At the park, Ben told Stefan about Ted's alliance with Hope. Stefan was pleased to hear that Ben hadn't said anything while in Hope's presence that could back up Ted's kidnapping claim. "I'd never rat you out to the cops," Ben assured Stefan. "[And] now I want to get this lying snake [of a] lawyer [just as much as you do, so] what's our next move?" Ben asked eagerly.
Meanwhile, Rafe stormed into Hope and Ted's cheap motel room and demanded to know what was going on. Ted hinted with a shrug that Hope was having an affair as a way to get back at Rafe for a past indiscretion. Rafe punched Ted before Hope could explain what was really going on. Rafe didn't buy Hope's story at first but eventually decided that it was true.
Ted made it clear that Hope had hated lying to Rafe. "[But we knew] you would have insisted [on] playing by the book, which would have left me vulnerable [to] anyone at the Salem P.D. who's on Stefan's payroll! They would have tipped him off, and I would have ended up in cement shoes!" Ted explained. "You say that like it's a bad thing," Rafe dryly replied.
Rafe told Hope that getting in bed with Ted -- even just figuratively -- was a big mistake. "You are compromising your job as commissioner [and] jeopardizing everything -- and I mean everything -- in your life, [and] I can promise you, it is not gonna end well. You need to walk away from this -- now," Rafe warned Hope, adding that there were other ways to nail Ben.
"If you stop protecting me, Stefan DiMera [will] find me [and] kill me!" Ted fretted. As if on cue, Ted received a phone call from Stefan. Ted turned on the speakerphone setting so Hope and Rafe could hear both ends of the conversation. "I heard that you've been making some pretty wild allegations," Stefan began. "Everything I said about [you] is pure fact -- [you] kidnapped me [and] dragged me to some godforsaken island [then] sent [a] serial killer to get me [after I got away]!" Ted insisted. "Ted, you're an attorney -- need I remind you where the burden of proof lies?" Stefan coolly countered.
"We both know what you did," Ted maintained. "What I know is that you're making some rather absurd, inflammatory, and unsubstantiated claims that could tarnish both me and my company, and [that] needs to stop. Be advised [that] my people know where to find you, wherever you are...[but] only if the need may arise, of course," Stefan replied.
"Now two psychopaths want me dead!" Ted nervously summarized for Hope and Rafe after Stefan ended the call. "I demand that you continue to protect me!" Ted added.
Rafe sighed and reluctantly agreed to cooperate. "[But] no more secrets, [and] no more lies. We're a team," Rafe told Hope, who nodded and apologized then rushed outside to see if it was safe to move Ted back to the Horton cabin. While waiting for Hope to return, Rafe warned Ted, "If anything happens to Hope under this little arrangement, Stefan's not the one you're gonna have to worry about."
At the loft apartment, Ciara received a visit from Julie, who barged in and immediately began complaining about what had happened the previous night. "[Ben Weston walked into Doug's Place and asked] for a table for two...as though I would let [a] convicted murderer take you out on a date!" Julie dramatically revealed. "I know you're a smart woman [who is] perfectly capable of making [her] own decisions, but I want you to ask yourself, darling...what kind of 'man' shows he has the hots for you by literally trying to set you on fire?" Julie continued. Annoyed, Ciara insisted that Ben hadn't started that fire -- and was no longer a threat.
"In my long experience, I have noticed that people rarely change that much -- especially [people] like Ben," Julie skeptically countered. "He's cunning, [and] he's snowing you, just like he snowed everybody else in this town. [I mean], before he was caught, we all thought he was a nice guy," Julie continued. "[But] now he is a nice guy -- for real!" Ciara maintained.
Still not convinced, Julie warned Ciara, "Ben Weston is not your average predator. He's lethal. So, the next time you see him coming, whatever you think your feelings are, set 'em aside...and run!"
At the Horton house, Jennifer and Chad fretted about Stefan's decision to end Abigail's treatment. Chad soon rushed off to the DiMera mansion to confront Stefan, ignoring Jennifer's objections.
Ben went to the Brady Pub after receiving a text message from Ciara. "I don't really have much time right now, [because] my shift starts in a few minutes, and I have to set up for a birthday party [for] an old family friend [who] turns 84 today. [He] loves soap operas and yard work. [Anyway]...my Grandma Julie just gave me hell for getting involved with you. She thinks it's the biggest mistake I've ever made, and [she] practically ordered me to stay away from you," Ciara informed Ben. "Are you dumping me?" Ben asked worriedly. "I don't really think you can dump someone after one date," Ciara teasingly replied.
"[But] if you're asking if my grandma changed my mind about you, the answer is no," Ciara added. Ben breathed a sigh of relief then admitted with a chuckle that trying to charm Julie had been a mistake. "No one can hold a grudge like Julie Williams," Ciara agreed, also chuckling. "As much as I would love to win over your family, the only person whose opinion really matters to me is [you]," Ben stressed.
"It won't always be this way," Ciara assured Ben. "If I can see what a good person you've become, then I'm sure we can convince everyone else...[but] we're gonna need some time, so you need to get out of here, because this place is about to be filled with a ton of people who would completely, completely freak out if they found out we were together," she continued. "Right, right -- the birthday party for the family friend," he recalled with a nod. "Maybe by the time I'm 84, these people will actually like me," he jokingly added before starting to rush off.
"Almost forgot..." Ben began, turning to face Ciara again. "Would you like to go on a second date with me?" he asked hopefully. "I would love to," she replied. He smiled and nodded then quickly exited the pub.
At the DiMera mansion, Gabi curiously pointed out that Abigail was supposed to be at Bayview. "I'm Gabby," Abigail clarified. Confused, Gabi wondered when Gabby had returned. "Right after [your] pow-wow [with Abigail] at Bayview -- [you know], when you copped to framing [her]," Abigail explained. "I didn't confess to anything," Gabi claimed. "Hmm. That's not what I remember," Abigail replied.
"Doesn't really matter, [though]. I'm just so happy to be out of that rubber room. [You know], when my man laid eyes on me, he couldn't get me out of there fast enough. And now that I'm back in control, there is just one thing that I want to say to you, [and that is]...thank you. [Really], I am so grateful to you, [because] all your scheming sent Abigail over the edge, [and] now I'm free [again]," Abigail continued.
"Or this is some big performance that you, Abigail, are putting on so that Stefan can spring you out of Bayview," Gabi countered. "You're doing a pretty good job [of] keeping up with me, I'll give you that. [I mean], marrying Stefan [was] a good idea, [and] pretending to be Gabby [is] even better," Gabi continued. "So, what's next?" Gabi asked curiously. "Next, I...well, I guess I, uh, live my amazing life," Abigail replied, shrugging.
"'Amazing life'? What do you mean? Chad's gone, your entire family [has] bailed on you, [and] you've been gone for so long [that] Thomas probably doesn't even know who you are [anymore]. And now that you're [committed to] playing crazy, you're gonna lose your baby [soon], too," Gabi tauntingly countered. "Like hell I am," Abigail shot back. "Finally -- we're done playing games! I'm Gabi, [and] you're Abigail," Gabi summarized with a smirk of satisfaction. "I'm Gabby," Abigail maintained. "You might be fooling Stefan with that bull, but I'm not some lovesick puppy," Gabi dismissively argued.
"Listen to me, Abigail -- you probably have some sort of delusion where you think you're gonna get payback for what I did to you, [but you can] forget it, [because] you're screwed. [I mean], even if you manage to ditch Stefan, you do know your entire family thinks you're insane, [right]? They're gonna do whatever it takes to make sure you get back to the funny farm for a very long time. And you can cry about how I set you up and everything, [but] everybody [has already] dismissed your crazy, paranoid story, [so] no one is gonna help you, [and] no one's gonna believe you. You are completely and totally alone," Gabi continued.
"Hmm. You're right. Everyone does think that I'm crazy -- dangerous, even," Abigail conceded. "I did a pretty damn good job, didn't I?" Gabi bragged, smirking again. "Yeah, you did -- you really did," Abigail agreed. "And now that you have thoroughly convinced everyone that I'm Gabby, I'm not gonna be held responsible for my actions. I mean, you know better than anyone that I got away with murder once, right? [So], instead of slapping that smug look off your face, what if I just killed you instead?" Abigail added while cornering Gabi, who couldn't help squirming a bit.
Just then, Chad entered the mansion and wondered what was going on. "I came by to drop off some papers for Stefan," Gabi claimed. "[And] I was shocked to run into...her," Gabi added while gesturing toward Abigail, who tiredly ordered Gabi to hand over the papers then leave. "No, that's okay. I don't want to add stress to your life [by involving you in] my business with Stefan," Gabi replied before rushing out of the mansion.
Unlike Gabi, Chad refused to take orders from Gabby, of all people. "Stefan broke a promise. He has to answer for it. [See, I gave] Stefan his daughter, [and] in return, he [was supposed to] get Abigail into treatment," Chad explained while settling into one of the chairs in the living room. "[So]...what, you want Stefan to give you the baby back [now] -- the baby that you rejected because it wasn't yours?" Abigail asked, scoffing.
Chad insisted that wasn't what had happened, but Abigail disagreed. "I'm a part of her, remember? I saw, heard, and felt everything when it came to that baby, [so] I know that your hate for your brother was stronger than your love for your wife -- well, your ex-wife," Abigail summarized while taking a seat on Chad's lap. "You couldn't even look at Abigail when she was pregnant. You could barely even touch her. And your disgust for her was so strong that you had to move out of the house. All she wanted was acceptance from you, and you couldn't give that to her," Abigail seductively added before standing up and walking away.
Chad conceded that was true. "But I never stopped loving Abby," Chad insisted. "You abandoned her. You left her alone. You turned your back on her. That is not what someone who loves someone does. [And] that's why I came back -- [because] your cruelty [toward Abigail] made her split again," Abigail countered. Chad vowed to help Abigail get better again. "You really don't get it, do you?" Abigail asked, laughing hysterically. "You're not her savior anymore. You stabbed her in the back, [so] now you're her enemy," Abigail continued. "You sound crazy," Chad observed. "Hmm. Well, you can think what you want," Abigail replied.
"But the fact is, I'm in charge of Abigail now, and if I have my way -- which, let's face it, I will -- then you will never hurt Abigail again," Abigail added. Fed up, Chad exited the mansion without saying another word. Once the coast was clear, Abigail shakily exhaled, recovering from what had clearly been a difficult conversation.
While passing through Horton Town Square, Gabi contacted Kate and recapped how the attempt to plant the paternity test results at the DiMera mansion had gone awry. "[No], I am not gonna go back there, okay? I don't see a point in getting these papers to Stefan now," Gabi insisted before ending the call, unaware that Stefan was within earshot. "I'm not ready to present this particular report just yet," Gabi claimed when Stefan asked for the papers. "Okay. Whenever, then," Stefan replied with a shrug. "You're in a good mood," Gabi observed. "Things are finally going my way," Stefan vaguely explained. Gabi smirked triumphantly as Stefan walked away.
At the Horton house, Julie told Jennifer about Ciara's developing relationship with Ben. Jennifer, in turn, told Julie about Stefan's marriage to Abigail. Julie soon rushed off to the DiMera mansion to confront Stefan, ignoring Jennifer's objections. A short time later, Chad returned and told Jennifer about what had happened at the DiMera mansion. Jennifer insisted that Chad wasn't to blame for Abigail's relapse, but Chad disagreed.
At the DiMera mansion, Abigail opened the front door and found Julie standing outside. "[You know], this town already has one trouble-making Gabi; it really doesn't need another one," Julie insisted while barging into the foyer. "I'm not Gabby," Abigail spontaneously admitted to Julie. "[I just] had no choice. Pretending to be Gabby -- pretending to love a man that I, in fact, despise -- [was what] I had to do in order to get back to my daughter," Abigail explained. "[And] I'm probably gonna have to keep pretending [for a while...but] it's not like anybody's gonna believe [otherwise, anyway]," Abigail added with a sigh, confusing Julie.
"My whole family gave up on me. I kept telling them, over and over again, that [Gabi] was trying to set me up [and] take everything that mattered from me, [but] nobody listened to me -- nobody believed me -- so now I just have to find a way to prove it [on my own]," Abigail elaborated for Julie. "And why are you telling me this?" Julie wondered. "I guess because I know that you hate Gabi Hernandez, [too]," Abigail explained with a shrug.
"I know what Gabi Hernandez is capable of," Julie confirmed with a scowl. "Together, we are going to find a way to make her pay," Julie assured Abigail.
Lucas says goodbye
In the Kiriakis living room, Leo asked if Sonny had decided to marry him or not. "Why are you doing this? Why would you want to marry me when you know I love Will?" Sonny asked. Leo stressed that Sonny would be happy with him instead of Will. As Sonny started to answer Leo's question, Will walked in the room.
"Hell no!" Will barked. Will told Leo that Sonny would never love him. Leo reminded Sonny that the alternative to marriage was that Leo would hand over his incriminating pictures to the police. "Attempted murder gets you 20 to life!" Leo said chipperly. Sonny called out to Leo to stop. Sonny argued that the evidence would show that it had been an accident and not attempted murder.
"I'm not going to let you do this to Sonny," Will said. Will explained that if Leo attempted to implicate Sonny, Will would claim that he, not Sonny, had hit Leo. Sonny begged Will not to take the blame. Will countered that the photos only covered the aftermath and not the accident itself.
"I'll say I hated what was happening to you. I wasn't going to stand for it, so I showed up here, I attacked Leo, and I killed him," Will said. Sonny refused to let Will ruin his own life for Sonny. Leo reminded Will and Sonny that the photos would implicate both Will and Sonny in the coverup. Leo argued that Sonny had no choice but to marry him.
"Not necessarily," Will said as he studied Sonny's face. Sonny offered to pay off Leo to end the saga. "I can't be bought," Leo said. Sonny raised an eyebrow. Leo explained that he wanted money, power, and the Kiriakis name. With a sigh, Sonny told Will that he could not let Will suffer for his mistake.
"I was the idiot that fell for Leo. And now I'm gonna pay the price," Sonny said. Will disagreed. "We just found each other, Sonny. I'm not going to watch you marry another man," Will said. Sonny begged Will to let him fix the problem. Sonny asked Leo when he wanted to get married. "Before you get a chance to get cold feet. Now. Today," Leo demanded.
At Eli's apartment, Lani suggested that Eli should redecorate. Eli assured Lani that Sheila was looking for her own place. With a grin, Lani asked Eli to join her for lunch. Eli made a counter offer to Lani to join him and Julie in setting up the Horton Christmas tree.
"That's a family thing," Lani said. "I know. That's why I want you to come with me," Eli said. Lani reasoned aloud that their relationship was too new for such a bold step. Eli said he wanted to spend the day with Lani, and she agreed to join him.
In the town square, Julie thought about an old conversation she had had with Tom Horton. Julie remembered talking to Tom about Laura after Laura had given birth to Jennifer. With tears in her eyes, Julie cried at the memory. Julie walked over to Doug's Place and called Abigail on the phone. Julie explained that Abigail needed to hire a lawyer and prove that Gabi had been gaslighting her.
"No one is going to find out that Gabby with a Y has not really come back," Julie said. Julie promised that Abigail's secret was safe with her. "What secret?" Chloe asked. Julie spun around and saw Chloe standing behind her. Chloe asked what secret Julie was keeping from her. Julie hurriedly ended her call with Abigail.
Julie argued that her secret was about a personal matter and not about business. Chloe persisted. Unfazed, Julie reiterated that Chloe was not her friend or family, and Julie had no intention of confiding in Chloe. Chloe started to cry. Surprised by Chloe's reaction, Julie asked what was wrong.
"Lucas and I broke up," Chloe blurted out. Chloe told Julie about Lucas' decision. Through tears, Chloe said she understood Lucas' decision, but she felt blindsided. "Anyone could see that you and Lucas were not meant to be," Julie said. Julie explained that breakups were not the end of the world.
"I understand you being upset because when I was your age, every breakup seemed like the end of the world. Now I'm happy about those breakups because each one made me stronger. And each one got me closer to my one true love. You're going to be fine, Chloe. I promise, you're going to be fine," Julie advised. With a comforting smile, Julie hugged Chloe.
Outside the Brady Pub, Will told Lucas that he understood why Lucas was moving to Spain to be with Allie. Will said he would miss Lucas. "I'm grateful to have you back, and I'm proud of the man you've become," Lucas said as he hugged Will.
After saying goodbye to his son, Lucas went to visit Kate in her hotel room. Kate asked about Lucas' visit with Allie. Lucas told Kate that he had broken up with Chloe and was moving to Europe. Lucas said he was not sure how long he would be gone. When Lucas asked Kate to keep an eye on Will for him, Kate averted her eyes when she said yes. Lucas asked what was wrong. Kate said she and Will had had a disagreement.
"My issue seems to be that I'm driving you all away," Kate muttered. Lucas promised Kate that she had not driven him out of Salem. "I suffocated you, Lucas," Kate said. "Little bit," Lucas joked. Lucas added that he had always known that Kate had his back, no matter what happened.
"I really appreciate all the sacrifices you made for me to give me a good life. I know it wasn't easy. I love you. I love you with all my heart," Lucas said. Kate grabbed her son and hugged him. "I love you, too," Kate said as she started to cry.
In the Horton living room, J.J. helped Doug with the holiday decorations. "I'm hoping they will lift mom's spirits a little," J.J. said. Doug asked J.J. how he was doing. "Life is pretty good," J.J. said. J.J. talked about his job and how it had made him appreciate life. Doug said he was glad to hear that J.J. was in a better place than he had been the previous year. As J.J. and Doug rooted through the boxes of decorations, Doug mentioned that Julie wanted to invite a waitress from the club.
"I suspect there is matchmaking afoot. So, if you want me to nip that in the bud, just say the word," Doug said. "Honestly, I'm not sure I'm ready," J.J. said. Doug said he thought J.J. was still in love with Lani. With a chuckle, J.J. said he still had feelings for Lani, but he did not think they could be together again.
"There's always hope. New year dawns. Who knows what can happen?" Doug said. With a smile, Doug suggested eggnog. While Doug and J.J. were in the kitchen, Eli arrived with Lani. Eli called out to Julie, but there was no answer.
"Everyone is going to be thrilled that we are together. Just like I am," Eli said as he took Lani in his arms. Eli kissed Lani as J.J. and Doug returned from the kitchen. Eli set up the tree with Doug while Lani and J.J. talked in the corner, each confirming they were doing well. Doug asked Eli to help him with boxes, and they left the room.
"So, you and Eli are seeing each other?" J.J. asked. Lani confirmed they were. J.J. told Lani he wanted her to be happy. Lani thanked J.J. for his support, and she hugged him. Julie arrived with the mistletoe. When Julie saw Lani standing next to J.J., her eyes went wide as she said hello. Eli jumped in to announce that he had invited Lani.
"Does this mean what I think it means?" Julie whispered to Eli. Eli confirmed Julie's suspicions about his romance with Lani. As Julie turned her eyes to the tree, she announced that Doug had placed the tree too far to the left. Doug chuckled as he looked over at Eli. Julie sat down on the couch to examine the ornaments, and she gasped as she saw the ornaments for Tom and Alice. Julie told everyone that she had thought about Tom and Alice earlier.
Julie drifted off to a memory of a phone conversation she had had with Alice in the past. "I've been thinking about you and grandpa all day, so I just thought I'd call," Julie said. "I'm glad you did. Are you all right, dear?" Alice asked. After some nudging from Alice, Julie admitted that she was lonely. Alice recounted that she and Tom had thought how wonderful it would be if Julie returned to Salem.
Still in her memory, Julie said, "I didn't think grandpa ever wanted me to come back to Salem." Alice insisted, "Your grandpa wants you to be happy, dear. We both do. So, I see no reason why you shouldn't spend the holidays [at home]." With a broad grin, Julie said that she had no reason to stay away from home.
As Julie shook off the memory, Doug asked her what she had been thinking about. Julie told Doug, Eli, Lani, and J.J. the story of how she had been living in San Francisco after she had given David up for adoption. "I didn't think I could come back. I'd lost so much; it was so painful," Julie said. "But you did come back," Eli noted. Julie said that, in a twist of fate, she had been able to raise David later.
"He's gone now, but he left me two wonderful grandsons -- Scotty and you, Eli. And I learned something. When times are tough, nothing gets you through it like the love of a big, messy, wonderful family," Julie said. Julie turned her attention to the bag of mistletoe she had picked up, and she triumphantly held it aloft for everyone to see. Doug asked Julie where she had found the mistletoe. Julie explained that she had picked it up at a little stand.
"That's mistletoe pot," Eli said with a smirk. "Well, now, that's festive!" Doug commented. With a roll of her eyes, Julie muttered, "First the pot doughnuts, now this." J.J. apologized again for the book club doughnut mishap, but Doug told J.J. that the story was worth the trouble. Lucas arrived at the decorating party, and he asked about Jennifer. Doug assured Lucas that Jennifer would be home soon.
"She better hurry. I have a plane to catch," Lucas noted as he checked his watch. When Eli asked Lucas where he was headed, Julie piped up, "He came to say goodbye." Doug told Lucas he would miss him. "But you are putting your daughter first, and that is the way it should be," Doug said.
"I was just telling Eli a while ago about when I made the decision to come back to Salem. I thought I was finished with this place for good when I realized that Salem would always be my home. Just as it will always be yours," Julie said. J.J. fished Lucas' ornament out of the decorations and suggested that Lucas hang his ornament before he left. "Perfect," Julie whispered as Lucas hung his ornament on the tree.
At Doug's Place, Kate sat at the bar. Chloe asked Kate if she was there to gloat about Lucas dumping her. "No, actually. I'm not feeling particularly gleeful about anything. I miss him already," Kate said glumly. "Me, too," Chloe opined. Chloe asked if Kate believed Chloe had driven Lucas away. With a shake of her head, Kate said she understood that Lucas had decided to leave because of his daughter.
"I wish I could be angry with him, but I can't fault him for his decision," Chloe said. "He would do anything for his kids," Kate added. "He gets that from you," Chloe said with a smile. Kate was taken aback by the compliment. Chloe told Kate that Kate had raised a wonderful son with a good heart. Chloe and Kate toasted to Lucas.
After the decorating party, J.J. went over to the hospital. Theo called J.J.'s phone as J.J. walked down the hallway. "Good to hear your voice!" J.J. said. In the park, Eli and Lani walked together. Lani said she understood why Lucas was leaving town for his daughter.
"Tonight, I want to woo you properly," Eli joked. Eli asked about whether Lani was up for dinner and a movie. When Lani suggested the new sci-fi movie at the theatre, Eli wrinkled his nose. Eli explained that he was more of an action movie kind of guy. With a chuckle, Lani suggested that they skip the movie and get dinner instead.
In the square, Lucas waited for his cab. As Lucas looked around, he saw the plaque of Tom and Alice. Lucas heard Julie's words echo in his head. "Salem will always be my home, just as it will always be yours, Lucas," Julie had said. "I'll be back. Someday," Lucas said. Lucas blew a kiss at the plaque then he walked to meet his cab.
At the Horton house, Doug carried out a cake. Julie asked about the candles. Doug said he had realized that it was the 50th anniversary of the phone call that Julie had mentioned.
"How in the world did you figure that out?" Julie asked. "I guess that I know everything about you, honey. I came to Salem with less than honorable intentions, as you may recall. Then I fell head over heels in love with you. So, if it hadn't been for that fateful, wonderful day 50 years ago, I never would have had this whole wonderful life with you," Doug said. Doug lit the candles. Julie thought back on her romance with Doug through the years.
"Make a wish?" Doug asked. "Don't need to. Everything I ever wished for in life has already come true, my love," Julie said. With all the memories of their epic love story still in her mind, Julie kissed Doug.
Sonny and Leo's wedding ceremony begins
At the Salem Inn, Brady cut a shower short in order to greet a visitor -- Sarah, who sheepishly apologized for the interruption.
"I need your help," Sarah began to explain while Brady was getting dressed. "You and my mom are close, [so] I was hoping that maybe you could tell her that you started the fight [with Eric, because she] gets the final say in who gets custody of Holly, [and right now] she's afraid that Eric has some serious anger issues," Sarah continued.
"[So], you want me to lie to Maggie," Brady summarized. "[What if] Eric gets custody, and then [his] emotional issues start to rise to the surface again, and then [he] starts drinking again? [I mean], maybe Maggie's right -- maybe his emotional issues are too much right now, [and] he shouldn't parent Holly," Brady added with a shrug.
Sarah insisted that Brady wasn't being fair. "You've seen [Eric with Holly], and you know how hard he has worked on his demons, [so please]...just at least think about it," Sarah begged Brady before rushing off.
Eric entered Doug's Place and greeted Chloe, who wondered how Holly was doing. "She keeps asking about Nicole. I mean, she's young, [so] she just doesn't understand that [her mother's] not gonna come back," Eric reported. "Yeah, I remember when Parker would ask me about his father..." Chloe replied with a sigh. "Sorry -- I shouldn't have said that [to you]," Chloe quickly added, but Eric didn't mind. "Not a day goes by that I don't think about [Daniel]," Eric admitted before changing the subject, thanking Chloe for having offered to help out with Holly as needed. "If I do become her legal guardian, I'll take all the advice I can get," Eric stressed.
Chloe wondered if Eric was excited about adopting Holly. "Well, it's not final yet. I, uh...I need Maggie to agree, [and] she has some reservations..." Eric vaguely clarified. "[Because of] your fight with Brady," Chloe guessed, leading Eric to bitterly conclude that Brady had already started playing the victim with people. Chloe tried to convince Eric to make peace with Brady, but Eric maintained that Brady was responsible for Nicole's death.
Shortly after Eric left the club, Justin arrived with a document for Chloe. "[This letter] was sent to my office from an attorney in Nashville, [who said only that] he was instructed to deliver [it] to you, via my firm, on the occasion of Nicole's death," Justin informed Chloe. "Thank you...I think," Chloe replied, stunned and nervous. "I can stay..." Justin gently offered. "No, I'm -- I'm okay, I think," Chloe assured Justin.
Shortly after Justin left the club, Brady arrived to talk to Chloe about Sarah's request. "What are you gonna do?" Chloe wondered. "I don't know. I mean, as furious as I am with Eric, I know he's a good man, [so] maybe I should be in his corner about him raising Holly, [and] maybe this is how I make amends for what I did to him and Nicole. I mean, this is what Nicole wanted..." Brady replied.
"Actually...it's not," Chloe hesitantly revealed. "[Nicole wrote this] after she was forced to marry Xander. I guess she was afraid that he was gonna kill her," Chloe continued, handing Nicole's letter to Brady.
"Dear Chloe...every time I look at my precious daughter, I think of you...and the sacrifice you made to bring her into this world for me and for Daniel," Brady began reading aloud.
"Though it's perhaps unfair to you not to explain exactly what happened and why, I hope you'll accept that it's better for now that I leave out the details; all you need to know is that Brady destroyed any chance of happiness I might have had with Eric, and though my heart aches for that loss and always will, I've had to let go of any hope that Eric and I might be together again," Brady continued reading aloud, looking a bit guilty.
"Therefore, I must ask you a huge favor. Though Holly is my child and Daniel's, I know that the nine months you carried her bonded you with her in a very special way, and that because of that bond -- because you gave birth to her -- you love her with all your heart. That's why, if anything should happen to me, it's my wish that my sweet daughter be raised by you, alongside her half-brother," Brady finished reading aloud.
Sarah summoned Eric to the Brady Pub for another attempt to win over Maggie, who arrived just as Eric was bitterly insisting that Sarah shouldn't have tried to enlist Brady's help because it wasn't needed or wanted. Eric refused to apologize for being upset with Brady, reasoning that the custody debate wasn't about that, anyway -- it was about Holly.
"I have made my mistakes, but I've learned from them, [and] in no way am I perfect, but I'm wiser [now, and] Nicole's last wish was for me to raise her child -- Daniel's child -- [so] I want to honor that request [for Nicole and for Daniel, and] be the best father figure I can be for Holly," Eric stressed. "But have you really thought this through? I mean, parenting isn't a part-time job; [it's a] day after day, night after night, lifetime commitment," Maggie warned. Eric claimed to be ready for the challenge. Finally convinced, Maggie decided not to stand in Eric's way.
After leaving the pub, Maggie received a text message from Chloe. Maggie headed over to Doug's Place and told Chloe -- and Brady, who was still there -- about the decision that had just been made. "Before you make your final decision, you really need to see this," Chloe insisted, handing Nicole's letter to Maggie. Meanwhile, back at the pub, Eric and Sarah hugged in celebration of Maggie's change of heart.
Sheila was at work, not even pretending to be busy, when Abe arrived and wondered why the office was such a mess. "Oh, this isn't a 'mess' -- this is your system," she explained with a flourish, acknowledging the papers that were once again scattered around the office. "[And] I'm just trying to respect [it], because that's what it's all about -- respect...right?" she pointedly added.
Sighing, Abe again apologized for having snapped at Sheila the previous day. "Now, would you please get this all cleaned up?" he requested before starting to walk away. "You know, this job is really important to me, Mr. Mayor, and I want to be the best assistant I can be, which means I need to really understand your process, so...why don't you clean it up, and I'll watch and learn," she countered.
Just then, Leo entered the office and asked for Abe's help. "Have we met?" Abe wondered, eyeing Leo with just a hint of recognition. "Uh...I don't think so...but I was hoping that you could marry me and my fiancé today," Leo replied, flashing a smile. "I wish I could help, but it's just not possible for me to perform the ceremony today -- you know, paperwork and all that bureaucratic stuff that gets in the way of spontaneity," Abe apologetically replied. "I left several messages..." Leo began to protest. "If the mayor was more organized, he would've gotten the damn messages," Sheila pointedly interjected.
Abe offered to perform the ceremony at a later date, but Leo insisted that it had to be done immediately. Leo recalled with a jealous pout that Abe had recently agreed to help another couple on short notice. Abe explained that an exception had been made in that case because John and Marlena were longtime friends of the Carver family. "So is my groom," Leo replied. "Groom? How modern," Sheila mused with a nod of approval.
"Who are you marrying?" Abe asked curiously. "Jackson Kiriakis," Leo proudly revealed. Abe scowled and eyed Leo again. "I knew that you were familiar! You're the young man who filed suit against Sonny for sexual harassment! You nearly destroyed his life!" Abe suddenly realized. Leo dismissively insisted that had been a misunderstanding, but Abe wasn't convinced -- and refused to marry Leo and Sonny on any date.
"What a jerk!" Leo grumbled after Abe left the office. "Yeah, he can be..." Sheila agreed. "But you don't need [him]. If you want someone to marry you, I can do that. [See], I was ordained online. In fact, I was supposed to marry Sonny's old, mean uncle to my friend Bonnie Lockhart [at one point, but that didn't work out]...but that's not my fault. [Anyway], I just have to be paid -- in cash, in advance," Sheila added.
Leo paid Sheila then rushed off. Abe soon returned and found Sheila preparing to leave for the day. "You can't leave! [This office] is a mess!" Abe protested. "I got a cash-money gig [lined up to pay for] those fancy shoes I owe you, [and] I work government hours," Sheila countered with a shrug while gesturing toward a nearby clock, which showed that it was mid-afternoon. "[But] you have nothing on your schedule for the rest of the day, Mr. Mayor, so why don't you organize this just the way you like it," Sheila suggested. "What is this 'gig' that you've picked up?" Abe asked. "The one you turned down," Sheila replied before exiting the office.
While searching the hospital for Marlena, Will exchanged a series of text messages with Sonny, who was at the Kiriakis mansion. "Please don't do this. Don't marry Leo," Will begged Sonny in the first text message. "I don't have a choice..." Sonny wrote back. "I know. But I don't have to like it," Will conceded in a second text message. "It's only for now. Until we find a way to deal with Leo and those damn pictures," Sonny wrote back.
"I love you," Will stressed in a third text message. "I love you, too," Sonny wrote back. Just then, Marlena rounded a corner and spotted Will. "I, uh...I just came to, uh...came to see you," Will began to explain, sighing heavily. "Oh. Well, I was about to head out, [so] I'm glad you caught me. I've always got time for you...especially when you look like your world has caved in," Marlena replied, immediately concerned.
"I think I lost Sonny...and I don't know what to do," Will revealed with another heavy sigh. "Can I tell you something under doctor-patient confidentiality?" Will asked hesitantly. "You can tell me anything you'd like, [in] any way that you'd like, [but] just tell me," Marlena worriedly urged Will, who nodded and took a deep breath then proceeded to share the whole story.
"Clearly, this was an accident. I mean, Sonny didn't mean to hurt Leo; he was just coming to your defense," Marlena concluded after hearing all the facts. "That's not the way Leo spins it. [And with] the pictures of Sonny and me rolling Leo up in a rug and getting rid of the body the night before the trial was supposed to start... We're screwed!" Will fretted. "You're victims of a professional con man," Marlena sympathetically clarified. "There just has to be some way out of this -- or some way to buy time until we can figure a way out of this..." Marlena added. "We don't have any time. They're getting married today," Will stressed.
"What about a preemptive strike? What about just going to the police and telling them what happened?" Marlena suggested. "[It'd be] our word against Leo's, and he has those pictures," Will pointed out. "[But] you've got Justin on your side, and there's a slight chance that the police will believe the truth about what happened..." Marlena reasoned. "A 'slight' chance is not a chance I want to take. Ari doesn't need both of her dads to be in prison -- not after what happened with Gabi. [So], we've got no choice -- we [have to] do it Leo's way...for now," Will insisted.
"You know, the worst part about this whole thing is that Sonny and Leo are saying their vows in the Kiriakis mansion, where you married Sonny and me," Will sadly noted. "Sonny loves you. That hasn't changed," Marlena reminded Will. "Is this the part where you tell me that our love is gonna get us through all of this?" Will asked. "This is where I tell you that I believe in the strength and resilience of your relationship with Sonny," Marlena replied. "Maybe you're right. Maybe I should go over there. To hell with Leo's threats! [I'll] face him down [and] break the whole thing up!" Will decided after some thought, giving Marlena a look of determination.
Later, Marlena went to Abe's office to extend a dinner invitation. Abe appreciated Marlena's continued concern but was forced to decline the offer because the office was still a mess. "What happened to your trusty assistant?" Marlena asked. "She has a gig marrying some grifter to Sonny," Abe explained. "I've got a feeling she'll be back sooner than you expected -- that is, if Will has anything to say about it..." Marlena assured Abe.
Adrienne joined Sonny in the living room of the Kiriakis mansion and wondered if something was wrong. "You look like you're going to a funeral," Adrienne curiously noted, seeing that Sonny was wearing a suit and seemed quite serious. "Actually, uh...I'm going to a wedding," Sonny clarified with a heavy sigh. "Who's getting married?" Adrienne asked. "Me," Sonny revealed.
Adrienne was thrilled at first, assuming that Sonny was about to remarry Will. "I mean, it's a little fast and furious, but you and Will have loved each other for forever," Adrienne excitedly acknowledged as Sonny tried to interrupt. "[And you want the ceremony to be] small and private -- I get [that] from the lack of an invitation," Adrienne continued, assuming that Sonny was simply trying to apologize for the slight. "Will the ceremony be here, or [are you going to a] justice of the peace [this time]?" Adrienne asked, still not giving Sonny a chance to speak. "You know, if you want witnesses, your father and I would be more than --" Adrienne began to offer.
"Mom!" Sonny shouted, finally silencing Adrienne. "Will and I are not getting married," Sonny sadly clarified. "Say what?" Adrienne asked, stunned and confused.
Justin entered the mansion while Sonny was in the process of explaining everything to Adrienne. "Marrying Leo is the last thing I want to do, but look what he has on me -- and Will!" Sonny fretted, revealing the incriminating photographs. "Sonny, I know how much you love Will, [and] I also know you are a fighter, so to give up like this..." Justin began to protest. "I'm not giving up; [I'm just] doing this to buy time so I can figure out a way to neutralize Leo," Sonny clarified. "Sonny, I'm all for keeping [an enemy] closer, [but] marrying him?" Adrienne asked incredulously. "[Leo's] nothing but a miserable creep of a snake!" Adrienne spat.
"Mother Kiriakis! Is that any way to talk about your soon-to-be son-in-law?" Leo asked, joining the others in the living room. "Sonny may be giving in to your outrageous blackmail, but let me be very clear about one thing -- we will never be calling you our son, and you will never be accepted into this family!" Adrienne insisted. "Your loss, Mama K, because I am a scream to hang out with. I even had this vision of the two of us lying by the pool, playing tennis, spending our husbands' money...but if you don't want to join the fun, I'll just go it alone," Leo replied, shrugging. "And if you even think of presenting me with some sort of hyped-up, ironclad prenup, 'Daddy,' don't, because I'm not gonna sign it," Leo added, turning to Justin.
Adrienne lunged forward in anger, but Justin quickly intervened. "You're just gonna make it worse," Justin advised. "Oh, really? Can this day get any worse?" Adrienne skeptically countered.
As if on cue, Sheila entered the mansion. Horrified, Adrienne angrily ordered Sheila to leave immediately. Leo insisted that Sheila couldn't leave until after the wedding ceremony. "[See], I wanted the mayor to [perform it, but] he declined, so his assistant -- ordained online -- is the next best thing, [because] the society page will still read, 'Leo Stark and Jackson Kiriakis were married by a representative from the mayor's office,'" Leo added with a grin.
A short time later, Leo called out to Sonny, who had retreated to the foyer with Justin and Adrienne, and announced that it was time to begin. Sonny quietly reminded Justin and Adrienne that marrying Leo was a stall tactic.
Justin and Adrienne reluctantly followed Sonny back to the living room. Justin refused to shake Leo's outstretched hand. Leo pouted a bit then turned to Adrienne and stuck out a cheek expectantly, hoping for a kiss. Adrienne slapped Leo instead. "You shouldn't have done that, Mother Kiriakis," Leo insisted after recovering from the blow. "I thought inviting your parents would make this day extra special. It would be a shame if they ruined everything. Ari would miss her daddies so much..." Leo pointedly added, turning to Sonny. Sighing, Sonny begged Justin and Adrienne to play along.
Leo seized Sonny's hand as Sheila began the wedding ceremony. "Marriage is a voluntary and joyful commitment between two consenting adults [that] is entered into with hope, and [with] love, and [with] the desire for a fruitful and blessed union that will last a lifetime," Sheila read aloud from a script. "Not if I can help it..." Adrienne muttered to Justin. "If anyone present today knows of any reason why these two may not lawfully be joined together, let them speak now or forever hold their peace," Sheila continued. Justin stopped Adrienne from taking the bait.
Just as Sheila was about to move on, someone stormed into the mansion and slammed the door shut.
Victor learns that Leo is blackmailing Sonny
While passing through the park, Tripp stumbled upon Kayla, who was having an intense phone conversation with Steve.
Kayla ended the call in tears then realized that Tripp was standing nearby. "I thought my dad was away on business," Tripp began. "Um...he is," Kayla replied. "[But] that sounded like, um...like he's not coming back. [And] you wouldn't be this upset if he was just on a routine case," Tripp noted, concerned. "[It's] a very sensitive case," Kayla claimed, but Tripp wasn't convinced.
"You're not telling me something," Tripp realized. "I can't," Kayla insisted. "Fine -- I'll just have to go to John, then," Tripp decided with a shrug before turning to leave.
"Okay, I'll tell you," Kayla reluctantly agreed, stopping Tripp. "But it has to stay between the two of us, or people will be hurt," Kayla stressed before proceeding to tell Tripp everything.
"Why didn't you tell me this sooner?" Tripp asked after Kayla finished the tale. "I couldn't. It was confidential," Kayla explained with an apologetic shrug. "[But] I'm his son! [And] I'm not a [little] kid, Kayla! If my father's in trouble, I want to help!" Tripp protested. "Don't you?" Tripp added, eyeing Kayla questioningly. "More than you could know...[especially since] this whole thing -- everything about this -- [is] my fault. [I mean], if I would have just been honest and trusted him..." Kayla replied, sighing regretfully. "He'd still be blind," Tripp pointed out. "But at least he'd be here, with us," Kayla countered.
Tripp wondered why Steve, who had recently been released from custody and had since begun working with the ISA to figure out who had hacked the bionic eye, wasn't running the investigation from the town where loved ones -- and the prime suspect -- resided. "Maybe he's staying away because he can't forgive me for what I did," Kayla sadly suggested. Tripp scoffed and insisted that couldn't possibly be the case. "[You two have] overcome more than any couple in the history of the world, and you've come out stronger for it, [so] you're gonna be okay," Tripp confidently assured Kayla. "I hope you're right," Kayla replied, fighting back fresh tears.
At the Brady Pub, Sarah helped Eric prepare for Holly's adoption. Eric, who had been staying in the room above the pub, decided that finding a more permanent place to live would have to be the first order of business.
Just then, Sarah jumped up and excitedly greeted Will, who had just entered the pub. "I heard you were back in town. I'm sorry I haven't come to visit," Will said while accepting a hug from Sarah. "That's okay. My return to Salem hasn't exactly gone as planned," Sarah acknowledged with a chuckle. "Yeah, I heard. I'm sorry about Rex," Will gently replied. "Me, too. [It wasn't] the greatest welcome back," Sarah joked. "I can relate," Will admitted.
Eric soon joined Sarah and Will. "Mom told me that Paul went back to San Francisco. So, you and Sonny...?" Eric began to ask. "Um...unfortunately, there's -- there's been a change of plans, and Sonny is going to marry someone else," Will sadly admitted. "But he loves you!" Eric pointed out, confused. "How did this happen?" Sarah wondered. "Um...well, I can't go into the details, but let's just say he's making a huge sacrifice for his family -- and for me," Will carefully replied. "By marrying somebody else?" Eric asked, still confused. "I can't tell you any more than that," Will maintained. "You can tell me who he's marrying, at least," Eric argued.
Eric was stunned to hear that Sonny was marrying Leo Stark, of all people. "[But isn't that] the man who sued him for sexual harassment?" Eric asked incredulously. "The one and only," Will confirmed. "Sounds like blackmail to me," Sarah matter-of-factly mused. "Is that what this is -- [Sonny's only way of getting Leo to] drop the suit?" Eric wondered. "Something like that," Will vaguely admitted. "Unbelievable!" Eric said with a shake of the head.
"[And] there's really no other way to [fix this]?" Eric asked. "Sonny doesn't think so," Will replied with a sigh. "So, anyway, I'm...you know, alone again...and on top of that, I got this -- this -- this apartment that I rented for Paul and me, but I can't afford it by myself, and the landlord's not letting me out of the lease unless I find someone to take it over," Will casually added. Intrigued, Eric and Sarah asked to hear more about the apartment.
At Doug's Place, Brady insisted that, in light of Nicole's letter, Maggie could no longer agree to let Eric adopt Holly. "I would have never expected this -- not after that custody battle that Nicole and I went through..." Chloe admitted, still stunned. "But you worked everything out, and Nicole knew how much you loved Holly," Brady reasoned with a shrug. "I do...[but] I know that Eric loves her, too, and I don't want to hurt him," Chloe stressed with a sigh, feeling conflicted. "This isn't about Eric; it's about Holly [and] Nicole," Brady argued, waving a hand dismissively.
After a moment of thought, Chloe realized that Brady was right. "And I owe this to Nicole, so...Maggie, I need to know that you're on board with this," Chloe added.
"I've had concerns about Eric [not being] in the right emotional state to raise [Holly], 'cause I know he's [still] grieving for Nicole, and he will [be] for a very long time...[but] Sarah convinced me that Holly would give Eric the help that he needs to put his grief behind him, and that they'd heal each other..." Maggie carefully replied, also feeling conflicted. "[But] we all only want what's best for Holly, and while Eric is devoted to her, it's clear in this letter that [Nicole] put a lot of thought into this decision..." Maggie continued. After a few more minutes of consideration, Maggie decided to support Chloe instead of Eric.
"I swear to you, Maggie -- I will be as devoted a mother to Holly as I am to Parker, and they'll grow up loving each other as brother and sister," Chloe stressed. "That's all I could ever ask for," Maggie replied.
As Maggie and Chloe embraced, Brady declared that the right decision had been made. Maggie couldn't help wondering if Brady was only supporting Chloe as a way of punishing Eric. Brady claimed to be supporting Chloe because Nicole's carefully written request was more compelling than a spontaneous dying wish. "It's no secret that my brother and I aren't getting along right now, but I wanted to make amends, [and] he's the one that can't let the past go," Brady added. Maggie remained skeptical, but Chloe agreed with Brady's argument that Eric was the one who was determined to hold a grudge.
After Maggie left, Chloe again admitted to feeling bad for Eric. Brady dismissively insisted that Eric was simply going to have to learn to live with the change of plans. Chloe soon began fretting about the added responsibility of raising Holly, who was at a very different stage of life than Parker. Brady reminded Chloe that Maggie and Sarah would both be happy to help out as needed. "[And] you have me, [too]," Brady added.
While passing through Horton Town Square, Eric and Sarah raved about Will's apartment, which seemed like the perfect place to raise a child. Sarah soon received a phone call from someone in Chicago. After a brief conversation, Sarah ended the call and explained to Eric, "That was the department head at my hospital, and he said, um...that if I don't return to work soon, he's gonna replace me."
"Do you want to go back to Chicago?" Eric asked. "I don't know," Sarah admitted, knowing that Chicago held many memories of happier times with Rex. "Is he back there now?" Eric wondered. "I don't know...[but] when he left Salem, he said that he was gonna try to spend some time with his daughter, [so if he's in Chicago, Mimi probably is, too]," Sarah replied with a sigh. "What I don't understand is how he could even look at another woman when he had you. I mean, he may be my half-brother, but I think he really screwed up, [and] you deserve better," Eric declared. Sarah smiled and thanked Eric for always knowing the right thing to say.
While Eric was trying to help Sarah decide whether to stay in Salem or return to Chicago, Maggie approached with Nicole's letter and insisted, "We need to talk."
At the Kiriakis mansion, Victor interrupted the wedding ceremony and demanded to know what was going on. "I thought Sonny wanted to be with that twit Will Horton," Victor added, confused. "Things have changed," Sonny admitted with a sigh. "Well, now, there's an understatement," Victor agreed. "We haven't been formally introduced, Mr. Kiriakis. I'm Leo Stark," Leo interjected, smiling and extending a hand.
"You're marrying the bastard who tried to destroy our company?" Victor asked Sonny incredulously. "Has everybody in this family lost their minds? What the hell is wrong with you, Sonny? Marrying a man who accused you of being a predator [and] cost you your job at Titan?" Victor continued. "Technically, you cost him his job at Titan," Leo argued. "Stay out of this," Justin warned Leo. "Still waiting for an answer, Sonny," Victor impatiently demanded. "Things -- they're...they're complicated," Sonny vaguely admitted. "They're more than 'complicated' -- they're insane!" Victor insisted, still confused.
"There'll be no wedding here until I find out what the hell is going on," Victor declared before ordering Leo and Sheila to leave the living room. "Don't take too long. I know you're just as anxious as I am to start our new life together," Leo told Sonny before following Sheila to the foyer. Justin shut the living room door as Sonny began explaining everything to Victor.
"Lesson number one -- when you kill somebody, make sure they're actually dead," Victor advised after Sonny finished the tale. "That's the lesson you want to teach my son?" Adrienne asked incredulously. "If he had learned it, we wouldn't be here," Victor reasoned. "It was an accident!" Justin reminded Victor. Just then, Leo returned with Sheila, refusing to give the Kiriakis clan any more time to talk.
"Let me just say, I am so excited to become a part of your family, Uncle Vic," Leo declared. "May I call you that?" Leo asked. "Absolutely not. You sicken me, and I can't wait for the day -- very soon -- when you get what's coming to you," Victor spat. "[But] in the meantime, I won't stop this marriage, [so] let's get it over with," Victor impatiently added.
Sheila tried to resume the wedding ceremony but ended up bumbling through it, having mixed up the index cards that comprised the script. "This is the person you chose to [perform the ceremony]? What, Arianna was not available?" Victor asked Leo dryly as Sheila finally found the correct index card. "[Do you], Leonardo -- is it 'Leonardo'?" Sheila asked. "Sure," Leo replied with a shrug. "[Do you, Leonardo], take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold --" Sheila began. "I do," Leo impatiently confirmed. Nodding, Sheila repeated the question for Sonny, who was thinking about Will. "I do," Sonny reluctantly replied, looking sick.
"By the power vested in me by the Church of Humanistic Spiritualism, I now pronounce you husband and husband," Sheila declared as Leo flashed a smirk of triumph. "You may now kiss the groom," Sheila told Sonny. "That's gonna be a hard pass," Sonny replied. "Oh, he's just a little shy," Leo insisted before forcing a kiss on Sonny, who immediately pushed Leo away. As Sonny wiped both lips in disgust, Justin warned Leo, "I'll be watching your every move, 'Leonardo,' and if you so much as jaywalk, I will use it to get you out of my son's life." Leo sarcastically thanked Justin for the warm welcome to the Kiriakis family.
Sheila wanted overtime pay, but Leo didn't have any more money, and no one else was willing to help out. "Why is it the richest people are always the cheapest? [This is the] worst wedding I've ever been to in my life -- aside from my part," Sheila grumbled while storming out of the mansion.
"Time to celebrate!" Leo happily declared. "Uncle Vic, do you have any Champagne chilling?" Leo asked. "Call me that one more time and see what happens," Victor replied. "No worries. I'll go down to the wine cellar [and] pick out a bottle or two," Leo said with a shrug. "Take your time. Hit as many bottles as you want," Sonny dryly encouraged Leo. "Oh, I can't drink too much -- gotta be ready for our wedding night," Leo countered, patting Sonny's shoulder. Sonny cringed as Leo walked away.
"Let him have his own wedding night," Sonny dismissively grumbled, grabbing a set of keys. "The only person I want to spend this night with is the man that I love," Sonny added. "You're going to see Will?" Justin asked. "Damn right," Sonny confirmed before starting to exit the mansion. "The hell you are," Victor snapped, stopping Sonny.
"If there were any justice in this world, your new husband would be at the bottom of the lake...but since he isn't, we have to deal with [him] -- and the leverage that he has over you," Victor insisted. "Isn't that what we just did?" Sonny asked, confused. "[He could still] put you in jail, [and] he could also destroy our company. I can't allow that to happen," Victor replied.
"Will is the only man that I love, all right? This is a marriage in name only," Sonny stressed. "Be that as it may...the fact remains [that] he is holding our fate in his grubby little paws, [so] you have to do everything in your power to keep him happy," Victor maintained. Stunned, Sonny desperately wondered if Justin could think of any way to neutralize Leo. "I'll keep working on it, [but] for now, you have to try and make this look real," Justin replied, seeing Victor's point. "Step number one -- stay away from Will Horton," Victor ordered Sonny, who suddenly looked even sicker than before.
At the Brady Pub, Will gulped down some beer while thinking about Sonny. Sheila soon stormed over to the bar and took a seat next to Will, still annoyed about what had happened at the Kiriakis mansion.
"Let me ask you a question -- if you officiated a wedding for some rich folks, and they didn't even offer you a glass of Champagne...I mean, wouldn't you think that was messed up?" Sheila wondered. "I guess so," Will replied with a nod. "Weird vibes, [too] -- I didn't feel a lot of love between the two fellas," Sheila continued. "You're not talking about...Sonny Kiriakis and Leo Stark, are you?" Will asked worriedly. "Yeah," Sheila confirmed.
"So...that's it, then. Sonny -- Sonny married Leo," Will sadly muttered. "Sure did -- 'til death do them part," Sheila confirmed.
Eric disputes Nicole's letter
In the square, Sarah was angry that Maggie had been so blunt with Eric about Nicole's letter. "How could you do that to him?" Sarah asked. Maggie stressed that telling Eric about the letter had been the right thing to do. With a look of disgust on her face, Sarah growled, "You never wanted him to have Holly." Maggie admitted that she had concerns about Eric.
"You two wore me down. I never liked the idea," Maggie said. As Kayla passed by, she noticed the tension and attempted to avoid the conversation. Sarah stopped Kayla. "I'd like to know what [Kayla] thinks about my mom ruining [Eric's] chance to rebuild his life." Kayla admitted that the situation was complicated.
"Nicole's wishes were pretty clear," Maggie noted. Sarah argued that the situation was more complicated than Maggie was willing to admit. Kayla asked Maggie to give her some time alone with Sarah. With a nod, Maggie walked away. Kayla said she had heard what had happened between Sarah and Rex.
"No wonder you are on edge," Kayla said. "I'm not standing up for Eric because I'm frazzled, I'm doing it because it's what's right," Sarah stressed. Kayla asked Sarah why she was so invested in Eric's problem. Sarah explained that Eric had been a good friend after what had happened with Rex.
"I just want to see [Eric] get what he wants for a change," Sarah said. "I don't think you have the power to do that," Kayla said quietly. Sarah admitted that she did not have time to help Eric, either, because her work was waiting for her to return. Kayla asked Sarah what she had decided. With a sigh, Sarah noted that Rex had taken a leave of absence and that she would not need to see Rex at work. Sarah's phone rang with a call from Rex.
"What the hell do you want?" Sarah barked into her phone. After a brief chat, Sarah told Rex he was a jerk and ended the call. Sarah explained to Kayla that Rex was moving Mimi and the baby to Chicago, and that Rex had returned to work. With a groan, Sarah wondered aloud what she should do about her job. Kayla suggested that Sarah look at a vacant position at University Hospital.
"The job is yours if you want it," Kayla said. "That would make mom really happy," Sarah said with a smile. Sarah added that she looked forward to spending time with Holly and helping Eric raise her. "That was before Nicole's letter came," Sarah said sadly.
At Doug's Place, Chloe was rereading Nicole's letter aloud to herself when Eric walked in and overheard. Eric asked Chloe if she was reading Nicole's letter. Chloe nodded yes. Eric grabbed the letter and looked at it. Eric thought about how excited he had been to secure an apartment before Maggie had told him about the letter. Eric read the letter, and tears filled his eyes.
"I'm sorry. I know you must feel like you've been punched in the gut," Chloe said. "You have no idea what I've been through the last few days. Sarah and I, we just, we finally convinced Maggie that Nicole wanted me to be with Holly," Eric said. Eric told Chloe that Nicole's final wish had been for Holly to be with him.
"Nicole wrote that in a clear state of mind," Brady interrupted. Eric yelled at Brady to stay out of the situation. Eric held up the letter and pointed out the date on it. Eric argued that Nicole had written the letter in order to have a plan but that her last wish had been for Holly to go to Eric instead.
"She was terrified of Xander. That is the only reason she wrote this," Eric yelled. Brady disagreed, but Eric pushed on. Eric reminded Brady that since the letter had been written, Nicole and Eric had reunited. Eric argued that Brady knew that Nicole had understood what she had been saying when she had been trapped in the fire.
"You know you heard what Nicole said. Why can't you just admit it? I'll never forget it. I can tell you that," Eric said as he thought back to the night of the fire. Eric asked Brady if he denied what had happened in Nashville.
"I did hear what Nicole said. I was right there, man. I remember it the same way that you do, but you have to understand what she was trying to do," Brady said. Brady explained that Nicole had asked Eric to take care of Holly so that he would leave the building. "She knew there was no hope for her. She wanted to get you out of the building. She didn't want you do die in there with her!" Brady argued. Eric called Brady patronizing. As Brady and Eric's voices grew heated, Chloe stepped between the two men.
"I'm not going to stand here and watch you two beat each other up!" Chloe yelled as she pushed the two men apart. Brady told Eric that he wanted to keep Eric from getting hurt further. Eric vowed not to give up on Nicole's wishes. Angry, Eric stormed out of the restaurant. Chloe lamented that she might have to hurt Eric.
"He just cannot accept the fact that he is completely wrong about what Nicole wanted. Deep down, I think he knows I'm right," Brady said. Chloe wondered aloud if Nicole had meant what she had said when she'd been dying. Brady shook his head no. "What she wanted is written right here. Clear as day," Brady said as he shook the letter. Brady said he did not want Chloe to go to court, but if she did, she would win.
Julie stood in the Horton living room and talked to Abigail on the phone about what she planned to do to Gabi. Abigail asked Julie to meet her in the park. Julie readily agreed. "I want to see Gabi Hernandez get what she deserves. She is a selfish, cold-hearted little witch, and she always will be," Julie said. As Julie turned around, she saw J.J. standing behind her. Julie ended the call and smiled at J.J.
J.J. asked about Jennifer. Julie explained that Jennifer was still at work. Julie added that she was on her way out of the house. As Julie turned to leave, J.J. stopped her and asked Julie about her comments about Gabi. J.J. said that Gabi was a good mother and friend, and she had saved J.J.'s life. Julie sighed. J.J. noted that Abigail was paranoid and that Chad had caught Abigail choking Gabi.
"What was Gabi doing in Bayview?" Julie asked with suspicion. J.J. reminded Julie that Gabi had suffered throughout her life and that Abigail was accusing Gabi of actions that Gabi had not committed. J.J. told Julie that Gabi had broken down at the hospital when she had seen Charlotte.
"[Gabi] is not eating, and she is not sleeping. That is why she was at the hospital. To see Kayla about it," J.J. said. Julie raised a suspicious eyebrow. "I didn't want to think that my sister was really that sick. But she is. As much as it kills me to say it. Now, I'm not going to change your mind about Gabi, but the idea that Gabi is setting Abigail up? I am not buying it," J.J. said.
As Abigail left the DiMera mansion, she ran into Stefan as he returned home. Abigail, still masquerading as Gabby, stuttered out an excuse about going out for fresh air. Abigail explained that the baby had cried for a long time and had stressed her out. Stefan snuggled up behind Abigail and suggested they retire upstairs.
"My bed has been pretty lonely and empty without you in it," Stefan said as he nuzzled Abigail's neck. "I've been lonely, too," Abigail whispered. Abigail pretended to be interested in sleeping with Stefan. As Stefan kissed Abigail's neck, she told him, "I want you so bad. It's all I've been thinking about."' Stefan asked "Gabby" what was holding her back. Abigail pointed out that it was too soon after giving birth to have sex. Abigail promised to check in with her doctor right away.
"It's okay. You obviously have to take care of yourself, and I will do my absolute very best to control myself. I really want to hold you tonight," Stefan said. Abigail thanked Stefan for being patient. Abigail added that she did not think she could control herself around Stefan, and she suggested that she should sleep in Charlotte's room until she was cleared to have sex. Stefan's brow furrowed in confusion, then his cell phone rang.
"This better be good," Stefan grumbled into the phone. The caller told Stefan about an injunction. Stefan promised Abigail that he would be back soon. With a kiss on the lips, Stefan told Abigail he loved her. Abigail told Stefan she loved him, too. After Stefan left, Abigail breathed a sigh of relief then pulled a notebook out of her purse and wrote a note.
When Abigail arrived in the park, she hugged Julie. Julie asked about Stefan. Abigail noted that Stefan had been acting like a man in love, but she had kept him at arm's length. Julie asked Abigail what Abigail needed from her. Abigail told Julie what had happened between her and Gabi at Bayview. Abigail asked Julie to search for Gabi's bottle of sedatives. With a nod, Julie said she thought they should talk to Kayla instead because Gabi had consulted Kayla about insomnia.
"If that is true, then [the prescription] is definitely on Kayla's computer," Abigail mused. Julie offered to go to Kayla's office, but Abigail disagreed. Abigail said she would handle Kayla's office, and Julie should search Gabi's room at the Kiriakis mansion.
"Get the pills, get the wig, and get the hell out of there," Abigail counseled Julie. "I'm on it!" Julie shouted triumphantly. With a hug, Abigail thanked Julie for her help.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Chad made arrangements over the phone for a business plan. After the call, Chad muttered that Stefan did not care what happened to Charlotte if Stefan was more interested in springing Abigail from Bayview. Gabi asked about the phone call as she walked into the room. Chad hinted that he had put a plan in motion to hurt DiMera Enterprises, but he admitted that his scheme might hurt Titan as well.
"Probably be the end of me as CEO, but it will also be the end of Stefan. As long as Abby gets well, it'll all be worth it," Chad said. Gabi muttered that she would be thrilled to see Chad take down Stefan. Right on cue, Stefan barged into the living room.
"What the hell are you trying to pull?" Stefan asked. "What do you know? Looks like I finally got your attention," Chad said. A furious Stefan argued that Titan did not have the exclusive rights to drilling for oil in a section of the Sahara Desert. Chad countered that the judge had agreed with him, which was why the judge had granted the injunction against DiMera Enterprises. Stefan asked Chad why.
"You took Abby out of Bayview. We had a deal. I give you your child back, Abby gets treatment. You welched," Chad argued. Stefan countered that his deal was to let Abigail stay in Bayview, not Gabby. Chad asked Stefan if that had been his plan all along. With a shake of his head, Stefan said it had not been his plan until Gabby had asked for his help. Stefan glanced at Gabi and suggested that he and Chad talk privately. Chad countered that Gabi knew everything.
"For once in your life, you are absolutely right," Stefan said with a smirk. "My point is, I made a deal with you because I wanted my daughter, and I didn't think I would ever see Gabby again. Because let me tell you, she is back. And I want her just as bad as she wants me. So, all bets are off, brother," Stefan said. Chad admitted that he had talked to Gabby, and he knew that Gabby was back.
"Abigail is sick. I can't get her back into Bayview, but you can," Chad remarked. Stefan dismissed the suggestion. Chad swore to destroy Stefan's business if he did not reconsider. "I am not afraid of you, and there is no way in hell I am having my wife and the mother of my child committed," Stefan said. Chad walked out. As Gabi rose to follow Chad, Stefan stopped her.
With a grin, Stefan asked Gabi if she wanted to thank him for not ratting her out to Chad. Gabi argued that she did not believe that Stefan would want to push his luck. "Knowledge is power, and I know everything," Stefan whispered in Gabi's face. Gabi asked Stefan if he was certain that Gabby was back and it was not instead Abigail playing Stefan for a fool.
In the foyer, Julie sneaked into the house and started to go upstairs. "Julie!" Maggie called out. Caught, Julie spun around to face her friend. Maggie asked Julie why she was at the mansion. Julie plastered a fake smile across her face. Julie said she was there to ask Maggie to join the family for the tree decorating. Confused, Maggie reminded Julie that she went to the party every year. Maggie asked Julie why she had felt the need to invite her personally.
"You have had a lot on your mind," Julie said. "Doug said be sure to tell Maggie that Christmas is not Christmas without her," Julie added. Maggie smiled. Julie said she hoped everyone would get what they wanted for Christmas. With a flourish of her hand, Julie announced that she needed to be on her way to visit other people. Julie exited, then sneaked back in the house when she felt like Maggie would no longer be in the foyer. Julie crept up the stairs.
When Chad returned to the Kiriakis living room, Gabi was in the room alone. Chad told Gabi that he did not plan to give up on Abigail. "I got under his skin. I know I did," Chad said. After Chad left the room, Gabi added, "I know we both did."
Upstairs, Julie searched Gabi's room and found the envelope with the paternity test results. As Julie started to open the envelope, Gabi walked in, and Julie froze.
At the hospital, Abigail crept around the halls, avoiding Kayla. When the hallway was clear, Abigail ducked into Kayla's office. In the dark office, Abigail logged onto Kayla's computer. "What are you doing here?" Kayla asked as she turned on the lights. "Gabby, right?" Kayla asked.
In the town square, Eric met up with Sarah at the café. Sarah asked if Chloe had upset Eric. With a shake of his head, Eric said Brady had upset him. "He had the nerve to tell me what Nicole was thinking and what she wanted," Eric grumbled. Eric accused Brady of pushing Chloe into taking Eric to court. Sarah was astounded. Eric said he did not believe that Chloe would fight him, but he believed Brady would push her.
"They want a fight, I'm going to give them one. I'm not giving up on Holly," Eric said.
Stefan returned to the DiMera mansion and found that Abigail was gone. Stefan spotted the note that "Gabby" had left on the table. "Decided to go for that walk after all. Love you, Gabby," the note read. Stefan scowled.