At the DiMera mansion, Sami watched as E.J. opened a bottle of Champagne. "What's the occasion?" Sami wondered. "Oh, I thought we'd toast my new position at DiMera Enterprises," E.J. responded.
"I have so much to toast [besides that] -- I can't think of a time you and I have ever been happier together than we are right now!" Sami raved as E.J. finished filling two glasses with Champagne. "To Samantha -- who is not only beautiful, strong, and incredibly smart...she's also a lying adulteress," E.J. declared after raising one of the glasses, leaving Sami speechless.
Sami eventually recovered and tried to deny the accusation. "Oh, please give up the phony indignation -- I know you slept with Lucas," E.J. warned. "Where is this coming from?" Sami sputtered. "Does it matter?" E.J. argued. "It's Nicole, isn't it? She's behind this!" Sami realized. "There's a reason why she said 'let she who is without sin cast the first stone' --" E.J. noted. "Okay, listen -- you cannot believe a word that Nicole says, E.J.; I mean, she hates me --" Sami protested. "The question is...can I believe you?" E.J. countered.
"How can you not trust me? I rescued you from near death, I fought for you to get the best treatment in the world --" Sami stressed. "And instead of gratitude, you got coldness from me," E.J. admitted. "I failed you, and I've acknowledged that -- [but] I believed we had recommitted to each other --" E.J. continued. "Because we did --" Sami interjected. "Then honor that commitment and be honest with me now -- what happened before I came back?" E.J. concluded. "I slept with Lucas," Sami whispered after a few seconds of silence, fighting back tears.
"[But it] didn't mean anything --" Sami quickly tried to add. "It means a great deal to me!" E.J. snapped. "Okay," Sami conceded. "I'm sorry, okay? [Lucas and I] were in the dungeon, [and] I thought Kristen was gonna kill us -- she sent Xander to kill us; that's why I had to call you for the wire transfer --" Sami began to explain. "What's that got to do with having sex?" E.J. interjected. "I thought I was gonna die -- I didn't think I was ever gonna see you again, or my kids -- [so] I was sort of freaking out, and Lucas...comforted me, and it...just happened," Sami clarified.
"So...you're saying it was just the one time, and you were in extremis," E.J. summarized. "If 'in extremis' means that I was in fear for my life, yes -- [and] the second it was over, I knew it was the biggest mistake of my life," Sami confirmed, drawing a quick nod from E.J., who calmly turned away and gulped down some Champagne. "E.J., I know it's bad, [but] I love you -- you are the love of my life, and I will spend the rest of my life working to make you happy and make us happy, and... I mean, we can get past it, don't you think?" Sami argued between sobs.
"We could have...if you'd told me the truth just now," E.J. responded before starting to talk about the letter Kristen had sent -- which Sami pretended to know nothing about, even after realizing that it had somehow survived a fire. "I'll read you some of it," E.J. offered while flipping to a section of the letter that made it clear that Kristen had knowledge of a completely different sexual encounter that Sami had shared with Lucas. "You're gonna believe Kristen? She's nuttier than a fruitcake --" Sami tried to argue after E.J. finished reading that section of the letter aloud. "I'm giving you one more chance -- tell me all of it," E.J. demanded.
"Okay, yes -- it happened in my mother's [townhouse] the first time, and then it happened in the dungeon, just like I said, the second time," Sami reluctantly backpedaled. "And that's it -- that's the only times it ever happened, and it's never going to happen again!" Sami quickly added. "So, why did it happen in the first place?" E.J. wondered. "It was the day that I was cleared for the Charlie Dale murder -- and Lucas came by to thank me for everything I had done for Allie...[and] to say goodbye, because he assumed I was coming home to you. [So], everything I had been holding inside of me, it just...sort of...started pouring out..." Sami tearfully began to explain.
"You're saying that this is my fault," E.J. incredulously summarized at the end of the tale. "No, I am not trying to just blame you for this," Sami stressed. "But we were having real problems --" Sami began to add. "I didn't cheat," E.J. interjected. "Well, maybe not this time...but there was Abby, [and] I forgave you --" Sami countered. "After you got your revenge," E.J. recalled. "[And] what I did with Abigail is different [because] you and I weren't married at the time --" E.J. argued. "Oh, you're not getting off on a technicality, E.J. --" Sami protested. "Marriage is sacred -- an oath before God," E.J. maintained, drawing a scoff from Sami, who wondered when Reverend DiMera had entered the conversation. "Being near death for as long as I was -- it did give me a renewed appreciation for a higher power," E.J. admitted. "Too bad it didn't give you 'a renewed appreciation' for your wife," Sami grumbled.
E.J. remained convinced that Sami's betrayal was the more grievous one. "For all I know, you had sex [with Lucas] in every single bedroom in this very house --" E.J. mused. "Oh, please -- give me a break; it was twice!" Sami insisted. "The only reason you told me about the second time was because I showed you proof of your duplicity! How do I know that you're not still carrying on with him? How can I believe anything you say ever again?" E.J. snapped.
At the Brady Pub, Lucas listened in stunned silence as Philip confessed to having given Nicole the letter Kristen had sent to E.J. "You're too good a guy to use that letter to your advantage -- I, on the other hand, am not that good a guy, so I took care of it for you," Philip summarized with a shrug, clearly proud of the move -- but Lucas wasn't even impressed, let alone grateful.
Lucas' reaction confused Philip, who saw no downsides to the idea of letting a third party destroy Sami's marriage. "I know her -- she's gonna be devastated at first...and then she's gonna get mad," Lucas explained. "But not at you -- this isn't your fault," Philip argued, still confused. "It is my fault -- [because] if it wasn't for me, that letter would be in ashes right now!" Lucas countered.
"I was only trying to help," Philip sheepishly muttered, seeing Lucas' point. "Do me a favor -- don't do me any more favors!" Lucas snapped at Philip before storming out of the pub.
At the Walker apartment, Nicole received a visit from Rafe, who quickly realized that something was wrong. "You could say that..." Nicole confirmed before starting to tell Rafe about what had happened the previous day -- but Lucas knocked on the apartment door and called out a greeting before the end of the tale. "Thank God you're home -- I need to talk to you!" Lucas began when Nicole opened the apartment door. "Not right now, Lucas -- Rafe is here," Nicole protested. "This is so urgent -- please, can I just talk to you alone for a second?" Lucas insisted, prompting Nicole to apologize to Rafe then exit the apartment and shut the door.
"Kristen's letter -- I know Philip gave it to you, hoping you were gonna show E.J., but you can't do that, [okay]? I know you're furious with Sami, [and] you have every right to be, but you can't --" Lucas whispered. "Too late," Nicole revealed. "Thanks a lot, Nicole!" Lucas snapped before starting to fret about what might happen next. "[Sami and E.J. will break up then] get back together -- that's their dance, Lucas; how long have we all been standing on the sidelines, watching it?" Nicole dismissively argued. "[Or] he's gonna kill her!" Lucas gravely countered before rushing off.
"So...it was Lucas," Rafe guessed when Nicole reentered the apartment. "No!" Nicole insisted after realizing what Rafe meant. "Nicole, you can be honest with me --" Rafe stressed, unconvinced. "I'm not lying! [Actually], if it had to have happened, I wish it would have been with someone like Lucas, [but]...Xander is the man I crawled into bed with," Nicole revealed, embarrassed.
Lucas burst into the DiMera mansion and started frantically calling out for Sami. "Looking for your mistress? She's not here," E.J. said with a scowl when Lucas entered the living room.
Nicole finished telling Rafe about what had happened with Xander -- then started explaining why Lucas had visited the Walker apartment earlier. "And I bet I know who that is..." Nicole said to Rafe when another visitor knocked on the apartment door near the end of the new tale. "I've been expecting you," Nicole admitted after opening the apartment door and finding Sami standing on the other side of it. "Rafe, you better get out of here -- the bitch and I need to talk," Sami declared while scowling at Nicole.
At St. Luke's, Allie feigned ignorance as Claire vaguely filled everyone else in on what had happened to Ciara. When Claire refused to provide more information, Theo tried to contact Ciara, whose cell phone started ringing from within Allie's purse. "You're in on this, too?" Theo snapped. "Please don't freak out, okay? Nothing bad is going to happen to Ciara! [And, Theo, Claire and I are] thinking about you, too -- I mean, if you marry Ciara, you're always gonna be scared that she's gonna remember Ben, and what kind of life is that?" Allie reasoned. "It's my life [and] my choice -- not yours!" Theo declared.
"You two are aiding and abetting a kidnapping!" Lani stressed, prompting Claire to turn to Shawn and Belle for help -- but, of course, neither of them could argue the point. "You are Ciara's brother -- don't you want her to be happy?" Claire challenged Shawn. "She is happy -- with me!" Theo insisted. "If [Claire and I] thought that she was happier with you, then we would never have done this," Allie argued. "You think she's happy now -- stuck God knows where with a guy she's afraid of? I mean, how many times do I have to tell you guys she wants nothing to do with him?" Theo countered. "She will after Ben gets done with her!" Claire blurted out, leaving Theo even more concerned.
Claire again refused to provide more information, and Allie also refused to cooperate, forcing Lani to place them both under arrest then take them to the police station for further questioning -- and Belle and Shawn followed, leaving Theo alone with Abe. "You don't have to worry about [Ciara's] safety -- [Ben] won't hurt her," Abe assured Theo. "That's not all I'm worried about -- [I mean], he wants her to remember loving him...and if she does, I'm gonna lose her," Theo fretted, prompting Abe to offer a comforting hug. Lani eventually returned and joined Abe's efforts to keep Theo calm. Meanwhile, at the police station, Allie and Claire asked Belle to be their lawyer.
Ben drove the limousine to the cabin, ignoring Ciara's constant protests along the way. "Where are we?" Ciara demanded to know after reluctantly following Ben into the cabin. "This is where I took you after your motorcycle accident," Ben answered. "So, this is the same cabin where Claire tried to set me on fire," Ciara recalled before wondering why Ben had chosen to stop the limousine at such a macabre location.
"I felt like I had to -- I have been coming up here by myself, and I wanted you to see it," Ben explained, prompting Ciara to grudgingly look around the cabin. "It looks like somebody fixed it up," Ciara observed. "I did," Ben bragged. "Why?" Ciara wondered. "Well, for one thing, it kept me pretty damn busy...but, more importantly, I didn't want it to look the way it did when you were so scared -- I wanted it to look the way it did when you and I fell in love," Ben clarified. "[So], you wanted to bring me here, to this little love nest you fixed up, to remind me of how much I supposedly love you," Ciara translated.
"Well, guess what -- it's not gonna work; it's never gonna work! [And, you know], this is creepy, Ben -- it is not romantic! [I mean, seriously] -- are we in the middle of the woods, in case I don't react the way you want me to? Are you gonna kill me if that happens?" Ciara snapped. "I would never lay a hand on you," Ben insisted. "Oh, right -- because you are such a great guy [that] you locked me in a car and brought me here instead of to my wedding!" Ciara countered. "Because I wanted you to see this place -- I wanted to see if you felt anything familiar to you," Ben reasoned.
"[And] you're already here, [so]...come on -- take a look around," Ben challenged Ciara. "Fine, I will take a look around...on one condition -- you take me back to Salem as soon as I'm done," Ciara challenged Ben. "Deal," Ben agreed after a moment of thought, prompting Ciara to start taking a closer look around every inch of the cabin.
Ciara eventually paused in a corner of the cabin -- then turned and gasped at Ben. "Are you remembering something?" Ben asked hopefully while rushing to Ciara's side. "Go to hell," Ciara defiantly replied while shoving Ben to the floor.
Ciara started to retreat from the cabin -- then paused after realizing that Ben's right ankle might have been injured during the fall. "Why would I help you? You have a phone -- go call someone for help! I have a wedding to get to!" Ciara snapped after deciding that Ben wasn't faking the injury. "Fine, I give up -- I give up on all of this, because this is your life, [so] you go do whatever it is you think you gotta do," Ben conceded with a sigh of defeat, prompting Ciara to continue exiting the cabin.
Ben released another sigh of defeat after hearing the limousine door slam shut -- but a short time later, Ciara reentered the cabin.
Philip was surprised to see Gabi in his office. Gabi explained that her laptop had not been working, so she'd used Philip's. "I hope you're not mad that I'm in here," Gabi said. "Of course not," Philip said. Gabi asked Philip if he was okay. "It's just been a crazy couple of days," Philip said. Philip said he had done something to upset his brother.
"Sometimes you got to play dirty to get what you want," Philip said. "I totally get it," Gabi said. While Philip's back was turned, Gabi quietly pulled out a thumb drive from Philip's computer, and she shoved it into her pocket. Gabi apologized to Philip for how she had used him to make Jake jealous.
"You know, romance might not have been in the cards for us, but we have a terrific working relationship. And I don't want anything to get in the way of that," Philip said. "Neither do I," Gabi said. Philip noted that everything had ended up as it should in both business and their professional lives.
"I'm really grateful you took a chance on me," Gabi said. "It was smart business. Gabi Chic is on track to do record earnings this quarter," Philip said. Gabi suggested that they hire Jake. When Philip expressed concerns about whether Jake would spill DiMera secrets, Gabi argued that Jake would be more useful than Xander had been for Basic Black.
"You sure you don't have ulterior motives?" Philip asked. Gabi thought about her conversation with Jake, when she had suggested that Philip would eventually screw up at Titan. "Ulterior motives? Definitely not. I would never suggest bringing somebody on that I didn't think would be a true asset to this company," Gabi said. "I'll certainly consider it," Philip said.
In the Hernandez kitchen, Jake talked to Ava about apartment hunting. "I told Rafe we'd only be here a couple days," Jake said. Jake complained that he wanted to move into his old apartment, but he had sublet it out to Ben. "I think your apartment may be available sooner than you think," Ava said. Ava informed Jake that Ben was wanted for kidnapping Ciara.
"I know he's your friend, but it seems like the necktie killer is reverting to his old ways," Ava said. "Ben is fighting for the woman he loves," Jake said. "So, you're okay with Ben Weston taking a woman against her will?" Ava asked. Jake explained that the kidnapping was "a thing in Ciara's family." Jake argued that Ciara knew Ben would not hurt her, and that it was not a traditional kidnapping. Jake explained that Ciara had amnesia.
"Ben kidnapped [Ciara] in the hopes that she gets her memory back and she'll call off the wedding herself," Jake said. Jake told Ava that he had pushed Ben to fight for Ciara. "Aren't you going to fight to get your old CEO job back?" Ava asked. Jake said he had no interest in fighting his brothers for a legacy that was not his to claim. "You're a DiMera," Ava said. "They'll always see me as an outsider. I might as well do my own thing," Jake said. When Ava asked Jake about his plans, he confided that he might work at Titan.
"My experience is spotty at best, right? Former CEO, former mechanic, former mobster," Jake said. "Mobster?" Ava asked. Jake admitted that he had worked with the Vitali crime family. "That's your name, isn't it?" Jake asked. Jake asked Ava if she had taken over for Angelo. Before Ava could answer, Jake apologized.
"I didn't mean to overstep," Jake said. "I got nothing to hide. I did take over for Angelo. I was running the Vitali family business, but I cut ties," Ava said. When Jake asked why, Ava explained that she had gone clean for her son. "Not to mention a police commissioner and mob boss shacking up, not a good look," Ava joked. Jake asked Ava if she had plans for work. Ava said she thought she might talk to Nicole.
"What's stopping you?" Jake asked. "You know what? No time like the present," Ava said. After a call to Basic Black, Ava determined that Nicole was at home. "I think I'm going to pay her a visit," Ava said. Jake wished Ava luck as she walked out.
When Gabi returned home, she told Jake that Philip might hire him. "Our plan is officially in motion. First, we get rid of Philip and we take over Titan, and then we take over the world," Gabi said.
Ciara returned to the cabin. From the floor, an injured Ben chuckled. "I guess you couldn't stay away, after all," Ben said. Ciara said she had returned to take Ben's phone. Ciara offered to call an ambulance for Ben. "And then I am going to marry the man that I love," Ciara added. "The man you love is right here," Ben countered. With a sigh, Ciara moved the phone around as she looked for a signal.
"No service," Ciara muttered. Ben noted that there was rarely cell service in the area. "Sucks for you then, huh?" Ciara said. "Enough. I know your heart. I know you. You're not just going to leave me here," Ben said. Ben argued that Ciara would not leave him in pain when she was the reason for his injury.
"Me? You did this to yourself when you kidnapped me on my wedding day," Ciara yelled. "Oh, you mean on our wedding anniversary day," Ben corrected. Frustrated, Ciara announced she was leaving. Ben said he could not stop her. "I will! As soon as I wrap your ankle. That should help with the pain until you get medical attention," Ciara said. Ben noted that Ciara knew what to do because he had done the same for her when she had injured her leg in the motorcycle accident.
"I used to be a candy striper, and everyone knows that compression alleviates pain. Now shut up and let's just get this over with," Ciara said. Ciara asked Ben for his tie for the splint, but it was not enough fabric. Ben offered his shirt, but Ciara said no. When Ben suggested that Ciara could use her garter belt, she rolled her eyes, and she ripped off a piece of fabric from the inside of her wedding dress hem.
"Did you just rip your wedding dress for me?" Ben asked. "Well, the hem got all muddy when you dragged me in here," Ciara explained. Ben apologized. "I don't care what I'm wearing when I marry Theo. I just can't wait to be his wife," Ciara said as she looked Ben in the eyes. Ciara squatted next to Ben and warned him that it would hurt. "You might want to bite down on something," Ciara said. "That's good advice," Ben whispered. Ben thought about when he had given Ciara a washcloth to bite down on when he had set her leg.
After Ciara tightened the splint, Ben grunted in pain. "You enjoyed that, didn't you?" Ben said with a chuckle. "Making you suffer? Yeah. A little bit," Ciara said. Ben thanked Ciara for her help. "That was the first time that you voluntarily touched me since," Ben started. "Don't do that," Ciara warned. Ben said he only wanted to express his appreciation. Ben talked about when he had first eased Ciara's fear of him at the cabin after the accident.
"I kept my promise, Ciara. I never hurt you. I never will," Ben said. Ciara noted that Ben had continued to harass her, but Ben said he could not stop fighting for Ciara. "Who cares about how I feel, right? As long as you get what you want out of me," Ciara said. "It's what you want, too," Ben argued. Ciara asked Ben how long he had kept her prisoner in the cabin the first time.
"You wanted to stay," Ben said. Ben explained that Ciara had told her mother that she had needed time to figure out her life, and Ciara had felt safe at the cabin with Ben. "Why would I do that?" Ciara asked. Ben explained that Ciara had not been able to walk because of her injury. "I had to do everything for you," Ben said. Ciara had a vague memory of Ben washing her feet in the cabin.
"What did you just remember?" Ben asked. "Would you just stop asking me every two seconds if I remembered something!" Ciara barked. Ben noted he had seen something in Ciara's eyes. "What you saw was me being freaked out by the idea of a serial killer giving me a sponge bath!" Ciara argued. Ciara rose to leave, and Ben begged Ciara not to run away.
"Theo is probably so worried about me right now," Ciara said. "You're going to leave me here with a busted leg?" Ben asked. Ciara promised to call for help. "The next time you see me, I'm going to be Mrs. Ciara Carver," Ciara said. Ciara walked out and slammed the door on Ben's pleas.
Outside the cabin, Ciara was unable to start the car. Furious, Ciara marched back into the cabin, and she demanded to know what Ben had done to the car. "I'm a mechanic with a busted ankle. What do you think I could have done to the car?" Ben yelled back. Ben struggled to his feet, and he grasped Ciara's hand. "I think that is the universe telling you that you're not supposed to leave here until you remember our love," Ben said. Ciara wrenched her hand free from Ben.
When Sami arrived at Nicole's place, Rafe was still there. "I've been expecting you," Nicole said. "You should probably go. This bitch and I need to talk," Sami said to Rafe as she walked in. Rafe refused to leave. "You look like you could kill somebody," Rafe said. "Not just anybody. Her," Sami confirmed. Rafe warned Sami to go home, but she refused.
"I know what you did, and Nicole told me that last night, Xander busted into her anniversary party and accused her of adultery in front of her family and friends, and that you put him up to it," Rafe said. Sami argued that Nicole had cheated on Sami's brother, and she could not let Nicole get away with it. "You know that saying about glass houses," Rafe said.
"You told him? You had no right," Sami growled. "I had no right? So, it was okay for you to broadcast my personal business to the entire town?" Nicole countered. Nicole reminded Sami that Sami had cheated on Rafe with E.J., and E.J. had cheated on her with Sami. "As far as I see it, you got what you deserved," Nicole said.
With a nod yes, Sami said, "Maybe I did. But you are about to get exactly what you deserve." Sami lunged for Nicole. Rafe jumped in and separated the women. When Rafe threatened to arrest Sami, Sami argued that Nicole had stolen her property. "You mean Kristen's letter addressed to E.J.?" Nicole asked. Nicole told Sami that she never would have given the letter to E.J. if Sami had not ruined Nicole's marriage first.
"You don't think, Sami! You just do! Consequences be damned," Nicole said. "Like you were thinking of consequences when you had sex with Xander?" Sami yelled. Sami asked Nicole how she had obtained the letter. "I burned that letter. Were you spying on me at the mansion?" Sami asked. Nicole refused to answer. When Sami threatened Nicole, Rafe told Sami that Philip had given the letter to Nicole.
"Lucas said he wasn't going to tell E.J.," Sami whispered. "He didn't," Nicole confirmed. Rafe said that Lucas had been in the apartment before Sami. "[Lucas] was trying to keep Nicole from telling E.J.," Rafe explained. "When I told [Lucas] it was too late, he went flying out of here, looking for you. He was very worried," Nicole said. "I bet he was," Sami said as she sniffled back tears.
"This isn't over," Sami growled. "Give E.J. my best," Nicole countered. Sami walked out. "Well, that was fun," Nicole said with a shrug. Nicole apologized to Rafe. "I'm just glad I got here when I did. Otherwise, I'd be investigating a homicide," Rafe joked. "Mine or Sami's?" Nicole countered. "Hard to say," Rafe admitted.
"I wanted revenge, so I did what Sami does, and I acted without thinking. I thought it would make me feel better. I guess it did at the time," Nicole said. "And now?" Rafe asked. "Even if E.J. left Sami, it doesn't change anything. I still lost my husband," Nicole said. Nicole said she felt truly alone. Rafe assured Nicole that she was not alone.
"I'm your friend, and I want to help. And I will. I'm not going anywhere," Rafe said. "I honestly don't know what I would do without you," Nicole said. Rafe pulled Nicole in for a hug, and she rested her head on his shoulder. Ava walked in, and she saw Rafe holding Nicole on the couch.
At the DiMera mansion, a panicked Lucas called out to Sami. When Lucas ran into the living room, he saw E.J. drinking alone. "If you're looking for your mistress, she's not here," E.J. said. Lucas swore that the letter was not true. "[Kristen] would do anything to get back at [Sami]," Lucas said. E.J. said he knew about the dungeon sex.
"That's right, you loathsome simp. I know everything. You and Samantha have deceived me for the very last time," E.J. growled. "It wasn't an affair. It happened twice, and then it was over," Lucas said. "Not for you. We both know how much you've been lusting after my wife practically the whole time her and I were married," E.J. said. Lucas reminded E.J. that E.J.'s relationship with Sami had started after E.J. had blackmailed Sami into sleeping with him when she'd been with Lucas.
"You think you're the one true love of her life, but you got a sick way of showing it. I loved her first. Don't forget that!" Lucas argued. Lucas asked E.J. if he accepted any of the blame for the situation. "You treated her like crap for all those years. And she stood by you. None of us knew if you were going to be a vegetable for the rest of your life, but she didn't care. She stood by you. And how do you repay her for that?" Lucas said. As E.J. started to say that Lucas was eager to swoop in, Lucas stressed that the situation was not about Lucas.
"You mistreated her. What, you didn't realize how much pain she was in? Either that or you didn't care," Lucas said. E.J. asked Lucas to leave. "How about you get the hell out of Sami's life for good this time. How about that?" Lucas asked. E.J. raised an eyebrow, and he asked what Lucas meant.
"If you don't love her enough to forgive her, then step aside and make room for someone who does," Lucas said. E.J. growled, "Get out of my house." Lucas reminded E.J. that it was Gabi's house. "Have you even considered that if you don't leave, I might break your legs?" E.J. asked. Lucas argued that if E.J. had a good marriage, his wife would not have strayed.
"You think that you and Sami are a match made in heaven, really? You guys are a couple from hell! That's all you are. That's why you'll always be here in this miserable mansion, living your miserable lives together!" Lucas said. E.J. told Lucas he did not want Lucas' analysis. With a smirk, Lucas noted that E.J. knew what Lucas had said was true. Lucas added that he had feared that E.J. might kill Sami after E.J. had read the letter.
"I wouldn't harm a hair on Samantha's head. You, on the other hand, I wouldn't give it a second thought," E.J. said as he grabbed the letter opener off the desk. "You gonna stab me with that thing?" Lucas asked. "It's a letter opener. Seems like poetic justice to me," E.J. countered. Lucas shoved the point of the letter opener at his chest.
"Do it, I dare you. It will only prove to everybody what a psychopath you really are," Lucas said. "E.J., no," Sami said as she walked in. "Lucas asked me to kill him, and I was inclined to oblige," E.J. said. "You don't got the stones," Lucas said. "You're not worth it," E.J. growled. E.J. announced that he would check on the packing. Confused, Sami asked E.J. what he meant.
"I want you gone, Samantha. From this house and from my life. I never want to see you again," E.J. said. "I can't believe you asked Harold to pack my things," Sami stammered. "I could have him scatter them on the lawn if you'd prefer," E.J. countered. "It doesn't sound like he is going to forgive you," Lucas said. Sami told Lucas to shut up.
"Give me a chance to explain," Sami said. "No," E.J. said. E.J. walked out of the room. Lucas told Sami he was relieved that she was okay. "Do I look okay to you?" Sami shouted. When Lucas said he believed that E.J. would have killed her or him, Sami said, "Maybe I should have let him."
Chloe entered Titan and found Philip in the CEO's office, cursing at a frozen laptop -- the same laptop Gabi had been fiddling with earlier. "Strange..." Philip muttered when the laptop suddenly started working again for no apparent reason. "Maybe a little glitch in the system," Chloe suggested. "Probably..." Philip responded.
Changing the subject, Philip wondered why Chloe -- whose left arm was no longer in a sling -- was at Titan. "Well, I got out of work early, and I figured, since you've been so kind in chauffeuring me around when I was injured, [and since I've now] got two arms at my disposal [again...that] I would return the favor and chauffeur you somewhere," Chloe explained. "That's very thoughtful," Philip flatly acknowledged. "Oh, come on -- don't tell me you have to work late; I was kind of hoping we could go for a celebratory dinner!" Chloe excitedly protested. "I'm really not that hungry," Philip declared. "I...kind of thought it was more about the company and not the food..." Chloe clarified. "Here's an idea -- why don't you have dinner with Brady!" Philip suggested, confusing Chloe.
"You save him from big, bad Xander last night? Get him home safely? Tuck him in? [You know], I waited for you at the pub for hours -- I was hoping maybe we could have a romantic nightcap -- [but] you never came back!" Philip snapped. "It was late -- and that 'party' was definitely over --" Chloe reasoned. "You could have returned my text message, [at least] --" Philip argued. "What text message? I didn't get..." Chloe countered while producing a cell phone. "Oh..." Chloe muttered after finding the text message. "I am so sorry -- I swear I did not see this text last night; I was so tired, I just went straight home and to my room --" Chloe stressed. "At least it wasn't Brady's..." Philip muttered. "Excuse me?" Chloe challenged Philip.
"What's your problem? Brady is my friend, and he's recuperating from a bad car accident -- I wanted to make sure that Xander didn't beat the crap out of him!" Chloe explained. "I think Brady can take care of himself -- but I'm sure he was thrilled when you showed up --" Philip declared. "Forget about that offer for the ride!" Chloe snapped.
Philip stopped Chloe from storming out of the office. "I'm sorry --" Philip began. "Think what you want about Brady, but you have to trust me, Philip, okay? I work with Brady, [and] he's my friend, but that's it -- I'm with you, and I want to be with you! But you have to trust that, and you have to trust me...or we don't stand a chance," Chloe interjected. "You're right," Philip conceded. "I need to grow the hell up -- we're not in high school anymore; we're adults, and I am damn lucky to have you in my life," Philip added. "Yeah, you are," Chloe teased.
At the Hernandez house, Jake somewhat skeptically wondered how Gabi planned to accomplish world domination. "All I had to do was put a keylogger on Philip's computer," Gabi responded. "Oh, yeah -- 'a keylogger'... Nice..." Jake muttered, sounding even more skeptical than before. "Do you know what a keylogger is?" Gabi challenged Jake. "Of course! It's...a... Okay, fine -- but do you know what a piffle valve is?" Jake challenged Gabi. "Touché," Gabi conceded before vowing to make Jake explain what a piffle valve was at some point.
"[But, first], let me explain this to you, because it affects us both profoundly -- a keylogger is a type of software that records every keystroke that is on a computer. So, anything that Philip writes -- emails, passwords -- I will be able to see," Gabi explained. "Wow -- that's...damn impressive...and a little scary..." Jake admitted. "I know, right?" Gabi bragged. "Suddenly, this whole 'world domination' thing doesn't seem outside of the bounds of possibility!" Jake raved. "Told you! [So, anyway, now] we watch, we listen, we gather information, we learn everything that we can about the way Philip does business, and then we find the perfect way to sabotage him. We'll take him down so fast and hard, he'll never know what hit him," Gabi stressed. "You are a diabolical genius!" Jake declared.
"Victor will have no choice but to toss Philip out on his ass, and then the old coot will need to find somebody to right the ship -- and who's gonna be there, ready to hit the ground running [and] do some damage control as the new CEO? Yours truly!" Gabi added. "That's one answer..." Jake conceded. "That's the only answer!" Gabi insisted. "I don't know -- I was thinking that maybe I could be CEO..." Jake suggested. "This whole plan was my idea!" Gabi protested. "[But] I'm the one with CEO experience --" Jake reasoned. "I have CEO experience, too -- I ran my own company!" Gabi noted. "I know you did...[but] Titan is a conglomerate -- like DiMera, which I ran --" Jake maintained. "[And], hello, I ran DiMera, too!" Gabi countered.
"You don't want me to be your boss!" Gabi guessed. "No, it's not that -- that would make me --" Jake objected. "A disgusting, unevolved, backwards-thinking, chauvinistic pig!" Gabi spat. "You're my girlfriend --" Jake tried to clarify. "What does that have to do with me being CEO of Titan? Because you didn't have a problem with Kate being your girlfriend --" Gabi began to argue. "Right -- but this time, if you're CEO --" Jake attempted to elaborate. "When I'm CEO --" Gabi snapped. "It just might be a little strange, okay? You know -- working under you --" Jake continued. "With your clothes on?" Gabi concluded, prompting Jake to tease that they might have a better chance of settling things if they moved from the kitchen to their bedroom.
At the Walker apartment, Ava flatly apologized for having interrupted a private moment between Nicole and Rafe, prompting them to quickly pull away from each other then explain what was going on. "That son of a bitch [Xander] -- I was hoping he'd keep his damn mouth shut --" Ava grumbled during the tale. "You knew about this?" Rafe translated. "I confided in Ava," Nicole explained.
"What the hell is wrong with Sami -- what is her problem? I'm sorry, [Rafe] -- I know that the two of you were married, but where I come from, you don't just stand back when someone hurts one of your own! Nicole, she's not gonna get away with this -- we're gonna pay her back --" Ava spat. "I already did," Nicole clarified before finishing the tale.
"You paid back Sami hard -- good for you!" Ava raved. "Eh, I don't know how good it is -- I still lost Eric... [So, anyway], then Sami came over here, and she tried to kill me, and if it weren't for Rafe, I don't know what would have happened --" Nicole admitted. "Well, that's Rafe for you, right? Oh, he's such a stand-up guy -- he's always, always there for his friends..." Ava muttered.
Nicole quickly changed the subject, wondering why Ava had stopped by the apartment. "I was hoping that, since I am in the market for a job, that maybe you could arrange an interview for me at Basic Black -- if you think there's a position that I might be qualified for --" Ava hesitantly revealed. "I think that's a great idea!" Nicole excitedly agreed. "Oh, yeah? Okay... [But] that is not for discussion right now -- right now, we need to take care of you, [so] why don't you let Rafe and I take you out for dinner," Ava offered. "That's very sweet of you -- but, honestly, I don't really have an appetite...and I'd really like to just be alone right now," Nicole admitted. "Are you sure --" Rafe began to protest. "We totally understand," Ava stressed while thinking about past concerns that either Nicole had feelings for Rafe or Rafe had feelings for Nicole -- as if the dinner invitation had been a way of testing them both for reactions that could provide answers.
At the DiMera mansion, Lucas listened in stunned silence as Sami started lashing out. "You know?" Lucas eventually sputtered. "Of course, I know!" Sami furiously confirmed. "[Okay], you're right -- I did take Kristen's letter out of the fireplace. But I did not give it to E.J. --" Lucas tried to explain. "You sent your henchmen to do it instead --" Sami began to summarize, drawing a scoff from Lucas, who countered that E.J. was the one who used henchmen to do dirty work. "Come on -- how stupid do you think I am? Philip has no motive to tell E.J. -- the only reason Philip gave that letter to Nicole is because you put him up to it...because you knew Nicole would use the letter to destroy my marriage!" Sami argued. "I had nothing to do with this -- I'm telling you the truth --" Lucas maintained. "Then how did Philip get the letter?" Sami challenged Lucas.
Lucas again tried to explain everything to Sami, who didn't interrupt this time. "I thought I could trust [Philip] -- how should I [have known] that he was gonna go in the trash can and [get that letter then] give it to Nicole? [This is] not my fault --" Lucas desperately concluded. "Well, either way, you got what you wanted -- my marriage is blown out of the water," Sami bitterly responded.
"I'm sorry --" Lucas began. "I don't think you are," Sami grumbled. "Yes, I am! [Look], you know [that] I think E.J. is all wrong for you and that you'd be better off with me, [but] I never meant to cause you pain, [and] you never deserved for E.J. to find out like this -- [and, honestly], when I heard E.J. got the letter, I was scared [because] I didn't know what he'd do to you, so I came here because I wanted to protect you," Lucas stressed. "Thank you for that," Sami whispered, finally softening a bit. "Well, one good thing -- we've certainly made Nicole's day, haven't we? Maybe her whole year -- maybe her whole decade!" Sami added with a mirthless laugh.
"I meant what I said before -- [you know], when I told you that if anything ever happened between you and E.J., then I'd be there for you. [And, again], I'm sorry that things happened the way they did -- I am -- but...maybe it's for the best, you know? [I mean], I love you, [and] maybe it's a sign -- maybe this is our chance...to finally get back together again. [After all], your marriage is over --" Lucas declared. "Who said my marriage is over?" Sami protested. "E.J.'s packing your things. He wants you out of the house. I don't think he wants to patch things up with you," Lucas reasoned. "This is what E.J. and I do, okay? This is who we are. We're passionate people -- we fight big, and then we make up, and we don't quit. I. Don't. Quit! You trust me -- I will make E.J. come around!" Sami countered, disappointing Lucas.
Meanwhile, E.J. contacted Kristen from the Brady-DiMera bedroom, having just received the fugitive's latest cell phone number from someone. "It took awhile...but I finally got your letter," E.J. began. "I owe you a great deal, Kristen -- if it hadn't been for that letter, I never would have learned the truth about my wife," E.J. raved. "No, there's no going back -- no possibility of forgiveness," E.J. insisted. "What am I going to do about Samantha? Believe me -- I have plans..." E.J. teased.
After ending the call, E.J. returned to the living room, where Lucas was still recovering from the sting of Sami's latest rejection. "Why are you still here?" E.J. snapped at Lucas. "He was just leaving," Sami assured E.J. "We're not finished --" Lucas whispered to Sami. "Oh, we are definitely finished," Sami whispered to Lucas, who released a sigh of defeat then exited the mansion with a shake of the head.
"Did you want to talk to me?" Sami asked E.J. once the coast was clear. "I just wanted you to know that Harold has packed your bags into your car. [Oh, and] one more thing -- you left this in our room," E.J. replied while producing Sami's antique Tuscan necklace. "Something else from our marriage you've discarded," E.J. grumbled before dropping the necklace at Sami's feet. "Consider it payment for services rendered," E.J. spat as Sami knelt to pick up the necklace.
"Now that you have all your belongings, you can leave --" E.J. declared. "I'm not going anywhere," Sami insisted. "It wasn't a request," E.J. stressed. "This isn't your house anymore, E.J. -- you don't get to kick me out. [And] Gabi and I are friends -- [plus], I'm Arianna's grandmother -- [so] I'm pretty sure she'll let me stay," Sami bragged. "And what are you going to do -- park yourself in a guest room?" E.J. asked incredulously. "Why not? I'll be happy to stay as long as it takes...for you to forgive me," Sami cheerfully replied. "You can stay until hell freezes over -- it won't make a difference," E.J. warned. "You say that now...but you love me, E.J. DiMera -- I know you do -- [and] you can't get rid of me that easily," Sami countered before sauntering out of the mansion in search of Gabi, leaving E.J. even more furious than before.
Lucas went to Titan in search of Philip, who had just finished telling Chloe about having given Nicole the ammunition to exact revenge on Sami. "Oh, I'm glad I caught you -- listen, I hate to interrupt, but I need to talk to you --" Lucas began. "Can it wait? We were just about to head home..." Philip suggestively protested, having just gotten Chloe to agree to the nightcap they had never had a chance to enjoy the previous evening. "No, man -- it's important!" Lucas unsympathetically responded, showing no qualms about dashing Philip's hopes for romance. "It's okay -- I'll just see you at home," Chloe said to Philip before rushing off.
Lucas filled Philip in on everything that had happened since their previous conversation. "I'm sorry about that, bro -- but I can fix this --" Philip offered at the end of the tale. "No, you can't, Philip -- you've done enough, really!" Lucas snapped. "No -- I'll make sure Sami knows that it was my idea [and] that your hands are clean --" Philip maintained. "You don't get it, do you? She wants nothing to do with me!" Lucas insisted. "But she loves you!" Philip objected. "She loves him more, and she's determined to convince him to forgive her. She doesn't want to be with me, man -- I don't stand a chance," Lucas admitted.
"A part of me hoped that if he read the letter, he would react the way he did, and then Sami would see him for who he really is, and she'd choose me...but she didn't," Lucas grumbled. "I should have left well enough alone -- never given Nicole that letter --" Philip conceded. "Eh, don't worry about it," Lucas muttered. "[Sami's] making a big mistake, passing up a man who loves her the way you do," Philip declared. "Thanks, man -- I appreciate it," Lucas responded before following Philip out of the office -- just as a program started installing on the laptop Gabi had fiddled with earlier.
At the DiMera mansion, E.J. stepped over to the living room bar and filled a glass with whiskey then raised the glass to Stefano's portrait and gave it a mirthless laugh. "You don't have to say it, Father -- Samantha made a damn fool out of me. Not to worry, though -- no one humiliates E.J. DiMera. I promise you -- she won't get away with it," E.J. declared with a scowl.
Sami went to the Hernandez house and knocked on the front door while calling out to Gabi or anyone else who might be inside. Someone quietly approached the house from behind, carrying a handkerchief that was presumably soaked with chloroform, and pounced while Sami was peering through a window to determine if any lights were on inside. Sami struggled with the person for a few seconds then passed out, dropping the antique Tuscan necklace in the process. The person quickly dragged Sami away, unaware of -- or just unconcerned about -- the necklace.
Tripp was alone at the Brady-Johnson townhouse, taking a shower, when someone started ringing the doorbell insistently. Tripp jumped out of the shower and donned a towel then raced off to the living room while calling out to the visitor with requests for patience. Tripp eventually reached the living room then let go of the towel to open the front door -- and the towel immediately began to loosen and fall to the floor. "Here we go -- another guy in a towel..." Chanel, who was standing on the other side of the front door, grumbled while looking away -- but Tripp caught the towel while it was basically still right where it was supposed to be. "Excuse me?" Tripp responded, but Chanel didn't bother to clarify the comment.
"I'm here to talk to Horton," Chanel explained. "Allie isn't here," Tripp insisted. "She didn't spend the night with you?" Chanel translated. "No," Tripp confirmed. "Nicole said Allie never came home [last night, and] we both assumed she spent the night with you, [but if she didn't]...then where the hell is she?" Chanel fretted. "Did you try texting her?" Tripp asked. "Of course -- like, 20 times! And when I called, her phone went straight to voicemail," Chanel replied. "Well, what about Henry?" Tripp wondered. "Nicole said he's with Allie's grandfather," Chanel clarified. "Well, then, maybe when she dropped Henry off, she decided to stay there," Tripp guessed.
Tripp contacted Roman, who was able to provide some answers. "Let me know if I can help with Henry at all," Tripp said to Roman before ending the call with a sigh, prompting Chanel to anxiously demand to know what was going on. "According to her grandfather, Allie spent the night at the police station..." Tripp began to explain to Chanel. "Ciara -- isn't she the one that's engaged to Theo?" Chanel recalled after getting the rest of the story from Tripp. "That's right -- [and, in fact, this all] happened right before the wedding," Tripp clarified for Chanel, who started to rush off without saying another word.
"Where are you going?" Tripp wondered. "Allie's in trouble, and I've gotta go help her!" Chanel responded. "What are you gonna do at the police station?" Tripp protested. "I don't know -- but I'm sure she's upset and scared, and she's my friend --" Chanel answered. "Yeah, well, she's my girlfriend, all right? So, if anybody's gonna go down there to help her, it should be me!" Tripp declared. "So, you want to get all possessive now?" Chanel countered. "I'm not being possessive --" Tripp insisted. "Sure feels like it..." Chanel muttered.
"I just want you to understand that, you know, Allie and I are together --" Tripp explained. "Yeah, I get it -- you've made it very clear..." Chanel grumbled. "You sure?" Tripp challenged Chanel. "Look, I said it the other morning, after you slept over, didn't I?" Chanel reminded Tripp. "You did, yeah...but saying is one thing; accepting it is something else," Tripp noted. "What else do you want me to say?" Chanel snapped. "I just want you to be honest with me," Tripp clarified. "Okay. Honestly, I don't deny that there was something going on between Horton and me, and that I was hoping maybe it would go somewhere -- but she made her choice, and it's not me," Chanel admitted. "And you're okay with that?" Tripp wondered. "I just want her to be happy, so...no need to trip, Tripp -- you won't get any trouble from me," Chanel insisted. "Okay -- I'm glad to hear that," Tripp declared.
"Then why don't we head down to the station together," Tripp suggested. "Good plan -- but maybe you should put on some clothes first..." Chanel teased. "Yeah..." Tripp conceded -- and Chanel showed a hint of appreciation for the view as Tripp retreated to another room to get dressed.
Belle stormed into the police station and ordered Eli to release Claire and Allie immediately. "I am more than happy to let Allie and Claire go -- as soon as they tell me where Ben took Ciara. This isn't over until Theo gets his bride back. I have every right to hold Allie and Claire for questioning [in the meantime] -- and I'm sure D.A. Trask will back me up on that. What they did was wrong --" Eli declared. "Oh, come on -- they were just trying to help a friend --" Belle argued. "This isn't some cute rom-com, Belle!" Eli countered.
"I understand that you're coming at this from a different place because it's Theo --" Belle acknowledged. "I'm just doing my job...[but], yeah, you're right -- this is personal [for me, as well, because] Theo's my family --" Eli confirmed. "But let me remind you that Allie and Claire are your family, too -- [I mean], those are your cousins, [and] whatever they did, they were just trying to help Ciara remember how much she loved Ben --" Belle reasoned. "You're acting like this is no big deal -- [but Ciara has] been abducted by a man that she doesn't even remember loving, a man who she thinks is a serial killer --" Eli stressed. "Oh, come on -- he's not that guy anymore --" Belle protested. "I'm not saying that he is -- but if I were Ciara, I'd be pretty damn scared; hell, I might even do something desperate to escape!" Eli noted.
Eli reiterated that Allie and Claire would be released once they cooperated -- but when Belle joined them in one of the conference rooms and made that clear to them, they again refused to reveal where Ben had taken Ciara. "Are you saying that you can't tell Eli where Ben took Ciara because you don't know?" Belle pointedly prodded Claire and Allie, but they just looked at Eli guiltily instead of trying to take the out. Belle sighed then requested some time alone with Allie and Claire, prompting Eli to exit the conference room.
"We know what we're doing," Claire insisted, and Allie agreed -- but Belle wasn't convinced. "You showed up at the church in a wedding dress, pretending to be Ciara," Belle reminded Claire. "Ciara's phone rang inside your bag when Theo called it," Belle reminded Allie. "[Which means that] everyone in that church knows that you two were in on Ben's plot --" Belle stressed. "We were not 'plotting' -- we were...matchmaking!" Claire reasoned, and Allie agreed again -- but Belle doubted that the distinction would matter to Trask. "If you're charged with aiding and abetting a kidnapping, it's gonna go on your permanent record -- [and] if you two are convicted, you could go to prison! [Now], are you really willing to risk all of [that] for Ben Weston?" Belle challenged Claire and Allie, who both gulped in response.
Belle emerged from the conference room with Allie and Claire a short time later -- just as Tripp and Chanel entered the police station. "Your grandfather told me what happened," Tripp explained. "Is Henry okay?" Allie wondered. "Yeah, he's fine," Tripp answered. "It's not too late to change your mind --" Belle stressed, but Claire and Allie again refused to cooperate, prompting Eli to start leading them to a holding cell as Tripp and Chanel watched in shock. "Check in on Henry for me, okay?" Allie begged Tripp, who promised to do so.
Theo reluctantly followed Abe to the Brady Pub, complaining the whole time about not being in the mood to eat anything -- and they found a flier taped to the front door of the restaurant, offering a $100,000 reward to anyone who could provide the whereabouts of Ben and Ciara, who were not named but were referred to and pictured as a married couple. "They're not a 'couple' -- Ben and Ciara are divorced!" Theo protested. "My guess is that Victor offered the reward -- and that's the only photo he had that included Ben," Abe reasoned. "Why would he not tell us that he's doing this?" Theo wondered. "Because he's Victor," Abe guessed.
"Or maybe it's because I'm the one who offered the reward," Paulina clarified while approaching Abe and Theo. "You did this for me?" Theo incredulously repeated. "I did it for both of you," Paulina matter-of-factly answered. "Thank you," Theo stressed. "I'm sorry about the photo, Theo -- I just did a quick search online, and that was the first one I found," Paulina explained. "I understand, [and] it's okay -- [I mean], the only thing that matters right now is finding Ciara," Theo declared. "That's a lot of money," Abe noted. "Which I will pay -- gladly," Paulina insisted. "Thank you," Abe raved.
"I thought I told you to leave my family alone!" Lani snapped while approaching Paulina -- and Abe and Theo both tried to clarify the situation but were ignored. "They have enough to worry about, Paulina...especially after some fool took it upon themselves to post a reward -- [you know], it is very unhelpful for a civilian to do this without consulting the police first, [which is why] I've been pulling them down all over town..." Lani complained before snatching the flier and crumpling it -- then admitting to being eager to find out who was responsible so that person could hear the same lecture.
"That would be your aunt," Paulina revealed when Lani finally paused to take a breath -- but Lani didn't bother to apologize for having made a point of dropping the title from Paulina's name earlier. "I should have guessed... [So, tell me], why just $100,000? I mean, Lady Gaga offered half a mill for her little Frenchies! What, Paulina -- you feeling cheap these days? Or maybe you're just strapped from the fall of Price Town! [Either way, just] take your money and go buy yourself some more designer clothes or whatever it is that you want, because we don't need your help, [and] you are nothing to us!" Lani spat.
Paulina tried to respond, but Lani refused to listen. "That was uncalled for," Abe declared after Lani finally succeeded in chasing Paulina off. "Dad, do I have to remind you that she has been playing us the entire time since she got to Salem?" Lani incredulously protested. "No, you don't -- but she was doing the right thing this time, and she was just trying to help," Abe matter-of-factly responded. "[If] you want to give her the benefit of the doubt, [then] go ahead -- but I'm done with all that," Lani maintained.
"Okay, you two -- can we please just focus on Ciara [and] bringing her home safe?" Theo interjected -- and Abe and Lani both conceded the point then started to head inside the pub, expecting Theo to follow. "I don't have time to waste with breakfast -- every minute that I am apart from Ciara, Ben is taking her further away from me, [so] I need to find Ciara before I lose her forever!" Theo fretted before rushing off, ignoring Abe and Lani's protests.
Abe claimed a table then wondered why Lani was so unwilling to give Paulina a second chance. Meanwhile, at the Price condominium, Paulina received a visit from Theo, who apologized for what had happened earlier. "I just want to let you know that I really do appreciate you helping to find Ciara," Theo stressed. "Honey, I think maybe I already did..." Paulina, who had just wrapped up a phone conversation a few seconds earlier, began to reveal.
At the cabin, Ciara grudgingly thanked Ben for having volunteered to sleep in a chair instead of the bed the previous night -- and for having thought to pack a change of clothes. "What a gentlemanly kidnapper you are," Ciara dryly raved before saying goodbye to Ben then starting to rush off. "Did you forget that the limo won't start? I highly doubt that it fixed itself overnight --" Ben argued. "Then I'll walk!" Ciara decided. "It is at least 20 miles back to Salem -- you are not walking that," Ben protested. "I don't have to walk the entire way -- I can find a store or a gas station, or I can catch a ride with somebody --" Ciara noted. "Hitchhike? No, I don't think so -- that's not safe --" Ben warned. "Who are you worried I'm gonna run into -- a serial killer? 'Cause I'm already looking at one!" Ciara countered.
Ben released a sigh of defeat then advised Ciara to at least eat something first. "There is a full cooler in the back of the limo -- [which] I told you about last night, but you insisted on going to bed hungry [instead] --" Ben reminded Ciara. "Yeah, because that cooler is evidence that you plotted my abduction, which will make it very easy for the D.A. to nail you," Ciara reminded Ben.
Ciara eventually conceded Ben's point about needing to eat before embarking on such a long journey back to Salem. "Chinese food -- for breakfast?" Ciara observed with a groan of disgust after fetching the cooler from the limousine and returning to the cabin with it, prompting Ben to reiterate that the Chinese food had been meant to serve as the previous night's dinner. "It's what we had on our first date --" Ben began to explain. "You told me [about our first date already] -- in very, very boring detail," Ciara grumbled before mockingly recalling the details.
Ciara insisted that Ben's attempts to jog old memories still weren't working -- and were never going to work. "Okay," Ben conceded with another sigh of defeat before promising to stop interfering with Ciara's efforts to start a new life. "[But] you cannot leave here without having your fortune cookie," Ben insisted. "Why do you care whether I read my fortune or not?" Ciara wondered. "Maybe because it reminds me of our first date -- how it ended..." Ben answered before telling Ciara about the fortunes they had each received on that particular night.
Ciara scoffed at the idea of having received a fortune that had hinted at the kiss that had occurred at the end of that first date with Ben. "[And my fortune -- 'good things come to those who wait' -- came true, too], because I found the person I waited my whole life for -- someone smart, strong, caring; someone good and decent, who inspires me to be good and decent, too; someone who makes my life better by just being there; someone who shines her light in the darkest places of my life... That's why I'm doing this; that's why I am so determined to get you to remember what we once had -- because we are meant to be together," Ben explained. "You have made it very clear that whatever we shared still means a lot to you -- but I don't feel it, and one stupid fortune cookie isn't gonna change that," Ciara responded.
"I know the fortune cookie thing seems silly...but, Ciara, what this is really about is fate -- [see], when I thought you'd died in that explosion at the airfield, I would sometimes order Chinese food just to feel closer to you again...[and], one time, our wedding photo fell over [and landed] on top of a fortune cookie, [so] I opened it, and it said, 'Nothing is ever lost if you follow your heart.' So, that's what I did -- I followed my heart, and I never stopped; I chased down every sign, no matter how silly they seemed [or] how many people told me I was crazy [and that] it was maybe just wishful thinking [or that] I was in denial, [because] I knew that you and I are connected, [and] I could feel you out there, and I knew you were still alive. Just like I know [that], right now, somewhere inside of you, you still love me. And I am trying -- I am trying so hard -- to reach you," Ben stressed.
"And, after all that [stuff you've already tried that has failed], you think that whatever's in that fortune cookie is gonna [finally be the thing that works]?" Ciara asked incredulously. "I know it sounds crazy...but that is what I believe," Ben matter-of-factly replied. "Okay -- [then], if I open the cookie, do you promise that this is all gonna be over?" Ciara wondered. "It's gonna be the last thing I ask," Ben confirmed.
Ciara shrugged then opened the fortune cookie as Ben watched hopefully. "'Yes'? How is that a fortune?" Ciara protested. "That's all that's on there -- just one word?" Ben translated. "So much for fate, huh?" Ciara concluded before shrugging again then saying another goodbye to Ben.
Ciara started to rush off again -- then stopped abruptly, prompting Ben to guess that a memory had just returned. "No!" Ciara claimed. "Then what's wrong?" Ben wondered. "Nothing!" Ciara insisted before starting to rush off yet again, making Ben even more certain that a memory had just returned.
"Do not fight it," Ben begged, stopping Ciara -- and the returning memory, which had been hazy at first, soon revealed itself as the memory of Ben's marriage proposal via fortune cookie, providing an explanation for the one-word fortune Ciara had just read a few seconds earlier. "Oh, my God..." Ciara, who had said the same thing after reading the marriage proposal, exclaimed while staring at Ben.
Theo went to Paulina's apartment to talk to her about Lani's reaction to the reward for information about Ciara. Paulina told Theo that she had received a tip from someone in exchange for the reward money. "Sounds pretty shady," Theo muttered. "This might be your only chance to find [Ciara]," Paulina said. When Paulina explained that the tipster wanted to be paid before she would provide any information, Theo argued that it sounded like a scam.
"To me, too, but I'm willing to take the chance," Paulina said. When Theo asked why, Paulina told him that she cared about him and his father. "Thank you, but if we're actually going to do this, we need to get the police involved," Theo said. Paulina worried aloud that the police would scare off the tipster, but Theo argued that they needed to at least talk to Shawn.
When Shawn arrived, he advised Paulina that it was a bad idea to pay the tipster. Paulina's phone beeped, and she said that the woman demanded payment within ten minutes, or she would not provide any information. Shawn was opposed to the payment, but Theo argued that the tipster could be their only lead on Ciara. Theo added that Ciara was likely scared.
"You think Ben would hurt her? I thought he loved her?" Paulina asked. Theo pointed out that they did not know if Ben had remembered to take his medication with him when he had taken Ciara. "Medication? What are you talking about?" Paulina asked. Theo explained that Ben had been the Necktie Killer. "[Ben] is on medication so he doesn't [kill again]," Theo said. Worried, Paulina sent the money through to the tipster.
The tipster called Paulina back. After taking down the information, Paulina warned the woman that if the tip did not pan out, she would hunt the tipster down like a dog. After the call, Paulina told Shawn and Theo that the woman had spotted Ben and Ciara in a limo headed toward Mammoth Falls. "I know where he took her. It's that damn cabin," Shawn said.
After Shawn and Theo left, Paulina looked at a photo of Lani. Paulina said she hoped that Lani could forgive her one day. When there was a knock at the door, Paulina rushed to answer it. "What the hell are you doing here?" Paulina said.
In the Brady Pub, Lani told Abe that it was not unreasonable to cut Paulina out of her life. "[Paulina] used your spotless reputation and your decades of service to this town to broker the deal. And didn't even care what happened to you," Lani said. Abe agreed that what Paulina had done was bad, but he disagreed that Paulina had not cared about him.
"But what is also true, is that [Paulina] didn't go ahead with what she planned, and she is sorry," Abe said. "She's sorry when she's been found out," Lani countered. Lani argued that Paulina was the same person she had always known. "Before all this went down, you seemed so happy that Paulina was here in Salem," Abe said. Lani shrugged, and she said she had enjoyed having family at the christening.
"But I forgot how she operates. I forgot that there is always a grand entrance. She is so funny and flamboyant and seemingly generous, but at the end, Dad, she is always just going to let you down," Lani said. "How so?" Abe asked. Lani explained that Paulina had frequently broken promises and disappeared from Lani's life.
"That must have hurt," Abe said. Lani nodded her head yes. "One time, she just about broke my heart," Lani said. Lani told Abe how she had wanted to go to Paris as a child because of her love of the Madeline books. Paulina had promised to take Lani to Paris the following summer, and over the following months, Paulina had followed up with letters about the trip.
"I never told Mom, but I told all the girls at school. And boy did they get a laugh at me when school started up again," Lani said. Lani told Abe that everyone had known that Paulina had made a fool of her. "Did Paulina ever say why she didn't show up?" Abe asked. Lani said that Paulina had told Lani's mother about the trip. Paulina had blamed a business commitment for the cancellation.
"The next time I saw [Paulina], she pretended like it had never even happened," Lani said. Abe asked Lani if she had ever talked to Paulina about the canceled trip. "I was too embarrassed, so I let it go, and I moved on," Lani said. Lani admitted that she had not thought about the memory in years. "I really do not want you and Theo to get hurt the way that I did," Lani said. Lani urged Abe to cut ties with Paulina.
"Maybe there are things you don't know," Abe suggested. "You have really fallen hard for her haven't you, Dad?" Lani asked. Abe argued that Paulina had attempted to make amends. "It is always about money with her," Lani complained. "Is that so hard to understand after what that man did to her?" Abe asked. Confused, Lani asked Abe what he meant. Abe told Lani about Paulina's abusive ex-husband.
"That is awful. I never knew anything about that," Lani admitted. "Well now you understand why money is so important to her," Abe said. With a shake of her head, Lani noted that she still believed the reward that Paulina had offered to find Ciara would make matters worse. Abe's phone beeped with a text from Theo. Theo confirmed that he and Shawn had secured a lead on Ciara from Paulina's tip line.
Jack visited Steve at his apartment to talk. "Whatever it is, it's not good news," Jack said when he saw Steve's face. Steve confirmed that Dr. Snyder had been a drug dealer. "So, why'd you need to meet with me?" Jack asked. "Because it looks like your daughter Gwen was involved," Steve announced. Jack admitted that he had believed that Gwen had genuinely wanted to change her life.
"Have you taken this to the police?" Jack asked. Steve said he had wanted to tell Jack first. Jack asked for time to talk to Gwen and get her side of the story. "I don't get it! Gwen's mother was a drug addict. She died of an overdose. Why would she get involved with a drug dealer?" Jack asked.
Gwen was chuckling over an article on her tablet in the living room when Xander strolled in. "I don't know what the hell you can find to laugh about," Xander said. Gwen showed Xander the headline about how Xander had destroyed Nicole and Eric's marriage. As Gwen chastised Xander for his public display at Nicole's anniversary party, Xander reminded Gwen that she had not been subtle in her schemes with Abigail and Chad.
When Gwen asked Xander how drunk Nicole had been the night of her affair with Xander, he grew defensive. "Two lonely people reached out to one another for solace of a human connection," Xander said. Gwen laughed. Gwen asked Xander if he had blackmailed Nicole for his job at Basic Black.
"You know how important fashion is to me," Xander joked. Gwen warned Xander that his actions would keep him from finding another job. Xander shrugged. "Was your moment of fame worth it?" Gwen asked. "You wouldn't believe how worth it it was," Xander said. Xander told Gwen about Sami's million-dollar bribe.
Gwen asked Xander about the police, and Xander said he would need to talk to the police again. "I don't think you will have to. I think I just came up with a solution," Gwen said. Gwen suggested that Xander use his money to hire someone that looked like Snyder to pose as Xander's friend.
"Why does it have to be my money?" Xander asked. Gwen pointed out that she did not have money or a job. Xander teased Gwen about her seduction of Chad at her last job and that Gwen's allure had not been enough to entrap Chad. Gwen countered that Xander had been enamored enough to have kissed her. "You practically threw yourself at me," Xander said as he stepped closer to Gwen. "I don't even like you that much," Gwen said.
"I don't like you, either. What difference does that make? Anyway, who cares who made the initial approach? Once I kissed you, you got completely carried away," Xander said. Gwen turned her back to Xander as she noted that he had also gotten carried away in the moment. Xander nuzzled his face against Gwen's neck. "And I think we should get carried away again," Xander whispered. Xander turned Gwen toward him, and he leaned in for a kiss.
The front door opened, and Gwen shoved Xander away from her. "What's going on here?" Jack asked as he walked into the room. When Xander played innocent, Jack explained that Steve had confirmed that Snyder had been a drug dealer. "You were running his delivery service," Jack said to Gwen. Gwen adamantly denied the charge, and she reminded Jack of her mother's addiction.
"That's what I would have thought, but then Snyder's dealer IDed you as the delivery person," Jack said. "There must be some sort of mistake," Gwen said. Jack asked if it was the same kind of misidentification that Julie had made about the drunk on the couch. Xander jumped in to note that his friend did look like Snyder.
"You said that the person who IDed me was a drug dealer. He can't be trusted," Gwen said. "Stop lying to me! I brought you into my home. I defended you! Told everyone you were changed. I trusted you, and you were just playing me," Jack said. "That's not true," Gwen protested. "You really shouldn't use words like true and trust. You really don't know what they mean," Jack said. Jack accused Gwen of using the family for respectability.
"It wasn't like that," Gwen said. "Then you admit it?" Jack asked. Gwen admitted she had worked with Snyder. Jack asked Gwen if she had kept drugs in the house. When Gwen nodded yes, Jack told Gwen that she had put the family at risk because she had been too selfish to think about the consequences. Jack guessed that Gwen had convinced Xander to help her dump Snyder's body.
"You're good at getting men to do what you want them to do, aren't you? So now the two of you took Snyder's body and you dumped it in the lake, didn't you?" Jack yelled. Xander thought about when Gwen had told him her fear that she would lose her father if Jack learned the truth about the blackmail.
"After everything you've done to me, to my family, at least now, you owe me the truth," Jack said. Gwen agreed. "The truth is, you got this all backwards, mate. I wasn't helping Gwen out of a jam. She was helping me," Xander confessed.
At the cabin, Ben was disappointed when Ciara's fortune cookie fortune, which read "Yes," had not jogged her memory. "Goodbye, Ben," Ciara said. As Ciara started to leave, memories of her past flickered. "You're remembering right now," Ben said eagerly. Ciara denied it, but Ben pleaded with her not to fight her memories. At the doorway, Ciara stopped. Ciara let a memory of Ben's proposal run through her head.
"I remember," Ciara whispered. Emotional, Ciara stumbled back into the cabin. Ben asked Ciara what she remembered. Ciara had flashes of multiple moments from the night of Ben's proposal. "We were just off the square, sitting on a park bench, and I opened up a fortune cookie, and it said, 'Will you marry me?'" Ciara said. Ben asked what had happened next. Ciara remembered that she had accepted Ben's proposal.
"You asked me to marry you," Ciara said as she turned to look Ben in the eyes. "Do you remember what happened next?" Ben asked. Ciara thought about the memory again, and she recounted it to Ben. "I said yes," Ciara whispered. Ben held up the fortune that Ciara had opened in the cabin.
"You said yes, and I should have known that the universe would come through for us," Ben said. "You really didn't mess with this fortune?" Ciara asked. Ben shook his head no. Ben argued, "Fate is always going to bring us back together." "I still don't know if I buy it," Ciara said. Ben asked if Ciara remembered anything else. Ciara shook her head no, and she wondered aloud if she had remembered the proposal because Ben had told her about it.
"Well then, let's keep going. What happened next?" Ben asked. Ciara concentrated on the memory, but it was faint. "I helped you get up," Ciara said. Ben hovered close to Ciara as she thought about their kiss. All of Ciara's memories of Ben flooded back, including the first time they had made love and their wedding. Ciara grabbed Ben and kissed him.
"I remember everything, Ben," Ciara said. Ciara recounted that she remembered the cabin, the sponge bath, and the fact that Ben tickled her too much. "But mostly, Ben, I remember how much I love you," Ciara said. "I can't believe this is really happening," Ben said. Ciara realized how mean she had been to Ben.
"You were scared," Ben said. "I was cruel," Ciara countered. As Ciara pointed out that she had planned to marry Theo on her wedding anniversary, she gasped. "Theo!" Ciara said. Ben and Ciara sat down at the table, and he wrapped his arms around her. Ciara lamented that she would have to cancel her wedding and break Theo's heart.
"[Theo] knew he was taking a risk. He knew that you could get your memory back," Ben said. "I told him over and over and over again that I wouldn't. He's in love with me," Ciara said. Ciara added that she loved Theo, too, but as a friend. Ben assured Ciara that Theo had known the risk. "I have to find him. I have to tell him in person," Ciara said. Ben told Ciara he did not want to lose her again, but she promised Ben would never lose her again.
"Please, just let me hold you a little longer," Ben said. Ciara kissed Ben, and they moved to the bed to snuggle. Ben talked about the dreams from when Ciara had been trapped in the glass cage. "I actually remember," Ciara said. Ciara recounted the dream where they had been Romeo and Juliet. "That's the one that made sure that I knew that you were definitely alive," Ben said. When Ciara noted that the play did not have a happy ending, Ben said that the universe would make sure they had a happy ending.
"The whole psychic connection thing is crazy," Ciara said. With a laugh, Ciara said she had believed Ben was crazy when he'd told her that. "But now the both of us know that it is true," Ciara said. "Yes, we do," Ben agreed. Ben kissed Ciara.
"There were moments when I almost gave up," Ben said. With a groan, Ciara noted that she had not made things easy, especially when she had annulled their marriage. Ben joked that it gave them an excuse to have another wedding. "Minus the bomb," Ciara joked. "And this time with a honeymoon," Ben added. After Ben and Ciara said, "I love you," they kissed.
Shawn kicked in the front door to the cabin with his gun drawn. Theo saw Ciara and Ben entwined on the bed. "Hands in the air!" Shawn yelled.