During a coffee break at the town square, Abe and Kate discussed upcoming events -- including the ceremony in which Steve and Hope would each be given a key to the city.
Abe -- who, despite what Kate had led Steve and Hope to believe, had apparently never approved the idea and was apparently hearing about it for the first time -- demanded an explanation. "In light of how bad your PR has been lately, I thought [this] was a perfect opportunity to showcase a crime in Salem that's actually getting solved for a change, [especially since] the correct felon is being brought to justice [this time]," Kate reasoned. "[Or maybe you're] trying to assuage your guilt over not helping Hope and Steve [when] you knew they were being brainwashed," Abe suggested. "Trust me, guilt doesn't have anything to do with this," Kate insisted.
"Now I know why Sheila quit... [I mean], frankly, I expected a little gratitude, [because] the latest polls [show that] you are under 40% [in popularity, and that] demands drastic measures. [Now], can you honestly tell me that there's anything wrong with you basking in the reflected glory [of] Steve and Hope's actions? I mean, what's the downside of that?" Kate continued. "Giving the keys of the city to a woman who pushed her cousin off of a rooftop [and] a man who kidnapped his own wife --" Abe began to respond. "You're just being stubborn. [I mean], everyone -- [including you] -- knows that they weren't in control of their actions," Kate countered.
"[But] if you really object to honoring Steve and Hope, that's fine -- I'll just call it off, [and then] you can sit back [and just] watch your numbers [continue to plummet]," Kate concluded with a shrug. "I am not gonna renege on the promise that you made -- it will only make me seem weak," Abe decided. "Weaker," Kate stressed. "[And, while] I care a lot more about policy than PR, [your idea] is not without merit," Abe admitted. "Such a glowing compliment..." Kate sarcastically mused. "Just don't do anything like that again," Abe warned. "Yes, sir, Mr. Mayor -- your wish is my command," Kate dryly replied.
Lani was staring at the home pregnancy test when Eli entered their apartment.
"Why did you run out on me earlier? [I mean], why did you say that you...you didn't think you wanted to have the baby?" Eli wondered. "Because I'm afraid of losing it...the way that we lost David," Lani explained. "I did some research, [and] the odds of you having placenta previa [again] on your second child are, like, 2% --" Eli tried to stress. "It doesn't matter about the stats, okay? There is no way for [the experts] to possibly know what [will] happen. And there are so many [other] things that can go wrong with the pregnancy... [Look], if I have to go through losing a child again, Eli, it will kill me!" Lani tearfully protested.
Lani observed that it seemed like Eli, on the other hand, really wanted to go through with the pregnancy and hope for the best. "I know [it's] a giant leap of faith, [but] I'm willing [to] take that leap of faith [because] I know that we can give a child a really great home," Eli explained. "I understand that, and I know that losing David was really devastating for you, too...but he wasn't inside of you, Eli -- he wasn't a part of you, [and] you didn't get to feel him, [so] you don't know what this feels like," Lani countered. "And I would never pretend to," Eli stressed.
"But...does this mean that you would never want to have a kid with me?" Eli wondered. "I don't know -- maybe I would want to adopt; [after all], there are so many children out there who need homes..." Lani suggested. "I guess we should have talked about this before now," Lani acknowledged, and Eli agreed. "Eli, if not having a biological child is a deal-breaker for you, I understand...[but] if it's that important to you, then...we probably shouldn't get married --" Lani continued. "When it comes to you and me, there is no such thing as -- as a 'deal-breaker,'" Eli insisted.
"If you don't want to go through with this pregnancy, it's your choice, [and] I'll support you 100%," Eli stressed. "I haven't even had time to process [this yet] -- I just know how I felt when I saw that test... [But just] know that I would never make this decision lightly -- [I mean], I know that there are so many people out there [who are] dying to have a child [but] can't..." Lani admitted.
"As scared as I am -- and I am scared -- I know, deep down in my heart, that I want to have this baby with you," Lani decided after some thought, delighting Eli.
At the hospital, Steve sneaked off with a sigh as Kayla raved that the diamond ring Justin was offering was beautiful. "I don't know what to say... Do you think that maybe we could just go talk somewhere? Privately?" Kayla awkwardly continued, and Justin agreed. "I'm sorry, but you know how the hospital gossip mill is, and I just felt uncomfortable having a moment like that right in the middle of the nurses' station..." Kayla explained to Justin while leading the way through the halls. "Right... Well, I should have picked a more romantic spot to get down on my knee and propose, anyway..." Justin conceded.
"I was just so eager, and..." Justin continued while entering Kayla's office -- where a note from Steve was on the desk. Kayla silently read the note -- "Dear Kayla, I just wanted to tell you I'm glad everything worked out the way it did -- that you and Justin are happy. Love, Steve" -- as Justin finished talking and waited for a response, unable to see the note. "I'm sorry -- what...what were you saying?" Kayla eventually said to Justin. "Well, I guess it's not a great sign that you didn't want to answer me out there... Is that why you brought me [here] -- to spare me the humiliation of publicly rejecting my proposal?" Justin assumed.
"Justin, uh...I -- I don't -- I don't think that either one of us take the idea of marriage lightly; [I mean], I think that both of us thought that our previous relationships would be [our] last, and I know that neither one of us think that a decision this monumental should be taken impulsively --" Kayla began to respond. "I'm not," Justin insisted. "Well, where is this coming from, then?" Kayla wondered. "What do you mean? I love you!" Justin explained with a shrug before admitting that chance encounters with Eli and Sonny earlier that day had helped to inspire the spontaneous marriage proposal. "[But] you don't need to answer me right now," Justin stressed.
"If you're not ready, [then] I don't want to rush you, so I'll wait -- as long as it takes. You're worth it," Justin concluded as Kayla eyed the note, unaware of Steve's reason for having written it.
Hope went to the police station to drop off a gift for a beloved ex-coworker's newborn -- and learned, during the visit, that Rafe had left work early that day for unknown reasons.
After parting ways with the ex-coworker, Hope went to the Hernandez house to make sure that everything was okay, since Rafe rarely left work early for any reason. Rafe thanked Hope for the concern and explained that David was simply worn out as a result of all the recent excitement. Hope, in turn, thanked Rafe for the recent advice about putting Gina's reign of terror in the past and moving on with life. "I'm gonna do my best," Hope assured Rafe, who was happy to hear that. "Last night -- uh, working together to go after Zoey and find David and John -- it's...it was the first time in...forever...[that] I truly felt like myself," Hope admitted.
Rafe and Hope locked eyes with each other -- but Zoey entered the house just then, ruining the moment.
"The door was unlocked... Sorry to interrupt..." Zoey began. "I'm glad to see you didn't run," Hope stressed. "I told you I wasn't going anywhere [except] to find my son," Zoey reiterated. "How is he?" Hope wondered. "He was a little shaken up, and he doesn't really understand everything that happened, [but] he's fine," Zoey reported before changing the subject, asking for some time alone with Rafe. "Um, I don't know if that's such a good idea -- [I mean], last time you were with him, you held us both at gunpoint and hit him with a bullet," Hope protested. "That was an accident," Zoey maintained. "And he's still lucky to be alive," Hope countered.
"It's okay -- I can handle it," Rafe assured Hope. "I know," Hope assured Rafe before reluctantly exiting the house.
"She's very protective of you..." Zoey observed. "I know you didn't mean for the gun to go off, so...let's just, uh, try and put it behind us -- along with this custody battle with David," Rafe suggested. "Um... no, I think there's a misunderstanding -- I'm still suing for custody of my nephew...[and] I intend to win," Zoey clarified, drawing a scoff from Rafe.
"We don't have to be adversarial -- [I mean], we both love David, [and] if I get custody of him, I'll let you see him --" Zoey countered. "Oh, really? You're gonna 'let' me 'see' him?" Rafe incredulously repeated. "Look, do you want to try and work this out, or do you want to take it to court? [Where], I guarantee you, you'll lose!" Zoey continued. "You're gonna lose, [because I'll] use everything I have against you, [like the fact that] you already have a kid that you can't look after --" Rafe argued. "That is not true!" Zoey insisted. "[And the fact that] you were an accessory to a kidnapping [and] almost killed a cop!" Rafe continued.
"You don't stand a chance," Rafe warned. "I guess we'll find out...[but] judges almost always rule in favor of a biological relative, and the wishes of David's only living parent are a huge consideration," Zoey warned.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Sonny wondered why Will had assumed that their conversation was heading toward the matter of having another child. "I mean, last year, before the car accident, we talked about growing our family, and I was just telling my grandma that I feel like now we're finally back to the place that we were then --" Will began to explain. "Yeah -- no, I...I feel...I feel that way, too," Sonny stressed. "So, I -- I guess when you said life was short, I just assumed that that's what you were talking about..." Will continued with a shrug. "But, clearly, I -- I made a leap..." Will concluded. "Actually, um...that's exactly what I was gonna say," Sonny admitted.
"Seriously?" Will asked. "Seriously. Let's have a baby," Sonny replied. Will and Sonny sealed the deal with a kiss, each beaming with excitement.
"How crazy is this? Like, we -- we both decide we want to have a baby at the same time!" Will mused with a chuckle after pulling away from Sonny. "A lot less crazy than what we've been through the past few years..." Sonny noted. "So...what, are we -- are we ready to settle down, then? Become boring suburbanites and, like, shuttle the kids back and forth from soccer to ballet?" Will wondered. "Um...I mean, I could live with that," Sonny admitted with an eager grin, and Will nodded in agreement, also grinning eagerly. "[But first] we need to talk about...how we're gonna go about having a kid..." Sonny continued, drawing another nod from Will.
"My family, they had a good experience with Vic and Joey -- my parents gave them, uh, a home, and they fit right in, so..." Sonny acknowledged. "Adoption is an amazing gift -- for everyone -- but...you know, sometimes it can get a little complicated -- like, look at what's happening with Rafe and David," Will countered. "That's, like, the worst-case scenario -- if we do adopt, I'm sure we're not gonna have to go through a nightmare like that, okay?" Sonny assured Will, who conceded the point with a chuckle.
"[Or], of course, we...you know, we could always try and have a baby of our own..." Will suggested. "Surrogacy," Sonny translated. "Yeah -- I mean, we'd have to find an egg donor and a gestational carrier..." Will continued. "And then we'd have to decide which one of us is gonna be the biological father," Sonny concluded for Will. "You should be the bio dad. [After all], I already have a biological child...and, plus, I would not be mad if our kid had your smile," Will declared. "Well, Patrick and Damian [from] the gym actually mixed their sperm together before IVF [so] they wouldn't know who the biological father was," Sonny recalled.
Will understood Sonny's point but couldn't help noting with a chuckle that Patrick and Damian's child had been born with red hair and freckles, making it immediately obvious that Damian was the biological father. "Well, who knows -- I mean, what -- maybe we -- maybe we'll have twins. I -- I just -- I -- I just want to leave it up to fate," Sonny stressed, stammering with excitement. "Well...uh, all I care about is -- is providing a loving home for our kid...and, of course, I'm biased, but I think no family has more love to share than ours," Will admitted.
"If you want, I can call Kayla right now and get some recommendations for fertility clinics --" Will offered, already reaching for a nearby cell phone. "Maybe we're getting just a little ahead of ourselves..." Sonny suggested, stopping Will. "I don't know if Ari's gonna be open to having another sibling, [and] we haven't even told her that Gabi was arrested [yet]," Sonny explained. "Well, you know, a couple years ago, Ari was all about being a big sister --" Will reminded Sonny. "I know...but a lot has changed [since then]," Sonny noted.
"I think Ari likes being the center of our universe [now]," Sonny warned. "Well, I think it would be good for her if she were a little bit less the center of everyone's universe," Will argued, and Sonny agreed. "[And] I think Ari would [still] be so excited about being a big sister," Will continued. "But you're right -- that's a long ways off, [and] we don't want to get her hopes up before, you know, we're sure it's gonna happen," Will concluded, and Sonny agreed again. "Whether we go the route of adoption or surrogacy, it's gonna be, uh, a long road --" Sonny noted. "[With] a lot of decisions that we have to make along the way --" Will noted.
"But the most important decision has already been made -- we are having a baby together!" Sonny excitedly summarized before giving Will another kiss.
Hope was at the Brady Pub, waiting for a takeout order, when Steve arrived in search of a stiff drink. Hope was stunned to hear about what had just happened at the hospital but argued that Steve still should have told Kayla the truth. "The truth is...[it's] too late," Steve declared with a sigh. "You don't know that," Hope insisted, but Steve found it impossible to imagine a scenario in which Kayla had not immediately accepted Justin's marriage proposal. "Why would she [say no]? She loves him," Steve reasoned with a shrug. "She loves you...[and], yet again, you are still trying to make the decision for her," Hope countered.
Hope offered to drive Steve back to the hospital to see Kayla. "Don't think that'll be necessary..." Steve replied, alerting Hope to the fact that Kayla and Justin had just arrived. "I guess the two of you will be the first to hear our good news -- Justin and I are engaged," Kayla announced. "All right. Great. Well, I'm happy for you both," Steve claimed as Hope stayed silent.
Jake tells Ben about his past
At the Salem Inn, Ben greeted Ciara with breakfast in bed. Ben suggested that Ciara open the fortune cookie on her plate. With a chuckle, Ciara cracked it open and found a fortune that read, "You are going to have an incredible first day back at work." Ciara asked Ben how he got fortunes into the cookies. "That wasn't me. That was the universe," Ben said. "Let me show the universe my gratitude," Ciara said as she pulled Ben into a kiss.
After Ben and Ciara made love, Ciara got dressed for work while Ben looked for a new job. "I told you that I am not going back to work at that garage with Jake until I get an explanation of why those goons were there," Ben told Ciara. Ciara said she hoped neither she nor Ben would see the goons again. Ben said he intended to be fully employed by the time of the wedding. Ciara suggested that Ben wait until after the honeymoon to start work, but Ben explained that he did not want to start the marriage supported by Ciara.
"That's a little old-fashioned, isn't it?" Ciara asked. Ben agreed. Ben said he wanted Ciara to be successful at Titan, but he also believed that Ciara deserved to be proud of her successful husband. "I'm already so proud of you," Ciara said. As Ciara opened to the door to leave for work, Jake was standing in the hallway. "I need to talk to you. Alone," Jake said. Ciara kissed Ben goodbye and left.
In the Kiriakis living room, Will and Sonny toasted their coffee, "To new beginnings." Will suggested that they talk to Arianna about Gabi before they sent Arianna off to school. When Arianna walked in, Will and Sonny sat her on the couch to talk. "Is it about mommy?" Arianna asked. As Will fumbled to find the words, Gabi walked in. "She's right here!" Gabi said. Arianna ran into Gabi's arms.
"I am so happy to see you and to finally be back home," Gabi said. When Arianna asked where her mother had been, Gabi lied and said that she had been on a business trip. Sonny said he and Will had been about to tell Arianna about Gabi's trip. Excited, Arianna asked Gabi about a present, and Gabi gave her one of her bracelets. Sonny sent Arianna upstairs to put her bracelet away.
After Arianna ran out of the room, Will asked Gabi why she was not in jail. "I am not an escaped fugitive. I'm out on bail," Gabi said. Sonny asked Gabi if she was innocent. Gabi insisted that Rolf had set her up. Will asked Gabi if she was ready to admit that Jake was not Stefan. "Maybe Rolf didn't bring back Stefan, but maybe somebody else did," Gabi said.
"Oh, somebody else can raise the dead?" Sonny said in a mocking tone. Gabi said that she knew in her heart that Jake was Stefan. Sonny warned Gabi not to let her obsession about Jake destroy her life. Gabi swore that she would never leave Arianna.
Gabi added that after she dropped Arianna off at school, she would spend the day proving that Jake was Stefan. Worried, Will asked Gabi if she intended to try to inject the serum into Jake again. Gabi noted that there was no point, since she knew Rolf had given her a fake serum.
Gabi said she intended to run a DNA test to prove that Jake was Stefan. "You're going to make the situation worse," Will stressed. Gabi promised not to do anything illegal. Sonny begged Gabi to let Rafe clear her name and to leave Jake alone.
"Unless you want to go back to prison, let it go," Sonny stressed. Annoyed, Gabi reminded Sonny of the lengths he had gone to when Will had forgotten his past. "Now you have your life back, and you want me to stop doing what you were doing?" Gabi asked. Will assured Gabi that they wanted to keep her safe. "I have my husband back, and I am going to prove it," Gabi said.
After Gabi left, a frustrated Sonny wondered aloud what they would need to do to stop Gabi. "She's made up her mind," Will said. Will wondered aloud if they should warn Jake. Sonny argued that Jake was not their problem. With a nod, Will said he would call Rafe and keep him updated.
At the prison, Xander visited with Maggie. Xander informed Maggie that Justin was in court with Evan's confession, working to get Maggie's conviction overturned. "If Justin can pull this off, I might actually go home," Maggie said. Maggie asked Xander why he was there. "I thought you'd be anxious. I didn't want you to be alone, but if you don't want me here, I'd understand," Xander said. Maggie confirmed that she had a lot of reasons to be angry with him.
"I've done a lot of terrible things. Starting with letting Will languish in prison for something he didn't do," Xander said with a shrug as he averted his eyes from Maggie's face. "That was pretty rotten," Maggie agreed. Maggie added that she understood that Xander had acted to protect her and Sarah. "And you saved my life," Maggie said. Xander looked up at Maggie.
"I'm just glad I could be there. And I'm so glad that you now know for sure that you weren't responsible for killing Adrienne or your grandchild," Xander said. Xander apologized for believing that Maggie had been responsible. "I thought I was responsible, too," Maggie whispered. Maggie thanked Xander for his visit, and she asked how he was doing.
"Me? I've lost everything. My love, my job, and this time, I have absolutely no idea how I'm going to get any of it back," Xander said. Xander told Maggie that Victor had replaced him at Titan with Brady. "I'm surprised," Maggie said. Maggie noted that Xander had helped Victor accomplish his scheme.
"I wish I never did. Victor just uses me to do his dirty work. It's Brady he really loves," Xander said. Maggie reminded Xander that Victor had fired Brady after the baby had died. "I blackmailed Victor for the job. Now it's Brady's, and I'm gone," Xander whispered. Maggie noted that Brady was a victim and understandably would want Xander removed from Titan. Annoyed, Xander blurted out that Brady was sleeping with Sarah. Maggie did not believe the news, and Xander admitted that he believed Sarah and Brady were pretending to have an affair.
"To punish me for what I did. To keep me away from Sarah," Xander said. Xander muttered that regardless, Sarah hated him. "Do you blame her?" Maggie asked. "No. I know how much I hurt her," Xander said. Xander stressed that he would do anything to make it up to Sarah. "Maybe you don't deserve a chance," Maggie suggested. Xander nodded in agreement.
"I've never loved anyone the way I love Sarah," Xander said. Xander added that he could not bear the thought of living his life without Sarah, and he asked Maggie for advice. "Give Sarah space. I know my daughter. She's headstrong. The more you push, the more she is going to dig in her heels," Maggie counseled.
"I've turned this visit into something selfish, haven't I? I said I was here to comfort you, and I spent the whole time talking about myself," Xander said. Maggie smiled. "It's better than no visitor at all," Maggie said. Xander offered to call the courthouse for an update.
At the hospital, Victor sat in a wheelchair, waiting for his release papers. "It's about time. I've been waiting hours for my release," Victor said without taking his eyes off of his phone. When Victor looked up, Sarah was standing there. As Sarah reviewed Victor's chart, she said, "It's a shame [Kristen's] aim isn't more accurate." Victor argued that he had lied about the baby to protect Maggie, and Xander had acted to protect Sarah.
"I'm so sick of hearing that excuse!" Sarah yelled. Sarah argued that Victor and Xander's lie had prevented her from holding her baby and saying goodbye to her before her burial. "I'm sorry for what happened to you," Victor started. Sarah interrupted to yell that Victor got to go home, while everyone else had to deal with the repercussions of his actions.
"I have half a mind to finish the job that Kristen started because you don't deserve any of this!" Sarah yelled. "Sarah!" Marlena said as she entered. "The woman should be fired. A doctor should know better than to threaten a patient. One with high blood pressure, no less," Victor complained. Marlena noted that Victor did not have high blood pressure. Marlena asked Sarah to follow her outside.
In the waiting area, Sarah apologized for losing her temper, and she explained that seeing Victor had triggered her anger. "He affects a lot of people like that," Marlena said. Marlena said it was understandable that Sarah would lash out because Victor was partly responsible for Sarah's pain. Sarah said she was angry that Victor had hurt her, Kristen, Brady, and Maggie.
"How can someone who loves you betray you like that?" Sarah wondered aloud. "But not only by Victor?" Marlena countered. Fighting back tears, Sarah admitted that she was especially hurt by Xander's actions. "I think that is the hardest part, because I..." Sarah started.
"Were you about to say because you still love [Xander]?" Marlena said. "How could I be in love with someone who could do something like this to me?" Sarah asked. Marlena said she was not defending Xander. "But I had understood that he was trying to protect you," Marlena said. "He went about it in the worst possible way," Sarah said. Marlena noted that sometimes people in love "go to extremes." Sarah said she understood that Xander had wanted to protect her, but she could not forgive what Xander had done.
"I want them to pay. In fact, it's all I think about. Making Xander pay. Making Victor pay," Sarah said. Marlena asked about Sarah's grief. Sarah admitted that she could not get over her daughter's death. "You won't. What you have to do is learn to live with it," Marlena said. Marlena noted that Sarah's focus on anger would not help her. "You're looking for some kind of peace of mind," Marlena said.
When Sarah said that peace seemed impossible, Marlena counseled, "You just need to focus on what's right in your life." Sarah asked how. Marlena told Sarah to admit what was real. "Do you mean admitting that I still love Xander?" Sarah asked. Marlena shrugged and told Sarah that only Sarah knew what she felt. When Sarah asked if she should forgive Xander, Marlena said that was up to Sarah.
"I don't know what I want," Sarah admitted. Marlena offered to listen if Sarah needed to talk. While Sarah stepped aside to take a call about Maggie, Marlena's phone rang. It was Claire. Marlena went over to the psychiatric hospital to visit Claire. When Marlena arrived, Claire said, "I'm ready to come home."
When Sonny and Will returned home with Victor, Victor noted that the place felt empty without Maggie. Right on cue, Maggie walked in with Xander. Victor smiled. "You're really here," Victor said.
"The judge overturned her conviction. I tried to call with the good news, but I couldn't get through," Xander said. With a nod at Maggie, Xander left. Will and Sonny greeted Maggie, then slipped out of the room. "You're a sight for sore eyes, Maggie," Victor said. Maggie started to cry. In the foyer, Xander ran into Sarah as he left the house.
At Titan, Brady perused his work schedule. "This is gonna be too easy. You better prepare yourself, Titan. I'm going to take you down brick by brick, and I'm gonna take my...I'm going to take Victor with you," Brady said. John walked in. Brady asked John if he was there to congratulate Brady on his new job. "No. I'm here to find out what you're up to," John said. Brady said he deserved to have his job back.
"Xander stole my daughter, and he deserves to rot in hell. I hope he is somewhere miserable," Brady said. John nodded in agreement. "That all sounds reasonable, except I don't believe a single word of it," John said. John argued that although he believed Brady hated Xander, he also believed there was more.
"If I wanted grandfather to suffer just a little bit for what he did to me, would you blame me?" Brady asked. "No. I'm just curious about how you're going to go about it," John said. Before Brady could explain, Ciara entered. Brady welcomed Ciara back to the company. John hugged Ciara and congratulated her on her engagement.
After John left, Ciara said she was thrilled to report to Brady instead of Xander. "He's not coming back, right?" Ciara asked. "No. I made sure of that," Brady said. When Ciara asked what Brady had done, Brady changed the subject. Ciara told Brady that she had apologized to Victor for previously quitting her job at Titan. "No apology necessary. I'm glad you're back," Brady said.
With a grin, Ciara pulled a folder out of her purse and handed it to Brady. Ciara explained that she had put together a portfolio of figures and projections for the company and why they should focus on their Asian assets. Brady said he appreciated Ciara's suggestions, but he did not think it was the right plan.
"Why not? I've laid out a comprehensive plan to cut costs and increase revenue at the same time. It's a no-brainer," Ciara said. Brady said he disagreed and that he wanted to sell off their Asian division. Confused, Ciara noted that the Asian division was the most profitable part of the company.
"The whole company would take a huge hit. I don't understand. Why would you do that?" Ciara asked. Brady admitted that Ciara's suggestions made sense, but the situation was more complicated than Ciara realized. Ciara asked for details, but Brady said he did not want to go into it. With a nod, Ciara said she would leave Brady alone, and she asked him to look over her proposals. "I promise you, I will," Brady said. After Ciara left, Brady threw Ciara's proposal in the trash.
In Ben's room at the Salem Inn, Ben told Jake that he was looking for a new job. Jake said he was there to give Ben answers. Jake told Ben that he had worked for an organization in Philadelphia called "the Family." "We're talking about organized crime," Ben said. Jake explained that he had taken something valuable as a bargaining chip. When Ben asked Jake why he did not return the item, Jake admitted that he no longer had it.
Jake explained that after a bad fight with his ex-girlfriend, she had cleaned out the house. "Including what you took from the Family," Ben said. Jake admitted that he had no idea where to find his ex and that his search for her had led him to Salem. "As soon as I got to town, the trail went cold, I ran out of money, and I needed a place to stay. So, I took the job at the garage," Jake explained. Jake said that even if he knew where to find his ex-girlfriend, he wouldn't sic the goons on her.
"I know what they're capable of, and now you do, too," Jake said. Jake noted that since the Family had found him, he did not have a lot of time to locate his ex before the goons found her. "I'd hate to think of any woman threatened by them or at their mercy," Jake said.
After Gabi grabbed Stefan's comb from the DiMera mansion, she went to the garage. Gabi took advantage of the emptiness, and she went into Jake's bedroom to look for DNA. Gabi located Jake's toothbrush. After Gabi shoved the toothbrush in a plastic bag in her purse, she turned and found a man standing in her path. "Going somewhere?" the man asked.
Claire tries to get released from Bayview
At the Salem Inn, Jake hopefully wondered if Ben, having just been told why thugs had been sniffing around the auto repair shop lately, was willing to return to work there and give up the idea of looking for a different job. Ben agreed to continue helping Jake manage the shop's heavy workload but warned that thugs would keep sniffing around the place -- and would get more violent with each appearance -- until they got what they wanted.
"I told you I've done some security work for Stefan DiMera...but I also have some skills that might help you track down your ex. [And] I was attacked -- twice -- so, whether I like it or not, I'm already involved, and it seems to me like it would be in my best interest [to help]," Ben decided after some thought. "[Then] I'm glad to take the assist. [My ex] -- Gwen -- [she] left Philly [on] a flight to Chicago [then] took a train to Salem...[and] that's where the trail went cold. [Now], as far as I know, she doesn't have any friends or family here, [so] I have no clue [why she'd stay here...but] I can't go back on the hunt until I get paid," Jake explained.
At the auto repair shop, Gabi nervously tried to sidestep the thug who had just appeared in Jake's room. "What did you stash in your bag just now?" the thug -- who was new to the search for Jake and was arguably even more imposing as an individual than the previous two thugs had been as a team -- demanded to know before snatching Gabi's purse and starting to rummage through it.
After realizing that the purse contained nothing of interest, the thug threw it back at Gabi, who was relieved that Jake's toothbrush had not been contaminated. "Where's your little boyfriend?" the thug wondered. "Boyfriend?" Gabi repeated. "You're in Jake's apartment by yourself, going through his stuff, stealing his toothbrush... He's gotta be somebody to you," the thug reasoned. "Yeah, he is...but he's not my 'boyfriend' -- he is my husband," Gabi clarified. "That means you're gonna make the perfect hostage," the thug decided. "Hostage?" Gabi repeated. "Bargaining chip," the thug clarified.
"Your husband has something that belongs to my boss, [and] now that I have his lovely wife, I'm sure he's gonna want to hand it over," the thug elaborated while producing a gun. "I'm sorry to spoil your plan, but I don't think that's gonna work -- [see], there's been a misunderstanding..." Gabi backpedaled, suddenly terrified. "It's complicated, [but] my real husband [is] Stefan DiMera, [and] this Jake person...[well, he] hates me, [so] I'm basically a worthless hostage," Gabi explained. "Either you call your husband -- or whoever he is -- and get him to give me what I came for...or I'll blow your pretty little head off," the thug countered.
The thug started to drag Gabi out of the shop at gunpoint -- just as Jake entered it. "You know what I'm after," the thug began. "I don't have it," Jake admitted. "Well, then, you better go get it...or I'm gonna off your little wife," the thug warned. "What?" Jake replied, annoyed that Gabi had told the thug that they were married. "[And] she was in your apartment," the thug revealed, further annoying Jake.
"I'll give you 24 hours to bring me what I need," the thug decided before continuing to drag Gabi out of the shop at gunpoint, ignoring Jake's protests.
Nicole went to Titan to see Brady, who was in the process of reading a news alert about Maggie's release from Statesville. "Aw, look at that -- it is true," Nicole began after entering Brady's office. "I suppose I should congratulate you on getting your old job back... Too bad you had to screw me over to do it -- [and] I can't believe that I had to find out from the janitor that you quit Basic Black!" Nicole continued. "Well, it happened fast -- it happened really quickly... I had the opportunity to take charge again, [so] I took it..." Brady explained with a shrug.
"I'm sure you understand --" Brady continued. "No, actually -- I don't! I'm your friend, and I've had your back through some pretty dark times, [and] we were partners... [Look], you at least owe me the respect to tell me to my face that you were leaving! [And] now Xander's telling me that you're making the moves on Sarah? [I mean], I don't understand [that, either] -- don't you still love Kristen?" Nicole countered. "Kristen's gone. [And] I couldn't be at Basic Black anymore [because] there's too many reminders of her everywhere. I needed a fresh start, okay?" Brady reasoned.
"If you can't understand that, then I'm sorry," Brady continued, shrugging again. "Is that your attempt at an apology? Because if it was, you failed -- miserably!" Nicole snapped. "Look, Nic...I really am sorry for leaving you in the lurch at Basic Black -- that was not my intention," Brady stressed. "But you didn't think of me at all," Nicole guessed. "Honestly, my head has been all over the place since Kristen left with Rachel. [And] this job was an opportunity [to] get control again --" Brady admitted. "Control of what?" Nicole wondered. "Everything," Brady vaguely clarified.
"I just need you to back off a little bit and let me do what I need to do -- please. [Look], this is just the beginning [of] my plan, [and] I know what I'm doing --" Brady continued. "No, I don't think you do -- I think you're going off the rails," Nicole countered before suggesting that it might be wise for Brady to attend a meeting. "I'm not gonna do this right now," Brady muttered before rushing off to the Kiriakis mansion to check on Maggie.
Eric entered the Brady Pub and greeted Ciara, who quickly produced a wedding invitation and handed it over. Eric gave Ciara a congratulatory hug and promised to attend the big event with Nicole -- then excitedly revealed that another Brady wedding would be occurring in the not-so-distant future. "Kind of crazy to say, but I think things are turning around for this family," Eric declared, and Ciara agreed.
Changing the subject, Eric acknowledged that Ciara was back at Titan -- along with Brady. "I think he's focused on other things -- he's kind of off his game," Ciara explained in response to Eric's complaint that Brady hadn't even had the decency to talk to Nicole before leaving Basic Black. "He was acting all powerful and in charge [earlier but] barely listened to any of my ideas -- it was like he had already decided to reject them [before I even offered them]," Ciara elaborated. "[And, really], how long is Grandpa gonna let him stay on as CEO if he's already gonna tank the company?" Ciara concluded.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Sarah stormed past Xander and stepped into the living room, assuming that Maggie would be there. "She was here a minute ago..." Xander assured Sarah when they discovered that the living room was otherwise unoccupied. "I suspect Maggie and Victor wanted some time alone [and] must have gone upstairs together," Xander continued, causing Sarah to cringe at the implication.
"Okay, well...I don't want to interrupt their...reunion... Plus, I might lose it on Victor again, so..." Sarah decided before starting to rush back out of the mansion. "Again?" Xander repeated, stopping Sarah, who explained what had happened at the hospital earlier. "If Marlena hadn't shown up, I don't know what I would have done," Sarah admitted at the end of the tale. "I don't blame you," Xander stressed. "If you want to vent some anger at me [instead], go ahead," Xander continued. "Punch me, hit me -- whatever you want to do, I deserve it, [so] just let me have it," Xander concluded.
Sarah ignored the offer and considered instead admitting to still being in love with Xander -- but Brady entered the mansion before a decision could be made. Sensing that Sarah's resolve to stay away from Xander was weakening, Brady seized the opportunity to reveal what had almost happened when Sarah had visited the Brookville Family Planning Clinic during the early stages of pregnancy. Outraged, Sarah slapped and chastised Xander then stormed out of the mansion with Brady, vowing to never have anything to do with Xander again.
Ciara returned to Titan with cups of coffee from the pub. After checking Brady's office and realizing that no one was there, Ciara tossed one of the cups of coffee in the office's trash can -- the same trash can that still held Ciara's proposal. Ciara scoffed and fished the proposal out of the trash can -- just as Ben arrived with a bouquet of flowers to celebrate Ciara's first day back at work. Ben quickly realized that something was wrong, and Ciara confirmed the suspicion. "What is it?" Ben wondered. "I'm not really sure," Ciara admitted before explaining what had happened.
"He's probably threatened by you -- [he] knows Victor's in your corner, [and] you're the rising star, [and] you're brilliant, [and] you're gonna do great [here]," Ben guessed at the end of the tale. "[And] who gives a damn [what he thinks]? Keep doing what you're doing," Ben advised, drawing a smile from Ciara, who immediately started feeling better about the matter.
Changing the subject, Ciara wondered what had happened during Ben's meeting with Jake. "Are you sure you want to help him search for this Gwen chick? I mean, why get yourself involved with dangerous people?" Ciara argued after hearing the whole story. "I've taken on dangerous people before," Ben pointed out. "But now you have a fiancťe to stay safe for -- [and] a wedding to plan," Ciara countered. "I promise you, nothing is going to keep me from walking down that aisle...but, the way I see it, the sooner that we find Jake's ex [and] get her to hand over what she stole, [the] better -- for everyone," Ben reasoned.
Nicole and Eric met up at their apartment and compared notes on the things they had learned about Brady that day -- but neither person knew exactly what to make of any of it. Eric supportively insisted, at the end of the conversation, that Nicole didn't need Brady's help to run Basic Black. "You're right -- I'm gonna kill this!" Nicole decided after some thought. "Of course I'm right -- and of course you are," Eric agreed.
Changing the subject, Eric showed Ciara and Ben's wedding invitation to Nicole, who was somewhat disappointed to discover that Ciara and Ben's wedding ceremony was scheduled to take place at the end of July. "We don't want to have our wedding at the same time --" Nicole began to argue. "Yeah, I guess not..." Eric agreed. "So, I guess ours will have to be in August...or maybe September --" Nicole continued. "[Or] before [theirs...or] why not right away?" Eric suggested. "That's not enough time to plan!" Nicole protested. "Who needs a plan?" Eric countered.
"Don't you want your friends and family to be there?" Nicole wondered. "Honestly? I really don't care who's there -- [I mean], as long as I got you and Holly and the justice of the peace, [of course]. I just want to be married to you. We've waited a lifetime to be together. My marriage is important -- not the wedding," Eric replied. "[Then] I say...that sounds wonderful," Nicole agreed before giving Eric a kiss to seal the deal.
At Bayview, Claire excitedly reasoned that Marlena, as arguably the most respected member of Salem's medical community -- as well as the town itself, could easily convince the psychiatric facility's administrators to release any patient at any time and for any reason. "Honey, I wish that you were well enough to come home -- uh, the whole family wants you home --" Marlena carefully began to respond. "Great -- [then] make it happen!" Claire interjected. "[But] you have your own doctors here, and it's up [to] them to decide when you're going to be released," Marlena continued.
"You're on my side, aren't you?" Claire challenged Marlena. "Oh, of course I'm on your side -- I am always on your side -- [but] this seems a little bit...rushed...and a little bit...desperate...and it makes me wonder what's happened -- why it's so urgent for you to get out of here right away," Marlena explained. "You think me wanting to go home is sudden? Grandma, I have been locked up here for almost two years -- that's, like, 10% of my life!" Claire countered. "I know, and I never would have wished that for you...but...Claire, you were sick -- you needed this help," Marlena stressed.
"[But] my doctors and therapists have given me that help [already] -- you know, they've actually told me that my progress has exceeded all their expectations [and] that I am the perfect patient -- [so] what else am I supposed to do to prove myself? [I mean], if Ben Weston can be released from Bayview, why can't I? [He's] the Necktie Killer, Grandma -- he murdered people -- and now he's free to walk the streets of Salem, [and] I just don't see how anyone can look at what I did and say that I deserve to be punished more than he [was]!" Claire argued.
"This is not 'punishment,' Claire -- it's a hospital, [and] you're here because you did some...some very bad things. [And] you can't compare your situation to anybody else's, [including Ben's]. He's not the same person [now] that he was [back then] -- I know that because I treated him myself [and] vouched for his recovery," Marlena explained. "Okay, well, can you do the same for me?" Claire begged.
"[Look], I am not saying that I didn't deserve to be in here [at first] -- I know how wrong it was of me to set those fires -- [but] I wasn't myself then, [and] I would never, ever do something like that again!" Claire stressed. "I'd like to believe that --" Marlena began to respond. "[Then] believe it!" Claire countered. "I haven't seen Ciara the whole time I've been in here -- she's just obviously still too upset with me to want to visit -- so I want to make amends to her -- actually, I need to make amends to her, more than anyone else -- [and] if I get out of here, I know that I can do that, okay?" Claire reasoned.
"I just let her down so badly --" Claire continued. "You didn't just 'let her down,'" Marlena protested. "I know... She wasn't just my family -- she was my best friend before all this happened [and] I lost control --" Claire backpedaled. "Before you tried to kill her," Marlena stressed. "And I regret that every single day..." Claire insisted. "[Look], I miss her, [and] I want to get back to the way we were when we were close, [and] I need her to know that I still love and care about her, [and] if I get out of here, I know that I can do that...but you're the only person who can help me, [so]...please, Grandma?" Claire begged.
"I'll talk to your doctors," Marlena decided after some thought. "[But] there are no guarantees here -- [this] doesn't mean that you're gonna get what it is you want --" Marlena tried to warn. "They'll listen to you!" Claire excitedly predicted before breathing a sigh of relief and thanking Marlena with a hug. After Marlena left, Claire removed Ciara and Ben's wedding invitation from a drawer and stared at the date.
"Who knows, Ciara -- maybe I'll make it home in time for your wedding..." Claire mused, grinning mischievously.
Steve tries to cope with Kayla's engagement
At Statesville, Orpheus joined Zoey in the visitors' lounge. "I wanted to see Christian," Zoey stressed. "Well, you don't always get what you want," Orpheus explained with a shrug.
"I have nothing to say to you -- you threatened my child, [and] you're the reason that Christian's in this horrible place!" Zoey spat. "No, my dear -- you are, and I won't have you blaming me for your mistakes," Orpheus countered. "You know, I used to be scared of you because I thought you were so powerful...[but] now I'm scared because you are so damn stupid -- and that makes you really dangerous," Zoey mused. "You're getting way out over your skis, little girl," Orpheus warned. "Oh, cut it!" Zoey advised, waving a hand dismissively.
"My brother is behind bars -- not because you're a criminal [but] because you're an inept criminal!" Zoey continued. "And he could lose David -- and I could lose my son -- because of the utterly idiotic things that you think are completely fine to do! For example -- after we have this 'fun' little daddy-daughter conversation, I need to go to a custody hearing that I'll probably lose because of the ammunition you just served up to Hernandez on a platter!" Zoey concluded. "You'll lose for the same reason you lost your brother's case -- you're a terrible lawyer!" Orpheus countered, drawing a scoff from Zoey.
"Clarence Darrow couldn't even clean up the messes that you make! And if we're talking 'terrible'...how does a 'criminal mastermind' get taken down by a one-eyed, washed-up loser like Steve Johnson?" Zoey argued. "Steve Johnson will get what's coming to him..." Orpheus insisted. "Yeah -- the key to the city..." Zoey agreed. "I enjoy musing about Johnson picturing the woman of his dreams in the arms of another man -- [that will] be slow, long-term torture for him..." Orpheus continued. "Your favorite thing -- slow, long torture," Zoey acknowledged before storming out of the visitors' lounge.
At the Hernandez house, Rafe received an unexpected visit from Hope, who had grown tired of waiting for a phone call or text message from the commissioner about what had happened with Zoey the previous day.
Hope was stunned when Rafe revealed that Zoey was still seeking custody of David, despite everything that had happened recently -- and that the hearing to settle the matter was actually going to be held later that day. Hope insisted on testifying on Rafe's behalf at the hearing. "I'm glad you're in my corner," Rafe admitted. "Where else would I be?" Hope reasoned with a shrug.
Rafe and Hope ran into Zoey later, while they were all en route to the courthouse for the hearing.
"[If] you take the stand, I will rip you to shreds," Zoey warned Hope before continuing to head toward the courthouse. "She just threatened the wrong person," Hope said to Rafe.
Eli and Lani went to the town square to have lunch with Abe and Julie, the latter of whom couldn't resist the urge to comment on the venue. "I assume [that] the two of you are tired of my little restaurant...[although] I really don't know why -- you're so seldom there..." Julie grumbled, drawing polite chuckles from Eli and Lani, who took turns explaining that they were determined to treat Julie -- and Abe, of course -- to a meal for a change. "[So]...let's celebrate!" Eli suggested. "Celebrate what?" Julie wondered. "We're engaged!" Lani clarified.
Julie and Abe were both delighted to hear Eli and Lani's good news -- but Julie couldn't resist the urge to comment on the fact that the couple would have gotten married nearly two years earlier if Gabi hadn't interfered. "And don't get me started on what she has been doing to Abigail --" Julie continued. "Okay, Grandma, look...I have the day off coming up soon, [so] if I promise to listen to you talk to me all day about how horrible Gabi is [then], can we not do it now?" Eli interjected. "The next time somebody puts a ticking time bomb in your heart, let's see how quickly you get over it!" Julie challenged Eli.
"And here I was, thinking about asking [Gabi] to be my maid of honor..." Lani dryly interjected, drawing a gasp from Julie, who took the joke seriously. "I'm sorry -- I didn't mean to ruin the celebration," Julie stressed after realizing that Lani had simply been trying to lighten the mood. "[Anyway, look, when it comes to me], you don't even have to ask -- of course I'll [perform your wedding ceremony]!" Julie excitedly assured Lani and Eli. "There's no 'of course' about it -- I'm the mayor of this town, [so] I will perform the ceremony!" Abe indignantly clarified for Julie, expecting Lani and Eli to agree.
"[Besides], you don't have the best track record when it comes to weddings," Abe reminded Julie. "Who does? This is Salem," Julie reminded Abe. "Okay, um...uh, look...here's a way-out-of-left-field kind of idea [for you two] -- how 'bout we let the couple that's getting married decide who's gonna [perform their wedding ceremony]," Eli suggested, drawing immediate apologies from Julie and Abe, who both agreed to stop trying to interfere -- then waited anxiously to find out who would win the honor of officiating the ceremony. "We were thinking...Marlena," Lani revealed, surprising Julie and Abe.
"I would like my father to walk me down the aisle [instead]," Lani explained. "[And], Grandma, I just think that [if you perform the wedding ceremony], it will remind me of [my wedding ceremony with Gabi], and that is the last thing that I want to be reminded of [on the day I marry Lani]," Eli explained. Julie and Abe both understood Eli and Lani's reasoning and promised to respect the couple's decision.
With that matter settled, Julie called out to a passing waitress, ready to start the celebration with a bottle of Champagne. "Four glasses, please," Julie said to the waitress. "Actually, three -- um, I won't be having any," Lani clarified for the waitress. "You've taken the pledge?" Julie incredulously summarized. "For the moment -- [because] I'm pregnant," Lani excitedly explained.
Again, Abe and Julie were both delighted to hear Lani and Eli's good news -- but the couple was quick to stress that they were still in an early stage of the pregnancy and were therefore just trying to be cautiously optimistic about the chances that there would be no complications. Abe and Julie, who were both also cautiously optimistic, took turns toasting to Eli and Lani's future.
Jack entered the Brady Pub and spotted Steve, who was at the bar, knocking back shots of whiskey at a rapid pace. Jack watched from the entrance for a few seconds then approached the bar and demanded to know what was bothering Steve, who reluctantly explained that Kayla had gotten engaged to Justin the previous day. "You need to have a do-over," Jack advised Steve after hearing the whole story.
"You see, the mistake you made -- one of the mistakes that you've made -- is that you keep trying to do Kayla's thinking for her. You don't deserve her -- you're right [about that]. And Justin? I mean, what the heck -- he's Justin, [and] everybody loves Justin; he's great, he's consistent, he works hard, [and] he's reliable...and, let's face it, reliability is not your strong suit --" Jack continued. "You know, I could throw you out..." Steve interjected. "[But] Kayla loves you, [so] you need to go to her [and] tell her that you still love her [and] want back into her life," Jack concluded.
"She's engaged!" Steve reiterated. "Because you allowed that to happen!" Jack countered. "Justin was down on the knee, giving her the ring -- what the hell was I supposed to do?" Steve argued. "You were supposed to come in there [and] tell Justin to get out of the way [then] get on your own knee [and] propose to her yourself!" Jack reasoned. "[But no -- instead], you leave some little note, [which is like] something out of Jane Austen, [then] crawl into a bottle!" Jack continued. "Jane who? [And, honestly], how does Jennifer deal with you, anyway?" Steve replied. "I'm no prize," Jack agreed with a shrug.
"You and me -- come on, we're no day at the beach. [But] love doesn't make sense -- [it's] not a tally of, uh, profit and loss. [Look], Jennifer 'deals with' me because we love each other -- [just] like you and Kayla love each other. I don't know why Kayla loves you, [just like] I don't know why Jennifer loves me, [but] you don't question it -- you thank God for it," Jack reasoned. "I do love Kayla...[and] I won't tell her that because I love her. I'm trying to do the right thing here, man. [Look], I can't count the number of times I've screwed up her happiness, [and] I'm not gonna do it again. [So]...just leave me be," Steve countered.
"Don't drink too much," Jack advised. "Too late," Steve admitted. "You know what? You're weird...and annoying...but you're not a bad brother," Steve called out as Jack exited the pub with takeout food.
Jennifer went to the hospital to talk to Marlena about Abigail but ran into Kayla first -- and quickly noticed the diamond ring that the chief of staff was wearing. "Is [that] from Justin?" Jennifer wondered. "Of course it's from him -- who else do you think it could be [from]?" Kayla, who had been rereading the note that Steve had written the previous day, snapped while pocketing the note.
Jennifer was somewhat outraged to learn that Justin had put Kayla on the spot with a public proposal at the nurses' station, of all places. "Could we just maybe talk about something else?" Kayla begged. "I'm sorry -- I'm sure it was very...impulsive...[and] romantic..." Jennifer diplomatically backpedaled. "It just doesn't seem like Justin; it seems like --" Jennifer continued. "Steve," Kayla concluded for Jennifer with a nod of agreement. "Have you told Steve yet?" Jennifer wondered. "He knows," Kayla confirmed before telling Jennifer about Steve's note. "He wants me to move on...and that's what I'm gonna do," Kayla explained with a shrug.
"[But] are you sure that you want to marry Justin? [I mean], I know you love him, but that doesn't mean marrying him would be the right thing to do. [You know], I loved Eric, [but] when he proposed to me, I knew that [it] was a rebound, and I should have been honest with him [and] told him no, [but] I didn't. [Look], would you say yes to Justin if you knew that there was still a chance for you and Steve?" Jennifer challenged Kayla, who evasively revealed that doctors hated hypothetical questions. "Time for me to butt out," Jennifer translated. "Or just be happy for me," Kayla suggested. "I'm gonna throw you a bridal shower," Jennifer decided, making Kayla groan.
After Jennifer rushed off, Kayla reread Steve's note again -- then crumpled it with a sigh and headed over to the Brady Pub for lunch. Steve was still knocking back shots of whiskey at the bar when Kayla arrived.
At the DiMera mansion, Jennifer told Jack about the earlier encounter with Kayla -- and Jack, in turn, told Jennifer about the earlier encounter with Steve. "So, the letter --" Jennifer realized. "Was bull," Jack confirmed.
Steve attempts to tell Kayla he loves her
Ben and Ciara discussed wedding plans in their room at the Salem Inn. When Ciara mentioned Ben's best man, Ben wondered aloud, "Who is going to want to do that for me?" Ciara suggested that Ben ask Will, but Ben vetoed the idea. When Ben noted that he did not subscribe to old-fashioned notions, Ciara insisted that Ben should ask Will. Ben refused to put Will on the spot, so he suggested Jake. Ciara rolled her eyes.
"You barely even know Jake," Ciara said. Ciara argued that Jake had almost gotten them killed. "The guy gave me a job when nobody else would. I told him what I did. He didn't have me fired," Ben countered. With a sigh, Ciara said, "It's your wedding, too. So, you can ask whomever you want." Ciara asked Ben to promise that he would ask Will first. Ben agreed.
"Who is going to be your maid of honor?" Ben asked. Ciara noted that before everything had happened with Ben, Claire had been her best friend. "Please do not tell me you miss Claire. She tried to burn you to death. Twice," Ben said. Ciara argued that she had not forgotten what Claire had done to her. Ciara said that she missed the old Claire, before she had grown jealous. "She helped me get through some awful stuff, Ben. That's the kind of friend she was. She was always there for me. She always had my back," Ciara said. Ben offered to be Ciara's best friend. With a chuckle, Ciara suggested that she should hire a maid of honor.
At the pub, a drunken Steve sat at the bar. Kayla walked in. "I take it that's not your first drink," Kayla said. "No. One of many. I am very happy to see you," Steve said. Steve congratulated Kayla on her engagement. When Steve attempted to order another drink, he slipped off his stool. Kayla caught him and steadied him. "You don't usually get like this. What's wrong?" Kayla asked. Steve thought about Jack's plea for Steve to tell Kayla the truth.
"The thing is," Steve said through tears. Steve reached out to Kayla, and he collapsed into her arms. Steve apologized as Kayla helped him back onto his stool. Worried, Kayla drove Steve home and helped him to the couch. "You've always been there for me, Sweetness, whenever I needed you. Always," Steve said. As Kayla started to leave, Steve said he wanted to tell Kayla something. Kayla suggested that Steve should talk to her after he was sober.
"No. I've got to tell you now. I know you're with Justin, and you're engaged. But I still love you," Steve said. "Don't do this," Kayla whispered. Steve explained that he had not wanted to tell Kayla because he wanted her to be happy, but he had changed his mind. "The truth is, I want you back," Steve said. Steve immediately apologized.
"I'm so glad [you said that]. It changes everything," Kayla said. Kayla confessed that she loved Steve and that she had never stopped loving him. "I just let things get serious with Justin because I thought you didn't want me anymore," Kayla said. Steve apologized for lying to Kayla about his feelings. "You are and always will be the only woman I ever wanted," Steve said. As Steve kissed Kayla, the voice of Hope called out his name.
Hope roused Steve from sleep on the couch. "You were muttering in your sleep," Hope said. Steve asked about Kayla, and Hope said she had returned home as Kayla had left. "She said you got pretty drunk at the pub," Hope said. Hope asked Steve if he was okay. "Must have been a dream," Steve whispered. Hope asked about Steve's dream. "I told her I wanted her back. I guess I was just drunk dreaming," Steve said. Hope suggested that Steve could tell Kayla in the morning. Steve shook his head no.
"Kayla knows her own mind. She's happy with Justin. I wish it wasn't true. I wish I could go back and change things, but she's made a life with someone else. I need to respect that," Steve said. Hope told Steve that he was her family, and she had his back. "I know that, sweet thing. I appreciate it," Steve said. Steve nodded off, and Hope draped a blanket over him.
At the DiMera mansion, Jack told Jennifer that he had run into Steve at the Brady Pub, and that Steve had been drowning his sorrows about Kayla's engagement. Jack confirmed that Steve's note to Kayla had been for show. "There is no way that Steve is letting go of Kayla. Not yet," Jack said. Shocked, Jennifer asked Jack how he knew that Steve still wanted to be with Kayla.
"[Steve] told me that Hope helped him realize that it was guilt that caused him to keep Kayla at arms' length. So that's when he decided he wanted Kayla back," Jack said. "Kayla doesn't know this!" Jennifer said. Jack explained that Steve had attempted to confess his feelings, but he had instead witnessed Justin and Kayla get engaged. "Like something out of Jane Austen, he wrote a little note, and he ran away," Jack said. Jack added that Steve did not want Kayla to know about his aborted attempt at proclaiming his love.
"Steve pretty much admitted to defeat when he saw Justin propose to Kayla," Jack said. Jennifer argued that Kayla deserved to know how Steve felt because they were soul mates. "Why? She's happy now. She's happy with Justin," Jack argued. Jennifer shook her head no. "If Steve is not going to tell Kayla the truth, then I'm going to tell her the truth," Jennifer said as she grabbed her purse. Jack stopped Jennifer from leaving. "Do you really want to upend Justin and Kayla's life?" Jack asked. Jennifer argued that Kayla deserved to know the truth.
"Of course, she does! But not from you or me. Steve can fight his own battle," Jack countered. Jennifer said she would not be able to look Kayla in the eye and lie to her. As Jack and Jennifer continued to argue, Kayla walked in with a pie. Jack urged Kayla to visit the kids in the nursery while they carved up the pie. After Kayla left, Jack and Jennifer's smiles fell away. "If you think for one second that you're gonna talk to her about this tonight, don't," Jack warned.
After eating pie with the kids, Kayla, Jack, and Jennifer adjourned to the study to drink wine. "I saw Steve today," Kayla said. Jack's eyes went wide, and Jennifer glanced over at him. "You did?" Jack asked. Kayla said that Steve had been drunk. "Did he say why?" Jennifer asked. Kayla admitted that Steve had been too drunk to be coherent. Kayla said she had driven Steve home, and he had passed out on the couch. Kayla worried aloud that Steve had been drinking over his guilt about the Stefano issues. Jack agreed with Kayla, and Jennifer stared daggers at her husband.
Marlena returned home to the penthouse and found John going through the mail. Marlena asked about Brady. John said he was concerned that Brady was plotting something at Titan and that when he had stopped by the hospital to tell Marlena, she had not been there. "I was at Bayview. Claire wanted to see me," Marlena said. Marlena told John about Claire's request to be released from Bayview.
"She thinks that she is ready to be back in the real world," Marlena said. John asked Marlena if Claire was ready to be released. Marlena told John that she had talked to Claire's doctors, and they had suggested a supervised release. "Is it too soon?" John asked. Marlena asked John for his opinion. "All I can say is what my gut feels, and I think she's doing much better," John said. John added that Claire felt like his "buddy" again. Marlena agreed.
"I'm thinking there is even a way to resume the friendship between the girls, you know, Claire and Ciara," Marlena said. John suggested that Marlena talk to Ciara and Hope before she made a decision about Claire's release. "Whatever happens, Claire needs to be supervised," Marlena said. Marlena worried aloud that Claire's jealousy could cause a setback, especially with Ciara's upcoming wedding. John was confused.
"You know Claire. She's always felt that some man's undying love would solve all her problems, and now Ciara is getting that before she does," Marlena said. John noted that Ciara also had a promising career to resent. Marlena noted that she and John would need to parent Claire. "Ben got a second chance," John said. Marlena chuckled and said that Claire had pointed out the same thing. "All we have to do now is get her parents' approval," Marlena said.
At the garage, the Family sent Jake a text that read, "Got what we want yet?" Jake paced furiously. The phone beeped again with another text, which read, "She's alive...for now!" Attached was a picture of Gabi, bound and gagged.
In her room at Bayview, Claire hummed the wedding march as she looked at Ciara's Save the Date card. Another patient, Gwen, stopped by Claire's room and asked her to sing. "Your voice, it's lovely," Gwen said. Claire blushed, and she said she did not think the other residents enjoyed her singing because no one seemed to pay attention.
"It's because everybody here is a bloody whack job. Except you and me, of course," Gwen said. Gwen asked about the card in Claire's hand and the people on it. "So, she is like your aunt?" Gwen asked. Claire explained that she and Ciara were almost the same age. "She was my best friend. She and I kind of had a falling-out," Claire said. Gwen pushed for details, and she realized that Ben and Ciara were the people that Claire had talked about in group therapy.
"Even after you tried to kill her, she still invited you to her wedding?" Gwen asked. "Not exactly," Claire admitted. Claire said she had gotten the card from Dr. Morris' desk. "You took it," Gwen said. Claire explained that Ben had been a patient at Bayview and knew Dr. Morris. "Are you thinking about crashing that wedding?" Gwen asked. "No! I'm not the person that I used to be," Claire stressed.
Claire said that she wanted to be Ciara's maid of honor. "I would give anything to prove to Ciara how sorry I am," Claire said. "Do you really think that sorry is going to cut it after you tried to light the woman on fire?" Gwen asked. Claire said she was confident that she could show Ciara that she had changed. When Gwen reminded Claire that she was stuck in Bayview, Claire said she was hopeful that Marlena would secure her release. Gwen grinned.
"Tell me, do you really want to make things right with Ciara, or do you just want to finish what you started?" Gwen asked. Claire said she was offended. "Once I get out of this place, I am never coming back," Claire said. Gwen wished Claire well. "Thank you, Gwen. That really means a lot to me," Claire said.
Worried, Jake went over to the Salem Inn to talk to Ben. After Ben confirmed that he had told Ciara everything, Jake told them about Gabi's kidnapping. When Ciara asked why the goon had taken Gabi, Jake said that Gabi had told the guy that she was Jake's wife. Jake showed Ben and Ciara the photo of Gabi.
"I'm calling the police," Ciara said. Jake argued that the mob would kill Gabi if they learned that the police were involved. Ciara insisted that they could trust Rafe because he was Gabi's brother. "Rafe is in court today," Ben reminded Ciara. "What are we doing to do?" Ciara asked. Ben said that they needed to find Gwen. Ciara asked Jake if he knew why Gwen would have moved to Salem. Jake shrugged.
"All I know is there is no proof she left this place," Jake said. Jake showed Ben and Ciara a picture of his ex-girlfriend, Gwen. It was the same Gwen as the woman in Bayview. "Now all we have to do is find her," Jake said. "Before they hurt Gabi," Ciara added.