Days of our Lives Recaps: The week of August 23, 2021 on DAYS

E.J. made a deal with Xander. Xander and Gwen had sex. Ben and Ciara planned a honeymoon. Johnny and Chanel almost had sex. Tripp told Allie he loved her. Allie worried about her feelings for Chanel. Abe and Paulina got back together. Roman dressed down Nicole. Ava fought with Rafe. Nicole told Rafe they should avoid one another. Kate warned Philip against Jake, but Philip hired him, anyway. Brady convinced Chloe to go on a business trip with him. Steve apologized to Ava. Bonnie's ex-sister-in-law blackmailed her. Steve agreed to be Justin's best man. Allie realized that Johnny was Chanel's new man. E.J. blocked Tony from investing in Johnny's movie.
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Bonnie's ex-sister-in-law blackmailed her, Tripp told Allie he loved her, and Abe and Paulina got back together
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E.J. offers to get Xander out of legal trouble

E.J. offers to get Xander out of legal trouble

Monday, August 23, 2021

by Mike

Outside the Brady-Weston apartment, Ben sighed while trying to fish a set of keys out of a jacket pocket and stay balanced on crutches at the same time, leading Ciara to conclude that something was wrong. "I should be carrying my bride over the threshold, but I'm having trouble carrying my own self right now, so..." Ben grumbled. "How about we walk into our home together, literally on equal footing -- well...you know...mostly equal footing -- as equal partners," Ciara suggested. "That sounds like a great beginning," Ben agreed before unlocking the apartment door and flinging it open then passing through the doorway alongside Ciara, who had just enough room to squeeze through with a side step.

"Every bride's dream come true -- a small apartment above a repair shop," Ben apologetically muttered. "Now who's losing their memory? I am Bo Brady's daughter; I'm the woman whose engagement ring is a greasy washer from a motorcycle carburetor! Baby, I love it here -- it's perfect," Ciara excitedly countered.

"Well, you can feel free to make any changes your little heart desires --" Ben offered. "You say that now, but we both know that you like things in a very...particular...way," Ciara warned. "Are you...referring to my...preference of order and tidiness?" Ben translated. "Face it, Ben -- you are a neat freak! And I am a slob...which makes us quite the odd couple -- in more ways than one," Ciara summarized. "In my defense...when you grow up on the run, you learn it's best to know where everything is in case you gotta leave in a hurry," Ben explained. "Well, now there's absolutely nothing to run from," Ciara noted. "[And] the only thing I can't lose ever again is standing right in front of me," Ben declared.

Ben gave Ciara a passionate kiss. "The last time we got married, we didn't even get to enjoy our wedding night..." Ben suggestively pointed out after pulling away from Ciara. "It's the middle of the afternoon!" Ciara teasingly objected. "I think we should make up for lost time, Mrs. Weston," Ben countered before giving Ciara another passionate kiss.

Later, Ciara and Ben started discussing potential honeymoon destinations. "You know, when Vincent was holding me captive, I had a lot of dreams about our future -- they were the only things giving me hope until I could see you again -- [and] one of the dreams was about our honeymoon..." Ciara revealed before starting to describe the dream. "You're not gonna believe this, [but]...I think we had the same dream -- [I mean], when Vincent's car exploded, [and then] I ended up in the hospital [after] trying to find you in that fire, I had all these wild dreams about our future, [and] one of them was exactly like what you just explained..." Ben eventually interjected before finishing the description.

"I [also] had this one dream where I was pregnant --" Ciara continued. "I dreamed that you were pregnant, too! [And then] you gave birth, [and] we named our son --" Ben interjected again. "Bo," Ciara concluded. "This is incredible!" Ben declared. "Yeah...[but], after everything we've been through, are you really that surprised?" Ciara reasoned.

Ben carefully climbed out of bed and limped over to a dresser then produced a shirt and tossed it to Ciara. "Put that on," Ben advised. "This is the shirt that you gave me [at the cabin] -- I cannot believe you still have it --" Ciara responded. "Of course I still have it -- it smells like you," Ben explained with a shrug as Ciara donned the shirt.

"Now what?" Ciara wondered as Ben donned a different shirt. "What's a wedding without a first dance?" Ben challenged Ciara, who conceded the point with a grin. "I can't tell you how happy I am in this moment," Ciara whispered after rushing into Ben's arms. "You don't have to...because I feel the exact same way," Ben stressed before giving Ciara yet another passionate kiss.

At the Horton house, Gwen listened uncomfortably as Jack started telling Julie about Xander's betrayal. "Since when?" Gwen sputtered when Jack informed Julie that Xander was in police custody. "Since yesterday -- I called the police while he was packing, [and then] Shawn caught up with him in the square," Jack clarified.

"Jack, how can you possibly believe that Gwen is innocent [here]? From day one, every word out of her mouth has been a gusher of lies!" Julie protested at the end of Jack's tale, causing Gwen to start squirming. "[And] Xander is hardly a scrupulously honest person [himself, but] he insisted that he deserves all the blame [for this, and] why would he lie about that?" Jack reasoned. "Maybe to protect Gwen," Julie suggested. "They barely get along!" Jack argued. "Oh? They...'get along'...well enough to start having sex on the sofa..." Julie countered.

"It was a momentary lapse in judgment, okay? And then we started fighting immediately after! Believe me -- Xander would never lift a finger to help me!" Gwen said to a stunned Jack after Julie finished elaborating. "She's right -- Xander's never the fall guy; he's always [only] been out for himself, [and] he would never take the blame if he didn't have to!" Jack assured Julie. "Xander is a stupid, self-serving bastard -- I think we can all agree on that -- [but] I still smell something suspicious here," Julie warned Jack.

"Unfortunately, I don't have [any more] time to discuss who's the rotten egg...[because] my grandparents' memorial plaque is going to be put back in Horton Town Square [soon, and] I want to be there [to] make sure everything goes smoothly," Julie announced before rushing out of the house.

"You found it in your heart to give me a second chance, so...maybe [Xander] deserves one, too --" Gwen suggested once the coast was clear, drawing a scoff from Jack. "I will never forgive him for putting you in danger!" Jack insisted, making Gwen feel even more guilty than before.

E.J. entered the police station and joined Xander in one of the conference rooms. "Are we having an impromptu Nashville reunion? Who else have you got out there?" Xander joked. "I'm here to offer my services," E.J. clarified. "Aren't you running DiMera?" Xander protested. "I'm still an attorney with a valid law license, and I can certainly multitask," E.J. responded.

"I was under the assumption that you might be just a wee bit upset with me --" Xander admitted. "Why, because you tried to murder my wife?" E.J. guessed. "Allegedly!" Xander stressed. "Truth be told, I'm not upset that you tried to kill Sami and Lucas -- I'm upset you didn't finish the job," E.J. declared, stunning Xander.

"I knew it!" Xander bragged after E.J. explained that Sami and Lucas had recently slept together. "I'm the one who first suspected that Sami and her ex hooked up, and I put the idea in Nicole's head," Xander elaborated. "Well, thankfully, the truth all came out in the end, [and] Samantha is no longer in the picture," E.J. summarized.

Changing the subject, E.J. again expressed a willingness to represent Xander -- then admitted that there was one condition attached to the offer. "My cheating wife gave you a million dollars -- I want it back," E.J. demanded, horrifying Xander. "Sami told me all about it," E.J. warned when Xander tried to feign ignorance. "I know it was in your possession when you were arrested, and I know that it's currently being held [as] evidence because the police think it could be connected to your drug operation," E.J. revealed when Xander tried to claim that the money had already been spent. "Remind me again -- when was the last time Justin won a case? [And besides], if you want to avoid prison, [then] you'll need someone who can pull strings [and] has considerable influence...and that would be me," E.J. countered when Xander tried to argue that another lawyer could be hired for a fraction of the going rate a DiMera apparently commanded.

"Look, if I give back all that money, I'll be back to being broke again -- no job, no place to stay, no prospects... Surely a man of your principles couldn't allow that to happen!" Xander protested. "I may have principles, Xander, but I've just lost my patience, so I hope you enjoy spending the rest of your life sharing a cell with your old pal Clyde Weston, listening to him yammer on about skinning possums and moonshining in the Ozarks -- I'm sure that will never get old..." E.J. responded before starting to exit the conference room. "Come on, mate -- I've gotta come out of this with something!" Xander begged. "DiMera owns Basic Black -- I suppose I have the power to reinstate you..." E.J. decided after some thought. "You'd do that?" Xander wondered. "There's no love lost between Brady Black and me, meaning it would be extremely enjoyable to push his buttons," E.J. admitted before producing a contract and a pen.

Xander walked out of the police station as a free man just a few minutes after hiring E.J. -- then rushed straight over to the Salem Inn. "At least this place won't cost me a million a night..." Xander grumbled while entering one of the hotel rooms. "And it has a private shower..." Xander added before starting to undress -- just as someone knocked on the hotel room door. "Can't I get a moment's peace?" Xander muttered before opening the hotel room door, already half naked, and finding Gwen standing on the other side of it.

Allie went to the hospital to see Tripp, who was surprised to hear about everything that had happened since their previous conversation. "That's great!" Tripp raved when Allie revealed that Ben and Ciara had remarried. "That's a big change..." Tripp mused when Allie revealed that Claire had moved to South Africa to work with Theo and J.J. "What if we set him up with Chanel?" Tripp suggested when Allie revealed that Johnny was back in Salem.

Tripp's random proposal left Allie speechless. "I know it's a crazy idea -- I don't even know your brother, [and] I don't even know if he has a girlfriend -- [but]..." Tripp tried to explain. "No, he doesn't have a girlfriend...but he did say that he was interested in someone, so... And, actually, when I was hanging out with Chanel [earlier], she was messaging this guy, and she seemed pretty into him, so..." Allie responded. "My plan was probably as lame as I first thought it was," Tripp concluded with a laugh of embarrassment.

Chanel and Johnny went to Julie's Place for lunch -- then continued discussing Sweet Bits while waiting for their food to arrive. "I'm really excited about it -- and the best part is that I get to work with my BFF," Chanel raved. "Does this 'BFF' have a name?" Johnny wondered -- but Paulina approached before Chanel could answer the question.

"Who's this nice-looking young man?" Paulina began, prompting Johnny to stand and extend a hand as Chanel took care of the introductions. "Lovely to meet you -- I see where Chanel gets her good looks," Johnny said to Paulina. "Flattery will get you everywhere!" Paulina said to Johnny. "Don't you have that thing -- you know, that thing you have to go do right now?" Chanel hopefully prodded Paulina. "Oh, am I interrupting something?" Paulina realized. "No!" Johnny insisted. "Yes!" Chanel insisted. "I see... So, you two on a date?" Paulina guessed. "No!" Chanel declared. "Yes!" Johnny declared. "Well, at least we're all agreed..." Paulina mused.

"Ms. Price, I'm afraid the confusion is all my fault -- you see, I am completely captivated by your beautiful daughter, and I fear I might have gotten a little ahead of myself; I was being...optimistic...in thinking this was a date," Johnny admitted. "Oh, nothing wrong with optimism...and let me tell you, my Chanel could certainly do a lot worse than you -- in fact, she has..." Paulina responded.

"I can't wait to hear all the gory details," Johnny encouraged Paulina as they both ignored Chanel's obvious discomfort. "Well, Giovanni, I won't tell you any gory details because I respect my daughter's privacy --" Paulina stressed. "That's a new one..." Chanel muttered. "But if she wants to tell you --" Paulina pointedly added. "Okay!" Chanel tiredly conceded before starting to confess to having recently married a criminal. "With a rap sheet longer than my arm -- both my arms!" Paulina helpfully elaborated, annoying Chanel and amusing Johnny. "Anyway, the marriage, it lasted, like, two seconds -- it was nothing; it was over and done with; it was just one big, stupid mistake --" Chanel insisted. "Oh? Well, that's good news -- means I still got a shot," Johnny concluded. "Oh, does it, now?" Chanel argued.

"Oh, Chanel, stop messing with the boy -- now, I, for one, think you should give him a chance! You know, unless you're still doing the girl thing..." Paulina casually advised, irritating Chanel and intriguing Johnny. "I am sexually fluid," Chanel explained. "Which means she's into boys and girls and everything in between!" Paulina translated. "Mama!" Chanel snapped. "I only know about one girl so far...but I am a modern woman, [so] I have no problem with it -- and I assume you, being a modern young man, [also] have no problem --" Paulina said to Johnny. "Of course not -- in fact, I have a brother who's gay," Johnny revealed. "Are you fluid? You know, I hear that's a big thing with a whole lot of you young people nowadays --" Paulina prodded Johnny. "Mama, please stop!" Chanel begged. "No, I am 100% into women -- one, in particular..." Johnny declared while gazing at Chanel.

Chanel again begged Paulina to leave. "All right, all right -- you can tell me all about your date when you get home," Paulina conceded before starting to exit the restaurant. "Home?" Chanel repeated. "Well, yeah -- I assumed that, since we were all good [now], you would move back in, you know? And besides, your grandmother, she wants to see you," Paulina explained. "Okay, fine -- I'm moving back in," Chanel agreed.

Satisfied, Paulina continued exiting the restaurant -- just as Allie and Tripp were about to enter it. Paulina paused to chat with Tripp and Allie for a few minutes -- and the bulk of the conversation ended up being about what they had just missed. "Well, I guess now is our chance to meet Chanel's new mystery man..." Tripp said to Allie after Paulina rushed off. "Maybe we should give them some privacy, especially after her mom just interrupted her date," Allie argued. "Good call," Tripp conceded. "Maybe we could spend some time alone [instead]..." Allie suggested. "Genius idea!" Tripp raved.

Julie was in the town square, polishing Tom and Alice's memorial plaque, when Paulina approached. "Your grandparents -- back where they belong... I'm so relieved to see it," Paulina declared. "I feel like all is right with the world again," Julie admitted. "I know I've said it many times before, but it bears repeating -- I am so sorry that I caused all that trouble," Paulina stressed. "I appreciate that," Julie responded. "Lani reached out to me yesterday [and said] we can start over...[and] I was thinking maybe...you and I...could do the same?" Paulina begged. "I'd like that," Julie confirmed, surprising Paulina, who quickly extended a hand so they could seal the deal.

At Julie's Place, Johnny probed for more details about Chanel's crush. "Her name is Nunya -- Nunya Business," Chanel joked. "Well, if she's my competition --" Johnny argued. "She's not," Chanel stressed. "Wait -- last night, you said you liked someone who liked someone else, [and] I just assumed it was a guy, [but] that's who your mom was talking about," Johnny realized. "Yes, that's her...but, trust me, you have nothing to worry about -- we're just friends," Chanel maintained. "And business partners," Johnny deduced. "You got me," Chanel admitted. "So...is that gonna be...like...weird?" Johnny wondered. "No, it's totally fine," Chanel insisted. "You sure? You're not still hung up on her?" Johnny countered. "Not at all -- and how could I be...when I've got this cute boy in front of me?" Chanel teased before giving Johnny a kiss.

At the Walker apartment, Tripp and Allie each released a sigh of contentment while they were lying in bed together. "I've never been so happy to skip lunch," Tripp joked. "I've never been so happy...ever," Allie countered. "You mean that?" Tripp wondered. "Yeah," Allie insisted. "Allie, there's...something I want to tell you..." Tripp began to admit. "What?" Allie prodded Tripp. "I love you," Tripp concluded.

Paulina makes up with Abe

Paulina makes up with Abe

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Gwen visited Xander at his hotel room. "I came to say I'm sorry," Gwen said. "What exactly are you sorry for?" Xander asked. Gwen told Xander that she had heard about his night in jail. Xander noted that there had been no other option than for him to confess to Jack.

"A few moments more, and I probably would have come clean," Gwen admitted. "But then you would have lost your father after spending your whole life without him. All I lost was one night," Xander said. When Gwen worried aloud that Xander might go to prison for her, Xander warned Gwen not to tell the police the truth. Xander told Gwen about E.J.'s offer.

"For you to give up a million dollars just to protect me, honestly, I don't know what to say," Gwen said. "You didn't ask me to be the fall guy," Xander reminded Gwen. When Gwen noted that Xander desperately needed the money, Xander shrugged. "It's not like I worked very hard for it," Xander said. Xander added that there were other opportunities.

"I know a thing or two about you by now, Xander. You really struggled to gain respect," Gwen said. "Money and respect aren't the same thing," Xander countered. "Since when?" Gwen shot back. With a smirk, Xander mumbled, "Maybe I am growing as a person?" Gwen told Xander that no one had ever done anything so selfless for her before.

"Well, I don't think I've ever done anything so selfless for someone before, so maybe we're both exploring new territory," Xander said. "You did all this for me?" Gwen asked. After a moment, Xander said, "I suppose I did." Gwen took Xander's hand, and she thanked him. "You're very welcome," Xander said. Gwen leaned forward and kissed Xander passionately.

After Xander and Gwen had sex, Xander joked, "I have to say, that was well worth one million dollars!" Gwen laughed. Xander suggested they drink Champagne to celebrate his release from jail, but Gwen argued it was premature to celebrate before the charges were dropped. Xander asked Gwen if she wanted anything. "I think you've done plenty," Gwen said.

"Come on. There must be some incredibly selfless thing I can do to compel you to thank me all over again," Xander whispered. With a grin, Gwen said she still owed Xander for what he had already done. "How about I show you how the Scots say, 'You're Welcome'?" Xander said as he waggled an eyebrow. With a giggle, Gwen pulled Xander into another passionate kiss.

After having sex, Tripp and Allie curled up in her bed, and he told Allie that he loved her. "I don't know what to say," Allie whispered. As Allie pulled away, Tripp assured Allie that she did not need to respond in kind. "It felt right in the moment, but if you don't feel the same way," Tripp started. Allie told Tripp that she cared about him, but she was not ready to say those words.

"I don't want you to force anything. And you know what? We don't have to talk about it anymore. Let's just forget it ever happened," Tripp said. "No, wait. I want you to understand why I couldn't say that," Allie countered. Allie confessed that she had never told anyone that she had dated that she loved them. "Have you said it to someone else?" Allie asked. "I have. It's always a major step," Tripp confirmed. Allie admitted that she had never had a serious boyfriend before.

"Maybe I'm scared of saying something too soon, or maybe it's from all the trauma that I went through last year, or I don't know. I'm just not ready," Allie said. Allie added, "I just don't want to hurt you. But I have hurt you, haven't I?" Tripp told Allie that she did not need to explain herself to him and that he was happy to wait. Tripp's phone beeped with a message from the hospital.

After Tripp returned to work, Allie went to the penthouse to pick up Henry from Marlena. Marlena noted that Henry was in the other room with John and some building blocks. Allie asked Marlena if they could talk privately. "What's going on?" Marlena asked. Allie told Marlena about her conversation with Tripp. Allie admitted that she cared about Tripp and that their relationship was good. "You weren't having any doubts before [Tripp said, 'I love you']?" Marlena asked. Allie told Marlena about her threesome dream with Tripp and Chanel.

"And it's not just the dream that is making me wonder," Allie admitted. Marlena asked for details. Allie said that when Chanel had mentioned a new guy, Allie had felt "a stab of jealousy." Allie also mentioned she had avoided looking at Chanel with her date. "If I still have feelings for [Chanel], I want to get past them," Allie said. "Because you want to be with Tripp?" Marlena asked. Allie said yes. Marlena advised Allie to sort out her feelings before she made any declarations to Tripp.

Kayla was working in her office when Tripp walked in. "You're not supposed to be on shift tonight," Kayla said. "If anyone asks, you called me in," Tripp said. Tripp told Kayla about his conversation with Allie. "What the hell was I thinking? You never say it unless you're sure the other person is ready. And now, I may have ruined everything," Tripp said.

"The last thing [Allie] needed was somebody pressuring her," Tripp lamented. "You weren't pressuring her. You were just being honest about your feelings," Kayla said. Tripp noted that Allie had been uncomfortable. "She probably just needs time," Kayla said. "What if she takes time and realizes that she will never love me back?" Tripp asked. Kayla noted that Allie's ability to have a normal relationship with Tripp after the trauma Allie had experienced was a huge step.

"And it's a testament to how supportive and patient you've been. But triggers can happen at any time. And I know that from experience," Kayla said. "What if it has nothing to do with Charlie?" Tripp asked. Tripp admitted that his fear was that Allie did not love him in the same way because of her feelings for someone else. Kayla asked Tripp if he doubted Allie's decision to choose him over her friend.

"[Allie] has never given me a reason to question her," Tripp admitted. Kayla asked Tripp to explain. "What if [Allie] hasn't really put those feelings aside completely? Maybe that's why she couldn't bring herself to say she loves me," Tripp said.

In Julie's Place, Chanel kissed Johnny. "I feel like everybody is looking at us," Chanel whispered. Johnny asked Chanel if she wanted to go somewhere more private. After a moment, Johnny laughed nervously and apologized for his forwardness. "Let's get out of here," Chanel said. While Johnny called out for the check, a nervous look crossed Chanel's face.

In the town square, Paulina stared at the newly restored Horton plaque. "Alice and Tom's plaque," Abe said as he approached. Paulina noted that Abe had missed Julie. When Abe asked how that run-in had gone, Paulina said it had gone well. "It seems fitting that this is the place we buried the hatchet. We agreed to start over with a clean slate," Paulina said. "Lani tells me that you and her did the same," Abe said. With a nod yes, Paulina asked Abe, "What about us?"

"I would love a chance to make it up to you. If you let me," Paulina said. "I was encouraging Lani to forgive you, and I would be a hypocrite not to try," Abe noted. Abe added that it would not be easy to start over, but he would like to make an effort. Abe kissed Paulina. "You don't know how much this means to me," Paulina said with a laugh. Abe admitted that he could not stay mad at Paulina because of how he felt about her.

"It would be such a relief to get past the secrets and the lies," Abe said. Paulina's smile faltered as she mumbled, "It will." Concerned, Abe noted that Paulina did not appear to be relieved. Paulina lied and said she had been thinking about the best part of making up. Abe chuckled. "What do you say we just head on over to your place?" Paulina suggested. "I wouldn't mind meeting the famous Big Mama I've heard so much about," Abe countered. Paulina grumbled that her mother was opinionated, but Abe noted that he was not afraid.

"I just want her to know how much her daughter means to me," Abe said. Abe noted that in order to make their relationship work, they would need to unite the family. "I can't think of a reason why not!" Paulina exclaimed. Paulina linked her arm through Abe's, and they headed toward Paulina's apartment.

At Paulina's apartment, Eli and Lani brought the twins to meet their great-grandmother. When Olivia complimented Eli's manners, Lani remarked that Paulina had said the same thing when she had met Eli. "Paulina has never met a line she wouldn't cross," Olivia said with a chuckle. Lani asked Olivia why she had needed to travel to Salem to talk to Paulina. Olivia explained that she had been worried when she had heard that Paulina was dating Abe.

"Dad and Paulina had a connection right away," Lani said. "Connection, fine, but the Bible says thou shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother's wife," Olivia said. Lani laughed. Eli noted that Lani had been opposed to the relationship. "Mom doesn't seem worried about it, so why are you?" Lani asked. Olivia said that she was old-fashioned.

When Paulina returned home with Abe, Abe's face lit up when he saw Lani and the babies. Paulina started to introduce Olivia to Abe, but Olivia said she had seen a picture of Abe before. "I'd know you anywhere," Olivia said. "It's lovely to meet you," Abe said. Abe grinned as he looked over at Paulina. "I assume you know that I have a history with your other daughter," Abe said.

"History? That's one way of putting it," Olivia said. Abe noted that he cared deeply for Paulina. "I thought you two had broken up?" Olivia asked. "We just got back together," Paulina said. Lani's mouth fell open in surprise. When Abe confirmed that he was back together with Paulina, Eli started to clap.

"Y'all okay with this?" Oliva asked Lani and Eli. Lani said that she supported Abe and Paulina if they wanted to be together. "If you ask me, it's a terrible mistake, and Paulina knows why," Olivia said. "I assume this is about the lies Paulina told us," Abe said. Abe stressed that he had forgiven Paulina for her lies. "We have agreed to start fresh," Abe said. Paulina asked Olivia for her blessing. Olivia scowled.

After pictures were taken, the babies started to cry. "I hate to do this, but I think we should pass on dinner and head home," Lani said. Eli and Lani hugged Olivia goodbye, and Olivia promised to visit Salem again. After Lani and Eli left with the twins, Paulina invited Abe to stay for dinner. "That's a lovely invitation, but I think I should let the two of you have some mother-daughter time," Abe said. With a smile, Abe told Olivia it had been lovely to meet her. Paulina kissed Abe goodbye, and he left.

"Get that damn frown off your face," Paulina said to Olivia. Paulina claimed that Olivia had been rude to Abe. "Unlike most people, I can't hide my true feelings," Olivia said. Olivia warned Paulina that she was "playing with fire." Paulina countered that her relationship with Abe was not Olivia's business. "You're fooling yourself if you think you can ever tell [Abe] the truth," Olivia said. Paulina nodded in agreement.

"Promise me," Olivia said. "I know if I told [Lani] that she and Abe would never forgive me for lying all these years. So, if I want her and Abe both in my life, I'll just have to take my secret to the grave," Paulina said.

At the Price house, Eli and Lani relaxed on the couch after they put the twins to bed. "I am happy that [Abe] and Paulina are back together, because I hated the thought of him being lonely," Lani said. "I knew that they would work it out. I'm just surprised that you came around. I'm glad that you did," Eli said. With a nod, Lani said that she was relieved that there were no more secrets.

At the DiMera mansion, Chanel grinned as she looked around the ornate living room. "You said your family had a big house. You didn't say it was a mansion," Chanel said. Johnny took Chanel by the hand and led her up to his bedroom. Johnny and Chanel kissed and started to rip one another's clothes off. Chanel shoved Johnny away.

"We can't do this," Chanel said. "I'm so sorry. I thought you wanted this," Johnny stammered. Chanel clarified that she wanted to make sure that Johnny had protection. Relieved, Johnny rushed over to his backpack. When Johnny could not find any condoms in his backpack, he announced that he would head to the pharmacy. "Make yourself comfortable," Johnny said. Chanel stopped Johnny. "Maybe it's a good thing this happened. Maybe we should just hang out for a while," Chanel said. Chanel admitted that she had rushed into the situation for the wrong reason.

"Because of that girl you were telling me about earlier?" Johnny asked. Chanel danced around the subject, but Johnny gently pushed the issue. "So, you're saying that I'm using you to get her out of my system?" Chanel asked. "Are you?" Johnny countered. Chanel stressed that the answer was complicated. "But I really do like you, too," Chanel said. Chanel admitted that she still needed to get over her friend.

"If I can ever help you with that, now you know where to find me," Johnny said. Chanel laughed, and Johnny smiled at her. Chanel announced that she needed to leave. "Goodnight," Johnny said as he went for a handshake. Chanel pushed his hand aside and kissed him. After a heated moment, Chanel reiterated that she needed to go. Johnny asked Chanel to text him.

"Or maybe I'll stop by and surprise you some night," Chanel whispered. "I like surprises. And next time, I will be prepared," Johnny said. Chanel caressed Johnny's face, and she walked out.

On Chanel's way home, she called Allie to tell her that the bakery was official. "It's been a good day. I even ran into that guy again," Chanel said. Allie said she had heard from Paulina about Chanel's date. "I could have introduced you," Chanel said. "We didn't want to get in the way. Did you have fun?" Allie asked. Chanel said she had had fun, and Allie said that she was happy for Chanel. "Love you!" Chanel said. "Love you, too," Allie returned. When Allie ended the call, she gasped.

Ava and Rafe argue about Nicole

Ava and Rafe argue about Nicole

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

by Mike

At the Hernandez house, Gabi watched the screen of a tablet computer with great interest while lying in bed with Jake, who eventually woke up and argued that it was too early for anyone to be glued to an electronic device.

"[Tell that to Philip] -- he's writing an email right now to Titan's general counsel with the subject, in all caps, 'CONFIDENTIAL' -- [and], of course, I can see it because I installed that keystroke software into his computer," Gabi explained. "What does it say?" Jake wondered. "Dear Kent, I need your advice on an extremely sensitive matter. It is imperative that what I am about to share remains strictly between us. The issue at hand is," Gabi read aloud. "Come on, dude -- the suspense is killing me!" Jake prodded Gabi. "He just stopped typing," Gabi clarified with a shrug.

Philip was at Titan at that moment -- and had just received an unexpected visitor. "I told my assistant I wasn't to be disturbed," Philip grumbled. "Yes, well, I assume that doesn't apply to your mother -- who's here to stop you from making a terrible mistake," Kate countered. "Is this about me dating Chloe?" Philip guessed. "Oh, my God, no -- it's not about Chloe; it's about Jake! Philip, you can't bring him on board at Titan -- he's an untrustworthy jerk who's gonna work to undermine you and eventually stab you in the back!" Kate responded.

"I understand [why] you're...cynical...where Jake is concerned -- but I do not fear that [he will betray me; after all], his own family staged a coup to get rid of him...with you casting the deciding vote, I might add...[so] I'm trusting that he is still so angry that he'll be all in with helping me and Gabi crush DiMera," Philip explained. "You...do remember that I work for DiMera...right?" Kate protested. "We both know that you'll be working just as hard to crush us. May the best company win," Philip countered, drawing a scoff from Kate, who decided to focus on just one potential betrayal at a time.

"You know, I'm really afraid that you are becoming dangerously naïve -- I don't think that you have completely thought out what it means for you to get in bed with Gabi and Jake," Kate warned. "Gabi Chic just had its best quarter ever, and Gabi has repeatedly said that she thinks we have a 'terrific' working relationship --" Philip argued. "That is all part of her plan -- [see], first she lulls you into a false sense of security [by making] you feel that she's content being your underling, and then she's going to convince you that it would be a good idea to hire her boy toy because he would be so useful in helping you accomplish your mutual goals, and then they're going to tell you that it's 'one for all and all for one'...and the whole time, they're going to be working behind your back to bring you down!" Kate reasoned. "Wow -- paranoid much?" Philip teased, drawing a groan of frustration from Kate.

Kate advised that it would be extremely foolish to underestimate Gabi, but Philip felt equally deserving of such praise. "Look, I fully admit that when I started this job, I made some very stupid mistakes that put my family and this company at tremendous risk, [but] there is no scenario where Dad or I would allow Titan to be run by a pair of DiMeras! [Now], trust me, I will keep my eyes on Gabi and Jake...but I'm the one using them," Philip assured Kate, who remained concerned -- and seized the opportunity to suggest another potential betrayal. "I know how much it means to you that your father gave you a second chance -- I do -- but you can't be comfortable in that...because if he is ever convinced that there is someone else who could do your job better than you do, he'd have you out in a heartbeat," Kate predicted -- but Philip didn't seem to take that warning seriously, either.

"If it's just information that you need about DiMera, there's better ways to get it -- [like]...from your girlfriend," Kate recommended. "I did try to get Chloe to jump ship -- because I thought she would be an asset to Titan -- [but] she turned me down," Philip grumbled. "Did you really think she would be an 'asset' to Titan...or did you just want to get her away from Brady?" Kate wondered. "She assured me that I'm the one she wants to be with," Philip stressed. "Oh? Well, Jake assured me of the same thing, and look how that turned out," Kate muttered. "I'm sorry you were hurt...but you have to stop comparing --" Philip argued. "You're my son -- I'm never gonna stop trying to protect you," Kate countered. "But I don't need protection from Chloe! [Look], I can feel our connection getting deeper every day -- it's only a matter of time before she is really, truly mine!" Philip bragged.

"Okay -- whatever you say..." Kate skeptically conceded. "Just don't forget what I said about Jake -- if you hire him, you'll regret it," Kate confidently reiterated. "I love you, [and] I'm just looking out for you -- you know that, right?" Kate asked hopefully. "Yeah, I do..." Philip grudgingly replied. Satisfied, Kate gave Philip a hug then rushed off.

Chloe rushed over to Basic Black after receiving an urgent text message from Brady. "Thanks for coming in so early," Brady began when Chloe arrived. "Not a problem -- what's the emergency?" Chloe responded. "It's not really an 'emergency'...but the DiMera jet is fueled up [and] on the tarmac -- it's waiting for us," Brady explained. "Why?" Chloe wondered. "Because I'm whisking you away [to] New York -- that new distributor called, [and] he wants a face-to-face today," Brady clarified, adding that it was a perfect opportunity for Chloe to see Parker and the Wesleys.

"I don't know if Philip would approve..." Chloe protested. "That would be Philip's problem," Brady argued. "Philip and I are in a relationship, and I need to take his feelings into account," Chloe countered. "His pathetic, infantile feelings," Brady stressed. "Is it really 'pathetic' and 'infantile' to expect some respect and courtesy from the person you're dating?" Chloe challenged Brady after stifling a laugh. "Since when is it discourteous and disrespectful to go on a business trip with your boss?" Brady challenged Chloe with a dismissive scoff.

At the Hernandez house, Rafe entered the kitchen and greeted Ava, who was drinking a cup of coffee and fiddling with a cell phone. "I hope I didn't miss breakfast..." Rafe began after looking around the kitchen in search of a hot meal, prompting Ava to produce a granola bar. "You normally make the Italian eggs [on this day of the week]..." Rafe noted. "Yeah, I do...but I decided not to [this time] -- in case you have plans with Nicole," Ava grumbled.

"Again, I am very sorry that I missed dinner the other night -- I should have called you and let you know that I was stopping by Nicole's --" Rafe stressed. "Yes, you should have," Ava agreed. "But she is your friend, too, and she is going through a really rough time right now, so I just assumed that you would be okay with it -- that you wouldn't want her to be alone --" Rafe reasoned. "I didn't...which is why I offered to bring dinner over to her place -- [but] you told me not to!" Ava countered. "Because she said that she didn't want company!" Rafe explained. "Oh, so...I'm 'company'...and you're not," Ava translated.

"That is not what I meant -- [it's just that] she said that she didn't want a lot of people around, okay? She's depressed -- I mean, the girl, she could barely get out of her own bed --" Rafe attempted to clarify. "Poor baby!" Ava dismissively interjected. "[And], considering the circumstances --" Rafe tried to continue. "The circumstances which..." Ava tiredly snapped.

"Go ahead -- finish what you were gonna say," Rafe prodded Ava. "Nicole chose to cheat on her husband with Xander -- it is her own damn fault that her marriage is over," Ava concluded with a shrug. "That's a pretty harsh way to talk about your friend," Rafe declared with a scoff. "So, if somebody cheated on you, you'd just give 'em a pass?" Ava guessed. "No --" Rafe admitted. "So, then, how come she gets one?" Ava wondered. "[Look], I'm not saying that it's okay -- all I am saying is that I understand it. And the saddest part about this whole thing is that if we had been there for her, it would have never happened --" Rafe explained. "Oh, so...now it's our fault," Ava summarized.

"I am just kicking myself for silencing my phone -- I wish that I would have gotten Nicole's call --" Rafe attempted to clarify. "Why, so you could have slept with her instead?" Ava snapped. "You keep twisting everything that I --" Rafe protested. "If you had answered Nicole's call that night, you would have bailed on our date -- and [then you] very possibly would have ended up in bed with her," Ava reasoned. "[That] never would have happened, because I am involved with you --" Rafe insisted. "Never say 'never,'" Ava warned. "We have been over this so many damn times, and I have told you that I do not have feelings for Nicole [every time] --" Rafe noted. "And I didn't believe you then, either," Ava admitted.

"Okay -- so, obviously, we have a big problem," Rafe realized with a sigh. "Look, maybe it was wrong for me to suggest that you would have slept with Nicole while she was still married...but her marriage is over [at this point, so] I think it's important that you are just honest [now] -- with me and yourself -- about who you really want to be with," Ava argued. "For the umpteenth time, I do not have feelings for Nicole -- she is my friend --" Rafe maintained. "The friend you dream about, the friend you drop everything for at a moment's notice, the friend who always seems to be on your mind --" Ava summarized. "That does not mean that I have the desire to --" Rafe objected. "The hell you don't!" Ava countered.

"Just admit that you want to sleep with Nicole!" Ava challenged Rafe -- just as Gabi and Jake entered the kitchen. "Looks like we interrupted a very personal conversation..." Gabi excitedly observed. "It's nothing," Rafe defensively claimed. "Didn't sound like 'nothing'..." Gabi teasingly argued. "So, did we miss breakfast, or --" Jake awkwardly wondered. "Yes!" Rafe and Ava irritably responded in unison, finally in sync about something.

"Well, that's a shame, because Jake here has a very important business meeting [today], and he needs all his energy, so why don't we sit down --" Gabi suggested, eager to witness the rest of Ava and Rafe's argument. "These will do," Jake insisted before grabbing a few granola bars then ushering Gabi out of the house. "I did try to warn you..." Gabi managed to remind Ava before Jake closed the front door.

"So...what, exactly, did she warn you about?" Rafe wondered. "Your feelings for Nicole -- [see], your sister, who knows you better than anyone, seems to think that the only reason that you and Nicole have not been romantic with each other is because she was married...and she's single now, so Gabi thinks that maybe the two of you might decide to take it to the next level," Ava answered. "That's just Gabi being Gabi -- she's playing mind games with you, [and] I can't believe you fell for it --" Rafe protested. "Oh, so...now I'm clueless and gullible," Ava translated. "I never said [that -- but] you shouldn't listen to a word that my sister says; she doesn't like you, so she's messing with you --" Rafe clarified. "I don't like her, either -- she's been trying everything she can to get me out of here since I moved in here -- but maybe she's speaking the truth," Ava responded.

"Rafe, I have been watching you and Nicole for months, and it has been there the entire time -- in the looks that you two share, in the moments that I have walked in on... [Look], I am not questioning your character, Rafe -- you are the most honorable man that I have ever known -- but because of that, you feel like you [are] obligated to stay with me --" Ava argued. "That is not true!" Rafe interjected. "[And] it's not doing either of us any favors for you to continue to deny how you feel about Nicole!" Ava concluded before storming out of the house and slamming the door shut.

Nicole entered the Brady Pub and greeted Roman, who coldly pointed out that the restaurant wasn't open for business yet. "I came here to talk to you -- and I'm sorry it's taken me so long, [but] I haven't been in the mood to see people... [Anyway], I feel terrible that the party you hosted for me and Eric turned out to be such a disaster -- I truly am sorry --" Nicole began. "You should be!" Roman spat before starting to lash out.

"I made a terrible mistake that I will regret for the rest of my life -- but I am not the only one to blame here --" Nicole argued at the end of Roman's lecture. "Wait a minute -- if you're suggesting that Eric is responsible --" Roman protested, ready to lash out again. "No, I'm talking about Sami," Nicole clarified before starting to elaborate.

"Do you have proof?" Roman wondered at the end of Nicole's tale. "No...[but] ask Belle -- she is [also] convinced that Sami set this whole thing up," Nicole responded. "All right... Well, that is hard to hear -- it pains me to hear that Sami would hurt her brother like that..." Roman admitted with a sigh. "But not surprising to you, right?" Nicole guessed.

"You know what? Even if she was involved, you still cheated on my son -- a wonderful, honorable man --" Roman snapped. "I know," Nicole conceded. "Yeah, well, if that's true -- [if] you know what a decent, kind, loving man your husband is -- [then] how in the hell could you hurt him like that?" Roman challenged Nicole.

"Forgive me, but I'm a little confused about your lack of understanding, [because] I remember you telling me that it was wrong of Eric to leave me alone for so long -- and that if he wasn't careful, he could drive me into someone else's arms --" Nicole reminded Roman. "Yeah, I did say that, [because] Eric shouldn't have stayed away as long as he did, [so] I did feel that if another man came along -- a good man -- and pursued you during that time that you were very lonely, then...yeah, I could understand that you would be vulnerable... But we both know that is a far cry from what happened between you and Xander," Roman countered. "Of course," Nicole whispered.

"I'm sorry --" Nicole reiterated. "Yeah, well, I'm not the person you need to apologize to. You should have come clean with Eric right away. If you had been honest from the very beginning, you could have spared all of us a lot of pain," Roman stressed. "I tried to come clean with Eric -- I even wrote him an email, confessing everything I did...but I just couldn't bring myself to send it to him," Nicole admitted. "Damn it... God, I wish you had, Nicole -- [because then] you could have taken care of this in private, [and] Eric wouldn't have been humiliated in front of everybody he knows," Roman declared.

"The regret I feel over hurting him [is] killing me, and I hate myself for what I did, but there's nothing I can do to change it..." Nicole tearfully responded, and Roman unsympathetically agreed. "[Anyway]...before Eric left, we did talk, and we had it out, and he acknowledged, just as you have, that it was wrong of him to put our life on hold --" Nicole began to reveal. "So, you do blame him," Roman incredulously translated. "No -- never -- [but, with regards to] our marriage falling apart, Eric and I realized that it was inevitable, [because] as much as we love each other, we're just different people -- people who are better off apart --" Nicole tried to clarify.

"You know what, Nicole? That is a nice little story, but you don't get to put a nice little ribbon on this!" Roman protested. "I just wanted you to know that we parted peacefully --" Nicole reasoned. "Yeah, well, like I said, he's a good man -- very kind, very forgiving... But make no mistake -- and I know this from firsthand experience -- he will live with [that] pain you caused, because [he] never loved anyone -- never loved anyone -- the way he loved you. So, no matter what those parting words were that he said, the truth is...he'll never be the same, and there will be many, many moments in the coming years where he will think of you, and that pain [and] that hurt will still be there, and he'll say to himself, 'Damn, maybe I just wasn't good enough for her,'" Roman stressed.

"Once again, you're right -- I'm a terrible, terrible person, and I destroyed Eric, and I destroyed our marriage, and I deserve to live in misery for the rest of my life," Nicole conceded between sobs before rushing out of the pub -- and Roman didn't bother to object. Nicole paused outside the pub to recover -- then contacted Brady. "I'm not gonna come into the office today -- [in fact], I think I'm gonna take the rest of the week off, [because] I really need some space right now," Nicole explained to Brady. "Of course," Brady assured Nicole before ending the call.

"There's really no choice [now] -- you and I are gonna have to go," Brady said to Chloe, who had been trying to convince Brady to take Nicole to New York instead. "Why do you really want to take this trip with me?" Chloe challenged Brady.

Gabi approached Nicole and guessed that something was wrong. "I like Roman -- he's family -- but...he can be a little judgy," Gabi stressed after Nicole explained what had just happened. "I just left [Rafe] at home, and I bet you are still on his mind, [so] I feel like he would be really grateful if you went over there and leaned on him right now, [because he] lives to take care of the people he cares about -- [and] it would save him the trip of coming to find you," Gabi advised Nicole.

Jake went to Titan for a follow-up interview with Philip, who shared Kate's earlier concerns. "If you are gonna put more stock in your mother's opinions than your own instincts, we got nothing further to talk about, [so]..." Jake responded before starting to walk away.

Gabi ran into Ava in the town square and seized the opportunity to continue gloating. Meanwhile, at the Hernandez house, Rafe received a visit from Nicole.

Nicole finds out about Rafe and Ava's fight

Nicole finds out about Rafe and Ava's fight

Thursday, August 26, 2021

by Mike

At the Hernandez house, Rafe stiffly greeted Nicole, who took the reception as a hint that it was a bad time. "You and Ava are having breakfast," Nicole guessed before apologizing for the interruption then starting to rush off. "No -- I'm actually having breakfast alone, if you want to join..." Rafe responded.

At the Horton Town Square, Gabi continued teasing Ava about Rafe's relationship with Nicole. "Do you not have somewhere you need to be?" Ava snapped. "I do...[but] I just love saying 'I told you so'..." Gabi admitted, prompting Ava to toss a barely eaten croissant in a nearby trash can then start walking away with a shake of the head.

"Lose your appetite?" Gabi called out while chasing after Ava. "Only because the sight of you makes me sick," Ava spat. "Funny -- I have the same reaction to the sight of you. But don't worry -- we won't be seeing nearly as much of each other once Rafe decides he wants to be with Nicole and drops you to the gutter, where you belong," Gabi declared with a smirk before sauntering away from Ava. "Puttana stupida -- might want to be a little more careful who you turn your back on..." Ava muttered while watching Gabi disappear from view.

Rafe filled two plates with freshly cooked breakfast foods then handed one of the plates to Nicole -- but they both agreed, after sampling everything, that it was all terrible. Rafe tried to apologize for having somehow ruined the meal, but Nicole insisted that it wasn't a big deal. "Especially since I just popped in out of the blue..." Nicole reasoned. "[Actually], I didn't 'pop in'..." Nicole backpedaled. "Gabi told me to stop by -- she said that I've been on your mind and that you'd want to see me," Nicole clarified. "That is true...[but] Gabi is just making trouble [in this case] -- she has been amusing herself by trying to convince Ava that I don't want to be with her anymore...because I want to be with you [instead]," Rafe admitted to Nicole, who was surprised to learn that Ava was starting to believe Gabi's theory.

"[Ava's] not right about you and me -- I mean, you secretly wanting me; that's ridiculous -- but she is right about [us] spending time together [and] about me leaning on you too much --" Nicole began to argue. "That's not her call, [and] I'm not gonna stop hanging out with you just because she feels threatened --" Rafe protested. "I know Ava, and I know how insecure she can be, especially with men...[and] if you care about her, why would you want her to feel that way? [Look], this is working -- for you and for her -- and I just think that you both should see where it could go," Nicole concluded. "No, that doesn't work for me!" Rafe maintained.

"Just because I'm going out with Ava, that doesn't mean that I can't see you [anymore -- it's] bad enough that I wasn't there for you when you got the phone call that night from Eric; I mean, none of this would have happened if --" Rafe reasoned. "Stop! What happened that night was not your fault -- I made a choice!" Nicole stressed. "And I am making a choice now -- I will miss you like crazy...but I can't see you for a while; it's best this way," Nicole insisted. "No! Nicole, you don't just get to do this -- you can't just unilaterally decide what's best for me and then sideline our friendship!" Rafe objected. "I am just...giving us a time-out," Nicole clarified. "[But] you're in a bad place!" Rafe noted. "That I brought on myself...[and] I am going to get through it with the support of my friends and family -- my other friends," Nicole maintained.

Ava composed a text message -- "I'm sorry for blowing up the way I did about you and Nicole. You're just friends. I need to understand that" -- then started to send it to Rafe. "Oh, the hell you are -- 'cause if you had it your way, you'd be with her right now! But then, of course, you'd have to be man enough to admit what you really want..." Ava grumbled.

Ava deleted the text message then composed another one -- "The only thing I'm sorry about is that I was clueless enough to expect a man to understand anything about women" -- then started to send it to Rafe. "It's none of my business, but you might want to think twice before you send [that]," Steve advised while approaching from behind, and Ava conceded the point then deleted the text message.

"So...how are things going with you two?" Steve wondered. "Oh, they're great -- just really, really great... Especially since we had a big fight this morning... But now you get to gloat, because you warned Rafe that dating me would be the biggest mistake of his life," Ava responded. "I was out of line to say that -- and I owe you an apology," Steve admitted, stunning Ava.

"You...owe me...an apology? Well, that's a new one..." Ava muttered. "I've started to realize that I tend to hold on to my opinion of other people, even when what's right in front of me tells me that opinion might not hold water anymore..." Steve began to explain before telling Ava about Justin's relationship with Bonnie. "[Anyway], a very wise woman told me that you have to let go of the hurt and anger to find compassion [because that's] the only way to move forward...so, it's time I did that -- it's time I realized that Bonnie really is trying to change [and that] the least I can do is give her the benefit of the doubt. And you deserve that, too," Steve concluded.

"It means a lot that you would have an open mind about me," Ava raved. "Well, you keep telling me you want to be a better person for our son, [and] I respect that -- and I know how much it means to Tripp," Steve acknowledged. "There is nothing that I want more than to make Tripp proud of me," Ava stressed. "Well, it looks like you're on your way," Steve declared.

Ava confided in Steve about what was going on with Rafe. "[Nicole and Rafe] have been friends for years," Steve revealed. "I know that [in my head...but in my heart], all I see is that she is the one that he wants to be with. She's the one who laughs with him so easily. And whenever I can't find him, guess where he is -- with her. And it stings in my heart every single time. And I certainly don't have to tell you how crazy and jealous I can get..." Ava explained. "Try trusting Rafe," Steve advised. "'Trust' -- now, there is something I am not very good at..." Ava muttered. "Learn -- because if you let your insecurity make you paranoid, that always leads to obsession, and I'd like to think those bad ol' days are behind you. So, if Rafe says he wants to be with you...take him at his word," Steve countered.

"You know, Steve...in the past, you probably would have just told me to go to hell, but you spent a lot of time with me and gave me some really good advice [instead this time, so]...thank you," Ava whispered. "It's okay. And just remember, Nicole is your friend," Steve responded. "She's my best friend, and I trust her. And I trust Rafe, too. [And] after I made a scene and slammed out of the house [earlier], I left Rafe without breakfast, so...if you will excuse me, I am going to bring him his favorite muffin and an apology -- a real apology," Ava decided. "Sounds like a plan," Steve agreed.

Ava parted ways with Steve then headed off in search of the muffin -- just as Rafe was in the process of finally accepting Nicole's decision to put some distance between the two of them for the time being. Nicole gave Rafe a farewell hug -- just as Ava approached the windowed front door of the Hernandez house, which provided a clear view of the embrace.

At Titan, Philip stopped Jake from exiting the CEO's office. "I do respect my mother's opinion...[but] I make my own decisions," Philip stressed before extending a hand -- and a job offer -- to Jake. "You won't regret it," Jake assured Philip.

Gabi arrived a short time later and guessed that Jake had just been hired -- and Philip confirmed the suspicion then started to rush off. "When will you be back?" Gabi wondered. "A few hours," Philip responded before disappearing from view.

"This is right where I belong..." Jake declared with a sigh of contentment while settling in Philip's chair and propping both feet up on the desk. "Get your ass out of that chair -- my chair -- because we have things to do!" Gabi snapped at Jake before closing and locking the office door. "We need to turn this place upside down if we're gonna find something that's gonna help us convince Victor to get his son out of this company!" Gabi elaborated, disappointing Jake, who clearly thought it would be more fun to christen the desk.

While helping Gabi search the office, Jake revealed what had happened earlier. "It's a good thing that Philip doesn't listen to Mommie Dearest," Gabi said to Philip before complaining that there was nothing incriminating in the office.

Changing the subject, Gabi bragged to Jake about having pushed Ava's buttons again earlier -- and about having pushed Nicole further into Rafe's arms. "If I were you, I would leave Ava Vitali alone," Jake warned. "What, because she's some sort of mafia princess? You think that scares me?" Gabi protested. "No, I don't -- but maybe it should; maybe you should be a little more respectful of her past," Jake responded. "Did you cross paths with her when you were working for her crime family?" Gabi wondered. "No, I didn't -- I was too low on the food chain to be on her radar," Jake clarified. "But I'm telling you, I heard stories; she's ruthless -- brutal, even -- so...do me [and] yourself a favor [and] steer clear of her," Jake added. "No, never mind me -- what about Rafe? If she was so 'brutal' and 'ruthless'..." Gabi fretted. "She better stay the hell away from my brother!" Gabi spat.

Jake soon reached the same conclusion that Gabi had reached earlier -- that there was nothing incriminating in the office -- but they decided not to leave just yet, wanting to first revisit the earlier idea of christening the desk.

At Basic Black, Brady denied having ulterior motives for wanting Chloe to attend the business meeting in New York. "[And besides]...if you and Philip are as solid as you say you are...why would he have a problem with this?" Brady challenged Chloe. "Why would I have a problem with what?" Philip wondered, joining Chloe and Brady in the CEO's office.

Brady watched as Chloe greeted Philip with a quick kiss. "I thought I'd take another crack at the whole Gabi Chic-Basic Black collaboration idea --" Philip began to explain. "I'm pretty sure we closed the door on that [already]," Brady interjected. "You did -- you slammed it shut," Philip agreed before dropping a heavy packet of documents on the desk. "But then I told myself, 'Poor Brady wouldn't know a great idea if it bit him in the ass, so I'll try again -- with details!'" Philip concluded. "And here I thought this just might be an excuse for you to check on Chloe..." Brady mused. "Why would I need to do that?" Philip wondered while pointedly wrapping an arm around Chloe, drawing a scoff from Brady.

"Well, hey, man, this is great -- and Chloe and I, we will take a look at [your proposal]...on the jet," Brady assured Philip before deciding to step out of the office for a few minutes so Chloe could explain the situation. "You trust me, don't you?" Chloe challenged Philip after clarifying Brady's comment. "Of course -- it's Brady I don't trust; the man knows you're with me, [but] he keeps angling to get between us!" Philip responded. "Listen, you are more important than business, so...if you don't want me to go with Brady, then I won't," Chloe offered. "I'm not gonna stop you from doing your job," Philip insisted.

Chloe thanked Philip with a kiss -- just as Brady returned. "We're all set to go -- we can leave this afternoon...assuming it's okay with Philip," Brady announced. "Why wouldn't it be?" Philip responded.

Satisfied, Chloe decided to step outside and contact Parker, leaving Philip alone with Brady. "You do anything inappropriate with my girlfriend -- in New York or anywhere else -- I will kill you," Philip warned Brady.

At the Kiriakis mansion, Justin and Bonnie looked around the study in stunned silence while rooted to their respective spots on the couch -- one of the only things in the room that was still upright, though even it wasn't entirely unscathed. "That went well..." Bonnie -- who was covered with bits of various foods, as were Justin and the couch -- eventually joked.

"Maybe we should have waited 'til after brunch to tell Victor about the wedding..." Bonnie mused. "I suppose I should apologize to ol' Vic for throwing the lox -- though, honestly, I didn't think it would actually hit him..." Bonnie admitted. "He started it -- why apologize?" Justin protested. "That's right, he did -- when he dumped my country-fried steak and eggs in my lap!" Bonnie recalled.

Justin watched in disbelief as Bonnie casually scraped some food off the couch with a finger then licked the finger clean and gave the food a nod of approval. "You're not angry?" Justin asked incredulously. "I'm hungry...but angry? We both know how Victor feels about me -- is it a surprise he threw in a side of bacon with his opinion [this time]?" Bonnie matter-of-factly replied. "[Still], you deserve better..." Justin grumbled. "[Or] maybe you do -- [I mean, that's] what most of your family and friends think, isn't it? [So, after] seeing Victor so upset and so disgusted, I'm thinking [that], right about now, you're wondering [if] there should be a wedding at all," Bonnie countered. "Our wedding is about you and me -- no one else. So, it is definitely on for tomorrow, and I don't care if the old goat comes or not...[although], if he doesn't, at least our wedding cake will be safe," Justin declared.

Justin suggestively offered to help Bonnie get cleaned up in the privacy of their bedroom. "Are you kidding me? Honey, there's 24 hours 'til our wedding -- I gotta lock in my matron of honor! [That is], if you're still okay with Kayla standing up for me -- I mean, I did ask her already and everything..." Bonnie responded. "I'm very okay [with that -- and], as you know, Sonny will be my best man; I'm just waiting to hear from him...or get a text from him...about when he arrives tomorrow..." Justin stressed before checking a cell phone and noticing that Sonny had actually called during Victor's outburst.

Justin returned Sonny's call -- then hung up after a brief conversation and vaguely admitted to Bonnie that it was time to start searching for a new best man. Bonnie immediately suggested a potential candidate, without even bothering to first find out why Sonny was suddenly unable to attend the wedding -- and the idea left Justin speechless. "Well, we're talking Steve and Kayla here -- you can't have one without the other; I mean, they go together like...gin and tonic!" Bonnie reasoned with a shrug, but Justin sensed that there was a deeper meaning behind the proposal.

"All right -- when I pitched being my matron of honor to Kayla, I said to her that having a classy woman like her would tell the whole world that marrying me might be a good thing...you know, [because] if Kayla Johnson was in our corner, then, obviously, you and me, we're meant to be...[so], having Steve there, [too]... Well, a legit supercouple -- I mean, buh-oom, proverbial icing on the big ol' wedding cake, right?" Bonnie elaborated, drawing a chuckle from Justin, who conceded the point then promised to find a way to make the dream a reality.

Justin soon rushed off to change clothes then search for Steve, leaving Bonnie alone in the study. "Bonnie Lockhart Kiriakis... Bonnie Lockhart-Kiriakis... Bonnie Kiriakis... Yeah, baby -- that's the one; has a ring to it..." Bonnie decided.

Justin met with Steve at the Brady Pub. "What's up?" Steve began. "I have a favor to ask," Justin admitted. "Name it," Steve responded. "I think you better brace yourself..." Justin warned.

Bonnie sighed while staring at one of Justin and Adrienne's framed wedding photographs. "Girl, I did you wrong...in every way possible. And I'm gonna spend my life making up for that -- and the best way I can do that is to do my damnedest to make sure I make Justin just as happy as you did..." Bonnie mused -- and someone stormed into the study just then. "Oh, my God -- I can't believe it... You're alive!" Bonnie declared.

Bonnie faces her past

Bonnie faces her past

Friday, August 27, 2021

After Henry's checkup at the hospital, Allie talked to Kayla about Tripp. Allie explained that when she had not told Tripp that she loved him, things had been awkward after. "Do you think he's upset about it?" Allie asked. "All I know is that Tripp cares about you. A lot," Kayla said. Allie said she felt the same way, but she admitted she had been caught off guard by Tripp's declaration of love.

"I think you did the right thing," Kayla said. Kayla explained that "saying 'I love you' should not be a conditioned response." Kayla advised Allie not to tell Tripp that she loved him until Allie wanted to say it. "I'm not sure if I love him. But I'm also not sure that I don't love him," Allie confessed. Kayla told Allie to take her time to figure out how she felt.

"But what I do know, what I am sure is, I like being with him. I miss him when he's not around," Allie said. Allie added that their history was complicated. "If I tell him I need more time, am I asking too much?" Allie asked. Allie started to talk about all the reasons she cared for Tripp.

"He ticks every box. He answers every prayer. But a part of me wonders if what I feel for him is guilt. Like I owe him. Or gratitude because he loves me, and he takes care of my child. Maybe I can't be honest with him because I'm not being honest with myself," Allie said. Kayla countered that the fact that Allie had not told Tripp that she loved him proved that Allie had been honest.

"In time, you will know one way or the other," Kayla said. With a shake of her head, Allie wondered aloud if it was fair to make someone like Tripp wait for her. "I have seen the way he looks at you and the way he talks about you. I think he'll wait for you," Kayla advised.

In the square, Chanel struggled with a box. "You need a hand?" Tripp asked as he scooped the box out of Chanel's arms. As a thank you, Chanel bought Tripp a coffee after he carried the box into the bakery for her. "What the hell was in that box? A couple of anvils?" Tripp joked. "It was an industrial stand mixer," Chanel said.

"A year ago, I was all that. Now I'm the Salemsbury Dough Girl," Chanel said. "I still think you're kind of all that," Tripp countered. Chanel asked why. "Maybe because Allie told me you've already landed someone new?" Tripp said. Chanel admitted she had gone on a date and that she knew Tripp and Allie had almost run into them at the restaurant. "You think it could turn into something?" Tripp asked. Chanel admitted that she had gone home with her date and why they had not slept together.

"Wow. That's a romantic story. Just like Romeo and Juliet," Tripp said. "TMI?" Chanel said with a laugh. Chanel noted that she was hopeful about the relationship. "Why do you care?" Chanel asked. "Because I think it'd be nice if you had someone," Tripp said. Chanel raised an eyebrow. "Because then I won't be in the middle of you and Allie?" Chanel asked. Tripp said he did not feel that way.

"I know what you meant. I agree. It would be a lot easier on all of us if I had someone else. Then we could just forget that I ever had feelings for Allie," Chanel said. "I'm glad you feel like that. You two are such good friends, I'd hate it for it to be awkward," Tripp said. Chanel agreed. Tripp suggested that they go on a double date, and Chanel eagerly accepted. Chanel promised not to leave Tripp with the check. Chanel also mentioned that she would pay for her date, Giovanni, because of his money problems.

After Tripp made plans with Chanel, he walked over to the hospital to meet up with Allie. "I thought you were off today," Kayla said. Tripp explained that he had wanted to hear about Henry's check-up. "[Henry] is in perfect health," Allie said. Tripp told Allie that he had run into Chanel, and she had invited them out for drinks with her new guy. Kayla offered to babysit Henry.

"Have a good time!" Kayla yelled as she wheeled the stroller away. "Kayla took over just now. I mean, if you don't want to go..." Tripp started. "I'd love to go. Besides, I can't wait to see who Chanel has her sights on now," Allie said.

In the DiMera living room, Tony and Anna kissed on the couch. "I get the feeling that we're being watched," Tony said. Anna blamed the portrait of Stefano, but Tony felt like there was someone in the house. When Tony called out to Harold, Johnny rushed around the corner with his phone held out in front of him in record mode. Anna hugged Johnny hello. After a few compliments, Anna talked about when Johnny had been little.

"I said it at the time. That boy has a creative instinct. Very fine imagination," Anna said. "I hope so. I'm going to need it to do what I want to do," Johnny countered. "What's that? Spy on people?" Tony asked. Johnny explained that he had not been spying on Tony and Anna but had instead been shooting footage for a movie. After Johnny showed some of the footage, Anna agreed that the shots looked professional.

"I'm in the process of securing investors, and you and Anna could bankroll the entire enterprise," Johnny said. Anna asked Johnny if he had a vision for his film. When Johnny said yes, Anna agreed to help. Johnny talked up the awards side of things, and he promised that Anna and Tony could give the acceptance speech if the film won anything.

"We have to go to Milan! For my dress," Anna said excitedly. "Does this mean you'll [invest]?" Johnny asked Tony. "No. He won't," E.J. announced as he walked into the room. Johnny shook his head in dismay. When E.J. explained that Johnny was expected to work at DiMera Enterprises instead of on a film set, Johnny reminded E.J. that he had declined the offer. E.J. noted that it was open to negotiation. Anna suggested that Johnny could run the film division.

"There is no DiMera film division," E.J. grumbled. "Well, then, he could start one," Anna countered. Tony suggested to Anna that they leave E.J. and Johnny alone to talk. As Tony turned to leave, E.J. reminded Tony that their agreement was that Tony could not act against the interests of the company. "Financing Johnny's movie is acting against the interests of the company," E.J. said.

"Sometimes, you forget who you're talking to. You presume too much," Tony said. Tony turned to Johnny and apologized. "It's just not the right time. I hope you understand," Tony said. "Of course, I do, Fredo," Johnny snapped. Johnny apologized, but Tony waved him off in understanding. "Sometimes when someone is acting like an imperious jerk, it's not the imperious jerk who gets yelled at," Anna said as she gave E.J. a side eye. Tony asked Johnny to look at the situation from his father's point of view.

"He wants you to follow in his footsteps. He wants you to do something that is stable, secure, safe. Just like racecar driving," Tony said. Tony smirked at E.J. "I always remember how well you reacted to direct orders," Tony said. With a chuckle, Tony and Anna walked out of the room.

"I was having a private conversation and you barged in and started issuing orders everywhere!" Johnny yelled. "You were grubbing for money from your uncle after I turned you down. It seems to be you want all the perks of being a DiMera without any of the responsibility. And to be clear, I wasn't issuing orders," E.J. countered. E.J. asked Johnny why he was certain he did not want the job when Johnny had not asked about the particulars of the job. Johnny scowled.

"Let's start from the beginning. I'm happy you're back. I would like to work with you," E.J. said. E.J. offered to answer any questions about the job. "I'd like to spend a little time with my son," E.J. added. When E.J. touched Johnny's cheek, Johnny flinched. Chanel walked in, and Johnny rushed to greet her.

"Hi, are you Johnny's dad?" Chanel said. E.J. introduced himself, and he shook Chanel's hand. Chanel apologized for the interruption. "It's not a problem. I'm glad to see you," Johnny said. Chanel complimented E.J. on his house. "My mother is in real estate. The only thing you're missing is a moat and a drawbridge," Chanel joked. "Zoning laws," E.J. said with a shrug. Chanel asked Johnny to go with her to a bar to meet up with her best friend and her friend's boyfriend.

"That sounds great!" Johnny said. "But unfortunately, he won't be able to join you," E.J. interrupted. Johnny stressed that he did not have plans and that Chanel had perfect timing. Johnny put his arm around Chanel, and he guided her out the door. As E.J. poured a drink, Tony returned and asked about E.J.'s conversation with Johnny. "Did you manage to rope [Johnny] into the herd?" Tony asked. E.J. sighed. "I'll take that as a no," Tony said.

At the Brady Pub, Justin started to ask Steve to be his best man, but Steve cut him off. "I don't have a problem with Bonnie anymore," Steve interrupted. Steve apologized for having been unkind to Bonnie and Justin at their dinner. "With time and a little help from Kayla, I was able to get some perspective," Steve said. When Steve noted that Kayla was honored to be the matron of honor, Justin said that he hoped Kayla had not felt obligated to say yes to Bonnie.

"No, nothing like that. [Kayla] is happy for you and Bonnie," Steve said. "Because I would feel bad if she felt like she owed me. Or you feel like you owe me," Justin said. Steve joked that Justin had switched into lawyer mode. After a cleansing sigh, Justin asked Steve to be his best man. "Of course. I'd be honored," Steve said. When Steve asked about Sonny, Justin explained that Sonny was stuck at work. Steve expressed concern for how Bonnie would feel, and Justin explained it had been Bonnie's idea for Justin to ask Steve.

"She thinks that if you and Kayla stand up for us, it would say the family approves. It would say that we're not just some kind of novelty," Justin explained. "So, Kayla and I are Salem's Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval?" Steve joked. Justin added that Bonnie liked Steve.

"[Bonnie] likes how you stick up for Adrienne's memory. She also likes how you always try to do what's right for Kayla. And she also knows how much you both mean to me," Justin said. Steve nodded. Steve said he did not want to hurt Bonnie or mess up the wedding. "So, I would be happy to be your best man," Steve said. Steve reminded Justin that they were family because of Adrienne "And I know that Adrienne would want us to stay family," Steve added.

Steve confessed that he felt bad for having judged Bonnie after he had made plenty of mistakes in his own past. "And she's been really up-front about everything she's done. And she's really serious about just leaving that past behind her," Justin said. Justin thanked Steve, and he hugged him.

After Justin left, Kayla met up with Steve in the pub with Henry. "Did we just have another kid that I didn't hear about?" Steve joked. Kayla noted the look on Steve's face. "Something wrong?" Kayla said. "Justin asked me to be his best man," Steve said. Kayla asked if Steve had fought with Justin about Bonnie. "I said I do," Steve said. Kayla admitted that she was surprised.

"Justin said it was Bonnie's idea, and I thought, what the hell? If Kayla can do it, so can I," Steve said. "I'm proud of you," Kayla admitted. Kayla added that she believed Bonnie would be very happy.

Bonnie wrote out various versions of her married name as she sat in the Kiriakis living room. Bonnie glanced across the room and saw Justin's wedding photo with Adrienne. "Adrienne, girl, I did you wrong in every way possible. And I'm going to spend my life making up for that. The best way I can do that is to do my damnedest to make sure I make Justin just as happy as you did," Bonnie said as she looked at the photo.

As Bonnie looked across the room, she gasped. "Oh, my God! I can't believe it. You're alive," Bonnie said. Bonnie collapsed onto the floor. A blonde woman nudged Bonnie with her foot, then helped her onto the couch. After a slap on the face, Bonnie startled awake. "About time. I thought I was going to have to get out the smelling salts," Calista said. "I thought you were long dead," Bonnie muttered.

"You thought wrong. Calista Lockhart is alive and well!" Calista shouted. Calista commented that Bonnie was unhappy to see her because Calista knew the real Bonnie. "Not the crap you spin in your book," Calista said. "You've read it?" Bonnie asked with surprise. "Every lying word," Calista grumbled. Bonnie protested that the book was an honest account of her life. Calista argued that Bonnie had omitted the section where Bonnie had killed [Calista's] brother, David. Bonnie stressed that she had not killed David.

"You have no idea what [David] put me and my kids through," Bonnie argued. When Bonnie asked Calista to leave, Calista said she refused to argue about whether Bonnie had killed David. "[I'm here to argue about] the fact that you did kill my husband. You do remember my husband? Harrison Lord? The one you plugged full of lead?" Calista asked. Bonnie claimed that Calista was wrong.

When Bonnie threatened to have security throw Calista out, Calista warned her to think again. Calista pulled a napkin out of her bag, and she unwrapped it to reveal a gun. "What's that for?" Bonnie asked. Calista pointed the gun at Bonnie, and Bonnie pleaded for her life. "I'm not gonna kill you," Calista said. When Bonnie asked why Calista had a gun, Calista said it was the gun that Bonnie had used to shoot Harrison.

"Your prints are still on it. May I remind you that in a murder case, the statute of limitations, much like your self-absorption, never runs out," Calista said. Bonnie asked Calista what she wanted. Calista asked for "the money." When Bonnie asked Calista what she meant, Calista told Bonnie that she knew about the scheme Bonnie and Harrison had worked out at Buddy's Burger Barn.

"[Harrison] was about to make you a very rich woman. But that wasn't enough for you, was it? So, you killed him and ran off with the money," Calista said. As Bonnie started to protest, Calista insisted that she wanted Harrison's cut of the money. "I don't have that kind of money," Bonnie said. Calista waved her arm around the room in protest.

"None of this is mine. It all belongs to my fiancé," Bonnie explained. "Well, how do you think I tracked you down? I know all about the Kiriakis family and how rich they are. So, why don't you just get that money from him?" Calista said. Bonnie countered that she could not ask Justin for the money. "I wouldn't even know how to explain it to him," Bonnie said. "Explain what?" Justin asked as he walked into the room.

At the new bar off the square, Tripp and Allie sipped drinks at a table. Tripp mentioned that Chanel had gone to pick up her new man. "Are you ready for his name? Giovanni," Tripp said. "That's weird," Allie whispered. When Tripp asked why, Allie said that her brother's grandfather had called him by the same name.

"You don't think...Oh, my God. He said he met someone. What if?" Allie asked. Chanel walked in with Johnny on her arm. Allie's jaw dropped open at the sight of her brother.

Recaps for the week of August 30, 2021 (Following Week)

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