SCENE ONE: IT IS THE SAME NIGHT AND JACK HAS LEFT JENNIFER AND GONE OUT ALONE. SHE'S NOT SURE WHERE HE IS AND AUSTIN HAS BROUGHT HER HOME.
SCENE TWO: MEANWHILE, JACK IS SITTING AT A BAR DRINKING MARTINIS. VERN FINDS HIM AND HAS INFORMATION.
VERN: Jack, Jack, I've got news for you buddy. I got news for you.
JACK: What's the matter with this drink? Bartender it's empty. I need another one.
VERN: What's the matter? Don't you want to hear my news partner? Listen I decoded the first paragraph in one of the files.
VERN: Yeah, now look at this. Victor has a secret about The Spectator with the corporate lawyers and it's all under wraps here. All we have to do is decode the rest of the file and....
JACK SCREWS UP THE PAPER VERN GAVE HIM.
JACK: Yeah, yeah.
VERN: What the hell are you doing?
JACK: I'm filing it under forget it.
VERN: What do you mean filing it under forget it?
JACK: Forget it, Vern. Forget it. It's all over. There's nothing to worry about anymore.
HE PICKS UP HIS DRINK AGAIN.
JACK: Course nothing matters. Nothing at all.
SCENE THREE: MEANWHILE JENNIFER IS GETTING WORRIED ABOUT WHAT JACK MIGHT DO. AUSTIN IS STAYING WITH HER BUT REALLY CANNOT HELP.
SCENE FOUR: VICTOR HAS CALLED HIS LAWYERS TO MAKE SURE THAT JACK IS KEPT AWAY FROM ANY FILES THAT THEY ARE DESTROYING.
SCENE FIVE: BACK AT THE BAR.
VERN: Are you telling me that Kate Roberts had the gall to turn our paper over to Victor Kiriakis?
JACK: Her name is Kiriakis now too Vern.
VERN: I don't get any of this.
JACK: Nothing to get. She gave it to him as a wedding gift.
VERN: Wedding gift! What, is she nuts?
JACK: No Vern. Ours is not to wonder why. Ours is merely to just do our job for Mr. K. To be humble and deferential in his presence. To have a complete and abiding lack of pride in anything we do.
VERN: Oh come on Jack, you still own 10% of the paper.
JACK: Ten percent. A whopping 10%. Yes that and a subway token.
VERN: Look it means you're not finished. You can still make a difference.
JACK: What do you mean, make a difference Vern? Wake up and smell the coffee. We're working for Victor Kiriakis now. He's my boss. He's your boss too. How can I make a difference? How can.... how can you keep talking about the bright side when there isn't any bright side?
VERN: Sure there is.
VERN: Well I mean sometimes.
VERN: All I'm trying to say is that you can't cave in like this.
JACK: I'm not caving in. I'm being squashed. As we speak Victor Kiriakis' thumb is squashing me like a cockroach.
VERN: Because you're letting him. You're letting him destroy you.
JACK: I'm not letting him do anything.
VERN: Listen it doesn't have to happen that way. You fight back. You don't have to give in like this.
JACK: It's a pattern Vern. You don't understand patterns. It started with Harper. He expected a lot of me and I let him down on many an occasion. And there was Melissa, Kayla, Steve and now my own wife and child. The question is, in the pattern, who's next? Who will I let down next? That my friend is the burning question.
VERN: The burning question Jack is what is this thing with you and failing people?
JACK LEAVES THE BAR AND VERN FOLLOWS.
JACK: What is this.... I don't know. You'll have to ask a psychotherapist that and I tell you something, I don't have time for that kind of thing. I tell you one thing, if I have to work for that man, sooner or later, mark my words, sooner or later I will.... I'll lose it. I'll just bust wide open and.... and I'll blow up and I'll just take everybody with me. And I'll tell you right now, that is not the way to get back in control of the paper.
JACK TOSSES VERN HIS CAR KEYS AND VERN DRIVES HIM HOME.
SCENE SIX: VERN AND JACK ARRIVE AT JACK AND JENNIFERS.
VERN: Hang in there Jack. It's a matter of not giving up.
JACK: You know Vern, you're the only one who keeps talking about giving up. You're the one who keeps putting it in my head and.... oh well there's no law against it.
JACK: Look Jack, I know you've lost the dream of making The Spectator your own but the real dream, the dream that means everything, is inside that house with your beautiful wife and your little daughter. Jennifer's in there waiting for you right now. She's probably worried stiff. Don't let her down.
JACK: (Beat) 'Course not. (Beat) Thank you.
JACK WAVES TO VERN AND WALKS TO THE DOOR. HE IS ABOUT TO PUT HIS KEY IN THE LOCK WHEN HE PAUSES.
JACK: Alright, yeah. I can't seem to do it. I can't face her right now. Not after feeling so bad today.
VERN DECIDES TO STAY WITH JACK. JENNIFER HEARS THEM OUTSIDE. SHE OPENS THE DOOR AND HUGS JACK.
JENNIFER: There you are. Gosh do you know how worried I was about you?
JACK: I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
JENNIFER: It's okay. It's alright. I'm just glad you're here. Where were you? Are you alright?
THEY BOTH STARE AT HER.
JENNIFER: What.... what? Is he okay?
JACK: Oh yes, yes, he's.... just fine.
VERN: Now listen I better go Jack. Now remember what we talked about, alright?
JACK SIGNALS VERN TO SHUT UP.
JACK: Thank you.
VERN: Jenny girl I'll call you tomorrow. I'll check up and see how Abby's making out.
JENNIFER: Thank you Vern.
JENNIFER: Come on, get inside here.
SHE PULLS HIM INSIDE.
SCENE SEVEN: JACK STOPS WHEN HE SEES AUSTIN THERE AGAIN.
AUSTIN: Hi Jack.
JACK: I hate to interrupt but I think I'll just go get myself a cup of coffee.
JENNIFER: You know what, I'll make you some coffee Jack. I want some as well.
JACK: No, no, I'll do it myself. I'm quite capable. Quite capable.
HE GOES TO THE KITCHEN. AUSTIN LEAVES. AFTER HE'S GONE, JACK COMES OUT OF THE KITCHEN AND JENNIFER GLARES AT HIM. SUDDENLY SHE IS NOT EXCITED TO SEE HIM AT ALL.
JACK: I'm.... sorry I worried you.
JENNIFER: Why didn't you come home?
JACK: I just.... I couldn't face you yet.
JENNIFER: Face me?
JACK: I.... I.... I feel like.... I failed you today.JENNIFER: Jack Deveraux you listen to me, alright. I know how awful you feel about Victor taking over the newspaper, how it shatters your dreams of making it big and giving Abby and me everything the world has to offer. But making money and gaining power, that's not how I measure success.
JACK LOOKS DOWN AT PICTURE OF THE THREE OF THEM.
JENNIFER: It's what's in a person's heart. They way they care about the people they love. Their kindness, their generosity. That's what counts. And in my mind you are an amazing success, alright. I want you to open up to me. I want you to tell me what you're feeling. If you're angry tell me. And yes you have every right to be angry but don't disappear on me. I needed to be a part of what you were feeling and you completely shut me out. Do you see that? (Beat) Talk to me please.
JACK: I.... there.... there's go to be some way.
JENNIFER: What are you talking about? Some way of what?
JACK: There's got to be some way that we can stop this. That we can stop him. That we can stop him from destroying us JENNIFER: Are you talking about Victor?
JACK: Yes, Victor. We've got to be able to stop him. There must be some.... there's something that I can send he and lovely bride as a belated wedding gift.
JACK PULLS OUT THE PAPER HE SCREWED UP CONTAINING THE CODE THAT VERN WAS ABLE TO BREAK.
SCENE EIGHT: JACK AND JENNIFERS.
JACK: If we could decipher the rest of those disks I know they hold some sort of key to some past, something in Victor's life. If we could expose that past we could get the upper hand and we would be able to get The Spectator back again in our hands.
JENNIFER: Listen to me, Jack.
JACK: Revenge is....
JENNIFER: Wait a minute, don't do that. Don't.
JACK: Don't? Don't do it?
JENNIFER: Don't. Come on Jack. Revenge is a double edged sword. You know that. You could end up getting hurt too.
JACK: That could very well be true but....
JENNIFER: But what?
JACK: But there's still.... we still....
JENNIFER: But you're willing to risk it? But you're willing to risk everything just to get back at someone? You have better things to do with your life right now. You have a family that you need to think about. You have to think about what is good and important in your life right now. Come on, I need you so much and your baby needs you. You have to forget about Victor Kiriakis. You have to forget about revenge right now.
JACK: I.... what am I doing, what am I doing.
HE GRABS HER AND HOLDS HER VERY TIGHT.JACK: I don't know what I'm doing anymore. I'm just not.... I'm sorry I did this to you, to us. I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
JENNIFER: It's okay.
JACK: It is not okay Jennifer. You have to understand it is not okay. I want you to think of me as a.... as a.... as a successful important man and I don't even know why anymore. I....
JENNIFER: Listen to me. Listen to me. I know why and I will tell you why, alright. Because you don't believe in yourself. You don't know how wonderful you are without doing anything. When are you going to know that? When are you going to realize that I will always love you? Always. (Beat) Come here.
THEY FALL INTO EACH OTHER'S ARMS AND HE KISSES HER HAIR AND HER FACE.
JENNIFER (CONT.): Listen to me Jack. It's been a really long day, okay. And it's going to be a really long day tomorrow especially for Abby.
JENNIFER (CONT.): So why don't we just go upstairs and we'll go to bed, okay.
JENNIFER (CONT.): Come on.
JACK: You know I think that you should go ahead. I'm a little.... I just need some time to clear my head.
JENNIFER: Okay. I love you very much alright. And we're going to figure this out. We're going to work it out. We're going to figure out what to do with your job and what you're going to have to do to work with Victor. But we're going to work it out.
SHE GOES UPSTAIRS AND JACK WANDERS THE ROOM.
JACK: She's so good.
HE REACHES IN AND PULLS OUT THE DECODED FILE.
JACK: If I could figure this out. If I could figure it out.... I could.... oh Victor, you would get back some of your own.... in spades.