At the Kiriakis mansion, Eric joined Sarah in the living room and reported that Holly had finally dozed off. "[But not before] asking about her mother -- [the] one thing I can't give her," Eric added with a sigh.
Sarah guessed that Holly could sense that something was wrong. "So, [she knows that] we're lying to her -- [that] I'm lying to her -- [by saying only] that her mommy can't be here right now," Eric summarized, groaning. Sarah preferred to think of it as waiting for the right moment to reveal the truth, but Eric argued that there was no such thing.
"You know, [Nicole and I] were gonna raise Holly together, [but] now I have to raise that little girl all alone," Eric mused, as if accepting that fact for the first time. "[I mean], Nicole's brother [is] in Africa with Theo Carver, [and] her sister [is] overseas, [and Maggie and Victor] really aren't at a place in their lives to start chasing after a toddler," Eric continued.
"[Okay, so that just leaves you, but] you're not 'alone' -- I mean, my mom plans on being a huge part of her grandbaby's life, [and] I totally [plan on being] the best aunt ever," Sarah joked. "You already are," Eric insisted. "[But] you are the rock that she needs, so I think that the first and best step [you could take] to help her [is] to become her permanent and legal guardian," Sarah continued before realizing that Eric might not be interested in unsolicited advice about such a sensitive subject, especially from someone who was still practically a stranger.
"[My tendency to overstep] won't be a problem [for you] when I'm back in Chicago," Sarah assured Eric. "You're heading back soon?" Eric asked, surprised. "You don't seem excited [about that]," Eric added. "[Yeah, well, after] everything that went down with Rex, the idea of going back to Chicago just really isn't appealing," Sarah admitted with a shrug.
"Maybe you could stay here," Eric spontaneously suggested. "I love [that] idea, [but] my work is important to me, and my life -- or...what's left of it -- is in Chicago," Sarah pointed out before deciding to overstep again, eager to know if Eric planned to adopt Holly. "If Maggie agrees, I will get the paperwork started," Eric confirmed, pleasing Sarah.
At Doug's Place, Julie happily greeted Hope and Rafe, who had just finished having Thanksgiving dinner with Gabi and Arianna. "Where's Daddy?" Hope asked. "Driving a huge platter of turkey and all the fixings over to the Horton Center," Julie reported, smiling proudly. Hope assumed that Ciara was with Doug, but Julie clarified that Ciara had never shown up for Thanksgiving dinner at the club. "[We figured she] had dinner with you," Julie added with a shrug. "No, she insisted on celebrating the holiday with you," Hope replied, confused. "Well, she didn't," Julie maintained. "Then, where is she?" Hope wondered, suddenly worried.
Meanwhile, Ciara returned home after a motorcycle ride and found Tripp in her bedroom, filling a box with his belongings. "What are you doing?" she asked. "What does it look like?" he replied. "I'm moving out," he added for her. "Of my room?" she assumed. "Of the loft [apartment]," he clarified. "[And] you really don't have to watch me pack," he pointed out. "Fine, I'll go," she assured him, taking the hint. "But just so we're clear, you're the one who ended things with me, not the other way around," she reminded him, pausing in the doorway. "I may have said the words, but you were already gone," he countered.
"I'm not the man you thought I was, remember? [I mean], you actually think that I framed Ben just to get you into bed. That's...that's messed up," Tripp continued. "It was about trust, Tripp. I thought that I'd finally found a man that I could trust, [and then] you lied to me," Ciara clarified. "[I just] wanted to protect you," Tripp stressed. "By framing an innocent man?" Ciara asked. "'An innocent man'? 'An innocent man'! My God, do you have any idea how sick I am of hearing him described that way? I mean, the guy's a serial killer, [but] what's the big deal, [right]? So, he's taken a few lives. You know, we all have our faults," Tripp sarcastically countered.
"Are you finished?" Ciara asked, unamused. "Oh, I'm sorry -- did I offend you?" Tripp replied. "We were talking about us," Ciara pointed out. "No, we were talking about how Ben has come between us," Tripp clarified. "[Ben] -- someone who I, unlike you, have a hard time trusting, given the fact that he's done one of the worst, most horrendous [things] -- and, in my opinion, the most unforgivable thing -- you can do, and that's to take another person's life. [But] you see it differently -- [you admire him] for having the courage to repent...or whatever the hell you admire him for -- [and] that's why I'm moving out," Tripp continued.
"No matter what you may think...I really did love you. And I'm so sorry things had to end like this," Ciara tearfully stressed. "Me, too," Tripp quietly replied before retreating to another room to continue packing.
Meanwhile, back at Doug's Place, Hope dialed Ciara's cell phone number -- apparently not for the first time that evening. "Ugh. Straight to voicemail. Again," Hope grumbled after ending the call.
"I'm gonna swing by the loft [apartment] and see if she's there," Hope spontaneously decided. "Stay here [and let me know if] she shows up," Hope told Rafe. "As you wish," Rafe agreed. "[But] I'm sure she's fine," Rafe added. "Yeah, I know, [but] I just need to see it with my own eyes," Hope explained before rushing off, leaving Rafe alone with Julie, who had been studying the couple's behavior with great interest.
"[Seems like] things are going [just] swimmingly again [for you two]," Julie observed. "Better than ever," Rafe confirmed. "Good. [Let's] hope you don't do anything else to screw it up," Julie mused.
Hope arrived at the loft apartment shortly after Tripp left it. "[I skipped Thanksgiving dinner because] I wasn't up for the third degree from the grandparents. [See], Tripp and I had an argument [earlier, and] we broke up," Ciara explained to Hope, who was sorry to hear that but couldn't help asking for more details. "You're not gonna like it," Ciara warned. "[The argument] was about Ben," Ciara continued.
"Tripp thinks that I have feelings for Ben. [And] there was a little more [to the argument] than that, but...basically, [that was the reason for the breakup]," Ciara carefully elaborated. "That's crazy -- I mean, that really...is... Ciara, please, honey, tell me that it's crazy [for Tripp to think that you have feelings for Ben]," Hope worriedly begged Ciara, who didn't respond.
Horrified, Hope started reminding Ciara of Ben's history. "All right, Mom, okay -- I get it!" Ciara eventually snapped. "I get it -- my boyfriend and I break up, and you'd rather give me a hard time about Ben [than say], 'Oh, gee, I'm sorry, sweetie,'" Ciara continued, annoyed. "[I already] said I was sorry. I'm not apologizing, though -- not for being protective of my daughter when it comes to Weston," Hope replied.
"All he wants is a fair chance -- to be given a chance -- and not a single person in this town will make any effort," Ciara grumbled. "Except you," Hope noted.
"At the risk of you throwing me out...did Ben's victims have a fair shot?" Hope asked. "See, this is exactly why I skipped out on [Thanksgiving dinner]," Ciara replied, groaning.
Hope forged ahead, telling Ciara that getting involved with Ben would be a disaster. "You didn't have a problem with Tripp," Ciara pointed out. "[Because Tripp] didn't murder people in cold blood!" Hope explained. "Okay, well, Ben was sick, [and] he got help, [and] he's fine [now]," Ciara argued. "We thought the same thing about Abigail," Hope countered. "Can you just drop this, please?" Ciara tiredly requested.
"No, I cannot -- I will not --" Hope began to respond. Fed up, Ciara stormed off. "Ciara, I'm --" Hope called out as the apartment door slammed shut. "Just trying to protect you..." Hope finished with a sigh.
At the Horton Town Square, Claire took an unscheduled break from work to chase down Ben, who was passing through the area. "Ciara and Tripp just broke up!" Claire happily announced. "So I heard. Looks like you got what you wanted," Ben tiredly replied, still walking. "What we --" Claire started to clarify, causing Ben to pause. "There's no 'we' [anymore]," Ben insisted, turning to face Claire.
"Our little group effort -- it's over. I want nothing to do with you anymore," Ben continued. "Okay, well, [if] you [still] want Ciara, [then] this is the perfect time to pounce, [because] she is sad, and lonely, and free," Claire advised. "I'm not even sure the girl has real feelings for me. [But either way], I'm out. [There will be] no more games, no more agenda, no more maneuvers... [If she's] interested in me at all, it'll happen [naturally]," Ben insisted. "[People] need a little bit of a push [sometimes]," Claire argued. "Like Tripp? I'm assuming he didn't run directly into your arms after [the breakup]. Maybe he's just not that into you," Ben countered.
"Oh, trust me, Ben -- [Tripp] was [interested in me], and he will be again," Claire insisted, suddenly looking a bit unhinged. "You're relentless," Ben observed with a shake of the head. "Ben, you and I are not quitters! [I mean], just look at us! [You] killed people [and] went to the loony bin, [but] now you are trying so hard to make a [new] life for yourself, even though no one really wants you here, and no one will hire you. [And I] am a former Internet sensation [with] no place to sing besides the damn shower, [and] I was dumped by Theo, [and] I have been humiliated [and] trolled, but I am still standing, [just like] you," Claire continued.
"This isn't the part [where] we quit, Ben; this is the part [where] we fight even harder, because, you know what? We deserve this! I deserve Tripp, and you deserve Ciara, and we just might have to work a little bit harder to make it happen!" Claire stressed, giving Ben a look of wild-eyed determination. "You're delusional," Ben concluded with another shake of the head. "No, Ben -- I just know what I want!" Claire argued. "Then go for it, girl. Just leave me the hell out of it," Ben replied before starting to walk away. "I can't do this without you! We are partners!" Claire protested. "Until you find a better way to screw me over," Ben bitterly countered.
"Don't leave me!" Claire begged, grabbing Ben's right arm. Just then, Tripp entered the town square. "Is there a problem here?" Tripp demanded to know as Ben jerked away from Claire. "[He] was chewing me out for covering for you," Claire told Tripp while glaring at Ben. "Oh, you want to get pissed at somebody?" Tripp asked, getting in Ben's face. "Bring it!" Tripp continued, ready for a fight. "I'm the one who set your ass up, anyway!" Tripp reminded Ben. "[And why did] you do that, Tripp?" Ben asked calmly. "I was trying to put a guilty man behind bars," Tripp explained with a shrug. "Now that's something I can get behind," Ben mused.
"What are you talking about?" Claire asked worriedly as Ben produced a cell phone. "Well, the only 'man' guilty here -- boy guilty here -- of anything is Tripp, [so] maybe it's time for a little justice," Ben elaborated, shrugging. Claire begged Ben not to report Tripp's crime to the police. "[He was just] trying to protect Ciara!" Claire stressed. "[Or maybe he] just didn't like the way she looked at me," Ben guessed. "[He] has a record! He will go to prison! [He already lost Ciara] -- isn't that punishment enough?" Claire argued. "What about my pain and suffering? [His stunt] brought the Salem P.D. down on me hard," Ben countered.
"[And] he's really sorry!" Claire assured Ben. "Aren't you?" Claire added, eyeing Tripp expectantly. "The hell I am. Go ahead -- call the cops," Tripp replied, finally speaking again. "You heard the man," Ben told Claire before starting to dial the phone number. Claire again begged Ben to let Tripp off the hook. "You have been exactly where Tripp is," Claire began to argue. "Eh, only one of us has strangled people to death," Tripp interjected. "Shut up!" Claire ordered Tripp before forging ahead. "You're the one who's always talking about wanting people to give you a second chance, [so] can't you just do that for Tripp?" Claire asked Ben.
"Don't do me any favors," Tripp dismissively advised Ben. "You are so not helping right now!" Claire snapped at Tripp before continuing to reason with Ben. "You and Tripp might not like each other, [but] frankly, this isn't about him; it's about you [and] this whole 'karma' thing. [So], if you are really ready to turn over this new leaf, then you should start here, by letting [this] go," Claire argued. "Fine," Ben eventually agreed.
Relieved, Claire turned to Tripp again. "What do you say?" Claire asked Tripp expectantly. "I'm late for my shift," Tripp replied, shooting Ben one last glare.
"He is so grateful," Claire assured Ben as Tripp walked away. "Really. I can tell. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you --" Claire continued until Ben tiredly demanded silence.
"You know, somewhere amongst all the words that were spewing from your mouth, one thing made sense -- I do want a second chance, even if [that] means [having to give] a piece of trash like Tripp Dalton [the same courtesy]," Ben conceded. "[Good], 'cause if you had called the cops, you could have ruined my shot with him...[but] I talked you out of it, so I basically saved him, and he will remember that," Claire replied, grinning mischievously. "It always comes back to you," Ben mused with a scoff. "[He's] very important to me, and I know that I can make him happy," Claire explained, shrugging unapologetically.
"Good luck with that," Ben skeptically replied. "[But] just so we're clear -- now that I've kept the man that you can make 'happy' out of jail, our little tag team [is] over...for good," Ben stressed. "Leave me the hell alone," Ben concluded while pointedly tightening Claire's work tie. Claire shakily readjusted the tie while watching Ben walk away.
After recovering from the scare, Claire went to find Tripp. "Ben was cool just now, [but please don't] go out of [your] way [to] tick him off [in the future], 'cause I'd hate it if he changed his mind," Claire advised Tripp. "I'm done with Weston -- and Ciara. [I'll be] looking for a new apartment whenever my shift is over," Tripp announced. "That's just crazy, [and] I'm not gonna let you!" Claire protested. "[It's] for the best," Tripp insisted. "Maybe for Ciara, [but] you can't let her drive you from your own home!" Claire argued. Sighing, Tripp promised to at least give the matter a bit more thought before making the final decision.
"Ciara was stupid enough to let you get away, but there's no way that I'm letting you go so easily," Claire muttered as Tripp walked away. Meanwhile, Ben ran into Ciara outside the Brady Pub.
At the park, Will stared at Sonny in shock. "You're here," Will eventually observed with a chuckle of confusion. "My Uncle Vic said you needed to see me ASAP, so I flew straight home," Sonny explained, shrugging.
"I can't believe Victor actually called you. [I mean], I'm not exactly his favorite person, and he's not shy about telling me...repeatedly..." Will mused. "[Well, he said] you needed to see me in person [and] that it was extremely important, and I tried to get him to explain what was going on, [but he just told me to] get here right now, so I got on the jet," Sonny elaborated.
"It's not Ari, is it?" Sonny asked worriedly. "No, no -- Ari's fine," Will assured Sonny. "Okay...is it Paul? Did he have a setback or something?" Sonny guessed. "No -- no setback..." Will vaguely replied.
"Then what is it, Will? Why did you need to see me?" Sonny wondered, confused. "I wanted to talk about us," Will began to explain.
Sonny interrupted to remind Will that there was nothing left to talk about because a decision had already been made. "[And] we need to stick to it. We are not breaking Paul's heart," Sonny continued. "Instead, I broke yours," Will regretfully summarized. Sonny stared at Will sadly, not knowing how to respond. "Just...go home, please. Be with Paul," Sonny eventually replied before starting to walk away.
"I can't do that," Will insisted, stopping Sonny. "Why not?" Sonny asked. "Paul left town," Will revealed. "[But] you just got an apartment together. Why'd he leave?" Sonny asked, confused. "He found out the truth about us," Will explained. "Brady told him," Will elaborated. "I can't believe Brady opened his big mouth!" Sonny mused with a shake of the head. "I think he was just protecting his brother," Will replied, shrugging.
"Maybe Brady did us a favor -- you know, [by] getting all of this out sooner rather than later -- [because Paul's] heart was probably gonna be broken [at some point], anyway," Will added. Realizing what Will meant, Sonny nodded then wondered how Paul had reacted. "He was amazing, of course, which made me feel like even more of a jerk, you know? [I mean], I was lying to him -- living a lie by being with him -- [and] he had every right to yell and scream and throw [things, but he just] said it was clear that you and I are meant to be together, and he wasn't gonna stand in the way," Will summarized for Sonny, who guessed that it had been a hard conversation.
"Honestly, it felt kind of good -- you know, being honest, getting everything out in the open... Part of me will always love Paul, but in my heart and in my soul, it's only you," Will told Sonny, who returned the sentiment.
"I'm so glad you're here. I...I can't believe you left without saying anything! I mean, when -- when -- when Victor wouldn't tell me where you were, and you weren't answering, you know, my calls or my emails or my texts, I know it sounds crazy, but I was afraid I would never see you again," Will admitted. "I ran all the way across the globe...and I could not stop thinking about you," Sonny revealed.
"Well, then...promise me you'll never go away again," Will requested. "I promise," Sonny quickly agreed before giving Will a passionate kiss.
Sonny eventually pulled away from Will and breathlessly suggested, "What do you say we take this reunion someplace...you know, more private?" Will still had a key to the wheelchair-accessible apartment but thought it would be weird to take another man there, and Sonny agreed with an awkward chuckle. "We could go to a hotel," Will pointed out. "You know what? To hell with it -- I have waited for this moment for a very long time, and I am taking you to my place and to my bed," Sonny declared before giving Will another passionate kiss.
While approaching Doug's Place, Hope paused to read a text message. Someone soon grabbed her from behind. She turned and knocked the person to the ground with a swift punch.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Will and Sonny paused in the foyer and shared another passionate kiss. "Thanksgiving is officially my new favorite holiday," Sonny joked after pulling away from Will. "Mine, too," Will agreed with a laugh. Sonny and Will started kissing again while climbing the stairs to Sonny's bedroom. Just then, the doorbell rang.
"Ignore it," Will breathlessly begged Sonny. "I'll just get rid of whoever it is. It'll just take a second," Sonny reasoned before opening the front door -- and finding the presumed-dead Leo Stark on the other side.
Ben kisses Ciara
Outside the pub, Ciara and Ben ran into one another. Ben told Ciara that he was sorry about her breakup. Ciara said she was confused. "I still can't believe that Tripp set you up," Ciara complained. "I thought he was the kind of guy that I could trust. Turns out, not so much," Ciara said. Ciara explained that she had not told Hope the truth about Tripp because she did not want to get him into trouble.
"I didn't want to get him in trouble, either," Ben said. Ben explained that he had Tripp's confession on video and that Claire had talked him out of handing the video over to the police because of Tripp's criminal record. "That was incredibly cool of you," Ciara said. Ben noted that if he had told the police about Tripp, it would have been about punishment.
"I don't want to hurt someone just 'cause they hurt me. I don't want to punch back. That's my dad. There is no way that is going to be me," Ben said. "I wish more people saw this side of you," Ciara said. Ben said that he understood why Tripp would want to protect Ciara, based on Ben's past history.
"If I were your boyfriend, I'd want to protect you from me, too," Ben said. "But still, to frame an innocent man, I mean the evidence that he planted against you could have got you back in prison, and because of it..." Ciara trailed off. With a sigh, Ciara said the fake evidence had convinced her that Ben was a bad guy and that she should choose Tripp.
"I jumped right into bed with the good guy," Ciara said. "You wouldn't have slept with Tripp if that evidence hadn't convinced you I was guilty?" Ben asked. Ciara explained that she was confused. Ben told Ciara he did not want to push her, and he reminded Ciara that his feelings had not changed.
"Maybe now you can be honest with yourself about your feelings for me," Ben said. Ciara stammered, "I might feel something more than friendship for you." Ciara added that she did not understand her feelings yet. "Tripp is solid, from a well-respected family. Everyone approves. But you, my mom and everyone I know, I hear their voices in my head, and they tell me to run as fast as I can and never look back," Ciara said. "You're not running," Ben said as he caressed Ciara's face. Ciara pulled away before Ben could kiss her.
"I'm sorry, I don't think I can do this. I'm starting to think I can't do this with anyone. That I'm too broken to love or be loved," Ciara said. Ciara turned away from Ben. Ben asked Ciara to look at him, and she slowly turned to face him. "Never apologize for who you are," Ben said. Ben told Ciara that she was brave and strong.
"Ciara Brady, you have more fight in you than a bag full of bobcats," Ben said. Ciara laughed. "If you're too broken to love or be loved, what does that mean for someone like me?" Ben asked. "I know there are far crazier people than me who do find love. So, I am not giving up hope, and you can't either. I won't let you," Ben said. Ben kissed Ciara.
At the hospital nurses' station, Kayla left a voicemail for Gabi, asking her to call back. Kayla thought about what J.J. had said about suspecting that Gabi had set up Abigail. As Kayla stood there, lost in thought, an angry Stefan marched up to her. Stefan demanded to know why Jennifer was visiting his daughter. Fed up, Kayla growled that Stefan had no right to get upset with her, since Stefan had gotten Steve arrested. Worried about a scene, Kayla and Stefan went to her office to talk privately. Kayla told Stefan that Steve had been arrested for espionage because of images stolen from Steve's bionic eye.
"My husband is in prison because of you!" Kayla shouted. "Do you care at all about the people you hurt?" Kayla asked Stefan. Kayla yelled that Stefan had turned Steve's gift of sight into a weapon. Stefan protested his innocence. "My husband could rot in prison because of you while you are free to be the bastard you are," Kayla argued. Kayla said she felt sorry for Stefan's daughter because she had a monster for a father.
"Make good on your threat. Blind my husband and punish me," Kayla challenged. Stefan called his head of security on the phone and asked them to investigate the bionic eye espionage. Kayla did not believe that Stefan wanted to help Steve. Kayla asked Stefan to explain why she should believe his offer was sincere. Stefan admitted that his past actions with Kayla were regrettable, and he said his motivations had been clouded by grief from the loss of his mother.
"Kate DiMera murdered my mother. And as flawed as Vivian was, she was the only person in this world that loved me unconditionally, and now she is dead. And I can never see her again," Stefan argued. Kayla told Stefan that she did not believe that Vivian's death was reason for Stefan to lash out at other people. Stefan reminded Kayla that Vivian would never meet her granddaughter Charlotte because of Kate's actions. Stefan apologized for taking advantage of Kayla's desperation.
"Maybe you were motivated by love in a twisted, DiMera sort of way. But the damage is already done," Kayla said. "I will make it right," Stefan promised. Kayla urged Stefan to be the kind of man that Charlotte could look up to in her life.
In her hotel room, Kate talked to Chad on the phone and reminded him that he had done the right thing for Abigail. After she ended the call, there was a knock at the door. It was Roman. Kate poured a drink for her and Roman, and they toasted to their new granddaughter. Curious, Kate asked Roman why he was there.
"It is time to bring down Stefan DiMera," Roman said. Roman said he was tired of watching Stefan damage the people Roman loved. Roman asked Kate for dirt on Stefan. When Kate commented that she did not have any information, Roman asked Kate what Stefan was holding over her head.
"Do you want this guy gone or not?" Roman asked. Kate reluctantly admitted that Stefan had helped her get rid of Ted. Roman asked Kate if Stefan had murdered Ted. Kate said Stefan had promised her that Ted was alive. "Why did you need Ted Laurent to disappear in the first place?" Roman asked. "Because he was blackmailing me," Kate said. Kate said that Ted had blackmailed her because of her involvement in Leo's case, but she did not mention Leo's death. Kate told Roman about her affair with Ted.
"I thought it was real, but it wasn't. [Ted] definitely was not the man I thought he was," Kate said. Roman argued that Ted was the key to getting to Stefan. Kate noted that Ted could hurt her, as well. Roman assured Kate that she was fine. With a sigh, Kate admitted that there was more information that Stefan had on her. With a nod, Roman told Kate that she had told him enough for the moment.
"Promise me in this partnership that you will tell me what I need to know and when I need to know it," Roman said. Kate agreed.
Outside Doug's Place, a man grabbed Hope. On instinct, Hope punched her assailant. It was Ted Laurent. Ted apologized for alarming Hope. Ted begged Hope for help. Ted and Hope ducked into the park to talk privately. Ted explained that he needed police protection. Hope asked Ted if Ben was after him. With a shake of his head, Ted said that Stefan wanted him dead. Ted explained that Stefan had held him hostage on an island.
"Stefan is capable of what you said he did, but he doesn't grab men off the street. So, what was your connection?" Kayla asked. Ted explained that someone had pushed Stefan to kidnap him. Ted thought about his last conversation with Kate. Shaking away the memory, Ted told Hope that Kate DiMera had been the one that had talked to Stefan. Ted said he had done some legal work for Kate. Suspicious, Hope asked Ted what he was not telling her.
"I may have been blackmailing your grandson. And Sonny," Ted said. Hope sighed. When Hope appeared reluctant to help, Ted said he had evidence to put Ben away. Hope's eyebrow raised.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Sonny and Will were eager to head upstairs to bed but were interrupted by the doorbell. Reluctantly, Sonny opened the front door. Leo walked in. Confused, Will asked Leo why he was there. "I am thankful to be amongst the living. You both look like you've seen a ghost. Oh, that's right -- you have. The last time we were in this room together, you murdered me," Leo said.
"I checked your pulse. You didn't have one. So how are you alive?" Will asked. Leo told Will and Sonny that Susan had discovered him. Will was shocked. Leo chuckled and said he was joking. "No! When you knocked me out and stuffed me in the trunk, I was alive," Leo said.
"It was an accident, and you know it," Sonny said. "Then why didn't you call the police? Why did you hide the body?" Leo asked. Will asked Leo where he had been hiding. Leo sipped a glass of wine and noted that he had been recovering from his injuries.
"I can't believe you attacked me like that," Leo said. "You attacked Will. You were strangling him," Sonny countered. "Oh, it's not like he hasn't been strangled before," Leo joked. Will told Leo he was sick. Sonny reiterated that he had acted to save Will's life. Sonny added the Leo had accused Sonny of behaving like a sexual predator and that he had no affection for Leo. With an eye on Will, Leo reminisced about the sex with Sonny.
"It was one time. And it was a mistake," Sonny said. "It got me through the long months of my recovery," Leo said. Curious, Will asked Leo if he had been recovering out of town. With a shake of his head, Leo confirmed that he had been lurking in Salem. Leo said he had been watching Sonny and Will while he'd been in hiding. With a smirk, Leo said he had been impressed that Sonny and Will had attempted to do a good thing for Paul after his accident.
"The pitcher may be gone, but life has thrown you two another curveball," Leo said. Will asked Leo what he wanted. Leo countered that Sonny and Will no longer needed to have his death on their conscience. When Sonny grumbled that he wished Leo was "dead all over again," Leo challenged Sonny to make good on his threat.
"One more time, I wasn't trying to kill you to get you out of the way. It was an accident," Sonny growled. "You aren't worth the trouble," Will added. With a smirk, Leo noted that he was there on unfinished business. Sonny reminded Leo that the lawsuit was dismissed. Leo explained that Sonny had accepted his marriage proposal, and he expected Sonny to keep his promise.
Leo refuses to let Sonny be with Will
Outside the Brady Pub, Ben pulled away from Ciara and asked, "Still want to run away? From your feelings? From me?"
After a moment of thought, Ciara answered Ben's question with another kiss -- just as Rafe approached the pub. Misinterpreting the situation, Rafe grabbed Ben and warned, "Don't you ever touch Ciara again!"
"What the hell even makes you think you can touch her?" Rafe angrily continued. "Me! I did, Rafe! I wanted Ben to kiss me!" Ciara stressed. Rafe didn't want to hear that, but Ciara insisted it was true. "Please don't act like my mom, okay? Please don't act like I'm incapable of taking control of my own life, because I am [not]," Ciara begged Rafe, who reluctantly relented.
"Where is your mom, anyway?" Rafe asked Ciara. "[She was supposed to] come back to the club after she talked with you, [but] she never showed up," Rafe added. Shrugging, Ciara nervously wondered if Rafe was concerned that something bad might have happened. Rafe downplayed the matter for Ciara's sake, suggesting that Hope had probably just gotten sidetracked somehow.
"Please don't tell her --" Ciara started to request. Interrupting, Rafe warned Ciara that there could be consequences for hanging out with someone like Ben -- and that the disapproval of loved ones was the least of those consequences. "He's been arrested for murder, attempted murder, arson... Any reasonable person --" Rafe began to add. "Marlena's a 'reasonable person' -- she's a very 'reasonable person' -- and she doesn't think that he [set fire to the cabin]. She thinks that he's cured. And unlike you and Mom, she actually had a chance to talk to him without all the preconceived judgments," Ciara countered.
"And so have I, [which is why] I know that [he] can be a kind, caring, gentle, compassionate person," Ciara added. Nodding skeptically, Rafe pointedly guessed that Ciara wouldn't hesitate to attribute those same qualities to Abigail -- who, like Ben, had a mental illness. "If a person like Abigail [can relapse], do you really think that you're safe in [Ben's] arms?" Rafe asked Ciara before walking away.
Ciara tried to apologize to Ben on Rafe's behalf, but Ben understood Rafe's perspective -- and predicted that Hope's reaction to what had happened earlier would be even worse. "I don't care what they think," Ciara insisted. "Ciara, it's not just them. [I mean], everybody in this town hates me, [and if] you get involved with me, they're gonna hate you, too," Ben warned. "Ben Weston, are you trying to talk me out of having feelings for you?" Ciara asked, somewhat teasingly. "Not even close. I just want you to know what you're getting yourself into," Ben clarified. Ciara maintained that the baggage of Ben's past wasn't a deal-breaker.
"But something else might be..." Ciara began to add, unable to completely dismiss Rafe's earlier comments. "I really want to trust you, Ben -- I really do -- but it's like every time I start to, someone says something that plants a seed of doubt. And if we're gonna be in a relationship, I can't keep doubting you...[so if you can] look me in the eye [right now] and tell me you did not start that fire, [then] I promise I will never ask you ever again," Ciara challenged Ben. "I don't know what else to say to make you trust me, [but] I care about you a lot, Ciara, and I would never hurt you -- that is the God's honest truth," Ben insisted. "I know," Ciara replied.
"So, where do we go from here?" Ben wondered. "Well...I just broke up with someone, [and] I have no idea how I'm gonna pay my rent [with one less roommate], and the money that I used for your lawyer [was money] I got from my trust fund, which my grandpa froze right after, so...right now, my life's kind of a mess, and I don't think I should be, uh, jumping into a new relationship anytime soon. And I don't think you should be, either," Ciara pointed out. "Yeah, I definitely have to get my act together [first]," Ben agreed. "But if I get a job [and] find a place to live, would you...maybe consider...having dinner with me?" Ben asked hopefully. "Sure," Ciara replied.
Meanwhile, at the park, Hope wondered how Ted could guarantee Ben's arrest. "I was his lawyer, remember? I know things," Ted vaguely replied, shrugging. "He told you he tried to kill my daughter, didn't he?" Hope excitedly assumed. Ted evasively reminded Hope about attorney-client privilege. "You just admitted that you blackmail people left and right, and you defend serial killers with no qualms, [so] don't play games with me!" Hope impatiently countered. "If you want me to consider protecting you from Stefan, I want a straight answer, and I want it right now, [so] did Ben confess?" Hope demanded to know. "No," Ted reluctantly admitted.
"But I'm pretty good at making people talk," Ted desperately added as Hope started walking away. "And I know you're not always a by-the-book [person yourself, so...are we gonna] help each other or not?" Ted asked. Just then, Hope's cell phone rang. "Ignore it," Ted told Hope. "It's my husband," Hope explained. "Ignore it," Ted repeated. "Why?" Hope wondered. "[Because] Detective Hernandez will insist on playing by the rules," Ted clarified. Hope refused to keep secrets from Rafe -- and, after a moment of thought, also refused to forge an illegal alliance with Ted. "Okay, maybe I have bent the rules in the past, but not anymore," Hope insisted.
Ted watched helplessly as Hope returned Rafe's call and started to reveal everything. "Listen, I hate to cut you off, but there's something we need to talk about, [and] I think we should do [it] in person," Rafe interjected before Hope could say anything noteworthy. Hope vaguely claimed to be too busy to meet up with Rafe right away. "Just tell me now," Hope requested. "Okay... Well, I just ran into Ciara, [and] she was kissing Ben Weston," Rafe reluctantly informed Hope. "Did you talk any sense into her?" Hope asked, horrified. "Well, I tried, but she wasn't hearing it," Rafe replied. Sighing, Hope thanked Rafe for the heads-up then ended the call.
Shaking, Hope conceded that working with Ted might be the only way to get rid of Ben for good. "[So], you're gonna hide me [and] protect me from Stefan?" Ted asked. "Let's go, before I change my mind," Hope replied.
At the Horton Town Square, J.J. approached Gabi, who was pondering the implications of a voicemail message from Kayla. "You all right?" J.J. asked, noticing Gabi's odd expression. "Yeah. I was just, uh, calling Sonny to check on Ari," Gabi vaguely claimed before quickly changing the subject, arguing that the real question was whether J.J. was all right. Gabi was surprised when J.J. doubted the sincerity of the inquiry.
"My sister's struggling, and it's all your fault!" J.J. declared, glaring at Gabi. "You lied, Gabi, and I want to know why!" J.J. continued. "J.J., I didn't --" Gabi started to protest, confused and nervous. "Don't deny it! My mom and I went to Bayview earlier to see Abigail, [and when we signed in], we saw that you had been there, [too]! You told the nurse that you were my wife!" J.J. elaborated, outraged.
Relieved, Gabi admitted to having "stretched the truth a tiny bit" in order to gain access to Abigail -- who, as Arianna's godmother, was practically family, anyway. "I still don't get why you would go there in the first place! [Abigail] thinks you came up with this big plan to get her committed, [so] you had to know that showing up there could set her off -- and it did! You pushed her over the edge, Gabi! They had to put her in isolation!" J.J. snapped. "I didn't know they would do that! I went there to try to help her!" Gabi claimed before stunning J.J. with a dramatically fabricated version of what had happened during the visit.
Sighing, J.J. softened and apologized for having lashed out at Gabi. "I've just been a wreck [lately]," J.J. explained. "I understand," Gabi replied.
Nodding, J.J. started to head off to the hospital to try to find a way to see Charlotte, whom Stefan was still unwilling to share with anyone. Gabi followed J.J., claiming to have an appointment with Kayla. "Everything okay?" J.J. asked. "Yeah. I've just, um...I've just been a little stressed, so I'm not really sleeping, and I don't have much of an appetite, [and] I just thought maybe Kayla would [be able to] help," Gabi replied.
At the hospital, Kayla ran into Kate, who was en route to Charlotte's room. "Well, if it isn't the woman who sold me out to Stefan DiMera," Kate said to Kayla in lieu of a greeting.
Kayla recalled that Roman had recently decided to tell Kate everything. "Listen, Kate, I hope you know that I never wanted to hurt you. I was just desperate to get my husband's sight back, and I felt I had no other choice," Kayla explained. "You always have a choice...but you hate me, so you didn't overthink [the matter]," Kate replied, shrugging.
Kate complained that Kayla and Steve liked to pretend to be superior to everyone else. "[Remember] how judgmental you were [during] the situation with Tripp?" Kate continued. "That wasn't a 'situation' -- that was you trying to cover your part in Theo's shooting at the expense of my stepson," Kayla clarified. "The same way you dished dirt to Stefan at my expense. You see, that's called 'hypocrisy,'" Kate countered. Conceding the point, Kayla tried to apologize to Kate. "I don't want your apology. I want you to admit that you're no better than I am," Kate demanded. "I'm not," Kayla quietly agreed. Satisfied, Kate let Kayla off the hook.
"Roman and I are going to work together to take down Stefan, which means, I suppose, [that you and I are] on the same side [now...but] just so there's no mistake, I'm in this for myself, the same way you are," Kate informed Kayla, who couldn't help advising that seeking revenge might not be the best idea. Kate laughed dismissively then walked away with a shake of the head, stunned that Kayla was still trying to play the part of the good girl.
A short time later, Gabi said goodbye to J.J. then approached Kayla. "I got your message. What's up?" Gabi asked casually. "I wanted to talk to you about Abigail. [See], J.J. told me that [she has] made some pretty harsh accusations against you, [and since] I recently wrote you a prescription for sedatives, [I'm going to] be frank [and just] ask...did you drug my niece?" Kayla replied.
"Do you think that I'm some sort of monster?" Gabi asked defensively. "No...[but] I do know the lengths that a person will go if they're pushed too far, and sometimes, good people do bad things," Kayla replied. "[And] when I gave you that prescription, you specifically mentioned the fact that it was the same thing that you used when you were carrying Ari, [so] you knew that it was safe to take while you were pregnant," Kayla added.
Gabi maintained that the sedatives were simply a way of dealing with recurring nightmares of what had happened in prison. "I did not drug Abigail...[and] I hope that you won't be discussing these concerns with anybody else, 'cause, I mean, my prescription history is confidential, right?" Gabi pointedly added. "Of course," Kayla confirmed. "Good. I hope it stays that way," Gabi replied.
Stefan was in Charlotte's room, bonding with the child, when Kate barged in. "Who let you in? I was very specific [about not wanting] visitors and their disgusting germs in here," Stefan complained. "I washed my hands," Kate claimed. "You'll never wash the blood of my mother off those hands," Stefan countered before again demanding to know how Kate had managed to gain access to Charlotte's room.
"Like you, I have influence with the board, and the DiMera name can still open doors," Kate explained with a shrug. "[And] I suppose you, too, are here to berate me for taking an innocent child away from her mother," Stefan guessed. "Actually, I think Abigail is exactly where she needs to be right now, [and] so is Charlotte," Kate replied before delighting in observing that the child didn't really resemble Stefan at all.
"What do you want, Kate?" Stefan tiredly demanded to know. "I'm family, [and] I want to visit with my late husband's niece," Kate claimed, shrugging again.
"What do you really want?" Stefan asked. "Nothing," Kate innocently insisted. "Which reminds me...how's Ted Laurent?" Kate casually added. Confused, Stefan wondered why Kate suddenly wanted to discuss Ted Laurent again. "Because everyone's asking me about [his] mysterious disappearance, [so] I want to make sure that it can't be traced back to anyone," Kate explained. "Nothing to worry about. I get regular updates from my security team, [and] they're keeping a, uh, very close eye on [him]...because, you know, if he were to escape, he could implicate us both in some very serious crimes," Stefan replied.
"[And] if that were to happen -- if he escaped -- would you shoot first and ask questions later?" Kate asked curiously. "I'd do whatever it takes," Stefan confirmed.
Just then, J.J. peeked in the room. "Bad time?" J.J. asked. "Not at all. I was just leaving," Kate replied before rushing off.
"Thought you weren't allowing any visitors," J.J. said to Stefan once the coast was clear. "I wasn't," Stefan replied. "Okay, well, you're not kicking me out this time. Charlotte is my niece, and if Kate DiMera's --" J.J. began to snap. "Relax. I've, uh...I've since changed my policy," Stefan clarified. "Why?" J.J. wondered. "Because I know how important family is, [since] I didn't have one growing up," Stefan explained.
After a quick visit with Charlotte, J.J. went to find Gabi, who had just finished giving Kayla the dramatically fabricated version of the Bayview incident. Kayla watched suspiciously as Gabi walked away with J.J.
While alone with Charlotte, Stefan received a phone call from someone. "What do you mean, 'Ted Laurent has escaped'?" Stefan asked the caller, stunned.
Meanwhile, Kate paused while passing through the town square. "You know what they say about loose lips, Stefan..." Kate muttered before playing a recording of the earlier conversation with Stefan.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Sonny refused to marry Leo. "I love Will," Sonny stressed. "Aw. Well, that's too bad, because you're never gonna have him," Leo countered.
Leo delighted in giving a dramatic preview of the testimony that could be provided in court if Sonny didn't cooperate. "The police aren't gonna believe you. You have no proof," Will argued. "How do you know?" Leo countered. "Because you would tell us if you did," Will reasoned. "With the stakes this high, is that a chance you're willing to take?" Leo wondered. "[Besides], I don't have to go to the police. I could...call the Intruder [and] give 'em the scoop of the year -- 'Ace Reporter from the Rival Paper Mixed Up in a Murder/Sex Scandal!' Can you say 'clickbait'?" Leo added, grinning wickedly.
"You're going down, pretty boy," Leo warned Will before turning to Sonny. "And so are you -- [and] your company," Leo added. "You will never get away with any of this," Will insisted. "Your plan is crap. No one is gonna believe Sonny married you for love," Will added. "I don't know about that. Sonny and I were quite the hot couple when we first met. He was so into me..." Leo countered.
"Shut up!" Sonny snapped at Leo. "I'd watch my tone if I were you. Remember, we're crazy about each other," Leo replied. "I hate you!" Sonny insisted. "Aw. I hated you, too. It's part of the narrative -- [you know], the story of our epic reconciliation. You and I were star-crossed lovers, yada-yada, you dumped me, and I filed the lawsuit to retaliate. [But then you took me back because we're still in love, and] we decided it would be best for me to leave town for a while [so] the lawsuit would be dismissed [and] the scandal would die down, and then I [could] return to Salem [and] apologize for my deeply misguided actions," Leo countered.
"And now that neither of us are working at Titan, we're free to live the rest of our lives in wedded bliss," Leo cheerfully concluded. "I don't think so," Sonny insisted, glaring at Leo.
"Allow me to rephrase -- you can both end up broke, disgraced, and likely in prison..." Leo began, glancing from Sonny to Will. "Or you can marry me," Leo continued, glancing back at Sonny. "Either way, you lose Will. The real question is, do you want to risk everything that ever mattered to you over a man that you can't have?" Leo concluded.
"I've given you a lot to think about. Sleep on it. Give me your answer in the morning," Leo told Sonny before starting to leave the living room. "Where the hell do you think you're going?" Sonny demanded to know. "I am wiped out, [so I'm] gonna find a spare room to crash in. You two talk amongst yourselves," Leo explained before disappearing from view.
"Did that really just happen?" Will asked. "Leo is a dirt bag, but he's not a genius. How did he pull something off this big?" Sonny wondered. "Ted Laurent," Will guessed. "[But] I thought Kate took care of Ted," Sonny pointed out. "So did I. [Look], I don't know what happened, but I'll talk to my grandmother [and] find out," Will replied. "Will, this -- this is -- this is bad! What are we gonna do?" Sonny asked, panicking.
Will calmed Sonny down with a tight embrace. "We will figure this out. We will. We did not come this far to be torn apart now," Will confidently assured Sonny.
Hope doesn't tell Rafe that she's helping Ted
While passing through Horton Town Square, Ben overheard Chad's end of a phone conversation with someone at Bayview, who hung up after realizing that Chad was nothing more than Abigail's ex-husband.
Ben seized the opportunity to ask Chad for a full-time job as a security guard. "Just admit it, Chad -- I did a damn good job of clearing the way for you to snatch up Abigail from your brother," Ben pointed out. Chad glanced around the public place and nervously whispered that Ben needed to stop talking about that particular incident. "I'm just saying...you asked for a job to be done, and I did it, and I did it well," Ben insisted.
"I heard you on the phone. You're desperate to see Abigail, [but the] folks at Bayview are giving you the runaround, right? [Well], I know the place like the back of my hand, [so] who better than me to slip you in?" Ben continued. "I know you hate me, but I am damn good at my job, [and] I guaran-damn-tee you, I can get you to Abigail," Ben assured Chad, who wasn't impressed with the sales pitch.
Chad rudely declined the offer and warned Ben never to initiate contact again. "If I need you [in the future], I'll call you," Chad stressed before walking away.
At the DiMera mansion, a guard joined Stefan in the living room and announced that the property had been secured in preparation for Charlotte's arrival. "Is there anything else I can do for you?" the guard asked. "Yes -- you can get out. You're fired," Stefan replied. Stefan blamed the guard for Ted's escape and a litany of other failures, the worst of which had been allowing Chad to kidnap Abigail.
Ben approached the mansion as the guard was exiting it. "Do I know you?" the guard asked, eyeing Ben with just a hint of recognition. "No, I don't...I don't think so..." Ben replied with a shrug, knowing exactly why the guard was suspicious. "But I do need to see your boss," Ben coolly added. "Mr. DiMera's not my boss anymore. I just got fired," the guard clarified with a scowl before walking away.
Pleasantly surprised, Ben knocked on the front door and waited for Stefan to open it. "My name's Ben Weston --" Ben began. "I know who you are," Stefan admitted before demanding to know the reason for Ben's visit. "I'm looking for a job [as] security," Ben explained. "Interesting timing. I have a spot to fill," Stefan replied. "Maybe it's my lucky day," Ben reasoned with a grin. "Maybe it is," Stefan agreed.
"Give me one good reason why I should hire the, uh...'Necktie Killer' for anything," Stefan challenged Ben, making a show of trying to remember the nickname. "I am highly motivated, I am dependable, I am discreet...but the number-one reason you should hire me is that I am the most qualified person you will ever find," Ben proudly declared.
"Qualified to do...what, exactly?" Stefan asked curiously. "I have a very specific set of skills that could prove...useful...to someone like you. For example, I can break into a building so fast it would make your head spin," Ben began to elaborate. "Isn't that the opposite of security?" Stefan joked. "Think of me as a jack-of-all-trades, because I do provide protection, [but also] more...specialized...services," Ben clarified. "Say you need to have somebody incapacitated. I can handle that. [Honestly], it's too easy -- I come up behind the guy, I toss him inside of a sleeper hold, and in less than 30 seconds, [he's] out cold," Ben bragged.
"You little freak," Stefan mused with a chuckle of realization. "It was you, wasn't it? You choked out my security guard -- and me -- so Chad could get away with Abigail," Stefan guessed.
Ben claimed to have been speaking hypothetically, but Stefan wasn't convinced. "As far as I'm concerned, everything you just said is tantamount to a confession, [so] I'm gonna go ahead and call the police. I'm sure that, uh, they'll be so happy to throw your crazy ass back in prison," Stefan declared while producing a cell phone. Ben coolly advised Stefan to think carefully before squandering such a great opportunity.
"You need a new head of security, [and] where the hell are you going to find someone more hungry than me?" Ben reasoned. "Oh, I don't know -- maybe my global network of solid connections?" Stefan suggested with a shrug. "Is that where you found the last guy? Because I can attest personally to his global incompetence," Ben countered. "Is that you admitting to choking him out and then subsequently doing the same to me?" Stefan asked. "I could have done it in my sleep, Mr. DiMera...but I can't sleep, because I'm staying in a homeless shelter. I need a job. I need this job," Ben stressed.
Stefan wondered why Ben was no longer working for Chad. "He kicked me to the curb, [even though] my performance was spectacular," Ben grumbled. "Chad's your enemy, even though he's your brother. [And] I don't like the way he treats me. So, that puts us on the same side here...if you hire me," Ben added. "And if I don't?" Stefan asked. "Then I'm gonna be working against you, [and] you don't want that," Ben advised.
At the hospital, Chad wrapped up some business just as Jennifer entered Charlotte's room. "I thought Stefan wasn't allowing anyone to see Charlotte," Chad said, following Jennifer inside. "Change of heart," Jennifer replied.
Chad seized the opportunity to apologize to Jennifer for everything that had happened recently. Jennifer was still upset but understood that love had been the primary motivation behind every mistake that Chad had made with Abigail. Nodding, Chad wondered if Jennifer knew how Abigail was doing at Bayview. Jennifer reported that Abigail was still being kept isolated as a result of what had happened during Gabi's visit. Chad filled Jennifer in on Abigail and Gabi's conflicting accounts of the incident. Jennifer complained that Gabi never should have gone to see Abigail in the first place. Chad agreed that Gabi should have known the visit would upset Abigail.
Although initially reluctant to do so, Jennifer eventually agreed to try to get Chad clearance to visit Abigail at Bayview. After Jennifer stepped out of the room to make the call, Chad produced a cell phone and snapped a few pictures of Charlotte, intending to show them to Abigail if given an opportunity to do so. Jennifer soon returned and announced that Chad had been granted access to Abigail. "[But] she's not herself right now -- [she's] refusing to speak to anyone, she will not eat, she threw her tray of food at the wall this morning -- and [her] doctor said if she has any more violent outbursts, they're gonna restrain her indefinitely," Jennifer warned.
Chad rushed off to Bayview to see Abigail, who was hiding under a blanket in a corner of a padded cell. "You sure it's okay to go in there?" Chad asked a guard. "At your own risk, pal," the guard replied.
At the police station, Rafe curiously probed for information about what had kept Hope busy the previous night. "You know, it's just not even worth talking about -- not really," Hope evasively insisted.
Hope quickly changed the subject, wanting to talk about Ciara and Ben. "Did you just stand there and do nothing [while] Ciara [made] out with that serial killer?" Hope demanded to know. Taken aback, Rafe calmly corrected Hope's assumption and diplomatically decided to blame the outburst on the stress of pulling an all-nighter. Hope didn't bother to apologize for having jumped to the wrong conclusion. Rafe advised Hope to tread carefully, pointing out that Ciara was a grown woman who didn't like to be told what to do. Hope forced a smile and thanked Rafe for the advice then rushed off. Rafe seemed to sense that something was going on.
After leaving the police station, Hope bought a bunch of groceries at the nearest store then traveled to Smith Island to see Ted, who was holed up at the Horton cabin. Ted was relieved to hear that Rafe still didn't know what Hope had been doing the previous night. Hope promised that neither Rafe nor Stefan would ever find out the truth -- as long as Ted's end of the bargain was upheld, of course.
At the Salem Inn, Roman listened to the recording of Kate's recent conversation with Stefan. "So, that's enough to nail Stefan, right?" Kate asked as the recording ended. "Wrong," Roman replied. "[But] I have him dead to rights!" Kate protested, confused. "Yeah, you do...but yourself, too. Did you [not] catch the part where Stefan said that Ted could implicate both of you in a very serious crime?" Roman countered.
Just then, Will arrived to see Kate. "What are you doing here?" Will asked Roman, trying to sound casual. "Well, we were just, uh, catching up on a little business," Roman vaguely replied. "I was hoping to talk to Grandma, but I can come back..." Will began to offer. "I'm heading back to the pub, [anyway]," Roman assured Will. "I understand that you and Sonny got back together? I'm happy for both of you!" Roman added before rushing off.
Kate greeted Will with a hug. "For someone who just got the love of their life back, you don't seem very happy," Kate curiously observed. "I'm not," Will confirmed with a sigh before telling Kate about what had happened the previous night. "Sonny and I were finally together. We were ready to build a life with our daughter. And now this sociopath [Leo Stark] shows up!" Will grumbled. "Oh, honey, I am -- I am just so sorry," Kate stressed. "Don't feel sorry for me. [I mean], Sonny is the one who's really suffering. Leo has caused nothing but pain and destruction since the moment he came into Sonny's life," Will reminded Kate.
"And now he's not gonna go away -- not without your help," Will told Kate before sharing the theory that Ted and Leo had been working together all along. "I wouldn't put that past Ted, but, honey, I don't -- I don't know how I can help," Kate replied. "Why not?" Will wondered. "Because I don't have a clue to where Ted is," Kate explained. "[But] you told me that you took care of Ted, so you must know something," Will protested. "I got him out of town, but that's -- that's it. I mean, I don't know where he went or what he's up to," Kate vaguely elaborated. "You didn't...kill him...did you?" Will asked hesitantly. "No!" Kate assured Will.
"He's not dead; [he's just]...disappeared. [And] I don't know how else to help you, because that's really all I know," Kate apologetically claimed. "That's okay. Honestly, you've done more than enough to help already," Will replied. "So, what are you gonna do about Leo?" Kate asked curiously. "Sonny and I will figure it out," Will insisted with a shrug. "You and Sonny -- that has a nice ring to it," Kate noted, smiling. Will agreed and also managed a smile. "It's a miracle that we're together again -- it really is -- and nothing is gonna ruin that...especially not someone like Leo Stark," Will confidently declared before exiting Kate's room.
"I should have pulled the trigger [and] killed that bastard while I had the chance," Kate grumbled, recalling what had happened on the night of Ted's disappearance.
At the Brady Pub, Roman received a visit from Ciara, who wanted to chat. Roman, who had already talked to Tripp, assumed that Ciara was bummed about the breakup. "Look, I know Tripp's made some bad calls, but, uh, he is a good man," Roman began to remind Ciara. "Did you know Tripp tried to frame Ben Weston?" Ciara countered, surprising Roman. "Does your mom know about this?" Roman asked. Groaning, Ciara realized that it might have been a mistake to share such sensitive information with Roman, of all people. Ciara begged Roman not to say anything to Hope about the matter.
Sighing, Roman changed the subject, wondering why Ciara had stopped by a few days earlier for a visit -- with Ben, of all people. "He, uh...was looking for a job, and I thought you might have something," Ciara sheepishly explained. "You have got to be kidding me! After what he did to Will, Abigail, and you?" Roman replied. "Yeah, I, uh -- I figured you might say that...and so did he," Ciara admitted.
"I've just been pushing him to get his act together -- you know, find work, make some money -- [but] maybe I should start taking my own advice," Ciara added before asking Roman for a job.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Leo joined Sonny in the living room and started pouring a drink while raving about the lavish accommodations. "This is not a hotel," Sonny irritably stressed, snatching the drink out of Leo's hands. Sonny ordered Leo to leave immediately, but Leo insisted on sticking around until Sonny decided whether to accept the marriage proposal or suffer the consequences.
Sonny dismissively insisted that no one was ever going to believe Leo's story. "I doubt that. We're having a cultural moment. Victim-shaming is over," Leo pointed out. "You are not a victim; you're a con artist!" Sonny snapped. "And I'm a Kiriakis with vast resources and a limited supply of patience, so I want you to listen to me right now -- Will and I have worked way too hard to get together, and I'm not gonna let a creep like you ruin our lives!" Sonny continued. "Yeah? What are you gonna do?" Leo calmly countered, amused. "Whatever it takes," Sonny vowed with a scowl.
"Are you threatening me?" Leo wondered. "Just laying out the facts. You will never get between me and Will," Sonny insisted. "Oh, come on! It's just a matter of time with Will -- [you know], before he gets bored and restless and starts thinking about Paul [and those] dreamy eyes, perfect lips... Next thing you know, they're back in the sack, and if Paul can't rise to the occasion, there's ways around that," Leo crassly countered.
"You shut your mouth, you slimy son of a bitch!" Sonny snapped, slamming Leo against a wall. "What are you gonna do -- kill me? Didn't work out so well last time," Leo pointed out, smirking. "Maybe when Will gets back, he can help you get rid of my body again. What's it cost to clean a rug these days? Eh, it's not gonna be your problem, anyway -- you'll both be in prison. Tough place to start your new life together..." Leo continued.
"You're not worth it," Sonny eventually decided, backing away from Leo. Satisfied, Leo reclaimed the drink and turned to leave with it. "I'm eagerly awaiting the answer to my proposal. I'll be patient to a point, but I won't wait forever," Leo warned while heading back upstairs. Sonny was still trying to calm down when Will entered the mansion a short time later. "What's wrong?" Will wondered. "It's Leo," Sonny explained with a sigh.
"I promised myself I wouldn't let him get to me, [but] he did," Sonny continued. "Please tell me Kate can help us," Sonny asked Will hopefully. "She can't, unfortunately," Will reported.
Leo, who had heard the front door shutting earlier, stepped into the living room with a cringe of disappointment. "Is this what it's come to, boys -- begging Grandma to save you?" Leo asked. "You think this is funny?" Will countered. "I think it's hilarious...especially since your grandma's the one running the show," Leo told Will with a chuckle.
Confused, Will demanded to know what Leo was talking about. "The sexual harassment lawsuit. Kate's behind the whole thing," Leo revealed with a shrug, stunning Will and Sonny.
Stefan hires Ben
In the Kiriakis living room, Leo shocked Will and Sonny when he told them that Kate had been behind the sexual harassment lawsuit. "You really don't know Kate at all, do you?" Leo asked. As Leo settled into an armchair, Sonny reminded Leo that he had been working with Vivian.
"You'll also recall that I hinted that somebody took over for her after she died," Leo shot back. Leo added that he had believed Sonny would figure out that Kate was the culprit because she had long wanted to take down Titan. Will argued that Titan had many enemies. With a shrug, Leo said he had no reason to lie. Leo explained that the night he had first offered to drop the lawsuit had been because Kate had urged him to end the case once Chad had taken over Titan.
"Now that Chad was the head of Titan, the last thing that Kate wanted was to see it fail. That bitch was totally going to screw me over, and after all the hard work I put in," Leo complained. Will argued that Leo's accusation did not make sense because Kate had not gotten to know Ted until after the lawsuit had ended.
"Is that what she told you?" Leo asked. Will added that Kate had helped him and Sonny when Ted had blackmailed them. Leo asked about the blackmail. With a groan, Sonny asked Leo if he expected them to believe that Leo was not a part of the blackmail, too. Leo shrugged then walked out of the room.
"I hate to admit it, but everything that Leo said about Kate is ringing true," Sonny said. With a scowl, Sonny argued that Kate had ruined his life and hurt Titan. Will asked about Chad. With a shake of his head, Sonny said he did not believe that Chad knew because Chad would not hurt him. Sonny started to walk out, but Will stopped him. "No. Let me talk to her. If she did this to you, she'll answer to me," Will said.
While Sonny sat in the living room alone, Leo returned. "Once we're married, I am not going to let you and Will humiliate me in front of everyone in Salem," Leo said. Sonny reminded Leo that he had not agreed to marry him. "You're a sadistic son of a bitch," Sonny said. Leo called Sonny dramatic. Leo noted that if Sonny did not accept his proposal, he would destroy Sonny and Will.
In her hotel room, Kate stared at a photo of Will on her phone. "Will, I am so sorry. Teaming up with Ted and Leo. What was I thinking?" Kate muttered to herself. Kate wondered aloud if she could have made a bigger mess of things.
At Bayview, Chad visited Abigail in her padded cell. Chad begged Abigail to turn around and talk to him. Slowly, Abigail removed the blanket from her head and stared at Chad. "Go. Away," Abigail growled. Chad asked Abigail if she was angry with him. Abigail muttered that she was sane.
"You chose to believe Gabi Hernandez, that vindictive, scheming liar, instead of me. So now, here I am. Stuck in this hellhole, torn away from my children," Abigail said. Abigail asked Chad how he was able to visit her in her new restricted room. When Chad noted that Jennifer had helped make arrangements, Abigail groaned.
"That's right. You two are plotting behind my back now," Abigail said. Chad said he was sorry for working behind Abigail's back, but he had been worried about her well-being. Abigail told Chad to "go to hell." Chad asked to explain, but Abigail said she hated him. In tears, Abigail screamed at Chad to leave. As Chad turned to leave, he told Abigail that Charlotte was doing well. Abigail said she knew. Chad added that he had photos and videos.
"Wait. Show me," Abigail said quietly. Chad handed Abigail his phone. Through tears, Abigail whispered, "My sweet girl." Abigail noticed a picture of Thomas at the park. Chad said he had taken the photo on Thanksgiving. Chad assured Abigail that he had told Thomas that Abigail had wanted to be there but that she was away.
"Did you tell him why I had to go away for a little while? Did you tell him it is because of you?" Abigail asked. Abigail yelled at Chad. "Did you tell him that it is not my choice? That I'm not there because of you? Get me out of here, Chad. Just get me out of here. Please. I am begging you. Get me out of here. I need my children, and they need me," Abigail pleaded.
"I want you to come home, you know that," Chad said. Abigail asked Chad why he did not let her go home then. Chad reminded Gabi that the last time he had seen her, she had been strangling Gabi. Abigail said that Gabi had admitted that she had plotted revenge on Abigail for ruining her life. "Why would she admit that?" Chad asked. Abigail argued that Gabi knew that no one would believe Abigail. Chad asked about the wig.
"Obviously she hid [the wig] somehow. But, no, I can't prove it. But Chad, I shouldn't have to. Not with you. You love me. I shouldn't have to prove that," Abigail said. Chad said he wanted to release Abigail, but he could not because he could not forget what had happened the last time her alters had been out. Abigail placed her hands on the sides of Chad's face.
"It's me. I'm not ill. It's me," Abigail whispered. "I'm sorry, but I can't. For Thomas and Charlotte, I can't," Chad said. Chad urged Abigail to let the doctors help her so that she could go home and be with her children. "Just what makes you think you get to decide that for me?" Abigail asked. Chad said he wanted to help Abigail. Abigail yelled at Chad to leave.
"I never want to see you again. Just get out of here! Get out!" Abigail yelled. Abigail banged on the door for the orderly. Reluctantly, Chad left. Once alone, Abigail broke down in tears. The orderly returned and told Abigail not to get upset because everyone wanted to help her. "No one is trying to help me. I'm alone," Abigail said. As the orderly turned to leave, Abigail stopped him and asked for help.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan marveled at the arrogance of Ben's request for Stefan to hire him as head of security after Ben had admitted to helping Chad kidnap Abigail. "Did you have a lobotomy why you were locked away?" Stefan asked Ben. Ben assured Stefan that he had knocked Stefan out because Chad had paid him to get Stefan out of the way.
"I'm impressed by your skill and ambition. However, you have no real experience running a security team," Stefan said. Ben countered that he was a quick learner and good at exploiting weaknesses in security plans. "I like to call it having a keen eye for risk assessment," Ben said. Stefan chuckled.
"You have to admit that hiring a serial killer is a bit unorthodox even for a guy like me," Stefan said. Ben argued that he had not been in his right mind during the murders and that he had experienced a psychotic break. Ben assured Stefan that after therapy, his doctors had given Ben a clean bill of health. Ben urged Stefan to call his doctors and check his medication. Stefan asked about the recent arson case. Ben said that he was innocent and that Ciara Brady would vouch for him.
"[Ciara] is the only person in this town to take the time to realize that I've changed. Everyone else, Mr. DiMera, they still fear me. They hate me, and I get it. They still hate me in this town, but doesn't everyone deserve a second chance?" Ben said.
"People in this town only see me as the Necktie Killer or the person that tormented Abigail and drove her insane," Ben said. "I've heard a little bit about that," Stefan noted. Ben said he understood if Stefan's marriage to Abigail complicated the issue, but Stefan countered that Abigail was his wife in name only. Stefan added that Abigail was in Bayview. Stefan thanked Ben for his honesty.
"I can sort of relate to you. Everyone in this town only thinks of me as the guy who took advantage of Abigail, which was not my intention, but you know people believe what they want," Stefan said. Ben noted that Stefan should understand how important it was for Ben to get a job.
"You hire me, you will not be sorry," Ben said. Stefan agreed to hire Ben, but he cautioned Ben that he would fire him if he gave Stefan any reason to distrust him. Ben thanked Stefan for taking a chance on him, and he promised to work hard.
"At the very least, my enemies will think twice about messing with a serial killer," Stefan said. "Reformed," Ben added. "They don't have to know that," Stefan said with a grin. Ben asked about a room on the premises, and he informed Stefan that he was living at a homeless shelter. Stefan warned Ben that he was pushing his luck. Ben explained that he needed to get his life together so that he could be with the girl he liked. Stefan agreed to provide a room.
"Your first assignment is to locate my former attorney, Mr. Ted Laurent," Stefan said. Ben accepted the job. Stefan added that he wanted Ben to make the house a fortress by the time Charlotte returned home from the hospital. Ben nodded yes. Stefan's phone rang. When Stefan answered it, his brow knitted together. "My wife needs to see me," Stefan told Ben.
At the Horton cabin, a smiling Ted mooned over a bottle of red wine. Hope raised an eyebrow. Ted thanked Hope for the groceries. "I hide you, I protect you, you get me the goods on Ben. The sooner, the better. I can't risk him getting any closer to my daughter, not to mention I hated lying to my husband, Rafe," Hope said. While Ted looked over the food cooking on the stove, Hope thought about Rafe.
"I was thinking about my wedding to Rafe. We had the ceremony here," Hope said softly. Ted said it sounded romantic except for the part where Rafe had cheated on her. Hope's face darkened. Ted noted he was the jealous type and would not have been able to forgive anyone like Hope had forgiven Rafe.
Once the food was ready, Ted and Hope sat down to eat. Ted smiled expectantly at Hope as she took a bite of her food. "Delicious," Hope said. "Yes!" Ted said excitedly. Hope turned the conversation to Ben. Ted noted that any confession to him by Ben would be inadmissible in court. Hope handed Ted a satellite phone. When Ted raised a questioning eyebrow, Hope explained that there was no cell service on the island.
"Say, hypothetically of course, the police tapped your phone for some unrelated matter and happened to stumble upon Ben's confession by accident," Hope said. "I like how you think," Ted said.
In the square, Rafe met up with Gabi at the café. Rafe asked Gabi about her visit to Bayview. Gabi said that everyone should be worried about Abigail, not her. Rafe asked Gabi why she had visited Abigail when Abigail did not want to see her.
"J.J. and Jennifer told me that [Abigail] thinks you are gaslighting her," Rafe said. Gabi answered that she did not take anything Abigail said to heart because she was not in her right mind. When Rafe asked about the accusation, Gabi asked Rafe if he believed her. Rafe said it sounded like Gabi still resented Abigail. Gabi asked Rafe if he believed she had set up Abigail. Gabi swore she had resolved her issues with Abigail.
"Even if I was still upset at her, I don't understand how you could think I would do this. That I'm some sort of monster. How could you even consider this?" Gabi asked. Rafe apologized for doubting Gabi. "Abigail is locked up because of her mental illness, not because of something I did," Gabi said. Gabi saw Kate walking by and called out to her.
"My brother here thinks that I'm a really terrible person. He thinks that everything that Abigail is saying is true. That I'm the one making her look like she is nuts. That I am framing her," Gabi said. Kate asked Rafe if he really believed that. Gabi urged Kate to tell Rafe about when Abigail had attacked Kate. With a sigh, Kate said it was true.
"You trust [Kate]. She would never lie to you," Gabi said. Rafe smirked. Rafe apologized to Gabi for doubting her, and he promised he would always be there if Gabi needed him. Rafe kissed Gabi goodbye then he walked away. "Damn you! Forcing me to lie to the police like that!" Kate hissed at Gabi. With an eye roll, Gabi noted that Rafe would not arrest Kate for protecting his sister.
Kate asked Gabi how she had provoked Abigail at Bayview. With a smile, Gabi said she had told Abigail the truth about gaslighting her. "Are you insane?" Kate asked. Gabi argued that no one would believe Abigail because she was crazy. Kate sighed in exasperation. Gabi told Kate about what had happened at Bayview.
"I suppose I could congratulate you on a mission accomplished, but instead, you need to move on to the next phase, and that means telling Chad the truth. Telling him that he is the father of the baby, not Stefan," Kate said. Gabi said it was too soon because Stefan had not bonded with Charlotte yet. Kate disagreed. Gabi argued that she needed to figure out how to get the truth out. Kate demanded the original paternity papers so that she could get them to Chad.
"I burned them," Gabi said. "Are you crazy?" Kate asked in shock. Gabi explained it was not smart to have evidence lying around. Kate ordered Gabi to get a copy printed at the hospital. When Gabi noted that Kayla knew about Abigail's gaslighting accusations, Kate asked if Kayla was suspicious. Gabi told Kate that Kayla had questioned her about Gabi's sleeping pill prescription.
"This just keeps getting better and better," Kate muttered. "Too many people are catching on to your little plan. And that affects both of us," Kate said. Gabi told Kate that she worried too much, and she assured Kate that everything would be fine. "The truth needs to come out," Kate growled. "I couldn't agree more," Will said as he walked up behind Kate.
At the police station, Rafe met up with Hope. Hope lied and said she'd been off running errands. As Hope fidgeted with her purse, she dropped her ferry ticket. "Smith Island? What were you doing out there?" Rafe asked.
In the DiMera living room, Ben stared at the painting of Stefano while he put his feet up on the coffee table. "I bet you never imagined I'd be living here instead of Chad, huh? Life is what happens when you are making other plans," Ben said. Ben's phone rang with a call from Ted. "We have unfinished business to discuss," Ted said.
In the Kiriakis living room, Chad walked in and downed a drink. Sonny said hello. Chad explained that he had visited Abigail. Sonny asked about Abigail. "She thinks I betrayed her," Chad said. "Speaking of betrayal, I hate to ask you this question but I need to clear the air," Sonny said. Chad asked Sonny what he meant. Sonny told Chad that Kate had been behind Leo's sexual harassment lawsuit.
"What gives you that idea?" Chad asked. "Leo is back, and that is what he is claiming," Sonny explained. Chad called Leo a liar. Sonny countered that Leo's argument made sense. "My question for you is did you know?" Sonny asked.
At Bayview, an orderly escorted Stefan into Abigail's room. "Abigail?" Stefan asked. Abigail pushed the gown off of one shoulder. "No, baby. It's me. Gabby," Abigail said. Stefan narrowed his eyes.