At St. Luke's, Sonny defensively wondered why Paul was suddenly so determined to have a conversation about Will.
"Oh, come on, Sonny -- I mean, you've been acting weird since this morning," Paul pointed out, recalling how Sonny had refused to talk about a dream that had clearly had an effect on him. "Then, when we were talking to Brady, you started talking about Will, and then, all of a sudden, you just clammed up, like it was a forbidden topic or something," Paul continued. Sonny claimed that he had stopped himself in the middle of making a comment about his joint bachelor party with Will simply because he had realized that wasn't relevant to a conversation about Paul's bachelor party. "Really?" Paul asked skeptically.
Paul reminded Sonny that they were at St. Luke's to fill out a questionnaire that was meant to determine if there were any red flags that would suggest that they weren't truly compatible as partners. Nodding, Sonny glanced at one of the questions -- "Are there any habits about your future spouse that annoy you?" -- and started to make a joke about Paul's habit of leaving pistachio-dust fingerprints on everything while indulging in the snack, but Paul wasn't joking when he interrupted to stress that he hated Sonny's habit of deflecting with jokes when desperate to avoid talking about a tough subject.
"Look, Sonny, this is a conversation that we need to have, and I'm not gonna marry you until we have it," Paul added. Sonny protested that conversations about Will weren't comfortable for him, but Paul countered that they weren't exactly comfortable for him, either. Sighing, Sonny continued, "Look, this is supposed to be a really happy time for me, [but instead] I have Lucas giving me hell, [and then there's] Brady [and] all this stuff with Titan... Do you know what he told me --" Interrupting, Paul insisted that he wasn't going to let Sonny change the subject, adding, "We're not talking about Lucas or Brady; we are talking about Will."
Frustrated, Sonny started to protest, "There is nothing..." Sonny quickly calmed himself down before continuing, in a more apologetic tone, that although he had been in a bad mood lately, it had nothing to do with Paul, whom he was still excited about marrying the following day; it was simply the result of the upsetting things that had been said during Lucas' drunken tirade. Paul shook his head and warned Sonny, "[That's] not gonna work. I have known you for way too long. I know that you're keeping something from me."
Sighing again, Sonny hesitantly clarified, "Paul, it's not...that I don't want to open up to you; I just don't want to hurt you -- and I think that's what I'm about to do." After Paul insisted that Sonny could tell him anything, Sonny continued, "There was something that [Lucas] said that hit me very hard... He said I was forgetting about Will...and that is not true...because I think about him...I think about him all the time, Paul."
Paul thought that was understandable, since Sonny had loved Will and had been married to him at the time of his sudden death. Sonny reluctantly admitted, "But there's more...because last night...I had this dream... And it was -- it was...real." Confused, Paul pointed out that Sonny had previously claimed that he couldn't remember the details of his dream. "Well, that was because I didn't want to tell you. I didn't know how to tell you. [See], I dreamt that I was -- I was in our bed with Will, and he told me if I still loved him...that I wouldn't be marrying you," Sonny hesitantly explained.
Acknowledging that the dream had simply been a product of a guilty conscience, Sonny tried to apologize for involving Paul in his private struggles, but Paul insisted that it wasn't something Sonny needed to feel obligated to deal with on his own. Sonny admitted that he wasn't sure he would be able to be as understanding as Paul was being if the situation were reversed. "[Sonny, I'm sure you'd get] that you're the one that I love now [and that even though I had] loved someone else deeply -- [and had even married that person] -- at another time in my life, it didn't diminish the love that I have for you in any way," Paul predicted.
Sonny slowly realized that Paul had actually been voicing how he felt about the real situation. "Sonny, I know how much you loved Will, and I don't feel threatened by that. I'm very secure in your love for me," Paul confirmed. Sonny said he was glad to hear that, but Paul could tell that something was still troubling him. "[It's just]...you know how much I loved Will, but what's been bothering me so much [is]...did Will know?" Sonny asked worriedly. Paul guessed that Will had to have known just how much Sonny had loved him, since they had married each other, after all, but Sonny wasn't convinced.
Sonny sadly mused, "We had so many problems. I was -- I was judgmental, and I was so hard on him, just...all the time. Like, I don't even know if he realized just how strong my feelings were for him. [Or] that despite everything that happened between us, and how disappointed and how hurt I was, I never wanted our life to be -- to be over. I never wanted our relationship to be over. I -- we -- we had -- we had a daughter together, you know? We weren't just a couple; we were -- we were a family. [And] I just keep wondering...if I would have just worked on our problems -- if I wouldn't have ran away -- would things be different?"
"Do you wish they were?" Paul asked hesitantly. Sonny didn't respond at first, but when Paul repeated the question and begged for an answer, Sonny quietly admitted, "I do." Sonny quickly apologized for his response, prompting Paul to point out that Sonny had no reason to apologize for simply being honest. "Yes, [but] when I wish that things are different, I want you to know that has nothing to do with how I feel about you. You know I love you. I just wish things were different because Will would still be here," Sonny elaborated. "And the two of you would still be together," Paul concluded. Shrugging, Sonny reluctantly confirmed, "I mean...maybe...?"
"God, I hate this conversation!" Sonny added, fighting back tears. "Well, I don't," Paul countered, insisting that it was important for Sonny to voice such things.
"You lost someone that you loved -- someone you married, shared a daughter with -- [and] you lost him suddenly, tragically. [And] I know you still have a lot of complicated feelings about that -- about him -- and you've been living a long time with those feelings," Paul continued. Nodding, Sonny admitted that, for some unknown reason, those feelings were suddenly more unbearable than they had ever been before. "Because you're about to make a commitment to me, [and] there's a finality to that," Paul reasoned. "I guess that's why," Sonny agreed. Sonny was surprised that he felt so conflicted, but Paul argued that it wasn't particularly odd because Sonny was about to repeat a big step he had taken once before with another man -- a step that he had probably believed, at that time, he would never take with anyone else.
"I just feel like I'm betraying him," Sonny hesitantly admitted, adding that no one had been able to convince him otherwise with words of comfort about how Will would want him to move on with his life and find happiness again with another man. Nodding, Paul reluctantly asked if Sonny truly wanted to go through with their wedding. Sonny insisted that he did, and he added that he hadn't wanted to open up to Paul about his feelings because he hadn't wanted to put any such doubts in Paul's head. "This is about me," Sonny stressed. "[But] also about me," Paul argued, pointing out that he had his own feelings of guilt about what had happened between Sonny and Will. Sonny insisted that Paul couldn't blame himself for things that had been out of his control, but Paul countered that Sonny was doing the exact same thing.
"Sonny, I know that marrying me isn't going to change how much you loved Will," Paul began to add. Sonny confirmed that he knew that, too -- in his head, at least. "Yeah, but in your heart, I think you share the same question that I have: are you ever going to love me as much as you loved him?" Paul continued, his voice wavering as he spoke.
"I loved Will with all of my heart. I thought he was my soul mate, [and] I thought I was gonna spend the rest of my life with him," Sonny admitted. "But we had our problems, and we were both at fault. And honestly, Paul, from the bottom of my heart, I don't know if our love [would have been] enough to get through those problems," Sonny continued. "Will had so many great qualities, and we shared a lot of firsts together," Sonny concluded.
"But [Will] wasn't my first love. That was you," Sonny reminded Paul, giving him a quick kiss. A tear rolled down Paul's cheek as Sonny pulled away and continued, "A part of me will always love Will, but I want to marry you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Paul, and only you." Paul breathed a sigh of relief as Sonny leaned back in to give him another kiss.
Sonny soon turned his attention back to the questionnaire. "'I sometimes feel that my future spouse is not the right person for me to marry.' Never," Sonny assured Paul.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Bonnie entered the living room and gave Sheila a look before greeting Justin, who grumbled that there was a problem with the annulment. "What annulment?" Bonnie asked. "Abigail's," Justin answered, adding that it needed to be resolved right away. "So that our niece, Abigail, can marry Chad DiMera, right? Again," Bonnie guessed. "Right," Justin confirmed.
Justin rushed off after handing Sheila a dry cleaning receipt and explaining that he needed her to pick up his suit because he wasn't going to have time to handle the errand himself. "What, does he think I'm the maid?" Sheila asked Bonnie incredulously as soon as the coast was clear. "Yes, he thinks that, because we told him that!" Bonnie pointed out, adding that Sheila had been appointed to that particular position not as an insult but instead because it had been the only available position on the Kiriakis staff at the time. Sheila tiredly handed the receipt to Bonnie and told her to pick up the suit, stressing, "Let's remember who has the upper hand here."
Sheila added that if Bonnie didn't pay her off soon, she'd have a very revealing conversation with the cops. Bonnie insisted that she was doing everything she could to secure money for Sheila, adding, "Why do you think I'm trying to seduce the old guy?" Sheila wondered why Bonnie was focusing on Victor when Justin was younger, hotter, just as rich, and already totally into Adrienne. Bonnie clarified that she wasn't trying to seduce Victor for fun, adding, "It's for revenge on that redheaded, black-hearted Kewpie doll he married. [See], she stole my husband." Sheila was intrigued, so Bonnie promised to tell her the whole story some other time.
Chad and Abigail were fretting about Justin's earlier call when he entered the DiMera mansion and elaborated, "I'm afraid [your annulment request] got a little more complicated than I hoped it would be. We drew a judge who is...picky, and his interest was piqued by Dario's witness protection deal, so, uh, he dug a little deeper than is customary for such a routine case...[and now] he has indicated that he may be prosecuting this as a case of immigration fraud." Stunned, Abigail nervously asked if Justin was saying that being able to get married the following day might actually be the least of her problems. Justin apologetically confirmed Abigail's fear.
Chad insisted that Justin should have warned Abigail that requesting an annulment could potentially put her in danger of being investigated, but Justin defensively stressed that any other judge would have processed the annulment paperwork without batting an eyelid. "[Look], I have an idea, but it's a long shot -- and it's risky," Justin added, producing a new set of paperwork for Abigail to sign. "In essence, you'll be swearing that Dario's immigration status had nothing to do with why you married him," Justin explained. "But that's a lie," Abigail pointed out. "I didn't just hear you say that," Justin replied.
"Look, even if the judge is skeptical, he will most likely have to accept this statement because it is sworn testimony -- and he has no evidence to the contrary," Justin continued. Scoffing, Chad asked if that was really the best plan of defense Justin had been able to devise for Abigail. "You know, Chad, she actually did break the law, so I'm sort of limited [on] the number of defense strategies available to me," Justin pointed out. Acknowledging that Justin was right, Abigail reminded Chad that she was the one who had created the mess. "[But] if I lie under oath, that's breaking the law, too, isn't it?" Abigail asked. "I'm afraid you'd be in just as much trouble if you don't," Justin replied with a shrug before stepping outside so Chad and Abigail could discuss the matter privately.
Abigail was concerned about signing the document because doing so would be like saying that she had once been in love with Dario, but Chad reasoned that as long as they knew the truth -- that she had never been in love with anyone other than him -- it didn't matter if some random judge believed otherwise. Realizing that Chad was right, Abigail signed the paperwork then called Justin back inside to hand it over to him.
Later, Abigail received a phone call from Justin, who revealed that the judge had accepted her statement -- but was still reluctant to grant her annulment request without first getting a supporting statement from Dario.
At the police station, Hope and Rafe were stunned when Abe revealed that they had both expressed interest in being the next police commissioner. "I guess we should've talked to each other," Hope conceded. "And not listened to J.J. and Lani about it," Rafe agreed. Abe apologized for inadvertently creating an awkward situation for Hope and Rafe, explaining that he had simply wanted them to reach a mutual decision about the matter because they were both equally deserving of a promotion. After stressing that it would be best to get a new police commissioner in place as soon as possible, Abe left so Hope and Rafe could discuss things privately.
"Wanna wrestle for it?" Rafe asked Hope jokingly. Unamused, Hope told Rafe that the situation said certain things about their relationship. "That we want what's best for each other?" Rafe guessed. "That we were both so afraid of conflict that we were willing to deny ourselves what we both really wanted," Hope clarified. Sighing, Rafe conceded that Hope was right but added, "I like my version better."
Rafe made it clear to Hope that he didn't care about the promotion nearly as much as he cared about her, and she assured him that she felt the same way. "[And it's tough because] we've always worked together as equals, [and] if we disagree, we work it out. There's not one person lording over the other, saying, 'You know what? We do it this way; we do it my way,'" Rafe continued. Nodding, Hope complained to Rafe that things would have been much easier if Abe hadn't offered either of them the promotion. Rafe suggested to Hope that they could both turn down the promotion as a way of easily solving the problem, but she didn't like that idea.
"Now that Abe's made the offer, we can't just pretend it didn't happen," Hope reasoned. Hope added that she viewed the situation as an opportunity, not a problem, because the Salem Police Department was in desperate need of good leadership. "[And] I believe wholeheartedly that our relationship is strong enough to survive anything," Hope assured Rafe. "I agree -- and I know exactly what you're about to say," Rafe replied.
While sharing a meal in the Horton Town Square, Valerie and Eli discussed his plans for the immediate future. Eli joked that he had limited options in Salem, elaborating that if he couldn't secure a job within the Salem Police Department, he would have to settle for being a mall cop. Valerie unabashedly assured Eli that, if necessary, she would be willing to use her influence with Salem's mayor to help him get the more appealing job.
Eli insisted that he didn't want any special favors just because his mother was dating the town's mayor. Valerie argued that it would be crazy for the Salem Police Department to pass up an opportunity to have a detective of Eli's caliber on the force, but he pointed out that she was more than a little biased. "[Besides], you just want me to stay here in Salem," Eli added. "I'm not the only one," Valerie stressed, knowingly adding that Julie would probably have a few choice words for Abe if he didn't do everything in his power to prevent Eli from leaving Salem.
Abe arrived in time to hear what was being discussed, so he vaguely reported that at least one detective within the Salem Police Department might be in need of a new partner soon, and he confirmed that he was indeed doing everything in his power to ensure that Eli would be chosen to fill the void. Eli thanked Abe for the support. Abe soon stepped aside to take a phone call from Hope. Once the coast was clear, Eli asked Valerie not to give Abe a hard time if things didn't work out. "I don't think I'll have to, because I have absolute faith that [he'll] come through for us," Valerie replied.
Valerie added that Eli was extremely important to her, and she was really happy that they had managed to get through their rocky patch. Eli assured Valerie that he was happy about that, too. Valerie gave Eli a hug then excused herself so she could get back to work. Sheila soon approached Eli and sarcastically told him, "That was so sweet." Eli tensed as Sheila added, "Eli Grant -- long time no see."
Hope and Rafe summoned Abe back to the police station to let him know that they had reached a decision. "We both want to keep our hats in the ring, and we're fine with whatever you decide," Rafe began. "You're the boss, [so] you get to choose," Hope added.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Bonnie joined Victor in the living room, wearing a nightgown that wasn't tied tightly enough to hide the revealing lingerie underneath, and claimed with an exaggerated yawn that she had just woken up because her bed was so comfortable that she found it increasingly difficult to resist spending all her time there. Picking up a bowl of honeydew melon and cantaloupe that Sheila had been instructed to leave out on the coffee table earlier, Bonnie continued, "Victor, would you like to sample my melons?" Victor declined with a sigh of annoyance, dryly stating that melon -- and certain other things -- had a tendency to give him dyspepsia.
The mansion's landline phone soon began ringing, and when Victor realized who was calling, he made it clear that he wanted some privacy. Once the coast was clear, Victor reminded Xander, "I told you not to call me again." Chuckling, Xander admitted that it had taken him a lot of time and effort to get close to a phone again because Victor had so much influence within the Greek prison system. "But I really wanted you to know that I haven't forgotten all the promises you never kept," Xander continued. "That's because you didn't keep yours," Victor countered. When Xander made it clear that his next call would be to the Salem Police Department unless Victor got a lot more accommodating in a hurry, Victor reluctantly promised, "I'll see what I can do."
"You'd better not be stringing me along again...because God knows you wouldn't want me broadcasting to the world that you plotted the murder of Deimos Kiriakis," Xander warned Victor -- as Bonnie listened to the conversation from the foyer with the help of a paired handset.
Abigail tracks down Dario
After the Brady Pub was shut down early for Paul's bachelor party, Brady sat at the bar and made calls to finalize plans for the blowout. When Brady called Nicole, her phone went to voicemail. Brady gritted his teeth and stared at the liquor behind the bar. Nicole walked in, breaking the spell. Nicole said she had big news, and she prefaced her explanation by thanking Brady for supporting her decision to work at the center. Nicole told Brady that Eric had appointed her the new director at the center.
Noting the confused look on Brady's face, Nicole said that Eric had quit his job and had left Salem. Nicole handed Eric's letter to Brady. Stunned, Brady read Eric's goodbye. Brady told Nicole that he was proud of Nicole for her promotion. With a smile, Nicole thanked Brady and wished him well on his guys' night.
At his cabin, Eric was staring at a photo of Nicole when Marlena knocked on his front door. Eric ushered his mother inside to talk. Marlena asked Eric why he had not told her goodbye. With a shrug, Eric explained that he'd known that Marlena would attempt to talk him into staying in Salem. Marlena blamed Nicole for Eric's abrupt exit. Eric admitted that his feelings for Nicole had made staying in Salem impossible. With a sigh, Marlena said she was disappointed that Eric had left his work.
Eric interrupted to note that Nicole had been the reason for a large part of his success at the center and that he was confident she would do a great job as director. With a sad smile, Marlena told Eric that he lit up when he talked about Nicole. Eric pleaded with Marlena not to tell anyone about his feelings for Nicole. Marlena agreed, but she added that she hoped there would be another option so that Eric could return home.
After Marlena left, Brady called Eric on his cell phone. Brady yelled at Eric about not sticking to the plan. Upset, Brady accused Eric of quitting his job so that Brady would feel guilty and let him continue to work with Nicole. Eric calmly explained that the situation was not fair to any of them but that Brady had gotten what he'd wanted. Brady disagreed.
"I didn't ask you to leave your loved ones behind," Brady said sadly. "Like Nicole?" Eric countered. As Brady remained silent, Eric said he had no intention of compromising Brady or Nicole's happiness. Eric told Brady that he loved him and would miss him. Brady said the same thing in response. As Brady hung up the phone, Nicole returned to the pub to pick up something she had left behind.
Seeing the tears in Brady's eyes, Nicole asked what was wrong. Brady admitted that he had called Eric and begged him not to leave town. Brady said Eric had made up his mind. Nicole urged Brady not to take the news too hard. "It's not like you're the one who made him leave," Nicole said. Brady shifted his eyes away guiltily, and he wiped the tears off his cheeks. Nicole urged Brady to enjoy the bachelor party then she left. Outside the pub, Nicole stared at the letter from Eric.
When Nicole returned to the Kiriakis mansion, she stopped on the front porch and pulled out her phone. Nicole thought of her close call when she had almost kissed Eric and when she had confessed her feelings about Eric to Abe. Nicole whispered to herself that she needed to let Eric go. Unable to stop herself, Nicole called Eric. Nicole demanded to know why Eric had left Salem. Eric told Nicole that his reasons were in the letter he had written to her. Fighting tears, Nicole said she had wanted a chance to say goodbye. Eric said goodbye and hung up the phone.
At the pub, Marlena arrived with a gift from John. Brady was alone in the pub. Marlena explained that John would be unable to attend the party because he had been unable to find a substitute coach to take over his little league team for the evening. Smiling, Brady said he understood. Marlena changed the subject to Eric. When Brady asked Marlena if she knew why Eric was leaving, she said that Eric had told her that he had accomplished what he had wanted to do at the center and was ready to move on. Marlena admitted she was heartbroken. Brady pulled Marlena into his arms for a hug, and he whispered that he was sorry.
In the DiMera living room, Abigail informed Chad that she could not secure an annulment for her marriage to Dario because the judge had required a sworn affidavit from her wayward husband. With no information on where to find Dario, Chad suggested that they talk to Rafe. Chad vowed to secure an annulment so that he could marry Abigail on schedule.
At the police station, Rafe and Hope talked awkwardly in the interrogation room while they waited for Abe to announce his decision about who should be the next police commissioner. Finally, Hope and Rafe expressed their support to and for one another for the job. Both swore that they would support Abe's decision regardless of whom he picked. Chad and Abigail arrived, and they asked Rafe for help tracking down Dario. Rafe was sympathetic but unable to provide any information to help Chad and Abigail. Chad assured Abigail that there would still be a double wedding.
After Chad and Abigail left, a frustrated Rafe slammed his hand down on the desk. Rafe said he was angry that Dario's actions were still hurting Abigail. Hope urged Rafe to remain positive. Hope reminded Rafe that it was not important when the couple married but why they were marrying. With a smile, Hope noted that she felt the same way about her engagement to Rafe. Softening, Rafe promised that he and Hope would continue to make one another happy for the rest of their lives.
In the square, Sheila and Eli made awkward small talk. Sheila said she had served her time in prison but was out. Eli started to reach out for a hug, but Sheila backed away. With a scowl, Sheila noted that Eli had never visited her in prison. Sheila made a snide comment about Eli's job at the FBI, and Eli admitted that he had been fired from his job. With a satisfied smirk, Sheila joked that Eli had experienced karma.
Spotting Eli, Gabi interrupted to say hello. Eli made awkward chitchat with Gabi until Sheila gave an exaggerated sigh and stepped forward to introduce herself to Gabi. Sheila said she was an old friend of Eli. With a wave, Sheila said goodbye and walked away. Eli visibly relaxed once his old friend was gone. Gabi asked for details about Eli's past with Sheila, but an uncomfortable Eli ignored the question and called out to Chad and Abigail as they approached.
Chad and Abigail updated Eli and Gabi about their problem with Abigail's annulment. Gabi was annoyed that Dario's bad behavior meant that Abigail was still paying for his mistakes. Gabi offered to help Abigail track down Dario. Surprised, Abigail asked what Gabi planned to do. Looking quickly at Eli, Gabi admitted that Dario had called her after her hostage situation with Raines. Gabi offered to call Dario. After dialing the number, Gabi handed the phone to Abigail.
Dario answered the call. When Abigail said hello, an overwhelmed Dario asked Abigail if she was okay. Abigail said she was fully recovered. Dario apologized for hurting Abigail and placing her in danger. Abigail asked Dario for help with the annulment, and Dario promised he would do whatever Abigail needed. Gabi made arrangements with Dario to secure the legal document, and she wished Chad and Abigail well.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Victor talked to Xander on the phone in his living room as Bonnie listened on the extension in the foyer. Victor threatened Xander not to tell anyone that he had used him to plan the murder of Deimos. In the foyer, Bonnie cackled to herself and noted aloud that she had "everything I need." Maggie overheard Bonnie as she entered the foyer from the kitchen. Bonnie lied and said that she had been talking to someone about a story for the paper.
With a nod, Maggie walked into the living room and announced to Victor that lunch was ready. Bonnie followed Maggie into the living room, grinning widely. Bonnie teased Victor about his phone call, and Victor raised a suspicious eyebrow in Bonnie's direction. Bonnie explained that she had not overheard the phone call but she could see on Victor's face that the call had upset him. Victor lied and said he'd been talking to someone about business. After Victor snapped at Bonnie, she muttered to herself that Victor should be careful what he said to her.
After Bonnie left the living room, Victor complained to Maggie that Adrienne was on his last nerve. Victor growled that it was no shock that Justin had cheated on Adrienne. With a grumble, Victor noted that he had not remembered Adrienne behaving so obnoxiously in the past. With a shrug, Maggie reminded Victor that Adrienne had been through a lot recently, and it had changed her. Maggie encouraged Victor to be nice to Adrienne for Justin's sake.
In the foyer, Bonnie muttered to herself that she would teach Maggie and Victor a lesson. When Sheila returned home, Bonnie berated her for leaving her post at the house. Sheila reminded Bonnie that she did not care about her job as a maid and was only waiting for Bonnie to get her the money that she owed her. Bonnie grabbed Maggie's purse from the table and gave all the money from inside the purse to Sheila. When Sheila asked Bonnie if she had a plan to get the rest of the money, a smiling Bonnie said that she had obtained explosive information she could use to get her revenge. Sheila added that she had her own plan for revenge as well.
The bachelor and bachelorette parties begin>
Before heading to the Brady Pub for Paul's bachelor party, Steve went to the hospital to give Kayla a yellow rose -- his way of letting her know that he wasn't looking forward to the party nearly as much as he was looking forward to returning home to her afterward. Kayla, who was getting ready to head to Club TBD for Abigail's bachelorette party, assured Steve that she felt the same way.
Changing the subject, Kayla acknowledged that she probably couldn't have gotten through the previous few weeks without Steve's support. Steve reassured Kayla that Joey was okay -- a fact they had finally seen for themselves during their recent visit to the admittedly decent prison where he was serving his sentence. Kayla took particular comfort in the knowledge that Steve had people inside the prison who were looking out for Joey and were providing Steve with updates on a regular basis. After informing Kayla that one of those people had actually called earlier, Steve added, "Baby, listen -- Joe is gonna make it through this. He's gonna be fine. And so are we."
As Steve and Kayla boarded a nearby elevator, they encouraged each other to have fun that night. "But if you come home with cigar smoke on your breath, I'm not gonna be happy," Kayla teasingly warned Steve.
At the police station, Rafe found Hope in one of the conference rooms, reviewing Deimos' case file while waiting for Lani to finish changing clothes so they could head to Abigail's bachelorette party together. "It's driving me crazy [that Deimos'] killer's still out there," Hope grumbled. "If you solve that before I do, you're gonna be a shoo-in for commissioner," Rafe predicted. When Hope gave Rafe a look in response, he assured her that he had been kidding. "Whatever happens, I'm gonna love you just as much as I did before you were the competition," Rafe added. "I'm gonna love you even more," Hope countered before giving Rafe a kiss.
Meanwhile, Lani emerged from the locker room and approached J.J., who complained, as he appreciatively examined her outfit, "You are going to a party -- [one] I cannot [attend] -- looking that beautiful?" Smiling, Lani thanked J.J. for the compliment and reminded him that, on the bright side, they would at least get to attend the double wedding together. "[Then] spend the rest of the day anywhere we want," Lani suggestively added.
Sonny joined Paul in the living room of the Kiriakis mansion, wearing a suit jacket that belied the true nature of the type of party he was about to attend. "The invitation said to dress for an elegant evening," Sonny explained when Paul commented on the oddity. Still confused, Paul pointed out that bachelor parties typically weren't thought of as elegant events. Sonny countered that he wasn't going to a typical bachelor party; he was going to an Andre DiMera-hosted one.
Before letting Sonny leave, Paul stressed that he was glad they had finally talked about Will earlier. "It's important for you to know that I accept [that] a part of you will always love him," Paul continued. "[As long as] you know that my future's with you," Sonny replied. Paul jokingly pointed out that Sonny's tailor was under the impression that they were simply two-thirds of a "throuple" that included Chad, but Sonny dismissively insisted that it didn't matter what the tailor believed.
Theo walked Claire to Club TBD and admitted, when she tried to thank him, that he'd had selfish reasons for offering to be her escort. "I didn't want some dude to see you [alone in your hot dress and think] he could steal my girlfriend," Theo explained. Smiling, Claire assured Theo that any guy who tried to steal her away from him would fail miserably.
After saying goodbye to Theo, Claire joined Kayla, Hope, and Lani inside the club and raved that the party decorations looked amazing. Hope was in the middle of a phone conversation but soon ended the call and announced with a sigh that Jennifer wasn't going to be able to attend her own daughter's bachelorette party -- a party she was supposed to be hosting -- because a big story was about to break, and no one else from the Spectator was around to cover it. "What about Adrienne?" Kayla asked Hope. After making sure that Lani and Claire weren't listening, Hope hesitantly revealed that although Jennifer didn't like to gossip about friends, she had mentioned recently that Adrienne hadn't been the most helpful partner since reuniting with Justin. Kayla shared that Steve had also noticed that Adrienne hadn't been acting like herself lately.
Alone at the Brady Pub, Brady contacted Nicole and thanked her for being willing to take care of the kids on her own that night so he could host Paul's bachelor party. Brady stressed that he was especially grateful because he knew that Nicole's day at the Horton Center had been a bit overwhelming. After ending the call, Brady, who was standing behind the bar, stared at the nearby bottles of alcohol for a few seconds then grabbed one and started pouring its contents into a shot glass, unaware that Paul had just arrived. "What are you doing?" Paul asked with a hint of concern. "Pouring a shot for the groom," Brady replied, chuckling nervously.
Paul declined, insisting that he planned to pace himself during the party. "Fine. Good idea," Brady said before setting the shot glass aside and grabbing two bottles of water. "Brady, when I got in here, you, uh -- you were staring at that shot like it was a long-lost best friend," Paul pointed out, adding that Brady had recently admitted that he had been struggling to stay sober lately. "Don't worry. Things [are] much better [now]," Brady replied.
At the DiMera mansion, Sonny apologetically informed Chad and Abigail that he hadn't seen or heard from his father recently. Chad and Abigail, who had both been waiting anxiously for good news, were disappointed to hear that, but they perked up when Justin arrived moments later -- with paperwork that made Abigail and Dario's annulment official. After a quick celebration, Abigail rushed off to Club TBD for her bachelorette party.
Theo soon joined Chad, Sonny, and Justin, and they all stood together in the living room, where melancholic classical music was playing in the background, and helped each other stay awake while waiting for the bachelor party to begin. Andre eventually entered the living room with a tray of drinks. "Ah, shots!" Sonny excitedly declared, reaching for one of the glasses. "No -- apéritifs," Andre clarified, adding that the drinks were low in alcohol content and wouldn't spoil anyone's appetite. "Theo, yours [is] lemonade; I just didn't want your father thinking that I was corrupting his son," Andre continued. Chad teasingly agreed that DiMeras had standards to uphold.
After toasting to Chad and Abigail, and Sonny and Paul, Andre pointed out, "You know, Sonny, your Greek ancestors, the mighty Spartans -- they are the ones who originated the bachelor party back in the fifth century B.C." Adding that the Spartans had been fierce warriors who had lived to destroy their enemies, Andre continued, "I was reminded of the Spartans when the Kiriakis family attempted to usurp the DiMera business. Fortunately, they failed miserably in their quest." Although Justin was unable to resist making a crack about the Borgias, he was quick to add that it would probably be best to avoid talking about business matters for the rest of the evening.
"Oh, I'm sorry -- I forgot myself," Andre admitted with a chuckle, agreeing that the bachelor party was supposed to be a fun event. Andre soon began passing out ascots as party favors, explaining that they were the latest rage in fashion. Chad tried to hide his embarrassment as Andre showed each guest the proper way to wear an ascot. Everyone got excited when Andre finished the lesson and produced a pack of playing cards for the next phase of the party, but Andre spoiled the mood when he clarified that they would be playing bridge instead of poker because the latter game was "kind of plebeian."
Andre started to explain the rules of bridge, but Chad eventually interrupted, teasingly hinting to his brother that the other men probably didn't have what it took to learn such a complicated game in one night. Nodding, Andre decided to skip ahead to the next phase of the party -- the screening of a film. "Can Theo see this film?" Justin asked nervously. As Sonny pointed out that Theo wasn't exactly a kid anymore, Andre obliviously answered, "Of course, [Theo] has to see it! It's the history of the DiMeras over the years! And it's scary."
After Andre rushed off to get the DVD, Sonny quietly begged Chad to do something to stop the party. Theo pointed out that Andre was trying to make it fun for everyone, but Justin insisted that it had been mind-numbing thus far. When Andre returned a short time later, Chad stammered that Sonny was really missing Paul, so it had just been decided that everyone was going to head over to the Brady Pub to crash the other bachelor party. "But we haven't even served dinner yet, and the chef has prepared this wonderful duck in a brandied sauce with cherries!" Andre protested. Chad sarcastically countered, "Damn, that sounds delicious, but [Sonny's] craving...chicken wings! He's craving chicken wings! From the Brady Pub!" Andre seemed disappointed but encouraged Chad and the other men to enjoy their "pub grub."
Meanwhile, at the Brady Pub, J.J. sent Paul to the kitchen for more chips and dip as his punishment for taking everyone's money in a round of poker. Once the coast was clear, J.J. explained to the other men -- Rafe, Roman, Steve, and Brady -- that he had chased Paul off because a stripper was en route to the pub. Rafe started to complain that he wasn't into strippers because he didn't like the idea of a woman having to take off her clothes for drunk dudes just to earn enough money to afford her rent each month, but J.J. clarified, "I don't think you're gonna have to worry about that, 'cause it's not a woman."
When Paul returned, J.J. gave the stripper the signal to enter the pub and start his performance. "I'm not sure where to look," Roman joked as the stripper, who was dressed as a baseball catcher, began removing articles of clothing while dancing for an embarrassed Paul. "Now you know how Paul felt in the Major League locker rooms," Brady replied. The stripper was soon wearing only a catcher's mask and a pair of briefs that had an athletic cup attached to the front side. After making a crack about Rafe's earlier comment, Steve approached the stripper and carefully tucked some cash behind the waistband of the briefs.
Paul was stunned when the stripper removed the mask. "Gil?" Paul asked incredulously. "Surprise," Gil replied with a shrug. As Gil began putting his clothes back on, Paul explained to the other men that they had dated for a while and were still friends. J.J. tried to apologize for the mishap, but Paul insisted that it wasn't a big deal. After Paul stepped aside to talk to Gil, the other men began lighting cigars -- except Steve, who reluctantly declined.
Gil explained to Paul that he had started stripping as a side job a few months earlier because he didn't make enough money at his "real" job. "Your last night of freedom, and you're spending it with a bunch of straight guys?" Gil asked incredulously. "What about us meeting up later? One more for old times? No strings, no expectations," Gil continued, putting a hand on Paul's arm -- just as Sonny entered the pub with Chad, Theo, and Justin.
"Look, I'm flattered that you would offer..." Paul hesitantly began to tell Gil after giving Sonny a look. "You don't have to say any more, okay? You're obviously in a committed relationship -- and, hey, I'm happy for you," Gil assured Paul, who confirmed that he was happy, too -- happier than he had ever been before, in fact. "I mean, the idea of spending the rest of my life with one man sounds great -- if that man is Sonny," Paul continued as Sonny approached. "I feel the same way," Sonny agreed with a smile. Gil rushed off to his next gig after stressing that he wished nothing but the best for both Paul and Sonny.
"Checking up on me?" Paul teasingly asked Sonny, who admitted that although that hadn't been the intention, he wasn't sorry that he had arrived in time to hear what he had just heard. "Well, now that we've wrestled with our memories of Will, I'm looking forward to our future together even more than I ever did [before]," Paul assured Sonny.
Meanwhile, Rafe confided in Steve about Abe's recent offers. Groaning, Steve admitted that he was glad that he and Kayla were in different lines of work. "Here's the thing -- I like to do my investigations my own way, [and] I really don't give a damn if I butt heads with the commissioner [in the process]," Rafe stressed. When Steve pointed out that Hope was the same way, Rafe explained with a sigh, "That's the problem."
Changing the subject, Rafe asked Steve about Joey. Steve was happy to report that it seemed like Joey was finally starting to make peace with the past. "That makes it easier for me [to handle not having him around], but Kayla -- she's just miserable without him," Steve continued with a sigh. "Well, I am certainly no expert on marriage, but...maybe you just have to accept that she's working through this differently than you are," Rafe advised.
At Club TBD, Lani informed Abigail that Gabi wasn't going to be able to attend the bachelorette party because Arianna's babysitter had canceled at the last minute. Abigail was disappointed but understood that the event probably would have been hard on Gabi, anyway. After Kayla distributed glasses of Champagne -- and sparkling cider for Claire -- she toasted to Abigail and Chad's future, and Hope added a few words of her own.
Later, after Abigail finished opening gifts -- including lingerie from Claire for the honeymoon -- Hope went to help Kayla cut the cake. Kayla seized the opportunity to question Hope about Abe's recent offers, having heard about them from Roman. Kayla pointed out that some couples might find it difficult to compete for the same position, but Hope dismissively insisted that it wasn't going to be a problem for her and Rafe.
Changing the subject, Hope wondered how Kayla had been doing lately. "I wouldn't tell this to anyone else, but, you know, just seeing [Steve] forging a life and a relationship with Tripp -- it makes me miss Joey even more," Kayla admitted with a sigh. Hope wondered if Kayla resented Steve for getting close to Tripp. "I don't want to...but sometimes, yeah, I do," Kayla confirmed with a shrug. Hope advised Kayla to share that with Steve.
Claire soon interrupted to assure Kayla that she had been keeping in touch with Joey via email and planned to visit him soon. Kayla thanked Claire, stressing that Joey really needed friends to lean on at that time.
Abigail was embarrassed when Gil entered the club, wearing a postal worker's uniform, and began stripping for her. Realizing that Abigail didn't want a stripper at the bachelorette party, Lani quickly stopped Gil's performance, paid him, and apologetically chased him off, explaining that there had been a misunderstanding. "I'm striking out everywhere tonight," Gil grumbled before leaving.
Later, Lani joined J.J. at the Brady Pub, where he was in the process of helping Roman and Brady clean dishes. Lani was stunned to hear that she and J.J. had hired the same stripper -- and that the guy was someone Paul had dated a few times. Roman encouraged J.J. to go ahead and leave with Lani then told Brady, "Love -- nothing like it, huh?" Brady bitterly agreed, "Nothing like it."
At the Kiriakis mansion, Sonny and Paul each expressed excitement about the following day's double wedding. Sonny flirtatiously suggested that Paul could spend the night with him because they weren't exactly into traditions, but Paul declined, not wanting to jinx anything. Meanwhile, at Club TBD, Abigail teased Chad with the lingerie Claire had given her. Impressed, Chad happily reminded Abigail that they had taken care of the only thing that could have stopped them from getting married the following day.
At Bayview, the patient who had recently stolen a set of keys clenched them in his fist while looking at an announcement about the double wedding.
Two couples prepare for a double wedding
At Bayview, a patient was about to receive his daily dose of medication. "He's gonna need it -- seems extra agitated today for some reason," a guard casually informed the nurse.
After strapping the patient to a gurney, the guard turned his attention back to the nurse, who was preparing a syringe, and asked if she had ever managed to find the set of keys she had lost on the day everyone had finally realized that Marlena Evans and John Black had been wrongfully committed. "No. Admin's changing the locks today, and they are not happy," the nurse replied. The guard argued that it wasn't the nurse's fault that Bayview had been in such a state of chaos on that particular day that keeping track of keys hadn't exactly been a top priority, and the nurse agreed but added with a shrug that, in any case, she was still in deep trouble.
The guard soon excused himself, promising to return for the patient later. Before leaving, the guard warned the nurse to keep an eye on the patient, but she dismissively insisted, "He'll be ready for dreamland in no time."
Alone with the patient, the nurse began to open a packet of disinfecting wipes. Meanwhile, the patient, who had managed to free his right wrist from its restraint while the nurse and the guard had been chatting, grabbed his nearby medical chart and swung it at the nurse's head, knocking her to the floor. While the nurse was unconscious, the patient hurriedly freed his other wrist from its restraint and armed himself with the syringe of medication then waited near the door for the guard, who soon returned for him. After drugging the unsuspecting guard, the patient tossed aside the empty syringe and rushed out of the room, taking the missing set of keys with him.
At the DiMera mansion, Chad struggled with his bow tie for a few minutes then gave up and asked Andre for help. "Now you appreciate my talents?" Andre pointedly replied. Getting the message, Chad thanked Andre yet again for going to the trouble of planning a great bachelor party for him. "Which part was [great] -- the part where nobody wanted to learn to tie their ascot? Or was it the part where nobody wanted to learn to play bridge? Or was it the part where everybody left before the duck was served?" Andre wondered. "It was the part where my brother loved me enough to plan a night in my honor," Chad clarified.
"And just so you know, I, uh -- I plan on devoting hours of my honeymoon to practicing stoppers and ruffs," Chad continued. Andre appreciated the gesture but teasingly guessed that Chad would probably have more important and more interesting things to do with Abigail during the honeymoon. Chad chuckled then waved his bow tie at Andre expectantly, assuming that their exchange had fixed everything. Andre still wouldn't help Chad with the bow tie but did point out that wearing a clip-on was always an option. Unamused, Chad countered, "Maybe I'll [just] wear an ascot."
Chad was relieved when Kate entered the living room and offered to help him with the bow tie; however, just as she was about to get started, he pulled away from her and stepped aside to answer a phone call, leaving her sighing in frustration. Abigail -- who had just arrived at St. Luke's with Jennifer and Thomas and had found fresh pastries and fresh coffee waiting for her there, along with a note: "On my birthday six years ago, I met the most beautiful woman in the world at Java Café. You and our son are the greatest joys of my life, and I can't wait to call you my wife again" -- thanked Chad for the gift and chatted with him for a few seconds before Jennifer rushed her off the phone, warning that she would run the risk of having to walk down the aisle in a bathrobe if she didn't start getting dressed soon. Chad said goodbye to Abigail then looked to Kate for help again.
After Kate finished tying Chad's bow tie, Andre produced a gift box. "I know [that Father would normally] present you with a more traditional gift..." Andre began to explain. "Like a small private island," Kate interjected. Andre agreed then continued, "But since we don't know where the hell he is, uh, I just took it upon myself to offer you this as a token of affection and good wishes."
Kate gasped when Chad opened the box and pulled out Andre's favorite gold pocket watch. Stunned, Chad tried to decline the gift, but Andre insisted that he wanted his brother to have it, adding, "It'll make me so happy to know that when you look at this watch, you will remember how much I value our time together -- our days past and those days [still] ahead of us."
Touched, Chad hugged Andre and thanked him for the kind words and the generous gift. After letting Andre have his moment with Chad, Kate made it clear that although she hadn't always approved of Abigail, Chad's decision to remarry his ex-wife had her full support because she could see how happy the couple was together. Smiling, Chad thanked Kate and confirmed that he was indescribably happy.
While Jennifer was taking pictures of Abigail and Thomas -- and J.J., who had just arrived at St. Luke's -- she got a bit emotional, seeing one of Jack's traits in each of them. "[Abigail], I see him in your eyes, and J.J., I see him in your smile. And I see him in Thomas' inability to sit still for five seconds," Jennifer mused. Chuckling, Abigail wished that Jack were still around. "Oh, he's here," Jennifer assured Abigail and J.J., fighting back tears.
J.J. soon made up an excuse to get Jennifer out of the room for a few minutes so he could talk to Abigail privately. When Abigail expressed concern about the possibility of something bad happening during the double wedding, J.J. dismissively reminded her, "We've talked about this [before]. Dad was always sure the worst was gonna happen, [too; it's just] in the genes." Abigail conceded that J.J. was probably right.
Paul joined John and Marlena in the Horton Town Square but declined to eat breakfast with them, explaining that he was too nervous to do so because he was waiting for a gift to be delivered to Sonny. As if on cue, Paul received a phone call from Sonny, who was at the Kiriakis mansion and had just received the gift: the vinyl record Sonny had bought for Paul in Prague earlier that year as a reminder of the song that had been playing the first time they had danced together. "That's only on loan for today. It's one of my prized possessions," Paul stressed. "You're forgetting the fine print, my husband-to-be: what's yours is mine," Sonny teasingly countered.
After saying goodbye to Sonny, Paul rejoined John and Marlena and announced that his appetite had suddenly returned. Bonnie soon emerged from a nearby store, having just purchased an expensive new dress. Spotting the group, Bonnie bowed her head and tried to dash past them without being seen, but Marlena noticed and called out Adrienne's name. "Oh! Good morning," Bonnie said, forcing a smile.
"Is that all you have to say to the man who's about to become your son-in-law?" John asked with a hint of confusion. Chuckling nervously, Bonnie replied, "Well, Jackson -- Sonny -- is a very lucky man." Bonnie practically melted in Paul's arms when he wrapped them around her while insisting that he was the lucky one because he was about to join Adrienne's incredible family. "Oh, I'm just glad my son is marrying such a young and handsome man. So strong and...virile..." Bonnie gushed, squeezing Paul tightly. When Paul, who was clearly uncomfortable, tried to pull away, Bonnie reluctantly released him and started to excuse herself.
"Shopping?" Marlena observed. Bonnie confirmed, as she patted her shopping bag, "Yes! I had to find the perfect dress, you know? I never thought I'd see this day -- my son getting married." Realizing why she was suddenly getting strange looks, Bonnie quickly added, "Except, of course, when he married Will." Bonnie tried to leave again but only managed to take a single step before Marlena called out, "Adrienne, did Justin say anything about the outcome of Hattie's hearing?" Bonnie reported that although Hattie was going to have to serve some time for her crimes, Justin had secured a fairly decent deal for her, all things considered.
Paul declared Hattie's actions downright despicable. Trying not to react, Bonnie carefully agreed, "Yeah. Shocking, right? I mean, that this horrible, terrible doppelgänger was right under our noses, and no one had any idea."
At the Kiriakis mansion, Victor watched as Justin gave Sonny a traditional Greek pre-wedding shave with a straight razor -- something Victor had done for Justin years earlier to prepare him for his own wedding. "Traditionally, family and friends gather to watch...although this is not the kind of music they generally play," Victor explained, cringing at the song that was playing courtesy of the vinyl record that had been delivered to the mansion earlier. "Well, traditionally, the groom isn't gay," Sonny countered.
Chuckling, Justin noted that Sonny had always marched to the beat of his own drum -- even as a kid, when he had insisted on wearing a Spider-Man costume to school every day. "Why am I not surprised?" Victor interjected. Sonny recalled that his mother had hated the idea, so his father had secretly washed the outfit after school each night so he could wear it under his regular set of clothes again the following day without his mother knowing -- although she had eventually caught on, of course. "I bet there was hell to pay [then]," Victor guessed. Nodding, Justin admitted that Sonny had always kept him on his toes.
"Yeah, well, you don't have to worry about that anymore, Dad. I'm Paul's problem now," Sonny joked. "Are you kidding me? I don't care how old you get, or who you marry, or how many kids you have -- you will always be my little boy, wearing a Spider-Man costume under his clothes," Justin countered with a hint of emotion before getting back to the shaving ritual.
Later, Victor toasted to Sonny with a Greek phrase that Justin translated: "To the good times that are coming." Sonny forced down a bit of his shot of ouzo then cleared his throat and admitted that although he normally wasn't a traditional guy, he was grateful that Victor had taken the time to remind him of their family's deep roots. "You're our rock," Sonny raved.
"I don't know about that. You sat in jail for weeks for Deimos' death, and I did nothing," Victor regretfully acknowledged. Justin insisted that Victor couldn't have done anything to expedite the process of getting Sonny released, anyway. "I promise you, I would have never let you take the fall for something that I did," Victor stressed. "I know that. We're good, Uncle Vic," Sonny replied.
After forcing down the rest of his shot of ouzo, Sonny rushed off to get dressed, leaving Justin alone with Victor. "I sure am glad this whole Deimos thing is over [and] behind us," Justin admitted with a sigh of relief. "Maybe not quite yet," Victor replied. After Victor told Justin about Xander's recent threats, Justin admitted that he was a bit surprised that Victor, who valued family above everything else, had even considered having Deimos killed.
"I let Deimos get away with a lot of his shenanigans, but he was responsible for Bo's death. Did people really think I'd forgive and forget?" Victor reasoned with a shrug. "I get it. Still surprised, but I get it," Justin replied, knowing that he would probably be just as ruthless if anything like that ever happened to Sonny. Changing the subject, Justin wondered how many people knew about what Xander had almost done for Victor. "Sonny, Paul, Brady... Just family. It'll stay between us," Victor assured Justin. "What will stay between us?" Bonnie asked as she entered the living room, wearing her new dress.
"We were discussing private family matters," Victor explained. "Hmm. Well, aren't I a part of this family?" Bonnie countered. Justin started to clarify Victor's comment, but Bonnie stopped him, insisting that she had understood it perfectly. "Don't you have a son's wedding to get ready for?" Victor asked tiredly. When Bonnie spun around in her revealing white dress and announced that she was already ready, Justin reminded her that only the bride was supposed to wear a white dress to a wedding. "Oh, come on! It's not Abigail's first time at the rodeo -- and besides, if she had any class, I mean, she really wouldn't wear white, you know?" Bonnie argued.
Justin maintained that Adrienne needed to wear something different to the wedding, and Victor agreed, but Bonnie protested that it had taken forever for her to find the dress -- and, in her opinion, it was the perfect choice for the wedding. When Justin promised to take Adrienne out on a date in the near future so she could show off her new dress, Bonnie reluctantly agreed to change into a green dress in Adrienne's closet that Justin loved.
"That was weird," Victor noted after Bonnie went back upstairs. Justin hesitantly conceded that Adrienne hadn't really been acting like herself lately. "Heh. That's an understatement. The other day, she threw herself at me!" Victor revealed. "She what?" Justin asked incredulously. Victor elaborated, "I was trying to have a peaceful breakfast, and she kept prancing around in this peignoir! I saw more than I wanted to, believe me!" Victor added that Adrienne had repeatedly tried to offer him her melons, prompting Justin to point out that melons gave Victor heartburn. "So does Adrienne!" Victor complained.
"She was all over me!" Victor continued. Chuckling, Justin dismissively insisted that Victor couldn't possibly believe that Adrienne had been hitting on him. "Maybe I'm just not used to her trying to be friendly with me," Victor conceded with a shrug. "I'm sure that's it," Justin agreed, but the look on his face suggested that he wasn't as confident about the matter as he was claiming to be.
At the DiMera mansion, Andre pointed out that, with Chad on his way to the Kiriakis mansion to meet up with Sonny, Kate was free to express her true feelings about the impending nuptials. Kate insisted that she had meant what she had said earlier about being genuinely happy for Chad and Abigail. "Hmm. You're getting soft," Andre teasingly concluded. "You gave [Chad] your watch," Kate countered.
Kate and Andre soon began arguing with each other about their own marriage. Andre dismissively insisted that he had repaired all the damage he had caused during his recent press conference, but Kate countered that they were going to have to start doing more than just claiming to be a real couple if they wanted to stop the DiMera Enterprises board members from being suspicious of them. "Well, we bicker a lot, we don't allow each other to finish sentences, we're always insulting each other... We are [already] a great success [as a convincing couple]," Andre joked. Unamused, Kate insisted, "We are the ones who have to make sure that DiMeras stay in control of DiMera Enterprises, and to do that, we need to work together, not against each other." Andre was willing to cooperate with Kate -- but only within the boundaries of a new set of ground rules.
"Our [current] ground rules are working perfectly, in my opinion -- separate bedrooms and no sex," Kate insisted, but Andre maintained that some new rules needed to be added to the list. Kate was happy to promise that she would never disturb Andre before he'd had his morning cup of coffee, and she also agreed, albeit more reluctantly, to stay away from Roman in the future. In exchange, Andre promised that he would never pull another public stunt at Kate's expense. "And we have to trust each other, as difficult as that may be. We have to trust each other -- for Chad," Andre added. "Fine. But you better not mess with me," Kate warned.
Changing the subject, Kate mused, "I wonder what the odds are of this wedding actually taking place. You know, there's not a very good track record for this kind of thing in Salem." Andre dismissed Kate's concern, advising her, "Don't be a cynic. Haven't you heard? True love conquers all." After admitting that Andre might actually be right for once, Kate headed to St. Luke's with him.
At the Horton Town Square, Paul told John and Marlena about what had happened during the bachelor party. When Paul got to the part about the stripper, Marlena choked on the piece of fruit she had just popped in her mouth. Paul waited until Marlena recovered then continued that Gil's appearance at the bachelor party hadn't been nearly as awkward as Lucas' drunken tirade, during which he had accused Sonny of abandoning Will.
John and Marlena were both sorry to hear that Lucas was drinking again. "Poor Sonny -- he was slammed with guilt. He started questioning himself [and] even questioned if Will knew how much he loved him," Paul reported. Marlena confidently assured Paul, "Sonny and Will may have had their problems, but Will always knew how much Sonny loved him -- and I know for a fact that Will would want Sonny to be happy now."
Paul soon remembered that he still hadn't written his vows. "Baseball, I get, but writing vows? Not so much," Paul explained to John and Marlena, who were both amused. "You've come to the right place," Marlena assured Paul. "Yeah, we know a little something about this area," John agreed. Marlena and John proceeded to tell Paul about their own wedding, but although he found their story inspiring, hearing it didn't really get him any closer to knowing how to handle his own vows. "Just be yourself. It'll all work out," John advised. "Not so long ago, I didn't know who that person was...but now, with Sonny loving me, I feel like myself -- my real self -- for the first time in my life," Paul admitted. Smiling, Marlena told Paul, "That's the beginning of your vows." Realizing that Marlena was right, Paul rushed off to find some paper so he could start writing the words down.
Alone with Marlena, John stressed that he hadn't forgotten that he still owed her another wedding. Marlena assured John that she hadn't forgotten, either.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Chad told Sonny that he was sorry about the things Lucas had said during his drunken tirade. "Yeah, it really threw me -- and Paul -- but, in a weird way, it was good, you know? Paul and I, we started to talk [about] Will, our doubts [and] fears, and our love for each other. I know what I want -- and who I want," Sonny replied. Smiling, Chad assured Sonny, "Will is cheering you on right now. I'm positive."
At St. Luke's, Jennifer presented Abigail with a special veil to wear during the wedding, explaining, "[It's the one] I wore when I married your dad." As Abigail donned the veil, Jennifer praised her for everything she had managed to survive during the past few years. "Well, I'm not hallucinating [like I was during] my first wedding, and I'm not trying to run away [like I did during] the vow renewal, so...yeah, I've come a pretty long way," Abigail jokingly agreed. Jennifer refused to let Abigail downplay the grace and strength with which she had faced her ordeals. Abigail insisted that she had learned everything she knew about grace and strength from her mother.
An alert soon popped up on Abigail's cell phone -- and Sonny, Chad, and Paul's respective mobile devices quickly began chiming, too. Each person stared at his or her cell phone in shock.
Wedding tears, laughs, and... surprises
In the Kiriakis living room, Chad and Sonny had a Champagne toast while they waited to join the wedding party at the church. At the church, Abigail was finishing her makeup as an email alert went out to citizens around Salem. Abigail gasped, "Oh, my God!" When Jennifer asked what was wrong, Abigail said there might not be a wedding because Father Louis was not available to perform the ceremony. Chad called Abigail, and Sonny called Paul. Both promised their spouses that they would find someone to marry them.
Bonnie entered the Kiriakis living room and was disappointed that Chad and Sonny were staring at their phones instead of complimenting her dress. Chad explained that they needed someone to officiate their double wedding. Sonny remembered that Adrienne was an officiant after she had registered as one for a story for the paper. Panicked, Bonnie said she could not perform the ceremony because she was too nervous. Disappointed, Sonny said he would not push Adrienne. Justin heard the tail end of the conversation as he walked into the room. Justin reminded Sonny that he was ordained, and he offered to perform the ceremony.
In the park, Gabi sat on the bench and watched Arianna pick flowers. Gabi thought about when she and Chad had ended their relationship. Eli called out Gabi's name, stirring her from her memory. Gabi said she was glad that Eli was there to escort her to the wedding. As Gabi left with Arianna and Eli, she dropped a rose on the ground. The escapee from the psychiatric facility picked up the flower and followed them.
Paul arrived at the church with Marlena and John. Marlena assured Paul and advised him to not worry, then she apologized for not officiating the wedding herself. Paul said he understood that it would be awkward for Marlena to officiate Sonny's wedding to Paul. While Paul went into the back room to get dressed, John and Marlena joined the other attendees in the church. An antsy Brady squirmed in his seat until Nicole asked if he was okay. Brady explained that he was nervous because Paul had asked him to speak during the wedding. Brady said he wanted to check in with Father Louis and left.
Rafe left Hope's side to say hello to Nicole. Beaming, Nicole said she was happy and in love. Staring over at Hope, Rafe said, "That makes two of us." Hope welcomed Theo and Claire to the wedding, and the couple said they were happy to be back together. At the back of the church, Abe told Valerie that his son looked happy with Claire. Kate walked in with Andre, and dismayed, Kate said she did not see Lucas. Kate said she hated to see her son's heart breaking. Andre thanked Kate for being devoted to Chad. Touched, Kate thanked Andre.
On the way to the wedding, Julie took Doug to Club TBD to show him what she had purchased with Chloe. Silently looking around the room, Doug nodded. Worried, Julie asked if she had been too impulsive. A smile spreading across his face, Doug said he wanted his first dance in their new place to be with Julie. A relieved Julie fell into Doug's arms as he sang to her.
At the church, unable to find Father Louis, Brady asked Victor if he had seen him. Victor suggested that Father Louis was stuck in traffic. Victor sat down with Maggie and Nicole as they talked about Lucas. Maggie lamented that alcohol would drive Lucas further into depression. Brady listened to the conversation from nearby. Looking at the bright side, Nicole said that Sonny had to be pleased to have his parents back together. Victor scoffed at the notion.
The ceremony started, and Gabi helped Arianna drop rose petals down the aisle as Eli beamed at them from the pew. As Gabi sat with her daughter up front, Sonny, Bonnie, and Justin walked down the aisle. Bonnie walked over to Victor's pew and pushed against him until Victor and everyone else moved down to make room for her. Sonny waved hello to his little girl then looked to the back of the church to watch Paul walk down the aisle with John. Paul hugged John and Marlena then joined Sonny at the altar.
Chad walked down the aisle with Kate and Andre. Chad winked at Sonny then nodded at Gabi. With a serene smile, Gabi nodded back at Chad. In the vestibule, Jennifer helped Abigail with her veil as J.J. asked Abigail how she was feeling. Abigail said she was thrilled to be marrying the love of her life, but she was sad that her father was not there. The door opened, and the wedding march began. As Abigail walked down the aisle, the crowd murmured and smiled. Jennifer and J.J. handed Abigail off to Chad then took their seats.
Justin started by thanking the crowd and explaining that Father Louis had been unable to perform the ceremony due to a family emergency. After joking about his crib sheet on his tablet, Justin talked about the collective celebration of love in the room. In the vestibule, an unknown man walked in. In the church, Justin asked if anyone objected to the wedding. The doors to the vestibule flew open, and everyone turned and saw Doug and Julie rushing in. Citing problems with the caterers, Julie shouted her apologies as she took a seat with Doug.
Justin continued the ceremony by asking for the appointed family members to speak. Brady walked to the altar and talked about the difficulties of love. Brady added that one should not give up when a relationship was hard because love made life worth living. Staring at the wedding party, Brady encouraged the bride and grooms to do whatever they could to be with the people that they loved. As Brady sat down, Andre walked to the podium. Andre said he was proud of Chad and Abigail. With a smile, Andre said that he was a better man because of them.
"When they write the story of Chad and Abigail, it will be a story of beauty, poignancy, a story of true love. A passion that is timeless. And so I want to say to them to wish them a very well deserved happily ever after, " Andre said. On his way back to his seat, Andre added that he wished happiness to Paul and Sonny, as well. As Maggie walked up to the podium, Bonnie muttered, "They asked Maggie to talk about love? Mickey must be turning over in his grave."
Maggie talked about second chances. With a smile, Maggie noted that the bride and grooms had all been given a second chance at love. Maggie said she had faith that the couples would take every day as an opportunity to love one another better than the last. Maggie added that she hoped the love of the two couples would remind everyone to take a chance on love, as well. Couples around the church looked at one another and smiled. Gabi smiled at Eli.
With the family speeches concluded, Sonny and Paul lit a candle together to signify their union. Abigail and Chad did the same. Next, Sonny and Paul read their vows to one another. Paul said, "Ever since I was four years old, I knew what I wanted to be. To throw a baseball faster and, ironically, straighter than any kid twice my age. It made me different. And it's just about as different as these feelings that I started having a few years later. So I used the first thing that made me different to cover up the second. I hid behind it."
With a smile, Paul looked over at John, who was holding a phone, recording the ceremony. Paul looked in the camera and said hello to his mother in Japanese. Paul continued, "I didn't really know who I was until I met you, Sonny. When I first saw you, I saw someone who was brave, was funny, was honest, and true to himself and what was in his heart. As I got to know this man, I saw something else. 'Cause all those feelings that I'd had, those feelings that I'd been hiding, they weren't wrong. It was through our friendship, and later my love for you, that I was able for the first time in my life to look in that mirror and see who I really was. When I was four years old, I knew what I wanted to do, but it was only until very recently that I found out who I wanted to be. I want to be the man who spends the rest of his life with you, Sonny Kiriakis."
With tears in his eyes, Sonny responded, "It's true that I was able to see who you were before you could. Or before you could admit it. But you were the one who saw how good we could be together before I had any clue at all. And now we're standing here, Paul, in front of the most important people in our lives, and they all know, and you know, that I have been in love before. And I lost that love. And for a while, I was lost, and I didn't want to be found by anyone. You helped me find my way back from a broken heart. You showed me that I could love again, and I'm so happy that it's you that I fell in love with. And as we begin this journey again, I know that no matter which direction I turn, you're gonna be there for me like you've always been. And Paul, I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that there is not another living soul on this planet that I would rather be standing here with than you."
With a chuckle, Chad said he was not ready to follow those vows. Everyone laughed. Abigail offered to say her vows first, and Chad nodded yes. "Life is surprising. I used to be really into planning. I think I got it from my mom. But it doesn't matter how much I plan 'cause I don't know what's gonna happen tomorrow. I don't know what's gonna happen in the next ten minutes, ten seconds." As Abigail laughed, a man threw open the doors of the church. Everyone turned and stared, mouths agape.