Friday, October 24, 2014, Episode #6939

In Katie's bedroom, Donna tries to digest the idea that Caroline has a crush on Ridge, who suddenly decided not to work solo in designing. Swearing Donna to secrecy, Katie explains how Ridge lost his ability to design in Abu Dhabi, but discovered while helping Caroline that he could draw while guiding Caroline's hand. Donna is stunned.

Katie adds that it was necessity to get ideas on paper that drove Ridge to work with Caroline, who got caught up in working with a man she idolized all her life. Starting to understand, Donna assumes Ridge nipped it in the bud. Katie replies that he did, but not right away. Donna hopes this was just an innocent crush, and that Ridge and Katie are OK. Katie claims that they're fine, but there are times when she and Ridge try to connect that she finds it's not as easy to reach him as it was, like something's missing. Donna presumes things changed after Ridge learned he couldn't design. Trying not to sound selfish, Katie shares that it felt like she and Ridge put their lives on hold while he recovered. Donna asks if the couple discussed it. Katie responds that they talk, but not about that that, like neither of them wants to acknowledge things they're clearly leaving unsaid. Donna asks if Katie is worried about Caroline. "Not in the way you think," Katie answers, noting that she's not jealous in the conventional sense or worried that Ridge would cross the line. Holding back tears, Katie admits she's jealous that Caroline could help Ridge when she couldn't.

Donna urges her sister not to be jealous, since Ridge loves Katie and would never encourage Caroline's feelings. "Yeah, well...," Katie mutters. "He encouraged something?" Donna asks. Katie says that he didn't instigate anything, but he didn't stop it, at least not right away. Donna's confused. Katie explains that Ridge thought he could use the crush to his advantage to be named CEO. Donna can't believe Caroline would betray Rick. Katie admits she was kind of shocked, too.

Donna thinks this sounds so unlike Ridge, more like Bill. Agreeing, Katie supposes that Ridge meant no harm, but was desperate since he couldn't design. "So he let Caroline fall for him," Donna says. Katie says that he did, but he didn't let it go too far.

Donna is encouraged that Ridge opened up to Katie about this. A grateful Katie says that she has to keep telling herself that Ridge isn't Bill, and that she and Ridge will be OK. Donna wonders if Katie is OK with Ridge working with Caroline. Katie says that she wanted Ridge to get better, but she wasn't OK with him using Caroline, so she's glad the partnership is over. Donna asks if that means Ridge can design on his own now. Katie says that his talent is slowly returning, and the timing is perfect since he wants to be CEO. "So does Rick," Donna remarks. Katie feels for Rick, but Ridge has worked his whole life to be CEO. Donna assumes it's hard for Eric, father to both sons. Katie asks if Donna will miss seeing Eric every day once he steps down. Donna sadly admits that she will, as she'd hoped to rekindle things with him. She wants him to be happy, but he keeps her at arm's length. Katie supposes Eric could be honoring Stephanie, who had issues with Donna. Donna thinks that's an understatement, but she felt she got Stephanie's blessing in the end. Katie says that Ridge believes Eric wants another dream team to lead Forrester, like he and Stephanie did. Donna assumes that's why the relationship with Caroline was so important to Ridge.

The sisters agree that years of resentment between Ridge and Rick complicate things. Donna fears what might happen if Rick found out Caroline had feelings for Ridge. Katie hopes it doesn't happen. Amazed that Ridge almost took advantage of Caroline, Donna wonders if he had feelings for Caroline. Katie insists it was just a ploy, and it's over now.

At Forrester, Eric reiterates how hard his decision was. He admires both his sons, but only one can be CEO. He first acknowledges Rick, whose knowledge of the global market and business acumen pulled them through a dark time. He then praises Ridge for design talent that, despite recent struggles, brought Ridge back stronger than ever in partnership with Caroline. Since design has always been Forrester's foundation, Eric wants to continue in that path, so he's naming Ridge as their next CEO and wants Rick to continue as president. Eric and Ridge hug, while Rick looks devastated.

Maya looks over to Rick, who sits there stunned, with Caroline trying to comfort him. After congratulating Ridge, Carter tells Maya that they should go, but she shakes her head. Hope feels sorry for Rick, who has proven himself. Eric says that it was hard for him, but he knows Rick will continue to contribute as president. Rick stands up and tells his dad, "Make him president. Make him head designer. Anything but CEO." He bitterly states that he has more executive experience than anyone while Ridge, a designer "when he's able to do so," has almost none, and it was use of that ability to run International that earned him the presidency and let him take the company to record sales and growth. Eric expresses pride in Rick's accomplishments, but Rick feels like it's not enough and asks when he'll be good enough for Eric.

Eric insists that neither son is better than the other, they just offer different talents. Assuming he lost out because he's not a designer, Rick points out that his wife is an incredible designer and asks why he and Caroline can't have the chance to lead as Eric and Stephanie did for decades. Eric gets that Rick feels betrayed, but he assures that Rick will get his chance to be CEO. Fearing he'll have to wait till Ridge has his fill, Rick seethes that Ridge just jumped from VP to CEO. Ridge states that he held the position before, and Eric knows what he can do. Caroline tells Rick that he's the best president there is, and she's his partner, so there's still so much they can do together. She believes his time will come. Rick reminds everyone how Ridge, in his last stint as CEO, tried to throw Eric out, and asks what kind of egomaniac does that to the company's founder, and what kind of son does that his father. Ridge answers that they all make mistakes. "Isn't that the truth?" Maya quips, earning a glare from Carter.

Eric states that they've all hit bumps in the road, but Ridge is a man of integrity and honor and resilience who bounced back after events in Abu Dhabi nearly stole his career away. "His career was all but done before he came begging my wife to help him!" Rick hisses. "Mm-hmm," Maya mutters, rolling her eyes. Carter shoots her another look. Ridge asks Rick when he's going to drop that. Eric states that it doesn't matter how it happened, since Caroline and Ridge are an incredible design team. Ridge and Caroline both look a bit guilty as Eric lauds them for being classy, principled designers who show decency and restraint. "Oh, you think so?" Maya asks. Hope asks what she means.

Carter tries to cover for Maya, stating that she agrees that Ridge and Caroline have accomplished a lot, and he asks her to leave with him. "Oh, I'm just getting started," she declares, slamming her hand on the table as she jumps to her feet. Rick tells her that this is a family matter. Maya agrees and says that everyone's going to want to hear what she has to say about what's going on. Carter tells her not to embarrass herself. Maya apologizes to Rick, since she tried to tell him, but he wouldn't listen. Rick tries to stop her, hoping this isn't what he thinks it is, but Eric wants to hear what Maya has to say. Noting all the praise for "Mr. Integrity here" and Caroline being so honest and decent, Maya claims that things are different behind closed doors and blurts out, "They're having an affair!"

Appalled, Eric orders Maya out. Carter tries to pull Maya out, but she refuses to go and tells Rick that she's sorry, but he had to know what his wife was doing "behind your back and on hers!" Rick and Hope both balk at Maya's sick charges. Carter pulls again at Maya, who looks at Caroline and observes the guilt written all over Caroline's face. "Just deny it. Just tell Rick that nothing is going on between you and Ridge," Maya challenges. Caroline looks down, saying nothing. Maya then turns to their "fearless leader, Mr. Virtue," and asks Ridge to tell her that she's wrong. Eric looks to Ridge, who looks away and stays quiet. Caroline tearfully turns to Rick and regretfully admits that something happened. "What?" he asks. With all eyes on her, Caroline holds back tears and tells Rick that the designing was so intimate, and it was just a few kisses. "It will never happen again," she sobs, begging for forgiveness.

A disillusioned Rick holds back his anger as he glares at Ridge. He then turns to Caroline and asks, "You and him? Him?" Caroline cries, "I'm so sorry."

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