While Valerie was strolling through Horton Town Square with Abe, she realized that something was bothering him. He was evasive at first, but when she urged him to open up to her, he asked, "Are you seeing someone else?"
Valerie assured Abe that he was the only person she was seeing. "And, frankly, with the hours I put in at the hospital, I'm lucky to be able to do that," she added. She guessed that he had let Theo's concerns get to him. He confirmed that he had been thinking about the time Theo had overheard her talking to someone on the phone in a somewhat intimate way. She insisted that her comments had been taken out of context. Abe was relieved to hear that. "But I would still like to know who you were talking to," he hesitantly admitted.
Valerie claimed that she had been talking to her son, Eli. Embarrassed, Abe explained that he hadn't reached that conclusion on his own, despite having known all along that Valerie had a son, because she hadn't said anything to Theo about Eli when Theo had questioned her about the phone conversation. "Well, frankly, at the time, I don't think Theo would have heard me if I had explained -- and, really, it was none of his business," Valerie replied. Abe conceded the point and apologetically admitted that it was none of his business, either. "Let's just forget any of this happened, okay?" Valerie suggested, eager to change the subject.
Later, while Abe was wrapping up a dinner date with Valerie, he apologized again for his earlier interrogation, admitting that he would hate to ruin what he had with her. "I haven't felt this way about anyone since Lexie died," he added. He made it clear that he would love for her to stay in Salem permanently. Before she could respond, she received a phone call from Eli. "I'll call him back later," she decided, declining the call.
After setting aside her cell phone, Valerie grasped Abe's hand and told him, "Oh, Abe, you are such a good man. You really are. And, um, frankly, my feelings for you have grown...a lot more than I expected. Which is why I think I should go back to Washington, [DC]." She explained that she had a life there with Eli, with whom she had a very close relationship. "His father...Terrence...died when he was six," she continued.
"Could Eli move to Salem?" Abe asked. "No! Impossible!" Valerie insisted. She quickly apologized for snapping, explaining, more calmly, that Eli couldn't move to Salem because he was a grown man who had his own life in Washington, DC. "I guess I always knew this day would come. I always knew what we had was going to have to end. I, um...I knew what the risks were, but I did it anyway; I couldn't help myself," she continued with a sigh, admitting that it had been foolish of her to get involved with someone in Salem while still committed to a life in Washington, DC.
Abe argued, "But, still...when two people feel the way we feel, why walk away?" He insisted that he wasn't going to give up on Valerie, who admitted that she was flattered. "Whatever it takes to convince you to stay, I'm going to do it," Abe vowed before excusing himself so he could get the valet to fetch his car. After he walked away, Valerie bit her lower lip and shook her head worriedly.
At Club TBD, Abigail placed a wet towel on Dario's forehead and gently slapped his cheek to revive him. When he opened his eyes, she tried to drag him out of his chair so she could take him back to the hospital. He refused to move, fretting that he was to blame for Gabi's kidnapping because he had put a hit out on Deimos.
"You think I'm scum, right?" Dario guessed when Abigail turned away from him in shock. She admitted that it was disturbing to think that he had been prepared to take a person's life. Nodding, he revealed that his father, whom he had expected to be proud of him, had actually had the same reaction. "And when I think about it, I'm pretty shocked about it, too. I mean, I'm always under the radar, you know? This is not -- this is not in my wheelhouse," he continued.
Abigail advised Dario to learn from his mistake and promise himself that he would never do anything like that again. "You are so much better than that," she added. She was surprised when he agreed to take her advice without any resistance whatsoever. "It's too damn hard to resist you," he admitted with a smile. Before she could respond, Myron returned and requested some privacy so he could start trying to get the Orwell device running properly. Dario reminded Myron of the stakes, stressing, "I really need you to do this. And if -- when -- you make this happen, I'm never gonna forget it. Me and my family, we are going to owe you big-time."
Later, Myron joined Dario and Abigail in the main section of the club and admitted that he probably wouldn't be able to finish the Orwell device anytime soon. Dario started to snap at Myron, but Abigail calmed him down, pointing out that Myron was tired and could only do so much. Grasping Dario's hand, Abigail assured him, "We will find another way to help [Gabi and Chad]." She then excused herself. After she left, Myron observed with a sigh, "Man, that girl is one sweet vibration -- with or without the Southern accent." Nodding, Dario hesitantly agreed, "Yeah. Yeah, she's something."
At the Salem Inn, Jennifer filled Drew in on what she had learned during her earlier conversation with Abigail. Realizing that lives were at stake, Drew insisted that he was going to turn himself in to Deimos right away so Chad and Gabi would be set free. Jennifer stopped Drew, assuring him that Deimos had promised to wait at least forty-eight hours before doing anything to Chad or Gabi, meaning that there was still time to find a way to get one of Titan's computers and use it to infect the company's server with the virus that would destroy the Orwell technology.
"Couldn't your son get into the [Kiriakis] mansion? I mean, isn't he a detective or something?" Drew pointed out. Jennifer excitedly confirmed that J.J. was not only a detective but was also someone who would do anything for Gabi. She abruptly excused herself so she could track J.J. down, warning Drew to keep the hotel room door locked while she was gone.
At the police station, Roman informed J.J. and Lani that Stefano was alive. J.J. suggested making the news public right away so Hope would know it was safe to stop hiding. Lieutenant Raines overheard and insisted, "Deveraux, you're a rookie D in charge of nothing. Until the judge makes a decision, Hope Brady is still a fugitive -- a convicted murderer on the loose."
"You're hoping for one last chance to do her in, aren't you?" J.J. guessed. Roman quickly intervened, pointedly assuring J.J. that Raines had promised not to use excessive force again -- for any reason. Roman added that both J.J. and Raines needed to get back to work right away because he was expecting a progress report on a case from the former and a ton of completed paperwork from the latter before the following morning. "Whatever you say, Commissioner," Raines grumbled before walking away.
Once the coast was clear, J.J. warned Roman that Raines wasn't going to give up on trying to find Hope. Confident that Hope could take care of herself, Roman told J.J. and Lani to stay focused on the brewing war between the DiMera, Kiriakis, and Hernandez families. J.J. revealed that the war was over a piece of technology that could access every camera in the world to locate anyone at any time. "Oh, great, more spyware. That's all we need," Roman mused with a sigh. He stressed the importance of finding the Orwell device and putting an end to the war as soon as possible.
Lani excused herself so she could get back to work. J.J. started to follow her, but Roman stopped him. As Jennifer entered the police station, Roman draped an arm around J.J.'s shoulders and confidentially told him, "Listen, um...you may not need to hear this, but then again, you might, [so] just a little word of caution, all right? Don't let anything come between you and being a good detective, okay? [I know] it's hard sometimes -- conflicts pop up all the time: your sister's married to a DiMera, your mom runs a newspaper, your ex-girlfriend is a Hernandez -- [but] don't let any of that keep you from being impartial. Trust me, it will save you a hell of a lot of grief down the road, okay?" Nodding, J.J. stressed that he loved being a detective and didn't want to do anything to screw that up.
As Roman ended his conversation with J.J., Jennifer tried to sneak back out of the police station without being seen. Unfortunately, J.J. spotted her, so she nervously greeted him with a hug, claiming that she was just paying him a visit for no particular reason. When he pointed out that it was kind of late, she explained that she had been working crazy hours lately. "I'm working on a big story. I'm assuming that you know about the three families --" she began to add. "Yeah, some tech thing -- money, money, money," he interrupted.
J.J. wondered if something was bothering Jennifer. Sighing, she quietly admitted, "Listen, I can't tell you how I have this information, but Chad and Gabi are missing, and Deimos is behind it." He realized that was why he had found Gabi's necklace at the Kiriakis mansion earlier. "I'll handle this. You are not involved," he stressed. "Well, actually, I --" Jennifer began to respond. "It wasn't a question. You're not involved. I mean it!" he reiterated before rushing off.
Jennifer returned to the Salem Inn and told Drew that she had decided not to enlist J.J.'s help because she had realized that he could get in a lot of trouble if he got involved in their plan to sabotage Titan's server. Drew maintained that he needed to turn himself in to Deimos right away, but Jennifer refused to let him do that, insisting that she would find another way to get one of Titan's computers. "I just need a little time. I just need to talk to someone that I trust, and --" she began to add before stopping herself, realizing that she knew just who to turn to for help.
Jennifer contacted Adrienne, who arrived at the Salem Inn a short time later. "Shane! What in the world?" Adrienne asked when Jennifer let her into the hotel room. "Drew, actually. Nice to see you," Drew clarified, shaking Adrienne's hand. Confused, Adrienne wondered what was going on. Jennifer quickly filled her in on everything. Adrienne was happy to help out, but when Jennifer stressed that no one else could know about Drew and the plan to destroy the Orwell device, Adrienne abruptly excused herself, realizing, "Oh, God, I've got to stop her!"
When Adrienne opened the hotel room door, Anne stepped inside and apologized for her tardiness, explaining that she'd had trouble finding a parking space. "But I made it, so I'm here, and whatever you're up to, I'm in," she added before shaking Drew's hand. "Hi. I'm Anne. And you are...?" she asked him as Jennifer and Adrienne exchanged nervous glances.
When Eric returned home with a laptop for Hope, she asked him about the picture of Jennifer she had found earlier. He reluctantly admitted that he'd had something with Jennifer before his prison stint; he insisted, however, that he could never pursue a relationship with her because she deserved someone better. He was pleased to hear that she had gotten sober and was doing well. He revealed that she had written to him often while he had been in prison, but he had never read any of her letters. "You should have. She made it through," Hope stressed.
Later, Hope hacked into the surveillance system at Hattie's old workplace, using information Hattie had given her during their last meeting. She quickly found a clear image of Andre, but Eric pointed out that she would need more than that to prove Hattie's innocence. Realizing that Eric was right, Hope decided to try hacking into the company's accounting program to find more proof that Andre had framed Hattie for embezzlement.
At a hotel in Prague, Steve and Shane cracked open a couple bottles of beer to celebrate the successful conclusion of their long con. "Boy, I tell you, we've pulled off some stunts in our time, but this one..." Shane mused with a sigh. "Oh, yeah. Well, we did what we had to do for Hope," Steve pointed out.
Steve and Shane recalled how they had begun formulating their plan when they had run into each other shortly after Shane's return to Salem the previous November. "You know the moment I knew [it] was gonna work? The night we pulled Stefano's body out of that coffin and dropped in that other corpse," Shane noted.
Steve admitted that he had hated keeping Kayla and Rafe in the dark about the plan, even though he had always understood the importance of doing so. Shane complained about how Anna had almost ruined the plan the first time he had tried to get himself caught, forcing him to walk around Prague in his disguise for a while longer. Steve and Shane were both pleased that their plan was going to absolve Hope of the guilt she had been dealing with since Stefano's death. They agreed that from that point forward, they would carry the burden of that guilt for her so she could move on with her life.
Later, as Shane was looking through some of the surveillance images of him in his disguise, Steve noted, "Aw, that's pretty cute -- Stefano feeding the pigeons!" Shane agreed, "Yeah, real cute...except it's not me." Steve reasoned that the ISA had obviously tasked another random person with the responsibility of impersonating Stefano to further ensure the success of the mission -- or the surveillance camera had just captured someone who happened to look a lot like Stefano. "[This is] just a coincidence," Steve insisted. "Yeah. And I believe that, too," Shane sarcastically agreed.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Deimos talked to Judge Pierce on the phone about a favorable opinion in Nicole's custody case. Deimos asked for an update as soon as the judge made a decision. When Deimos walked into the living room, he was shocked to find J.J. searching the room with other officers. Deimos threatened to call the police commissioner. J.J. explained that Commissioner Brady had authorized the search in an effort to find Gabi and Chad.
When Deimos accused J.J. of acting unprofessionally, J.J. held up Gabi's necklace and asked Deimos about it. Deimos said he did not know anything about the jewelry. J.J questioned Deimos about the fact that the necklace had been found on the floor, but Deimos argued that Gabi had been a frequent visitor. Deimos ordered J.J. to leave. Holding up his search warrant, J.J. refused.
Maggie entered the living room and asked what was going on. J.J. informed Maggie that Chad and Gabi had disappeared and that Deimos had been acting defensively. Maggie asked Deimos what was going on. As Deimos stared silently, Maggie told J.J. to do what he needed to do, and she would handle Deimos. While J.J. and the other officers headed upstairs to search, Maggie asked Deimos if he was responsible for the disappearance of Gabi and Chad.
Deimos said no. Maggie laughed in disbelief. Deimos reminded Maggie that the Kiriakis family was at war. Shaking her head, Maggie told Deimos that Victor would not back Deimos' decision to kidnap two people. Maggie urged Deimos to free Chad and Gabi. When Deimos stared silently, Maggie warned Deimos to make things right before she did it herself.
Victor walked into the living room and angrily asked why the police were tearing apart the house. With a smirk, Maggie told Victor to ask Deimos to clean up the mess he had made. After Maggie stormed out, Victor demanded to know what was going on. Deimos said he had not told Maggie anything, but he was holding Chad and Gabi in a meat locker in a warehouse.
"Have you lost your mind?" Victor barked. Deimos explained that he had taken Chad and Gabi as leverage to force the return of the key. Victor said he did not approve. Defensive, Deimos said he was doing what needed to be done. Victor said he understood, and he was thankful that Deimos had not done anything worse. Victor said the plan was too risky. With a sigh, Victor said he would talk to Maggie, but Deimos needed to resolve the situation quickly.
In the storage freezer, Chad and Gabi talked about their hunger. Chad was frustrated that they had not been released yet. There was a clanking noise. Chad held his hand up to the vent and noted that the freezer air had been turned on. Worried, Gabi wondered aloud if Deimos had decided that they were not needed as bargaining chips and wanted to eliminate them. Panicked, Gabi banged on the door and pleaded for help. Chad yelled at Gabi to stop because she was "acting like a crazy person."
Gabi yelled that she planned to fight for her life until the bitter end. When Chad stared silently at Gabi, she chuckled ruefully. Gabi accused Chad of having a stone heart like every other DiMera. As Gabi continued to yell about being a real person, Chad took her by the shoulders and growled at her to stop ranting. Gabi said she would not stop fighting until she saw her daughter. Breaking down into tears, Gabi admitted that she had never been so scared in her life.
Chad apologized for calling Gabi crazy. Chad added that he wanted to keep a level head, and it was difficult to do that when Gabi was upset. Gabi reminded Chad that she was not like him. Fighting tears, Chad said the only emotion he wanted to feel around Gabi was anger because it was the only safe emotion to feel around her. Chad explained that as the room grew colder, they would need to cuddle close to stay warm. Gabi agreed, and the two hugged tightly. "I hate you," Gabi muttered quietly. "I know," Chad whispered.
At Club TBD, Eduardo, Kate, Dario, and Abigail met to talk. Eduardo was annoyed that Abigail had told Dario about Gabi, but Dario argued that he had deserved to know about his sister. The group talked about the key, and Kate hoped aloud that Sonny would fix the situation with Deimos. When Eduardo mumbled that Sonny should wait before seeing Deimos, a suspicious Kate asked Eduardo what he had planned.
Eduardo said he wanted to talk to Sonny first, but Kate countered that she had already briefed Sonny. When Dario worried aloud that Deimos could not be trusted, Kate noted that Deimos would hurt anyone that got in the way of what he wanted. The group discussed the key, but none of them knew who had stolen it from the docks. Abigail announced that she needed to pick up Thomas, but Dario ordered Abigail to stay.
When Abigail scowled at Dario, he took her aside to express his worry about her walking around alone. Abigail said she did not think Deimos would bother her. Abigail urged Dario to take care of himself then she left.
At the table, Kate said she thought it was sweet how worried Dario was about Abigail. Grinning, Eduardo said he would be just as sweet if Kate gave him another chance. Kate rolled her eyes but smiled. While Eduardo and Kate sipped coffee, Dario returned to inform them that his friend on the docks had a tip. The contact had explained that the woman he had seen on the ship that night was a reporter for the Spectator. With a groan, Kate announced that Jennifer was likely the thief.
While Kate stepped away to call Jennifer, Dario stressed that he did not want anything to happen to Abigail's mother. Eduardo said that he did not want Abigail to be collateral damage either. Talk turned to Sonny. Eduardo told Dario that he and Andre had decided that they should grab Sonny as leverage to negotiate with Deimos. Eduardo cautioned Dario not to tell Kate.
At the Salem Inn, Jennifer told Adrienne and Anne that Drew was the key. Over at the computer, Drew pretended to sleep with his head resting on his keyboard. Jennifer was angry that Adrienne had invited Anne, but Adrienne said they needed help. Jennifer explained that they needed a Kiriakis computer to plant the virus. Drew continued to pretend to be asleep, but he listened to the women. Adrienne worried aloud that Deimos would lash out at Drew for his part in creating the virus.
Jennifer argued that they did not have a choice. With a nod, Adrienne and Anne offered to help. Jennifer asked Adrienne about her connections to the Kiriakis family, but she explained that Deimos had already caught her eavesdropping about the key once and would be suspicious to see her at the house. Jennifer did not want to involve Maggie. Jennifer's phone beeped. Grimacing, Jennifer explained that her source at the police station had confirmed that the police were collecting items from the mansion with a search warrant.
When Jennifer fretted that they had missed their chance, Anne interrupted to say that she had an idea. After retrieving a police uniform from her house, Anne explained that she had the costume in her closet. Jennifer said she did not want to hear why. Jennifer reviewed the plan to retrieve any electronic equipment at the mansion that had not already been seized by the police. With a confident smile, Anne said Jennifer and Adrienne could count on her.
Anne grabbed her duffel bag and said she had one more prop to sell her believability. Anne pulled a gun out of the bag, causing Jennifer and Adrienne to shriek. Over at the desk, Drew continued to pretend to be asleep, but his eyes bugged out of his head, wondering what was happening behind him. Jennifer warned Anne to put the gun away. Drew pretended to wake up, and Jennifer rushed to his side. Drew said he would get back to work.
Across the room, Adrienne attempted to show Anne where to find the safety on the gun. Frustrated, Jennifer told Anne to get over to the mansion. Adrienne kept the gun. After Anne left, Jennifer left to call Abigail, but she left Adrienne behind to babysit Drew.
At the police station, J.J. and Lani reviewed evidence collected from the mansion. Lani expressed her concern that J.J. had not mentioned anything about the case to Deimos other than the kidnapping. J.J. said he had not wanted to tip their hand on the investigation. With a shrug, Lani said that Deimos had appeared rattled. J.J. smiled.
After reviewing the files, J.J. grew frustrated. Lani pointed out J.J.'s anger, and she asked him if the investigation was too personal. J.J. said he was upset not only for Gabi but for Arianna. With a sigh, J.J. said that he had thought of Arianna like a daughter. J.J. swore he would not let Arianna grow up without her mother. Lani reviewed the tax records and suggested that they use those to narrow down the possible locations to hide Gabi and Chad.
In the park, Abigail pushed Thomas in his stroller over to her memorial. Jennifer emerged from a nearby path and said hello. When Abigail said she was worried, Jennifer stressed that she had a gut feeling that everything would resolve itself soon.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Anne crept into the house and looked around. As Anne crossed the foyer, Deimos marched out of the living room, smack into Anne. Deimos yelled at Anne for running into him. Annoyed, Deimos stormed upstairs. Alone, Anne went into the living room and spotted a laptop on the desk. Before Anne could grab it, another officer told Anne that all officers needed to leave the house. Anne lied that Commissioner Brady had sent her to grab the laptop and return it to him. As the officer stared, Anne grabbed the laptop. The officer noted that Anne did not look familiar. Scoffing, Anne said she had just been transferred.
At the Salem Inn, Jennifer and Adrienne hovered over Drew as he worked. There was a knock at the door. Jennifer was thrilled to see Anne in the hallway with the laptop. When Jennifer said Anne had proven her wrong, Anne said she was pleased to have earned Jennifer's trust. "Let's not get carried away," Jennifer said sternly.
After the remaining officers left the Kiriakis mansion, Deimos returned to the living room to look around at what was missing. Deimos thought about when he had put Gabi and Chad in the storage locker. Deimos called Eduardo at Club TBD. Deimos said, "If I don't have that key by tomorrow night, I cannot in good faith allow my guests to remain comfortable much longer."
At the Brady Pub, Marlena asked if Kayla knew when Steve and Shane's plane would be landing. Kayla said she wasn't sure because she didn't have the flight number; all she knew was that they had left Prague sometime after Rafe had. "It's not gonna be a very exciting wedding if the groom doesn't show up," Kayla fretted.
"Would I do that to you?" Steve asked as he entered the pub with something hidden behind his back. Smiling, Kayla greeted him with a kiss and conceded, "No, guess you wouldn't." He revealed a box of chocolates -- her Valentine's Day gift -- and excitedly wondered if she was ready to get married. She confirmed that she was, showing just as much enthusiasm.
"You know, I don't want to put a damper on this, but some people think it's unlucky for a groom to see the bride before the wedding," Marlena pointed out as Steve and Kayla began kissing again. The couple dismissively insisted that they weren't concerned about such superstitions. Meanwhile, Shane entered the pub. After ending a phone call, he greeted Kayla with a kiss on the cheek and told her, "Kimberly sends her love." Steve wondered if that was who Shane had been talking to on the phone. Shaking his head, Shane clarified that he had actually been trying to get a lead on Hope's whereabouts but had reached a dead end.
Shane glanced around the pub, wondering where Rafe was. Steve reported that Rafe was still at the courthouse. Knowing that Hope's case was up for review that day, Shane fretted that if Hope wasn't present for the proceedings, her absence could have a negative impact on the judge's decision. As if on cue, Rafe entered the pub and revealed, after feigning disappointment, that Hope's conviction had been reversed.
As everyone celebrated the good news, Rafe added that Hope wasn't completely off the hook yet because she still had outstanding charges stemming from the prison break. Kayla, who had signed up for notifications of all media coverage about Hope's case, soon received a news alert on her cell phone, revealing that Roman had issued a statement to the press about the judge's decision to overturn Hope's conviction. The group hoped that Hope would see the press release and realize that it was safe to stop hiding.
Steve and Kayla considered postponing their wedding in light of the new development, but Rafe insisted that Hope wouldn't want them to do that, and Marlena agreed. Rafe excused himself so he could head over to the police station to make sure that Lieutenant Raines was aware of the judge's ruling. "Take a written copy of the judge's decision with you [and] shove it down [Raines's] throat if necessary," Shane suggested. Rafe said he liked that idea. He warned that he might not be able to get away from the police station in time to attend Steve and Kayla's wedding. They assured him that they understood.
After Rafe left, Marlena pointed out that the start time of the wedding ceremony was fast approaching, and no one was dressed for the occasion yet. Steve and Shane took that as their cue to leave. Before exiting the pub, Steve gave Kayla another kiss and promised her, "This time, it's gonna be forever." She vowed to hold him to that promise.
At the Horton Town Square, Andre and Kate were in the midst of discussing Chad and Gabi's predicament when Andre suddenly changed the subject, impatiently wondering why the waiter hadn't arrived with his coffee yet. Kate observed that it seemed like the last thing Andre needed at that moment was caffeine. "Do you understand that Deimos is threatening to torture Chad and Gabi? Would you prefer if I were mellow?" Andre asked incredulously. Kate insisted that she was just as worried about Chad and Gabi as Andre was.
Andre admitted that he was also on edge because he was waiting for news about Hope's case. Kate warned that it would be difficult for any judge to justify upholding a murder conviction when the victim was running around the world alive and well. "You may be right, but [Hope still] has other things to atone for," Andre insisted. A short time later, he received a phone call from a contact at the courthouse. After a brief conversation, Andre ended the call and informed Kate that Hope's conviction had been overturned. "[But] she's not gonna get away with what she did to me," he vowed.
Kate wondered what Andre was planning to do to Hope. Before Andre could respond, Austin approached with Carrie and greeted Kate, who was pleasantly surprised to see them. Andre said hello to Austin and Carrie then abruptly excused himself. Once the coast was clear, Austin asked Kate, "You're living in the same house with that creep?" Kate insisted that Austin had nothing to worry about. Carrie argued that Andre seemed kind of scary to her, but Kate maintained, "He had no place to live, I have a lot of room, and actually, he can be good company at times."
Changing the subject, Kate excitedly urged Austin and Carrie to tell her everything about their adventure in Prague. Austin was willing to indulge Kate but warned that he wasn't done questioning her about her living situation yet. Kate dismissively assured Austin that it wasn't like she and Andre were a couple. Still concerned, Austin continued, "Not only are you two living together, but I hear that you're going up against Victor Kiriakis' baby brother?" Kate clarified that she and Andre weren't going up against Deimos; they were simply conducting business with him through DiMera Enterprises. "It's all very civilized, thank you very much," she insisted.
Austin countered that he and Kate had very different ideas about what civilized business entailed. "No, seriously, Austin -- Andre has changed," Kate stressed. Austin remained skeptical, pointing out, "[Andre is] Stefano's boy, and he always will be." Nodding in agreement, Carrie warned Kate not to get in too deep with Andre -- and not to get on his bad side, either. Kate appreciated Austin and Carrie's concern but reminded them that she had been taking care of herself for a very long time. "That's true," Austin conceded with a knowing chuckle.
Carrie soon excused herself so she could meet Kayla and Marlena at the Brady Pub. After Carrie left, Austin wondered how Kate was dealing with the fact that Stefano was alive and on the loose. "Doesn't bother me," she replied with a shrug, reasoning that Stefano was too old to risk returning to Salem once more.
Changing the subject, Austin wondered who, if not Andre, was the new man in Kate's life. "There is no new man," Kate insisted, adding that she had actually reached the conclusion that she was better off alone. Austin expressed skepticism, pointing out that Kate had always had a man in her life, but she reasoned with a shrug that she perhaps should have been more cautious about romantic relationships in the past.
"Sounds like you got burned. Who is he? Just tell me who he is, and I'll take him out for you," Austin joked with a mock mobster accent. Kate laughed then admitted with a sigh that things never would have worked out with the man in question, anyway. "Wow. You really liked this one," Austin observed. He advised Kate, "Why don't you try to bring him around to your way of thinking? 'Cause, see, you know that I know that you can do anything you want when you put your mind to it." Kate gave Austin a loving look, and he smiled and assured her that he loved her, too.
At the Brady Pub, Kayla received a phone call from Caroline, who told her where to find something old that she could wear during the wedding ceremony. Caroline felt guilty about being in California with Kimberly on the day of Kayla's wedding, but Kayla insisted that she didn't mind; in fact, she was relieved to know that Caroline was someplace warm, since it was freezing in Salem at that time. "Listen, I gotta go, 'cause I have to get to the -- I have to get to the church," Kayla added. After ending the call, she groaned and told Marlena, "I am going straight to hell."
"Because you told her you're getting married in a church [instead of] a bar?" Marlena guessed with a laugh. She reasoned that it was okay for Kayla to mislead Caroline if Caroline would be happier not knowing the truth. Kayla admitted that she would like to have Caroline at her wedding; however, she was more concerned about keeping Caroline healthy.
Turning her attention to the gift Caroline had given her, Kayla explained to Marlena, "It's her pearls -- the ones my dad gave her." Kayla fretted that Caroline shouldn't have parted with the necklace, but Marlena reasoned that Caroline obviously wanted Kayla to have them. While they were on the subject, Marlena presented Kayla with something new: a wedding garter. "I am a stickler for tradition," Marlena admitted as Kayla chuckled about the gift.
Kayla was pleasantly surprised when Stephanie entered the pub a short time later. "You have so many accounts you're handling! How did you get away?" Kayla asked. Shrugging, Stephanie matter-of-factly replied, "Daddy thought it was a great idea." She added that it wasn't like she had taken time off work for no good reason. Admitting that she had sort of given up hope that her parents would ever get married again, she raved, "This is such a huge moment! I feel like I should jump up and down; I just don't want to mess up my hair."
"Tell me, does it really rain in Seattle all the time?" Marlena asked curiously. "Oh, no -- [that's] just bad P.R. I love it there!" Stephanie replied. She admitted that she had been avoiding Salem since her parents and brother had moved back there because she hadn't wanted to deal with the pain of seeing her parents in the same place but not together.
Changing the subject, Stephanie presented Kayla with something blue: a negligee. "You'll look great in it! [And] as awkward as this is, you can't sleep in a T-shirt on your wedding night," Stephanie pointed out as Kayla stared at her in shock. Carrie soon arrived to complete Kayla's set of gifts with something borrowed: a pair of earrings she had purchased in Prague. Kayla said she loved them, especially since they were from Carrie.
At Eric's place, Hope triumphantly informed Eric that she had hacked into the accounting program at Hattie's old workplace and had confirmed that Andre had visited Hattie on the same day the embezzlement had taken place -- and that the money that had been stolen from the company had first been transferred to a shell corporation in Bermuda before later being moved to a Swiss bank account that belonged to DiMera Enterprises. She added that she could prove that the money had ultimately been withdrawn from the Swiss bank account with Andre's user identification code.
Hope was pleased to know that she was going to be able to clear Hattie's name. "I just pray that Rafe and Steve can clear mine," she mused with a sigh. As if on cue, she received a news alert on Eric's laptop. As she opened the attached message, she explained that she had signed up for notifications of all media coverage about her case. She was thrilled to learn that her conviction had been overturned, but she soon cut her celebration short, realizing that Eric would never be able to feel the relief of knowing that he hadn't really killed a person, after all. She started to apologize for being insensitive, but Eric insisted that he was happy for her.
Hope admitted that she would probably never be able to properly thank Eric for saving her life. He said he would be satisfied with knowing that she had returned home to Shawn and Ciara and had reclaimed her life. "Maybe you should do the same thing. Come with me," she suggested. He refused, insisting that he wasn't ready to see his family yet.
When Hope continued pressing the matter, Eric snapped, "Hope, just let it go! I'm not going back home, and that's final!" He quickly apologized for the outburst but insisted that he could never return to Salem. "I can never face the people who lost and loved Daniel. I can never be the constant reminder of what they..." he continued before letting his voice trail off, unable to say anything else.
Hope pointed out that if Eric were still a priest, he would be more than happy to say a prayer of absolution for anyone whose confession contained such sincere remorse. "I'm not a man of God anymore," Eric reminded Hope. "Then I will say no more...except thank you...[and] God bless you," she quietly replied, giving him a kiss on the cheek as he fought back tears.
At the police station, Shawn and Ciara thanked Rafe for everything he had done to help Hope. Rafe was eager to talk to Raines, and Shawn was more than happy to point Rafe in Raines's direction. Shawn offered to join Rafe for the conversation with Raines, but Rafe insisted that he wanted to deal with Raines himself.
Shawn watched through a window as Rafe joined Raines in one of the conference rooms. Shawn wanted to take part in the meeting, with or without Rafe's approval, but Ciara advised him to respect Rafe's wishes. "Ahem. Excuse me. Could I get a hug? Maybe? Possibly?" Hope asked as she approached Shawn and Ciara from behind. They happily complied, thrilled to see her.
"Rafe is about to kill Raines right now," Shawn told Hope in a singsong voice. Hope rushed into the conference room to join the conversation. Rafe greeted Hope with a hug then pointedly addressed her as Detective Brady, wondering if she was all right. She confirmed that she was, thanks to him. She then turned her attention to Raines, announcing that she was ready to turn herself in and give a statement. "Finally decided to cooperate?" Raines asked. Rafe started to warn Raines to take things down a notch. "Rafe, it's okay," Hope insisted.
Raines reminded Hope that she was still facing charges for escaping from prison and therefore might not want to give any sort of statement without a lawyer present. Hope clarified that she hadn't escaped from prison; friends had smuggled her out without her knowledge due to concerns about her safety. She told Raines the whole story but left Eric's name out of it, explaining only that a good Samaritan had found her and had nursed her back to health. Rafe guessed that if Raines shared Hope's story with the district attorney, the escape charges would quickly be dropped. "Don't tell me how to do my job," Raines snapped before storming off.
While Hope and Rafe were celebrating, Andre burst into the conference room, with Shawn and Ciara close behind. "We tried to stop him," Shawn stressed. He offered to help Rafe drag Andre back out of the room, but Hope insisted that she actually wanted to talk to Andre. Ciara convinced Shawn to give Hope, Rafe, and Andre some privacy.
Once the coast was clear, Andre pointed out that he had made a deal with Hope months earlier -- a deal he was no longer obligated to honor. He threatened to reveal that Rafe and Roman had helped Hope frame him for Stefano's murder, but Hope warned that if he did that, she would reveal what she knew about his part in the embezzlement scheme that had gotten Hattie sent to prison. She promised, however, that if he kept his mouth shut, she would reveal only enough to prove Hattie's innocence.
After giving the matter some thought, Andre grudgingly conceded, "I'll take your bloody deal." He left the conference room and scowled as he stood in front of a window, watching Hope and Rafe resume their celebration.
At Club TBD, Steve admitted to Shane that he would like to tell Kayla about what they had done to help Hope. Before Shane could respond, Joey entered the club and greeted him and Steve. Marlena, Carrie, and Stephanie soon joined the others at the club. While Stephanie was catching up with Joey, Kayla burst into the club in search of someone to help her with the zipper on her wedding gown, unaware that Steve was already present. She was upset at first that he had seen her in her wedding gown before the ceremony, but they quickly determined again that they didn't care about superstitions.
Everyone was pleased when Rafe entered the club a short time later -- with Hope.
Sonny stormed into the Kiriakis mansion and asked Justin, who was sitting alone in the living room, to tell him where Deimos was. Justin reported that Deimos was out somewhere with Nicole. He wondered why Sonny wasn't at Steve and Kayla's wedding. Ignoring the question, Sonny told Justin, "You won't believe what [Deimos has] done this time."
Justin was surprised to hear that Deimos had kidnapped Chad and Gabi. He insisted, however, that Sonny needed to let him handle Deimos. Sonny refused to sit around and wait for Justin to resolve the matter himself, pointing out, "In case you've forgotten, Nicole needs you in court this afternoon, and Brady needs to be there, too. This has to be dealt with now, [and] I am the only Kiriakis available."
Scowling, Sonny continued, "Deimos thinks I'm a kid, [but] I am not, [and] he's gonna learn that lesson very soon." Justin warned that Deimos was far more dangerous than Sonny realized. Sonny dismissively insisted, "I am not naïve. I have a decent enough relationship with Deimos that he's not gonna come after me if I want to negotiate." He promised that if he failed to resolve the matter on his own before the end of the day, he would step aside and let Justin handle it. Realizing that it was time to give up on trying to change Sonny's mind, Justin nodded and urged his son to be careful. Sonny assured Justin, "I will."
At the Horton Town Square, Andre was sitting alone at a table, sipping a martini, when Anna approached with the urn containing Tony's ashes and placed it in front of him. Groaning, Andre mused, "As if the day wasn't already bad enough." Anna wondered if Andre was enjoying his martini -- an experience Tony would never have again. "He didn't like them," Andre pointed out. Ignoring Andre's response, Anna continued that Tony would never sit in a café again, nor would he ever see the sun rise or set again. "'Cause he's dead," Andre helpfully concluded.
"Don't be flip with me -- not in his presence!" Anna countered, picking up the urn and cradling it protectively in her arms. Andre dryly noted that Anna had always known how to accessorize. Anna complained, "You are alive! Stefano DiMera is alive! Evil, worthless men are alive, and my Tony is dead!"
"Yes, well, that's already been established," Andre tiredly replied. He stood and pulled out a chair for Anna, urging her to take a seat and calm down. She took his advice, and as he returned to his own chair, she informed him that she had seen Stefano in Prague with her own eyes. She continued that she had even shot at Stefano twice but had missed both times.
"How unusual. You're always so successful at your endeavors," Andre observed. Failing to recognize the sarcasm, Anna nodded in agreement and said she was glad she had at least gotten the chance to tell Stefano off before he had escaped from his jail cell. "You have to hand it to Father -- you can't keep that man down. I do hope I've inherited that trait," Andre mused.
Eyeing the urn, which Anna had returned to the table, Andre guessed that he probably wouldn't be able to convince her to put it away. She observed with a smile of satisfaction that it was clearly making him uncomfortable. "Most people don't think that funeral urns make nice centerpieces," he pointed out, but she argued that he was really just uncomfortable around the urn because it was a harsh reminder that Tony was dead.
Anna wondered how Andre was honoring Tony's memory. "I'm sure that he would be more than happy with the way I've been handling family matters," Andre replied. Anna hoped that was true. Studying Andre's face, she observed that he had always looked like Tony but had never possessed Tony's heart. "Oh, Anna, I'm more than capable of keeping Tony's heart alive. I might not be running around with his ashes in a thermos, but I do keep him with me in my heart -- always," Andre stressed. Anna gave Andre a look of skepticism then picked up the urn and walked away with it.
Later, Andre received a phone call from someone. "So, Sonny Kiriakis is back home? Grab him," Andre instructed the caller.
At the Salem Inn, Jennifer and Adrienne watched tiredly as Drew pressed keys on the Titan laptop while taking frequent sips of soda and jamming to music only he could hear through his headphones. "I cannot believe that Hope is back, Steve and Kayla are getting married, and we are sitting here with Drew," Jennifer complained. Adrienne shared Jennifer's frustration but agreed that they couldn't leave Drew alone because he might get distracted and forget to finish his mission if left to his own devices for too long.
Jennifer urged Adrienne to attend the wedding without her, reasoning that Drew didn't need two babysitters. Adrienne admitted that she would like to preserve her record of perfect attendance at Steve and Kayla's weddings. Meanwhile, Drew, oblivious to the conversation, threw up his arms and triumphantly shouted, "Eureka!" As he removed his headphones, Jennifer rushed to his side and stared over his shoulder at the computer screen, excitedly guessing that he had managed to infect Titan's server with the virus. He clarified that he hadn't yet, but he was fairly confident that when he did, it would work like a charm.
After Adrienne left, Jennifer asked Drew, who was chugging another can of soda, if she could do anything to help him, such as picking up another pack of sodas. Shaking his head, he admitted, as he placed the empty can next to five other empty ones, that Camila had advised him to cut back on them. "Camila," he repeated with a worried sigh. Jennifer assured Drew that Camila was fine. "She just wants you to keep working on everything so you can be together again, okay?" she added. Nodding, he turned his attention back to the computer screen.
Jennifer soon received a text message from Anne, who was on her way over to the Salem Inn to help out. Jennifer decided to seize the opportunity to rush over to Club TBD for a moment to congratulate Steve and Kayla. Before leaving, she received another text message, this time from one of the wedding guests. After reading the message, she excitedly informed Drew that Shane was in town. She suggested enlisting Shane's help, but Drew insisted, "I don't want him to know I screwed up yet again. I'll fix this on my own."
After Jennifer left, Drew sneaked out of the hotel room to buy more cans of soda. As he was sneaking back into the hotel room a short time later, Anna called out to him, "Shane! How was the wedding?" Drew rushed inside without responding and managed to close the hotel room door just before Anna reached it. "Well, that was rude!" she grumbled before walking away.
Stephanie and Joey went to a secluded section of the town square to catch up for a bit before their parents' wedding ceremony. Stephanie recalled how she had reacted when she had learned that Kayla was pregnant with Joey. "It was a really tender moment. I looked at Mom, and I said, 'Gross!'" she told her brother. "Sweet," he sarcastically replied.
Stephanie clarified that her reaction hadn't been about resentment; that had begun later. "It was about [having confirmation that Mom and Dad] still, you know..." she explained. Cringing, Joey insisted that he didn't want to think about that. Stephanie helpfully added, "And that was back then! [Now] here we are, [and] they're getting married again!" Joey groaned, guessing that Steve and Kayla wouldn't decide to keep their latest marriage strictly platonic.
Changing the subject, Stephanie made it clear that she no longer resented Joey. "I'm really sorry about the baby," she added. Nodding, he thanked her for the message she had sent him at the time of the miscarriage. He explained that most people had wanted to avoid talking about it, preferring to act like nothing had happened.
Jade soon approached and wondered why Joey wasn't at Club TBD yet. Recognizing Jade from Facebook photographs, Stephanie introduced herself, stating that she had heard a lot about Jade. "Funny, I haven't heard much about you at all," Jade replied before walking away, urging Joey to follow her.
"She's coming to the wedding?" Stephanie asked Joey. He explained that although he was no longer dating Jade, she was still one of his roommates, and it would have been weird to exclude her from the wedding ceremony when all his other roommates were going to be there. Stephanie thought the weird part was that Jade was one of Joey's roommates despite the fact that they were no longer together.
Joey told Stephanie that Jade hadn't had the good fortune of being born into a family as great as theirs, and he didn't want to turn his back on her, like others in her life had, just because they were no longer having a child together. "Damn, that's pretty mature," Stephanie admitted. Proudly adjusting his tie, Joey replied, "Thanks. You can start calling me Joseph." She insisted that was never going to happen.
Doug and Julie entered Club TBD while everyone was celebrating Hope's arrival. Doug hugged Hope and told her, "You are so grounded, young lady! Don't you ever do that again!" Chuckling, she promised that she wouldn't. Julie wondered where Hope had been hiding since the prison break. Hope explained that a good Samaritan had taken her in because she had been in rough shape at that time. "Well, where is he? I need to thank him -- buy him a car or something!" Doug insisted. Hope vaguely clarified that the good Samaritan wished to remain anonymous.
Hope turned her attention to Shane and thanked him for clearing her name. Shane insisted that it had been Rafe and Steve's operation. Rafe refused to allow such modesty, stressing that the operation would have failed without Shane's help. "Eh, just like the old days, huh? London, Miami, Stockholm," Shane told Hope. "Yeah, and just like the old days, Stefano got away," Rafe added bitterly. Hope said she didn't care about that; in fact, for once, she was actually glad that Stefano was alive and well.
Chuckling, Shane exchanged a knowing glance with Steve. Kayla caught the look and wondered what it was about. "Nothing. I just -- you know, I'm really sick of talking about that creep," Steve claimed, adding that he was eager to get the wedding ceremony started. "You think it's gonna stick this time?" Kayla asked. "Baby, I'm the gum on your shoe," Steve replied.
After Stephanie, Joey, and Jade arrived at Club TBD, Abe began the wedding ceremony. When he prompted Kayla to speak, she told Steve, "When I was coming back from Prague, I thought, 'What an amazing thing that I'm gonna get married again, and I actually know what it really means.' The first time, I -- I thought I knew everything; I thought [that], generally, I knew what was coming. This time, I know I don't know anything, and that life is unpredictable, so I'm gonna focus on what I do know, and that's that I love you. I have always loved you. I never stopped loving you. Thank you [for] not giving up on us. We have been through a lot to get here, but as we stand here with our beautiful children as a family, I know we can get through anything together."
"Wow. Why are you always such a tough act to follow?" Steve asked. Everyone laughed at that, and they laughed even louder when Joey told Steve, "Man up, Dad!" Accepting the challenge, Steve began, "First of all...what she said." After everyone laughed again, he told Kayla, "And I really don't mean that as a joke, because what you said -- that's how I feel, too. When we first met -- the very first time I saw you -- I fell hard for you. You were all sweetness and light, and, uh, I really had to scramble so that I wouldn't show you how I was feeling. And it was all, you know, swagger and bravado, but that was just armor."
Beginning to get emotional, Steve continued, "But you saw me, anyway, and bit by bit, you chipped away at that armor, and you started to show me the best parts of myself -- the parts I never even knew were there. You know, that's what you do, Kayla -- you don't judge people; you heal them. And not just physically -- their hearts, their broken spirits. [For] the way you healed mine, [I] thank you. You have made all my dreams for this life come true. You've given me these beautiful children -- Stephanie, Joe -- and the thing is that the most wonderful gift I could ever have is you -- just you, my life partner, my Sweetness, my love."
Kayla wiped away tears then gave Steve a kiss. When Abe announced that it was time for the couple to exchange rings, Joey removed them from his pocket and handed them to Steve. "No more bullet ring?" Kayla asked. Chuckling, Steve confirmed that he had ditched the bullet ring in favor of the big rock Kayla had always wanted. "Full disclosure: I had to dip into Dr. Brady's bank account to pay for this," he told the guests. "Not true!" she insisted. After Steve and Kayla exchanged rings, Abe made their union official.
Later, Julie told Doug that anytime she found herself among a roomful of people she loved, she couldn't help thinking about the ones who weren't there. "I don't mean it makes me sad; it makes me feel connected. I look over there at Kayla, and I can see [her father], Shawn, and Bo," she continued. "Maybe you need glasses," Doug joked. She dismissively insisted that he couldn't fool her with his cynical attitude because she knew that, deep down, he was just as sentimental as she was.
Julie decided that she was going to call David later. "It is not right that we don't see him, and I am just going to change that...although my son does not make it very easy. That boy marches to his own drum," she grumbled. "Which only proves that the apple does not fall far from the tree," Doug teasingly pointed out.
Ciara watched as Claire gushed over the Valentine's Day gift Theo had given her. When Julie called for everyone to start dancing a short time later, Claire shared a dance with Theo. After ending his dance with Claire, Theo offered to dance with Ciara. Claire slumped down in a nearby chair and rolled her eyes as she watched the pair.
Later, Theo overheard Abe and Valerie talking about Valerie's plan to return to Washington, DC. "Are you leaving because of me?" Theo asked. Valerie assured him that wasn't the case. She expressed confidence that he was going to do well in college, even without her help, and she promised to stay in touch with him and Abe.
Jade approached Ciara, who was sitting alone in a corner of the club, and asked, "Is it, like, wedding etiquette to ask someone to dance, take them across the floor, and then just park them in the corner?" Ciara took that to mean that Jade and Joey hadn't exactly danced the night away. "Feeling like a wallflower?" Ciara guessed, knowing the feeling all too well. "A wallflower who could use a drink," Jade confirmed. Ciara knowingly warned that Jade was going to end up disappointed if she tried to score alcohol at a Brady family function while underage.
Kayla soon decided to toss her bouquet into the crowd. Claire was delighted to be the one to catch it, but she assured Hope that she had no plans to get married anytime soon. Hope suggested that, in that case, it would be nice for Claire to give the bouquet to Doug and Julie. Claire agreed to do so. Steve noticed and seized the opportunity to propose a toast to Doug and Julie, hoping everyone would eventually be able to enjoy the kind of long and happy marriage they'd had.
Stephanie approached Adrienne and told her, "I've been praying for you." Adrienne said she appreciated that. Stephanie expressed disappointment that Sonny wasn't at the wedding, admitting that she had hoped to see him while in town. "I tell you, I'm gonna brain that kid! Where is he?" Adrienne wondered.
Carrie located Austin and reminded him that Anna was out in the wild without supervision. "I'm afraid she might be getting in trouble," Carrie fretted. "Then we'd better collect her and take her home before she does," Austin suggested, pointing Carrie toward the nearest exit.
Theo approached Abe and wondered if he was okay. "Yeah. Yeah," Abe said. Unconvinced, Theo said he was sorry that Valerie was planning to leave Salem. "Just wasn't meant to be," Abe reasoned with a sigh.
Hope took Roman outside and told him confidentially that Eric was the good Samaritan who had nursed her back to health. She assured him that Eric was fine -- and sober. She added, however, that because Eric wanted to stay sober, he didn't want to return to Salem at that time. Roman was hurt to hear that Eric believed that being around family would drive him to drink. Hope urged Roman not to go there, explaining that Salem held horrible memories for Eric. Nodding, Roman said he was doing his best to give Eric space, to the point of keeping Marlena in the dark about Eric's parole. "Just let him go at his own pace, okay?" Hope advised.
Steve took Kayla home after the wedding reception and apologized for not giving her a proper, fancy honeymoon. She assured him that she was satisfied with a wedding night in their bedroom, which he had filled with candles and flowers. He wondered if he had remembered to tell her just how beautiful she looked in her wedding gown. She confirmed that he had. "Can I take it off you now?" he asked. Smiling, she gave him a kiss and told him that she was going to undress him first.
As Paul was passing through the town square with Adrienne, she admitted that she hadn't heard from Sonny recently, and he wasn't answering her calls or responding to her text messages. "I'm sure he's fine," Paul assured Adrienne before abruptly excusing himself, promising to let her know if he heard from Sonny.
Knowing that Sonny had been planning to confront Deimos about Chad and Gabi's kidnapping, Paul headed down to the docks and found Sonny there, in the midst of a losing battle with two other men. He tried to intervene, but one of the men knocked him out. As the other man dragged Sonny away in a chokehold, Sonny stared helplessly at Paul's motionless body.
While Julie was passing through the town square with Doug, she received a phone call from Scotty. She answered the call and listened for a few seconds before crying out, "Oh, my God!"
In the town square, Rafe, Hope, Valerie, Abe, Doug, and Julie laughed and talked as they strolled along. Julie's phone rang. After listening to the caller, Julie cried out in anguish. Worried, Doug asked what was wrong. Julie announced that her son, David Banning, had been killed in a motorcycle accident. Valerie's face trembled, but she kept herself from breaking down. Everyone circled Julie to comfort her. Julie lamented that she had not spent more time with her son when he had been alive.
Abe noticed that Valerie was upset. When Abe reached out to her, Valerie excused herself. As Abe stood there confused, Hope gasped with the realization that David had been Valerie's first love. Abe chastised himself for forgetting about Valerie's connection to David. Abe ran after Valerie. As Julie collected herself, Doug escorted her home.
Hope and Rafe walked back to Club TBD to make phone calls for Julie. Once the calls were made, Rafe turned on some music and asked Hope to dance. Smiling, Hope twirled into Rafe's arms. She thanked him for saving her life. Rafe kissed Hope.
In the park, Valerie sat on the park bench, staring into the distance. Marlena saw her and said hello. When Marlena saw Valerie's face, she asked what was wrong. Valerie informed Marlena about David's death. Marlena wondered aloud about David's son. Valerie's face blanched. Marlena noted that Scotty would be devastated about his father. Valerie sighed. Noting Valerie's discomfort, Marlena asked if something else was going on.
Struggling to find the words, Valerie explained that her relationship with David had been very tumultuous. Valerie stared into the distance and noted that she still felt like David was a part of her life. When Marlena asked what Valerie meant, Valerie said she wanted to tell Marlena something confidential. Before Valerie could explain, Abe entered the clearing and asked Valerie if she was okay. Marlena urged Valerie to call her, and she left.
Turning to Abe, Valerie told him that she wanted to be alone. Abe told Valerie that he was sorry for her loss. After Abe left, Valerie whispered to David, "Why didn't I tell you when I had the chance? Now it's too late. It's too late."
In a Salem alleyway, Adrienne saw an unconscious Paul crumpled up on the ground. Adrienne rushed to Paul's side as he groggily woke up. Panicked by the blood, Adrienne told Paul that he needed to go to the hospital. Paul refused, and he said that two men had taken Sonny. Adrienne growled that the war over the Orwell device had gotten worse.
Citing concerns for Sonny, Adrienne decided not to call the police. Paul and Adrienne reasoned aloud that Sonny had been kidnapped in retaliation for Chad and Gabi's kidnapping or as leverage against it. Furious, Adrienne called Justin. When Justin did not answer, Paul and Adrienne decided to confront Deimos.
In the Kiriakis living room, a cocky Deimos told Brady not to worry about Nicole's custody hearing. Suspicious, Brady asked Deimos why he was so confident. Deimos said that birth mothers were favored in custody cases, and he was optimistic. Brady was not fooled and pressed Deimos to tell him what he had done.
In the foyer, Justin told Nicole that she had a good shot at securing custody of her daughter, Holly. The courthouse called Justin and informed him that the custody hearing would be a closed-door hearing in the judge's chambers. Justin and Nicole walked into the living room, and Justin told Deimos that outside parties could not attend the hearing. Deimos wanted to go to the courthouse, but Nicole urged him to stay home and wait for her.
Justin asked Deimos if Sonny had talked to him yet. With a shrug, Deimos said he had not heard from Sonny. Deimos asked Justin to focus on Nicole's case. With a nod, Justin led Nicole out of the house. Brady asked Deimos about the Orwell, but Deimos said he was preoccupied with the change of venue in the custody case. Raising a suspicious eyebrow, Brady asked Deimos if he had done something.
Deimos admitted that he had bribed the judge that had been assigned to Nicole's case. With a groan, Brady warned Deimos that if anyone learned about the bribe, it could hurt Nicole's chance at securing custody of Holly. Brady told Deimos that he had acted stupidly. The front door banged open, and Adrienne and Paul marched into the living room to confront Deimos about Gabi and Chad's kidnapping. Brady was shocked.
Adrienne added that Sonny had been kidnapped because of Deimos' actions. Deimos was skeptical that Sonny had been kidnapped, but Paul explained that he had been in the alley with Sonny when it had happened. When Adrienne ranted about Deimos' obsession with the Orwell key, Deimos grew agitated that Adrienne knew so much about the device. Deimos remembered that Adrienne had eavesdropped on his conversation about the key, and he barked at Adrienne to stop making up news stories.
Brady demanded to know if Deimos had kidnapped Chad and Gabi. Avoiding the question, Deimos noted that the Kiriakis family had a lot of enemies. Deimos argued there was no proof that Sonny had been kidnapped. Enraged, Adrienne demanded the return of her son as she clawed at Deimos.
In the judge's chambers at the courthouse, Chloe was reluctant to hand over baby Holly to the representative from Child Protective Services. Belle calmed Chloe's nerves, and Chloe reluctantly handed the baby over. After the representative left with Holly, Nicole and Justin entered the chambers. Nicole asked Chloe to call off the hearing and continue to be a part of Holly's life. Chloe asked Nicole if she was willing to give up Deimos. When Nicole remained silent, Chloe smugly grunted a "thought so."
Judge Duncan entered chambers and announced that Judge Pearce had recused himself. With a nod toward Belle, Judge Duncan said counsel would explain. Belle announced that her private investigator had discovered that Deimos had had direct contact with Judge Pearce. Chloe glared at Nicole. Shaking her head in disbelief, Nicole protested that she did not know anything about Deimos' contact with the judge. Judge Duncan asked Belle to present her case.
Belle's statement argued that Nicole was a former porn star and had committed multiple felonies in her life. Justin interrupted to comment that Chloe had her own long list of felonies. Justin added that the information was irrelevant because Nicole was Holly's biological mother. The judge asked Belle to continue. Belle said that Deimos had not only influenced Judge Pearce but had also wielded such influence with Nicole that she had stabbed someone on his behalf. Nicole interjected that she had acted to save Deimos' life. Belle argued that Nicole was living in a dangerous environment.
When it was Justin's turn to present his argument, he noted that the overwhelming case law supported granting custody to the biological mother. Justin added that both Nicole and Chloe had made mistakes, but they had been best friends and had changed into better people through the years. Pointing at Chloe, Justin reminded the judge that Chloe had lied about the maternity of Holly and had kept the truth from Nicole even after she had woken from her stroke. Justin noted that Nicole had risked her life to help Chloe give birth, and Chloe had a past history of postpartum depression.
Chloe objected and noted that she had only suffered postpartum depression with her first child. As the judge thanked the lawyers, Nicole asked if she could speak. The judge nodded yes. Nicole explained that she had always wanted a child and had suffered greatly through the loss of two pregnancies. Fighting tears, Nicole said she would do anything to protect Holly. The judge thanked everyone for their comments, and after a brief break, Judge Duncan announced that she had reached a verdict.