At the hospital, Serena revealed that she had been in Xander's hotel room earlier and had run into Nicole there. Serena said Nicole was interviewing Xander for a story about what had happened in Italy, but Daniel didn't buy that explanation. Serena started to leave after insisting that was all she knew, but she quickly changed her mind and offered to tell Daniel something else -- but only if he promised it would stay between them.
After Daniel reluctantly told Serena what she wanted to hear, she explained that, while he knew Xander as someone who was straightforward and likable, there was another side to the guy -- the persuasive, compelling side he showed women, the side that loved a challenge. "It's great...until it isn't," Serena summarized. Serena said she hadn't told Eric about the two different sides of Xander's personality and wouldn't have bothered telling Daniel under normal circumstances, either, since it didn't matter because they were both guys and would therefore never have to worry about it. "But I've seen what Nicole is about to see...up close and personal," Serena added.
Daniel assured Serena that Nicole knew how to handle herself around all types of men. Serena nodded and stressed that she hadn't been trying to trash Nicole earlier -- she just hadn't known how to get into her own feelings about Xander. After leaving Daniel's office, Serena muttered that she was going to have to do some damage control because she didn't trust Daniel to keep quiet about what she had just told him.
Nicole barely had time to turn off Xander's cell phone, toss it aside, and flop back down on the bed before he reentered the hotel room. Xander noticed his phone laying on the floor, and as he reached for it, he told Nicole he had caught her. Nicole pretended she didn't know what Xander was talking about, so he elaborated that he had opened the door just in time to see her returning to the bed. Nicole laughed and admitted she had tried walking on her own because she hated being stuck in one spot.
Xander took a seat next to Nicole, removed her shoe, and started massaging her ankle, curiously noting that it wasn't the least bit swollen. Nicole shrugged and explained that she had never had to deal with swelling for some unknown reason. Xander's hand started roaming up Nicole's leg, but as he approached her knee, she pulled away from him and excitedly declared that he had fixed her problem. Xander offered to help Nicole to her feet, and when she tried to protest, she ended up losing her balance and falling into his arms.
As Nicole and Xander gazed at each other, his phone started ringing. Xander reluctantly pulled away so he could answer the call, and after a quick conversation with Serena, he hung up and apologetically informed Nicole that he had some important business to take care of. Nicole left Xander's hotel room and went to see Daniel, hoping she could somehow manage to get a closer look at the elephant statue in his apartment. Daniel slammed the door in Nicole's face after confronting her about being with Xander earlier, making it clear he didn't believe she had only gone to see Xander so she could interview him for her story about Brady's ordeal.
When Serena arrived at Xander's hotel room, Xander started complaining about her timing but eventually had to cut the rant short so he could answer a phone call. Afterward, Serena began to tell Xander about what had happened earlier, but she only managed to say a few words before he interrupted her. Xander stared in disbelief at his cell phone, wondering why ending the call had sent him back to the device's photo gallery -- and why, of all the photos contained in it, the one of the elephant statue was being displayed.
At Club TBD, Justin gave Sonny a quick update on where things stood with Adrienne. Sonny wasn't surprised that Adrienne was still upset with Justin, but Justin insisted he and Adrienne would work things out eventually. Changing the subject, Justin wondered how Will felt about the fact that Paul was back in Salem. Sonny admitted that Will didn't know yet because he had gone out of town to do research for a new article.
When Justin voiced his disapproval, Sonny made it clear that he wasn't interested in discussing the matter. Justin guessed Sonny had seen Paul recently. Sonny confirmed the suspicion and observed that Justin seemed pleased about that. Sonny accused Justin of itching for Sonny's marriage to fall apart, but Justin insisted he just wanted Sonny to be happy. "Yeah, with someone other than Will," Sonny concluded.
Justin denied the suspicion, explaining that he simply believed it had been selfish of Will to leave Sonny and Arianna behind at a time when they were supposed to be working on repairing their marriage. Justin started to argue that Will's actions indicated that Will wasn't serious about fixing his relationship with Sonny, but Sonny interrupted and insisted that wasn't true. Sonny added that it was extremely hypocritical of Justin to condemn Will, considering Justin had left his family behind for months to work in Dubai.
Justin clarified that he wasn't trying to condemn Will; he was simply concerned about Sonny. "Well, there's better ways to show concern than trashing my husband," Sonny countered. Sonny excused himself so he could get to a meeting with a distributor on the south side of town. Justin warned that construction was underway in that area, so Sonny might get stuck in traffic on the way. Sonny rushed off after stressing that Justin didn't need to worry about him or push him hard about his marriage to Will.
At the Horton Town Square, John told Paul about the name Brady and Theresa had decided to give their child. Paul apologized for the way he had acted during his first meeting with Brady. John pointed out that Paul had been provoked, but Paul insisted he still could have handled things better, and he promised to work on that.
Paul was carrying a dry cleaning bag that contained a shirt, and when John commented on it, Paul explained that it was Sonny's. After hearing about how Paul had ended up with one of Sonny's shirts, John wondered how Will had reacted to the incident. Paul admitted that Will hadn't been around at the time. Paul added that Sonny had let him know where things stood between them, and he planned to respect Sonny's desire to work things out with Will. John offered to drop the shirt off himself, but Paul said that wouldn't be necessary because he knew neither Will nor Sonny would be home for a while, so he was just going to leave the shirt with the babysitter.
Paul admitted it had been hard to see Sonny earlier, but when John tried to get Paul to elaborate, Paul instead decided to change the subject, wondering when he was going to get to meet his new nephew. John promised to set up a meeting in the near future, and Paul stressed that he wanted John to let Brady and Theresa know he planned to apologize to both of them. John excused himself so he could get back to the police station, but before leaving, he thanked Paul for joining him for coffee. Paul smiled and said that was the kind of thing fathers and sons were supposed to do together.
When Paul got to Will and Sonny's apartment, the babysitter dragged him inside and explained that she had a family emergency to deal with and couldn't get in touch with Sonny to let him know what was going on because she had apparently gotten his cell phone number wrong when she had written down his contact information. Paul contacted Sonny, who was stuck in traffic, and arranged to stay with Arianna until Sonny could make it back home. Later, while Paul was playing with Arianna, he heard keys rattling in the apartment door lock. Holding Arianna in his arms, Paul stood to greet Sonny, but Will was the one who walked into the apartment.
When Eve entered her apartment, she found a note someone had slipped under her door. The note contained a phone number and instructions to send a text message to the number right away. Eve crumpled the paper and tossed it in the trash, angrily muttering that she had warned Cole not to contact her again.
At the Horton house, J.J. and Jennifer were preparing for Paige's surprise party. J.J. wanted to announce, during the party, that he and Paige would be moving to California together, and Jennifer agreed that would be a great time to share the news with everyone. J.J. really wanted Eve to be at the party because she had extended an olive branch to Jennifer recently, and he wanted to return the favor, but he was concerned that the invitation they had sent via email had been too impersonal, so Jennifer agreed to go to Eve's place to offer a more formal invitation.
After Jennifer left, J.J. retrieved a disposable cell phone from his pocket and started sending Eve urgent text messages from it, warning that everything was falling apart. Eve tried to ignore the messages at first, but J.J. was persistent. Jennifer soon arrived, but as Eve was greeting her, the text messages continued to stream in. Jennifer invited Eve to go ahead and deal with whoever was trying to contact her, suggesting that it might be Paige, but Eve said she knew Paige wasn't trying to contact her because she had just talked to Paige a few minutes earlier.
Jennifer started to explain the reason for her visit, but Eve's cell phone continued to vibrate every few seconds, so Jennifer once again invited Eve to check the messages, suggesting that they might be about some sort of emergency. Eve reluctantly grabbed her phone and read the messages, and when she saw the latest one -- "On my way over now!" -- she finally decided to respond. J.J. was pleased when he received the message -- "Damn it, Cole, stay put! What do you want?" -- but he knew that wasn't enough, so he increased the pressure, warning that Paige was getting suspicious.
Claiming that Shane was asking for updates on Theresa's condition, Eve rushed Jennifer off after promising to be at the party later. Once she was alone again, Eve started responding to the text messages, and during the exchange, J.J. explained that he needed money so he could leave town. Eve refused at first, but when more text messages arrived -- threatening that Paige would learn the truth unless Eve cooperated -- she reluctantly acquiesced. J.J. instructed Eve to fill an envelope with one thousand dollars and leave it on a bench near a swing set on the south side of the park, promising that if she did that, she would never have to deal with him again.
At Salem University, Cole greeted Paige, who couldn't resist confronting him about trying to set J.J. up. Cole denied the accusation and tried to walk away, but Paige warned that she would contact the police if he left. "Paige, listen to yourself. You think I snuck into J.J.'s house, planted drugs, and then -- what, hid and waited until you went upstairs so I could sneak out?" Cole asked incredulously. Smiling, Paige wondered how Cole had known she and J.J. had gone upstairs -- or, for that matter, that J.J.'s house even had stairs to begin with.
Cole started to explain that he had been trying to help Paige because she was amazing but was with the worst person she could possibly be with. Paige insisted Cole didn't know J.J. at all, and she added that Cole was the worst person she could possibly be around, not J.J. Paige said she had actually defended Cole at one point, and she vowed never to make that mistake again. Paige shoved past Cole and stormed off after warning him to stay away from her and J.J. in the future.
When Jennifer returned to the Horton house, she found an instruction booklet for a prepaid cell phone laying on the floor in the living room. Jennifer didn't have much time to ponder the item before she received a visit from Paige, who was looking for J.J. Jennifer explained that J.J. had gone out for a few hours but had mentioned having plans to meet Paige for lunch. Paige nodded and said she would just talk to him then, and after she left, Jennifer closed the door and excitedly muttered that Paige had a big surprise in store for her later that day.
Wearing an oversized pair of sunglasses, Eve nervously glanced around the park before leaving the envelope at the designated spot. As if on cue, Eve received a phone call from Cole. "I delivered the money, you ape," Eve informed Cole. "Huh?" Cole asked, but Eve had already ended the call. Meanwhile, J.J. emerged from his hiding place in the park. "Smile for the camera, Eve. I finally got you," J.J. triumphantly declared, recording Eve's surprised reaction on his cell phone.
Will returned home to his apartment in Salem and was horrified to learn that not only was Paul back in town but that he was babysitting Will's daughter. After Will put Arianna in her room, Paul explained that he was helping because the babysitter had needed to leave for an emergency. When Will asked Paul why he was at the apartment in the first place, Paul explained that he was picking up a shirt that Arianna had stained the previous day.
"So I leave, and the minute I leave, you come right in?" Will asked. Paul stuttered that he had visited the apartment to visit Will and Sonny. Not buying Paul's explanation, Will accused Paul of attempting to steal Will's daughter and his husband. Paul said that he wanted everyone to get along while he was in town, visiting John.
"Looks like you've already learned a few lessons from your father," Will said. Will told Paul about John and how he had pursued Marlena and broken up her marriage to Roman. Will added that John's actions had scarred his mother, Sami, for years. As Paul stared in confusion, Will continued and said that Paul's parents had no problem sleeping around and lying about it. Paul warned Will to stop talking about his mother. Unfazed, Will commented that Tori whored around so much that she could not have been able to keep track of Paul's paternity.
Angry, Paul punched Will just as Sonny returned home. Sonny rushed to Will's side as he lay unconscious on the floor. Paul apologized, but Sonny ordered him to leave. Worried, Paul asked to stay until Will woke up. Will woke up, pointed at Paul, and said that Paul had hit him. Sonny again ordered Paul to leave, and a frustrated Paul walked out. Worried, Sonny assured Will that he would be fine, and he rose to call for an ambulance.
Will assured Sonny that he did not need a doctor. When Sonny asked why, Will said that he was embarrassed that Paul had flattened him in one punch. Sonny countered that Paul was a professional athlete and could have knocked out anyone in one punch. Sonny helped Will onto the couch. After checking that Will could count fingers, Sonny asked him what had happened. Will explained that they had been fighting about Sonny and that Paul had punched him "out of nowhere."
Will asked Sonny why Paul had been at the apartment. Sonny explained that the babysitter had needed to leave for the hospital and that Paul had stopped by the apartment while Sonny had been on his way home. Sonny apologized for not making other arrangements. Unnerved, Will asked Sonny what he would have walked in on if Will had returned home an hour later. Sonny stressed that he had informed Paul that he was working on his marriage to Will and that Will would not have walked in on anything.
"Maybe that was why he was so mad at me," Will said. When Sonny asked if that was why Paul had hit Will, Will said he did not know why. Sonny pushed for details about the fight, but Will argued that Paul was attempting to steal his family. With a nod, Sonny left to check on Arianna. Sonny's phone buzzed on the couch, and Will saw that Paul was calling.
Will answered the phone and asked Paul to leave them alone. Paul apologized for hitting Will. Will asked Paul to stay away from his family then he hung up the phone. Sonny returned to the living room and said that Arianna had slept through the fight. Will commented that he did not want his daughter to be exposed to Paul's violence.
Sonny grabbed an icepack and asked Will more questions about the argument. Will said that he had accused Paul of pursuing Sonny and that it must have angered Paul. Unconvinced, Sonny shook his head in confusion. Will commented that Paul might have lashed out because of frustration over all the recent changes in Paul's life. Sonny nodded.
With a sigh, Will told Sonny that he would appreciate it if Paul did not visit the apartment again. Sonny agreed. Will told Sonny that he had missed him. When Sonny shrugged and said that Will had only been gone a day, Will explained that he meant that he and Sonny had not been intimate since before the stabbing. Will asked Sonny if he had ruined their relationship. Sonny promised that if the relationship were over, he would not have stayed. Taking his husband's hand, Sonny told Will that he still loved him.
When Will told Sonny that he needed him and leaned in for a kiss, Sonny noted that Will had just been unconscious. Will reiterated that he needed Sonny. Will kissed Sonny, and the two leaned back onto the couch.
In his hotel room, Xander was worried because the photo app on his phone pulled up a photo of the elephant statue rather than the most recent photo he had taken. Serena was confused. "It's the most potentially incriminating photo on the phone," Xander exclaimed. When Serena asked if someone had gone through his phone, Xander thought of when Nicole had attempted to take a picture of him with his phone.
When Xander explained what had happened, an incredulous Serena asked Xander why he had left Nicole alone with his unlocked phone. "Do you know what this means? Nicole is onto us!" Serena said. Xander dismissed Serena's accusation, noting that Nicole was a snoop and might have just been looking at his photos. Serena argued that even if Nicole had stumbled onto the elephant photo by accident, it would be a problem. Shaking his head, Xander said that Nicole did not know anything had been smuggled in the statue.
"Why are you panicking about this?" Xander asked. "She knows more than you think. A lot more," Serena said. Serena informed Xander about her interactions with Nicole regarding the statue. Angry, Xander asked Serena why she had not told him about the problem sooner. Serena argued that she had handled the situation but that it had become a problem because Nicole had seen the photo on his phone. As Xander growled, Serena countered that he was the one to blame because he had been so anxious to sleep with Nicole that he had played into her hands.
Before leaving, Serena told Xander that Daniel knew that Nicole had been visiting him in his hotel room. Serena admitted that she had told Daniel by accident. Suspicious, Xander said that Serena was usually not so sloppy. Serena argued that she was not to blame. Serena warned Xander that hurting Daniel by using Nicole was not worth the trouble. As Serena turned to leave, Xander commented that he would have the numbers on the diamonds and that Serena should plan to leave town.
At Club TBD, Nicole thought about when Daniel had slammed the door in her face. Nicole lamented that she had not told Daniel the truth about her interest in Xander. Nicole mumbled to herself that she needed to catch Xander red-handed so that Daniel would understand. Overhearing the tail end of Nicole's comment, Maggie asked Nicole what Daniel would understand. Nicole explained that she had fought with Daniel earlier. Maggie warned Nicole not to hurt Daniel, and Nicole promised that hurting Daniel was the last thing she wanted to do.
As Maggie turned to leave, Nicole asked if Maggie could let her in Daniel's apartment to pick up an item. Maggie yelled no and left. Mumbling to herself again, Nicole said that she needed to look at that statue. Out of options, Nicole called Eric and asked him to meet with her. Eric walked over to the club and met Nicole for a drink.
Nicole told Eric that she wanted to make peace with Serena. With a grin, Eric said that he would be happy if Nicole was sincere. Nicole said that she was sorry she had argued with Serena about the statue and whether there were one or two of them. Chuckling, Nicole then joked, "I can't even remember. Were there two or not? I could have sworn there were two." With an amused smile, Eric said that there had been two statues, but Serena had lost her statue. When Eric commented that Xander had said that they had overpaid for their statues, Nicole asked if Xander had bought one as well. Eric shook his head no.
Suspicious, Eric asked Nicole why she was quizzing him about the statues. Caught, Nicole lied and said that she was planning to track down a replacement elephant as a surprise for Serena. Nicole said that she wanted to make a gesture so that she and Serena would no longer be enemies. Eric told Nicole not to bother because the elephants had been made in a remote village of the Congo. With a raised eyebrow, Nicole noted that the statues were unique. Nicole said she would think of something else to get for Serena, and she asked Eric not to tell Serena about their conversation. Eric nodded and left.
"He's wrong. That elephant is more than just a trinket. And why would Xander have a picture of it on his phone? I need to get a closer look at it, in person," Nicole said. With a gasp, Nicole realized what she needed to do. Nicole called Daniel's superintendent, Lou, and asked him to let her in to Daniel's apartment, since she had lost her key. Lou agreed, and Nicole rushed over to the apartment.
Nicole waited anxiously outside of Daniel's apartment for Lou. As the elevator opened, a cheerful Nicole said, "I'm so glad to see you!" Unfortunately, the person in the elevator was Xander instead of Lou. "Are you?" a dour-faced Xander asked.
After leaving Club TBD, Eric met with Serena in the park. Serena informed Eric that she wanted Eric to be part of her future. When Eric said that he wanted the same thing, Serena told Eric to pack his swimsuit because they were headed for Hawaii. Concerned, Eric said that he thought they had time before the job started. Serena explained that she needed to accept the position right away or she would lose the job. "If you want us to be together, this is the only way," Serena said.
In the Horton living room, Jennifer thought about Daniel's advice to tell Paige the truth. "It's too late for that. Well as long as Eve keeps her word and leaves the two of them alone, we'll be fine," Jennifer said to the empty room. Maggie arrived at the house to help Jennifer prepare for the birthday party. While grabbing a pair of scissors for Jennifer, Maggie saw the letter from San Jose State on the desk. Jennifer explained that J.J. was going to announce at the birthday party that he was moving to California with Paige.
Jennifer was positive about the move. When Maggie noted that the move would keep the couple away from Eve, Jennifer nodded quietly. Jennifer commented that a large part of the problem was Eve's history with Jennifer. Jennifer argued that if she had worked harder to settle things with Eve, then Eve would not have made an effort to lash out at J.J. Maggie warned Jennifer not to blame herself for Eve's issues.
In the park, J.J. took a photo of Eve waiting to meet Cole. Eve grabbed for the camera. J.J. explained that he knew that Eve had ordered Cole to plant the drugs in his house and that he had the texts to prove it. Eve grabbed for the phone again, and the two struggled. Eve obtained the phone, but J.J. explained that he had already backed up the information. J.J. told Eve that he would send the information to the police if she did not meet with him privately. As Eve resisted, J.J. shrugged and walked away. Nervous, Eve chased him.
J.J. and Eve met at her apartment. J.J. warned Eve to leave him alone, or he would send the evidence to the cops. With a smirk, Eve commented that the evidence would not hold up in court. J.J. countered that Cole would sell Eve out for a deal from the police in order to avoid jail. Annoyed, Eve said that she had not ordered Cole to plant drugs. Eve explained that she had wanted J.J. out of Paige's life but that she "would never have ordered him to do something so stupid!" With a shrug, J.J. said that Eve would have to pay for Cole's mistake. Eve promised that she would tell Paige about the affair if J.J. sold her out to the cops.
Though J.J. argued that Eve was bluffing, Eve countered that she would convince Paige that J.J. had seduced her in her vulnerable state after learning about her singing. J.J. argued that Paige would also remember that he had been crazed that same night after his fight with Paige. Shaking her head, Eve said that Paige would believe her story over J.J.'s explanations. J.J. and Eve argued about who had hit on whom the first time.
"I don't know who that guy was, Eve. And I still don't. But I'd do anything to take back that night because it makes me sick to ever think of touching you," J.J. said. "Really? Is that why you kept coming back for more? Again and again and again?" Eve purred. J.J. argued that he had been "out of his mind." Eve asked J.J. if his justifications were enough to lie to Paige every day of the rest of their lives.
"It's mutually assured destruction, J.J., just like it has always been," Eve argued. Eve added that Paige would eventually believe her. J.J. countered that Eve had no proof and that anything Eve said would make her sound desperate to keep J.J. from Paige. With a shrug, J.J. added that Eve would spend years behind bars and would lose Paige. J.J. stressed that Eve would end her grudge with him or he would go to the police, and he asked her to promise that her machinations were over.
Frustrated, Eve promised not to interfere with J.J. and Paige's relationship anymore. Eve added that the reason she would not have instructed Cole to plant the drugs was because she believed J.J. would self-destruct on his own. Eve stressed that Paige would move along once she moved to California. J.J. countered that he was moving to California with Paige. Furious, Eve accused J.J. of ruining Paige's life.
"You're clinging to her when you know that if she were out there in the world with real choices, she would drop your little sorry ass just like that," Eve yelled. J.J. argued that he and Paige were in love. Eve promised that in time, J.J. would ruin the relationship. "Paige is so much better than you are, she is too good for you," Eve said. J.J. said he was more convinced than ever that he was doing the right thing.
When Eve asked J.J. if he wanted to poison her relationship with Paige, J.J. shook his head. J.J. argued that unlike Eve, he accepted that Paige loved her mother and that he would not do anything to undermine that. J.J. said that Eve would not be able to keep him and Paige from being happy together. With a smirk, J.J. left. Alone, Eve poured a drink. "There's nothing I can do now," Eve muttered to herself. As she turned around, she saw Paige staring at her from the doorway.
In his hotel room, Lucas smiled as he recalled the last time he and Adrienne had made love. He sent her a text message, telling her how much he missed her. Adrienne replied with an apology.
As she walked past the Kiriakis study, Adrienne overheard Justin on the phone. "I don't know how I can get back. It's tricky here. I miss you here," Justin said. When he saw Adrienne in the doorway, he changed the subject to business and quickly ended the call. "So, how's Elsa?" Adrienne asked. Justin remarked that after avoiding him for a week, Adrienne suddenly wanted to have a conversation, plus she was practically flaunting her affair with Lucas.
Adrienne clarified that she had neither seen nor spoken to Lucas since she and Justin had fought. She wondered why Justin was even there, since it was clear he didn't want her. As they began arguing about Sonny and Will's marriage, Justin and Adrienne each accused the other of hypocrisy. Adrienne pointed out that she had believed Justin's lies for nearly a year about how much he'd missed her when he'd been sleeping with another woman the entire time.
Justin tried to turn the argument around on Adrienne because of her affair with Lucas, but she cut Justin off. "I am done feeling guilty, and there is no moral high ground that wouldn't swallow you up whole, Justin!" Adrienne asserted. Finally, Justin sighed and admitted that he hated how they sounded. Adrienne agreed. She started to say something else but stopped herself, so Justin finished for her: "But I started it, right?" Adrienne nodded. "Thank you for making it easier, finally," she said before turning and walking out.
Lucas was on the phone in his hotel room later, removing his jacket and loosening his tie as he boasted about how one of the top retailers in the country had dropped Mad World. Adrienne arrived while Lucas was still on the phone, and the instant he ended the call, she kissed him passionately. "I missed you, too," Adrienne murmured.
After they had sex, Adrienne and Lucas reiterated how much they'd missed one another. "Now that you're here, I have to ask you something... What exactly does this mean?" Lucas asked. "I'm not sure exactly what this is, but I'm here," Adrienne said, stroking Lucas' face. She offered to keep their relationship a secret if that were what he wanted, but Lucas pointed out that Adrienne was the only one who had a reason to do so. He complimented Adrienne's sexy laugh, causing her to giggle, and declared that he didn't care what people thought.
Justin went to Horton Square and made a phone call, stating that he would be on his way back to Dubai on the first flight he could get.
At the hospital, Kayla offered to give Daniel a ride to Paige's party. Daniel declined because he had to stop by his apartment on the way to pick up Paige's gift.
Nicole waited impatiently outside Daniel's apartment for the building superintendent, Lou, to let her in -- but when the elevator doors opened, a scowling Xander got off. Xander wondered why Nicole was at Daniel's doorstep when she'd insisted that she was through with Dr. Jonas. Nicole lied that she had left some things at Daniel's after they'd broken up, and she was getting the super to let her in so she could avoid having to see Daniel.
Xander explained that he was there to meet Daniel, who had finished with surgery. When they heard the elevator arriving, Xander suggested to Nicole that, instead of keeping things discreet, it was a good time to go ahead and tell Daniel. Nicole was relieved when Lou exited the elevator. He offered to install a new smoke detector while Nicole was in the apartment, but she claimed that she needed to get back to work, so she would have to return another time.
After Lou left, Xander accused Nicole of using work as an excuse to avoid having to "face the music" with Daniel. With a shrug, Nicole pointed out that her life was none of Daniel's business -- or Xander's. She left via the stairs so she wouldn't have to wait for the elevator.
When Daniel went to his apartment later, he ran into Lou in the hallway. "Tell Nicole I'm sorry I was late," Lou said. He explained to the puzzled doctor, "She wanted to get in to pick up something, but she had to leave in a hurry."
Nicole was busily working at her desk at the television station when Xander arrived a little later. Although Nicole tried to get rid of him, Xander apologized for the way he'd treated her earlier. He explained that he'd been worried that he was being a fool to be interested in her if she really wasn't finished with Daniel, after all. Nicole reiterated that she was done with Daniel, and she needed to move forward. To that end, Xander invited Nicole to join him for dinner that night. Nicole teasingly warned him that she had expensive taste.
After Xander had gone, Nicole told herself, "I have got to get the goods on Xander and Serena tonight. No way I can keep this up with him." Nicole's phone chimed just then, alerting her that she had a voicemail from Daniel, apparently accusing her of trying to break into his apartment. Nicole fretted that she would lose Daniel if she didn't tell him something about what she was up to, but she knew she couldn't tell him everything without any evidence.
"So -- I'll tell him. He says I can trust him; he wants me to trust us," Nicole reminded herself. She imagined telling Daniel the whole story -- and him believing her and declaring his love. Remembering that Daniel would be at the birthday party, Nicole decided to go see him there. "I can trust him. I need to trust him to help me. So I'll just blow off that dinner with Xander," she decided.
Xander sat in the park outside Horton Square, looking at some photographs, then made a brief phone call. "I need to see you. No, it can't wait," Xander said. A little later, Navidad showed up, and Xander gave her two photographs, one of Nicole and one of Daniel. "Follow the woman. If she goes anywhere near Daniel Jonas -- his apartment or in public, anywhere -- you call me immediately," Xander instructed, adding, "The man cannot be touched. The woman is another story. If she needs to disappear without a trace, so be it."
After J.J. left her apartment, Eve poured herself a glass of wine. When she turned, she was startled to see Paige standing in the doorway. Flustered, Eve admitted that she hadn't known Paige was at home. Paige explained that after she'd dropped off some stuff from her dorm room, she'd fallen asleep. She noted that she'd heard a man's voice and that was what had awakened her. Eve offered a bunch of lame excuses about what Paige had probably heard, until Paige revealed that she'd recognized the voice as J.J.'s.
Paige added that she could tell that J.J. and Eve had been fighting, and she'd heard Cole's name. Paige said she had confronted Cole about the terrible things he'd done and the lies he'd told, because she was done with liars. Paige asked if Eve knew what Cole had done, and Eve stammered a rather frantic insistence that she had no idea. To change the subject, Paige asked if the gift on the dining table was for her. Relieved, Eve eagerly jumped up urged her daughter to open the present.
"You spoil me," Paige said flatly. Extending the gift bag, Eve asserted with quiet emphasis that Paige deserved every good thing that Eve could possibly give her. Paige grabbed her mother in a fierce, almost savage embrace and hissed, "I know, Mom. I know what you did... You had sex with my boyfriend!" Paige shoved Eve away and glared at her fiercely. After a moment, Paige broke down a bit, and tears filled her eyes as she averted her gaze.
Aghast, Eve tried to claim that Paige had been having a nightmare. She reached out to comfort her daughter, but Paige recoiled violently and screamed at Eve never to touch her. Eve implored Paige to let her explain. Eve apologized for not admitting right away that J.J. had been there and they'd fought, but Paige had been horribly mistaken about Eve sleeping with J.J. Paige demanded that if Eve had ever loved her, she would look Paige in the eye and stop lying immediately.
"I heard you and J.J., every word. The blackmail, the -- what did you call it? 'Mutually assured destruction'? This is it, the last time, okay? Your last chance," Paige said with grave determination. Barely able to speak above a whisper, Eve stated shakily as a single tear rolled down her cheek, "I love you with all my heart and all my soul, honey. I slept with J.J." Her misery obvious, Eve could no longer meet her daughter's eyes and turned away, while weakly attempting to insist that she and J.J. had both hated what they'd done.
A horrified Paige pointed out that J.J. had returned repeatedly. "Every look between you and him...every jab you ever made at each other -- did you think it was funny?" Paige shrieked. Eve tried to reassure Paige that it hadn't been like that at all. "You are a vile, disgusting slut!" Paige spat. She tried to demand to know how many times Eve had slept with J.J., but Eve refused to answer. Paige declared that she was through taking care of Eve, being the responsible one in their relationship, and defending and making excuses for Eve.
Paige continued that J.J. had been her first, and her first love, but Eve had been unable to let them be happy. "You destroyed us! You destroyed me!" Paige cried. Eve reached for Paige's hand, but Paige used her other hand to deliver a ferocious slap across her mother's face. Crying, Eve tried to apologize, insisting that she had never regretted anything more in her life. Paige only wanted to know one thing: "How could you do this to me?" Eve admitted she didn't know. Paige noted that was a typical Eve answer. Declaring that Eve was no longer her mother, Paige stormed out.
Utterly bereft, Eve slowly closed the door and vowed to get Paige back. Spotting the birthday gift on the couch, Eve picked it up and wept. She opened the birthday card that she'd tucked in with the gift and reread the adoring words she'd written about how Paige would always be her little girl. Removing the gift from the bag-- a photograph of Eve holding a baby Paige -- Eve clutched it to her chest and broke down in miserable sobs.
At the Horton house, J.J., Jennifer, Abigail, and Maggie were busily readying for Paige's surprise birthday party. The living room was already decked out with an excessive amount of balloons, streamers, and other birthday décor. Jennifer assured J.J. that she'd emphasized to their guests the importance of arriving early. Jennifer was hopeful that Eve would behave, but after his earlier conversation with Paige's mom, J.J. said he didn't think Eve would show up.
Maggie and Abigail headed into the kitchen to finish decorating the cake. Holding up the user manual she'd found for a disposable cell phone, Jennifer asked why J.J. had bought a new phone -- and if it had anything to do with why Eve had suddenly planned not to attend her daughter's party. "It's not just the party. Eve is not going to be a problem for me and Paige at all ever again," J.J. declared. He promised to explain everything after the party.
When Abigail and Maggie returned, J.J. revealed that he had been accepted at San Jose State, and he and Paige planned to leave for California as soon as possible. Although Abigail was happy for her brother, she admitted that she would miss him.
Rory and Daphne arrived just then, but they stressed that they were not there together. Rory tried flirting with Abigail, but she simply grabbed the birthday gift from his hand and headed into the living room. Once everyone had gathered in the living room, J.J. told the group about his and Paige's plans to move in together, somewhere between San Jose and Stanford. Daphne admitted that Paige had never seemed happier.
When Kayla arrived, Jennifer introduced her to Daphne. Meanwhile, Rory pulled J.J. aside and asked, "Did you neutralize...that bitch who was trying to mess with you, dude? Did you handle her like a boss?" J.J. said he had. Daniel arrived, and Jennifer hurried him inside. J.J. thanked Kayla for treating Paige so well at the hospital. Kayla praised her nephew for how much he'd grown up and not being afraid to take responsibility for his actions.
Privately, J.J. admitted to Daniel that what he'd done was wrong, but J.J. intended to make it right -- although without hurting Paige by telling her what had happened. Daniel warned J.J. that the mistake would never go away, and the only way to resolve that was to get it out in the open. J.J. countered that telling Paige the truth would only hurt her; the only thing that mattered was that they loved each other.
J.J. instructed the party guests to hide so they could jump out when Paige arrived. Kayla patted J.J. affectionately and pronounced him "like a little puppy in love." Grinning, J.J. said, "I just want this party to be what Paige remembers Salem by. I want my girl happy."
Paige arrived on the front porch and took a deep breath before knocking on the door. J.J. flung the door open, and all the guests appeared in the foyer, happily shouting, "Surprise!"
Paul met with John in the town square and said he never would have agreed to return to Salem if he had known at that time just how hypocritical John really was. "You know, the more I learn about you, I'm surprised you haven't advised me to have sex with Sonny on a conference room table so Will could walk in on us," Paul added.
John guessed Paul had heard about what had happened with Marlena years earlier, and Paul confirmed that Will had told him about how Sami had walked in on John and Marlena and had been scarred for life as a result of the experience. John agreed that it had been a traumatic experience for Sami but disagreed that it had scarred her for life. John started to explain the circumstances, but Paul interrupted. "Would you just stop making excuses? Be honest! You loved each other. You knew that you were meant to be together, and you made it happen -- the hell with whoever got hurt," Paul summarized.
John pointed out that Paul's situation with Sonny was different because Sonny had made it clear that he didn't want Paul. "Tell me something -- all those years ago, when you looked into Dr. Evans' eyes, and she said, 'Oh, no, no, no -- the right thing for me to do is to stay with my husband,' did you even once think that she didn't really love you?" Paul asked John, who shrugged and remained silent. "That's what I thought," Paul said before walking away.
At Club TBD, Chad said he understood why Sonny hadn't been able to pay him a visit immediately after hearing about Kristen's death. Chad guessed Sonny had probably had his hands full since Paul's return to town, anyway. Sonny told Chad about what Paul had done to Will. Sonny assumed Paul would always be jealous of Will, but he insisted there was still no excuse for Paul's behavior.
When the DiMera jet landed, Stefano cryptically welcomed Marlena to her final destination -- and mocked her for being naïve enough to believe he was talking about Salem, where he was still a wanted man. Marlena reminded Stefano he had promised Chad her safe return home. "And you murdered my daughter!" Stefano snarled.
Marlena argued that Kristen's psychotic behavior had caused her death. "And who made her that way, hmm? Who ruined my daughter's life, destroyed her mind, her soul? You -- and John Black," Stefano bitterly countered. Stefano said Kristen had been a beautiful, happy woman until she had made the mistake of falling in love with John -- who, because of Marlena, had never been able to love Kristen the way she had needed him to. "Then she lost John's baby. That is the day that she died," Stefano concluded.
Marlena insisted Stefano couldn't use ancient history as a way of excusing the psychotic, irrational way Kristen had behaved in Italy, but he maintained that Marlena had been responsible for turning Kristen into that person. Marlena said she was sorry Stefano had lost his daughter and was suffering as a result of that loss. Marlena added, however, that Stefano still had Chad, and she advised him to focus on that. "Meaning let you go, huh? Keep my promise?" Stefano translated. Stefano gave a nod to one of his goons, who quickly seized Marlena. "Take her! Take her! Finish it," Stefano instructed, smiling as he watched Marlena struggle to free herself.
After putting a hood over Marlena's head, the goon dragged her to a new location, where he uncovered her face and handed over her purse and cell phone. "The battery's dead, so forget about it. I don't exist. And oh, yeah -- this never happened. Have a nice day," the man said before walking away. Recognizing the wooded area, Marlena nervously made her way to the nearby town square, and when John greeted her there, she rushed over and wrapped her arms tightly around him. Concerned, John asked Marlena if something had happened. "Stefano happened," Marlena replied.
Chad boarded the DiMera jet and assured Stefano that no one had followed him there. "I didn't even know this airfield existed," Chad admitted. Stefano clarified that the airfield hadn't existed until recently. Chad asked about Marlena, and Stefano assured him that she was safe and was probably already back in Salem. Chad thanked Stefano. "You are not welcome, Chad. I thought you knew by now that I am not a man who likes to be threatened," Stefano replied.
Chad argued that threatening to disown Stefano had been the only way to get through to a man who valued family above all else. Stefano countered that Chad could have just stayed out of the matter instead, but Chad insisted that hadn't been possible because Abe and Roman had correctly guessed Stefano had been responsible for Marlena's disappearance. Stefano couldn't believe Chad had let Roman and Abe witness a son turning against his own father. Chad assured Stefano that no one had been in the room with him during their phone conversation, adding that he had simply told Abe and Roman afterward that everything was going to be okay.
Chad thought Roman and Abe had likely seen Stefano's change of heart as a display of compassion, but Stefano suspected they had instead seen it as a sign of DiMera weakness. Chad wasn't sure how killing Marlena would have shown strength, so Stefano explained that it would have shown the world that anyone who dared to hurt a DiMera would pay the price for doing so. Chad pointed out that Kristen had been out of her mind and had even been threatening to kill a bunch of people, but Stefano argued that she still hadn't deserved to die. Chad conceded the point but maintained that Marlena's only choice had been to defend herself.
"So she said," Stefano replied. Stefano dismissively added that there was no point in rehashing everything, and Chad agreed that it was in the past and that what really mattered was that they were all that remained of the DiMera family. Stefano promised to do everything he could to help and support Chad, who vowed to show Stefano the same loyalty.
Satisfied, Stefano changed the subject, reporting that his lawyers were confident that the tax evasion charges would soon go away, leaving him free to return to Salem in a week or two. Stefano admitted he was looking forward to seeing all his old friends, although he stressed that Chad was his main concern. Stefano asked if Chad had managed to get Ben out of Abigail's life yet, prompting Chad to wonder why that mattered to Stefano one way or the other.
Marlena didn't tell John much about her ordeal, admitting she wasn't really in the mood to talk about it. John stressed that he would have rushed to Marlena's rescue if he had known she had been in trouble, and she assured him she understood he had been busy with other things.
Marlena asked John to distract her with news about Brady and Paul, so John reported that Brady and Theresa had named their child Tate -- and that the boy was doing really well. John also told Marlena about his earlier conversation with Paul. John pointed out that he and Marlena had hurt a lot of people when they had tried to deny their feelings for each other years earlier, and they both agreed that it would be a huge mistake for Sonny and Paul to try to deny their feelings if they, too, were still in love with each other, despite one of them being committed to someone else.
Paul went to Club TBD to talk to Sonny, but Sonny insisted there was nothing left for them to talk about. Sonny couldn't believe Paul had hit Will, especially with Arianna sleeping in the adjacent room. Paul didn't want to talk about that, suggesting it would instead be best to just move on, but Sonny said there was nothing to move on to -- a fact that he had made clear on more than one occasion, even though Paul obviously didn't want to hear such things and had taken his frustration out on Will. "Sonny, I punched Will because he called my mother a whore," Paul clarified.
Sonny was skeptical, finding it hard to understand why Will would have said something like that. Paul shrugged and advised Sonny to ask Will for an explanation. When Sonny confirmed that he planned to do just that, Paul hoped Will would actually give Sonny the truth, since that was what Sonny deserved -- and it was what Paul had always given Sonny. Paul insisted that, while he wasn't trying to justify his actions, he never would have done such a thing to someone who hadn't been asking for it -- and Sonny had to know that was true about him, just like it was true that he didn't lie. "No, you don't," Sonny agreed.
"Can you say the same thing about Will?" Paul asked. Sonny defended Will, who had been going through a really tough time lately, but Paul said he didn't want to talk about Will; he wanted to talk about Sonny -- and himself. Sonny once again informed Paul that there couldn't be anything between them. "There already is something between us!" Paul insisted.
"Was," Sonny stressed, but Paul maintained that there had been something between them since the day they'd first met, and it had never gone away. Paul said that, while he had tried to pretend he no longer had a chance with Sonny after he had learned Sonny was married, he hadn't been able to stop thinking about Sonny. Grasping Sonny's hand, Paul challenged him to deny that he still cared about Paul. "Caring about you is not the same as loving you," Sonny said. "Okay -- then tell me that you don't still love me," Paul replied.
Eve couldn't help getting her hopes up when someone knocked on her apartment door, but the visitor wasn't Paige -- it was Cole, who wanted an explanation for the strange phone call he had received from Eve earlier. "It all seems like it happened so long ago," Eve muttered. Surprised to see that Eve had been crying, Cole wondered if she and Paige had gotten into another fight.
Eve explained that J.J. had figured out what Cole had done. Cole stressed that he hadn't said anything to J.J. -- Paige was the one who had pieced everything together. Cole assured Eve that he had kept her involvement a secret, and he added that he wasn't worried about Paige and J.J. because they didn't have any way to prove their suspicion. Eve clarified that J.J. actually had enough proof to send Cole to prison for a very, very long time.
Eve started to retreat to her bedroom, but Cole protested that she couldn't just drop a bomb like that and walk away without elaborating. Cole reminded Eve that if he went down, he would take her down with him. "You can't drag me down any lower than I already am, all right?" Eve numbly replied. Eve decided to take pity on Cole and help him get out of town, since she never wanted to see his face again because he was a reminder of how everything had gone wrong in the first place. Eve warned that if Cole didn't accept her offer, she would make sure he went to prison for what he had done to J.J. "And so will you," Cole countered.
"Well, here's the kicker -- I don't care," Eve replied. Eve insisted her life wasn't worth living without Paige in it, and she added that, while Cole had never really had a life worth living to begin with, he would be much better off living his life somewhere else regardless. Eve ordered Cole to leave, but he stayed and reminded her that he had simply tried to do what she had wanted him to do -- help her get her daughter away from J.J. "Yeah. And I got my wish," Eve tearfully muttered.
Cole started to talk about how he had never really been able to figure Eve out, but she kicked over the coffee table to interrupt him. "Just go, damn it! Just go someplace where somebody doesn't know what a failure you are as a human being!" Eve spat, so Cole rose from the couch and started to leave, but he paused at the door long enough to remind her their scheme had been her idea, not his -- and if she ratted him out, he would turn on her in a heartbeat and make her sorry. "I'm already...so very sorry. So very sorry," Eve muttered after Cole left. Eve sank to the couch and sobbed as she clutched a framed photograph of her and Paige.
At the Horton house, Paige stood frozen in shock as the party attendees took turns hugging her and wishing her a happy birthday. Jennifer eventually summoned everyone back to the living room so Paige could have a moment to catch her breath. Kayla quietly explained that she might know why Paige was acting strange, since they had once had a conversation in which Paige had revealed that she didn't like surprises.
J.J. stayed with Paige in the foyer and assured her she could talk to him about whatever was bothering her, since they always told each other everything. Rory and Daphne returned just as Paige was telling J.J. it wasn't the time or the place for such a conversation. Rory was excited to show off the video of Paige's reaction to the surprise party, which he had recorded on his cell phone, but J.J. was more interested in making sure Paige was all right. Meanwhile, Daphne hugged Paige and said it was awesome that Paige and J.J. were going to be moving to California together.
Paige hesitantly followed J.J., Rory, and Daphne into the living room, where Abigail presented her with a small chocolate cake. J.J. kissed Paige's cheek as Abigail talked about how he had been obsessed with making sure Abigail had made the cake perfect for Paige. J.J. said Paige deserved that much for putting up with him all the time. J.J. launched into a lengthy speech about how great Paige was and how much she meant to him, and as he spoke, she imagined him drinking wine with Eve and having sex with Eve.
J.J. finished his speech and went to get the cake from Abigail so he could take it to Paige and let her blow out the candles. Maggie noticed the letters "ILYF" written on the cake, and Abigail explained that J.J. had made her add that finishing touch. Maggie looked to Paige for an explanation, and Paige numbly muttered that it meant "I love you forever." As everyone gushed over the sentimental message, J.J. carried the cake over to Paige, who stared at it for a moment before angrily knocking it out of his hands with a scream of frustration.
Confused, J.J. wondered why Paige had done that. Struggling to regain her composure, Paige started to walk away before changing her mind and furiously slapping J.J. "Liar! You stand there, telling everybody how much you love me?! Empty words oozing out of your filthy mouth! They don't mean a damn thing!" Paige shouted as Jennifer and Daphne held her at bay. J.J. insisted he did love Paige, and he tried to approach her, but she backed away and warned him never to touch her again.
Paige refused to go outside with J.J. so they could talk privately about what was upsetting her, but he kept pushing for her to tell him what was wrong. "I know, J.J. -- I know all of it. You slept with my mother," Paige finally snapped. As the guests reacted to the accusation, J.J. tried to deny it, insisting Eve was just spreading lies again. J.J. assured Paige he could explain everything if she would just listen. "Oh, my God! You don't get it, do you? You don't get it! I did listen. I heard you and my mom an hour ago. I was in the other room, okay? Listening to the both of you admitting to everything you did," Paige explained.
Abigail tried to defend J.J., insisting that couldn't possibly be true, but when Paige challenged him to deny it, he remained silent. "Oh, dude!" Rory muttered in disbelief. Paige shoved J.J. a few times as she angrily ordered him to admit the truth to everyone -- or at least to her, since she deserved to hear the truth from him for once. J.J. instead stressed that he loved Paige, who countered that he didn't actually know the meaning of the word. Jennifer stepped in and tried to defuse the situation, but when Paige gauged Jennifer's fairly calm reaction to the news, she realized Jennifer had known all along.
Paige admitted that explained a lot, and she disappointedly added that Jennifer -- who had been like the mother Paige had always wished she'd had -- was actually no better than Eve. "Okay, you know what, Paige? It's nobody else's fault but mine, okay? Blame me. Me. Yeah, you're right -- your mom -- Eve and I -- we just did it. It's no one else's fault. I just -- I'm sorry," J.J. said. Paige tearfully mused that that was probably the first honest thing J.J. had ever said to her. J.J. reiterated that he loved Paige, and he begged her to give him a chance to explain, but she ignored him and rushed out of the house.
J.J. looked around the room at everyone with sadness and guilt before chasing after Paige. Daphne soon followed -- also in search of Paige -- and Rory took the hint when Daniel pointed him toward the front door. Rory -- who had filmed most of the party and subsequent confrontation on his cell phone -- assured Daniel no one would ever see the video or hear about what had happened. "Nobody would believe me, anyway," Rory added before giving Daniel a farewell high-five and walking away.
Daniel, Kayla, and Maggie left to give Jennifer some time alone with Abigail, who wanted to know if Jennifer really had known about J.J.'s affair with Eve all along. Meanwhile, as Daniel and Maggie headed back to the Kiriakis mansion, he admitted he had figured out J.J.'s secret weeks earlier. Daniel stressed that Jennifer was going to need Maggie's support, since Jennifer had known the whole thing could backfire but hadn't been able to face that fact.
J.J. followed Paige to the park, where she demanded to know why he had slept with her mother.
Outside Club TBD, Paul pressured Sonny to be honest about his feelings for Paul. Just then, Will exited the club and demanded to know what was going on. Sonny irritably informed his husband that nothing was going on; Paul was merely trying to explain what had happened. An angry Will presumed that Paul was lying to Sonny about the events that had led to Paul punching Will because Paul wanted Sonny back.
The bartender stuck his head out the door and told Sonny that someone had hacked into the computer system. After Sonny headed inside, Will demanded to know what Paul and Sonny had been talking about. "I just asked Sonny if he was still in love with me," Paul said, explaining that his inspiration had been Will's story about the love between Paul's father and Will's grandmother. Will asserted that Sonny loved him, not Paul. Paul didn't think Will was so sure about that.
Paul informed Will that Sonny knew why Paul had punched Will -- and if Will continued lying, Paul would tell Sonny how Will had blackmailed Tori. Will maintained that he'd only done those terrible things because he'd been terrified of losing Sonny, whose first love had returned and become a "gay icon." Scoffing, Paul declared, "If you think that Sonny would choose me over you over some superficial things, you don't know your husband at all." Paul left.
When Sonny returned, Will apologized, especially since they had reconnected after the previous night. Will had to get back to work on his article about Clyde Weston, but the husbands agreed to talk later about what had happened with Paul.
In the park, Paige demanded to know why J.J. had slept with her mother. J.J. said he would tell Paige everything because he didn't want to lie to her anymore, but he didn't think she could possibly understand it, because he didn't. "I thought I'd lost you forever, Paige," J.J. began. He continued that Paige had seen the pictures of him with the girls at the party the same night Eve had learned she couldn't have surgery on her vocal cords. J.J. had been drinking, but he'd gone to the apartment to try to explain things to Paige, but he'd found a crying Eve instead.
J.J. maintained that having sex with Eve had been the biggest mistake of his life, and he'd been trying to fix it ever since. An incredulous Paige acknowledged that she knew J.J. had slept with Eve numerous times. "How many times was it, J.J.? Just how many mistakes did you and Mommy Dearest make?" Paige demanded. J.J. said Eve had threatened to tell Paige everything, because Eve had thought it preferable to lose Paige than let her get back together with him. He reminded Paige of how Eve had tried to keep her in California permanently.
Paige pointed out that J.J. still hadn't answered her question -- and she didn't understand why, if J.J. had been as angry with Eve as he'd claimed, he'd slept with her repeatedly. Furious, Paige continued to ask how many times J.J. had slept with her mother. J.J. admitted that he didn't know why he'd done it, and he didn't expect Paige to forgive him. "No matter how much I screwed up or how I screwed up, I do love you. Paige, you have to believe that," J.J. implored.
Paige said she did believe that J.J. loved her, and that was the only reason she had forgiven him for sleeping with someone else -- but then J.J. had lied to her over and over and had even blackmailed her mother just to keep Paige from finding out the truth. "That might be what love means to you, J.J., but that's not love to me," Paige declared quietly. She accused J.J. of playing up how misunderstood he was because nice girls fell for that -- but Paige was no longer that stupid, nice girl.
J.J. said it would be awful if the bad things he'd done had changed who Paige was. Paige declared that she couldn't forgive J.J. or save him again because she needed to save herself. J.J. insisted that he wasn't trying to get Paige to forgive him, but he would do anything to make things right. Paige vehemently stated that if J.J. truly meant that, then what he could do for her was to never contact her in any way again. J.J. professed that he couldn't live without Paige.
Paige countered hotly that he wouldn't be alone for long, because there would always be some gullible girl there to comfort him and accept his lies -- but she predicted that if he continued treating the people he loved the way he did, he would ultimately end up alone. As Paige started to leave, she stopped and demanded, "Do you even understand why I'm hurting so much? It's because you made me love you, even when you knew it was wrong, even when you knew you should've walked away, vanished from my life forever. And now, I hope you do."
On board the DiMera jet outside Salem, Chad wondered why Stefano cared about whether Abigail and Chad reunited. Stefano countered, "Are you saying that you are not in love with her?" Chad noted that Stefano had dodged the issue by answering a question with a question. Stefano insisted that he only wanted to see his last remaining child be happy -- and he wouldn't let anything stand in the way of that. Chad didn't think there was anything Stefano could do to help him, since Abigail was still with Ben. Stefano was optimistic that Chad would succeed. After thanking his father for taking Marlena home, Chad got off the plane.
Alone in her apartment, Eve realized that drinking wouldn't help her situation, and she set her wine glass down on the kitchen counter. She rushed to the phone when it rang, hoping it was Paige, but instead it was Theresa, calling from her hospital bed. Theresa invited Eve to visit so she could meet her new nephew, Tate. Eve declined because she had "more important things going on." Theresa wondered what could possibly be more important.
Theresa joked that Eve should put a batch of martinis in a Thermos and take them to the hospital. Eve snapped that Theresa had a baby and couldn't continue partying all the time. Eve cautioned her perplexed sister to be careful or risk losing everything. "When did you turn into Saint Monica?" Theresa muttered when she realized Eve had hung up.
Eve was worried and anxious about where Paige could have gone. Pacing, Eve wondered, "Did she go to the Hortons'? I swear to God, if J.J. lied his way out of this, my God, I will kill him!" She grabbed her keys and ran out the door.
At the Horton house, Jennifer admitted to Abigail that she'd known about J.J. sleeping with Eve for months because she'd found them in bed together. As she cleaned up the smashed birthday cake from the floor, Jennifer asserted that she should have protected J.J. from Eve. Abigail accused Jennifer of not only keeping quiet about J.J. and Eve's affair but of not thinking about the effect it would have on Paige. "Everything you did or didn't do, it was all for J.J.!" Abigail contended.
Abigail believed that after finding out, Jennifer had been determined to make sure J.J. and Paige got back together, regardless of what it might have done to Paige if she had found out. "You didn't just keep quiet about this, Mom. You lied," Abigail asserted. Jennifer said she hadn't seen it that way, but Abigail declared that she would never understand why Jennifer had gone along with J.J.'s deception.
Dialing back her outrage a bit, Abigail stressed that she loved her mom, but she pointed out that the behavior didn't really seem like Jennifer. "Well, I haven't felt like myself since that day," Jennifer admitted. Abigail said she needed some air, got her purse, and walked out the front door. Jennifer looked up a moment later and saw Eve standing in the doorway.
Eve wondered what had happened to cause Paige's party to end so early. "What happened? You came back to Salem and proceeded to destroy everything in your path, including my son -- and your own daughter," Jennifer retorted. Eve asserted that J.J. shared that blame because he'd been too stupid to make sure his girlfriend wasn't listening in the next room before going on and on about how he'd slept with her mother.
Jennifer pointed out that Paige had also learned that Eve had planted drugs in J.J.'s backpack, but Eve insisted she hadn't done that. Disgusted, Jennifer sneered, "No, you got someone to do it for you. Did you pay him to do it or let him take it out in trade?" Her worry finally trumping her anger, Eve said she had only gone there because wanted to know where Paige was. Jennifer said she didn't know -- but she thought that Eve had lost Paige forever.
Refusing to accept that, Eve demanded to know where J.J. was. Before Jennifer could answer, Eve accused J.J. of manipulating Paige into forgiving him so they could run off to California together. An incredulous Jennifer tried to throw Eve out, but Eve ignored her. "No matter what that boy does, you're there to love, comfort, and abet that little criminal son of yours!" Eve remarked with disbelief -- but Jennifer surprised her by concurring.
"It's just wrong. You get to keep your child while I lose mine," Eve noted, clearly grieving. She pointed out that no one had forced J.J. to have sex with her -- and Jennifer wasn't blameless, either, because she had helped J.J. win Paige back. "My daughter, who actually does have a soul, is lost, is devastated, and nobody deserves that kind of hurt. Nobody, especially not my beautiful daughter!" Eve declared. "No, she didn't deserve any of this," Jennifer agreed.
Eve understood the emphasis and the implication that Eve did deserve it. "Another smug, condescending pronouncement by the great Jennifer Horton. God, I hate you, and I cannot believe that, once again, you have gotten away with everything, just like you always do. And I lose the one -- the one good thing that has ever happened to me!" Eve hissed before storming out. Outside, Eve vowed that Jennifer would not get away with it.
A pensive Abigail was wandering through Horton Square when Chad spotted her. He followed her to the park and remarked that she looked upset, but Abigail insisted she was fine. Expressing his gratitude to Abigail for being there after his sister had died, Chad offered to listen if she wanted to talk. Abigail acknowledged that she was in no position to judge people after everything she'd done. Chad assured her that he didn't think any less of her for sleeping with E.J., and neither did Ben.
Abigail admitted that perhaps she'd been unfair to her mom by holding her to a higher standard than everyone else. Abigail added that she loved and respected her mom. "Has that changed?" Chad asked. Abigail confessed that something had happened with her mom, but instead of being supportive, Abigail had been judgmental. She continued that she tended to make snap judgments and turn her back on the people she loved, and it wasn't right. "I wasn't fair to you, Chad," Abigail admitted.
Alone on the jet, Stefano held a large manila envelope labeled "Abigail Deveraux." "There's still time for you to win her, my son, for the family," Stefano said.
Melanie was looking through a stack of photos at Daniel's apartment when Brady called and said he needed to see her right away about something very important. When Brady learned that Melanie was taking some time off, he offered to go to Daniel's. Melanie tried to tell Brady that it wasn't a good time, but he'd already hung up.
A grinning Anne entered Theresa's room and asked, "So, bubbeleh, how's Mother of the Year?" Theresa pointed out that she had been telling the truth about being pregnant, after all. Anne and Theresa were laughing giddily about how wealthy Tate's father and great-grandfather were when Brady walked in. He remarked on the women's good mood, and Theresa admitted it, beaming, "I think this is the happiest I have ever been!"
Brady informed Theresa that he had to leave the hospital for a little while, but he didn't divulge any details. Theresa did her best to hide her disappointment. After Brady left, Theresa admitted that she knew where Brady was going, but she could hardly tell him to stay away from the woman who'd gotten their son back.
Just then, Kimberly arrived, much to Theresa's surprise and dismay. Kimberly happily announced that she was there to see her grandson, but Theresa sullenly explained that the baby was in isolation. Unfazed, Kimberly shoved Anne out of the way to hug Theresa -- whom she referred to as "Jeannie" until Theresa corrected her. "What an ordeal you've been through, Theresa, my sweet girl," Kimberly murmured. Behind Kimberly's back, Anne mouthed, "Wow!" to Theresa.
After Anne left, Kimberly started trying to talk to Theresa about needing help with the baby, especially because of how everything had happened -- but Theresa interpreted her mother's words as criticism. Theresa complained, "This is exactly why I didn't want you here, because you've been here less than five minutes, and I already feel like I've done everything wrong, like I've messed up everything. But you know what? Tate is the very best thing that I have ever done in my entire life!"
"Your father and I are on your side -- yours and Tate's," Kimberly reassured Theresa. Theresa pointed out that her father wasn't there, but Kimberly explained that Shane was doing everything in his power to solve Theresa's legal problems back home. "You and Tate are going to go back to California with me as soon as possible," Kimberly announced, explaining that she and Shane would help Theresa raise Tate. "It's all being taken care of, even as we speak," Kimberly added.
Maxine went to Daniel's and playfully gave Melanie a hard time for taking time off work without filling out the proper form. "I guess tracking down a sociopathic kidnapper and returning a baby to its parents works -- just this once," Maxine teased, laughing as she hugged Melanie. Maxine observed that Melanie had been crying and wanted to know why.
Melanie retrieved the photos and tearfully explained that she'd been thinking about her awful childhood and wondering how differently things might have turned out if her parents had raised her. "I would've been a better person. Maybe I wouldn't have done all of the screwed-up things that I've done," Melanie cried. Maxine gently asked what had made Melanie start thinking about that. Melanie said every child deserved to be happy and have a good start in life.
Maxine reassured Melanie that whatever she'd done in the past, she had more than redeemed herself. Brady arrived just then, so Maxine quickly excused herself and left. Announcing that he had really missed Melanie, Brady embraced her and kissed her passionately. "As great as it's been to be with Tate...it's been killing me, how little time we've gotten to spend together, and that's why I'm not going to be able to do this the way I wanted to do it... I wanted it to be big, huge, spectacular, skywriting, fireworks, something like that," Brady began.
Giggling, Melanie asked what Brady was talking about. Declaring that he didn't want to waste one more second, Brady dropped to one knee. A stunned Melanie gasped. "Melanie Jonas, will you marry me?" Brady asked, holding out an engagement ring.