Days of our Lives Recaps: The week of July 23, 2018 on DAYS

Stefan convinced Abigail to keep her baby. Abigail told Chad that Stefan was the father of her baby. Ciara hired Ted to defend Ben. Jennifer found evidence that Victor had planted drugs. Ted sent threatening letters to Will about Leo. Steve regained his eyesight. Eve attacked Ben.
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A vengeful Gabi vents to J.J.

A vengeful Gabi vents to J.J.

Monday, July 23, 2018

by Mike

Abigail was stunned to see Stefan at the Brookville Family Planning Clinic, of all places. "Why are you here?" she asked nervously. "Why do you think?" he countered. "Tell me I'm not too late," he pleadingly added.

Abigail feigned ignorance, telling Stefan that she was simply waiting to undergo her annual checkup. He argued that she would have gone to her regular doctor at Salem University Hospital if that were the case. "I know you're pregnant," he added, producing the document that confirmed the news. "And [this] says that the child you're carrying is mine," he continued, handing her the document.

"Do you know how many fake paternity tests --" Abigail dismissively began, prompting Stefan to clarify that the document -- which Gabi had provided -- was actually quite real. "You expect me to believe [that Gabi] -- a woman that I consider [to be] my friend -- gave you this?" Abigail asked skeptically. "Yes, I do -- and thank God [she] did!" Stefan replied.

Stefan complained that Abigail couldn't just decide, on her own, to get an abortion. "That baby inside you was created out of love, and for you to -- for you to come in here and destroy it, without even -- without even a word to me... [I mean], what about my rights as [the] father?" he continued, incredulous. "You don't have any rights, because it's my body [and] my choice!" she countered, adding that the baby had been conceived not "out of love" but instead as a result of rape. "It wasn't 'rape'!" he insisted. "It was to me!" she maintained.

Undeterred, Stefan argued that Abigail's recovery hinged on her ability to accept that her alters had simply been different parts of her psyche -- and it therefore stood to reason that if she chose to reject the child she was carrying simply because it had been conceived while she had been acting as an alternate personality, that choice could have a negative impact on her recovery process because it would be like she was rejecting a part of herself instead of accepting it. "Gotta give it to you -- you're pretty good," she bitterly acknowledged, fighting back tears.

"[And] think about Thomas -- [I mean], you thought that he was Ben's [at first, but] you still wanted him," Stefan added for good measure. "I didn't know what Ben was until it was too late," Abigail clarified. "[But] I knew exactly who you were from the day that I came to ask you to give Chad and me our jobs back, [and you greeted me] naked, so do not act like you weren't trying to get me into bed before Gabby even existed!" Abigail added between sobs. Shrugging, Stefan maintained that Gabby had changed him into a better man -- and that if Abigail chose to deny that, it would be detrimental to her recovery process.

Scoffing, Abigail pointed out that Stefan didn't really care about her recovery and would, in fact, love nothing more than to see her suffer a relapse that would potentially reunite him with the alternate personality he claimed to love. He insisted that wasn't true. "[I only hid your mental illness because] I knew how fragile you were, [and] I knew that you weren't ready to handle the truth about Andre. [I mean], you came to me for help, and I tried to give it to you. And while I was doing that, I fell in love with you, [and] you fell in love with me," he continued. "I did not fall in love with you! Stop saying that!" she angrily countered.

"Right, because it wasn't you -- I get it," Stefan sadly replied. "And I believe you. But it was [a] part of you, and I think that part of you still loves me, and I think that same part already loves this baby. I know it [like I know] my own name," Stefan confidently added. "Which one?" Abigail countered. "Touché," Stefan conceded with a slight chuckle. "Both. I was born Sam [and] became Stefan because that's who I really am. You were born Abigail [and] became Gabby because that's part of who you really are," Stefan clarified.

Sighing, Stefan reluctantly added that Abigail had been right earlier. "It's your body, [so] it's your choice. [Now], what are you gonna do?" he asked nervously.

Meanwhile, at Doug's Place, Gabi continued drinking as a way of celebrating the successful manipulation of her enemies. "God, I know that what I'm doing is wrong, but after everything that has been done to me, I think -- I think that you're on my side, right? [I mean], why else would these test results just fall into my lap?" she mused while reading the real copy of the paternity test results.

"Gabi?" J.J. asked curiously, approaching Gabi at the bar. She stuffed the document in her purse while explaining with a nervous chuckle that, while it might seem like he had just caught her talking to herself, she had actually been saying a prayer. "For?" he wondered. "The, uh, serenity to accept the things I cannot change, I guess," she replied before proceeding to tell him about the bad news she had recently received. She added that her daughter, who had been asking for a sibling lately, already hated her due to feelings of abandonment and would only hate her even more once it was revealed that there would never be a sibling.

J.J. gently assured Gabi that her daughter would eventually forgive her -- and that there were other ways to add to her family. "Maybe," she replied with a shrug.

"But I have to admit, it's pretty hard to watch your sister come back from killing a man and sending me to prison for it, [and then] just pick up right where she left off, [with] a wonderful future [ahead of her, while] I'm the one that has to suffer for the rest of my life -- because of what she did," Gabi added. J.J. was quick to stress that Abigail had suffered in her own ways.

Gabi softened and told J.J. that she understood -- and that she was working on repairing her friendship with his sister. "The person I really blame for all this is Stefan," she added.

Changing the subject, Gabi wondered how J.J. had been doing lately. He told her about the impulsive decision he had made -- and the consequences he might be facing as a result. She wished she could do something to help him. "[I'd] tell your supervisor how much it means to you [to be sober], but I don't make much of a character witness these days," she joked before gulping down a considerable portion of her latest cocktail. He dismissively insisted that she was a great person -- and was practically his guardian angel. "I'm no angel, believe me," she protested. "What do you mean?" he asked curiously. "Nothing," she replied before rushing off.

J.J. soon received a phone call from Jennifer, who asked him to meet her at the Brady Pub. When he arrived a few minutes later, she excitedly informed him that she had just finished talking to the Child Services worker who had planted the bag of cocaine in his studio apartment. "[He admitted to doing it], and he agreed to go to your supervisor and get you reinstated," she continued.

J.J. was pleasantly surprised to hear that but couldn't help wondering who had paid the Child Services worker to do the deed. "[He said it was] just some flunky [that] he'd never even seen before," Jennifer explained with a shrug. "[But] I am on a mission now, [and] I am not gonna give up on this until I find out [who was behind the setup]," she vowed.

At the Kiriakis mansion, Victor listened as Sonny and Chad took turns arguing about what was best for Titan's future. In the end, Victor chose to side with Chad instead of Sonny. Stunned, Sonny complained that Victor clearly only cared about the fact that Titan's stock price was on the rise again. Victor clarified that, while that was a pleasant sight, Chad was going to be left in charge of Titan for the foreseeable future mainly because the company needed to appear stable to investors, and changing CEOs every few months wasn't exactly the best way to convey stability.

"I still want you to be a part of the team," Chad assured Sonny. "I don't need your charity!" Sonny snapped. "I used to be in charge, and I'm not gonna [work] under you! We don't have the same style! We want two different things for Titan! [And] I'm not gonna sit back and shut my mouth while you make decisions that I don't agree with!" Sonny continued, clearly annoyed.

"You know what? I get why Brady quit and moved out -- [and] I might do the same thing!" Sonny added, turning to Victor. "Really? [Because] look how well it turned out for him," Victor dismissively countered.

"Don't do something stupid [just] to spite me," Victor advised Sonny, who didn't appreciate the insult. Ignoring Sonny's complaint, Victor warned Chad, "[Don't think that] you have carte blanche. This is still my company. Stefano and other members of your family have been enemies of mine for decades, and if I see you acting like one of them -- being influenced by your lunatic brother or your unstable wife -- you'll be out on your ass!" Chastened, Chad stammered in response then followed Sonny out of the living room. Victor soon received a phone call. "Jennifer Horton is onto Murphy? [Don't worry], I'll take care of it," Victor told the caller.

Before letting Chad leave, Sonny established that they were still friends, despite their differences. Sonny added, as a friend, that Chad needed to let go of his vendetta against his brother -- before it ended up hurting people.

At the Martin mansion, Paul knocked on Will's door. Startled, Will quickly hid the anonymous note then opened the door and greeted Paul, trying to act casual. Will claimed, when asked, that he wasn't busy writing at that moment because he was dealing with a case of writer's block -- likely because he had too much on his mind. "Well, hey, [here's] something you can take off your mind -- I just heard on the news that the judge is dismissing the case against Sonny," Paul announced. Will was pleased to hear that. Paul agreed that it was good news but added that the whole thing seemed a bit fishy.

"The P.I. in me can't help [wondering] if Sonny did something to make Leo disappear," Paul admitted. Scoffing, Will dismissed the theory. "[I mean], you know Sonny better than I do, [but] you gotta know he would never do anything to Leo," Will innocently added. Paul agreed that Sonny didn't seem like that kind of person. Paul added, however, that Sonny's reaction to Leo's sudden disappearance had seemed a bit suspicious. "[And] he is a Kiriakis..." Paul continued. "What the hell does that mean?" Will demanded to know. Taken aback, Paul insisted that there was no need for Will to get defensive.

"I'm not saying [Sonny] killed the guy," Paul clarified. "Then what are you saying?" Will wondered. Shrugging, Paul suggested that Sonny might have paid Leo off privately to make the problem disappear. Will insisted that wasn't the case, arguing that Sonny had been looking forward to the chance to prove to everyone that Leo had been lying all along. "Trust me -- Sonny did not want things to work out this way," Will stressed. "Sonny's not Victor [or] Deimos. Yes, his [last] name is Kiriakis, but he's a good man, Paul. You -- you know that," Will continued. Paul conceded that Will had a point.

Will urged Paul to keep believing in Sonny. "I mean, he's still the guy that you know, before I came along," Will added. Chuckling, Paul mused, "You know, when it -- when it came out that you might still be alive, I was -- I was so afraid that you might come between him and me...[but then you did], and I've never been happier in my entire life." Will forced a smile as Paul gave him a hug.

Paul conceded that it might be best to just forget about Leo. Nodding, Will quickly changed the subject, telling Paul about the new memory that had surfaced earlier that day. Paul was pleased to hear that Rolf's serum was actually working. Nodding, Will mused, "I know that the memory flashes are few and far between, but...I don't know, I'm starting to feel like...I have a history." Paul noted with a grin that Will had a future, too. "With you," Will agreed before giving Paul a kiss. Paul, who had already been planning to cook a special dinner for Will that evening, suggested that they could use it as a way to celebrate the latest breakthrough.

After Paul rushed off to start cooking, Will dialed Sonny's cell phone number. "I have some bad news," Will began to explain when Sonny answered the call.

Alone at the back of Doug's Place, Gabi retrieved a lighter from her purse, held its flame to a corner of the real copy of the paternity test results, dropped the document to the ground, and scowled as she watched it burn.

At the DiMera mansion, Stefan poured a drink while recalling what Abigail had said earlier -- "I'm gonna keep my baby." Meanwhile, at the Horton house, Abigail joined Chad in the living room and hesitantly revealed, "I need to tell you something...and it's really important."

Abigail tells Chad about the baby

Abigail tells Chad about the baby

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Steve awoke in the hospital after his surgery, and Kayla was at his side. Kayla told Steve that the engineer had informed her that he expected the surgery would be successful. "Are you willing to live with a cyborg?" Steve joked. With a chuckle, Kayla offered to remove the bandages from Steve's eyes. Once the bandages were off, Steve blinked.

"It feels okay, but I can't see anything. I can't see anything at all," Steve said. After a specialist looked at Steve, the specialist confirmed that the optic nerve was still healing and that Steve's progress was normal. Kayla urged Steve to be patient, as there might be not progress for another 24 hours. Steve reminded Kayla he was not a patient man. With a shrug, Kayla said that after months of blindness, one more day was not a big deal.

In the hospital hallway outside Steve's room, Claire informed Tripp that Ciara was still angry at them and that Ciara was defensive of Ben Weston. Claire said that Ciara had talked about Ben like he was her "knight in shining armor." Claire urged Tripp to talk to Ciara. With a shake of his head, Tripp said Ciara did not want to listen to him. Claire asked Tripp if he believed Ciara had feelings for Ben.

"It's like [Ciara] is really attached to [Ben] and I kind of suggested that the reason she is into him is because after what happened with Chase, she just doesn't think that she deserves anyone normal," Claire said. Claire said she felt like she had hit a nerve with Ciara, who had lashed out at her.

Tripp went into his father's room to check on him. Kayla confirmed that Steve did not have vision yet. With a grin, Tripp suggested that Steve's brain needed time to deal with the change of input. After Kayla left to talk to the engineer about the bionic eye, Steve sniffed the air. Tripp confirmed that he had delivered French fries and hot sauce. Steve grinned. After Steve confirmed he was doing well, he asked about Tripp. Tripp lied and said he was fine, but Steve heard an edge to Tripp's voice. Steve pushed Tripp to open up.

Tripp confessed that he was still fighting with Ciara and that he feared his relationship with Ciara was a lost cause. Tripp told Steve about Ciara's affinity for Ben. Steve reminded Tripp that Ciara was stubborn like her father. Steve counseled Tripp to tell Ciara that he was there for her and would be there for her when she was ready to talk to him. Steve told Tripp that he had pushed Kayla away when they had first met, and he was grateful that Kayla had never given up.

"All these years, [Kayla] has been my anchor, and you can be Ciara's," Steve said.

In the hallway outside Steve's room, Claire asked Kayla about Steve. Kayla said it was too soon to tell if the procedure had been successful. Claire promised to keep Steve in her prayers. Noting the look on Claire's face, Kayla asked what was wrong. Reluctantly, Claire asked Kayla if she had ever liked a guy that was interested in another woman. Kayla told Claire about her crush, David Banning. Kayla said it had taken her time to realize that David was the wrong person for her.

"Do you think that there is still maybe some hope for me? Think that I can find someone who loves me as much as Uncle Steve loves you?" Claire asked. Kayla told Claire that she was sure Claire would find someone.

When Kayla returned to Steve's room, he was alone. Kayla told Steve that the engineer had explained that it could be hours at a minimum until the eye responded. Kayla took out her pen light and shined it in Steve's eye. Discouraged, Steve grumbled that he only saw darkness. Kayla asked about Tripp. Steve told Kayla that Tripp was having trouble with his love life, and Kayla said Claire had confided to her on the same subject. Kayla rebandaged Steve's eyes for extra protection. "One hour down, 23 to go," Steve murmured.

In the hallway, Claire talked to Tripp about Steve. Tripp said they needed to wait to see if Steve's eyesight improved, and he planned to return home to rest. With a nod, Claire hesitantly informed Tripp that Ciara was moving back into the loft. Tripp grinned. Hopeful, Tripp commented that he wished Ciara would forgive him. Tripped hugged Claire in celebration. Claire said she would hang out at the hospital so that Tripp could spend time alone with Ciara. "You're the best!" Tripp yelled as he ran out of the hospital.

In the interrogation room at the police station, Hope urged Ben to confess to setting the fire. Ted interrupted Hope and Rafe's interrogation to assert Ben's rights. When Rafe asked Ted who had hired him as Ben's lawyer, Ciara hobbled in on crutches and announced that she had hired Ted on Ben's behalf. Ciara explained she had used her trust fund money to hire Ted. Hope groaned. Ciara argued that Hope had no proof that Ben had set the fire.

"We got back the preliminary report from the fire marshal. The fire was deemed suspicious. Meaning the fire was set intentionally," Hope said. Ciara asked Ben if he had kept the report from her. Ben said he had been afraid to tell Ciara about the report because he feared she would not believe him. Ben swore that he had nothing to do with the fire. Ted interrupted to say that he had read the report and that it did not specify any cause for the fire. Rafe asked Ted who else could have set the fire.

"As far as I'm concerned, it could be someone from Salem. Someone who has something to gain by framing my client," Ted said. Rafe asked how anyone would have known that Ciara was at the cabin. Ted argued that Hope had fought to keep Ben in Shady Hills. Ted added that Hope had a motive to frame Ben. With a smirk, Ted reminded Hope and Rafe that it was not the first time that either had been implicated in a cover-up. Rafe cautioned Ted not to make unfounded accusations.

"If you are suggesting that someone in this department set your client up, you better have proof," Hope said. Ted countered that, as a defense attorney, he did not need proof. Ted argued that without evidence to directly implicate Ben, the police needed to release Ben from custody. Hope promised to talk to D.A. Trask. When Hope looked at Ciara, Ciara refused to leave. Hope and Ted left to meet with the district attorney. Ben begged Ciara to believe him.

In the police station bullpen, Rafe asked Ciara if she believed Ben. Ciara said she could not forget that Ben had taken care of her before the fire. Rafe asked Ciara if she could think of any other explanation for the fire. Ciara admitted that Ben had been upset when he had run out of medication but that she had talked him down. With a nod, Rafe asked Ciara if she and Ben had gotten close. Ciara admitted that she had talked to Ben about things that she had not discussed with anyone else. With a shy smile, Ciara said she had seen Ben as a friend.

"Abigail felt that way too," Rafe countered. Hope returned with Ted. Ted announced that Ben was free to go. After the police released Ben, he thanked Ciara for her help. Ciara said that she knew Ben would not lie to her. Ben thanked Ciara again then left with Ted. Hope hugged her daughter.

Gabi returned to the DiMera mansion to ask Stefan to sign the Gabi Chic papers she had mentioned earlier. As Stefan reached for the papers, Gabi asked Stefan if he had convinced Abigail not to have an abortion. Stefan admitted that he had convinced Abigail to keep the baby. When Gabi asked Stefan if he had threatened Abigail, he shook his head no. Stefan explained that he had told Abigail that if she wanted to accept her alters as part of her, then she also needed to accept her alters' decisions.

"Part of her still loves me, and that part of her will live on through this child," Stefan said. Stefan said Abigail was telling Chad the news. Gabi urged Stefan to be a better father than Stefano. Stefan said he was eager to be a father and make up for his own terrible childhood. As Stefan handed the signed papers back to Gabi, she apologized for the mix-up. Stefan argued that Gabi had not mixed up the papers.

"You just happened to hand me the results of Abigail's paternity test?" Stefan asked. Stefan argued that Gabi had wanted to help him stop Abigail. Stefan wondered aloud if Gabi's plan had been to hurt Abigail. Gabi said she had no reason to hurt her friend. With a shrug, Stefan reminded Gabi that Abigail's testimony had sent Gabi to prison, which had left her barren.

"My point is that if it were me, I would hold a pretty big grudge," Stefan said. Gabi claimed that she did not blame Abigail because Abigail had not been in her right mind. Stefan said he did not believe that Gabi was sincere. With a sneer, Gabi said she blamed Stefan. Stefan asked Gabi why she was working with him if she hated him. Gabi reminded Stefan that she loved her company more.

"No matter how it happened, I'm very grateful I found out about Abigail's pregnancy before it was too late," Stefan said. Gabi inquired about the specifics of custody, but Stefan said nothing had been decided yet. Stefan added that he did not care how Chad felt about the news. Stefan argued that Chad could not keep him from his child.

"I was just wondering, since you can't have Gabby, is it Abigail you want?" Gabi asked. Stefan countered that he was only interested in Abigail as the mother of his child. Gabi smirked in disbelief. Gabi urged Stefan to respect Abigail's marriage to Chad.

"Abigail is very lucky to have a good friend like you. Or at least someone who is pretending to be," Stefan said. Gabi said she was offended. When Gabi asked Stefan why he was needling her, Stefan explained that he liked to know the type of people he was working with. "And what they're capable of," Stefan added.

At the Horton house, Abigail told Chad that she was pregnant. Thrilled, Chad gathered Abigail into his arms to hug her. Abigail stiffened. When Chad asked what was wrong, Abigail informed Chad that Stefan was the father. Chad looked stricken. Abigail explained that she had taken a paternity test, and it had confirmed that Stefan was the baby's father. Chad looked at the test results, stunned. Abigail apologized. Abigail admitted that she had gone to the clinic to have an abortion. Chad asked what had stopped Abigail.

"Because I spoke to someone who made me realize I couldn't do it," Abigail said. Abigail told Chad that Stefan had shown up at the clinic. Chad demanded to know what had happened. Abigail said she had realized that she needed to accept all her personalities and accept that the baby was not Gabby's but hers.

"And Stefan's!" Chad retorted. Chad argued that Abigail continued to use her alters as an excuse for everything. Chad asked Abigail if she was actually in love with Stefan. Through gritted teeth, Abigail said that she could not stand the sight of Stefan. Abigail stressed that Chad was not her baby's biological father, but she considered him her baby's father.

"Unless you don't want to," Abigail said hesitantly. Chad said he could not forget that Abigail had slept with Stefan. Shaking his head, Chad asked Abigail if she wanted him to live with a daily reminder of what he had walked in on. Abigail stood there, speechless. After a moment of pacing, Chad sighed. Abigail told Chad that she loved him and wanted to work things out.

"I know you're hurting. Baby, I do. I know you've gone through a lot. I wish I could tell you everything is going to be okay this time but I can't. I can't, not this time," Chad said. Abigail reached for Chad, but he walked out of the house.

Will shows Sonny the anonymous note

Will shows Sonny the anonymous note

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

by Mike

At the Horton house, Abigail tried to contact Chad, but the call went to voicemail. Meanwhile, someone knocked on the front door. She rushed into the foyer, hopeful that her husband was back and had forgotten his keys.

"I had to see you. I just spoke with Stefan," Gabi explained when Abigail opened the door. Nodding, Abigail stepped aside so Gabi could enter the house. "[He told me] he showed up at the clinic [and] stopped you from getting an abortion," Gabi continued. Abigail was quick to point out that Gabi was responsible for Stefan's interference. Gabi apologetically claimed that Stefan had found out about Abigail's pregnancy when a Gabi Chic document had accidentally gotten mixed up with the paternity test results, which had been in Gabi's purse because Abigail had left the sensitive material behind during an earlier conversation.

"I tried to stonewall [Stefan, but] he threatened to never bring me back to Gabi Chic [unless I told him where to find you, and] that is my company!" Gabi continued, adding that it wasn't like anyone else was going to be willing to employ a person who had just gotten out of prison for the second time. "Because I lied," Abigail acknowledged. "Right, [but] I'm not even saying that --" Gabi began to clarify. "But it's true," Abigail continued with a shrug. "[And] I get that Stefan is intimidating. I am sure you did everything that you could to protect my privacy. [But] why didn't you call to warn me?" Abigail curiously added.

"My phone died," Gabi innocently claimed. Nodding skeptically, Abigail placed a call to Gabi's cell phone, which immediately began ringing. "Yes, sometimes it works. Sometimes it ends up working. I don't know how to explain..." Gabi stammered as Abigail ended the call. Unconvinced, Abigail guessed that Gabi, who had been open about opposing the abortion idea, had decided to give Stefan a chance to stop it from happening. "Okay, you know what -- maybe I was [hoping he could stop you from making] a mistake that you're gonna regret later on in your life," Gabi replied.

"[And] my instincts were right, because you changed your mind," Gabi added. Abigail confirmed with a sigh that she had decided not to go through with the abortion -- and that she might have lost her husband as a result.

Gabi smirked as Abigail rushed off to the bathroom, looking sick. When Abigail returned a short time later, Gabi was waiting in the living room, armed with a package of saltine crackers. Abigail gratefully accepted the snack and thanked Gabi for being such a good friend. "It's not lost on me [that] you would give anything to have morning sickness -- [and that it's] my fault [that you can't]," Abigail noted. Gabi insisted that Stefan was the person who was truly to blame. "You must really hate him," Abigail guessed. "Oh, I freaking hate his guts," Gabi confirmed, scowling.

Abigail was quick to stress, when asked, that Gabi wasn't the only person who hated Stefan -- and that having Stefan's baby wouldn't make those feelings of disgust go away. "The only man I will ever love is Chad...[but] I don't know how he's ever gonna accept this child. [I mean], he said that he is afraid [that] every time he sees this baby, he will be reminded of me in bed with his brother. [And] I think [he's also] afraid because now Gabby's memories are my memories, and he's worried that I'll feel some kind of pull toward Stefan -- especially now," Abigail added, sighing again.

Gabi still believed that it might have been better to lie about the child's true paternity, but Abigail maintained that it would have been too hard to live with that lie. Gabi hoped that Chad would be able to live with the truth.

Chad was at Doug's Place, holding a hand dangerously close to the lit flame of a candle, when Stefan arrived and loudly instructed Chloe, "Put Chad's drink on my tab. In fact, I want to give everyone in here a round -- on me. [See, in case] you haven't heard, I'm gonna be a daddy!" Chad took a gulp of whiskey and tried to ignore Stefan, who added, when Chloe asked, that the "lucky" mother-to-be was Abigail.

Stefan guessed that Abigail had already shared the good news with Chad. "Look on the bright side -- you're gonna be an uncle! And a stepfather!" Stefan cheerfully pointed out, approaching Chad. "I remember you telling me that, uh, I'd never have the connection that you have with Abigail because she's the mother of your child, but...kind of looks like now I'm gonna find out what that connection really feels like --" Stefan continued until Chad finally threw a punch. Stefan responded in kind. Annoyed, Chloe quickly stepped in and ordered Chad and Stefan to take the fight outside.

Stefan followed Chad out of the club and apologized for having gloated earlier. "I should have thought about how I would feel if I found out that Abigail was having your baby," Stefan pointedly added. Scoffing, Chad insisted that it would have been perfectly natural for Abigail to conceive a child with her husband. "You don't want a child; you want a souvenir," Chad continued with obvious disgust. Stefan dismissed the accusation, proudly vowing to be a loving and devoted father to a very real reminder that Gabby had existed -- and had loved someone.

Stefan delighted in wondering why Chad -- a supposedly happily married man -- was drinking alone at a club instead of spending the night at home with his pregnant wife. Stefan warned Chad not to do anything to upset Abigail during the pregnancy, stressing that the unborn baby's welfare needed to be everyone's top priority. "Your mother isn't around to save you anymore. You really want to do this again?" Chad asked, stepping toward Stefan with clenched fists. "No, you're right," Stefan admitted, backing away from Chad. "I can't be getting into fistfights anymore. I'm gonna be a father!" Stefan happily added before leaving.

Chad scowled as he watched his brother walk away. Then, he went back inside the club and ordered another drink. He soon received another phone call from his wife, but he chose to ignore it.

Stefan returned to the DiMera mansion, poured a celebratory drink, and raised it toward Stefano's portrait. "Got good news today -- you're gonna be a grandfather again. [And] my branch of the DiMera family is gonna make you proud," Stefan vowed. Meanwhile, at Doug's Place, Chad continued drinking. Gabi soon entered the club and comforted Chad with a hug, hiding a mischievous grin.

At the police station, Hope fretted to Rafe about Ciara, who had just left -- and still seemed convinced that Ben wasn't responsible for the cabin fire. Rafe guessed that Ciara was starting to have doubts about Ben and simply didn't want to admit that to anyone yet. "God, I hope -- I pray -- that you're right," Hope replied with a sigh before starting to rush off, wanting to check the cabin again for proof of arson.

Rafe stopped Hope, pointing out that the cabin had already been searched extensively on more than one occasion -- and that trained professionals had conducted those searches. "They're not as motivated as I am," Hope dismissively countered. Undeterred, Rafe maintained that there was nothing more that Hope could do at that time. "Now, look, if Ben set that fire --" Rafe started to add.

"Wait -- 'if'?" Hope incredulously repeated. Rafe was quick to stress that Hope wasn't the only person who hated Ben. "[I mean], for God's sake, he killed three women -- one of which turned out to be my half-sister, who I never got to know -- so when I think of him, it makes me want to put my fist through a wall...or his face," Rafe continued. Nodding, Hope apologized for having forgotten that fact. Rafe understood. Forging ahead, Rafe reminded Hope that, regardless of their personal feelings, the bottom line was that there simply wasn't enough evidence to prove, at that time, that the cabin fire could safely be added to Ben's list of crimes.

Softening, Hope reluctantly conceded the point -- then started inspecting a witness statement, hoping to poke a hole in Ben's alibi. "His story works if he walked into town and back like he said," Hope grumbled, noting the time of Ben's arrival at the pharmacy. "But if he hitched a ride [there]..." Hope continued, suddenly perking up. "Then he was able to start the fire and get his prescription filled," Rafe concluded. "And [would have] had enough time to get back to watch Ciara and the cabin go up in flames," Hope added. "Stands to reason that [the] pharmacy has a security camera in the parking lot. Maybe we will get lucky," Rafe suggested.

Meanwhile, Ben followed Ted through Horton Town Square. Ted paused in a secluded area of the nearby park to warn Ben not to leave town while the cabin fire was still under investigation. "You heard [the police] -- they are convinced it was arson...[and that] the person who set that fire can only be you," Ted continued. Nodding, Ben bitterly guessed that Hope and Rafe hadn't even bothered to start looking for additional suspects yet.

Changing the subject, Ted asked for Ben's cell phone number. "All I had was a temp phone, and I smashed it up [when] I ran out of my meds [and] got a little paranoid," Ben replied. Confused, Ted wondered why Ben hadn't replaced the device yet. "[The only money I had] was the money that Chad threw at me, and there's not much of it left. Those meds I take -- they're not cheap, and I have to have them," Ben explained with a shrug. "I don't even know where I'm gonna sleep tonight," Ben added, prompting Ted to preemptively decline the chance to temporarily house a client. Chuckling, Ben insisted that hadn't been a hint.

Ted suggested that Ciara might be willing to loan Ben some money to pay for a hotel room. "No, no -- I'll figure something out," Ben assured Ted, who nodded then handed over a business card and walked away.

A short time later, Ciara passed through the area and spotted Ben, who was in the process of taking his meds at that moment. He thanked her again for paying for his lawyer -- and assured her again that he hadn't set the fire.

Ciara wondered if Ben could think of anyone else who could have set it. Shrugging, he admitted that he wasn't sure. He suggested that the cabin's wiring -- which was old and had possibly been damaged during the first fire -- could be to blame, but she argued that if that were the case, there surely would have been telltale signs that the fire marshal would have been trained to recognize. He conceded that she was probably right.

"I want to believe you -- God, I really do -- but I also really, really don't want to get played again. Trusting guys hasn't really worked out that well for me [in the past]," Ciara explained to Ben with a sigh. "I know what it's like to find out you've been lied to...but when I tell you that I would never, ever hurt you, it is the God's honest truth," he replied, looking her straight in the eyes as he spoke.

Ben apologized for having dragged Ciara into what was turning out to be a really big mess. She dismissed the concern, jokingly pointing out that she had skidded into the mess on her motorcycle -- and that, if anything, she probably owed him an apology, since he likely would have been in the midst of starting a new life at that moment if he hadn't stopped to help her after her accident. He insisted that he didn't regret that decision because it had given him the opportunity to do something that had made him feel like a decent human being for a change. He added that he wouldn't have a hotshot lawyer if not for her generosity.

"Well, maybe that makes us even," Ciara suggested to Ben with a slight chuckle. "Yeah, we're square," he agreed. Nodding, she changed the subject, wondering if he needed money for a hotel room. He insisted that wasn't necessary. "Goodnight, then," she said before slowly heading off on her crutches. He waited until she was gone then removed a blanket from his backpack of belongings and settled on a nearby park bench.

Ted went to the Salem Inn to see Kate. "[Sorry I'm late], but I just landed a pretty high-profile client," Ted explained to Kate, who couldn't resist asking for the person's name. "Ben Weston," Ted revealed.

Stunned, Kate slapped Ted. "Did I [forget about] telling you that I liked it rough? 'Cause I thought our slapping days were over," Ted asked, confused. Unamused, Kate explained to Ted, "This maniac that you're now defending tried to kill my grandson -- and, in my mind, that makes you imminently slappable." Ted argued that Will had turned out to be fine in the end, but Kate insisted that wasn't entirely true.

"He still doesn't have his memory back. He lost his family. We thought he was dead. We buried him. We had a funeral. We grieved for him!" Kate stressed. "He was my first grandchild. He has a very special place in my heart. And this 'man' -- this Ben Weston... After he finished doing his very best to suffocate Will, he stuffed [Will's] body in a duffel bag, and he dragged [Will] off to the place where [it] was found!" Kate continued, getting emotional. Ted apologized and wondered if Kate was basically trying to say that defending Ben, of all people, was a deal-breaker. "I don't know," Kate admitted with a shrug.

"But I do know that Will is blood, and I know that I will stop anyone who tries to hurt my family," Kate added. Ted understood but refused to drop Ben as a client, believing that everyone was innocent until proven guilty, and everyone had a right to counsel. "It was fun while it lasted," Ted told Kate before starting to leave. Kate stopped Ted but warned, "I'm serious -- if you do anything that ends up hurting Will..."

Will went to the Kiriakis mansion to see Sonny, who had been waiting impatiently. "Paul made dinner, [so] I couldn't skip out on that," Will apologetically explained as Sonny closed the living room doors. "Okay, well, why couldn't you just tell me [what was wrong] on the phone?" Sonny asked. "Because you never know who might be listening," Will replied, handing over the anonymous note.

Sonny agreed with Will's assumption that the note was about Leo's death. However, Sonny couldn't understand how anyone could have found out about that. Shrugging, Will suggested that someone might have seen the body being moved. "Then I better figure out who that someone is," Sonny worriedly concluded, adding that Will didn't need to help anymore because he had already gone above and beyond the call of duty.

"Sonny, you were trying to stop [Leo] from strangling me, okay? I'm in this just as much as you are!" Will insisted with finality. Forging ahead, Will wondered if Sonny believed that the person who had sent the note was the same person who had moved Leo's car. "I don't know," Sonny replied. "You know what's really bothering me?" Sonny added. "Everything?" Will guessed. "Why doesn't the letter say what they want?" Sonny clarified.

"You're right," Will realized. "And I thought cut-out letters went out with black-and-white movies," Will added, inspecting the magazine clippings that spelled out the anonymous note's message. "Well, in the old movies, they would do that so no one would recognize the handwriting or be able to match a messed-up key from a typewriter," Sonny noted. "Yeah, but no one uses typewriters anymore! They could have just printed this out, [but] it's like they're trying to be dramatic," Will pointed out. "Well, if someone actually saw us put [Leo's] body in his trunk, they don't have to work very hard to be dramatic!" Sonny countered.

"[So] maybe they're enjoying torturing us," Will suggested with a shrug, prompting Sonny to suddenly realize that it might be Leo. "Uh...have you forgotten that Leo is dead?" Will asked. "Have you forgotten people thought you were dead?" Sonny countered. Will still wasn't convinced, having checked Leo's pulse more than once, but Sonny was quick to point out that Will wasn't exactly a medical examiner -- and had been in a panic at that time, in any case. "What if [Leo] was just unconscious [and then] came to in the trunk of the car?" Sonny suggested. "And then...what, he unlocked it from the inside?" Will incredulously concluded.

"It's not impossible," Sonny maintained. Realizing that Sonny had a point, Will suggested that the anonymous note needed to be dusted for fingerprints right away, since Leo's were in the system. "I know who would do it for us in a heartbeat..." Sonny began. "No. Forget it. No. I do not want Paul involved. This has to stay between us," Will insisted, again with finality.

As if on cue, Will received a text message from Paul. "Paul's wondering where I am. I gotta go," Will told Sonny. "Okay, well, I'll keep [the note] and try to figure something out," Sonny replied. "Promise me that you won't do anything without talking to me first," Will demanded. Sonny started to protest, but Will was insistent. "We're in this together," Will stressed. "Okay," Sonny agreed. Satisfied, Will rushed off.

At the Salem Inn, Kate slept peacefully in Ted's arms, unaware that Will and Sonny were in trouble -- and that she was sharing a bed with the person who was responsible for the anonymous note.

Steve's bandages are removed

Steve's bandages are removed

Thursday, July 26, 2018

by Mike

John and Marlena parted ways in the middle of Horton Town Square, wishing each other luck with their respective missions.

Meanwhile, at the Brady Pub, Jennifer told Eric about her recent meeting with the Child Services worker. She remained determined to figure out who had devised the plan to sabotage the custody hearing with planted drugs. He remained regretfully suspicious of his brother, but she maintained that someone else was responsible. "I know that you have bad blood between you and your brother, but --" she began to add.

Just then, Marlena entered the pub and warmly greeted Eric and Jennifer. "Your dad said that I could find you here. I -- I was hoping to talk to you about something, but I don't want to interrupt..." Marlena began to explain to Eric. "No, you're fine; I have some messages that I need to check, anyway," Jennifer assured Marlena before stepping aside. "So...what's going on?" Eric asked Marlena curiously.

At that same time, Brady was wrapping up a phone conversation with Tate from the comfort of a room at the Salem Inn. After hanging up, Brady somewhat sadly informed Eve that Tate seemed to be doing well in Los Angeles. Eve reminded Brady that Tate wasn't going to stay there forever. Feeling guilty about Brady's separation from Tate, Eve considered confessing to being partially responsible for it.

Just then, John arrived to talk to Brady about something. "[If it's] a bad time..." John began. "No, no -- I need to go get dressed, [anyway]," Eve assured John before stepping into another room. Brady seized the opportunity to give John a pair of tickets to a Cubs game. "You don't want to go?" John asked, confused. Sighing, Brady replied, "Not without my boy...[so] I thought you and Paul could use them [instead]."

Marlena explained to Eric that, since her father had died a few years earlier, she needed someone else to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. Meanwhile, John shared that same information with Brady on Marlena's behalf. Eric and Brady were both surprised to hear that Marlena wanted them to walk her down the aisle together. "I know things have been a little strained between the two of you lately, but I -- I was hoping that this might bring you closer together again," Marlena told Eric, who doubted that Brady would like the idea. "It would mean the world to us -- both of us -- if you would say yes," John told Brady, who expressed strong reservations.

Marlena grumbled that Nicole had really done a number on Eric and Brady. John made a similar observation. Eve returned while Brady was in the process of admitting to his father that none of that mattered anymore because he had found love with someone else and was happy with that person. Jennifer returned while Eric was in the process of saying essentially the same thing to his mother.

After Marlena rushed off, Eric told Jennifer about the big request. Eric remained doubtful that Brady would be willing to agree to Marlena's idea. "Well, um...I mean, maybe if he knew..." Jennifer began. "Knew what?" Eric asked, confused. "I...sort of...heard you telling your mom...that you love me," Jennifer admitted. Eric was embarrassed but still happy to say the words again, this time directly to Jennifer -- who returned the sentiment.

John and Marlena reconvened in the town square, each thrilled to hear that the other's mission had been successful. They headed off to the hospital together, hoping to get more good news there.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, Kayla removed Steve's bandages and tested his vision again. "Nothing. Nothing at all," he admitted with a sigh. She was quick to assure him that there was still hope that his vision would return eventually. He nodded and forced a smile. "I'm just a little disappointed because I was hoping to see your reaction to, uh...something," he cryptically explained. "Check the cabinet above the sink," he added.

Intrigued, Kayla followed Steve's instructions and discovered a big bouquet of yellow roses. "How did you do that?" Kayla asked. "Tripp helped me out," Steve replied. "Can you believe it was thirty years ago [that] we first got married?" Steve continued. "No, I can't believe it!" Kayla admitted, fighting back tears. Steve's face suddenly lit up while Kayla was recalling various details of that special day.

"And my dress -- oh, my God, I loved that dress!" Kayla continued as Steve started laughing for no apparent reason. "Yeah, baby, you look beautiful in white...but I like the way you look right now, my lady in red," he replied, still laughing. Taken aback, she looked down at the red blouse she was wearing then asked him, "Wait -- can you see me?" He happily confirmed that he could.

Meanwhile, Marlena passed through the halls with John, who was in the process of explaining that Brady had been reluctant to agree to Marlena's idea at first but had eventually decided that he couldn't refuse the request of a woman who had always been there for him. Marlena and John soon entered Steve's room and observed a lighthearted atmosphere. "You don't have to worry about [the] best man dropping the rings at your wedding anymore," Steve explained with a wide grin. Marlena squealed with delight. John breathed a sigh of relief and gave Steve a hug. "I feel like a thousand-ton weight has just been lifted off my chest," John admitted.

John and Marlena soon rushed off, not wanting to keep Steve from meeting with the specialist who had performed the bionic eye surgery. While waiting for the doctor to arrive, Steve contacted Tripp and Adrienne and left a voicemail message for each of them. Kayla waited until Steve was done then reached into a pocket while pointing out, "There's one more thing we need to do...[and] I came prepared."

"Ooh! Patch me, baby!" Steve excitedly encouraged Kayla as she produced his trusty, beloved eyewear.

At the Martin mansion, Will awoke and greeted Paul. "I'm surprised you're up this early. You were tossing and turning in your sleep again last night," Paul noted. "Sorry. It's just this...story, you know? I can't, um -- I can't stop thinking about it," Will claimed. "Hmm. Well, maybe I can, um...take your mind off of it," Paul flirtatiously suggested before giving Will a kiss. "I like that idea," Will replied, grinning.

Later, after Will and Paul showered and dressed, Will randomly told Paul, "I'm so happy you're in my life." Chuckling, Paul replied, "That came out of nowhere...but hearing it never gets old."

Paul volunteered to do a coffee-and-scones run as a way of showing his love for his boyfriend. "Maybe that caffeine-sugar combo might set you into overdrive and help you finish that story you've been obsessing over," he optimistically suggested before starting to leave. "What's this?" he asked curiously, picking up an envelope that had been slid under Will's bedroom door.

Horrified, Will yanked the envelope out of Paul's hand without saying a word. "Whoa, whoa -- relax! I wasn't gonna open it!" Paul protested. Will quickly apologized. "'s's...really important information from a source, and I -- I promised to keep it confidential, so..." Will explained with a shrug. "Are they in some kind of danger?" Paul wondered. "Are you?" Paul added, getting worried. "I mean, you barely slept, you -- you -- you practically tore my hand off, grabbing that envelope... I'm sorry, but whatever you're working on, whatever the story seems kind of dicey," Paul continued.

"It's just a story, like any other," Will claimed. Unconvinced, Paul asked if Will was absolutely sure about that. "[I mean], can you honestly say that whatever you're getting into isn't gonna lead to trouble?" Paul continued. "You know, I think we will both feel so much better when I get this story done, you know?" Will evasively replied. "So, um...maybe it would be better if you didn't come back with coffee," Will gently added.

"I think it'll help you focus," Paul protested. "It will, but you won't, because you, my handsome man, are a major distraction," Will replied. "Look, I -- I just want to finish this story as soon as possible so -- so we can be together again [and] spend time together again," Will continued. Nodding, Paul forced a smile and told Will, "Okay, well, in that case, I, um...I'll see you later." Paul gave Will a kiss then left.

As soon as the coast was clear, Will opened the envelope and examined the enclosed note, which had again been made with magazine clippings. "Not again," Will muttered, sighing heavily. The note read:

"Does Paul know that you and Sonny are lying to him?"

Meanwhile, Ted rejoined Kate in her room at the Salem Inn, armed with a gift to use as a way of explaining why he had sneaked off earlier. "Okay, this -- is this for me, or is this for you?" she asked teasingly, inspecting the lingerie he had purchased. He declared it a peace offering of sorts. He assured her that he understood why she was so protective of her grandson. "[But], by some miracle, Will is still alive, [and] as I told you last night, everyone has the right [to] a vigorous defense," he continued. "So noble of you! I'm sure it has nothing to do with all the vigorous publicity [Ben's case is] going to generate," she countered.

Later, while lying in bed with Kate, Ted suggested that they could go somewhere for breakfast, since they had just worked up quite an appetite. She refused, reminding him that they couldn't be seen in public together. "Since when are you afraid of taking risks?" he protested. "When the risk could put us behind bars!" she countered. "Maybe when enough time [has passed], we could pretend to meet for the first time, [and then] have a date," she eventually conceded to placate him. "Well, don't make me wait too long. [I mean], I will play the game [for now], might regret it," he warned before flashing a smile to make his words seem less threatening.

Meanwhile, Will met with Sonny at the Brady Pub and showed him the latest anonymous note. "Whoever is sending these letters is following us," Will quietly concluded. "Please tell me you made some headway with the first letter," Will continued. "I paid a private security firm to check for fingerprints, but the only ones they found were ours," Sonny replied, also whispering. "I just don't get it. They're not making any demand for money. No threats or blackmail. I mean, are they really doing this [just] to torture us? Whoever it is, they must want something..." Sonny added -- just as Ted entered the pub. Will hid the note as Ted approached.

"What do you want?" Sonny asked tiredly. "To talk -- about Leo," Ted replied. Sonny explained to Will that Ted was Leo's lawyer. "Ted, this is Will Horton, my ex-husband," Sonny added. "Why does that name ring a bell?" Ted wondered, eyeing Will curiously. "Uh...I'm a writer, so maybe you've seen my byline in the Spectator," Will answered with a shrug. "Probably," Ted agreed before changing the subject, noting that it was convenient that Leo had disappeared right before the start of a trial that would have made Sonny look really bad. "Are you suggesting that I had something to do with Leo's disappearance?" Sonny asked. "Did you?" Ted countered.

"Look, Ted, I'm sorry you missed out on your big payday because your client split, but don't put the blame on me," Sonny innocently replied. "Ted, Sonny and I used to be married, so I know for a fact that he would never harass anybody. I just think Leo probably got cold feet because he knew the case was ridiculous," Will added with a shrug. "That must be it," Ted agreed. "Nice to see you, Will," Ted added before walking away. Sonny waited until the coast was clear then worriedly told Will, "Thanks for having my back...but I don't think he believed it." Will insisted that there was no way that Ted could know the truth. "I hope so," Sonny replied with a sigh.

Meanwhile, Paul spotted Kate while passing through the town square. "Meeting Will here?" Kate guessed. "Uh, no, I'm not. He's, uh -- he's actually holed up in his room, working on some big story that he can't talk about," Paul clarified. "Oh, yeah -- the mysterious assignment. Yeah, he told me about that," Kate replied with a chuckle. "He also, um...told me that he's been having some memories, [but] you probably know about that," Kate added. Nodding, Paul revealed that Will had recently talked about the latest memory that had surfaced -- a memory that had been about Kate.

"Yeah, I was telling him that, um...I would always be there for him, no matter what. And I'm kind of -- well, I'm more than happy that he remembered that, because it's still true. I just want him to be happy," Kate explained. "And, from what I hear, you make him very happy," Kate added, surprising Paul. "[Will told me that, and] he also told me that he's remembered falling in love with Sonny, [but] those feelings are in the past, [and] you're the one he loves now," Kate continued. "Will told me the same thing," Paul admitted with a smile. "You don't sound convinced," Kate curiously observed.

"Oh, no, I -- I am. Totally," Paul insisted. "It's the beginning, you know, I had -- I guess I had insecurities, so to hear that he's sharing with other people -- it's's reassuring," Paul continued with a shrug. Kate guessed that Paul would know if Will were hiding something. "I just hope that Will doesn't feel like he has to keep anything from me. Secrets in a relationship -- that's the kiss of death," Paul replied before leaving.

A short time later, while Kate was thinking about Paul's parting observation, John and Marlena approached and shared Steve's good news. Ted soon interrupted and made a show of noticing Kate and introducing himself to her, supposedly for the first time. She played along.

Nearby, Eve crossed paths with Eric, who seized the opportunity to report that Jennifer was close to figuring out who had sabotaged the custody hearing. Meanwhile, at the Salem Inn, Brady received a visit from Jennifer. "[The Child Services worker] was paid to [plant those drugs] by someone who loves you very much [and] would do anything to reunite you with your son. I think we both know who fits that description," Jennifer told Brady.

Back at the pub, Will and Sonny continued discussing the anonymous note, not realizing that Paul had just arrived and was watching them from the entrance.

Eve attacks Ben

Eve attacks Ben

Friday, July 27, 2018

An excited Tripp greeted Claire when she returned home to the loft. Tripp told Claire the good news about Steve's eyesight. Elated, Claire hugged Tripp. Ciara exited her room and watched her roommates embrace. Ciara hobbled into the kitchen on her crutches. Tripp told Ciara that Steve had recovered his eyesight. As Ciara's eyes lit up, Claire excused herself to get ready for work. Claire stopped at the door and asked Ciara if she wanted her job back.

"No. I'm good. It's all yours, the way it should have been from the start," Ciara confirmed. "Do you really mean that?" Claire asked with wonder. Ciara told Claire that she believed she would be great at the job. With a relieved smile, Claire thanked Ciara and went into her room to get ready. Ciara looked at Tripp and joked that she could be nice sometimes.

"I know you can. And I'm glad that you decided to stay in the loft. I like having you around. I think this might be a step in the right direction. For us," Tripp said. Ciara asked Tripp what he had said to Claire about Ben. Tripp asked Ciara if she was attached to Ben. Ciara denied the accusation. Ciara explained that she was only thankful that Ben had rescued her after her accident.

"I know he is a murderer. I know. And he set a fire in that cabin before, I know," Ciara stressed. Ciara admitted that she had seen a softer side to Ben, and she wanted to believe that there was good in him. "Maybe I was wrong?" Ciara wondered aloud. Claire poked her head out of her room and listened as Tripp told Ciara that he wanted her to be safe. When Tripp told Ciara that he missed her, Ciara said she felt the same way. Tripp delicately hugged Ciara.

"And look, no pressure. You almost lost your life, and after what you already dealt with, just know that I'm here for you whenever you're ready," Tripp said. With a smile, Ciara encouraged Tripp to visit his father. Ciara added, "Thank you for being patient." With a nod, Tripp left.

"That was so sweet," Claire said as she walked into the living room. Suspicious, Ciara asked Claire if she had been eavesdropping. Claire said no. Claire asked Ciara if she was going to get back together with Tripp. Defensive, Ciara said she had made a mistake when she had pushed Tripp away. Claire said she understood that Ciara had pushed Tripp away because of Chase. With a nod, Ciara admitted that she had believed she had moved past the rape.

"I thought I was ready. I thought I was okay," Ciara said. Ciara added that she feared she was still not ready to move on because "the hurt, the pain, and the shame just won't go away." Claire stressed that Ciara should not feel ashamed. Ciara said she was ready to face her problems instead of pushing people away.

"You still have feelings for Tripp?" Claire asked. "He's a good guy," Ciara said with a nod. Claire asked if Ciara forgave Tripp for making out with her. Ciara nodded yes. Claire asked if Ciara could forgive her as well. Before Ciara could answer, Claire pleaded her case.

"I was a bitch to you. I can admit that now. I lied. I cheated. I tried to hurt you. So, if you can't forgive me, I get it. I do," Claire said. Claire promised that she had not intended to make a move on Tripp but that they had both been lonely and sad. Claire apologized for hurting Ciara. With a shake of her head, Ciara said that she had thought about the situation. Ciara said she wanted to attempt to move past everything if Claire agreed. Elated, Claire hugged Ciara. Ciara offered to call Theo on Claire's behalf, but Claire declined. Claire said she wanted to focus on her career.

"Claire Brady retiring from the dating scene?" Ciara joked. Claire said she wanted to take a break from dating temporarily. Claire added that she needed to start posting on social media. When Ciara asked Claire what she was thinking of posting, Claire grinned. "I was thinking of posting about how I got my best friend back." Claire said.

At the hospital, Steve confided to Kayla that he had been afraid that he would never see her face again. Steve thanked Kayla for not giving up on finding a cure for his blindness. Steve joked that Kayla would not be able to top that year's anniversary present the next year. As Kayla kissed her husband, Rafe and Hope walked in. Elated, Rafe and Hope congratulated Steve on the return of his eyesight. Steve gushed about Kayla, and she shifted uncomfortably when Steve stressed that Kayla had done it without the help of Stefan.

Talk turned to Ben. Steve asked Hope if she was sure that Ben had set the fire. Hope was adamant that Ben was to blame. When Kayla asked if Ben had attempted to contact Ciara, Hope sighed with exasperation. Hope told Kayla and Steve that Ciara had paid for Ben's attorney. Rafe added that they hoped Ciara would realize that Ben was a bad person.

After Rafe and Hope left, Kayla and Steve celebrated with cupcakes. Steve toasted to looking at the "most beautiful woman in the world" for the rest of his life. Tripp walked in. With a grin, Steve asked if the "handsome dude in the doorway" was his son. Grinning, Tripp apologized for intruding but noted that he had been too eager to see Steve to stay away. While Kayla went to check on patients, Tripp sat down next to his father.

Steve confided that he had given up hope on regaining his eyesight. With a shrug, Steve said he had taken his eyesight for granted. When Tripp said he understood about taking things for granted, Steve asked Tripp if he was talking about Ciara. Tripp smiled broadly. Tripp said he understood that Ciara needed time, but he was hopeful that he'd have a future with her. With a furrowed brow, Steve asked about Ciara's attachment to Ben. Tripp admitted he had talked to Ciara about Ben.

"I think she is finally starting to admit the truth about this guy," Tripp said. Steve hoped Tripp was right. "I don't believe a person like Ben Weston can ever really change. So, we all need to keep a close eye on Ciara," Steve said.

In the Kiriakis living room, Victor paid off his henchman Arturo, who had bribed the social worker on Victor's behalf. Victor instructed Arturo to leave town. Maggie walked in before Arturo could leave. When Maggie asked for an introduction, Victor grudgingly introduced Maggie to Arturo. Victor announced that Arturo was leaving. With a handshake, Arturo told Maggie it was nice to meet her then he left.

Maggie turned toward Victor and grilled him about Arturo. Victor sidestepped questions, but Maggie persisted. Maggie asked Victor if Arturo was the reason that Leo had disappeared. Victor promised he had not done anything to Leo, and he swore on his son's grave. Shaking her head, Maggie responded that Arturo had done something shady. Victor said he did not want to talk anymore. With a grumble, Maggie walked out.

At Eve's apartment, Jennifer informed Brady that the social worker, Kevin, had confessed to planting drugs in J.J.'s apartment. Jennifer pointed out that the person that had bribed Kevin clearly loved Brady and wanted to help him win custody of Tate. With a shrug, Brady asked who Jennifer suspected. Jennifer said she believed Victor had paid the bribe. Brady asked for proof. With a shrug, Jennifer said she was working to find evidence.

Brady said he would do whatever he could to help prove J.J. was innocent. Brady emailed Jennifer a list of Victor's contractors that Victor had used in the past to handle jobs off the books. Jennifer shifted uncomfortably at the idea of what Victor's contractors were capable of doing. Brady promised that whoever was behind planting the drugs would not get away with what they had done.

"I know how to find out the truth," Jennifer said. Changing the subject, Jennifer asked about Eve. Brady confirmed that Eve had been supportive and loved Tate as if he were her own son. Brady confirmed that things were good between him and Eve. With a nod, Jennifer thanked Brady for the list and told him that she would be in touch. On her way out, Jennifer mentioned Marlena's request for her wedding.

"I think it is really nice that the two of you are coming together to support your family," Jennifer said about Brady and Eric. Brady said it would be a good day for Marlena and John. Jennifer countered that she hoped it would be a good day for Brady and Eric. Jennifer urged Brady to fix things with his brother.

"Maybe you're right, Jennifer. Maybe the past needs to stay where it belongs. In the past," Brady said. Thrilled, Jennifer grinned and leaped into Brady's arms. Brady hugged Jennifer, and he shook his head with a grin in spite of himself.

Jennifer returned to the Brady Pub and called Kevin. Jennifer thanked Kevin for confessing to J.J.'s boss about the drugs. Jennifer asked Kevin to look at the photos she had emailed to him and confirm if any of the contractors was the person that had given him the bribe. Maggie walked into the pub as Jennifer ended her phone call.

As Jennifer stared at a photo of Arturo, Maggie joined her at the table. Maggie noticed the photo on Jennifer's tablet, and she asked about him. Jennifer noted that she was looking into the man in the photo. Maggie confirmed that the man in the photo was Arturo and that she had met him at the Kiriakis mansion.

As Jennifer nodded, Maggie asked her why she was interested in Arturo. Jennifer demurred that she could not say anything. Maggie added that Arturo had nothing to do with Leo but that he was handling something else for Victor. Jennifer asked Maggie if she was sure that Victor was "up to something."

"I have no doubt," Maggie confided. "Victor clearly did not want me talking to that man," Maggie stressed. Jennifer's phone rang with a call from Kevin. Jennifer asked Kevin if he had recognized anyone from the photos she had sent over.

Maggie went over to Eve's apartment to check on Brady. Brady said that Eve had helped him stay "sane and sober." With a shake of her head, Maggie said she was disappointed that Brady had lost custody of Tate. Brady said he had been on a path to shared custody with Theresa before Victor had gotten involved. Maggie raised a questioning eyebrow. Brady explained that Victor was "back to his old tricks again."

In the park, Eve banged on the bench that Ben was sleeping on. Eve ordered Ben to move because she needed to sit down. When Ben showed his face, Eve gasped. Scowling, Eve said she did not want to hear what Ben had to say about her daughter. Ben started to leave, but Eve stopped him.

"I didn't think there was anyone insane enough to let you loose on the public," Eve complained. Ben claimed he was no longer sick, but Eve was not interested in Ben's explanation. "I want you to look me in the eyes and just tell me how you did it. Tell me how you could strangle a beautiful, beautiful life like that. How could you squeeze the light out of the world like that? Tell me!" Eve screamed. "I can't," Ben said. Eve warned Ben that he would find the words, or she would kill him.

"What was it like to kill my Paigey?" Eve asked. Ben stuttered out that he did not have a good answer for Eve. Ben said he was ashamed of his actions but he could not change them. Eve told Ben that she resented that Ben was able to enjoy the lovely summer day. Eve shouted that Ben deserved to die, and she pushed him to the ground. Eve jumped on top of Ben and wrapped her hands around his throat.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Ben sputtered as Eve throttled his neck. As Ben continued to apologize, he made no effort to push Eve off of him. Eve cried out that she hoped Paige haunted Ben. Eve growled that she hoped Ben saw her daughter's face. In a frenzy, Eve grabbed her coffee thermos and attempted to hit Ben in the head with it. Ben grabbed Eve's wrist and held her back from striking him. Hope walked around the corner, and she watched Eve struggle with Ben.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" Ben continued to shout. "I'm going to kill you!" Eve yelled back. Hope stood there, frozen. Rafe entered from the other side of the park clearing, and he saw Hope watch the scene unfold. Rafe jumped in and pulled Eve off of Ben. Eve broke down in tears. As Rafe calmed Eve, Hope stared silently at Ben. Eve demanded that Rafe let her go. Shaken from her stupor, Hope walked over and calmed Eve. Rafe marched over to confront a bleeding Ben.

"What did you do to her? Did you say something to her?" Rafe demanded. Ben claimed that he had been sitting on the bench and had not done anything to provoke Eve. Eve yelled that she should have killed Ben.

"This was a big misunderstanding. I got everything I deserved," Ben said. Rafe ordered Ben to stay away from Eve and Ciara. Ben ran out of the park. Furious, Eve fought against Hope. Hope calmly told Eve that hurting Ben would not bring Paige back to life. Wiping away tears, Eve grabbed her stuff and walked away. Rafe asked Hope why she had not intervened.

"You were going to let Eve kill Ben," Rafe said. Hope agreed that it was a good thing Rafe had arrived on the scene in time to stop Eve. Hope said she was terrified that Ciara's life was in danger. At the loft, Ciara was pouring a cup of coffee when there was a knock. Ben smiled sheepishly when Ciara opened the front door.

At the Kiriakis mansion, a still fuming Eve marched into the living room and poured a drink. Victor raised an eyebrow. Eve muttered that she had received Victor's text. With a nod, Victor explained that Jennifer was investigating the drug incident at J.J.'s apartment. Upset, Eve yelled that Victor had promised her that they would be insulated from the crime. Victor shrugged. Eve worried aloud that Jennifer would find Arturo, but Victor informed Eve that Arturo had left town.

"She's not gonna stop until she figures out who is behind all this, I can tell you that," Eve yelled. Victor worried aloud that if Brady learned the truth, it would hurt both Victor and Eve. Victor urged Eve to deal with the problem and throw Jennifer off the scent.

"Don't worry. I can deal with Jennifer Horton," Eve said. "Is that a fact?" Jennifer asked as she walked into the living room.

Recaps for the week of July 30, 2018 (Following Week)


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