Two of El Fideo's goons barged into Doug's Place with guns drawn and stopped Stefan from contacting the police.
"Did you really think you could murder El Fideo and get away with it?" one of the goons asked Chloe, who was too frightened to respond. "No one will be shooting Ms. Lane today," Stefan protectively insisted, stepping between Chloe and the goons. "Oh, we have no intentions of shooting Ms. Lane. We're gonna kill her in the same way she killed Mateo," the other goon clarified while picking up the bloody knife.
The first goon kept a gun pointed at Stefan as the second goon advanced toward Chloe with the knife. "El Fideo's friends remember very vividly how you stabbed him in the back. [At least your death] will not come as a surprise; you'll see the knife before I spill your blood," the second goon said to Chloe. "El Fideo may be dead, but the mere mention of his name [still] inspires both fear and awe," Stefan interjected.
"I don't know too many men who can make that claim...[but] my father was one of them," Stefan continued. "Your father?" the second goon asked with a dismissive laugh, confused. "Stefano DiMera," Stefan clarified, stunning both goons. "We know who he is," the second goon admitted with a gulp. "Good, [because] despite rumors to the contrary, he's very much alive, and if he were to hear that someone [was planning] to harm Ms. Lane here, he'd be extremely unhappy, [because she] belongs to me, and if you harm her in any way, you'll deeply regret it. My father will hunt you down to the ends of the earth...and I'll be right behind him," Stefan warned.
"I'm out," the first goon announced after a moment of thought. "Stefano DiMera hasn't been heard from in a very, very long time, so I'll take my chances with his son," the second goon dismissively reasoned as the first goon rushed out of the club. Stefan, who had managed to grab Chloe's letter opener while the goons had been distracted, pounced on the remaining goon with the makeshift weapon.
The goon collapsed with the letter opener embedded in his back, a seemingly fatal wound that left his former hostages breathing sighs of relief -- which turned into screams of horror when he recovered and fired his gun.
Claire went to the Horton Town Square to see Tripp, who was in the middle of a work shift. "I know you have a break coming up, so can you just take it now so we can talk?" she requested. "I have nothing to say to you," he replied before starting to walk away. "Okay, well, I have something to say to you," she countered, blocking his path.
"I'm sorry. I am so sorry for working with Ben to try to break up you and Ciara. It was stupid, and it was wrong," Claire told Tripp. "[But] maybe you should be flattered that I would go to such extremes to be with you," she added with a flirtatious smile, annoying him. "I thought it was the only way to get what I wanted, all right? And what I wanted was you," she explained as he started walking away again, causing him to stop at once. "[Well], you know what? Your little scheme cost me what I wanted, and that was a chance to be with Ciara," he bitterly countered.
"You didn't lose Ciara because of anything that I did. No, you made that happen all on your own [when] you planted that fake evidence [against Ben]," Claire argued. Tripp conceded the point with a sigh of regret.
"Does this mean that you could give me a second chance?" Claire asked Tripp hopefully. "I think we were better off as friends," he replied. "I understand why you wouldn't want to jump into another relationship right away -- especially one where trust is an issue -- [but] you have to admit that what's going on between us is a lot more than just friendly. [I mean], I felt that when we made love, and I think you did, too," she countered. "Yeah, I definitely felt it," he admitted with a grin. "Okay, apology accepted," he added after a moment of thought, drawing a sigh of relief from her.
"[But] no more lies, [and] no more games," Tripp demanded. "It's a promise," Claire happily agreed.
At the police station, Ted threatened to get a court order to force Marlena to talk about Ben's most recent therapy session. "I didn't realize you were the D.A.," Marlena countered. "I'd be representing Hope," Ted clarified. "Alrighty, then -- you do what you need to do," Marlena said before starting to leave. Hope desperately begged Marlena to reconsider. "Hope, we don't even know for sure [that Ciara's missing]. She has not been gone long enough for this to be a police issue," Marlena pointed out. "[And] the reason I can help somebody like Ben is because he can trust me with his innermost thoughts and feelings, and that's why confidentiality is so important!" Marlena passionately added. "So is keeping a patient from making a mistake that will end up in tragedy!" Ted argued.
Hope wondered if Marlena believed that Ben was "losing it" again. "No, I don't. I think he [just] wants to make things right with [Ciara]. That's really important to him," Marlena replied. "So, it's possible he intercepted her at the airport when her plane landed," Ted decided. "What about his meds? Is he still taking them?" Hope asked. "He is, but he has missed a dose or two," Marlena hesitantly revealed. "What? Oh, my God! Last time he was off his meds, he almost killed Ciara!" Hope fretted, still certain that Ben was the one who had started the cabin fire.
"Thank you for helping me convince Marlena to talk," Hope said to Ted after Marlena left. "Ben has Ciara. I know it. I can feel it. He's off his meds [and] obsessing over her," Hope added. Just then, Hope received a text message from a police officer who had just spotted Ben at a motel. Ted insisted on accompanying Hope to the motel.
At the Salem Inn, John and Diana sized each other up. "So, you are Leo Stark's mother," John mused. "Yes...and you're the private investigator who tracked me down," Diana replied.
"I had the pleasure of meeting Will Horton. He filled me in," Diana continued. "Yeah, well, my search only revealed one photo, [and] it was pretty grainy, so I didn't recognize you...[and] never in a million years [would I have guessed] that Diana 'Cooper' would turn out to be Diana Colville," John said. "['Cooper' is] my married name. I met my husband after I left Salem," Diana explained. "Hmm. Well, initials are the same -- should've picked up on that. I must be slipping," John grumbled. "Oh, I doubt that. After all, you did find me, Roman," Diana argued. "Actually, the name's not 'Roman'; it's John Black," John clarified. "I know. Read all about it online," Diana admitted. "You looked me up?" John asked. "You get to investigate me, I get to investigate you," Diana reasoned with a shrug.
"And I was just looking at an article about your most recent marriage to Marlena. What is this -- third time down the aisle? [You know], I have to say, it doesn't really surprise me that Marlena turned up alive...because alive or dead, she was always hovering around us," Diana added with a hint of bitterness. John was surprised to learn that Diana had talked to Marlena earlier -- and that Diana had pretended to only know Marlena as a former radio host. "Why'd you lie?" John wondered. "Didn't know how much you had told her about our past. Didn't want to upset her," Diana explained. "You wouldn't have. There's no secrets between us," John informed Diana.
"So, what about you? [I mean], I haven't heard from you in years. You left town so suddenly. You never [even] said goodbye; you just sent a note [that said] you never wanted to be found. [So], what about you?" John asked curiously. "I just felt really guilty when I realized I'd shot you...by accident," Diana explained. "You're not the only one who's put a bullet in me, Diana," John stressed with a dismissive laugh. Diana swooned and admitted that it was really good to see Roman -- John -- again. "Except for the hair and the name, you haven't changed a bit," Diana observed. "Seems like you already know everything about me. Kind of unfair, no?" John mused. "I'm an open book. What can I tell you?" Diana replied. "Well, for starters, [let's hear about] your son," John suggested.
"Everybody in this town wants to know about my son! There's probably a line outside my door right now!" Diana grumbled. "Well, that's because your kid's bad news," John explained with a shrug. "You know, I just met him over at the Kiriakis house, and despite being married, he was coming on to my son," John added. "Eh, boys will be boys," Diana dismissively reasoned. "So, you have a gay son, too?" Diana asked curiously. "Yeah, as a matter of fact, I do...but he's not the one Leo was hitting on," John clarified. "Well, restraint has never been one of Matthew's fortes," Diana admitted.
"Eh, Brady can take care of himself. The one I'm really worried about is Will Horton," John told Diana. "You see, Will and Sonny -- they love each other, and all they want is just to be together, [and] your son is making their life a living hell," John continued. "[So], you are here for the same reason that Will Horton came here -- you want information about Matthew; you want dirt on him so you can get rid of him," Diana realized. "Couldn't have said it better myself," John confirmed. "So, what do you say? Think you can help me out a little bit, Diana? For old times' sake?" John asked hopefully.
"I'm sure you must remember how hard it is for me to say no to you," Diana said to John with a hint of flirtatiousness while considering the request.
Just then, someone knocked on the hotel room door. "Mother? It's me," Leo called out when Diana didn't respond right away.
Diana reluctantly opened the door for Leo, who was stunned to see John -- and even more stunned to learn that John and Diana had actually once been romantically involved with each other. "I hope you aren't trying to use your prior relationship with my mother to take advantage of her," Leo said to John. "I don't use people like you do," John countered before starting to leave. "Think about what I asked," John urged Diana on the way out of the hotel room. "And just so you know...I'm not the kind of guy who just sits back and does nothing while some pathetic creep hurts people I care about. Just ask your mother. She'll tell you all about it," John warned Leo.
"For God's sake, Mom -- you look like you're still in love with the guy!" Leo worriedly observed once the coast was clear. "Are you trying to start things up with him again?" Leo wondered, still not fully recovered from the shock of learning that Diana had been to Salem before. "Matthew, he's a happily married man," Diana innocently pointed out. "That has never stopped you before," Leo countered.
John joined Marlena at the Brady Pub and quickly deduced that something was bothering her. "I'm just concerned about a patient," she explained.
John nodded and changed the subject, knowing that Marlena couldn't elaborate. "I had a talk with Leo's mother," John began to reveal. "I did, too," Marlena informed John. "What do you think of her?" Marlena asked curiously. "About the same as when she knew me as Roman," John replied before proceeding to tell Marlena about Diana's true identity. "Diana Colville? That's the woman that you were with when I was presumed dead, isn't it?" Marlena incredulously recalled. "Did you know she had a son?" Marlena wondered. "Not a clue," John replied. "Guess she had him shortly after she left Salem..." Marlena mused.
Ted broke into Ben's motel room so Hope could search it. Hope soon spotted a photograph of Ben and Ciara, displayed in a heart-shaped frame that was perched on a nightstand. "Look at this, Ted! Look at this!" Hope dramatically declared, as if the discovery proved something. Ted helped Hope continue searching the room.
Ben eventually returned, just as Hope and Ted finished searching every inch of the room. "What the hell's going on here?" Ben demanded to know, looking around the trashed room in disbelief. "Where is my daughter?" Hope countered. "Ciara's away. You're the one who told me that," Ben reminded Hope, confused. "She came back early, and now she's missing," Hope tiredly clarified. "What do you mean, 'she's missing'? What happened? Is she okay?" Ben asked worriedly. "No one has heard from her since. She just disappeared," Hope elaborated.
"Hope, I haven't seen Ciara since she left Salem," Ben insisted. "But you wanted to see her -- real bad, from what I heard," Hope countered. "What the hell does that mean?" Ben asked. "I spoke to Marlena," Hope clarified. "You still on your meds?" Hope demanded to know. "I missed one dose, Hope -- maybe two. [And] regardless, you shouldn't be talking to Dr. Evans, and she shouldn't be telling you anything about me, because it's a violation of my rights -- [and] so is breaking into my room!" Ben replied, realizing the significance of the question. "She can go to hell, and so can the two of you!" Ben spat before starting to leave. Ted blocked the exit and claimed that Marlena, like everyone else, believed that Ben posed a serious threat to Ciara's safety.
Meanwhile, Ciara, still bound and gagged, suddenly felt someone removing her blindfold. "Oh, my God -- Jordan?" she said, staring at the person in disbelief.
Ciara's kidnapper is revealed
At Doug's Place, the remaining cartel henchman was unconscious on the floor. Shaken, Chloe thanked Stefan for saving her life. Stefan pulled out his phone and started to dial the number for emergency services. Out of the corner of her eye, Chloe saw the henchman rouse awake and point his gun toward Stefan.
"Stefan, look out!" Chloe cried out too late. The bullet struck Stefan in the arm. Stefan fell backwards into Chloe's arms, and she cradled him.
"Your father can't help you now, can he, DiMera?" The henchman asked as he rose to his feet. The man leveled his gun at Stefan. "First, I finish you off, and then I might enjoy myself with the songbird before I kill her, too," the man said. Chloe held Stefan, and she cried. As the man walked closer, Stefan kicked out his leg and nailed the man in the groin. The man stumbled backwards, and Stefan tackled him against the bar. The two men struggled for control of the gun. The gun fired.
"Your children will never be safe," the man muttered before he dropped to the ground. Chloe reached out to Stefan, and he winced. "Your arm! It's really bleeding," Chloe said. Stefan assured Chloe that he was fine.
In Lani's bedroom, Lani and Eli curled up in one another's arms. Eli told Lani that he loved her. "I wasn't planning on saying it tonight. It just sort of slipped out," Lani admitted. Eli asked Lani if she regretted it. With a shake of her head, Lani said she had been scared. Eli said he had felt the same way. With a chuckle, Eli said it was easy to tell Lani that he loved her because he had said it out loud already.
Lani said she regretted that their first time having sex had been an act of revenge instead of love. Lani admitted that after their son had died, she had not believed that she would ever be able to love Eli. Lani apologized for hurting Eli when she had pushed him away.
"What matters now is that we're together and that neither of us is going anywhere," Eli said. Eli told Lani that he had set up the Miami-themed date at Doug's Place in order to make her smile. With a chuckle, Lani wondered aloud what Stefan had thought about the decorations in the restaurant when he had walked in as they had left. Eli's phone rang. Lani begged Eli not to answer the call.
"I'm sorry, I have to," Eli said as he reached for his phone. "I would do the same," Lani whispered to herself. Eli told Lani there had been a shooting at Doug's Place.
In Ben's motel room, Ted and Hope informed Ben that Marlena had broken Ben's confidence about his medication because Marlena believed that Ben was a danger to himself and others. Ben stressed that he did not know where to find Ciara. Hope called Ben a liar.
"If Ciara is in trouble, then I want to help you find her," Ben said. Ben asked Hope if she was sure that Ciara had been on the plane. Ted said that the airline had confirmed that Ciara had been a passenger. Hope added that no one had heard from Ciara since the plane had landed. Ben asked about the tracker on Ciara's phone, but Hope countered that Ciara had turned off the tracking services after she had started dating Ben.
"She would have needed a ride home from the airport, right? That's where you should be focusing. Did somebody pick her up?" Ben asked. When Ben suggested Ciara had used a car app on her phone, Hope cried out, "Enough!" Hope said she did not want to hear any more lies from Ben. Hope shoved Ben, and she demanded to know where Ben had taken Ciara.
"Your daughter is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I would never hurt her," Ben said. Hope stared Ben in the eyes, wordless. Ben argued that Hope did not have any evidence against him. "Whether he did it or not, he is not going to tell us anything," Ted said to Hope. Hope announced she was confident that Ben had Ciara and that Ben had set the fire.
"If you hurt so much as a hair on her head," Hope threatened before she trailed off. Hope and Ted marched out of Ben's room.
In a burned-out cabin, a blindfolded and gagged Ciara struggled against the ropes that bound her to a rickety brass bed. Jordan entered the cabin and removed Ciara's blindfold and gag. "Hello, Ciara. I guess I'm the last person you expected to see," Jordan said. When Jordan said that she was there to help Ciara, a relieved Ciara asked Jordan to untie her.
"Do you remember how you got here?" Jordan asked. With a shake of her head, Ciara explained that she had no memory of how she had arrived in the shack but that she had woken up blindfolded and tied to the bed. As Ciara looked around the room, she noticed that she was in the same cabin that had been set on fire with her in it. Jordan noted it was the fire that Ben had set, but Ciara corrected her and said that Ben had not committed the arson.
"You don't actually believe that, do you?" Jordan asked. Ciara admitted that she had doubts but that she did not believe Ben would hurt her. "Yes, he absolutely would. This is the same place he terrorized Abigail, and then he tried to burn her and Chad to death and take their child," Jordan stressed. Abigail countered that Ben had been sick then but was better.
"You don't just stop being the person that you are. My brother is crazy, and he always will be. If you don't believe me, just look at where you ended up," Jordan said as she waved her arms around. "Are you saying that Ben did this to me?" Ciara asked in confusion. "Who else would it be?" Jordan said in exasperation. Ciara shook her head no. Ciara stressed that Ben would not have done that to her.
"I used to pray that the doctors would be able to help him. You know? But deep down, I always knew that there was nothing they could do. That it was too much to ask for. And it looks like I got here in time," Jordan said. Confused, Ciara asked how Jordan had found her. Jordan explained that she had heard from Theo that Ciara had returned to Salem, and she had assumed that Ciara would be "walking right back into the lion's den."
"So, you saw Ben bring me here?" Ciara asked. "He was already gone by the time I arrived," Jordan admitted. Ciara asked how Jordan was certain that Ben was the culprit. "You don't get it, Ciara, do you? My brother is sick. And dangerous. He leaves behind a body count. You would have been his next victim if I hadn't figured out what he was up to," Jordan said. Ciara quietly asked Jordan to untie her.
"No. I can't do that," Jordan said. Confused, Ciara asked Jordan why. Jordan told Ciara that she was safe. "I know how charming Ben can be. How he can convince you that he is on your side. That nothing can ever hurt you. It's all an act. Psychopaths have a way of saying anything they can to get you on their side, but someone like him, his true side will come out. And I think, deep down, you knew that Ben was sick again, and that is why you left town," Jordan said.
Ciara asked how Jordan had known that Ciara had left town because of Ben. Jordan stared off into the distance. Concerned, Ciara's face changed with the realization that something was not right with Jordan. Ciara feigned a smile.
"I don't want to argue about Ben anymore. Just please untie me so I can go home," Ciara pleaded. Jordan took off her coat as if to get more comfortable. "I'm trying to protect you," Jordan protested. "I don't see how you keeping me tied up here is protecting me," Ciara yelled. Jordan yelled that if she untied Ciara, Ciara would only run back to Ben.
"I'm going to handle [Ben]. I am the only one that knows how to," Jordan said. Ciara asked Jordan what the plan was. Jordan explained that she understood how Ben's mind worked because she had grown up with Clyde. "It is up to me to keep everyone safe. I'm going to make sure that Ben never murders anyone ever again," Jordan said. Ciara looked taken aback by Jordan's words. Jordan asked what was wrong.
"Ben didn't kidnap me. You did," Ciara said. Ciara accused Jordan of kidnapping her from the airport. Jordan rolled her eyes. "Don't worry, okay? You're going to be safe here," Jordan assured Ciara. Ciara asked Jordan to let her go. When Ciara promised to steer clear of Ben, Jordan said she did not believe her. Jordan argued that Ciara would run to Hope.
"We all know Hope has had no luck in putting Ben away, which is why it is my turn," Jordan said. "That's a lot of pressure to put on yourself," Ciara whispered. Jordan reminded Ciara that Abigail was also in danger. Jordan asked Ciara why she did not think about the possibility that Ben wanted revenge on everyone in Salem. With an exasperated sigh, Jordan said she was wasting precious time. Ciara pleaded with Jordan to let her go. With a shake of her head no, Jordan apologized and walked out.
Abigail curled up with a book in the Horton living room as Julie walked in. Julie explained that she and Doug had planned an evening of "Netflix and chill." When Abigail smirked and noted that she did not think that Julie understood the meaning of the phrase, Julie smiled.
"No, darling. I know exactly what it means. Unfortunately, I chose a chick flick that put Doug to sleep before the chilling could commence," Julie complained. Julie suggested that she and Abigail have some girl talk. With a raised eyebrow, Abigail asked Julie what she had in mind.
"About you forgiving Chad," Julie said innocently. Abigail asked why Julie did not believe that she had already forgiven Chad. With a shrug, Julie noted that Chad had not moved into the Horton house. Julie said Chad had called to thank her for setting up the dinner at Doug's Place. With a nod, Abigail said she was also thankful for the dinner. Abigail added that the dinner had not fixed her relationship with Chad. Julie asked Abigail how Chad felt about the decision for him to run DiMera Enterprises with Stefan.
"[Chad] said that he would resign and move out of the house so that I didn't have to be near Stefan," Abigail said. "He would sacrifice all that for you and the children?" Julie asked. Abigail nodded yes. Frustrated, Julie asked why Abigail did not want to reconcile with Chad if he was willing to do that for her. Abigail stressed that the situation was not easy.
"It will be worth it. We both know how much that business means to him, and if he is willing to sacrifice it for your sake?" Julie said. Abigail explained that she feared that Chad would resent her for the decision. When Julie argued that Abigail had not asked him to give up his job, Abigail countered that Chad's decision would still be because of her.
"It's like when I was, when I thought that I was carrying Stefan's baby. [Chad] said that he could accept it. And then when it became a reality, it was too much for him. And he couldn't stay. What if I get back together with him and it happens again?" Abigail asked. Julie argued that it was more likely that Abigail would resent him than the other way around. Abigail noted that she could not forget that Chad had taken her child from her after Abigail had given birth.
Julie reminded Abigail that Gabi was the enemy, not Chad. Abigail said she was disgusted by Gabi's actions, but she had not forgiven her, either. "Chad is no innocent victim here," Abigail added. Abigail explained that she had worked hard in therapy to deal with her DID, and she had been disappointed that Chad had not believed in her when she'd needed him to believe that she had not been ill.
"Maybe you should remember some of the good times, too," Julie suggested. "Maybe there would have been more if Stefan hadn't come to town. I wonder how many lives that man has ruined?" Abigail said. With a sigh, Abigail patted Julie's hand and said that she needed to figure out the situation on her own. Julie promised that she and Doug would support whatever decision Abigail made.
At the DiMera mansion, Kate walked in and spotted Chad playing chess in the living room. Chad noted that Stefan was not home. "Actually, I hope he has had an unfortunate accident. I'm not going to kill him. I wouldn't mind if someone else did, though," Chad grumbled. Chad asked Kate to leave. Kate told Chad that she had talked to Mr. Shin, but he had refused to change his mind about the co-CEO decision.
"Are you trying to win me over?" Chad asked. "I don't have to win you over. I know that I let Gabi hurt you," Kate said. Chad corrected Kate and said that she had helped Gabi hurt him and his family. "You can leave, or I can have security drag you out," Chad said pointedly. When Kate failed to move, Chad asked her if she had heard him.
"I want to know what your plans are for DiMera Enterprises," Kate asked. Chad said he planned to leave the business and move out of the mansion. Chad explained that he needed to leave for Abigail's sake. "Does that mean she is willing to take you back?" Kate asked. Chad admitted that Abigail had not agreed to reconcile. With a groan, Kate asked Chad if it was fair of Abigail to ask him to give up all he had worked to build.
"I wouldn't expect you to understand what it's like but family first. I had her committed. I watched as our child got forcefully ripped from her arms," Chad said. Kate countered that Chad had wanted to help his wife. "She wasn't even sick, so I have a lot to make up for. If that means giving up my legacy to prove myself to her, then that's what I'm going to do," Chad said.
"Gabi manipulated all of us," Kate argued. Chad warned Kate not to play the victim. Kate reminded Chad that she had fought to make Chad the CEO. Chad said that even if Abigail did not take him back immediately, he could not let Abigail believe that his resignation had been an empty gesture. Shocked, Kate asked Chad if he was willing to let Stefan run the company into the ground.
"At the end of this, if Abigail doesn't forgive you, you're left with nothing!" Kate argued. "I've already lost everything that matters to me, Kate! I lost my family. I lost my children," Chad recounted. "You know that I've always thought you could do better than Abigail. You love her? She makes you happy? So be it. But let's just hope she can get over herself enough to forgive you because you have suffered enough," Kate said. Kate asked Chad not to act rashly.
"This is your company, your house; it's your legacy. Not Stefan's. He is just Vivian Alamain's bastard son. I know that you can win in the end. But not if you give up," Kate counseled. "Next time, call before you just show up," Chad muttered as he returned to his game of chess. Kate's phone beeped. Kate told Chad that someone had shot Stefan at Doug's Place.
"And?" Chad asked. "Looks like he is going to make it," Kate said. "Darn," Chad muttered. Kate advised Chad not to stop fighting for his legacy.
At Doug's Place, Chloe held a towel firmly against the wound on Stefan's arm. Chloe assured Stefan that the police and the EMTs were en route to the club. Chloe thanked Stefan for saving her life. "I can't believe those guys came for me after all this time," Chloe whispered. Stefan told Chloe that she was safe for the moment. With a smirk, Stefan said he had found it helpful to throw around his father's name in certain situations.
"I'm just glad you're okay," Stefan said. "You heard what he said. My family will never be safe," Chloe countered. When Lani and Eli arrived on the scene, Stefan joked, "Well, if it isn't Crockett and Tubbs." "I have no idea who that is," Eli muttered as he surveyed the room. Lani explained that Crockett and Tubbs were characters from Miami Vice. Unfazed, Eli asked Stefan what had happened.
"Well, if you two hadn't rushed out of here to finish whatever the hell that was you started, you could have taken him alive," Stefan muttered. Chloe explained that the dead man and his partner had wanted to kill her to avenge El Fideo's death at Chloe's hand. "Thank God Stefan was here to stop him," Chloe exclaimed. Eli's ears perked up.
"You shot him?" Eli asked Stefan. Chloe explained what had happened and that Stefan had struggled with the man over the gun. Lani assured Stefan that an ambulance was on the way, but Stefan refused to go to the hospital. Eli argued that he did not want to deal with the paperwork if Stefan bled to death. Grudgingly, Stefan agreed to go to the hospital. Chloe offered to go with Stefan, but he asked her to stay with Lani for safety. Chloe agreed.
In the interrogation room at the police station, Hope informed Ted that there had been a shooting at Doug's Place. Hope confirmed that Lani and Eli were supervising the scene and that she was free to continue the search for Ciara. Ted reviewed the evidence so far. Hope was frustrated because the surveillance footage from the airport had not been delivered yet. Hope said she believed the footage would prove that Ben was to blame.
"What if he is telling the truth?" Ted asked. "You don't think that he is the one that took Ciara?" Hope asked. Ted said he believed that Ben cared too much about Ciara to hurt her. With a nod, Hope said she just wanted her daughter to be safe. "I know," Ted whispered.
In the town square, Ben noticed a man following him. "Am I not supposed to know that you're a cop?" Ben asked the man. "I know Hope told you to trail me, but I don't have her daughter," Ben said. The man responded that he was "doing [his] job." Ben announced that he was going to his motel room and that the cop's time would be better spent tracking down Ciara. With a nod, Ben walked away. The cop followed.
When Ben returned to his motel room, he stared at a photo of him with Ciara. "Where are you?" Ben wondered aloud. Ben sat on his bed and stared at Ciara's number on his phone. Ben called her phone. In the cabin, Ciara struggled to reach her phone on the nightstand, but it was just out of reach. As Ben pleaded quietly for Ciara to pick up the phone, the phone continued to ring then clicked over to voicemail. Ben promised Ciara that he would find her. In the cabin, Ciara continued to struggle to reach the phone.
After securing the scene at Doug's Place, Eli questioned Chloe about the shooting. "Before that man died, he promised that my children and I will never be safe," Chloe said. Lani promised that the police would do everything in their power to keep Chloe and her family safe. Eli promised to check with his federal contacts, as well.
"The Salem PD can't keep me safe if a cartel wants me dead!" Chloe yelped. Eli cautioned Chloe to stay calm. "It's not like I was almost just murdered tonight," Chloe said sarcastically. Lani said it was lucky that Stefan had protected her. With the questioning concluded, Eli called Julie and informed her that there had been a shooting at the club. Eli explained that a man had been killed.
When Julie arrived at the club, she told Eli that she could not believe someone had died there. With a sigh, Julie said she needed to tell Doug the news and call the insurance company. Julie headed into the office. Lani told Eli that Chloe was lucky that the cartel men had not killed her. With a glance at the Miami decorations around the room in disarray, Lani told Eli that it had been a lovely picnic.
At the hospital, Chloe crept into Stefan's room. Stirred awake, Stefan asked Chloe why she was not at home, hugging her children. Chloe explained that she had asked her mother to take the children to New York to get them out of Salem. Stefan nodded in agreement. Chloe approached Stefan's bedside and apologized for dragging him into her mess.
"I may have to give you an unfavorable Yelp review," Stefan joked. "You didn't have to do what you did tonight," Chloe said. Stefan waved it off and insisted he had not done anything. Chloe reminded Stefan that two children still had a mother because of his actions. "I'm not a hero, Chloe," Stefan said. "Well, you were tonight, Stefan. Thank you," Chloe whispered.
At the Horton house, there was a knock. Abigail rushed downstairs and mumbled about the late hour. When Abigail opened the door, she was surprised to find Jordan on the porch.
Leo warns Diana not to reveal his secret
Eric was alone, doing some photography work, when his apartment door rattled -- then rattled some more. Concerned, he grabbed an aluminum baseball bat then swung the door open, prepared for a fight.
Rex and Sarah, who had been kissing passionately and had obviously leaned against the apartment door a few times in the process, pulled away from each other and gasped in unison. "I thought somebody was breaking in," Eric explained, lowering the bat and setting it aside. "Sorry. We thought you were in bed," Rex replied, managing a laugh. "Seems like we were both wrong," Eric grumbled, unamused.
"I'm gonna go for a walk," Eric added before rushing out of the apartment. "He hates me," Sarah decided with a groan. "He's gonna come around eventually," Rex predicted. "You don't know that," Sarah skeptically argued.
"I do know that I don't really want to talk about Eric -- not after tonight, and the dinner we had," Rex replied before starting to kiss Sarah again. "I'll drive you home," he added after sensing some hesitation from her. "Oh. Um...yeah, okay -- that's probably a good idea..." she agreed -- but after a moment of thought, she seized another kiss from him and began unbuttoning his shirt.
At the Horton Town Square, Tripp finished a work shift then joined Claire, who had been waiting patiently at one of his tables. Just then, Ben approached and wondered if either Claire or Tripp had seen Ciara recently. "She's missing," Ben worriedly explained after receiving two negative responses. "God, Grandma Hope must be freaking out..." Claire guessed. "Yeah, she is freaking out...and she just accused me of kidnapping Ciara from the airport," Ben bitterly revealed. "That sounds like something you'd do," Tripp declared. "Well, I didn't, all right?" Ben defensively insisted, but Tripp wasn't convinced. "I give up," Ben grumbled before storming off.
Tripp suspected that Ben had kidnapped Ciara and was just putting on a show to throw everyone off the trail, but Claire thought that Ben was genuinely concerned and had no idea what had happened to Ciara. "I think you need to give him a chance," Claire advised. "You can give him a chance if you want to, [but] I'm still convinced that he's the one who set the fire [while she was] trapped inside the cabin," Tripp countered.
Claire feared that Tripp's concern was a sign that he still had feelings for his ex, but he insisted that wasn't the case. "I'm with you now, Claire, [and I'm just] worried about Ciara because she's my friend," he stressed.
At the Brady Pub, John and Marlena told Roman that Leo's mother, Diana Cooper, had turned out to be John's ex, Diana Colville. "Sure didn't see that one coming..." John admitted with a shake of the head.
Roman hoped that Diana would be able to help Sonny and Will deal with Leo, but John feared that Diana wasn't going to be willing to do that. Marlena optimistically suggested to John that a second chat with Diana might yield a more positive result. "I'll think about that," John noncommittally replied as Marlena stifled a yawn. "Well, I don't want to be a party pooper, [but] I'm just wiped out," Marlena apologetically admitted to Roman while standing to leave. John, who seemed a bit distracted, decided to stick around for a while longer to discuss a case with Roman. "See you at home," Marlena said to John before exiting the pub with a second stifled yawn.
Marlena paused outside the pub to don a coat. Just then, Eric rounded a corner, walking aimlessly. "What are you doing out so late at night?" Marlena asked curiously. "I had to get out of my apartment. My roommate is entertaining a lady," Eric bitterly explained. "Oh. Yeah, I heard about Sarah and Rex. I don't even know what to say," Marlena sympathetically stated. "That makes two of us," Eric replied. "I'm not sure she's 100% convinced [this is what she wants]..." Marlena began. "Let it go," Eric advised, but Marlena forged ahead. "What if she just reconciled with Rex because she thought she had ruined her relationship with you?" Marlena suggested.
Just then, Ben rounded a corner and spotted Marlena and Eric. "You call yourself a doctor? You are nothing but a two-faced quack!" Ben spat, shoving past Eric to get right in Marlena's face. "The only mistake my mother ever made as your doctor was letting you out of the mental institution!" Eric insisted while pulling Ben away from Marlena. "I've got it," Marlena calmly assured Eric, who reluctantly freed Ben.
"Ben...look, I didn't betray your confidence lightly," Marlena stressed, knowing why Ben was upset. "Ciara went missing, and Hope was afraid that something had happened to her...[and] confidentiality doesn't apply if I believe I have evidence of a crime," Marlena continued. "[So], you think I'm the reason Ciara's missing," Ben guessed with a scoff and a shake of the head.
"You were very agitated [during our session] -- desperate to see Ciara," Marlena pointed out. "So what? I didn't even know she was back! [And] no matter what was going on inside my head, I would never, ever hurt Ciara!" Ben countered. "I believe that's true," Marlena said. "It is," Ben insisted. "[But] now, because of you, I have Hope Brady and her skeevy little sidekick lawyer breathing down my neck because they're dying to lock me up! [Meanwhile], Ciara's out there missing [and] could be in real danger! [And] I should be out looking for [her], but I can't do that, because the doctor I trusted sold me down the river!" Ben spat.
"Let's go to my office and talk about this," Marlena suggested. "So you can pump me for some more information [and] pass it on to your buddy Hope? No! I'll never have another session with you, lady! We're done!" Ben insisted. "I'm gonna be the one to find Ciara, [and] you and Hope Brady can go to hell!" Ben added before storming off. Marlena released a sigh of regret and accepted a comforting hug from Eric.
Meanwhile, back inside the pub, Roman knowingly guessed that John hadn't really decided to stick around just to discuss a case.
"Colville left town without any warning, [and now] she returns as Leo Stark's mother..." John began to explain. "So...what, you're feeling awkward about trying to dig up dirt on the son of an ex?" Roman concluded with obvious confusion. "Yeah...especially if that double-dealing little bastard turns out to be my son, too," John elaborated.
"[A] second son you didn't know about? [Nobody ever] sat you down and told you how not to get a woman pregnant?" Roman asked incredulously. "Apparently not," John sheepishly replied. "[And] if it turns out a son of mine has caused all this misery for Sonny and Will, it's gonna be a catastrophe -- not just for me [but also] for Doc. [I mean, Leo Stark's] been making Will's life a living hell for months, so how is she supposed to deal with the fact that I may turn out to be [that] punk's biological father? Hell, I don't even know how I'm gonna deal with it!" John fretted.
"Maybe you should just ask Diana if this kid is yours," Roman suggested. "Probably...but you know what the trouble with that is? I'm not sure I want the answer," John replied with a sigh. "[Then again]...if a guy that bad turns out to be my son, [that's] probably a good thing to know," John added after a moment of thought. "Forewarned is forearmed," Roman noted. "That's a fact," John agreed before rushing off in search of answers.
John was surprised to discover that Marlena was still outside the pub. "I ran into Eric," she vaguely explained. "And now we can go home together...unless you have some other plan," she added. "I'm all yours," he replied.
At the Salem Inn, Diana received an unexpected visit from Leo, who shoved a one-way plane ticket at her and told her to leave town immediately. "Who are you to barge in here and give me marching orders?" she demanded to know. "Your son -- the one you've made nothing but trouble for from the second you hit town!" he spat. "No, kiddo -- you have made all this trouble for yourself," she argued. "I am making a life for myself!" he insisted. "Is that the way you see it?" she asked with a scoff of disbelief. "How else would I see it? I have a handsome [and] successful husband, a beautiful home, an exciting social life..." he bragged.
"But God forbid my own mother give me credit for anything!" he added. "I should give you credit for blackmailing a man into marrying you?" she incredulously summarized. "You should give me credit for surviving; for somehow managing to keep myself together with absolutely zero support from you!" he clarified. "I'm very sorry you see it that way," she said with a sigh.
Diana regretfully admitted to having sometimes failed Leo as a mother. "But it was because --" she started to add. "Because I was a complete disappointment to you in every way? Because you couldn't stand the sight of me?" he tiredly guessed. "No! Of course not! I loved you with all my heart!" she insisted. "But I...I couldn't understand you! You confused me!" she added.
"Sure. Of course. How confusing [for you] that your son turned out to be gay. I mean, really, how on earth could such a thing happen to such a lovely, respectable woman who read all the right childcare books, sent her son to all the right schools... I mean, that just didn't seem fair," Leo sarcastically agreed. "Stop it! You will not go there! You know perfectly well [that] I have no problem with you being gay -- or with anybody being gay! What I have a problem with is you being a sociopath!" Diana countered. "Go to hell," Leo spat before starting to storm back out of the hotel room.
"Why have you chosen to destroy the lives of two perfectly decent men?" Diana asked, stopping Leo. "Why would you want to stay married to a man who will never love you?" she continued.
"Why don't I ask you the same question?" Leo countered, guessing that Diana wanted to win John back. "John Black is married to Will Horton's grandmother, and Will Horton is trying to blow up my marriage to Sonny!" Leo reminded Diana, adding that John was clearly on Will and Sonny's side. "[And] I know you, 'Mommie Dearest,' okay? A few too many martinis [and one] glimpse of that salt-and-pepper chest hair, [and] you will lie back [and] open up...that vault of secrets of yours, [and then], I will be toast!" Leo fretted. "And what do you think I'm gonna tell John, hmm?" Diana asked tauntingly. "Oh, yes -- that you're a murderer!" Diana pointedly recalled.
"Watch that mouth of yours," Leo warned through gritted teeth while glaring at Diana. "Seems to me you're the one that needs to watch out," Diana countered, returning the glare without a hint of fear.
"All Sonny Kiriakis needs to know is that you killed somebody, and your hold over him will be out the window! [And then] he will go back to his beloved ex-husband, and you...well, who knows where in the hell you'll be!" Diana continued. "And you wouldn't give a rat's ass, would you? [As long as] you get what you want -- which, in this case, is a roll in the hay with an old flame -- [then] who cares if you have to sell your own son down the river; who cares if your own son -- who has had a remarkably joyless existence, thanks to you -- ceases to exist at all! You not only wouldn't care...you would be relieved!" Leo bitterly countered.
"Stop it!" Diana protested. "[No], really, Mom -- I have been nothing but an embarrassment to you from the moment you realized that I was not the son you dreamed of having -- [that] I wasn't brilliant, or talented, or macho, or athletic..." Leo argued, getting a bit emotional. "Oh, but you were athletic! You were on the soccer travel team! [And] I did adore you! And I want you to know that I even carry a photograph of you in my wallet [from] when you were about ten years old -- [one where you're] kneeling and holding a soccer ball [while] smiling that lovely smile of yours! You were sweet, and funny...and athletic! And you made me so proud -- so proud! And if I failed to tell you...I'm terribly, terribly sorry," Diana countered, sounding sincere.
"Now...I think you need to leave," Diana concluded, gesturing toward the hotel room door. "Would you [really] betray me, [Mom]? Tell people what I did?" Leo asked worriedly, staying put. "You took a man's life, Matthew -- a man I cared deeply about," Diana summarized. "Damn it, Mom -- that is a lie, and you know it! Since when did you ever give a damn about my father?" Leo countered, suddenly angry again.
"Don't be ridiculous! I loved your father very, very much!" Diana insisted. "Really? That's why all I ever heard was the two of you yelling and screaming and cursing at each other?" Leo skeptically replied. "All couples fight, Matthew!" Diana dismissively pointed out. "Sure, it's part of all good marriages, right? Couples slamming doors in each other's faces, husbands giving their wives the occasional black eye, wives throwing lamps and books and plates and knives at their husbands [and] threatening to cut off their 'most prized possession' --" Leo sarcastically agreed. "All right!" Diana snapped, silencing Leo.
"He was a difficult man," Diana acknowledged. "'Difficult'? He was scum! I did you and the world a favor by getting rid of him!" Leo spat.
"You still think you did the right thing," Diana realized, stunned. "Yes! Definitely! Even if that means that I have to live with the fact that I killed my father," Leo replied.
"I can't undo what you did, Matthew...but please do not say that you did it for me. Yes, your father and I had problems, but I loved him very, very much, and deep inside, he was a good man -- a good husband," Diana maintained. "Are we talking about the same person? You gonna tell me he was a good father, too?" Leo asked incredulously. "No, he wasn't much of a father...but he didn't deserve to die!" Diana insisted.
"He was an evil, abusive pig! [And] I'm sorry if you've turned him into a saint now that he's dead, but I remember what he was, [and] he got what he deserved!" Leo spat. "No!" Diana argued while heading toward the hotel room door, again ready for Leo to leave. "Yes!" Leo insisted, grabbing Diana's arm. "And if you don't watch out and keep your mouth shut, you're gonna get the same thing," Leo warned before storming off.
Eric returned to his apartment and found clothes scattered all over the floor. He sighed and jealously glanced toward one of the apartment's closed inner doors, realizing the implications.
At the Horton house, Jordan apologized to Abigail for the unexpected late-night visit. "It's never too late for an old friend," Abigail dismissively insisted, giving Jordan a hug.
Abigail led Jordan into the living room then went to the kitchen to prepare two cups of tea. A short time later, Abigail rejoined Jordan in the living room, carrying one cup of tea in each hand.
Abigail curiously asked Jordan if everything was okay. "I'm just really worried," Jordan began to explain. "About Ben?" Abigail assumed. "About what Ben might do," Jordan clarified. "He never should have been released from the hospital that he was in. [And that's why] I came back -- to make sure that he never does anything to you ever again," Jordan cryptically added. "The last time that I talked to him, he was really agitated, [so] I asked him if he'd gone off his meds. And he swore that he hadn't, but...I don't know -- something was off. And then he stopped taking my phone calls, so I booked a flight here," Jordan continued.
Jordan randomly congratulated Abigail on the birth of another child then hinted that Ben, who had once gone after Thomas, might eventually go after Charlotte, as well. "It's not the same thing. [I mean], Ben thought that he was Thomas' father. [He's never thought] that about Charlotte," Abigail pointed out. "[And] whether he has changed [or] hasn't changed, I have to just not live my life in fear, you know? I need to just move on, and I'm trying to let Ben do the same thing," Abigail added, dismissing Jordan's repeated attempts to suggest that Ben still posed a threat to Abigail's family.
"I'm really glad you don't feel threatened by Ben anymore. You deserve to have some peace," Jordan eventually declared before starting to rush off. "We're friends. You don't have to walk me to the door," Jordan added when Abigail started to follow. Abigail nodded then headed to the kitchen with the empty teacups. As soon as the coast was clear, Jordan sneaked upstairs.
Jordan commits a second abduction
Eric picked up Sarah's dress, raised it to his nose, and inhaled deeply -- then flung it across his apartment with a jealous scowl.
After calming down, Eric fetched a drink from the refrigerator then turned off the living room and kitchen lights and went back to the photography work that had been abandoned after Rex and Sarah's interruption earlier that night. A short time later, Sarah emerged from Rex's bedroom, half naked, and turned on the living room light, drawing Eric's attention in the process.
Sarah gasped, and Eric quickly looked away. "I didn't realize you were home," Sarah told Eric while donning the nearest article of clothing, which happened to be Rex's shirt. "I was, um...just gonna get some water..." Sarah awkwardly explained before heading over to the refrigerator. "I take it you and Rex got reacquainted tonight," Eric said with a hint of bitterness. "Uh...yeah, something like that..." Sarah confirmed. "I'm happy for you," Eric claimed. "No, you're not," Sarah guessed. "You're a terrible liar, Eric, and I know how you really feel about me," Sarah continued.
"Can we not do this right now?" Eric evasively protested. "No, it's the perfect time to do it, [because] ever since Rex moved in, you and I haven't had any alone time, [and] right now, it's just you and me," Sarah countered.
"For what it's worth, I am so truly sorry for hurting you. Actually, I don't think that I've regretted anything more in my entire life...and believe me, I am not saying [that] lightly; you are looking at someone who has a lot of regrets in her life. [But] sleeping with Xander -- that was beyond stupid. It's in a category all of its own. It was...it was pathetic, and destructive, and I wish with all of my heart that it didn't happen, because it ruined a really great friendship. Hanging out with you -- [that] was such a comfort to me, but it was more than that; it was...it was fun," Sarah added.
"I really miss our friendship, so can we just agree that I suck, [and] just be friends again?" Sarah asked hopefully. "I know you're not a priest anymore, but you have to still believe in forgiveness, right?" she pointedly added.
Just then, Rex entered the living room, wearing only a pair of boxer briefs. "I was just apologizing to Eric again -- for the whole Xander thing," Sarah explained. "And I was about to accept her apology," Eric revealed.
Sarah was delighted to hear that -- and so was Rex. "I was so upset that my brother and my girlfriend were just not getting along, so this is great!" Rex raved. "Yeah -- anything to make your life easier..." Eric sarcastically agreed. "Yeah! Glad we're on the same page!" Rex replied before stifling a yawn and deciding to head back to bed. "Want to come?" Rex asked Sarah, who nodded in response. Eric sighed as Sarah entered Rex's bedroom.
Eli and Lani went to Ben's motel room to do a follow-up interview. "I don't know how you think I can help you. I already told Hope I had nothing to do with Ciara's disappearance," Ben said. "But you were dating her, [so] we're just hoping that you will be able to provide us with some sort of information about what might have happened to her," Eli explained. "Is there anyone who might have a grudge against Ciara? Someone who had a disagreement with her? Maybe argued with her before she left?" Lani added. "She got in a fight with Claire...but they fight pretty often, [so] there's nothing new there," Ben replied with a dismissive shrug.
Eli wondered when Ben had last seen Ciara. "I already told you," Ben pointed out, knowing that Hope should have shared that information. "Refresh my memory," Eli demanded, but Ben didn't take the bait. "Look, I know what you're trying to do here, okay? You're trying to trip me up to see if I change my story. But I won't, okay? Do you know why? Because I didn't do anything to Ciara! So, instead of wasting your time, trying to railroad me, how 'bout the two of you get on your horse and go figure out who the hell really did this, because I don't know where the hell she is...and I'm worried sick about her," Ben said.
Jordan returned to the cabin and discovered that Ciara had been busy trying to escape -- and had nearly managed to do so. Jordan retied Ciara's loosened bindings, making them even tighter and more secure than before. Ciara was stunned when a baby began fussing a short time later -- and even more stunned when Jordan revealed that it was Abigail's daughter, Charlotte.
"I didn't plan on taking Charlotte. [Actually], I only went to see Abigail because I was [hoping] to bring her back here, too. I want to protect both of them," Jordan insisted. "From Ben?" Ciara guessed. "He tried to take Thomas! [And] despite Abigail's assurances that he's a changed man, what if he wants to get back at her and Chad -- and use their baby to do it?" Jordan reasoned. "[Look], I have no choice -- I have to do what I have to do to protect Charlotte...just like I am protecting you," Jordan continued. Jordan assured Ciara that Charlotte would be returned to Abigail and Chad as soon as Ben was no longer a threat to anyone.
"Jordan, you have to listen to me. You were gone a really, really long time, okay? You don't know how Ben has changed. You haven't seen it," Ciara argued. "No, you're not listening to me, okay?" Jordan countered. "I know my brother better than anyone! He is a master manipulator! I should have known that he would turn out just like Clyde -- like father, like son! I just wish that I had done something sooner! All those people that he killed -- those deaths are on my head! No more! I will not let Ben hurt anyone ever again!" Jordan added with finality.
Ciara reminded Jordan that Charlotte already had two loving, protective parents. "Because that's what parents do? Is that it?" Jordan asked skeptically. "I know better than anyone -- that is not always the case! My mother certainly didn't protect me from Clyde!" Jordan continued. "I know how Clyde used to beat you up," Ciara sympathetically acknowledged. "He did more than that to me," Jordan replied.
"It's no wonder Ben's such a mess, right?" Jordan added with a shrug as Ciara absorbed the disturbing revelation.
At the Horton house, Abigail finished washing the teacups in the kitchen then headed back to the living room -- and was shocked to see Stefan standing in the foyer. "How the hell did you get in here?" she demanded to know. "The door was open," he explained. "I just came by to drop something off," he added, fishing a silver spoon out of his pocket. "I bought it last Christmas. Thought I should mark the occasion -- you know, my daughter's first Christmas and all. Anyway, uh, I've been carrying it around, and tonight, I realized that I need to let go, so...please..." he elaborated while trying to hand over the item.
Abigail hesitantly accepted the silver spoon and promised to give it to Charlotte. "Thank you," Stefan said before starting to leave. "I'd ask about your arm, but..." Abigail began, eyeing Stefan's sling. "You're not interested," Stefan concluded for Abigail. "I understand. Have a good night," Stefan added before exiting the house. Abigail locked the front door then headed upstairs to put the gift away.
Chloe went to the DiMera mansion to see Stefan -- who, according to Chad, hadn't returned home yet. "I heard about what happened at Doug's Place," Chad said while leading Chloe into the living room. "Are you all right?" Chad asked. "I'm fine," Chloe replied, forcing a smile. "Actually, no -- I'm not okay," Chloe admitted seconds later. "If I could go a whole year without someone trying to kill me, that would be great...but, um, I'm alive and here -- because of your brother," Chloe continued. "So, it's true -- Stefan actually saved your life? [I guess] he's not completely useless, then," Chad dryly mused.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady and Victor discussed a few business matters. Afterwards, Brady went online to show Victor the website of a company that might be worth acquiring -- and quickly got distracted. "Its stock tanked already?" Victor assumed as Brady stared at the screen of a laptop in disbelief. "No... Um, there was, uh...there was an incident at Doug's Place tonight. Stefan DiMera was shot," Brady clarified while reading the relevant article. "Is he dead?" Victor asked hopefully. "No, he's not," Brady replied. "Damn it, Brady -- cruel of you to tease me that way!" Victor grumbled as Brady continued reading.
"Oh, God -- Chloe was there!" Brady suddenly discovered. "Granddad, someone tried to kill her!" Brady added, already dialing Chloe's cell phone number. Victor watched without a hint of concern for Chloe's safety.
Brady was relieved when Chloe arrived at the mansion a short time later without even a strand of hair out of place. "I told you on the phone -- I'm fine," Chloe said. "Trust but verify," Brady replied, quoting one of Victor's mantras. "I would say that you have verified. She's fine. Now, stop overreacting and let the poor woman go home," Victor interjected. "It's nice to see you, too, Victor," Chloe sarcastically countered.
Brady pointed out that Chloe wouldn't have had to kill El Fideo if Victor hadn't tried to keep everyone from finding out that Theresa had left Chloe in Mexico, but Victor didn't feel the least bit responsible for Chloe's ordeal -- and argued that, in any case, El Fideo's goons had failed to exact revenge, so everything had worked out just fine for Chloe in the end. "Well, not exactly..." Chloe began before revealing the dead goon's final words. "I sent my kids with my mom to New York so that they would be safe, at least for tonight, [but] I can't stand to be away from them [for long], and they need me, so I don't know what I'm gonna do [in the long term]," Chloe fretted.
"I know what you're gonna do -- you're gonna bring the kids here, and you're gonna move in," Brady spontaneously decided. "Over my dead body!" Victor protested. Brady started to argue with Victor about the matter, but Chloe soon interrupted. "Brady, thank you, but this is a bad idea --" Chloe began. "I'll second that!" Victor agreed. "We'll find some [other] place. I don't want to live here with this grumpy old man, anyway," Chloe continued before rushing off. Brady chased after Chloe but soon returned and started complaining about Victor's treatment of Chloe. "If you're gonna keep trying to control my life --" Brady began to warn.
"Oh, for God's sake... I solemnly swear I won't try and control your life," Victor dryly promised, holding up a hand while saying the words. "Mind if I get that in writing?" Brady asked skeptically. "Don't press your luck," Victor advised. "[And that promise] doesn't mean I have to let your ex-wife move into my home...especially when she can take care of herself. She did manage to stick a knife in El Fideo's back," Victor added.
"Look, Brady, I don't mean to be a hard-ass, but there's no reason you have to be the one to rescue her. I know the girl. Believe me -- she'll find some other poor sap to take care of her," Victor predicted.
Stefan entered the DiMera mansion and joined Chad in the living room. While telling Stefan about Chloe's visit, Chad received a phone call from Abigail, who frantically revealed that Charlotte was missing.
Chad quickly ended the call after Abigail suggested that Stefan might have taken Charlotte. When confronted, Stefan denied having kidnapped Charlotte.
"Why would I? [I mean], Charlotte is not my daughter; she's yours," Stefan pointed out. "[Maybe] you're just using her for leverage to get control of the company. [That's] right out of your playbook," Chad suggested. "You're right -- I can be a ruthless bastard if I have to. But if I did have her, don't you think I would admit it? I mean, the jig is up, so why am I not demanding that you resign in exchange for the return of your daughter?" Stefan countered. "Trust me -- I have every intention of removing you from DiMera, but I wouldn't kidnap my own niece to do it. No matter what you think of me, Chad, I care very much about that little girl, okay? So, I am urging you -- [just] forget about me and find the person who is [really] behind this," Stefan added.
"If you had anything to do with this, Stefan, I'm gonna kill you," Chad vowed, still not entirely convinced. "All right," Stefan tiredly replied as Chad rushed off.
Chloe returned to the mansion a short time later, hoping for better luck than the previous time. Chloe was relieved to see that Stefan had returned home and was in fairly good shape, all things considered. Chloe was horrified, however, to hear that Charlotte was missing. "I'm sure that [Chad and Abigail will] find her, but...just in case, I've got my men on the lookout," Stefan said before changing the subject, wondering how Chloe was doing in the wake of their earlier ordeal. "I'm...still pretty shaken up, honestly -- scared to death that El Fideo's men will come after me again," Chloe hesitantly admitted.
"Have you thought about police protection?" Stefan asked. "The thought of having to need a bodyguard 24/7 for me and my children..." Chloe began, cringing. "Brady offered to have us move in with him, but Victor put a stop to that, of course -- not that I'd want to live under the same roof with that old bastard, anyway. But...if I'm being honest, the idea of living there... It would make me feel a lot more safe. I mean, the place is like a fortress," Chloe continued. "Move in here," Stefan spontaneously suggested. "It's very kind of you to offer, but I couldn't impose," Chloe insisted.
"We barely know each other, for one thing, [and] my kids are a fairly skilled wrecking crew, and I couldn't do that to you or your lovely home," Chloe continued, but Stefan quickly dismissed both arguments. "We will probably be fine at my place. I mean, you scared off that one cartel guy, and the other one's dead, [so] there's probably no real threat [anymore]. I'm just feeling paranoid," Chloe said, still not convinced.
As if on cue, Chloe received a threatening text message from a blocked phone number. "This isn't over. You'll never be safe," Stefan read aloud as Chloe began to worry about Parker and Holly.
"That settles it -- you're staying here tonight, [and] I'll send a team to look after [the kids in New York]. Then, tomorrow, you and the kids move in here," Stefan told Chloe with finality that no longer seemed necessary.
Eli and Lani were talking to Abigail when Chad entered the Horton house and grudgingly admitted that Stefan probably wasn't responsible for Charlotte's disappearance. "Is there anyone else who may have a reason to take Charlotte?" Eli asked. "No. Stefan was the only one here..." Abigail began to respond before suddenly remembering that Jordan had visited earlier.
"[But] she's my friend. She would never take my daughter," Abigail insisted. "[But]...she is Ben's sister, and she was very worried about what he might do..." Abigail added. "Then it's possible he might have kidnapped someone else, as well," Eli said to Lani. "[He] hasn't been taking his meds regularly, [so] it's possible that he could be losing it," Lani agreed with a shrug.
Chad and Abigail were both horrified to learn that Ciara had also disappeared -- and that Ben was Hope's prime suspect.
Meanwhile, Ben awoke from a dream about Ciara, who had been trying to communicate with him at that exact moment.
Ciara appeals to Jordan
As Ben paced his motel room, Chad burst in and tackled Ben onto the bed. "Where's my daughter?" Chad screamed as he wrapped his hands around Ben's throat. Ben grunted out that he had no idea what had happened to Charlotte. Frantic, Chad yelled that Ben wanted revenge, and Ben gurgled out that he did not want to hurt Abigail, Chad, or their children.
Eli arrived and pulled Chad off of Ben. Ben yelled that he had no idea who had taken Charlotte. Eli told Chad that the police had checked Ben's story and verified it was true. "So, he just walks around free?" Chad asked Eli. Eli promised that he had an officer following Ben.
After Chad left, Eli told Ben that he had more questions. Ben protested that he did not know anything about the baby. When Ben asked why Eli suspected him of the kidnapping, Eli answered, "Because of your sister."
Eli told Ben that Jordan had visited Abigail, and she had been worried about her brother's mental state. Ben said he would talk to his sister. When Ben called his sister's phone, the voicemail was full. Eli said he had no more questions, so Ben announced that he was going to look for Jordan.
At the Horton house, a frantic Abigail talked to Jennifer about Charlotte. "Where is she? Why can't they find her?" Abigail asked. Abigail wondered aloud how to tell Thomas that his sister was missing. Jennifer took Abigail's hands in hers and told Abigail that she would find the strength to tell her son the news. Chad returned to the house.
"How did she just vanish? She was just there and then she wasn't," Abigail said. Chad promised Abigail that he would find Charlotte. Abigail picked up a stuffed animal and muttered, "Charlotte, where are you?" Noticing the pain in her daughter's face, Jennifer left.
In the town square, Melinda ran into Abe and chastised him about the crime in the community. Abe stressed that he supported the men and women in law enforcement and trusted them to do their job. "Your days as mayor of this town are numbered," Melinda said. Abe remarked that the city was safer than it had ever been. Eve interrupted to note that it was embarrassing that Abe and Melinda were arguing while a child was missing. Eve then asked Abe about the attack on Chloe at the club and his stance on illegal immigration.
"That situation has nothing to do with the immigration issue," Abe growled. Eve asked Melinda about her stance on illegal immigration. Melinda avoided the question and walked away.
At J.J.'s apartment, J.J. asked Haley to talk to him. "I made you wish that you had never taken the chance on telling me," J.J. said. J.J. asked for forgiveness. "It's not like it was all your fault," Haley responded. J.J. said he did not understand Melinda's inability to help Haley. Haley countered that Melinda wanted to help Salem like Melinda had helped her.
Haley admitted that she was upset because her secret could hurt her sister as well as her. J.J. maintained that his concern was for Haley. "After everything she has done for me, I'd hate to be the reason she loses [the election]," Haley said. Haley told J.J. that she trusted him not to tell anyone her secret. J.J. thought about when he had talked to Jack about Haley's immigration status.
"What's wrong?" Haley asked. "There is something I need to say to you," J.J. started before his phone rang. Jennifer called about Charlotte's kidnapping. Worried, J.J. raced out to meet with his mother.
After J.J. left, Melinda stopped by to complain that Haley was still living with J.J. Melinda offered to help Haley find a new apartment. "It's not safe for you," Melinda said. Melinda argued that J.J.'s parents could hurt her campaign.
"Please tell me that you haven't told him anything," Melinda said. "I did," Haley said. Furious, Melinda asked why Haley had done that. Haley said that she trusted J.J. with her secret.
Eve was looking at her computer in her hotel room when she saw the news about Charlotte on a website. "Oh, my God! Jack's grandchild," Eve whispered. "What?" Jack asked as he walked out of the bathroom. Eve lied and said she had been reading up on the competition for the mayoral race. There was a knock at the door. It was Jennifer.
"Abigail needs you," Jennifer said breathlessly. Jennifer told Jack that someone had kidnapped Charlotte. Jack asked what he could do to help. Jennifer yelled that Abigail needed her father, whether he remembered Abigail or not. Jack grabbed his coat and left with Jennifer.
In the Horton living room, Abigail broke down and told Chad that she did not need him to watch over her. "What is wrong with this town? Why would somebody do this? Why would they take my daughter?" Abigail cried out. Chad promised that the culprit would be brought to justice.
When J.J. arrived, Abigail told him what had happened. Chad explained that he did not believe Stefan was to blame because he had not used Charlotte as leverage. Chad added that he did not believe Ben was to blame, either.
"If he is obsessed with anybody right now, it's Ciara," Abigail said. Jennifer arrived with Jack. When Jack hugged Abigail, she told him that she did not want his false concern. "You never even stopped by to meet Charlotte," Abigail grumbled. Abigail asked Jack if Chad had given him more money. Jack apologized and left. Jennifer followed him.
In the corner of the living room, J.J. apologized to Chad for mentioning Ben. Chad said Abigail was already upset, and it did not matter. Chad mentioned that he had visited Ben. With a nod, J.J. told Chad that he would follow up on Ben so that Chad could stay with Abigail. J.J. left. As Abigail curled up on the couch, there was a knock at the front door.
It was Ben. Chad asked Ben to leave, but Ben begged to talk to Abigail. Abigail agreed. Ben swore he had not taken Charlotte, and he offered to help. Scoffing, Abigail said there was nothing Ben could do to help. Abigail asked Ben about his medication. Ben said he was taking his medication. When Ben asked about Jordan, Abigail said she had been too preoccupied with her daughter's kidnapping to locate Jordan. Ben apologized and rushed out of the house.
In Ben's motel room, Eli called the police station to confirm that he had talked to Ben and that he was not able to search the room, since Ben was not there to consent. J.J. walked in. J.J. vowed to find proof that Ben had kidnapped Charlotte, but Eli reminded J.J. that he was no longer a cop. "I don't need you playing cowboy, blowing this case," Eli warned J.J.
In the hallway of the Salem Inn, outside Eve's room, Jack told Jennifer that Abigail was right. "I made things worse. She has every right to be upset. She needed her father, and I am not that man," Jack growled. Jennifer told Jack, "Our family loves you. Our family needs you." Jack asked Jennifer to leave before Eve saw her. Hesitantly, Jennifer walked away.
When Jack entered Eve's room, Eve asked about Charlotte. Jack said there was no news. "I didn't know what the hell to say," Jack admitted. Eve cautioned Jack to remember that it was not his fault that he did not remember his past. As Jack brooded on the couch, Eve suggested that they work on the campaign.
"I'm a failure as a father," Jack said. When Eve disagreed, Jack said he had no instincts as a parent. Jack mentioned that J.J.'s friend had an immigration problem and that he did not know how to help J.J. Eve raised an eyebrow.
J.J. returned to his apartment and threw his keys against the wall. "I feel useless!" J.J. complained to Haley. Haley encouraged J.J. to talk to her. "This pretty wise guy told me that talking about what was bothering me would make me feel better," Haley said. Haley told J.J. it was her turn to help him. J.J. and Haley hugged. When Haley pulled away, her face lingered close to J.J.'s face, and they kissed.
In the town square, Abe asked Eli about Charlotte. Eli told Abe that there were no concrete leads yet. "You better find that baby, detective, or your boss is going to be out of a job come Election Day," Melinda said as she walked by.
In the Horton living room, Abigail apologized to Chad for lashing out at everyone when they had only wanted to help. Chad took Abigail's hand and squeezed it. "I took Charlotte out of your arms when she was born, and I will be the one to put her back in your arms when we find her. I promise, if it is the last thing I do," Chad said.
In the cabin, Ciara watched Jordan across the room, holding Charlotte. Ciara faked having a nightmare. When Jordan "woke" Ciara up, Ciara told Jordan that she had had a nightmare about Ben setting fire to the cabin. "You are safe," Jordan said. "I am. I get it now. I get it. You were right," Ciara said. Ciara admitted that she should never have trusted Ben.
"It is lucky that I got to you in time," Jordan said. "I guess he was just pretending," Ciara offered. With a nod, Jordan said that her brother would always be a psychopath. Jordan said she felt compelled to protect everyone from Ben. "You have always loved him. This must be so hard for you," Ciara said. Jordan nodded yes. Ciara asked if Jordan could untie her from the bed. Hesitant, Jordan asked Ciara if she promised to stay at the cabin if Jordan untied her.
"Now that I understand what he really is, thanks to you, I'm afraid of him. Trust me, I am not going anywhere. Maybe I can even help you," Ciara said. Ciara nodded toward Charlotte. Jordan admitted that she was exhausted. Ciara swore that she would not "try anything." Jordan untied the ropes.
Jordan promised to tie Ciara up again if she did anything wrong. Ciara reached for her phone, drawing Jordan's ire. Ciara said she needed to call her family and Chad. Jordan was unsure. Ciara offered to send a preapproved text. Jordan agreed. As Ciara looked through her contacts, she got woozy. Jordan smiled at Ciara.
"I feel weird. Jordan, help me. What's wrong with me?" Ciara asked. Jordan confirmed she had drugged Ciara. When Ciara asked why, Jordan said she had done it to protect Ciara from Ben. Ciara passed out on the bed, and Jordan took her phone. "Sleep tight, Ciara," Jordan said with a grin.
Ciara drowsily woke up and looked around. Ciara saw that she was tied to the bed again. Upset, Ciara cried out, "Jordan, where are you?" Ben returned to his motel room and found Jordan there.