Chanel and Allie closed Sweet Bits after a long day of work then headed over to the Price condominium to surprise Paulina and Abe with 10,000 cookies for the upcoming gubernatorial election, unaware that they were in for a surprise themselves.
Allie and Chanel exchanged looks of disbelief when Paulina admitted that Abe no longer needed the cookies. Abe explained to Chanel and Allie that Paulina was going to run for governor instead. Paulina apologized for having neglected to give Allie and Chanel a heads-up then promised to pay for Abe's cookies as well as 10,000 more. "To paraphrase one of my brother's favorite movie quotes...'We're gonna need a bigger cookie!'" Allie advised Chanel, sensing that it would otherwise be impossible to change "Vote for Abe" to "Vote for Paulina" while keeping the message legible. Chanel and Allie trudged back to the bakery to get started on the new order, forgetting to mention that they would have to charge more for the bigger cookies.
Alex was working at Titan when Justin phoned to reveal that Sonny was awake. Alex gave Justin a message of brotherly love to pass along to Sonny then ended the call and shared the good news with Stephanie, who had entered the CEO's office during the conversation. Alex also informed Stephanie that Titan had actually gained, not lost, ground within the stock market that day.
Stephanie was relieved to hear about both developments but grew annoyed when Alex suggested a round of celebratory drinks. Alex reasoned that the "Queen of the Spin" deserved a chance to unwind after having crafted a brilliant press release earlier that day to prevent Titan's investors from worrying about the temporary changes at the company, but Stephanie countered that it was inappropriate for the interim CEO to extend such an invitation to a subordinate.
Alex offered Stephanie a halfhearted apology then rephrased it in a way that sounded a bit more sincere. Alex explained that the alien concept of having real feelings for someone was leading to errors in judgment, prompting Stephanie to reiterate that those feelings were never going to be reciprocated. Stephanie advised Alex to either back off or find a new public relations manager.
Stephanie stormed out of Titan then headed over to the Price condominium to help Paulina and Abe prepare for a magazine interview that had been scheduled for the following day. "The only skeletons left in my closet now are Halloween decorations," Paulina assured Stephanie before offering a quick summary of what had happened with T.R., what had happened with Chanel's father, and what had happened with Abe. "Sometimes you think you know what you want and don't want -- but, as it turns out, you don't have a clue," Paulina concluded after admitting to Stephanie that getting involved with Abe had never been part of the plan.
Alex headed over to Sweet Bits in search of Chanel and Allie, hoping to get their advice on the situation with Stephanie. "I guess there's this new, popular thing about respecting a woman's boundaries and taking 'no' for an answer..." Alex grumbled, prompting Allie and Chanel to joke that the concept sounded vaguely familiar to them. "Me, too, because I'm not a schmuck, and I understand that when a woman says no, she means it -- I just wasn't really used to hearing that very often until recently..." Alex clarified, drawing mock sympathy from Chanel and Allie.
Chanel suggested that a return to form -- in other words, a round of meaningless sex -- might help Alex get over Stephanie. "Any chance you two might want to volunteer?" Alex wondered, eyeing Chanel and Allie hopefully. Chanel started to respond, seemingly happy to oblige, but Allie quickly interrupted and argued that it might actually be best for Alex to stick to the idea of committing to one woman -- just not Stephanie.
Chanel deferred to Allie, and Alex praised them for being so committed to each other. Alex thanked Allie and Chanel for their help then headed over to Small Bar for a drink. Stephanie was also at the town square's bar, thinking about what Paulina had said earlier. Alex apologized then started to head off in search of another bar, but Stephanie dismissed the concern and insisted that they might as well celebrate together.
Li Shin entered the DiMera mansion and joined E.J. in the living room. "If you're here to help yourself to the free drinks and nibbles on our family's dime, I'm afraid we don't have much of a spread -- Anna's gone to get a bottle of Champagne...but, knowing her, it'll be empty when she returns..." E.J. began before adding that Li was more than welcome to just make a "tasteful yet hasty exit" from the mansion instead.
Li promised to leave as soon as Gabi finished saying one last goodbye to Stefan, prompting E.J. to acknowledge that a marriage proposal had occurred earlier that day. E.J. offered Li condolences then teased that Gabi would never get over Stefan. "Her heart belongs to me, damn it -- not your dead brother!" Li snapped, prompting E.J. to start gloating about having struck a nerve. "Mind your own damn business!" Li warned E.J. with a scowl.
E.J. shrugged then wondered if Li would prefer to discuss Gabi's "idiotic mistake" of giving Ava a job at DiMera Enterprises. Li defended Gabi's decision -- and made a point of reminding E.J. that Johnny was also in Ava's corner. "My son's judgment is clouded by his libido," E.J. explained with a dismissive scoff, but Li countered that it would be foolish to ever underestimate Johnny -- or Ava, or Gabi.
Upstairs, Johnny and Ava continued making out, and they were soon naked in bed together. "We can't do this," Ava eventually tried to argue, but Johnny confidently disagreed then tried to get things back on track. "I'm old enough to be your..." Ava reluctantly pointed out, but Johnny quickly dismissed the concern with a comment about having always been an old soul.
Ava offered more reasons to stop what was happening, but Johnny wasn't the least bit worried about the possibility of upsetting either E.J. or Chanel. "I need to heal -- or at least try to -- from losing Jake, so I just think I need to keep my life as simple as possible right now," Ava eventually admitted, prompting Johnny to finally back down.
Johnny apologized for having momentarily forgotten that Ava was still grieving. Ava jokingly assured Johnny that being the object of a much younger man's sexual desire was actually a huge ego boost and a really crucial part of the healing process. Before Johnny could respond, E.J. knocked on Ava's bedroom door. "Johnny, are you in there? You missed Jake's service, you know -- which was very poor form, considering you arranged it..." E.J. called out before barging into the bedroom -- and Johnny and Ava were still naked in bed together at that moment.
"It's not what it looks like --" Johnny tried to explain as E.J. scowled at Ava. "I know exactly what it is!" E.J. countered before summarizing that Ava was "a scheming slut" who was just using Johnny as part of some twisted revenge scheme. Johnny warned E.J. to calm down and stop disrespecting Ava. Ignoring Johnny's demands, E.J. ordered Ava to leave the mansion. "If she goes, I go," Johnny declared. "Win-win -- [and] good riddance to the both of you!" E.J. responded before storming off. Ava and Johnny decided to share a room at the Salem Inn, knowing that doing so would further irritate E.J.
Johnny and Ava packed then started to exit the mansion together -- but they paused in the living room to share their plan with E.J., whose incredulous objections gave them both great satisfaction.
Allie and Chanel were still together at Sweet Bits, discussing Alex's earlier request, when Johnny and Ava arrived at the nearby Salem Inn. "I don't want to share you with anyone," Allie explained to Chanel. "Then you will never have to," Chanel assured Allie. Chanel and Allie sealed the deal with a kiss then spotted Ava and Johnny. Allie was stunned to learn that Johnny and Ava were going to be sharing a room at the Salem Inn -- and the news seemed to make Chanel jealous.
Stefan entered the DiMera crypt and greeted Gabi, who concluded that Ava had been right all along about Jake being alive and well. "Why is everybody confusing me with this 'Jake' person?" Stefan grumbled, puzzling Gabi.
Stefan again reasoned that Jake had to be an identical twin brother -- and Gabi seemed to take that as an implication that Vivian had actually given birth to identical triplets, the last of whom had finally surfaced. Before Gabi could fully voice that apparent assumption, Stefan clarified the situation -- and revealed the surgical scars that proved that the unbelievable story was actually true.
Gabi was overjoyed -- and was quick to give Stefan a passionate kiss. "What the hell did you do that for?" Stefan snapped after recoiling in disgust, prompting Gabi to explain that they had been married and in love with each other at the time of their previous conversation. "I don't love you -- in fact, I can barely stand the sight of you!" Stefan insisted, leaving Gabi hurt and confused.
Li arrived while Gabi was trying to get through to Stefan. Li feigned shock at the sight of Jake, annoying Stefan and prompting Gabi to clarify the situation. "Who's the CEO this week?" Stefan wondered after recalling that Li was associated with DiMera Enterprises. While answering the question, Li made a point of raising Gabi's left hand to put the engagement ring in Stefan's line of sight. Stefan spotted the ring then congratulated Gabi and Li on their engagement. Gabi pulled away from Li then urged Stefan to head over to the hospital to get tested for memory loss. Stefan insisted that Gabi was the one who needed to be tested for memory loss -- and Li smirked while listening to the exchange.
"I was living a happy life, in a relationship with Chloe Lane -- then you came along and ruined everything!" Stefan summarized before storming off -- and Li offered Gabi words of comfort and a hug once the coast was clear.
This episode marked the first episode broadcast with Days of our Lives as a Peacock series.
Nicole woke up in the arms of Eric, and she gasped. "Eric! What have we done?" Nicole said. "You're so beautiful in the morning when you wake up," Eric whispered. Nicole asked what had happened. Eric nibbled at her neck. "This is awful," Nicole whispered. "No, this is wonderful," Eric said. Eric noted that because Nicole had not gone home, Rafe would figure things out.
"I don't want to hurt [Rafe]," Nicole said. "Neither do I. Maybe it's for the best," Eric said. Worried, Nicole stressed that Rafe could never discover what had happened. "I'm afraid it's a little too late for that," Rafe said from the doorway. Rafe yelled that he knew that Nicole had been lying to him.
"How could you have betrayed me like this?" Rafe shouted as he shook Nicole. Rafe startled awake from his nightmare. "Rafe? What's wrong?" Nicole asked. Rafe caught his breath and said, "It was just a dream." Nicole noted that Rafe's fists were still clenched.
"I dreamed about you," Rafe whispered. "I'm right here," Nicole assured Rafe. "Yeah, you're right here. With me," Rafe said. Concerned, Nicole asked Rafe why he was looking at her strangely. "If you don't tell me what happened in this dream, I am just going to imagine something worse," Nicole said. Rafe told Nicole that he had dreamed that he had caught her in bed with Eric.
"That's so upsetting," Nicole said. "You're telling me. It was pretty damn real, too," Rafe said. Rafe recounted what had happened in the dream. "I am sorry you had such an awful dream, but why? I mean, what brought this up?" Nicole asked. With a shrug, Rafe told Nicole that Jada had appeared skeptical about Nicole's approval of Jada's relationship with Eric.
"Did she tell you that I went to see Eric the other day?" Nicole asked. "No. She didn't say that, but you just did," Rafe said. Rafe asked Nicole why she had visited Eric. Nicole thought about her sex dream with Eric. "I was gonna offer him a job," Nicole lied. Nicole said that she needed a photographer for a new ad campaign.
"You didn't say anything about it to me," Rafe said. "That's because you've been so busy at work, so it slipped my mind. That's all," Nicole said. Rafe asked Nicole if Eric had accepted the job. With a shrug, Nicole explained that Jada had interrupted her before she had been able to offer the job to Eric.
At Eric's apartment, he watched Jada sleep. When Jada woke up, she told Eric that she had not planned to sleep with him again. "You mean I wasn't on your to-do list?" Eric joked. When Jada sighed, Eric asked what was wrong.
"I promised myself I wouldn't sleep with somebody until the third date and technically we've only been on two, but then we already have slept together, so I guess I might as well throw that rule out the window," Jada said. Jada asked Eric if he thought less of her because of how quickly they had slept together.
"If you felt like I've judged you, I'm sorry," Eric said. "No, it's not you. It's just that I really wanted this to happen, but maybe you didn't," Jada said. Jada admitted that she did not know Eric very well or what it was like to be with a priest. Eric stressed that he was no longer a priest. With a grin, Eric leaned in for a kiss.
Eric asked Jada if she wanted breakfast in bed. "I've got a little time," Jada said. Eric explained that he enjoyed working with his father. Eric talked about his time in Africa and how he had prioritized his work there above his marriage. "I always found a reason to stay," Eric said. "Would you want to go back?" Jada asked. Eric noted that since he was no longer a priest, he could not return to his work in Africa.
"Is there something here you could do? Something that matters?" Jada asked. Eric told Jada that although his work at the Horton Center had mattered, he wanted to move forward with his life instead of backward. "I don't know what I want to do, and it's new for me," Eric admitted. While Jada dressed for work, Eric popped downstairs to cook. Over breakfast in Eric's room, Jada asked him what he was passionate about.
Jada asked Eric what he had done before his work as a priest. Eric told Jada he had been a fashion photographer. "Nicole, she was the model [on my first job], actually," Eric said. Jada forced a smile, and Eric apologized for having mentioned his past relationship. "How can we get to know each other if we don't talk about our past?" Jada said. Eric agreed.
"When you were working with Nicole, photographing her, is that when you fell in love?" Jada asked. "That was when Nicole and I met. A long time ago," Eric said. Jada asked Eric if he still did photography. Eric talked about the photography work he had done in Africa. "I'd really love to see those photos," Jada said. Eric eagerly ran to grab his computer tablet.
"Have you ever thought about getting back into it professionally?" Jada asked as she scrolled through the photos. "It's crossed my mind, but you know what? There are more photographers than jobs," Eric said. "But didn't you tell me that your brother owns a fashion company?" Jada asked. Eric explained that Brady co-owned the company with Nicole.
"All roads lead to Nicole," Jada muttered. Eric apologized again. "No, I'm sorry. That was a dumb thing to say," Jada said. Eric said he understood. "I could talk to Jack Deveraux. Maybe I could do some work for the Spectator," Eric said. "They'd be lucky to have you," Jada said. Jada thanked Eric for breakfast. "I look forward to our third date," Eric said. "Me, too. I just hope we can figure out something to do," Jada said with a grin.
When Jada arrived at the police station, Rafe was already at work. "How was your evening?" Rafe asked. Jada told Rafe that she and Eric had celebrated Roman's birthday. "How are things going between you and Eric?" Rafe asked. "We're getting to know each other. It's nice," Jada said. Rafe asked Jada if Eric had decided whether to take "that job." Confused, Jada asked Rafe, "What job?"
As Eric exited his shower, there was a knock at the door. "Jada, did you forget something?" Eric said as he opened the door. Nicole looked at the towel-clad Eric, and she laughed nervously.
Marlena stirred awake next to John in their bedroom, and she noted how good it was for things to be back to normal. John insisted that life would not be normal until Orpheus was locked up. Marlena asked John to pretend that their lives were normal.
"You can pretend all you want. You just need to be careful," John said. "I will," Marlena promised. Marlena struggled out of bed, and she announced that she was headed into work. "That's what is normal for me, and I want normal," Marlena said. "Do you really have to go?" John asked. Marlena insisted.
John suggested that they have lunch at the lake instead. "When you come back, that paperwork will still be here," John said. Marlena argued that she did not want Orpheus to dictate their daily lives. John lamented that he and Steve had followed Stephanie instead of having stayed with Marlena and Kayla.
"You couldn't have known what was happening. Darling, you can't blame yourself for this," Marlena said. Marlena stressed that they needed to let the police handle Orpheus. "I couldn't be any safer than I am right there at the hospital," Marlena said. With a groan, John asked if he could at least drive Marlena to work. Marlena agreed.
Kayla found a bouquet of yellow flowers at the front door of her home. "Look at this. Orpheus is not giving up," Kayla stammered. Kayla threw the flowers across the room. Kayla wanted to call Rafe, but Steve explained that he had sent the flowers.
"I didn't mean to scare you. Didn't you read the card?" Steve asked. "I didn't read the card because I was too scared to look at it," Kayla explained. Steve apologized, and he noted that yellow roses were their thing. "I wasn't going to let Orpheus take that away from us," Steve said. Kayla smiled and thanked Steve. As Kayla smelled the flowers, she sneezed.
"Not coming down with a cold, are you?" Steve asked. Kayla noted that she did not have any other symptoms. Suspicious, Steve pointed out that Kayla had never sneezed before with roses, but Kayla dismissed the sneeze as nothing. "So, you're not contagious?" Steve asked. With a laugh, Kayla accused Steve of worrying about his health.
"I just want to make sure that it is okay to do this," Steve said. Steve pulled Kayla into a kiss. After a moment, Kayla pulled away and noted that she had to get to work. Steve asked her to call him when she got to the hospital so that he did not worry about her. "Let them find Orpheus soon. I hate living like this," Kayla said.
After John dropped off Marlena at the hospital, he went over to Steve's place. John and Steve agreed that they wanted to proactively plan for Orpheus to strike. "Marlena thinks that we should just leave everything to the police," John noted. John said he had called Shawn and that there were no updates from the police. Steve admitted he was worried that Orpheus had gone underground.
"That's why I think it is time for you and I to make a move on our own right now," John said. Steve agreed. When John noted that Orpheus' kids and grandchildren were in New Zealand, Steve offered to call his ISA contact in Wellington. John talked about how Zoey had been nice to Rafe, and he suggested that they ask Rafe to contact Zoey.
"Have him appeal to her as a parent," John said. "At this point, I'll take anything. We've got to get Orpheus before he strikes again," Steve said.
At the pub, Roman left an urgent message on Kate's voicemail to call him back. Kate crept up behind him and said hello. "Damn it. How do you think I felt when I woke up and you weren't there?" Roman asked. Kate apologized. Roman reminded Kate that Orpheus was still out there. Kate presented Roman with a Sweet Bits box.
"Happy birthday. Again," Kate said. With a groan, Roman reminded Kate that he had not wanted to make a big production out of his birthday. "Now this celebration is going on the what? Third day?" Roman said. Kate pushed the pastry box across the table, and Roman opened it. Inside was a belated birthday cupcake.
"I realize that you never had a cake on your actual birthday," Kate said. Roman joked that it had been careless of Kate to be kidnapped instead of picking up his cake. Kate laughed.
"And then the second one I sneezed all over. So, the third one? That's the charm," Kate said. "What could go wrong?" Roman said. Kate lit a candle, and Roman made a wish that Kate would leave him a note the next time she slipped out in the morning. Kate sneezed. Kate apologized profusely.
"What is wrong with me?" Kate said. Roman told Kate not to worry about his cupcake. "I am worried about you. You sure you feel all right?" Roman asked. Kate said she had thought it was allergies, but she wasn't sure. "I feel... I can't even describe it really," Kate admitted. Roman felt Kate's forehead, and he told her she was warm. Roman insisted that he take Kate to the doctor, and Kate reluctantly agreed.
"I want to find out if I'm contagious, because we weren't exactly social distancing last night," Kate said. "Don't worry about me. I feel fine," Roman assured Kate. Roman added that if he got sick, their night together had been worth it. Kate insisted that she isolate from Roman to make sure she did not get him sick. Roman threw out his cupcake, and he returned to work.
At the hospital, Marlena said hello to Kayla at the nurses' station. The women commiserated about their overprotective husbands, but they said they understood. "I feel like I'm looking over my shoulder all the time. It's taking a toll," Marlena admitted. Kayla told Marlena about the incident with the yellow roses.
"Every time the elevator door opens, I think it is going to be Orpheus stepping out," Marlena said. The elevator dinged, and Marlena jumped. Kate exited the elevator. "I haven't been feeling too good, and I was wondering if you could check me out?" Kate asked. "What's the problem?" Kayla asked. Kate said she had been running a fever and was woozy.
"You do look kind of pale," Kayla said. "You look more than a little pale. Maybe you should sit down," Marlena added. With a sigh, Kate said she would be fine, but Kayla insisted that Kate go to an exam room. As Kayla and Marlena started to lead Kate away, Kate collapsed to the floor.
When Kate woke up in a hospital bed, she asked, "What happened?" Kayla explained that Kate had fainted. When Kayla asked about other symptoms, Kate sneezed. "What are you looking at?" Kate asked. "I've been sneezing, too," Kayla admitted. Kayla felt her own forehead, and she admitted that she felt warm.
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Kate said. Kayla went to grab a thermometer across the room, and she collapsed to the floor, unconscious. Kate struggled out of bed to check on Kayla, and Kayla gradually stirred awake.
"What happened?" Kayla asked. "You fainted. I don't think this is a coincidence," Kate said. "Orpheus," Kayla agreed. "I'm going to warn Marlena," Kate said.
When Roman arrived at the hospital, he asked Marlena if there was news on Kate. "I'll take you to her," Marlena said. Marlena took two steps, and she fainted. Roman caught Marlena. Roman helped Marlena into her own hospital room, and he called John. When John arrived, Roman left to check on Kate.
"I knew I shouldn't have let you talk me into letting you come to work. I knew it," John grumbled. "It wouldn't have changed anything. I still probably would have fainted," Marlena said. Marlena argued that it could not be a coincidence that both she and Kate had fainted. "If there were any doubt, Doc, Kate called Steve right after Roman called me, and Kayla had fainted, also," John said.
In Kate's room, Roman sat on the bed next to her as Steve talked to Kayla at the foot of the bed. "It just comes over me in waves," Kayla explained. "Me, too," Kate agreed. "Do you have any idea what it is?" Roman asked. Kayla asked Steve how he felt, and Roman noted that he, John, and Steve were asymptomatic.
"It can't be that contagious," Roman noted. "Well, my guess is that [Orpheus] administered something or exposed us to something in the warehouse," Kayla said. "That means that the kidnapping was just a setup," Steve said. "And we were meant to find them," Roman added. Kate groaned.
"With [Orpheus'] association with Rolf, this could be anything," Kayla whispered. Steve noted that Orpheus liked to take credit. "I bet we're going to be hearing from [Orpheus] real soon," Steve said. Steve and Roman's phones rang. "This must be it," Steve announced. Both men answered the video call from Orpheus.
"I hear the women you love are under the weather. I'm sure you figured out by now that I'm behind what's happening to your precious women: Sweetness, Doc, Sneezy. I'm sorry, I meant Kate. And I don't want to keep you in suspense any longer about what is in store for them. Wait. Does that sound ominous? It does, doesn't it?" Orpheus said.
Xander and Sarah's first full day as husband and wife began with a fancy breakfast at the Salem Inn. Sarah wondered if the spread seemed "a little over the top" -- and Xander, who was filling two glasses with Champagne, scoffed in response. "If anything, this is restrained -- after all the time we've waited, and after all the false starts, we are finally, irrevocably married, and I think that's cause for celebration," Xander argued before handing one of the glasses to Sarah then seizing a kiss.
Sarah conceded Xander's point, admitting to having woken up the previous day with a bad feeling that they would somehow be forced to end their wedding ceremony prematurely yet again. Xander laughed when Sarah elaborated that even the threat of a tsunami hadn't seemed completely far-fetched, given their track record. "[Plus], while I was gone, there was Gwen and Chanel -- I mean, you had a fiancée and a wife; you were quite busy -- so I don't know who else claimed your heart while I was otherwise engaged," Sarah teased, prompting Xander to start squirming. Sarah was stunned to realize that Xander actually had been with at least one other woman during that whole ordeal.
Xander tried to change the subject, but Sarah insisted that it would be best for them to just get everything out in the open. "Or I'm gonna assume the worst," Sarah warned, prompting Xander to first admit to having had a one-night stand with a married woman then also later telling the woman's husband about the hookup in exchange for a hefty reward from one of the woman's worst enemies. Sarah was horrified to learn that Xander was talking about Nicole, Eric, and Sami. Xander gulped down quite a bit of Champagne while trying to explain that losing Sarah had led to a regression of sorts. "Don't you dare put this back on me -- I am not your conscience; I am your wife!" Sarah snapped at Xander before remembering that they actually were married. Sarah got dressed then stormed off, ignoring Xander's protests.
Nicole tried not to stare at Eric's nearly naked body as they began a private conversation on the second floor of the Brady Pub, but the view was apparently too great to completely ignore. Nicole fished for permission to enter Eric's room so they could have even more privacy, explaining that there was something important that they needed to discuss right away. Eric started to grant the request then backpedaled, telling Nicole to wait downstairs instead.
While Eric was getting dressed, Nicole claimed a table then contacted Chloe and started venting about everything that had happened since their previous conversation. Chloe groaned when Nicole admitted to having lied to Rafe about the nature of a recent visit to Eric's room. Nicole grumbled that the lie wouldn't have needed to be told in the first place if Jada hadn't blabbed some information that had caused Rafe to start getting paranoid and having nightmares. Nicole promised to join Chloe at Basic Black after wrapping up some business at the Brady Pub. "I'm here to make that lie the truth," Nicole summarized, unaware that Eric was within earshot.
After Nicole ended the call, Eric repeated the cryptic comment then asked for a translation. Nicole claimed that Kristen had been spreading lies about Chloe and needed to be stopped, but that didn't really clarify things for Eric because the comment had been about turning lies into truths instead of exposing them. "Chloe knows what I mean, and that's all that matters," Nicole reasoned with a shrug.
Nicole quickly changed the subject, casually informing Eric that Basic Black needed a photographer. Eric admitted to having been considering a return to professional photography just a few hours earlier, prompting Nicole to summarize that they were in sync with each other once again. Eric warned Nicole that Rafe might not like the idea of them working together. Nicole dismissed Eric's concern, insisting that Rafe already knew about the idea and was fine with it.
Sarah entered the pub a short time later and apologized to Eric and Nicole for the interruption then told them about what had just happened with Xander. "If it weren't for him, you two would still be together!" Sarah argued, but neither Nicole nor Eric was willing to blame Xander for the erosion of their marriage, knowing that they had both made plenty of mistakes along the way.
After Sarah left, Eric and Nicole joked that it was hard to believe that being married to Xander was proving to be difficult. "People are better off just not getting married in Salem," Nicole declared. "Is that what we did wrong?" Eric responded. Before Nicole could answer the question, Eric apologized for having asked it then changed the subject, accepting the job at Basic Black.
Meanwhile, Sarah rejoined Xander at the Salem Inn and offered a quick summary of what had just happened with Eric and Nicole. Relieved that Sarah had returned, Xander insisted that they would once again find a way to work through their problems. "It's over, Xander -- nothing you say or do can change that," Sarah countered before starting to pack, ignoring Xander's objections.
Rafe stepped out of the police station to take a phone call then returned and continued telling Jada about the job offer that Nicole had supposedly extended to Eric. Having figured out that Nicole was lying to Rafe for some reason, Jada claimed to have just remembered that Eric had mentioned something about a job offer but had been vague about the details.
Rafe and Jada eventually turned their attention to the search for Orpheus and discovered that a distinctive type of ink was visible on the ropes that had been used to keep Marlena, Kayla, and Kate restrained during their kidnapping ordeal -- and that one of the local establishments that used that ink was a company known as Rebecca Printing and Graphics.
Kate and Kayla exchanged nervous glances as Orpheus' prerecorded video continued playing in sync on Roman and Steve's respective cell phones while the four of them were together in one of the patient rooms at the hospital -- and Marlena squirmed as the same video continued playing on John's cell phone while they were alone together in another one of the patient rooms.
Orpheus -- who could be seen casually peeling then eating an orange in the video -- teased that Marlena, Kayla, and Kate were each in the early stages of a noncontagious infection and were only going to get sicker as time went on. "You men will remain perfectly healthy...to watch the women die," Orpheus stressed before acknowledging that John, Steve, and Roman would, of course, band together and at least try to stop the inevitable from happening, even after being told that it would be pointless to do so, because they were men of action. "Right now, you're hanging on every syllable I utter, hoping that you'll discern a hidden message -- because it would be unbearable for you to think that I'm making you listen to all of this simply because I enjoy torturing you," Orpheus guessed before reiterating that Marlena, Kayla, and Kate were each facing certain death regardless.
Orpheus made a point of reminding Roman, Steve, and John that they had recently worked together to defuse a bomb that could have given Kate, Kayla, and Marlena the mercy of a faster and less painful method of death. "Irony of ironies..." Orpheus mused with a shake of the head before admitting to having always found some degree of comfort in knowing that Rebecca's death had been relatively quick and painless. "Ladies, see you all in hell -- and gentlemen, I'm afraid that I won't make it back for the funerals, so allow me to be the first to say to each of you...'I'm sorry for your loss,'" Orpheus concluded before ending the recording.
Marlena and John joined Kate, Roman, Kayla, and Steve so they could all discuss what they had just watched -- and they soon agreed to operate on the assumption that Orpheus was lying about the infection being incurable.
Rafe and Jada arrived at Rebecca Printing and Graphics just as Orpheus was about to leave the hideout -- and, apparently, Salem -- for good. Orpheus was wielding a gun but surrendered peacefully after weighing the risks of trying to get into a shootout with Jada and Rafe. "You are under arrest for the kidnapping and attempted murder of --" Rafe began while handcuffing Orpheus. "'Attempted' murder, Commissioner? You say that as though I failed to do what I set out to do...but you'll soon discover how very wrong you are," Orpheus countered with a smirk.
Ava attended a boring orientation session at DiMera Enterprises then returned to a room at the Salem Inn and found Johnny there. "We agreed that you would only be here one night," Ava snapped before ordering Johnny, who had just finished showering and was wearing only a towel, to get dressed and leave right away. "Chill, okay? I went to the gym, I got cleaned up, and now I'm on my way," Johnny assured Ava before trying to ask about the orientation session.
Ava refused to continue confiding in Johnny about personal matters in the wake of everything that had happened between them the previous day. Ava grew even more annoyed when Johnny admitted to having ordered room service. "Why don't you just take an ad out in the Spectator, saying 'Shacking up with Ava Vitali'!" Ava grumbled. "I was hungry, okay? Don't freak out," Johnny countered.
Someone started knocking on the hotel room door just then, so Johnny opened it while still wearing only a towel, expecting to find a staff member standing on the other side with a room-service cart, then groaned after discovering that the visitor was actually E.J. "Get your clothes on -- you're coming with me," E.J. ordered Johnny, who scoffed in response then refused to comply.
With an apologetic shake of the head, E.J. promised to get Johnny out of Ava's hair right away, as if discussing a matter of pest control. Ava made a point of wrapping both arms around Johnny's naked torso then insisted that E.J.'s help wasn't needed or wanted. "Johnny and I have plans this afternoon -- right here in this room, actually, so...unless you'd like to stay and watch, I suggest you get the hell out," Ava added, and Johnny agreed. "I was just caring for my son's well-being -- won't make that mistake again..." E.J. countered before storming off.
Johnny stepped into the bathroom to get dressed then rejoined Ava and saw that the room-service cart had been delivered. Johnny offered to share the meal, but Ava wasn't interested. Ava maintained that Johnny needed to leave. "I'm grateful for your support and your friendship, but we are not gonna sleep together -- ever," Ava stressed. "You just told my dad we were!" Johnny protested. "To drive him crazy -- and he deserved it," Ava explained.
Johnny, who had slept on the floor the previous night, tried to get Ava to agree to at least keep that arrangement going, seeing it as a better option than the DiMera mansion. Ava continued insisting that wasn't a good idea, so Johnny eventually backed down and said goodbye then rushed off in search of another place to stay.
Gabi headed over to the DiMera mansion in search of Stefan then made a detour to the crypt at the last second. "You came back to me -- and this time, I'm not gonna let you go," Gabi muttered while retrieving Stefan's wedding ring from the crypt.
Gabi exited the crypt then returned to the mansion and joined E.J. in the living room. "I am looking for Stefan," Gabi explained, confusing E.J., who advised that visiting the crypt would be more effective. "That's where I found out that he's alive," Gabi clarified, prompting E.J. to groan then complain that it was bad enough that Ava was seeing dead people. "Is this lunacy contagious?" E.J. sputtered. "I'm not nuts, and neither is Ava -- she wasn't hallucinating her dead husband; she was just seeing mine in the flesh," Gabi countered.
E.J. wondered how that could even be possible. "He got Rolfed," Gabi summarized before sharing the known details -- including the part about Kristen somehow being involved. "Am I right in concluding that seeing Stefan wasn't the joyous reunion you'd hoped for?" E.J. eventually teased. "Go to hell," Gabi evasively responded before storming off.
E.J. raised a glass of Strega to Stefano's portrait. "Well, Father, there's been yet another strange turn of events -- it seems the widow DiMera is no longer widowed; Dr. Rolf has returned Stefan to us, which means Gabi's shares of DiMera stock now belong to him...and, in fact, they could be the key to prying her little fingers off the CEO's office once and for all. I might not be able to do anything about Ava Vitali right now, but if I can get rid of Gabi, it might not matter," E.J. mused with a smirk.
Allie and Chanel wore out their bakery's oven then headed over to the Horton apartment to finish baking cookies for Paulina's gubernatorial election campaign.
Chanel eventually got around to asking Allie for details about Johnny's apparent sexual relationship with Ava. "I don't know if Johnny and Ava are sleeping together -- and neither do you," Allie protested. "We saw them the other night, walking into the inn together -- what do you think they were doing up in that room, macramé?" Chanel countered.
Allie shrugged then insisted that, in any case, Johnny was a grown man. "If I've learned anything from these past few months, it is that I need to stop judging my brother's decisions and start respecting them -- it's his life," Allie admitted. "So, you're gonna 'respect' the fact that Johnny is moving in with Tripp's mother?" Chanel sputtered.
Allie conceded that the situation was weird. "But it doesn't bother you," Chanel translated. "No -- but, God, it seems like it bothers you..." Allie responded. "I just think it's gross -- that's all," Chanel insisted before starting to summarize that Ava was sleeping with a man who was even younger than Tripp, but Allie suspected that a woman who was the same age as Johnny would elicit the same reaction because they were dealing with a matter of jealousy instead of taboo.
Chanel continued denying Allie's accusation, citing Ava's ties to the mafia as another reason to be worried about Johnny. "Ava is Henry's grandma, and she adores him, so I need to be careful before I go stir things up with her," Allie reasoned, but Chanel wasn't happy with that explanation, believing that Johnny's safety deserved to be a higher priority. "You don't give a damn!" Chanel snapped before storming off, ignoring Allie's protests.
Allie headed over to the Salem Inn and arrived just as Ava was exiting the building. Ava tried to ask about Henry, but Allie was more interested in discussing Johnny. "What, exactly, are your intentions with my brother?" Allie wondered, surprising Ava, who thought that was the kind of question only Sami would ask. "My mother would shoot first and ask questions later," Allie insisted before explaining that Johnny was in a vulnerable place at that time and might not be able to handle much more pain. "Why would you think that I would hurt your brother?" Ava challenged Allie.
Chanel returned to the Horton apartment to apologize to Allie. "Where did she go?" Chanel wondered while looking around the place -- and, seconds later, Johnny arrived with a duffel bag.
Belle headed over to the courthouse and found Brady and Chloe waiting in the office of the judge who was going to be presiding over Rachel's custody hearing. "Sorry I'm late -- traffic," Belle explained with a sigh of exasperation, prompting Brady to wonder if both members of the opposition were also stuck in traffic -- or if at least one of those members was simply "up to no good" at that moment instead, as usual.
Kristen was passing by the Brady Pub when Li called out a greeting then tried to start a conversation. "Later -- I'm due in court, and I'm running behind," Kristen snapped at Li without breaking stride. "Make time," Li demanded, grabbing Kristen.
Li started lashing out at Kristen for having ordered Rolf to wake up Stefan after only one brainwashing session. Kristen explained to Li that Stefan's services were needed right away because Chloe was threatening to sabotage Rachel's custody hearing. Wanting to scare Kristen as a form of payback, Li teased that Stefan had seen Gabi the previous day. Kristen breathed a sigh of relief after Li clarified that Stefan hadn't sought out Gabi and hadn't even been happy about their chance encounter. Li fretted that Gabi, on the other hand, was overjoyed about Stefan being alive again. Kristen argued that Li should have expected that, since Stefan was apparently the great love of Gabi's life.
Rachel's custody hearing was nearly 20 minutes behind schedule when Belle realized that the delay was starting to greatly annoy the judge. "Ms. DiMera is the one who wanted to revisit custody, and if she can't bother to be here on time, she's not really demonstrating her ability to care for a child 24/7, so...I move to dismiss the case," Belle advised the judge, who was inclined to agree but decided to wait until the hearing was exactly 20 minutes behind schedule.
Kristen arrived with just seconds to spare, drawing sighs of disappointment from Brady, Chloe, and Belle. "I apologize for the delay, Your Honor -- I was unavoidably detained," Kristen explained.
The judge didn't bother probing for more details, choosing to instead question the whereabouts of Kristen's lawyer. Kristen admitted to having fired the person, prompting the judge to guess that a continuance was about to be requested. "I have decided to represent myself," Kristen clarified before calling Chloe to the witness stand.
The judge wondered if Kristen understood that they were not participating in a trial. Dodging the question, Kristen declared that the judge was being misled about the true nature of Brady's relationship with Chloe. "They spend all day together working, and then they spend their off-hours together, as well," Kristen elaborated.
The judge insisted that wasn't necessarily a problem, but Kristen disagreed. "Our daughter hates Chloe --" Kristen began to explain, prompting Belle to object that the claim was pure speculation -- and also irrelevant, since Chloe wasn't married to Brady and wasn't acting as one of Rachel's caregivers. "What worries me is that you don't know Chloe the way I do, and I think it's very important that you know the truth about her," Kristen concluded, prompting the judge to agree to play along.
Kristen accused Chloe of wanting to steal Rachel then told the judge about Holly's backstory as a way of strengthening the claim. Belle managed to do some damage control, establishing not only that there were no hard feelings between Holly's mother and Chloe but also that Holly's mother often left the child in Chloe's care.
"Kristen played that judge like a poker hand," Belle whispered to Chloe and Brady during a brief recess. "From a stacked deck," Chloe stressed before offering to tell the judge about Kristen's recent threats. Brady deferred to Belle, who thought it would be best to withhold that information for the time being because Chloe didn't have any proof. "I definitely see now why Kristen fired her lawyer -- she wants to run the show," Belle grumbled before advising that it might be best for Chloe to just leave.
When the judge returned a short time later, Chloe was gone, and Belle was quick to argue again that the custody case needed to be dismissed. "I'm not finished making a case for custody," Kristen announced before calling Brady to the witness stand.
"What is the matter with this judge? Why is she treating Kristen like a normal person? Doesn't she read the Spectator? Has she been living in a tree?" Brady whispered to Belle, who responded with a warning about ignoring Kristen's bait.
Brady sighed and braced for Kristen's questions. "Can you explain to me why you think it's appropriate that our daughter be raised by a murderer?" Kristen began.
Li headed over to DiMera Enterprises in search of Gabi but found Stefan in the CEO's office instead. Li gulped then wondered if Stefan was also looking for Gabi. "God, no!" Stefan responded, drawing a sigh of relief from Li.
"It's my old office -- I wanted to be somewhere where I felt control," Stefan explained before assuring Li that there was no need to be concerned about having to compete for Gabi's affection. "Quite frankly, the thought of her turns my stomach," Stefan spat, delighting Li, who casually advised that Chloe was staying at the Salem Inn. Stefan nodded then headed over to the Salem Inn and knocked on the door to Chloe's room. Chloe opened the door and stared at Stefan in shock.
Gabi soon joined Li at DiMera Enterprises. Gabi didn't tell Li about having spent the morning searching for Stefan, and Li didn't tell Gabi about Stefan's earlier visit to the building. Gabi eventually realized that Ava probably still needed to be told about the explanation for the recent sightings of Jake. "Ava thought she saw him twice, but she passed out the first time, and by the time I got to the door, you were standing there...so, if it was Stefan, how could you not have seen him?" Gabi suddenly thought to ask Li.
Outside the Salem Inn, Ava asked why Allie was interrogating her about Johnny. Allie explained that she was protective of her brother. "I know what you're capable of when a relationship goes wrong," Allie said. Allie reminded Ava of her history with Steve and Rafe. "You don't have to worry about that with Johnny," Ava assured Allie. When Ava said that she was not in a relationship with Johnny, Allie told her that she had seen Ava go into the hotel with Johnny.
"Johnny stayed with me overnight, in my room, on the floor. Okay? We're buddies. That is it," Ava stressed. "I must admit, I am relieved," Allie said. Allie explained that her relationship with her brother was strained, but she was worried about his vulnerability. Ava grimaced. "I am sorry. I didn't mean to come across as insensitive. I am really sorry for your loss, Ava," Allie said. After Ava talked to Allie, she went to the bar off the square. Ava thought about when Johnny had kissed her.
Johnny went to Allie's apartment, and Chanel answered the door. "I guess I shouldn't be surprised to see you here. You and Allie are together now," Johnny said. When Johnny asked about Allie, Chanel explained that Allie was not home. "I need a place to crash, and I was hoping Allie might let me stay here," Johnny explained. Chanel asked about Ava. Johnny told Chanel that Ava was not interested in a relationship.
"We really bonded. Maybe someday when she is ready, who knows?" Johnny said. "[Ava] is old enough to be your mother. She actually is Tripp's mother. And did you think about what he'd think if he knew?" Chanel asked. With a shrug, Johnny noted that he and Ava had not slept together. "Yet. But you said it's because she isn't ready and that it still could happen," Chanel pointed out. After a moment, Johnny called Chanel judgmental.
"[Ava] needed someone to be there for her. To comfort her. So did I. We were both feeling kind of lonely and lost. You get that, right?" Johnny said. "Yeah, I get that," Chanel admitted. Allie returned home. "What's going on?" Allie asked. Chanel explained that Johnny needed a place to stay. "I'll have to think about it," Allie said. "I'm your twin brother. You don't really want me out on the street, do you?" Johnny asked with a grin. Allie argued that Johnny had other options.
"You've got nothing to worry about between me and Chanel. She chose you. You shouldn't feel threatened," Johnny said. "I don't. But why should I help you with anything?" Allie asked. When Johnny argued that family helped family, Allie reminded Johnny of his scheme to get Paulina to break up Allie and Chanel. "Didn't I apologize?" Johnny said. "Not that I recall," Allie said. Johnny apologized.
"I know that that was a mistake, and I'm trying to move past it," Johnny said. "With Tripp's mother? Who is around the same age as our mother, who just lost her husband about five minutes ago?" Allie countered. Johnny stressed that he was just friends with Ava. Allie said that Ava had told her that Johnny had pursued Ava, and Ava had rejected him.
"I know that when you want something, you go after it with a vengeance," Allie added. "And you don't? You wanted Chanel, and you went after her, even though she's my ex-wife," Johnny said. Allie warned Johnny that he was not helping his case. With a sigh, Johnny apologized. "But I still need a place to crash, so what do you say? Can I take the couch?" Johnny asked. "Just don't get too comfortable," Allie muttered.
In Gabi's office at DiMera Enterprises, Gabi asked Li why he had not seen Stefan when Ava had fainted in the foyer. "Stefan must have run off before I arrived," Li said. "That doesn't make any sense," Gabi said. Gabi recounted the events, and she suggested that Li could not have caught Ava before Stefan had left.
"What exactly are you accusing me of? Do you think I'm lying to you?" Li asked. Gabi said that it was not an accusation but a genuine curiosity as to what had happened that night. Li argued that Ava could have hallucinated Jake in addition to Stefan's return. "That would be quite a coincidence," Gabi said. Li told Gabi that he had not seen Stefan when Ava had fainted, but he had seen him in the office before Gabi had returned.
"He told me he'd been here all night," Li said. Li told Gabi that Stefan had said he'd wanted to be somewhere that he had felt in control. "Wonder if he was looking for me?" Gabi whispered. Li said no. "He made that pretty clear," Li stressed. When Gabi asked where Stefan had gone, Li suggested that Stefan had gone to look for Chloe. Confused, Gabi asked why.
"You remember what he said yesterday at the crypt, how you ruined his chances with her?" Li said. Gabi stammered that it did not make sense because Stefan had never been serious with Chloe. "That's not the impression I got from Stefan," Li said. "Stefan has been unconscious for four years, and Rolf has been watching over him. We don't know what that nutjob did to his brain," Gabi argued. Li asked Chloe if she was certain that Stefan had not been in love with Chloe. With a sigh, Gabi argued that Stefan had pitied Chloe, but he had not been in love.
"The only woman he's ever wanted was me. Actually, the only woman he ever really loved was me," Gabi said. "Are you sure about that?" Li countered. Gabi argued that Stefan was confused. "He hasn't fully regained his memory, but he will," Gabi said. Li told Gabi that Stefan had congratulated Li on the engagement and had told Li that he was happy that Gabi had moved on.
With a shake of her head, Gabi argued, "[Stefan] was just being polite. It doesn't change the fact that there was only one great love in his life, and that was me." "It's clear Stefan doesn't feel the same way about you as he did in the past," Li said. "He just doesn't remember how he feels about me," Gabi whispered. Li argued that Stefan's lack of feelings was a good thing because Gabi had moved on.
"We love each other. Don't we?" Li asked. "Of course," Gabi said. Li noted that both Gabi and Stefan were free to move on with their lives without any complications. "I know how hard this must be for you, and I'm going to do everything I can to help, but you also have to do everything to help yourself by forgetting about the past and focusing on the future. Your future is with me. You need to let Stefan go," Li advised. Overwhelmed, Gabi asked to be alone. After Li left, Gabi looked at her wedding ring from Stefan.
Stefan went to the Salem Inn to see Chloe. "Am I seeing things?" Chloe said. "No, Chloe. Your stunning blue eyes are as keen as ever," Stefan countered. After a moment of stunned silence, Chloe stammered, "Stefan?" Chloe asked what had happened, and Stefan told Chloe everything that he knew about his past four years. When Chloe asked about his heart donor, Stefan admitted that he did not know where Rolf had found the heart.
"Does Gabi know? She must be over the moon," Chloe said. "Quite frankly, I don't give a damn how Gabi feels," Stefan said. "What?" a confused Chloe said. Stefan told Chloe that the only woman he cared about was Chloe. "You must remember that we had something special," Stefan said. "You clearly don't remember that you were sleeping with Gabi behind my back," Chloe said with a rueful chuckle.
"I was an idiot to fall for her tricks. Clearly, she was trying to seduce me to get revenge for her going back to prison, and if I had my way, that two-faced sadist would still be there," Stefan growled. Stefan argued that Gabi had wanted to destroy him. "But in the end, she destroyed you and me," Stefan said. Chloe told Stefan that he had moved past what Gabi had done to him.
"You fell in love with her. You married her," Chloe said. "That may all be true, but I realize now that that was a huge mistake. Look, Chloe, I never should have gotten involved with Gabi, and I certainly never should have let you go," Stefan said. Stefan asked Chloe if they could pick up where they had left off. "I'm sorry, Stefan, but that isn't going to happen. I'm with someone else now," Chloe said. Chloe told Stefan that she was with Brady.
"I'm in love with him," Chloe said. Stefan laughed. "I don't understand. He was in on the plan with Gabi to break us up. He is as deceitful and manipulative as she is!" Stefan argued. "We've moved past that," Chloe said. Chloe told Stefan that she was glad he was alive but that she was not interested in rekindling an old romance. When Chloe asked Stefan to leave, he agreed. "But I'm not giving up on you, Chloe. I was given a second chance at life, and I'm hoping you will give me a second chance at love," Stefan said.
In the DiMera living room, E.J. called a henchman on the phone to ask them to track down Stefan. "He's my ticket to ridding myself of his widow, once and for all," E.J. said. When no one returned E.J.'s call, a frustrated E.J. called his henchman back to demand an update.
"My brother couldn't have disappeared into thin air," E.J. growled. Stefan walked in. E.J. chuckled. "My God, it is true. I heard you were back. What wonderful news, " E.J. said as he hugged his brother. "I appreciate the warm welcome, although we've never actually met before," Stefan said. E.J. noted that he and Stefan had made miraculous recoveries from death.
"We are brothers," E.J. said. "We're also strangers. So, E.J., why are you so happy to see me?" Stefan asked. E.J. explained that, like Stefano, family meant everything to him. "I know we'll do great things together at the family company," E.J. said. "I thought you were no longer CEO," Stefan said. E.J. noted that Gabi had ousted him with Stefan's shares. With a smirk, E.J. noted that since neither of them liked Gabi, they could work together to push Gabi out of the company. Stefan smiled.
At the courthouse, Kristen accused Brady of having murdered someone. Brady argued that Kristen had made up a story because she did not have any evidence to help her case. "I am not making anything up. You killed your uncle Philip Kiriakis in cold blood!" Kristen yelled. Brady denied the accusation. "The charges were dropped. The D.A. didn't have a case because the police never found Philip's body," Brady said. Kristen argued that Brady had disposed of the body. Belle objected.
"Stick to asking questions, Ms. DiMera," the judge warned Kristen. Kristen apologized, then she asked questions about Philip's disappearance. "The fact that Brady was blackout drunk and slaughtered a member of his own family is very relevant in determining whether he is a fit parent," Kristen argued. "No, that is not a fact. Those charges were dropped," Belle countered. Kristen submitted the police record of Philip's disappearance into the court record.
"I can assure you that whatever is in those records has no bearing on what kind of a father I am. It was an isolated incident in which I harmed no one," Brady told the judge. Brady added that Kristen had terrorized people for years. Kristen objected, but Brady pressed on. "[Kristen] has not only gone after me, she has gone after almost every single member of my family," Brady said. Brady recounted that Kristen had stabbed his grandfather, raped his brother, and attempted to kidnap their daughter.
"I served my time. I was granted a full pardon for everything that I did," Kristen argued. "And that doesn't change the fact that you did it, does it? You drugged people, you held people hostage, you poisoned people," Brady argued. Even though the judge had given Kristen latitude to talk about Brady's past possible crime, the judge warned Brady that past crimes were inadmissible in court.
"Fine, let's talk about her recent crimes," Brady said. Brady testified that Kristen had threatened to stab Chloe with a letter opener. "Brady, please," Belle said. "[Kristen] is pretty much the violent psychopath that she has always been!" Brady shouted. Belle apologized to the judge for Brady's outburst. "Please disregard it. He has nothing further to add," Belle growled as she glared at Brady. Kristen acted wounded, then she asked the judge to review the police record and remember Brady's volatility in court.
"I believe that you will get a full understanding of why I don't want my daughter being raised by a homicidal alcoholic," Kristen said. Kristen added that she knew that what Brady had done to Philip had not been Brady's fault. "He didn't do anything," Belle stressed. "I understand your denial, Belle. You love your brother very much, and a part of me will always love him, too. He used to be such a good and decent man until he got together with Chloe again," Kristen said. Kristen argued that Chloe was a danger to Brady's sobriety.
"This is pure fiction," Belle interjected. Kristen demanded full custody. "Until Brady rids himself of Miss Chloe Lane, I don't want him to go anywhere near my daughter," Kristen argued. Kristen sat down. "Now that Ms. DiMera has finished presenting nothing but wild inaccuracies and outright lies, I would like to present some truth," Belle said. Belle noted that she had character witnesses lined up. "That's enough for one day. I would like to resume in the morning," the judge announced. The judge exited the courtroom.
"Nice try, Kristen. You know your little smear campaign, it's not going to work. You really think that judge is just going to forget about all the terrible things you've done?" Brady said. "Doesn't matter. She can't consider any of them, but what she can consider is that you acted like a total lunatic here today," Kristen said. Kristen made a note to mention to the judge that Victor had conspired with Brady.
Confused, Belle asked Kristen what she meant. "Victor and Kate signed a document declaring that Philip was legally dead, and then, all of a sudden, they revoked it. Why did they do that?" Kristen asked. "Because they never found a body," Belle said. Kristen argued that Victor had accepted that Philip was dead but then had convinced Kate to revoke the document in order to protect Brady.
"You know that I didn't kill Philip. And you know that I would never put Rachel in any kind of danger. This is not about them. This is about your pathological jealousy, Kristen!" Brady said. "No, this is about your deadly obsession with a homewrecking, baby-stealing whore!" Kristen yelled. Kristen argued that she was obliged to protect her daughter from Chloe. Frustrated, Brady walked out.
"Does a part of you really still love Brady?" Belle asked Kristen. "That's what I said, isn't it?" Kristen countered. Belle reminded Kristen that Brady was Rachel's whole world. "The entire time that you were on the run, Brady raised your daughter all by himself. And he was incredible. So, what you're doing, trying to cut her out of his life, is cruel," Belle said. "I don't see it that way," Kristen muttered. With a nod, Belle said that she knew that Kristen was angry that Brady had rejected Kristen.
"But Brady and Chloe are going to be together, no matter what. And cutting Rachel out of his life isn't going to change that. It's just gonna traumatize her even more. I mean, do you know how stressed out she is? Do you want her to keep suffering?" Belle asked. "No, of course not," Kristen said. Belle asked Kristen to drop her lawsuit and work out a joint custody agreement with Brady. Kristen said no.
"[Brady] only wants what is fair. He's not trying to shut you out of Rachel's life. Brady is willing to forgive all the things you've done in the past because he knows it's in the best interest of your daughter to have a relationship with both of her parents," Belle said. Belle said she believed that Kristen loved her daughter enough to work it out. Unfazed, Kristen refused to drop her suit as long as Brady was involved with Chloe. Belle scoffed at Kristen. "You want a different outcome? You convince Chloe to let Brady go and move on to someone else," Kristen growled.
When Brady returned to Chloe at the Salem Inn, he told her what had happened in court. "I'm sure Belle can sort this out," Chloe said. When Brady asked Chloe to join him in the shower, she told him that she needed to talk to him first. "Stefan DiMera showed up here today. He's alive," Chloe said. Chloe told Brady about her conversation with Stefan. After a moment, Brady wondered aloud who would benefit from Stefan's return and pursuit of Chloe.
"You remember, not too long ago, Kristen knocking on this door, coming in here and saying, 'Where is he?' As if she was expecting someone to be here with you?" Brady said. Brady argued that Kristen had expected to see Stefan. "That must have been it!" Chloe agreed. "I'm thinking that Kristen is up to her neck in this," Brady grumbled.