In Chad's apartment, Chad feared that Melanie would explode if she continued to pretend that everything was all right. "She had a nightmare, and, um, she was talking in her sleep. She yelled out his name...but it wasn't about this time. She kept begging a 'Nick' to stop hurting her. And this morning, when -- when I asked her about it, she refused to talk about it," Chad told Daniel.
At the hospital, Melanie was horrified to learn about Nick's imminent parole hearing. Julie promised that Nick would never hurt Melanie again, but Melanie insisted that keeping Nick in prison was the only way to guarantee her safety. Julie started to suggest that Melanie was overreacting, but Maggie arrived and interrupted her.
"Julie! That is enough. If you think she's overreacting...well, I think you have a hell of a lot of nerve," Maggie said. Maggie wondered if Melanie was all right. Melanie admitted that the timing could have been better, and she abruptly excused herself so that she could check on a patient.
After Melanie left, Maggie reminded Julie that Melanie had recently been kidnapped, and she insisted that Julie had made the situation worse. Julie swore that she had never intended to upset Melanie. Maggie wondered if that meant that Julie would agree to back off. Julie cautiously suggested that it might be better for Maggie to talk to Melanie about the parole hearing instead.
Maggie refused to do Julie's dirty work. Julie insisted that she wasn't trying to hurt Melanie. Julie explained that she was just trying to help Nick, who deserved a chance to live a normal life. Julie wondered if Maggie cared about Nick at all. "No, I just took him into my house because I felt lukewarm about him," Maggie sarcastically replied.
Meanwhile, Maxine and Melanie lurked nearby and watched the argument. "If I was that other woman, I'd be scared -- you gotta be careful of them redheads," Maxine matter-of-factly stated. Melanie laughed and acknowledged that she had the best grandmother in the whole world.
Maggie said that she loved Nick, but she added that she also loved Melanie, who was still recovering from an extremely traumatic experience. "So, Nick be damned," Julie angrily summarized. Julie said that it wasn't fair to punish Nick for something that Andrew had done, but Maggie insisted that Nick could wait. "I am not gonna let anyone pressure her into doing or saying anything she doesn't want to, so...just back off, Julie, because the ball is in Melanie's court...and that's that," Maggie firmly stated.
Later, Maggie approached Melanie and apologized for Julie's insensitivity. Melanie said that she couldn't blame Julie for trying to look out for Nick's best interests. Melanie knowingly stated that Maggie also loved Nick, and she insisted that Maggie didn't need to pretend otherwise. Maggie confirmed that she wanted what was best for Nick, but she added that she wasn't convinced that Julie was qualified to make that decision.
At the prison, Nick looked at a picture that Ciara had drawn for him. Nick asked Hope to thank Ciara for the drawing, and he revealed that he had created a scrapbook to hold all of the art projects that Ciara had sent him. Hope assured Nick that Ciara would be pleased to hear that, and she added that the entire family was extremely proud of him.
Nick insisted that he had done nothing to make the family proud, but Hope reminded him that he had been sober for more than three years. Nick claimed that it was easy to remain sober in prison, where drugs were inaccessible, but Hope refused to believe that. Hope knowingly stated that Nick could have easily acquired drugs if he had been inclined to do so.
Hope added that the parole board would not have approved Nick's hearing unless he had truly earned it. Nick claimed that the hearing was just a routine procedure that meant nothing. Hope wondered why Nick was trying to put a negative spin on the situation. Nick assured Hope that he wasn't trying to be negative.
"You learn in here not to show how you feel -- not to let anyone know you want something. I deserve to be in here, okay? I know what I did. I know what I did to Melanie, I know that I killed a man, and I know that I'll never do anything like that ever again -- I know that. I'll never take another pill. But...if I got out of here -- don't laugh when I say this, but...I thought maybe I could atone. Here...I don't do anything wrong, but I don't do anything right. I'm not helping anyone -- I'm smart, but it doesn't mean anything. It doesn't serve a purpose. And I don't want to get out of here so I can, you know, go party. I want to make my life mean something. I want to help people. So...yeah, I want this parole...more than I've ever wanted anything," Nick admitted.
Nick could tell that Hope seemed concerned about something, and he urged her to tell him what was wrong. Hope reluctantly started to tell Nick about Melanie's recent kidnapping ordeal. "You know what's horrible? You tell me what that guy did and I hate him for it. How am I supposed to expect anybody to forgive me -- not think of me like that?" Nick wondered.
Hope insisted that Nick had changed, and she added that his family had forgiven him for his past mistakes. "Melanie's not my family -- she's my victim, and she's the one who gets to testify at my hearing," Nick pointed out. Nick recalled that Melanie had publicly forgiven him at his trial a few years earlier, and he theorized that his sentence would have been much more severe if she hadn't done that.
Nick didn't want to ask Melanie to repeat that experience. Hope understood, but she suggested that it might be good for Melanie to go to the hearing and realize that giving Nick her forgiveness had been the right decision. Nick wasn't convinced that it would be appropriate to ask Melanie to do that.
Nick explained that he had learned to look at things from another person's perspective instead of focusing on his own point of view. Nick insisted that Melanie had already been forced to deal with more than her fair share of traumatic situations, and he swore that he would never ask her to do something on his behalf. Later, after Hope left, Nick silently recalled the words of encouragement that Melanie had given him during his trial.
Back in Chad's apartment, Chad could tell that something was wrong with Melanie, who had abruptly ended her scheduled shift at the hospital. Maggie started to tell Chad about Nick's parole hearing, but Melanie interrupted and claimed that she had developed a migraine earlier. Maggie took the hint and quickly excused herself.
Later, Hope went to the apartment to deliver the letter that the parole board had sent to Melanie. Melanie revealed that she had already heard about the hearing earlier that day. Chad greeted Hope and wondered if everything was all right. Melanie handed Chad the letter, muttering that he would eventually find out about the hearing one way or another.
As Chad started to read the letter, Hope quietly excused herself. "I just want you to know...you don't have to do anything, but if you choose to, you could write a letter to the parole board, or testify in person, or...you could do nothing at all. Melanie...this is absolutely, one hundred percent your decision, and I really am sorry about the timing," Hope gently stated.
After Hope left, Chad wondered why Melanie had not told him about the hearing earlier. Chad said that he wanted to help Melanie, and he wondered why she was shutting him out. Melanie gave Chad a few vague details about her earlier encounter with Julie. Chad tried to ask about Nick, but Melanie insisted that she didn't want to focus on the past.
"Well, what if the past is part of the present, okay? What if the things in the past weren't resolved?" Chad asked. Melanie sighed and vaguely stated that she had once been a bad person who had used Nick. Confused, Chad tried to probe Melanie for more details, but she tearfully reiterated that she didn't want to discuss the past.
Melanie's refusal to open up to Chad seemed to hurt him, but he nodded and agreed to respect her wishes. Chad promised that he would be there for Melanie if she ever changed her mind. Melanie said that was one of the reasons that she loved Chad, and she assured him that she only cared about their future together. Chad forced a smile and hugged Melanie, but it was clear that he was still concerned.
Back at the prison, Julie and Maggie accidentally bumped into each other and quickly resumed their earlier argument. A short time later, Nick was escorted into the room, and he interrupted the quarrel when he heard Maggie mention that Melanie had gotten sick earlier. Nick wondered if Melanie was all right.
Julie and Maggie each started to offer their own version of the truth, and Nick impatiently demanded to know what had actually happened. Julie claimed that the news had simply surprised Melanie, but Nick could tell that she had omitted a few crucial details. Nick revealed that Hope had told him that another guy had recently kidnapped Melanie, and he guessed that the ordeal had stirred up some old memories.
Julie insisted that Melanie would be fine, and she assured Nick that Daniel, Maggie, and Chad would help Melanie cope with her recent experiences. Maggie listened quietly as Julie added that Nick's family would help him get released from prison.
At the Horton Town Square, Nicole interrupted Sami and Rafe's awkward encounter. Nicole hugged Rafe and pointedly greeted him as her baby's father. Nicole made a few snide remarks about Sami's past relationships with Rafe and E.J. Resisting the urge to hit Nicole, Sami muttered that Nicole was lucky that she was pregnant.
Rafe told Sami and Nicole to go to their neutral corners and grow up. Sami reached over to a nearby table and picked up her purse, accidentally dropping a scarf on the ground in the process. Nicole and Sami continued to trade insults, and Rafe made a second attempt to defuse the situation. Sami and Nicole reluctantly agreed to back off, and Nicole reminded Rafe that she still needed to talk to him about their baby.
Rafe nodded and politely dismissed Sami. After Sami left, Nicole said that she was glad that Rafe had decided to dump Sami. Nicole started to talk about Carrie, but Rafe interrupted and informed her that Carrie had moved back to Switzerland. Nicole told Rafe about everything that had happened during the explosion.
Later, at the Brady Pub, Nicole made a few vague references about a mystery man, making it clear that she was interested in pursuing a relationship with him. Rafe incorrectly assumed that Nicole was talking about him, and he gently tried to inform her that he did not feel the same way about her. Nicole laughed and assured Rafe that she wasn't talking about him.
Nicole admitted that she had once had a crush on Rafe, but she added that she valued his friendship more than anything else. Rafe asked about the mystery man's identity, but before Nicole could respond, Daniel entered the pub. A short time later, Rafe abruptly excused himself, and he warned Nicole that he was going to ask the question again at a later date.
Rafe's comment puzzled Daniel, who asked Nicole for an explanation. Nicole gave Daniel a vague answer and quickly changed the subject. Nicole thanked Daniel again for saving her baby. Nicole declared that her life had changed that day, and she added that she had started to see things more clearly. "I want us to be more than just friends. I -- I want us to be together," Nicole admitted.
Back at the Horton Town Square, Rafe found the scarf that Sami had dropped earlier. As Rafe reached for the scarf, he recalled rubbing lotion on Sami's bruised wrists at the DiMera safe house. Hope approached Rafe and noticed the scarf, and she joked that the pattern suited him. Rafe clarified that the scarf belonged to Sami. Assuming that Rafe would want to return the scarf, Hope helpfully informed him that she had seen Sami at the coffeehouse earlier, but he claimed that he wasn't interested.
At Common Grounds, Sami watched as Allie played with a friend. When Lucas entered the coffeehouse, Sami quickly approached him, but he insisted that he didn't want to talk to her. Undeterred, Sami assured Lucas that she had never intended to mislead him. Lucas wasn't convinced, and he theorized that Sami had tricked him into falling in love with her again so that she could boost her ego.
"Obviously, you have moved on. You're done with me, so you know what, Sami? I am done with you," Lucas snapped. Sami conceded that Lucas had a right to be upset, but she insisted that they had to remain civil around their kids, and she urged him to lower his voice. "Oh, right, right -- I know what that argument is. That's your free pass to do whatever you want when you want, right? And I'm not supposed to react? Those days are gone," Lucas replied.
"You know, another thing -- I think our kids should learn about cause and effect. I really do. See, that way, when Mommy calls Daddy and tells Daddy to drop everything to be there to help Mommy with Will...and all Mommy does is play Daddy and does whatever she can to come between Daddy and his fiancÚe, so when Daddy finally says, 'Yeah, Mommy, I really do want to be together with you. I love you; I always have,' what does Mommy do? Mommy runs off with the dirtbag E.J. -- that's what Mommy does," Lucas added.
"And you know what? Maybe it's good that they hear this. Maybe it's good that they see that I'm a little upset. I mean, wouldn't it be a little surreal if I wasn't? Maybe they wouldn't be so inclined to repeat the same mistakes that Daddy keeps making over and over again. You know what? You chewed me up and you spit me out when you were done with me, so now, Sami, I'm done with you," Lucas concluded.
Sami told Lucas to calm down, but he ignored her. "You always want what you can't have, and then when you get it, you don't want it anymore. You had me, but that wasn't good enough, right? So you had to go after E.J. It's a matter of time before you have him, too, and then what are you gonna do? And then who are you gonna go after?" Lucas wondered.
Sami dismissively stated that she had always hated cheap psychology. "You hate the truth, Sami -- you always have and you always will. You want to think that every man who's ever loved you is gonna love you forever? While you move on like no big deal, we're just supposed to act like we're in love with you for the rest of our lives? Dream on," Lucas said.
Before Sami could respond, Lucas abruptly walked away.
In Chad's apartment, Melanie told Chad about her history with Nick. When Melanie explained that Nick had killed her adoptive father and framed her for the murder in order to coax her to run away with him, Chad was taken aback. Angry, Chad said that Nick should not be able to leave prison. Sighing, Chad noted that he felt guilty that he had not protected Melanie from Andrew and insisted that he would not make that mistake with Nick.
When Melanie said that she did not want to take part in the parole hearing, Chad urged Melanie to go to the hearing and testify that Nick should not be released from prison. Melanie countered that testifying against Nick could sour her relationship with the Horton family. As Chad offered his support to Melanie, his cell phone rang.
In prison, Nick thanked Julie and Maggie for their support but stated that he did not believe Melanie would support his release from prison. Nick explained that when he had heard about what had happened to Melanie, he had called his lawyer and retracted his request for a parole hearing.
Panicked, Julie urged Nick not to give up. When Nick noted that he wanted to make reparations to Melanie as part of his recovery, Maggie grew teary-eyed. Julie begged Maggie to talk to Nick. Maggie told Nick that she was happy to look into Nick's eyes and see the Nick that she had known before the drugs. Maggie counseled Nick to think about what was best for him and to act on that. Nodding, Nick explained that he felt that the best thing for him was not to put Melanie through any more pain.
Upset, Julie begged Maggie to change Nick's mind. When Maggie noted through tears that it was Nick's decision, Julie ordered Nick to tell Maggie about what had happened to him in the laundry room. Glaring at Julie, Nick reminded Julie that she had promised not to mention what had happened. Shaking her head, Julie countered that all bets were off since Nick was giving up.
Julie explained to Maggie that another inmate had attacked Nick with a knife. "Do you want to see something like that happen to him again?" Julie asked Maggie. Nick played down the incident, but Julie stressed that Nick could have died. Shaking his head, Nick added that Melanie would not pass up the opportunity to speak at his hearing and that she would not be lenient on him. Nick explained that his parole would be denied, so he did not want to go through with the hearing.
With a sigh, Maggie urged Nick to talk to Marlena before he made the decision to cancel his parole hearing. Nodding, Nick noted that he would do anything for Maggie. Relieved, Julie reached out and squeezed Nick's hand.
At Sami's apartment, Marlena checked in on Will. When Marlena asked Will how his dilemma with his male friend had turned out, Will explained that he had been wrong. Will noted that the guy he had thought was interested in him was not. Will confided that when the guy had moved on to the next person, it had made Will feel like he did not matter. Marlena asked Will if he was certain that the guy was not interested in Will. Will nodded.
When Will drifted off and thought about sleeping with Gabi, Marlena snapped her fingers in front of his face and asked Will what he was thinking about. Smiling, Will confided that he was worried about a friend. When Marlena asked Will for details, he shifted uncomfortably and excused himself.
At the coffeehouse, Sonny was cleaning a table when his friend Brian stopped by. Brian was alarmed to see Sonny's split lip, but Sonny explained that he had run into a door. When Brian tenderly touched Sonny's bruised face, Sonny pulled back and asked Brian what he wanted.
Brian asked Sonny if he had reconsidered Brian's offer because Brian was still interested in Sonny. When Sonny didn't answer, Brian invited Sonny out. Sonny politely declined the offer. Brian countered that Sonny was making a mistake because Will was not interested.
At the police station, E.J. angrily paced the office, complaining aloud about his arrest. As E.J. barked at the officer watching him to fetch a phone, Kate walked into the office and offered her cell phone to E.J. Kate asked E.J. if he knew where Stefano was hiding. With a laugh, E.J. answered that he did not know where Stefano was, and he did not care.
Kate thanked E.J. for saving Stefano's life, but she refused to pay E.J.'s bail because she was angry he had used Will in order to escape from the police. Kate cautioned that someone might use E.J.'s children one day as E.J. had used Will. Shaking her head, Kate added that she was partially grateful that E.J. had run off with Sami because it had forced Lucas to make a decision.
Curious, E.J. asked Kate what had happened to Lucas. Kate explained that Lucas no longer wanted to be with Sami. As Kate left, E.J.'s grin widened. E.J. called Chad and asked him to arrange for bail. When Chad arrived at the police station, he offered to borrow money against the apartment that he owned. Touched by Chad's offer, E.J. thanked his brother. Chad and E.J. agreed that it was a shame that Lexie had died believing that her father had been murdered.
When Chad noted that E.J. had called Stefano father, he asked whether E.J. had had a change of heart about Stefano. E.J. explained that when he had discovered Stefano was alive, he had learned that Stefano was E.J.'s biological father. Overwhelmed with emotion, Chad was thrilled to learn that E.J. was his biological half-brother.
In the Brady Pub, Nicole informed Daniel that she wanted to be more than friends with him. "I feel less used by you than any man I've ever been with," Nicole said. When Nicole asked Daniel if he wanted to start a relationship with her, Daniel stressed that Nicole should concentrate on her baby.
"You make me feel the way no other man has: safe. And I never thought safe could be so sexy. That's it. Totally honest," Nicole said. Nodding, Daniel countered that he would be honest with Nicole. Daniel wondered aloud whether Nicole was confusing her gratitude for interest. Nicole argued that she would not hurt Daniel like Jennifer had because she was only interested in Daniel.
"Jack is the one great love of her life, the father of her kids, and she is never going to get over him. But me? I am still looking for that one great love, and I am telling you Daniel, when I see you, I see a soul mate," Nicole said. Nicole stated that her feelings were not limited to gratitude. Daniel admitted that he was unsure because the paternity status of Nicole's baby and his role in faking the results complicated their relationship.
When Daniel noted that E.J. would figure out that the paternity results were faked if Nicole was dating the doctor who ran the test, Nicole asked Daniel to keep their relationship a secret and wait for E.J. to move on. Daniel reminded Nicole that when he had secretly dated Chloe, it had been a disaster. Daniel renewed his plea to Nicole to focus on her baby because, in time, she would realize that she did not love him as more than a friend. After receiving a text message from Chad, Daniel excused himself to check on Melanie.
Nicole strolled through the square and smiled wistfully at a happy couple and their child. Nicole imagined what her life would be like if she and Daniel were together with her child. In her dream, her son ran into the bedroom to call his father, and Nicole lamented that her son believed Rafe was his father. Smiling, Nicole told Daniel that she was glad that he had agreed to explore their relationship, and Daniel countered that he was happy that Nicole had been persistent with him. As Nicole awoke from her daydream, she whispered, "He is definitely the one."
E.J. walked through the square and left Sami a voicemail asking her to call him. After E.J. purchased a bouquet of flowers, he said hello to Nicole as she walked by him. When Nicole commented on the flowers, E.J. countered, "I see they are not the only things that are blooming."
When Daniel arrived at Chad's place, Melanie smiled and asked Daniel if Chad had called him. With sheepish smile, Daniel said that Chad had texted him. Melanie asked Daniel to stop hovering because it made her feel weak. Melanie worried aloud that if Chad continued to treat her as if she was weak that it would damage their relationship.
Melanie commented that if she prevented Nick from getting parole, it might affect her relationship with the Hortons. Daniel said that the Horton family would understand. Changing the subject, Melanie said that Abigail had emailed her and informed her that she was returning from England. Melanie asked Daniel if he had reached out to Jennifer.
Tad was sitting on the couch in Horton Town Square when he called out to Gabi as she walked by. Smiling, Gabi said hello and remarked that she was surprised to see Tad had returned to Salem. Tad joked that everyone including Gabi's "fairy" ex-boyfriend were surprised to see him. Furious, Gabi warned Tad not speak ill of Will, especially in front of her.
With a sigh, Tad shook his head and started to walk away. Gabi stopped Tad and noted that people should not be judged based on who they were. When Tad argued that everyone in town was laughing at him for being friends with a "closet queen," Gabi countered that Will had been friends with a "dirtbag."
Gabi warned Tad that he could not say those hurtful things to Will, Tad noted that he had already talked to Will the night before. When Tad confirmed that he had fought with Will, Gabi's mouth hung open in shock. As Tad walked away, Gabi thought about when she had slept with Will.
As Tad walked across the square, Sonny angrily called out to him. Sonny urged Tad to take another swing at him. Tad argued that he should have done more to Sonny in retribution for what Sonny had done to Will. Narrowing his eyes, Sonny noted that no one had the ability to turn someone gay. When Sonny warned Tad that he would call the police if Tad hurt Will, Tad countered that he had been sickened when he overheard Sonny confess his feelings for Will to Brian.
Angry, Sonny punched Tad in the face, knocking him to the ground. As Tad lay on the ground, stunned, Sonny noted that he and Tad were even. Sonny urged Tad to tell people that a "fairy" had given him a fat lip. Sonny warned that he would watch Tad.
Will walked over to the Brady Pub and was pleased to see Gabi sitting at a table in the corner. When Will greeted Gabi, she remained solemn. Gabi explained that she had spoken to Tad and that she had learned that Will had fought with Tad before Will had slept with her. When Gabi asked Will if he had been attempting to convince himself that he was not gay, Will denied the charge.
"Maybe," Will amended. Will explained that he had felt disgusted with himself and that he had wanted to feel different than he had. Gabi nodded and said that she understood. Gabi noted that they both had done something that they regretted, and she did not hate Will.
John walked into the coffeehouse, and when he saw Kate, he walked over to her. John remarked on how Kate had attempted to manipulate Brady into confronting Ian. With a smirk, Kate countered that she did not feel guilty for pushing Brady to go after Ian because she had not wanted Ian to get away with hurting her or Stefano. Kate swore to get Stefano back.
John noted that since Ian was locked away, Kate should leave Brady alone. Nodding, Kate countered that Ian had manipulated Brady and Madison in the same manner that he had manipulated Kate and Stefano. Fighting tears, Kate noted that if Ian had not interfered, then Brady and Madison would have been married and she and Stefano would still be together.
With a sigh, John sat down at Kate's table and patted her hand comfortingly. Kate pulled her hand away and asked John why he was being kind to her. John explained that when Kate had talked to Brady, she had told him what Madison's last words had been. John thanked Kate for helping Brady realize that Madison had loved him because Brady had been able to take comfort in that realization. John counseled Kate to remember that when Stefano did not want to be found that it was futile to seek him out.
At Maggie's request, Marlena visited Nick in prison. Nick theorized aloud that Maggie had wanted Marlena to see if Nick had changed. "Have you changed?" Marlena responded. "No," Nick said.
In Chad's apartment, Daniel promised that he would never let Melanie down again. Melanie refused to let Daniel blame himself for Andrew's actions. Recalling that Abigail had recently lost Jack, Melanie noted that she was lucky to have Daniel in her life.
"Abigail and Jennifer are really close to Nick, and they're going through so much right now. If I have the chance to bring family there to help them, how am I supposed to say no to that?" Melanie wondered. Melanie said that her ordeal with Nick had turned her into a stronger person. Melanie refused to live in fear, primarily because she didn't want to let Andrew control her life.
Before Daniel could respond, he received a call from the hospital. Melanie urged Daniel to get back to work, assuring him that she would be fine. Daniel reluctantly agreed, but he insisted that he wanted Melanie to keep the apartment door locked. Melanie promised to follow Daniel's instructions, but after he left, she stubbornly ignored his request. After a brief pause, Melanie reconsidered and quietly locked the door.
At the prison, Nick told Marlena that being in jail had changed him. "When I got in here, I was still strung out. All I could think about was Melanie, my old life, how things could never get better...but they saw something in me here that I didn't see in myself. They trusted me; they gave me a chance. Thanks to them, I'm a -- I'm a better man than I was when I came in here," Nick said.
Marlena wondered who Nick Fallon was. The question surprised Nick, who took a moment to think about his answer. "I'm a guy who loves his family, you know? That much will -- will never change. I, uh -- I love to learn, and -- and I'd like a chance to make a difference in the world...someday. I mean, I know that I have to take responsibility -- not just for the past, but for every moment in my life, present and future," Nick said.
Marlena asked Nick about his feelings for Melanie. Nick recalled that Melanie had asked the judge for leniency during Nick's trial, and he said that he owed her for that act of kindness. Marlena wondered if that was why Nick had started to consider canceling the parole hearing. Nick admitted that he didn't want to cause Melanie any additional pain.
Marlena observed that Nick still cared about Melanie. Nick confirmed Marlena's suspicion, but he stressed that he only cared about Melanie as a friend. "I'm not trying to be a martyr, if that's what you think. I'm just a guy who did a lot wrong, and now I'm trying to do what's right. Whatever happens will happen," Nick said.
At the police station, Roman interrupted an awkward encounter between Rafe and Sami, who had gone to the station to look for E.J. "All the charges against Will have been dropped. Technically, he was held a couple minutes too long before charges were filed, so the district attorney figured that any conviction would be overturned on appeal," Roman explained. Sami hugged Roman and thanked him for his help.
Roman informed Sami that Rafe was the person who deserved her gratitude. Roman excused himself so that he could answer a phone call. After Roman left, Sami started to thank Rafe, but she quickly realized that he still didn't approve of the things that she and Will had done to help E.J. Sami admitted that Lucas was also upset, and Rafe wondered if that meant that she was single again. Sami claimed that she was not.
"That's good, 'cause -- just so we're clear -- I did that favor for Will, not for you," Rafe said, and he abruptly walked away. Later, Roman reentered the room, expecting to find Rafe. Sami explained that Rafe had left earlier, and she wondered why Roman wanted to talk to Rafe. Roman announced that Rafe had just received a promotion. Sami was surprised that E.J. had agreed to let that happen.
"Oh, I pushed it through when E.J. was on the run. Rafe is one of the best cops I've got. We're dealing with a corrupt mayor here. I need all my big guns, and one of those would be Rafe, with his FBI background," Roman explained. Sami forced herself to ignore Roman's comment about Salem's corrupt mayor. Sami assured Roman that he didn't need to convince her that Rafe was a great guy.
Roman wondered why Sami wanted to be with E.J. when she could have a guy like Rafe instead. "I don't know. I mean, I -- I can't explain it. It's just -- there's something there with E.J., and there always has been, and I've always tried to deny it, and I'm just gonna...see what happens, follow my heart. It's who I am," Sami said. Sami conceded that her heart would probably get her into trouble in the end, which was why she was lucky to have a supportive family.
At the Horton Town Square, E.J. observed that Nicole looked healthy. Nicole wondered if that was a polite way of saying that she was fat. "Nikki, I know I've been somewhat preoccupied with my father's disappearance, but, uh, you should know...I haven't forgotten. I have my own little mystery to solve. We have to determine whether that's my baby or Rafe's," E.J. said.
Nicole reminded E.J. that a paternity test had already resolved that issue. Nicole started to walk away, but E.J. stopped her. "Nicole...I'm sure I don't need to remind you that I love my children with a vengeance. You lied to me about Sydney. Do I need to remind you about what happened? If you even think about repeating that egregious error...you have no idea what the future is going to hold for you," E.J. warned Nicole.
Rafe approached Nicole and wondered if everything was all right. Nicole assured Rafe that she was fine, and she pointedly reminded him that they were supposed to shop for nursery items later that week. Rafe played along, assuring Nicole that he would be there. Nicole quickly walked away, but Rafe stayed behind.
"You may think that you can get away with obstruction of justice, rigging a mayoral election, even kidnapping someone every few months, but you will not bully a pregnant woman -- not on my watch," Rafe firmly stated. E.J. sarcastically replied that he understood why Rafe was sticking up for Nicole, who was clearly the mother of Rafe's child.
"Can I ask you a question? Now that Carrie's gone and Samantha's -- well, you must be at a little bit of a loose end. I mean, I understand that you and Nicole are just friends, and you've -- you've pledged to raise this child as your own, but there is nothing like Nicole Walker to just drive women away. I don't see a lot of happiness, flowers, or hearts in your future," E.J. said.
Rafe thanked E.J. for his concern and politely declined the romantic advice. Rafe warned E.J. to stay away from Nicole. Rafe added that harassing the mother of another man's child was a good way for E.J. to lose his job as Salem's mayor -- just like he had lost everything else. E.J. forced a smile and excused himself, pointedly stating that he was going to see Johnny, Sydney, and their beautiful mother, Sami.
At the hospital, Daniel told Nicole about Nick's imminent parole hearing. Nicole said that Melanie was lucky to have Daniel, who was an amazing father. "Kids need to be protected. Anything could happen to them, and if someone tried to hurt my baby the way that Nick hurt Melanie, you can bet I'd want that person to rot in prison forever," Nicole firmly stated. Nicole told Daniel about her earlier encounter with E.J.
Nicole implied that it might not be safe for her to be alone in her hotel room, and she wondered what she was going to do. Daniel vaguely stated that he had an idea. Nicole fantasized that Daniel was about to ask her to move in with him. Nicole snapped out of her fantasy when she heard Daniel say that he needed to check on a patient. Daniel promised to tell Nicole about his idea later.
In Sami's apartment, E.J. gave Sami a bouquet of yellow daffodils. E.J. explained that the daffodil symbolized new beginnings -- omitting the fact that he hadn't known about the flower's significance until Nicole had told him earlier that day. E.J. added that Sami's favorite color was yellow. The amount of thought that E.J. had supposedly put into the gift seemed to impress Sami.
Johnny and Sydney rushed over to greet E.J. Sami smiled as Johnny showed E.J. a new trick that he had learned on a handheld video game. Later, Caroline interrupted so that she could take the kids to the town square for ice cream, which she had promised to do earlier that day. Caroline was clearly reluctant to leave E.J. and Sami alone in the apartment together, and she warned Sami to behave.
After Caroline, Johnny, and Sydney left, E.J. thanked Sami for believing in him. E.J. suggestively stated that he needed to think of a way to properly express his gratitude, and he leaned in to kiss Sami. Meanwhile, in the town square, Rafe spotted Johnny and Sydney, who were sitting with Caroline on a nearby bench. Before Rafe could greet the kids, Johnny mentioned that Sami and E.J. were home alone, missing out on the ice cream.
At the Brady Pub, Hope and Maggie talked about Nick. Hope assured Maggie that Nick had made a lot of progress, but Maggie was still skeptical. "I realize that he is doing very well where he is right now, but life on the outside...it has its own pressures and stresses, and I know better than anyone -- once an addict, always an addict," Maggie said.
"I want to be there to help him, but you have to understand that Melanie is my granddaughter, and I didn't know that when all this happened. She grew up in terrible circumstances, and I wasn't there to help her...and to love her. So, you see...after everything she's been through all these months, I need to know, Hope -- I need to know that the changes that we both see in Nick are real and lasting," Maggie added.
Hope wondered if Maggie really expected Marlena to reach a different conclusion than the prison psychiatrists, who had all agreed that Nick was ready to be released. Maggie explained that she would rather hear that evaluation from a dear, trusted friend. Maggie added that it might not make a difference, since Nick had recently started talking about canceling the parole hearing.
Before Hope could respond, she received a phone call and abruptly excused herself. Meanwhile, Marlena entered the pub. "I'm happy to tell you that I concur with the psychiatrists who have seen Nick. I find him to be a healthy, well-adjusted young man. The fact that he was willing to cancel his parole hearing tells me a lot about him. He's sensitive to the pain that he's caused Melanie, and he's also willing to pay for his mistakes," Marlena said.
Maggie breathed a sigh of relief, but it was clear that she was still concerned. Marlena offered to talk to Melanie, and Maggie eagerly accepted the offer, stressing that she didn't want Melanie to know who had made the request. Marlena slyly pointed out that no one had asked her to talk to Melanie -- she had volunteered to do so.
Back at the prison, Hope greeted Nick, who was surprised to see her. Nick guessed that Hope had heard about his decision to cancel the parole hearing. Hope confirmed that Julie had called earlier to express her concerns. Hope pointed out that everyone was convinced that Nick was no longer a threat to society, and she wondered what he was afraid of.
"Okay, maybe I'm not a threat to society, but to Melanie -- she's been through hell. If I come out, what is that gonna do to her? Hasn't she suffered enough?" Nick wondered. Hope reminded Nick that she had gone to jail a few years earlier for crimes that she had committed while under the influence of sleeping pills. Hope recalled that it had been difficult for her to believe that she could return to her family and live a normal life.
Hope added that she also knew what it was like in prison. Hope said that it would only take one bad day to erase all of the progress that Nick had made. Hope pointedly stated that Nick would be spending a lot of additional days in prison if he decided to cancel the parole hearing -- days that he could otherwise spend making a new life for himself alongside his loved ones.
Hope understood why Nick still felt guilty about everything that had happened, but she insisted that his consideration for Melanie's feelings proved that he had made a lot of progress. Hope believed that the world would be a better place with Nick in it, and she wondered if he could honestly say that he disagreed.
Back in Chad's apartment, Melanie was pleasantly surprised to learn that no one had asked Marlena to talk to her. Marlena explained that she had simply assumed that Melanie might want to discuss the situation with a neutral party. Melanie confirmed that she would love to talk to Marlena about everything.
"I can't let myself be treated like a victim, because then I become the victim, right? But I'm scared. But I'm tough -- you know, I've been through so many things. I'm gonna be fine. It's just, there -- so many people that I love, they love Nick, too, right? So I keep thinking, 'What's gonna be worse -- knowing that Nick is free or knowing that I'm the one who is keeping him in prison?'" Melanie explained.
Melanie wondered if Marlena could tell her what to do. Marlena advised Melanie to stop worrying about what everyone else wanted her to do and start focusing on what she was capable of handling. Melanie suggested that she might be able to ask the parole board to delay the hearing for a short period of time so that she could have a chance to adjust to the idea.
"Honey, I'm afraid that's not an option. If Nick doesn't get paroled tomorrow, he's got to wait eighteen months," Marlena explained, shocking Melanie.
At the hospital, Cameron informed Daniel that Jennifer and Abigail had returned to Salem earlier that day. Daniel recalled that Abigail and Jennifer had gone to California to scatter Jack's ashes. Daniel hoped that Jennifer was all right.
At the Brady Pub, Rafe greeted Brady and offered his condolences. Brady noted that Rafe had also recently lost someone. Rafe assumed that Brady was referring to Sami, but Brady clarified that he was talking about Carrie. Rafe shrugged and said that Carrie had made the right decision. Eager to change the subject, Rafe wondered if Brady was all right. "I'm having a hard time letting go -- I really am," Brady admitted.
At the Horton house, Will apologized for missing Jack's memorial. Abigail wasn't upset, but she admitted that she did want to know why Will had missed the service. Will tried to avoid the question, stating that he wanted to focus on Abigail, but she insisted that she could use the distraction. Abigail wondered if Will was all right. Will forced a smile and claimed that he was fine, but Abigail wasn't convinced.
Will hesitantly started to explain that his sexuality had been treated as front-page news. Will said that he had only been able to tell a select number of people that he was gay on his own terms. Will elaborated that he had first told Marlena, who had been amazingly supportive. Will recalled that revealing his sexuality had felt like a huge event, but Marlena had treated it as a non-event, making it seem like nothing had changed.
Abigail reminded Will that he was still the same person, but he wasn't convinced. "Sometimes I feel like I -- I didn't get a chance to figure out what being gay meant before I kinda had to try to explain it to everybody else," Will admitted. Will added that he felt like a part of him had changed recently. Abigail guessed that Will was talking about his heart, and she wondered if he had met someone.
"Uh, yes, there is somebody. I don't know, I just -- I think that, you know, I think I care about him. I think -- I do, I do," Will admitted, blushing as he stammered out the response. Abigail guessed that Will had not yet revealed his true feelings to the guy.
"Oh, God, no! Um, I haven't -- I couldn't -- I barely told him I was gay, you know? I -- and I've sent this -- so many mixed signals to the guy, it's like he -- I'm sure he doesn't know what to think about me, except that I obviously don't know what I want or that I'm not, you know, comfortable with myself," Will said. Abigail pointed out that Will had been able to tell her about his feelings, and she wondered why he couldn't say the same things to his mystery man.
Before Will could respond, he received a text message. After reading the message, Will wondered if Abigail would be offended if he took a moment to make a quick phone call. Abigail assured Will that she understood, and he thanked her for listening. Will apologized profusely and excused himself.
Meanwhile, Cameron entered the house and hugged Abigail. Cameron hesitantly started to explain that he did not have to work the following day. Before Cameron could finish his sentence, Abigail eagerly agreed to go on a date with him. Abigail noted that Jack would have wanted her to have some fun.
In Sami's apartment, Sami pulled away from E.J.'s kiss. Undeterred, E.J. quickly resumed his attempt to seduce Sami, but she continued to resist temptation. Sami assured E.J. that her feelings hadn't changed, but she added that she had other things that she needed to deal with first.
"I have to focus on the kids. I have to make them feel comfortable that I'm not gonna just take off again in the middle of the night. My kids are the most important thing in the world to me, and I have to do what's best for them," Sami insisted. Without a hint of irony, E.J. agreed that he and Sami had always put their kids first. E.J. felt that it went without saying that he and Sami would continue to do so.
"I let them think we were gonna have a family...with Lucas, and we were all planning for that, and whether you like it or not, they were happy about it. Then -- you know, now it's not gonna happen, and I can't just turn around and -- and jump into something with -- with you. The kids wouldn't understand," Sami explained. Sami added that she was trying to display a certain amount of maturity for once in her life.
E.J. theorized that Sami's sudden change of heart had something to do with Carrie's return to Switzerland. Sami assured E.J. that she was happy for Carrie and Austin. E.J. conceded that Carrie had probably made the right decision, since Nicole was pregnant with Rafe's baby. Sami recalled that E.J. had previously been convinced that the baby was his, and she wondered why he had suddenly changed his mind.
E.J. admitted that he had been unable to disprove Nicole's claims, and he summarized that the situation was complicated. Before Sami could respond, she received a phone call from Will, who had heard that E.J. had been released from jail. Sami confirmed the news and handed the phone to E.J. Will cryptically stated that he wanted to talk to E.J. about an important matter.
E.J. assured Sami that they would continue their conversation later, and he abruptly exited the apartment. After E.J. left, Sami looked at the daffodils and recalled some of her recent encounters with E.J., Rafe, and Lucas. "What the hell is wrong with you, Sami? You know what? For once in my life, I am going to concentrate on what is really important," Sami promised herself.
At Common Grounds, Adrienne told Sonny about Jack's funeral, which she had attended. Adrienne revealed that Steve had also gone to the funeral. Adrienne inspected the bruise on Sonny's face and wondered if he was all right. Sonny assured Adrienne that he was fine, and he joked that the other guy looked much worse.
Brian greeted Sonny, and Adrienne quickly detected what she assumed was mutual flirtation. Sonny introduced Brian to Adrienne, and he invited Brian to help himself to a free latte. Adrienne scoffed and claimed that she had never been extended that courtesy. Sonny glared at Adrienne, not wanting to give Brian the wrong impression, and Adrienne quickly clarified that she had been joking.
"I was gonna say -- charging your mom for coffee is pretty low," Brian said with a laugh. After Brian walked away, Adrienne observed that he seemed nice. Sonny confirmed that Brian was a good guy. Adrienne smiled knowingly and started to excuse herself. Sonny invited Adrienne to join him and Brian, but she insisted that she didn't want to intrude. Adrienne grinned as she walked away, unable to contain her excitement.
Later, Sonny noted that Adrienne seemed to like Brian. "It's all part of my master plan to, you know, wear you down into just going out with me. See, I start with your mom -- I win her over, and then your dad...do you have a dog?" Brian jokingly asked. Brian was disappointed to learn that Sonny did not own a dog, and he explained that family pets were particularly susceptible to his charms. At a nearby table, Adrienne occasionally glanced up from the book that she was reading, more interested in watching Sonny interact with Brian.
Brian started to talk about a concert that would soon be held near the riverfront. Sonny had never heard of the band before, but that didn't discourage Brian, who invited Sonny to accompany him to the concert. Meanwhile, Victor entered the coffeehouse and greeted Adrienne. Victor quietly told Adrienne that Henderson's espresso wasn't nearly as good as the espresso that Sonny served at Common Grounds.
Adrienne promised not to share Victor's secret with Henderson. Victor wondered who was with Sonny. Adrienne said that Brian was a friend, and she asked Victor to be nice. Meanwhile, Brian offered to find out if tickets to the concert were still available. Sonny pointed out that he had never actually agreed to go to the concert with Brian. Before Brian could respond, Sonny spotted Victor and introduced him to Brian.
Brian abruptly excused himself, promising that he would return later. After Brian left, Victor said that he had heard that someone had given Sonny a fat lip. Sonny nodded and added that he had given the guy a fatter lip in return. Victor was pleased to hear that Sonny could handle himself like a Kiriakis. Sonny laughed, pleased that Victor hadn't made the stereotypical comment about handling matters like a man.
Victor assured Sonny that he had never had any doubts about Sonny's ability to handle himself like a Kiriakis. Changing the subject, Victor noted that Brian seemed like a nice man, and he pointedly observed that Brian was also good-looking. Sonny laughed and agreed, and Victor excused himself so that he could order an espresso. After Victor left, Sonny shook his head and laughed about the awkwardness of the conversation.
Later, Brian returned to the coffeehouse and excitedly announced that he had purchased a couple of tickets to the concert. Sonny's lack of enthusiasm finally convinced Brian that Sonny was only interested in attending concerts with Will. "See, here's the thing, Sonny -- if you're still hung up on Will, do something about it, or you will lose out," Brian advised before walking away, leaving the tickets laying on the bar.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady greeted Victor. "Ian's gone, and that son of a bitch is never coming back, which means Titan needs a stronger leader -- someone to right the wrongs that he inflicted on the company," Brady said. Victor guessed that Brady believed that he was capable of handling that task.
Brady confirmed Victor's suspicion, and he explained that John had already agreed to release Brady from his contractual obligations at Basic Black. Brady added that he had realized that his place was at Titan. Victor was pleased that Brady had finally figured that out, and he admitted that Brady had been sorely missed. Later, Victor told Brady about Nick's imminent parole hearing.
At the Brady Pub, Sami greeted Caroline, who was surprised to learn that Sami was not with E.J. Sami loudly insisted that she was not involved with E.J., unaware that Rafe was standing behind her. Rafe lingered near the entrance, waiting to talk to Caroline about his cell phone, which he had misplaced earlier. For Rafe's benefit, Caroline mischievously asked if Sami had reunited with Lucas.
Sami firmly stated that her relationship with Lucas had ended earlier. Sami explained that she had decided to take the kids to a nearby water park the following day, and she excused herself so that she could deliver the good news. After Sami left, Caroline greeted Rafe. Meanwhile, Sami loudly informed the kids that she had a huge surprise for them. Rafe sighed as Sami's voice filled the pub.
At the Horton Town Square, Jennifer had a brief conversation with Billie. Later, Jennifer bumped into Daniel, who offered his condolences. "We, um, spread Jack's ashes, uh, off the coast of Big Sur. His dad used to bring him there when he was a little boy -- his adoptive father. They would go there as a family for summer vacations, and it was so crazy, 'cause we had talked about doing that recently," Jennifer explained.
Jennifer started to get emotional, and Daniel assured her that he understood. Jennifer realized that Daniel really did understand. Daniel excused himself so that Jennifer could have some privacy, and he urged her to call him if she ever needed anything.
Elsewhere, Will noted that E.J. was a real DiMera again. E.J. nodded and muttered that bad news traveled quickly. E.J. added that he was his own man. "You know what's funny? Ever since I started working for you, that's kind of how I've felt. And, um -- and I'm sorry, but I, uh, cannot work for you anymore. I just thought that, um -- I've been so wrapped up in, you know, you and your life that I've kinda been ignoring my life, and, uh, you know, that's not healthy, so I think that that needs to change," Will said.
E.J. could tell that he wouldn't be able to change Will's mind, and he promised to respect Will's decision. Will stressed that he had learned a lot from E.J., and he added that he valued the time that they had spent together. E.J. was pleased to hear that.
"I would like to say that, uh, despite a somewhat, uh...rocky start to our relationship and a somewhat, uh, complicated history...I have really begun to appreciate you much more as a friend than an employee. Look, uh, William, what you did for me, without question -- helping your mother and me escape from the police -- I will always be extremely grateful," E.J. said. Will wondered what E.J. was going to do next.
E.J. said that he'd like to focus on his family, and he added that he'd like Sami to be involved in that process. Will realized that E.J. was talking about getting back together with Sami, and he insisted that it would never work out. E.J. wondered how Will felt about E.J. and Sami's relationship. Will pointed out that there was no relationship to talk about. E.J. admitted that he was hoping to change that, and Will wondered why.
E.J. felt that the answer to that question was obvious, but he refused to elaborate, claiming that it was none of Will's business. "Yes, it is. She's my mom; your kids together are my brother and sister. I've been thinking about this a lot, and every time you guys get together, one or both of you gets hurt, and I don't want to see that anymore. And my mom -- no offense, I love her to death -- she has failed relationships with my dad and with you, you know? And with Rafe, even, who I -- I -- I thought that was going to work, and then, you know, you guys...had sex, and then you, you know, kinda messed that up," Will reminded E.J.
E.J. wondered if Will would prefer for Sami to remain single. "I don't know -- maybe? What's wrong with being alone? The -- the point is that -- that every time you guys get together, you break up and it doesn't end well, so why do you think that this time is gonna be any different?" Will wondered. E.J. ignored the question and dismissively stated that he appreciated Will's honesty.
Will shook his head in disbelief as he realized that E.J. wasn't even going to consider listening to Will's advice. Will predicted that E.J. was going to get hurt in the end. Before E.J. could respond, Will abruptly walked away. Later, Billie greeted E.J., and she noted that he looked miserable, despite the fact that all of the charges against him had been dropped.
Elsewhere, Adrienne bumped into Will, who offered his condolences. Will asked about Sonny, and Adrienne assured him that Sonny was all right. Adrienne added that Sonny was at Common Grounds with a friend, and she wondered if Will knew Brian. Will silently recalled the close encounter that he had witnessed at the coffeehouse a few days earlier, and he confirmed that he had met Brian before.
Adrienne wondered if Brian was a cool guy. Will shrugged and conceded that Brian seemed okay, and he wondered why Adrienne had asked. "Well, he and Sonny seem to be hitting it off, and, um...I'm just glad Sonny finally has someone in his life," Adrienne explained. Will forced a smile and agreed. Adrienne excused herself, and Will sighed heavily as he watched her walk away.
Back at Common Grounds, Sonny studied the concert tickets for a moment before smiling and reaching for his phone. Meanwhile, in the town square, Will received a phone call. When Will saw that Sonny was calling him, he sighed and sent the call straight to voicemail.
Disappointed, Sonny ended the call without leaving a message.
Hope was waiting for Nick in the visitors' room at the prison. He was a bit dismayed to see her, but she reiterated her plea not to back out of his parole hearing -- and added that there was someone else there to try to talk him out of it, as well. Just then, Nick's mother, Jessica, entered the visitors' room. After exchanging a long embrace with her son, Jessica produced letters that she and Nick's grandmother had written on his behalf for the parole board.
Jessica admitted that she was confused about why Nick was considering not even trying for parole, because his record in prison had been spotless. "Please, won't you just get out of here and come home where you belong?" Jessica implored. Nick admitted that knowing he had a loving family to return to when he got out was the only thing that had kept him going. Hope stated emphatically that Nick did not belong in prison any longer.
Sensing how upset his mother was, Nick encouraged her to go splash some water on her face. Once Nick and Hope were alone, Nick expressed his disapproval that she would use his mom like that. Hope was frustrated that Nick didn't seem to want to do anything to help himself, especially when everyone from the prison psychiatrists to the warden saw that Nick had become a better person since being in prison. She urged Nick to let his record and the truth speak for itself, and not to sabotage his chances of getting out.
"You're not just hurting yourself, sinking your ship. You're punishing everyone who loves you," Hope declared. Jessica returned and encouraged her son to listen to Hope. A guard entered to let Nick know that the warden was available for the meeting Nick had requested. "Tell him I've changed my mind," Nick told the guard. A relieved Jessica threw her arms around her son. Nick cautioned both women that if Melanie had decided to write a letter to the parole board, he would not counter it. Hope thanked Nick and hugged him as she left to notify Bo.
Chad went to Alice's to discuss Nick's possible parole with Abigail. "I need you to choose between your friend Melanie and your family," Chad demanded somewhat abruptly. He quickly caught Abigail up on what was going on with Nick, and she admitted that neither she nor her mom had been aware that Nick was up for parole.
Chad explained that he wanted Abigail's help to try to convince Melanie to write the letter to the parole board to keep Nick in prison because Nick's release would only further traumatize Melanie. Abigail pointed out that she and Nick were not only family, but they had also been really good friends. Chad reminded her that she and Melanie had become close friends, as well. An upset Abigail declared that although she really loved Melanie, she refused to get in the middle of the situation or take sides.
At Chad's, Melanie dreamed about the time when Nick had kidnapped her, then the dream turned into a nightmare in which he was in bed next to her. "Melanie, help me," a battered Nick pleaded. Melanie sat up in bed with a scream and looked around to make sure it had really been a dream. As she was getting out of bed, there was a knock at the door. Brady was on the doorstep, and Melanie flung herself into his arms with relief.
Brady urged Melanie to talk to him about what she was feeling, since obviously even the thought of Nick getting out of prison was enough to give her screaming nightmares. Melanie explained that Chad wanted her to write a victim's letter to the parole board, but she was worried because if Nick didn't get paroled, he would spend another eighteen months in prison before he was eligible for another hearing -- and she would feel terrible if something happened to Nick during that time.
Brady maintained that Nick's welfare was not Melanie's concern. Melanie insisted that it wasn't fair for Nick to have to stay in prison just because she felt nervous about him being out. She began to get upset, so Brady put his arms around her to calm her -- just as Chad returned. "What the hell's going on?" Chad demanded.
Chad quickly apologized, and Melanie explained that Brady had shown up right after she'd awakened from a bad dream. The two men discussed Melanie's reluctance to write the letter to the parole board. Melanie asserted that she wasn't sure she wanted to be involved in the process -- but the decision as to what to do was hers. Chad and Brady argued that if Melanie weren't ready for Nick to be out of prison, then they should help her make that decision.
"You need to heal, Mel, and you can't do that with Nick being out," Chad maintained. Melanie didn't think it was right for Nick to have to spend another year and a half in prison just because she had rotten luck. Brady and Chad argued that Melanie didn't have to take care of anyone other than herself. "It's now or never," Chad gently cautioned her. After thinking about it for a long moment, Melanie asked Chad to get her a piece of paper and a pen.
As Melanie sat down at the desk, Chad walked Brady out and thanked him for helping to get through to Melanie. Meanwhile, Melanie began to write, "To the members of the parole board, I am writing this to tell you how I feel about the unthinkable: the prospect of Nick Fallon being released from prison."
Daniel met Maggie in Horton Square to discuss the favor he'd left her a message about the day before, but warned her that it might be asking too much. Maggie quickly figured out that Daniel wanted Nicole to move into the Kiriakis mansion. Maggie willingly agreed, but Daniel warned her that Victor was "going to have a cow." Maggie assured her son that she could handle Victor. Daniel hugged his mom gratefully.
At the Brady Pub, Jennifer and Abe discussed how hard it was to grasp that both of their spouses had been taken from them.
As she was headed into pub, Nicole was reading her notification from the prison that Nick Fallon was about to be up for parole. "Ugh. Like I care. Jerk!" Nicole spat. She spotted Abe talking to Jennifer inside. "She's back already?" Nicole said to herself and then hatched an idea, which she hoped Daniel would learn about in an "organic" way.
Nicole went inside and offered a heartfelt apology to Jennifer and Abe for how ugly things had gotten during the mayoral campaign. After offering some kind words to Jennifer about Jack, Nicole asked if she could speak with Abe privately.
Jennifer and Kayla watched curiously from the bar as Nicole and Abe talked. Nicole admitted that during the campaign, she had allowed herself to be "blinded" and to play dirty. She added her sincere belief that Abe, not E.J., should be mayor -- and she was at least partly to blame for that. She reiterated an earnest, almost tearful apology, as she put her arms around Abe.
Nicole acknowledged that her apology was probably too little, too late, but assured Abe that she truly meant it, and urged him to consider forgiving her -- for Brandon's sake. Abe confessed that his entire life had changed since his run for mayor, and he agreed to move on. A grateful Nicole hugged him again, this time with real tears welling up in her eyes. She then left.
Jennifer was about to approach Abe to ask what had just happened, but Kayla stopped her first. Kayla admitted that she and Steve had officially filed for divorced. Jennifer expressed her regrets, because she had truly hoped that Steve and Kayla would find a way to work things out. She embraced Kayla compassionately.
Outside, Nicole paused to catch her breath. "Wow, that felt good," she admitted to herself. "And if it gets back to Daniel on its own, I will feel even better." She headed off to get something to eat somewhere besides the pub.
Once Abe heard about the divorce, he expressed his sympathy to Kayla. Kayla insisted that her situation was nothing compared to what Jennifer and Abe were going through. Kayla then headed into the kitchen. Jennifer asked Abe if he thought Nicole's apology had been sincere. Abe said that he couldn't be completely sure -- but he was sure that forgiveness was much easier than holding a grudge. "And Lexie was big on forgiveness," he pointed out. Jennifer understood completely.
Abe later asked Kayla what her plans were. She said that the hospital had offered her a position, and she was considering it. Abigail entered and overheard Abe and Kayla talking about the divorce. Stunned, Abigail said that she'd thought Steve and Kayla were working things out. Kayla tried to reassure Abigail that Steve would be all right, but Abigail didn't understand how that could be. Kayla asserted that she and Steve had worked on their marriage for a long time, and it hadn't ended overnight.
Unconvinced and disappointed, Abigail left. Outside, she left a message for Cameron to cancel their date later because it was "not a good day."
Nicole went to the hospital later and perused the letter from the parole board again. She was just about to throw it out when Daniel walked past the nurses' station. Nicole quickly stuffed the letter back in her purse and greeted Daniel. She offered her services as a public-relations professional to do whatever she could to keep Nick in prison for Melanie's sake.
Nicole explained that she understood a bit of what Daniel was going through, since she, like Melanie, had once been a suspect in Trent's murder. She reassured Daniel that she would do anything for him. Daniel insisted that he had to let Melanie make her own decision, plus leaking potentially damaging information about Nick to the press was not her style.
Nicole understood. She asked if Daniel had given any more thought to her living situation. Daniel said that he had a plan that he thought would work out well. Assuming that he meant for her to move in with him, Nicole was overjoyed. Daniel quickly but gently corrected her erroneous assumption and explained that he had asked if Nicole could move in with Victor and Maggie.
When Maggie returned home to the Kiriakis mansion, she found Victor in a very cheerful mood. Sensing that the timing couldn't have been better, Maggie asked for a favor for a friend of Daniel's who needed a temporary place to say. As soon as Maggie used the pronoun "she," Victor deduced that she meant Nicole and flatly refused. Victor irritably pointed out that Nicole was not only Brady's ex but also Victor's ex-wife.
Maggie reminded her husband that the house was so huge that they could give Nicole her own wing and would never have to see her. She urged Victor to be reasonable, because his godson Daniel was only trying to keep Nicole safe from E.J. "I am not the answer to this dilemma, Maggie," Victor declared firmly. Maggie insisted that she was only trying to help Daniel.
Maggie and Victor's arguing had escalated into a shouting match when Jennifer walked in. "What in the world is going on in here? And who's moving in?" Jennifer demanded. Maggie explained what was going on, and the argument between her and Victor started back up again. Jennifer finally interrupted their bickering to suggest, "I have a solution! What if Nicole moves in with me?"