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 Recaps for The week of May 28, 2012
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Monday, May 28, 2012
by Mike

At Common Grounds, Cameron received a phone call from someone named Sarah. Cameron agreed to meet Sarah later that day, unaware that Abigail was listening. After Cameron ended the call, Abigail demanded to know why he had neglected to mention the fact that he had a girlfriend.

Cameron admitted that he should have mentioned Sarah earlier. Cameron apologized to Abigail, and he promised to make it up to her. Cameron grabbed Abigail's hand, and she wondered where he was taking her. Cameron said that he was taking Abigail to see Sarah.

Later, at the hospital, an elderly woman greeted Cameron. Cameron was happy to see that Sarah was doing well, and he said that he looked forward to dancing with her. Cameron introduced Abigail to Sarah, and he explained that Sarah was one of Lexie's patients. Cameron said that he had agreed to keep an eye on Lexie's patients after she had taken her leave of absence.

Sarah joked that Cameron had seemingly found a new dance partner, and she excused herself. After Sarah left, Abigail apologized for jumping to conclusions. Cameron said that he had enjoyed seeing Abigail's reaction. "Now I know you might like me as much as I like you," Cameron added.

Later, at the Horton Town Square, Abigail commended Cameron for agreeing to take care of Lexie's patients. Cameron wished that he could do more to help Lexie. Abigail said that she had enjoyed spending the day with Cameron, and he agreed. Cameron leaned in to kiss Abigail's cheek. After a brief pause, Cameron gave Abigail a second kiss on the lips.

Outside the Brady Pub, Nicole tried to comfort Rafe. Nicole optimistically suggested that Rafe and Carrie could still end up together. Nicole pointed to herself as a prime example of someone who wasn't going to spend the rest of her life with the father of her child.

Rafe appreciated Nicole's attempt to cheer him up, but he insisted that Carrie's situation was entirely different. Rafe started to think of a way to compare E.J. and Austin. Nicole helpfully stated that E.J. was mean, nasty, and evil. Rafe nodded, and he said that Austin was none of those things. Rafe admitted that Austin was a good guy, and he acknowledged that Carrie had been in love with Austin for half of her life.

Rafe asked Nicole to give him some privacy. Before Nicole could leave, Carrie approached the pub. Nicole quickly excused herself, and Carrie wondered if Rafe would ever be able to forgive her. Rafe said that Carrie had only been trying to make her marriage work, and he assured her that he didn't blame her for sleeping with Austin. Carrie admitted that she had been thinking about Rafe the entire time.

"I just want to be like Sami right now. I wish I could just be like Sami. I wish I could be selfish and impulsive," Carrie admitted. Rafe insisted that Carrie did not possess those negative qualities, and he said that was one of the reasons that he and Austin had fallen in love with her.

Carrie said that her heart was telling her to do one thing, and her head was telling her to do something else. Carrie begged Rafe to give her some advice. Rafe admitted that he still wanted to be with Carrie, but he added that he didn't want to break up a family. Rafe said that Carrie, Austin, and the baby belonged together. Carrie tearfully conceded that Rafe was right, but she added that she would never stop loving him.

At the DiMera mansion, Stefano received a phone call from the coin manufacturer's grandson, Matteo. "I found an invoice that verifies that Santo DiMera hired my grandfather to create a coin -- an entire coin," Matteo said. Stefano instructed Matteo to find out more about the code that was engraved on the coin.

Later, Stefano received another phone call from Matteo. Matteo revealed that he had learned that his grandfather had stored some private records at a country house. Stefano instructed Matteo to retrieve the records, and he ended the call. "My dear, dear father...what have you done?" Stefano muttered, as he inspected the coin.

At the Horton Town Square, E.J. wondered how Stefano had learned that E.J. and Sami had slept together the night that Johnny had disappeared. Will shrugged and told E.J. to ask Stefano. Will started to walk away, but E.J. grabbed Will's arm to prevent him from leaving. E.J. demanded answers, and he warned that he would get those answers out of Will one way or another.

"Okay, so...I was at the mansion a while back...uh, working on some election stuff. And Stefano came in, and he pulled me in the library, and he said that he knew about you and my mom. And then he said the secret was going to ruin my family eventually, so I needed to do something about it. Anyway, he convinced me that it'd be best if the secret got out. He, uh, threatened me," Will explained.

E.J. wondered why Will hadn't asked him for help. Will shrugged and admitted that he had been afraid. E.J. asked Will to continue. "Well, I didn't want to tell Rafe to his face, so...one day, I was talking to my friend Sonny about everything at the pub, and Rafe came in. And I realized that that would've been the perfect opportunity, so I just made sure that he overheard," Will explained, as his voice wavered slightly.

Will started to apologize, but E.J. advised him to shut up. "She was my life...and now I've lost her -- I've lost everything, William -- because of you," E.J. said. Will insisted that it wasn't his fault, and he said that he had never intended to hurt E.J. Will added that he had not had any choice in the matter, because Stefano had forced him to reveal the truth. Will recalled that Stefano had referred to Nicole as E.J.'s weakness.

"You had choices; you chose the wrong one, and you cost me my wife! You cost me my child! And you're gonna regret that for the rest of your life," E.J. promised. Before Will could respond, E.J. stormed off. After E.J. left, Will placed a phone call to Stefano. "Listen, um...something happened, and E.J. knows -- he knows what you made me do," Will warned Stefano.

Later, Nicole greeted Will. Nicole noted that Will looked like he was about to jump out of his own skin, and she wondered if he was all right. Will assured Nicole that he was fine, and he explained that he had upset E.J. earlier. "You want a little piece of advice? Run! Get as far away from the DiMeras as possible," Nicole urged Will.

Will said that it wasn't that simple. Nicole wondered if Will wanted to talk about what had happened. Will politely declined Nicole's offer, and he abruptly excused himself. Nicole tried to stop Will, but he ignored her. Meanwhile, Austin approached Nicole, and he stated that she was the only person in Salem who could help him.

Austin explained that Carrie was waiting for him at the Brady Pub. Austin said that he wanted to get Carrie a gift, and he wondered if Nicole could recommend a store that sold maternity clothes. Nicole wanted to buy Rafe some extra time with Carrie, so she offered to help Austin look for the perfect gift.

Meanwhile, back outside the Brady Pub, Carrie pointed out that Salem was a small town. Carrie predicted that she and Rafe would see each other regularly, and that her heart would break every single time. Rafe joked that he could turn himself into a hermit, but Carrie refused to ask him to make sacrifices for her sake. Carrie asked Rafe for a hug. After the hug ended, Carrie tearfully reminded Rafe that she loved him.

Before Rafe could respond, Nicole and Austin arrived. After a brief conversation, Carrie and Austin entered the pub. Nicole started to ask if Rafe was all right, but she quickly realized that was a stupid question. Nicole excused herself so that Rafe could have some privacy.

Inside the pub, Austin showed Carrie the gift that he had purchased. Austin thanked Carrie for giving their marriage a second chance, and for giving him the opportunity to be a father. Austin excused himself so that he could find some menus. Carrie glanced out the window, and she saw that Rafe had been watching her and Austin. Carrie struggled to contain her emotions as Rafe walked away.

At the Carver house, Abe told Bo and Hope that Lexie was napping. Hope wondered how Abe was doing. "Honestly? The days are -- the days are okay. I keep myself busy. I get Lexie her medicine...and fix her meals. The nights are, um -- the nights are the worst. You know, I lie there...and I watch Lexie sleep, and I watch her chest rise and fall, and I think -- I think, 'How the hell am I going to do this without her?'" Abe said.

Abe changed the subject, and he started to talk about Stefano. Bo was upset that Stefano had managed to escape again. "Well, you know what, guys? Maybe it was the universe's way of saying Lexie needs more time with her father," Hope theorized. Abe promised that Stefano would eventually be held accountable for his actions.

Before Abe could elaborate, Lexie entered the room, and she greeted Bo and Hope. Lexie apologized for all of the horrible things that Stefano had done to Hope and Bo, and she assured them that she didn't condone Stefano's actions. Bo and Hope insisted that they didn't blame Lexie for Stefano's misdeeds.

Abe was eager to change the subject, so he excused himself so that he could get everyone a slice of cheesecake. Hope and Lexie started to talk about Theo's new obsession with hiking, but Abe soon returned, and he wondered where the "cake cutter thing" was. Lexie smiled and shook her head as she answered Abe.

"My poor husband. I've been making lists and instructions for him...for when I'm gone. You know, little things like where to put the Christmas decorations, and how to tuck Theo in just perfectly at night, and I -- you know, I mean, I'm sure he'll be fine. I just -- I just worry about him," Lexie said with a sigh. Bo assured Lexie that there was no need to worry, because the entire Brady clan was going to be there for Abe and Theo.

Lexie was pleased to hear that. "After I'm gone, promise me you won't let Abe shut himself away from the world -- that you'll make sure he still sees his friends, and takes Theo to the park. And if he meets a woman who makes him feel whole again, encourage him to love again, okay?" Lexie quietly asked Bo and Hope. Bo nodded at Lexie, and Hope tearfully agreed.

Later, Hope could tell that Lexie was getting tired, so she and Bo decided to leave. Lexie hugged Bo, and she asked him to take care of Hope. Lexie turned to Hope, and she said that she was lucky and blessed to have Hope as a friend. Hope referred to Lexie as her sister, and she tearfully hugged Lexie.

After Bo and Hope left, Abe took the dirty dishes to the kitchen. When Abe returned, he noticed that Lexie was wincing in pain. Lexie realized that Abe had reentered the room, so she forced a smile and acted like everything was fine.

Abe wasn't convinced, and he told Lexie that she didn't need to hide the truth about her condition. "It's getting worse -- I can feel it. My time's almost up. I'm not ready. I'm not ready. I'm not ready. I'm not ready," Lexie admitted, as she broke down in Abe's arms.

At the Horton Town Square, Bo could tell that Hope was upset about something. "You know what bothers me more than anything? One of my best girlfriends in the entire world -- a woman that I can't imagine not having in my life anymore -- she's dying, but instead of worrying about her day in and day out, you know what I'm thinking about? Stefano. Damn it, it makes me -- it just makes me furious that he's managed to take my focus away from someone I love. I hate that man," Hope said.

Bo hugged Hope, and he promised that Stefano was going to get what he deserved. Bo excused himself so that he could go to the police station. Hope kissed Bo, and she walked away. After Hope left, Bo reached for his hip holster. After checking his gun, Bo knelt down and checked a second gun that was strapped to his ankle.

At the DiMera mansion, E.J. stormed into the living room. E.J. insisted that Stefano had destroyed his life. Stefano sighed and told E.J. to stop being melodramatic. "Pardon me if I'm wrong, but...you know, you have been in love with a lot of women, and...you know, Elvis, that includes Nicole, of course. And when you finished with them, you walked away very happy," Stefano said with a shrug.

E.J. insisted that he loved Nicole, and he refused to let Stefano trivialize their relationship. "Tell me something...if you love Nicole so much, why did you cheat on her with Samantha? Elvis, you were unfaithful -- you made a choice -- and now, you're looking for somebody else to blame for something that you did," Stefano pointed out.

E.J. continued to insist that Stefano had cost him the love of his life. "Really? Well, maybe there's a good reason why you keep falling into bed with Samantha. Maybe it's because you love her more. I think that's the reason why Nicole will not give you a second chance," Stefano theorized. E.J. firmly stated that Stefano was wrong, but Stefano wasn't convinced.

E.J. wondered why Stefano had sabotaged his relationship with Nicole. Stefano said that Nicole was low-class, and he matter-of-factly stated that she wasn't right for E.J. Stefano explained that he had taken matters into his own hands, and he added that Will had been happy to help. E.J. vowed to make Stefano and Will pay for their actions.

Stefano dismissively stated that E.J. needed to move on with his life, and he pointed out that Nicole had already done so. E.J. countered that he wasn't Stefano's son, and he wondered why Stefano still cared about his love life. Stefano said that he still wanted the best for E.J. E.J. insisted that Nicole was the only woman who matched that description.

"You think you're some sort of god. You're not God -- you're the devil," E.J. said. Stefano impatiently stated that he was sick of E.J.'s incessant whining. Stefano started to leave, but E.J. blocked his path. E.J. acknowledged that Lexie had asked for peace, and he said that he was going to respect her wishes. "You destroyed my life, so when the time is right, I'm going to destroy yours," E.J. added.

Stefano seemed amused, and he calmly exited the room.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

At the coffeehouse, Jack and Jennifer celebrated their wedding anniversary with Abigail. When Cameron arrived, he marched over to Abigail and complimented her on how beautiful she looked. As Abigail blushed, her parents each raised an eyebrow. Seeing the wedding cake topper on the table, Cameron apologized for interrupting the celebration.

Jack insisted that Cameron join them, noting that he wanted to know why Cameron had kept his daughter out late. Abigail was embarrassed, but Jack stated that if Cameron were an honest man, he would not mind answering some questions. After Jack rattled off a few questions about Cameron's life, Jack asked Cameron whether he planned on going out with his daughter again.

"The last question? The truth is I don't know if we're going out again. You see, sir, it's up to your daughter," Cameron said. As Abigail grinned, Jack and Jennifer seemed impressed with Cameron's response. When Cameron's phone beeped, he grabbed it nervously to check the message on it. Cameron mumbled that the message was about tests he had ordered at the hospital. As Jack and Jennifer realized that Cameron was a doctor, Abigail added that Cameron was worried about his sister Lexie.

Realizing that Cameron and Abigail needed some time alone, Jack suggested to Jennifer that they enjoy the weather outside with a walk. After Abigail's parents left, Cameron noted that it was nice to see a happily married couple. Abigail laughed and explained that her parents were divorced but also engaged to be married again. When Cameron asked Abigail out, she asked him to join her at her parents' anniversary dinner.

In Horton Town Square, Jennifer asked Jack whether there would be any more drama in their lives. Jack noted that the drama was fun, and Jennifer thought about their adventures together. With a smile, Jennifer noted that their life together was good. "Do you think that we are settled down?" Jennifer asked. Before Jack could answer, he received an email on his phone. "No. I don't think that we have settled down quite yet," Jack countered as he read the message on his phone.

Jack showed Jennifer the email, and he explained that E.J. was quietly running for governor. "This state cannot afford to have a governor named Elvis. I'm going to stop him," Jack vowed. Jack started to make some phone calls, then shook his head. Jack noted to Jennifer that it was their anniversary and that nothing was more important to him than her.

"No. I get this. I get you because it's me. I want you to do this. Go. Go after the story. Make your calls. Go. Stop him," Jennifer said firmly. Jack promised Jennifer that he would not let any story destroy their lives again. Nodding, Jennifer said that she trusted Jack.

In the Carver living room, Lexie laughed and informed E.J. that Theo had done yoga poses at soccer practice. With a smile, Lexie asked E.J. to promise that he would attend Theo's soccer games and make sure that Theo spent time with Sydney and Johnny. With a sigh, Lexie lamented that she had not been able to provide a little brother for Theo.

Lexie talked about how difficult it had been to raise Theo, and she explained that she was worried about Abe because he would be raising Theo on his own. Lexie added, "Next to Theo and me, being mayor was the most important thing in the world to him. And you took that away from him. I'm asking you to give it back." Stunned, E.J. noted that he had been elected to office and that if he resigned, Abe would not be reinstated because of the ballot-tampering scandal.

Lexie asked E.J. to clear Abe and Jennifer's names, resign from office, and endorse Abe for mayor. Shaking his head, E.J. noted that he did not have a personal life and only had his fledgling political career to fill his time. Joking, Lexie said that E.J. was playing the mayor and should return to his former life in the DiMera organization. Skirting the truth, E.J. countered that his relationship with Stefano was not the same.

Suspicious, Lexie asked E.J. what was going on with E.J. With a sigh, E.J. noted that he could not do what Lexie wanted. Lexie assured E.J. that he was not Stefano. Chuckling, E.J. explained that he was taking a break from Stefano. Lexie pushed E.J. to talk to her, and she joked that she wanted to help E.J. while she still had time. With tears brimming in his eyes, E.J. softly said that Lexie could not fix his problem with Stefano.

"I can't change the DiMera name because I'm not a DiMera. Stefano is not my father. I'm not a DiMera. You're not my sister," E.J. said. Misunderstanding E.J.'s meaning, Lexie noted that Stefano had to have done something terrible for E.J. to declare that Stefano was not his father. Shaking his head, E.J. corrected Lexie and explained that he was speaking literally. E.J. informed Lexie that Stefano had disowned E.J. when he learned that E.J. was not his biological son.

When Lexie noted that Stefano would come around, E.J. argued that he did not want to reconcile with Stefano because he had forced Will to break up E.J.'s relationship with Nicole. Upset, Lexie announced that she would talk to Stefano. E.J. grabbed Lexie and pulled her back down onto the couch. E.J. asked Lexie not to confront Stefano.

"I did not want to tell you. You forced it out of me," E.J. said. When Lexie reminded E.J. that he could tell her anything, E.J. said, "I didn't want you to know that you're not my sister." "The hell I'm not," Lexie countered. Lexie stressed that E.J. was her brother, and nothing would change that.

"I have fought with you, mourned with you, worried about you. You've been an uncle to my son, you've called a truce with my husband, and more importantly, you are here for me when I need you the most. That's what makes you my brother. Not some markers on a paternity test," Lexie said. Lexie stressed that nothing could sever her connection to E.J. and that he was stuck with her forever. Lexie pecked E.J.'s face with kisses until he laughed and hugged her close.

Lexie curled up with her back against E.J. and his arms wrapped around her. With a sigh, Lexie noted that she did not like that all her friends hated her family. Lexie noted that the pain of her family's notoriety was bearable because of her relationship with E.J. "I don't believe it was some twist of fate that brought you to our family. I believe that God brought you to us. I believe that God decided that you and I should be brother and sister," Lexie said.

"You are the sweetest sister a man could ever ask for," E.J. said. Lexie reminded E.J. that Stefano was alone, and that she did not want E.J. to end up alone like Stefano. "It's sort of the ultimate irony, isn't it? I'm not his son, but I am just like him," E.J. commented. Lexie asked about E.J.'s children, and E.J. informed Lexie that he had not told anyone about his paternity except for her.

With a sigh, E.J. told Lexie that he had pursued the office of mayor so that his children could be proud of him. E.J. noted that his job was keeping him going, and that he could not bear to resign from office. Nodding, Lexie admitted that she understood. With a smile, E.J. offered to get the charges against Abe and Jennifer dropped. "Thank you! I knew asking you to give up being the mayor was a long shot but I had to try, right?" Lexie joked.

"I don't deserve a sister like you," E.J. said as he kissed his sister goodbye. Lexie stared up at E.J. and the two stood there speechless, fighting their tears. E.J. left, and Lexie broke down crying. Outside on Lexie's porch, E.J. was overcome and began to weep.

Will walked into the DiMera mansion and called out for E.J. As Will stood in the foyer, Sami walked up to the threshold of the open door. Will was surprised to see Sami. Sami explained that she was looking for Will. Will was reluctant to talk to his mother in the DiMera mansion, but Sami was anxious to speak to her son and followed him inside the mansion.

Will noted that there was nothing to say because when Sami walked out on him, she had made her feelings clear. Shaking her head, Sami countered that she had not been thinking when she had walked out on Will. Sami begged Will to listen to her, but he denied her request, noting that he needed to find E.J. Undeterred, Sami blocked Will's exit and admitted that when she had walked out on Will, that was the worst thing she could have done to him.

Sami apologized and asked Will to talk to her about his struggle. Will admitted that he had just figured out that he was gay. When Sami stumbled on her words, she noted that Will had thrown the admission in her face when he was angry. "If you were trying to make a point that I was not paying attention, you succeeded," Sami said. Angry at Sami's choice of words, Will argued that he did not come out because he wanted Sami's attention. Will accused Sami of making his sexuality all about her.

Angry, Will started to leave. "You get to walk out, and it's not okay when I do it?" Sami joked. With an amused grin on his face, Will stopped dead in his tracks. "I love you with everything I've got. Unconditionally. So now I know something about you that I didn't know before. But that does not change how I feel about you," Sami said. When Will asked if Sami was okay with him being gay, she admitted that she was not.

Will groaned, and Sami asked him to let her finish speaking. Sami explained that she was fine with Will's sexuality, but she was worried about the bullies of the world. Will stressed that Sami did not need to worry. "The world is changing. I mean slowly, but families are all over realizing that someone they love is gay," Will said.

"I hope they handle it better than I did," Sami responded. Sami noted that she was worried that she had caused Will shame or fear based on her initial response to his confession. Sami asked Will for another chance. "You drive me insane, but it's only because of how much that I love you," Will said. Overjoyed, Sami hugged her son and told him she loved him.

"I just want you to be happy. I want you to be so happy, and I just don't want anybody to ever hurt you," Sami said. Chuckling, Will countered, "Everybody gets hurt sometimes." "I know, but I don't want to hurt you. I don't want to hurt you ever again. I hope you know that," Sami said. Nodding, Will admitted that he believed Sami.

Since Sami and Will were reconciled, she pushed him to talk to her about E.J. Will was reluctant to explain what had happened, but Sami urged him to talk to her about what E.J. had done. With his head bowed, Will admitted that E.J. was not the bad guy "this time." Will admitted that he was the reason that Rafe had learned about Sami's affair with E.J.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Abe was surprised to see E.J. in Horton Square, since E.J. had just been with Lexie. A depressed E.J. admitted that he'd left because Lexie had been tired. He added that Lexie had asked him to do something for her that he just hadn't been able to promise, which was to step aside so that Abe could be mayor.

Abe said that he wouldn't have let E.J. do it, anyway, although he understood that Lexie had only asked because she thought that if Abe were mayor, he wouldn't have time to grieve. "As if anything could help me get over losing the love of my life," Abe added, his voice breaking a little. He then left the square.

At the Carvers', Stefano fussed over Lexie, making sure she was comfortable on the sofa with a warm blanket. Lexie could tell that her father hadn't been sleeping, and guessed that it was because of her. Stefano said that his only concern was taking care of Lexie, and making sure she had everything she needed -- whatever her heart desired. Lexie expressed her wishes that Stefano not use his grief after she was gone to push others away, and to let others see the caring, loving side of him that she got to see.

Lexie added that she had always known he would do anything to protect her from harm. She asserted that Stefano had helped teach her the importance of family. "I want to die knowing that the people I love aren't at each other's throats," Lexie declared, then implored Stefano, "Promise me that you won't hurt the people I love any more than you would dream of hurting me." Stefano promised to try, and vowed to always be there for Theodore -- although he couldn't promise the same for Abe, for as Stefano reminded Lexie with a chuckle, "You know he despises me."

Lexie urged her father to put aside his differences with Abe and try to get along with him, for her sake and Theo's. Stefano promised to try if Abe would. Lexie suddenly winced from the pain of a headache. Stefano said that he would go, and encouraged her to get some rest. "I'm sorry for anything that I've ever done that hurt you," Stefano declared earnestly. Lexie embraced her father, and told him that she loved him. Stefano helped his daughter to the stairs, and offered to help her the rest of the way up, but she declined. Stefano's eyes filled with tears as he watched her climb the stairs.

Abe returned just then, and the two men eyed each other warily. Stefano told Abe about his promise to Lexie about trying to get along, but Abe wasn't interested, because he knew that Stefano was the reason Lexie was dying. Abe explained that he couldn't stop thinking about how the toxic gases in the tunnels had caused Lexie's brain tumor. Stefano swore that he'd had no idea that Andre had been keeping Lexie in the tunnels, or even that there had been noxious fumes in them. Abe spat, "You are as guilty as that monster was! You're guiltier, because you created him! You and you alone are responsible for Lexie's death sentence."

Meanwhile, Lexie had been listening from the landing. She stayed there, unseen, as Abe asserted that Lexie's illness was by far the worst of Stefano's countless atrocities, especially because she had been Stefano's staunchest supporter. "I don't know what I'm going to do without her," Stefano admitted tearfully. Abe maintained, "Maybe this is what they mean by 'karma.' Maybe this is the justice that so many of us have sought for you for so long, but for the rest of us who are losing her…"

Abe stopped himself. Laughing bitterly, he noted that Stefano couldn't possibly understand what it meant to lose Lexie. "Of course I understand! I am losing her too," Stefano cried, adding, "And I have to live with the possibility that maybe some part of it was my fault." Abe suddenly noticed his wife standing on the stairs and crying.

Hurrying over to help her descend the last few steps, Abe apologized that she had overheard that, because he hadn't wanted her to know. Stefano tried to apologize, but Abe ordered him to leave. Lexie stopped her father to hug him first. Unable to stop the tears, she then gazed at him wordlessly, and then headed back upstairs. Stefano left.

A little later, Lexie returned downstairs. "How long have you known?" she asked Abe. He replied, "I've been certain for a few weeks. I only got the proof a couple of days ago… Lexie, I don't know what to say." Lexie just said, "Hold me," and fell into her husband's arms, sobbing.

At the DiMera mansion, Sami tried to reassure Will that it wasn't his fault that Rafe had left her -- because it wasn't as if Will had told Rafe that she had slept with E.J. Will confessed that he had arranged it so that Rafe would overhear him telling someone else, but only because Stefano had forced him to. Shaken and upset, Sami demanded to know when Will had begun working for Stefano.

Will explained that Stefano had threatened to tell the police that Will had shot E.J., plus Stefano had wanted to break up E.J. and Nicole anyway. Sami tearfully asked why Will hadn't gone to her, because she would have helped and protected him. Will, who was just as upset as Sami, reminded her that he hadn't been speaking to her at that time. He added, "[Stefano] said that Rafe deserved to know! And I think he did. He said that even if Rafe never found out about you and E.J., you would still cheat on him again eventually."

As Sami put on her coat and prepared to leave, Will asked about the unconditional love she'd assured him of. Sami replied that she did love him, but that did not mean that she wasn't angry about what he'd done, as well. Sami asserted that Will could have gone to E.J. if not to her, but Stefano had warned Will that it would be a very stupid thing to do -- and Will hadn't known what Stefano might have done if Will had said no.

Sami said that she understood what it was like to have Stefano hold something over one's head, because she'd been in a similar situation once. Although Sami wanted to continue trying to talk things out, Will wanted to hurry and find E.J. to try to get his job back. Sami urged Will to let her help him, but he insisted that it was his problem, so he would handle it. Sami reminded him that it had also affected her marriage, and therefore it was her problem, too, but Will left anyway.

As Nicole and Rafe arrived outside Daniel's office for the DNA test, Nicole started freaking out about what E.J. would do when he learned the truth. She knew that she would have very little say in her child's life once E.J. learned he was the father. Rafe tried his best to calm her down. When Rafe and Nicole went inside, they were surprised that E.J. wasn't already there. Nicole hoped that E.J. might have changed his mind, but Daniel didn't think that was the case.

Daniel tried to reassure Nicole that she and her baby would be all right, but she contended that the DiMeras could be ruthless to get what they wanted. "If there were just some way to keep E.J. from finding out," Nicole hinted. "So do you want to ask me to switch the paternity test?" Daniel asked. Nicole realized that she would just have to deal with the consequences when E.J. found out the truth about the baby. Rafe expressed his regret that things hadn't gone the way Nicole had hoped.

"Keeping my baby away from E.J., that's my responsibility; it's not yours or anybody else's. I'm just going to have to figure out a way to do it," Nicole said to Rafe -- just as E.J. arrived. E.J. declared somewhat grumpily that he just wanted to get the test over with so that Nicole could stop lying. Nicole retorted that E.J. seemed to be in a particularly foul mood, but quickly realized that he was probably hurting because of Lexie, and she apologized. Unmoved, E.J. snapped that if Nicole were really sorry, she wouldn't be adding to his grief by pretending that Rafe was the father of her baby.

Nicole gently suggested that they do the DNA test another time, since E.J. was obviously upset about Lexie. Comparing Nicole to a trapped rat on a sinking ship, E.J. spat, "There's no escape, Nikki." He added cruelly that once the test proved he was the baby's father, he planned to expose Nicole as an unfit mother, so he could get full custody of the child. "I'm going to make sure this child grows up a DiMera -- in every sense of the word, sweetheart," E.J. declared. E.J. and Daniel then headed out to an exam room.

Later, Nicole watched carefully as Daniel labeled the vials containing DNA samples from her, Rafe, and E.J. Daniel then locked the samples in a strong box, and placed the key in his top desk drawer. Daniel wondered why they were testing Rafe's DNA, and Rafe explained that it was to make things look good, so that E.J. couldn't accuse Nicole of lying with premeditation when the results showed that E.J. was the father. Nicole thanked Rafe for thinking of that detail.

Rafe asked if Nicole had reconsidered going through everything alone. Nicole asserted that the child needed a strong mother, and Daniel declared that the baby was very lucky, indeed. Nicole thanked him sincerely for saying that. Daniel then said that he just had to call the lab to have them pick up the samples, and the wait time for results would depend on how busy the lab was. Daniel walked Nicole and Rafe out. In the hallway, Daniel cautioned Nicole that in situations like that, the truth always had a way of getting out. After Daniel left, Nicole said that she wanted some alone time, so Rafe headed out.

A breathless Will caught up with E.J. in the square. Will pleaded with E.J. for five minutes to explain why he had done what Stefano had asked. E.J. was incredulous when Will said that Stefano had made it sound like Will would have been doing E.J. a favor. Will explained that he'd had no choice, because Stefano had threatened to tell the police that Will had shot E.J. E.J. asserted that Will had made the wrong choice, because E.J. would have protected Will if he had asked.

Will apologized sincerely, but E.J. demanded the keys to Will's apartment, his car, and the mansion. When Will asked why, E.J. queried, "You don't seriously think you still have a job, do you?" He snatched the keys away when Will fumbled with them. Will asked where he was supposed to go.

With a snort, E.J. suggested that Will check with Stefano, who E.J. said would laugh at how easy it had been to manipulate Will. Before Will left, he handed over an envelope that E.J. had requested. Will stood there expectantly for a moment, but all he received was a glare from E.J., so he hurried off.

Once he was alone, E.J. opened the envelope and skimmed the contents. "I was right. That son of a bitch is the reason my sister's dying," E.J. declared.

Rafe went by Sami's to visit the kids, but she informed him that the children were all on play dates. Noting how upset Sami was, Rafe asked if she wanted to talk about whatever was wrong. "Rafe, you hate me," Sami pointed out. "No, I don't. I mean, our marriage ended in disaster, but I don't see why we can't have a civil conversation," Rafe countered, so Sami let him in.

Without going into detail, Sami explained that at the same time she'd lost Rafe, she'd also lost her son. She described how, just when she had thought they were making some headway and communicating again, Will had rushed off to see E.J., because E.J. was clearly more important to Will than she was. Rafe understood why Will might have made E.J. a priority, since E.J. had been Will's "champion" for months.

Rafe maintained, "Listen, I'm not taking sides, here. I'm just suggesting that maybe you should ask yourself why things keep falling apart for you and the people you supposedly love." When Sami asked if he were still talking about Will, Rafe replied, "I'm pretty much talking about everyone who's tried to love you." Sami politely asked Rafe to leave, then yelled that she had poured her heart out to him in exchange for nothing. As he left, she softened a little, and promised to tell the kids that he'd stopped by.

Nicole was still hanging around outside Daniel's office when a lab technician arrived to pick up the DNA samples. As Nicole followed him inside, she said something vague about how Dr. Jonas had taken some tests to the lab himself because he'd gotten tired of waiting for someone to pick them up. Annoyed, the lab tech left. Nicole checked to make sure no one was in the hallway, then closed the door and sat at Daniel's desk. She took the key to the strong box out of the drawer, opened the box, quickly peeled the labels off the sample vials, and switched them. Just as Nicole had finished, Daniel returned.

Stefano returned home to an empty house, and started to pour himself a drink. Instead, he wailed plaintively, "Why? Why? Why, why, why, why, why -- dear God in Heaven, why?" He hurled a highball glass at the fireplace, where it shattered. He then spied a picture of himself and Lexie across the room, picked it up, and clutched it to his chest, sobbing inconsolably.

In an alley, Will pulled a pistol out of a paper bag. Smirking, he said to himself, "Well, we'll see who has the last laugh, Stefano."

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Thursday, June 31, 2012
by Mike

At the hospital, Daniel found Nicole in his office, and he realized that she was trying to switch the paternity test samples. Nicole allowed Daniel to believe that he had managed to stop her before she had switched the samples.

Nicole admitted that she was scared. Nicole wondered if Daniel believed in God. Daniel hesitated, and Nicole took his silence as an answer. "I didn't either, but I have to. I have to, because how else would this miracle be possible, right? But the trouble is that God likes to grant his miracles with a twist. He made the father the one person that I cannot have in my baby's life," Nicole said.

Nicole said that a baby would never be able to defend itself against the DiMera family. Nicole vowed to protect her baby from E.J. Daniel suggested that E.J. had made idle threats, and he pointed out that E.J. had once hoped to start a family with Nicole. Nicole said that was never going to happen.

"I've thought about this a lot -- you have to know that. I mean, sleeping with Sami isn't the worst thing that E.J.'s ever done to me...sadly. But it is one insult too many, and it just sent me over the top, and I'm not ever going back, and I'm not ever going to give him the chance to hurt this baby in any way," Nicole firmly stated. Nicole changed the subject, and she wondered why Daniel had returned to Salem.

Nicole quickly clarified that she was glad that Daniel was back in town. Nicole said that she believed that leaving Salem was a great idea, and she briefly entertained the possibility of going to a place like Bali. Daniel said that was a bad idea, and Nicole admitted that Rafe had said the same thing. Nicole wasn't convinced, and she decided to take action instead of wasting time talking about the idea.

Nicole started to leave, but Daniel stopped her. Daniel insisted that Nicole did not need to be alone. "Do you really think I want to leave right now? Because I don't, but I have everything to gain right now and nothing to lose, and I am so tired of sitting in my hotel room...wondering every night...how I'm going to battle E.J. when he finds out about the results," Nicole admitted, as she started to get agitated.

Daniel told Nicole to calm down, and he assured her that he understood. Daniel said that running away wasn't going to solve anything, and he advised her to stay in Salem and face her demons head-on. Nicole tearfully pointed out that Daniel had two reasons to stay in Salem -- Melanie and Maggie. Nicole claimed that she had no one, but Daniel replied that she had him. Nicole wondered what Daniel meant.

"I know what it's like to believe that you're with the right person, then you find out that you're not. I mean, you wake up in the morning, you throw your clothes on, and you manage to get through the day like, you know, everything's okay -- everything's fine -- but in the end, you just dread the nighttime, because you're going home alone, and you feel like you're the only person in the world who feels that way," Daniel said.

Nicole agreed, and Daniel reiterated that she wasn't alone. Daniel started to kiss Nicole, but he quickly pulled away and apologized. Nicole was surprised, but after a brief pause, she passionately returned Daniel's kiss. A phone call interrupted the intimate moment, and Daniel apologetically explained that he needed to take the samples to the lab. Daniel promised to be there for Nicole, and he exited the room.

At the Horton Town Square, Lucas ran into E.J. Lucas wanted to know where he could find Will, but E.J. informed Lucas that Will no longer worked for him. "Wow, this must be the best day of my life. Don't tell me -- my son finally came to his senses and told you what you could do with your damn job?" Lucas guessed.

E.J. explained that he had fired Will. Lucas found that hard to believe, because Will had been an eager assistant who had never bothered to ask probing questions about E.J.'s extracurricular activities. E.J. said that Will wasn't loyal, but Lucas adamantly denied that claim. E.J. impatiently advised Lucas to talk to Will about what had happened, and he calmly walked away.

In an alley, Will tucked his gun back inside the brown paper bag. It was raining, so Will rummaged through a nearby trashcan and found a black plastic bag that would be able to withstand the rain. After placing the gun in the bag, Will turned to leave, but he ran into Gabi. Will wondered why Gabi was in the sketchiest part of town, and she countered that she could ask him the same question.

Gabi wondered what was in the bag that Will was carrying. Gabi reached for the bag, but Will warned her to back off. Will repeated his earlier question, and Gabi claimed that she had gotten lost on her way to a friend's house. Will pointed out that Gabi's stalker could be nearby, and he insisted on taking her to a safer location. After Will and Gabi left, a man emerged from the shadows.

Will took Gabi to the Horton Town Square. Will urged Gabi to be careful, and he abruptly excused himself. After Will left, Gabi placed a phone call to someone, and she explained that she had gotten sidetracked. Gabi returned to the alley, and she met with a man named Andrew.

Gabi wondered if Andrew knew what he was supposed to do. Andrew said that he had spent the entire day rehearsing. Gabi checked Andrew's appearance, and she admitted that he no longer looked like a photographer's assistant. Andrew wondered if Gabi really believed that her plan would reignite her modeling career. Gabi claimed that she did, and she handed Andrew an envelope that was filled with cash. Gabi told Andrew to make his performance look authentic.

At Common Grounds, Abigail greeted Chad and Melanie, and she wondered if they knew where she could find Gabi. Chad and Melanie didn't know where Gabi was, but they hoped that she wasn't alone. Abigail admitted that she was skeptical about the existence of Gabi's stalker. Abigail pointed out that Gabi had been alone when she had found the headless doll, and she suggested that Gabi had planted the doll herself.

Chad wondered why Gabi would do something like that. "There's only one reason I can think of, Chad -- you," Abigail said. Abigail pointed out that Gabi's claims had earned her a spot in Chad's apartment. Abigail added that it was weird that Gabi had repeatedly refused to report the problem to the police, and Melanie agreed.

Chad wasn't convinced, and he insisted that Gabi knew that he was in love with Melanie. With a hint of frustration, Chad told Melanie and Abigail that he was going to need another cup of coffee if they were going to continue to argue about the subject. After Chad left, Abigail wondered if Melanie believed that her theory was crazy.

"Look, Gabi and Chad were a couple before, so isn't it possible that Gabi still has feelings for him, and this is the only way she can think of to get him away from you?" Abigail asked. Melanie sighed and admitted that she didn't know what to think about the situation.

As Chad rejoined the group, he received a phone call from Gabi. Gabi frantically announced that she was at the town square, and that she was being followed again. Abigail muttered that Gabi should have called the police instead of Chad, and Melanie agreed. Chad assured Gabi that he was on his way. Gabi screamed, and the line went dead. Chad rushed out of the coffeehouse, and Melanie and Abigail reluctantly followed him.

At the Horton Town Square, Gabi screamed as she tried to escape from her fake stalker, Andrew. Andrew, who was wearing a hooded jacket and a mask, rushed off when Chad, Melanie, and Abigail arrived. Chad started to chase after Andrew, but Gabi stopped Chad, and she insisted that she didn't want him to get hurt.

Chad didn't want the man to get away, but Melanie agreed that it would be best to let the man go, because he might have a weapon. Chad wondered if Gabi was all right. Gabi nodded, and she wrapped her arms around Chad as she thanked him for rescuing her. Chad comforted Gabi, while Abigail and Melanie stared at each other in disbelief.

At the police station, Roman told Bo, Hope, Marlena, and John that he had talked to Shane earlier. "Apparently, the big guns at the CIA aren't real happy with us. They didn't appreciate our efforts in trying to bring down Stefano. Bottom line is, we have been ordered to be on our best behavior where Stefano is concerned," Roman announced.

Marlena insisted that Stefano was a threat to everyone, and that he needed to be stopped. John hoped that Stefano was enjoying his moment of glory. "The old man's always got away with his crimes 'cause he trusts that we're not capable of being as cold-blooded and ruthless as he is. Gang, I think it's time to make a change," John said, and Bo agreed.

Marlena said that there was no need to resort to Stefano's tactics, and she insisted that there were other ways to neutralize him. Before anyone could respond, Marlena excused herself so that she could meet with a patient. After Marlena left, Hope started to excuse herself, but Roman stopped her. Roman reminded everyone that they needed to follow the rules.

"Fact one -- his son is the mayor. Fact two -- the mayor is our boss. Fact three -- he could strip us of our jobs, put his cronies in place. What good does that do, and where does that leave us? Don't you think I share your frustration? Don't you get that? But I got a job to do, okay? And I'm telling you all this -- anybody in this room starts operating outside the law, I gotta come after you, and I don't care if you're friend or family. And don't think I'll look the other way, 'cause I won't," Roman warned the group.

Bo, Hope, and John seemed mildly annoyed, and Hope wondered what had inspired Roman's lecture. "It is pretty clear to me that, given the opportunity, all three of you in this room would just as soon kill Stefano with your own hands," Roman replied.

Outside the Brady Pub, Will checked his gun, unaware that Marlena was standing behind him. Marlena called out to Will, and he quickly tucked the gun under his jacket. Marlena offered to buy Will a cup of coffee. Will tried to hint that he was busy, but Marlena ignored his protests and escorted him into the pub.

Marlena asked Will about Sami. Will reiterated that he was busy, and he assured Marlena that he would call her the next day. Will was trying to avoid eye contact, and Marlena could tell that he was nervous about something. Marlena guessed that E.J. had given Will some sort of urgent mission to complete.

Will told Marlena that E.J. had fired him. Will blamed Stefano, and Marlena wondered what was going on. Will admitted that he had arranged for Rafe to learn that Sami and E.J. had slept together. "Stefano told me to make sure that Rafe found out, so I made sure he overheard me telling Sonny," Will explained, as he continued to avoid eye contact with Marlena.

Marlena asked Will to look at her, and she wondered why he had agreed to help Stefano. Will started to say something, but he abruptly changed his mind. Will tried to leave, but Marlena stopped him, and she urged him to tell her the whole story. "How did Stefano make you do something you swore you never would?" Marlena gently asked.

"Because...I was afraid of what he would do to me if I said no. Why are you asking me this? You know better than anyone how evil he is," Will quietly stated. Marlena agreed, and she said that Will should have asked for her help. Marlena wondered how Stefano had managed to blackmail Will. "It doesn't matter. What matters...is that he is not going to get away with it," Will said with determination, and he abruptly exited the pub.

Later, Will accidentally bumped into Lucas at Common Grounds. Will dropped the bag that contained his gun, and Lucas picked it up. Lucas ignored Will's protests, and he pulled the gun out of the bag. Lucas quickly tucked the gun under his jacket, and he demanded to know what was going on.

Back at the police station, Roman informed Marlena that John, Bo, and Hope had left earlier. Roman admitted that he had given the group a lecture, and he proceeded to give Marlena the short version. Roman begged Marlena not to take matters into her own hands. Roman said that Marlena's family needed her. "Especially Will," Marlena muttered, but she refused to elaborate.

Marlena assured Roman that he didn't need to worry about her, because she would always be there for her family. Roman seemed satisfied, and he excused himself so that he could make a phone call. After Roman left, Marlena checked the gun that was hidden in her purse. Meanwhile, at the town square, John tucked his gun under his jacket. At the pub, Bo checked the gun that was strapped to his ankle.

At the DiMera mansion, E.J. showed Stefano a document that proved that the toxic gas in the tunnel had caused Lexie's tumor. Stefano admitted that Lexie had already learned the truth. Stefano quietly muttered that Lexie was the best part of him. "There is no best part of you. You're responsible for her death, and nothing you can say -- nothing you can do -- is going to change that," E.J. angrily stated.

Stefano recalled the day that he had found out about Lexie's tumor, and he said that he hadn't had a moment of peace since then. E.J. wondered if he was supposed to feel sorry for Stefano. "Nobody's suffering the way that she is suffering. She's leaving her husband behind, she's leaving her child behind. I hope you burn in hell for all eternity for what you've done to her," E.J. said.

"Sort of ironic...that the most generous, loving person that I've ever known...is biologically related to you, whereas me -- somebody who is so much like you I can barely look at myself in the mirror? No relation to you whatsoever," E.J. added. E.J. recalled that Lexie had asked for peace in the family. Stefano advised E.J. to leave, and he reasoned that it was only a matter of time before he or E.J. said something that they would later regret.

E.J. started to slip his hands into a pair of black leather gloves, and he refused to leave until his task was finished. "You know, it really sickens me that Alexandra had to live out the last of her days, knowing the ugly truth about you. You know the saddest thing? If you'd asked her for her forgiveness, I'm sure she would've gladly given it to you," E.J. said. Stefano said that Lexie had forgiven him with her eyes.

E.J. vowed that he would never forgive Stefano. E.J. added that Stefano didn't deserve Lexie's forgiveness, and he insisted that Stefano wouldn't receive forgiveness from anyone else. Stefano said that Lexie's forgiveness was all that he needed. E.J. replied that Stefano wasn't going to be able to enjoy Lexie's forgiveness for much longer.

Stefano seemed amused, and he wondered if that was supposed to be some sort of threat. "I'm stepping up to defend the only family that I've ever known. I'm not going to let you do to Theo and Chad what you did to me and Lexie," E.J. vowed. Stefano pointed out that E.J. wasn't related to any of those people, and he wondered how E.J. intended to protect them.

"That's an excellent question. I could only come up with one solution," E.J. said, as he reached for his gun.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

At Mad World's offices, Kate and Ian were reviewing the company's projected profit margins when a messenger arrived with a package for Kate. As soon as Kate saw that the envelope contained divorce papers from Stefano, she tossed it aside on the desk. After Ian took a quick look at the papers, he urged Kate to do the same. Kate read with dismay that Stefano had included a non-compete clause, which meant that she could not work for Mad World.

Furious, Kate slammed the papers down on the desk, and vowed not to let Stefano get away with it. "I'm going to fight the fire with dynamite," she declared. Ian thought that the two of them should plan what her next move should be, but Kate wanted to take a walk to get some air. Ian discouraged that idea, since it was still pouring rain outside, but Kate was firm.

Sami was sitting at the café in Horton Square when Marlena hurried by, the hood of her raincoat pulled over her head. Sami rushed after her mother to talk to her, but Marlena claimed she had no time to talk and kept going. "Mom, stop -- it's about Will!" Sami said as she grabbed Marlena's arm, and the motion knocked Marlena's purse to the ground -- and a gun fell out.

In one deft motion, Marlena picked up her bag and slid the gun back inside before Sami could see it. Sami reiterated that she needed to talk to her mom about Will. Marlena said that they would have to talk about it later, and started to hurry on her way. "I thought Will at least was a priority for you," Sami noted loudly, and Marlena whirled around.

Marlena pointed out that Will knew where to find her if he needed her, but at that moment, she had to leave. "What could be more important than your family?" Sami demanded. "Samantha Gene, you listen to me. There is nothing in the world more important to me than family," Marlena declared firmly, adding, "Don't you dare suggest differently -- not ever!" Rolling her eyes in disbelief, Sami turned and walked away.

At Common Grounds, Lucas confiscated Will's gun, and then confronted his son. "What the hell is going on?" Lucas demanded. Will acknowledged that it looked bad, but begged Lucas to give him a chance to explain. Will claimed that the gun belonged to E.J. Lucas surprised Will by pointing out that Will no longer worked for E.J. "How do you know that?" Will asked, but Lucas only wanted to hear what Will was doing with E.J.'s gun.

Will claimed that he was just giving it back to E.J., and Lucas could verify the story with E.J. if he didn't believe Will. Lucas said that he was going to keep the gun and return it to E.J. Will tried to dissuade him, but Lucas was insistent. Frustrated, Will declared that he didn't care what Lucas did with the gun, and then stormed out.

Later, Will ran breathlessly through the rain to the alley. He paced back and forth like a caged animal behind the chain-link fence, then suddenly grew very still. He then hurried away.

At the townhouse, John gripped a pistol, feeling its heft in his hand, while he eyed a grouping of family portraits on the mantel.

At the Brady Pub, Bo checked to make sure the drop gun he carried in an ankle holster was loaded. His cell phone rang; he saw that the call was from Roman and ignored it.

At the Bradys' house, Hope musingly pressed her hand to a gun that lay on the sofa table. Next to it lay a picture that Ciara had colored. Hope stared at the picture for a long moment before throwing on a raincoat and grabbing the gun. She shoved a clip into the gun, stuck the gun in her waistband, and hurried out.

In the living room of the DiMera mansion, an armed E.J. confronted Stefano. "You cost me my wife. You cost me my family. You took away everything that had any meaning to me," E.J. declared with ice-cold anger. With a gloved hand, he loaded a round into the chamber of his handgun, asserting that he would no longer allow Stefano to get away with that. "Elvis, if you hate me that much, do it -- then put us both out of our misery," Stefano stated calmly, adding with a tone of warning, "Either you do it, or get the hell out of here forever."

E.J.'s temper flared as he blamed Stefano for Lexie's impending death, and Stefano admitted, voice shaking, that it was breaking his heart. Stefano then turned his back to E.J. and sipped his glass of brandy. E.J. leveled the gun at Stefano's head and ordered the old man to turn around so he could finish what he had to say -- or he would shoot Stefano in the back. E.J. noted that it would be fitting since Stefano had done so many things behind E.J.'s back.

"If that's what you want," Stefano said nonchalantly, without turning around. E.J. turned the gun toward the fireplace in frustration, and shot up a vase of flowers on the mantel with several rounds. Finally turning around, Stefano asked if E.J. felt better. "I'm not going to feel better until you're dead in the ground," E.J. snarled, then turned and stalked out the door to the foyer.

The instant E.J. left, Stefano suddenly heard Abe's voice from the rear doorway: "I have to say I agree with E.J. on this. There's a first time for everything." Abe, too, held a gun, which he then cocked and aimed at Stefano. Still brandishing the snifter of brandy with indifference, Stefano promised that he would not put up a fight if Abe wanted to kill him.

Abe railed at Stefano for causing Lexie's illness, and became even more enraged when Stefano moved to the bar to refill his glass. Stefano stated gravely that he would never forgive himself for what he'd done. "You've hurt the people I love for the last time," Abe vowed, then placed his finger on the trigger determinedly. Stefano turned to face Abe, but then Abe lost his nerve.

Abe carefully set the gun down on the chess table, and although still clearly livid, explained that his conscience had kept him from killing Stefano, because he knew that he wouldn't have been able to face his wife or his son if he'd robbed them of Stefano. "I still might do it," Abe warned. "You could not possibly understand how much I love Alexandra," Stefano said, but Abe cut him off. "You have no idea what love is," Abe declared, then ducked his head and pushed past Stefano to the front door.

Stefano wandered into the study, and was surprised to find John waiting for him. He asked what John wanted, and John replied simply, "Justice." Stefano could tell that John had a gun in his pocket, and cheerfully urged John to go ahead and make his "little speech" about everything Stefano had done wrong.

John declared that it was too late for that; it was time to make Stefano pay for trying to kill everyone in the safe house. Stefano didn't think John would be able to sleep at night if he killed an unarmed man, but John said that he would sleep like a baby. "Then stop wasting my time and do it!" Stefano demanded.

A little later, John strode through the living room and out the terrace door, after tucking the gun into his waistband. Stefano entered the living room shortly after John had left.

Stefano then opened the front door, and found a bedraggled Hope on the doorstep. Chagrined, Stefano declared that he already knew what she was going to say, but she demanded that he listen to every word. Hope angrily explained that when she and Bo had been in the safe house, counting down the seconds until their deaths, all she'd been able to think about was how she'd miss getting to watch Ciara grow up.

Stefano pointed out that Hope had survived. Hope declared, "Being that close to death made me realize something: that as long as you're around, I will never be safe. My husband and children will never be safe." Hope then pulled a gun on Stefano. Stefano merely asked how Hope planned to explain things to her family and daughter when Hope was caught.

"I won't have to," Hope replied. Turning his back to pour another drink, Stefano pointed out that Hope would be in prison when Ciara graduated and got married. Realizing that he was right, Hope lowered her weapon. By the time Stefano turned back around, Hope had exited through the terrace door.

John returned to the townhouse, slamming the door behind him. "Damn it!" he swore as he unloaded his gun. He threw the weapon and the ammo clip across the room.

E.J. entered the Brady Pub, which was nearly empty. He looked out the window as soon as he arrived, as if to make sure no one had followed him. After finishing a glass of whisky, E.J. left. Outside, E.J. ran into Ian, who greeted him cordially. E.J. brushed past the man, grumbling, "Get the hell out of my way."

Abe returned home, out of breath and obviously reeling in disbelief from what he'd nearly done. After a few long moments, he called out to Lexie, but got no answer. He then spotted a note on the coffee table. "Tried to stay up, but my eyes wouldn't let me. Love, Lexie," Abe read aloud.

When Hope arrived back at her house, she was soaking wet, and clearly upset.

Alone in the office later, Kate fondled a small handgun, holding it pensively against her chest as she gazed out the window at the rain.

As Bo strode purposefully through Horton Square, he paused for a moment as if reconsidering what he was about to do, then hurried on his way.

At Sami's apartment, Lucas filled Sami in about finding Will with a gun and what had happened afterwards. Trying not to freak out, Sami asked where the gun was. Lucas informed her that he'd put it in the safe at the pub. Sami tried to call E.J. to confirm the story, but didn't get an answer. Lucas and Sami agreed that something had to be in the air, because everyone was acting crazy.

After Lucas and Sami compared notes, they reached the conclusion that Will and Marlena had both been acting nervous, like they'd been about to do something dangerous. Sami declared that they should go get the gun from the pub and take it to her dad at the police station, in case Will had really been planning to do something with the gun.

One by one, Will, Kate, and Bo showed up at the mansion and confronted Stefano. Kate and Bo each pulled a gun on DiMera; Kate vowed not to let Stefano control her life anymore, and Bo declared that he would administer justice on that spot for what Stefano had done. Will shouted at Stefano, "What did I ever do to you? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! But you didn't think twice about destroying my life!" Will picked up the gun from the chess table. Stefano growled at each of them, "Can you deal with the consequences of pulling that trigger? If not, get out of here, and leave me the hell alone."

When Marlena arrived a little later, Stefano was in the study. "I've been expecting you. Do you want to kill me now?" he asked. Instead of lecturing Stefano on his many sins, as he was expecting, Marlena instead calmly said that people were bullies to make themselves feel strong, when they were actually very weak -- just like Stefano

"You are at your lowest point. That's why you've gone as far as you have. But I'm here to tell you we're not going to take it from you -- none of us. There will be retribution," Marlena declared, adding that she pitied and despised Stefano. Instead of shooting him, though, she turned and left. On her way out through the darkened living room, she spied the gun on the chess table, gingerly picked it up, and eyed it curiously.

When John crept back in through the terrace door a little later, Marlena was gone, but the gun was on the chess table. John spun it around with an ungloved hand, then noticed the light from a flashlight outside on the terrace. John quickly exited the room through the rear door.

Then, Bo entered through the terrace door. He shined his light around the living room until he spied the gun. He picked it up with a bare hand, sniffed it curiously, and put it back as he continued looking around the room.

When E.J. returned a bit later, the gun was still on the chess table. E.J. poured a drink while he stared at the gun, downed the liquor, then with a bare hand, picked up the gun and went to the terrace door to investigate a noise, which turned out to be a dog barking in the distance. He then placed the gun on the piano, and strode out of the room through the foyer door.

As soon as E.J. had gone, Hope let herself in through the terrace door, armed like her husband with a flashlight. Like the others, she was not wearing gloves. As she investigated her surroundings, she saw the gun, and picked it up.

The gun was back on the piano when Kate entered a bit later. She, too, picked it up with bare hands.

As Sami and Lucas arrived at the Brady Pub, Sami was on the phone, trying to reach Will on his cell phone. While she then dialed her mom's house in case Will were there, Lucas opened the safe behind the bar. "Sami, we got a problem. The gun isn't here." Sami started to flip out. Lucas and Sami wondered if Will even knew the combination to the safe. Lucas hoped that Caroline had just moved the gun for some reason, but Sami didn't think that made sense. "Come on; let's go," Lucas announced, and dragged Sami out of the pub by the hand.

While the townhouse, the Mad World offices, the Bradys' house, and the Carvers' living room all stood dark and empty, Stefano gazed sadly at a picture of Lexie in his study. He apologized profusely to it, then kissed the picture and set it on a table. As Stefano poured himself a glass of grappa, he thought he heard a noise in the hallway, but no one was there. He then put on a recording from Pagliacci, and sat in the wingback chair before the fire as he mouthed the words along with the tenor.

A mysterious figure let him (or herself) into the DiMera mansion with a gloved hand. He or she picked up the gun from the piano, then walked through the darkened house until they reached the study, where Stefano listened, eyes closed, a hand over his heart, as the aria reached a crescendo. The person leveled the gun at Stefano, and a shot rang out.

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