Monday, March 20th, 2023

At the ranch, Jill’s concerned about the time; she’s running late for the arbitration. Victor smirks – my timing is perfect.

Audra pauses outside the office to watch. It seems Vikki and Nate are discussing more that the quarterly budget.

No one knows more about the ins and outs of the merger than me, Amanda reminds Devon that she was ‘in the trenches; dotting the i’s, crossing the t’s’. After all the long talks she and Devon had about Neil, Amanda thinks it a joke that he’s here touting loyalty and history. No, this isn’t about revenge but it is a perk that Amanda will have a front row seat to seeing Devon lose.

Chris appears to lead Devon into the arbitration room (and away from Amanda and Lily) You look rattled, she scolds. Now, with everyone seated, Devon asks where Jill is. Ms Winters is here on behalf of Chancellor Winters, Amanda informs the arbitrator that Ms Abbott will be there as soon as she can step away from her professional obligations.

When Elena arrives at the office, Audra informs her that Nate’s in a meeting. Let me guess – with Vikki, Elena pouts. Is everything OK? Audra invites her to go out for coffee.

Not wanting their work dynamic to change, Nate addresses what happened last night. Vikki shrugs it off and apologizes for making him uncomfortable by overstepping. When Nate calls BS, Vikki laughs – no, she doesn’t believe she overstepped.

Jill tells Victor that she takes no pleasure in this battle that’s taking it’s toll on Lily and Devon – but – Chancellor Winters is hers and she likes the company just the way it is.

Victor wonders how Kay would feel about the hard line Jill’s drawn with Devon. He turned down every compromise we offered; a generous settlement, to retain the Hamilton Winters name. He has no legal standing. Victor wants to offer an alternative (to all these hostilities)

Chris tells the arbitrator that Hamilton Winters was founded on one core principle; family. Neil and Dru adopted Devon. The company they started is a living monument to father and son; the importance of family. Ms Abbott and Ms Winters used that family sentiment to coerce Devon into merging, then insisted on the IPO – letting outside money and influence into a family company. When Devon objected and wanted to amicably dissolve the merger, Ms Abbott and Ms Winters flexed their collective muscle. My client isn’t asking for money or stock – he just wants the company HE and his father created.

On the CL’s patio, Elena hopes Audra doesn’t think she’s jealous or insecure (because I’m not) Audra believes it and thinks Elena has legitimate questions about what’s going on between Nate and Vikki. It doesn’t feel like a normal employee-employer dynamic. Yes, she senses more is going on. A lot more.

Obviously, Vikki would have liked to explore the chemistry between her and Nate. She’s free and single, he’s not. She respects the choice Nate made. We can control ourselves – this attraction doesn’t have to be acted on, no matter how powerful it is.

Audra knows it’s difficult to hear. Elena appreciates her honesty. You think they’re having an affair? Audra feels it’s headed in that direction. Elena’s not sure what to do – or why Nate would jeopardize their relationship. Should I wait to catch them in the act? Fight for him? Not one to sit back and do nothing, Audra has an idea.