At the DiMera guesthouse, Ben acknowledged that Hope and Jennifer both had nicer places. "But [this place is]...cozy...and..." Ben began to add. "We'd be together," Ciara concluded for Ben, who smiled and nodded.
"You only have one bed," Ciara observed. "I'll sleep on the couch -- or on the floor," Ben immediately offered. "You are so sweet...but you don't have to do that," Ciara assured Ben. "I'm not gonna make you --" he began to argue. "That's not what I meant; I meant...we could share the bed," she clarified. "As in...?" he asked hesitantly. "Yeah," she confirmed with a grin.
"Are you sure?" Ben asked Ciara. "You know that this isn't something that I would rush into. I've put a lot of thought into this, and...I'm ready. I want this," she assured him. "Do you?" she added. "More than anything," he quickly replied. "But I'm nervous," he admitted with a chuckle. "I care about you so much, [and] we have such a good thing going right now... I don't want to mess that up," he elaborated. "You won't. If anything, it would make what we have even stronger," she argued. "[But] it's a big step...for you and for us... [And] this place -- it's so tiny... I just feel like you deserve better..." he fretted.
Ben offered to take Ciara to a more romantic setting, but she insisted that wasn't necessary. "[All] I need is you -- right here, right now," she stressed before kissing him passionately.
Ben and Ciara continued kissing while simultaneously undressing each other. "Are you sure you're ready?" Ben eventually asked Ciara again. "Yeah," she confirmed, prompting him to lead her toward the bed.
Before things could progress any further, Ben received a phone call from Stefan. "You need to take that," Ciara insisted, and Ben reluctantly conceded the point.
"Stefan wants an update on the guys who came after Chloe," Ben explained with a sigh of frustration after a brief phone conversation. "[We] don't know where they are, [so] he wants to go over every little piece of intel [we] have on them, [and] it's gonna take awhile," Ben apologetically added. "You need to go do your job," Ciara acknowledged with a nod of understanding. "I'll be waiting," Ciara promised Ben.
Ciara was pleasantly surprised when Ben returned a short time later, but he regretfully clarified that he wasn't actually done for the night yet; in fact, he had to leave the property for a while to follow up on a lead. She understood but was quick to demand a promise that he would be careful, which he provided without hesitation. "Will you stay and wait for me?" he asked hopefully. "Of course I will...but, uh, I do not have anything comfortable to sleep in," she replied, prompting him to offer her a shirt that she immediately recognized as the one he had let her borrow at the cabin the previous summer.
Ciara donned the shirt, drawing a groan of frustration from Ben, who jokingly complained that she looked much better in it than he ever had. He helped her get settled in the bed and gave her a goodnight kiss then rushed off.
At the loft apartment, Claire considered exposing Tripp and Haley as a fake couple -- but then began imagining the fallout.
"Ms. Brady? Hello? We're waiting! What is it you'd like to say?" Smith eventually asked impatiently, snapping Claire out of the fantasy. "Well, I was hoping that I could speak to Tripp before the wedding started...but since it already did, I have something different that I'd like to say -- and I think that everyone should hear it," Claire began as Smith listened intently and the others waited anxiously.
"The truth is...what Tripp and I had was not real," Claire claimed, having realized that Tripp would likely be sent to prison if the truth were revealed -- and would definitely hate her forever, in any case.
"I kept telling myself [it was, but] when Tripp and I hooked up, he was on the rebound from Ciara, and then Haley came along, so I was basically, um...I was just a stop in between," Claire explained to Smith.
"I'm so sorry for -- for crashing your big day, but...now that I'm here, uh...would -- would you mind if I just...stuck around?" Claire asked Tripp and Haley, who were both willing to grant the request.
With that out of the way, Justin quickly got the wedding back on track, and Claire and J.J. both looked away uncomfortably as Tripp and Haley kissed for the first time as husband and wife.
Kayla and Justin eventually interrupted Tripp and Haley's kiss, wanting to start the reception. J.J. approached Claire, who was clearly not in the mood to celebrate. "This is a messed-up situation -- no doubt -- but we are doing the right thing for Haley," J.J. quietly reminded Claire, who nodded and forced a smile. Meanwhile, Tripp thanked Smith for attending the wedding ceremony. "My wife and I really appreciate it," Tripp added, putting an arm around Haley.
"Very good, Mr. Dalton -- very convincing," Smith replied with a skeptical smirk. "But don't think for one second that this wedding guarantees Ms. Chen will be allowed to stay in this country. We'll be watching you, and if we find one shred of proof that this union is as fake as I know it is, your 'wife' will be deported immediately," Smith added before exiting the apartment.
Claire drank Champagne straight from the bottle as Justin made a toast to new beginnings and Tripp made a toast to the future. Afterward, Haley thanked everyone for having been so supportive throughout the whole ordeal that Jack and Eve had set in motion. Justin and Kayla rushed off a short time later, with J.J. close behind. "I'll walk you out," Haley offered, following J.J. "You did it. I'm proud of you. But, uh...now that you're Mrs. Tripp Dalton, I need to keep my distance," J.J. sadly acknowledged outside the apartment. "It's not forever," Haley quietly stressed. J.J. nodded and gave Haley a kiss on the cheek then walked away.
Meanwhile, Tripp tried to find out the real reason that Claire had crashed the wedding ceremony. "You said you wanted to tell me something, but then you decided to say something else instead," he recalled. "Yeah, that's true -- I changed my mind," she vaguely confirmed. "You needed my support, so I sold my story the best I could," she added with a shrug, and he didn't bother probing for more details.
Haley returned while Tripp was thanking Claire with a kiss. "Sorry," Haley said with an awkward laugh. "No -- I should be apologizing. You just, um, caught me kissing your husband," Claire replied, making Tripp a bit uncomfortable. "You should probably go. It wouldn't look too good if anyone saw you here on our wedding night," Tripp told Claire. "Right," Claire agreed with a forced smile before leaving.
"So...now what?" Tripp asked Haley. "Uh...we could eat some cake. I mean, we've got one [that has] our names on it -- literally," she suggested. "Sounds perfect," he agreed.
Outside the apartment, Claire angrily punched a wall. "I cannot win! I cannot freaking win! I'm damned if I speak up, and I'm damned if I don't!" she grumbled, sighing.
At the Horton Town Square, Eve nervously wondered why Jack had just stopped the wedding ceremony. "Something is very wrong," Jack cryptically insisted while eyeing Jennifer, who was suppressing a hopeful grin.
"Maybe I can help," Adrienne offered, stepping away from the podium. "Maybe you can just back out and keep your mouth shut," Eve irritably demanded. "The hell I will! Marriage is a huge step, girl!" Adrienne countered.
"I know this is hard for you [because] you don't have your memory back, but obviously there's something inside you that tells you you're not in love with this woman, [so] forget about the voters [and] the hyped-up mayor's race -- [but] most importantly, forget about Eve," Adrienne advised Jack. "How dare you!" Eve snapped, but Adrienne ignored the interruption and continued talking to Jack. "If you want to know the real reason why you can't go through with this sham of a marriage, you just have to look right over there," Adrienne argued, pointing Jack in Jennifer's direction.
Jack eyed Jennifer again, seemingly conflicted. Jennifer was clearly still hopeful, but after a few seconds of silence, Jack hesitantly clarified that Adrienne was the reason for the earlier interruption.
"I'm not sure that we can trust her," Jack told Eve, who was quick to agree. "Jack, I'm your sister! Besides Jennifer, I'm the only one you can trust!" Adrienne insisted, but Jack remained skeptical. "You said you [wanted to] mend fences [and] welcome Eve into the family, [and you said it] with such conviction, yet every fiber of my being is telling me [that] you're full of it! [I mean, you just said] I don't love my bride! It seems more like you're trying not to marry us!" Jack noted, and Eve quickly agreed again. "Let me see that officiant card," Jack suspiciously demanded.
"Just as I thought -- this is no good!" Jack dramatically informed the crowd after Adrienne reluctantly handed over the license. "Show it to the camera!" Eve encouraged Jack, who did as instructed. "Expired!" Jack summarized for the crowd before throwing the license to the ground and stomping on it in disgust. "You said we were family, and yet you have no problem stabbing me in the back! Sis, sis -- you threw me under the bus! You're setting us up --" Jack complained, still speaking to the crowd and getting more theatrical with each jeer that a supporter aimed at Adrienne.
"I only did this because I love you!" Adrienne stressed, interrupting Jack's tirade. "To watch you just waste your life with this horrible woman; to [see] you so focused on what she's brainwashed you into thinking you want, when the only thing you should be focused on is trying to get back the one woman who ever loved you --" Adrienne passionately continued, ignoring Eve's indignation.
"This is still a free country! I can speak!" Adrienne pointed out as the crowd continued jeering. "Take out your phones and search 'Jack Deveraux and Jennifer Horton' -- you will see how in love [they] once were...and still would be today, if he did not have amnesia!" Adrienne advised the crowd before turning to Jack again. "You have always had my back, and now I have yours! It is time for you to wake up and get real! [Eve] is using you! She is moving you around like a pawn on a chessboard!" Adrienne warned. "Says the woman who's trying to manipulate me into a wedding ceremony she knew was invalid!" Jack reminded the crowd.
"[This wedding] is invalid! It's as fake and phony as they say Haley and Tripp's wedding is!" Adrienne argued, but Jack insisted that wasn't true -- then began pontificating to the supportive crowd about the difference between the two wedding ceremonies. "You guys, these two are not in love! This is a publicity stunt -- a damn dog-and-pony show!" Adrienne maintained, looking out at the crowd. "Doesn't anyone out there have the guts to get up here and call this for what it really is?" Adrienne asked, clearly frustrated. Jack and Eve both began to protest when a man stepped forward, but Adrienne pointedly encouraged the constituent to speak.
"What you're doing to your brother is a total disgrace!" the man snapped, and the crowd cheered in agreement. "Jack Deveraux may not remember his past, but our future mayor is building a solid future for Salem! Just look at how he handled the situation with that illegal!" the man continued. "How could you hurt your own brother like this -- on his wedding day, no less?" the man demanded to know.
"I'm trying to protect him!" Adrienne stressed. "From Eve? What for? Anyone with eyeballs can see that they are madly in love!" the man countered, and the crowd cheered in agreement again.
"You don't need this traitor to marry you! I'm the pastor of the Second Street Church, [and] I would be happy to do the honors!" the man told Jack and Eve, who both happily accepted the offer.
"Looks like your services aren't needed, so you can take your expired ass on home," Eve said to Adrienne with a sneer of disgust. "This woman -- she owns the Spectator, and I think we just caught her in a fraud!" Eve told the crowd as Adrienne walked away with a sigh of defeat. "I'm sorry. I tried," Adrienne quietly began, stopping in front of Jennifer and offering a hug of support. "It's okay. I love you for it," Jennifer replied.
Jack and Eve got the crowd riled up with chants of "she's a fraud" then encouraged the pastor to resume the wedding ceremony. "Let's get out of here," Adrienne suggested to Jennifer. "I said I was covering this wedding, and I'm staying," Jennifer replied. "This isn't over," Adrienne tried to assure Jennifer. "Oh, it's over. Jack made his choice. There's nothing more I can do. It's done," Jennifer insisted with finality.
Jack hesitated for a moment during the exchanging of the traditional vows but eventually said "I do," and the pastor quickly wrapped things up. Jennifer and Adrienne looked away uncomfortably as Jack kissed Eve theatrically, clearly showing off for the crowd. People soon began stepping forward to congratulate Jack, giving Eve an opportunity to track down Jennifer and gloat about what had just happened.
"I'm on a deadline, if you don't mind..." Jennifer tiredly stated, not bothering to look away from the screen of a tablet computer. "Oh, I know that -- and I'm sure you're gonna write a lovely article," Eve dryly replied. "I'd like to bury it on the back page, but I wouldn't want you and Jack calling the Spectator biased," Jennifer grumbled. "Yet you know it is," Eve argued. "Look at you -- all alone. Told you it would end up like this if you didn't keep your big mouth shut. You must really hate me, huh? [But] don't forget -- you brought this all on yourself," Eve added. "[And] don't you forget [that] none of this is real," Jennifer countered.
Just then, Jack approached. "I'm sorry about, you know, what happened earlier," Jack said to Jennifer. "Adrienne -- she should not have put you on the spot like that. [It] was wrong," Jack continued. "I need to go file my story," Jennifer replied before starting to walk away, leaving Jack looking a bit surprised. "Oh -- I hope that the two of you have a very happy life together," Jennifer added, surprising Jack again.
Jack and Eve soon returned to the Salem Inn. "You, um...had me a little worried there for a minute," Eve admitted. "Jennifer and I are the past; you and I are the future," Jack insisted. "I intend to prove that," Jack added, grasping Eve's hands. "I know that we've talked about never having really shared that bed, [but] now that we are husband and wife, I want to have a real wedding night," Jack stressed, delighting Eve.
J.J. found Jennifer at the Brady Pub. "It's done -- Haley and Tripp are, uh, husband and wife," J.J. revealed with a sigh. "Couldn't have been easy for you to watch that," Jennifer sympathetically guessed. "No, it wasn't...but, uh, at least Haley forgave me -- [and], even better, she admitted that she has feelings for me, [so] even though we can't be around each other for a little while, we might actually have a future," J.J. excitedly informed Jennifer, who was happy to hear that. "Right now, I'm more concerned about you," J.J. gently added, having already read Jennifer's article about Jack and Eve's wedding ceremony.
"You're gonna fight this, right? Expose it for the sham that it is?" J.J. asked hopefully. "I don't think that I have any more fight left in me," Jennifer sadly admitted. "[So], I'm gonna just put a little distance between [myself and] that whole situation [by visiting] your sister. I was gonna do that anyway, so I'll leave earlier, and... [I just] don't feel like seeing Mr. and Mrs. Deveraux parading around Salem," Jennifer added with a shrug.
"I'm so sorry," J.J. said, comforting Jennifer with a hug.