Days of our Lives Recaps: The week of July 12, 2021 on DAYS

Bonnie and Justin got engaged. Julie stopped Xander and Gwen from having sex. Jack talked to Steve about Gwen. Justin declined to represent Ben or Ciara in their divorce. Julie told Eli that Snyder had been on her couch. Eli questioned Xander. Chanel and Allie admitted they had feelings for one another. Allie chose Tripp. Chanel kissed Theo. Lani refused to forgive Paulina. Paulina refused to stop the demolition. E.J. realized that Lucas wanted Sami. Philip told Lucas to send Kristenís letter to E.J. Eric returned home. Sami paid Xander to admit to his affair with Nicole. Xander crashed Nicole's anniversary party.
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Eric returned home, Allie admitted having feelings for Chanel, and Bonnie and Justin got engaged
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Justin gets caught in the middle of Ben and Ciara's war Justin gets caught in the middle of Ben and Ciara's war

Monday, July 12, 2021

by Mike

At the Horton house, Gwen started to favorably respond to Xander's kiss -- then abruptly pulled away. "Wait --" Gwen began. "Do I have to?" Xander protested. "What are we doing?" Gwen stammered. "Well, if you have to ask..." Xander teased. "No -- I mean, why are we doing this? We were just bloody fighting --" Gwen clarified. "And now we're not, so..." Xander argued. "Oh, let's keep going," Gwen conceded.

Xander, who had started undressing during the exchange, finished half of the task then began to help Gwen catch up as they settled on the living room couch while making out -- but Julie interrupted with a groan of disgust before any more articles of clothing could be removed. "This...isn't what it looks like..." Xander assured Julie while moving away from Gwen, who backed up the claim. "So, you're not having sex on my sofa?" Julie skeptically challenged Gwen and Xander. "Again with the sofa..." Xander grumbled. "We weren't having sex," Gwen confirmed. "I have some experience in these matters -- you were well on your way," Julie argued. "I actually like to take things quite slowly, thank you very much --" Xander stressed.

"This is how you show your appreciation for my hospitality -- by staining the upholstery?" Julie snapped. "For the love of God, Julie, what is it with you and this sofa? I'm surprised you don't have 24-hour guards posted!" Xander protested. "Well, perhaps I should, after the way you've treated it -- you passed out naked on it, now you're making out on it, and don't get me started on that lifeless deadbeat you dumped on it..." Julie countered, making Gwen and Xander squirm. "When is my nightmare going to end -- Paulina Price wants to destroy my grandparents' legacy in the Horton Town Square, and you're doing the same thing on their furniture!" Julie fretted.

"So, this couch -- this really belonged to your grandparents? I mean, if so, it really is in marvelous condition..." Xander mused. "My grandparents were fine people -- decent, good... They raised a beautiful family -- this was their home... And now you two interlopers are trying to turn it into a sordid little den of iniquity --" Julie spat. "Hang on a minute -- we're hardly 'interlopers'; I mean, Gwen is Jack's daughter, [so] she has every right to be here...[and] I don't have a familial bond, but Jack invited me, [and he's] married to the lady of the house. [So], you should try to be a more gracious hostess [and] concern yourself more with your guests and less with the antique furniture," Xander countered. "This feels like a mistake..." Gwen predicted -- but Julie admitted that Xander was right.

"You are the invited guests in my grandparents' home, and Tom and Alice Horton were always hospitable, welcoming, kind... If I want to honor their memory, I must behave as they would," Julie reasoned. "Excellent -- then we're all good here --" Xander assumed. "[But]...may I ask one favor of the two of you -- in the spirit of...hospitable coexistence?" Julie wondered, drawing nods from Xander and Gwen. "If you're going to fornicate like rabbits, do it upstairs, behind closed doors!" Julie snapped before storming off to another room with a shake of the head.

Xander and Gwen both managed -- just barely -- to refrain from laughing until the coast was clear. "So...should we take this up to your room?" Xander suggested. "Come on -- that old granny didn't kill the mood?" Gwen objected. "It takes a lot more than that to kill the mood for me..." Xander bragged. "We shouldn't be sleeping together, Xander, all right? I don't need to give my father another reason [to suspect] that there's some sort of a connection between us -- [I mean], he's already suspicious that we might be involved in Snyder's death!" Gwen argued. "Fine -- since this clearly isn't gonna happen, I'll go back to the office... Goodbye, Gwen... Couch..." Xander, who had shamelessly remained shirtless during the entire exchange with Julie, grumbled before locating the discarded article of clothing and leaving the house with it.

Jack arranged a meeting with Steve at the Brady Pub, desperate to talk to someone about what had happened earlier. "Are you coming to me with this as your brother or as a P.I.?" Steve wondered after Jack explained everything. "Maybe a little of both," Jack responded. "You want me to look into it?" Steve translated. "I want you to find out what's going on -- [because] I can't shake this idea that [Gwen and Xander] are hiding something from me," Jack confirmed. "I might already know something..." Steve hesitantly admitted.

"Are you accusing my daughter of being a drug dealer [who was working] with Snyder and somehow involved with his death?" Jack incredulously demanded to know after Steve finished elaborating. "All I'm saying is that it's possible there's a connection," Steve clarified. "It looks pretty suspicious -- I can't deny that..." Jack grumbled. "I'm sorry," Steve muttered. "You gotta follow this -- wherever it leads," Jack insisted. "I hope it doesn't lead to your daughter," Steve responded. "Me, too..." Jack agreed with a sigh.

Bonnie entered the hospital and tracked down Kayla then started to ask for a favor before stopping abruptly, realizing that it was probably a bad time. "You're probably [busy] saving lives and all that good stuff..." Bonnie guessed. "Actually, my shift just ended..." Kayla clarified. "Oh? Well, good --" Bonnie raved. "[But] I'm meeting Steve for dinner --" Kayla added. "Don't worry -- I'll have you back in two shakes!" Bonnie promised.

Bonnie practically dragged Kayla out of the hospital then over to Julie's Place. "[Like I said before], I have something real important to ask you, and we all know that goes better with libations..." Bonnie explained to Kayla with a shrug while ordering two drinks. "How would you feel about being my matron of honor?" Bonnie blurted out with a nervous laugh after the drinks arrived, leaving Kayla speechless.

"Wow -- that's...such a big deal..." Kayla eventually stammered. "The biggest!" Bonnie agreed. "And you want me to do it? Why?" Kayla wondered. "I know we aren't exactly bosom buddies, and I know Steve is not a big fan of mine...but you're close to the groom -- I mean, seeing as how you almost got married and all -- [so] I know he would approve of my choice --" Bonnie explained. "You're marrying Justin," Kayla translated. "Who else?" Bonnie reasoned. "Of course... I mean, that's wonderful..." Kayla conceded, stammering again.

"When did Justin propose?" Kayla wondered. "He hasn't -- I mean, he didn't -- [but] the proposal is gonna happen...very soon," Bonnie answered. "How do you know he's gonna ask you?" Kayla challenged Bonnie. "He's not -- I'm gonna propose to him!" Bonnie bragged with a laugh of excitement, leaving Kayla speechless again. "I mean, it's the 2020s, right? I mean, a woman should be able to ask a man to marry her, right?" Bonnie reasoned before telling Kayla about what had happened with Justin after the argument with Steve that had ruined their recent double date.

"It was the first time I felt loved -- really loved. And not just loved -- respected, [too]. So, even though, you know, our dinner and all was a complete disaster, it had a happy ending for me -- and I'm so grateful to you, Kayla, for making it happen. [And] this whole town pretty much thinks I'm a joke -- [you know], I'm the crazy chick with the loud clothes and the even louder personality -- and I know I probably play into it a bit -- I do like to push buttons -- [but] I just couldn't stand it if people thought my relationship was a joke...[and] if you were to stand up for me, Kayla, [then] the whole world would see that an honest, classy woman like you approves of my marriage. And if Dr. Kayla Johnson approves...well, then, it can't be a joke, and it's real -- and that's why it's so important to me that you say yes," Bonnie concluded.

"Why don't you get back to me when you are officially engaged -- and then you could run it by Justin, [too], just to be sure," Kayla diplomatically answered before sincerely wishing Bonnie luck then rushing off to meet up with Steve at the Brady Pub for dinner. "I have some news, Sweetness --" Steve began when Kayla arrived. "Well, hold that thought, [because] I have some news for you, [too] -- and you're gonna want to sit down for this," Kayla warned Steve.

Theo entered the DiMera mansion and found Chad standing in front of the fireplace in the living room. "Making a fire in the middle of July?" Theo teasingly challenged Chad. "Putting it out -- ever since Ben tried to torch the cabin with Abby and I in it, I tend to get a little jumpy around unattended fires," Chad coolly responded before setting aside the fire tongs then greeting Theo with a hug.

Chad and Theo caught up with each other over a game of chess. "Did you guys set a date?" Chad wondered after hearing Theo's big news. "Not yet -- [I mean], she's still married to Ben -- [but] she's off finding a lawyer to represent her in the divorce right now, [so]..." Theo responded. "Well, that shouldn't be a problem -- I mean, the guy's a serial killer; any lawyer would be happy to take Ciara as a client," Chad predicted. "[Still]...I just don't want to jinx it..." Theo admitted. "Come on -- you don't believe in that stuff, do you?" Chad objected. "I know superstition isn't real...[but]...I keep thinking about what you said to me the last time -- [you know], that even if I were to start something with Ciara, there's always a chance of her getting her memory back," Theo clarified. "That was months ago, [though], and there's no sign of it returning [yet, so now] I really believe that you have nothing to worry about," Chad declared.

"[And] it might be wrong of me to say, but if it keeps Ciara away from Ben, I hope she never gets her memory back," Chad added -- and, just then, Theo committed to a chess move with an uncharacteristic hint of hesitation, perhaps because they were playing on a new set that featured geometric shapes instead of the traditional pieces. "'s Abigail?" Theo prodded Chad. "Checkmate!" Chad realized while revealing everything that had happened since Theo's last visit to Salem. "You won, and I lost?" Theo incredulously summarized. "You didn't let me win?" Chad suspiciously wondered. "Of course not -- I would never do something like that," Theo answered.

Justin entered the Kiriakis mansion and found Ben sitting in the study -- then realized that Ciara was present, as well. "I...didn't realize you were back in town..." Justin said to Ciara. "What can I do for you?" Justin asked Ciara and Ben. "I need a lawyer," Ben and Ciara replied in unison. "Together?" Justin guessed. "No," Ben answered. "Definitely not," Ciara insisted. "I...see...?" Justin muttered, prompting Ciara and Ben to take turns clarifying the matter.

"There are tons of other lawyers in this town -- why can't you get one of them to help you?" Ciara challenged Ben. "You know, that's a really good point -- why can't you just get somebody else? [Because, you see], Justin was already my attorney -- he represented me when I was on death row," Ben countered. "Wait -- you were on death row?" Ciara repeated with a scoff, prompting Ben to elaborate.

"The only reason why [Justin] even took my case in the first place was because you convinced him to, [Ciara] -- you never gave up, even when things looked hopeless; I was in the process of getting injected with poison, and you dragged the real killer in at gunpoint," Ben concluded. "It's true -- you risked everything to prove he was innocent," Justin declared. "I did?" Ciara whispered. "Because you loved me [and] wanted to fight for me [and] our love. [So], can you please understand that that is all I am trying to do right now?" Ben stressed.

"Ben, no matter how many times you tell me the stories of our 'great love,' I don't feel it -- all I know is how I feel right now...and, right now, I want to divorce you so that I can marry Theo!" Ciara maintained. "You're marrying Theo? You didn't tell me that!" Justin sputtered. "You hear that? Even Justin knows that it's a bad idea!" Ben translated. "Now, I didn't say that..." Justin objected. "And why would he? Theo is a wonderful man who's never been on death row!" Ciara reasoned. "That's not fair!" Ben argued. "What's 'not fair' is you stopping me from moving on!" Ciara countered. "I'm stopping you from making a mistake!" Ben explained before prodding Justin for support. "[Justin] is my family, not yours!" Ciara spat before prodding Justin for support.

"[Speaking of family]...why do you need Justin to represent you? Why don't you go ask your sister-in-law, Belle?" Ben challenged Ciara before Justin could say anything. "I tried, but then Shawn and Claire..." Ciara began to admit before stopping abruptly -- but Ben didn't need to hear another word in order to figure out what had happened. "They were against [the idea] -- because they don't want to see us get divorced; because they're on my side; because they know that we belong together," Ben triumphantly concluded. "It doesn't matter what they think!" Ciara irritably declared. "[So, if your other] family members will not help you, what makes you think Justin will?" Ben wondered. "If you let him answer, maybe we can find out!" Ciara responded before turning to Justin expectantly -- and Ben followed suit.

"I care about both of you, [and] I wish there were a way that you both could get what you want...but, seeing as that's not possible, I believe my best course of action is to stay out of it," Justin announced, stunning Ciara and Ben. "I hope you can work this out on your own, but I am happy to have my assistant email you a list of some very qualified attorneys here in town," Justin continued, ignoring Ben and Ciara's overlapping protests. "Now, I have to get to a dinner date -- [but] my advice to you both is to talk...[and] you're welcome to stay right here and do it on neutral territory," Justin concluded before rushing off, drawing a groan of frustration from Ciara that seemed to amuse Ben, who was quick to argue that what had just happened was yet another sign that the divorce proceedings were a bad idea that needed to be abandoned.

"I don't believe in 'signs,'" Ciara stressed. "See, I didn't believe in 'signs,' either -- but signs are what told me that you were alive...and if I hadn't followed my gut, you would still be buried under a pile of rubble," Ben countered. "That has nothing to do with this!" Ciara insisted. "So, you don't think this timing is a little weird -- [you know], that our anniversary is next Thursday, and you're all of a sudden back here in Salem?" Ben wondered, unsettling Ciara.

"We shouldn't be hiring lawyers right now -- we should be planning a beautiful, romantic evening; we should be planning our lives together... We got a second chance, Ciara -- do you know how lucky we are? You're just gonna throw that away?" Ben added as Ciara struggled to process the revelation. "You can spew this lovey-dovey crap at me all you want -- it still doesn't change [the fact] that I want nothing to do with you! So, I'm going to find a lawyer, and I am going to divorce you!" Ciara spat at Ben after recovering. "And I'm gonna find a lawyer, and I am gonna stop you," Ben vowed. "Fine!" Ciara snapped before starting to storm out of the mansion -- but Ben rushed over to the study doorway at the same time to ensure that they would get stuck there together. "After you," Ben eventually said to Ciara with a grin while shrinking against the doorframe.

Ciara released a groan of annoyance then continued storming out of the mansion -- and Ben watched while still grinning, apparently pleased with the way in which the scene had played out, then also exited the mansion. While passing through the park a short time later, Ben ran into Chad, who seized the opportunity to rave about Theo and Ciara's engagement. "I can't wait to go to that wedding!" Chad teased before walking away from Ben, who didn't bother to respond.

Meanwhile, Ciara met up with Theo in the town square and started complaining about having failed to secure a lawyer. "[But] I'm gonna find an attorney, and I'm gonna make this happen, Theo -- I want to get married as soon as possible!" Ciara stressed. "That might take some time if Ben decides to fight this --" Theo warned. "What are you doing next Thursday?" Ciara blurted out, confusing Theo.

Justin entered Julie's Place and greeted Bonnie, who immediately started rambling nervously. "What I'm trying to say is...Justin Kiriakis, will you marry me?" Bonnie eventually concluded. "No," Justin bluntly responded.

At the Horton house, Julie returned to the living room -- and breathed a sigh of relief after seeing that it was otherwise unoccupied. "If you could talk, what tales you'd tell..." Julie mused while straightening the couch cushions. "Scratch that -- I don't want to know..." Julie decided before turning away from the couch and spotting a tablet computer on the desk -- then taking a closer look after noticing that the device had been left on and was displaying an article from the Spectator website. "Doctor's death remains a mystery..." Julie began to read aloud before curiously musing that the doctor, whose picture accompanied the article, looked a bit familiar. "Oh, my God -- he's the deadbeat!" Julie realized after glancing back at the couch.

Allie admits that she has feelings for Chanel Allie admits that she has feelings for Chanel

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

At the penthouse, John and Marlena prepared dinner for Abe. "I just want tonight to be perfect, you know? I want it to be comfortable and upbeat," Marlena said. As John announced that he had a collection of knock-knock jokes at the ready, Abe knocked on the door. Abe stood in the hallway with egg on his suit and a scowl on his face. Marlena took Abe's suit jacket, and she took it in the back to soak.

"I can't believe somebody threw eggs on you," Marlena said. "Could be worse, I suppose. Ever since the news broke about the square, I have been confronted by quite a few of my constituents," Abe said. John argued that Paulina was to blame. Abe explained that his constituents believed he had either colluded with Paulina, or he had been too stupid to see the true purpose of Paulina's plans.

"I'm the mayor. The buck stops with me," Abe said. "You had every reason to believe her. She's Lani's family," Marlena said. With a shake of his head, Abe noted that he had done more than believe in Paulina. "I went to bat for her with the city council. Man, I should have vetted this project more closely," Abe said. Marlena argued that she had also been persuaded by Paulina's pitch.

"There is no marketplace. Just Price Town, an impersonal monolith that will deal a deathblow to local small businesses," Abe said. Marlena asked how they could stop the construction. Abe said there was no hope. "So that's it? Paulina gets her Price Town?" Marlena asked. Abe noted that Paulina's plans had been legal.

"It looks like Paulina is going to get everything she wants," Abe said. When Marlena noted that Abe had lit up when he had talked about Paulina before the party, Abe admitted he had not felt that strongly about a woman in a long time. "Is it just all about the money?" John asked. Abe said Paulina's drive for wealth had stemmed from an abusive marriage.

"So, she felt that money and power would protect her," Marlena said. Abe noted that he understood Paulina's fear. John argued that Paulina already had enough money for a lifetime. With a chuckle, Abe said, "There is always more to be had." Marlena asked Abe if Paulina wanted to continue their romantic relationship. Abe said that no relationship would survive the lies that Paulina had told. "It is over," Abe confirmed.

After dinner, Marlena returned Abe's cleaned jacket to him. "Thank you both so much for having me over tonight. I'm afraid I wasn't the best of company. But I appreciate you trying to cheer me up," Abe said.

Once Abe was gone, John told Marlena that he was angry that Abe blamed himself for Paulina's scheme. "She deceived him in a very big way," Marlena agreed. When Marlena noted that the night had been a bust, John reminded Marlena that the night was not over. "You and me and what is left of this amazing bottle of Pinot," John said.

Lani folded laundry at home as she talked to Eli on the phone. "[Abe] is getting it from all sides around town, and he feels totally betrayed by my Aunt Paulina," Lani said. Eli asked about Paulina. "[Paulina] has sense enough to know when to just leave it alone," Lani said. There was a knock at the door, so Lani ended her phone call.

At the door was Paulina. Lani slammed the door in her face. Paulina yelled through the door, "Your momma raised you better than that!" Lani opened the door, and she told Paulina that she was not ready to talk. "I just need to speak to my daughter," Paulina said. "Chanel is not here," Lani countered. Paulina explained that Chanel had not returned home.

"The last time Chanel disappeared, she ended up with that lunkhead Xander," Paulina said. Paulina texted Chanel, but Chanel did not respond. "[Chanel] doesn't want to hear from you any more than I do," Lani grumbled. "I'm her mother," Paulina objected. Lani noted that Chanel had been excited for the chance to build something, but Paulina had destroyed Chanel's dream. When Paulina asked Lani to look at the situation from a business perspective, Lani argued that it was not just business.

"You lied to your daughter, to my father, and to me. You sold your own family out," Lani said. "That was not my intention. I didn't know that Chanel was going to want to open up a bakery, and I didn't know when I started making the plans that the square was a tribute to Eli's family," Paulina countered. Paulina explained that when she had learned those things, it had been too late to dial back her plans.

"But what you did know was when your true plans would be revealed, my dad was the one to end up with egg on his face," Lani said. "It was a business deal, just like hundreds of others that I made all my life. I didn't count on falling for Abe or on him being such a good man," Paulina argued. Lani told Paulina that she had tarnished a good man's reputation. Paulina said she hoped that Lani and Abe could forgive her one day.

"You can hope all you want, Aunt Paulina, 'cause it's not gonna happen," Lani stressed. "I will just have to prove myself again," Paulina said. Lani noted that she had been proud to make Aunt Paulina a part of the family, but she realized that Paulina had only wanted to con her. "It's not. I love you," Paulina said.

"The only reason you were so fun-loving is because you wanted us to forgive you when the truth came out. And that check for the twins' college tuition was nothing but a bribe, and I tore it up already," Lani said. "But it was [the twins'] christening gift," Paulina objected. Lani said she was relieved that Paulina was not Jules's godmother.

"I don't want [Jules] to be anything like you," Lani said. Paulina asked Lani not to turn her back on family, but Lani argued that Paulina was the one that had turned her back on her family. "We can get past this. I know we can!" Paulina said. Lani opened her front door, and she asked Paulina to leave. Reluctantly, Paulina left without a word.

At the police station, Julie told Eli that she had information about Dr. Snyder. "I know exactly what happened. He was murdered, and I know who killed him," Julie said. Eli asked for details. Julie accused Gwen and Xander of murder. "Start from the beginning," Eli said. Julie told Eli that she had found Snyder on the couch with Gwen and Xander a couple days before Snyder's body had been found at the lake. "Are you sure it was Dr. Snyder?" Eli asked. Julie said the picture in the paper had confirmed it.

"Gwen said the last time that she saw Dr. Snyder was at the hospital at her doctor's appointment," Eli said. [Gwen] is lying because she killed him," Julie argued. Eli asked Julie if she had talked to Snyder. "I did not. He was lying like a lump on my sofa," Julie explained. Julie added that she had believed Snyder had been passed out drunk, but she had since realized that Snyder had been dead.

"Why don't you go arrest the murderers?" Julie asked. Eli noted that the autopsy showed that Snyder had died of heart failure. "They tampered with his pacemaker, just like Gabi did it to me," Julie exclaimed. Eli noted that Snyder did not have a pacemaker, and there was no evidence of foul play.

"Why did he end up in the lake, fully clothed?" Julie asked. With a shrug, Eli admitted that he did not know. Julie argued that Gwen's lie was suspicious. "You made your point. I'll go back over there, and I'll talk to Xander and Gwen," Eli said.

When Eli and Julie arrived at the Horton house, neither Gwen nor Xander was home. "They're probably out looking for their next victim!" Julie yelped. "Let's not jump to conclusions," Eli said. Julie lamented that a dead man had been on her grandparents' couch. "From what you said, you don't even know if he was dead," Eli noted. Julie said she was certain that Snyder had been dead.

Julie changed the subject to Paulina, and she asked about Lani. "[Lani] feels deeply betrayed. Especially because the only reason Aunt Paulina came to Salem was because of her," Eli said. Julie stressed that no one blamed Lani or Abe for Paulina's actions.

At Nicole's apartment, Allie put Henry to bed, and she returned to the couch to sit with Chanel. "Want to watch some videos?" Chanel asked. Allie asked if they could talk about their July Fourth kiss instead. "What is there to talk about? It was just a kiss," Chanel said. Allie admitted that the kiss had meant something to her.

"Watching the fireworks with you, feeling so close to you, I just realized that I wanted it to happen again," Allie said. "So did I," Chanel said. Chanel told Allie that she believed she felt more for Allie than friendship. "I think I might feel the same way," Allie said. Allie admitted she was confused by her feelings.

"On top of all that, I'm technically seeing someone else right now," Allie added. "Maybe you shouldn't be," Chanel said. Chanel reminded Allie that her relationship with Tripp was not serious. "Is it really even dumping? It's just taking a step back to see where things go between us," Chanel said. Tripp knocked on the door. Surprised, Allie noted that she had not expected to see Tripp. "I just got off my shift, and I thought we could hang," Tripp said as he walked into the apartment. Tripp smiled and said hello to Chanel.

"All three of us can hang. Maybe another dance party? Unless you guys are working on the bakery," Tripp said. Allie explained that the bakery was not happening. Chanel announced that she would go for a walk. "You don't have to leave," Tripp said. "No, it's fine. You two have a lot to talk about," Chanel said.

After Chanel left, Allie told Tripp what had happened with Paulina and the bakery. "That sucks. You guys were gonna kill it," Tripp said. Allie said she was fine. "What about Chanel? I know how much the store meant to her. A chance to change her life. And then to have it stolen away by her own mom," Tripp said. "[Chanel] is pretty devastated," Allie admitted.

Allie told Tripp that Chanel had stayed the night to avoid Paulina. "I'm glad you were there for her," Tripp said. When Tripp asked about Allie's Fourth of July night, Allie admitted that she and Chanel had kissed. "So, you and Chanel kissed again," Tripp said. Allie stressed that the kiss had been a spur-of-the-moment thing. "We kissed each other. It was mutual this time," Allie admitted.

"So, does that mean you have feelings for her? And where does that leave us?" Tripp asked. "I mostly feel confused. I don't know, when I'm with Chanel, we have this connection," Allie said. Tripp interrupted to say, "I know we just started dating, so it is probably best that I know now. And I promise there won't be any hard feelings." Tripp asked Allie if she wanted to break up with him to be with Chanel.

"No," Allie said. Confused, Tripp reminded Allie that she and Chanel had kissed again. Allie admitted that she had a connection to Chanel but that she wanted to be with Tripp. "Are you sure?" Tripp asked. "Yes. Being here with you confirms it," Allie said. When Tripp noted that Allie had not needed to tell him about the kiss, Allie told Tripp that she always wanted to be honest with him. Tripp grinned. "I'm glad you were. Allie, I just want you to be happy," Tripp said. Tripp told Allie that he cared about her a lot. "I care about you, too," Allie said. Allie kissed Tripp.

In the square, Chanel stared at her bakery's storefront. "Chanel!" Paulina called out. "Leave me alone!" Chanel yelled. Paulina told Chanel that she was worried about her. "I was at Allie's. I had to explain to her why there wasn't going to be a bakery, after all," Chanel barked. Paulina offered to make a space in Price Town for Chanel's bakery. Chanel refused.

"You'd still be tearing down the Horton Town Square! How would Allie feel?" Chanel said. "Why worry about that? It's your bakery," Paulina said. Chanel explained that Allie was her friend, and unlike Paulina, Allie had wanted Chanel to succeed.

"Be reasonable! I'm giving you a chance to start your bakery," Paulina said. "I want nothing to do with your stupid Price Town, and I want nothing to do with you!" Chanel yelled. Chanel stomped off as Abe rounded the corner. "My daughter hates me," Paulina said. "She feels like you stabbed her in the back, and that's a tough thing to get past. Even when you love someone," Abe said. Paulina said she would do anything to make up with Chanel, Lani, and Abe.

"Then stop this demolition. Save the square. Don't destroy something that means so much to so many people," Abe said. When Paulina remained silent, Abe nodded. "That's what I thought," Abe said. Abe walked away.

At Nicole's apartment, Allie suggested that she and Tripp go to her room. "Really? I thought you weren't ready," Tripp said. Allie took Tripp's hand, and she said, "I am now." Allie promised Tripp that she did not feel pressured. As Allie and Tripp walked toward the bedroom, Chanel returned home but remained unnoticed. "You sure this is what you want?" Tripp asked Allie. "Yes. I want to be with you," Allie whispered. Chanel watched from the doorway as Allie and Tripp stumbled into her bedroom.

Eli returned home after work, and Lani told him about her talk with Paulina. "I told her I didn't want her in my life anymore," Lani said. Eli asked what Lani's mom had said on the phone. "She said I should try forgiveness," Lani said. Eli asked Lani if she was considering forgiving Paulina. "I don't see how I can," Lani admitted.

In Julie's Place, Bonnie asked Justin to marry her. "No," Justin said. Bonnie apologized for misreading their relationship. "Let me explain," Justin started. "No! There's no need to explain!" Bonnie shouted. Upset, Bonnie ran out of the restaurant.

Justin ran after Bonnie, and he caught up with her at the Kiriakis mansion in his bedroom. "Don't worry, I'll be out of your hair and your room soon," Bonnie said. Bonnie furiously packed her belongings. "Not so fast!" Justin said. Justin dropped to one knee. "I can't let you leave," Justin said. Bonnie asked Justin not to make her feel worse.

"What are you doing down there?" Bonnie asked. "Isn't it obvious? I'm trying to propose!" Justin said. Confused, Bonnie asked Justin if he was joking. "You just turned down my proposal," Bonnie said. "Because I wanted to be the one to propose. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I wanted the chance to get down on my knee and ask the woman I love to marry me," Justin said. Bonnie rolled her eyes.

"I don't believe it. You planned this whole romantic evening, and I just went and ruined it?" Bonnie said. "We could still salvage the situation, since I'm already down here," Justin said as he pointed at his knee. Justin took a ring out of his pocket and held it out. "Would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?" Justin asked. "Yes!" Bonnie cried out through tears. "There is nothing in the world I want more," Bonnie said. Justin grabbed Bonnie and kissed her.

Bonnie admired her ring, and she asked, "Is this really happening?" Bonnie noted that she had been convinced that Justin had wanted her out of his life. "Why would you think that? I told you, I love you," Justin said. Bonnie said she believed Justin, but she was afraid that Justin would realize she was the wrong woman.

"I'm not Adrienne, you know. And when you said no to my proposal, I just assumed the worst," Bonnie said. "I know who you are. And I know you are not Adrienne. And I don't expect you to ever be Adrienne. I see you, and I love you for who you are. For making me laugh when I thought I didn't have it in me anymore. For pushing me out of my comfort zone. And for honestly making me feel like every day was an adventure. One that I never ever want to end," Justin said.

Bonnie raised a suspicious eyebrow. "Never ever?" Bonnie said with a laugh. "I don't propose to just anyone, you know," Justin said. Bonnie thanked Justin for making her feel loved. Bonnie kissed Justin, and they tumbled onto the bed. After they made love, Bonnie asked Justin about his best man. "I hadn't really thought about it," Justin confessed.

When Justin said he would ask Sonny, Bonnie noted he would be a good match with Kayla. "Kayla?" Justin asked with surprise. "I asked [Kayla] to be my matron of honor," Bonnie explained. Bonnie told Justin why. "It would be kind of tacky to take back the offer now," Bonnie said with a chuckle. "When it comes to this wedding, you can have whatever you want. As long as I have you," Justin said.

The possessor of Kristen's letter to E.J. is revealed The possessor of Kristen's letter to E.J. is revealed

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

by Mike

At the Walker-Brady apartment, Allie finished feeding Henry then carefully climbed back into bed with Tripp, who immediately started stirring. "Sorry -- I didn't mean to wake you --" Allie fretted. "It's okay," Tripp insisted. "Why are you looking at me like that?" Allie wondered as Tripp made eye contact and beamed. "Because I'm happy -- 'cause last night, I felt so close to you...[and] I still do," Tripp explained. "I feel the same way," Allie stressed. "No regrets?" Tripp assumed. "None," Allie confirmed before giving Tripp a kiss.

"You're making this hard for me," Tripp declared with a groan after pulling away from Allie. "Making what hard for you?" Allie responded. "Getting out of bed -- because, as much as I want to stay here with you all day, I really need to get to work," Tripp explained. "Wait -- you can't," Allie protested as Tripp was trying to climb out of bed. "Why?" Tripp challenged Allie with a laugh of confusion. "Because Chanel's out there -- [and] she doesn't know that you stayed the night," Allie informed Tripp before stepping into the living room.

Chanel was already awake -- and was quick to start dropping passive-aggressive hints that Allie's secret wasn't actually a secret at all, but none of them managed to get the point across. "Don't you think Tripp is getting a little lonely in your bed?" Chanel eventually blurted out to clarify the situation for Allie. "You know?" Allie stammered. "I saw you two walking into your room when I came home," Chanel revealed. "Oh..." Allie muttered. "After we talked last night and [then] I left you here with him, I...kind of thought..." Chanel began. "I might break up with him," Allie concluded. "I mean, if I'm being honest, that's where it seemed like it was headed...but I guess you made a different choice..." Chanel grumbled before shouting that it was okay for Tripp to stop hiding and join the conversation.

Tripp emerged from Allie's bedroom, fully dressed, and began to say something to Chanel -- who quickly interrupted, insisting that everything was fine. "Allie and I have been friends for a long time -- she's my girl, and she always will be. And you seem like a great guy. So...what am I gonna do? At least we all know where we stand, [right]? I thought there was something more going on with Horton and me...but, obviously, that's not how it is. You two want to be together, and I'm totally fine with that," Chanel reasoned with a shrug, drawing a nod of skepticism from Tripp.

Chanel started to rush off, ignoring Allie and Tripp's objections. "I've already overstayed my welcome -- can't keep couch-surfing forever... [And besides], time to get my own place, anyway," Chanel explained before exiting the apartment.

At the Hernandez house, Gabi prepared to head off to work, prompting Jake to complain about not being able to follow suit. "Maybe I can help you with that..." Gabi teased before promising to convince Philip to give Jake a job at Titan. "[And then...well, look], I do like Philip, but his grip on Titan is tenuous at best -- I mean, he's on his tenth chance; it's just a matter of time before he screws up, [and] Victor has a history of [only] helping his family [and] supporting them as long as they don't let him down, [so] when Philip flares out, that old man is gonna be desperate for a replacement. [And] I'm obviously gonna be the successor...but you're gonna be right there, working with me...and my first act as CEO of Titan is gonna be to take down DiMera -- once and for all," Gabi added. "You're sexy when you're ruthless!" Jake raved before kissing Gabi.

At the DiMera mansion, E.J. roused Sami with a few kisses then raved that any day that began with them waking up in each other's arms was bound to be a good one. "It's as if there's no one else in the world but the two of us, and we have everything we need right here in this bed -- you agree?" E.J. continued. "Of course --" Sami confirmed. "Then you're not gonna sneak out on me again?" E.J. concluded.

Sami feigned ignorance while thinking about having made a trip to the living room to burn the letter Kristen had sent to E.J. "Don't play coy, darling -- it doesn't suit you," E.J. warned. "I'm not -- I genuinely don't remember what you're talking about --" Sami insisted. "Yesterday, after we enjoyed our...afternoon rendezvous...I fell dead asleep -- and when I woke up, much to my dismay, I was alone in bed," E.J. clarified before demanding an explanation from Sami.

"I went downstairs to get a drink -- I mean, I needed one; I felt like we had run a marathon..." Sami claimed. "Odd that you say that...[because] I went downstairs to look for you and couldn't find you anywhere," E.J. argued. "Well, then, you probably didn't look very hard, did you, E.J.? Because it was a beautiful day, and I took my iced tea, and I drank it on the porch," Sami countered before raving that Harold's iced tea, made with the perfect combination of fresh lemons and fresh mint, was definitely one of the best things about being back at the mansion. "Well, I'm not sure I can compete with Harold's iced tea...[but] I have something for you, too -- a surprise," E.J., who had been listening with an oddly blank expression, teased.

Sami squirmed while E.J. was retrieving the surprise from a hiding place -- then breathed a sigh of relief after seeing that it was just a coveted necklace from Tuscany. "I love it -- but...why?" Sami stammered. "It's the least I can do to thank you [for] standing by me [and] caring for me while I recovered -- and, most of all, for giving me the time and space I needed to once again become the husband you deserve. I'll never be able to repay that loyalty -- it's what kept me going through my darkest hours -- but now that we're reconnected, I'm never going to let you go," E.J. explained, making Sami swoon. "[Now], I need to have a shower and get to the office, [because] I have to make sure I keep the company in the black if I want to keep you in Tuscan necklaces," E.J. added before climbing out of bed, ignoring Sami's protests.

Nicole entered the Brady Pub and fought back tears while recalling what had happened there one year earlier. "Happy anniversary to me..." Nicole bitterly muttered before ordering a cup of coffee then claiming a table. "Pull it together -- it is just another day..." Nicole unconvincingly reasoned -- just as Theo approached.

Nicole reluctantly confirmed Theo's suspicion that something was wrong. "I know how far away Africa can seem from Salem...but I also know how Salem -- and the people you love [who reside there] -- can live in your heart [while you're in Africa]. Eric loves you -- [so], wherever he is, I guarantee you that he is thinking about you," Theo stressed after Nicole elaborated.

Theo soon changed the subject, producing Brady's cell phone and handing it over while admitting that it had taken many hours to trace Kristen's phone call. "I did, [though, and] I can give you the number for the phone...but it's not Kristen's anymore -- [now] it's deactivated, [so] my guess is that it was just a burner...[but, in any case, she's] not gonna use it again," Theo reported, drawing a sigh of frustration from Nicole.

Theo again wondered why Nicole was eager to talk to Kristen. "I'd like to know the answer to that question myself..." Lucas declared while approaching Nicole and Theo's table. "I was trying to prove my theory," Nicole explained to Lucas after Theo rushed off. "You're a scientist now? Nice!" Lucas joked. "My theory that you and Sami slept together," Nicole clarified. "That old nonsense again, really?" Lucas teased.

"Wow -- you weren't kidding when you said you weren't gonna drop it, were you?" Lucas mused. "Don't worry -- Theo couldn't find an active number," Nicole revealed. "I'm not worried," Lucas insisted. "You can play cool all you want, but there has got to be a way to prove that you and Sami slept together...and I am gonna find it," Nicole vowed before exiting the pub. "Well, you're right, Nicole; there is proof -- but you are never gonna get your hands on it...because I already got it..." Lucas, who had just happened to enter the DiMera mansion in time to witness Sami's attempt to burn the letter, bragged while reaching into a hidden jacket pocket and pulling out the remains of the incriminating evidence.

Lucas contacted Sami and asked for an update. "Now there's no way E.J. can ever find out the truth," Sami argued after filling Lucas in on everything that had happened since their previous conversation. "I wouldn't be too sure about that..." Lucas countered, stifling a snicker. "What do you mean?" Sami nervously demanded to know.

Lucas told Sami about what had just happened. "I have got to find a way to derail Nicole -- she cannot expose the truth to E.J.; things are finally going well between us!" Sami fretted at the end of Lucas' tale before again bragging about having finally resumed sexual activity with E.J. -- then at least having the decency to apologize, unlike the previous time such a boast had been uttered. "No. Problem," Lucas grumbled before starting to say something else to Sami, who interrupted to say a quick goodbye then end the phone call, desperate to deal with Nicole right away. "Well, I don't know if Nicole's gonna tell E.J. -- but he might find out another way first..." Lucas mused with a mischievous grin while pocketing the letter.

Theo ran into Chanel in the town square -- and quickly realized that something was wrong. "It must be hard for you to be here," Theo guessed, and Chanel played along, pointing out the storefront that had supposedly been meant to serve as the future home of Sweet Bits. "If there's anything that I can do -- to help or make you feel better -- just let me know, and --" Theo offered, prompting Chanel to seize a kiss.

"I meant, like, get you ice cream," Theo clarified after pulling away from Chanel. "We broke up months ago, [so] where is this coming from all of a sudden?" Theo wondered. "I just wanted to kiss you -- you know how impulsive I am; when I want something, I go for it. [And] I was thinking that you might be interested in hooking up -- you know, for old times' sake," Chanel responded. "What does that even mean?" Theo stammered. "It means...I'm single, you're single --" Chanel flirtatiously began to explain. "Actually, I'm not," Theo revealed before bragging about being engaged. "To be married?" Chanel asked incredulously. "That's usually how that works, yeah," Theo matter-of-factly replied.

Chanel tried to congratulate Theo, who again deduced that something was wrong. "Look, I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings, Chanel -- but did you really want to get back together with me?" Theo wondered. "It's not about you, dummy! And it's not about the bakery, either -- well, not directly..." Chanel clarified. "Do you want to go somewhere and talk about it?" Theo suggested. "I appreciate the offer, but I need to deal with this on my own," Chanel responded before walking away.

At the Walker-Brady apartment, Tripp apologized to Allie for what had happened with Chanel. "I know she was acting like she wasn't hurt, but she seemed pretty upset --" Tripp observed. "It wasn't your fault -- it was mine. I think I led her on," Allie admitted. "I doubt that," Tripp protested. "Before, with Chanel...I was confused, you know? And I'm not anymore," Allie explained. "You sure?" Tripp wondered. "Yeah -- you're the one I want to be with, and that's not going to change," Allie insisted before giving Tripp a kiss. "Well, I'm very glad to hear that -- and I feel very lucky, because I think we have something very great together," Tripp stressed after pulling away from Allie.

"But...I do have to get to work..." Tripp reiterated, drawing a groan from Allie -- who decided to tag along after remembering that a Mommy and Me class was scheduled to begin soon. "Sounds good," Tripp agreed with a smile -- one that faded with a shake of the head and a sigh of concern after Allie went to get Henry ready for the outing.

Brady entered Basic Black and found Xander sitting alone in the CEO's office, wrapping up a phone conversation with a vendor who wanted to increase an existing order for the company's products but was balking at the idea of having to pay an additional fee for the extra merchandise. Brady took a quick look at the cell phone Xander was using -- then snatched the device and hung up on the vendor.

"What the hell?" Xander snapped as Brady took a closer look at the device. "I left [my cell phone] at the office [and] have misplaced it, and we have the same case, so..." Brady explained before apologizing for the misunderstanding then handing the device back to Xander. "Check Nicole's desk," Xander advised. "Nicole wouldn't take my phone," Brady insisted. "Oh, but I would?" Xander translated.

"You know, I'm not some desperate coffee boy -- we're colleagues now; you need to treat me with respect --" Xander argued. "Save it -- the only reason you have this job is because you blackmailed Nicole into it," Brady countered. "You don't know anything about it --" Xander dismissively guessed. "I know that the two of you slept together and [that] she would do anything to keep Eric from finding out," Brady boastfully revealed.

"Nicole told you?" Xander assumed. "I overheard [the two of you talking about it, and then] she confirmed my suspicion," Brady clarified. "Did she [also] tell you how outstanding I was -- that I was the greatest sex of her life?" Xander wondered. "No -- as a matter of fact, [from what I heard], the only reason she slept with you is because she was drunk [and] in a vulnerable place," Brady responded. "Aren't we all..." Xander muttered. "She misses her husband -- [and] you took advantage of [that] then used her shame to score yourself a job!" Brady stressed. "Nicole and I came to a mutually beneficial agreement -- if you don't like the terms, that's your problem," Xander declared.

"I don't like the terms -- at all!" Brady grumbled. "Well, you're an equal partner in this business, aren't you? [So], if you think I'm so terrible, why don't you fire me? Oh, but you won't, will you? 'Cause you know if you do that, your brother will find out what a cheating tramp his wife is. [Then again], whatever you think of me, at least I never came between [a woman] and my own brother --" Xander teased. "Don't go there," Brady warned. "Oh -- struck a wee nerve there, didn't I? You hold yourself up as this paragon of virtue...but, really, you're just a backstabbing, lying --" Xander continued. "Shut your mouth!" Brady demanded while lunging at Xander.

Nicole arrived just then and stopped Brady's argument with Xander from getting physical. "Of all the people to confide in [about] our night of passion at the Salem Inn, [Nicole], why would you pick Eric's brother?" Xander wondered. "That's what this is about?" Nicole sputtered. "You better find a way to muzzle my cousin, because if you want me to keep quiet, then I need to be treated with respect. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna take the rest of the day off -- I can't work like this!" Xander added before storming out of the office.

"Why would you say anything to him?" Nicole challenged Brady once the coast was clear. "I wasn't planning on it, but --" Brady began to explain. "That's supposed to make it better?" Nicole interjected. "We got into an argument, [and] it escalated a little bit -- [see], I had misplaced my phone, and I thought he took it... Apparently, he didn't..." Brady concluded with a shrug, prompting Nicole to produce the device and hand it over. "I found it in the kitchenette off Conference Room B," Nicole claimed. "I don't even recall going there... I can't even think of a reason why I would have..." Brady muttered. "Well, I can barely remember where I was before I walked in this office, so...I know the feeling..." Nicole responded. "I'm just usually better at keeping track of this thing..." Brady stressed.

"Guess I've been more distracted here at the office than I thought," Brady decided. "Maybe because you have to see Xander all the time," Nicole suggested. "That certainly doesn't help," Brady confirmed. "I'm sorry that I dragged you into this --" Nicole fretted. "It's okay --" Brady insisted. "No, it's not okay -- [but] I have backed myself into a corner...and I don't even know why I'm so worried [about] working so hard to keep my husband from finding out that I betrayed our vows, because I don't even know if we still have a marriage!" Nicole admitted.

"Come on -- you don't really think your marriage is over, do you?" Brady protested. "I don't know -- maybe I'm just feeling sorry for myself because today is my anniversary," Nicole backpedaled. "Oh, God -- I forgot..." Brady confessed. "You're not the only one..." Nicole grumbled. "Take the day off --" Brady began to offer. "I don't need to do that -- I'm fine --" Nicole argued. "Go home, have a bubble bath, eat some chocolate -- you know, just try to find a way to enjoy your day, even though Eric isn't a part of it. [And], for what it's worth, I think my brother is an idiot for leaving you alone on your anniversary," Brady concluded.

At DiMera Enterprises, E.J. wrapped up a phone conversation with a comment about needing to fill Chad in on what had just been discussed because they were co-CEOs "for now" -- then received an office visit from Lucas seconds later. Meanwhile, Sami tracked Xander down at the Horton house and asked for a favor.

Nicole entered the Walker-Brady apartment and found a bouquet of roses sitting on the kitchen table, along with a note from Eric: "Dear Nicole, our first year of marriage has flown by, but I couldn't let this day pass without letting you know how much I love, from the bottom of my heart..." Nicole read the words aloud while fighting back tears then started to read the next two words aloud -- "happy anniversary" -- but Eric emerged from a bedroom and spoke them first.

Nicole and Eric reunite Nicole and Eric reunite

Thursday, July 15, 2021

by Mike

At the Walker-Brady apartment, Nicole excitedly greeted Eric with a hug and a kiss. "Oh, honey -- you've been crying; your eyes are so red..." Eric observed after pulling away from Nicole. "I've just been feeling so sad that I had to spend our anniversary alone -- but you're here!" Nicole responded before kissing Eric again.

"Why didn't you tell me that you were coming?" Nicole wondered after pulling away from Eric. "I didn't want to disappoint -- I mean, if something had gone wrong [at the last minute], yet again... I've just let you down so many times [already] and done nothing but disappoint you all year..." Eric explained. "That is not true --" Nicole diplomatically protested. "Yes, it is --" Eric regretfully maintained.

"Your work in Africa was so important to you, and the children in the village, they all need you --" Nicole conceded. "My wife needs me," Eric stressed. "A year ago, I made a vow to build my life with you, and then I flew across the world [without you]...and I know you supported it and even encouraged it, but there's a part of me that just wishes you wouldn't have, and there's a part of me that wishes I would have just stayed here with you," Eric admitted. "But hindsight is 20/20, right? It was a decision that I felt was right at the time, but I was gone for way too long -- I let you down, and it weighed heavy on me [because] you mean everything to me," Eric declared. "I just hope you still feel the same way," Eric concluded.

"Of course..." Nicole hesitantly responded while guiltily avoiding eye contact with Eric. "I'm the one who's sorry..." Nicole eventually began to admit. "What could you possibly be sorry for?" Eric protested. "I'm...sorry...that...I didn't always believe in you -- in us... And [that] I was impatient for you to walk through that door... And [that] there were times I just felt angry that you weren't here... And [that] there were days [when] I questioned everything -- our marriage, our future..." Nicole backpedaled. "But there is one thing that has never changed -- how much I love you with my whole heart. I've never stopped, and I never will," Nicole stressed. "An hour ago, I was the unhappiest woman in the world -- and now I can't believe how lucky I am!" Nicole concluded. "I'm the lucky one -- [and] I'm just sorry for how unhappy you've been," Eric responded.

Nicole informed Eric that Holly was on a camping trip, and Allie and Henry were going to be gone for a while -- meaning that they had the apartment to themselves for the time being. "After living like a priest the last year, that was worth the wait," Eric raved later, while lying in bed with Nicole, who agreed while guiltily avoiding eye contact again. "You suddenly look...worried -- [or], like, sad... Is something wrong?" Eric prodded Nicole. "What's keep thinking about how upset I was earlier, and how unfair that was to you," Nicole claimed.

"Throwing myself this pity party because I'm alone -- no husband, no celebration --" Nicole added. "You want one?" Eric offered. "A husband? I have one, and he's right here, and he's all I need," Nicole answered. "A celebration," Eric clarified. "There's no time to put one together," Nicole argued. "Last time I checked, my dad has a restaurant," Eric countered. "It'll be a total spur-of-the-moment [thing]. We can invite a few friends -- you know, like my family..." Eric reasoned before starting to rattle off a list of names -- then stopping after mentioning Sami and catching Nicole's negative reaction.

"I thought you and Sami had been getting along lately," Eric admitted. "In Sami's eyes, I will never be good enough for her twin brother," Nicole explained. "So, you'd rather I not invite her," Eric translated. "Although that wouldn't be fair to you..." Nicole conceded. "Okay -- how 'bout if I have a chat with Sami, and I'll make her promise to behave," Eric suggested. "Okay..." Nicole responded with a forced smile after a moment of hesitation. "It's gonna be great!" Eric assured Nicole, who was clearly worried but just nodded in agreement.

Chloe entered Basic Black and joined Brady in the CEO's office. "Sorry I'm late -- I just had a little trouble getting out the door this morning..." Chloe began. "I thought I'd be the last one here -- where's Xander and Nicole?" Chloe wondered. "Xander left in a huff, and I gave Nicole the rest of the day off," Brady explained.

"So, it's just gonna be the two of us --" Brady summarized -- just as Philip arrived with Chloe's briefcase. "You mean the three of us," Philip argued. "It's very nice of you to be her little helper...but we have work to do, Philip, so I'm gonna have to kindly ask you to go --" Brady countered. "Actually, before I go...I have a proposal," Philip teased.

"I've been tossing around some ideas about doing a collaboration between Gabi Chic and Basic Black --" Philip began to elaborate. "We're competitors -- why would we even think about doing that?" Brady protested. "I let you use our warehouses a few months back, didn't I?" Philip reasoned. "Yeah -- because you were doing a personal favor [for] Chloe," Brady recalled before guessing that Philip again had ulterior motives. "[So], you're just gonna reject my idea right outta the gate -- not even run it past Nicole? She is your business partner..." Philip argued. "She is -- and I know that she would agree with me on this one," Brady countered.

Philip started to leave with a sigh -- then paused to make arrangements to return later, prompting Brady to insist that Chloe already had someone who was willing to provide a ride back to the Kiriakis mansion. "And it's high school all over again -- except, this time, you're the one who didn't get the girl," Philip mused before continuing to exit the office -- and once the coast was clear, Brady admitted to Chloe that there was some truth in the observation. "[I mean], we're adults now...[so] does he really have to flaunt your relationship in front of my face every two seconds?" Brady grumbled. "How 'bout we just concentrate on work, since our workload just doubled today," Chloe responded.

"I'm not surprised that Xander flaked, [but] Nicole -- you said you sent her home; is she okay?" Chloe added, prompting Brady to clarify the situation. "This has been so hard on Nicole --" Chloe fretted at the end of Brady's explanation. "Even harder than you think..." Brady muttered. "What does that mean?" Chloe wondered. "Nothing," Brady claimed. Seconds later, Brady received a text message from Eric -- and, after reading it aloud, invited Chloe to the impromptu anniversary party.

At DiMera Enterprises, Lucas reached into a hidden jacket pocket while starting to brag about having something to give to E.J. "Yesterday, my brother Jake made the exact same move, [and] I thought he was reaching for a gun, but he lost his nerve... You're not here to finish the job, are you?" E.J. challenged Lucas with a laugh. "No, I don't have a literal gun -- just a smoking one," Lucas warned E.J.

Kate arrived before Lucas could produce the letter Kristen had sent to E.J. "Are you here to try to get E.J. to fire me?" Kate snapped at Lucas. "I know that you're miffed about the blindness [and] the amnesia [and that] you don't like it that I'm back at DiMera...but, honestly, this is between E.J. and me, and I need you to stay out of it," Kate demanded before pointing Lucas, who had been trying to clarify the situation, toward the exit. "Actually, I'd like to know what Lucas came here to say," E.J. protested. "You know what? Forget I said anything," Lucas responded before storming off.

"His vitriol confounds me -- why is he taking my presence in Salem so personally?" E.J. wondered. "Well, I mean, Sami is his ex-wife, [and] they share children together, [so] he's very protective of her --" Kate reasoned. "There's something between Lucas and my wife, isn't there?" E.J. concluded.

"You can't possibly think that Sami and Lucas are involved with each other!" Kate protested. "Of course not -- Samantha wouldn't be fool enough to regress to that! [Now], Lucas, on the other hand -- it wouldn't surprise me at all if he was falling for her again..." E.J. clarified. "Well, I mean, it could be possible -- I mean, he has notoriously bad judgment when it comes to certain women..." Kate agreed. "[In which case] his anger towards me makes perfect sense, since my return has obviously spoiled everything for him," E.J. bragged.

Lucas stormed into the Brady Pub -- and, a short time later, Philip also stormed in. "Doesn't look like you're having too good of a day, either," Lucas observed. "Eh... Well, Chloe and I are back together -- finally, after all these years -- [but], even after all these years, Brady's still trying to worm his way back in between us," Philip explained before wondering if Lucas was also going to be an interloper. "Trust me -- I'm not interested in Chloe," Lucas insisted before confessing everything to Philip.

"Maybe it's best that I didn't show E.J. -- [because] Sami would never forgive me for that," Lucas realized. "What if E.J. sees the letter, but Sami has no idea that it ever came from you?" Philip teased.

Gwen entered the police station and found Eli in one of the conference rooms. "I came as soon as I got your message -- what did you want to see me about?" Gwen began. "I have some more questions about the death of Dr. Clay Snyder," Eli explained. "I've already answered all your questions," Gwen protested. "Yeah, well, you lied -- and I'd like to know why," Eli countered.

"You called me down here because your granny pointed a finger?" Gwen incredulously summarized after Eli repeated Julie's accusation. "Are you saying she didn't see what she [said she] saw?" Eli assumed. "All right, yes -- there was a man [passed out on your granny's sofa] who possibly, perhaps, slightly resembled Dr. Snyder... But that's it -- that's the end of it," Gwen clarified. "Who was it?" Eli wondered. "A friend of Xander's -- he...showed up sloshed, and...he decided to sleep it off, [and]...that's when Julie came in," Gwen responded. "Name?" Eli demanded. "I don't know...'cause he's a friend of Xander's..." Gwen insisted. "[And Xander] never introduced you [or] said his [friend's] name once while [the guy] was there?" Eli skeptically translated. "Well, I mean, you know Xander -- he's always saying 'hey, mate' this and 'buddy' that..." Gwen maintained.

"Look, if you have [any more] questions, you're gonna have to ask Xander -- [and] I've been here enough times now to know that you have no reason to hold me, so..." Gwen declared before starting to rush off -- and Eli, who clearly hadn't bought a word of the story, didn't bother to object.

At the Horton house, Xander somewhat suggestively wondered what kind of favor Sami was trying to request. "The truth -- about you and Nicole," Sami clarified, prompting Xander to feign ignorance. "Don't waste my time -- I know you two slept together; I just need you to admit it," Sami stressed, but Xander continued feigning ignorance.

"Why won't you just admit it?" Sami wondered. "Why on earth would I do that?" Xander responded. "Why do you do anything?" Sami teased. "My free-spirited, impulsive nature?" Xander guessed. "Money, Xander," Sami clarified. "[So], what will it cost me to get you on tape, admitting the truth?" Sami prodded Xander.

"Why are you so determined to prove Nicole slept with me?" Xander challenged Sami. "My brother deserves better than to have a wife who cheats on him," Sami reasoned. "[Of course], today is their wedding anniversary, and my brother is still in Africa, so I suspect that their marriage is headed for the Dumpster [already]; this recording would just insurance policy," Sami added. "For Eric...or for you?" Xander wondered. "What is that supposed to mean?" Sami stammered. "Nicole thinks that you cheated on your husband with your ex Lucas Horton," Xander clarified. "Nicole has no idea what she's talking about!" Sami insisted. "If you say so..." Xander muttered. "I do say so!" Sami stressed.

"You don't even like Nicole -- why are you protecting her?" Sami wondered. "Blowing up my boss's marriage wouldn't be very conducive to my continued employment," Xander explained. "She won't have to know it was you," Sami promised. "You want it on tape!" Xander objected. "Yeah, but I'm only gonna use that tape if absolutely necessary -- and [even] if I did have to use it and you did lose your job [as a result] what?" Sami countered. "A man has to live!" Xander stressed. "You would make more money in a few hours working for me than you would in years at a regular job...and, given your track record with jobs, I don't see how you can say no to this," Sami argued.

"I still don't trust you," Xander insisted. "Do you trust cold, hard cash?" Sami teased. "How are you gonna get it? You said E.J. has to sign off on any big withdrawals!" Xander recalled. "That's when we're talking about ten million dollars! I can get you one [without his approval] --" Sami clarified. "That's 10% of my ask!" Xander protested. "You didn't even make an 'ask'!" Sami noted. "Well, I was thinking at least two!" Xander admitted. "Final offer -- take it or leave it," Sami challenged Xander. "This is a limited-time offer, and the clock is ticking," Sami prodded Xander after a few seconds of silence. "If you don't want to tell me the truth, I'll go find someone else to talk -- because, let's be honest, you are the least discreet person to ever live," Sami warned Xander after a few more seconds of silence.

"Throw in that necklace, and we've got a deal," Xander finally responded. "No -- this was a gift from my husband --" Sami protested while backing away from Xander -- just as Gwen entered the house and interrupted the conversation. "I'm in the middle of something --" Xander dismissively informed Gwen. "This is important --" Gwen tried to explain. "Yeah, well, it always is with you, isn't it?" Xander countered. "You might want to get a lawyer ASAP -- the cops are onto us!" Gwen whispered to Xander. "Might I have a word?" Xander immediately said to Sami. "Forget the necklace -- you get me that cash ASAP, and I'll sing like a canary!" Xander quietly assured Sami, who nodded then rushed off, clearly curious about what had just happened.

Gwen explained everything to Xander once the coast was clear. "I don't understand -- we know Snyder died of some kind of cardiac event; surely the police have his autopsy results by now and realize it's not a murder!" Xander protested. "This is not about his death, Xander -- this is about the fact that they found his body floating around in the lake!" Gwen clarified. "[So, you just] left me holding the bag?" Xander snapped. "Hardly! You're the one who said that the guy on the couch was your friend, so I just went along with your cover story!" Gwen countered. "You should be thanking me [for having] warned you before the cops come calling!" Gwen argued -- and, as if on cue, someone rang the doorbell just then.

Xander opened the front door -- and, as expected, found Eli standing on the other side of it. "Are you here to see your lovely grandmama?" Xander coolly began. "I think you know why I'm here," Eli responded after following Xander into the living room and seeing that Gwen was sitting on the couch. "I need the name of your friend," Eli demanded, but Xander continued feigning ignorance. "The friend that was passed out on [this] couch the other day," Eli elaborated. "I have lots of friends," Xander bragged. "That's news to me...but I'm referring to the drunk one," Eli clarified. "Lots of my friends are drunks," Xander admitted. "I'm talking about the one that Gwen here told me about," Eli stressed. "You know -- that guy..." Gwen helpfully interjected. "Oh -- that guy..." Xander finally conceded.

"Just give me his name and his number so I can corroborate the story," Eli tiredly prodded Xander. "I'd really rather not say [because]...well, his wife thinks he's sober, so you can see how embarrassing this would be for him -- and, being the good friend that I am, I'd really rather not drag him into whatever this is," Xander innocently whispered to Eli. "I don't understand why you're asking all these questions [in the first place -- that other] guy died of natural causes," Xander reminded Eli, who demanded to know the source of that information. "I read it in the newspaper," Xander claimed. "It wasn't in the newspaper," Eli insisted. "Well, I must have heard it somewhere, then..." Xander backpedaled. "Where?" Eli wondered. "Don't know -- I forget," Xander answered. "Well, maybe your memory will improve once you're down at the station..." Eli predicted.

"I know my rights -- you have absolutely no proof I've done anything wrong!" Xander argued. "Just you being here is a threat to my grandmother's peace and safety, so I'm pretty sure I can find something that'll stick..." Eli countered. "Oh, that is definitely police overreach!" Xander objected. "I'm just doing my job, okay? Let's go --" Eli maintained. "You stay away from me -- or else --" Xander warned.

Sami finished filling a briefcase with Xander's cash then started to head back to the Horton house with it -- and received a phone call on the way. "Hello, sister," Eric began when Sami answered the call. "Eric? Is everything okay?" Sami responded. "Oh, it's more than 'okay'..." Eric bragged. "Where are you?" Sami wondered. "Salem -- I'm actually here with my beautiful wife, celebrating our anniversary," Eric clarified.

Sami silently fumed as Eric started talking about the impromptu anniversary party. "I'm texting everybody [else], but I wanted to call you --" Eric began to explain. "'Cause it wouldn't be a party without me?" Sami dryly assumed. "Because I want you to be nothing but happy and supportive for me and Nicole -- otherwise, we don't want you to come," Eric clarified. "You mean she doesn't," Sami translated. "I want what Nicole wants. Can I count on you?" Eric responded. "You can always count on me," Sami insisted before ending the call. "Nicole, you lying slut -- you are going to pay for this..." Sami muttered before continuing the trip to the Horton house -- and finding that Gwen was alone there because Xander had just been arrested.

At the police station, Xander lashed out at Eli while handcuffed to a chair in one of the conference rooms. "I demand to see a lawyer -- this is obviously police brutality; it's an outrage!" Xander snapped. "If you didn't want to be arrested, then you shouldn't have shoved me," Eli argued. "You provoked me!" Xander countered. "Just doing my job," Eli explained with a shameless wink, not bothering to deny Xander's accusation.

"You're gonna sit there [and] chill out until you're ready to tell me everything that you know about the death of Dr. Clay Snyder," Eli warned Xander, who scowled in response.

Xander agrees to crash Eric's party Xander agrees to crash Eric's party

Friday, July 16, 2021

John went to Marlena's office to pick her up for Eric and Nicole's anniversary party. "What party?" Marlena asked. "So, you didn't get my text," John said with a chuckle. John told Marlena that Eric was back in town. "I wonder if it means that he's coming home for good," Marlena said.

At Basic Black, Brady invited Chloe to join him at Eric and Nicole's party. Chloe declined because of her relationship with Philip. Brady told Chloe that he did not want her to go as his date. "We would just be walking through the same doorway together," Brady clarified. Chloe agreed to go. "Excellent. It's a date," Brady said. Chloe gave Brady the eye. "I'm kidding. Let's go, buddy," Brady said.

Belle visited E.J. in his office. "I didn't expect such a warm welcome," E.J. said. Belle told E.J. that she knew he and Sami had gone through a rough number of years. "Sami was worried that you would never be the same again," Belle said. E.J. credited Sami for his recovery.

When E.J. praised Belle for her legal work, Belle confirmed that she had spoken to Chad about his contract. "Probably wants to make sure I'm not getting paid more than he is," E.J. quipped. With a shrug, E.J. noted that the combination of competition and sibling rivalry was an issue.

"One I'm very familiar with. As you know, my sister and I have the same relationship," Belle said. When Belle noted that Sami's recklessness was maddening, E.J. blamed himself. E.J. told Belle that he had hurt Sami, and Sami had taken out her frustration on the family.

"For that, I apologize," E.J. said. "Sami is an adult, and she can make her own choices," Belle countered. With a nod, E.J. agreed, and he stressed that his actions likely had made things worse. "I am extremely grateful that she stuck by me," E.J. said. E.J. confirmed that he and Sami were better than ever.

"So, now we'll have more to celebrate at the party," Belle said. "What party?" E.J. asked. Belle told E.J. about Eric's surprise party, and she wondered aloud why Sami had not told E.J. With a shrug, E.J. noted, "You know my wife. I'm sure she just got caught up doing something else."

Sami stormed into the interrogation room at the police station to talk to Xander. "I went to get your damn money, and that Gwen person had to tell me that you got arrested," Sami said. Xander told Sami that he was still willing to make a taped confession for Sami. "This is where they record confessions, right?" Xander joked. Sami told Xander that she was no longer interested in a tape.

"You are going to blow Eric and Nicole's marriage out of the water, live," Sami announced. Sami told Xander that Eric was back in Salem for an anniversary party. "So, you want me to break out of here?" Xander asked. "Is that a problem?" Sami countered. Xander argued that he did not want to be a fugitive. When Xander said he would be out the next day, Sami refused to wait.

"That bitch had Eric call me and tell me that I had to be happy and supportive or else I wasn't even welcome [at the party]," Sami complained. Sami said she was eager to see the look on Nicole's face when everyone learned the truth about her tryst with Xander. "What if she retaliates and tells everyone about you and Lucas?" Xander asked. Sami argued that there was no proof to support Nicole's accusation.

"I can't go to a party while I'm under arrest," Xander protested. "Tomorrow is not good enough. Eric could be back in Africa tomorrow," Sami argued. Xander shook his handcuff to show that he had no options to leave. With a sigh, Sami noted, "If I want something done right, I've got to do it myself."

When Sami returned, she informed Xander that she had posted his bail, using part of his million-dollar payout. "Don't worry. You'll get it back as long as you don't jump bail," Sami said. Xander scowled. Sami told Xander that she would go to the party and pretend to be happy for Eric and Nicole. "The performance of a lifetime," Sami grumbled. Sami asked Xander to wait until all the guests arrived before he made his entrance.

"You are going to announce to everybody that while Eric has been around the world, helping people, Nicole is here, having sex with you. Happy freaking anniversary," Sami said. "I'm not sure I want to do this," Xander countered. "I got you out on bail!" Sami exclaimed. Xander asked if he could talk to Eric privately instead. Sami refused.

"I need a steady income. Not a one-time payoff," Xander said. With a sigh, Sami said that she planned to move ahead with or without Xander. "Eric is going to dump Nicole, and Nicole is going to fire you. Either way, you are losing your job here, buddy. So, you might as well take the money," Sami said. Sami's phone rang. It was E.J.

"Care to tell me what the hell is going on?" E.J. said. Sami asked what was wrong. E.J. said Belle had told him about the party. "I can't believe I forgot to tell you!" Sami said. Sami lied and said that she was busy looking for an outfit to wear. E.J. offered to pick Sami up, but she told him that they would meet at the pub.

After Sami ended her call, Xander reminded Sami to leave the money. Sami offered to pay half right away and half after, but Xander demanded all the money up-front. "Or the deal is off," Xander said. Sami refused. "Now that you've secured my freedom, I can do whatever I like," Xander said. With a groan, Sami put the briefcase on the table. "I'll see you at the party," Xander said.

In the Brady Pub, Philip suggested to Lucas that he should arrange to have Kristen's letter sent to E.J. "So, you're saying get somebody else to deliver Kristen's letter to E.J.," Lucas said. Philip joked that there was no shortage of people in town that would love to help Lucas hurt Sami.

When Philip suggested that Kristen should deliver the letter, Lucas shot down the idea. "Drop the thing in the mailbox yourself," Philip said. Lucas stressed that he needed to make sure that the letter was not intercepted again. "I need somebody who won't mind sticking it to that jerk," Lucas grumbled. Roman approached the table.

"Who's the jerk?" Roman asked. Philip said they had been talking about Jake. "Yeah, he really messed with our mom," Lucas stammered. Roman said he had warned Kate that Jake was not good enough for her. "I'm sorry she got hurt," Roman said. With a nod, Roman wished Philip luck with payback, and he told Philip and Lucas that they needed to leave.

"I'm throwing a party for my son," Roman said. "Eric is home?" Lucas asked. Roman explained that the party was to celebrate Eric and Nicole's first wedding anniversary. "It's just for family. You understand," Roman said. As Lucas and Philip started to head upstairs, Chloe walked into the pub.

"Hello, beautiful," Philip said to Chloe. "Hello, handsome," Brady said as he walked through the front door. Jealous, Philip told Chloe and Brady that the pub was closing for a party. "If you need a ride, I can take you home," Philip offered. Brady noted that he and Chloe were there for the party.

"I'm confused. You're going to the party with Brady?" Philip asked. Chloe clarified that she was not on a date. "Why don't you stay, too?" Chloe asked. Brady noted that Philip was not close to Eric or Nicole, and that it would be uncomfortable for Philip to stay. Philip argued that he would be comfortable with Chloe at his side. "We do live together, you know," Philip added.

"It's a family party," Brady reiterated. Philip noted that Nicole had once been his stepmother. "So, yes, Chloe. I'd be delighted to stay," Philip said. Chloe sighed as Brady and Philip gave one another the eye.

Eric and Nicole curled up in their bed at home, and Nicole asked Eric about his future plans. "Is my husband home for good?" Nicole asked. "I have to go back to Africa tomorrow," Eric said. Nicole's smile fell away. Eric reminded Nicole that he had already signed up for an extension. "I'll only be gone a few weeks," Eric said. "And after that?" Nicole asked. "I'll be home for good," Eric promised.

"I can't believe it," Nicole said. "You are the most important thing in the world to me. And I have done a terrible job proving that to you, and I am going to show you how much I love you, every day," Eric said. Nicole asked Eric if he wanted to be home.

"I want to be a good husband. I want to be a good father. I just want to get in this bed with you every night, and I want to wake up every morning and see this beautiful face. I want to be right by your side. Every day. And from now on, I'm committed to showing you how much I love you, always and forever," Eric said. "Sometimes I think I don't deserve you," Nicole admitted. Eric disagreed. Eric told Nicole she was kind and a great mother.

"In my opinion, you're perfect. I'm the luckiest man in the world to have you in my life," Eric said. "No. I'm the lucky one," Nicole said with a grin. Eric told Nicole that they had waited too long to be together. "We belong together. Always," Eric said.

After Eric and Nicole got dressed, Eric told Nicole that she was the woman of his dreams. "From now on, every day is gonna be as happy [as our wedding day]," Eric said. After another kiss, Eric twirled Nicole in a circle, and he escorted her out the door to leave for the pub.

At the Brady Pub, John and Marlena talked to Roman about the party. "Did Eric mention his plans?" Marlena asked. Roman noted that he only had instructions to plan a party. Belle walked in with E.J. Across the room, Philip complained to Brady that Chloe would prefer to enjoy the party rather than stare at pictures on Brady's phone.

While Brady and Chloe stepped aside to talk to John and Marlena, Philip asked E.J. about his new job. "I simply assumed my rightful position as CEO of my father's company," E.J. said. "Co-CEO, right? Sharing the job with Chad?" Philip said. To cut the tension, Belle suggested that they not discuss business.

While E.J. went to the bar to get drinks, Philip stared daggers at Brady across the room as Brady touched Chloe's arm. "This is a party, Philip. Not a high school reunion," Belle told Philip. Lucas returned from upstairs, and E.J. asked Lucas why he was there. "You're not family," E.J. added. Lucas called E.J. an arrogant jerk. Frustrated, Lucas started to walk away, but E.J. announced that he wanted to talk about Sami.

E.J. said that he knew that Lucas and Sami had grown close recently, and he told Lucas that Sami no longer needed Lucas for support. "Your wife and I have kids together. A couple of grandkids. I don't need your permission to talk to [Sami]," Lucas said. "It's not about that. It's about respect," E.J. countered. Lucas argued that E.J. could not lecture him about respect after E.J. had treated Sami poorly for years. E.J. advised Lucas to make a life for himself without Sami. As Lucas started to walk away, E.J. stepped in front of him. E.J. reminded Lucas about their conversation at the office

Before Lucas could respond, Sami walked into the pub. E.J. kissed Sami. "You're still wearing the necklace I got you," E.J. remarked. Lucas scowled. "Why are you so tense? What's the matter with you?" Sami asked Lucas. Frustrated, Lucas announced that he was leaving. "I don't want to crash the family party, after all," Lucas barked.

"What's up with him?" Sami asked. E.J. explained that Lucas had visited the office earlier to give E.J. something. Sami's face lost all color. "Kate interrupted us, so I never found out. I asked him to give it to me now, but he didn't. Guess it wasn't important," E.J. said. Sami sighed in relief.

When Eric and Nicole arrived, everyone at the party started to clap. "I've missed you all so much," Eric said. "Not half as much as we've missed you," Marlena said. Eric hugged his parents. "That's what the pub is all about. Family," Roman said. John asked Eric if he planned to stay.

"He's staying home," Nicole announced. Nicole added that Eric had to wrap a few things up in Africa before he was home for good. Brady and Chloe greeted Eric, and they wished him and Nicole a happy anniversary. "Nice to see you two together," Chloe said. Brady hugged Eric, and he apologized for having missed the wedding.

"You're kind of married to one of my favorite people in the world," Brady said as he nodded at Nicole. "Mine, too," Chloe added. While everyone mingled, Brady took Nicole aside. "Turns out you're not going to be alone on your wedding anniversary, after all," Brady said. Nicole thanked Brady for his friendship.

Across the room, an elated Sami hugged Eric hello. "The rumors are true. You're back, and by the look of it, doing extremely well," Nicole said to E.J. "It seems we've both come a long way since Nashville," E.J. said. With a nod, Nicole told E.J., "I really am glad to see that you're happy now." Eric added that he was happy to be back with his wife.

"I bet you're so happy to have your husband back in town," Sami said with a mischievous smile. "Just as thrilled as you are to have your husband here with you," Nicole shot back. Nicole gritted her teeth as she smiled at Sami. While Chloe took Nicole aside, Eric told Sami and E.J. that he was happy to see they were doing well.

"It was [Sami's] love and devotion that got me through," E.J. said. "It's good to have her in your corner," Eric noted. "And terrifying not to," E.J. joked. "When there is something [Sami] wants, she will find a way to make it happen," Eric said.

As Philip stared at Chloe across the room, Brady warned him to leave Chloe alone. Philip was offended. Brady reminded Philip that Chloe was there to spend time with Nicole, not Philip. "But she comes home to me every night," Philip whispered.

In the corner, Nicole thanked Chloe for having rescued her from Sami. "I'm so happy for you," Chloe said. Nicole confessed that she had doubted that her marriage would survive the separation. "But now, I think I'm happier than I've ever been in my entire life," Nicole said.

John clinked his glass for a toast. Roman said he hoped that an anniversary party in the Brady Pub would become a tradition for Nicole and Eric. "Hear, hear!" the crowd shouted. As Marlena said a few words about how she was proud of Eric, Sami looked at E.J.'s watch. "Don't tell me you're bored," E.J. whispered in Sami's ear. When Sami lied and said she was fine, E.J. pointed out that she had looked at his watch and the front door multiple times.

"Are you expecting someone?" E.J. asked. Sami scoffed. As Eric started to say a few words, Sami told E.J., "Stop looking at me like that!" E.J. pushed Sami to tell him the truth, and she explained that she did not want to celebrate Nicole's happiness. "It's unlike you to hang about the fringes of any party," E.J. said. Sami said she had hoped to find a moment alone with her brother.

"I'm glad that [Eric] is happy," Sami said grudgingly. E.J. urged Sami to mingle. With a chuckle, Sami said she wanted to stay by the door in case Nicole decided to make a speech. E.J. laughed. When Nicole started her speech, E.J. patted Sami on the shoulder. Nicole told Eric that she was proud of his work in Africa. "It just makes me love you so much more," Nicole said. Nicole said that her wedding day had been the happiest of her life.

"I remember saying that no matter what life threw at us, we would get through it. Together. And we have," Nicole said through tears. Eric kissed Nicole, and he told her that he loved her. Eric thanked everyone for their support. Eric admitted that he had asked a lot of Nicole when he had left her for months. "[Nicole] just made me feel like the luckiest man in the world to have a wife like [her]," Eric said. Eric reminded Nicole what he had said to her on their wedding day.

"It took me 20 years to realize that I can't live without you. And I don't ever want to live without you. And I mean that more than ever," Eric said. Sami rolled her eyes. Eric raised a glass, and he asked everyone to toast to the most understanding wife in the world.

"I wonder if you'd feel the same way if you knew that while you were sweating away down in Africa, [Nicole] was screwing around behind your back," Xander announced as he walked into the pub. Sami faked surprise, but she could not help but smirk.

Recaps for the week of July 19, 2021 (Following Week)


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