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Stefan and Sami strike a deal
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Thursday, October 11, 2018
by Mike

Roman quietly demanded to know why Hattie was at the Brady Pub. "I came to see you, good-lookin'!" she explained. "Whatcha got cookin'?" she added with a laugh.

Unamused, Roman insisted that Hattie shouldn't have left the hospital. "I kinda thought you might be glad to see me..." she admitted, hurt. "Why in the hell would I be 'glad' to see you? And what if somebody else sees you? You're supposed to be Marlena, for God's sake!" he countered, still whispering. "I know that! [And] if somebody sees me, I -- I -- I can be Marlena! Just watch me!" she assured him. She cleared her throat then haughtily continued, "Enchanted to meet you, Mister Whatever-Your-Name-Is, and, uh, if you're ever in need of a psychiatrist, uh, well, I'd be your gal --"

Interrupting, Roman tiredly reminded Hattie that Marlena had recently emerged from a coma and wouldn't be hanging out and making small talk in a pub, of all places. "Why not? She's just -- she's just too -- too 'good' [and] too 'fancy' for a pub? [What], does she need a restaurant -- some fancy-schmancy restaurant -- [to hang out and make small talk in]?" Hattie countered. Fed up, Roman started dragging Hattie out of the pub. Hattie resisted, grabbing the doorframe while protesting that there was surely time for a burger. "Keep. Moving," Roman ordered Hattie, aware that customers were watching.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, Kayla examined Marlena then happily reported that everything looked good. Marlena acknowledged that Kayla, John, and Roman each deserved credit for that. "And let's not forget about Hattie Adams," Kayla added with a forced smile. "Yeah. I hope that...woman...doesn't put your future at risk," Marlena mused. "I'm hoping for that, too, [but] we all know -- far too well -- that Hattie is unpredictable," Kayla replied.

As if on cue, John entered Marlena's room and announced that Hattie was missing. "She's not in her room, [and her] coat [and] boots are gone. She's out and about somewhere," John continued as a cell phone chimed. "It's Roman," John explained while reading a text message. "Hattie went to the pub," John continued. "Of course she did," Kayla muttered with a shake of the head.

By the time John got back to Hattie's room, Hattie was back in bed -- and flirtatiously noting that there was enough room for Roman, as well. "Damn it all, Hattie! How the hell did you get out of this hospital without anybody seeing you?" John demanded to know. "I have my ways," Hattie vaguely replied. "Yeah, well, I have my ways, too -- of sending you right back to prison!" John warned. "Oh, my goodness -- I think [John and I] need a little marriage counseling [already]," Hattie whispered to Roman, who, like John, wasn't amused. "You're sexy when you're angry!" Hattie called out as Roman headed off to find Kayla.

"Oh," Hattie added, noticing John's glare. "Sorry if you're feeling a little bit jealous of my relationship with Roman, [but] I do have such a big crush on him..." Hattie explained with a shrug and a giggle.

"Just sit here in your bed, [and] eat your damn Jell-O, and keep your big mouth shut!" John angrily ordered Hattie. "You better not forget who's got the leverage here!" she defensively countered. "You don't have as much leverage as you think you have, [because if you mess this up], you'll be dragged back to prison so damn fast it'll make your head spin!" he pointed out. She turned away from him in a huff and took refuge under a blanket.

Meanwhile, Roman found Kayla at the nurses' station. "Can you believe that crazy woman came to the pub?" Roman asked with a shake of the head. "Of course, I can believe it. She's crazy about you...and [our family's recipes for] burgers and fries, apparently," Kayla replied. Roman and Kayla both hoped that Hattie wouldn't be a problem much longer.

Changing the subject, Roman praised Kayla for being so eager to help Marlena during what was an incredibly tough time for the Johnson family. "I feel better now that I've talked to Steve," Kayla admitted. "And, like you, I'm -- I'm gonna be optimistic that Shane will clear [Steve's] name," Kayla added. "It'll happen, Kay -- soon," Roman confidently predicted.

At the DiMera mansion, Stefan threatened to call the police and again report that Sami was in violation of the terms of a bail agreement. She cheerfully informed him that she was no longer bound to the terms of a bail agreement because she had been cleared of all charges. "And I am not leaving here until you help me find my husband," she added.

"So, who is this, uh...'Xander Kiriakis'?" Stefan asked curiously after Sami revealed who was truly responsible for Marlena's shooting. "He's Victor's nephew...but he doesn't work for the family business. I think he's essentially a mercenary who's willing to shoot his own mother for money," Sami explained. "Or, in this case, uh...your mother," Stefan replied.

Sami guessed, when asked, that Kristen had hired Xander to kill Marlena. "[And yet] you nearly did the job for free! Kristen could have saved herself a whole lot of money!" Stefan noted, amused. "But she's not the one with money problems," Sami pointedly countered. Stefan claimed to be doing just fine, but Sami still had sources within DiMera Enterprises and therefore knew that the company was actually drowning in debt. "So, here's my offer -- you tell me everything that you know about what Kristen did to E.J., and in exchange, I'll give you the cold, hard cash that you need," Sami promised.

Stefan was quick to point out that Sami was offering stolen money that rightfully belonged to the DiMeras. "Possession is nine-tenths of the law," Sami countered, shrugging unapologetically. Sami added that Stefan had stolen an entire company that rightfully belonged to Chad. "Look, this is your chance to prove yourself [to the board]. I need to know if what Kristen said at that wedding is true. I need to find out if E.J. is really alive. And I'm willing to pay dearly for any information you have on what Kristen did to E.J.," Sami reiterated. "How dearly?" Stefan asked, unable to feign disinterest any longer.

"500 million dollars is what I had before I shared half of it with my baby sister, Belle. [So, 250 million dollars is what I have left, and] I will give you half...but you have to tell me what Kristen did to E.J.," Sami told Stefan. Stunned, he grudgingly admitted that it was practically impossible to turn down an offer like that. "63 million dollars will be wire-transferred to your account right now...and then you tell me everything you know, and afterwards, you'll get the other 62," she continued without even the slightest flinch. Nodding, he wrote down the necessary account information and handed it to her, still doubting the sincerity of her offer.

The money was soon in Stefan's account. Pleasantly surprised, he revealed, "Kristen told me that everything she said at the wedding was true. [Apparently], the day E.J. was, uh...was shot, Stefano sent Kristen to the hospital to inject [E.J.] with some sort of a drug, [and] according to Kristen, she got E.J. out of the hospital [afterward] without anyone noticing. [And] Stefano wanted you to believe that [E.J.] was really dead, [so you were sent some random pile of ashes]. And while you were grieving the loss of your husband, Kristen was delivering him to Stefano, [and he's been]...'recovering' a private facility...[since then]."

Elated, Sami eagerly asked Stefan for the address. "Wire the rest of the money into my account, and I'll tell you exactly where he is," Stefan replied. "Wait a second -- that is not our deal," Sami protested. "Yeah, well, you evolve, and this is what's on the table now. Take it or leave it," Stefan challenged Sami.

"You son of a bitch! I should've known that I couldn't trust you!" Sami spat. "Let's be honest, Sami -- can either one of us really trust the other?" Stefan countered. Sami vowed to find E.J. -- with or without Stefan's help -- and warned, "If it's without, I can tell you right now that I will make sure he knows how his half-brother treated me, and he will destroy you." After giving the matter another second of thought, Sami added, "[Actually, I bet] you don't want me to find E.J., [because] you're afraid of what will happen if I do. [And] you have a very good reason to be afraid, because he is twice the man that you are, [and] you're worried that he'd try to take the company from you, and you're already having to deal with Chad." Stefan tiredly insisted that Sami was wrong.

"Then prove it," Sami challenged Stefan. "Look, Stefan, I don't know you very well, so I can't expect you to understand, and maybe you've never had this experience of meeting someone who sees you for who you really are -- all your faults -- and they love you anyway...or maybe they love you because of them. But that's what I have with E.J. He is everything to me, and he is everything to our kids, and when we lost him, our whole world fell apart. I have spent three years searching for him, and if you have any decency, please...please tell me where to find him," Sami passionately added.

Sami's speech seemed to have an effect on Stefan. However, Stefan made eye contact with Sami and insisted, "I don't know where [E.J.] is. I would tell you if I did."

Fighting back tears, Sami gave Stefan a nod then started to leave the mansion in defeat. "Wait," Stefan called out, sighing. "I may have something that can help you. Maybe," Stefan continued while opening a desk drawer. "When Kristen left, uh...Harold found this scratch piece of paper with an address on it. I don't know if it's connected..." Stefan explained. "But it might be!" Sami concluded, perking up at once.

Sami took the sheet of paper from Stefan then started to rush off. "Hold on! I did what I promised -- I told you everything I know about E.J. -- [so] now you need to wire the rest of that money into my account!" Stefan protested. "Tell you what -- after I find E.J. [and see that] he's alive and well, then I will give you the rest of your money," Sami sweetly replied. "No, no, no -- that wasn't the deal!" Stefan pointed out. "Deals evolve. This is the one on the table now. Take it or leave it," Sami countered. Grinning mischievously, Sami surprised Stefan with a quick kiss on the lips then sprinted out of the mansion.

At Sarah's apartment in Nashville, Eric insisted that Nicole couldn't kill Xander. "Why? I killed Deimos [to protect] my future with Holly, and it would be the same exact thing if I killed Xander...only this time, that future would include you," Nicole reasoned. "You wouldn't have stabbed Deimos if you hadn't been drugged. You are not a killer," Eric countered. Sighing, Nicole conceded that Eric was right -- and that having to live with the guilt of one person's death was bad enough. "Then why would you bring up the idea of killing Xander?" Eric wondered. "Because I'm desperate, Eric!" Nicole explained.

"Killing [Xander is] not the answer," Eric maintained. "Then what is?" Nicole asked. "I don't know yet," Eric admitted, shrugging.

Just then, Holly woke up and began crying. Nicole stepped into a bedroom and soon returned with Holly, whom Eric was delighted to see again.

Later, after Holly went back to sleep, Nicole spontaneously begged Eric, "Keep Holly safe [from Xander]. Take her with you. [I mean], it's the only way [she can have a normal childhood]. I don't want her to grow up a prisoner. [You know] I spent almost my whole childhood in fear of my father, [and] I don't want that for her. I want better for my little girl -- I want [her] to have a normal life and a great family -- and she's never gonna have that if she's trapped here with me. [So], please, Eric...will you take my daughter and raise her as your own? Please?" Eric refused, insisting that Nicole and Holly needed each other.

After calming down, Nicole conceded that Eric was right -- and that saying goodbye to Holly for good would have been impossible. Eric promised to find a way to get both Holly and Nicole away from Xander. "First, we need to find that recording, [so] tell me -- where does Xander go when he leaves this apartment?" Eric asked curiously. "Well, he leaves every morning for a few hours...[and] supposedly, he goes to work, like I told you [earlier]," Nicole explained. "[Then] starting tomorrow, I'm gonna follow [him] and see where he goes. Maybe wherever he spends his day [is] where the recording is," Eric guessed.

Meanwhile, Brady tailed Kristen, who eventually arrived at the back entrance of a building at the end of an alley. She quickly punched a code into a keypad to unlock the door then ducked inside.

"Shut that thing off! It's creepy to watch you gloat over it!" Kristen complained seconds later. "Oh -- hey, boss. I was wondering when you'd show up," Xander replied while Kristen finished descending the stairs that led to the building's morgue-like basement lair. "Yeah, well, I have been...busy," Kristen vaguely explained as Xander turned off the recording of Nicole's confession.

"Hope you haven't gotten distracted from your duties because of that, uh...wife of yours," Kristen continued. "Don't worry -- I've got my priorities straight. [After all], I can't keep Nicole and Holly in the good life without your generous paychecks," Xander replied. Nodding, Kristen teasingly guessed that Xander hadn't managed to make the marriage "real" yet.

"Well, I was starting to make a dent, but things just got a little...complicated," Xander grumbled. "'Complicated' how?" Kristen worriedly wondered. "We had an unexpected visitor -- [and it was] none other than your old sex-tape partner," Xander elaborated. "Already? [I mean], I knew he would go searching for Nicole after he found out that Brady blackmailed her, the hell did he find her so quickly?" Kristen asked, surprised.

Shrugging, Xander assured Kristen that, in any case, it wasn't going to be an issue. "I made it clear [to Eric] that if he causes trouble, I'll use Nicole's taped confession to send her to prison...[and] I added another threat, [just in case he decides to call my bluff -- that I'd also] finish what I started at John and Marlena's wedding," Xander continued. Suddenly even more surprised, Kristen asked, "Are you saying that you shot Marlena?"

Meanwhile, Brady tried various passwords -- BRADY, DIMERA, STEFANO, PHOENIX -- but the keypad rejected each one with an angry beep and a red light.

"You really had no idea?" Xander asked Kristen. "Of course not!" Kristen replied.

"What the hell were you doing in Salem?" Kristen demanded to know. "Well, you told me you were gonna crash the wedding, [and] I knew that was gonna be total chaos, [so] it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take out Eric. [See, I could tell] that Nicole was never going to really, fully commit to our marriage as long as [Eric was alive]. She just...needed a little nudge," Xander explained with a shrug.

"Oh, so murder is 'a little nudge,'" Kristen incredulously repeated. "You're not above it, either, boss," Xander pointed out. "Well, at least I don't shoot the wrong person!" Kristen countered. "It's not my fault Marlena jumped in front of a bullet!" Xander defensively insisted. "[Although] it was handy for [Sami] to be there to take the fall..." Xander added with a grin.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Kristen angrily demanded to know. "I left you here to take care of things! Do you know what could have happened while you were gone?" Kristen continued. "What's all the drama? You should be thanking me! [I mean], I almost took out your worst enemy!" Xander pointed out. "Yeah, well, I didn't ask you to do that, did I? [Look], I'm capable of dealing with my own enemies, thank you very much!" Kristen insisted. "[Your only job is] to look after things here! You could have blown it all if someone discovered this place! Do you understand what's at stake here?" Kristen added, livid.

Meanwhile, Brady, out of ideas for possible passwords, released a groan of frustration and grumbled, "Screw this!" After a moment of thought, he perked up and added, "[Or] maybe un-screw this..."

"Chill, boss!" Xander told Kristen. "I was in and out of Salem in under an hour, and everything's [still] under control here," Xander continued. Xander flashed a smile, but it failed to charm Kristen, who remained upset. "I need to know that you're loyal to me -- and not distracted by Nicole," Kristen stressed, eyeing Xander suspiciously. "I am loyal to you!" Xander assured Kristen without hesitation. "You gave me a job when my whole family turned their back on me! I thought Victor would be grateful when I saved Theresa from that drug lord in Mexico, but no -- he threw me out on my ass...again," Xander grumbled.

"Yeah, when I heard about that, I had a feeling that you would be happy to work for one of your uncle's rivals," Kristen replied. "And have I not delivered? I kept your project safe, [and] even Nicole has no idea what I'm doing here," Xander pointed out. "You've accomplished what I've asked you [to]," Kristen conceded. "But we can't get sloppy. Our work here is not done, and until it is, we have to protect this project with our lives," Kristen added.

Softening a bit, Kristen answered a few of Xander's questions about the chaos that had ensued after Marlena's shooting. Xander was surprised to learn that Brady was also in Nashville, having left Eve for Kristen. "He hasn't gotten over me," Kristen explained with a shrug. "He told you that? [And] you don't think maybe he was lying?" Xander asked incredulously. "I am not na´ve!" Kristen defensively insisted. "I overheard him talking with his father, and he could have turned me in, but he didn't. He loves me, and I can trust him," Kristen proudly added.

Meanwhile, Brady used a knife to remove the screws that were holding the keypad's front panel in place. "Oh, man, that's a lot of wires..." he observed with a groan, staring at what had been hidden behind the front panel. "What the hell?" he reasoned while reaching for a random wire.

"I'd like to see the patient. Will you bring him in, please?" Kristen asked Xander. "You're the boss," Xander replied while returning the recording device to its hiding place. "For now..." Xander quietly added.

As Xander headed off to another part of the seemingly expansive building, Kristen dialed Brady's cell phone number and left a cheerful voicemail message. Outside, Brady lay unconscious on the ground, having been electrocuted while messing with the keypad's circuitry.

Xander eventually arrived at a door and unlocked it. A sign on the door read: "E.D."

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