- Pierce tells Chloe that his decision to buy Lassiter's will mean they can spend more time together
- Chloe encourages Paul to take Pierce's deal, but Paul wants to know why she's so interested
- Chloe gives Yashvi the ring Pierce gave her as a bribe to keep her quiet about their relationship
- Paul tells Terese that she wins; if she brings him the papers, he'll sign over the hotel to Pierce
- Pierce is keen to take a reluctant Chloe on a short break, saying they can pretend it's a work trip
- Terese tells an awkward Chloe to keep Pierce happy, like she has been doing
- At a ski resort, Chloe tries to get Pierce to sign the deal, but he just wants to spend time with her
- Chloe tells Pierce she has Huntington's disease
- Pierce tells Chloe he'll get her the best care, and that he's falling in love with her
- But when he awakens to heavy snowfall the next morning, he sees Chloe is nowhere to be found...
Aaron is staring pensively at the goldfish. Elly asks if he's thought of a name for it yet.
AARON: No, not yet. I secretly like Bubbles, but I told David it was his decision. He's taking forever to get back to me.
MARK: Well, maybe he's got bigger fish to fry.
Elly laughs at Mark's dad- joke, but Aaron is less amused. Mark's phone rings.
Ski Resort / No 24
It's Pierce calling Mark - he introduces himself as a colleague of Chloe's, and asks if Mark's heard from her this morning. Mark says not; he thought they were on a business trip. But Pierce explains that when he got up this morning, Chloe was gone - and she isn't answering her phone.
PIERCE: I'm worried. It's clearing now, but it's been snowing all night. She's got her jacket, but not much else. And I found her scarf outside.
Mark is surprised to learn that Pierce and Chloe were at a ski resort together.
Paul is lying in his pyjamas and dressing gown, watching TV. Leo comes in for a meeting they'd arranged, and Paul doesn't even get up; he couldn't be less interested, saying he hopes the agenda is short. Before Leo can properly get started on the agenda, Paul starts moaning about Gary being employed as a barista at the Pavilion. But Leo tells him the meeting's about the backpackers'.
LEO: Gary's role is completely irrelevant - although I do support Terese's decision 100%.
Paul continues to moan, describing Gary's employment somewhat over- floridly as 'like a sinkhole opening up beneath us'. Leo tries to get back on track, suggesting some business ideas for the backpackers' to boost revenue - but Paul is downbeat and disengaged.
PAUL: Whatever - do what you like.
He turns the TV back on, as if to end the meeting; and Leo leaves. We close in on Paul, who looks mildly depressed.
In Terese's office, Leo reports to her that Paul has 'signed off on his ideas' and that he seemed 'strangely resigned' to everything. Terese feels bad, saying she didn't want to force Paul out - but if she hadn't, she'd have been the one whose head was on the chopping board. Leo says he knows this; he just hopes he can work things out with Paul in the long run.
No 24 / Lassiter's
Mark calls Terese, asking if she's heard from Chloe today, and explaining about Pierce's call. Aaron and Elly have had no luck tracking Chloe down on social media; and Mark tells Terese he thought Chloe and Pierce were going to a wine- growing area, not a ski resort. Terese says this was her impression too. Worried, Terese promises to let Mark know if she hears anything.
AARON: Mark, are you sure this is a business trip? It sounds a lot like a romantic getaway.
MARK: Yeah, that's what I was thinking too - but surely Chloe's not dumb enough to jeopardise her job. Is she?
MARK: Has she said anything to you about Pierce?
ELLY: Err, I know that he's a highly- valued client of Lassiter's, and he wanted to buy the majority share of it.
Mark proposes to go out to the ski resort to talk to Pierce; but Aaron thinks he should go, noting he's less likely to lay into Chloe for her mistakes! Elly and Mark agree, and Aaron leaves.
Pierce has trekked out into the snow to look for Chloe, and stops to shout her name. No response.
Yashvi and Piper are in the sun- room. Piper is helping Yashvi study, and they are talking about Yashvi's recent exam. She is moaning about Mr Baxter's body odour! Yashvi is blaming this for her having '100% flunked' the exam, but Piper tells her just to focus on the next one.
Yashvi says she'd have asked Xanthe to help her study but that she seemed strung out after Finn showed up. She wonders whether Finn will wake from his coma; Piper says that she's heard the longer he remains in it, the less likely it is he'll wake up.
Shane comes in; he's been putting away Yashvi's laundry and has found the ring that Chloe gave her. He says it looks expensive and demands to know where it's from. Yashvi says it's Piper's; Shane looks sceptical, but Piper plays along with Yashvi's story that Cassius gave it to Piper, and that she isn't sure whether to keep it, so Yashvi is looking after it until she makes up her mind!
PIPER: She's a good friend like that!
SHANE: Yeah, it might be safer with a different friend.
Shane gives the ring to Piper, and leaves. Piper's blown away by the ring, and asks Yashvi where it came from. Yashvi will only say that it's 'not dodge', but admits she's having a hard time selling it at second- hand shops.
YASHVI: They all think it's stolen.
PIPER: Have you tried online?
YASHVI: Same issue. And I need cash pronto, because I want to go to Bali for schoolies (...) Toadie's nanny said I should sell it to some rich guy that doesn't ask questions.
PIPER: Toadie's *nanny* said that?
YASHVI: And I have the perfect rich guy in mind.
Yashvi is trying to flog the ring to Paul!
YASHVI: Before you ask, it's not stolen (...) It's worth a couple of grand, at least.
Paul examines the ruby on the ring in the light, then asks Yashvi where she got it. She says she can't say, as she's been sworn to secrecy. But Paul says that he's not interested in buying it unless Yashvi tells him. Yashvi only says that someone gave it to her, who in turn was given it by a person who has a lot of money. Paul says he'll give her three grand if she tells him the full story.
Shortly afterwards, Yashvi has spilled Chloe's secret, and Paul hands over the three grand cash.
YASHVI: Is Chloe going to get into any trouble for this?
PAUL: Not from me, she's not. Don't spend it all at once, will you?
YASHVI: Oh, I most definitely will!
Yashvi leaves. Paul admires the ring and looks smug.
Terese is in the courtyard trying to call Chloe, when Leo turns up. Terese admits she's worried about Chloe, who isn't answering her phone.
TERESE: I can't help but feel like I'm to blame for this.
LEO: We don't even know what happened yet.
TERESE: But what if things had turned romantic between her and Pierce?
LEO: So what? You weren't to know about it.
TERESE: ... Yeah, well - I suspected. And I looked the other way. The more interested he seemed in Chloe, the more interested he was in the hotel.
LEO: Yeah, but even if they were involved, it might have nothing to do with her disappearance.
TERESE: You know, before she left, she was insistent that I gave her the investment contract to take with her. I thought it was odd. But she assured me that she wanted to sign the deal with Pierce before anything happened to change his mind I mean, come on - we don't know Pierce from a bar of soap. I'd hate to think she was allowing him to exploit her in any way.
LEO: Yeah, but do you really think Chloe would let that happen?
TERESE: Well, when Cash4Company blew up, I stuck my head out for her. Maybe she feels like she owes me.
Leo concedes that's possible. Terese says she's neglected her duty of care - if something has happened between Chloe and Pierce to make her flee, Terese needs to assume some responsibility.
A search and rescue helicopter flies above the resort, as Aaron arrives at the ski lodge and introduces himself to Pierce. Pierce has called the police and SES, but is really worried about Chloe being out in the snow alone.
PIERCE: Makes me worry about her health.
AARON: Was she sick?
PIERCE: ... No. I mean, like, just with the weather, and without the proper clothing, she could get sick.
Aaron asks what they were even doing here; Pierce says it was a last- minute change of plans. Aaron goes to talk to the SES team.
Mark gets a call from Aaron, then reports to Elly that there's no sign of Chloe yet. Elly suggests Chloe might have gone AWOL deliberately, and may not want to be contacted right now if she isn't answering her phone. Mark resolves to tell their mum, Fay - but Elly convinces him to hold off until they learn more. Mark goes into another room to call Terese.
Robinson Heights / No 24
While he's gone, Elly gets a call from Chloe, who appears to be at the Robinson Heights building site. When asked if she's okay, Chloe says 'not really'. Elly explains that the SES and police are out searching for her on the mountain, and asks where Chloe is.
CHLOE: If I tell you, will you come and see me?
ELLY: Yes, of course I will - just tell me where you are! Are you close by?
CHLOE: Yes. But I need to see you on your own. Don't tell Mark or anyone.
Chloe tells Elly she'll text her the address.
Aaron has a question for Pierce.
AARON: Were you and my sister having a fling?
AARON: You're sharing a room together (...) This wasn't a business trip, was it?
AARON: Tell me, what happened last night to make her run away?! Did you guys have a fight? Did you hurt her?
PIERCE: No, I'd never hurt Chloe. I'm in love with her! Maybe I came on a little strong.
AARON: You pressured her?
PIERCE: No! At least, I never meant to. I just want to find her, and make sure she's okay.
Mark is grilling Terese about where she thinks Chloe might be, but to no avail. Paul comes in, and pulls Mark aside to talk to him about Chloe. Mark tells Paul that Chloe has gone missing during her business trip with Pierce. Paul mischievously tells Mark that Chloe's been spending much longer hours at the hotel to 'keep Pierce happy', and reminds him of the Cash4Company debacle.
PAUL: Is it possible that maybe some lines were crossed, and that's why she disappeared?
MARK: I can see what you're implying, Paul, and I'm not into speculation, okay? Only facts.
But Paul looks smug as Mark walks away, and glances over at Terese and Leo.
Chloe is sleeping on the building site. She has a flashback to leaving the ski lodge in the middle of the night, closing the door quietly so as not to wake Pierce. Back in the present, Elly arrives, and Chloe wakes up. Elly hugs her, and gives her some warm clothes, saying they need to call off the SES. But Chloe says she's not ready to go home yet.
ELLY: You freaked me out when you told me that I couldn't tell Mark!
CHLOE: I'm so sorry. Look, you can tell him I'm okay - but, just, nothing more, please?
ELLY: Alright, fine.
CHLOE: Oh, God, I never meant all this. I just couldn't stay with Pierce a second longer.
Chloe explains that couldn't work out a way to get out of the getaway without losing Terese the contract, so she tried to get Pierce to sign it while they were there - but he wouldn't, as he didn't want to talk business. Chloe explains Pierce has confessed he has Feelings™ for her, and that she didn't say it back.
CHLOE: I don't love him, and I know I'll never be able to. But I can't tell him that; it would break his heart! And then he'd probably pull out of the deal with Terese - and I would've just screwed everything up for her. This deal with Pierce has to go through. Terese needs it to get away from Paul!
ELLY: It's alright. Just breathe.
Chloe's scared of facing Terese, but also her brothers - she's worried how they'll react when they find out what she's been doing.
CHLOE: So I just ran.
Leo comes to see Paul, who doesn't even turn around - just looks away from him, bitterly, out onto the balcony.
LEO: For what it's worth, I'm sorry you're losing Lassiter's. What happened wasn't exactly fair, and you had no choice in it. But you do have a choice in how you react. Look, I get you may never want to speak to me again, Dad. But please don't let the same thing happen to your relationships with Amy and David. You're a good man with a good heart, and... just... don't turn into someone they can't respect.
Paul turns around, and puts on a smirk.
PAUL: Who says I'm losing Lassiter's? (...) Fight's not over yet!
LEO: I didn't think there was a way around it?
PAUL: And I might've just found one. You feel free to pass that on, won't you?
Paul continues smirking.
Aaron has heard from Mark that Chloe's safe and tells Pierce; he knows she's with Elly, but doesn't know where. Pierce asks if he could call Elly, just to hear from her that Chloe is okay. Aaron tells him that Mark has been trying to call Elly, but that she's not answering - so she's hardly going to take Pierce's call.
AARON: I think Chloe's only talking to Elly right now.
PIERCE: Sounds like they're pretty close.
AARON: Yeah, I guess so.
Elly gets another call from Mark, but a tearful Chloe begs her not to answer.
ELLY: You're gonna have to tell him eventually.
CHLOE: I will - I will.
CHLOE: When I'm gone (...) I can't face him, or Pierce. Or Terese, or Paul.
ELLY: Yeah, but I can help you talk to them.
CHLOE: What about Mark? How are you gonna tell him you've been covering for me?
ELLY: He will be disappointed, but I will deal with that.
CHLOE: Well, I can't. When he realises what I've been doing, he will never look at me the same way again.
ELLY: So, what are you going to do, Chloe? Just take off to Adelaide, or -
CHLOE: Disappoint Mum for the millionth time?
ELLY: So where, then?
CHLOE: You've done so much for me already, but I need to ask you one more favour. Go home, pack me a suitcase, and grab my passport. I'm going to catch the first flight out of Australia.
Coming up on Neighbours
- Leo tells Terese he's 'in this', but that he's never completely sure if she is
- Kirsha is struggling to breathe outside the school; Shane and Dipi rush her to hospital
- Alice tells Hugo they'll have to give Sonya something stronger to 'tip her over the edge'