At the Horton Town Square, Abe continued chatting with Paulina -- whose cell phone eventually chimed, interrupting the conversation. "It's the app on my security system -- seems I left the condo door ajar... You know, I was afraid I didn't do something right when I closed it... I'm sorry -- I better go and check it out," Paulina explained to Abe before admiring the twins once more then rushing off.
Meanwhile, at Paulina's condominium, Chanel continued inspecting the blueprints for the revamp of the Horton Town Square. "This doesn't make any sense... What are you up to, Mama?" Chanel eventually muttered -- just as Paulina entered the condominium. "Lani gave me the addy to your new digs, so I came by to show you my ideas for the bakery --" Chanel began to explain. "And since I wasn't here, you decided to snoop?" Paulina concluded. "I wasn't 'snooping' -- it was just lying there, waiting to be read --" Chanel argued. "You were snooping!" Paulina maintained while snatching the blueprints and refolding them.
"I thought you were combining the buildings to create an indoor marketplace for small businesses," Chanel admitted. "I am!" Paulina insisted. "Those blueprints look like they're for one big building," Chanel noted. "[Then they're] for a project back in Miami -- my assistant must have put [them] in the wrong folder... [I mean], you know Mary -- she's always messing things up..." Paulina stammered. "Didn't she send your luggage to Paris, Texas, once instead of Paris, France?" Chanel recalled. "Best excuse ever for a shopping spree!" Paulina declared.
Paulina quickly changed the subject, announcing that Abe had approved Chanel's application for Sweet Bits. "It's totally happening!" Chanel raved. "It seems to be..." Paulina agreed. "You don't think I can do it," Chanel translated. "Chanel, this isn't whipping up a batch of cookies when you get the munchies -- this is a real commitment [that will require] long hours, hard work, getting up early when you'd rather party all night..." Paulina warned. "And I swear I'm committed!" Chanel stressed before showing off plans for the bakery -- and leaving Paulina speechless at the end of the presentation.
"I think you have some great ideas," Paulina admitted after recovering. "[Then] say you're excited for me!" Chanel begged. "I'm just worried about you taking on such a huge project all by yourself," Paulina stressed. "Oh, it's not just me -- one of my besties is gonna be my right-hand woman," Chanel clarified. "Working with friends -- now, that can be tricky..." Paulina warned, but Chanel dismissed the concern.
"Well, then... [This is] absolutely wonderful!" Paulina declared with a forced smile, drawing a squeal of delight from Chanel. "[You know, my friend is] getting a secret family recipe for these bomb-ass doughnuts, [and] I was thinking we should have something [on the menu] that's passed down from our family, too...like Grandma's sweet potato pie -- remember when we used to make it together at Thanksgiving? [So], how 'bout we make one right now? I want to make sure it's as good as I remember," Chanel suggested, drawing another forced smile from Paulina.
Chanel surprised Paulina with a kiss on the cheek as an expression of gratitude then rushed off to shop for supplies. "There's something I gotta tell you..." Paulina began with a sigh of guilt when Chanel returned. "I'm very proud of you, and I just know you and your bakery will be the biggest thing to ever hit Salem!" Paulina concluded, unable to finish the confession.
At the Horton house, Kayla vaguely explained that someone had recently suggested that Snyder might have threatened Gwen during one of their appointments. "What the hell did Xander tell you?" Gwen snapped before realizing that Kayla was actually talking about Tripp. "Why did you think that I was talking about Xander?" Kayla wondered. "'Cause...he's...always stirring up trouble, isn't he?" Gwen reasoned with a shrug.
"[Anyway], I think Tripp misread the situation," Gwen claimed. "[So], you don't think that Dr. Snyder did anything inappropriate?" Kayla translated. "He doesn't have the best bedside manner, but...no, I have no complaints," Gwen insisted. "Okay, then..." Kayla responded before starting to leave. "I appreciate you reaching out -- I know I'm not your favorite person, considering how close you are with Abigail," Gwen called out. "Whatever may have happened between the two of you --" Kayla began. "What happened between us is that she caused me to lose my baby!" Gwen snapped before quickly apologizing for the outburst, drawing a diplomatic nod from Kayla.
At the hospital, Xander claimed that a friend had recommended Snyder as the best doctor to talk to about making a pain in the neck go away. "Who's your friend?" Snyder wondered. "Gwen Rizczech," Xander answered. "Lovely young woman," Snyder declared. "I don't know about that... Obnoxious, annoying, definitely has an attitude problem --" Xander countered.
"I thought you said she was your friend," Snyder protested. "Did I? [Then] I misspoke -- she's the daughter of my friend," Xander clarified. "[Anyway], she said you gave her excellent care after her accident -- [and] some really strong painkillers..." Xander elaborated. "Yes, well...she was in a great deal of pain," Snyder reasoned. "That would explain why she has such a great big bag of them!" Xander conceded with a shrug, pretending to have bought the story.
"What that doesn't explain, though, is why you're making her deliver them to other people," Xander continued with a scowl, dropping the act. "There must be some misunderstanding -- I would never suggest a patient share their prescribed medications with anyone --" Snyder insisted. "Hey, I'm not a cop, okay? I really don't give a damn if you are running an illegal drug ring out of this hospital. Just leave Gwen out of it," Xander advised. "I'm not forcing Ms. Rizczech to do anything -- she and I have a mutually beneficial arrangement; she runs errands for me...and I, in return, keep her secret about her miscarriage," Snyder explained. "What secret?" Xander wondered.
"Hmm. Apparently, Ms. Rizczech hasn't told you the whole story," Snyder teased. "So, enlighten me," Xander requested. "You're not suggesting that I break doctor-patient confidentiality, are you?" Snyder protested. "Why not? I mean, I don't suspect that ethics are especially high on your list of priorities..." Xander reasoned.
"Mind your own damn business," Snyder advised. "Gwen is my business...[and] if you mess with her, you mess with me," Xander stressed. "You don't intimidate me, Mr. Cook -- must be the paper gown, mate," Snyder countered, mockingly mimicking Xander's accent. "Maybe," Xander agreed before grabbing Snyder by the lab coat. "Leave. Gwen. Alone. Or you're the one who will be in serious need of painkillers," Xander warned before releasing Snyder with a hard shove then ripping off the paper gown and exiting the examination room, still shirtless.
Xander headed back to the Horton house -- where Gwen was getting an earful from Snyder. "I'll take care of it," Gwen promised before hanging up on Snyder. "He called, did he? That was fast... Quaking in his boots, I imagine?" Xander mused after answering Gwen's questions about the matter. "Well, I don't know if he was quaking, 'cause it was on the phone...[but] I heard lots of anger in his voice -- which is a bit of a problem, [since] he is blackmailing me!" Gwen snapped.
"I'll pay the good doctor another visit --" Xander offered. "If you threaten him, he will destroy my life!" Gwen fretted. "Because of what he knows about your miscarriage?" Xander summarized. "Do not bring up my miscarriage ever again!" Gwen warned. "I understand that it's a touchy subject --" Xander responded. "You heartless cretin -- you have no idea what [losing a child] is like!" Gwen argued. "True...but I did help Sarah raise a baby for a year, and I loved that little girl like she was my own, and then we had to give her up... I'm not saying it's the same thing, but I can imagine, just a little bit, the pain you must be going through -- and this son of a bitch Snyder is making it worse, so...if you change your mind and decide you do want some help, you just let me know," Xander countered.
At the hospital, Kayla questioned Snyder about Gwen's medical records, which were nowhere to be found. "She is my husband's niece, and I told him that I would pay special attention to her, [so I would] like to see her file...and, since I'm chief of staff, I am entitled to that..." Kayla explained. "Yes, I'm aware...but I don't really think there's anything out of the ordinary to see there --" Snyder stammered. "But you don't have a problem with me looking at her file...do you?" Kayla wondered. "No...[but] I am afraid those records are not yet in the system [because] I handwrite everything -- I'm old-fashioned that way... [Look], I will make sure and have those records uploaded as soon as possible," Snyder answered before walking away, leaving Kayla even more suspicious than before.
At Julie's Place, Nicole thought about what Sami had said at the end of their encounter the previous day. "Sami won't give up until she proves I cheated on Eric [with Xander]..." Nicole conceded with a sigh before producing a tablet computer and starting to compose an email to send to Eric, who had not been answering phone calls recently, as a way of beating Sami to the punch with a full confession.
"I can't believe I'm gonna do this..." Nicole muttered before taking a deep breath then preparing to send the email -- but Abe entered the restaurant with the twins just then and called out a greeting. "It's so good to see you -- [and] I'm so glad I finally get to meet [Jules and Carver]!" Nicole gushed while turning off the tablet computer, leaving the email unsent.
"Yeah -- it's been awhile... How have you been? You know, Roman told me that Eric has extended his stay in Africa --" Abe responded. "Again..." Nicole bitterly confirmed. "He's been gone a long time --" Abe acknowledged. "Eight months, twelve days, and two hours...to be exact," Nicole grumbled.
"I know that he is needed there...but he is needed here, too; I need him! And I've just gotten so angry and resentful that he's chose to stay there so long, and I'm just [consumed with] this huge guilt --" Nicole fretted. "About what?" Abe wondered. "Eric is off on some selfless mission, helping people in need, and I'm here, complaining about how hard this is for me," Nicole, who might have been about to blurt out something else before the interruption, answered. "It's understandable [that] you're lonely, sad, and frustrated," Abe insisted.
"I just don't know how much longer I can live like this... [Anyway], I was gonna send Eric an email -- and I'll spare you the gory details, but...if I do send it, I'm pretty sure it will be the end of our marriage," Nicole admitted, fighting back tears. "Is that what you want?" Abe wondered. "Of course not...but there's truths in this email that I don't think even a saint like Eric could get past," Nicole responded. "I doubt that's true. What you and Eric have [already] been through would have torn most couples apart, [but] your love just got stronger," Abe argued. "[But] it has been less than a year, and my marriage is already falling apart," Nicole noted.
"I'm just starting to think that maybe marriage wasn't for me -- you know, maybe it's not in the cards for me --" Nicole fretted. "Oh, don't say that --" Abe protested. "[And] I'm just in awe of people who can make a marriage last forever -- like you and Lexie did," Nicole continued. "Well, it wasn't always smooth sailing for Lexie and me -- Stefano was a huge problem --" Abe stressed. "And so was my brother," Nicole recalled, making Abe squirm a bit.
"I don't mean to pry, but...how did you get past that?" Nicole wondered. "Lexie's infidelity? It wasn't easy, obviously -- my pride was hurt, our trust was broken... I almost walked away, [but] there was one simple truth [that stopped me from doing that] -- Lexie was the love of my life, and there was nobody else on the entire earth that I wanted to be with more," Abe stammered. "Do you think it would have been better if you didn't know about her affair?" Nicole asked. "No, I don't -- [knowing the truth allowed us to] work together to get past it; if she had kept that secret, [it] would have destroyed our marriage," Abe replied.
After Abe left, Nicole again prepared to send the confession to Eric. "I can't do it -- I can't lose you, Eric," Nicole decided, saving the email to a draft folder instead.
Lucas rushed over to the Evans-Black townhouse after receiving an urgent text message from Sami. "I need your help desperately -- it's a matter of life and death!" Sami began, worrying Lucas, who gamely agreed to do whatever was needed. "Awesome -- okay, you can start by taking your shirt off --" Sami continued. "Really? I thought we weren't gonna do that anymore...[but] I showered, so we're good --" Lucas, who was wearing a dress shirt, excitedly declared while undoing its buttons. "We're not having sex! [Look], you're gonna just put this on --" Sami clarified while producing a storage case and revealing its contents.
"Is that a wire? I'm not putting a wire on!" Lucas protested while redoing the buttons. "Why not? It's John's -- I mean, it's fancy, it's official..." Sami argued. "You stole it from him?" Lucas guessed. "I borrowed it from him!" Sami claimed. "Why?" Lucas wondered. "Isn't it obvious? Nicole cheated on my brother with Xander -- and you are gonna help me prove it," Sami answered.
"No way," Lucas insisted. "You haven't even heard my idea! [Listen], all you have to do is go to Nicole, wear the wire, and convince her that you and I had this huge fight --" Sami began to explain. "That part's believable..." Lucas muttered. "And that I'm obsessing about this idea that she had a disgusting affair with Xander --" Sami continued. "Again, spot on..." Lucas acknowledged. "Focus, please, [because] this is the important part -- then you give her 'the Lucas eyes' --" Sami continued. "What?" Lucas sputtered. "You know -- that thing you do when you look at someone and make 'em feel like you can see into their soul [so] they just want to confess everything to you --" Sami clarified. "How's that work with you?" Lucas wondered.
"Stay with me here -- the point is, you're gonna do that with Nicole...[and] maybe throw a few drinks her way [for good measure]...and then, when she tells you she's a whore, I'll have the whole thing on tape!" Sami concluded. "It's never gonna work," Lucas predicted. "It's totally gonna work," Sami countered before starting to undo the buttons of Lucas' shirt. "Have you lost your damn mind?" Lucas snapped, pulling away from Sami and redoing the buttons again. "Maybe you should try [that 'fake brain tumor' thing] with Nicole -- that might soften her up --" Sami suggested while reaching for Lucas' shirt again. "All right, I'm outta here --" Lucas decided after dodging Sami again.
"Please, Lucas -- I have to protect my brother!" Sami reasoned before revealing what had happened the previous day. "That receipt is fake -- just like [Nicole] is!" Sami insisted. "She cheated on her husband, and she shouldn't get away with it --" Sami tried to conclude. "What is this about, really? Is this because Nicole cheated on Eric...or because you cheated on E.J.?" Lucas wondered.
"It's called 'projecting,'" Lucas recalled. "What, are you my mother now?" Sami snapped as Lucas produced a cell phone and checked online for the textbook definition of the term to confirm that it was the correct one to apply to the situation. "Yeah -- 'projecting: attributing one's own unacceptable urges to another,'" Lucas read aloud to Sami, who reluctantly conceded the point. "I hate what I did to E.J. -- and it's just easier to hate Nicole instead," Sami admitted, fighting back tears.
"I love E.J., [so] I don't understand how I could hurt him like this!" Sami fretted. "Maybe you're also in love with me," Lucas argued. "I am married to E.J. --" Sami protested. "Hell of a marriage..." Lucas muttered. "I have to believe that he is gonna come around --" Sami reasoned. "And what if he doesn't? [Look], I know you like a good challenge, and I know you don't like to give up, but it takes two to make a marriage work," Lucas countered.
"I think we should give us another shot. [Well, actually], I hadn't really thought about it until now...[but] we've been getting along pretty good [lately, and] we have been in love with each other since we were kids...and now that we're older, we're the best versions of ourselves -- smarter and wiser... Well, some of us are wiser -- you did confess to murdering Charlie Dale, which wasn't too smart --" Lucas declared. "It was a lot smarter than faking a brain tumor!" Sami interjected. "[And] dress up like Stan and pose as a doctor --" Lucas continued. "See? This is where we always end up --" Sami argued. "This is where we tear each other's clothes off and go at it like --" Lucas countered.
"We're bickering --" Sami maintained. "It's called 'magic' -- that's what we have; it's honest, it's real, and it's passionate, and I have never had it with anybody but you, and I want it again --" Lucas clarified. "I have a husband -- what E.J. and I had --" Sami stammered. "'Had' -- like...past tense, not now? I'm here now -- I'm your present! [Look], I'm all in if you are," Lucas responded before gazing at Sami pointedly. "What are you doing?" Sami wondered. "Giving you 'the Lucas eyes' -- is it working?" Lucas answered. "Oh, Lucas..." Sami swooned.
Someone knocked on the townhouse door just then. "Oh, my God -- do you think that's E.J.?" Sami whispered. "Paranoid much? It's probably Rafe again! You said the same thing last time!" Lucas responded. "Right, of course -- I'm just being silly; it couldn't possibly be --" Sami conceded with a laugh while walking over to the townhouse door and opening it. "E.J.!" Sami observed with a gasp.