireland? (NOW KNOWING WHAT JACK MUST BE FEELING)
JENNIFER: (TURNING HER BACK TO JO) To help Hope, Jo.
JO: Oh, I see. Stefano DiMera is a dangerous fellow to be mixed up with. Are you sure that you and Jack know what you're getting into?
(JUST THEN JACK AND VERN COME DOWN)
JACK: Yes, we are sure. We are more than capable of fending for ourselves, aren't we, Miss Horton? (HE LOOKS AT HER INTENTLY)
JENNIFER: (MATCHING JACK'S GAZE) Yes, we are.
JACK: And in keeping with the protection theme...(HE NOTICES ABBY ON THE COUCH) Abigail, why don't you run upstairs and get that picture that you drew for Jo? I'm sure she'd love to see it.
ABBY: Okay. (SHE RUNS UP THE STAIRS)
JACK: (MAKING SURE SHE IS GONE) As I was saying, due to the high risk factor, the child's protection is of utmost importance. That's why we asked you two to stay here. (HE LOOKS AT VERN AND JO). There have been arrangements made for at school, but at all other times of the day, she is to be watched like a...like a...(HATES THE WORD) hawk. That means do not let her out of your sight for one minute, one second, one nanosecond.
JENNIFER: What Jack is trying to say is that we trust that you'll take very good care of her while we're gone.
JO: You have my word. Nothing will happen to Abby with me here.
VERN: She's like one of my own.
JACK: Good, good. Then you have no problem with taking her and picking her up from school everyday? Oh, and you may have to take her friend Sam to school too. (HE SHOOTS A LOOK AT JENNIFER)
JO: I have one question, though. Who will take care of you two?
JENNIFER: We will be fine, Jo.
JACK: We'll take care of each other. It's the least we can do, right? (HE LOOKS AT JENNIFER HOPEFULLY)
JENNIFER: (LOOKING BACK AT JACK HOPEFULLY) The least.
JO: I don't know about this. It just seems too dangerous.
JACK: (WAVING IT OFF) Danger, schmanger. We've done it before. (SEEING ABBY COMING DOWN THE STAIRS) Did you get the picture, Abigail?
ABBY: I couldn't find it.
JENNIFER: That's alright. I'm sure you can find it later. (SHE LOOKS AT HER WATCH) Oh, look it's time to go to school.
ABBY: You're not going to be here when I get home, right?
(BOTH JENNIFER AND JACK KNEEL DOWN IN FRONT OF ABBY. THEY DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE HER. JO AND VERN JUST STEP BACK AND WATCH THEM WITH GREAT LOVE)
JENNIFER: Yeah, Baby, we'll be gone when you get home. But we'll miss you.
JACK: More than life itself.
JENNIFER: We love you Abby. You're going to be good for Grandma Jo and Vern, right?
JACK: And we'll call you every chance we get. We'll be home before you can say "Princess Abigail".
ABBY: Daddy, will you sing for me?
JACK: Sing for you? Well, what do you want me to sing?
ABBY: The song.
JACK: Oh-the song! (HE GETS UP) I can do better than that...(HE GOES TO THE ENTERTAINMENT CENTER AND POPS IN A CD AND WHEN IT STARTS PLAYING WALKS BACK OVER TO JENNIFER AND ABBY) Abigail Johanna Deveraux, may I have this dance? (HE STRETCHES OUT HIS HAND TO HER)
ABBY: (PUTTING HER HAND DAINTILY IN JACK'S) Certainly.
(THEY BEGIN TO DANCE TO JOHNNY MATHIS' "WONDERFUL" WITH ABBY STEPPING ON JACK'S FEET. HE IS SINGING TO ABBY. JENNIFER STANDS THERE AND WATCHES WITH TEARS IN HER EYES. ABBY WHISPERS SOMETHING TO JACK AND HE MOUTHS "WHAT?" AND SCOOPS HER UP IN HIS ARMS WHERE SHE WHISPERS SOMETHING IN HIS EAR. HE LOOKS UP IN WONDER AT JENNIFER AND THEN WALKS OVER AND OUTSTRETCHES HIS HAND TO JENNIFER, WHO STARES AT IT FOR A FEW SECONDS AND THEN TAKES IT AND THEY DANCE AND SING WITH ABBY BETWEEN THEM. JO AND VERN SMILE AT THEM)
(AFTER A FEW MOMENTS OF DANCING, ABBY HAS JACK PUT HER DOWN AND THEN KISSES THEM ON THE MOUTH, GRABS HER BOOKBAG, AND WALKS TO THE FOYER. JACK AND JENNIFER ARE STILL DANCING. SHE WAVES TO THEM AND THEY WAVE AND SMILE AT HER AS SHE EXITS WITH JO AND VERN. THEY CONTINUE TO DANCE AND EXCHANGE LOOKS OF FEAR, SADNESS AND LOVE)
END OF EPISODE 16
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