At the DiMera guesthouse, Ben acknowledged that Hope and Jennifer both had nicer places. "But [this place is]...cozy...and..." Ben began to add. "We'd be together," Ciara concluded for Ben, who smiled and nodded.
"You only have one bed," Ciara observed. "I'll sleep on the couch -- or on the floor," Ben immediately offered. "You are so sweet...but you don't have to do that," Ciara assured Ben. "I'm not gonna make you --" he began to argue. "That's not what I meant; I meant...we could share the bed," she clarified. "As in...?" he asked hesitantly. "Yeah," she confirmed with a grin.
"Are you sure?" Ben asked Ciara. "You know that this isn't something that I would rush into. I've put a lot of thought into this, and...I'm ready. I want this," she assured him. "Do you?" she added. "More than anything," he quickly replied. "But I'm nervous," he admitted with a chuckle. "I care about you so much, [and] we have such a good thing going right now... I don't want to mess that up," he elaborated. "You won't. If anything, it would make what we have even stronger," she argued. "[But] it's a big step...for you and for us... [And] this place -- it's so tiny... I just feel like you deserve better..." he fretted.
Ben offered to take Ciara to a more romantic setting, but she insisted that wasn't necessary. "[All] I need is you -- right here, right now," she stressed before kissing him passionately.
Ben and Ciara continued kissing while simultaneously undressing each other. "Are you sure you're ready?" Ben eventually asked Ciara again. "Yeah," she confirmed, prompting him to lead her toward the bed.
Before things could progress any further, Ben received a phone call from Stefan. "You need to take that," Ciara insisted, and Ben reluctantly conceded the point.
"Stefan wants an update on the guys who came after Chloe," Ben explained with a sigh of frustration after a brief phone conversation. "[We] don't know where they are, [so] he wants to go over every little piece of intel [we] have on them, [and] it's gonna take awhile," Ben apologetically added. "You need to go do your job," Ciara acknowledged with a nod of understanding. "I'll be waiting," Ciara promised Ben.
Ciara was pleasantly surprised when Ben returned a short time later, but he regretfully clarified that he wasn't actually done for the night yet; in fact, he had to leave the property for a while to follow up on a lead. She understood but was quick to demand a promise that he would be careful, which he provided without hesitation. "Will you stay and wait for me?" he asked hopefully. "Of course I will...but, uh, I do not have anything comfortable to sleep in," she replied, prompting him to offer her a shirt that she immediately recognized as the one he had let her borrow at the cabin the previous summer.
Ciara donned the shirt, drawing a groan of frustration from Ben, who jokingly complained that she looked much better in it than he ever had. He helped her get settled in the bed and gave her a goodnight kiss then rushed off.
At the loft apartment, Claire considered exposing Tripp and Haley as a fake couple -- but then began imagining the fallout.
"Ms. Brady? Hello? We're waiting! What is it you'd like to say?" Smith eventually asked impatiently, snapping Claire out of the fantasy. "Well, I was hoping that I could speak to Tripp before the wedding started...but since it already did, I have something different that I'd like to say -- and I think that everyone should hear it," Claire began as Smith listened intently and the others waited anxiously.
"The truth is...what Tripp and I had was not real," Claire claimed, having realized that Tripp would likely be sent to prison if the truth were revealed -- and would definitely hate her forever, in any case.
"I kept telling myself [it was, but] when Tripp and I hooked up, he was on the rebound from Ciara, and then Haley came along, so I was basically, um...I was just a stop in between," Claire explained to Smith.
"I'm so sorry for -- for crashing your big day, but...now that I'm here, uh...would -- would you mind if I just...stuck around?" Claire asked Tripp and Haley, who were both willing to grant the request.
With that out of the way, Justin quickly got the wedding back on track, and Claire and J.J. both looked away uncomfortably as Tripp and Haley kissed for the first time as husband and wife.
Kayla and Justin eventually interrupted Tripp and Haley's kiss, wanting to start the reception. J.J. approached Claire, who was clearly not in the mood to celebrate. "This is a messed-up situation -- no doubt -- but we are doing the right thing for Haley," J.J. quietly reminded Claire, who nodded and forced a smile. Meanwhile, Tripp thanked Smith for attending the wedding ceremony. "My wife and I really appreciate it," Tripp added, putting an arm around Haley.
"Very good, Mr. Dalton -- very convincing," Smith replied with a skeptical smirk. "But don't think for one second that this wedding guarantees Ms. Chen will be allowed to stay in this country. We'll be watching you, and if we find one shred of proof that this union is as fake as I know it is, your 'wife' will be deported immediately," Smith added before exiting the apartment.
Claire drank Champagne straight from the bottle as Justin made a toast to new beginnings and Tripp made a toast to the future. Afterward, Haley thanked everyone for having been so supportive throughout the whole ordeal that Jack and Eve had set in motion. Justin and Kayla rushed off a short time later, with J.J. close behind. "I'll walk you out," Haley offered, following J.J. "You did it. I'm proud of you. But, uh...now that you're Mrs. Tripp Dalton, I need to keep my distance," J.J. sadly acknowledged outside the apartment. "It's not forever," Haley quietly stressed. J.J. nodded and gave Haley a kiss on the cheek then walked away.
Meanwhile, Tripp tried to find out the real reason that Claire had crashed the wedding ceremony. "You said you wanted to tell me something, but then you decided to say something else instead," he recalled. "Yeah, that's true -- I changed my mind," she vaguely confirmed. "You needed my support, so I sold my story the best I could," she added with a shrug, and he didn't bother probing for more details.
Haley returned while Tripp was thanking Claire with a kiss. "Sorry," Haley said with an awkward laugh. "No -- I should be apologizing. You just, um, caught me kissing your husband," Claire replied, making Tripp a bit uncomfortable. "You should probably go. It wouldn't look too good if anyone saw you here on our wedding night," Tripp told Claire. "Right," Claire agreed with a forced smile before leaving.
"So...now what?" Tripp asked Haley. "Uh...we could eat some cake. I mean, we've got one [that has] our names on it -- literally," she suggested. "Sounds perfect," he agreed.
Outside the apartment, Claire angrily punched a wall. "I cannot win! I cannot freaking win! I'm damned if I speak up, and I'm damned if I don't!" she grumbled, sighing.
At the Horton Town Square, Eve nervously wondered why Jack had just stopped the wedding ceremony. "Something is very wrong," Jack cryptically insisted while eyeing Jennifer, who was suppressing a hopeful grin.
"Maybe I can help," Adrienne offered, stepping away from the podium. "Maybe you can just back out and keep your mouth shut," Eve irritably demanded. "The hell I will! Marriage is a huge step, girl!" Adrienne countered.
"I know this is hard for you [because] you don't have your memory back, but obviously there's something inside you that tells you you're not in love with this woman, [so] forget about the voters [and] the hyped-up mayor's race -- [but] most importantly, forget about Eve," Adrienne advised Jack. "How dare you!" Eve snapped, but Adrienne ignored the interruption and continued talking to Jack. "If you want to know the real reason why you can't go through with this sham of a marriage, you just have to look right over there," Adrienne argued, pointing Jack in Jennifer's direction.
Jack eyed Jennifer again, seemingly conflicted. Jennifer was clearly still hopeful, but after a few seconds of silence, Jack hesitantly clarified that Adrienne was the reason for the earlier interruption.
"I'm not sure that we can trust her," Jack told Eve, who was quick to agree. "Jack, I'm your sister! Besides Jennifer, I'm the only one you can trust!" Adrienne insisted, but Jack remained skeptical. "You said you [wanted to] mend fences [and] welcome Eve into the family, [and you said it] with such conviction, yet every fiber of my being is telling me [that] you're full of it! [I mean, you just said] I don't love my bride! It seems more like you're trying not to marry us!" Jack noted, and Eve quickly agreed again. "Let me see that officiant card," Jack suspiciously demanded.
"Just as I thought -- this is no good!" Jack dramatically informed the crowd after Adrienne reluctantly handed over the license. "Show it to the camera!" Eve encouraged Jack, who did as instructed. "Expired!" Jack summarized for the crowd before throwing the license to the ground and stomping on it in disgust. "You said we were family, and yet you have no problem stabbing me in the back! Sis, sis -- you threw me under the bus! You're setting us up --" Jack complained, still speaking to the crowd and getting more theatrical with each jeer that a supporter aimed at Adrienne.
"I only did this because I love you!" Adrienne stressed, interrupting Jack's tirade. "To watch you just waste your life with this horrible woman; to [see] you so focused on what she's brainwashed you into thinking you want, when the only thing you should be focused on is trying to get back the one woman who ever loved you --" Adrienne passionately continued, ignoring Eve's indignation.
"This is still a free country! I can speak!" Adrienne pointed out as the crowd continued jeering. "Take out your phones and search 'Jack Deveraux and Jennifer Horton' -- you will see how in love [they] once were...and still would be today, if he did not have amnesia!" Adrienne advised the crowd before turning to Jack again. "You have always had my back, and now I have yours! It is time for you to wake up and get real! [Eve] is using you! She is moving you around like a pawn on a chessboard!" Adrienne warned. "Says the woman who's trying to manipulate me into a wedding ceremony she knew was invalid!" Jack reminded the crowd.
"[This wedding] is invalid! It's as fake and phony as they say Haley and Tripp's wedding is!" Adrienne argued, but Jack insisted that wasn't true -- then began pontificating to the supportive crowd about the difference between the two wedding ceremonies. "You guys, these two are not in love! This is a publicity stunt -- a damn dog-and-pony show!" Adrienne maintained, looking out at the crowd. "Doesn't anyone out there have the guts to get up here and call this for what it really is?" Adrienne asked, clearly frustrated. Jack and Eve both began to protest when a man stepped forward, but Adrienne pointedly encouraged the constituent to speak.
"What you're doing to your brother is a total disgrace!" the man snapped, and the crowd cheered in agreement. "Jack Deveraux may not remember his past, but our future mayor is building a solid future for Salem! Just look at how he handled the situation with that illegal!" the man continued. "How could you hurt your own brother like this -- on his wedding day, no less?" the man demanded to know.
"I'm trying to protect him!" Adrienne stressed. "From Eve? What for? Anyone with eyeballs can see that they are madly in love!" the man countered, and the crowd cheered in agreement again.
"You don't need this traitor to marry you! I'm the pastor of the Second Street Church, [and] I would be happy to do the honors!" the man told Jack and Eve, who both happily accepted the offer.
"Looks like your services aren't needed, so you can take your expired ass on home," Eve said to Adrienne with a sneer of disgust. "This woman -- she owns the Spectator, and I think we just caught her in a fraud!" Eve told the crowd as Adrienne walked away with a sigh of defeat. "I'm sorry. I tried," Adrienne quietly began, stopping in front of Jennifer and offering a hug of support. "It's okay. I love you for it," Jennifer replied.
Jack and Eve got the crowd riled up with chants of "she's a fraud" then encouraged the pastor to resume the wedding ceremony. "Let's get out of here," Adrienne suggested to Jennifer. "I said I was covering this wedding, and I'm staying," Jennifer replied. "This isn't over," Adrienne tried to assure Jennifer. "Oh, it's over. Jack made his choice. There's nothing more I can do. It's done," Jennifer insisted with finality.
Jack hesitated for a moment during the exchanging of the traditional vows but eventually said "I do," and the pastor quickly wrapped things up. Jennifer and Adrienne looked away uncomfortably as Jack kissed Eve theatrically, clearly showing off for the crowd. People soon began stepping forward to congratulate Jack, giving Eve an opportunity to track down Jennifer and gloat about what had just happened.
"I'm on a deadline, if you don't mind..." Jennifer tiredly stated, not bothering to look away from the screen of a tablet computer. "Oh, I know that -- and I'm sure you're gonna write a lovely article," Eve dryly replied. "I'd like to bury it on the back page, but I wouldn't want you and Jack calling the Spectator biased," Jennifer grumbled. "Yet you know it is," Eve argued. "Look at you -- all alone. Told you it would end up like this if you didn't keep your big mouth shut. You must really hate me, huh? [But] don't forget -- you brought this all on yourself," Eve added. "[And] don't you forget [that] none of this is real," Jennifer countered.
Just then, Jack approached. "I'm sorry about, you know, what happened earlier," Jack said to Jennifer. "Adrienne -- she should not have put you on the spot like that. [It] was wrong," Jack continued. "I need to go file my story," Jennifer replied before starting to walk away, leaving Jack looking a bit surprised. "Oh -- I hope that the two of you have a very happy life together," Jennifer added, surprising Jack again.
Jack and Eve soon returned to the Salem Inn. "You, um...had me a little worried there for a minute," Eve admitted. "Jennifer and I are the past; you and I are the future," Jack insisted. "I intend to prove that," Jack added, grasping Eve's hands. "I know that we've talked about never having really shared that bed, [but] now that we are husband and wife, I want to have a real wedding night," Jack stressed, delighting Eve.
J.J. found Jennifer at the Brady Pub. "It's done -- Haley and Tripp are, uh, husband and wife," J.J. revealed with a sigh. "Couldn't have been easy for you to watch that," Jennifer sympathetically guessed. "No, it wasn't...but, uh, at least Haley forgave me -- [and], even better, she admitted that she has feelings for me, [so] even though we can't be around each other for a little while, we might actually have a future," J.J. excitedly informed Jennifer, who was happy to hear that. "Right now, I'm more concerned about you," J.J. gently added, having already read Jennifer's article about Jack and Eve's wedding ceremony.
"You're gonna fight this, right? Expose it for the sham that it is?" J.J. asked hopefully. "I don't think that I have any more fight left in me," Jennifer sadly admitted. "[So], I'm gonna just put a little distance between [myself and] that whole situation [by visiting] your sister. I was gonna do that anyway, so I'll leave earlier, and... [I just] don't feel like seeing Mr. and Mrs. Deveraux parading around Salem," Jennifer added with a shrug.
"I'm so sorry," J.J. said, comforting Jennifer with a hug.
Gabi makes a move on Stefan
In the Kiriakis living room, Kate marched in and told Victor that she had a plan to get Titan back on track. Victor grumbled, but Kate pressed on. When Brady walked in, he told Kate he was not interested in hiring her.
"Well you should be," Kate said. Kate urged Brady to look at her proposal. Brady reminded Kate that her fake lawsuit had upset the balance at Titan. While Kate and Brady sniped at one another, Victor looked over the proposal. Annoyed by Kate's arguing, Brady walked out.
"Are you gonna let your grandson run the company into the ground and then just hand it over to Stefan DiMera?" Kate asked. Victor muttered that Kate was rarely wrong when she discussed business. Victor promised to take a closer look at her proposal.
"Am I interrupting?" Maggie asked as she walked into the room. "We're just discussing business; I don't think it would interest you," Kate sneered. Victor warned Kate that insulting his wife would not help her case. With a furrowed brow, Maggie asked Kate why she was at the mansion when Will was at the hospital to get a biopsy on his brain tumor. Kate had not heard anything about Will's tumor.
At the Hernandez house, Gabi urged Will and Sonny to eat. Will picked at his food. Arianna ran out to say good morning, and she mentioned introducing Will to baby David. When Gabi said that Will needed to go to the hospital, Arianna asked Will if he was okay. The adults in the room exchanged glances. Will told Arianna that he was getting a checkup. Suspicious, Arianna noted that Gabi looked worried. With a sweet smile, Gabi reminded Arianna that her mother sometimes overreacted. Will and Sonny hugged Arianna and told her that Will would be fine.
After Sonny, Will, and Arianna left, Brady stopped by to talk to Gabi about his seduction plan. Gabi told Brady about when she had flirted with Stefan, and that Stefan had appeared receptive. Excited, Brady asked Gabi if she was going to seduce Stefan, after all. With a shake of her head, Gabi said she was too worried about Will to seduce anyone.
"I am repulsed by him. I don't want to think about being in bed with the guy," Gabi added. Brady urged Gabi to think about the endgame: Stefan alone and broke. Brady added that if Gabi helped him, she would be set for life. Gabi resisted, but Brady continued to push. Reluctantly, Gabi said, "Okay! I will do it."
Gabi made a couple calls and learned that Stefan had skipped work to have a picnic in the park with Chloe and Holly. Brady laughed. Brady suggested that Gabi invent a business reason to distract Stefan while he swooped in and occupied Chloe and Holly at the park.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan woke up Chloe to tell her that Ben had caught the cartel members. Grateful, Chloe hugged Stefan. "No reason we can't be romantically involved now," Stefan whispered. Chloe kissed Stefan -- then she woke up from her dream. When Chloe opened her eyes, Stefan was standing next to her bed.
"I have news," Stefan said. Stefan told Chloe that Ben was close to ending Chloe's nightmare. With a smile, Stefan said they should focus on their kite-flying trip to the park instead of the cartel. Chloe teasingly warned Stefan not to spoil the kids. Stefan said he only wanted to make everyone happy.
After Chloe dressed, she went downstairs and found Stefan had packed a picnic basket for the park. "Is this your sneaky way of taking me on a date?" Chloe asked. "You think I'm trying to win you over with chicken fingers?" Stefan joked. With a charming grin, Stefan told Chloe that if he hit on her, she would know it. Stefan added that he had grown fond of Holly.
"I promised Holly I would teach her how to fly a kite, and today is that day," Stefan said. As Chloe started to go upstairs to fetch Holly, a frantic Gabi ran into the house. Gabi yelled that the acquisition deal she had worked on for Gabi Chic was in danger of collapsing in favor of Titan. Gabi explained that Mr. Shin had demanded that Stefan handle the matter. With a sigh, Stefan apologized to Chloe for having to cancel. Chloe said that she would take Holly to the park with the bodyguards instead. Stefan and Chloe headed upstairs to tell Holly the news. Gabi texted Brady and told him that Chloe was on her way to the park.
At Rex's apartment, Rex overheard Eric telling someone on the phone that the marriage would never last. When Rex yelled at Eric, Sarah overheard. Eric explained that he had been leaving a message on Jennifer's voicemail about Jack's marriage to Eve. Relieved, Rex apologized and said he was on edge because no one seemed to want his marriage to Sarah to move forward.
Before Rex left for work, he kissed Sarah. Eric looked away. Rex asked if Eric was still mad at Rex for yelling at him. "I should have realized that you, of all people, support Sarah and me getting married," Rex said. With a nod, Rex left.
Eric asked Sarah about work. Sarah explained she was heading into work later because she needed to plan her wedding. Eric offered to be the wedding photographer. Elated, Sarah thanked Eric for his generous offer. Eric added that the work would be easy because Sarah was beautiful. Sarah's eyes went wide.
"I'm speaking as a photographer, of course. I mean, you and Rex? You're photogenic," Eric said quickly. Sarah said she needed to run the idea past Rex. Eric showed Sarah his portfolio. While Sarah marveled over a photo of Nicole, an enamored Eric watched Sarah's face. Eric told Sarah that he had fallen in love with Nicole when she had been his model. "I miss her," Eric admitted. Sarah took Eric's hand in hers.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Sonny took Arianna upstairs while Will walked into the living room. Kate asked Will why he had not told her about the tumor. Will said he had not wanted to worry Kate. Upset, Kate asked Will if he needed anything. Will asked for everyone to relax and stop worrying until he learned more about his condition. Kate wanted to accompany Will to the hospital, but Will said he did not want people to hover. Kate was annoyed that Maggie was going with Sonny and Will, but Maggie explained that she was going to work a volunteer shift at the hospital. Will assured Kate that Rex was handling the procedure.
While working in the DiMera living room, Gabi nitpicked Stefan's decisions. Gabi and Stefan bickered until Gabi yelled that Stefan just wanted to leave for his picnic. Gabi blurted out that Stefan did not understand what she was going through. With a sigh, Stefan asked what was wrong. Gabi told Stefan about Will's brain tumor. Stefan told Gabi that everything would be fine, but Gabi burst into tears and hugged Stefan.
"It's gonna be all right, Gabi. Everything is going to be all right," Stefan said, a look of discomfort on his face as Gabi clutched him tight. "I'm sorry I got emotional," Gabi said as she pulled away. Gabi explained that she had needed a hug.
"It's been a long time since anybody held me like that. I mean, I know we kissed. That was the complete opposite of nice. That was disgusting. Besides, I know you're with Chloe," Gabi said nervously. Stefan admitted that there was nothing romantic between him and Chloe.
"What happened? Did you lose your touch?" Gabi joked. Stefan explained that Chloe was not interested in a new relationship until the cartel was no longer an issue. "Sounds frustrating. For you. As a man," Gabi said as she stared directly into Stefan's eyes. With a grin, Stefan countered that he was fine.
"It's just, I know what it's like to be celibate when you're a sexual person. I mean it's been a really long time for me. The last person I was with was Eli. Whoah! I can't believe I just said that out loud!" Gabi confessed. With a shake of her head, Gabi acted embarrassed and noted that Stefan probably thought she was pathetic.
"The last person I was with was Abigail's alter. Most people didn't even think she was real," Stefan said. Gabi held back a laugh. Stefan raised an eyebrow. Gabi explained that she was not laughing at Stefan but the situation.
"Two dynamic, driven, attractive people, all alone," Gabi said. "What's laughable about that?" Stefan asked. "I just think, maybe, the two of us could use some hot, no-strings sex. It's not like we have a chance in hell of getting any," Gabi suggested. Taken aback by the bluntness, Stefan smiled.
"So, for once, you're speechless," Gabi commented. "Were you suggesting something?" Stefan asked as he motioned his hand between him and Gabi. "Of course not! What, you and me? No, that is completely out of the question," Gabi said dramatically.
"Right, because we work together," Stefan said with a nod as his smile faded. "No, because we hate each other. Right?" Gabi asked with a coy smirk. Stefan stared into Gabi's eyes, unable to respond.
In the park, Chloe and Holly attempted to put together a kite. Chloe grew frustrated with the directions. Brady jogged by and pretended that he was surprised to see Chloe there with Holly. Brady offered to help Chloe with her kite. While Brady fumbled with the pieces, Chloe explained that Stefan had been called away on business. Once the kite was done, Brady offered to help Holly fly it. With a grin, Chloe invited Brady to join them for a picnic.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Kate told Victor that she knew Victor did not like Will. With a shrug, Victor said Will had never been a favorite, but he understood how much Kate loved Will. Kate wanted to go to the hospital, but Victor urged her to respect Will's request. Victor handed the proposal to Kate, and he said, "Maybe there is still a place for you at Titan. We'll work out the details after we are sure that Will is going to be all right."
At the hospital, Will nervously sat in bed and told Sonny that he was worried about Arianna. Sonny told Will not to doubt that he was a good father. "You're a great father," Will countered. With a goofy grin, Sonny said Arianna called herself lucky to have two great dads, but he felt like they were the lucky ones to have Arianna. Will agreed. Will asked Sonny to hold his hand and not let go.
By the nurses' station, Maggie told Rex that she was glad that Rex was the doctor working on Will. Rex said he was glad that Maggie had confidence in his work if not his ability to make Sarah happy. Rex told Maggie that he and Sarah were excited to get married, and he hoped that Maggie would be, too. "As a potential son-in-law, the jury is still out," Maggie said.
While Rex prepared to operate on Will, Kate called Rex to yell at him for not telling her about Will's procedure. Rex promised to do his best. "If something happens to Will, I will never, ever forgive you," Kate growled. Kate ended the call. Rex went in to check on Will, and Sonny told Rex that Will had a headache. Rex promised that Will would be put under anesthesia soon. Rex explained that the surgery would be limited to a biopsy.
While Rex went to check with the operating room, Sonny and Will talked about the future. Will confided to Sonny that he was worried their luck would run out. When Rex walked in to tell Will that the OR was ready, Will had a seizure.
Sonny waits anxiously for news about Will
Sarah released Eric's hands, and he rushed over to the other end of his apartment to put some distance between them, suggesting that her attempt at a comforting gesture had actually made him feel uncomfortable instead. She tried to apologize, guessing that he didn't really want comfort from a woman who was not only harboring feelings for him but was also engaged to his brother, of all people.
Eric claimed that talking about Nicole was what had caused discomfort. "Jack turned up, and Xander, [and] we even thought that Kristen might, [so] I told myself, 'Why not Nicole?' [And] they never even found her body..." Eric began to explain. "So, there was never really closure," Sarah concluded for Eric. "No...[and] I don't think there ever will be," Eric admitted with a heavy sigh.
At the Horton Town Square, John and Marlena emerged from a bookstore. John, who had picked out a book for Will, explained to Marlena that it was all about positivity and hope. "Helped me a lot when you were in the hospital," John added. "Positivity and hope -- could use some of that about now," Marlena mused, clearly worried about Will.
"I respected Will's wishes [and] haven't said a word [about] this to Paul, but...don't you think that Sami and Lucas need to know what's going on?" John asked Marlena, who thought that was ultimately Will's decision to make. "[And] if it turns out this is benign, then everybody would have worried for nothing, [so] I think Will is right not to alarm people until we have all the facts," Marlena reasoned. John promised to defer to Will and Marlena on the matter but still felt conflicted about it, knowing that Sami and Lucas would both want to be kept in the loop -- and would both likely want to be in Salem for the biopsy, not just to support Will but also to support Sonny.
After parting ways with John, Marlena headed over to Eric's apartment, unaware that Sarah was there. Eric, who had been trying to think of a way to convince Sarah that it would be best for Rex to choose someone else for the role of best man, was grateful for the interruption but found it a bit confusing, having expected Marlena to be at the hospital with Will. "I'm going over there now, but I wanted to talk to you first," Marlena began to explain. "Have you spoken to Sami?" Marlena continued. "It's been a week or two," Eric recalled. "Will is, um, adamant that neither she nor Lucas know about the diagnosis," Marlena warned. "[Then] I won't say a thing," Eric promised.
"And I know that you'll keep Will in your prayers," Marlena continued. "Always," Eric confirmed. "[But] no more grand bargains, please," Marlena pointedly stressed, annoying Eric and confusing Sarah.
Marlena made another pointed comment after learning that Eric had offered to be Rex and Sarah's wedding photographer. Eric nervously asked for a moment alone with Marlena, prompting Sarah to step into one of the bedrooms to make a phone call. "What are you doing?" Eric quietly demanded to know once the coast was clear. "It's bad enough that you will not tell her how you feel about her, but to torment yourself by documenting her marriage to your brother... [Look], you need to face the truth. [I mean], life is so short; what is there besides love?" Marlena argued. "Love is fleeting -- ask Nicole," Eric irritably replied.
"I need you to drop this! I made a vow to God, and I made it very clear to you that I didn't want Sarah to know about it! And I swear, if you say anything to her, I'll never forgive you!" Eric warned Marlena, unaware that Sarah had just returned. Marlena immediately rushed off to the hospital to check on Will, leaving Eric alone with Sarah, who wanted to know what had caused the argument.
"Uh...you know, it's just...everybody's under a lot of stress... We were talking about whether we should tell [Sami] about, um, [Will's] secret," Eric claimed, stammering. "So, that talk about the pact that you made with God --" Sarah began to ask. "I'd really rather [that] we not talk about that," Eric evasively stressed before returning to the earlier topic of conversation about being Rex's best man. "You saw how he snapped at me [earlier], so obviously he's not over how you had feelings for me. [It's probably] better for my relationship with my brother if I'm not in the party. [Besides], he didn't even ask me, [and] I don't think he'd planned on it," Eric reasoned.
"[Then this doesn't] have anything to do with me? [Because] I heard a little bit of what you and your mom were talking about earlier, and I know that it wasn't about Will," Sarah replied.
At the park, someone watched from behind a group of trees as Brady and Chloe apologetically informed Holly that they were going to have to wait a bit longer for the perfect gust of wind to pass by so they could finally get the kite in the air. "[But then it's gonna go] higher than the trees, and the birds, and --" Chloe began to add. "Mommy!" Holly declared, looking at the group of trees.
"Okay, you can go play with your friend [for now, but] please stay where I can see you," Chloe eventually continued, deciding to just ignore Holly's earlier comment. "My mommy sees me!" Holly replied with a smile, still looking at the group of trees. "Uh...yeah, your -- your mommy always sees you; she's up in heaven, looking down [at you]," Chloe awkwardly confirmed.
Shortly after Holly rushed off to play, John approached and greeted Brady and Chloe from behind, causing a bit of a scare in the process. "So, those cartel guys are still hanging around somewhere?" John assumed, eyeing the bodyguards. "Word is that they flew out of the jurisdiction, but who knows," Brady replied with a shrug. "If there's anything you need, you just give me a call," John told Chloe, who appreciated the offer.
"Nice to see the two of you spending some time together again," John noted, eyeing the picnic setup. "We didn't plan this," Brady clarified, and Chloe elaborated a bit then went to check on Holly. "[So], total accident that you happened to run into Chloe here," John skeptically summarized once the coast was clear. "Total coincidence," Brady maintained, but John clearly wasn't convinced.
Changing the subject, John wondered how Brady was doing. "I'm good, I'm good... And I'm back in the fold at Titan, as you know, so..." Brady replied. "By the way, I'm very happy that Leo turned out not to be your son. I was very relieved that he turned out not to be my brother," Brady added. "He's a real piece of work, isn't he?" John acknowledged with a chuckle, and Brady nodded in agreement. "I'm glad he's gone... Unfortunately, that guy has a bad habit of turning up just when you think you've gotten rid of him, though..." Brady mused as someone continued watching from behind a group of trees.
John soon said goodbye to everyone, wanting to head over to the hospital to check on Will. Holly spotted Brady's cell phone while Chloe was focused on John. Chloe managed to save the device from Holly's sticky fingers but happened to catch a glimpse of Brady's most recent text messages in the process -- including the incriminating ones that had been exchanged with Gabi.
"Did you know we were gonna be here? Did you lie to me?" Chloe asked incredulously. "Yeah, I did," Brady reluctantly confirmed. "Give me a chance to explain --" Brady began to add. "I don't need any more excuses. Now I remember why I broke up with you -- the first time and the second time," Chloe snapped before storming off with Holly, leaving the picnic setup behind for Brady to clean up.
At the hospital, Sonny worriedly wondered what was happening to Will. "He's seizing," Rex explained with some urgency before trying to chase off Sonny, who slowly backed out of the room, reluctant to leave Will's side. Sonny froze in the doorway and watched in horror as Rex carefully administered a syringe of anti-seizure medication to Will, who was still convulsing violently.
A short time later, Will's seizure ended, and Rex let Sonny back in the room. "What happened?" Will asked weakly. "You had a seizure. And, like I [told you before, that's] a side effect of the tumor...[though] it can also be brought on by stress, and I think that brain surgery definitely fits that bill," Rex explained with a wink. "Are you [still] gonna be able to do the biopsy today?" Sonny wondered. "Oh, yeah, yeah -- it's standard protocol to administer anti-seizure medication [pre-op in cases like this, anyway, so] there's no reason why we can't go forward," Rex confirmed.
After administering a sedative, Rex left the room to give Sonny a moment alone with Will. "Don't look so worried," Will told Sonny. "Worried? Me? No!" Sonny replied with a dismissive scoff that wasn't particularly convincing. "We're gonna get through this. We have to, [because] we just started our lives together [again]," Sonny added with a bit more conviction.
"I know this is not what you signed up for --" Will apologetically began to acknowledge. "What are you talking about? This is just one more obstacle that we have to overcome -- just like Susan and Leo," Sonny argued. "I think, um, a brain tumor may be the one thing worse than Leo Stark," Will mused. "Eh...it's a tossup," Sonny joked, making Will laugh.
"It's not just you fighting this brain tumor; it is everyone who loves you," Sonny stressed as Will drifted off to sleep. When Rex returned seconds later, Sonny kissed Will's cheek then left the room.
Sonny went to the nearest break area and started to prepare a cup of coffee. Rex soon passed by, alarming Sonny, who feared that something was wrong. "Nothing's wrong; they just don't need me yet," Rex clarified, adding that Will was in good hands with the anesthesiology and radiology teams at that moment. "Okay... [Then] do you have time for a couple questions?" Sonny asked, and Rex nodded in response. "That seizure -- is it a bad sign?" Sonny wondered. "You can have seizures with a benign tumor," Rex stressed. "But if you had to guess...?" Sonny asked. "I really don't want to speculate. We're gonna have the answers [soon]," Rex replied.
After Rex walked away, Sonny went back to Will's room and stared worriedly at the empty bed, remembering when Will had gotten shot on Smith Island while trying to save Nick's life.
John soon arrived and informed Sonny that Marlena was close behind. Sonny revealed that Will had suffered a seizure earlier. "I'm sorry that you had to witness that," John said with a sigh. "Look, kid, I know that you're trying to be strong for Will, but just know that Doc and I -- we're here for you every step of the way. We think the world of you, young man, and Will's lucky to have you in his life," John added. "I'm the lucky one," Sonny insisted. "Doc and I -- we were just talking this morning, and she was telling me that she just can't wait for the day that she can marry you and Will again, and I told her, 'You know what? Me, neither!'" John continued.
Later, while John was searching for Marlena, Rex wheeled Will in on a gurney. "Procedure went very smoothly," Rex assured Sonny, who breathed a sigh of relief. "I just sent the sample off to the lab. We should know [the results] in a few days," Rex added as Will started waking up. "Hey. How's life?" Will asked Sonny groggily. "Life is amazing, 'cause I have you," Sonny replied with a grin.
Rex got Will settled in the bed then left. "How do you feel?" Sonny asked. "Oh, I feel great. When I'm with you, I feel like I could, um, bench press a car...or, like, run a marathon...or..." Will replied before drifting off to sleep again. Sonny climbed onto the bed and wrapped an arm around Will, still looking a bit concerned.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan agreed with Gabi's assertion that nothing sexual would ever happen between them because they hated each other. "You took everything from me, and when I stand next to you, all I feel is that I despise you -- with the passion of a thousand suns!" he stressed, getting right in her face. "And I hate you with even more passion!" she shot back, returning his glare.
"Although...I will say that maybe some good hate-sex might get it out of your system -- [you know], the obsession that you had with the woman that tried to look like me, took my name, tried to be me --" Gabi began to add. "She did not try to be you; Gabby was her own person!" Stefan insisted. "We both know that's not true," Gabi argued. "[But I understand] that you cared about her, [and] that she was the last person that you slept with, [and] that you're never gonna have her again... [Meanwhile], the real deal, the original Gabi -- she's standing right in front of you," Gabi continued.
"What I shared with Gabby has nothing to do with you!" Stefan insisted. "So, it's a [just] coincidence that she shared my name, and wore my clothes, and --" Gabi began to counter. "None of that mattered! It's who she was [and] how I felt when we were together that mattered! Our relationship was real!" Stefan elaborated. "Except for her..." Gabi pointedly noted.
"But I'm real..." Gabi continued. "What the hell are you getting at? [I mean], you're throwing yourself at a man that you allegedly despise, [so] tell me -- what do you want?" Stefan asked tiredly. "You're not asking the right question. It's not about what we 'want'; it's about what we need," Gabi argued. "I don't give a damn what you call it, and I don't care how long our dry spells have been going on -- I would not sleep with you if you were the last woman on earth!" Stefan insisted. "What happened to all this concern you had for the father of your child? [I mean, why are you] here with me [instead of] at the hospital with him?" Stefan suspiciously added.
"I told you -- I came to deal with the crisis at Gabi Chic," Gabi claimed. "A crisis that [magically] went away the second you started coming on to me," Stefan summarized. "I am not coming on to you," Gabi insisted. "No -- you just want a little hate-sex," Stefan skeptically agreed. "What are you up to?" Stefan again demanded to know. "What if I just had a moment of weakness?" Gabi innocently suggested, locking eyes with Stefan.
Meanwhile, at the guesthouse, Ciara awoke and found Ben sitting on the couch, fiddling with a tablet computer. "Did you find the guys that were after [Chloe]?" Ciara asked. "Not yet, but we're making progress," Ben replied.
Ben started to give Ciara a kiss -- just as a cell phone chimed. "My security team finally tracked down those cartel thugs that are after Chloe. [Apparently], they're on their way back to Salem right now," Ben explained with a sigh after reading a text message. "That can't be good," Ciara worriedly mused. "Sorry -- I'm gonna have to leave you again," Ben grumbled before rushing off, dismissing Ciara's advice about getting the police involved.
Stefan and Gabi were still trading vaguely flirtatious digs when Ben rushed into the mansion a short time later and delivered the bad news. "Did you call Chloe's bodyguards?" Stefan asked. "I tried, but it's going straight to voicemail. That whole area around the park -- it's notorious for being a dead zone. I have to warn them in person," Ben replied. "I'll go with you," Stefan insisted. "Text me if you need anything," Gabi suggestively advised.
Shortly after Stefan and Ben rushed off, Ciara entered the mansion, wanting to return a breakfast tray from the guesthouse. Gabi was surprised to learn that Ciara had spent the night there. "It's not what you think," Ciara insisted. "Right. Yeah. No judgment. Whatever," Gabi skeptically replied. "I just -- you know, I wouldn't want to be sleeping with a serial killer, but...to each his own," Gabi added with a shrug. "No judgment, right?" Ciara sarcastically agreed. "Sorry. It's gonna take a little bit for me to be sold on him," Gabi explained. "Yeah, well, the good thing is, I don't need to defend Ben to you -- especially not right now," Ciara countered.
Gabi knew that Ciara was referring to the act of heroism that Ben was performing at that very moment. Gabi suggested that it might be a good idea to get the police involved, and Ciara agreed but refused to go against Ben's wishes. "He doesn't trust them," Ciara explained, referring to the police in general but also to Hope and Rafe in particular. "Seems like they don't even trust each other these days," Gabi noted.
Ciara was stunned to learn that Rafe had moved out of Hope's house. "Why is he so fixated on that baby?" Ciara wondered, seeing Hope's side of the argument. "Well, [Jordan's] next of kin is Ben... I certainly would not want some psycho taking care of an innocent baby..." Gabi noted. "Don't talk about my boyfriend like that!" Ciara demanded. Gabi apologized but soon began suggesting again that Ciara could do better.
Just then, someone fired a shot through the terrace doors, and Gabi and Ciara ducked in terror.
Meanwhile, at Doug's Place, Chloe apologized to Holly for having cut the picnic short. "I will take you myself to fly that kite on another nice day. We don't need anybody. We certainly don't need Brady. We can take care of ourselves. [And we have] those nice bodyguards outside, making sure we're safe," Chloe added, unaware that the bodyguards had been knocked out.
The cartel members mount an attack
Rex returned home while Sarah was still in the process of trying to figure out why Eric had argued with Marlena earlier.
"How was Will's surgery?" Eric asked, grateful for the interruption. "He actually had a seizure, [but] we stabilized him [and] were still able to get him in for the biopsy," Rex reported. "We weren't able to remove a sizeable portion of the tumor, but we got a small sample, and it's in the lab right now, [being tested]," Rex added before changing the subject, having sensed some tension between Eric and Sarah.
"Eric just volunteered to be our official wedding photographer," Sarah informed Rex in an effort to explain the tension. "That's amazing!" Rex raved before thanking Eric for the offer. "[And Sarah] had this idea that, you know, uh...that it would not work out [because] you would probably ask me to be your best man, [but] I assured her that probably wasn't the case," Eric helpfully elaborated for Sarah, laughing at the idea. "I...was...gonna ask you..." Rex confirmed, confused. "I appreciate that, but think of all the money you're gonna save [this way]," Eric argued. "I mean...okay...I guess I could ask Dad..." Rex decided with a shrug.
With that settled, Sarah retreated to one of the bedrooms to get ready for a work shift. Rex seized the opportunity to question Eric's true feelings for Sarah, still not entirely convinced that it had been a one-sided infatuation. "Like I said before, we are friends -- nothing more," Eric maintained. "[But] she was standing [next to you] when you said that, [so] humor me, please," Rex skeptically countered. "I have nothing for Sarah but friendship, [and] I never will," Eric claimed. Relieved, Rex thanked Eric for the honest answer. Sarah returned while Rex and Eric were shaking hands. "We'll talk later," Sarah pointedly warned Eric before leaving with Rex.
Brady was still in the park, cleaning up the picnic setup that Chloe had left behind, when Stefan and Ben rushed over. "What the hell are you doing here? Where are Chloe and Holly?" Stefan asked urgently. "They're gone..." Brady replied, confused. "Where did they go? How long ago did they leave?" Stefan demanded to know. "I don't know [where they went, but they left]...ten, fifteen minutes ago?" Brady guessed with a shrug.
"We need to go find them -- right away! Those cartel guys are on their way back to Salem -- they could [even] be here right now!" Ben urgently explained. Brady confirmed, when asked, that the bodyguards had left with Chloe -- and that, aside from them, nothing had seemed out of the ordinary at that time. "She just...left? Without packing up?" Stefan asked incredulously. "She...kind of stormed off; she was upset with me," Brady reluctantly clarified. "Why? What'd you do?" Stefan demanded to know. "It doesn't matter what I did," Brady evasively replied. "If you did anything to hurt her, so help me God --" Stefan began to snap.
Ben interrupted, pointing out that Stefan and Brady's argument was a waste of time -- time that could be spent looking for Chloe and Holly instead. "[They] could be in danger as we speak," Ben warned.
Eli went to Doug's Place in search of Chloe after receiving a tip that the cartel goons were on their way back to Salem. The news worried her, but she didn't feel the need to go into hiding at the police station, since she already had two bodyguards for protection. "There's no one outside," he revealed, confused. "Oh, they're very discreet; sometimes I forget that they're there," she explained.
"I'll introduce you," Chloe added before starting to lead Eli back out of the club -- just as one of the cartel goons barged into it with a gun drawn. "Drop your gun, cop!" the man demanded while grabbing Chloe, and Eli reluctantly complied. "Hurting Chloe is not gonna bring your boss back," Eli pointed out. "No, but taking out the woman who murdered El Fideo -- that's gonna earn me major respect from all the right people!" the man reasoned. Eli called the man by name and argued that his prior actions had already earned him plenty of respect in his home country, but the argument didn't work.
"Please, don't shoot! I have two young children!" Chloe tearfully begged the man. "Yeah, well, you should have thought about that before you stabbed El Fideo in the back!" the man snapped, pressing the gun against Chloe's head. "I'm sorry! I didn't want to!" Chloe stressed. "It's too late for that...but don't worry -- your death is gonna make me a living legend!" the man countered, grinning.
"I know that you think that killing me will make your life better, but I promise you that it won't, [because] when Stefan DiMera finds out... I'm important to him! He will do whatever he can to find you! [He already] killed the last guy who came after me!" Chloe desperately warned the man. "The other members of the cartel are all afraid of Stefano DiMera's son, [but] if you ask me, the DiMeras aren't as powerful as they used to be," the man dismissively argued. "What about the cops? You afraid of us?" Eli asked the man. "Because the Salem P.D. is already looking for you. You'll never make it out of town without being arrested or shot," Eli continued.
Meanwhile, the other cartel goon barged through the terrace doors of the DiMera mansion and pointed a gun at Gabi and Ciara, who were both still recovering from the shock of the earlier warning shot that the man had fired.
"Sorry to interrupt, ladies, but I got some unfinished business here," the man explained. "You're making a huge mistake, [because] security is gonna be swarming this place any minute now," Ciara warned, and Gabi nodded in agreement. "I created a diversion about a mile down the road; that should keep 'em busy for a while," the man replied. "The guards wouldn't just all leave this house unprotected," Gabi argued with a dismissive scoff. "No, they left a couple behind, but no worry -- I took care of 'em," the man clarified. "So, now I have plenty of time to finish what I started a few weeks ago," the man added.
"You...know I'm not Chloe Lane, right? I mean, that's who you're looking for, isn't it?" Ciara asked. "I'm not Chloe, either! She's not here!" Gabi added. "I'm very aware of who Chloe Lane is!" the man tiredly confirmed. "My partner's taking care of her as we speak," the man continued. "Then what are you doing here?" Gabi wondered. "I'm here for Stefan DiMera," the man explained.
"He killed my brother, and for that, he must die," the man elaborated. "Your brother -- he's the one that attacked Chloe at her club [a couple months ago]?" Gabi realized. "He came here to avenge El Fideo. Stefan sent him home in a body bag," the man grumbled. "He tried to slit Chloe's throat! Stefan had no choice but to --" Gabi began to argue. "It was not his business to get in our way!" the man tiredly insisted.
Gabi started trying to reason with the man in Spanish, and he angrily responded in kind, clearly unmoved and not the least bit impressed with her attempt to find common ground with him through their shared ethnicity. "I'm not leaving until I have my revenge, [so] we're gonna settle in, chicas, and wait for our amigo Stefan...and when I'm done with him, we're gonna have ourselves a party," the man declared. Gabi and Ciara exchanged worried glances, both seemingly pondering what the man's idea of a party would entail -- and how they would fit into it. "I could get used to living like this..." the man mused while helping himself to one of the bar's many offerings.
Ciara approached the bar and started a conversation, hoping to buy enough time for Gabi to send a text message to Rafe, but the man eventually realized what was going on. "You're both gonna regret that," he snapped.
At the police station, Ted tried to discuss a case with Hope but quickly deduced that something was wrong. "Jordan's baby still keeping you up at night?" Ted assumed. "Rafe took the baby and moved out last night," Hope reluctantly clarified, sighing. "I suggest you steer clear of Rafe for the next decade or so," Hope advised Ted after explaining that the argument that had led to Rafe's departure hadn't just been about David. "I hope he didn't blame you," Ted fretted. "For the way you feel? No. For letting you kiss me? 100%," Hope replied. "[And] Rafe is determined to take care of Jordan's baby, no matter how long it takes for her to recover," Hope added.
"If she ever recovers," Ted pointed out. "[And], again, your feelings didn't matter to him," Ted guessed. "I'm sorry, [because] I don't want you to be upset, and I don't want you to be hurt..." Ted began to stress.
"But...to be honest, I'm [also] glad, 'cause now maybe we may finally be able to be together," Ted added. "Stop! Rafe [still] loves me, and I love him, and I owe it to my marriage to fight for it!" Hope tiredly insisted. "I know you're not a quitter...but you deserve so much more," Ted argued. "[And] this is really all about me being happy, not about you getting what you want," Hope skeptically agreed. "Unlike Rafe, I'm willing to fight for the woman that I love," Ted unapologetically admitted. "And, for what it's worth, I would never choose someone else's child over you," Ted added before walking away.
Lani went to the Hernandez house to see Rafe and David, the latter of whom had just fallen asleep after a long period of fussiness. "When you picked the baby up from me last night, you mentioned you were moving back here, but you didn't say why... I don't want to pry, but...is, um...is everything okay between you and Hope?" Lani asked. "Hope wasn't thrilled about me wanting to keep the baby," Rafe explained with a sigh.
"She knows how I feel about him, and...I mean, I would think that she would at least try to..." Rafe began to complain. "You can't want something by just trying to -- especially when it comes to something as important as a baby. You either feel it or you don't," Lani argued. "And Hope already has three children, right?" Lani added. "Yeah -- she lost one," Rafe confirmed. "So, [after] going through all that suffering, and raising three of her own kids and a grandchild, maybe the thought of starting all over is just [way] too hard for her," Lani reasoned. "You're absolutely right, [and] maybe I should be more understanding of that..." Rafe agreed.
"Except...you feel the need to care for [David]," Lani knowingly concluded for Rafe, who nodded and vehemently insisted that turning the boy over to Child Protective Services wasn't an acceptable alternative. "It could be years before Jordan's well enough to look after David, [and] I am not letting him get lost in the system [in the meantime]. And even if I were willing to give him up, I would always resent Hope for that; I'd always feel like she forced him out," Rafe explained. Lani felt partially responsible for Rafe and Hope's marital woes, having lobbied for Rafe to keep David, but Rafe bitterly stressed that Ted was the real problem.
Lani was stunned to hear that Ted had made a play for Hope. "You really think she's falling for him?" Lani asked incredulously. "I don't know...but, I mean, obviously something is going on -- the extent of which...you'd have to ask her," Rafe replied with a shrug. "[So], she threw you out of the house so she could be with Ted?" Lani assumed. "No, she didn't throw me out; I left -- voluntarily," Rafe clarified. "Because she doesn't want David to be part of our lives...but it's so much more than that; I mean, she feels like I am not making her my priority," Rafe elaborated. "And...she's right -- I haven't been of late," Rafe admitted.
"I'm sure, on some level, [Hope] understands...[and] I know that she loves you," Lani stressed. "I don't doubt that...[but] she is sending me a lot of mixed signals," Rafe grumbled. "That's because Ted is a snake," Lani declared. "Men like him, they just -- they wait around for someone to be vulnerable, and then they strike. He's taking advantage of the fact that you guys are having problems," Lani continued. "Exactly!" Rafe agreed. "You see it, I see it... Why doesn't Hope see it?" Rafe wondered. "'Cause she's confused, and she's hurt," Lani guessed. "But, eventually, she will come to her senses," Lani confidently predicted.
Rafe didn't find that possibility particularly reassuring, since David would still be an issue either way. "[Then...you are] gonna turn David [over] to Child Protective Services?" Lani asked worriedly. "I don't know what I'm gonna do," Rafe admitted. "Maybe if [Hope] spends some more time with David..." Rafe optimistically began to suggest. "You've always wanted to have kids," Lani recalled. "Yeah. I always thought I'd have a big family," Rafe confirmed. "It's not too late," Lani insisted, clearly not taking a neutral stance on the matter. "Maybe if Hope sees what David means to you, she'll understand. [Just] reach out [and] see if she'll come by," Lani advised.
Rafe reached for a cell phone, which was in silent mode, and immediately saw a missed text message from Gabi. Alarmed, Rafe rushed off to the DiMera mansion, leaving a very willing Lani in charge of watching David.
Hope arrived a short time later, and Lani seized the opportunity to put in a good word for Rafe, who was simply trying to do what was best for David. "He's not David's father," Hope pointed out. "I know...[but] he feels responsible for him, [and] he needs your support," Lani argued. "We're not in a place where we should be raising anything right now," Hope insisted. "Because of Ted?" Lani assumed.
"I really hope I'm not being too presumptuous, but...the way that I see it, the man knows that your marriage is in trouble, [and] he is taking advantage of you," Lani warned. "I told Ted -- and made it very clear, not once but twice -- I'm not interested...[and] I wouldn't let anyone take advantage of me," Hope defensively replied. "I know Rafe has made mistakes, but you have to try to save your marriage," Lani advised. "And you need to stay out of it," Hope countered before quickly backpedaling, knowing that Lani was only trying to help. "I don't want to see anything come between you two," Lani stressed.
At the police station, Ted received a phone call from someone. "Are you insane? I told you to never call me on this number!" Ted quietly snapped after ducking into a conference room and shutting the door.
Brady approached the front entrance of Doug's Place and listened as Eli continued trying to convince the cartel goon to let Chloe go and turn himself in for a chance at leniency. The man remained determined to kill Chloe then return home as a hero, and when Eli refused to let the man just walk out of town after having killed someone, the man shrugged and pointed out that it would be just as easy to kill two people as it would be to kill one person. The man shoved Chloe aside and aimed a gun at Eli, but Brady burst into the club just then and started struggling with the man for control of the weapon, giving Eli a chance to retrieve his own gun and fire a shot.
"He's dead," Eli declared after checking the man's pulse. "Thank you for hitting your target," Brady said to Eli while accepting a hug from Chloe. "Top of my class," Eli bragged before going to look for the bodyguards.
At the DiMera mansion, the other cartel goon smashed Gabi's cell phone then pointed a gun at her head and angrily demanded to know who she had just tried to contact. While the man was distracted, Ciara grabbed the breakfast tray she had been trying to return when the whole ordeal had started. She swung the makeshift weapon at the man's head, and the impact caused him to drop his gun.
Gabi lunged for the gun, but the man quickly recovered and beat her to it. "Two hostages is more trouble than I need," the man decided, grabbing Ciara then aiming the gun at Gabi. "Time to ditch the excess baggage," the man added as Gabi cowered in fear. Just then, Ben burst into the mansion, with Stefan close behind. "Don't move!" Ben warned, aiming a gun at the man, who quickly turned his own gun on Ciara, knowing all about the couple's concern for each other. "Drop your gun...or I shoot your little girlfriend," the man warned Ben, who reluctantly complied.
Meanwhile, Gabi rushed over to Stefan's side and revealed that someone else had gone after Chloe. "He is after you," Gabi informed Stefan. "She's right," the man confirmed, turning the gun on Stefan.
"Chloe's probably dead by now...and you're about to join her," the man warned. "If this is personal, let everyone else go," Stefan suggested. "I need a hostage to get out of here," the man pointed out. "Take me," Ben suggested. "Trade the tiny little woman for the big hulking killer? Doesn't sound like a fair trade," the man mused. "Trust me -- you don't want to mess around with the commissioner's daughter. The police will do anything to get her back, [and] you'll never have a moment of peace. [But] take me [and] they might just give you a reward," Ben advised. "The whole point of a hostage is that people don't want 'em to get hurt," the man countered.
"I'm done negotiating," the man insisted. "See you in hell," the man snapped at Stefan before pulling the trigger -- just as Rafe burst into the mansion and pushed Gabi out of the way. The distraction threw off the man's aim, and Rafe ended up taking the bullet that had been meant for Stefan. In the ensuing chaos, the man rushed off with Ciara. Ben chased after them as Gabi applied pressure to Rafe's wound and Stefan reported the shooting.
The cartel takes Ciara hostage
At the DiMera mansion, the second cartel assailant, Hector, fired a gun at Stefan but missed. Rafe tackled Gabi to the ground. As Gabi looked at her brother, she realized he was shot. Gabi screamed Rafe's name and begged Stefan to call 9-1-1. The assailant grabbed Ciara and fled from the house. Ben chased after them. Stefan called the police.
"This man took a bullet that was meant for me, so if I don't hear sirens in the next couple minutes, you, sir, are going to be looking for a job!" Stefan yelled into the phone. Stefan ended the call and assured Gabi that help was on the way. Through tears, Gabi begged Rafe to stay with her.
Gabi blamed herself because she had texted Rafe, but Stefan argued that the only person to blame was the gunman. "I didn't warn him! I didn't tell him what he was going to be walking into!" Gabi cried out. "Beating yourself up is not going to help your brother," Stefan yelled back. Stefan calmly reminded Gabi that she had acted to help herself and Ciara.
"A lot of good that did. Ciara is all alone with that crazy man, okay? What's going to happen to her?" Gabi asked. Stefan did not answer. The ambulance sirens rang out. Stefan assured Gabi that Rafe would be fine. Stefan calmly reminded Gabi that Rafe was strong and would survive.
At Doug's Place, Brady cleaned the blood off his arm while Eli examined the body of the dead cartel assailant, Ramon. While Eli went outside to check on the bodyguards, Chloe told Brady that Parker was safe at school. Brady hugged an emotional Chloe and told her that the nightmare was over.
"Well if it is over, it's not because of you," Chloe said gruffly. Confused, Brady asked Chloe what she meant. Eli interrupted to thank Brady for his help. Chloe groaned and said she was not safe anywhere. Brady again pitched the idea that Chloe should move in with him. Chloe stressed that the security failure was not Stefan's fault.
"This is a horrible situation that I brought upon myself," Chloe noted. Brady reminded Chloe that she had had no choice but to kill El Fideo. Eli asked Brady and Chloe to wait outside while he secured the crime scene. While Eli stepped aside to take a phone call, Brady apologized for picking a fight. Brady said he was relieved that Chloe was okay.
"An hour from now, you're going to be telling me that I'm making a mistake again because I'm trusting someone on a long list of people that you hate," Chloe remarked. After relocating their conversation outside, Brady told Chloe that he had asked Gabi to keep him updated on Chloe and the kids because he had been worried about them. Chloe called Brady a stalker, and he resented the description.
"Is it a crime for me to want to make sure you are safe?" Brady asked. "What you want is to mess with me and Stefan. That's what you've wanted for weeks," Chloe stressed. Brady denied the charge, but Chloe insisted that Brady had continued to act out of jealousy.
"I do not have a thing for you," Brady said. "You know what's really disturbing? You go from one relationship to the next without a break, or a very short one. And I'm not even going to try to list the amount of women you've been with, because I don't have enough time for that," Chloe said. Chloe told Brady that he was codependent. Chloe asked Brady why he was obsessed with her and her children. When Brady argued that Stefan was dangerous, Chloe warned Brady to stop because Stefan had been kind to her and the kids.
"Of course, he has. I know, because he wants to have his way with you," Brady said. "Not only has he been kind and generous, he has never once been inappropriate with me," Chloe countered. "Give him some time," Brady grumbled. Brady reminded Chloe of the situation with Abigail, but Chloe argued that the situation had been complicated.
"You are in deep denial about who Stefan DiMera is," Brady stressed. "You're trying to mark your territory, and I'm not yours to mark," Chloe said. When Brady reminded Chloe that they had known each other since high school, a tearful Chloe countered that Brady had stopped talking to her for years while she had struggled.
"As you recall, I was going through some bad times of my own, and I'm very sorry about that, but I'm here for you now," Brady said. Chloe asked Brady why he had conspired with Gabi to run into her at the park. With a groan, Brady complained that he would not have needed to resort to sneaking around if Chloe had kept him in the loop. Brady begged Chloe to let him help her.
When Chloe noted that she needed to take Holly home, Brady groaned and argued that it was not safe at Stefan's house. Brady asked Chloe to go home with him. Chloe said she refused to take help from Victor. Brady argued that the help was from him and Maggie, not Victor. Chloe worried aloud that Victor would use the situation to take her kids from her. Brady vowed he would not let Victor hurt Chloe, but Chloe told Brady that she did not believe Brady could check Victor's worst impulses.
"You're not going to take any suggestion I give you, are you?" Brady asked. "I'm just so sick of everyone telling me what to do," Chloe complained. Brady said he did not want to control Chloe, but Chloe argued that Brady had attempted to control Nicole. "I'm not going to let you do that to me. Goodbye, Brady," Chloe said as she walked away.
Outside the pub, Hope ran into Kayla. Kayla noticed that Hope was rattled, and she made Hope sit on the bench and talk to her. Hope told Kayla about her fight with Rafe. Hope confided that she did not think it was good for her marriage to take care of baby David. Hope added that she would be happy to care for the baby if her marriage to Rafe was doing better.
"It has to work for both of us. For both of us. It can't be just his decision alone," Hope said. Kayla urged Hope to talk to Rafe before the distance between them grew too large.
In the interrogation room at the station, Ted talked to someone on the phone. Ted told the person on the phone that Rafe had moved out of the house. "With a bit of luck, Rafe Hernandez could be out of the picture. Permanently," Ted whispered into the phone. Ted assured the caller that it appeared that he would end up with Hope.
"Well you should give a damn! Because I'm in love with her!" Ted shouted into the phone. Ted told the caller that the cartel men were on the loose, and that was why Chloe was still living at the DiMera mansion. Ted yelled at the caller, "Hope could walk in at any moment! What if she figures out who I'm talking to?"
Ted saw Eli walk into the room and hurriedly ended his phone call. "You sounded pretty upset," Eli commented. Ted countered that Eli looked upset. Eli informed Ted about the attempt on Chloe's life and added that Hector was still on the run. Ted asked Eli to track down Hector before anyone else was hurt. Eli's phone rang with a call from an officer who told him about the shooting at the DiMera mansion. On his way out of the office, Eli told Ted that Hector had shot Rafe.
In the square, Ciara struggled against Hector as he dragged her along at gunpoint. In an effort to bribe him to let her go, Ciara informed Hector that her grandfather was Victor Kiriakis. With Ben in pursuit, Hector grabbed Ciara and pulled her behind some bushes to hide. Hector warned Ciara that he would shoot her and Ben if Ciara made a noise. Ciara watched helplessly as she saw a frantic Ben search for her.
"Ciara!" Ben called out. Ciara remained silent. After Ben ran off, Hector grabbed Ciara by the hair and dragged her out of the square. Ciara dropped an earring as they ran. When Ben retraced his steps back into the square, he ran into Hope. Worried, Hope asked what was wrong. Ben told her that a man named Hector had kidnapped Ciara as a hostage. Hope started to call Rafe, but Ben informed her that Hector had shot Rafe.
"Is he alive?" Hope pleaded. Ben explained that he had left Rafe behind to chase after Ciara and the gunman that had taken her. Hope called Kayla at the hospital. Kayla confirmed that the EMTs had arrived with Rafe and that he had sustained a head injury in addition to the gunshot in the shoulder. Hope told Kayla that she needed to find Ciara, and Kayla promised that Rafe was in good hands.
"Tell Rafe that I love him," Hope said. After Hope ended her call, she turned and found Ben holding the earring that Ciara had dropped. "I told you Ciara was here," Ben said. Hope recognized the earring as one she had given Ciara for her high school graduation.
In the park, Hector told Ciara that they would wait in the park until they lost Ben. "Yeah, well he is not going to give up. And neither is my mom. Especially after she finds out that you shot her husband and took off with me," Ciara snapped. Hector growled at Ciara to shut up. Ciara warned Hector to let her go because the cops would swarm the area. When Hector refused, Ciara kneed him in the groin and took off. With a groan, Hector stumbled then gave chase.
At the hospital, Gabi paced the waiting area by the nurses' station. When Stefan joined Gabi, she thanked him for driving her to the hospital. Gabi told Stefan that the bullet had nearly killed Rafe. Stefan warned Gabi not to think about what could have happened to her brother.
"You don't understand what he means to me. Nobody does. My father? My brother? They're in prison or on the run. My sister is dead, and my mother, she couldn't take it here, so she moved back to Mexico. Family? Rafe is the only family that I've got," Gabi said, near tears. "He seems like a fighter," Stefan said.
"Every time I've screwed up, every time I've screwed up other people's lives, he has been there. He's been right there, standing by my side, and I've taken that for granted. I have," Gabi said. "Don't go there," Stefan whispered. Gabi said she could not think about a life without Rafe in it. As Gabi started to cry, Stefan took her in his arms to comfort her. After a moment, Stefan awkwardly stepped back and apologized for overstepping. Gabi shook her head no to indicate that Stefan had not overstepped.
Kayla exited Rafe's room, and Gabi rushed over to meet her. Kayla told Gabi that Rafe was stable. When Gabi asked about Rafe's head injury, Kayla explained that there was no sign of a serious injury and that she believed Rafe would make a full recovery. Kayla told Gabi that Rafe had asked for her, and she had already talked to Hope about Rafe's condition.
In Rafe's room, Gabi was surprised to find her brother struggling to get out of bed. Rafe exclaimed that he needed to find Ciara. Gabi pushed Rafe back onto his bed. Kayla walked in and warned Rafe not to move. Kayla reminded Rafe that Hope was looking for Ciara. Eli walked in and saw Rafe struggle with Gabi and Kayla, and he told Rafe that he was off duty due to his injuries. Rafe wanted to call Hope. Eli dialed the number and handed the phone to Rafe. The call went to voicemail.
In the hospital hallway, Stefan called Chloe after he learned from Eli about the shooting at Doug's Place. Chloe confirmed that she was on her way home. Stefan warned Chloe not to return to the mansion. When Chloe asked why there were police all over town, Stefan told her that Hector had attacked the mansion and had kidnapped Ciara. Stefan confirmed that Rafe was fine.
Stefan advised Chloe to meet up with Parker and the nanny at the Salem Inn. Chloe was flustered, but Stefan assured her that the nanny had already packed the kids' things for her. As Stefan ended his phone call, Gabi exited Rafe's hospital room. Gabi told Stefan that Rafe was eager to chase down Hector and that he appeared to be doing well. With a nod, Stefan told Gabi that he had updated Chloe on the shooting.
"I should probably call Arianna and wish her a good night. I mean, how do I even tell her about all this?" Gabi said with a stunned look on her face. Stefan offered to drive Gabi to see her daughter. Unsure, Gabi shrugged. Gabi noted that Rafe was in good hands but that what he really needed was his wife. Gabi walked to the elevator, and Stefan followed her.
Stefan drove Gabi home to her house. "Casa Heranandez. It's a far cry from the DiMera mansion, but it's cozy," Gabi said. "Very cozy. How are you doing, Gabi?" Stefan asked. Gabi said she was better, and she thanked Stefan for his help.
"You don't have to worry about any of this. Rafe will be back to himself tomorrow, and you and I will be back to fighting like cats and dogs," Stefan said. Gabi chuckled. "This whole being civil to one another is getting tiresome," Stefan joked. "I totally agree," Gabi said with a grin. Security called Stefan's phone. While Stefan grumbled at his security person, Gabi stared at him and thought about Brady's request to seduce and destroy Stefan.
When Stefan ended his call, he asked Gabi if she was okay to stay home alone when Hector was still on the loose. "I think he's going to want to stay as far away from Salem as possible," Gabi said. "You're not answering my question," Stefan said. Confused, Gabi asked Stefan what he meant. Stefan noted that Gabi had been through hell. Gabi admitted that Stefan had left her "a little shaken up." Gabi kissed Stefan.
In his hospital room, Rafe left a voicemail for Hope to tell her that he was fine. Eli told Rafe that the police were looking for Ciara and not to worry. Rafe groaned in pain, and Eli ordered Rafe to listen to the doctors and relax. "I hate that Hope is all alone going through this. Especially now," Rafe said. When Rafe complained that Ted had been making a move on Hope, Eli told Rafe that he had overheard Ted on a phone call.
"He was on the phone in the interrogation room. He had his back to the door, so he didn't hear me come in, but whoever he was talking to, he didn't want Hope to know," Eli said. Rafe asked Eli if he had confronted Ted about the call. Eli said that Ted had cut off his efforts and had hammered him about the search for Hector. "I knew that creep was up to something. If he does a thing to my wife, I'm going to kill him," Rafe muttered.
In the square, Hope talked to the police to confirm that a roadblock had been set up and to confirm that Ramon had been stopped. Hope informed Ben that Eli had killed Ramon. Angry, Hope complained that Stefan should have told her when he had learned that Hector had been on his way to Salem. Ben explained that there had been no time when they had learned the news. Hope vowed to find her daughter.
When Chloe walked through the square, Ted startled her. Ted apologized to Chloe for what she had suffered. Chloe said she was thankful that Eli had shown up at the club and saved her. Ted told Chloe that he needed her witness statement. With a shake of her head, Chloe noted that she wanted to take her children home and rest. Ted inquired about Chloe's plans, and she confirmed that she was headed to the Salem Inn.
"Don't worry. The police are going to find this man, Hector. Very soon, you don't have to be worried anymore," Ted said. Ted assured Chloe that she and her children would be safe. After Chloe walked away, Ted called someone and told them he had just spoken with Chloe.
In the park, Hector recaptured Ciara and warned her not to run again. Ciara reminded Hector that she was his only way out of Salem and that he could not kill her. As Hector pushed Ciara forward, Ciara dropped her second earring on the ground.
While Hope and Ben searched for Ciara in the park, Hope grew frustrated. Hope yelled at Ben and ordered him to tell her if Stefan had asked him to keep any secrets about Hector. Ben swore he had not hidden anything from Hope, nor would he. As Hope looked down at her phone, she saw Ciara's second earring on the ground.
"She's leaving us a trail. Good girl," Hope said. In a motel nearby, Hector shoved Ciara into a room. When Ciara noted that she was only slowing Hector down, Hector agreed. Hector added a silencer to his gun and pointed it at Ciara.