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 Recaps for The week of January 9, 2012
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Monday, January 9, 2012
by Mike

At the Horton Town Square, Jack hid behind a newspaper and listened as Jennifer comforted Daniel. Daniel said that he could take care of himself, but Jennifer insisted that he needed a friend. Meanwhile, Jack tried unsuccessfully to stifle a sneeze.

Jennifer was shocked to learn that Jack had been eavesdropping. Jack claimed that he had been innocently reading the newspaper, but Jennifer wasn't convinced. Jack sighed, and he admitted that he had seen Daniel and Jennifer holding hands earlier. Daniel started to explain, but Jack stopped him, and he offered Daniel a sincere apology.

"You don't have to downplay it; trust me, I know what it's like when life, like, throws you a curve ball, and you stroke -- you know what I mean," Jack sheepishly stated, as he realized his poor choice of words. Daniel said that his tremors paled in comparison to Jack's horrific experiences in Afghanistan. Jack shook his head.

"Look, when I got back from this...confinement, and got back to the real world, I had to make some changes. I had to do something; I had to figure it out, and I did. And you will, too -- trust me. You're gonna look back on this, and you're going to see this...setback...as a little part, like a dot in the bigger picture -- in your bigger picture," Jack explained. Daniel nodded, and he noted that everything happened for a reason.

Jack agreed, then he admitted that he probably wasn't the best person to be taking advice from. Jack smiled at Jennifer, and he said that she had helped him more than she would ever know. "Listen, Daniel...if the lady wants to help you, please, take my advice -- let her. It's a decision you'll never regret," Jack added.

Jennifer noted that Jack was being surprisingly reasonable about the whole situation. Jack agreed, and he joked that he was just as surprised as she was. Jack added that it was obvious that Jennifer and Daniel still had a connection. Jack said that he could tell that fighting over Jennifer had caused all three of them a considerable amount of pain.

"Daniel, you might think you took yourself out of the equation, but...as long as Jennifer has feelings for you, that's impossible. I think we should all just step back and reevaluate the whole situation. I think maybe we should just...put an end to it," Jack said. Jennifer was confused, so Jack explained that he was taking the pressure off of her.

Jennifer told Daniel and Jack that she had never meant to hurt either of them. Daniel insisted that he didn't have any regrets. Jack noted that Jennifer was an amazing woman, and he pointed out that two amazing men had agreed that she was worth fighting for. Jennifer sighed, and she noted that she had lost both of them.

Jack assured Jennifer that she would never be able to lose him, and he jokingly reminded her that she had tried to on more than one occasion. Jack reiterated that he just wanted to take the pressure off of Jennifer. Daniel nodded, and he told Jennifer that they could still be friends. Jennifer said that she was grateful, but she added that the whole idea sounded very final.

Jack told Jennifer that he would always love her, and that they would always be connected. Jack explained that he didn't want to spend the rest of his life wondering if Jennifer was still in love with Daniel. Daniel nodded, and he said that he felt the same way about Jennifer's relationship with Jack. Jack said that he wanted to give Jennifer some space, so that she could make the right decision.

Jack admitted that he had expected to return to Salem and kick Jennifer's latest suitor to the curb. Jack added that he had never considered the possibility that Daniel would turn out to be a decent man. Daniel said that he felt the same way about Jack. Jennifer nodded, and she said that she had never realized how hard it would be for her to make a decision.

Jack assured Jennifer that it wasn't going to be easy for him to back off, but he added that it was the right thing to do. Jack said that he still wanted his family back, but he admitted that pressuring Jennifer wasn't the best way to make that happen. Jennifer nodded, and she wondered what the next step was going to be.

Jack suggested that the three of them could just move on with their lives, and Daniel agreed. Daniel abruptly excused himself, and Jennifer reiterated that she was going to be there to support him. Daniel kissed Jennifer, then he walked away. After Daniel left, Jennifer excused herself, and she and Jack went their separate ways.

At Bo and Hope's house, Bo and Hope discussed their earlier therapy session. Bo admitted that he was worried that he and Hope would not be able to recover from their past mistakes, even with Marlena's help. Hope said that she shared Bo's concerns, but she added that she had to believe that they would eventually get past those issues.

Bo said that he didn't want to lose Hope because of choices that he had made in the past. Hope countered that she didn't want to lose Bo because they were too scared to talk about those choices. Bo assured Hope that he was committed to making their marriage even stronger, but he added that he didn't want to hurt her.

"But it's what I need -- it's what we need, no matter how much it hurts, and I -- we can't just talk about our issues in therapy. We need to be able to take them home. Actually, there's something that I...have been thinking about since we left Marlena's office, something that I really need to talk to you about, and...I'm afraid...of what will happen when I do," Hope hesitantly stated.

Hope told Bo that their problems had been caused by the choices that they had made after Zack's death, and Bo agreed. "You didn't trust me with the truth that night, just like you didn't trust me when Ciara was kidnapped, or when Carly came back into town. You know, so many times, we have ended up in the same place -- a really dishonest place," Hope added. Bo promised that he would never lie to Hope again.

"I want to believe that. I want to believe it, but there's always this...small seed of doubt in the back of my mind, reminding me of the past. How are we supposed to have a healthy relationship if I'm afraid to trust you with my whole heart?" Hope asked. Bo sighed, and he admitted that Hope was breaking his heart. Hope apologized, and she insisted that she didn't want to hurt Bo. Hope said that she was just trying to be honest.

"You're right, I have betrayed your trust, and there's really nothing I can do to change that, but...I can prove to you that what happened was in the past, and I can be honest with you until the day I die," Bo said. Hope said that she knew that Bo meant that, but she added that he had made those promises before.

"Hold on -- I'm not finished. You know how stubborn and set in my ways I can be; it's part of me, and I knew the day I met you that I wanted to change. And you helped me with that, Fancy Face, but the thing is, deep inside, that kid...that's scared, um...and has trouble relying on people, is still there," Bo said, as he fought back his tears. Hope assured Bo that he would always be able to rely on her.

Bo nodded, and he promised that he was going to try to get rid of his insecurity. Hope admitted that she wasn't perfect, either. Bo jokingly agreed, and Hope playfully smacked him. Bo grinned, then he assured Hope that she was perfect. Bo kissed Hope, and he promised that as long as they were together, they would be able to survive anything.

Later that night, Bo took Hope to the Brady Pub. Hope told Bo that she had not expected that their impromptu date would involve breaking and entering. Bo jokingly assured Hope that he was friends with the owner. Bo and Hope entered the pub, and Bo smiled as he realized that Caroline had prepared a candlelit dinner for them. Bo found some romantic music that Caroline had provided for the occasion, and he and Hope started to dance.

Hope said that she knew that therapy wasn't going to be a walk in the park. Hope told Bo that she felt that they were stronger than they had ever been, and she said that she wanted to keep it that way. Hope said that she felt like she was right where she was supposed to be, and she added that she felt like Bo was her destiny. Hope admitted that it was probably silly to believe in that kind of thing.

Bo said that he felt the same way. Hope smiled, and she commended Bo for always knowing the right thing to say. "No, I mean it -- we've made it through so much. Shipwrecks, Stefano DiMera, Shawn-D's teenage years...Fancy Face, you are my destiny. You're my everything," Bo said, as he kissed Hope.

At the DiMera mansion, Will threatened to reveal E.J.'s secret, but E.J. feigned ignorance. "Fine...I'll tell you, and then your whole smug demeanor will be gone. Uh, do you remember when Johnny was missing? Yeah, so do I. When that happened, I saw you and my mom in this room. You were having sex. While the whole city was out searching for your son, you were cheating on your wife -- here, with my mom," Will said.

"Don't deny this. I saw you with my own two eyes, so...you will help me leave Salem, or I promise you, I will tell everyone what you did," Will added. E.J. said that he was impressed, and he noted that Will had grown a spine. Will ignored E.J.'s comments, and he continued to threaten E.J.

"I will get out of this town eventually, but you...I will ruin your life. Your wife will leave you, you'll lose your election for mayor, and when I tell Rafe that you had sex with his wife...you're as good as dead," Will warned E.J. Will helped himself to a drink, and he told E.J. that he was holding all of the cards. E.J. wondered what Sami had said about the encounter.

Will shrugged, and he said that he hadn't talked to Sami about the encounter. Will said that he couldn't even stand to be in the same room with Sami. "You know, I really have to commend you -- a blackmail achievement, at your age? That's really quite impressive -- though, I suppose, to a certain degree, it must come naturally. However, William, despite what you may think, you're not the one holding all the cards, dear boy. You see...you'd do well to remember that I know something about you -- something that you would not want to be made public," E.J. said.

Will wondered what E.J. was talking about. E.J. claimed that he had always seen a small part of himself in Will. E.J. noted that he and Will had each had a difficult childhood, and that mistakes had been made in both cases. Will insisted that he was nothing like E.J., and he added that everyone made mistakes from time to time. E.J. agreed, but he added that Will had made the mistake of getting caught.

Will said that he didn't know what E.J. was talking about. "I'll give you a hint -- it is something that could send you to prison for the rest of your life," E.J. said. E.J. pretended that he was upset that Will had forgotten about one of the most important moments in E.J.'s life. Will assumed that E.J. was bluffing. Will told E.J. that it had been nice knowing him, and he started to exit the mansion.

"Am I bluffing, William, when I say that I know that it was not your father who shot me? You already know that, though, don't you? Because it was you -- you tried to kill me," E.J. said. Will insisted that E.J. didn't know what he was talking about. Will reminded E.J. that Lucas was the one who had shot him. E.J. wondered if Will had repressed the memory. E.J. assured Will that he remembered everything about the incident.

Will insisted that E.J. was delusional. E.J. said that he had always wondered why Lucas had made that sacrifice. E.J. added that after Johnny had been born, he had finally started to understand Lucas' instinct to protect his children at any cost. Will refused to admit anything, but he hypothetically wondered why E.J. would have chosen to hide the truth about the shooting for years, instead of using the information to send Will to prison.

E.J. said that he had something that Will did not possess -- patience. E.J. explained that he preferred to wait for the right moment to use incriminating information. E.J. added that there was a lesson to be learned from that advice. "A lesson on how to be a manipulative bastard like you?" Will asked, as he glared at E.J. with contempt.

E.J. warned Will that the next time he tried to blackmail someone -- especially a DiMera -- he needed to wait until he was absolutely sure that they didn't know any of his secrets. Will stood firm, and he said that E.J. had made his point. E.J. replied that he was just getting started. E.J. said that he was sure that Will's attempt to kill an innocent man had been taking a toll on his conscience.

Will said that E.J. was far from innocent, and he added that his only regret was that he had failed to finish the job the first time. E.J. wondered if that was a threat. Will glared at E.J., and he said that he had learned a valuable lesson. Will pointed a finger at E.J.'s head, and he said that he was going to aim higher next time. Will tossed his cell phone at E.J., and he urged E.J. to call the cops. Will claimed that he didn't care.

"Yes, you do. You care a lot, William. Your life at the moment is very challenging. I really don't think that you need me to take you to court, to bring all of that emotional turmoil into your life. You're very confused at the moment, very mixed up -- emotionally, I mean. Let me ask you something -- have you spoken to your grandmother? It would be a really good thing if you shared your deepest, darkest secrets with the world...because, you know, that's something that can be arranged very easily," E.J. cryptically stated.

E.J. assured Will that he was not making an idle threat. "You sick son of a bitch," Will said, as he struggled to maintain his composure. Will said that E.J. was scum, and he pointed out that no one was going to believe E.J.'s word over his. "Hmm. You know, I wouldn't know this from personal experience, William, but I hear that prison is not a very nice place -- especially for a man of your particular...disposition," E.J. said.

Will stared defeatedly at E.J., and he grudgingly agreed to keep E.J.'s secret. E.J. wasn't satisfied, and he said that he wasn't a very forgiving man. E.J. said that he was going to teach Will a lesson. E.J. explained that he believed in keeping his friends close, and his enemies closer. E.J. added that he was going to make Will one of his assistants. Will pointed out that E.J. had plenty of minions, and he wondered why E.J. needed him.

"Because you're an upstanding young man -- you're so innocent, William. Nobody's going to suspect you, and if you want to stay a free man, if you want to keep yourself out of jail, you're going to do everything I ask you to do. Welcome to your worst nightmare, William -- I own you," E.J. declared.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

At the Brady Pub, Sonny and Chad discussed remodeling the Cheatin' Heart into a coffeehouse. When Sonny mentioned that Will had offered to talk to Kate about support, Chad bristled at the idea of taking DiMera money. Melanie entered the pub and, seeing the goofy smiles on the faces of Chad and Melanie as they looked at one another, Sonny excused himself and left.

Chad and Melanie sat at a table together to talk, and Chad whispered that he wanted to kiss Melanie. Though Melanie grinned and giggled, she pushed Chad away and noted that she did not want to show any public displays of affection with Chad. As Chad reminded Melanie that Abigail had broken up with him, Abigail entered the pub and marched over to Chad and Melanie's table.

"How did you two ever manage to keep your hands off each other long enough to stab me in the back?" Abigail asked cattily. Chad stressed that he and Melanie had only kissed and were not a couple. In disbelief, Abigail called him a liar and walked away. Concerned, Melanie told Chad to leave her alone with Abigail so that they could talk. When Chad was gone, Melanie approached Abigail and noted that she was not the reason for Abigail and Chad's breakup.

Melanie said that she had kept her distance from Chad and hidden her feelings in order to protect Abigail's relationship. When Melanie reminded Abigail that Abigail was interested in another man, Abigail pursed her lips and accused Melanie of working her way into Chad's heart. Melanie swore that she and Chad were not together, but Abigail did not believe her. Hurt, Abigail accused Melanie of telling Chad that she was interested in another guy.

Abigail lashed out and reminded Melanie that she had stolen Philip and Nathan from Stephanie. With a sigh, Abigail noted that Stephanie had warned her against being friends with Melanie. "You're just a selfish bitch," Abigail said. Angry, Melanie argued that Abigail was entertaining feelings for another man while she was dating Chad. Abigail pointed out that she had not acted on her feelings for the other man while she had been with Chad.

When Abigail asked if the kiss on Halloween was the only moment of intimacy between Melanie and Chad, Melanie thought about the multiple kisses she had shared with Chad. When Melanie stared at Abigail with tears in her eyes, Abigail said, "Just what I thought. Some best friend you turned out to be, huh?" Abigail marched out of the pub as Melanie collapsed into tears.

At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady thanked Madison for supporting his decision to work at Basic Black with John. With a nod, Brady escorted Madison into the living room to talk to Victor and Maggie. Victor noted that Brady was late for a meeting at Titan, and Brady countered that he needed to talk to Victor. Raising an eyebrow, Victor asked what was wrong. Brady noted that John was rebuilding Basic Black, and Victor commented that if anyone was capable of resurrecting the company, it was John.

Brady announced that he wanted to help John. Curious, Victor asked Brady if he was planning on offering financing to John through Titan. Shaking his head, Brady explained that he was leaving Titan in order to work with John. Victor forbade Brady's defection from Titan. "Titan is your birthright!" Victor argued. Victor noted that Brady could not walk away from the family business.

Brady countered that Basic Black was his father's family business and that he needed to help his father. Concerned, Victor reminded Brady that John had destroyed Basic Black. Unfazed, Brady said that he was going to work at Basic Black. "Then you're a fool," Victor countered. "The real reason I'm doing this is I want to spend time with my dad," Brady said. Victor urged Madison to tell Brady that he was following his emotions rather than his head. Madison noted that she felt the same way as Victor, but that she realized that John was important to Brady and that Brady needed to follow his heart.

Victor pointedly asked Madison if she was comfortable with the possibility that Brady's exit would adversely affect Mad World Cosmetics. Madison answered that she supported Brady. Brady interrupted to remind Victor that Titan was Philip's birthright. Brady added that he was returning his controlling interest of Titan to Victor. Hurt, Victor accused Brady of betrayal.

"I'm hoping going to work for my father will make me more like him. What he's done is liquidated all of his accounts to make sure that all his employees get their money back, even though he wasn't guilty of the crime," Brady said. Annoyed, Victor retorted, "What you're saying is that you couldn't possibly learn anything about integrity from me." Brady reminded Victor that he admired Victor, and that he wanted build his own company like Victor had built Titan. Victor countered that he had built Titan for his family.

Brady remarked that he wanted to earn his place in the world on his own terms rather than to take over a family business. Maggie sided with Brady and noted that Brady sounded like Isabella. "Isabella loved John more than anything. Think of how happy she'd be to know that her husband and her son were working together. Having that relationship that she always wanted them to have," Maggie said. With a nod, Victor agreed and said that Isabella would have been proud of Brady.

"As much as it pains me to admit it, I'm proud of you too," Victor said. Victor gave Brady his blessing, and they hugged. When Brady said he wanted to tell John the good news, Victor joked that John would pay for stealing his CEO. As Brady headed out to talk to John, Victor asked Madison to stay behind to chat. Victor thanked Madison for supporting Brady and standing up to him.

Victor announced that he needed a new CEO of Titan because he did not plan to take the job since he was happily married to Maggie. When Madison asked about Philip, Victor countered that Philip was not interested in the responsibility. Victor offered the job to Madison. Victor stressed that he had been watching Madison and realized that she was almost as clever as Brady. When Madison noted that she would have to give up her leadership role at Mad World, Victor reminded Madison that she would retain oversight over Mad World as CEO of Titan.

At the penthouse, John raised a toast to Marlena and congratulated her on her new position as the head of the psychiatric residency program at Salem University. Marlena told John that she was proud of him for liquidating his assets in order to pay back the missing pension money. "Everyone knows you are the same honorable man you always were," Marlena said.

John was hopeful that Brady would join him at Basic Black and leave Titan. John worried aloud that his absence from Brady's life had been the reason for Brady's misbehavior, including kidnapping Vivian. With a smile, John noted that he believed the positive change in Brady was due to his relationship with Madison. Marlena agreed, but added that John played a part in Brady's recent happiness, as well, and urged John to forge a stronger relationship with Brady.

As Marlena got ready for work, John suggested that if he could repair his relationship with Brady then there was hope that Marlena could repair her relationship with Sami. Marlena reasoned that she did not blame Sami for being angry. John argued that Sami had no reason to be disrespectful to her mother.

"Over the years I have hurt her a lot," Marlena said. John countered that he and Marlena had loved Sami more than she loved herself. John urged Marlena to concentrate on helping her students and put Sami out of her mind. John handed Marlena an apple and sent her off to work at Salem University while he headed over to the pub.

Brady found John at the Brady Pub and informed his father that he was joining Basic Black. As Brady and John toasted their new venture, John started to chuckle. John explained that despite the DiMera machinations to ruin his life, the DiMeras had ultimately returned Brady to him.

In Salem Town Square, Chad met up with Sonny. When Chad asked Sonny why he had left the pub so suddenly, Sonny retorted, "Dude, you guys are past obvious." Concerned, Sonny asked Chad if he had cheated on Abigail. "Define cheat," Chad asked. When Sonny asked for clarification, Chad counted off the times that he and Melanie had kissed. Chad explained that he cared about Abigail but that he could not stop thinking about Melanie.

Chad said that he had more in common with Melanie, and Sonny agreed. "Will you be mad if Melanie and I start to date?" Chad asked. Sonny said he was happy for Chad. When Chad explained his plan to remain friends with Melanie until Abigail was more comfortable, Sonny smiled. Chad confided that it was difficult to remain friends with Melanie because of his attraction to her.

After talking to Sonny, Chad went over to the cafe to work on some schoolwork. While at a table, a solemn Melanie joined Chad and informed him that Abigail hated her. "She's never going to forgive me for being with you," Melanie said. When Chad noted that he and Melanie had not "been together," Melanie explained that Abigail saw Melanie and Chad's relationship as a betrayal no matter what. Chad stressed that his relationship with Abigail had been on the rocks prior to Chad developing an interest in Melanie.

Fighting tears, Melanie exclaimed that she had lost her best friend. "I can't be with you. Ever," Melanie said. Chad argued that Melanie was listening to her guilt. Melanie reminded Chad that she had acted childishly in the past, and she did not want to return to her old ways. With tears in his eyes, Chad begged Melanie to reconsider. "I can't be with you," Melanie said as she rushed off crying.

At Salem University, Marlena ran into Abigail in the hallway. Noting Abigail's red eyes, Marlena asked her if she had been crying. Abigail was reluctant to talk, so Marlena offered to talk to Abigail privately in her office. Abigail explained what happened with Chad. Abigail noted that her breakup with Chad had been mutual, but that she was hurt that Melanie had cheated with Chad behind her back. Abigail was mad at herself for not seeing what was happening between Chad and Melanie.

"I wonder if you didn't see it because it didn't happen," Marlena suggested. Marlena reminded Abigail that Chad and Melanie had stressed that they had not dated behind her back, but Abigail countered that Melanie and Chad were too good-looking not to give in to their feelings.

Marlena urged Abigail to give Chad and Melanie the benefit of the doubt and note that they did not want to find their happiness at Abigail's expense. Marlena counseled Abigail to get over her sense of betrayal and consider the possibility that Melanie and Chad were telling the truth. When Abigail told Marlena about her conversation with Melanie and how Melanie had not answered her question about the extent of her intimacy with Chad, Marlena nodded.

Marlena explained that actions sometimes seemed like betrayal even though there was no intent to betray anyone. As an example, Marlena reminded Abigail of how Jack had left his family to chase a story and had had no intention of abandoning them. "My dad didn't mean to get kidnapped, but my friend knew she was stabbing me in the back, and she did it anyway," Abigail said.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sami entered the conference room at work, and found a discouraged Kate looking over photographs of potential models for the new face of Countess Wilhelmina. Both women agreed that all the girls were too pale and skinny to be suitable. Sami suggested that they go about the search differently. She explained that to keep up with the times, they needed to find more relatable faces to represent Countess W. "Our countess is our customer -- the women who buy our products," Sami asserted.

Sami proposed that they launch a larger search to find someone who could remind women that Countess Wilhelmina products helped enhance their natural beauty and make them vibrant. Kate mused that they could look for someone from Salem, since Countess W was a local company. Sami added that after that, they could do more local searches across the country or even globally. After thinking about it for a long moment, Kate declared, "I think the idea is genius." Grinning, Sami asked, "Wait a second -- did you just call me a genius?"

Kate corrected her, and urged Sami not to let praise go to her head. Undaunted, Sami declared that she loved her job, and added that she might take Rafe out to a nice dinner to celebrate. Kate accused Sami of talking about Rafe all the time when she usually only talked about herself. "So -- what did you do to him?" Kate asked lightly but knowingly. Sami demanded to know what Kate was talking about.

Kate believed that Sami's constant text and voice messages to Rafe were overcompensation, but Sami contended that she was just trying to show her husband how much she loved him. Kate pointed out that she'd seen the same behavior from Sami with Austin and Lucas. Sami argued that it was ancient history. Kate asserted that history had proven that when Sami got "all desperate and needy," Kate knew that something bad was going on. Sami insisted that her relationship with Rafe was great, and Kate should stay out of it.

After checking with the legal department, Kate told Sami, "You're all clear to go ahead with your search for the new face of Countess Wilhelmina... But I'm warning you: you better make this genius idea work." Sami promised not to let Kate down.

At the Kiriakis mansion, Madison admitted that Victor's job offer for her to be CEO of Titan was a lot to absorb, and she was feeling a little overwhelmed. She reminded Victor that she wasn't sure she was ready to give up the day-to-day overseeing of Mad World. Maggie left Victor and Madison alone to discuss things for a while. She returned a little later with coffee for the three of them, and announced that it was time for a break.

Victor declared that even though Titan was about one hundred times the size of Mad World, his gut told him that Madison was capable of running it all, and would make an excellent CEO. Maggie suggested that perhaps Madison needed a little time to think it over, and Victor agreed. He promised to have a salary package put together for Madison to look over. A grateful Madison shook hands with Maggie and Victor, and told Victor that she would let him know her decision soon.

Maggie asked how Victor was handling everything, since Brady had resigned as CEO. Victor admitted that, after initially being hurt and angry, he'd realized that Brady had shown maturity in giving up the company he'd worked so hard to take control of. And, Victor added, Isabella would have been very pleased to see her husband and their son renewing their relationship, even if it meant that there would no longer be a member of Victor's family at the head of his company. Maggie pointed out that Victor had other family members, like his son.

Victor assumed that she meant Philip, but Maggie clarified that she was talking about Bo. "Have you ever considered asking him to join the family and run the company?" she asked. Victor chuckled at the idea of Bo in a suit and tie. He added that while Bo had done a great job during his brief tenure at Titan, the company had never been a good fit for Bo -- plus, Bo would never leave the police force. Maggie noted that even if he turned Victor down, Bo would be flattered to know that Victor had considered him. Beaming, Victor proclaimed that he had been the luckiest man in the world to fall in love with Maggie. She kissed him appreciatively, and returned the sentiment.

Victor hoped that Madison would accept the CEO job, because it would do great things for her career. Maggie pointed out that Madison wouldn't have much time to spend with Brady if she took the job. Victor replied, "Very perceptive, Mrs. Kiriakis. But you know, Titan aside, I think Madison James would make a perfect fit for my grandson." With a bit of shock, Maggie noted, "I do believe that Madison James is the first woman you have remotely approved of for Brady."

Victor asserted that, unlike Brady's previous "parade of floozies, cheats, and gold-diggers," Madison was beautiful, intelligent, and very levelheaded. Maggie maintained that Madison and Brady were very lucky to have found each other, because at that stage of their lives and careers, they would have plenty of obstacles to overcome.

E.J. entered the living room at the DiMera mansion, and noted that Nicole seemed a little grumpy. She complained that John had become something of a folk hero by repaying the missing pension funds -- which was happening that day. John was also about to endorse Abe in the mayoral campaign, and Abe was planning to announce a new plan to create local jobs. E.J. confidently reassured Nicole that he'd already started working on those problems.

When Will arrived just then, E.J. introduced him as the newest member of the DiMera campaign team. Nicole was completely taken aback. E.J. claimed that Will had taken an interest in politics, plus working on the campaign counted as college credits. Nicole skeptically pointed out that it seemed more likely for Will to work for Abe, but E.J. maintained that there were no openings on the Carver campaign. Nicole welcomed Will aboard, then excused herself to make some phone calls.

As soon as Nicole had gone, Will demanded to know what E.J. wanted. E.J. instructed Will to go to the pub to listen to John's speech; while Will was there, he was to find the files on Abe's computer about his jobs proposal, and return them to E.J. on a flash drive. E.J. pointed out that Will had proven that he was creative enough to get out of it if he got caught. Will flatly refused, but E.J. reminded him, "I own you." Will grudgingly took the flash drive E.J. gave him, and headed out.

When Nicole returned and saw that Will was gone, she tickled E.J. playfully while demanding to know why he'd hired Will Horton out of the blue. E.J. hedged that it had been sheer luck, but he believed that young William would give them the boost they needed to win the election. He then announced that it was time to focus on something other than the campaign. E.J. pulled Nicole into his lap, took away her cell phone, and reminded her that he had promised to put her first. He then picked her up and carried her toward the door.

At the Brady Pub, Brady praised John's outline for rebuilding Basic Black. John asked if Brady had any regrets about leaving Titan. Brady admitted that it had been a tough decision, but the right one. Abe and Lexie arrived, and John informed them that he and Brady had just become business partners. The Carvers congratulated them warmly. John declared that knowing his investors' money was about to be returned made it worth whatever they had to overcome to rebuild Basic Black.

Abe then explained to Brady that he had used Jennifer's media contacts to set up an interview with John on the day the pension funds were being returned. After agreeing that it was a great idea, Brady had to step away to take a phone call. Abe expressed his gratitude to John for his endorsement. John asserted that he wanted Salem to know that Abe was the kind of man who didn't abandon his friends or community when times were tough. Lexie saw the reporter arrive, and went over to greet her. Brady returned, and said that he had to tie up some loose ends at Titan. He left after wishing his dad luck.

Brady was surprised when he ran into Madison in Horton Square later. She explained that she'd taken a walk to clear her head and sort through some things, and Brady said that he'd just told his dad that he'd resigned from Titan. Although Madison was happy for Brady and John, she admitted that a part of her wished that Brady would stay at Titan so they could still work together. Brady reassured her that they would still see each other in the evenings. "I'm not sure that's going to be possible," Madison cautioned.

After she dropped a few hints, Brady deduced that Victor had offered Madison the CEO job at Titan. Thrilled for Madison, Brady declared that his grandfather recognized good talent when he saw it. Brady asked if Madison were going to take the job or not, and she told him that she had some time to think about it, thanks to Maggie. Brady asserted that Madison was a natural for the job, and noted that she could implement some of her ideas from Mad World at Titan. Madison pointed out that she had put so much of herself into Mad World that she wasn't sure she could just walk away from it.

Brady promised not to try to influence her one way or the other, but he would support whatever decision she made. Madison was relieved that Brady wouldn't think less of her if she decided not to take the job at Titan. Brady promised to make time for her no matter what, and Madison echoed his words. Brady then had to leave to resume the conversation with his dad. Madison thanked him for his advice and support, and kissed him goodbye. As soon as Brady had gone, Madison made a phone call. "Hey, it's me. So, I have kind of a big decision to make. I need your advice... Yeah, just like the old days; I need your help again," Madison said.

During John's interview, Abe sat at the next table and listened as John divulged to the reporter that the previous few months had been trying for him and for his family, and he would not have gotten through his ordeal without Abe and Lexie's support and friendship. Will entered, unseen, while John continued that he was formally backing Mayor Carver's reelection campaign, and he hoped that rebuilding Basic Black would add to the success of Abe's jobs program.

Abe's computer was open on the table next to him, and Will eyed it for a moment, but Abe soon turned and noticed Will standing there. Abe greeted Will with an affectionate handshake, as Will explained that he was there to show his support for John. When Abe stepped away to reply to a text message, Will pulled the flash drive from his pocket, and quietly sat down in Abe's chair. Just then, Lexie clapped her hand on Will's shoulder, and he nearly jumped out of his skin until he realized that she just wanted to thank him for being there.

John overheard, and also enthusiastically thanked Will for his support. The reporter interrupted to ask some follow-up questions with John, Abe, and Lexie. As the others moved to another table, Will sat down at the computer and quickly inserted the flash drive. Working swiftly, he found what he was looking for, removed the drive, and exhaled with relief.

When the interview was finished, John invited Will to stay for some hot chocolate, but Will replied that he couldn't stay. John again expressed his gratitude to Will for being there, and Will wished Abe the best of luck with the campaign. John and the Carvers watched Will leave, and they all agreed that despite his recent problems, the kid would be just fine. Outside, Will stared guiltily at the flash drive, then turned and left.

Abe thanked John, Salem's newest "local hero," for his endorsement, which Abe believed would give the campaign a big boost. Lexie added enthusiastically, "Up until now, my brother's been depending on his DiMera bag of dirty tricks. But after your endorsement, I do believe his campaign just took a hit those tricks can't fix!" Lexie threw her arms around John. Abe said that he was cautiously optimistic that he could win another term, and John gave his old friend an encouraging hug.

Over dinner and wine at the café in Horton Square, Nicole thanked E.J. for taking away her computer and cell phone. E.J. toasted to the two of them taking time to enjoy each other, and produced a velvet jewelry box. Nicole was thrilled to find a beautiful bracelet inside, and thanked him effusively. They each admitted that they had a lot to make up to the other for. Nicole maintained that she didn't want them to keep apologizing to one another about the past, because they were supposed to be starting fresh and being totally honest with each other.

E.J. agreed, and declared, "We make a good team. We're partners. That makes a big difference. I've never had a real partnership before, and it's something I'm definitely not going to just throw away." Nicole kissed him. When E.J.'s phone alerted him that he had a text message, Nicole tried to take the phone away like he had with hers. He playfully fought her off to read the message, and then told her that Will had just completed the errand that E.J. had sent him on.

E.J. rose to meet Will back at the mansion, and asked Nicole to hurry home as soon as she was finished at campaign headquarters. Nicole thanked E.J. again for the bracelet, and kissed him goodbye -- but then stopped to tell him, "Life is good, and I owe it all to you."

E.J. was working at the computer when Will returned to the mansion. Will tossed the flash drive onto the desk, and E.J. wasted no time inserting it into the laptop to take a look at the files. Will said, "I know you don't care, but I feel awful about doing this." E.J. cautioned Will against attempting to blackmail a DiMera again. E.J. added that he had held onto the knowledge that Will had tried to kill him for a very long time -- until the time to use it had arrived.

Will retorted sarcastically, "Okay, you won. You got me. Is that what you want? I don't have to feel good about any of this!" E.J. noted that Will had been able to perform the required task with minimal effort, and then pointed out, "You need to think about this. Think about how, under my tutelage, you might be able to learn so much about yourself, William -- so much about the world."

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Thursday, January 12, 2012
by Mike

At Carrie and Rafe's law office, Rafe sighed as he tried to fix the thermostat. Carrie entered the office, and she was surprised to see that Rafe was sweaty and shirtless. Rafe apologized, and he quickly put his tank top back on.

Rafe explained that the thermostat was broken, and he added that the windows had been painted shut. Carrie started to remove her suit jacket, and Rafe watched as she adjusted the strap on the slinky pink tank top that she was wearing. Rafe quickly changed the subject, and he informed Carrie that an acquaintance had asked him to investigate an arson case.

Rafe was convinced that the kid who had been accused of committing the arson was innocent. Rafe said that the boy was going to need a good lawyer, and he suggested that Carrie would be the perfect person for the job. Rafe sheepishly added that the family would not be able to afford to pay for a lawyer. Carrie agreed to help, and she started to look over the boy's case files.

Rafe tried to focus his attention on the thermostat, but he couldn't resist glancing at Carrie occasionally. Meanwhile, Carrie tried to focus on the case files, but Rafe's sweaty body distracted her. Carrie laughed uncomfortably, and she recalled that Kate had once claimed that, instead of sweating, women just glistened. Rafe laughed, and he assured Carrie that she was definitely sweating.

Later, Rafe received a phone call. After Rafe ended the call, he announced that he had found a witness who might be able to help with the investigation. Meanwhile, Carrie said that she had found some discrepancies in the case files, and she assured Rafe that she would be able to help the kid.

At Salem University, Austin thanked Abigail for helping him find his office building. Austin sighed, and he admitted that he was having trouble with the online grading process that the university had adopted. Austin joked that he was old enough to remember a time when students had used ink pens to write their assignments on pieces of paper. Abigail gasped, then she offered to help Austin with the website.

Later, Abigail excused herself, and she explained that she didn't want to be late for her work-study meeting. Abigail said that she didn't want to end up with a horrible work assignment. Austin announced that he had an opening for an assistant, and he offered Abigail the position. Abigail enthusiastically accepted the offer.

Austin called the work-study administrator to get the idea approved, then he offered to take Abigail to the campus cafeteria for lunch. Abigail suggested that the Brady Pub would be a better option, and she volunteered to order the food and take it back to Austin's office.

Austin said that Abigail's suggestion sounded like the start of a beautiful friendship. Abigail laughed, and she referred to Austin as Bogey. Austin was shocked that Abigail was familiar with Casablanca. Abigail explained that it was one of her top three favorite films of all time. Austin was impressed, and he noted that Abigail was full of surprises.

At the Horton Town Square, Sonny was surprised to see that Will was still in Salem. Will said that he had decided to stick around for a while. Sonny noted that Will had seemed eager to leave Salem earlier, and he wondered what had caused Will to change his mind. Will shrugged, and he theorized that he might have just been bored.

"I'm tired of being good little Will. You know, I'm tired of pretending, and I'm done -- I'm done with a lot of things," Will added. Will said that he was ready to try something new. Sonny was pleased, and he admitted that Will had seemed depressed earlier. Before Will could respond, Adrienne entered the town square, and she greeted Will and Sonny.

Adrienne reminded Sonny that she wanted him to save the bar tap from the Cheatin' Heart, then she excused herself. After Adrienne left, Will wondered why she wanted the bar tap. Will jokingly asked if Adrienne was going to hang the bar tap on a wall at the Kiriakis mansion. Sonny explained that Justin had given Adrienne a kegerator for Christmas, as a reminder of the Cheatin' Heart.

Will was impressed, and he noted that Sonny's parents seemed awesome. Sonny agreed, and he added that his parents always supported him. Later, Justin greeted Sonny and Will, and Sonny reiterated that he was grateful that he had two supportive parents.

"Actually, your mother and I are just happy about the concept. I mean, with the fire at the Java, and the fact that the owners decided not to reopen, I think you're filling a real void here in Salem," Justin said. Will agreed, and he added that the university students were already talking about it. Justin started to tell Will about one of Sonny's ideas, then he realized that he had forgotten the name of the idea.

Sonny explained that Justin was talking about slam poetry. "I want it to be successful, but more importantly, I want it to be a place where people can feel comfortable. You know, gay, straight, young...old," Sonny said, as he looked at Justin. Justin jokingly wondered why Sonny was staring at him.

Sonny excused himself, and he explained that he needed to call the coffeehouse designer. Sonny thanked Justin, and Will watched as they embraced. "No, actually, thank you, because taking the Cheatin' Heart off of your mother's hands means I'll actually be able to spend some time with her, and that should be nice," Justin said.

After Sonny left, Justin thanked Will for helping Sonny with the coffeehouse. Will noted that Justin was a really supportive father. Justin said that Sonny was an amazing kid. "Yeah...yeah, I just know that, you know, not every parent would be so...you know, accepting," Will said. Justin was confused for a moment, then he realized that Will was talking about the fact that Sonny was gay.

"It's just that Sonny is so cool with who he is, you know, and, um, it's just awesome that you and Adrienne seem to be, too," Will explained. Justin said that Sonny was a great person who had a lot of ambition and a big heart. Justin noted that a parent could not possibly ask for more than that. Will agreed, but he reiterated that some parents would not be as laid-back about their child's sexuality.

Justin wondered if that surprised Will. "No. Well...uh, yes, actually. You know, 'cause a lot of people are uncomfortable with, you know, others being out," Will explained. Justin agreed, but he added that he and Adrienne were not uncomfortable with Sonny's sexuality. Will quickly assured Justin that he was not uncomfortable with the fact that Sonny was gay, either.

Will stammered as he awkwardly tried to explain his point. Will said that it was cool that Sonny had his family's support, and he added that some people would not be as lucky if they found themselves in the same situation. "Will, it's not a situation. It's who he is. Nothing about Sonny's sexual orientation changes how I feel about him. I want him to fall in love with a good person who makes him happy. We all deserve that, Will," Justin said.

Will nodded, and Justin excused himself so that he could meet Adrienne. Justin started to leave, then he stopped himself, and he added that he and Adrienne wouldn't change a single thing about Sonny, even if they could. Will nodded, and he sighed as he watched Justin exit the town square.

Later, Sonny introduced Will to Mateo. Sonny explained that Mateo had invested in a hedge fund, and that he had made a lot of money in the process. Sonny added that Mateo was looking for a new project to invest in, and Will realized that Mateo was thinking about funding Sonny's coffeehouse. Mateo admitted that the idea had a lot of potential.

Mateo commended Will for his involvement with the sports website. Mateo said that Sonny had mentioned that Will had been the brains behind the entire project. Will tried to dismiss Sonny's claim, but Sonny insisted that Will was the one who had designed the whole website.

Sonny referenced a band, Foster the People, and he said that Mateo and Will had both recommended the band to Sonny within the same week. Will was shocked that Sonny had never heard of the band before, and he wondered how that was even possible. "'Cause he's, like, tone deaf. You are a disgrace to our team," Mateo told Sonny. Sonny defensively stated that he didn't have to listen to alt rock just because he was gay.

Mateo teased Sonny for referring to Foster the People as alt rock. Will laughed, and he and Mateo continued to joke about Sonny's taste in music. Later, Mateo started to tell Will about a new band, and he offered to send the band's music samples to Will's email address. Mateo sighed as he realized that he wouldn't be able to do that, and he explained that the music wasn't available for mass distribution.

Mateo offered to meet with Will the next day, and he said that Will could listen to the music samples at that time. Will eagerly agreed, then he quickly changed his mind. Will claimed that he was going to have to check his schedule first. Mateo shrugged, and he gave Sonny a puzzled glance. Meanwhile, Will stared at the ground in silence.

Sonny tried to change the subject. "So, I think I came up with a name for the coffeehouse. 'Common Grounds.' You know, this way, people can feel like it's a place where they don't have to clique up, you know?" Sonny said. Mateo said that he really liked the idea. Sonny wondered if Will liked the name. Will distractedly nodded, then he quickly excused himself.

After Will left, Mateo wondered if he had said something that had upset Will. Sonny advised Mateo not to take Will's behavior personally. Mateo said that he was just confused, and he pointed out that Will had been fine until Mateo had suggested that they could hook up the next day to listen to some music.

"It's just hard for him. He's just not there yet. He's just not there," Sonny tactfully stated. Later, Sonny introduced Mateo to Adrienne and Justin. Will watched enviously as he lurked nearby.

At the Horton house, Bo and Hope discussed the key that they had found in Alice and Tom's memorial plaque. "It's like Grandma had this whole separate life, even before Grandpa passed away. I always thought of them as having the most perfect marriage -- closer than close," Hope said. Bo assured Hope that Tom and Alice's marriage had been as close to perfect as it could have possibly been.

Hope changed the subject, and she reiterated that she was glad that Bo had agreed to go to therapy. "Hope, look, I would do anything for you -- for us. It's fifty minutes a week; in exchange, we get a better, stronger marriage. I think it's worth it," Bo said. Bo reluctantly added that he needed to talk to Hope about something.

Bo carefully suggested that Alice might not have wanted Hope to know about the key. "So, you agree with the attorney, and with Stefano, that some things should stay buried, and Gran never wanted anyone to know the truth. Is that what you're telling me?" Hope wondered. Bo said that he just wanted Hope to be happy. Hope said that she wasn't going to be happy until she knew the truth.

"Gran and I were very, very close, Bo. Ever since I was a little girl...we could communicate without ever saying a word to each other. She'd be baking in the kitchen, I'd be standing next to her, and all she had to do was just look at me, and I knew what she was thinking; I knew what she needed from me," Hope said, as she stared at a picture of Alice.

"And you know what else I know...without her saying it? If she never wanted anyone to find that key, she would have tossed it in the river, but she put it inside the plaque, where it wasn't likely to be found, but could be. Now, there is a reason for that," Hope added. Bo wondered if Hope was suggesting that Alice could see into the future. Hope assumed that Bo was patronizing her, but Bo assured her that he was not.

"She couldn't have known how it would happen, and she never would've known that it would be us. She put that key there for a reason, and until I figure out what that reason is, I'm not dropping it. This isn't going away for me any time soon, Brady," Hope said. Bo noted that Hope was like a dog with a bone. Hope agreed, but she warned Bo that he might want to think of a more flattering analogy the next time.

Bo said that he was worried that the mystery was going to drive Hope crazy. Hope said that giving up would drive her even crazier. Bo abruptly caved in, and he agreed to help Hope solve the mystery. Hope insisted that she and Bo would be unstoppable together. Before Bo could respond, he received a call about a robbery suspect, and he and Hope rushed off to investigate.

Later, at the Brady Pub, Hope and Bo celebrated the fact that they had apprehended their robbery suspect. Bo was amazed that someone had been stupid enough to rob a pharmacy in the middle of the day. Bo changed the subject, and he joked that it was time to obsess about Alice's key again. Hope recalled that Austin had told her about a website that allowed users to research financial public records.

Bo pointed out that Hope was going to need a name, and he suggested that Alice had probably used a pseudonym. Hope agreed, and she and Bo glanced at each other knowingly as they realized that they knew what Alice would have used as her pseudonym. Hope excitedly opened her laptop, and she started to search for the website.

"Got it -- safe deposit box at Salem National, under 'A. Grayson.' The only thing is...this isn't where Gran did her banking, and there was no mention of the safe deposit box in her will, or in any of the other paperwork related to her estate," Hope said. Hope added that she was sure that the key belonged to that safe deposit box.

"What is in this safe deposit box that Gran went to such great lengths to hide...and to keep a secret?" Hope wondered.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

At the Horton house, Hope and Bo filled in Jennifer about the safe deposit box key they'd found. They explained that none of them had known about Alice's account at that bank because it wasn't where she'd usually done her banking, and she'd kept the account and box under her maiden name -- but Bo and Hope had an appointment later that day with the bank manager. Jennifer was utterly floored that her and Hope's grandmother had kept so many secrets from them, because it was so unlike Alice.

As Bo went to answer the doorbell, Hope admitted, "I have felt like Gran has been guiding me to this point for months now. I don't want to let her down." Jennifer tried to reassure her cousin that she could never do that.

Bo then led Abe into the living room, and Hope asked Abe how the mayoral campaign was going. With a confident grin, Abe declared that since E.J. could no longer sling mud at John Black, the people had begun to realize that E.J. was a single-issue candidate -- and Abe stood a much better chance of winning. Bo and Hope wanted to know more about Abe's new jobs program, but Abe wouldn't reveal any details until he was ready to unveil it.

When the women were alone, Hope inquired about how things were going with Jennifer and the situation with Jack and Daniel. Jennifer asserted that she was fickle for not being able to make up her mind, and she hated leaving the two men in limbo while they waited. Hope supportively contended that Jennifer was in a complicated, difficult situation. Jennifer informed Hope that both men had walked away.

Jennifer added that she wished things could be easy, like they seemed for Bo and Hope. After reminding Jennifer that relationships were not easy, Hope confided that she and Bo were going to therapy with Marlena. Jennifer was surprised, and Hope admitted that Bo didn't like talking about his feelings. Jennifer said that Jack didn't either. Hope asserted that even the most solid couples had issues.

As Bo and Hope were leaving for the bank a little later, Abe offered do anything he could to help. After the Bradys left, Abe and Jennifer sat down to discuss campaign strategy. Jennifer proposed that Abe announce his jobs plan at one of the factories that could reopen because of the program. Abe liked the idea, but worried that it would seem like just a "photo op." He pointed out that the recession had hit the area hard, and people needed answers and help, not just another political show.

Abe continued that he wanted to ensure that his program had tax incentives for companies to move their manufacturing plants to Salem, which would create jobs there. A beaming Jennifer declared that if the voters could see how passionately devoted Abe was to their city, he would win the election right then.

While Bo and Hope were waiting in the bank manager's office, Hope paced anxiously. Bo urged his wife to relax, but she fretted that whatever was inside the safe deposit box might only lead to more questions. At last Alex Simpson, the manager, entered, and shook Bo and Hope's hands. Hope explained that she was the executor of her grandmother's estate, and Hope had recently discovered that Alice had a safe deposit box under her maiden name at that branch that hadn't been listed under her original estate.

Hope produced the key, and asked if she could have the box, since legally, it belonged to her. "Actually, it doesn't, because the safety deposit box didn't belong just to your grandmother," Alex replied, and then explained that there were two names on the account -- Alice's and that of the other owner -- and both parties had to be present in order to open the box. "So unless we know who she shared the box with, this key is useless to us," a discouraged Hope concluded.

In Horton Square, Nicole insisted to E.J. that she was far too busy to take the self-defense class he'd arranged for her. E.J. divulged that he also wanted Nicole to spy a bit on Quinn, since E.J. had invested in the spa. Nicole grinned mischievously, and willingly agreed.

Across the square at the café, Sami and Rafe relished the half-hour they had to eat lunch together. Sami asked Rafe how it was to have Carrie for a boss, and he assured her that it was fine. Rafe wanted to know if Kate was treating Sami all right. Sami told him about the concept she'd pitched to Kate, who'd deemed the idea "genius" and had actually listened respectfully to Sami's opinions. Rafe was suspicious that it wouldn't last, but Sami reassured him that she had gone into the situation with her eyes wide open.

As Sami and Rafe were hugging, she spotted E.J. emerging from the spa. Even though E.J. didn't look in their direction, Sami instantly became uncomfortable and pulled away from Rafe. Rafe asked what was wrong, and Sami claimed she just had a headache. Rafe thoughtfully rubbed his wife's temples, and massaged the pressure points in her hands. As they talked about how stressful Sami's new job could be, Rafe jokingly offered to help her look at pictures of potential models as a way to help out.

Although Sami whacked Rafe in the head, she said that she appreciated his support. Later, Sami expressed her pride in her son for going to college, but admitted that she was worried about how hard Will seemed to be taking the breakup with Gabi. Rafe asserted that Will had a big heart, like his mother, but his broken heart would eventually heal.

When E.J. called, Will was sitting alone at the Brady Pub and looking miserable. E.J. asked Will to stay there, because he had another job for Will. Will tried to leave before E.J. got there, but he hadn't even made it to the door when E.J. walked in. Will reiterated how much he'd hated having to steal the files from Abe at E.J.'s behest. E.J. merely replied, "That's politics, my boy." He advised Will to think about his assignments as an apology for shooting E.J. years earlier. Will demanded to know what E.J. wanted.

After admonishing the boy for his bad attitude, E.J. suggested that Will had gotten at least a small thrill when he'd stealthily copied the files onto the flash drive. Will refused to respond. E.J. then instructed Will to meet a man at the café in Horton Square, and carry out the instructions detailed in the envelope that the man would give to Will. Will didn't understand why E.J. couldn't meet the man. E.J. guessed that Will might actually enjoy the assignment, then clapped the lad on the shoulder, and left.

Rafe and Sami were just finishing lunch when Will arrived at the square, so he hid while the pair put on their coats to leave. Rafe informed his wife that he was about to meet with Jennifer and Abe about a potential security job on Abe's campaign. Sami wished him luck, and they kissed goodbye.

Will emerged from behind a tree, and spotted a man dining alone and reading a newspaper at the café. He approached the man and confirmed his identity, and asked if the man had something for Will to give to E.J. The man removed an envelope from his pocket, folded the newspaper around it, and then walked away. Will took the envelope out of the paper, and exhaled with relief.

At Intensity Spa, Nicole was dismayed to learn that Quinn would be her martial arts instructor, but he informed her that he was the only one who gave private sessions. Nicole noted that E.J. had booked the appointment for her. "He seems to think I need to protect myself from people like you," she added with a sardonic laugh.

Quinn reassured her that he was seeing a therapist, because he was truly trying to become a better person -- and his new business was completely legitimate. He pointed out that Nicole obviously believed people could change, or she wouldn't be with E.J. Nicole refused to discuss her relationship, so Quinn began her lesson.

In a massage room at the spa, Madison moaned with pleasure as Brady massaged her back. Brady complained that they had, in fact, booked a couple's massage. Quinn popped his head in, and apologetically explained that the massage therapists were running late, but he would discount Brady and Madison's massage. After Quinn left, Madison locked the door, and seductively instructed Brady to drop his towel. He happily obliged. Once Brady was facedown on the table, Madison rubbed his back, and things quickly became amorous.

A while later, Brady dressed in a spa robe, and left a blissfully purring Madison on the massage table to step outside for some water. He was surprised to run into Nicole, taking a break from her lesson with Quinn. Nicole noticed that something about Brady seemed different, and he pointed out that he was sober. As Nicole chuckled, Madison emerged from the massage room, and Nicole quickly realized why Brady seemed so different.

After Brady left to look for some fruit to snack on, Nicole remarked that Madison had vowed never to hook up with Brady. Madison countered that Nicole had also denied wanting to be involved with E.J. Nicole admitted that she would always care about Brady, and she was glad to see that he was someone who made him so happy. "He deserves it, and it's something that he's always wanted -- to find a woman who could truly be free to love him back," Nicole added.

Brady returned with the fruit, and found Nicole and Madison laughing and chatting. That seemed to make him a bit uncomfortable, but they claimed they hadn't been discussing him. Madison said goodbye, and returned to the massage room. Nicole declared that she liked Madison. Brady noted that Nicole looked happy, and she admitted that she was. Nicole tried to convince Brady that E.J. had changed, although Brady was skeptical. Nicole expressed her belief that things would work out for her and E.J.

Later, after their couple's massage, Madison thanked Brady for distracting her from having to decide what to do about Victor's job offer. Brady offered to give Madison some pointers on how to deal with the formidable Victor Kiriakis in exchange for her telling him what she and Nicole had been laughing about. Madison refused, but opened her robe and kissed Brady to keep him from thinking about it anymore.

After a martial arts lesson in which Nicole vigorously pummeled Quinn, who was wearing protective gear, he proclaimed that she would soon be able to take on almost anyone. Nicole said that she actually did believe people could change. "E.J.'s changed, I've changed, and maybe you can, too," she admitted.

Sami was doing some work at the Brady Pub later when Kate called her. "Yeah, actually, I have the file with me right now. You want me to bring it by your house? Yes, of course. I'm on my way," Sami said, rolling her eyes. Sami grabbed her things and hurried out.

As Will arrived at the DiMera mansion, a TV cameraman was just leaving. Will removed a set of car keys from the envelope, and tossed them onto E.J.'s desk. He demanded to know why E.J. had made it seem like he had asked Will to do something illegal. E.J. asked if Will had enjoyed driving the sports car, and Will admitted that he had. After describing the car's impressive features, Will pronounced, "It's probably the coolest car that I'll ever drive." Tossing the keys back to Will, E.J. corrected him, "Or the coolest car you ever had. It's your car, William. You own it."

Will tried to refuse to accept it, but E.J. wouldn't take the keys from him, so Will placed them next to the chessboard. E.J. explained that the car was a perk of the job, because while Will was in public, he represented E.J. and his campaign. Will grudgingly accepted the lavish gift. "So -- we understand each other?" E.J. asked. "Yeah, we do. It's just that no one has ever given me anything like this before," Will replied. E.J. emphasized that a sports car was just the beginning of what he could put within Will's reach. E.J. picked the keys up and handed them to Will -- just as Sami entered. "What the hell?" Sami demanded.

When Rafe met Abe and Jennifer at the Horton house, Jennifer explained that Abe was about to announce a big plan that they wanted to keep under wraps. She continued that they wanted to hire Rafe because the crowds for Abe's events were getting larger, and the current security couldn't handle crowds that large. They wanted Rafe to cover Abe's private detail, and consult with the current security people about crowd control. Rafe informed them that although he and Carrie had just started a new business, he thought he could fit Abe's work into his schedule.

Abe and Jennifer welcomed Rafe aboard. When Jennifer said that Abe could then focus on strategy and policy initiatives, Rafe noted that the two of them seemed like they knew what it was going to take to keep Abe in office. Abe replied that one could never take anything for granted when running against a DiMera. Rafe began to outline ways to keep the people fifteen to twenty feet away from the stage.

Just then, Jennifer got an alarming text message, and quickly switched on the television. Abe, Rafe, and Jennifer watched in dismay as E.J. described "his" plan to increase jobs by establishing tax incentives for manufacturing companies to move their operations to Salem, and use some of the abandoned warehouses and factories along the waterfront to do so. Jennifer exclaimed, "This can't be happening, Abe!" A furious Abe wondered, "How the hell did DiMera get his hands on my plan?"

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