At the Brady Pub, Aiden reasoned that Hope and Ciara wouldn't want to accompany him and Chase to Puget Sound because there was nothing to do at the beach house, anyway. Ciara insisted that she would still love to go on such a trip, and she and Chase tried to convince Aiden to reconsider.
Hope intervened, pointing out that Ciara was already scheduled to go on a class trip to San Francisco that week. Ciara argued that plans could change, and Hope conceded the point but added that she had already made plans to visit Shawn and Belle in Tahiti while Ciara was in San Francisco. Ciara bitterly complained that a trip to Tahiti sounded much better than a trip to San Francisco.
Chase reasoned that his new nanny, Shelly -- who would be tagging along on the trip to Puget Sound so she could take him to San Francisco to meet up with his class after visiting the beach house, allowing Aiden to stay behind to wrap up the sale of the property -- could easily handle watching him and Ciara during the trip. Ciara stopped Chase before he could say anything else, suggesting that they could go to the kitchen for slices of pie so their parents could have some time to work out the details. "You've got to learn to quit while you're ahead," Ciara whispered to Chase after preemptively -- and quite confidently -- thanking Aiden.
Hope joked that Ciara planned to attend law school if her dream of being a rock star in a girl band didn't work out. Aiden hoped Ciara's first album would be a huge success so he would never have to face her in court. Hope assured Aiden that she would handle Ciara -- unless, of course, he wanted them to accompany him and Chase to Puget Sound for moral support. "Hope, that is the last thing that I want," Aiden stressed.
Aiden quickly clarified that, while he appreciated the offer, he was already starting to feel like taking the trip was going to be a big mistake, and he was worried that adding more people to the mix would just make things even worse. Aiden added that he had only agreed to take Chase to the beach house because -- for reasons Aiden didn't understand -- it was obviously important for Chase to revisit the place one last time. Hope suggested that the trip might be Chase's way of saying a final farewell to his mother. Hope assured Aiden that Chase would be fine, and she reiterated that she and Ciara could tag along for moral support if needed.
Aiden sighed and admitted that he never wanted to face Hope in court, either. Aiden accepted Hope's offer but stressed that they would only be in Puget Sound for a few hours. While Aiden contacted Shelly to let her know they would be traveling with guests, Hope changed her flight plan accordingly, managing to settle on a schedule that would allow her to arrive in Tahiti only a few hours later than she had originally anticipated.
Later, Aiden and Hope revealed the good news to Chase and Ciara. "Yes! I love traveling to so many different places. Now, if I could just add Tahiti --" Ciara started to suggest, but Hope advised her to quit while she was ahead. Hope mentioned that she and Ciara were headed to a store to buy a sled in preparation for the snow Salem was supposed to receive later that night, so Aiden agreed to tag along with Chase so they could get one, too.
Chase was hoping for ten feet of snow, but Ciara wisely advised that he wanted to hope for enough snow to cancel school but not enough to ground flights and force them to cancel their trip. "How many feet is that?" Chase wondered, but Ciara had no idea. Aiden watched as Hope followed the kids out of the pub. "It's just a few hours. Nothing can happen in a few hours," Aiden quietly assured himself before catching up to the group.
Serena tried to leave Daniel's apartment after dropping off a book for Melanie, but Nicole was eager to clear the air first. Nicole tried to offer Serena a drink, but Serena declined. "Been there, done that, wore it home," Serena pointed out. Nicole stressed that spilling her drink on Serena really had been an accident, but she conceded that she could understand why Serena was skeptical of that claim.
Nicole suggested that she and Serena needed to sit down and hash things out because they were bound to run into each other from time to time. Nicole diplomatically offered to let Serena choose the time and location of the proposed discussion so the whole thing could be done on Serena's terms. Serena wasn't sure there was anything to hash out, since she and Nicole clearly didn't like each other.
Serena guessed that Nicole had some sort of hidden agenda. Nicole admitted that was true, explaining that she wanted to be able to move on with her life but would never be able to do so if things couldn't be kept relatively civil when she ran into Serena and Eric around town. Serena remained skeptical, suspecting that Nicole really just wanted to call a truce as a way of getting back into Eric's good graces.
"This is not about Eric!" Nicole insisted, prompting Serena to wonder who it was about. Right on cue, Daniel emerged from his bedroom, wearing only a towel, and started to say something to Nicole before realizing that they weren't alone. Daniel uncomfortably pulled a chair in front of his waist as Serena awkwardly excused herself.
Nicole assured Daniel that she and Serena had kept things civil. Nicole quickly changed the subject, eager to help Daniel dry off. After having sex, Daniel and Nicole talked about the snow Salem was supposed to receive later that night. Daniel and Nicole started teasing each other about a potential snowball fight but were forced to cut the conversation short when he was suddenly called to the hospital to handle an emergency.
While Daniel was getting dressed in his bedroom, Nicole contacted Serena to see if they could continue their earlier conversation sometime. Serena agreed, believing that Daniel was Nicole's motivation for seeking a truce. Serena suggested meeting in her hotel room. "As I recall, you know where it is. You can keep the lock picks at home -- I'll be sure to answer when you knock," Serena pointedly added before ending the call.
When Nicole arrived at the Salem Inn, she lingered outside Serena's hotel room for a few minutes to finish a phone call with Ted, who advised her to look for things on Serena's laptop that mentioned the Hartford project -- or just copy the entire hard drive to avoid missing any other skeletons that were hiding in Serena's closet. Ted also warned Nicole not to let down her guard around Serena -- not even for a second.
As Nicole ended the call, Serena opened the door to greet her, explaining that she had heard Nicole's voice. Nicole vaguely explained that she had just been wrapping up a work call so she could give Serena her full attention. "Finally looked you up -- that was a wacky online search," Serena revealed. Nicole stressed that, while she wasn't proud of some of the things she had done in the past, that was exactly what it was -- her past.
As Nicole tried to begin a conversation about a truce, Serena received a phone call and excused herself to answer it, apologetically explaining that it was about work. Once she was alone, Nicole plugged a USB device into Serena's laptop and anxiously waited for it to finish copying the hard drive.
At the hospital, Jennifer looked over the proofs from a recent event Eric had photographed. Jennifer knowingly questioned Eric about Serena when she spotted the woman in one of the pictures. Eric coyly confirmed that he and Serena had some history and were reconnecting with each other. Eric admitted that he was grateful for the opportunity to talk about the matter with someone who could be objective.
Jennifer didn't understand at first but quickly deduced that if none of the other people in Eric's life could be objective about the situation -- including Daniel -- it had to have something to do with Nicole. Eric confirmed the suspicion and proceeded to tell Jennifer about what had happened at the opening of Victor's new club -- and what had happened with Daniel afterward. Eric admitted that he wasn't sure how he and Daniel could possibly avoid ending up on opposite sides due to Daniel's involvement with Nicole. Jennifer advised that, while Daniel wasn't perfect, his friendship was still worth the trouble that might arise from trying to maintain it.
Later, Eric ran into Daniel in the waiting area. Daniel was on his way back to his apartment, since someone else had handled the emergency, but he agreed to talk to Eric for a few minutes first. Eric apologized for what he had said about Nicole the previous night, admitting that it had been out of line. Eric stressed that he valued Daniel's friendship and didn't want Nicole and Serena's rivalry to affect it.
Daniel optimistically predicted that the problem might work itself out, and he proceeded to tell Eric about the civil conversation Nicole and Serena had engaged in earlier. Daniel conceded that the women's chance encounter might have just caught them both off guard, but he mused that there was also a possibility that they had jointly decided it would be best to live and let live.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Damon informed Victor that one of Clyde's men had been seen dealing drugs in the park near St. Luke's. Damon added that he was ready to make his move on Clyde as soon as Victor gave the okay. "Make sure it's neat, clean -- I don't want a war," Victor stressed with a sigh of resignation. Damon reasoned that Clyde wasn't leaving Victor any choice and that Victor was simply doing what needed to be done.
Rafe entered the study and recognized Damon, who suspiciously wondered if the detective was there in an official capacity. Rafe coyly confirmed that he was, but when Damon tensed, Victor clarified that he had recently hired Rafe, who was no longer a detective. Damon relaxed and welcomed Rafe aboard, but Rafe refused to shake Damon's outstretched hand.
After Damon left, Victor observed that Rafe had enjoyed the exchange far too much. Rafe admitted that having a badge had sometimes been fun. Rafe added that he had dealt with Damon in the past but had never been able to make any charges stick. "Funny how that works," Rafe knowingly muttered. Rafe wondered what a guy like Damon was doing working for a guy like Victor. "Minding his own business," Victor pointedly replied.
Changing the subject, Rafe revealed that a new trucking company had delivered supplies to Victor's club earlier that day -- and had placed a twenty percent surcharge on the bill. Victor dismissively stated that he wasn't interested in such day-to-day details of the club. Rafe found it hard to believe that Victor could be that indifferent about a shakedown from someone who was infringing on Victor's established trucking business. Rafe offered to help Victor handle the matter, but Victor insisted that Rafe needed to stick to the job he had been hired to do. "Let me worry about my other interests," Victor concluded with finality.
Jordan went to the DiMera mansion to see Chad, who greeted her icily. Jordan said she was sorry about what Ben had done to Chad, and she wondered if she and Chad were okay. Chad remained dismissive, suspecting that Jordan really just wanted to try to sweet-talk him into going easy on Ben. "You would do absolutely anything to keep me from pressing charges. You'd sleep with me right here and now, wouldn't you?" Chad guessed.
Jordan resisted the urge to slap Chad, prompting him to observe that Ben wasn't the only person in her family who had a temper. Chad insisted that he wasn't going to allow himself to be used -- and that Ben was going to pay for assaulting him. "You know the way out," Chad dismissively concluded before leaving the study.
At the Horton Town Square, Ben thanked Clyde for bailing him out of jail. Ben promised to pay back the cost, but Clyde insisted that wasn't necessary. As Clyde tried to find out what Chad had said to provoke Ben, Abigail interrupted and greeted them. Clyde went to make a few phone calls so Ben and Abigail could have some privacy.
Abigail tried to find out what had happened, but Ben kept the details vague, admitting that it didn't matter because there was no excuse for his behavior. Abigail offered to contact Aiden Jennings, who had once helped J.J. out of a legal jam, but Ben insisted that he wasn't going to let a lawyer build a case around what Chad had said to provoke him. Abigail worriedly protested that such a decision could cost Ben his freedom.
"No way in hell that's gonna happen -- not as long as I have breath," Clyde promised as he rejoined the couple. Clyde reported that he was working on finding a lawyer to handle Ben's case, since Aiden was headed out of town for a few days. Ben insisted that Clyde had already done enough, but Clyde refused to let Ben get a criminal record, since that would cause too many doors to close in the future.
Ben still needed to collect his belongings from Club TBD, so Clyde escorted him there to prevent another confrontation with Chad. Clyde guessed that Ben had only assaulted Chad because Chad had said something about Ben's family, but Ben refused to discuss the matter. Clyde dropped the subject, admitting that he respected Ben's decision. Ben went into the club to get his things, and Clyde stayed outside to take a phone call. "We need to meet. ... University Park, clearing south of the fountain -- twenty minutes," Victor told Clyde before ending the call.
Meanwhile, Jordan arrived and wondered why Clyde was just standing around outside the club. Clyde explained that he was waiting for Ben. Jordan thanked Clyde for bailing Ben out of jail. Clyde promised to take care of Ben's problem -- legally. Jordan reported that Chad was acting weird about the whole thing. Clyde nodded and walked away after knowingly guessing that Chad and Ben's fight had been about Jordan.
Abigail ran into Chad in the town square and asked if he was all right. Chad confirmed that he was, and he claimed that he didn't know what had caused Ben to snap and assault him. Abigail admitted that there was no excuse for Ben's behavior, anyway. Chad reasoned that the police wouldn't be willing to drop the matter even if he agreed not to press charges, since Ben had a history of violent outbursts. Chad started to excuse himself, but Abigail stopped him and wondered if he had any suspicions about what had set Ben off. "He's really possessive of you. I didn't realize how much until now," Chad replied before walking away.
When Abigail returned home, she told Jennifer about what Ben had done to Chad. Jennifer was pleased that Abigail understood that nothing Chad might have said to Ben could have excused such a response. Abigail feared that Jennifer might try to convince her to break up with Ben, but Jennifer simply advised that he needed help. Abigail agreed and abruptly excused herself, insisting that she was going to help Ben herself.
Jordan followed Ben back to his apartment and tried to get him to talk about what had happened, but he wasn't interested, insisting that she couldn't keep bailing him out of trouble for the rest of his life. Jordan offered to help pay Ben's legal fees, but he explained that Clyde already had the matter covered. Changing the subject, Ben wondered where things stood between Jordan and Chad. Jordan admitted that she thought her relationship with Chad might be over. Ben assumed he had driven a wedge between Jordan and Chad, but she clarified that she thought something else had set Chad off -- although she had no idea what that might have been.
As Chad headed into Club TBD, Rafe stopped him and wondered if he was happy about what had happened. Rafe complained that Chad didn't deserve Jordan, whose unwavering commitment to Chad still hadn't been enough to convince him to cut Ben some slack. Chad listened in confusion as Rafe continued to talk about Jordan's loyalty. "Look, she and I are done, but I can't stand the fact that she wastes her time on scum like you. Now, she didn't want to hear it, but maybe now that you're gonna have her brother thrown in jail, maybe she'll get the picture," Rafe optimistically concluded before walking away.
Clyde crossed through the town square while on the phone with Jeremiah. "Don't worry -- Kiriakis isn't dumb enough to do anything in public. ... Probably [just] wants to find a way to surrender and save face. ... I guarantee you, the old man is backin' down," Clyde confidently predicted before ending the call.
When Clyde arrived at the designated location a short time later, Damon was waiting for him. Confused, Clyde wondered where Victor was. "He sent me -- with a message," Damon replied before raising a gun and firing three muffled shots at Clyde's chest. Clyde collapsed to the ground, and Damon calmly walked away as snow started falling in Salem.
Serena confronts Nicole
At Sonny and Will's apartment, Sonny talked on the phone to Will, who was at Club TBD. Will wanted to talk, but still upset about the money, Sonny stressed that he did not want to hear a lecture about his bad decisions. Will assured Sonny that he did not want to talk about the money, but Ben knocked on the apartment door. Sonny told Will they would talk later, and he wished Will well with his writing.
Ben apologized to Sonny for hitting Chad. The two men sat on the couch and talked about the incident. Ben said that Jordan and Abigail were not upset with him but that he had acted rashly. Not fooled, Sonny asked Ben what Chad had said to provoke him. Ben refused to repeat Chad's comments, but instead he said that words were no reason to punch anyone.
When Ben mentioned that Chad had not fought back, Sonny surmised that Chad had provoked the attack and deliberately taken the beating to curry favor with Jordan against Ben. Sonny offered to call his father for legal assistance, but Ben explained that Clyde had hired a lawyer for him.
At Club TBD, Kate met with Will to talk about his story about Paul. When Kate noted that Will looked ill, Will admitted that he was stressed. Kate offered to give Will a loan so it would ease the tension between Will and Sonny over the loss of their savings. With a sigh, Will said he did not care about the money but that he felt guilty. Worried, Kate asked Will why he should feel guilty. Will mentioned Hollywood, and he danced around the truth.
Kate assured Will that he and Sonny loved one another and would work it out. Will mumbled that his love had not stopped him from doing what he had done. Suspicious, Kate looked into Will's eyes and inferred that Will had been unfaithful to Sonny. Will admitted the truth and stressed that he had made a mistake that he had no intention of repeating. Kate cautioned Will to focus on Sonny and Arianna.
Paul called Will on the phone, interrupting Will's conversation with Kate. Paul asked Will to meet him at the hotel to talk. Flustered, Will said that it was better for them to meet as his office rather than Paul's hotel. Kate raised her eyebrows as she realized that Paul had been the man that Will had slept with.
"You were right. This is a big article. It's the biggest I've ever written," Will told Kate. With a sigh, Kate commented that she had pushed Will to get Paul's story. Will assured Kate that it was not her fault that he had slept with Paul. Will owned up to his mistake, and he stressed that he had not slept with Paul in order to get a story.
After leaving Will, Kate went to visit Arianna, and she arrived just as Ben was leaving Sonny and Will's apartment. Kate apologized for Chad's behavior. Ben nodded and left. Kate offered Sonny a loan to cover the loss of his savings. Sonny politely declined. Kate assured Sonny that no one was blaming him for the loss of the money, especially Will, whom she had talked to at the club. Nodding, Sonny said that he wanted to handle the mess on his own. Kate advised that a loan was not a handout and that all businesses took out loans.
When Sonny mentioned that Will had been working a lot, Kate reminded Sonny that both he and Will needed to feel loved every day. Kate told Sonny to give Will time and space. Sonny agreed to think about her loan offer. With a grin, Sonny asked Kate to watch Arianna so he could run an errand. As Kate smiled at him, Sonny assured her that it was an errand she would like. After Sonny ran out of the apartment, Kate called Clyde's phone and left a voicemail asking him to meet her.
Will met with Paul at the magazine office. Paul and Will talked about the mistakes Paul had made. Paul lamented that he had given up the only man he had loved for a career that was already over. With a grunt, Paul called himself a coward. Will consoled Paul by telling him that he would have had a legitimate concern about his baseball career if he had told the world about his sexuality sooner. Paul said that he regretted trading away the love of his life for baseball.
When Will asked if Paul had the opportunity to live his life again if he would say yes to the proposal of his former lover, Paul said that he would say yes this time. Will cautioned Paul not to second-guess the decision he had made in his life. Will advised Paul to restart his life and wait to meet the right man. With a sigh, Paul wondered aloud whether he had met the perfect man and had blown his chance at happiness. Will told Paul that it was possible to have a second chance. Outside Will's office, a grinning Sonny stood in the hallway with flowers, about to knock on Sonny's office door.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Victor thought about when Clyde had told Victor to retire. Abigail arrived at the mansion, shaking Victor from his reverie. Abigail asked Victor if he could help her find a job for Ben at Victor's new club. Abigail reminded Victor that Ben had been earmarked to head up Sonny's second club before it had failed. When Victor raised an eyebrow, Abigail added that Ben had punched Chad and sent him to the hospital.
Grinning from ear to ear, Victor said that anyone that punched a DiMera had a place in his employment. Victor noted that Abigail knew that the fight would not bother him, and he asked her to explain why she was really there to talk to him. Abigail admitted that she was concerned that Victor would object because Clyde was Ben's father. Victor said that he barely knew anything about Clyde. When Abigail mentioned the tension between Clyde and Victor at the club, Victor explained that he had been mad at Kate, not Clyde.
During their conversation, Victor stepped aside to take a call from Damon. Damon informed Victor that the job was "done." Victor thanked Damon for his work then hung up. With a smile, Victor turned back to Abigail and asked her if she wanted him to keep their conversation a secret. Shaking her head, Abigail explained that she would tell Ben the truth because she did not want secrets in her relationship. Abigail promised that Ben would report to Rafe in the morning for an interview.
After Abigail left, Damon returned to the mansion and told Victor that he had shot Clyde in the chest three times and left the body behind. Damon explained that some people had been walking through the park and that he had ben forced to skitter off so that witnesses would not see him. Damon assured Victor that when he had left the scene, the snow from the storm had almost covered Clyde's body. Victor handed his burner phone to Damon so it could be disposed of. In the park, Clyde's body was covered in snow.
In the town square, Ben and Abigail talked about his conversation with Sonny, and she told him about her talk with Victor. Ben was resistant to taking the job. Abigail reminded Ben that he had helped her when she had lost her job at the hospital. Ben smiled. Abigail assured Ben that Victor had no resentment toward Clyde. With a shrug, Abigail remarked that Victor was a curmudgeon with a soft heart.
In Serena's hotel room, Nicole copied the contents of Serena's laptop onto a small thumb drive while Serena was in the other room on a phone call. When Serena returned to the main room, she found Nicole holding her framed photo of Eric. Nicole said that she had not been honest about her feelings for Eric. As Serena's eyes narrowed, Nicole explained that she wanted to move on with her life but that she still cared about Eric and did not want him to get hurt. Nicole warned Serena not to hurt him.
Nicole suggested that she and Serena avoid one another around town, but if they should run into one another, they should think, "What would Eric do?" With a smile, Nicole hugged Serena and said goodbye as she ran out the front door. Serena shook her head in confusion.
In Daniel's office at the hospital, Eric told Daniel that he did not believe that Nicole wanted to "make nice" with Serena as Daniel had suggested. Annoyed, Daniel asked Eric if he believed that Nicole wanted everyone to hate her. Eric asked Daniel if he believed that Nicole had no ulterior motive for making peace with Serena. Daniel assured Eric that Nicole felt no malice toward Serena. When Daniel noted that Eric's strong reaction made it seem like he still had feelings for Nicole, Eric denied the accusation.
Daniel suggested that he and Eric start over. Eric warned Daniel to be careful with Nicole because he had once believed he was happy, and she had destroyed that. Eric stressed that Nicole was incapable of being honest. With a frown, Daniel asked Eric to focus on his own life and not worry about Nicole.
Nicole returned to her office and eagerly placed the thumb drive on her desk. As Nicole removed her coat, Daniel arrived unannounced. Nicole was surprised to see him. Daniel informed Nicole that he had made reservations at the hottest restaurant in town and that he was taking her out. As Daniel nuzzled against Nicole's neck, she looked at the drive on her desk. With a sigh, Nicole said that she could not go out because she had to work on a story for Miles about the newborn tiger cubs at the zoo.
Daniel urged Nicole to blow off her work, but she politely refused. Daniel was annoyed and started to leave. Worried, Nicole stopped Daniel and said that the story could wait until another day because nothing was more important to her than Daniel. As Nicole grabbed her coat, she slyly grabbed that thumb drive off of her desk and pocketed it.
Eric went to Serena's hotel room, and she informed him about her chat with Nicole. Eric told Serena that he had found a box of items from Africa and that he wanted to review the contents with Serena. When Serena asked where the box was, Eric said he had left the box in his bedroom. Serena told Eric that she needed to shut down her computer then she would be happy to accompany him back to his place.
As Serena opened her laptop, she saw that someone had copied all the files from her computer. "That bitch," Serena muttered. Serena yelled that Nicole had stolen the files from her computer. Serena added that Nicole's offer to bury the hatchet was actually an offer to bury the hatchet in her back. As Serena fumed and wondered aloud if Nicole had staged the phone call as a diversion, Eric told Serena that he would handle Nicole. Eric called Nicole's office to track her down.
At Daniel's apartment, Daniel went in to the bedroom to change. Nicole pulled the thumb drive out of her pocket and studied it. Nicole debated to herself about whether she should protect Eric or throw the thumb drive away and let Eric fend for himself. As Nicole stared at the trashcan, Daniel returned to the living room and Nicole slipped the thumb drive back in her pocket. Daniel took Nicole's hand and opened the front door. In the hallway outside were a fuming Serena and Eric. "You lying, stealing bitch," Serena growled.
Paul opens up to Will
In the DiMera study, Chad was poring over some reports, a map spread on the couch next to him and his tablet powered on and at the ready nearby, but memories of Jordan kept him from focusing on the task at hand. Stefano called and declared that Chad's move to get Rafe kicked off the police force was about to blow up in both DiMeras' faces. Stefano explained that despite his best efforts to replace Hernandez with Stefano's choice, Abe had hired "John bloody Black" instead.
Stefano emphasized that John would go after the DiMera family with a vengeance. Chad urged his father to relax. Sensing that Chad was in a bad mood, Stefano asked if it had to do with Jordan. Chad revealed that he and Jordan were no longer together, but he was almost positive he'd been mistaken about her "two-timing" him with Rafe. Concerned that Chad actually cared about Jordan, Stefano reminded Chad that he had claimed only to be "dallying" with her to irritate Ben.
Chad said that he had goaded Ben into punching him in front of John Black and Abe Carver, who had arrested Ben and charged him with assault. Stefano urged Chad to focus on seducing Abigail to get revenge. Chad seemed reluctant, so Stefano ordered him, "Focus on business instead of this romantic claptrap, okay? Get this done." Stefano hung up.
At the hospital, Marlena left a message for Clyde, who had missed an appointment but had not returned a call from Marlena's assistant to reschedule. John arrived to get a statement from a mugging victim and stopped by to see Marlena. John said that he would have to meet Marlena for supper later because he wanted to stop by and see Sonny. Marlena was pleased that John intended to let Sonny know that he had John and Marlena's support.
Later, Marlena was walking through the park outside Horton Square when Stefano called her. He asked how she felt about John returning to such a dangerous profession. Marlena inferred that Stefano was threatening John. Stefano simply asked if Marlena approved of what John was doing, even though police work was obviously a step down from running a corporation. Marlena disagreed with that characterization.
When Stefano asked if Marlena were worried about John's welfare, she flashed back to a time years before when she'd told John about waking to find Stefano touching her face. "This phone call makes it very clear to me that one of us is pretty worried. You're trying to cover things up, but I know you're scared," Marlena concluded. "Give John my best regards, huh? If you see him ever again," Stefano replied with a chuckle. Disgusted, Marlena hung up abruptly.
A beaming Sonny arrived outside Will's office at Sonix, carrying a single red rose, to surprise his husband -- while inside, Will was finishing up his interview with Paul Narita. Before Sonny could knock, Zoe, Will's editor, showed up. She informed Sonny that Will was in the middle of an interview with the subject of the cover article of the next issue of Sonix, and not even Sonny could know who that was until it was published. Sonny said that he understood. Zoe offered to deliver the rose as soon as Will was available. As Sonny was leaving, Zoe said that he should be very proud of his husband, and Sonny agreed.
In Will's office, Paul fretted, "What if I already met the right guy, and I blew it?" Will believed that if it were meant to be, and if Paul were still in love with the man, Paul could get a second chance with the guy. Paul maintained that it was too late because the man he still loved was with someone else. Will asked about Paul's mother's reaction when she'd learned that Paul couldn't pitch anymore. Paul explained that he hadn't told her about that, or that he was gay. Will was floored.
Paul swore that he would never let his mother find out he was gay by reading it in a magazine. He had invited his mother and grandfather to visit him in Salem, but his mother had declined, so Paul planned to call her before the article was published. Will seemed dubious. Paul asserted that he still intended to come out because he really wanted to help gay young people feel better about themselves -- as Will had suggested.
Paul added that he wanted to wait until it was too late to do anything about the article's publication to tell her because he knew she wouldn't like him coming out so publicly, even if she didn't have a problem with it. Will understood. Paul joked, "I read the article you wrote about your mom. No offense, but Sami Brady makes my mom look like a pushover." Will said the deadline for his final draft was midday the following day; before he submitted it to his editor, he would send a copy to Paul for approval. Will added that Paul would be glad he'd come out. Paul agreed and thanked Will for the encouragement.
After Paul had gone, Zoe took Sonny's rose to Will and explained what had happened. She asked if Will had everything he needed to finish the article. Handing Zoe a notepad, Will said that he even had a title. "'The Final Out,'" Zoe read aloud. When Will noted that "out" was the most important word in the title, an incredulous Zoe's mouth dropped open. "Oh, my God, Paul Narita is -- he's gay? [...] And Sonix is breaking the story? This is an exclusive?" she asked excitedly. Will confirmed that they had Paul's full cooperation.
When Sonny met John at Club TBD, John explained that he and Marlena just wanted to make sure that things were okay between Will and Sonny. Sonny admitted that things had been "rocky" while Will and Arianna had been in Los Angeles and even after they'd returned, especially because of how badly things had gone with the new club -- but Sonny was confident and optimistic that they would work things out. John urged Sonny to ask the family for help if things ever got rough again. John added that he knew from experience that pride and stubbornness could be costly -- but, like Sonny, John was determined not to let anything get in the way of working things out with the person he loved.
Later, Paul spotted John in Horton Square and stopped him. Paul apologized for being rude to John when they'd met before, and John said he appreciated it. He introduced himself to Paul and expressed admiration for Paul's split-finger fastball.
Jordan went to Will and Sonny's with a gift -- a snowsuit -- for Arianna, but when she knocked on the door, Kate answered. Kate invited Jordan in but informed her that Will and Sonny weren't home. She offered to let Jordan wait until Arianna woke up from her nap then they could take a picture of Arianna in the snowsuit to send to Gabi. When Kate complimented the snowsuit and offered to make Jordan some tea, Jordan became suspicious. Kate pointed out that she was dating Jordan's father and Jordan was sleeping with Kate's business partner.
Fed up, Jordan grabbed her coat to leave. "Don't tell me you already blew it with Chad," Kate said a bit snidely. "It was you, wasn't it? What did you tell him?" Jordan demanded accusingly. Kate gleefully admitted she'd warned Chad that Jordan was "untrustworthy" and "the slut of the physical therapy department." Her hand on the door, Jordan remarked incredulously that Kate clearly enjoyed causing pain. "Only for certain people, Tammy Sue -- and right now, you're on the top of that list," Kate said. Jordan slammed the door on her way out.
Later, Chad stopped by Jordan's office at the hospital and demanded an explanation for what she'd done. Taken aback, Jordan crossly reminded Chad that he was the one who'd ended things, although she didn't really care why he'd done it. "You are not the person that I thought you were. You are the person people told me you are," Jordan asserted before ordering Chad to leave. He didn't budge and, instead, took off his overcoat.
Jordan complained that Chad had been listening to what Kate said about her, when Kate had called Jordan "the whore of the physical therapy department." Chad maintained that he didn't care what Kate said about Jordan or anyone else. A baffled Jordan declared that she truly didn't understand Chad, although she didn't really care to. As she tried to storm out, Chad grabbed her arm and demanded that she tell him why she'd been kissing Rafe.
When Will returned home, Kate explained that Sonny had asked her to stay with Arianna while he went out. Kate asked about the article, and Will said that talking with Kate had really helped. "I've been thinking a lot about what happened, about what I did, and, um, Sonny and I promised that we would never keep secrets from each other," Will said. Kate firmly declared that it would do no good for Sonny to find out what Will had done. She reminded Will that he would never see Paul again -- unless he were falling in love with Paul.
Will bristled at the implication that he was so shallow that he could fall in love with someone he barely knew. Kate noted that it would be understandable if Will wanted to share some of the spotlight when the handsome star baseball player bravely came out. Will declared indignantly, "I do not want to share anybody's spotlight!" He added that if he achieved success, it would be because he earned it on his own. Kate apologized. She assured her grandson that all she wanted was for him to be happy.
Will tearfully asserted that he loved Sonny and would not let anyone destroy the life they'd built together -- and that was why he had to tell Sonny about Paul. Kate argued that it would only hurt Sonny, and besides, Paul would soon be leaving town again. She urged Will not to break Sonny's heart with the knowledge of what Will had done to get the story of Paul's coming out. Will insisted that wasn't why he'd slept with Paul. Kate asked, "Okay, then why did you sleep with Paul? Why did you cheat on Sonny?"
Will confessed he didn't know; it had just happened. Kate acknowledged that she understood why Will felt the need to tell Sonny the truth, but she stressed how cruel and selfish it would be. "I don't want to talk to you about this anymore. I wish I had never talked to you at all about Paul!" Will shouted. "The person you can't tell is Sonny!" Kate argued -- just as Sonny walked in and overheard. "What can't Will tell me? I want to know," Sonny said.
As Nicole and Daniel were opening the door to leave his apartment on their date, they found Eric and Serena in the hallway. "You lying, stealing bitch!" spat an outraged Serena. She explained to Daniel that Nicole had stolen information from Serena's laptop -- so Nicole was going to jail. Nicole calmly contended that Serena was actually in even more trouble. Nicole produced the flash drive onto which she'd copied the contents of Serena's hard drive as proof. Serena insisted that if the names of her sources, which were on the drive, were revealed, there could be huge lawsuits.
Serena lunged for the flash drive, but Nicole deftly kept it just out of reach while Daniel stepped between the women. Nicole said that she would hand over the drive as soon they all took a look at what was on it. "And then everyone will know what a fraud you really are," Nicole added. As Daniel let Eric and Serena into the apartment, Nicole fiddled with her phone. Eric angrily asserted that Nicole had not had the right to do what she'd done. Nicole reminded the others that she was also a journalist, and a source had approached her with information about Serena, which Nicole had been obliged to verify.
Serena wanted to know who Nicole's source was, but Nicole pointed out that Serena would not divulge that information in Nicole's position. Daniel asked why Nicole hadn't told him about it. She reminded him that, like him, there were things in her professional life that she couldn't talk about -- and she had seriously considered not even following the lead until she'd witnessed Serena's behavior. "Now, more than ever, [I] find it my responsibility to expose the truth!" Nicole declared. An incredulous Eric countered that Nicole wasn't acquainted with the truth.
Nicole argued that Serena wasn't the person Eric and Melanie had known before. "What she is is a monster," Nicole pronounced. With quiet fury, Serena asserted that the law was on her side because the confidential information on the drive belonged to her. She repeated her threat to send Nicole to jail. As Nicole opened the laptop to show the others what was on the flash drive, Daniel pointed out that they couldn't look at what was on it without Serena's permission.
With a shrug, Nicole noted that she had another way besides the flash drive to expose the truth and show everyone what kind of person Serena was. Daniel encouraged Nicole to share the specifics of what she was talking about. Just then, there was a knock at the door, and Nicole answered it to reveal Ted Carpenter in the hallway. "Edward?" Serena asked, shocked. Ted related his story to the others about how he and Serena had collaborated for months on the writing and research for a long piece, and their relationship had become more than professional.
Ted continued that Serena had suggested that he put his writing and research on her computer, since his had been unreliable, and he'd agreed because he hadn't been able to afford a new computer. Then Serena had dumped him before the article had been published -- and his name had appeared nowhere on it, especially not the byline. Serena had refused to back him up when he'd tried to get credit for it, and it had virtually destroyed his career.
"My God, Edward, I had no idea you still hated me this much," Serena said. Ted admitted that he could hardly feel another way. Eric quietly asked Serena if she knew what Ted was talking about. "Yes, I do," she admitted, clarifying that she and Edward had worked together on her last big assignment. Ted corrected her that he went by "Ted" because he was trying to reinvent himself. He encouraged Eric to check Serena's computer for proof that she had stolen Ted's work.
Serena acknowledged that she'd kept extensive records on her computer, which should be on the jump drive if Nicole had downloaded the entire hard drive. Daniel noted that they would need a warrant unless Serena gave them permission to look at it. Eric asserted that Serena had grounds to file a complaint, and he would hire a lawyer to defend her against Nicole's claim. Although Serena was grateful to Eric, she pointed out that the truth would get out eventually -- and Nicole was right that he needed to know everything about Serena.
Serena gave Daniel permission to open the flash drive, so he opened the laptop and inserted the drive, while the others gathered around to watch.
Nicole's plan backfires
In a secluded section of Horton Town Square, Damon informed Victor that Clyde's employees were getting concerned because they had been unable to reach their boss lately.
Theresa gasped as she awoke from a dream about someone looming over her with a hypodermic needle. The sudden movement disturbed Clint's slumber, prompting him to wonder what was wrong. "Nothing. I was just, uh -- it was just a bad dream. I was helpless, and this guy was --" Theresa started to explain, piquing Clint's interest. Clint pressed for more details, but Theresa claimed that she couldn't remember anything else.
Clint wanted to stay in bed with Theresa all night, but she had a large stack of employee tax forms piled up at the hospital that needed to be sent in before the end of the month, so he reluctantly drove her to work instead. Before parting ways with Clint in one of the break rooms, Theresa suggested that he might want to stick around for a few minutes, since they could get back to having fun sooner if she conveniently arranged for the documents to get lost in the mail. Clint pointed out that Theresa could get in trouble for pulling such a trick, but she assured him that she could get away with anything.
"No, you can't -- not anything," Victor interjected as he entered the room. Clint protectively offered to get rid of the "old guy," but Theresa assured him that she was fine, so he went to get a pack of cigarettes from his car after warning Victor not to mess with her. Amused, Victor promised to try to restrain himself. "If I gave a damn, I'd chase after [that] poor fool and tell him what he was in for, but he'll find out soon enough," Victor mused after Clint left.
Theresa started to defend herself, but Victor interrupted and stressed that the only thing he cared about was that Brady was no longer trapped in her spider web. Theresa insisted that Brady had been the luckiest guy in the world when he had been with her because she had accepted him for who he was, had tried her best to make him happy, and had never meant to hurt him. "My God, you're still in love with him," Victor incredulously observed. Theresa firmly denied the suspicion, insisting that she couldn't care less about Brady anymore. Victor advised Theresa to keep telling herself that, since she would never have Brady again, anyway.
Melanie and Brady's first date got off to a rocky start when she slipped on a patch of ice outside the Kiriakis mansion, dragging him down with her. Freezing, they rushed back inside, stripped off their wet shirts, and huddled together under a blanket on the couch to warm themselves up. "Oh, for the love of God," Victor complained when he entered the room a short time later and caught Brady and Melanie kissing. Melanie and Brady quickly separated and tried to put the scene in the proper context for Victor. "You didn't look like you were freezing to me; in fact, I'm surprised there wasn't steam coming off of that blanket," Victor skeptically countered.
Conceding the point, Melanie rushed off to get changed so she could go to work. Brady tried to continue explaining the situation after Melanie left, but Victor impatiently interrupted and told him to shut up. "Before you launch into some half-assed explanation as to why the two of you were about to do it right here on the couch, you should know that Maggie has already filled me in on what's going on between you and her granddaughter. Now, after a half hour of ranting and raving, I realized the reason I was so upset was because I'm very fond of both of you. No -- well, actually, beyond that -- you're two of my -- my favorite people," Victor admitted.
Victor added that he thought it was sweet that Brady and Melanie's friendship might be developing into something more than that, and he stressed that he didn't have a problem with them exploring that connection as long as Daniel and Maggie were okay with it. Victor concluded that Brady and Melanie both deserved some real happiness. Touched, Brady thanked Victor before excusing himself to put on some dry clothes.
"Hold it -- one more thing. You need to be careful, Brady -- you need to be very, very careful," Victor warned. Brady promised to be careful with Melanie, but Victor clarified that he wasn't talking about that. "I ran into [Theresa Donovan] earlier tonight. Regardless of what that bitch says, she still wants you, and if she finds out that you and Melanie have gotten close -- well, watch your back...and Melanie's," Victor advised.
At the hospital, Theresa dumped the tax forms in a trashcan and sent Clint a text message to let him know she was ready to continue partying with him. While Theresa freshened her makeup, Melanie approached and wondered if Theresa was preparing for a hot date. Theresa confirmed the suspicion, bragging that she often went on dates and never had to work the night shift, unlike Melanie. Melanie silently pondered Theresa for a moment before admitting that she never really knew which version of Theresa she was going to get on any given day. "Then stay away," Theresa advised with a shrug.
After Melanie left, Theresa impatiently wondered where Clint was. Meanwhile, in one of the break rooms, Clint placed a phone call to someone. "Dr. Mandrake, I thought you'd probably want my latest update on Theresa Donovan," Clint began, unaware that Melanie was eavesdropping from the hallway.
After setting Chad straight on what had happened with Rafe, Jordan demanded to know what Chad had said to provoke Ben, realizing that it had been done as payback for her supposed betrayal. Chad wouldn't reveal any details but promised to fix everything -- as long as Jordan first agreed to give him another chance. "And if I won't, you'll let Ben go to prison?" Jordan guessed.
Chad clarified that he would help Ben get out of trouble either way but couldn't stand the thought of losing Jordan. Jordan wondered why Chad hadn't bothered to ask her for an explanation before deciding to go after Ben. Chad admitted that he had let his anger get the best of him, and he started to leave after apologizing to Jordan, but she stopped him. Jordan assured Chad that she could relate to the pain of betrayal because she had felt the same way when Rafe had betrayed her. Jordan suggested that she and Chad could just put the whole thing behind them and move on, and he happily agreed.
In Daniel's apartment, Ted pointed to a file named after him that had popped up on Daniel's laptop when Nicole's USB device had been inserted. With Serena's permission, Daniel opened the file, which turned out to be a journal of sorts -- about Ted. "'I resumed work with Edward today. I was hopeful he would be focused and his normal self, but he again seemed to be off his medication... I'm concerned he's not dealing with reality. He keeps trying to turn our research sessions into something romantic. He even adopted a pet name for me,'" Eric read aloud. Ted helpfully provided the nickname -- Bluebird.
"'My worst fears have been confirmed -- Edward has stolen my research and tried to pass it off as his own... Dr. Kagan removed Edward from the project and banned him from the institute. She asked if I would like to press charges on the harassment issue, but I cannot. Edward is a kind soul who's been punished enough. My only hope is that he will go back on his meds and find some way to resume his former life,'" Daniel read aloud as Ted started to get emotional. Serena went to comfort Ted as Nicole urged him to tell everyone that the journal was filled with lies.
Ted tearfully apologized to his bluebird and wondered if she really believed he had a kind soul. Serena confirmed that she did, and Ted assured her that he had forgiven her for ending their love affair. "Just like -- just like I forgave Madame Curie. Remember that? Do you remember? She discovered radium just before I did, and I forgave her," Ted added. Daniel suggested taking Ted to the hospital for an evaluation, but Serena insisted that Ted was harmless and would be better off with his personal counselor, Myra.
Serena contacted Myra, who soon arrived and explained that Ted had gone off his medication sometime before Christmas and had gotten manic shortly afterward. Serena urged Ted to let Myra help him get better, and he smiled as he promised that he would. Before leaving with Myra, Ted explained to an irritated Nicole that he had lied about what had happened because he had been upset with his bluebird.
After Ted and Myra left, Nicole defensively stressed that he had gone to her for help and had seemed like a credible source. Serena countered that Ted's mental breakdown was a matter of public record and wouldn't have been difficult for an unbiased investigative journalist to uncover. Daniel returned the USB device to Serena, who promised to resist the urge to press charges against Nicole.
After Eric and Serena left, Nicole tried to defend her actions to Daniel, claiming that she hadn't been able to dig deeper into Ted's claims because she had been pressed for time. Unconvinced, Daniel complained about how Nicole had gone straight from sleeping with him to digging into Serena's life again, and he wondered if Nicole could see the pattern that was emerging. Nicole tried to insist that there wasn't a pattern emerging, but Daniel wasn't in the mood to hear any more excuses. "If you have something besides your usual BS to explain why you did this again, go for it -- I'm waiting," Daniel prompted Nicole.
Nicole remained silent as she stormed out of the apartment, but Daniel chased after her and ended up at Victor's club, where she had just ordered a martini. Daniel admonished Nicole for childishly walking away from their conversation before they had ended it. Nicole complained that she didn't like being yelled at, and she said she would only explain her actions if Daniel would allow the conversation to proceed calmly. Daniel insisted that there wasn't an explanation for Nicole's actions, and he stressed that Serena was an innocent victim who hadn't done anything wrong -- unlike Nicole.
Eric left Serena alone in his apartment so he could go to a nearby juice bar to get her a smoothie. As soon as the coast was clear, Serena grabbed her cell phone and accessed a digital copy of the photograph of a shirtless Eric she had been keeping hidden in her hotel safe. Serena zoomed in on a small elephant statue that was sitting on a bedside table behind Eric, and she started snooping around until she found it on a dresser in his bedroom. Serena smiled triumphantly as she leaned in for a closer look at the item.
In Will and Sonny's apartment, Will asked Kate to leave so he could talk to Sonny alone, but she refused. "This whole thing is my fault, okay? Will has done something that he's very ashamed of, that he absolutely regrets, and I'm the one who pushed him into doing it," Kate informed Sonny. Will tried to take over, but Kate stopped him and continued that he had breached his ethics as a journalist. "Will signed a confidentiality agreement with the magazine, and also with the person that he was interviewing, and he violated that agreement by showing me an early draft of the article," Kate explained.
Sonny asked if that was true, and Will hesitantly admitted that it was. "And he feels terrible about it... Not just because it was unethical but because of what he did to you," Kate added as Will stared at the floor. Sonny wondered why Will was letting Kate speak on his behalf. "I -- I shouldn't be. I -- I just -- I just -- I'm feeling...bad -- really bad -- and so it's been hard to talk about what happened," Will stammered in response.
Sonny understood and wondered why Will had shown Kate the article in the first place if he had known all along that it would be a violation of the confidentiality agreement. "Because I wasn't satisfied with what I wrote. ... Grandma used to run Titan Publishing, so I figured if I showed her what I -- I wrote, she could show me where I went wrong," Will explained. Kate added that she had advised Will to dig deeper, which was exactly what he had done after their conversation about the first draft of his article. Kate stressed that, while the article was going to be great, no one could ever know about her involvement in its development.
Arianna started fussing, so Sonny went to check on her after assuring Kate that he wouldn't say a word to anyone about what Will had done. "You can't say a word, either. Let. This. Go," Kate quietly advised Will after Sonny left the room. Will hesitantly nodded as he showed Kate out. After leaving the apartment, Kate contacted Clyde and left a voicemail message when he didn't answer, wondering why she hadn't heard from him yet that night.
A short time later, Sonny poured Will a glass of wine and reasoned that it had made sense for Will to show Kate the first draft of the article because Will understandably wanted it to be the best article it could possibly be. "Still...what I did, it was a breach of trust -- and so wrong," Will regretfully replied. Sonny advised Will to forget about that and instead focus on the fact that Kate had helped him see what was important.
Sonny pointed out that Will hadn't shown the article to anyone else -- including his own husband. Sonny playfully complained that he still didn't even know who the article was about, and he admitted that he couldn't wait to read it. "Just relax. In a few days, you'll turn in the article, and this will all be history. I'll have you back home again," Sonny cheerfully concluded before kissing Will.
Will wished he hadn't been stuck in a meeting when Sonny had tried to deliver a rose to him earlier, since it would have been nice if Sonny had been able to deliver it in person instead of being forced to leave it with Zoe. "I just wanted to make sure you were okay. I wanted to make sure that we were okay. All that business with me trying to start the new club and blowing all of our money down that rat hole --" Sonny started to explain, but Will interrupted. "Stop. You don't get to be responsible for us," Will stressed. Will admitted that he should have been around more often so he could have helped Sonny out.
"Your being here wouldn't have done much. I was -- I was totally fenced off, going at it alone. Can we make a deal? Can we just bury all that stuff...and just get back to the family? Just you and me and Arianna -- just one big, long adventure ride," Sonny suggested with a smile. Will admitted that sounded good -- great, even -- and he hugged Sonny as he tried to hide a look of pure guilt.
Paige makes a surprising decision
Jennifer was having coffee alone at Club TBD when she spotted Paige and said hello. Seeing Jennifer made Paige clearly uncomfortable, but Jennifer warmly invited her to sit down. After some awkward small talk, Paige asked how J.J. was. Jennifer admitted that her son was sad, which surprised Paige. Jennifer acknowledged that she knew why Paige and J.J. had broken up, and while Jennifer would not try to excuse J.J.'s behavior, she knew it was also possible for people to get past mistakes.
Paige wanted to know if J.J. had really said he'd made a mistake, but Jennifer only knew that was what he'd meant. After Paige learned J.J. was probably at home, she said she was glad she'd seen Jennifer because things had become clearer. Paige left, and Jennifer discovered that Paige had left behind a textbook.
Eve stopped by the Horton house to see J.J., who was less than thrilled to see her. Ignoring his displeasure, Eve declared that she'd figured out a way to fix their problem for good. A skeptical J.J. asked if Eve knew how to undo their sleeping together -- twice. Eve knew that Paige would never stop digging until she found out whom J.J. had slept with -- so Eve's solution was for J.J. to leave town. Eve had a handful of suggestions of schools J.J. could transfer to outside of Salem, but J.J. refused to leave his home.
Eve was insistent that J.J. leave town for Paige's sake -- as well as for Eve's. "Why? What do you think will happen if I stay?" J.J. asked. Pushing aside memories of having sex with J.J., Eve maintained that she feared J.J. would let something slip, and Paige would put the pieces together. Eve ordered J.J. to do whatever it took to get out of Salem right away. As Eve passed by him on her way out the door, J.J. grabbed her arm and warned her that she couldn't tell him what to do. "Fine. Just leave -- for everyone's sake," Eve urged J.J. before exiting.
When the doorbell rang a short while later, an annoyed J.J. assumed that Eve had returned, but when he stormed over to the front door and flung it open, he found Paige on the doorstep instead. J.J. didn't think the two of them had anything to talk about. Paige assured him that she wasn't going to ask whom he'd slept with -- and she might never need to know, but that depended on J.J. Paige explained that she'd talked to Rory, who'd told her that J.J. felt he'd made a mistake -- but Paige was partly to blame because J.J. had thought she was never returning from California.
Paige continued that, after doing a lot of thinking, she was willing to talk, to see if they could start over. J.J. didn't understand how Paige could even think that was possible. Paige suggested that they talk the next day after they'd both slept on it. "I know that, no matter what happened, I still love you -- and deep down, I know you still love me," Paige said.
As Jennifer was leaving Club TBD, Eve arrived. Jennifer said that she was just about to head over to Eve's apartment to return the book Paige had left behind. Jennifer explained that she and Paige had just been having coffee and chatting. Eve irritably guessed that her daughter and Jennifer had been discussing J.J. Jennifer admitted that she and Paige had, indeed, been talking about J.J., who was very unhappy -- just as Paige clearly was. Eve began ranting about how J.J. had cheated on Paige, ending with, "I think it's time that you faced it, Jennifer: J.J. is a piece of scum!"
Eve ordered Jennifer -- and J.J. -- to stay away from Paige. "What your son did to my daughter was an abomination, and he knows it. And I don't care if he feels bad about it; I don't care if he wants to undo it --" Eve fumed, but Jennifer cut her off, curious how Eve knew how J.J. felt. "You are consistently at my house uninvited! You can't seem to stay away from J.J., so tell me: how does he feel? Did he tell you that he wished he could undo what he did?" Jennifer demanded. At a loss for words, Eve stormed off.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady admitted to Maggie that Victor had just asserted that Theresa still had feelings for Brady. "All I know for sure, Maggie, is I don't want Melanie in the middle of whatever Theresa's latest drama is," Brady added, scoffing. He was admittedly worried about what Theresa would do when she learned that he was dating Melanie, because he knew Theresa had a tendency to lash out when she'd been hurt.
Maggie listened while Brady reflected on his past failed relationships, as well as the deaths of Arianna and Madison. He added that he and Melanie had always been able to make one another laugh, and he hated how badly their date had gone. Noting the flowers that Brady had bought for Melanie, Maggie pointed out that the night wasn't over yet. Grinning, Brady took the hint, grabbed his coat and the flowers, and hurried out.
While Theresa waited for Clint near the nurses' station, she spotted a nurse rushing in with a baby, followed by a worried-looking couple. "What is going on with me?" she wondered aloud about her emotional reaction.
In a nearby waiting room, Clint was smoking a cigarette while he called Mandrake to give him a report about Theresa Donovan. Melanie arrived and paused outside the door to eavesdrop when she heard Clint mention Theresa's name. Mandrake reminded Clint of what had to be done if Clint suspected that Theresa started to remember what had happened. "Yeah, I know what I'll have to do, Doctor Mandrake. No problem," Clint assured the shady doctor. Mandrake stressed the importance of making sure Ms. Donovan did not remember anything -- and of not failing Kristen DiMera.
Clint suddenly noticed Melanie in the doorway and demanded to know if she'd been listening in. Melanie reprimanded him for smoking in a hospital. Theresa strolled in and told Melanie, "Buzz off, bitch. He's with me." Clint left after promising to pick Theresa up later. A bit concerned, Melanie asked how well Theresa knew "Tobacco Head." Theresa didn't understand why Melanie cared until it occurred to her that Melanie was jealous. Shaking her head, Melanie tried to tell Theresa about the phone call she'd overheard, but Theresa was so busy boasting about her own attractiveness that she didn't hear it. Melanie gave up and left.
Later, Melanie cautioned Clint that she'd call the cops if she caught him smoking in the hospital again. "Just in case you can't read, here's a little picture," she added, patting the "no smoking" symbol on the wall before boarding the elevator to leave. Theresa returned and told Clint that she was finished and could leave with him -- but when she spotted Brady arriving, she told Clint that she'd meet Clint downstairs after she took care of one last thing.
Theresa stomped over to Brady and gave him a hard time about continually showing up at the hospital. She informed him that he would have to leave his flowers at the front desk because visiting hours were over. Brady revealed that the flowers were actually for Melanie because they had started seeing each other. Theresa wished Brady luck, implying that the relationship would only last a couple of weeks. Brady cautioned her that he would be at the hospital a lot more, and Theresa would have to deal with it. "And I don't want any drama," Brady warned. Theresa insisted that she didn't care what Brady and Melanie did.
After Brady left, Clint returned and found Theresa throwing a temper tantrum. "I hate that son of a bitch!" Theresa spat, more to herself than Clint, but he offered to "take care of" whomever she was talking about. Struggling to seem cheerful, Theresa declared that she just wanted to forget about everything and party with Clint. She kissed him passionately to demonstrate.
Brady returned to the Kiriakis mansion and informed Maggie that although he'd just missed Melanie, he'd set a few things straight with Theresa.
At Victor's new club, Daniel manhandled Nicole away from the bar and to a table. Daniel proclaimed that they were going to talk about what Nicole had done to him -- to them -- earlier. Nicole earnestly explained that sometimes reporters had to go with their instincts and check the fact later, and she pointed out that Serena had acted like she'd been hiding something. Daniel maintained that Nicole hated Serena, and Nicole was obviously lying to herself about being over Eric.
Nicole pointed out that the scoop she'd gotten from Ted had seemed credible because he was intelligent and articulate. Daniel argued that reporters frequently got fired for not verifying their sources -- and Nicole had not done so because of her feelings for Eric, and because she was jealous of Serena and had wanted desperately for Ted to be right. Nicole interrupted Daniel's tirade to declare vehemently, "I am not still in love with Eric!" She maintained that although she still cared about all of her friends and even her ex-lovers and would try to protect them if she felt someone were out to take advantage them, it did not mean she was still in love with Eric.
Nicole suggested that they go back to Daniel's apartment and try to work things out. Daniel said he was done, reminding her that they had made a pact that it would be over if either of them realized the other was hung up on his or her ex. Nicole tearfully repeated her assertion that she was not in love with Eric, but Daniel urged her to be honest with herself. As she caressed Daniel's face, Nicole said he was the only person she cared about.
Daniel reminded her that he had told her from the beginning that he would not let either of them get hurt. "But Daniel, if you walk away, you'll be hurting me -- us. Please, don't do this," Nicole cried. Daniel admitted that it did hurt him because of his feelings for Nicole, but she hadn't been able to make the total commitment to him that he'd required. Nicole protested, but Daniel cut her off. "We're done. Goodbye," he said as he walked out, leaving Nicole sobbing.
Daniel was already home when Melanie returned from the hospital. She filled him in about her disaster of a date with Brady, after which she'd done a short shift at work. Melanie asked if Daniel knew a Dr. Mandrake, either from University Hospital or St. Mary's, but Daniel said the name didn't ring a bell.
Serena located a small figurine of an elephant, mounted on a wooden pedestal, in Eric's bedroom. She compared it to a photograph of the same elephant statue that she'd snapped in his hut in Africa and let out a sigh of relief. Just then, Eric returned home from picking up a smoothie for Serena. Serena emerged from the bedroom, wiping her eyes, and claimed that she'd gone into the bedroom to check her makeup because she'd started crying while speaking to Edward's parents on the phone.
Eric asked if Serena were really sure she didn't want to press charges against Nicole. Serena was hopeful that Nicole had learned her lesson, and besides, Serena understood why Nicole had bought Edward's story. Eric admitted that he still didn't understand why Serena had seemed so "unnerved" before she'd found out about Edward's involvement -- yet she'd still seemed freaked out after Edward had arrived.
Serena pointed out that most of the information on the flash drive was confidential, and it could destroy her career if the wrong people got a look at her files. "Look, Eric, I trust you totally and completely, so if you want to open this drive, you can read any file. You can do that, right here, right now," Serena offered, holding up the flash drive. Eric assured Serena that she never had to prove anything to him because he trusted her "absolutely."
Serena started to kiss Eric but pulled away at the last second. She noted that it had been an exhausting night, and she had tried to explain herself -- but she refused to let Nicole keep being a part of their lives. Eric denied that Nicole was in his life any longer, but Serena countered that she could tell Nicole was still in Eric's head and heart. Serena hoped that she and Eric would make love again when he was completely over Nicole, and Serena and Eric could be as happy as they'd been in Africa. Serena kissed Eric on the cheek and left.
Eric was in Horton Square a little later when a miserable Nicole wandered in. He asked if she knew where Daniel was. "Gone," Nicole replied. She asked where Serena was, but Eric told Nicole never to ask him about Serena again. Nicole pointed out that Eric had asked her about Daniel. Eric said that, despite their history, he had done his best to get along with Nicole. "Being tolerated is such a high," Nicole retorted sarcastically, fighting back tears.
Eric demanded to know why, after his warnings to stay away from Serena, Nicole hadn't been able to do that and couldn't simply let him and Serena live their lives in peace. "If you try one more time to hurt Serena, I will have you arrested. Do you understand me? I will do whatever it takes to stop you," Eric declared. He added that Nicole had been lucky because Serena hadn't wanted to see Nicole punished. "She proved once again who she is and who she will always be -- which is far better than you'll ever be," Eric asserted.
Back in her hotel room, Serena took off her shoe and used it to smash the flash drive to bits. As she logged into her computer, she muttered, "If I had pressed charges, people might have seen things I never want seen." On the phone, Serena told someone, "Yes, I'm sure. Eric has it. Yes. I know exactly what comes next."