At the hospital, Rafe and Eli agreed that Ted's "changed man" act was just that -- an act. "How do we get Hope to see [that]?" Rafe wondered, and Eli shrugged in response.
Rafe acknowledged that, in any case, Hope didn't need anything else to worry about while Ciara was missing. "Great -- Hope needs me, yet again, and I'm not there," Rafe grumbled. "Hope knows that you'd be there for her if you could," Eli tried to assure Rafe, who wasn't convinced. "Maybe Hope's disappointment in me has led to her vulnerability with Ted. Maybe if I hadn't let her down so much, she'd see what a jerk that guy really is," Rafe mused with a sigh of regret. "I'm sure [this is] just a bad patch. You guys will get over it," Eli maintained. "I hope you're right, man...but it sure doesn't feel that way," Rafe replied.
At the Hernandez house, Stefan demanded an explanation for Gabi's unexpected kiss. "I just saw this other side of you, I guess -- [you know], the more sensitive [side; the side that] isn't arrogant, rude, smarmy, and full of himself. [And] it's also been a long day, [and when I was] scared to death for [my brother], you were being really nice to me, and you were acting genuinely compassionate, so...I was just showing you my gratitude," she innocently reasoned, shrugging. "That did not seem like 'gratitude' to me," he argued. "Would you have preferred a box of chocolates?" she asked dryly.
"You kissed me back," Gabi reminded Stefan. "You caught me off guard," he insisted. "You could have pushed me away," she pointed out. "I should have," he agreed. "Give me another chance," he suggested. "That's not gonna happen, [because] I just remembered, from talking to you, that I can't stand you," she reiterated, and he assured her that the feeling was still mutual. "But, as you've stated, you have needs, [and everything that happened tonight] has obviously gotten your adrenaline going, and that, as we both know, causes us to do things that we wouldn't normally do," he added.
"It's a kind of...high," Stefan summarized for Gabi, who nodded in agreement. "[But] the moment's passed...right?" she added. "Right," he confirmed.
Stefan and Gabi soon began kissing again but eventually pulled away from each other and breathlessly agreed that letting things progress any further would be a really bad idea. "Well, then..." he said before starting to leave the house. "God, you are so hot," she blurted out, stopping him. "Your eyes -- they're just so captivating in this light," she elaborated. "Thank you...?" he replied, surprised. "I...like your eyes, too. They're...big. I like big eyes," he hesitantly added. They stared at each other for a few seconds then began kissing yet again, but this time, they also began undressing each other.
Lani soon entered the kitchen, stopping Stefan and Gabi, the latter of whom had assumed that no one else was in the house. "Your brother asked me to watch the baby," Lani explained to Gabi as Stefan started to leave. "Don't forget to button up. There's a chill in the air," Lani teasingly advised Stefan, annoying Gabi. "Who are you to judge?" Gabi asked once the coast was clear, referring to Lani's past indiscretions. "Do you ever think about anybody else [but yourself]?" Lani countered. "What if [Rafe] came in here instead of me?" Lani continued. "You don't know," Gabi realized, sighing.
Lani was horrified to hear about everything that had happened earlier. "Can you watch David?" Lani asked, wanting to head over to the police station to try to help out. "Actually, I have to go back and get my phone from the DiMera house," Gabi replied. "Can't it wait?" Lani protested. "No, I need to get my phone!" Gabi insisted before rushing off. "Yeah, you really need something...but I don't think it's your phone," Lani knowingly mused.
A short time later, Rafe entered the house and greeted Lani, who wasn't particularly surprised to learn that he had insisted on being released from the hospital early. He tried to relieve her of babysitting duties, but she pointed out that he was in no condition to take care of such a young child on his own. "Go upstairs and get some rest, and I'll stay over," she assured him, and he eventually agreed.
Gabi entered the DiMera mansion just as Stefan ended a phone conversation with Chloe, who was safe at the Salem Inn. "I left my phone," Gabi explained while searching the living room. "Harold picked it up," Stefan revealed, retrieving the device from a desk. "Guess I should go..." Gabi began after taking the device from Stefan. "Unless...you want to finish what we started," Gabi flirtatiously added.
"I'm not sure [that's] such a good idea," Stefan replied. "Probably not," Gabi agreed. They locked eyes again then picked up where they had left off earlier.
At the Horton Town Square, Ted wrapped up a phone conversation then turned and found Kate standing nearby. "Why are you keeping tabs on Chloe? And who were you talking to?" Kate asked suspiciously. "[She] was attacked by the cartel tonight, [and] I was keeping Abe posted [because], as a D.A., I'd like to keep my star witness alive to testify," Ted coolly claimed. "It's odd to find oneself rooting for a cartel..." Kate dryly mused.
"So, the sinner is now...what, walking the path of righteousness?" Kate skeptically added. "I'm a changed man," Ted insisted with a shrug. "Aren't you all..." Kate sarcastically agreed.
"Why don't you try telling the truth for a change and just admit that this whole redemption routine is just a way of getting into Hope's pants?" Kate challenged Ted. "It's a little bit more than that, Kate. [Hope and I] share core values," Ted clarified. "I'm sure you do," Kate agreed, not the least bit convinced. "Maybe she isn't smart enough to realize that it's all an act, but Rafe is," Kate warned. "I don't think Rafe's opinion will matter to Hope anymore, since he walked out on her," Ted countered, surprising Kate, who couldn't believe that Rafe had actually offered to act as temporary guardian for a kid with such terrible genes.
"Rafe is an idiot [who] always puts other people ahead of Hope," Ted declared. "And I suppose you're gonna prove to her that you're different?" Kate guessed. "I don't think Ms. Law and Order is going to fall for a sociopath," Kate added. "She's seriously considering it," Ted bragged, ignoring the dig. "[If that's true, then] someone really needs to teach that woman about frying pans and fire," Kate noted. "Why wouldn't Hope be attracted to me? You were," Ted pointed out. "Oh, I am willing to admit that you're a very attractive...package...but underneath all the pretty, there's a backstabbing son of a bitch," Kate countered.
"You went after my family, Teddy. That wasn't very smart," Kate continued. "And I have apologized for it...and besides, my old ways are behind me now," Ted maintained.
"You're not exactly a beacon of moral rectitude," Ted pointed out. "You know what your problem is? You've never been in love, [so] when you see other people in love, [you feel the need to] tear them down. [But] I'm not gonna let you do that to [Hope and me]," Ted added. "Honey, you wouldn't know love if it slapped you across the face," Kate countered. "Rafe's gonna be watching you like a hawk," Kate warned as Ted walked away.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Maggie joined Victor in the living room and reported that, according to Sonny, Will's biopsy had gone as planned, and the couple would be home in time to read their daughter a bedtime story. "What is the matter with me -- just prattling on about Will's biopsy when you obviously have urgent business to deal with?" Maggie pointedly added when Victor didn't bother to look up from the document that he had been reading.
Victor apologized and halfheartedly thanked Maggie for the update. Maggie peeked at the document and realized that it was the financial analysis that Kate had written as a way of trying to secure a job at Titan. "The nerve of that woman -- thinking that you would hire her back!" Maggie grumbled. "You will never hire her back!" Maggie confidently added before turning to Victor for confirmation.
"You have got to be kidding me!" Maggie incredulously declared when Victor didn't say anything right away. "I know you enjoy being perverse, but hiring Kate would be madness!" Maggie insisted. "She still knows her stuff," Victor argued. "Like poisons and fireplace pokers?" Maggie countered. "I never should have told you about all that stuff. You never let anything go!" Victor complained.
"Wasn't it just last year that she tried to destroy Titan? Do you remember what Sonny went through because of her? And you're talking about climbing back into bed with her? So to speak," Maggie continued. "She was being blackmailed!" Victor tiredly clarified. "What a surprise -- that anyone would find any dirt on her, being so morally upright and all," Maggie sarcastically mused. "You don't like her very much," Victor dryly concluded. "Damn it, Victor -- I am just worried about what she's gonna do to you!" Maggie stressed. "That, too...but, mainly, it's [just that] you're jealous," Victor teasingly argued.
"I'm just looking out for your best interest!" Maggie defensively insisted. "You always do, and I love you for it," Victor replied.
"Suppose I told you that I wasn't hiring Kate for her...business acumen...[but instead because] she's Philip's mother," Victor revealed. "You know that we haven't been getting along too well since he left, [and] hiring Kate could be a step in the right direction of patching things up," Victor elaborated. "That doesn't make any sense at all. [I mean], do you actually think she...what, will put in a good word for you? She doesn't give a damn that you and Philip aren't getting along! She probably prefers it this way -- more filial love and loyalty for her if she doesn't have to share it with you!" Maggie pointed out.
"I think you're wrong about Kate. I mean, she may be untrustworthy, but she's a good mother, [and] she would want her son to have a decent relationship with his father," Victor argued. "Fine," Maggie conceded. "[But] do you really want to work side by side with the woman who hired a hit man to kill you?" Maggie asked pointedly.
Later, Victor summoned Kate to the mansion. "I hear things went smoothly with Will?" Victor began when Kate arrived. "Yes. Now we wait for results," Kate confirmed.
"Is that why you called me?" Kate asked. "No. I've just spent a lot of time talking with Maggie about your coming back to Titan. She had a lot to say," Victor clarified. "I bet she did," Kate grumbled. "Guess [this] means that I'm out of luck," Kate concluded with a sigh. "Actually, with all due respect to my wife...you're hired," Victor replied, surprising Kate.
At a motel, Ciara tried to convince Hector that killing her would be a very bad idea. "You have one -- and only one -- way out of [this], and that requires me being alive," she stressed.
Conceding the point, Hector reluctantly handed over a cell phone and told Ciara to contact Hope. "Are you okay?" Hope asked Ciara as Ben listened quietly. "Yeah --" Ciara began to reply.
"We'll get to that later," Hector snapped. "I'm sorry I shot your husband," Hector told Hope. "He's gonna be fine," Hope revealed. "All I want is to get out of the country," Hector stressed. "As long as nothing -- and I mean nothing -- happens to my daughter," Hope replied. "You have my word," Hector agreed.
"I'll text you my demands and the location of the tradeoff, but first...you have to call off your cops," Hector ordered Hope, who warned that it could take some time to make that happen. Hope asked Hector to be patient and refrain from doing anything drastic. "I am in full control of everything," Hector defensively insisted before ending the call.
Ben wondered if Hope trusted Hector. "No...but [cooperating] may be the only way we can get [Ciara] back," Hope replied with a sigh of concern as Hector's text message arrived. Hope refused to share the details of it with Ben, arguing that having a civilian involved in the matter would be a liability. Ben reluctantly conceded the point and walked away. Hope contacted SWAT and arranged for a discreet perimeter to be established around the motel, unaware that Ben was still nearby. After Hope rushed off to the police station to meet up with Eli, Ben started heading in the opposite direction, toward the motel.
Eli was already at the police station when Hope arrived. "How's my husband?" Hope asked worriedly. "He'll be okay...but, uh, he lost a lot of blood, so he's woozy, and he's hopped up on painkillers...[and] I still had to stop him from coming down here with me," Eli reported. "That would be my husband," Hope mused, managing a smile. "He told me to tell you that he loves you and that he's praying for Ciara," Eli continued. "Thank God he's all right. I was scared to death that..." Hope began. "And now Ciara..." Hope added. "You okay? Eli eventually asked. "I have to be," Hope replied with a shrug.
At the motel, Hector thanked Ciara for having made it so easy to buy time for a safe escape. "Your mommy doesn't have the power to make this deal. The Feds are never going to let a member of the drug cartel out of this country alive. I know they're gonna double-cross me, so I'm gonna double-cross them first," Hector reasoned before trying to force Ciara out of the room at gunpoint.
Ben arrived while Ciara was stalling Hector. After a brief struggle, Hector managed to knock Ben out with the butt of a gun then prepared to fire a shot to finish the job. Ciara protectively stretched across Ben's body. "Move away from him!" Hector irritably demanded. "Mom?" Ciara replied, prompting Hector to worriedly turn the gun toward the entrance in anticipation of another interruption.
Ciara immediately pounced, throwing a punch that caused Hector to drop the gun. She shoved him onto the bed and continued throwing punches, but he soon overpowered her.
Hector held Ciara down with one hand while reaching for the gun with the other, unaware that Ben had regained consciousness. "Looking for this?" Ben guessed, aiming the gun at Hector.
Hector lunged toward Ben, who easily knocked the goon out with the butt of the gun.
Hope and Eli arrived a short time later. "Hector was gonna double-cross you," Ciara informed Hope while Eli was cuffing Hector. "If Ben hadn't come when he did, Hector would have taken me with him. I would have been gone," Ciara continued. "You're not hurt? You're okay?" Hope asked worriedly. "I'm okay...'cause Ben came. He saved my life -- again," Ciara stressed. "Thank you," Hope said to Ben, who nodded in response.
Meanwhile, back at the police station, Ted contacted someone and provided another update.
Stefan and Gabi give in to their attraction
In his bed at the DiMera mansion, Stefan whispered into his phone and asked Chloe how she was doing. "That is so sweet. We're fine. We're doing okay," Chloe said brightly. Chloe informed Stefan that she was headed to work. "Sounds like things are back to normal," Stefan said with relief. When Chloe asked Stefan how he was feeling after the crazy events from the previous day, Stefan glanced over at Gabi, who was asleep next to him in bed.
"It was a long night. But things eventually settled down," Stefan said, barely holding back a smile as he stared at Gabi. Stefan whispered that he was anxious to clean up the house so that Chloe could return home. Gabi stirred awake and moaned. Chloe asked if someone was there with Stefan.
"No, it's just the maid," Stefan blurted out. Gabi stared daggers as she said, "The what?" Stefan clapped his hand over Gabi's mouth to quiet her. "After everything that happened last night, this place got a little torn up. I'm making sure the maid knows that the trash needs to go out," Stefan said as he smiled pointedly at Gabi. Gabi scowled as Stefan barely held back a chuckle.
"I definitely saw my life flash before my eyes a couple of times," Stefan said. Gabi rolled her eyes, grabbed her bra from the bedpost, and started to put it on. Chloe told Stefan that she was grateful for all that Stefan had done. As Gabi glanced over her shoulder at Stefan, he looked her square in the eyes.
"You don't have to thank me, but I do want to talk about that date I've been thinking about," Stefan said. "Are you for real," Gabi whispered in a hiss. Stefan shoved a finger against Gabi's lips. Chloe agreed to talk about the date later. Stefan reached over to help Gabi hook her bra closed as he continued his phone call.
"Chloe, I'm really looking forward to spending much more time together," Stefan said. Gabi rolled her eyes again as Stefan finished fastening her bra. After Stefan ended his call, Gabi narrowed her eyes and said, "Did you seriously just ask her out on a date when you're laying naked, next to me in bed?" Stefan's smile widened.
"I think she is gonna say yes," Stefan said. "You're freaking unbelievable. That's what you are. Unbelievable!" Gabi grumbled. "I get that a lot," Stefan said with a shrug. With a laugh, Stefan asked Gabi why she was mad when no-strings sex had been her idea.
"Hate-sex? Blowing off steam sex? You came to me, so why all the sensitivity?" Stefan asked. Gabi thought about her conversation with Brady when she had said she was repulsed by Stefan, and Brady had urged her to think about all she would gain.
"Maybe it was just sex, and maybe it wasn't terrible, but you so don't get to treat me like some random DiMera whore," Gabi said. "Oooo. What if I throw in a croissant?" Stefan offered. Gabi smiled and seductively reached underneath the covers. Stefan groaned in pain as Gabi squeezed her hand.
"Remove your hand now!" Stefan said through a grimace. Gabi let go and explained that she resented that Stefan had called her the hired help. With a roll of his eyes, Stefan asked Gabi if she would have preferred that he had told Chloe that he was naked in bed next to Gabi.
"You'd didn't even have to call her at all," Gabi noted. Stefan countered that Chloe was important to him, and he needed to make sure she was okay. Stefan asked Gabi is she would prefer that he broadcast to the world that Gabi had slept with the man that she loathed.
"A man that you could not get enough of last night," Stefan added. "You are such a pig," Gabi countered. Stefan corrected Gabi and said that he was a gentleman because he had protected her reputation. Gabi jumped out of bed. Stefan pulled on his underwear and walked closer to Gabi as she pulled on her skirt.
"Maybe I should have told Chloe that Gabi came slinking over here like some bitch in heat, looking to get laid," Stefan whispered as he cozied up behind Gabi. Gabi turned to smack Stefan, and he blocked her hand as he barked like a dog at her playfully. Stefan grabbed Gabi's wrists to keep her from hitting him.
"These hands have touched me for the last time," Stefan said as he leaned in close to Gabi. Gabi vowed to never touch Stefan again. With a chuckle, Stefan told Gabi that she was single because she was crazy. Gabi noted that, unlike Stefan, she was not a predator who pursued damsels in distress.
"Real women? Women with heart, integrity, vulnerability, they threaten you, don't they?" Stefan asked as he struggled to put on pants. "What? Look I believe you had all the real woman last night that you can handle," Gabi said. Stefan realized he had put his pants on inside out and groaned. "I'd say you were proficient," Stefan said dismissively as he whipped off his pants.
"It's a pity that all you have to offer is sex," Stefan said as he threw his pants onto the ground in frustration. "It's a pity that you didn't have more to offer," Gabi said mockingly. Stefan snatched the shirt out of Gabi's hands and held it just out of her reach as he noted that Gabi had only "dust around that shell of a heart." Furious, Gabi stepped closer and warned Stefan not to insult her again. Stefan and Gabi danced around each other, each daring the other to make a move.
"What are you going to do about it?" Stefan asked with a grin. Gabi grabbed Stefan and kissed him. Stefan picked up Gabi, and she wrapped her legs around him as they fell onto the bed, kissing furiously.
At the Salem Inn, Eve woke Jack up from a restless dream. Jack was surprised to learn he had been talking in his sleep. Eve told Jack that he had mentioned the name Loretta. "Does that mean anything to you?" Eve asked. Jack played dumb and said he did not know anyone named Loretta. Eve told Jack that they were up in the polls.
"So, our wedding did make a difference," Jack said. "Well it certainly did in my life, but I do believe the voters agree here," Eve said. Excited, Eve kissed Jack and told him that she hoped their night together had not been a one-night stand.
"I'm 100% committed to you, and nothing is going to change that, Mrs. Deveraux," Jack said. Jack pulled Eve close, and they made love. Afterward, the newlyweds got dressed and headed out for breakfast at the pub. Jack and Eve got no farther than the hallway outside their hotel room door when they started kissing again. Chloe interrupted and said good morning. Jack and Eve laughed as Chloe congratulated them on their marriage. Chloe asked Eve if they could talk alone. With a nod, Jack told Eve he would meet her at the pub.
"Sorry to ruin your morning," Chloe said after Jack walked away. As Eve and Chloe entered the hotel room, Eve warned Chloe that she did not want to hear anyone else tell her that a marriage to Jack was a bad idea. With a self-satisfied grin, Eve pointed to the bed and noted that she and Jack were "married in every sense of the word."
"Okay. TMI. No, that's not what I wanted to talk about. If this is what really makes you happy, then good for you," Chloe said. Surprised, Eve thanked Chloe for her support. Chloe noted that Eve deserved happiness. Relieved, Eve thanked Chloe for being her friend. Chloe asked Eve for advice about Stefan.
"I've been putting it off, but I really do feel something for Stefan," Chloe admitted. Chloe added that she did not want to make another mistake and regret it. Chloe explained that Stefan had appeared to be sincere and kind, but she was not sure if that was the real Stefan.
"I'm not fan of Stefan, and he does have a dark side, but if he makes you happy, if you feel something, then I say you should give him a chance. If I've learned anything, it's that you never know when you'll find real happiness," Eve said. Eve admitted that when she had started her relationship with Jack, she had had an ulterior motive, but the relationship had blossomed into love.
Eve noted that Stefan was ruthless in business, but he was also a rich, good-looking man who liked kids. "You have done a hell of a lot worse!" Eve joked. Chloe smiled. Eve told Chloe to grab onto Stefan before he got away.
In the square, Eli called Lani to check in on her. Lani explained that she was still tied up at Rafe's house, taking care of David. As David cried, Lani told Eli she would call him later.
At the Hernandez house, Rafe struggled to reheat a bottle for David. Hope knocked on the front door. When Rafe answered, Hope held back tears and tenderly hugged her husband. Rafe invited Hope inside, and he asked about Ciara. Hope confirmed that Ciara was safe at home. Rafe asked how Hope was doing.
"Shaken. Maybe I'm not quite so okay. That monster was going to kill her. I could have lost you and Ciara all in the same day," Hope said. "Makes you want to hold on to her even tighter, doesn't it?" Rafe asked. Hope laughed and said she did not want Ciara to complain that she was hovering. Rafe apologized for not being there to help in the search.
"Kind of hard to do when you're taking a bullet," Hope noted. Rafe laughed. Rafe explained that his injuries were minor. Hope playfully pushed Rafe away and finished filling David's bottle for him. Rafe thanked Hope for the help. Hope told Rafe that she had talked to Kayla for advice.
"I know that we have a lot to work through. I wanna do the work. I thought maybe we could sit down, you and me, without any interruptions," Hope said. Lani entered the room. Lani apologized for interrupting and explained that she needed David's bottle. As Hope handed Lani the bottle, Lani asked about Ciara. Hope noted that Ciara was okay.
"Yesterday when I was here, you didn't say anything about staying the night," Hope said. Lani explained that she had offered to stay because Rafe had been struggling to care for David with his injured shoulder. Hope stared at Rafe as Lani explained the situation.
"It was very nice of you. I'm sure Rafe really appreciates it very much," Hope said as she continued to look at Rafe instead of Lani. When Hope turned her attention to Lani, she noted that Lani was wearing Rafe's shirt. Lani explained that David had spit up on her shirt. David cried, and Lani hurriedly left to attend to the baby.
"It's not what it looks like" Rafe said. "All it looked like was Lani wearing your shirt. My favorite one, mind you. I was just surprised," Hope said. Rafe defended himself until Hope cut him off and said she did not want to fight. Hope said she wanted to talk about their relationship. As Rafe casually sipped his coffee, he asked Hope if she had given Ted an answer to his proposition.
"I already said that I made it very clear to Ted that I'm not interested," Hope said. With a nod, Rafe noted that Hope should ask Ted why he was lying to her. Hope asked Rafe how he knew that Ted was lying. Rafe explained that Eli had overheard Ted talking on the phone to someone. Hope groaned in frustration. Hope asked Rafe if Eli had misunderstood what he had overheard. Rafe yelled that Eli would not make something up. Lani walked in and apologized as she gathered up items for David.
Hope told Lani to take her time because Hope needed to go. As Rafe sarcastically said "good talk,"' Hope said goodbye to Lani and marched hurriedly out of the house. Rafe looked over at Lani and shook his head. Lani apologized if she had upset Hope. Rafe assured Lani that his problems with Hope were centered on "a certain Frenchman." Lani said she believed Ted was a dirtbag. Rafe agreed and said he hoped Hope would realize that before it was too late.
In the pub, Sheila worked on her computer as Abe joined her. Sheila updated Abe on new polling data that had them up by five points. "I knew the voters would be too smart to fall for that charade of a wedding," Abe said. Sheila added that other polls had them behind Jack by ten points. Abe frowned.
"How can the voters be so stupid? How can a bogus wedding like this get this kind of response?" Abe complained. Sheila noted that weddings represented hope for the future. Sheila suggested that Abe get married. Seeing Abe's face, Sheila sighed in frustration and asked him if he was going to shoot down all her ideas.
"I do welcome that you think outside the box," Abe started. Abe explained that he believed marriage was a sacrament. Sheila countered that Abe and Valerie were in love and that it would not be a stunt.
"I bet if you dropped on one knee, she would be on board. Who wouldn't fall for a nice, fine, honest man, good-looking, and happens to be the best mayor Salem's ever seen?" Sheila asked. With a grin, Abe said, "You really think I'm good-looking, huh?" Sheila noted that it was more of a general observation than how she felt. Abe shook his head and said Valerie was not interested.
"I guess that's why you tried to kiss me," Sheila said. Abe looked around furtively and said, "I did not try to kiss you! You tried to kiss me." Sheila denied the accusation. Sheila and Abe bickered about the others' intention to kiss them, until Jack interrupted. Jack asked what Sheila and Abe were arguing about. Sheila was defensive, so Abe suggested that she head back to the office. With a grumble, Sheila left.
"Problems with your assistant? It sounded kind of personal," Jack said. Abe crossed his arms and told Jack that he and Sheila had been arguing about Jack's wedding. Abe said he believed the voters would see through Jack's sham marriage as a ploy to win votes. Jack told Abe that Eve was his true love. Abe countered that Jack's campaign was a pack of lies and hysteria.
"Call it what you want. We're unstoppable," Jack said. Jack urged Abe to drop out of the race, but Abe refused. Abe said he was confident that the voters would realize that Jack was a snake oil salesman and would choose a moral leader. "That's you?' Jack asked. "Yes. It is," Abe said.
In the square, Sheila met up with Eli. Eli confided to Sheila that he was worried that Lani had grown too attached to baby David. "Maybe she shouldn't be taking care of him," Sheila suggested. Eli agreed, but he admitted that he did not know how to say that to Lani. Eli asked Sheila about her life. With a groan, Sheila said she and Abe had been arguing. Sheila asked Eli to talk to Valerie about returning to Salem.
"Ain't no way I'm stepping in the middle of my mom and Abe. If they're going to work things out as a couple, they got to work it out on their own," Eli said. Sheila called Eli a chicken. With a shake of his head, Eli got up to leave for work. Sheila clucked at Eli as he laughed and headed to work. Sheila saw Abe, and she walked over.
"Did you sweep the floor with Deveraux?" Sheila asked. Abe assured Sheila that Jack had no idea what they had been arguing about when he had interrupted them at the pub.
At the pub, Eve joined Jack. "I hope that smile is a testament to wedded bliss," Eve cooed as she sat down beside her new husband. Jack told Eve that he might have found ammunition against Abe. Jack said he suspected that Abe was involved in something with his assistant.
In the Kiriakis living room, Brady scowled over paperwork at the desk as Maggie entered and invited him to join her, Nancy, and the kids for ice cream. With a smirk, Brady said he did not think Chloe would be happy for him to spend time with Parker and Holly.
"To say that I wrecked things with Chloe would be an understatement," Brady said. After updating Maggie on the situation with Chloe, Maggie noted that Brady sounded like a stalker. "I overstepped," Brady admitted. Brady wanted to fix the situation, but Maggie pointed out that Brady sounded obsessive. "I don't want to lose her, Maggie," Brady said. Maggie suggested that Brady take a step back. Brady argued that if he stepped aside, Stefan would swoop in.
"Maybe what's best for you is that you take a long, hard look at yourself and figure out why you are acting this way," Maggie suggested. Brady smirked. Maggie asked Brady why he wanted to force a reconciliation with Chloe. Brady argued that he and Chloe had been good together, but Maggie reminded Brady that things had turned sour in their marriage.
"You grew apart! You weren't there to support each other, so whatever caused the cracks in the first place, it hasn't gone away," Maggie said. "There's a part of me that is still in love with her," Brady admitted. Maggie asked Brady if he was afraid of being alone. Maggie noted that Brady had moved from one bad relationship to the next without a break.
"Every time I think something is real, I screw it up," Brady said. Maggie argued that Brady's relationship with Nicole had failed because Eric had been the love of her life. With a shake of his head, Brady noted that his relationships with Theresa and Eve had been toxic. With a smirk, Maggie noted that Brady was better off without Eve. Maggie reminded Brady that he had remained sober through it all.
"Yeah, but instead of diving into the bottle, Maggie, I'm obsessing over badgering my ex-wife to have another go with me," Brady said. Brady wondered aloud if he had pursued Chloe to prove to himself that he was not a failure at love. Maggie noted that Brady's failed relationships did not make him a failure as a person.
"Someday, someone out there is going to be incredibly lucky to find you," Maggie said. Maggie urged Brady to take time to get comfortable with himself before he dated again. "Let love find you, and don't force it," Maggie counseled. Brady thanked Maggie for always listening to him and giving him advice. Brady's tablet beeped with a news alert. "You're not going to believe this," Brady said.
After the latest round of hate sex at the DiMera mansion, Stefan lay on the bed, exhausted, his head dangling off the side. Gabi started to dress with a sheepish look on her face.
"I did not mean for that to happen," Gabi said. "And yet it did. Again," Stefan said. Gabi asked Stefan if he was going to wait by the phone for Chloe to call. "Sorry to break it to you, but she didn't say yes," Gabi said. "She didn't say no, either," Stefan said. "Uh-oh," Gabi gasped. Gabi pointed out that she was missing a button on her shirt.
In the living room downstairs, Chloe returned to the mansion and called out Stefan's name. When there was no answer, Chloe took out her phone to call him. Chloe noticed a button on the floor. With a frown, Chloe picked up the button and examined it.
Gabi marched into the living room, still attempting to button her shirt. Gabi stopped short when she saw Chloe staring at her. "Good morning," Chloe said. Gabi meekly said, "Hi," as she fumbled to close her shirt. "I'm guessing this belongs to you," Chloe said as she held up the button. Stefan walked in, still buttoning his shirt, and he stopped dead when he saw Chloe. "Okay. Who wants to go first?" Chloe asked.
Will receives the results of the biopsy
At the Salem Inn, Kate received an unexpected visit from a furious Brady, who threatened to sue her for having provided false statements to the press about returning to Titan. She produced a contract to prove the claim.
Brady skimmed each page of the contract then tore it up and handed it back to Kate, who scoffed and insisted that the tantrum wasn't going to change anything. "It only proves Victor's concerns about you being CEO," Kate noted. "He's always been a little threatened of me," Brady dismissively argued. "I don't need your help, and I am not gonna let you get anywhere near my legacy," Brady added. "Titan is my son's legacy, as well," Kate pointed out. "Don't pretend that this is about Philip," Brady skeptically countered. "I don't know what kind of sleazy thing you did to get Victor to hire you back..." Brady continued, eyeing Kate suspiciously.
"But this is my company now, which means you'll be working for me, [and] if you mess up just the slightest bit -- I mean, if you order the wrong cake flavor for an office birthday party -- [then] your butt's gonna be out on the curb faster than you can say 'Titan,'" Brady warned. "It's gonna be great working with you, 'boss'!" Kate sarcastically replied, clearly not the least bit worried.
At the Kiriakis mansion, Maggie tracked down Victor and dramatically revealed that Kate had gone rogue. "Brady showed me a news article, and apparently, [she] gave an interview, claiming that she was returning to Titan! Obviously, she was trying to force your hand [by] leaking out this rumor! The nerve of that woman!" Maggie elaborated. "[Brady's] furious, but I'm confident he's gonna put Kate in her place... [In the meantime], would you like for me to help you draft up a statement to set the record straight?" Maggie added. "I'm afraid I can't do that. You see, actually...I did hire Kate," Victor clarified, stunning Maggie.
"You know how much running Titan means to [Brady]! You should be showing your faith in him, not stabbing him in the back!" Maggie argued. "You're being overly dramatic. This is just a business decision," Victor dismissively insisted. "[No], this is nothing short of a betrayal!" Maggie maintained. "Are you sure that it's Brady who feels betrayed?" Victor asked pointedly. "You're damn right I feel betrayed!" Maggie admitted. "Did I not make my feelings clear about Kate? I'm your wife! Doesn't my opinion matter to you?" Maggie added. "Of course it does..." Victor assured Maggie.
"But in the end, I have to make the decision that's for the best of the company, [and] this is a smart, strategic move. Don't make it overly personal," Victor dismissively advised. "'Personal'? What are you saying, Victor -- that I'm only upset because I'm still jealous of Kate?" Maggie asked incredulously. "I sincerely hope you're not, [because], as I've told you, over and over again, there's no reason to be," Victor stressed. "I'm not questioning your commitment to our marriage," Maggie assured Victor. "Your judgment, on the other hand..." Maggie began to add.
"I'm warning you, Victor -- you're letting the fox into the henhouse," Maggie stressed. "[Kate] is the most deceitful, predatory witch that ever darkened your doorstep! [She] has absolutely no regard for anyone but herself and her own selfish whims! She is a poison to this town! She deserves to die penniless and alone with her regrets!" Maggie continued, ignoring Victor's attempts to stop the rant.
Kate, who had entered the mansion in time to hear the rant in its entirety, began applauding it to announce her presence.
"Don't stop on my account," Kate encouraged Maggie, who was somewhat embarrassed but didn't bother to apologize. "Most of Salem agrees with me," Maggie argued with a shrug.
"You can go now, Maggie. I'm sure you have something to do, [like] baking cookies or poking your nose into other people's business..." Kate dismissively suggested. "I'm gonna keep an eye on you," Maggie vowed. "Victor may have forgiven you, but I haven't, and I will never trust you," Maggie added. "[I'm just here to help Victor] make Titan successful again -- and to honor our son's legacy," Kate insisted. "I don't believe that for a second. You want something more, and it's just gonna be a matter of time before I figure out what it is," Maggie countered before storming off.
Once the coast was clear, Kate began suggesting changes to the contract -- and expressed shock when Victor agreed to allow most of them. "I'm a very reasonable man," Victor explained with a shrug. "You can be at times," Kate conceded. "I'm just happy that you're back at Titan," Victor added. "I'm happy to be back," Kate replied before signing the revised contract.
"It does feel like coming home. We were a great team," Kate mused. "When we weren't trying to murder each other," Victor joked. "Bygones," Kate dismissively insisted, and Victor agreed.
"I have a really good feeling about this. It's never too late to recapture the magic," Kate told Victor as Maggie eavesdropped from the foyer, clearly concerned.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan told Chloe that Gabi had barged in earlier with yet another work emergency. "What could have been so urgent that you needed to wake him up in his bed?" Chloe asked Gabi curiously. "Sometimes...things just...come up..." Gabi suggestively replied, giving Chloe a shrug while looking directly at Stefan. "Kind of looks like I interrupted a date between the two of you," Chloe suspiciously observed.
"We can't stand each other!" Stefan reminded Chloe. "I know that you can't stand her, but I'm not so sure that she feels the same way about you," Chloe warned Stefan. "What is that supposed to mean?" Gabi asked defensively. "You've been dropping by here quite a bit lately, and I'm not so sure that this 'business' you had couldn't have waited 'til he wasn't in his bedroom," Chloe elaborated. Gabi started to respond, but Stefan interrupted, agreeing with Chloe. "[This is] not appropriate, [so] from now on, our business dealings will go through my office," Stefan instructed Gabi, who was outraged.
Stefan impatiently tried to usher Gabi out of the mansion. "I am not leaving until I get what I came here for -- my button," Gabi insisted. "You never explained how you lost it here," Chloe pointed out. "Obviously, it must have happened when she was struggling with Hector," Stefan reasoned. "Yeah, things got pretty physical here last night," Gabi suggestively agreed. "[First] you said you came here to discuss business with Stefan, [and now you're saying] you came here for a button, so...which one is it?" Chloe asked. "It can't be both?" Gabi countered. "I guess it can be..." Chloe conceded.
"[But that] doesn't explain why you're wearing the same thing you had on yesterday," Chloe added. "Surprised you noticed...[but] I spent the night at the hospital with my brother -- who was shot [while] trying to protect me and Ciara from the thugs who went after you," Gabi pointedly replied, making Chloe feel guilty. "I'm so sorry," Chloe stressed while returning Gabi's button.
Gabi started to rush off, but Chloe wasn't done yet. "I would like to talk to you about your little scheme with Brady," Chloe called out, startling Gabi and confusing Stefan. "Don't play dumb with me. I saw Brady's phone -- [and] the text you sent him [that said], 'Chloe and Holly will be at the park without Stefan,'" Chloe elaborated. "You're talking about that..." Gabi realized with a sigh of relief. "You're playing matchmaker with Chloe and Brady?" Stefan asked incredulously. "I just wanted to help," Gabi insisted with a shrug. "I swear -- I thought Brady just wanted to protect [you]. I never thought he wanted to do anything sneaky," Gabi assured Chloe.
Stefan again tried to usher Gabi out of the mansion -- and managed to succeed. "Thank you for not telling Chloe we slept together," Stefan quietly stated. "Are you kidding me? I don't want anybody to know that, [because] it's humiliating," Gabi insisted. "You didn't seem to mind it when we were in bed," Stefan pointed out. "Neither did you," Gabi countered. "Yeah, well, uh...it's not happening again," Stefan stressed. "Damn right it's not," Gabi agreed before storming off. Stefan rejoined Chloe and grumbled that the wrong Hernandez had gotten shot the previous day. "Was that out loud?" Stefan added when Chloe expressed disapproval.
Alone at home, Eric recorded a voicemail message for Chloe, having heard about what had happened the previous day. A short time later, Eric received an unexpected visit from Sarah, who wanted to take advantage of Rex's absence. "[This gives us a chance to] finish having the conversation we were having before he interrupted us -- [the one about you telling] your mother that if she said anything to me, [then] you would never speak to her again," Sarah reasoned. "It's not a big deal," Eric insisted, but Sarah disagreed -- and demanded to know what was going on. "I'm still mad at you for sleeping with Xander," Eric eventually claimed, trapped.
"Looking at [those] photos of Nicole reminded me of how much I missed her, [and] for you to go sleep with the man who tortured and killed her..." Eric continued, trying to sell the lie. "I don't know what else to say. I made a terrible mistake, [but] I own it, [and] I've said I'm sorry, [and] now I'm just trying to move on and put it behind me," Sarah replied, hurt. "I wish that you would have come to me about your feelings instead of letting them fester and then confiding in your mom. [That's] not who we are," Sarah added. Eric sighed guiltily as Sarah stormed off, fighting back tears.
At the Brady Pub, Will wrapped up a phone conversation with Rex then turned to Sonny with a sigh of frustration. "Nothing yet?" Sonny guessed, and Will confirmed the assumption with a shake of the head. "Will, no matter what those tests say, we're going to deal with it, okay? It's just another bump in the road," Sonny stressed, and Will forced a smile and nodded in agreement.
Marlena and Roman, who had been chatting at the bar, soon approached Will and Sonny's table. "What's up?" Will asked nervously, seeing that Marlena and Roman both looked quite serious. "Well, your grandfather and I were just talking, and...we -- we understand your -- your, uh...thoughts about keeping your diagnosis secret from your mother, but, um...we think you should reconsider that," Marlena began. "Sami would want to be [here] to support you," Roman added. "Oh, 'support' me? You mean 'make it about herself, like she always does'? 'Bring chaos wherever she goes'?" Will countered.
"That woman is the last thing I need right now! I hate her!" Will spat, surprising the others.
"Honey...you don't 'hate' your mother," Marlena eventually argued, but Will stuck to the claim -- and cited the drama that had occurred during John and Marlena's failed wedding ceremony the previous summer as just one of many reasons to hate Sami. "That was Kristen's fault," Roman pointed out. "Oh, yeah. Mm-hmm. It's always someone else's fault," Will sarcastically agreed. "I don't want her here, hovering over me -- 'cause that's what she does, right? She feeds off of other people's misery!" Will maintained. "She loves you," Marlena stressed. "She has a very funny way of showing love," Will grumbled.
"We don't have to tell her," Sonny eventually assured Will. "And we're not going to!" Will insisted before noticing that Marlena and Roman were both squirming. "Oh, my God -- you've been talking about this behind my back, haven't you?" Will asked angrily. "Just take it easy -- you know you shouldn't be getting worked up like this," Sonny advised Will. "Don't tell me what to do!" Will snapped at Sonny, seething with rage.
"Enough," Marlena calmly but firmly said to Will. "This is not you talking; this is a side effect of the -- of the brain tumor. We talked about this -- do you remember?" Marlena continued. "I told you that this tumor could affect your brain chemistry [and] create mood swings and impulse control," Marlena reminded Will, who seemed to find the concept somewhat ridiculous but hadn't forgotten about the conversation -- and had to admit that, ridiculous or not, what had just happened had been exactly what Marlena had predicted would happen. "I'm sorry," Will told the others, sighing heavily. "I didn't mean any of that stuff," Will added.
"We understand," Sonny stressed, but Will clearly didn't understand -- and felt unnerved as a result. "I don't know why, um, I just got so angry when you brought up Mom," Will said to Marlena. "I don't hate Mom; I love her," Will admitted. "[But] I don't want her to worry, so that's why, you know, I don't want to tell her or Dad anything until we get the results -- because she's got enough on her plate, helping E.J. get well, [and] the last thing that she needs is to find out that her son has cancer," Will added with a shrug. "Don't get ahead of yourself, okay? You don't know if you have cancer," Sonny pointed out.
As if on cue, Will received a phone call from Rex, who had just received the results of the biopsy but wanted to reveal them in person. Will clearly took that as a bad sign, but Sonny tried to remain optimistic.
Marlena headed off to the hospital with Will and Sonny, having scheduled a few appointments for that day. A short time later, Brady entered the pub, took a seat at the bar, and stared longingly at the rows of liquor bottles. Eric soon arrived and tried to avoid Brady, not wanting to get into another argument. "I don't want to argue, [either]. I owe you an apology," Brady admitted, surprising Eric.
"It was wrong of me to ask you to manipulate Chloe," Brady acknowledged. "Maggie -- she helped me to see that I was being unfair," Brady explained. "Not that it matters, really... Chloe's already decided that she wants Stefan to protect her, so, uh...I don't think it's gonna work out for us," Brady added, sighing. "That why you're sitting here, staring longingly at the booze?" Eric wondered.
"I'm staring at the booze, Eric, because my grandfather has once again screwed me over. [He's] decided to hire Kate at Titan," Brady clarified. "Classic Victor," Eric mused with a shake of the head. "Show 'em both you're a better man than that," Eric advised Brady. "I know you can, because I have faith in you," Eric added, surprising Brady, who clearly appreciated the support.
Later, Brady met up with Gabi in the park. "You are the worst conspiracy partner I've ever had -- and I've had a few lame ones!" Gabi snapped before telling Brady about the earlier confrontation with Chloe.
"You almost blew up our plan!" Gabi grumbled at the end of the tale. "The plan is off," Brady replied, having decided to give up on being with Chloe and instead focus on dealing with Titan -- and Kate. "You sold me on this plan, [and] now you leave me high and dry the day after --" Gabi began to complain, outraged. "The day after what?" Brady asked, confused. "I nearly died putting our plan into effect," Gabi claimed.
"I may have oversold you on what was actually possible here. [See], taking Stefan's company [would be] a long shot -- [I mean], even if you were to get him into bed," Brady admitted. "Chloe is so right -- you are a rat!" Gabi snapped. "I don't mean to bail on you, [but] look on the bright side -- [Stefan] disgusts you, [and at least] now you don't have to sleep with him," Brady pointed out before walking away.
"You go ahead and move on, Brady. I am not letting go. I will have my revenge on Stefan," Gabi quietly vowed, scowling.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan pointed out that Chloe no longer had to worry about the cartel -- which meant that they were finally free to pursue a relationship with each other. She hesitantly agreed to have dinner with him.
At the hospital, Rex curiously noted that Sarah had been staring at the results of Will's biopsy for quite a while. "I'm just distracted," Sarah admitted. "About what?" Rex wondered.
Just then, Will and Sonny entered Rex's office. "Your tumor is...benign," Rex happily revealed. "Are you sure?" Will asked. "Positive," Rex replied, and Sarah agreed. Will and Sonny hugged each other, both elated.
"So...if the tumor's benign, what does that mean?" Will eventually asked. "Well, no chemotherapy, for starters," Rex cheerfully declared. "[But] what about, like, the symptoms I've been experiencing?" Will wondered. "The seizure?" Rex assumed. "[Also]...just now, at the pub, um...Will kind of had a...like, an angry outburst," Sonny clarified. "And I don't want that to keep happening. I don't want to snap in front of Ari," Will elaborated.
"Understandable...but, as you know, I couldn't remove the tumor in its entirety -- [with] its size and location, it was just too risky [and] dangerous," Rex reiterated. "But...we believe that we can shrink it," Rex added. "We have a lot of options as far as treatments, [but] we'll start with radiation...which, I'm sure you know, is not exactly the most pleasant experience," Sarah sympathetically elaborated. "What are the side effects?" Sonny wondered. "Fatigue, nausea... Some patients complain of foggy brain, memory loss..." Rex began to explain. "Been there," Will pointed out. "Is my hair gonna fall out?" Will asked. "Not necessarily," Rex replied, shrugging.
"How do we know if the radiation is actually working?" Sonny wondered. "By monitoring the size of the tumor," Sarah explained. "Tumors grow differently, and we're hoping [this] is a slow-growing one," Rex elaborated. "What if radiation doesn't work?" Will asked. "Let's try it first," Sarah evasively replied. "[And] let's focus on the fact that this was the best possible news that we could have received today," Rex added.
Rex and Sarah left the office so Will and Sonny could have some time to discuss the matter privately before setting up the first appointment for radiation treatment. "I know in my head this is good news... I just wish there was, like, a magic potion I could inject in the tumor and make it go away," Will admitted with a sigh. "That would be nice," Sonny agreed.
"Don't you ever wonder when, uh, our lives are ever gonna be normal?" Will asked. "'Normal'? Here in Salem? I don't think that's ever gonna happen. But...what we have is better than that," Sonny replied. "Well, I am lucky to have you," Will acknowledged. "You're always gonna have me," Sonny promised. "Even if my hair falls out and I scream at you for no reason?" Will skeptically countered. "I'll get you a hat and me some earplugs," Sonny joked. "I love you," Will stressed, feeling a bit better. "I love you...and we're gonna get through this the way we always do -- together," Sonny insisted, giving Will a kiss and a hug.
After parting ways with Rex, whose work shift had just ended, Sarah ran into Marlena and seized the opportunity to share the results of the biopsy, having received Will's blessing earlier. Marlena was relieved to hear about Will's good news -- and was also relieved to hear that Eric had cleared the air with Sarah earlier. "I've been encouraging him to do that, just to let you know how much he really cares about you," Marlena revealed, misunderstanding Sarah's statement.
Someone from the past returns to Salem
At the Salem Inn, a shadowy figure sneaked into Chloe's room with the help of a key card and began looking around the place, paying particular attention to Holly's belongings.
The shadowy figure soon contacted Ted, who maintained that Chloe and the kids were indeed supposed to be staying at the Salem Inn. "Unfortunately, that is the most current information I have, [so] I'm sorry if you're not satisfied, but I have other pressing business to attend to," Ted tiredly added before abruptly ending the call.
Eric bumped into Chloe while walking away from the Brady Pub. "Sorry. My mind was..." Eric, who had been thinking about Sarah, began to explain. "Elsewhere? I can tell," Chloe replied with a chuckle.
Changing the subject, Eric wondered if it was really safe for Chloe to be out in public without anyone nearby for protection. "It's fine -- we're safe now," Chloe assured Eric, adding that the nightmare was finally over for good. Eric was pleased to hear that but was quick to point out that it was difficult for a person to just immediately go back to a normal routine after such a harrowing ordeal. "If you need me to look after Holly for a night or two [so you can have] some time to yourself --" Eric began to offer. "That's so sweet of you...[but] we're fine, really. We're actually all staying at Stefan's," Chloe replied. "You sure that's a good idea?" Eric asked, surprised.
"Despite what Brady's told you, Stefan has been nothing but wonderful to me," Chloe assured Eric, who still questioned whether it was a good idea to get involved with a guy like Stefan DiMera. "Who said we're involved?" Chloe coolly countered. "It's none of my business," Eric conceded. "[It's just that] I made a promise to Nicole that I would always take care of [Holly...but] I'm confident [that] she's safe in your arms," Eric added. "You must miss [Nicole]. I miss her, too. [Look], I know it's not the same thing, but...I'm ready to move on, and maybe...you can, too? [She] would want you to be happy," Chloe advised Eric, who didn't try to argue the point.
After parting ways with Eric, Chloe headed over to the Salem Inn to finish preparing for the move back to the DiMera mansion. The shadowy figure, who was still in Chloe's room, ducked behind a couch just in time to avoid being caught. Shortly after entering the room, Chloe received a phone call from Stefan. "Your security guys just texted me and said that they picked up Parker and Holly, and they're headed to you right now. And I'll be right behind them; I just have to take a quick shower and get dressed, and then I'll join you for dinner," Chloe told Stefan before ending the call and stepping into the bathroom. The shadowy figure immediately rushed off.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan informed Ben that Chloe and the kids would not be staying at the Salem Inn any longer, since the threat of the cartel had passed. "One of the guys is dead, [and] the other guy is in custody, fully cooperating with the police to save his own ass. He gave the call for his men to stand down, [so] Chloe and the kids are safe," Stefan elaborated, but Ben wasn't entirely convinced that a cartel would actually give up and go away so easily. "I've got the front gate secure, [and] twelve of your finest men [are] patrolling the grounds," Stefan assured Ben, dismissing the concern.
"I should stick around, just in case," Ben maintained, still worried. "Go be with your girlfriend," Stefan somewhat tiredly advised. "She got caught up in this, too...[and] she had as much of a hand in ending this threat as anybody else, [so] take it from me when I tell you to do everything you can to make sure she feels appreciated. [Besides, Chloe] and I are having dinner tonight...[and] it's actually more of a date -- [one] that I'm very much looking forward to... [So], take the night off, Ben -- you've earned it," Stefan added. Ben shrugged and rushed off, realizing that Stefan wasn't going to budge on the matter.
At the police station, Ciara finished giving Hope a formal statement about what had happened the previous day. "Thank God you weren't hurt," Hope declared. "You can thank Ben," Ciara argued. "Don't sell yourself short, sweetie; you were in an extremely high-stress situation, and you kept your cool [and] didn't lose your head, [and] your dad would be very proud," Hope stressed. "You didn't exactly agree with me that Ben did something good, but you didn't exactly try to fight me on it, either, [so] I'm gonna call that progress," Ciara noted, grinning.
Ciara received a text message from Ben a short time later, while Hope was wrapping up a summary of what had happened with Rafe earlier. "I know [this] must be so hard for you...[but] you've just gotta keep in mind that you and Rafe love each other -- so, so much -- and all couples go through rough patches," Ciara sympathetically advised Hope. "I have no doubt in my mind that you guys are gonna get through this," Ciara added before comforting Hope with a hug. After Ciara rushed off to meet up with Ben, Hope considered contacting Rafe -- but ended up contacting Ted instead.
"I was thrilled to get your message," Ted began when Hope arrived at Doug's Place a short time later. "How 'bout I order a nice bottle of wine, and you tell me what's on your beautiful mind," he suggested after getting settled with her at a table. "What's on my mind...is a question," she revealed, ignoring his attempt to flirt. "What are you keeping from me?" she demanded to know.
"You really think I would keep something from you?" Ted asked indignantly. "Rafe told me that, um, Eli overheard a phone conversation that you were having at the station --" Hope began to explain. "That was nothing," Ted dismissively insisted, bitterly adding that it wasn't particularly surprising that Eli had gone straight to Rafe with the gossip and had blown it completely out of proportion. "So, it was no big deal? Just a misunderstanding?" Hope skeptically summarized. "Exactly," Ted smoothly confirmed. "Good...then I guess you won't mind explaining to me what it was," Hope challenged Ted.
"The person that I was talking to...was a jeweler," Ted claimed, producing an extravagant diamond necklace for Hope, who immediately started to protest. "Trust me -- I didn't want to show you this," Ted assured Hope. "I wanted to honor your wish to fight for your marriage...but your husband's interest lies more in fighting with me than fighting for you," Ted added, as Hope again tried to refuse the gift and stop the conversation.
"I had every intention of keeping my emotions and feelings a secret and presenting this to you [only] when you were free to receive the love of a man who truly understands the rare treasure that you are," Ted maintained. "[But now I've been honest with you, and] I just want you to do the same -- I want you to be honest about the feelings you have for me," Ted challenged Hope, who was clearly uncomfortable, especially because the conversation was happening in such a public place. "We both know you have already lost Rafe, and Rafe has already lost you, so...choose to accept this necklace, and choose to be with me," Ted advised.
At the DiMera mansion, Stefan finished preparing for a dinner date with Chloe, who was upstairs, checking on the kids.
Chloe and Stefan soon met up in the foyer, ready to start the date -- and unaware that the shadowy figure had just sneaked into the mansion via the secret tunnels and was in the kids' bedroom.
Meanwhile, at the guesthouse, Ciara told Ben about what had happened at the police station earlier. "I thought my mom was gonna give me all sorts of grief about seeing you, but she, uh...she actually didn't say anything!" Ciara exclaimed, still surprised. "We've come a long way, considering...a few months ago, it was her mission in life to put me behind bars," Ben mused, managing a chuckle.
Ben and Ciara had Chinese food delivered to the guesthouse but soon forgot all about it and began kissing passionately on the bed.
Kate ran into Maggie while trying to exit the Kiriakis mansion, and the two women immediately started bickering with each other again.
"Obviously, we don't like one another...but we are going to have to work on getting along, because it appears that we're going to be family," Kate eventually pointed out, prompting Maggie to counter that Rex and Sarah's relationship wasn't a done deal yet. "You...are aware that Rex and Sarah have set a date...right?" Kate asked, confused. "Yes...[but I'm still holding out hope] that my daughter comes to her senses before she makes the mistake of marrying your son -- a serial cheater who obviously inherited his mother's moral compass...or lack thereof," Maggie replied.
"We both know that Sarah could do a hell of a lot better than Rex," Maggie added while opening the front door to show Kate out, unaware that Rex was standing outside, preparing to knock.
"Rex, I'm sorry you heard that --" Maggie began. "No, you're not," Rex knowingly countered. "But it's okay --" Rex started to add. "No, it's not 'okay'!" Kate protested. "Mom, I totally got this right now --" Rex tried to stress, but Kate forged ahead. "I know that it's a challenge for you to keep your nose out of other people's business, given all your idle time, but the last thing that a newlywed couple needs is an overbearing mother-in-law," Kate told Maggie. "And the last thing that I need is a desperate, opportunistic shrew in my home," Maggie countered before telling Rex to look elsewhere for Sarah -- and show Kate out in the process.
"I didn't come here to see Sarah; I actually came here to see you," Rex clarified as Maggie started to storm off. "And I'm really glad my mom is here, as well, because I have some really great news to share with the both of you," Rex added before revealing the results of Will's biopsy, having received permission to do so earlier. "Thank God!" Maggie exclaimed, breathing a sigh of relief. "How 'bout a little gratitude for the surgeon who performed the biopsy?" Kate suggested, also relieved. "Thank you," Maggie said to Rex, seeing Kate's point.
Kate soon rushed off, and Rex started to follow but paused in the doorway and vowed to prove Maggie's earlier criticism wrong.
At the hospital, Sarah started to question Marlena's comment about Eric's true feelings -- then quickly backpedaled, realizing that it would be better to just play along.
"I'm curious [to know] what you think about what Eric told me," Sarah carefully stated. "Well...in all honesty, I think it complicates your situation. I mean, you're -- you're already engaged to Rex, so you can understand why Eric wouldn't want to tell you how deep his feelings are for you -- [not just because he doesn't] want to hurt Rex [but also because he doesn't] want a repeat of what happened with Brady. And because...he made a promise to God," Marlena replied, oblivious to Sarah's deception. "To not come between Rex and me if God let you live," Sarah guessed.
"I told him how moved I was by his willingness to do that...[but] making that sort of promise [was] really just ridiculous, [and] it's just been killing me to think of Eric...well, not being with somebody he cares about so very deeply --" Marlena began to add. "Meaning me," Sarah assumed. "Yes, of course," Marlena confirmed, making Sarah smile.
"Having said that...do you have any thoughts about what you might do?" Marlena asked curiously. "I have absolutely no idea what to do. I haven't had a whole lot of time to, you know, process this," Sarah replied with an awkward laugh. "I mean, up until now, Eric has been adamant about the fact that he only thinks of me as a good friend and nothing more... And he's still mourning Nicole; I mean, just yesterday, he told me that he misses her," Sarah continued. "He will always miss her...but you and I both know that she's gone, and she's not coming back," Marlena reasoned.
"The bottom line is...we both want Eric to be happy, and I think you're the woman that will make him happy," Marlena stressed before rushing off to check on Will, leaving Sarah beaming.
Rex returned home and found Eric standing in the living room, once again looking at old photographs of Nicole. "Did you take [those]?" Rex wondered. "Yeah. That's all I have left -- just photos and memories," Eric replied with a sigh. "I don't even know why I'm looking at them --" Eric began to add. "Why wouldn't you? I mean, no one's expecting you to forget about her," Rex reasoned. "There's no way I could do that; she's the love of my life," Eric stressed. Rex understood but confidently predicted that Eric would eventually find someone else. "Even I did," Rex joked, and Eric awkwardly agreed.
Changing the subject, Rex began to share Will's good news, unaware that Eric had already received the update from Roman.
Eric soon headed over to the Brady Pub, not wanting to be the third wheel in the dinner date that Rex was planning for Sarah. Eric went to the kitchen and prepared a meal then carried it back out to the bar -- and found Sarah waiting there. "Rex is waiting for you at the apartment. He's making you dinner," Eric informed Sarah, confused. "I know...but we need to talk," Sarah replied.
Meanwhile, Rex finished preparing for the dinner date with Sarah -- just as someone knocked on the apartment door. "Perfect timing," Rex declared, assuming that the visitor was Sarah. "What's the matter, babe -- you forget your keys?" he asked teasingly while opening the apartment door, but to his surprise, the visitor turned out to be someone else -- Nicole.
Ben and Ciara make love
Ben and Ciara started to make love in his apartment. Ben stopped and said, "I can't do this." Breathless, Ciara asked why. Ben explained that he did not want any interruptions. "I just want it to be us," Ben said. Ciara agreed and noted that she had turned her phone off before dinner. With a chuckle, Ben turned off his phone, as well.
"Looks like we're thinking along the same lines," Ben said as he began to kiss Ciara again. Ben and Ciara made love. After, Ciara lay in Ben's arms and whispered, "Part of me thinks I might be dreaming right now." Ben said he had given up on the idea of being happy, but Ciara had shown him it was possible.
"I never loved anyone like this in my entire life," Ben said. "I just hope you believe that I'm not still that person who did those horrible things. Ciara, I'm not crazy anymore," Ben said. Ben promised that he would never be crazy again, because Ciara made him happy. Ciara explained that she had not believed that she would ever find love after what had happened with Chase.
"But with you, Ben, it's like, it's like everything he did, it's finally in the past, and I love you, too," Ciara said. Ben hugged Ciara tight and sighed. "I have something else I really need to tell you," Ciara said. With a laugh, Ciara said she was hungry. Ben rolled his eyes jokingly and reminded Ciara that she had eaten her dinner and half of his. Ciara explained that happiness made her hungry. Ciara grabbed the takeout bag and dumped out a pile of fortune cookies onto the bed. With smiles on their faces, Ciara and Ben looked through the fortunes.
When Ben glanced at his phone, Ciara urged him to turn it back on. "I know you are worried about Chloe and the kids," Ciara said. Ben reminded Ciara that it was his night off. After a moment, Ben reconsidered. Ciara said that she liked that Ben cared about Chloe and the children and looked out for them.
"To be honest, I really don't want to think about anything else but you," Ben said. Ben pulled a giggling Ciara underneath the sheet, and they cuddled close.
In the DiMera living room, Chloe wanted to interrupt her date with Stefan to check on her children, but Stefan assured Chloe that her family was safe. With a smile, Chloe agreed to eat first. Upstairs, a mystery figure in black deftly took Holly's doll away from her as the little girl slept.
On the monitor in the living room, Holly yelled, and Chloe raced upstairs. When Chloe checked on Holly, she was asleep in bed. Chloe spotted Holly's favorite doll on the floor, and she picked it up and returned it to Holly's side. From the window, someone watched Chloe through the glass. Chloe left briefly, and when she returned with Stefan, she explained that Holly appeared to be fine and had likely had a nightmare. After Chloe left again, the figure in black crept out of the closet and picked up the sleeping Holly.
Downstairs, Chloe told Stefan that she was relieved to know Holly was safe. Stefan complimented Chloe's strength. "I've obviously got you fooled," Chloe joked. Stefan said he admired that Chloe had remained calm through the mess with the cartel.
While Chloe and Stefan headed into the dining room, the figure in black crept down the stairs with Holly. The figure reached for the button to the secret passageway but stopped when Chloe said from the next room, "I'll be back in a second." Chloe returned to the living room to retrieve the monitor for Holly's room. After Chloe returned to the dining room, the figure stepped out from the foyer and escaped through the secret tunnel.
After dinner, Chloe and Stefan returned to the living room to toast to the future. "I feel like I can finally have one, thanks to you," Chloe said. Chloe and Stefan kissed. After a moment, Chloe pulled away and said, "I guess I just don't feel like I'm ready to jump into something new yet." Chloe suggested that they end the evening early. Chloe said she was grateful and wanted to have another date soon.
"It's my pleasure. You know this isn't me trying to cash in on that, right?" Stefan asked. "I know that. I just don't want to move too fast," Chloe said. Stefan nodded in agreement. Chloe kissed Stefan goodnight then headed upstairs. Stefan quickly downed his drink and then Chloe's. As Stefan stared across the room, deep in thought, Chloe's panicked voice rang out from Holly's room. Stefan ran upstairs.
At the police station, Rafe called Lani and asked if she could stay with David longer. When Lani agreed, Rafe offered to deliver dinner to her. Lani assured Rafe she had no plans for the evening and looked forward to spending time with David. As Lani hung up the phone, Eli knocked on the door of the Hernandez house.
"I was waiting to hear from you," Eli said. Lani apologized and said Rafe had needed her to stay longer. Frustrated, Eli asked why Rafe had not contacted a babysitter. Lani explained that David was used to her. Eli told Lani that he was concerned that Lani had spent the night at the Hernandez house and had not called him.
"I want to spend time with you. Tonight," Eli complained. Lani asked Eli to hang out with her and David. Eli groaned. "I don't want to have dinner with Rafe, Lani. I want to have dinner with my girlfriend. Are you saying you want to have takeout with him instead of me?" Eli asked, incredulous. Lani did not understand why Eli was upset.
"I want to know that I matter to you. More than this baby. More than Rafe," Eli said. When Lani swore that there was nothing going on between her and Rafe, Eli countered that his concern was that Lani had grown too close to David.
"You're saying that just because his name is David that I am more attached to him than I would be otherwise?" Lani asked. Eli shrugged. Lani stressed that she cared about the baby because David was helpless and needed her. Eli argued that David was not Lani's baby. "Nobody knows that like I do!" Lani protested. Lani argued that David needed someone to care for him. In the crib nearby, David cried. Lani told Eli that she did not care if he stayed or left.
"When Rafe comes back, I'd like you to come back to my place. I don't care what time it is," Eli said. "We'll see," Lani said dismissively.
At Doug's Place, Ted asked Hope to accept a necklace he had purchased for her. Hope refused. Ted reminded Hope that he had not wanted to show her the necklace, but she had forced his hand. Hope gently put her hand on Ted's and told him she did not want to spend her life with him. Rafe walked in and saw Hope's, hand on top of Ted's.
"Oh, wow. Look at this. You are just pulling out all the stops, aren't you?" Rafe said as he motioned at the jewelry box. Hope leaped to her feet and gently pushed Rafe away from Ted. Hope took Rafe aside and explained to him that she had confronted Ted about why he had been lying to her.
"The jewelry. That is what that phone call was all about," Hope explained. Hope stressed that she had not accepted the necklace. Angry, Rafe argued that when he had arrived at the restaurant, Hope had been holding Ted's hand and staring into his eyes.
"What the hell am I supposed to think?" Rafe yelled. "You're supposed to trust me. I'm your wife," Hope countered. Rafe said he was sick and tired of finding Ted mooning over his wife. Rafe created a scene while Hope attempted to calm him. With tears in his eyes, Rafe urged Hope to look at what she was doing to their relationship. Rafe stormed out.
In shock, Hope sat down in the chair at her table, silent. Ted apologized for widening the rift between Hope and her husband. "I should never have bought this necklace. I definitely should never have given it to you in a public place," Ted said. Ted promised to return the necklace in the morning. As Ted rose to leave, Hope asked him to stay.
When Rafe returned to his house with dinner, David was asleep in the crib. Rafe apologized to Lani for his late return. Lani assured Rafe that David was happy. "You really do have a way with him," Rafe commented. Rafe noted that one of the takeout dinners was for Lani and Eli so that they could spend time together. Lani lied and said Eli had told her to spend as much time with David as Rafe needed.
In the Brady Pub, Sarah told Eric that she knew that Eric had lied to her about his feelings. "You don't throw people's sins back in their faces. You said every hurtful and cutting thing you could think of to me because you wanted to kill any hope I had about you. You had to because you feel the exact same way for me that I feel for you," Sarah said. Sarah explained that she had tricked Marlena into telling her the truth.
"I don't break vows I make to God. I take them very seriously," Eric said. Sarah told Eric that she admired that about him. "I was lying when I said that I was okay with us being just friends. I'm not okay with it. It's killing me," Sarah confessed. Sarah said she had said yes to Rex's proposal because she had believed that there was no future with Eric.
"This changes everything," Sarah said. Eric argued he had promised not to break up Sarah and Rex. Sarah grasped Eric's hand and countered that Eric had not broken his vow. Sarah asked Eric to be honest. "You're right. I do have feelings for you," Eric said. Eric grabbed Sarah and kissed her. After a moment, Eric pushed Sarah away.
"I shouldn't have done that," Eric said, breathless. "Why not? We're finally being honest with each other," Sarah said. Eric argued that after what had happened with Brady, he could not betray another brother. Sarah nodded and said they had both been lying to themselves and to Rex. Sarah agreed that they could not act on their feelings until they talked to Rex first.
"He called," Eric said as he checked his phone. Sarah reminded Eric that Rex had been expecting her for dinner and had likely called to ask about her. With a nod, Sarah said she needed to tell Rex the truth right away.
"No. I let Nicole go to Brady alone. It was the worst mistake that I've ever made. I'm not going to make the same mistake again. We're gonna do this together," Eric said. Eric cradled Sarah's face in his hands. "Does it help that I've never been happier?" Sarah asked through tears. Eric nodded yes. "It helps a lot," Eric whispered.
At Eric's apartment, Rex was surprised to find a very much alive Nicole at the front door. Nicole asked to see Eric. Stammering in confusion, Rex said Eric would return soon. Nicole demanded to talk to Eric right away. When Rex refused to hand over his phone to Nicole, she gasped.
"Eric can't get a call from my phone and hear your voice," Rex protested. When Nicole threatened to use someone else's phone, Rex relented and handed his over to her. Nicole took the phone, then reconsidered. Rex offered to call Eric and ask him to return home so that Nicole could talk to him in person. When Rex called, though, it clicked over to voicemail. Rex urged Eric to return home as soon as possible.
Rex noticed that Nicole was jumpy, and he asked her if he could examine her. Nicole said she would feel better after she saw Holly. Rex explained that Holly did not live with Eric.
"Eric promised that he would take care of her if anything happened to me. He swore he would," Nicole said. Rex said Eric had felt it was best that Holly live with Chloe and Parker. Rex assured Nicole that Holly was in good hands and happy. Rex offered to take Nicole to see Holly, and she gratefully accepted. As Nicole stepped forward, she collapsed into Rex's arms.
Rex sat Nicole on the couch and cautioned her not to see Holly in her condition. "You're right. Eric and I should go together. She knows him," Nicole said with a sigh. Rex checked Nicole's pulse, and she worried aloud about whether her daughter remembered her or hated her. Rex warned Nicole not to get upset. After examining Nicole, Rex suggested that Nicole was dehydrated. Nicole spotted Eric's portfolio, and she flipped through the pages.
"[Eric] thinks about you every day. He still loves you," Rex said. "That's what got me through this. Knowing that," Nicole said. Overwhelmed, Nicole went into the bathroom to clean up. Eric and Sarah returned to the apartment.
"What the hell? I said it was important," a flustered Rex spat out. "We need to talk," Sarah countered. Rex interrupted, "There's no time for that right now. Eric, I literally don't know how to tell you this." Nicole exited the bathroom. Eric's face fell. Sarah's mouth fell open, and she looked at Eric.