At the loft apartment, Claire admonished Tripp for having invaded her privacy with an unpermitted search of her property.
"I'm sorry I had to do that, [but] I thought something was up when you slammed your jewelry box shut [earlier]. I could tell you were hiding something, [and] you told me [it] was a birthday present for me, but my birthday isn't for a while, [so]...why do you have a lighter, and why were you so worried about me finding it?" Tripp asked Claire suspiciously. "I..." she hesitantly began, squirming. "I took up smoking!" she eventually blurted out.
"What? [But] I've never even seen you with cigarettes -- or even smelled smoke on you," Tripp curiously noted. "Because I quit [already] -- like, a couple of weeks ago," Claire claimed.
"Okay...then why do you still have the lighter, and why are you so worried about me finding it?" Tripp asked Claire skeptically. "Because I was disgusted with myself for doing what I did, okay? [I mean], it's like it wasn't even me! [So], just to remind myself of what I did, sometimes I [just] take the lighter out [and] look at it, and it just helps me remember to never let myself go back to that dark place ever again," she explained with a shrug. "Okay... I'm...not really sure I'd call it a 'dark place'... Are you sure there's not more to this than just a short-term smoking habit?" he wondered, still confused. "What else would it be?" she innocently replied.
"Guess I just gotta take you at your word..." Tripp acknowledged before offering to drive Claire to work.
At the hospital, Eli and Lani questioned Kayla about Haley.
"I'm sorry, detectives, but, um, I don't think I can help you with this, and I have patients waiting for me, so..." Kayla replied before walking away. "She knows something," Eli concluded. "Haley's here," Lani guessed.
Meanwhile, J.J. tried to help Haley escape from the hospital without being detected -- a plan that hinged on the help of an elevator that was taking a long time to reach their floor.
"Let's just use the stairs," Haley suggested in a panic. "They're all the way down at the other end of the hall. That's not gonna be a good idea," J.J. argued. Just then, J.J. spotted Eli and Lani at the far end of a hallway, heading toward the elevator that still hadn't arrived yet. "Hide!" J.J. quietly advised Haley, who quickly ducked behind the nearby double doors that led to another hallway.
Eli and Lani soon approached J.J., who pretended to have just finished dropping off some EMT paperwork -- a claim that didn't really ring true to either detective but also couldn't be proven false.
As soon as the coast was clear, J.J. went to look for Haley, who was nowhere to be found. Disappointed, J.J. headed over to Kayla's office, needing someone to talk to about the matter.
Kayla guessed that J.J. was worried that Haley might once again decide that suicide was the only way out of a bad situation. J.J. nodded and admitted to feeling responsible for what was happening to Haley. "You trusted your dad," Kayla reasoned with a shrug. "I was desperate to bond with him, [and now] I've ruined Haley's life," J.J. fretted, adding that Haley had no one to turn to for help.
While dashing through the park, Haley ran into Tripp, who was disturbed to hear that the police were looking for her -- and spontaneously decided to let her hide out at the loft apartment for a while.
Rafe went to the Salem Inn to check on Kate, who was relieved to hear that Jordan had been taken to Bayview and was going to remain there for the foreseeable future. Rafe felt sorry for Jordan, who was struggling to adjust, but Kate found it hard to be sympathetic. "[So], how did Hope feel about you helping me out while she was busy with Ciara and Jordan and Ben?" Kate asked curiously, eager to change the subject. "I know she's the police commissioner, but she's also your wife, [and] if I were your wife, I might have a problem with you running around and rescuing your exes," Kate added, aware that Rafe had also helped Sami recently and was finding it hard to resist the urge to try to help Jordan. "Well, if she happens to be upset, it's not with you," Rafe assured Kate, who understood what that meant.
"[And], lucky for her, she wasn't alone the whole time I was [busy]," Rafe added with a sigh. Kate was surprised -- and also a bit amused -- to hear that Hope had been spending a lot of time with Ted lately. Kate warned Rafe to watch out for Ted, who was really good at preying on vulnerable women. Rafe was disturbed to learn that Ted had managed to play Kate, of all people, since that meant that Ted could probably play Hope, too.
"I'm sorry for what Ted did to you. I'm sure you didn't deserve it," Rafe said to Kate. "Thank you...but you don't have to be sorry, because I took care of it," Kate vaguely bragged. "Do I even want to know?" Rafe worriedly wondered. "Off the record?" Kate replied. "Fine," Rafe agreed. "I held him at gunpoint then I had him grabbed and dumped on a deserted island," Kate matter-of-factly elaborated. That was you?" Rafe asked incredulously. "And I will deny it to my grave," Kate vowed with a mischievous grin. "[Well], from what I can see, [he] had it coming -- [I mean], after what he did to you, [not to mention] Will [and] Sonny..." Rafe declared.
"Too bad he got off that island," Kate mused, and Rafe agreed without hesitation.
At the police station, Hope admonished Ted for having blackmailed Will and Sonny the previous summer. Ted acknowledged that it had been wrong to torment Will and Sonny -- and that helping Leo continue to do so would also be wrong. "There's only one thing I can do to make this right -- I need to step down [as district attorney]," Ted decided, surprising Hope, who seemed to think that was a bit drastic. "[Just] recuse yourself [and] assign the case to one of the A.D.A.s," Hope suggested. Ted thanked Hope for the great advice and promised to head over to the courthouse right away to take care of the matter. Hope gave Ted a smile and a nod then walked away.
At the hospital, Ciara desperately tried to talk Ben out of ending their relationship.
"I'm sorry. This is just -- it has to be this way," Ben told Ciara. "No, no, no -- it really doesn't!" she argued. "You said you'd never hurt me, so why are you breaking my heart?" she added, fighting back tears. "You know I would never want to break your heart...[but] I would literally do anything -- [including that] -- to make sure that I don't hurt you the way I almost hurt [my sister]," he replied.
"I trust you!" Ciara assured Ben. "That's a mistake...because I don't trust myself -- not anymore," he countered with a sigh.
"You deserve better than me. [I mean], I'm damaged goods, and I'm always going to be," Ben told Ciara. "We're all damaged goods...[but] you saved my life -- more than once!" she argued.
"[And] I'm always gonna be grateful I was able to do that...[but] how will I be able to save you if the next person trying to hurt you is me? [Look], I'm gonna be in a constant fear of losing my grip, [and] it's gonna eat me up, and it's gonna drive a wedge between us. I've never cared about anyone the way I care about you, [and] I'm sorry, [but] I can't put you in danger ever again. You are better off without me," Ben replied with finality before walking away, ignoring Ciara's tearful protests.
Ciara was still crying when Hope arrived a short time later.
"Ben just broke up with me," Ciara explained when Hope wondered what was wrong. "You finally got what you wanted, [so] don't even pretend like you're not happy about it," Ciara added, dodging Hope's attempt to offer a comforting hug. "Why did he break up with you?" Hope asked. "He says that he doesn't trust himself -- that he's afraid that he's gonna hurt me," Ciara clarified. "And it's all your fault! You finally drove him away!" Ciara reiterated. "As hard as it may be to believe, I really am sorry," Hope gently assured Ciara, who finally accepted a hug.
"[You know], after Daddy died, and after Chase..." Ciara began after calming down a bit. "I had such a hard time letting people in, 'cause I was so afraid that I was gonna get hurt again, but...with Ben, it's just the opposite -- he's the one who's afraid that he's gonna be hurting me," Ciara continued with a shake of the head.
"I give him a lot of credit for making such a big sacrifice," Hope admitted. "Yeah, [but] I didn't ask him to!" Ciara stressed. "I just wish he could see what I see -- that he's a good person now. I just wish he could believe in himself, the way I believe in him. But I don't think there's any changing his mind," Ciara added with a sigh.
Rafe entered the police station just as Eli was sharing a rumor with Lani.
"What are you guys saying about Laurent?" Rafe asked curiously. "Just that [he's apparently] recusing himself from prosecuting the case against Sonny and Will [because of] some kind of conflict of interest," Eli explained with a shrug of uncertainty, not knowing all the details. Rafe wasn't surprised to hear that Ted was somehow connected to that case, since it was starting to seem like Ted was connected to practically everything in one way or another. "How did we get someone so shady as D.A.? What the hell was Abe thinking?" Rafe grumbled.
"Do you have something to say about me?" Ted asked Rafe defensively, approaching from behind. "As a matter of fact, I do," Rafe confirmed before leading Ted into one of the conference rooms for a private chat.
"You need to step down as acting D.A.," Rafe told Ted. "Let's not pretend the problem you have with me is professional," Ted countered. "If you mean I don't like you, then yes, you'd be right," Rafe confirmed with a shrug. "It's a little bit more than that. [I mean], you're upset because I've been here for Hope, and you haven't," Ted argued. "My marriage with Hope is solid," Rafe dismissively insisted, but Ted wasn't convinced. "You seem to worry about everyone else except your wife, and then you get upset because someone else is helping her. [You know], if you were the husband Hope really needs, she wouldn't have to turn to anyone else, but you have let her down -- over and over again!" Ted pointed out. Rafe shoved Ted against a wall in response.
At the Horton Town Square, Ben approached Claire and placed a takeout order.
"For Ciara?" Claire assumed, knowing that the food at the hospital wasn't very good. "No... Ciara and I are over," Ben sadly clarified.
"I don't really want to talk about it," Ben added, but Claire still probed for more details. "[Look], it's just been a really horrible few days, [okay]? I had to save Ciara from my own sister, [and] by stopping Jordan, I realized that there's this darkness inside of me, and I doubt that I'm ever gonna get past it," Ben reluctantly elaborated.
"You would never hurt Ciara," Claire dismissively insisted. "I wouldn't want to, [but] what if I lose control again, you know? What if the darkness comes back?" Ben countered. "You are not going to let it. As long as you take your meds, you will be fine," Claire maintained. "[You know], with everything going on this morning, I forgot to take my meds," Ben suddenly realized with a sigh before retrieving a prescription pill bottle from a coat pocket. "You good?" Claire asked nervously as Ben gulped down a dose of the medication. "I'll be fine. It would take me missing a few days in a row for there to be any real effects," Ben replied. "Then...why are you so scared?" Claire wondered. "Because these little pills are the only things that are keeping me together," Ben explained.
"Last time I ran out of these, [I was] at the cabin [with Ciara...and] I started to hallucinate -- I started to see things and hear things... [I mean], I thought that my father was there in the room with me, urging me to burn the whole cabin down, [and] I knew he wasn't real, but I just couldn't stop seeing him [and] hearing him, [and] he tried to turn me against Ciara, and for a little while there, I thought that I might have done it -- I thought that I started that fire," Ben continued. "Well, I know for a fact that you didn't," Claire assured Ben. "How the hell do you know that?" Ben asked curiously.
"Ciara never really believed that you started the fire. I was actually there when she and Tripp were talking about how it was probably Jordan," Claire explained. "Pretty good bet," Ben admitted. "So, have they, like, questioned her yet?" Claire wondered. "I don't know. They won't let me anywhere near her," Ben replied. "So, as far as you know, she hasn't confessed to setting the fire?" Claire asked. "Rafe's been there to see her, [so]...I don't know -- maybe he's gotten a confession out of her," Ben conceded with a shrug. "What if she denies it? [I mean], do you think people will believe her? 'Cause, no offense, but...she is certifiably crazy, [so]...whether she, like, admits it or not, everyone kind of knows that it had to be her...right?" Claire reasoned. "I honestly can't think of another explanation," Ben sadly confirmed.
Satisfied, Claire went to get Ben's takeout order.
"I know you're trying to do the right thing about Ciara, but I also know that you really do love her, and I think that you need to stop being so afraid and go be with her," Claire advised Ben after returning with the food. "Are you saying that because you're worried if I don't, Tripp's gonna get back with her?" Ben asked. "I just want everyone to be happy," Claire innocently replied. "Especially you and Tripp," Ben knowingly concluded for Claire. "All right -- yeah," Claire shamelessly admitted. "I messed up -- big-time -- but Tripp finally forgave me, and I'm not about to lose him to Ciara -- or anybody else, for that matter," Claire vowed.
At the loft apartment, Haley curiously observed that Tripp's taste in decor seemed oddly feminine. "I have two [female] roommates, one of whom is my girlfriend," Tripp explained. "How's she gonna feel about me staying here?" Haley asked. Before Tripp could respond, Haley received a phone call from J.J. -- and decided to answer it, if only as a way of showing appreciation for the earlier help.
J.J. wanted to know where Haley was, but she was only willing to reveal that she was safe, since she still wasn't sure that she could trust him with any more information than that.
After Haley ended the call, Tripp gave her a hug and confirmed that she was indeed safe.
Outside, Ciara searched for the key to the apartment as Hope read a text message from Eli that was about the search for Haley.
Stefan makes Ben an offer
At the loft, Ciara returned home with Hope and knocked on the front door when she could not find her keys. Panicked, Tripp informed Haley that the police commissioner was in the hallway. Haley rushed upstairs to hide. When Tripp answered the door to let Ciara and Hope inside, he lied and said he had been sleeping. Ciara asked about the bag on the counter. Tripp said the bag was probably Claire's. Ciara raised a suspicious eyebrow. Tripp grabbed the bag and ducked into Claire's room to put it away.
Ciara thanked Hope for escorting her home. "You're throwing me out?" Hope asked with a chuckle. Ciara laughed and nodded yes.
After Hope left, Tripp asked Ciara if Ben was going to visit the loft. Ciara brushed off the question. Ciara grilled Tripp about the bag. "Are you hiding another girl in your room or something?" Ciara asked. Tripp shifted his eyes away guiltily, and he stammered.
"I can't believe you are actually cheating on Claire after you just got back together!" Ciara yelped. Ciara started to call out to whomever was hiding. Haley walked down the stairs. Tripp argued that he had hidden Haley to protect her.
"You're Haley? Like Melinda's sister, Haley?" Ciara asked. Tripp explained that the police were looking for Haley. "It's only until we find out a way to help her," Tripp said. Ciara asked Tripp if he expected her to lie to her mother, the commissioner. "Yeah, I do," Tripp said firmly. Haley offered to leave. Ciara stepped in front of the door.
"Actually. You're not going anywhere," Ciara said. Ciara explained that her family had emigrated to the United States, and she believed everyone deserved an opportunity to do the same. "You can stay here as long as you need to," Ciara said. Grateful, Haley thanked Ciara for the help. Ciara asked Tripp how his girlfriend would feel about Haley staying in the loft.
On the way out of the DiMera mansion, Chloe invited Stefan to join her for a game of chess after work. When Chloe opened the front door to leave, she gasped. Chloe pointed to the messy front porch and said she was certain that one of El Fideo's men had been there. Stefan assured Chloe that the mess was due to the wind. Stefan offered to have his driver take Chloe to the club. Chloe accepted the offer.
While Chloe ran upstairs to grab her things, Stefan called Ben and asked to see him right away. Ben arrived after Chloe had left for work. Stefan told Ben that he wanted Ben to return to work as head of security. "I don't think that is a very good idea," Ben answered. Stefan said he was surprised. Ben told Stefan that he had ended his relationship with Ciara because he had been afraid he would hurt her. Stefan scoffed.
"If I worried about that, I would be alone for the rest of my life," Stefan said. Ben said he did not imagine he could hurt Ciara, but he was worried all the same. "I admire your sacrifice. Not sure I could make the same choice," Stefan said. Stefan argued that Ben should take the job so that he had a purpose in life to keep him clearheaded. Stefan added that he trusted Ben.
"I'll come work for you again. On one condition," Ben said. Stefan chuckled and asked Ben what he wanted. Ben explained that he had intended to quit the job before Chad had fired him. Ben added that Ciara had been upset that Ben had kidnapped Gabi on Stefan's orders. Ben explained that he refused to do anything to victimize women for Stefan again.
"I'm glad to hear you say that because, for your first assignment, you'll be doing the exact opposite," Stefan said. Stefan briefed Ben on the situation with Chloe, and he asked Ben to watch over Chloe and her children. "I do not want her to know that we think she is in danger," Stefan stressed.
In the police station interrogation room, Rafe threatened to punch Ted Laurent. Ted urged Rafe to punch him. "You'd like that, wouldn't you? I see you. I know exactly what you are," Rafe said. Rafe accused Ted of baiting him in order to drive a wedge between him and Hope. As Rafe backed away, Ted straightened his tie.
"Moving forward, Rafe, I'm not going to be as forgiving. I hope I made myself clear," Ted said. Rafe warned Ted that it was clear that Ted had been pursuing his wife and that it would stop. Ted argued that there was no evidence to support Rafe's accusation. Ted added that he had spent time with Hope and looked forward to spending more time with her.
"You stay the hell away from my wife, or it is not going to end well," Rafe growled as Hope walked into the room. "What is going on here?" Hope asked. Rafe explained that he did not believe Ted should be the new D.A. With a sigh, Hope asked Ted to leave her alone with Rafe. Once alone, Rafe asked Hope why she continued to defend Ted.
"He deserves a chance at the job," Hope said. Hope pointed out that Rafe's objections to Ted were based in jealousy and not on whether Ted was right for the position. "You are absolutely right! I don't like Ted hanging around you," Rafe argued. Rafe added that Ted had all but admitted that his intentions toward Hope were not pure. Hope reminded Rafe that she loved him, not Ted.
"It doesn't matter what Ted does. This is you, feeling guilty about not being there for me," Hope said. Rafe reminded Hope that he had left for Johnny, not Sami. "What about Ciara? Your stepdaughter?" Hope returned. Hope asked Rafe why Ciara had not been his priority once Rafe had learned that Ciara had disappeared. Hope argued that Sami would always be a priority for Rafe over his own wife.
"I love you, and I would never, ever [choose Ted]. There is no comparison between you and Ted," Hope assured Rafe. "Okay. That's good," Rafe said. Rafe went into the bullpen and saw Ted sitting nearby. "You're still here," Rafe said dismissively. After Rafe left, Hope walked out and stared at Ted.
In the pub, Rex asked Eric about whether Eric had decided to help him with Sarah or not. When Eric avoided the question, Rex asked if it was because Eric did not think Sarah should marry him. Eric argued that his opinion was irrelevant because Sarah's opinion was all that mattered. When Rex worried aloud that Sarah would talk herself out of a relationship with Rex, Eric suggested that if Sarah did, that would be a sign that they should not be together.
Rex admitted that Sarah was too good for him. Rex told Eric a story of when a homeless woman had shown up at the hospital with frostbite, and the administration had kicked the woman out. Rex explained that Sarah had gone after the woman and treated her against her boss's request. With a smile, Rex said he had thought, "Who is this insane woman?" Rex added that Sarah had given the woman her own shoes.
"So, I knew I was falling in love with her. So, you ask me, Eric, that I'm worried that I'm not good enough for Sarah? The truth is, I've never met a man who is," Rex said. Sarah walked in. With a grin, Sarah asked, "What are you two talking about?" Rex made an excuse, told Sarah he loved her, and then left. Sarah asked why Rex had left abruptly.
"He told me why you said no [to the proposal]. And he told me it was because of me," Eric said. "I wanted to be sensitive to your feelings. I know that you are still mourning Nicole. It felt wrong to be celebrating our love when you are in so much pain still," Sarah said. Eric shook his head and said he only wanted Rex and Sarah to be happy.
"If I'm being honest, that's not the only reason I said no," Sarah added. Sarah explained that she had used Eric as an excuse because she had not wanted to admit to Rex that she did not trust him. Sarah asked Eric if he would encourage her to get engaged to Rex if he did not know Rex. Eric informed Sarah that Rex did not feel like he was good enough for Sarah and that he would do whatever he could to make up for his past mistakes.
"I don't want that. I don't want someone to be driven by guilt," Sarah complained. With a groan, Sarah added, "I hate that he put you in this position." Sarah rose from her seat to leave. Eric grabbed Sarah's hand and caressed her wrist. The two paused, frozen for a moment by the intimacy of the interaction.
"My brother loves you. I think that you should give him a chance to make you happy," Eric said. Eric asked Sarah if she knew what she planned to tell Rex. With a nervous smile, Sarah told Eric, "If I do, you'll be the first to know." "Second!" Sarah amended as she started to leave. Sarah stopped and asked Eric what he had wanted to tell her earlier before Rex had walked in.
In the town square, Claire found one of Melinda's flyers. Claire showed the flyer to Ben at the café and said that Melinda had lied about her sister. Ben joked that Claire knew what it was like to be a liar. Claire countered that she had no secrets between her and Tripp. "Great. Then why are you so worried about him leaving you for Ciara?" Ben asked. Claire admitted that she had made bad choices in the past.
"Nobody knows better than me that paranoia and insecurity messes up your life," Ben said. As Ben turned to walk away, Claire urged Ben to fight for Ciara. "I honestly want what is best for her," Claire said. Ben argued that he was a danger to Ciara, but Claire countered that complete sanity would mean no one would ever be in love.
While Claire continued to work at the café, she spotted J.J. as he walked by. Worried about the look on J.J.'s face, Claire asked him if he was okay. J.J. explained that Haley believed that he had betrayed her. J.J. told Claire that he had confided Haley's secret to Jack, and Jack had betrayed him. When Claire asked about J.J.'s friendship with Haley, J.J. shrugged and said he believed he could have been more than friends with Haley. J.J. added that he did not believe Haley would ever forgive him.
"As far as I know, she doesn't have anyone else to turn to. I mean, who else does she know in this town?" J.J. wondered aloud. Claire thought about when Tripp had fed Haley at the restaurant. Suspicious, J.J. asked Claire if she had any information. Claire denied that she knew anything. Reluctantly, J.J. walked away.
When Chloe arrived at Doug's Place, she saw Rex sitting at the bar. Rex told Chloe about his failed proposal. "I'm sitting here, trying to figure out how to change her mind," Rex said. Chloe reasoned aloud that Rex should be happy that Sarah even allowed Rex to talk to her. Rex agreed and said that he wanted to give Sarah space to make up her mind. Rex explained that he had asked Eric to make his case to Sarah for the engagement.
"Okay, if that works, you are very lucky to have a brother like that," Chloe said. Rex thanked Chloe for having his back. Someone dropped a plate, and Chloe jumped. "Are you okay?" Rex asked Chloe with concern. Chloe told Rex about the threatening message she had received. As Chloe wondered if the fear was in her head, Rex noticed a man at the bar with a gun under his coat. Rex quietly warned Chloe about the man. Chloe's eyes went wide.
Marlena asks John about Leo's paternity
At Doug's Place, Rex and Chloe quietly discussed the armed man who had just claimed a seat at the bar.
"Do you think that he'll do something here, in the middle of all these people?" Chloe asked worriedly, assuming that the man worked for El Fideo. Rex gave Chloe a shrug of uncertainty then casually approached the man and slammed him against the bar, having spontaneously decided not to take any chances. Chloe reached for a can of pepper spray as Rex began struggling with the man, who had quickly recovered from the surprise attack. Customers started panicking, realizing that the man had a gun. Chloe aimed the can of pepper spray at the man's eyes and opened fire.
"What the hell are you doing?" the man asked, backing away from Chloe with a cry of pain -- and dropping his gun in the process. "You threatened me! You threatened my children!" Chloe snapped while picking up the weapon and aiming it at the man. "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't shoot you right now!" Chloe continued, ignoring Rex's attempt to end the situation without gunfire. "I took out your boss! Give me one reason I shouldn't do the same to you!" Chloe repeated. "Because I don't work for the cartel! I work for Brady Black!" the man clarified between more cries of pain.
Chloe had some doubts -- even after the man produced a Titan identification badge that looked pretty authentic, since El Fideo's men would surely have no trouble creating a convincing forgery -- so the man encouraged Chloe to call Brady Black and ask for confirmation of the claim. "I'm too furious to speak to Mr. Black," Chloe shakily admitted before reluctantly returning the man's gun and badge. "Get the hell out of here!" Chloe ordered the man, who quickly complied. As relieved customers began emerging from hiding places, Chloe apologetically offered each one a free drink.
"When the hell did you turn into such a badass?" Rex asked, staring at Chloe in awe. "I wasn't... I was terrified," Chloe admitted, finally starting to calm down a bit. "Thank God Julie keeps pepper spray under the bar -- and [that] she made me take that self-defense class," Chloe added. "You took one class?" Rex repeated, still impressed. "It paid off," Rex noted with a laugh. "Well, when the cartel threatened to come after my family... I mean, it's -- it's one thing if they come after me, but if anything ever happened to Parker or Holly..." Chloe explained, fighting back tears.
"I can't stay here. I have to call Julie," Chloe suddenly decided. Rex nodded and sheepishly apologized for having alarmed Chloe for no good reason. "It wasn't your fault," Chloe pointed out before rushing off.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan received an unwelcome visit from Brady, who wanted to see Chloe.
"She's at work," Stefan revealed before ordering Brady to leave. "By herself?" Brady asked, ignoring the command. "She works at a club. There's lots of people there," Stefan dismissively pointed out. "I don't care if it's Grand Central Station, Stefan -- she shouldn't be out and about alone," Brady insisted.
"Chloe agreed to move in here because you offered her 'round-the-clock protection, [which means that] if anything happens to her, it's on your head," Brady added. "Not that I owe you an explanation, but if it were up to me, I would have provided Chloe with a private bodyguard. She didn't want someone following her around all the time," Stefan explained before again ordering Brady to leave. "You have offered her a false sense of security, so that makes her less safe than she's ever been," Brady argued, again ignoring the command.
"I've kept Chloe completely safe," Stefan insisted, dismissing Brady's concern. "Then why don't you know that I've had a man on her the last couple days?" Brady wondered, surprising Stefan.
"I've had someone looking out for her 24/7 -- [and] it's a good thing I did, too, because you've obviously left her [hanging out] to dry," Brady continued. "If you had told Chloe [that], she certainly would have objected, [so] you obviously didn't tell her, [which] means...what, you're making decisions for her now?" Stefan asked incredulously. "In this case, yeah," Brady unapologetically confirmed.
"So, you're multitasking now -- playing hero to Chloe [and] trying to keep Titan afloat while its ex-CEO faces criminal charges," Stefan summarized, pretending to be impressed. "All on the heels of losing custody of your son and being abandoned by pretty much every woman you've ever loved. [You know, if that] trend continues, you'll [soon] have nothing left," Stefan added with obvious amusement.
"You're one to talk. What do you got?" Brady tauntingly countered. "Even your own board at DiMera -- they don't even want you running this company without your brother Chad, do they? And now that he's gone, it's only a matter of time before you just run DiMera into the ground -- and I'll have a front-row seat," Brady continued.
"I wouldn't get too cocky," Stefan advised. "DiMera and Titan have been bitter rivals for years. [And ever since Stefano's been gone], Chad has done his best to play nice, but I'm not Chad, so consider yourself warned -- those days are over," Stefan continued, glaring at Brady. "Bring it on," Brady dismissively replied, returning Stefan's glare.
"But I suggest that you leave Chloe out of it," Brady advised. "How is this any of your business?" Stefan wondered. "How is it not my business?" Brady countered. "She's my ex-wife, Stefan -- and she's my dear friend," Brady added. "You sure she's not just a little more than that?" Stefan asked pointedly, knowing that Brady was not yet aware that Chloe had just entered the mansion.
"You're the last person I want to see right now," Chloe snapped at Brady, not bothering to wait for an answer to Stefan's question. "I know you were trying to help, but you did the exact opposite, okay?" Chloe added after recapping what had just happened at Doug's Place. "Just leave -- and promise me that you will never do anything like that again," Chloe demanded, and Brady reluctantly complied.
Stefan, who had delighted in watching Brady squirm, walked over to the bar and started filling a glass with whiskey. "You know, it was bad enough that I had to kill a man in Mexico, but it was his life or mine..." Chloe began with a sigh after Stefan handed over the glass. "[I just] never thought that I would get so close to taking someone's life again," Chloe added, still clearly shaken. Stefan gently promised Chloe that everything was going to be okay. "You trust me?" Stefan asked. "I do now," Chloe replied. Satisfied, Stefan leaned in and gave Chloe a tentative kiss.
Meanwhile, Brady admonished his employee for having been caught -- and for having failed to call him immediately afterward to warn him about the likely fallout. "Sorry, boss -- I dropped my phone at the club," the man explained. "I had an off night, but I'm willing to do whatever it takes --" the man began to add, but Brady interrupted. "You're fired. I'm gonna take care of Chloe myself from here on out," Brady snapped before walking away.
At the Brady Pub, Sarah recalled that Rex's marriage proposal at the hospital had stopped Eric from saying something -- something that had seemed important.
"You said that you wanted to be honest with me about something...and I had a feeling that it was about us," Sarah continued, eyeing Eric curiously. "Uh...yeah, right -- yeah, you know, it was about you and me..." Eric began, getting a hopeful smile out of Sarah in the process. "It's just...when I found out about you and Xander, I was just -- I was pretty harsh, [and] it was not my place to judge, and I just...I regret it, [because] I really value our friendship," Eric added, causing Sarah's smile to fade. "Oh... Yeah, um...same here," Sarah hesitantly replied, confused and disappointed.
"I thought we had worked through this already," Sarah pointed out. "We did, [but] I was just, you know, thinking...one day, you're gonna be my [sister-in-law], and I just...you know, I want to make sure that everything's all good," Eric claimed. "Don't worry -- we're all good," Sarah awkwardly confirmed. "But, um...I'm not sure that I'm ever gonna be your sister-in-law," Sarah added. "You said that you turned down Rex's proposal initially because you [just] didn't want to rub your happiness in my face, but I'm telling you --" Eric began to reiterate, confused. "Your feelings aren't the only issue," Sarah blurted out.
"What about my feelings?" Sarah added, prompting Eric to probe for more details. "Like I said before, Rex and I have major trust issues," Sarah evasively replied before rushing out of the pub.
A short time later, Rex entered the pub and told Eric about what had just happened at Doug's Place.
"That's my brother for you -- doesn't always think things through," Eric acknowledged about Brady at the end of Rex's tale. "I can see why the two of you had issues -- even when you weren't in love with the same woman," Rex mused. "I want you to know that I consider myself grateful and lucky that you and I get along so well," Rex added, causing Eric to squirm a bit. Oblivious, Rex soon changed the subject, eager to hear all the details about Eric's earlier talk with Sarah. "Did you get through to her? Do you think she's gonna say yes?" Rex asked excitedly. "Now? Soon? Eventually?" Rex continued. "Honestly, I don't know," Eric replied with a shrug.
At the hospital, Sarah ran into Maggie, who had just finished reading to the kids in the pediatric wing.
Sarah seized the opportunity to open up about Rex's unexpected marriage proposal. Maggie was surprised to hear that Sarah had feelings for Eric and had turned Rex down as a result. "Does Eric know?" Maggie asked, and Sarah shrugged in response. "Do you think that he might return those feelings?" Maggie added, and Sarah shrugged in response again. "I thought it was possible. And I've hinted at it, you know? But every time I do, he doesn't really respond -- he just kind of gets uncomfortable," Sarah eventually elaborated. "Well, if you've only hinted at it..." Maggie began to point out.
"He's still mourning Nicole, and he's never gonna allow himself to feel those feelings for me while I'm dating his brother. And ever since Rex came back into town, Eric has been rooting for Rex and I to get back together, and obviously he wouldn't be doing that if he had feelings for me," Sarah reasoned. "No, he wouldn't -- and if he did, he would be sending very mixed messages," Maggie agreed.
"Rex's message is very clear," Sarah noted. "He is just so determined to get that ring back on my finger -- it's like he's obsessed with getting me to marry him," Sarah added with a sigh. "And I don't...I don't want to string him along...[and] we are very compatible, [but]... I don't know, Mom -- I'm so confused," Sarah concluded, fighting back tears.
Maggie comforted Sarah with a hug. "Follow your heart, and you'll know what to do when the time is right," Maggie advised.
Meanwhile, Marlena received an unexpected office visit from John, who quickly realized that something was wrong.
"You could say that..." Marlena confirmed before proceeding to confront John with the information about Leo that Victor had shared earlier. "I'm sorry. I never meant for you to find out that way," John said with a sigh after Marlena finished talking. "So...it's true?" Marlena asked incredulously. "Apparently," John confirmed with a shrug before proceeding to explain why Diana had kept -- and wanted to continue keeping -- Leo's paternity a secret. "[I told Diana that] I can't keep these secrets from [you, because] you deserve to know the truth," John told Marlena at the end of the tale. "I do...[and] so does Leo -- I mean, if it is true," Marlena skeptically replied.
"Well, I mean, I haven't had a DNA test done, if that's what you're asking...[but Diana] doesn't have any reason to lie," John argued. "I mean, come on -- it's not like she came to me and announced that I have a long-lost son; I'm the one who pressed her, [and] I had to basically pull it out of her," John reasoned. "Please don't be so naïve. Look, she's been lying to me since I met her, and now she's claiming that you're her son's father? Isn't it obvious to you what she wants?" Marlena countered. John shrugged and gave Marlena a blank stare. "She wants you," Marlena helpfully elaborated. John admitted that was certainly a possibility.
"Whether or not you believe that Diana's telling the truth about Leo's paternity, don't you want to know [for sure]?" Marlena asked. "Of course I do," John confirmed. "Well, then, we need to do a DNA test on Leo -- [but] without him knowing that he might be your son," Marlena suggested. "Well, you are married to a spy, you know..." John replied, flashing Marlena a mischievous grin.
Sonny met up with Will at the park and apologized for the delay. "I just got here," Will assured Sonny before seizing a hug.
"I hate this," Will admitted with a sigh after pulling away from Sonny. "I know. I thought we were done sneaking around," Sonny agreed, also releasing a sigh. "[I am] done with this -- I'm done sitting around, hoping for the best, being at Leo's mercy..." Will stressed. "I have a plan... But first..." Will added before giving Sonny a passionate kiss.
"Wow. There's nothing I can't face after that," Sonny happily declared after Will pulled away. "So, what's the plan?" Sonny asked Will curiously.
Will, having decided that it was time to start being proactive about uncovering Leo's darkest secret instead of waiting for Diana to possibly give it up, led Sonny to the Salem Inn -- and then to Diana's room.
"Remind me to never let anyone I care about stay here. It's way too easy to grab a key off a housekeeping cart," Will whispered to Sonny while sticking a key card in the door. "Let's just hope the desk clerk was right about Diana not being here," Sonny replied in an equally hushed tone as Will cautiously peeked inside the room. "She isn't," Will confirmed. "Well, she could be back any second, so let's do this quickly," Sonny advised, following Will into the room and shutting the door.
"What exactly are we looking for?" Sonny asked while rummaging through a desk drawer. "I have no idea, but I'm guessing we'll know when we see it," Will replied with a shrug while starting to search a dresser. Just then, Leo knocked on the door and called out a greeting. Will and Sonny froze and looked at each other nervously.
"What do we do?" Will asked. "Just wait. He'll go away," Sonny replied.
Leo soon began charming a housekeeper, claiming to have left a wallet inside Diana's room. The housekeeper, who had seen Leo with Diana before, agreed to open the door.
Will and Sonny hid in the bathroom and watched as Leo entered the room and began searching for something. "Where would she keep it?" Leo wondered. "Of course -- it's in the safe," Leo suddenly realized. Leo tried a few combinations but wasn't able to get into the safe. Knowing that Diana could return at any moment, Leo soon gave up and rushed back out of the room.
"Diana does have something on Leo!" Will excitedly concluded once the coast was clear. "We have to crack that safe!" Sonny insisted.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Victor finished a meal then settled in a chair in the living room and picked up a tablet computer and a package of antacids -- just as Henderson greeted Diana in the foyer. "Gonna need these more than I thought..." Victor dryly muttered before removing an antacid from the package and tiredly beginning to chew on it.
Diana soon joined Victor in the living room and wondered how things had gone with Marlena earlier. "I held up my part of the deal...[and] now it's time for you to hold up your end," Victor replied. "All in good time, Victor. First, I have to see if your little bombshell worked," Diana countered. "That was not a part of our deal," Victor protested. "Oh, don't worry about it -- I don't expect divorce decrees just yet. [I'll settle for] some icy stares, maybe a public fight in a public square..." Diana clarified. "Yes, well, I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you. I told you -- after everything those two have overcome, it's gonna take a lot more than this to tear 'em apart," Victor warned -- just as Marlena greeted Henderson in the foyer. Diana stared at Victor in shock.
"What can we do for you?" Victor asked casually when Marlena entered the living room. "I came to continue our conversation about Diana..." Marlena began. "But here she is -- that is so much the better. Now we can...oh, how do they say that... Oh, I remember -- 'kill two birds with one stone,'" Marlena added, pausing in the center of the room and turning to face Victor and Diana -- as well as the foyer. Marlena watched as John sneaked upstairs.
"I was just giving Victor a piece of my mind," Diana innocently informed Marlena. "It seems he's been following me, and when he found out that John is Leo's father, he felt compelled to tell you. And I am so sorry. You were not meant to find out this way. I am sure you are so upset that John and I kept this from you, but I can explain --" Diana continued.
"Oh, please -- don't put me through that," Marlena replied, silencing Diana. "I've spoken to John. He told me that you've been pressuring him into not telling me the truth. I told him I understood, and we're fine," Marlena continued with a shrug. "Thank you for telling me the truth," Marlena said to Victor before turning to Diana. "I know you don't want Leo to know the truth. You don't have to worry. You can tell it to him yourself. He will not hear it from me," Marlena promised. Just then, John sneaked back downstairs and exited the mansion. "So, that's, uh, what I came to tell you. Excuse the interruption," Marlena concluded before leaving.
"Did you get it?" Marlena asked John outside. "Right next to the monogrammed towels," John confirmed, holding up a bagged toothbrush.
"What the hell was that?" Diana angrily asked Victor. "She acted like she heard John had a toe fungus, not a long-lost son who ruined her grandson's life!" Diana continued. "Well, I tried to tell you --" Victor began to reiterate. "Oh, spare me!" Diana tiredly snapped. "I suppose I've always known John only looked at me twice because he knew -- or thought -- his precious 'Doc' was dead," Diana added with a sigh of disappointment.
"Well, she's very much alive -- and she's not going anywhere," Victor pointed out. "We'll see about that..." Diana replied with a wicked grin.
Jack upstages Abe and makes a big announcement
Gabi ran into Brady at the park and quickly realized that something was wrong. "I'm having an off day," Brady admitted with a sigh before proceeding to tell Gabi about what had happened with Chloe earlier.
"Your heart was in the right place," Gabi reasoned with a shrug at the end of Brady's tale. "Yes!" Brady confirmed, relieved that someone else saw it that way. "[Anyway, Chloe's] not too happy with me right now, [and] she just got done ripping me apart -- in front of Stefan, [who] loved every minute of it!" Brady bitterly revealed. "I wanted to wipe that smug look off that guy's face..." Brady continued, scowling.
Brady seized the opportunity to again try to recruit Gabi as a double agent in a plan to take Stefan down for good. "You hate him as much as I do. [And] this would not only be for you [and] me; [we'd also] be doing a hell of a lot of [other] people in this town a service," Brady reasoned. Gabi worriedly pointed out that being a double agent was a really risky endeavor, but Brady dismissively argued that it would be worth the risk.
Still not entirely convinced, Gabi walked away after again promising only to give Brady's idea some thought.
At the DiMera mansion, Chloe gently pushed Stefan away and questioned the meaning of his unexpected kiss.
"I feel an attraction between us," Stefan explained. "Was it all in my head?" Stefan wondered. "I haven't really thought of you romantically... I mean, we hardly know each other..." Chloe began. "I understand...[but] in the brief time that you've been here, we've shared quite a bit, we've opened up to each other... [And] living under one roof tends to bring people close together rather quickly," Stefan argued. "I suppose that's true..." Chloe conceded. "And this is all really flattering, but --" Chloe tried to add. "You don't find me attractive," Stefan guessed with a sigh. "No, no -- you're not...unattractive..." Chloe awkwardly admitted.
"[Then]...since we're both single...why don't we, uh...why don't we give it a trial run?" Stefan suggested, emboldened. "One more kiss -- really good kiss -- to see if there's any chemistry... A connection, perhaps... And if there's nothing -- if you can honestly say that you feel absolutely nothing -- then we'll put this whole 'romance' thing aside and continue to be friendly roommates," Stefan continued. "Well...okay..." Chloe hesitantly agreed.
Gabi entered the mansion as Stefan and Chloe began kissing passionately. After watching for a few seconds with obvious disgust, Gabi called out a greeting to stop the kiss, embarrassing Chloe and annoying Stefan.
"I need you to sign this," Gabi explained, producing a document. "Can't it wait?" Stefan asked tiredly. "No, it cannot," Gabi insisted.
"It's okay. I'm gonna go check on the kids," Chloe awkwardly interjected before rushing upstairs, ignoring Stefan's protests.
Stefan irritably snatched the document out of Gabi's hand and began reading it. "I thought you had turned [over] a new leaf, that you had given up your wicked ways... I thought you had moved Chloe in here to save her from the big, bad cartel..." Gabi teasingly began to muse. "But, clearly, you just want to jump her bones!" Gabi added with a laugh and a shake of the head. Stefan dismissively repeated the accusation, mockingly imitating Gabi the whole time, then signed the document and returned it with a scowl. Gabi started to leave but soon decided to continue messing with Stefan instead.
"Is this how you get women -- [by taking] advantage of them when they're vulnerable?" Gabi asked with obvious disapproval. "I mean, it is a step up from Abigail -- at least Chloe's not mentally ill... Although she's gotta be a little crazy to let you shove your tongue down her throat..." Gabi added. "Poor woman -- she must be pretty desperate to consider getting involved with a dirt bag like you..." Gabi sympathetically guessed. "You are the most despicable person that I have ever met in my entire life!" Gabi spat, relishing the opportunity to attack Stefan.
Stefan finally interrupted -- in Spanish -- to denounce Gabi as a transparent fraud and an amateurish liar. "What you are really saying is...when you saw me kissing Chloe...it made you really jealous," Stefan guessed.
Gabi scoffed and laughed off the accusation -- then proceeded to vehemently deny it, over and over again. "You know, you have this inflated opinion of yourself, [but] face it, Stefan -- you are destined to be all alone, just like your father!" Gabi eventually concluded. "Like you're one to talk!" Stefan dismissively countered. "Your healthiest relationship was with Will Horton, and he turned out to be gay!" Stefan continued. "At least he was a real person, and not some alter in someone's head!" Gabi shot back. Chloe soon interrupted to report that Parker and Holly were sleeping.
"Get out while you still can," Gabi warned Chloe before storming out of the mansion. "I'm gonna do everything possible to make that bitch's life miserable!" Stefan vowed while pouring a drink at the bar, furious.
After calming down, Stefan tried to finish what Gabi had interrupted, but Chloe gently insisted that the moment had passed. "I need some time to figure things out," Chloe added. "I'm a patient man," Stefan replied, forcing a smile. Chloe returned the smile then headed back upstairs to check on the kids. As soon as the coast was clear, Stefan began silently fuming, frustrated about the lost opportunity.
Jack returned to the Salem Inn after a productive meeting and excitedly greeted Eve, who was eager to hear all about it.
"I got kudos all around [from the party leaders] for outing Haley Chen as an undocumented immigrant. [They] were so impressed, in fact, that [they've] agreed to back my bid to become Salem's next mayor," Jack revealed, adding that the feedback from constituents had been overwhelmingly positive, too. Eve was thrilled to hear all of that -- and even more thrilled to hear that Jack wanted to make the big announcement right away.
Jack started to contact Jennifer. "She will rain on the parade!" Eve objected, stopping Jack. "And we need to make a big splash! We gotta capitalize on your momentum!" Eve insisted. "Right..." Jack hesitantly agreed.
"Abe Carver is having a fundraiser -- today..." Jack suddenly recalled while reaching for a newspaper. "Even as we speak, in the square..." Jack continued while reading the relevant article. "And it looks like there's gonna be a ton of press!" Jack concluded. "I think [that's] a party that we need to crash!" Eve excitedly declared.
At the Horton Town Square, Abe and Sheila both reached for the same stack of fliers, and their hands touched in the process.
Just then, Jennifer approached to ask Abe for a comment about the opposition. Jennifer's request confused Sheila, who couldn't help noting that it seemed pointless to continue talking about a candidate who had dropped out of the mayoral race. "I'm not talking about Trask," Jennifer clarified. "I have it on good authority that the party is talking to a...new...candidate," Jennifer elaborated with obvious disgust.
"Jack Deveraux? Who's that?" Sheila asked curiously after Jennifer identified the potential new candidate. "He's the man who exposed Melinda Trask's secret at the debate," Abe clarified.
"That man seemed real shady, if you ask me," Sheila declared with a shake of the head. "He's also my ex-husband," Jennifer revealed. "Oh. I'm sorry," Sheila awkwardly replied.
"Didn't someone say he had amnesia?" Sheila suddenly recalled. "He does," Jennifer confirmed. "That's great!" Sheila assured Abe before turning to Jennifer. "I mean...not for you... That has to be really weird..." Sheila sympathetically acknowledged before turning back to Abe. "But there's no way you'll lose to a guy who doesn't even remember who he is, let alone what the issues are!" Sheila reasoned.
"I wouldn't be so sure about that. Jack had a thriving political career many years ago, and even without a memory, I am pretty sure that, uh, he still has a killer instinct when it comes to winning a campaign," Abe warned Sheila before proceeding to make an official statement about the matter, diplomatically informing Jennifer that competition was always welcome. Jennifer gave Abe a smile and a nod of approval, clearly satisfied.
Brady soon approached and presented Abe with a donation from Titan. A short time later, Eve and Jack approached, also wanting to make a donation. Eve was quick to reveal, however, that Jack had a very special announcement to make, too. "You shouldn't let this guy hijack your event," Sheila whispered to Abe as Jack officially joined the mayoral race. "I just said I welcome an open discourse, so I have to let Jack speak," Abe explained in an equally hushed tone. "Way to hand over the keys to the mayor's office..." Sheila grumbled, but Abe was more concerned about the fact that Jack was taking attention away from a worthy cause.
Jennifer soon began pressing Jack for platform details. "I have to admit, my platform is a work in progress..." Jack hesitantly began.
"But I'll tell you this -- I intend to put the people of Salem first, and that means protecting them from the criminals that live in this town. And, yes, that includes illegal immigrants. Exposing the hypocrisy of Melinda Trask was not my endgame -- [it was] just the beginning. Justice will not be served until Melinda Trask's sister, Haley Chen, is found and deported," Jack continued.
"Do you really think it's fair to call Ms. Chen a criminal? I mean, she came here when she was a child, [and] she had no options, but through perseverance [and] determination, she became a nurse, and she has served our community. [And] she has no criminal record --" Jennifer argued. "She did come here illegally. That makes her, by law, a criminal," Jack countered.
"We have to take a strong stance on this -- and that means making an example of Haley Chen," Jack insisted before turning to Abe. "Of course, we can't do that until the current mayor and his police department actually do something about it. They've been tasked with finding Ms. Chen, but they seem to have trouble with that," Jack continued. "Are you purposely allowing the police department to drag their heels on this because of your weak stance on crime? I mean, which is it, Mayor Carver -- under your leadership, is the police department incapable [and] incompetent or [just] willfully defiant of this nation's laws?" Jack asked pointedly.
"I can assure you that the Salem P.D. is following the rule of law. They are doing everything they can to find Ms. Chen and to question her," Abe stressed. "But to suggest that Haley Chen is some kind of threat to our society is a gross exaggeration. I firmly believe that there are much bigger issues facing the city of Salem --" Abe began to add. "Well, you heard it here first, folks -- Mayor Carver does not consider illegal immigration to be a priority. Rest assured, however, I do not feel the same. So, if anyone here knows anything about the whereabouts of Haley Chen, please contact me or my campaign manager, Eve Donovan," Jack announced.
Fed up, Abe politely ended the spectacle, arguing that it was time to get back to the true point of the gathering -- raising money for Salem's homeless shelter.
Brady immediately pulled Eve aside and began admonishing her, knowing that she was probably the mastermind behind what had just happened.
"[You're] destroying innocent people's lives," Brady snapped. "Are you talking about Haley Chen? 'Cause she's no 'innocent,'" Eve dismissively replied. "She's cannon fodder, Eve -- just like Jack," Brady argued.
"Every revenge plot has to have a little bit of collateral damage, [and] you figure that [if] Jack has done this thing before, why not manipulate him into doing it again...[but] the harm in this, Eve, is that he's not that kind of man anymore. You're encouraging him to regress into the man he was before Jennifer -- before he bettered himself," Brady added. "There you go -- judging everybody, just like you always do," Eve countered.
"That woman over there..." Eve began to add while glaring at Jennifer, who was talking to Jack. "She blew up my life -- the one [you and I] were trying to build together -- [and] now I'm just picking up the pieces and trying to make a new life," Eve continued, shrugging. "That's good...[but] the problem is, you're not trying to make a new life, Eve -- you're trying to steal the one that belongs to Jennifer," Brady countered.
Brady walked away without waiting for a response from Eve, who released a dismissive scoff but seemed a bit hurt.
Meanwhile, Jennifer declared that Jack's earlier performance had been really sad.
"Sad?" Jack incredulously repeated with a hint of disappointment, having been prepared for a much more dramatic reaction. "Mm-hmm. It was really sad, because when I met you...yeah, you had this horrible, ruthless streak, but you wanted to change, and you worked so hard to change -- and you did. [And] I really want to believe that, deep down inside you, that Jack is still there -- my Jack, the Jack that I married, the Jack that I fell so deeply in love with... But I'm just telling you, if you keep walking down this dark path, you'll have not only lost your memory...you'll have lost your soul," Jennifer elaborated.
At the police station, Eli probed for details about the nature and duration of J.J.'s relationship with Haley.
"Be straight with me -- if Haley gets caught, do you think there's any way to stop her from being deported?" J.J. eventually asked Eli, clearly looking for a reason to remain hopeful. "I have no idea what ICE will do if Haley's found," Eli admitted. "But if you've got any information..." Eli added. "I don't," J.J. insisted with a shake of the head.
"Have you spoken to her recently?" Eli asked J.J. as Lani joined the conversation. J.J. reluctantly admitted to having had a brief phone conversation with Haley earlier. "She didn't tell me where she was -- all she said [was] that she was safe. She didn't trust me [with] anything more," J.J. continued. "And I really don't blame her. It's my fault she's in this whole mess," J.J. acknowledged with a sigh of regret. "If I hadn't said anything to my dad, then... I just never thought he'd use it against her. Now [her] life could be ruined, and it's because of him," J.J. fretted.
"If the rumors are true, your dad might be in a position to ruin even more lives," Lani warned J.J. before proceeding to reveal that Jack had apparently been seen at the courthouse earlier with some very influential people -- people who could arrange for Jack to take Trask's place in the mayoral race. J.J. was stunned and disappointed to hear the news.
As Eli stepped aside to take a phone call, J.J. and Lani continued talking. "If [my dad] ends up running against your dad... I don't even want to think about how cutthroat he'll be," J.J. warned Lani. "You don't have to worry. My dad is a fighter, and I know he'll -- he'll be just fine," Lani assured J.J., who didn't seem quite as sure about that.
"After Theo got well, I thought we were done having our families on opposite sides, but...now, with our dads running against each other...I just -- I really hope it doesn't make things awkward for us," Lani said to J.J. "Trust me -- I'm not exactly rooting for my dad," J.J. assured Lani. "If Haley gets deported, I...I don't know if I'll ever forgive him," J.J. added. "You really care about her, don't you?" Lani realized. "We kinda got close, but...doesn't matter now, though -- she hates me," J.J. replied with a shrug and a sigh. Lani hoped that J.J. would eventually be able to work things out with Haley. "You deserve to be happy, and I want that for you," Lani stressed.
Shortly after Lani and J.J. rejoined Eli, Abe arrived and revealed that Jack had just crashed the fundraiser to officially join the mayoral race. J.J. was disturbed to learn that Jack had essentially put a target on Haley's back.
"If there is anything that I can do to help your campaign, I'll do it," J.J. assured Abe. "We have to stop my dad from winning," J.J. added.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Brady greeted Gabi -- and quickly realized that something was wrong.
"We need to wipe that smug smile off of Stefan DiMera's face!" Gabi spat. "I was just reminded how awful and infuriating that man is -- how cruel and spiteful and altogether horrible he can be! We need to destroy him!" Gabi continued. "I am all in! Let's just do it!" Gabi concluded, pleasing Brady, who immediately proposed a toast to Stefan's annihilation.
Brady's mood turned sour when Gabi revealed that Stefan and Chloe were apparently getting closer -- close enough, in fact, to share a passionate kiss.
At the loft apartment, Haley again asked Tripp to predict whether Claire was going to have a problem with the new living arrangement.
Before Tripp could respond, Claire approached the apartment door and began to unlock it. "You should hide, just in case," Tripp quietly advised Haley, who quickly ducked behind the couch.
Claire soon entered the apartment and greeted Tripp, who tried to act casual. Claire reported, when asked, that work had been boring, as usual. "Although, uh, J.J. did stop by, [and it seems that] your friend Haley is, uh, on the run from the police," Claire continued. "Yeah, I heard about that," Tripp replied. "He was really worried about her -- had, like, no idea where she could be... Do you?" Claire curiously wondered.
"Why would I?" Tripp asked evasively. "[Well, she] is your friend, so it would make a lot of sense if she turned to you for help," Claire reasoned. "[And] if she did, I hope you know that you can trust me. I don't want there to be any secrets between us," Claire stressed. "I don't, either," Tripp replied. "I just hope you'll hear me out before you make any snap judgments," Tripp added. "Of course," Claire sweetly promised.
"Haley, you can come out now," Tripp reluctantly called out, prompting Haley to emerge from the hiding place.
"Claire, meet my friend Haley," Tripp awkwardly began. "If it's okay with you, she's going to be staying with us for a little while," Tripp continued, stunning Claire, who soon recovered and pretended to be fully supportive of any plan to help a person who was being unfairly railroaded. "The only problem with this is...is that I'm not sure that Ciara would feel the same way... Um...you know how moody she can get, and her mother is the police commissioner --" Claire tried to add. "Actually, I've already told Ciara, and she's fine with it," Tripp clarified, silencing Claire. "Oh? Really? Wow! Great! Good!" Claire eventually managed to say, forcing a big smile.
Tripp encouraged Haley to take his bedroom. She didn't want to inconvenience him like that, but he assured her that he didn't mind sleeping on the couch for the time being.
"Don't be silly! You can sleep in my room!" Claire insisted, linking arms with Tripp. "It's not like we don't spend most nights in bed together, anyway..." Claire pointedly added for Haley's benefit.
Haley soon retreated to Tripp's bedroom -- but returned a short time later in tears, having just found out about what had happened at the fundraiser. Claire watched jealously as Tripp comforted Haley with a hug.
After calming down, Haley showed Tripp and Claire a recording of Jack's earlier statement. "Everyone will be looking for me, and they're not gonna stop until I'm kicked out of this country!" Haley fretted at the end of the recording. "No one here is gonna report you. You are safe here," Tripp stressed before leading Haley back to the bedroom, wanting to point out where fresh bedding could be found.
As soon as the coast was clear, Claire called Eve and arranged a meeting.
Diana plots to kill Marlena
At the Kiriakis mansion, Sonny called Will on the phone, and they discussed the evidence in Diana's room. Sonny promised to call Will later when he had a plan. As Sonny walked into the living room, he ran into Leo. "Way to watch where you're going," Leo said gruffly. Sonny grabbed Leo's phone and read the name of the article that Leo had been reading on it.
"Safe cracking for Dummies," Sonny murmured. "Mind your own business unless you want to get seriously hurt," Leo said as he grabbed his phone back from Sonny. Sonny asked Leo if he ever got tired of "being an ass." With a sigh, Sonny asked Leo why he did not want a divorce, since they hated one another. Sonny promised a large alimony if Leo agreed to drop the charges and agreed to a divorce.
"Why would I give you a divorce when I can live here and live it up as Mr. Sonny Kiriakis after you and Will have your asses tossed in the slammer?" Leo said. "Basic human decency?" Sonny countered. With a chuckle, Leo said he would visit Sonny in prison for conjugal visits. After Leo left, Sonny read the article that Leo had been reading. Sonny practiced on the safe in the Kiriakis living room.
After Haley saw Jack and Eve on the news, an upset Haley hugged Tripp in the loft living room. Jealous, Claire raised an eyebrow as she watched her boyfriend comfort Haley. Haley showed Tripp and Claire the news clip on the Internet. Jack directed all people with information to contact Eve.
While Haley and Tripp were in his room, getting Haley settled, Claire took the opportunity to call Eve. Claire asked Eve if Jack was serious about "bringing Haley to justice because she is illegal." Eve assured Claire that that was the case. Claire arranged to meet Eve in the park.
As Claire ended her phone call, Tripp asked Claire who she had been talking to on the phone. With a chuckle, Claire said work had called about an extra shift. Claire said she needed to go back to the café. Tripp offered to cover the shift instead. "I've got this, okay?" Claire said insistently. Claire advised Tripp to stay with Haley, since she seemed comfortable with Tripp.
"She feels safer around you, and that's what important. That she feels safe," Claire said. "You really are the best, you know that?" Tripp said. After a quick hug, Claire turned to leave. "No smoking!" Tripp called out playfully. With a giggle, Claire left the loft.
While Tripp typed on the computer in the living room, Haley rejoined him. Tripp assured Haley that no one would find her in the loft. "I really can't thank you enough for letting me stay here while I figure things out," Haley said. When Haley asked about Claire, Tripp promised that Claire would not tell anyone about Haley's presence.
In the town square, Jennifer told Jack that his performance had made her sad. "If you keep walking down this dark path, you will not only lose your memory, you will lose your soul," Jennifer warned. Jack countered that Jennifer had "a flair for the dramatic." Jennifer told Jack that J.J. would never forgive him if ICE deported Haley. Jack argued that it was a good thing for J.J. if Haley was deported.
Eve interrupted to tell Jack that she needed to handle some business. With a nod toward Jennifer, Jack said he would handle the press. Jennifer rolled her eyes. Eve gave Jack a long kiss in front of Jennifer, and then Eve walked away. After Jack took a moment to meet with a constituent, he told Jennifer that he had a good feeling about his chances of winning the election.
"You're living the dream, Jack. Too bad it's Eve's dream. The man that I knew and loved was a champion of the underdog. Not someone that would scapegoat a young girl to further his ambitions," Jennifer said. Jack advised Jennifer to let go of the past.
"Forget about the man you all remember me to be. What I did, who I was. That's over now. That is the past. The old Jack Deveraux is dead. Let him rest in peace," Jack barked. Jack started to storm off, but Jennifer grabbed his hand. Jack stopped and looked down at Jennifer's hand holding his.
"I can see right through you. Even if you've forgotten, I know what a big heart you have, and I am not going to give up on you until I can make you see that. I'm not," Jennifer said. Before Jack could respond, a nurse from the hospital, Shelley Santos, introduced herself. When Jack asked if he could count on Shelley for her support in the election, Shelley thanked Jack for "taking such a courageous stance on illegal immigration."
Jack noted that he put the people of Salem first. "I hope you stick to your guns and you don't let anyone pressure you to change your mind about this. Or anything else," Shelley said.
In the park off the square, Eve met up with Claire. Eve demanded information. "She is hiding at our place," Claire confessed. Eve gasped with joy. As Eve started to walk away, Claire asked Eve for assurances that Tripp would not get in trouble. Eve agreed. Claire added, "He cannot know that I'm the one who told you." Eve asked why Claire was helping her.
"It's the right thing to do," Claire said. Eve asked Claire if her motives were similar to her motives when she had rigged the magazine contest. Eve asked Claire for the real reason that Claire wanted to see Haley deported. With a sigh, Claire confessed that she empathized with Haley's plight but that she worried that Tripp was too concerned about Haley.
"Men and their hero complexes. They feel like they need to rescue the little innocent because they can't take care of themselves," Eve said. Claire asked if she was a horrible person for plotting against Haley. Eve shook her head no. Claire rambled about how much she trusted Tripp and empathized with Haley. Eve quietly told Claire that she had done the right thing in telling her. With a nod, Claire asked Eve again to promise that no one would know that she had told Eve about Haley's hiding place.
"Your secret is safe with me, okay? Haley Chen is as good as gone," Eve promised Claire. Claire smiled.
At the Salem Inn, Diana patted an envelope and then placed it back in her safe. John knocked on the door. When Diana saw tears in John's eyes, her face fell. "What's wrong?" Diana asked. "It's Marlena. There has been a terrible accident. She's dead," John said as a tear fell from his eye. As John walked into the room, Diana shrugged as if unconcerned but pleased at the news. John explained that a truck had hit Marlena.
"She's really dead this time?" Diana asked. John told Diana he had seen Marlena in the morgue. Diana swiftly pulled John's head onto her shoulder and wrapped a comforting arm around him. "Of course, your heart is broken but I'm here now, John, and I promise you that everything will be okay," Diana said soothingly. Shaking herself out of her daydream, Diana said, "Everything really will be okay if I can turn fantasy into reality," Diana whispered.
Diana then imagined a second scenario in which John had told her that Marlena's plane had crashed. "It's not as if I could cause a whole airplane to crash. There's got to be an easier way," Diana said about her second daydream. Diana then fantasized that John had told her that Marlena had choked on a chocolate-covered strawberry and died. In the next scenario, John said, "Pamplona. Running with the bulls. Marlena got gored."
In the next scenarios, John announced Marlena had been killed by lightning, killed when her parachute had not opened, and killed by a great white shark. With a groan, Diana chastised herself for daydreaming. With a sigh, Diana grabbed her coat and left for a walk to clear her head.
At the pub, John asked Marlena if there was any word from Kayla about the DNA results for Leo. Marlena assured John that the hospital had put a rush on the results. When Marlena proposed a toast to Leo not being John's son, John frowned. "I don't see Diana lying about this," John said. Marlena disagreed. "What she wants is you," Marlena reminded John. John told Marlena that he only had eyes for her. Marlena and John toasted to "learning the truth."
"If Leo is my son, I think I can use that as a connection, convince him to drop the case with Will and Sonny," John said. "What's this about Leo?" Will asked as he walked into the pub. "We weren't really talking about Leo," Marlena said. "Except when you said his name," Will responded with suspicion. John interjected that he had been apologizing to Marlena for his reaction to Will's fight with Leo.
"My first loyalty is always to family. You know that," John assured Will. "We are working very hard to find a way to get Leo to drop the charges," Marlena said. Will informed Marlena and John that he and Sonny had broken into Diana's room. "How could you be so reckless?" Marlena asked sternly. Will told Marlena and John that Leo had indicated that Diana had something hidden in her safe. Will asked for advice on how to crack the safe.
"Luckily, I know somebody who does," Marlena said as she smiled at John. "It's more of an art than it is a skill," John countered. Marlena encouraged John to give it a shot. When John demurred that he would be a distraction, Marlena joked, "[Diana] is already pretty distracted by you." Will asked John if he would try to crack the safe. John reluctantly agreed.
In the town square, Diana walked past Jack as he talked to Shelley about immigration. Shelley complained that immigrants were taking the jobs of Americans. "It will stop when I'm in office," Jack promised. Jennifer groaned as she watched nearby. Shelley argued that her nephew had been turned away from nursing school because of immigrants.
"Maybe he wasn't qualified," Jennifer suggested. "He was as qualified as I am, and now where is he? Working in some big box store and driving an Uber because some Chinese girl took a job that should have been his," Shelley countered. Diana listened from across the square as the debate unfolded.
"Haley was qualified, and she is very good at what she does," Jennifer argued. Shelley said Haley did not belong in Salem, and she suggested that she would search for Haley herself. Jennifer scoffed at Shelley. Shelley called Jack a "true American hero," and she promised Jack that she would vote for him.
After Shelley walked away, Jack pointed out to Jennifer that his position resonated with voters. "There's probably a lot of people that think like Shelley, they just don't have the guts to speak their minds," Jack said. "One bitter, narrow-minded person does not prove your point," Jennifer countered. Jack called Jennifer a hypocrite for complaining about the ethics of Eve's actions while defending Haley's actions at the same time.
"Haley is hardly a criminal. Deporting someone who came to this country as a child, through no choice of her own, is morally reprehensible," Jennifer argued. Jack said that the election was his opportunity to have the life he wanted. "I'm not going to let Haley Chen or anyone else get in my way!" Jack complained.
"Don't let Eve do this to you. Don't give in," Jennifer pleaded. "Give in? I'm fighting for what I want. I've never been clearer," Jack stressed. Eve returned and put a supportive arm around Jack's shoulders. Jennifer growled at Eve to walk away. With a smirk, Eve suggested that Jennifer should schedule an appointment to talk with Jack. Jennifer raised an eyebrow and walked away. Eve kissed Jack passionately.
"What was that for?" Jack asked. "That is a pre-celebration. I know exactly where Haley Chen is," Eve purred. Jack smiled.
At the loft, Haley nervously looked out the living room window. Haley confessed that she was terrified that ICE was on their way to the loft. With a grin, Tripp said, "Especially when you are standing at the window, announcing to the world that you're here." Tripp assured Haley that she was safe.
"Of all the places I land, two of three of you are related to the police commissioner," Haley said. "And three out of three of us are dedicated to protecting you," Tripp added. Haley said she did not want to cause any trouble for the roommates. Tripp promised Haley that no one in the loft would betray her the way J.J. had betrayed her. Calmed, Haley opened up to Tripp and told him about her first day as a nurse. Haley laughed at the memory.
"Sounds like you really love what you do," Tripp said. "Yes. It's all I ever wanted," Haley whispered. Claire returned home from the café with takeout and a lie about not being needed for work. Haley flashed a thankful smile at Claire. After eating dinner, Claire told Haley that they were happy to help her. "It's not like you'll be staying here for long, anyway," Claire said with a chuckle.
Will called Sonny at the Kiriakis mansion to tell him that John had agreed to do the safe cracking for them. Sonny sighed with relief. Will asked Sonny to distract Leo, but Sonny explained that Leo had already left the house.
The hospital called Marlena to inform her that the DNA test results were ready. John asked Marlena to meet him at the office after she picked up the results. John zipped up his jacket and announced that he was on his way to examine a safe.
At the hospital, Diana posed as a reporter and asked nurse Shelley for assistance in accessing Kayla's files because she believed Kayla had helped Haley despite knowing that she was an illegal immigrant. "She is a bit of a bleeding heart," Shelley grumbled. Shelley shook her head as if dismissing the thought.
"I don't like the idea of going after Dr. Evans," Shelley said. Diana started to walk away, and Shelley called out to Diana to stop. "I shouldn't do this but what's right is right. I can get you the login credentials. You should be able to find whatever it is you need to," Shelley said. As Shelley went to retrieve the information, Diana whispered, "Exactly what I was looking for."
At the Salem Inn, John worked on Diana's safe. John opened the safe and removed an envelope. "Let's see what all the fuss is about," John said as he opened the envelope. In the hall outside the hotel room, Leo approached the door. Leo stared at his phone and read aloud from the article about safe cracking.
When Diana crept into Marlena's office, she found it empty. Diana mooned over a photo of John and said that John would be much better off without his wife. Diana used the stolen credentials to log into Marlena's computer. Diana looked up Marlena's medical history. "Severely allergic to penicillin," Diana murmured.
Diana fantasized that John visited her at the Salem Inn to tell her that Marlena had died from an allergic reaction. "My doc is dead, and I'm all alone," John said through tears. With a grin on her face from the thought, Diana cooed, "Death by penicillin. It couldn't happen to a nicer gal." Down the hallway, Shelley handed Marlena the DNA test results.