At the Horton Town Square, Gabi and Arianna approached Abigail, who was in the process of trying to contact Jennifer to let her know about what had happened earlier with Lucas.
After recording a voicemail message for Jennifer, Abigail turned her attention to Arianna, who couldn't wait to show off her newfound skills as a flower girl. Later, while Arianna continued practicing nearby for her big moment at the impending double wedding, Abigail told Gabi about Lucas' drunken tirade at St. Luke's. "I can't believe that I missed that!" Gabi grumbled.
Changing the subject, Abigail stressed that she would completely understand if Gabi decided not to attend the double wedding. Gabi admitted that it was going to take awhile for her to truly get over everything that had happened with Chad; she added, however, that she was willing to temporarily set aside her feelings so she could join her friends for their special day. "And, uh, just so you know, Eli asked me [to go with him], so I won't be [all alone and] pitiful," Gabi continued with a weak chuckle. Abigail insisted that Gabi wasn't pitiful at all. "So...Eli, huh?" Abigail asked teasingly. Blushing, Gabi quickly clarified, "It's not a date or anything."
Paul entered the police station and jokingly told J.J., "Enough of this crime-fighting nonsense! We got some important [tuxedo-fitting] business to get to!" After checking the time, J.J. pointed out that Paul was early. Nodding, Paul explained that his meeting at St. Luke's had been cut short after an unexpected visitor had crashed it. J.J. was sorry to hear that Lucas' drinking was out of control again. "I think this wedding is bringing up a lot of stuff for everyone who loved Will," Paul explained, adding that it certainly hadn't been easy for Sonny thus far.
"[Paul], how do you feel when people bring up Will?" J.J. asked. Shrugging, Paul acknowledged that Will had been important to Sonny. "Doesn't mean you want it shoved in your face," J.J. knowingly countered. Paul insisted that he didn't see it that way then abruptly changed the subject, asking if J.J. wanted to grab some lunch before their appointment with the tailor.
J.J. followed Paul to the Brady Pub, where they continued discussing Lucas' drunken tirade at St. Luke's. Paul was certain that although Sonny had tried to act cool while listening to Lucas' comments about Will, the truth was that they had actually stirred up a lot of painful memories and guilt for him. "Guilt for...? Breaking up their relationship? That wasn't Sonny's fault," J.J. argued.
"No, it was mine," Paul matter-of-factly replied, adding that if he had bowed out of the situation the moment he had learned the truth about Will and Sonny's marriage, they might have been able to repair their relationship, and Will might not have lost his life. J.J. insisted that Will's death was on Ben's hands and that Paul needed to stop feeling guilty about it. "I thought that Sonny wouldn't get over Will, but you brought love and happiness back into his life. You're the best thing that ever happened to him, man," J.J. continued.
Paul asked J.J. to tell him about Sonny and Will's relationship. "Before I came along, [they] were happy, right?" Paul continued. Nodding, J.J. answered, "Mostly. [I mean], they fought through a lot to be together, and, uh, when they finally were, it just really seemed to work. [Sonny had] spent all those years, traveling around the world [with] nothing holding him down, but Will grounded him, so whenever he was around Will, he just seemed lighter. Like I said, they just worked. [And everyone could tell because] it was kind of hard to miss what they had going on, you know? Their connection."
"So, you would say, uh...it was true love? For the both of them?" Paul concluded. J.J. confirmed the suspicion but quickly added, "If you're worried that Sonny doesn't love you as much as he loved Will, don't go there. They're in the past. You and Sonny, you have your whole lives ahead of you -- together." Paul argued that it seemed like Sonny and Will had been the couple -- the kind every hopeful romantic envied -- and, in fact, people still talked about their wedding like it had been a royal event. "How do you live up to that?" Paul fretted. "You don't have to," J.J. insisted.
"Look, [Paul], you and Sonny belong together. You guys are the present and the future, just like I said. [It's] you and Sonny -- end of story," J.J. reiterated. Deciding that J.J. was right, Paul breathed a sigh of relief.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Sonny complained to Chad, "I actually felt bad for Lucas [when] my mom dumped him, [but now] I couldn't care less if the guy's miserable!" Chad recalled that Lucas had been sober for quite a while before his recent return to the bottle. "Yeah, it's been years, but now he's back to being a nasty, belligerent drunk, insulting people and embarrassing himself!" Sonny spat.
"How could he say that stuff to me?" Sonny continued, getting more worked up with each passing second. Chad patiently reminded Sonny that Lucas had been drunk, adding that he probably wouldn't even remember the conversation later. "I don't care if he was in a coma! That's no excuse to give potshots to me like that!" Sonny insisted.
Sighing, Sonny continued, "And he brings up Will! He thinks, [just] because Will's not here, that I don't think about him? Every single day I think about Will -- how much I miss him, how much I hated what happened between us. [Lucas] never should have brought up [Will's] name; I don't care how drunk he was or how much he's hurting. And for that, I will never forgive him!"
Seething with anger, Sonny continued, as he paced around the living room, "I mean, does Lucas honestly believe that I would forget about Will? That I would ever forget about Will? Even when I walk into this room, Chad -- we stood by that window, and we held each other's hands, and we took vows to love each other until death do us part." Nodding, Chad assured Sonny that he had held up his end of that bargain.
"I never stopped loving [Will] -- even after we broke each other's hearts," Sonny stressed. Nodding again, Chad assured Sonny that everyone knew he had never stopped loving Will. Chad urged Sonny not to let Lucas' comments get to him, adding that Lucas had simply been lashing out because he was in pain. Calming down a bit, Sonny admitted that he understood why he had received the brunt of Lucas' anger. "Here I am, ranting and raving in outrage, but the truth is, he was right about one thing -- I did abandon Will," Sonny sadly continued. Chad tried to disagree with that version of events, but Sonny insisted it was an accurate summary.
"I left. I went to Paris. I was on another continent when [Will] was murdered! I should have stuck around, [but] instead, I -- I just...ran away," Sonny continued. Chad argued, as someone who had considered Will one of his best friends, that the fact of the matter was that Will had made a mistake during his marriage to Sonny, and it wasn't Sonny's fault that Will had been killed while they had been estranged from each other as a result of that mistake. Disagreeing, Sonny insisted, "Will needed me, and I needed him, and if I would have stayed and just worked on our marriage like [he] asked, then maybe he would still be here, Chad, and maybe we would still be together!" Chad pointed out that Sonny couldn't be certain of that. "Well, at the very least, if I hadn't left, Will wouldn't have died thinking that I didn't love him," Sonny countered with a sigh of regret.
Sonny admitted that he had missed Will during his time in Paris and had thought about him constantly. "Then I got his message. I've listened to that thing so many times, I pretty much have it memorized. 'I love you so much, Sonny. And even if I don't get the chance to get back together with you, I have to make this right for you. I love you.' [You know], I was gonna plan a trip home. I just wanted him to know just how much that message meant to me...and that I still love him. If I had just come home one day earlier, Chad -- just one. Day. Earlier..." Sonny continued before letting his voice trail off.
Chad argued that Will would want Sonny to forgive himself for waiting too long to return to Salem -- and that Will would also want Sonny to fall in love again and be happy again. Sonny wished he could talk to Will one more time, just to make it clear that he had forgiven Will and had never stopped loving him. Chad assured Sonny that Will already knew those things. Chad continued, "Look, things don't always go as planned, all right? And I know that I'm stating the obvious, but what I'm trying to say is, when that happens, you just -- you gotta come up with a new plan, you know?" Chad concluded that Paul was Sonny's second chance.
Deciding that Chad was right, Sonny vowed not to let Lucas' drunken rant spoil his day -- or his wedding, for that matter. Pleased to hear that, Chad stressed that Sonny was lucky to be marrying Paul because they were a great couple -- and best friends, too. Sonny thanked Chad then seized the opportunity to apologize to him in advance, teasingly predicting, "No one's gonna be looking at you [during your own wedding] because I'm gonna be so damn smashing in my new tuxedo." Chad argued, after acknowledging his obvious bias, that Abigail was going to steal the spotlight from all three grooms. Sonny gave Chad's scenario some consideration then conceded that things probably would play out that way. Sonny and Chad agreed to ignore Lucas' warnings about most marriages ending in divorce, reasoning that love was all about beating the odds, anyway.
A tailor soon arrived to take Sonny and Chad's measurements so their tuxedos could be prepared for the big day. When the tailor learned that he was fitting tuxedos for two grooms, he told Sonny and Chad that they made a very handsome couple. Sonny started to correct the tailor, but Chad quickly interrupted and played along, telling the man, "Thank you for noticing. Everybody says that. Yeah, my little Sonny Bunny, we just, uh -- against all odds, we found our way to each other, and, uh, I'm the luckiest man in the world." The tailor smiled as Chad gave Sonny a kiss on the cheek.
Later, Paul arrived and greeted Sonny with a kiss on the lips before introducing himself to the tailor as the other groom. "Three grooms?" the tailor asked with obvious confusion before showing himself out of the mansion. Chuckling awkwardly, Sonny dodged Paul's questions about the exchange then quickly changed the subject, wondering how Paul's tuxedo-fitting appointment had gone. Paul reported that it had gone well.
Paul wanted to know how Sonny was doing after the incident at St. Luke's, so Sonny hesitantly admitted that Lucas' comments had stirred up some emotions and memories. Nodding, Paul told Sonny, "Look, I think you and I need to have a long talk about Will -- and we need to do it before we get married."
Jennifer went to the DiMera mansion to question Kate about the recent conflict in the DiMera family. Kate understood why Jennifer was concerned about Abigail rejoining the DiMera family, especially during a time of conflict, but she insisted that she couldn't share family secrets with a reporter, of all people. "[That said], I do have information for you, but it has to be absolutely off the record," Kate continued.
Kate forged ahead without a promise of confidentiality, knowing that Jennifer would understand the request once she realized that the sensitive information was about Lucas. Jennifer said she was aware that Lucas had recently started drinking again, and she added that he had started ignoring her phone calls after she had offered to take him to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
Kate explained with a sigh that she had tried to help Lucas, as well, but had only made things worse. Kate expected Jennifer to judge her for firing Lucas, but Jennifer understood that it had been a business decision. "No, it wasn't just about the business. I...I feel so helpless as a parent, watching my child lose to an addiction, and I thought that I could give him a wake-up call, [but] I think that it just all backfired," Kate tearfully clarified. Stressing that there were no easy answers, Jennifer advised Kate, "I think that you need to let him hit rock bottom, and then when he gets to that place, he can pull himself back up."
Kate nodded then began complaining about Adrienne's role in Lucas' downward spiral, prompting Jennifer to agree that Adrienne hadn't been acting like herself lately. "[But] when you're an addict, it's not [just] one thing that pushes you over that cliff," Jennifer pointed out. Kate conceded that Adrienne wasn't solely responsible for Lucas' return to the bottle, acknowledging, "This has been building for a long time. Lucas was never really the same after we lost Will." Kate hoped that someone would be able to get through to Lucas before it was too late.
At St. Luke's, Will told Lucas, "Hey, Dad. Long time no see." Sobbing, Lucas shut his eyes and reminded himself that Will was dead and therefore couldn't possibly be standing in front of him at that moment. When Lucas opened his eyes, Will was no longer standing in front of him. "Wait a minute -- where did you go? I didn't mean to say you weren't real!" Lucas shouted. "No, you're right," Will replied, reappearing behind Lucas.
"Look at you, Dad -- so wasted that you're hallucinating your dead son," Will continued with a shake of his head. "How did this happen? How did you fall so far?" Will asked Lucas, who quickly tucked his flask in his back pocket and claimed that he was still maintaining his sobriety. "Come on, Dad -- I'm in your head. You can't lie to me," Will countered. Sighing, Lucas wondered why Will had suddenly returned. "You tell me," Will replied.
Lucas tearfully admitted that he missed Will and thought about him every second of every day. After Lucas shared a few memories from Will's childhood -- notably, the many lullabies he had sung to Will, who had always been a terrible sleeper, before figuring out that Chuck Berry tunes were the only ones that would do the trick -- Will wondered if he was the reason Lucas had suddenly started drinking again. Lucas insisted that he would never blame Will for his return to the bottle. "[But] you gotta understand -- you were taken too soon. You were taken too soon! All I had left was the pain. I couldn't hear the music anymore. I couldn't remember the lyrics. I -- I -- I didn't know what to do. I just -- I just couldn't -- I couldn't sing to my boy. I couldn't sing to my boy again," Lucas continued between sobs.
Will pointed out that his father had managed to stay sober for quite a while after his sudden death. Nodding, Lucas explained that Adrienne had helped him stay strong. "I remember Sonny [saying] at your wedding that you were his anchor. Adrienne was mine," Lucas continued with a sigh. "Without her...[and] without you...there is no tomorrow. There is no future. The past is just full of pain, [and] that's all there is," Lucas concluded.
Will bluntly insisted that Lucas needed to deal with the fact that Adrienne had left him. "She abandoned me -- the same way Sonny abandoned you," Lucas argued, adding that Sonny was moving on with his life -- planning another wedding, in fact -- and was acting like Will had never even existed. Will replied with a shrug that he wanted Sonny to be happy. "And you should, too," Will told Lucas.
Lucas bitterly pointed out that everyone seemed to have happiness and love in his or her life -- everyone except him, of course. Will suggested that Lucas' attempts to marry Adrienne might have failed because their relationship had simply never been meant to be -- perhaps because Lucas was ultimately supposed to find happiness and love again with Sami. Scoffing, Lucas insisted that his relationship with Sami had been a disaster, adding that Will had been the only thing that had kept them from killing each other. Will disagreed, pointing out that Lucas and Sami had genuinely loved each other for quite a while. "And I know you still think about her," Will continued. "Your mom will always hold a special place in my heart. There's only one Sami Brady in this world," Lucas conceded. "Thank God," Will dryly agreed.
Lucas said he was grateful for the time he'd spent with Sami because it had produced Will and Allie; he added, however, that although he understood why they wanted their parents to get back together, that would probably never happen. Nodding, Will suggested that Lucas could always find someone else to build a life with, prompting Lucas to counter, "Have you taken a good look at me lately? I'm a belligerent drunk with no job, all right? I'm not exactly a catch." Will insisted that Lucas couldn't give up on himself -- or on love. "Son, sometimes love gives up on you," Lucas dismissively replied before taking another drink.
"Okay, fine. You want to give up? Fine. Quit. Go ahead. Quit on life. Just fall down to the bottom of that bottle and die. That's a great way to honor my memory," Will sarcastically agreed. Groaning, Lucas complained that he didn't need a lecture from his dead son because he had already gotten lectures from Kate and Jennifer. "Well, I am in your head, so you brought me here for a reason," Will argued. "Yeah, because I'm drunk," Lucas countered. Lucas warned Will that trying to convince him to enter rehab would be a waste of time, prompting Will to dryly point out, "I've got nothing but time, actually."
Lucas continued drinking, explaining, when Will sarcastically agreed that getting drunk was a great way to make everything better, that it was, at the very least, a way to numb the pain. "Is that how you want to live? Numb?" Will asked. Lucas impatiently countered, "You know what, man? Why don't you leave me alone? You aren't real! You don't exist! You're guilt, and you're conscience, and you're whiskey, all mixed together! Why don't you just rest in peace and leave me be?" Will insisted that Lucas could give up on himself but couldn't give up on the people who loved him. "Allie. Mom. Grandma. Jennifer. Hope. Abigail and J.J. My baby girl, Arianna. Dad, I am counting on you to be there for her!" Will continued. Sobbing, Lucas admitted that Gabi and Sonny wouldn't let him get near Arianna at that time because they believed that he was a bad influence on her.
"When you're like this, they're right. But you love that baby girl, and she loves you. When I showed up, you were complaining to God that you're all alone, but that's not true. We know that's not true. Maybe you're too wasted to see it, but there are so many people who love you, Dad, and if you let them in [and] let them help you, I promise, you will never be alone," Will assured Lucas. Will tried to convince Lucas to put down his flask, but Lucas tearfully insisted that he couldn't do that because alcohol was the only thing that stopped him from thinking about all the terrible things he had been through lately, including having to see Will stretched out on a slab in a morgue. "You're not taking this away from me. It's all I have left," Lucas continued. "How 'bout you hold on to me?" Will suggested, stretching out his arms.
Lucas rejected Will's offer, reiterating that Will wasn't real and therefore couldn't help him. Sighing, Will said goodbye to Lucas then disappeared. Suddenly changing his mind, Lucas chased after Will, crashed into a pew, and collapsed to the floor. Jennifer and Kate soon entered the church, having learned from Abigail that they could probably find Lucas there, and rushed to his side to try to revive him.
Brady struggles with jealousy
In the town square, Doug and Julie dined at the café. Julie talked about how impressed she was by Nicole's work at the center. Julie called Nicole an asset to the center and stated that Nicole had found her calling in life. When Julie mentioned Eric, Doug shifted his eyes away. "I hope it works out. For both of them," Julie said. Doug did not mention his conversation with Eric about Eric's feelings for Nicole.
After polishing off her French toast, Julie looked at the news on her phone, annoying Doug. When Doug called Julie out on her phone use, Julie explained that she was reading a story about the auction of Club TBD. Doug talked about the first time he had seen Julie, and she chimed in that Doug had swept her off her feet.
"You are the only magic I'll ever need," Doug said. The conversation turned to Doug's Place, and though Doug spoke fondly of his old club, he said he believed his days of running a business were behind him. With a nod, Julie announced that she needed to run an errand, and she rushed off.
At the Brady Pub, Abe appealed to Roman to leave retirement and return to the police department as the police commissioner. Citing his need to run the pub, Roman politely declined. With a grin, Roman told Abe to retire and take the job so that Roman could run for mayor. Chuckling, Abe asked Roman if he wanted to be the mayor, and Roman firmly said no before laughing. Abe asked Roman for suggestions about who could run the department.
At the police station, J.J., Lani, Hope, and Rafe discussed the pending caseload. Rafe expressed hope that Abe's plan to talk to Roman about returning as commissioner turned out well. J.J. and Lani asked Rafe and Hope if they had set a wedding date, and Rafe joked that they should talk to Hope. With a tight smile, Hope said they were in no rush. Rafe countered that he was ready to marry Hope anytime she wanted to pop over to the courthouse.
After J.J. and Lani left to investigate a mugging down on the docks, Hope pulled Rafe into the interrogation room to talk to him privately. Hope said she was embarrassed that Rafe had put her on the spot in front of their coworkers. Rafe said he had been teasing Hope, and he added that questions about their engagement were not unexpected. Hope said she had expected that Rafe would answer those questions by saying they were enjoying their engagement for a while. Hope voiced her worry that Rafe was not happy that they were waiting to marry.
Rafe admitted that he was struggling with waiting to wed Hope, and he asked Hope to cut him some slack. Hope apologized for being difficult. Rafe said he was willing to wait if that was what Hope wanted. Rafe then apologized for embarrassing Hope. Smiling, Hope thanked Rafe and kissed him. As the two made out, Doug walked into the room. Doug teased the lovebirds then he asked about Ciara. Hope promised that Ciara would return to Salem for the spring semester. When Doug asked if Hope and Rafe had set a date for their wedding, Rafe glanced at Hope, and he answered that they were enjoying their engagement.
In the park, J.J. and Lani talked about their mugging case. Lani complimented J.J. on his ability to put witnesses at ease when he talked to them. Lani noted that J.J. had a way of assuring people that the cops were the good guys, which would go a long way after Raines had damaged the reputation of the department. Leaning forward for a kiss, Lani told J.J. that he was meant to be a cop.
After canoodling in the park, Lani and J.J. returned to the police station and informed Rafe and Hope what they had learned about the mugging. The group agreed that they would not be able to marshal any resources for their caseload until a new commissioner was chosen. Right on cue, Abe walked in. Abe broke the news that Roman had declined the job offer. With a raised eyebrow, Abe said that Roman had suggested either Hope or Rafe for the job. Hope and Rafe looked at one another.
At the Horton Center, Eric pulled Nicole's nameplate out of his desk drawer and stared at it fondly. Nicole arrived with a vase of flowers and a box of belongings. After noting that the flowers were from Brady, Nicole announced how thrilled she was to be working at the center again. Nicole told Eric that she thought they made a great team. Nicole set out photos of her family on her desk, and she talked about how happy she was with her life.
Nicole and Eric then talked about the adult literacy fundraiser. Eric was worried that their last fundraiser would taint their new fundraiser because Deimos had been murdered at the previous event. When Eric noted that the murderer was still out there, Nicole choked on her coffee. After clearing her throat and cleaning the coffee off of her desk, Nicole said she did not like to hear Deimos' name. Nicole added that she wanted to focus on how her life was at that moment. With a nod, Nicole said she wanted to make a difference in the world by helping people.
With a smile, Eric said that was why he was glad that Nicole was working at the center again. Nicole grabbed her tablet and asked Eric to have a look at her latest grant proposal. Nicole walked over to his desk, handed him the tablet, and leaned over his shoulder. Eric started to sweat. Nicole asked Eric if he was okay, and Eric said he needed water. When Eric offered to get Nicole a water as well, he bumped into a man named Jason in the doorway.
Smiling, Eric said that he remembered Jason from the hospital. Jason beamed and turned toward Nicole to say that Eric had talked him through the worst night of his life. Jason explained that he had been drinking and driving and had almost killed someone in a car accident. Smiling, Jason said that he was a better man because of Eric. Eric said that Jason had changed his life, as well, because their conversation had convinced him to take the job offer to run the center.
When Jason talked about his struggles with finding work since getting out of prison, Nicole chimed in that the center had a job placement program. Jason promised to forward his résumé to Nicole. With a wave, Jason left. Nicole told Eric that she agreed with what Jason had said. "You are an amazing man," Nicole said quietly.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady stared at a text from Nicole telling him that she was at work and missed him. Brady looked over at the liquor decanters. As Brady lifted a glass to his mouth, Chloe walked in and gasped. "So, it is true. You are drinking again," Chloe said. Brady handed the glass to Chloe to show her that it was water. With a sigh of relief, Chloe said she was glad that Lucas had been mistaken.
Chloe handed Brady a gift for Holly. Brady explained that Holly was sleeping because she had been up late. With a chuckle, Chloe noted that Holly had always been a night owl. Chloe recommended Brady sing to Holly to help her go to sleep faster. When Chloe asked about Nicole, Brady explained that Nicole had returned to work at the Horton Center with Eric. Chloe raised her eyebrows in surprise, and Brady added that Julie had asked Nicole to return to work.
Changing the subject, Chloe admitted that she had an ulterior motive for stopping by the mansion. Chloe told Brady that Club TBD was up for auction, and she wanted to buy it so that she would have stability in her life and a place to sing. Chloe asked Brady for a loan. With a wide smile, Brady said he would be happy to help Chloe because it would "be silly not invest" in someone with Chloe's talents.
After Brady wrote a check and handed it to Chloe, he noted that he was happy to help someone. Brady explained that he had attempted to secure a job for Nicole at Titan, but she had turned him down to work at the center. Chloe asked Brady how he felt about Nicole's decision. Brady admitted that he had not been happy about Nicole's choice at first, but he had reached an understanding with Nicole around the situation with Eric. Chloe said she admired that Eric had been honest with Brady about his feelings for Nicole.
Brady's eyes flashed with anger. Covering, Brady said he knew about Eric's feelings, and he was surprised that Chloe knew. Brady stressed that he trusted Nicole. With a sigh, Chloe added that Nicole was crazy in love with Brady and that he did not need to worry. With a hug and a thank you, Chloe headed out to the auction. Once Chloe was gone, Brady cursed and yelled. Brady poured a glass of liquor and yelled that Eric was supposed to be his brother.
After leaving the mansion, Chloe walked over to Club TBD for the auction. Chloe was pleased to find that the club was empty, and she whispered to herself that she might be able to secure the club, after all. Julie walked in and raised an eyebrow. When Chloe asked why Julie was there, Julie said she was there for the auction too.
At the Horton Center, Nicole told Eric that she was impressed with Jason's résumé. Nicole said she was confident that they could find a job for Jason. As Nicole sat on the edge of Eric's desk, he squirmed a little. Nicole told Eric he had done a good thing, inspiring Jason and others, and she called him an angel.
Shaking her head, Nicole told Eric that she had been horrible to him. Nicole thanked Eric for not abandoning her and Holly when they had needed him. Nicole whispered that she would never forget what Eric had done, and she placed her hand on his. Eric rose to his feet and announced that he had forgotten to get their waters. Nicole raised her hand and placed it on Eric's chest. Breathing deep, Eric leaned closer to Nicole as if to kiss her.
Victor gives Brady an idea>
Chloe and Julie were surprised to learn that they would be competing against each other for ownership of Club TBD.
"Chloe, did you win the lottery or something? I mean, not to pry into your financial status..." Julie asked, adding a chuckle to mask any hint of condescension. Chloe vaguely revealed that she could easily afford to buy the club. "Then the burning question is...why on earth would you want to?" Julie wondered. Chloe explained that she was sick of being at the mercy of other people and had therefore decided to buy the club as a way of finally being in control of her own destiny for a change. "But...Chloe, dear, I'm going to outbid you, so I'm afraid you'll have to come up with [a more realistic] plan to control your destiny," Julie dismissively replied.
Chloe defensively insisted that there was nothing unrealistic about her desire to buy the club. "And why do you want to buy it? I mean, wouldn't it be a hassle and a headache for you at...this point in your life?" Chloe added, matching Julie's patronizing tone. Julie stressed that she would have no trouble running the club with her husband because, despite their age, they still had plenty of energy. "And it will be more meaningful to us because some of the happiest years of our lives were spent together [at] Doug's Place -- the club my husband used to own," Julie continued, smiling as she recalled fond memories from that time.
"[But] wouldn't your retirement savings be better spent on something a little more relaxing and less stressful than running a nightclub? Like, I don't know, maybe...another cruise?" Chloe suggested. Scoffing, Julie dismissively insisted, "Enough with the cruises! We've been to every port in the world five times over!" Julie added that she and her husband needed something creative and involving to keep their juices flowing -- and furthermore, running a club again would be a great way to give back to the town in which they had met and fallen in love with each other. "Investing in this club will be like giving a valentine to Doug -- a trophy of our great love. I can't wait to see his face when I hand over those keys!" Julie excitedly concluded. Smiling, Chloe admitted that was the sweetest thing she'd ever heard.
"So, now that you understand, you'll bow out gracefully, won't you?" Julie guessed. "Not on your life," Chloe replied, grabbing one of the bidding paddles. Stunned, Julie protested that Chloe was a newbie who didn't have the experience required to own and operate a club with any real success. "[You're] practically a dilettante!" Julie continued. Chloe pointed out that she had sung at some of the world's most prestigious opera houses during her career, but Julie dismissively countered, "I don't care if you've dueted with Plácido Domingo at the Met! That doesn't qualify you to run a successful nightclub!" Chloe warned that Julie might want to take a look at her business plan before making such assumptions, prompting Julie to dryly guess that it had been written on the back of a cocktail napkin.
Julie still didn't understand how Chloe could possibly afford such an investment, so Chloe elaborated, after pointing out that it really wasn't anyone's business, that she had found an investor who believed in her. Chloe added that, more importantly, she believed in herself. "Gone are the days of [me] waiting for someone else to give me a chance. I'm gonna create my own opportunities so [that] from now on, [when it comes to] my livelihood [as well as] my son's, I will be the one holding the cards. And this club is just the beginning," Chloe continued.
Looking somewhat impressed, Julie acknowledged that Chloe was a very determined woman. Julie added, however, that she was a very determined woman, too. "May the best determined woman win," Julie concluded, claiming a bidding paddle for herself. More potential bidders soon began arriving, including Myron, who was quick to hit on Chloe.
Forcing a smile, Chloe wondered what Myron had been up to lately. "Besides avoiding the law and getting away with it," Julie dryly added. Myron revealed that he had recently linked up with a tech firm that was operating out of Silicon Valley -- and that he had picked stock options instead of a paycheck when given the choice. "The very next week, the IPO exploded!" Myron bragged.
As the auctioneer began the auction, Chloe quietly warned Julie, "Thanks to Myron, it looks like neither one of us is gonna win." Bidding started at two hundred thousand dollars, but after various bidders, including Chloe and Julie, collectively raised the price to two hundred fifty thousand dollars, Myron suddenly jumped in and raised it to four hundred thousand dollars in an effort to quickly silence his competitors. Neither Chloe nor Julie could afford to top that, but after exchanging looks of determination, they banded together to raise the price to five hundred thousand dollars. Myron immediately bowed out, insisting that the club wasn't worth that much.
After being declared the winners of the auction, Chloe and Julie shared a celebratory hug and released squeals of excitement. They soon realized, however, that being co-owners of the club would mean having to find a way to work together. Julie started to brag that she was an easygoing boss then quickly backpedaled to acknowledge that Chloe was going to be her partner, not her employee. "[But this was] a great idea! You are gonna learn so much from me!" Julie continued. "Or the other way around," Chloe countered. "Eh, six of one, half a dozen of the other," Julie dismissively concluded before rushing off to pay her half of the bid.
At St. Luke's, Chad and Abigail filled out a questionnaire in preparation for the double wedding. "Who would have thought that getting married in a church would require so much work?" Chad mused with a sigh, finding the number of questions overwhelming. Abigail teasingly informed Chad that he was lucky he hadn't agreed to go through the Pre-Cana process, which was even more intense. Chad didn't even want to know what that was.
Some of the questions were difficult to answer, including one that challenged Chad and Abigail to name each wedding on either side of their family that had taken place at St. Luke's. For Chad, that meant recalling Kristen and Brady's wedding as well as E.J. and Sami's, the latter of which was awkward for Abigail to think about, although she admitted that she did think about it often. For Abigail, the question stirred up memories of Lucas and Adrienne's wedding -- and made her wonder how Lucas was doing. "Can you imagine? I mean, all those years of sobriety, and it's just...gone," Abigail mused. "Hopefully he gets the help he needs," Chad declared.
At another stage of the questionnaire, Chad and Abigail were both challenged to reveal whether they had ever had a child out of wedlock -- a question that was painful for Chad because of what had happened with Grace. "There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her [and wonder] what she'd be like," Chad admitted to Abigail with a sigh before jotting down those exact words on the questionnaire.
Later, Chad and Abigail returned to the DiMera mansion and found a wedding gift waiting for them in the foyer. The gift was from Laura, who, according to Abigail, was not going to be able to make it to the double wedding because she was going to be speaking at a seminar in Seattle that day. "Is that code for 'I don't approve of the groom, so I won't be joining you in celebration'?" Chad guessed. Abigail assured Chad that Laura adored him. Chad found that hard to believe, joking that Laura was probably secretly fashioning dartboards out of his pictures, but Abigail maintained that her grandmother had accepted her decision to remarry him.
Not particularly interested in opening the gift right away, Chad flirtatiously suggested, after confirming that Abigail felt like she had fully recovered from her recent stay in the hospital, that it was a good time for them to take things upstairs. Abigail admitted that she would love to retreat to the bedroom with Chad. "But I'm not gonna [do that] right now," Abigail added, eliciting a sigh of disappointment from Chad.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady entered the living room and greeted Victor, who was quick to question him about the pile of broken glass on the floor. Brady assured Victor that he was planning to clean up the mess soon -- and that it wasn't an indication that he had started drinking again, although he had considered doing so. "Damn it, Brady, get your ass to a meeting, and do it now!" Victor demanded. Brady dismissively reiterated that he had only considered taking a drink, but Victor didn't find that comforting, arguing that it was a bad sign -- especially after a recent slip -- for an addict to even think about succumbing to temptation.
"What's Nicole done now?" Victor asked knowingly. Brady defensively insisted that Nicole hadn't done anything. "Well, somebody's done something," Victor guessed, knowing that Brady wouldn't have shattered glass and considered drowning his sorrows in booze for no reason whatsoever. Sighing, Brady reluctantly shared what Chloe had accidentally revealed during their earlier conversation.
"Slip or no slip, you deserved to know [that Eric has feelings for Nicole]. Can't believe [that] bitch [Chloe] finally did something right for a change," Victor dryly mused. Victor added, at the risk of sounding like he was actually defending Nicole for once, that Brady had no reason to be upset with her if she only had feelings for him. Brady conceded that Nicole deserved the benefit of the doubt; he insisted, however, that he couldn't trust his brother at all -- and that it had been foolish of him to take his father's advice on how to handle Nicole's desire to continue working at the Horton Center.
"Seems to me that you've listened to the angel on your shoulder, and now it's time to hear from the devil," Victor suggested, adding that being selfless wasn't the best way for Brady to avoid losing Nicole to Eric. "Of course, the other solution is to dump her right now and forget the whole thing," Victor continued with an obvious hint of hopefulness, but Brady insisted that he didn't want to do that because he loved Nicole. "Then stop handing her over to your brother on a silver platter," Victor advised. Brady couldn't think of an alternative that didn't make him look like the kind of controlling jerk Deimos had been, so Victor helpfully pointed out that Brady would only look that way if Nicole could plainly see that he was pulling her strings. "[Just] find somebody else to do your dirty work," Victor concluded with a shrug.
At the Horton Center, Nicole pulled away from Eric and abruptly excused herself, claiming that she needed to run some errands during her lunch break. While passing through Horton Town Square a short time later, Nicole tried to contact Brandon, but her call went to voicemail. Abe overheard Nicole recording a message for Brandon, so he waited until she was done then informed her that her brother was at a pediatrics conference in the Twin Cities. "Oh. I could really use his advice right now," Nicole admitted with a sigh. Abe offered to be Nicole's confidant, pointing out that they had known each other for years. "[Plus], your mother was a very dear friend of mine, and I actually consider you a member of my family," Abe continued. Nodding, Nicole assured Abe that she felt the same way about him.
Accepting Abe's offer, Nicole admitted, while fighting back tears, "It's Eric. I know this is gonna sound crazy, but, um...I think I have feelings for him." Nicole proceeded to explain how she had reached that realization earlier that day, after she had found out about something Eric had done for someone months earlier. Nicole added that she didn't know what to do about her feelings for Eric because her feelings for Brady hadn't changed -- and, to make matters worse, Brady was already jealous of her relationship with Eric. Nicole fretted that things could get really ugly if Brady found out that he actually had a reason to be jealous.
Abe advised that it would be best for Nicole to find a new job because if she continued working with Eric on a daily basis, her feelings for him would probably just intensify -- especially if he felt the same way about her. Nodding, Nicole admitted that although she loved working at the Horton Center, that might be more about the company than the work itself, because she had loved working at the parish, too -- and that had been another job that had put her in close proximity to Eric each day. Abe gently warned Nicole, "Think long and hard about where you are in your life [before making a decision]. You know, maybe Brady has bailed you out of a few situations over the years, but I'm willing to bet you've done the same for him. I don't want to see you get trapped in a relationship because you feel you owe it to someone. Gratitude and love are very different things."
Nicole's cell phone chimed before she could respond, informing her that her lunch break was almost over. She thanked Abe for his advice then rushed off after he assured her that he would always be there for her.
Brady stormed into the Horton Center and forced Eric to admit that he had feelings for Nicole. Eric was quick to stress that he had never acted on his feelings -- and that, in fact, Nicole didn't even know about them -- but Brady didn't care. "How long have you been in love with her?" Brady demanded to know. "I never said that I --" Eric began to protest. Interrupting, Brady impatiently repeated, "How long?"
"I guess it started when I came back to Salem," Eric admitted. Eric tried to stress that he would never act on his feelings because Nicole was with Brady, but Brady bitterly countered, "That's never stopped you before." Realizing that Brady was talking about Kristen, Eric pointed out that she had drugged him to get him into bed with her. Ignoring that fact, Brady continued, "You always want what you don't have, [but] that's gonna stop today, 'cause you're not having her, you hear me? You're not having Nicole!" Eric maintained that he would never interfere with his brother's relationship because he wanted his brother to be happy.
"[If] you mean that, [then] I want you to do us a favor -- I want you to fire her," Brady demanded. Eric didn't think it was right for Nicole to lose her job because of something that was out of her control, and he was quick to add that she had been doing a lot of good for the Horton Center, but Brady didn't care. "[See], by firing her, you'll be able to move on with your life, [and] that's a win-win for everybody, Eric, [so] fire her," Brady ordered Eric before storming off.
When Brady got back to the Kiriakis mansion, he admitted to Victor that he was having second thoughts about what he had just done. "You did what you had to do," Victor insisted before excusing himself so he could get some Titan paperwork signed. Alone in the living room, Brady poured himself a shot of whiskey and quickly gulped it down. Meanwhile, Nicole rejoined Eric at the Horton Center. "There's something I want to talk to you about," Eric revealed with a sigh.
Lucas was horrified when he regained consciousness and realized that he was strapped to a hospital bed. When Lucas called out for help, Kayla rushed into his room and urged him to calm down. Kate, Jennifer, and Maggie soon joined Kayla in Lucas' room. "Who the hell did this?" Lucas demanded to know. Glancing at Jennifer, Kate explained, "We did. If Jennifer and I hadn't found you, you'd be dead right now."
"This is an intervention, isn't it?" Lucas angrily guessed, dismissively adding that the world wasn't going to end if he had a few drinks. Kayla clarified that Lucas had consumed enough alcohol to put him at three times the legal limit, causing severe alcohol poisoning. Lucas' loved ones tried to convince him to enter rehab, but he refused, insisting that he didn't need help. Lucas added that Kate, Maggie, and Jennifer didn't really care about him, citing Kate's decision to fire him and Maggie's decision to let Adrienne move back into the Kiriakis mansion as just two examples that proved his theory. Lucas reasoned that his family really just wanted him in rehab so he couldn't continue embarrassing them. Maggie clarified that it hadn't been her place to stop Adrienne from moving into Victor's house, and Kate added that she had fired Lucas to try to get through to him.
"Right, right -- your tough love. I remember. I get it. I do. I get it. [But] I don't want your love! I don't want your love -- tough [or] otherwise! I don't want anything to do with you! I don't want your help! I don't want you guys here right now!" Lucas spat. Jennifer tried to remind Lucas that he had a daughter to think about, but he tearfully countered, "Allie is with Sami. My son is gone. I don't have anything left. They won't even let me see my granddaughter anymore!"
Lucas forced Kayla to release him, pointing out that none of his loved ones had a legal right to keep him at the hospital against his will. After getting dressed, he stormed off, promising that he was going to go someplace where he wouldn't be a burden to anyone anymore.
Hope and Rafe both consider Abe's job offer
After learning that Julie and Chloe had purchased Club TBD, Eli went there to talk to Gabi, who was in the process of clearing out Dario's office. "This place was supposed to be his new start," Gabi mused with a sigh. Eli started to apologize to Gabi, but she quickly stopped him, pointing out that it wasn't his fault that Dario had broken the law and had consequently lost the club.
Desperate for something to do, Eli volunteered to help Gabi finish clearing out Dario's office. Eli tried to dodge Gabi's questions about his termination, but when he realized that she wasn't going to drop the matter, he reluctantly admitted that he had lost his job because his boss had disapproved of his decision to fire a gun during a hostage situation involving a civilian. "I cannot believe that you lost your job because of me!" Gabi fretted. Shaking his head, Eli clarified, "I lost my job because of me -- and I can live with that [because] if I had to do it all over again, I would do the same thing."
Gabi wondered what Eli planned to do next. Shrugging, Eli revealed that, according to Abe, a position might be opening up within the Salem Police Department in the near future. Gabi offered to get Rafe to put in a good word for Eli, prompting Eli to point out that Rafe wasn't exactly his biggest fan. "I can change Rafe's mind. I do it every day," Gabi insisted, but Eli wasn't particularly optimistic about her chances of success.
"Truth is, I'm kind of out of options here," Eli admitted. "[So] is that why you came here -- [to] tell me goodbye?" Gabi concluded. Eli assured Gabi that he wanted to stay in Salem; he added, however, that being the Martin mansion's landlord wasn't exactly his dream job. Gabi suggested that Julie might be willing to employ Eli as a bartender at the club, but he insisted that although he loved his grandmother, he had no desire to work for her. "[Then] you just have to think outside of the box [to find the right job], like Julie did when she became a club owner," Gabi advised. Eli said he would keep that in mind.
Changing the subject, Gabi wondered if Eli was still willing to be her date to the double wedding. "Of course! I just wish that you weren't dreading it so much," Eli replied. Nodding, Gabi admitted that the idea of attending the event was getting more daunting with each passing day. Eli couldn't believe that Chad and Abigail had had the audacity to ask Gabi's daughter, of all people, to be their flower girl, but Gabi clarified that Arianna was going to be participating in the double wedding because Sonny had been married to Arianna's father, Will, at the time of his death and was still considered her stepfather. Gabi added that she wanted to attend the event because she thought of each of the four people who were getting married as a friend. "[But that doesn't mean it'll be] easy to watch Chad vow to spend the rest of his life with Abigail," Gabi concluded with a sigh.
Eli told Gabi to let him know if she felt overwhelmed at any point during the double wedding. She thanked him for his kindness then jokingly added that he really didn't have to do anything else for her -- ever -- because he had already saved her life. "Well, you know what they say -- once you save someone's life, you're responsible for that person from [then] on," he pointed out. She thought that rule only applied in ninja adventure shows, but she stressed that, in any case, she had no intention of holding him to it. Smiling, he clarified, "I wasn't complaining."
Chloe went to the Kiriakis mansion to tell Brady about what had happened at the auction. Brady couldn't really picture Chloe and Julie as business partners because they weren't exactly his idea of two peas in a pod, but he was still happy for them. Chloe tried to assure Brady that she would pay off her loan as soon as possible, but he dismissed her offer, stressing that he had been happy to help her out.
Changing the subject, Chloe wondered where Nicole was hiding. Brady reported that Nicole was at the Horton Center, and he insisted, when asked, that he was okay with that. "Eric would never come in between Nicole and me, [and] even if he tried to, she doesn't feel the same way," Brady reasoned, adding that everything was going to work itself out soon enough.
Nicole rushed off to take care of a minor Horton Center crisis before Eric could carry out Brady's orders. When Nicole returned and reminded Eric that he had mentioned earlier that he needed to talk to her about something, he explained with a sigh that there weren't enough funds in the Horton Center's budget for another staff member -- and, in fact, he might even have to terminate someone just to keep the place afloat.
Chloe arrived just as Nicole was about to offer to step down so Eric wouldn't have to fire anyone. After sharing the news about Club TBD, Chloe asked for a minute alone with Eric, prompting him to encourage Nicole to take the rest of the day off. Once the coast was clear, Chloe regretfully informed Eric that she had accidentally revealed his secret to Brady earlier. "[He said he already knew], but I kind of got the feeling that maybe he didn't," Chloe continued. Nodding, Eric muttered, "That explains it."
Chloe was stunned when Eric told her about his earlier encounter with Brady. "It doesn't seem like Brady to be so sneaky," Chloe mused, finding it disturbing that Brady was forcing Nicole out of a job she loved. Eric admitted that it was going to be difficult for him to follow through with his promise to fire Nicole. "[But] Brady went through hell when Theresa walked out on him, [so] he deserves to be happy with Nicole," Eric reasoned. Sighing, Eric added, "[But] no matter what I do, she's going to end up unhappy."
Justin whistled a tune as he joined Brady in the living room of the Kiriakis mansion and began preparing his briefcase for a trip to the DiMera mansion. Eventually, Justin paused to ask Brady if the whistling was getting on his nerves. Brady assured Justin that it wasn't an issue. "Adrienne used to hate it when I whistled in the house, [but] it's funny -- it doesn't bother her anymore," Justin mused.
Knowing that Justin had never stopped loving Adrienne, Brady said he was happy that the couple had reunited. "I feel pretty bad for Lucas, though, 'cause...my God, if Nicole ever left me for one of her exes, I...I don't know how I'd get over that," Brady continued. Justin interpreted the admission as an indication that Brady was worried about the future of his relationship with Nicole, but Brady claimed that wasn't the case.
As Justin nodded skeptically, Nicole entered the mansion. "You're home early," Brady observed. "Yeah, Eric let me go," Nicole explained as Justin excused himself. "Oh, my God, Nic, I'm -- I'm -- I'm so sorry [about] Eric firing you. My God! I know how much you love the job. I'm really sorry," Brady continued after Justin left the mansion.
"[Eric just] 'let me go' home early. Why would you think he fired me?" Nicole asked Brady, who claimed that he had simply misunderstood. Nodding, Nicole revealed that Eric had, in fact, mentioned earlier that he might have to let a staff member go due to budget issues. "I think I'll tell him I'll leave," Nicole hesitantly continued, explaining, as she thought about the intense moment she had shared with Eric earlier that day, that although she loved working at the Horton Center, she didn't want to see any of its other employees get laid off. "Well, it's up to you," Brady replied with a shrug. Nicole smiled and thanked Brady for being so understanding.
Changing the subject, Nicole wondered where the kids were hiding. Brady reported that Holly was napping and Tate was at a play date. Eager to take advantage of the free time, Nicole suggestively led Brady upstairs.
Later, Nicole returned to the living room to retrieve her cell phone so she could contact Abe and thank him again for his advice. "I feel better [now]. Things are good between Brady and me, and I don't want to let what happened with Eric screw that up," Nicole told Abe, who wondered if that meant she had decided to quit her job. Nicole said she was hoping she wouldn't have to do that, even though the Horton Center was facing the possibility of having to let a staff member go due to budget issues. "[I mean], listen, I love my work, and I'm a grown-up, right? [So] I can handle seeing Eric every day," Nicole reasoned.
"Don't lie to yourself to avoid a difficult situation," Abe advised Nicole, who conceded with a sigh that he was right, as usual. "I just want you to know [that] having you back in my life means the world to me," Nicole told Abe, unaware that Brady had just joined her in the living room. After Nicole ended the call, Brady greeted her with a kiss and casually asked her, "Who were you talking to?"
Brady was taken aback when Nicole revealed that she had been talking to Abe, whom she'd had a chance encounter with earlier that day. "We had a great talk, so I just wanted to let him know how much I appreciated it," Nicole explained. Still suspicious, Brady teased Nicole for leaving their bed just to have a quick chat with Abe, of all people. "What were you guys talking about?" Brady wondered.
Nicole claimed that she had been talking to Abe about ways for the city to help the Horton Center deal with its budget issues. "Oh! Then -- then you -- you wouldn't have to quit! Well, that -- that would be great!" Brady declared, forcing a smile. After Nicole went to check on Holly, Brady contacted Eric and reiterated that Nicole needed to be fired immediately. "I'll take care of it tomorrow," Eric reluctantly promised.
At the DiMera mansion, Abigail explained to Chad that she wanted to wait until their wedding night to be with him again because she thought that would be "really sweet" -- and, after all, it wasn't like it was going to be a long wait, anyway, since the double wedding was just a few days away. Chad couldn't resist trying to change Abigail's mind but only managed to inadvertently remind her that the bed he was trying to get her into was the same one he had recently shared with someone else. "I'm not afraid that you're gonna be thinking about Gabi..." Abigail began. "I wouldn't -- ever," Chad quickly stressed.
Nodding, Abigail explained that she had lingering concerns about her mental health because of everything she had put Chad through since her return to Salem. Chad insisted that he was the only one who had made mistakes since Abigail's return, and he promised that he would never make another one because he didn't want to risk losing her yet again. Chad agreed to wait to be with Abigail again, stressing that her happiness was his main concern. "I don't get any happier than I am now," Abigail replied before giving Chad a kiss. As the couple continued kissing, Justin entered the mansion and cleared his throat to announce his presence.
Abigail happily signed her annulment papers, stressing that she didn't want anything to stop her from being able to spend the rest of her life with the man she loved. After handing the papers back to Justin, Abigail wondered if he was going to be attending the double wedding with Adrienne. Justin gave Abigail a nod of confirmation then carefully asked if Lucas was going to be in attendance. "Um...you know, Mom's not real sure what he's gonna do yet," Abigail replied. "Or if he'll be sober," Chad added. "He refuses to go back to rehab," Abigail continued. Sighing, Justin admitted that he actually felt bad for Lucas -- especially since Adrienne's change of heart had been so sudden and unexpected. "It felt to me like it happened in the blink of an eye. I can only imagine what it felt like to Lucas," Justin mused.
At the police station, J.J. and Lani questioned Hope and Rafe about Abe's recent offer, insisting that one of them needed to agree to be the next police commissioner because they were the two most qualified candidates out there. Hope and Rafe dodged the questions, but J.J. and Lani refused to drop the matter. While J.J. continued questioning Rafe during a workout in the on-site weight room, Lani continued questioning Hope at her desk.
"Don't you think it's time for a woman to have a leadership role here?" Lani argued. Hope agreed that it would be nice to see a woman in charge for a change, but she insisted that she wasn't the right woman for the job. "For one thing, I'm engaged to Rafe, [so] it would make me feel very uncomfortable, actually, to be his boss. And I would very much miss being his partner," Hope explained.
Lani countered that Hope couldn't walk away from such a great opportunity just because Rafe might resent having to report to her. "Hold on a second -- don't put words in my mouth," Hope protested, clarifying that Rafe had actually encouraged her to take the job. "Then what is the problem?" Lani asked, adding that it wasn't like Hope couldn't handle a challenge. "Well, I am always up for a challenge..." Hope agreed.
Hope insisted, after a moment of thought, that Abe never should have offered her the job in the first place because she had committed serious crimes in the past. Lani complained that it seemed like Hope, who had been exonerated for those crimes, was just trying to think of reasons to turn down the job, but Hope maintained, "[My record is] something that could be used against me. My mind is made up. Rafe is the better candidate."
Meanwhile, Rafe told J.J., "[Look], I want to marry Hope, not be her boss." J.J. wondered if Rafe was really willing to pass up such a great opportunity just because it might be awkward for him to be Hope's boss. Rafe admitted with a sigh that he would like the chance to make the Salem Police Department the best place it could possibly be; he added, however, that Hope had seniority and was more deserving of the promotion. "I'm just gonna tell [Abe] I'm not interested and clear the way for her," Rafe concluded with a shrug.
After the workout, Rafe went to look for Hope, unaware that she had already left for the day. Rafe was surprised when Lani revealed that Hope wanted him to be the next police commissioner. Meanwhile, J.J. ran into Hope in the Horton Town Square and revealed that Rafe wanted her to be the next police commissioner. Later, Hope and Rafe both contacted Abe to talk to him about his job offer.
Eric makes a decision that blindsides Nicole
Brady found Nicole in the living room of the Kiriakis mansion, trying to secure donations for the Horton Center to solve its budget issues. When he realized that she had woken up early that day just to contact potential donors, he observed that she seemed to really love her job. "I can't even believe I thought about quitting," she replied before rushing off to the Horton Center, oblivious to his annoyance.
At the Horton Town Square, Jennifer and Abigail went through a checklist to make sure that everything was ready for the following day's double wedding. When Jennifer pointed out that the obligatory bachelorette party was missing from the list, Abigail explained that she was planning to skip that part of the pre-wedding ritual. "[Who would] throw it for me -- Gabi? I mean, I'm lucky she's even coming to the wedding," Abigail reasoned. Insisting that Abigail had to have a bachelorette party, Jennifer volunteered to host the event herself. "[It'll] be awesome, [and you'll] have the time of your life," Jennifer promised as Abigail nodded skeptically.
Nicole was surprised when she arrived at the Horton Center and found Jason sitting at Eric's desk. Nicole started to apologetically inform Jason that she hadn't managed to find a job for him yet, but he interrupted to clarify that he had just been given one -- at the Horton Center. Confused, Nicole admitted that she had been under the impression that the Horton Center didn't have enough money in its budget to afford another staff member. "But if Eric hired you, he must have managed to work something out," Nicole concluded with a shrug.
After welcoming Jason to the Horton Center team, Nicole started to excuse herself so she could find a different desk for him to use. Feeling a bit awkward about knowing so much more than Nicole did, Jason explained that he was using Eric's desk because Eric was no longer working at the Horton Center. Nicole was outraged that the Horton Center's most valuable staff member had been unceremoniously fired. When Jason clarified that Eric had actually quit, Nicole insisted that couldn't be right because Eric hadn't mentioned anything about quitting when she had seen him the previous day. Shrugging, Jason elaborated, "[Look], all I know is, he called me late last night [and] told me to come in this morning. [When I got here], he told me he was leaving -- and that you'd be in charge, and I'd be taking over your duties."
Hurt and confused, Nicole wondered why Eric hadn't bothered to tell her about the sudden changes. Jason handed Nicole an envelope that contained a letter from Eric, assuming that it might answer at least some of her questions. As Nicole stared at the envelope, Jason offered her a chance to reverse Eric's decision to hire him. Nicole assured Jason that she was looking forward to working with him. Nodding, Jason rushed off to fill out his payroll paperwork. Alone in the office, Nicole opened the envelope and began reading Eric's letter, pausing from time to time to complain about the way he had chosen to handle the situation.
In the letter, Eric explained to Nicole, "There's one thing I want to make very clear: the reason I'm leaving has everything to do with you. When I came back to Salem and took the job at the Center, I brought with me so much guilt. After what I had done to Daniel, I was convinced I didn't deserve to even be alive, let alone ever find happiness. Working at the Center, helping other people, did a lot to reshape that perspective, but in the end, you were the game changer. When you forgave me, everything shifted. That we're actually friends again is beyond anything I could have ever hoped for and means more to me than you will ever know, but now that we're in a good place, I feel it's time to leave Salem."
"But you can't leave!" Nicole protested as she finished reading the letter. Jason soon returned and wondered if Eric's letter had provided Nicole with any answers. "In a way, but...it still doesn't make any sense," Nicole replied before abruptly excusing herself, leaving Jason in charge of answering the phones so she could track Eric down and talk to him before it was too late. Nicole tried to contact Eric on her way out of the Horton Center, but her call went to voicemail.
While Abigail was warning Jennifer that strippers weren't allowed at the bachelorette party -- and that cheesy games weren't allowed, either -- Eric approached and greeted them. Knowing that Eric had contacted Jennifer earlier to let her know that he had something important to tell her, Abigail rushed off so they could have some privacy, dismissing his attempts to apologize for the interruption.
Jennifer was stunned when Eric revealed that he had resigned from the Horton Center and was planning to leave Salem later that day. Jennifer tried to change Eric's mind, insisting that the Horton Center needed him, but he made it clear that his decision was final. "Does [this] have anything to do with Nicole?" Jennifer asked, knowing that Eric had always had unresolved feelings for Nicole. Shaking his head, Eric claimed that he was moving on simply because he knew in his gut that it was the right thing to do. "Okay, so maybe your time at the Center is done, but why leave Salem? Why leave your family and your friends?" Jennifer wondered. "Because as much as I know I'm gonna miss [them], just being here is a constant reminder of all the mistakes I've made [and] the people I've hurt. I need to move on, make a fresh start," Eric explained.
Jennifer suspected that Eric was actually planning to go into hiding again as a way of running from something, but he insisted that wasn't the case. "This isn't like when I came out of prison. I'm not the same person I was then -- thanks, in large part, to you. You opened my eyes [and] made me see that my life wasn't over -- that I could do some real good -- and I'm gonna take that wherever I go," Eric assured Jennifer, who hoped he meant that.
Eric tried to thank Jennifer for everything she had done for him, but she insisted that he didn't owe her any gratitude because she had been happy to help him. Jennifer stressed that she was going to miss Eric, and he admitted that he was going to miss her, too. When Eric jokingly added that he was especially going to miss Jennifer's regular attempts to fatten him up with doughnuts, she promised that she would send him a batch from time to time if he kept in touch with her at his new address. After assuring Jennifer that he planned to do that, Eric gave her a hug then rushed off.
Later, Nicole bumped into Jennifer while en route to the Martin mansion to see Eric. Nicole apologized to Jennifer then started to rush off, explaining why she was in such a hurry. "You're too late," Jennifer revealed.
Meanwhile, at the Kiriakis mansion, Brady dialed the Horton Center's number, grumbling, "Eric should have fired Nicole by now, [so] where the hell is she?" When Jason answered the call, Brady asked to talk to Nicole. "Sorry -- she's not here. But I'm taking over her duties. Is there something I can help you with?" Jason replied. Brady declined the offer and abruptly ended the call as a smile of satisfaction stretched across his face.
Chad was struggling with his wedding vows when Andre joined him in the living room of the DiMera mansion and joked, "You'd think professing your love for Abigail would be a no-brainer for you by now." Pleased that Abigail wasn't around, Andre seized the opportunity to announce that he was planning to host a bachelor party for Chad. "It is my duty as your older brother to give you an evening of debauchery," Andre pointed out.
Chuckling, Chad guessed that Andre's idea of a good bachelor party would probably involve martinis at one of Salem's finest restaurants. "Well, it's not as if [I'm] gonna throw you some crass, vulgar evening!" Andre defensively countered. Chad insisted that he didn't need a bachelor party, but Andre refused to cancel it, explaining that he wanted to do something for Chad to prove that he valued their relationship. Giving in, Chad warned Andre not to invite strippers to the bachelor party. "Of course not!" Andre agreed with a mischievous grin.
Chad soon turned his attention back to his wedding vows. After a few minutes, Chad looked up from his mostly blank sheet of paper to ask Andre something -- and saw that his brother was staring at Stefano's portrait and seemed to be deep in thought. "Wondering what kind of bachelor party the old man would be throwing?" Chad guessed. "I shudder to think," Andre replied with a chuckle.
Andre explained to Chad that he had actually been thinking about how different things would have been if Stefano had been able to raise them from birth. "We'd probably be more screwed up than we already are," Chad guessed. "Speak for yourself!" Andre countered. Chad admitted that he had always wanted siblings as a child, and Andre admitted that he had, too. "Then I met E.J., Lexie, [and] Kristen, and I felt like I was part of a family...and then they just started disappearing, one by one," Chad continued. "And you ended up with me. How tragic was that?" Andre dryly concluded.
Chad confirmed that Andre certainly wasn't the type of brother he had always imagined having as a child. "But, you know, you have your moments," Chad conceded. "You're not so bad yourself...and besides, we're stuck with each other," Andre replied. Andre thought it would therefore be wise to continue fostering a relationship with his only living brother, and Chad felt the same way, summarizing, "We should stick with each other instead of sticking it to each other. Know what I'm saying, bro?" Andre agreed with the sentiment but warned Chad, "Don't call me 'bro' [ever again]."
When Abigail returned home a short time later, Andre excused himself so he could finish making preparations for his big event. Chad nervously explained to Abigail that Andre was planning to host a bachelor party for him, prompting her to reveal that she, too, was being treated to a party later. "Thanks again, brah!" Chad called out as Andre exited the mansion. Andre paused to give Chad a glare before continuing on his way.
Abigail soon received a phone call from Justin. Abigail excitedly greeted Justin, assuming that he was calling to confirm that her annulment had been finalized, but her smile faded as she listened to what he had to say. "We might not be getting married tomorrow," Abigail informed Chad after ending the call.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Paul roused Sonny, who had been tossing and turning in his sleep. "Did I say something?" Sonny asked Paul worriedly after getting his bearings. Paul clarified that Sonny had simply seemed agitated -- presumably because he had been in the middle of a dream. "Do you remember what [it was] about?" Paul wondered.
In the dream, Sonny had been in bed with Will, celebrating their reunion. During a quick break from the celebration, Will had told Sonny, "I'm so happy that we worked things out." Smiling, Sonny had agreed, "Me, too! To think we might have ended our marriage? I am so happy I came back from Paris to be with you -- my husband. I love you so much." When Sonny had tried to pick up where he had left off with Will, Will had pulled away and asked, "If you love me, why are you marrying him tomorrow?" Paul had then appeared on the other side of the bed and demanded to know, "[Sonny], why are you thinking about Will when we're about to get married? I don't understand. I thought you loved me, [so] what's going on?"
"Do you remember what you were dreaming about?" Paul repeated as Sonny stared sadly at the empty spot where Will had been in his dream. "[It's] all fuzzy," Sonny claimed with a shrug before abruptly changing the subject, reminding Paul that they were supposed to be filling out a questionnaire at St. Luke's later that day. Paul got the hint that Sonny didn't want to talk about the dream, but he insisted that, at the very least, they needed to talk about Lucas' drunken tirade at St. Luke's. "What's there to talk about? The guy fell off the wagon. It just shows the world that some people shouldn't drink," Sonny replied.
Paul argued that Lucas was obviously in a lot of pain. "And he's not the only one," Paul continued, adding that Lucas' comments had made it clear that there were unresolved issues involving Will that needed to be discussed before the wedding. Sonny dismissively assured Paul that they could have that discussion later. Sonny then rushed off in search of fresh clothes and fresh coffee, leaving Paul looking a bit confused.
When Paul joined Sonny in the living room a short time later, Brady was in the process of planning a bachelor party. Sonny was surprised to learn that it was only for Paul, but Brady reasoned that it simply didn't make sense to have a joint bachelor party for the two grooms. "Will and I had a joint bachelor party before we..." Sonny began to protest before letting his voice trail off. "Got married?" Paul helpfully concluded for Sonny.
"It's okay, Sonny -- you can talk about Will. And your wedding to him. I'm not gonna break," Paul assured Sonny with a chuckle. "I just didn't want you to think I was comparing what he and I did..." Sonny began to explain before letting his voice trail off again. Brady interjected that Paul deserved a big farewell to bachelorhood because it was going to be his first trip down the aisle. Sonny absently agreed to the idea of separate bachelor parties then rushed off in search of food. Paul seized the opportunity to ask if the recent tension between Brady and Eric had been resolved. "[We] have an understanding," Brady vaguely replied.
Paul started to probe for more details, but Sonny interrupted, announcing that his search for food had been fruitless. Paul soon rushed off to run some errands, giving Sonny a chance to discuss business with Brady.
When Sonny tried to assure Brady that he would be ready to reclaim his position as Titan's CEO as soon as he got back from his honeymoon, Brady countered that there was no reason to change things because the company was thriving under his leadership. Stunned, Sonny insisted, "I'm the CEO. You are not." Sonny added that he had turned his life upside down to get Deimos out of Titan in time to save the company from being driven into the ground while Brady had been more concerned with "playing fugitives-on-the-run" with Nicole in Canada during that time. "And I did a damn good job, and you know it!" Sonny continued.
Brady argued that Sonny had, in fact, caused "a hell of a lot of upheaval" when he had decided to fire fifty of Titan's employees. Sonny stressed that he had only done that as a way of proving himself. Sonny added that his time behind bars had softened his perspective, leaving him determined to rehire at least some of those employees as a way of fixing his mistake. "Good idea. I already did it, though," Brady dismissively replied.
While Sonny was absorbing that news, Brady continued, "And while we're on the subject of your [jail] stint, let me tell you that you may have had your case thrown out [due to] lack of evidence, but there's still a dark cloud of suspicion hanging over you, [and] since Deimos' murder case is still open..." Sonny protested that he hadn't killed Deimos -- and had, in fact, been cleared of all charges -- but Brady maintained that Titan's shareholders -- and the general public -- might have lingering doubts about Sonny's innocence.
"[So I think] we should just keep the status quo," Brady concluded with a shrug of finality. "Screw the status quo! I earned the position of CEO, and I'm not gonna hand it over to you -- not without a fight," Sonny countered before storming out of the mansion.
After taking care of a few errands, Paul went to St. Luke's to meet up with Sonny, who arrived while Paul was on the phone with Tori, speaking to her in Japanese. Paul reported, after ending the call and releasing a heavy sigh, that his mother wasn't going to be able to make it to the wedding because his grandfather was in the hospital. "[It's nothing serious, but] she doesn't want to leave his side," Paul continued.
When Sonny suggested that it might be best to postpone the wedding, Paul said that his mother had insisted that she didn't want them to change their plans just for her sake. Paul added that he was okay with sticking with the original plan. Sonny assured Paul that they would take lots of pictures to send to Tori. Changing the subject, Sonny wondered if Paul was ready to fill out the questionnaire.
"Okay, first question -- why don't you want to talk about Will?" Paul asked.