At the DiMera mansion, Chad happily informed Ben that Stefan had been arrested for treason and was going to be in prison for a very long time. "I came here tonight to quit -- hand in my resignation and move out of this house -- [but] if Stefan's out, [then] I don't have to stop working here; I could work for you [instead]," Ben mused, breathing a sigh of relief. "You're fired," Chad unceremoniously announced.
"[Now], let's have a little job interview," Chad spontaneously suggested, picking up a pen and a notepad. "First question -- 'Mr. Weston, why did you leave your last employer?'" Chad continued, pretending to be filling out a questionnaire. "The woman I'm dating didn't want me working for [Stefan DiMera] because of the things he asked me to do, [and] I just decided that my girlfriend was more important to me than any job," Ben explained, deciding to play along. "But if she knew I was working for you, she wouldn't have a problem with it. I know how much she respects you," Ben added.
Chad was surprised to learn that Ben was dating Ciara Brady, of all people. "How does Hope feel about [that]?" Chad wondered. "Not great. [She's tried] her best at making my life a living hell," Ben admitted. "I can't say that I blame her. You are just about the last person I would ever want dating my daughter," Chad mused. "Which is why I'm working my ass off to prove to [Hope] -- and to the whole world -- that I am not the same man that I once was," Ben stressed. "That's a hard sell," Chad noted. "It is a damn hard sell, Chad...but I would be one step closer if you hired me," Ben pointed out.
"And how would that look?" Chad asked. "To whom?" Ben wondered. "Abigail, for starters," Chad clarified. "And what about Ciara?" Chad added. "What about Ciara?" Ben countered, confused. "She's smart, she's talented, she's beautiful, and she has a bright future ahead of her," Chad pointed out. "And...what, you think I'm gonna screw that up?" Ben guessed. "Man, it's Salem. People are gonna ask questions. They're gonna judge. They're gonna see you two together, and they're gonna form opinions. You're gonna hold her back," Chad argued. "I'd never hurt Ciara -- in any way. That girl believed in me when nobody else did," Ben insisted.
"Then why don't you repay her kindness by letting her go?" Chad challenged Ben. "[Otherwise], we're done here," Chad concluded with finality.
At the loft apartment, Tripp reluctantly posed for a selfie with Claire, whose followers had been asking for a picture of him. "See? Not so bad, right?" she said afterward. "Yeah, not so bad," he agreed, locking eyes with her.
Just then, Ciara entered the apartment. "Sorry -- didn't mean to interrupt," Ciara said as Tripp and Claire stepped away from each other. "We were just taking a selfie," Claire explained. "You seem upset," Tripp observed, recognizing the look on Ciara's face. Ciara vaguely admitted to having fought with Ben about Stefan earlier, but neither Tripp nor Claire was able to pry many details out of Ciara, who soon retreated to her bedroom.
"Can't say I'm surprised that Ciara and Ben are having problems," Tripp mused. "Really? I don't know, Tripp -- I think they're pretty great together, and I'm sure they'll work through this little bump on the road," Claire dismissively insisted. Claire tried to shift Tripp's focus to something that didn't involve Ciara, but Tripp continued fretting about Ciara's relationship with Ben until a text message about Steve finally provided the distraction that Claire had been looking for -- but also sent Tripp rushing off to see Roman, who had sent the message. "Damn it, Ben -- you are not about to blow this for me..." Claire grumbled once the coast was clear.
Claire tried to contact Ben, but the call went to voicemail. "Hi, Ben -- it's Claire. Uh, look...I don't know what kind of job you just did for Stefan, but Ciara's really not happy, all right? So, you need to find a way to fix it -- right now, all right? I am finally starting to get somewhere with Tripp, and I am not about to let you blow this for me, okay? So, just remember that you owe me, and remember that you and Ciara wouldn't be together at all if it weren't for our little deal," Claire said before ending the call -- and realizing that Ciara had heard everything.
Claire tried to do damage control, but Ciara didn't buy any of it. "I saw you and Ben shaking hands that day [in the square], and I knew something was up. [Now, look, you said] you wanted a truce, so tell me what's going on right now...or all bets are off, [and] we're through as friends," Ciara said with finality. "Fine. The truth is...Ben and I plotted to break up you and Tripp," Claire reluctantly admitted.
"All I did was arrange for you and Ben to spend some time together. It was absolutely harmless," Claire quickly elaborated in an effort to lessen Ciara's outrage. "Harmless?" Ciara incredulously repeated, still livid. "You were lying and manipulating, Claire! Oh, my God, I can't believe I actually tried giving you a second chance! You just proved that you could never be trusted!" Ciara added with a growl of frustration.
Just then, someone knocked on the apartment door. "Hey. I was hoping we could talk," Ben said when Ciara opened it. "I think that's a great idea," Ciara agreed. Claire left after begging Ciara not to say anything to Tripp. Once the coast was clear, Ben curiously wondered what Claire wanted Ciara to keep from Tripp. "[The fact that] you and Claire conspired to come between us," Ciara explained, glaring at Ben. "How could you?" Ciara asked.
At the Horton Town Square, J.J. ran into Gabi, who immediately tried to rush off in the opposite direction to avoid having to listen to yet another lecture about the horrible things she had done to his sister. "What you did was horrible...but you didn't just do it to my sister; you did it to me, [too]," he said with obvious disappointment, stopping her at once.
"I never wanted you to be involved," Gabi insisted, prompting J.J. to incredulously point out that it was impossible to hurt someone without also hurting that person's loved ones by extension. "I believed in you, [so] I bought your lies...and I betrayed my own sister [in the process]," he added with a regretful shake of the head. She tried to explain the reasoning behind her revenge scheme, but he wasn't interested in hearing any excuses. "You wrecked my family. We may never fully recover," he pointed out. "Why didn't you come to me? [I mean], I could have helped you," he added. "Because I was ashamed," she replied with a shrug.
"I don't believe that. I do believe that you didn't tell me because somewhere, deep down, you didn't want me to stop you," J.J. said to Gabi, who admitted that was probably true. "You saved my life, Gabi, and you know what? I could have saved yours. But now it's too late," he sadly noted. "[And] I'm thankful, for Ari's sake, that [you're not] going back to prison, but I do [have] a feeling you're gonna be in a prison of your own making," he added. "I know," she quietly conceded. "Please, just don't give up on me," she begged. "I'll always be grateful to you...but I don't think I can ever forgive you," he replied before rushing off.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Sonny ducked into the living room to take a phone call from Will. "You're not supposed to be calling me," Sonny quietly pointed out, despite clearly being happy to hear from Will. "I know, but the last time we spoke, you said Leo has an Achilles' heel...and then you left me hanging!" Will replied in a teasingly accusatory tone. "I know, and I'm sorry," Sonny stressed with a sigh. "Uncle Vic's been watching me like a hawk. And Leo is always here, [so] I have to be careful, [because] I can't let him know that we're still talking," Sonny explained. "Too late, lover," Leo said, joining Sonny in the living room.
"If I didn't know any better, I'd think my husband was going behind my back," Leo suspiciously added. "I gotta go," Sonny told Will. "That was --" Sonny began to explain after ending the call. "Will," Leo knowingly concluded.
"Do I need to remind you that you are my husband, and you vowed not to have any contact with him?" Leo asked. "We share a daughter, Leo, all right? We were coordinating plans for Ari," Sonny claimed. "Oh, don't pull the 'kid' card on me. I saw the look on your face while you were talking to him. You don't look at me that way," Leo countered. "Maybe it's because you don't trust me," Sonny suggested. "You have to earn that trust," Leo insisted. "I would hate to send my new husband off to prison. It's hard enough on Ari that her mother was there. And I..." Leo began to add before stopping abruptly.
"Hel-lo," Leo appreciatively muttered, staring past Sonny in wide-eyed, open-mouthed awe. "What?" Sonny asked, confused. "Sorry -- I'm just admiring a piece of art," Leo explained, still staring past Sonny, who eventually turned to see what Leo was ogling -- just as Xander stopped in front of the bar, wearing only a pair of blue Speedos.
"I heard you were back," Sonny said tiredly. "Don't look so excited," Xander replied. "Sonny, aren't you going to introduce me?" Leo interjected. "Leo, this is my cousin Xander Cook," Sonny began. "I prefer Kiriakis," Xander clarified. "[And this is] Leo Stark," Sonny continued. "I prefer Kiriakis, too," Leo insisted, flashing Xander a smile.
Xander extended a hand, but Leo seized a tight hug instead -- and practically melted in Xander's arms. "So, it's true -- you married the guy who was suing you for sexual harassment," Xander said to Sonny while pulling away from Leo, who had just started pawing Xander's back muscles. "Water under the bridge," Leo claimed, waving a hand dismissively.
"What's your deal, Leo Stark?" Xander asked curiously. "It is a very long and complicated story," Sonny warned. "Ah. Pass. I have a date with the hot tub," Xander announced. "I'll join you!" Leo excitedly declared before rushing off to change into swimwear. "Never thought I would say this, but I owe you one," Sonny told Xander before exiting the mansion.
Seconds later, Victor joined Xander in the living room. Xander assumed that Victor was ready to make a deal, but Victor clarified that Xander's offer had just lost most of its appeal. "There's nothing I'd like more than to see Stefano DiMera's empire crumble...but, as it turns out, his son Stefan was let go by the board and replaced by Chad. [And besides], Titan needs a CEO with some savvy; someone who knows the ins and outs of the market; someone with brains, not brawn... [So], my answer to you is, 'Hell no!'" Victor said. Xander confidently claimed to have brains and brawn.
Meanwhile, Leo headed back to the living room in search of Xander, wearing only a pair of board shorts. "You certainly are sure of yourself, aren't you?" Victor said to Xander just then. Curious, Leo paused in the foyer to eavesdrop. "I need to see the rest of the information before I make a decision," Victor insisted. "Not a chance. Once you see the info, you'll toss me out again. Make me CEO, and then I'll share," Xander countered. "What kind of a fool do you think I am? I don't even know that there is any more information!" Victor protested. "It appears that we have reached a stalemate," Xander concluded with a shrug.
Victor walked away, refusing to budge. "You ready to hit the hot tub, X-man?" Leo flirtatiously asked Xander once the coast was clear. "Why don't we, uh, have a quick drink together [first and] get to know each other a little better," Xander suggested, deciding to take advantage of Leo's obvious interest. "I want to hear everything about you -- [like how you went] from accuser to Real Househusband of Salem overnight, [because] I know for a fact that my cousin still has it bad for his ex Will Horton, [and] there's no way he'd turn his back on all that, even for someone as...irresistible as you," Xander dryly added while pouring a drink for Leo.
"I'm gonna assume that you're blackmailing him, but the sexual harassment story was already out there, so you must have something else," Xander guessed. "Nothing but love, sweetheart. Sonny and I are meant to be together," Leo claimed. "You and I both know you're lying, so why don't you just tell me what you have, and we'll see if we can help each other," Xander suggested.
"Why is it so important to you?" Leo wondered. "[Maybe because of] the conversation I just heard between you and your Uncle Victor?" Leo guessed. "You were eavesdropping on my conversation? You're a naughty boy, aren't you?" Xander replied. "I try," Leo proudly admitted. "[Anyway], I'm assuming you think [that] if you knew what I had on Sonny, [then] it would strengthen your position," Leo added. "Well, aren't you the clever one..." Xander grumbled. "Again...I try," Leo repeated, giving Xander a wink. "So, are you gonna help me?" Xander asked impatiently. "That depends. What's in it for me?" Leo replied before starting to paw Xander's chest.
Xander frowned and pushed Leo's hands away. "What's the matter? You're not a prude, are you?" Leo asked. "You're married to my cousin. We're practically family," Xander pointed out. "And you would never betray family," Leo sarcastically guessed. "Sorry to disappoint you, but, uh, I don't swing that way," Xander explained. "Don't knock it 'til you try it," Leo advised. "Not my thing," Xander maintained. "Have you ever heard of the term 'gay for pay'?" Leo asked. "Each of us has something the other wants...or needs... [So], think about it. My room's on the second floor -- fourth door on the left -- and it's always open," Leo added before rushing off.
At the Brady Pub, Roman greeted Will, who wanted a drink after the earlier conversation with Sonny.
"Sonny being married to Leo -- that's, uh...that's gotta be awful," Roman sympathetically guessed. "Yeah. I was just on the phone with Sonny, and...Leo came in, and Sonny had to hang up on me. I can't even see him," Will sadly revealed. "Hopefully the stock at Titan will bounce back, and Victor will let Sonny drop this crazy charade," Roman optimistically suggested. "Leo's not gonna go away without a fight," Will fretted. "If Victor offers him enough money, he will," Roman predicted. "I don't know. He's clearly very comfortable being Mr. Sonny Kiriakis. I don't know if money is gonna be enough. There's gotta be, uh, some other way to make Leo disappear," Will replied. Roman served Will a glass of beer then stepped into the kitchen.
A short time later, Sonny entered the pub and sneaked up behind Will, who was staring sadly at the glass of beer. "Is this seat taken?" Sonny asked, causing Will to perk up at once.
Sonny explained to Will that Xander had moved into the Kiriakis mansion and was proving to be a major distraction for Leo. Will was surprised to hear that Xander was alive and well. "Last time I saw Leo, he was following Xander to the hot tub like a little puppy dog," Sonny revealed. "Well, with any luck, it'll boil 'em both," Will joked, and Sonny laughed right along with Will. "I almost forgot what your smile was like," Sonny mused. "It's been a while," Will noted. "Too long," Sonny insisted. "I think I'd never stop smiling if we could figure out a way to make Leo go away," Will admitted. "That's all I think about -- well, that...and you," Sonny said.
Sonny and Will soon headed off in opposite directions to avoid being seen together, planning to meet back up in the park to discuss Leo's weakness.
A short time later, Tripp arrived to see Roman, who revealed that Stefan had been arrested for treason. Tripp was thrilled to hear about Stefan's misfortune, knowing that it was good news for Steve. Roman thanked Tripp for having been so supportive of Kayla during such a difficult time. Roman also thanked Tripp for having always been supportive of Ciara -- and Tripp seized the opportunity to assure Roman that Ben might not be an issue for much longer. Roman wondered if Tripp still had feelings for Ciara. "I will always care for Ciara as a friend, but...she's moved on, and I'm trying to, too," Tripp replied. "With Claire," Roman guessed. Tripp insisted that Claire was just a friend, but Roman wasn't convinced.
Sonny found Will in the park and immediately seized a kiss. "Hey -- we can't," Will reluctantly protested, pulling away from Sonny. "I know..." Sonny conceded with a sigh while staring at Will longingly.
Will changed the subject, asking Sonny about Leo's weakness. "We were talking about mothers, and I hit a nerve when I asked about his. He clammed up and got super defensive," Sonny explained. "So, if we can track down Leo's 'Mommie Dearest,' then we can put that monster back in his box," Will excitedly concluded. Sonny suggested that John might be able to find out who had raised the boy who had once been known as Matthew Cooper, but Will didn't feel right about going to Paul's father for help. Unaware of any other private investigators who could safely be trusted, Will ultimately decided to check the Spectator database for answers.
"I have to admit, this is kind of hot, isn't it? Like, sneaking around on a mission, trying to take down the bad gay -- I mean, the bad guy," Sonny joked. "Yes, [and] we have to, because, uh, this time, the good gays, uh, need to win," Will agreed between chuckles. "Just please be careful. We can't let Leo know we're digging around," Sonny stressed. "I know," Will assured Sonny.
"We're gonna find out who Leo really is, and then we're gonna nail him to the wall," Will confidently declared. "Before he nails us," Sonny added before seizing another kiss from Will. "I love you. We're gonna beat him," Will stressed after Sonny pulled away. "I love you, too. And we're gonna be together soon -- I know it," Sonny replied. Sonny stole one more kiss from Will then reluctantly walked away.
Will headed off to the Spectator office -- and spotted Gabi while passing through the town square. She seized a hug from him and broke down in his arms.