At the mansion, Caroline snickered at the idea of Maya Avante being the next Forrester matriarch. Maya stated that Rick believed in her. Caroline countered that she believed in her marriage. Maya said that Rick knew who he wanted and wasn't looking back. She claimed that Rick was a dead end for Caroline, but there was another man with real feelings for Caroline.
Caroline was aware that she'd broken Rick's trust and handed Maya her opportunity. Maya guessed Caroline saw her as an opportunist but asserted that she loved Rick enough to drop it all in a heartbeat. Maya explained that she'd fallen in love with "Rick the waiter," but she'd gotten scared and run away upon learning that he was a Forrester heir.
Maya thanked Caroline for showing that a proper pedigree didn't guarantee a happy marriage. Maya had gotten pregnant and in trouble with the law in the past, but she'd felt inferior only because she'd allowed herself to. Since then, Maya had discovered her good qualities.
Maya asserted that she wasn't Stephanie or Caroline, but she was ambitious, driven, and a quick study. Maya vowed to be the grande dame that the family needed her to be. It might not happen naturally, but given time, she'd surprise everyone -- even Caroline.
Caroline said Maya thought she had it all figured out. Maya believed that Caroline had it figured out, too, which was why it didn't make sense that she kept hanging on to Rick. Maya reasoned that Caroline wouldn't have turned to Ridge if she'd been happy with Rick. Caroline asserted that she hadn't turned to Ridge. Maya guessed Caroline had just "gotten caught up in something."
Maya said Caroline treated her as if she were unworthy to breathe Caroline's air. Maya declared that she'd be a good wife, partner, model, and whatever Rick needed her to be. Maya believed she had something to offer the world and the family, and all that mattered was that she and Rick knew it.
At Forrester, Pam called Ridge and Carter into Rick's old office to announce that Rick and Maya had moved into Eric's bedroom and replaced Stephanie's portrait with one of Maya. Pam listed Rick's reasons for removing Stephanie's image from the wall, but Pam was outraged that the married Rick had put his mistress in Stephanie's place. Pam asked Ridge to imagine how Caroline would react. Ridge believed it was the very reason Rick had done it.
Pam left, and Ridge expressed his frustration about how Rick's actions would affect Caroline. Carter tried to remind Ridge that he'd said, "If things were different, you would -- " Ridge interrupted to insisted that he'd respect Caroline's choice to repair her marriage -- even if he didn't respect Rick. Ridge said he'd started the mess by enlisting Caroline to draw for him, and he left to talk to Rick.
In the CEO's office, Aly dropped off reports. She was trying to understand Rick, but his power moves had upset her. Rick claimed that none of it had been an affront, but she asked if he could see how it seemed to be so. He explained that Stephanie's portrait had been an unneeded reminder of how Stephanie had played favorites with Ridge.
Aly decided that it was more about sending Caroline a message than about Stephanie. Rick guessed that Caroline had sent Aly to talk to him. Aly replied that it wasn't true, and she hated seeing Caroline and Rick miserable. He asked why he'd be miserable while having absolute power, all the perks that accompanied it, and a beautiful, deserving woman by his side.
Aly said she understood what it was like to carry around a lot of pain inside. She'd blamed Taylor because it had been easier than dealing with losing her loved one. Aly guessed it was like that for Rick, too, but added that he didn't have to lose Caroline. Rick replied that he'd already lost Caroline, and he owed Maya for exposing Ridge and Caroline -- and for so much more.
Aly left, and Rick flashed back to Caroline seeing Maya's picture on the wall. Ridge arrived. Rick assumed Ridge was worked up about "mommy's portrait," but Ridge said Rick's treatment of Caroline had worked Ridge up. Rick stated that moving into the mansion had nothing to do with Caroline, but Ridge countered that moving Maya in there had everything to do with Caroline.
Ridge asked if Rick was sticking it to everyone. Rick said he didn't sit around, worrying about what others thought. Ridge doubted the wisdom of going it alone. Rick stated that he had Maya, and he wouldn't be with his wife. Ridge said Caroline still saw Rick as the man she'd married, and if he still wanted a family and future with her, then he had to stop punishing her and himself.
Rick grumbled that Ridge's words were white noise. Ridge ordered Rick to talk to Ridge like a man. Rick disparaged Ridge as a "man" who'd strung along two families and a man who'd used a married woman to get his design gift back. Ridge acknowledged his part in things. He was sorry for it but less sorry every day in light of what Rick had done to their father.
"My dad," Rick corrected, and Ridge asked if they were going there again. Rick asked if Massimo still wore his pinkie ring but decided that Ridge wouldn't know the answer because Massimo had written Ridge off, too. Ridge contended that no one had written him off, but it would happen to Rick if Rick let his insecurities rule his life.
Rick deflected the insecurity onto Ridge, who'd gone after Eric's wife, Thorne's wife, and Rick's wife. Rick decided Ridge had no boundaries because he had no Forrester blood or heart within him. "All you are is a bastard Marone, who takes and keeps on taking," Rick quipped. Keeping calm, Ridge said he was there to relay that Caroline loved Rick, and if Rick wanted to reconcile, he had do it "now."
Rick insisted that he wanted to be with Maya. Ridge noted that it was just the two of them in the room. He asked why Rick couldn't admit to loving Caroline, so they could start healing. Rick said he couldn't admit what he didn't feel. Ridge relayed that Rick's stunts said otherwise. Rick yelled that, for the last time, the portrait wasn't a stunt.
Ridge announced that no one was buying it. He likened Rick to a little boy on the playground who pulled the pigtails of the girl he liked, hoping to get any kind of reaction from her. Rick warned that Ridge was testing Rick's limits. Ridge promised to leave after saying one more thing. Ridge stated that Maya was Rick's number one person. "So have you told her you love her?" Ridge asked.
Rick said nothing. Ridge guessed that Rick hadn't done it and said they each knew why he hadn't. No matter Maya's loyalty, beauty, or sexual prowess, she wasn't Caroline, the love of Rick's life. Ridge said Rick proved it was so each time Rick hurt Caroline for hurting Rick. Ridge pointed out that he had been the one to hurt Rick, not Caroline, but Rick went after Caroline day after day after day.
"Most women would have given up on you already, but not Caroline. She sees something good in you. She believes in your marriage. Rick, that speaks volumes, or it would to any other man," Ridge stated. He warned Rick to take Caroline back before it was too late.
At Forrester, Ridge tried to convince Rick that if he didn't reexamine his relationship with Caroline, Rick would lose her forever. "Is that what you want?" Ridge asked. Rick argued that Ridge only wanted to know about Rick's feelings for Caroline because Ridge planned to be there to pick up the pieces.
Ridge disagreed. He pointed out that Caroline had begged Rick for forgiveness. "But Ricky, everyone has a limit," Ridge said. Rick countered that Ridge had broken the hearts of countless women; Taylor, Brooke, and Katie were among them. Rick chided that Katie had figured out Ridge's pattern and dumped him. "Caroline's figured that out, too," Rick said.
Rick dredged up ancient history about how Ridge had pursued his mother, but Ridge countered that his history had nothing to do with Rick's recent actions: moving into their father's house and making love to Maya in their father's bed.
Ridge insisted that there was still a part of Rick that loved Caroline, but Ridge noted that Rick would lose Caroline because she deserved someone who loved, appreciated, and respected her. Rick advised Ridge to steer clear of Caroline because Ridge had never respected a single woman in his life.
Ridge turned away to leave, but he turned back. "Tell me one more time. Tell me that you're done with your wife, and I promise this time, I'll believe you," Ridge coaxed. Rick remained silent.
In Carter's office, Maya barged in, and Carter told her to leave. He said he wanted to stay neutral in the battle over her portrait hanging in the Forrester mansion. "Take down the picture, and we'll talk," Carter advised. Maya argued that he didn't sound neutral.
Carter suggested that Maya didn't see what she had done. Maya paced his office and countered that she was good enough to model the company's clothes and be photographed but not good enough to have her picture on the wall of the Forrester mansion.
Carter reminded Maya that her portrait had replaced that of Stephanie -- an incredibly important woman in the Forrester family. Maya explained that Rick had hung it up as an expression of his love and respect for Maya. She added that Eric could replace it when he returned.
Maya insisted that people misunderstood why Rick had hung her portrait in place of Stephanie's. She maintained that it was not an act of disrespect to Stephanie, but rather a message of confidence in their future.
Carter disagreed. He noted how hurtful it had been to the Forrester family. Maya defended Rick's decision to replace Stephanie's portrait with one of someone who loved Rick. Maya reminded Carter that Stephanie had favored Ridge over everyone her entire life.
Carter said it didn't improve her standing with the Forrester family members. Maya shouted that she had no reason to care what the family thought because she deserved to be there. She dished that Caroline had freaked out when she'd seen the painting. Caroline had said it was all about Rick getting back at Caroline. "The woman is delusional," Maya said. Maya maintained that Caroline needed to get over Rick and move on with her life.
Carter disagreed. He called Maya a classic rebound. Maya said that Caroline had hurt Rick more than anyone else ever had. Carter argued that Rick had been using Maya to get back at Caroline. Maya disagreed, but Carter said that Rick hadn't had any interest in Maya until Caroline had kissed Ridge.
Carter asked if Rick had told Maya that he loved her. Maya paced, and she told Carter not to judge her. Carter gently said that he understood Maya loved the security that Rick offered. Carter noted that Rick had slept with Maya and moved her into his father's house, but he had never professed his love for her.
Maya maintained that Rick had shown her that he loved her, but she acknowledged that he had not said it. "He will," Maya said hopefully. She said he had no reason to hold back anymore because everything had fallen into place. Carter looked skeptical.
At the Forrester mansion, Caroline met with Aly and Ivy and discussed that Rick had hung a portrait of Maya in place of Stephanie like the mansion was "under new management." Ivy and Aly agreed it had been a sign that Rick was not over Caroline.
Caroline lamented that she had apologized for her actions with Ridge and wanted her marriage back. "Why are you apologizing at all?" Aly asked. She noted that Rick had done far worse things with Maya than Caroline had ever done with Ridge.
Ivy asked about Ridge, and Caroline answered that she and Ridge wouldn't work because they were in different places in life. Caroline wanted to start a family, and Ridge had already had a family. Caroline refused to give up on her future with Rick in order "to chase some impossible dream" with Ridge.
Caroline returned to Forrester, and she found Ridge. He figured she had been looking for Rick. "Believe me, you don't want see him right now," Ridge said. He explained that he had tried to convince Rick that he didn't want to lose Caroline, but he didn't think he'd made a difference. "I know the feeling," Caroline said.
Caroline changed the subject, and she looked at Ridge's design. She asked him to cheer her up and tell her what he had been working on. She liked it, and Ridge said it needed a lot of work. He suggested she add something, and he presented the pencil, but she declined.
Ridge asked if something had happened. "She's gonna be the new Forrester matriarch," Caroline said of Maya. She lamented the picture, but Ridge noted it wouldn't be there for long, and everyone knew that Maya would never be the Forrester matriarch. Caroline maintained that everything with Rick had become a mess and continued to worsen. She hoped that it would improve.
At the Forrester mansion, Maya welcomed Rick home after work, and she poured some martinis. Rick complained about his employees, and Maya teased that it went with the responsibility of being CEO.
Maya said that she had looked up the recipe for martinis because she wanted to maintain the Forrester tradition. Maya gushed that she was very lucky to have a man like Rick. She hoped he had felt the same way. Rick and Maya toasted, and Maya looked hopefully at Rick.
Rick said they were off to a good start and needed to plan for the future. Maya dished that Caroline had been outrageous in her criticism of Maya earlier in the day. Maya added that Caroline and others had felt that the painting had been more about his feelings for Caroline than his feelings for Maya. "She thinks you're doing it to get back at her. It's not why, right?" Maya asked.
Rick looked at the portrait and suggested that it was too bad if it had made Caroline unhappy. Maya said that she had never been happier. "I love our life together," she said. Maya continued that she loved security, glamour, luxury. "More than all of that, I love you," she added.
Maya continued to fish for a profession of love from Rick. "I want to know that I mean as much to you as you do to me ... I need to hear it," Maya said with a smile. She said she had been grateful for how Rick had said that she was important to him and that he appreciated her, "but you never said how you feel ... that you love me," she said.
Rick answered that Maya had been amazing, and he promised that they would do incredible things together. Maya pressed on. "I just need to know. Can you say you love me?" Maya asked.
In Carter's office, Ivy, Aly, and Carter reviewed a contract, and conversation quickly turned to Caroline and her reaction to the painting of Maya at the Forrester mansion. Carter pointed out that Maya really loved Rick, and he admired that Caroline did not want to give up on her marriage, but he didn't think Rick cared. Ivy didn't think Rick loved Maya.
At the Forrester mansion, Maya pressured Rick to say that he loved her. Rick tried to convince Maya that she had always known how he felt about her. "Isn't it obvious?" he asked. Maya praised Rick. She told him again that she loved him and asked him to say the same about her. Rick hedged and told her that he showed her every day and night how he felt about her.
Maya thanked Rick, but she confided that she needed to hear the three little words from him, or she didn't want to stay at the mansion. She conveyed that it was very important to her. Rick sweet-talked Maya, and he complained that he had been overwhelmed with "assassins" at Forrester. Rick thanked Maya for standing by him and being so important to him.
Maya was not swayed. She told Rick that she would always be there for him, but she noted that he'd recently shown her that he enjoyed power and revenge. She worried that he had done some things to get back at Caroline. Rick disagreed. He reminded Maya that he had kicked Caroline out of the guesthouse and didn't care about her at all.
Maya pressed on. She told Rick she loved him, but she refused to stay if he couldn't tell her the same thing. She walked toward the door, but Rick stopped her. "I can't let you leave," Rick said. Maya told him that if he didn't feel the same way, she planned to leave. "I do. I love you," Rick said. Maya smiled. "I mean it," Rick said.
Rick confided that he had wanted to say it, but hadn't been. He apologized. He told Maya that he didn't deserve her, but he was very grateful that she was someone he could trust. "I can't imagine not having you in my life," he gushed.
Maya smiled. "We're just getting started," she said. They kissed passionately. Maya pulled Rick upstairs. He started to disrobe on the way up the stairs. Maya and Rick made out and made love. Afterwards, they cuddled, and Maya maintained that they were blessed with each other, a wonderful home, and a successful business.
At Forrester, Caroline talked to Ridge. She worried that Rick had fallen for Maya, but she refused to give up on her marriage. At some point, Ridge advised she had to give up on her angry, belligerent, and unreasonable husband. Ridge grabbed Caroline and begged her to promise that she would no longer play Rick's game. Caroline agreed, but she said she was unwilling to give up her marriage.
Caroline professed that she'd made vows, but Ridge noted that Rick had also made vows. Ridge wondered why Rick had not tried to work it out with Caroline if Rick truly loved her. Ridge worried that Caroline would be disappointed. Caroline said she had faith, but Ridge asked her how long that would continue.
Ridge reminded her that Rick had been intentionally hurting her. "What kind of man does that? You're better than this," Ridge said. He wondered how much more she would take. Caroline acknowledged that Rick had been pushing her, and she wondered how he could possibly love Maya.
Caroline was convinced she could change Rick's mind. She called Rick on FaceTime, and she asked if she had caught him at a bad time. Suddenly, she noticed that Rick and Maya were in bed together. Caroline was disgusted, and she hung up.
Ridge told her he was sorry. "Your marriage is over," Ridge said. Caroline furiously said that Rick had done it all on purpose, and Ridge discouraged her from living a fantasy. Ridge claimed that Rick was not the guy she'd married. "I think he's still in there," Caroline said.
Ridge said he felt sorry for Caroline. He advised that the battle was not worth fighting. "He wants to blame other people for his shortcomings. Let him go. You deserve better," Ridge said.
Caroline said she didn't know what to do. She couldn't take it anymore, and she couldn't stand that she had to report to Rick with Maya gloating by his side. "What should I do? Tell me," Caroline said. Ridge stepped close to Caroline and kissed her passionately. She kissed him back. They paused and began kissing again.
In Carter's office, Ivy, Aly, and Carter discussed that Maya really did love Rick, but Ivy questioned whether Rick felt the same about Maya. Ivy said Rick was still in love with Caroline. Carter shared that Rick had never told Maya that he loved her.
Ivy and Aly maintained that Rick was cold and bitter. Carter said he believed it was all payback for Caroline hurting him. Carter was convinced that Maya would end up disappointed. They all agreed that Rick had punished Caroline with his relationship with Maya.
Carter worried that Maya had been getting in deeper with Rick. Ivy wondered how long it would take for Caroline to lose patience. She added that they all had known that one guy appreciated Caroline: Ridge.
In the CEO's office, Ridge and Caroline kissed. Ridge asked her to say what she wanted, and she eagerly locked lips with him again. He pressed her against the desk, but she apologetically pulled away. He told her not to apologize and said he wanted whatever she wanted.
Caroline said that if they did something, they couldn't go back. Ridge stated that whatever he and Caroline did, the past was lost. Rick and Katie were gone, and the only thing left was the desire for something he and Caroline hadn't had before. She wasn't sure she was ready. He said he wasn't pushing, and she could take or leave him.
Caroline didn't like feeling as if she'd failed. She'd wanted to stay married and believed she could have made it last. Citing his own failures, Ridge said he hadn't gotten beyond Brooke having an affair with her sister's husband, but he'd wound up doing it with his brother's wife. Caroline said they hadn't had an affair. "No, we were just kissing," Ridge joked, but he added, "We both know it was more than that."
Caroline asked what Ridge saw in her. She mentioned her aunt Caroline, and Ridge readily said Caroline wasn't her aunt. He acknowledged that she did look like her aunt, and she sometimes reminded him of her aunt; however, he wasn't living in the past, and he knew exactly who stood before him.
Ridge became emotional as he described the late Caroline as steady, deliberate, and sweet. He said that Caroline wasn't sweet or deliberate -- not reckless, but not deliberate, either. With a coquettish tilt of her head, Caroline agreed that she wasn't sweet or reckless.
Caroline neared Ridge, and nose-to-nose with him, she admitted that if things were purely physical, she would have acted already. He agreed and poised himself to kiss her. Pulling back, he said he wasn't seducing her. "Maybe I'm the one. Maybe I'm seducing you," she uttered, and they kissed.
Caroline pulled back. Catching her by the waist, Ridge told her that she couldn't do that. She playfully argued that he had to let her. He said she could lead, and he'd follow, but "you can't [stop] in the middle of it. You can't." Caroline grinned and moved in to devour him.
Again, Caroline pulled back. That time, she asked if they had room in their lives for it. They worked together and had to consider their families. Ridge was sure it would be a difficult and a little messy, but it would also be fantastical. He asked her what she wanted. "You," she replied, and he smiled. "Time," she added. He agreed to it and said they could wait.
Rocking with Ridge as if they were dancing, Caroline said she wanted it to last. "This part," she added, excitedly waving her hand between them to indicate the chemistry and the getting to know each other. Still smiling, he said he didn't want her to run. The gleeful Caroline asked where she'd go.
Ridge's smile disappeared, and he stared knowingly and vulnerably at Caroline. Caroline stated that she couldn't close her eyes and jump, but she wouldn't run. He smiled again, and she kissed him.
The two cuddled on the sofa, and Ridge stroked Caroline's hair. He asked her what was wrong. She was thinking of the next day -- or trying not to think of it. He advised her to just enjoy the day at hand. "This feels good," he added, pressing his chin against her forehead. She agreed and decided that they should pay attention to what felt right, because being close had felt impossible only an hour earlier.
Ridge remarked that it felt like what happiness could be -- if only for a minute. Caroline sat up and said she didn't know if she'd been trying to find happiness. "What if -- all along, it was trying to find me?" she asked. Ridge kissed and hugged her.
In bed at the mansion, Maya asked Rick if he'd ever slept in the master bedroom. Rick recalled sleeping there once when Stephanie and Eric had been away. Rick had wanted to see how his dad slept after divorcing Brooke. He'd awakened to Stephanie shrieking upon discovering him in her bed.
Maya asked if Stephanie had been awful to Rick. Rick said one never knew what side of Stephanie he would get, but it wasn't like that with Maya. Maya, who'd made her share of mistakes, said he should love her because she was good to him, not because she was good. He said statements like that were why he wanted her picture on his wall, and she promised to make the best life for him.
Maya retrieved some fruit from a bowl in the hallway. Rick didn't know what a clementine was, and she joked that he'd never been to a grocery store. She stated that she'd go for him and get him all the food he needed. She offered to peel the clementine.
Rick marveled at the way Maya spoke to him with so much love. He didn't know if he deserved it. Maya said people didn't get what they deserved in life -- they got what they were given and what they could take. "Take me," she uttered, and they began having sex.
Later, Rick and Maya discussed how her family had treated her as if she wouldn't amount to anything. She wished they could see that she'd turned out okay. She asked if she and Rick would last. He said he'd normally say it was up to them; however, they couldn't see into the future. Maya claimed that her superpower enabled her to see it.
Downstairs, Ivy and Aly arrived. Aly scowled at the empty martini glasses in the living room. The women weren't sure if they should yell out, announcing that they were home, but they speculated that the alternative would be to walk in on something they didn't want to.
Aly found out that Rosaria, the cook, had made dinner for Rick and Maya. Ivy wondered where the two were. "Well, we wouldn't want Rosaria's cooking to go to waste, now, would we?" Aly asked. Ivy called the bedroom upstairs. Rick answered and was irritated to get her call. She informed him about dinner being ready, but he said he had everything he wanted upstairs.
After the call, Ivy decided that the meal was hers and Aly's. Aly remarked that Maya was glued to Rick's wallet, but Ivy didn't think Rick's wallet was in play at the moment. Aly didn't understand Rick. Ivy said it was a powerful thing for someone to back "you" no matter what, and Aly nodded, saying she had that with Oliver. Ivy hoped to have it one day, too.
Aly asked if Ivy thought Caroline would give up. Ivy didn't know why Caroline hadn't done it yet. In Ivy's view, Rick wasn't sending mixed messages. Ivy wondered if Caroline was afraid of letting go.
Back upstairs, Maya insisted upon fetching wine from the basement. As Rick explained that the wine cellar was like a vault. He indicated that the vault protected the wine in case of an earthquake.
Once Maya was gone, Rick checked the nightstand drawer beside him. He reached across the bed to check the other one, and his face stiffened as he stared into the open drawer. Maya returned to ask what kind of wine Rick wanted and noticed his stiff expression. He claimed that nothing was wrong; he'd just realized that he was looking on Stephanie's side of the bed.
Rick asked Maya not to take too long reading the wine bottles. Maya offered to take a course in wines, and Rick, who'd lived in France, replied that he'd teach her. She promised to learn to be a good hostess and not to embarrass Rick. He said she never had and never could. Maya said she loved him and flounced off to get the wine. With a grim expression, Rick pulled a revolver out of Stephanie's drawer.
At the sky lounge, Othello found Carter doing a fierce workout and joked that if Carter had steam to blow off, then he should go to the club to meet some ladies Othello had for him.
Maya breezed onto the rooftop, interrupting the conversation with boisterous glee. Carter bit out that he and Othello were in the middle of something, but Othello said they had time for a pretty lady. Maya was in an exceptional mood, and Othello guessed it was because she was the queen of the empire. Carter felt that the "mistress" of it would be more accurate.
Carter wanted Maya to be careful about being with a married man, but Maya declared that Rick had shown her all night long, in the morning, and five minutes earlier that he loved her.
Carter chuckled at the fact that he'd just questioned Rick's love, and suddenly -- that fast -- Rick had professed it. Carter wanted to know if Rick had said it naturally or because she'd confronted him. She claimed it made no difference; Rick loved her and had moved mountains to unite them.
Carter asked if Maya was there to flaunt the affections of Rick Forrester. "That and to let you know that you were wrong," Maya replied. Maya felt she'd proved that she could measure up to Caroline. Maya had been intimidated at first, but she never would be again.
Maya started talking to Othello about décor changes at the office, and Carter told her that she wasn't the CEO. She touted that she was the woman behind the CEO, who supported the CEO. Carter replied that Rick had a whole company behind him for that. Maya asked if Carter meant Ridge.
Maya questioned Ridge's loyalty to Rick and vowed not to let anyone disrespect Rick or her relationship with him. Othello said she'd spoken like the first lady of Forrester Creations. "At least someone knows what's going on," Maya quipped, slapping Othello's hand.
Maya left, and Carter wished Maya would dial it back a bit. To him, she acted as if Rick was a wounded bird in need of nursing. Othello recalled knowing Rick for years. Back then, Rick had seemed to have everything, but Stephanie's strong hold over the family had made it hard for Rick, who'd only reminded Stephanie of Brooke. Even as Eric's son, Rick had always felt like a bastard. Rick finally had someone who had his back, and Othello felt that Ridge had better be careful.
In the CEO's office, Rick looked at Maya's modeling pictures and grinned. Ivy asked if she should contact Wyatt about some designs and if Rick had heard from Hope. Rick said that the couple was strong and would pull through their troubles. Admiring the strength of married couples, Ivy said that married people took vows and held onto them when faced with the worst. Rick sighed.
Ivy asserted that she cared about Rick and Caroline. Ivy asked if he could honestly say he didn't love Caroline anymore. Rick didn't want to discuss it with Ivy, but she claimed to be concerned that he was deliberately hurting Caroline and lashing out at everyone else. He called it ridiculous. Ivy noted that the portrait had devastated Pam, and he'd threatened Ivy over the kisses prior to his power move.
Rick agreed that the threat had been extreme, but he'd needed allies. Ivy claimed that she hadn't told Caroline, which should have earned his trust. He responded that it had, so she told him to trust her when she said that if he was lashing out against the woman he still loved, he had to know there was only so much a woman could take.
Rick claimed not to be concerned about Ridge and Caroline but about running the business. Rick had only had one dream -- to make his mark at Forrester and make his father proud. Ivy doubted tricking her uncle had been a good start. Rick felt it would pay off and said he couldn't have Ridge undermining him. Ivy asked if Rick really thought the contract would stop Ridge from challenging Rick.
Rick explained that he'd neutralized his father's favoritism, and having complete control gave Rick the chance to prove himself. He said Ridge had tormented him since he was a child. "First my mother and now my wife," he revealed. Rick appreciated Ivy's concern but said he had work to do.
Across the hall, Caroline was drawing and thinking about Ridge. Ridge touched her drawing hand and resisted the urge to kiss her. She relayed that she'd been up all night, thinking about whether they could let it happen and what her uncle would think. Ridge playfully teased her with kiss attempts. He said he didn't care what anyone thought, and he was letting her off her worrying hook. "You don't have a choice. I'm not letting you go," he declared and finally kissed her.
Ridge and Caroline cuddled on the settee, and Ridge stroked her leg, which her skirt had left bare. Caroline wanted the feelings to be real and not something they were conjuring up to cover the pain of their past breakups. He said they wouldn't know, so they wouldn't rush or define it. They decided to take it slowly, because he didn't want it to end before it began.
Caroline relayed that it was the first time in a long time that she didn't feel completely miserable, but she felt guilty that she wasn't crying over Rick, who didn't want her. Ridge called Rick an idiot. She asked how they would be together and work for Rick. Not wanting to talk about Rick anymore, Ridge moved in to kiss her. He received a text message from Rick, who wanted to see some designs.
Ridge left, and Caroline tried to bite back her bubbling smiles as Ivy arrived to get Caroline's input on some jewelry samples. Caroline said that she and Ridge were a team, so she couldn't make decisions without him. Ivy was surprised by Caroline's cheery mood.
As Caroline continued to twist and grin like a schoolgirl, Ivy said that Caroline's happiness was weird. She was eager to know what had changed. Caroline reasoned that she'd changed. While begging for her marriage, Caroline had lost sight of herself and what she had to offer. She added that someone had looked inside her and reminded her of how beautiful and strong she was.
"Someone meaning Ridge?" Ivy asked. Caroline smiled, and Ivy asked what it meant. Grinning, Caroline quickly said that she and Ridge were taking it slowly, "but yeah, Ridge and me." Caroline emphasized that it was new and delicate, and Ivy said her lips were sealed.
The women heard a knock at the door, and a young woman entered, looking for Maya. Guessing that Pam was at lunch, Ivy asked if the woman had an appointment. Nicole Avante doubted that she needed an appointment to visit her big sister.
Back in the CEO's office, Ridge stormed in and told Rick that it would be a "cold day in hell" when he started taking orders from Rick. Rick didn't think he was being unreasonable because Ridge's deadline had passed that morning. Ridge raged that Rick was supposed to lead, but he was disrespecting everyone. Rick had moved "that woman" into Ridge's father's house and had hung her picture up in place of the one of Ridge's mother.
Rick stated that "her" name was Maya, and he could do what he pleased where he lived. Ridge persisted in saying Rick was disrespecting Ridge's parents. Rick clarified that Eric wasn't Ridge's father, and Stephanie wasn't Rick's mother. Rick told Ridge that he could get the portrait out of the garage.
Maya strode in during the argument. She told Ridge that if he couldn't leave his baggage at the door, he could find work somewhere else. Maya claimed to see right through Ridge, who hurt people. She claimed that Ridge had "broken" Rick's mother and destroyed Rick's marriage. She said that if Ridge couldn't respect Rick as a brother, he'd respect Rick as a boss or find some other place to work and another CEO's wife to help him draw.
Ridge charged out of the office and collided with Carter, who asked what was going on. Ridge snarled that Rick had deceived everyone, but if Rick thought Ridge would fall in line, he was mistaken.
Back in the CEO's office, Maya apologized for overstepping, but Rick said no one had ever done that for him before. Maya said he didn't have to hide his feelings, and no one had the right to speak to him like Ridge had. She claimed to be there for Rick completely. She said that Eric and Stephanie had laid the foundation, but the future was up to Rick. "No, it's up to us," he said and kissed her.